Previous Session: The Noose
The Noose target the Skovlan Consulate - they want to find out what plans and schemes the Consul and her staff are up to. They're going to infiltrate the house with a disguise and deceive the guards to giving them the run of the place so they can fact find.
Tick-Tock the Leech prowls the neighbourhood, checking out the perimeter security and the ways in and out. He notices that the two guards out front pulls four hour shifts. They linger in between the door and the front gate. They are casual enough with visitors (so long as the weapons aren't too obvious) and just have a brief chat before showing them inside. About halfway through their shift they get cups of tea delivered to them from inside.
Out back there's a cobbled yard with a strong gate that opens onto an alleyway. A guard shows up there every so often, but usually just when the gate is in use, or when they're expecting a delivery.
There is a skylight in the rooftop, which could be used in an emergency - it'd be easy enough to use to get into either house next door (a solicitors on one side and a private residence on the other).
Crow the Slide meets with Adelaide Phraoig, their friend in the Consulate, who can give them some pointers for what files they should be looking for. They meet up in Slane's fishmonger, and sit down to a supper of smoked fish. He's struck by her sense of nostalgia at the smell and feel of the place, she relates how the smokey flavour reminds her of her home back in Blackvale.
Crow's so enraptured by this new side of the usually reserved Adelaide that he misses a member of the Wraiths at the counter behind them - he's picking up a packet of smoked kippers, but notices Crow and smiles to himself - they have a way of getting to the Noose now...
She tells him of his old mentor, Skannon, the most famous of Skovlan commanders during the war. Brynna Skyrkallan, the Consul, is seeking him out - and Shiv, one of the local leaders of the refugee community is said to have knowledge of his whereabouts.
Skannon was taken prisoner by the Imperial army late on in the war, right before the assassination of Queen Alayne and collapse of Skovlan resistance. Many believe that he died as a prisoner of war, or still rots in some Imperial prison, but Crow knows that he is free - in fact freeing Skannon was the Noose's first job together.
Adelaide doesn't know what Skyrkallan wants with the heroic commander. She fears that this is a prelude to handing him over to the Empire, but doesn't really know the Consul's mind on this issue.
She give Crow a good idea of who they could disguise themselves as to infiltrate the Consulate - one of the Unseen, the captain of a Leviathan Hunter only known as the Chariot is seen frequently there meeting with the Consul, sometimes without an appointment. She reckons that the Consul has other business in a few days time, so they could use that opportunity to sneak in. Anyone who doesn't know the Chariot well would mistaken Crow for him.
Crow is dressed in a worn naval uniform, with a cane, tricorn, jeweled ring and pocket watch to round out the ensemble. He strikes people as an experienced, if dapper, captain. Wicker the Whisper is with him, his regular clothes with a few additions paint the picture of a down-to-earth if flustered assistant. Tick-Tock circles the neighbourhood, scouting for unforeseen trouble, watching for an opportunity or just to arrive in the nick of time to pull their asses out of the fire.
Crow and Wicker are speaking to the guards, blagging their way in seems to be easy enough - they're casual at best; maybe good in a fight, but not great at the vetting part of their job. One indicates that they should just sign in with the clerk who's inside.
A professional-looking woman comes out with a couple of mugs of hot tea for them - it's definitely earlier than they expected - it would seem that she's got a lot on her plate, with the Consul's busy schedule and thought they wouldn't mind their tea a bit early today. She does glance at Crow, and he reckons that she knows something's not right, but can't quite put her finger on it.
As they step inside, one of the two guards, an older guy, follows them inside. Apparently he likes his tea with a bit of honey so he's heading up to the kitchen to sweeten it to his taste. He's heading in the same direction, and as they hesitate at the bottom of the stairs he points in towards the front room, where Jor, a clerk is sitting behind a desk. The young man, is rifling through correspondence, obviously very busy, but gives them his (divided) attention. He can't find any details of their appointment, but knows the Consul is always ready to meet with the Chariot, and assures them that he'll let her know that they've arrived. (They're pretty sure that he'll forget and remember in about half an hour).
Out back, Tick-Tock spots a wagon approach the back gates of the consulate. He slithers underneath it as it slows to a stop. Grabbing the underside of it just as the gates are opened and it trundles inside. It halts just inside the gate, and Tick-Tock realises something just in time. It's one of the new prison wagons, as the cage inside is unlocked, the metal latches he's holding onto are released...but he's already secured them in place and instead of dropping to the hard cobbles, he just bides his time.
Tick-Tock recently did some work for Ironhook to redesign the security of their prisoner transports, so he recognised the mechanism as soon as he rolled underneath. He watches as a lone prisoner is hauled out of the wagon by two guards. The woman's bare feet aren't bloody or particularly dirty, so it would seem that she's been deprived of her shoes only recently.
Up one flight of stairs, Crow and Wicker allow the guard to go ahead into the kitchen as they stop on the landing; the adjoining records and waiting rooms are where their attention is for now. Wicker begins to reach out to attune to any ghost who might be lurking in the archives; but then they hear some noises from inside the room.
Crow remembers how he knows the woman who brought tea to the guards outside now. That's Emeline, sister to their friend who runs the bakery which conceals their lair. She's an assistant to the Consul, and from conversations he's overheard she's conscientious and a little conflicted about the consulate's mission - she knows it will improve the life of her compatriots, but at what cost to their freedom and identity.
|Emeline Tyrconnel, assistant to the Consul|
Wicker's desperate incompetence is clear to her, and she finds this kind of thing infuriating - that masks Crow's quick-witted blocking of the lock so that as soon as she climbs the stairs to the Consul's office, they can creep inside the records room. Crow stays outside to keep watch, and Wicker searches for the records that'll bring them up to speed on the whereabouts of Skannon. The filing system is really well organised, and files appear to be cross-referenced and duplicated - it'll make the right dossier easy to find, but unfortunately, Emeline will be aware that something's missing very quickly.
Outside, Tick-Tock rolls out from under the wagon, following the two guards and their prisoner approach the back of the house. He's spotted by the driver though, and Tick-Tock just points at the bomb he left underneath it and tells the driver that he should check it out. That does stop the driver from yelling out to get the guards' attention, but unfortunately Tick-Tock's timer is off and the bomb explodes at that instant!
He hears the whine of the timer a moment before it triggers and turns and runs towards the house - he's catapulted forward by the blast, but regains his feet easily. The two guards aren't so lucky though; one smashes his nose against a step, and the other is blinded by the blast when she turns around.
Inside the records room, Wicker is getting the right dossier out of a cabinet by the window which overlooks the yard; he spots Tick-Tock running and steps aside just as the blast wave hits the window and showers the room with shard of glass.
Outside the records room, Crow is speaking to the guard supping his cup of tea. Crow made a casual throw away comment as he passed to go downstairs, and instead of nodding and replying (like usually happens) the guard took this as an invitation to get into an in-depth discussion on the dog racing (which Crow likes, but obviously not as much as this guy!)
The guard drops his cup and runs to the kitchen - there's a window there that'll give him a good view of what's going on out back. Wicker slips out of the room and he and Crow walk back out the front door - the obvious chaos is a good excuse to leave without any questions. They exchange a quick update; Wicker took another dossier which may prove profitable or generally useful to the Noose. Crow pats his coat - he cut out a fine painting which was hanging in the waiting room!
Tick-Tock grabs the prisoner and leads her to the back gate. The guard who opened it for the wagon is leaning against it, still groggy and yet to recover from the blast. The wagon is in bits; only the iron superstructure appears to have survived, and the cage was catapulted into next door's yard.
Tick-Tock shoots out the lock of the gate at a run, and that appears to have been the only thing holding the gate upright. It collapses and they leap over it. The guard comes to his senses and takes aim with a brace of pistols as they escape down the laneway. His first shot hits the prisoner's leg and the second shatters Tick-Tock's elbow. Nevertheless they disappear into a side street and back to the lair.
The prisoner, now recovering from her wound, is named Mags, and she is married to Shiv, a community organiser amongst the refugees - it appears that Lomond was bringing her in to apply pressure in order to find out the whereabouts of Skannon.
Wicker goes out with Flint to celebrate their victory, picking out a new set of cufflinks to go with his outfit. However he's a little over exuberant in describing the operation and someone in a changing room overhears - while the Noose were under a lot of heat due to the explosion and death of the drive, now the Bluecoats have their eye on the crew.
Tick-Tock picks up a few trinkets with Eckerd (a blood dealer), who finds a marvellous mechanical leech which might be useful in future. Otherwise he concentrates on healing his elbow with the help of some fantastic ointments supplied by Stazia (his apothecary friend).
At their lair, they learn more from the dossier - it would appear that Lomond, chief adviser to the Consul and veteran of the war could be the main enemy of Skannon at the consulate. While the Consul herself views Skannon as a lynchpin in attempting to align the refugees with her cause, Lomond liaises with the Governor General and is aware of the plaudits that would come with the capture of such an infamous enemy leader.
Crow starts researching Lomond, if he's the quisling inside the consulate then they must tackle him first. He was the commander of a garrison captured early in the war, and at the time was a fierce rival of Skannon's. In his view it was only chance which led to Skannon gaining fame in the defence of their country and not him. It's rumoured that Lomond goes missing every so often, but no one knows what he gets up to.
Next Session: The Last Fare