Guerrillas In The Mist

Two Birds, One Stone

Cities had one thing in common, there was always a hush as the mists descended.

Quinn stared across at the dilestani keep. It was a grand building, hewn of stone and strung with banners of house colours that some poor skaa no doubt had to clean hourly during daylight. A tower was at the left of the residence, and he could see the flickers of candlelight appearing as darkness fell. The rest of the building was square and dark, and skaa whispers told him that was where the servants tended to live, not to mention the guards.

Burning tin he could spot a few shattered glass panes or crumbling mortar, and as the guard shifts changed there was a definite gap at the leftmost corner.

That was the best entry point, if he could convince the clips to do it.

Chances are they’ll prefer a ground based entrance, he thought to himself, but that’s where they’ll have the most guards. You’d only get a misting going through the roof and it’s not like people expect that to happen.

He sighed and worked his way closer and to an angle with which he could see over the walls into the ground.

Some patrols, but a fair bit of cover and it’s not well lit. I wonder if they have a tineye… he flared his bronze and scanned for pulses_…can’t spot any, could be out of range though._

He pulled out his notebook, hunching behind a wall. A topdown view of the keep was drawn, with a rough estimation of the grounds and dotted lines of likely patrol areas. They didn’t keep to the same route, but the declines in the land were usually avoided. He was hoping to make a name for himself in the underground, some sort of social capital with which to mobilise the underground and eventually the resistance. Fallow liked to talk about “uniquely individual efficiencies” as he liked to think of them. The unique aspects they all brought to the table, and he’d been slacking. There was a definite window of opportunity for him in the underground, if he knew how to use it. It was all just politics, and that was just a game according to Cassiel. A game that could cost the lives of hundreds.

The issue he was gonna have was getting people to agree. They mostly did small scores against ships, food or supplies a noble house wouldn’t miss. But targeting a noble house was a step up. There’d be serious repercussions. So that’s why he took inspiration from fallow.

“If I was gonna take down the noble houses, I’d make them fight each other.”

In his usual, surprising way, he was entirely right.

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Chapter 36
Story 3

Time

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Learning

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Aspirations

  • 3 for Alhara
  • 3 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 2 for Quinn

Roleplay

  • 2 for Alhara
  • 3 for Bella
  • 2 for Fallow
  • 3 for Quinn

Adventure Log

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Chapter 36 Summary
The Session we were all Bad People
  • Faff about the house
  • Find out Green Metal is a copper metalmind
  • Priceless History swallowed by Quinn
  • Find out about the Well of Ascension and Rashek
  • Get a letter from resistance
  • They want to know about Lekal Interior set up
  • Annoyed at break in
  • We separate for the day after arguments about Hyrum
  • Aim to staff for the house
  • Quinn goes to meet resistance to try to suggest they provide Skaa to work in our house
  • “A unique opportunity
  • Kistaaris seem keen to take advantage of the opportunity
  • He is aware of the hidey boxes
  • Alhara and Fallow go to canton of resistance
  • Aim to hire cheap but competent workers
  • No rush, but ASAP
  • “In good time”
  • Bella and Owandise spend time beating Cassiel
  • She becomes a smoker
  • They all have a good cry and don’t talk about it at dinner
  • Dinner, we notice the odd movements
  • Tret is encouraged to be an individual and inspire the other skaa workers to come.
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Golden Moments

She was in two places at once.

She could see herself and see herself.

The first of her pouted and raged, her emotions swaying her from moment to moment. She lashed out at those around her using petty acts to try and reinforce her crumbling authority.

The second figure was fitter, her face had less baby fat and more muscle filled out her arms, he once soft leisure loving hands callused by the bow string. Now she had companionship and a few she might think off and be thought of as friends. She still craved attention and praise far more than any gold or Atium, but in many ways she was more mature. At the same time she was still hopelessly naive to deal with all the bloodshed and treachery that was on the horizon that would either force her to sink or swim.

Nebellea staggered and extinguished the Gold burning in her stomach. She sunk down on the bed, drained and feeling older than she had any right to. It was all getting horribly complicated again. She could be proud of who she was becoming and in many ways she was proud of the others as well. But still she had a niggling doubt, they were all violent people in their own way. Sandcrown was a brutal pragmatist, Alhara despite appearing outwardly serene had a beserk fury within her and Quinn was more than happy to kill for his ideals. Nebellea wondered how she came to be surrounded by those who revelled in violence quite so much. She liked to think that she had helped in some way to change some of them, she obviously could not take full credit but she wondered if they might be affecting her too. Her thoughts drifted back to Empoli, the guardsman’s house, the smell of the tea and his giddy grin, the feeling of resistance as the knife went in to him. The others kept telling her she had to be prepared to kill one day the irony being she already had.

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The Best Things in life are Free and Unguarded

Quinn admired his new suit. It was a fine cut, something in blue to remind him of the dress Bella has wore when she was pranking Darielle. It reminded him of a time he and her had actually worked together on something: he was hoping it would be good to remember that when she asked him to do something else he didn’t like. And now he was being told he needed to buy another suit for the wedding. Plus one for Pidge as well.

His hands clenched, It was such a waste of money. I could eat off that for months. I could do so much more with it

“Feather-pen,” it was Pidge’s favourite name for him at the moment, “What’s got your rags in a twist?”

“Just the wedding. It’s so expensive. Couldn’t we just, I don’t know, do like a little ceremony. There are Skaa starving out there, Pidge.”

Pidge’s smiled faded slightly, “Quinn, we can’t keep having this discussion. I thought we agreed we’re doing good so it’s okay to buy into this lifestyle.”

“I know, I know. I just…I mean I just bought this suit. And now we need more. How do you feel about white suits, P?”

“I think they’re stupid and will be covered in ash if we so much as look out of a window. But the Lady Rebou gets as she desires. Speaking of which, can I borrow some money?”

Quinn blinked. Self-sufficient Pidge barely asked someone to pass him a knife when he cooking, let alone ask for money.

“Why do you need money, Pidge?”

“Well…I was speaking to Penn and he said it’s normal for nobles to get gifts for each other at weddings. There is supposed to be some list and we pick items off of it. But then he thinks we should be fine just getting something small or ceremonial for Fallow, because we’re sort of family, and really the gifts are for the house, so we just need something that welcomes him into the fold.”

“That’s…thoughtful of you.”

“Well Owandise has taken us in, Q. We should play our parts at least. But I can’t make him a bread roll to say welcome to the house. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve met a noble who could boil let alone peel a potato.”

“Hmm…I’ll speak to Bella about it I guess, or Teven. He probably knows what’s appropriate. You up for Shelldry with him and Molsier sometime?”

“Molsier…the pewterarm who stabbed you?”

“Yep. I’m trying to make amends. I might let him win at shelldry and everything.”

“You’re incorrigible…can I get that money anyway?”

“Yeah sure…is this actually for Fallow or is something else going on?”

Pidge looked away. His skin, clear of ash or flour, was pale for a skaa: caused by time spent in a bakery and not under the sun. On this occasion, there was a flush rising in it also.

“I…yes. Can you just give me the money and not ask me about

“Sure…don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Pidge raised an eyebrow and went digging in the drawers for loose coins, “Speaking of things I wouldn’t do, I got hired by some criminal types today.”

“WHAT?” Pidge turned from his search, a cravat in his left hand, “How did…is that why you’ve been on the docks so much? Lord, Quinn, whatever are you thinking? We have a good gig here. Why are you doing this…”

The cravat dropped silently to the floor, Pidge closing his eyes and turning around.

“Tell me why you did it then, since I obviously can’t stop you.”

“Well I figure the best way to get more Skaa in the rebellion is to recruit the folks that are already against the law. Just got to make a name for myself then I can make sure they know who to go to when the decide stealing hankerchiefs isn’t really changing anything. Plus, I want an ear to the ground. I feel penned up in this house, and I want to be out there. I’d just rather be out there being useful to something and doing something useful for the group to boot.”

“Okay, that’s at least semi-reasonable…just don’t break into any noble houses or cantons, yeah?”

“No promises. The bag, it’s under that floorboard to your right, by the way.”

“Ta muchly,” Pidge seemed unphased by the admission. He’d learnt Quinn wouldn’t tell him anything if he hadn’t wasted his time a little, and he really needed that money. She’d just love that bracelet, I’m sure.

After Pidge left, Quinn turned back to his suit.

Lot’s of nobles…at a party. House guard will be brought, but some of those lesser houses are gonna be lax… Interesting thought.

He began to whistle as he put his suit away.

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Chapter 35 Summary
The Session All PCs Bothered Alhara
  • Quinn continues meeting with Tulley
  • Gets a contact and a deaddrop location
  • Bella and Fallow ask pidge about his snapping for mist snapping theory
  • Pidge is polite but honest about their apparent stupidity and dismissiveness of skaa lives
  • Fallow derails conversation very slightly
  • Next on the hit list is Alhara
  • They ask her about training (echoing Quinn from a few days before)
  • That does not add much to their knowledge
  • Bella and Alhara discuss wedding plans
  • Fallow leaves and has a conversation with cassiel
  • He offers to beat her if that is something she wants because it might be better than someone she has an emotional attachment to
  • Fallow feels the conversation went well
  • Quinn meets dead drop person, run away from cruel, comes home and is eating when wanders in on wedding plan conversation
  • Asked to be a page boy, disparity between noble weddings and skaa apparent
  • Asked about his snapping, gets defensive, guilt trips nebellea about mist inoculation
  • Woooo leveraged
  • Fallow and Bella write letters
  • Alhara and Quinn deliver letters, talk about their families and growing up, as much as the concept of friends bonding
  • Letter delivery is smooth, Quinn scopes out Dilestani (?) house
  • Exp. Success on weird (hermalurgic) thing in Bylerum. External Pulling.
    Question we haven’t OOC considered is whether that is the material of the spike or the power the spike grants
  • Kwabez and Alhara chat and they arrange for Kwabez to visit and train Bella et al
  • Go home, family meeting about upcoming events
  • Quinn swallows mysterious green metal bead stuff while burning pewter
  • Session ends [FUCK YOU RICHARD I WANNA KNOW WHAT THEY ARE]
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Chapter 35
Story 3

Time

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Learning

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Aspirations

  • 2 for Alhara
  • 2 for Bella
  • 3 for Fallow
  • 3 for Quinn

Roleplay

  • 2 for Alhara
  • 2 for Bella
  • 2 for Fallow
  • 2 for Quinn

Conditions

  • 1 for Fallow

Adventure Log

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17 for 17

“I can’t believe she has a crush on that man.“

“Why not? They’re both nobles, Quinn. They don’t marry like we do. “

“I know, but look at him. Pasty fucker missing an eye. I just can’t comprehend it.”

Pidge raised an eyebrow “Is that really what this is all about? You find her choices unattractive?”

“Well…yes and no. I kind of thought she’d pick someone better. Ideally someone who wasn’t abusing skaa in piracy.”

“You mean like the people we’re already working with Quinn? Honestly, you don’t make any sense sometimes.”

“Yes well…that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. She makes me crazy, she does. She says one thing, then does another. Acts like a child one moment, then next acts like she’s the Lady Ruler.”

“She’s…what’s the word lady Owandise used…mercurial. She’s changeable and mercurial. You have that in common, actually.“

Quinn blinked at Pidge. “In common?”

“For the love of…you realise you’re both two sides of the same clip don’t you? Pot calling the kettle black? Two lumps of ash In a row? I could go on…”

Quinn turned to stare out the window. Funny, he thought, whenever I’m confused I always turn to the mists.

“I guess we’re not too different sometimes…but I like to think I act with a bit more consistency”

“True, except with you not knowing your social niceties. Cassie was telling me that it looked like you were courting Bella the past few weeks”

“I was…what?” Quinn had a look somewhere between amusement and horror “That was not my intention. Sure, she’s nice…pretty too, but…no. Why ever would you think that?”

“Psychology, young lord feather pen. Skaa boys always tease the skaa girls they have crushes on.”

Quinn opened his mouth and closed it again a few moments later. He repeated the motion a few times before blushing slightly, nodding to himself.

“Yes she’s pretty but no I can’t have a crush. I’m sure of it…anyway, how’s Tret doing?”

Pidge’s face softened somewhat

“He’s a bit surprised by it all. Keeps saying he must still be ill or eaten something bad. He won’t drink the vials as they’re ‘for the nobles, not the skaa’ so we’re probably gonna have to sneak some into his food just so I can actually show him how to use and understand what’s going on. It’s nice having a plain ol’ tineye for once.”

“I guess. You’re gonna have to train them both though now, you realise. Tret and Bella. That will be quite interesting….do you hear glass breaking, Pidge?”

“Oh it’ll be Bella. She’s has this idea that if she breaks all the glass in the house she’ll suddenly be better at using that bow. I think she’ll be starting on the window panes next week,” Pidge grinned, “she’s a funny one alright. Training them both…hell, this isn’t what you recruited me for. I was supposed to be out there, helping you, right? Despite all that stuff about working for a good family, you’re still going after that misting gang you always wanted, right?”

“I’m surprised you remember that.”


Water lapped against the rocks of Empoli, comforting in a way only seasiders understood. There was a boy, almost a man, sat on one of the rocks, staring up into the mist as though he could see beyond them. The bags under his eyes suggested early mornings, and despite the sea salt, he smelt of fresh pastries.

The spot where he was staying suddenly began to grow as a younger boy with longer hair dropped out of it, a glint of a coin shooting beneath him and landing in the shallow water. He stopped plummeting from the sky just before he hit the ground, then rocketed up again, a smile on his face visible only to his tineye friend.

It was something they’d always discussed. Once Quinn could burn all the metals, he could find other people. Train them to be warriors and survivors of skaa life. He could make a difference. They could make a difference.

A flurry of gulls rose up into the sky as noises and torchlight came from the above the cliffs. The sea, in its largeness, suddenly seemed much less like a safe place.


“Of course I remember it, Quinn. You wouldn’t stop bouncing around the rocks like a crazy person, and we almost got caught by that couple on the cliff.”

“I’d forgotten that bit. We got away at least. No harm done!”

“That was just good luck. Most people wouldn’t have, Quinn.”

There was a pause. They happened more regularly now, every time one of them alluded to death they couldn’t help but look at the opulence around them. A house, their own rooms, warm wholesome food everyday. They’d just spent an evening at a party.

“Be careful,” Pidge started, “We’ve never been in the shitter because of what we are, but everything could go very wrong and we don’t want inquisitors knocking on the door. Plus there are only so many people we can randomly call Rebous.”

“How many more do you think we could manage?” Pidge started to respond, then rolled his eyes at the young boy.

“I’ll leave you to mope, lover-boy,” Pidge got up, walking away from Quinn’s indignant look before turning suddenly,

“Oh I almost forgot,” Pidge reached under his bed and pulled out a covered plate. Lifting it, their tin sense could pick up the scent of citrus fruits and fresh pastry, while Quinn admired the lattices specked with metal flakes.

“17 pastries…Lord Ruler, am I that old?”

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Late nights

Creative ideas for dealing with Hyrum Lekel
1. Kill him. It’s probably the kindest thing to do given Zolecaster’s temperament, make it look like an accident or engineer a situation where I had no choice? Even then would Bella ever forgive me? Does that matter if it’s the best thing for her?
2. Help Bella win him. Bella is a terrible judge of character. He’d probably break her heart. Then proceed with option one. Difficulty would be finding a way to help Bella catch his notice, might take too long, and what if he makes Bella happy? I guess we’d have to fight off the pirates and explain the whole rebellion thing to him, and then I’d end up having to go with option one again anyway.
3. Trash his operation but keep letting him go. He’d know it was us, we’d make powerful enemies. Zolecaster would probably feel cheated.
4. Get the Lekels to shut him down? Would have to find a rival in the house, Ronan would definitely do it, if he wanted it. Putting Ronan in charge of the house would be directly contrary to the aims of the rebellion.
5. Catch him, get Zolecaster to do his own thing. My favourite option so far, but Bella would still be sad.
6. Find something on him that would disgust Bella. Works well with option four, find a way to get Bella to hate him, encourage her to pursue him? Problem with option two was that he probably wouldn’t go with her, but would be civil about it. Convince Bella to press him unreasonably and he may humiliate her. Get Quin to use brass on her? No. Defeats the point. She’d know we did it. Anyway, he humiliates her in public, she hates him, back to option one or five. Seems good.
7. What if we delivered Ronan to Zolecaster instead? No one would shed a tear, would have to convince Hyrum to stop pirating and would have to lie to Zolecaster. Would Owandise tell Postwick? I’d like to believe no, should I ask her? Well that’s obvious. How to convince Hyrum to stop pirating though? Perhaps combined with option two, or use Krea against him in some way? Engineer a plot by Ronan to take over as heir and offer to deal with the problem for the low price of not messing about with piracy any more. Show him how dangerous piracy can really be? Too complicated.

Sandcrown stares at the page before him for a long time before ripping it out of the book and holding it in the candle flame until it curls up into a blackened wisp.

“What are you doing up dear?”

“Just thinking about the future dear, it’s all going to be a bit harder than I thought it’d be.”

“It’s late come to bed.”

“Of course dear.”

Sandcrown blows the candle out.

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When Things Get Complicated

The bow groaned and creaked as she drew the string back. Swirls of dust rose and a fell in the slow draught. The fletchings quivered slightly as Nebellea slowly breathed.

“Back Straight, girl,”

“So I guess you could say everything has gotten a bit complicated,” her breathing was slow and rhythmic now as she sighted down the arrow’s shaft.

“The bow bends, Not you!”

“Of course as soon as I find the person we have been looking for all that being the strong leader and remaking myself just goes out the window and I get a school girl crush on a pasty guy with an eye patch, half again my age.” She paused from speaking slightly “He does have a really nice smile though, sort of warm and encouraging you know,”

“Focus!”

“Right,” she loosed the arrow glass splintered the green glass whizzing through the air. “And when I talked to him it actually seemed like he cared about more than just himself.” Unconciously she found another arrow fitted to the string.

“I wonder if the two of you ever felt like that?” No answer “Did you ever get swept off your feet by it all?”

More glass exploded the arrow arcing making a faint low whistling. She could feel the sweat on her skin and the cool polished wood strain as she fitted another arrow.

“I doubt it somehow, I want someone to look at me the same way Fallow looks at Owandise, or someone who was nice and kind and at least pretended to care.”

The bottles seemed close enough to touch, the spinning dust marking the small eddies of the air as another pair broke as arrows flickered in the gloomy old ball room.

“Of course Quinn was a jerk about the whole thing,” Nebellea lowered the bow andperched on one of the tables. “I don’t get him one minute he’s buying me gifts like he’s trying to ourt me and saying how much he owes me the next he’s treating me like a stupid little girl because I actually have feelings.” She sighed and hugged her legs. “Ugh listen to me moan on.” She surveyed the broken glass littering the floor. “I will work this out, I always manage to” she looked down at the small painting next to her on the table

“Good talk mum”

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