Chicago Lightning

The Labrador Revisited

Showdown at 110 ft.

The Lincoln pulls up to The Labrador and parks curbside.

The building has undergone rapid repair since the unusual events* of the previous week. Well-dressed men and women come to and fro via the grand front doors, and Goose Bay seems to be doing brisk lunchtime business.

The Michigan Star is moored at the docking tower, no doubt on account of last night’s grand reopening festivities.

Comments

They park the Lincoln around the back by the service entrance and all pile out. Jamison is made up via the make up kit in Mugsy’s suitcase, Azog and Mugsy both have wigs and coveralls. Mugsy also carries the union socket set with him in a tool box. The tool box also contains his 1911, various other tools scrounged or swiped as well as journals and books from the suitcase. They march right up to the service entrance. [I take it its guarded?]

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Azog is also wearing the old-fashioned glasses he found in his luggage (though the luggage was left in the car). To him, street signs and Coca-Cola advertisements all seem to read, “Consume,” and “Obey.” He thinks nothing of it.

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GM:

Indeed, there is a guard. A well dressed, yet burly human opens the door as the three of you approach. His face does not communicate “mook”, and he smiles warmly as you approach.“Good day to you gentlemen! I see you are with the Port Authority, what can I do for you sirs?”

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Jamison smiles. “Just another building inspection. Sorry for taking up your time.”

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Azog is stone-faced and business-like, but his eyes twinkle a bit when he nods slightly at the non-mook and grunts acknowledgement. They don’t know each other, but they might have walked many of the same paths.

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“Oh man, I still can’t believe they got this moved back till after the grand opening.” Mugsy says. “Must know the right people.”

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The man shrugs easily, “I dunno, I just work here. Lemme check the appointments list for yas….hmmmm. Yas don’t seem t’ be on it, you sure yas got the right day?”

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“We’re told to come down and inspect the building. They don’t tell us about no appointments.” Mugsy shoots Jamison a look. “When did they start with the appointments? I thought it was when we show up, we show up.”

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The doorman’s eyebrows go up, “L…look. I dunno. That’s just how it usually is. Port Authority comes in, already has an appointment. You fellas come on in, I certainly don’t wanna get in yas way.”

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“Make a note,” Mugsy talks over his shoulder at Jamison as he wrestles his bag through the door. “This guy is alright. And from what I heard, this place is gonna need all the help it can get to pass. You just helped out whoever owns this place.”

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Jamison nodded. “Some sort of magickal summoning or some damned thing, wasn’t it? Is this that place?”

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GM:

The Doorman nodds his head agreeably, “That’s it. Took quite a bit to get it open to the public so quickly! Still parts of the upstairs under repair, but we prioritized all the main public areas. Rest is safe, just not finished.” He gestures for you to follow him down the corridor. “Where do I need to take yas first? You checkin’ in, like the rest?”

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“They’ve looked at most of the finished sections. We need to see the upstairs.”

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Behind his glasses, Azog flashes a nervous sidelong glance at the others. Non-mook is striding ahead of them and doesn’t notice.

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GM:

Non-mook nods amiably and leads you to a service elevator, he hails it, then pushes another button on a nearby wall panel, “Sir, there are some Port Authority inspectors here, I’m sending them up to you. They would like to inspect the work being done in the upper areas. Three of them.”

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Once the elevator doors close, Azog begins discreetly sniffing the air for the scent of human baby poo.

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GM:

chuckle +1 Style Die for Azog

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GM:

Azog smells no poo.

The trio steps into the elevator, and the door closes smoothly behind them. It is clearly different from other elevators in that it is featureless inside, no buttons or displays adorn the polished metal interior.

The elevator gently gains upward speed, then after a few seconds, gently slows down. The doors open, and a woman steps into the elevator, accompanied by a well dressed Troll. She smiles pleasantly at the PCs as the doors close behind her and as the elevator resumes its upward motion.

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Azog awkwardly stares at the woman (whom he knows to be a witch named Rose) a long moment before remembering his manners. Wordlessly he lifts his hat a half-inch off his head and then replaces it.

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GM:

The woman smiles professionally and returns the nod. “Greetings, gentlemen. My name is Rose, and my colleague I will be escorting you through your inspection.” She smiles curtly.

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Jamison tips his hat slightly. “Ma’am.”

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“Well, well what a pleasure it will be to perform this inspection.” Mugsy croons.

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GM:

The woman blushes ever so slightly, “And you are…?”

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“Really looking forward to catching the sights of this beautiful tourguide… I mean this reconstruction project.” Mugsy catches himself.

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Azog grins a little in the corner of his mouth, and the fur on the back of his neck stands up a bit less.

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GM:

Ethan, gimme a Con roll. Azog, gimme some sort of roll to reflect you staying cool under pressure.

She smiles demurely, “Indeed, sir. If you will give me your inspection itinerary, I will be happy to lead you through it. Perhaps we can discuss your….findings….afterward.”

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[Mugsy rolls a 3 and a 2. His master level grants him a +6 for a total of 11.] “An itinerary?” He looks around at Azog and Jamison. He then rifles through his papers, searching for something. He looks up and smiles divinely. He steps in a bit closer to Rose “I thought we could start from the top and work our way down.” Mugsy says in lowered tones. [Trying to activate his ‘debonaire’ technique for a +1]

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Azog is sweating noticeably under his hat. [Thief: 2d6+2=1+4+2=7] He uses a silk handkerchief, monogrammed HPL, that came from the suitcase. Obviously he’s not anyone Rose knows, not with those initials! [Technique: slippery (i.e. evasive). Reroll: 5. New total, 5+4+2=11.]

“Warm all of a sudden,” he mumbles. But indeed it is unnaturally cold in the elevator, and near to Rose it’s positively Arctic.

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[Ghah or a reroll. I always forget that.]

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Jamison glances around, made of stone, as usual. His eyes settle on the floor numbers speeding past.

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GM:

Ethan, we’ll call that a “Flashy Challenge”. Your Con+Debonair vs. her Gangster Moll. She rolls a total of 7, uses a technique to reroll and gets a 11. You barely beat her.

Rose leans into Mugsy just enough for him to smell her, “Oooh, you scamp.” She bats him playfully on the cheek. Mugsy has been at this game long enough to know she’s trying to play him, and she’s good at it, but he thinks she doesn’t know that he knows.

Azog and the troll are of roughly equivalent height, towering over the others, and naturally their eyes meet. Azog recognizes him from previous encounters with Boots as his “pet” enforcer, named Mr. Kluwe.

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“Nice horns,” Azog grunts.

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GM:

The troll nods politely and smiles, “Thank You.” Azog notes that there is something different about him. He’s not just compensating for his trollishness, he is intrinsically something more.

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GM:

The elevator slows gently to a halt, everyone’s ears have popped once or twice but the ride has been smooth. The doors open onto a scne of oppulence that only Jamison would find familiar, even after the richness of their hotel stay.

“This is the penthouse level,” Rose purrs as she sashays out the door ahead of the men, “Mostly private,” she makes eye contact with Mugsy, “but it does include the disembarking for airships. If you will follow…” again she smikes coyly, “I will show you the work site.”

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“Lead on.” Mugsy is all smiles.

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Azog falls in behind, looking, listening and smelling for some sign of babies in the area.

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Jamison steps free of the elevator, and begins scanning the room for anything unusual. He’s seen fine fabrics before, and expensive banisters. What he’s looking for, specifically, is secret panels, hidden staircases, utility boxes, and the like. He needs the layout up here, and he figures this’ll be as good a time as any to find it.

[2D6+2, Law enforcement: You’ve seen one speakeasy, you’ve seen ’em all.

Roll(2d6)2:
4,4,
2
Total:10]

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[Azog makes two rolls. First he hopes to notice signs of baby things. Diapers in the daily wash, big wooden clothespins, baby buggies, milk bottles, etc. Streetwise: 2d6+2=1+4+2=7

[Next he uses his troll senses to scan for small thermal signatures behind walls, sniff for you-know-what, etc. Troll: 2d6+2=1+3+2=6 Ugh!]

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GM:

The upper level is a central spire jutting one floor above the rest of the tower, and functions primarily as a receiving area for passengers and cargo arriving via airship. The party arrives via the service area, and steps out into the lift lobby.

The lower left hand bedroom is actually a lounge with a baby grand piano and seating. The upper left Kitchen is actually a small bar. The lower right bedroom is actually where the Airships can dock, disembark passengers, etc., the upper right corner of the building is where there are fancy bathrooms. The windows overlooking the left and right grey areas look out on the city. To the right side, the PCs can see the final pieces of repair work being done to close over the ceiling where the Byakhee crashed through.

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Azog’s ears perk up noticeably as he hears “baby grand piano.” As the tour passes the lounge he hangs back a moment and furtively lifts the lid to see if any babies are lying on the soundboard.

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GM:

Forgive me, but I meant the italics above to help you guys navigate around the map. Rose will certainly SHOW you these things, but she will make no references to bedrooms and such, as they do not exist in that form on this floor.

Scanning the area, Jamison is fairly certain that this floor is relatively above-board. Even the bar is stocked with only things that are legal.

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[Don’t apologize, the floor plan is very helpful.]

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Azog steps briskly to catch up as Rose brings the tour past the damaged area.

“Did you see it happen?” he asks the Troll, nodding at the damage.

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GM:

Mr. Kluwe shakes his head, “Nearly exeryone experienced it, to be sure. The thing tore through the entire building as if it were paper. But, no, I did not see the thing.”

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“Huh. No, I don’t reckon anybody alive did.” Azog takes out his betting book and scribbles something, probably gibberish, with a pencil.

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“So, whats left to do up here?” Mugsy asks.

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GM:

Rose shrugs and smiles, “You said you wanted to start from the top, well here it is!” She nods with her head towards a door, “Service access to the roof is right there.”

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Jamison starts up the ladder to the roof. “I can’t imagine permits were hard to find after all this. Did you guys ever find the mage?”

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GM:

Actually, there’s a door that opens out onto the ridgeline of the roof on the side.

The roof is one of the modern affairs, all gleaming copper at a 45° pitch. The repairs are a good 20 feet below the ridgeline, somewhat near the edge. As Azog looks out across the steep expanse, he thinks he can see something like patterns, almost geometrical in nature, pulsing in and out of the edges of his vision.

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Azog raises the glasses to rub his eyes. He glances out and sees an ordinary roof. He lets the glasses slide down to position and the effect returns. Baffling.

[How do blimp passengers debark? Once the gondola has fastened to the docking column, is there an elevator directly to the penthouse? This roof seems ill-suited to civilian foot traffic.]

Trolls are sure-footed, and Azog has no trouble walking the incline. He asks, “What happens if there’s another hell beast fall out of the sky? Have you taken extra steps to protect passenger traffic?” He points to the gleaming dirigible overhead.

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GM:

Let me know if you set foot on the roof. evil GM hand rubbing

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[What are we standing on if not the roof?]

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GM:

Just wanting to be clear that you’re going out there.

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Mugsy will look for the area thats been repaired on the floor.

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GM:

OK, let me re-clarify the structure – vis a vis the map. The center part where the rooms are is the “penthouse” and you’re in it. To either side, where it’s grey, the ridgeline of the roof of the building comes up to the floor of the penthouse. From the penthouse you are looking DOWN onto the roof section, and the damage from the Byakhee is below you guys on the roof that is on the right side of the map. So the damage is outside, on the roof, and then below that on lower floors.

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[Could we go up the passenger concourse to get a better view of the roof?]

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GM:

By all means!

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“Boss, should we go up and get a better view?”

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[Theres still a hole in the roof?]

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GM:

Well, there’s still work being done on the section, but the hole is closed over. They’re wrapping up the last of the copper work.

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“The first floor down would give us a better view of the damage, I think,” Jamison states plainly. “Also, we don’t have roofing gear with us. It’s a long drop if we lose our footing.”

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“Sometimes I’d like to hang who ever sets these things up.” Mugsy mutters.

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“Down a flight, then, and see the work from inside.” Azog checks his watch. “No time to dilly-dally.”

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GM:

Rose smiles plainly and with a nod leads the group down one flight via the stairwell. Coming out on the landing they find themselves in a similar lovvy, but with doors to the east and west where there were windows on the floor above.

Using the same map above, you can only see the parts with tan background. Rose took you down via the south staircase.

Rose leads everyone to the east door and unlocks it. As she opens it, the sound of construction can easily be heard, “This is the last floor with unfinished work yet remaining,” she informs.

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Azog enters.

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Jamison follows.

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Mugsy waggles his eyebrows while looking at their guide. “It looks like a pretty solid piece of work.”

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GM:

Rose is playing along with Mugsy quite masterfully. He can tell that she’s done this before. She smiles shyly, and looks away, but looks back quickly and then away. She leads you into an apartment that is clearly lived in, yet vacant.

Maeves apt

The yellow section in the middle indicates the area where repairs are completed on the floor, and just wrapping up in the ceiling.

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“Whoooooeee!” Mugsy says, ‘finally’ noticing the rest of the place. “You mean that magic kayak went right through someone’s house?”

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GM:

Rose cocks her head to the side, “Magic Kayak?”

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“Yeah thats what happened. One of the guys down at the shop told me all about it. One o’them air ships was transporting some hoity-toities here to this building and when they were close they ran into some turbulence from all the hot air coming outta the sewers. Well that made the ship jump and one of the mooring lines lets go which was holding stuff to the gondola. Out slips their magic kayak that they were gonna use to explore the lake and BOOM! right through this nice little building here.”

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“Golly,” says Azog, taken somewhat aback. “Looks like somebody important was living here. Hope they got out OK.”

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GM:

Rose nods with practiced ease, “Fortunately the family were away. We have temporarily relocated them, at our expense of course, until the repairs are completed.”

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“Good news. Bet they’re eager to get back. Be tough to find another place this nice in the meanwhile.” Azog scribbles another note.

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Mugsy whistles again. “Someone lives here, as in permanently?”

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GM:

Rose nods again, “Well, we put them up within the building, on the west wing. Nowhere near as nice, but it’s only temporary.”

She turns to Mugsy, “Yes, we have a number of longterm tennants. I would have expected you to be aware of it?”

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“Yeah but I never believe it. These things are specced out for that kind of thing because they have to be or they won’t issue permits. Most of them are just penthouse type gigs that get rented out by high rollin types for periods of time, no one ever lives in em yeah round.”

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GM:

Rose arches an eyebrow, then tilts her head slightly, conceding the point. “Do you wish to inspect the work, then?”

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Mugsy slumps his should a bit and hangs his head slightly. “I guess we should…”

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Azog walks a circle around the damaged area, gazing up and down, pencil and book in hand. But what he writes and underlines is: “West Wing.”

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After a cursory walking-around [requiring no roll, I suppose?] Azog confers with his colleagues out of earshot.

“Whaddya guys think? Should we ask to look at the West Wing, or would that tip ‘em off? I don’t see how we shake ’em.”

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“I dunno that we’ll be able to, pally.” Jamison points over at the hole, for emphasis. “I kinda figured Mugsy would have the dame off us by now.”

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“The other Troll is… more than meets the eye, you catch me? I can’t say more. Maybe we should try and split them up. She’s got dark powers something terrible, that one.”

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“She might be on to us.” Mugsy admits. “She’s done this tête á tête before.”

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Azog nods. “Yeah, tut-tut-tut. She probably ate the last group of inspectors, too.” At this he involuntarily glances in her direction.

“Then let’s not split up. They don’t know who we are (we think), and they don’t know we have our trinkets. We can’t shake them just yet, so we just have to pick our moment.

“What should we ask to see next? The West Wing? The mooring column? The outside roof?”

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After a long moment, Azog notices that his companions aren’t answering. Nor moving. Nor breathing!

He glances around and sees workmen frozen, a hammer in mid-swing. Rose and her Troll are exchanging a long, knowing glance.

There is no sound, except a faint ticking. Azog finds in his hand the giant silver watch; he must have been fingering it nervously a moment ago, and now everything was stopped!

Acting on instinct, he drops the watch back into his pocket, tucks Mugsy and Chambers each under his armpits, and scurries off in the direction of the West Wing. The time-stop effect wears off just as he rounds the first corner.

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GM:

Reality flinches and suddenly Jamison and Mugsy are aware that they are being carried downstairs in Azog’s powerful grip. A shrill scream and the sounds of panic and pandemonium erupt behind the threesome as Azog heads downstairs.

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At the foot of the stair, Azog gently (but not too gently) sets his passengers on their feet and says, “Let’s find ’em, quick!”

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“Uhhh, did we fall through the hole?”

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“Brother, I ain’t sure what happened. One of Gimbel’s tricks, or Madam Esther’s maybe. All I know is we’ve got Witch Rose and nasty Mister Kluwe upstairs, some babies over here somewhere, and a mess of trouble if we don’t hurry.”

While he speaks, Azog pulls off his coveralls and cap. Underneath is his midnight blue suit.

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“What is the deal with that Troll upstairs?”

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“One of the Boss’s pet enforcers. Has a reputation for getting the job done. Right now we’re the job. Let’s move!”

[OK, I’m going to make a roll to find babies. Let’s try Thief plus Motivation, since it seems related to getting in good with Sister Mary. 2d6+2+2=2+4+2+2=10

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GM:

Azog realizes that evasion, at the moment, outweighs investigation. He also makes a pretty good guess that the lower floorplans will somewhat reflect the suite he just left, and he will remember that there were no stairs inside the unit.

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Jamison scowled. “We’re the job? I thought we were here pulling a job!” Jamison wrested free of Azog’s arm, and started to run on his own.

[I’ll try to find babies, as well. Let’s try Law Enforcement: Roll(2d6)2:
3,1,
2 Total:6. Yup, I’m helping.]

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GM:

Jamison wrests free from Azog with intent to go searching. Unfortunately, he begins to move back up the stairs.

Jamison fails his check, gets disoriented. but he gains a TP!

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“We’re not the job. They were the escort assigned to make sure we only see what they want us to see. Azog, who is the bigger threat, the troll or the witch?”

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“I’d say the witch. Good odds she’s the one who killed Lovecraft with a phone call. But Mr. Kluwe is also… hey, Mr. Black Bag is going back!”

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storms back up the stairs

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“Oh for the love of Pete!” Azog drops to all fours and knuckle-walks back up the stair to catch Chambers. “That’s the way we came,” he says.

“Now let’s find the way back to the West wing. Should be another stair halfway between. Hurry, they’ll figure out where we’re going any minute!”

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Mugsy hustles down the stairs.

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“But, wasn’t there a door-no, you’re right. We’d have seen it. Sorry. Let’s scoot. There’s a lot of looking left to do, and not a great deal of time to do it in.” Jamison charged back down the stairs.

“Now, what about Mr. Klue?”

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Indeed, what about him?

[Pumps the GM for more information. Streetwise: 2d6+2=1+6+2=9 Could plausibly throw in Troll, since they share a milieu, for 11.]

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“Well for starters,” begins Azog conspiratorially, “he was at that burn job that interested Mugsy so much.” He adds hastily, “The one where I was just a lookout.”

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“Is he clocked at all?” Mugsy asks as they scramble down the stairs.

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GM:

To call Mr. Kluwe “enigmatic” would be an understatement. There is a depth to him that, when perceived, shakes Azog to his bones. Because of this, Azog has subconsciously avoided direct interaction with him, and thus doesn’t fully grasp what is so unique about him. He is polite, well spoken, polished and well groomed. No clockwork that Azog is aware of. He positively radiates power, but that could just be his magnificent trollishness. He’s the sort of Troll who makes Azog feel like an overgrown ork.

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“I di’nt see no tinny bits on ‘im, no, but he’s one scary dude, that’s for sure. Okay, we turn here.”

Azog approaches the stately doors of the suites of the West Wing at a gallop, but instead of bursting through he rears up, pauses, and then knocks lightly on the wood.

“Hello?” he calls through the closed door.

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Jamison turns, draws his pistol, pulls his hand next to his chest, and braces it with his other hand. He waits for his pursuers.

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GM:

From above, the trio can hear sounds of confusion gradually turning from chaos to ordered searching. It may be mere moments before Rose and Mr. Kluwe come storming down the steps.

Azog knocks on the door, but receives no response. He tries the handle, and it does not move.

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Azog forces the door. [Thief+Troll= 2d6+2+2= 2+5+2+2=11]

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“Now we start the fun stuff, I guess.”

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GM:

The door gives way under pressure from the massive Troll, opening with a crack. Brief inspection shows that the door is clearly broken, but it’s possible that once closed it might not draw attention.

Inside is a suite somewhat a mirror image to the one which the trio previously entered. It shows clear signs of recent use, but no one cries out in response to Azog’s uninvited entry.

Upstairs voices are getting louder, nearer. Jamison hears Rose bark to someone, “Check the stairwell!”

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“Hurry up, boys! Lets get through here and buy a little time.”

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“I don’t see no way out except the window. Get in and get the door closed. We can hide in the bedroom.”

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Mugsy fiddles with the door trying to put it back in place after the trio has filed through.

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GM:

Mugsy gets the door closed as best he can and hopes it looks proper from the outside.

Inside Azog and Jamison look around and see a fashionably appointed apartment. Fine art adorns the walls, furrs hang in a closet near the door, expensive bottles of wine yes, wine fill a nearby display rack, and on a table against a wall sit three crystal decanters filled with dark liquid that positively HAVE to be something akin to brandy or cognac.

It is a level of oppulence to make Jamison’s bones ache.

As they walk further in to the apartment, the faint hiss of a shower running can be heard.

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“Well, I don’t think the kids are in here. Either that or they really need to hire a better nanny.”

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“Alright, here’s how we do this. Zog, step in with me, and find cover. Aim your artillery at the door. Klew will be first through the door, and he seems special. Maybe he’s an adept, so shoot to kill. Mugsy, go stop that shower. Someone is wasting water. Oh, and if they know where our targets are, that’d be just swell. "

Jameson gritted his teeth, looked around for cover, not just concealment, and placed himself out of the immediate line of sight.

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GM:

Jamison finds a fairly substantive couch with a hardwood table next to it. He could probably tip the table on the side and take cover behind the two. There’s some fancy glassware on the table, however.

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“Adept? What’s…” Azog doesn’t finish the question. He draws his pistol and takes position behind a large Davenport.

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Mugsy goes to investigate the shower.

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GM:

Mugsy walks through the dining room, past the living room which opens onto a balcony, and into the back of the suite where three bedrooms meet. The back bedroom to the left seems to be the master suite, and Mugsy can hear the shower sound from that room.

The other bedrooms seem appointed but unused.

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GM:

As Mugsy walks into the bedroom, he sees a neatly made up bed, a red silk bathrobe is draped over a chair near the entrance to the closet. Apart from this, the bedroom seems undisturbed.

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[Male or female bathrobe?]

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GM:

It’s gender neutral. Red silk, designed less for warmth and more for coverage and “Because I can.” Not frilly, but fancy. Mugsy will have to pick it up to gauge the size of it.

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[Mugsy will look around for anything else that will relay gender.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

The room seems to be that of a man, in that it is not appointed with myriad girly accoutrements.

As Mugsy is looking the room over, he hears the shower shut off. A brief pause is followed by the sound of bare feet on tile, and suddenly a naked man in his mid fifties is standing at the entrance between the bathroom and bedroom, holding a towel and staring at Mugsy with a look of complete confusion on his face.

At the same time, Azog and Jamison hear footsteps pounding down the stairs. They stop, then seem to move towards the door.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog crouches behind the Davenport and attempts to make himself inconspicuous as possible.

[Thief: 2d6+2=1+1+2=4 (Wow!)]

Azog inadvertently bumps an end table and sends a large porcelain vase to the floor. It shatters into a million pieces quite loudly.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Mugsy grimaces at the sound. “Oh jeeze, this inspection just keeps getting better. You, sir. Pardon the intrusion, could you please tell me where in the building this is?”

The Labrador Revisited
 

Jamison starts, then glowers at Azog, before swinging his sight back to the door.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog withers under the glare, then gathers himself and faces the door from behind the sofa.

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

The man starts at the sound of the breaking vessel, “Inspection? What is the meaning of this?!” Pushing past Mugsy, he grabs his bathrobe and marches toward the livingroom, donning his garb as he storms out of the bedroom.
“What is the meaning of this!” he bellows once more.

At the same time, the door explodes inward as Mr. Kluwe charges right through it on all fours.

Azog, Jamison, you are denied your readied shot on account of the bathrobed man’s suprise intrusion unless you can beat a 12 on a single weapons related forte roll. Please post your roll and subsequent action.

Mugsy, you will be in the doorway between bedroom and hallway when Mr. Bathrobe makes it to the Living Room and bellows.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog is confused by the events. He half-shoves, half-hurls the tasteful sofa into the path of the charging Mr. Kluwe.

[Challenge! Hand-to-hand plus Troll: 2d6=2+5+4+2=13]

The Labrador Revisited
 

Mugsy gets his gun.

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Mr. Kluwe barrels through the door, only to have Azog throw the sofa right into his path. With a casual, even graceful leap, he clears the flying sofa, snatching a throw pillow from it as he does so. Landing, he squares to face Azog and at the same time flicks the pillow at Jamison’s face, further preventing him from taking a shot.

Mugsy can see Rose stepping casually into the suite and leaning gracefully against the sofa now sitting just shy of the doorway.

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Goddammit!” Jamison barks, attempting to swing his short-gripped pistol back towards Kluwe.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog covers Kluwe with the pistol and puts a brave face on, though inwardly he is quaking.

“Awright, Kluwe, spill it! Where’s the babies at?”

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Rose barks a short laugh in response to this, “So she’s hired her own thugs to rescue her babies now! Priceless!” She begins moving her hands in what appears to be a mystical pattern.

The bathrobed man, surveying the scene, gasps loudly, “Jamison Chambers!”

For his part, Mr. Kluwe dives into Azog, claws out. (Duel: Mr. Kluwe allots 3 dice to offense and none to defense. He is much faster than Azog anticipates and rolls a total of 17 to attack.)

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Hell,” Jamison barks, and, knowing what comes next if nothing interrupts an incoming spell, pops off a few shots at Rose. Even if he misses, it’s human nature to duck back when you’re being fired at…

[2d6+2 for Gunplay: Roll(2d6)2:
1,6,
2
Total:9]

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog acts on pure instinct, batting away tooth and claw like an alpha wolf.

[All to defense. Hand-to-hand 3d6+4=1+4+5+4=13. The GM has suggested that Azog is surprised by the attack, so as a sneaky move I will draw in my Surprise Attack technique. Reroll=6! New total: 3d6=6+5+4+4=19.]

The attack came at lightning speed, but somehow (he would later credit the angels) Azog evaded without a tear on his suit.

Their respective positions are now reversed. Azog is between Jamison and Kluwe, and his back is to Rose. He can see Mugsy and the room’s Occupant.

The Labrador Revisited
 

[Forgot the Volte-face.]

In the exchange, Azog jabs wildly at Kluwe…

[Hand-to-hand: 0d+4=4]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Mr. Kluwe achieves a 5 on his Volte-face.

Rose smirks as Jamison raises his gun, and just simply keeps casting. He draws a bead and makes to fire, but finds that his hand has gone numb, and he is unable to pull the trigger.

Rose rolled a 12 on the Challenge.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Swearing loudly, Jamison switches hands. “Gotcha now, witch!” The gun barks out.

[Roll(2d6)2:
4,3,
2
Total:9]

The Labrador Revisited
 

“OK, Kluwe, have it your way,” says Azog, grim-faced. He throws off his jacket and loosens his tie. “I’m gonna walk outta here wearing your hat.”

[1d6+4 to attack, 2d6+4 defend.

attack: 1d6+4=1+4=5.

defend: 2d6+4=2+2+4=8]

The Labrador Revisited
 

Mugsy will squeeze off a shot at Rose. [Soldier 4+3+2=9]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Mr. Kluwe smiles pleasantly, “I’m sorry, friend, but I am not wearing a hat.”

[Kluwe rolls a 5 on his initial defense, again he is unexpectedly quicker that Azog expected. He rolls a 10 on the Volte Face]

Jamison and Mugsy both open fire on Rose. The gentlemen in the bathrobe yelps in fright, but the Rose seems unaffected, instead the bullets seem to strike a blue translucent dome that appears before her just as the bullets strike it, then dissappears immediately. Mugsy will recognize this from the War as a “Casting Shield” and will know that it will be persistent and will take some pretty heavy fire to wear through it. [Rose rolled a 15 on her Casting Shield. It represents a static defensive number for her. More rules on how it can be worn down to come shortly.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Yeah, well that makes two of us,” says Azog.

Azog raises his fists in imitation of “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, then jabs at Kluwe. The blow connects with enough force to bruise a human [attack=defense], but is insufficient to affect the Troll’s tough hide.

Kluwe swipes back and gets a claw past Azog’s defenses. His waistcoat is shredded [attack minus defense=2], but his Troll forte deflects the damage. [See Metahumans.]

“Quit screwin’ around ,” yells Azog over the barking pistols. He believes Kluwe is toying with him.

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Alright.” Mugsy says. “I think our lady friend needs a cigarette.” Mugsy then proceeds to tackle the man who exited the shower.

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Right,” says Azog, not quite comprehending. “And Mr. Kluwe, you need a knuckle sandwich.”

Azog balls his fists and again closes in.

[one die attacks, two dice defend. Hand-to-hand forte.]

[Attack 1d6+4=1+4=5! Defend 2d6+4=2+2+4=8. Beat that!]

[Did you know we can now edit comments?]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Mugsy launches himself at the bathrobed man and finds out, much to his chagrin, that the man is still quite damp from his shower, and that the bathrobe is not quite securely fastened. The man goes down with Mugsy in a heap, making no resistance.

[Mr. Kluwe defends at a 5, attacks with a 13]

The Labrador Revisited
 

You know what? I’m done with this broad, Jamison mutters. Vaulting from behind the cover, firing repeatedly, Jamison charges the witch for a dashing right-cross!

[Boxing ( +4 ) 1 + 2 + 4=7 use Technique:Brutal to reroll the 1: 4 for a total of 10]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

The frosty smile on Rose’s face disappears as Jamison charges her position. Snarling she hurls a bolt of energy at him just as he crashes through her Casting Shield. [She rolls an 11 on the “attack” which will suffice as a defense roll for her.]

If anyone is paying attention, they would notice that the Casting Shield has collapsed.

The Labrador Revisited
 

[So, she effectively aborted to defense, which means no damage to me, right?}

Jamison barks out, “Mugsy, show this whore how we do things downtown!!!”

The Labrador Revisited
 

13-8=5. DR2. Azog takes 3 steps of damage.

Azog’s arms are bloodied by Kluwe’s claws, but he goes in again, fists swinging.

“I’m gonna knock your block off, Kluwe.”

Azog swings wildly and misses, but it’s a trick! His fist opens and a half-dozen dice fly at Kluwe’s face.

[Attack: 2d6+4=4+3+4=11. Technique Surprise used to reroll.]

[Defense: 1d6+4=6+4=10.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

“This is unbelievable! I don’t care where we are its rude to punch women before offering them a smoke first.” Mugsy attempts to fire at Rose.

[3+3+2=8]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

The now bathrobeless man screams and thrashes, hindering Mugsy’s shot. You’ll need to disengage yourself from him, Ethan, to get a shot without penalties. But the shot is still enough to make Rose flinch. She obviously realizes that her shield is down. Even so, she hurls a bolt of energy at Jamison, he can feel it attempting to paralyze him. Rose rolls a 12

Neko, Mr. Kluwe fails his defense roll against your attack. I’m going to rule that it’s a challenge and not an attack, and since he failed the challenge, he simply loses his attack – which was a 19. I think you come out ahead there. ;)

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Sir, you’re endangering your welfare by acting like a unchaste nun who’s just been discovered. If you compose yourself, I’ll spare you as much personal injury as I can.”

The Labrador Revisited
 

[I just got the Ghostbusters reference, LF.]

Mr. Kluwe flinches as trick dice explode around his face. They sound like popping Champagne corks and barely register among the ringing gunshots. Azog roars and follows up with a haymaker.

[1d6+4+1 Attack+hands+half troll forte=3+4+1=8]
[2d6+4 Defense+hands=4+4+4=12 (technique surprise used to reroll)]

The Labrador Revisited
 

…And the eldritch energies wash over Jamison…

[Roll(2d6)2: (Law enforcement academy training)
4,5,
2
Total:11

Fuckbutter.]

…gritting his teeth and trying to fight it off, Jamison begins to feel his entire body going numb.

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

The man stars at Mugsy, wide eyed, and attempts to scrabble out from under him, “Leave, leave me a lone! GET OUT OF MY HOME!!!” He screams, seemingly more in fear than in anger.

Jamison crashes to the ground, his head bouncing off the edge of the couch. He is unable to move, but lands in just such a way that he can clearly see the naked man clawing his way out from under Mugsy. He recognizes him in an instant, Enzo Farugliani. see the characters page

[Mr. Kluwe defends at a 5 and attacks with an 18, using his swiftness technique to reroll. Azog will note that his 3 points of damage don’t actually seem to transfer, and that Kluwe’s attack seems to pack more of a wallop than it should.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Alright, fine! I need a cigarette!” Mugsy gets the magic case from Jamison and opens it.

The Labrador Revisited
 

18-12=6 DR2. Azog takes 4 steps of damage.

“You wearin’ some kind of body armor, Kluwe? Dirty pool!” Azog backs up a pace and then sees Jamison go down.

“No!” He leaps at Rose and aims to body-check her…

but he fails his challenge to Kluwe and is blocked

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

The man is more than happy to let Mugsy get off of him, and Mugsy heads towards Jamison. Azog, for his part, attempts to disengage from Kluwe.

Neko, give me a 2d6 roll Challenge to represent Azog disengaging. Based on who is where, Mugsy will take 2 “rounds” to get to Jamison. That means everyone gets one more action before Mugsy retrieves the case.

[Mr. Kluwe rolls a 13 to keep Azog from getting away.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

[Result was 2+4+4=10, Azog does not get away.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Back off, Kluwe. Me and the witch got a score to settle. No? Fine, you asked for it.”

Azog charges Kluwe like a steam locomotive and means to push him into a great glass window.

[Challenge! 2d6+4=4+4+4=12. Our team really needs a break. Azog stacks his remaining 3 style dice. New total: 15.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

[Mr. Kluwe rolls a 13]

[Mugsy, do you have any actions you want to take on your way over to get the Cigarette case?]

As Azog charges Mr. Klue, Jamison slumps to the floor – eyes open, but clearly immobilized by some invisible force. Rose, for her part, cackles gleefully, bends over, and picks up Jamison’s pistol. As Mugsy charges towards her, she levels it at him.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog looks in desperate shape. By contrast, Kluwe hasn’t even broken a sweat. Confident in his Adept powers, Kluwe employs immovable stance against Azog’s charge.

But at that moment, alone in her study, Sister Mary is meditating upon Chapter Eight of the Book of Daniel and offers an earnest prayer on Azog’s behalf. Azog crashes squarely into Kluwe and sends him flying like a billiard ball.

Kluwe sails through the great glass window pane and into blue sky. Below him is more copper roof tiling, so he’s not necessarily out of the story, but it will take a few seconds to complete a fall and longer to climb back up.

The Labrador Revisited
 

[+1 Style Points for Neko! Great sense of the dramatic!]

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Ah, ah.” Mugsy calls as he fires more rounds Rose’s way. “I was trying to be civil and polite about this but now you’re resorting to petty theft.”

[Soldier: 6+4+2=12]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

[Rose rolls an 11. With the +3 from Mugsy’s pistol, Rose will take 4 damage.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

[I’m going to use my boxing to resist staying down, as soon as I get home, unless one of you guys would like to roll for me.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

[Roll(2d6)4:
5,4,
4
Total:13]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

[Jamison breaks free from the spell]

The Labrador Revisited
 

Rose flinches and goes for cover instinctively while the bullets report. As she hastes to put something between herself and the smoking gun, she catches the edge of the coffee table and goes down hard.

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

[Nice, Ethan! Instead of giving her bullet damage, you’re giving her coffee table damage! +1 Style Die for creativity!]

Rose hits the table hard, dazing herself briefly. You guys can’t do with her as you please, but you do get a round of actions without her taking an action.

The Labrador Revisited
 

A roaring wind whips around the apartment and carries loose newspaper sheets out the window after the defenestrated Troll.

The air pressure inside the apartment drops suddenly (not due to altitude but the Bernoulli principle), causing Champagne bottles on the wine rack to pop as though in celebration of Kluwe’s departure.

Azog stares a moment out the window as though unsure what has happened. He snaps out of it, grabs a decanter of whiskey from the open liquor cabinet, and lopes painfully to rejoin the team. Despite his wounds Azog is ready to support whatever action is taken next.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Mugsy retrieves the cigarette case from a woozy Jamison.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Jamison wobbles to his knees, shaking off the effects of the spell, then throws himself onto Rose, burying his fist into the side of her face. Then, he lunges at her, plants a knee onto her wrist, rears back, and aims to rub the polish off her face.

“My turn, witch,” he snarls.

[2d6+4 (idiom, brutal, chained to boxing):
Roll(2d6)4:
4,3,
4
Total:11]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Jamison connects with Rose’s face solidly, and her head snaps back at the impact. But as he raises his fist to finish the job, she claws at a necklace around her throat with her free hand and tears it off of her. As the chain breaks, a light flares briefly and she disappears from beneath Jamison. The room is suddenly quiet from the sounds of fighting, marked only by the sound of the wind through the broken window.

The apartment’s occupant collects his bathrobe, and his dignity, “YOU!” he seethes visibly at Chambers’ presence.

The Labrador Revisited
 

The witch vanishes from under Jamison’s nose just as Azog arrives.

“Aw!” groans the bedraggled Troll. “You let ’er get away! How we gonna find them babies now?”

At last he notices Farugliani in the (thankfully) closed bathrobe. “Who’s the guy?” he asks.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Jamison steadies himself, and stands.

“Lookin’ good, kid,” he says to Enzo, eyes flashing. “Now that I taught the witch about science, and my man threw her man out of a window, we have time to catch up.”

With that, he starts pacing back and forth in front of the man that cost him his career, his place in society, his family, his pride, and his pretty, pretty face. He drops into a boxer’s stance, and moves his shoulders like he’s throwing body blows. “Hey, you know what? That felt pretty good. Been too long since I’ve been in the ring, Enzo. You know that? Not too rusty, either. So, my man. What have you been up to? It’s been a while, you know?”

“Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know anything about a few kids up here, would you? They’d have them on a pretty tight leash, you know? Under lock-and-key. You know how it is, Enzo. Using family members to get at people. You ever do that, Enzo? Use family to get at people? I hear it really gets under peoples’ skin, you do that. But no man, no real man, anyway, does business that way…”

Jamison rolls up his sleeves. He grins at Enzo. “So, can you help point us in the right direction? No sweat on the Johnny Law bit. I’ve been away from the Treasury for a good, long time. Dunno if it’ll help you sleep at night, you know, but you were right, Enzo. Those chumps are every bit as sideways as you said they were. The Treasury is just a bigger, badder gang. I didn’t see it, then. But I do, now, Enzo.”

“So, whaddya say?”

[Roll(2d6)2:
6,3,
2
Total:11]

The Labrador Revisited
 

“So you know this guy?”

The Labrador Revisited
 

Jamison chuckles, his eyes never leaving Enzo’s. "What, Enzo and I?Yeah, we have history, the two of us. Was a time when I spent most of my day trying to figure out how to ruin his, you follow? He used to run a bank, Enzo. Friends in high places.

Course, that’s back before, when I was a G-man." Jamison spared a second to glance at the surroundings. "How do you make your cabbage these days, Enzo? You seem to be doing all right. Plenty of champagne over there, pouring onto the ground. I hope you don’t mind. I just hate to see it go to waste, you know? "

With that, he makes his way to the wine rack.

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Sorry guys, I lost track of who I was or wasn’t waiting on. :P

Enzo stares at Jamison and seethes, “Get your filthy paws away from my booze, you filthy rat.” He stalks over and interposes himself between Chambers and the champagne, “You came into my life and ruined it once, see? Now you’re here to do it again, are you? Once’s not enough for you. Goodie two-shoes or not, youse gotta vendetta, see? Well, don’t you worry. I seen Rosie take off, and she’ll be back, and with plenty o’ help to boot. You think you won this round? Have another think, you’ve just turned up the pain you’re about to have.”

He plants his feet in the growing puddle of champagne and stands off against Chambers, fists clenching and un-clenching as he stares him down. With Enzo in his bathrobe and dripping wet, the scene would be comical if not for its earnestness.

The Labrador Revisited
 

“You’d be funny, Enzo, if you weren’t so sad. I’ve been gone for how long, now, and you think I’m still about you?”

Jamison tries to reach around Enzo. When Enzo doesn’t move, Jamison shrugs. "You italians, boy! All hospitality and propriety until it’s not convenient any more, then, poof! Out on the street.

Fine, laddie. I don’t know how to say this and be nice. I’m not the bad guy, here. I sure as heck wasn’t expecting you on the other side of the door. I was trying to get someone out of the squeeze they were in, is all. To speak easy with you, I’d have just showed up and knocked, I knew you were down here. You’d have told me to fuck myself with a spatula, and we’d have ended up here, anyway.

Be perfectly straight wit you, Enzo, no, we never liked each other. But my job was to stop you from doing your job. Because I was a kid, and I was in the papers, my my head got swole.

I didn’t choose your name, Enzo. I didn’t even know your name when I got the file. Someone gave it to me. Someone set you up for a fall. Someone got us the evidence I got you with.

Who do you think it was, Enzo? The cops? They investigate securities fraud and embezzlement in this city? You got made, then I got made. Easy as that.

You’re a banker, Enzo. Follow the money. Who got you?"

With that, Jamison snatched a half-empty bottle, and took a swig.

“Like you said, though, we’re shy on time. Where are the kids?”

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog is transfixed by the unexpected show. He unstops the decanter, takes a swig of whiskey, and (without averting his eyes from Jamison) wordlessly offers the high-quality hooch to Mugsy.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Mugsy takes a pull on the bottle and passes it back to his troll-kin. “I’m gonna have a look around. If he objects, hit him on the head.” He says absently and begins to search Enzo’s room.

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Enzo is clearly flustered by this entire turn of events, and even more flustered as you all help yourselves to his hooch. As Mugsy heads towards the hallway he blinks and seems to come out of a reverie of sorts, “Please!” the anger is gone out of his voice and replaced with desperation, “I had just rebuilt my life and here you come storming into it again! Just leave me alone! You’ve already ruined my home and stolen my booze, isn’t that enough? What’s next, the shirt off my back?” He strips off the bathrobe and throws it at Jamison’s feet. “Just go away! I don’t know what you’re about, I just live here! Please, go away!”

The Labrador Revisited
 

“We’re not going anywhere till you put some clothes on.” Mugsy calls over his shoulder.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog shields his eyes with his paw and groans. At last he shakes his head and says, “Crazy swells ain’t got no shame!”

The Labrador Revisited
 

“Guys, we got no time. Let’s go. " Jamison walked toward the door. After a few steps, he stops. He looked over his shoulder.

“Enzo, for whatever it’s worth, I’m sorry. Damned sorry. Just know that I got mine. Whatever you prayed for, it happened. I lost everything and everyone.

Good luck."

Without another word, Jamison jogged out the broken door.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog shoots Enzo a disdainful look before grabbing his coat and falling in behind Jamison. He claps a heavy paw on Jamison’s back, a gesture of camaraderie that reminds Mugsy of Army esprit de corps.

“C’mon, Mugsy,” says Azog. “Ten-to-one says he don’t know nuttin’.”

The Labrador Revisited
 

“We’ll see.” Mugsy yells from where he is searching.

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog’s arm stiffens on Jamison’s shoulder and halts him in the hallway.

“Listen, we better not split up,” he says in a low voice. “I’ll watch the door.”

Azog ducks into a shadow and nearly vanishes. He has a good view of the approaches to the (ruined) apartment door.

[Thief: 2d6+2=6+6+2=14!]

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Crit Success! Azog disappears so effectively, he simply melts from view even as Jamison is watching. It’s pretty dang impressive, especially considering the fact that you’re in a lit hallway.

The Labrador Revisited
 

[lemme know when or if you want me to do a PI roll]

The Labrador Revisited
 

[Anytime you think a skill is pertinent and you want to see if you can get extra info for rolling it, just roll it along with your descriptive text.]

The Labrador Revisited
 

[Ha! I don’t think we’ll be finding anything. 1+3+2=6] As Mugsy pokes around in the back more crashing and smashing can be heard. Soft cursing can be heard. “Don’t mind me, I’ll be fine, slipped on some Sherry. Nothing to see here, best be going.”

The Labrador Revisited
 

Azog steps out of the shadow scratching himself absently.

“Hm, okay. We’ll check one flight down. Watch for goons.”

The Labrador Revisited
 

GM:

Enzo watches and seethes at you all as you leave, directing extra ire at Mugsy for having tossed his bedroom. You make your way down one floor and find yourself at another landing with, again, one suite door on either side of the landing, just like the one above.

The Labrador Revisited
Neko_Bijin

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