Home Spire Play Report: An Ordinary Lantern Session 1

Spire Play Report: An Ordinary Lantern Session 1

Nix, an Azurite Ishalle, a Midwife Hekate, a Knight Zhaver, a Carrion-Priest

We start with two quick scenes of agents being given assignments from their Ministry contacts.

Hekate is new to the Ministry and has never been given an assignment before. She goes to her usual bar in the North Docks and notices a human bartender, Gunther, seems nervous and refuses to make eye contact. When pressed, he reveals that a drow woman was looking for her, and is out back.

Hekate goes out to the community garden behind the bar. A tree grows in the center, providing a canopy beneath which grow tomatoes and various crops. Vines circle down over the surrounding buildings. Among the vines stands a drow woman wearing the mask of an Aelfir. She asks Hekate if she can be trusted to retrieve an item. The item? A perfectly normal orange lantern from Derilictus.

The drow woman stresses that the lantern is perfectly normal so many times that Hekate begins to doubt it. But when she asks questions about the assignment, the drow clarifies that she will be watched and appraised, and that they take note of the questions she asks. The drow further instructs that Hekate go to Pilgrim’s Walk and look for agents wearing Poppies.

Elsewhere, Nix the Azurite brokers a deal for carp with a drow representing an Aelfir estate. During the transaction, he spies large numbers of doves being released over the market, the signal that his contact at the Ministry wants to meet. Nix is an old hand at this, and finds his contact in a dark, damp basement.

He learns that there is a minor bureaucrat named Adolise Verne acting as the under-under secretary of housing. She has had dramatic success recently in End-of-the-Line, an abandoned subway station. The Ministry needs Nix to blackmail her or otherwise convince her to stop her operations in the region.

The contact tells Nix to gather those he trusts or who are indebted to him, and to give them poppies to wear in Pilgrim’s Walk for a meet.

The group gathers in a dingy bar that Hekate knows. It’s a crowded, damp place where the bartender refuses to look at anyone who isn’t a stranger. There’s always a single open table, smelling like must and mildew, with something fungal growing underneath the table. The party eagerly claims it and lays out their plan.

They have two missions in two opposite directions. Reasoning that it’s easier to go down than up (thanks to the many chutes and slides on Spire, and the Aelfir having priority on the lifts during the day), they decide to head up to the Middle City first to look for End-of-the-Line. It’s the last stop on the subway station that was ever built, only halfway up the enormous city.

They quickly find the abandoned station, replete with subtle brass filary, intricate ornamentation, clockwork artistry, and enormous stained glass windows. It’s been locked up and boarded over, but an axe makes quick work of that problem. Inside, they find two vagrants in a sideways, ill-used train car. The smells of urine and feces fill the air, even in as grand a space as this. One of the vagrants is sleeping, but they awaken the other, who explains that he and Lonzo ate some bad rats from “beyond the third platform”, where she says they’re not supposed to go. He says they’ve been shitting for twelve hours, near as he can reckon, and the two of them have decided to sleep here, as they can’t seem to keep anything down.

The party is interested not in the plights of these vagrants, but only in the “she” that they mention. Ishalle reaches out with his spider sense and detects and entire enclave below, further down the station where the tracks used to run. He stands still, breathing in the stillness to make sure no one ambushes them.

Zaver calls upon the crows, asking them to seek and find the under-under-secretary. By asking around, the group learned two useful things: that Adolise, who recently rose dramatically in the ranks of the housing department, sometimes leaves her post early to see a lover, and that bureaucracy in the Spire works in a funny way.

When you start out, you are heavily decorated, wearing medals that give you an heir of importance. As you advance in the ranks, you can remove your medals, knowing that your reputation carries more weight than they ever could. This is a literal weight off your shoulders, and also serves as a sleight of hand, as the public is far more likely to interact with those who appear to be more experienced.

Luckily, under-under-secretaries only wear three shiny gems on each shoulder, exactly the kind of thing a flock of crows excel at finding.

Sure enough, the crows return shortly, reporting that the woman can be found outside an Aelfir estate nearby. The party follows,dismissing the cloud of birds like dozens of marbles dropped on the floor, shooting off into every corner of the sky. They do not approach the woman, but rather sit back and observe from afar.

They learn the rumors are true. Adolise is seeing someone. That someone is a drow servant named Steryn. Three drow leave the manor house. One stays in a guesthouse, one heads left out of the district, and the last (Steryn) quickly embraces Adolise before noting the onlookers. Adolise and Steryn head off in separate directions, and the party splits up to follow them.

Downspire, Hekate and Zaver ambush Steryn outside the half-room he rents in the Works. They unleash axe and hyena upon him, and carry his unconscious form away from his residence.

At the same time upspire, Nix and Ishalle confront Adolise outside the stateroom she owns in Ivory Gardens. They tell her that they are friends of Steryn, and that an enemy of hers suspects the relationship. Adolise thanks them, and immediately suspects Cerie, the under-under-under secretary of housing. Ishalle demurs, and declines to give a name.

Nix insists that Adolise stop what she’s doing in End-of-the-Line, and Adolise reluctantly agrees to take a brief break, noting that she can’t stop forever, or Cerie will get promoted over her.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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