Belinda Koretz (Donna Winston) - Stringer
Farimar Timberbush (David Winston) - Ex-Mikefighter
Hannah Overwater (Kendall Scott) - Lostfinder
Mist 9th, 997
The street ruffians make it clear to Belinda Koretz what their intentions are, and she cautiously backs away for the nearest alley, hoping to put a wall of some sort at her back and prevent them from attacking her from various directions. It is to no avail, as the street thugs are coming after her with a plan. As she fears for her life, the sound of footsteps approaches, and Farimar Timberbush and Hannah Overwater appear on the scene. They spot what's going on, and the ruffians, seeing the ex-mikefighter and the lostfinder's sparklock, make a hasty retreat.
The three player characters meet up, and Belinda thanks Farimar and Hannah for their timely appearance. Hannah says it was no coincidence, as they were looking for her, and tells tells her that she's investigating the disappearance of the (now) children. Scenting a story, Belinda tells the lostfinder and ex-mikefighter that she'd like to help them. Hannah is somewhat surprised, but agrees to this too easily for Farimar's taste. The stringer tells the other two what she learned in the Amber Teats. The characters decide to return to the area of the Dead Scurt, and see what else they can learn there.
As they return to eastern Folly Hills, they come upon an elderly fellow, Bryant, strolling down the street, lost and confused and searching for something. Bryant is an old friend of the three characters, and he tells them that he's looking for his daughter, Victoria. Mad with grief, the player characters manage to convince him to go home, using Belinda's persuasive abilities and Hannah's promise that they will find Victoria as motivation. As the player characters set off with Bryant, several thugs that the characters recognise as some of Terrel's Bangers, one of the local streetgangs, show up to silence Bryant; once he's dead and buried, no one else will come looking for Victoria.
Needless to say, Belinda, Farimar, and Hannah take exception to this. Farimar tries to sneak up on the gangers from behind, but is confronted by Gracie, the sister of the band's leader, Terrel. The struggle between the two is something fierce, taking a turn for the worse with Gracie landing her hatchet in Farimar's chest. This causes Belinda and Hannah to spring into action, the lostfinder firing her sparklock at Gracie, and taking her down with a bad wound to the chest. Taking the hatchet from his chest (the wound seems worse than it is), Farimar attacks two of the other gangers, and is able to take them down rather quickly. Belinda, meanwhile, proves to be more adept at fighting than the gangers thought, and is able to take out the fourth one with some lucky strikes and blows. Farimar loses his temper somewhat in the heat of the battle, and kills one of his two combatants. With the fight over, the dying Gracie admits to Hannah and Farimar that the children are being taken by the Terrels on order from the Hohler Gang, and the kids are being held in a warehouse owned by Howie Terrel over in Mire End. With that, Gracie expires.
Taking the wounded Farimar to one of the local streethealers, Demnoc Kane, Hannah and Belinda (who also need some minor repairs to several injuries) debate what needs to be done. Hannah says she's familiar with the warehouse in question, and the three player characters come up with a plan.
Late that night, Farimar, Hannah, Belinda and Moadh Coldrush, a ghostfighter friend of Hannah's, approach the Terrel warehouse cautiously. Scouting out the warehouse, the characters make their plans. Several guards and sentries on duty at the rear entrance seem to be relaxed and not expecting trouble, playing Railwayman's Bluff around a couple of tables. Coldrush sneaks up on two of the players, and is able to take them down easily enough, while Farimar takes out the third and fourth guards without any problems. Hannah and Belinda stroll up, and the four characters walk to the back entrance of the warehouse.
Slipping quietly into the warehouse, the three characters and the ghostfighter notice that Howie Terrel is there, alone, interrogating someone. Farimar appears as if from the shadows, and tells Terrel that they've come looking for information on the missing children. Howie Terrel doesn't divulge anything, but he is visibly upset when Farimar taunts him with Gracie's axe. When Farimar tells him where he got the axe and Gracie's condition, Howie Terrel loses it, and shouts for the other gang members. A group of five others converge into the large room, and the fight starts.
Using her sparklock, Hannah is able to take out another of the Terrel gang members, and then has to resort to her staff and a wicked blade at the end of it. Suffice to say, she acquits herself quite well. Coldrush is a whirling, slashing weapon of destruction, and several of the gang members fall at his feet, while Belinda once more proves to be adequate at defending herself, though she takes a serious wound to the left thigh and the right arm. Farimar fights Howie Terrel, a struggle that Terrel loses due to his rage and anger getting the better of him against Farimar.
When the fighting is done, there are only three gangers left alive, all of them terrified but still hostile to the characters, even in the wake of Howie Terrel's death. Using Belinda as a guide to who's telling the truth and who's not and the threat of Coldrush for good measure, Hannah gleans the truth out of the three. They learn that the children have all been sold to a barge captain. All they know is that the barge is on the Grand Canal, somewhere near Fogwarren, that the name has something to do with a bird (but that only Howie knew what it was, and he's dead now), and that the boat is scheduled to move out at the sixth hour. They've got approximately seven hours before that's supposed to happen. "Know a water taxi guy, anyone?" asks Hannah.
This particular session of the a|state Wednesday night campaign was a lot of fun to run, and was pretty enjoyable when all was said and done. The players experienced multiple combat situations in this one, and saw first-hand how dangerous combat is, though they won out in the end. Both Farimar and Belinda took wounds that seemed more serious than they were, though some first aid was required, and overall the players managed to make some excellent headway with the plot, and are reaching a pivotal point in the scenario. Donna, David, and Kendall all had a really good time with this session, and the player characters worked pretty well together. Donna and David split the playing of their ghostfighter addition, Coldrush, during the combat sequences, making my life much easier running the combat bits.
A nice game session overall, lots of fun, and some good roleplaying and combat moments. I can't wait to run the next session of a|state with the Wednesday night players!