Cyndra Jesspian (Kathy) - Former macrocorp house-servant
Edricka Hatchett (Angela) - Stringer
Marcus Hangworth (David) - Lostfinder
Genny (Ellie) - Street Urchin
Adrian Thornbrooke (Mark) - Driver
Burn 3rd, 997
Edricka Hatchett arrives canalside in Folly Hills, and scanning around spots the two men matching the street urchin Saley's description. She goes up to them, and meets Marcus Hangworth and Adrian Thornbrooke. The lostfinder isn't willing to trust Edricka, as she's a stringer (and he's had problems in the past with stringers), but she says she's come to him for help. Edricka says she's looking into the death of Jonas Thappert, the flowghost, and Marcus's interest is peaked, as he knew Thappert. However, he tells Edricka that he's got other business for the moment. They are interrupted by the arrival of Max Barnes and his water taxi, and the lostfinder tells her that he'll see her when they get back. Marcus and Adrian leap into the water taxi.
Outside the Green Foxhound, Genny (Underhill) is horrified to learn of "Gadget" Hawkins's death, and over Cyndra Jesspian's objections, races off with Tarper Linnet to go to the scene of the body. Cyndra has no other option but to follow her. Tarper leads Genny, and Cyndra, to a small falling down building near Vickery Lane, where several other members of the RBlades are waiting, including her old friend, "Eagleeyes" Bobby Sharpel. Without preamble, Haven Redlocks, the leader of the RBlades, asks Genny what she wants the gang to do with Gadget's body. Genny says that she hasn't been part of the Blades in some time, but suggests they dispose of it in the usual way. She asks how Gadget died, and Bobby tells her that they don't know; they found him here, no weapon marks on the body, other than a small puncture wound on his left index finger and the horrific carving on Hawkins's chest. Cyndra is somewhat horrified to learn of this, and Bobby's sharp eyes catch her look but he doesn't question her. Genny also catches the look on her close friend's face, but doesn't pursue the matter for now.
As the water taxi of Max Barnes slides serenely along the Green Canal, Marcus and Adrian talk about the situation they find themselves in. Adrian is curious as to whether he'll talk to the stringer, Edricka Hatchett, when they return to Folly Hills, but the lostfinder is undecided on the matter. Max interrupts their conversation, telling them that they'll be switching to the 1st Ring Canal, but also tells them that strange things are afoot in Fogwarren. When Marcus asks him what he means, he tells them, "You'll be seeing for yourself soon enough", but warns them to be cautious.
A disappointed Edricka Hatchett heads back for the Dead Scurt, figuring that Marcus Hangworth and his friend will return there once they're back from wherever they're going. So distracted is she by her thoughts, Edricka fails to notice that she's being followed by a figure in a flowing greatcoat. As she nears an alley close to the Dead Scurt, the figure leaps out blocking her way. Frightened, she steps back, but the figure tells her it means her no harm. The figure is revealed as a woman, who tells Edricka her name is Janine Flint. Edricka is still frightened, as the woman tells her she's a ghostfighter, and that she's the one who killed Jonas Thappert. Flint gestures Edricka to move into the alley, which she does with some trepidation, but the ghostfighter tells her she only wants to talk. Flint tells Edricka that she killed Thappert because he had learned something that he wasn't supposed to, pertaining to a deal in the works brewing between Folly Hills and Sleeping Vale. She warns Edricka that she's to drop the story that she's working on in regards to the deal, otherwise the ghostfighter's going to have to kill her as well. Flint vanishes into the alley's shadows, leaving the stringer to ponder her words. She decides she needs a drink, and since she's got to wait for Hangworth and his friend, the Dead Scurt is as good a place as any.
With the permission of the RBlades, Cyndra examines the body of "Gadget" Hawkins, and finds no untoward marks to determine the cause of his death. She tells Genny that her best guess is some sort of drug did the job, from the puncture mark on the finger. Genny asks the other RBlades what Hawkins was up to, but Haven Redlocks tells her it's none of their business; like Genny said, she's not been an RBlade for some time. Genny tells the RBlades leader that she thinks it has something to do with the questions being asked by the outsiders about her, and Haven is not pleased that Tarper Linnet told Genny about what's been going on. Haven tells Genny and Cyndra that the RBlades will keep an eye out, maybe letting her know if they hear anything else, and meanwhile they'll take care of Gadget's body. A concerned and worried Cyndra and Genny head back for Folly Hills' more habitable parts.
Max Barnes's water taxi enters the fog-enshrouded burgh of Fogwarren, and both Marcus and Adrian are somewhat nervous, their senses more heightened by the tension. Max says the fogs are nothing to be concerned with, they're normal for the area (as both player characters are aware), but Adrian comments that he much prefers dealing with them in his lorry than on the water's surface. After some time, Max tells them they've arrived, and he warns them that Fogwarren is dangerous so the lostfinder and the driver need to be careful during their "excursion" into the area. Marcus says that he'd appreciate if the boatman would wait for them, as Marcus's business won't take too long. Max Barnes is agreeable, as long as his standard fare rates are paid in full. The two debark from the water taxi, and set off into the burgh proper. After avoiding several of the local constabulary and a couple of Transit Militia, the two arrive at a small shoppe, Rogerson Inquiries, the motto of which is "Inquiries Made at a Reasonable Price". As they approach the shoppe, however, they are approached by what appear two jakes, shuffling along, but the glint of metal knives belies their possible friendliness...
The Friday night game session of the a|state RPG marked a good way to begin the gaming for 2015, the players getting nicely involved in matters at hand as the game session started. The tension didn't stop until we finished up for the night, the players commenting when we were done that not a lot seemed to happen, but there was some serious atmosphere to this session. Mark, the relatively new player, was creeped out by my description of Fogwarren's environs, and even David was seriously "sharp sensed" as he called it when his character, Marcus, got out of the barge/water taxi and started making his way to the shoppe he was looking for. Kathy mentioned afterwards that she was a little concerned that I would be too graphic about one particular scene involving herself and Ellie, but she needn't have worried and was reassured by me at the time about it. The players had a good time of it with this session of a|state, and I had a lot of fun running the session, with some neat little bits of menace and some definite bits of humour too (though I'm not sure that came across in this write-up).
Anyway, a good session of the a|state game, and a great way to start off the gaming "season" of 2015. I'm rather looking forward to the next session of the game on Friday, weather permitting.