Through the Breach

Boredom, then Excitement

I had a feeling I’d be requiring more ammo in this mad house. I gave the group a brief explanation and rushed off to rearm myself.
It was an uneventful trip back to the Homesteader’s turf, with the gang giving me free access. They may be violent and resentful of intruders, but when they say they allow access, they keep to their word.
Although I arrived back the same day the group had moved on. In the dimming light of the day I spied lights on the second floor of Building 8. I had a hunch the group was there.
There were no breadcrumbs, notes or other indications of where the group had gone or how they had accessed the second floor, though I had searched the first floor fully.
Finally, I noted a disturbance in the dirt of this hellscape.
Following it, I found a stairwell leading up. However it was blocked and appeared to be some sort of trap or alarm.
I proceeded carefully, but sprung the alarm.
Broken desks and chairs spilled down the stair well narrowly missing me. Well! They knew I was coming now.
I ran to the top of the stairs. A peculiar fellow was guarding a security door. What’s the password? he asked.
I tried to size up the situation. He was clearly nuts. I would try to use irrational thought on him. “I don’t know, what’s the password?” I asked.
This train of thought disturbed him, but he gave me the password: “I’m going to tell the boss!”
“Thanks,” I said, “I’m going to tell the boss!”
Maybe there was an vocal inflection involved because now he became very agitated. He showed me a key. I showed him a similar key that I had.
He swallowed his key and I pretended to swallow my key.
Then he ran down the corridor making a mighty racket, waking the inmates of this insylum.
His disappearance gave me the opportunity to open the door. Stepping inside I was confronted by about 50 nut jobs.
I figured my best recourse was to act nuts myself.
I threatened to blow my own head off, acting like a third person: “Step Back! Step Back or the blackie gets it!”
Well, there is either a lot more intelligence among white inmates than the general white population or something. They clearly didn’t fall for that old trick.
They surged forward and I thought I was done for.
Then this fella appears and everyone begins to calm the heck down. Good man!
I had enough excitement for that day, and settled in for the night, falling asleep by reading an inventory of the nut house inventory.
The next day the group decided to return to the Homesteader’s home to retrieve the living statue. Again, a transit of the gang territory, and again nothing to report.
The living statue was very excited by the thought of meeting her maker. I wish I could say the same about my maker— or her maker.
The gang was very nervous about this construct marching through their territory. But they let us pass.
Reaching the grounds of the former asylum again, we were headed for where we thought Albius was laired when we were attacked by a form of undead.
I was ashamed to admit that they scared me witless. But that was better than the rest of the group. I killed the first of the undead that was attacking me, ignored the siren calls of several of the undead to rescue the scholar.
While all this was happening the other blacksmith fought a close battle with a ghoul that was attacking him.
The homesteader was also in battle with a giant of a brute. The brute got the better of the homesteader and with the unconscious body loped off, away from the battle.
Our demons were getting under control, but how could I stop the homesteader from being lost forever? I ran as fast as I could, ignoring the siren calls and the pleas of the scholar for additional help, but to no avail. I would quickly be outpaced.
I grabbed my gun and fired several rounds. Perhaps I could slow the brute down.
Fortunately I missed the homestead. And my rounds seemed to have no consequence to the giant.
What to do? I looked back at my fellows. They were in hard combat. But on the other hand I might lose the homesteader. Reluctantly, realizing I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the strides of the giant, I turned and dispatched what remained of the undead among my friends.
During all this Eloise had stood still. I didn’t know what to make of this. Her help would have been greatly appreciated in this crisis. The other blacksmith appeared shaken by the fight. He would have a hard time keeping up with us, but at least he was alive.
If he could get Eloise to walk he would catch us in just a few minutes.
The scholar had also been hurt. This was on top of the wounds of yesterday. Yet he proclaimed himself ready.
We rushed after the brute, the homesteader draped over his (her?) shoulder like a coil of rope or a fishing net. There were a few signs of life, but each was met by such violence that the homesteader lapsed back into that dark dreamless sleep, the result of violence.
We tried to keep up with the brute, but it was beyond hope.
In the end we fell exhausted to the ground, thinking we had, perhaps, seen which of these accursed buildings the monster had lumbered into.

Kermit's Journal: Return to Wyncrest Asylum with Eloise, Brawl with Corpses, and Kidnapping of the Homesteader

We awoke to cries of “Intruder!” and a commotion in the second-floor hallway of Wyncrest Asylum‘s Main Building, #56. We tumbled out and saw the gentleman holding a gun to his own head. A crowd of 50 aggressive inmates approached him, and another 50 huddled, frightened, at the other end of the hallway. The homesteader said, "He’s with us." Then he realized the inmates didn’t know who we were. " Hagir knows us!" he added. Someone went to get Hagir, and he came out, saying, “You’ve caused a disturbance in my ward.” The homesteader explained, “He’s with us. We didn’t think he would be back from town this fast.” Hagir called off the inmates, and we returned to sleep.

When daylight broke, we were awakened by the sound of about 50 patients crowing like roosters. I was not pleased to be awakened so early in such a manner, but I was glad to see that my bruises from the previous day’s brawls were healed.

Hagir checked on us and had Tiffany lead us to the ground floor. She took us to the stairwell opposite the one we and the gentleman came up, threw a rope down, and shimmied down it. We followed, and she let us out through the side door.

Our return passage was uneventful. We saw the snow beasts in the distance, but they did not approach our group. We negotiated our way through the gang’s territory and arrived at the homesteader’s library by mid-morning.

Eloise stood among some other statues. She was reading a book but stood perfectly still. She raised one eye slowly until she saw us and then exclaimed, “Oh, it’s you!” The homesteader told her he thought we’d found a way to find her creator, Albus Grand, but that she would need to come with us.

Eloise agreed to travel to the asylum, and we started back. As we approached the gang’s territory, they rushed up to Eloise with their guns drawn. “Just passin’ through. She’s with us,” the homesteader said. They gave us a wide berth but kept their guns on Eloise.

When we reached the asylum grounds, the snow creatures approached. Eloise and the snow creatures were mutually fascinated with one another. Evidently constructs greet one another rather like dogs do. Once they were satisfied with their introductions, the snow creatures walked alongside us.

We had decided to visit building #8, where the records indicated Albus Grand had been reassigned. Before we reached a certain Y-shaped joint in the paths, the snow creatures stopped walking with us, and Eloise cocked her head and said, “The death.” When asked what death, she said in the direction we were headed.

Just then, something grabbed at my legs. I looked down and saw a pair of arms sprouting up from the earth! The powerful arms pulled me to the ground, and a living corpse started crawling on top of me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw similar creatures attacking my fellows, as well as female corpses dressed as ladies of the night. We fought back with our knives and pistols. The homesteader had been attacked by a particularly large brute, and this giant knocked him out, picked him up, and carried him off, moving exceedingly swiftly on his long legs. Though I knew I could not keep up, I gave chase and was able to spy him taking the homesteader into a building.

[I end with 7 fate coins.]

Kermit's Journal: Wyncrest Main Building

At long last we fought off the beasts, mole men, constructs, and apparitions. The gentleman headed back toward town for more ammunition. The bounty hunter was missing after the melee. The soldier wanted to scout the area. Only the homesteader and I were determined to retrieve the blacksmith with all due haste.

We had seen the beasts drag him into the main building, building #56. As soon as they were out of sight, we could no longer hear them, either. The homesteader and I approached the building warily.

Above the door was inscribed “The ailments of the mind shall be overcome.” We entered. There was a room off to the side and tracks going straight ahead. The homesteader suggested we check the room off to the side so nothing could sneak up behind us. The room was in shambles but had once been the security checkpoint. I entered, searched the rubble, and found a security manual with a map of the building.

The map showed stairs across from the security station, but the wall seemed solid to me. We decided the maps must be out-of-date.

I summoned a globe of light to guide our way through the dark asylum, and we followed the tracks through. They seemed to go straight through to the back door, or whatever the map’s room #11 might be. We went through into #11 and found ourselves on an outdoor patio. The blacksmith was curled up asleep on a small patio table, which was surrounded by chairs. The patio overlooked the road thanks to a dangerously steep manmade cliff face, which did not make sense for a mental-health facility.

I saw the homesteader pull out his knife and stopped him before he pricked the blacksmith. I noticed a pitcher of cold water nearby and threw that on the blacksmith. He woke up immediately. He didn’t recall anything between being carried off by the tiger construct and our awakening him. We noticed the blacksmith’s wounds were all neatly stitched up, which was odd considering it was but a mere quarter hour since he’d been kidnapped.

We heard laughter in the building. The homesteader asked, “Is that an inmate or our comrade?” We went to see and spotted our comrade, the soldier, in the soft glow of torchlight. We called for him to join us on the patio and shared with him the map which we had found.

We searched the ground floor. The findings of this expedition I have marked in a separate inventory, which I have placed with the map itself. A few things I must also mention here as they are of interest to our later adventures. In the records room, we found some papers indicating the building to which Albus Grand was at one point reassigned. We also found the tags of two burnt files which read “von Schtook” – Christian name illegible – and “Hagir Hanaa Ajam.” In the property vault, we found a finely crafted dagger with an eight-lade milky-green soulstone in the pommel belonging to Mr. Ajam. The blacksmith found a body in the ice cooler in the staff room. Finally, in the guards’ barracks, the soldier found a diary belonging to a Ms. Chinwendu Ihejirika hidden in the bottom of a locker.

The last room on the ground floor into which we ventured was #10. It was another tossed file room, and I was about to turn to leave when the soldier pointed out there was a small woman crouched in the corner! I approached and introduced myself. She cowered, and so I retreated. I told her, “We’re looking for Albus Grand.”

She said, “You’ll have to check with Hagir.” We inquired where he was. “On the second floor with rest of naturalists,” she replied. We asked who she was, and she told us, “I’m the record keeper.” We expressed confusion at the need for a record keeper since the overthrow of the asylum’s other keepers. She told us, “Haagir is very particular. He insists meticulous records be kept, especially about the dead.”

“Who’s dead?” asked the homesteader, and the little woman gestured to all the files in room #10.

Her eyes darted to the dagger the homesteader had placed in his belt and said, “Hagir’s gonna wanna talk to you. Now.”

“Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” countered the homesteader.

“Oh, he’s gonna possess you,” said the little woman. She shoved me aside and headed into the hallway. We followed since the second floor had been our next stop anyhow. She made a right heading toward rooms #15 and #16, the first stairway we passed. We followed. She turned into the stairwell area in room #16 and took a key off the wall – it had been hidden behind a painting, clever woman! – and unlocked the door to the stairwell. The stairwell was cluttered with tables and chairs perched on top of one another. She told us they were all carefully placed to cause great harm and noise if disturbed and to only go where she went. She was very slender and lithe, quickly climbing over the furnishings. We struggled to match her agility but managed to get to the second floor without a thing crashing down around us.

There was a door at the top of the stairs with a small glass window. When we reached the top, a crazed face slammed into the glass and and shouted, “What’s the damage?” The little woman called him Wilhelm and brusquely told him to step aside. As I reached the top of the stairs, I noticed the little woman was barefoot, which surely gave her an advantage over us boot-clad men in scaling that avalanche of oak. The face licked the glass and opened the door, giggling.

The little woman told us, “Don’t dawdle,” and headed down the hallway to the middle of the building and turned left toward room #18. We could see the door to #18 was open and there was a desk inside. Then she made another left into a room with a placard reading “Administration” on the door. She knocked on this door and told the occupants there was someone to see Hagir.

The door opened and we saw a well-muscled black woman dressed in what had been a guard’s uniform, but with the sleeves cut off and an all the emblems defiled. Behind her were three other people in less well-fitting, more damaged guard uniforms. All the guards had their weapons drawn when we entered. On the wall were slashed oil portraits. (Later the blacksmith told us the man in the paintings was the man in the ice cooler in the staff room.) Other than the paintings, the original opulent decor remained untouched. An Arab, dressed in the worn uniform of a desert general, sat behind a desk writing on parchment. He dusted some sand across the parchment, set it aside, and gestured for the guards to stand down. They obeyed, and he gestured us forward.

“Greetings, my name is Hagir,” he began. The homesteader told him we were looking for someone, but Hagir had noticed the blade in the homesteader’s belt and said, “You have a possession of mine.” The homesteader tried to bargain the blade for the information we needed, but Hagir insisted on the blade first and assured us he would have it one way or another. The homesteader gingerly tossed him the blade, and Hagir deftly caught it.

The homesteader told Hagir we were looking for Albus Grand. Hagir said, “Many people are looking for him. He’s a very wily man. Albus and I bonded together when we overtook the asylum. Unfortunately his unstable mentality caused him to wander off on his own, and he has become lost to us. The grounds are quite spacious, and there are many hidden areas not even the guards know of. Albus managed to make the right friends before the overthrow and has disappeared into there. We are finding these areas and looking for our friend. He has aligned himself with horrible people – Resurrectionists I believe they’re called – and they tend to come out of the sewers and underground places.”

It sounded like that was the only information Hagir could provide. It seemed he had barricaded himself and his people on this floor with no intention of leaving. One of inquired about this, and he said, “Why would we leave? It’s a wonderful bastion. What’s meant to keep people in keeps people out with a little bit of tweaking.”

I remembered Grand’s diary and asked Hagir if he could decipher it. He flipped through it but said it was useless without Grand. He asked us what piqued our interest in Grand, and I explained about Eloise and other contraptions we’d found. Hagir spotted the gauntlet on the blacksmith’s arm and recognized it as one of Grand’s inventions, too. Hagir suggested we bring Eloise to the asylum to draw Albus out. “He values her very much,” he said. I explained there were concerns about Eloise having enough power to make the trip and return. Hagir said, “If it draws Albus out, power shouldn’t be a problem.”

Hagir asked how we found Eloise and the other contraptions. The homesteader simply said, “In our travels.” I chimed in helpfully that the homesteader had been given a deed to a block that included a library with some interesting, cleverly hidden books. Hagir asked whom had given the homesteader the deed, and we explained the Guild was giving out deeds to help repopulate the Quarantine Zones.

“We can’t have that,” Hagir huffed. “If the Guild gets a foothold in the Quarantine Zone, they will try to reestablish hold on the asylum, to use us as an army of sorts. When the reprogramming didn’t take, they tried to destroy us.”

Then Hagir reiterated that our best chance of drawing Albus out was to bring Eloise to the asylum. He said he could not guarantee us safe passage among the Resurrectionists because his group was at odds with them at the present. He said if we could find a Resurrectionist or tinkerer, that person might help to hold Albus’ interest once we drew him out. Hagir explained the Albus tended to flit off once he was bored of a place or thing, and the Guild had countered this by allowing him to venture out to his various holdings. Hagir said the Guild knew the best way to manipulate Grand was to allow him to do what he liked, as long as it didn’t threaten anyone. The Guild gave Grand some measure of freedom, and, in exchange, he gave them devices of genius.

The homesteader asked Hagir if he or his people had stitched up the blacksmith. Hagir could not be certain but said he doubted it was any of his group. He said after all that had happened at the asylum, they had a disregard for surgery and preferred magical healing. He said it might have been Albus or one of the Rezzers.

Hagir invited us to make use of the second floor, and we gladly accepted this offer as we were in need of rest and recuperation. He suggested we would be most comfortable in the second room to the southwest, a padded observation room, and he indicated for the black woman to lead us there.

She showed us to the padded room, #3 on our map. She told us room #2 was a now-empty medical station. She said #1 was a nurses station and to keep out of there as disturbed patients often wandered through that area. She said #6 was a kitchen where we could find food if need be, but that we should go no further. She told us #4 was a vacant room unless someone had wandered in there.

I asked her if her name was Chinwendu, and she said it was. I showed her the diary. She said it was her handwriting, but she didn’t recollect writing any of it. She said she had no use for it and handed it back to me.

She advised us again not to wander because it was a mental-health facility.

We were able to get some fitful rest amid the giggles and screams in the night.

[I end with 5 Fate points.]

I forgot and wrote two adventure logs.

The party is looking for more information that could help it repair the large statue creature known as Eloise. One of the members who could read, that literary looking person who helped me understand the contract for the deposit of my gambling winnings, said the creator of Eloise had left some notes and he felt we could find more notes if we went to the local asylum.
Shades of the old gods! This didn’t sound to good to me as I wondered why someone smart enough to make such a fine machine would also be sick. The only asylum I knew of was the tuberculosis asylum. There weren’t nothing in there but sick people that momma didn’t want me near. So I never went there.
But I was assurred that this wasn’t that type of asylum.
We set off without the statue creature as we felt her power levels wouldn’t be adequate for her to make the trip and return. That led me to believe we’d be gone for days or weeks even. However, we had a nice stroll to the asylum within a few hours.
We’d cut through the territory of a neighbor’s. They seemed like friendly folk, though they were well armed.
I was looking to get me a nice gun so I didn’t have to do all my fighting in a face of some of the creatures here on Maulifaux. Seems to me like sometimes a man wants to keep his distance, though I still prefer to get up close when my opposition is of the human type.
Those friendly folk loaned me a heck of a gun. It has seven barrels. Heck, I can remember when I couldn’t count that high.
I was itching to use it, but the time came to say fare thee well to the neighbors as they was nice enough to guide us across their land. And, despite the cruel conditions of the place, there were no incidents.
As we entered the grounds of the asylum I could see it was much bigger than the one back home. It had more than one building!
The strangest thing happened as we crossed the first lawn. A fine sunny day and warm too, without clouds, and snow seemed to grow from the ground.
Even in Northern Quebec I’d never heard of any such thing.
Soon things looked the worse as critters began appearing out of the snow. I was scared by this (and I was pretty interested in seeing how that seven barrelled gun would perform too) so I shot one.
Another member of the party, that phony colonel, he nearly pissed in his pants and he shot one. I don’t know what his excuse was.
But the critter shook our shots off.
That would have put the fright in me. But the critter proved to be a friend. Or at least it wasn’t an enemy. It didn’t fight us but rather invited us to come inside a dachau nearby for some tea.
By this time it was cold enough that I was obliged to accept.
Inside was an old man. He said he lived there all alone except for the snow critters, which he called constructs.
He said lots more too, but I was gawking at the inside and the outside. It was as cozy as a Saturday night before the hot stove inside, while outside it seemed to be like late January—- but only around this one building.

Time came for us to be off. I guess we learned where this Albious, or whatever his name should be, is. Apparently these are healthy climes for the right sort as Albious, and this old man too, are both still alive after many, many years.
Least that’s what the old man said.
Though I’ve learned enough at home to know old people stretch the truth till it covers the earth in Bull Shit.
We headed out from the old man’s place to another building. As I said, there are lots of buildings in this asylum. I wish we’d have had that back during the great influenza outbreak. Would have done wonders if the sanitarium had more than a single building I think.
The next building had no snow. I was looking around for it and for the snow critters too. Instead these monsters began appearing all over the lawn.
I was remembering how friendly the frosty snow man was at the previous place and decided I didn’t want to get on the wrong foot of these critters, so I didn’t fire.
I shouldn’t have saved my shots.
More than 20 of them began appearing. Soon I was worried we’d be overrun with the damn buzzing and crawling things.
A fight began soon enough and we were getting the worse of it too. In fact, one of the critters harpooned that other fella who says he was a blacksmith. Dragged him away to inside the building too.
Damn, now we’ll need to go rescue him.

I wish I'd stayed home in Quebec

The big statue was left behind, in the hope it would be there when we came back.
I’m not sure if we will be back.
The group entered an old asylum. I showed a brave face when we met the first of the inmates, a man, I think, who seemed able to control the weather.
Although I’m from Quebec, where the winters are notable for their intensity, this old man was doing things that had me frightened white. Snow drifts in the mild weather formed about his building and then the snow drifts came to life.
The party stayed calm, except for two of us who took pot shots at the forming ice demons. I winged one, but was assured by him that I hadn’t done him any harm!
In all my life I had never been talked to like that by a snow man. I was very quiet after that and more mindful of using my weapon. That may have been a mistake. But more about that in a moment.
The old man seemed amused by us. I don’t think many flesh and blood humans, least ways living ones, come visiting him these days. I should say, he ain’t the monster I took a shot at, leastways I don’t think he was.
He told us we were on the right path to find the man who made our living statue. I confess I had thought now that it might be a good time to pull back and go home while we could.
Instead we plowed on, leaving the old man in his ice castle.
I’m sorry we didn’t have the sense to stop there. Those chilly rooms were a better welcome than what came next. At least twenty monsters appeared before we had crossed the grounds into the next building of the asylum.
There weren’t no ice monsters here, just monsters. They were getting thicker and more aggressive. That silly phony baloney colonel walked right up to one of them and nearly got his head handed to him. Another speared that guy who says he’s a blacksmith like me. Then he pulled that fellow in like he was a fish, and ran faster than a horse can run into the building.
If it hadn’t been for my “friendship” with that fellow, he never done me no harm and I’m not one to allow a fellow to be treated like a fish, I should have turned and left right there.
Call me foolish, but I’m running after him like a dog chases a bone. Probably right into a trap too.
This seven shooter gun will be right handy if we get into a scrape. I hope I survive, living and breathing instead of one of these dead walkers, and am able to see my mama and papa again. I wish I’d never left Quebec with her cold and dark winters, lord help me.70745.jpg

Kermit's Journal: Wyncrest Asylum

We decided to next explore the asylum, two miles north of us. I walked over to Jesse’s block and paid one of the kids the crystal inkwell I’d found to take a note to Garth James (Kermit’s Handler). I wrote that we were exploring the asylum today and I’d check in in person as soon as I could.

One of the gang members from the other block marked on the homesteader’s map the friendly (green) and unfriendly (red) blocks in the Quarantine Zone.

The blacksmith looked through the old books about Malifaux and learned there was an old zoo on the way to Victor’s property and a park north of it, toward the asylum. He learned the asylum had started out as a hospital and was surrounded by a much larger campus that had been a school. On a map he found, the Chiller Building was where the asylum compound was. The main building was where housing and activity rooms had been, and there were other buildings like the Green House, Administration Building, Groundskeeping, and an overflow building for the highly contagious.

I looked through the last issues of the newspaper to see if there were any reports about the asylum. Two months before the newspaper stopped being published, all the articles about the asylum were about inventor Albus Grand being declared insane. They went on for a couple months; it was clearly big news at the time. They said Grand was being housed in the main building (#56).

To the Asylum
Looking at the homesteader’s map, we decided to try negotiating passage through the gang’s territory all the way to the asylum rather than going through the area now marked “undead” and some unknown zones. We reached their zone, and the bounty hunter called out for them. A teenager went to get their leader. The leader asked about our intentions and then approved our travel. He had the teenager, Hans, lead us through their area toward the asylum.

The bounty hunter had noticed a Guild mark on the leader and asked Hans about it. Hans said, “The Guild made a push in through the northwestern gate in an attempt to clear out the asylum because there were things climbin’ out over the walls into the city. Sarge is the only one who made it out.”

The gentleman asked Hans about getting guns. Hans said, “Guns can be got. We don’t have a store. We have the armory. You’d have to ask Sarge about that.” The gentleman called after Sarge to ask about purchasing a gun from their armory. Sarge told Hans to show the gentleman his “standard gun,” and the teen produced a 7-barrel rifle he’d had slung over his back.

Hans took us through their few blocks to the edge of the asylum. We noticed some constructs that seemed to be patrolling. They seemed interested in us until Hans gave a slight signal, and then they continued on their paths.

We reached the now-beaten-down fence around the asylum compound, and Hans turned back. There was a large hole in the fence, so we could easily walk in.

As we made our way into the compound, we were greeted and guided to the Chiller Building, where we met Christof Von Schtook. He urged us to be careful who we trusted deeper in the asylum.

We made our way toward building #56, the main building, where Grand had lived when he first arrived at the asylum. We were approached by guards, and they took the blacksmith into one of the buildings.

[I end with 5 fate coins. Erik gets a plot cheese coin.]

Jazzmyne Talks About Ms Eloise

Mah daddy would be so proud. We are traveling with a truly refined lady. Ms. Eloise married a real scientist and he was able to keep her alive after she died. Even in Malifaux, that is amazing. Imagine if you could take the person that you love and make them the size of a goddess! We found her with a bunch of gods and goddesses who have lost their power. Some of the men are trying to figure out how to bring them back to life. This man Harold doesn’t say very much, but he figured out how to bring Ms. Eloise with us and thinks he can recharge her. I hope so. She is the kind of woman who provides a wonderful chaperone for me [Daddy probably won’t even have to inspect me when I get home to the swamp when he finds out I was accompanied by a 12-foot tall refined lady.] and I think I can learn so much from her.

Kermit seemed to think we would need to go to a library they found. I didn’t really want to leave Ms. Eloise, but I became excited when I found out the information at the library might extend her power. And everyone was so friendly! When we went through some of the blocks, people came out and watched us as if we were in a parade. I felt so important—so excited. But, something happened to remind me that these were dangerous blocks. One nice man had his personal army bring out their big guns to make sure we were able to get through the block safely. I thought it might be overkill and one of our group thought we might be in danger ourselves. How could we be in danger with all of that cover? You’d think our two military guys, the colonel and that Dan guy would have known better.

What was really interesting was finding the house of Ms. Eloise’s husband, Albus Grand 10 (at least, I figure his real last name must be 10 because Ms. Eloise changed her name from 01 to 10 at some point). It had all these flickering lights like a whole bunch of people trying to signal you at once. Harold said it was a message, but he couldn’t figure out what they were saying. I don’t see why so many of them have to signal all at once. I don’t know which flash to look at. There was a machine just like the one we saw where we found Ms. Eloise, only smaller. I wish we could use it to help Ms. Eloise stay strong, but Harold wanted to wait till we saw the whole message. Well, it’s okay with me. I get to stay with Ms. Eloise.

I wish we would have had those cannon on the next block. A terrible nightmare crashed out of one the buildings like a firework being shot off. But he wasn’t pretty like those fireworks! He was a puss-filled, gooey mess of tentacles (sort of like one of the men trying to inspect me that Daddy had to knock out with an axe because he tried to defile me and I wasn’t about to be deforested by the likes of him—I’m saving myself for someone like Ms. Eloise did).

I was so frightened by this gooey octopus of pus that I ran away. Ms. Eloise didn’t, but she didn’t fight him either. My companions had to blast this monstrosity. Ms. Eloise just stood there like the refined woman she is. Next time, I’m going to stand!

Kermit's Journal: From the Warehouse to the Library

I shut off the power switch, and we were fixin’ to repair the power cable into the charging station. We decided to come back with some safety plugs instead of twisting the wires together.

We learned a number of things from the feminine automaton, Eloise. She needed to be within range of the blacksmith’s new glove – “the gauntlet.” She had enough power for seven active days or 30 standby days. The charging station’s power cables led to a storage-cell generator, though “Storms have provided power for the last four years. It rains frequently here.” She thought the scarecrow in the barn of doom might be banished by destroying the summoning circle. She went out on jaunts through the neighborhood by means of a backdoor. We asked her to show us this door, and we all left together.

After about a mile, skeletal figures came out of the houses, but they just stared at Eloise and stayed on their porches. A couple more miles north, a man named Kerg came out and followed us, taking notes on Eloise. We found a house with pulsating lights and four copper lightning rods on the roof. Inside, we found a workshop of homemade lightbulbs and hastily assembled steam machinery. We tried removing it but lacked the engineering know-how. East past the barn, some children climbed onto Eloise and rode her to the end of the block.

Eloise stopped suddenly and said, “Death to the east.” Suddenly a shape of tentacles, eyes, and mouths flashed past my eyes and into the midst of our group. I was “freaked out,” as the students at Oxford might say, but I managed to maintain my poise long enough to set it afire. The bounty hunter shot at it a few times, and then the Englishman shot it with an exploding round. We were covered in slime.

The blacksmith entered the house the creature had shot out of. We found the remains of a long-dead family. Most of the housewares had been destroyed in their struggle with the creature. Jasmine gathered up all the knives in the kitchen, and the bounty hunter took all the food and drink that was still consumable.

We went on Jesse’s block. He wasn’t in his building. Another kid hit the bounty hunter with a beanbag from his slingshot and shouted, “This is Jesse’s place. Ya’ll get out!”

We returned to the library so I could research the scarecrow circle. Cross-referencing some fairy tales, I ascertained this was either The Scarecrow from the tales or a creature that had taken its shape. I learned it was hard to tell if a circle was a portal or a binding circle. It depended on the person who made the circle, and even then it was hard to be 100% certain. From the records, we knew the owner of the barn was Carol and she had been researching some dark magic.

Eloise fit inside the library, and we learned she could read. Jasmine asked Eloise to teach her some of her classical education. Eloise explained that she didn’t have classical education. Grand had mostly told her stories. She said she had been crafted by Grand to hold the soul of his wife, but she had been left empty when Grand was dragged to the asylum.

Kermit's Journal: The Automaton in the Warehouse

I needed to check in, so we all went to the gate. The guards directed me to talk to Joe Smith in the bar. There were three people in the bar. One seemed to be working on Guild paperwork, so I asked if he was Joe Smith. He said no and told me his name, something long and fancy – even fancier than the names in Oxford.

Another man overheard and said he was Joe Smith. He said the man I met at the Guild, Garth James, had him stationed at the bar and “numerous people checking in” with him. He said I could keep the “Thalarian Doctrine” as my personal copy and gave me my next textbook – “How to Spot an Arcanist.” He said a note is fine as long as I check in “every once in a while in person to make sure your eyes aren’t glowing and you’re not trying to destroy the world.”

We decided to investigate the warehouse by the dock, where the societies of Malifaux’s elite may have kept things. Jasmine knew someone on this side of the docks and borrowed a skiff for us. She seemed to want to pilot it, so I showed her how it’s done. She did excellently with my instruction and got us to the warehouse district. I turned to offer to help her ashore, but she was already atop the land. To my embarrassment, she threw down a rope to me and hoisted me up.

The bounty hunter asked if there could be arcanists in the warehouse. I consulted the opening entries in my new “How to Spot an Arcanist” book and noted the unwholesome black smoke from one warehouse. However, the one we were going to was on another block and without smoke, black or otherwise. Most of the warehouses appeared abandoned.

The warehouse we were looking for took up most of a block. There were faint markings near the doors, which were chained closed. The windows were boarded up, as well. The bounty hunter went down the alley, climbed up to a window, and pried the boards off the outside. Meanwhile, the blacksmith broke the chains on the front door, and we went inside. We reached a door the blacksmith couldn’t open, but the homesteader jiggled the handle and it opened right up.

The bounty hunter caught up with us again and took the lead as we explore the building. With the windows boarded up, it was dark inside. The bounty hunter lit a couple lanterns and handed one to me. We found lanterns on the support columns and lit a few of those.

We saw some large crates, smashed from the outside and now empty. We moved single file along the walls. The blacksmith found a light switch and switched it on. A generator kicked on, and flickering arcs of light flashed on the ceiling.

The lights suddenly went out. The others saw some movement at the other end of the room, and we cautiously approached. I tried to stay near Jasmine to keep her safe, but she was very eager to find out what may have moved. There didn’t seem to be anything.

The blacksmith went into one of the crates looking for soulstone, but he wasn’t sure he’d know it if he saw it. He asked me to look. I didn’t see anything glowing the way a charged soulstone would. I could feel the effects of a soulstone having been in the crate, but couldn’t locate one inside. I saw a number marked inside, along with a faded logo. There were claw marks on the inside of the crate, like a man with large hands had broken out of it. There was also a delivery tag indicating the crate was shipped to Albus Grand.

The others had found some statues or perhaps automata standing along a wall, and I checked them to see if there were soulstones inside. Indeed, they did contain soulstones. One was completely unusable, and three were completely drained of power. Two had a glimmer of power, one seemed like it would work for a while. These seven statues resembled Greek and Roman gods of war. There was an eighth statue of a woman who did not bring to mind any classical goddess, and this figure’s soulstone was completely charged. The statues were very pretty.

Jasmine started talking to the fully charged feminine statue. “Why are you so sad, your highness? You’re supposed to be happy when you get married,” she queried. I asked how she knew the statue was married. “Because her name changed,” Jasmine said, making as little sense as ever, poor swamp bumpkin.

The bounty hunter went outside and the homesteader helped from inside to pull the boards off the windows to let more light into the warehouse.

I asked the blacksmith if he’d like to pull the soulstones out of the feminine statue and the other semi-charged one to try to power his new hand. He said the soulstones needed to be special for the device, not any old soulstone – “unless you want to take it just because.”

I was considering taking the soulstone when Jasmine said, “She’s awake.” She insisted the figure’s eyes had opened, but I assured her the eyes had always been open. I continued looking for a hatch to access the soulstone inside. There were no visible ones on the figure’s front. As I looked over the elbows, I saw specially constructed joints with wires showing in the gaps, confirming this was not a simple statue but an automaton. The blacksmith saw that the pedestal the figure was standing on was a charging station.

I challenged Jasmine to get the automaton to move off the charging station. Jasmine asked twice, and suddenly the figure gingerly stepped down. I was stunned for more than a moment.

The figure emitted a metallic voice, without moving her lips. She said the charging station would not work. We asked what was required, and she said “Death.” She also advised us on assembling the pieces that came with the blacksmith’s new hand: soulstone in globe, globe in holder, holder in box – “Creates power supply for construct 8,742.” Jasmine asked if the death of a raven would power it. The figure replied, “The larger the soul, the more power obtained.”

The bounty hunter came in from pulling the boards off the windows. “So this thing can talk?” he asked.

The automaton said “Yes.” He asked her if she cut the power cables to turn off the lights. “I am afraid so.” She confirmed there were no other creatures in the building and said, “I was concerned for my safety.” He asked if she had broken out of the crate we had looked in, with the marks on the inside. She said she had. He asked about the logo on the crate. She said, “I can guess. I believe it to be the grand family crest.”

The bounty hunter asked where else she had seen Albus. She listed the five society meeting places we knew already and told us, “Albus has not been here in decades. The last contact I had was here.”

The bounty hunter advised her to repair the power cable and return to the charger and assured her we didn’t mean her any harm. She replied, “I know. The master gauntlet lets me know Albus sent you. However, I do not have the dexterity for the repair.” We asked how we could repair the power cables. First, she said, we would need to disconnect the power.

[1 attendance fate + 1 extra for working out the statues = total 2 fate]

Locking down the block

I awake to find the mercs have moved out. The block looks to be under control. So we start looking around. First we find a bullshitters office, other wise know as a Lawyer. Had some sort of fancy safe which I tried to shoot open. But after that the Booklearner says to shit to it and it opened up. Also we find a box of a mad mans rambling and a metal hand. After rummaging threw the rest of the buildings. We find he was a head dude for a anti-guild group. It looks like they used the library as a meeting place. After some dicking around we decipher there code. We start heading words the wall to get some metal to lock down the block. On the way there we hit up the bank to open that one lock box and the shifty blacksmith. Ends up having his hand replaced with the metal one.


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