Torg Eternity: Dark Skies

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Episode 32 - Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Postby mathey » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:27 pm

Turin, Italy

The Storm Knights are in Turin to meet with Colonel Hastings and talk with him about what he’s learned about the pack of werewolves troubling the region. It is hoped that they can track down Babin the Beast and put an end to his reign of terror in the Cyberpapacy.

Waiting for their appointed time near the local Egyptian Museum, the Knights don’t see any sign of Hastings. Oswyn goes to a confessional booth to look for information, speaking to an AI projection about Cyber Catholicism. He naively signs up for an account and eventually gets himself a free GodNet smartphone.

After a half-hour has passed, the Knights leave to investigate the apartment block where Hastings was staying. They arrive at the place and see Church Police setting up a barricade while they deal with a recently discovered corpse lying on the sidewalk. It is apparently a woman and her body is extremely bloody, showing signs of some sort of animal attack.

William spies some large paw prints leading into an alleyway and deduces that they belong to a werewolf which leapt down from the balcony of Hastings’ apartment room.

Olivia and Sigma investigate the apartment, finding a werewolf hair in the bathroom along with notes about recent wolf attacks happening near the town of Castellamonte. Sigma checks Hastings’ luggage and sees that the hunter has taken his pistol and holster with him, leaving behind a box of some .455 silver bullets.

Hearing sounds of gunfire and screams, the Knights pursue the source of the noise and find the werewolf is still in the immediate vicinity. Racing to get to it before the Church Police reach it, they take a variety of routes to try and catch up to the quick-moving lycanthrope. Oswyn grabs himself a scooter which he speeds through the alleys on while Olivia jets into the sky with her rocket pack. Sigma and William run after them on foot, with Kash taking lower paths and almost slithering across the asphalt and concrete. In the midst of the pursuit, Sigma uses a spell to disguise himself as a streetbeater and misdirects the Cyberpapacy’s officers, sending them to the kiosk where Oswyn earlier registered himself.

Cornering the werewolf down near the Po River, the group surrounds the speedboat it commandeers from a bystander, with Oswyn ramping the scooter off of the bank and onto the back of the boat. William deduces from the monster’s features that it is in fact Colonel Elvin Hastings, transformed by the curse of lycanthropy. They are able to reason with the bestial creature and capture him, using an anchor chain from the speedboat to keep him under control. Piloting the boat away from the scene, they eventually locate a riverside cottage to hide Hastings in. William calls upon an Italian acquaintance of his to come to the small house and keep the transformed monster hunter under lock and key until they can potentially find a way to reverse the curse.

Castellamonte, Italy

Rejoined by Bianca the Corsican witch, who had been waiting in Turin, the Knights then drive their car north toward Castellamonte, the location of the recent rash of wolf attacks. They see that there are Carabinieri checkpoints surrounding the town, so they have Kash examine a 3D map of the region to find another route. He pinpoints a former lumber road used by an inactive lumber yard and they take the worn path to elide the police.

The Knights get to the inn where the Colonel was planning to stay, charging their rooms to his account for the six people. They meet the depressed innkeeper and some Swiss tourists who are also staying at the place.

They move almost immediately to prepare for the hunt: Olivia looks for supplies, William researches the subject, Oswyn tries to find some transportation, Kash goes with Bianca to do some tracking around the nearby Gran Paradiso National Park, and Sigma goes to the local bar.

Kash and Bianca have a long conversation about their respective belief systems, finding parallels between the teachings of Lanala and the Wiccan system Bianca follows. They are not in agreement about how to view death, however, with the witch feeling it is needed component of her practice. The two see tracks that seem to indicate that there are packs of wolves around the Gran Paradiso forest. They eventually also find larger paw prints suggestive of multiple humanoid scale wolf-like creatures which have been coming in and out of the woods. The activity appears to happen mostly at night, and the wolf packs sometimes work in coordination with the werewolves.

William finds some online information about Italian myths and legends related to werewolves, including stories about “the Benandanti”, men and women who supposedly could commune with nature spirits and ride the forms of animals - including wolves. They opposed their enemies, malandanti, evil witches who disturbed the natural order. Historically, those who claimed be members of this “good witch” organization were condemned for heresy by the 16th century Inquisition.

Oswyn rents some off road buggies for the team. While at the rental place he overhears people talking, mentioning that the innkeeper’s teenage daughter was killed by a wolf attack when she foolishly went camping out in the nearby forest with two friends. One other girl was killed and the third is still missing.

Sigma visits the bar and chats with the barkeep about the wolf attacks, claiming that he and his friends are in town to hunt the animals. This raises some suspicions among the other patrons, including a flashy anchorwoman for a tabloid news show and a pushy local punk who threatens him. He stares down the punk unflinchingly, and she leaves, promising to meet him again later. Chatting with the bartender, he learns some more about the tensions in Castellamonte.

Olivia asks at a store about finding wolfs-bane and silver bullets, then gets directed to a Roma camp where a shady guy called “Patchy” sells a range of items, many of which are black market and exotic.

Kash, Bianca, and Olivia arrive at the Romany camp around the same time, finding it to be a fairly rundown location filled with trash and broken down looking RV trailers. Their arrival gets some attention from the inhabitants, who regard with them some suspicion until Olivia asks to talk to Patchy. They are led to Patchy’s trailer by a young Roma woman with several piercings and an American accent. She introduces herself as Ethelinda, and she appears to have an interest in herbs and pagan magic.

Patchy is a salty older Roma who offers to help the Knights get the werewolf-hunting gear they are asking for in exchange for a lot of cash. The team promises to get him the money, and Bianca and Ethelinda seem to bond over their shared Wiccan interests. The punk that Sigma encountered at the bar shows up briefly to report on her encounter to Patchy, but the dealer tells her to leave them alone for the time being. She reluctantly stomps back out to wait outside.

While talking with Patchy about the locals’ suspicions of his people, a window of the trailer suddenly shatters as a Molotov cocktail is flung into it. As the deadly flames of the burning alcohol begin spreading inside Patchy’s trailer, the team hears sounds of a gathered mob of townies flinging more petrol bombs around the camp, shouting epithets at the Romany.

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Episode 33 - Scions of Nature

Postby mathey » Sun May 19, 2019 8:15 pm

Castellamonte, Italy

William and Olivia work to put out the fires started by the masked crowd of rabble in the Romany camp. Sigma, Kash and Oswyn walk out of Patchy’s damaged trailer and frighten members of the mob, causing several to flee the threatening Storm Knights. Others continue to attack with rocks, sticks, clubs and anything else they happen to have at hand, driven by their hatred and fear of the outsiders. Kash eludes their attacks with savage cunning while Sigma simply relies on the resilience of his occultech implants to protect him.

William shoots a water storage tank to flood a burning trailer and put out the flames, but soon finds himself surrounded by a cluster of masked men. The Victorian is badly beaten in the muddy ground, suffering some broken ribs and a shattered arm. Oswyn rushes to aid him, dispatching the assailants with blunt force.

Finding a fire extinguisher, the Weird Scientist sprays down some burning crates and boxes in Patchy’s battered home. As some of the mob breaks into the black marketeer’s trailer, Olivia creates a bright spark with her two ray guns, blinding the men and forcing them to scatter. Wailing sirens announce the arrival of a responding Church Police hovercar, which circles over the scene and tells the Romany camp to disperse. The cops do nothing to stop the mob violence happening below, content to observe and intimidate the outsiders.

Kash and Sigma take down the masked townsfolk who are attacking them, and the Edeinos punctuates his success by flinging an unconscious member of the mob up into the air. The body lands on the hood of the Church Police hovercar, causing the streetbeaters to panic and start firing at the lizardman. Before they can radio for backup, Olivia takes to the air with her jetpack and fries their antennae with a blast of her ray gun. As the damaged police vehicle begins to speed away from the scene, an enraged Bianca summons a fiery spell which destroys it and the two cops inside.

With the mob dispersed and the Romany camp saved from the molotov cocktails, Bianca and the Knights get the Romany set to leave, getting free supplies for their werewolf hunt.

The group discusses William’s findings about local werewolf legends, particularly those associated with the “Good Walkers” or Benandati. Looking for the means to trace the movement of wolves in the Grand Paradiso park, the team finds out about White Wind, a tagged wolf that was being traced by an RFID chip as part of scientific research. The team follows the traces of White Wind’s movements around the park and discover that he is currently located inside the compound of a local cult known as the Followers of Damanhur.

The compound is a large, sprawling complex that is largely built underground and is home to close to a thousand members. The Knights decide to attempt an infiltration of the Damanhur site to investigate further on site, using Kash’s position as a priest of Lanala as a way to gain access. Explaining that his faith shares much in common with the new age principles of the organization, the Edeinos and his “entourage” are welcomed into the Damanhur compound for a tour of the grounds. They meet an Italian woman named Frederica who shows them around, and then speak with the current spiritual leader, a man named Mauro Horvath.

The investigation shows that the cult’s Temple of Humankind has imagery of people being both wolves and human, participating in some communion rituals. The cult seems pleasant and peaceful otherwise, sharing in their well water ritual. It seems as if this place either is or was a cover for Benandanti - but the cult did not mention anything about the previous leader or how the group was before the current leader. The Knights spend the night in the compound as guests of the Damanhur society.

The next day, after noticing movement throughout the night, the team goes to try and investigate the cult’s possible connections to Babin and the werewolves. Oswyn, trying to figure out whether the wolves are werewolves, gets bitten by one of the pet wolves located in an animal pen and is transferred to a medical area to care for him.

Chiara, the tabloid TV anchorwoman Sigma encountered at the local bar, shows up around the same time to do a piece on the cult and its activities. She and her cameraman Zack snoop around the grounds and approach Kash for an interview. Chiara asks some impertinent and pushy questions, implying that the Edeinos’ faith is “savage”. She also presses Olivia, Sigma, and William for details about their lives, causing embarrassment but nothing to break their cover.

Oswyn wakes up from his trip to the recovery room inside of a narrow cell. He is greeted through a video feed by Babin the Beast. Babin decries his former faith in the Cyberpapacy and says that he has now taken over the cult to commune with nature. As Oswyn watches the former Cardinal transforms into a massive black cyber-werewolf. He claims to be Oswyn’s “Alpha” in the werewolf pack despite Oswyn willing himself to not succumb to the curse of lycanthropy.

Outside, William notices that Frederica was showing cat eyes before the rest of the cult move to surround them. His mind flashes back to the reports of a trio of young women who went missing in the forest and he realizes that the scar on Frederica’s shoulder is the likely sign of her being infected with some sort of curse. Chiara and her cameramen head downstairs into the underground part of the compound, presumably to continue their report on Damanhur. The team also realizes that Oswyn is absent.

The gathering of cult members in the courtyard start acting strangely after this and begin to close in around the Knights. As the cult starts to transform into werewolves and other man-beasts, Kash and Sigma together realize the situation later than everyone.

Kash: (Whispering to William) I think they’re werewolves.
Sigma: Oh, that’s why they’re called werewolves!

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Episode 34 - Rite of the Beast

Postby mathey » Thu May 30, 2019 11:37 am

Castellamonte, Italy

Kash, Olivia, Sigma and William are surrounded by werecreatures in the compound’s open-air temple, including a transformed Frederica who has changed into a demi-human lynx monster. The dozen or so beasts descend upon them from all angles, forcing most of them to fight back-to-back in close quarters. The Knights have trouble damaging their enemies, however, due to their lycanthropic resilience.

Kash darts nimbly around the transformed cultists and Sigma utilizes his Tharkold magic to keep them off-balance. Olivia eventually uncorks a bottle of powdered wolfs-bane and launches into the air with her jetpack, dusting a group of enemies with the substance to weaken their supernatural resistance to normal weapons. William uses his Dragon’s Breath alchemical rounds to burn the small cluster of vulnerable monstrosities, but is slashed by another werewolf when his back is turned.

Just as they have started to put a dent in the superior numbers of the were-creatures around them, four monstrous wolves run out of the woods to join the bestial cultists. They begin closing in to continue assaulting the beleaguered Knights, but luckily for the Delphi Council agents their friends Bianca, Ethelinda, and other members of the Romany camp arrive to help. They attack with spells and guns, buying the group an opening to escape and locate Oswyn. The team runs out of the outdoor temple and heads down the steps inside the main building.

The struggle between the werebeasts and the Knights outside matches the struggle going on inside of Oswyn in his small cell. He fights off the effects of the cursed bite he received from one of the wolves on the compound, retaining his humanity.

The Knights hear and see signs of a large convocation happening in the main underground Temple of Humankind, where hundreds of human cult members are witness to a speech being given by “Monsieur Broussard”, a balding middle-aged man who they recognize as the Ex-Cardinal Babin. The event is being broadcast on the GodNet, cutting into the Cyberpapacy’s official stream through some hacked channel.

Searching the hallways for signs of the missing Paladin of Dunad, they discover an infirmary where there are several coffin-like isolation chambers. Inside three of the sarcophagi are the slumbering bodies of Oswyn and the Swiss couple they met at the local inn when they arrived in the village. They deduce that all three are currently inside the GodNet, presumably awaiting transformation into full lycanthropes. While Sigma is familiar with the Grid, a similar virtual reality from Tharkold, none of the team are especially competent with hacking or computers. They decide to utilize some unused GodNet chambers next to the ones housing Oswyn and the tourists, projecting their minds into the local network while trusting Kash to keep an eye on their bodies.

Inside the GodNet, the Knights find the cells holding Oswyn and the tourists, guarded over by some patrolling avatars of intrusion countermeasures. They struggle to find the means to open the virtual doors without alerting the security system, but several alerts go off once they get Oswyn’s door open.

Kash sees the GodNet broadcast where Babin is ranting about the “Scions of Nature” and the false God of the Cyberpapacy. He can see that Mauro Horvath is nearby Babin at the Temple altar, helping to officiate over a gory ceremony involving several cultists devouring the dead body of the TV cameraman that entered the compound with Chiara. The anchorwoman is still alive but handcuffed by the cult and clearly intended to be the next sacrificial victim in the perverse rite. Hundreds of human cult members observe the scene as they kneel in a circle around the central altar.

Deciding that he must intervene to stop the ritual, the Edeinos abandons the other Knights who are still stuck in the GodNet chambers and runs into the Temple of Humankind to attack the cult on his own. Fortunately for the others, a freak upgrade causes the local GodNet to reset and boot everyone out, including the now fully transformed Swiss tourists. Olivia and Oswyn work together to try and get the two werebeasts off of them, luring them out of the infirmary and into the Temple of Humankind. Still only recently turned into monsters, the couple begin to tear into the outer ring of cult members in the large room.

Racing to join the outnumbered Kash in the convocation chamber, the heroes arrive in time to see him getting assailed by numerous human cult members as Babin continues speaking over the GodNet by addressing a nearby floating camera drone. Kash fires an arrow that shatters the drone, interrupting the transmission, and Olivia zaps Horvath as the supposed leader of the cult begins gathering electrical energy for a lightning miracle targeting the Edeinos.

The Storm Knights prepare for their confrontation with Babin the Beast and the most fanatic followers in the corrupted cult….

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Re: Torg Eternity: Dark Skies

Postby Spatula » Thu May 30, 2019 1:04 pm

How did you handle the mechanics of being in the GodNet?

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Re: Torg Eternity: Dark Skies

Postby mathey » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:27 am

Spatula wrote:How did you handle the mechanics of being in the GodNet?

I didn't make up any GodNet mechanics, really, just used normal stats and assumed the simulation was based on their self-images. They kept wanting to hack virtual controls without having any Computers training, so I let them make a few Intellect rolls at -2 or -4 depending on their Cosm of origin. I think one of them forced a door open with a Strength roll, and had they thought to have the guy with Lockpicking pick a virtual lock I would have let them.

As it was, after a lot of failed rolls, they played the Mandatory Upgrade Cosm card to shut down the GodNet server and let them out.

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Episode 35 - Beast of Waste and Desolation

Postby mathey » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:21 pm

Castellamonte, Italy

The confrontation in the Temple of Mankind continues, with the heroes facing the sinister Babin, Mauro Horvath, and their deluded and deranged followers.

The Knights focus on stopping Horvath from unleashing his lighting prayer, with William firing a silver bullet into his chest, causing the lightning bolt to crash into the ceiling - dropping the debris on himself. The ostensible cult leader is crushed beneath, removing one more obstacle between the team and defeating Babin the Beast.

Oswyn leaps to the aid of Chiara, the tabloid reporter who was set to be the next sacrifice to Babin’s “Scions of Nature”. He pulls her away from the altar and the half-eaten corpse of her cameraman, leading her through the crowd of cultists and pushing past any who get in his way.

Olivia looks for the Ex-Cardinal’s weak spot, thinking over the clues the team has gathered thus far. She recalls that the cult compound was once home to some virtuous Benandanti, Italian mystics capable of transforming into animals and who fought Malandanti, their dark reflections. She also flashes back to a cultist noting that wine was not allowed on the premises. Spotting an image of a Benandanti figure striking a Malandanti in the chest with a wooden cross, she figures out the monster Babin’s True Death: stabbing a wooden crucifix through Babin’s heart and pouring wine into his mouth in a twist on the ritual of the Catholic communion.

She boosts her jetpack to go on a wine run outside of the compound, since it was banned from the facility. She communicates with Bianca over a Delphi Council commlink, asking the witch for an opening in the continuing fight going on upstairs. She comes back in less than a minute after finding a bottle of Red and a bottle of White from a local Castellamonte convenience store.

Babin transforms into his cyber-werewolf form, a massive and terrifying monster who lets out a powerful howl. This throws the Knights into confusion for a panicked moment, and Oswyn drops his weapon and makes for the exit before recovering his senses and returning to the battle. The werewolves and Babin scrap with the other Knights, unleashing feral attacks to slash and cut bloody wounds on Kash, William, Oswyn and Sigma.

Already still recovering from his beating at the mob attack on the Romany camp, a badly hurt William keeps his distance and focuses on quickly loading his monster hunter gun with a variety of alchemical rounds and silver bullets, taking down one of the two werewolves assailing him with a shot to the heart.

Oswyn leaps to the Gaean’s defense and helps keep the lycanthropes at bay, also suffering some injuries at their claws. Sigma gets in close with the monsters and fires his Webley revolver under the chin of this other half of the transformed couple, blasting a silver bullet into its brain and ending its torment.

The Storm Knights stay standing through gritty determination and inspiring one another to stay up. With only Babin remaining, the Knights work together on taking their enemy down. Olivia tosses a sparking ray gun at the master wolf, blinding it with a flash of Eternium-powered electricity. Kash quickly makes a small wooden cross with a thong of leather and two of his bow’s arrows. Sigma uses his occultech powers to weaken Babin further, providing an opening.

Oswyn jams an arrow-cross into Babin’s chest and the others pummel him to knock him out so Olivia can force the wine down his throat. Bianca shows up to see Babin’s final death as he tries to thrash out at Olivia and vomits up blood and wine. Bianca lights the body on fire as one final act of insurance.

The Church Police try to lock down the ensuing panic, but the Romani, the Resistance and the Knights get away by scattering into the woods of the Gran Paradiso Park.

The team eventually makes its way back to the cabin outside of Turin where William’s friend is still guarding over Colonel Hastings. The team finds out that Hastings remains infected even after Babin’s death, disproving their theory that he could be cured by killing the chief werewolf. The group decides to send their friend to Aysle to see if their magic rituals can cure him.

The Cyberpapacy increases their grip on northern Italy through the fear caused by Babin’s short transmission, raising the spectre of heretical cults as a threat to the local population. Thanks to the Knight’s efforts, however, the people there should at least be safe from werewolves.

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