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OOC [Heart] Murder on the Amaranth Express


Bleak Academic
Validated User
“The journey has its own lyrics
A duet of balanced motion
The rails and wheels in tune”
― Richard L. Ratliff

Pardon Me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo? ― Mack Gordon

The Delvers must discover the fate of a haven which has gone missing along with its inhabitants - The Vermissian is a labyrinth of abandoned pathways and snaking tunnels wending throughout Spire. To discover the fate of the haven of New Amaranth, the Delvers will need to venture through the haunted tracks and ruined stations on a journey that will take them from the very top of the Spire down into the very Heart itself.

So far I've got DannyK DannyK as the Heretic and FrivYeti FrivYeti as the Vermissian Knight on board for a Delve into the winding Vermissian.

I'd like to try and really keep this game moving. One of the things I've realized recently (which is wild since I've been PbPing for well over a decade) is that PbPs really lack for something to do when a player isn't 100% sure how to do something. In face-to-face games, there's a quasi-in-character sort of action where the player says "Can Valrik walk around the perimeter and find a way in?" and the Gm instantly says "Yea, turns out there's a door in the back" or "Well, there's a fence but if you climb the fence..." or something else. Since PbP is so descriptive and novel-esque, it's hard to break those deadlocks where the image in your head is not sufficiently clear to narrate an entire scene but IS clear enough to have an idea what sort of action you might do. And then the GM can't really explain what IS going on without writing a lengthy descriptive scene setting post of their own - which might not actually be called for. This leads to post paralysis.

So let's all try and be a little bit looser and flowier than we usually are and see if that helps. I'm going to try and commit to one post per day, though those posts may not be of the highest quality possible.... If that's untenable for eveyrone else, I could definitely slow it down, but my usual "I'll try to post a lot but now it's once a week and oh man two weeks are GONE time to kill this game!" rate isn't going to fly.

Regarding the fiction: We'll be starting the game as the players return to the Haven of New Amaranth.

: 1; Domains: Technology, Haven

Built in the remains of a shattered train depot among the carcasses of long dead Human-built engines, New Amaranth is a mecca for those who seek the lost knowledge of the Vermissian, supporting an enclave of junk-dwelling savants and machine-mystics. Many suits of Vermissian-crafted armor have components pulled from the ancient wreckage. The Sages theorize that this depot was only partially completed when the Vermissian was activated which is why it bears only light Echo taint from the wild energies of the Heart.

King Emma Silverteeth (Supplies, D10)
Brother Walks-Among-the-Snowbells (Fortune, D8)
The Boiler (Echo, D6)
Please answer the following question:
Who is the person in New Amaranth who you know the best? A friend? A lover? A child? A rival? Have you done work for one of the folk in the Haven before?

Friv's Vermissian Knight might call New Amaranth his home. DannyK's might have been friends with Brother Walks-Among-the-Snowbells. You might be returning to restock your supplies or simply rest your weary bones.

But there will be no rest to be found in New Amaranth.
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One Shot Man
Validated User
I'm here! I will strive to create a character who is brimming over with life and motivation of some sort.
Heretic with Enlightenment Calling, I think.
Further thought — a brilliant mystic and student of religion who for some reason keeps getting pulled into solving murder mysteries wherever he goes.
Based on Sean Connery as William of Baskerville.
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Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I think my Knight doesn't live here, but has spent a lot of time in New Amaranth. Their mentor lives here. She was their mother's partner, two fellow Vermissian Knights long ago. Their mother was lost in a Delve, and became something monstrous - I don't think my knight knows what. But they dream of her, often, in fragments and tatters, and those dreams draw them ever towards the Heart. The mentor went on a few more delves before being injured too badly to continue, and retreated to New Amaranth.

So, going for a second-generation Vermissian Knight, with the Heartsong Calling, definitely on a path towards ruin. Still mulling over character details a bit. Currently leaning towards Echoing Rails as my major power, and wobbling between Sanctuary, Vermissian Plate, Knight Errant, Black Knight, and Express Service for my three Minors.


One Shot Man
Validated User
Brother Bertram Roachbeer
Heretic, Enlightenment Calling

Brother Bertram comes from a long line of mystics and scholars of Damnou, dating back to before the invasion of Spire, when his ancestors fled to the Heart. He has an odd sort of curse, in that he is frequenty called upon to solve mysterious disappearances and murders, which sometimes involve strange curses and eldritch dooms, but just as often hinge on petty jealousies and quarrels over pots of fermented mushrooms. His experience has shaped his outlook on the foolish and fallen state of the Drow, and he seeks the answer to the question of why the Drow seem hell-bent on wiping themselves out, when they have so many enemies that would be happy to do it for them.
His hair is dark but his skin has gone unnaturally pale and leathery from long travelling in deep corridors and warrens and his hands tremble. He is fond of food and drink and likes to smoke a pipe when there’s time. Drow who think his worldly manner means he is not devoted to the worship of Damnou find out their error quickly, sometimes with a blow from his antique brazier, his most cherished possession, supposedly a relic of the lost temple of the Moon Ascendant.



Spireblack Brazier (D6, Tiring. When the brazier is lit, it becomes D6, Obscuring, Dangerous)



You, and by extension your companions, are ever-bathed in the intangible moonlight of the Moon Beneath. You are blessed. When you or your companions remove stress from Fortune, roll two dice and pick the higher result to determine the amount removed.

Your mission will never cease; you have sworn to spread the revelations of the goddesses to the depths of the City Beneath. Gain the Delve skill.

Two hundred years ago, your forefathers fled persecution in the city above; you’re still running. Gain the Evade skill. Roll with mastery when you evade anyone from the City Above.

You have argued over the interpretation of scripture with the temple elders time and time again. Gain the Compel skill. When you invoke your holy texts in conversation with another member of your faith, roll with mastery.


When you attune your mind to the glory of the Moon Beneath,
roll Discern+Religion. On a success, when you close your eyes, you can see the auras of intelligent creatures around you in your immediate area - these are visible regardless of physical obstructions. By focusing on a particular aura, you can tell: the subject’s age, their emotional state, and their level of heartsblood contamination.



Gain the Discern skill. Once per session, when you would roll dice to resolve an action but before you roll, instead state that your result is a 6, and you succeed but you take stress.

[] Gain access to knowledge that someone tried to conceal.
[] Allude to the events that lead you to seek forbidden knowledge to achieve an impossible task.

Spoiler: Show

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Bleak Academic
Validated User
Very cool for both of you!

Hereditary Train-Lovin'. I like it!

Do you guys have any issue with being a two-person team?


Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I feel like games tend to last better with at least three players, but if we end up with two I will still be happy to play.

For my character:

Janus Twisselwood, Heartsong Vermissian Knight

Janus Twisselwood is a second-generation Vermissian Knight. His father was a criminal fleeing capture in the Spire, and his mother was a headstrong Knight herself. When Janus was young, she died, leaving behind her shattered sword and torn plate. His father descended into drink, and Janus devoted himself to the rails - but at night, he dreamed of his mother, calling him down towards the Heart. Now, he seeks to learn the truth about her fate...

Skills: Discern, Endure
Domains: Occult, Technology
Equipment: Scrapforged Sword d8
Resistance: Blood 2, Echo 1


Core: Shortcut. When the GM rolls to see how many events are triggered in a journey between two landmarks, they roll twice and take the lower result.

Core: In The Blood. +1 Echo Resistance. Once per situation, when you take non-Echo stress, put it in Echo.

Major: Echoing Rails. Once per session, find an entrance to the Vermissian Network, even if it wasn't there before.

Minor: Black Knight. Gain the Occult Domain.
Minor: Knight Errant. Gain the Discern Skill.
Minor: Vermissian Plate. +2 Blood Protection.


Minor: Take minor Echo fallout.
Minor: See something from your dreams in the real world.


Bleak Academic
Validated User
Before I put this out there into the public sphere, either of you have any thoughts for a fourth we can bring into the fold? I agree, two is probably at least one too few for comfort.


One Shot Man
Validated User
KreenWarrior, Cannonball, EnigmaticOne were all good in my Spire game (that I let die like a fool)
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