I am working with the players to turn concepts into actual characters. As they are mostly not HERO afficionados, I am looking at ways to get an idea of how they might work in combat. As such I have written a short narrative of an early gathering of the heroes as a group. I am hoping this engages the players to either adopt the narrative or change it and that this will provide me with more information on what needs to be on the character sheet. I thought I should kick it out here too. I might do one or two more before I get to the point of generating and posting the character sheets.
Prologue-part 1: A sensational beginning
What a disaster. This was supposed to be the first triumphant meeting of Britain’s greatest heroes. It was supposed to provide the broadsheets with a morale boosting story to communicate to the the citizens of the United Kingdom. The Empire might be fading but Britain still wields power and influence in the world. That is what is was supposed to be. Mr Chamberlain promised them that when they signed up, he called them The Union, to represent standing together, joining things, didn’t hurt, in Mr Churchill’s mind, that it also weakened the brand of those upstart socialists who were determined to unravel the fabric of British society and hasten the end of Empire.
It should have been easy, Chamberlain’s team had uncovered a plot to subvert the King. The fascists in Europe had found a siren, someone who could bind a man’s heart and twist him round and apparently they were going to use her to bring the King to their cause. All the Union had to do was stop them meeting. They knew how she was coming to the country, she was American and the fascists had got their network over there to provide her with protection, should they be intercepted. The plane she was supposed to be on arrived in London empty, not even a pilot on board, though it flew and landed perfectly.
The hunt through London was frustrating. Tank, Robbie and Colonel Mustard were frustrated as the promised opportunity to confront these fascists constantly slipped away, each lead vanishing into the London fog. It was almost as if they knew the Union was coming, knew what they were going to do. The date of the annual Guildhall City of London dinner was fast approaching and the Union had not found where she was being kept or even who was protecting her.
The team decided that the leak had to be somewhere in Chamberlain’s office and so, with two days left, the former Army Chaplain, known to his fellows as Charlie Foxtrot, delved into his network of former soldiers, clerics, medics, charity workers and friendly civil servants. It is amazing what this network was able to accomplish or find out. A day later they had a lead, one not being preferred by Chamberlain’s office. A huge man with a strange French accent had been seen somewhere in Brixton, he was accompanied by an albino man who did not speak at all but, when seen in the gloom, his skin seemed to almost glow. They had taken residence in a house over a fortnight previously and recently had friends appear.
Plans were drawn up. Charlie would approach them directly. Offer them the chance to go home, the game was up, and while nothing had been done unlawfully, they should take their corrupted woman back to wherever she came from. Charlie would be accompanied by Colonel Mustard as they should be able to get out of trouble as quickly as they got into it. Robbie, Tank and Tam would be stationed close by, ready to intervene if these colonials decided to fight.
It was obvious that the big man was puzzled at the appearance of Charlie at his doorstep but the albino behind him was quickest to react. His clothes burned away to reveal a being of light rather than flesh and his skin began to pulse with fascinating colours, making the muscles of both Charlie and the Colonel go slack. Robbie jumped the gun, he went blazing into the house, firing at the light being, The Fascinator as he came to be known. Tank followed up as he heard the sounds of fighting, he crashed through the back entrance. Tam decided to scout, he cast Kelly’s Eye on a large diamond he always carried with him. When placed against his own right eye, the diamond merged and allowed him to see right through walls. The problem was that it also saw through skin and other things. He was able to see that there were three other people in the house, two of them upstairs, one of whom was bound to be the Siren.
Tam let Tank know to head upstairs. He reckoned Robbie and the Colonel should be able to keep the muscle busy and while Tank distracted the upstairs guard, he would pop into the house, grab the Siren, and get out of there. He blew on his chanter and imps popped into existence both beside him and 60 feet away within the house across the street. These imps could create a gateway that Tam could just walk through and he waited until the guard was drawn away by Tank to make his move.
Charlie came to his senses as everything went to hell in a hand basket again. Robbie was flying past, pouring eldritch fire into the man of light, the Colonel vanished in a burst of speed, heading into the house to engage the big man. There was another figure in a back room lurking, apparently hiding from Tank who had burst through the back door and was heading up the stairs to confront a strange clockwork type figure heading in the opposite direction. When the big man fighting Robbie turned into Gator, Charlie thought things would be fine, that played into Robbie’s strength, he could control reptiles, surely that would make everything easier.
Charlie phased into his Sanctuary mode. Most things would now not affect him and he could walk relatively unhindered through the chaos of battle. He strode into the house. The Fascinator had fallen under Robbie’s assault, the Gator was now looking at fighting both Robbie and the Colonel while Tank battled the Clockwork Man, machine guns rattling against rods and pistons while metal muscles creaked as they smashed down on the plates of armour protecting Tank. Where was Tam?
On the roof of the adjoining building Tam removed Kelly’s Eye and cast a quick enchantment to provide him with protection against the probable charms of someone called a Siren before trilling a command on the chanter to the imps to create his gateway. He steeped through and faced the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She sang to him, her music disrupting his control of the imps and, despite his protection, causing him to pause, hesitate and actually consider helping her to escape. It would be easy, the others were occupied and she wasn’t dangerous, just a misunderstood woman being used by these brutes.
Charlie passed by Robbie, blessing his reptile control powers to give them a boost, and Robbie tried to get into the mind of Gator. Colonel Mustard threw a trench foot grenade into the room the other person was hiding, it should cover the entire room, causing anyone in there some difficulty in moving or acting against the Union. Tank was gaining the upper hand and he presumed Tam was in the process of taking custody of the Siren. It was there he was probably needed most. The Colonel, acting at his blindingly fastest, had followed up the trenchfoot grenade with one of his glue bombs which even Tank would take time to escape from.
He had ignored the potential that the bound opponent might still be a threat. Stupid. He would not have been hindered by those bombs, it had not entered his mind that someone else might be similarly advantaged. As he passes Tank and the Clockwork Man he can hear singing above the noise of the fray and then hears the Colonel swear. Robbie has indeed controlled the big gator man but has sent it crashing into the Colonel, it took him by surprise and how has him in its arms, crushing and biting him. Those jaws have caused massive gashes in the shoulders of the Colonel and are working up to taking his head off. Charlie does not hesitate but rushes back down the stairs and touches the Colonel, granting him Sanctuary, that will keep him safe while his speedy metabolism heals him.
In the meantime Robbie has sent the Gator crashing into the back of Tank, swinging that battle back in favour of the bad guys. Charlie begins to help Tank but realises that he needs to address the source of the problem, the shadowy figure trapped in the Colonel’s glue. It is obvious his power is not obstructed by being trapped and Charlie needs to deal with him before he causes this to become the kind of situation he took his name from, an army slang for when everything goes wrong.
Tam, with the help of his magical protection, shakes off the influence of the Siren, long enough to switch protection from the effects of the Siren song to not being able to hear it at all. With his hearing blocked he sees just a well-dressed middle class American woman. Not particularly beautiful, nothing special. Nothing threatening. He steps forward to grab her and his head explodes with pain as he is attacked from above. There was another guard!
On the stairs Tank wrestles with two opponents. Neither of them are able to beat him individually but together it is a struggle. He reckons if he focuses on the Clockwork Man then he might finish him quickly, allowing him to concentrate on this reptile opponent. It is at that moment that Robbie pours Eldritch fire into him and the addition of a third opponent quickly reduces him to unconsciousness. Charlie sees him collapse and he realises he needs to rescue him, wading through the melee and takes Tank into the Sanctuary before rushing upstairs to find Tam. He arrives just in time to see the Cougar leap from rafters onto Tam’s back. The claws rake down his back exposing bone and muscle from his head to his waist.
Charlie does not hesitate, he pulls Tam into the Sanctuary and shouts to Robbie to join him. It is time to retreat. It is obvious they have not worked together before and there was more threat in this house than anticipated. When Robbie arrives, he pulls him into the Sanctuary, steps in himself and closes the door.
When he opens the door again it will be to the small church garden in Ely where he first found his vocation after the horrors of the Great War. It always opens there and nowhere else. They will have to pull themselves together and get back to London.