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Category: Writeups

The Widow’s Regalia

I just sent my Blades in the Dark players a summary of one PC’s research, since he finished up a long-term project clock during the latest downtime. Useful knowledge: Setarra is Dock’s chosen friend from character creation, and his long-term demonic patron. Last session, Dock performed a ritual which shows him the history of an item in order to break into a safe. As a perhaps fortunate consequence of the ritual, he learned that the a powerful set of demonic relics woven through the story to date was originally Setarra’s, and she wants them back.

On the regalia: actual possession of the belt is exactly the key you need to unlock the ciphers in Violette’s husband’s library. (Not a fun experience per se; this is a really dark set of tomes. Human sacrifice, techniques for raising the ambient level of misery in a neighborhood in order to encourage deals with demons, that kind of thing.)

The Regalia is made up of five items:

  • The Widow’s Collar (necklace)
  • The Widow’s Cuffs (bracelets)
  • The Widow’s Shackles (boots)
  • The Widow’s Leash (belt)
  • The Widow’s Shroud (dress)

The Hexhounds stole the Collar for the Attic. You heard on the streets that the Attic got their hands on the Shackles. Lisette the gambler lost her final tournament game, with some assistance on your part, and that put the Cuffs in Lord Scurlock’s hands. You currently have the Leash. The location of the Shroud is completely unknown.

Apparently Dock now knows some things about the origin that nobody else knows, so that’s exciting. Various scholars have assumed that the Widow was a demon of some sort, but nobody’s attached the name Setarra to the story. It’s widely thought that the paladin who fought the demon, Bran, is just a metaphor for the strength of humans in the face of temptation, because everyone knows paladins never existed. Dock knows his history; this would mean that the theft occurred well before the Cataclysm, which was a thousand years ago. Given his knowledge that the paladin really did exist, it’s pretty easy to piece together the next steps — once Bran got his hands on the Regalia, he carefully scattered it to the ends of what is now the Shattered Isles. The individual items used to live in monasteries, temples, churches, and so on. Since then, well, a thousand years of thievery and danger and murderous ghosts do a number on your ability to protect dangerous demonic artifacts.

It is definitely the case that letting a demon assemble all five of the items is a recipe for disaster. They are sort of thaumaturgical batteries when they’re apart; making a set of three or four is no big deal, it’s a linear addition; but getting all five together is potentially world-shaking. Setarra’s threats in the vision are not mere bluster. Perhaps she’s mellowed over the millennium? Also: useful for demons, overwhelming for humans. Trying to channel that much power through a mere human body is not a good idea. 

Shadows over Six Towers: Session One

After a bit of searching about, I finally found the Blades in the Dark game I’ve been looking for. I dug up two people on Reddit, of all places, and we had our first session last week. It’s a cool group of PCs, sort of occult-leaning novices to the criminal world. Dock is a kid who was raised in a cult and has no idea how the world works (but lots of occult knowledge); Crucible is an alchemist and sailor from the Dagger Isles who got kicked off her ship for stealing things and now has to figure out how to live well in Doskvol; and Loretta (aka Etty) is the child of a noble family who lost all their money and status, so she’s stuck living on the streets with the ghost of her childhood pet for company.

This game sparked my documentation obsession, so we have a wiki. For the click-adverse, the record of the first session follows.

"Orcs"

[Ed: still with apologies to Television Without Pity. And to anyone who’s confused by this, actually…]

This week on Dungeon Majesty: Oliver suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous childhood, Cassie and Millie get hit on by a swim team, Alvin gets a job, Andrew uncovers secrets, and Ferdinand is mostly away this episode. We’re grumpy about that last.

"Owlbear"

[Ed: with apologies to Television Without Pity.]

Will Maggie Gyllenhaal free herself from an over-protective mother? Will Philip Seymour Hoffman overcome a slight case of being Philip Seymour Hoffman? Will Owen Wilson ever stop being cute, and/or find a distributor for his documentary? Will William H. Macy discover yet another way to lose an election? And most important, will your humble recapper be able to remain coherent despite continuous references to that geeky game she always ignored in high school? We won’t find out this week, except maybe for that last one, but at least the wheels will be in motion.

Dear Brother #11

Dear Brother #11 picks up after the PCs left Chicago and headed down to Mississippi. Chronologically speaking, these events occurred before those recorded in Dear Brother #10c, but we played them out after we played out the trip to Mexico. If I’d known we were going to do that I suppose I’d have held off on writing #10 until we’d finished playing the events leading up to it — but it doesn’t hurt the story at all, so no harm done.

On the other hand, we did wind up playing out the events described here after we played the events described in the upcoming Dear Brother #12. But this time I knew it was coming so I can write #11 and #12 in chronological order.

(None of this matters or impinges on the entertainment value one bit, so don’t worry. I’m just noting it so I’ll remember what happened years from now when I’m old and grey. And I’m not complaining, cause Rob makes it all work)