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Golden Age

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I am attracted to both SCHILD and the Legion of Doom. I even lean toward the latter as I have thoughts that Professor Doom fits with the whole Nazi Occult thing. 

 

I think Professor Doom is Morgana reborn, seeking to undermine Albion. She has, through Mordred reborn (name to be decided), infiltrated the Druidic Order and as Chief Paranormal Scientist in the Home Department, has recorded every paranormal of note in Great Britain and significant number of those in allied countries. She has been working with Mengele on understanding why an Aryan country has not produced significant numbers of paranormal individuals.

 

Doc

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I have now shared, with the players my second prologue.  Some the character details have changed due to conversation that have been happening - not least the name of the Chaplain character - no longer Charlie Foxtrot but Richard 'Dickie' Smith.  You will see that in the narrative I have named the German soul soldiers as Omega Men and I think that I will call the squad members that hold soul pictures the Legion of Doom.  You will also see that the traitor, the Morgana reincarnated, is in Department Q as Professor Dhoum.  The final prologue is draft in my head right now.  I am not sure whether anyone noted my mistake in the first prologue, I was ahead of myself.  In 1936 Chamberlain is not Prime Minister, he is 'merely' the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I have corrected that in this prologue.

 

The King and Mrs Simpson has become a national scandal, Chamberlain is concerned that the King has dismissed his assigned security team and appointed a private team headed by an American who goes by the codename Cougar.  Chamberlain is concerned that the King has now been completely suborned by the Siren called Wallis Simpson, and thus the security of the nation is at risk as the Cougar is known to The Union as being connected to right-wing Nazi sympathisers in the United States.  Chamberlain has other assets working to uncover evidence of connections between Wallis or the Cougar in the hope that the King might be saved.  There are some troubling signs that the King has Nazi sympathies which may be a difficult situation if there comes the time when Britain needs to go to war with Nazi Germany. 
 

Chamberlain is annoyed that Hitler has been allowed to occupy the Rhineland. There is not the political will to oppose the Germans putting armed forces west of the Rhine. When it was apparent that Hitler intended to order his forces to cross the Rhine there were no public meetings or rallies held anywhere in protest at the remilitarization of the Rhineland but, instead, there were several "peace" rallies where it was demanded that Britain not use war to resolve the crisis. 
 

As Chancellor of the Exchequer he has been seeking to put money into re-armament, especially the Air Force, but came under pressure from the Opposition during the 1935 General Election who said that the rearmament policy was the merest scaremongering.  This played well among the electorate and the Tories lost ninety seats to Labour.  He has decided to spend far less money, allocating a secret budget to The Union to provide some preparation for the war he believes is inevitable. 

The Union has been sent to Spain.  Britain has officially remained neutral in the current troubles in Spain where a civil war is brewing with Stalin taking the side of the Republicans and Hitler supporting the Nationalists lead by Franco.  International sympathies lie with the Republicans but Stalin’s involvement and fears of Communism taking root in Western Europe keep Britain and the USA on the sidelines.  Chamberlain considers this a reasonable utilisation of these Mystery Men that had begun to appear during the Great War.  He has heard that Hitler intends to provide transport for Franco’s forces, which are currently based in Morocco, to take them to the Spanish mainland.  It might be possible to spike the rise of the Fascists in Spain if those forces can be prevented from getting to the mainland.  Neither Spain nor Germany have many known super-powered assets and so this will be a good test of whether his idea of The Union might prove decisive on the battlefield, the members of that team are both mobile and powerful, all they need is time to learn how to work together effectively. 
 

Things were looking difficult for the Nationalists as their forces in Morocco are useless while the majority of the navy remains loyal to the Republican government.  Chamberlain has learned that Hitler and Mussolini plan to send a massive fleet of airplanes to transport Franco’s troops to the mainland, likely to effect a major change to the balance of the conflict.  The Republicans do not have sufficient air forces to repel this but it could be very vulnerable to attack by Roddy, Tank and Tam.  If they can catch it on the ground then Colonel Mustard could also be valuable in destroying the fleet.  It would be impossible to send troops but The Union would give him plausible deniability and enable him to test the mettle of these individuals in a combat situation. 

Dickie Smith sat in the submarine.  This was the second big mission for The Union and the first that might mean the taking of lives, he never thought that he would be involved in a war again after the horrors of the trenches.  He looked round the men beside him, they had all been soldiers in the Great War but have differing views on the coming conflict.  Tank and Roddy are soldiers first and foremost, they are strong and tough and have been dabbling in military conflicts since the Great War.  The Colonel looks as though he glories in the trench warfare but Dickie senses that his mind is more troubled than he lets on.  Tam is a more difficult one.  He presents himself like a soldier, he has concerns about another war but seems like he is more concerned about mystical troubles.  And himself.  He is here as the leader of this group, leading men into battle instead of rescuing those who need succour but his country calls and it is difficult to resist the lure of duty.  And where are men most likely to need succour than in the midst of battle? 
 

It is time, the submarine is a mile off the Morroccan coastline and The Union is going to have to make its own way to the airfield.  Intelligence indicates that the target location is only a few miles inland and there are no major residential areas between there and the coast.  The plan is for Tam to create a frame that Roddy will carry.  The Colonel could probably get there faster on foot but Dickie reckons it is better to keep everyone together until it is absolutely necessary to split up.  On the deck of the submarine the Colonel is joking with Tam about how he is used to more comfortable travel than the simple structure the sorcerer conjured.  Roddy has transformed himself into the crocodilian form of Sobek and has tested that he is able to lift and fly with the platform.  It is time… 
 

Roddy quickly flies the group to the airfield.  The heroes can see rank upon rank of airplane, all with German insignia.  Apparently, the information is that troops will begin to arrive the following morning and the biggest military airlift in history will begin, providing Franco with an invaluable military force in Spain.  The information also indicates that the protection around the airfield is relatively light, they are prepared for local forces loyal to the Republican Government which are most likely to be lightly armed and few in number.  The idea of the raid is to very quickly get into the base, destroy as many aircraft with as few casualties as possible and get out.  This is not supposed to involve large scale involvement with the defending forces and so Dickie has come up with a plan.  The Colonel will quickly reconnoitre the airfield to see where the guards are after Tam has scanned for any mystical defences.  Once they have an idea of where the defences are, Tank and Roddy will focus on destroying airplanes, Tam will run interference on defending troops for Roddy while the Colonel will do the same for Tank.  Dickie will be coordinating things, he will walk unseen and coordinate. 
 

The Colonel speeds into the camp, quickly noting three hard defensive points with heavy weapons and one barracks.  There are four guard posts in addition to the heavy weapons installations.  Two of the heavy weapons directly threaten anyone in the airfield and will need to be neutralised and each guard post contains two guards armed with sub-machine guns. 


Dickie decides that both Tank and Roddy should begin with a heavy weapons installation, preventing them being used once the large scale destruction begins, Tam and the Colonel will deal with the guard in the nearby guard posts.  This plan goes well, both heavy weapons are in ruins and guards are immobilised or unconscious within seconds of beginning the raid.  Alarms are beginning to sound and Dickie imagines the chaos in the barracks as soldiers are woken to the sounds of alarms and rush to grab weapons and reach their designated emergency posts.  The sounds of machine guns repeatedly begin and abruptly end indicating that both Tam and the Colonel are doing their job.  It is when Roddy and Tank begin to destroy the planes that it becomes obvious that there is something wrong.  These are not real planes – they are simply replica frames covered in tarpaulins.  They have been set-up.  It is only now that five squads of soldiers appear with different uniforms, they have a strange omega insignia on their collars and are carrying odd equipment and each squad is heading directly towards a specific member of the Union. 


The Colonel, obviously, is the first to respond to the new threat.  He heads straight toward the group closest to him, throwing a grenade and rushing directly toward the greatest danger.  Each squad has a man in some kind of armour supported by four other soldiers carrying what looks like sub-machine guns.  The Colonel’s grenade is designed to tangle up the squad and prevent them from moving and allow him to pick them off individually.  He is slightly surprised that despite his aim being good, none of the soldiers seem to be majorly inconvenienced by the grenade but moreso when his speed drops as he approaches the man in armour. 


Tank hangs back as Roddy and Tam also race to intercept these new troops.  He watches as both of them attack the squads closest to them.  Their attacks seem to sputter out as they hit the troops and despite having no obvious powers or defences only one or two fall under the assault.  More surprising is that as Dickie tries to scoot across the battlefield to get a better look at what is happening the concentrated fire from one of the squads seems to be getting through and damaging him.  There is something wrong here.  He pulls out his toolkit to scope out what these armoured suits are but there is nothing obvious different and he is beginning to come under fire himself.  These guns are also getting through his armour more easily than they should.  There is something going on. 


This has the potential for being a complete disaster.  They have not damaged the airlift capacity and there is the potential for one or more of them to be captured or killed.  A bigger issue might be that the Germans have discovered a counter to Britain’s paranormal advantage, they have technology that might keep people like Tank off the battlefield.  They need more information and someone needs to get that information to Chamberlain.  Tank shouts at Tam to look for potential magical explanations for what is going on.  He also notes that they are now engaged in a pointless combat, they do not need to fight these men and sounds a retreat. 


Five minutes later, they are taking stock.  Each of them is carrying wounds they would not have expected in fighting standard troops.  The enemy were both more effective at damaging them and strangely resilient to attacks.  Tank does not want to go home empty handed.  Their choice is to try and find the real airfield or to go back and try to bring examples of this German technology back to Chamberlain.  This is not a battlefield decision and so Tank defers to the Chaplain, Dickie Smith.   


Dickie is slightly shaken, he had gotten used to walking unhindered but these Omega Men seemed able to hurt him even when he was least present in the real world.  He nearly died when he decided to go invisible to retreat and they seemed to have an uncanny ability to track him even then.  These things are dangerous.  Can he order these amazing individuals to go back and risk their lives?  This is not yet war and each of them is irreplaceable but, if Chamberlain is right, War is definitely coming and the information about these Omega Men might save the lives of many other Mystery Men like themselves.  He has discounted searching for the airfield, even with their abilities there is too much ground to cover and it is now certain the Chamberlain’s Office is completely compromised, they knew they were coming.  His duty is obvious, the airlift will go ahead unhindered, they need to find out more and they need to find the leak before handing any of this information to Chamberlain. 


Like any good leader Dickie engages the team for ideas.  They are all ex-military, they can all contribute with more than their obvious paranormal talents.  Tank was analysing them, he notes that they are definitely squad based and what initially looked like highly-trained team based manoeuvring is more sinister.  The squad members look like they are drugged or mindless, their actions more like they were part of a machine.  Tank could see no sign of how this was accomplished but could speculate on headsets that plugged into the brains of the men that could then be radio controlled.  If they went back he could rig his own headset to scan for such radio traffic.  Tam interrupted to say that, as Tank had asked, he used his mystic insight to see how the technology was working.  He could not explain exactly what was going on but he was able to confirm that there was magic involved.  What was really worrying was that the armoured Omega Man and one of the squad seemed to be carrying a ghost’ of Tam’s own magical signature.  The other squad members carried other ‘ghost’ signatures but had nothing of their own.  It was as if they had no soul, though perhaps their own signature was masked by the ghost they carried.  Roddy had been the most effective combatant, in the retreat he and Tank had been targeted by several squads of Omega Men.  Roddy had noticed that, initially, as the squad chasing the Chaplain had targeted him instead, their attacks were less effective and, for a few seconds, they seemed more vulnerable, he had downed several of the new squad with attacks that had been reasonably ineffective on his own.  Then, suddenly, he was struggling again.  Colonel Mustard had witnessed this, and it was when he targeted those attacking Tank with his grenades saw them have more effect than on his first attempt.  The grenades had then given them all the space they needed to get away and lick their wounds.   


What was obvious from their discussion was that these squads were primed to tackle specific Mystery Men.  There also seems to be a window in which it will be possible for each person to be more effective by tackling an Omega Man fighting someone else. What they need to do, is go back and see if they can capture one of the armoured Omega Men along with one or more of their squad and get them back to England for analysis.  Chamberlain’s chief analyst in Department Q is a terrifying woman by the name of Professor Dhoum.  While her scientific credentials seem to be impeccable, she is another of the Mystery Men that appeared in Britain during, and after, the Great War.  She has found a way to blend some magical expertise with that scientific knowledge and has been fundamental in generating Department Q’s dossier on Britain’s Mystery Men.  If anyone will be able to understand this issue, it will be her. 


The Union approach the airfield for the second time that night.  This time their objective is abduction rather than mayhem.  Dickie is cautious about splitting the team now, the Omega Men mean that an isolated Mystery Man is likely to be vulnerable to attack.  Tam is able to provide a way.  They get close to the Omega Men barracks, understandably remote from the barracks of the normal enlisted men, and Tam prepares to open a gate from outside the perimeter to inside the barracks building.  Tam will keep the gate open while Tank and Roddy try to capture one of the Omega Men.  The Colonel will use the rest of his grenades in a pre-emptive strike – seeking to restrict the movement of everyone not tuned in to the Colonel’s powers while Tank and Roddy target the ones still moving (presumably as they will not be tuned in to Tank or Roddy).  There is a slight possibility that the Omega Men might be able to tune into more than one Mystery Man at a time but they have seen no evidence of that. 


Again, it is time.  Tam opens the gate and the Union move in.  The Colonel uses his amazing powers of speed to get in several attacks before anyone inside has moved, the barracks are a mess, full of the sticky stuff that spews out of the grenades made for the Colonel by his old friend and comrade Lord Lyon.  While the Colonel skates over the stuff both Roddy and Tank have to muscle their way through it, feet sticking to the floor and random bits and bobs covered in the stuff stick to their bodies.  Two armoured Omega Men are moving, looking to down the Colonel who immediately has to begin avoiding damage rather than causing more mayhem, Tank and Roddy come into play.  Tank begins by laying down covering fire, the Maxims on both arms firing at full automatic rates, while Roddy flies through the barracks towards one of the Omega Men.  Tam shouts to Roddy that, despite the fact he is moving, the Omega Man Roddy is going for seems to be tuned into Roddy’s powers.  Roddy abruptly changes targets but the Omega Man gets off a blast that tears holes in Roddy’s crocodilian hide.  Despite the pain, Roddy grabs his target and begins to fly him back to the gate.  Tank, once again able to target the standing Omega Man, concentrates his fire on that one opponent, Tam joins in, sending imps to plague the nazi opponent.  The Omega Man being carried by Roddy manages to catch hold of one of the squad members bound up in the Colonel’s glue and, with a flash that only Tam notices, finds himself able to writhe out of Roddy’s grasp.  It is only the alertness and blinding reflexes of The Colonel who slaps his Wait a Minute grenade into the man that prevents him from escaping completely.   


The Union is then able to exit from the barracks.  Tam, as he closes the gate, looks over at the support soldier that the Omega Man touched.  It is with some horror that he sees the man’s body has completely collapsed in on itself, it is as if he had been decomposing for decades and every shred of vitality in his body is gone.  Was that the flash he saw?  What are these Omega Men? 

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Hmm.  Schedule pushed forward to accommodate earlier game session than planned - characters almost complete going to have to do that ad hoc in the game tomorrow.  This is the final prologue for the players and delivers them to the starting point of the campaign.  I am hoping to write up the scenarios and attach them here.
 
Tam sits in the submarine looking at the prisoner they have taken and the armour they need to understand.  Both he and Tank have been examining it in their own ways, trying to get a handle on both the technology and the magic elements.  It is obviously magical as there is no way this kind of armour would work if it had to be powered by battery or petrol, the heat generation alone would make the wearer boil before he was able to be useful.  Another magical element is the way in which it adapted to opponents.  The Omega Men seemed to be highly effective but only against one individual at a time.  
 
This armour was keyed to Roddy and remains so, they were able to find several submariners willing to volunteer to pilot the suit.  All of their attacks were more effective in both hitting and damaging Roddy, they were also reasonably resilient against attacks from Roddy when similarly powerful attacks from other Mystery Men caused pain and injury.  The Chaplain was horrified at the effect the suit had on these pilots.  When he treated them for their injuries he reckoned the damage to their souls to be much worse, he insisted they go to the Halls of Healing before any of the damage they sustained became part of them forever.  He was not able to analyse the details of these injuries but he was certain that should they continue, they would inevitably become more bestial and less human.  This seemed to be borne out when speaking to their captive.  He was wild and barely restrainable, he craved the suit like an Opium addict craves his pipe.  In his more lucid moments it was obvious that he was resolutely loyal to the Fuhrer and was unlikely to be in any way responsible for designing, making or even maintaining the armour.  All-in-all, the armour gave him the screaming heebie-jeebies.  
 
There was one last thing: it stank of necromancy.  That stench almost made him miss the undertones, familiar undertones that he could not quite place but made him desperate to get it to his patron, Cutty Sark.  This grand old dame represented British witches on the Grand Magical Council and was sure to be able to identify this magic.  The only problem with that was that both Roddy and Tank wanted it taken to Professor Dhoum, they trusted the Government and science more than someone who was, less than a decade or so ago, nothing more than a fairy tale.  The Chaplain was concerned about the morality of Tam’s patron, despite being more than 100 years old (or so she claimed) she insisted on taking the form of a scantily clad young woman.  She claimed it gave her an advantage in dealing with proud men but he thought it simply encouraged lewd talk and probably lewd behaviour. The consensus was to hand it over to the Prof, it might help in her planning on how to exploit Britain’s Mystery Man advantage.
 
Department Q sits beneath the British Museum, deep beneath it, and is possibly the safest location in Britain, defended by military and magical might.  All kinds of experiments have been conducted there since the Great War as boffins try to understand the Rise of the Mystery Men and how their powers work.  They have done their best to find and catalogue all of the mystery powers, the Prof has, personally, interviewed every significant individual in the books and been instrumental in some of the breakthroughs achieved so far.  It is not just Germany that has sought to utilise this power to bolster soldiers on the ground and while the Hun have gone for suits of armour and the Yanks focussed on their super-soldier programme, Department Q has been looking to develop small equipment that might enhance any squaddie in the armed forces.  Chamberlain is worried about battlefield situations where gas, poison or other environmental issue might need to be addressed.  He is also quite concerned about ‘new’ weapons based on magic or mesmerism against which the army has no defences.
 
The Prof is in her office, which doubles as her interview room.  She has often said that her super-power is paperwork and photography but the Chaplain believes she has Sight and can see things others do not.  Tam has always found it difficult to get a ‘read’ on her, there are some people that are difficult and she meets all the criteria for difficult: bright, driven, aware of magical techniques.  The Prof revels in her mysterious persona and has never been forthcoming on whether she is a Mystery Man or has any real powers of her own.
 
The Union arrive in Department Q via one of London’s secret rivers.  Their submarine is met in the Thames estuary by a smaller submersible craft that take them directly to a dock 300 yards below street level and they are delivered into The Prof’s office.  She is keen to find out all they know of the Omega Men and what they have worked out about their abilities.  She finds someone to arrange food for them and asks them to meet her in an hour’s time in the main laboratory.  She wants them to give the Omega Man a real workout while she watches.
 
The ‘laboratory’ is actually a heavily reinforced room in the bottom level of Department Q.  They work there with people and material which might cause a lot of damage.  As the Union walk into the laboratory they can see the Omega Man, restrained, with its German pilot wearing the suit.  The Prof has been speaking with him in German, encouraging him to go for it as this would be his chance to kill these opponents of the Fuhrer and advance the March of the Reich.  She has had more success than they did as he looks and acts more like a soldier and less like an unreasoning beast.
 
The Prof asks if they are ready, she intends to release the Omega Man but only if they believe they will be able to contain him.  She does not want them to simply restrain him immediately, she wants to see his powers in action, to see how they play out against those of the Union and finally how that is different against Roddy to whom the armour is tuned into.  The Chaplain raises his concerns about allowing the German pilot to wear the suit but the Prof convinces him that the German would be most proficient in the use of the suit, might show uses that Department Q were currently unaware of and, most importantly, not expose British servicemen to the awful psychic damage the Chaplain had noticed in their earlier experiments.  This was risky but entirely necessary.
 
The Prof retreats to the observation bunker allowing the Union to decide how to start.  The Chaplain arranges the team into its usual two-man team arrangement, Tam supporting Tank and the Colonel supporting Roddy while he withdraws into his ghost form.  He intends for Tank and the Colonel to take the initial hits while he and Tam seek to analyse the combat close at hand.  Roddy is to stay out of the line of fire until the Prof can establish a ‘baseline’.  Then Roddy will need to attack and defend as the others withdraw and finally, when the Prof gives the signal, they will all attack to render the Omega Man unconscious.
 
The Chaplain sends the Colonel in to release the Omega Man.  For a minute the German does nothing, standing in the middle of the lab looking at them.  Then he smiles.  He tells them that he will not be the last German to kill British Mystery Men here in London unless their weak and stupid leaders see wisdom and join the Reich in its march to mastery.  He clicks his heels, salutes in the Nazi fashion and launches himself at Tank.
 
Tank braces himself for defence, taking a decent posture and presenting his armour to deflect attacks.  These Omega Men, when not ‘tuned in’ are no match for him.  He is able to soak up the German’s attacks and launches a few blows himself, pulled punches that have little effect on the Omega Man.  He notices that the German is beginning to glow slightly, something that he had not noticed in the skirmish in Morocco.  He shouts to Tam, telling him to focus on that glow.
 
The Colonel gets involved, drawing the Omega Man away from Tank like a matador leading a bull.  He is easily avoiding all the attacks the Omega Man throws at him while launching punches of his own.  He could do this all day, though he notices that the Omega Man seems to be learning how to lead his attack and coming closer but still unsuccessful in landing a blow.
 
The Chaplain watches this unfold, a little bit uneasy about the Gladatorial nature of the contest.  He can see the purpose behind but remains unsure of how moral or ethical it is, the armour needs to be destroyed.  He is pleased at how well the Union seems to be working as a team, they are doing exactly what was asked of them and hopefully providing the Prof with all the information she needs to nullify this terrible weapon that Hitler’s mad scientists have concocted. He watches as first Tank then the Colonel engage the Omega Men, taking one or two hits, landing some of their own.  The Omega Man continues to fight as if he had a chance of winning but it is obvious that his armour is straining as it begins to glow round the edges, obviously about to overheat like a steamer trying to go too fast.  He waits for the Prof’s signal to end the fight.
 
Tam is beginning to get worried.  He has now had the opportunity to analyse the power signature of the Omega Man, he has adapted his spells until he can begin to analyse it, not least seek to identify where the familiarity comes from.  He is almost certain he knows when he notices something scanning him, he looks up and sees the glowing armour peak from a red hot glow to white and then there is a flaw of feedback.  He has time to shout “The Professor” before he is overwhelmed.
 
Everyone hears Tam shout just as the light flashes from the Omega Man straight to the bunker where the Prof is watching.  This changes everything.  Tank, Roddy and the Colonel go all out to take down the Omega Man but their attacks seem to be having less and less effect.  The Chaplain rushes to the Professor to see how badly hurt the Prof might be, that blast went through the concrete like a hot knife through butter.
 
When he arrives the Chaplain is initially delighted that the Prof is on her feet but that fades when he sees the maniacal look in her eyes.  “You have survived my trap and my Omega Men but I shall kill you all here.  The loss of the Union and Department Q will cripple Britain’s ability to fight, Chamberlain will have no choice but to recommend that the Prime Minister join the Reich”.  She raises her hands and sends several eldritch bolts flying towards the Chaplain.  The first takes him by surprise, piercing through the Veil and knocking him flying.  He quickly switches to his Avenging Angel form where such energies might add to his strength and give him some ability to strike back.  He stops dodging and tries to grapple his traitorous opponent.
 
Outside the bunker Tank, Roddy and the Colonel try to assess the situation, the Omega Man is glowing less now that he shot the Professor but Tank works out that their attacks have been charging him up, the pilot is looking crazed but also like he is suffering, the energy is obviously leaking inside the suit.  He shouts on Roddy and the Colonel go stop attacking.  In this high energy state he can see that the Omega Man has a halo around him, one that obviously reduces the effectiveness of attacks launched at those within it and presumably enhancing attacks originating within it.  In the lull in fighting, the Omega Man speaks to them “I am dying.  You will all die with me”, Tank sees the field grow to encompass everyone in the room, he can see energy flow from them to the Omega Man and the glow surrounding the Omega Man grow once more. 
 
The Chaplain hears the noise of fighting outside stop, the a high pitched whine begin to grow.  The Prof also hears it. “I must go now before you are all destroyed with your own powers”.  She waves a hand and vanishes.  Dickie runs out to his friends.  It is difficult to know who had the idea first but both Dickie and the Tank both run to supporting pillars in the laboratory.  Tank shouts on Roddy and the Colonel to get out, and to take Tam.  They need to warn the boffins to evacuate.  Seconds later the roof collapses, tonnes of rubble falling onto the Omega Man, Tank and Dickie.  Only Dickie and Tank have access to the Healing Halls.
 
By the time the Chaplain and Tank make it back to London there is news on the streets of a minor earthquake that shook north east London and even caused minor damage to some exhibits in the Museum.  It looks like they might have been successful, killing the Omega Man by collapsing the roof on his head caused him to explode earlier than he would have and causing less damage. It was over an hour before they were able to confirm that the others escaped alive and were able to rescue most of the boffins as well.  This was a major setback for Project Q.  The fact Professor Dhoum was a traitor doubly so.  Tam explained that the energy signal he recognised was very similar to the one used when the Professor was taking their pictures for Project Q, she must have been recording their powers for the Omega Men to exploit.  She must have tweaked the armour, enabling it to work on multiple opponents and rigging it to overload.  The flash of energy was not an attack but Professor Dhoum taking the energy she needed to deal with Tam.  
 
This answered the question of who had been leaking information about the Union to the fascists and it should be reasonably easy to flush any further traitors out of Department Q.  The question remained, who was Professor Dhoum.  It was possible that she had taken a away Britain’s ability to deploy Mystery Men on the front line for extended periods, the Omega Men would not only nullify their presence but might use their energy for the Nazis.  She would certainly have betrayed their secret weapons project to their enemies.  Britain’s greatest advantage had now become its biggest liability unless something could be done.  It is for the Union to discover how to turn the tables…

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We had a great first game.  Began to get a better handle on the characters (and the system as three of the four players are essentially newcomers) and what I need in the way of information on the character sheets.  The story continues and the players lived through one huge bit of British social history....

 

Chamberlain calls the Union into Whitehall to talk about Professor Dhoum and Project Q.  The recent events have taken away what should have been a decisive advantage for Britain.  Her detailed knowledge and analysis of the whole country’s Mystery Men and her ability to tune her Omega Men to more easily counter their abilities removes them as a potentially decisive battlefield force.

 

He also discusses the ongoing issue with the King and Mrs Simpson.  The King has been making noises about marriage to the distress of the Establishment and the wider public.  The Council has also indicated that this kind of disconnect between the King and his people causes the magic of the country to suffer.  It is not healthy for the King and his people to be divided.  This is something that will need to be addressed before any war with Germany. 

 

The most pressing issue, however, is a plea from the Chief Rabbi.  He is worried about news from the Kabbalists that the Germans plan to destroy three small monuments in the East End of London.  These travelling stones were installed in London after the return of Jews to the capital in the 17th century, the Edict of Expulsion in 1290 was only reversed in the 17th century by Oliver Cromwell and cemented by King James II when the Monarchy was also restored.  The Kabbalists know that many of their tryst stones have been attacked and destroyed by the Germans and each time a monument is destroyed the position of Jews in Germany gets worse.  Chamberlain is keen to prevent the loss of these monuments.  He believes that a march due to be held by the Union of British Fascists through the East End is either a front covering or connected to the destruction of the monuments.  The Government has given permission for a route to be taken through Jewish businesses and homes and it is believed 100, 000 people are gathering for the march.  The Spanish Civil War has sensitised people to fascism and maybe three times that number are intending to gather to prevent the march.

 

Chamberlain wants the Union to find out what is happening, how it is going to be done and, if possible, prevent it.

 

The Chaplain brings the team together, though Tank is unavailable as the Wypers have been committed to chasing down a rogue rebel group in East Africa.  They consider the options ranging from having the march cancelled to kidnapping Oswald Mosley. With some options explored the group try to find some underlying facts and to discover what assets they might bring to the situation. They confirm that the march was indeed endorsed by the Government, surprisingly by a liberal Home Secretary who might not be expected to support Mosley’s ambitions.  They get maps of the area and intelligence from the Metropolitan police that the flashpoint is likely to be when the march tries to enter Cable Street.

 

The Chaplain wants to know if the American fascist Mystery Men are involved and so he trawls through his network to find a footman willing to provide him with an inside line to the coming and goings in the Palace.  He also reaches out to people he knows on both sides of the march to see if he might be able to reduce the tensions involved.  Just walking among the people of the East End he can tell that tensions are rising to a fever pitch and it will take little for things to explode in an orgy of violence.

 

Tam talks directly to the Kabbalists, he talks to Harry Goldsmith, who informs Tam that these stones represent a pact between the Jewish people and the King and the people of Great Britain.  Kabbalists utilise the power imbued by these monuments to grant protections to Jews travelling, especially now as Jews try to flee Nazi Germany.  The monuments are unlikely to be vulnerable to simple violence and would need some representation that both the King and his people wanted to break the pact.  He is worried that the fascists might have found a way to harness the power of the crowds and related violence expected at the march.

 

Roddy finds of a meeting to be attended by the Home Secretary and inveigles himself onto the guest list.  At the post-meeting reception he fails to convince Sir John to reverse his decision to allow the march to take place or even to change the route.  He does discover that the reason the march was allowed was as a personal favour to the King.  The Union decides not to kidnap the King.

 

Colonel Mustard races off to the country house being used by Mosley the night before the march.  He uses his burglary skills to gain access to the house, Mosley’s security is a joke and the Colonel is able to return with both plans and timings for trhe march and a personal note of good luck from the King to Mosley.

 

The Chaplain decides that the best solution is for the Union to personally guard each of the monument, Tam on one, the Colonel on another and the Chaplain and Roddy on the monument closest to the point of conflict at the junction of Mint Street and Cable Street.  He has people set to alert him when anything unusual happens and, just as violence breaks out between the marchers and those opposed to them he gets word that men are reading at each of the monuments.  These men are nothing special and the designated guardians subdue or scare them away but, as they do, they come under attack by the American Mystery Men.

 

Colonel Mustard feels an unusual compulsion to focus on the fascists reading the paper than face a charging Gator.  He takes one attack but quickly breaks free. Someone is playing with his mind, like they did with Roddy back when they were investigating the Siren.  He knows Gator is an immediate physical threat, and having taken one big hit, he is disinclined to experience another one.  He uses his massive speed to throw a punch that knocks the big reptilian American down the street and through two walls, he does not see him emerge and the voice in his mind has not re-appeared.  Perhaps this monument is secured.

 

Tam finds himself facing the large clockwork American who calls himself Ironclad. There are also three large spotlights that seek to highlight him within their beams.  Tam ignores the lights and takes on Ironclad – if anything is likely to destroy the monument, Ironclad is surely the greatest threat.  They swap some blows before Tam sends an eldritch blast that cuts straight through all of Ironclad’s defences and lays him flat on the ground.  Tam has noticed that the lights are not just distracting, they are VERY distracting and it is possible someone is using them to try and influence his behaviour.  He decides to deal with that now, before it becomes a real issue.

 

Roddy Reyburn takes on his crocodilian form and swoops in to grab the man holding the paper to get him away from the monument.  As he swoops away he can see that the readers are being joined by a man in a Confederate general’s uniform.  He is moving slowly and resolutely towards the monument.  As he turns to focus on the general he is attacked from height by Cougar, the Mystery Man landing on his back and, ineffectually, raking his claws down the length of his body.  Cougar appears dispirited by his lack of impact and races back into the crowd.  The Chaplain has gathered together people that he knows and asks them to disrupt this ritual around the monument.  The people rush forward and engage with a smaller amount of the fascist marchers who are arriving in greater and greater numbers.

 

Only seconds have passed but the conflict between the Mystery Men is being swamped by the greater conflict between the marchers and those protesting against fascist beliefs.  Colonel Mustard clears the rest of the normal fascists but his head keeps exploding as his hidden opponent toys with his brain, he is getting no time to recover and his swiftly going to fall unconscious.  He decides to get under cover to give himself time to get his head in shape.  The voice, a cultured Southern American accent, tells him that he cannot run away and, once again, pain flowers in his brain.  He needs to get to someone that might be able to help and abandons the monument and races toward the Chaplain.

 

Tam is concerned that no-one is using the communicators that Tank has provided them.  It has not been a long time though and he sets about smashing the spotlights that are based on the roof of the buildings.  Twice they fix his face and twice the Mystery Man known as the Fascinator tries, unsuccessfully, to seduce him away from his task.  It does not take a long time to destroy the spotlights and the Fascinator seems strangely ineffective in their absence.  This monument seems secure.

 

Roddy and the Chaplain have been finding it almost impossible to stop Stonewall from advancing toward the monument.  He has used his sword to deflect Roddy’s blasts, resisted attempts to physically pull him from his path and the Chaplain, who has few offensive abilities, simply seeks to enhance Roddy’s abilities, making him more adept at fighting and increasing his physical strength.  Stonewall has not attacked either of them and while their attacks seem to have some effect it is a slow business and has not prevented him advancing toward the monument.  It is with some surprise that they see the Colonel appear in the middle of their fight and simply collapse to the ground.

 

Tam hears the concern from the Chaplain about the Colonel and decides that with his monument secure, he will see if he can help with Stonewall, leaps on Hamish and races towards his friends.  There is a huge boom that comes from the location of the monument the Colonel had raced away from.  The Colonel had quickly recuperated and sought to utilise his grenades to hamper the movement of Stonewall.  Unfortunately, the grenades’ inherent inaccuracy mean that he missed Stonewall and wrapped up Roddy instead, he then collapses again as his unseen opponent continues to plague him, even though he must now be well out of sight.  The Chaplain now feels someone seek to influence his mind, probably the Colonel’s unseen opponent, but he is strong enough to withstand that attack.  Stonewall completes his journey to the stone, raises his hand and brings it down on the monument.  There is another boom and something seems to change about the nature of the monument, something they feel more than see as it remains whole and undamaged.  Given some mental respite, the Colonel comes to and, realising there is only one monument left undamaged, races to the final location, just as Tam arrives from there.

 

All of the heroes rush to follow the Colonel and are themselves followed by Stonewall and the Cougar. The Colonel arrives to see Gator advancing on the monument and launches another attack on him.  Unlike the first one, he does not manage to take him out the fight, he does delay him long enough for Tam to arrive in support.  The Colonel is picked out by a beam of light but shakes off its influence.  Tam and the Colonel put Gator down but once again the Colonel is taken out of the fight.  Roddy continues to struggle to get out of the gloop from the Colonel’s grenade.  The Chaplain and Tam know that they need to do something quickly before they too succumb to this Gentleman Jack that the Colonel say is speaking in his head.  Tam suggest using his power to show his opponents the gates of hell, seeking to make them vacate the immediate area, he asks the Chaplain to boost his ability and, despite some moral concerns about using the power of God to fuel hellish visions, the Chaplain agrees. Some quirk of circumstance, possibly a strange confluence of such opposing power throw out a huge effect.  People around the monument, those beyond them and even hundreds of yards away at the barricades across Cable Street stop and contemplate their ultimate destination.  The visions of hell and damnation overcome even the most ferocious political beliefs and people first walk, then run and finally stampede away from Cable Street and its immediate surrounds.

 

Tam and the Chaplain are alone for a short while contemplating the silence before the Colonel once again gets to his feet and Roddy arrives, free at last.  They find a ring on Gator’s finger, a ring that bears the sign of the Crown, a ring that must have come from the King.  The conflict showed that those fighting against march no longer aligned themselves with the King and thus, those with the marchers became representative of the People, the rings were delegated authority of the King.  That was enough to break the Pact of Golders Green for two of the monuments, the third monument remains to uphold the Pact, even if at a weaker level than before.  They had a qualified success.  They also had a quandry, what should they do with this ring, proof that the King had been complicit in working with the fascists and, indeed, fascists from another Country against the desires of the British Government.  Tam knows that the corruption of a King weakens the country’s magic but he also knows that the downfall of a King can also have a detrimental effect.  They take both Gator and Ironclad to Department Q, the others have escaped and take their time to consider what they should do about the King.

 

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OK.  We have been talking about the session and adjusting the character sheet that we had come up with.  Let me show you what we are using, this is the Chaplain character, currently just missing complications but there is some space that I can use for that.  🙂

 

Doc

GA-ThePreacher.pdf

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1 hour ago, Spence said:

Nice character sheet.

 

When we are settled on what we want, I will post all of the characters. I have to work pretty hard to engage the players with the system and prevent them getting stuck on the numbers. This is how I play up the colour.

 

For me, it should also be a way to get some of the feel of the campaign across to the players.

 

Doc

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This will be the last time that I post the character sheets, they are all here except for Tank.  They have been playtested and so likely only to be tweaked in future.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, The Union.….

 

 

GA-ColMustard.pdf GA-RoddyReyburn.pdf GA-TamOShanter.pdf GA-ThePreacher.pdf

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5 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

This will be the last time that I post the character sheets, they are all here except for Tank.  They have been playtested and so likely only to be tweaked in future.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, The Union.….

 

 

GA-ColMustard.pdf 302.6 kB · 1 download GA-RoddyReyburn.pdf 362.56 kB · 1 download GA-TamOShanter.pdf 325.79 kB · 1 download GA-ThePreacher.pdf 255.86 kB · 1 download

 

How did you make those character sheets?  Do you have some kind of hero designer export template?

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Great group Doc. Do you have a nice list of "they also served the crown" superheroes to plant into news stories?

 

Also...one wonders about a nice old portly gentleman who goes by the name of Mycroff, and his brother Sherlock.

 

Finally, I give you the approval to use my character The Blue Knight as one of the "they also serve the crown" characters to list. He is basically an archeologist with a suit of magical blue armor which makes him a basic brick.

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Each of the players has a small group that they hang out with when they are not The Union. Every other super will be of a lower power level than these guys.

 

Not sure if I am going to use the Holmes Brothers, they are likely of a previous generation but may be responsible for the emergence of Mystery Men.

 

I am focussing hard on mapping the World War with a mystical battle ongoing in Lyonesse and the link between the UK King and Pendragon.

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

Finally, I give you the approval to use my character The Blue Knight as one of the "they also serve the crown" characters to list. He is basically an archeologist with a suit of magical blue armor which makes him a basic brick.

 

Thank you, he is likely connected with the group Roddy Reyburn comes from. I will ensure he serves with distinction. 🙂

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2 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

Thank you, he is likely connected with the group Roddy Reyburn comes from. I will ensure he serves with distinction. 🙂

Thank you. I have a write-up in another older thread. I gave him a zero point rivalry with Indiana Jones and Sir. Lawrence Croff (grandfather of Laura Croff), but that was me being cheeky. Let me search and give you a link to him.

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31 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

Thank you, he is likely connected with the group Roddy Reyburn comes from. I will ensure he serves with distinction. 🙂

Here is the link to the thread the writeup is located in. Feel free to mod it to your liking.

 

Sorry. It's on this page.

 

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next scenario will have a nature based villain. The first encounter the players will have is with his Weeds. These creatures are set to guard a place. When someone arrives, tendrils sprout from the ground and discharge a warrior from each. 

 

My idea is that these warriors are simply the physical manifestation of a continuous, indirect attack. The Weeds are actually underground and, lime a weed, you do not get rid of the stalks until you dig out the root.

 

Would you consider this an unfair challenge? They will not see the weeds unless they look for them....

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2 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

next scenario will have a nature based villain. The first encounter the players will have is with his Weeds. These creatures are set to guard a place. When someone arrives, tendrils sprout from the ground and discharge a warrior from each. 

 

My idea is that these warriors are simply the physical manifestation of a continuous, indirect attack. The Weeds are actually underground and, lime a weed, you do not get rid of the stalks until you dig out the root.

 

Would you consider this an unfair challenge? They will not see the weeds unless they look for them....

Only slightly unfair. Basically to make it fair, make an NPC mention the insidious nature of weeds, and give them an INT roll to remember it. Then it is up to them to act upon it.

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