Do you remember my recent blog about Blades in the Dark? My friends and I played our one-off session, and it’s finally time to see what happened when my character, Lapis de la Nuit, joined up with Gwack Zextra and Alecia Petronova! (Please note that this blog entry is rated R and not intended for children!!! lol)
The bells in the dilapidated clock-tower still worked. The sound of the midnight bells rang loudly through the dark, empty streets of the formerly rich district of the Six Towers in the city of Doskvol, where it is always night. Giant townhouses, slanted and concave, created organized rows of desolation. But on one street, a small cloaked man scurried and shuffled towards the one house on the block that seemed to have lights on inside. The little man was slow and quite old, but he knew precisely where he was going. He walked up the steps and started knocking with determination.
This was the house of the “Seventh Tower” – an elite crew put together by Bazso Baz for high profile assassinations, heists and intel operations. Although, they certainly didn’t look like an elite crew based on their appearance. In the front parlor lay Gwack Zextra on a dusty chaise-lounge, sampling some new recreational drugs that he had just designed in his laboratory hours before. He was of strong build and would be an attractive man, if he weren’t constantly in a stupor. Gwack, also known as “G” within the crew, was a mastermind Leech – a saboteur and technician – and he battled with the struggles that come along with high intelligence; to him, knowing too much was a curse and he needed to quiet his mind through drugs and alcohol on a constant basis.
High intelligence was less of a problem for Alecia Petronova, the crew’s Cutter. He was a dangerous fighter with a massive frame, and massive arms to boot. Alecia was always working out in his spare time, partly to take his mind off of the unfortunate turn that his life had taken. He once was a gladiator for a noble family and enjoyed many of the best riches the world had to offer. Unfortunately, in his youth, the noble home where he worked and lived was targeted by murderous thieves who robbed the estate and killed nearly everyone on the property. Almost everyone, but Alecia, aka “Cia”, survived and went off to make his own way. It hadn’t been easy until Bazso Baz, a well known gang leader, recognized Alecia’s strength and skills, and teamed him up with Gwack Zextra and a young woman called “Nightstar” who could speak to the dead.
This young woman was really named Lapis de la Nuit, a Slide who was not only a spy and manipulator, she was an occultist. Her room was upstairs in the Seventh Tower’s hideout, where she worked by candle light to read tarot cards and conducted seances nightly. Lapis was slender and beautiful, and she grew up in a brothel with her mother (who ran it) so she knew how to use her feminine wiles to procure information and steal money when she needed it. However, despite being sexy and savvy, both Gwack and Alecia knew that Lapis was an odd-ball. She wore steampunk goggles to speak with ghosts, or “fantômes” as she called them, since she spoke French.
Gwack was in no condition to be answering the door. He heard the knocking and turned his head. The banging continued, and got louder. Was it just in his mind? Could he hear a voice just outside the door, or was this all a dream? G made some flailing attempts to get out of the reclined position that he was in, but by the time he was upright, Alecia was already pushing him out of the way with his big, sweaty arms. Cia was never happy to be interrupted mid-workout, and G being too drugged out to even open the door wasn’t helping Cia’s mood. Their hideout wasn’t exactly a place where visitors came calling, so someone knocking at the door was a bit ominous.
Cia peeked through the window curtains and saw the silhouetted figure’s small frame. Not feeling much of a threat, he cracked open the door and said gruffly, “You have the wrong address.”
“I wish to speak with one who is called Alecia. I was sent by Madame Bloodsoe,” the dark figure whispered in reply.
Cia immediately slammed the door shut in the stranger’s face.
He sighed and paced back and forth. Why does this man know his name? The knocking on the door resumed.
After a moment, Cia opened the door again and let the man in, who identified himself as Ekan. He asked Ekan to wait while he dumped a bucket of water on Gwack to help him sober up, and retrieved Nightstar from the attic. As she made her way downstairs, Lapis sensed a new spirit presence in the house that seemed to be seeking her help.
With the crew assembled in the front hall, Ekan explained that Alecia knew Madame Bloodsoe, and Cia sighed and admitted that they once worked together, in a way. Ekan continued on and said that he was Bloodsoe’s personal medium, and that she had passed away. Lapis felt this was strange, and sensed that the spirit presence wanted to tell her something. Ekan continued on.
“Madame Bloodsoe was murdered. She does not know how or why. She says she cannot rest in peace without finding out who murdered her, and without saving the “Bloodsoe Mace” which is a family heirloom that remains in her home to this day. Madame Bloodsoe worries that a gang will try to take over her mansion, so she wants the house destroyed.”
At the word destroyed, Gwack seemed to perk up and pay attention.
“If you can do all this and bring me the Bloodsoe Mace, I will pay you 4 Large Gold Coins for it. This is no small fee, as you know. Madame Bloodsoe prides herself on the preservation of this highly… treasured heirloom.” Ekan seemed to emphasize the word treasured in a strange way that gave Lapis even more unease.
Nightstar decided to put on her steampunk goggles and see why the spirit was making her feel so unwell. Focusing her intention on the spirit, she could see the outline of a wealthy, older woman.
“I was hoping you would find me,” the fantôme whispered. “Do not trust this man Ekan. Ask him to leave the room.” Lapis motioned with her head to Alecia, who wordlessly pushed Ekan into a side room and closed the door.
“I am Madame Bloodsoe. I need your help to find my attacker, destroy the house and save the Mace; this much is true. But I cannot trust Ekan. Please help me, please!”
The fantôme was desperate and beginning to wail, as Lapis knew they often did. While the ghost lamented, Lapis explained to the crew who the spirit was and what she wanted. Cia was skeptical, and decided to verify the ghost’s identity with a little test. He asked what they had eaten for dinner on the fateful night that Cia’s family was murdered. But the ghost of Madame Bloodsoe knew the right answer (it was rabbit) and Cia was convinced, and a little disturbed that his past was literally haunting him.
“This man Ekan is not a good man. He wants to sell the Bloodsoe Mace in an auction and make a profit from my death. I heard him making arrangements!” Lapis continued to translate what the fantôme was saying to the rest of the crew.
“WAIT! …What is going on?” Gwack interrupted, slightly slurring his words. Cia and Lapis rolled their eyes.
The Ghost of Madame Bloodsoe continued, “I need you to complete the mission, but don’t give the Mace to Ekan. Bring the mace to Ricmoore Silverstok, my vault keeper. He will pay you the same and ensure that the heirloom stays in the family vault and not in the hands of an auctioneer for Ekan’s profit. You see, I was targeted by a gang of thieves. When I was murdered, my spirit was not able to rest and awakened in an area far from my home – something happened to me that is not right. I must find out what happened or I will never be able to move on and be at rest. Please help me!”
Lapis parley’d the ghost’s message to her crew. They decided to get Ekan out of their house immediately. Cia steered the little man out of the house, but as he was pushed out, Ekan tried to get Cia to agree to bring him the Mace after the mission was complete. Instead of a handshake, Cia crushed Ekan’s hand and the small man was angry as he left the hideout.
The crew asked more questions of Madame Bloodsoe’s ghost after Ekan left. How did she die, was it poison? An attack? But Madame Bloodsoe was not sure. She believed whatever happened must have been an attack from behind because she did not remember seeing anything. She was in the bedroom, someone must have broken into her home. Madame Bloodsoe also told them that the Mace was on display in the library. When she was alive there were servants in the home, but she did not know if the were alive anymore. She also didn’t know if they were trustworthy. She warned that the house is well secured and they would need to have a plan to get inside. Lapis reassured the spirit that they were on the case and she would be at rest very soon. But first, they had to wait a bit for Gwack to sober up.
A few hours later, the crew was planning to enter the house via the cellar. The door seemed to have a very complicated lock, and through the glass panes they could see that there were lights on inside the mansion. First Cia tried to use a lockpicking kit, and Gwack tried to help him with his tinkering skills. Unfortunately, the mechanism jammed and made a loud metal screech. Then Gwack pushed Cia out of the way to tinker some more. Working furiously, he managed to break the entire lock off the door, making a huge bang that echoed down the deserted street. But… the door was now open.
Cia led the way into the cellar. He had the good sense to remember to bring a delivery man uniform to make his way further into the house. After a few steps, a man dressed as a servant approached Cia and started questioning him. When it was clear that Cia was not really who he was pretending to be, Cia used a scary weapon to stab the servant – but not before getting grazed by a bullet from the servant’s pistol! Why would a servant have a pistol in the first place? The sound of the pistol fire sent Gwack and Lapis running in after Alecia, all the while knowing that this must have set off an alert to whoever is upstairs as well.
Gwack was fixed on setting up his demolition tools to destroy the house at the end of the mission. This was something he had wanted to do for a long time. As he set up explosives at various parts of the foundation, he struggled because some of them were damaged. But an evil genius like Gwack had always wanted to blow up a building, and so was able to come up with new ways to make the explosives work.
As G was busy setting up the demolition, Lapis used her own disguise kit to make herself look like a servant. She crept upstairs and stealthily found her way to the parlor, where she saw a man wearing a cloak and a white mask. The figure turned to her and tilted his head askew, as if confused to see her there. Lapis grabbed her Trance Powder from her pocket and blew it in the masked figure’s face.
“I am a servant of this house and you will let me walk by freely,” she said to him simply. The figure was entranced but the powder made him sneeze loudly, and the noise brought a second masked figure running into the room. Using the remaining Trance Powder, Lapis disabled the second man and left them in the parlor. However, she could sense that there were two more men in the library down the hall, where the Bloodsoe Mace was waiting. At this time, Gwack made his way up to the hallway where Lapis was standing. Together they made their way to the staircase,
The old stairs made loud creaking sounds, despite their best efforts to be quiet. This alerted the masked figures guarding the library, and they came running towards G and Nightstar, now trapped on the stairs. Cia appeared just at the right moment with his dragon’s clave weapon, eliminating one of the assailants with one bludgeoning blow.
Deciding that Cia had things under control on the first floor, Gwack and Lapis rushed upstairs and found themselves in a fancy living area. Lapis put her steampunk goggles on and saw the ghosts of three servants sitting on the sofa, who verify that these masked assailants are the ones who murdered Madame Bloodsoe.
Lapis and Gwack made their way further into the upstairs living space, and Gwack was attacked in the dining area. Using a defensive move, G flung his hands upward and without even meaning to, he stabbed the masked man in his eye!
Meanwhile downstairs, Alecia was sparring off with the remaining attacker on the first floor. He tried to question the masked man, in between jabs from his fist. “Hopefully you’ll put up more of a fight than your friends!” Cia taunted him. But he quickly realized that this masked man was wearing armor under his cloak.
Fighting in brawls wasn’t exactly Nightstar’s specialty, so she quietly moved past the dining area where Gwack was fighting, and down the hall to a closed door, presumably the bedroom. Lapis lightly knocked on the door and then opened it to find a single masked man alone in the room. There was a strong foul odor that hit her when she entered the bedroom, but Lapis tried to ignore it.
“Oh lucky me, finding such a man alone in such a beautiful bedroom!” she said, closing the door and taking off her coat. “Why don’t you take off that cloak and let me see you?” Lapis turned on the charm, walking right up to this man and stroking his arm, helping him remove his clothing.
The masked man complied eagerly. He removed his mask and his cloak. Lapis put her hands on his belt and looked up at him. “Who are you? What are you doing here in this house?”
“I think you already know what we’re doing here. I’m a member of the Wraiths.”
“The Wraiths!” Lapis exclaimed with horror. They were a well known, ruthless gang who committed many atrocities across Doskvol. Gwack heard Lapis’ yell this from the bedroom as he made a finishing blow on his assailant. His mind suddenly began to race. He knew that his drug dealer was connected to the Wraiths. Was this a group that he wanted to start trouble with? But suddenly he heard Cia struggling by the stairs with the remaining Wraith assailant downstairs, and G rushed down to help him.
Back in the bedroom, the Wraith had fully disrobed and was pushing Lapis down onto her knees.
“You’re lucky you found me. I will treat you very well. Just look how well I treated the last woman who was in this room!” He began to laugh, and gestured toward the closet in the corner. The door was open, and it was now obvious where the stench was coming from – Madame Bloodsoe’s dead body was seated in a heap, with her face carved off like a mask. “I carved a mask on her face with the power of the Wraiths so she wouldn’t remember what happened when she awoke as a pathetic ghost! We targeted the old bat so we could take her antiques, but her house is so comfortable, we decided to stay here. And why wouldn’t I want to stay here, when I have a young vixen like you just walking in the bedroom?”
At that moment, downstairs in the library, Gwack was prying the Bloodsoe Mace from it’s display case. In his struggle, he damaged the heirloom a bit as he pried it off, but as soon as he held it in his hands, he knew what a strong weapon it was. Not that he needed it – Cia had finally finished off the armored Wraith, who was certainly much tougher than they had expected. As they caught their breath, they suddenly wondered where Lapis was.
Upstairs in the bedroom, Lapis was trying to get away. This Wraith was clearly one of the leaders of this sadistic group, and he had no intention of letting Nightstar out of the room without having his way with her. Lapis pulled her pistol from the hidden holster in her skirt and took a shot at the Wraith, but she missed. The Wraith began to laugh again and pushed Lapis down onto the bed.
The sound of the pistol upstairs sent Cia and Gwack running up to see what they could do to help. They barged into the room and Cia used his throwing knives to impale the Wraith as Gwack pulled him off of Lapis. Jumping off the bed, Lapis tried to stab at the Wraith, but missed again. Gwack was in prime position to impale the Wraith with the Bloodsoe Mace, knocking the final attacker to the floor.
It was time to get out of there and finish the job. The Seventh Tower crew raced out of the house and as Gwack pulled out the detonator for the explosives, Cia asked if he could push the button.
“Why do you hate Madame Bloodsoe this much?” asked Gwack. Cia explained that after his family was murdered, she tried to force him into servitude, and that was why he had to leave. Madame Bloodsoe wasn’t as innocent as she would have them believe.
Alecia pushed the button. The house exploded and lit up the streets with fire, creating an eerie daylight appearance for a brief moment. In the light, Gwack realized that the Bloodsoe Mace was looking pretty gross. It was damaged and covered with blood and bits of brain. The crew worked together to clean and tinker with it to fix it up as best they could, and they took it to Ricmoore’s warehouse. However, after appraisal, Ricmoore decided to pay the crew only 3 Large Gold coins instead.
The crew thought this was fair as they headed back to their hideout. One Large Gold coin each would carry them over until their next mission. Lapis knew that Madame Bloodsoe wouldn’t be bothering them anymore… but what about Ekan? Would he be giving them trouble now? And what about the Wraiths? When would they strike next?
And Gwack continued to worry… did his participation in this mission mean that he just lost his best drug connection??
We hope you liked our one-off session of Blades in the Dark! It was really fun to play in this game world full of thieves and spies. Everyone is a bad guy! The game play was pretty simple too, but that might be been because of our abbreviated session. I’ve looked at some of the game materials and it definitely can become complex. Maybe someday I’ll get to play this game again. I highly recommend that gamers check it out!