Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tempus Frigate: Roswell That Ends Well

Finally having a moment to think, Julian decided to rename himself Julius, to bring himself out from under the shadow of his original.

He, Henry, and Samuel carefully scanned the area, using the remote and any sensors they could cobble together, but the nanites that escaped were well and truly gone. Whatever will come from that is anyone's guess.

Leaving the others to repair the ship, Julius headed in a spiral, keeping an eye out for any activity. As Amy warned, in a few days, interest would begin to pick up, and soon they would be overrun with government and military officials; he didn't want to get spotted early.

Up the road, he found a farmhouse and some outbuildings; there was a car in the drive, and he could hear music playing on a radio. Sneaking up to the building, he peeked in - a housewife was preparing dinner, it looked like. He crept around, then through the open back door and into the study. Finding a map, he began to leave, then paused. Pulling out his knife, he carved a "crop circle" into the wall of the house, then waited for the woman to notice. When she did, he revealed himself - a tall man in a power suit, standing in her kitchen! She screamed; he introduced himself. She dove for a gun, and he decided to head outside. After a bit of dialog, where he suggested she remain inside and stay away from the crash landing - the first she heard of it, by the way - she firmly requested he leave, mentioning she had a shotgun pointed at the door, so no funny business.

Julius circled the house, not finding any dish or communication equipment; over comms, he asked Henry, sho said to look for a box with a wire that ran into the ground. Julius found such a wire, pulled out his knife... and cut the wire to a blast of sparks. As it happens, he cut the power line, not the phone line; lucky for him, his knife survived. The front door... not so much. Startled, the woman of the house left a gaping shotgun hole in it. Julius continued around the house and found the phone line, and cut that with much less drama.

Unbeknownst to him, the woman had already called her husband, who returned from the far pasture with his head farmhand. Julius waited until sunset, when a car drove up, and the woman's husband stepped out, rifle in hand, and called out to her. After a bit of watching, he finally told the men to stay away from the field to the south, and left.

Meanwhile, Daisy continued to fix components. She fell asleep at 5, gently snoring into an access panel... and at 6 AM, a sharp knock sounded on the ship's door. Charles answered, finding a thin, bald man, wearing a black suit and tie. A Man in Black! The man suggested that, perhaps, could they finish repairs to their ship in the next 2 hours? Additionally, he asked Henry how Daisy was doing, and showed him his badge - a member of The Agency, with an identification number of AA-56.

Henry, groggy from missed sleep, found and woke up Daisy, and together they continued working on the ship, with Samuel assisting. The Man in Black - a member of the Agency, actually - bid them good day, and returned to his (spotless) black car.

Just in time, the ship lifted off, heading for a beacon that showed up on their screen.

Meanwhile, the Agent and several members of his team returned to the site, playing the rubber and metal to be found there later; he also paid a visit to the house just up the dirt road...

The beacon was, in fact, the warehouse. Oddly, it looked much the same inside in 1947 as it did in 2882; the door was blasted off its hinges, and the roof was slightly warped from where they had run into it, fleeing from AlSec.

There was one difference... Caelie Kay was waiting for them. She produced a part for Daisy to repair the time drive, and explained just why she had to be gone...

Captain Daneel Kaspar erased his past. He is, at the moment, a non-entity; while he can no longer return to his own time, there is no way to remove him from the time stream except by finding him and taking him out. Whatever his true mission is, it likely has to do with the Entity - AlSec has always planned on breaking the Entity out of its jail, and this is a last-ditch method to do just that. She also found their base of operations - they jumped around in time, setting up bases, all funnelling to this one location: 2268, in low orbit around Jupiter.

Julius wasn't quite ready to give up command, but Calie opened the ship's door, and gestured behind her. "Would you rather stay?"

Behind her, the walls of the warehouse were beginning to go gray; objects fell into nothingness. Grumbling, Julian agreed, and the ship lifted off. Behind them, the open roof of the warehouse fell inward, fading out like a hologram, leaving the warehouse untouched. No trace of the time-traveling interior remained; only a blocky street address: "Warehouse 13".

The ship finally in working order, all the guns and shielding intact and functioning, the party made their way to the base. They fired themselves out of the airlock, and using their space suits' controls, managed to make a perfect landing on the far door of the base. They were ready for battle... or at least as ready as they would ever be.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Tempus Frigate: Oops, Did I Be That?

While Julian and Samuel explored the pirate base, the others cautiously filed out of their rooms. Daisy got upset at Julian, seeing as how he left the ship with only 8% working systems. It would take a drydock to get everything back online.

She, Henry, Charles, and Amy put on their suits (Charles luckily remembered to put his guns on the outside of his suit) and space-walked into the pirates' base. Whoever was there originally seemed to have either fled or died; there was no more noise from them, at any rate.

Julian and Henry picked a different door, and continued through it. This one lead to a large, heavy door - the entrance to the mining operation. Inside, they found a lot of broken and abandoned equipment, and a very well-secured door, with a strange image on it:
Of course, it wasn't labeled or anything, so they had no idea what it was... but if it needed a strong door like that to keep it from getting out, then chances are, it should be left alone. They headed back to the main entrance.

Meanwhile, Daisy and Charles were sorting through the parts, prioritizing what they needed. This being Daisy, she also took a lot of stuff she didn't need, but just in case, right?

Julian and Henry next found a row of offices, and then the security building. Meanwhile, Amy, Charles, and Samuel headed for the last door, and found some interesting treasure - artwork, books, and other tangible, but non-liquid items (as the accountant would put it). At the end of the hallway, they found several barrels, similar to the ones Julian had found earlier. These were marked Repair #37 (4), Repair #12 (1), Replication #7 (2), and Experimental #119 (1). Each had the same symbol as the door marked on it. The barrel they opened seemed to contain a fine gray dust. After some debate and experimentation, Julian tested out his remote - the barrels were full of nanites! Daisy immediately began using the nanites to repair the ship; Cleo suggested that maybe, they might want to make haste, as the pirates were due back any moment.

It was that moment Echo showed up. Just a kid, he had stowed away when they were last in their base, having arrived from the year 2107.

With some money, they take the ship to 2882, where Daisy continues repairs. Henry, meanwhile, gained some new eyes, and lost his fancy helmet; he was a little weirded out by the fact that the doctor that saw him was... not there. Remote, or android? You decide!

Daisy, tired of poking the nanites along, hooked the remote up to Cleo, and suddenly repairs were taking place in the blink of an eye! Once Henry returned, Julian called a ship meeting, suggesting that perhaps he should be made captain, with Henry as first mate. Daisy is not entirely for it; Henry seemed ok with it, and managed to convince Daisy that they will still be fighting the bad guys. Amy suggests that the next time they see Capt. Kay, they try again; Julian agrees, though likely with his fingers crossed...

In the warehouse, Julian and Henry poke around, eventually finding a small room at the back, with a cot and part of a timeline. Interestingly, even their recent escapades were noted on the timeline, as if someone had forecast their actions. They took the timeline, and were poking around some more when suddenly, someone tried to break open the door! Henry raced back to the ship, and Julian (in his fancy suit) zipped past him, grabbing the kid on the way past. The Tempus Frigate closed her door just as the warehouse door crashed open, revealing AlSec agents, who began pouring in! With the shields up, small arms fire did little to harm them; Cleo opened the roof of the warehouse, and gunned it the moment some agents began setting up a shield-busting weapon. Wrenching the doors slightly, the ship jumped for the past, narrowly missing a rather large battleship cruising in.

With the engines barely functioning, and the time drive on the fritz, they had no idea where they were heading... or when. The ship blinked back into the timestream about a desert; only Daisy's expert piloting managed to land the ship in one piece, though it temporarily shut down the shields and jostled everyone around a bit. However, the damage was enough to wreck some of the more delicate patches in place, and Cleo suddenly went offline. Worse, one of the barrels of Replicate #7 broke open, and the nanites escaped through the ship, heading into the wild!

Careful tracking found only that the nanites had been given some gibberish signals; they were well and truly gone. There was nothing left but to figure out where they were, and all they had was a set of coordinates, and no way to check them. At least they knew when they were: June 13th, 1947.

Amy racked her brain... why did that date seem familiar? Suddenly, she realized - they were in New Mexico. Specifically, Roswell, New Mexico. They were the Roswell Crash!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Tempus Frigate

I have to admit... this is going to be a little bit long, because I took way too long to actually write all of this down. Nonetheless, onward!

Our adventure begins in... well, a lot of places, actually. Each hero received a message of some sort; Daisy, Henry, Charles Greene, and Amy Wilson each received a note from a mysterious figure in a duster. I'll get back to them.

Meanwhile, Clone-Julian, of Shifting Horizon fame, awoke in the year 2882 to the sound of gunfire. Trapped in some kind of cryo-pod, he could only watch through the viewing window as two figures floated into the room. They seemed to make some adjustments, then gave him a thumbs-up, and floated out. Not long afterwards... the ship cracked apart, sending him floating into deep space. He slept, and when he awoke... the pod was open, and a message played, beamed directly into his eyeballs by laser. A zoomed-in face appeared, sideways, then adjusted, revealing a young woman wearing a long coat. She nodded smartly and said, "Greetings! I am Captain Kay. I am putting together an elite team of heroes for a special mission. This message supersedes any prior orders; by responding, you will help protect the very foundations of our civilization! The meeting location is just across the walk-junction, at 1900 hours. Entry password is Umbra. Kay out!"

Somewhat confused, Julian stepped out of the pod, and into a busy city. He found the warehouse and used the password, then stepped down a set of stairs to find a ship, waiting within.

A few years prior, in 2152, a man named Samuel Green found himself in a bit of a predicament. He and his crew were to be the first successful pilots of a jumpship... but unfortunately, jumping was not entirely safe. After the first jump, he found himself staring out at a blanket of stars, far from Earth - in fact, far from his solar system. There was a celebration, but then... not so much. The second jump did not return them home. nor did the third, nor the fourth. The pilot snapped, and strangled the captain with his own seatbelt, leaving Samuel to scramble for the lifeboat. As oxygen ran low, his eyelids drooped... then he saw a ship suddenly loom in his viewport. When he awoke, he was in a large, white room, laying on a soft cot, next to a ship sitting in dock.

Back again, to 1982. Amy Wilson, an accountant with an eye for solving mysteries, met the mysterious stranger. Having nothing better to do with her time, she followed the instructions on the note - and found herself in that same hanger.

In 1937, two strangers - Daisy, a naive we-can-do-it mechanic, and Henry, a blind army vet, met the same stranger, followed the same instructions, and found themselves in the very same hanger.

Finally, way back in 1882, a gentleman gunslinger named Charles Greene (no relation to Samuel Green, by the way) followed the stranger's note, and found himself in a strange, white warehouse.

Julian, Henry, and Daisy met; Henry scoffed at the very idea of a "space ship," but Daisy was quite interested. Suddenly, the door swung open, and Captain Caelie Kay stepped out. "Greetings!"

It took a while to convince the first three; Captain Kay explained that she had brought them together to stop a threat, and she needed each of their particular skills. She gave the standard time-traveling hero spiel: while you won't amount to much in your own timeline, if you come with me, you can be awesome!

Clone-Julian, of course, was having none of it - he was sure he was the real Julian, and had been kidnapped. Henry didn't believe they traveled through time at all, even after encountering some space-pirates. Only Daisy seemed to trust the captain - and, frankly, Henry and Julian are both irritated with her bubbly personality.

While leaving the space-pirates, Julian caught sight of a logo on an approaching ship... AlSec. Swearing, he realized that somehow, some of them had escaped his wrath. Grudgingly, Julian accepted Caelie's offer, if only to destroy AlSec entirely. Henry only accepted after getting a set of digital eyes - not as fancy as the real thing, but they seemed to do the trick (though it was fairly painful getting them in the first place). Daisy accepted almost before Captain Kay was done speaking, and was soon tinkering with the railguns and lasers, managing to fix one of the guns.

In a slightly alternate future (past? I'm not actually sure), the other three met up together: Charles Greene, sure he was getting hired for something interesting; Amy Wilson, confused; and Samuel Green, saved from space. Once again, they attacked the ship, retrieving the same fluid link the good Captain had saved before. Interesting how that worked out...

Of course, this time, it wasn't a far-future spaceman with lasers and skills in shooting just about everything, but a cowboy, an accountant, and a astronaut with an AK-47. The enemies (this time on a different side of the station) were about the same number, but the fight took quite a bit longer. Finally, Amy managed to fire her dad's handgun through a pirate, and the two Green(e)s managed to finally spray everything with enough lead that it stopped moving. Everyone took a few hits, but even without armor, they managed to hold themselves together.

These three accepted right away.

Finally together, the six found themselves back on Earth. Well... Earth-ish. This was Earth during the cleansing of Earth - the great battle with AlSec forces. While the space battle raged overhead, the security forces on the planet were besieged by (the real) Julian's forces, backing up freedom fighters. Unnoticed in the fray, the group moved to a nondescript building. On the second floor, they encountered some guards, and made short work of them; continuing up, they met a few pockets of resistance, and eventually made it to the building core, where they found a safe, and Captain Kay began hacking some information out of the terminal. In the safe were the following items, some of which were used in the ensuing firefight:

2 EMP Grenade, 2 Frag Grenade, 2 Smoke Grenade, 1 Thermal Grenade, 2 Sonic Grenade
1 Sonic Shotgun, 1 Shotgun, full-auto
1 JumpVodka
1 Smartshield: +4 armor, negates AP; if it sustains 20+ points of damage in a round, it flickers off and needs a repair roll to fix.

Outside the security room, forces gathered. Those inside took up defensive positions, covering Caelie as she worked on the computer. After a rough battle, the Captain had finally gathered the information she needed. The party was forced to allow the commander of the forces to flee.

As it turns out, that man was none other than Captain Daneel Kaspar of AlSec; it seems he was in charge of a secret time travel device... built according to the specifications of a certain "mad sage," Dr. Vincentius Becly. The same man who was murdered on the Shifting Horizon. Kaspar worked his way up through the ranks with ruthless efficiency, and took over the time travel program. He set up bases in three time periods: 1992, 2082, and 2222.

The group finished looking over the documents, and suddenly... the papers began going gray. In a moment, they had fallen into gray powder, then even that vanished. Caelie sighed, dusting off her hands. That was the dangerous part of time traveling... paradoxes are not allowed to resist, and the universe will attempt to right any wrongs.

Every decision ever made existed at one time, but as time progresses, the "unused" decisions are lopped off. Even with time travel, it is very difficult to change the future, simply because the universe has built-in rules for holding itself together. Breaking those rules may result in you being lopped off. The papers were affected by something Kaspar had done - in that reality, at least, he never existed.

Of course, time travel is hard, and there is rather a lot of science that can't explain how it works, so suffice to say that while those papers ceased to be, the memories did not. Usually, no one would notice when things vanish, simply because they really had always been that way, at least for anyone who hadn't traveled through time. There is a great many papers written about the subject, but I'll leave it at this: changing time can be very bad for anyone after that point. Little changes are fine, and get reabsorbed without much fuss, but big changes can result in you never having existed in the first place.

Which lead to the next problem: Kaspar. The party knew he was in one of three locations, in one of three time periods. A little research later, they found the locations. Daisy, meanwhile, pulled up some tool manuals, and started working on the laser again.

The first time period, 2222, resulted in nothing but an empty ship. But 1992 turned up just what they were looking for. The Captain left them to fight on their own, staying back to pilot the ship. Inside, the team fought through several waves of goons... and after the first wave, found themselves fighting a very strange man indeed. He appeared out of nowhere, shouted, "In the past!", and opened fire. He took quite a lot of damage, and managed to nearly injure several of the crew, before popping back out.

Further inside, they found Captain Kaspar himself. After a rousing battle which included Kaspar mocking them all, Kaspar left them with a parting remark: "Check your histories!"

Daisy, realizing she wasn't going to be much good in a firefight, left to pilfer parts.

After the mission, Julian and the others used the Tempus Frigate's computers to search their pasts... and found just how ignoble their lives really were. Daisy was killed a day later in a gang war; Henry stepped out into traffic and died. Julian discovered he was a clone. Samuel found he died in space. Amy tripped headlong off a building. And Charles shot himself while cleaning his gun.

Julian, of course, decided the best course of action was to get drunk out of his head, then go fight pirates. Sans Captain Kay, who said she had another mission to work on...

After using the ship's guns to great success, Julian gained access to a pirate stronghold. Inside, he and the others found little to no resistance; apart from two voices on the radio, he met no one. Granted, his firefight with the station resulted in the ship gaining 3 wounds - it was in bad shape before, but at this point, it is barely hanging together.

Exploring the quarters, Julian and Samuel found a secret passage. Deeper in, Julian came face to face with a strange, fast-moving rock-creature, who left him alone. Finally, the two found the treasure trove, containing a bit of cash, some basic guns... and a set of light power armor: 8 Armor, Pace 10 with a Running Die of d10, and Stealth Systems, giving a -4 to hit or scan. It is also Self Sealing, so able to be used in space or underwater.


Whew. Join us next time, for more time-travel shenanigans!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Musgrave Adventure: The Missing Musgrave

One fine day - August the 4th, 1937, to be precise - Lady Evangeline Musgrave received a letter from her husband, Lord Geoffrey Musgrave.

Lady Evangeline Musgrave is a “reformed” tomboy who secretly yearns for the life of adventure she used to have with her husband, before their families put their foot down and forced her to stop adventuring and stay home to care for her daughter, Veronica. She still has some of her old skills, especially that of linguistics.

Her daughter, Veronica, never knew her mother to adventure, and grew up as a True Believer in aristocracy, the Upper Class, and Being British In General. She takes her role as the daughter of a lord seriously, though she looks down on "common people," much to her parents' disapproval. She is studying to become a nurse. While she inherited her mother’s good looks (and improved on them, to most accounts), she doesn’t believe a word of the stories her parents tell of mystical, magical artifacts.

The two were summoned by Geoffrey to visit the latest dig he was heading; he, his best friend (and idle rich) Desmond St Price, an investor named Hardy Fenton, and the German construction expert, Gerhard Stein, had uncovered what Geoffrey believed was a lost treasure, of the goddess Wurt! Hardy's two daughters were arriving by way of an airship, the Graf Zeppelin, to arrive in Frankfurt on the 10th of August, and he hoped his daughter and wife could meet them.

Josephine Fenton - Jo to all but the “stuffy grownups” - is Hardy Fenton's youngest daughter. She has the soul of an outdoorsman, and tends to trust her luck over skill. Her curiosity and stubborn nature frequently cause trouble for the siblings, but Jo sticks by her sister no matter what.

Francis Fenton, the elder sister of Josephine, is the more level-headed of the two Fenton siblings. Charismatic and smart, Francis has a very inquisitive nature. Though he has a habit of retelling war stories he’s heard… which may be a problem in Germany. Even so, he is always willing to help those in need.

Desmond St Price's daughter, and friend of Veronica, is Penelope St Price. Where Veronica is ladylike and polite, Penelope is strong, agile, and skilled with sword and gun alike. Her combination of a big mouth and insatiable curiosity frequently get the two girls in trouble.

...Though not as much trouble as Cuthbert Trillicker. Known as “Bertie” to his friends, and “that troublemaker” to nearly everyone else, young Bertie is the charge of his cousin Penelope and Uncle "Dizzy". Even though he is but the tender age of 8, he is still a formidable fighter.

And last but not least, Piper Ubend, son of Gregory Ubend, has worked for the Musgraves his entire life. Fast on his feet, and faster with a wrench, Piper can repair almost anything that moves, and quite a few things that don’t. Not only that, but Piper can drive and pilot with some of the best, though his overconfidence and big mouth can sometimes lead him astray.

The women, plus Bertie and Piper, traveled from London by plane, landing in Frankfurt. The next day, the Fenton sisters arrived, introducing themselves to the Musgraves and St Prices. Bertie, of course, plied them with many questions about their amazing trip on a floating airship.

Together, they traveled by train to the south, but when they arrived in Kößlarn [Kosslarn], Lady Musgrave found a telegram waiting for her. It warned that her husband had gone missing! Furthermore, it suggested that she return home, and let the authorities deal with it. Of course. Lady Musgrave would have none of that. She immediately checked into her hotel, where poor Penelope and Francis were put to bed - neither agreed with travel by air or train. The next morning, Lady Musgrave, Veronica, Jo, and Bertie headed to the police station (Piper remained at the hotel, to keep an ear out for any information).

Inside, Lady Musgrave insisted on meeting a Walter Böhm, the signer of the telegram. In a moment, a laconic figured strolled out, leaning on the counter. In broken English, he explained to Lady Musgrave that he was in charge of the investigation into the disappearances. He had been alerted to the vanishing of the men when a worker, employed by Herr Stein, had come to the camp and found it empty. Again, he suggested the womenfolk leave the investigation work to the authorities.

Meanwhile, Bertie discovered some pre-chewed bubble-gum and a 5-Reichsmark banknote under a bench. Jo's investigation was a little more fruitful - she found a poster that seemed important. Showing it to Lady Musgrave, they learned that it was a warning from Hitler himself; any treasures, artifacts, or historical findings were property of the Third Reich.

Back at the hotel, Bertie taunted the poor elevator operator to tears, and managed to get to push the buttons. After a quick meeting, they decided to first go shopping (for supplies, food, and a new machete for Jo, among other things), then found a taxi and went to the base camp, with Bertie spitting out the window, naturally.

At the dig, Bertie found the supply tent, and lifted two shovels; the ladies found a calendar, with the dates crossed off until the 9th, and a strange set of runes written on it, then circled: ᚹᚢᚱᛞ. A note to Lady Evangeline clinched it - Geoffrey thought he was double-crossed by a certain captain, and was setting out with his friends and workers to finish the dig at night. Jo found tracks leading from the camp - one group of leather work shoes, and a second group of jack-booted soldiers. They followed the footprints until they found the old ruins, pictured in the original letter; the soldier's footprints split off, as if searching, while the other footprints lead to a hidden cave.

Trying to hide their own footprints, Lady Veronica carefully scratched each out with a stick... until Jo sent her into the cave, and brushed the trail with a branch, doing a much better job. Veronica shuddered at the damp cave, but followed. Inside, they discovered a natural exit at the back of the cave, and continued deeper in - though the passage turned to worked stone, with a well-made archway overhead before long. On one side of the passage, a set of runes were all but illegible, worn down by age.

They followed the passage, taking the turns indicated by the runes in the letter. Behind them, the German soldiers found the cave, and began filing inside. As the reached the end, they could hear the soldiers being ordered into the various side passages, followed by sharp screams... it seems the wrong passages were very wrong indeed.

At the end of the passage was a room, filled with natural light from above; a single plinth stood at the end of the room, with a rather plain rock perched on it. While the others looked around, Jo found a footprint, and scrape marks; it seems there may be a hidden door somewhere! Searching for a key, she looked closely at the rock on the plinth. Acting on a hunch, she tried to turn it to the right... nothing. Switching hands, she cranked it to the left, and it suddenly shifted with a clunk! A grinding sound echoed through the room, then suddenly the entire floor tilted! As Bertie and Lady Musgrave slid down, Jo quickly tossed a hook around the plinth. Veronica tried to grab her hand, but slipped past. The two women and Bertie slipped down a clay-covered slide; at the bottom, they called up that it was safe. Giving the plinth a twist, Jo leaped into the hole as the floor slammed shut.

Bertie, ignoring the clay and mud on his clothing, began digging happily in the mud, and uncovered a pocket watch - Geoffrey's pocket watch, in fact! Moving on, they found four bowls - ceremonial alters, in fact. Lady Musgrave recognized the names: Wuotan, Donar, Nerthus, and Wurt.

Nerthus is also known as Mother Earth; Bertie heaped a shovelful of mud into the bowl, and it spun downward; the offering was a success! Wuotan, otherwise known as Odin, was offered a limerick (complete with dirty words), again by Bertie, and again it was accepted. Third was Donar, aka Thor; Bertie, hearing that he was the god of oak (among other things), tossed a burning torch onto the bowl. It seemed to be accepted, and the bowl once again sunk down and was covered. Finally, for Wurt, or Wyrd, the goddess of Fate, Bertie offered a single flip of a coin - change, from when he purchased some brass knuckles. As the coin spun in the bowl, it too slowly sank down. And then, the whole bank of bowls sank down into the ground!

Behind the bowls, a diffuse glow hid what was behind... as the four stepped through... they found themselves in a walled garden, outside! Behind them, there was nothing but a blank wall. Bertie immediately stepped forward, squirming out from Veronica's grasp, and darted aroudn the tree in the center of the garden. A woman with long, dark hair and a simple robe greeted him. "Hey! Who are you?" Bertie demanded.

The woman merely smiled. Bertie, seeing the cards in her hands, asked what they were for. "Oh... I can do a few tricks, I suppose."

Bertie, of course, was eager to see. The first trick - the woman tossed a card into the air, and it turned into a butterfly! Bertie... was unimpressed. He asked for a different trick. With a laugh, the woman asked for Bertie to pick a card. He pulled one - the Ace of Spades, she guessed, correctly. Scoffing, he pulled another. "Ace of Spades." Correct, again; confused, Bertie checked the card already in his hand. Huh. Tossing the other aces over his shoulder, he pulled a third card. Also an ace of spades! Finally impressed, Bertie asked about other games. "Oh... you will see, my child."

Meanwhile, the ladies looked a little further. On the other side of the garden, a cage held... the menfolk! Geoffrey, Desmond, Hardy, and Stein! However, the bars on their cages were too strong to bend, and there didn't seem to be any locks to pick. They turned to the woman, as three men came through the wall...

One was a man in a black leather outfit, complete with flowing cape and snazzy cap, and SS label on his sleeves. Beside him was the man on the poster - Captain Böhm! The third man was a very confused looking soldier. The woman clapped her hands, and between them, a chessboard grew - well, technically a Draughts board. On one side, the three Nazis. On the other, the four adventurers. Lady Musgrave stepped forward, tossing a knife at the SS officer - a hit! Jo followed up with an ax, another hit! The SS officer was looking pretty bad from the start. Bertie, too, tried firing a stone from his slingshot, but fired wide.

The SS agent fired and missed; the captain stepped forward, firing and missing; the soldier charged forward as well, firing at Evangeline, but the bullet glanced off her corset. He charged, his bayonet forward, but Evangeline dodged to the side, and coolly pulled her derringer. One shot later, and the soldier fell to the ground, a smoking hole in his chest. Jo slashed at the captain with her machete, but missed.

Jo, meanwhile, was joined by Bertie, charging the captain; he fired at Jo, but the bullet only grazed her arm. Bertie struck out with his knife, leaving a gash in his leg; Jo stepped back, took aim with her throwing ax, and sank the blade right between his eyes.

The SS officer fired wildly, missing Evangeline. Striding forward, she held out her derringer and fired. With a gasp, the SS officer fell to his knees...

The sound of applause sounded behind them; as they turned, the Draughts board vanished, as did the bodies of the Nazis. Behind her, the iron cages bent and twisted, becoming no more than simple bushes. Lady Fate (for, obviously, that was who she was) thanked the four for their help, and accepted the abashed apologies from the men. "The artifacts I protect are not meant for mortal men. But, what I have, I will share. For one, if ever you need assistance... call on me."

With a gesture, a door opened in the wall. Bertie, remembering the coin he offered, asked if, perhaps, he could have it back? With a wink, Lady Fate tossed him a coin. Not the single reichsmark coin he had tossed in, but a much larger coin... made of gold!

Heading out the door, the eight stepped into early morning light. Behind them, the four workers Stein brought stepped out, confused - they had stepped into the light behind the altar, and stepped out having lost four days!

Spotting a lone German officer guarding a car, Bertie dashed over, and immediately began making fun of him. Shaken by the sight of a British child waving a bloody knife and shouting, the guard nearly swallowed his cigarette. When eleven more figures stepped out, holding throwing axes, knives, guns, and other weapons... he quickly agreed to give them a ride to town.

On the flight back to London (with the Fentons, who cordially accepted the offer to stay for a while), the families caught up; Geoffrey, finding himself in the garden, first attempted to gather the items Lady Fate was guarding, and in trade found himself captured. However, it was the captain and the SS officer who posed the greatest threat. While Geoffrey merely wanted to collect the items for a museum, the Nazis, it seems, were under the impression the items were, in fact, weapons.

What further adventures await our adventuresome companions? Only time will tell!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors

The group consists of:
  • Guts, a warrior from another time and place, clothed in what seems to be living armor
  • Black Jaguar, a man in a catsuit who has with feline abilities. Hypothetically not a furry.
  • Kiree Myrr, a mind-reading blogger, with a penchant for monoblogging during combat.
  • Gray Blacklock, a lich with arcane powers.
  • The Crimson Dredd, bearer of a mystical bow and possibly other weapons.
  • And last but not least, Aaron Avery Ayers, a normal kind of guy.

The crew, only but barely recovered from their previous adventure, headed home. The next morning, they once again set out, this time for LA, the third of the three suggested destinations. Unfortunately... their teleporter seemed to have malfunctioned. Instead of dropping them within a few blocks of the Foundation's LA HQ, they instead wound up almost three miles away. Worse, the area around them was surrounded by dense forest! As they walked, the trees seemed to sprout from the ground, growing at a phenomenal rate.

Even more odd, the group seemed to have changed costumes; they were now clad in pith helmets and beige, multi-pocketed jackets, draped in the occasional bandolier. Only the mundane clothing seems to have been affected; Guts' armor, for instance, was unchanged. In fact, Guts was rather more at ease in this new terrain. Blacklock attempted to nullify any powers that might be affecting the area, and succeeded, though only for a brief time. The jungle crept back... Blacklock muttered about "illusions," and the team pressed on.

As they turned a corner, they saw a strange sight - four pirates, sitting atop an elephant! The pirates didn't seem to notice them, and the party remained out of sight. Dredd fired an arrow, attempting to nullify any illusion, and indeed succeeded; the elephant, for a brief moment, returned to its normal form: a streetcar, meandering along its tracks. Then, the streetcar was gone, again an elephant. One of the pirates kicked it, and away it went.

Not long after that, about halfway to their destination, they came across a strange scene - a group of natives carrying spears were facing down another small group of pirates! The two yelled back and forth, then suddenly, a young man strode into view. He was dressed impeccably in safari gear, and called out in a jovial, Edwardian British accent, asking the pirates to stand down, lest they be hurt. The pirates responded by firing at him; every shot either missed or was deflected by his clothing. Blacklock fired a blast of energy, and managed to wipe out the group of pirates in a single blow. The young man turned, and the group sized him up, as he sized them up.

Deciding on peace - for now - the group asked him about the forest. "I say, it's rather grand, don't you think? These mighty trees are called redwoods; quite the sight, eh?"

He gestured to a large tree that seemed suspiciously like an office building, only with bark and leaves. "I've been exploring these forests for, well, a bloody long time, let me tell you! Hmm? The pirates? Jolly nuisance! I've run into more than my fair share, but the rum buggers never stick around for long, wot wot! One whiff of a brave chappie in Her Majesty's Service, and they head for the hills!"

The party quizzed him about a few things, but eventually asked him about the Foundation headquarters. He explained that he had, in fact, been held there; or rather, brought in for questioning. It was a strange, dark place... but, once the slavers had attacked, they blasted the building to rubble, and he had made his escape - after taking out the slavers, of course. They may have freed him, but slavery was slavery, wot wot.

The tribesmen followed as the man - Thomas McDermott, he said - until they reached the HQ. It was, indeed, destroyed; still-smoking rubble littered the area. "The fort was totally destroyed, as you can see."

He lead the way into a half-buried tunnel, down a flight of stairs, and into a damp jail. The cells were open, iron-bar cells, with pallets to sleep on. Nullifying one of the cells showed it to be a modern glass holding cell, its walls solid; but as soon as the jungle reappeared, it was easy to put your hand through the bars. No simple illusion, then!

Thomas stared into one of the cells morosely... as one of the natives crept up behind him, and pushed him in! The forest began to fade; the native slammed the cell shut, and a moment later, the damp jail had been replaced with a hallway and three glass-walled cells! And the natives were suddenly revealed to be wearing Nazi swastikas!

The battle was short; the three "natives" were quickly taken down. The team quickly called for assistance - the Foundation. The man on the other end of the line was somewhat incredulous that they had managed to trap Mirage - Thomas's code name. It seems that Thomas has abilities far above what others had seen; at power level 8, his abilities were beyond comprehension. At a minimum, he could manipulate matter and energy to create forests and jungles around him, and add illusions on top of all that. What's more, he can manipulate the minds of those around him; most people never thought twice about his effect on the world. As they came into his presence, they merely believed that they had always been pirates, or natives, or slavers - slavers being what he called the Nazis.

As powerful and disruptive as he was, Mirage certainly had his uses; the Nazis the team brought down were part of an elite strike team, sent to destroy him... because every other Nazi force sent it had been destroyed! Giant mech or otherwise, Mirage had dealt with them all, swiftly and easily.

The man from Foundation suggested they send him north, to Canada; they were fighting a large incursion there, and his assistance would be appreciated - and perhaps, less obvious. He talked Blacklock through opening a very secure vault, and removing some handcuffs inside - nullifier handcuffs. Placing them on Thomas, the group lead him out of his cell, letting out a sigh of relief when he didn't reactivate his jungle...

Kiree handed him her phone. Even through the nullifying handcuffs, he still managed to change the electronic device into a paper map. Blacklock gave him a copy, then transported him outside the city limits.

As the others filed out of the destroyed Foundation building, into the bright sun - no longer obscured by a half-fantasy jungle - they saw a group of people waiting for them. Tough looking grunts, and a flying man hovering above them! With a scream of rage, the man sent his thugs forward - it was Ultraman! Super tough, super angry, and super scary!

Unfortunately, Ultraman was not prepared for the Crimson Dredd, who blasted him with three arrows in quick succession, not was he prepared for the leap-and-destroy from Guts. Ultraman fell to the ground, bleeding. After a quick talk with Foundation (who was ambivalent about doing anything with Ultraman - he seemed to get out of trouble a little too easily), they decided on dismembering him and tossing his composite parts into the nullifying cell. Brutal!

Meanwhile, Guts was the first to get a green chip; he drew the 3 of Clubs, which means his work has gotten the attention of a low-level group of supers, who want to help the cause!

The party returned home, with another victory under their belt, and 3 XP.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Supers: Broken Glass

The group is made up of:
  • Guts, a warrior from another time and place, clothed in what seems to be living armor
  • Black Jaguar, a man in a catsuit who has with feline abilities. I have it on good authority that he is not, actually, a furry, but time will tell.
  • Kiree Myrr, a mind-reading blogger
  • Gray Blacklock, a lich with arcane powers
  • The Crimson Dredd, bearer of a mystical bow
  • And last but not least, Aaron Avery Ayers, a normal kind of guy.
The group returned to their base; as Susan, aka Hacksaw, brought the team up to speed and introduced them to another member of the Foundation. She asked a few interesting, if terse, questions, such as "6? 8?" or the health of his dog and his grandmother. To the numbers, he responded, "No contact." The health of his pets and relatives seemed ambivalent. Though he seemed otherwise quite guarded, he mentioned three areas that may need assistance: LA, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

Meanwhile, Kiree took the girl to make supper. As a prank, they made a lovely salad, with a backup of spaghetti and meatballs, which they revealed with no small amount of glee. Oddly, the girl was the one that cooked the meatballs, and managed to cook them in under three minutes, even though she "burned them a couple times first."

After supper, the group decided to take a look around DC. They set up the teleporter, and leaving the girl in the company of another member of the team.

In DC, they found... everything was normal. No one seemed to be acting strangely, apart from the fact that everyone was acting strangely. It was a war with Nazi-aliens, but no one seemed to be upset about it. Indeed, it didn't look like there were any signs of damage! Kiree Myrr, probing a nearby mind, found that everyone had had their mind altered...

The Emblem of the Foundation
Susan lead the way to an elaborate entry point. After Susan entered a combination on a park bathroom's sink handle, the floor dropped out, sliding the group to a locked room, where Susan entered yet another password. The revealed a normal-looking subway train, which they took to another platform. This platform, meanwhile, was filled with over thirty well-armed men. After a bit of a standoff, the group was allowed to enter the base, where they finally met with a serious looking man, wearing a patch (pictured right).

The numbers Susan had asked about were, in fact, Foundation organizations. Level 6 is a black-book organization, filled with spies and data analysis; level 8 is... well, let's just say no one has ever heard of them, and for a very good reason.

The team was given the location of another base, which they immediately set off to find. It was in a warehouse district; inside, Kiree tried speaking a few different languages, indicating her need of a bathroom, but the secretary at the desk firmly indicated there were no public facilities. Undeterred, Kiree traded places with the rest of the group. As they entered the building, she pulled out her laptop and started a quick blog.

As soon as the party had entered the building, this time equipped with swords, a bow, and a smattering of arcane power, the doors slammed shut. Before anyone could react, the secretary blasted them with a vehicle-size flamethrower! Severely singed, the party - and Guts in particular - wasted no time in cutting down the secretary, two guards, and what seemed to be a normal person who whipped out a shotgun at the first sign of trouble. Hoping the guards were merely mind-controlled, Blacklock healed one of them... but the moment he turned his back, the man pulled out a revolver and scattered his brains across the wall.

The other guard was quickly knocked out.

Susan, stuck outside, was about to try breaking the door when Dredd opened it for her. Well, the glass, anyway. Stepping inside, Susan took a cursory glance around the room, then with a shake of her arm, popped a buzzsaw out of her wrist and chopped through the locked door at the back of the room. "Care to join me?"

Inside, the group ran into a rather large defense turret; Blacklock teleported next to it, and blasted it in one quick action. Hearing some noises in a nearby closet, Guts opened the door, only to find a man in a furry costume hanging from some coat-hangers. It seems that he had been brought in for questioning, and when the building was attacked, he was tossed into the closet "for his own safety."

Meanwhile, Kiree found something quite disturbing... while the yet-living guard was merely mind-controlled, the other man in the lobby seemed to have no natural memories before three days ago; a clone? A body blank? Whatever he was, he was definitely not natural. The woman, meanwhile, had a few more memories, though nothing useful that Kiree could find. After clearing the last day from the mind of the guard, she pushed him out the door, telling him to go home. The other two... she casually killed. Kiree, it seems, is hardcore.

In the next room, three thugs and a robot waited for the group. The normal chucked a grenade inside... only to have it flung back at him! Luckily, there was enough cover that it didn't go far, and no one was seriously injured. Susan leaped past into a doorway, and with a flick of her wrist, fired a plasma blast into a second thug. Armor... would have been useful. The blast burned a hole completely through the thug, and he dropped without a sound. A quick exploding arrow later, and the thugs (and the robot) were disabled. The group entered the elevator, which took them down... then over... then back up again, this time all the way to the roof.

Guts, seeing the helicopter there was about to take off, leaped out, and with a slash of his blade, chopped the end of the chopper cleanly off! Suddenly both lighter, and unable to steer, the chopper slid sideways until it hit the lip of the building, where it tilted over, and plunged through the side of the warehouse across the street! Just in case, Guts leaped after it. Inside, he found the smouldering remains of the chopper, with the pilot and two men in suits inside. What he didn't find, however, was any glass. The windows were plucked clean. As he straightened, he heard a voice above him: "You've picked the wrong side! You've already lost, you just don't know it yet!"

A figure flashed through a broken skylight and was gone. Or... rather... would have been gone, except that the Crimson Dredd was keeping a lookout. An arrow slammed into the man, followed by two more; severely wounded, the figure screamed, and returned fire before jumping to the alley behind the warehouse. Guts jumped to the roof, the followed. The man ran for the end of the alley, windows exploding behind him. Broken bottles, shattered windows, even decorative glass bricks exploded into a wall of glass. With a yell, the man tossed an enormous shard of glass towards Guts, slamming into him, even as more glass surrounded the figure. Guts shook it off, and swung his blade at the man, but flying glass deflected most of his attack. Dredd leaped down from the Foundation building's roof.

The man waved a dismissive hand at Guts, trying to hide his obvious injuries. A wall of glass snapped together over Guts' head, blocking his way; he had to run back and leap onto a neighboring building, and by that time, whoever that was had escaped. Dredd joined him, but could only surmise he had found a vehicle - or commandeered one.

Battered, and with a new enemy to look out for, the party regrouped...

The mysterious figure could have been none other than Baneul, a master of glass; but why was he there? Was he working for the Nazi aliens? Or was he part of another faction? Was he in cahoots with whoever was controlling all those people? Or did he have his own agenda? All these questions and more, next time on Supers!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Supers: Meanwhile, in Another Part of Town

A new superhero organization has formed. It is made up of... well, unfortunately, I completely forgot to write down who everyone is, and for that I appologize. Anyway.

Their base is carefully hidden in the Bahamas; a large, state of the art facility, well hidden, with access locally and by teleport. The teleporter can lock onto their security badge and teleport them to and from the base from anywhere in the world. Additionally, anyone without a badge will activate the security system: turret laser guns, or heavy flamethrowers. Their generator keeps everything running off the grid. Inside is a spacious command center, a workshop, a kitchen/dining room, a medical center, and personal quarters for 8. In case of capturing a super-powered individual, they have a single nullifier cell.

Shortly after the attack on Chicago, the group set out to assist the nearest Foundation base. They found the structure under attack, with human-sized mechs finishing off three survivors outside the building. Joining the fight, they saved the lives of Jeremiah Wong, a magic user, and Joe Franklin, aka Fire and Ice; Joe can split into two beings, one fire-based, and the other cold-based. After rescuing the two (or three, when Joe is split), they joined forces to defend the base, moving to the opposite side.

There, they found a large mech, surrounded by 6 different mechs, each with a special ability; the Exploding Man was quickly taken out, but the rest of the group managed to survive. The large mech took the Exploding Man hostage inside. The special mechs were destroyed, and the large mech was nearly defeated, when something came rocketing out of the damaged building, nearly knocking over the group's own spellcaster. The speeding form and the damaged mech were both teleported away...

Inside the damaged building, they found a locked room; the rescued mage contacted someone inside, and a young woman opened the door. Inside, the windowless rooms seemed to be decorated as a mundane apartment, complete with children's toys on the floor.

As the team discovered, the woman, Susan LaGrange, was taking care of a young girl, about ten years old. While Susan declined to explain why the girl was under protection, she did show off some of her own skills - Susan has Cybernetic enhancements, which she uses to great effect to protect her young charge. She cautioned the group against prying too hard into the little girl's abilities. Whatever the reason, the enemy forces seem set on finding the young girl.

Thus, the team offered to protect her; with the Foundation under attack, the hidden base may be the safest place for the girl to be.

Who are these Nazi attackers? Where did they come from? What do they want with a little girl - and what power does the girl possess? What are the names of our heroes, and why does the GM never think to write them down? All these questions and more will be answered this week, on Supers!

XP this week: 1 point for successfully defeating the mechs, and 1 point for agreeing to protect the girl.