We join our discerning gentlemen and lady as they are heading toward Philadelphia aboard the airship Zephyr. They are closely following the ley lines, the course set by Joshua Bestatter. Poor Anna Floyd hidden inside the magic circle.
Joshua took this time to inquire about and test the source of Brent McTavish’s orange glow.
This was all going well, the dark magic would occasionally quest for Anna but the wards were effective in repelling it. About half way through the trip the dark magic reached out, not for Anna, but for the Zephyr herself. The principles disembarked at the nearest town and sent the Zephyr back up north.
In town a barrel hoop was procured from the local cooper and and washer from the local general store. With the two a hoop skirt with the properties of the wards was fashioned for Anna. After which passage to Philadelphia on a carriage was secured.
Once in Philadelphia there was much to be done and the principles split into groups. Anna and Hasheem searched for Anna’s half brother, who had dispatched Mr. Bryant to bring Anna back in chains. The brother was known as Nicholas Pinkerton and they found his town house in a wealthy neighborhood.
Andrew Mensch feeling a bit jittery went looking for a fresh hit of magic. In the thick of his high he had a dream in which an Ogre came to him. The Ogre, dressed in fine Faerie armor, spoke in refined Oxford accent and was accompanied by a hunting wolf. The Ogre wished to know why he had not brought the hope his Lady had requested. There might have been an implied threat. The Ogre indicated that he would bring a man to Andrew, when he turned that man over, it would fill his heart with hope an ideal time to cut out heart and offer it the The Lady.
Brent went out into the underworld seeing what he could hear without revealing himself. However, with his reputation it was difficult for higgm to operate in secret on his home turf. he approached Randall Jones, the lieutenant he felt he could most trust.
He learned that most of his organization thought he was dead, the other local leader, Marcus Ward went missing a week ago. His organization was plunged in to chaos as the various lieutenants vie for control of the organization. The organization itself seems to be suffering from a spate of bad luck all its own above the loss of leadership.
Brent called a meeting of all his lieutenants for that night.
Joshua went to the telegraph office sending a message to the Order of Reason inquiring why a warden was dispatched against him and Tesla’s experiment.
Andrew, hatching a plan to get some hope without carving out someone’s heart heads to the local race track. He finds his mark, Mark Gish, a man down to his last dollar and eager to bet. Andrew befriends Mark and talks up a horse. Both Mark and Andrew buy a ticket for the race. Andrew is intent on swapping the tickets grabbing the one filled with Mark’s hope and turning it over to the Lady. Unfortunately he flubs the switch and a scuffle ensues. Mark gets the better of Andrew and gets away with his ticket.
Everyone reconvened after running their various errands. Brent asked the others to accompany him to a meeting with his lieutenants. The meeting was in the back of a gambling hall. On the way in they encountered Mark Gish. Joshua perceives the tiniest wisp of the black/green/blue nimbus around him. Mark attempted to cause trouble but the enforcer kept him away from the back room.
Soon after the meeting began one of the Lieutenants drew a gun and attempted to kill Brent. According the Joshua he flared with orange just before he shot. The assembled mafiosos and body guards quickly killed the would be assassin. Most fled, Brent was able to command about half his Lieutenants in place and laid down the order of doing business.
Not long after this a squad of Pinkertons came busting in. Everyone fled. The principles, now experts in being pursued by Pinkertons, considered the pursuit half hearted and confused at best.
After the meeting the principles decide to visit Susan Ward inquire about what she knows about the disappearance of her father, Marcus Ward.
On the way there, they encounter poor ley lines and Anna and Hasheem are given a compass to follow the good ley lines, which lead to a bar, where they stop and drink.
At the Ward’s, Brent receives a chillier reception than he was expecting. It seems a letter addressed to Brent was delivered to Susan. It’s message was simple, “Relinquish all interests in the South or Marcus dies.”
During this Joshua quested for points of power on the Ward estate. The best he found was the tombstone of Marcus’ wife. Although he disliked using the tombstone as the focus he used the place the create a compass using the Brent’s Justicar badge to lead him to Marcus. Initial sighting indicated that he was still in Philadelphia.
Meeting back up with Anna and Hasheem, the others found Anna completely drunk and Hasheem, on his 11th beer, doing fine. After some convincing they retired to a safe house.
At the safehouse the drunken Anna passed out, falling out of the protection of her skirt. It wasn’t long before three contingent of Pinkertons surrounded the safehouse. What happened next was somewhat of a surprise. They began fighting each other.
In the middle of this chaos the Ogre and his hunting wolf stepped from a shadow carrying a bruised and battered man which he dumped at Andrew’s feet with the expectation that Andrew would instill hope in the man and take it (along with the heart). The Ogre largely ignored the other principles, though at one point he pinned Brent against the wall with magical force in response to some imagined or real slight.
Andrew refused to take the heart, but offered up his hope that the Lsdy would understand this. The Ogre refused to take the message himself, but gave Andrew 24 hours to deliver his hope to the Lady. With that understanding the Ogre walked out through the shadows.
The principles decided that hanging around the “safe” house was dangerous and took the emergency exit.
In deciding what to do next, Anna decided with drunken determination to go to Nicholas’ house and ‘get him’ or something. Since she really couldn’t take care of herself, the other’s follower her.
They stormed the townhouse, mind controlling their way inside then after some talk of taking Nicholas’ family hostage, instead made their way to the study. Joshua used his washer and the telephonic device in the study to create another compass. While he was doing this more guards attempted to take the study back. They were easily repelled. The remaining guards seemed to stay with the family either protecting them or getting them out.
Following the compass they decided to stop by Quinton Robert Stone’s workshop and stock up on weapons. Quiton believed that the still a bit drunk Anna might have been over the edge, but Joshua distracted him with his theories while others raided his armory.
The new comopass led to the deceased Alan Pinkerton’s estate.
The first attempt to gain entrance to the estate did no go as planned. They ‘borrowed’ the milk delivery man’s cart and impersonated him using mind control. Unfortunately the estate doesn’t receive milk and when the guard told Andrew that he was confused and he should go to the next estate over, the mind control backlash kicked in and he did.
The next attempt was to stealth over the wall and into the coal chute. Unfortunately they were spotted and a fight ensured. They took out the guards and made it into the basement. The compass indicated that the great artifact was still further beneath them. Eventually they found a secret door just as a squad of Pinkertons burst out of it. The principles managed to dispatch the Pinkerton’s in short order.
The secret door opened onto a long spiral stair case. Going down the stairway opened onto a cavern dominated by the great machine. Steam and pistons pumped and cogs and gears moved and spun. At the center of the machine, about 15 feet up was the dessicated, barely alive, form of Alan Pinkerton connected to the machine in tubes filled with viscous liquids. Directly under the the corpse was a completely still pool, its surface like a mirror. Surrounding the pool were seven men in dark robes and cowls.
A distance away from the machine over to the right were seven men and women in business attire. Among them was Nicholas Pinkerton, his right hand man Mr. Bryant and a woman which Joshua saw with a faint blue glow. Joshua also saw the glow of a power crystal somewhere lodged behind Alan Pinkerton.
Surrounding these business people, looking kind of uneasy were 15 Pinkerton guards.
When the principles came into view, Nicholas ordered, “Capture her”, at the same moment the lady in the blue glow ordered, “Kill her.”. And the two sides clash.
Hasheem uses his telekineses to yank Alan Pinkerton out of the machine. He falls into the pool where he melts without causing a ripple. Joshua sees the yellow glow of his power for the first time. The machine sprouts invisible, but nearly black in Joshua’s sense, tentacles and begins questing about.
Anna scream “Dad would never want this.” The lady in blue responds “I agree.” before Anna shoots her, Nicholas and Mr. Bryce.
Andrew rushes the necromancers. He hits a force field which grounds out against him, getting him just a bit high. Andrew begins dancing, shoving several necromancers into the pool before taking the others out.
Brent begins controlling soldiers turning them against each other while Anna takes out the rest of the Committee. Hasheem lays into the soldiers.
The tentacles reach out and grab the body of Nicholas and one of the necromancers bringing them up to where the alcove is. The Pinkerton’s rally and manage to inflict serious pain. Hasheem and Andrew are taken out.
During this Joshua is attacking the machine itself. Causing it to spark and sputter. In response it attempts to suck the life of everyone in the cavern. Finally Joshua’s final shot destabilizes the machine and every thing begins the shudder and crack. Fissures appear in the rock as everyone begins to flee.
Brent heals his comrades as they make it up the stairs as the cavern collapses. They keep running as the house and the very ground collapses into the void.
Everyone collaspses on the lip of the new crater panting for breath. After a moment Joshua turns to Hasheem and asks, “So Tell me about this yellow”.