Peregrine City Noir

A Close Brawl
Time for Super-Heroin

While investigating further the attacks made by the Barbed Wire Killer, Joao stumbles across something seemingly contradictory. Investigating people the killer may have targeted in the future he comes across a familiar looking face, one he eventually recognizes from old photos. Old photos that show the man (Mr. Vessels) as a military guard at an internment camp, when this man (and the others) had no prior military record. He finds that the man runs a loading/offloading business at Prergrine Quay, and sets off.

The information given to Kelly by Dominica lead her to the same place, investigating what was apparently regular shipments of animals. Easily spotting Joao from her bird's eye view she swoops down and the two catch each other up before moving to infiltrate the building.

Arty is confronted in his office by a very irate client of his, Mr. Ounces ("Sokolov you slimy CUNT!"), who informs him that heroin of unmatched quality is being brought into the city. Heroin that he can't compete with, nor should he have to by the terms of their arrangement. After calming Ounces down, Arty begins tracking down the dealer and his supplier, leading him to a water runoff pipe in the industrial district.

Kelly flies to the building (Vessel's Loading) and awaits Kijin, who is unfortunately spotted as he crosses. Thinking quickly, Kijin climbs a crane partway to the roof before creating an illusionary double that jumps into the water. This draws the goons' fire, but unfortunately misleads more than just them. Kelly sees only the double dive down into a hail of machine gun fire, and Arty and Viktor see him fall from the sky right at the exit to the pipe they are following.

Kelly takes to the sky again, flying a bit out before diving into the water and taking on shark form. Arty orders Viktor into the water to rescue their ally before setting Mr. Bojangles to do his thing. Kelly smells no blood in the water, and waits while Viktor dives in. Viktor quickly tries to dive to a safe depth, but catches a bullet in the neck. Kelly senses the blood in the water and moves in on the stunned, drowning man, who is panicked further upon seeing the sharp-toothed maw of a shark bearing down on him. Kelly pulls a half conscious Viktor to safety while he flails wildly at her. Quickly having enough of this, Kelly changes to gorilla form and drags him onto the dock.

Arty sees his brother dive into the water and a great cloud of blood erupt where the guns stuck the water. He immediately surrenders, but leaves Bojangles to continue his magic. He is pulled up to the pier and surrounded by thugs.

Kijin sees the cloud of blood in the water and assumes his illusion was even better than he thought. He looks around for Kelly, but upon not finding her continues into the building as an ever increasingly confusing cacophony grows behind him.

Back on the pier, the four guns have been joined by two more thugs, one the notorious Southpaw. As things look dire for Arty and Kelly arrives on the dock, three of the goons collapse to the ground and the remainder are apparently blinded by a fog only they can see. Arty smiles at Bojangles' handiwork before drawing his gun and shooting Southpaw.

Kelly leaves Viktor to clutch at his wound and charges into the sudden chaos, lifting a thug into the air and sending him flying into the water. Southpaw reels, dazed but alive thanks to an armored vest, and punches the nearest vague shape in the fog. Even when reeling he delivers a punch to Kelly that gives her Gorilla form a painful bruise. Arty continues firing at the men while moving to get to Viktor. Kelly, deciding that this thug is cause enough to pull out the big guns, changes into an elephant (her trumpeting call causing no small amount of confusion to all around). The remaining nameless thug decides he isn't paid enough for this and books it, and Arty runs to Viktor, leaving Kelly to slug it out with Southpaw. Southpaw, still dazed from the bullet and dealing with a mixture of confusion and terror over his situation, surprisingly manages to hold his own. After exchanging a few blows, Kelly gets too close when she goes to grapple him with her trunk. He leaps up, strikes a devastating blow to the side of her head, and leaves her nearly unconscious as he makes his escape.

Meanwhile, Kijin infiltrates the building. He sees workers on the ground floor hurriedly covering up an access hole to the sewer network, as well as Mr. Vessel observing proceedings from his office. Kijin easily sneaks into the office and catches Vessel unaware, where he proceeds to demand answers blade-to-neck.

  • What was he doing at the internment camp? Guarding it, obviously.
  • What about it was confidential? Nothing, it was all on record, but HE expunged it.
  • Who is HE? I don't know his name, if he even has one.
  • Does he have a face then? He has many. Men call him Phantom.
  • What records did he delete and why? Phantom appeared to me and my buddies one day, with proof of the activities we were up to at the camp: torturing prisoners with Yakuza connections until they revealed the hiding places for their gold. He erased our military records, but told us that if we didn't work for him we'd live the rest of our lives in jail.
  • And what work did you do for him? He supplies us with heroin. We smuggle it onto ships and smuggle to others what those ships bring in.
  • One last question: You couldn't know who was Yakuza, so you tortued them all, didn't you? Yes.
  • That's all, you can go

Kijin attemps to execute the man, but the man is former military and well trained. Vessels just barely gets out of Kijin's grasp and turns to face his attacker. Upon seeing the demonic face out of Japanese folklore, Vessels runs in terror from the avenging spirit. He leaps through his office window and leaps to the warehouse floor, ordering his men to burn all the evidence and run. Kijin looks down through the shattered window to see the workers shrug and toss incendiary grenades onto the pile of crates covering the hole.

Kelly, just now recovering from the blow to the head, sees the warehouse erupt into flames and Kijin leaping from the second story window. Arty determines that Viktor's wound, while life threatening, is not immediately so. He hands Kelly a wad of bills and asks her to get his brother into a cab for the best hospital he can trust before running into the burning building. He activates the sprinkler system to hopefully save some evidence and nearly overdoses on the massive amount of heroin going up in smoke. Kelly gets Viktor into the cab before patrolling for the boat she's been waiting for this whole time. In the process, she picks up a scent trail of the animals previously smuggled through the area. Kijin follows Vessel from the rooftops, waiting for the man to think he's safe before dropping down and executing him.

The party reconvenes at Kelly's mansion to compare notes and try to piece together what happened during the chaotic mess that nearly killed two of them (Viktor absent of course, recovering in the hospital). As they wrap up their stories, they are interrupted by an unwelcome guest.

The Freak slinks into the room, a more disturbing sight than he was before. Arty immediately shoots him, but it merely grazes him. As he remarks on what a lovely home Kelly has, the party takes in his altered appearance: Scars cross his body where they had dismembered him and his once pristine suit is tattered. He makes his introduction, such as it is, to Joao, saying he's excited to meet another interesting friend. The party demands he explain himself to which he responds:

"Why, I think you need some answers."

Going to the Circus

Sam, Kelly, and Arty end up at the Eclipse nightclub, unknowingly sitting at Jack's table. Jack and Dominica have a completely civil conversation, in which they offer to hire the party. They tell them of The Freak, and that for the first time they have his location.

The party heads to the old abandoned circus, where they are approached by the strange man as they step out of the car. He makes curt conversation and turns to walk away, waving a hand dismissively. This angers Arty, who sends Victor after him. A brief scuffle ensues, where he apparently displays similar powers to Mr. Bojangles.

Arty threatens the Freak with torture, but it is laughed off. Instead of giving information, the small man bites off his own tongue, laughing as he sprays blood in Arty's face and the life drains from him.

To get the answers that Arty wanted about his past, Sam performs a seance. They sort through the memories that are dredged up, where they find several things: Dominica was a lion tamer at the circus and knew the Freak from years back, and he apparently possesses the power to duplicate the powers of others.

The team reruns the head of the Freak to Jack and Dominica, and force them to spill the beans on her past with the Freak. She confirms she met him when working as a carnie, and he offered her power. She claims she left that life and never looked back.

Gala Brawl
Best WWSfPCO Charity Gala yet!

On the night of the War Widows' Society for Peregrine City Orphans Charity Gala, the party converges. Sam as a performer, with Joao as his roadie, and Artur, Kelly, and Viktor with their own tickets. Sam and Joao investigate backstage, examining the antique artworks and jewelry up for auction. Entering the room after Artur and Kelly is Dominica Merlo, a socialite leading a large panther on a flimsy leash.

Being the two head turning scandalous guests, Sam and Dominica naturally gravitate towards each other and strike up a conversation. Attempts for Artur and Kelly to join the conversation are briefly headed off by an encounter with the Assistant District Attourney.

In animal form, Kelly has a conversation with the panther, Frou-Frou, while everyone else talks with his owner. As the auction starts, the party migrates to the auction floor. Soon enough, the lights go out, and the inventively named Barbed Wire Killer strikes.

The Baron, Kijin, and the brothers Sokolov engage the killer, while Kelly takes panther form. Dominica gets in Kelly's way, and is injured in response. The rest have a brief and difficult fight ending with the villain retreating down a hallway. He is chased down, and executed by Kijin as the ADA yells at him to stand down and surrender. Kijin makes his escape dodging police gunfire as the rest of the party recuperates and discusses their next move.

The Vigilantes Meet
Looks like we're all looking for the same looker

Each in their own way the various characters break into the penthouse hideout of Jack Wilde (aka Diamond Jack, Jack of Diamonds, Aces over Jacks, etc.). While he isn't present they argue over who exactly is trespassing and who needs a warrant to be there. In the meantime Guy and Kelly (in the form of a large orange cat) investigate the bedroom, where the find the scene of a bloody struggle and the bodies of two men killed with thrown cards. Unlike other such cards found by the party, these are Tarot cards instead of the standard 52 card deck.

Behind some apparent and unexplained water damage to the wall, they find a safe sealed in the plaster with no apparent access. Inside are museum blueprints, photos of jewelery, and tickets to a charity gala.

Jack returns to the building, and there's a brief scuffle. Kelly reveals herself, and is badly injured. Sam works his magic to heal her while Joao and Guy pursue. Jack escapes, and the party reconvenes in his room to discuss their next move.


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