Previous Session: The Hotspur
Troubled by the ominous portents of their mission aboard the Hotspur and what it could mean for the city of Duskwall, the Orphans go out to some of their contacts and friends to learn more about the Guardians of the Gates, the true impact of the ritual they performed and why Captain Dunvil might have been chosen.
Quess the Spider visits Lord Scurlock, who is a particular friend of GhostBlade, but whom she has a good relationship with because of her intercession on behalf of his 'nephew' Oskar in Ironhook Prison.
GhostBlade the Whisper summons Setarra, a demon whom she hasn't met in years. The last time they spoke, it was in cooperating against a nasty vampire they both wanted rid of.
Monger the Cutter whips the Cult's adepts into shape, giving Strangford and the rest the task of researching the particulars of the Guardians of the Gates and the ritual.
|Art by Joon Ahn|
Quess enters Lord Scurlock's manor house in Six Towers, the rickety old building should probably have been torn down ages ago, but even so it's a curious mix of derelict and luxury. Shown into a drawing room, Scurlock's dreadful countenance is clear in the firelight, his cadaverous face is both deathly pale and pulsing with life (he's drinking...wine).
Hearing about their recent escapades on The Hotspur, Scurlock is thoughful and shares some suspicions openly enough. He divulges that the ship's plasma coils protect the ghosts of the crew (and any spirits inside the ship) from the effects of the city's own lightning barriers. A terrible secret only those directly involved know about is that at the centre of each leviathan hunter is a demon heart, and through some occult ritual is tied up with the captain's ghost.
He wonders if the Guardians of the Gate concocted the scheme to allow something to enter the city from beyond, another demon perhaps...
Or is it just a scrying by a demon or god?
Scurlock is unsure, but deeply troubled as to what havoc some new demonic player could wreak in the city
GhostBlade awaits Setarra in their sanctuary on the riverside (which they took from the Hand of Sorrow). She emerges from the waters, all sleek black and smooth. Quess is sure her form is the same as the deep sea gods her people worship back in Tycheros.
Setarra's spines flare as she descends the staircase into the sanctuary proper, the heavy smell of incense and the dull light from the braziers doesn't bother her as she regards her old friend. She doesn't really have any thoughts on what else could be entering the city, but instantly leaps on the prospect of the Hotspur. If she could meet with the captain to devour him she would give them aid in reaching the heart of the ship - having a demon's heart would give them immense power to use in the service of the Wicked Mother.
Monger is briefed by Strangford, and the leader of their adepts is worried. The ritual they recently enacted to bring Her Glory Incarnate was successful, but examining the symbol they created to act as a focus, and comparing it to the one they received from the Guardians of the Gates, they found an overlap. Now he thinks that one key aspect to their ritual was the symbol they carved into Captain Dunvil.
Perhaps there is a connection between their ritual and the Dunvil symbol which allowed the door into the city to be opened from the outside. Perhaps the entity which the Guardians were 'summoning' was the Wicked Mother herself!
The truly worrying aspect is that he suspects that the Guardians may be in concert with She Who Slays in the Darkness who may have only recently discovered the Orphans' involvement in the ruse to usurp their Offertory. This all may be a trap to bring the Wicked Mother where they can destroy her physical form.
Back in their lair, the Orphans discuss the various pieces of knowledge they've gathered.
They discuss the nature of the leviathan hunters - some of their scrolls show forbidden sketches of how the demon hearts are stored and the connection between the vessels' whisper and captain who are able to contain and use the demon's power to hunt Leviathans and keep them safe on the starlit oceans. The exact repercussions of the death of a captain on the bound demon is unknown - but it can't be good...
They debate through the night - should they go with Setarra's suggestion, or use the Wicked Mother's appearance as a chance to wipe out the cults of She Who Slays in the Darkness and the Guardians of the Gates. They are loathe to underestimate this existential threat to their god...