Pearl Chambers swore up and down that she knew nothing of Ms. Diamond’s true nature, and the impact of the revelation came close to making her faint again when our heroes heard footsteps coming from the entrance to the car. New customers were sure to be surprised at the state of affairs in the brothel, but it was our heroes that were shocked instead.
Behind a gruff, sloppily dressed Dwarf (A captain of the legion at Squanch’s reckoning…) was a woman so beautiful that she seemed to shine. It was the Princess Svetlana who approached. But, before they could ask why a woman of her position would be in this section of the train, they were each interrogated by the almost bumbling Dwarf.
“It seems you’ve been through quite a bit since stepping aboard, and for that I apologize… I apologize for Oso here as well, but I trust you he means well” Svetlana said as she interrupted Oso.
Svetlana turned her attention to Pearl who was on the verge of going into shock, and with naught but a kind smile she was able to calm the girl down. Svetlana encouraged her to take proprietorship of the brothel, and with a nod of approval from our heroes, Pearl accepted.
It was then that a voice crackled over the train’s public address system notifying the 2-star section that the duel tournament would begin shortly. Our heroes gathered themselves and ventured forth.
Obediah, never having used a firearm in his life, was relieved to hear that duels in the 2-star car used non-lethal ammunition, a small, squishy ball filled with paint rather than the hot lead many in this world had adopted. Regardless of the stakes, each of our adventurers steeled themselves. In order to get that map, they needed to get further up the train, and the prize here would bring them one step closer to that goal.
After quite a few close calls, and a number of upsets, “Wild” Biff Armstrong emerged the victor and claimed his reward of 200 dollars and a single 3-star ticket.
The car emptied very quickly, the spectators went back to their compartments, and the other duelists each advancing forward to the 3-star section. They each had dominated the 2-star duel for a while, and decided it was time to move ahead. Once the area was empty, Obediah alerted his compatriots to a small metal door he noticed under the grass of the dueling field. The hatch opened with relative ease to a very dark, very long hallway.
The group jumped down the hatch to investigate the bowels of the Uhrwerk masterpiece, where they were promptly greeted by the mechanical embodiment of security on this level. Those Uhrwerk brothers didn’t want folks snooping around down here, and they posted 2 massive, steamwork Gorgons to ensure nobody would live to reveal their secrets.
It was clear that many were not as hearty as our travellers, for there was blood and bone dust strewn everywhere, but our band of heroes made quick work of the clockwork contraptions. There was naught to be found among the heap of scrap save for some bits that could be used to repair other machinations… Cassidy had an eye for such things and gathered what he could. Billy Rabbit noticed at the end of the hall, a door emblazoned with three stars. Perhaps once they managed to find enough tickets they could “take the low road” as it were…
Upon exiting the engineering section, our heroes each noticed a strange popping sound followed by a very distinct brimstone smell that they knew wasn’t associated with the disassembled Gorgons… It wasn’t the first time some of them had witnessed such phenomena on this train…
Our heroes decided to reconvene at The Kheyo where they were greeted by a cold brew. Pim Gimlet overheard them mention the strange gold coins that were found, ever so neatly arranged, in the office of Lucy Diamonds, all though none of our heroes recall saying anything about said coins… He happily explained that they were called Krov and were MUCH more valuable than the paper money used by most of the Empire. He offered them a look at some more than rare stock he had acquired more than recently. As Pim bumbled through a box that was stained with bits of blood and gore (presumably from the previous owners of such rare items) he managed to find a few pieces that interested each of our heroes.
Gina leaned over, an excited look on her face, and explained that she saw the Princess Svetlana while everybody was out gallivanting. Gina was as giddy as a schoolgirl as she explained that the Princess gave her a handful of extra tickets to the otherwise sold out concert that would be taking place at The Oprey in a few hours.
“Free tickets to see Mir’s hottest band “Throbbing Boss”, AND getting to meet the Princess… What a day it’s been!" Gina Exclaimed. “I have 5 extra if you gentleman are interested!”
Before our heroes could answer, everybody’s attention was turned towards the back of the saloon, to a low rumble and a tremor running the length of the car. It was over as quick as it began, but our heroes each swore that they could hear screaming from what would be the 1-star section of the train…