Cyndra Jesspian (Kathy Bauer) - Former macrocorp house-servant
Edricka Hatchett (Angela Marsh) - Stringer
Marcus Hangworth (David Matchuk) - Lostfinder
Genny (Ellie Bauer) - Street Urchin
Adrian Thornbrooke (Mark Williams) - Driver
Burn 3rd, 997
Cyndra Jesspian and Little Genny (Underhill) arrive back at the Dead Scurt to see if anyone they know is present. The barkeep, Hammy, tells them that he hasn't seen Marcus Hangworth in a while, but that she shouldn't worry, as he's one lostfinder who can take care of himself. Cyndra looks around to see if there's a ghostfighter in the house, but none are present. Genny asks her why they've come to the Scurt, and Cyndra tells her they need to see a dingin specialist, but they've got to go to Fogwarren for that purpose. And some "backup" would be useful when travelling to that place.
Edricka Hatchett follows Sendro and Hallis, and the two head for the edge of the Green Canal. She watches as they talk to a mudlark, and are directed towards a boatman's barge. As the barge moves off with Sendro and Hallis, Edricka approaches the mudlark. She is able to bribe the mudlark, one Maroc, and learns that the two thugs are heading for Rory's Hill, a small burgh to the southeast of Folly Hills. She knows something about the burgh, but is unable to dredge her memory for the information. She resolves to get some help, and heads back for the Dead Scurt.
Meanwhile, in Fogwarren, Marcus Hangworth and Adrian Thornbrooke are attacked by several chain-wielding thugs, who are merely a diversion, and demand the characters' valuables. Marcus is inclined not to do so, a sentiment echoed by Adrian, and the three thugs find they've bitten off more than they can chew, the lostfinder and his driver more than able to take them on. Marcus pockets several shillings from the leader of the trio, and tells him to let that be a lesson to him. The two move off into the fog shrouded streets, and reach the spot where Max Barnes's water taxi awaits. The return from Fogwarren to Folly Hills is an uneventful trip.
As mid-evening falls, the five player characters find themselves at the Dead Scurt, having an evening meal. Edricka explains to Marcus and Adrian why she needs their help once more, and while Marcus is sympathetic to her cause, he explains that he's been to Fogwarren this day, and has no desire to leave the burgh again especially for one like Rory's Hill. Her pleas fall on deaf ears. The lostfinder is more sympathetic to Cyndra's case (not to mention Genny's batting her baby greens at him), and agrees to discuss matters with her early the next morning when both of them are more awake. Stating that she feels "left out" of things, Edricka storms out of the Dead Scurt - and straight into trouble.
Back in the Dead Scurt, Cyndra tells Marcus that he was rather mean and dark-spirited towards Edricka, and the lostfinder says that perhaps he was; it's just that he's not fond of stringers as a result of a couple of bad encounters with them, and he agrees to seek out the stringer and talk to her. Marcus leaves the tavern, but tells Adrian not to accompany him as they're both off the clock [whatever that old expression means]. As he emerges from the tavern, he sees a group of six thug-like figures beating Edricka down to the ground. Shouting for the others in the tavern, Marcus picks up a large piece of brick and hurls at the nearest attacker. While it seemingly bounces off the thug harmlessly, he warns the "old man" not to interfere in business that concerns him.
Alerted by the perceptive Genny, the other player characters emerge from the Dead Scurt to see what's going on. Seeing that Edricka is under attack, the player characters join forces to save the stringer, and the thugs are no match for the player characters' determined efforts. Cyndra brings her knife throwing skills into play, and is able to deal with one of the thugs cleanly, while a second is delayed long enough for Genny to charge in and hamstring him. Marcus's guilt and annoyance at what he nearly let happen to Edricka gives him the energy and strength to take out two of his opponents. Adrian is able to take out the final two thugs easily enough, his wrench and brawling abilities up to the task.
With their opponents dead or having fled the scene, the characters turn their attention to the thug hamstrung by Genny. Confronted with Marcus's anger, the thug freely admits that he and the others were hired by Janine Flint, the ghostfighter, to soften Edricka up because she won't stop investigating the "business". Edricka, still hurting from her newly inflicted injuries, demands the thug tell her where Flint is. He swears that he doesn't know, but she frequents a bar called the Rusty Knife, over near the Folly Hill docks. The characters are horrified as, in a fit of pique, Edricka stabs the thug, killing him.
As can be seen from the above, Friday night's session of the a|state campaign had a little bit of something for everyone, and had some pretty intense roleplaying. The other players were totally surprised by Angela's moment of brutality with the stringer near the end, but Angela explained that Edricka finally snapped somewhat at all she's endured this adventure so far, both at the hands of the other player characters and various NPCs. The players are looking forward to seeing how this adventure continues and eventually wraps up, and are having a good time of it.
For myself, this was another good session of gaming with the Friday night players, and I'm still enjoying the game world and the game mechanics of a|state. I wasn't feeling 100% due to the bug that I've caught, but I seem to have managed okay and the players had no objections about how the session went. I'm looking forward to next weekend's session, weather and health permitting, of course.