Sunday, 27 September 2015

[Actual Play] Iron Kingdoms - Adamantine Will

The Claw of Corvis

In a dingy inn, in the north of the city, the arcanist-exorcist-assassin, Ichabod Grimes, was sat making a list of alchemical reagents he needed ready for his next trip across the boarder to Khador. Ichabod though was better known in "The Snowy Rabbit" by his Khadoran cover identity, Grigor. Grigor was an alchemist trader, and so Ichabod was bald, though sported bushy muttonchops that matched his Khadorn guise.

He was sat drinking vodka and chatting with the barman, when Julian Helstrom, captain of the city watch, entered and approached him. The captain slipped across the table a note that bore the seal of the Order of Illumination. Ichabod looked at the note, and folded it back up, and together with Julian, they left the bar, making their way to the cathedral of Corvis.

In a side chapel of the grand, baroque cathedral, which only a few months past was the epicentre of the events of the Longest Night and the battle with Alexia Ciannor, was Darcy Dimiani. She was knelt praying. Julian approached, and knelt and said a little prayer. He then realised Darcey's vow of silence, and so explain the matter.

A body had been discovered in the eastern district of the city, bearing the marks of the same killer that has killed 4 others in the last 8 days. With the city watch still stretched thin after the events of the Longest Night, Julian has asked for them to investigate.

Once dressed in a more suitable attire, and with Ichabod masquerading as her valet, Darcey and Ichabod are taken by carriage to the crime scene. Down a dirty alley, with the gloomy skies of Corvis drenching the city, the body was left where it was found, in amongst the trash from the shops that used the alleyway. The guards left there by Helstrom lifted the sheet from the body to let the witch hunters to look at the victim. It was clear to both Darcy and Ichabod that the man had his throat slashed, with no sign of struggle. There were three cuts to the neck. The top of the skull had also been removed. But but not by a clawed creature. The top of the cranium had been opened up with a precision surgical tool. It then became clear to Darcy that what ever had cut open the throat was a metal tool, and not some clawed hand or paw.

The guards informed Darcy and Ichabod that the victim was a known vagrant who lived under a nearby overpass bridge. It was there that the two investigators went in order to question the other homeless. Darcy handed out alms and return the destitute and homeless who huddled under the arch explained that the dead man had recently left Asc Solvin Asylum. The man had been put there by his sister but had since been released yet had not been taken in by his family. The vagrants also asked if they would be helping to find the others who had gone missing over a week ago.

The witch hunters were driven to the lonely island upon which the city prison sat. The gloomy tower groped towards the sky, and was covered in rusting barred windows from which prisoners peered out. From the courtyard, Darcy and Ichabod were led into the prison via the quest entrance, which while perhaps cleaner, and more inviting, was still cold and ominous. The steps into the basement of the prison were damp, and the wails of the prisoners were muffled. A corroded heavy door swung open and they were led into the morgue, a chilly chamber, illuminated by gas lamps and a crackling voltaic lamp. The attending surgeon, Dr Straven, was a stern looking lady in her 40s, wearing a dark, buttoned up dress, over which she wore an apron that was stained. Aligned in the centre of the chamber were 4 tables, upon which 4 bodies were laid out, with sheets covering them. At the head of two of the tables were jars that held what remained of the brains. Dr Straven pointed to were the report was if they wished to read it, and then she left.

Darcy and Ichabod began to examine the bodies in turn, and it was clear all had been victims of the same weapons and injuries and surgical tools. In the trunks under the bodies were the possessions of the victims, but something did not make sense with one of the victims. The man had been found wearing a military uniform, a dress uniform, and it bore the family crest of the Bersque family, and that is also had medals that showed that the owner of the jacket had participated in a war some years ago. But that did not make sense from the records, as it confirmed that all the victims were from the same asylum. Furthermore, Ichabod noted that there was a common chemical stain on the jacket and the clothes of two of the other victims. The chemical was one used in the steel processing business. It could not have been run off from the factories because the bodies were found in another part of the city. Had the bodies been dumped?

With the jacket with them, the two witch hunters were driven quickly to the Bersque estate, and there they met with the lady of the estate. In a warm drawing room, attended to by the servants of the house, Darcy and Ichabod confirmed that the jacket was indeed the dress uniform of Lady Bersque's dead son, who had been buried two years ago. More disturbing, is that when she was visiting the body last week, she witnessed grave robbers, stealing the coffin from the tomb. She also mentioned that the men had spoken of a inn that they would be meeting at, called "The Laris Eye".

They travelled to the northern graveyard, with night drawing in, and the city becoming a cluster of lantern lights out in the distance. The graveyard was unnerving, and of course with the events of the Longest Night, Darcy was ready to face any of the undead that may well be lurking in the grave yard.

Having found the tomb, Ichabod pried the lid off, and they both peered inside. The coffin was indeed gone. They then looked up and saw a lantern light drawing closer, and the caretaker of the graveyard yelled out, asked who was there. Drawing closer he recognised Darcy, both from the nights running up to the Longest Night, and from the paper. He knew of the grave robbers, but he was in no position to confront them, nor could he get the city watch to help secure the graveyard.

Given the evidence that they had, Darcy and Ichabod travelled back to the city, and to the Laris Eye, hoping to find out more about the grave robbers. Two hours passed, and it was a combination of overheard conversation and the same tell-tale chemical stain, the allowed them to spot the men they were looking for. They followed the men out of the bar, hoping to tale them back to where ever it was and to whoever it was they were working for.

There was a scream from a nearby alleyway, and a woman rushed out crying for help. Her brother was in trouble, and she needed help. In the commotion the men they were following disappeared into the city. Darcy drew her Execrator pistol, as Ichabod donned his knuckledusters, and they walked cautiously into the alleyway. There, around the corner, chewing on the body of a young man, were two decaying swamp shamblers - zombies that existed in the boggy marshes and rivers of Widowers Woods. Darcy took aim and fired her pistol, and blew the head off one of the monsters. The other hobbled over and wildly clawed at her, as three more clambered out of the nearby sewer grate.

Darcy dodged backward, making some clear distance between herself and the gang of undead, and fired again, exploding another skull, as Ichabod futilely tried to smash the zombies apart with his fists. Dodging the reaching claws, Ichabod backed away and called upon his arcane powers. Telgesh runes encircled him, and in two blinding flashes of divine energy, annihilating two more of the swamp shamblers. Darcy was had already lunged into combat, having drawn her dagger, and finished off the last of the zombies.

With the undead destroyed, Ichabod drew his sword and decapitated the dead man, in order to prevent his reanimation, and Darcy blessed the body and doused it with holy water. With that done they asked for someone to get the city guard, and they headed off in search of the grave robbers.

Ichabod had determined which of the factories was nearest and they headed there as quickly as possible, and soon they had caught up with the thugs as they entered the sewers beneath the factory. The waste from the factory gave off a strange viridian glow, and Darcy and Ichabod sneaked into the sewers. The were cautions, with Ichabod drawing upon his magic to better see traps they lay hidden before them. Both of the witch hunters passed a rusting door, and hid behind a archway. There was motion ahead of them, but could barely see who it was, as a shot was fired. Ichabod called upon his arcane powers and unleashed a holy bolt that briefly illuminated the sewer and obliterated a box behind which the thug hid. Ichabod moved forward, hoping to get a clearer line of sight. Nearby a large pipe pumped alchemical waste into the sewer. He unleashed another arcane blast as the thug charged towards him, trading blows. Darcy kicked open the door and found a stair case leading up. She proceed to ascend it, and barely found her footing as the steps gave way to a pit filled with spikes. She looked up and saw another thug hiding at the top of the staircase, who fire at her, catching her in the shoulder. Darcy leapt over the pit trap, firing her gun, killing the thug. His body cartwheeled over the railings and past Ichabod, and plunged into the sewer. The body bobbed up revealing the flesh already being dissolved.

Ichabod drew his sword and continued his fight, when he heard another man descending a metal latter. The man cried out, "Jovan, Jovan! We need support!". Darcy watched as a man in a dark green tricorn hat and long coat stepped around the corner and drew a strange, dark metal pistol. He whispered to it, whispered her name, causing the Telgesh runes along the barrel to glow a sickly green. The figure aimed at Darcy and fired. Acid green lighting crackled along the barrel and trailed the bullet that erupted from the gun. It slammed into her chest, cause her to collapse to the ground, crying out in pain.

Ichabod heard her scream and looked up, seeing the men on the gantry way above. He bolted away from the thug he was fighting, and leapt up the pile of boxes and jumped upwards. He pulled the garrotte wire from his pocket watch and wrapped it about the neck of the thug, pulling the man down from the gantry, and into the canal.

The gunman turned his back on Darcy and headed to confront Ichabod, thinking Darcy was dead. But Darcy was barely live. She spat out blood, her lung perforated. She aimed the Execrator pistol at the back of the gunman and pulled the trigger. The holy bullet hit the man, and in a fit of pain she watch as a ephemeral mist erupt from his mouth and nose and eyes. He dropped the strange pistol, and it clattered into the canal, and the mist like form disappeared. Ichabod slew the last thug, carving the man apart with his blessed sword.

Darcy, in dire need of medical attention, dropped off the gantry, providing cover to Ichabod. She fired again and caught the gunman, or now the gunman free of the spirit, between the eyes. Ichabod used a few vial of alchemical salves and sealed Darcy's wounds. Together they headed up to the chamber above, and peering in, they could see a mechanika armed surgeon, and a room filled with cadavers and tanks of chemicals. The man was quick, dodging the daggers that Ichabod threw. Darcy instead too aim at the vats of chemical behind him, causing a spray of caustic acid to spray out. Ichabod saw his opening and charged in, but failed to land a blow against the surgeon, who in return sliced at Ichabod, the three metal claws cutting deep and causing Ichabod to pass out from shock. Darcy knew she had to act quick, and took aim with her pistol, killing the surgeon.

Darcy rushed over and attended to Ichabod's wounds, and together they stumbled out of the lab, and back into the streets of Corvis.

In the days to follow it emerged that the killer was known Gavriel di Maro, who had served in the Cygnaran military, and more recently at the asylum. As for the gunman, he was known as Jovan, but as the head of the Order of Illumination chantry explained, the pistol was more sinister. it was the Imprecator, and the anchor for a vile ghost, that of Errigan.


  1. Whereabouts did you get those times? That table is really well put together for this adventure...

    1. Ugh tiles..not times. Wretch of a phone

    2. Tiles are Terraclips. Good luck finding them though as they are out of print.