The Dark Alleys

GM Notes - A Day at the Races
A Day at the Races

The heroes, as most of London, were at the Royal Steam Engine Races in Regents park at the start of this weeks session. The Races being a new annual event in the capital, where the most advanced steam powered carriages from around the empire and beyond are shown off and raced in a presidious and dangerous tournament.

Dimitri and Klaus had arranged a meeting with Sir William, Explorer of the Dark Country to attempt to gain knowledge of the african tribes he and Klaus had encountered in Wales. He hoped that Sir William would shed light upon the Troll-like Oni he had fought and the Cult of the Hooded Eye. Sir William clearly knew more about the cult than he was willing to share on that occasion but was willing to examine the book that Dimitri had found. They made an appointment to visit the explorer in his Regent Street home the following day.

Mark II, is watching with interest the side contest speed race between the engines of the Royal Society and the Académie des Sciences. The Royal Society engine is a advanced version of the winning engine from the previous year but the French engine is revolutionary using coal briquettes which have been saturated with petroleum. The Royal Society engine performed exactly as expected and cruises to victory whilst the French engine behaves erratically and explodes with great drama.

Lord John Bartlett, whilst attending Princess Alice in the Royal Enclosure, encounters a rival adventurer in the beautiful french spy and cat burglar Zara Belaroux. They greet and immediately pickpocket each other, Bartlett stealing a ring from Zara’s finger and Zara stealing a pocket watch from Bartlett’s right pocket and returning it to his left.

Zara is in disguise as the English Lady Sarah Bellborough and makes it clear to Bartlett that she means to steal the black diamond necklace that the Princess is sporting, but is willing to give the fabulous jewel to Bartlett in return for him performing and equally daring mission, and one that she believes that he cannot resist.

She tells of a Faberge egg, called the Raziel Egg, that will be presented soon to Queen Elizabeth as a gift from the Russian Zsar. The fabulous egg contains a difference engine of incredible intricacy and complexity, easily as powerful as the engines of Scotland Yard though miniaturised to fit into an egg the size of a human head. Zara tells Bartlett that the egg is being held in the Royal Society and that if he was to steal the egg for her she would exchange the Black Diamond for the egg.

After a meeting with British intelligence officer and Royal Society member Lord Christopher, the heroes hatch a plan to create a duplicate of the Raziel egg to fool Zara and outwit the French Intelligence. Lord Christopher takes them to the vault in Burlington House where the egg is being studied, and shows them the security around the egg and the egg itself. After giving the heroes paperwork which would allow them to secure a replica, the party head off through the Dark Alleys to Svartelhiem where the original was crafted.

During the journey through the Warrens, Mark II discovers that the pocket watch that Lord Bartlett is wearing is emitting a axiomatic signal. Fearing that the device is a bug planted by Zara Belaroux, Bartlett disposes of it in the warrens.

At Svartelhiem, the home of the Dark Elves or Dwarves of legend, the party petition the House of Svill to send a replica of the Raziel egg to Lord Christopher. They convince the dwarves to give them a set of prototypes, one of which could possibly be used to initiate the true Raziel. In return for this favour, Mark II, gives the House of Svill the opportunity to examine his workings.

Upon return to the real world Lord Bartlett and his companions find that they have been fooled and the egg stolen from Burlington House. Mark II, using his advanced knowledge of Axiomancy was able to determine that the pocket watch planted by Zara on Bartlett was using to capture the sound of the lock being opened and was used to replicate the combination. He also was able to surmised that only a sentient machine of a similar capacity to his own mind could make the calculations necessary.

Using the eyes of the guard automations in the egg chamber Mark is able to review the time of the robbery and was able to witness the egg being stolen by Zara and a mysterious cloaked mechanical man, noticing only the briefest flash of gold on it’s face. Lord Christopher commissions the group to find and retrieve the Raziel, with the upmost urgency and importance, granting them a licence to kill if necessary

Bartlett, making good his appointment at the Ritz, finds that Zara has stood him up leaving instead a jewel case for him. The case did not hold the black diamond as he hoped instead it held his pocket watch.

View
GM Notes - Parisian Spooks and Witches
Gonna get me some snakeskin boots!

In the aftermath of the theft of the Black Diamond and the Raziel Egg, Jonty, Dimitri, and Klaus met with Lord Christopher in his office in the Royal Society. The initial demand that the police be informed for Sarah Bellborough’s involvement is deflected by Lord Christopher claiming that it is perhaps better if the matter was kept discrete. Better that the names of the involved members around the room were kept out of the Police Engines registers. Lord Christopher instead gives the team a contact in Paris’s Black Chamber and sends them to meet him at his residence in the Left Bank.

The road to Paris

Using Mark II as a guide our intrepid agents head off through the Dark Alleys towards Paris. They travel through the tunnels of London’s underground railway where they are ambushed by a group of Lizardmen, similar to the the creature that Dimitri and Klaus had encounters in the mines of South Wales. Jonty shows some pluck attempting to wrestle one of the huge half snake half men and manages some success through his ability to pop his shoulder out of it’s socket, but finds himself constricted and almost crushed to death. He is saved by Klaus who uses his undead soul siphon powers to drain the very life out of the lizardman holding Jonty.

Another Lizardman uses its ability to fade into the darkness to surprise attack the undead protector but Klaus uses his fighting skills to great effect and parries the blows. Dimitri makes light work of the Lizardman facing him and then leaves final Liazrdman to face off to Klaus alone. who shrugs off the attack and lets the last creature to slink off into the darkness.

The team continues their journey through the underground tunnels and finally emerge in the catacombs of Paris with walls incrusted with skulls and bones.

The Rothschild’s gift

At the Rothschild manse on the left bank of the Seine, Jonty and his companions meet with Lord Christopher’s contact in the french Black Chamber. Monsieur Phillipe Rothschild listens with interest to the claim that Zara Belaroux has stolen both the Black diamond necklace and the Raziel Egg from the British royal family. He then assures the team that Zara is not an agent of the Black Chamber nor French Intelligence and has not worked for them for some time. He claims that the french spy had been romantically engaged with the head of French Intelligence and jokes that when they retrieve the egg and diamond they should return the frenchman’s heart too.

He gives the team a white replica of the black diamond and claims that the diamonds have been bound by sympathetic magic allowing them to track the whereabouts of the true black diamond.

Dinner with a temptress

Finding that their own Entropic magics were not up to the task, Lord Bartlett leafs through his little black book and pulls out a old acquaintance in the french capital, Jocelyn Du Pre, a socialite with a reputation as a witch. Jonty is not altogether sure if the reputation could not be sourced to himself as the last evening that he spent with her had episodes in it that were not strictly speaking physically possible. After reacquainting with Jocelyn, Jonty was able to solict her arcane aid in activating the sympathetic charm that had been placed on the diamonds. Using a very expensive bottle of red wine and a saucer Jocelyn was able to conjure an image of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. The diamond and by extension the Raziel were in New York City!

Cobblers!

While Jonty Bartlett paid off his debt to Adrienne in kind, Klaus and Dimitri seek help in researching the Lizardmen they have encountered. The coins that they retrieved from the corpses in the Alleys. A mysterious pawnbroker was able to identify the coins as those of ancient Samarkand but were truly old. If the pair could supply the gnomish Swiss with more of the coin he would glad purchase them.

Afterwards they visited a Parisian master shoe maker who they commissioned to make two pairs of snakeskin boots from the skins of their vanquished foes. The quality and quantity of the harvested snake skins is such that the shoe maker promises to make the boots in return for the copious of cuts for the process. All three parties shake hands happy with the deal.

View
GM Notes - Three Honest Johns
The Five Points very own Bowery Bhoy

Arriving in New York city through an Alley the agents of the Royal Society found in the Five Points neighbourhood. As they made their way through Paradise square they came across a streetlight between a couple of locals surrounded by a group of cheering supporters. The winner of the bouts was a woman of fierce demeanour with her teeth filed to points and sporting brass knuckles. The crowd caught sight of Jonty and his companions and seeing how Jonty was dressed in the red shirt, dark trousers and top hat signatures attire of the rival Bowery Boys a standoff commenced. Jonty cleverly diffused the situation by challenging Hell-cat Maggie to a wrestling match. Unfortunately for Jonty, the street fighter didn’t follow the instructions to not strike in the facial region and knocked him down in one blow.

After the fight the Jonty, Dimitri, Mark and Klaus got on famously with the Black Birds gang and before the end of the night Jonty had been installed as their very own Bowery Bhoy and was the toast of the Old Brewery. The Black birds aren’t able to directly help find Belaroux but when their leader Aidan Burke hears of Jonty’s previous association with John Morrissey and tells him that John is an old member of the Black birds and that Jonty should ask him for assistance finding his thief.

Meeting with Honest John and Morrissey

At Tammany Hall our heroes met with Morrissey and another senator whom is introduced to them as John Kelly. Kelly and Morrissey listen to the request for magical assistance from the Royal Society men and whilst it is clear that neither is able (or willing) to admit to Treaty lore they do promise to put the group in contact with a ‘Spiritualist’ in return for helping them out with a problem.

They have become aware of agent of the Texan Republic, a Texas Ranger called John Barclay Armstrong working in New York City. With tensions high with the southern nations, and war looming, the senators want the agent removed from the city with the minimum of fuss. Whilst they do not want the ranger eliminated they want the situation handled.

Encounter at the book repository

Mark makes some inquiries with a number of the locals in the guise as a preacher and one woman of colour who was an emigrant from the first civil war gives them a hint as to the where abouts of the Texan agent. The investigations bear fruit and eventually the Societymen find themselves at a book repository in which Armstrong had been seen. Finding signs that the building had been broken into the group make their way into the building and into a showdown with the Ranger.

It becomes clear that Armstrong has been sent, like the Societymen, on the trail of a robbery. An item of importance has been taken a fortnight previous from a vault in Dallas, and the Rangers sent one of their best men to return it. He found the item just before the party arrived but had becomed pinned down by two groups of gangs from the Five Points and the Bowery.

Mark investigates the item and finds that it is a data tape of a very specific design to the Texas Republic. It has been run through an engine and left in a shockingly badly tangled state. With Mark’s very specialised skillset he is able to resolve the standoff by repairing the cassette and handing to over to Armstrong allowing him to escape without causing a diplomatic incident.

Flight over the rooftops

With the Texan Ranger in tow the Societymen make their escape over the rooftops and to safety as a full blown gang battle breaks out in the streets below. On the ground a block away the group shakes hand with their new ally and part ways on good terms. Leaving the senators problem resolved and the Societymen a step closer to their goal.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.