Sunday, January 30, 2022

Escape from the House of the Dimmer Sisters

We played a one-shot game of Blades in the Dark two weeks ago. It was my first time running the game, and the players' first time trying out the game. This is the second half of the write up of the session. The first half is here.

The Characters

Noodles, leech played by Michael

Lightstep, lurk played by Aaron

Contralto, whisper played by Anne

The Score

When we last left our scoundrels, they were ascending the stairs in a turret of the Dimmer Sisters' house, seeking a meteorite they wanted to steal on behalf of their benefactor, Baszo Baz.

The gang avoided the second floor of the turret, believing that the item they were after was on the third. The door to the room on third floor was closed, but light spilled from the gap beneath it. Contralto peeked underneath and saw someone's legs, but oddly one of those legs was clasped in a manacle chained to a heavy staple in the floor. Opening the door, they discovered that the legs belonged to a young woman with a wild shock of white hair, surrounded by books and strange apparatus. The woman initially mistook them for people she was expecting, a misapprehension that only solidified when Noodles showed her the red sash he had taken from the corpse at the bottom of the turret staircase.

The woman asked them to release her from the manacle, but they explained that they needed to get the meteorite before they could leave. The woman did not like this "change of plans"; it turned out that she had hired the Red Sashes to rescue her from captivity in the Dimmer Sisters' abode, which explained the imprisoned or dead gang members they had encountered. She had mistaken Lightstep, Contralto, and Noodles for her rescuers. 

They managed to come to an agreement: she would tell them where to find the meteorite if they released her and allowed her to leave the house under her own power. The gang agreed to this, and Contralto set to work with her spirit key, undoing the supernaturally empowered manacle that bound the woman in place. Though Contralto was successful at undoing the manacle, she knew she had also tripped its ward--it was only a matter of time until some fiendish trap was activated.

The woman, Doctor Irelen, told them that she had been forced to build a device that would allow the Dimmer Sisters to communicate with the spirit world, and that the meteorite was used to power the device. The device was located on the floor beneath this one in the turret, but some of the Dimmer Sisters were sure to be in there with it. Apparently, their ploy to lure the sisters out of the house had not enticed all of them to leave! Irelen also cautioned the gang against messing with the sisters before she departed.

Returning to the second floor of the turret, Lightstep used a silence potion to creep up on the door, open it slightly, and peer inside. Four of the Dimmer Sisters murmured to each other while adjusting the dials of the strange apparatus that the meteorite was powering. Figuring that if the meteorite could withstand re-entry into the atmosphere it could also survive a small explosion, Lightstep threw a small bomb inside the room and slammed the door shut. The explosion blew the door off its hinges; both Noodles and Contralto were lightly concussed by the fallout. 

As the smoke cleared, they could see that two of the Dimmer Sisters had been killed by the blast and that their machine had been destroyed. The meteorite was unharmed on the floor. The two remaining Dimmer Sisters were beginning to pick themselves up off the ground. One sister's veil had been shredded by the blast, revealing a mouth rotted away to reveal teeth and gums--the rumors that these women were something more than human proved to be true. Lightstep rushed in to grab the meteorite and the two sisters rushed at him. 

Looking to create a distraction, Contralto summoned the first spirit she could pull from beyond the veil: the ghost of an urchin holding a doll with a missing head. The specter caught the attention of one of the Dimmer sisters, but in the moment of summoning the boy's shade, she realized that she had attached the spirit too strongly to herself--he was going to be hard to shake in the future. The other sister tried to grasp Lightstep, but he juked and left her clutching only his discarded jacket. He scooped up the meteorite and the group made for the stairs. Noodles dropped the red sash to the ground, conveniently framing the Red Sashes for their theft of the meteorite.

Unfortunately for the gang, the ward from the manacle was now active--it had summoned a spectral hound with a skull-like visage that began to stalk them down the hall of the house's first floor. Lightstep slowed it by throwing a spiritbane charm at it. Noodles decided to load his pistol with electroplasmic ammo and stand his ground; he managed to put two bullets into the thing, causing it to leak spectral essence, but it bit his leg and dragged him to the ground. Lightstep threw an eldritch dagger into the thing's skull, saving his compatriot in the nick of time. 

Down at the small dock beneath the house, the group found that their raft is still tied in place, though the sabotaged boat was now gone. As they began to float down the canal, Doctor Irelen pulled herself from the reeking canal onto their raft, loudly complaining that the boat she had attempted to escape on had been sabotaged! She was, in fact, quite loud; loud enough to alert the guards in the garden to their presence. The guards took a few potshots at the fleeing scoundrels--Contralto got tagged in the shoulder. However, though they were bitten, concussed, haunted by an urchin, and now bullet-ridden, they had successfully pulled off their heist.