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Guttershine Beer Run, Part 2

This entry is part 11 of 15 in the series Adventures in Bastion

When we last left off… our protagonists were in a standodff in front of the Witherhall Warehouse, the required beer in sight and the dray cart still outside, but a gun drawn on them and the front gateman of the Warehouse none too pleased at their presence.   

I found a map to use for the Warehouse, under the assumption that the action might lead us inside there. (Or, rather… one way or another, it I know it eventually would.) The map I ended up using was The Warehouse, from Cosmic Dungeons:That’s a lower-res, smaller version of the map, but I strongly recommend you click on the image to check out the original, which is available for download from the creator’s website.  

As it turned out, we didn’t even get inside the warehouse, though the prep time was worthwhile—and not just because now I know how to set up dynamic lighting on a battlemap. Here’s what happened: 

The characters stood facing the armed cart driver, watching the warehouse guardsman draw his pistol as well. They insisted that they had documentation to prove that they were with the Guttershine New College Festivities Committee… but of course, when asked to produce it, they could not, because they didn’t have any, because it was all a tissue of lies. 

He claimed that there were snipers up on the roof watching right at that moment, and suggested it might be a good idea not to get into a fight. The characters were about to reply when Emmeline detected a hand in one of her pockets. She whirled to discover a boy from that gang of street ruffians they encountered earlier, while his friends looked on from a short distance. The pack were clear transplants from Oliver Twist, and after berating the would-be pickpocket, she offered to hire the boys if they’d help render the dray-cart immobile, pulling one of the wheels off it: 

Unfortunately, she made the mistake of offering the boys £1 each, which… I mean, a sandwich costs £5. The boys feigned amazement, rushed up to the cart, but then slapped the team of horses, driving them into the warehouse grounds with whinnies and shrieks as the boys turned to mock the adventurers. 

Meanwhile, in the background, Heihachi happened to notice a pack of demurely dressed students, looking a lot like Theorists from campus—armed with paint tins and brushes modifying some text on a poster:


The front guardsman shook his head, slammed the gate shut, and told them that campus was nearby, and they could go get the documentation needed quickly, if their claim was legitimate. Heihachi checked the poster and found his suspicions confirmed: Tintapan’s lecture had been postponed again, this time until the next morning at 10:00AM, presumably due to the damage inflicted by the group’s attack on the Grand Amphitheater.  

Realizing they had all night to get the beer barrels, the group walked around the warehouse to size the place up. Aside from the electrified fencing, it appeared there were several ways into the warehouse: a front door, a side entrance that opened onto the street, two large loading bay doors, and some windows at the rear of the building. They ended up deciding, however, that the best thing to do would be to bluff their way in with a fake stock delivery. 

Emmeline talked them into visiting a nearby pub she knew just off the Theater District, called The Leaky Bucket. If only they could get there (as she offhandedly claimed) she had some connections who could help them get set up with a disguise so they could bluff their way in.  As fortune had it, someone she knew indeed was there:

The unfortunate wretch’s name was Rampling Haddleshack, a drunkard, debt-inheritor, and execrable playwright and hanger-on who immediately recognized her (despite her having sprouted a rhino horn) and commenced immediately to try buy her esteem by purchasing drinks for everyone, and then blathering on about great plays and playwrights—himself included. Finally, Emmeline resigned herself to doing something despicable: using him for his seemingly endless financial resources. Flirting with him, she convinced him to join them as a Protagonist on their Grand Adventure, which he could do by simply purchasing five bottles of the pub’s most expensive liquors, as a bribe to the props department of a nearby theatre.  

He did so. Three of the bottles actually got handed over to the guardsman at the back door of the theater! (The other two went into Fermi’s pack.) The characters went in looking like themselves, but exist looking… well, the Mockeries were stacked upon one anothers’ shoulders, three in one long coat and two in another; Heihachi, Fermi, and Rampling were dressed as women of the Soapers’ Guild—a soapmaking union—and Emmeline was inside a barrel loaded onto the back of a dray cart, a secret weapon if the group ever had one. 

Emerging from the theater, someone in the group realized that perhaps the disguises were unnecessary: couldn’t they just have Rampling bribe the guardsman at the gate? They went over—in their outlandish diguises, with a dray cart in tow—and made the offer. It was accepted—but at the exorbitant amount of £1000, soon raised to £2000 when they hesitated. As soon as Rampling handed over a promissory note, the guardsman told them the side door to the warehouse would be left unlocked, and then signaled that they should come back two hours later, which would be after sundown. 

Fermi convinced Heihachi to stand guard watching the horses while he, the Mockeries, and Emmeline returned with Rampling to the pub for one more pint—just shy of enough drinking to leave the characters impaired. Then they returned to the warehouse along a street lit by infrequent electric lights, tried the side door, and found the guard had indeed been true to his word. 

On the way back to the warehouse, the group encountered a common sight in the poorer parts of Bastion: a religious procession performing magic tricks and recruiting the desperate into their ranks. This particular cult had a notable affinity for one of the elements:

Here the group found a way to get rid of Rampling without having to murder him themselves—a task which I’m sorry to say they began considering rather quickly, though then again it’s likely crossed the mind of everyone who knows Rampling. Emmeline had to work hard to convince Rampling he wasn’t being dumped, but rather, that he was being sent off to play his role in the primary plot—”The Infiltration of the Fire Cult”—as opposed to the paltry Secondary Plot involving a mere warehouse heist. However, she did manage to convince him. The wisdom of sending a wealthy, terrible writer with an obnoxious personality came up for discussion, with obvious parallels being directly mentioned, but the group was so eager to be rid of Rampling before trespassing into the warehouse that they went ahead and sent him into the arms of the cult anyway. 

(Yeah, there’s no way that will come and bite them in the arse, is there? Oh, and speaking of character actions that come back and bite the characters in the arse:)

They also ran across some tenement children who were playing with small automata. Small automata that looked suspiciously like the mini-scorpion mechanoids that Nujanai—or was it Fermi—unleashed upon the nearby campus from a misclaimed bag belonging to a student. The scorpioids are spreading, slowly… for now. 


Unfazed, the group entered the warehouse courtyard, made their way round the building once, and found the windows were apparently heavily reinforced glass: Heihachi made several attempts with a broken gun to smash in the window, but to no avail. The glass seemed somehow impossible to break. . They also glimpsed a blindingly bright light inside the factory, after which flickerings the lights throughout the warehouse dimmed and then switched off briefly before turning back on and then off again. Barrels, crates, and mysterious shadowy forms moving in the darkness were visible, but not much else. 

After finding the loading bay doors impossible to open from the outside, the group left their cart and houses in front of it before hurrying to the front door which—lo and behold—was also unlocked. They stepped into the foyer to find it brightly lit by an electrical bulb from above, and—compared to the noise of the fire cult a block away, and the general hustle and bustle of a poorer Bastion neighborhood—blessedly silent. 

For now, at least…

And that’s where the session ended. 

Though we didn’t get into the warehouse, I did create tokens for what’s in the warehouse. That first one is real: I’d never before seen a polar bear after its feeding, and… it’s terrifying. The rest are a mix of historical figures, some miniatures, a few cards, and yes, that is a portal to an arctic-analogue locale, which, yes, is the source of the blindingly bright light they saw earlier, though the explorers who use it have not yet passed through it.    


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