Play Report: Malazan Session III

At session II, which I missed, we introduced a new character: Sadddique, the rogue.

And at session III we introduced another, Timmie, using a Ranger variant i made a few days earlier, just removing spells in exchange for being able to take the fighting specialization repeatedly.

The party spent a lot of time split, and did a lot of information gathering and not a lot of murdering, more or less to their chagrin. More because they were itching for combat by the end, less because I think they’re getting pretty uncomfortable with all the morally ambiguous decisions working for the Empire is encouraging them to make.

They met another soldier named Jackal when they arrived at Darujhistan, and with them they brought some stolen trade goods and girl who’s not all there and they know to be a Soletaken. Jackal brought them to Fiddler and Quick Ben, of Bridgeburner fame, who have also snuck into Darujhistan at this time, and they handed the girl to their care. Timmie was introduced as the Empire’s contact for the Daru Thieve’s Guild, and so he was able to help the party fence the stolen goods – granting them a small source of income during their time in Darujhistan. From there they worked primarily at making contacts in the city.

First, they went among the people to get an idea of what’s going on in Darujhistan these days. The only really interesting tidbit they got in the markets was that the newest Council member was going to be holding a party that night. They set out to get into that party.

To that end, they split up and half of the party sought to make contact with a character the Thieve’s Guild knows only as “The Eel.” They were able to meet with one of The Eel’s agents at the Phoenix Inn, with a little bit of bribery, and the agent agreed to help get them into the party in exchange for doing some yet-unnamed task for The Eel. Simultaneously, the Thieve’s Guild was working on another way to get them in.

Meanwhile, the other half of the party, masquerading as a traveling merchant and part of his retinue, went to try to meet the Lord in question – Anish. They were unable to meet with Anish, but met with his senechal – Zavoz. Zavoz provided them with invitations.

The Thieve’s Guild had their names added to the list of extra contacted servants, but when they met with The Eel’s agent again, they were provided with uniforms of the regular servants, allowing them even easier access to the party. In exchange, they were given a packet of three dossiers on individuals The Eel wanted “taken care of.”

Once they were all at the party, they snuck around looking for anything incriminating they could blackmail Anush with, and stole a few things. They found evidence that Anish was personally meeting with a powerful wizard in the city, including shortly before his father died, giving him his council seat. They also were able to pick up another job from a different wizard, contracting them to “punish” a rival for “stealing” an apprentice. The “artist/art merchant” was able to secure an invitation to stay at Anish’s estate for the entire party, under the guise of them all being part of his retinue.

The next day, they set out to find a way in to the home of the apprentice-stealing wizard. They split up again. Half the party held a stakeout on the house, the other half tried to find a way through the tunnels under the city to get under the house. The half under the house encountered some armed Daru meeting with a wizard that the Claw member with them recognized as bearing the sigil of the Pannion Domin. They briefly engaged with the group and then parleyed, the wizard disappearing into the darkness during the exchange. The ones on the stakeout recognized one of their targets from the dossiers, and followed and attacked him. It turned out that he was a member of the assassin’s guild, and they revealed their other targets to him and he confirmed that they are all also assassins, and all on the same contract, but he didn’t know why The Eel would want them dead. They took him captive and hauled him off to their hideout behind Quip’s bar, hoping that The Eel’s eyes and ears would think they took him off somewhere to kill him and dump the body quietly.

I left this session really open ended, but the nature of the Empire makes it easy to make morally ambiguous decisions. The next session should have some opportunities to do Good things, which might be refreshing for us all.

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