GM Spiderbeard's One Shot RPG Tour

Game Master Barvo Delancy

Deadlands: Reloaded
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Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

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I'm a fire truck!


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⁞⁞⁞⁞ RIGHT TWICE A DAY⁞⁞⁞⁞
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An adventure in the Widening Gyre

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It is a pleasant day in mid-August in the year of our lord 1895. You are in the great city of London, at the height of the Gilded Age, the time when technology truly came into its own. This is an age of great things, with the horrific wars of the Time of Turmoil finally at an end. Peace reigns across Europe, and America continues to expand westwards, fulfilling its Manifest Destiny. The Patent Office has granted as man patents in the past fifteen years as it has the rest of the 19th century.

You have been approached by a notorious semi-secret society, the Watchmen. Little is known of them, aside from they are the bravest and most able men and women who have been entrusted to battle against the darkness. What the darkness is, precisely, has not been specified to you. Your initiation was done in secret, the one who brought you in using an obvious fake name. However, good money was attached to it, and you are now awaiting your first orders.

For your introductory post, I'd like you to post a roleplay scene to establish your character. Within this scene, you receive your orders. The orders should arrive in an unusual or mysterious manner. Something more interesting than the postman leaves it on your doorstep.


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Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless

"There now Edmund, that's enough for you. Save some for Beatrice and Reginald. Where's Stewart gotten to, now...? Ah, there you are, Stewart, get in here now, lad, and - no, Edmund, that's enough, don't be greedy..."

The old man toed at one of the pigeons gently, smiling with his eyes past his aged face. They'd come every day since she passed into the garden, and although his heart wanted to believe that meant something his brain was far too scientific in makeup to allow those thoughts to ever take hold. From dust we come, the preacher had said over her grave, and to dust we shall return. Or something to that effect. Religion held no real sway in that mind either, though appearances ofttimes had to be kept up. The Bible was never quite the Bard.

He leaned back on the bench, looking away from the birds and the tall flowers in the now-overgrown garden and up into the bright, clear sky. Removing his hat, Sir Ian Pembleton placed it on the bench for two beside him and stroked absently at his beard and moustache as he thought of her. His hand went under his overcoat and into the crisp vest of his suit, bringing out the silver timepiece she had given him on their twenty-fifth anniversary so long ago. His thumb cracked it open before he dropped his head to look at it. Her picture lay inside, opposite the spinning clockface.

"It is a beautiful day, Elisabeth," he said to it with a smile. He had allowed himself this one unscientific trait, speaking with her; he had no children, no grandchildren, and he reckoned that even if the people he occasionally stopped and bored during his constitutionals knew he spoke with her, they'd find it more charming than crazy. "The kind of day that would see you out here, I think, tending to your forget-me-nots, your sunflowers, your..."

He peered around the garden and shrugged, noting his clockwork hound investigating the tree across the cobblestones from him. "... well. Whatever else is here. Never been much for the names and genus of flowers, I'm afraid. That was always your forte. Hmmph." He smiled at a memory, but it faded from his face a moment later. "I do fear that I've quite let it go, though, my dear. I shall have to hire a gardener, I quite think."

His eyes went down to the pigeons at his feet, but he hardly noticed them. Too old to re-up, he mused. No one had told him that precisely, but at seventy, Her Majesty's Corps of Engineers had gently found ways to coo-coo him into his presumed life of retirement and leisure.Yes. Coo-cooed. Like a pigeon. His eyes focused on the friendly flock again and he threw down some seeds once more, absently noting a new bird arriving.

"I suppose it is foolish," he said to her picture again, "to think that they'd call me up, these people from the government." His voice held a resigned tone. "Perhaps they simply wanted me to feel wanted. Kind of them, I suppose. It was a foolish thought anyway. I laboured too long for the Crown, and to want to waste the rest of my days labouring further, simply because you are not here? Nonsense. Don't know what I was thinking. Poppycock". He paused, sighed, and tried not to deflate.

Sir Ian noted the small whirring only as he closed his pocket watch. His eyes flicked to the clockwork dog, but noted instantly it had not moved. It was coming from his feet. Craning his old body downwards over his knees, he saw the cause of the whirring noise.

It was a clockwork pigeon, and it appeared brass. The other birds paid it no mind as it strutted about, stepping towards the Englishman and opening it's beak to present what he would soon learn were his orders.

Two minutes later, he swallowed them and rose instantly. His gait was quick and strong, sending the other birds scattering. He spoke once to the dog, signalling his invention to join him.

"To arms, Palamedes," he told it, his heart soaring in his chest. "England calls." He could not hide another smile. She CALLS!

Forgetting his garden, birds, and departed love, the stodgy old man called Pembleton went back inside his little house and retrieved a rail gun that could shoot through the Great Wall.


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Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

"WHAT!! IF MOTHER DIDN'T LOVE YOU SO MUCH, AND THERE WASN'T ALREADY A STICK IN THERE, I'D SHOVE MY SWORD UP YOUR AAAHHHHRRGHH....."

Taking a step back as his (much bigger) little brother sinks to the floor, Edouard pockets a small device and sighs pityingly: "I am so, so sorry, little Simon. But, frankly, you've become too great an embarrassment. Father has grand plans to curry the Earl's attention and restore some modicum of greatness to our branch of the family. We cannot have you mucking about, drinking and fighting and being rude to everyone and how dare you talk to Isabella like tha..."

Taking a calming breath and, finding that wasn't sufficient, lighting a cigarette and taking another calming breath, Edouard swiftly kicks his brother in the shoulder, muttering: "Bloody great brute, perhaps the Watchmen can make something of you - or, at the very least, slake the rage in you," before calling the butler to have Simon "removed from the premises."

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LATER
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Staring at the bottom of (yet another) whiskey tumbler (having not-so-accidentally broken a few against the table), and listening to the man next to him natter on about politics, Simon is vigorously enjoying both the drink and the prospect of cracking Alex's skull. Neither of which, needles the tiny voice inside, will change the fact that he's been sent away, like cousin Charles after he'd gotten sick with the French disease.

In a day filled with things not going his way, Simon feels a sharp pinch where shoulder meets neck, just as he's raising his arm to backhand his companion to the floor. "Please, sir," comes an oddly inflected, tinny voice behind him.

Surprise, more than anything else, causes Simon to turn slowly and peer over at the shabby clockwork servant behind him. Surprise is also what causes the rest of the club to quickly go silent with a collective gulp. To be frank, most of the crowd thought Alexander quite the fool for sitting next to Simon after he'd had his third drink - nobody would have been insane enough to actually lay a hand on the man after a dozen.

It's only after he's knocked the poor fellow to the ground with an empty chair that Simon notices he'd had his hand outstretched, offering something. Glancing quickly about, Simon spots the object on the floor and is just able to scoop it up before his is forcibly ejected from the club (again). Outside, leaning on a lamp post, Simon finds that he is holding a pocket watch. Snapping it open, Simon listens as a quiet, metallic voice calls him by name, then outlines what he must do next.

As the message ends, the clockwork ticks down: "This messaouurggge wiillll....".
Hah, even the Watchmen are bloody useless

Standing in the cool breeze, glancing up at the stars overhead, Simon contemplates the messa... "Ah! Bugger!" The metal of the pocket watch twists in on itself in a shower of sparks, turning the intricate device into so much scrap metal.

Simon hurls it and his voice into the night: "THAT WAS MY PISTOL HAND, YOU BLOODY ASS!"


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Female Human Face | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 5 | Toughness: 5 Edges: Connected | Hindrances: One Eye, Cautious

“It’s tea time, my little crumpets!” Lottie Wandsworth called toward the rooftops in her sing-song pie-selling way. She closed her eyes and smiled, hearing her children draw near. The pat-pat of running feet started as soft as a psalm but swelled suddenly – a thunderous sforzando of thin leather on grimy cobblestone. A cadenza of a score of excited children brought the mealtime ritual song to a close.

“Bag o’ mystery again, Missus Lottie?” one of the children, a boy of about eight asked, grinning impishly. She tutted fondly and shook her head, rolling her eyes heavenward as though to ask God why He sent her such trials.

“If you’re looking for that bow wow mutton, you best be trying that young lad down by the river,” Lottie replied, feigning hurt. In truth, she looked forward to the usual exchange with Darling Thomas. It was the same routine, the same script, day in and day out. “If you don’t want any eel pie – the best eel pie south of the Thames – then that’s fine, love. More for the rest of us!” At this, the rest of the children cheered.

Lottie Wandsworth was a fixture in this poor London neighbourhood. No one could recall a time she hadn’t been around, hocking her pies in the day and baking most of the night. She charged the local workers almost nothing, for that was what they earned during their long days of bone-breaking, muscle-rending labour; the children she fed for free. Most of them were near enough to homeless and those that weren’t couldn’t always be guaranteed a warm, filling meal every night. But old Lottie could smell money like hounds could pheasants, and those customers paid what she thought they were worth. Moneyed customers weren’t exactly regulars, so she learned to make it count without driving them off. Sometimes those folk even returned, citing the siren smell of eel pie.

Nearly two hours passed as Lottie distributed pies and listened to the children tell her about their day. They sat in and around the bakery and her tiny living quarters upstairs, giving her all the gossip. Lord Carrington was powdering his hair at the House and his new maid was leaving town already; several had stories about a death along the wharf that Lottie suspected would need looking into; and one or two were approached about factory work.

Lottie sold her pies and fed the children, earning her a reputation as a good woman with a full heart. But her real business was information. The children weren’t just hungry, they were messengers, delivery boys, eyes and ears. Nothing happened in London, as big as it was, without Lottie knowing about it. And buyers with deep pockets were plentiful. The aristocracy could never pay enough to stab their fellows in the back and since Lottie didn’t give two great stonking s$$#s for the rich, she was happy to keep them in supply. Every penny they paid her could be put to good use, helping the people of her neighbourhood to get by in this world that so loathed the poor.

“Missus Lottie?” A shy voice jolted her mind back to her little home, away from Lord Carrington and his drunken nighttime adventures with the new maid, away from the murder at the docks, away from sorting out the spider web of who would pay what for which piece of news.

“What would you like, my sweet William?” she asked pleasantly, setting her heft down on the bench beside the boy. She smoothed out his hair and smiled down at him. “Did you need another pie to take home to your mother? Is she feeling better?”

“Oh yes, Missus Lottie! She’s feeling much better now!” William beamed at her, forgetting for a moment that he was shy. “But I have something for you. A message.”

“For me?” Lottie’s eyebrow shot up suspiciously. William nodded.

“A man told me you’re supposed to look at the hummingbird you keep in the dark cage. I don’t know what it means though, Missus Lottie.”

“It’s okay, pet,” she assured him. “Let me get you an extra pie for your mother and I’ll see you again tomorrow, okay?” William nodded excitedly and clasped his hands together against his chest, remembering suddenly that he was still shy.

Once all of the children were safely out of the house and Lottie found herself alone for the first time all day, she scuttled off to her little bedroom and pried up the loose floor board under the bed. All of the treasures of her life fit in that one narrow space, in one highly-polished wooden box. She lifted the lid to look for the clockwork bird, to make sure this treasure was still hers.

The bird, with its golden wings and gleaming black eyes, sat in a nest of burgundy silk, just as it always had. Only this time, the bird’s beak was open. And this time, there was something sticking out of it. A note.


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Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

She had been watching the man in the bowler hat for several minutes before she finally made her move.

Slipping adroitly through the crowd, she approached him at an angle, keeping her pace steady – quick, but not so quick as to draw attention. As her target paused in front of a market stall selling flowers, she brushed past him. Her fingers skillfully dipped in and out of his pocket, retrieving a silk handkerchief, and she was on her way without slowing.

For a moment, she thought she felt the man tense – or maybe not tense, exactly. Tilt his head? Pause in his breathing for just a heartbeat? Her instincts screamed that she'd been noticed, that she should run, blend into the crowd, vanish. Running would just draw more attention, though. With a forced calm born of far too much experience for one so young, she kept her stride steady and continued forward into the crowded market, just another face in the crowd going about her anonymous business. Once she was far enough away and the lack of angry shouts signaled that she was in the clear, she began to scan for her next target. There was always another mark waiting.

Things had been harder since the “Headmaster” had died. He'd been the worst sort of scum, but he'd provided a sort of stability for the children, a routine. He got his cut and they got to eat, at least until they aged out (as she had) or incurred his wrath (as she inevitably would have). In his absence, the situation was becoming more chaotic, and the younger or less talented children risked starvation or capture. She didn't miss the old monster, especially after finding out what he'd done - what he was planning to do - and she had no intention of taking his place. That didn't mean she could just walk away and leave the young ones to fend for themselves, though.

Sizing up another target, an elderly man in an expensive-looking waistcoat, she scanned her surroundings for any potential complications. She made a concerted effort to focus only on the living people and not the other ones, the ones that were like posters after too much sun and rain, flat and faded and indistinct. At the best of times, they were a potential distraction, and no distractions could be permitted. At the worst...

Her gait never slowing, her fingers did their practiced work, retrieving a pocket watch of unusual design from the man's coat pocket. She moved on, pressing her luck and looking for another. Moments later, there it was – a fat purse briefly glimpsed under the coat of a man with a bushy mustache and a top hat. She followed him at a distance, using the crowd to disguise her approach and keeping her head tilted downward. She sensed him pause up ahead and moved in for the lift, shoulders hunched to make herself as small and unassuming as possible. Her fingers closed around the purse, and she felt it come loose in her hand.

The boy appeared from seemingly out of nowhere. Suddenly, there he was, right in her path, hollow eyes beseeching her. She'd grown used to these visitations, but...she recognized this one. That boy, the one who'd been taken in after his parents died in a house fire – Arthur? Albert? - and who had suddenly stopped showing up in the usual places a week ago. He opened his mouth wide, too wide, his gaping maw forming a silent scream for help, and she froze, her hand still inside the rich man's coat.

The man whirled, mustache bristling and eyes flashing with indignation. ”Stop right there, you vagabond!” He made a grab for her wrist, but instinct kicked in and she was off, darting through the crowd. She heard other angry voices raised in protest behind her, but the only way now was forward, always forward, past the crowd and into the side streets. Ahead, she spied the entrance to a narrow alley and she redoubled her efforts, her feet flying over the damp cobblestones. Inside the narrow confines of the alley, she directed her momentum towards the brick wall, her feet scrabbling for purchase as she skipped several feet upwards. Her fingers caught the brick, and suddenly she was flowing upwards, moving from handhold to handhold with practiced grace. She didn't stop until she'd reached the roof of an adjacent building and was certain there would be no further pursuit.

Taking a moment to catch her breath, she ripped off the shabby cap she had been wearing, letting her conspicuous red hair spill free of its confines to tumble to the base of her neck. With the noise of the crowd now just a muffled murmur beneath her, she moved to a corner of the roof and sat to assess the day's takings.

The purse, thankfully, held the usually assortment of coins. Those would go a long way towards keeping herself and the stragglers fed. The pocket watch, with its unusual design, however, proved more intriguing. She turned it over in her hands, squinting at the curious design, and then with a small breath of anticipation, she popped upon the lid.

Disappointment came rushing up in a wave. Inside was just a mundane watch, and not a particularly high-quality one at that, with an unadorned face and cracked glass around the edge of the casing. Sighing to herself, she snapped it closed and set it down beside the purse. It would still fetch something, and that's what mattered.

Almost as an afterthought, she pulled out the handkerchief to examine it. As it fell open in her hands, her breath caught in her throat and her spine stiffened. She jerked her head up, eyes darting back and forth like those of a cornered animal, looking for any sign of ambush. When no ambush came, she forced herself to relax, if only slightly.

There, right in front of her, was a message written across the handkerchief in embroidery that was almost too minute to pick out the individual threads. She wasn't well read, but unlike some of the other children, she had learned her letters well enough to read and write her own name, and there it was, plain as day: Eileen Gallagher. Beneath it was a small picture of a watch, along with a time and an address.

Though cryptic, the meaning was unmistakable. It was time, and with any luck, soon neither she nor the children would be wanting for money. She carefully folded the handkerchief, slipping into the back pocket of her shabby trousers. She scooped up the purse and the watch, rising to her feet and stretching.
If she was going to be busy soon, there were preparations to make.


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Well those are the best intro posts I've ever read. GREAT job everyone!

Eileen:

The embroidery on the handkerchief is impossibly neat and precise, the letters arrayed like the typeface you'd read in the small print of a newspaper.

Miss. Eileen Gallagher

The Watchmen call and you are to answer! As the great clock ticks forward so do dark tidings. You and three other companions, newly recruited and wound, are to make great haste to the Egyptian Hall at 171 Piccadilly for the appointed time of 7:24 a.m. on August 13th. There, you shall seek the attentions of a Mr. Bernard Taylor Huffington, as well as the companions you are to journey with. Trust your companions with your life, and they will return the favour! Mr. Huffington is not to see this message and will not answer questions.

Mr. Taylor will present you with appropriate garments and a ticket to the maiden voyage of the great air-ship Emmanuel, which will journey from London to Constantinople. A carriage will be waiting to take you to the airfield. Be ware, for a great villain has planted a bomb on the airship! Your task is to locate and remove the bomb by your best means available, and otherwise ensure the safe flight of the Emmanuel. Any conspirators should be identified, and if possible apprehended. Upon arrival in Constantinople you will receive further orders.

Beware the Darkness, and heed the Gyre!

Simon:

The watch has a somewhat strange, and distinctive design. However it is unremarkable beyond the voice, which has the tinny sound you'd expect from a clockwork man. It begins.

"Mr. Simon de Clare, the Watchmen call and you are to answer! As the great clock ticks forward so do dark tidings. You and three other companions, newly recruited and wound, are to make great haste to the Egyptian Hall at 171 Piccadilly for the appointed time of 7:24 a.m. on August 13th. There, you shall seek the attentions of a Mr. Bernard Taylor Huffington, as well as the companions you are to journey with. Trust your companions with your life, and they will return the favour! Mr. Huffington is not to see this message and will not answer questions.

"Mr. Taylor will present you with a ticket to the maiden voyage of the great air-ship Emmanuel, which will journey from London to Constantinople. A carriage will be waiting to take you to the airfield. Be ware, for a great villain has planted a bomb on the airship! Your task is to locate and remove the bomb by your best means available, and otherwise ensure the safe flight of the Emmanuel. Any conspirators should be identified, and if possible apprehended. Upon arrival in Constantinople you will receive further orders. Beware the Darkness and heed the Gyre! This me-me-messaouurggge willl..."

KABLAM!

Lottie:

Ms. Lottie Wandsworth

The Watchmen call and you are to answer! As the great clock ticks forward so do dark tidings. You and three other companions, newly recruited and wound, are to make great haste to the Egyptian Hall at 171 Piccadilly for the appointed time of 7:24 a.m. on August 13th. There, you shall seek the attentions of a Mr. Bernard Taylor Huffington, as well as the companions you are to journey with. Trust your companions with your life, and they will return the favour! Mr. Huffington is not to see this message and will not answer questions.

Mr. Taylor will present you with appropriate garments and a ticket to the maiden voyage of the great air-ship Emmanuel, which will journey from London to Constantinople. A carriage will be waiting to take you to the airfield. The Emmanuel has been the victim of a cruel hoax, where an undetermined villain has attempted to ruin its first flight with the threat of a bomb. We have reason to believe the perpetrator will be aboard the Emmanuel and may plan other mischiefs. You are to ensure the flight goes well, and apprehend the perpetrator upon landing without involving the Ottoman authority. Further instructions will find you in Constantinople.

Beware the Darkness, and heed the Gyre!

Pembleton:

Sir Ian Pembleton

The Watchmen call and you are to answer! As the great clock ticks forward so do dark tidings. You and three other companions, newly recruited and wound, are to make great haste to the Egyptian Hall at 171 Piccadilly for the appointed time of 7:24 a.m. on August 13th. There, you shall seek the attentions of a Mr. Bernard Taylor Huffington, as well as the companions you are to journey with. Trust your companions with your life, and they will return the favour! Mr. Huffington is not to see this message and will not answer questions.

Mr. Taylor will present you with a ticket to the maiden voyage of the great air-ship Emmanuel, which will journey from London to Constantinople. A carriage will be waiting to take you to the airfield. The Emmanuel has been the victim of a cruel hoax, where an undetermined villain has attempted to ruin its first flight with the threat of a bomb. We have reason to believe the perpetrator will be aboard the Emmanuel and may plan other mischiefs. You are to ensure the flight goes well, and apprehend the perpetrator upon landing without involving the Ottoman authority. Further instructions will find you in Constantinople.

Beware the Darkness, and heed the Gyre!

August 13th is tomorrow. For your next post, please let me know how you get to Piccaddilly from your location. Don't sweat about looking up locations. If you want to travel, travel. If you want to be nearby, be nearby. Although intro posts are often long, you don't need to put as much effort into subsequent posts.

If you are curious about anything in your orders, you are free to make a common knowledge check on the Emmanuel and the Egyptian Hall. You may also make specialized knowledge checks if you have the relevant skills. A common knowledge check is your smarts attribute, and your d6 wild die rolled separately.


Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless

Pembleton was pleased to learn, when he made the call to his one-time administrators among the Corps, that they would send the carriage and that he may use it for the day. Sir Ian had thanked them politely, informed them a single trip to Piccadilly with a driver would be all that would be required and hung up after giving the time of it's arrival to be oh-seven-hundred hours. He was quite satisfied at the familiarity of the call, at how clear it was that they should detect no haughtiness on his part: he had been the shootist, and the shootist did not drive himself for he needed his hands free at all times. Coupled with the fact that he never abused his privileges of retired rank, they were happy to assist.

He had called the sappers for the ride instead of simply hailing one himself for two reasons. The first was because the military driver would as no questions: as an officer, he could board with a long, peculiar-looking package carefully wrapped in oilskin cloth and with a clockwork hound at his heel without a word being uttered. Military men knew their place, and that was good. In a public transport, carrying his tinkering pack would draw eyes, large as it was, and he would have to refuse the aid of people wanting to help a poor old man with his heavy luggage bag. A shooter's bag, they might note if they had served, and that may produce even more problems.

The second reason he had called for a military carriage was because it had never occurred to Pembleton that the Watchmen may not actually represent England's government. It likely never would, conveniently.

He was ready at six, seated in the quiet foyer of his tiny house on the end of the overturned pack with Palamedes sitting motionless beside his left heel. He noted himself in the hall mirror at one point, and where as others might see the strangeness of his gear against his crisp, clean suit and bowler, his mind had always gone another path, falling instead on checklists. Six-barrel revolver. Ammunition belt. Kukri. Range-finder eyepiece, bowler-mounted. Magnetic defense vest. Bessie.

The driver arrived at seven. He boarded silently, nodding only to his name from the driver. He drew the curtains and sat in the dark motionlessly, like a soldier does.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

The crumpled watch and Simon's voice bounce off the side of a nearby hansom cab, startling horse and driver alike.

Simon, growling and rubbing the palm of his hand with a thumb, barely registers the polite inquiry. "Eh?! What's that?"

Doffing his hat, and speaking in a slightly tremulous voice, the cabbie repeats: "May... May we b-be of service, m'lord?"

Leaning forward, using gravity to force him into motion, Simon lurches toward the cab: "Sure, why not?"

On the ride to his temporary rooms, Simon considers the message he's just received. He's not really certain why the Watchmen have assigned him a small squad for this undertaking - perhaps they need someone to train the new recruits. At any rate, finding a bomb should be relatively simple, and then he'll have a pleasant trip to enjoy.

"Thank you, boy. Now, I must be at the Egyptian Hall in Picadilly in the morning. Kindly return here to fetch me at about seven."

Simon is quite sure that he knows about the Egyptian Hall, and will roll his eyes expansively if the cabbie seems lost.
Smarts: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 5
I'm not sure if you wanted a separate roll for Emmanuel or not...

Of course, the morning finds Simon deeply asleep. Luckily for him, the cab driver anticipated this and arrived early. Ten minutes of pounding on the door, with only the wash basin and a stool thrown at it from the other side, before Simon wrenches the door open, rapier in hand: "WHAT!? Oh right. Give me a moment to properly dress, and we can be off."

Emerging shortly thereafter with suit, coat, and hat, Simon and driver head for the centre of London.


Female Human Face | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 5 | Toughness: 5 Edges: Connected | Hindrances: One Eye, Cautious

Lottie gave one last good tug on her bootlaces, tied them tight, and stood up to look at her reflection in the window. The pies were baking and Garvey was on-hand to finish up and distribute for her when the time came. The Irish lad was a quick study of baking, though he hadn’t her skill with both acquiring and remembering juicy morsels of information. She’d just have to hope, she supposed, that she wouldn’t be gone too long.

One more check through her old carpet bag to make certain she hadn’t forgotten anything for this most interesting and mysterious trip to the great city of Constantinople. The bag was very near to empty, which she told herself over and over was because she didn’t want to haul a heavy bag half way around the world. This was somewhat true. The rest of the story was that Lottie didn’t quite trust the idea of an air-ship and half expected to be turned away for being too heavy on her own.

At the bottom of the bag was the small box of dark wood that held her most precious clockwork bird. She removed it, checked the little bird was still there, and removed the note from its beak. The message was already committed to memory, so Lottie folded the paper and slipped it between the floorboards, where it would remain safe until she returned. If she returned. She pushed the feeling of foreboding to the back of her mind, tucked her little bird back in the little box, and ducked past Garvey, removing a dozen pies from the oven. She hated goodbyes.

Mentally plotting out the route to the Egyptian Hall, she figured it would take approximately an hour on foot. Trams weren’t running at this time of the morning and she hadn’t the extra coin to take a cab. But it looked like it would be a brilliant morning for a walk across Vauxhall Bridge, past the shadow of Westminster Cathedral, through St. James’ park, and up to Picadilly and the Egyptian Hall. It wasn’t every day that Lottie found herself north of the Thames and she decided all that was left was to savour every minute of the journey.


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

In the dark hours of the morning, Eileen gathered together her few personal belongings. The last of the take had entrusted to a few of the older children, leaving her only a few coins for herself. She secured her modest collection of lockpicks and other tools-of-the-trade in a small satchel that she'd lifted from a drunk on Oxford Street a few months back. Her knives she secreted away in her clothes, inconspicuous but available at a moment's notice.

Taking one last look around, she tucked her hair up under her threadbare cap and hopped down from her perch to the alley below. It would be a long walk to Piccadilly, and she couldn't even afford the diversion of picking up a little emergency spending money on the way. Eileen suspected that her benefactors might not approve of her showing up with a handful of stolen purses, and besides, the sparse street traffic this early made any kind of serious work an unnecessary risk.

Keeping her eyes down and trying to avoid making eye contact with the spectral figures with whom she shared the street, Eileen set off into the still-slumbering city.


.

Simon's General Knowledge: The Emmanuel: 1d4 ⇒ 41d6 ⇒ 5

Simon:

The Egyptian Hall is an exhibition hall opened around eighty years ago which was originally used to exhibit curios brought in from the Napoleonic wars and broader British Empire. Over the past decade it has become more focused on the arcane and weird, and is now a gathering place for some of the stranger societies and mystical organizations. An informal nickname for it is "England's Home of Mystery".

The Emmanuel is a new airship by the relatively famous savant Lemeul Parkes. It is a passenger craft rather than military, and apparently is there to show off a new technology which will keep insects out of the open-air deck.

Pembleton - roll your weird science skill. If you beat a 4, read the spoiler below. Anyone who beats a '4' on a smarts skill check can read the above spoiler.

Weird Science Success:

Lemeul Parkes has a bit of a reputation in the savant world for being one who 'failed upward' due to his personal wealth and connections with the government. The Emmanuel is his latest competent but unimpressive creation which has the useful if unspectacular technology of keeping bugs off of the deck and making the wind a little less bothersome. You know the Emmanuel is a luxury aircraft. Considering that an honest-to-God time traveler has had his memoirs recently published, the fact Parkes is famous at all is an open joke in the savant community.

===============
The Egyptian Hall
===============

The sun comes out early in London come August and you are in full daylight by the time you arrive at the front doors of the Egyptian Hall. The words MUSEUM clearly mark the ornate front of the building, which can be described as 'Egyptian influenced', complete with status of a Pharaoh and a mummy over the columned entrance.

You all arrive with shocking convenience at around the same time, with Eileen remaining almost invisible by the columns trying to stay awake. Lottie arriving at the south while Simon and Pembleton arrive in their respective cabs.

The Egyptian Hall is decidedly closed, and those of you with watches will see the time as 7:02 - you have a little bit of time before the doors open. Although the streets are busy with cabs, it's clear at least three of you are probably here for the same reason as you approach the front doors.

You all see each other - take a moment to describe yourself and say hi. Eileen is probably only going to stand out to someone who pays attention to street children.

I only tend to do a single post over weekends if that. So Monday at the latest, but if you all post early I'll get on it.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

You notice a very large, very tall gentleman step nimbly down from a generic hansom cab. He wears a smart, dark grey suit and top hat; an overcoat is slung over one arm. As he reaches back into the cab to fetch a sheathed rapier, you notice a pistol at his hip.

As Lottie walks past, a look of annoyance crosses his raw, freshly-shaven face (a quick stop at the barber was a necessary part of the routine), but this quickly passes as he spots the gentlemanly figure of Pembleton. Lifting the brim of hat politely, Simon heads straight for the man, his hand outstretched: "Good morning! de Clare, Simon. Good to see you. Seems we have arrived a bit early - not like our slugabed companions, what? Any idea who else has been conscripted for this caper?"

Taking a hefty snort of snuff, Simon offers the box to Pembleton as he glances up and down the street for the rest of their group. He does not see anyone who could possibly be a part of this mission.


Female Human Face | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 5 | Toughness: 5 Edges: Connected | Hindrances: One Eye, Cautious

Lottie, an older woman who would not look out of place as a nanny attending to children in a nursery, makes her way up the street towards the Egyptian Hall. Her dress is faded and old, but well-maintained, in a style that was popular twenty years ago. Crow’s feet branch out from the corners of her eyes like the great roots of an oak tree. On her head, completely covering her hair, an old bonnet. In her left hand, a rough and faded carpet bag. At one time, both she and the rug the bag was made from had been a great beauty, even if it is hard to tell now.

Frowning slightly, Lottie spots two men immediately. Toffs. Her heart sinks a little as she realises this isn’t going to be some sort of amazing adventure that Jules Verne might write about someday, but a chore. No doubt these two already expected her to play nursemaid, housemaid, kitchenmaid, and God alone knew what other kinds of maids they couldn’t live without.

On the other hand, maybe these two are here for something else. Lottie holds her breath as one starts talking to the other. They don’t even notice her. Maybe there’s still a chance for her Jules Verne adventure.

And then something catches her eye. Lottie notices a figure by one of the columns. She doesn’t look away, knowing that she’s already been spotted, and moves in a slow, deliberate, hopefully non-threatening fashion, towards the column. The figure looks similar to the children of her neighbourhood, even though she can’t quite see them properly.

“Are you hungry, child?” she asks gently, leaving plenty of room in case the waif feels the need to flee.


Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless
Quote:
Pembleton - roll your weird science skill. If you beat a 4, read the spoiler below. Anyone who beats a '4' on a smarts skill check can read the above spoiler.

Weird Science: 1d10 ⇒ 9

Wild Die: 1d6 ⇒ 5

Quote:
Lifting the brim of hat politely, Simon heads straight for the man, his hand outstretched: "Good morning! de Clare, Simon. Good to see you. Seems we have arrived a bit early - not like our slugabed companions, what? Any idea who else has been conscripted for this caper?"

The man in the bowler and crisp, conservative suit is likely seventy, somewhat portly around the middle, and altogether uninspiring past his gentlemanly appearance. He looks, to all accounts, almost to the age that one would call doddering without being cheeky. He steps from his carriage carrying a large, long package and a massive pack with ease, though, and returns the handshake vigorously. "An honour, sir! An honour indeed. Sir Ian Pembleton. Major, retired, Her Majesty's Corps of Engineers." He smiles broadly, genuinely pleased to have met someone new, and looks the man up and down, noting the sword. "Pembleton to my friends and comrades, Mr. de Clare - a state in which I gather we find ourselves." He holds up a polite hand to refuse the snuff.

His eyes look about, settling on the women nearby. "Perhaps these two fine ladies are set to join our company, eh? Let us inquire." He picks up his packages and begins to totter in their direction.


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

Up close, the girl lurking behind the columns is clearly somewhat older than she appears from a distance. The lines and angles of her face, sharpened by malnutrition, make her look more like 16 than the younger age indicated by her small frame. Her clothes are shabby and tattered but a bit cleaner than one might expect, and her face is almost free of soot and grime. A few stray strands of bright, copper-red hair have slipped from beneath her cap. Her eyes have a haunted quality, and as she watches the others, her gaze seems oddly fixed, like that of someone studiously trying to ignore the bee buzzing around her head.

At Lottie's approach, she rises from her leaning position against one of the columns, her frame tensing. She looks the older woman up and down, openly assessing her before finally relaxing a bit. After a few moments of consideration, she responds to the woman's question with a small shake of her head. Her mouth partially opens and she seems like she's about to speak when her gaze darts past Lottie to the two men.

As the older man begins to move in her direction, she straightens deliberately and self-consciously brushes traces of dirt off of the front of her trousers. She looks to Lottie again, raising her eyebrows questioningly before shooting a meaningful glance at the two men and looking back to Lottie as if she's asking some sort of question.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

oh right, I figure Simon's around 25 - still young, but probably old enough to know better

Spinning quickly about as the older gentleman begins to walk off, Simon raises his eyebrows skeptically: "That seems Rather unlikely."

Then, his eyebrows shooting up even higher, Simon hurries to catch up: "Hang on - did you say Major Pembleton!!"


.

You all congregate around the front of the Egyptian Hall, and it becomes apparent before any of you have really exchanged a word that you four are indeed the companions listed in your respective notes, such as you are. As you are about to start introducing yourselves to each other, the doors open.

A clockwork man, sharply outfitted in a charcoal morning coat, top hat, and red silk puff tie stands before you. His head tilts unnaturally to the side as an indicator of curiosity before he steps to the side, and his arm pivots to gesture within.

"Welcome to the Egyptian Hall. We are alone here. It is good you are on time for our meeting. My name is Mr. Bernard Taylor Huffington. Please follow closely."

He steps to the side, waiting for you to enter. Within is the main exhibition hall, which is arrayed like a lecture hall with a podium and rows of seats. Carvings and columns which have a pseudo-Egyptian style to them decorate the place. Around on the walls are artefacts from all over the world.

Eileen:

As the door opens you hear a cacaphony of sound. Peering in, strange forms twist and reach out from many of the items along the walls. Although you have seen your share of spirits, the ones here seem angry and trapped, crying out in strange tongues you do not understand. It is difficult to hear much. The others do not notice a thing.


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

As the door opens, Eileen takes a half step backwards. Her eyes go wide and she freezes in place, looking past the clockwork man into the exhibition hall. She seems caught there for a moment, and her head turns slightly to see what the others do.


Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless
Quote:
Then, his eyebrows shooting up even higher, Simon hurries to catch up: "Hang on - did you say Major Pembleton!!"

"Retired," the old man agrees. "Mustered out, my boy." He claps Simon on his shoulder in a friendly matter. "Just 'Pembleton' now." He turns to the ladies, doffing his hat. "Good morning, ladies! I take it we are all --"

Interrupted by the clockwork man, in which he takes considerably more interest than the museum, Pembleton holds the door for the women and de Clare, entering last. He notes Eileen's frozen expression, but if he thinks of it at all, he chalks it up to nerves.


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Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

Spluttering, Simon unconsciously mimics Pembleton, pulling his hat to his chest before the two women. Simon is awestruck - here is his hero made flesh (...but he's so old!) - and mutely follows the tin man inside. The static in his brain giving way to fantasies of challenging the old sniper to a shooting contest.

Once inside, Simon is able to shake to cobwebs from his thoughts, and settle back into the comfort of near-obnoxiousness: "I say there, Huffington, what's this all about? I thought we were going to be solving a grand mystery, not minding a street urchin and her mother. The Major and I will just leave these two in your care before we head off to the airship, shall we?"


Female Human Face | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 5 | Toughness: 5 Edges: Connected | Hindrances: One Eye, Cautious

“Minding us?” Lottie huffs at the men, fixing them an irritated glare. “Look at you! You ain’t never minded anything a day in your life but shiny buttons and empty bottles! I’ve fed your bellies, nursed your babies, catered to your darling wives’ every ridiculous whim! I’ve put up with your barbarism, your crass jokes, and your disgusting, groping hands! The only thing you need to be minding here is your manners, you lout!”

Lottie stands up straight, adjusts the bonnet’s bow at her chin, and promptly turns her back on them. She gives Eileen a tender smile and holds out her hand to the girl.

“It’s okay, my little dove,” she whispers gently. “I’ll keep my eye on these two. You’ve nothing to be frightened of here. Oh, and I do have a lovely eel pie or two in my bag, baked fresh this morning, if you do decide you’re hungry.” She pats the side of her faded carpet bag with obvious pride.


.

Bernard repeats his instruction as Simon and Pembleton enter while Lottie tells them off and Eileen remains frozen in place. "Please enter. You will be safe. It is 7:11 and we must begin our conversation immediately. All of you are here for a reason."

I'll let you roleplay this out for another day before pushing to the next scene.


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

Eileen hesitates for several moments, her gaze flicking from the hall to the open door and back. At Lottie's words, she snaps her attention back to the older woman. Her incredulous gaze shifts from person to person before returning to Lottie. For the first time this morning, she speaks. ”It's not-”. She cuts herself off, letting the rest out as a frustrated hiss through her teeth.

Finally, she visibly steels herself, gives a weak, forced smile to Lottie, and rushes forward as if she's afraid she might change her mind at any moment. She briskly walks past the open door with her head lowered and her gaze directed at the ground in front of her. Even once inside, she keeps her eyes fixed on the floor.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

Simon harrumphs at Lottie's impertinence (though his empty stomach rumbles at the thought of eel pie, having skipped brekkie in favour of a shave).

He waggles his eyebrows expressively at Pembleton about Eileen's skittishness, but he makes no further comment.

Instead, he glances quickly about the hall, before his eyes drop back to Bernard. Crossing his arms, he says resignedly: "If you say so. What have you got for us, then?"


.

Eileen:

As you move into the room the spirits continue howling and twisting. From a sarcophagus set vertically up against a wall, spectral, bandaged arms reach out towards you. A strange mask from the dark continent chants at you rapidly in a strange language of pops and clicks. The sounds are a little less 'real' and as such are a little easier to tune out than human speech. So you can focus on the conversation in front of you, if only just.

Bernard nods politely. "I thought you would never ask, Sir." He pivots at the waist a full hundred eighty degrees, his feet never moving before leaning down to produce two bags. He hands the bags to Eileen and Lottie before handing every one a ticket.

"The Watchmen have entrusted you all with an important mission. All of you are on your first mission, and all of you are here for a reason. I do not know your orders, it is better that way. I do know you have tickets on the Emmanuel, which leaves for Constantinople at two-thirty. A carriage has been arranged to talk all of you there. This is a luxury airship and you are distinguished travelers. Sir Pembleton, and Mister de Clare, it is assumed your attire shall be appropriate. Miss Gallagher, and Ms. Wandsworth, it is assume your attire is not appropriate. Clothing has been provided. You must fit in."

He gestures to all of you. "It is my duty to answer questions such as I can, and to facilitate your first meeting. Please, introduce yourselves to each other, and if you have questions, ask me."


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

Eileen keeps her eyes cast downward, appearing to only barely hear Bernard's explanation. Her shoulders are hunched protectively, and she occasionally flinches or starts for no obvious reason. She mutely accepts the ticket and the bag, but she makes no effort whatsoever to look within.

Closing her eyes, she takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. She opens her eyes again, forcing herself to lift her gaze from the floor, though it still falls well short of eye contact. Her eyes dart suddenly to the left as if startled, and she swallows hard. Her face is pale, paler than it was even a few minutes ago, and her jaw is rigid as if her teeth are tightly clenched. Already spent by this effort of will, she gives no sign of speaking up first.


Female Human Face | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 5 | Toughness: 5 Edges: Connected | Hindrances: One Eye, Cautious

Lottie shoots an angry glare at Bernard.

Missus Wandsworth,” she corrects him, taking the bag. It appears that something comes over her as she turns to the gentlemen and offers a most charming smile. She seems to stand a bit straighter now. Were it not for her dress, she could almost be mistaken for someone of higher standing.

Lottie is not unfamiliar with the rules surrounding Society. She knows that a proper lady does not introduce herself to someone of a higher rank, that they must give their permission first.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

"Questions?! I suppose any questions will be met with "I don't knows" and "it was meant to be so." I think we'll manage quite well enough without such nonsense. Anyway, it sounds like a simple job - find a bomb; stop those responsible. I can't imagine the sort who would blow up a lot of jolly vacationers will be able to hide for long among our *ahem* that is, the sort of people who could afford this flight."

Turning instead to Lottie and Eileen, Simon tips his hat briefly, politely: "It seems we are stuck with one another. I am Simon de Clare - pleased to make your acquaintance."


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

Eileen cautiously turns her head enough to look mostly in Simon's direction. She grips her bag with slightly trembling fingers and squares her shoulders. Lifting her chin just enough that it doesn't materially change her sight line, she replies, “Eileen,” with just a hint of challenge in her voice.

"Gallagher," she awkwardly adds after a couple of heartbeats. She reaches up with her free hand and tugs her cap down a bit further.


Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless

Pembleton unconsciously shuffles a step away from de Clare, removing his hat again.

"Missus Wandsworth, Miss Gallagher," he half-stammers, huffing as if out of sorts. "I- I am Pembleton. If I have in any way offended," he adds as he looks over to Lottie specifically with a genuine gaze of social horror, "please accept my humblest apologies, won't you? As a gentleman, I would never assume to... that is to say..."

He stammers on a few seconds longer, clueless at what he's apologizing for, and drops his gaze to the floor. His inability to understand any complexity to social situations has not served him well over the years, but it is familiar: knowing what someone is on about at any given time, combined with his his great determination to hold the ideals of the English gentleman closely, has usually left him with the assumption that he has done something wrong.

"Err... hmm. Well. I do apologize." He places his bowler back on his head, looking for almost anything to draw his attention, and settles on the metal companion at his heels. Gesturing at the clockwork dog, he hurriedly introduces him. "Palamedes," he offers. "My trusty hound. Quite friendly to friends, I assure you, of which -" he steps back to include Simon with the ladies - "- of which I do hope we shall all fast become."

He seizes the distraction to look to Simon before turning to the clockwork man.

"You'll forgive an old fool as well, Mister de Clare, as I do have questions." He eyes Bernard. "The missive called you both Mister Taylor and Mister Huffington, separate from one another, as well as Mister Taylor-Huffington. I am sure that it is nothing, but I did find it odd that transmission so cleverly covert would make that distinction. Also, it stated that quite succinctly that you would not answer any questions... and yet, here you ask for them." He checks his pocket watch. "Ah. Yes. And it is not yet oh-seven-twenty-four hours... the precise time of our appointed meeting."

He smiles a grandfatherly face at the machine, thinking about his revolver somewhere in the back of his mind.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

Simon's slightly smile freezes to his face, and his eyes momentarily go flat Sweet Heaven, what have they saddled me with? A mad pie-seller; a broken soldier, gone to seed some twenty years ago; and a child afraid of their own shadow, likely feeble-minded. Clearly, the fate of this mission falls on my shoulders alone. Perhaps this is how the Watchmen initiate into their order? Hah, of course! I'll prove myself on this first mission and move swiftly up the ranks.

His smile finally reaching his eyes, Simon straightens and listening to the others introduce themselves while impatiently waiting for the coach.


Female Human Face | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 5 | Toughness: 5 Edges: Connected | Hindrances: One Eye, Cautious

Listening to the three make their introductions, Lottie relaxes a little. She already feels protective of Eileen, who is the closest to her in the strict social hierarchy. The bond of poverty is stronger than blood, in the eyes of the pie-maker from south of the Thames. Pembleton seems like a lovely, doddering grandfather – though even the elderly and diminished can pose a threat when money is involved. She’s unsure of what to make of the other, Monsieur de Clare, though she hopes that the first impression she’s left him with is one that she’s not to be trifled with. Regardless, she feels open to making friends with them even if she doesn’t entirely trust two of them.

Lottie offers a perfunctory curtsey to the gentlemen as she grips the bag of clothing with anxious fingers.

“Mrs. Charlotte Wandsworth,” she says, smiling at them as though they were all her children. “But you may call me Lottie when circumstance allows. Now, if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I need to change.” She holds up the bag for evidence. “I will endeavor to keep from embarrassing Their Lordships while we are about the city.”

Then she turns to Eileen and smiles affectionately.

“Come, my little dove. Let me get you fixed up for our great adventure.”


.

The clockwork man blinks at Pembleton's questions and he simply bows his head. "I have received my orders, which are to facilitate your introductions as a group, provide tickets and supplies, and to answer questions within certain narrowly set parameters - for everyone's own safety. I do not know what your purpose on the Emmanuel is, aside from what has been said. My name is Mr. Bernard Taylor Huffington, this is the name I have been given and programmed with. I apologize I cannot be of more assistance. It is customary for our order to be... opaque. For security reasons, I assure you. Our enemies are everywhere."

He looks to the rest of you as Lottie gets ready to get dressed with Eileen. "Is there another way I may be of assistance?"

Eileen:

As the kindly older woman tries to lead you off to get changed, you notice one spectral voice is calling out more keenly than the others, in strongly accented English. "I must go to Constantinople, please, I beg of you. I must! I am trapped here. Please let me see my husband again."

It appears to be a ring on a pedestal. Hovering over the ring is a ghostly woman in a blue dress that looks to have been folded over itself several times.


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

Right as she's preparing to leave, Eileen freezes in place and goes totally still. She slowly lifts her head and, uncharacteristically for her behavior so far, her gaze sweeps over the room until coming to rest on a fixed point. She stares for several long moments as conflicting emotions war across her face. Finally, she gives Lottie an apologetic look, holds up her free hand in a “wait” gesture, and turns to face Bernard.

Striding purposefully over to the clockwork man, she looks up directly at him. ”I've got a few questions,” she says. She holds up her free hand, raising one finger for each question.

”One, what'd they tell ya about me? Anything? And two, what can ya tell me about -that-?”

She points at a small pedestal containing a single ring. ”Any story behind that?”

Rather than watching Bernard for a reaction, her gaze lingers on an area near the ring – not on the ring itself, but somewhere in the space above it.

GM:
I figure that Eileen's recruiter would be aware of her Sight, as that played a key role in the incident which brought her to their attention. Of course, whether or not they told Bernard is a different story.


.

Bernard sketches a little bow to Eileen, his movements in a kind of exaggerated pantomime of the manners of a gentleman. "Scarce little, I am afraid, Miss Gallagher. The order is very choosy with what information it gives each agent. I was given your measurements and rough description, with orders to find you clothing and purchase you a ticket for the Emmanuel. I was also told that you ah... are perceptive in ways others are not. I took that to mean you have extremely keen eyesight, but they are ever so vague."

He looks over to the ring. "A peculiar object to attract your attention, if I do say so myself. Most people are curious about the Sarcophagi. This is Byzantine rather than Egyptian from the..." There is some whirring as some kind of calculation is preformed. "The ninth century? Unremarkable piece if I say so. It is a traditional marriage ring, descended from the Roman style. I believe it has been stolen on a couple of occasions but seems to find its way back here. Probably people just seeing an easy to grab hunk of gold."

Eileen:

The lone spirit from the ring seems to be tracking your conversation with Bernard and starts calling out. "Nobody cares abut me here, please return me to my home!"


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

Eileen purses her lips, looking from the ring to Bernard.

”So are we to trust each other, then, the four of us? Or is that to be all hush-hush too?” She sweeps her hand over the room vaguely, looking at each of the others in turn.

”And that,” she continues, looking back at the ring. ”No stories? No curses or suchlike? Just a bauble of mild historical interest? You said it 'finds its way back'?”

She keeps her voice calm and casual, but there's a subtle underlying edge to it. Her entire body still has a visible, almost vibrating tension to it, but the set of her jaw and directness of her gaze speaks to a previously-unseen confidence and purpose.


Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless

"Well, I certainly trust you all," Pembleton replies warmly, looking to Eileen and oblivious to her heightened tension. He has already forgotten the clockwork man entirely, his pointed questions having left his head. "The missive said that we must. And why not, my dear? Good people, come together to do good, eh? Mmm. Indeed." His round head bobs a little with English pride as he turns to the group.

"I have found as a soldier, in which I have been almost exclusively, that one must trust entirely in one's platoon - and present oneself as trustworthy in turn. I for one shall not let you down in this capacity."

Though nearing the status of corny, Pembleton clearly means it. One can almost see the Union Jack waving in his soft blue eyes as he looks off, his long, bound package now subconsciously moved over his aged shoulder.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

Clearly embarrassed and discomfited by Pembleton's soft-heartedness, Simon clears his throat several times: "*ahem* yes, well, *harrum* be that as it may *cough* er... what's your interest in this ring, child?"


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Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

At Simon's question, Eileen looks away from the ring. She hesitates, peering at each member of the group in turn. She glances sidelong at the clockwork man, seems to consider for a moment, and lets out a long, weary sigh, briefly adopting the manner of a schoolmaster having to explain something for the hundredth time to children he knows won't listen anyway.

”Because this whole place is haunted to Hell an' back,” she states bluntly. As if anticipating objections or ridicule, she bulls ahead without stopping. ”Half the bric-a-brac in here has something clinging to it, an' most of them don't seem too happy about it.” She jerks her chin in the direction of a wooden, tribal-looking mask in an alcove on the wall behind Simon.

“That ring, though-” Here she points, once again, at the ring on the pedestal. ”That one is begging to be taken to Constantinople with us. Says she needs to be with her husband again. Only, thing is – dead people lie.” These last three words are pronounced with deliberate, unmistakable emphasis.

She shoots a meaningful glance at the air above the ring, then looks again at each member of the group. As she speaks, she begins to gesticulate, emphasizing each point with a sharp swipe of her hand.

”Sometimes they might not even know they're lying. Sometimes they might not be able to 'know' anything – like little wind-up toys just going through the motions over an' over again. An' sometimes, they're not people at all, or at least not anymore - just things that want you to think they are.”

”So what I wanna know is,” she concludes, spacing her words out in a manner that suggests deliberate patience, ”is this really just some bauble with a poor unfortunate clinging to it in need of release, or is it really some cursed antique of the great an' terrible blah blah blah that the high an' mighty-” She waves a hand vaguely towards the ceiling. ”-left here for safekeeping?”

Her spiel concluded, Eileen relaxes a bit, her eyes defiantly taking in each member of the group as if daring someone to laugh. Self-consciously adjusting her cap, she shoots a meaningful look at Bernard and then turns her attention once more to the space above the ring.


Female Human Face | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 5 | Toughness: 5 Edges: Connected | Hindrances: One Eye, Cautious

"Um, yes," Lottie says, shifting uncomfortably. "come, come, my little dove. We should, um, go change into our travelling clothes?" She holds up the bag. Then, without waiting, she disappears through an open door, quietly excited about playing dress-up for the first time since she was a child.


.

Bernard's eyes are incapable of widening, but the implication is clear. "Miss Gallagher I can assure you I know nothing of any haunting, such things are well outside of my ken. I am the caretaker of this establishment and a proud Watchman, but I do not own the Egyptian Hall, nor do I have the authority to let you take objects from it. The ring has never spoken to me, and if a ring did, I would likely disregard its advice. As for turning back up, every time it has been stolen, it has been returned anonymously. It is strange but never something I focused on much."

He looks at the ring and frowns. You can hear his brain whirring. "However, it was impressed upon me that your mission was important and that you in particular may have strange needs..."

Eileen:

"I've been listening to that metal fool drone on for decades now! Just grab me when he's not looking! I cannot leave this earth until I am reunited with my husband. We were cruelly torn apart and his body lies in the great city, restless."

You can try to convince Bernard to let you take the ring with a persuasion check. Either convince someone with the skill to barter with him, or it's a spirit + wild die roll.


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

Simon's eyes narrow to slits as his gaze flicks all about the room, and he tries to surreptitiously glance at the alcove behind him. Unconsciously, his hand edge toward the hilts of his weapons. "I think you ought to let the girl do as she wishes, Huffington. And where is that cursed coach? Shouldn't like to miss that airship..."


Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless

Pembleton scratches his neck as Eileen speaks, silently feeling sorrowful for her obvious mental illness. Although he has found himself awkward during this group encounter, which is normal, he has the sense to keep his gob shut: logically, the girl certainly possesses some fantastic abilities that will be of great use.

"What of you, Mister de Clare?" he asks suddenly. "What skills do you bring to our cadre? I see you have a fine pistol. Are you a shootist? Past my prime myself - more of a tinkerer these past couple of decades - but I should enjoy comparing notes." He pats his long, wrapped package. "Bessie here is a first draft at something new. Should it come to it, perhaps you'd like to test pilot her for me? I'm likely more use with target acquisition and range estimation."

His eyes twinkle again in a friendly manner, genuinely interested in his newfound companions.


Female Human Urchin | Wound: 0/3 | Parry: 7 | Toughness: 4

Eileen watches Lottie depart with a long-suffering sigh and opens her mouth to address Bernard before noting Simon's reaction. A look of surprise briefly flickers across her face.

”Maybe you can talk some sense into him,” she says to Simon, inclining her head towards Bernard. “No reason to expect anyone'll listen to the loony street girl.” She glances at Pembleton and Bernard and turns in the direction Lottie went, rolling her eyes in annoyance. As she heads off, she makes a point of passing by the pedestal containing the ring and pauses just for a moment.

Her voice barely above a murmur, she addresses the space above the ring without looking at it directly. ”Who are you? I mean -really-. An' don't think of lying to me unless you want this ring to end up at the bottom of the river.”


Male Human Seasoned Aristocrat | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 8 | Toughness 8 | Rapier d10-2, d6+d4 | Shoot d10, 2d6+1 | Bennies: 2 | Edges: Two-Fisted, Quick Draw, Killer Instinct | Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn

Simon licks his lips nervously as the girl leaves the room, unsure if he's unsettled more by the child herself or the things she says she can see. "See here, Huffington, if I were you, I'd maybe just turn a blind eye while the child does what she has to do. I want no truck with spirits, but I suspect it's better to appease them than to aggravate them."
Persuasion: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 4

Pembleton wrote:
"What of you, Mister de Clare?"

Annoyed at this interruption (Read the room, man!), Simon frowns slightly (though secretly delighted to talk about himself): "Gun, sword, rich, handsome - I'm the whole package!"


.

Fun fact, Simon you just rolled an ace! If you roll the maximum number on a die, you can then roll that die AGAIN and if that rolls max, keep adding to it.

Persuasion Explodes: 1d6 ⇒ 5

With a total of eleven, you get a raise. A raise means your check is extra successful. If you had hit a 12, you'd get 2 raises. A raise means you exceed the target by multiples of 4.

While Lottie goes off to dress, Simon impresses his own towering will onto the somewhat nervous automaton. Bernard wrings his hands. "Fine! Fine. Take the ring. Frankly, I've noticed odd things about this place but I daren't speak them. If the child says we are haunted then I will believe her, the Watchmen don't just bring in random urchins. I will have faith. I MUST have faith. Ah, one moment."

He makes his way into a back room and returns quickly with a silver necklace that has an old coin on it. He offers both the chain, and points to Eileen.

"Take the ring, child. And take this chain, for yourself. You may need it. I have it on good authority this is effective against hostile supernatural forces."

Eileen:

"I am Victorina Caerulariak. My husband was killed in the great riots for daring to support the Green over the hated Blues. Those madmen burned half the city down! I thought I had lost him and swore an oath to find him in the chaos and did... things to try and locate him. When the factions united to attack the emperor, I joined them, thinking I could locate him but I was cut down in the Hippodrome.

"I awoke, tied to my wedding band, unable to travel, bound but what I imagine was my oath. Every year brought me farther from my husband, and farther from Constantinople. I've been a curiosity of the idiotic gentry on this godforsaken island for centuries now, and have mostly slept. But here, I awoke. And you will be the one to help me!"


.

And to specify, chain was offered to Eileen since she's got the spooky ring.


Male Human Savant | Wounds: 0/3 | Parry 2 | Toughness 5 | Shoot 8, 2d6 / Magnetic Vest (-2 to be hit) | Edges: Weird Science, Gadgeteer, Clockwork Friend, Mr. Fix-It | Hindrances: Curious, Doubting Thomas, Clueless
Quote:
"Gun, sword, rich, handsome - I'm the whole package!"

Pembleton blinks back, nodding slowly, and only once. Ah... he's a braggart. A shame, that. How very dreadful.

His attention, though, turns to Bernard as he talks about the impossible.

"'Supernatural forces', indeed," Pembleton mutters to himself, looking at his feet now. "Poppycock."

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