AW – Disrupt the Status Quo

Our first session of Apocalypse World began with four players. A Child-thing(Stankfoot), a Gunlugger(2-Hard 2-Cool, aka HK), a Hardholder(Mr. Grimm), and a Savvy-head(Burdick).

Stankfoot and HK began the session hot on the heels of a man named Gerald. Gerald had just betrayed the hardholder by stealing a briefcase filled with barter that had been intended to go to Burdick the savvy-head as payment for services promised. The child-thing led the gunlugger down through warrens and sewer tunnels and finally into a densely populated old subway station. They were met immediately with hostility as unwelcome outsiders, and HK’s grenade launcher made a loud splash of hurt before they thought better of the combat. HK grabbed a wounded tough named Lee and booked it. They had part of what they were after, they knew that they had been betrayed and they knew where the base of this enemy was.

Stankfoot led the gunlugger and captive back to report to the hardholder at the prison base, Grimm Rock. While HK and Mr. Grimm were talking details, the child-thing snuck off and stole some clank from one of the hardholder’s gang lieutenants, Creed. The child-thing was disguised as a blond girl when he stole the barter, and Creed immediately went to the hardholder to get permission to string up the first child he could find to make an example. The child-thing appeared behind Creed’s back and waved the stolen item for the Mr. Grimm to see before gleefully hiding himself. The hardholder firmly instructed Creed to take no such action and to take care to better watch his stuff in the future.

Meanwhile, the savvy-head needed to make some improvements to his garage so that he could make good on Mr.Grimm’s request for some real black metal war-rigs. Burdick hired some of the hardholder’s men as laborers and took off towards the old car factory for some salvage. They were well on their way to breaking down an old wench and salvaging some wiring and gadgets from a wall panel when Burdick heard the tell-tale roar of an engine coming down the block. He assumed it was just a regular trader from Grimm Rock and was caught off guard when an old cadillac pulled into the complex. Four strangers hopped out of the car and things immediately got tense. Burdick ordered his men to take whatever they had gathered and make a break for the back. On the way out, the strangers opened fire. Three of the four laborers got out free and clear but one bit it hard, George.

Mr Grimm and HK came to terms that the thieves den would need to be dealt with. They knew it would be tough since it was underground, but HK proposed getting some explosives to help even the playing field. The hardholder told HK to go south to the fertilizer plant for some components. Mr. Grimm offered up one of his combat trucks so that they could get through the rubble between the two territories. He also assigned a handful of his gang members to accompany them.

While they were talking, Burdick showed up to report that he had been attacked while within Mr. Grimm’s territory and while doing work for Mr. Grimm. He reported that George had been killed while salvaging from the old factory. Burdick asked to accompany HK to the fertilizer plant, knowing that he would be of use since was in good standing with the plant, having dealt with them in the recent past. Stankfoot wanted to go as well, and the three of them set out.

Mr. Grimm ordered Lee from the Thieves Den to take a message back to his boss, to try to get the man to show himself at the prison. After he sent the man on his way, Mr. Grimm ordered his guards on a double watch. He also dispatched some scouts to check on his different resources and the water source.

The combat truck rolled along with Burdick riding shotgun and HK manning the 50-cal. As they approached a checkpoint, the gunlugger went aggro through a bullhorn and the checkpoint buckled. The gate was hastily opened to allow the truck to pass. Block after block of rubble fields awaited the group, luckily the truck was built for rugged driving and was able to maneuver through the craters from the war and over the remains of multiple city blocks. As they approached a choke point ahead, the savvy-head got some weird vibrations from the psychic maelstrom and had a foreboding sense of ambush. The truck stopped hard just outside of the killzone for an ambush, in time to see two toughs with smgs pop out from the rubble above.

The 50-cal made short work of the thugs at the checkpoint, and the gang members were able to take out the two ambushers with minimal damage taken. The group blew through the checkpoint, stopping to take a bit of salvage from the ambushers.

Mr. Grimm was overlooking the yard from his office, the old warden’s office, when Creed burst into the room. They had caught a man trying to sneak into the prison through the old maintenance tunnels below. Mr. Grimm ordered the man to be taken into the yard, he wanted to interrogate the man in front of everyone.

Mr. Grimm arrived in the market to see a badly beaten man strung up from the guard tower. The rope was pulled taut so that the man would choke if he slacked his posture at all. Standing upright was made far more difficult from the beating and potential broken bones. He was dribbling blood from his mouth and barely able to talk. Creed was carrying a ratty old backpack and while Mr. Grimm was trying to get information out of the beaten man, Creed opened the backpack. Mr. Grimm couldn’t get anything from the man and noticed that Creed had grown suddenly silent, he walked over to see the head of Lee, the man he had sent to the thieves den that morning to try to convince the boss to expose himself. Mr. Grimm got out his snub-nosed gun and executed the beaten man in front of the whole market.

The truck arrived at the Fertilizer plant and faced a cold welcome. They were ordered to leave and told that there was no business today. The child-thing stepped into the psychic maelstrom and saw an image of the guard pocketing some barter in exchange for passage. Burdick took the hint and soon the caravan was making their way into the plant. At the main entrance, they were met with an outright hostile guard named Gnarly. He couldn’t believe that they had been let past the first gate after strict orders to the contrary had been given.

Burdick said that he had an appointment with his contact, Twice. Saying the name of the contact was enough to put Gnarly off-balance, and he dispatched one of his men to go find Twice and bring him down. Soon enough, the man showed up and played his part. He led the group inside and as soon as they were out of earshot from the guard he told them that they had picked a helluva day to come looking for barter. He was on strict orders not to sell any components since the plant had been attacked that very morning by strangers from the East. Burdick shared that he had barely escaped from a similar attack at the car factory that morning, and thus Twice decided that the group should talk to Boss. After a brief discussion, Boss agreed to sell some components to the group on the condition that they escort an ambassador, Hugo, to Grimm Rock so that the two territories might be able to come to an agreement regarding what they know about and plan to do in response to the morning’s attacks from the East.

While the group was securing the explosive components in the truck, Stankfoot slipped away into the fertilizer plant, intent on investigating something from his vision. Through the psychic maelstrom, he had seen a man chained up in the plant’s half-flooded basement. As if through the prisoner’s own eyes, the child thing beheld a wolf of the maelstrom emerge from the top of the stairs.

Both Burdick and Stankfoot had witnessed, through the psychic maelstrom, signs that the attacks from the East had something to do with the train tracks. They had a glimmer through the eyes of a man in a lavish train car. He was looking at a rough map of the city that clearly had the fertilizer plant and Grimm Rock on it, in addition to other locations. There were red X’s where the attacks had taken place that morning.

-Session held on 2/26/2017