After the near-miss with the unmasked-megalomaniac that once was Dr. Horniege, Mr. H’s Five report in completeness to Lucius Mattheson on the state of Horniege, his Neverdead army, and the war factory that has been created in the Blood-soaked Arena. Resolved to eradicate the threat, Lucius offers to give the Party command of a small Guild strike team, unless they can recruit one unnamed individual who might have an axe to grind against Horniege. Not naming the person by name, Lucius only wrote a word on a card to help them find the place the contact might be; Ampersand.
Before launching their investigation too heavily, the Party first wanted to cash out the Vault tickets that Horniege absentmindedly threw their way in their last meeting. From these tickets, James found a stack of damning Project Lazarus and Project Osiris documents, which he only took a small sample to read later. Ave on the other hand found a sizable drawer that contained beautiful and polished pneumatic limbs, ambidextrous attachments for one full arm and one full leg replacement. Before leaving, however, Ave was able to pilfer one other poorly-locked drawer and gained what would later be identified as an Alp horn. Cho’ko was naturally ecstatic at the wonderful pneumatic craftsmanship of Ave’s finds, and was resolved to immediately attach these new superior parts.
While Cho’ko went under the knife to upgrade herself, James and Ave began the search for Ampersand. Initial leads were completely useless, and it wasn’t until they intimidated a street urchin in the Industrial Zone that they learned that Ampersand was an urban legend, a sanctuary for discontinued, decommissioned, or run-away Guild and Arcanist constructs, a place regarded to have the same level of reality as the Island of Misfit Toys. Pressing the ragamuffin further finally came up with a lead on another name, English Ivan, who’s famed heists, which recently focused on the capture of several Peacekeepers, might have a useful affinity towards Ampersand, assuming it’s a real place.
Heading towards a bar in the Burns to follow this flimsy lead, James and Ave find Phil, who grills them on the purpose of their visit until English Ivan summons them from a side room. Proving to be a friend at the right price (the cost of one bag of Soulstone powder this time), English Ivan revealed that Ampersand is indeed a real place, but changes location every night. Tonight, Ampersand will be in the back alleys of the Qi and Gong in Little Kingdom.
Returning to retrieve Cho’ko, who’s now excited to use her new pneumatics to finally create her much discussed Komodo Ryu, they resolve to first visit James’ visitor from Earthside. A quick visit to the train station validates James’ fear; his father, Arthur Beswick, is now in Malifaux. The station thankfully also provided the hotel he’s staying at in Downtown, so the Party resolved to head there directly.
In front of Room 202, the Party meets a familiar face; Tanika-san, the family butler. Only allowing James through, James finds his father strapped to a steampunk gurney, health obviously failing. With his dying breath, the two Beswick men forgave each other for past failings. As a final gift, Arthur gave James the Sapphire Lexicon, which enraged the Nothing Beast when James not to ascend with the Grimoire and Obliteration’s Gifts, fulfilling his final destiny step.
An unedited recording of this session can be found here.
Image taken from willy111’s Photobucket.