Adventure Log #17 Zenya's Little Task

aka. The time we opened a can of whoop-ass on Rorshik


trubrujah May 22, 2016

This will be our attempt at a play by post, since we have two months of downtime before the next game. Also, a minor retroactive change; Pat’s Nomad is getting re-commissioned into a Khadoran Heavy, so Rabies is not with the party currently, only Wrecker is.

Where we last left our intrepid Khadoran military men on leave, they had just arrived in Rorshik via rail. Sergei and Ladamir were staying with Sanya’s aunt, Danika, at her butcher shop. Sanya had gone to meet with Zenya, where she was pleased to see Sanya safe, but not certain if she should be happy or angry that he had returned. However, she was pleased to see he had two strong looking Khadoran soldiers with him, but even if one was a warcaster and the nephew of an allied Bratya Captain, she felt they needed testing. To that end, Zenya proposed a little task for Sanya to complete, with the help of his companions to see if they could stand on their own feet with the price on Sanya’s head still outstanding.
Zenya to Sanya: “I have but a little task for you to komplete for me, before I give you free reign in Rorshik. You know, Sanya, the price on your head still stands. This, Tovarisch, wants you dead. Your companions seem formidable, but looks can be deceiving. A little demonstration is in order, I think. There is a nearby Bratya, kalling themselves the Iron Vice. Our two Bratyas had never run into konflict with each other before, as we run in different circles. They were mostly small time drug dealers, but a month or so ago, they started trying to muscle into our smuggling operation. Two days ago, they murdered an underboss and kidnapped a few of our working girls. I was just preparing to form a response to these aggressions when you strolled back into Rorshik. Free my girls, and teach these sons of Cygnaran dogs what it means to cross Zenya. As an added bonus, I hear that Tovarisch may be behind the Iron Vice’ attempts to get involved in smuggling. You can find the Vice at the north western end of the city, on the docks on Lake Voliningrad. I look forward to hearing of your success.”

With that, Zenya dismisses you. You know her well enough to tell that she was relieved to see you returned from the front lines alive, but is still nervous having you back in the city. You get the feeling that there may have been more going on while you were away than you realized, concerning the price on your head.

Greenbandit May 23, 2016

On my walk back to Aunt Danika’s, I consider that Sergei and Ladomir have not met Zenya, and do not know her as I do. I consider that they are both proud warriors, and that Sergie is a high ranking member of a powerful Bratya from a larger city. And it occurs to me that, perhaps, Sergei and Ladomir, especially Kommander Sergei, would not take kindly to being “tested.” Nor to being ordered around by Zenya. So I have to think carefully about how I will relay her message to my kommrads.

I also think about what I can recall of the Iron Vice, and of their operation in the north western end of the city. My friends are soldiers, and will want a plan of attack, even if this is not a battle. I try to remember how many warehouses the Iron Vice might control, and what kind of power they might bring to bear. I try to recall whether they have any mages working for them, or whether they did when last I was home. I also try to remember whether there is anything tying them to the Graylords, since I know that Sergei will be anxious to follow that lead. Finally, I use my Astute and Hyperperception abilities to try to recall whether anything seemed off about Zenya, or her quarters, and how much I think she knows about Tovarisch from what she’s told me about him in the past.

Then I try to think through myself what benefit the Iron Vice could have in trying to muscle in on our operation, when they know how powerful the Cat’s Paw is.

trubrujah May 23, 2016

The last you remember, the Iron Vice were mostly small time alchemists, mixing up chemical drugs for the dock workers. They paint a silver sickle to mark their territory, so you should be able to tell when you enter their territory. While they didn’t have a lot of space for their operations, they “owned” a fairly large part of the docks as their territory to peddle drugs in. A couple warehouses at on the docks in the middle of their territory is where they can usually be found. These functioned as both a headquarters, a barracks, and a workshop for their drug concocting.

As far as you remember, they did not have any mages in their organization, but they do have a fair number of Jack Marshals from recruiting on the docks. While they would aggressively defend their territory, it was unheard of for them to get involved with other Bratyas outside their territory. Their leader was a big Trollkin named Argeten, who seemed a scumy but honorable sort of fellow the few times you met him in passing when Zenya had dealings with him.

As for Zenya, you didn’t notice while you were in her presence (mostly because she was distracting you) but she was favoring an arm. You think she might have been recovering from an injury. You were her bodyguard and enforcer, and you’ve been gone… Pehaps this has something to do with the Iron Vice getting the courage to attack and kidnap Cat’s Paw members?

Greenbandit May 24, 2016

Okay, then I think I know how I’m going to pitch it to the guys. Does anything exciting happen on the way to Danika’s? Otherwise, what’s the scene when I arrive?

As an aside, how much of what concoctions that Bork made up for me do I have with me in town? And how am I on batteries for my Neutralizer and my Shadow Generator?

trubrujah May 25, 2016

Nothing out of the ordinary happens back to the butcher shop. You enter to see Sergei and Ladamir stuff to the gills with sausage, while you aunt continues to find them new varieties for them to try.

What would you have been requesting from Bork for concoctions? As for batteries, you have about 10 or so, though they shouldn’t be hard to procure with a little cash.

patwoode May 27, 2016

Ok, so you guys know me, if there’s anything I love more than good food and drink it’s mechanika and making deals, well that and handing out the Winter Wolves card which I refrain from doing since we’re keeping a low profile. So after Wrecker returns with a cask of Korsik wine I make sure to poor drinks for everyone and kick the party up a notch!
After I feel like the room is a little more relaxed I’m going to start asking her about her distributorship and really check out her shop. I will be showering her with compliments on how the business looks, but besides winning her over I’m after some specific info. I would ask her how she keeps the meat fresh. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m assuming they have some sort of icebox like room, where they pack things in ice and so forth. (Dave please fill me in on the details). Regardless I’m assuming that an arcane engine driven ice-house would function x10 better and be a real boon to their business. And since I just so happen to have a spare one (albeit in disrepair) from Wrecker’s old chassis in Korsk. That plus some copper conduit and some spare scrap metal should make a fine prototype of my bigger idea.

If she’s still interested at this point I’ll start talking to her about distribution. Because I’m proposing the one that I would build for her would only be a prototype, that in fact we should build one to fit on the chassis of a train car. That way she could extend the reach of their network to other places where people would love to get her goods. Namely the capital, and of course it would be a crime for the Red Anvil bratya not to form a trade alliance with them to help them expand their business into the heart of Khador. Not only could the scrap yard provide the scrap for building ice-houses and ice-rails, in, but in addition the mechanikal know-how to get keep them functioning properly. After all a service contract is a standard practice in addition to the layers of trade and contracts this will bring to both families.

To that end if things are going well and she seems excited, I would mention that it was premature, but that if things went well with our venture that she would probably need a base of operations in Korsk, and once again I have the perfect way to help out, as I have recently re-claimed a sizeable family estate there, where they could stay and map out the expanse of their operations while under the watchful eye and protection of the Red Anvil, for a small monthly fee of course.

trubrujah May 27, 2016

Sanya’s aunt Danika is excited, but insists you run them through her husband, who comes by a short bit later and is very interested in your ideas. There is indeed an icebox in the basement, where they pack ice blocks in and around a big metal room to keep the meat frozen. You know that there are meckanika ice cars for the rail lines, but they are expensive, and this Bratya does not currently own one. Because of that, their meat business mostly consists of buying animals for butchering and then selling meat products locally that are then sent out by others (they smuggle a lot of smaller items in the meat and meat crates). Having their own refrigerated rail car (with secret smuggling compartment) would be a huge boon for their business. The two of you start discussing plans for the meat locker and rail car and what sort of arrangements need to be made between the Bratyas for service agreements and payment.

(I am out until Monday, but feel free to talk to each other about what you plan to do).

Greenbandit May 27, 2016

When I arrive, I’ll wait for my Aunt and Uncle to retire before breaking Zenya’s news to the guys. (Obviously, I know there might be stuff that Needs to happen before that, but I want to post this before I forget). Here’s how I’ll phrase it:

“Kommander, Kovnik. Zenya sends her regards. I have, I believe, put her in a bit of an awkward position, with some of my behavior in the past. That is why I was sent to join you with the Winter Wolves. And now I return, and things are… still awkward. Zeyna is very powerful within the Cat’s Paw, but she is not the only power in the Bratya. And… well, there are those who say she favors me too much. If she were to allow us to simply run free here in Rorshik, she would be putting herself — and us — at risk. She wants to extend her protection over us, but for her to do that… Well,” I turn and look at Sergei, “you know Bratya politics, Kommander. She must, as they say, kover her tukus. We need to do something for her, so that she can have a reason to do something for us. There is another Bratya. The Iron Vice. They used to stay out of our way. Now, they are interfering. Suddenly, they are emboldened. Zenya believes that…” I look around, not sure whether to say the name aloud. "Zenya believes that the man you and I seek, Kommander, may be emboldening them. Two days ago, these people murdered one of our underbosses, and kidnapped some of our working girls. She needs us to… respond.

If you gentlemen are not inclined to assist me in this matter, I understand. But it is something I must do. And our task in Rorshik will be greatly aided if we work with Zenya’s blessing."

As for items from Bork, if I remember correctly, I had asked him to make me up a utility belt of alchemical potions and whatnot that would aid in the type of work we were doing as the Winter Wolves. Smoke Bombs, acid, that sort of thing. It seems like it might be necessary to use such things here, as well.

patwoode May 27, 2016

So before you shoo out your aunt and uncle I would want you to come in and sit with us to discuss a bit of business that we’ve already been talking about. It sounds like not only can i build a much better ice-house, but if i can do the work perhaps we can make the ice-rail affordable for them as well, as long as I build or at least engineer it myself. I am also incredibly fond of the idea of outfitting them with smuggling compartments too (I actually told Will that the other day, so nice!). Then after you send your aunt and uncle off to bed I would be happy to discuss things with you further, as you seem to have something on your mind.

After hearing your carefully worded, speech I will nod my head and say, “yeah but let’s be honest Sanya, you would walk through razor-wire for that girl, eh?” After some gentle ribbing I would proceed to start working out a plan over wine, and at some point we would have to switch to something stronger. I’m assuming that somewhere in there you start telling us about the situation down at the docks and with that bratya in general (Sergei would insist, you don’t have the market cornered on bullshit detectors, komrad). I know when I’m being worked over, I would remind Joe that I worked as the supply hub in a major federal prison worlds away from here, and that I appreciate the kiss-ass antics, but nothing personal you should just shoot me straight and stop worrying about selling me from now on. We have to be honest with one another if we’re going to survive, man. Honestly all you have to say is that you need our help defending your bratya and we’ll do it, no questions asked. But then I would let up and go back to focusing on the task at hand. I don’t know if Sanya would have anything to add after that, but either way, after a few rounds of fine Khadoran vodka inspiration would strike me and I would start laying out the following plan.

1. I think that if “he” is involved that we should call for reinforcements. Especially if we’re going to start what amounts to a turf war here is Rorshik.

2. So that means we need to get word back to Korsk to the rest of the pack. I would ask Ladamier to head back to the capital Korsk and round up as many of the Winter Wolves as you can and get the scrap parts of the “old” Wrecker, as well as some other things (like my wagon/shop equipment- I’ll happily compensate him for travel expenses) and bring them back over to help Sanya’s Bratya (fyi guys Jacob is in the middle of moving right now and I ran this past him and he was totally cool with it. He send his best) I know he can rally any of the men not enjoying their leave, plus I would like to try and have him reach out to John to sit down face to face and find out what he knows about Tovaresh, and get his thoughts on things. I’m not asking him to get involved but any info he can give us is of course most appreciated. Plus if he’s willing to join us all the better.

3. In the meantime under the guise of “building the ice-house” Sanya and I can start snooping around (and by me I mean he) and finding out any more info about what’s been going on here. I figure it will take a solid 2 week period to do the necessary work on the ice-house, and maybe one more for the ice-rail frame, but that should buy us plenty of time to assemble the pack to Sanya’s aid. Besides, I may even sneak in a couple upgrades for Wrecker while I’m at it. This also gives Sanya and I plenty of time to strategize and learn the city, which should work out quite nicely.

4. Then once the Winter Wolves assemble in Roshik we can carry out our devious plan and take down the damn Iron Vice and start tearing the mask off of Tovaresh…

What does Sanya think about all of this?

Greenbandit May 27, 2016

Sanya thinks the plan is good but is worried about the timeline. He believes that Zenya will want a faster response, especially since there are kidnap victims. But, since Sergei’s plan already involves some immediate snooping around, he suggests that a search-and-rescue on a tighter timeline might be appropriate. He clearly wants to go tonight, but just as clearly he shouldn’t. When you started throwing around references to Tom and Joe, something shook loose in him, and he’s having trouble switching back and forth quickly between the one and the other. He’s thinking like Sanya, for the most part, but drinking like Joe. He suggests he should go out tonight, and scout the docks, see what info he can find on the women.

patwoode May 28, 2016

I understand that you want to go in guns blazing Sanya, but we’re doing Zenya the favor right? I appreciate your proposal, but 2-3 men against an entire bratya, is that your proposal?Besides, the girls and Underboss are likely dead if there has been no ransom, and you know that. It’s how bratyas have and will work for a long time after we’re dead and gone. What your girlfriend is really asking us to do is to put an end to what will eventually be a big turf war between the Cat’s Paw and Iron Vice that wipes your bratya off the map.

I ask you this, what would she have done if you hadn’t come home unexpectedly? There doesn’t seem to be a big rescue planned that she’s asking us to lend a hand with. No she heaped the entire responsibility on us, because she is out of options. Think about it Sanya, you know I’m right. Getting ourselves killed to appease Zenya is not going to happen on my watch. What I’m proposing is that first thing in the morning you, Wrecker, and I start getting to the bottom of this. But we’re not going to storm the castle until help arrives, because that would be suicide and you know it. So let’s sleep on this, and set to it with a clear mind and purpose in the morning, when our wits aren’t dulled, and we aren’t weary from a day of travel. You know we’re here to help you Sanya, don’t fight the logic in what I’m saying.

With that Sergei leans back in his chair and corks the bottle of vodka and waits for Sanya’s response.

patwoode May 29, 2016

I just realized there were a couple things that I wanted to clarify with Sanya.

1) How many foot soldiers your bratya has vs. the numbers of the Iron Vice.

2) what other families are there in the city that are in direct competition with the Iron Vice in terms of the drug business? I wonder if deals can be struck for their assistance if The timeline advances faster than anticipated (seems to me that Zenya’s pride might not easily lend itself to asking for outside help beyond her inner circle, but I may be wrong there). In regard to terms, I think that any competitors would likely be willing to lend a hand in crippling the Iron Vice’s operations, if for no other reason that to expand their territory/influence. In addition they also have a sanctioned way to go after a rival bratya through appropriate channels without it becoming eye for an eye with the Iron Vice.

3) who in this town might we expect to come after the 2 of us, since Sanya’s blood rage led him to tear through bratya bosses and captains. In other words are there other bratyas that will be gunning for us or other individuals that are going to complicate things further? Is there someone specifically in the Iron Vice organization that you tortured and killed that might have started this all?

I realize Dave will need to fill us in here, but it’s good tactical info that Sergei would ask for.

patwoode May 29, 2016

Oh and one more thing…
I just had a crazy idea. What if we build a small set inside the ice-house I’m going to build for your aunt, and we run a scam on an underboss where we augment reality in order to get him to tell us what we want to know about the kidnapped people and Tovaresh? By making him think he’s somewhere he’s not and that a fictitious situation has come to pass, where he would trust us with sensative information.

I feel like we have the makings of a confidence scam on our hands, and the Tom in me is getting very excited.

Greenbandit May 30, 2016

“I did not say I wanted to go in “guns blazing” Kommander. Just that we should investigate, and quickly. If the underboss who was kidnapped along with the women is dead, why have we not had some sign? The assassination of such a man is a show of strength, used to send a message. So where is the message? When my cousin Luka was killed, his armor was sent back to us wrapped around a giant fish. Why no such sign? We do not have to break down doors. You said yourself I should start snooping. We can do things that way. But I believe we will need something to show for ourselves sooner than your two week timeline. Zenya was making plans to respond to this when we arrived. She has changed them on account of us.

Regardless of what you think she keeps in her purse, it would not be good for any of us if she were not pleased with our response." I stare at the bottle for a moment, as though intending to take a long pull on it, and instead, push it away from me, and stand up. “I think I’ll take a walk.”

Out of Character

I agree, we need Dave to supply Sanya’s answers to those tactical questions. And as far as the “set” goes, you’re thinking the old Mission: Impossible bit? I like it.

trubrujah May 30, 2016

Items from Bork for Sanya: 2 Smoke Grenades, 2 Vials of Acid (not grenades, these are more designed for breaking locks, though you could hit someone with it to really piss them off), 1 Choking Gas Grenade (for when you really need to clear a room).

Cats Paw Vs Iron Vice

The Cats Paw has about 20 or so ‘soldiers’ who mostly act as smuggling guards, as well as 2 other “wetworks operators.” They have more clerks and accountants than true bruisers.
The Iron Vice has closer to 40 ‘soldiers’ since their business puts them in direct conflict more often, plus a number of drug dealers and pimps who could make a good show. The 3 Underbosses and their leader are all ex-Winter Guard.

There is a Bratya, the Sunken Weeds, that controls the drug trade at the southern end of the docks. The Cat’s Paw has a neutral relationship with them, similar to how the Iron Vice was. You have no idea how the Sunken Weeds and Iron Vice view each other however. Something to investigate if you want to go that route.

Sanya’s blood rage took him into the Iron Vice territory only once, and it was for a “client”, not a member of the Bratya. However, there is some bad blood between the Cat’s Paw and 2 other Bratyas because of Sanya’s past: the Crypts and the Vermillion (eh, eh, see what i did there?).

The Crypts are considered small time, mostly petty thieves and grave robbers, but are very widespread and operate out of several graveyards around the city. Sanya killed two of their underbosses while looking for the man who killed his father.

The Vermillion are much more dangerous. Their primary means of employment are robbery, extortion, and assassination. Their second in command, Radanovich, was killed by Sanya as part of the plot to kill him and his father (Will, Sanya knows that the Vermillion itself had nothing to do with the assassination, it was orchestrated on the side by Radanovich, but the rest of the Vermillion do not know or care. To them, you killed their captain. You know that Zenya smoothed things over, but part of the deal was you had to leave… and here you are returned. You can be assured there will be retribution of some kind).

patwoode May 31, 2016

Well Sanya it seems like i will need to be up and be ready for whatever trouble your drunkess ass stirs up in the first night. Before you head out can you point me towards a pot of coffee.

By the way this is the definition of guns a blazing (lol). And underbosses are taken for lots of reasons other than to send a message. Say for revenge, which you should be very familiar with. If this is more strategic on their part then these may just have been your people that were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Either way we need to find out. When were they taken? Were they in contested territory? Are they people who are close to you? Ie. Were they taken to bring you out of hiding, etc?
I’m not worried about Zenya liking our plan or not, if she wants it to be done sooner, then she should do it herself. Perhaps you should arrange a sit down so that Zenya and I can discuss it directly. Since the conjecture is starting to wear my patience thin.

trubrujah May 31, 2016

Some of this info, Sanya was able to get from Zenya previously. The Underboss and girls were taken two days ago in the evening. They were firmly in Cats Paw territory, but close to the edge that borders the Iron Vice. These are not people that Sanya knows well, but Zenya did say that this Underboss, Serveign, was high on the smuggling side of things. They assume he is dead due to eyewitness accounts of a stabbing and the blood they found, but the Iron Vice took the body with them (perhaps to make a more public spectacle later?).

patwoode May 31, 2016

OK so since we’re only rescuing working girls I will get up and wish you good snooping. I am off to interrogate a few ladies of my own <winks>. Just point me towards the docks where they went missing.

Dave how long is the train ride from here to the Capitol? Could Ladamier travel there and do all the stuff I discussed several posts ago and get back by the end of the week?

trubrujah May 31, 2016

I’m going to say it takes about 2.5 days by rail to get to the capital. So it depends on how much time you want to give Ladamir to round up some of the Winter Wolves. There are a few in the capital that you know of, but if you want more of the squads he would probably need a full week to track more of them down (as he would need to send out messages to some of the nearby towns). If you just want 3-4 of the Wolves, he could round them up and be back by the end of the week. Every extra day you give him would be another body he can round up.

He has a few options for sending them along also. He could send them as he finds them with instructions to meet somewhere on a certain day, or they could all arrive together. Or a combination, if you want those he can find quickly to get here fast and show up with a larger group later.

patwoode June 01, 2016

In that case, I would instruct him to do the latter, to round up 3-4 wolves right away, since that will be Bork, Vacili etc, and send them ahead to meet us in Rorsik with the supplies I requested. Then I would like him to spend the next week rounding up as many others as he can, and seeing if he can talk to John.

I will also send him with a letter for my uncle detailing the proposed agreement between the Red Anvil and the Cat’s Paw and see what suggestions or input he has on the subject (basically I’m trying to.get his endorsement of the deal before going any further). To sweeten the deal I’ll send a nice simpler of some fresh salami, pepperoni,and other tasty meats that won’t spoil over a 2.5 day trip, un-refrigerated. I would also ask him to send any info he has In the way of basic mechanical specs for rail-cars, so that what I build meets the required standards. Additionally, i will ask if we have any contacts in Rorsik, and to have Ladamier fill him in on the details of what’s going on with the Iron Vice and Zenya here as well.

Greenbandit June 11, 2016

As Sanya recalls it, from the Pub Sessions:

Sanya and Sergei finished arguing over how best to approach Zenya’s task. Sergei, the more sober of the two, set Ladomir and Wrecker 2.0 to watch Sanya, while he went down to [establishment] to interview some of the Cat’s Paw’s esteemed purveyors of quality companionship. He then proceeded to pump them… for information.

Sanya, meanwhile, incredibly drunk but not entirely free of guile, slipped out to go to the bathroom, and in doing so, managed to give both Ladomir and W2 the slip. He stumbled, first towards the docks, but then, begrudgingly admitted to himself that Sergei was right, and he was wrong. So instead he headed home, to the only house he’d ever known — above his late Father’s shop. Halfway there, he realized that if his enemies were setting a trap, that’s exactly where they’d look for him. He wandered, seemingly aimlessly for a while, eventually reaching the alley where his Father had been murdered. There, he evacuated the contents of his stomach, and sat down on a curb to collect his thoughts.

He totally did not black out. I swear.

When he stood up, a little more clear headed, he began wandering again, this time to a bench on a hill that overlooks the city and the docks, where he could get a bird’s eye view of what was going on there. He proceeded to fall asleep until the sunrise woke him. He stared out at the ships, and learned… little. But he certainly learned that the Iron Vice was moving more ships in and out than they had been when he was around. They seemed very busy indeed.

Sanya made his way to the hotel where Sergie and Ladomir had been staying, and consumed a large amount of food and coffee. Once his headache subsided, he and Sergei traded notes. Sergei had learned that there had been a witness who escaped the abduction, had learned some names, though only the name of the murdered underboss meant anything to Sanya. He also learned, apparently definitively, that the underboss had been murdered, not merely abducted. His missing body is just one more mystery in this buddy cop (buddy bratya?) storyline. Sanya suggested going to Zenya’s but Sergei brought up contracts and fees, and the two seemed to agree to keep this unofficial for now. Sergei set about searching the city’s scrap yards for ways to upgrade his Jacks, upgrade Danika’s cooling equipment, and put his many plans and schemes into action.

Sanya went to see Ladomir off at the train station, and borded the train with him, changing into a disguise while on board. He jumped from the train a short ways out of town, and made his way, incognito, to Zenya’s safe house, where he interviewed the survivor, named [name]. He learned that the Iron Vice dealer/ enforcer [name] had led the group that had quarreled with [name] before killing him, apparently in a panic. This comported with Sergei’s information. He also learned more about the descriptions of the men who had hauled away the underboss’s body, that at least one of the missing women might have been using the Iron Vice’s product, and that the escapee did not believe she’d been seen.

Sanya then visited the scene of the crime. At a first glance, though the scene had been gone over, presumably by members of the Cat’s Paw, to remove sensitive books, money, etc, the forensics there comported with the story that had been told so far. He was able to confirm that one of the women was using drugs. He has yet to discover anything that could be a motive.

Meanwhile, Sergei has asked Sanya’s Uncle to set him up a meeting with the head of a Bratya that is not terribly acrimonious to the Cat’s Paw, and is at least probably equally opposed to the expansion of the Iron Vice. Sergei is keeping an ear to the ground for anything he can learn, but he’s being patient while waiting for the meeting to be arranged, and continuing to work on his mechanical projects partially to get them done, and partly as a means of getting out and gathering info.

trubrujah June 12, 2016

Nadia was the name of the lady of the night.

Serveign was the name of the Underboss who is presumed dead.

Volodya is the name of the Iron Vice pusher whom Sanya remembers.

Sanya: After your investigation in the room of the girl who was using drugs (and finding the drugs in a hidden compartment in her bed frame), you decide to look more closely for secret compartments in the rest of the building. You find a hidden weapon compartment in each of the girls rooms, assumably in the event of a dangerous liason, as well as a valuables compartment for each of the girls. But more interestingly, you find one for the underboss. You find some things you would expect, hidden money, a ledger for the brothel, but you also find a second ledger with several documents listing smuggling sources and amounts of money that were apparently being paid to him by “V”. Those amounts seemed to be getting larger more recently.

Sergei: You have found a several run down rail cars that may work for a refrigerated rail car, as well as a number of parts you can use to make the ice box. You know you will need access to a shop, or at least get your wagon brought here before you will be able to really start working on it though. And some of the rail car parts will almost certainly have to be manufactured in a rail yard workshop.

patwoode June 14, 2016

Pub Session:

After arguing with Sanya about whether he should go out and get himself killed, Sergei finally let him do what he wanted, and after he gave Wrecker and Ladamier the slip, Sergei knew that he must not have been that drunk after all.

Taking Sanya’s lead he went down to the red light district and visited some of the Cat’s Paw girls (I totally see where they get their name now). I spoke with a girl who had spoken to the sole survivor and got the story of how the two guys seemed like they were coming for the girls and accidentally had a run in with the proprietor at the same time. Things went badly, and we know the rest. Except that one of the girls was holding up in a safe house under Zenya’s protection. It would be nice to say that the Iron Vice doesn’t know of her existence, but word on the street travels pretty fast, and if we were picking up this level of detail from working girls anyone clever enough would too.

Beyond that I shared my information and suggestions with Sanya and we decided to divide and conquer. I was going to start gathering intel at the local scrap yards while I picked up pieces for the ice-house and ice-rail. I also want to be chatting with the people around, especially in the rail yard, because those guys would know about smuggling operations. I won’t be crazy, just bring booze and chat them up after their shifts are over. Plus they’ve seen me around there all day scrapping and buying parts, so I’m hoping I have a pretty decent cover. I will also check with them to see where I could find some workshop space to complete my project. Specifically if there’s somewhere that I can barter or help out with a couple other things in exchange for a reduced rate I’m always willing to work out some kind of deal.

The other thing that we setup was for Sanya’s uncle to introduce me to the rival bratya, to see if we couldn’t reach an accord regarding our mutual dislike of the Iron Vice. I thought he could get me a sit down in a couple days, has that happened yet? If not I’m hoping I can take some time and chat with some of Sanya’s bratya about what they know about them, so that I don’t go in blind and totally unaware of who I’m trying to schmooze.


trubrujah June 17, 2016

Let me know what your next orders of business are this day. If you are both done, we can skip to the next day.

As things stand right now:

Sergei: You have obtained a bunch of copper and other scrap for your ice box proto-type, as well as found a few possible shells for the rail car variant. You haggle for a while and end up with a pretty good deal on the parts you need.

Sanya: You just found that little bit of information in the ledger for the underboss. Looks like he may have been doing some business on the side, the kind that he had to keep secret from other members of the Bratya.

patwoode June 17, 2016

I also want to secure a workspace within Cat’s Paw territory. I am relying on Sanya’s uncle to help me find a shop where there aren’t too many loose lips, too. In addition to that I’m going to start sketching blueprints and schematics for the design of first the ice-house and secondly the ice-rail. I will also talk to Sanya’s aunt and uncle about where they’re going to store their meat while I’m working on the ice-house, so we have less “logistical issues”.

Other than that I’m trying to pick up on any smuggling gossip at the scrap yards if anyone is talking about new movements down at the docks, but I’m not being super obvious about it, just asking about “any interesting new trade ventures in the city” and commenting on how “it’s been a while since I’ve been here, but the docks seem to be way busier, what gives?” That sort of thing, where it feels appropriate.

Other than that I’m ready to meet up with the rival Bratya as I discussed in my last post.


Greenbandit June 18, 2016

I had typed this up before you posted your update, Dave:

Sanya realizes he’s been trying to rush things, to work too fast. He closes his eyes and concentrates. Then he holds out his hands, opens his eyes, and turns around the room where the Underboss was taken. His fingers direct his gaze to each part of the room, methodically, in turn, and takes it all in. He looks under tables and chairs. He goes into the Underboss’s office, and though he knows the desk has been “sanitized” either by Zenya’s crew or by the Iron Vice, he looks over every inch. He goes over the man’s desk twice, checks behind mirrors and paintings on the walls, knowing that secret compartments are normal for such an establishment. He goes into the room where the one survivor said she’d been hiding, and checks it out from top to bottom, trying to make sure that what she said she heard and saw could be heard and seen from that room. Then he goes through the rooms of each and every one of the women who worked there, especially the survivor. Takes out drawers, moves furniture, checks everything. He goes through the rest of the building, and when he’s finished gathering everything he can from every inch of the establishment, he tries to determine which way they would have dragged the body, and where they may have disposed of it.

Then he tries to recreate, in his mind, how the men involved could have handled the corpse and three kidnapping victims without dropping… something. (How many men were there, again?)

I figure your update indicates the result of such a post, but is there anything else?


trubrujah June 19, 2016

Sanya: The attack was initially done by three men, but the girl you talked to said several more arrived after the deed had been done. The side business ledger is the only thing of real import you find. The implications of reading through it tell you this: The Underboss, Serveign, looks like he was selling smuggling secrets on the side, presumably to the Iron Vice. The payments increasing lead you to suspect one of two things: either he was attempting to extort them for more money, or he was selling juicier secrets recently. Either option could have gotten him killed, either for trying to extort the gang or to cover up a loose end.

Sergei: The Cat’s paw has a mechanics shop under their employ (they actually have a labor jack that does the hauling of and initial cutting of animal carcasses for butchering, called Chopper) that would be the ideal place for you to work. It is small, but only used for repairs and maintenance, so there isn’t any worry about loose lips (and the mechanics are all under the auspices of the Cat’s Paw anyway). Most of the gossip at the docks is from working class folk, who just know that a lot of scrap Jack parts have been getting sent to the northern docks. Been a higher demand for workers who can Jack Marshal because of the heavy crates. Doesn’t sound like actual working parts though, just damaged stuff getting scavenged at battle sites closer to Llael. Sounds like the crates are offloaded onto carriages and then transported to a couple city warehouses.

Greenbandit June 19, 2016

Have I had any reason to mistrust any of the information given to me by Zenya or the survivor? Any nonverbal cues or anything?

trubrujah June 20, 2016

You know that Zenya is holding some information back, but it doesn’t seem as though she is trying to intentionally mislead you. She seemed just like the old Zenya you knew when she sent you away. As for the survivor, you suspect that she may have forgotten certain details, as eye witness accounts are sketchy affairs at best, but again it doesn’t seem like she was giving you false information.

Greenbandit June 20, 2016

Can I make out what sorts of secrets Serveign was selling?

trubrujah June 21, 2016

It looks like he was selling smuggling secrets of the Cat’s Paw. There is a list in here with names of smugglers the Cat’s paw uses, with lines through some of their names. You know these people aren’t dead, but you aren’t entirely sure what it means.

Greenbandit June 22, 2016

Are any of the names people who I know well?

trubrujah June 23, 2016

Not really. There are a few names that are familiar to you, but you dealt more with the bruising end of things rather than the smuggling. You have a decent idea where you might be able to find some of these people though, if you wanted to talk to some of them.

Greenbandit June 24, 2016

Some of them, as in a group sitting around a table drinking? Or individuals?
Either way, I look once more around the room, burning the crime scene into my memory, then gather up the ledger, ensure I’m properly disguised, and go. My intention is to go speak, hopefully one-on-one, with one of the members of the group who has been crossed off. Preferably one who has a reputation within the Bratya for saying a bit more than he should.

patwoode June 24, 2016

Ok like 5 posts ago you asked if we were ready to progress to the next day, and I sure am. I am still waiting to talk to the rival gang and do the mission impossible setup with Severeign or someone like that. Also if Sanya shares his newly gotten info with Sergei I would give the smuggling ledger “Tom’s once over” since he was head of a federal prison smuggling supply chain and understands those kinds of log books very well.


Greenbandit June 24, 2016

Yeah, belay my previous decision to go chat these guys up. I’ll reconnect w/ Sergei.

patwoode June 25, 2016

Great, so I’ll catch you up on the ice-house/ice-rail progress. I will excitedly look through the log book. I’m also starting to wonder Why Tovaresh would be interested in ramping up the Iron Vice’s smuggling operations here and now. We don’t know what he’s up to (ie. His master plan), but I want to start paying attention to what things he’s choosing to involve himself in. When I was listening to the local chatter was there anything that stood out as a unique opportunity, or lucky timing,etc

By the way Dave I will have paid for the scrap and rail car pieces to be delivered to the Cat’s Paw Mechanic’s Shop and scheduled time with them to do the work too.


trubrujah June 25, 2016

Well, the little you know about Tovarisch from your side of the tracks was that your father was killed because he was involved in some sort of smuggling thing with some of his associates. So it stands to reason that he may be trying to muscle in on the operation here as well. Why now, you are unable to determine based upon the information you have.
Looking over the ledger and notes, after asking Sanya about the people listed, you are guessing that Tovarisch, through the Iron Vice, is getting the names and locations of prominent Cat’s Paw smugglers. Sanya knows these people aren’t dead, but your guess is that they are likely being “persuaded” to work with the Iron Vice now. Serveign was selling these to someone in the Iron Vice, effectively betraying the Cat’s Paw. The increasing amounts point to either Serveign was blackmailing them for more money and got too greedy, or the Iron Vice thought he was getting too exposed and took him out to cover a loose end. Or it could be an elaborate setup, to make you think he’s dead while he gets away free with his betrayal. The only way to find out for sure would be to find his body.

Greenbandit June 25, 2016

So, unless Sanya’s background and experience would dictate otherwise, I’m guessing that the crossed-out names either imply: a) that these are people who they have tried to turn to the IV, and failed; b) that these are people that they’ve tried to turn and have succeeded; c) that these are people they’ve decided are not going to play ball. In any event, I probably want to speak to at least one person from each part of the list: crossed off and not.

As far as whether Serveign is dead for real, or only faking, then as you say the only way to know for sure is to find a body. I’ve seen the crime scene and talked to various witnesses. If I can’t figure out where the body was taken based on that information, can I make some educated guesses about where a body might be dumped if the IV doesn’t want it found? Are there cops or other government authorities — maybe undertakers? — who are on Zenya’s payroll who I might be able to talk to about an unidentified corpse — or part of one — who fits the timing and Serveign’s general description? From my experience with the IV and Tovarisch, should we expect Serveign’s body to have a face, head, hands, and feet?

My proposal, unless there’s something that would otherwise tip me off as to where the body might be, would be to talk to any dirty cop or authority first, to talk to one of the names that’s been crossed off second, and to talk to one of the non-crossed off names third.

Unless Sergei has a different take on this?

patwoode June 25, 2016

First of all, I don’t want to start running around questioning people on the list because it might…

a.) Tip them off that someone is looking into the situation. I would especially be leary of dirty cops, because we know Tovaresh has people in the Prikaz (KGB) and it would be infinitely easier to buy local dirty cops. They likely have some on payroll, as do the Cat’s Paw. Again I’m hesitant to trust sensitive information to people who’s allegiance can be purchased so easily.

b.) I don’t want them to know we have the list or any other documents. I would actually suggest that you put those documents back or destroy them, once we’ve committed the information to memory. I actually would suggest moving our meeting places to pre-approved non-Cat’s Paw hangouts since we can’t be sure who to trust in your bratya for now. I’ll leave the pre-approval in your capable hands.

As for our next step moving forward, I would ask Sanya how good you are at tailing people. I think our time is better spent looking for new leads. I think we’re walking in to the game too late to try to flip double agents. We can however let them lead us to their assets and drops if they are unaware we’re watching them.

Meanwhile I can start making myself more visible in taverns and bars boasting about how we’re going to make tons of cash with this new mechanika invention of mine, based on blueprints I found of my father’s. I’m going to brag it up but be super vague about the details. I’ll specify that we’re going to revolutionize…blah blah blah and nobody will see it coming. I’ll let slip that we’re using ancient wizard times captured in the sacking of Merywyn.



Greenbandit June 26, 2016

Kommander, I fear that my… exuberance in the field, when you witnessed my interrogation of that Magus, has led you to believe I am incapable of subtlety. Then, we were in the heat of battle. Time was of the essence. Enemies could discover us at any moment. And he was a tough nut, as they say. Here, we still have time before our reinforcements arrive. I have time to do things, as the song says, my way.

I agree with your idea about destroying the documents. I do not think returning them is likely to help. If someone is going to go back for them, they may be there even now, and having them miraculously re-appear will not draw less attention to our investigation. But we do not want them to fall into the wrong hands, certainly.

I also agree with your idea about meeting places.

As for allowing others to know we have sensitive information, torture is only one, very direct method of interrogation I have at my disposal. I am also well versed in the art of interrogating without asking questions. Or by asking misleading questions. If you let certain people ramble, they will inevitably reveal more than they intend. And anyway, I cannot approach any of them as myself. Remember, Sanya got on the train, with Ladomir. He is not in town.

As for tailing? I can tail people. But we should agree on who I should tail. I can only tail so many people at once. Unlike you, my eyes can only be in one place at a time.

So far the only leads we have are the names on this list, and Volodya’s name. I can tail Volodya, if that’s what you’re thinking. Or I can chat with some of the names on the list, without asking direct questions, and see whether one of them inadvertently gives me any information. Then use that to narrow down my tail.

I do think it would be advantageous to have someone make inquiries about unidentified bodies. I could pay a street urchin to do it. I wouldn’t give her or him any sensitive information, just a description and a time, and instructions to make inquiries at the morgue.
I think your plan to begin bragging in the pubs sounds good, and well suited to your skills, Kommander.

patwoode June 26, 2016

(As Sergei approaches you he has an unusually stern look on his face, there is an air of frustration as he begins)

(pounds his fists on the table and throws his hat across the room)
Listen Lieutenant

(he straightens his furs and continues, after gaining his composure)
I mean to set the record straight here and now. I trust you, and I trust in your skills. Don’t take my caution in these matters as any reflection on you. There is no need however to keep offering evidence to prove you are qualified. You are a Winter Wolf, and as such I trust you with my life.

I also take offense at the insinuation that I don’t know the men under my Kommand.
(pounds the table again, spilling his drink across some paperwork sitting in front of him)
I understand that we were hurried in the tower at Merywyn and that you are capable of more than torture, but keep in mind these are extremely high stakes, and there is a great deal that we do not know going into this situation.

(leans down real close and gets in your face, and speaks lowly through his teeth)
Don’t they fear you in this town because you’re “The Butcher”. Lay some Kaiser Sosay shit on them and make them wet their underoos already. It’s time to remind them who the Fuck you are!

(backhands the half empty pint glass off the table tossing beer and froth on the floor with a soggy splat followed by the clang of the glass breaking against the wall)
(It’s clear at this moment that he’s been sitting here drinking for hours, and all of the patrons in the bar are sort of giving him a wide birth)

I expect you to have already been talking to and tailing each and every name on that list already. I have been buying time and trying to build up a sufficient distraction in the meantime to help take some of the pressure off of you. While we wait for the rest of the pack. I appreciate you keeping me in the loop here, but I’m trying to give you more operational latitude here Lieutenant.

(he straightens his furs again and continues on)
Your current standing orders are to “Get to the Damn bottom of all this bullshit here so we can nail Tovaresh!” That son of a bitch is making a mockery of your bratya, and he killed my father. I demand retribution!

(This time he slams the table cracking one of the legs and kicking his chair aside as he stands and gets in your face a second time)

I expect you to complete your mission using any means necessary. The rest of the pack will support you any way we can, but you are the tip of the spear, and we will need you to strike your target quick and true. We have two days to get our shit together Sanya, show me what you’re made of. I expect nothing less than the best from you. It’s time to turn on that shadow generator and get out there soldier!

(you see him curse at the waitress in Khadoran to bring him another drink, and when she finally agrees he sits down in his chair and wipes the beer splatter off of his blueprints and goes back to work. Since you’re so perceptive you see him only briefly give you a wry wink, and you know he’s already starting to lay down his cover. He shoes you away with his hand and starts muttering something about how this invention is going to change the whole damn world…)


Greenbandit June 26, 2016

Throughout this dressing down, I sit, back rigid, face unreadable, except for mild flinches when Sergei mentions any name aloud, or the shadow generator. I realize that Sergei probably wouldn’t have said it loud enough for the bar at large to hear, or that if he did, it was meant as an indication that keeping up the “Sanya is out of town” charade has, in Sergei’s opinion, outlived its usefulness. Generally, I take Sergei’s outburst as an indication that I should deal with this in my own way as I see fit. I stand, after being verbally dismissed, nod curtly, and walk out the door after casually dropping a napkin on the table. On it is written the name of another bar, a place located in neutral territory called the Black Tooth Inn, and a time. I intend to be at that bar at that time — or else leave a surrogate — over the course of the next week. If Sergei want’s me, that’s where we should meet. Otherwise, I’m understanding we should keep our distance and work our own ends of the case.

As you will, Kommander.

I turn to go, and turn my feet towards the part of town where I am most likely able to observe some of the names on the list without being observed myself.

trubrujah June 26, 2016

Sanya: Tailing Volodya proves to be no easy task. Not only does he know the lay of the land in Iron Vice territory better, you gather that there must be underground/secret passageways between some of the buildings, as he goes into some of them and simply disappears.

Tailing the names on the list proves much easier. Over the next two days you tail several of the names, both crossed out and not crossed out. Tailing two of the not crossed out names leads you to believe that they aren’t in any danger, and no one but yourself is keeping tabs on them. Tailing two of the names that have been crossed out shows you two different situations. One of them, a smuggler named Kolovich, has apparently taken to his new masters with gusto. He doesn’t seem to have any issues with working with the Iron Vice, as you observe several transactions being done with their members. The other appears to be a case of blackmail, as a smuggler/merchant named Andrei and his wife get visited by Iron Vice members and coerced into transacting with them. You overhear them talking about about their young son who is apparently “visiting” the Iron Vice. They haven’t gone to Zenya because they fear the boy would end up dead.

Sergei: You have a good time bragging in the various taverns around the area. A meeting does end up getting setup with the Sunken Weeds bratya, but it doesn’t pan out as well as you had hoped. While they would be happy to see the Iron Vice disappear, you get the impression that the leader is scared of them. Asking around a bit after the meeting you learn that his second in command apparently cut his own head off in front of his men after meeting with the Iron Vice, and it has them spooked. You do learn that the former Iron Vice leader is apparently missing, though.

Towards the end of the second day, you also notice that you have picked up a tail, though no overt action has come of it, likely due to Wrecker’s proximity.

Greenbandit June 27, 2016

Before I make my next play, I have a couple of a few questions:

1) In all this running around, have I had a chance to walk past my father’s butcher shop, see what’s going on there, whether it’s still being run by the family, whether it’s occupied at all, and determine whether it’s being watched?

2) Are there any abandoned buildings near the borders of CP/ IV territory that would serve as a good base of operations for a night or two of “Butcher of Rorschik” style interrogations?
3) Have I been able, in observing Volodya, to make enough notes to give Sergei and myself some idea as to the extent of any underground passage network that the IV might be using? I’m assuming that this is something that I hadn’t been familiar with from my previous life in the city.

4) Does Kolovich have a wife and kids? Does he live alone or with family? How close to IV territory does he live?

5) Do I have any more information on Andrei’s son? How old? Have they seen proof of life? How long ago was he taken? I’m leery of approaching him or his family at this point, because my guess is that if you’re kidnapping someone’s son and using him as leverage, you’re watching them very, very closely to make sure they’re not reporting the kidnapping to the people you’re forcing them to betray. Does Andrei’s wife have a brother, sister, or parent who lives nearby?

6) Have I picked up any word from anyone on Sevreign’s body being found anywhere? If I needed to disappear a body in Rorschik, where would I do it?

7) You mentioned a few times that I got the idea Zenya was withholding information from me. Did I get the impression it was something major like “I am setting you up for a trap” or “my son has been taken as well,” or did I get the feeling it was more along the lines of “I want to see if Sanya and these Winter Wolves can figure this out on their own?”

patwoode June 27, 2016

Wow, ok the Sunken Weeds are out. I see. I can’t believe a dude cut his own head off, that must have been a mess to see.

I am going to start project “Red Herring”. I am going to use a) my imagination, and b) my mechanical engineering aptitude to start building something totally sci-fi
I am going to start working on plans that look like an exoskeleton with a modified mini cortex, called an “Augment-X Cortex”. that attaches at the top of a long metal spine. The spine has pins that run the length of it and look like they attach to the spine of a humanoid.

I am going to be visiting the morgue to a) check on the dead body situation to see if anyone we suspect to be dead has shown up, but also to give my tail the detail that i’m looking into cadavers for experimentation, although I’m not going to make any purchases as of yet. The rest of the blueprints will look somewhat like a heavily modified/simplified man-o-war armor exoskeleton that could be hidden under a cloak or set of baggy clothes. I am going to make some implications that I’m working on technology that if done correctly could turn any person that underwent this technology effectively into a “jack” that could be marshaled as such. And that the implications for replacing city officials and higher ups in foreign governments would be worth millions. All thanks to some of the findings I discovered while in the Merywyn wizard’s keep the night it fell. And thanks in part to the prototype Augment-X Cortex I found blueprints for combined with some of my father’s key research he left for me.

To be very specific I’m going to spend a quantum to make this whole thing appear completely believable. To the extent that if this is actually possible I’m going to see if I can do it. I am even going to go as far as to curtain off part of the workshop space that I’ll be using with big dark drapes and getting a big lockbox that I put all my stuff in every time I leave the workspace area. If signs of tampering with my things appear I’ll tear down my operation here and take it into the freezer room of Sanya’s aunt. There I will cut and grind and keep working on the ice-house and ice-rail, but keep tinkering on and buying parts to make prototype exoskeleton pieces with. All my notes will be in English however, so even if they somehow see my plans they can’t make sense of them. I also intend to write in drafted notation so that it’s completely impossible to understand unless you’re in my brain.

Otherwise the next available day, I’ll be at the Black Tooth Inn, and the time Sanya described with paper and ink. I am going to write out a note to him IN ENGLISH" detailing the exoskeleton red herring plan. I am also going to tell him I think we need to switch to dead drops and I’ll give him one of the decoder tubes I made for our time in Cygnar but never used. I realize it’s overkill, but who knows if it will come in handy or not. Additionally I’ll speak only in English while I’m there and tell him that I have a tail and I would like for him to find out if it’s someone from the Iron Vice or not.

Out-loud in Khadoran I’ll throw in an outburst that “The damn buyers better stop getting cold feet here, they saw the documentation from the trials in Cygnar. They better move their damn feet before I decide to take my business elsewhere.” After that I’ll sit back sulking and wait to see what Sanya has to say.


trubrujah June 27, 2016


1: Your father’s shop is up and running, it looks like your aunt Danika has one of her daughters and her husband running that store and taking good care of it. While not said, you know the implication is that if you want to come back to it, it will be there for you. It does not appear to be watched.

2: You can easily scout out an abandoned warehouse to use for whatever plots you want along the border of Vice territory.

3: You have known that there are numerous underground tunnels in the city, but most of the bratyas look at them as escape tunnels and emergency exits as they tend to have creatures living in the underground. From what little you know of the Iron Vice before, they never seemed to use them for casual travel. Volodya seems to be either very paranoid to be traveling them or they are working hard to keep them clear of critters.

4: Kolovich does not have any family that you can tell. He does not live in Cat’s paw or Iron Vice territory, living closer to the rail yard.

5: Based on the talk you overhear from the family, they are allowed to visit him once a week currently. The boy sounds like he is around 10 or so. The Iron Vice are playing it up like they are his big brothers, watching over him while his parents work. You do not know what kind of state of mind the child is in. As for other family, you haven’t seen any in the half day you did observations.

6: Sorry, I forgot about that part. You managed to get the local body gossip from a number of street urchins. No body with Serveign’s likeness has turned up in any of the usual spots.
7: More like the last one. You did not get the impression she thought herself or family were in any direct danger, and she definitely isn’t setting you up for a trap. She is definitely testing you and the Winter Wolves.

trubrujah June 27, 2016


What you are suggesting in “Project Red Herring” is not dissimilar to stories you have heard of Cryx (the undead nation) arcanotech. Actually pursuing that technology is entirely possible, but it would mean going down some very dark magical and moral paths.

Regardless, if you are wanting to get the attention of the Prikaz, even pretending to work on it is certainly a very effective way of doing so. You definitely find signs of tampering on the lockbox the next day and your tail has picked up another friend, one whom you have sensed magic coming from at least once.

Greenbandit June 27, 2016

I arrive at the Black Tooth Inn, as usual, in disguise, though Sergei is likely used to that by now. I slide into his booth, and listen as he rants. I’m comfortable there. It’s a hotel and bar I frequented in my fight-watching days. It’s named for the owner’s front teeth, which are missing. I listen to Sergei’s rants, and, after a time, nod, smiling.

“It’s amazing,” I say, in Kahdoran, then, switching to English, “and hilarious. It’ll likely bring the Secret Police down on us [I figure I can’t really say “Prikaz” in English without it still sounding like “Prikaz”], and we’ll have to destroy even the most basic plans before we jump again” then back to Kahdoran, “but it’s Perfect.”

In English, again, I say “Dead drops are easily doable. We can place coded, English messages in pipes. Cap both ends. I can leave one in a designated place. Wrecker can come pick it up. If there’s a response, he can leave another one, in another place. Each message can refer to where the next drop should be. If we use these decoder devices, and use English, it should be uncrackable. Even still, I recommend we use code names for any proper nouns. As long as we don’t have to meet in person, and Wrecker’s route appears meandering and without purpose each day, our messages shouldn’t even be intercepted. As for your tail, it is easily handled. I will report back to you, by dead drop, tomorrow evening.”

On a napkin, in English, I scribble the location of the first drop: between two trash cans in the alley behind the place where Sergei met with the Sunken Weeds.

“Oh, and if you can manage to stay in one location for the bulk of the afternoon — I have something that needs taking care of, and it will be nice to know that I won’t be missing anything if I have to stop tailing your tail for a few hours.”

If there’s nothing further from Sergei, Sanya’s schedule for the rest of the evening is like this:
1) get back to tailing Kolovich. Get a sense for his nighttime activities, when he usually goes home, where home is, what time I can expect him out until. Don’t approach directly. Once that’s finished;

2) go to the warehouse district and find a suitable lair. It needs to be abandoned, and well boarded up, but not so well that I can’t open and re-seal a door without being noticed. Ideally, it would be a place that has a sub-basement with a dirt floor, a wooden floor build directly over dirt. Procure a shovel, and — if needed — a crow bar. Dig three holes, six feet deep, six feet long, and three feet wide.

3) Once the sun is up, tail Sergei. My primary objective is to spot his tail(s) without being noticed by them, but, if possible, using all means at my disposal I’ll try to follow without Sergei knowing I’m there. It would be difficult, since he’ll likely actually be looking for me, but I’d love to be able to report back to Sergei without him even knowing that I was on the job.
4) At this point, assuming I’ve identified Sergei’s tail, and determined he’s not going to be assassinated any time soon, I’ll likely have been up for nearly 20 hours straight. I write up my report on the tails, encode it, seal it with wax, which I depress a Winter Wolves coin onto, place it in the pipe, place the pipe in the dead drop, then go take a three hour nap before picking up Sergei’s tail’s tails again.

I’m actively trying to get on a more nocturnal schedule at this point. The Full Sanya Vigilante schedule.

patwoode June 28, 2016

Well, I would tell Sanya that I have earned a second tail, and that it’s likely a Prikaz agent. Which frankly has Sergei a little spooked. I guess Tom should have consulted his understanding of Cryxx a little further before moving forward, but what’s done is done.

I would explain in English that phase 2 of the plan can now commence. And starting tomorrow I’m going to move my operations to the ice-house, which should now be sitting empty. I’ll purchase the necessary tools I need to continue working on my project, but the plans are going to start to differ fundsmentslly and begin to take on a different look all together. After all i used a quantum, so one would assume ithat would be ultimately flexible to suit my specific needs. Ditching the pseudo-cortex for a stream vented helmet, I’ll begin to shape my masterpiece into it’s true form, that of a set of ironhead armor for myself. The reinforced vertebrae will tie directly into the main hydrolic pistons to allow the suit full articulation without losing any of its protective nature.

I will not leave anything in the lockbox but a note in Khadoran stating. “I am not the real threat here, I serve my country loyally. It’s a shame that criminals like Tovaresh have so much sway even within the Prikaz”. But while we’re in the bar I’ll show Sanya the note and ask him where he wants to listen in on my meeting with the Prikaz. Because the last line says "let’s meet face to face to discuss things like gentlemen. I don’t mean to waste any more of your time skulking around in the shadows. If need be you may invite your friend, I’m certain he may have some questions for me as well, and I’ve gone to the effort if getting your attention for just that purpose. Please meet…and the rest of the page is blank.
So continuing on I’ll head back to my hotel room as usual, wondering what in the fuck I’ve gotten myself into. I’m going to sleep with one eye open tonight.


trubrujah June 28, 2016


Kolovich seems to have let his new success with the Iron Vice go to his head, as he is out drinking and gambling the night away. Tailing him, you overhear the bar wench mention that he has been coming to the same place every night for the past few weeks.

You find a suitable abandoned warehouse that does have a dirt basement, now with some 6×6×3 ft holes in the floor.

One of Sergei’s tails is really good at not being seen, and the other, much less so. Based on looks and demeanor, the not so good at stealth one is an Iron Vice member, also you saw him meeting with Volodya earlier in the week. The second tail seems to have a lot more training at blending into the crowd and remaining stealthy, you are guessing a Prikaz agent. You might not have even known he was there if he didn’t meet with the Iron Vice member once while you were tracking him. Neither of them seems to have noticed you, being too intent on Sergei and Wrecker.

You then catch some shut eye after dropping your message.


You move everything to the icehouse and leave your note in the lockbox before retiring to bed. You awaken the next morning to find a crude map and a time written at the bottom of your note. Looks like it is a warehouse closer in to the center of the city, with a time of 9pm tonight as a meet time.

patwoode June 29, 2016
To clarify…

We must have a mis-understanding here. To clarify I was leaving the bottom of the page blank to find out where Sanya thought would be a good place for us to talk. I certainly am not going to let them set the meet point. So I was waiting for Sanya to fill in the blank. The fully formed letter with a location and time of our choosing(and Sanya if you say somewhere in the center of town at 9pm tonight I may have to hurt you, LOL) is what I will leave for them.


Greenbandit June 29, 2016

Yeah, I misunderstood as well. Is there an upscale restaurant, perhaps one of Aunt Danika’s better legitimate customers, where I could get Sergei a table for three for 7pm? Preferably a place where a couple of Danika’s sons are working as busboys, where I can get a table nearby, positioned so that my left side is towards Sergei’s table, with one of his dinner guests within my arm’s reach?

Greenbandit June 29, 2016

BTW, would my shadow generator have me covered if I were moving something long and heavy over my shoulder? Say, a body?

trubrujah June 30, 2016

You can certainly arrange a table at a family restaurant where all those things are available. And yes, the shadow generator can cover a body if you are carrying it.

FYI: I am gone the next few days to the middle of no where, so think about what questions you want to ask the people you intend to interrogate and work on your D&D chars. This will resume on Monday when I get back.

trubrujah July 05, 2016

I am back.

I am assuming that the letter left in the icehouse had the time and place you both agreed to meet written on it. What I typed above is still true, however. The time and place on your note are crossed out, and you find the same map and time listed. It seems that they do not trust to meet you where you want. Though Sanya is confident that he could stealthily check out the place noted above before you go there, if you decide to meet.

patwoode July 06, 2016

OK fine, I then write a note in English and leave it in between the two trash cans in the alley behind the place where I met with the Sunken Weeds, per my previous conversation with Sanya.

The note will detail in English the plan to meet including the date, time, and place. I am going to remind Sanya that the Bork, Vacili, and one other should show up in the next day or so (since we’re on the morning of day 4 at it takes x2.5 days). I will tell him to be ready for anything.

Other than that I’ll spend the rest of the day working on building the ice-house and waiting for a response from Sanya.


Greenbandit July 06, 2016

I’m a little mixed up on where I left Sanya off, timing-wise. I think I need to account for my actions the evening before Sergei gets the message (and relays it to me) about the downtown meet. If that’s the case, I want to spend that evening as follows:

I want to add a few touches to my lair: ropes, chains, and three chairs. Locks on the exterior doors to the warehouse, and any interior doors as well. Several long planks of wood. A few buckets. A few gallons of flammable liquid.

I want to go by Kolovich’s place at a time when he’s likely to be out on business or pleasure, and, if it’s unoccupied, I want to look through his whole place. I’ll keep my eye open in general, but specifically I’m looking for the following:

1) Anything that proves he’s working with the Iron Vice — I know I already know he is, but if I have to convince someone else later, I want evidence;

2) Anything that would indicate something useful with regards to the various kidnappings and disappearances I’m aware of: the women, the underboss whose body still hasn’t surfaced, Andrei’s son;

3) Anything at all that would provide me with information on Volodya, the new Iron Vice smuggling operations, the tunnels Volodya has been using, or our boogeyman.
If, indeed, this is still the night before the meet with Sergei and his tails, I want to lay in wait for Kolovich. I want to be hiding in the darkness of his home when he gets in (no need to use the shadow generator, I think, but I want to make sure it is with me, and fully charged).

If I’m wrong about the timing, and I just need to pick up as soon as I get Sergei’s note about the meet, then instead I want to first scout the location immediately, noting strategic advantages and disadvantages. Then I want to do as much of the prep work above (setting up my warehouse, investigating Kolovich’s home) as I have time for before the meet. I’ll leave Kolovich for the time being. I want to get some shut eye mid-day, though, so that I remain rested and on my game. Then, a few hours before the meet, I want to go pick up Sergei’s non-Prikaz tail, and keep tabs on him. I’m assuming he’s coming to the meet, but if not, let me know.

Greenbandit July 06, 2016

Either way, I hope to be in a position near the meet where I can observe but not be observed at least half an hour beforehand. I am assuming it is dark out at 9pm here.

Greenbandit July 06, 2016

Sorry for the triple post. I also want to have several bolts of a light, breathable fabric (something flammable) as well as an assortment of tools from Dad’s butcher shop available. Cleavers, knives, apron, gloves, etc.

patwoode July 07, 2016

OK guys I wanted to ask a few questions and give you guys some statistics of this play by post.


1. We have been posting in this thread since May 22, which means as of this moment it’s been active for 47 days, and 58 individual posts, not including this one (Dave (20), Will (21), Pat (17- but mine were usually pretty long)

2. According to Dave and the internet play by posts are typically very slow moving. Obviously ours is a prime example of that seeing that we’ve now played through what amounts to 4 days time in 47 days.


1. Do we all want to commit to an hour in over the course of the next 2 saturdays where we sit down and see how much we can get through to get this story to where it needs to be before our next session at the end of the month? It would be easy to do a 4-way voice gchat call.

2. This one is primarily for Dave. What kind of exp are we earning for this play by post? I realize temporally there is not a lot of time passing, but I’m curious what our efforts are worth in raw xp. I don’t think the standard 1xp for posting between sessions makes sense considering how much effort and time have gone into it.

Well that’s it for me, I just wanted to interject those questions and thoughts and see where you guys were at with the play by post so far.


trubrujah July 07, 2016

Sanya: All of what you asked for your warehouse is doable. The same night that Sergei leaves the note for them to find would be the night you could abduct Volodya, if you want to. The guys is a shady merchant and smuggler, and he is unaware that anyone has any idea of what he is doing behind the Cat’s Paw’s back. You search his house before hand, but do not find any direct evidence that he is tied to the Iron Vice there, nor is there any indication that he is tied into the kidnappings and murder. He comes home drunk, like he always does late at night, and you can snatch him with minimal difficulty.

Sergei: The above is going on while you are asleep, unless Sanya wants to bring you in on it.
Out of Character: You guys will be getting standard XP for a full session from this. I do not have a problem trying to meet on gchat, though I know that this Sat is not possible due to my schedule. If we do not get to the full resolution of this mini-arc, it will be completed along with the rest of the story when we game next, so do not feel like you must plow through this as fast as you can.

Greenbandit July 07, 2016

Here’s how I want to approach Kolovich’s interrogation. I want to be waiting in the shadows until he’s come in and closed the door behind him. I want to make sure that I have concealment (with my Prowl ability) and some way to back out of the room towards an exit (even if it requires climbing out a window, but I want to make sure it’s a window I can easily leave through. I can unlatch it ahead of time, and make sure that it doesn’t squeak, and that there’s a route out and away from the home in that direction). I’m picturing his home as a townhouse or apartment or something. Not very large, since he’s a bachelor who lives alone. If I’m wrong on that, let me know. I’ll wait in the shadows with my neutralizer drawn.

{Also, I should add, I’m going to need a source of ignition. If he’s got a lighter or something, I’m going to steal it. Otherwise, I’m hoping I have matches or something back at the Lair.}
Once I’m sure that he’s come in alone, and has closed the door behind him, I’ll come up behind him, whisper, “Good evening, Kolovich,” and hit him from behind with the Neutralizer. I’ll manacle his hands and feet, and using the shadow generator, I’ll take him back to my warehouse, being sure to remain as hidden as possible the whole time. When he comes to, he should be chained to a chair, his manacles linked into the chains, (again, hands and feet). He’ll be stripped down to his undershirt and underpants, and I’ll have gone through his clothing for anything useful or interesting. His chair would be situated on the very edge of one of the three long holes I’ve dug. His back is to the, well, grave, but he should have enough freedom of movement to turn his head and see the other ones. If he shifts too much in his chair, I want him close enough to the edge that he can feel the chair start to unbalance, to let him know the hole is there, but hopefully not enough to actually fall in unless I want him to.

I don’t want my face disguised. If he recognizes me, so much the better, because I want to start by intimidating him into answering questions. I don’t want to move to full-on interrogation unless I have to. I think that my reputation should help with that.

I want to let him know that I’m aware he’s working with both the Iron Vice and the Cat’s Paw Bratyas, without alluding to how I know. No mention of Severeign’s ledger or even his name at this point at all. I want to assure him that I have not yet informed Zenya of this fact, in a way that makes clear she won’t be happy to learn it, and that unless he cooperates with me, I absolutely plan on doing so. If he happens to think that he can buy me off by cutting me in on the deal, I’m happy to let him think that.

I want to find out from him how long he’s been working with them. My first tactic of how I would try to find this information would be to tell him I believe that he’s been betraying Zenya since day one, and let him object to that. I suspect he’ll correct me in an attempt to save his own skin.

Once I know how long he’s been working with Volodya, I want as much information as possible about Volodya’s operation, what he’s been doing, exactly. Every once in a while I want to press him for information I already have, just to make sure he’s answering honestly.

Once I think he’s given me everything he has on Volodya, I want to let him know I am holding him personally responsible for what Volodya has done to the Cat’s Paw’s operation. I’m holding him responsible for Andrei’s son being held against his will. I’m holding him responsible for the deaths of those women, and of Severeign. Again, I’m hoping that if he has information on any of that (for instance, that the women or Severeign are still alive, or where I could find the bodies), he is willing to volunteer that information to save his own skin. I’m happy to give him the impression that if he works with me, I’ll consider his debt paid, but I want to make sure he is certain that I do consider this to be a very, very large debt. Again, if he wants to try to bribe me, that’s great. If he doesn’t seem to be leaning that direction, I want him to believe I am planning on running a con on Volodya, using Kolovich as a triple agent of sorts. Play into his feeling of self-importance. I’d like to cajole him into writing a note to Volodya, arranging a meet two nights from now at midnight, near – but not at – my warehouse. If he wants to write it in code, that’s great, so long as he’s willing to explain to me what the code is.

So long as he keeps giving me information, and so long as I believe he is being truthful, I’ll try to stick to psychological tactics rather than physical ones.

I want to find out how far his information goes. I’ll ask him about Tovarich, but only if he says something that gives me some reason to believe he’s aware that there’s someone more powerful pulling Volodya and the Iron Vice’s strings.

If at any point I suspect he is lying to me, or he is resisting questioning, or if he starts to protest that he has no useful information, I want to use my left hand to pull out the medallion that Vacili gave me (assuming he didn’t immediately steal it back). I want to tell Kolovich that I am not impressed by his new friends, because in the time that I’ve been gone, I’ve also acquired some new friends. I’ll run the medallion across his cheek and let the creepy-skin-crawly-ness have its full effect on him.

If, after trying all my tricks of persuasion, negotiation, and intimidation, he’s still lying to me or holding out on me, I’d continue the interrogation in a more… physical sense. But really, Joe is hoping Sanya doesn’t have to go there.

Let me know how that plays out. I have more ideas, but this is already a lot.

Out of Character:

I should be able to get an hour or so to myself on the Saturday after this one. I’ll be in Phoenix, but Sharlot will be working and my parents should be available to watch Eva.

patwoode July 08, 2016


Sounds good regarding Xp. It’s kind of funny because this is the first session that doesn’t need an adventure log, because it’s already so well described. Lol

As for getting together, two weekends from now on Sat is fine with me, but if Dave isn’t concerned with our progress, perhaps it doesn’t matter anyway. I was only offering to help bridge the 3 month gap between sessions. There is zero attempt to rush things, it was only offered supplimentally.

As for the interrogation of Kolovich, I am going to stay away from it simply because I’m being followed everywhere. I’m hoping to get a status report at some point, but I don’t want to blow the surprise.

P.s. I feel bad for anyone who ends up disappeared by Sanya. That poor bastard doesn’t know what he’s in for. As for Joe’s seemingly weak stomach when it comes to violence, it’s funny considering the lengths Sanya has already gone to get answers. I hope it doesn’t stem his flow too much, because reputations are just as easily lost as won.

As for Sergei I’ll be sleeping through the night like a baby unless something comes up.


trubrujah July 08, 2016

As Sergei sleeps, Sanya questions his captive. No physical interrogation techniques are needed, but you have to use a lot of your techniques to get him to talk. First he tries to act tough, claiming his new friends will come get him out. When they don’t immediately appear to save him, he starts getting real nervous. The amulet is what puts him over the edge, as when he feels it on his skin, he gets a really frightened look on his face (for different reasons than you initially think, as he details a bit later).

He ultimately tells you that Volodya approached him, and offered him a lot of money if he would work with the Iron Vice as well as the Cat’s Paw, and since he had a few gambling debts, he didn’t see any harm. He doesn’t seem to know how Volodya got his name as a Cat’s Paw smuggler, as he didn’t care to ask so long as the coin was flowing.

About 2 months ago is when he started working with the Iron Vice, and at first he thinks he was just smuggling test items. Then about a month ago is when the real smuggled items arrived. They looked like jade rings, but with moaning faces all over them, and when he touched one it felt like that amulet you just rubbed on his face. He doesn’t know what they are for, only that they felt evil and unnatural, and he spotted one on Volodya’s finger after that (he doesn’t know if Volodya had one on his hand prior or not, but he thinks so).
He doesn’t seem to know anything about Tovarisch, Serveign, Andrei’s son, or the working girls. But he does tell you that Volodya has some sort of hidden area under one of his warehouses that looks like it could hold people. He isn’t sure exactly where, as they blindfolded him when he was taken there.

At the end, he actually seems a bit relieved to have gotten this off his chest, as he makes a point he thought the rings were evil but he’s been terrified both of Zenya finding out, but also of what Volodya was doing with the rings. Volodya made it seem like he had powerful friends who could do worse things than kill you if he crossed him. Of course, by the time he realized this was a bad deal, he was already in too deep.

Greenbandit July 09, 2016

Out of Character: Sheeeeeeeeeeeee-it.
A couple of questions:

1) Did he cooperate when I asked him to write a note to Volodya?

2) Does he have any visible tattoos?

3) Can/ would he sketch one of the rings for me? (Yes, I realize his hands are manacled to the chair, but my clients in court are asked to fill out forms and sign things while handcuffed all the time. It can be done)

4) Can/ would he give me a schedule of when the shipments have been coming in, and where? Or at least, a schedule of when his involvement has been needed, and where?

5) Anything at all that he remembers hearing while he was blindfolded and taken to the warehouse?

At this point, I absolutely am willing to promise that in exchange for his cooperation that I can protect him from Volodya’s friends. I’ll do my best not to make that sound like a threat.

trubrujah July 12, 2016

1. He did cooperate to write whatever note you want him to.

2. He does not have any tattoos.

3. He describes and sketches a picture of the ring.

4. He tells you that there isn’t any schedule, Volodya simply comes to him at random times, telling him to smuggle something out of the city. Payment is given up front, and usually he ships something within a day of receiving money.

5. He just remembers the smell of carrion, and he swears he heard some big creature moving in what sounded like a cage, that really freaked him out.

He is grateful to you for not simply executing him when he knows you have every right to, and swears he will help however he can.

Greenbandit July 13, 2016
Well, I think to myself, this is going to be awkward.

Just to wrap everything up, I want to be sure to ask him a few questions about where his pickup and drop off points have been. Even if Volodya changes them each time, hopefully I can start to discern a pattern.

Then I thank him, and assure him that I won’t let Volodya or his friends lay a finger on him. I promise him that Zenya will be merciful. I pull his chair forward from the grave, so that there’s room behind it for me to get in there and undo his bonds. Then, as I tell him once more that I forgive him, I hit him from behind with the neutralizer again. (Shit, I’m going to need new batteries soon, aren’t I?)

Before I proceed from here, I have a few questions:

4. What time is it by now? How long did the interrogation take and how close are we to sunrise?

5. How good is the ventilation in my lair? Would it be possible to light something substantial on fire and let it burn without smoking myself out or drawing attention to the warehouse with the plume of smoke? What about up on the ground floor? Alternatively, is there a working (or easily repairable) furnace in the building?

6. How much detail do you guys want me to go into about what I do next? This guy snaps like a twig under interrogation, and there’s absolutely NO way I’m letting him report back on me to Volodya. I’ve got a pretty detailed plan for how I am going to take care of him, but I don’t know how much of that detail you actually want to hear.

7. EDITED TO ADD: Oh, and does the world of Iron Kingdoms include large empty metal oil drums, like you see people lighting fires in and huddling around for warmth in stereotypical depictions of the apocalypse and/ or the ghetto? Or is that not in keeping with the level of technology we’re dealing with? If they do exist, or if something similar (and not flammable) exists, are there any laying around my warehouse?

8. ALSO EDITED TO ADD: I should have asked this a long time ago, but are there rafters or anything I can secure a rope or chain to on the ceiling of the room I’m doing the interrogation in?


Greenbandit July 13, 2016

In the interest of saving time, here is my plan, assuming all the materials and conditions are as I’ve imagined them:

I undo Kolovich’s bonds, and lay him out on one of the long boards I have stored down here. I change into my butcher’s gear (coat, apron, gloves, little booties that cover my shoes) if I haven’t already. I tie him securely to that, and then secure an additional chain around his feet. I then hoist him up so that he’s hanging by his feet, head downward, over the center grave. I rotate his hanging, unconscious figure so that he’s facing away from me, and I stick a knife right in his jugular vein. I’m aiming for the jugular, because in Sanya’s experience if you pierce an artery the blood spurts in an unpredictable way, gets all over the place. With a vein, the blood should just flow nicely. And since Kolovich is still, at this point, alive, his heart will do the work of pumping all of his blood out, and down, into the grave below. Having a drained corpse will make what comes next easier and less messy.

While he’s draining, I go upstairs and locate eight empty steel barrels. I scrounge around for coal, trash, sawdust, anything I can find that is flammable, and I start some fires going in these barrels, spacing them far apart. I open up some of the windows of the warehouse to let the smoke out. I know that I was lucky there were no squatters in here, and that many abandoned warehouses often serve as shelters for the homeless. So the occasional cooking fire isn’t out of the ordinary, and a little smoke coming from inside a warehouse shouldn’t draw too much attention from the other people in the area.

Generally it only takes a few minutes for a human body to bleed out, if you’ve opened a big enough vein. Once I’m satisfied that there’s no more blood coming out of Kolovich, I lower what is now a corpse down, not letting him all the way down into the grave, but just far enough for me to grab him and pull him over to one side. I lay the (now drier, and somewhat less heavy) body down, still tied to the board. I cut off his underclothes, which are likely to be quite soiled, either from the interrogation or from his recent demise. Being very thankful for my gloves, I remove the clothes and wrap them in some of the fabric that I brought down here, securing the parcel with butcher’s twine. I set it aside.

Next, I begin the work of butchering the corpse. I remove the hands at the wrists and the feet at the ankles. I wrap each separately in cloth and secure each package with butcher’s twine. I fill one of the buckets I brought down with some of the fuel (kerosene or gasoline or whatever it is), and place the packages with the hands, feet, and clothes into the bucket to soak. I then remove the legs and arms, and further separate them at the elbows and knees, repeating the wrapping procedure with each one. I simply pour some fuel over them and let them sit, since they likely won’t fit in the buckets.

I open each of his eyes and put a small drop of Bork’s acid into each one. Not enough to seriously deplete my supply, but enough to mess up the eyeballs so that, if by some off chance someone does discover Kolovich’s head, they won’t be able to determine what color eyes this man had. He smiles, and considers sticking a Winter Wolves coin in Volodya’s mouth, but decides against it. The time has not yet come to send a message.

I remove the head from the neck, wrap it in cloth, secure it with twine, and put the head in its own bucket, and marinate it with the fuel.

I frown down at the torso, the messiest, largest, and heaviest chunk of Kolovich. Forcing Joe as far back into my mind as possible, and letting Sanya’s butcher’s detachment take over, I start breaking down the torso. The guts, stomach, liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and other organs each get wrapped up, tied up, and soaked in fuel like the hands, feet, and head. The rest of him gets separated into what is, essentially, two very long sides of ribs, each of which gets wrapped up and doused well with fuel, like the limbs.

Bucket by bucket I take things upstairs, and distribute each fuel soaked package into different steel barrels, which should all have raging hot fires going in them by now. The fuel will help that. As they burn, the cloth should go up first, and start fusing to the skin, so that anyone who interrupts this process would have a hard time being sure what kind of animal they’re looking at, let alone who this was.

Next I go back downstairs and bring the limb packages up, a couple at a time. Then the halves of the torso. I step outside quickly to make sure the smoke doesn’t seem too noticeable, and assuming it doesn’t, I go back inside and start cleaning some things up. I shovel some dirt into the center grave and mix it up, so that the blood is covered up and well incorporated into the dirt. I wipe down anywhere I can find where there are obvious spatters of blood or offal. I wrap up Kolovich’s clothes in one parcel, and my butcher’s clothes in another. I check my shoes to make sure I’m not tracking blood around, and give myself the once over to make sure I’m not too obviously bloody. I lock everything up and I start off down what I’m hoping is an early morning, rather deserted road, looking back again to make sure there’s not an undue amount of smoke pouring out of my warehouse. It should take an hour or more for the flames to completely consume the corpse, and as long as I’ve been careful, the fires should be pretty contained. There shouldn’t be an issue with setting the warehouse on fire.

Having already gone through all of Kolovich’s clothes for anything useful or interesting, I deposit bits and pieces in alleys and garbage cans as I wind a very serpentine and indirect way back to the room I’ve been staying in. A shoe here, pants there. A coat. I take care that I’m not followed. I drop my butcher’s clothes in the laundry at my father’s butcher shop. Blood and whatnot won’t raise any alarms. I grab a fresh apron, fresh gloves, booties, etc, so that I can use them again later if I need to.

My intention is to go home and get some rest, but first I check the drop point and get Sergei’s note.


Instead, I go home, and take a bath, making sure I don’t smell like blood, smoke, death, piss, or shit. I change my clothes and clean my boots as thoroughly as possible. I put on my disguise, and go scout the location of the meet. I note everything I can, including tactical disadvantages, and the best place to observe the meet without being observed, as well as the second best place to observe the meet without being observed, especially if that second place is not visible from the first place.

I write up a report in English, using coded names for extra security, and, following our pre-established protocol regarding new drop locations, I leave the report for Sergei in the proper drop place. I inform him that, unless he has other orders, my intention is to get a few hours rest, then pick up his non Prikaz tail, and follow him around until an hour before the meet. By then I should be able to determine whether he’s going to be attending the meet or not.

I head by the warehouse to check and see if the fires have done their job correctly. Everything should pretty much be ash by now unless someone has interfered. If it’s ash, there’s no problem. I head home.

I check to make sure I have a decent supply of batteries for my neutralizer and my shadow generator, I set an alarm clock, and I get some shut eye so that I won’t be useless later in the day.

If any of this wouldn’t work, or if I would have noticed a problem during any of this, please let me know. This was my plan based on what I was envisioning, but if the world isn’t the way I’ve assumed, let me know

trubrujah July 13, 2016

Everything you’ve listed above is fine and happens as you describe it with Kolovich. The body appears to be disposed of, though you know that there are likely bone fragments and teeth mixed in with all the ashes. So long as no one digs around in it, no suspicious is likely to be raised. And you chose a warehouse near a tannery, so bad smells aren’t uncommon.

As for the meeting place, you go check out in the early morning. It is right on the border of Iron Vice territory, however the warehouse next to it was a meeting place that Kolovich told you about. The meeting place warehouse appears to be occupied with boxes and stuff being moved around (it is not abandoned) but there are no workers when you arrive.

Discreetly checking on the warehouse next door reveals what appears to be an Iron Vice warehouse, as they have a number of toughs guarding it. You are not able to get inside, as the only door that does not appear to be locked from the inside goes into a room where a bunch of the Vice enforcers are hanging out. There are a few vantage points in nearby warehouses that would afford you a view of both warehouses without being seen.

Greenbandit July 14, 2016

Cool. My report to the Kommander would of course include the information that we will be meeting on the border of IV territory, with some heavy IV activity nearby. If it’s possible to get a look inside one of those boxes without being noticed, I’ll do that, too. I’ll get the rest I mentioned then pick up the Iron Vice tail that Sergei’d had



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