Through the Breach, Into the Unknown

Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 10: Out of the frying pan, into th fire.
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 9. – Out of the frying pan, into the fire.
Entry 1.
It had been 3 days since we’d returned from our adventures in the sewers beneath The Little Kingdom. The night of the 3rd day, we all awoke from vivid nightmares with a scream. We all awoke at the same time and we each had a thin sheen of cobwebs upon us. Jack leaned over from the top bunk and asked if I’d just awoken from a dream? Jack had been assigned as my bunkmate, despite his reservations and lack of lock on the door. His protest to Mary fell upon deaf ears. I wasn’t surprised, I was pretty sure that Mary had assigned him to my room to keep an eye on me when she wasn’t around. Despite Jack’s protestations, she refused to relent. In the end, she conceded to at least knock before entering. I informed Jack what a sock on the doorknob meant.
Entry 2.
I didn’t understand the significance of my dream. I remember walking down the streets of a ghost town. Dust and tumbleweeds blew through the street. I turned upon hearing a noise behind me. There stood James. He was surrounded by a green glow, his eyes glowing bright green. The same green eldritch energy as had infused me! His eyes blazed with hate and he drew he saber as he stalked towards me. I had no weapons and was seized with a desire to run, but I could not. My legs had become as stone and wouldn’t move. I then awoke. Jack later said that I’d muttered to myself afterward. I spoke about James’s death being his own fault and how if he’d only shown better judgement, he’d still be alive.
Entry 3.
The door flew open. Cid stood in the doorway. As the door opened, Jack had drawn a bead with lightning speed. It’s a good thing that he paused for a moment as he almost shot Cid like a dog before realizing who had come calling. Still, he reproached Cid. With not a little sarcasm, I invited Cid in. He had had a nightmare as well. Cid assumed that his nightmare was the result of me having another “episode”. I assured him as that was not the case. I gave a recounting of my nightmare. Jack and Cid did the same. They’d both dreamt of dead people they’d known. Cid dreamt of his father, Ron; while Jack had dreamt of a friend that he’d known. Jack speculated that perhaps on some level we’d all felt guilt for those deaths. That is definitely not the case, besides, James had no cause to hold me responsible for his death. I did acknowledge responsibility for leaving him for the buzzards. That was my call, however, I feel no guilt over that.
Entry 4.
Cid called Xun in and asked about his dream. Xun would say little except that he’d dreamt about the veiled woman he’d helped escape Malifaux Station during our arrival. We sat up the remainder of the night contemplating. No one of which we knew had the power to invade our dreams? Jack told us of tales of which he’d heard about neverborn that could attack people through their dreams. What could it be?
Entry 5.
The next morning, we were called to McKinney’s office. We had a new job. It seems that Kat was quite pleased with our performance during our last mission. She’d requested us for another assignment, some guard duty this time. We were to meet Kat later in the day. The only information that we were given was to come, “loaded for bear, this is going to be rough.” Great. So, on our way to the meet, we stopped at our usual weapons/armor shop. Unfortunately, my custom duster wouldn’t yet be ready for several weeks so I traded in the duster for an actual breastplate and some greaves. Some of the others did the same. More ammunition would be a good idea as well.
Entry 6.
We met Kat at the rendezvous point. She led us back into the sewers. Damn it all! Not the cursed sewers again! Kat led us on a winding path through the sewers and into the QZ. Eventually, we entered into a network of rooms surrounding a large domed chamber. Within, she introduced us to her employer, Tara. Tara was a pale, raven haired beauty with a gaping hole punched through her chest! She explained our purpose. She revealed an odd box. Son of a…., this was the same damnable box that we’d nearly perished while trying to recover. Tara then told us that our task would be to guard her while she conducted a ritual to destroy the box and its contents. The moment that she began, the neverborn owner of the box would be able to key onto its location, and she would respond. We would be controlling teams of her minions and would coordinate a defense of the area while she completed the ritual. She then introduced us to our “soldiers”.
Entry 7.
We drew lots for areas and teams. I drew the shortest. Xun, who won got first choice. He took the NE quadrant. His squad consisted of mechanically augmented undead. These creatures remind me of the “students” created by Prof. Von Shtook at his “University of Transmortis”. As such, they are completely mindless and need constant, specific direction in order to function. Without it, they simply stand by like lumps of dirt. Cid was stationed in the NW quadrant. He also commanded undead troops, a couple of which were some of the Guild guards that we’d provided to Kat! That’s good. I was actually worried that these corpses would be used for some nefarious purpose. His minions actually had some mental capacity and could act somewhat independently. Jack was in command of the SW quadrant. His command was made up of constructs and various flesh golems, clearly the heavy infantry of the lot. That left the SE sector for me to defend. My squad was made up of a couple undead hounds called Canine Remains and a large, nasty, patchwork abomination full of poison and dangerousness that she referred to as a Rogue Necromancy. They, like Xun’s warriors were also mindless automatons and needed constant direction.
Entry 8.
Our zones consisted of 2 levels. The lower being sewer tunnels and chambers. The upper was catwalks and ledges which gave a limited view of the floor below. All of which surrounded the domed room which also had an upper ledge running around the perimeter. Below was a large pit in which a fire was to be set. Tara would stand on a ledge where she would perform the ritual. Kat took up guard just behind her and Tara’s personal guard; 3 incorporeal beings, 2 bug-like creatures (Void Wretches) and a large multi-armed, tentacled creature (a nothing beast) were posted around the pit. We positioned our troops and ourselves and Tara began.
Entry 9.
Tara was casting for 10 minutes before we began to notice movement at our perimeters. I readied my carbine. Soon, all manner of creatures began to filter in. Once they’d massed, they moved in to attack! Some of them I recognized, others that I didn’t (Tara and Kat later filled in some gaps). We would face, Sorrows, Insidious Madness’s, Ghosts, Poltergeists, Stitched Together’s, Nephelim (3 Terror Tots and 1 Mature), and a Blood Shaman. The remaining creatures that we’d not faced were Teddy’s (huge teddy bears with claws and sharp teeth), alps (minor demons that feed on the drams of mortals), living dolls (child sized dolls armed with long needles), the veiled woman from the train station (although she was now sans veil and we could see that her face was that of a spider! (She was called a Widow Weaver), a baby with a teddy bear and a butcher knife?, and lastly but certainly not least, a red haired vixen whom Kat and Tara called Pandora! Not THE Pandora? It couldn’t be? But it was fitting as it was her box being destroyed. I remember her from a Guild wanted poster. She has a 30,000 scrip reward out for her. She is known as the “Bringer of Sorrow and Despair”, not someone with whom to cross.
Entry 10.
The attack had begun. Pandora moved first. She spoke words of despair to Xun than compelled him to pull his pistol and shoot himself. Luckily he only hit himself in the leg. The knife wielding baby waddled up and stroked his teddy bear and swapped places with one of the Teddy’s. 3 of those accursed Insidious Madness’s, similar to the one from the warehouse from our first mission, flew through the walls and made straight for Tara! The Widow Weaver cast a spell and webbed some of Xun’s undead. Those webs looked a lot like the ones that had covered us the other night. Tara’s Void Wretch’s then flew up to our balcony. They cast a charm of quickness upon Jack and myself, I felt the rest of the world slow down, this should be useful. I sent one of the hounds down to the first level to try and delay the Insidious Madness that moved our way, my Rogue Necromancy I sent after a Teddy. It gave the Teddy a nice blast of acid breathe through the slits in a nearby wall. After seeing that attack, I’m glad that we are on the same side.
Entry 11.
As they advanced, I saw some of the wounds inflicted upon the Teddy’s begin to close. Damn! Some of Cid’s undead were able to bring down an Insidious Madness. Then the mature nephelim flew up onto the catwalk near Cid! Fortunately, Tara sent her Nothing Beast up to engage it. Meanwhile, a Terror Tot, a Sorrow and the Blood Shaman all moved toward one of my catwalks! I had a hound guarding the other, but I directed it to the threatened area. Before it arrived though, I killed a Terror Tot and wounded a Sorrow with my carbine. To the north, Xun and one of his troops began attacking a Sorrow. The Insidious Madness paralyzed one of my hounds while the baby stoked his bear and jumped forward. The Widow Weaver also advanced.
Entry 12.
My Void Wretch quickened me, then moved to attack the Insidious Madness that was below me. It had been quickened by the other Void Wretch and seemed more vulnerable to the Void Wretch attacks. The mature nephelim knocked the Nothing Beast back with a massive blow. Fortunately, Cid was able to kill it with one of his freezing blasts. It’s a good thing too for Xun’s line of defense was being overrun. His undead on the lower level were holding, but his forces on the catwalk were beginning to buckle. It didn’t help when a Terror Tot attacking his line killed one of Xun’s undead and morphed into a young nephelim! This is unexpected! I’d hypothesized that it was the act of feeding upon the life energy of those that they killed that enabled a nephelim to evolve. I may have to revise my theory. Or perhaps it isn’t necessarily life energy that they need. Perhaps any energy, even necromantic will suffice?
Entry 13.
The Nothing Beast relocated to the ledge in Xun’s quadrant. It was a good thing too as one of the Teddy’s had made it to the central chamber. Xun got in a couple punches against the same Teddy, then he backed off, probably a wise move. While all this was happening, Pandora had moved up close enough to get a line of sight on Tara. She hit her with some type of magical attack. It didn’t seem to damage her, though. Kat was able to shoot and kill the Insidious Madness below me, she attacked the 3rd Insidious Madness, but not before it reached Tara. It whispered something to her. Whatever it did rattled her enough to interrupt her casting.
Entry 14.
The baby left its Teddy’s and moved up onto the catwalk, approaching Jack’s position. The Widow Weaver blew a kiss to Xun? It then dropped another web on his troops. As the baby waddled closer to Jack, he fired a shot from his pistol. It struck the baby and blasted it backwards off of the catwalk to the floor below with a clap of thunder! My Rogue Necromancy attacked the Teddy with which it was engaged. The Teddy then responded with a devastating attack that rocked the RN back on its feet. My hound had killed the Sorrow that it was fighting. Cid’s undead were able to kill a Sorrow and wound another of the Teddy’s.
Entry 15.
A pair of Living Dolls and Alps charged Jack and myself. I’d managed to wound one, but then the Alp cut itself and its blood flowed into the dolls wounds, closing them. Damn it! Behind me, Tara, her casting interrupted, headed upstairs. I glanced back and saw her draw a very nasty looking sword. A sword made from Soulstones! My god, that thing would be worth a fortune! From the pit below, the flames had begun to die off and a cloud of steam had begun to rise from the box?
Entry 16.
Pandora began to move off. As she walked away she yelled, “Go bring me my box!” Xun killed one of the Stitched and in its death throws it lashed out and wounded him. Good to know, kill them from a distance. He then shot and killed another Sorrow. Then the Widow Weaver walked up to Xun and said something to him? I wonder what?
Entry 17.
The baby did his teleporting trick and appeared next to a Teddy. Jack then shot the Living Doll that was coming for him. This one was also blasted off of the catwalk. He then shot and killed the Alp that accompanied it. My Rogue Necromancy seemed to be enraged by the Teddy’s attack. It responded with a devastating claw attack that shredded the Teddy where it stood. I backed off a step and put a round into the head of the doll that had attacked me, dropping it.
Entry 18.
Tara’s Void Wretch’s moved to engage the young nephelim, who had moved up to stand by the Teddy. One of them attacks it. I’m still not sure of what I saw, but it seemed like the VW’s mouth enlarged, like a snakes jaw unhinging. It opened its mouth and swallowed the nephelim whole! It was like it was pulled into nothingness! Below a Teddy killed one of Jack’s golems. The VW that had swallowed the young nephelim was unfortunately slain by a Teddy, which resulted in the nephelim being expelled from wherever it had been. The other Void Wretch was then killed by the Teddy’s 2nd attack. Sigh.
Entry 19.
Cid was faring rather well in his quadrant. His undead Guild guards had taken out another Stitch. This was good as it freed up Cid to save my hide when the young nephelim jumped across the gap to land right in front of me. I was luckily able to dodge its attacks, but for how long? It didn’t matter as Cid was able to kill it with one of his cold blasts.
Entry 20.
A Stitch attempted some kind of attack on another of Cid’s undead. Whatever it tried to do failed and it ended up wounding and killing itself. Back in Xun’s quadrant, the Blood Shaman had chosen to bypass the kill zone I’d established on my catwalk. It had been fighting with some of Xun’s troops. It finally succeeded in killing the last one and despite being wounded, pressed ahead toward the inner chamber.
Entry 21.
My Rogue Necromancy killed the Living Doll that had landed nearby via Jack’s attack. Per my orders it then continued to stalk the nearest Teddy, bringing one of the hounds along with it. Tara charged and killed the Teddy that had killed her Void Wretches. Below, in the pit, the last of the flames flickered and died. The cloud that had been rising from the pit, flowed over Jack’s head and had begun swirling, like a hurricane.
Entry 22.
An alp had made it to the pit and attacked Kat. Instead of trying to disengage and shoot it, she attempted to punch it with no effect at all. The Widow Weaver moved around back and targeted a pile of scrap with some spell. It rose up again as a new Living Doll! Jack moved to a firing position on a nearby catwalk and hit the remaining Teddy with one of his thunder blasts. My Rogue Necromancy then hit it with an acid breath attack. The knife wielding baby was standing nearby and caught some of the splash from the acid, it wasn’t much, but it was enough to kill it. The Teddy then attacked and killed one of Jack’s constructs before moving away.
Entry 23.
Cid’s undead Guild guard killed the newest Living Doll. By this time, the Blood Shaman had entered the inner chamber. Tara pulled her peacebringer and shoots dead both the shaman and the alp that was attacking Kat. Tara then spoke some words of necromancy and raised up 3 of the nearby corpses as zombies.
Entry 24.
The cloud over Jack’s head had begun to rain! Xun who had teleported next to the box, picked it up and teleported away? Kat called to him to bring it back it was now safe. From my positon on the catwalk, I saw him appear in the next room over. What is he doing, the inner chamber is secure? Everything that had breached the perimeter is dead and there are active threats outside? Then from across the complex, we all heard the Widow Weaver shriek, “TRAITOR!” Was she screaming at Xun? He’d gone off alone with her after he’d helped her escape that night at the train station, had they made a deal of some kind? From the scream of rage Tara made, I hope that he didn’t plan of fleeing as she is not someone we want as an enemy.
Entry 25.
The Widow Weaver created another Living Doll from the ruins of the 1st. Jack drew a bead on the last Teddy and blew it to hell! Cid was able to hit the Widow Weaver with one of his frost attacks, slowing her actions. Above Jack’s head, within the cloud the forms and features of spirits began to take shape! The Widow Weaver shrugged off Cid’s frost and screamed “stealing is a sin!” She must be referring to Xun? I’d been moving along the catwalk toward Xun yelling at him to take the box back. I told Jack that if he tried to run with it, we had to stop him. Across the complex in Cid’s sector, I saw Pandora returning to the field! I know Xun saw her too! Fortunately if he’d had any notion of trying to abscond with the box he thought better of it. He teleported back to the pit and tossed the box within. Now it was Pandora’s turn to curse him as a traitor. Tara had come back down to the lower floor and the flames once again came to life.
Entry 26.
Pandora moved up onto Cid’s catwalk. She cast a spell upon him that compelled him to draw his knife? The Widow Weaver then moved onto his catwalk. Cid was not in a good place. He was penned in between the WW and a Living Doll with Pandora behind the doll! I moved up along the catwalk and put a round into the Widow Weaver. I must have hit something vulnerable for she seemed dazed. Some of Cid’s crew attempted to attack the Widow Weaver too, unfortunately, 2 of them hit Cid. Cid was still able to freeze the Widow again.
Entry 27.
The cloud above Jack had become a full-fledged storm and was rumbling with thunder. Kara had once again began the ritual but it looked as if she’d need to begin again from the beginning. I hope that she can complete it in time. Xun climbed up to the catwalk and took a shot at the Widow Weaver, killing her. Pandora then hits Cid with an aura of despair. She must have then seen me moving into firing positon as she jumped down to the lower level and began to attack Cid’s troops.
Entry 28.
Meanwhile, Jack holstered his pistols and drew a knife. He then ran for the ledge above the pit and jumped! He did a flip in mid-air and whilst doing so, he made a cut on his hand and splashed some of his blood onto the box. I used a corpse near to my Rogue Necromancy to heal it and then order it after Pandora. I don’t expect it to do too much against her, but it might distract her.
Entry 29.
Pandora was in melee with Cid’s remaining undead, trying to move forward. Jack had landed next to the pit and his blood seemed to have invigorated the flames. Suddenly, lightning began to flash from the storm cloud over his head. One bolt struck him, another struck the box on the site where his blood had spilt. The reaction was instantaneous. The box exploded in a shower of sparks and the cloud above Jack dissipated. Pandora shrieked in rage like a banshee, turned and sped off screaming that it would take her months to complete another one of those.
Entry 30.
I can’t believe it. We won! For a time, I very much questioned our survival. Once the fighting was done, Tara approached Xun and offered him any type of armor and weapons that he could wish. I recommended he go with a set of Dukes, you can’t get much better protection than that and still stay light. I made sure to harvest the nephelim heads as well, a bounty is a bounty after all.
Entry 31.
Later, Kat led us all out of the sewers and back to the IZ. We stopped and cashed in our nephelim heads then made our way back to the MSEC compound for some rest. The next day a package arrived from Tara for Xun. Within were 3 suits of Dukes of York! Not a bad payday. Later, as I sat at a table with Cid, speculating on the events of the past couple days, he told me something interesting. The spirits within the storm cloud above Jack had been contained within the box. By destroying it, they had been released. Had we not destroyed it, they would have manifested as Sorrows, Insidious Madnesses, and who knows what else. There would have been hundreds of them. Gods, what someone like Pandora could’ve done with an army such as that at her command? Let’s hope that it will take her awhile to rebuild her box, and even longer to re-fill it.

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 9: Rat Scratch Fever.
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 9. – Rat Scratch Fever.
Entry 1.
It was nearly dawn before we returned to the IZ. Along the way, we made a stop to buy some ammunition and sell the horse and loot that we’d picked up on our foray, got a nice chunk of scrip for it too. I also popped in on my armorer to pick up my new “hat”. The helmet that he’d sewn into the liner added some weight, but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle. Besides, I’d seen what can happen when an unlucky blow is struck to an un-protected head. Jack saw my hat and was impressed enough to place his own order. I took some extra time to speak with the shopkeep about my next request. I commissioned a modified duster, made in the fashion of the Dukes of York. I had him add some metal plating to the back and chest, just in case.
Entry 2.
We reached the compound and I had Jack and the other wait outside while I went to see about getting admittance for Jack. Mary was in the front office. She seemed glad to see me. She also seemed pleased when I informed her that I’d gotten that “problem” taken care of. I mentioned Jack and she directed me to McKinney, I went straightaway to his office.
Entry 3.
His door was open and McKinney was playing cards with the twins. I noticed that they both had shiny new pistols at their hips. He asked, why we were late? Where was James? I pled ignorance to any knowledge of James’s whereabouts. He didn’t question my story and when I mentioned Jack, he gave me a pin for him and asked me to bring him up. I did so.
Entry 4.
After escorting Jack into McKinney’s presence, he told the twins and I to get out. They remained on station outside his office, while I went back downstairs to chat with Mary. I was in the middle of smoothing the events of the past few days over when after a few minutes, one of the twins poked his head out from the stairwell and told me that McKinney wanted to speak with me again. I went back up and saw Jack and the twins standing in the hall. Jack was wearing an actual MSEC badge on his lapel. I guess this means his interview went well?
Entry 5.
Not so well as it turns out. As soon as I’d closed his door, McKinney tore into me. His first words being, “You left James out there for the buzzards!” He then proceeded to harangue me for 10 more minutes about obligations, dishonesty and withholding information. He followed his lecture up by putting me on notice. Despite my… objections, I held my tongue. Despite my opinion of James’s unreliability, further cemented by the episode preceding his death, where he admitted to having run into a group of Guild and confessed to being friends with individuals who had just crossed said Guild, thus necessitating his flight into the woods to avoid capture or death, I remained silent. Hell, we’ll probably end up seeing James’s picture on a wanted poster in a couple of days. Then we’ll see if leaving him for the vultures was such a bad idea.
Entry 6.
I was then sent to fetch the others. I took Jack with me and scolded him for blowing the cover story. He simply responded that McKinney has the sight, and I would never be able to lie to him. Given some of the things that I’ve seen, that makes sense. But as for never being able to lie to him, challenge accepted.
Entry 7.
Upon return to the office, McKinney briefed us on our next job. We were behind schedule so we had to move quickly. We were to go back into the sewers. South of the Little Kingdom, near the wall to the Southern Q-Zone, there was a section of sewer tunnels. This particular section was secured by a gate, closing off access to the sewers beneath the Q-Zone. Our mission was to make our way to that gate and ensure that it was open. We’d be meeting a contact down there, a woman known as Cat. We needed to ensure that she could move her shipment through the gate. McKinney kindly provided us with a stick of dynamite in case we needed to blow open the gate. He didn’t know much else, except that Cat’s employers were paying well and that this couldn’t be screwed up.
Entry 8.
We were then shuffled off. Stephen had been assigned to drive us to a point where we could enter the sewers. He drove through the streets like a maniac. Judging from the rather large bump and subsequent screaming, I believe that he had probably run someone over as well. At any rate, he got us to the Little Kingdom in record time and we were able to easily find the sewer grate McKinney had mentioned. Despite our annoyance at once again being back in the sewers, we made our descent.
Entry 9.
We reached the bottom of the ladder and begin moving to our destination. Our route would take us across several tunnels, requiring us to wade or jump channels of sewage. My attempts did not go so well and more than once, I ended up slipping in the filth. The stench will never come out of these pants. Despite the setbacks, we moved steadily onward. Xun ran out ahead and we quickly discovered our target when, upon his entering a wider space, we heard someone cry out, “Hey Sarge, there’s a light coming.”
Entry 10.
The rest of us move up to discover the area before the gate that we needed to open had been turned into a makeshift guard post. The guards had blocked of one access with a ramshackle wooden barricade. Xun had already moved around the other way and he motioned us to follow. He set his lantern down to provide us light and then kept moving. Jack, however, hugged the wall and throwing a couple stones as a distraction, snuck up past the barricade. The guards called out to us to evacuate the area or risk deadly harm. Jolly nice of him to give us warning. Xun then ported up right next to the guard post, while I shuttered the lantern to give us some cover. It’s on.
Entry 11.
Xun nailed the guard nearest to him with a punch while the Sgt. took a shot at him. Jack then shot one of the other guards. Then a construct that I recognized as a Guild Warden, lumbered out of the post and attacked Xun. Its retractable fist attack was able to hurt him, but luckily “Cid” hit it with an ice attack and froze it. I then put a round into the thing.
Entry 12.
A guard and the Sgt. began to move down the tunnel towards us. The guard attempted to shoot me, but the corner from around which I was firing proved to be excellent cover. Another punch from Xun killed his guard and he then teleported into the guard post, out of our sight. Jack continued firing at the guards still within the post. Another icy blast from Cid kept the Warden frozen in place while 2 hits from my carbine forced the guard with whom I was engage to retreat.
Entry 13.
I thought about moving forward, then I noticed something. The walkways on both sides of the tunnel had been trapped with a very sophisticated mechanism. I realized that it had been planted just in front of the area where the guard had ceased moving. I called out a warning to Cid, not to advance further down this passage. Xun began to pummel his guard while Jack dispatched another. Cid kept the Warden frozen and finally another round from my carbine brought it to a halt. With this side cleared, I unshuttered the lantern and began moving back to the other side of the barricade.
Entry 14.
Jack and Xun both killed another guard apiece. Xun then squared off against the Sgt., Jack attempted to help but ended up shooting Xun instead. I’d reached the barricade at this point, just in time to see Jack clamber over the top. The Sgt. was swinging at Xun with an axe, but Xun being wiry was able to dodge. Jack then punched the Sgt. which seemed to daze him. Xun followed it up with another roundhouse, giving Jack an opening. He hit the Sgt. right between the eyes. From his reaction, it looked as though the strike had blinded the poor sod.
Entry 15.
I climbed over the barricade, but things were well in hand. Despite being blind, the Sgt. lashed out blindly and managed to clip Xun. Under blows from the both of them, the hapless man soon went down, where Jack quickly dispatched him. I began healing while Cid looted the corpses. We got some decent gear from them. Once we’d gotten ourselves back into shape, we saw to opening the gate. It was simple for Xun to pick. It was good timing too. Not 10-15 minutes later a woman approached and asked if the way was clear? Upon receiving the affirmative, she crossed through. We opened the barricade to allow her passage. Behind her, dragging a loaded sledge were 2 flesh golems! The sledge was loaded with at least 30 corpses. We had a couple Guild bodies left and asked if she wanted them. She gave us a scrip each for loading them, although the golems didn’t seem happy about it. Cat then thanked us, curtsied and proceeded on her way.
Entry 16.
Cat was not a minute or 2 gone when we heard something coming from the tunnels to the left. It was hard to make out at first, then I realized that it was the music of a flute! I warned the others that we had to get out of here, now! We began retracing our steps to the exit. As we moved, I told them about the stories that I’d read; the tales of the Plague and hordes of rats swarming through the streets led by a piper who seemed to be controlling them. This proved to be all too true as moments later, rats began squirming out of crevices in the walls and heading straight towards us.
Entry 17.
We began a running fight, killing rats as we moved working our way to the manhole where we’d made entry into the sewers. Our need to hurry became all the more urgent when we saw a group of rats merge together into a roughly humanoid form! This “rat man” stood 3-4 feet tall and moved on 2 “legs”. This is not a good development.
Entry 18.
We’d made it about halfway back when someone came around the corner, very near to our ladder to the surface. It took a moment, then we realized, he looked exactly like Jack! They exchanged some angry sounding words in Chinese. Then Jack pointed to him and spoke something to Xun. Xun then teleported nearby and shoots at the newcomer! Cid and I aren’t sure what to make of this, but we did agree that this seemed to be a beef between Chinese, so we elected to stay out of it and kept moving toward the ladder.
Entry 19.
After taking fire from both Xun and Jack, this newcomer seemed to reconsider his situation. He spoke angrily at Jack and threw the pistol that he’d held. It landed far behind us, amongst the swarms of rats! He then turned and fled, disappearing into the darkness. Jack seemed very agitated by this and once again called to Xun in Chinese. Then he turned back and began firing at the rat man! Cid and I kept moving and reached the landing before the ladder to the surface, meanwhile the sound of the flute drew ever closer.
Entry 20.
Jack had begun re-tracing his steps, firing all the while. He destroyed one of the rate men, but another formed, right over the spot that the pistol had landed. I reached the ladder and took up a firing position and began to shoot at the rat man. The piper was drawing ever closer, I figure we only have half a minute before he is upon us. I shout a warning to Jack and Xun. I don’t know what is so important about this pistol, but I’ll not die for it, nor for them.
Entry 20.
Jack’s next shot destroyed the rat man and we saw the pistol fall from its collective form. Jack shouted to Xun and continued to fire at the rats surrounding it, despite the fact that he was becoming encircled! Xun, teleported to the site of the pistol, picked it up and began to run for us at the ladder. Another rat man formed up nearby. I kept shooting and killed another of the giant rats although my next shot ricocheted. 20 seconds.
Entry 21.
I sling my carbine and climb up the ladder, pushing away the manhole cover. Below me, I saw Cid freeze the nearest rat man. Jack, who had somehow gotten away from the rats that had been attacking him, reached the base of the ladder, firing as he ran. As I climbed out, I saw 2 more rat men form up, I also saw a light coming from around the corner. I yelled that he was only 10-15 seconds away.
Entry 22.
I had just hit the street when Xun appeared next to me! Hot on my heels were Cid then Jack. Once they were out, we slammed the cover back down and were about to take off when we noticed something. Behind us, the mouths of 2 of the alleyways were bricked up! They were all clear when we arrived, what the hell was happening!
Entry 23.
That question was answered soon enough. We saw, coming up on us from down the alley, 3 Witchling Stalkers, A Handler, and behind them an older man in mage robes. He looked directly at Cid and said “Son, it’s time to come home. I’m bringing you in.” Just when I think that this day couldn’t possibly get any more jacked up, this happens. I glanced over at Cid and as all the blood had drained from his face, I took that as a sign that this man was indeed Roger Jones’s father. Damn! Well, we’ll deal with that problem later. I backed up a step and put 2 rounds into the closest WS, causing the little bastard to blow like a firework.
Entry 24.
I was glad that I backed up. Xun pulled the stick of dynamite that McKinney had given him, lit the fuse and tossed it. I understand why he so freely offer it up, that must have been a bad batch for I’d seen James do more damage with a belch than was caused by that pathetic excuse for an explosion. Cid had challenged his father, demanding to know why he’d sided with the Guild? His father (whose name we later learned was Ronald) replied that there had to be some law. He then told Cid that he would mourn his loss and threw a fireball at him! Cid responded with an ice blast. I guess this answers my question regarding Cid’s ability to take on his old man.
Entry 25.
Cid’s attack hit Ron and he promptly disappeared! Cid yelled out that it was an illusion, but he would have to have been close. The ability to channel spells through an illusion of yourself! Now that is a spell that I wouldn’t mind learning! Luckily, Xun spotted Ron on a rooftop down the alley. One teleport later and he stood next to him and promptly began throwing punches.
Entry 26.
The 2 remain WS had moved up to melee with Jack and myself. I backed off and headed around a nearby building to gain some distance for firing. I stole a look at those bricked up alleyways as I moved. If Ron is an illusionist, then it’s doubtful that those bricks are real. No time to test my theory at the moment though. One bit of luck, the flute music that had stopped just below the sewer cover through which we’d fled had begun to move away. Good! The piper is the last thing that we’d have needed.
Entry 27.
Jack was right on my heels, moving around to the buildings other side. I heard Cid fire off another icy blast. As the Handler’s voice cut off mid word as she ordered him to surrender, it seems that he was able to freeze her. That’s good as the 2 WS were after Jack and myself. Jack shot and killed one while I was able to wound the other. Behind us, we heard Xun’s fists pummeling Ron. Given the crack and yelp of pain after, I’d say that Xun just broke one of Ron’s ribs.
Entry 29.
Jack and I kept up our move and fire retreat. I was able to break away and oved to try and help Xun with Ron, my first shot missed though. Cid fired another ice blast at Ron, but the magic seemed to be absorbed by a medallion that hung around Ron’s neck. Cid exclaimed, “Blast! He’s wearing the Amulet of Abundajo.” I think Cid is going to have some questions to answer after this. Xun’s next punch dislocated Ron’s right arm. That threw him off enough for me to line up a shot. The round from my carbine punched a hole through Ron’s chest and pushed him off the roof. He landed in a crumpled heap on the cobblestones below. Cid at once ran to him, I’m not sure if it was to see if he was alive…or dead?
Entry 30.
Meanwhile, Xun had teleported to the roof alongside where Jack and the WS were fighting and began to shoot down. I took position outside the alley to try and get a shot. What I got was charged by the WS as Jack ran out of the alley. I took a good shot from its sword, luckily my brigandine took most of the blow, it still hurt like a bitch though. Despite knowing what would happen, I called for Cid to blast it. I can take it exploding in my face, not so much more swords to the gut. So, Cid blasted it, it exploded, and my clothes officially moved into the total loss category.
Entry 31.
In the aftermath, I used a couple bodies to heal everyone including myself. We got a bit more loot of everyone. Cid shared some scrip that he took of his father, the amulet he claimed for himself. As it was obviously a family heirloom, no one objected. We also got the Handler’s Runed Greatsword. This is an interesting piece of hardware. We decided to hold onto it, besides, it’s not as if we could just walk into a weapons shop and sell the thing. Maybe The Spruce would have some ideas of what to do with the thing?
Entry 32.
Once everyone was healed and we’d gotten everything of value, we helped Cid wrap Ron’s body in a tarp and carry it out of the area. None of us pressed him for any answers. That would come later. We didn’t speak as we walked, but we could all hear Cid, quietly muttering to himself. He seemed to be analyzing his father’s actions, working out the mechanics of the spells that he used. In some ways it is a shame. Ron was obviously an accomplished magus, I bet that there were a lot of things that he could have taught us.

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 8: Let the bodies hit the floor.
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 8. – Let the bodies hit the floor.
Entry 1.
Sometime during the evening we heard gunshots coming from the area back by the train that we hit. A while later, James came stumbling out of the brush. It seems that a job had come up and our furlough was being cut short. Management knew that we’d left the city and thus he’d been sent to fetch us. When we asked him about the gunshots, he claimed that he’d killed some Guild guards and had then had to run, but he assured us that he had lost his pursuers. He was obviously lying so we made sure to keep an extra eye out, just in case. Even so the fool hadn’t thought to try and hide his identity or his appearance, not to mention leaving his MSEC badge on. Hopefully none of the Guild guys noticed.
Entry 2.
The next morning, we tied Scott’s body onto Roger’s horse and headed off back towards Malifaux. As we walked, we discussed plans for getting Scott back into the city and to Levi’s. We’d begun moving through a stand of trees when we noticed the smoke of a campfire up ahead. It’s good that we saw this as we then noticed that we’d stumbled upon a group of nephilim that were lying in wait, looking as if they were preparing to ambush the camp! It’s going to be one of those mornings.
Entry 3.
Xun (of course) moved first. He charged up and punched on of the small ones to death with his knuckle dusters, then he motioned at the campsite up ahead and teleported up by the fire, probably went to warn whomever was at the camp. I shot the larger one nearby, luckily I was far enough away to be beyond the range of its charge, James, however was not. 2 more tots charges us from the left. Roger froze one to death while I took out the other with my carbine. Hector stepped up and took a shot at a tot, he missed badly though. James was still engaged with the large one that had charged him, he’d done a good job of wounding, but he was covered with blood splatter and the beast’s black blood was sizzling away on his exposed flesh!
Entry 4.
Xun appeared back amongst us, wounded and seeking medical attention. Roger meanwhile had hoped up on his horse and moved off to the right, headed up to the front of the skirmish. James struck his neverborn with a devastating blow that drops it, not dead, but close enough. The fight was beginning to look up when one of the tots landed a blow that killed Hector. As he fell, the nephilim seemed to drain his life force and before our eyes, it grew into a larger nephilim! This isn’t good.
Entry 5.
Xun moved off and attempted to shoot the incapacitated neverborn on the ground, his shots didn’t do enough and we have bigger fish to fry. James then turned his attention to the newly grown neverborn and dealt it some serious wounds, all the while taking damage from the blood splashes. Roger had continued his attack against another of the larger neverborn and managed to freeze it to death with his cold blasts. In the meantime, another neverborn unlike any I’d seen before came through the trees from the direction of the camp. It wore a mask made of bone and seemed to have strange abilities. When it got close to me, I felt a warmth spread through me. The warmth soon turned into heat and I was wracked with pain as I felt my blood begin to boil! It ceased as I moved away though. It was due to this that I noticed something else. My new bracer began to glow green and some of its energy leeched into me. Whatever it was, the energy had a restorative effect and my injuries were healed!
Entry 6.
As I’d moved back to get away from the blood boiling field, it afforded me a better look at the area. From off to the left, I saw a Chinese guy in the garb of a cowboy. He ran out of the brush with a tot hot on his heels. The Chinese guy then stopped, spun on his heels and grabbed the tot as it came within arms-length. He then bit the creature’s throat out! Damn!
Entry 7.
Once again, I thought that the fight was well in hand. Then things got even worse. The neverborn that James had been fighting, reared up and bit at James. He must have stumbled for he was unable to dodge and the creature literally bit James’s head off! The creature then grew a second time into an even larger nephilim! I believe that I’ve just witnessed a portion of the nephilim lifecycle! Although they may grow into maturity naturally with time, their primary mechanism of growth seems to be fueled by life energy drained from their victims upon death. They begin as the child sized tots, then grow/evolve into the larger yet still immature specimens, akin to teenagers possibly? These young versions then grow into mature specimens that are quite tall and imposing creatures. They stand a good 3 feet taller than a human with 6 inch claws and some serious muscle mass, these things look like they could tear someone limb from limb. With James dead, I contemplated that we may need to break and run in order to survive. I’ve not heard of any descriptions of creatures such as this. 1 reason may be that they are rare. The other and more probable as well as disturbing reason being that most who face beasts such as this do not survive to report their encounter. I shudder to think of what it could become on its next evolution. My mind is racing with the possibilities.
Entry 8.
Luckily, flight did not become necessary. Roger hit the mature neverborn with a cold blast that froze it. This gave me time to put a couple slugs into the masked one’s head which dropped it cold. This enabled the Chinese guy and I to concentrate our fire on the mature neverborn and with Roger keeping it frozen and immobile 3 more shots to the head from the 2 of us finally served to destroy the abomination. Most creatures skulls would have disintegrated from that type of punishment, however, as this horror had a head double the size of a humans, it simply bore its bullet holes as a testament to its difficulty of destruction.
Entry 9.
The Chinaman approached and introduced himself as Jack. We exchanged greetings and mutual thanks. We finished off the last neverborn and I then used a couple corpses to heal everyone. As neverborn heads fetched a nice bounty back in Malifaux, we made sure to take their heads, we also rolled Hector and James’s bodies. As we did this, Jack borrowed a shovel and wandered off, he came back looking somber, thus I suspect that he had his own burial with which to attend. We invited him to travel along with us as these woods seemed a bit more dangerous than we were aware previously. So, we then secured Hector’s body to the horse along with Scott and set forth. As no one really gave a shit about James, we left his corpse for the buzzards.
Entry 10.
As we walked, we discussed our plans further. Jack looked perplexed but didn’t ask too many questions. He obviously recognized that we were concerned about re-entry into the city. I think he suspected it was because several of us were non-Guild magic users. Our neverborn heads would be the key. We needed to ensure that we made the city in the late afternoon so that the guards who saw us leave would more than likely be off duty. We could then simply claim to have been out of a nephilim hunt where we regrettably lost a couple comrades whose bodies we were returning to be properly buried. Provided they don’t scrutinize us too much we should get away with everything.
Entry 11.
After walking for some time, we happened upon a clearing. In the center was a lone tree. Under the tree was a squad of Guild enforcers, a Witchling Stalker, a priest and an individual with a book and wearing an old fashioned lawyer’s wig? In their midst was a horse. Atop the horse was an older Chinese man with a noose around his neck. Off to the side in some brush was a firing line of Guild riflemen. It seems that the Guild was about to have themselves a hanging. The lawyer was reading off a list of charges. The condemned was accused of being a neverborn and a changeling and thus sentenced to death. I motioned for everyone to quietly do an about face so that we could circle around the clearing. However things didn’t exactly work out like that. Jack suddenly charged forward and attempted to shoot the rope strung from the noose to the tree! Everyone then looked in our direction! Damn!
Entry 12.
Jack’s 1st shot missed as did his 2nd. Xun didn’t hesitate. He ran into a nearby stand of trees and began firing. Using the distraction, the changeling changed into a child. His head slipped out of the noose and he then jumped off of the horse and punched the nearest guard. I ran for some cover behind some trees. The priest, lawyer, witchling stalker and guards began advancing on us. I guess we are committed. Xun had already wounded the stalker and I was able to finish it off.
Entry 13.
The changeling/child had run into the same grove of trees as Xun and Jack. He then said something in Chinese, then he turned into a bird and flew away, you’re welcome. The lawyer had been trying to close in on me. I’d been backing to keep some distance, it was a good thing too as he attempted to put some type of spell on me, it didn’t take though. I’ll tell who what did that, the lawyer. He took my 2 rounds to the chest that opened him up and dropped him like a stone. One of the guards tried to mount the horse and ride off, probably to summon help. Xun ensured that he didn’t make it very far. Jack then scored a nice shot that blew away the priests arm, his crossbow arm at that. I then finished him off with a shot from my carbine.
Entry 14.
A second guard then tried to ride off. Jack was able to wound but not kill her. The riflemen attempted to form a firing line to protect her flight. Xun handled that one as well. He teleported right next to the horse and executed a flying punch that nailed the guard and took her right off the back of the horse! Jack, Xun and Roger then picked the riflemen off one by one. One last guard had attempted to find cover in some trees and fire at us, a round from my carbine finished him off.
Entry 15.
Having cleared the field, we looked at Jack for an explanation. Despite his reticence to provide answers prior, in this instance he recognized that we were due. He didn’t elaborate much, only saying that by rescuing the changeling hew was honoring a promise that had been made. Fair enough. We looted the corpses for anything of value although much of their gear was stamped with the Ram’s head of the Guild, thus useless to us. After throwing away the marked loot, we still had a decent haul, plus another horse! We packed everything up and set forth for Malifaux keeping our pace so as to make the gates in late afternoon.
Entry 16.
We were in luck. Upon reaching the gate we found that it was manned by a different shift of guards. Given our neverborn heads, I had little difficulty in spinning a tragic tale of a group of neverborn hunters venturing out into the wilds and though they returned triumphant, their victory was blunted by the tragic loss of 2 of their party whose remains they’d brought back so that they could be returned to their families Earthside for a proper burial. The guards were sufficiently impressed so as to not overly question our story. They admitted us directly and even paid out the bounty on the neverborn heads, except for the shaman. As they’d never seen anything like it before, they refused to pay any bounty. I hate the Guild. Not wanting any undue attention, we took what was offered and went on our way.
Entry 17.
As we traveled to Levi’s, we filled Jack in on the situation. To a point. We advised him that we’d hit the Guild train to recover Scott’s body as payment for some information. I also mentioned that this Levi was not the kind of man with which one trifled and asking questions wasn’t a great idea. Jack seemed to understand.
Entry 18.
It was late by the time we arrived. Alice was waiting in her usual perch on the roof. As we approached, she hopped down. Jack got a good hard looking at, but we assured her that he was solid. I think he recognized that she was also quite dangerous and he very quickly took a very respectful tone. Alice shrugged and opened the door for us then escorted us back into the waiting room while she bellowed for Levi. I saw the Babbling Cow still in its corner where it had been left.
Entry 19.
Levi emerged from the back and inspected Scott’s body. Proclaiming it satisfactory he called for “Stephan” to come and get the corpse. Stephan was another of Levi’s part human part machine creations. He picked up Scott and carried him into the back. Levi then spent several minutes giving Roger and myself the particulars of the Babbling Cow along with a crash course in charging and using the soulstone pendant, which we would need in order to utilize the spells.
Entry 20.
We thanked Levi for his time and departed. It’s a long walk back to the MSEC compound and we will need to make a stop along the way to sell our loot. We invited Jack to come along, he seems capable and we can probably get him a job, hell, since we are down 3 guys it shouldn’t be too hard. Although that brings about another issue. As we walked, we conferred and agreed that the best approach regarding James was to deny that we’d ever seen him. Our story would be that in order to help with my “condition” the individual to whom we’d gone had requested that as payment, we bring him some neverborn internal organs for his research. Thus, we left the city. While in the outlands, we’d come across Jack as some nephilim were preparing to attack his camp. During the fight, Hector and Jack’s comrades were killed. We returned to the city with Hector and Scott so as to have his body returned to his family Earthside. As for James, we had no idea that he had been sent, we never saw nor heard from him. It will go down as just another disappearance. Too bad for Leyla, though. She seemed to have really taken a shine to him. Oh well. Hopefully his replacement will be more level headed.

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 7: The Great…err…ummm…The Train Robbery.
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 7. – The Great…err…ummm…The Train Robbery.
Entry 1.
Things have certainly been interesting around here. The past 3 weeks since our return from The Bayou have seen a flurry of activity around the compound. The pump that we recovered from the Greystar ranch had been installed at a pumping station on the river. All of our time on duty was then spent guarding the work gangs as they laid a pipeline through the sewers from the pumping station to the MSEC compound. After 3 weeks the work was completed. Sometime during this period Stav and Madeline disappeared from their rooms? They left all of their possessions behind so I quickly made sure to claim the Babbling Cow and that soulstone of Madeline’s which I found hidden under her pillow as I searched her room. None of us cared overly much about them short of wanting to ensure that the same thing didn’t happen to us. All we were ever able to find was a report of ninjas in the compound that night? Odd? Roger had changed his appearance, he’d shaved his head and was now sporting a full beard, now we just need to see about those papers. I also met Mr. McHenry. He was an affable old Irish guy, although he is definitely still on the fence regarding me. I got the obligatory “what are your intentions towards my daughter” speech. I made it through the meeting fairly unscathed though, however, I made a note to try and keep my nose clean going forward.
Entry 2.
The final night of our guard rotation was upon us. James had been reassigned to Madeline and Stav’s old quarters, this allowed Mary to become a regular visitor to my room during the nights. This night would be different though. I’d fallen asleep with Mary curled up alongside, much as we’d done many a time before. The next thing I knew I was shocked awake by the feeling of an impact, as if I’d flopped back onto my bed? I looked about and saw Xun and Roger standing in the doorway. My door had been splintered as if it had been kicked in. Mary was backed up in the corner, wide eyed and clad only in one of my bed sheets. When I asked why Roger and Xun were in my room, Roger advised me that they had been awakened by Mary’s screams. They’d broken in to find that I had been levitating above the bed. I’d been covered in a strange green aura and only awaked after Roger had counterspelled it, causing me to drop. Seeing that Mary was visibly shaken, I pulled on some trousers and went to try and comfort her. I took one step and she fled the room. This isn’t good.
Entry 3.
I kicked Xun and Roger out so I could get dressed. I then made a beeline for Mary’s room. There were heads poking out of many doors, wondering what was happening. Great. I reached Mary’s room. She had the door locked and refused to come out. I assured her that I wouldn’t try to enter and I stood there and talked to her through the door. She was frightened that I would try to eat her heart. I was eventually able to convince her that my days of eating hearts were in the past. She then cracked the door and began to harangue me. She admonished me for scaring her and demanded that I do something about this. I reassured her that I had been making efforts but due to the workload these past weeks, I simply hadn’t the time. I was then told to make the time. She reminded me that I had a week furlough starting today and she advised me to put the time to good use. Noted. As I went to leave, she mentioned that she planned to ask that one of the company guards be assigned to me as “protection”. I’m sure that everything that I do will be duly reported back to Mary. Ce Sera.
Entry 4.
Today also happened to be payday. I met up with Xun and Roger in the pay line. My new shadow Hector was with me. As we stood in line for our wages, we overheard some talk from the others. The company engineers have been attempting to reverse engineer the Greystar pump. It seems that they were having some difficulty due to its complexity. MSEC has also been sending agents out to the surrounding mining towns and camps to drum up support for the pump. The hope is that there will be a market for mines that use large amounts of water as part of their mining activities. Perhaps they would be interested in a mechanism that would allow them to purify and reuse some of the waste water produced. The rumor is that some of them would be sending representatives to view ours in action. Roger was standing behind a strapping man whose job was to daily walk the route of the pipeline to ensure that it was intact. I’m glad that that isn’t my job. As he pointed out, that sounds dangerous.
Entry 5.
I recounted to Roger and Xun my conversation with Mary. I think that it is time to involve The Spruce. The others agreed and once we finished collecting our pay we made fast to the local M&SU office. Not wanting Hector to be aware of our contact protocols, He and I waited out front while Roger and Xun went in. A few minutes later, they returned and informed us that we were to meet het at the same park as before at noon. As we had some time to kill and had just been paid the others elected to visit some general stores along the way. I proceeded to get the name of some independent armorers in the area. I visited the nearest one in order to place a custom order. I commissioned him to install a modified helmet within the liner of the style of hat that I wear. In this way, I will have some head protection without the appearance of wearing a helmet. Might have to be careful about where I hang my hat though.
Entry 6.
After our shopping trip, we met up with The Spruce. She was playing at her usual playground. She came over to meet us and asked us to play hopscotch? As we played, I told her about the “issues” that I’d been having. She recommended that I go and see her “Uncle” Levi at Captivating Logistics & Salvage. Roger also made a request. He indicated his need for forged papers. She subtly told him that it would be 10 scrip. Roger didn’t quite pick that up until we let him in on it. When he handed the scrip over, Spruce waved it around triumphantly exclaiming “I won.” One of the boys came by and said that Roger shouldn’t feel bad about losing, she’s a good player. Spruce then invited us back to play in 2 days. We told Roger that that is when the papers would be ready. Having gotten what we needed, we made ready to depart. As we’d played, Roger casually mentioned perhaps looking into Stav and Madeline’s disappearance. Hearing this, Spruce warned Xun to stay away from the 10. She had pointed at the hopscotch square, but Xun later mentioned that he believed that she referred to the Ten Thunders. Ninjas on company grounds, it fits that the 2 may have run afoul of the Ten Thunders. Good to know. As we left, Xun palmed the stone we’d used while playing. He gave it to the boy that tried to console Roger prior. Roger caught a glance at it and mentioned that he thought it may have been a soulstone! The Spruce paid the kid 20 scrip to get it back!
Entry 7.
We asked about and were easily directed to Captivating Logistics & Salvage. It lay in the Slums on the south side of the river next to the Howling’s. It took us a good portion of the day to make our way there. Once in the slums, we quickly found CL&S. As we approached we were challenged as to our business. The speaker was a brunette 16 year old girl armed with a revolver, sitting atop the roof. When I stated that I needed to see Levi, see hoped down and unlocked the door to let us in. She locked the door behind us and ordered us to wait while she went to fetch Levi.
Entry 8.
Levi as it turns out fit the classical mold of mad scientist down to the last detail. He had wild, white/grey hair. Dressed in a stained lab coat and had some sort of apparatus upon his back that seemed to be pumping chemicals of some sort into him. I explained to him that I had become infected with necromantic energies and had begun levitating in my sleep. He took me, and me alone, much to Hector’s disconcertment into the back to an examination room. As we walked I mentioned that this had something to do with the Crow that Devours Worlds. To my surprise, he seemed familiar with that term!
Entry 9.
The room had a table and much equipment. There were also 3 women within. There expressions were blank and they walked in a jerking motion that was similar to that of a zombie, however they possessed none of the necromantic taint of the undead? Levi had me lie upon a table and remove my glasses. He looked into my eyes, listened to my heartbeat and preformed some other tests. After which he announced that I definitely had the Crow within me. Tell me something I don’t know doc.
Entry 10.
Once we’d established that I was in fact host to the Crow that Devours Worlds, I moved on to asking about treatment. Levi offered to extract the Crow, however that procedure would have the regrettable, slight side effect of my death. Let’s call that plan Z, now onto A-Y. If he couldn’t cure me, I asked if he could just make it look as if I was cured. I mention how freaked Mary had been by my levitating act. Levi suggested tying myself into bed. Once again, not the helpful answer for which I’d hoped. He then suggested that I try counterspelling myself each night. Ok, now we are getting somewhere. While not the permanent solution for which I was looking, it’s a start. As we spoke, a 2 foot tall metal column on mechanical spiderlike legs, topped with a humanish skull skittered by, stopped and looked at me? When I inquired to Levi about it, he said, “that’s just Hank.” I bid Hank a good afternoon and he waved a couple legs in the air in greeting. Levi the muttered something about him talking too damn much?
Entry 11.
Changing course, I asked Levi for more details about the Crow legend. He was quite vague, but he alluded to him being an emperor back in the days of ancient Rome. He’d challenged the Wizard’s Council (when I asked “Wizard’s Council”, he replied, “The one that controls the Guild,” like it was common knowledge) and they had imprisoned him within the heart of a man. I gave Levi a brief rundown of my experience, the Crow having passed to me from my old CO and to him from a native shaman. Levi seemed interested in this. He was unaware of any connection between the Crow and the Americas. At any rate, he was unable to offer any help. I thanked him for his time and made ready to leave when he asked if I had an object for at which to look? I was a bit taken aback. I hadn’t realized that this was also the Spruce’s contact for that matter. I advised that we would return tomorrow. Levi instructed me to mention that to Alice on our way out and to be ready for a journey in lieu of monetary payment for his services.
Entry 12.
We departed and set about returning to the compound. I filled the others in on our conversation. Roger, during his time at Oxford, recalled hearing stories about groups of wizard’s, but he’d never heard of them referred to as the Wizard’s Council. As we walked, we discussed things further and realized that on a certain level it all added up. The Guild’s interest in soulstones per se. They collected massive amounts of them and shipped them Earthside. We never saw many of the Guild types using them. Their primary purpose was in magical applications, so the idea of a powerful cabal of wizards using the Guild to keep a steady supply of soulstones flowing was not a big stretch of the imagination.
Entry 13.
It was quite late by the time we returned. I found that Mary had had my door replaced. However, I no longer had a conventional lock on my door. I now had a chain lock. I guess she wanted to ensure easier access should the situation arise. This did pose the issue of securing some items though. Not wanting to leave my grimoires in an unlocked room, I gathered them all up and left them with Roger for safekeeping. We then turned in for the night.
Entry 14.
The next morning we arose. I stuffed the Babbling Cow in a sack and we set forth. We made faster time as we knew where we were going and reached Levi’s by mid-afternoon. Alice was waiting for us and let us in straight away. Levi met us in the waiting area and barely took a look at the head before announcing that he knew what it was and could tell us all about it, for a price, that price being he wanted us to rob a train for him!
Entry 15.
Levi called for a Stephan to bring him “The compass”. As we waited, he gave us the particulars of the job. It seems that there was this miner named Scott who had gone prospecting up in the Northern Mountains. While up there he had run afoul of some of the locals. Levi was unsure as to whether he was alive or dead. However, 2 hours ago a Guild train had departed Malifaux for Ridley Station where they were to collect Scott and return him to the city. Ridley being a 4 day round trip by train didn’t give us much time. Levi wanted us to hit the train and bring him Scott, either alive or dead, it didn’t matter which as long as his body was intact. Alice gave us a set of fake papers for him, Scott Choo in case we are able to bring him in alive. Eventually Stephan, a part human/mechanical construct emerged and handed us a compass. Levi advised that it would locate Scott’s body within 20-30 feet.
Entry 16.
Leaving the Babbling Cow in Levi’s care, we departed. We found a local tavern and spent several hours trying to come up with a plan, however we realized that we had a lack of knowledge in this area, perhaps the Spruce could help us with this? As we were set to meet her tomorrow, we made note to ask. In the meantime, we made another run for some supplies. Among our purchases was a horse. If we end up having to bring a dead body back into town it would be helpful not to have to carry it ourselves.
Entry 17.
The next day we met again with the Spruce. Roger got his new papers, his new name was Sid Justice. We asked Spruce about anyone she may know with experience in train heists. She pointed to a sleazy looking guy who sat at the edge of the playground, watching the children. She said that “Uncle” Ed used to work with trains. I remember this guy from yesterday. As unlikely as it is that Ed may know anything, we decided to go and have a chat.
Entry 18.
As I suspected, Ed was just an old perv. After some menacing, he dropped the charade that he was keeping an eye on the grandkids, whose names he couldn’t keep straight. He admitted that he was there to watch the kids, but he did in fact know and old railroader. Joe, who lost a leg and was now a ratcatcher. Ed gave us directions to his stomping grounds and after warning Ed to never mess with the Spruce, we went to find Joe.
Entry 19.
After descending into the sewers, it was easy to find Joe. A small bribe is all that it took to get him talking. From Joe, we got a basic layout of the train and the dispositions of the guards. He also broke down the procedure by which one could uncouple the train cars. Using his information I believe that we can now properly time out where Xun needs to board the train and where it will come to a stop so we can plan our ambush. This knowledge in hand, we exit the sewers and make our way out of the city. I tell you, seeing those walls lined with cannon and guards, you really can forget sometimes just where we are. Anyway, we began moving, we angled over a bit so as to meet up with the tracks just out of sight of the walls. We then began to follow them north, all the while searching for a good place to hit the train.
Entry 20.
The terrain was grassy with rolling hills. Though not a forest, there were still many patches of trees here and there, some quite thick. These could be useful. We spent a nerve wracking night camping in these woods. The next day we kept moving north until we found an especially dense section of woods. Normally the trees were cut back 50 ft. from the rails. Here though, they were too thick and had only been cut back 30ft. due to the amount of effort needed. This would be perfect. We had about a day before the train would pass by this point. We set up a camp nearby and then set to work planning. Eventually we worked out the plan. Xun would head up track a few miles alone to a predetermined point. As the train passed, he would teleport on board the last cargo car and decouple the rear section of cars from the cargo cars. He would then move to the first cargo car and uncouple them from the forward sections. Between them, Roger and Xun figured that that would result in the rear sections coming to a stop a mile or so away while the cargo cars should rollup to a stop right in front of us.
Entry 21.
The day is here. Hector, Roger and I saw Xun off then we prepared some cover within the tree line and waited. It wasn’t too long before we heard the engine chugging along. Not long after it rounded the bend, we saw Xun atop one of the cars in hand to hand with a guard while another fired at him from a distance. Sure enough, the engine screamed on by while Xun and his cars stopped about right in front of us, exactly where they figured. Time to get our prize.
Entry 22.
Hector charged out into the no man’s land and got all shot up. I told him to seek cover between the cars. Meanwhile, I had taken out one of the guards atop the car while Xun punched through the chest of another. Roger and I then dealt with the guard within the 2nd car. Eventually, Roger is able to freeze him while I finish him off with a shot to the head. Meanwhile, Xun has teleported within the 1st car while Hector had climbed up on top of the car and had begun to loot the dead guards.
Entry 23.
With Xun inside the car keeping the guards occupied, Roger and I were able to get right up alongside the car and begin firing within. Roger kept hitting them with his cold spells and between us we brought down 1 of the guards. The other was bleeding profusely and surrendered. Xun accepted her surrender with a punch to the head.
Entry 24.
Xun opened the doors and let us inside the car. We shouted for Hector to get down and search the dead guards. Meanwhile we used the compass to find Scott. It wasn’t difficult. The car contained crates of grain and a huge block of ice. The ice was magical in nature. Whenever Roger and Xun tried to chip away at it, it froze back. I then approached to examine the block. Within was the frozen body of a young man with long blond hair. I looked upon the body frozen within the block of ice. I wasn’t perturbed by the sight, I’d seen far worse during my time Breachside. The ancient bracer on his left arm, on the other hand, shocked me. It sparked a glimmer of recognition that caused something to stir within my mind. The world around me went green as my vision faded to black and I felt myself slipping into unconsciousness. Then, I saw a point of light in the darkness, it opened up and I saw once again, except it wasn’t my eyes through which I was looking.
I found myself standing in the midst of a huge construction site. Before me, 2 massive pyramids rose into the sky with a 3rd in process. By the architecture and dress, I can tell that this is Ancient Egypt. I am but a humble servant to the master builder. I am standing over a slave, ready to dismember him. The clumsy wretch had broken 3 tools within a week and his clumsiness was slowing work on the pyramid. Whether it be ineptitude or willful disobedience, he would pay with his left arm. My massive axe crashed down onto the outstretched limb and glided through muscle and bone as if it were butter. The blood that splattered onto my bracers quickly turned green and was absorbed. I can feel the energy flowing from them and my heart begins to race. I know that this feeling will not last for long, but I silently give thanks to the High Priest for this enchantment.
My view quickly changes. I’m now in the midst of battle astride a mighty war chariot. The bloodletting has become an addiction over the decades and the feeling has become for all that I live. Severed feet and legs fly in every direction as the scythes of my chariot slice into the ranks of the enemy. My sword whips about in a frenzy and soon the decapitate heads of these mighty warriors join the limbs of their comrades upon the desert sands. My bracers glow a brighter green with each death. The exhilaration is overwhelming. I watch my own wounds close almost as they are inflicted and I know that none on this field will survive the day, none but I.
Then I’m sitting atop a grassy hill looking down upon a still burning Roman city. The smoke from the fires and the smell of death let me know that it has been a day well done. My arms glow green as they absorb the power from my bracers. I know that it is no longer blood that my heart pumps, by pure eldritch power. How many centuries has it been? I marvel at how much I have changed, how far I have come. I no longer worship at the feet of Kings and Pharaohs. In many ways I am now one in my own right and someday soon I will be an Emperor.
My vison flashes and I find myself working the deck of a Viking longship. This was not how I had envisioned my future. The smell of salt in the air and the chilly sea spray are stark reminders of how far I’d come and of how far I’d fallen. Over the eons, I’ve learned many lessons, the greatest being to not interfere with the machinations of the Wizard’s Council. It was with scant hope that I bargained passage upon this ship. With luck, it will carry me the wizards and their influence. These proud warriors speak of new lands and a fledgling colony to the west, a land inhabited by people they call the Skraelings. This seems a place where I can make a new name for myself without having to worry about the Wizards.
It was now several years later, I’ve lost count of how many. The worst thing about these savages wasn’t the serrated swords that they used. Truly they were painful, but it wasn’t nearly as maddening as the screaming they did whilst using them. I flowed through my ears as a tidal wave, by the Gods it was irritating. Despite being savages, in some ways they were wiser than most of the peoples that I’d encountered. It had only taken them a few weeks to discover my immortality. It wasn’t my bracers, I’d long since passed beyond needing them. I’d merely kept them as a reminder of my humble beginnings. After my capture, the Mayans had taken them from me. In the hands of their warriors they had done something not done for me in ages, glow green. Their High Priest quickly realized their power and its meaning. He had given one each to a runner and had sent them off in a separate direction, never to be rejoined. I was amused at their petty efforts. Ultimately it would make little difference. Eventually I would win my freedom whether it took days or years. It would not be like the 40 some years imprisoned in London nor those 2 centuries spent buried alive in India. I still marvel at the fury of those people. I’d merely killed and raped the inhabitants of 3 pathetic villages, they were nothing compared to the wider world. It’s not as if I launched a crusade to exterminate them all as I’d done to the Philistines. I was then taken by the Mayans to the top of one of their pyramids. I’m unsure as to the reason, but I did take a moment to admire the view. In addition, I noticed the subpar work that they call craftsmanship. When these savages bend their knee to me I will teach them the proper way to build a pyramid. Suddenly, I found myself seized by several priests and thrown across an altar while being restrained. A priest stepped up, an obsidian knife in hand. “What is happening?” I thought to myself. Surely these primitives know that even should they split open my gullet, I can nor die. Whatever it is that they hope to accomplish will never succeed. I began to laugh as the knife plunged into my stomach. The pain was excruciating, but my laughter helped to mask it. I also enjoyed seeing how it un-nerved the Mayans.
Things slowly start fading into darkness. The pain was unbearable as the knife cut its way up to my chest. I felt the priest’s hands groping about within my chest. The last thing that I can remember was the priest lifting my heart high above his head, its bright green glow seemed to radiate for miles. As his teeth bite into it all goes black.
I awake on the floor of the train. I’m not sure if what I experienced was a nightmare, vision or a memory? Either way, that bracer on the arm of the corpse calls to me. It is bound to my fate and perhaps hold a piece of the key.
Entry 25.
I stood up. Luckily I’d only been out for about a few seconds. I quickly recounted my vision to them as I examined the block. Then I had a thought. My weapon still held the fire enchantment so I took aim at the edge of the block and fired. The block shattered and Scott’s body fell free. I grabbed the bracer, then with the others, we picked up the body and carried it off into the forest to our camp and were long gone by the time the engine was able to reverse and come back to the cargo cars. At camp, we divided up some of the loot. Regrettably, we had to throw the rifles away as they had been stamped with the Guild’s symbol. Oh well. We have our prize and tomorrow we will see about getting it back into the city and to Levi. Not a bad day.
Entry 26.
Roger took first watch while the rest of us tried to catch some sleep. Later, Roger shook me awake and told me that I’d been doing that levitate thing again. This time however, the bracer seemed to pull the green energy from me and absorbed it causing me to settle back down. Hopefully this will in time negate that whole levitate thing once and for all. It’s odd, I didn’t expect to find anything more about my condition here. Who knows what else is to come. I wonder if that 2nd bracer might somehow find its way to me as well?

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 6: Down to the Bayou - Pt 2.
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 6. – Down to the Bayou: Pt.2.
Entry 1.
The remainder of the day and the following night passed uneventfully. Dawn saw us resume our journey. At mid-morning we reached our destination. The ship stopped and settled into the water. At this point, the crew began bustling about on deck. They quickly assembled a drilling derrick on the stern. This was as close to the ranch as we would be getting and the ship would remain here until the next morning. I made my way to the stern and had a chat with Jim, the 1st mate. 10 scrip was sufficient enough for him to turn a blind eye to our slipping away. It also ensured that some mechanical issues would delay any departure until late afternoon the next day. I hope that we will have returned long before then, but it never hurts to take precautions.
Entry 2.
We left the ship and began slogging through the swamp. Madeline remained behind. She was to try and delay the ship’s departure should we not return before the appointed time and perhaps try to arrange a rescue if need be, not that it would do any good. We all know that if we don’t come back it will be because we are all dead.
Entry 3.
After a few hours, we reached our destination. It was some rough going, but Stav and I were able to work out our position using the map. With James doing some spotting from the treetops and Xun and Roger scouting a safe passage through some of the more rugged areas, we finally arrived at a clearing. In the center, it looked to contain the ruins of some structures that look to be our target. I must admit, I thought it would be tougher than this.
Entry 4.
It seems that I spoke too soon. The area was covered in pig tracks. As we set foot into the clearing, we were set upon by 4 wild boars and 2 other pigs the size of horses! These must be those war pigs I’ve heard tell of the Gremlins riding into battle. These hogs are completely feral though. And mean to boot.
Entry 5.
The boars were able to get into melee shockingly fast! Stav and I began shooting at the war pigs while the others (and Bacon) took on the boars. Being and undead piglet, Bacon could do little but run some interference. Roger, Xun and James were all able to put their boars down, though not without sustaining a few wounds. Between Stav and I, we managed to cripple one of the war pigs. James took care of the other. With Roger continuously freezing and paralyzing the beast, it wasn’t able to mount much of a defense. Once it was dead, an icy blast shattered the last war pig into pieces. I took advantage of the corpses to do some healing and get myself a new zombie pig (Oinkus), with Bacon having fallen in battle.
Entry 6.
We continued onward through the marshy clearing. About halfway through, we found the remnants of an old barbed wired fence. It had long since been trampled and torn, but it looks as if we are on the correct track. The, further on, we found our quarry. The abandoned Greystar Ranch! The ranch itself seemed to have been entirely built upon a raised platform. Several buildings had been constructed atop it. The pilings at the far side had collapsed, leaving the entire thing sitting at a 20 degree angle. The front gate was still 3-4 feet off the ground, forcing us to climb up there. Except for Xun who just teleported to the ramparts. At least with entrance being this high, we shouldn’t have to worry about pigs getting inside. Amusingly, we were not the only one to realize that height = safety. As we entered, we spotted a gremlin skeleton in the crook of a tree not far off. It looks as if the poor sod had been treed by a pig and perished up there.
Entry 7.
Xun discovered a couple skeletons within the guard tower into which he had teleported. As we were entering via the front gate, he crossed over the causeway above us and entered the building to our left. It was a bit tricky to navigate the sloped floor. We could see the extent of the damage from here. The entire back 3rd of the complex had collapsed into the swamp. Hopefully the pump would not be there.
Entry 8.
James went across the courtyard and began poking about in what was once the stables. Roger and I investigated another door which opened into an old sitting room. The tilt of the place was giving Roger no end of trouble and he kept stumbling about. Despite this, he preceded me into the sitting room for a look. It was about this time that we began to hear moaning! Once again, I knew it wouldn’t be this easy.
Entry 9.
The specters of the dead residents of this place had begun to manifest! From the back of the room in which was Roger there came a couple of ghostly women who looked like kitchen staff. Outside, some ghostly field hands came along with a spirit dressed in fine clothes who carried herself with a haughty demeanor, the Lady of the house by chance? Some of the spirits resembled those that we’d fought in the warehouse back in the QZ on our first day. Need to watch for those.
Entry 10.
Xun came out and fired from the upper balcony upon which he stood. Stav and I retreated to the gate. He began firing at the ghosts in the courtyard while I engage the ghost of a little girl that came skipping down a path toward us and then let forth the most unearthly screams. I sent Oinkus after the Lady Greystar, he didn’t last long though. Roger had done exceptionally well, killing both of the ghosts that had menaced him. Unfortunately, he attempted to exit the building in which he’d fought, just as Lady Greystar happened by. She raked him with her talons and he fell, his legs a bloody, mangled mess. Due to our combined fire, the little ghost girl and the ghosts within the courtyard, save Lady Greystar had been felled. James emerged from a side building and after cutting down a Sorrow, moved to engage the Lady with Xun who’d teleported down. Together, they defeated her and she disappeared into the aether from whence she came.
Entry 11.
I went at once to Roger. A round of first aid and a healing spell a la the corpse of Oinkus served to restore him to consciousness. His legs though needed more work. I took him out front and attempted another heal using the gremlin skeleton, needing more, I used the 2 skeletons from within the guard tower. His legs still useless, Roger would just have to wait as during his movement to join us in battle, James had found the pump and the others were already working to remove it.
Entry 12.
With our tools, it didn’t take long to remove the pump from its housing. We carried it outside where James, Xun and Roger began to secure it within the tarp that we’d brought. Stav and I felt it a shame to leave without taking a look about, so we returned and began a search of the place.
Entry 13.
We began with the most intact building toward the back of the compound. It seemed to be the Greystar residence. We quickly noticed that everything of value below chest height had already been stripped from the place. The Gremlins were thorough in their looting. There were a few things that they didn’t get though. We found some paintings still upon the walls that were in very good shape. Stav recognized the name of the artist and believed that they may have some value. We took them down and wrapped them. Then we noticed something at the end of the room. The back portion has under water, but hanging above the fireplace, was the stuffed and mounted head of a steer. It seemed to have some quality about it. Being the stronger swimmer, Stav waded in and swam to the fireplace. Once arriving, he grasped the head and lifted it from the wall! He promptly sank to the bottom!
Entry 14.
I could see Stav, struggling. I began to wade in to aid him and promptly slipped on the muck of the floor. I was able to regain my footing and finally reached him. Together, we were able to pull ourselves out of the water. I’ll need to remember to oil my firearms later. Once we’d gotten out, we realized that the head was speaking! I listened to it for a moment and recognized then words as arcane spells! It seems that this head is a grimoire. It probably belonged to Greystar himself, a testament to his time as a cattle rancher back Earthside perhaps? At any rate, we secured the head within a sack and kept searching.
Entry 15.
In the other building, where Roger had been attacked, we found a collection of silver tableware in the upper cabinets. In the upper chamber, on the mantle we discovered an ornate hourglass. It was quite unusual in that the sands within didn’t flow, they floated and swirled like mist. Xun had been in this room, I wonder how he could have missed this? A quick look at it and I realized that this was a grimoire as well! Quite a score indeed.
Entry 16.
The pump having been secured out front, we gathered up Roger and returned to the site of our original battle with the pigs. Luckily, no new swine had come by and I was able to use the remaining corpses to fully restore Roger. With him back on his feet, we picked up the pump and began staggering out of the swamp.
Entry 17.
We’d moved along for some time when we noticed something ahead. There seemed to be clouds of spores floating about. As we watched it, we noticed some of the trees behind the clouds begin to move! These would be the legendary wauldgeists of the Bayou. Then, 3 frogmen creatures leapt from the water and landed almost at our feet! We set down our burdens and began to fight.
Entry 18.
The frog creatures didn’t pose much of a challenge. Roger, James and Stav killed them all very quickly. The wauldgeists on the other hand were formidable foes. They attack from one of them almost took me off of my feet! Retreat was impossible as the creatures were able to reach up and ensnare us with the very roots of the earth! Fortunately we had some readily available corpses nearby. I was able to keep us healed while Xun and James went to work on the wauldgeists. A fire enchantment on James blades was just what he needed to finish his off while Xun took care of the other. One of the wauldgeists served as plenty of material to heal us all completely. I think that the other will make a nice beast of burden.
Entry 19.
With an undead wauldgeist helping to carry the pump, we made good time back to the “Sunken Queen”. The looks on the faces of the crew when we came strolling out of the tree line was priceless. Needless to say, when I asked Jim if he would mind us bringing our cargo on board, he didn’t object. We also brought the wauldgeist on board. I stood him on the bow and told him to keep watch. With him there, the rest of our voyage was remarkably peaceful. We observed a couple other bands of gremlins through the trees, once they got a look at our tree friend, they quickly lost interest in the “Sunken Queen.”
Entry 20.
6 days after our adventure at the ranch, we returned to the Gasworks. I sent the wauldgeist off into the bayou and we cooled our heels for a day while awaiting the next train back to Malifaux. There was some curiosity regarding our tarpped cargo, but enough of a word about us had gotten around and no one bothered us. After getting cleaned up, Roger and I began examining the hourglass and the steer’s head. Stav was annoyingly underfoot, he refused to let that head out of his sight. After some experimentation, we discovered the correct pattern in which to shake the hourglass. Once done, the sand formed arcane runes from which we could read spells. The head will be a tougher nut to crack. All we were able to determine was that it needed soulstones in order to access its abilities. This will need further research.
Entry 21.
The train arrived the next day and we were eventually able to get the pump loaded. We then boarded the train for our return. The return trip was uneventful. After we arrived at Industry Station in the IZ, we sent a message to the MSEC compound. Frost quickly arrived with one of the large cargo wagons. We got the pump loaded and returned to the compound. The way that McKinney’s eyes lit up when he saw that pump, I wonder what it does?
Entry 22.
We got cleaned up then discussed a course of action. We decided to reach out to the Spruce, maybe she will know exactly what the steer head does. We went out to sell off the artwork and silver cutlery that we’d taken from the ranch. While we were out, we stopped by an M&SU office and mentioned to the rep. on duty that we needed to see the Spruce. Later that evening, after we’d returned to our quarters, we got a message, it was just a time and place.
Entry 23.
The next day, at the appointed hour, we ventured to the address. We found ourselves at a playground! A young girl left the group with whom she was playing and came over to talk with us. I then realized that she was the Spruce! We told her about the steer’s head and opened the bag in which it was contained. She took a look at it and informed us that she had no idea what it was. She told us that she knew someone who would know, but she would have to take the head to him. It seems that he doesn’t like strangers, especially men. We suggested that perhaps Madeline could accompany her? The Spruce was open to the idea, but we told her that we’d need to discuss this further. As we returned to the compound we contemplated our next move. Stav argued for trying to find another contact so as to try and sell this. Roger and I felt that we should make sure that we know just what we have before trying to sell anything. For the time being, we will hold onto it and hopefully as Roger and I gain more experience in matters of the arcane, we will eventually be able to puzzle it out.

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 5: Down to the Bayou.
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 5. – Down to the Bayou.
Entry 1.
I was not long returned to my quarters when Mary presented herself at my door asking if I was ready for our date? She was all guised up and the look worked for her. I took a few minutes to clean up and then we departed. Mary had arranged for Frost to take us anywhere that we wished, so I instructed him to take us to the Boar’s Pours. Perhaps its “character” will throw a wet towel on the evening?
Entry 2.
Along the way, Mary and I chatted, mostly unimportant things, but I did learn some interesting things. First being that she was fully aware of the particulars surrounding the “crow” incident. Luckily those details had been kept confidential by upper management. The second item was regarding Mary herself, namely her family. When I inquired of her past, she claimed to have come with her father several years ago. This must have been shortly after the breach was opened. When I asked of him, she declined to say much, only that he was still involved with the company. From her evasive answers, I believe that he is probably more than just involved. Her father is most likely upper management, hell, Mary could be McHenry’s daughter! This adds a whole new level of complications to my life. Sleeping with the Boss’s daughter usually never ends well, however, if I rebuff her advances, no matter how tactfully, there is a chance that she will hold it against me and my life could become more difficult. Damn!
Entry 3.
We arrived not long after. As we entered the tavern, I noticed that it was substantially less busy that the other night. The crowds must be staying away due to word of the attack. Leyla swooped in upon us soon after we arrived. She asked if James would be joining us this evening. She seemed quite eager to enjoy his company once again. I assured her that I would see to bringing him around again very soon, then I stepped over to speak with the barkeep. I hope that I can talk him into letting us stay even though I’ve got not one drop of Scot blood in me.
Entry 4.
It turned out not to be an issue. We were quickly seated in a nice table off to the side, I was even given a complimentary drink. Leyla soon came by with our drinks and a candle for the table. Thanks Leyla. We soon got our meals and spent a pleasant evening in conversation. After we’d finished, Leyla came by and asked if we’d like a room for the evening. Mary looked in my direction expectantly, and at that point, I felt her foot running up and down my leg. Ok, one last chance to steer this train off the rails. I looked at her and said, “We’ve both been drinking and I don’t wish to seem ungentlemanly by taking advantage of a lady.” To whit she replied that some women like to be taken advantage of. No turning back now. I got a key from Leyla and with Mary on my arm, we retired to one of the back rooms. I will say this. Mary was NOT unappealing at which to look in a state of undress, and even though she wasn’t as fresh a maiden as Leyla, she was certainly as spry as one.
Entry 5.
Frost had been given instructions to return on the next morning. After making ourselves presentable, Mary and I departed our room and made for the exit. As I was part way through the common room I was accosted by an unkempt hillbilly with a scraggly beard and ragged clothes who introduced himself as “Old Tom”. He asked if I wished to by a map. When I pressed for more details, he claimed that it was a map of the Bayou that showed the location of the lost Greystar Ranch. He said that there was a fortune there waiting to be claimed. I then asked why he hadn’t claimed it if he knew the location of the ranch. All Tom would say about it was that he’d been run off by a pig the size of a horse. I was feeling generous, so I gave Tom a half scrip and received a hand drawn map covered with stick figure like illustrations. The only recognizable landmark was Edgepoint Rail Station on the Bayou’s perimeter. I folded the map and tucked it away.
Entry 6.
I’d not been 10 minutes back to my room when we were all summoned to McKinney’s office. James had tried to needle me a bit about having not returned last night. I simply mentioned to him that Leyla seemed very eager to see him once again.
Entry 7.
McKinney didn’t waste any time. Our new assignment would be down in the Bayou. We’d been contracted to serve as guards for the Fairburn Bros. Gasworks Co. I believe that I remember hearing of them at the Pours the other evening. Our job was to help protect their gas exploration boat the “Sunken Queen.” However, this was only part of the job. McKinney was aware of the map that I’d purchased not an hour prior! I would think that Mary may have told him had I not known that she didn’t have the time? Our side mission would be to find some way to slip away from the boat, journey to the ranch and retrieve an engine of some type. McKinney showed us a picture. When I pressed for detailed, he claimed that it was a “sewage pump”? McKinney claimed that it was used to purify swamp water for drinking and use and the company hoped to sell them for use in sewage treatment. Right!
Entry 8.
I asked for more details on this ranch. McKinney told us that it was once the ranch of Jake Greystar. He was the Greystar in Greystar Ranch! I remember reading of Jacob Greystar. He was one of the wealthiest ranchers in the U.S. until he faded into obscurity 10 years ago. Well, according to McKinney, he’d come Breachside and had attempted to create a new ranching empire here. However, after continuously loosing stock and men to the Neverborn, he’d had to change his plans. Upon hearing of the wild pig population within the Bayou, he’d gone deep into the swamp and created a swine ranch built upon stilts that he’d had sunk into the swamp. For some time, things went well and Greystar made a fortune. Then, one day he turned up at the gates of Malifaux with nothing but the clothes on his back, a gold watch, and an empty pistol. He claimed that a huge party of gremlins had attacked his ranch. There were so many that it’s said that they literally chewed his house off of the pilings upon which it stood. They’d killed all of his ranch hands and employees. Only Greystar himself had survived to tell the tale. After this, he truly go off and was never heard from again. That was 5 years ago. Only the legend of the fortune of the Greystar Ranch remains. Many have attempted to find it over the years, none have returned. Despite my reservations to the validity of this map, McKinney is insistent that we make the attempt. As our train leaves in 2 hours, we have little time. We hastily got on our way as we had supplies to acquire. On our way out of his office, McKinney pointed to James and myself and admonished us to curtail our amorous activities. That man knows entirely too much about my life.
Entry 9.
Frost drove us to the station so that we could catch our train. Along the way, we stopped at a general store and restocked our weapons and picked up some tools to aid us in our recovery of the pump. Not having long to spare, we hurriedly made our purchases and continued on our way. Once at the station, it took a bit of subterfuge, but we managed to sneak Roger onboard and soon after we were on our way.
Entry 10.
This was our 1st major venture beyond the walls of Malifaux. Outside the city, the terrain quickly grew barren and desolate. The only sight of habitation was the rail side homesteads (mostly inhabited by Chinese workers), set every couple miles. Even these got fewer and fewer the further we traveled from Malifaux, many had even been attacked and burned. However, nothing could have demonstrated with more finality how far we had come when, a few hours later, we reached Edgepoint Rail Station which was literally the end of the line. The ramshackle settlement that existed around the station was a tenuous speck of civilization on the edge of the proverbial abyss.
Entry 11.
As we disembarked, the train was turned and a small army of workers began loading gas canisters aboard. It would seem that most every machine and gas lamp in Malifaux is powered by this operation. One of the plants foremen was awaiting us and he drove us to the facility.
Entry 12.
The Gasworks were enormous. The compound was heavily guarded and stretched its pipes like tendrils into the nearby Bayou. As it was evening, we were given a meal and assigned to beds in the bunkhouse, tomorrow we’d be assigned berths on the “Sunken Queen” herself.
Entry 13.
The next morning, we were escorted to the Queen and introduced to the Capt. And crew. Several other groups of mercs had been hired as well, and we all made an effort to appear friendly. Madeline was especially popular, go figure. After stowing our gear in our berths, we were given a tour of the boat by the Capt. the Queen is a side wheel paddleboat that employs some mechanism to float 3-4 inches above the water’s surface. According to the Capt. the Queen has become somewhat of a legend amongst the Gremlin Clans that inhabit the Bayou. They see it as a monster of metal and wood that feeds upon the blood of the swamp. Many a gremlin has tried to make it a trophy.
Entry 14.
We were then given a brief explanation of what we’d be facing, along with our posting assignments. We got Port side duty. The ship will be stopping every day or so to sink some test drills for new gas or oil deposits. They must use a methodical approach due to the difficulty in navigating within the Bayou. The Capt. spoke of landmarks that change, trees that seem to move and the unreliability of maps in general. Most navigation is done the old way, with a compass and sextant.
Entry 15.
As we had another day or 2 of waiting for the remaining guards to arrive, we took advantage of that time to mingle amongst the crew and other mercs. I struck up a conversation with Jim the 1st mate about the dangers found within the Bayou. When I mentioned Old Tom, Jim perked right up. It seems that everyone knows of Old Tom around these parts. When I went on to mention the map that “he tried to sell to me”, Jim bade me to come with him to the bridge. Mounted on the back wall was a large scale version of one off Tom’s maps. The thing about this one, it was laid out on moveable tiles? Jim went onto explain that when they say things move, they aren’t just speaking of perception, things actually move within the Bayou. He pointed to a glade and told me of how they’ve found it in several different areas?
I asked him about our route so as to try and plan our approach to the ranch. Jim showed me about where we would be going on the various days. I made a mental note of the best position and after slipping Jim a little scrip, went off to make some notations on my version of the map.
Entry 16.
The next day, we observed some of the crew working on the platform mounted on the upper deck. This area was off limits and we soon found why. Mounted up there was a 10 pound gun. A while later, the final members of our team arrived. The cannon crew was composed of mercs from the Friekorps! They arrived in their uniforms and wearing gas masks. There was more than 1 murmur of relief amongst the crew at their arrival. The Korpsmen were rather standoffish though. James attempted to speak with them. They waved him off. I guess they feel that they are above speaking with the likes of us. The thing is, they are probably correct.
Entry 17.
We departed the next morning. The morning passed without incident and towards mid-day we reached a collection platform that needed maintenance. The guards and workers that lived on the platform seemed glad to have company from the outside. The came aboard and we shared a meal. They spoke about their operation. It seems that they have a relationship with the local gremlins and even do some trading with them on occasion. From them I learned that amongst gremlins, the bigger the hat, the more dangerous the gremlin. So get the one with the biggest hat first.
Entry 18.
Our journey continued the next day. We were on duty on the port side per usual. James and Xun were on the lower deck, Stav, Roger and I were at the rail on the upper deck. It was at this point that we discovered that the cannon was not intended for defensive purposes. The boat had stopped due to its passage having been blocked by a stand of trees. The Friekorps mercs proceeded to load the cannon and blast several trees out of the way. As the sound of the shot faded from our ears, we heard a new one. It was…giggling? The source was soon obvious. A horde of gremlins popped up from beneath the water, with them were feral pigs that they directed like dogs. As if this wasn’t enough, from the canopy above, all along the length of the boat, dropped more gremlins, like rotten fruit falling from trees.
Entry 19.
3 landed on the upper deck near us. I shot a gremlin nearest to me, he then squealed like a pig and zipped right up next to me and Stav. Damn. I had to back off so I could resume firing. Another takes a shot at Roger, hitting him. I believe that Roger got some satisfaction upon seeing that gremlins blunderbuss backfire and injure him. I had turned my back to the rail as I’d moved. I then felt a slug graze my arm. From behind me in the swamp I heard, “got em’ Paw”, I’m beginning to dislike gremlins. The final gremlin to not act on our deck attempted to shoot Stav. Unluckily for his fellow hillbilly, the shot missed Stav, ricocheted off the rail and blew a hole through the gremlins head. Funny. I’d turned my attention to the gremlins in the swamp and saw another raise his gun at me to shoot. The enormous flash of powder sent him stumbling. Looks like he over charged his load.
Entry 20.
Below, James had killed a pig with his swords while Xun finished off another. Roger took another one down with that freezing blast of his while I killed the one that had attacked me. It looked bad for Stav for a moment. The gremlin nearby took a swig from a bottle marked XXX that hung from his belt, then raised his gun and pulled the trigger. His entire gun exploded and directed the force backwards, blowing most of his face away! There were only a couple gremlins left on our section. They stood about 10 yards out into the water. James hopped overboard and charged them. They fell quickly.
Entry 21.
The other mercs were also finishing up their battles about this time. I was surprised, for I’d seen a hell of a lot of magic being thrown around during the fight. As I watched, I even saw a couple mercs raising up dead gremlin as zombies. I guess anything does go out here. Roger and I were both wounded and at his suggestion, I gathered in some other mercs for healing via my subsume corpse ability. I received many a word of thanks. I then spent several minutes treating the remaining injuries the old way with bandages and sutures. As there didn’t seem to be any others around with any medical knowledge, my assistance was well received.
Entry 22.
Having taken care of any injuries, I decided to try an experiment. I attempted to raise up one of the dead gremlins. Unfortunately that attempt didn’t go well. Maybe a pig will work better. Over James’s objections, I cast a raising incantation, and it worked! The pig clambered to its feet and staggered over to me, awaiting a command. James was a bit upset and actually drew his sword to kill the beast. At this point several of my new friends, (most of whom I’d just healed) stepped into his path and told him to leave it alone. It was more than gratitude that caused them to lend aid to my defense. They were of the opinion that better the next gremlin attack have to fight an undead pig vs. one of us. I’ll need to make it a point to do some regular rounds and check on any injuries. It’s good to have friends.

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 4: Delivery Boys
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 4. – Delivery Boys.
Entry 1.
After 2 weeks in Malifaux, we were finally summoned to McKinney’s office for our next job. McKinney briefed us on our mission, which contained very few details. All that he claimed that he knew was that we were to proceed to the Downtown District, driven by Frost and accompanied by the Skaggs brothers. To an address from where we would descend into the sewers. Once within, we would be met by a woman known as “The Onion”. She would then give us 2 crates. 1 would be payment to MSEC for our services. The other we are to take and deliver to a person or persons designated by “The Onion”. A request had been made for the team to include a woman who could disguise herself. McKinney claimed to know nothing further. We didn’t buy that, but there was little that we could do about it. So, after grabbing our gear, we boarded the MSEC coach and set forth.
Entry 2.
Having been unable to locate Stav, he was left behind. With the Skaggs riding shotgun, and having a ride of a couple hours ahead of us, I took the opportunity to pose a suggestion to the group. Recalling from the other night, that rumor regarding the Friekorps not taking any additional contracts, I suggested that there may be an opportunity to take on some side work. My plan is to approach the barkeep back at the Boar’s Pours and enlist him as a contact. Were he to hear of anyone looking for some mercs, he could mention us to them and arrange a meeting. He could also be useful as a conduit to the underbelly of Malifaux. With Roger’s “legal” troubles we need to get him some fake documents. I’d also like to find a source of magical research materials and an armorer with no Guild affiliation would be useful as well. James seemed reluctant to pursue this, which I found odd. Normally he’s up for anything that involves hurting someone. He seemed somewhat reassured when I advised him that we would only take the jobs that we wanted. I made a note to reach out to the barkeep upon our return from this job.
Entry 3.
Eventually, we reached our destination. As we disembarked, Frost handed Madeline a note, claiming that it had been handed to him at the last moment. It simply read, “The Guild is paying us to kill the person that you are delivering the package to, bring his head and the crate back.” Well, this is certainly an interesting development. Frost then handed me a note, leering all the while thus making it painfully obvious that he’d read it. It was from Mary and read, “Maybe I’ll give you my own reward when you get back.” Bother. This could be an awkward situation. Not that Mary isn’t unattractive for a woman of her age. Situations such as this can end up turning out badly if not handled with appropriate care. At the moment, I have other things about which to worry.
Entry 4.
We entered the sewers via a nearby grate and after a short distance, reached the meeting point. Not long thereafter, we heard the sounds of others approaching. From the darkness emerged a shapely woman with hair so blonde it was almost white. She wore a harlequin mask and a form fitting white dress. She introduced herself as “The Onion.” She beckoned, and from the shadows, 4 other similarly attired girls, danced their way to us. Along with them, 2 mannequins also danced along. They were made more noticeable by the blades that tipped their fingers. 2 of the dancers bore a large crate with them. As the came forward on pointe, one could see that they felt its weight. The 2 girls, one a redhead, the other a brunette, set the crate before us and danced back to stand alongside the Onion. She indicated that the crate was the MSEC payment. The Skaggs boys came forward and picked it up. The clanking from within sounded like machine parts and must have been heavy as the 2 of them struggled to carry the crate. James actually had to assist them in its loading.
Entry 5.
In the meantime, the Onion introduced the redhead as “The Tomato” and the brunette as “The Zucchini.” She had a white dress and mask given to Madeline and informed her that she would be impersonating the Zucchini for the purposes of this mission. Not being shy, Madeline proceeded to strip down and change on the spot. Some of us turned our backs, some did not.
Entry 6.
She’d gotten changed by the time James had returned. The Onion then gave us our instructions. Madeline was to impersonate the Zucchini. We were to follow a map which she gave us to a rendezvous deeper in the sewers. The Onion had a small crate brought forward and set before us. We were to deliver this crate of “dynamite” to someone wearing a black cloak and a Lion mask who would identify themselves as “The Spruce”. What is it with all these people and code names, can’t you just use an alias the same as everyone?
Entry 7.
The Onion didn’t share much more information. Before leaving, she showed us a loose brick in the wall. Within was a quill and paper. She asked that after the delivery had been completed, we should leave a note within saying thus. She also requested the return of the harlequin mask, Madeline could keep the rest of the outfit. How magnanimous.
Entry 8.
James having been placed in charge of the crate of “dynamite” we set forth. The map was rather basic. We could follow its course well enough, but due to its lack of detail, it was impossible to determine where in the district we were going. We’d made it about a quarter of the way through our journey, when we heard squeaking from up ahead. Roger went out of body to scout and upon his return, reported that the sounds seemed to come from all around. We decided to give things a few minutes in which to settle. After 10 minutes of waiting, the squeaking died off and we continued on our way.
Entry 9.
Another hour saw our excursion interrupted by the most blood curdling scream that any off us has heard. From the darkness ahead, we heard movement, then 3 child-sized neverborn came bounding out of the darkness! Following close behind was a human sized neverborn with wings! Luckily due to the low ceilings, we didn’t have to worry about it taking flight. That’s good because we had enough about which to worry.
Entry 10.
Due to the narrow confines of the tunnels, our fighting was somewhat limited. In the end it didn’t matter much. I’d used my new spell to imbue my Collier with flame damage, but as my field of fire was blocked, I never got a chance to try it on for size. Roger froze 1 of the small neverborn while Madeline took it down with her bow. James had set the crate down and wadded up to the front where he proceeded to slice the last 2 tots into a mess of blood and entrails. Xun had teleported to the front where he and James then ganged up on the large one, swiftly dispatching the abomination. They took some damage from that neverborn black blood. The stuff burned like acid whenever it touched something. Luckily, I was able to use the neverborn corpses and restore everyone to health.
Entry 11.
We then pressed onward. After completing another leg of our journey, I called a halt just before we reached a T intersection. For a moment I’d questioned my sanity, then I realized that I had seen a couple of dolls peek their heads around the corners. Xun moved forward to investigate. As he passed a fracture in the tunnel wall to his left, he turned and charged within. We then heard the sounds of him pummeling something, followed by what seemed to be the ripping of cloth? Madeline and I shoot and destroy 1 doll, while the other moved to flank Xun. James ran back to engage the 2 dolls that had attempted to sneak up behind us. Madeline ran forward and killed the 2nd doll with a roundhouse kick to the head. Xun then finished off his opponent which he described as a humanoid figure stitched together out of burlap. I began to fire at the other doll not in hand to hand with James. My shot hit, but something deflected the round? James then quickly dispatched that doll. Within the alcove, Xun found the corpse of a dead ratcatcher, he didn’t have much on him. Finding nothing else of interest, we moved on.
Entry 12.
After another hour of walking, we came to another intersection. Standing near, was a small figure in a black cloak and a lion mask. When the figure called out, “That you Zucchini?”, we realized that it was a child! Interesting. Why does the Guild care about him? When we moved forward, we saw that 2 gunslingers were standing guard nearby. We asked the child if he was “The Spruce” and when he confirmed, James stepped forth and handed the crate to one of the bodyguards. What now? As the guard with the crate turned to leave, we only had a moment to ponder our next move. Should we try to make a play on the kid? That decision was taken out of our hands a moment later.
Entry 13.
“This is the Guild. You’re all under arrest!” Those words rang through the tunnels. The next thing we knew, 2 Guild guards had dropped down from the sewer grate at the end of the tunnel, not 3 yards from the Spruce and his guards. We then heard more commotion from the tunnels on the left and the right. The sounds of more people running could be heard coming from behind. We seem to be surrounded. It looks as though our only way out of here is to fight our way free.
Entry 14.
One of the Spruce’s guards was shot and killed right away. He happened to be the one holding the box, which he had fortunately set down just prior to being shot. James and Xun move up to engage. I began firing at the Guild guards along with the Spruce’s remaining guard. From the side tunnels, emerge a Guild Sgt., a witchling stalker and a Warden construct. From the other side came a guard and a WS. This looks bleak.
Entry 15.
James and I kill 1 guard and he finished off the other, he then charged the WS. One of the Spruce’s guards killed a WS, the other WS then killed that guard before James was able to kill it, It’s a good thing that those blades of his have such a long striking distance, it put him outside of the blast those things emit when they die. With both of his guards dead, the Spruce grabbed the box of dynamite. Roger and I moved up to the intersection and just before he took off, both of us notice a glow coming from within the box!
Entry 16.
Spruce, box in hand, took off and scrambled up the ladder at the end of the intersection. Madeline was hot on his heels. As he popped to the surface, Madeline grabbed his cloak and yanked him back down into the sewers. He landed with a thud and the box splintered apart, spilling its contents all about.
Entry 17.
The box was filled with stones. As they tumbled about, Roger gasped, “Soulstones!” 1 of the stones was glowing? The Spruce snatched that one up. Madeline got to her knees and began stuffing soulstones down her bodice. James had moved into melee with the construct. It then proceeded to launch its fist at him then retracting it on a chain so as to fire again. The Sgt. had begun to fire at me. Luckily for me, Roger had run up behind me and took a round that probably had my name on it. He then recognized Roger and began screaming at him to surrender. Xun had beaten down the other guard, thus clearing the left hand tunnel for our escape. As the 2nd wave had come into view down the tunnel from which we had come, it was time to leave. We called for a retreat.
Entry 18.
We took off at a dead run down the tunnel. Xun being fleet of foot, easily outpaced us all. The Sgt. having seen the soulstones spill from the box, had jumped into the sludge and began feeling about for any loose stones. The Warden, guards and stalkers all came after us. Luckily, we had enough of a head start and were able to stay ahead of our pursuers. Most of them got bottled up behind the warden which also aided our flight.
Entry 19.
Spruce pointed us down the left branch of the tunnel. At the end was another ladder to the surface. Xun was the first one to reach it. He had difficulty at first in opening the grate. That was until he saw us running at him with a mob of Guild heavies behind us. That served as ample motivation and with a burst of strength, he heaved the grate open and climbed out. We were spread out enough that we were able to climb out in a reasonably orderly fashion. The Spruce was the last to get out. As he reached the surface, he dropped the glowing soulstone back into the sewer, kicked the grate close and took of after us at a dead run. Moments later, the area was rocked by a massive explosion!
Entry 20.
So, we had escaped our pursuers, but we were far from being out of danger. We had surfaced in the heart of the Downtown District! So, not only were we in the heart of Guild territory, because of the raid and subsequent explosion, the area was infested with Guild patrols! This led to a harrying couple of hours as we skulked through alleys and rooftops along with having to outrun a couple patrols here and there, before finally reaching the safety of the slums.
Entry 21.
Having reached safety, we took a moment to rest. Madeline removed her mask and the Spruce did the same. We were a bit surprised to find that Spruce was a girl of no more than 12 years! She thanked us for our help and then asked Madeline for the stones that she had stuffed down her cleavage. They haggled for a moment and the Spruce acquiesced to allowing her to keep one of the stones. I then spoke up and asked how we could reach her later as I saw ways that our 2 groups could assist one another. Still believing that Madeline was the Zucchini, Spruce mentioned that she already knew how to get in touch. Thinking fast, I pointed out that we had just escaped from a large and well organized raid. Obviously, something or someone had been compromised and it would be wise to establish a new means of contact. Spruce agreed and told us that we could arrange a meeting via any official representative of the M&SU. We then parted company.
Entry 22.
After several more hours, we returned to the MSEC compound and reported to McKinney. Madeline informed him that after reaching the meet, the confusion caused by the Guild raid had resulted in the contents of the box being lost and the target escaping. McKinney seemed disappointed, but tried not to act too upset. If he was hoping to throw us off the scent, he failed. Especially when he reiterated that this was nothing more about which we needed to concern ourselves.
Entry 23.
We returned to our quarters to rest. Madeline set to work on finding some way to set her new soulstone into a pendant or necklace. The rest of us have other things to do. We need to put some effort into getting a disguise for Roger, not to mention some false documents. We will also need to make a trip to speak with the barkeep at the Boar’s Pours to put the word out about us being open for work. We need a real paying job. After a few days, I’ll see about reaching out to the Spruce regarding my “Crow” problem. If anyone could assist me in uncovering the mystery behind all this, I’d assume it would be the Arcanists. Finally, I need to figure out how to deal with Mary. I need to remain in her good graces, however, I’m unsure as to where her loyalties truly lie. Thus I can’t afford to risk letting her get too close. Also, I’m rather disturbed that she seems as ok as she is with the fact that I’d consumed a human heart! Most women would be turned off by that. That she wasn’t, is somewhat unsettling.

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 3: A "quiet" night in Malifaux.
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 3. – A “quiet” night in Malifaux.
Entry 1.
So, after Xun had derailed our research efforts, we all found ourselves at the Boar’s Pours tavern on the suggestion of James. The place was deep in the slums, most of the surrounding buildings seemed to be abandoned shells or rat infested tenements.
Entry 2.
The place was certainly lively. We were able to get a table in the corner and were waited upon by a buxom lass named Leyla. Before she took any orders, she asked James if he vouched for us. To think that a bar full of Scottish louts actually could consider themselves to be above our company! At any rate, James said that we were good people and Leyla took our orders and went off to get our meals. Unsurprisingly no one ordered the haggis! Even James thought better of it.
Entry 3.
We received our meals in due course. The fare was decent although unexceptional. On one of her trips by the table, Leyla informed us that the evening’s entertainments would begin shortly. She gave us a run down on the happenings. At the bar there would be the drinking contest. At the front of the house was the singing competition. A couple tables had been reserved for cards and arm wrestling. Over against the side wall was the darts contest. Lastly, in the back hall there would be some dice games. Wagers would be accepted on all the games and participation was encouraged but not required. This could be a good opportunity to get a picture of local events?
Entry 4.
Madeline and I wandered over to the bar area. Perhaps after a few rounds, the patrons will be a bit freer with their words. Roger joined one pf the poker games. James sat down at the arm wrestling table. I noticed Leyla sidling up to him, perhaps to offer some… encouragement? Xun wandered off towards the back where the dice games were being held and Stav chose to participate in the dart competition. Although our evening got a bit complicated, we did learn some items of interest:
James:
• VonShill and the Friekorps have recently begun refusing to take any new contracts.
• The bouncer from the Honeypot is laid up in the hospital. It seems that he was injured during a Guild raid.
Roger:
• One of Roger’s fellow players had been playing with a one armed man the other day. He said that he’d been ambushed by “Rezzer’s” just down the street. One of them had torn his arm off and as he ran, it began to crawl after him!
• The Boar’s Pours had used to be a miners bar. The mine that employed most of them had had an accident, killing most of the miners. With its customer’s dead, the place closed and later reopened as a Scot’s tavern.
• There was a hell of a firefight on the wall of the Eastern QZ last night. The Guild was unloading with everything that they had. They were sure shooting at something in there.
Madeline:
• The Steam Fitters Union is more powerful than the Guild suspects. They’ve been holding back Soulstones from shipments for months.
• Neverborn have been sighted searching the QZ as of late. It is said that their numbers are growing.
• The Guild recently lost a large shipment of Soulstones. There are rumors that the Earthside Council has been making some veiled and not so veiled threats to the Governor-General.
• Madeline heard someone speak of a mercenary called Terra that’s said to be one of the best in Malifaux. He went on to add that he’d seen her grave, so he didn’t know about whom everyone was speaking?
Stav:
• Kenny Boyd had gotten lost in the Bayou and was subsequently eaten by feral pigs.
• One of Stav’s fellow competitors told another that he’d asked the “Bayou Hag” about 2 different women that he was considering marrying. She warned him against marrying either of them and she was right. They both stole his money and betrayed him!
Xun:
• There’ve been lots of flies in the area as of late, especially down by the abandoned butcher shop.
• A veiled woman has been asking around about a mysterious box? She says that her boss lost it playing craps.
• Some guy down in the Bayou is making a lot of money off of harvesting swamp gas. He’s said to be looking for guards.
• A serial killer in Red Chapel named Seamus killed an entire Guild patrol down by the river. He normally only kills whores.
Myself:
• The real money Breachside is in the frontier towns. There are lots of Soulstones coming in from the mines.
• Old man MacTavish is a renowned, but expensive Bayou guide. Rumor has it that he leaves half of his clients out there to rot though.
• There was a Guild train that exploded in the terminal a week or 2 back. It was loaded with cannon and powder. The Guild is saying that it was an Arcanist plot.
Entry 5.
The evening events began to wind down around this time. No one did especially well in their respective events, although James did win 2 out of his 3 matches. I guess he’d done well enough to impress the barmaid for I observed the 2 of them head toward the back rooms, arm in arm. With the evening coming to a close, patrons began saying their farewells and settling up their tabs. This is where the evening became complicated. A patron opened the front door to depart and let out one of the shrillest screams that I’d ever heard.
Entry 6.
I had wandered to the back hall to lurk near the dice gamers. I heard the scream and soon after, gunshots. I ran to the side hallway and saw the cause of the commotion. In the street outside was 4 zombies, 2 zombie dogs and someone with a shotgun! The shotgunner opened fire while the zombies began to lumber inside. Most of the other patrons fled via the side door, the rest huddled against the back wall.
Entry 7.
Madeline took the first shotgun blast. Whatever the hell ammo this guy was using sure packed a punch. In addition to the round, it also started some of her clothing on fire! Madeline had to get out of the line of fire quick. I’d drawn my carbine and began to fire. I hit the shotgunner and was able to kill a couple zombies. The bartender pulled a shotgun from behind the bar and also began firing. Stav and Roger had been targeting the shotgunner. By this point, James had burst forth from one of the back rooms. He was still pulling his shirt back on so I hope he’d had time to finish up with Leyla.
Entry 8.
James got out into the main room and began slicing and dicing zombies. I used this opportunity to test my newly found ability and was able to burst heal several of my comrades. Unfortunately I also restored the health of one of the zombies. So, this can heal foe as well as friends? I’ll have to watch that in the future. The shotgunner paused in his firing and preformed some action. I looked as if he was attempting to re-animate some of the fallen zombies. Whatever he’d been attempting didn’t seem to work. Some of the corpses twitched momentarily and were then once again still.
Entry 9.
Stav and Roger’s sustained attacks succeeded in taking down the shotgunner. We’d cleared the rest of the bar of zombies and had begun a search of the remains. The bodies seemed to have been coal miners. They were all covered with coal dust? Madeline had wandered off to repair her clothing while James went back for another round with Leyla! Meanwhile, Stav had taken the shotgunner’s weapon off of him. He then approached the bartender and negotiated some free drinks in exchange for removing the corpses from the bar. As hordes of flies had begun to gather, the bartender expressed his desire that they get a move on. Unfortunately his strength proved unequal to the task and Xun had to step in and assist him. For some of his booze of course.
Entry 10.
We began to speculate on the origin of this attack. Madeline and James eventually returned and after everyone shared the information that we’d gathered the clues seemed to point to the abandoned butcher shop down the street. We decided to go and investigate.
Entry 11.
It didn’t take us long to reach the shop. The windows were boarded up, but the front door had been unsealed. Stav and James went to investigate while the rest of us held back. Any chance of surprise was lost when Stav decided to shove James through the door. Luckily, it seems that no one was home.
Entry 12.
We entered the building and began to explore. The old cold storage room contained 3 bodies. All of them appeared to be coal miners, much as the first. The upstairs had been laid out as some living quarters. We found a ratty mattress a desk with some papers and a box containing 20-30 teeth? Xun collected the papers. They looked like a receipt, dated within the past month from the Pronto Coal Mine. The receipt was for 7 lumps of coal? Coal huh? Well, judging from the 4 zombie miners that we dispatched at the tavern and the 3 that we found downstairs it’s rather obvious that we aren’t dealing with coal. We made ready to depart. On a hunch I examined the box of teeth. It had a faint necromantic aura about it! I’ve heard tales of enchantments being held in vessels such as this. I took the box for examination. We then hurried to leave as James and Stav had begun preparations to start the place on fire. Despite our insistence that doing so wouldn’t be wise. We hurried away as they lit the place up. Luckily the fire didn’t seem to catch as it probably would’ve burned several blocks.
Entry 13.
After we returned to the MSEC compound, Roger and I began attempting to decipher the nature of the box of teeth. Despite all of our trial and (mostly) errors, we were unable to determine a way to activate the Grimoire. It was late in the evening so we decided to put this on hold and get some rest. We’d been burning the midnight oil for too many days anyway, some rest would be a good idea.
Entry 14.
The next morning, we re-convened and discussed a plan. That mine seemed to be a promising lead and if this did turn out to be some type of Resurrectionist lair, that could mean some items of value that may be left lying about after we kill everything within. As we needed information, I made my way to the office to have a chat with Mary.
Entry 15.
Mary was at her desk. She greeted me warmly, then asked about the tinted glasses that I’d begun wearing. I explained that I’d recently become sensitive to daylight. Mary then asked if that was because of the heart that I’d eaten? ……. Damn. I was hoping (perhaps futilely) that reports of the incident wouldn’t make its way around as it apparently had. Furthermore, I’m a bit disturbed that she doesn’t seem all that perturbed by the episode? Nonetheless, when I questioned Mary about the mine, she indicated that it had been abandoned after the accident. She was able to pull out a map and point out its location. The mine lay about 5 miles outside of town, about 2 hours walk from the South Gate.
Entry 16.
We took an aircar to the south side of the city and exited via the South Gate. A hike of 2 hours brought us to the site of the Pronto Coal Mine. The open mine shaft stood gaping in the side of a hill. Nearby were the ruins of a single story building, a mine office by the look of it. Outside each, stood 2 guards wearing Guild livery. This isn’t good. Raiding a Resurrectionist hold is one thing, but taking on the Guild is another matter. Furthermore, what are they doing there? Roger offer to do some reconnaissance. He sat down, cast a spell and went into some type of trance. He snapped out of it a minute or 2 later. He then informed us that the guards were zombies and while they may have been Guild at one point, they were no longer.
Entry 17.
We struck, and struck hard. We dropped 2 of the guard zombies with our long arms before they even knew what had hit them. The 2 remaining guards drew pistols and returned fire. The commotion was heard within the mine and more zombies appeared. One was an undead woman who was able to use some type of beguiling charm. The other was a larger fellow who was bent due to his broken spine. I heard someone call it a crooked man. This one seems more formidable.
Entry 18.
Xun speed over and engaged the guard at the ruined office. James charged the crooked man and began slicing it apart with his blades. Roger then froze it solid with an icy blast which served to dispatch the monstrosity. Stav had been lured closer to the undead temptress after she flashed him a little bit of leg. He snapped out of it before he got too close to her chilly embrace. This had given Madeline and I time to focus our fire upon her and the undead bimbo was destroyed. It didn’t take much longer to dispatch the remaining zombies. Them being defeated, we began our push into the mine.
Entry 19.
The rest of our time at the mine was highly anti-climactic. The mine exhibited signs of collapse, however, the damage had been repaired and bodies were stacked within like cordwood. They all had numbers on the bottoms of their feet. We found #54 – 150. So, eliminating the handful here and there that we’d killed, there are probably 30-40 still out there someplace. Well, not our problem.
Entry 20.
We found nothing else within. No other opponents and certainly nothing of value. What a waste of time. Nothing else to be done but cleanse the area and head back. We dumped the guard zombies back inside. Then after gathering up some loose coal to deposit at the foot of the piles of corpses, we fired the mine to ensure that these poor chaps wouldn’t be getting up again. With everything nicely burning, we returned to Malifaux.
Entry 21.
There was a bit of trouble at the gate. Roger, being a wanted man, couldn’t exactly show his ID papers to the guards. He was attempting to convince the guard to let him slide this once as he’d “forgotten” them back at his quarters. That was when the guard recognized him. He was about to sound an alarm, but Roger, Xun, Madeline, and myself all began talking at him telling the hapless sod that Roger Jones was his brother, this was Alphonse Jones and he is mistaken for his ne’er-do-well brother Roger all the time. The only hiccup was when James blurted out “You have a brother?” Way to think on your feet James.
Entry 22.
That actually wasn’t the only hiccup. We’d gotten the guard convinced of Roger’s mistaken identity and had been granted passage, when Xun for whatever reason, attempted to lift the guards wallet and was quite literally, caught with his hand in the man’s pants. He was about to arrest him on the spot, but we convinced him to let Xun off with a “fine” of 5 script. Xun had nothing. After Roger and I both chipped in to pay the guard, we finally were allowed back inside the city. I thought that that was one of the first rules thieves were taught, don’t steal from the law?
Entry 23.
Upon our return to the MSEC compound, Roger and I began futzing with that damn box of teeth. I would’ve said inspecting, except we’d long moved past that and were now simply attempting random things to try and provoke a response. We were interrupted by Stav coming around to see if either of us knew how to grind bones into powder. Neither of us did, and when I asked for what reason he would want such a thing, he mentioned that he’d been threatened and this was the price. I didn’t push it any further. He went off to find other assistance, I believe that Xun was eventually able to help him.
Entry 24.
So Roger and I turned our attention back to the box. Our next interruption was Madeline, seeking her brother I suppose. Her arrival was at least fortuitous. Upon seeing the box of teeth, she exclaimed that they looked similar to the bones used by a fortune teller whom she’d once known. Before either of us could react, she’d snatched up the box and said, “if you cast them like so…” as she was tossing the contents of the entire box upon the table. Whatever pattern she’d thrown the teeth had done the trick though. I made sure to quickly memorize it. The teeth then re-assembled themselves into what I assume was their position when they still resided in the mouth of their original owner and then, the teeth, with no jaw or lips began to speak. They began chanting words of necromantic enchantment. I then realized that they were incantations. It seems that I now possess a Grimoire. Useful, although I must see about recording the spells into a proper book. I dislike the notion of having to listen to a set of teeth recounting spells to me.

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 2
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 2.
Entry 1.
We all rendezvoused at Platform 3 and hurried to get out of the terminal. As we were pushing our way outside, many people were trying to get inside! Guards and workers had begun forming a bucket brigade in an attempt to put out the fires. We used the chaos to our advantage and finally got clear of the building. Once outside, we found the road leading into the city and discovered that no one was waiting for us. Big surprise, they took off and left us! So we are on foot from here.
Entry 2.
It was a short walk from the terminal to the gates of Malifaux, (it would’ve been an even shorter carriage ride, thanks for nothing!). As we approached, we observe the Governor’s Mansion and the infamous Hanging Tree! Nothing, however, could compare to the city itself. We reached the gate and handed over our papers for inspection. The guards then admitted us without much trouble. I inquired as to whether any of them know the location of the MSEC compound. Having no luck, we entered the city.
Entry 3.
The gate opened into the Downtown District. We made our way south along the main street. The area dripped with the trappings of power and wealth. Most of the people seemed to be well dressed and on their way to someplace. In the distance, we saw one of the towers of the famous Aircars of Malifaux. I stopped a passerby to ask for directions. He seemed hesitant until Madeline shook her tits in his face. The guy didn’t know how to get to the IZ, but he suggested that we consult a map at the aircar station.
Entry 4.
We reached the tower after a couple of minutes. A quick look at the map showed us that it would take the better part of the day to walk to the IZ. Aircar fare was pretty reasonable though, so most of us elected to just pay the fare and take the aircar. Stav and James demurred and decided to walk. They started off to the east and 20 minutes later, our car arrived and we made the climb to the tower’s peak and boarded. As the car departed, we observed a large patrol of Guild Guardsmen below, they seemed to be conducting a security sweep. It seems that we go out of the area just in time.
Entry 5.
The aircar proceed to the east. As we traveled, we got a good look at the city. We observed areas where the original architecture had been co-opted and others where it had simply been built over. I was able to get a general idea of how the streets were laid out. That is, until we hit the IZ.
Entry 6.
There was no mistaking the Industrial Zone. We knew we’d entered when our vision was obscured by thick plumes of black smoke. Eventually, we arrived at the IZ station and disembarked. Once on the ground, we set about finding our way to the MSEC compound. Roger slipped a coin to some vagrant who pointed us off to the east while mumbling something about taking a left at the red brick warehouse. We were able to follow the landmarks for a ways. Once we ran out of reference points, Madeline batted her eyes at some tradesman and he guided us a ways before regaining his senses and hurrying back off to his work. From there, another coin to a factory worker served to provide us with directions that took us the rest of our way.
Entry 7.
The MSEC compound was a sprawling monstrosity of buildings and smoke. The entire facility was surrounded by a tall wrought iron fence crowned with spikes. The gates were guarded by 2 hulking constructs. I ensured that my company badge was affixed to my lapel and strode up to the gates. One of the constructs swung open the gate and advised me to report to the office. The others followed suit and we found ourselves standing in the courtyard. Off to the side, we saw a large sign the simply read, OFFICE. I assume that that is where we need to go.
Entry 8.
We entered the office and found ourselves in a room filled with filing cabinets and papers. Behind a counter was a middle aged woman who, while still attractive, must have been quite a beauty in her day. She asked if she could help us. I stated that we were here to see McKinney and went on to explain how we’d had some difficulty at the terminal and had had to make our way here on foot. The woman introduced herself as Mary and advised us that McKinney was busy, but he’d told her that we would be along and see was to get us situated. She took down all of our names and then escorted us over to the dormitory where we would be staying. She bantered with us (me especially?) along the way. She’s seems a friendly sort.
Entry 9.
There were 2 dormitories across from each other, behind the main building. Ours, on the right, looked to be more for the working types, the other was fancier, obviously for management. Mary escorted us to our rooms on the 3rd floor. Our rooms had name plagues upon the doors. They were printed using the familiar form of our name. McKinney had only been here a few hours before us, how had they gotten these done so quickly?
Entry 10.
Mary gave us our room keys and a brief rundown of the accommodations. The others all had rooms on the 2nd floor. Madeline ran down to hand out whatever weapons she’d been able to save from the train explosion. Mary gave us an hour to unpack before she would return to give us a tour of the compound. She also gave me her room number in case there was anything that I needed. It then occurred that she may be a bit taken with me. No, that was a foolish notion. Or so I thought. When Mary returned, she walked up alongside me and extended her arm just as she would were she being escorted to a cotillion. Not wishing to offend, I took it and we proceeded on our way.
Entry 11.
We left the dormitory via the rear exit and proceeded to Plant #1. This plant was huge. It was devoted to the melting of reclaimed steel and was staffed primarily by constructs. The newly melted metals were then cast into ingots and transported to Plant #2 & 3. Plant #2 was a massive foundry, easily as large as Plant #1. The work area was filled with craftsmen. They labored, creating every type of metal implement of which one could imagine. The final plant, Plant #3 was smaller than the others, but that was where the action really happened. In here, the workers manufactured parts for constructs, pneumatic limbs and some type of engine that I wasn’t able to identify. I would’ve liked to have learned more, but not long into this part of our tour, a messenger ran up and handed Mary a note. It seems that McKinney finally deigned to see us. Mary quickly turned us around and ushered us all back to the admin building.
Entry 12.
Mary escorted us to the 2nd floor and McKinney’s office. As she did, she passed along a word of warning. She advised us to watch what we say around here. Anyone present may be higher ups or clients, and being overheard saying the wrong things have gotten people tossed out on the street. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that?
Entry 13.
McKinney’s office was a spartan affair. Nothing but a desk, cabinet, his chair and the twins standing alongside. He seemed impressed that we’d gotten out of the terminal and had managed to make our way here. He was a bit perturbed that Stav and James had elected to walk though. It was soon on to business. A job had come up unexpectedly and we were to be given the assignment. Even though we’d not been 12 hours in Malifaux, we were to be going right into the fire.
Entry 14.
The mission was simple, right, what is ever simple around here? The story that McKinney told sounded somewhat unbelievable, but were aren’t being paid to ask questions. It seems that we are being paid to enter the Quarantine Zone! According to McKinney, the client had been walking near the wall of the QZ. He was then jumped by a band of street hoods and during the scuffle, had dropped a family heirloom into a nearby sewer. The heirloom, a box, floated away, with the current into the QZ. Our job was to enter the sewers, proceed into the QZ and recover the box. Time was a factor as other groups would also be interested in getting the box. We won’t be going alone though. Someone named Cher would accompany us. Wonder who Cher might be?
Entry 15.
McKinney had expected us to leave bright and early in the morning, however, we suggested that it might be prudent to go now as this could potentially allow us to get a jump on some of those “other interests” that he’d mentioned. McKinney was fine with that, although he would need a couple hours to get everything ready. That was fine with us as we needed some supplies. While McKinney went off to finish the preparations, we caught a ride to a nearby general store. If we were going to the QZ sewers, we needed light and especially weapons. Despite being near a pauper from my travels, I had the funds to purchase an old, but serviceable Volyer revolver.
Entry 16.
After our shopping trip, we returned to the compound and met Cher. Cher was a modified Watcher construct. She was being sent along to guide us and to ensure that if we found the box, that we returned it, unopened! We were then told to be very careful with Cher. If she gets damaged, we have to pay for the repairs, and if she is destroyed, we’ll all be working for free for the next 6 months. On the bright side, anything else we come across is ours to keep!
Entry 17.
With Cher leading the way, we set forth. It took us about 3 hours to reach the location about which McKinney had spoken. We discovered a sewer grate that had been pried open, an iron rung ladder descended into the darkness. It was about midnight as we entered the manhole. This was either very stupid or very brave.
Entry 18.
Just inside the sewer entrance we found a set of footprints. Cher identified that the track were from 5 human males. Xun noticed that one of them looked to have a ball and chain around his left ankle? They were about an hour ahead of us, so we’d better get moving.
Entry 19.
Finding ones way in Malifaux is no easy feat, let alone navigating in the sewers. Luckily, we quickly stumbled upon a rat catcher, he’d seen the 1st group and Madeline was able to persuade him to point us in their direction. We were able to follow the tunnels that he pointed and I actually found a shortcut that shaved some time off our journey. We then took a couple wrong turns before happening upon a 2nd rat catcher. Once again, Madeline was able to get some directions from him. With a little convincing, he agreed to take us part of the way. We were finally able to catch up when Xun noticed a side passage that had recently been infested with rats. It seems that the 1st group had to take the long way around, but the swarm had departed by the time we arrived. This direct route took us straight to their location.
Entry 20.
When he encounter the 1st group, we blundered right into them. There were 5 of them. 4 gunslingers and 1 man in a convicts uniform with a ball and chain on his ankle, armed with a pair of fighting knives. They saw us, we saw them, and everyone went for their weapons.
Entry 21.
Xun charged up and began pummeling one with his fists. Madeline and I dropped his counterpart soon after. Roger began tossing around his freezing spells and froze a couple in their tracks. After Xun killed his guy, he engaged the convict. We put down the other 2 and turned our attention to the convict. Xun had landed some blows, but had also taken some bad hits. He teleported back to our position. Madeline sunk an arrow into the con’s gut and he raised his arms in surrender. Madeline then pointed out that one simply does not trust anyone in the sewers. So I fired twice. Both shots struck and he was somehow still alive! A cold blast from Roger fixed that though. His frozen head shattered like a porcelain vase. I attempted to patch up Xun, but the light was insufficient and I accidentally nicked him with the needle, we’ll need to wait until I can take a better look at things. Meanwhile we got some script and weapons of the mercs. I took up one of their collier’s, the others we can sell.
Entry 22.
We continued to follow the flow of the current until we reached a dead end. The water disappeared into another grate. A jumble of branches and debris had caught there. Our hopes were dashed when after some searching, we didn’t find our target. Then we noticed some muddy tracks, leading away from the rubbish pile leading to a ladder, just below another sewer grate. It seems that someone else had recently been here and that individual may have absconded with the box. Up we go, but first, having better light, I was able to patch up some of the wounds sustained in the previous fight.
Entry 23.
The grate opened up onto a street deep in the QZ. The muddy footprints led to a nearby warehouse. We hurriedly made our way there, being on the streets in the QZ at night doesn’t sound wise. The prints entered a small courtyard. We sent Cher up and she confirmed that it was empty and we snuck inside, following the footprints to a set of large double doors, padlocked from the outside. Xun pulled his lockpicks and set to work. Unfortunately, he was unable to defeat the mechanism. It was then that I posed the question, how had someone entered through this door and then padlocked it from the outside? It was then decided to try a smaller back door that Cher had spotted.
Entry 24.
We made our way around back and tried the other door. It was locked. Xun stepped up to pick the lock on this one, then he noticed something. Reaching up, he plucked a key down from where it had been hidden in the door frame! Finally a break. We hurried and got inside as we’d begun to hear moaning coming from nearby.
Entry 25.
The interior of the warehouse was filled with crates marked “fresh fruit”. They were stacked to the ceiling and the contents were long past fresh. The entire building was filled with a layer of dust and it didn’t appear that anyone had been here for some time. We soon found that to be incorrect. Within minutes of beginning our search we discovered a body. As I looked down upon the corpse, I realized that I knew him! It was Capt. Wymer my old Co from the 14th! His face was contorted in an expression of sheer terror! His green eyes staring up at the ceiling. The man was a wreck! He was dressed in rags, his body covered in scars. Then is saw his hands. All of his fingers had been broken! It looked as if he’d been holding something and whomever had taken it had had to break his fingers to get it!
Entry 26.
Then the moaning began! A creature of transparent green energy rose up out of Capt. Wymer’s body! 2 other, smaller, similar looking creatures emerged from the surrounding crates. As one of the closest to it, the creature lunged at me. I attempted to dodge, but it moved like lightning. It came close and began to whisper. I was instantly overcome with such intense feelings of sorrow and despair, it was as if everything that made life worth living suddenly melted away, leaving only ashes. Suddenly, the memories came rushing back like a flash flood! I don’t know how I could’ve forgotten this? Perhaps it was witchcraft? Maybe it was trauma? But the combination of seeing Wymer dead on the floor and the creature’s attack unearthed the memories of an event long buried.
Entry 27.
In my mind’s eye, I was once again a young trooper. I was walking through the ruins of Scapanee Village. It was just after the conflict had ended. History would record the Battle for Scapanee Village as one of the 14th Cavalry’s greatest victories. It was a massacre! The reports that we’d received were wrong! This place wasn’t a staging point for a renewed offensive. The weapons caches and hidden warriors that we’d expected to find weren’t here, they never were, if they ever existed. We swept in so quickly that we didn’t realize that the shadowy forms that we were striking down were women and children. But there were braves here, and they were armed which was a violation of the Indian Disarmament Act. So, despite everything, this battle would go down as a legitimate use of force against a hostile enemy. The aftermath wasn’t so black and white though. I remember stepping over the bodies of braves, women and children. Both the young and the old alike lay dead at my feet. The ground was saturated with blood and the cries of the dying filled the air. My stomach turned as I surveyed what was left of the burning village.
Then I hear screaming. “Thaddeus!” It came from the edge of the village and so I ran. I heard it once again “Thaddeus!” I then realized that it was Capt. Wymer calling. His voice came from one of the teepees. As I rushed inside it took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dim light within. Then I saw. Capt. Wymer, on his knees, holding both hands on the stomach of an old Indian man, futilely attempting to stem the blood that was flowing like a geyser. “Fix him Thaddeus!” screamed the Capt. I rushed over and began trying to aid the Indian man. Although I admit feeling some confusion. We’d just slaughtered an entire village, what did this one life matter? However, I had my orders so I did what I could. What I could do turned out to be not a lot. The loss of blood was too great. A bloody ceremonial dagger lay next to him. This and the man’s garb and fetishes told me that this was the village shaman. His wound was self-inflicted and he’d known exactly where to strike in order to inflict the most damage. There was little that I could do. Even in a fully staffed operating room with the proper tools and resources it would have been difficult. But here, on the dirt floor of a deerskin tent in the wilderness with only the most basic tools and supplies, it was impossible. The shaman passed quickly, but before he died, he managed to gasp a few final words to the Capt. And whatever he’d said made Capt. Wymer turn white. I’ve seen fear before, it rode with us and I’d become used to its presence. It was natural in this line of work, but this was different.
“Remove his heart.” Spoke Wymer. “Captain,” I said calmly, “the man is dead.” “I don’t see what good could possible come from further desecrating his….”. My next words died in my throat as Capt. Wymer drew his Colt and placed it against my temple. “I said…remove…his…heart!” Capt. Wymer’s piercing blue eyes were looking around wildly as if he were trying to solve a puzzle and his brow was furrowed in a familiar manner that he was deep in thought. Without further hesitation, I opened the shaman’s chest and mere minutes later I handed his still warm heart to the Captain. He snatched it from my hand and devoured it as a starving dog would fall upon a scrap of meat. As soon as he’d finished, he was wracked with convulsions and lifted off his feet, floating in the air. Green sparks of static played across his body as it rose ever higher within the confines of the teepee. Suddenly his eyes opened and he screamed as if in pain. He then looked me dead in the eye and spoke these words; “The transfer is complete. If this vessel should ever fall, the transfer must be completed before dawn. If not, then the Crow shall feast upon the world.” Though I knew not the language that he spoke, I somehow understood his words. Then, green lightning arced throughout the teepee and I blacked out. When I awoke, I was back at the Fort in the infirmary. Lying in the next bed was Capt. Wymer.
The official story was that the Capt. and I surprised and fought the Shaman in his teepee. During the fight the shaman set off some type of firework or explosive, although we were both found without a single mark upon us. Later, the Major said that the Capt. must have used the shaman’s body to shield us both from the blast. It was written off as a mild curiosity and neither the men, the Capt. nor I ever spoke about the incident again, and no one ever questioned why the Capt.’s eyes were now green. Until today, the memories of this incident had been completely blocked from my mind. As reality came slamming back those words rang through my mind, “The Crow will feast upon the world.”
Entry 27.
Madeline had been attacking one of the energy creatures, while Xun and Roger had been attacking the others. Roger climbed up on a stack of crates in order to get some distance for his attacks. I backed off as well in order to fire my Collier. The larger of the creatures turned to Xun and unleashed a horrific wail. Even though I was a few feet away from him, the wave of despair and misery that I felt was crushing. It felt as if my will to live was being drained away. Xun, who was the target had tried to step back, but was unable to fully get away. The effect hit him like a train and his right leg, the closest part of his body to the creature, withered and crumbled like a charred piece of wood. He fell to the floor, bleeding. The creature then seemed to radiate… satisfaction? It then sunk into the floor and was no more. The rest of us turned our attention to the other creatures and quickly finished them off.
Entry 28.
I turned my attention to Xun and was able to stop his bleeding. While I did this, Madeline began to search the rest of the warehouse. I turned my attention to Capt. Wymer. As I pondered, I told Roger and Xun the story. Roger said that the body still had traces of necromantic energy about it. He also believed that the transference that occurred when Capt. Wymer consumed the heart of the shaman had elements of a binding ritual about it. Ultimately, the decision is mine, but as he stated, if the Capt. believed that it was important for him to do what he’d done, he must have had a reason. Roger is correct. Capt. Wymer may not have been the nicest sort, but he had a strong sense of duty and always did what he believed to be right. That was it.
Entry 29.
I set to work and quickly removed his heart. Raising a macabre toast to the others, I took a bite. I remember waking up several minutes later. Roger recounted to me what had happened. He said that after I took the first bite, I then devoured the rest of the heart as a starving beast. Once finished, I convulsed as Capt. Wymer had before and floated off the ground, green energy flowing all over me. I then spoke the same words; “The transfer is complete. If this vessel should ever fall, the transfer must be completed before dawn. If not, then the Crow shall feast upon the world.” I then collapsed to the floor and awoke minutes later. I felt all right and other than being somewhat disturbed that I’d just eaten a human heart, everything seemed as it was. Then Roger and Xun gasped. I realized a moment later what it was. My eyes which had been brown, were now a piercing green.
Entry 30.
I asked Xun and Roger not to mention this to anyone else. Although I then realized that Cher had been watching the whole time. Even worse, she wasn’t recording, she actively transmitted everything that she saw back to the MSEC compound. Damn! Well, nothing to be done about it now. We then heard a shot from the other side of the warehouse, Madeline must have stirred up some trouble.
Entry 31.
After helping Xun to his feet or rather foot. We went in search of Madeline. We found her, unconscious and lying on the floor before the large double doors that we’d investigated prior. They had been thrown wide open. I managed to rouse her and she told an incredible story of how just after she found the box, a woman with demon hands and a hole through her chest who was accompanied by 2 shadowy bug like creatures had burst through the door and rendered her unconscious before then absconding with the box. Then she asked why my eyes were now green and I was covered in blood. I explained that I’d bitten my lip. She naturally didn’t buy it, but that isn’t my concern.
Entry 32.
So, our quarry is now gone. I think that it’s time to just put this one in the draw category. We are all injured and I don’t think that pushing our luck is going to get us anything but dead. Besides, we survived a night in the QZ, which is something that a lot can’t say. With them being dead an all. We gathered up Cher and Xun and made our way back to the sewers.
Entry 33.
As we made our way out of the QZ, Roger tapped me on the shoulder and mentioned that I now radiated a mild aura of necromancy. Just great! Now I needed to watch myself around the Guild and their thugs. I did notice an unusual side effect of tonight’s events. I’d stopped to do one last check of the group we’d killed. As I was searching the pockets of the corpse, I thought about how tired I was and something odd happened. The body dissolved into dust and I felt refreshed! I tried it again and it worked a 2nd time. When I went to try a 3rd, I’d held the thought in my mind and before I even reached the body, a pulse of energy flowed from me. The corpse dissolved and everyone within the burst was healed! This could be very useful indeed!
Entry 34.
We safely made our way back to the IZ and back to the compound. Although McKinney was disappointed that we didn’t get the box, he was impressed that was made it back alive and we got our hazard pay. Tomorrow I need to make a trip back to the general store. I have some things to sell and better weapons to purchase. I’ll also need to see about getting a pneumatic leg for Xun, can’t have him sideline. Then I need to try and get a handle on what exactly is happening to me. I need to figure out these new powers and learn the truth of my condition. Who or what is the “crow that will feast upon the world?”

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Journal of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian - Session 1
Chronicle of the adventures of Dr. Thaddeus Sartorian in Malifaux

Session 1.
Entry 1.
After many days travel, I finally arrive at Earthside Terminus. Not long after my arrival, I spotted one of the McHenry fliers. It contained the details that I expected, and 1 that I didn’t. It instructed all applicants to report to the Old Water Saloon. A line at the bottom then stated that they would be hiring in groups of 2? Pairs? It would’ve been pleasant to have known about this before now! At any rate I have little choice but to press on. Hopefully there will be others who have arrived sans partner. I’m sure that I can find someone who’d be willing to join forces.
Entry 2.
I easily found the saloon and entered. The place was packed. Almost all of the tables were occupied. 2 people sat at each. The exceptions were 3 tables in the back. 1 person sat at each. An individual dressed similar to myself, a wiry looking oriental guy, and a burly chap with 2 cavalry sabers and a full beard. After sizing up all 3, I elected to approach the big guy, he looks like the one most able to handle himself in a fight.
Entry 3.
I approached the table and asked to be seated. The Scot, James claimed to be seeking a position as a bodyguard. I informed him that McHenry was seeking teams and asked if he wished to pair up. He readily agreed once I identified myself as a physician. Our agreement made, I settled in to wait. Tables were being called upstairs in turn. As I’d been the last to arrive it looks as we will be the last table. Meanwhile, the other chap had approached the wiry Chinese fellow and had made a similar arrangement.
Entry 4.
We saw several pairs come back down looking upset, with a few looking like they’d gotten good news. Eventually we were called up. We were directed to a small room that had been mostly cleared. Within was Joshua McKinney, he sat at a small table and was surrounded by stacks of files. The interview then began. James spoke about his experience as a warrior, fighting in inter-clan conflicts. I recounted my experiences fighting in the Cree campaigns with the 12th cavalry. I went on to speak of my medical training, both as a physician and a combat medic along with my interest in historical research and experience treating patients with pneumatic augments. McKinney seemed impressed.
Entry 5.
Then something odd happened. McKinney dug into his stacks and pulled out a couple of folders. As he read through it seems that he had a file on each of us? How in the hell could he have that? No one knew that I was coming here? He then asked James and myself some questions about our past. Our answers seemed to satisfy, for he soon after offered us positions with McHenry. Rooms would be provided for tonight, then tomorrow morning we would meet in the lobby and depart for Malifaux!
Entry 6.
We gathered the next morning and met our co-workers. Roger Jones and Xun Chang were the other 2 that were forced by circumstance to team up. There was the brother/sister team of Stav and Madeline VonDrex. Twin brothers Todd & Joe Skaggs. John & Jessica Bradwell, a married couple. Lastly there was Steven Frost and Lorna Stockman.
Entry 7.
A brief orientation followed. We would be leaving on the 11AM train for Malifaux but there was an 11:30 if anyone happened to miss the 1st train. He then gave us our travel papers and company ID badges, they were cast to resemble the brass base of a shell with the letters “MSEC” embossed around the edges. MSEC HQ was located in the North Industrial Zone and we’d be bunking up 2 per room. McKinney then ordered everyone with any kind of contraband to load it into a large trunk that he’d provided. Everyone who had weapons or other illicit items then loaded them into the trunk. The trunk was then locked and Roger given the key and 10 script to bribe the train guards. We then had a couple hours to kill before the train departed.
Entry 8.
Steven and James were tasked to carry the trunk and we made our way to Earthside Station. We all had business class seats, so while not as upscale as the Guild cars it was certainly better than the steerage cars. I boarded the train with McKinney, Steven, Lorna, the Skaggs’s and the Bradwell’s. The others were tasked with getting the trunk loaded and bribing the train guards.
Entry 9.
Our car was fairly comfortable. The others joined us and took their seats not long after us. Sharing the car with us was a family of 7, a scandalously dressed young woman, a man who kept shuffling a deck of cards, and a foul smelling fellow that seemed to be passed out drunk. Shortly before departure, our last companion arrived. Mathias Gerber, a congressman from Texas was shoved into the car. He had an over inflated sense of his own importance and made no secret of his offense at the treatment that he’d received. He paid James to trade seats with him as sitting at the same table as the drunk violated his sensibilities. He’d just taken his seat when the train began to move.
Entry 10.
We began to roll. Most of us passed the time by taking in the sights. Gerber however, was a talker. He and the gambler fell into conversation. It seems that they were both headed to a poker tournament being held at the Honeypot casino. It seems that Gerber had been personally invited by someone named Lynch.
Entry 11.
The talk died away as we approached the Breach. The closer we came, the more the surrounding areas began to shine with a bluish glow. Brighter and brighter it got, then a blinding flash of light. I have to admit that I didn’t expect it to happen to me, but, just as Scaribus described, I too in that instant got the briefest glimpse of my destiny. It was gone just as quickly as it had struck, leaving only a few cryptic sentences in my mind. I quickly made note of them so as not to forget. I wonder what it all means?
Entry 12.
We arrived at Malifaux Station shortly after 11:30. The train had barely come to a halt when Gerber was on his feet, shoving his way off of the train. Through the window, we watched him be greeted by this greasy looking fellow. They quickly shuffled off. As we observed this, we also saw a woman with a large sword patrolling with 2 smaller cloaked figures. I remember JS describing these things; Witchling Stalkers, the Guild’s magic bloodhounds. McKinney seemed apprehensive at their presence and was nervous as he led us all off the train. He took the first group save me to secure transportation, the remainder of us were sent to get the baggage. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with not wanting to be around as we retrieved a trunk loaded with contraband.
Entry 13.
We joined the crowd at the baggage car. As we were waiting we heard a commotion. A Sgt. ordered the guards at the baggage car away to help with a VIP. One of the guards called away was apparently the guard that the others had bribed to look the other way. The Interrogator and her 2 Stalkers were called over to handle the baggage inspections. I’ve read about them, they say that one look from an Interrogator can peel back your mind like an onion, laying all of your secrets bare.
Entry 14.
A well-dressed individual in a mask soon appeared with the guards. They were surrounding a veiled woman. We overheard the man in the mask telling them to “make sure she gets to my office by 4:00, be careful, she’s squirrely.” He then hurried off leaving the guards to escort their guest.
Entry 15.
The Interrogator was quickly moving the line along. She didn’t look at a single piece of luggage. As people stepped up she only looked at their faces. So, we did our best to act casual and began to retrieve our bags. As Stav and James began to move the trunk, one of the Stalkers began growling at it. The Interrogator order the trunk opened. When no one produced a key, she order a Stalker to blast it open. Once opened, she began to dig through it. It didn’t take long for her to pull out a book of mathematics. The book that Roger had placed within. She immediately looked at Stav and asked “who is Roger Jones?” The blood drained from his face and even though he didn’t speak a word, she turned immediately toward Roger and ordered his arrest!
Entry 16.
Here is when all hell broke loose! At this moment, the 11:30 train roared into the station on the other track and screeched to a halt. It was engulfed in flames! We heard screaming from within. The station clock struck noon and began to chime. At the same moment, the 4 guards and the woman they were escorting had reached the area in which we stood. All of a sudden, the woman appeared next to Xun. I heard her whispering to him. She asked for his help in escaping, but insisted that the 2 of them had to leave alone! The Interrogator drew her sword and shot a bolt of fire at Roger, he responded with a blast of ice. Both missed, but this is quite interesting. It seems that Roger is a practicing spell caster! Interesting!
Entry 17.
Xun and the woman took off at a dead run and most everyone else followed suit. Unfortunately the guards had completely surrounded me just before all this began going down. The Interrogator ordered us all arrested and I found myself starring down the barrels of 2 pistols! The other guards and the Stalkers went after the others who’d run. We were all shaken as the 11:30 began to explode and the screaming stopped. I thought fast and decided that my best option was to try and appear to be a panicked innocent bystander, so I threw up my hands and began stammering a non-stop stream of terrified drivel. It seemed to have worked as she looked at me and told the guards to release me as I wasn’t involved. I grabbed my bags and took off at a run.
Entry 18.
James and Madeline had used this time to grab as many of the weapons from the trunk as they could. James had called it good enough and had started moving, Madeline kept grabbing. Stav had tried to run but had been intercepted by a guard. The Interrogator and the Stalkers had moved off after Xun and Roger. Then the burning train exploded once again. The shock nearly threw us off our feet. The last was so intense that it actually flipped our train onto its side. Stav and Madeline got very lucky. She was standing in the foot print of the open car door, while Stav happened to be in between the cars which prevented them both from being crushed! James and I were far enough out that we avoided the falling cars altogether.
Entry 19.
Madeline had to use a shotgun to blow a hole through the baggage car roof to climb out. She and Stav then ganged up on the final guard in the area and took her out. The rest of us had made a run for Platform 3. Hopefully McKinney would still be waiting there with some transportation. We need to leave this area as soon as possible. I heard the Interrogator screaming to the guards “Arrest that terrorist!”, she was of course referring to Roger. Thus I’m not eager to be sighted in his company right now. This is turning out to be a hell of a first day on the job. JS was certainly right about this city not being dull.

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