BW 1: Chapter Two

Smiles & Knives

Your voice echoes back up, and for a moment all is still.

“Cal?” answers Adefo. He comes around the pillar, knife still raised. He laughs, short and stifled.

“I thought you were that old man. I told Sam, I said, ‘That ragman’s up to no good. When does a guttershit sleep down here? He’s got to know it ain’t safe, so there’s got to be more than …’”

Adefo’s now reached the top of the stair. He pauses, wide chin raised in new thought.

“But wait, Cal. Last I’d heard your stomach got the better of your sack. What are you doing down here? even I wouldn’t come down here if it weren’t for—”

Adefo glances back down the stair. “Eh, well, I’ll vouch for your stones now, Cal.” His knife hand steadies and his head tilts.

“You came down here alone, yeah?”

“I’m alone.  And if you feel like feeling a knife in your stomach I’d put your knife down.”

[Use Intimidate B4]

I look him in the eye and motion to his knife.  "What are you guys doing down here anyway?  I’m doing a little mapping.  I have a feeling there might be some fine treasure down here."

[Make an Intimidate test +1D vs Ob 4. I’m giving you +1D because you used to outrank him in the crew and you’ve got a knife.]

[Only 3 successes (2, 3, 5, 5, 6), only one was a six so I’ll spend a fate, one was a 6.  Let me roll it … another 6!  Do I continue to roll?  If so a 5.  A total of 4 or 5 successes (if the 6s keep getting rerolled.)]

I look right into Adefo’s small black rat-like eyes.

[It makes the roll open ended, so yes! 5 successes. Now poor Adefo’s got to make a Steel test at +1 Ob because you rolled one extra success. Four dice, 1 success. So he hesitates for five (Hesitation – 1) heartbeats. Also, don’t forget to mark a Fate point spent on Intimidation. That’s the F/P/D column on your advancement sheet.]

“Hell, Cal,” Adefo stammers and lowers his knife.

He gives you a dumb look, the one you remember. For the moment, it’s as if you had never walked away from the crew.

[I’ve assumed that you were head of the crew—let me know if that doesn’t fit your vision for Cal]

[I’m going to attempt to throw a left hook right at the jaw while he’s drooling.  Once he’s knocked out I’ll tie him up, not so badly that he can’t get out of it.  I have a Brawling of B4, I can’t think of anything to fork it with.

I have no problem with him being the leader.  It all sounds good to me!]  

[After some thinking and hitting the BW forum, I decided to Say Yes. You’ve already got the drop on him, so why not let you knock him out?]

You swing and connect a left hook soundly into poor Adefo’s jaw. He crashes to the floor in a heap.

I’ll tie him up and continue down the stairs after the group.  I’ll check his pulse and make sure he’s got a good heartbeat before moving on.

He’s always been a healthy brute, and a quick check reveals a strong pulse. You leave Adefo trussed and unconscious at the top of the stair. Once you reach the landing, you stop for a moment. Before you is a dark room, missing the arcane runes you often take for granted; below you the stairs continue winding downwards around the center column, illuminated by the yellow runes.

I walk into the room cautiously. Sensing a trap I draw my dirk and get prepared for a surprise.

As you step into the room, the room slowly fills with a dim orange light; not from the runes, and from no source you can see. The illumination wavers, cascading across the stone as if you stood atop a deep pool of water. It is a small chamber, nearly three paces deep, with a small shelf against the back wall. Atop the shelf, there is something beside the familiar moldered corpse pile you so often find: A full sack the size of an apple, its neck cinched tight.

I check the shelf. What kind of books are on it? I immediately go for the sack and investigate.

[Books? No books unless you really want some there. Do you?]

[Old books would be cool. Yes, please.]

[Can do! This place is ancient; as in, the dead bodies are likely humans who gave their own significance to the undercity, and those bodies are dust. I will add some, but there will definitely be a catch!]

Great. I check out the sack on the shelf.

As you grab it, the knot comes undone and a cloud of opalescent dust billows out. It smells somehow old, the familiar scent of opyon dulled by age. Your eyes sting and tear as you blink the dust away.

The sack in your hands is about half-full, and strangely heavy. A slight movement catches your eye, and you look up to the pair of books. They stand still, but the ancient runes along their spines glimmers orange and gold.

I look at the symbols and try to read them.

[Symbology B2, no forks that I can think of.]

I pull a book from the shelf and examine the runes. I open it up ignoring the opalescent dust.


Zak Zak

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