BitD Session 2 – Robbing Aldo Haig, the Slumlord

During the second session we had Deckard the Leech and Finn the Lurk looking for some opportunities to take advantage of the chaos of the gang war. They met with Frake the Locksmith, a good friend of Finn’s. Frake gave them a lead on a nearby slumlord named Aldo Haig who was thinking about upping his security due to the local unrest. Frake agreed to give the team the details in exchange for half of the take.

The party accepted the offer and Frake drew them a map. He said that each day people from around Crow’s Foot go over to Haig’s and pay him their rent. Mostly people go after work, and especially they go on payday - tomorrow. Each evening, after they close up shop, Aldo has a team of thugs take the money out of Crow’s Foot towards a safer district where he keeps it locked in a bank vault. When asked for more info, he said that he had been commissioned to go over to a tenant's unit to change the lock. Bryan Wright was two months overdue.

The Stakeout

The party left to go scout out the facility, Finn, the lurk, found a good spot to watch from across the street while the Deckard walked the block. They saw a decent stream of people go in to pay their rent after working hours, two tough guys stood outside the alleyway door and frisked each new arrival before they could go in to pay Aldo. After a long while, the two felt like they had seen enough and went to get dinner. They returned soon after just in time to see the four guards emerge with the day’s rent money. They acted casual and attempted to remain unobserved.

The peace was broken by the piercing calls of bluecoat whistles. “Stop! Thief!” carried through the dark street and the two party members turned to see a thief carrying a briefcase running at full speed away from three Bluecoats, straight towards the four guards. The guards glanced at one another in the split second they had before the thief was upon them, three stepped out of the way but one decided to make an attempt at a tackle. The thief narrowly dodged the guard and ran straight on towards the party. Deckard the Leech took a wild attempt to simply get in the man's way, succeeding at falling in front of him and tripping him up, but taking a solid kick to the ribs in the attempt.

The bluecoats were barreling down on the party, but Finn the Lurk approached, kicking the briefcase from where it had fallen towards the prone Leech. Finn skillfully helped up Deckard while sneakily scooping up the briefcase. They began hobbling away as the first two bluecoats appeared at the scene. The first to arrive punched the downed thief, and the second grabbed at the man’s wrists. The third to arrive looked around and noticed the missing briefcase. He blew his whistle and called for Finn and Deckard to stop. When they ran, he followed.

The two men split up at the nearest intersection, Finn still carrying the briefcase concealed in his billowing cloak. By chance, the guard followed deckard and the two ran towards a nearby park. Deckard eyed a trashcan on his way up the hill and took a chance to pause and throw it powerfully down towards the pursuer. The bluecoat tried to dodge aside but tripped and landed heavily. The commotion of the incident turned many eyes towards the spectacle, Deckard paused to look for a good way to get away from the crowd, and made off towards an empty side street, soon losing the pursuit in the darkness of the alleyways.

Regrouping

The two men returned to the hideout after their excitement. Deckard slept through the night to recover from his bruised ribs, while Finn tinkered with and finally opened the briefcase. Inside the briefcase he found a velvet sack full of silver and a docket with the crest of the rumored vampire, Lord Scurlock, imprinted on the leather. Within the docket was a sketch of an occult object, a map, and instructions to exchange the silver for the object at a specified time - earlier that evening. Finn pocketed the coins and stashed the other information for later.

Walk the Joint

The next day, the two men set off towards Aldo’s with the intention of scoping out the inside. They were going as if loan sharks covering Bryan’s missed rent. They passed by two guards in the alley who frisked them without comment. They continued up three flights of stairs and on into the third floor hallway. At the second door down, two guards stood chatting in the hallway, they stopped talking and eyeballed the two men as they made their way into Aldo’s waiting room. A guard gestured for them to sit, and knocked subtly on Aldo’s door window.

After five minutes, a nicely dressed man opened the door, shook Aldo’s hand and walked out of the waiting room without glancing towards the party. Aldo squinted and looked meaningfully at the two men in the waiting room before waving them over. He shook Deckard’s hand but ignored the Skovlan Finn’s outstretched hand. Arlo sat down and asked Deckard how he could be of assistance. He told Deckard that Bryan was two coin in debt, Deckard said that he had only come with one coin. Aldo said that it wasn’t enough and Deckard apologized and bowed out to leave.

Finn has scoped out the room, noticing that the room was nicely apportioned and many of the small items would likely sell for a decent amount at just about any fence. The walls appeared poorly made, perhaps thin as they could hear sounds from next door. A large safe was against the back wall, and the desk and bar were the only other adornments in the room.

The Entrance

Finn packed a light load, while Deckard prepared just a bit more gear. They set out and waited for the couriers to leave with the money. They had decided that they weren’t prepared to deal with the whole bunch, and that they would instead try to hit the safe after the bulk had been sent towards the bank and get whatever change was leftover for the next day. The last remaining guard closed the alley door and shut off the light, the thieves approached in the dark and found that the door had no handle, only a key hole. Finn picked the lock while Deckard got a crowbar out and leveraged the door open. A steel rod had been leaned against the door from the inside, and as the door opened the rod fell to the ground making a loud noise that echoed up the stairwell.

The crew paused to listen for activity, and when none was forthcoming they prowled up the stairs slowly. The dim stairs were only lit by a single emergency light per level. As they reached the third floor, the found another emergency exit door with no handle. They repeated the earlier operation, this time carefully pausing to open the door as slowly as possible. They proceeded through the door without increasing the alarm. The hallway looked clear.

Finn snuck down to inspect the office while Deckard held the door open slightly. Finn saw that the inner office still had a light on, and when he tried the handle he found that the outer door was locked. It was an easy lock to pick, and within moments Finn was waving Deckard to approach and enter. The door creaked on its hinges as it swung inwards, and Deckard stepped heavily on an old board, adding some noise to the otherwise quiet hallway.

As the thieves entered the outer room, they could hear movement from the inner office. Papers were rustling, a chair was being pushed out and a drawer sliding open. The men approached the inner door, Deckard pulled out a pistol and Finn put his pick into the door. Finn was surprised as he applied pressure and the unlocked door slipped open, creaking into the room. Deckard stepped forward from his surprise, leveled a pistol at Aldo Haig, and commanded that he step aside.

The Fight

Aldo saw through the Leech, judgning that he was prepared to defend himself and his money. He grabbed a pistol from the drawer he had been rifling through and fired a shot, hitting Deckard. Deckard’s armor absorbed part of the blow, but the shock of it knocked him back and left him dazed.Finn tried to offer a surrender, waving his hands desperately in the air to distract Aldo. Aldo turned and fired at Finn, who’s fortitude helped to absorb some of the blow. Deckard returned fire to Aldo, only to have his pistol misfire. He looked at the gun in shock, turned to look at Finn. Finn heard the click of the misfire and charged recklessly, desperately diving over the desk with his knife drawn. Aldo stepped out of the way, and Finn came crashing down onto the ground, his knife blade snapping off as it hit the ground. Deckard advanced with gun drawn, advanced a new round and finally hit Aldo square in the chest. After seeing Aldo collapse, Deckard sat down heavily in the corner of the room, the shock of the violence overwhelming him.

Sounds of heavy footsteps echoed down the hallway, Finn dove behind the desk to take cover. He picked up Aldo’s fallen gun and readied a round. A husky voice shouted “Arlo? Arlo? What the fuck man? Are you okay?” From Deckard’s stupor, he crazily taunted “Arlo’s dead and you’re next!” The man responded, “You sick fucks! Arlo better not be dead or you’ll be fucked! You’re trapped in there.” The man’s muscled silhouette filled the doorway.

The Possession

Finn peered from behind the desk as the man stepped into the room, suddenly Aldo sounded a death rattle, grotesquely dying from the shot to his lungs. As he died, a somber bell rang through the streets, carrying easily through the thin window panes and shoddy walls. Within moments, a death crow appeared at the window, knocking its beak against the glass. The man mouthed “fuck, fuck, fuck… he’s really dead” as he entered the room and looked around. The man saw Deckard sitting in the corner and approached with deadly intent.

Finn saw a dark shadow approaching from behind the man, dimming the light in the sitting room. Once the man stepped towards Deckard, Finn could clearly see a powerful and malevolent ghost approaching the man from behind. As the man stepped towards Deckard, the ghost lurched forward into the thug’s body. The man fell to the ground, shouting in agony and writhing in pain.

Finn glanced around quickly as the man writhed seizing on the floor, he saw the glint of Aldo’s pocket watch and jerked it hastily from the corpse, snapping the chain in the process.  He ran around the seizing thug and helped Deckard to his feet, ushering him towards the door. The man’s screams reached a creshendo and just as the thieves exited the sitting room into the hallway, the screams abruptly stopped. The crew turned back to look into the inner room, and amidst flickering lights and an eery silence, saw the thug move towards the inner door, lock eyes with the crew, smile malevolently, and close the door slowly.

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