Recovery of the Masamune Nihonto
Taelor stared into the fire, the events of the past week still weighing heavily on her shoulders. From the nearby forest come the sounds of Johan taking his frustration out on the defenseless trees, there would be plenty of firewood tonight. At her side the Good Lady thrummed, she could not recall the hammer staying active for so long, its lust for revenge was clearly evident.
The week began with what seemed a routine misson, collect a mysterious artifact and collect a sizable reward. But the crew had been ambushed by the Guild. Sonnia Criid’s lust for Viktoria’s Masamune Nihonto had manifested itself into luring them into a trap. The crew fought valiantly, wave after wave of witchlings were despatched into the afterworld, the duel Masamune Nihonto’s were keeping the Guild at bay and Johan’s and her own Relic Hammer did massive damage, but Sonia’s ambush had been well planned and the crew were slowly being overwhelmed. In a desperate attempt to save the crew, Viktoria and her doppleganger sister flew into the Guild with a fury that Taelor could not believe.
Viktoria yelled at the crew, “Run – we will deal with this, save yourselves”.
As Taelor and Johan stared in disbelief the Viktoria’s waged a two women war on the Guild. Reluctantly she ran to save herself but as she ran she turned and saw her friends were being overwhelmed. She hesitated but heard Viktoria yell out.
“Taelor – this is not the end, find Vanessa, she will now where to find us”.
A blinding explosion engulfed the area as if a temporary breach had been created, the Viktoria’s disappeared and Sonia’s crew was scattered in all directions. In the chaos they escaped.
Now a week later after finding an enraged Vanessa, she sat and contemplated their next move. They would find the Viktoria’s, recover the legendary Masamune Nihonto and destroy the Guild.
Part 2 - Week 1 Game
Taelor crouched in the shadows, venturing into the quarantine zone was never high on her list of activities but Vanessa had been insistent, she needed to recover a hidden artifact that would aid them in their search for the Viktoria’s.
Rachel (Ronin) emerged from her left. “The kid’s instinct were correct, there is a guild party ahead” she said. Taelor pondered the news, ordinarily she would have let them be and gone around but it was the Guild and they had become her obsession following the ambush by Sonia Criid and the disappearance of the Viktoria’s.
Rachel continued “And what’s more it’s the Judge and that creepy Lionus dude that leading them”. In an instant Taelor’s mind was set, no going round, they would take them out.
“So who is out there and what are they doing?” Taelor asked.
“They seem to be watching 3 guys having a meeting – there is a Warden covering their back, and Exocist dude covering their right flank down by the saloon and some lackey’s on their left flank creeping into some ruins”.
“Here’s the plan” said Taelor, “Whe’re going to rush them, I know the Judge, he thinks he’s indestructible, apart from Lionus, his crew will be cowards, and we’ll surprise them and take them out.”
Vanessa starred in amazement “That’s your plan? Are you serious?”
Taelor turned and responded, “Deadly serious, if you are not up to it you can wait here”
With that she exploded from cover, Johan and Rachel by her side and sprinted towards the Judge, the Good Lady coming alive in her hands. Taelor had been right, the Warden seeing the dual Relic Hammers turned and ran for the hills, the rest of the crew scattered in all directions however the Judge and Lionus calmly turned to face them.
“Why what do we have here? My my, aren’t you a pretty little thing” the Judge said mockingly.
“Why what do we have here? My my, aren’t you a pretty little thing” the Judge said mockingly.
The crew continued their charge and in an instant they upon them, bullets were flying everywhere, hammers and swords landing blow after blow. Soon the Judge and Lionus were down, injured and out of the fight, Rachel was down and injured but she would survive, Vanessa was chasing the fleeing Warden. Johan turned and charged after another fleeing guild peasant.
At that moment, sirens sounded all around her, they would need to run and escape before reinforcements arrived. “Think yourself lucky, next time I will finish the job” she said to the Judge.
With that she turned and yelled out, “Let’s go before more of these Guild goons arrive”. Johan scooped up the injured Rachel, and together the crew disappeared into the depths of Malifaux’s quarantine zone.
Taelor sat with her back to the warehouse wall, the bullet from Kang’s gunsmith had deflected from her pneumatic arm and passed through her thigh, whilst painful the injury was not lfe threatening and she would recover. Johan and Vanessa had charged off and Kang’s crew had fled from them after injuring her. It had been nearly two weeks since her their alteration with the Judge and she had followed Vanessa through the Quarantine zone as she scoured the place in search of the mysterious artifact that would help them find the Viktoria’s. Their search finally led them to the warehouse district where Vanessa assured her that the artifact was hidden in an abandoned warehouse.
They had arrived and found Kang and his crew searching the warehouse and despite her trepidation she did as Vanessa had wanted stormed the warehouse to retrieve the artifact she had been searching for. In the melee she had been injured but Vanessa and Johan had taken Kang down and if not for a strategic withdrawal from Kang’s crew they would have won the day.
Vanessa approached with a mysterious figurine in her hands. “I have it, this will lead us to Viktoria”.
Taelor sighed, struggled to her feet, “Then let’s go, the quarantine zone makes me nervous and I will be glad when are out of it”
Little did she realise how wrong she would be.
Taelor sat by the bar in the Starlight Saloon still firmly ensconced in the quarantine zone. She was staring into her drink, in a bar she was normally in her element however tonight she was pensive, distracted and in no mood for banter. She was becoming increasingly frustrated by Vanessa inability to lead them to the Viktoria’s. What had started out as a night for the crew to relax and release some of the tension of the past few weeks had descended into chaos as a chorus of stage performers had turned on them and attacked for seemingly no reason.
She had thought it was odd that a group from the Star Theatre was performing in a rundown bar in the quarantine zone but her instincts had been failing her of late and in her distracted state she had not been alert as she should have been.
The crew had performed admirably, fighting off Cassandra and her crew and causing a number of injuries that should make those stage girls think twice before attacking them again. However it had become clear as the fight progressed that Vanessa had been the girl’s main target, that figurine was obviously more important than Vanessa was letting on. In what was becoming an increasing tactic of late, their opposition was not prepared to stay and fight, staging withdrawals as her crew started inflicting casualties.
After the fight had concluded she confronted Vanessa and demanded answers but none were forthcoming. Another week and she was no closer to finding the Viktoria’s. Her only hope was that soon Vanessa would fulfil her promise. Tomorrow the crew would journey to the Bayou where Vanessa promised the figurine would lead them to her friends.
Heaven help anyone who stood in her way, the Good Lady seemed in a worse mood than she was.
The journey to the Bayou had started inauspiciously, the crew had been ambushed by Cassandra and her crew as they left the next morning. Cassandra had been re-inforced and Cassandra herself had come across a magical weapon of immense power, the crew suffered a number of injuries and Taelor was unwilling to sacrifice more when she was so close to finding Viktoria and bringing her back to Malifaux so she quickly withdrew and vowed to fight another day. Cassandra had bellowed after her as she left, “I will find you Taelor and we will finish this!”
Vanessa had lead them to the ruins of Kythera where Viktoria had slain the evil December with the legendary Masamune Nihonto. Vanessa had promised that with the breaking of the dawn she would perform the necessary ritual to bring the Viktoria’s back to Malifaux, the figurine was placed where the ruins of Kythera had disappeared into the swap and all was ready. The crew sat around the fire, exhausted from their recent ordeals but becoming more invigorated as dawn approached. The area was swarming with vermin that seemed to have infested Kytheria following December’s defeat so beside the fire was the safest place for them all.
Without warning shots rang out and Johan jerked as he was wounded multiple times. The big man was down and immediately Linda, (Librarian) and the Ronin ran to his aid. Taelor and the remaining crew took cover and prepared for battle. Through the mists shapes emerged and Cassandra and her crew appeared, she had been true to her word, she had tracked them through the Bayou and was coming straight for them. Taelor and Vanessa spread out and the Ronin having done all they could for Johan started to move to surround the attackers. But the element of surprise was with Cassandra and her crew and they slowly began to overwhelm Taelor’s crew. Taelor was uncertain what to do, the odds were against them but they could not leave Kytheria without performing the ceremony but by staying she risked the lives of her crew.
Without warning Johan emerged from where he was being treated by Linda, blood seemed to cover him from head to toe but he flew straight for Cassandra, a hatred and blood lust in his eyes that Taelor had not seen before. Cassandra stood transfixed to the spot and in an instant Johan was on her and she was down, badly injured and out of the fight. But Johan was too badly injured to fight off Cassandra’s remaining crew and they surrounded him and he was down. Taelor was unsure if she could get to his aid in time.
An explosion and blinding light engulfed the area. Vanessa had made her way to the figurine and as dawn’s first light broke over the ruins she performed the necessary ceremony, saying the magic words that had opened a breach to another world and through that breach strode Viktoria, the Masamune Nihonto rested casually on her shoulders and her doppelganger sister by her side. Taelor breathed a sigh of relief, Viktoria was back and Malifaux would soon feel her rath.
The crew chatted enthusiastically as they journeyed back to Malifaux. Viktoria told them what had happened to the two of them after they had magically fled the initial fight against the Guild and Taelor updated them on the crew’s activities.
“Cassandra, yes I know that upstart little showgirl – maybe later there will be time to pay her a visit and teach her some lessons” growled Viktoria.
In the distance gun shots were heard, the crew cautiously crested a nearby hill and looked down. Cassandra and her crew must have been following the same tracks back to Malifaux after fleeing the previous days fight and they looked to have run into a bunch of outlaws who had them pinned down. They were taking casualties and having a rough time of it.
“That’s Parker and his crew – never seen him this close to Malifaux before, he normally sticks to the northern mountains” murmured Vanessa.
“Well maybe we should give him a hand with Cassandra and finish her off once and for all and then teach Parker that Malifaux isn’t so friendly” replied Viktoria.
The crew sprang from cover and raced towards Cassandra’s crew. It took some time for Cassandra to realise she was surrounded and in even worse trouble. Johan and Viktoria arrived first and immediately started enacting revenge for Cassandra’s past indiscretions. Soon casualties were everywhere, Cassandra was injured and her crew rallied together, picked up their injured and started to flee. Viktoria’s crew rounded on Parker and soon bullets were flying everywhere as Parkers outlaws fought for survival. Many of his crew were brought down but after a lucky bullet hit Viktoria she dropped. Her crew pulled back and took cover. The crew’s injuries were superficial and they would fight on another day. Parker’s crew raced after Cassandra but Viktoria let them both go.
That night as the warmth and glow of the campfire engulfed them Viktoria relayed her plans to the crew. “Time for some revenge on the Guild my friends, the Judge is going down for good this time”. They all nodded and smiles grew on their faces for the first time in many weeks. Time to make the Corporation pay for it’s sins.
Viktoria scanned the village from her vantage point on the hill – it was a quaint little village, a stream through the middle. Villagers went on with their lives unaware they were being observed by Malifaux premium mercenary. Weeks of searching and chasing the Judge and led her crew to this village where it was reported the Judge was holding up. The Judge had seemingly gone to ground, not heard of or sighted for many weeks, apart from a brief sighting at Malifaux’s annual weekend of debauchery where he had been surprisingly reserved, age was catching up with the great man.
“If he’s down there he is keeping a very low profile, are you sure you source was correct?” murmured Taelor.
“Who knows, The Judge is not normally this reclusive, we may have him spooked” replied Viktoria.
Suddenly a troop of showgirls emerged from a larger building. “Cassandra” hissed Vanessa. “Why does she show up wherever we are? And who is that she is with?”
“I don’t know – she does seem to have a knack of appearing wherever we go – and that dear sister is Collette – an interesting development”. After weeks of chasing the Judge, Viktoria could feel the chances of finding him were now slim. There was nothing to gain with engaging with Cassandra again, especially since she was with Collette but the crew were restless, they needed some reward and Cassandras had been a thorn in their side during her absence
Without another thought she rallied the crew, “Let’s go – see if we can finally put an end to Cassandra once and for all.”
After a brief battle the crew achieved somewhat of a victory. Many of Colette's crew were down but Collette and Cassandra had been hard to pin down, dancing from hiding place to hiding place, will-o-the wisps vanishing and then appearing somewhere else as if by magic. Time and time again the Masamune Nihonto sliced through air where once Cassandra had been standing. She was perplexed, never had she faced such an elusive foe and therefore Viktoria eventually withdraw her crew and counted there bounty – which had been surprisingly good. Colette and her crew were particularly loaded up with Soulstones.
Later that night around the campfire Viktoria mused – it had been an eventually few months, rewarding and frustrating but now it was time for some rest. Find a secure base and sometime in the future begin her search for justice against the Guild.