Expectation is 2 days ride to the north and west of Malifaux city, in the foothills of the great mountains that dominate the skyline. Founded only half a dozen years ago when a team of prospectors found a natural ravine with obvious Soulstone seams as well as some other valuable minerals on an expedition. The town was originally built over several ancient stone buildings that the expedition found nearby, but over the years Expectation has grown in size with a bank, doctor, blacksmith and M&SU office all adding to the main streets amenities. With it's population mainly in nearby farmsteads, but swelled by the miners nearby, and a growing export business of fossil fuels and Soulstones, Expectation is considered a prosperous example of the pioneering spirit of the people of Malifaux, and good luck stories from the town feature heavily in guild publications. In fact good luck tends to happen more often than not in Expectation, unusually so as far as the authorities are concerned, which is all well and good when it serves the Guild propaganda machine, but the absolute lack of Neverborn, Arcanist or any other assaults on Expectation despite its location means the town has more than one curious eye turned towards it.
Below is a map of the centre of Expectation, as well as some notes on its inhabitants.
Below is a map of the centre of Expectation, as well as some notes on its inhabitants.
1) Bank of Malifaux and Guild Mayor’s office
This Three storey building looms over the centre of the square, its shadow falling across both the sheriff’s office and the Gallows at various times during the day. The first floor is the town bank, initially designed for the holding of the miner’s scrip and the valuable commodities that are bartered between the local landowners it has expanded into holding land grants, loans and even the purchase of indentured workers. The ground floor has a standard desk across the whole frontage, with iron railings up to the ceiling and a small heavy door to one side. Behind this counter there is the Safe and safety deposit boxes as well as the stairs to the upper floor. On the second floor is the banker’s sleeping quarters, as well as the offices for the clerks and the guild officials. The third floor is entirely dedicated to the Guild officer’s luxury, and contains elegant rooms with a bedchamber, hosting room and even a plumbed bathing room.
2) Bonnie’s General Store
Bonnie Hayrick was one of the first traders to come through the Breach during its first opening, she opened up a general store in Malifaux itself, and did pretty well for herself before one day she just packed her wares and shipped back out to earth . Shortly after that the Breach infamously closed, sending the prices of Bonnie’s stock- Razorspine venom, Cerberus pelts and Bayou gator leather- through the roof. Though Bonnie is long gone, many store owners in the smaller townships name their stores after her, in the hopes of gaining some of her famed luck. The store is a standard 2 storey building, with two downstairs rooms full of stock, and an upstairs for the owner Jesse Princeton and his family to live in.
3) Cahill’s Undertakers
Emily Cahill has been the undertaker in Expectation ever since there was enough wood to build the first coffins, although she specialised in cremations in more recent times. A large stone oven in the back of her two storey property has seen many a Miner pass on his way peacefully, and if living above the large room that holds the coffins and corpses bothers Emily or her family, they don’t mention it to anyone.
One of the ancient stone buildings that attracted prospectors to this spot as a building site, the drunk-tank has an eerie quality that echoes from its blue-grey walls, meaning none but the irretrievably inebriated could possibly spend the night here. Thin windows and a forged steel door keep the drunks in, and the night out.
5) Expectation orphans School
When the open crevice into the earth that started the Soulstone mining in Expectation was found, the guild began immediately scouting round for an area that would be good to build on, over the next ridge they found a cluster of buildings, older than human occupation they were deemed perfect for the job. The largest, a giant three story building, was immediately conscripted as the guild offices, however during construction of the rest of the town the Guild overseers and guards resident in the old building complained of headaches and waking up after horrific nightmares. Despite a visit from the guilds exorcists and witch hunters, the building remained as eerie as ever, and was deemed unfit for civilised habitation. It seemed a waste of a good site however, and the guild decided to put it to another use, housing one of the most common creations of soulstone mining- orphans. Since then the Expectation orphans school has grown into an establishment that during the day teaches all the local children alongside orphans in its cavernous main room downstairs, and up the two spiral stairs to the sides of the main doors during the evening it houses the orphans of Expectation mines in a series of smaller rooms branching off a central corridor. In a small back room downstairs their rather haggard overseer and teacher Pieter Despin sleeps, an ancient guild guard seemingly untroubled by whatever spirits inhabit the place.
6) Expectation Surgery
There’s always work for a good surgeon in Malifaux, and if Expectation had such a good surgeon then the casualty rates of the mines may not be quite so bad. In truth a motley selection of barbers, dentists, doctors and butchers have made their way in and out of the doors of Expectations surgery, and the post is currently awaiting its newest arrival from Malifaux. A two storey house, it is connected to the explorers league and M&SU buildings as one block, downstairs is the main surgical room, as well as a private chamber to the rear for privileged clients, upstairs is the surgeons quarters and small library, which has been gathering dust for a few years as the last Surgeon could barely read at all.
7) Explorers League
An unofficial organisation, The Explorers League is the name of a series of private clubs and hostelries scattered around Malifaux’s smaller towns and villages. Designed to cater to rich and flamboyant young men from Earthside who journey to Malifaux’s wilds for the thrill of the hunt. Downstairs is a quiet lounge and private bar/store, whilst upstairs has four separate bedrooms, all well-appointed and served with indoor plumbing. Whilst most of the residents consider these earth-siders with scorn, the unused pelts and furs they bring back (if they come back) from hunts are an added export for the towns coffers. For those with permission, the store has access to a much higher quality range of weaponry and ammunition than the general store, though they are obviously priced somewhat higher than usual to get the most from the visitor’s deep purses.
8) Jorge’s Blacksmiths
Both of the low, one storey houses that skirt the Southern edge of Expectation are owned by one man, Jorge Staydt. Jorge is a master blacksmith who moved out to Expectation at the start of the mining operation, seeing the opportunity to make his fortune by opening both a blacksmiths and farriers in the new venture. His plan worked out well, building his stone forge inside one of the resilient small stone structures left behind from ancient Malifaux, his trade was so good he managed to purchase a fine house just outside town, where he now resides. Other than the large stone forge the smithy is made up of two rooms, one large open area around the forge, with tools and stock hanging from racks on the walls, and a smaller locked room for expensive wares. Jorge is no whitesmith however, and there is little in the way of arms and armour here, other than the great mining hammers and picks he spends most of his time creating that is.
9) Jorge’s Farriers
Jorge’s son Louis runs the Farriers, and he makes sure that the stock they hold is of the highest quality and greatest range, seeing in it the chance to build a fortune like his fathers. Whilst the main room is laid out and tidied to an exceptional standard, displaying anything and everything a man could want for his horse, Louis back room sleeping area is a mess of cut leather and half made straps, cinches and saddles, with sketches of new designs plastered across the far wall.
10) M&SU office
Wherever there is mining, you will find the M&SU. On the surface this regional field office exists to keep an eye on the treatment of the miners, ensure their living conditions are up to standards and that the Guild pays them a fair amount for their efforts. In reality it keeps tabs on the Guild’s operations in this area, watching the shipments and ensuring the Union gets its ‘cut’ of any Soulstones its agents in the mine collect. The last of the two storey house block in the west of the town, the ground floor has the union offices as well as a private meeting room, there is also a small store for union members, with safety clothing, lamps, explosives and other useful mining equipment on obvious sale, as well as some more esoteric goods hidden beneath a trap in the floor. Upstairs the two local union representatives live in shared quarters, these reps are changed regularly to avoid Guild scrutiny, and their quarters also double as a safe-house for guild operatives in the area.
11) Mason’s Livery Stable
Paul Mason is a long-time friend of Jorge Staydt, and when Jorge began to find success out in Expectation he invited Paul to move his livery business from another mining town and set up shop next door, even going so far as to loan him the scrip to build the stable itself. Having paid off his debt years ago, the two now share an easy friendship that is rare in the wilds of Malifaux, Paul’s massive 6’8” frame only seems at home in the stables he lives above, dwarfing any other doorway except that of the schoolhouse, he still lives alone (almost) though by choice rather than fate, saying he prefers the company of horses to women at any rate. The downstairs of the stables is well tended and clean, with space to house 11 horses, stairs to the rear lead to two living quarters. Paul’s spacious rooms take up most of the space, and those of ‘Whut?’ take up the rest. Whut? is Paul’s main eccentricity, a gremlin Hog Whisperer who actually tried whisperin' to the hogs... he quickly found that whilst the Hog’s paid him no mind other than sizing him up for lunch, the four legged things humans rode were more than happy to comply to his chattering. Where Paul met the aged Grem is still a mystery, but between the two of them there are few mounts they cannot bend to their will, either through Gremlin cunning, or Paul’s brute strength.
12) Miners Bunkhouses
The dark wilds of Malifaux are not exactly easy to navigate even in the best of conditions, but to a drunken miner stumbling back to the mine’s large shared dorm in the dark they become pretty much deadly. After the losses began to mount up, the mine had two options- ban the miners from drinking in town, or provide somewhere for them to sleep it off. Option one was much debated before the M&SU rep pointed out how unhappy a drinking ban would make the miners, and how ‘unproductive’ unhappy miners could be, this left option two, and after a brief discussion the great philanthropist Ramos himself sent funds to build a series of small bunkhouses, sited north of the Sheriff’s office to help keep the peace, these small one storey houses have a large communal area with table, chairs and a range, as well as two smaller rooms with 4 double bunks in each, which miners are allowed to use on a rotating weekly basis.
13) Salinka’s Saloon and Casino ‘Down Tools’
Ivor Salinka came to Malifaux with a handful of scrip and a dream, and from that humble start, and a great deal of card-sharping, he built the edifice to leisure that is the ‘Down Tools’, a miners saloon through and through. Ivor fitted out the downstairs with an extensive bar, large floor area and a raised stage to one side, whilst out the back three rooms hold the stores, kitchen and an invitation only Casino in one corner. From either of the stairs out front you access the upper storey with its mezzanine balconies and surrounding rooms for patrons, whilst the rear staircase leads first to the dressing room of whichever entertainer is currently in residence, then to Salinka’s own extensive stateroom, usually unoccupied as Salinka is to be found in the crowd of miners and townsfolk that flock to his bar each night, there is little that happens within a day’s ride of Expectation that Ivor does not know.
14) Sheriff’s officeA hard bitten pistolier who made his name Earthside, Luke Courtson is the current Guild sponsored and M&SU backed Sheriff of Expectation, and has held the role for several years. Thickly built and sporting a thick beard, Courtson talks rarely, except when needed, and is still somewhat of a mystery to the populace. His clockwork seeker pistol and pneumatic leg attest to a life of hardship and violence in his past, but his even temper and ability to judge a situation has stopped many a brawl before it goes too far. And if it does go too far the two reinforced cells in the back of the Sheriff’s office, behind the battered desk and locked weapon’s cabinet, have held more than their share of folks with the intention of doing bad things to one another, and in the very worst cases, it’s only a short walk from the door of the office to the waiting gallows
My current group of Fated have been exploring Expectation and it's surrounding area, below you can find a transcript of their first foray into the world Through the Breach.
It took a while to decide whether I would write up my party's adventures, they tend to the... unusual. but after all, this is Malifaux, so maybe they aren't that unusual after all.
Welcome back, nice to have the repeat custom, unusual, but nice nonetheless.
Surprisingly the sheriff was still alive by the time Tarquin kicked the door to his office open and burst in, followed quickly by a bloodlusting Kade, a bemused Lyle, and Huckleberry and Eva (he insisted she accompany him 'for her protection'). The sheriff’s leg was in tatters, with the half built form of another of the ex-pigs, melded with all manner of steel and iron attempting to finish the job by dragging itself up his torso. A scuffle ensued, which involved Kade's sword, Huckleberry's fist and a good deal of gore, but the beast was soon done, and Tarquin began stitching up the good sheriff's leg. After a short discussion it was revealed that the sheriff believed the creatures were attempting to rescue the miserable wretch in cell number one. The populace it seemed had come to much the same conclusion, and a noise outside drew the party into the street, where an angry mob had formed, surrounding the jail they were held off at this point only by the guild guards and their sergeant, who had arrived from the bank (late, as usual for members of regular law enforcement in irregular situations).
Once again the vagaries of time and my irresponsibility as a true record of passing events have left me lost, where did we go next? Our intrepid fated are resting in the burnt runs of a gentleman’s club, several corpses (including a steam-powered pig) litter the floor, one wall has collapsed completely but the upstairs appears fine. For now, anyway, besides the room they are accompanied by several bystanders, and an air of faint surprise after Huckleberry’s actions, but the present does not help me unravel the past, where to next?
Memories are a wonderful strange thing, whilst we are unable to change the past, often leading to deep regret, our memories are quite adapt at shuffling people and places around with ease, leaving a poor remembrancer such as myself lost and confused. Luckily on this occasion the words have stayed fairly true and my rather more wandering mind can use them, as a navigator uses the twin moons, and pick where I left off so long ago.
I do not portray my protagonists as heroes, because in truth they are not. Curious, self-interested and almost completely amoral in some cases, they are still capable of heroic acts, though there will almost always be gain for them in doing so. The exception to this is Kato, who whilst capable of homicidal acts that would worry even the most stoic of the guild’s torturers, has within her a core of honour and courage that drives her to deeds of true heroism, she never killed anyone in cold blood, and no amount of money could buy her loyalty where the chance of a child being harmed was concerned. This duality within her nature was one of the main reasons she still wandered as a lone mercenary instead of signing up with a troop, or even the guild itself. The cries in the doctor’s house could not have fallen on a heart more apt than Kato’s, and an army could not have stopped her entrance at that point.