So! Finally played our second session of Leverage
The Client was Ernesto Morales. Ernesto spoke to a priest who had, some years back, given confession to a man who claimed to have worked on the Winchester Mystery House
. According to this man, another worked named Jesus Morales (Ernesto's great-grandfather) had died there in an accident on the same day that Sarah Winchester died. Unsure of their status and freaked out, the workers buried him on the grounds and never spoke of the incident (except, perhaps, in confession).
The priest made for an unreliable witness, suffering as he was from Alzheimer's. Ernesto tried to pursue the matter legally, but the CEO of Winchester Investments, one Lucas Bilski, wasn't having it. And the DA for the area wasn't going to go digging up a historical landmark on nothing but an uncorroborated story.
Ernesto probably would have let it go, but then a new "Ghosts of Winchester" tour was set to open, including a ghost story about a "carpenter murdered on the grounds"...named Ernesto. This jab was just a bit too much for him, and he wanted some justice. As it happens, his cousin works for Marcus van der Wall, for whom the characters did a favor
some time back.
So Jessica worked her magic, and learned that Bilski was more or less a normal rich guy, if perhaps a little more directly involved in the day-to-day of the House than one might expect. The only weird bit in his finances was his personal assistant - one Emma Laveau, born Emma Richter, with a record for fraud and a former profession of "psychic adviser."
The characters decided that the Ghost Tour was their best in. They took the normal tour, asking questions and trying to use Notice Actions to get some advantage. They also rolled a bunch of ones, which wound up as This Place Is a Maze d12+2
, which I planned on springing on them as the Twist (but read on). Frederick also used his charms on Joanne, a young woman working the shop, and convinced her to give him a "private tour" later on.
Meanwhile, Jane and Horace went to a fund raiser for Historical Society members and Jane met with Bilski. She flirted and asked if there was a way to get tickets for the opening of the ghost tour, which was set to include not only the Daisy Room (the room where Sarah Winchester was sleeping when the quake hit in 1906, which isn't generally open to tours) but the courtyard where Jesus Morales is supposedly buried. She banked an Asset Smitten d6
for later. She also met Emma Laveau, who was definitely fishy, with her Barbados accent that sometimes migrates into Irish because shut up that's why
Anyway, Frederick went back to the House. He'd been given an ID badge for an actor who'd quit that morning (Joanne took the call and hadn't told her bosses). He walked past security and snuck in with her, asking to find the Daisy Room, but she got lost. They wound up in the basement, and the Complication Hasn't Had it For Weeks d8
showed up, when Joanne was a little
too aggressive for Frederick to get any information out of her (do note that Frederick doesn't generally dig women, either, so this whole scene got lots of over-mic commentary from Jessica and Gil). I was going to use the Complication here, but Jane used a Talent and got rid of the damn Complication. From this I learn not to put all my eggs in one basket.
Frederick eventually did
learn that Lucas Bilski is a true believer in ghosts, not just playing. The crew decided they could use that. Jessica went a-hacking and got a full schedule of the Ghost Tour, the cast, the stories and the special effects. Perfect.
Fast forward to the night of the tour. Gil has infiltrated security. Jane and Horace (in his persona as "Viktor," the psychic) were on the tour. Frederick was still part of the cast (and had spent a Plot Point to add Duped d6
to his interactions with Joanne, making her a willing participant), and Jessica was in the van.
Emma Laveau was there reading Tarot cards. Jane walked up and had her cards read, and Emma cold-read her. And then the last card was a photograph of the team planning their con, and Emma revealed that she was, in turn, conning Bilski. She wanted to move on and drain his offshore accounts, and she wanted the Crew to help her do it - or else she'd out them (so this, then, is the Twist).
Jane agreed, but as she walked away Horace approached and said, "We're taking her down, right?"
"Oh, of course we are," she said.
The tour started. In the first room, the characters heard the story of the ghost and were supposed to hear tapping on the walls. "Viktor" stepped forward claiming to feel spirits. Gil was going to tap the walls a bit harder and in different places, but then two real security guys saw him. He tapped their heads against the wall, and the group shook. Emma, under the impression that this was part of the deal, advised him that the spirits were restless and something bad was happening tonight.
Next room - the stairway to nowhere. Footsteps going up, but Jessica hacked the sound system and added a scream, and had already rigged a candlestick to fall down the stairs. "Viktor" and Emma worked on Bilski a bit harder, and now he was convinced he was going to die soon.
Daisy Room - pneumatic jackhammer rigs that made the room quake. The Crew just re-rigged them to make more
of it shaking. At this point, Lucas got out his PDA and started transferring funds, but then the room shook and he dropped it, and it shattered (Complication!). Now the tour had to progress to the courtyard.
And then, Viktor stared at one particular corner and started shaking. The voice came up (Jessica, again) and identified itself as Jesus Morales, and then started reciting the Latin last rites (which Jessica had to find and figure out quickly
(Timed Action, y'see)). Bilski fell apart, borrowed Jane's PDA to transfer his money to Emma so she could donate it or use it appropriately (for charity and stuff). Of course, on Jane's PDA, the Crew figured they could set Emma up no problem.
Bilski, having heard all of this, called the DA and said that he'd changed his mind, he would
agree to the exhumation and investigation. The DA asked if "Emma" had put him up to this, but he said she hadn't (which was true).
Jane spoke with Emma, and she mentioned Bilski might just be right about dying soon. And Bilski sipped his drink, and started to cough. Poison.
Emma started to leave...and then the police arrived, looking for Ms. Laveau.
Flashback to Gil tending bar, switching drinks and removing the capsule that Emma slipped in.
Flashback to Horace slapping Bilski on the back and giving him a stronger drink (to make him cough).
Flashback to Frederick swiping the SIM card from the shattered PDA and giving it to Jane.
Flashback to Jessica intercepting the 911 call, and assuring Laveau that the police were on their way to arrest the Crew.
Flashback to Jane giving a file on Emma Laveau to the DA a day prior, starting his investigation. And then calling Laveau to tip her about the Crew's planning dinner...posing for the photo, as it were.
When all was said and done, Jesus' body was exhumed. Ernesto learned that his great-grandfather had not abandoned the family, as was commonly believed, and Bilski donated much of his money to preserve historical sites around the San Jose/San Francisco area. Emma Laveau was arrested - fraud tampering with her boss' finances, carrying poison around, that kind of thing.
Wrap up at the funeral of Jesus Morale, with Ernesto thanking the Crew for giving his family some peace.