Sunday 29 October 2017

Carrion Crown, Session 48: Last of the Demon Wolves

Carrion Crown, as told by Inquisitor Victoria van Helm.

Dear Inquisitor Coim,

After our undersea adventures, we headed back to town, and took a day.

On the 19th, we noticed that there's some sort of... presence... in town. Things seem unusually quiet, no birds singing, frogs croaking, and suchlike. Ronan and Hecathia also appear to believe I'm being possessed by the Frog Globe. I think this is patently ridiculous, and the globe agrees.

As we discussed the matter, Hecathia noticed a mysterious aura out in the forest that retreated as quickly as it arrived. We couldn't really let this go, and went to investigate it.

We advanced down familiar paths just outside town, and around a corner found a most horrifying sight -- what was left of two deer were splattered all over a nearby tree. Whatever it was, it looked like it had torn them apart manually.

Hecathia realized this could be an offering to Griselda, god of the hungry moon. We hear breaking branches... and the one who made the offering. A large wolf-like biped barged out of the woods! The monster was especially furious with Hecathia, and she in turn seems to recognize him.

We had a turn to make ready. Hecathia hastes us, I line up my shot.

I lunged forward, and branded him for retribution, but Ronan suggested we try to cure his werewolfism mid-combat. I agree, and prepared to dispel his curse on my next turn.

Hecathia prayed, as she does. The beast took poorly to being touched, and mangled me severely. As I got mauled, I heard Ronan remark he's almost capable of removing diseases.

To recap on what's required to cure werewolfism, we needed a simultaneous cure diesase and remove curse. I can remove curses, and had thought the paladin capable of the remove disease. But he wasn't. Nice to know. Would have been nicer to know prior to committing to the plan.

I instead settled for some small revenge on the werewolf, dancing around him to stab him in the back, and backing off considerably.

Hecathia engaged in banter. I learnt the werewolf 's name was Atamarius, and that he was looking for the heart of Sain. He took her bait, and charges towards her -- Ronan was not able to hit him and deal damage as he pushed past, and so Hecathia took a heavy hit for her bants.

Ronan charged in, and sliding on his chest, knocked the feet out from under Atamarius. I charged in as well, and put my knife clean through his bicep.

Hecathia backed off herself, and Ronan tried to stand up. I stabbed the werewolf in a frenzy. He tried to get up, but I didn't let up. He took a step, and lashed out at Hecathia. Ronan answers by taking out his guts, and Hecathia finished him off.

Ronan offered to heal me afterwards, but I invited Ronan to "Keep your non-disease-curing hands off me, you would-be paladin".

We looted the werewolf's corpse, particularly his grand sword, and after heading back to town, left it for Kalathas.

We travelled back to Thrushmoor to drop the seastone effigy off at Ronan's house first, then moved on.

During our trip, I learnt that the werewolf was actually contaminated with some unspecified space-plague disease -- whatever it is, I'm not exhibiting any symtoms, and appear to be immune.

The journey seemed quiet, if eerie, and after a few days, we passed by a fisherman's cottage -- it looked abandoned, but not for very long. Naturally, we decided this would be a good place to stay.

Hecathia's sense tingled, as she could feel a disturbance nearby, feel some major undead further up the hill. We decided to go for it, buffing up, and step into the forest.

Almost in response, the flora and fauna got weird. And further in, at treetop level, is something approaching a rift in time and space. We'd need a wizard to close it off or something.

Lucia's indifferent about it, and suggested just leaving it, as it wasn't exactly teeming with monsters. It eventually crossed our mind that it might only be devoid of threats because the monster was already here?

A giant, 40' tall spider stalked towards us! It was tall and agile, but not terribly strong; I branded it for retribution, and the team laid into it for damage.

Somewhere, I think I heard the voices of the gods discussing our fight:

"You successfully slice through the underside of the spider. Now you're covered in spider goo."
"No, my outfit!"
"Then it falls behind you, okay?"
"It falls onto Ronan."

Ronan (Imitating GM) "Does a 36 hit?"
Gm: "No, actually, it's only thirty... actually, yeah, 36."

The spider eventually decided it had had enough, and withdrew from combat, fading out and bouncing away. I couldn't see it, but clearly Hecathia could; she was staring up at the trees, and with her magic, smashing them one by one. She smashed one last tree, and pointed where it landed with a thump.

Lucia slung a fireball at it, and the fireball hit something invisible and vanished. I ran forward and took a pot-shot with my crossbow, but hit nothing.

The rest of the party charged in and had more luck, massacring it, but not before it violently poisoned Ronan. The party managed to hold him down and pump enough restorative magic into him to keep him from death's door and let him ride out the poison.

And that's all for now; we'll be moving again shortly.

Glory to Pharasma,

Sunday 15 October 2017

Delta Green: Future/Perfect, Ep 2, pt 2

Doctor Kilroy is absolutely not an Agent for an agency that doesn't exist named Delta Green, one of many such phantoms defending the world against things that shouldn't exist.

We watch the medevac chopper soar back into the sky with it's cargo of Zark and Magnus. In order to save enough fuel to get Zark to an appropriate trauma center, one of the paramedics, Jason Simons, has to remain behind. He's dangerously curious about the situation.

I explain an edited version of events -- Zark was an undercover operative infiltrating what we believed to be the ring responsible for the mystery deaths in the area recently. Due to the untimely arrival of Deputy Sherriff Androzy,

Androzy comes to, and asks what the hell he just saw. I lie and explain that it was two guys in an animatronic suit. An armored one, as Androzy opened up on it with no effect.

Androzy recalls the dashcam in his car, and reckons it has footage. We step in to sabotage recovery of the footage, but... Androzy does that on his own.

We return to town, to pick up a flamethrower from Androzy's house. During this, we get a few phonecalls. Magnus calls, and advises Zark will live. Probably. We're also running out of time, as an actual FBI response team is inbound from Bakersfield, about 8 hours out, in response to the EMTs phoning in the shooting of a FBI agent.

We lock and load, and go back to the site to go dinosaur hunting. It's now closer to 4am, and the traces of last night are pretty damn clear. Jason figures out that it weren't no animatronic.

Agent Jacob comes clean. We're hunting genetically modified monsters created by the FDA. Ex-nazi science projects gone wild. Jason and Androzy are on board with it.

We track the dinosaur about two kilometers to a culvert; it's strange, the tunnel is lined with green vegetation... in Death Valley. There's tiny red flowers that are bright, and I suggest not touching them if possible. Jacob notes that they're surrounded by dead bugs. "Don't touch the flowers", he says. That's literally what I just said.

We head in. The water seems to rise and fall, like waves. As Androzy crosses an intersection, and a dinosaur-shaped blur darts across and snatches Androzy away. Agent Emily opens up on the dinosaur, felling it, and Jacob double-taps it, but in our panic, the rest of the team opens up, including myself with the flamethrower.

If Androzy didn't die on first impact, he's certainly dead now.

With a bonfire blocking this tunnel, we press on down the main one. There's been a cave-in of sorts, rebar blocking our way, and I realize we're probably back under the imploded Hunt Electrodynamics. I try to squeeze under it, but slip and severely injure myself.

Moving on, we enter a large dome room. The source of the ticking is a geiger counter hooked up to disposable car batteries. I unhook one of the terminals to shut it up. The plant-life here is thick.

We press on, and find a second, larger dome room. The vegetation here is larger, and the water deeper.

We find a mysterious black stone archway. In it, various places filled with assorted gold cubes, each 6.04cm cubed. There's an empty slot for a cube, much like the one we found in the dead guy's house. The archway proves very difficult to damage or dismantle. The arch is filled with a mysterious fog, and water appears to be pouring out of it.

Jacobs tosses a rock through the portal, and it doesn't hit the other side. Definitely a portal, then. He sticks his head through, and promptly gets sucked in.

Meanwhile, Jason has found a stick with a timable camera on it which could be used to take a picture of what's on the other side. Emily and Jason stick it through and look at the film, but it's just a blurry mess. Almost like they ruined it by looking at it.

Jacob's been gone for like, half an hour by now. He's probably not coming back. We decide to mess with the arch. I predict that removing the cube activated it, so putting it back in turns it back off.

They put the cube back in, and there's a *pop*. I toss a stone through the arch, and it makes a noise, hitting the other side.

Agent Emily tries to call Magnus. Her phone's dead, fried. Not hard to guess how.

They put the cube with another rune facing inwards. The whole chamber begins to shake, and our vision blurs. We see visions of a tunnel. The stone test suggests the portal is still portalling. I stand next to it, and prepare to go through if Agent Jacob does not return in time for a last-minute escape.

Jason and Emily manage to escape the chamber. I watch them go, and enter the portal.


Agent Zark made a recovery, and eventually returned to field duty.

Agent Magnus never really found out what happened to his team, and nobody knows if it really bothered him.

Jason and Agent Emily escaped, but suffered extreme radiation poisoning; they were picked up by DG operatives and taken to a medical facility for debrief. Afterwards, they vanished, never to be seen again. Jason is survived by his son.

Nobody ever found Androzy's corpse. Probably.

Nobody ever found out what happened to Agent Jacob. The portal took us to different times, and further back each time the portal is used, so he's probably several dozen million years ahead of me in the future.

And me? I'm standing in a lush, swampy area. I see vegetation and creatures that haven't been seen on earth for millions of years. I'm stuck in the past, a fossil in training. If my severe radiation poisoning doesn't kill me, myriad diseases and swamp diseases will.

I have my revolver, a spare bullet, and am looking for somewhere dry and safe to leave what I hope is an interesting corpse.

And on the wall, I will leave my legacy. A chariacture with a large nose, poking over a wall.

Kilroy Was Here.

Saturday 14 October 2017

Necessary Evil: Prologue: The Fort Kincaid Heist

Necessary Evil is a Savage Worlds campaign where supervillains (or unpopular heroes) are the last line of resistance against alien invaders named the V'Sori.

This campaign is being run by yours truly, starring:

Marshal Lawless - Old western hero turned undead, turned supervillain.
Warhead - A hulking, butt-ugly mountain of a man who glows faintly. Occasionally mutters to himself about lizard people and a hollow earth.
Wattlad - A young, cocky brit with a confident swagger. And electrical powers.
Roux - A mercenary for hire with god-awful luck, a phobia of wet footwear, and a jetpack.
Torment - Missing an arm, but otherwise pretty normal -- almost like an accountant. Also really into the slap and tickle.

It's 2001, and with the K'tharen, or "Fins", recent ravaging of the earth, things are tight all over, but humanity's recent salvation from the webbed hands of the V'sori has not only turned things around for mankind, but produced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A man named E has come across the inside running of the decade -- in a show of appeciation for the V'sori, a celabratory ceremony is being planned, and most of earth's remaining heroes -- including the Champion and Alpha Force -- will be in attendance.

Of course, life goes on, and the world doesn't stop for a party, no matter how big. And in reality, E has discovered that the recent war with the Fins has left gaps in the military roster, and in the chaos following the attack of the Fins, more than a few critical positions have been propped up with the personnel equivalent of a bluff.

Normally, this paper tiger of security would be supplemented by the world's heroes... but they'll all be busy attending the ceremony. With no immediate backup from the Champion or other major heroes, there's a window of opportunity to do something major to one such supply line.

E has his eyes on Fort Kincaid. The fort is one stop in the journey of a high-security convoy for a rare and precious alien mineral: Argyllium. This strangely-patterned crystal is poorly understood and rare, but filled with power and potential, and normally under extremely high guard.

Even at it's reduced guard, it's a formidable target for one attacker, and so E has put out the word, looking for allies. He's made no secret of what the objective of the day is -- the reward is an equal share of the Argyllium, although E is certainly willing to take as much as he can get in exchange for a cash payout.

E outlines two options: the team can break into a bunker at Fort Kincaid, and extract the Argyllium before dawn, or they can hit the convoy en route -- he leaves the choice to the team. Whatever they pick, E will arrange any hardware or personnel required for the mission.

Fort Kincaid is aware of it's cargo, and has fortified their paper tiger security with mercenaries from Longsword International.

The team opts for the pre-dawn raid on Fort Kincaid, and decides to go in over one of the watchtowers. Wattlad finds the fence to be electric and shorts it out, while Torment goes over the top with a grappel hook, and demonstrates the strength of his pain-inducing touch. Everyone else joins him, and descends into the compound.

As they do, the sentries are alerted by the shorting out of the fence, and send two to check it out. As they get close, Marshal Lawless jumps through a nearby window, causing a commotion. As the sentries are further led to investigate, they run into Warhead who slaps them into the wall and fence for being "Globalists".

Meanwhile, Torment and Wattlad are checking out the electronic keypad locking one of the large hangar buildings. Wattlad shorts it out, deadbolting the door. E steps in, and melts a hole in the door.

Warhead, who was cleaning up his mess, rushes to the second hangar, and primes himself to explode.

Torment, Wattlad and E get their door open, and find eight trucks, parked bumper to bumper and laden with shipping containers. The trucks are locked, but the containers are not, because their contents are individually locked -- the Argyllium.

Warhead detonates, blowing a hole in his door and entering the hangar to find a handful of the usual millitary vehicles... including a modernized M4 Sherman tank.

Warhead asks for keys to drive the tank, and the Marshal kicks the door of the nearest building in, looking for keys. Warhead suggests a desk, and the Marshal finds keys. He grabs them all, and throws them all at Warhead once outside.

Warhead, upset, goes to try all the keys in the tank, hoping to find the right set.

While he's doing that, Marshal Lawless barges out of the admin building he jumped into, just in time to see one of the two sentries following up on their friends. Roux puts an arrow in one at extreme range, while Marshall Lawless quietly shoots the other with a loud revolver.

Torment begins cutting a hole in the roof of the hangar to extract the Argyllium. He finds a acetelyne torch, and with surprising luck, gets it working and up into the rafters to begin cutting.

Outside, the rest of the guards start pouring out of the barracks. Roux takes a shot at one and misses, but Wattlad smokes one and stuns him.

As the guards stack up near the corner of the hangar to attack, Warhead guesses the right key and gets the tank running. They notice the sound of the engine, but not before he ploughs through the wall, crushing them flat.

The rest of the team makes quick work of the three remaining troopers, and hears an incoming helicopter. They think it's their goons coming to extract the Argyllium.

They are wrong. It's the Longsword Emergency Response Team. Warhead makes use of the tank to snipe it at range, but two angry jet-propelled projectiles detatch.

A long time ago, in the 80's, a villain named The Destroyer was rather active. He went missing one day, presumed defeated, but nobody ever figured out what happened to his trademark power armor... until now.

The two power armored mercenaries engage the team. One is immediately eliminated with a pain touch, falling off the edge of the hangar to his death.

The other takes off, and zaps Torment for smoking his buddy, inflicting a wound. Wattlad and Roux engage him in turn, stabbing and electrocuting him to death alternately.

The team grabs their reward, and gets out with the tank in tow, and no sign of the Champion or Alpha Force anywhere.

Whether they check the news or not, they find out by tomorrow why -- both are dead, along with most heroes, thanks to an unforeseen double-cross. Whatever assets they have taken from this adventure will need to go into storage and wait until the aliens are gone, for now the team are all wanted felons for being supers, one and all.

Sunday 8 October 2017

Carrion Crown, Session 47: Boss Fog

Carrion Crown, as told by Inquisitor Victoria van Helm.

Dear Inquisitor Coim,

We caught our breath after the fight.

Resuming our investigation, next to what we now know as mulcher are a number of bodies. A couple of scum, and three males and one female corpse, including the mayor. All the human corpses have had the tops of their skulls carefully removed, and the contents emptied.

Lucia wants to feed the leftover bodies through the mulcher. Ronan and Hecathia would prefer if she didn't. They compromise, and let her feed the plant things and scum through.

On the wall, there is a door which we spotted just before the fight. Well, it looks like a door. The stone is unnaturally smooth, and seems like it's been shaped, rather than crafted.

Hecathia also notes that she's getting bad omens about this place; it feels like the veil between planes is thin here, and it's getting weaker by the minute. If we don't do something soon, Bad Things will happen. And the future that the Frog Globe showed me will come to pass.

There's one way out of this room that isn't the one we came in by, so we go through it. It's a long corridor, and time seems to flow strangely here, and I feel much better much quicker than expected.

We reach the end of it, and our way is blocked by a doorway filled with a mysterious, impenetrable fog. On the other side is an octagonal room of steel walls, filled with mind-numbing terror. Strange machines. Steel, bloodstained operating tables. The walls at the base of the dome are transparent, and we can see the murky black water outside. At the apex of the dome is a dark grey orb, moving around a bright orb. Our solar system? Beyond it, the dome is shrouded in darkness and I can't see it.

There are also four more plant-thing vivisectors, two of them manning the tables. And on one of them, an unfortunate soul with things sticking out of him. They fiddle knobs as we enter, and he explodes into some monstrous... thing.

I waste no time, point and declare "BEGONE, THOT." It works, and is cursed.

Lucia busts out a new party trick, and a monstrous fireball erupts from her hand, and flies into the room.

A vivisector flies down and points his globe-thing in our general direction. We're hit by a cone of cold mist, and I feel it. We're now immersed in fog, and can't see shit.

I press on anyway; I dodge around the eviscerator as I try to flank it, only for a massive tentacle to lash out and grab me, yanking me towards the giant creature. It pins me to the ground, and small suckers nibble on me, draining my strength!

Lucia charges in, growing massive, and lays into the enemy before they attempt to do the same to her; she has the devil's luck, though, and nothing seems to be able to touch her!

Ronan and Hecathia emerge from the fog to join the fight proper. I struggle feebly, but can't escape. My strength wanes. I'm in dire straits.

The thing charges towards Lucia, trying to trample her; she stands her ground, laying into the thing.

Ronan obliterates the eviscerator that was spraying us with cold. I keep struggling, and lose a little more strength.

Lucia tears into the creature once more, breaking it's spine and shredding it to tiny little pieces!

Ronan helps me up, and Hecathia restores my strength, before telling us that the place is coming down, and we need to put a hustle on, now.

Lucia tries to loot the table, but is interrupted by the whole place shaking.

Hecathia tries to use the machines lining the walls to try and stave off the collapse of the dome.

I fish a suit of chainmail from the poor bastards' gear, a fine set of shadow mistmail. (Blur)

Ronan gets huge, to try and scoop items into the now enlarged opening of the bag.

Lucia charges forth to clear a path. Hecathia signals Croon to get the sub ready. I run ahead to scout for any foes, and between Lucia and Ronan, they manage to find the sub and get us back to it.

As the sub goes up, we watch the dome implode on itself, corpses washing out of the tunnels. On the surface, Croon even noticed the effects of what we killed; there had been a monstrous squid below him, and suddenly everything dropped as water was displaced.

We search the guy's gear; aside from a number of items, he had a letter from "A.A.", instructions for the guy on the slab to trade a statue stolen from Leppistadt. Clearly, he hasn't completed his job.

But we've got a suspiciously barnacled mace, and the courage to take his place...

The boot's on the other foot now. Onward to Caliphas. Time to put an end to this Carrion Crown.

Glory to Pharasma,