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Drhoz last won the day on March 15 2018

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  1. 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?!
  2. 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.
  3. 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…
  4. 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.
  5. Champions - Return To Edge City - Big Bucks and Big Monsters The Edge City team - still officially Quadrant despite having five members - are meeting up with somebody that wants to be our Agent. Hero Shrew:We can get action figures! Rep’s deal is commission-only, without retainer. Pretty good for us - if we don’t make any money, neither does he. Of course, Hardlight want to figure out a way that his civilian identity can sponsor himself. Hero Shrew:Is this some way to avoid tax? Hardlight:… no? Flux:Even supervillains pay tax. GM:SOME supervillains pay tax. We can’t find any bad reviews of Rep online. On the other hand we can’t find any statistics on how many agents for superhero teams get killed or kidnapped by supervillains. We decide to meet him to seal the deal anyway - Rep suggests a local Chinese restaurant. We make sure we get there early. Rep has already arranged to have those reinforced chairs brought in. Hardlight:… I’m just going to scan these chairs - just in case. GM:They’re cast iron with comfortable cushions. Rep has some good suggestions for bank accounts and taxes vs. secret identities. And points out that in these days of social media, trying to stay out of the limelight is nearly impossible, so you might as well profit from it. Rep:Yep, 30 hits already for photos of us here at this table. Rep:And with you Scooter, it has to be food. Every other photo of you I could find, you’re eating something - thankfully not someone. Hero Shrew:I can eat mealworm bars all day - and I do. Do I still get an action figure? Flux:Can you make one of those that opens and closes jaws when you squeeze it? Rep:Oh no, those things are a hazard to children - last thing you want associated with your Moreau. The Sonic the Hedgehog character Rouge gets mentioned, in relation to Allana. Rep:There’s another Bat-Moreau in town? Fireflasht:It’s a geek reference - look up ‘Rouge Sonic the Hedgehog ‘ later. Rep:I’ll do that. Hardlight:Safe search on! Rep:I keep that switched off - I need to know what my clients are up against. Hardlight:I keep thinking there’s something I’m forgetting about. Wasn’t there some evil guy running around? Flux:Well, there was what Scooter did to that pile of dumplings, that was pretty evil. Hero Shrew:No, it’s the aftermath of all those dumplings that’s evil. A few days later Scooter is spending a rainy night in a Zoo eatery when he is rudely reminded that shrews are small and most predators are large. In the form of a fourteen-storey tall eyeless T-rex with extra spikes. Hero Shrew:Speed dial speed dial…. GM:‘Hey Google - CALL THE TEAM’ Hardlight:Hey Scooter - what’s up? Hero Shrew:Either somebody put some funny mushrooms in my ramen, or I’m looking at a fifteen story tall Godzilla in the Zoo. Allana:*sticks her head out the door of her apartment to listen* Fireflash:I’m on my way. Flux:Kaiju - that’s a hashtag that I didn’t want to see today. Scooter is feeling some very old instincts as he follows the kaiju down the street - the kind of instincts his distinct ancestors evolved back when they were running around under the claws of dinosaurs and terror birds. Normally he’d be loudly and joyfully attacking its ankles, but too many of his forebears saw teeth like those, briefly. The rest of the team converge - Hardlight in a taxi. GM:You’re more incompetent with your own powers than Ralph Hinkley. At least the kaiju isn’t doing much property damage - it seems to looking for something, eyeless head swing around, and the array of spines along its flanks flexing like an antenna array. GM:It’s still a Doyouthinkhesaurus-scale threat, but... Hardlight decides that trying to jam whatever it’s doing on the radio frequency, from eight meters away, is a good idea. Hero Shrew:uuuuhhhh….. GM:Well, we all heard him say it. Eight meters away. OK. Hero Shrew:Even I think this a bad idea. The kaiju goes berserk. GM:You didn’t blind it, you cut it’s LEASH! It’s reverted to its normal behaviour - EAT Hardlight:My theory is confirmed! *gets smacked into a building* Flux:Clearly the Evil Hardlight has gone back to his own dimension and we’re got the original incompetent one back. Fireflash:After we deal with this, we search Hardlight for wherever he’s hiding the Idiot Ball. Hero Shrew continues the theme by trying to leap onto the thing, despite lacking any acrobatics or climbing skills. Our other attacks are about as ineffective, but fortunately it stops rampaging and returns to its search pattern, eventually narrowing down whatever it’s searching for to a warehouse area near the docks. Allana goes sniffing before the kaiju can start searching building to building - and smells something new pervading the area. Something old, yet young, reminiscent of Moreaus. And something metabolising really, really fast. And then a Monstersaurus bursts up from under the street, and screams a challenge at the first one. So now we’re in the middle of a kaiju fight. Hero Shrew:NOW there’s going to be property damage. And then we here a THIRD roar from the north - and see rocket engines. It’s something that hasn’t been seen in a decade - the Potentially Copyright-Compromising Minuteman Robot. A giant robot that got shut down for being notoriously murderous, even without the influence of Mechanon. Fireflash certainly recognises it, and prioritises IT as the prime target, even with two kaiju wrestling around the docks. But Allana is busy punching one of the kaijus back on its arse, but the other kaiju doesn’t appreciate the interference, and the first few blasts of Godzilla breath get blasted around, even as the first one is getting its teeth punched out by Hero Shrew. The Minuteman robot is firing missiles, but at least the ones that miss seem programmed to turn out over the bay and detonate where they can’t hurt anybody. The first kaiju bites a chunk the size of a schoolbus out of the unconscious Monstersaurus. Hero Shrew:Well, I think we can safely say they weren’t here to mate. Flux:I wasn’t thinking that. Scooter, we need to talk about your mating habits. Actually, Allana, YOU talk to him about his mating habits. The first kaiju isn’t swallowing the monstersaurus flesh either - just holding it in its mouth. Odd. But some of us are suffering too many acid burns to care. Fireflash is beginning to suspect that the giant robot is actually piloted, and whoever is piloting it just wanted to fight kaiju, and with both Kaiju punched unconscious it’s slowing down again. Hardlight, on the other hand, apparently wants to stop the kaiju actually dying. Allana tells Scooter to hurry to the ocean to deal with the ongoing acid burns. Allana:It’ll stop you melting. The robot has stopped, saluted, and the chest opens up and somebody gets out. Allana:Look out, it’s deploying biological weapons! At least it’s unlikely to be anybody from the original group that built the Minutemen - they really didn’t like monsters, mutates, and anybody that wasn’t human for at least a few hours a day. That kind of people would be unlikely to salute our group - only Hardlight passes, and that’s only if his powers derive solely from his armour.
  6. Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask - Boss Fight The Covenant of Wati have located the source of the Necromantic energy currently erupting from the Necropolis - somewhere underneath the Observatory of Truth and Wisdom. Zenobia: Expect combat- the kind of people who set off necromantic geysers that run all week are generally not the kind of people you can reason with. I’m not saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE- it’s just not very likely Zenobia OoC : Down down deeper and down. Bit odd for an observatory, unless they’re installing a neutrino telescope. Chamber of zombies and desecrated altar - how to lure all the zombies close enough to get them all with a single Channel Positive Energy? Nemat: Din-dins! Come on! Juicy adventurer meat here! The reconsecrated temple can also provide holy water, if a suitable donation is made - large amounts of silver. Zenobia OoC : I get the impression we are about to cure zombism with a homeopathic preparation of monatomic silver and holy water. We’re interrupted during zombie decapitation by the arrival of a gold-masked figure and a few minions. Meret-Hetef: You fools! The mask belongs to us! We are the true heirs of the Sky-Pharaoh’s legacy! Zenobia OoC : I suggest she gets as far as the second ‘o’ in fools, when Nemat, who was waiting by the door for just such an entrance, blats her. The minions have much higher initiative then their boss. Zenobia: They probably have much better situational awareness, because they’re not wearing a mask. Meret-Hetef turns herself invisible. Zenobia: So she cast Disillusionment on herself. And we’re about to disillusion her about other things too. After Onka’s application of 50,000 volts to Meret-Hetef and the minions, the former head of the Silver Chain and the surviving cultist promptly surrender. Zenobia: I don’t think they were fully invested in the whole ‘cult’ thing. Zenobia: We’ll be back to collect you shortly, but bare in mind that any information you can give us will ensure your cases are considered favourably by the cult of Pharasma. Asrian: And increase the chance that we actually come back for you. Zenobia: That too. I was more focusing on the future of their immortal souls. We explore further, and hear a woman screaming. Screaming stuff like “What are you doing, why did you leave me here, you never give me any respect!” all in Modern Osiriani. Nemat peeks around the corner wearing one of the burial masks. He’s spotted. “Oh, and now he’s sent his minions to collect me! Well, hurry up, wretch, take me to my grandson!” It’s a severed human head, in a birdcage. Nemat: Another poor wretch to put down. The Head: What?! Who are you?! Guards! Deal with them! She has her own skeletal minions. Zenobia: I’d rather not use Channel Positive Energy to kill all the undead. She might be worth interrogating. Nemat: I don’t care, I don’t want to listen to that voice. GM: Neither does the bad guy. That why he stuck her in here. The head tries to permanently demoralise Asrian with a curse, which bounces off with zero effect. The Head: Imagine gnolls naked! Asrian: .... have you MET my girlfriend? Was that supposed to demoralise me? Exact opposite effect I’d say. The undead don’t last long. The Head: Just end it already! I’ve been a head for decades and my grandkids don’t visit! Zenobia: Would you like to tell your grandson this in person, honoured grandmother? The Head: And then you’ll end me? Deal! The little bastard will be downstairs, wearing his ancestor’s mask! Onka: *bludgeons the head to a pulp* The Head: Tell the ungrateful brat I’ll be waiting for him in the afterlife! Nemat is traumatised - not from any spell or anything, but just because the room is carved with a COMPREHENSIVE record for Wati going back some 2000 years. And he doesn’t have enough paper to take rubbings of them all. Asrian: We can come back later. GM: As long as the bad guy isn’t a Load-bearing boss Following the directions of the shrieking head, we discover that there are even deeper levels under the observatory, but unlike the temple dedicated to the old pantheon above, theses ones have defences designed with the new pantheon in mind. Somewhat peculiar - perhaps we should actually interrogate captives more thoroughly. Still, there are also more undead, which is no surprise at all. And teleport traps, which ARE surprising, and not good. Zenobia OoC : And the worst thing is I can’t even interrogate this thing to find out what it did with my girlfriend. Onka: I must be carrying the Wand of Invisibility then. Nemat: Yes. Zenobia’s backpack is full of books. Asrian: And I need to watch my weight. Onka: … no comment. Zenobia: Lucky for you. Asrian: Yes. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Scimitar Enema’? Combat vs. high level undead after a teleport trap splits the party is nasty. A well-preserved corpse is merely suspicious. Zenobia cautiously checks for cause of death. GM: She be dead. Zenobia: Like that means anything, down here. Apparently she was a temple prostitute of Callistria, who died of exposure in the desert, and had Gentle Repose cast on her remains. Asrian collects her belongings for return to the nearest Callistrian temple, and decapitates the corpse, just in case. Nemat: Callistria is the goddess of trickery, lust and vengeance. Zenobia: Got it - ‘Don’t Piss Off The Callistrians.’ We also find Mr. Gold Mask’s diary and notes. It has all the details about his plan and motivation we could hope for. Apparently there are bits of the Mad Sky-Pharaoh in the possession of various competing groups across Wati. Zenobia: Helpful text-only monologue Nemat: So that explains that. We may have accelerated his plans a bit. Onka: ‘Damn those adventurers and their gnoll companion’ Nemat: Ow. Onka OoC: We’re missing a fifth to make the Scooby Gang Nemat OoC: Wait, does that make me Velma?! A bit later, after some in-Zenobia’s-opinion-unwarranted body image issues from Asrian, we buff each with potions and spells and kick in the door for the final boss. GM: Nebta-Khufre has been waiting for you. Zenobia: He would have been annoyed if we just rested up in the anteroom. Nemat: ‘come on, I haven’t got all the time in the world’ Onka: ‘Yet.’ Nebta-Khufre: At last, the Covenant of Wati have come to face me! Zenobia: We’re famous. Nemat: Well, ‘famous’ is part of the word. Onka: How nice of him to stand still and talk as we walk up the stairs to kill him. Admittedly Mr Gold Mask does Fly up out of reach and turn a large part of the floor into white-hot obsidian spikes, but that was probably counterproductive because Nemat promptly Dispels his Fly. The fight continues, at length, with Zenobia taking serious damage from the minions - the boss is not in much of a state to do anything. GM: ‘stop hitting him, he’s already dead *sob*’ Zenobia: If whatever is in that sarcophagus sits up now, I will be a bit cross. It doesn’t, but killing Nebta-Khufre also ends the fountain of Necromantic energy over Wati, and prevents the resurrection of Wati’s founder as a powerful undead minion. GM: And no it was not a load-bearing boss. Zenobia: Yay for archeology! Zenobia: Now we can go back and collect those prisoners we left tied up. Nemat: Oh yeah! I’m glad one of us remembered. The Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh is a pretty potent item, and only gets more so the longer you wear it. GM: One legend about it says it can raise hundreds of undead over a wide area: Zenobia: I think we can safely say that isn’t a legend anymore. Just as well we don’t have to inform the Pharasmaens or Nethysians about what we found, since it seems likely that we’ll need all the bits of of the loony sky-pharaoh to finally usher him on to the afterlife, and his cult want the bits to raise him again. Assuming the Forgotten Pharaoh and the Sky Pharaoh are actually the same person. Time to head to the libraries of the capital! After we’re helped Nemat loot every library under Wati.
  7. Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask : PC Parkour Zenobia OoC: Another random wandering monster then? GM: No. Zenobia OoC: Ah, this is SUPPOSED to be here then. GM: Apart from the burning corpse of the giant spider - well, AGAIN corpse - Zenobia: Double-corpse. GM: There’s another body. You didn’t see it before because, well - Zenobia: The room was black with spiders. You said. And now we have a light source. It’s a recent corpse, wearing a funerary mask. Just like those favoured by the weirdo who took over the Silver Chain, and who was seen lurking around the Necropolis before S*** Got Real. He’s covered in spider bites, but it’s the numerous claw marks and slashing injuries that killed him. He also has a notebook, giving the locations of the Elegiac Compasses, and orders to go to same from one Nebta-Khufre. It also mentions the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye, the Shining Bauble, and a couple of other places that we’ve been to ourselves. Some of them have been crossed out. But the Elegiac Compass that is SUPPOSED to here, isn’t, and nor is there any visible space for an attic. We head downstairs, where there are some bored mummies. Who stop being bored the moment they spot us coming down the stairs. And paralyse everybody but Asrian with their auras of despair. GM: Asrian, you slash the nearest mummy across the abdomen. It’s guts are on the floor… Or would be, if it had any. Zenobia OoC: I was about to say - it’s guts should be in a canopic jar somewhere. Nemat gets over the paralysis soon enough to attempt to Shackle the mummies to each other. Perhaps we’re making a remake of The Defiant Ones. But given the undead are soon just dead, perhaps not. We rifle through the empty sarcophagi, unfinished scientific and mathematical manuscripts, and a campsite somebody apparently set up in here. But by the looks of of things, they were NOT looting the burial chambers - the mummies got up by themselves later. The LIBRARY got looted. Happily, Nemat knows the Sift spell. GM: Book, book, scroll, scroll, book, hidden switch, book - Asrian: Switch? Nemat: Yeah yeah, I’ll get back to it. Book book, scroll, book. He also stuff’s Zenobia’s extradimensional backpack with as many books and scrolls as will fit. There’s a hidden stairway leading up, revealed by the switch. Also something is chattering, but it doesn’t sound like language. It’s a pair of shadowy ghost-skeletons, trying to operate the Elegiac compass. THESE have an aura attack too. But at least we can get a bearing from the compass before heading back to the temple in Wati to get all our mental and spiritual damage healed. And now we know the epicenter of the necromantic energy, a temple and observatory dedicated to Maat and Thoth. Hopefully Nemat won’t need to seduce a free Restoration out of Sebti the Crocodile. GM: You know what? I’m going to make all the female NPCs lesbian, just to stop you doing that. Zenobia OoC: But that won’t stop Asrian or me. Onka OoC: So you’re screwed either way. Zenobia OoC: As the actress said to the bishop. Nemat’s eventual plan is to become a Living Monolith, the walking embodiments of Justice. GM: Most spellcasters want to be liches. You just want to be a robot. The Pharasmaens can’t think why somebody would want to set up the observatory as the epicentre of the necromantic ritual, but it is one of the tallest buildings in the district. Zenobia: At least we can go find that other guy and tell him ‘guess who found the Elegiac compasses?’ Nemat: And ‘Your Nosoi would never have found it’ Zenobia: Can’t operate hidden switches for one thing. An overnight rest and back into the Necropolis, via the tunnel and rooftops. Zenobia OoC: PC parkour. GM: You enter the Observatory of Truth and Wisdom! Zenobia OoC: Which in most worlds means there’s not much to observe. Asrian: I’m casting Honeyed Tongue on myself. Zenobia: … no comment. Nemat uses the spell ‘Locate Object’ to see if a certain golden mask is anywhere nearby, by contemplating one of the cheaper versions we picked up earlier, and imagining it gold. It is - somewhere underneath the observatory. We can expect to encounter the new master of the Silver Chain real soon...
  8. Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask : Wandering Monsters Nemat: One of the advantages of being an urban adventurer is actually getting to sleep in a bed. Onka: For a minute there I thought we were going to tart up the gnoll. Zenobia: ...what? Nemat: Nothing! Even if most of the undead in the Necropolis are crowding around the gates like Black Friday shoppers, there's still plenty of random monsters to run into. For example, we're heading towards the second Elegiac Compass location, and realise we’re being followed by some exceptionally unpleasant undead - hairless, festering, so malformed that they’re quadrupedal. Happy, their actual combat prowess isn’t so sophisticated. If they’d just waited until we reached the bathhouse, we wouldn’t have smelled them coming - the place is a swamp. Asrian: But no naked zombies. Nemat: Thank the gods. Nemat does find a Lens of Detection among the wreckage, though. Nemat OoC: An Inquisitor just found a Lens of Detection - all the criminals leave town. I can go full Mad-eye Moody with this. Asrian: Well, this was a bust. But not as beautiful as Zenobia’s. Zenobia: *blushes under her regrown fur* The other two locations we need to check are the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss, and the Tomb of Menket Maatya. Nemat, naturally, wants to go to the latter, so he can exercise his History Geek skillz. Menket was a wizard and astrologer who died about a century ago, who just before his death made arrangements for his tomb. Nemat: Just before? This was a good astronomer. Unfortunately it looks like somebody got here before us. The place has been looted, and the crystal from the middle of this compass is missing as well. Nemat launches into a high-speed pursuit of the culprit, and the first thing he finds is a metal skull amid the rubble, which he picks up. Apparently it’s a Gearghost, and it doesn’t like being disturbed. Skullboy: OI! Getoff! This is my loot! Nobody else gets it! Gearghosts were thieves killed by traps, and exist to spread the pain by making their own traps. It seems likely he was one of the people the Silver Chain used to loot the Necropolis. Onka: It would be such a useful undead is it wasn’t bats**** crazy. Happily, one of Nemat’s abilities synchronises very well with and scimitar-work by his friends, and Zenobia and Asrian both use scimitars. The demented metal skull is promptly dispatched, although it will probably reform soon enough. Off to the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss! It’s just as well there aren’t any maths geeks in the party. For one thing it’s trapezoidal. Nemat: Ah, it’s a conceptual pyramid. Naturally we try to get in through the topmost floor, first. This could be a problem, since the chamber is black. With spiders. Happily, Onka knows Fireball. Less happily, the surviving spiders pile up around the body of a gigantic dead spider. Which animates. And sprays web at us. Which catches fire in the burning oil we set up as a barrier ( and the toppings contains Potassium Benzoate). Happily, Nemat can easily make himself resistant to the flames, which is even better when Zenobia hits the monster with a Tangleburn Bag. Zenobia: Doesn’t Tangleburn explode if you try to put it out with water? Onka: I believe so. Who knows Create Water? Nemat: *grinning evilly* I do.
  9. Flux, our technomage, has been mind-controlled and kidnapped by Talisman and the other bad guys. He’ll probably realise that going off with them was a bad idea, but not until the spell wears off. GM: 24 hours later you go B**** F***ing MINDCONTROL! Not that some of us have actually realised this yet - we’re still in a smoke and crow-filled California bungalow, where we were trying to pull Black Paladin apart like a stewed chicken. He teleported out before we could. Hero Shrew: Coward! Come back and fight like a man! *looks around* Where’s Flux? Allana: He got teleported out. Willingly. Hero Shrew: … what? Flux OoC: I’m going to put it all down to mind control. GM: You’ve seen the way Talisman dresses, right? There will be debate which brain you were thinking with. Scooter is bit upset. Quite more upset than the rest of the team are used to. Flux OoC: You weren’t nearly as upset when Fireflash was kidnapped. Hero Shrew OoC: Letting her be kidnapped was the PLAN. Then it went pear-shaped. Flux OoC: That’s true. We all panicked a bit when my thingy-detector stopped detecting. GM: ‘Thingy-detector’ - this is the level of competency Quadrant had before Allana joined. GM: Does ANYBODY in this team apart from Flux have any occult knowledge? Allana: Of course not. *pointing around the team from herself, to Scooter, to Fireflash, to Hardlight* Mundane, mundane, mundane, mundane and an idiot. And least there’s a few minions half-buried in the wreckage we can apprehend. Less happily half the magic circles were destroyed when Scooter burrowed up from underground. And the bungalow is still surrounding by guardian undead. Fireflash Hi, my name is Fireflash, this is my ID. You’re under arrest. Minions: Lawyer. Lawyer. Lawyer. GM: Sonya recognises some of the symbols though ‘Those are planetary symbols! They keep showing up in Sailor M- … never mind’. Her Geek is showing. Flux OoC: Are these headshot zombies? *BLAM* Nope, still moving - limbs it is then. Hero Shrew OoC: Unless it’s Saturday Morning Cartoons zombies, who always seem to revert to human at the end of the episode. GM: Even in Saturday Morning Cthulhu - I mean Inhumanoids. Hero Shrew: I’m going to have to ask Colin for time off from my other job. I’m going to have to concentrate on finding my friend. GM: You could always rent out one of those new Sleep Pods. Flux OoC: Non-zero chance of psychosis though. Hero Shrew: If we don’t find Flux soon, I’m probably going to go psychotic anyway. We DO try to track down where the bad guys got the generator, inflatable mattresses, and porta-potty from, but it’s hardly likely that Black Paladin, Talisman, and Shadow Dragon would have been hiding out here eating microwave dinners. This site was probably just one of their attempts to get their Big Project to work, and they’ve probably taken Flux back to their actual hide-out. And we’ve got no way to contact Alberich, the mage that showed up to assist in the previous battle. That doesn’t stop him and his Cabal (which apparently includes a necromancer, a former vampire, and a Moreau voodoo-practitioner) from finding us. Allana: Mr. Alberich is here. Sorry, I never found out if Alberich was a first or last name. From the scent Allana picks up, the wolf-Moreau apparently used some of Scooter’s hair to locate the team, but she doesn’t stick around long enough to ask. She used her magic to get Alberich here in a hurry. Alberich: So, there was a magic circle here. Which you destroyed. Allana: Scooter came up through it and the roof couldn’t support my weight. Alberich: A collective ‘you’. Apparently they were trying to bind a fire elemental. Our new Harry-Dresden-wannabe also analyses the residual magic to get us a bearing on wherever Flux was taken, and opens a portal. Using the same black smoky energy Talisman uses. This doesn't reassure Fireflash and Allana. But they’ll have to hold Scooter back once Alberich explains. Allana wisely waves her smartphone through the portal to get a GPS signal first - it’s Ellison Heights, a few blocks from Fireflash’s home. Allana’s plan is to grab Flux and bug out. The room on the other side is nice enough, but Allana can hear somebody watching porn nearby. GM: The guy watching porn has a stab vest and a shock rod. He uses it on Girl Scouts. Hero Shrew: What??? GM: Ok, that come out wrong - he uses it on anybody that comes knocking on the front door and won’t go away. Jehovah’s Witnesses. GM: The rest of the guys have gone to get everything on Flux’s shopping list. Flux IS there, gesturing and chanting over a pile of crystals. Allana: Sorry about this *punches Flux out* We grab Flux and everything that looks expensive or important and try and sneak out again. Happily, Alberich obliges with another portal. Scooter thinks he recognises one of the Moreaus in the porn, but doesn’t alert the bad guys by ejaculating something to that effect. GM: And in related news Dysprosium Dawn have a reduced presence on the streets for a while, because somebody rolled them, and they don’t want to say who. That’s because Flux told Black Paladin and Talisman they should steal the materials they need from Dysprosium Dawn. Flux: I was mind-controlled at the time. It also takes Allana to remind us we got our copies of Superhero Teams For Dummies from PRIMUS, and we all put it to one side because we were busy. Fireflash I was in the middle of exams at the time. My copy is back at Mum’s place, at the bottom of the ‘to read’ pile. Or maybe in storage. And Scooter is back working the door at the Collar Club when some guy in a suit apparently offers a job. He’s one of those excessively friendly people that leave Scooter baffled. Hero Shrew: Um, OK? My shift ends in an hour. Strange Guy: Great! I’ll meet you inside - take in the ambience. You stay you, champ. Hero Shrew: So what’s this job? I’m already working two. Strange Guy: It’s not a job offer, it’s a revenue stream. Call me Rep. Rep: You’re an important guy, Scooter - working a place like this isn’t really image-friendly. Hero Shrew: Hey, it’s the best titty-bar in the Zoo. Rep: We’re talking endorsement deals, licensed merchandise. You eat a lot of those food bars, right? Hero Shrew: Wow, you’ve really been doing your research. He also knows where the other team members live and work - or at least those with public identities. He also knows all about the importance of keeping secret identities secret. But apparently going to Allana’s clinic or Fireflash’s home would be more sleazy than going to the Collar Club. He only wants 15% of whatever deal he arranges for us, after Scooter talks it over with the rest of the team. Scooter calls Fireflash, at 3AM. She answers the videophone naked, but he doesn’t comment. GM: He works at a titty-bar. Hero Shrew: I see LOTS of co-workers naked. Fireflash So what impression did you get? Hero Shrew: 15% seemed fair? Flux: Net or gross? Hero Shrew: Can I get an action figure? Apparently the Rep also represents people like Sapphire, and a few of the Bay Area teams. Fireflash calls her mom to get advice - she’s a commerce attorney for accounting firms - and arranges a lunchtime meeting with the Rep, herself, her mom, and Flux. Hero Shrew needs to sleep, Hardlight has a krill-farming meeting he can’t afford to miss, and Allana wouldn’t fit in the chairs. Or perhaps she would have - the Rep has actually arranged reinforced steel chairs with the restaurant. Rep: Miss Helstrom, Mr Flux! And this gorgeous creature must be your sister? I know, I know, it’s an old compliment, I know she’s your mother. Afternoon, Mrs Helstrom, charmed to meet you. Rep: I can see Nocturne as the spokesperson for brassieres. What’s the biggest complaint for large-chested women? Lack of support! Fireflash *comparatively flat-chested* Really. Rep: And swimsuits for you! Rep: I’m talking those three magic words in marketing - Collect. Them. All. Fireflash’s mom certainly likes everything she’s hearing, and the example contract he brought with him is comprehensive. Flux: Why us? Rep: You’re new! Used to be Hero Shrew might have come across as tokenism - too much of an uphill battle for me. But now you have Nocturne - two Moreaus on the team, and two women! Great visuals. Fireflash What do you think, Mom? Ellen Helstrom: Well, I feel like I need a shower after this, but he really seems to been looking after your interests, not his own. Fireflash I think we can introduce him to the rest of the team. GM: At the very least it’ll be fun to watch fur crawl. Rep: Sonya, you change your outfits all the time, that’s great! Flux, you never change yours. We’ll ramp up the Snake-eyes aspect - all your details are redacted. It’s a SECRET! Allana: Glowy axes and shields... Rep: Hardlight is the Accessory Hound! Scooter has to be brushable. Allana: My toy is going to be HUGE.
  10. GM: Why is that even still installed? Me: So, ‘No’ then? GM: Yes. I mean, yes to No. Me: that’s not very helpful - I’ve already pressed No. GM: I’m a computer engineer! Onka’s player: Then Yes and No should be your bread and butter. Patching up all the holes after our encounter with remarkably carnivorous grasshoppers, we proceed over the rooftops to the glassblower’s shop we were told about. One of the Elegiac Compasses is there, and apparently intact - with one important exception. The copper-wrapped quartz crystal that should be making up the core is missing. Happily, it was removed so recently that we can track the thief - apparently a young dragon. Zenobia: *sigh* So it saw something shiny and nicked it. Perhaps a blue dragon? The desert locale, and electrical properties of copper and quartz, would suggest it. But maybe not. Nemat: A juvenile blue dragon would be larger. The tracks lead to a large sinkhole behind the glassblowers, happily in a courtyard not crawling with zombies. Zenobia: Do we need to send up a Dancing Lights signal? Onka: What signal? ‘Here be Dragons’? Nemat: I’ve got rope. My parents gave me it, along with the rest of my kit. ‘It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this. And this. And this.’ Asrian carefully climbs down, and since her low-light vision is full colour, realises that the dragon isn’t a blue. It’s something much more unusual. It does explain why it wanted a 50-pound quartz crystal though. Asrian: It’s a crystal dragon. And it’s asleep. Nemat argues that diplomacy will be more successful than theft or killing her in her sleep. Nemat: Ahem! Cough! AHEM! Dragon: Five more minutes mummy… Nemat: AHEM! Dragon: WTF??? *jumps up and tries to look big* Who are you? Did Mum send you? How did you find me? Nemat: We followed your tracks. Dragon: … what tracks? *trying to look innocent* Nemat: From the compass. Dragon: Compass? Nemat: The one you took the crystal from. Dragon: What crystal? Nemat: *sigh* that crystal right there. Dragon: Oh, the shiny thing from the clock thing. Nemat: We kind of need that back. Look, why not use the glassblower’s shop as your lair, there’s plenty of shiny stuff in there. Dragon: Uh, zombies, duh? Nemat negotiates a deal - we clear out the zombie infestation, and she can be the guardian of the compass, as well as having a nice location for future business. Zenobia: Diplomancy wins again! Nemat: And I didn’t even have to use my penis. Yet. GM: You would have had a penalty at that - she’s not into males. Human males anyway. She looks at Zenobia with interest though. Asrian: MINE. Nemat’s player digs out his 140 year-old copy of ‘Enquire Within Upon Everything’ Zenobia’s player: Anything in there about clearing out zombie infestations? We stick our heads down the chimney of the shop. From the smell, it actually seems like the glassblower’s kilns have been in use recently, which is odd. Even more so, the bricks are still warm. Asrian starts climbing down - and gets grabbed at by a long black hand. What ever owns the hand soon regrets it. Zenobia: So, basically the same result as grabbing a cat by the belly? There is a lot of swearing, in a variety of languages. Asrian: That sounds like Zenobia, when I- nevermind. The Owner of the Hand: Palm! Oshwyt! Worm! We have intruders! Apparently somebody is using the glassblower’s workshop as an alchemy lab. Nemat soon deduces that the whole rumour about mumia use is true, at least if you’re careful with your abuse of the drug. Although it doesn’t do your bodily hygiene any favours. Nemat: But they don’t smell so bad when they’re dead. Zenobia: IgiveyouhalfasecondtosurrenderCHOP Nemat Petrifies one of the minions. The players all launch into ‘I Will Survive’. A little while later (and perhaps because the NPCs didn't join in the song) Zenobia is looking at the last surviving minion, who is still Petrified, and also on fire. Zenobia: Is he still alive? Nemat: I think so? Zenobia: … should we do something about that? Asrian: I could pick him up and put him outside. Nemat: He might have useful information. And it would be nice to take a prisoner back with us for once. Onka: We are law-abiding citizens, supposedly. Either way, these mumia-producers were very lucky that their stockpile of raw materials weren’t woken up by that necromantic pulse a week ago. Zenobia OoC: Well, Miss Crystal Dragon, it wasn’t zombies, it was Mumia producers. So if your new place of business has a reputation as a meth lab, that’s why. Nemat: Also, there’s a roomful of potential zombies in the side room, but we sealed it up and they should be fine if you leave them alone. Once we get it repaired, the Elegiac Compass projects a beam out across the rooftops, towards the centre of the Necropolis. Not entirely surprising. We still need to find another compass to triangulate it properly.
  11. Champions - Return to Edge City : Heart of Darkness In Old Monterey, tracking down the Black Paladin’s powered armour army, and shortly to suffer the most grievous blow the team has yet endured. Hero Shrew points excitedly at his zombie detector. Flux, pointing with less excitement at the actual zombies. Hero Shrew: Flux. Flux. FLUX. Flux: Yes, I know, OK? Hardlight: There’s zombies? Flux: Yes, they’re RIGHT THERE. Hardlight: Oh. Shambly. Flux: Well, let’s HOPE they’re the shambling type and not the ‘i’m in your face eating it now’ type. GM: No, they’re not murder-wraiths. Hero Shrew: Wait, I’m Hero Shrew, not Hero Zombie. Flux: Give it a few minutes. At least Hardlight has tweaked his hardlight field to turn himself invisible now - maybe he can sneak past the zombies to see whatever is in the abandoned bungalow they’re protecting. GM: It’s been abandoned for years - it’s been vandalised, graffitied, etc. Hero Shrew: Maybe that’s what they made the zombies from. GM: Then their average IQ went up. And, indeed the inside of the building has been excavated, and the Black Paladin and his entire crew, three magic circles, a bunch of other minions doing fine engraving work, and multiple copies of the suits are in there. Incredibly, they don’t notice Hardlight creeping around. Or as he tiptoes away again, tripping over a bucket. Minion: The basic concept is sound my lord, but we overreached - we shouldn’t have gone for such a powerful animating force. GM: I can’t believe how badly I rolled for their awareness checks. It will take at least an hour for anybody that could survive a fight against the Black Paladin and the others to get here. We’re on our own. Hero Shrew: Well, at this point I’d ask if we know anybody with an Orbital Laser Weapon, but… Fireflash: There’s one person with that tech. And he doesn’t let anybody else have it. Allana: And it’s kind of unpopular after what happened to Detroit. There’s also the problem that anything heavy enough that we can drop on Black Paladin is going to be unhealthy for his human thralls. We instead plan to glide down onto the roof - right up until Scooter spots all the crows on the roof. Hero Shrew: Doesn’t the Black Paladin call himself the Knight of Crows or something? Fireflash: Can any of you dig a tunnel? Hero Shrew: I can. All: … Hero Shrew: What? You’ve never asked me to before. Of course, Allana won’t fit through Scooter’s tunnel - so she’ll have to infiltrate through the roof anyway. Flux can teleport in along the old cable tv lines. Hardlight: How can I move silently? Oh wait, I can fly. Flux: Scooter just need to pop through the floor like a horrible fluffy flower. Unfortunately, the roof of the building can’t even support the weight of Allana anymore, because all the internal walls of the building have been knocked out. Allana and Fireflash drop in, just as Scooter bursts out of the ground. And then the invisible figure on the roof jumps down the hole after Allana and Fireflash, talons out. Just as well Fireflash put her forcefield up. Even better, Allana has four arms, so she can hold onto Fireflash as Fireflash blasts people, and still grab Lady Crow by the ankles and throw her at Talisman. Morningstar tries to play Whackamole with Scooter. Morningstar: Round Two, fuzzball! Black Paladin: Really, Miss Helstrom? Fireflash: It seemed like a good idea at the time. Hardlight resists the impulse to telegraph his attack, and stays invisible and silent long enough to blast Black Paladin in the back. All it does is make the Black Paladin laugh. The swarm of crows mobs Allana and Fireflash, which doesn’t do her echolocation any good. But with her wings, toughness, and Fireflash’s forcefield, they’re as safe as if they were sitting in an Abrams tank. In fact, safer. Black Paladin: I’m disappointed Miss Helstrom - you KNOW my plan, and you STILL brought him? He teleports over to Flux and attempts to knock him out with his mace, the Crusher of Hope, and Talisman attempts to teleport the stunned Flux and her team away. Allana snatches Flux into her embrace next to Fireflash - if she can keep moving, Talisman won’t be able to snatch him. Fireflash attempts to blind the badguys, and the flash illuminates one of the side rooms - Scooter sees immobile figures - a lot of immobile figures. Hero Shrew: Hey, guys? I’ve found the exo-suits. Fireflash: Then smash them! Talisman might be intangible right now (since there’s a bunch of people in the room swinging highly energetic objects like fists, maces, and high-energy particle blasts around) but that doesn’t stop Hardlight blasting her out through the ceiling. Hardlight: Team Rocket is blasting off again! Morningstar, now blinded by the Black Paladin’s Fog Spell, is not having a good day, and seems incapable of hitting anything. Likewise, Shadow Dragon is being unpleasantly reminded how vulnerable he is to Fireflash’s blasts. Fireflash: Fate has chosen him to be the buttmonkey. Flux risks a blind teleport towards the exo-suits - and they’re bunched up nice and tight for his electrical attack. No point letting Black Paladin KEEP all the armour for his order of anti-paladins. Black Paladin is getting increasingly frustrated, since we’ve apparently learned how to tank - his hardest attack bounces harmlessly off Allana’s skull, and when she unfurls her wings Flux isn’t there. Black Paladin: WHAT?!? Unfortunately Talisman DID notice his teleport, and uses a mind control spell on our technomage. It’s pretty convincing, especially since he’ll get to tinker with things like the exo-suits. Talisman: Why resist us? We offer you Knowledge. Power. Safety. Come with us. Come with us. GM: And the rest of you have no idea what’s happening. Flux OoC: *groan* the city is going to suffer. Hardlight tries to clear the fog with a holographic giant industrial fan. Black Paladin draws his sword, the Eater of Shadows, and tries a shadow blast on Allana. Allana: Good idea, target my even stronger defence. *stalks forward, cracking her knuckles* Hardlight: Where the f*** are Flux and Hero Shrew? Flux OOC: Well, Scooter is over here near me, but hasn’t seen anything yet, and Sonja is still tucked under bat boobs. Hardlight’s submillimeter radar does see Flux and Talisman standing over in the other room. Hardlight: F***!!!!!!!! Whathername! She’s over there! Trying to kidnap thingy! Not very useful when we’re all blinded by fog and squawking crows. Allana grabs Black Paladin by the head and throws him through the wall in the direction of Talisman. Too late to stop Talisman, Morningstar, Shadow Dragon and Flux teleporting out. At least Black Paladin is still here, since he was moving at high speed at the time, through two walls. Fireflash: Grab an arm each and make a wish. Sadly, while the rest of us pile on the attacks, the bastard teleports himself away before we can twist his head off. We’ve got the exo-suits, but lost our friend.
  12. Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask - Sidequest! Off to find a former friend of Unwrapped Harmony, who got a little too interested in mummification, and not in a sexual sense. GM: … Zenobia OoC: I derailed your brain, didn’t I? Sorry. It’s safe to assume he’s not a friend anymore, since she wants proof of his death in the form of a magical stone he swallowed. We sneak up to the old villa he and his Dark Creeper acolytes are hiding in. Zenobia OoC: Oh dear - I don’t do sneak well - it’s probably my ears sticking up above whatever cover we’re using. Apparently the giant Devil’s Coach-horse Beetles lurking in the yard think Zenobia’s ears look tasty. Zenobia blushes a bit later, when she sees how swiftly Asrian came to her rescue, but it’s hard to tell under all the acid burns. One of the Dark Creepers in the villa sticks his head out to see what all the noise was, just as Asrian trying to pick the other door. Zenobia tries to pull the door open as he tries to slam it shut again, keeping them both nicely busy why the others keep working at the other door. Since Asrian is wrapped in white cloth from head to foot, the acolyte leaps to an understandable conclusion. Dark Creeper: We’re being attacked by a gnoll, a human, an orc and a mummy! And the mummy is picking the lock! Other Dark Creeper: Who’s holding the door?! Dark Creeper: The gnoll! Other Dark Creeper: You’re on your own. Asrian: That’s not going to work, you know - you might as well open the door and we’ll let you run away. Nemat: We’ve only here for Gaunt Cadaver. Zenobia: Although Unwrapped Harmony would be pleased if you came home again. GM: The Dark Folk look like colour-inverted versions of you, Asrian. Asrian: I know - just shorter. Zenobia: I swear in the name of Sarenrae that I am not here to harm the rest of you. Asrian: Not the best idea, invoking the Dawnflower - they’re dark folk - they don’t like daylight. Zenobia: I still gave my word. Asrian: Fair enough. Look, you lot, just go back to the others - they’re welcome you, and you’ll be safe there. Apparently unwilling to risk being brutally murdered before Gaunt Cadaver can ‘enlighten’ them, the acolytes hood up and slink off back to the rest of their clan. For some reason reason they’d barred the doors to the inner courtyard of the villa too. Probably because there’s a humanoid mound of rotting flesh, bone and hair trying to drink from the fountain. Nemat, naturally, recognises what it is, and recalls to our general alarm that they’re mostly immune to magic. Still, going through the courtyard is clearly a better idea than going around the long way, like whoever put the monster here intended. Nemat: We are a party that believes in direct action. Of course, the door opposite is barred from the inside too. But using a pillar as a battering ram is a good shortcut too, and we burst in on Gaunt Cadaver mid-ritual, surrounded by his ‘enlightened’ followers - sapient zombies. He welcomes us and tells his minions to seize us for ‘enlightenment’. We object, strenuously, and recover the rock we’re after from the resulting piles of dust. Zenobia: No cascara required. But at least we know where the Elegaic Compasses are know - and Unwrapped Harmony is also aware of a masked figure spotted inside the Necropolis just prior to the necromantic pulse, who dropped a parchment that Unwrapped Harmony passes on to us. It’s an incomplete star chart. Unfortunately, we draw the attention of giant locusts when we go to the first location, which is pretty distracting when you’re trying to investigate a possible crime scene. It’s curious how many kinds of giant arthropods infest the Necropolis - you’d think there would be more giant carrion beetles, if anything.
  13. Playing Blackstone Fortress - one of the PCs is playing the Kroot Mercenary, and another the Navigator Me: No wonder the Kroot is sticking close to the Navigator. The Kroot are directing their own evolution, by assimilating useful genetic traits from the species they eat. So if the Kroot eat enough Navigators, they'll acquire the Navigator gene and they'll be able to use Warp-travel properly. So if you happen to lose an arm while we're in the fortress, don't ask the Kroot what happened to it. Kroot: Can't you spare a finger? Navigator: I've got a finger for you right here.
  14. Champions - Return to Edge City - King Arthur Is Public Domain The Usual Gang of Idiots Scooter ‘Hero Shrew’ Sorex - Superstrong but not completely stupid manimal Gareth ‘Hardlight’ Lowell - Geek CEO with hardlight holograms Allana ‘Superhero Name To Be Announced’ - Literal Batwoman Chris 'Flux' Jones - Paranoid computer wizard 'Fireflash' Helstrom - And you thought YOUR teenage years were a problem Black Paladin - Actual Arthurian villain Talisman - Gritty 90's Reboot of Bewitched Morningstar - Big Demonic A-hole With a Big Spiky Club Shadow Dragon: Master of Black Chi A picture of the week’s villain is posted up. He’s exceptionally bad news, and has allies almost as dangerous. Hardlight: He looks cool - I like him. GM: That’s the BLACK PALADIN! Hardlight: I hate him - let’s kill him. Flux: Sorry, let’s what??? Hero Shrew: Can we do what they did in that movie? Hardlight: Sure, what movie? Hero Shrew: Where they cut his arms and legs off and he says it’s only a flesh wound. GM: You’re joking, but this guy knew and HATES King Arthur. Hero Shrew: Who said I was joking? Allana intercepts the Paladin and his flying Destrier, scoops them up with her wings, and slaps them hard into the ground. Right next to Fireflash. GM: Let’s hope the steed’s barding works. Black Paladin: My thanks! *drawing his sword, Eater of Shadows, and slashing at Fireflash, who gets her forcefield up only just in time* Interesting! Evidently Black Paladin was looking forward to a mildly challenging fight. Hero Shrew: This is going to be expensive for the city. But if we can take him down it’ll be worth it. GM: Or just driving him away. Thwarting counts too. Fireflash: And we’re pretty good at thwarting people. Hero Shrew: Frustrating is not the same as Thwarting. Hardlight: Old-fashioned are you? Very well - PHOTON BLADE! GM: With your DEX of 15? This will be hilarious. Hero Shrew: Are you going to do the WHUMM WHUMM noises too? He actually manages to hit the bastard too - perhaps the Black Paladin wasn’t expecting lightsabres. GM: You actually cut him - guess who’s his bitch next round? He’s not Stunned. Hero Shrew: Surprised, maybe, that Gareth of all people managed to injure him. Black Paladin: You cut me. YOU CUT ME! Hero Shrew: It’s only a flesh wound! Hardlight hurriedly turns his photon blade into armour, and just in time - it even holds up to the knight’s blade. Flux: You realise you’re just making more trouble for yourself? You managed to hit him with a sword and then your shield was better than his. Morningstar, Shadow Dragon and Talisman emerge from wisps of black smoke. And another combatant enters the field,crashing through the fence around Weyland’s smithery! Some kind of golem, but not the iron one we saw patrolling earlier. Hero Shrew: Uh oh. Fireflash: And I imagine they’re not very happy with me. Morningstar: ROUND TWO! GM: Morningstar was given orders - lets see if he follows them. Morningstar puts everything into a charge against Hero Shrew, but Scooter isn’t even stunned, bouncing back to his feet and grinning hugely in anticipation of a fight where he doesn’t have to hold back. Shadow Dragon generates a field of blackness, to see if Fireflash is vulnerable to such - just as well he didn’t target Hardlight, who very much IS vulnerable to shadow attacks. Of course the Paladin’s ‘horse’ Darkling wants to get in on the fun too, and Battle Taxis Talisman over next to Flux. Flux: …. Hello? Talisman: Hello. Morningstar come over to say hi too, and Flux is soon held by the throat. Not ideal. Especially when Shadow Dragon cloaks the five of them in more shadow. Hero Shrew: Well, guess I’ll have to punch Black Paladin in the kidneys instead then. The battle that ensues doesn’t go as planned for anybody - every time the heroes try to pair off against an appropriate opponent, the bad guys instead switch their attentions to an increasingly panicky Flux who is only barely avoiding them by teleporting along the chain-link fence. We DO learn that Allana’s echolocation can see through Shadow Dragon’s darkness powers perfectly well, which is unfortunate for Shadow Dragon. Fireflash: Take out the minions! Black Paladin is too dangerous to take on when he has help! Allana: He’s only inflicted a single point of stun so far. Black Paladin: Really Miss Helstrom, you really think your powers are enough to deal with me? Hero Shrew keeps running out of nearby opponents. Hero Shrew: Guess I’m punching the horse. Yet another complication arises - somebody is trying to snipe Talisman with magical blasts. And ANOTHER mystery sniper shoots Hero Shrew, with an armour-piercing rifle. Hero Shrew: ****ing OW! That ****ing hurt! Allana proves that unnatural horses do indeed make good improvised weapons by using Darkling the Destrier as one against Talisman, before that sniper with the high-powered rifle tries to shoot her in the head too. There certainly seems to a pattern forming here - they’re using deadly attacks on the rest of us, but only Entangles and Grabs on Flux. Add to that hiring Weyland Smith to make those demon-enhanced exo-suits, and trying to forcibly recruit Guiltrider, it looks like they’re really here to kidnap Flux. GM: I want you, I want you, I want you as a new recruit! Flux: Save the technomancer, dammit! Talisman: Look, just ring his bell long enough for me to take him! Black Paladin: Very well, my sweet. Shadow Dragon plays possum, and is nearly killed by Fireflash when she spots him trying to sneak away. GM: Good thing you saw the blood splatter when the first part of the blast hit him, and pulled back your attack. ‘What the- I could have killed him!’ Hardlight bubbles Morningstar - although that might be just to stop Hero Shrew from kicking his head off - but it seems Talisman has giving up on the fight, and teleports her gang away, even out of the anti-teleport bubble. Black Paladin: Dear - we will have words about this. GM: Congratulations - you survived combat with the Dark Kingdom. Hero Shrew: *swaying a bit* So, who’s hurt? Flux: Nobody on our team. Fireflash: Yes we are, he cut me! Hero Shrew: *swaying more* That’s nice. GM: And now the rest of you realise Scooter was shot. It’s true - that sniper with the armour-piercing rifle hurt him quite badly, even if his later bullets just bounced off Allana. Just as well there's an angel floating around dispensing healing. Where did that come from, exactly? Perhaps that other, magical, sniper, that was taking potshots at the bad guys. Hero Shrew: Somebody was shooting at Talisman while she was all transparent, and I don’t think it was any of us. Anybody know who that was? Allana: *looking down the alleyway with her echolocation* Mystery Wizard: Oh crap. Well, time to reveal myself. Hero Shrew: Do we have to fight you now? Mystery Wizard: No, why would you do that? Hero Shrew: I don’t know - I’ve lost a lot of blood and I’m not thinking very clearly. Mystery Wizard: An associate warned me that a great evil would be worked tonight. Allana: Just a minute, I need to check whether Weyland was in that burning building. Mystery Wizard: Oh, he was. At first I thought it was him that would perpetrate the evil. Then I thought it would be the cultists. But then, of course, the Black Paladin showed his hand. We really don’t want another fight right now, and after a cryptic warning to his fellow Magus, the wizard and a large not-a-husky leave through a magical portal. Fireflash: Anything else we need to do tonight? Flux: I know a great Shawarma place. But while on the subject of roasted meat, we check the burning building for the body of Weyland Smith. By the looks of it, he burned from the inside out. A bit odd, although it seems likely he told his associates that we had been sniffing around, so they could plan the ambush. Scooter notices that there are an awful lot of crows hanging around, despite the late hour. Hero Shrew: You can’t eat him, he’s evidence! Flux suspects this is all related to an recent unpleasant incident in Millennium City, involving the Black Paladin, Talisman, the resurrection of the Paladin’s long-dead lover, and a couple of people unwillingly transformed into servants. And Shadow Dragon was calling Black Paladin ‘Master’, instead of ‘Boss’. All very worrying, especially if Black Paladin is trying to add Flux to his collection. Flux: That’s it, I’m building a Faraday Cage when I get back to the base - guess where I’M sleeping tonight! Hero Shrew: So, Black Paladin and his minions are playing Pokemon Go and they’re collecting Mage types. Fireflash: … Yeah that about describes it. Hero Shrew: And apparently they have a sniper now, too. Flux: I don’t remember seeing a sniper. Hero Shrew: I can show you the hole in my side, and I’m telling you it wasn’t moths. Hero Shrew: You want to send Witchcraft a text message? ‘You sister is collecting mages for her boyfriend’? GM: The more effort you put into making a force bubble teleport-proof, the easier it is to just punch your way out. Hero Shrew: Which is why you break their arms and legs first, THEN put them in a force-bubble. We should probably ask the Voodoo Crew if anybody tried to recruit or kidnap them. And find out exactly how many more of those demon-enhanced exo-suits might be out there. The odds are there are at least 7 more. Hero Shrew: We can’t even ask Weyland Sandford how many of the exo-suits he modified. Flux: Sure we can, we know the Voodoo Crew. Allana: OK, let’s change that to ‘we can, but probably shouldn’t’. And of course, we’re not sure why the DEMON cultists showed up - it’s possible they were here to recruit Weyland too. Fireflash: And it means there’s a DEMON base around here too, so we should probably find that and bring the hammer down. GM: That’ll be entertaining - they LOVE using Christian churches as a front. Hero Shrew: They don’t even have the common decency of pretending to be Scientologists so we don’t have to feel bad about levelling the building. GM: Not even DEMON messes with the Church of Scientology. But psychometric readings of their glowy sticks proves we got them them all already - this team of cultists were probably here to set up a cell in Edge City, so we’ve set them back badly. Why does the Black Paladin want animated suits of armour anyway? And does it relate to his purported personal knowledge of King Arthur et al.? Allana: The evil knights … of the pentagon table… or whatever. Hero Shrew talks with the cops, since the other four members are too distracted to notice. Hero Shrew: Hi guys. We got these guys, but Black Paladin, Talisman, and the other two got away. ECPD: Other two? Hero Shrew: Yeah, Dragon Boy and … Morningstar? Shadow Dragon! That’s it. But we got these guys and their glowy sticks. Oh, and we found a body in the wreckage there, but honestly I’m not sure it’s the real thing, so if we can be there for the autopsy, that’d be dandy. Hardlight: Oh Christ, Scooter is talking to the police. *runs over* Hero Shrew: I mean, if I knew Black Paladin and DEMON were after me, I’d fake my own death and get out of town, wouldn’t you? ECPD: No comment. Allana: Oh Christ, Hardlight is talking to the police. *runs over* Flux: She hasn’t been with us that long, how does she know that ‘Scooter and Gareth talking to the cops’ is a Code Scarlet situation? What is Black Paladin up to? Hardlight: Well, we’ll ask him next time we see him - I’m sure he’ll monologue about it for ten minutes. GM: No he won’t - he’ll just put his sword through you. Hero Shrew: Can we get a clue from his Amazon wishlist? Flux: Can you imagine if villains really did maintain a social media profile? Hero Shrew: I’m damn sure Foxbat does. Flux checks his magical tablet for any info on the Paladin, recorded in the Akashic Record. Apparently he’s the real deal - a genuine enemy of Camelot. Allana: Is he trying to set up his own version of Arthur’s Court? Hero Shrew: What’s the opposite of Round? Fireflash: Square? Hero Shrew: Donut? They all sit in the middle. Allana: But the point of the Round Table was equality. GM: Yeah, not really the Black Paladin’s thing. GM: Galahad’s still around though. In Stronghold Prison. Hero Shrew: Wait, what? GM: For one hundred counts of murder. Sure he was mind-controlled at the time, but he plead guilty to all charges. He says that he would never have succumbed to the mind-control if there wasn’t some flaw in his character. We should probably ask him about the Black Paladin. Hero Shrew: We don’t need face to face, video interview will do. GM: Nope. They don’t let tech near some of the super-criminals on that level. Flux: There are villains that can jump via transmissions. Hero Shrew: You, for example. Flux: They don’t let me NEAR where they keep supervillains. Flux: Who would he think are suitable recruits for the Knights of the Anti-round? Hero Shrew: Knights of the Donut. GM: At a guess, Lightning Man, Cloaca- Hero Shrew: … What? Allana: An unpleasant individual to be around. GM: It just means ‘dark’. And somebody, not Talisman, to be court wizard. Talisman is his Queen. Hero Shrew: Are Lightning Man and Cloaca in custody? GM: Hell no. Allana: Lightning Man keeps getting into cockfights with somebody in Brisbane. He’s one of about 4 Australian superhumans. There’s a few other candidates out there, but most of them are too independent of character to submit to Black Paladin’s leadership. The fact that Black Paladin is currently the Earthly Champion of Baphomet rules out some of the others too. Of course, Morningstar and Shadow Dragon were behaving a little oddly, so they might not get a choice in the matter. The ideal candidate would be Professor Muerte, but he’s been dead for years - sealed into his armour by a minion and dumped into the Pacific. And Talisman and Shadow Dragon were recently spotted on a boat off Baja, heading out to sea. Hero Shrew: F***!!! But that was a month ago, shortly after that other resurrection ritual they successfully did. And there’s another link we know about too - the mercenary Killzone regarded Muerte as a father figure, and her Doom Troopers are the last remnant of Muerte’s organisation Terror Inc. Fireflash’s research finally unearths an alarming fact - it’s not ten exo-suits that have vanished off the books - it’s fifty. She has brilliant idea - the exo-armour may have vanished off the face of the earth, but they’re still going to need specialist tools for maintenance. And the synthetic muscle will need feeding. GM: ‘It’s your job to keep these suits running’ ‘Do I have a budget?’ ‘No’ ‘... You realise I’ll have to steal the stuff I need, right?’ ‘I don’t care’. And Tyrell Corp recently had one of their Robot Maintenance workshops raided. At least we’re on good terms with the ECPD, although they may look askance at Flux doing rituals in their evidence locker. Flux: ‘What’s he doing with that rubber chicken?’ GM: No no no - he might be a technomage, but the last time he used a rubber chicken it went cluck. The ritual apparently conjures up a living canine Tamagotchi sprite, which escapes through a phoneline. Hero Shrew: What the hell was that? Flux: Ask me again in about 14 hours. It also tracks down the stolen tools to part of Old Monterey. And something in Old Monterey sets off the zombie detector that Flux made for Hero Shrew, after that whole incident at the shopping mall.
  15. Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask : Job Interview Nemat: When I called you a slippery little pig yesterday it was not intended as a racial slight. Onka the Half-orc: It’s OK. Nemat: You CAN airburst Fireballs, you know. Zenobia: Thereby getting the target, and anybody tall who’s standing nearby? Nahkt Shepses has set up a small arena for our test. A small crowd has gathered to spectate - which could be a problem since all of us have magic of one form or another, and many spells are Area of Effect. Nahkt is also doing his best to undermine Sebti in his speech to the crowd. Nakht Shepses: As you may have heard, the Mausoleum has had a slight disagreement yesterday. I and the Voices of the Spire plan to send our greatest Psychopomps throughout the city to root out this undead menace, and uncover the source of the corruption plaguing our city. Sebti and the Pharasmean priests wish to send these adventurers into the necropolis on a wild goose chase for old compasses! Crowd: *scattered laughter* Nahkt: So we shall put these ideas to the sword to see whose is strongest! I do not wish to see more death in this city, so the first to render the other unconscious shall be the victor! Nahkt is siccing his personal psychopomp and two other servants of his particular sect on us. GM: Welcome to the miniboss. He magnanimously gives us a chance to prepare. Zenobia, of course, Blesses the party, and Asrian surrounds herself with illusions of herself and Zenobia silently curses where her imagination takes her. The first Esobok pounces Nemat and gets poked in the eyes. Asrian blinds the Vanth with Glitterdust. Nemat insults all the psychopomps with Blistering Invective. Zenobia: Does Blistering Invective only affect enemies we know about, and how far away is Nahkt? Onka casts his first Fireball, and Zenobia protects her lover with Shield Other. More battle magic follows. These psychopomps might be tough - and the Vanth especially - but being Stunned, Blinded, Shaken, and on fire isn’t healthy. And since there’s no information otherwise, they probably return to their native plane still on fire. Nemat: Summoners are pricks. GM: At this point the Vanth remembers it has a Fear aura. Zenobia: I’m afraid of nothing when Asrian is in danger. Nemat: And I think we have emphatically proven that I’m more scary than a Vanth. Asrian: We are doing quite well. Nemat: Well, for one thing it’s not a Rakshasa - that set a high bar for this party. The Vanth yields, but Nemat is still highly annoyed by the curse he got hit with, and expresses this opinion to the crowd. Nemat: THIS is what you would unleash on this city? Unthinking creatures that will curse even Wati’s defenders? Nahkt: You will face much worse in the Necropolis. Of course Asrian trowels on her own abuse, and Nakht backs down. Nahkt: I am not unreasonable. I apologise for doubting you. Nemat: Still cursed here. Onka: There need to be desert penguins. Nemat: Bear in mind that the wizard said this, adding more weight to the adage ‘A Wizard Did It’ The next morning we prepare for our expedition into the Necropolis. There are three objectives - the Elegiac Compasses, the Xotl, and a clan of atheist Lamias in the Cenotaph of the Cynic that Nakht blames for the whole problem Asrian: I suggest meeting the Xotl first - we need allies. Zenobia: That is wise, my love. Nemat OoC: And we’re still in the Shadowrun part of the adventure - legwork is important. And the Johnson has already tried to screw us. A bit more experience and they’ll trust us to make our own mistakes. Of course, the moment we’re in the Necropolis, we’re mobbed by ghouls and zombies. Happily, this only slows us down slightly, and we don’t get overrun. The Xotl, when we find them, and holed up tight, and heavily armed. But not in a shopping mall, or US army chemical waste disposal facility. Their Matriarch, Unwrapped Harmony, is willing to see us, but clearly distrustful of anybody that can walk around in the light of the Daystar without bursting into flame. She’s willing to assist us with information, in return for a service. Zenobia OoC: Sidequest! Nemat OoC: It just appeared in my journal. One of Unwrapped Harmony’s clanmates apparently got a little TOO interested in the rituals of Mummification, and experimented on some of his own people. U.H. wants proof of his death.
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