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The Retributors -- Campaign Synopsis


Epiphanis
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I have a new player joining, so I wrote up a campaign synopsis of my current game, now a bit over a half-year old, to bring him up to speed.  I thought it would be handy to post and update here to refer potential players to for future lineup changes.  The campaign is based in the published 6th Ed version of the Champions Universe, and heavily influenced by Cryptic's developments in the Champions Online MMORPG.  I like the premade material and want to have the players able to refer to a body of background reference material without being set in the overexposed comic book universes of Marvel, DC et. al.  The Retributrors consist of brick/metamorph Fortress; teleporting martial artist Blip; light-based energy projector Arc-en-Ciel (now on hiatus and may or may not return); exiled earth elemtal Gibraltar, who is a bit brackish but has ranged Earth control powers that might make him better classified as an energy projector; Mechanoid, a human who could project his consciousness into a multiform of different alien robot bodies (since dropped out of the campaign); Psychon, a powerful mentalist telepath; and new addition Surge, a speedster-energy projector, who at this point has not seen action yet.  Read on the synopsis log of their adventures in the comments below.

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Arc 1: THE GRAND PREMIERE

On the anniversary of the Battle of Detroit that destroyed Detroit in 1982 and ultimately resulted in it being rebuilt as Millennium City, the newly-formed Retributors team is invited to attend the special premiere event of the new blockbuster movie, The Battle of Detroit, in Millennium City not far from the locations depicted in the film.  They encounter several Hollywood personalities, including obnoxious fading bad-girl starlet Gloria Toback.  During the first reel of the movie, there is a flash of light and the team finds itself sucked into the recreated events of the movie, with characters resembling not the real people depicted but the actors portraying them.   They get involved in a street fight with the soldier minions of the archvillain Doctor Destroyer, culminating in a fight with the rampaging giant robot dinosaur Mega-Terak.  They join with the heroes of Detroit on the offensive against Doctor Destroyer, with the Retributors tasked with securing Destroyer’s rooftop Asteroid Attractor from its robotic Destroid defenders, reversing its polarity, and deflecting the asteroids on a collision course with Earth while all the other heroes pin down Destroyer in his  underground lair below.  Blip teleports them in and Mechanoid re-enngineers the Attractor into a Deflector while the Destroids attack.  Destroyer triggers his orbital laser, destroying the quasi-real Detroit simulation, and the Retributors are ejected back into the real world.  They return to the theatre and encounter the real mastermind of the recreated Battle, Professor Paradigm, and his henchman/men Avant Garde, who is multiplied and shapeshifted into various black-and-white Hollywood stars heavily armed with futuristic weaponry.  They are handily defeated, but Paradigm and his minions escape via their own teleporter.  The Battle of Detroit goes on to be a massively successful blockbuster, in part due to the events of the premiere.

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Arc 2: CRYSTALLINE CRISIS

The Retributors become involved when a fancy art gallery has a special auction of ancient Lemurian artifacts and art objects, including a crude crystalline statue several thousands of years old.  Team member Gibraltar, an exiled earth elemental prince, feels an oddly familiar agitation in connection with the artifacts.  An odd, wealthy individual is hanging around the gallery, ultimately revealed to be the rogue Lemurian sorcerer Zorran the Artificer.  He and his henchman Leviathan attempt to steal  the statue, but are partially thwarted by the Retributors; they take a chip of the crystal statue and flee into a newly-created tunnel.  The Retributors follow into the underground labyrinth, only to encounter Gibraltar’s childhood friend, the female elemental warrior Turquoise (aka Turk).  Turk informs them that Gibraltar’s sister, Princess Uluru, was betrayed and captured by Zorran when she came to the Earth Dimension to enlist Gibraltar’s aid in the liberation of their homeland.  Uluru’s elemental life force is being used to animate an army of crystalline golems which depend on elemental animus to stay mobile.   Together the Retributors and Turquoise free Uluru and capture Zorran, who is turned over to law enforcement agency PRIMUS for arrest.

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Arc 3: SILENT SPRINGS
One of ladykiller team member Fortress’ many girlfriends uncharacteristically cancels a get together when she unexpectedly extends her one-week stay at posh Montana health spa resort Silent Springs.    The Retributors investigate, only to find that a number of guests of the resort have disappeared.  Investigating, they encounter Gloria Toback again.  They ultimately uncover that the resort is actually a recruitment operation for the Elder Worms, who magically transform kidnapped human guests into members of their horrific humanoid worm race through the power of a magic talisman.  A fight ensues which the Retributors lose and are captured.  Blip begins to be transformed, but they manage to escape with the aid of a still-human slave of the Worms.  Ultimately they drive the fully transformed Worms away and reverse the still-savable abductees with the  talisman.  When informed of the presence of the Worms, teammate Mechanoid abruptly disappears, taking their spaceship base with him.

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Arc 4: THAT WHICH HAS FALLEN
Telepath Psychon joins the team, replacing the missing Mechanoid.  Brought in by PRIMUS to intervene in a metahuman case involving multiple murders and a missing child, they discover that several parties are tracking a twelve-year old Chinese-American boy named Kenny Jiong.   Involved in the hunt for Jiong is the fringe-Buddhist doomsday Cult of the Red Banner, with their army of martial artist warriors and mystics, lead locally by wealthy real estate developer and “philanthropist” Sidney Pang.  Also hunting for Kenny is the mysterious kung fu swordswoman Bladejade, whom they find out is trying to kill the child.  They learn that Kenny is the missing 23rd incarnation of the Badi Lama, the reincarnated soul of the founder of the Cult, and the Cult had abducted him in order to ultimately shape him into their new leader.  They also discover that the Retributor Blip is also a reincarnated soul whose past lives had been in service to the Red Banner, and that the Cult had arranged her parents’ murder to similarly shape her destiny and bring her current incarnation back to the Cult.  The Retributors convince Bladejade to refrain from killing Kenny (and destroying his soul forever with her magical sword, the Sword of Blood and Jade) and assist in recuing him from the Cult.  During the rescue they encounter and fight Bladejade’s former comrades, Iron and Gold, who are defeated along with Pang.   (They also briefly encounter the summoned ghost of Blip’s mother, but they escape before interacting with it meaningfully).  Bladejade agrees to give Kenny (and, incidentally, Blip) the chance to break from the path laid out by their former incarnations, but warns that she will be watching and will kill them if it appears they will succumb to the Cult’s long term plans.

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Arc 5: TEENAGE WASTELAND
PRIMUS arranges for the newly orphaned Kenny Jiong to be enrolled in the Ravenwood Academy, a fancy boarding school that fronts for a training school for superheroes.  It is reasoned that it is the only place with a staff strong enough to put off intervention by the Cult of the Red Banner and with a sufficient moral bent to guide him to use his powers for good rather than the evil the Cult seeks.  Psychon is engaged to periodically check on Kenny’s development.  While there, the school’s headmistress, Rowan, introduces the Retributors to the Academy’s next graduating class, who plan on forming a new super-team called the Ultra-Millenials.  She also reveals that the computer simulation of the Battle of Detroit that originally was used in the Grand Premiere of that movie had originally been a training simulation designed for the Holodrome, the Ravenswood Academy’s  holographic training facility.  It had been pirated months before by parties unknown.  In a demonstration of the simulation, the leader of the Ultra-Millennials, Dubstep, was injured when the simulation was sabotaged.  Suspicion was initially directed at the team’s socially awkward semi-autistic mentalist, Emoticon, but the true culprit was ultimately revealed to be team super-genius Prodigy with the assistance of duplicating martial artist Flashmob.  They had previously pirated the simulation and sold it to the scientific villain organization ARGENT.  Thereafter, they sought to frame Emoticon with the assistance of Flashmob’s duplicating power and the school’s standard-issue holographic disguises, plus some creative hacking of the school’s security software.  They attempted to escape with ARGENT’s aid, abducting Prodigy’s crush, Bling, the brick on the Ultra-Millennial team.  The Retributors thwarted the escape/abduction, and the Ultra-Millennials decided to reform later with replacements for their treacherous classmates.

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Arc 6: TUNE IN, TURN ON, FALLOUT  (Still in progress, partial synopsis so far follows)

Mentally challenged mega-brick Grond is rampaging in downtown Millennium City, at the site of a local hospital.  Blip, Fortress and Psychon scramble to stop him, only to discover that he is being backed up by several “Irrradiates” with various powers.  Irradiates are a kind of ‘mutant zombie’ with powers created by testing of the Delta Bomb in New Mexico in the 1950s-60s.   This little group is led by an Irradiate who appears to be an eyeless little girl, Enola, a mentalist who has the power to shield Grond from mental attacks, his only real weakness.  Grond and the Irradiates defeat the (partial) team of Retributors, and escape with a canister of radioactive isotopes from the hospital’s radiology department;  the Irradiates cannot survive long without exposure to levels of background radiation that would hazardous to normal humans.  The Retributors did manage to capture one Irradiate, however, who revealed that they had fled their home in Burning Sands, New Mexico (one of the few places on Earth with strong enough background radiation to sustain them) because their leader, an Irradiate called Littleboy, had embarked on what they considered a suicidal plan to war with non-Irradiates and spread fallout over a large territory to allow the Irradiate ‘race’ the opportunity to expand and grow.

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