Torg Eternity: Dark Skies

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Episode 40: Expedition into Darkness

Postby mathey » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:35 pm

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The Fires of Ra - Act II (Continued)


Sahara Desert
The daring Knights board the Imperial armored train as it rolls toward Thebes across the desert. The group boarding by the tail-end of the train are shot at by shocktroopers manning an emplaced machine gun, and they clear the jump just as their jeep is destroyed by .30 bullets. The other shocktroopers guarding the cars pop up to fire bursts to suppress the heroes and try to keep them at bay. Olivia and Oswyn move from the top of the locomotive towards the second car where Hooded Cobra is with an Elite Shocktrooper and a half-dozen other shocktroopers.

William trades fire with the troopers behind the sandbags surrounding the machine gun, taking down two of them with expert marksmanship. Kash moves up to take over the machine gun and brings it to bear on two other troopers, blowing them away.

The Hooded Cobra wheels around to see the Paladin and Weird Scientist advancing on him, and he raises Eye of Sobek in his hand. The relic begins to spark with ruby-red energy, threatening to unleash its deadly power on Oswyn.

Sigma and Kash make quips as they progress across the roofs of the train cars, each making “No ticket!” references while taking out the shocktroopers. William continues to be annoyed by the meta commentary on the life and death struggle, and he tries to line up a shot on a shocktrooper clambering up a ladder. His missed shot hits the spigot of a passing water stop to swing around, sweeping over the tops of the cars. This forces the Storm Knights to duck to not get hit by it, flattening themselves to evade the unruly spigot arm.

Using the distraction created by the swinging metal, the Hooded Cobra forgoes unleashing the blast from the Eye and leaps inside the second train car. A ramp suddenly drops, showing that it contains a small stable of Imperial steeds. Cackling madly, the masked villain rides out on one such horse, riding away from the train with the prize and disappearing into the desert.

Oswyn disconnects as he tries to slash at some shocktroopers, instead hitting the belt of one of the men. This knocks a grenade from the soldier’s belt onto the top of the train car, also activating its internal fuse. Thinking quickly, Oswyn swipes sword and takes out the two shocktroopers and hits the grenade away. The explosion breaks part of the cliff shelf to one side of the train, causing a rain of dust over the speeding locomotive.

Olivia jets overhead and fires her ray pistol at an Elite Shocktrooper, knocking him off of the train and next to a military substation on the other side of the tracks. She continues the electric blast of energy and it hits a gas tank that blows up the whole substation! Glory in the Sahara, Desert near Abu Minquar.

The Storm Knights take over the now unmanned train and see a dust cloud on the horizon, a sign of the approach of the Bedouin nomads they left behind at Abu Minqar. The Bedouins ride up and Bashira tells the Knights about a railroad switchback they can use to take a new line of track leading away from Thebes. The group follows the new path further into the expanse of hot desert and take the stolen train to a relatively safe point on the train line. They stop there and make camp for a day with the nomads.

The Storm Knights and Bedouins loot the train of Nile Empire weapons and an assortment of other gear, including some minor artifacts taken from the dig site. Sigma trains with the Webley revolver with some help from the Bedouins, setting up target practice among the dunes. In exchange, the cyborg offers advice to the tribal leaders on resistance fighting based on his own experiences surviving in the war against the Tharkoldu. Kash creates or finds a domino mask for himself, and starts calling himself “The Mighty Sobek”. After their time resting with Bashira and her people, the team heads to Cairo with Shafira….


XP: 5 (195 XP)

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The Fires of Ra - Act III


Ramses Station, Cairo
The Storm Knights return to Cairo after their expedition into the Sahara. Locating the large train terminal known as Ramses Station, they deposit the coin The Raven gave them in a payphone. A panel slides back on the floor, revealing a hidden stairwell leading underground. The group goes downstairs and finds a secret Delphi Council lab which is being used by the organization for planning their next mission.

The team meet some of the Mystery Men: The Raven (who freed them from the Imperial forces), the lead Mystery Man Dr. Alexus Frest, and Olivia’s brother Toby Sparks. “SNOWFLAKE”, the head of Delphi activities in the Nile Empire, is also there, overseeing their briefing. The group talks about recent signs that Cobra delivered the Eye of Sobek to Pharoah Mobius, but the Storm Knights make note that he will betray Mobius some time in the future. Dr. Frest says that Pharoah Mobius has some new superweapon in development that is airborne, showing the team movie footage the Mystery Men recorded showing of craters of glass. These pits of burned sand appear to be signs of the weapon being tested.

The Mystery Men and Delphi Council reps anticipate a big battle coming up to try and put a stop to this latest plot of Mobius, but they will need more allies. They say they have come up with a plan to try and get the recently transformed Amazons on the Mediterranean island of Karpatos to join their cause. The idea involves locating the Bow of Sekana and gifting it to the Amazons as a show of faith. The bow is apparently an Eternity Shard, the personal weapon of a Queen Sekana, the former ruler of the Lost City of Zembiti. The Zembiti people were destroyed by The Egypt That Never Was when they resisted being conquered, but the ruins of Lost City are still located somewhere on the Congo near Kisangani. SNOWFLAKE wants the Storm Knights to go there and recover the bow. He and the Mystery Men will continue investigating Mobius’ mystery weapon while they are away.

Kash, now sporting his mask, announces that “The Mighty Sobek” will volunteer for the mission to get the Bow of Sekana. The other heroes note that his heroic alias is maybe poorly chosen since Sobek is the patron deity of the Nile Empire.

The Knights are informed that Kisangani is a port city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, located at the confluence of several African rivers. It is a bit of a shady place by reputation, as it is frequented by explorers, mercenaries, and river pirates. The Raven warns them to be careful while there.

As they are discussing their plans, Toby offers each of the Knights one of three types of one-time-use gizmos he has constructed in the lab. One is a metal orb (a “Psycho-Repulsor”) that can emit a pitch outside the range of human hearing which can aggravate non-human creatures in the immediate vicinity. Another gadget is a pair of metallic greaves which contain rocket thrusters (“Pulse Rocket Greaves”) which can allow temporary flight by those who wear them. The third and final option is a single-use grappling hook launcher (“Omnicable Launcher”) which can fire a line of cable up to 100 meters. Olivia and William decide to take the Psycho-Repulsors, Kash and Oswyn pick up the greaves, and Sigma picks up the grapple gun.

Thus equipped, the Knights board a plane provided by the Council and fly down to the Congo...

Kinsangani, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
The team arrives in the sweltering port town and meets up with an old friend of the team, Alex Hill. Kash recognizes Alex from the Cajun Navy, and he remembers stealing some chicken from him. Having subsequently taken up a job as a river pilot, Joe offers them a ride to the ruins of the Lost City free of charge. Joe calls his boat “The Jungle Queen”, and the team starts loading their gear on board.

Unfortunately, as they are getting ready to shove off, some local thugs show up, saying that Joe owes them money. A brawl starts on the pier near Joe’s steam launch, followed by an escalating chain of events:

  • A fire is accidentally started on the steamer’s deck but is put out by Oswyn and William using a rug stored on board.
  • Joe gets the Queen’s engine started, but some of the bad guys get on board.
  • Oswyn inadvertently hits the engine with an oar while swinging it at one of the goons.
  • A thug almost crushes a kid on the pier with some toppling crates while throwing one at Sigma.
  • Kash leaps to save the street urchin on the pier, but ends up off of the boat as it pulls away.
  • With the exhaust fouled up on the boat, the steamer goes off course, taking a tributary that leads them into some nearby rapids.
  • The fight continues with some of the thugs until they are finally dispatched with fisticuffs and gunplay.
  • Kash leaps across some rocks to catch back up with the steamer.
  • The Jungle Queen starts approaching a waterfall at the end of the rapids.
  • Olivia keeps her balance and goes to help fix the faulty engine. She puts on goggles to deal with the plumes of black smoke, then sees the pipe that needs to be fixed.
  • Oswyn and Joe push the broken pipe back into place, fixing the problem and allowing the steamer to turn around and avoid going over the falls.
Having dealt with the would-be debt collectors (Joe says he owes a little money to a local loan shark), the Storm Knights continue upriver. They travel aboard the Queen for some quiet hours, deep in the African jungle. The expedition eventually arrives at a docking place near the city ruins, located before some cascades further ahead.

As they pull over to a clearing on the shore, they find two boats (a barge and a steamer) already docked. Joe says that he thinks they were left by a group of Colombians who had last been seen heading this way some days ago.

Joe stays on board the steamer, fixing what damage was done to his boat. The Knights walk into the jungle clearing and head up some clear paths that have been hacked through the thick foliage. As they are progressing, they begin to see some fetishes dangling from the branches. Taking a closer look at one, William figures out that they are shrunken heads!

Continuing along the path, the team finds the empty camp of the Colombian archaeological expedition amid some free-standing bits of Zembiti walls. Searching through the abandoned site, they locate a journal, maps with notes in Spanish, and supply crates with Spanish stencils. They read the entries in the journal as best they can without a Spanish-speaking member in the group, seeing that one of the Colombians has drawn sketches of the local ruins.

The heroes can see that there are signs of blood, a dropped rifle, and marks in dirt indicating that some heavy objects were dragged away into the jungle. As they look around the eerie scene, they spot some chimpanzees watching them from nearby treetops. The primates seem peaceful enough but are clearly curious about the new arrivals.

The team decides to continue walking along the path that led to the camp. Kash and Olivia detect voices coming from ruins further north of the camp, but a big dirt track heads east, with signs of jeep tire tracks on the road. The voices coming from the north have French accents, and there is a rotting odor coming from the same direction. The group steers clear of that area and heads east, coming to a jungle gorge that plunges down to river rapids far below.

There is a wide rope bridge that crosses the ravine, but the planks of wood look uncertain. An abandoned jeep is ominously sitting on the mid-point of bridge, tilted at an angle, perilously close to tipping over. Heedless of danger, Oswyn starts crossing and his first footstep causes the plank to crack. The Paladin nearly falls to the crocodile-infested, churning water down below, but is able to keep his balance and get his footing. Deciding not to venture onto the bridge, Sigma uses the grapple gun to cross to the other side of the chasm and Olivia flies over as well.

Meanwhile, crossing the rickety structure, Oswyn, William, and Kash all reach the dangling jeep, seeing blood on the inside and a broken window. Testing the ignition they find that it is out of fuel and won’t start. Olivia and Sigma use some other rope they have to reinforce the bridge and help the rest of the group finish crossing over.

On the eastern side of the ravine, the Storm Knights hear cracking and snapping sounds, and they see the bridge collapse just as Oswyn has finished traversing to safety. The jeep crashes noisily into the river rapids in a hail of rope and wood. In response to the crash, some figures appear on the western side of the jungle gorge. A voice calls out in French, but the group decides not to answer and plunges further into the Zembiti ruins on eastern side. They quickly see that the encircling walls are more intact than the rubble they have seen so far.

The Lost City seems deserted, with maze-like passages, pillars, vines, and lots of tree roots pushing through the ancient foundations. Scouting ahead, Kash spots a tripwire, and the party safely steps over it. They see yet more shrunken heads dangling over the ruins. Eventually the team enters a circular courtyard with a muddy pit in the center. They hear a Spanish-accented voice calling weakly from the bottom of the pit, and they go closer to investigate. Looking down, they can see a surviving member of the Colombian expedition lying at the bottom of the hole, which is lined on its sides with down-ward pointing spikes. The man says that his leg was broken and his arm is in a bad way as well, meaning he will need someone to descend into the hole if they want to assist him.

The sun sets on the horizon as they speak with the injured man, and William feels the atmosphere shifting, feeling to him like a curious mix of Nile and Orrorsh realities now. Chimps can be heard banging on drums, and the Knights see the primates are bearing torches, their red eyes staring down at Knights from the surrounding city walls. The chimpanzees begin to chant together in what sounds like “Ko-Lo, Ko-Lo, Ko-Lo”. As if summoned by its name, a massive Silverback gorilla appears out of the shadows and approaches the party. The gorilla has its brain encased in glass, and wields big metal weird science claws instead of hands. It roars at the heroes and the apes descend upon them....

To Be Continued…


XP: 0 (195 XP)
Last edited by mathey on Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:53 am, edited 4 times in total.

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Episode 41: Doom in the Jungle

Postby mathey » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:28 am

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Lost City of Zembiti, The Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Knights scramble to try to distract Kolo from pulling a lever near the pit while also attempting to save the Columbian man at the bottom of the pit. They work well to distract the modified gorilla as Oswyn descends into the pit and lifts the wounded man onto his back.

The chimpanzees cheer from their places on the surrounding walls. Oswyn sees that there is a barred portcullis at the bottom of the pit with an underfed and abused lion behind it. The lever will release the lion so William uses a shrunken head to disable it, breaking off the lever.

Olivia rockets between Kolo’s legs to confuse him. Tricked by the heroes, Kolo hits a standing plinth nearby accidentally and it falls on him, he pushes it off as he gets back to his feet. Sigma and Olivia shoot Kolo, causing damage to his brain case, wounding him a lot. Despite the wounds, the ape rages on, seemingly driven by the pain. Kolo’s pincers malfunction due to electro-ray fire, hits a wall instead of Olivia.

Oswyn falls while climbing out of the hole, and as a result the poor Colombian man is killed when the two men land back at the bottom. Oswyn finds a fragment on the dead man’s body and starts trying to clamber up the dangling rope.

Kash is caught by Kolo when trying to swipe his tail at the gorilla. The ape flings the edeinos by his tail, and Kash’s rocket boots activate accidentally. He speeds towards one of the walls surrounding the courtyard, and almost smash into a wall but manages to regain control at the last second.

The lizardman flies over the pit while still flying and pulls up the rope that Oswyn is holding onto. He drags the paladin up and out of the hole at last, freeing the Knights to make their escape. William opens one of the two shut gates leading out, allowing himself, Kash, Oswyn, and Sigma to run out of the primates’ trap. Oswyn slams the gate shut behind the Knights, and Olivia flies over the wall to join the others. They can hear the berserk Kolo still tromping after them, so they run further into the city, moving toward the source of the roots.

The party reads the fragment of paper that Oswyn found. It is the record of an ill-fated Delphi Council mission that crash-landed on the city. The group of now-dead Storm Knights were on a plane transporting a nightmare tree seed to a Delphi base when one of the Nile Empire’s stela activated in the region. The team’s airplane crashed due to the resulting reality storm, killing most of the group. The journal writer was badly injured and trapped in the wreck of the plane, but witnessed the growth of the nightmare tree from the seed they were trying to deliver.

The heroes find the tree described in the journal is a massive Banyan tree now growing in a central plaza of Zembiti. They see the wreck of the doomed mission’s plane held aloft in the many massive roots of the tree which wind their way through the flagstones and walls of the ruins. They begin moving toward the plane and realize that some of the roots are moving to cover up the passages out of the plaza. Oswyn looks up and suddenly sees the maw of a massive snake coming towards him.

Olivia quickly sets fire to the plane, and the nightmare tree catches fire and begins to burn.
The 30m long snake turns from Oswyn as the flames lick at its heavily armored scales. The paladin stabs the snake in its eye, but the nictitating membrane protects it and his attack does not hurt it very much. As the group maneuvers around the coils of the serpent, the enraged Kolo shows up to attack them. They manage to get the snake and ape to fight each other, wrestling around the roots of the burning nightmare tree. Sigma shoots a burst into the back of Kolo, wounding the maddened beast even further.

Out of nowhere, a distant but powerful rifle shot nearly hits Olivia, but she is knocked out of the way by an accidental thrashing of the snake. She seeks for the shooter south of the plaza, flying over that part of the city ruins. She quickly finds a man in a pith helmet and old-fashioned khakis who she recognizes as the Nile villain, Sir Henry Killingsworth. The ruthless big-game hunter is shooting from behind the walls with his elephant gun, apparently hunting the Storm Knights for the Retribution League.

Killingsworth and Olivia trade barbs and the hunter shows that he has the steam launch captain Alex at knife point as a hostage. Olivia fires a hipshot past the human shield that causes another deadly blast from the villain’s gun to narrowly miss her. Pulling his hostage with him, Killingsworth ducks into hiding amid the maze-like paths of the city ruins. Scanning the streets from her aerial position, Olivia espies five more expedition members tied up at what appears to be Killingsworth’s base camp.

As Olivia and the big game hunter continue their game of cat-and-mouse, Kash boldly goes deeper into the tree and finds a tomb contained within the oversized trunk of the burning nightmare tree. He enters the enclosed structure and finds that the dark and wet crypt contains a mummified Queen Sekana holding her famed bow. Kash grabs the bow but Sekana holds it tight and animates, her eyes opening and her dusty limbs flexing with undead power. As if responding to her silent summons, wispy spectral forms clad in tattered robes rise up and fill the crypt, flying around the edeinos.

Sigma gives William his last three grenades to try and blow up tree at its roots while the giant snake and bloody ape battle. The resultant explosion causes the flagstones that make up the floor of the city plaza to break apart, and William, Sigma and Oswyn end up falling underground. They crash amid the debris into the flooded crypt chamber with Kash. William lands on Kash but averts slamming into his head by grabbing a ledge at last moment.

Up above in the growing fire, the mortally wounded Kolo is finally crushed by the snake’s tightening coils, and the serpent hisses in triumph. The nightmare tree keeps burning, growing closer to its final destruction. Most of the Storm Knights find themselves surrounded by ghosts in the flooded catacombs under the tree.

  • Oswyn enjoys fighting the swooping spirits, but for every one he cuts into mist with his blade, more and more come out of the disturbed tomb.
  • Sigma shoots his BAR at the swarming ghosts and Sekana’s mummy, but there is little effect on the undead. He lights a flashlight to try and see better in the chaotic darkness.
  • William and Kash get back to their feet and Sekana aims her powerful bow at the confused Knights.
  • Outside, Olivia continues her search for Killingsworth from up high. Having finished off the cybernetic gorilla, the big snake slithers toward them, in search of more prey….!

TO BE CONTINUED

XP: 0 (195 XP)

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Episode 42 - The Most Dangerous Game(s)

Postby mathey » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:43 am

The Fires of Ra - Act III (Continued)

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Lost City of Zembiti, The Democratic Republic of the Congo

The swarming spirits in the crypt howl and moan at the Storm Knights as Sekana fires an arrow at Kash. The edeinos archer quickly brings up his bow to deflect the shot but is disarmed by the impact, losing his own bow in the ankle-deep water.

Above ground, Alex is able to free himself from Sir Killingsworth and shouts to get Olivia’s attention, warning her that the big game hunter is lining up another shot. She has other things to worry about, however, as the massive snake slithers its way away from the burning Nightmare Tree to try and pursue her. She banks with her jetpack into a sidelong flight under a stone archway, then circles back around in a loop that causes the hungry monster to get itself tied up in a knot. The flying heroine heads toward the camp where Killingsworth is holding several Colombian archaeologists captive. The Nightmare Tree cracks apart as it continues burning, its death resulting in the demise of the colossal snake.

Sigma continues firing his BAR and is able to “exorcise” the ghosts from the crypt, leaving only the Queen’s mummy to oppose the team down below. Oswyn advances on the undead ruler and William helps provide a distraction that allows the Knights to nab the bow from Sekana. The mummy disintegrates the moment the bow is captured, and the group follows Oswyn upstairs after he uses his rocket greaves to ascend out of the pit and lower a rope. The paladin flies due south toward the confrontation between Olivia and Killingsworth, his sword pointed at the villain. Olivia and the others open fire on the hunter, forcing him to scramble for cover - but leaving him directly in the path of Oswyn’s swordpoint.

The longsword cuts into the huntsman’s side and pins him to a tree behind him, badly wounding Killingsworth. The hunter surrenders to the team in exchange for medical care, which William quickly supplies. Kash takes the Bow of Sekana, feeling the power of the Eternity Shard flow through him. He is reluctant to have to eventually give it to the Amazons on behalf of the Council.

Alex helps untie the Colombians and escorts the group away from the Lost City and back to his steam launch. The victorious expedition takes the rescued Colombians and the injured villain back to Kinsanagi after a quick return trip upriver. As they pull up to the dock and begin unloading, they see a local boy holding a telegram missive waiting for them. It is addressed to Kensington and comes from his old Pan-Pacifica contact, Kazuo Kojima.

XP: 5 (200 XP) The party has now attained Gamma-level clearance with the Delphi Council!


On The Trail of the Fox - Act I

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Daisen, Japan

The missive from Kazuo informs William that he wants his assistance in Japan, and it notably lacks references to the Delphi Council. Deciding to go help his old friend, William and the Storm Knights make arrangements to get a flight to Asia using some black market contacts. The group hires a Realm Runner with some shady leanings and a custom-painted Lear jet named Haruki. Oswyn asks Haruki to hold onto his weapons, and William and Olivia pay some other underworld types to smuggle their personal gear past the restrictions of Japanese customs. Sigma, Kash, and Oswyn hope to get weapons while in Pan-Pacifica rather than try and get their current gear past the strict customs inspection.

As they enter the busy streets of Daisen they see that there is a seasonal fireworks festival going on, replete with open-air markets, hanging lanterns, and visiting tourists. The streets are closely watched by roving patrols of Kanawa security troopers and local police, and the team can see that there are numerous checkpoints and barricades blocking off most of the rest of the neighborhood.

Heading to the karaoke bar mentioned in Kojima’s telegram, the group notices a disturbance in the crowd outside. Looking closer, they see that Kazuo himself is lying on the pavement, bleeding from a stomach wound. Gunshots can be heard and Sigma spots a figure with a fox mask running from the scene.

William quickly stabilizes the dying man and Kazuo grunts out something about a failed attempt to make contact with someone. Holding up their wounded contact as if he was stumbling drunk, they enter the karaoke bar and rent a booth for an hour. Sigma uses a spell to scramble surveillance devices in the area while Kash calls on Lanala’s aid. The goddess answers his prayer and helps to close the potentially lethal wound. While he’s still in pain, Kazuo is doing well enough to explain the situation.

He had come to Daisen in the hopes of locating a local vigilante who goes by the codename “Kitsune”. The masked freelance operative has been harassing Kanawa operations in the area, rescuing civilians from executions following a recent outbreak of the plague that has been troubling all of Pan-Pacifica. He says that he approached her when she appeared to help another bystander who was being bothered by Kanawa goons. In an attempt to maintain his cover, he made the mistake of claiming to be with Kanawa, and as a result Kitsune mistook him for the enemy. She cut him with a quick blow that would have surely resulted in his death if not for the Storm Knight’s timely arrival, then ran from the scene under fire by the security forces.

Kazuo asks William and the others to try and track down the freelancer and see if they can convince her to help the Delphi Council’s operations in Japan. He thinks she may have been wounded and is definitely being hunted by the security teams patrolling Daisen’s streets. The team agrees and heads back outside to start their search while the trail is still warm. Kazuo hands Sigma his handgun, saying he’s personally in no shape to use it.

William and Kash find Kitsune’s blood drops on the sidewalk leading away from the spot where Kazuo was wounded. Following the trail through the crowds and up a side street, they locate what appears to be an abandoned buddhist temple in an overgrown, fenced-in yard with a padlock on the gate. William picks the lock in record time, opens the gate, then relocks it behind them. The duo sneaks up to the structure to investigate and discovers an elderly man who is hiding out inside. They manage to convince him that they are not enemies and he introduces himself as Hideaki Okada. Explaining that they want to talk to Kitsune, the two are surprised by the masked agent’s sudden appearance in-person, her gun pointed at Kash’s back.

Meanwhile, Olivia looks around for a potential weapons dealer in the holiday crowd, eventually finding a Yakuza member who is willing to trade. She gets Oswyn a sword from the criminal’s wide selection of melee implements. As she rejoins the paladin and Sigma on one of the main streets, the group can hear what sounds like sudden screams coming from a back alley. As they go to investigate, they hear gunfire and then see a terrified Kanawa trooper come running from the side street.

Olivia tries to figure out what has panicked the security officer, and as they are cautiously approaching the lot at the end of the alleyway, another pair of Kanawa troopers pushes past them in an apparent response to a request for backup.

When they get to the mostly empty lot out back of the buildings on the block, the Storm Knights see a pale-skinned stranger standing over the fresh corpses of the two Kanawa officers and a third dead trooper. The Wight turns to address Oswyn as if expecting him, introducing himself as Antenoch, a worshipper of the Ayslish deity Cor’baal. He evidently has a history with the Dunad paladin, and he says they have unfinished business. Sigma prepares to shoot Antenoch, but Olivia tells him to back down so Oswyn can face his nemesis in single combat. They turn their attention to guarding the alley entrances while Oswyn and Antenoch face off.

Back at the buddhist temple, William and Kash plead their case to Kitsune, explaining that her encounter with Kazuo was the result of a misunderstanding. She seems sympathetic and willing to hear more, but the group sees that a squad of security troopers are stacking up at the gate outside. They tense up for a fight as the gate is breached and the Kanawa force rushes the temple.

The fireworks competition that marks the end of the night’s celebrations begins to explode overhead as the two groups prepare for their respective confrontations.

XP: 0 (200)
Last edited by mathey on Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:25 am, edited 4 times in total.

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Flashback: Oswyn and Antenoch

Postby mathey » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:20 pm

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Channel Tunnel, between England and France

Sir Oswyn of Gerrik regarded his surroundings with growing desperation. In the dimming light of his lantern he could see only twisting passages more or less blocked by rubble around him. He had managed to shake the raging minotaur off his tail for a moment at least. But if he couldn’t get out of the labyrinthine caverns, it would be only a matter of time before the beast found him and finished the task began by the life-draining claws of the wight-priest.

The nobleman’s mission had been simple: enter the tunnel under the channel separating Ayslish realm from Cyberpapacy with priests of Dunad and destroy the shrine of Corba’al reported to be there by Orrorshan Storm Knights. Accompanied by the priests as well as soldiers from his fief, the gallant cavalier had ventured into the subterranean passage full of confidence, anticipating a virtually uncontested victory for the forces of Light.

However, the retinue had been waylaid by lackeys of Uthorion, apparently sent down there to safeguard the shrine. With the ranks of his troops thinning slowly but surely, Oswyn had doggedly held off the seemingly endless horde of lurks while the priests had pushed on with the ritual to deconsecrate the shrine. As the ritual was reaching its culmination, the Gerrik noble found himself facing a ghoulish priest of Corba’al in personal combat.

The willowy wight turned and weaved, always staying an inch ahead of Oswyn’s blade. With every swing of the sword that missed, metal wailed and sparks flew as steel bit into stone. Then, just as Oswyn thought he had his opponent cornered, the wight whispered a single word, lifted a single finger - and the shrine’s support columns came crashing down, weakened by Oswyn’s blows. The knight looked in horror as the Exemplars of Light were buried under the rocks, giving up their lives rather than abandoning the ritual. A final, crescending chant delivered in a tormented voice sounded in the cavern. Then a gust of fresh air rushed in as the shrine of Darkness was no more, leaving behind only silence.

Oswyn was still reeling from the sight when he felt deathly cold claws tightening around his neck. The darkness around him starting to turn into red haze, Oswyn struggled with the wight for his swiftly fleeing life. Finally, he managed to grab a lantern, and smacked the undead abomination on the head with it. Free from the wight’s deadly grip, Oswyn ran as far away from the Corba’alite cleric as he could, as fast as he could. Before he realised it, he found himself lost in a bewildering maze of tunnels. And then he had ran into the minotaur.

Oswyn let out a pained sigh and began to ponder his situation more closely. Seldom had the knight considered the higher powers before. But in this moment of complete hopelessness he felt that they were his last recourse. Gathering every single vestige of strength that he had left, Oswyn let out a forlorn shout. “Dunad!” his cry echoed from the walls. “I beg you, if you let me live, I shall forsake my wealth and estates and dedicate my life to your service! I swear it upon my very honour!”

For a moment, there was nothing but the reverberation of Oswyn’s desolate words in the labyrinth. Then suddenly a sign appeared off in the distance, looking like a small cross - or maybe the hilt of a broken sword? In a brisk pace, Oswyn set towards it. As he got nearer the sign, he realised that it was a guidelight of an untransformed emergency exit, peering through cracks in the rubble. Breathing a sigh of relief, Oswyn started to clear away the loose pile of rocks blocking the door…
Last edited by mathey on Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Episode 43 - Fireworks Finale

Postby mathey » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:21 pm

On The Trail of the Fox - Act I (Continued)

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Daisen, Japan

As fireworks burst overhead, Kanawa security troopers storm the Buddhist temple. Kash and William are concealed inside waiting in ambush with Kitsune, the old gardener laying low further inside. Kash leaps into the midst of the first grouping that cross the threshold and lashes them with his tail, and William adds further tricks to throw them off balance. Kitsune spears two of the troopers on the electric katana she wields. Kash disarms the remaining guards and the fight continues.

Antenoch and Oswyn duel in an empty lot while Olivia and Sigma keep an eye out for trouble. Oswyn’s sword play is parried by the wight’s staff and sword, and the undead mage uses a spell to destroy a possible future of the paladin. Antenoch unleashes a truly deadly blast of lightning at Oswyn, and he is barely able to leap out of the way and tuck into a sidelong roll.

As the two enemies battle, Sigma spots some Lurks hiding atop a nearby rooftop. They are planning an ambush but are quickly disposed of by Olivia and Sigma.

Kash and William, with the help of Kitsune, dispose of the surrounding forces and try to escape through the Metro system, taking a subway train after sneaking through the crowd. Olivia helps out by catching up with them with the jetpack.

Sigma intimidates Antenoch into subservience, showing him his “true face” and the power contained in his cybernetic body. Antenoch has a crisis of faith and is humbled, turning him to the Cult of Occultech. Glory at Daisen Japan. Sigma is as surprised as anyone by this turn of events, as he felt not entirely sure what was happening when he revealed his occultech implants to the Ayslish villain. Antenoch agrees to drop his weapons and swear fealty to Oswyn, saying that he has now seen a new dark path for him to take. Oswyn is suspicious of the wight but agrees to let him travel with them for the time being.

An Oda Hornet helicopter searches the streets of Daisen, helping coordinate the Kanawa security squads closing in on the fugitive and her Storm Knight allies. The team and Kitsune have to avoid the nets laid by the troopers in their extensive manhunt.

William blends in with the crowd and avoids drawing notice. Kitsune and Kash hideout on the top of a subway train and then escape via a ventilation shaft in the tunnel ceiling. Olivia flies in the opposite direction and then ascends through a manhole outside of the search area of the security forces. Sigma tries to disguise another person as himself in his cyborg form, but the spell fizzles and he disconnects. He is quickly surrounded by a squad of heavily armed Kanawa security soldiers who then take him into custody.

The team meets at a farmhouse in the countryside with Kazuo and Kitsune, learning that Sigma has been transported to the Kuril Islands located in a disputed zone between Japan and Russia. There is an isolated Kanawa Corporation facility which maintains a cover as a “special school” for talented children of refugees. It is in fact a site used for research on psychic powers and their interaction with the Contagion, something known only by a few (including Kitsune). Kitsune knows that a schoolgirl named Ayaka Kuroda was taken prisoner by Kanawa after the events of Day One in Harajuku. Ayaka displayed telepathic powers and seems to be the original test subject at this secret lab.

As Sigma’s powers and occultech are of particular interest to Kanawa, he is likely being questioned and experimented on. The team will need to act soon to rescue their friend from the corporate scientists. Kitsune also asks the group to do what they can to free the students being held at the “school”. They decide to try and trigger some sort of evacuation event to get the island facility emptied without putting the children at too much risk.

XP: 5 (205)
Last edited by mathey on Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Episode 44 - A Study in Psychic

Postby mathey » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:55 am

Act I - Gotta Catch 'Em All

Image


Kurill Islands, Japan

The team uses a plan around Antenoch being a test subject that Kanawa would want to research. Olivia and William will pretend to be scientists transferring the Ayslish undead to the island lab, with Oswyn acting as a security trooper. Kazuo, Kitsune, and Haruki provide them with appropriate disguises and get them to the island aboard a corporate-style helicopter.

This gets the team into the facility and all the way to Sigma’s holding chambers in a lower levels. They see that there are some holding cells containing Infected humans who are presumably being experimented on. After they get to the room where Sigma is being held, they notice an unusual object that seems to be an Eternity Shard that looks like an oversized chip/tablet. It is some kind of occultech codex, or book of spells, and it has been removed from Sigma’s body by the researchers.

As the team looks for a way to free Sigma and Antenoch, there is an outbreak of Infected “led” by a Jiangshi. During the confusion, the team manages to get Sigma his codex back and works together to reboot the cyborg and flush out a demonic presence in the software.

The group agrees to try and free the fifty or so schoolchildren who are the subject of psychic testing. The researcher who had taken the codex out of Sigma is convinced to assist. The team moves out of the lab and tries finding their way out of the sublevels that are currently under emergency lockdown.

As they enter another lab room, they see the unconscious psychic Ayaka Kuroda floating in a suspension tank. There are a number of Infected human bodies lying dead on the floor surrounding the tank as if hit by some force projected from inside...

“The loss of one’s soul seems to go hand in hand with the expansion of greed.” - William Kennington III.


XP: x (205)

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Episode 45 - School's Out...Forever!

Postby mathey » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:17 am

Gotta Catch ‘Em All - Act I (Continued)

Image

Kurill Islands, Japan
Kanawa Research Facility Sublevels


The Storm Knights speak with Dr. Katahashi and her two surviving assistants about the girl floating in the immersion tank, Ayaka. Olivia studies the tank and feels a telepathic presence in her mind, shared partially with Ayaka’s fellow psychic students. Disturbingly the mental images include some of the Infected and mutants who have broken out of containment rooms. Ayaka wakes up and Olivia falls unconscious as the psychic girl (aka “Subject One”) comes out of the tank. The gel substance that she was suspended in drains down the bottom of the tube and out through the floor.

Ayaka senses the approach of a large number of Infected and Jiangshi from all around the chamber, and warns the group. Thinking quickly, the Knights decide to try and pry up the drain in the base of the opened containment tank to get below the floor. Oswyn rips some of the flooring away to give room for the survivors to flee into the pipes draining the gel to the pumping station. Kash is the first to leap down, splashing into the pooled gel beneath. He peers around and can see two ways out through the piping system. Dr. Katahashi and her two associates are the next to leap down, and the doctor picks a direction to go, noting that one goes to the pump station and the other goes to the ocean through a cliff side - but she’s not sure which is which. Ayaka and William also go down into the pipes to follow the rest while Oswyn and Sigma battle the oncoming horde.

When they see an opening, Oswyn and Sigma leap into the drain hole, and they join the rest as they try to keep their balance descending the slick and downward pointing pipes. While Katahashi, Ayaka, and the Storm Knights are able to navigate the sudden drop, the two scientists are less lucky, being accidentally killed by the machinery that the pipes feed into! Katahashi is in shock and filled with terror, and the group looks around the pump station for the way up and out of the sub-levels. They plan on getting to the security room on the first sub-level of the research facility, and the quickest way appears to be a cargo elevator.

Bodies of reckless Infected begin crashing into the pipes feeding into the pump station, killing the seemingly mindless zombies. The more nimble Jiangshi that followed the group are able to escape this fate, however, and they begin leaping into the industrial room. Overhead, the party sees a large scorpion like mutant, a Yokai monster (or “Yokai-mon”), accompanied by a teenage psychic who has some sort of mental link with it.

The teenager, Kazuo, is test subject like Ayaka, and he tells her that her place is joining him and the other psychic “champion” students in rebelling against Kanawa. His taunts and threats for the others make it clear that he plans on using the scorpion Yokai (which he calls “SPITEFUL”) to slay the others. Ayaka refuses to ally herself with the mad teen, and he sends the Yokai after the Knights.

Before they can crowd into the large service elevator, however, the panicked Dr. Katahashi betrays them all and shuts the doors and ascends on her own, leaving the rest to face the monsters and Kazuo.

The group battles SPITEFUL and its psychic master, with Kash planting three arrows into the chest of the sixteen year old test subject. He stumbles to a kneel and cries in pain, vowing to get revenge on the adults. Oswyn intervenes to discourage the more ruthless members of the team from harming the boy any more, and Kazuo flees to an exit leading to the ground floor of the research facility. With Kazuo’s link to the Yokai broken, the mutant falls to the floor, unconscious. The Jiangshi continue to chase the Storm Knights as they clamber up ladders and stairways, evading steam vents, locked doors, and other industrial hazards to get out of the pump station area.

Escaping the Jiangshi (who end up getting boiled alive by some steam jets), the Stormers reach the security station for the sub-levels - and come face to face with Dr. Hakawa Mariko, the head of the island’s research project, and a pair of amped-up Kanawa security troopers. Dr. Katahashi is also there, cowering behind the security men, clearly fearful of retribution from Sigma and the rest. The bullet-riddled body of the recently slain Kazuo lies in a pool of blood near the doorway the Knights came through - he was clearly just put down by the security soldiers.

XP: 5 (210)


Gotta Catch ‘Em All - Act II

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Kurill Islands, Japan
Kanawa Research Facility


The party speaks with Dr. Hakawa, trying to avoid another conflict, and she offers to hold off on dealing with them as trespassers in exchange for their help dealing with some of the psychic teens. She addresses Ayaka in particular, but Subject One (and Sigma) are less than pleased with the person most directly responsible for the immoral science experiments taking place on the island. The team eventually decides to work with Hakawa and the surviving Kanawa staff to try and contain the situation.

Hakawa directs their attention to images coming from live satellite and camera feeds around the island, focusing on the scenes of panic and mayhem at the school grounds. While most of the psychic youngsters are hiding out or simply trying to survive the outbreak, there are three Champion Students who are wandering the hallways accompanied by their freakish Yokai-mon. Hakawa explains that these students are among the most powerful and talented test subjects in the project, and they have developed a mental link which allows them to control a single Yokai as if it was their pet or companion.

She also tells Ayaka that she was the first test subject in her research, revealing that she was infected by the Contagion as well as displaying telepathic potential. Her ability to suppress the Contagion while also occasionally having mental links with the more “advanced” mutants affected by the plague became the central focus of Hakawa’s project. The amoral scientist explains that it is expected that a conflict will occur between the Asian region and the expansionist forces of President Volkov and his Tharkold masters. The psychic children were hoped to be able to fight the cyberdemons with the aid of their “leashed” Yokai - turning the potential threats into powerful teams to combat the Russian Thralls.

As the Knights now knew, Kazuo and some of the other Champion Students had managed to start an outbreak from the cells containing the Infected in the sublevels of the research facility, and now are hoping to overthrow their wardens and take the island for themselves. Hakawa asks the Delphi Council agents and Ayaka to help stop the chaos at the school, ideally without harming any of the students. She notes that incapacitating the Yokai-mon or their leashing Champions will knock out the other.

Samara, the head of the security team, offers to give the Storm Knights access to Kanawa Corp weapons and tech to help them out. The group picks up some new gear, including some non-lethal weapons and ammunition. While they are not entirely trusting of the Kanawa corporate lackeys, they agree that they have to help the teens out and try to prevent more deaths.

XP: 0 (210)

mathey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 am

Episode 46 - Youth Without Youth

Postby mathey » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:35 pm

Gotta Catch ‘Em All - Act II (Continued)

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Kurill Islands, Japan

The team tries to make it to the school, but finds a sniper trying to clear out anyone out in the open, including members of a Kanawa Security squad. They try to use the squad’s transport as mobile cover, but instead it gets stuck which causes the Kanawa folks to panic and the Knights to scatter to the school. At the same time, a large number of infected charge towards the school, catching up with the heroes but unable to stop them from reaching the relative safety of the school grounds.

Once there, the Storm Knights split into two teams, Kash and Oswyn going up the fire escape while Ayaka, Sigma and William take the front. Kash helps a nearly-dead child while up there, using the blessings of Lanala. The downstairs team focuses on trying to convince two of the Champions to stop fighting and killing those at the school, that there are other ways to secure themselves away from the experimentations on the island. They are ultimately successful in convincing the two Champion Psychics to relent in killing the adult staff members, and they leave William behind to see to the care of the other students and surviving school workers.

William chats with a Dr. Segawa about the situation, and he decides to call in Haruki and the transport helicopter they acquired to pick up the students and adults left in the school. Meanwhile, the rest of the team goes back across the island toward the research building, but find that the out-of-control sharpshooter is still out there. They locate his hiding place on the side of a mountain, and Sigma volunteers to be the bait in a trap. He uses a spell to disguise himself as the head of the island security force, Samara Kato, but as he is walking toward the sniper’s roost the image begins to flicker. The shooter hits Sigma in the ribs with his powerful rifle, sending the Tharkold cyborg into some nearby rocky cover.

Suddenly Kash leaps from hiding high above the sniper, coming down on him with his electric katana. The blade sinks into the man’s back and kills him instantly, putting an end to his paranoid shooting spree. Kash then heals up Sigma and the group continues on their trip to the research facility with the psychics and their two leashed Yokai.

When they get back to the building they learn that Dr. Hagawa (the project head) is being held hostage by the last two Champions in the auditorium. Ayaka offers to speak to the group and goes to the door to negotiate with her fellow test subjects and get them to release the corporate researcher. She speaks eloquently of loss, death, and the need to move on. After she has given her inspiring speech, the two psychic teens agree to leave with the Storm Knights and seek a new life elsewhere. They leave Hagawa to answer for her decisions to the unforgiving and ruthless Kanawa corporate board, heading to the waiting transport chopper. As they are getting ready to leave, Dr. Katahashi begs to be allowed to join them, saying that she has no future with the corporation that forced her to experiment on people like Sigma. The Knights begrudgingly agree to let the scientist come with them, and they fly away aboard Haruki’s chopper.

As the Knights head West into the horizon, a group of Kanawa helos arrive to “clean” the island facility.

XP: 5 (215)

NOTE: At this point, we decided to put these characters on pause and have a reset for the group where we will introduce new characters into the same setting and timeline. For the time being, William, Kash, Olivia, Sigma, and Oswyn will fade into the background and perhaps guest star in future adventures, until such time as we feel like bringing their Gamma level talents back to the table.


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