Through the Breach

The Eight Spires

The dress maker, the miner and the confused guy who was visiting other men while at work, could not be found in the morning as we prepared to leave Malifaux.

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I had gathered materials for the group in anticipation of nearly anything happening when we came to the place Tombers had gone mad. The strange man who delivers messages and uses a rifle disappeared all morning, but managed to appear just as the train was getting ready to depart.
The train trip was uneventful. We met the Ice Queen on the train. I tried to set up the rifle man with her, but the boy got all upset and ran back to his seat.
Still, I had hopes that perhaps there was a future in store for us and the Ice Queen.
Those hopes were paid when I followed the IQ from the train to where she attempted to hire a carriage.
The remainder of the party had become separated somewhere at the station due to something done, apparently, but the Chinaman in the 3d class compartment.
I sent a message to the party and later left a token so that they could follow us as I felt the IQ and the book were of great importance.
The IQ needed my expert assistance to rent the carriage. We took off towards the mines in the mountains, a place called Pumping Station.
I drove the horses at an easy pace to Pumping Station where I setup a situation that allowed me to delay our leaving the place. This was fortunate as the remainder of the party soon caught up to us.
I felt tense as the IQ and Seamus (where did the party find him?) began talking.
I wouldn’t describe their reunion as filled with electricity, but it wasn’t unfriendly either as Molly also appeared (what did I miss by being with the IQ?). Molly seemed to have a conversation with the IQ, but I couldn’t hear anything.
In the end the IQ agreed we would all travel together.
From Pumping Station, we continued along the edge of the mountainous till nightfall. Overnight we continued to drive along an area called the Bayeaux.
The horses, fresh in my case due to my scheme at Pumping Station, and not winded in the case of the Doctor’s team, were still on the road at the crack of dawn.
During all this the head of Tomber’s was screaming. I finally tried to calm him with a spell, but failed to quiet him.

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In the mid afternoon as we were approaching the area called The Eight Spires, we noticed another party. It was led by someone named the Fire Queen according to the other Doctor.
When we got to The Eight Spires Rasputina formed an ice bridge across a chasm between us and ‘the other side’.
The Rifle Man had disappeared by this time.
A Ziggarat existed in the middle of The Eight Spires, surrounded by a chasm. And that is the place Rasputina had created the ice bridge to and the Fire Queen had created her bridge too also.
Unlike our group, the Fire Queen’s party could not yet follow her across the chasm.
Maybe, if they climb into the chasm, they’ll find the Rifle Man as I suspect he slipped away from us but continued to follow us.
The Ziggarat was an amazing construct of metal. Minor oxidation had happened, but the metalwork here was amazing as the spires stood perhaps a mile high while the Ziggarat itself stood perhaps a half mile high.
It was an effort to follow Molly, Rasputina and the Fire Queen to the top of the Ziggarat.
During this entire Tombers was chanting something that sounded like “Taar K’thera Down.” This sounded so much like something out of Call of Cthulu that I accused Tombers of meta-gaming.
Oh! Oh! Now the China Man is screaming “Till K’Thera Dou.” And he doesn’t have an accent anymore. I think we are playing in C’thulu.

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The party is beginning to fall apart as The Doctor says “This is not good.”
The Fire Queen shouts “don’t let him…” as the China Man enters the Farraday Cage and crushes a soul stone.
As this is all happening, Seamus, Rasputin and the Fire Queen are in an argument about what to do next. Sonya is screaming at her retenue for “Hoffman.”
A mechanical man quickly climbs up to the Ziggarat and takes position at one of the points associated, apparently with the spires.
What is happening? Seamus, Rasputin, Sonya and Molly are each at spire points. The Doctor has taken up a position at a spire point. The China Man is unconscious or dead.
Now, The Doctor has fallen unconscious. I rush to him, reaching into his bag and drawing out a skull saw. This may work! They don’t call me Doctor for nothing!
Using the saw I set to work waking the Doctor. Then I rush over to The China Man. Under my direction The China Man wakes too.
As The China Man wakes, he rushes to a spire, The Doctor rushes to a different spire. That leaves one spire to be covered. Huh!
Down in The Chasm I can see the valley is moving like an army is there. The Doctor seems unconcerned. He goes and wakes Sonya and we listen as he talks to her. Later, we move on, waking Seamus and Rasputina.
An exhausted looking Rifle Man climbs from The Chasm onto the Ziggarat.
I draw forth a cigarette.

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A train ride with Seamus

So,, this is just my little wrap up for the campaign. After talking with Mack at GenCon, I have decided that when we come back to this setting, we will start from scratch. This is for two reasons:
1) we were playtesting and things have changed so much (and likely will for a little while anyway) that I want for everyone to know what they are doing when they design their characters.
2) The rules are written with a 21-28 week lifespan in mind. So, you guys would finish all the pursuits in a few blocks of me running the campaign which doesn’t lend itself to long term groups like us.

So, I will have to see what the final iteration of the rules looks like. But at this point I am leaning towards a character growth system similar to FATE with milestones. Skills every night, pursuit advancement every minor milestone and Attribute + Pursuit advancement every major milestone. This seems like a fair progression to me at this point. But, we shall see what Mack comes up with. Also, I will be returning to the original magic system and will flesh out any parts Mack does not include or flesh out to my satisfaction.

Having said all that, I am sorry Mischa, Anna and Erik were not with us for our campaign ender. I hope the rest of you enjoyed it. Here is a brief recap for those who were not there. If I get some time, I will fluffize it more down the road for fun.

Chris’ character went to the Guild enclave early in the morning and reported the events of the previous night to some underlings of Lady Justice and The Judge. The underling hired Chris to watch Seamus and McMourning and take evidence for their trial. He said The Judge and/or Lady J would read over Chris’ notes as soon as they returned to Malifaux and would head towards Kythera to meet up with him and administer justice.

Patrick’s character gathered supplies and met the group, bought train tickets and met the group at the station.

Johnny’s character spent time brewing potions with McMourning’s help and got some rest before meeting everyone.

Tom’s character spent the night learning from Seamus realizing he could sleep on the train.

When they arrived at the station, Seamus and McMourning were no where to be found. Chris spotted Rasputina getting into on of the Class cars. He pointed this out to the others. Patrick, Tom and Chris followed her into the Class car. Johnny boarded the Coach car (having been givne the Coach ticket by Patrick who tried his hardest to have Johnny stowed with the luggage. Though the ticket agent would not allow a passenger to ride without a ticket even though Johnny was a Chinaman.)

Upon entering the car, Patrick approached Rasputina and tried to introduce Chris as a potential suitor (“though the boy is Terribly shy”). Rasputina would have none of it, stating that “He should remain shy.” Patrick quickly changed tactics and brought up seeing her in the cemetery with a book. She claimed to not read and not visit cemeteries. This seemed to thwart Patrick’s attempt at information. So, he decided to spend the rest of the trip failing at pickpocketing and succeeding at gaining the amorous interests of the male victim. Tom slept. Chris kept an eye on Rasputina.

Johnny sat in the Coach car and began singing to himself which caused the whole car full of union worker to join in and they were soon all signing various limericks and tavern songs while laughing and joking. Shortly after leaving the station, Johnny heard a loud THUMP on the roof. he leaned out the window. But, could not see the rooftop. So, he deftly climbed out the window and onto the roof just in time to see a male form jumping down betwee his car and the Coach car behind. Johnny ran to the spot and looked over to see the man disappearing through the door into the car Johnny had started the journey in. Johnny climbed back into the car to find Seamus (sans his green attire and giant chapeau) encouraging the workers to join him in an Irish drinking ballad. Johnny inquired as to why Seamus had boarded the train as he had. He explained that even with his most excellent disguise, his face was on a number of wanted posters across Malifaux. With that, he sat next to Johnny, propped his feet up, told Johnny to wake him before the station and fell asleep.

The train ride went uneventfully. That is until the conductor walked the cars towards the end of the journey to collect tickets or evict stowaways. He stopped at Johnny and Seamus’ seat and pointed up to te ticket holder. “I only see one ticket.” said the conductor. “Oh…so solly. That ticket is mine.” Seamus continued snoring loudly. “Well, your friend needs a ticket.” and began to shake Seamus awake. Seamus woke with a start and when the conductor inquired as to the status of his ticket he looked up at the holder, pointed to Johnny’s ticket and said “Ah laddy, that one there be mine.” and promptly fell back to snoring. Johnny contested the claim strongly enough to convince the conductor. The conductor began shaking Seamus again saying he had to leave the train. Seamus’ hand reached into his jacket, pulled out the mini blunderbuss, cocked the pistol while pointing it at the man’s face and pulled the trigger. The conductor’s head evaporated in a fine mist of blood. The worker all started to panic and tried to get as far away from the sleeping form of Seamus as possible. Johnny realized that the body would not go unnoticed and tried to convince the workers to help him throw it from the train. But, they would not go near the body and after Johnny’s attempts to calm them, they seemed even more terrified of Seamus and moved to the next Coach car back. Johnny, removed the body and used his magic to electrify the blood on the floorboards to boiling. The emty car was quite spacious for the rest of the ride with the echoes of drinking songs being hummed by only Johnny next to a snoring Seamus.

The train whistle started to blow indicating it’s approach into Ridley station. Johnny woke Seamus who stated he should go get Molly. He rose to his feet and jauntily strode back towards the baggage car. Moments after he left the car, a tidal flood of workers came running into the car and sat with worried looks on their faces looking towards the car they had just vacated. The train pulled into the station and passengers rapidly disembarked.

The party watched as Rasputina disappeared into the crowd. Patrick said he was going to follow her and rushed after her. The rest waited for Seamus. When he did not emerge, they entered the baggage car to find an open crate with a trail of coagulated blood leading from it to the back door. But no sign of Seamus. The group determined Seamus and Molly had left the train before it had come into the station. Johnny added a bit of the blood to his tracking potion and a strong pull from outside the city confirmed this assessment.

Patrick followed Rasputina into the outpost and to a carriage rental shop. He entered to find the shop owner trying to convince Rasputina that a lone woman was not safe out in the wilderness. Patrick jumped in and offered to escort the young lady as he had need of a carriage anyway. Rasputina rolled her eyes and said “Whatever” in her thick Russian accent. Patrick suggested that his friend come along as he was a rifleman of little skill. “Fine, 1 carriage, 1 idiot…whatever. May I have carriage now?” Patrick paid and the owner had the carriage brought around while Rasputina waited out front. Patrick had the owner send a message to “The doctor, the chinaman and the rifleman.” which he did promptly. Patrick then went out to inspect the carriage.

As the others were leaving the station, a young boy ran up shouting “I’m looking for THE DOCOTR,THE CHINAMAN and THE RIFLEMAN!” Johnny pointed at Chris and shouted “He is a Liffleman.” “What?” “I’m the doctor” said Tom. The boy handed him a note that read “I am with the Ice Queen.” Since the note gave no indication as to where he was with the Ice Queen, they decided to track Seamus and the potion led them straight out of town for about half an hour when they finally came upon Seamus and Molly. They decided they needed a carriage. So, Tom went to rent one.

Patrick tried to stall as long as he could. But, Rasputina grew impatient. So, he left a note with his name on it and a coin with the carriage shop owner. They then headed out of town east towards the mine pumping station. Converstion was non existant as Rasputina had pulled out Tombers’ journal and was intently reading the pages. So, they rode in silence at a deliberately slow pace.

Tom arrived at the Carriage shop and rented a carriage. While waiting for it to be brought to the front, he noticed the note with Patrick’s name on it. He asked the shop owner if he could look at it. All it had was the name. So, he asked if anything had been left with it. The shop owner told him only a coin that he assumed was payment. Tom traded the man a script for the coin and took possession of the carriage. He met the others outside of town and told them about the coin. Johnny suggested the head west. Tombers’ head in the bag said “EAFFT”. East it is then. Then rode at a good pace while not overtaxing the horses.

Patrick and Rasputina rode into the pumping station and made their way to the stables. Patrick gave the attendant orders to feed the horses hay and give them plenty of water. The attendant agreed without question. Patrick offered to buy Rasputina a meal and drink. She declined stating she did not need to eat. He said that he did and spent some time doing so. when he returned he began to yell at the attendant asking why he was feeding the horses hay and water as that would make them sick! The attendant started to stammer"….well you told me…." “You idiot! You are going to get me some new horses! Let’s go!” dragging the attendant behind a shed, he passed the man some money and told him to play along. The attendant did and went to find some new horses.

END OF FLUFFY WRITING———————————————————————————————-

Sorry guys. I was hoping to get further. But, have to take care of business. So, here are the bullet points. I will fill in later.

The others catch up. Seamus confronts Rasputina and suggest a joining of forces will be neccessary. After a brief discussion, she agrees.

They head to Kythers through the bijou overnight without incident.

As the sun rises, they see a group for horse riders way off in the distance heading the same direction.

They ride on and eventually see huge spires that have glints of metal in the sunlight. As they get closer they find the spires are 1 mile tall and have joints to make them like fingers. They are made of a strange metal no one has seen before. They are rusted in a strange way. Tombers’ head has started gibbering in madness.

The come to the site. There is a circular chasm 1 mile across with a plateau in the center. The plateau has a tall metallic platform in the center of it. The riders have appeared on the other side of the ring near one of the other spires. There is “a woman of fire” (as described by Molly and a man with machinery among the riders. The man with machinery is studying the spire.

Molly floats across the chasm. Raspy makes an ice bridge. Seamus, Patrick, Johnny and Tom cross it with her. Chris climbs down the chasm and back up the other side. But, he does not reach the top for quite a while.

The group climbs the stairs up to the platform while Molly floats up and Raspy creates an Ice pillar under her to raise her to the top. The Woman of Fire starts to cross the chasm using a bridge of fire. the others in her group are not able to walk on the fire though.

The group gets to the top and finds a cage in the center of the platform and 8 rods around the perimeter. Tombers’ head has started screaming “Til Kythera Dow!” over and over. The woman of fire finally reaches the top and she, Seamus and Raspy argue about the platform and it’s purpose. It turns out she is Sonia the head Witch Hunter of the guild While trying to figure out how to activate it, Johnny notices Runes in layers on the pillars. Having been the vessel for the Nephilim King, he has learned to read the markings but finds an additional dark layer that he ascertains is a Tyrant layer of markings. as he tries to read it, he starts to feel overwhelming horror push against his mind and insanity seeps into it. He begins screaming “Til Kythera Dow!” in unison with Tombers’ head. He begins walking toward the cage in the center of the platform. Tom tried to Magic him to stop. but, is brushed off and narrowly avoids falling victim to the horror as well.

Johnny enters the cage, reached into his pocket, draws out his soulstone and crushes it into dust. The dust powers the cage. The cage powers the rods, the rods powers the spires. The spires start to close in to form claws pointing at the construct. The power in the spire changes and shoots back into the rods. Seamus shouts to take position. He jumps to one of the rods as does Molly, Raspy and Sonia. Sonia calls out across the chasm “Hoffman get over here now!” The man with the mechanics attached climbs up the spire he is inspecting and runs across it towards the platform. As he does, the spire reshapes itself to form a bridge at his command. As he steps onto the platform the spire takes its original shape. Hoffman takes up position by another of the rods. Tom see there are three rods left vacant so he stands by one. As he does, the energy of the rods flows into the six. The power threatens to overwhelm Tom. He keeps his sanity but not consciousness. He feels an entity enter his body and fight his will for dominance. Tom breaks free from the rods control as he falls unconscious to the ground. Patrick runs over and digs through Tom’s bag. Finding a Saw……..he attempts to wake Tom up. The pain of Patrick’s ministerial acts rapidly wakes Tom up.

As Tom moves away from the rod, Chris senses moving forms from below in the chasm. As he watches, the walls of the chasm become alive with non human corpses rapidly crawling their way towards the top of the chasm. Chris manages to get to the stairs before the corpses reach the lip of the chasm and starts running up the stairs to the platform.

On the platform, Tom realizes that the corpses below are connected to him. He sends a mental command of STOP and the corpses obey. stopping where they are and turning their heads to the platform awaiting a command from their master.

The energy in the rods coalesces above the heads of the occupants. Each forming a large creature that struggle to rip free of the human beneath them in an attempt to grapple with the other entities. As the soulstone dust is absorbed fully into the cage, the entities are sucked into the bodies of those beneath them entirely roaring their anger the whole way. The attended rods vomit forth their energies into the world as beams of colored light streaking across the landscape towards unknown destinations.

Tom wakes up Johnny and then Sonia. Sonia explains part of what has occured and Tom wakes up Seamus and Molly. sonnia wakes Hoffman and after binding Raspy with rune encrusted manacles, wakes her as well. The five fill in the blanks to inform the group that the Tyrants who were able to slip into the world while the gate was open have been bound to mortals. These mortals will be the Avatars of the Tyrants. If their willpower slackens at all, the Tyrants can gain control. How many were bound and to whom remains to be seen. The rods do not represent one tyrant. Each takes a portion of the overall Tyrant energy in the world and places it into the vessel. But, the strongest of the tyrants in each vessel will claim the others’ energies and use it to try and wrest dominance from the host. So, the two unattended rods could have unleashed as few as two tyrants or as many as hundreds. Sonia will be trying to determine whom else has Tyrant energy in them and watch them to make sure the Tyrants do not gain control of their hosts.

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Fredo's Diary: Breaking Molly Out of Jail

After the Guild Guard hauled Molly away and the woman with the winged backpack flew away, our group went in our separate ways. I went straight to The Star and told Miss Collette about what happened at the cemetery and in the sewers. Then I went back to the Fox and Hound and went to sleep. I was awakened by a knock at my door. Now fearful of knocks at the door, I hid in the closet, hoping the knocker would go away. Then I heard the voice of the one in our group who seemed to work as a messenger. I opened the door. He had a letter from Collette saying the situation had progressed and to assemble the group and get Molly out of the Guild Guard’s jail. I related this to the messenger. He said he had seen the others at Miss Patty’s.

We went there and found the tailor, the doctor and the Chinaman. The doctor had received a note from the wagon driver also asking him to come to the jail to determine whether Molly was dead or not. We went over to the Guild Enclave and the wagon driver helped us all talk our way in.

We went down several levels into the jail and even saw some Neverborn in there. The guards related that Molly had seemed fine – a little dazed and slow, but fine – when she was brought in. Then she sat down and closed her eyes and stopped responding to them. They tried throwing cold water on her, but nothing worked. The guards seemed scared of her, even though she was out cold, and said they’d have to lock the cell once we were inside. We went inside.

Molly was seated upright, not leaning against anything. Her eyes were closed and she was not breathing. Doctor Smith did all his medical checks, listening for her heartbeat and so forth. There was some coagulated blood she had vomited up a couple hours before our arrival.

Dr. Smith told the Guild Guards she was dead and that we should be allowed to remove the body, but the Guard insisted that “the judge” must see her before we could leave with her. One Guard walked swiftly down the hall to get “the judge,” but when he reached the corner he started backing up, and we saw an imposing man advancing upon us, a man who turned out to be Dr. McMorning, the head coroner.

Dr. McMorning insisted that we remove the body. When one of the Guards objected, Dr. McMorning’s assistant, Sebastian, struck him on the head and he fell to the ground. The Chinaman unleashed some sleeping gas, and the other guard fell as well. Dr. McMorning and the wagon driver, who it turns out works for Dr. McMorning, collected Molly and the guard with the head wound, who turned out to be dead as well, and placed them on a gurney. We moved swiftly to the lift. Dr. McMorning suddenly stopped his swift, continuous patter and counted down, “3 .. 2 … 1,” and we heard a boom and the sound of masonry falling behind us. We would learn shortly that the explosions – there were more – were courtesy of the man from last night, the man with the big green hat who called her Molly, whose name evidently was Seamus. We reached the elevator and went up. We could see sunlight, even though we were in interior corridors. The Guild jail is an interesting place.

Dr. McMorning tapped on the gem in Molly’s necklace, and she swatted his hand away. He said, “Oh, we’re not playing dead anymore?” and she gently shook her head from side to side.

We reached an alley-side backdoor, where McMorning kicked awake a green-suited man – Seamus – and handed Molly down to him.

“Well, I checked in so I have to go out the front,” said Dr. McMorning. We all headed off with Dr. McMorning, who was now talking about his library. Dan had lagged behind and ran up and said Seamus had left the sewer grate open. Dr. Smith asked Sebastian, a beefy man, to take care of it, and from the scraping metals sounds, we assumed he did.

We walked back through the now-half-destroyed jail with the dead Guild Guard on the gurney and saw zombies and a red-headed, blind-folded woman and a man striking down the zombies near the front entrance. Some people with masked faces issued for purple tendrils that grabbed each fallen zombie and stuck it in one of the coffins they seemed to have brought with them in bulk.

We moved swiftly out of the jail and the Enclave and followed Dr. McMorning back to his library. When we arrived, he wheeled the body into his lab, and we followed him in. There we saw lots of cobbled-together bio-mechanical inventions. A little chihuahua, with a lot of stitches and scars on it, greeted Dr. McMorning. We arrived at an archway, and Dr. McMorning pulled out a couple bricks, opening a hidden door. Sebastian ushered us through, and we followed Dr. McMorning. Behind us, Sebastian closed the door and replaced the two bricks. We followed Dr. McMorning down, down into the sewers. Dr. Smith began asking Dr. McMorning about how he “reanimated” his chihuahua, whatever that means.

Dr. McMorning finally led us to a very old door, what looked like it was once a storeroom, and let us in. The room had been fitted with shelves, and from Sebastian’s proud smile I got the impression he had done the carpentry in there. Dr. McMorning sat down, put his feet up, and said, “And now we wait.” Someone asked, “For what?” and he replied, “For Seamus and Molly.”

Dan said, “I don’t want to be here when they get here.”

Dr. Smith said, “When I was little, I was taught when you do something wrong, you apologize.” Dan seemed calmer and remained. The chihuahua ran around between our feet.

The wagon driver asked Dr. McMorning about Molly’s condition. The doctor said that the gemstone in her necklace was called the Gorgon’s Tear. Molly died while the gem was on display, and it appeared on her body during her funeral. They were unable to remove it from her, and so the Governor said they could bury her with it thanks to her hard work on the Guild’s newspaper. Nobody knows how it works.

Dr. McMorning said he’d been helping Seamus with a scheme, which Seamus would illuminate upon his arrival.

Eventually we heard many feet shuffling outside, and Seamus, Molly and the other ladies came in. Seamus recognized us, but said he didn’t know why we were there. Dr. McMorning said that was his doing, that we were curious about his library.

Dr. Smith asked Seamus if he got anything out of the head, and he said not yet. Seamus said something about “killing her” – Molly – “to make her my own,” and the wagon driver began laughing in a most disturbing way. Molly began vomiting blood, and Seamus asked her to wait outside. Seamus said she’d been dead for two months, so he didn’t know where all the blood was coming from. He said, “We think it has something to do with the Gorgon’s Tear.”

Seamus said, “The reason we’re here is we’re going to try to wake up Mr. Tombers to see what he knows about these -, since it seems they’re already here.”

Dr. McMorning said, “Sebastian has the head,” and Sebastian nodded. Dr. McMorning produced a smallish machine and said he needed a soulstone. I offered my three, and Seamus and all the others offered the others, but the doctor said it was from the wrong vein. He brought Molly in and tricked her into allowing the Gorgon’s Tear into the machine. A blinding, painful light filled the room, and the machine seemed to tattoo something onto Tomber’s head. Sebastian had been closest to the machine, and blood streamed down from his eyes as he held his head.

Seamus said, “Good morning, Philip.” The head said, “I’m alive? I thought that woman with the sword got me.” Seamus told him, “No, but I’ve delayed your afterlife a bit.” Philip Tombers, the head, began screaming, and Seamus told him to knock it off and put him into his satchel.

Tombers stopped sceaming, and Seamus opened the bag and began talking to him, introducing his topic at great length like a politician or university lecturer. Seamus said something about going to Kythera, and Tombers vaguely agreed before launching into a fit of incoherent babbling.

The wagon driver suggested we might accompany Seamus and company to Kythera, and at length he was persuaded that we might come along to satisfy our own curiosity. Seamus asked Dr. McMorning how long Tombers would be able to communicate with us, and Dr. McMorning said it depends on the soulstone, but usually they don’t make it after the “explosion phase,” usually a week. He said the Gorgon’s Tear is powerful, so it could be longer, could be around as long as Molly. I asked for clarification about the danger of the “exploding phase,” and Dr. McMorning said using a soulstone slightly more powerful than ours, it took out his first lab. He said the last one started screaming just before the explosion, and he also said that Kythera was three days away.

Dr. McMorning led us out of the sewers, and I went to The Star to check in with Miss Collette. I told her all about the morning and that I would be traveling to Kythera and would be gone for a few days at least, and possibly never if I was blown up when Tombers exploded. Miss Collette gave me a brass dove. She said to whisper my message to the dove and it would be conveyed to her. She offered other help, and taught me how to target an area with my spell to create a shield.

I returned to the Road and Pony and cast telekinetic movement, teleport and a combined spell into my soulstones. I gathered my belongings and checked out of the hotel. I dropped of my uniform at The Star and went to meet the group.

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Fredo's Diary: Cemetery Show-Down

We all got some sleep before meeting up at Miss Patty’s at 10 at night. I got a canteen of coffee from Miss Hatty, who runs the diner at night, and we set off to the cemetery.

We took the wagon, so we arrived pretty quickly and spent a couple hours walking among the graves in the moonlight. Right around midnight, a group of seven arrived at the West end of the cemetery. Two were ladies with parasols, and one of the men was flirting with one of the ladies and calling her Molly. Then the man looked at his pocket watch and directed their attention to the gate, toward the breach. Walking with the miner, with my pistol drawn, I turned my gaze to the breach as well.

A locomotive burst through the breach, and the man declared it a miracle of nature. The one called Molly vomited up what looked, in the moonlight, like blood. The man directed the group toward the crypt and told them to start digging. Some of them worked with shovels, but others resorted to clawing at the earth, which somehow was more effective than using a tool.

The doctor strode toward the group and said, “I don’t think you ought to be doing that.” The miner and I strode up as well.

A snowflake fell, and the one called Molly said, “It’s December.” It was July. Then the skies opened and the cemetery was covered in snow. A creature emerged from the snow drifts. It was difficult to see through the snow in the air, but the miner and I were close enough to see the creature clearly.

The creature – it was a giant! – moved toward the group. The man shot at it with a blunderbuss, and it stumbled and knocked Molly into the ground. Three little ice golems showed up and surrounded the ladies. I teleported one of the golems away, but it scurried back toward them as soon as it found its bearings.

The man tossed the body up toward a woman he called Sybil and announced their imminent departure. Sybil held one end of the body, and the giant came up and grabbed the other end. Then the miner teleported (he can teleport?!) the giant away from Sybil, ripping the body in two. The miner teleported one half behind us, and I teleported the other. The giant suddenly moved to the body and pulled something out of one of the pockets.

Near the gate, a young woman with striped stocking appeared, and the giant went to her. She spoke victoriously at the man, brandishing a book, and then disappeared.

Molly climbed up from the ground, with Mr. Tombers’ head in her hand. The man took the head from her, counted up five in his group, and departed, leaving Molly behind.

We approached and found Molly unconscious. The miner started reburying Mr. Tombers, and we took turns breaking the now-frozen ground with the other two shovels.

The miner fetched the wagon and found the cemetery Guild Guard knocked unconscious. The doctor woke him up. We put Molly on the wagon and decided to take her to the slums and let a house there where we could keep her until she was better. We seemed to be vomiting a bucket of blood every few minutes.

In the slums, we found a house that had had a fire recently, kicked out a few bums, and brought Molly in. The miner and the wagon driver left to check in with their employers, and we discussed what had happened and what to do next. Then we heard a tussle underground, in the sewers, and heard a man with an Australian accent talking about a lady vomiting blood. Molly was on the loose!

We went down to intercede on the lady’s behalf. We brought her back, but soon she had left again. We decided it was not within our power to contain her and waited for the miner and the wagon driver to return and go back into the main part of the town with us.

The miner showed up with a lady with a big backpack. She demanded to see Molly. The doctor told her Molly had left for the second time, and we’d let her go. The woman said we needed to find her, or else the Guild Guard would get ahold of her and never let her go. We immediately set after her, but we saw 15 of the death guards surrounding her. The woman with the backpack was disappointed but resigned that the Guild had Molly now. She pulled something on her backpack, wings opened up, and she flew away.

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Fredo's Diary: Cemetery Work

I went to breakfast at Miss Patty’s. The miner asked if I was interested in some covert work. We stepped outside to discuss it. He said the head of the Steamfitters’ Union wanted to test the loyalty of some people he works with. I agreed to the job.

Then the wagon driver came by and said he needed help investigating some necromancer activity in one of the graveyards on the east end of town. I said I was interested but needed to check in at The Star. He didn’t have the wagon, so we had to walk that way anyway.

There was a show that night. It was only 11, so I figured I’d go out to the cemetery and come back into town in time to draw an audience into the show.

The one whose skills I’m unsure of showed up with a letter for Harold, which turns out to be the miner’s name, and then the miner showed up with a wagon and some other supplies he’d requisitioned from The Union.

We went out to the cemetery. A security guard asked about our presence, but the wagon driver swiftly satisfied his inquiries. I was assigned to watch the skies for Nephilim as we walked around. We noticed that graves that had been opened that had women in them still had the undisturbed corpses inside. The graves that indicated a man’s name on the tombstone were missing their corpses. The wagon driver spoke to the security guard again.

The miner pointed out that the opening was working its way up to the top tier of the cemetery, which held a crypt for the Tombers and Williams families.

One of the men with tracking skills noticed some tracks going out of the cemetery, which we followed to a garbage can in the slums. We heard something making sound inside, and we found a decapitated man’s head inside. He seemed to look in the direction of whoever was speaking, and he kept making mumbling sounds, but he didn’t seem to understand us. In a nearby garbage can, we found his body and severed limbs.

We returned to town, and I went to The Star to start my shift. Miss Angelica said, “I’m surprised to see you here. I thought you were working on Ramos’ thing.” I replied that I was working on a couple jobs, but none were for Ramos that I knew of. She said, “Perhaps I’ve said too much,” and told me to keep working on the cemetery problem.

We got some fragrant produce to mask of the smell of the mumbling man, who we’d brought back with us.

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King Nepherim

We rook for crues to Nepherim in mine but ritter callot tops forrow us. Get vely excited. Show hielogryphics. Tell us about kings of Nepherim.__ [Translation laboriously traduced from adventurer’s diary will follow.]

Levels within levels within levels were clearly present in the hieroglyphics. It was as though we were the in the presence of multiple worlds and multiples times simultaneously. Clearly, we never quite understood the nature of the Nephilim or their purpose in our world. The name, I was told by a wandering Jew, means “fallen ones.” Yet, as we engaged with the heart of their culture in what seemed more a sacred place than the ancient tombs being robbed Earthside, I wanted to ask, “Fallen to Whom?” Which Tyrant, which god (for so they seem to be in the tales of these Nephilim), would despise such self-sacrifice on behalf of an entire form of existence?
Pardon me, I once followed a certain “lao-tze” of the great philosopher and he taught me never to assume about existence. He taught me of the need to wait, the joy of weighing all in the balance, and finding my own balance. As I experienced the power and the pathos of these kings through the form of these strange letters and symbols, I knew what I had to do. I had to surrender the book to allow this existence to go on—no matter what it cost me personally.

But the one who told me the stories seemed too eager. He wanted to get his hands on the jewel-encrusted, power-pulsating book I held so badly that I couldn’t trust him. All his carrot-headed, flame-haired party surrounded us in a circle and I feared we would have to fight our way out. That was the last thing I wanted to do because I had already weighed the yin and yang of giving the book to King Nephilim or not. I feared the latter tilted the balance in favor of destruction while the former had a chance of life—at least for some of us. So, I refused to give up the book until the king should arrive. The king was the one who was to sacrifice, not the one who craved getting his hands on the book.

As the king arrived, caverns and mineshafts shaking as though every step provoked a major earthquake, I found myself quaking, as well. Shivering with fear, I placed the book on the ground and knelt in front of both book and king so that my forehead touched the book. The stones were alive. My brain was assaulted by electrical sparks as though all the stones (or more accurately, the souls within them) were trying to impart memories to me before they were to be resealed by the king.

When directed to speak, I respectfully offered the book to King Nephilim, whom the walls had proclaimed King Barbaros. And, he had no sooner gotten his hands upon the book than he began to chant. It was as if every king in the inscriptions reached out from the walls to empower him and suddenly, accompanied by rainbow flashes, sparkling emanations, whirling winds, and both ecstatic and frightened sensations of power, all of the flaming haired creatures, save the one who had spoken for the group earlier, disappeared. Their very beings enshrined in stone.

The king began to stride purposefully through the mine. It was all Dr. Smith and our friend from the Union could do to keep the miners out of harm’s way as this power to be reckoned with stormed through the tunnels and reached the room where we had first seen him. He scooped together some of the broken rock and realized something was wrong. Pieces were missing—pieces which would make the ritual ineffective. The king demanded to know where the pieces were and I felt something prickling at the back of my mind. Two members of our party had taken the jagged shards from where the king had broken out before. I tried to convince them to return them, and one did return the shard. The driver of the dead refused—not once, not twice, not even with the fate of this existence and our very own existence at risk, did he surrender the third time he was asked. The king handed me the book to finish the ritual. He said there was no time and that I would have to finish. He ripped the shard magically from the hand of the selfish driver of the dead and I became enmeshed in the pages of the book.

It was as though my tongue had marionette strings attached to it. I gyrated and I ululated with sounds I could not imagine evoking by myself. I burned with fever and imagined myself deftly playing a musical instrument with notes like the Nephilim symbols dancing in the air as a result of my playing. I tried to breathe and felt for a time as if I were in an existence where I need not do so. Were my cousins right about nirvana? Had I reached a place where I no longer existed or needed to do so? But I was conscious! Or, I thought I was conscious. I awakened feeling like a robe cleaned by being pounded upon a rock back in my home country. I felt weak, bruised, and empty.

The wagon was moving. I asked about the book. They said the untrustworthy one had it. They had thought it safer with him than kept with humankind. They hadn’t thought anything of it. Oh, if he manages to open the book and break the spell, I will celebrate the anomie that follows by killing my own allies first—starting with the driver of the dead. After all, he’s the one who has put everything at risk with his selfish grasping of a mere shard.

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Journal of Dr. Smith (entry 9)

Harold led us through the mine. The nephlim we had seen on the side of the mountain following us in. Their glowing hair not enough to light our way. We reached an area that appeared to have some sort of opening. As we pondered how to open the blocked passageway, one of the nephlim started to make its way forward. It pushed past all of us and touched the carved arch. Once he did runes glowed and the wall vanished. He went inside; the others began to motion for us to enter as well. Once we all were inside the creatures took up a circular formation around the room. There were strange runes on the walls, from floor to ceiling.
Then the one who opened up the door began to speak. Not some foul demon language but English. That was a surprise. It told us that the door had been locked and it had opened it. It also began to tell us what the King Nephlim was looking for, why they were there. It seems that their king, King Barbaros was the only one of the neverborne who could use magic. Even though the neverbore themselves are magic. And that King Barbaros was looking for a book; this book was the only way to stop the tyrants from destroying everything.
After speaking for a while we were informed that King Barbaros himself was coming and if we wanted to live we should tell him where the book is. Now I’m no stranger to danger but that book was our leverage. And if the king wanted it he could ask for it. Lo Kway made some remark about having the book, and wanting compensation for Mister Ming. These things will kill us as soon as look at us. I tried to convey that message to the creature.
A loud roar came from the entrance of the cave and the little one said the King has arrived. Yep we had seen him before; he was one that broke out of the soulstone wall a little while back. Lo Kway did some form of bow and handed the king the book.
Once King Barbaros had the book he waved him large taloned hand and another passage opened before him. The little creatures following close behind him as he left. We followed at a slightly slower pace to observe what was going to happen.
King Barbaros entered another room and began to chant in the neverborne language. It’s a strange but enjoyable sound. It seems they can make a wide variety of sounds and match them together in a pleasing way. Anyway all the little creatures except the one that spoke to us died. Then King Barbaros began heading father into the mine. Harold informed us that we were in the area where he broke free. We heard miners in the distance. I as well as a few others rushed past King Barbaros to warn them to flee. Once King Barbaros was in the area where he was released he began to rebuild the wall. But parts were missing. It seems that two of our group had taken some of the pieces. The wagon driver denied having any but eventually he gave up his piece.
King Barbaros grabbed Lo Kway, light filling his head. Lo Kway started to speak the strange language. The book opened, miners screamed and died. I nearly gave into the feeling of having my soul torn free but was able to resist. And then it was over, King Barbaros was back in the wall, the book was closed. The little creature picked upon the book and left. I was too busy checking on Lo Kway and the miners to worry about that. We headed back to the surface after setting up charges to collapse that part of the mine. We found five miners alive. After using some magic I was able to convince the foreman not to open that area. It seems that quite f few of us have magical ability, as we all pitched in to place a spell over the area as to discourage anyone from tampering with the sealed part.

We headed back to the city, myself and Harold heading to the steamfitters union to inform Mister Ramos about what had happened. We were seen by someone else who took down what happened, thanked us for our help and left. Damn Lackeys, hopefully this one will be useful and let Ramos know what happened. With that done its time for dinner.

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Fredo's Diary: In the Mine

The miner led us through the mine. Little potato-like men with glowing hair started to follow us. We reached an intersection, and one of them pushed each of us to the side and worked some sort of magick to open up a room. The other potato men got frantic about us getting into the room, so we went in. They followed us and sat along the walls, reading the runes. The head potato man told the Chinaman that the runes on the walls were about the kings. He said that one Nephilim king could work magical and could read the Chinaman’s book. His name is Barbaros.

The lead potato man insisted that the book must be presented when Barbaros arrived. The Chinaman asked for assurances, since his boss wanted something in return. The potato man said getting to continue to exist was our reward.

Barbaros arrived and the Chinaman presented the book. Barbaros headed out of the room and down the hallway. He led us to where he had been broken free last time we were in these mines. He examined the shattered stone and determined that some pieces were missing. The head potato man told us that all the stones must be there to complete the ritual, or else the ritual would be incomplete and the barrier keeping the bad creatures out would be broken. I offered one of my soulstones, but he said it had to be the pieces from this wall, which was once a solid wall.

Finally the head potato man said that Barbaros could fix the wall, but he would need one of us to do the ritual. He chose the Chinaman and grabbed his head. The Chinaman began speaking in tongues, and there were great beams of light moving to and fro. The miners fell dead. Finally Barbaros was sealed behind the stone, and the Chinaman collapsed on the ground. The head potato man took the book and walked down the corridor.

We searched the mine for survivors and found none. We started dragging about 60 bodies out. We came across the mining foreman, and he insisted that we go back in so he could investigate on his own. He saw the dynamite the miner had set up to blow this part of the mine closed, and he said we couldn’t do that. While he was looking around, it occurred to us that we could use the soulstones there to permanently discourage people from mining there. The doctor said he could make it so people thought they smelled gas when they reached here and wouldn’t mine. I helped him harness the soulstones.

The ride back into town was uneventful. It was already 4 p.m. so I headed directly to The Star. There was a show that night, so I changed into my costume and went out front to prestidigitate. I looked for Ramos at the show, but he was not there.

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Fredo's Diary: Into the Mine

The miner led us through the mine. Little potato-like men with glowing hair started to follow us. We reached an intersection, and one of them pushed each of us to the side and worked some sort of magick to open up a room. The other potato men got frantic about us getting into the room, so we went in. They followed us and sat along the walls, reading the runes. The head potato man told the Chinaman that the runes on the walls were about the kings. He said that one Nephilim king could work magical and could read the Chinaman’s book. His name is Barbaros.

The lead potato man insisted that the book must be presented when Barbaros arrived. The Chinaman asked for assurances, since his boss wanted something in return. The potato man said getting to continue to exist was our reward.

Barbaros arrived and the Chinaman presented the book. Barbaros headed out of the room and down the hallway. He led us to where he had been broken free last time we were in these mines. He examined the shattered stone and determined that some pieces were missing. The head potato man told us that all the stones must be there to complete the ritual, or else the ritual would be incomplete and the barrier keeping the bad creatures out would be broken. I offered one of my soulstones, but he said it had to be the pieces from this wall, which was once a solid wall.

Finally the head potato man said that Barbaros could fix the wall, but he would need one of us to do the ritual. He chose the Chinaman and grabbed his head. The Chinaman began speaking in tongues, and there were great beams of light moving to and fro. The miners fell dead. Finally Barbaros was sealed behind the stone, and the Chinaman collapsed on the ground. The head potato man took the book and walked down the corridor.

We searched the mine for survivors and found none. We started dragging about 60 bodies out. We came across the mining foreman, and he insisted that we go back in so he could investigate on his own. He saw the dynamite the miner had set up to blow this part of the mine closed, and he said we couldn’t do that. While he was looking around, it occurred to us that we could use the soulstones there to permanently discourage people from mining there. The doctor said he could make it so people thought they smelled gas when they reached here and wouldn’t mine. I helped him harness the soulstones.

The ride back into town was uneventful. It was already 4 p.m. so I headed directly to The Star. There was a show that night, so I changed into my costume and went out front to prestidigitate. I looked for Ramos at the show, but he was not there.

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Feer So Shtupid

Hele I go to Guird riblaly with Fledo and get lefused entlance, onry to find Ming have book on Nephirim ranguage arr the time. [Laborious translation of continuing remarks follows:] I was very surprised to have Ming loan me the book. I no read so good, but I keep going over and over the pages until I find some of the characters I remember from the wall in my vision. I am very excited—hoping I can solve the mystery of the book or, at least, find something that will placate King Nephilim so that he values the book itself more than soulstones or our tasty little lives.

Once I had the book, I realized that I needed to “get the band back together.” We needed to go to the mine in hopes that we could decipher enough of the Nephilim writing to be able to either open the book (After all, the crazy lady said I WOULD open the book) or gain some bargaining power with King Nephilim. I sure wish crazy lady would help me some here, but I guess that’s not to be.

We took that crazy morgue driver’s wagon and headed for the mine. I think the “rest of the band” is a little disappointed that we haven’t come up with any major treasure yet. Hey! I’m poorer than they are and I feel “called” to do this thing. If what that crazy lady said was true, not placing this book in King Nephilim’s hands may spell the end of Malifaux and maybe whatever is beyond the Void.

And as we neared the mine, the rifleman noticed a bunch of carrot-topped beings. It’s a bunch of smaller Nephilim—and they’re searching for something. They’re probably searching for the mine, but they are being singularly ineffective. I found that we needed to look beyond the rock fall and the only one of us with any mining experience managed to find the hidden entrance. The little Nephilim didn’t seem to take any notice. That’s good, but I have a feeling they may be able to zero in on us as we reach the right chamber in the mine. The question is…will we have enough information to accomplish anything when we get there?

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