Through the Breach

Suspicious Summons
Answer the call & enter... Through the Breach

Train.pngThe year is 1901, or 114 PF. Three individuals, hailing from all different walks of life, each receive a mechanical pigeon holding a mysterious note, a train ticket, and a random secret object. There is no return address, but it is signed by a Dr. Luther Drought Horniege III. Promising riches if they travel to Malifaux and provide an unspecified service, Ave, Choko, and James all grab their most important possessions and board the next evening train bound for the Breach.

They each take their seats in the cheapest car, near the back with convict cells. All seemed going well and smoothly, until they actually entered the Breach. Time seemed to freeze inside the portal, but the players could still move about the train. A Guild official with a mysterious parcel in the car also seemed unaffected by the freeze; however she scratched at her throat and pleaded for help. Ave investigates and attempts to relieve her ailment but James, interested in the now unprotected paper parcel on the officer’s lap, blunders into them both and triggers a ghastly transformation in the officer. Her innards finally successfully free from her body, tendrils of intestine began to attack the players, successfully killing one of her frozen Guild bodyguards. A battle filled with terror and bullets followed, but the players successfully defeated the beast.

Time started once more at the demise of the vile thing, with James’ collier level with the bloody Guild corpses, Ave desperately covering her tracks and concealing her involvement, and a gore-covered Choko attempting to retrieve the now discarded parcel. Two Guild guards rein control back to the car once more in the ensuing panic, and everyone returns to their seats, albeit far away from the crime scene, until they pull into Breachworks Station.

The question now; the Guild will undoubtedly grill each passenger when they arrive to the train station… so how will our players be implicated? Can they cover each others’ backs, or will they be fingered as murders by a car full of witnesses?

View
Troubles at the Trainstation
The Party avoids capture and finally meet

matt_kohr_CHOW150.jpgAt the end of last session, the individual party members were desperately trying to plan how to avoid too many questions in their involvement over the bloody murder of two Guild officials on the train. When the train finally rolled into the first Malifaux Station, all passengers where quarantined until each was interrogated. Originally, an impressive response of several train employees, a Guild sergeant, a field coroner, and a witchling stalker descended on the train car, terrifying passengers with any guilty conscience. However, the sergeant-interrogate proved to be an impatient drunk (probably was called while off-duty in the nearest pub at the late hour), flying through interrogations with very little grilling, even when several eye witnesses hinted at James’ involvement. With very little deception, each player returned to the train car unscathed.

However, the party wasn’t out of the woods yet. It seemed the deceased was carrying an important package, one they wished to retrieve. While the wild-looking coroner vouched that good Samaritan(s) had actually defended the whole car from a Breach-induced nightmare (and was not unprovoked Guild-icide), each passenger was patted-searched as they finally exited the train. While Ave had little to hid, both Choko and James had to smuggle the acquired parcel and the murder weapon, respectively. With quick thinking from Choko, she was able to disguise the paper parcel as a sick bag, while James’ concealed holster proved its worth.

Finally free from Guild eyes, the party members tailed each other to a shadowy corner of the train station and finally confronted each other on their shared ability being unstuck in time during the train ride. After a flurry of deals and compromises, Ave offered to lockpick the bejewel, small chest in Choko’s concealed bag if its wealth was shared in favor to her. With begrudging agreement (determining Ave would be a better ally than enemy for James’ uses), the party discovered Ave’s first fate step; El Corazón Sangrante. After unlocking the box’s riches, the party discovered they came to Malifaux with a similar purpose, and compared their resources provided in [[Dr. Horniege’s Letter]]. Agreeing to finally work together to find the elusive Doctor, they then set out toward the heavily Guild-controlled Downtown.

Art by Matt Kohr

View
Intercity Investigations
The Party explores Downtown Malifaux

downtown.jpgFinally arriving to Malifaux proper, the party immediately sets out not only to determine Dr. Horniege’s location, but to peddle some of their wares that they gained from the train ride.

Both making purchases and gathering information, James purchases additional ammunition at Edgerton Armaments in the well protected Downtown. While no leads were gained from the shop owner, Ave used this time to also visit The Troubled Clef and purchased a ratty fiddle case to better conceal her new illegal weapon.

With dangerous twilight drawing ever darker, the party took cheap housing at The Concealed Saber, a dive that Ave used to frequent on the border of the Riverfront Slums. After purchasing a room, James uncovered the first lead in their mission after playing a shady game of Bayou Two Card with the Saber’s patrons: Dr. Horniege is a Guild official of some sort, and had put a call out for volunteers of some sort in the various slums and offered room and board to those selected. Apparently many street urchins applied, but few were selected, and the posters came down faster than they were put up. Beyond this one little blip in street gossip, there hasn’t been any other mention of Horniege.

After turning in and enjoying a poor night’s sleep, the party determined that looking for one of these posters might be the best option to finding Horniege. Continuing down the border between Downtown and the various slums, the party found the “Guild-Approved” Pawnshop, which looked like a good, albeit ironic, fence to move the bejeweled carrying case for El Corazón, hopefully getting rid of the penultimate evidence of the parties involvement with the train murders. While negotiating for a price with a sleepy-eyed clerk, Choko became hypnotized with an antique bell that seemed to come from the Three Kingdoms. Offering a trade instead of a direct payout, Choko gained her first fate step by acquiring the bell, with some extra money on the side for the rest of the party.

Before delving deeper into the dangerous slums, Ave has a brainwave on how to solve the mystery of Dr. Horniege’s Letter. By using Choko’s black stone that Horniege mailed to her, Ave finally revealed invisible clues that were unique to each party member’s letter. After a quick deciphering, “EAST SLUM dist” was found in the gibberish writings, and the party made a U-turn towards the Easterly Slums.

While making their trek there, James recommended a short detour to the Malifaux Records Office while passing through the Industrial Zone. While Choko took in all the sights, marveling at both the impressive steamborgs loading new ore into train cars and the new mine claim postings on the exterior of the office, James and Ave inquired inside the chaotic office. It was there that a chilling receptionist clarified that Horniege is fact deceased, and has been so for about a week! Before incurring anymore suspicion from the bureaucrat, the party made their exit, even more driven to get at the bottom of Horniege’s purposed mission, which they had only received the day before.

Finally arriving to the generally deserted Easterly slums at noontide, James found another clue from Horniege’s letter; “NINE DEAD road.” Ave, knowing the area well enough, quickly spirited them to an abandoned half-built apartment complex with the suggested address. While the lock was strangely well-made and impossible to lock-pick, Choko immediately saw the pattern in the puzzle-lock and gained easy entry. Inside the deserted, spartan abode, they stumbled into what must be Horniege’s steampunk workshop. While they were attacked by a rudimentary, under powered security system, the team was able to take control of the room with a few well placed shots and swipes with both bullet and blade.

On the desk sits another note of Dr. Horniege’s handwriting. With their mission finally revealed to them, how will the party proceed, especially with Horniege’s workshop available to them?

Recordings can be found below. This game day was a little longer, so the unedited recording comes in three parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Picture taken from Incunablog

View
Preparations and Planning
The Party schemes their next move

malifauxstreet.jpg With Horniege’s new message found and all of the machinery plundered from his secret workshop, the party begins to plan how to fulfill his purposed mission. After discussing at length what would be the best entrance into the Guild Enclave where Horniege claims his remains to be, it became more and more evident that more information, particularly a map, will be required to successfully plan this dangerous infiltration.

Steampunk_Spider.jpgDuring this time, Choko went right to work in putting some of Horniege’s machinery to good use. Using parts from the powered-down security bots and a trove of other parts in the steampunk shop, Choko whipped up her first creation this side of the Breach; a swarmbot of good quality. As she worked, Ave attempted to find more secrets in Horniege’s workshop, but only found dusty journals (some by other peoples’ hand, all in a strange cipher), incomplete aethervoxes, and the melon-sized contraption that Horniege mentioned in his new message. Unfortunately, Ave didn’t find the prize she was truly looking for; more weapons to arm themselves for the Doctor’s mission.

After determining that Horniege’s Workshop will work well as their headquarters during their tentative allegiance, the party set off in the afternoon sun to locate one of Ave’s contact who might help them in their efforts. After tracking him down in one of his safe houses, the rest of the party met Harvey for the first time. While there was a slight abrasive edge to Harvey’s otherwise silky voice when they first arrived, Ave was able to negotiate some help from her old mentor. If the party was willing to recover some stolen goods from a gremlin bandit who has been intercepting Harvey’s shipments from the Bayou, he was willing to acquire the Morgue maps and plans the party requires.

Armed with a new box of ammo for Ave and a boat to incur this Captain Greenbeard’s attention, how will the party’s luck hold out beyond the control and protection of Malifaux proper?

An unedited recording of this session can be found here.

Spider Sculpture by Catherinette Rings

View
Backwater Bootleg
The Party encounters Captain Greenbeard

Gremlins.jpg With some nimble navigation and piloting from Ave and Choko, the Party navigated their flat-bed vessel through the perilous swamps of the Bayou. While this was the first time that the Party ventured beyond Malifaux’s walls, the “bait” crew didn’t encounter any complications in the first few miles of travel.

Once the metropolis was well out of sight, Captain Greenbeard made his move. Commanding a laughable small vessel to board the Party’s raft, shots began to fire as the three humans tried to repel the three- gremlin crew. All was going according to plan; the Party’s superior weapons and cover (the empty boxes were arranged defensibly on the raft) gave the raft an upper hand. However, Greenbeard had some dirty tricks of his own. Summoning a vegetable boarding bridge with the little green motes in his beard and commanding ethereal Void Wretches, the tide of battle quickly shifted.

Completely outflanked and with cover disappearing into the maws of the Wretches, James was the first to fall under the attacks of the three-legged monsters. Instead of taking a fatal injury, however, James disappeared as the cargo did. With one man removed from battle, all seemed lost to Ave and Choko.

However, as soon as he disappeared, James rematerialized, invigorated and energized, with all of Greenbeard’s stolen loot. With the Wretches popping out of existence too, the gremlin advantage was gone. Greenbeard’s goons either expired under a rain of bullets or cowardly (well, possibly wisely) retreated under this new development. Angered by this unprecedented turn for the worst, Greenbeard did a final charge, but caved under the superior numbers.

With the battle won, Captain Greenbeard’s head as a trophy, AND Harvey’s loot recovered, the Party stood victorious.

View
Sewer Showdown
The Party is forcefully detoured

UnderMalifaux.jpg After squashing Captain Greenbeard’s pirate force, the party discusses whether or not they wish to “discover” the contents of Harvey’s cargo. All crates and barrels seemed to be in order and similar to the one’s seen in Harvey’s safehouse, save one. That one, which was poorly constructed with poorly-milled driftwood, contained a flat strongbox with two locks. Unable to easily pop the others open (much to Ave’s approval apparently), the players are left to wonder what exactly Harvey has been smuggling.

As the party finally makes their way back to Malifaux, a strange aqueous phenomenon began to pull and suck their riverboat into the labyrinthine sewers, removing them from their course back to Harvey’s dock. While the party fought hard to stay the course away from the maelstroms, they couldn’t stop the torrential pull. Once they hit the tempest, the party mutually blacked out.

rat.pngAfter an unknown duration of time, the party individually awoke in tiny, dark cells. Looking around their surroundings, the party individually concluded they’ve somehow been deposited in an enormous maze made out of thin (but indestructible), opaque obsidian. After stumbling through the corridors, they all finally met in the center, where yet another cell is filled with diseased corpses from an unknown sickness. Once all three arrived, an embodiment of filth and pestilence arose from the corpses; a rat king. This Vermin Baron then addressed the party, speaking strange accusations; that they were “banished by their peers” and strange mentions of a “Red Cage.” While the party’s pleas seemed to go unnoticed, James’ uncontrolled outburst (the Party’s first hint of his deal with the Nothing Beast) seemed to enrage the Baron, provoking combat as the maze liquefied and changed shape into a battle arena. While battle with the Baron didn’t prove to be too difficult, Cho’ko did receive a particularly nasty rat bite, one that will have to be monitored in the future.

Once the labyrinth finally dissolved after vanquishing the Baron, the cargo was located in the fourth corner of the maze. But now the party is confronted with the difficult question; how can they ferry their pile of loot with no boat, deep underneath the Undercity of Malifaux?

An unedited recording of this session can be found here.

Top image taken from National Geographic

View
Basement Breakout
The Party escapes the sewers

Desolation_Engine.jpgStranded in the sewers, completely disoriented and with no sight of their flat bottom boat, the Party began shuffling through Harvey’s cargo to prioritize what can be hand carried out of the Undercity.

However, the crates’ contents proved to be quite puzzling. While the goods and their quantity would indeed be expensive to a typical businessman, they struck the Party to be… odd prizes for Harvey to demand their return. Crates full of antique Powder Wars weaponry, human-brewed moonshine and nasty booze, and copper tubing/piping. The only truly remarkable parcel was the metal strongbox that the Party unpacked earlier; with one of the locks busted and Ave finally willing to lockpick the other to assay its contents. What they found was a curious tome from Old Malifaux, a black leather-bound book decorated with emeralds and silver filigree. James and Cho’ko deduced it must be a magical grimoire of great importance, and James’ invisible patron agreed. Deducing this to be the only worthy piece of cargo Harvey would actually appreciate returned, the Party ditched everything else and began exploring for a way out of the Sewers.

c6377bdc68fad560337d02682b6b8616.jpgNavigating the sewer proved harder than expected. Between the inconsistent designs and ominous corridors with promises of death or worse, the Party took its time to carefully navigate the perilous Undercity. When they finally made it towards the topmost levels of the sewers, Ave heard shouting from approaching humans. They encountered a criminal couple, attempting to outun a pursuing Desolation Engine. Abominations quickly cut off the five’s escape, and a brawl broke out. The already heavily wounded criminals were quickly overwhelmed, converted into additional ghastly Abominations. The steampunk horrors descended next onto Cho’ko and her creation, while Ave and James rain bullet fire on the terrors. Cho’ko bravely repealed the vile constructs, kicking the head right off the Engine.

More inhuman cries echoed from where the couple ran from, and the Party wisely decided to make a break for it while they had the chance. James scooped up the woman’s collier, and gratefully made it back into the daylight of the surface.

An unedited recording of this session can be found here.

View
Morgue Mayhem
The Party finally infiltrates the Guild Enclave

morgue.jpgWith Choko badly hurt during their narrow escape from the Sewers, the Party quickly patched up Choko and remove her Blight-bitten ailment inflicted by the Vermin Baron. Returning to Dr. Horniege’s Workshop to lick their wounds, the Party decides to meet Harvey the next day and deliver the The Emerald Tome.

After a brief rest, the Party found Harvey in his safehouse… waiting for them. Displayed around him was a collection of thugs (which he named Bill, Drew, John, Mirra, Steve, and Thomas), which showed that Harvey intended to show some level of force and power during negotiations. After a bit of bartering and resolving Ave’s next Destiny step, the Party delivered the scalped beard of Greenbeard and the Tome. This allowed them to receive increased help from Harvey, including:

  • The first promised map of the Enclave. Though dated from the first surveys immediately after the Second Breach, the map is very detailed.
  • Pledged assistance from Mirra and Thomas, who could, between them, forge Guild documents and act as a supposed Guardsman escort.
  • Provided a small penny whistle with explicit instructions.
  • However, Harvey had to be talked down to a still steep 60-40 cut for their job.

Determining the suggested facade of “body identification” to legitimize their visit to the Morgue, the Party made some suitable clothing purchases and galvanized their plans at their hideout. While the two new recruits, particularly Thomas, struck the Party as odd, they were glad for the help they provided.

Mature-Nephilim.pngThe next day, they set out for the Enclave. While their documents and performances were convincing, the front gate would not let them through since they weren’t scheduled in their itinerary. Sensing trouble, Ave blew the whistle, which summoned two Mature Nephilim right into the Guild compound. Immediately causing alarm and clearing a path for the Party when the gate guard abandoned their post, the five infiltrators booked it for the main building during the chaos.

Quickly finding the Morgue with Harvey’s map and Thomas’ affinity for the complex, the Party then began searching the room for Dr. Horniege’s item. While his personal effects had no sign of the black egg artifact (but did have useful items like Horniege’s old badge and a small parchment with random numbers), the Party discovered that the artifact was surgically implanted in Horniege’s gut, and it only took a quick slice to expose their treasure; bringing them one step closer to fulfilling their first quest and, more importantly, payment.

However, Thomas had other plans. The disguised Resurrectionist went looking for another prize of his own, and after finding it (the necrotic artifact inside Dr. McMourning’s desk), he revealed himself to be Aaron Smith and began summoning Necropunks and Rotten Belles inside the Morgue. While the ensuing battle seemed impossible to stop Aaron’s escape (especially with the limited weapons the Party smuggled in), they vanquished the wanna-be Resser with the use of Ave’s Secret Item.

When the undead finally collapsed in a heap, the sounds of Nephilim battle upstairs started to calm and quiet. Now, the Party must determine how to escape the blood-soaked Morgue and the highly-alerted Enclave.

An unedited recording of this session can be found here.

Morgue image taken from Project Sector 7 (Wordpress).

View
Insidious Interrogations
The Party attempts to escape the Guild Enclave

Lucius_Art.jpgAfter dispatching Aaron Smith and recovering the Midnight Egg, the Party quickly discusses how to escape the Enclave without being noticed. Now that it seems the Neverborn attack has ceased above them, they no longer have a diversion. Quickly pilfering through Smith’s remains and recovering the source of his necromancer power, the green Octahedron, James assumed the disguise of the Party’s Guild escort with Smith’s bullet-riddled jacket and badge and hoped their cover story could continue.

Once they made their way to the yard, however, they saw that the Guild were “cleaning up” after the battle. While this means several Guards and constructs were immediately covering up the Nephilim in the courtyard, everyone else in the Enclave were lining up for headcount and record eye-witness accounts. Thankfully, the officers running this bureaucratic procedure only halfheartedly performed their duties, and were anxious to get civilians out of the complex. With the Gate within sprinting distance as the Party attempted their exit, however, an authoritative voice stopped them in their tracks, a voice owned by the Governor General’s Secretary himself, Lucius Mattheson.

Lucius.pngSkeptical of the Party’s line, especially since he confidently knew Dr. McMourning was not in his lab today, Lucius ordered immediate individual interrogation of each Party member, including James. Their accounts of the ordeal follow:

After the intimidating grilling, the Party was escorted to Lucius’ office. There, Lucius revealed their cover was blown due to their inconsistent accounts of their Morgue Mayhem. In an even more chilling demonstration of power and influence, Lucius also produced the Midnight Egg that Choko safely stashed in her belongings. However, this seemed to diffuse Lucius’ accusations, cryptically stating that he was, ‘Glad to see Project Lazarus continues, alive and well.’ Claiming he will not take action against the Party, so long as their goals aligned with his, the Party was dismissed and released from the compound, dazed and shaken by their encounter with the Governor’s Secretary.

An unedited recording of this session can be found here.

View
Robotic Rebirth
The Party finally meets Dr. Horniege

workshop.jpgAfter slipping through the Guild’s clutches, the Party (hereafter referred to as Mr. H’s Five, which will become apparent shortly) quickly returned to Dr. Horniege’s Workshop to lick their wounds from the battle during Morgue Mayhem and to ponder on Lucius’ warning words. At this time, both James and Cho’ko focused and activated the grimoires in their possesion; the Emerald Tome and the Octahedron, respectively.

With the retrieved Midnight Egg in their possession once more, the then-Four thought it more pressing to collect their promised bounty (as described in Dr. Horniege’s second letter) before reporting back to Harvey. With a bit of deduction, they found themselves at the front footsteps of the Vault at around 4 pm (right before closure of business hours), safe deposit box ticket in hand. With little convincing, James was directed down into the Old Malifaux catacombs and collected Dr. Horniege’s promised goods; a stack of Scrip, some more specialized gadgetry, and a charged, 2-lade Soulstone. Emptying the cash and only leaving some gadgets and the Soulstone (after some brief concentration) in the drawer, the Four returned to their hideout to see what their next step will be.

After some puzzling with Horniege’s last communique, the Four successfully opened the Midnight Egg with help from Cho’s Secret Item and revealed a charged, 5-lade Soulstone! Following his instructions, they installed the ’stone into the melon-sized contraption, which flickered to life.

The construct’s “head” then introduced itself as the late Dr. Horniege, and quickly explained how he cheated death by using the techniques he pioneered during Project Lazarus and Project Osiris. With his death wrought before he could finish his new body, however, Horniege promised more life savings from his former Project members if they would help him one more time; building him a new body.

The first step is collecting a new superior metal to make his various casings; Strangemetal. With his memories of old Guild associates, Horniege recalled a Lucas McCabe had found the material out in the Bayou, with the help of a Bayouborn guide, Pancho Peach. After a little convincing, the Party wet out with Horniege’s head in tow to find this Pancho Peach.

With only a little searching and the sun setting, the Party found the curious specimen of Pancho Peach in the Riverfront Slums, who quickly agreed to bring the group to the Strangemetal ruins that Lucas first explored.

An unedited recording of this session can be found here.

Image taken from “Web of Deceit: Black Widow,” illustrated by Elichev Alexandr.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.