Characters: The Excruciata are a new gang rising in the Tarnished Ward of Umberwell. They are looking to get in on the action of stealing, smuggling, and selling illicit industrial goods. The current members of the gang are:
Former entertainer (knife thrower)
Wild magic sorcerer
Events: The Excruciata had heard through the criminal grapevine that someone had smuggled a cask of gunpowder infused with sea dragon ichor into Umberwell. The fact that the gunpowder was not available for sale on the black market was curious, so the gang leaned on their contacts to learn more about this situation. Reymondo learned from his old partner in a knife-throwing carnival act, Matteus, that the Red River Jezebels, a rival gang in the Tarnished Ward, knew something about the location of the gunpowder, and that they were interested in it but did not yet have it in their possession.
The Red River Jezebels ran a protection racket in a few neighborhoods in the Tarnished Ward; the Excruciata knew that the Jezebels were throwing a "party" that the business owners they were protecting were expected to attend. Sensing an opportunity to get the information they wanted from the Jezebels and shake their "clients" confidence in their ability to provide protection, the Excruciata decided to crash the party.
Crashing the party entailed a two-prong assault. Grumli, Erron, and Zanna entered the tavern where the Jezebels were holding court and immediately started a brawl with a few well-placed insults. Meanwhile, Nina and Raymondo sneaked in the back way to corner Essie, the Jezebel's captain. As the melee raged at the front of the tavern, Nina and Raymondo had their hands full with Essie--who proved to be a proficient swordswoman. Grumli, Erron, and Zanna were quickly outmatched by the marshaled forces of the Jezebels, and beat a hasty retreat when the Umberwell Watch arrived to quell the disturbance. Essie was subdued in the nick of time by a blow to the head, and dragged through the back door to a boat waiting on the river.
A few patrolmen of the Watch gave chase to Grumli, Erron, and Zanna, but the trio managed to give them the shake. Raymondo and Nina were stopped by the Marshals Tributaria but managed to talk their way out of having their "cargo" (the unconscious Essie) searched. Back at their hideout, the members of the Excruciata got Essie to tell them the whereabouts of the gunpowder: it was still secreted aboard a blood-hunting ship docked at the Old Scar. If the gang could steal aboard and make off with the gunpowder, they could put it on the market themselves and reap a tidy profit.
Essie expected to be assassinated by her kidnappers, but they instead blindfolded her and took her on a merry ride before dropping her off in an out-of-the-way neighborhood. Will she appreciate being left alive or has the Excruciata kindled a desire for revenge in her breast?
Next time: Aboard a blood-hunting ship.