Blades in the Dark: The Inexplicable League

Episode 2: The Belly of the Beast

Looking to expand their crew, the Inexplicable League starts looking for a Whisper to add to their ranks. The call is answered by Ardyn 'Spooks' Clermont, a mysterious, purple-haired Tycherosi.  

After their successful retrieval of an ancient relic from a pre-cataclysm temple, word starts to spread about the cult's god, As'yin'noth, especially among the dockworkers and leviathan hunters. The crew, seeing an opportunity to expand their cult's influence, decide to visit the Saltford Street Tavern.

There, Ardyn attracts the local's attention with a few sleight-of-hand tricks, while Ambrose preaches that the worker's recent good fortune is attributed to As'yin'noth's blessing.  While they are not initially impressed, Ardyn uses his ability to summon storms, literally putting the fear of god into the crowd. One older, more experienced gentleman near the back seems especially skeptical, so Eldun targets him specifically, setting off a mechanism he had placed in the bar previously, with lights and shaking curtains.  The crowd is smitten with the cult, and the gentleman, identifying himself as Chief Helker, asks the crew to join him outside the tavern.

While Helker saw through the deception, he values anyone who can placate his superstitious crewmen.  He cuts a deal- if the League can help him deal with a ghost haunting one of his ships, he would set up an offertory in the docks.

The ship in question is a huge leviathan hunter vessel, currently with a dead leviathan chained to the side.  The League investigate, finding a spirit stalking the decks, crackling with lightning and going through the motions of its former job.  Checking the crew quarters, they find the deceased's bunk and read his journal. It seems that a young sailor named Stev Bowman acquired a lucky charm while on shore leave in the Dagger Isles, but met his end while fighting the leviathan chained to the side of the ship.  The ghost, enraged at the League invading his personal belongings, attacks.  Ardyn attunes to the spirit, opening up a channel of communication.  Ambrose tries to calm the spirit, and see what it wants.

"It… it didn't work!" the spirit said, "M… My lucky charm… The thing went straight for me! It ignored everyone else and went for me!  The last thing I saw was its teeth…"

With that, the ghost phases through the ship's walls, returning to its corpse in the leviathan's belly.

Seeing the distasteful task ahead of them, there is much arguing among the League over who will descend into the depths of the dead beast's stomach to retrieve the charm (now identified as a relic that attracts leviathans).  Eventually, Eldun agrees to lead the charge in exchange for a larger percentage of the cut. 

He makes his way down the beast's gullet with climbing gear, eventually finding the body surrounded by a number of parasitic, crustacean-like creatures.  Ardyn joins him, but soon both are swarmed by the creatures.  Reluctantly, Ambrose leaves the relative safety of the ship to rescue his team, commanding the sailor's spirit to manifest itself.  The ghost's electrical discharges causes the creatures to scatter.  He looks at his body sadly, telling Ambrose that the only thing that will lay his spirit to rest is knowing that his remains were recovered and given to his family.

Once again there is an argument over who will carry the body back to the surface, and this time Ambrose agrees to shoulder the burden.  The League emerges from the leviathan's mouth, beaten, bruised, and filthy, but triumphant.  They decide to keep the charm for themselves, discretely pocketing it before any of the dockworkers notice.  

The cult of As'yin'noth now has a significant following in the Docks, and an offertory there.



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