The City of ScatterPoint: Down the Rabbit Hole

A battle of questions and answers
catching up with Scary Poppits

Following the tracks of their once ally Scary Poppits, the group found their way into a small settlement deep in the Barrens.
They managed to track Poppits down to a local inn, after hiring Malcolm, the local young sifter. It was not long after that a band of people who the party had previously talked about Poppits showed up on the inn’s stairs, reading to move out. No one seemed to pay much attention to the gathered party, despite knowing what – or rather who – they were after. Scary Poppits was amongst them, and that was when the anger got the best out of some from the party.

It didn’t matter who struck first, what mattered was that a party of lesser numbers decided to go against a professionally-looking band of culprits, not knowing what they were getting their heads into.

The battle raged on the main square, revealing that the apparent leader of the band – a smooth-talking Andari – was a runecaster himself, but of a more tremendous power that our beloved Professor Ferrence.
Timothy managed to sneak on the third floor, from where he provided a necessary covering fire, and Scary ate a few blasts that turned her decision from fighting into fleeing. She turned her gaze towards the town exit and started running. The shouts of John Doe sank in the uproar of something else that happened at that moment.

Professor thought cleverly that the party was not standing much of a chance against the band and did what he was doing best – summoning another extraplanar creature. And that was when the storm hit the surroundings. Brother Midnight – either caught in the fight, or failing on his sensing instincts – was helpless against the runestorm that appeared out of nowhere and in the next heartbeats covered the entire square, raising some sorts of red sand, preventing anyone to see clearly and hitting ground with soundless lightings.

Everything went mad after that. Some from the band perished in the next few moments, aimlessly running towards safety that didn’t exist. The Andari leader commanded his forces to follow him through that reddish mist that was blowing around, and in that fog of madness something came to life, abominations of the darkest nightmares, growling and seeking blood to fill their thirst.

Scary was already on the ground at that time – the initial runestorm ripped apart all formations and squandered people around as if they were just leaves in the wind. She hit the nearest news boards with her head and fell unconsciously. The second-in-command – a big brute ran towards her, taking something from the body. But he was quickly approached by brave – or stupid, as some might argue – John Doe, and the dance of skills swallowed both men.
Despite magnificent shooting from Brit, who was continuing to do so without actually seeing any of his targets, nothing really helped, and the brute eventually disengaged from the battle, upon seeing the worsening conditions of the maddened runestorm, and left the scene, disappearing in the mist.
The problems did not disappear, however, and both John Doe and Timothy along with Professor – the only ones who hadn’t still make it to the safety of the Shadow Temple, – faced those abominations, quick, fierce, unforgiving. They sliced both men effortlessly, leaving their bodies bleeding out when the lighting struck both of them. Professor – understanding his fruitlessness in that fight and losing it – ran past them, covered by his power from the rune magic.

When the dust settled, there was no town. Everything turned into ashes, burnt to the foundation, alone and helpless in the barren landscape.

A few of the Barren Knights approached the survivors, who started slowly pouring from inside the temple, not fully understanding what to do, clearly having had not seen anything like that storm before.
Scary Poppits was dead. She bled out whilst John tried to carry her away from that board. The documents were still on her, but the seal on that parcel was broken. But no one knew if that brute took anything else from the pack.

And at that moment, the fortune smiled upon the party – two of the knights, the upholders of the law in the barrens, carried the blonde pursuer, and, after a short conversation with their captain, he was destined to the gallows…

…a man of some ruined believes, he wasn’t against the idea of talking to Brother Midnight, spilling out a few necessary names and concluding what might have already crept in the party’s minds – that the Red Wings, the mysterious formation led by unknown people, was after all after the same person as the party.
It seemed that many answers lied in the hands of Doctor Smartperson – the one who the party was hired to locate in the very beginning of their misfortunes…


Quick summary up till now:

  • We got into the mansion through the shitter.
  • We killed some overwrought and a red scarf.
  • We were confused as the mansion was being defended from the other side, and some people were hiding in a safe room.
  • We got the documents. Well, Scary Poppits did.
  • Derrick Richardson’s head exploded. Ha ha ha.
  • We were stopped by Gorbadoc whilst escaping.
  • Scary Poppits had fucked off with the documents.
  • We were Gorbadoc’s guests/prisoners in his camp.
  • He told us something about the Redwing organisation, and its connection with Alaistair Pennsworth.
  • We agreed to return the documents to Gorbadoc (mon oiel!)
  • Timothy Mulsummer did some cool library research.
  • We tracked Poppits to a one-horse town.
  • We fruitlessly searched for Poppits in the tavern, the temple and the square.
  • We paid a sifter to find her. She was in the tavern. D’oh!
  • We laid a crappy ambush for her and instead of talking… we started to fight (hooray!)
a clean slate for the group

As our unfortunate heroes followed the mysterious Andari named Lionel Mayspring through some hidden tunnels and outside Rust Water district into the barrens, leaving a living Sequitor who had made his way through a pack of Bluecoat Ferrens, dispatching them like a spider would eat the flies, they were quickly facing the enraged Lionel who grabbed Professor Ference and started to grunt about their mental capabilities and what they were thinking when shooting guards and bringing Sequitors on their tails.
With some witty and snappy remarks from John Doe that aimed at Lionel and questioned his authority to actually shout at the group, the heroes found themselves in a dire situation when Mr Mayspring, not in a mood to continue arguing, quickly succumbed to the notion of being over the line and suggesting leaving the group behind… to their eventual death.
As the group’s voice of reason, Professor jumped into the conversation and inquired how Mr Mayspring could help them. Only to find out that it was Lionel who was seeking the help of the heroes on a rather dangerous, illegal yet highly important for him mission to acquire a certain set of documents. And more so, as he implied that he would need their skills in another mission – but after the initial one.
In return he offered to make their problems with the law authorities to go away.
Not seeing any other choice in their situation, the group reluctantly agreed, especially when Lionel suggested that there would be others involved in the operation to make it certain that the mission would be a success.

When asked who that mansion belonged to, he quickly answered: "To Alistair Pennsworth, some of you might know him already". The group noticed an startled expression of puzzlement on Mr Mulsummer’s face, but decided not to poke him about it for now.

The newly formed band marched through the barrens, following Lionel’s footsteps, surrounded by the decay and ruins. For the city dwellers it was a rather depressing view of buildings and ancient things succumbed to time and destruction, radiating the abandonment, that left them in a destroyed way. Going through these ruins, it was hard to imagine that once the life had blossomed here, that some people were calling these dried out, empty, brownish lands their home, and it was emanating the life and happiness. Nothing was left from those ancient, long-forgotten times. The dry lands of the barrens were either littered with deformed ruins, or simply and plainly empty, with no life making its way through the ground.

They made their way to a local ‘safeplace’, as Mr Mayspring called it, and found themselves in yet another abandoned set of buildings and old arcs, and among this depressing picture of gone-life, they heard some sounds and voices, and saw a building that has not succumbed to time and decay, standing out as the pillar of life that was fighting its way in the land of death. It was the Shadow Temple, one of many through the barrens, perhaps, the only place which was gradually making its way outside the city districts in an attempt to reclaim the Abandoned Lands to the humanity.
It was in the temple that Lionel introduced the party to two new people that would join them on the mission: a tall, hooded figure of Brother Midnight, that was emanating power and strength of his faith, and a peculiar Andari lady by the name of Scary Poppets that looked nothing like her suggested profession of a retriever.

They got to know each other and spent some time resting, bickering about whether to share the plans with the group or not, and Brother Midnight performing a gruesome attempt to heal John Doe’s lost eye, that inflicted a colossal amount of pain to the poor lad. When he regained his senses and accepted the weird and not plane apologies from the shadowpriest, Mr Doe finally got to do what he knew to do best – acquiring bits and pieces and tweaking away through the night, making some small and funny looking machine that could remotely go on a distance and come back, forced by a simple code that Mr Doe could put into it. If asked how the machine worked, he wouldn’t even be able to answer it properly, but the fact remained – the machine did work!..

Come the morning the group set out on the mission, which involved infiltrating the mansion found in the barrens not that far away from the temple, and making their way into the vault where the documents were supposed to be. After inspecting the plans of the mansion acquired by Scary Poppets, Derrick Richardson pointed out that the existence of the lavatory inside implied there was some sort of catacombs underneath it, and that it would be possible to make their way through the sewers system that would definitely be connected with the catacombs. Brother Midnight thought for a second and suggested that he knew a place that would most certainly be the point of entry into those said catacombs. Richardson went as far as bursting into some cry and confessing that he worked for Pennsworth and he took his money, and that was the reason of him leaving Mr Doe behind in the capital district and running away to Rust Water. Brother Midnight calmed him down with his words of faith, which sought to make its effect on poor Richardson.

The group went towards the catacomb’s entry, making its way through the barrens once again – though this time there were no ruins around them, just dried, empty, abandoned lands, scarred with unnatural dunes and hills. At one point, the shadowpriest, who asserted himself into the group as its leader, stopped the band and waited out as a runestorm ravaged in a distance – a view of raw and furious power, reddish in nature and destroying the ground upon touching, disappearing in a matter of seconds as if there was nothing at all…

Once they made their way to the catacomb’s entry in the dusk, they saw a fire going next to it. Mr Mulsummer and Ms Poppets made their way closer to the fire, realising that someone must have been seen by the guards, and that the guards were hiding inside the entrance to the catacombs. After much thinking and discussing, the group realised that the guards calmed down and returned to their fire – even though, such thoughts as going away were expressed by the heroes, they finally agreed on using Mr Doe’s machine to bring some vaporised toxin closer to the guards. It was an easy task for Mr Doe who made the poison provided by Brother Midnight into a weaponised vapour, brought it closer by his machine, and the guards fell victim of that fatigue released by the poison. Mr Mulsummer, using the cover of the night, approached the last man standing from behind and with a quick blow to his head sent the man into oblivion…

The group was all ready to go inside the catacombs and test their luck to get inside the mansion, happy as they were that they didn’t have to kill anyone.

Story so far...
in reversed order
  • As part of his inscrutable plan, Brits Hunter took a very confused Professor Ference hostage, at which point John Doe decided to pistol-whip the drunk former whitecloak, at which he muttered something about ‘running’ and ‘meeting in three days’. Doe and Ference were however tired of running from whitecloaks, and sank to their knees in surrender. Meanwhile Hunter tried to box his way out, hitting at two whitecloaks, and nearly drawing blood from one. This garnered him three bullets and a like number of wounds, at which he decided to ‘play dead’. The whitecloaks were not convinced, and one was just about to make sure that Brits was finished, when his own head exploded from a gunshot, which distracted the other whitecloak for long enough for Ference to take him out with his last power point and a well-placed bolt of runestorm lightning. It became clear that the hospital was under attack from some very violent assailants. Doe and Ference (with a useless NPC whose name I have wiped from the books of the living and the dead), hid in a storeroom inside some sacks of herbs. Brits however held his ground, to see that the place was being overrun by a gang of well-armed and ruthless rat-men (Ferren), and so went back to playing dead. At this point the story splits into two.
    The blue-patched Ferren, led by a dark-haired Andari, were in no way convinced by Brits’ act, and asked him if he knew who Timothy Mulsummer was. Fearing for his new partner in crime’s life, Brits claimed that a poor escaping invalid was Mulsummer, as that was the only other Andari present, and the Ferren promptly executed the wretch. To everyone’s surprise and relief, once the Ferren found the real Mulsummer, they in fact bandaged him up and carefully extracted him from the scene, taking Brits along as Mulsummer’s friend.
    Meanwhile in the storeroom a lone Ferren entered, and despite the smell of herbs was able to sniff out John Doe, who tried to wrestle him him from inside the bag. At this point Erasmus Ference (in fact the name has quite a different etymology from Ferren, though you would be forgiven for making the error on a purely philological ground blah blah blah), leapt out of his bag (!) and bludgeoned the Ferren to death with his teaching cane (!). Doe and Ference then put the Ferren’s body in a bag, and then climbed back into their own, thus evading a party of Ferren sent to eliminate any other witnesses on the scene. Doe and Ference hurried upstairs to leap to relative safety on a neighbouring roof, from where they could see the gang of Ferren hurrying off with an unconscious Mulsummer and a bloody Brits Hunter.
  • Professor Erasmus Diligence Ference had hoped that his ‘little doggie’ would bring back the man in the red neckscarf back for questioning, but unfortunately he brought back his bloody head. Meanwhile the botanical gardens continued to burn, so Professor Ference and Timothy Mulsummer decided it was time to leave, and get back to the station to rendezvous with John Doe. As the aim was to blend into the crowd, it seemed foolish to take the hell hound with them, so Professor Ference tried to dispel the beast … and failed. Predictably the demon, known for its ferocious nature, decided Erasmus Diligence was his next quarry. The Professor made a foolish attempt to reason with the beast, and was promptly savaged on both shoulders. Timothy Mulsummer, with his phobia of all things canine predictably ran away, though then got together some courage to defend his companion, also remembering that he actually knows some magic, blasting the creature with magic bolts…and missing. This was enough to distract the beast from his current prey, and as it went for his attacker. When all seemed lost, John Doe appeared with two new companions, one of them Brits Hunter who saved the day and sent the demon dog back to Wherever it Came From.
    As many people were leaving the botanical gardens wounded with splinters of hot glass, it was actually easy by now to blend into the crowd, and Timothy and Erasmus were able to get their wounds treated by some Shadowpriests, under the watchful eye of some Whitecloaks. One shadowpriest objected to Professsor Ference’s obviously magical staff, and asked him to wait whilst he went and got we know not who. Brits Hunter took this as a sign to defend his new friend, shooting a guarding Whitecloak through the head, before trying to cover his guilt by covering a poor injured man with his cloak, hitting him with his gun and with Professor Ference’s staff. All in full view of all conscious wounded people and the doctors.
    The scene ended with Whitecloaks returning to the murder scene and being informed by the confused doctors about what the drunk Brits Hunter had done…
  • The party boarded on a train and made their way to the RustWater District, the one with lots of glass enveloping the pavement to protect its dwellers from the steam and geysers found in that district in abundance. Whilst John Doe went to find out if his former colleague was still working here, Prof. Ferrence and Mr Mulsummer went to see the famous Botanical Garden in the district’s heart. There their thievery went wrong, forcing Mulsummer to retreat through the plants, and Prof. Ferrence was surrounded by two men wearing red-scarves and asking questions at a gunpoint – ‘What did you find?’ and ‘What do you know?’. Not giving them anything away, Erasmus waited long enough for Mulsummer to come back and to use his spell to dispatch one of them. The other ran away, chased by a magical creature Ferrence summoned to defend themselves.
  • Trying to find a way out from the district, our heroes-turned-villains played hide-and-seek near the train station, where, at the local pub, Mulsummer talked to his previous acquaintances, a giant barman Grey Hound, who explained a few necessary information to the party, and then told Timothy that his previous gang leader, Alistair, now a big crime lord, is looking for him. And not to pat him on a shoulder.
  • After a few weird transfers from one complex to another, the party found a way to break away from their guards. And it all resulted in a bloody escape from the prison.
  • After the attack, the party decided to run away from the Whitecloaks, the district guards, and, eventually, to fight them. It led them to being incapacitated and captured.
    Coming to their senses, the party found themselves in prison in the BlackShackle District. There our heroes were questioned by the warden, Captain James Hedgelerend, and the lead investigator of that matter, Lieutenant Jared O’Toolewinter. After an unexpected barrister arrived, named Pascal Beaumont (apparently working for the Maxwell-Heath Foundation or even Lord Kenneth himself), who urged the party not to tell anything to the authorities, as they had all signed the disclosure agreement. Little did he know that Prof. Ferrence had already managed to let a few things slip off his tongue when talking to Lt. Jared…
  • After leaving the house, the heroes were attacked by a few thugs led by a red-scarfed blonde man. They managed to scare them away after Prof. Ferrence used his ‘ghost bomb’.
  • The party decided to go to the WardenCliff District, a posh and secured district of ScatterPoint, as they found out that that was where Dr Smartperson resided. The heroes found his wife, Matilda Smartperson, and a weird doorman named Toraq, who Mulsummer believed to be a Malakar (a ferocious and rare being of evil nature, touched by Runestorms), but she was unable to help the party with their requests, telling that her husband was ‘on a business trip’ and ‘absent’. She promised to telegram them when he would return.
  • Prof. Ferrence made an inquiry to find out what Dr Smartperson (also known as Dr Smiley or Smartarse) had been working on before being recruited by the Maxwell-Heath Foundation. Mostly it was theories on the nature of Runestorms and their effect on human body or other materials, and a scarce number of books on the history of ScatterPoint.
  • The only remaining guard, who were tasked to defend the Archives, named Roger, is now at the BlackShackle District held in prison. The only word he could mutter upon being asked who’d attacked the place was ‘shadows’.
  • The Bank of Archives for Maxwell-Heath Foundation was located in the legendary Crumbling Factory, the one from the legends and the only structure believed to survive since the first and last Runic War. It was attacked, and all five plans for the project were stolen.
  • The research team, led by Dr Smartperson, has disappeared with the prototype they had intended to test. The last location they were going to and were heard of in was the ChalkChain District.
  • The party was summoned by Lord Dennis Kenneth to 12, Narrow Street, at the GreyMesa District, where you met with the CEO of Maxwell-Heath Foundation which is known to be the best research institute. Upon signing the disclosure agreement, they were told that the Foundation (with an unclear role of Lord Kenneth in this affair) was working on a highly secret project of a flying machine that could defy the runestorms anomaly (which, basically, chained all travelling to the ground, made barrens an unfriendly place to visit, created the Andari and the Malakar, and, basically, bounded ScatterPoint to its borders of nowadays).
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