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Drhoz last won the day on March 15 2018

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  1. Champions - Return to Edge City : The Valhalla Invitational Since this session is at a superheroic martial arts tournament, Weldun prepared 16 different characters for us to play instead of our usual characters. GM: If I ever try to do something like this again, shoot me. The organisers have set up an arena near the Laguna complex. Hero Shrew: Right, where we had the zombie problem. GM: It was two zombies! Hero Shrew: Two zombies are still a problem! Fireflash: He’s not wrong. GM: They weren’t even the kind that bite and turn you! Hero Shrew: I’m still not convinced about that - we just didn’t let them bite us. Flux: He’d better stay away from my lab, is all I can say Makoto warns us not to mess things up - not only will it reflect badly on her, but we’ll annoy some very capable fighters, and the organisers of subsequent invitationals. Makoto: Aw, DD wasn’t invited this year? That’s so disappointing! Hero Shrew: … Doctor Destroyer? Makoto: No, Disco Dude! She is shocked to see Bobby Coffin among the contestants - he got caught using drugged boxing gloves in a match last year, went he one-punched his opponent and the referee fell unconscious when he lifted Bobby Coffin’s hand to announce the winner. Allana: He was probably framed, because putting contact poison on your gloves when you gaurd your face with the same gloves is just retarded. 01 - Lu Deng (Danny Lu) - Kung Fu w/ Flaming Ki powers and abilities similar to "The Glow" of Bushido's higher-ups. Owner and Proprietor of the Eight Lanterns Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco. 02 - Makoto - Shorinji Kempo w/ Psychokinetic abilities. Three time champion of the Valhalla Invitational. 03 - Manni - Personal System (A mix of Parkour and Capoeira). Brazillian fighter with a knack for spotting an opponent's weaknesses. 04 - Sunblade - Personal System (A mix of Krabi-Krabong, Muay Lert Rit and Shotokan Karate). Canadian fighter of mixed Japanese and Thai decent. 05 - The Paindancer - Professional Wrestling. Dirty fighter and general jerkface. 06 - Junzo Izumo - Sumo. Disgraced Sumotori w/ gambling problem. 07 - Tabytha- White Tiger Kung Fu w/ Pyrokinesis. Tiger Moreau. 08 - Winter - Obscure but vicious style. "Wolf Moreau" 09 - Bobby Coffin - Personal School of Boxing. Disgraced Boxer. 10 - Elliott Espinosa - Western Kickboxing. Fun-loving Florida lad with an interest in occult mysteries. 11 - Green Dragon - Kung Fu. Martial Arts Supervillain. 12 - Shogun - Personal System (Gingaken). Leader of the Zone Gang, Bushido, and master of "The Glow". 13 - Fang - Snake-style Kung Fu. Mysterious warrior in identity-concealing costume. 14 - Rikki - Mongoose style. Member of Project Mongoose to boot. 15 - Zack - Savate w/ minor telepathy. Moreau Honey Possum. (?????!!!) 16 - Ghost Shadow - Taijustsu. Weeaboo and Ninja of the Six Teens. There’s a couple of names in the line-up we recognise, including the current leader of the Bushido gang, and Ghost Shadow, one of the Six Teens. Fireflash: Hey, it’s the weeaboo. Makoto: PLEASE DON’T MESS UP THE TOURNAMENT. Hero Shrew: If we run into him we’ll just say we’re after the dangerous people. Flux intends to hold up a Bring Back Naruto sign whenever Ghost Shadow is in the ring. One of the competitors is a honey possum Moreau. Green Dragon: and Lu Deng are not matched against each other, which is just as well since Lu Deng is dating Green Dragon’s sister, and she’s in the audience, regardless of what Green Dragon thinks about THAT. One of the first matches is Manni vs. the disgraced sumo. Manni: Come on, you fat freak! Manni is promptly flattened, pinned, and sat on. Unsurprisingly, Makoto deals with her opponent, Fang, with her first combo move. GM: Honestly Fang had no right to be in this tournament. Allana: And he’s up against the three-time champion. GM: He never should have got an invite. Hardlight: We’re in the audience, right? In our heroic identities? Allana: Somebody choke him out, because he’s thinking of something and it won’t be good. A surprise development in the Lu Deng vs. Bobby Coffin match - Bobby’s junkyard boxing style nearly punches the flame-blasting Kung Fu master out of the ring. Lu Deng: THIS is how you throw a punch! *flaming overhead strike* Bobby Coffin: *blocks the strike easily* And this is how you block one. Lu Deng: I should stop announcing my strikes. GM: At least Lu Deng didn’t set the ropes or mat on fire. Hero Shrew: Seriously, Bobby needs to dunk that guy in the water bucket when he’s done. Flux: Hardlight is taking notes. Lu Deng: *leg sweep!* Bobby Coffin: Too slow! Lu Deng: 0_0 Green Dragon: from the Peanut Gallery: That’s what you get for dating my sister! Lu Deng: Fire Sphere! Bobby Coffin: Head Butt! But Lu Deng manages to win anyway. Nonetheless, observers were deeply impressed by the junkyard boxer’s performance - that boy is going to be one to watch, next year. Four of the members of Quadrant know that Winter is actually a werewolf, and not a Moreau. Allana can smell he isn’t. Ghost Shadow gets knocked down in the first seconds of his match too, vs. the kickboxer. Ghost Shadow forgot to put his shadow field up, fast enough. Allana: He got stuck in a martial arts arena, and reverted to using his martial arts training instead of his ninja skills. GM: Ghost Shadow has ambivalent opinions about murder, so... Espinosa: Shadow Powers? Neat! GM: OK, so now he won’t be using the Killing Attack. Espinosa: *spin kicks Ghost Shadow in the head* Allana: Ghost Shadow is going to be annoyed when he wakes up. His opponent just ran up, tackled him into the turnbuckle, LET HIM GET UP, and then kicked him in the head. GM: Eh, sometimes you lose in a sports match. He’ll understand. Hero Shrew: Paindancer? Better known as Edgelord? GM: No, he’s actually a professional wrestler, with the whole Heel persona. Paindancer: ARE YOU READY FOR THE PAAAAIIIIINNN!!!! Hero Shrew: I see what you mean. Paindancer gets blinded by a flash attack from Tabytha:, and nearly manages to take down the tiger Moreau anyway. Tabytha:: Jesus! This guy is actually good! I thought wrestling was fake! Paindancer: Argh, AIEE, I’m blind! *melodramatically staggers* Allana: Yeah, that flash attack just wore off. Tabytha:: Well I’m not going to trying a flying kick NOW. *fireballs him* Paindancer: *still conscious* Commentator: **** me!!!! Paindancer: I’m half tempted to grab a folding chair. The Shogun concedes defeat after the first few rounds of his match, when he realises how badly outmatched he is. Shogun: I give! The Shogun concedes! Fireflash: Sho’nuff. Hero Shrew: What’s Project Mongoose? Allana: Nighthawk’s anti-COBRA team. Flux: VIPER. GM: Yes, the totally-not-COBRA-please-don’t-sue-us-VIPER. Green Dragon: *assumes Tiger stance* Allana: That’s racist - there are actual tigers in the room. Green Dragon: also grapples his werewolf opponent by both arms. Just as well the werewolf fails to bites his face off. Hero Shrew: If he’s silly enough not to realise there are THREE dangerous parts of a werewolf he deserves everything he gets. Green Dragon: then throws Winter out of the ring, and again every time the werewolf jumps back in. Hero Shrew: Are we sure he isn’t a sumo wrestler? Green Dragon’s biggest problem is he can’t really hurt the werewolf badly, or hold him down - so he has to keep trying to get the werewolf out of the ring. Difficult when the werewolf is biting one arm and trying to twist the other off. All a little embarrassing when Winter is the hacker of his pack. But the third ring-out is enough to do it. Flux: *to Winter* Congrats on being the only contestant who wasn’t just punched out. Green Dragon: I hate Brickettes. The honey possum is matched against the mongoose fighter. Zack OoC: Side Kick. Appropriate for the genre. The honey possum loses, badly. Zack OoC: *sigh* back to living under a bridge again. Hero Shrew goes to have a chat with the honey possum after the day winds up. Hero Shrew: Well, there’s always next year. Zack: *still looks unhappy* Hero Shrew: Let’s hit the food hall. My treat. Zack: *cheers up* It’s entirely likely Gareth Lowell can find a job for Zach somewhere in his organisation. Hardlight: The only difference between me and a hobo in a cardboard box in Edge City is Opportunity. Fireflash goes over to congratulate the weeaboo on his match. The rest of the Six Teens are there too, as his +5. The leaders stop the rest of the team from starting anything. Titania OoC: Well I’m glad we’re going by the unspoken assumption that this is neutral ground - because Quadrant have two Bricks now. Day Two! Sunblade vs. Espinosa - this much goes one much longer than the others, largely because both opponents are fighting defensively. At least until Espinosa reveals he has superpowers too. GM: And the commentators go nuts. Makoto vs. Junzo Izumo - Makoto: Oh come on, my usual move is to punch them into the air then out of the ring. And you expect me to do that to a Sumo? Hero Shrew: It’s a danger to the audience, that’s for sure And a surprise result here, or maybe not given Makoto’s objection above - the three-time champion just got eliminated. She’s not happy, but not surprised. This was the first year the organisers installed kinetic dampeners around the ring, largely because Makoto used to telekinetically slap her opponents into the audience. Allana: Izumo’s probably going to win this tournament. Hero Shrew: He’s got great defenses, that’s for sure. Allana: He’s slow and he can’t move for shit, but you’re stuck in a small ring with him. GM: In an open fight the other opponents might do better, but… actually, there’s still a few who can deal with him - the hodoukenists. Tabytha: vs. Green Dragon: - this should be interesting. Green Dragon: is a racist misogynist Chinese Supervillain, and Tabytha: is female, not Chinese, and not human. Green Dragon:’s Player: At least I don’t mind losing this round - he’s an arsehole. Green Dragon: gets one hit in, and the Moreau flame-punches him into the floor. GM: And that’s Green Dragon: out. Yay! GM: We might be playing in a comic book universe but it’s not Watchmen. If it WAS, Allana would be running a massage parlor out the back of her clinic, Scooter would be a coke addict, Hardlight would be a self-hating gay with daddy issues, Fireflash would by the Innocent To BE Corrupted, and Flux would secretly be in charge of Dysprosium Dawn. Alan Moore is never writing this one. Hero Shrew OoC: Moore or Millar? GM: What the hell, they collab. Lu Deng (Danny Lu) vs Rikki - Shaolin Dragon Style Kung Fu vs. Mongoose Style. GM: Hmm. A lot of Kung Fu fighters made it through to the second round. Allana: Good idea to match them against each other now so the final round isn’t just Kung Fu vs. Kung Fu. Hero Shrew: So he fights like a mongoose? Goes for the neck and eats his opponent’s children? At one point, Lu Deng manages to get Rikki on the ground and attempts to axe kick him, which Rikki barely manages to block. Green Dragon: starts screaming from ringside, in fluent Chinese. Green Dragon:: You are scum! You are dishonorable scum! You should forfeit now! GM: This is a formal tournament, after all - if there anywhere to fight honorably, this is it. Hero Shrew: And this is a supervillain telling you off. He might be a prick, but in this case he’s a prick with a point. GM: He is an honorable fighter - it’s one of his faults. And the reason he doesn’t wear body armour. Lu Deng: What does a fake Chinese like you know about honour anyway? GM and most of the audience: Oh shit. Green Dragon: *goes very still, gets up, and leaves the arena* GM: He knows you’ll be leaving the tournament sooner or later. The match is another upset - after a long exchange of falls, kick, fireballs, dodges, grapples, and throws, Rikki eventually grabs Lu Deng by the ankle and flings him out of the ring for the third time. Semi-finals! Tabytha: vs. Junzo! The tigress wins this one - our GM was right about a hadoukenist having an edge of the sumo. GM: If Makoto hadn’t been eliminated, the Flash trick wouldn’t have impressed her. ‘Yeah, cute, I can still feel where you are. Nice tits BTW.” Rikki vs. Sunblade! - A narrow win by Rikki! So it’s the flame-juggling tiger-Moreau vs. Sunblade for the finale match of the tournament. Sunblade would probably be curb-stomped in this match… but the Fang hands her a set of goggles and says ‘wear these’, so she actually lasts a few rounds. Tabytha is the champion! Hero Shrew OoC: Hopefully this round won’t be advertised as girl-on-girl action. GM: And this is Pastor Doug, a snow leopard Prostestant. Screen: *close-up crotch shot* GM: Oops. Flux OoC: Not the kind of close-up we want of a priest. GM: For the third day they’ve got some music in - the industrial rock band Second Pretence. The name comes because in her first band, the bassist fatally stabbed the drummer. On stage. Of course, there’s still that gang of exo-boxers that Quadrant are here to harass. Fireflash: I should probably not tag along for that - I’m too conspicuous, even when I’m not using my powers. GM: So are the two Moreaus. In fact when people see Allana they can’t drag their eyes away. Hero Shrew: She has gravity powers the same way Gravitar does. GM: For all they know, you’re here to recruit the freak that just won the main tournament. From the pitch of the exo-suit engines, Allana guesses that they have an overdrive system, and a higher potential energy output than they’re using. Allana: They were probably hoping for better batteries. Allana can also hear a second ultrasonic whine, but she’s not sure where it’s coming from. There are also another observer hanging around taking notes, and talking in unaccented English. COMPLETELY unaccented English. Hero Shrew: Just like normal Hu-mans. They seem to be more interested in the fighters outside of the ring, then the actual matches. Allana: Might be recruiters for the Warlord or something. One of the other exo-suit fighters, not a Park Front Dragon, hasn’t had to change the batteries in his suit all day. That’s pretty impressive. The PFD are having to change their batteries more than anybody else, and it doesn’t help that half their members are quietly leaving the venue as soon as they notice we’re hanging around. Allana and Flux scoop them up as they leave, since they’re not bright enough to leave in multiple directions. Their leadership, on the other hand, seem to be more intelligent, since they’ve managed to vanish while we weren’t looking, leaving their exo-suits parked in a corner. Hardlight realises we haven’t checked for utility tunnels under the venue. As it turns out they’re all out on the dance floor. Hardlight: Dance-off time! Flux: Are you serious? GM: You can also see the Six Teens, cutting a rug. Hardlight: Hey Fireflash, can you get out there too and distract them with your dancing? Fireflash: Let me explain why that won’t work, in short words you will understand - Geek. Hero Shrew: I could go out there and distract them. Hardlight: Can you dance? Hero Shrew: Nope. But I’ve watched lots of lapdances. Hardlight does have something of a self-esteem problem. Despite being handsome, fit, and well-coordinated, he spends a lot of time around actual superhumans, who are enough to make anybody feel inadequate. Hero Shrew OoC: Of course if somebody DOES challenge me to a dance-off I do have that ‘Can’t turn down a Challenge’ Psychological Limitation. GM: I challenge you to a Bake-off! Allana: ‘Okay.’ *drags challenger into an oven to see who lasts longer* ‘I think you have misconstrued the nature of this contest’ About an hour later, a courier arrives and starts wheeling off the Dragon’s exo-suits. Allana and Flux toddle off to intercept the delivery van, confirm that the suits have been illegally modified, and confiscate them. Flux: Please keep your tracking status as ‘in transit’ or you may be obstructing justice. GM: Ouch. Fireflash: Well he MIGHT be. He doesn’t know. The Six Teens certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. We thought that they were three couples, but two of them seem to be going out of their way to grind with others in the dance pit. Of course it’s the same couple that go out of their way for some private fun in the middle of a job. Hero Shrew: It’s the added thrill of ****ing while on a heist. Flux OoC: ‘The alarms are going off.’ GM: ‘Great!’ Flux OoC: ‘A superhero might burst in on us.’ GM: ‘Even better!’ Jimmy Chen, leader of the Park Front Dragons, his lieutenant, and a bunch of other people including Bobby Coffin, get together to head off and hit the night clubs. The moment they leave the venue, Chen is fair game, and we have a warrant for his arrest. Which of us, with police powers, will actually arrest them? Hero Shrew: *bouncing excitedly* Oooh, ooh ooh! GM: You’ve DONE the course, Scooter. Hero Shrew: I know, I’m mostly invested in the chance of a punch-up with Bobby Coffin. Fireflash: We are not doing that. Hardlight and I are going to WALK up, and tell him we have a warrant for his arrest. Hardlight: Walk up? I wanted to fly down. Fireflash: We want to avoid any kind of fight, Gareth - we’re doing this exactly by the book. GM: ... well, ****. Evidently Chen was expecting a superfight - which is why he invited Coffin along. Bobby Coffin: Boys, I have a record. I ain’t helping you. Hero Shrew: Aw. GM: Well, there’s still a party happening inside. Fireflash: We’ve got to fill in all the paperwork for the arrest first. Hero Shrew: But I wanted to fight somebody! *sulks* Hero Shrew: I can always go to the Six Teens and complain. I mean, I hang around a martial arts tournament for three days and don’t even get to swing one punch. That curious individual we noticed hanging around walks up behind Allana, after we split up. Normal Hu-man: Ms. Nocturne? Allana: Yes? Normal Hu-man: Claudio Fierro, agent of UNTIL. I have some questions if you don’t mind. Allana: OK? Fierro: Have you noticed anything unusual about the tournament? Allana: You, for a start. Allana gives her assessment of the various suits, based on her listening to the engine sounds. Fierro: Super-hearing. We had that right about you then. But it pays not to make assumptions. But he’s more interested in Allana’s assessment of that silver suit that never needed a battery swap. Because the rumour is that VIPER are testing new kinds of battle armour, and Edge City is a great place where they can experiment with that kind of thing, practically in the open. Allana goes to have a literal sniff around, and discovers that the silver suit left no discernable smell - a useful trick a city with so many Moreaus with tracking abilities.
  2. Nemat OoC: I apologise for forgetting I had Silence, when we were temporarily playing Pitch Black. As we harvest the dead Yrthaks for body parts and trophies, there’s some argument about whether their sonic weapon is a horn, or something else. Since they’re covered in skin instead of keratin, we decide that they must be related to giraffes. Deserts are also so quiet that we hear a distant commotion, far across the wasteland. Climbing to the top of the nearest hill and getting out the spy-glasses, we can see distant campfires and the shape of numerous people running around in some uproar. But it’s so far away that even running, it would take hours to get there. Zenobia: I knew we should have bought those Speedy Camels from Crazy Hassan. GM: Crazy Hassan only shows up when people really, really need him. Zenobia: Ah, so if he doesn’t show up there was no real reason for us to hurry. Onka: Breakfast first. We should have kept some of that meat. GM: You want to eat Yrthak? Zenobia: …. I’m not really sure I want to. Nemat: As a general rule, don’t eat anything listed as ‘Aberration’. It was a nomad camp, and there are survivors. They’re wary - probably because one of us is a gnoll and we’re only carrying one small tent - but they don’t attack us on sight. They’re understandably more concerned about a second attack by the land-sharks that chewed them up last night. Multiple land-sharks, which is really unusual for these normally solitary monsters. Nemat determines which way they went, while Zenobia patches up the wounded. GM: You MAYBE might be able to create a Bulette if you have a big armadillo, a big snapping turtle, a bunch of spells, and some demon ichor. Zenobia OoC: It doesn’t just take a romantic evening, a few bottles of wine, and some lube? The Bulettes get identified as B1 and B2. Zenobia OoC: They’re bulettes, in pantalettes, and they’re coming down the stairs. Of course, there’s still the problem of trying to find anything out here, let alone mapping it. Sending Onka up in a hot-air balloon a few times a day can only get us so far, and we can hardly tow him along behind us. Nemat OoC: As I said previous session, I’d really like our GM to be familiar with compass directions. Zenobia: We need to commision some kind of marker obelisks out here. It would probably be worth the expense of enchanting them with Continual Flame, so people can find them at night. Our next encounter is a village of Maftet, a curious race related to sphinxkind. They’re not supposed to be found in flat country like this. Maftet: Who are you? What is your business? Nemat: Our goals are three - to end the machinations of the cult determined to resurrect the Forgotten Pharaoh, to return the effects of a dead scorpion-man to his tribe, and to talk to you. This doesn’t seem to your usual kind of country. Maftet: It isn’t. Drop your weapons and wait here. Zenobia: We haven’t drawn any. Onka: And we’re all spellcasters. Nemat: I can stick my fingers in my ears and go lalalala if that will make you more comfortable. They’re quite interested to hear we’re seeking the Forgotten Pharaoh, suspect we’re seeking the temple of the Faceless Sphinx, but are reluctant to tell us any more unless we can prove our worth. We’re happy to tell them everything we’ve been up to for the last year, and they're glad that their friend Tetisurah the sphinx survived her run-in with the cult. GM: how to phrase to the next bit … blah blah, you sound pretty awesome, can you give us some assistance too? Nemat: That’s why we came here. Maftet: Also, if I were you I’d burn that scorpion-man’s belongings - they’re mercenaries hired by the cult. The Maftet have a problem with giant, horned, red-skinned fiery humanoids blocking access to one of their temples. Asrian is not happy, since these are clearly ifriti, a kind of djinn. Zenobia: I won’t let them hurt you. Asrian: I’m not afraid of being hurt, I don’t want them changing me again! Zenobia: Onka, try and stand back a bit when I call down a Holy Smite. Nemat: Yes, your somewhat flexible morals leave you vulnerable to heavenly fire. The ifrit try to intimidate us with a wall of fire. We’re not impressed, since Zenobia cast Resist Energy on of us earlier. Nemat: We wish to parlay. Ifrit: Parlay? What could you possibly offer us? Nemat: Your lives. Let us talk face to face. Entire Party: *step through the flame without taking a point of damage* Ifrit: Um. Nemat: Shall we talk now? Ifrit: Uh … let me go get Kixexa. Nemat: Thank you. Onka: Is he gone yet? That singed my underwear. He comes back with two others, Kixexa, who is clearly fiery in nature, and one Picasi who is blue, and looks like more of a problem if we rely on our fire resistance. Nemat: I come as an Inquisitor of Wadjet, and Living Monolith of the Temple of Chisisek. I come negotiate access to the temple of Sekhmet for legitimate worshippers. Kixexa: The temple of who? Nemat: *launches into an extended explanation of Wadjet, Chisisek, the River Sphinx, etc etc etc.* GM: You don’t need to explain this. Nemat OoC: Yes I do, this is Nemat talking. Nemat: Sekhmet? The goddess of fire, vengeance and war! Are you seriously trying to tell me you’re living in her temple and none of you worship her? Kixexa: Well, she’s cool, but we don’t worship her. Nemat: Shall I tell you the story of her first visit to the world? GM: Time for another TED talk. Picasa seems to be the more level-headed of the pair. Possibly the story of how Sekhmet got her jets cooled will help her deal with her angry counterpart. Large amounts of beer were involved. Nemat: I could give you the primer on the worship of Sekhmet, but I’m a follower of Wadjet. Onka: And we don’t have four hours. Nemat: … I’d only have four hours? Nemat convinces them that actually operating the temple properly, and thereby attract worshippers, and caravans, and tithes, is probably better than chasing off anybody that comes near it. An ice spell on a nearby rock, on the way out, proves that we came loaded for bear. Nemat: Remind me to tell the Maftet that the nomad camp has Ice Bolts for sale. Of course the procession of humanoid skeletons carrying a palanquin that we run into on the walk back might be distracting. The passenger is a Div - a race of evil Outsiders. We’ve run into one before and they didn’t make a good impression. Asrian: This guy dies. GM: It looks like he thinks you’ll be perfect minions. The procession is coming towards you. Zenobia: Maybe he saw the gnoll in our party and assumed we’re evil. Div: Oh ho ho, more things to add to the collection! GM: He’s Neutral Stupid - his first action is to demand your obedience. Party: *look at each other and burst out laughing* Onka: Fireball. Div: Wait, What???? The spell destroys the skeleton minions. Div: Well, if you’re going to be that way, I’ll just make some more! He attempts to turn Asrian into a bunny rabbit. It doesn’t work. Div: *looks down at his finger* That usually works. It certainly worked in the other game some of the players are involved in, where the PCs Polymorphed Cthulhu into a bunny. Happily it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. The rest of the battle does not go so much in our favour - Sepid Divs are powerful spellcasters, and shrug off most attacks, even after we break his jaw and disembowel him. Onka is mortally wounded, and the rest of us are not much better. Only Asrian is still standing by the time she manages to finally kill the creature. Onka: *after using Hero Points and massively applications of healing magic from Zenobia* I don’t like being dead. On the plus side there’s a Feat I can take now. The Div was also carrying an insane amount of stuff in the palanquin with him. So much that we’re going to have to dump a lot of our own coinage just to handle the weight. Zenobia: Those poor skeletons. At least we can tell the Maftet where to find it so they can pay the tithe at the Sekhmet temple. Nemat: …. In pennies. Fine. I’m not carrying 16,000 copper coins anyway - just dump them on the palanquin. Zenobia OoC: Those cultists won’t know what hit them when we catch up. Because we’ve picked up so much XP in the last few days, and I bet THEY haven’t been running all over the desert on sidequests. The Covenant of Wati have narrowly avoided a TPK at the hands of the Sepid Div. Zenobia OoC: SEPID Div, not Tepid Div. Onka OoC: Well, it COULD be lukewarm. GM: If you WERE riding horses, they’d at least have names. Nemat OoC: ‘rode through the desert on a horse with no legs’ wait, that doesn’t work. Zenobia: When we get back to civilisation we’ll send a priest of Sekhmet out here. Nemat: A priest and an inquisitor. Zenobia: Oh? Nemat: Inquisitors are better at converting people. We return to the waiting nomads and their spokesperson, Erayu, who offers his gratitude, hospitality, and information. Erayu: You have indeed proven your worth. It takes strength and purpose to survive the Parched Dunes, and I see now that you have both. Nemat OoC: I’m not going to tell him I don’t eat or drink anymore. Erayu: I thank you, and I will help you in your quest.We lived for many generations in the shadow of the Sightless Sphinx, guarding and preserving it, though never entering it, for ancient evil lingered within its crumbling walls. But several of our younger kin, led by a rash youth named Userib, decided to explore the Sphinx. Of the dozen who ventured within, only one returned, her face white with fear. She told us that Userib had awakened the evil within the Sphinx and that it had corrupted him and the others. Her words held truth, for before we could initiate a rescue, Userib and his followers attacked. Many of my tribe fell under their assault, leaving us no choice but to abandon the Sphinx. I could say that in our weakened condition, and with the children to consider, we could not expect to win the day in an attack on the Sphinx. This would be true. But it is also true that our own kin still reside within the Sphinx. Can they be saved and returned to the pride? I do not know. I cannot imagine facing those we have raised from birth and making the decision to end their lives. You are strong and I believe you are worthy souls. We shall direct you to the Sightless Sphinx. May Sekhmet grant you power in battle, and Thoth give you the wisdom to do what is necessary. Zenobia: *hopefully* Does that mean we try and take them alive? Asrian: Corrupted usually means we cut them into little pieces. Nemat: Generally, but the goddess Saranrae wants us to at least give them a chance. Zenobia: I can understand the need to kill some things swiftly, but when my goddess AND the relatives of the target ask me not to, I feel bad about not obliging them. We eventually find a ravine, stuffed with cultists, and some kind of big metal statue thing. They do have a few sentries on duty, but they were looking the wrong way as we crept up. Zenobia OoC: I come from a long line of sneaky desert ambushers. To my regret. Zenobia: Is anybody else wondering who erected a statue at the bottom a ravine? It’s a good question, but not worth pursuing until we’ve dealt with the cultists. Happily, when these cultist explode they have a tendency to set off their comrades as well. Asrian: What idiot makes a Wand of Prestidigitation? Zenobia: An apprentice learning how to make wands? Nemat: No no, this is somebody’s doctoral thesis. ‘Seriously? I have to make a wand? Ok then. Here’s a wand. I’m not one of you rich bastards, I had to scrape together every coin to get into this school, and you expect me to pay for all the materials for this too?’ Examining Panel of Wizards: Is there an activating word? Nemat: ‘No, just a gesture - extend your middle finger’ Examining Panel of Wizards: … alrighty then. The statue is clearly some kind of automata, and Zenobia finds a button on the back. The design suggests it served the ancient Osiriani, and used Shory technology (the people the Forgotten Pharaoh declared war on) and we do have that power core we found earlier. We decide to risk pressing the button, and the back opens up, feeling what anybody not living in a fantasy setting would recognise as a cockpit. Onka decides to climb in, insert the power core, and pull a few levers. We pass up a few days of rations, and Onka’s Scroll of Teleportation, just in case. Nemat: Can you hear us in there? Onka’s Amplified Voice: YES. GM: Why did this game give you a mecha suit? But it should give anybody at the Sightless Sphinx a nasty surprise - such as the scorpion-men on guard.At least we can return the belongings of that dead mercenary we found. Nemat: At some point I need to sit down and list all the kinds of undead you can get from improper burial. Asrian: Hello there! May I discuss two points of interest with you? Scorpion-man: Go away! This area is off-limits! Asrian: That’s one of the things we need to discuss - the other is more intimate! Zenobia OoC: ‘We don’t do humanoids!’ Scorpion-man: You wish to parley? I give you one minute to state your case. Asrian: Simply, we found the body of your kinsman. Nemat: And for the past half-month we’ve been carrying his stuff, wishing to return it to his people. His remains we buried under a cairn. Scorpion-man: So Dakuri didn’t make it then. The sands are treacherous. Nemat: But we did avenge his death, by destroying the creatures that killed him. Asrian: There are many dangerous things in the desert - which right now includes us. We know you’ve been hired by the cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh. They are our enemy. We will be entering that temple to destroy them. But we’d rather not go through you first. We know you are an honourable people, but in this circumstance you are on the wrong side. It also helps that Nemat knows how the scorpion-men were treated during the era of the ancient Osiriani. Nemat: You do know you’re working on behalf of Hakotep the First, right? Scorpion-man: Hakotep? Nemat: Yes, Hakotep. The Sky Pharoah? Scorpion-man: *swears violently* The scorpion people certainly remember how the Sky Pharoah treated anybody who wasn’t human. So will the late Dakuri’s aunt. Scorpion-man: Do you have a place we can talk further? They’ll be changing the shift soon. Nemat: We’ve got the Iron Spike of Safe Passage and the Adventurer’s Pavilion. Look for the hill that wasn’t there yesterday. It still won’t be. Nemat: May I make a suggestion? Tell the cultists that it is a holy night and you all have to carry out a ritual for the gods. Asrian: I’m sure Nemat can forge some convincing religious texts. Zenobia: Why forge them? Your knowledge of the old gods is comprehensive enough - it must be a holy night for somebody. Rubila: You are a crafty one, for a human. Nemat: I’m sorry? Rubila: Former human? Nemat: *holds up his Uraeus symbol, symbol of Wadjet* Rubila: Ah, that explains it. And Onka can reinforce the forgery with a Contagious Lie spell, even if the Forgotten Pharaoh himself is in the temple and checks it against his first-hand knowledge of ancient religion. Nemat: Just burn these documents later, I don’t want this to become an ACTUAL religious observance next year. GM: And you’ve talked your way past another threat. *sigh* Get 2500XP. Each. Asrian: Fear our diplomancy! Nemat: For it is strong!
  3. A playtest of a D&D game, set in Virginia during the American Civil War, February 1862, playing as Union soldiers and associates hunting down what are effectively land-based privateers. Me: So basically we’re hunting down an adventuring party. The Willis Gang used to be ‘bountyhunters’, but have now graduated to general brigandage. We’re playing McAllister’s Scouts and assorted Unionist locals. The brigand’s camp is up in the mountains, and despite the fog we can see they have a number of horses hitched up. Andy McClintoch: *turns to Injun Joe* Your lot steal horses, don’t they? Injun Joe: ಠ_ಠ The lawman attached to the party, one William ‘Bull’ McClintoch and brother of Andy, says he’ll go in first and try to end this peaceful, like. The rest of us exchange glances and prepare covering fire. ‘Bull’: I am the Law! Stand and deliver! Wait, that’s not the law. Andy OoC: Exact opposite, really. Module’s writer: In response you get a mouthful of stuff we can no longer say in this shop. Bull shoots Willis’ pistol out of his hand, grapples him, and cuffs him in one round. Andy: That’s my brother. There’s somebody else in the building that the bushwhackers are holed up in - one Major George Planter, who tried to take over the town for the Confederacy at the start of the war. He sounds a bit upset about our arrival. Andy discovers the half-hidden back exit on the cabin, and grins. While the rest of the scouts set the cabin on fire, and try to bash in the front door, some of us will be lurking near their escape route waiting for the Major and his allies to sneak out. It helps that in bear country, the doors open outwards and the hinges are on the outside. Of course, the cave mouth in the hillside near the campsite is probably going to be relevant. Especially since it’s full of Confederate troops. Still, we manage to pull a victory out of our collective arses - Buck & Shot ammunition is a useful thing for firing into crowded cabins and caves. Bayonet training is also handy. Andy: I got no problems about stabbing a rebel in the back. My brother might, but I ain’t him. The surviving bushwackers and Confederates in the cabin are choking on smoke in the cabin while we help ourselves to the coffee they had brewing on the fire outside. The wounded corporal in the cave is a McClintoch cousin. Bull: Went and joined the Confederates, did ya? Cousin Reb: They were mighty convincin’. Bull: Well, don’t give me any trouble and I’ll get you some coffee. Then Bull finds the pen of ‘contraband’ in the back of the cave, and elbows his cousin unconscious. Bull: On second thoughts, no coffee for you. There’s a white boy in here too, carrying a satchel with letters of commission for company officers under Planter’s command, and some useful letters from the Confederate governor. Andy: Hey! You guys in the cabin! You know we hang bushwhackers, right? But if you come out dressed as rebels we have to treat you fairly. GM: They don’t have any spare uniforms. Andy: I know >:D
  4. Pathfinder: The Mummy's Mask - More Desert Meandering Heading north in pursuit of the cultists/amateur tomb robbers. It might be the middle of the desert, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to encounter - including a scorpion-man in need of proper burial, a Royal Naga archeologist, and some really, really annoying birds. But we do find a river, which is nice, since it means Asrian and Zenobia can wash the dust off. Onka: And I’m going to camp over here, since I don’t want a knife somewhere uncomfortable. Zenobia: Any suspicious logs floating about? This is also the first time that Zenobia has seen her girlfriend undressed in daylight - she has silver-blonde hair, and skin almost as pale as paper. Rather unusual, since we’ve met her family and they’re all ethnically Osiriani. Nemat OoC: On the other side of the God-Rock, she’d be gorgeous. Zenobia OoC: I imagine her mother got some cruel accusations after she was born, right up until her father got kicked in the balls. Asrian is still extremely sensitive about her appearance, despite the fact that Zenobia isn;t at all repulsed. Zenobia: You’ve seen the way people look at me, before they know me. I’d NEVER think you’re ugly. Asrian: You’re fuzzy, it’s nice! I look like I’ve been dipped in flour! Zenobia: Well, let’s see if it washes off *rolls around in the shallows with her for a bit* Asrian eventually explains that she had a perfectly ordinary complexion when she was younger, but had an encounter with a djinn, and after she was returned from the djinn’s palace, she looked like this. Apparently she had djinn ancestry somewhere on her mother’s side of the family, and her Suli blood got awakened. Which probably explains why her mother insisted she was still beautiful. Zenobia, of course, agrees. Zenobia: The power of your ancestry shows on the outside. The light of your soul shines inside. You are gorgeous to me. Asrian: *hugs tight* Asrian is at least confident enough to go without her veil when we return to the rest of the party, but she’ll have it back on before we catch up with the cultists. Nemat: You’re actually quite attractive. Zenobia: MINE. We also acquire some unusual loot - the power source of some unknown construct. GM: It’s an ARC reactor. Of course, all these side quests are going to take us over most of the desert, but it’ll probably be OK since the cultists have no idea we’re in pursuit, and are probably expecting the Lamia and other cultists to catch up with them. Although that assumes we don’t fall victim to things like the stinky stinky goo ghosts that emerge from some of the dunes. Nemat OoC: Hang on, let me make a ‘Wot Dat?’ roll. And things like featureless black obelisks are just annoying to the archeologist in the party, even if the proportions aren’t 1:4:9. Zenobia: What’s the point of putting up an obelisk without inscribing the name of whoever commissioned it? Nemat: I think the point is if you need to know, you already know. Asrian: Actually I think the point is up the top there. It’s actually powerfully and dangerously enchanted, but useful as long as you don’t fry yourself as you put it to use. Happily we have a spell-sage in the party who can fiddle with that sort of thing with minimal chance of spontaneous arc-welding. It’s not the only weird relic out here either of course - arrangements of skull-sized pale rocks also attract our attention. Zenobia: Blood for the Blood God! Oh wait, they’re not skulls. Voice from Above: Do not take another step! Zenobia: *politely takes a step backwards* Rest of party: That’s a step! Onka: Let’s hope it’s not a copper dragon. GM: Actually it’s a blue. Keferuzagra the Blue Dragon: *lands* This is my garden! Stay away! Asrian: OK. Nemat: Nice work. Keferuzagra: Uh, thanks? Zenobia: Would you like to show us your garden or is it entirely private? Nemat: Are you familiar with the Tien form of rock gardening? GM: *sigh* And you’ve just taken him from hostile to friendly Onka: Have you tried looking down in the wastelands south of here? There’s basilisks, you might find some interesting rockery. He invites us to stay the night, to show off his other art, which includes golden statues of dragons. Admittedly gold leaf, but still very nice work. Nemat: Are you sure you’ve never heard of the Tien forms? GM: This dragon is SO going to find himself a new lair. Nemat OoC: Once he finds a couple of portable holes so he can take his rocks and statues with him. Keferuzagra gifts us an Efficient Quiver he found in an abandoned temple of Sarenrae, before he makes plans to emigrate. Some Tianese rock garden master is going to have something to be smug about, later. Nemat OoC: We’ll give the quiver to Onka - it’s the Wizard’s Golf Bag. He also warns us about a temple in the direction we’re heading, dedicated to Areshkagal, the demon lord of portals and riddles. Should be worth checking out, just in case, even if only to add a large AVOID to the map we eventually produce. Nemat OoC: I’d really like our GM to be familiar with compass directions. We hear flapping overhead, as we head north. Zenobia: *peering * Keferuzagra again? No, that’s yellow, not blue. Are there yellow dragons? Asrian: There’s gold dragons. Zenobia: No, definitely yellow. Nemat: Might be a really lost Imperial. Actually it’s a flock of Yrthaks, huge eyeless flying beasts with a powerful sonic attack. Asrian: SCATTER! These things are NASTY. To the point some us go into negative hit points. Lucky for us that half of them plow into the ground when trying to do hairpin turns in mid-air, and that Zenobia can do ranged healing from behind boulders, at least until said boulders get blasted apart by the Yrthaks’ sonic attacks. Things probably would have gone much better for us if any of us had remembered Nemat knew the Silence spell, earlier.
  5. Champions : Return To Edge City - Heist! Quadrant’s plan to take down the more ideologically-unpleasant gangs of Edge City, one affiliate at a time. At the moment, we’re focussing on the Park Front Dragons. Or rather, were, until we got distracted by an attempted tech heist at UC-EC. GM: You do realise that the way Allana sniffed out the ganger’s blood types is going to spread around the paramedics, and the rumour is going to be you’re a VAMPIRE bat? Those crows that Scooter chased were Hooded Crows, an exclusively Eurasian species. Hero Shrew: Well, all we have to do is check the birdwatcher’s network - because if any hooded crows are flying around California someone will notice. Of course, the Black Paladin was accompanied by carrion crows, not hooded crows. Hooded crows are more associated with the Morrigan and Cú Chulainn. Allana: So, who’s pissed off any Celtic death goddesses or Irish Hercules lately? Flux: Do we really want to spend time tracking down these crows Scooter spotted? Hero Shrew: If they’re important, I'm sure they’ll come back to bite us on the arse later. Allana: I assume we just checked the internet while we were waiting for campus security to show up and cart off the battery-stealing idiots. GM: You spent time explaining to them that what they did was a horrifically bad idea that could have got them charged with multiple federal crimes. That generally makes them back down. Allana’s right, too - the laws regarding crimes committed in powered armour are still overly broad. Of course, that’s not Allana’s only skill - she overhears one of the security people telling Brent that he’ll put the new superbatteries in secure storage until it’s time for his big presentation. And Allana can also tell that the security guy is COMPLETELY full of it. He also smells of unusual welding compounds and advanced engineering. She considers scent-tagging the batteries, but doubts she can do it inconspicuously. Or she could just carry them back to secure storage herself - she’s strong enough, and Brent went through too many years of high school to doubt the obvious jock can do it. Hardlight: Well, if we’re down here I’m going to go hang around the chemistry labs. GM: As Gareth Lowell? Hardlight: Yes. If they need me as Hardlight I’ll duck into the toilets. Hero Shrew: It not like you can find a phone booth these days. Hardlight: What do you actually DO to scent-mark something? Lick it or something? Or do you have a spray bottle? Hero Shrew: ‘And this is Mine, and this is Mine, and THIS is Mine…’ Allana: Actually, I can always wrap my wings around the batteries as I’m carrying the crate. Then I can do what I like. Hero Shrew: How much do you want to bet that security guard is planning a heist? Or is he just the Park Front Dragons’ contact on campus? Allana heads off to run her free clinic for a few hours, Hardlight, Fireflash and Flux lurk around campus, and Scooter parks the Qruiser off-campus, switching on the ‘Nondescript Van’ disguise, and has a nap. Allana: Just as long as it isn’t the ‘Low-Cost Nuclear Waste Disposal’ van. GM: Or the Septic Avenger. Hardlight: I’m at one of the cafeterias, peoplewatching. GM: And how old are you? Hardlight OoC: Mid-thirties? GM: So, you’re hanging around a campus cafeteria looking at people? You do remember the kind of reputation Gareth has, right? Hardlight OoC: Sigh. Hardlight does notice a number of students wandering around with aviator goggles hanging from their bets, and bags, and necks, and suspects they’re Dysprosium Dawn members who want to mark themselves with something less conspicuous than shipbuilder’s wrenches. Flux: I HAVE goggles, but they’re in the Qruiser, where Scooter is sleeping. Hero Shrew: *draped sideways across the pilot’s seat, mouth open, drool dribbling down his chin* Flux notices a hooded crow hanging around. Allana: The great tragedy of The Ring - everybody watches videos on their smartphones these days. Tiny screens. Flux: How fast can a crow fly? Allana: Pretty fast? Hero Shrew: But is it as fast as an unladen swallow. Flux: I’m being shadowed by a crow. Hero Shrew: Appropriate colour at least. Hero Shrew: Offer it some bacon. Flux: You’re asleep! Hero Shrew: Offer ME some bacon. Allana OoC: And Hardlight spends 30 minutes thinking he’s being followed by a crow, that turns out to be a pigeon. GM: Actually he IS being followed by a crow. He just didn’t see it until now. Hero Shrew OoC:: I’m going to wake up and find three standing on the window sill, aren’t I? Allana: If a second crow shows up we’ll have an attempted murder on our hands. The crow easily follows Flux around campus, even as he tries a few teleports. It doesn’t laugh at his attempted joke, either, but that may have been the delivery. Fireflash: Birds can’t laugh. Hero Shrew: Kookaburras. Fireflash leaves her class, takes flight, and actually manages to catch one of the hooded crows. It’s much stronger than any natural bird should be. And moving without flapping it’s wings. GM: up down up down left right- Fireflash OoC: is it doing the Konami code? They call Hardlight in to scan it with millimeter radar, but he takes so long changing from his civilian ID and sneaking outside invisibly that the bird wriggles free. Fireflash: The bird is loose in the room! Hero Shrew: Is that a code nobody told me about? The crow tries to bash it’s way out the window, as the other bashes its way in, but when Hardlight bubbles it in a force field, it goes limp and the other flies off. And his scan reveals nothing of its interior. Hardlight: It’s s bright vaguely bird-shaped object. Fireflash: *turns to Flux* Well, you’re the scientist. GM: Wow. Right in front of Hardlight too. But it does have carbon fibre feathers, and Flux detects emeralds. Flux: Ah. Oh dear. They’re Guiltrider’s. GM: Yes. She’s an Irish lass so Hugin and Munin wouldn’t have been appropriate. GM: This took much longer than I expected. You guys are consistently showing more restraint these days. Hero Shrew OoC:: Well, I was asleep in the van. GM: True. You’d have tried to eat it. Evidently she made the crows to keep an eye on us, without being too creepy-stalker. It’s just unfortunate we had that run in with the Black Paladin too. GM: these were just her first model. Hero Shrew: It’s when she has carbon-fibre cassowaries that we need to worry. GM: Recently Gareth Lowell achieved a new position. Hero Shrew: He had some ribs removed? He actually got a position on the Corporate Advisory Council Allana: The junior junior version of the Illuminati. Fireflash: If you can’t control the sandbox, how can you be trusted with the world? It’s more an attempt to moderate the excesses of corporate ownership of Edge City, using that most universal of powers, mutual enlightened mistrust. Allana and Hero Shrew take the night shift, watching for the theft of that battery tech. Hero Shrew takes up position on a nearby roof. Hardlight: So you’re a gargoyle now? Hero Shrew OoC:: Well, I just botched that perception check. Evidently I’m perched on the wrong corner of the building. GM: Or you were too busy staring at Allana’s tits. Hero Shrew: Very likely. Hardlight OoC: Did you remember to add your Brooding bonus? Any dramatic flashes of lightning nearby? At least we didn’t get spotted. Hero Shrew OoC:: Despite the implausibility of a gargoyle on a building at a Californian university. We might not have seen them go in, but we do see a cloaked figure coming back out, carrying the battery case. But Allana can’t smell the scent she tagged it with. The figure also has a grapple gun, and their cloak transforms into a glider. Hero Shrew: What’s going on? I was too busy staring at Castor and Pollux. Allana swoops off in pursuit, whilst Scooter jumps down and heads into the security building. Allana: Not a bad idea, actually. Check that the security guards are OK. Hero Shrew: And that the person with the bat-cloak isn’t a decoy. It’s impressive that they can fly and still carry the battery. But that assumes the battery is actually in the case, and besides, we’re living in a comic book universe. Flux: Theoretically, you can fly with an elephant, if you can pick up an elephant. Allana: I can. GM: Well, you follow the batglider without much difficulty. Hero Shrew OoC:: I’m not surprised - if he looks over his shoulder and see giant bat wings he’ll just assume they’re his. Scooter, meanwhile, is checking the side door of the security building, discovers that the batglider reset the security systems and locked it as he left, and heads round the front to let the night guards know the bad news. Allana snatches the case from the batglider. Hero Shrew: He just got mugged in mid-air. GM: Yep! I bet he wasn’t expecting that. Batglider: Tesla’s Magnificent Moustache! *draws a curious gun, pauses to think for a second, and shoots a large pellet at Allana* But it’s not a ping-pong ball, so it can’t be FoxBat. It’s pretty easy for Allana to take him down too, and we might be able to find out who he’s working for. Batglider: They haven’t paid me enough for confidentiality. Hero Shrew: … so… if we let you go, you’ll tell us who hired you? Batglider: And you won’t take all my stuff? Sweet - usually I have to rebuild it. Hero Shrew: *looks up at Allana* He’s smarter than they usually are. Batglider: Sure I am *jiggles the Dysprosium Dawn google on his utility belt* Hero Shrew: You’re holding him against your chest and he’s not even wriggling. I mean, I would. Batglider: Anyway, it was Johnny Chen. Of the Park Front Dragons. Allana: *dramatically flings her arm out and doubles over in badly-faked pain* Argh. Ow. He’s getting away, Batglider: No no no, I don’t want a rep for that! You think I want people to think I could hurt either of you? Allana: You’ve got gas grenades. Batglider: True. *shoots Allana and Scooter with them, and ‘makes his escape’* Hero Shrew: So, Allana, do you want to go fly around over Park Front and see if any gang members try to flag you down? If they’re looking up at the night sky looking for a big bat shape they might make an understandable mistake. She doesn’t see any, but when she returns to the university she can smell chemicals burning. Somebody has dissolved a hole in the wall. And the case we just returned is gone again. Hero Shrew: *sigh* Hey, security guy! They got in again. It looks like the Batglider played us for fools. At least he had to drag the case out along the ground, since we kept the impeller unit he’d been using to minimise the weight before. Hardlight: What happened? Hero Shrew: We caught the Batglider but we let him go because he was smarter than most of the people we catch. But he went around the building and broke in again. Hardlight: … Flux, what happened? Flux: A burglary. Well, two burglaries. Hero Shrew: Technically it was the same burglary twice. Hardlight: … … Allana, what happened? Hardlight does detect the beeping signal coming from Allana. That pellet was a tracking bug, so the batglider knew that she had left the university and he was free to try again. On the other hand, Allana can follow the batglider’s sweaty exertion as he tries to drag the case across campus. He didn’t actually get very far, despite having an hour to work. No deal this time. Batglider: That’s fair. Allana: And we’re taking your utility belt too. Hardlight: Shark repellent? Why does he have shark repellent? Hero Shrew: It’s bat-shark repellent. It only works on bat-sharks. He has a bunch of other very interesting tech, too. Including a crime-scene analyser. GM: He’d actually be a better superhero than some of you, if he wanted to be. But he’s perfectly normal without his tech, so he’ll be going into minimum security, and nowhere near the machine shop. The batteries will get into proper police custody. Hero Shrew: Even if it WAS the Park Front Dragons that commissioned the theft, we can’t prove it. But hey, we stopped the theft. Twice. Allana: Three times. It’s probably going to be a big blow to the Park Front Dragons. Not least because Dysprosium Dawn are going to be annoyed that their top procuring agent is locked up. What now? Allana: Visit Millenium City. See the sights. Like the Mini-godzilla in the zoo. Hero Shrew: So how long until we do one of those PSA videos? GM: The Rep is not putting Scooter anywhere NEAR a PSA. You all know what information is like after it gets filtered through Scooter’s brain. Hero Shrew: You want me to go tell this campus news reporter everything that happened? Flux: I do not have a Gag superpower. We decide to patrol around Park Front, to make it harder for the gang to collect protection money. GM: But if you spend all your time there, you won’t be elsewhere. Hero Shrew: At least we have the Crime Computer to send us alerts now. GM: It only really notices major things. Hero Shrew: Doing better than we do, then. But Fireflash has figured out how the gang collects their protection money. It’s through Patreon. Fireflash: Great - then all we have to report the account and get them suspended. Flux: And the IRS will take an interest too. And we’ve got enough evidence that the ECPD can get a warrant for external surveillance, so if they try to collect the protection money in person, they’ll be on film. If we can shut down their exo-armour fight ring too, the gang will lose all its income streams. It turns out that we’ve been hitting them at the worst possible time - there’s an underground martial arts tournament coming into town soon, and the Dragons were going to running the exo-armour part of it, but it meant cancelling most of their local matches in the lead-up. We start asking around, in case a friend of a friend knows exactly which martial artist pros are coming to town, and where they’d be. Oddly enough, it’s the Neo-druids of Lo-Carb, and Madam Lil the brothel madam, who have the contacts we need to track down this Street Fighter problem. Madam Lil: You have to understand that my clients expect a certain amount of discretion, but some of these people have very specific tastes. And don’t feel much. The event is the Valhalla Invitational, which used to be held in Vegas. She gives us the information she has, on the condition that when the fighting starts we’re nowhere near her place of business. And Lo-Carb provides organic produce for the fighters that want that sort of thing. Especially the mystically enhanced produce. The person we need to talk to about the Valhalla Invitational is one Makoto. Lo-Carb: She - and we MEAN she, we’ve heard about the way your brain work, Scooter, don’t make any comments about her, *gestures* you know, she’s sensitive about it. SHE is one of the contestants this year. And she won’t be happy if she finds out you’re going to be messing with the tournament. Actually, take Allana when you talk to her, she’s less likely to stick her foot in her mouth. Hero Shrew: Let’s just hope Allana doesn’t make her feel inadequate. We do have one good reason to be involved. Hero Shrew: These guys are wearing exo-armour when they beat each other up. And that’s assault with a deadly weapon. And PRIMUS come down heavy on this kind of tech crime. Do you really want PRIMUS to show up in their powered armour and trash the whole tournament? GM: What, those old things? I mean, even the Iron Guard - wait, they can’t even afford those these days. Allana lends on the veranda of Makoto’s rented penthouse apartment. The doors slide open. Without power. Makoto: I’m upstairs. In fact she’s sitting cross-legged in mid-air, in the lotus position, with a couple of vases orbiting her. She opens her eyes and comes face to face with Allana’s primary attributes. Makoto: Wow. They really - I mean they mentioned. They warned me. Flux: Oh wait, that’s what Scooter meant by Castor and Pollux? I think one of the twins was supposed to be bigger than the other, but I’m not going to check. Makoto explains that the oldtimers of the Valhalla Invitational aren’t happy about exo-armour fighters being at the event at all. Mere cyborgs are borderline. So the exo-armour event was going to be a side-tournament. If any of the gangs are going to get into trouble over this, she’s pleased to hear it’s one of the ones affiliated to Humanity First. Makoto: These people want to put a bullet in my head just for breathing - but you know all about that. She also points out that if we come in to break up the event before all the betting is over and the organisers get their cut, a lot of people are going to be very very unhappy with us. She drops a few nicknames that we should probably recognise, but don’t. But she CAN get the five members of Quadrant in as observers, if we bust the Park Front Dragons outside the event. She’ll even feed us video of the tournament, if we do her a favour later. Allana: Well as long as it’s nothing completely heinous. Makoto: Nothing illegal, I promise. The last time the Invitational started letting organised crime get this involved, well, it got bad. Allana: OK then. Makoto: Great! You can be my +5. Hero Shrew: I’m looking forward to sitting and grinning at the Park Front Dragons, and looking up at the clock every five minutes. GM: And they won’t be able to leave, because they need the money.
  6. Champions : Return To Edge City : Gangs of Edge City So, it looks like somebody is using Ravensholme Biotech facilities to make designer drugs, and the Knights of Hell gang to smuggle them out of Edge City via the tunnels and high-speed jet-ski. And we can’t just go in there without a warrant. Well, we could, but... Hero Shrew OoC: We’re not an actual Shadowrun team, so we can’t go around blatantly breaking the law. Flux points out we’re not really connected or sneaky enough to bluff our way into the facilities. So we should just focus on the Knights of Hell section of the pipeline. Or better yet, inform the Drug Squad and let them do it. Flux: It helps that there’s a standing ordinance in Edge City that the ECPD can enter the tunnels at anytime. No need for a warrant. So the stuff we discovered down there is all legal evidence, since we have police powers. GM: You’re being perfectly reasonable. Now give me a few minutes to figure out how the plot will go since you’re being reasonable. At the end of last session it sounded like you were going to go full Leroy Jenkins. You probably would have killed somebody. So, if we are leaving the Knights of Hell to the human authorities, do we turn our attention to one of the other gangs? We haven’t dealt with those human supremacists that were running MercCon for a start. Maybe that gang that uses powered exo-armour? They even fight in the stuff - which admittedly is the illegal part of it. Hardlight: It’s like fighting in forklifts. The local police advise that the gang in question also deal drugs, but it’s a bit of a mystery as to how they avoid getting caught doing it. So it looks like another week of covert surveillance. Of course, they could be using their own drones - it’s a low volume product. GM: Which one was Dr. No again? Allana: The TV Special on Informed Consent. So now we have to research how gangs actually deal drugs, including runners, back seat deal, and actual dens. At least we don’t have to look around town for every pair of sneakers over the power lines. GM: Uber Drugs Of course, just as we’re about to bring the hammer down on THIS gang, we hear that the Heaven’s Devils, a demented motorbike gang that have Blues Brothers-style races as an initiation, are driving along the top of the Wall around Marsten. Fireflash: *flying down alongside the head of the pack* Uh.. Why are you guys doing this? Heaven’s Devil: Grand Flying! We’re moving up a rung! Hardlight puts up a hardlight wall and stop sign across the top of the wall. Hopefully they won’t just drive into it at 60kph. Instead the lead rider flips his bike into a slide, and lets the rest of the gang use him as a ramp over the top. All but one of them actually manage it. GM: Fortunately he made his Long Hard Road check. Hero Shrew: Damage Reduction vs Roadrash. Hero Shrew and Flux, driving the Qruiser parallel to the wall, are grudgingly impressed. Hero Shrew: That WAS pretty awesome. You okay driving, Flux? Flux: Yes? Hero Shrew: Great, I just need to bring up the Internet and check the betting pool on the Heaven’s Devils. Flux: What??? Oh, right, you have Streetwise. GM: But not Gambling. Hardlight tries to grab a couple with giant holographic barbecue tongs. We don’t want their bikes to fly off the top of the all into somebody’s apartment, or the crowded street below. They dodge, doing sick motorbike stunts as they go, off the Wall, and through Marsten. GM: They’re basically showing their arses to Humanity First. Allana: Not a sentiment I necessarily disagree with, but… Hero Shrew: I do have an applicable skill I could use here, but it’s going to be equivalent to driving into a wall. Stronger Than A Locomotive. +44 Strength, but only versus moving objects. GM: Ah. So the bikes will stop, and the riders… won’t. Flux: That’s ok, Fireflash can catch them before they hit anything. Allana is already doing something similar, two bikes at a time. But then they do more than drive recklessly. They deliberately clip a few Humanity First gangers as they drive past. Hero Shrew: That’s Vehicular Assault! Now we really have to shut them down. GM: Hardlight, why do you suck? Hero Shrew: Because he’s roleplaying Golden Age Green Lantern. GM: No, he’s roleplaying Justin Hammer, if he got the Green Lantern Ring in a crossover event. Hero Shrew: How frustrating is this, that we can’t just punch them? Fireflash: Well, now that they’re at ground level, we can. Just keep in mind that they’re just humans. Flux: Just stick them on a ledge somewhere, I doubt they know parkour. GM: They do, but it’s vehicular parkour. Eventually, the ones we haven’t picked off pick up speed to get out of Marsden. We try to cut them off at the 48th Street Gate, since that’s the nearest exit. Unfortunately, Glowing Girl In The Sky is a bit conspicuous, and they head to the Marsten Street exit instead. Fortunately, Allana is sneaky, and cunning, and waits behind a corner to sweep them off their bikes after their feint. GM: Bat steps out, wings go FWOMP, bikers yell ****!, go into a skid, and get swept up into her embrace. Flux: ‘Hey guys, they ARE real!’ Hero Shrew: Ok, guys, that was some awesome driving, and Humanity First are scum, but you could have killed somebody. GM: No they couldn’t, controlled collisions at that speed ae only 6d6 damage. Hero Shrew: Yeah? And if a pedestrian had stepped out from between some cars without looking? GM: Good point - that would be an 11d6 Move Through. Hardlight: Scooter - Would you be okay with being shot from a cannon from the Qruiser? Hero Shrew: … sure! And then our Crime Computer informs us that the pursuit has a high probability of being a distraction from something happening at the far end of town. Flux: Sigh. Hero Shrew: Should I get back in the Qruiser, or superleap. GM: Qruiser is faster. Fireflash: Or you could travel by Batmobile. GM: Eh, he’s still a bit ‘handsy’ for Allana to do that much. Hero Shrew: Just carry me by the scruff of the neck, I’ll go limp. Hardlight stays with the captives and the Qruiser. Long Park is a minor warzone - A bunch of Heaven’s Devil bikes are wrecked, and a number of the bikers themselves are laid out on the ground. There’s an alarming strong scent of blood in the air, too. Looks like the bike gang tried to take on the Daughters of Lilith - the ones with some seriously illegal cybertech. Flux: Who did this? Allana: I don’t know, I only remember the names of the important gangs *listens carefully for any noises of outrage* Hardlight, over the communicator: What’s happening over there? Hero Shrew: Major gang confront, between the Devils and the Daughters of Lilith. Lots of casualties - we need a bunch of ambulances. Hardlight: Have you called them? Hero Shrew: Bit busy - why don’t you? GM: You want to know one of the arguments against recognising Moreaus as people? Because if one is walking down the street, sniffs the air, and says ‘there’s cocaine in that house’, it counts as admissible evidence, because it was detected by a person without any kind of illegal search. Allana smells out the victim’s blood types, which will help the paramedics when they arrive. Flux, Firefight and Scooter get involved in the ongoing battle. And then Scooter gets a tranquiliser arrow in the neck. Hero Shrew: … The ****??? Ok, I think I need to use a car for cover. Not hiding behind it, picking it up to use as a shield. Hardlight: Do you have Danger Sense, Scooter? Hero Shrew: If I did, it would be ‘there’s something around here I can fight?’ And then the tranq arrow is followed by a gas grenade arrow, which stuns him. Hero Shrew: … Help. GM: Care to guess who this is, Drhoz? Hero Shrew OoC: It’s the Unnaturalist, isn’t it? GM: Yep! You’ve had this Hunted since the start of the campaign, and they've finally shown up! At least Allana heard the gas bomb going off, and sees that Scooter is in trouble. Hero Shrew: Somebody is shooting at me! Allana: It’s happened before Hero Shrew OoC: Yes, but that time I sounded annoyed. This time I sound scared. Hardlight: You OK buddy? Hero Shrew: There’s an arrow in my neck, is that bad? Fireflash blasts a large crater in the middle of the fight. Fireflash: BREAK IT UP! GM: You actual do more property damage than Scooter. Hero Shrew OoC: That’s because she does explosions - my damage is more linear. GM: And then the Hawkeye wannabe hits Scooter with a taser arrow. And I KNOW you don’t have any sort of defence against electricity. Allana can see where the arrows are coming from - but can’t detect whoever is loosing them. GM: The reason why the Unnaturalist is hunting Scooter might come up. Or might not. It’s going to annoy Fireflash, anyway… He doesn’t know much about Allana, but has made some educated guesses. So the next arrow is at Allana. But it won’t hurt, because it’s a mistake. Allana: ? GM: It’s a Bolas arrow. Flux OoC: So you break out easily. GM: In theory. But for now you’re entangled and falling out of the sky. Flux: Use your scalpels. Allana: Oh yeah, I forgot I have though. GM: LOL - but fair enough. You only think about them in their utility function, rather than attack. Fireflash, you heard Scooter scream and go silent. And Allana is falling out of the sky. Hardlight: I’m this close to dumping these guys and getting in the Qruiser. Flux: You won’t get here in time to do anything. GM: It’s still his state of mind at the moment. Fireflash has trouble dodging the next few arrows too, which have alarmingly large and explosive arrowheads. At least the gang battle breaks up, with the surviving bikers driving off with assorted rude gestures. Allana: There aren’t that many super-archers out there. Crossbow? Rainbow Archer? GM: Rainbow Archer has been retired for years. Allana: It has to be Warpath, but it can’t be them, because where is the rest of the Warlord’s crew? They don’t get to work alone. Fireflash: These kind of people come back out of the woodwork all the time. The next arrow isn’t going to hit Flux, Allana, or Fireflash, but Fireflash turns to see what it IS going to hit. Which is unfortunate, because it’s a Flash-Bang arrow. At least she’s immune to the light effect. Unfortunately for the Unnaturalist, it doesn’t stun Allana enough to prevent a superpunch through the thin air the attacks are apparently coming from. Since the Unnaturalist was using an invisible hunting hide to snipe from, they are forced to flee via jetpack, and have a KCAW interceptor drone in place for automated extraction, too. Hero Shrew: Team Rocket blasting off again. Flux: What happened. Hero Shrew: I look more like a spiny tenrec than a shrew. But the glimpse they got of the assailant confirms it was the Unnaturalist, a little-known supervillain that once had an archery contest with Warpath. It ended in a tie, because both resorted to trick arrows. Fireflash: Well, at least we stopped whatever the Heaven’s Devils had planned. GM: Well, they mostly stopped themselves, because the Daughters of Lilith were much tougher than they expected. Flux: And now I have a taser that works on Scooter. Hero Shrew OoC: Well, I think I’m going to be a lot more paranoid now. GM: Yes. You know that the Unnaturalist, a supervillain that hunts mutates, is actively targeting you. Allana: At least you can sleep in a hole in the ground. That’s why we have an underground base. Hardlight: Man, I’m glad I don’t have anybody coming after me. Apart from my shareholders. Scooter calls his old boss, Colin, from the Collar Club, to warn them that the Unnaturalist might be hunting superpowered Moreaus. GM: Gotta catch them all Colin was in the middle of someone at the time, and doesn’t appreciate the interruption. Hero Shrew: Sorry, I’ve got a hole in my neck. So, who do we turn our attention to now? Back to the Park Front Dragons - the exo-boxers? How do they make money? Drug sales, and basic protection rackets.. GM: You come back, and oh look, your delivery van is upside-down. Or your entire fuse-box has been pulled out of the wall. Of course, the whole organised crime situation in Edge City is complicated by the number of superpowered individuals in town. GM: They found the mob boss hanging upside-down under pier, with his neck at high-tide level. Hero Shrew: And they say climate change isn’t real. GM: There are some beneficial effects to being on cocaine. Hero Shrew: Yes, you get all the housecleaning done. Fireflash, conveniently, is still a student at Edge City U. where they’re getting the designer drugs they sell cooked up. Oddly enough their contact appears to be in the Engineering Department, not Chemistry. What we actually do with this information is another thing - going around asking ‘hey, where can I get drugs from?’ is probably a bad idea. On the other hand, the three human members of the team are a lot less conspicuous than Allana and Scooter. Four individuals in armoured exo-frames are leaving one of the university buildings, carrying something heavy, and making the kind of comments guaranteed to attract the attention of suspicious super-types. Hardlight is certainly suspicious, but that’s only because of certain inadvertent comments over the years that have put him on multiple watchlists. Flux and Fireflash move off to intercept them. Hardlight, rather than follow the suspects, nips into the engineering building they came out of. GM: Good, that was your last chance to not be an idiot. Allana: You sent him into a possible social situation by himself. GM: You can be a fool on your own time. The Geek-in-Charge is one Brent Mandler (cruelly nicknamed Bent Handler thanks to a certain issue that he can’t help and can’t afford to get fixed in America’s medical system). Apparently the suspects just ran off with his newly invented super-batteries. Hardlight: I technobabble back at him. The two Moreaus are lurking off campus, waiting for the call on their communicators. Hero Shrew OoC: I’m probably having a nap. GM: At least he’s not using them as pillows - he’s learning. Allana: I’m too tall for him to do that, if I’m standing. GM: That’s what milk crates are for… I should have said fruit crates, not milk crates. I have tiddies on the brain. Allana swoops down and snatches the box off the bad guys. Possibly they were distracted by the way her anatomy behaves when her wing muscles are working. Hardlight: She Gainaxs. Scooter was being pleasantly distracted by this display of elastic pulchritude, when his attention is suddenly directed towards a couple of crows, who are just watching the encounter. Hero Shrew: Uh, has anybody else noticed those suspicious birds? Crows: *Suddenly fly off with highly suspicious nonchalance* Flux: Crap. We know about a certain Knight of Crows that wants power armour, don’t we? Fireflash uses a subduing blast on the four exo-armoured guys. Curiously, three of them do the Dance of the Electric Cockroach, and the fourth bursts into some impressive if socially unacceptable volubility. Hero Shrew: Hey, that kind of language is offensive, be more thoughtful in future. Apparently the engineering of these exo-suits isn’t as robust as they’d like, especially when they’re scooting along on their in-line skates. Since it seems the team doesn’t need his help with these four, Scooter turns the Qruiser around to go after the crows. They dive down into the trees and buildings, and he promptly loses them. Hero Shrew: They got away. Flux: Who? Did you do property damage? Hero Shrew: No, do you want me to? Hardlight, still disguised in his civilian identity of Gareth Lowell, gives Mandler the good news. Hardlight: Quadrant happened to be in the area, they’ve already dealt with it. So you make novel battery tech, hey? Can I have a look? Allana: That is a terrible idea in every respect unless you want hideous legal trouble further down the line. Hardlight: …. Good point. Here’s my card. Mandler figures out that these idiots stole his batteries to run their science fair project. Powerskater Nitwit: It was just going to be two-on-two powered-armoured street hockey. Fireflash explains to them at length that if they take their power-armour ideas to PRIMUS, they’re less likely to get charged with Public Endangerment for driving their exo-armour across campus at reckless speed. Nitwit: We just wanted to see if they’d batteries fixed the power issues we were having. If they did we would have sucked up to Mandler until he forgave us. At least they don’t seem to have been working for Black Paladin. GM: Some nerds stole some tech from another nerd. It’s just as well Allana snatched the box, and Fireflash stunned them, because if Fireflash had snatched the box and you handed and went ‘talk to the wing’ you probably would have snapped their spines. It’s one of the problems in this city - telling the difference between actual powered armour, and armoured exosuits.
  7. Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask - Booty Call Exploring the wastelands, searching for a particular tomb, currently occupied by one Chesisek, head engineer for the Forgotten/Sky Pharoah - all part of a convoluted plan to track down all the plot tokens, when we are attacked by a pack of giant spiders. Zenobia: At least lunch is sorted. Was anybody bitten? Nemat: Yes, a few times. Why? Oh right, these are poisonous. Zenobia: Venomous. If they bite you and you die, it’s venomous. If you bite it and you die, it’s poisonous. If you bite each other and neither of you die it’s a kinky Friday evening. A bit later we chance upon a camp of more idiots in funerary masks, backed up by fire drakes. Onka: It’ll be difficult to intimidate them - they’re religious fanatics and tend to be nutjobs. Nemat: To be fair, so are we. We’re out here in the desert of our own volition looking for the pieces of a dead pharaoh that used to fly around in a pyramid. Nemat: EVERY PHARAOH RULES WITH THE BLESSING OF THE GODDESS WADJET! HER JUDGEMENT IS UPON YOU! Zenobia: But the goddess Sarenrae gives this one chance to surrender. Asrian: *scimitars and arms suddenly shimmer with frost* Fire Drakes: … that’s gonna hurt. A lot. It doesn’t work on the cultists. They’re fanatical. Zenobia: Absolute certainty in the righteousness of his cause. Nemat: I’ve got that too. The difference is I’M RIGHT. This is a religious argument in the desert, and they only end one way. At least the fire drakes decide this would be a good opportunity to fireball some of the cultists. Nemat: ‘We do whatever is best for us’ Asrian: ‘And right now what is best for us is bad for you’ Nemat: ‘Pepper Breath!’ Nemat OoC: Now I have to play an orange-scaled kobold pyrokineticist in Kingmaker. Some of the cultists apparently want to add to the pyrotechnics by rushing at Asrian, and exploding. She shrugs it off, because naturally any girlfriend of Zenobia is awesome. Cultist Leader: I will die in glorious battle! Asrian: No, no, you’re just going to die. At least there isn’t much we need to bury after they explode. The Fire Drakes toddle off in the aftermath. GM: Chaotic Evil doesn’t mean Chaotic Stupid. One of the cultists was carrying a fragment of stone marked with a hieroglyph of an owl in a house - the symbol of the long-dead architect we’re seeking. Nemat: But how did they know to look for the guy?... Hmm. I suppose they DO work for a guy that actually knew him. We should probably keep our eyes open for any signs of Sphinxes while we’re out here - Nemat needs to see some to continue his quest to become RoboCop. That night he dreams of a beautiful sphinx. Nemat OoC: Is this a booty call? Onka: I’m glad I brought earplugs. Sphinx: Follower of Wadjet! Hours needs your aid! Nemat: !!! There’s a lot to unpack there. Apparently the Sphinx wants us to come to a hidden valley. The minions of the Sky Pharaoh are upon her! Just as well there’s a devotee of the old gods, close enough to receive her call for help. Nemat: I’m awake! I’m awake! Zenobia: Wise of you not to burst into the part of the tent Asrian and I are sharing. Nemat: Because you’ll bite me and she’ll burn me. GM: Congratulations, you just got propositioned by a Charisma 21 gynosphinx. Onka OoC: ‘Help me Obi-Wan, you are my only hope’ Nemat: It came to me in a dream. Zenobia: ... Well, no obvious signs of heatstroke…. The hidden valley is accessible by a ravine barely wide enough for one person. Zenobia: That would be a TERRIBLE place to be ambushed. Nemat: Well, let’s go trigger the trap. I mean, search for traps. Going by the tracks, at least a dozen people have been up the ravine before us, including multiple large snake-bodied things, and at least one humanoid giant. Nemat continues up the ravine - the rest of us go up over the ridge. We don’t get attacked on route, and there’s a small pyramid, temple facade, and natural stone bridges at the far end. Asrian and Nemat sneak into position, while Onka and Nemat prepare to snipe at the cultists and giant left on guard. Asrian intends to whisper to the scimitar-wielding giant first, who lucky for us fails his Sense Motive check and follows Asrian off around the corner. Zenobia: I must be rubbing off on you. Asrian: *tosses a pebble at the giant to get his attention* Nemat OoC: ‘Psst! Psst!’ GM: This all depends on whether the giant knows who it’s been warned to look out for. Zenobia OoC: Has it been warned to beware the Garlic Woman? Onka OoC: The what??? Zenobia OoC: She’s wearing a bulbous white silk headdress, with a few strands of silver hair sticking out. Onka OoC: Oohhhh, I see. I was wondering where that came from. Asrian gets into a whispered circular argument with the giant, who values personal freedom, but is somehow compelled to obey the cultists. Eventually she gets Nemat to sneak up and break the enchantment, and demonstrate that the giant now has free will again. Asrian: Just ask yourself - do you want to kill us any more? Giant: *shrugs* Not particul- OHHHHHHH. Zenobia: But what is the giant’s opinion of the cultists now? Nemat: You mean the enslavers? He’s happy to warn us about the Lamia leading the cultists - she’s a powerful spellcaster. Nemat: And very jealous of the sphinxes. Lamia can’t fly. The giant is now quite remorseful about helping the cultists capture and imprison the sphinx, and he’s quite eager for some revenge. Nemat: Brilliant! Everybody play dead - and you tell the cultists that you caught us. Giant: I got them! I got them! I got them TO FREE ME! *WHACK* Lamia: Oh, ****. Nemat: Improved Dual Weapon Fighting. Better known as ‘I am the desert Cuisinart’ Asrian: Just like me. Onka: Lucky for us Desert Giants have terrible ‘Sense Motive’ Zenobia: Maybe they just like to think the best of people? At least the Lamia doesn’t have to regret using mind-controlled guards for long - she and her cultists are dead a few seconds later. And none of us took a point of damage. Now we just have to find that sphinx before all the extra XP kicks in. Nemat: Please please please, let that sphinx know the ritual! Asrian OoC: Nemat is Evolving! Nemat OoC: Quick, use an Everstone! The gynosphinx Tetisurah has been immobilised with a Sepia Snake Sigil, and used for target practise. Just as well the party has 3 people that can cast healing magic. Nemat: We are the Covenant of Wati. Onka: Yo. Zenobia: So, do you two want some privacy now? Nemat: Too tired. And so are you - we haven’t slept in 24 hours. Like her mother before her, it’s been Tetisurah’s duty to combat the cultists, and guard the valley and the very tomb we’ve been looking for. Unfortunately, the cultists have already removed Chisisek’s body and sent it north. But the gynosphinx can oversee the implantation of Nemat’s Ib Stone in the morning - the next step in him becoming a Living Monolith. But we’ll probably have to go into the tomb anyway - we need all the clues for the whereabouts of the Forgotten Pharoah’s bits that we can get. We enter, and promptly step on a pressure plate trap. Cue the giant rolling stone ball. Zenobia throws herself flat along the bottom of the corridor wall Zenobia: A smart architect would have had a stone cylinder rolling down the corridor towards us. GM: Well, you could always turn it into a giant meatball - anybody know Stone to Flesh? Nemat: That would at best only half its weight. And make it horrifying. Asrian: Well, that’s left one door unblocked. Zenobia: How much do you want to bet that the one the stone ball just blocked is the important one? Asrian: Well that goes without saying. Nemat: I hate tombs like this - if they intend to block access to the tomb, why not do it when you built the place? Asrian: Because this way they squash any tomb-robbers too. Unfortunately it looks like the cultists already removed any scrolls related to this tomb, or the Forgotten Pharoah’s. And we manage to destroy some wonderful murals breaking through the wall into the actual tomb chamber. And upset the giant statue of Ptah, god of creative types, who was guarding it. Zenobia: So, is there anything in the sarcophagus worth our while, after the cultists looted it? I’m doubtful, unless they were careless. Asrian: I’m wondering how they got past the golem. But they did have those Lamia with them. The cultists themselves seem pretty incompetent. There’s nothing about Chisisek’s later life in the murals, but Nemat does spot the single spelling error in the hieroglyphs that hides a secret button. It looks like the cultists took the body and intend to cast Speak With Dead on it, and never found the secret extra chamber. Unfortunately they never found the other guardian device either. Fortunately, Nemat has an adamantium rod that will theoretically jam up all its gears. It doesn’t. Device: *CRUNCH* Nemat: Well, I’m not doing that again. Zenobia: I’m not sure you’re getting your rod back either. This device was probably Chisisek’s greatest creation. It’s certainly the Osiriani equivalent of a combine harvester. With us as the chaff. Apparently it’s also made of Explodium. The amount of damage to the engravings and murals as almost as distressing as the damage to us. GM: Remember when I said the stone golem was the Boss of this level? Nemat: You lied. But at least Chisisek’s library is mostly intact. Time for Nemat to cackle like a lunatic and rub his hands together. It certainly has some interesting information about some of the projects he worked on for his Pharoah. Including some kind of massive weapon he used against his flying enemies. Nothing on the actual LOCATION of the Pharaoh’s tomb, unfortunately.
  8. Champions: Return to Edge City: A Deficit of Punching Stuff As well as the major gangs in Edge City, there’s a wide selection of smaller ones, with various lines of income and gang beliefs. At least one of them is a gang of religious fundamentalists, that we promptly nickname the Piss-stains after the colour-code of the gang map, right next door to the Knights of Hell. Hero Shrew: Can we put them both into an arena and go “Fight! Fight! Fight!” Fireflash: No. Probably. And, of course, there’s one gang with the sworn intention of wiping out Moreaus. Fireflash: I think we’ve found our next target. And of course, Allana can glide silently overhead for nocturnal surveillance on whoever we target. Fireflash: We’ve got Whispering Death right here. Flux: Allana, do you need a cover story in case they chat social media for what you’re up to? A night on the town, or something? GM: She’s too busy for anything like that - her superheroics at night are her relaxation time. Hero Shrew: She patches people up during the day, and inflicts serious injuries at night. We go after the Knights of Hell instead - their business in drug exports makes them vulnerable. Hero Shrew: And there will be fewer social ramifications if we take them down, instead of the Piss-stains or the racists. Who’s going to complain if we target a gang of Satanist drug-dealers? GM: They’re only called the Knights of Hell because the Hellgate Institute is on their turf, and everybody knows it. They’re also pretty anti-Moreau, since the mass break-out on S-Day happened in their neighbourhood, and they’ve always been paranoid about other things buried under Edge City. And they’re not wrong either - there was that recent Kaiju for one thing. Of course we’ll have to consult with the Edge City PD drug squad first. And there’s also the legal consequences of acting on info gained by Flux hacking into their security systems, or using a magical machine that goes Ping in the presence of illegal drugs. Both could lead to the case being thrown out, if we find anything that we couldn’t have learned from normal means. X-ray vision automatically counting as illegal search is just the start of it. GM: I still remember the time Wonder Woman had a mid-air collision with another plane. Hero Shrew: And that’s why she should have stuck to the giant space kangaroos. Flux: Yes, those were practical. Maybe they’re getting their drug deliveries out underground? Hero Shrew: Edge City probably doesn’t have a stormwater system of the same scale as L.A. So there probably isn’t a nest of giant ants down there. But we should probably compare the map of tunnels that SHOULD be down there to the ones that are - Hardlight can do submillimeter scans of the ground if we drive around slowly. Hero Shrew: Let’s find out who delivers the community paper around here and tell them to take the day off. GM: Wood pulp? Ugh. Hero Shrew: But if one of us is throwing the rolled-up newspaper out the window, we’ll probably put it through somebody’s wall. GM: Or head. Fireflash suggests we use a streetsweeper instead. The scans indicate that the underground is more of a mess than the maps indicate, and that there are people and robots down there, but nothing conclusive, apart from a bunch of the Greys who flip Hardlight the bird as we drive overhead. We also learn the interesting fact that somebody installed a radio-opaque barrier all around the ground the Hellgate Institute is built on - but that probably dates from when Genesys owned the buildings. We could infiltrate the gym they congregate at, but since Flux is the only one of us that both human and not immediately recognisable, that’s a terrible idea. Maybe we’ll just trace any gang members as they come and go. We learn that they have, and use, a ridiculously high-speed water vehicle best described as a manned torpedo, that can easily reach 200kph as it skims over the waves. Gee, I wonder how they’re doing their drug pick-ups and deliveries. Hardlight: Now we just need Probable Cause. Fireflash: Not necessarily - what happens if one of its hydroplanes hits an obstacle? Hero Shrew: Ask Allana has a sniff around the beach over the next few days - literally. On top of her other abilities she has a superhuman sense of smell. The first few days are a bust, but on their third trip out into the Pacific, Allana can smell some really powerful cleaning agents. The kind that would eliminate any smell of drugs on the package. Hardlight, hiding in tunnels nearby, also decides to hold a passing drone in a force bubble while he scans it, and all hell breaks loose. It’s owned by the same company, Ravensholme Biotech, that maintains Fireflash’s radiator suit and is behind the Hellgate Institute. And they don’t like it when somebody messes with their stuff. Hardlight flees the scene while the drone howls and screeches to attract attention. GM: We all know the bird call signal for this one, don’t we? FAAAAARRRRK Flux: We have a Code Brown, repeat, Code Brown. Fireflash: Code Boss. Allana: We already know he makes inappropriate advances to humans, now we know he does it to machines as well. At least Mechanon will be too afraid to come to Edge City. At least he can believably claim he tripped over it in the dark, and used his millimeter radar to see what he’d hit, when Ravensholme message him via social media to ask him what the hell he was doing. Flux tries hacking into the cameras at the former community center the Knights of Hell are using as a MMA venue, and eventually confirms a connection to the tunnels. The same tunnels that the Ravensholme Biotech maintenance drones from the Hellgate Institute wander around in. The same drones with strong anti-scanning, anti-hacking defences. The same company that has highly advanced labs with powerful cleaning protocols behind strong anti-scanning defences. Hmmmmm.
  9. Pathfinder: Mummy's Mask: Wasteland Warriors According to the Golarion map, Magnimar is in the same geographic location as Seattle. GM: So our Streets of Magnimar campaign was Shadowrun all along. Weldun: Yes, I know - that’s why I ran it there. Anyway, The Mummy’s Mask, in which our party of wannabe law robots, half-orc spell mechanics, swordswomen cosplaying as cloves of garlic, and lovesick gnolls, head off into the wilderness to locate the tomb of a long dead architect. Let’s hope he didn’t keep the best traps for his OWN tomb. At least we don’t need as many supplies as most such expeditions would need - Two of us can Create Water, Asrian can cast Tiny Hut for shelter, and Nemat has a Ring of Sustenance. Throw in the Cauldron of Brewing, and Marching Coffee, collapsible bathtubs, and a few Bags of Holding stuffed with rations and Wandermeals, and we should be fine. Zenobia OoC: And how many kilos of Bolivian Marching Powder? Automated Cartographers will be pretty useful too.n We don’t take any camels, or other beasts of burden. Nemat: Camels get eaten. Camels get turned to stone. I’m not going out there to feed the local wildlife. Although that does mean we don’t get to visit Crazy Hassan, or Honest Achmed’s Used Camel Emporium. Adventurer: We need oceangoing camels. Crazy Hassan: I have just the thing, master. Adventurer: … That’s four camels in a boat. Crazy Hassan: Ah, I see where I have misunderstood you sir. You meant aquatic camels. These ones merely know how to handle the rigging. Adventurer: … How?? They don’t even have thumbs! Crazy Hassan: *shrugs* It is a mystery. Before we leave town, we go to see the Pharaoh's concubine Muminofrah one last time. Zenobia is a bit uncertain about this - she’s still a bit hurt about the woman’s interest in her girlfriend. Zenobia: Why are we doing this, instead of just skipping town? Nemat: She’s been useful. And we shouldn’t burn bridges. GM: It doesn’t matter - her guards won’t even let you on the barge. You can see her on the deck, in the arms of a dark-skinning man, giggling as she’s fed grapes. Asrian: Ah. She has a newbie. Zenobia: Well, I’m relieved. Are we going to misinform the Governor about where we’re going? Nemat: No. We’re not going to tell her anything. As it happens we’re attacked almost as soon as we’re out of sight of town. It’s Pharaoh-cultists. And there’s a sphinx padding along behind them. Zenobia: Two questions - will Saranae be disappointed with me because I didn’t give them a warning first? Nemat: No. She doesn’t expect you to put yourself in undue danger. Zenobia: That’s good. And the other question - why do these dumb-asses always try to close to close combat? Onka adds a Disruption effect to his fireball, which nicely wrecks any attempt by the nearer cultists to cast magic, or keep any running. The fancy-pants leading them holds back, and is clearly trying to cast something, which naturally makes him a priority target. Pretty soon it’s just the cultists who are still alive, and entangled. Zenobia: *gesturing significantly with her scimitar* Which of you would like to live? They’d rather explode than surrender. Asrian: Well, that was kind of pointless. There’s a caravan at the first oasis we get to, which reacts with understandable alarm at the party’s approach, until they realise it’s not all gnolls, and lower their weapons a bit. Apparently they’ve had to fight off multiple gnoll packs as they crossed the desert. Nemat introduces us. Caravaneer: You’re from Wati? I heard rumours of a terrible necromantic event. Nemat: Don’t worry - we dealt with it. Caravaneer: You must be great heroes! Asrian: Not great. But still pretty good. Asrian does a sword dance to entertain our hosts that evening. Zenobia OoC: I hope nobody comments about the cushion I have to hold over my lap. Asrian’s sword skills are the sexiest thing about her. Caravaneer: That is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Nemat: Indeed. But she’s taken. Not by me, though! Caravaneer: I meant the dance. Zenobia: *panting* He warns us about the salt flats to the south - they’re teeming with Basilisks. Zenobia: Maybe we SHOULD have bought those smoked goggles. Caravaneer: There’s also an enormous bird - of prodigious size! - in the western wasteland. Big enough to snatch up a camel in both claws! Nemat: There’s a reason the desert hasn’t been mapped yet. They also have a bunch of trade goods worth looking through, although the gnoll skulls and grave goods do make Zenobia frown, and Nemat give them a warning about the Cult of Pharasma. Caravaneer: And the rarest of rare creatures! The single-headed hydra! Nemat: So it’s a snake. Caravaneer: … Nemat: Shall I tell you about my home town? The only building of note if the temple of Wadjet. To whom snakes are sacred. Caravaneer: Half-price?
  10. Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask : Things To Look Forward To - Death By Snu-Snu Peanut gallery: Can I interest you guys in cursed filament? Onka’s player: You lost me at ‘cursed’ Zenobia OoC: How did the session I missed go? Asrian: Quite well. We had to go through a chariot race for Muminofrah, but that got us permission to enter the Dark Depository, where we found the information we were searching for. Unfortunately, we've also found out that more info is available at a different and hidden section, the location of which can only be discerned by watching from the top of a particular tower at dawn at midsummer. Sadly, said tower no longer exists. However, we figure we can get the location from the city model we saw earlier. We then had to fight a Bone Golem, which was a complete comedy of errors but we got out in one piece. Onka OoC: We miss our good luck gnoll Zenobia OoC: Aw, shucks. So… you kept sending me off on shopping trips whenever you needed to get another ‘favour’ from Muminofrah? Nemat: Yes. Zenobia: *plaintive sigh* Nemat: Oh look, there’s some bottled musk for sale in the markets. Onka: What? Nemat: To help Zenobia regain her girlfriend. Onka and Asrian were assigned to the camel-chariot, since Zenobia was being kept preoccupied, and Nemat is at a penalty for anything that doesn’t involve books. Nemat: Do you know how embarrassing it is to be a follower of Wadjet and be bad at Handling Animals? We’re a snake cult! Zenobia: To be fair that’s a very specific animal. Suddenly, Ninjas! Onka: Let’s hope there are lots of them. Nemat: Blistering Invective! ‘You suck at being Ninjas! You surprised someone, stabbed them in the back, and MISSED!’ GM: Why do I keep sending these poor goons after you? Zenobia: Because we’re not well-known enough in this town, yet. If somebody sent assassins after us in Wati, they’d be demanding danger money. GM: True. And they’d be sniping you from a distance. Still, a couple of them survive long enough to variously surrender or run away. Nemat Shackles the smart one and strolls off in pursuit of the one who tried to flee. Nemat: If Zenobia was here I might spare him, in deference to her faith, buuuuut - Zenobia: ‘But this is valuable reading time he’s cutting into’. Asrian OoC: Zenobia, how good is your Intimidate? Zenobia OoC: Let me check - Oh. Apparently I’ve been working so hard to not frighten people that I’ve got into the habit of seeming harmless. Nemat: I’m not a nice person. I was going to suggest Zenobia try ‘Tell us what we need to know or I’ll eat you’. Asrian: Zenobia eating somebody isn’t what I’d call intimidating. Zenobia: *blushes bright red under her fur* We do discover that whoever sent them ensured they can’t spill the beans, even if we use Speak With Dead - they’ve had their tongues cut out. GM: You think I’d make this easy for you? I mean you could try True Resurrection and Regenerate on their tongues, but- Nemat: No matter - we can find somebody to teach Onka Detect Thoughts. We consider handing the survivors over to the authorities. It will be interesting to see what happens to them - if it was the city Governor that sent them, it’s unlikely they’ll still be around tomorrow. Zenobia: ‘They were killed trying to escape’ Still, literacy is widespread in Osirion. They can always write their confessions out. Nemat: I’m wondering if I should be good cop or bad cop. Asrian: I was going to cast Honeyed Tongue on myself. Nemat: Done. *heads back to the one that surrendered* This is eating into my reading time - I have better things to do than chase your friend halfway across the city and get back here to find out you’re being uncooperative! They don’t know who commissioned the murder - more basic operational security. Nice to know that somebody out there is competent. Pity it’s the assassins. Zenobia: So, did I miss anything? Asrian: Well, there were ninjas. Zenobia: Oh? I hope you gave them a chance to surrender. Asrian: Technically, yes. Also, could you break out the healer’s pack? Being stabbed in the kidneys hurts. Zenobia: Eep! Onka: Healing and don’t forget the back rub. Selling off loot to avoid Death by McGuffin. Nemat: You’re a bard, you know this stuff - if we keep the Golden Camel, one of us will get our head bashed in with it. Nemat knows the spell Ears of the City - a stupidly useful first-level spell, available to most spellcasters, that makes a joke of Gather Information checks. Combined with Speak with Animals you can use it in the middle of the wilderness too. We just need to find somebody that knows the height of the now-demolished Tower of Ra’s Glory. Ramat Glyphkeeper the Third, a retired dwarf architect old enough to have firsthand experience of the tower, will do nicely. And using the spell means nobody will KNOW we came out of the archives asking about the tower. Just as well the spell only lasts a few minutes - Inquisitors are stupidly OP enough as they stand. Asrian: The city wants its ears back. Zenobia: Imagine an artefact that makes the spell permanent. Nemat: Do Not Want. DO NOT WANT. Nethys did that, ended up violating Schrodinger’s Uncertainty Principle and had to become a god. And STILL went insane. Asrian: Ramat Glyphkeeper? Ramat: Yes? What’s up? GM: What Up? Does that work for dwarves? Zenobia: ‘What’s down’ Ramat not only knows the height of the tower, he built the thing. And still has the plans. Some geometrical calculations ensue - the shadow points to a nondescript bathhouse on Wadjet’s Walk. Nemat: Well, if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is. Peanut Gallery: Unless somebody built a rather tall bathhouse in the interim. Nemat OoC: Godammit. Anyway, at least we have the location of yet another secret library - how many secret libraries does this town have, anyway? Is there a guidebook? At least there won’t be any living guardians - but could be any number of traps, undead, or constructs. Nemat: Is anybody else suspicious of this chest sitting in the middle of the entrance hall? Onka: Yes. Zenobia: Maybe it has the Visitor badges in it? Nemat leaves a scrap of coloured cloth hanging out of the chest when we press on. Nemat: Anybody that isn’t suspicious of chests left like that, and gets distracted by something colourful, deserves whatever happens to them. We find a journal that speculates that to allow the Sky Pharoah to pass on to the afterlife, somebody has to reassemble the various parts of his body and soul. Of course, it also speculates that you could bring him back to life if you had all the bits, too. We also learn the identity of the Sky Pharaoh’s chief architect, and the designer of his flying pyramid, and that he was killed and entombed to protect the pyramid’s secrets. No doubt we’ll be raiding his tomb at some point too. Especially if the fresco commemorating this early attempt at copyright protection is where we think it is. Even though we already know what they’re using for Cease and Desist lawyers. We trigger the trap carefully, using long ropes. Asrian: Rocks fall, nobody dies. The location of the architect’s tomb is indeed described, in some really obscure hints, but it’s Onka that figures out that it’s referring to a particular stretch of wilderness. It’s still an area where Sphinxes are known to live, which is handy for Nemat’s ongoing plan to become Judge Dredd. There’s also design elements portraying some kind of vast weapon, used against a city of figures with their own weapons of black fire. Nemat: I’d better copy that down - it might be important when we need to shoot down a pyramid. As it turns out, we aren’t the only people down here. Although the other people have eight arms, sixteen hands, and no heads between them.. Nemat and Zenobia: What the **** is that? Apparently they’re some kind of entity from the Outer Planes, but it’s not at all clear what they are doing down here, or how they’re reading the scrolls and books with no eyes. But it does seem a bit upset about the damage we did to the ceiling, and we keep getting telepathic flashes of burning libraries. And potential fates. Zenobia: Falling out the sky towards a very distant ground? Asrian: ****ing genies! Onka: Dying in bed? Zenobia: That’s not too bad. GM: Death by Snu-snu. The other guardians prove straightforward enough to bluff too, given that Nemat really is an Inquisitor servant of the old pantheon, a genuine researcher, and we don’t intend to remove any artefacts or irreplaceable tomes from the library (we don’t mention the ceiling).
  11. Champions : Return to Edge City : Punch a Nazi Today Some quotes I've forgotten the context of, since it's been almost two months since our last session. Flux OoC: This was a good session - and Fireflash didn't end up naked! GM: That was the most Keystone Kops fight I've ever gamesmastered, and I used to GM Toon. GM: Ah yes, Spiderman 3 - the one with the Rule 63 K.D.Lang. The five members of Quadrant have decided to get a bit more proactive, regarding the gang situation in Edge City. A good excuse for Weldun to play more of the soundtrack he put together for the Edge City Gangs. The first target is going to be Humanity First, largely because they tried to send power-armoured terrorists into The Zoo, and also because they somehow managed to acquire a giant robot. Who is diverting resources to them? Of course, the designer drug problem in Marsden is pretty bad too - each gang with their own speciality. The Voodoo Crew, for example, sell Super-C, cocaine cut with ground bone. Oddly enough it seems to be much safer than the original. Hero Shrew: How much do you want to bet that half these drugs are the same thing, with different food colouring? Apparently not - the drugs are all very different, with some potent effects. Edge City’s biotech industry has been inventing some pretty alarming stuff. Our GM certainly did his research on these drugs, including prices. GM: This is the research I do. I am now for certain on yet another ****ing watchlist. GM: The whole King of the Hill game in the Booster gang leadership now has a Queen. Nobody knows where she came from but she’s following Dysprosium Dawn’s line, so…. I’m resisting calling her Mecha-Shiva. Fireflash: Mecha-Kali. GM: Becoming a superhero might have ruined Fireflash’s sex life, but… Hero Shrew: I’m sure Bad Dragon could do something special for her. Fireflash: *facepalm* GM: Actually, Flux knows that Guiltrider does a line in super-science sex toys. Hardlight: … Why is she a villain again? GM: She did call the four of you Poser, Try-hard, and Token, but couldn’t think of a good name for Fireflash. Allana: I found her perfectly pleasant. GM: Well, you’ll have something to tell Fireflash, assuming the conversation ever happens. Flux: WHICH IT WON’T. EVER. Still the question remains - where are Humanity First getting their weapons? They stopped buying from Warlord years back, for some reason. Hero Shrew: I need to talk to some slightly dodgy people. Flux: What, us? Allana: More dodgy. Apparently there’s a pop-up Underground mercenary tech show that shows up in Edge City every few months, and Humanity First hosts it every time. And the reason they stopped buying the Warlord’s stuff is because it’s hinky alien tech, and he’s been turning his minions into cyborgs, which is against their politics. How to find the tech show? Apart from waiting until Allana finishes her regenerator technology, scent marking it, waiting until it gets stolen, and following the scent to the auction. Allana: It’s a long-term plan. Of course, even if we do find out when and where it’s happening, how do we get in? Hero Shrew: I suppose Hardlight could show up in his civilian identity, with a suitcase full of cash. Or even better, since both Hardlight and Iron Claw are powered by the same kind of alien crystal, we send him in disguised as Iron Claw. Hardlight: That’s actually a good idea! GM: Why are you surprised? Flux came up with it. If YOU had come up with it, I’d be surprised. Hardlight: Would my Weirdness Magnet complicate things? Hero Shrew: Sure. The real Iron Claw shows up - and so does somebody else, also pretending to be Iron Claw. GM: Yes! Or even better Iron Claw shows up pretending to be Hardlight. Maybe Guiltrider (AKA Dr Soma, although only Allana knows that) could get us in, since supertech is her schtick. Flux: How do we contact her? None of us have her number. Hero Shrew: It’s not like any of us know her personally, or meet her on a regular basis. Allana: ... And where in Edge City do they HOLD this tech show? Hardlight: It’s going to be a comics convention isn’t it. All those fake swords and toy guns on display? They aren’t fake. But somebody stuck orange tips on them all. Actually, there probably isn’t anywhere in Edge City itself that they could hide such a paramilitary meeting. So when do the Humanity First leadership vanish off social media? And what sort of big events outside Edge City could provide cover and are happening at the same time? Big private paintball events? Dunebuggy races in Baja? Anywhere with lots of big tents? A recent Cybertech decathlon seems suspiciously timed. As do a few of the paintball events. Which were run by a family member of one of the Humanity First leaders. It seems we’re on to something. Hardlight gets his company, Lowelltech, to find out which weekends are available for corporate paintball events. And which weekends are already pre-booked by the weapons expo. Hardlight: I know a guy in Alaska. Flux: We’re going to a weapons expo at a paintball range - there WILL be a polar bear fitting grenade launchers and lasers to a paintball gun. And since we have weeks of warning, Scooter can dig tunnels under the paintball range, and set up metal pitons every few meters so Flux can teleport in and out, and use his technomancy to spy. Of course any information we acquire might be inadmissible in court, but will still be useful to us as we break Humanity First by other means. He soon learns that ARGENT - "Advanced Research Group ENTerprises" - is one of the groups attending the expo. And the ARGENT rep is apparently telling off Killzone for some of her failures, because they make the FUSION-POWERED PISTOLS (!!!!!) she’s using, and the rest of the Doomtrooper tech, look bad. And that Killzone plans to make a third attempt at kidnapping Fireflash, or they’ll have to get a contract extension with ARGENT. Flux: It’s lucky I can’t make any noise down here, or they’d hear me yelling on the surface. Fireflash: I didn’t even realise they were trying to kidnap me the first time. Flux and Allana start planning ways to track down Fireflash and any other team members that might get kidnapped. But where to put the tracking samples so can’t be used against us? Flux: We’re going to hide hair samples in Gareth Lowell’s safety deposit box at the bank with a little black book of non-existent women’s names. So if anybody finds them they’ll just think Lowell collects … trophies… from his conquests. Hero Shrew: Isn’t Hardlight gay? But we still don’t know where Humanity First are getting most of their money. We also learn that somebody is making quadrupedal drones fitted with stolen miniguns (stolen by Ankylosaur) and tail-mounted knock-offs of Ankylosaur’s tail-mounted grenade launcher.. Hero Shrew: So we’re going to hunt shooty shooty robots. GM: Now I have Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stuck in my head. GM and Hero Shrew: *sing* Shooty Shooty Robots, Shooty Shooty Robots, Shooty Shooty Robots, We Hunt You. Allana: We’re tracking down Humanity First’s combat robots. Fireflash: I need to get together with Flux first. GM: Okaaaay. Fireflash: I need a tracer put on me. GM: Oh, I thought Flux’s work on the heat resistant condom had paid off. GM: I just, I, what?? *brain derails* We’ve certainly learned that Humanity First has some alarming assets, even if somebody walked off with their giant robot because somebody wanted to fight kaiju in it. But it’s the combat bots that have as most concerned right now. They could kill a lot of people if unleashed on a target-rich environment. So we should probably find out which Humanity First member is in charge of the On Switch. Just smashing the bots would also work, if we can get them all. Hardlight: Are we going loud? Hero Shrew: Sort of? The rest of us are overt, but not very loud. Hardlight: Ok. Screw it. PHOTON BLAAAADE! GM: If you weren’t going loud before you are now. The two we catch patrolling are easy enough to subdue. They’re just robots - not supertech robots. Their handler hurriedly pretends to be an innocent bystander and scurries off, since we dealt with the things before he could even pull his smartphone out. The bots are carted off to the ECPD, where we can take them apart and disarm their flashbang grenades. We discover it has rudimentary intelligence, but has to obey all orders from its owner. Fireflash: Can we redefine ‘owner’? Hardlight: Great! Flux, we’ve found you a friend. GM: You’re pretty sure your rental agreement with Bubo the mechanical owl said ‘no pets’. On the other hand, its owner made sure to wear a mask and voice distorter, and its operating protocols ran on a smartphone dongle, which no doubt is dissolving in an acid bath somewhere by now. Still, there’s enough evidence at the building the two robots were stored in that the EPCD can start serving warrants, and actually charge Humanity First members. If our team keeps wrecking their robots as well, the next few days should annoy them immensely. Hero Shrew: Bonus! The rest of the gangs in the area are staying oddly quiet. At least four of them would object to a truce until the gangs can carve up Humanity First’s territory, too. It’s starting to look like we’ll have to deal with the more extreme gangs first, before we leave a power vacuum by eliminating the racists.
  12. Champions : Return To Edge City : Superhero Mentoring Program Getting Scooter to explain anything can be an exercise in confusion, due to his habit of fixating on what elements are interesting to him, and a tendency to add whatever flights of fancy he had, when his mind started to wander mid-conversation. GM: So, who wants to recap? Hero Shrew: Apparently there’s a Seal-Moreau who’s interested in me. Game temporarily halted to assist Damselfly in distress. Allana has ensured that the Marine-Moreau community has an alarm beacon in case Genesys finds them. But she still doesn’t tell the rest of us about them. Perhaps we just have to wait until they kidnap Invisible Girl. Flux: ‘We have Invisible Girl!’ Fireflash: How can you tell? Hardlight OoC: So, what do we do now? Wait for the Bat-signal to go off? Flux OoC: What Bat-signal? Hero Shrew OoC: *points at Allana* Flux OoC: Oh, right. I guess it really is a Bat-Signal. Huh. Hardlight: I suppose I could ask the ECPD to install a searchlight… Fireflash: No, a Bat-signal is a terribly inefficient message system. I HAVE a phone. Hero Shrew: Plus this isn’t Gotham, it’s California, so we don’t have permanent overcast. GM: I was trying to come up for a villain for you this week. Maybe a Matrioshka Brain. Hero Shrew OoC: I don’t think we’re ready for Cosmic-Level threats yet. Fireflash OoC: I’m sorry, but anything that registers on the Kardashev Scale is Too Much. Crusher Joe has arrived in town, as part of the mentor system in place for newer superheroes. Hero Shrew: Oh RIGHT, he’s mentoring me, not the other way around. GM: Yes, this was made very very clear to you. He has overalls for Scooter to wear. Crusher Joe: And this a hard hat. Because of regulations. Crusher Joe: I’ve always found it a good idea to get a superstrong hero to patch a wall or two. After you’ve fixed a few, you think twice before punching someone through one. Hero Shrew: How long have you been patching walls for? Crusher Joe: About 20 years. Hero Shrew: Were things different back then? Did you have a Bat-signal? Flux is being visited by some heavily into the Noir look, who managed to get into Flux’s room without setting off any of the protections, and knows more about Flux than he would like. Flux: You are a very creepy individual. Mysterious Mentor: *sigh* I’m aware. My superhero name doesn’t help either - it’s Nightwalker. Because my ACTUAL name is Walks-by-Night. I’m Salish. Hero Shrew OoC: *ears prick up* Flux: Can I get you some coffee? Nightwalker: Thanks. I couldn’t afford the real stuff back in the day. Hero Shrew OoC: Wait, what was that elf nation in Shadowrun? Fireflash OoC: Salish-Sidhe. Flux OoC: What’s that got to do with anything? Hero Shrew OoC: There IS that dimensional gate off the coast here. GM: *grins evilly* He offers to tutor Flux in a few fun ways to mess with people. And other useful advice such as ‘don’t rely on your magic’, and ‘Don’t get killed’. Hardlight OoC: And then my mentor arrives, and it’s Centurion. GM: I should TOTALLY do that. Hero Shrew: My Rep said that me working at a titty bar doesn’t look good. Crusher Joe: Yeah, I can see why he might say that. Hero Shrew: I want to set a good example to young Moreaus - well, when we have any - but the problem is that bouncing people and bouncing people off walls is the only thing I’ve done since puberty set in. Crusher Joe: You need a hobby. Well, what are you interested in? Hero Shrew: … Crusher Joe: *sigh* you’re thinking titties, aren’t you. Crusher Joe: You have to find something different to do with your life. Hero Shrew: What, like become a butt fan? And there really isn’t much philanthropic work that needs super strength either, especially since exo-armour is a thing. GM: So what are you going to do with your cape time, Hardlight? Allana: Sit on a roof and flick peanuts at Centurion’s house. GM: Yeah, I think a lot of it comes down to jealousy - because Centurion is Iron Man and you’re basically Justin Hammer. Maybe we should finally clear up the gang situation in The Zone. Who should we target first, that wouldn’t be missed? Hero Shrew: Humanity First. And, of course, they were funding that giant mecha. And sent those armoured fighters into the Zoo. Fireflash: And I’m going to play ‘Follow the Money’. GM: Good idea - there’s no way gang activities could fund getting a Minuteman robot. Hero Shrew: Maybe the Orphans gang just need a good example, so they’ll become a superhero team. Hardlight: You should join them, and work your way up into a leadership position. Hero Shrew: It’s the wrong decade for me to suddenly go ‘edgy’ Fireflash OoC: ‘I’m suddenly sprouting pouches’ GM: ‘Where did my feet go? ****, I’m being drawn by Liefeld’ Maybe Hero Shrew could make housing for Moreaus. Fireflash: Habitat for Inhumanity. Hero Shrew: It’s not like I need a nailgun. GM: Anyway, one evening while Allana is closing her clinic (which incidentally is totally illegal) - Allana: It’s not illegal until they make me a person. Her visitor is Dr Soma, here to swap a few pointers about tissue regeneration. And a few other things that might be of interest. Such as the problems the tiny genepool is going to have for the various Moreau species. What Dr Soma doesn’t know is that Allana can tell who she really is, under the clockwork robot suit - Guilt-rider. GM: Who said you only ever needed one secret identity? Hero Shrew is having a bit of an existential crisis, after the mentoring. Since he’s realised his life has basically been ‘hit puberty. Got a job hitting people. Got a second job where he could hit people harder.’ Flux: This was interesting - not ‘who do I have to hit?’ as ‘What do I do with my time?’ Hero Shrew: Time? What do I do with my LIFE?!
  13. Wrath and Glory - Demo Game Playing one of the Wrath and Glory 40K RPG demo games. Spoilers ahead Sister Abigail Casserina - Sister-Hospitaller Brother Andar - Imperial Fists Space Marine Brother Zeriel Balor - Blood Angel Space Marine Adept Rotus Ilus - Tech-priest An Moet-Chandon - Inquisitorial Acolyte Introducing the characters GM: I’ll start with somebody who still technically human. Brother Zeriel: I was told I needed more practise interacting with humans. An Moet-Chandon OoC: And the Imperial Fist is sitting in the other corner of the Chapterhouse building pillow forts. Going to a hospital to collect a team-member, injured in a previous mission. And, of course, keeping our eyes open for any signs of heresy, thoughtcrime, or impiety. Suddenly, Zombies! In hospital smocks. An Moet-Chandon: Backsliders! Not long after, we’re putting the last zombies down, as well as any civilians that managed to get themselves bitten. No doubt their faith was insufficient. An Moet-Chandon: May the Emperor forgive your failings, for I cannot! *BLAM* Adept Ilus locks the building down and starts looking through the pict-records for anybody that may have snuck out the side exits, and where the poxwalkers originated. Brother Andar heads down to supervise the the purging of the Mortuary when we find out. Moet-Chandon orders the hospital security to assemble everybody in the foyer for questioning. Brother Zerial Balor: It’s not difficult - gather them here, or we burn the hospital to the ground. This hospital is clearly tainted. Brother Zerial Balor: Given I’m going room to room… Expectant Parents: What shall we name our child? Zerial: *Kicks in door, waves chainsaw* No daemons? Right, everybody to the foyer. Expectant Parents: *gawps* How about Dante? Or Sanguinius? Tech-Adept Ilus: How about ‘Induced Labour?’ Brother Andar heads downstairs to purge the source of the zombies - the mortuary. Purging involves servitors with multi-meltas, who incinerate everything in the mortuary, then each other. Moet-Chandon: Those of you who are strong in your faith are blessed this day - Him on Terra has sent his Angels of Death, and his Sisters of Battle, His Sons and Daughters, to protect the deserving. Unlike those moral failures *points to the burning pile of zombies*. But one of you has been WEAK. One head medic, from the ward for Exotic Diseases, is absent. Nobody has seen him all day, despite him telling them he was going to a meeting. Currently, the Exotic Disease of most interest is Abycus Syndrome, where the victims babble a string of apparently random numbers. Konig’s notes reveal it may be spread by psychic infection, or direct ingestion. It apparently only affect people who are already unconscious or comatose from other injuries or disease. As if his absence wasn’t suspicious enough, Konig didn’t report the nature of the syndrome to higher authorities, but kept all the patients here for further study. Moet-Chandon: *growls* A questioning mind betrays a treacherous soul. GM: It is disturbing to see your friend in this state - mindless chanting a string of random integers. Moet-Chandon: The Inquisition can’t afford to have friends! Magos-Biologis: Even in Chaos patterns will emerge Moet-Chandon: DO NOT PURSUE THIS LINE OF INQUIRY Magos-Biologis: The Omnissiah asks us all to explore the paths to knowledge … *notices Moet-Chandon reaching for the grip of her Inferno Pistol* but I understand it may be unwise to do so unsupervised. Preparing Patient Zero, a comatose Astropath, so one of the Space Marines can eat his brain and figure out what the hell is going on from the ingested memories. The Astropath is the only person to have lived this long while infected with Abycus Syndrome. It’s lucky we plug him back into life support first, as we’ll see later. There’s also a real chance that Andar will be infected by the disease to, even with his superhuman biochemistry and psychic conditioning. This is a terrible idea. Moet-Chandon: Brother Balor! If your fellow Astartes falters, it will be up to you to Euthanize him. Brother Zeriel: Not difficult. Konig: Who are you! Vat are you doing in my vard! Moet-Chandon: Medic Konig. You life is measured in minutes if you do not answer my questions, fully. Konig: Get out of my hospital! Brother Andar: *lifts Konig by the throat* Cease your prattling, lest I perform the Ritual of Omniphagea on you. Konig: On whose authority! Moet-Chandon: On the authority of the God-Emperor’s Holy Inquisition. Konig: Oh for F***ing Spaceballs. Moet-Chandon: I give you one last chance to answer my question. It is possible you are merely a fool. It seems likely you are a heretic. You told your colleagues you were going to a meeting. We have already interrogated them. You did not. Where, in truth, did you go? Konig: You can’t do this! GM: If you shoot him in the brain you won’t be able to get the information for one thing. Moet-Chandon: *sighs, and shifts her aim to his heart* Brother Andar, you may eat his brain to retrieve the evidence we need. Konig: Well, you can all BOW BEFORE THE DARK GODS. He knocks us all to the ground with a telepathic attack and flees. Magos-Biologis: Query - What JUsT HappenED+++ Moet-Chandon: You Medic-Primaris bartered his soul to daemons, and damned himself for power. Magos-Biologis: Ah. He was a cultist. Hypothesis - Dedicated to Nurgle? Moet-Chandon: *eyes the tech-priest suspiciously* You are just asking for in-depth interrogation, later. It’s about this point that Adept Ilus notices what the auto-quill on the life support is actually printing out. The numbers are the Epsilon-level passcode for the city’s food silos. The only thing keeping the astropath alive were his desperate attempts to warn the authorities, by broadcasting the number via every comatose patient in the hospital. Admittedly, it did spread the Syndrome to all of the other patients, and doomed them to resurrection as zombies when they expired, but it’s the thought that counts. So, why would the Astropath even know the silo security codes? Because Konig was planning to infect the planet’s food supply with the disease. Oh dear. Some vox-calls confirm that Konig just slaughtered his way into the building. Brother Andar goes for the straightforward response, and calls down an orbital strike on the planet’s food reserves. Which does vaporise the contaminated food and the zombies Konig hurriedly raised, but doesn’t kill Konig, who crawls out of the burning rubble and cloud of toast-smell, somewhat irate. Violence ensues, as well as opportunity for an ongoing campaign.
  14. Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask : Where's Hypatia When You Need Her? Heading downriver to the Osirion equivalent of Alexandria, Tephu, so Nemat can hit the Great Library. It’s one of three cities in the estuary, but Tephu made its fortune from papyrus. Also like Alexandria, they search any visiting ships for books and scrolls they don’t already have. And we have a Handy Haversack filled to the brim with books they don’t have. Although Nemat’s diary is going to be difficult to copy, given a third of it is written with the Hidden Page spell, a third can only be read by the light of fire beetles, and it’s all written in three different dead languages. Asrian: We look for a ferry that won’t sink halfway. GM: So you avoid Crazy Hassan’s floating camels then ‘Very good amphibious camels!’ GM: One of the farmers has noticed his son/armhand, is asleep on the job, and is trying to shake them awake. It’s not working. Zenobia OoC: We’ve barely left town and already someone’s dead. Nemat: *conjures water to drop on the boy’s head* GM: It doesn’t wake him up. Nemat: That’s not good. GM: And then the farmer starts falling asleep. And some of the livestock. And Zenobia. Nemat: And that really not good. Hey! You! Stay awake! Zenobia: *yawning toothily* Wake me up when we get to the capital *passes out* GM: There’s definitely something casting magic on the boat, but you can’t see it. Nemat: Damn - we can’t attack something we can’t see. Oh, wait. *casts See The Invisible* GM: What the EFF is THAT?! It’s some kind of nightmarish animated dream creature. Zenobia gets shaken awake, but is still very groggy. Zenobia OoC: Apparently I’m not a morning person. Asrian OoC: Well, we did get a lot of exercise last night. Animated Dream Monster: You know, this isn’t working out, I’m going to go eat somebody else inst- Nemat OoC: Except it’s not it’s turn yet. GM: I know, that’s just what goes through it’s head before you cut it off. The Book Inspector can barely contain his glee at the haul of books the party has brought down from Wati. Nemat is certainly going to be a welcome visiting scholar while we look up any information of the Sky Pharaoh and the Forgotten Pharaoh. Nemat rents us a luxury suite of rooms on the outskirts of Tephu. Zenobia: I wonder who they think will be using the double bed. I guessing that Asrian and I won’t be their first guess. Nemat: I will nip in the bud any plan that might get me banned from the Library. Hemeda the Librarian: Ah, yes, the Covenant of Wati - the list of books you brought down is MOST impressive. How many the Library be of assistance to your research? Nemat: We wish to learn what we can of the Pharaoh Hakotep the First. Hemeda: … I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of this Pharaoh. Asrian: He’s also known as the Forgotten Pharaoh. Nemat: We have his mask here - but be careful with it, it contains his ka. Hemeda: I’d ask WHY you have the mask of an unknown pharaoh, but… Well. Since your donation to the catalogue is so extensive, I’ll waive the first week of fees. The library also waive the fees of anybody seriously injured exploring The Stacks. Nemat: At least they have a slight idea about public safety. Although one of the scrolls we find stored up near roof level claims that the Sky Pharaoh and the Forgotten Pharaoh are the same person, which contradicts other records. Catalogue notes indicates there are related scrolls held in the library’s Inner Sanctum. We will need permission from Deka An-Keret, governor of the city, before we’ll be permitted in there. And for some reason they’re refusing requests from the library for a meeting. Nemat: I have an idea. Let’s find the local temple of Callistria. Asrian: We need to return that dead woman’s belongings for one thing. Nemat: And the priests putting in a good word for us will help. Alternatively we can get some help from one of the Ruby Prince’s favourite concubines, who is in town at the moment, and may be willing to apply some political pressure. And by a happy coincidence, she’s at the temple of Callistria today. She’s a woman of enormous appetites and passions. Muminofrah: Oh Darlings, darlings, come in to my sanctum! You’re such wonderful specimens - so beautiful! Muminofrah: Information on the Masked Pharoah? Well, at least he isn’t coming back from the dead and trying to take over! *chuckles with amusement* Asrian: Yeah, about that… Muminofrah: … I SEE. Well, I’ll definitely see about getting you permission. Come, sit with me. Zenobia: *tenses up* Nemat: Ah, Zenobia, I need your help - we have some shopping to do. Inks, scrolls, that sort of thing. Zenobia: *after she’s been reluctantly dragged away* Was she hitting on my girlfriend??? Nemat: Yes. Zenobia is going to be pretty miserable all week, because Muminofrah is going to be demanding repeat visits from Asrian, as well as services from the rest of us, in return for getting us a few day’s access to the inner library. Asrian isn’t happy about it either, but we can’t afford to offend somebody with that much political clout, who is also a devotee of the goddess of revenge. Inside the Spiral Sanctum, the doors of which are looked behind us. Zenobia: I assume that they give us formal warnings about open flames in here. GM: Yes. Magical light sources only. Zenobia: What sort of engraved curses do they have for arsonists? Nemat: The Revenge of Nemat. GM: And the archive has its own guardians. As well as the Guardian in question, who has a long list of people who have broken the rules in the past, there’s another researcher in here. A hooded woman, who claims she’s seeking the legendary Uraeus ring. Nemat knows what that is, since it’s the symbol of his own god, as well a symbol of rulership. She warns us about the Invisible Stalker guarding part of the library, and goes on her way. Zenobia: She seems nice. Nemat: She’s also not telling the whole story. Mind you, neither were we. The central pit of the inner library is an OSHA violation waiting to happen. And the scrolls we’re looking for aren’t where they’re supposed to be. Either stolen, or mis-shelved. Happily, it’s the latter. Apparently the Sky Pharaoh believed his country was going to be attacked by enemies that lived in the clouds, and got his defence in first, using magic belonging to an even older empire that actually had flying cities. Unfortunately, most of the details we need are fragmentary, although there’s an interesting list of his major courtiers. And a recorded confession, with more details of what happened to the Pharaoh after his death, as well as evidence that Djeret the Second, the Pharaoh’s successor, tried to bury the fact that Nethysian cultists were somehow involved in the whole debacle. Oh dear. The current governor is Nethysian. Asrian OoC: It’s actually DJ Eret, and he was a great spinner. No explanation of why the Sky Pharoah/Forgotten Pharaoh had his official name changed though. And then we’re attacked by the OTHER Invisible Stalker. Nemat: ****! I can’t do that! Not down here! … I was going to cast Blistering Invective and set it on fire. Happily, Asrian knows the spell Glitterdust, and Nemat’s and Asrian’s critical hits keep chaining up. Guardian: WHAT IN THE NINE HELLS IS GOING ON DOWN HERE. Nemat: An invisible stalker attacked us. Guardian: INVISIBLE STALKER???? Nemat: Yes, the other woman warned us about one of them, but- Guardian: WHAT OTHER WOMAN? YOU ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH PERMISSION TO BE HERE. All: …. Well then. Apparently we need further permissions to ANOTHER locked archive here - the Dark Depository. And no doubt the Governor knows about our inquiries now…
  15. Champions - Edge City - Under the Sea, Under the Sea First, a few quotes best out of context Hardlight: I have a arch-nemesis. Hero Shrew: Who, your counterpart from the Evil Universe who makes you look bad by actually being good at your job? Hardlight: No! Centurion! MY ARCH-NEMESIS…. Who doesn’t know anything about me. Fireflash’s ongoing problems of finding a scorchproof lover GM: Most of the energy beings are asexual, which doesn’t help Fireflash much. Hero Shrew: Some sort of quantum superposition? Fireflash: Well, that’d BETTER be a super position! Anyway - the five members of Quadrant managed to beat up two kaiju before they could level too many city blocks, and before a giant mecha could turn the monster tussle into a threesome. But the pilot of that has an interesting story - he’d persuaded Humanity First to bankroll it and when an opportunity to be a superhero showed up, nicked it. This probably going to be worth chasing up later, but there’s a more urgent issue, especially for Hero Shrew and Allana. Because the Terrorsaurus that was fighting the Monstersaurus was created using the same techniques Genesys used to create the Moreaus. And the control and radar signals are coming from a sub in the bay. There’s also that giant invisible squid we encountered before, but it’s asleep, or in stasis. Flux: None of us could figure out how to operate the giant squid so we’re leaving it for the professionals. On the sub are five Genesys scientists, and a Chimp-Moreau that they were using as a living hard drive. With a built-in neural pruning organism that the bad guys activate when we smash our way in. Happily, Allana is a very very very good medic, and her needles could fit down the optic nerve canal, and she’s careful enough that the neural pruner won’t spread if contagious. And Flux can copy the electronic versions of the data of their computer systems. So know we know everything that Genesys have been up to for the last 15 years, and the location of the the giant abalone-sub they’ve been hiding in. On the other hand, the Clean-up Crew would like to know what happened to about 5 kilos of Monstersaurus. It looks like it was cut out. Hero Shrew: Well, I think I punched out some of its teeth - did you get all those? Maybe the street cameras or the media blimps saw something - but the later would want big bucks for the footage. Flux: Call our PR guy ‘Please negotiate for the footage - because it was awesome!’ Hero Shrew does find footage that looks like something is cutting out monster steaks, which then vanish. There’s no sign of a stealth-field fringe, or the lip of an invisible bag swallowing the samples. Hero Shrew: … It’s not Doctor Soma is it? GM: Oh look, it’s her! Flux: Her Somebody-Else’s-Problem works through cameras???? GM: Yeah - but fails against anybody actually looking for her. Which is a big problem for an invisibility field. Hero Shrew: Well, it’s probably not urgent that we find out why Dr Soma wants monster steaks. GM: She IS an expert in abnormal physiology. Hero Shrew: And Monstersauri are pretty abnormal. Flux: Not that abnormal - they’re just giant T. rexes that breath fire. Fireflash: And that’s normal in which universe? Allana: This one, apparently. GM: At least you stopped Genesys getting a sample to use their Moreau Process on. All: *get cold sweats* While Scooter was busy going over the video footage, Hardlight has been organising a meet with the pillars of the Moreau community to give them the news about Genesys. Hero Shrew: Hopefully Genesys will assume the neural pruning virus and the rest of it worked as planned, so they won’t know we’re coming. We meet at a Moreau restaurant - but in addition to Simon the feline lawyer, Madam Lil the otter, and Colin the Collie, there’s a Rhino most of us haven’t seen before. Hardlight: I assume you can vouch for- Robert: I’m right here. Hardlight: Sorry - I’m a bit paranoid about the news I’m about to tell you. Robert: About the ECPD taking five Genesys scientists into custody? All: … Robert: I have my own sources. Robert the Rhino is not only a slumlord, but he has contacts and supply lines to other Moreau communities around the world, ensuring the manimals get all the stuff they actually need. Robert: Did you know that most Moreaus can’t use paracetamol? Fireflash: I didn’t know it, but I’m not surprised. Hero Shrew: Allana knew. Allana: I carry 20 different painkillers at all times. Hero Shrew: And some double as human party drugs. Allana: Anyway, we know where Genesys are hiding. Or were. Flux: It’s mobile. Robert: I see. Well, that explains a lot. Hero Shrew: A giant abalone-sub. Like the snail at the end of Doctor Dolittle! All: … what? It’s pointed out to us that the captured scientists are going to need protection - largely because once the wider Moreau community finds out, they’re going get lynched. And there’s an unknown number of Moreaus with superpowers. Hardlight: There’s one more thing - you know Doctor Soma? Madam Lil, Colin the Collie, and Simon: *cringe* Robert the Rhino: Who? Hero Shrew: *hurriedly* never mind, clearly not important. Colin: *sigh* Well, the cat’s out of the bag now. Simon the Feline: *glares at Colin* Soma is probably just collecting samples to advance her research - at least when she collects from Moreaus, she asks permission, and destroys the samples afterwards. Colin, Simon, and Lil don’t mind since they really needed a medic for the community before Allana showed up. We contact the Edge City Police Department, to arrange us escorting the prisoners to more secure facilities out of town. There’s a Thylacine-Moreau detective in the ECPD now. Flux: I want to ask if she has a pouch, but I’d get punched. Hardlight: Where do you think she keeps her gun? Hero Shrew: And now YOU are getting punched. Allana: Can we borrow a paddy-wagon? Sandra Polis, Thylacine: Well, we can, but I’d need to assign a pair of ECPD to go with you….. Oh, I have JUST the pair. It’s two cops who don’t particularly like Moreaus. Hardlight: ‘My daughter ran off with a cat’ GM: You realise that’s going to be a meme now, right? At least the prisoner transfer goes smoothly - we had a good plan and arranged distractions with suitable people before the trip. If anybody planned to attack the convoy, they probably weren’t expecting Allana to carry the entire paddywagon and fly. So that’s one problem solved anyway - but the chimp with the eidetic memory hasn’t woken up yet, and the cryptography on the files Flux copied is so strong that he has to pour every bit of his technomancy into it to solve it. But the files promptly self-destruct the moment he does - and when he tries again the files take over OUR computer. And broadcasts our location, before we can unplug it. Fireflash: And our computer has renamed itself E.V.1.L GM: So, Flux, how high is your EGO score? Hardlight: Are we about to have our team hacker mind-controlled again.? Possibly not, but the encrypted program is ALSO doing its best to erase the data from Flux’s head. The hell??? Eventually, after various post-it notes to himself, he finds a way around the data-bomb, but there’s not much apart from sampling and navigational data on the sub’s computer. No logs. A surprising amount of records regarding faecal contamination of seawater. Hero Shrew: They’re looking for Cthulhu’s toilet? They seems to hunting for a particular protein marker in the contamination. Some kind of Moreau. Or, more likely, the entire Marine-Mammal Moreau community that vanished off the face of the earth shortly after the big breakout. Allana: Doctor Boris? Boris the Chimp: Am I Doctor Boris? Allana: That’s what you told me. Boris: Doctor is an unusual name. Allana: It’s more of a title. Boris: There’s lots of doctors here. Do I work here? No… wait… not here. Somewhere… Allana: Does the name Genesys mean anything to you? Boris: Yes! I worked there! We did important work! Boris: We were looking for the thing that was on the thing that we bought. Something greasy... Oil. On the containers? In the containers? We were looking in the packaging... Boris: You stuck a needle in my eye! Allana: Yes, I needed to stop a bacterium in your brain. Boris: You stopped me flinging poo at people! I like you. Boris: We needed to find where the oil was made… the oil farm. Allana realises this all might connect to Quadrant’s first mission as a team - recovering the database of Moreau sightings. Genesys are still looking. She should probably go warn a certain place that she doesn’t want to tell the rest of Quadrant about. Doctor Boris puts a few more memories together, and starts to realise that he probably shouldn’t be blabbing like this. Even if Allana did stop his brain from being fried. The place that Allana doesn’t want to tell is about it is a kelp farm in Monterey Bay, run by those Marine-mammal Moreaus. GM: If anybody finds out that they’re here they’d be in trouble - it’s a marine sanctuary. Allana: Yeah - for Marine Mammals. GM: Good point! Apparently Allana is a frequent visitor. Hero Shrew: How does she cope with the buoyancy issues? It’s a good point - Allana’s build is rather pneumatic. And most of the marine Moreaus are naturally streamlined, although their head of security, one Cecilia (a seal-Moreau, naturally) is more curvy than usual. And, bizarrely, is apparently interested in Scooter. Flux: That’ll stop the moment she finds out how he smells when wet. One of the Moreaus in the bay is a giant turtle. GM: If he ever goes to Loch Ness then he’s guaranteed a job playing the monster. Player: Isn’t Nessie already a thing in this universe? GM: Good point. Then he’s guaranteed a mate.
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