Tag Archives: spire

Spire – Session 10 – Operation War Games

drowmurderAll our plotting has come to a head as our drow revolutionaries look to overthrow the Aelfir domination of the Spire. We have the prisoners of the Hive armed and ready to bust out. And in the bacchanals of the blind oracle, we see an opportunity to set the major defense forces of the Aelfir, the Black Guard and the Solar Guard, along with the Solar Church of the aelfir, against each other.

Marian of the bacchanals is working with “the demon of the lashing wind” to power the sex magic oracle effects. If the team wants to contact it, they would need an eidolon and a gift to make it work for them. Demonology in Spire and how it works – there are 20-30 known “demons” in Spire. The names allow demonologists to make subtle shifts in reality or artifacts (infusion) or incursion (let a demon lose on the population). Demonologists are public enemy #1 because an incursion could destroy a wide swath of the Spire.

Setting It Off

The team discusses a plan and comes up with:

  • Subvert the bacchanal – find a way to slip in the top ten nightmare scenarios from the high elf perspective to the visions as the next bad guys fingered by the oracle. Make sure the ministry and the prison are not the focus of those. Later, after the 10 visions, subvert the bacchanal so that it is an incursion to do a scorched-earth cleanup.
    • Target #1 – Mary of the bacchanals is trafficking in demonology. True ones are the best!
    • #2 – Light-Through-Splintered-Glass; finally we get rid of this knob-head.
    • #3 – Black Guard leader
    • #4 – Black Guard leader
    • #5 – High Elf Military leader “gnoll invasion level” – Lieutenant Radiant Word Scours the Sun.
    • #6 – Wicked Mr Alas’ lieutenant that is a demonologist
    • #7 – Our Glorious Lady Pope Maji Lalin – this one is popular with Drow.
    • #8 – Solar Church Archdeacon Many the Seedling’s
    • #9 – Councilman Drynn – somewhat related to Bohemian Crystalhead cult
    • #10 – Leader of the “sky whales” – Gwennit Saint Grendel, drow dock foreman.

Some of these are drow or drow-aligned, but you have to make the lineup plausible, so we feed them drow who will either get arrested/killed and destabilize the Spire or are powerful enough they’ll rally their own forces to fight back.

The team goes to to God Row to get the 10 visions into the seers’ head – They start with Heralds of the Prophecy!!! Based entirely off their neon sign and Slav’s religion domain.  One of them is a friend of the revolution.  Father Herald, Pope Herald, and Junior Herald represent the HotP. The heralds listen to their offer then ask them to return in 24 hours.  A vengeful knife is left to watch them to ensure that they do not betray the Ministry.  They are told the next day, “Buy ambrosia, we will load it with visions, and you’ll have to sneak it into the seers’ presence for consumption.”  Ambrosia can be consumed, tossed on a brazier, and other forms.

They arrange to show up to the next bacchanal and “feed” the ambrosia to the seer. They will appear as servants at the bacchanal.

Prep work for the revolution:

  • they have an army at the Hive prison
  • they have weapons for that army
  • Stella Blue, newspaperwoman – publishes stories about demonologists and incursions with the by-line “they’re bad for the drow and the high elf are responsible”.
  • Target list for that army and general hate list for the mobs – para-military, high elf leadership, drow quislings,
  • Lyddia gets the Guard arresting and confiscating food stuff caravans going to the upper levels. They get a warehouse of food.
  • Gladiators are lined up by our Hyena Priest – she gets arrested and thrown in the Hive.
  • Bound warriors are lined up but they end up fighting each other.
  • Hyena Priest Abu whips up the faithful in Charnel – they agree to riot when the time comes.
  • Slav gets the students riled up and radicalized. This is wildly successful.
  • Anastomosis – we magically spread the ideas that the high elves are abandoning the Spire due to ongoing costs, demonologists problems, human technology, drow family values, and the new gnoll army.
  • Mama Thinrees is brought in and prepared to making undying for the revolution – she agrees and prepares to make undying of heroes of the revolution, captured high elves, and so forth.
  • The Sect of the Great Glass Eye is primed to riot.
  • Vermissian Tubes via Bridge Street Station, the primary smuggling route from down spire to up spire, is successfully prepared to funnel half of the Hive army Ivory Row. Tariq arranges this with his revolutionary cadres.
  • Slav uses her magical powers to cause the next bacchanal to cause an incursion.

Revolution!

The doctored visions go out and the shit hits the fan.

The Paladins arrest the following:

  • Mary of the Bacchanals – untouched
  • Light-Splintered-Glass – ejected from council
  • Black Guard leader – executed
  • Black Guard leader – executed
  • Our Glorious Lady Pope Maji Lalin – executed in the streets
  • Councilman Drynn – ejected from council
  • Solar Church Archdeacon Many the Seedling’s – ejected from council and sent to a “remote” monastery.
  • High Elf Military leader “gnoll invasion level” – Lieutenant Radiant Word Scours the Sun.
  • Wicked Mr Alas’ lieutenant that is a demonologist
  • Leader of the “sky whales” – Gwennit Saint Grendel, drow dock foreman.

Some Black Guard are fighting the Solar Guard; most are working with them. The prisoners riot and attack.  Chaos reigns across the Spire.

The Vermissian Anatomosis causes some high elves to flee to the old country. But many high elves decide to stay and fight, stay and go native, or retreat to the various strongholds on the upper spire or Feather Island.

The Guard doesn’t fare well. Warden Langley goes into hiding. Commissioner LeVop runs and dies. The Guard disintegrates into precincts and smaller units with no leadership.

“Fortunate” Tamar Al-Nisr assassinates high elf mid level leaders who attempt to keep things organized, particularly those preaching moderation.

Abu Al-Nisr follows the mobs and assassinates leadership of anyone opposing the mob.

Order From Chaos

Lyddia ropes in Warden Langley to rebuilding the Guard into a drow police force. Their objectives are fighting fires and arson, making markets safe for commerce, getting food, water and other services to the public, and identifying the new political units forming (e.g. the Docks Union 4747 “Free Drow”).

Captain Wander-the-Lost, an high elf military man on the high council, revives from a deep depression to rally the troops and stabilize the Spire situation. Fortunate Tamar maneuvers to assassinate Captain Wander-the-Lost. Slav backs him up with an Evil Eye Curse.  The captain is a hardy and paranoid high elf, he survives the initial attack and deals Tamar several wounds.  But the captain dies nonetheless.

We leave off with the revolution largely successful, but only months to come will show how all the chips fall and whether the drow of the Spire will be free again!

Face Off

But all is not over. Lyddia changes reality with Anastomosis again – suddenly, everyone believes Tariq Al-Nisr died heroically leading the attack on Ivory Row to rescue drow from the clutches of the high elves and their human packs. It is said that his blood was so blackened from his many lovers that his assassins died immediately.  Beware the con man pretending to be the “real” Tariq.  The Ministry is collecting for the lovers and orphans of Tariq fund.

This is all in service of the prophecy that Lyddia would kill Tariq, so she is trying to fulfill the prophecy but gunning for the person-hood not the life of Tariq.

Tariq, unawares, goes the Rut and Wallow bar to confer with his allies. He is told, “How dare you wear that heroes’ mask!”  He chased from the bar and into the streets by an angry mob.

Abu finds out his brother is dead and someone is impersonating him. He finds the Tariq “doppleganger” and fires his crossbow volley style at him.  The doppleganger yells back, “It’s me, Abu!”  Tariq takes 5 Blood Stress before he convinces Abu that is really him. “Our brother Tamar is a retard!  Hyenas have two nipples!”  Abu is relieved that his brother is alive, but knowing that entire Spire thinks him dead, he recommends that his brother get a new identity.

Tariq goes to Therratrix whose powers include generating new identities. He gets one and vows to become Lyddia’s lover and screw her life up.

Spire – Session 9 – Operation Dreamweaver

surgeryIn The Meantime

One session’s notes are lost here as our drow revolutionaries got involved in some weird stuff. My notes include the phrase “Operation Home Alone 2: Lost In Derelictus,” something about a playhouse and a ghost, a bomb, and a group called Assassin Squad Green. I vaguely remember it being fun but that was some time ago.

Time To Die

Mr Winter, now a Ministry resource/employee, is under threat of assassination from the Morticians Guild. So, the coterie thinks thru some options to get that resolved, coming up with putting Mr Winter through Undead surgery… because by law executions and death sentences in Spire have no weight if the individual is already dead… and by definition Undying surgery is considered “death”.

Mr Winter is escorted to Heaven (a level of the Spire) by Lyddia Jath via the Vermissian Tunnels. They encounter weirdness along the way, including a drow violinist who claims that his constant violin playing is keeping Spire from collapsing.

The rest of the coterie (Slav, Abu, and Tariq) travel to Heaven separately where they arrange the Undead Surgery thru the licensed practice of the Morticians. Abu gets a lead on Doctor Ickabod Salard who lives in a war zone between fighting factions of Bee Druids, Blood Witches and Cats.

Doctor Salard turns out to be an elder drow whose enthusiasm verges on senility. He agrees to perform the surgery immediately, well, as soon as his assistant Monique says he’s done with the current patient.

The surgery is a success, though some of his organs have been replaced by Rust Spiders. We’ll leave that for the repo men to worry about.

Drow Fact Of The Day: The Ministry is a forbidden paramilitary religious sect devoted to overthrowing the aelfir.  All the PCs are members. Power to the people!

Blind Elf Orgies

The next subject is a Blind Oracle that is calling shots via visions for the Solar Guard’s Paladins, causing very accurate crackdowns on the Ministry.

Najlkae Gleefully Greets the Murmuration ritually blinded herself at 15 years old (she’s now 100 years old) during her stint with a cult of the old gods. Nothing came of that, she later joined the Solar Church who was able to deliver on the “powers”.  Her visions now come true.  And she went thru Undying Surgery.

Her patron is Marian Hears-The-Secret-Of-The-Sting, a well to do aelfir. Suspecting a Svengali situation, we investigate Marian via the Vermissian.

Four questions:

  • Where is she? She’s lives in the Solar District’s Solar Basilica in an estate that has Solar Clerics, magical defenses, mundane defenses, and servants.
  • Who has the greatest influence over her? She greatly admires one of the Councilman,  Minnie the Seedling.  His approval influences her decisions.  She also has a bevy of masked retainers that manager her day to day life, because she’s blind; they are dedicated to her.  Mr Collins, Mrs Dirty Shire, and Mr Arconstrik.
  • Whose in charge of her bacchanals? The church is divided into four groups.  The Father Summer and Sister Spring are the most powerful and popular.  Sister Spring is responsible for the celebrations; one priestess sponsored by Najlkae takes care of Najlkae’s bacchanals.  Mary Hears the Secrets of the Sting.
  • Who is Marian’s lover or husband? Sexless marriage to an Undying of a High Elf Lord.  She does maintain a sex life with a cadre of gnoll refugees living/imprisoned on her estate. This causes Tariq to only refer to her as “that gnoll-banger” going forward, causing friction with Abu who’s like “What’s so wrong with that?  Not that I did…. Quit looking at me!”

Tariq runs an investigation using his power to determine that Najlkae is allied to the resistance unwittingly. She unwittingly spends a lot of money that flows to the Ministry coffers.  And the dragnets that having been taking out Ministry people is also taking out anti-Ministry persons.

The coterie decides to start with the bacchanals. Slav is able to pass herself off a member of the Solar Church and get invited to the upcoming bacchanals. She and Tariq attend as a couple.

They find that bacchanal is “gnoll technology” fueled by “elf sex magic”. Basically, gnoll demon magic is collecting the elf sex magic. Everyone gets super drugged up. Slav and Tariq try to extra-drug-up Marian during the orgy.

Slav requests a “goblet of her blood” which Tariq delivers via “sex game”. From this she determines why Secrets of the Sting is interested in gnoll culture. My notes don’t record what that is, but I assume it’s more than just the sex (one would hope).

Spire – Session 8 – Operation Goodfellas

Pilgrims-Walk2Our revolutionaries decide to meddle in organized crime again since it’s gone pretty well so far.

The Wicked Mr. Alas has some key lieutenants:

  • Itz’bin, who’s in hiding now after a previous session
  • Gentle-On-Blinded-Orbs, a zen archer
  • Mr Jenarm, an assassin
  • Battle Socks (?)
  • The Peculiar Ms. Aldersham

Red Row crime leaders:

  • Allied with Mr Alas
    • Mommas Thinrees – back door surgery
  • Allied with Light-On-Splintered-Glass
    • Mother Moon – Gnoll female, fight pits, sports beating, an army of pit fighters, and a gang of gnoll males.
    • The Three Sisters – Three sisters who run drug trade. The oldest one marries for society and money; she has many children but no living husbands.  The youngest cooks the drugs, the middle one does the books.
    • Mr. Winter – extortion, weapons, kidnapping, smuggling.

Flip The Criminals!

We like Alas and have made Thinrees into an asset so it’s time to jack with Light’s crews.  We look more into Winter. His operation is a large foundry in the lower level ventilation shaft. It is fully operational with hordes of upper level craftsmen, drow, elf, and human, chained to their work stations. An overseer with a cat of nine-tails keeps them working.

Mr Winter is wearing a mask that is of Mother Winter, which Fortunate steals.

The group discusses what to do with the mask and hits upon a scheme where the mask is given to a Mother Moon pit fighter. Abu seduces and pays a friendly female gnoll to place it on her next opponents face, assuming he losses, then tea bagging him.  This fails.

Fortunate spies on Mr Winter long enough to see how he pays off Light-Splintered-Glass’ lieutenants. This leads to a bomb being placed on the dire raven flying the pay roll to Mr Winter’s boss.  This causing d8 reputation stress, which causes huge fall out with Light-Splintered-Glass and Mr Winter’s reputation within his own organization.

Kreth and Fortunate meet with Mr Winter and offer a helping hand. Kreth wears the Mask of the Lover to make this seem more like good fortune than black mail.  Mr Winter signs on with them for protection from Light-Splintered-Glass and a replacement of Light-Splintered-Glass’ up spire services.

Drow Fact of the Day: The Spire, the drow city, is a bizarre place, which grows weirder in the below-ground levels, but the whole thing is shot through with madness-inducing extradimentional passages known as the Vermissian.

Flip The Aliens!

We also look into some independent operators,

  • Brother Hellion – religious leader; he and his followers worship the gun.
  • Kowz – big strong elf who lives in the ruins atop a Vermission station
  • Stone-String-Grass-Green – operates Hemlock Fruit Market. Mr Alas wants Hemlock Fruit Market.
  • The Gentlemen – run L’enfor Noir Club. It’s a super high end brothel, gambling hall, drug den, and everything else. Corpses never come out of this place. They have weird technology, maybe they are clockwork? We decide that sounds like the most fun so we go after them in an operation we dubbed “Operation Mouse Garden Bouquet.”

Lyddia uses Glass Library to research their technology. It seems to be tied up in “He Who Waits Beyond the Coldest Flame” and the binding thereof.  The Gentlemen come from elsewhere, clock work constructs, who were created by the Khaat (a seven eyed race that drift and flow through our reality).  They have strange gifts.  The Khaat are refugees hiding from He Who Waits Beyond the Coldest Flame.  Khaat technology of reality bending clockworks is based on keeping that entity away.  The club is behind a ward.  The Gentlemen are their mouth piece to the Drow and others.  The Khaat are hedonists thus the club.  The corpses feed the ward and go back through.

One khaat, Snarf, is a friend of the revolution. The khaat feed corpses to HWHBtCF to keep that one sleepy. They magically find and kill people that HWHBtCF has contacted Great Old One style. The khaat need a laundry list of things from the Spire. All of it is weird.

The midwife locates Il’zer Shigo, a drow haunted by the supernatural after having glimpsed HWHBtCF, a likely Khaat target.  He shuffles around the slums in a bathrobe. A memory blank clears his supernatural problem.  They drag his unconscious form to a nearby rent-a-hovel, where Snarf appears to them.  The Khaat is like a weird ass cat. He’s impressed that we removed the He Who Waits taint without killing the guy. They successfully broker a treaty of mutual benefit between Wicked Mr Alas and Snarf.

Spire – Session 7 – Operation Con Air

FalloutAfter general ally building last session, our revolutionaries refocus on the Hive and their plans around the prison.

A special note – Tim our GM apparently kept a Web site up with session summaries as well!  I just found out.  Go see Rut & Wallow & Revolution for the view from the other side of the screen!

Orange Is The New Brother, Where Art Thou

They start a chain gang program to send sections of prisoner to various work details including “living experiments” at Dept of Galvanics. Short term plan is to establish it as “a new program that works”.

Slav arranges for a bond, Ezmer, to set up a college program to house living experiments on college property. Therratrix forges the Warden Winter-Before Dawn’s signature for a chain gang program.

The long term plan is to ship a bunch of violent criminals to an enemy’s doorstep.

Tariq uses this as opportunity to hand revolutionary pamphlets to the prisoners and a few guards. Fortunate Tamar learns that the work gangs return from the college with many stolen items, which he purchases on the cheap and re-sells thru his pawn shop bond.

The short term plan is ran successfully for many weeks. The long term plan leads to an orgy of violence and such…

Prisoners vs Students – Fight!

At the coterie’s behest, an army of prisoner demonologists and rioters are to be let loose on the University campus with galvanics weaponry and arsonist materials.

Lyddia uses Anastomis to make the Galvanics Dept believe they can sell their experimental weapons now to the High Elf government for treasury notes that are payable later. She gets a retroengineered galvanics arquebus that removes water from a one block area (extreme range, dangerous, unreliable, 1d8 stress). Spireblack Grenades that unsettle ghosts (d6 stress, spread d6, dangerous, ranged, one-shot).

Slav’s bond, Ezmer, arranges a major party in the quad.  Abu assassinates key professors working at the college including head of campus security. Fortunate Tamar is to use his bond/girlfriend to steal the college’s armory. Tariq arranges for a riotous group of Bohemians to show up and murder those folks who experimented on their crystal using brethren Terratix arranges for the various college factions, particularly the fraternities and sororities to hate each other enough to commit murder, arson, and such.

Everyone uses their abilities to dial the chaos and violence up to 11 during the whole ordeal. Slav preaches it is “the end of times”, Therratix “Predator style” murders Guards responding the rioting, Abu drags in more ghosts, Lyddia uses her galvanics weapons, Lyddian cuts deals with various factions that want to buy cheap (arsoned) property to make the riot last longer, Fortunate vigilantes his way thru rioters, and Fortunate also steals student records.

General Snow On A Stone shows up with the military to clean up the mess that is the Unversity. His high elf warrior poets clean house while shouting poetry. They kill people until the riot, arson, murder, looting, etc… ends.

The coterie escapes while extracting witnesses (through various means) to the carnage and brutality of the high elf military.

The fallout:

  • The college is no longer an entity.
  • Professors Thule and Mandalite are dead.
  • Professor Boost is living high, temporarily, at a casino on his military funding and attempting to cheat at dice using galvanics tech. Tariq tries to recruit the man and fails, so Abu and his hyena murder him.
  • Reporter Stella Blue and her paper are fed lie after lie, fact after fact to frame Dean Bothwell and Warden Wind-Before-Dawn for the whole thing. Dean Bothwell is kidnapped and dies at the hands of high elf torturers.

A Change In Leadership

The coterie pushes buttons to get their ally Quartermaster Langly in charge of the Hive… but she’s drow and its a hard push to get her into such a position of power in the elf-run city – at most, they would tolerate one of their human minions in the role. Finally, Langly becomes Warden.

Lyddia becomes the Quartermaster and gains a city wide bond.

Therratix puts Lyddia into a cocoon of spider silk to remove her fallout. It takes a week and gives her a point of Blood resistance.

The game ends with everyone getting a high advance. Lyddia takes Glass Library.

Spire – Session 6 – Operation Braspberry

Black-Magic

Slav, Blood Witch

At the start of this session, Slav gets a new lair!  It is extra creepy, fitting her increasing Blood Witch powers.

(Special note – this is blog post number 1000 on Geek Related since we got started in January of 2008!  That’s terrifying. Thanks for reading!)

The coterie descends to the Red Row to investigate the Undying Gang. Abu and Lyddia had out fliers about the revolution while asking about the Undying Gang.

The coterie, largely thanks to Abu’s ghost whispering finds out more about the Undying Gang – a gang of eight drow with undying surgeries started a protection rack in Red Row. They expanded to the Hemlock Fruit Market.  All are drow wearing robes to hide their surgical scars, the armor they wear, and wicked knives at their backs and hips.  The surgeries make them taller and more muscular than the typical drow.  All wear porcelain masks and  spice bags, the former to hide scars and the later to hide their own rotting flesh.  They work for and are known as Mommas Thinrees’ Boys.  Mommas is an older up spire drow who was disgraced and fell to Red Row.  She started as a fence, but recently acquired the Undying Gang, which makes sense as she is rumored to be an ex-member of the Mortician’s Guild.  She works for the Syndicate Sinister and more directly the gangster/councilman Light-Through-Splintered-Glass, who in turn keeps Mommas in line by keeping the hearts of the Undying Gang in his mansion.  Their constant threat keeps her pliable to his will.

The team recons Light-Through-Splintered-Glass’ mansion. They get a lot of intel mostly thanks to Abu sneaking into Mommas private office where he talks to the ghost of her predecessor and the man she murdered to take over the criminal empire. Also that the still-beating Undying hearts (and many more – decoys?) are kept in a big room full of songbirds that all sing so loud it’s a sonic attack when anyone goes in there.

Drow Fact Of The Day: All drow (and aelfir) go about wearing masks in public all the time. The masks are distinctive to a person.

Operation Braspberry

The coterie decides to steal the Undying’s hearts from Light-Through-Splintered-Glass’ mansion so they’ll have control over them, by sneaking in as servants and replacing them with other hearts, augmented by a raven-flock attack as a distraction. The plan, point by point:

  • We obtain ear plugs to avoid the song birds attack.  Easy enough, it’s just paper and wax.
  • Abu the Carrion Priest steals drow hearts. No rolls needed since he handles a lot of dead folks daily.
  • Abu and Lyddia steal undying gutterkin hearts from Mommas’ business. Accomplished with some Shadow stress.
  • Lyddia stuffs undying gutterkin hearts into stolen drow hearts. Accomplished critical success; they will pass as the beating undying hearts of drow.
  • Tariq buys stolen servant masks off the black market. Accomplished with Silver stress.
  • Lyddia uses Anastomosis to release knowledge that Tariq’s stolen masks are servants (who still have their masks) that work for Light-Through-Splintered-Glass.
  • The Mask Krieth infiltrates the mansion using her skill set. Slav and Lyddia infiltrate using stolen masks and Anastomosis.  Free success; they belong… they are let inside and assigned work.
  • Abu summons a flock of crows and throws it against the mansions’s windows and open doors to counteract the song bird singing and sow confusion. It works; the house servants close doors, guards shoot the crows, the screaming goats scream more than usual, and Light-Through-Splintered-Glass’s social work drow children scream too.
  • The inside team is lead by Krieth the Mask who sneaks them into the Heart Vault and avoids the psychological damage of the song birds. Slav tastes the hearts and identifies the eight hearts belonging to the Undying gang.  They switch out the hearts and leave via the Vermissian Tunnels.  This works!

The inside and outside teams meet at the rendezvous point, then returns to the Rut and Wallow bar.

The coterie talks about how to spend this new advantage with Mommas and her Undying Gang. They come up with:

  • Tell Mommas she works for us because we have her Undying’s hearts.
  • Give Mommas two Undying hearts as proof.
  • They talk to their Ministry contact, Tio Silencio, who accepts the four hearts and agrees to monitor and order Mommas. The coterie keeps two for future favors.

The coterie goes to Mommas Place in the Red Row. She explains that she isn’t on board with the Revolution, but despite that she is on board with opening orphanages, food banks, etc… and has done so many times in the past.  She stabs the first heart on the table, calling the group’s bluff – but instead killing an Undying behind her… she is shocked that the coterie is telling the truth and is all ears at this point.  She listens to the deal and asks for a meeting the next day.

The coterie agrees and plans for the worst for that meeting. Tariq decides he likes her style and complements her large white Type 4 hairdo. They have a friendly “all power to the people” exchange.

The next morning: Abu and Kreith sneak in the back door.  The rest enter the front with a full compliment of weapons.  The Ministry goon squad accompanies them inside.  The drug den/bar is largely empty at this early hour.  They sit down at a large table with Mommas. Lyddia shares out spider tacos to everyone from a cheese cloth bag.  Mommas demands support and protection and a degree of autonomy.  Tariq agrees and a deal is struck.

Abu talks to an angry ghost in the back of the establishment about promises he plans to keep.  Everyone hears the sounds of gutterkin taking a beating in the store room because Mommas has noticed their Undying hearts have gone missing.

Spire – Session 5 – Operation Nutty Professor

Vermissian2

Lyddia Vath, Vermissian Sage

Some of the revolutionaries have gathered a fair amount of stress on their various attributes.  Stress relief is discussed but enough of the coterie is worried about Lower Perch that they opt to continue operations against to Professor Vex.

Professor Vex is revealed to be a member of the Cult of Spire Ascendent, who wants to electrocute sections of the Spire to revitalize and awaken it as a living entity, which means there is someone or someones that would continue her work.

Kill the Professor!

We embark upon a plan to remove Professor Vex from the equation.

Abu Al-Nisr and Fortunate Al-Nisr stake out Professor Vex’s factory building – they wait and watch, then recognize a trio of student workers leave including Ezmer a young, drow female that Vex dotes on because she’s brilliant. Abu picks an Ivory Row property for his ambush. It is choked with topiary.

Ezmer runs away when the first of her companions, a male human, is strung up in the topiary. Abu drops a kind looking spider gargoyle into their path forcing them deeper into the topiary where Ezmer is captured.

Ezmer is interrogated by the brothers – she reveals that Professor Vex’s doesn’t know who the coterie members are. Her drow students get exempted from the durance.

Department of Applied Galvanics Intel:

  • Dean is senile and hanging on by luck and seniority
  • Five professors, all humans, are attempting to replace the dean:
    • Bosst – Galvanic Defenses
    • Mandalite – Civilian Galvanic Applications (central lighting). Practical uses for every day life rather than weapons.
    • Loque – History of Lightning – collecting texts of lightning gods to found her own religion. Example:  Ben of Franklin and his Kite of Galvanic Attraction..  Example 2 (not galvanics):  Cult of Garrick, a human industrialist who replaced his body parts with mechanical parts.
    • Thule – Galvanics “therapy”
    • Vex – Weather Galvanics

Lyddia applies investigation and academia to divert some of Professor Vex’s student factory workers into abandoning Vex’s team for Professor Thule.

Slav and Kreth and Therratix work together to assassinate Professor Vex in her campus office. They successfully divert an electrical experiment on display output into her desk and chair.  While in the office they investigate a device that is copying texts to find that the device is interpreting and copying any text given to it; it is currently working thru a stack of texts by her rivals for Dean of Applied Galvanics.

The assassination fails to kill her but it does damage her reputation and destroy her copying machine. The world will have to wait another millenium for the fax machine.

The Al-Nisr Brothers interrogate Ezmer and decide she is perfect to black mail into being an asset. They are informed by Slav’s pet spider about that section of the coterie’s operations.

Slav, Kreth, and Therratix follow a “bad luck” spell’s back trail out of Professor Vex’s office to a gambling section of the Silver Quarter, in particular a casino named the Mermaid.

Ezmer is stashed in a broom closet in the Rut & Wallow Bar. Quent the owner notes which broom closet and puts up a sign that announces, “Beware of Hyena!  Don’t open!”

No Really, Kill the Professor!

The second assassination of Professor Vex proceeds apace.

The brothers arrange a ransom note to Professor Vex for Ezmer. “Come to Lower Perch’s Honeymoon Suite at Thumb’s.  Come alone.  Bring a bag of silver and your research notes.”

Professor Vex arrives with her three spider pack enforcers, two teams of student workers, and her trio of student security. Kreth, Lyddia, and Therratix are in the suite with Ezmer. The rest of the coterie wait outside and nearby to cut the cords that suspend the suite.

A duo of student workers enter the suite to scope it out before the professor enters. They exit once Therratix ensures them that Ezmer is safe and on the premises.

The killing begins: Abu’s crossbow bolt hits Vex in the heart; her corpse tumbles from the cat walk.  The campus security team fires a rescue line at Vex that ropes her corpse and slams it with horrible noise against the spire.  A student fires a Galvanic arquebus that misfires and blows up in his hands.  A blackspire bomb is thrown and misses, plunging into the structures that hang far below.

Lyddia bravely rescues the injured Slav by plunging them both into the Vermissian Tunnels via the Back Door. Slav keeps her eyes squeezed shut. Abu and Fortunate fight a pair of cultists armed with spider back packs. One is spared the horror of impact when she falls off a catwalk and is killed by the lit black spire bomb stuck to her hand.  Fortunate takes wounds clambering up onto a catwalk with more victims… cultists.  Abu plunges his saber into a cultist then pushes his corpse off the blade and into the void.

Therratix’s claws professionally cut a cultist’s head off at the shoulders. She throws the severed head at other combatants. Kreth calmly leaves the battle by donning another mask and walking away. Success!

Slav and Kreth work on Ezmer hoping to convert her to the cause leveraging her involvement to Destroy Perch as blackmail.

Therratix researches the coterie’s notes on the Cult of Intelligence and Department of Applied Galvanics, which are both active in the Hive Prison and both tied back into the Gwynn-Enfer university.

The Discussion: Who do we want to tackle next in our quest to liberate the Hive Prison?

  • Investigate the Cult of Intelligence – Kreth uncovers Councilman Drynn, the only human member, is also the Primary Communications Node of the Cult of Intelligence.
  • Prof Bosst – Galvanic Defenses
  • Prof Thule – Galvanics “therapy”
  • Prof Loque – History of Lightning – collecting texts of lightning gods to found her own religion. Example:  Ben of Franklin and his Kite of Galvanic Attraction..  Example 2 (not galvanics):  Cult of Garrick, a human industrialist who replaced his body parts with mechanical parts.
  • Prof Mandalite – Civilian Galvanic Applications (central lighting). Practical uses for every day life rather than weapons.
  • Prof Xavier – No crystal implant. Working on crystal thinking machine.

We decide to make Professor Mandalite the new dean (or at least the current dean’s executor) of Galvanics. Make it so he needs the support of the other three professors and vice versa.

We convince Thule and/or Galvanics that Cult of Intelligence members are a good experimentation stock. Lyddia uncovers that the humans mined into Protocoticoss colonies to gain hi-tech crystals which they built a steam punk empire off of.  Humans can only really use the instantaneous communications of said crystals by implanting said crystals in human, elf or drow brains.  An experiment line would involve running varying currents through those crystals to attempt instantaneous communications…  Cultists have clicks that are at odds with each other.  The crystals act as a vast library rather than mind control.

Therratix shares this information slyly with Professor Thule. Kreth and others convince Thule that experimenting on crystal heads is ethical.

Spire – Session 4 – Operation Dropout

Bound2

“Fortunate” Tamar Al-Nisr, Bound

Our brave revolutionaries go about their day jobs, because sex-murdering elven oppressors doesn’t pay the bills.

  • Abu Al-Nisr – Carrion Priest – corpse transportation and Ghost Whisper for the Guard
  • Therratix – Midwife – midwifery and secretary to Warden Wind-Before-Dawn
  • Slav Icktus – waitress at Rut & Wallow
  • “Fortunate” Tamar Al-Nisr – always has cigarettes and beer thanks to the spirits
  • Lyddia Jath – City Guard paperwork and building her own crime gang of City Guard members.

News

  • Undying Gang – A gang of twelve people with undying surgeries that turned them into super-zombies started a protection racket in Red Row. They have expanded to the Hemlock Fruit Market.
  • Prison – Paperwork shows twelve escapees. That seems coincidental?
  • Lower Perch – Was struck by lightning twelve times at 3 second intervals. Burning sections were cut loose to save other sections.  This is also where most of the PC’s live. The recurrence of the number 12 puts our conspiracy theorists into overdrive.
  • Pilgrims Row suffered a Demonic Incursion from a Vermissian station. That’s bad.

My Science Project

“Fortunate” investigates the lightning strikes on Lower Perch. He finds a series of 6′ iron spikes with melted tips of brass and glass.  The spikes are now very brittle due to the super heating via lightning.  Fortunate recovers several feet from one – it is hollow except for a length of copper wire. Lyddia Jath investigates the recovered spike – parts of the spike are weapons technology out of Gyweninfor, a research university in the Spire.

Fortunate cuts off several more spike tips and sells them to an Ivory Row junk dealer hoping that these items get found by the Gyweninfor weapons researchers. He stakes out the shop. Lyddia investigates the janitor staff at Gyweninfor – Drow janitor Jenny Gierson guilty of petty theft, arson and stabbery. Been around some weapons research.  She recognizes the spike diagrams as belonging to Professor Vex; she is upset that her grant has been rejected and is looking to revitalize her research.

Fortunate and Slav follow Professor Vex but are spotted by a trio of campus security. Hidari Nivrasod is a drow member of that trio. Hidari is next encountered hanging wanted posters for a 500 Stan reward for Fortunate’s (his other mask) capture. He is advertised as the Terrible Anti Intellectual Acrobat aka The Acrobat.

Abu and Slav are able to follow Professor Vex and her trio of large, bulky guards who are heavy with back packs, buckles, and gas masks. They go to Little White Cross, a human district in an ex-Drow mansion area.  Human and drow students at her house are assembling even more spikes in a fit of industry.  The operation looks larger than the last one.  A dozen students and half-a-dozen.  An old woman brings the staff snacks.

The team hatches a plan to steal the lightning spikes.

  • Patsy – the Cult of Garrick who are a presence on campus and in the Works (giant factory in center of the Spire). Some of the teams don their distinctive spider backpack rigs.
  • Slav sends her spider inside to spy; it is chased off by a massive hound. The spider does come back with:  “The next test will be in The Perch.  It will be larger. And its important to remove The Perch from the Spire.  Within the week.”
  • The brothers Abu and Fortunate press for an immediate attack. They win the vote.  The four infiltrate the building with only Fortunate failing; he is chased and captured by the trio of campus security guards for yesterday.  The plan continues to slide south when the opening quiet attacks from a mezzanine drop several attackers into the lower floor.  Lyddia strolls into the manufacturing area and back out with a single iron spike over her shoulder.  She continues walking away from Professor Vex’s house.  Abu uses “murder of crows” to cover the escape of the others.  Slav escapes via levitate and scary “blood witchery”.
  • Ickbad Walzon, another Bound, is Fortunate’s most hated enemy because he dubbed Fortunate Tamar “Unfortunate Tamar” after he lost bar game after bar game to Ickbad.
  • Johnny Mar (large human), Hidari (girl friday), and Smurgen are the guards who capture Fortunate. Fortunate escapes the next evening via lockpicking.  Hidari notes his escape as he walks through the front office but offers no resistance.  Fortunate is now wanted for: Acrobatics, Mysterious Escapes, Arson, Stabbery, and Being Anti-Intellectual.

While this netted us one spike, we didn’t really put a dent in their operation and apparently they plan to destroy an entire district of the Spire!  And it’s the one where we keep all our stuff!

In the wake of this, Abu seeks to stalk and murder a Garrick Cult member which goes very poorly. A trio of the spider backpack cultists trail him back to the Rut & Wallow Tavern, where the rest of his coterie, some corrupt City Guard, various employees, and other patrons are present. The coterie leverages their various abilities to enhance their attacks. The cultists die quickly.  The coterie recovers spider backpacks that act as weapons, climb equipment, and armor.  Plus some gas masks.  The backpacks only function for Garrick Cultists.  The gas masks work for anyone.  One backpack goes to the tavern as a lantern holder.  The other two go into a Vermissian hole for later use.  Abu and Lyddia claim the gas masks.

Higher Education

The coterie decides to stake out the Lower Perch to find Professor Vex’s second Lightning Call operation. They find it around the Great Pipe where two Lightning Callers are already placed and 12 more chalk marked locations are found. They tip their hand while staking out the spike sites. They do recover four spikes.

A recon of Professor Vex’s mansion shows everyone is still there, students are armed, noise makers are placed at all entrances, blood witch wards have been placed, and everyone is on high alert.