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Drhoz last won the day on March 15 2018

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  1. Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask : Wandering Monsters Nemat: One of the advantages of being an urban adventurer is actually getting to sleep in a bed. Onka: For a minute there I thought we were going to tart up the gnoll. Zenobia: ...what? Nemat: Nothing! Even if most of the undead in the Necropolis are crowding around the gates like Black Friday shoppers, there's still plenty of random monsters to run into. For example, we're heading towards the second Elegiac Compass location, and realise we’re being followed by some exceptionally unpleasant undead - hairless, festering, so malformed that they’re quadrupedal. Happy, their actual combat prowess isn’t so sophisticated. If they’d just waited until we reached the bathhouse, we wouldn’t have smelled them coming - the place is a swamp. Asrian: But no naked zombies. Nemat: Thank the gods. Nemat does find a Lens of Detection among the wreckage, though. Nemat OoC: An Inquisitor just found a Lens of Detection - all the criminals leave town. I can go full Mad-eye Moody with this. Asrian: Well, this was a bust. But not as beautiful as Zenobia’s. Zenobia: *blushes under her regrown fur* The other two locations we need to check are the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss, and the Tomb of Menket Maatya. Nemat, naturally, wants to go to the latter, so he can exercise his History Geek skillz. Menket was a wizard and astrologer who died about a century ago, who just before his death made arrangements for his tomb. Nemat: Just before? This was a good astronomer. Unfortunately it looks like somebody got here before us. The place has been looted, and the crystal from the middle of this compass is missing as well. Nemat launches into a high-speed pursuit of the culprit, and the first thing he finds is a metal skull amid the rubble, which he picks up. Apparently it’s a Gearghost, and it doesn’t like being disturbed. Skullboy: OI! Getoff! This is my loot! Nobody else gets it! Gearghosts were thieves killed by traps, and exist to spread the pain by making their own traps. It seems likely he was one of the people the Silver Chain used to loot the Necropolis. Onka: It would be such a useful undead is it wasn’t bats**** crazy. Happily, one of Nemat’s abilities synchronises very well with and scimitar-work by his friends, and Zenobia and Asrian both use scimitars. The demented metal skull is promptly dispatched, although it will probably reform soon enough. Off to the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss! It’s just as well there aren’t any maths geeks in the party. For one thing it’s trapezoidal. Nemat: Ah, it’s a conceptual pyramid. Naturally we try to get in through the topmost floor, first. This could be a problem, since the chamber is black. With spiders. Happily, Onka knows Fireball. Less happily, the surviving spiders pile up around the body of a gigantic dead spider. Which animates. And sprays web at us. Which catches fire in the burning oil we set up as a barrier ( and the toppings contains Potassium Benzoate). Happily, Nemat can easily make himself resistant to the flames, which is even better when Zenobia hits the monster with a Tangleburn Bag. Zenobia: Doesn’t Tangleburn explode if you try to put it out with water? Onka: I believe so. Who knows Create Water? Nemat: *grinning evilly* I do.
  2. Flux, our technomage, has been mind-controlled and kidnapped by Talisman and the other bad guys. He’ll probably realise that going off with them was a bad idea, but not until the spell wears off. GM: 24 hours later you go B**** F***ing MINDCONTROL! Not that some of us have actually realised this yet - we’re still in a smoke and crow-filled California bungalow, where we were trying to pull Black Paladin apart like a stewed chicken. He teleported out before we could. Hero Shrew: Coward! Come back and fight like a man! *looks around* Where’s Flux? Allana: He got teleported out. Willingly. Hero Shrew: … what? Flux OoC: I’m going to put it all down to mind control. GM: You’ve seen the way Talisman dresses, right? There will be debate which brain you were thinking with. Scooter is bit upset. Quite more upset than the rest of the team are used to. Flux OoC: You weren’t nearly as upset when Fireflash was kidnapped. Hero Shrew OoC: Letting her be kidnapped was the PLAN. Then it went pear-shaped. Flux OoC: That’s true. We all panicked a bit when my thingy-detector stopped detecting. GM: ‘Thingy-detector’ - this is the level of competency Quadrant had before Allana joined. GM: Does ANYBODY in this team apart from Flux have any occult knowledge? Allana: Of course not. *pointing around the team from herself, to Scooter, to Fireflash, to Hardlight* Mundane, mundane, mundane, mundane and an idiot. And least there’s a few minions half-buried in the wreckage we can apprehend. Less happily half the magic circles were destroyed when Scooter burrowed up from underground. And the bungalow is still surrounding by guardian undead. Fireflash Hi, my name is Fireflash, this is my ID. You’re under arrest. Minions: Lawyer. Lawyer. Lawyer. GM: Sonya recognises some of the symbols though ‘Those are planetary symbols! They keep showing up in Sailor M- … never mind’. Her Geek is showing. Flux OoC: Are these headshot zombies? *BLAM* Nope, still moving - limbs it is then. Hero Shrew OoC: Unless it’s Saturday Morning Cartoons zombies, who always seem to revert to human at the end of the episode. GM: Even in Saturday Morning Cthulhu - I mean Inhumanoids. Hero Shrew: I’m going to have to ask Colin for time off from my other job. I’m going to have to concentrate on finding my friend. GM: You could always rent out one of those new Sleep Pods. Flux OoC: Non-zero chance of psychosis though. Hero Shrew: If we don’t find Flux soon, I’m probably going to go psychotic anyway. We DO try to track down where the bad guys got the generator, inflatable mattresses, and porta-potty from, but it’s hardly likely that Black Paladin, Talisman, and Shadow Dragon would have been hiding out here eating microwave dinners. This site was probably just one of their attempts to get their Big Project to work, and they’ve probably taken Flux back to their actual hide-out. And we’ve got no way to contact Alberich, the mage that showed up to assist in the previous battle. That doesn’t stop him and his Cabal (which apparently includes a necromancer, a former vampire, and a Moreau voodoo-practitioner) from finding us. Allana: Mr. Alberich is here. Sorry, I never found out if Alberich was a first or last name. From the scent Allana picks up, the wolf-Moreau apparently used some of Scooter’s hair to locate the team, but she doesn’t stick around long enough to ask. She used her magic to get Alberich here in a hurry. Alberich: So, there was a magic circle here. Which you destroyed. Allana: Scooter came up through it and the roof couldn’t support my weight. Alberich: A collective ‘you’. Apparently they were trying to bind a fire elemental. Our new Harry-Dresden-wannabe also analyses the residual magic to get us a bearing on wherever Flux was taken, and opens a portal. Using the same black smoky energy Talisman uses. This doesn't reassure Fireflash and Allana. But they’ll have to hold Scooter back once Alberich explains. Allana wisely waves her smartphone through the portal to get a GPS signal first - it’s Ellison Heights, a few blocks from Fireflash’s home. Allana’s plan is to grab Flux and bug out. The room on the other side is nice enough, but Allana can hear somebody watching porn nearby. GM: The guy watching porn has a stab vest and a shock rod. He uses it on Girl Scouts. Hero Shrew: What??? GM: Ok, that come out wrong - he uses it on anybody that comes knocking on the front door and won’t go away. Jehovah’s Witnesses. GM: The rest of the guys have gone to get everything on Flux’s shopping list. Flux IS there, gesturing and chanting over a pile of crystals. Allana: Sorry about this *punches Flux out* We grab Flux and everything that looks expensive or important and try and sneak out again. Happily, Alberich obliges with another portal. Scooter thinks he recognises one of the Moreaus in the porn, but doesn’t alert the bad guys by ejaculating something to that effect. GM: And in related news Dysprosium Dawn have a reduced presence on the streets for a while, because somebody rolled them, and they don’t want to say who. That’s because Flux told Black Paladin and Talisman they should steal the materials they need from Dysprosium Dawn. Flux: I was mind-controlled at the time. It also takes Allana to remind us we got our copies of Superhero Teams For Dummies from PRIMUS, and we all put it to one side because we were busy. Fireflash I was in the middle of exams at the time. My copy is back at Mum’s place, at the bottom of the ‘to read’ pile. Or maybe in storage. And Scooter is back working the door at the Collar Club when some guy in a suit apparently offers a job. He’s one of those excessively friendly people that leave Scooter baffled. Hero Shrew: Um, OK? My shift ends in an hour. Strange Guy: Great! I’ll meet you inside - take in the ambience. You stay you, champ. Hero Shrew: So what’s this job? I’m already working two. Strange Guy: It’s not a job offer, it’s a revenue stream. Call me Rep. Rep: You’re an important guy, Scooter - working a place like this isn’t really image-friendly. Hero Shrew: Hey, it’s the best titty-bar in the Zoo. Rep: We’re talking endorsement deals, licensed merchandise. You eat a lot of those food bars, right? Hero Shrew: Wow, you’ve really been doing your research. He also knows where the other team members live and work - or at least those with public identities. He also knows all about the importance of keeping secret identities secret. But apparently going to Allana’s clinic or Fireflash’s home would be more sleazy than going to the Collar Club. He only wants 15% of whatever deal he arranges for us, after Scooter talks it over with the rest of the team. Scooter calls Fireflash, at 3AM. She answers the videophone naked, but he doesn’t comment. GM: He works at a titty-bar. Hero Shrew: I see LOTS of co-workers naked. Fireflash So what impression did you get? Hero Shrew: 15% seemed fair? Flux: Net or gross? Hero Shrew: Can I get an action figure? Apparently the Rep also represents people like Sapphire, and a few of the Bay Area teams. Fireflash calls her mom to get advice - she’s a commerce attorney for accounting firms - and arranges a lunchtime meeting with the Rep, herself, her mom, and Flux. Hero Shrew needs to sleep, Hardlight has a krill-farming meeting he can’t afford to miss, and Allana wouldn’t fit in the chairs. Or perhaps she would have - the Rep has actually arranged reinforced steel chairs with the restaurant. Rep: Miss Helstrom, Mr Flux! And this gorgeous creature must be your sister? I know, I know, it’s an old compliment, I know she’s your mother. Afternoon, Mrs Helstrom, charmed to meet you. Rep: I can see Nocturne as the spokesperson for brassieres. What’s the biggest complaint for large-chested women? Lack of support! Fireflash *comparatively flat-chested* Really. Rep: And swimsuits for you! Rep: I’m talking those three magic words in marketing - Collect. Them. All. Fireflash’s mom certainly likes everything she’s hearing, and the example contract he brought with him is comprehensive. Flux: Why us? Rep: You’re new! Used to be Hero Shrew might have come across as tokenism - too much of an uphill battle for me. But now you have Nocturne - two Moreaus on the team, and two women! Great visuals. Fireflash What do you think, Mom? Ellen Helstrom: Well, I feel like I need a shower after this, but he really seems to been looking after your interests, not his own. Fireflash I think we can introduce him to the rest of the team. GM: At the very least it’ll be fun to watch fur crawl. Rep: Sonya, you change your outfits all the time, that’s great! Flux, you never change yours. We’ll ramp up the Snake-eyes aspect - all your details are redacted. It’s a SECRET! Allana: Glowy axes and shields... Rep: Hardlight is the Accessory Hound! Scooter has to be brushable. Allana: My toy is going to be HUGE.
  3. GM: Why is that even still installed? Me: So, ‘No’ then? GM: Yes. I mean, yes to No. Me: that’s not very helpful - I’ve already pressed No. GM: I’m a computer engineer! Onka’s player: Then Yes and No should be your bread and butter. Patching up all the holes after our encounter with remarkably carnivorous grasshoppers, we proceed over the rooftops to the glassblower’s shop we were told about. One of the Elegiac Compasses is there, and apparently intact - with one important exception. The copper-wrapped quartz crystal that should be making up the core is missing. Happily, it was removed so recently that we can track the thief - apparently a young dragon. Zenobia: *sigh* So it saw something shiny and nicked it. Perhaps a blue dragon? The desert locale, and electrical properties of copper and quartz, would suggest it. But maybe not. Nemat: A juvenile blue dragon would be larger. The tracks lead to a large sinkhole behind the glassblowers, happily in a courtyard not crawling with zombies. Zenobia: Do we need to send up a Dancing Lights signal? Onka: What signal? ‘Here be Dragons’? Nemat: I’ve got rope. My parents gave me it, along with the rest of my kit. ‘It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this. And this. And this.’ Asrian carefully climbs down, and since her low-light vision is full colour, realises that the dragon isn’t a blue. It’s something much more unusual. It does explain why it wanted a 50-pound quartz crystal though. Asrian: It’s a crystal dragon. And it’s asleep. Nemat argues that diplomacy will be more successful than theft or killing her in her sleep. Nemat: Ahem! Cough! AHEM! Dragon: Five more minutes mummy… Nemat: AHEM! Dragon: WTF??? *jumps up and tries to look big* Who are you? Did Mum send you? How did you find me? Nemat: We followed your tracks. Dragon: … what tracks? *trying to look innocent* Nemat: From the compass. Dragon: Compass? Nemat: The one you took the crystal from. Dragon: What crystal? Nemat: *sigh* that crystal right there. Dragon: Oh, the shiny thing from the clock thing. Nemat: We kind of need that back. Look, why not use the glassblower’s shop as your lair, there’s plenty of shiny stuff in there. Dragon: Uh, zombies, duh? Nemat negotiates a deal - we clear out the zombie infestation, and she can be the guardian of the compass, as well as having a nice location for future business. Zenobia: Diplomancy wins again! Nemat: And I didn’t even have to use my penis. Yet. GM: You would have had a penalty at that - she’s not into males. Human males anyway. She looks at Zenobia with interest though. Asrian: MINE. Nemat’s player digs out his 140 year-old copy of ‘Enquire Within Upon Everything’ Zenobia’s player: Anything in there about clearing out zombie infestations? We stick our heads down the chimney of the shop. From the smell, it actually seems like the glassblower’s kilns have been in use recently, which is odd. Even more so, the bricks are still warm. Asrian starts climbing down - and gets grabbed at by a long black hand. What ever owns the hand soon regrets it. Zenobia: So, basically the same result as grabbing a cat by the belly? There is a lot of swearing, in a variety of languages. Asrian: That sounds like Zenobia, when I- nevermind. The Owner of the Hand: Palm! Oshwyt! Worm! We have intruders! Apparently somebody is using the glassblower’s workshop as an alchemy lab. Nemat soon deduces that the whole rumour about mumia use is true, at least if you’re careful with your abuse of the drug. Although it doesn’t do your bodily hygiene any favours. Nemat: But they don’t smell so bad when they’re dead. Zenobia: IgiveyouhalfasecondtosurrenderCHOP Nemat Petrifies one of the minions. The players all launch into ‘I Will Survive’. A little while later (and perhaps because the NPCs didn't join in the song) Zenobia is looking at the last surviving minion, who is still Petrified, and also on fire. Zenobia: Is he still alive? Nemat: I think so? Zenobia: … should we do something about that? Asrian: I could pick him up and put him outside. Nemat: He might have useful information. And it would be nice to take a prisoner back with us for once. Onka: We are law-abiding citizens, supposedly. Either way, these mumia-producers were very lucky that their stockpile of raw materials weren’t woken up by that necromantic pulse a week ago. Zenobia OoC: Well, Miss Crystal Dragon, it wasn’t zombies, it was Mumia producers. So if your new place of business has a reputation as a meth lab, that’s why. Nemat: Also, there’s a roomful of potential zombies in the side room, but we sealed it up and they should be fine if you leave them alone. Once we get it repaired, the Elegiac Compass projects a beam out across the rooftops, towards the centre of the Necropolis. Not entirely surprising. We still need to find another compass to triangulate it properly.
  4. Champions - Return to Edge City : Heart of Darkness In Old Monterey, tracking down the Black Paladin’s powered armour army, and shortly to suffer the most grievous blow the team has yet endured. Hero Shrew points excitedly at his zombie detector. Flux, pointing with less excitement at the actual zombies. Hero Shrew: Flux. Flux. FLUX. Flux: Yes, I know, OK? Hardlight: There’s zombies? Flux: Yes, they’re RIGHT THERE. Hardlight: Oh. Shambly. Flux: Well, let’s HOPE they’re the shambling type and not the ‘i’m in your face eating it now’ type. GM: No, they’re not murder-wraiths. Hero Shrew: Wait, I’m Hero Shrew, not Hero Zombie. Flux: Give it a few minutes. At least Hardlight has tweaked his hardlight field to turn himself invisible now - maybe he can sneak past the zombies to see whatever is in the abandoned bungalow they’re protecting. GM: It’s been abandoned for years - it’s been vandalised, graffitied, etc. Hero Shrew: Maybe that’s what they made the zombies from. GM: Then their average IQ went up. And, indeed the inside of the building has been excavated, and the Black Paladin and his entire crew, three magic circles, a bunch of other minions doing fine engraving work, and multiple copies of the suits are in there. Incredibly, they don’t notice Hardlight creeping around. Or as he tiptoes away again, tripping over a bucket. Minion: The basic concept is sound my lord, but we overreached - we shouldn’t have gone for such a powerful animating force. GM: I can’t believe how badly I rolled for their awareness checks. It will take at least an hour for anybody that could survive a fight against the Black Paladin and the others to get here. We’re on our own. Hero Shrew: Well, at this point I’d ask if we know anybody with an Orbital Laser Weapon, but… Fireflash: There’s one person with that tech. And he doesn’t let anybody else have it. Allana: And it’s kind of unpopular after what happened to Detroit. There’s also the problem that anything heavy enough that we can drop on Black Paladin is going to be unhealthy for his human thralls. We instead plan to glide down onto the roof - right up until Scooter spots all the crows on the roof. Hero Shrew: Doesn’t the Black Paladin call himself the Knight of Crows or something? Fireflash: Can any of you dig a tunnel? Hero Shrew: I can. All: … Hero Shrew: What? You’ve never asked me to before. Of course, Allana won’t fit through Scooter’s tunnel - so she’ll have to infiltrate through the roof anyway. Flux can teleport in along the old cable tv lines. Hardlight: How can I move silently? Oh wait, I can fly. Flux: Scooter just need to pop through the floor like a horrible fluffy flower. Unfortunately, the roof of the building can’t even support the weight of Allana anymore, because all the internal walls of the building have been knocked out. Allana and Fireflash drop in, just as Scooter bursts out of the ground. And then the invisible figure on the roof jumps down the hole after Allana and Fireflash, talons out. Just as well Fireflash put her forcefield up. Even better, Allana has four arms, so she can hold onto Fireflash as Fireflash blasts people, and still grab Lady Crow by the ankles and throw her at Talisman. Morningstar tries to play Whackamole with Scooter. Morningstar: Round Two, fuzzball! Black Paladin: Really, Miss Helstrom? Fireflash: It seemed like a good idea at the time. Hardlight resists the impulse to telegraph his attack, and stays invisible and silent long enough to blast Black Paladin in the back. All it does is make the Black Paladin laugh. The swarm of crows mobs Allana and Fireflash, which doesn’t do her echolocation any good. But with her wings, toughness, and Fireflash’s forcefield, they’re as safe as if they were sitting in an Abrams tank. In fact, safer. Black Paladin: I’m disappointed Miss Helstrom - you KNOW my plan, and you STILL brought him? He teleports over to Flux and attempts to knock him out with his mace, the Crusher of Hope, and Talisman attempts to teleport the stunned Flux and her team away. Allana snatches Flux into her embrace next to Fireflash - if she can keep moving, Talisman won’t be able to snatch him. Fireflash attempts to blind the badguys, and the flash illuminates one of the side rooms - Scooter sees immobile figures - a lot of immobile figures. Hero Shrew: Hey, guys? I’ve found the exo-suits. Fireflash: Then smash them! Talisman might be intangible right now (since there’s a bunch of people in the room swinging highly energetic objects like fists, maces, and high-energy particle blasts around) but that doesn’t stop Hardlight blasting her out through the ceiling. Hardlight: Team Rocket is blasting off again! Morningstar, now blinded by the Black Paladin’s Fog Spell, is not having a good day, and seems incapable of hitting anything. Likewise, Shadow Dragon is being unpleasantly reminded how vulnerable he is to Fireflash’s blasts. Fireflash: Fate has chosen him to be the buttmonkey. Flux risks a blind teleport towards the exo-suits - and they’re bunched up nice and tight for his electrical attack. No point letting Black Paladin KEEP all the armour for his order of anti-paladins. Black Paladin is getting increasingly frustrated, since we’ve apparently learned how to tank - his hardest attack bounces harmlessly off Allana’s skull, and when she unfurls her wings Flux isn’t there. Black Paladin: WHAT?!? Unfortunately Talisman DID notice his teleport, and uses a mind control spell on our technomage. It’s pretty convincing, especially since he’ll get to tinker with things like the exo-suits. Talisman: Why resist us? We offer you Knowledge. Power. Safety. Come with us. Come with us. GM: And the rest of you have no idea what’s happening. Flux OoC: *groan* the city is going to suffer. Hardlight tries to clear the fog with a holographic giant industrial fan. Black Paladin draws his sword, the Eater of Shadows, and tries a shadow blast on Allana. Allana: Good idea, target my even stronger defence. *stalks forward, cracking her knuckles* Hardlight: Where the f*** are Flux and Hero Shrew? Flux OOC: Well, Scooter is over here near me, but hasn’t seen anything yet, and Sonja is still tucked under bat boobs. Hardlight’s submillimeter radar does see Flux and Talisman standing over in the other room. Hardlight: F***!!!!!!!! Whathername! She’s over there! Trying to kidnap thingy! Not very useful when we’re all blinded by fog and squawking crows. Allana grabs Black Paladin by the head and throws him through the wall in the direction of Talisman. Too late to stop Talisman, Morningstar, Shadow Dragon and Flux teleporting out. At least Black Paladin is still here, since he was moving at high speed at the time, through two walls. Fireflash: Grab an arm each and make a wish. Sadly, while the rest of us pile on the attacks, the bastard teleports himself away before we can twist his head off. We’ve got the exo-suits, but lost our friend.
  5. Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask - Sidequest! Off to find a former friend of Unwrapped Harmony, who got a little too interested in mummification, and not in a sexual sense. GM: … Zenobia OoC: I derailed your brain, didn’t I? Sorry. It’s safe to assume he’s not a friend anymore, since she wants proof of his death in the form of a magical stone he swallowed. We sneak up to the old villa he and his Dark Creeper acolytes are hiding in. Zenobia OoC: Oh dear - I don’t do sneak well - it’s probably my ears sticking up above whatever cover we’re using. Apparently the giant Devil’s Coach-horse Beetles lurking in the yard think Zenobia’s ears look tasty. Zenobia blushes a bit later, when she sees how swiftly Asrian came to her rescue, but it’s hard to tell under all the acid burns. One of the Dark Creepers in the villa sticks his head out to see what all the noise was, just as Asrian trying to pick the other door. Zenobia tries to pull the door open as he tries to slam it shut again, keeping them both nicely busy why the others keep working at the other door. Since Asrian is wrapped in white cloth from head to foot, the acolyte leaps to an understandable conclusion. Dark Creeper: We’re being attacked by a gnoll, a human, an orc and a mummy! And the mummy is picking the lock! Other Dark Creeper: Who’s holding the door?! Dark Creeper: The gnoll! Other Dark Creeper: You’re on your own. Asrian: That’s not going to work, you know - you might as well open the door and we’ll let you run away. Nemat: We’ve only here for Gaunt Cadaver. Zenobia: Although Unwrapped Harmony would be pleased if you came home again. GM: The Dark Folk look like colour-inverted versions of you, Asrian. Asrian: I know - just shorter. Zenobia: I swear in the name of Sarenrae that I am not here to harm the rest of you. Asrian: Not the best idea, invoking the Dawnflower - they’re dark folk - they don’t like daylight. Zenobia: I still gave my word. Asrian: Fair enough. Look, you lot, just go back to the others - they’re welcome you, and you’ll be safe there. Apparently unwilling to risk being brutally murdered before Gaunt Cadaver can ‘enlighten’ them, the acolytes hood up and slink off back to the rest of their clan. For some reason reason they’d barred the doors to the inner courtyard of the villa too. Probably because there’s a humanoid mound of rotting flesh, bone and hair trying to drink from the fountain. Nemat, naturally, recognises what it is, and recalls to our general alarm that they’re mostly immune to magic. Still, going through the courtyard is clearly a better idea than going around the long way, like whoever put the monster here intended. Nemat: We are a party that believes in direct action. Of course, the door opposite is barred from the inside too. But using a pillar as a battering ram is a good shortcut too, and we burst in on Gaunt Cadaver mid-ritual, surrounded by his ‘enlightened’ followers - sapient zombies. He welcomes us and tells his minions to seize us for ‘enlightenment’. We object, strenuously, and recover the rock we’re after from the resulting piles of dust. Zenobia: No cascara required. But at least we know where the Elegaic Compasses are know - and Unwrapped Harmony is also aware of a masked figure spotted inside the Necropolis just prior to the necromantic pulse, who dropped a parchment that Unwrapped Harmony passes on to us. It’s an incomplete star chart. Unfortunately, we draw the attention of giant locusts when we go to the first location, which is pretty distracting when you’re trying to investigate a possible crime scene. It’s curious how many kinds of giant arthropods infest the Necropolis - you’d think there would be more giant carrion beetles, if anything.
  6. Playing Blackstone Fortress - one of the PCs is playing the Kroot Mercenary, and another the Navigator Me: No wonder the Kroot is sticking close to the Navigator. The Kroot are directing their own evolution, by assimilating useful genetic traits from the species they eat. So if the Kroot eat enough Navigators, they'll acquire the Navigator gene and they'll be able to use Warp-travel properly. So if you happen to lose an arm while we're in the fortress, don't ask the Kroot what happened to it. Kroot: Can't you spare a finger? Navigator: I've got a finger for you right here.
  7. Champions - Return to Edge City - King Arthur Is Public Domain The Usual Gang of Idiots Scooter ‘Hero Shrew’ Sorex - Superstrong but not completely stupid manimal Gareth ‘Hardlight’ Lowell - Geek CEO with hardlight holograms Allana ‘Superhero Name To Be Announced’ - Literal Batwoman Chris 'Flux' Jones - Paranoid computer wizard 'Fireflash' Helstrom - And you thought YOUR teenage years were a problem Black Paladin - Actual Arthurian villain Talisman - Gritty 90's Reboot of Bewitched Morningstar - Big Demonic A-hole With a Big Spiky Club Shadow Dragon: Master of Black Chi A picture of the week’s villain is posted up. He’s exceptionally bad news, and has allies almost as dangerous. Hardlight: He looks cool - I like him. GM: That’s the BLACK PALADIN! Hardlight: I hate him - let’s kill him. Flux: Sorry, let’s what??? Hero Shrew: Can we do what they did in that movie? Hardlight: Sure, what movie? Hero Shrew: Where they cut his arms and legs off and he says it’s only a flesh wound. GM: You’re joking, but this guy knew and HATES King Arthur. Hero Shrew: Who said I was joking? Allana intercepts the Paladin and his flying Destrier, scoops them up with her wings, and slaps them hard into the ground. Right next to Fireflash. GM: Let’s hope the steed’s barding works. Black Paladin: My thanks! *drawing his sword, Eater of Shadows, and slashing at Fireflash, who gets her forcefield up only just in time* Interesting! Evidently Black Paladin was looking forward to a mildly challenging fight. Hero Shrew: This is going to be expensive for the city. But if we can take him down it’ll be worth it. GM: Or just driving him away. Thwarting counts too. Fireflash: And we’re pretty good at thwarting people. Hero Shrew: Frustrating is not the same as Thwarting. Hardlight: Old-fashioned are you? Very well - PHOTON BLADE! GM: With your DEX of 15? This will be hilarious. Hero Shrew: Are you going to do the WHUMM WHUMM noises too? He actually manages to hit the bastard too - perhaps the Black Paladin wasn’t expecting lightsabres. GM: You actually cut him - guess who’s his bitch next round? He’s not Stunned. Hero Shrew: Surprised, maybe, that Gareth of all people managed to injure him. Black Paladin: You cut me. YOU CUT ME! Hero Shrew: It’s only a flesh wound! Hardlight hurriedly turns his photon blade into armour, and just in time - it even holds up to the knight’s blade. Flux: You realise you’re just making more trouble for yourself? You managed to hit him with a sword and then your shield was better than his. Morningstar, Shadow Dragon and Talisman emerge from wisps of black smoke. And another combatant enters the field,crashing through the fence around Weyland’s smithery! Some kind of golem, but not the iron one we saw patrolling earlier. Hero Shrew: Uh oh. Fireflash: And I imagine they’re not very happy with me. Morningstar: ROUND TWO! GM: Morningstar was given orders - lets see if he follows them. Morningstar puts everything into a charge against Hero Shrew, but Scooter isn’t even stunned, bouncing back to his feet and grinning hugely in anticipation of a fight where he doesn’t have to hold back. Shadow Dragon generates a field of blackness, to see if Fireflash is vulnerable to such - just as well he didn’t target Hardlight, who very much IS vulnerable to shadow attacks. Of course the Paladin’s ‘horse’ Darkling wants to get in on the fun too, and Battle Taxis Talisman over next to Flux. Flux: …. Hello? Talisman: Hello. Morningstar come over to say hi too, and Flux is soon held by the throat. Not ideal. Especially when Shadow Dragon cloaks the five of them in more shadow. Hero Shrew: Well, guess I’ll have to punch Black Paladin in the kidneys instead then. The battle that ensues doesn’t go as planned for anybody - every time the heroes try to pair off against an appropriate opponent, the bad guys instead switch their attentions to an increasingly panicky Flux who is only barely avoiding them by teleporting along the chain-link fence. We DO learn that Allana’s echolocation can see through Shadow Dragon’s darkness powers perfectly well, which is unfortunate for Shadow Dragon. Fireflash: Take out the minions! Black Paladin is too dangerous to take on when he has help! Allana: He’s only inflicted a single point of stun so far. Black Paladin: Really Miss Helstrom, you really think your powers are enough to deal with me? Hero Shrew keeps running out of nearby opponents. Hero Shrew: Guess I’m punching the horse. Yet another complication arises - somebody is trying to snipe Talisman with magical blasts. And ANOTHER mystery sniper shoots Hero Shrew, with an armour-piercing rifle. Hero Shrew: ****ing OW! That ****ing hurt! Allana proves that unnatural horses do indeed make good improvised weapons by using Darkling the Destrier as one against Talisman, before that sniper with the high-powered rifle tries to shoot her in the head too. There certainly seems to a pattern forming here - they’re using deadly attacks on the rest of us, but only Entangles and Grabs on Flux. Add to that hiring Weyland Smith to make those demon-enhanced exo-suits, and trying to forcibly recruit Guiltrider, it looks like they’re really here to kidnap Flux. GM: I want you, I want you, I want you as a new recruit! Flux: Save the technomancer, dammit! Talisman: Look, just ring his bell long enough for me to take him! Black Paladin: Very well, my sweet. Shadow Dragon plays possum, and is nearly killed by Fireflash when she spots him trying to sneak away. GM: Good thing you saw the blood splatter when the first part of the blast hit him, and pulled back your attack. ‘What the- I could have killed him!’ Hardlight bubbles Morningstar - although that might be just to stop Hero Shrew from kicking his head off - but it seems Talisman has giving up on the fight, and teleports her gang away, even out of the anti-teleport bubble. Black Paladin: Dear - we will have words about this. GM: Congratulations - you survived combat with the Dark Kingdom. Hero Shrew: *swaying a bit* So, who’s hurt? Flux: Nobody on our team. Fireflash: Yes we are, he cut me! Hero Shrew: *swaying more* That’s nice. GM: And now the rest of you realise Scooter was shot. It’s true - that sniper with the armour-piercing rifle hurt him quite badly, even if his later bullets just bounced off Allana. Just as well there's an angel floating around dispensing healing. Where did that come from, exactly? Perhaps that other, magical, sniper, that was taking potshots at the bad guys. Hero Shrew: Somebody was shooting at Talisman while she was all transparent, and I don’t think it was any of us. Anybody know who that was? Allana: *looking down the alleyway with her echolocation* Mystery Wizard: Oh crap. Well, time to reveal myself. Hero Shrew: Do we have to fight you now? Mystery Wizard: No, why would you do that? Hero Shrew: I don’t know - I’ve lost a lot of blood and I’m not thinking very clearly. Mystery Wizard: An associate warned me that a great evil would be worked tonight. Allana: Just a minute, I need to check whether Weyland was in that burning building. Mystery Wizard: Oh, he was. At first I thought it was him that would perpetrate the evil. Then I thought it would be the cultists. But then, of course, the Black Paladin showed his hand. We really don’t want another fight right now, and after a cryptic warning to his fellow Magus, the wizard and a large not-a-husky leave through a magical portal. Fireflash: Anything else we need to do tonight? Flux: I know a great Shawarma place. But while on the subject of roasted meat, we check the burning building for the body of Weyland Smith. By the looks of it, he burned from the inside out. A bit odd, although it seems likely he told his associates that we had been sniffing around, so they could plan the ambush. Scooter notices that there are an awful lot of crows hanging around, despite the late hour. Hero Shrew: You can’t eat him, he’s evidence! Flux suspects this is all related to an recent unpleasant incident in Millennium City, involving the Black Paladin, Talisman, the resurrection of the Paladin’s long-dead lover, and a couple of people unwillingly transformed into servants. And Shadow Dragon was calling Black Paladin ‘Master’, instead of ‘Boss’. All very worrying, especially if Black Paladin is trying to add Flux to his collection. Flux: That’s it, I’m building a Faraday Cage when I get back to the base - guess where I’M sleeping tonight! Hero Shrew: So, Black Paladin and his minions are playing Pokemon Go and they’re collecting Mage types. Fireflash: … Yeah that about describes it. Hero Shrew: And apparently they have a sniper now, too. Flux: I don’t remember seeing a sniper. Hero Shrew: I can show you the hole in my side, and I’m telling you it wasn’t moths. Hero Shrew: You want to send Witchcraft a text message? ‘You sister is collecting mages for her boyfriend’? GM: The more effort you put into making a force bubble teleport-proof, the easier it is to just punch your way out. Hero Shrew: Which is why you break their arms and legs first, THEN put them in a force-bubble. We should probably ask the Voodoo Crew if anybody tried to recruit or kidnap them. And find out exactly how many more of those demon-enhanced exo-suits might be out there. The odds are there are at least 7 more. Hero Shrew: We can’t even ask Weyland Sandford how many of the exo-suits he modified. Flux: Sure we can, we know the Voodoo Crew. Allana: OK, let’s change that to ‘we can, but probably shouldn’t’. And of course, we’re not sure why the DEMON cultists showed up - it’s possible they were here to recruit Weyland too. Fireflash: And it means there’s a DEMON base around here too, so we should probably find that and bring the hammer down. GM: That’ll be entertaining - they LOVE using Christian churches as a front. Hero Shrew: They don’t even have the common decency of pretending to be Scientologists so we don’t have to feel bad about levelling the building. GM: Not even DEMON messes with the Church of Scientology. But psychometric readings of their glowy sticks proves we got them them all already - this team of cultists were probably here to set up a cell in Edge City, so we’ve set them back badly. Why does the Black Paladin want animated suits of armour anyway? And does it relate to his purported personal knowledge of King Arthur et al.? Allana: The evil knights … of the pentagon table… or whatever. Hero Shrew talks with the cops, since the other four members are too distracted to notice. Hero Shrew: Hi guys. We got these guys, but Black Paladin, Talisman, and the other two got away. ECPD: Other two? Hero Shrew: Yeah, Dragon Boy and … Morningstar? Shadow Dragon! That’s it. But we got these guys and their glowy sticks. Oh, and we found a body in the wreckage there, but honestly I’m not sure it’s the real thing, so if we can be there for the autopsy, that’d be dandy. Hardlight: Oh Christ, Scooter is talking to the police. *runs over* Hero Shrew: I mean, if I knew Black Paladin and DEMON were after me, I’d fake my own death and get out of town, wouldn’t you? ECPD: No comment. Allana: Oh Christ, Hardlight is talking to the police. *runs over* Flux: She hasn’t been with us that long, how does she know that ‘Scooter and Gareth talking to the cops’ is a Code Scarlet situation? What is Black Paladin up to? Hardlight: Well, we’ll ask him next time we see him - I’m sure he’ll monologue about it for ten minutes. GM: No he won’t - he’ll just put his sword through you. Hero Shrew: Can we get a clue from his Amazon wishlist? Flux: Can you imagine if villains really did maintain a social media profile? Hero Shrew: I’m damn sure Foxbat does. Flux checks his magical tablet for any info on the Paladin, recorded in the Akashic Record. Apparently he’s the real deal - a genuine enemy of Camelot. Allana: Is he trying to set up his own version of Arthur’s Court? Hero Shrew: What’s the opposite of Round? Fireflash: Square? Hero Shrew: Donut? They all sit in the middle. Allana: But the point of the Round Table was equality. GM: Yeah, not really the Black Paladin’s thing. GM: Galahad’s still around though. In Stronghold Prison. Hero Shrew: Wait, what? GM: For one hundred counts of murder. Sure he was mind-controlled at the time, but he plead guilty to all charges. He says that he would never have succumbed to the mind-control if there wasn’t some flaw in his character. We should probably ask him about the Black Paladin. Hero Shrew: We don’t need face to face, video interview will do. GM: Nope. They don’t let tech near some of the super-criminals on that level. Flux: There are villains that can jump via transmissions. Hero Shrew: You, for example. Flux: They don’t let me NEAR where they keep supervillains. Flux: Who would he think are suitable recruits for the Knights of the Anti-round? Hero Shrew: Knights of the Donut. GM: At a guess, Lightning Man, Cloaca- Hero Shrew: … What? Allana: An unpleasant individual to be around. GM: It just means ‘dark’. And somebody, not Talisman, to be court wizard. Talisman is his Queen. Hero Shrew: Are Lightning Man and Cloaca in custody? GM: Hell no. Allana: Lightning Man keeps getting into cockfights with somebody in Brisbane. He’s one of about 4 Australian superhumans. There’s a few other candidates out there, but most of them are too independent of character to submit to Black Paladin’s leadership. The fact that Black Paladin is currently the Earthly Champion of Baphomet rules out some of the others too. Of course, Morningstar and Shadow Dragon were behaving a little oddly, so they might not get a choice in the matter. The ideal candidate would be Professor Muerte, but he’s been dead for years - sealed into his armour by a minion and dumped into the Pacific. And Talisman and Shadow Dragon were recently spotted on a boat off Baja, heading out to sea. Hero Shrew: F***!!! But that was a month ago, shortly after that other resurrection ritual they successfully did. And there’s another link we know about too - the mercenary Killzone regarded Muerte as a father figure, and her Doom Troopers are the last remnant of Muerte’s organisation Terror Inc. Fireflash’s research finally unearths an alarming fact - it’s not ten exo-suits that have vanished off the books - it’s fifty. She has brilliant idea - the exo-armour may have vanished off the face of the earth, but they’re still going to need specialist tools for maintenance. And the synthetic muscle will need feeding. GM: ‘It’s your job to keep these suits running’ ‘Do I have a budget?’ ‘No’ ‘... You realise I’ll have to steal the stuff I need, right?’ ‘I don’t care’. And Tyrell Corp recently had one of their Robot Maintenance workshops raided. At least we’re on good terms with the ECPD, although they may look askance at Flux doing rituals in their evidence locker. Flux: ‘What’s he doing with that rubber chicken?’ GM: No no no - he might be a technomage, but the last time he used a rubber chicken it went cluck. The ritual apparently conjures up a living canine Tamagotchi sprite, which escapes through a phoneline. Hero Shrew: What the hell was that? Flux: Ask me again in about 14 hours. It also tracks down the stolen tools to part of Old Monterey. And something in Old Monterey sets off the zombie detector that Flux made for Hero Shrew, after that whole incident at the shopping mall.
  8. Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask : Job Interview Nemat: When I called you a slippery little pig yesterday it was not intended as a racial slight. Onka the Half-orc: It’s OK. Nemat: You CAN airburst Fireballs, you know. Zenobia: Thereby getting the target, and anybody tall who’s standing nearby? Nahkt Shepses has set up a small arena for our test. A small crowd has gathered to spectate - which could be a problem since all of us have magic of one form or another, and many spells are Area of Effect. Nahkt is also doing his best to undermine Sebti in his speech to the crowd. Nakht Shepses: As you may have heard, the Mausoleum has had a slight disagreement yesterday. I and the Voices of the Spire plan to send our greatest Psychopomps throughout the city to root out this undead menace, and uncover the source of the corruption plaguing our city. Sebti and the Pharasmean priests wish to send these adventurers into the necropolis on a wild goose chase for old compasses! Crowd: *scattered laughter* Nahkt: So we shall put these ideas to the sword to see whose is strongest! I do not wish to see more death in this city, so the first to render the other unconscious shall be the victor! Nahkt is siccing his personal psychopomp and two other servants of his particular sect on us. GM: Welcome to the miniboss. He magnanimously gives us a chance to prepare. Zenobia, of course, Blesses the party, and Asrian surrounds herself with illusions of herself and Zenobia silently curses where her imagination takes her. The first Esobok pounces Nemat and gets poked in the eyes. Asrian blinds the Vanth with Glitterdust. Nemat insults all the psychopomps with Blistering Invective. Zenobia: Does Blistering Invective only affect enemies we know about, and how far away is Nahkt? Onka casts his first Fireball, and Zenobia protects her lover with Shield Other. More battle magic follows. These psychopomps might be tough - and the Vanth especially - but being Stunned, Blinded, Shaken, and on fire isn’t healthy. And since there’s no information otherwise, they probably return to their native plane still on fire. Nemat: Summoners are pricks. GM: At this point the Vanth remembers it has a Fear aura. Zenobia: I’m afraid of nothing when Asrian is in danger. Nemat: And I think we have emphatically proven that I’m more scary than a Vanth. Asrian: We are doing quite well. Nemat: Well, for one thing it’s not a Rakshasa - that set a high bar for this party. The Vanth yields, but Nemat is still highly annoyed by the curse he got hit with, and expresses this opinion to the crowd. Nemat: THIS is what you would unleash on this city? Unthinking creatures that will curse even Wati’s defenders? Nahkt: You will face much worse in the Necropolis. Of course Asrian trowels on her own abuse, and Nakht backs down. Nahkt: I am not unreasonable. I apologise for doubting you. Nemat: Still cursed here. Onka: There need to be desert penguins. Nemat: Bear in mind that the wizard said this, adding more weight to the adage ‘A Wizard Did It’ The next morning we prepare for our expedition into the Necropolis. There are three objectives - the Elegiac Compasses, the Xotl, and a clan of atheist Lamias in the Cenotaph of the Cynic that Nakht blames for the whole problem Asrian: I suggest meeting the Xotl first - we need allies. Zenobia: That is wise, my love. Nemat OoC: And we’re still in the Shadowrun part of the adventure - legwork is important. And the Johnson has already tried to screw us. A bit more experience and they’ll trust us to make our own mistakes. Of course, the moment we’re in the Necropolis, we’re mobbed by ghouls and zombies. Happily, this only slows us down slightly, and we don’t get overrun. The Xotl, when we find them, and holed up tight, and heavily armed. But not in a shopping mall, or US army chemical waste disposal facility. Their Matriarch, Unwrapped Harmony, is willing to see us, but clearly distrustful of anybody that can walk around in the light of the Daystar without bursting into flame. She’s willing to assist us with information, in return for a service. Zenobia OoC: Sidequest! Nemat OoC: It just appeared in my journal. One of Unwrapped Harmony’s clanmates apparently got a little TOO interested in the rituals of Mummification, and experimented on some of his own people. U.H. wants proof of his death.
  9. Yep - here in WA, road directions can easily be 'follow this road for 650km, and your destination will be on your left'. Of course, it didn't help that they'd given me the wrong directions.
  10. Champions : Return to Edge City - Magick GM: I want to know when you all became competent. Flux: Probably didn’t want to embarrass ourselves now Allana is on the team - ‘Not in front of the newbie!’ Hero Shrew: I just want to know what kind of look Witchcraft is going to give us when she finds out we caught her sister, and didn’t know who she was. GM: Well, she’s too nice to cackle maniacally. GM: When last we met Talisman escaped from your custody, and only THEN did you realise who you’d caught. Hero Shrew: Well, all humans look alike to me. Fireflash OoC: ‘When last we met our heroes were in a bottle at the bottom of the Marianas Trench being eaten by octopi.’ Flux: How did we end up here? Fireflash: ‘Ten Minutes Earlier…’ Allana: I’m wondering how the octopuses got into the bottle. Hero Shrew: Oh, if we do end up in a bottle at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, you’re not opening the cork - I’ve seen that episode of Mythbusters. Hero Shrew: Do we need to make flash cards of ‘UNTIL’s Most Wanted’? We do need to find out just how much of the pilots‘ memories have been erased - what’s the last thing they remember? Fireflash: Who wants to question them? Hero Shrew: I’ll do it! I’ll do it! Fireflash: Anyone else? As it happens, it won’t be that easy - the pilots are still unconscious. Hero Shrew suggests we check the Zone Patrol power armour for serial numbers - as it happens, they didn’t file them off. Finding out who stole the suits could be an important step in the investigation - if Hardlight didn’t botch his end of the research. But as it happens we do determine that the suits were first used in the building of the Marsden Wall, but the construction company was one of the ones that folded after the Edge City fusion reactor went up. Perhaps we can source the brass they used for the armour’s embellishments? Flux: They might have bought the brass out of town. Hero Shrew: Sure. And it’s not like the local retailers would have had Peruvian demons on tap. Flux suddenly realises he can adapt that spell he used to locate the source of Scooter’s thirty pieces of silver. It utilises the principles of Contagion and Similarity, but it’s not psychometry. Flux: Illusions of Porn Past is the reason I don’t do Psychometry. GM: It’s like stumbling on someone’s search history. What Flux determines is that whoever made the suits was extremely careful to ensure that the brass for each suit is magically distinct from that in the next suit. They were extremely careful to ensure that the demons couldn’t assist each other. GM: Allana’s superhero name is technically Nocturne. Flux’s nickname for Allana is Clue-bat Flux: She just turn up looking over my shoulder says things like ‘should that be that colour’ and I’m all ‘hmm’. Then I realise she’s leaning over my shoulder. Hero Shrew: She can lean over my shoulder anytime *leers* GM: So what are you doing during all this research and phonecalls, Scooter? Hero Shrew: Eating mealworm bars and watching Allana’s breasts. Flux: Scooter, leave them alone. I mean her alone. Get out of here! Sorry, Allana, I’ll do my breast to keep him away from you. GM: You’ve made me very happy - this is the team I remember. Because you still don’t have a monitoring roster, you’re still relying on social media to find out when anything is happening. The news we’ve missed because none of us are actually watching the bank of monitor screens is a superhuman punch-up happening out at the far end of Olympic Park. Fireflash: Everybody to the Qruiser! Hero Shrew: It’ll take a while to get back to the base, I’m in Marsden. Flux: *sigh* Since Scooter is bouncing from rooftop to rooftop, and Allana flying there under her own power, and Hardlight driving the Qruiser, it’s up to Flux and Fireflash to check Facebook and find out what’s actually happening in Olympic Park. A lot of it is ‘Maybe this time we’ll see her tits!’ GM: It’s Guilt-rider and Iron Maiden being attacked by Morningstar and Shadow Dragon. Flux: Shadow Dragon? GM: He’s a mercenary with darkness powers. Think Ghost Shadow without the weeaboo. And Morningstar is an actual demon. Guilt-rider is currently riding her motorcycle down the street backwards, shooting with both hands. Flux: If she wasn’t a criminal I’d date that woman. GM: Yeah, I kinda have bad news for you. Flux: Yeah, guessed as much. Iron Maiden (who Scooter still thinks is a robot) is keeping some kind of illumination field on herself and Guilt-rider. Flux: Ah - Shadow Dragon’s darkness powers. Fireflash: Well I’m about to Flash him. GM: Yeah, Shadow Dragon is that much of an arsehole - he’s riding on Morningstar’s shoulder so he can keep shooting energy blasts at Guilt-rider as they chase her down the street. Fireflash: Then I’ll flash both of them. Fireflash blinding them does make it much easier to blast a crater in front of them, Scooter to tackle Morningstar out from under Shadow Dragon, and Allana to literally piledrive Shadow Dragon into the road every time he gets up. Then Scooter punches him down the street, and through multiple vehicles. Shadow Dragon: Oh god, I can’t see- Ow. Ow. Ow. Guilt-rider proceeds to propel him through a few more with her new Windchester. Shadow Dragon: Oh god, I still can’t see-Ow. Ow. Ow. Guilt-rider: So, do you want to talk or do you want to try and take me in? Fireflash: Yes. Hero Shrew: Both, ideally! Hardlight: *blasts Morningstar unconscious and bubbles Guilt-rider with an improved forcebubble* You’re under arrest! Guilt-rider: We know how this works! *bounces excitedly* Allana: She is an ally of the Moreaus. Fireflash: Let her go - arresting them now would just be a dick move. Guilt-rider: No no no, keep it up for a bit, this is cool! *does flaming Wall of Death loops around the inside of the bubble* Flux: *magically switches off all the cameras in the area* OK, now we can talk. Guilt-rider: I dunno who they work for, but their Boss-man wanted me to fix some big project of theirs. But I took one look at the ugly guy and said to meself there’s no way I’m working for somebody who hires tha-What’s happening with Chop-socky and the other guy? Shadow Dragon and Morningstar are sort of dissolving into black smoke, just like Talisman did when she escaped - Hardlight hurriedly bubbles them in the teleportation-proof bubble he devised after our run-in with Talisman. Flux: Hello PRIMUS, calling in a high-speed extraction, we’ve got Shadow Dragon and Morningstar here and they’re trying to teleport out. We’ve got it blocked for now. PRIMUS operator: Huh, that’s not in their profile. Inbound ETA six minutes. Allana: I just want to check how long they’re going to stay out. Guilt-rider: They’re tough boys, but…. *gets distracted by Allana’s breasts* Fireflash: Into that, are you? Guilt-rider: You gotta problem with that? Fireflash: No, just jealous. Flux: We really should be arresting you. Guilt-rider: On what charge? Flux: Well, those weapons for a start. They need to be licensed. Guilt-rider: No they don’t - none of them are legally firearms. Flux: What about her weapons? Guilt-rider: Iron Maiden? Good luck arresting her. Hardlight: Guys? Four minutes? Flux shows Guilt-rider his notes on the Zone Patrol armour. Guilt-rider: Huh - so that’s why they wanted to hire me - it’s the same kind of thing I did with Growler. Growler’s a fire-elemental. But he likes being a motorcycle. Guilt-rider eventually admits, reluctantly, that she saw Shadow Dragon and Morningstar talking to Talisman, KIllzone (the merc that kidnapped Fireflash months ago and collected a hand-off from the Six Teens) and one Weyland Sandford, a tech-savvy diabolist competent enough he once worked with the violently feminist Raven. She won’t say WHERE she saw this, but if the meeting was there then they were definitely doing business. Guilt-rider and Iron Maiden exit stage right when the PRIMUS vehicle arrives. The Silver Avenger herself has come along. Silver Avenger: Bit strange that these two are working together. Hero Shrew: We’ve also got information that they were seen conspiring with Talisman, Killzone, and Weyland Sandford. Silver Avenger: Where’d you get this information? Hero Shrew: Anonymous source. Fireflash: Guilt-rider. She just left. I wanted to arrest her, but there’s no outstanding warrants. Silver Avenger: Yes, she’s pretty good a skirting right on the edge of the law. Fireflash: There were a few things we could have got Iron Maiden on, but, you know... Silver Avenger: What, THAT Iron Maiden? Hero Shrew: Who was Iron Maiden? Flux: A band. She was a Russian superhero, so from the point of view of the Americans, a supervillain. But apparently General Winter, another Russian super, has confirmed that this Iron Maiden is the same woman from the 70s. God knows why she’s working with Guilt-rider. Wayland Sandford is a diabolist, but there’s no way he’s working for the deranged DEMON organisation. The Descending Hierarchy HATES everybody involved with DEMON. Any diabolist worth his salt will summon an uncontrolled demon the moment DEMON comes knocking, knowing they’ll be rewarded. Summoned Fiend: Fool, your soul is forfie- is that DEMON? Very good, carry on. And here’s a 50% discount voucher on your next summoning. Allana is going to try to backtrack to where Morningstar and Shadow Dragon first started their fight with Guilt-rider and Iron Maiden. Growler might be able to turn invisible, but there left a lot of burnt rubber on the asphalt while there were trying to escape. Maybe there’ll be an earlier trail to track from there, or camera footage Flux can raid. We do find the vehicle that Guilt-rider was doing some after-sale work on when Shadow Dragon and Morningstar teleported in. And four blue reptilian humanoids. Although going by the fourth one, and her Radiation Hazard nipple pasties, they’re actually mammals. Flux: They could be fat reserves. Hero Shrew: Venom sacks? Allana identifies them as very minor players on Edge City’s gang scene. They claim that the vehicle is theirs, that Guilt-rider was working on the engine, and that they took one look at Shadow Dragon and Morningstar when they showed up and legged it. Fireflash: Probably wise. GM: Anybody going to look them up later? Hero Shrew: I’ve got two reasons to look one of them up later. GM: You WORK at a TITTY-BAR. Hero Shrew: I can enjoy them in my time off too. The Toxics, as they call themselves, are not Moreaus, and do ally themselves with Freak Legion. Nobody seems to know what they are, but the very-obviously-female of the group has a tattoo - MOAM - that means Mother Of All Mutants, and she actually is their mother. Hero Shrew: I’m not going to say it. Not going to say it. But MOAM isn’t the four-letter acronym I was thinking of. Hardlight: The other three must have been very well fed as kids. GM: Sort of hot, despite having no noses. Flux: That’s because they weren’t the Voldemort kind of no nose. Hero Shrew: Oh right, Voldemort - the man who lost a ‘got your nose’ game vs. a one-year-old. We spend the trip back criticizing the design ideas that went into a household robot design with a bust and high heels. Me: Although bear in mind that Boston Dynamics taught their latest robot how to twerk. GM: I’m letting you know that the gem giving Hardlight his powers is one of a set of five, like the ten rings of the Mandarin. Hero Shrew: Maybe you can go find the space-dragons in their short shorts and ask for another. Flux attempts another ritual to track down the villains, based on the resonances of the powered armour exo-frames. It seems they originated in part of East Chesterfield, a light industrial zone. Combining it with the brass detector he considered earlier should narrow it down even further. Or would, if half the party members weren’t wearing jeans with brass rivets. And if brass wasn’t a good anti-corrosion material. Hero Shrew: Well, you just keep doing the scans and the rest of us will go around peering in the windows of any Ye Olde Abandoned Warehouses. That won’t work either, since the East Chesterfield is quite busy, and most of the team are pretty conspicuous. Random NPC: Did that warehouse always have a gargoyle? And why does it have enormous ti- Allana: *extends her wings* Random NPC: Leaving now. GM: The wizard is the most normal person in the party. Flux: Yeah, it’s one of the reasons other wizards hate me. ‘What, no dragons in the basement? No kidnapping maidens?’ Allana: ‘God you’re boring’ Eventually Flux narrows it down to a small tool and die-maker’s place, that apparently makes custom parts. Custom parts of the kind that would go into demon armour, presumably. We decide to come back tomorrow, when we aren’t busy with day jobs, etc. GM: I point out that the only people in the party with appreciable social skills are Allana and Scooter - who have trouble being accepted as people. Fireflash has people skills too - she heads in, in costume. The rest of us eavesdrop over her phone. The machinist, a young man with impressive tattoos, etc - introduces himself as Weyland Sandford. Uh-oh. Fireflash: Hello there - I was wondering if you could help me? My colleagues and I are tracking down the source of some unusual brass alloys. Weyland: And you tracked a particular alloy down to my business? That seems pretty unlikely. Fireflash: You’d find some of my compatriots pretty unlikely. Weyland happily identifies the sample as part of a custom job he did, and describes the client as one ‘Mr Black’. GM: I’m disappointed you didn’t bring up the fact he’d been seen associating with Talisman and Shadow Dragon. I even had a speech for him. ‘I’ve got two counterpoints for you - the NAACP vs. Alabama in 1958, and the First Amendment. Also, f*** you.’ Hardlight: So we come back later. Fireflash: No, we come back quietly, later, and the one who can teleports in. GM: He’s also the one with the least moral compunctions against breaking in. PRIMUS Agent: I’ve got some bad news for you - Morningstar and Shadow Dragon got busted out. And the escorts all need hospital, and we can’t find the black box. Whatever it was hit the transport mid-air and tore it open. And they’re mercs - either who hired them had more muscle, or came for them in person. We’ve got no idea where they are or who took them. Flux spies out Weyland’s shop that night, and spots an iron golem on patrol inside. Hero Shrew and Hardlight don’t spot anything, since the latter is trying to explain sexual harassment to the former, and why ‘Your tits look fantastic today’ is fine in a titty bar, but isn’t pretty much anywhere else. Fireflash and Allana, on the other hand, spot all the robed cultists heading towards Weyland’s shop, and pointing glowing sticks in Flux’s direction. Fireflash: Guys, can you stop being inappropriate and look at the freaking screen?? At least DEMON cultists are easy to recognise - their robes are pretty distinctive. Hero Shrew: How squishy are cultists? Fireflash: Pretty squishy - that’s why they’re only cultists. Hero Shrew: So if I can’t punch them without bringing Chunky Salsa into effect, should I just take their glowy sticks off them? Fireflash: Taken glowy sticks off people is generally good policy. Allana swoops past and snatches Flux out of the line of fire, before the rest of us move in. Hardlight knocks most of them out with a holographic blast, but that leaves the ones with actual spells as well as glowy sticks. Spells like Domination. DEMON Cultists: Help! Heeelp! Saaave us! Hero Shrew succumbs, despite his obstinate nature. Flux: We have a problem. It’s a problem we’ve had before - a Rogue Shrew. Hero Shrew: They keep telling me I shouldn’t punch normos! And Hardlight just blew up most them! GM: Exactly! Only these two got up again! Allana swoops back the other way and grabs Scooter. GM: Sometimes the team brick has to accept that they’ll be the Battle Taxi. She probably intended to use him as a bowling ball against the remaining cultists, but he manages to break free, to Allana’s shock. Hero Shrew: ANGRY SHREW! Fireflash blasts the last two while Allana continues to try and grapple Hero Shrew. Scooter attempts to jump onto the nearest roof - Weyland’s workshop. Despite the Iron Golem. Allana: Oh no you don’t *grab* Hardlight OoC: If only you weren’t being mind-controlled right now, you’d probably enjoy this. Hero Shrew OoC: *wistful sigh* yeah. Flux: So, what will your defence be at the war crimes trial? Allana: ‘I was not technically a person at the time.’ The mind-control wears off. GM: So you stop struggling? Hero Shrew: Yep. In fact, I suddenly start snuggling back closer. Allana: *Yanks Scooter out of her cleavage* GM: You also realise you were mind-controlled. Hero Shrew: Just a minute, there’s something I need to do *heads over towards the unconscious cultists, intending to kick them in the fork* All: *grapple Hero Shrew again* We start securing the prisoners, forks intact. A voice interrupts, from above. Ominous Voice: Well, that is unfortunate - I was hoping they’d do my job for me. Weyland’s workshop explodes. And the Black Paladin, astride a flying black steed, is revealed by the light of the blazing building.
  11. oh dear. Of course, Nosoi are spirits of plague and misfortune in real-world mythology, so I do have to wonder exactly why Ptemenib has one
  12. Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask - The Silver Chain Onka: Where were we? Zenobia: We’ve just killed these two guards, who aren’t guards. Nemat: Well, they were guards. Zenobia: Alright, guards hired by the town of Wati, instead of guards hired by the Silver Chain. We check the bodies and pocket most of their stuff - they’re well equipped. And their ‘town guard armour’ is enchanted, which makes it better than the real thing. Nemat: Anybody else know how to use a hand crossbow? Noting the emphasis on ‘else’ but disregarding the cultural association between hand crossbow and assassins. Nemat: And either way, they’re not guards anymore. Zenobia: Which reminds me, we’d better make sure they don’t get up again *decapitates* Nemat: *whispered aside to Onka* Does Zenobia remember she got smoochy-smoochied by a flying undead head? The brickmaker’s property is mostly derelict. GM: And as quiet as the dead. Asrian: As quiet as they’ve been lately? Zenobia: So they either didn’t hear the fight, or they did and they’re waiting to ambush us. The floor of the surviving building has been dug up and some very dodgy stairs installed, leading down into the darkness. There’s also a few kegs of what turns out to be saffron, to our amazement - this stuff is worth more than its weight in silver. Zenobia: There don’t need to be any Silver Chain here, the saffron alone is worth hiring the guards. There aren’t any tracks at the bottom of the stairs, despite the sandy floor. Asrian: When was your master kidnapped? Kasim the Nosoi: Two or three days ago? All: …. Kasim: I’ve been stressed, ok??? Zenobia is wondering about the lamps in the first room - there’s six of them, all fixed, but only three are burning. There’s no fuel oil in the room, either. Nemat: You’re right, that is suspicious. Nemat suspects that the combination of lit and unlit lanterns is some kind of code for the Silver Chain. We have no idea what changing the combination will do. We pick a door and start exploring. As it happens the guy we’re looking for is behind the first door we pick. Onka: That’s convenient. The Silver Chain have stolen his holy symbol, but that’s not a problem - Nemet has one for all the major religions of Osirion in his pockets. Onka: What? Nemat: I bought them. We were GOING into the NECROPOLIS. Ptemenib: I warn you - the Silver Chain serve a new master. He wears a golden mask. They call him Iffek. Asrian: It might not be the same mask that was stolen from the Necropolis - he might just be wearing it for Iffek. Having a professional investigator like Nemat in the party certainly helping when you’re searching rooms for hidden treasures. Having a noisy Nosoi in the party, loudly announcing its joy at the safe return of its master, doesn’t help with sneaking around. Which probably explains why whoever was down here has already legged it through a secret escape tunnel. But they didn’t grab their escape bag as they fled - a Handy Haversack holding a small fortune in grave goods. GM: Of course pretty much everything down here is grave goods. Including the furniture. But at least we find Ptemenib’s stuff and get a reward - an Ushabti figure with an Unseen Servant enchantment. Also in the boss’s lavish chamber, on his looted writing desk, is a tin bird with three Feather Tokens as a tail - with space for a fourth. Feather Tokens are used as magical messengers. There’s also traces of wet ink on the table. So somebody apparently thought sending an emergency message was urgent enough to spend hundreds of gold pieces on it. Perhaps we SHOULD follow the escape tunnel. It surfaces in the Necropolis. Zenobia: Oh, ****. The collapsed crypt we emerge in also has a jumble of bronze springs and plates in the middle of the floor. It appears to be some kind of detector for necromantic energy, built by the Cult of Pharasma. There’s also the footprints of at least five people, leading deeper into the Necropolis. Zenobia: Well, double -****. Having an Inquisitor in the party means we would now bypass a couple of chapters of plot, so we decide to be nice to the GM and turn back, for fear of zombies and the difficulty of tracking the Silver Chain across rooftops. Unfortunately we do come across the thing responsible for what we thought was a snake trail - an animated assemblage of human organs from the canopic jars. All: Ick. Nemat: KILL IT WITH FIRE. Zenobia: I had to deal with a lot of human offal in my last job - I never expected it to come back for revenge! Once the impromptu anatomy lesson is dealt with, we plan our report to the Cult of Pharasma and the other relevant authorities. We take the more valuable items, such as a reportedly lost statue of a Sphinx, and a genealogy of Osirion’s founding families, with us in case they ‘go missing’. At least one more door down here has been hurriedly boarded up, which is never a good sign. ‘Let somebody else find out whatever is hissing on the other side’ is what somebody smart would say, since it’s a gas trap and we open the door. Onka and Zenobia get shot with the Stupid Gun. Zenobia: Duuuuuuhhhhhhhhh? The Silver Chain’s secret meth lab contains one decomposing body wearing a bronze mask, and a lot of smashed alchemical equipment. Nemat and Asrian grab Onka and Zenobia before they can hurt themselves. Zenobia would presumably be fine with the subsequent clumsy fumbling, since it’s Asrian, if she was coherent enough to realise it WAS Asrian, and wasn’t behaving like a drunken lech in front of her other friends. Asrian manages to pin her gnoll lover down, but Zenobia wriggles free. GM: Zenobia wants to be on top Nemat is having similar problems with Onka. Zenobia eventually comes to her senses, pinned face down on the floor, and blushes an incandescent red under her fur. Asrian: You OK now? Zenobia: *nods silently* Asrian: This position has possibilities. Zenobia: embarrassment burning hotter* Nemat: You’re a slippery pig, Onka. I didn’t even get to tie you up. Zenobia: *embarrassment passes some kind of Planck temperature limit* We also find a letter. Which reveals that the Silver Chain was being used as a front for some organisation intending to enter the Necropolis. It includes lines like ‘Once you arrive at Wati infiltrate the Silver Chain and bend them to His Divine Will’, all on behalf of somebody called the Sky Pharoah. This is probably not good. But at least we find the underground dock the Silver Chain were using for their smuggling. And armed smugglers. We leave one of them alive, and happy enough to blab everything he knows as long as we don’t set him on fire. Zenobia: I have an idea who that Sky Pharoah is. Nemat: It’s not exactly subtle. Zenobia: So has anybody seen any Unidentified Flying Pyramids lately? When we go to inform the Cult of Pharasma about our discoveries, we hear the shouting match well before we get there. Sebti the Crocodile is arguing with one Nahkt Shepses, an Inquisitor of the cult, and ruthless direct descendant of Wati’s original liberator. Shepses intends to summon an army of psychopomps and unleash them on the undead, regardless of how many civilians are in the way. Having this shouting match in public, mind you. Nemat: WHAT are you too DOING?! Nemat: I don’t mind them having a difference of opinions, what I object to is them voicing it in public. Asrian: I am Asrian Al-Ajir, and I live here! My family have lived here for a hundred generations! Wati is not the tombs and rituals, it is its PEOPLE! Sebti realises her mistake, but the Inquisitor needs a history lesson about the Forgotten Pharaoh before he shuts up. Nemat: Oh, and I believe this will be of interest to you, Inquisitor - a genealogy of the nation's founders. Nakht Shepses: *yoink* Our captive explains, at length, how the original leadership of the gang all got killed off about 6 months ago. After that smuggling artefacts out of the Necropolis suddenly got much more efficient. Sebti recognises what the bronze thing is too - an Elegiac Compass, and one of the most important secrets of the local cult. They used them for triangulating any problems of the shambling kind. The last time they were used was 30 years ago. Nemat: Why aren’t you using them now? Zenobia: Because every team they’ve sent into the Necropolis hasn’t come back. Nemat: Good point. Zenobia: Well, where are the rest of these compasses? Do you want us to check on the other 4 of them? Sebti: That might be a good idea. Nemat: …. Zenobia: Did I just volunteer us for something? Nemat: Yes. Ptemenib has a suggestion too - a clan of Dark Folk, the Xotl, who live in the Necropolis. Zenobia: Live, or ‘lived’? Since these Xotl lived (and still live!) in the Necropolis (although the Pharasmaens aren’t happy about it) they may know more about the original eruption of necromantic energy. Sounds like a plan! For one this, exploring the middle of the Necropolis would probably be suicide. Nakht Shepses doesn’t believe we’re competent to carry out the investigation. He wants to test us tomorrow. Onka: Written or verbal? Nakht: Violent.
  13. Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask : Keeping the Peace Me: The US now has 1.2 billion pounds of excess cheese and nowhere to put it. Hardlight’s Player: I believe the appropriate answer to that is UNDERSCONSIN Now that our GM is over his laryngitis, we can continue dealing with the undead infesting the city of Wati. The minor priestling we saved sends us back to the main Mausoleum (thankfully not in the Necropolis) so she can get more help. Zenobia: Would have thought that leaving the four of us to guard the gate why she goes and gets more help herself would be more sensible. Asrian: But then she’d be abandoning her post. Zenobia: You’ve got mobs of zombies trying to get out of the Necropolis. Asrian: Well, not anymore. Zenobia: They *tried* to get out of the Necropolis. There is a shopkeeper preaching about the End of Days from on top of a stool. Onka: We’re fully deputised, right? And he’s disturbing the peace, isn’t he? Asrian finds a higher perch and assures the crowd that the situation IS under control. The lunatic isn’t happy, but at least we don’t have to bonk him over the head with a peacekeeping club or anything. In fact, Wati is now under sufficient control that the shopkeepers and artisans feel confident enough to re-open their doors - at least during daylight. Nemat: What do you know, nailing the head of a Rakshasa over the city gate does discourage more from coming in. Zenobia: We were so lucky in that fight. Nemat: Sometimes lucky is better than good. Random encounter time! At least there isn’t a modifier to the roll anymore, so another Rakshasa is unlikely. A horde is barreling down the street - they’re small. They have bills. They’re ducks. Zenobia: At least they’re not geese. Zenobia grabs one and checks its flight feathers - they’re clipped domestic ducks, and not some bizarre plague of ducks descending on Wati. They’re also pursued by horrendous amalgams of bear and crocodile. According to Nemat, they’re Esoboks, and psychopomps. So what the hells are doing in the Prime Material Plane, and why are they terrorising ducks? Zenobia: I’ll allow that ducks are unrepentant hellbeasts, but still. They’re probably here to feed on the undead, but they *are* causing panic. And although they supposedly intelligent, none of us can speak whatever language they use. We run along after them, warning the public to stay out the way. After all, if they have got the scent of some major undead, we will probably appreciate the help. When we catch up with them, they are indeed in combat with some kind of humanoid skeleton, half-formed from earth and soil. We wade in after the Esoboks, and discover that one of this thing’s ability is a bite that confers bad luck. It’s also a lot more agile than something made of bones and dirt has any right to be. At least Nemat managed to smack it so hard its head spun around three or four times, and the Esobok could tear out its soul. Zenobia is suitably impressed - she can probably call down one of these Esobok things to assist during future battles. Onka: We dealt with an undead and two psychopomps. Zenobia: But left the ducks on their rampage. Zenobia does find a surprise in her bed that night - it’s Asrian. Zenobia will be very happy but tired in the morning. Nemat: You realise if Zenobia didn’t get 8 hours sleep last night you’re not getting that curse removed, right? Asrian did insist that Zenobia blow out all the candles before she came to bed. Asrian also forgot that gnolls can see in pitch darkness anyway. But she still seemed perfectly humanoid to the joyously happy gnoll. Asrian OoC: So you now know what Asrian looks like. Zenobia OoC: And feels like. And tastes like. Nemat wants to go talk to the Sphinx in the morning. Happily, both he and Zenobia can speak the language, which reduces the chance we’ll be devoured. Asrian OoC: Or increase it if you botch Diplomacy rolls. It doesn’t matter anyway - none of the Sphinx are in town. We go find out what problems have arisen overnight instead - apparently the old courthouse is haunted. By something carrying out its own verdicts, judging by the fresh corpses strung up outside. Every one has had their left eye removed. It’s a pretty standard ancient punishment for anything not warranting execution. Of course, these victims all died of their injuries anyway, but it’s not like they can complain about it. We enter cautiously, and find another defendant tied up and being yelled at by the master of the court, a blood red skeleton with glowing eyes. Nemat: OBJECTION! Judge: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS INTERRUPTION! Asrian: It is unseemly for the dead to preside over the living! Nemat: You have no authority here! The Law is a living thing! Judge: Bailiffs! Remove these people from the court! Nemat: You wish me to speak in the defence of the living? I will do so gladly! (I AM playing a Diplomancer here) Asrian: (And I’ll assist) Zenobia: (And I’ll just wait over here to bash the bailiffs if they need it. ) Happily, Nemat and Asrian have exactly the skill set required to argue the judge to a legal standstill. Zenobia OoC: “I intend to prove/beyond the shadow of a doubt/with my assistant council-” “Co-counsel, Hamilton sit down.” Nemat: I could have solo-ed that - he’s just a judge, I’m an INQUISITOR. GM: Congratulations, you just defeated a Dread Skeleton and his skeletal bailiffs by talking them to death. Apparently the defendant was a merchant charged with selling the wrong kind of hat. Nemat: That law needs to be struck from the books - that judge really missed an opportunity here. Of course, there’s always more problems in Wati - such as somebody dragging an animated dead through the streets. We go to investigate - especially after we hear a clap of thunder from a perfectly clear sky. Nemat: Ghost Sound. Basic illusion. Asrian OoC: It’s the Wilhelm Scream of thunderclaps. There’s a half-elven mage, tears streaming down her face, dragging the zombie down the street. She claims it’s her recently deceased husband, and she’s taking him to her workshop for proper resurrection. The crowd, on the other hand, would rather it destroyed immediately. Nemat: Madam, surely you realise that the dead can only be brought back from full death? Even if you could restore his consciousness, he would live a half-life? Zenobia: We understand your grief, but please let the church of Pharasma send him on to his eternal reward? Nemat: Was he a good man? He has been brought back like this by whatever force means ill to Wati. Would you truly want to hurt his legacy like this? Widow: I… I understand. Please… help him go on. Zenobia: I swear I will make it swift and painless - you need not watch. The elf was an instructor at the Halls of Blessed Rebirth, teaching medicine and embalming, which probably explains why she thought she could bring him back, but it was still against the rules. Nemat: She was grieving - it’s understandable. Zenobia: Medicine AND embalming? Either way they get paid. Wati certainly seems to recovering, given the way the patrols stomp out any disturbances of the peace, but we still have no idea what actually happened in the Necropolis. Zenobia OoC: But the important question is there any more commotion in Zenobia’s room tonight? Nemat: I don’t care, I’m crafting earplugs. Onka: Why do you need earplugs? Nemat: My room is next to Zenobia’s - and Asrian’s room didn’t need changing this morning. Nemat: I see I succeeded in my ‘Craft Disturbing Mental Image’ check. Nemat spends the next day sorting out grief-counselling for people like that half-elf, Zenobia goes to buy some nice faience jewelry for her girlfriend, Asrian goes to see how her family have coped with the last few days, and the Cult of Pharasma are still trying to figure out what happened in the Necropolis, since none of their investigative teams have come back alive. Nemat does get awoken by a bird fluttering in his face the next morning, by a bird apparently wearing a full face helmet. It’s the personal pet/psychopomp of one Ptemenib, who we saw talking to himself at the auction, and who has apparently been kidnapped by the Silver Chain, Wati’s unauthorised graverobbers. Nemat: *sigh* Of course they did. Nemat: *banging on Zenobia’s door* Both of you be dressed and in my room in five minutes! Kasim, the Nosoi, can lead us to where he’s been taken. We leave a note for the innkeeper to take to the rest of the authorities. Nemet: ‘Flappy bird, wading bird, disgruntled crocodile’ We’re led to an abandoned brickworks near Wati’s crowded harbour district. There are two people dressed as town guards posted nearby. Asrian: Clearly someone is paying to keep it abandoned. Kasim: Ptemenib recognised some of the Silver Chain at the auction, and followed them! And he got caught! Guard: Sod off! Asrian: *puts an arrow into the wall next to his ear* Nemat: *glaring intimidatingly* We have business here. Zenobia: Also, since my goddess requires me to give my enemies one chance, I warn you now that the Cult of Pharasma will look unfavourably on anybody accepting bribes from the Silver Chain. GM: Well, let’s see how stupid these two are *rolls dice* Pretty stupid - they both draw punch daggers. Nemat uses Blistering Invective. Nemat: The original Sick Burn. I like this spell - it lets everybody know ‘I did not like this person’. Asrian slashes the one that isn’t on fire so hard he bounces off the wall. Unfortunately a lucky stab from the guard does so much damage to Zenobia’s lover that she has to use a bunch of work with a Wand of Lesser Restoration to repair her arm. Of course, with both of the guards dead we don’t know anything about the brickworks and the Silver Chain members within.
  14. Champions - Return To Edge City : Same Bat-time, Same Bat-channel Trying to get more information regarding that demon-powered armour from last session. GM: Ancient Peruvian demons Allana the Bat-Moreau OoC: Who were actually Scandinavian demons on holiday. There IS somebody in Edge City we can ask about this sort of thing - as it happens it’s the girlfriend of that woman we rescued from PSI. Flux: This is a magic store, don’t touch anything. Elsa: Actually, there’s nothing out here that’s dangerous. Children come in here. I mean, I’ll be annoyed if they touch stuff, but it’s not dangerous. Flux: Oh, this is the show floor, the real stuff is out back. Well done, most magic shops don’t get that right. Flux: Anyway, Allana here- Hardlight: Ah ah ah, Nocturne Flux: OK, Nocturne, or whatever she chooses to call herself. If she has a secret identity I’m impressed. Teach me your ways, oh master Allana: Just comb your hair in the other direction and wear glasses. GM: Uh. Hmm. Well that wasn’t a good thing to roll. Allana: She didn’t read the book out loud, did she? GM: She failed her Sense check, but passed her Accidental Change check. What you see is this sweet young mystic touch the demon armour and suddenly sprout batwings and a spade-ended tail. Hardlight: BUBBLED! Fireflash: Don’t attack the expert! Elsa’s real appearance is even more attractive than her human form. GM: Even Hardlight finds her attractive. Hero Shrew OoC: And my tongue is hanging out. Hardlight: *turning to Allana* You don’t get wingboners do you? Allana: Thankfully no - I’d take out most of the store. Fireflash: *swears and stomps off out of the shop* Elsa: Is she OK? Hero Shrew: Who? Fireflash is outside glaring at streetlights, but not actually blasting them. As she explains to Allana, it’s down to her problems with sex - her body temperature is dangerously high when she’s aroused, and she’s 100% hetero. Fireflash: And here’s an intelligent, incredibly attractive woman, and I feel NOTHING. Allana: You need to find a guy who can take that kind of damage. Fireflash: Being able to take a hit is not the same thing as not feeling it - especially around that area. Hero Shrew: Then you need to find somebody who’s tough AND a masochist. Elsa is explaining the situation regarding the Peruvian demons to Flux. It doesn’t sound good - especially now they’re free to make their own bodies. But whoever made the armour and did the tattoos really knew their stuff - the tattoos stopped the pilots from being possessed for one thing. The demons named on the armour are Frog the Ever-thirsting, Jaguar the Ever-hungry, and a bird demon known as the Eternal Storm. Elsa has some drawings of them. Jaguar, for example, is about the size of a house, and messily carnivorous. Flux: Well, that’s not good. Hardlight: Any reports of anything weird happening around Lake Effinger? Giant frogs, dropping water level? GM: The former site of the Edge City Fusion Reactor? There’s ALWAYS weird things happening there. Hero Shrew: Didn’t somebody see a sea serpent in there? Hardlight: No no, that was an Atlantean. GM: You’re both right, and both wrong - it was an Atlantean Sea Serpent. Hero Shrew: I’m wondering whether Jaguar the Ever-hungry will just take a shortcut and possess a Jaguar-Moreau. Allana: I was wondering the same thing. Flux: ‘Excuse me ma’am, have you seen a giant frog around here?’ Allana: ‘Well, there’s a giant tadpole right now’ Apparently they also feed on fear. Preferably children’s fear. Hero Shrew OoC: Clearly this is the Halloween episode. Hero Shrew calls Simon, Madam Lil, and other Moreau community leaders, such as his boss at the titty-bar. Hero Shrew: It miiight be nothing, but there’s a chance that any jaguar-Moreaus in the Zoo could be possessed by an ancient Peruvian demon and go hunting for children. Fireflash: That’s not something you should preface with ‘might be nothing’ Hero Shrew OoC: Explain your plan to me in terms that Scooter will understand. Flux: Uh… Allana: He’s making a tricorder and I’m carving him three tuning forks. Fireflash: If you want a real challenge, make me a dildo that won’t melt. Elsa: Actually, I know somebody that could help you with that. Fireflash: Who? What? Where? When? Elsa: She’s an expert in unusual physiology. Last speciality item I heard she made was tuned to the harmonic frequencies of a woman made of stone. You can see why she wouldn’t feel much else. Fireflash: Well, that’s one way to make the earth move. Elsa: Her name is Dr Soma. GM: Like I said - an expert in unusual physiologies - she just has a wide interpretation of that. Flux is impressed by Allana’s fine motor control when carving the tuning forks from the solid metal of the armour, with her bare claws. Flux: I’m too used to Scooter just tearing things apart. Flux’s PKE meter reveals that it’s the Storm Bird that lost itself near the Zoo, not the Jaguar. That probably explains why it’s started raining heavily, despite the forecast. Hero Shrew: So how do we actually stop this thing when we find it? We did ask Elsa, didn’t we? I was too busy watching cast videos. Allana: I was going start with violence and see what works from there. Violence works pretty well, apparently. The Eternal Storm’s new body is still basically human. Jaguar, on the other hand, is down near Lake Effinger, and has been powering up. He could, indeed, pass for a Moreau. On the other hand, the subsequent display of combat prowess, on either side, is not going to win any awards. At least until Hardlight uses his KAMEHAMEHA attack, which affects Desolid targets. Hero Shrew: *staring incredulously at Hardlight* Wait, what???? Hardlight: I’m just as surprised as you! The Frog Demon, despite being fully embodied, is also pretty easily subdued and banished, now we know their weaknesses. Hardlight: ABSORB THIS! KAMEHAMEHA! Allana: *stabbing it with the tuning fork and sending it back to the plane it originated in* This is not how I expected to end the day. We head off to the hospital, to interrogate the pilots. Scooter and Gareth are both too busy watching more cat videos to notice that one of the nurses is wearing a non-regulation skirt, and decidedly non-regulation piercings. Fortunately, Fireflash and the others DO notice, intercept, and ask a few pointed questions. Nurse: I’m trying to get fired. Fireflash: I’m sure we can help with that - Allana? Would you mind checking on the pilots? Nurse: To hell with this *summons blinding sleet to fill the corridor.* Scooter grabs her by leg and wrist, but doesn’t throw her through the wall - this is a hospital, after all. Fireflash: Sorry about this, Scooter *Flashbangs him and the fake nurse* Flux considers doing something similar, but fortunately realises that if he misses, he could easily take out a load-bearing wall. Hardlight: PHOTON PUNCH! Hero Shrew: Should have just put us both in a bubble. Flux: Stuck in a bubble with the party brick - that IS a good idea. Fake Nurse: I give! I give! I was just hired by a guy in a nice suit to erase their memories! Hardlight: Flux, can you hack her memories or something? Flux: … GM: Remember, this isn’t Streets of Magnimar where you actually had morals. Now you’re playing a superhero. And don’t have any. Flux: …. I don’t have that prepped today. Fake Nurse: Can I go now? Flux: No. Fake Nurse : Oh, go on. Hero Shrew: Stop that! *shake shake shake* Flux: Uh you OK there Scooter? Hero Shrew: She was trying to get into my head. Fake Nurse: I did get in - he just shook me off somehow. We call in PRIMUS - psychic criminals are a serious threat. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do for the pilots. Fake Nurse: If there was anyway to fix erased memories, people would stop paying to have them erased. Allana: I’m going to check on the pilots. Fireflash: I’ll go tell the hospital authorities what happened. Flux: I’m going to stay here in the corridor - I don’t want to leave the two problem children of the team guarding the prisoner. Of course, if any of us realised that we’d just caught Talisman, a notorious super-criminal, we’d probably have taken more efforts to stop her suddenly teleporting away a few minutes later. Fake Nurse: Well, this has been fun, but *POP* Hero Shrew: ??!!! Flux: *sigh, and calls PRIMUS back* Cancel the pick-up, we HAD a teleporting supercrook. GM: THAT’s where you remember her from - that’s Talisman, Witchcraft’s sister! Flux: *deeper sigh*
  15. Champions - Edge City : More Citizens On Patrol Flux: Why are you staring at Allana’s breasts, Scooter, you work at a strip club? Hero Shrew: Same difference between free-range and factory farmed. Allana the Bat-Moreau downplays the extent of her formidable bust. I mean superpowers. Allana: I might have a lot of power, but Scooter actually knows what he’s doing. GM: I agree, and I can’t believe I’m saying that about Scooter. Hero Shrew: Hardlight is a CEO who thought he’d be more use to society as a superhero. Flux: Well, he wasn’t necessarily wrong. Hero Shrew: But the only thing he’s really good at is sticking his foot in his mouth. If you want to know about Fireflash, go on YouTube and look up ‘Top Ten Superhero Wardrobe Malfunctions’ GM: At least Fireflash has a biological reason for the stripperiffic outfit. Fireflash: So who’s going to introduce us? Hero Shrew: Hi Fireflash, these are Allana Hero Shrew: She wants to join Quadrant! Fireflash: … Something about that sentence makes me want to ask ‘Why?’ GM: ‘I’m not seeing any obvious head trauma’ Fireflash: So, what can you do? Hero Shrew: She beat me wrestling. Hardlight: She popped my bubble in like, nothing. Fireflash: Bubble, not cherry, OK. Hardlight: Hey, at least I’m immune to her Smut Field. Fireflash: Hmm. You aren’t going to fit in the Qruiser Fireflash: Have they shown you around the base yet? Allana: No. GM: It was built by somebody called the Machinist, decades ago. He’d have hated 60% of the people currently in here. Wait, Gareth is gay, isn’t he? 80%. Hero Shrew: And this is where we sew people’s arms and legs back on. Happily we haven’t had to do that yet. But now you’re here, hey? Fireflash: I don’t think I’ve seen a Bat-Moreau before. Hero Shrew: They were kind of equipped to leave in a hurry during the big Genesys break-out. Fireflash: *proffering a hand* Sonya, Sonya Helstrom. Allana: *proffering one of her four hands* Allana. I think we were going for ‘Nocturne’ as my Super-ID. Hero Shrew: Aw, not Clue-bat? Flux: At least you’re doing better than Gareth. He gave his civilian ID away 30 seconds after he met her. About half our workload is stopping Hardlight outing himself. Hero Shrew: Hey, it’s the 21st Century, it’s OK if you out yourself. Flux: … yes, well done Scooter. Hero Shrew: And if it isn’t one of Fireflash’s study or D&D nights, we go on patrol in the evenings…. Can I patrol with you? GM: And Gareth is no doubt pencilling in a Sexual Harassment seminar for Scooter for the near future. Hardlight: Yep. Hardlight: Ah, Dr Steiner - I’m looking forward to the day I meet him. I don’t know whether I’ll hug him or hit him. Hero Shrew and Allana: … Flux: I’m surprised you think there’s more than one option. Hardlight: Well, he did create two of my best friends. GM: You don’t know if Allana is a Steiner. Hardlight: Ok, at least one of my best friends. He’s still getting punched though. Flux: I have to admit that the four arms freak me out a bit. Allana: They come in handy… That wasn’t meant to be a joke, it just came out that way. We choose which part of town to patrol based on the I Ching - or rather, ‘Divination for Dummies’ and a handful of paddlepop sticks to use to determine the hexagrams. Flux: And you ate all the paddlepops to do this, didn’t you, Scooter? Seems disrespectful of the tradition. Still, I’ll go with it - you can forecast the future in gumbo, apparently. Off to the area around the Hellgate Institute, via the Zone - AKA Gang City. Hero Shrew: At least the gang situation is sort of stable. Flux: Don’t say that - it’ll stop being stable. GM: Funny you should say that. Allana: I can hear gunfire. Flux: That’ll be Crime Alley, where all the crime in town happens. Fireflash: It’s the only alley in town. Flux: At least that giant robot is in custody. GM: What giant robot in custody? Flux: …. Sigh. Hero Shrew: The one that was assimilating weapon systems? Fireflash: I think the important part of that sentence was the ‘in custody’ bit. GM: You guys don’t have a Crime Alert system yet, so you’re always late to the party. The news blimps are already onto it. They call themselves Zone Patrol. They’re cutting through the Voodoo Crew. Literally. Hero Shrew: So, big guys in fancy mecha-looking armour with advanced weapons. Flux: They kind of look like Shredder from TMNT. And the Voodoo Crew are one of the groups keeping the Zone kind of stable. GM: They do have a vested interest in the status quo. Allana glides around to flank them, silently. The Media Blimps certainly spot her. Media: What the hell? That’s new. Flux: We need to announce you, or they’ll make up a name for you. GM: You DO have a webpage - you just don’t update it. Hero Shrew simply tackles one of them, and is nearly overwhelmed by an aura of evil. Hero Shrew: They’re evil! Really Evil! Palpably Evil here! Flux: Wow. He actually said ‘palpably’. Allana agrees about the evil aura, and reflexively throws the second one at the third, instead of carving it in half. That way she doesn’t have to touch the thing. Since all three are on the ground now, Hardlight telekinetically grabs their firearms. Hardlight: Got your guns! The second one staggers upright, realises it doesn’t have it’s gun anymore, and there’s a noise like an electrical motor speeding way up. Flux, party technomage, grins widely. Flux: Oh GOODY, they’re mechanical. Flux: Allana, do you have a Code against Killing? I forgot to ask. Hardlight: PHOTON CANNON! Hardlight’s holographic shoulder gun splits one of the things open, whereupon the daemonic entities apparently powering the suits go mad with bloodlust, burst out, and scatter into the city, leaving the pilot inside to bleed to death. Hero Shrew: The ****????????!!!!??? GM: The Aura of Evil is gone, by the way. Hardlight: In my defence I heard Flux say they were mechanical before I fired. Allana can-openers the suit open, and starts triage on the pilot and the many injured Voodoo Crew members and innocent bystanders. Scooter peels open the others. They all have odd symbols inscribed over the inner surface, and none of the pilots are looking healthy. And they’re all tattooed with matching symbols. Allana: Is there anything I should avoid getting blood on? GM: Most of it. Actually, the daemons have escaped now, so not important. Although Allana CAN follow the stench of brimstone - at least until we lose them in industrial areas that smell similar. The daemons are smart. Hero Shrew: Soooo - what do we tell the ECPD? Flux: That investigations are ongoing? Hero Shrew: And what do we tell PRIMUS? GM: You don’t tell them s*** yet, you haven’t finished your preliminary investigations. The guns they were using to mow Voodoo Crew and innocent bystanders aren’t remarkable, although the batteries are better than usual. The suits are re-engineered powered harnesses, with superscience weapons, with bronze armour of all things. Allana: And daemon magicks. GM: Yes, mustn’t forget the daemon magicks. Late-period Nazca glyphs, apparently intended to bind the daemons into the armour as reinforcement. Which combined with everything else is just confusing. Hardlight: First it was zombie cowboys, then it was ancient Chinese magic, now it’s Peruvian demons? Flux: Yeah, I blame you. Flux: Google Translate has killed many wizards. Not that anybody else still living knows the Nazca language, either. Hero Shrew OoC: No point asking me about the occult - I’ll just say something like ‘Occult? Isn’t that some kind of drinking yoghurt?’
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