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The Dreadnots

The Dreadnots

A smuggling crew (Tier 0) with a daring reputation. They have their own barge, "The Dreadnought", distinct and sturdy, far more nimble than its length and size would seem to allow, but only Mugs seems to be able to pilot the thing properly. The Dreadnought serves as their lair. They favor arcane and/or weird cargos, and their current turf is the not so legal trade in exotic foods and beverages. One coin in the chest at the moment.

Faction Status and Notes

  • The Hive: +0. They are the main power in the arcane/weird smuggling trade, but the Dreadnots have paid them off.
  • Lord Scurlock: -1. Somewhere along the way, the Dreadnots have caught the disapproving attention of this mysterious nobleperson.
  • The Lampblacks: -1. The Dreadnots have gotten up in the Lampblacks face in the past. It doesn't help that Baszo Baz and Thena Savory have a personal grudge.
  • The Gondoliers: +1. If you are smuggling on the canals of Duskwall, it pays to be on the good side of the Gondoliers.
  • Denizens of Silkshore: +1. The Dreadnots have made a good name for themselves among the hoi palloi of Silkshore.
  • The Vultures: X. Another smuggling outfit, destroyed by the Dreadnots. Their leader, Ms. Strathmill, is still at large.
  • The Bluecoats: -1. What passes for law enforcement in Duskwall. Patrol the canals and streets. Take bribes. Very interested in figuring out who blew up an old goat stable.
  • The Fog Hounds: +0. Another smuggling outfit, larger than the Dreadnots. Bear is the 2nd in command.

Player Characters

  • Doctor Wester Helles, aka "The Owl" [Leech] - Tycheros Foreign Noble Family of Collectors, down on their luck. VICE = Sophisticated pleasures, especially Veleris Ankhayat's "Well of Fire" playhouse in Silkshore.
  • Thena Savoy, aka "Silver" [Slide] - Dagger Isles heritage 2nd generation Duskvol native, grew up on ships, from a merchant family that runs a specialty foods business. VICE = gambling, especially Spogg's Dice Game.
  • Kristev Grine, aka "Gunner" [Hound] - Duskwall native, recently returned from Imperial Army service as a scout. VICE = also a gambler, favoring Spogg's game.
  • Mulligan Templeton, aka "Mugs" [Cutter] - Skovlander factory worker and longshoreman from Lockport, now a refugee. VICE = Drinking into a stupor at the Shine in Catcrawl Alley by the Docks.

Other Characters

  • Veldren (Woman, Athletic, Arrogant, Chronic Illness), a psychonaut. Doctor Helles' rival.
  • Malista (Woman, Very Obvious Glass Eye, Cooperation, Violence, Fine Food/Restaurants, Detailed Journal/Notes/Ledger), a priestess of the Closed Eye. Doctor Helles' close friend.
  • Baszo Baz (Leader, Charming, Open, Ruthless, Whiskey Connoisseur, Member of "The Empty Vessel"), gang leader of the Lampblacks. Savoy's rival.
  • Klyra (Man, Long Hair [wig], Freedom, Threats, Melancholy), owner of the "32 Feathers" tavern. Savoy's close friend.
  • Celene (Man, Glasses, Pleasure, Subterfuge, Volatile, Gambling, Cursed/Haunted), a sentinel of the North Hook Channel. Grine's rival.
  • Veleris Ankhayat (Woman, Scarred, Revenge, Teamwork, Suspicious, Spectrology, SECRET). Grine's close friend. A spy and playhouse impressario, runs the Well of Fire.
  • Marlane (Ambiguous, Wild, Manipulation, Calculating, Natural Philosophy, Spotless Rep/Highly Regarded), a pugilist. Templeton's close friend. Questioned regarding the explosion at the old Strathmill goat stable.
  • Grace (Woman, Plain, Control, Defiant, Music/Dance, Proud of Skovlander Heritage), an extortionist. Templeton's rival.
  • Esme (Weather, Woman, Control, Study, Insightful, Relies on Council), owner of the Luxuriating Tongue, a high-class restaurant/tavern. A contact of the Dreadnots, and past customer.
  • Calantro (Man, Dark, Knowledge, Theft, Cooperative, Cooking/Gardening, SECRET), a Hive mid-level fixer. He takes the cut for the Hive from the Dreadnots.
  • "The Toad" (Woman, Wears Hideous Mask, Control, Path of Echoes, SECRET), a high-end fence with Hive connections. He was the backer for the Centipede job.
  • Inspector Timoth (Man, Control, Hard Work, Enigmatic, Surrounded by Sycophants), a Bluecoat supervisor on the canal patrols. He thinks he was bribed by "Lady Thena", but the next time he sees Silver he will realize some shenanigans were had at his expense.
  • Bear (Man, Big, Respect, Manipulation, Fierce, Exploration/Adventure, Black Sheep/Outcast), 2nd in command of the Fog Hounds and a drinking acquaintance of Mugs at the Shine.
  • Ring Roethe (Man, Stylish, Happiness, Violence, Sophisticated, Fine Beverages, SECRET), a bon vivant, who owns one of the finest pleasure barges in Duskwall. An associate of Lord Scurlock in some fashion.
  • Cobb (Woman, Tall, Freedom, Strategy, Quiet, Politics, Detailed Notes/Journals), a purveyor of mushroom pies, namely "Cobb's Savory Shroompis". Sells them from a cooker that was once a leviathan oil tank now on wheels.
  • Canary (Woman, Tall, Love, Sabotage, Gracious, History/Legends, Revolutionary/Plots against the Imperium), a shipwright and former political prisoner. Met Mugs through Marlane. Working with the Dreadnots to modify their ship to be camouflaged as a pleasure barge, because the challenge intrigues her. Canary once did maintenance on the Bluecoat patrol boats.

Key Locations

  • The Well of Fire - a playhouse in Silkshore owned by Valeris Ankhayat, favorite of the Owl.
  • Spogg's Dice Game - an endless sequence of players and rubes taking each other's money on a above an alley in the SW corner of Crow's Foot. There is no Spogg; there might have been one in the distant past, but no one living claims to have met Spogg.
  • Catcrawl Alley - a winding alley in the north central Docks. Home to the Shine, the Bird, and the Jewel, three drinking holes with a brutal and longstanding rivalry.
  • The 32 Feathers - a tavern owned by Klyra, definitely a Dagger Isles immigrant sort of place. The sign has an ever changing set of 32 feathers poking out of what looks like wooden duck.
  • The Luxuriant Tongue - a high-class tavern/restaurant owned by Esme, occupying most of a city block in Nightmarket.
  • Savoy and Savoy, Importers - Silver's parents own this business.

Things

  • Green Spice Centipedes - a dangerous delicacy from Tycheros. Eaten live, skewered and deshelled by special forks. Have wicked, venomous claws, so eating the poses a real danger to the gourmand. Usually eaten in a communal setting around a central well.
  • Crimson Baobab - a large tree from the south. Its sap makes an excellent base for both high quality fake blood and a number of dangerous and wicked poisons.
  • Coffee - Coffee is vital to the shipping industry, because not only does it keep crew members alert, it also can protect against the sort of minor mystical annoyances that are frequently encountered on the inky seas.
  • A Hand with an Eye tattooed on its Palm - an object briefly encountered when it spasmodically gripped Mugs' ankle during a brief drunken dip in a canal. Promptly kicked back where it came from. Dr. Helles believed it was an object used in a ritual to create a Hollow.
  • Brogan's Skull - once the brain case of the thug Brogan, one of Mugs' many enemies. Now, after his execution by Ring Roethe, a tasteless but sentimental coffee bean container.

Secrets

Don't Peak!
  • SECRET for Veleris Ankhayat - Secretly Controlled by Possessing Spirit
  • SECRET for "The Toad" - Actually a Charterhall Magistrate
  • SECRET for Calantro - Once hollowed, now restored and immune to spirits.
  • SECRET for Ring Roethe - ???? who knows, nothing yet. Maybe secretly Lord Scurlock? Maybe Lord Scurlock's chief assassin?

The Recent Past: The Coffee Conveyance

On their last job, the Dreadnots were responsible for picking up some illicit and potent coffee beans from the Dagger Isles. When they met their contact, the contact ALSO wanted them to deliver what appeared to be a fresh Leviathan eyeball. Gunner was pretty sure that eyeball was one he had looked into before on a previous voyage. The Dreadnots refused to take such a cargo for the last-minute price and the sketchy details that were offered. They snuck the coffee into the city, which was tricky because the damn beans were so potent you could smell them a neighborhood away. When they delivered the cargo to the Luxuriant Tongue, the owner Esme asked "there wasn't...something else you were delivering, was there?" Silver said "No, why do you ask?" Esme said "oh...nothing" with a look of relief mixed with dread.

Session 1: The Centipede Job

The Dreadnots get word through Calantro, their Hive "superior", that the noted fence, known only as "The Toad", needed some work done quickly. On meeting with this strange masked character, they found the Toad had been using another smuggling outfit called the Vultures to bring in a very valuable and not very legal shipment of green spice centipedes from Tycheros. These centipedes are a delicacy, only to be eaten while living and skewered on special centipede tongs. The Vultures, however, chickened out when faced with increased "health and safety" Bluecoat patrols and dropped the cargo on the coastline of the Lost District outside the Wall. The cargo is time sensitive; it had an electroplasm cooling unit that is keeping the centipedes in torpor that might work for another 20 hours or so, but once it failed the centipedes would be worthless. The Dreadnots took the job. The weaved the Dreadnought up from Silkshore. Mugs was able to quickly navigate the Dreadnought up towards the wall and dodge more Bluecoat patrols. In order to avoid the wall showing their passage by lighting up, they used their chain mail mesh to cover the boat and ground it. In the Lost District, the crew had to avoid the attention of the many spirits that were congregating as the Owl was able to ensure the crate of centipedes was still fresh and ensure its safe transport (in the process, reminiscing about the old days in Tycheros) with Silver's help (reminiscing about the dangers of growing up in the exotic food trade). On the way back they ran afoul of a Bluecoat checkpoint with a chain across the canal staffed by Inspector Timoth. Silver was able to cloud his mind in to think a "Lady Thena" had paid him a bribe, but will realize his mistake the next time he sees her.The crew was able to safely move the crate back down to Charterhall and deliver. An easy job that went smooth as silk.

Session 2: The Roethe Incident and the Vultures Hit

The Dreadnots induldged in their various vices, leading to an incident involving Mugs drunkenly taking the Dreadnought out for a late night spin. You see, Mugs got into a fight, as usual, with Brogan, his nemesis down in Catcrawl Alley and a regular at the detested Jewel. Brogan pasted him one. So Mugs ends up on the Dreadnought for some crazy reason, trying to sail it down the canal while plastered and the rest of the Dreadnots chasing after it and some missing the opportunity to fully enjoy some of Cobb's Savory Mushroom Pies. Mugs almost piloted the Dreadnought into the pleasure barge of Ring Roethe, a famous bon vivant and an associated of Lord Scurlock. Wouldn't you know it, Brogan just happened to be a crewman on that barge. But in the end, the situation was resolved through a combination Mugs' alchohol-induced incompetence and quick thinking on the part of the other Dreadnots. At one point Mugs fell into the canal, and was dragged out by Gunner. When he came out of the water, a severed hand was grasping his ankle tightly. This hand had an eye tattoo on its palm, and the Owl believed it was used in a ritual to create a Hollow. The Dreadnots promptly kicked back into the canal. Roethe was by turns amused and disdainful at the incident. Mugs, on the other hand, was convinced that the Dreadnought needed to be able to be camouflaged as a pleasure barge and took steps to hire the shipwright, Canary to make the modifications. Canary was intrigued by the challenge, and the Owl was happy to share his many sketches of thoughtful design possibilities.

Finally, Dr. Helles was able to share his information. The Vultures had gotten into even more trouble, they had not delivered a shipment of Crimson Baobab tree sap to Veleris Ankhayat, who shared her woes with Helles. It seems that this sap is the perfect substance to create the most effective fake blood for such deep and visceral spectacles as the Well of Fire was notorious for. But the Vultures had not come through on the deal, and were holding Ankhayat's shipment. Thus the shoddy nature of the practical blood effects at the evening's performance Helles had just enjoyed. The reason the sap needs to be smuggled is that, coincidentally, it also is the base for some particularly nasty and effective poisons. The Dreadnots decided this was their moment to seize the Vulture's market share of the smuggling business, and set out to knock them down a peg. This involved Mugs setting some explosives as a distraction and keeping watch, while the Owl, Silver, and Gunner made their way through the storm sewers into the Vultures base of operations, the old "Strathmill and Sons Goat Stables". While keeping watch, Mugs realized that the Fog Hounds were also making a move on the Vultures, as a team of their heavies came up the street outside, led by Bear, the Fog Hound's 2nd in command. As both Mugs and Bear frequent the Shine, they were acquaintances, and familiar with each other's modus operandi. Therefore, when Mugs demonstrated the tremendous volume of explosives he had about his person, Bear decided the better part of valor was to make himself scarce from the scene. But he made sure that Mugs knew that the Fog Hounds expected a cut of whatever profit might come the Dreadnots way from the nights activities. Well, actually he talked in metaphors of mutton that Mugs could barely follow but was later able to explain to Silver and the Owl in a way that they understood. As it turns out, Bear was wise, because Mugs had overestimated the necessary charge, and ended up blowing the entire front wall of the old goat stable into the street, stunning the Vultures within. Gunner and Silver burst in upon them like sharks on a school of tuna, while the Owl searched for and secured the Crimson Baobab sap shipment without much incident. As the Dreadnots evacuated the scene, the Vultures were shattered, their operations in disarray. The whereabouts of Ms. Strathmill, the leader of the Vultures, were unknown.

Session 3: The Six Towers Station #5 Rumpus

The Dreadnots again indulged in their various vices. Marlane was brought in for questioning regarding the possibility that her known associate, one "Mugs", might have been involved in the destruction of the old goat stable, but had no information of value and was released. The Dreadnots again encountered Ring Roethe, this time bearing all kinds of interesting threats of grim bodily harm if the Dreadnots did not cease involving themselves in the trade in exotic poisons such as the Crimson Baobab sap. It turns out that the same shadowy figure, perhaps Lord Scurlock himself, had been waiting for that leviathan eyeball during the Coffee Conveyance, and had also arranged for the delivery of the Crimson Baobab sap from the Vultures. This hazy personage had sent Roethe to make clear his position on the matter, by way of depositing Brogan's dead corpse onto the Dreadnought as a simultaneous "peace" offering and omen of future brutality. The Dreadnots promptly decided that they already had enough trade in their chosen line of work, and ceded to Roethe's patron's wishes. Mugs enjoyed Brogan's demise (one hesitates to call it untimely, for he was a cad) by parading about the canals of the city with Brogan's corpse as a figurehead and then turning Brogan's skull into a macabre coffee bean container. While all this was going on, a rumour insinuated itself into the ears of the Dreadnots that the continuing "health and safety inspections" of the Bluecoats were not solely a crass attempt at enriching the Constabulary Benevolent Fund. They learned from various sources that the Bluecoats had a list of merchants they were NOT to take bribes from, but instead to deal with harshly to the full extent of the law (which has substantial extent). In fact, "Ms. Strathmill" (the former Vulture leader, but in fact Silk in clever disguise) was seen obviously asking about this issue on the docks.

The Dreadnots took it upon their initiative to initiate a strategem to obtain a copy of this list, by infiltrating using the old "Delivering Prisoners" ruse a quiet backwater Bluecoat station in Six Towers, station #5. Silk and the Owl played the part of the Bluecoats according to the ruse's script, while Mugs and Gunner were admirably realistic as the prisoners. Much to the dismay of Silk, however, Inspector Timouth happened to be inspecting the station at the moment the strategem was employed. Timouth almost recognized Silk, and it was only through the increasingly frenzied distractions of Mugs and the Owl that he did not pierce her camouflage. These distractions involved Mugs getting a fairly thorough thrashing from the local constables and the Owl using smoke bombs and fire oil to set the whole institution alight, thus continuing the property destruction theme of the Dreadnots activities. But Gunner was able to secure a copy of the list, and all of the Dreadnots were able to extricate themselves from the situation.

Afterwards, upon reviewing the list, it was clear that someone in the city was trying to put intense pressure on the Hive's operations. Therefore, when Silk delivered the list to Calantro, his excitement at the revelation was barely contained. But Calantro also made it clear that the Hive was grateful for the list and for the Dreadnots discretion on the matter.

Throughout these events, several other potential lucrative opportunities had presented themselves. First, Big Junket, the publican of the Shine, presented Mugs with the possibility of simultaneously making a bit of money and vexing Mr. Kinklaive, the scoundrel owner of the Jewel, by intercepting a shipment of highly taxed but evading taxation Skovlander grog. Second, Malista indicated to her good friend the Owl that she had an acquaintance that needed to perform several important rites that could only be performed upon the open ocean, and that her society would be willing to reimburse the Dreadnots to provide a platform for said rites (namely, their barge). Finally, Valeris warned Gunner that Ms. Strathmill was in the city and out for vengeance for the destruction of the Vultures and her ancestral goat stable. The Dreadnots believed they might able to deal with all of these issues in one fell swoop, in...

Session 4: The Strange Affair at Sea

Let's face it, the events of the night are best not spoken of casually. Suffice it to say that the Dreadnots were able to get steal Mr. Kinklaive's grog from the Skovlan consilar vessel AND ensure that the ritual of The Closed Eye was performed. The Eye is No Longer Closed. Mugs has been cut off at the Shine, poor bastard, because too many bottles were broken. The Skovlan Consul was suave and sophisticated but will only remember what happened if he sees Silver again. Strathmill is searching for the Dreadnots without wanting to be found, but the feeling is mutual. Did I mention that the Eye is No Longer Closed?