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ZEITGEIST The chronicles of Team Big-hearted And Determined (B.A.D.)

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I like the rifle, the direct opposite of the Gun armed goblin who could do none lethal damage with a cannon. Although he did occassionally none lethal people to death if he overestimated their Hit points.
Also more games should have weird events involving Cows
 

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Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I just finished running Ars Magica scenarios featuring
-- A bronze Bull which magically attracted and stole everyones cows and lead them into a volcano for sacrifice
-- To avoid the cow theft and avoid angering Aphrodite to whom the cows were being sacrificed a magic item which created 100 temporary cows a day which were then sacrificed
-- Then so that the Cow stealing Bull could be used to move a sacred Zorastarian fire, without stealing every cow encountered along the way a Cow Bell which made the Bull indetectable to Cows was made

Also of course Glorantha the world were Cow stealing is a major activity

Instead of a BBEC maybe a BOD (Bovine Of Doom)
 


Echolocation

Explorer
Session 52
Courtesy of Angharad's player

Gariad went for a look see, found many snipers, as well as a decoy set up with a light, but if you were to go east, you'd find the main hostages, snipers and bomb. John and Ella went and snuck in through an access tunnel, while Lisandra and Angharad took the main entrance, but accidentally made enough noise to get noticed, so sneaky plan was cancelled, and bum rush the bomb was go.

John would turn into a rhino to slow down the train, Ella running around invisible, Angharad managing to make Lisandra sigh with exasperation. Our old friend Avvakir (PC of an ex-character, deva brawler friend of Roland) was found on the train, Lisandra freed him, and he dragged some of the terrorists off the train with him. After a brief scuffle, the party was now up to disarming the bomb.

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Dr Zubov or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.

Zubov does not speak much, but his prophet ally sure does. When he spots the party, he decries the futility in his actions. But he finds himself slipping into abyssal tongue as combat becomes imminent (I remade him as an oracle with the tongues curse):
"Just as anticipated by our great leader Grundun Zubov, the Lygostovs move as chess pieces on the board. Look around! Can you see? Yes, your king is doomed to perish within the next turn. Yet, you are powerless to stop him. Grundun, the voice of Komanov’s philosophy, heralds the end. And you, you have been chosen to be touched by the tendrils of this world’s fated doom. Do you know why we shave our beards? To feel the winter winds on our face whilst we slide down our mortal coil into the void. Come! Come ride this train into the frozen oblivion. Bare firsthand witness to the downfall of your kingdom! What a blessing, what a generous fate to behold! Now dohno, dohno i palupsta!!"

Drakan dictionary
Lygostovs = idiot/clumsy welldoers (antiquated slur)
dohno i palupsta = die and ferment

Abyssal insults
In combat, the prophet is compelled to speak in the demonic culture that lurks in the shared myths of Drakr. He hurls insults in abyssal, which sounds much close to Latin/Greek, such as "Ex Ullustra Lisko, Kilstoro" (Surrender your soul, child).

Ella, Lisandra and John worked together, while Angharad hovered. The three of them worked together fantastically, not failing a single time as they cut the wires, breaking apart the compartments and saving the day. Gosh they're talented.

Picked up a cool magic hammer. it does stuff, such cool lore stuff. Then team went to Hotel Aurum to organise the fall of the dragon. Dragon is too cool of an animal to be associated with Kell. Let's go with fall of the slimy lizard.

I wanted a cooler magical artifact than the +1 frost hammer from the book, so I took the flavour text of the 4E artifact and made this:

Hammer of the Lost Riders
Aura
faint necromancy CL 5th
Slot none; Price 18,312 gp; Weight 12 lbs.

This hammer shatters those who oppose you like fragile ice. But a blizzard swirls at the edge of your vision, and the longer you tarry from battle, the closer it looms.

This +1 frost warhammer has a jagged edge that constantly sheds shards of ice and snow, though the hammer never gets any smaller and this doesn’t weaken the weapon in any way. Whenever the hammer damages a creature, the target must succeed at a DC 14 Reflex save or a dark shard from the weapon lodges itself in the creature’s flesh. All healing the target would receive is instead converted to damage (untyped). Additionally, creatures embedded with shards can be subject to Touch of Corruption antipaladin ability and spells that inflict negative energy damage as if such abilities and spells had an additional 30 feet of range.

Removing a shard is a full-round action. Though, the target takes 1d4+1 frost damage, unless whoever removes the shard succeeds at a DC 15 Heal check. For every 5 by which the check exceeds the DC, an additional shard is removed. If either the target or the spell takes fire damage or is subjected to a spell with the fire descriptor, the effect immediately destroys all shards embedded in the target.

Minister Lee teleported us and our troops there, Angharad snapped his stick and gained some more allies. The party moving in, Angharad going to join his vekeshi allies with overwhelming force. John taking shots with Sydney running interference. Ella darting around, dropping aoe spells, while Lisandra held back, healing the wounded.

In an earlier session, Angharad approach the Old Stag requesting allies to take down Kell. The Old Stag handed the mystic a small twig, and told him to snap it when close to the site. When Angharad did just that, a howling wind bellowed from the hollow stick, whispering the words:
"Who answers the call of the mother, where hope lies,
Who answers the call of the mother? It is I"
The last three words spoken by the small group of allies teleporting into the battle.
The raid took place at the Grand Hotel. Each Vekesh ally taking a seperate floor. Asrabey Varal joined the fray by immediately teleporting to the second floor, Gale flew to the roof, and a crow (an old friend of Angharad) flew through the fourth floor, sending Kell's goons insane (resulting in many jumping to their deaths). A fey who owed the Old Stag a favor also joined, and communed with the stifled plant life of Parity Lake to form two massive weed-wrapped hands that clasped the building. Occasionally, a finger would enter a window and fling Kell's men out.

The party stormed the first floor, tracking Kell to a spa room.

But then, it all went wrong when a door was opened, where we though Kell was likely to be, but there was Connor, a click, and the screamed word "run" just coming through the gag he had on.

Connor was Lisandra's ex-boyfriend, who had gone quiet after joining the Kell's guild. In part, he did it out of jealously for Lisandra's gig at the RHC, wanting to show that he too could rake in gold and support their family of pickpockets and an Clergy priest with connections to The Family. The party correctly made an educated guess in assuming Connor was a mole for The Family, and previously contacted him via sending, skirting around Morgan's deal.

When the party went to Hotel Aurum, they interrupted a meeting between Sgt. Deb and her officers (the ones that remain, many had to return to the Cloudwood). Lisandra mentioned a mole within the guild had ratted out Kell's location at the Grand Hotel. In preparation for a raid, one officer contacted Kell to warn them of an imminent raid, and the presence of a mole. Kell joined the dots quickly, grabbed Connor, and cuffed him to a chair with explosives, before making his escape via the tunnels.

Throughout the campaign, Lisandra had encountered Connor occasionally. He pointed a crossbow at her in when Kell lured her and Angharad to the Theater of Scoundrels. In the ziggurat of Apet, Lisandra was briefly teleported to Connor, who was preparing for his first meeting with Morgan, though he did not reveal who he was meeting. Lisandra picked his coat.

Lisandra had hoped to patch things up with Connor. In this split second, it was clear she would never get the chance.

And that is what happened last time on Zeitgiest. Mostly.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Session 53 - What we Lost in the Flames and on Flagstone
Courtesy of Lisandra's player

Last session began in an eruption of flame. Entering the Grande Suites spa in search of Kell, Team BAD and their military entourage opened the doors to find Connor instead, gagged and strapped to a bomb that eagerly erupted.

As Lisandra stared in horror from the doorway, eyes locked on her ex-lover’s, memories of their time together filled her mind. Hours studying his face as she sketched him, hidden away in their spot in the Old Mill. Talking of better futures and possibilities. The dream of being rich enough to not have to hustle for their living. Memories of how she had hurt him, with her long con in North Shore that took her away from him, and away from him. The memory of his lips on hers. She’d never get a chance to make things right. To return home. To have a future with him, better or not. She had always been terrified working for Kell would have ended with him dead. But never like this.

As the flames burst forward, eagerly sucking up all the oxygen in the room, splintering the walls and consuming everything in its wake a voice spoke in Lisandra’s mind, urging her to move. A spirit, though no one she recognized. Or registered, as she stood there frozen. Just as the flames came rushing towards her, the spirit flung closed the door, sheltering those in the hallway from the worst of the hit. As the Grand Suites were torn apart, the world went dark for Team BAD.

Across the city in the Central District, B Team were going about their usual itinerary escorting Mediator Brakken around Flint when the explosion happened. At first, the explosion seemed just a figment since, thanks to the fanatical Eshcatologist cult, explosions were not an unheard of occurrence in Flint these days. But as Dima shakes the thought off, Josiah’s keen eyes shift to her and he spots three figures in an alleyway across the way. Lorcan Kell, the snake in a tophat, is easy enough to recognize, flanked by his two bodyguards, decked out in full metal armor and several more thugs trailing behind them.

Serena orders Brakken to stay back, and the B-Team begins to approach. Carlao, evey the textbook constable, pulls free his badge and issues Kell an order to stand down and recites the cause of arrest. 985 accounts of burglary, 354 accounts of murder… and Kell interrupts, to cound each of the cistables present, correcting the body count to 358.

An all-out conflict broke out as B-Team met Kell and his lackeys head on in the open. They traded blows in a frantic battle. Kell struck Dima down to watch the chaos unfold as she bled out on the flagstone. She watched as Kell advanced on Josiah, taking him down with an enchanted machete as the gunslingers rifle jammed. She watched as Serena slit the throat of one of Kell’s guards, and as the other pinned Carlao down, wrenched his shoulder from it’s socket and pinned him down with plates from his armor that reformed themselves into an iron gauntlet. A dagger through the seams of his plate, and the cavalier took his last breath. Kell took a hit from Serena’s flying dagger, only to pull it free and turn it back on her, slicing her throat in retaliation.

Dima’s laboured breathing brought a twisted smile to Lorcan’s face as he and his bloodied bodyguard, Nick Reider, stood victorious. He ordered Nick to get the cleric to her feet as he pulled out a rusty blade.

“Take a good look at yer dead friends,” the Butcher ordered and gestured to the fallen bodies of her comrades. He pulls an old rusted blade from his coat and advances on her, “... cos it’s the last thing you’ll ever see.”

Back in the Grand Suites, Angharad came back to consciousness. His eyes opened to a scene of scorched and splintered wood, blast through walls and bodies littering the room he found himself in, one across the hall from where they had stood. He finds Ella and Lisandra breathing, but unconscious and wakes the tiefling first. As she comes to, he offers her Skeet, who had been laying detached a few feet away. As she reattached her shell-shocked leg and took in the devastation around her, Angharad moved on to awaking the medium.

The Cipiths stirring didn’t bring her to consciousness, but he hears her pained words of protest. I can’t. Leave me alone. But as he reached to pick her up and carry her out, the woman’s jolts awake, blue eyes stared up at him. She greeted them both a little disoriented and awkwardly. Nervously perky, even, you might say. Angharad recoiled at the odd change in personality and lla was quick to deduce that Lisandra was in fact being steered by Xambria. A very eager, and annoyingly perky Xambria who just wanted to get out and get on with their original mission.

As the team checked over the decimated spa house for aforementioned escape tunnels, shouting from above rose, and Azrabey came falling through the cracked ceiling, a screaming thug falling quiet in the Fey’s vice grip. He nods to the group, and promptly takes his leave.

After healing funneling quite a few wand charged into healing their wounds, Team BAD carefully made their way into the escape tunnels. The trauma of the explosion inspired careful checking for traps and other hazards along the way. Ella was able to make out recent tracks leading out past a pair of unmanned cannons, leading out to a sewer grate in Parity Lake. Angharad promptly received a message from Delft, informing him of reports of Kell spotted in Central, and the devastating status of the B Team who confronted him. From there, they hail down a carriage and head to the point Delft referenced. Police on the bloody scene fill them in on the recent happenings to the best of their ability and point the team towards the direction Kell and Nick left from. Thanks to some divinatory deduction from the frustrated tiefling, Ella found a bloodied crumpled sheet of paper that had been in Kell’s possession, according to her deductive vision. It looked as if it were used to wipe clean a blade before it was discarded. Strangely, it was not the blood that caught her attention, but the hand-written copy of B Team’s itinerary that laid underneath the stains.

How the naughty word did that happen?

Furiously, Ella shoved the evidence at Angharad, who tucked it into his scarf for safekeeping and the team set on trying to follow the tracks leading away from the grizzly scene. After a long, winding route through Central, and out into the Nettles, the Team found themselves in a rundown shack not far from Cauldron Hill. An out-of-place brick in the wall tipped Ella off to a hidden compartment that once held a few palm-sized objects in it. The footprints led from the compartment to the door, it’s frame embedded with rusted metal, where they vanished. With curiosity, Xambria inspected the hovel with curiosity and detect magic, noting a fading conjuration aura. Likely the spell needed to make travel work, as mentioned by Quentin in his statement. Que additional Gnomish swearing.

If the whole party was present, I would have had the players encounter Kell and likely enter combat. However, John's player couldn't make the session, so I just yeeted them to the Bleak Gate. One player previously commented that they prefer combats when everyone can attend.

With no amulets, or spell to follow, the defeated constables returned to HQ to check in with Delft. The offices were a sombre scene. A long faced greeting from Maxwell and sobbing drifting through the door to the morgue set the tone nicely after such a day. Xambria awkwardly broke off to wait in Team BAD’s office as Ella and Angharad continued to Delft’s office. After assuring their poor haggard boss that Lisandra was not part of the death count, Ella launched into getting Delft up to date with the events of the day. At the mention of Angharad’s ‘reinforcements’, he made a note to bring it up with the Cipith later, and when mention of the B-Team itinerary is made, he became livid for much the same reason Ella had earlier. It was Delft’s turn to swear profusely. There seemed to be a mole in the ranks of the RHC. He swore to get to the bottom of things, and spent some time updating the pair on what had transpired with the B-Team and told them not to speak to any other constables about their activities until the situation was sorted. Their report completed, Angharad went to his office to tell Fake Lisandra that Real Lisandra had the morning off and she should just get her home. Seemingly nursing a headache, Xambria was all too happy to oblige.

Before he left, the Cipith offered his home to Ella, should she want somewhere to stay that was not around family if she wasn’t in good spirits. She declined, stating she had a place to stay and stormed off. Bemused, Anghard made his way to the breakroom, stopping to share a drink, toast to the dead and listen to Pete share stories in their honor.

Ella had headed to the morgue to check on poor Dima, the source of the sobbing they had heard earlier, as she sat amongst the tended corpses of her fellow constables. Tear would have been shed, if Dima still had eyes, but Ella had plenty to shed for the both of them as they commiserate on the horrific events of the day.

Eventually, the tiefling took her leave, heading back to Lisandra’s apartment and knocking to see if anyone was home. It was Xambria who greeted her. Awkwardness ensued, but in the end Xambria assured Ella that Lisandra would want her to stay and the pair parted ways to end their evening, though not before Xambria had collected all of the loose sketches and notes from the desk, and took them far away from the curious leg that liked to make messes.

Exhaustion set in, and eventually sleep took hold.

Just before dawn, Ella awoke to movement in the apartment. She spotted Lisandra’s form quietly move through the lounge, placing her keys on the desk and leaving. Through the locked door, as if it simply didn’t exist. Blinking the sleep from her eyes, the tiefling scrambled to attach Skeet, and clamour for her clothes and Lisandra’s keys before sprinting off to tail her friend through the streets of Central and up towards Parity Lake. She watched as Lisandra approached the wreckage of the Grand Suites, slipping past the rope barrier and wandering through the charred and splinted remains. Eventually, she falls to her knees, sobbing. Through her tears, she called out to Connor, trying to find his spirit through the thick congregation of death that lingers there.

A familiar voice, distinctly not Connor’s answers. The same that told her to move when the flames had raced towards her. The spirit took a moment, as if sorting through the crowd of spirits present and seemed to pull one forward, presenting one one she requested. In the monochrome in between where Lisandra’s consciousness dwelled, Connor’s ethereal form came into view.

Ella eavesdropped with concern from hidden behind nearby rubble as the medium said her grief-stricken goodbyes to the man she loved. When the conversation left Lisandra reduced to a sobbing mess, the tiefling cast a message cantrip and to see if the woman wanted company. As her head rose, Ella stepped into view, dashing over as Lisandra nodded. More tears were shed, apologies conveyed and assuring hugs shared. When Lisandra had no more tears to shed, she steeled herself for the day ahead. A royal banquet and a trip to the Bleak Gate were still on the agenda, and if that was where Kell was hiding, she was not going to let her grief stop her from being there to put an end to him. With a quick activation of her shoes of reliable style, her soggy appearance neatened and she headed into HQ with Ella to their appointment with the tailors.

So one of the top five shittiest days at the RHC was to be brought to a close by attending the opening dinner to the peace negotiations between Risur and Danor, as guests of the Danoran figurehead; Lya Jierre. Otherwise known as the chainsaw blade-wielding royal bureaucrat that had previously dismembered most of Team BAD last they met. Snazzy new outfits were fitted, though Lisandra made use of her illusionary aid and dressed in something more practical than she appeared, and distracted herself by tutoring her fellows in a crash course on etiquette.

Oh, after Angharad got the disappointed Dad-talk from Delft about being a Vekeshi terrorist, of course. Apparently he didn’t know about that...

So to the Royal Square Team BAD go, dressed to impress and none to impressed at the idea of meeting with Ly again. But we know this job is full of doing things we don’t like in the name of the King. Despite reservations, the team was greeted by their old friend Avakkir who seemed to be the guest of Governor Roland, the brawny Deva near bursting from his tuxedo as he hugged each of them. He informed them they were right on time, and gestured to Lya’s massive ship, signalling the Danoran’s arrival.

The Danoran’s disembark to a small orchestral play of their national anthem, as ministers and bureaucrats allot behind the Head of State, Han Jierre, and his niece the Minister of Outsiders, Lya Jierre. Complete with her bodyguard entourage, of course. The fanfare came to a climax as Lya approached Team Bad. The Governor attempted to introduce the RHC’s finest, but was cut off by Lya’s own designation of the Team; the ‘good people’ she crossed blades with in Vendricce. Wow. That’s not awkward. Less awkward when she also included the assistance with Axis Island… Lisandra stepped up to fill the pleasantries, biting back her distaste at the scenario as Lya explained the events in Vendricce were a misunderstanding and thus her invitation an olive branch to mend fences. Afterall it was the RHC who struck first. Wasn’t it, Angharad? Lisandra was convinced there was much more left unsaid, but politely let the pleasantries play out.

Angharad was not so content, and upon going their separate ways, the Cipith casually dropped a threat on her brother’s life in Danoran, should there be any further misunderstandings in future. Ella and Lya weren’t the only ones to catch the comment, as the Cipith found the Danoran Minister of War glaring at him with a look that could kill. Catching the heightened emotions, Lisandra forcefully steers Angharad away from the glaring Danorans.

The dinner itself at Hotel Aurum is a typical five-course affair complete with formal introductions, fanfare and thinly veiled interrogation posed as light conversation. The first course was served with a side of moral philosophy, as Han Jierre became curious about the constables' opinions on how fair they felt the sentencing of the former Dutchess Ethelyn of Shale were. Ella professionally took up the response to inform him that her actions were reprehensible, and the punishments were befitting of the crime. Before the conversation continued much further, Lya spoke up to usher the conversation somewhere less loaded.

The second course was paired with Brakken’s curiosity on what hardships this concept of peace between two nations will face. While Minster Lee believes fear of industrialization to be an issue, and Lya a matter of convincing Danoran veterans with tales of barbaric Risuri will contribute, Angharard speaks up to add that a lack of cultural interaction for the everyday people of the nations, it will be a difficult feat. Grudges are hard to move past without proof to shift perspectives.

The third course is accompanied by Governor Stanfield inserting a little not-so-subtle grandstanding to brag about some of the changes he has helped modernize Flint with, such as the new railways additions, factory establishments in Parity Lake and Hotel Aurum itself. As a counterpoint, the Minister of War interjects with a few issues of her own to highlight, including stories of the corruption and suicide of Mayor Reed Macbannin, arsonist attacks on said factories, and most recently; threats of bombs and Royal Constables found dead in the streets. Stanfield takes it in stride trying to pass off the points as ‘growing pains’ in the rebalancing of an evolving society and ensures if there were any danger to the delegates, that he, nor the King, would hesitate in informing them of such. The Minister of War turns her glare onto the constables, demanding to know what they have done to make their city safer, and brags about the peace experienced in their capital Cheurge. Lisandra takes point and responds with the needling smile of a practiced noble-woman, informing the minister that the RHC works tirelessly with local authorities to keep the city as safe as possible, but should the peace talks go favourably, then perhaps the good people of Danor could give Flint a fer pointers; such as locking people up in curfews as they do in Cheurge just to keep citizens and guests safe. The Minister’s initial smile quickly turns to a frigid glare and Lya promptly makes her way over to engage the woman in hushed conversation. A guard sneaks in to approach Minister Lee, and the name Azrabey Varel is just overheard.

Sure enough, a moment later the doors opened and in marched The Seen of the Unseen himself and presented his sword respectfully to King Aodhan with a request: King Aodhan! I apologize for my disruption, The Unseen Court wishes to know more about the dangers Ekosiggan saw, and so I request permission to investigate further; to the Bleak Gate, to explore Cauldron Hill further. Your Nation owes me nothing, and if you wish to deny my request you need only say so.

The tension in the air was thick. The furious King attempted to save face, and turned the Fey away without hesitation, but there was a distinct lack of an actual refusal. Han Jierre suggested perhaps the King should deal with his uninvited guest, and his people will leave him to it. With that, the dinner was over. The constables follow Minster Lee and the King to speak further, at the request of King Aodhan and quickly make their way to a private room. Brakken, who seemed slightly nervous through the final dinner exchanges, followed, calling out that he had something important to report. As Minister Lee shut the door in the minotaur’s face and magically protected the door from outside intrusions, the King fumed. All element of surprise was lost due to Asrabey’s flair for the dramatic. But he conceded Fey's prowess in battle, and was inclined to send him along. For full transparency, Lisandra made sure the king knew Asrabey’s stake in the matter; his wife, who he swore to protect was likely in the Bleak Gate, and it was unclear on which side her loyalties laid. The King assured that the vows to the Court, and the politics with Risur would ensure Asrabey’s inability to move against us, and that he would see to it that Asrabey deferred to RHC order while in their company.

Before any further decision could be made, a voice urgently entered the minds of those present. Brakken’s voice. “I’m a telepath,” he explained, “I read the Jierre’s mind. Let me in!”

What, pray tell, did Brakken read from the minds of our favourite Danorans? What dangers lay in wait for Team BAD in the Bleak Gate? Whatever happens, it looks like peace talks are not exactly going ahead in the most peaceful direction. Hopefully we don’t die, or start a war. Keep your fingers crossed for us in the Complete Misadventures of Team Bad.
 


Echolocation

Explorer
I always feel guilty when the B Team gets butchered. How'd your players receive it?

Ella's player's thoughts: "Masterfully described and that much more impactful for having played them for several weeks but gods dammit Echo, why?! (It was very good. And definitely excellent fuel for hating Kell - not that we needed more of that.)"

The other players liked it too. Paradoxically, I think it made the session less oppressive, as the players turned their aimless despair of Connor's death to focused hatred on Kell.

Here's the scene:

Carlao holds out his badge, “I, Carlao, am a constable of the Royal Homeland Constabulary. Lorcan Kell, it is both my duty and pleasure to inform you that you are under arrest for 985 counts of burglary, 354 counts of murder-”

Kell interrupts: “Now I’m no numbers man, but…” Lorcan waves his index finger around, making it obvious he is counting the constables “I think that’s 358 counts of murder.”

In one lightning quick action, Kell pulls a machete out from his coat and impales it in a gap between Carlo’s upper and lower armour. “Quinten was a good mate, you know.”

The scene devolves into chaotic battle. Dima goes to cast hold person on Kell, but the woman flanking Kell counterspells it. Josiah opens fire on the gunmen behind Kell. Serena advances on the elven woman, Kate Glenn, after quickly deducing that she is armed with magic. The man flanking Kell, Nick Reder, closes in on Carlao, throws him to the floor. With his feet, he steps on the cavaliers back and with his hand he pulls Carlao’s arm backwards and dislocates a shoulder.

Dima looks between Carlao and Serena. She could help the cavalier, but she knows Carlao is best equipped to deal with a foe in melee. Instead, she opts to close in on Kate with Serena, knowing the rogue benefits from teamfighting tactics. Dima and Serena trade blows with Kate. Lorcan joins the fray by walking up to Dima, fury on his face, and striking her to down to near unconsciousness.

Then, a bullet pings off Lorcan’s tophat, knocking it to the ground. The gunslinger fires again, but Lorcan grabs Dima, and raises her off the ground to intercept the bullet. Then, Lorcan throws her to the ground. She is left bleeding, helplessly watching the fight unfold. Lorcan turns, smiling at Josiah.

He walks to Josiah whilst suffering a barrage of bullets. Some harmlessly skim his coat but one pierces his chest. Blood begins to pool. Josiah goes to solidify his victory with another shot. His gun clicks. And clicks again. It’s jammed. Josiah desperately tries to clear it as Lorcan closes in. Now in close quarters, Josiah does not stand a chance. He is killed in a matter of seconds, far faster than Dima fell.

Meanwhile, Kate tries to approach Lorcan to heal his wounds. In a moment of weakness, a bloodied Serena lands a critical blow, slicing Kate’s neck. She falls to the ground next to Dima.

Carlao manages to reach for his longsword and strike out at Nick, who retaliates by stomping on Carlao’s head. Claro nearly manages to break the grapple, but plates from Nick’s armour begin to dislodge, travel towards his hand, and manifest as an iron grip grasping Claro’s arm. Lorcan by this point is approaching Serena. Serena throws a dagger which penetrates Lorcan’s shoulder. He rips it out, and throws it back at the rogue. It flies past her, deftly slicing her throat. Blood pours out of her neck, and she too falls to the ground.

Kell withdraws another dagger from his coat and slides it along the ground to Nick. Nick and Carlao are now both bloody after their traded blows. The full metal monk and the cavalier reach for the dagger. At this point, Carlao sees the bodies of his fallen comrades. It creates a moment of hesitation that allows Nick to secure the weapon, and end Carlao’s life.

Lorcan reaches down for his hat, dusts it off and places it on his head. He tips his tophat to the Brakken, who stands paralyzed by shock. “Afternoon mediator.” His courteous greeting contrasts harshly with the pools of blood and lifeless bodies that decorate the floor. Lifeless except one. Dima’s breathing brings a beaming smile to the butcher’s face. “Nick, get her on her feet.”

Nick lifts the cleric to her feet. Dima, barely conscious, wheezes in pain. Lorcan checks his pocket watch. “Trust me, I would love to draw this out, but my ride out arrives shortly. So let’s make this quick.” Lorcan gestures around him. “Take a good look, constable.” Dima struggles to raise her eyes at Carlao, the noble, Serena, her good sister, and Josiah, prince charming. As Dima gazes, Kell inspects his machete, shakes his head and places it in the inner pocket of his coat. Instead, he withdraws this old, rusted dagger. “Take a good look at your dead friends. Coz it’s the last thing you’ll ever see!” Lorcan lunges at the dwarf with his dagger...Dima cannot even summon the breath to scream.

The scene is reflected in Brakken’s eyes, the minotaur still too powerless to move.
 


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