Is that a Holy Symbol in your pocket?
The game opens with a recap of SPU36’s interrogation of Helena Highwater, covered in-depth on the forums here:
The high points include:
- She was a carrying a Zohar Cage that she had picked up from the two boys in the Hive during Episode: The Devil’s Hit List.
- Glanthur identifies the Zohar Cage as a type of container which is known to be essentially impossible to open.
- It is also discovered through Lord V’s manipulative questioning – that Helena is in fact not a Cleric of Abadar, but rather, of the Raven Queen, a fact she was very actively trying to conceal.
- Vala chimes in that the Raven Queen is not a major force in the New City, but does have a Temple in the Temple District.
- Additionally, it is learned that Helena was picking up the box in the Hive for her friend Felicia Gravesend, a girl she associates with a Karl, a guy who likes guns, has blond hair, and a dog, and an athletic silver-haired girl that she knows only as ‘Slash’.
- Helena has a thing for Karl; she knows he’s a ‘bad boy’, but that is why she’s drawn to him.
- Helena doesn’t know much of anything about the boys she made the pickup from.
- She thinks she’s seen both of them around before, and is pretty sure one is a member of the Fated – like herself.
While the interrogation is going on, Faraday & Glanthur arrive at a plan: Glanthur constructs a fake Zohar Cage containing a listening coin and some dust of coughing and sneezing. Helena is then given the fake box and allowed to depart. The real Zohar Cage is given to Glanthur for further examination and, if possible, a shot at trying to open it. He arranges to have it delivered to the UPL labs at the University for further study.
A Welcome Retirement
The next morning, it’s time for the funeral of Fated Factor Carver Redforce, which SPU36 is expected to attend. It’s being held at the extravagant Temple of Freyr in the Temple District, where the Redforce family are major patrons of the church. Felicia attends, as does most of the who’s who of the city. Bronx Redforce, the son of the deceased Factor and sometimes social adversary of Carredyn. Bronx gives a teary-eyed, furious speech in which he calls out The Esteemed & Accordant’s inability to protect the citizens of the New City. Bronx adds that he can certainly do a better job of helping people without the shackles of these two fumbling organizations, and, seething with anger, announces he is leaving the Accordant. To say Carredyn looks pleased in a very restrained, appropriate fashion is an understatement.
Deep Within The Archives
Post-funeral, SPU36 trails Helena to the Hall of Records, and notices a very significant number of birds – a number so high it is worthy of note – lining the rooftops and windowsills on their way. Arriving at the Hall of Records, Glanthur heads to the patent office to file a number of papers, while Azgard uses his pull within the faction to get himself admitted to the high-security wing, following Helena. Azgard trails Helena through the labyrinthine passages, until she gets to a safety deposit locker and begins accessing it. Azgard returns to the entrance and is able to get Glanthur into the limited-access area, and the two of them return to Helena’s locker, and Glanthur works to open it while they hear, over the listening coin embedded in the fake Zohar Cage carried by Helena, their quarry meet up with Felicia, the friend she had mentioned earlier, and Helena hands over the box. Glanthur sends Cornelius back to lead the rest of the group to their location.
Sensing that strange things are afoot, Between Vala’s status, Carredyn’s rank, and Faraday’s insistence, the rest of SPU36 is finally able to clear the entry to the high-security wing, and immediately encounters Cornelius, whom they follow through the tunnels. Their pace increases significantly as Cornelius, at a command from Glanthur, speeds up due to new things that have come to light: Glanthur is now hearing the girls running scared and hiding from someone over the listening coin. Glanthur rushes to finish his break-in as Helena is heard to cast a spell, followed shortly by terrified shrieking from the girls and rumbling from their direction. The two groups of law-enforcers rush into a massive library almost simultaneously, and Faraday recognizes, floating in the middle of the chamber, the hulking form of Creed, a fallen Celestial known to be a lower-planar assassin of note. Oh – and he’s holding the unconscious Felicia and Helena under one arm – and also been looking for the team’s Dustman Gunslinger.
Everyone’s Least Favorite Fallen Celestial Assassin
Creed looks the group over, remarking that there is “so much potential” present, and that, while he has a job to do, he’d more interested in testing the Faraday and his friends. He asks Faraday what his life is worth. The Gunslinger, caught off-guard, respons that he is a man of some means, and says Creed should name a price. The hired killer laughs and says “I’ve got a better idea. Survive.” and unleashes a torrent of earth creatures upon SPU36 while blocking off the exits with walls of stone. Carredyn opens with his trademark Whipsawn Spear attack as the team fights an extended battle against the summoned (?) monsters – which Lord V recogognizes as Bight Crawlers, and Creed uses some Celestial incantation to bind the two girls, whom he tosses into a corner.
Glanthur orders his clockwork monkey, Cornelius, to free the unconscious girls and recapture the faux Zohar Cage in their possession. Faraday displays some of his infrequently-seen acrobatic talents in the battle while Lord V runs distraction on Creed while Azgard, true to his reputation as a hero-killer, tries to get a clear shot at Creed. After no small number of combat turns, destroyed archive shelving, blood spilled, and endless hordes of rock monster sent to the abyss,a large-sounding rumbling along with yelling and panicked screaming is heard coming from somewhere nearby. Lord V uses a number of grease spells to great effect on some of the larger rock creatures, much to the delight of Vala, who hammers the attackers back with fire blasts. It’s now that Cornelius returns to Glanthur, faux Zohar Cage in hand, and the girls regain consciousness, Felicia attacking a nearby sealed exit with a explosive, yet familiar-looking “Detonating Fireball Wave” from her pistol, Helena immediately unleashing her Redemption Aria attack on Creed, as a massive bolt of holy energy strikes from above and sends the fallen Celestial reeling as he floats in midair and is consumed by energy.
The One That Got Away
The law enforcement agents – and teenage girls – are not so lucky that the Celestial has been defeated by Helena’s trump card. Laughing – though smoking and badly singed, Creed says “That’s enough. Let’s wrap this up”, and waves his hands in a pattern unknown to the spellcasters present. He disappears and the army of stone beasts melts into the floor, and the rumbling increases from an outer wall of the chamber. Fearing the worst, Glanthur conjures a rope trick, while Faraday tries to stop the escaping Felicia and Helena. He is mere inches (and two #’s difference in the initiative order) from grabbing Helena when the girls break a spell battery and turn invisible, escaping down a hallway opened by Felicia’s gun attack.
Cue the aforementioned outer wall of the Hall of Records breaking in, and a horde of 20-foot monstrosities that Vala recognizes as fiendish constructs usually referred to as Abyssal War Chariots storming in and destroying everything in their path. Faraday leaps into the Rope Trick with mere yards to spare as the creatures swarm all over his position, the chamber, and, elsewhere, all over the Hall of Records. SPU36 wisely waits in the Rope Trick for several hours as the Hall of Records, Faction headquarters of the Fated, is utterly obliterated by the attack.
More Like Hall of Wreckage
The team is able to escape once the fury has died down and Accordant & Fated Guard forces are dragging massive corpses across the courtyard outside. Glanthur realizes that in re-capturing the faux Zohar Cage from the girls, he has inadvertently cost the team their connection to Helena, and he, Faraday, and Azgard, immediately begin plotting how to re-plant the box on Helena. A quiet falls across the streets as SPU36 walks through the Clerk’s Ward, away from the smoking wreckage of the massive structure that until today served as the single greatest repository of knowledge across all the planes. Carredyn’s comment to his men is simple.
“Bar this. Not a word. They’ll be barmy like a power at the spire if they think we’re taking the fall for this mess”.
Fade to black.
- Martial Law
- Madmen and Monsters