I wake at 8 a.m. and eat breakfast at Miss Patty’s Pantry again. Then I set off to exploring the boundaries of this fascinating, magickal city known at Malifaux.
I’m walking past the Guild station when I see a number of the gentlemen who were involved in the ninja fight loading up some wagons and coaches out in front. I talk to them, and they are headed out beyond the city gates on some manner of fantastickal adventure. I wish I could join them, but I am dedicated to my newfound job at The Star. I pay the driver a script to drop me off in the vicinity of The Star.
I hop off the wagon. Cedric is right there, and he says I need I am wanted at The Star with utmost urgency. I return to the hotel for my costume and go to The Star. Miss Angelica says they want me to head out to the soulstone mine to collect and guard a shipment that’s coming back to The Star. She suggests I not go alone as it may be dangerous. I invite Cedric, and we decide to ask the gentlemen who are headed out the city gate if they’re willing to join us. Safety in numbers. We negotiate with Miss Angelica for $20 per man for 7 men, plus a soulstone for us.
We are easily able to catch the wagon train headed out of town as they’re stopped filling up on supplies. We negotiate for $15 per man plus a $3 ammunition allowance – provided they give me the receipts – for the 6 men here.
The stagecoach driver warns us to watch the western skies for the creatures that fly. The Chinaman asks what he means and he utters that word that all of us were thinking but feared to say – Neverborn. Thankfully we arrive at the mine uneventfully.
When we arrive, the mine workers tell us the injured man is trapped in a mine. I gather the Chinaman was sent out here to collect his and cure him with some of those herbs those Oriental types are so partial to. We venture into the mine, where they have the man sequestered behind a door. He seems addled by some demon and carries on, “Soulstones don’t talk. Soulstones don’t talk.” The mine’s doctor has given up on him. The Chinaman applies his herbs, and that seems to soothe this troubled soul – somewhat. The mine foreman locks him back up, and we decide to investigate the area where he was when his unfortunate condition began.
One of the gentlemen from the ninja fight seems to have found himself a job down here, and he leads us to the deep mine where the trouble began. We put our handkerchiefs over our faces and descend into the mine. The lamps change colors and then get brighter. There’s a great glow at the end of the tunnel.
When I approach the gorgeous glowing soulstone, I am overcome by its beauty. I have never seen soulstone of this power before. I must take this specific cache of soulstone back to The Star and take my stone from this cache. This soulstone wants to be free, to be near me. I can feel it within my gizzards. It is beautiful and I want to be with it, too.
Instinct tells me that the gentleman who led us down here is too new to do justice to this wondrous stone. I can’t articulate it to the others sufficient to convince them, so I head back the way we came to get that addled but experienced miner who I hope has been cured by the Chinaman’s herbs.
Wait, it was two lefts and a right, right? So to get back it’s two rights and a left and a left and – this doesn’t look familiar. Better backtrack. Fitzhugh Smith says we need to go one way, but I’m confident he’s wrong – silly man relying on his book learning to find his way through a mine! I agree to follow his path just to prove him wrong, but then lo and behold we arrive back at the cache. There are some skilled Chinamen working to free the soulstone. Is this even the same soulstone we were standing at? It was so bright, but now it’s dim, and there seems to be a dark object in the center. The foreman acts nervous. I’ve never heard of dark objects embedded in soulstone. Maybe that makes it complicated to get loose or something.
Suddenly something huge breaks out of the soulstone and I am blown back and knocked unconscious. Mayhaps I should’ve worn a helmet. Fitzhugh revives me, as good as new, and we flee the mine with the undertaker, the others having already ran out ahead of us.
We reach the entryway to the mine. Our compatriots have slain a manlike creature that bleeds black fluid. Fitzhugh sets to reviving the wounded. The mine workers seem to have fled into the wilderness.
The man who climbed the alchemist’s shop finds a cart of soulstone marked for The Star. I can feel great power coming from this cart, and I compare the power of the nearby soulstones to the cart. I find three nice ones outside, and a few of us venture back into the mine and locate five more. We distribute them so each man gets one, and we keep one for the group.
The undertaker loads up the gruesome dead creatures on the wagon, and someone loads up the wagon driver, who got knocked out. We take the madman as well. The soulstone-sorting spiders click back on and begin grading the pile near them. The undertaker is driving his horses from his cart, and we tied the other horses and the soulstone-laden cart to his.
Blessedly, nothing happens on the way back into the city. Cedric takes me aside and suggests that since we’re all working together as a group, we should pay everyone the full 20$ we’re getting from The Star. I agree but only if we announce it as a bonus.
Miss Collette is pleased with our work and offers us each a free drink at the bar before we go. She opens the crates and allows me to select my soulstone. I concentrate on the soulstones and select what I think is the nicest one in the bunch. Miss Collette gives me a nod. I announce the bonus for everyone’s excellent work and pass out the script.
We are invited to Dr. Ramos’ table. He thanks us for defending his mine and says we’ll be allowed to keep the soulstones we took from his mine. (How did he know? Is he that sensitive to their power?) He says if we ever want to know more about soulstones, both he and Miss Collette are very experienced with them.