Week 1 – Game 1
Resurrectionists (me) vs. Gremlins – 35ss
Arcane Ritual – Gremlins Defended
My schemes – Claim Jump, Hunting Party
Result – Resurrectionists 10-0, Gremlins – strategic withdrawal
Barter – Grotesque Trophy (salt! I flipped a 12, which was great, but I had the red joker in my cheat hand… this would be the time I get it when the campaign won’t let you use it, rofl)
Vincent St. Clair knelt, hidden behind decaying trees, as he surveyed the landscape before him. Dilapidated buildings dotted the carved-out piece of land, Malifaux eager to reclaim what had once been hers. Bones littered the ground, along with the remains of metal work implements. Broken walls and crates dotted were intermixed with the skeletal hands of the land; twisted and gnarled trees that clawed towards the overcast sky. In the center of the broken settlement stood an obelisk. A geometric spire carved out of blood-stained obsidian, it towered over the buildings, squat as they were.
Vincent couldn’t help but wonder how it was excavated and brought to the surface. He studied it for a moment, it’s faint glow growing in the darkening light of twilight.
His sources had informed him this was an old strip mining operation, one that had dug a bit too deep and greedily. It had been abandoned years ago when the monument had been discovered. Several horrible and increasingly disturbing accidents led many to believe it was cursed and the few remaining soulstone miners that left told wild tales of terrible visions and nightmares.
Shuffling from behind him drew his attention away and he looked at his assigned company. It still made him uneasy to work so closely with the dead. Especially as disturbing as his companions were. Lacey was one of Reva’s newest followers. She had been a lady of pleasures until a run-in with a certain horror of the night. Reva told him she had defected from the insane necromancer, desperate to have a modicum of her own control.
Clarice was a nurse, who worked under Dr. McMourning at the guild. Insane, but quite adept at administering her various chemical cocktails, Reva believed her chaotic ramblings about wanting “to make a difference.”
The most disturbing of course was Newt, a fallen child of one of the inner cities, raised to unlife by the dark magics of Malifaux. She clung to her teddy-bear, a mask covering her decaying features. She clung to the shadows, silent as the mist that seemed to follow her every move.
Vincent once more shook his head at the abominations that surrounded and obeyed him, then turned back to the task at hand. Reva wanted this monument examined, and that meant dislodging the presence of the chaotic Gremlins that had stumbled across the thing.
Wielding their cobbled and stolen firearms, he’d only had seen three so far, but they were the chaff. Cannon fodder. And where there was fodder there was a leader.
He looked to Newt and motioned with his head to the camp. The lost child nodded and vanished into shadow. She returned a few minutes later and held up seven fingers. Then pointed at him with a gun and then again to one of the grassy knolls on the other side. Vincent frowned. That probably meant the LaCroix family.
“Perfect,” he muttered under his breath. He knelt and drew his finger through the dirt, creating a lay out of the camp. “Where?” he asked the crooligan.
She made markings indicating positions. Looked like they were camped around the knoll with the two bayou gremlins patrolling the east and west. Vincent looked for any solid cover beyond the monument itself… not a lot that would stop a bullet from a high-powered rifle. He looked back to Newt.
“I want you on the eastern flank. Try to draw the attention of the gremlin there and lead him into the woods. Be careful.”
Newt nodded and vanished. Vincent turned to the other two. “You’re with me. Where there’s gremlins there’s those god-forsaken giant roosters. Clarice, as soon as you see it, make sure it’s too doped up to flank us.”
Clarice giggled and lovingly stroked her various vials and syringes. Vincent shrugged off the ice that went down his spine. He reached into his jacket and pulled out the two runes that Reva had given him. Using such unnatural magicks always made him hesitant, but he needed to deal with that sniper.
“Alfred, your presence is requested,” Vincent said, his voice a powerful command. The rune cracked in half as a spectral hand ripped through the dirt, a graveyard spirit pulling itself out of the ground, clutching its beloved tombstone. The other rune, Vincent tossed to the sky.
A flash of hellish green light erupted from the rune as it shattered, the flapping of wings and the screech of a raven echoing in the air. The Emissary ripped into reality, it’s bipedal and avian form cloaked in robes of rich purple as it descended to stand before him.
Cries of alarm came from the Gremlin camp and Vincent motioned the disturbing creature forward. “We need cover.”
The Emissary nodded and cawed, quickly moving up and summoning crystalline shards near the monolith. A gunshot rang out and plinked off the erected barrier.
“Let’s get this done,” Vincent growled and stalked forward, fearless of the horrible aim of the gremlins, now that the sniper was blocked off.
The graveyard spirit kept up with the Carrion Emissary, granting it unnatural durability. A loud crowing sound drew his attention right before a Gremlin, yipping and hollering, burst through the brush atop a giant rooster bearing down on the Emissary. Clarice promptly dosed out some heavy medications, and the Rooster went crazy, scratching and clawing at the air in front of it, fighting some invisible foe only it could see whilst the Rider held on for dear life.
Vincent smirked and continued looking for his quarry. Gremlins were spineless without their leader. Seeing an elderly Gremlin cursing and sputtering, he quickly put a crossbow bolt into it, dropping it to the dirt. The less peons to interfere, the better.
“Come on, where are you?” Vincent muttered under his breath as he looked around.
Answering his query, a gremlin leapt out from behind the cover of a tree, brandishing a wicked looking sword. A lit cigarette hung out of its mouth as it barred the way, guns adorning the diminutive creature’s body and a wide brimmed hat that looked like he stole it from the Ortega Family; definitely a LaCroix.
Vincent looked at the sword and then at the Gremlin. Muttering an arcane curse under his breath, he leapt back, his bolts imbued with dark energy that would tear through mundane and arcane protections alike. His crossbow fired rapidly, the autoloading clip allowing him to place three bolts into the creature before it had even said a word; dropping it into the dirt. A few half-hearted shots were fired as its companions saw him drop, but all desire to stick around and get murdered fled quickly, and they beat a hasty retreat.
“If only all battles were so easily won,” Vincent said to no one in particular.
Newt warped into the shadows next to him, clutching her teddy bear tightly, a butcher knife in her hand.
“Newt, Make sure none lurk about, and set up warnings around the perimeter to ward off any that might come looking. Lacey… Clarice, prepare the arcane ritual as Reva instructed.”
They obeyed immediately.
Vincent was about to dismiss the Emissary and spirit when he heard a call in his mind. He whirled around, crossbow at the ready, scanning about. He felt a pull, like some ancient call of power, guiding him… Whispering to him. Slowly he walked towards it. At first he thought it was the monolith, but as the pull led him past it, he became even more suspicious. Promises of power untold and glimpses into the secrets of Malifaux whispered into his mind as he came upon a shattered crate. Lifting the lid he beheld a beautiful and ornate looking weapon. Reaching down, he picked it up, only to realize it was fake, unmarred from time simply due to being in the box and made of nothing that would rust. Rolling his eyes in frustration and questioning his own sanity he discarded the wasted trinket and turned to leave.
He stopped as his eyes caught sight of a bag, and the whispers of power renewed. Reaching down, he pulled the velvet sack out, and carefully emptied its contents into his hand. A macabre sculpt of mutilated forms and ripped apart bodies fell into his palm, warm to the touch. He looked at it and felt the aura of fear and terror that it could inspire in his enemies.
Not quite the secrets of Malifaux, but perhaps useful nonetheless, he thought to himself. Placing the trophy back into its pouch, he pocketed it and turned back to finish the job.
Meanwhile, two very lucky and not quite dead gremlins scurried off. Vowing to never let himself get caught so unawares again, Francois swore vengeance before running off to notify Perdita about the encroaching rezzers.