Just as the terrific storms that have assailed the city for weeks subside, fires break out in multiple locations throughout Crow’s Foot, Silkshore, and The Docks.
The carriage explosion in Charterhall still dominates the newspapers. A rumour is spreading that The Crows are behind it. One of the victims has been tied to The Red Sashes and the word is that the Crows recruited a new and previously unknown crew of assassins to perform the hit in retaliation for The Sashes recent attacks on their turf. Inspector Smike is leading the investigation.
Rope was contacted by Pickett, Bazso Baz’ (the leader of The Lampblacks) lieutenant, to set up a meeting for payment on the Iruvian score and tells her that they have another job for The Dark Cloud. They asked that the crew meet them at “The Rutting Cocksman,” a dive in The Docks that The Lampblacks recently took over from The Crows. It turned out to be a hit job, pure and simple…
Rope, Dials, and The Saw went to the location even though they were a bit suspicious. Mal was preoccupied in his makeshift laboratory and Vlad was still off with Stiv Bator.
The bar was mostly empty except for Pickett and two Lampblack toughs Finn and Fane, twins who are told apart by the tattoo of their name on their cheek. There was one lone patron sitting at the bar who Sutton recognized as Lady Rosy Bothways, a drag queen who performs at The Slip. Sutton chatted with her a moment before they sat down at a table with Pickett.
Pickett immediately expressed concern why the whole crew wasn’t present. He did place a satchel on the table with the payment for the Iruvian score but asked that they go get Mal and The Hole and bring them there. The bartender brought a pitcher of beer and Rope became even more suspicious by the bartender’s manner and dress. He seemed to be trying to hide something. Sutton went back to the bar and asked Lady Rosy if she knew the bartender and also offered her some of their beer. She hadn’t seen the bartender there before but gladly helped herself to some beer before breaking out in song. A large, fat cat appeared from the basement stairs and jumped on an empty table. Lady Rosy mentioned that Pickett is known for having a “bad case of surly.”
Pickett became even more surly when no other than Rip Frankell and an accomplice from The Goon Squad came in the door. Seems as though Rip had a thirst to quench, and perhaps, wanted to scope out the new ownership of The Rutting Cocksman. Pickett yelled at him to “go back to fuck bag Coalridge,” but Rip ignored the request. The Saw stepped up to Rip to repeat the request in a more forceful manner. Rip backed off and sent his man to “get some smokes,” but he stayed in the bar. Finn and Fane took positions at the doors to make sure there would be no more disturbances and to control the exits…
Sutton suggested that they move to the bar’s private room and he, Rope, and Pickett did so while Saw took greater notice of the bartender. Rip made some remark about Pickett being a “pig fucker” and that it isn’t a good idea to go into a back room with a “pig fucker.”
The bartender looked very familiar to Saw. He then recognized him as Mercy, a cold killer with a vendetta against Saw. Mercy knew he had been identified and grabbed the blunderbuss behind the bar. The Saw flung the mugs on the bar against the back wall smashing the bottles of booze and causing the shelf and the stuffed river eel attached to it to come crashing down. The large stuffed eel’s body pinned Mercy’s back leg and caused him to shoot his blunderbuss into the ceiling. Some of the shattering glass caught Saw in the face. An excited Rip Frankell jumped up on his table and started throwing beer glasses at Mercy.
Hearing this, Sutton leaped up to see what happened but Pickett drew two pistols and told him and Rope not to move. Sutton ignored him and went for the door. Pickett shot at Sutton but missed barely as Sutton crashed through the door. Finn and Fane were now standing outside with blackjacks in hand. Rope put her hands in the air and didn’t offer resistance while she approached closer to Pickett in an attempt get into position to use her concealed palm pistol but the pistol initially dropped from her grasp onto the floor. She went to grab it and was shot by Pickett but his gun jammed. She picked up the gun, put it to Pickett’s head, and executed him.
Sutton was able to use his acrobatic skills to tumble past Finn and Fane but was slowed by the lock on the entryway to the street. He stared at the cat as he paused. He had heard some random comments from within the bar and couldn’t figure out where they had come from. As he shook his head and went for the door again, mist shot from the cat’s face and a ghostly figure sprung forth and grabbed at Sutton’s jaw pushing its ectoplasmic essence down his throat. Sutton was so shocked that he could not react but ran to escape through the door.
Saw took advantage of Mercy’s prone position by dropping a small formaldehyde molitov cocktail behind the bar that lit up both the spilled alcohol and Mercy. Lady Rosy slipped out the back door as smoke spread through the building.
The fire and smoke were getting to Rope and she moved to try to escape through a window. She caught site of a strong box and was caught between her desire to grab it and her need to flee the fire. Her desire for worldly goods won out and she snatched the box but missed her opportunity to flee out the window.
Sutton ran into the Goon Squad who were coming in the door that he was running out of. The thug that Rip sent for smokes had gotten reinforcements. They were just in time as Saw succumbed to smoke inhalation, Rope was going to have to face Finn and Fane, and Sutton was possessed. Finn and Fane surrendered at the sight of the overwhelming Goon Squad force. There was a Whisper with them and he had trouble dealing with the spirit that possessed Sutton. It was clearly a powerful ghost. Ultimately, he was able to free Sutton from its grasp but he could not stop the spirit from escaping.
Rip Frankell and the Goons hustled the twins into their carriage. He suggested that the Dark Cloud and the Goon Squad have a pow wow at their headquarters in Coalridge. The enemy of my enemy is my friend he pointed out, and he thought it a good idea to team up against the Lampblacks…
The Saw and Rope decided that stopping the Brigade from burning down Lydra Scandlin’s building was an urgent matter that they had to take on themselves. Sutton slept through this score as he was still a bit delirious from being possessed. They were able to make use of the Spider’s skills to plant false documents that redirected some of the arson targets. Instead of Lydra’s shop in Silkshore, the Brigade burned down a billiards hall owned by the Lampblacks. The Saw scoured a few of the burnt out buildings. Not clear what he was looking for, but he was able to recover some coin.
The Saw was also able to obtain a temporary asset from the Cult of the Maw of the Void in the form of some cultist acolytes to act as thugs for the crew for the next score.
Rope was then able to finish one of her long term projects and discovered some targets for a heist. Several new and never before seen glass sculptures by Fowls have entered the market. These are very valuable pieces and Rope has identified where they are being kept and some potential buyers.
She also learned of the KASAVAR TEA SET. A family heirloom. When the Immortal Emperor visited Akoros four centuries ago, he used this tea set with the patriarch of the Kasavar family. They are still one of the most decorated and entrenched
military families in Duskwall. Their tea set is a symbol of Duskwallk’s prominence. However, a saucer and a cup are missing. This stuff is priceless to the family and Rope has a lead on their location.