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The Rising of The Nightmare Moon: Game info

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1 The Rising of The Nightmare Moon: Game info on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:28 pm

I am hoping this will help keep it all in one good spot. Please leave the comments in the other threads to keep this focuesed. As you can only put about 3 sessions in a post or it gives a error.

Mister God (GM) I know you can also edit these if you need to add more and I will add more from the main thread as I see it.

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2 Groups on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:28 pm

The Royal Family of North Westing

The Old Kingdom of Westing dates back to the late 20th century. Established by Lisbeth Westing and her warlord husband Reinhold Thymes it started as a small stronghold surrounded on all sides by roving elven Bandit lords and bloodthirsty Orcish Chieftains. It would be almost 2 hundred years before the queendom, as it were, could truly call itself such. Carried from bloody conflict to bloody conflict the young nation made strong enemies and equally as powerful allies. Her traditions were unique and her people strong. The Old Kingdom of Westing was the first on the northern continent to be a matriarchy where succession fell to the oldest female of the line. She was also the first to ban mages in positions of office. This bias would save the kingdom one day.

When The Ender rose to power he used his control over magic and its practitioners to commit mass assassinations leaving many kingdoms without leadership when his dark forces threatened the world. Westing was one of the few places that weathered the culling and thus led the offensive against the Lord of Magic. History exalts the heroes and deeds of those times and no one lives that does not know of the death of The Ender and all magic. It was after those dark times when the royals of Westing began to fight among themselves. In the end Westing was split in two. To the east sat South Westing and the ‘true’ Westing line and to the west rested North Westing and the De Thymes royals. No one knows where the schism began but it created a wedge that would not be sealed. 

When Queen Philipa De Thymes and her three daughters died from the Red Pox in 40XX it fell to her young son Falkes to take up rule of the kingdom and for only the second time in history a male sat on a throne of Lisbeth Westing. Many would call him King Falkes, The Unlikely. He was quickly married to a distant cousin and they begot a child. Some say it was a joke of The Gods of Creation that the baby was a son. They named him Lucca and he was doted on by both the king and his wife. Their second child, almost ten years Lucca’s junior, Malissan was a cause for nationwide celebration as she would one day inherit the throne. Though many believed young Lucca was jealous of his sister, the heir apparent, in truth he loved his sibling and had no aspirations for the throne. Yet it was their sister Nivia that Lucca truly poured his love. Being nearly eighteen years younger than her brother he has been her protector and when rumors began to raise about her strangeness it was Lucca whose wrath the naysayers feared.

The Orion Organization

Officially recognized as an independent weapons contractor with no political ties with North Westing, South Westing, or The Republic of Yud, The Orion Organization is one of the top five richest companies on Urth. Employing a security staff of more than six hundred and nearly double that number in researchers it is the leading authority in lightweight and high yield weapons. It is said that The Orion Organization has feelers in all areas of warfare research including biological weapons and genetic engineering. Though these practices are illegal in North and South Westing they are accepted in The Republic and only answer to themselves.

They operate with relative freedom within the three nations with relative autonomy using hard handed tactics and ruthless efficiency. Engage with caution

The Tuskan Raiders

The Desert of Hillass is a hot and dangerous place home to predatory species of all types. From the blood hawk that jabs its prey with its sharp needle-like beak in order to steal his moisture to the mighty Pharaoh Spider that waits under the sand for unwary victims to march over its lair. None are more ravenous than The Tuskan Raiders. This band of cannibal nomads traverse the Hillass in constant search of travelers and caravans. The latter for supplies and the former as livestock. Not much is confirmed about their political systems but it is known that the different sects tend to be lead by a War Chef and a Witch Doctor.

The Raiders worship a beast they call The Eternal Blackness, a demon, alien or possibly a nephilim that has lived for centuries. For some unknown reason, in recent years more and more of The Raider sects have moved away from the desert and have set up shop within civilized society. They have become secretive and been tied to many instances of ritual sacrifice and the theft of ancient artifacts. This strange behavior coincides with the resurgence of magic across all of Urth.

The Gearmancer

In a world that has spent 1000yrs without the use of magic many terms have fallen in and out of use and others have undergone a change of meaning. Urth was once home to thousands of magic-users and among them were specialist that focused on a specific type of magic or unique magical ideal. Examples of such are The Blazington Pyromancers and the Black Geomancer of Kruut. These magic-users suffered in many types of magic in order to be experts in their chosen ideology.

In modern day Chipan the magesty of magic has been replaced by the awe of technology and just like magic tech has many varied schools one of which is know as Gearmancey.

Gearmancers utilize energy receptacles known as Hearts of Power, a term stolen from the time of magic, to power and control contraptions of clockwork and gears. These Tech Geniuses are rare but have been notoriously reckless in their experience and have caused enough trouble that Chipan Guard and North Westing Military have standing orders to subdue and apprehend all suspected of the dangerous practice.

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3 Flash back on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:28 pm

Reminiscences, Part I

The Residential Quarter- 3 years ago

“Father, why don’t we just use my winnings and get a place in The Merchant’s Quarter? This is too much work. Why do you have to come down here every week to file forms you filed the previous week.” asked a young Juan Carlos. He was the youngest Nephilim trainer to enter the Grand Prix and though he didn’t win the tournament he did give the champion the greatest battle seen in years. The winnings for 2nd place were meager but the pride and fame he earned was far more valuable.

“Bureaucracy at its best, Juan, or worse depending on which side of the line you stand on.” His father was a practical man and not prone to easy annoyance. The Residential District had the best and most affordable housing but required that the residence completed a weekly and lengthy census. He might not have bothered but it was important to keep a roof over his son’s head. He smiled. His wife would have been proud of them. Juan was living his dream and Carlitto was making it possible.

Across from the Carlos men, arguing in whispered tones were a pair of P.I.’s eager to find a place for their office.

“Ghomo, if we continue to charge so much it won’t matter how specialized our services are because no one will be able to pay us!”

“Wrong, Kosey, so wrong. If we set our sights on high class clientele we will only attract the crème de la crème. I have so much to teach you, my friend.”

“Do you listen to the things that come out of your mouth?”

“Not really, no.”

A pair of noble born children walk closely behind their father as he listens to the head of The Housing Authority explain his plans to remodel the entire facility to facilitate the newest innovations in steam power. The boy was beautiful and the girl his polar opposite. None would have believed they were twins. The girl watched the mass of humanity and marveled at the sheer numbers. Father spoke of helping the proletariat to its feet but it seemed like such a grand undertaking. She mentioned as much to her brother but as usual his mind was elsewhere. Solomon’s thoughts were troubled. A woman had come to see him in the dead of night claiming to be an angel on a mission of justice. She had called him worthy and… done things to him. He wanted to tell Father yet he knew that Sodom would have no part of it. Father had no time for foolishness.

The Gods of Creation had conspired to bring our heroes together. None of them realized it at the time but that day 3 years ago would change their lives forever.

To be Continued…

Reminiscences, Part II

The Residential Quarter- 3 years ago

The young man watched from cover as she'd instructed him to.  He was silent and observant, everything she'd taught him.  Below spanned Chipan's Residential Quarter and to the east Chipan proper.  He was to strike if the opportunity presented itself and run if she gave the signal.  He had felt he was ready, training complete and at a level of skill where he could oporate on his own.  She said if that were the case, he would know how to follow directions without question.  Properly chagrined he waited in the shadows.



"It's been a long time, sister."

"Yes, but there is no need to worry.  I'll make good on my promise."

"So you still intend to kill me."


"Better than you have tried."

"Eventually your time will come."

"Very true."

"How did you find me?  I find it hard to believ you just happen to be here."

"We were actually following your red eyed courier.  He's good but he's no ninja.  He led us to your man and he too lacked the skill to elude us."

"We?  So the poorly skilled child in the corner is yours?  I wondered.  As for the courier, it's a shame you didn't kill him for me.  I'll have to see to him after my business here is done."

"The boy, Dryden, is indeed with me.  He still has a lot to learn but I'm sure I can make him a master.  I managed the same with you and he is far better clay."

"I fear that you are trying to wound my pride, Cether."

"You know my thoughts of pride."

"I could kill him and force you to start over."

"You could, but you won't.  You'd rather see the finished product, you've always been vain in your need to compete."  Cether Cos glanced at her apprentice hiding in shadow and gave him a look that said everything.  He was in grave danger and he would be tested.  "Why are you here in Chipan, Davakyn?  You knew there was a chance we'd meet."

"I'm here to see the sights like everyone else."

"Your master would only risk you for something important."

"Kage Yamamichi did not send me."

"Not the old pretender, your real master.  The Dark One.  Your emotions show so easily.  Don't be shocked, I know a lot of things people keep hidden."

"If you know about my real master than you know I can't let youleave here alive."

"You have always been an amusing girl, Davakyn.  Tell me what your master wants with that piece of junk and no one need die today."

Dryden steadied his nerves and prepared to assist his master as need be but he was slow, far too slow.  Ninja were suddenly everywhere.  Twelve assassins lashed out from the dark so fast that they were upon her before he could take abreath to warn her.  As he watched death revealed a portion of her true abilities.  Four were dead before she drew her fan but once that deceptive instrument was in hand the only true equal on the field of battle was the one called Davakyn.  Here weapons were clawed boots and gauntlets.  He could barely assimilate all that he saw as the two master konoichi were like a dance of opposed storms.

His moment came as both woman took a moment to take stock of the carnage.  Davakyn was favoring one arm and Cether was bleeding from multiple wounds upon her chest, some that should have been fatal.  He eased around toward the satchel that the red eyed boy had carried but stopped as a bladed fan flew mere inches from his face.  He glanced at his master and she gave him the signal to run.  Dryden hesitated for only a moment before a gout of blue flame scorched the space between he and satchel.  Out of the flame stepped a man with glowing purple eyes.

That was a 3 years ago, the day that The Gods of Creation set events in motion that would reshape all of Urth.  It was the day that Dryden met Xavros, though neirther would know it.  It was the day that Cether Cos first experienced true fear in the purple eyes of a man that was reborn.

To be Continued...

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4 Locations on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:29 pm

The Dead Docks

No one knows why The Palisade River stopped flowing but one day nearly a decade before Malissan’s 18th birthday the water ran dry and the fish died in the dry bank. The fishing industry died with the loss of its stock and thousands were put out of work. Those that could moved to wetter parts of the kingdom. Others found vocation in different fields. Those that could not have etched out a living in a quarter marred with violence, poverty, and desperation. Only a masochist with deathwish would choose to live on The Dead Docks.

The Slave Quarter

150 years ago one could purchase slaves from the myriad of slave merchants that tended their kennels in the southern most part of Chipan. It was Queen Una De Thymes that first freed her slaves on The Day of The Small and following her example the kingdom soon became a free state. Slavery was never made illegal but no self respective person of standing would be caught dead with unpaid labor. The old Slave Quarters were converted to housing for those individuals that were once bought and sold within its borders. Many have managed to assimilate into society and the Quarter is in far better condition than its name implies.

The Merchant’s Quarter

Bustling and always busy, The Merchant’s Quarter of Chipan is second only to the capital’s Merchant Row in its collection of fine goods and stores. Nearly anything in the kingdom could be found among the many booths’ stalls and shops that cram tightly within the second most populated region of the city. It is home to many soldiers, successful mercenaries, gladiators and the up and coming Nephilim Trainer. Guard presence is one of the highest and petty theft is at a record low. Some say the smart merchants pay for protection; others say the smart thief pays the guards to look the other way. Both way, coin exchanges hands, and the coffers continue to fill.

The Boulevard of Thought

Never intended to be a district the boulevard of tears first distinguished itself during the time of The Riots of The Rabble when the newly freed slaves rallied for equal wages for equal work. Many of the proponents for civil equality were scholars that erected their soap boxes along what was then The Road of Tears. Over time the community along The Road of Tears became renowned for its free thinkers, philosophers, foreign teachers, and new age gurus. The Road of Tears had become a hotbed of free thinking and exotic taste. Unlike the other districts that sit in their own section of Chipan, isolated and independent, The Boulevard of Thought runs through each bringing insight and enlightenment to any that will listen.

The Old Quarter

Before The Day of The Small and The Riots of The Rabble The castle used to sit in The Old Quarter. When the royals had the Castle of Chipan moved to the higher and better defensable cliffs of Queen’s Rise those nobles that had once courtesans to the queen flocked to the old castle making additions and changes until the old fortress looked very little like its former self. Then the renaissance came and with it the industrial age. Those of extravagant means and new money, The Nouveau Riche, moved into The Old Quarter and altered it even more. Today most of noble blood have left for the capital but those unable to afford the move still live in the remains of the original Castle Chipan.

The Residential Quarter

What was I typing for here again I seem to have forgotten.

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5 Holder on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:29 pm

Holder for more things later

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9 Session 0-3 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:38 pm

Session  0

The world is Urth, vast and green and alone. Throughout the vast universe Urth alone can sustain life. It is said that long, long ago in a galaxy far far away there had once been another world of green and blues call Earth… but that is a different story. This story is about Urth.

The year is 41XX

1122 years ago a great evil known as The Pale Ender’s Moon was defeated and with his defeat The Ender’s Crystal was shattered into a hundred pieces. The waning of The Ender’s Moon saw an end to a darkness great and terrible but also the end of magic. For a time Urth floated in limbo with no access to its greatest gift but eventually ingenuity filled the whole left by the demise of The Eldritch. The world moved forward without the arcane or divine powers and the 4th age has been one of peace and prosperity. The advent of steam has proven the new magic. However the tides rise higher every month and the moon shows signs of a massive celestial shift. Some even claim that magic has again returned to man but with magic comes a threat thought long dead…

The Kingdom of North Westing is celebrating the coming of age of Malissan, third daughter of King Falkes De Thymes. She turns sixteen on the naming day(the full moon) and will become the governess of the city of Chipan. In celebration a week of games has been declared. The entire city is caught up in merrymaking and the grand games have been organized. Warriors battle in the arena, while Monster Trainers compete in the gyms. The kingdom’s greatest Mecha divisions have arrived to pay homage to she whom is arguable the most beautiful daughter ever to grace the De Thymes line. The ultimate prize is on the line. The winners of the game will gain an audience with the new Governess and will have a chance to ask of her a boon. The stage is set for the turning of the century…

Session One- Traffic Jam

It was the second day of The Week of Games in celebration of Malissan De Thymes coming of age. The day was young and our heroes were riding a bus on their way to Chipan’s interior in hopes of partaking of the merriment. It was strange to have so many adventuring types in one place at one time. It was even stranger that through various happenstance they all knew each other but thus is the stuff that epics are made of and The Gods of Creation just find it easier to tell their tales when everyone is in one place. This all was over our heroes heads. To them it was just another day, not the day that would change their lives forever.

The bus stopped at an intersection, some might ask which but in truth it doesn’t matter. The sudden detonation of a separate bus chugging pass, yes that intersection rocked their conveyance and showered many with falling glass. The driver was killed and many were on the verge of panic. Cos, Persons, Suichiro, and Ghimo scrambled to get their fellow strap hangers to safety while Juan attempted to calm the masses. Being famous Juan found it easy to get the riders’ attention but a pack of school girls and their dreaded Skirted Ecchi Techniques made short work of his efforts. It became clear very quickly that the explosion was no accident and a local street gang known as The Dr. Peppas was behind the attack. As the Peppas looted and plundered our heroes were spurred by powers unknown to stop the carnage. Fist flew, blades bit and a bus was driven. In the end the Dr. Peppas were put in full rout but not before their leader, a giant whose name may never be remembered, attempted to capture Ghimo and in doing so revealed that there might have been a greater method to their madness.

As the reluctant heroes prepared to flee the scene, which completely confuses The Gods of Creation, a noble by the name of Shinji Hishiro stumbles into their midst, wounded and tired. He pleaded for their help for they had taken her. Many asked who, who did they take? But I’m sure it isn’t hard for you to guess. The Dr. Peppas had taken the princess!

To Be Continued…

Session Two- Down The Rabbit Hole Part I

It was the second day of The Week of Games in celebration of Malissan De Thymes coming of age. The day was still young, as such days go. Shinji Hishiro, renowned swordsman and godfather to the daughters of King De Thymes, beseeched the heroes of bus 15 to save the princess and save her they vowed to do. They were a strange cast, the kind you only find in strange and exciting foreign animated films, and they were determined. They gathered and prepared to descend into the sewers after the marauding gang when they were joined by Ghimo’s partner Kosey the other half of The Dark Occurrence Investigation Institute and their faithful bodyguard, the enigmatic John Smith. Kosey, a Nephilim Trainer, used his knowledge and know-how to help Juan fix his Capture Cube and with Rioku swiftly healing their party equaled 12: 10 heroes and 2 Nephilim. Some might say that The Gods of Creation were pushing the limits of what makes a comfortable(and manageable) party but those naysayers aren’t telling this tale.

They entered the foul and damp confines of Chipan’s sewer system in an organized fashion, thanks in no small part to Juan Carlos’ leadership, weapons at the ready. John Smith revealed his combat form and the trained soldiers took point. All fell into their roles with ease. Cos, watched the darkness with eyes capable of piercing the vale and ears keyed to hear the faintest whisper. The Dark Occurrence Investigation Institute searched for signs of the passage of dozens of little feet. The sewers proved to be a dungeon of sorts full of lurking Dr. Peppas and watery pitfalls. Kosey received a mouthful of bracken water and many felt the city’s automatic cleaning systems firsthand.

The tunnels grew cramped and eventually Juan made the executive decision to divide the party into two teams. Team A stumbled across signs of the old N7 Organization drug lab and evidence that the goblins of Chipan still use the sewers as a quick-travel highway as they did centuries ago before they earned their citizenship during The Riots of The Rabble. Team B found an unlucky character that had run afoul of bandits and had been left tied to a trap for amusement. The party searched as time was not on their side and the trail of the Dr. Peppas was growing cold. Eventually the party was brought back together as their separate paths joined together at a tunnel leading down to the lower levels of the tunnels.

One thing was clear; the Dr. Peppas were a gang of pickpockets, ruffians, and thugs. They lacked the imagination and the leadership to carry-out such an elaborate kidnapping. Something foul was swimming in the sewers of Chipan and it would soon float to the surface.

To Be Continued...

Session Three- Down The Rabbit Hole Part II

It was the second day of The Week of Games in celebration of Malissan De Thymes coming of age. The day was young when Shinji Hishiro approached the heroes of bus 15 with a task of the utmost importance, find and save the abducted princess. Reunited and having no other paths to take the party prepared to descend even further into The Chipan Sewer system… that is until the septic waters began to take their toll on the digestive system of the gladiator, Persons, and the investigator, Kosey. In no condition to fight and in need of fresh air and water the pair needed to be escorted out. Baagh volunteered for the job, wishing the party luck and encouraging them to work together. Reduced by four the party of Bus 15 continued their pursuit of The Dr. Peppas.

The trail led them into a drainage room still save for the pumping of reclaimed filth. Sensing a trap John flew out over the waters and was not disappointed as 6 goblins erupted out from concealment. Reacting lightning fast Dryden fell upon the goblins and turned the ambush into a pitched battle. Blades slashed, clubs crushed and bullets flew. In the end The Dr. Peppas proved to be little more than an annoyance. One of the gang members managed to flee, another was captured, and the rest floated dead in the collected waste of Chipan. The party of Bus 15 attempted conventional interrogation methods and proved fruitless until Li utilized a bit of his ancient techniques. He stared into the goblin’s eyes and as his eyes swirled like a spinning abyss the creature’s mind feel into his.

“Who do you work for?”

“The Dr. Peppas…”

“Why do the Dr. Peppas want the princess?”

“We don’t…”

“Who then? Who wants the princess?”

“The Dark Man…”

The Dark Man. The Dark Man was not unheard of to The DOII. Many of their most recent cases revolved around cults and madmen, artifacts and secrets. Each had one common element, the mention of some entity known as The Dark Man. Ghomo(having changed his name from Ghimo during the adventure, lol) had thought The Dark Man a pseudonym for a pagan god but suddenly realized that the Dark Man could be real and could be there lurking in the shadows. The detective shared what little information he could with the others. Most cared nothing for the implications and just wanted to find the missing royal. A few from darker places and backgrounds understood that a bigger darker game was being played and they were just pawns.

In exchange for his cooperation the party allowed the captive thug, Patrock, his freedom. Ghomo even gave him a card and offered him future work with The DOII. Grateful to be spared Patrock fled with the card, his life as a Dr. Peppas over. He had betrayed the leather and if The Big Boss, Chadwick, ever found out his life would be forfeit.

Not wanting to waste anymore time the party of Bus 15 rushed through the sewers after the escaped gang member and the trail of the kidnapped noble. They soon found him dead, pummeled to a bloody pulp. Yet he wasn’t the last 13 other Dr. Peppas, the estimated number of the group that fled with the princess lay strewn about the tunnels. All beaten, all dead. At the end of a long decent waited a trio of well dressed goblins. They weren’t Dr. Peppas and they had no intentions of letting the party pass. John, blood boiling with combat lust, took to the air and released a blast from his Pressure Cannon. The blast flew over the shoulder of the goblin of the red band even as it launched itself airborne. The green and blue band goblins were in his wake and as they bellowed ‘Gremlin Bomb’ their fist connected with the artificial man.

There was a thunderclap and explosion.

A shock wave. 

Smoke and water everywhere and when it all settled The Gremlin Attack Squad was ready for combat. At their feet lay the inert Smith, and the unconscious Mecha Pilot. The parties clashed and in short order the goblin mercenaries revealed their superior combat skills and talent for teamwork. The party of Bus 15 seemed on the verge of defeat when suddenly she appeared. Dressed in a red and white battlesuit with feathers of fine swan down and her tiny armored companion; Magi Gemini Ichi, champion of the just, arrived in a wave of divine energy. Here rejuvenating fruit brought energy back to the defeated and her companion bestowed his healing kiss. Given their second wind and utilizing Li’s mind control of goblin with the blue band, the party forced the Gremlin Attack Squad to retreat. Whoever had paid them to leave no witnesses would probably need to get their money back.

Wounded and tired the party continued. It was in the following area that they began to hear a sound not unlike the sizzling of bacon in the skillet. It grew louder even as the party realized that their way out was barred by writhing black tentacles. Blast from John’s strongest attack proved futile and with The Magi Gemini having left presumably to chase The Gremlin Attack Squad the party seemed trapped. It was Dryden that saw the monstrosity’s face first and his blood ran ice cold, his master’s training the only thing that buoyed his sanity. The others weren’t so lucky. Science and Nephilim biology stated that a Nephilim, being the only truly natural race in existence can exude neither good nor evil yet this monster did. The Occult spoke of such dark beings from before the Age of The Ender, elder gods that wanted nothing from man but his suffering. This thing could not exist. The mass of mouths and darkness lowering down from the ceiling was the most frightful beast the party had ever seen. Doubly so for Juan who thought he had seen every type of Nephilim in record. Yet he had never seen one such as that monster that sought to devour the would-be heroes and he hoped to never see another.

To call what followed a battle would stretch the meaning of the word. Those that could attempted to fight the collection of darkness, teeth and tentacles. John Smith frantically tried to blast open an exit for his comrades and the others whose minds could not stand the test cringed in their own excrement. No one had ever heard of such a powerful Nephilim. Not even the circuit champions Relic and Trinity6 were as imposing. Sacrifices were made and a massive hunk of the monster was blown to bits with grenades. Wounding the beast only seemed to incur its wrath. As all hope seemed lost a flute played a tune of challenge and the legendary Nephilim withdrew at its master’s behest.

Fearing that The Nephilim of Madness would return the party collected their wounded and fled through the tunnels coming to a room swollen with blue light. And there she was, finger outstretched and touching a crystal shard, Princess Nivia De Thymes younger sister of Regent Mallisan and daughter of the king. She was enthralled, sightless, and marching to someone else’s tune. The crystal emanated magic of a greater order that only Ghomo(having changed his blah, blah, blah) could sense. Yet he sensed something else as well. A man in all black, a Dark Man, revealed himself. He was smug and confident and in his hand rested a silver flute. He commended the party for defeating The Gremlin Attack Squad and wounding his pet Nephilim. Yet they were too late. He’d gotten what he came for. Casting Princess Nivia aside he gestured toward Ghomo and promised that they would meet again. Ghomo assured him as much and tossed the dark stranger his business card.

Exit The Ender Reborn.

With the princess in their safe care the party was ready to get back to the surface but that is the exact moment that Prince Lucca De Thymes and three dozen Gun Smiths arrived to arrest those that had taken his sister.

To Be Continued…

Session Three- Down The Rabbit Hole Part II.V

Playing my part for the party I escorted the two sick members toward the exit. Ironic that the overweight animal tamer and the hyperbuff wrestler were the two to get sick. I guess none of us are safe from filth and dysentery no matter what our physical makeup. We rounded what I assumed was the last corner though truthfully I couldn’t remember. I let my rifle lead and gestured for the sick to cling to the wall. The gladiator nodded and then emptied his stomach content. Thankfully his clothes were already dirty from our time in the filth. Pissed, Persons took the lead and grabbed the rungs of the barely visible ladder.

I waited for them both to exit the dark and step into the light before I gave one fleeting look back the way I’d come. The others were most likely joined in combat with gang members. They could probably use my guns and my aim. I climbed the ladder one handed in order to keep my grip on my pistol. I blinked as sunlight assaulted my eyes but even blinded I recognized the sound of heavy firearms. I complied when the soldiers ordered me to drop my guns and to assume the position. Kosey and Persons were already in cuffs. I recited my rank and division with my hands above and behind my head and gave them no reason to abuse me. They arrested me and shoved me around. One even made a comment about my sandy colored skin, a sure sign that my family was from Krentine, before placing me with the others. They were too sick to complain.

Then, his majesty, Lucca De Thymes arrived in a blur of fury. I bowed with all of the soldiers and watched as he hurried into the sewers with 3 squads of Gun Smiths, my brother-in-arms. I guess the princess really was down there.


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10 Session 4-6 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:38 pm

Session Four- Welcome to Chipan

It was the second day of The Week of Games in celebration of Malissan De Thymes coming of age. The day was young when Shinji Hishiro approached the heroes of bus 15 with a task of the utmost importance, find and save the abducted princess. And found her they did, in the clutches of a mysterious man calling himself The Ender Reborn. The enigmatic mastermind behind the abduction fled as if he could hear the distant footfalls of heavily armed Gun Smiths. As Cos and Juan rush to check on the unconscious royal Prince Lucca and 3 squads of soldiers flood into the room. Suddenly it seemed like the unlikely heroes would get no reprieve from battle.
Prince Lucca drew his blade, The Legendary Masamune, and pointed it challengingly at each member of the party of Bus 15 in turn. He demanded to know who they were and why they’d taken his sister. Juan, John, and Ghomo attempted to explain the circumstances in which they ended up in possession of Princess Nivia. Though not fully excepting of their explanation, Lucca was too concerned with his sister’s health to bloody Masamune with their lives’ blood. He collected his youngest sibling and casually ordered the party arrested.

…3 hours cuffed in prisoner transport…

Chipan Lockup is an empty place. Prisoners are executed daily to minimize space usage and meet quota’s set by Prince Furnal De Thymes III. His legacy is one of pain and death, many say his bitterness toward the ascension of his adolescent sister to the throne tempered his years as Captain of The Guard. His era saw the lowest crime rate in Chipan history as well as the highest number of executions. It was this hall of blood and “justice” that the party of Bus 15 found themselves as thanks for saving the child princess. In line with 30 other “criminals” they slowly trudged to the front of a line to have their fates decided. The law in Chipan was a simple thing either you were guilty and someone could vouch for your ability to rehabilitate or you were guilty and dead by firing squad.

Fame and good standings within the community did not stop Juan Carlos or the staff of The DOII from being sent to holding, these were people that lived honest lives. For their peers that lived less savory existences the idea of reaching the front of the line seemed tantamount to a death sentence. Baagh, an ex-soldier down on his luck, waited for his turn with indifference until he was approached by a man who appeared to be at home in chains. He introduced himself as Xavvos and warned that guys like them wouldn’t survive long in prison. Thankfully some of the old way still exists and birth status still holds some sway in North Westing. Solomon Suichiro, a beautiful boy with a powerful secret, spoke eloquently of the party’s innocence and asked for his noble father to be contacted. With a bit of inspired word play he managed to get Ghomo, Juan, Kosey and himself seated in the relative comfort of the lobby as they awaited rescue. The others were piled into a holding cell without needing to be questioned; saving Cos and Xavvos, who had managed to cast his lot with theirs, from revealing their criminal ties.

They waited only an hour before current Captain of the Guard Alan Young, Lord Sodom Suichiro, and Lord Shinji Hishiro. Lord Hishiro thanked young Suichiro for leading the party into the sewers and saving his young charge. He took it as a mark on his honor that she could be taken by street thugs and thanked the party for saving her in his name thus cleansing the blemish. The two nobles asked the Captain of the Guard, of common birth himself, to affect the release of the party of Bus 15. After agreeing to meet up the following day at Koga’s Coffee Shop, the party went their separate ways.

The Dead Docks

No one knows why The Palisade River stopped flowing but one day nearly a decade before Malissan’s 18th birthday the water ran dry and the fish died in the dry bank. The fishing industry died with the loss of its stock and thousands were put out of work. Those that could moved to wetter parts of the kingdom. Others found vocation in different fields. Those that could not have etched out a living in a quarter marred with violence, poverty, and desperation. Only a masochist with deathwish would choose to live on The Dead Docks.

Baagh lives in a 3 floor tenement with 34 other people in conditions that would make others cringe if they only knew what the poor of The Dead Docks have to endure. He pays low rent for the largest room in exchange for keeping ruffians and ne’er-do-wells off the premises. Smelling of waste and eager for a bath he first had to remove a violent drunk and a pair of neighbors playing cards in his room. No doors equal no privacy.

Cos squats in an abandoned water tower where he attempts to keep his curse in check. Yet when he arrived home it had been invaded and the invaders took his most prized possession, a clean mattress. Angered and desperate to get it back he went on the hunt and found it in the soiled hands of 3 vagabonds. Having done too much killing already he stole away with his bedding and returned home to sit in solitude, fearing the full moon.

Xavvos was never truly a member of the party of Bus 15 but he knew a good thing when he saw it. Solomon was as good a get out of jail free card and The Boss needed to hear about that. The gang practically owned the docks proper, with its abandoned goods and forgotten cranes, and finding The Boss was simple. He had been sent on a quest to acquire a bag of gems from a contact on The Boulevard of Thought and had been busted by the law but that could be overlook, at least he hoped. Using the silver tongue that had saved him from various scrapes throughout this life he convinced The Boss to quell his rage. The gang could use Solomon and his party and The Boss was eager to let Xavvos and Pal, the newest member of the crew… a Murdock of sorts, figure out the best way to use the pretty boy.

The Slave Quarter

150 years ago one could purchase slaves from the myriad of slave merchants that tended their kennels in the southern most part of Chipan. It was Queen Una De Thymes that first freed her slaves on The Day of The Small and following her example the kingdom soon became a free state. Slavery was never made illegal but no self respective person of standing would be caught dead with unpaid labor. The old Slave Quarters were converted to housing for those individuals that were once bought and sold within its borders. Many have managed to assimilate into society and the Quarter is in far better condition than its name implies.
Li’s arrival home was a quiet one. Too quiet. His heart began to pound and his senses reached outward in every direction. The kitchen was cold and the lights had not been on for hours. Had they found them? Had they come for him and taken her as bait. Li could hardly swallow around the lump of panic that threatened to choke him. She was his all and everything and to be without her would be the first nail in the coffin he’d spent so long avoiding. Desperate he rushed out and searched for the highest point in the neighborhood, an abandoned water tower. He leapt to its peak and was shocked to find Megumi waiting for him. She was angry because she was scared. When he had not returned she feared the worse, that they had been found. The couple sat together for a moment and thought of the new life they’d adopted, a life of fear and worry where every shadow was an assassin waiting to exact revenge for a crime not committed.

The Merchant’s Quarter

Bustling and always busy, The Merchant’s Quarter of Chipan is second only to the capital’s Merchant Row in its collection of fine goods and stores. Nearly anything in the kingdom could be found among the many booths’ stalls and shops that cram tightly within the second most populated region of the city. It is home to many soldiers, successful mercenaries, gladiators and the up and coming Nephilim Trainer. Guard presence is one of the highest and petty theft is at a record low. Some say the smart merchants pay for protection; others say the smart thief pays the guards to look the other way. Both way, coin exchanges hands, and the coffers continue to fill.

Juan Carlos dreams to one day become a master Nephilim Trainer. He intends to climb Mount Challenger and confront the legend himself, Red Garry Ash. He hopes to one day save Chipan alongside his partner and stalwart companion, Ryoku. But that’s in the future. After saving the princess he just wanted a bath and to be honest, the trainer deserved it.

The Boulevard of Thought

Never intended to be a district the boulevard of tears first distinguished itself during the time of The Riots of The Rabble when the newly freed slaves rallied for equal wages for equal work. Many of the proponents for civil equality were scholars that erected their soap boxes along what was then The Road of Tears. Over time the community along The Road of Tears became renowned for its free thinkers, philosophers, foreign teachers, and new age gurus. The Road of Tears had become a hotbed of free thinking and exotic taste. Unlike the other districts that sit in their own section of Chipan, isolated and independent, The Boulevard of Thought runs through each bringing insight and enlightenment to any that will listen.

The Offices of The Dark Occurrence Investigation Institute fits snuggly above an antique urn shop. After shopping for a few office supplies and helping Kosey home to sleep off his sick, Ghomo and John Smith return to their headquarters to rest and investigate this man calling himself The Ender Reborn. When they arrived Paul had already quit for the day and Haley was already wiping everything down with Lemon Pledge. Ghomo presented her with a new mop and started to sort his desk that had avoided cleaning for far too long. His thoughts were abuzz with ideas on how ‘The Dark Man Case’ could be the one that legitimized The DOII and made them all rich. When Haley handed him a letter delivered mere hours ago he thought nothing of opening it. Strangely it held a sheet of paper blank except for a black skull with purple eyes. Ghomo paused for somehow he knew it was a calling card. Read Magic revealed a hidden message, a warning that a die had been cast…
Ghomo managed to toss the letter out of a nearby window just before it exploded igniting papers all over his desk and wounding John. Haley, cleaning beneath the desk, was oblivious to the hail of magic and glass. Ghomo hastily put out the fires that seemed to have targeted specific case related papers. It was when he’d asked John to pass him a file out of one of the cabinets that it became obvious that the enemy had gone to great lengths to make his point. John was struck by a magic that left him inactive for an hour. In that time Ghomo collected what notes he dared and began to do what he did best investigate.

The Old Quarter

Before The Day of The Small and The Riots of The Rabble The castle used to sit in The Old Quarter. When the royals had the Castle of Chipan moved to the higher and better defensable cliffs of Queen’s Rise those nobles that had once courtesans to the queen flocked to the old castle making additions and changes until the old fortress looked very little like its former self. Then the renaissance came and with it the industrial age. Those of extravagant means and new money, The Nouveau Riche, moved into The Old Quarter and altered it even more. Today most of noble blood have left for the capital but those unable to afford the move still live in the remains of the original Castle Chipan.

Solomon has a secret that he wouldn’t dare share even if he could. Life was hard enough living in his father’s shadow. It was that shadow looming over him that made it hard to recount the events of the day. Sodom listens quietly yet his rage was like a storm waiting for the right conditions to fall upon his girlishly beautiful son. Solomon gave no mention of Magi Gemini Ichi or her integral role in saving lives he kept that close to his chest and allowed his father to believe him useless. When Sodom spoke it was his voice was like rolling thunder. He was not proud that his son did his duty by saving the princess, he was angered that one of the Suichiro line had neglected to fulfill his other commitments when the task was complete. Saddened Solomon left to the kitchen to talk to his tutor and maid, Ms. Pringles. The old woman was happy to see him alive even as the Angel within admonished him for not using his powers to their fullest extent. She gave him the powers of creation for justice sake and she expected him to use them. He found himself on the veranda wondering why he seemed to disappoint everyone who relied on him, Magi Gemini Ichi was nothing like that. She was a hero. The young man wondered what his twin sister Bella would say if he told her that he’d met the princess and remembered suddenly that he never picked her up from Ballet class, the reason he’d gone out that day in the first place. He rushed to her side and brought her home aware that he’d let down yet another.

To Be Continued…

Session Five- Heroes of The Kingdom

After narrowly avoiding being placed in prison just the day before, the party of Bus 15 chose to have a meet up at one of Chipan's most popular java holes, Koga's Coffee. Though Persons was a no show they were joined by Xavros and his partner Pal. The purpose of the meet up was simple. Individually they were all weak pieces trudging across the board that was Chipan but together they proved formidable and if the mysterious darkness in the sewer was any indication they would need their combined strength.

Everyone seemed onboard with the idea of working together save for Cos who had reservations about Xavros who had not proved himself saving princess Nivia. These doubts seemed founded when Pal caused a bloody commotion that got our heroes tossed into the street. In need of a new meeting place the group ended up at Donut Donuts, a franchise gaining popularity throughout North Westing. So it was that the leaders of the party of Bus 15; Ghomo, Solomon, and Baagh laid the groundwork for a more permanent alliance. It was during those moments of inception that the anti-heroes; Cos, Li, and Xavros noticed the force of city guard forming outside. They were approached by a lieutenant sent to collect them. Words were shared and Solomon arranged the party's peaceful escort. It was during the trip to Castle Chipan on Queen's Rise that Baagh enlisted the services of Xavros and his goon.

The visit to Castle Chipan was a treat for men whose station would never have been allowed in otherwise. Fragrant and aromatic smells greeted them as they were led down pristine and ornate halls. Paintings and sculptures bounded to North Westing and Chipan's history watched the party's passing. Men and women of Chipan's highest social status observed in bored curiosity. Only Solomon could name them all and some could even name him in turn. Eventually they reached a quiet sitting room larger than their homes and were asked to wait for their audience with Acting Regent Deacon. The Acting Regent was a gentle and friendly man with particular taste. Though in the December of his rule of Chipan he was all compliments and smiles. He requested that noble born Solomon recount the events of the previous day and describe the rescue of the princess. Lord Deacon listened with delight studying each of the heroes with shrewd eyes as their roles were revealed throughout the tale yet the Acting Regent was not the only observer. Many peaked into the room to get a glimpse of the party that was making so much news within the city including Malissan De Thymes, The Regent Apparent, herself.

Acting Regent Deacon nearly lept with joy as the tale ended with the youngest De Thymes safely in her brother’s arms. He smiled and called for music and refreshment before getting to the true reason for his summons, he offered Solomon a boon for his service to the kingdom. It was a pregnant pause full of decision, possibility, and peril but in the end Solomon Suichiro asked for one thing. The young noble asked only for the chance for his party to again serve the kingdom. Pleased with the request Lord Deacon joyfully accepted the request and promised that the party would get that opportunity and very soon. His words were a bit cryptic but he requested that they return once The Week of Games had ended.

Questions were asked about the assortment of strange tapestries lining the walls of the meeting room and a Nephilim challenge was made and accepted. Li went to great lengths to explain that his wife worked within the castle kitchens and that he would like to see her. All in all the party had a chance to make a friend in a high place and Li was able to pester his wife at work. A few took notice of Lord Deacon’s preoccupation with cult prophecies and Juan Carlos thoroughly thrashed Deacon’s son Yori in a Nephilim battle. In the end they were excused from the castle with the knowledge that they would return at the end of the week.

If The Gods of Creation had had their way this would have been the end of the session but the whims of mortal caprice conspire to set the universe askew…

Xavros had resented being forced by The Boss to bring Pal along and Pal proved throughout the day that he was a detriment to the plan. After stabbing himself at Koga’s Coffee and being nothing but deadweight in their efforts to join the party of Bus 15 Xavros had had enough. Near The Dead Docks where there would be few witnesses he attacked the unsuspecting and ill equipped ex-soldier and when the smoke cleared he left the body in the street for the scavengers.

By the JiYo, God of The Scales, the death toll was then 3. Two by the hand of The Cursed Ninja and one by The Gambling Mutant. Herron, The Goddess of Death, would be busy as long as the party of Bus 15 was full of ruthless killers.

Li had not had enough with nearly breaking his wife’s cover and revealing a connection between he and she. He was out for revenge for too many dinners served not of his liking or maybe he had just hoped to surprise her. Whatever the reason, He waited in the shadows of Queen’s Rise waiting for the opportunity to ambush her. His heart swelled with pride once it became obvious that she had noticed him following her as they entered The Boulevard of Thought. He felt up to the challenge and took to trying to track her with his powerful mind but what he found was a mind even more powerful and sinister. When The Ender Reborn caught up to Li he had taken to the rooftops and had been attempting to flee. Yet the dark man came in peace he only wanted a messenger to take a package to the leaders of the party. Li graciously accepted the package and set out to toss it as far away from his allies as possible. Unfortunately this angered our story’s antagonist and he met Li at his home taking his wife as a guest until the task could be properly completed.

Appropriately motivated Li sort Baagh, Ghomo, and Solomon at the detective’s home. He crashed through the window in a hail of glass and even as the room filled with magical mist he presented the two inch high one inch long box to anyone who would take it. He explained that he had to deliver the package and who it was from. Ghomo and Solomon fled, having experienced The Ender’s gifts before, and Baagh took cover. The ensuing Gravity Assault reduced Ghomo’s apartment to splinters and dust and nearly crushed the ex-Gun Smith. One more death would have been added to the tally if Magi Gemini Ichi had not arrived to save the day.

Ghomos’ rage at Li’s betrayal was tempered by the revelation that The Ender Reborn had The Sewer Ninja’s wife…

To Be Continued

Session Five- Heroes of The Kingdom I.V

It was suppose to have been a simple day. Today would be the day that he would figure out how to assimilate into the group known as the Party of Bus 15. However when he went to see The Boss, he was told to bring a new member of the crew, his initiation as it were. Right off the bat, Xavros had a bad feeling about that guy, he just looked like he’d suffered a few too many concussions. Shaking his worries off for the time being he steered them to the meeting spot, Koga’s Coffee, but not before liberating some coin from a few saps that had no need for them. At some point Pal tried his hand at it, but received a bump on the head from an iron pipe for his troubles. Xavros watched in amusement, his pockets full to his liking already. They both attracted stares as they entered the shop, they weren't exactly dressed for the occasion, Dead Docks was written all over them. They both sat down, each with their own plans for the meal, Xavros ordered and paid for as soon as he sat. Xavros wanted to gain intelligence on this group; who their leader was, what was the chain of command, the skills of each member, etc. The Boss would need this information if he were going to come up with a way to use these people to the fullest. Pal on the other hand… was making it clear that maybe he HAD suffered one too many concussions.

He sat there in one of Chipan’s finest shops, pulled out his knife and starting a game of Five Finger Fillet, a game common on the docks in which a fool gambled his flesh against his reflexes. It wasn't long after the food arrived that Pal stabbed himself, prompting the Guards to be summoned. Before they even arrived, half the group was out the door with the rest following soon after. When the guards arrived they were intent on ejected those that had stayed behind. Xavros politely informed them that he had paid for his meal, and was permitted to stay. Pal took umbrage to this and vindictively flicked blood from his bleeding hand over Xavros' food resulting in both being ejected, and ruining a meal totaling 10 gold pieces. Xavros was not one to suffer fools long and realized at that point that Pal was a hindrance to the plan. He decided to dispose of the ex-soldier, The Boss’ desires be damned. They went to a different coffee shop, Donut Donuts, to try again but a gathering of the guards interrupted them. He tried to find out from the waitress if there was a back door; however the stress of the situation caused her to faint. Xavros leapt behind the counter, catching her before she fell just as the lead guard entered. He decided to hide where he was because he was certain no one had noticed him, until Pal blew his cover loudly asking if the girl was alright. After a minor interrogation, they were all informed that they would be escorted to the castle for a meeting with the Acting Lord Regent.

It was at this point that Xavros and Pal were formally hired into the group by Baagh, so at least he could report to The Boss that that particular phase of the mission was complete. When they arrived, tales were told, questions were asked and answered, all while he stared the castle hall wondering how long one tapestry, or one vase or one anything would feed everyone on the Dead Docks for. Realizing he could steal nothing though, he stared around in disgust at the indulgence of the Upper Class. He had been born to the middle-class but living in the filth and quiet suffering of the proletariat tinted his view of the world. The only point of interest was when the acting regent’s son challenged Juan Carlos to a Nephilim battle. Having seen Juan’s pet in action, he quickly got some action of his own. A gambler to his core, Xavros could not resist playing the odds even if it were action he couldn't cover the spread. Life was a game and if you didn’t play you might as well be dead. He would worry about the payout only if Juan lost. However luck was on his side, as Juan won and he took the 3 guards and John Smith for their gold. Being a good sport he gave back the guards one gold piece each. Before they left, the party made a deal to receive more work, and the shabbiest dressed were given some new clothes, Xavros’ with some nifty little hidey hole pockets in the sleeves. 

After that, they all went their separate ways, with the intent of meeting back at the castle in one week’s time. However Xavros was intent on insuring that Pal would fail to make that appointment. On their way back to The Barrel Boys, along a secluded route, Xavros used his powers to charge a brick, and tossed it at his unawares companion. When the dust settled, Pal was laying on the floor unconscious. Committed to the bloody deed the gambler quickly used the ex-soldier’s own knife to finish the job. Knowing the explosion would soon draw onlookers he ransacked Pal's body, swiped whatever items of value he could carry, and left the rest The Docks. He thought about heading straight back to The Boss but decided to stay at one of his alternative hidey holes. He wanted some quiet time to think of a story to tell The Boss on the morrow.

Always appreciative of an update from the player’s point of view, Alan.
Session Six-Sleeping Beauty and The Wings of Sin

The Ender Reborn, A name designed to instill fear from a lost age. The legends say that the first Ender was a master of all things magic able to subjugate any and all things that harbored a magical spark. Beast and practitioners were equal in their weakness. Before The Ender they were his slaves. It was a dark time when the Lord of Magics walked the earth, a time of fear and suspicion. It was time never before experienced and never experienced since…

Megumi lay on the couple’s only couch, serene in her still slumber. Li stood over her nearly frozen with fear. He had only brushed The Dark Man’s mind but he felt the strength and intent. He was evil and he had done something to the most precious thing in Li’s life. Baagh and Ghomo had come to the house when he explained that he had been manipulated by the man from the sewers and they too watched his sleeping beauty. It was Ghomo that cautiously attempted to heal her wake her, first through gentle prodding and then through magic but it was to no avail. Something held her in slumber and shaken from recent events the sorcerer had not the frame of mind to tackle the mystery.

The next morning…

The Merchant Quarter

Kosey Sparkswell MD, PI heard the commotion last night and saw the crowds but thought it best to wait until things calmed down. He had his fears but he tempered them with reason. He would be able to find far more clues once the gawkers and emergency services had left. So wait he did and in the early morning hours he and Naut ventured into the apartment building next door to observe the damage. To stand in the dust strewn wreckage that had once been Ghomo’s apartment was sobering. Just hours ago he had been enjoying a drink with his partner and their new found allies, musing about starting an ice cream parlor to make a bit of extra cash. Barely anything stood where once lived a living room.
The investigator set to his task and was not long in finding a strange black cube. It seemed to absorb light, barely giving any back, and it weighed far more than it appear to. He carefully examined the artifact but found it to be inert. Whatever powers it once housed seemed to have been spent. An examination of the apartment showed that the other rooms seemed barely touched by the devastation. Shoving the cube in a sock Kosey thought it best to seek his fellow paranormal detective and when Ghome wasn’t home he could usually be found at The DOII offices.

For Juan Carlos a new day was dawning, literally and figuratively. He was already becoming popular with young aspiring Nephilim Trainers, earning him fame and the means to support his family. Yet two days ago instead of the amateur competition he had intended to enter he managed to lead a party into the sewers and save Princess Nivia De Thymes. Yesterday he faced the Acting Regent’s son in a Nephilim battle and Ryoku proved unbeatable. Everything was falling into place. The Carlos family was going places. With these thoughts in his head Juan set out to put Ryoku through his paces. He hit the streets in search of breakfast and instead found a Nephilim challenge. Juan and Kosey had never faced each other within the battle square but both were eager to see who the better was. As a crowd of fans and passersby watched the two heroes set their pets to the task. Ryoku was a brute with martial arts training, Naut a detective adept in detaining suspects. In the end the battle came down to experience and Ryoku’s power proved no match for the squids multiple attacks. Defeated Juan paid his loser’s fee and promised to meet at the DOII.

On the other side of the quarter a crowd of raving fans cheered as The Week of Games was in full swing. Persons was given left flank, his favorite starting point. He always won when on left flank. It didn’t matter that he was fighting such obviously weak opponents. He waved at the crowd and his fans shouted his victory cry in answer. He was a star, a champion, and the future champion of Chipan. The gong had not been sounded yet Person’s had already won. Top flank was given to a green skinned orc wherein nothing but a loin cloth, loser. Bottom flank was a black belt in karate, Person’s hadn’t bothered to get names. Losers didn’t need names. Right flank was a tall lanky fool built more for office work than for gladiator combat. Persons planned to save him for last, let the fear sink in. Fist to the air he cried victory for all to hear. After this fight he would need more autographed self-portraits. 

The Gong rang and as always the setup for the competition took longer than the actual battle. 

Rising Fist, the orc went down.

Spinning Kick, the black belt was knocked out.

Flurry of Chops, and Persons’ hopes for being this year’s Chipan Champion were crushed.

His manager called him garbage, but Persons knew the truth. The fool in the suit had gotten luck. That was the only way Persons could lose. He’s a winner and winners always won in the end…

The Dead Docks

It was pass time to find The Boss and explain what happened to that idiot, Pal. Xavros wasn’t too worried, people die on The Docks every day. He hit the streets with confidence that instantly fizzled as he caught up with The Barrel Boys at the very spot where he’d left Pal’s corpse. He noticed Cos there as well, being incognito. It seemed that a crowd had gathered to discuss last night. Apparently one of The Undead, the homeless that populate The Docks, had found Pal’s corpse and had seen fit to tell the gang. But by the time The Barrel Boys arrived guards had come and taken the mess away. Pal had died too close to The Boulevard and the powers that be didn’t want to leave the clutter. Xavros covered his tracks well and Cos unknowingly corroborated his ruse. In the end The Boss not only bought it but hired the huge jarhead in the crowd to take Pal’s place.

Safe from The Boss’ wrath Xavros, Dryden, and the newest Barrel Boy set out to visit a local fence before seeking out the rest of the party. It was in a seedy basement partially submerged in sewage that they exchanged loot for coin and coin for information, information that made Xavros’ warily watch his back as they once again hit the streets. The Feralli, his old gang, might not have been eradicated and worse Garath might still be alive. Garath. The Feralli. Shit.

The Boulevard of Thought

Ghomo tried to grab a couple of hours of sleep but his mind had other ideas, there was a mystery to be solved. Megumi. Ghomo had not been completely honest when he told Li that the healing magic wasn’t working. It was working but something was siphoning the energies before they could fully do their job. He wasn’t sure what could do such a thing but he had a pretty good idea of who. The Dark Man had cometh and with a vengeance. Two attacks in as many days. Either the party of bus 15 had pissed him off or he was a bastard of the highest order… a noise jolted him from his musings. Someone was trying to force open the office door. He crept to the door inquired. The stranger outside claimed to be Kosey but why wouldn’t Kosey just use his key. It took a moment to shake off the fatigue and remember that he and John had barred the door. Embarrassed he let the Doctor/Private Investigator and his pet Nephilim in.

Kosey wanted to know what happened. He had seen the apartment and spoken to the neighbors. He had also found the cube. Ghomo’s blood ran cold and a drop of fearful sweat ran down his brow. He knew Kosey to be no fool but bringing the artifact to the office was something he expected from John, though he had to admit that it did appear inert. Investigators by profession the two man team set to the task of puzzling over the cube:

It weighed more than it should
It absorbed magic and light with equal ease
It seemed to grow even heavier when prodded
It pulsed with power
It played with one’s mind
It was evil
It waajsfhjrwq posjmf asd;
Fhei waiusoeuoi a ajep aop iaopiop
It spent its energy quickly and was once again inert

Ghome feared keeping it around yet feared casting it aside to plague someone else. The game was afoot and The Dark Man or The Ender Reborn or whatever the madman wanted to call himself was winning. Spurred by the notion of possible failure Ghomo gathered the team and Juan who arrived shortly after Kosey to deal with the crisis at hand, Li’s wife. A pattern was arising there seemed to be some tie between The Ender Reborn’s power and power siphoning; the cube, the woman, even when Baagh took a few shots at him in the night.

They managed to meet up with Baagh and Persons on the way, and by the time they’d all arrived at The Slave Quarter Cos and his companions had also joined. Solomon was waiting for them and the party was complete.

The Slave Quarter

The Shen house was much the same as it had been the night before. Megumi lay still on the couch breathing slowly with no signs of rising. Li stood over her waiting for a sign of what to do. His was the power of the mind but he feared invading her thoughts while she was so vulnerable. He didn’t want to cause more damage than that dark bastard had done already. Yet desperation was forcing his hand. The party arrived just before he could do something he would have regretted. Ghomo and Solomon had a plan but it required a level of privacy that no man would allow strangers to have with his wife. So thanks to a bit of misdirection from Kosey, Li was sent to the market to gather milk and honey. With everyone else safely outside, Solomon transformed into his alter ego, Magi Gemini Ichi and in concert with Ghomo they set to the task in earnest.

Porker, the Magi’s Servant, sensed a dark power hiding and with an expression of his power he used the light to peel back the dark. What he uncovered was a winged shade of malevolent nature that struck out violently. The Magi took the brunt of the attack and was tossed out of the shack. Ghomo fled before the apparition with the seeds of a plan of attack. Megumi was possessed and luck for her the sorcerer was also a trained exorcist. But he would need help. He needed someone to guard the house from outside forces, someone to get his exorcism kit from the office and he would have to make a trip to an old friend and his private library. All were for the plan except Li who was skeptical about the whole plan. He was prepared to argue but Persons silenced him with a well placed chop to the neck. Teams were established:

Baagh, Xavros and his goon, and Persons would wait at the house
Kosey and Juan would retrieve the kit
The Magi would sit with Megumi
Ghomo, Cos, and John Smith went to the library

Ghomo and his companions arrived at the old library to find it in shambles with most the books in ruin. The walls were covered in gibberish and ritual symbolism written in blood. It seemed that Dr. Rice might have also had a nighttime visitor. Fearful for his colleague and even more worried about the Hydra’s Blood needed for the exorcism, Ghomo and had his team spread out and search what remained of the private library. They searched for twenty minutes before finding the doctor. He had been nearly flayed and was fading fast but quick use of magic stabilized and restored him. As John and Cos searched for clues to the library’s vandals the detective set to questioning Dr. Rice.

He found out that hours ago Dr. Houston Rice received a visit by members of the Tuskan Raiders, a cult that worshiped what they believed to be Kataclysm the Nephilim God of Darkness. They were intent on binding a divine entity and to do so they needed Hydra’s Blood. Ghomo did not miss much and was again seeing a pattern. His cases pertaining to The Tuskan Raiders have always referred to A Dark Man… THE Dark man, The Ender Reborn, Megumi’s affliction, Hydra’s Blood. Frustrated he promised to get Dr. Rice to a medical doctor. The Ender Reborn seemed to be one move ahead and playing a game that they were just starting to understand. Shit they barely knew all of the pieces.

Cos proved knowledge of The Tuskan Raiders who had a temple of sorts hidden in The Dead Docks. They were a fanatical lot but not very tough as far as mentally unbalanced madmen were concerned. They would need to collect the party of Bus 15, Bus 15 for short, and find those cultist if Megumi was to have a chance.

What Li did to Persons’ mind to gain his freedom is between he and The Gods of Creation. What was important was what he found once he’d made his way into his home. Kosey had returned with Ghomo’s paraphernalia and with the candles, salts and chalk had begun preparations for the exorcism from memory. The mysterious Magi Gemini Ichi sat in a corner of the room in quiet thought. She saw Li and rushed to his side. She had an idea that, though radical, might be the key to saving Megumi without risking the dangers of exorcising her demons. Reluctant yet desperate for a solution Li was persuaded to assist. Removing his shirt he knelt with The Magi beside his beautiful wife.

Magi spoke words of powerful summoning as Porker lent her a bit of his power to amplify her own. Carefully she cut her hand then drew blood from Li. With their combined blood she drew the symbol of The Magi upon the woman’s chest and with the power of divine creation she forced their energy into Megumi. She was trying a technique that she’d never even heard of, using her energies to force the entity into the symbol. It was risky but Magi Gemini Ichi is nothing if not brave. The energy flowed and the house shook with the powers of the dark and light. Ghomo and the others rushed in to see what had transpired in his absence. The symbol erupted in black flame before engulfing the entire house. All fled, some running for the safety of distance while others stayed close to help in whatever way they could.

When the black flame receded what waited for the party of Bus 15 was something none expected. Dressed in the armored uniform of The Magi Elite, Megumi floated within the ritual circle on black wings. Her eyes were open though rolled in the back of her head, her arms slack at her sides, yet her power beat against the protective circle with every beat of her wings. Shocked the party drew closer and was intercepted by a huge black wolf, the new Magi’s servant. It growled dangerously and ordered the circle broken and his master, Magi Gemini Ni, released.

Realizing the danger they were in Ghomo began to create a second circle to reinforce the weak one constructed by his partner. The wolf charged and John Smith unleashed the power of The Mega Smasher. The blast missed but added to the damage to the Shen house. As the curtain closed on this chapter of our tale the beast, Atrophy, fell upon Ghomo…

To Be Continued…

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11 Session 7-9 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:39 pm

Session Seven- Beauty and The Beast

Realizing the danger they were in Ghomo began to create a second circle to reinforce the weak one constructed by his partner. The wolf charged and John Smith unleashed the power of The Mega Smasher. The blast missed but added to the damage to the Shen house. The Black Wolf, Atrophy, stopped before Ghomo and released a mournful howl that shook the beams of homes nearly a block away. Though the flesh was unaffected metal, wood and synthetics were sent into a chaotic dance on the cellular level. This not only threatened to level the Shen house but brought Silverkin, the Barrel Boy replacing Pal, and John to their knees. Even after the audio attack had stopped the two men found their limbs to be unresponsive.

As many attempted to flee the area Li and Magi Gemini Ichi took the initiative. The Magi skirted the edge of the ritual circle and attempted to reach the Magi within. Li on the other hand grabbed at the weakest mind he could sense and forced Silverkin to enter the house, guns blazing. With Atrophy engaged he called out to Megumi trapped within. The Magi could sense The Divine Presence nearby and focused on that thread to determine the name of the creature that laid claim to Megumi.

Sloth, one of the lesser fallen angels. Yet she was different. Instead of husk who’s mind was broken by Divine Possession Megumi had been touched in much the same way that Leona had Solomon. She was still in there and, in some small way, able to react. But Sloth was also there and definitely in control. Li’s pleas for his wife to fight fell on mostly deaf ears. As Atrophy fought Silverkin Magi Gemini Ichi and Li Shen tried to reach the Magi trapped within the circle of salt.

The DOII were not idle while this was going on. Kosey planned to use his enemies’ weapons against them. He’d hoped to force feed the Black Wolf The Ender’s black cube. As Silverkin went down he jumped the gap and thrust the artifact at the beast. Unfortunately fear of losing his arm made him panic and he dropped the item short of his goal. With the black cube free to work its anti-magic Ghomo’s ideas and magics were neutralized. The spellcaster fell back on his secondary plan and joined the group attempting to talk sense into the fallen angel. Kosey however risked everything as he warily addressed the beast.

Outside Cos, Xavros, and Baagh attempted to leave the Slave Quarter before it could be leveled by the immanent battle. Unfortunately, someone had warned the authorities and guardsman zeppelins were moving in to cordon off the neighborhood. Baagh took shelter in a rundown shack occupied by a frightened family. Cos and Xavros, seeing a similar skill level in one another, banned together and took to the rooftops. The pair was very familiar with guardsman response time and knew that if they scrambled they could break the perimeter before it could be established. It was a close thing but street smarts and experience allowed them to give the guards the slip even as the last barricade was erected.

“Is there a way that we can free the woman from your master’s grasp and present a more suitable candidate?” asked the pudgy detective.
“There is no candidate more suitable. The woman is the one promised.”
“Promised by whom?”
“Promised by The Fates and prepared for the change by The Dark One.”
“The Dark One. You mean The Ender Reborn?”
“She was one of the terms of my master’s agreement.”
“Agreement… with The Dark One.” Kosey studied the black wolf. The creature was huge for its species and wore aggression like a badge. It was not offering violence yet violence hung around it like a poison miasma. “Is there no way to broker a different agreement?”
“No.” the wolf growled.

Her eyes were still unresponsive but her slack arms managed to slowly point at the barrier that kept her from freedom. Her wings beat lazily and her head faced the pair as if listening to their pleas. Li continued to challenge Megumi to fight the divine entity from the inside while Gemini Ichi addressed the Fallen Angel directly. Ichi offered a stronger and willing body, all she wished was to be released from the ritual cage. Her impetuous actions had led to this. If she had been patient Ghomo may have possibly released the entity’s hold on Megumi but believing that it was her duty to act had changed things. As the Magi tried to reason with her sworn enemy her thoughts were somewhat guilty. Ghomo was also adamant about securing the release of Li’s wife. In his line of work he had encountered possession before but never at this level, whatever Magi Gemini Ichi had done had not only increased the entity’s hold on the woman but had changed its very nature.

The three began to debate over how to achieve their shared goal when Kosey, having secured a promise for the party of Bus 15’s safety, scuffed aside the salt and broke the ritual circle. Suddenly free the angel completed the transformation. Megumi was nowhere to be found as red on red eyes of sin stared at the gather quartet. To her side bound the black wolf holding a black cube in its mouth. She smiled and Li could feel the absence of his wife behind those features that had once been hers. Desperate he called for Megumi to prove the stronger and fight the monster. Angered Sloth/Megumi/Magi Gemini Ni grabbed Li by the throat and raised him effortlessly into the air. As she squeezed it was not Ghomo’s magic, held in check by the presence of the black cube, or the powerful Magi Gemini Ichi that saved him but Kosey. He reminded the wolf of their deal. Annoyed the Magi relented and began to leave. At Ghomo’s request she took a business card and left the black cube, recharged by her presence.

The party fled the house in her wake as the cube reduced the hovel to dust. She took to the air even as guard zeppelins arrived and produced dozens of troops. The party avoided imprisonment for disturbance of the peace and destruction of property thanks to Solomon’s sudden return and their status as Heroes of The Kingdom. Solomon went with the authorities while the remainder of the party rendezvoused at the DOII offices. It was there that Li lost his composure and ran off, presumably to find his beloved.

Meanwhile, Xavros and Dryden Cether Cos devised a plan to make a bit of money. They hoped the party had made it out of their predicament alive but if not they needed the gold to rebuild or worse… pay out bail money.

The party of Bus 15 sans a few bit players seethed over yet another defeat at the hands of The Ender Reborn or his minions. They were too late to stop whatever nefarious thing he’d done to Princess Nivia. He’d demolished Ghomo’s home, set fire to the office and gave Megumi over to a demon. At every turn they were his play things but they were determined to fight back. Yet they did not know where to hurt him other than the Tuskan Raiders and their cult dedicated to The Dark One. Wheels began to turn a plan formed in Ghomo’s mind. Maybe they could strike back, make a bit of gold and avenge Dr. Rice! A plan was definitely in the works.

To Be Continued…

Session Seven- Beauty and The Beast I.V

How do you go from having everything you need to having nothing at all. They say when you are rich and you lose your money you have thoughts of suicide. Anytime you have something that makes you content and you lose it the dark thoughts will be there. I was rich once. I was married to the woman of my dreams; beautiful, strong, smart. And to have that ripped away from me has brought my mind to the brink of insanity. I stand at the edge of the precipice and it's a desolate place with nothing around for miles. Before me looms a cliff and I see no reason not to jump.

Ghomo and Solomon were content to call it another loss to this Ender Reborn, bastards… The Dark One and Magi Gemini Ichi. I can’t help but think they planned this together. We only see her when he’s involved and she gave over my Megumi to that thing that stole her body. I couldn’t bear more than fifteen minutes of their prattling all I could think about was what I could have done to save her. I knew deep down that I hadn’t done all within my power and it burned like the most vicious of poisons. Whether from guilt or fatalism I left in search of my wife.

My first thoughts were to head back to The Slave Quarter and search the water tower. That’s where she went last time. She loved high places, climbing the highest point and imagining she was flying. My song bird… I changed direction and went toward The Merchant Quarter. I needed to get to the highest point in the city but the castle was off limits. My only option was the monstrosity that sat in the middle of the industrial sector surrounded by dozens of construction sites. The news called it The Dark Needle, The Blackguard Corporation Building. I tried to gain entrance into the building but there were too many guards to catch in one genjutsu and I was finding it hard to focus. I just kept seeing my beloved’s face with those unsettling red on red eyes. I should have thrust harder maybe I could have broken that monster’s cold on her. In the end I relied on my training and scaled the building using their obvious holes in security.

The view at the top brought a tear to my eye. You could see all of Chipan City. Megumi would have loved it but she wasn’t there… bastards. I sat and focused my mind and sent out a message that only a master of the mind, a psychic, could hear. I sent my thoughts out to let her know I was waiting for her and wait I did.

It must have been nearly thirty minutes. I was prepared to continue my search elsewhere when I sensed power approaching from the south. I stood up overjoyed that she heard my call but it wasn’t Megumi. It was a woman of buxom proportions wearing a long blue dress and flying on sky blue dove’s wings. She landed beside me and as I stared at her beautifully round face I noticed her red on red eyes. Instantly I was on my guard. Teasingly she claimed to recognize me from her description. She claimed that my wife had spoken of me. She claimed to want to eat me up! As I gathered the words to ask after Megumi another arrived from the west. He was more beautiful than Solomon with broad shoulders and a red tuxedo that would have been the envy of the royal court. He traveled on small white wings and too had the red on red eyes of sin. He was more frightful than the other, invading my personal space and making me feel things that were decidedly unmanly. I backed away from the pair and yet another joined us.

She arrived on the building elevator. Her aged face was one I’d seen before, always in the paper whenever the topic was the CEO of Blackguard Corporation. Her body was bent but her shadow was long and full of power. Even the other angels recoiled from her. While the other had been curious of me I could tell that she was angry and not just with me. The building was hers and we all were trespassing. She was prepared to attack us when the blue angel explained who I was. This seemed to get the old woman’s attention. She drew closer, promising to collect my soul and store it with her other victims. Instead of fear I felt resignation. Without my wife I was nothing and if these monsters were going to devour her let them feast on me too.

That was the moment, when I had completely given up, that Megumi or Sloth or The Second Magi, whichever she called herself, arrived to save me. The stared down the older more powerful angel and declared her claim of me. For a moment I let myself believe that my beloved had bested the monster but that bubble was quickly burst. She ordered me to leave and told me not to seek her until it was time for the party to oppose her. I couldn’t understand what she meant and I couldn’t understand why she called me husband if she was still the monster, Sloth. I refused to leave and she drew a weapon and pressed it to my heart. She promised to kill me and I believed her. I fled but not out of fear but out of hope. Sloth might have her mind and body but my wife, the woman that had given up everything to be with me, was having an influence on the divine creature. I could feel it.

And then the reason is given to you. Even though your reason for living is no longer with you she is not truly gone. You must get her back by any means necessary. You must get stronger and you must stop anything that gets in your way. They say that you can't understand someone who is insane until you walk a mile in their shoes. I intend to put anyone who stands in my way in my shoes, for eternity. I will get stronger and I will no longer use my powers for information gathering. The mind is a fickle thing and I had the skill and power to shatter it like a pane of glass. I had once hoped to only use my powers for good and to clear my name but no more. My name is Li Shen, The Mind Mage and I will destroy anyone that stands in my way.

Always appreciative of an update from the player’s point of view, Darnell.
Session Eight- Barricade and Infiltrate Part I

“How many did you see?” asked Xavros as he again scanned the streets for any suspicious characters. The street was clear but members of one of the many leper dens dragged themselves around an abandoned wreck of a building. It would have been unsettling to most to stand in such filth and squalor but Dryden and Xavros barely noticed, they lived in The Dead Docks after all.

“Three active on the second floor, one active and one inactive on the first. In all likelihood there’s more but there is no way to be sure unless we wait, too many rooms, too many places to hide.” answered the apprentice to the legendary Cether Cos. He did a great job of hiding it but his nerves were rattled. The building across from the target had looked precarious but so did all of the others. He hadn’t expected the structure to collapse. If Xavros hadn’t warned him or if he had been a second slower the rubble would have marked his grave.

“Then we wait. I’m willing to gamble that they aren’t expecting us.”

“You’re willing to gamble on anything.”

“Wanna bet?”

Baagh Patel met the other members of the Party of Bus 15 in front of The DOII offices. Kosey and Ghomo were having an animated discussion. The Nephilim Trainer was having second thoughts about heading to The Dead Decks and kicking the hornet’s nest. The Tuskan Raiders, the Ender Reborn, The Fallen Angels; all of them were unknown variables and the party had lost so much already. Kosey believed that the party needed to entrench themselves in information and research. If they were going to defeat this Ender Reborn it would require a level head and all available data. Ghomo was in no mood to bury his head in a book, he wanted no needed action. He was determined to show The Dark One that he could be hurt. Solomon supported the sorcerer’s battle plan, John Smith was ready to do whatever he was bid to, and Juan Carlos seemed vaguely distracted. Juan had had that dream again, the one where he was a Nephilim trapped in a cave…

In the end Baagh sided with Ghomo and Kosey was left behind to research on his own. Ghomo, Solomon, Baagh, Juan, and John set out on a mission of revenge. Their first stop was to get cloaks. The Dead Docks was the home of Chipan’s forgotten, thousands of men and women left to fend for themselves with the barest of support by the government. Running water and heat were niceties that many in The Docks dreamed of while most of Chipan took them for granted. The fine clothing of Solomon and Ghomo would brand them as privileged, marking them as targets for the desperate or the ruthless. Cloaks would hide their garments and Baagh promised to take care of the rest. He was familiar with The Docks if not the desert cult itself. Juan was confident that his disguise, a large brimmed hat with the mark of The Trinity, would be enough to hide his famous visage. Thus camouflaged the group continued on their quest.

They turned onto Legman Road and were surprised to see that the street was cordoned off by barricades and armed troops. It was immediately obvious that these troops dressed in white uniforms and wearing military grade armor were not standard Chipan Guard or even Royal Samurai. Their arms were marked with the lightning struck blue O of The Orion Organization, a conglomerate dedicated to weapons research and development. They chose assault rifles over the standard guard baton and white capes blazon with the company emblem. As they watched an elderly couple were escorted from their home and led to a scientist that scanned them with an unwieldy handheld device. It was John’s strained order to stop that caught the team’s attention. The enigmatic man/machine was agitated by visions of captivity and blood. His was a dark and twisted story and The Orion Organization was the antagonist.

Though the others were unaware of his motivations they were receptive of his very real fear. Baagh suggested a different route and having agreed the party turned to retrace their steps. But even as that was happening, the sound of screeching tires and a powerful steam engine cut the silence. A white Orion Organization van came to a halt directly in their path of retreat and out hopped two troopers and two scientists. Dr. Samantha Takashiro was as beautiful as ever with dark red hair and the same striking eyes that used to watch him through the incubation glass. She was busy talking to her colleague so she did not notice him though his altered appearance looked nothing like the man she’d known.




A crushed Rose.

John Smith was rooted to the spot lost in the overwhelming influx of unwanted memories. Baagh tried to shake him even as one of the armored troopers approached. The Ex-Gun Smith recognized extensive combat training in the way that the man carried himself and instinctively checked the safety on his firearm. Ghomo and Solomon slipped into their planned roles of pimp and prostitute frightfully fast and Baaghlet John be for a moment. It was Juan who tried to quickly flee the scene and it was Juan who the Orion Trooper grabbed. Hand on his weapon Baagh asked what was going on. The area had been compromised by some sort of biological contaminant and the population need to be scanned for infection. The trooper glanced at Baagh’s gun but seemed unfazed which was no help in calming the Gun Bunny’s nerves. The trooper gestured towards the scientist preparing a blockish device. Not interested in being polite the trooper began to drag Juan toward the van.

Dr. Takashiro came over to the team to search them for any physical signs of contamination and Ghomo, always the salesman, approached her for information. She presented her ID for Baagh and turned to answer the detective’s questions when she took a double take at John. She hastily returned to the van where she spoke quietly to the other Orion staff. It was the ex-Gun Smith that warned the party that they were in trouble. He had seen the reflection in the doctor’s glasses and knew that she had seen John Smith’s true self, Project Guyver. Fearful Ghomo was done waiting for John to come back to himself and tossed a spell his way. The suddenly jolt to his mind snapped John out of his stasis and he echoed Baagh’s declaration, they needed to leave immediately.

One of the troopers had brought out a radio and was quietly communicating with unknown parties even as troopers from the distant barricade were discreetly advancing on their position. The party only had a moment to prepare before Gun Smith training kicked in and Baagh went live. His grenade landed just beside the van and the flash of light and loud bang caused the diversion the party needed to flee. John shed his human disguise and in full Guyver mode led the retreat. Behind him were Baagh and Solomon. Juan was determined not to be left behind and Ghomo tried his best. Being in the rear afforded him an opportunity to see the handy work of Patel’s Flash Bang. 

The troopers and the male scientist stumbled about disoriented but Dr. Takashiro seemed unfazed. As Ghomo watched she tore open her blouse losing buttons and revealing a modest chest. She cried out the words he had heard John use countless times to activate his combat form. Hers was a white sleeker model but it was unmistakably a Guyver. The van buckled under the force she exerted as she burst forth and easily overtook the sorcerer but he was not her target thus she ignored him. As she moved she opened her chest plating and charged her modified Mega Smasher, The Orion Beam. Solomon yelled a warning and took the next right with Baagh. Juan ran as fast as he could in hopes of sticking with John. As Ghomo threw himself into a wall the beam of hyper charged particles washed forward. The blast missed its intended target but managed to hit Juan Carlos head on. The up and coming trainer’s molecules were accelerated beyond tolerable limits and his body tore itself apart in nanoseconds and all that remained were two damaged buildings, The Trinity cap, and Ryoku’s capture cube. The Doctor did not bother to slow as she continued her pursuit; Juan was just an unfortunate casualty in her hunt for John.

Waiting had never been one of Xavros’ strong suits. He was a mover and a shaker. Staking out a target for a heist was one thing but the waiting game was one game he did not play well. Dryden was no different. Eager for some action the two agreed to hit the cultist lair alone.

Step One- A distraction: People from the neighborhood had gathered to observe the spectacle of the collapsed building, including Raiders curious about the commotion outside. While Cos made his way into the second floor it was Xavros’ job to sow confusion. After he was sure that no one was looking he focused all of his power on a corner of the lair, charging bricks straight up to the roof with kinetic energy. Then he casually stepped aside. It took less than a minute for the masonry to falter. Brick and mortar sprayed the crowd as a small portion of the building showered them with debris.

Step Two- Infiltration: Having heard the signal, people screaming, Dryden cut a slit in the paper window and slipped into a room where a witch doctor chanted to unknown powers. Cos had had his fill of magic and dark forces and decided to move things to his pace. His blade bit into the woman’s neck before she was even aware that he was there. He covered her mouth to muffle her gurgling and then looted her corpse. Having found what valuables she carried he scanned the room. The corners were decorated with partially flayed bodies and he stood in the center of a ritual circle. In the dead priestess’ hands was a strange black fetish and her arm was tattooed with unfamiliar lines. On a chair sat a glowing blue orb pulsing with eldritch life.

Step Three- Do Something Stupid: Xavros waited in the shadows as people ran for cover and cultist ran outside to access the threat. Then he waited another ten minutes to give Cos a chance to stretch. But as he is apt to say, he hated waiting. It was while he was peeking through a window to get a sense of easy ways in that he was spotted. Even as the desert born cannibals ran for the door Xavros caught a glimpse of a strange procession walking through the house. At its head was Dryden Cether Cos with blazing blue eyes and clutching an orb of the same color. The cultists caught up to Xavros and he dove through the window.

Step Four- Screw These Steps: Xavros entertained cutting his losses and running but in Cos he had begun to see an ally after his own heart. It was this and a natural inclination to gamble with his life that spurred him to strike. He was a blur of motion and lights as he tossed charged cards as distraction and attacked the orb that had obviously taken control of the ninja. Breaking contact seemed to be the answer because as he knocked the orb out of Dryden’s hands the ninja came back to himself. The cultist snarled their unhappiness and the dynamic duo turned tail and ran in the only direction available, deeper into the warehouse.

Solomon and Ghomo had managed to dive into the building before The Orion Troopers turned the corner. Solomon had taken Juan’s cube and hat. There was nothing else left. It was unsettling how easily a character could just shuffle off this mortal coil. As guards patrolled the street the leaders of The DOII found themselves by a dozen very friendly leather clad men and a bear wearing a fez. Baagh made his way to an empty street and used a fire escape to make his way to the roof. He’d seen many men die in his life but Juan was just a kid with no concept of combat and hardship. It was sad, even to the hardened soldier. As he crept along the roof he could see the enemy fanning out and beginning door to door searches. A scientist was using their weird contraption to scan the stain that was once Juan Carlos. In the distance were guard zeppelins but there was no telling whether they were inbound or responding to some other emergency.

Silverkin had taken enough time procrastinating. He hadn’t had a chance to talk to Alok but he knew what the old soldier would say we can’t start looking for your boys’ killers until we find your boys. If only it would be that simple. As he left the hideout his intent was to search the sewers for a few hours before seeking out Xavros. What met him outside was surprising and frightening. John Smith came barreling around the corner at breakneck speeds. Silverkin waved dumbly, too surprised to form words. Then out of the sky dropped Li, ninjas. It was what followed Smith that shook the seasoned commando. A twin in white firing blast after superhot blast. Training took over and Silverkin started shooting wildly. Li returned to the rooftops presumably to help.

The two Guyver engaged each other in a furious show of awesome power, each blow shaking the windows of the lower Merchant Quarter. Dr. Takashiro delivered a blow so strong that it leveled John though he blocked it. John tore open his chest and fired up into her torso. The building behind her sagged as parts of it were atomized but White Guyver seemed unscathed. Samantha had spent the last five years making alterations to the original Guyver design. She more than anyone understood that it would take a monster to catch a monster and she chose to be a monster immune to Guyver tech. She slashed John across the gut, a blow that shook Silverkin’s footing and brought Li crashing to the ground. Only a lunatic would stand on such a precarious perch Alok would have said. Orion Troopers came around the corner in a skirmish line. They set up a perimeter around the mad white Guyver that continued to rain blow after blow upon her foe even after he had ceased moving and the thoroughly thrashed John Smith. Silverkin wanted to assist his fallen ally but a quick threat assessment told him that he too might be captured if he didn’t grab Li and run. So running is what he did.

To Be Continued…

Session Nine- Barricade and Infiltrate Part II

The blast missed its intended target but managed to hit Juan Carlos head on. The up and coming trainer’s molecules were accelerated beyond tolerable limits and his body tore itself apart in nanoseconds and all that remained were two damaged buildings, The Trinity cap, and Ryoku’s capture cube…

Ryoku’s capture cube…

Capture cube…


The Dead Docks, Chipan

Xavros and Dryden Cether Cos had developed a bond over the last few hours built around mutual respect and shared experience. They ran through the old warehouse as quickly as their legs would allow. The sliding shut of the grated door behind them drew the pair’s attention. As they looked back they could see that they were being locked inside with a wide eyed Raider baring The Blue Heart of Power. Bathed in blue light the man moved zombie like towards the darkness at the back of the warehouse. Xavros spilled unceremoniously over a prone body. Cos drew a dagger and eyed the tied and gagged prisoner. His clothes were too fine for him to be a denizen of the docks, zombies as they liked to be called. He was tied with rough hemp rope reinforced with duct tape. If the man was trying to get their attention he was doing a great job. Xavros roughly held him still as Dryden cut him free. As the man got to his feet and attempted to rub feeling back into his arms and legs their attention was again drawn by the glowing orb. Blue arcs of energy rippled up the cultist’s tattered rags and leaped to a pile of gears and clockwork.

Gears were moving under the manipulation of blue energy not unlike the lights that play from the Tesla Coils displayed on The Boulevard of Thought. It was beautiful and horrible. To the two companions and their charge one thing was obvious, they needed to get out. As if in answer to their thoughts familiar faces appeared in a nearby window. Kosey and Persons stood in the filthy alley happy that they had found the pair. Xavros wasted no time making it clear that they wanted out and Cos, feeding into his baser compulsions tossed his weapon expertly at the blue energy source. Persons kicked the brick wall and it shook violently. The blade whistled through the air. The gears and metal had joined to form a beastly head of jagged teeth. Persons hit the wall again this time smashing much of it to dust. The blade sung to its mark. The clockwork components snapped into place as if pulled by powerful magnets. Persons’ foot crashes through the wall as dagger shattered the super charged battery.

Blue energy lashed out in two directions forming a circuit between the enraptured cultist and the gear work construct. The former was reduced to blue tinted bone and ash the latter swelled with power. It roared like a beast from prehistory and rose violently to its full height. The building had been old years ago when the Palisade River still meandered pass the place then called The Chipan Fishing and Trade Dock Yard, but that was a long time ago and time had not been gentle. The structure struggled in vain to stand strong but under the onslaught of a gear and clockwork thunderlizard failure was the only option. Xavros, Persons, Kosey and Cos wasted no time talking or even asking their new strange companion’s name. As the thirty foot monstrosity of modern ingenuity crashed through what was once a building and collided with another the group fled covered in dust and debris.

The crowded and rabble strewn Dead Docks erupted in panicked frenzy as cultist, homeless zombies, lepers, ne’er-do-wells, and adventurers fled a metallic beast from the depths of a mechanic’s nightmares. The construct lunged forward and snapped its razor filled maw shut on nearly a dozen citizens. Many died immediately others lived long enough to slide down the monster’s gullet to be ground down by gears and crushers. It roared and blue light played along its flanks. Suddenly Gatling guns emerged from its sides and it fired into the crowd that grew larger as its path destroyed buildings long past due demolition. The clockwork beast roared and death followed its heraldic call.

Lower Merchant’s District, Chipan

Ghomo and Solomon huddled together in an abandoned hall closet. Distant gunshots and the sound of marching booted feet attested to the level to which the situation had escalated. The Orion Organization had been carrying out a discrete quarantine until the Guyvers went haywire and innocent people were hurt. Now the Orion Organization Troopers were given new directives from Central Control: Apprehend any and all with the slightest knowledge of Project Guyver, the culprits were criminals and deadly force was authorized. As Solomon made their way higher into the apartment building violent door to door searches were on the way. Solomon opened the door a crack and could hear an older man demanding to know under what authority was he being pulled from his home. In response a gun silenced anymore complaint. The pair slipped into the hall and continued toward the roof.

Sergeant Patel again scanned the streets for any sign of Blue or Pink Leader, when things got hairy he reverted to his Gun Smith training- team members were colors. There was no sign of Ghomo or Solomon but the streets were crawling with white clad soldiers. They weren’t North Westing Military or Chipan City Guards but they had declared martial law. Scores had been dragged into the street to be interrogated, those that resisted were brutalized. The team was behind enemy line and they needed to escape. Soon. His keyed up senses heard the roof access door open and he spun around rifle trained on the face peeking out, Pink Leader. He gestured for Solomon stay down. Baagh closed the distance in a few quick steps and scanned the rooftops for any sign of the enemy. Blue Leader and Pink Leader crept out onto the roof; they were both panicked and worried but none the worse for wear. He was relieved to have a team leader at his side, he hated being in command.

It didn’t take them long to devise a plan. It was reckless and a bit crazy but the best they could come up with short of shooting their way through dozens of armed troopers. It was strange, less than a week ago they had all been living separate lives with no real concerns outside of day to day living within Chipan. Yet in this short span they had stared down danger multiple times with Sloth’s black wolf, the black cube, The Ender’s frightful Nephilim, and The Ender himself. Less than a week… where would they be months from then?

Persons paused to catch his breath, putting Kosey down as his muscles screamed to be stretched. Even with the fast healing bestowed upon hi, by his master’s training he could still feel the beaten he’d taken earlier in the day. The detective was looking back the way they’d come and asking after his Nephilim. The creature had been left behind but it wasn’t too far behind them. When the tentacle pet turned the corner Kosey nearly cried with relief. Persons was too tired to mention how weak it made the detective look, Persons was feeling weak himself. He began to turn and something smashed into him hard, knocking him to the floor. Irrationally he thought it was the mechanical T-Rex, but it proved to be Silverkin and Li. The latter having a strange look of disconnection about him.

Kosey began to ask what was happening as he glimpsed white clad soldiers in the streets up ahead but the stranger whom had been with Xavros and Cos came running up. His face was red with exertion and the idea of him being able to run much further seemed like extremely wishful thinking. Remembering his manners he called Naut back to his Capture Cube and extended his hand to the young man. The man smiled, happy to be among civilized people again but that smile wilted and then turned into a look of panic. Kosey slowly turned to see Cos running down the street like the devil was nipping at his heels and that devil was called Gearzilla, Scourge of The Dead Docks.

Cos shot pass the group even as Magi Gemini Ichi, Ghomo, and Baagh jumped off of a nearby roof. Baagh used the rope to slow his decent but not enough to keep him from spilling onto Dryden. Ghomo used his magical arts to slow his and the young nobleman’s fall. Cos rolled to his feet and promptly dove for cover as the whistling of Gearzilla’s weaponry heralded a burst of heated lead. Silverkin took a few rounds but The Magi, floating down from the roof, took most of the bullets. Her body became little more than a ragdoll as she hit the ground. Ghomo, always the detective, looked at the clockwork monstrosity with awe even as his body began to scatter with the others. Everyone was too preoccupied to wonder as Ryoku popped out of his Capture Cube and comically carried Magi Gemini Ichi out of harm’s way.

The street was suddenly a battlefront as everyday citizens of Chipan fled the advance of the gear and clockwork beast. Baagh and Silverkin opened fire as they retreated to any safe location they could find. Ghomo and the stranger called on their secret arts, both seeing for the each other for what they were, one hit the monster with a bolt of force and dove through a window while the other turned the street to an oily mess. Persons, eager to prove himself after such lame showing all day, charged the beast but bounced off impotently. As his allies struggled Cos felt the hero’s spark and stopped running. He knew that somehow this was all his fault and he was determined to see things run their course. He took to the air and landed on the monster’s massive head. His hands shone with the broken heart’s blue light and his soul felt one with Gearzilla.

Ryoku crabwalked The Magi towards an empty doorway when the door flew open and a dark figure beckoned him forward. The man wore a black tuxedo with excessively log tails with a black shirt and shoes. His head was capped with a tall top hat emblazoned with a silver cross and his face was covered with the white harlequin mask. Wary, Ryoku placed Magi Gemini Ichi down as he eyed the stranger.

“Don’t stare at me, little boy, save her. Justice demands it!” spoke the stranger. Confused Ryoku complied. He worked furiously and with his
 medical training he managed to stabilize the Magi but without any means of healing she was still in the danger zone.

“Do not fret, my small friend, one of such beauty will never be without friends. You’ve done your part and well at that. Now step aside and I will restart justice’s flame within her petite bosom.” As Ryoku watched, the stranger removed the unconscious woman’s panties and placed them on the Nephilim’s head. He then began to lower himself on top of her in a very inappropriate manner. Spurred into a strange frenzied panic Ryoku attacked the man who seemed unruffled as he blocked and deflected multiple strikes.

“Boy, if I am to save my love I must enter her and fan her flames.” Frightened by the stranger’s mature words Ryoku did the first thing that came to mind and dove between The Magi’s crouch effectively trapping himself as the man laid his weight on them both. Locked into some sort of ecchi Ryoku sandwich Ryoku experienced indignities that will not be recounted. Yet when the stranger forced his tongue into Magi Gemini Ichi’s mouth the fluids of healing flowed through all of them and release was achieved.

The party of Bus 15 had managed to stay the monster’s advance but were having trouble delivering any effective damage. Fearful for their lives Kosey, and the former captive of The Tuskan Raiders fled only to be stopped by Orion Organization Troopers waiting at the next intersection. Silverkin also forsook his soldier’s training and ran for safety and he too was detained by Orion. Half-mad from the events surrounding his wife, Li lashed out randomly at whatever minds he could reach. He briefly touched on Dryden’s and the sudden shock of having someone in his mind inspired The Cursed Ninja. Dryden reached into the creature’s gears and wrenched free a cog that caused the beast to crumble. Li then fled in search of happiness in mayhem. Baagh knew the battle wasn’t over seeing the blue energy playing over Cos’s hand and the mechanical piece in it. He began ordering the few straggling civilians to flee for their lives.

Kosey was scanned by an Orion Organization Scientist and cleared to leave the quarantine zone. Yet he was a detective and when he saw an unattended Orion van he had to see if it was the vehicle reputed to have left with his friend and colleague, John Smith. What he found was a woman, naked and unconscious. She was draped in a scientist’ s lab coat and breathing deeply. He awakened her and warned her of the impending threat of Gearzilla. To his consternation she proved to be paralyzed and barely able to speak let alone move. His sense of justice kindled he helped her with the assistance of Naut and together they fled. Kosey wouldn’t voice such inappropriate thoughts but Samantha, for that is the name she gave, was beautiful, and intriguing and that to a detective was beautiful too.

Silverkin’s escape from The Orion Quarantine was due to the assistance of a strange scientist that injected him with some sort of drug that had him foaming at the mouth within seconds. The two made their way pass wary troopers before parting ways. The foaming was dying down but his genitals and tongue were starting to burn fiercely.

Baagh saw the Chipan Military Gliders swoop pass a moment before he heard the drop impact of three Military Grade Mecha, Warrior Class. Just as Baagh predicted the mechanical monstrosity began to pull itself back together. He grabbed Blue Leader, Ghomo, and began to move out of the Mecha’s line of fire. Dryden dropped the gear as Xavros appeared and the latter grabbed it in hopes of destroying it with his power. He charged the component even as the Mecha powered-up. As his purple energies replaced the blue he began to feel saturated with the broken heart’s blue light. Strangely so did Li and Dryden. Attempting to clear the blast radius of the gear Xavros turned to run but the Mecha commander had identified him as Gearmancer and according to standing military orders fired upon him. He went down and Gearzilla exploded killing one of the Mecha pilots with the shrapnel.

What followed was confused by the pace of events but Ghomo, and Baagh managed to join The Magi and Ryoku before fleeing the scene. The Mecha destroyed the remnants of Gearzilla and Chipan Guard arrested Xavros. The party was scattered but this Week of Games was proving to be the most eventful in Chipan history.

…From the rooftops a mysterious stranger, tall top hat emblazoned with a silver cross, watched the heroes retreat. His hands still smelled of The Magi’s womanhood and the Nephilim’s virginity. He licked his lips and smiled. Justice needed champions and a champion had to be willing to give his all in any situation. He’d never bedded a Nephilim before but Justice might call for drastic measures…

To Be Continued…

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12 Session 10- on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:40 pm

Session Ten- Into The Maw of Darkness
The week of games ended in a display of fireworks and grand song.  Thousands from all over North Westing, in Chipan to celebrate Princess Melissan’s naming day, bowed their heads in acquiesce to the heirs elevation to Regent.  In the Arena of the Gods, largest arena in The Merchant Quarter, she appeared and flanked by her royal siblings was crowned by King Falkes himself.  The official record of the week’s events illustrate endless games and competitions with only a small mention of Princess Nivia’s kidnapping, the baptism of Kingdome Heroes, and the rampage of Gearzilla.  Nowhere is the increasing return of magic discussed yet many whisper that single dreaded name by safety of firelight, clutching their holy symbols tight.  Ender.
The party of Bus 15 stood in throne room of Castle Chipan surrounded by dozens of noble courtiers and royal guards.  Seated upon the throne was Regent De Thymes, beautiful and stoic, and beside her stood the venerable Lord Deacon of Everett.  All of the original members of the party were announced by title, family, and name where possible and presented to The Regent.
“Since The Dark Days when heroes from across the realm banded together to face The Ender and his magical armies, North Westing has been protected by men and women of extraordinary gifts of skill from the forces of evil.  Chipan has been without such champions for nearly two decades.” spoke the royal heir.  Her words were cultured and honed like a warrior’s blade.  Her poise was unrivaled and when she paused all waited with abated breath for her next words to fall.  “Before us stand such champions.  With no regards to themselves or payment they ventured into harm’s way and saved a De Thymes princess, my sister.  Thus are heroes born.  Brave men, I present to you the Hero’s Ring, a symbol of your loyalty to North Westing and her trust in you.”
The court and the party’s retainers watch as Ghomo, Kosey, Baagh, Persons, Solomon, and Cos are presented their badges of office.  Thanks are given and pleasantries are shared before the party of Bus 15 retired to The Raven’s Room, private sitting room of the regent, with Regent Melissan and Lord Deacon.  It is here that they are told of the matter for which Lord Deacon had asked their assistance with days ago, though it felt like months to the heroes.  As heroes and regent listen Lord Deacon of Everett explains a dire issue plaguing Chipan.
“To avoid the mincing of words I will get straight to the heart of the issue, The Residential Quarter.” said the former acting Regent.  He watched everyone’s confused expressions with a level of satisfaction.  As expected it was one of the detectives that spoke up.
“Residential Quarter?  What Residential Quarter, my lord?” asked Ghomo.
“The Residential Quarter that has sat the western border of Chipan for a little over a century.” answered the nobleman.  Even as he said it the gathered party collectively realized the truth of his words.  Of course there was a Residential Quarter.  There always was… many had even lived there.  Three years ago… The memories were there yet slipped away even as they fell under scrutiny.  Why hadn’t they remembered?  Why were they already starting to forget?  “You begin to understand.
“A strange phenomenon surrounds The Residential Quarter an occurrence on an unthinkable scale.  All that hear or see the quarter instantly remember their time spent there and lives lived upon it’s streets yet those thoughts instantly disappear the moment the mind is allowed to wander.  To all of Chipan, all of North Westing, the quarter across the old Palisade River does not exist beyond the utterance of its name.”
“If this is so, Lord Deacon, then how do you manage to remember while the rest of us suffer from forgetfulness?” predictably asked the second, darker detective.
“It’s not by some preternatural means if that is what you’re thinking, Mr. Sparkswell.  It is from hours of due diligence.  Every day I devote time to pouring over pages of reports detailing this very matter and every day I forget like everyone else.  It is tedious but as Rege- as Acting Regent it was important that I kept all of Chipan’s issues at the forefront of my thoughts.  It is a troubling matter and one the new regent would have dealt with as soon as possible.”
“Lord Deacon?”
“Master Suichiro?”
“What exactly would you have us do?”
“The recent events on The Dead Docks have made it clear that the need for proper housing for Chipan’s citizens is imperative.  We want you to succeed where many have failed.  Enter the Residential Quarter, determine what is the source of this dark occurrence, and put an end to it.”  The former regent studied the diverse faces before him before continuing.  “The Regent has authorized for you to be rewarded four thousand gold pieces from the city coffers for your troubles.”
It was nighttime when the party boarded the dirigible and a squall of exceptional strength had gathered over Chipan.  The Heroes of The Kingdom and their retainers sat quietly contemplating the nature of their assignment and the precarious way the zeppelin swayed under the assault of the heavy rains and winds.  Full recollection of their mission was already starting to fade but most had resorted to writing notes on their person which helped to keep The Residential Quarter in their thoughts.  When the copilot informed them that they had arrived they were ready to get started.
Cos and Xavros, more the team every day, were the first two down.  The airship floated above what was left of a bridge spanning the old Palisade River and provided a rope ladder as egress.  They scanned the perimeter from the cover of shadow as the bulk of the group made their haphazard way down.  Heroes they might have been but graceful was a beast of a different stripe.  Baagh and Li brought up the rear ensuring that everyone was down and assuring the pilot that they were clear.  As the copilot rerolled the ladder he told them that the zeppelin would fly pass the bridge gap every two hours.
Alone in the dark the heroes looked west towards the heart of The Residential Quarter.  Visibility was low and the rain was showing no sign of relenting.  It was Dryden that first felt it, senses heightened by years of Cether Cos’ harsh tutelage.  A feeling of spinning, of falling, of spiraling down into the abyss.  He shook his head and looked away.  He could see some of the others feeling it to, vertigo centered on the heart of the darkness.  Something strange truly was happening in The Residential Quarter.  The group advanced entering the city proper under buckets of rain.  Eager for respite and a chance to begin their investigation the group took shelter in the first building they came upon.
It was an abandoned and rundown brick edifice that bared a slightly sinister lean.  Inside the windows had long ago fallen apart and rain poured in through a hole in the ceiling.  The ground was littered with debris and most striking was the fact that the building stood perfectly upright from the inside.  For an hour they investigated and planned, while Ryoku tried in vain to get Naut to explain to the party that he was really the dead Juan Carlos.  Not much was gathered though Ghomo made an unsettling observation.  Once he could remember the quarter he remembered pieces of he and Kosey go to the residential building to rent offices for their business, three years ago.  Yet the level of decay bespoke a nearly a decade of neglect.  Not only was time reacting strangely but so were the party’s compasses which recognized the center of The Residential Quarter, due west, as magnetic north.

The darkness and rain would prove to be a problematic hindrance to the investigation but luckily Ghomo had a solution.  Remembered the quarter being lit by gas powered street lamps and even where the plant was that pumped the gas through the pipes.  It was just a matter of travelling a few blocks and getting the plant online.  Simple, easy.  Baagh and Xavros organized the party into two squads and back into the rain they went.  Either no one noticed Li’s musings to himself or no one cared.
They moved through dark empty streets, the sound of the rain assaulting the ground appropriate background music to the sinister gloom that was held at bay only by their sunrods and hooded lantern.  It was an eerie feeling moving through a manmade landscape that appeared to have not seen his touch in years.  If one were to stare too far ahead his head would swim violently and he would need to be held steady by an ally.  If one looked back there was nothing but dark silhouettes of dead buildings and the far distant lights of Chipan proper.  It was enough to make anyone edgy and Li’s occasional maniacally laughter did nothing to alleviate tensions.  Dryden’s natural ability to see in the dark made him the perfect scout but after four separate instances of him jumping at shadows he began to doubt his own senses.
They were halfway to the power station when the eerie silence was broken by the sound of a loud crash.  Everyone froze.  The warriors scanned the night for attackers while the scouts pinpointed the noise’s point of origin.  Baagh took the initiative and led Li and Ryoku over to a building to their right.  They listened for any indications of movement and then crept into the house.  Ryoku took the lead, following his heightened senses to the only visible item in the structure.  In a corner sat a cupboard, relatively new in appearance and over turned.  Around it were broken plates and saucers.  Li reached out with his mind but found nothing.  He informed Baagh and the ex-Soldier directed the Nephilim to lift the piece of furniture.  There came a rattling from inside but as the cupboard was lifted there was nothing but a pile of cutlery.  Hastily Li opened the draws and doors spilling knives and forks everywhere.  Whatever had made that noise must have been somewhere else.  
As Baagh scanned the dark house for any sign of life Ryoku yelped.  Li too cried out in shock as he felt a sharp prick in his foot.  Having become dependent on his mental training Li searched the surrounding area with his mind’s eye but found nothing but his companions inside and out.  Baagh calling for his attention stopped him from attempting to expand his range.  Patel’s rifle light shone on the floor at Li’s shoe where a fork had imbedded itself deep.  The trio watched as a single drop of blood welled up and slid down to the floor.  Ryoku dropped the cupboard and the three jumped back in shock.  Before anyone could utter a word, the sound of metal playing on metal filled the air.  Baagh took his gun off of safety and too aim.  The noise grew louder and suddenly the piece of kitchen furniture smashed up against the wall thrown by dozens of scurrying pieces of silverware.  Frightened they fled without a shot fired.
The others waited in the street, having become desensitized by the constant rainfall.  They were debating whether to check on the trio when the scouts returned in a hurry.  Ryoku flailed impotently and seemed to confirm Naut’s assessment of his weak mental state.  Li laughed and pointed into the night while Baagh checked his unfired clip.  Yet no one seemed to notice because their attention was drawn to the small but growing army of kitchenware that marched out for the darkness.  Overloaded with sensory shock most of the party ran, Xavros staying with Ghomo and Li grabbed Baagh and leapt to a nearby rooftop.
Xavros and Ghomo stood their ground as dozens of silvery knives and forks closed in around them.  The detective determined to deduce the nature of the illusion and the thief relying on the other’s instincts.  It was as the pieces fell upon them that they realized that there was no illusion and that they were being attacked by inanimate objects.  Ghomo protected himself with his magic but Xavros did not have that sort of luxury.  They fled bloody and wet to join the others in full rout.  Ghomo managed to steer them towards the Power Station and they all came to a walled compound.  Behind them the streets were alive, lamppost and street signs having become enemies of the heroes.  Kosey could attest to it as could the bump on his head.  As they made their way onto the grounds they wondered whether Li and Baagh would survive alone in the night.
Li dodged left but the bucket anticipated his move and smashed him across the shoulder for the second time.  Hurt he was relieved when Baagh grabbed a hold of it.  Needing answers he touched the animated container and forced his mind to hunt its consciousness.  What he found was something dark and alien at the center of The Registration Quarter.  It was a powerful entity with only one comprehendible thought…
Keep OUT!
To Be Continued

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Session Eleven- Returning Power Part I
The night was dark and full of terrors.  Everything seemed to be out to stop the party from Bus 15 including the elements.  Chipan had not experienced a storm of such intensity in years and many, specifically on The Dead Docks were hundred were still homeless after Gearzilla’s rampage, had no protection against the squall.  The darkness of The Residential Quarter was thick with heavy, cold rain drops that bombarded relentlessly.  That cold and wet darkness hid monsters, the ghost of a place forgotten by time…
The party had gathered under the huge awning guarding the front entrance of Power Station One.  Baagh checked his rifle to ensure that the rain had not damaged his instrument of destruction, glancing over at Li who had not stopped his strange rantings until the two had safely rejoined the party.  It was hard to tell whether the Sewer Ninja was talking to himself or to the group but madness was written all over his face.  Ghomo was trying in vain to search his memories for any information about the power station.  He was positive that they could rekindle the quarter’s lights if the station was brought back on line but doing so seemed like it could be daunting.
“I don’t think the entire unit should go in.” said Baagh, voicing what had been bothering him since Li finally shut up.
“I’m open for any suggestion, Sarge.” admitted Ghomo.
“I’m not a soldier anymore… I want to search the perimeter, and secure a line of retreat if necessary.”  The ex-Gun Smith looked at the faces of the adventurer types around him, cold and wet and resolute.  No cowards among them, good.  “I’ll take Persons, and Lord Solomon.  We move in five.”  He went moved out into the rain, using his weapon’s flash light to scan the dark.
Solomon looked at Ghomo and the latter nodded.  They had discussed the importance of having Baagh be tactical leader and both agreed that his experience would prove invaluable.  The young nobleman checked his bowstring and pat Masaru Saitou on the shoulder as he joined Sergeant Patel in the downpour.  The three man team moved swiftly across the grounds to the metal gate and out into the streets, the party watching as their companions entered the maw of darkness.
 Before they could get back to brainstorming a figure appeared at the fence.  It lumbered onto the grounds dragging one leg like a shambling mess.  Masaru drew his blade and prepared himself to strike his enemy down in a single blow, the way of the bushido.  Marvin directed the beam of his lantern toward the creature and the young master Saitou advanced.  He came up short as light revealed a soiled and wet mercenary, Silverkin.  His eyes were wide and his clothes were torn.  Jabbed deep into his metallic prosthesis was a fancy kitchen knife, in his leg was embedded a mangled spoon.  He dropped to the ground, murderous cutlery retreating back into the night.  Kosey ran to his side and checked his vitals, but found no reason for his collapse.  No one had seen Dryden toss a dagger and connecting with the merc’s forehead hilt to skull.  The detective turned to tell of his findings or lack thereof and received prick from an animated blade.  He jumped back and it rushed to join its compatriots.
Masaru and Kosey pulled Silverkin out of the rain and propped his heavy bulk against the building.  Dryden chuckled but no one understood the joke but him.  Li laughed out loud but no one wanted to understand his joke.  Marvin and Ghomo examined the glass doors to the power station before trying to enter but it proved necessary for Xavros to make his own key.  With the lock thoroughly picked the party of Bus 15 entered Residential Quarter Power Station One.
Three years had been far more merciful to the sealed offices of Power Station One than it had to most of the quarter.  The building lacked the sinister lean that many edifices had developed on its outside and inside one could believe that the space was closed for the night and not for years.  Marvin’s lantern beam swept the darkness and dust, kicked up by the opening of the double glass doors, danced in the air.  Cautiously the party spread out to check the room.  Three doors allowed further access to the building; Ghomo chose the one labeled Station Manager.  He eased over to the door and tentatively checked to see if it were locked.  He clutched the knob and turned as quietly as he could muster when a loud crash set his nerves ablaze.  The group all turned to find Li joyfully smashing a chair to pieces.  He paused long enough to whisper Three cheers for the chairs that aren’t chairs! before continuing his demolition.  Annoyed, Ghomo opened the door and slipped in.
Something landed on Xavros’ shoulder and he froze.  He slowly turned his head and his eyes widened as he observed a leather sleeve.  It could have been blown by a wayward breeze but there was no breeze inside the office… and there had been no coat rack in the middle of the room.  Dryden was suddenly beside him and the impetuous ninja reduced the trench coat to shreds.  Relieved that the threat was handled, Xavros went back to studying the open air vent above.
“Guys, I think there’s something in the vent.” Xavros whispered.
“Li Shen, stop!” ordered Masaru as Li snuck up behind a second chair.  The slightly mad Sewer Ninja froze as if expecting the chair to react to him.  Masaru drew his katana and prepared to battle.  Marvin eased a chair over to Xavros at the thief’s beckoning.
“Cos, toss me some of that.”  Dryden complied, throwing a handful of leather strips to his partner in crime.  It’s dead he whispered.
Xavros tossed the leather into the vent and listened intently for any movement.  There came the thud of impact but nothing more.  Tentatively he peeked up and found that the air passage was empty… no leather, nothing.  Frightened he lowered himself down and shrugged at the stage magician and ninja.  He nearly leapt out of his skin when strips of leather landed on his head.  Dryden drew a blade and even Marvin retreated a step.  Xavros grabbed the strips and tossed them back up into the vent.  Thud.  He again peered into the vent and again found it empty.  Being pragmatic he shut the vent and got down off the chair.  Dryden shook his head with mirth and then froze.  Xavros followed his eyes and found strips of leather on his shoulder, the air vent again open.
“Li Shen, kill the chairs!” suggested thief and ninja in unison.
The Station Manager’s office was large as far as such rooms went and dominated by a massive wooden desk.  Behind it sat a large padded chair and beyond that a window protected by drawn blinds.  As he stepped further into the room the large chair turned slowly towards him.  Straightening his damp clothing, the detective went into business mode.  He wasn’t sure who or what to expect but a flick of the wrist placed a business card at his fingertips.  What greeted him from the chair was a pair of pants and a shirt, neatly pressed and draped over the chair as if the only thing they needed was a body to wear them.  Ghomo glanced at the wall across from the desk and glimpsed what he was looking for, a map of the station.  The occult investigator cleared his throat.
“Greetings, sir.  We are with the Chipan Power Grid.  We are here to carry out an audit.  Can I have a look at the building blue prints?”  His tone was level and his words were clear.  Ghomo could have been an actor but he loved his job.  The shirt raised an arm and pointed at the framed map.  “Thank you.”
As Ghomo approached the map Kosey entered the room to the sound of frantic chair smashing in the other room.  Ghomo grabbed the frame and immediately felt it resist his attempt to remove it.  Forcefully it put itself back against the wall.  As the two detectives watched the glass of the frame cracked until its webbed and damaged face resembled the features of an angry man.  Ghomo only paused for a moment before trying again, to no avail.  The face scowled and the clothing in the chair began to rise.  Thinking fast Ghomo and Kosey unscrewed the glass front, snatched the map, and fled the room.
The map directed the party to the door on the left and Xavros’ instincts had already led him in that direction.  The next room had been a filing and processing room in life and in death was much the same.  A pair of pants and a shirt manned the door but seemed placated by Xavros’ assertion that the group was building contractors.  Having the map the group scanned the dark but left the room as it was.  They proceeded towards the stairs and were stopped by a trio of office chairs and a pair of serving ladles.  Xavros again asserted that they were contractors and the ladles began a steady tapping beat.  The beat picked up and the chairs fanned out.  Li forced his way to the front of the group and joined the thief in negotiating.  The beat slowed in tempo before stopping.  Slowly the five animated objects retreated into the darkness.  The group breathed a sigh of relief but relief was short lived as a charging cadence was drummed by the ladles and out of the dark the chairs attacked.
Battled was joined with the party of Bus 15 taking the upper hand early.  The chairs proved agile and the ladles sturdy.  The battle raged for seconds but in the end very little damage was sustained by the adventures while the furniture was reduced to wooden chips.  The cutlery proved harder to handle but they too were served defeat.  Li received a bit of bruising to his ego and a swollen eye and Silverkin was finally able to prove his worth to the Heroes of The Kingdom.  Maybe one day soon he could ask them to help find the murderers of his team.  Masaru took it upon himself to handle Li and keep him focused and his direction helped the Sewer Ninja keep his head.  The house settled around them and the shadows danced in the light.
They worked their way down to the basement level, Xavros taking a point and Marvin pointing his lantern to provide as much light as possible.  Neither noticed how the shadows retreated from the light, slow and with malevolent purpose, and neither noticed the groundskeeper uniform before it buried the metal fork deep into Xavros’ shoulder muscles.
To be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Twelve- Returning Power Part II

The perimeter sortie was not going as mission specs dictated. Twice the team had fallen under attack and twice the team decided to retreat. The price of bullets in Chipan made any professional soldier wary of spending rounds during a random engagement but the constant giving ground was grating on his sensibilities. Baagh deferred to Solomon’s decisions to avoid conflict but how could the perimeter be secured when they avoided every opportunity to engage the enemy. The ex-Gun Smith was jolted from his musings as two barrels rolled out of the darkness of their own accord. He dove to the side shouting incoming. Forks and knives propelled themselves from the barrels in a cannonade of kitchenware that birthed sparks as the metal struck the cobblestone street.

Baagh took aim but Solomon again gave the order to retreat. As the group ran through the night Solomon echo Patel’s own thoughts If they were not going to clear the area of hostile targets then they needed to rejoin with the main force. Maybe Ghomo was having better luck getting the powergrid back up. Fighting enemy soldiers was easy but fighting kitchen utensils was proving to be quite challenging.

The groundskeeper uniform moved as if someone wore it as Xavros lashed out at its empty form. The thief’s titanium staff struck nearly weightless cloth and the uniform folded over, inert. More forks advanced from the dark of the Power Station basement and once again the party of Bus 15 fought the kitchen army. As with any fighting force familiarity bred competence and those bloodthirsty utensils fell quickly to the team. Marvin shone light up and down the hall hoping to reveal any hidden threats. Li, mind nearly broken from overexertion, reached out tentatively. He was determined to find the consciousness behind the attacks yet he wasn’t sure whether he wished to destroy it or enslave it. His mind wandered down the pathways of both possibilities simultaneously. Kosey studied the one known as The Sewer Ninja and worried. The man’s expression was strange and his eyes rolled around in his head independently of one another, a sure sign of mental damage. The detective made quick deductive assessments of the man and the best ways to help him but suddenly lost his train of thought as he noticed a very dark and dangerous occurrence.

Everyone with a light source had acquired multiple shadows, shadows that did not match the bearer in fundamental ways. One of Marvin’s had a dozen barbed tentacles that occasionally swatted at Dryden’s single shadow when it drew too close. One of his own was far too long and sinisterly slender, moving with a second’s delay whenever he stepped. Li Shen, Sewer Ninja, had eight shadows and as the lights moved away they leaned in with malicious intent. Kosey casually pointed the phenomenon out to his colleagues, hoping not to elicit an attack. The shadows seemed to notice his whispered words and slowly crept back into the surrounding darkness. It was obvious that the party was being watched and targeted by forces of the supernatural kind.

Kosey took Li’s hand, who was so far gone he accepted the physical contact without a second thought, and pulled him to the rest of the group. As one unit they advanced wary of shadows moving with malicious intent. Their light was a bastion of relative safety in a sea of writhing darkness eager to snatch the lifeforce from their meaty husk. A particularly daring shadow made a lunge for Kosey but was repelled by his sunrod. The goal was to find the generator and return power to the district that time forgot, and to somehow survive waves of angry cutlery and dark beings creeping in the shadow.

The blueprint was of a huge facility once the combined power station and municipal building for The Residential District. Ghomo’s analytical mind and curiosity yearned to explore the complex and puzzle out its secrets. A mystery within a mystery but Kosey had been coaching him on focus; The DOII would take it one case at a time. The detective plotted the quickest course through the rusted pipe laden halls. Xavros studied these ancient pipes. Most were for the distribution of steam and others were for gas. All were in need of maintenance. He used shutoff valves on the most damaged, very much aware of the damage a pipe explosion could case to the entire powergrid. It was while studying these antiquated pipes as the newest sortie of the kitchen army swarmed about the party.

Fighting a kitchen army swarm was a lot different from battling the cutlery soldiers in single combat. Silverkin waded into the midst of the stabbing host to buy time for the others to find a way out of the hall. Ghomo and Kosey kept their distance as Marvin and Xavros worked at a locked door to their left. Dryden supported the mercenary as much as he dared, which wasn’t much at all. Cether Cos had trained him in the slaying of men but these enemies were not men and his blades were near useless. As dozens of fork tines and blades danced the bloody waltz up Silverkin’s chest Cos mastered the door lock. Marvin threw open the door and both ninja and magician watched as the room beyond bent and warped ominously. Marvin slammed the door closed.

The swarm surged over the party stabbing and slashing with single-minded abandon. Xavros, feeling lightheaded from loss of blood, decided to take his chances in the next room rather than be punctured to a pulpy mess. The room beyond was a narrow storage space lined on both sides with file cabinets. As he watched the walls sagged and bled, and the floor shone with a sickly light. The cabinets began to vibrate violently and the room began to close in around him. He shook as his mind struggled with the sudden mental vertigo. Suddenly a hand grabbed him and yanked him back into the hallway and the battle against the kitchen army. To say he was grateful is an understatement.

Ghomo had retreated as far as he could and still be able to see the battle and it was at the corner that he saw Baagh and his team jogging down the hall. Persons wasted no time tossing Ryoku and Solomon into the fray. With the added help the remnants of the swarm were defeated. With the main fight under control Ghomo returned to the room and prepared a spell. He had caught a glimpse of what Xavros had seen and feared what waited. He casted Grease and struck flint and steel within the room before slamming the door shut. Once the flames died and the party was ready to move he opened the door to find a singed room. Some of the cabinet draws hung open and strange remains smoldered within. A foul smoke lingered for a short while as Xavros warily took point.

There were two paths before him, left and right. A glance right showed more pipes and would most likely lead to the generators. A glance to the left showed movement as a grotesque shadow dragged itself into the dark. He whispered for light and Li began to harass others with song and anecdotes about the merits of illumination. When light was eventually provided by Masaru Xavros gave a silent prayer to the Natherine Goddess of Thieves, Dionine the Midnight Arrow, and the two stepped in.

They were in a throne room of sorts with black tapestries and blike stone archways. Sitting upon a throne of scorched bone sat a horned king. Before him sat a table where a shadowy priest performed depraved torture on a shadowy and faceless victim. The horned king looked upon them and as their gazes met the two heroes could feel him reaching for their very souls. Panicked they stepped back and were again with the party of Bus 15. It had all been a moment in time, a moment that seemed like an eternity, yet they both knew that what they’d see was somehow real. Somewhere nearby The Horned King waited to give them to his priest of tortures.

“Is there anymore fire?” Xavros asked. “No? Then we go right!” Masaru nodded his agreement, not quite able to talk after what he’d seen and felt.

Seeing the looks on their faces no one argued. They entered the next room and spread out being sure to maximize the illumination provided by their light sources. Ghomo consulted his blueprints and thus didn’t notice the insulation uncoiling from around the pipes above. In an instant the party was under attack by tentacle-like cloth whips. The first few seconds were mayhem as the attack came from an unexpected quarter but once the group rallied they cut the rags down in teams of two and three. It was during the ebb and flow of combat that Persons’ mind fell under attack. While his allies finished the battle he ran wordlessly into the darkness which eagerly embraced him. That is when the screaming started.

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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The party thus far:

Raheem: Human, Nephilim Trainer level 2
Chad: Human, Dynamic Sorcerer level 2
Lance: Human, Ninja level 2
Darnell: Human, Ninja level 2
Random: Human, Martial Artist level 1
Khourie: Human, Gun Bunny level 1
Patrick: Human, Magical Girl- On a Break
Alan: Human, Mecha Pilot- Deceased
Dom: Half-Elf, Adventurer- Deceased
Dom: Human, Adventurer- Deceased
Tony: Human, Nephilim Trainer- Deceased

Phil: Human, Dynamic Sorcerer- Deceased
Phil: Construct, Shapechanger- Unplayable

Alan: Human, Adventurer level 1
Dom: Human, Adventurer level 1
Tony: Nephilim, Adventurer level 1
Lian: Human, Samurai level 1

If I gave out experience at the beginning of next session only Tony, Lian, and Dom would be level 1... and Phil of course.

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Thirteen- Returning Power Part III

The screaming abruptly stopped. Those heroes ready to dive into the unknown to save an ally, namely Masaru and Baagh, froze and all waited in anticipation. Persons, arena semifinalist and Protector of Ryoku, slowly stepped into the light. His smile was broad and his posture relaxed. In truth his companions looked far more harrowed than he. As he rejoined his friend’s lines that looked a lot like claw marks quickly closed themselves.

“Soldier, are you okay?” asked Baagh as he tried to study the wounds that had already vanished.

“Okay?” replied Persons. He cocked his head to the side as if contemplating a voice he had never heard before. “Yes, I am fine.” He said slowly, appearing to savor every word.

“Are you sure, you seem strange.”

“Strange? That one seems weird” said Persons as he pointed at Li Shen, whom was whispering to a particularly plain looking brick in the wall. “I am fine. Better than fine, I live!”

Baagh was about to respond when he was interrupted by the angry gurgling of an empty steam engine. Ghomo, Kosey, Marvin, and Xavros stood around an old generator and conferred over the best way to get the device back in running order. Patel gave orders to the others to watch the perimeter while he puzzled over Persons and Li. They each had value to the party yet their actions represented a rather large liability. As he studied Persons the martial artist turned slowly and smiled. As Baagh began to find the warriors stare a bit painful he looked away and noticed for the first time the horns jutting from Persons’ shadow. Baagh jacked a round into the chamber even as Persons leapt and ax kicked a section of pipe. As everyone reacted to the sound of metal being destroyed Persons again attacked the piping. Steam began to escape into the room as Marvin and Kosey filled the water tanks, and Xavros fired up the superboiler.

Under his master’s orders Nautilus constricted Persons and restrained him. The party debated what to do with the martial artist whom had obviously lost his mind. It was Li that noticed the horned shadow slip away from man and join nephilim. The addition of horns to Naut’s shadow was a comical sight that sent the touched Sewer Ninja into a hysterical fit of laughter. However Kosey didn’t find the situation funny. He ran over to his constant companion and grabbed his tentacle and froze as the horned shadow grabbed his own. It was strange and terrible sensation as the one did depraved things to his own. Vaguely he could feel it all. Baagh, being a practical man and unwilling to watch a horned shadow rape his shadow fired a round into the creature. Unfazed it prepared to defile Kosey’s shadow in yet an even more depraved way. No one knows what would have happen because Dryden dove onto the shadow and moved away, willing the creature to follow.

As Ghomo watched the horned silhouette join with Dryden Cether Cos he wracked his brain for any wayward scrap of knowledge about such creatures…

On a plane forsaken by the Natherine and The Gods of Creation there lived a race of beings kin to shadows that fed on the will of the living. They were a dark hearted people with no love for either pantheon of gods that used the old spelljammers to scourge the multiverse until The Trinity ordered them trapped. It was where they might have stayed if the original Ender had not created a bridge for them into the material plane. They were one of his most frightful allies and the first to fall when The Dark Lord of Magic was defeated. Yet that was ages ago and such creates couldn’t still be in the world…

For Ghomo the idea of Cos’ shadow being a Shadow Lord was sobering. The team watched Cos, Cos watched his shadow, and after a few minutes passed with no reaction Dryden laughed. They all laughed nervously. It was Kosey that insisted that they laugh as they made their way out of the haunted power station. Eager to be back in the relative safety of the rainy night the party agreed. Everyone avoided contact with Dryden or his demon shadow.

It was on the top floor in the main lobby that Persons felt the need to break something and the recipient of his ire was an unopened door. The portal swung wide under the force of the iron foot to reveal a long room. Shadows on the opposite end began to writhe and surge forward and the already weary group fled into the night. Except for Baagh Patel. He was once a Gun Smith, North Westing’s elite warriors, and Gun Smiths never ran. He primed a grenade and tossed it into the room. Protecting his ears from the noise, he watched as the shadow undulated under the force of the explosion and for a moment he saw its true form. Something in him bent almost to breaking and the world around him crumbled.

Outside the ground shook as explosions went off throughout The Residential Quarter. It was impossible that Baagh’s single grenade had managed to cause such wide spread destruction. A geyser of fire reached into the stormy sky in defiance of the cannonade of cold rain. Thunder clapped in response and the door to the power station blew open. Out stumbled Baagh, smoking and wearing the expression of a broken man. When asked what was wrong he hoarsely whispered that the party needed to run... he was no Gun Smith anymore. The look on his face left little room for opposition. Kosey, whom had been studying his compass off and on, watched as again the needle pointed toward the center of town. Something waited for them and the more they procrastinated the longer it would take to crack this case. He led the way and the party of Bus 15 marched.

After a block the group fell into its usual dynamic; Xavros and Ghomo in the vanguard, Baagh and Dryden in the rear. They walked through the rain filled night and saw The Residential Quarter for the first time. The buildings sagged, some even groaning challenges at the party. Empty windows shuttered as they approached and the sound of tiny cutlery pieces followed not far behind. The Residential Quarter had vanished near the beginning of the steam renaissance and those remnants that survived still lingered here and there. A car rusted by neglect sat in the middle of the road. Being one of the first of such vehicles it could have been worth strong coin to a collector. The party passed it and Dryden watched as its bumper shifted and threw him a rude gesture.

As they followed the paved street bracketed by gas street lamps the group caught sight of a strange dome. Light played about it in strange ways and the rain avoided it entirely. As they drew closer the signs of time’s devastation grew less and less. By the time that they reached the center the district looked brand new and nearly pristine. One could barely tell that a week had passed let alone 3 years. The district center was a square paved in cobblestone surrounded by an ornate iron fence made for decoration. Pulsing with cascading light sat a dome of dark energies. Baagh wasted no time selecting a team to walk the perimeter. He had regained a bit of his composure and was once again concerning himself with the party’s safety. The Magnificent Marvin and The DOII stood together and studied the phenomenon. The Sewer Ninja giggled to himself about an inside joke that he didn’t quite get and Persons nearly vibrated with unspent energy. In another world and another time he would have been diagnosed and treated for ADHD. On Urth he was allowed to breed his own unique form of mayhem unchecked.

The Dome: 45’ high and nearly 314’ around. It radiated magic of a magnitude barely measurable by the fledgling magicusers, of the school of transmutation. There seemed to be no particular pattern to the spermatic rippling of colors and it resisted any attempts to see through it. The dome was an anomaly of powerful and peculiar singularity that both frightened and intrigued. Xavros attempted to call on the energies of Gearzilla’s Heart of Power in an attempt to manipulate the dome but it became clear that his meager understanding of the power was insufficient. Theories of its origin and purpose abound, one thing was clear: The Dome was the key to The Residential Quarter mystery. As far as Dark Occurrences went it would rate high for an occult detective agency.

The enigma pulsed with powerful arcane energies while the detectives, magician, and street punk fathomed its nature. Persons was a man of many words but few thoughts. He was a hammer and to hammers everything else looked like a nail. He grabbed a rock and tossed at the dome. Everyone watched as it collided with the energies and froze on impact. Energy rippled for a moment before the stone was fired back at nearly quadruple times its original force. The projectile hit with enough force to fell a lesser man. Curious and bruised, Persons again tested the dome but this time with a ball of paper. The ensuing ricochet chased the martial artist even as he dodged. He reached for a larger projectile when the group collectively cried out for him to stop. Dryden joined them with news from the scout.

The group rendezvoused on the opposite side of the dome. Baagh’s team had found something important, something none had expected. What waited for them was a door, nearly 20’ tall and conforming to the contour of the dome. It was made of dark wood and crisscrossed by 3 sets of chain locked by 3 separate locks. One gold, one silver, and one onyx. Tentatively the party prodded the door and was met by deadly forces. Only the chains and locks seemed to be safe to touch. Li became frantic as the entity that he had connected with earlier cried its constant warning, Keep Out. It was The DOII that put it all together; 3 explosions, 3 locks, 3 keys. Using the party’s combined memories of the quarter, slowly resurfacing with every new event, they set out to the closest location.

Leaving the dome heralded the return of the cold and heavy rains. The nearest explosion site proved to be a large estate surrounded by a five foot way. The main building was on fire with no signs of abatement. Baagh volunteered to hop the way and scout ahead as the others watched. He quietly crept through the gloomy night and took cover behind a pair of trees. He’d seen no sign of the kitchen army yet his sharply honed senses warned of imminent danger. He had been about to give the all clear when the statues fell upon him.

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Fourteen- The Thymes Museum of National History

The enemy attacked in silence save for the creaking of their armored joints. The party of Bus 15 fought in little clusters as suits of armor attempted to push them back to the wall. Behind them sat the quarter that time forgot, ahead burned The Thymes Museum of National History. While Baagh, Persons, Dryden, Xavros, Li, and Marvin fought back animated ancient Chipanese armor Ghomo, Kosey, Ryoku, Masaru, Solomon, and Silverkin searched for an alternative way in.

Baagh ducked a ferocious chop from an antique axe and fired a burst of rifle rounds into the suit’s chest. The sound of metal on metal was harsh but the empty armor continued its relentless assault. It took another burst to leave the metal slagged and useless on the wet ground. A roundhouse kick and a diving lariat destroyed two suits of armor and Persons tossed an autographed photo as a souvenir to the ruined relics from antiquity. Thousands of gold worth of Chipan’s history fell before the combined might of The Heroes of the Kingdom. Marvin flicked his wrist and thrusted his wand violently producing a ball of energy that knocked an armor to the ground where Dryden Ceether Cos destroyed it with a flurry of dagger attacks. As the final armor fell and the party regrouped many were too busy tending their minor wounds to notice Li Shen, Sewer Ninja, begin to scale the burning building.

Kosey was the first to get to the locked gate and wasted no time using his tools to pick the lock. He opened the portal and allowed Ghomo to peek in. The armor that attacked him missed spitting his head with a halberd by a hair’s breadth. Kosey released his constant companion, Nautilus, who fell on the armor in a flurry of lashing tentacles. As Naut tossed the armor over the wall Kosey slammed the gate closed leaving Solomon and Silverkin outside to fight it. As an arrow buried itself in the Nephilim Ghomo and Kosey sought cover from the hollow armor archer. Silverkin drew his chainsaw blade and charged his animated foe, preparing for a devastating blow. Unfortunately the rain made the cobblestones dangerously slippery and he lost his footing, misjudging his blow and felling Solomon with a near mortal slash across the chest. This second battle between members of Bus 15 and the empty armors was less spectacular but came to the same outcome; ruined armors from the nation’s past at the feet of those making history.

Masaru had managed to stay out of the fray and was ready to stand watch as Kosey franticly tended to Master Suichiro’s wounds. As rain fell forcefully to the ground the kingdom of Chipan marched on its normal course oblivious to the district that had dropped from recollection. An old museum burned, all of its secrets and ancient tales being erased by the burning hunger of the blaze. The kitchen army launched tiny sorties into the night in search of the new invaders. The Party of Bus 15 puzzled over the mystery of The Residential Quarter and the strange time anomaly that wiped it from mind the moment it escaped short-term memory.

On the roof of the burning Chipan Museum of National History a ninja trained in the arts of genjutsu and reborn in the brackish waters of Chipan’s sewers watches the fires of destruction. The party had hoped to find answers to the quarter’s riddles and he had hoped to find a way to save Megumi from Sloth. He was not going to let a burning building or the soldiers of the kitchen army stop him. He took a running leap, aiming for a small patch of fireless rooftop, and for a moment was airborne before landing in the blaze. With a roll he dove out of harm’s way and through a hole in the roof. He landed with a thud in a vast hall. Both walls were lined with statues of eerie depictions, each a grimacing face contorted in rage. At one end sat a door leading out, on another a chest of singular detail, above the hungry fires, and in the middle of it all Li Shen the Sewer Ninja.

Baagh and Persons, soaked by relentless rains, stand side by side. Around them the remainder of Bus 15’s strike force loot the fallen statues. Marvin asks after Li but the others assure him that the less he tries to fathom the unfathomable the better his life will be. Dryden lingered in the shadows watching a waiting for the second shoe to drop and The Gods of Creation did not disappoint. The small cluster of trees on the northeastern side of the museum parted and a twenty foot statue of Gustav De Thymes, The Hawk of Chipan, advanced. The creature leveled Patel with a single swat of his shield, a massive replica of the shield that slew Erasmus Forge during The Battle for The Palisade. As Marvin tended the exGun Smith Xavros, Persons, and Dryden joined battle with the huge statue of one of Chipan’s heroes. It was slow and they were determined.

Li stood over the strange chest covered in sweat and, for the first time in days, thinking clearly. The box was heavy and would require most of his effort to move. There was no way he would get out the way he came carrying it. He would have to brave the burning house. A crash of thunder, a brilliant flash of light. He turned at the sound of the noise and noticed for the first time the activity behind him. Nearly a dozen statues now stood in the center of the hall. They were still and their expressions unchanged yet they had been lining the walls moments earlier. He had not heard them make a sound. He was not mad. He was not going mad. He had to keep his shit together to save Megumi. He picked up the chest and turned towards the door.

I those few seconds more statues had left the wall.

Persons again kicked the huge statue and Dryden drove his dagger into the smallish hawk on Gustav’s shoulder. The statue shuddered and then went inert. Taking no chances Persons toppled the creature. A crash of thunder, a brilliant flash of light. The strike force regrouped and began to search for more competence.

Li had somehow made it nearly to the door but he was no fool. He had his back to the wall as to keep his eyes on the statues but even so four dozen stared at him with unmoving faces and unnerving stillness. He could stand and fight, relying on his weakened will to confuse them, but there was no guarantee that his illusions would work. There was also no way of knowing what awaited him beyond that closed door. The roof moaned under the pressure of the growing flames and the unending rains. A chuck of ceiling collapsed and Li turned towards it for only a second but fear made him run. An unseen hand brushed the chest as Li entered the burning hallway. With no time to think he tossed the chest down the stairs and jumped.

The DOII, Masaru, Ryoku, and Silverkin followed the main road up to the museum, constantly searching for more suits of armor. Solomon was badly wounded and cradled in Nautilus’ arms. Kosey had his gun drawn when they reached the front door. He was wet and scared yet curious. He hadn’t felt this alive since the time he faced the half-elf gangster, Gold, and his relentless Nephilim, Silver. He reached for the door and it burst open. A smoking and scorched Sewer Ninja ran pass.

“I heard dozens of them coming down the stairs behind me! Stand there and keep looking, they don’t move if you keep looking.” Li paused just long enough to get Masaru to give him a hand with the heavy chest. “Masaru-sama, we need to get the hell out of here… they’re coming.” he whispered.

Kosey peeked into the house and saw nothing but fire and statues lining the stairwell as far up as he could see. He questioned Li’s sanity but never Naut’s. When the Nephilim said run he didn’t even hesitate. As Kosey retreated Ghomo slammed the door closed and followed as quickly as his tired legs would allow. As the group arrived at the gate they were joined by the strike force. Thus reunited it only took a few sentences to explain everything.

Li found a chest.

They were under attack by statues and suits of armor.

They had to get back to the giant chained door.

It was Silverkin that noticed. The door to the museum had been closed yet now it stood open and 5 grimacing statues stood outside. He told Ryoku, forgetting that the little guy couldn’t talk, and when he looked back there were double that number. By the time he told Xavros that number had doubled again. At that point everyone watched the grimacing statues but in their peripheral vision there was constant movement. The sense of dread built to over flowing and the party fled. They were halfway to the door when it became clear that the grimacing statues would overtake them. They agreed to create a circle with everyone looking outward while Xavros and Dryden forced the chest open. It went well until a trap poisoned Xavros and Li broke the circle.

Dryden ran as fast as Ceether Cos’ training would allow, which was supernaturally quick. He had a massive silver key and a mission. While the others faced the grimacing statues he was charged with using the key and opening the silver lock. He would have preferred to test his skill against the creatures but he understood the importance of the job. He stood before the door and unknown to him it told Li once more to Keep Out. He raised the key and it did the rest of the work. As he watched it entered the lock and turned. As the tumblers clicked there was a flash and the key vanished. The heavy lock crashed to the ground and the chains hung slack. One lock down, two to go.

The Grimacing statues pursued the party until they reclaimed the chest and like that they faded back into the dark. It was during this moment of reprieve that the party discussed leaving the quarter. The Regent had asked them to solve the mystery surrounding the district, they knew that whatever the phenomenon’s source it was connected to the dome of energy and the events 3 years ago. Beyond that they had nothing but fear is a tough enemy to shake off and martial strength is not enough to cow him. It was at this moment of the party’s greatest weakness that Dryden asked for help with the horned shadow that followed him. If they were to return to Chipan Proper he did not want to bring that strange creature with him. Whether out of hubris or naiveté Marvin lashed out at the shadow with arcane energies, and while other’s attempts did nothing his scored a glancing blow.

That is when The Horned King raised his head.

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Fourteen- The Thymes Museum of National History I.V

I… I could sense that they were not from this accursed place. The taint of the dome was not upon them. The brute that I rode was sufficiently strong and capable but his mind was weak, I left him before his weakness became m… my own. The Deus Bestias was equally as strong but again lacked the mental capacity to act as my mount… it was the chaotic one, th… the one with the curse that proved the most compatible. He lacked the physical prowess of the other two but the curse would one day fix that. I read his mind and he was fool enough to believe that ignoring my presence would prove a positive outcome. It gave me time to latch on.

All was perfect until I was attacked. Not s… since the fall of my master had I felt such energies. It startled me, made me let go… made me angry. I lashed out, partially blind and fed off of my attacker’s Htgnerts. Another attacked me with energies designed to amplify. I… I could sense his desire. He wanted to give me wings and do a equine hentai with him but I did not understand what anal horse pleasures were. I bent my shape to confuse him and again attacked the one called Marvin.

I fed too d… deeply and he fell to darkness, turned into one of my lesser kin. Even as the others ran I called to my minions and they feasted on the lesser shadow, waste not… want not. Dryden Ceether Cos… I must remember that name.

Dryden Ceether Cos

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Fifteen- The Dark Man and The Children of The Night

The Dark Man could not remember seeing so many lights on at one time. It was frightening... He'd sensed a strong mind reaching, probing, and prodding for hours. It ignored him, its attention drawn to the dome and the door. He entertained seeking him out but was unsure if it was all a trap by the kitchen army. His companion tapped the glass as if reading his thoughts and he nodded. They'd seen the explosion and maybe the powerful stranger did as well. They would go and wait. Maybe help had finally arrived.

The party of Bus 15 was in full retreat. The kitchen army had gradually taken its toll on them and the attack The Horned King had shaken their resolve. Baagh and Ghomo had discussed falling back to the bridge and the awaiting zeppelins, and with Solomon down there was no need for a vote. The cause of the Residential Quarter phenomenon was the dome at the center of town. That was the report they would give to the regent once they got out of the forsaken place. Nautilus carried Solomon and Ryoku, Ghomo brought up the rear. On either side ninja skirted the rooftops scouting the flanks for any sign of attack. They had faced countless enemies within the borders of Chipan's forgotten district: kitchen warriors, animated uniforms, suits of armor, shadows, and grimacing statues. The party needed a reprieve.

The rains were falling heavy when they finally reached the bridge. Patel gave signals for the strike force to spread out and once the coast was deemed clear the party advanced... confusion... disorientation... regret... forgetfulness... resentment... erasure...degradation... the swift melting away of memories, thoughts, will...

The party crouched within the confines of a rundown house not too far from the old bridge. A panicked look on each face. Every step had leeched a bit of their minds and no one doubted that by the time the reached the midway point there would have been nothing left. Unless they wanted to lose their minds they were trapped within the Residential Quarter. The Gods of Creation had given them little choice, they would have to solve the mystery if they wanted to leave. Resolutely they party split into two units. Baagh and his team would turn the decrepit house with its sinister lean into a defensible safe house, Ghomo and his team would continue the search for the keys. As the rain continued to fall The Residential Quarter waited to be redeemed.

The fires were the beacons, their only clue as to where to search. The first fire had been an old museum home to statues from antiquity. The second fire, a geyser of flame licking high into the rain swollen sky, brought the party of Bus 15 to an old housing development. The first thing to catch their attention was not the abandoned buildings or the burning remains of a ruined mansion but the dozens of naked and milling people. They stared in awe at the tower of fire oblivious to the party’s arrival. It was as the party split up to scout the area that The Dark Man made contact. He warned them away from the filthy people claiming that they attacked the unwary, that they were mad and unreasonable. He introduced himself as Lem, named after one of The Gods of Creation, and greeted them all with a child’s innocence. The party was full of questions. How had Lem gotten into the quarter? How had he survived with little food or water? How had he avoided the kitchen army?

Their conversation drew the naked onlookers. Always curious, Ghomo attempted to communicate and though they did not speak they responded to his offered food and kind words. Much like Lem they were child like in their demeanor. The detective and Li provided them with rations which they shared in small huddles. Ghomo became skeptical of Lem’s story as personal experience showed the naked people to be docile and nothing like the mad cannibals described. Li, sensing the strength in The Dark Man’s mind also felt unease which is why he took to the rooftop. As Lem was bombarded with questions Ryoku had wandered off to find a stealthy way to search the development. That is when the Nephilim noticed the incoming attack by the kitchen army.

Like a surging river they rolled out of the darkness and flowed around the river. Desperate to speak but unable to Ryoku ran toward the others. As the party turned they watched as the massive swarm of knives and forks rose and merged into a giant construct of cutlery. The creature charged the party and Ryoku proved the first to go down. The group spread out: Xavros and Solomon following Lem while Ghomo and Masaru followed the fleeing naked ones. Li, shrewd and experiencing a moment of clarity watched and as the construct tromped by noticed the chest lodged in its back. With no thought to the danger he was in he leapt onto the creature whose very skin cut and stabbed, and yanked the heavy chest free. He fled to the cover of a nearby building hoping the fight would draw the creature away. Unfortunately it did not and if it weren’t for Silverkin’s quick action the Sewer Ninja would not have made it.

While Silverkin frantically sought a way to heal Li Lem, The Dark Man, shared his story with Solomon. He’d lived in The Residential Quarter for as long as he could remember hiding in one of a dozen safe houses he’d cleared for himself. He avoided the kitchen army in no small part due to his pet Kenny that he kept in a small glass jar. He lived off of mushroom grown in the basement of his main home and constantly read a reread a book about Chipan’s history. He avoided the naked ones and dared not leave the district in fear of losing his mind to the intellect stealing energies.

While The Dark Man shared his tale Ghomo was hearing a tale of his own. The naked ones did not remember the world beyond the quarter and were most likely caught within the explosion of energy that washed across the quarter three years ago. They lived in small family units and fought each other for what scraps of food they could find. They avoided the kitchen army and hid whenever possible. They knew of Lem but did not trust him for he fought ferociously to protect his food. They were evidence that the kitchen army could be circumvented and of just how powerful the mind sapping barrier around the quarter could prove.

Circumstances brought the party back together at the same housing development the wiser yet still short two keys. It was as the group planned on how to track down the fork golem and it chest that it fell upon the heroes. This time they stood and fought. Masaru and the mysterious Magi joined their powers to create a winning combination that proved too powerful for the kitchen titan. The young noble called on the teachings of his father to awaken his sword, El Frio de Montana(The Frozen Mountain), freezing the creature in place. The Magi called on her devastating Justice Bolt and all the powers of the heavens lay the creature low. Once crippled it was a concerted effort that destroyed the beast. Wounded and wondering why Solomon always vanished when the Magi appeared the party hoped to return to the party’s safe house.

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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20 Re: The Rising of The Nightmare Moon: Game info on Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:28 am

nice I cant wait for today. should be fun, ill be in kinda early, not as early as tony but early, if anyone wants to play some magic.

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Session Sixteen and Session Seventeen- Lost in Time: Gate Crash

The acquisition of the onyx key came down to a battle in the center of Purity Park between Baagh, Kosey, Li, Xavros, Masaru, Solomon and The Statue of Karen De Thymes. It was a bloody affair that left the team in ragged shape but in the end the key was acquired and The party of Bus 15 was able to regroup at the safe house.

In the relative safety they’d managed to carve out of the possessed district the leaders of Bus 15 created a plan of attack. With two keys in their grasp breaking the seal on the door at the center of the quarter was something within their reach. However the party was beaten down from a long night of endless attacks from the kitchen army and monsters from the dark. They would use the keys and if the door proved to be a barrier built to keep something terrible out they would deal with it. If the door proved to be a construct of The Ender they would deal with that too. Their first order of business however was rest, a night’s rest before they attempted The Maw of Darkness.

To The Gods of Creation the party, as with all such parties, represented a nexus of intertwining stories. There slept the detectives, a duo of immense ingenuity. One was an aspiring Nephilim Trainer and future Medical Doctor; his was a past of theft and adventure. The other was a mysterious man granted a gift that had long ago proven a curse, his was a prophecy unfulfilled and a future uncertain. There slept the nobleman’s son and avatar of the Angel of Justice. His was a twisted existence standing on both sides of the gender divide and warring with the duality of nature within. Over there slept the cursed ninja, apprentice of one of The 5 Masters. He suffered a mysterious curse whose nature had yet to be revealed yet plagued him every day. Next to him slept the mind ninja a savant of mental combat ravaged by doubt and the strength of his own thoughts. His story was a long a dark one where betray stacked atop betrayal and a love was stolen too soon.

The gods watched over them as they rested their bodies in preparation of the task ahead. There rested the former soldier, angry and alone. He blamed himself for the death of his comrades, North Westing blamed him too. The mercenary rested nearby. His family reduced to two men that put their trust in him only to vanish under dubious circumstances, he intended to find them at all cost. There lay the thief, the gladiator, and the noble swordsman. At their side were the strange creature trapped and seeking release, and the enigmatic boy lost and hoping to be found. As they slept Urth continued to turn unaware of the quarter that had been yanked from time’s memory.

When the next morning dawned they were ready to close The Case of The lost District once and for all. They returned to that dome of rippling colors. Marvin the Magnificent’s body had been taken leaving only a blackened smudge where he once had been. The old park where the singularity rested was quiet, almost serene. There were no signs of homicidal sculptures, grimacing statues, or the relentless kitchen army. The party stopped thirty feet from the door and readied themselves for battle. When all was prepared it was Li, The Sewer Ninja, that brought forth the golden key. He raised the key and it did the rest of the work. As he watched it entered the lock and turned. As the tumblers clicked there was a flash and the key vanished. The heavy lock crashed to the ground and the chains hung slack. Two lock down. Ghomo handed him the black key and braced himself. Much like the keys before it opened the lock of its own will and vanished in a flash. As the final lock hit the ground the group held its collective breath.

There was a pregnant pause where all things were still, the calm before the storm. The chains tensed and then suddenly were alive lashing and whipping. Six massive chains flailed; black, gold, and silver. They were heavy enough to tether a ship to its moorings yet moved with the alacrity of a taskmaster’s barb. The party hesitated for only a moment before engaging yet another animated opponent. It was Lem’s Breath Buster and Persons’ heavy strikes that proved the door’s undoing. In its final seconds Li reached out and brushed the door’s alien mind.

“Knock, knock!” taunted the deranged ninja found in the sewers of Chipan. The ground rumbled in protest.

“I warned you…” moaned that strange sentience even as the gladiator reduced its center to splinters.

Behind the door, within the dome, swirled a kaleidoscope of colors all twirling toward a stationary black point. Its pull was strong and it hungrily sucked all things toward its event horizon. Airborne Persons had a moment to fear his fate before he was devoured by the void. Most didn’t even have a chance to react before they were pulled into the vortex. The few that could attempted to find something to hold on to but there was nothing that could help. With The Maw of Darkness open there was no stopping its feast.

The fell through nothingness where there was no up or down, black or white. Ghomo reached out and for a moment brushed upon a spider web like network with twelve nodes. The party had become a single point on that web and were spinning and falling to points unknown. The lack of sensory input rendered the party senseless as they fell through the void… and then suddenly they stopped.

They lay in a dimly lit room, bodies aching from the impact. Above swirled the colorful wormhole, thirty feet up. Its pull had died yet it power could still be felt. Unsure of what was happening they blindly stumbled about until Kosey found a door out. The Chipan that waited for them was a city in shambles. The few recognizable landmarks were falling apart, most of the once sprawling city was nothing but rubble. Above their former home floated a red moon that sparkled much like a massive ruby. As The Party of Bus 15 stumbled bewildered into the strange red world Li took to the roof to get a better perspective. It was The Sewer Ninja that saw the incoming threat.

Six white and grey Guyver Models where the Orion Organization emblem…

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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22 Re: The Rising of The Nightmare Moon: Game info on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:07 am

Session Eighteen- 50 Years Later…

As the Party of Bus 15 followed the mysterious Nephilim they pondered the devastation that surrounded them.  The quarter was in shambles, the sky was a bloody hue, and nothing was as they remembered it.  Behind them were the twisted and torn remains of more than a dozen Guyver warriors.  Four had been defeated by the party’s combined might but their short lived victory came at a price.  Masaru and Xavros had nearly perished, and neither Silverkin nor Persons were able to regenerate the wounds inflicted by the BioConstructs.  If the Nephilim, Shandee, had not arrived when she did they would have all died, except for Li whom the Guyver wanted alive.  Their central conscience, Hive Queen, wanted him alive.  The short time he spent connected to their hive mind told him all that he needed to know.  The Guyver were conducting a pogrom against all humans, genocide of all intelligent life.  Something about the Sewer Ninja intrigued Hive Queen but once she’d dissected his mind she would eradicate him with the rest.  Only Ryoku would be spared for she was collecting Nephilim.

“If you don’t mind, Shandee, we need to know… what happened here?” asked Li addressing the green, red, and white Nephilim.

“I suppose if your thoughts are to be believed, you wouldn’t know what has transpired.  You’ve missed the last 50 years.” replied Shandee.  “Yes, 50 years.  What you see around you is what is left of the city of Chipan.  This devastation is the result of one catastrophic event after another… I suppose it all started two years after Princess Melissan was named Regent of Chipan.”

“We were there for that I competed in the arena!” gloated Persons.

“Yes, I remember you were defeated two rounds before the championship.  The Week of Games would be the last time Chipan experienced anything worth celebrating.  The nation was invaded by an army of ninja from The Hidden Village of The Owl.  Chipan was the point of their initial surprise attack and became their staging ground.  The Mind Ninjas of The Hidden Village of The Owl turned our own troops and defenders against themselves and we were powerless to stop them.”

“Surely with your power you could have fought back.” stated, Lem.

“Maybe, yet at the time my master still lived and he was reluctant to fight.  I must confess I was also afraid, not to fight but of losing him…  If I’d know what was to come maybe I might have fought.  The ninja weren’t alone.  They were led by a mad man and 7 mighty angels.  With supremacy over land and air Chipan fell fast.  Much of the damage around us is due to the sorties by the royal army to reclaim the city.  The angels held the princesses prisoner and King Falkes desperately wanted them back.  But when The Hidden Village fell it was not due to military cunning but betrayal.  The angels had never truly been the mad man’s allies but pieces in a greater player’s game.”

“The Ender.” said Ghomo, he wasn’t sure why but he could see the Dark Man’s hand in this grand opera.

“Yes, The Black lord of Magic.  While North Westing warred among itself he was preparing for the Coup de Grace.  Behind the kingdom’s back he produced a weapon that had no equal.  The rising of The Nightmare Moon was the end of life as you remember it.  The artificial satellite above us tore through most of Chipan as it rose from the urth and all bathed in it’s light were changed forever.  It awakened latent potential with all sentient life; man, beast, nephilim.  Most were unable to maintain the power and burned to death from the inside out.  Others gained magical powers on a scale not seen in a thousand years.  The rest of us experienced years of abnormal mutations and sickness.”

“Leaving The Ender with a new army of magical thralls and a populace too weak to stand up against him… genius, the bastard is a mad genius.” admitted Kosey.  He looked to his partner and the other detective could see the determination in the others eyes.  They had to get back and stop The Ender Reborn at all cost.

“This is all terrible but it doesn’t explain the Guyvers.  Are they also minions of The Ender?” asked Li.  He really wanted to ask after his wife, Megumi the vessel of Sloth and Magi Gemini Ni, but he knew it wasn’t the right time.

“Hive Queen and her Guyver are a relatively new threat.  The Ender made short work of the ninja and North Westing and then moved east to South Westing, then North to The Vineyards of Jasper.  Survivors gathered here under he banner of the last remaining Westing and for a time the ruins of Chipan became the heart of the resistance.  That was until the Guyver appeared with their mission of exterminating all organic intelligence.  The resistance has all but collapsed and we live in fear.  Most just wait for their time to die.”

“If things are so terrible and bleak why bother with us, there isn’t much we can do that you can’t.”  Silverkin pointed out the wounded Samurai and Thief.  “We nearly died fighting those Guyver and you destroy them literally with a thought.  What good are we?”

“I can sometimes see the future and what I see is a narrow sliver of hope, hope intertwined with the Hero’s Rings.  I knew that the rings would come and with them our only chance of salvation.  Help us Heroes, you’re our only hope.”

For a while the group traveled in silence observing what Shandee showed their minds and the horror that their eyes could see on their own.  Ryoku’s thoughts, and heart, were racing.  The sight of the creatures that destroyed Juan Carlos made his bowels cold and his knees weak, yet watching here hips sway back and forth awakened other more primal fears.  She was beautiful and powerful.  Years ago, for her decades ago, he’d seen her fight in the arena.  She was the top Nephilim defeating all challengers.  She was younger, smaller with powers only a fraction of what he’d seen today, yet no less fantastic.  She looked back at him and winked and he blushed, of course she could hear his thoughts and knew what he wanted to do with her… he blushed again and she laughed a flirty and all too attractive laugh.

“Shandee, you said there is till one Westing left.  Who leads the resistance, who rules Chipan?” asked Magi Gemini Icchi.

“Queen Nivia De Thymes, last of the De Thymes bloodline.”

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Eighteen- 50 Years Later… Prologue

*Cue Theme Music: You’re The Best- Joe Esposito*

*Cue Montage, and freeze on scene of me signing autographs*

*Ignore the strange looks the others are giving me; continue posing, remember to smile*

It was Ghomo who suggested that we stop running, what an idiot… he isn’t built to fight none of them are.  If they would just acknowledge the theme music they’d understand.  I’m the best around, no one’s ever going to take me down.  They spread out in a useless attempt to form a skirmish line… what idiots.  They should gather around me with water and healing.  I’m bound to get thirsty while I beat the circuits out of these Guyver things and someone’s bound to get hurt.  Oh, right I’m still bleeding.  Not really sure what that means… the others bleed all of the time, the power of the Gado has made me nearly immortal.  I usually don’t bleed for long I hope the weakness of the others isn’t rubbing off… is this what it’s like to be an idiot?

Here they come.  Only two?  Piece of cake.  Ghomo orders everyone to focus on one enemy at a time, idiot.  The order should be everyone else attacks the one I’m not killing.  Ha, what an idiot. I let the pain I would be feeling, if I was a weak idiot flow, through me fueled by the Gado and with my awesome body fueled by my Ki I rushed the charging Guyver.

Flying leap/Parry

Mid slash/Dodge

Rising Knee

Connect! He stumbles back, the crowd cheers.  I glance over to give the party my award winning smile and I watch as energy fires from the second Guyver’s forehead like an assault rifle… not good, I wish I had a gun for a head.  I’d be even more dangerous.  Xavros and the squid poke- *ahem* Nephilim come to help with this one.  I let them, no need to hog all of the glory.  My fist cuts through the machine’s chest like most novice punch through boards.  I laugh, turn, pose, explosion.  Explosion?  Shit these things self-destruct rather than accept an asskicking… hmmm, I wish I could self-destruct when surrounded by idiots.

The first wave dies quick, it’s the next three that I wait for.  Kosey, the fat detective… man is he fat… Kosey suggest attacking the gems on their forehead.  Idea makes sense.  I knee a gem so hard that it shatters in a single blow.  It explodes.  I remind myself to avoid exploding enemies.  As the other idiots go down I perfect my gem shattering technique.  Spin Kick, Rising Upper Thrust, Thunder Jab.  All to the gem, I’m like a gem busting god… I have to add that to my titles.  God Gem Buster.

The fight goes by too fast.  I stand victorious, of course, and the others look pretty beat-up.  Masaru and that awesome sword were pretty helpful, I’m not quite sure what Xavros did but they both are down.  The Magi, fine ass babe that she is, suggest retreating.  If the other idiots want to run I guess I have too, can’t protect them if I’m not with them.  We run, I smile, shove a signed picture into Xavros’ inside pocket.  Can never have too many of those.  After all I killed four of the five Guyver with my bare hands.  If I had a gun head I could have killed the other.

*Cue music: Eye of The Tiger- Survivor*

*Cue montage, and freeze on scene of me kicking a Guyver in the head so hard that it explodes*

They want to stop in a building that looks older than the old fart that trained me… these guys really are idiots.  Why can’t they be awesome like me.  Maybe I can bottle my blood and sell it.  We get inside and they start healing each other.  I’m still bleeding but awesome martial artist don’t die.  The crazy ninja guys says more are coming, and I get excited.  I was keyed up to smash a few more gems when nearly thirty drop out of the sky… fuck, those idiots are dead.

*Cue music: Darnell Sadface Song- Team Satisfaction*

*Remember to teach Masaru how to avoid exploding enemies*

*Note to self: See about getting a gun head…*

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Nineteen- Welcome to UnderChipan

Shandee led them deep underground to ancient sections of old Chipan’s sewage systems.  Through winding tunnels they marched until after what seemed like hours they emerged into a dark cavernous opening.  Across from them they could see a large pipe emanating not only light but the sounds of humanity and life.  It was a stark contrast to the dead silence of the red world above.  As they watched a Nephilim, nearly 15’ of red muscle and grey stone, exited the shadows and barred their way.  Shandee raised her hand in a sign of reassurance even as the brash Sewer Ninja attempted to invade the creature’s mind.  What Li found was a being with small but rock hard mental defenses.  The Nephilim flexed his muscles causing flame and smoke to erupt from the cracks in the stone.  He advanced and The Sewer Ninja was tanned by a burst of intense heat.  Shandee interposed herself between the party and the flaming Nephilim.

“Archon, don’t.  These are the bearers of The Hero’s Rings.  These are the ones that will save us.” she explained.  Though her words seemed like Common to the party of Bus 15 the Nephilim had no trouble understanding.

“They attack my mind.  I hate that!”  His exclamation was punctuated by a plume of fire.  Only Ryoku and Shandee could understand the enigmatic Nephilim’s tongue.


“I hate it!”


Archon’s flames extinguished as fast as they ignited and the massive Warrior/Flame Type Nephilim returned to his shadowy resting place.  He guarded what was left of Chipan tirelessly as his old master would have wanted.  As the party followed Shandee through the pipe entrance Li caught a glimpse of the red Nephilim and had no doubt that he had made an enemy.  He toyed with the idea of attempting to breach the creatures mind cloak but found his musings interrupted by the site of UnderChipan.

The sprawling Steam-powered Metropolis that had been Chipan lay in ruins.  Below sat a town made of junk and debris salvaged from the old city and secreted underground where the old steam factories could provide heat and the miniscule comforts that its people could manage.  To Li and the other members of Bus 15 the seat of the resistance looked much like a cross between the Spartan bare minimum of The Slave Quarter and the squalid desperation of The Dead Docks.  They walked passed a hovel not unlike the one that Li once shared with his wife Megumi.  He stared at the little ramshackle building and reminisced.

Shandee led them to a large and sturdy two floor building with a swinging sign etched out on a rusty slab of metal.  She gestured towards Umma’s Inn and answered Ghomo’s request before he could even ask it.

“I will go to Queen Nivia and see when she shall grant you an audience.  Yes, I will convey your urgency.”  She looked toward the Magi and nodded to yet another unspoken question.  “I will also see about finding a healer for your wounded.  While you all wait go inside and tell the Innkeeper that I sent you.”  The group nodded and some began to enter the establishment.  She looked down at the smaller Nephilim that could not stop staring longingly at her womanly curves.  “Walk with me and I will answer what questions I can.”

The two Nephilim left the party at Umma’s and continued walking.  Ryoku looked around surprised at the mix of people that he passed.  Chipan’s population was as diverse as he’d ever seen yet in UnderChipan he found an unexpected mix.  In every alley and at every corner there were animals but not just livestock and domesticated beast but also wild animals both common in North Westing and rare.  Talking and working together were Orcs and Halflings, Dwarves and Elves.  As he watched in surprise a Centaur collected a group of Goblin children and led them off to be fed.  He thought about himself and Shandee, two Nephilim walking the street without their masters and wondered at the difference between the world he remembered and the one he was seeing.

“Things are very different now aren’t they?” asked Shandee.  “Most don’t even remember the old world as it was.  They cling to idealized moments of happiness.  The old Chipan in your mind is not the old Chipan that most long for.”

“It’s all so… strange.”

“I suppose strangeness is relative.” she said with a sidelong look at the short Nephilim.

“Shandee, Ma’am, you said earlier that you remember me.  How?  Have we met before?”  He’d seen her fight, watched her and her master earn the coveted Champion’s Crown.  He would have remembered meeting such an awesome Nephilim.

“Arthur, my former master, used to insist that I study every trainer that entered the arena.  I read everything the league had on every trainer/Nephilim duo to ever grace the stadium.  It was how I used to win.  I knew most Nephilim better then they knew themselves and in the arena I used that data to my advantage.”

“So you knew about me and my master?”  Ryoku was tentative and nervous; he’d tried in vain to tell others his secret but to no avail.


“Ju… Juan Carlos.”  Shandee’s mental laughter was hearty.

“Don’t take me for a fool, Juan.  I can sense you there inside of your partner’s body.  Very few can hide secrets from me.”

“You are the first, ummm, person to believe me!” Juan’s relief was palpable.  “What about Ryoku, do you sense him too?”



“I sense no trace of his Divine Core… You reside in his shell and there is only room for one.”  slowly answered the Nephilim.  “There is no shame in shedding a tear.” She said as she placed a hand on his shoulder.  “I cried much when Arthur died.”

“How did your master, Arthur, die?”

“Being a hero at a time when we sorely needed one.  He was part of the group that saved Princess Nivia from the Angel, Lust.  His sacrifice saved our queen.”

“Sounds like he was not only a great trainer but a noble soul.”

“Like Ryoku.  I’m sure he sacrificed is Divine Core to save you much like I would have if Arthur had not left me behind.  It took me years to understand that he knew what I would do and that is why he didn’t take me.  A Nephilim would sacrifice anything for a master they love…”

The two approached a walled off structure standing five floors high.  Among the junk buildings of UnderChipan it was a veritable mansion.  Standing guard outside were two Nephilim.  Sarcuu was a rat faced creature half a foot taller than Ryoku/Juan wearing a chest plate and helmet.  He bore a shield with the symbol of North Westing and drew a spear.  Glass was a huge cube of ice but before Juan’s eyes melted and reformed into a large liquid hunting cat.  He gurgled a growl and hunched low ready to pounce.  Shandee raised a hand and both relaxed.  The former replacing his shield and nodded at Ryoku, the latter shift into an icy stalagmite.

“Is there anything you can do for me?” Juan asked Shandee.

“I don’t know.  You are the first human I have ever seen bond with us this way… but if there is a way I will help you.”

“Thank you, Shandee.  I… I… I think you’re awesome!”  The last was blurted out clumsily.

“I used to watch all of your matches.  You’re not so bad yourself.”

Back at Umma’s Inn the party had established themselves in their unique way and Baagh had arranged for rooms in exchanged for services rendered at the tavern.  Xavros was having a quiet conversation with one of the locals when the ex-Gun Smith fell over in violent convulsions.  He foamed at the mouth and screamed wordlessly.  Patrons of the inn’s tavern helped to restrain him as Xavros tried to figure out what was happening.  The barkeep seemed unsurprised and when asked what was happening she was very forthcoming with answers.  She’d seen it many times before only rarely in one as old as Mr. Patel.  It was Nightmare Sickness brought on by The Ender’s red moon.  Baagh was mutating but into what, there was no way of knowing.  Reluctantly, they tied Baagh up and locked him away in a secure room in the basement.

The thief waited until the others gathered together, filtering in from their various personal endeavors, to share what had happened to their companion.  Concerned was shared by all.  Umma claimed that if they were going to have an adverse reaction to the Nightmare Moon it would have had its effect at the same time as Baagh fell ill but how could they be sure?  They were aliens to this time and the conditions under which the people of this dark era had to endure.  The other issue was that Baagh was an integral part of Bus 15’s leadership, he was their military commander and his recovery was important.  They enjoyed stew graciously offered by Umma and discussed in whispering cliques what they’d observed in that strange place called UnderChipan.

When Mordrllyn arrived they were in quite a mood, yet so was he.  It was the nature of The Tribe of The Broken Moon.  They were a people prone to wild mood swings and bouts of rage.  They all remembered the old tribe, The Moonsingers, and every thought of what they’d lost fueled their more primal angers.  The elf looked to the Innkeeper and she nodded in recognition.  Umma’s was the only place that entertained the occasional visitors and the only meeting place outside of the small arena.  He glimpsed familiar faces around the establishment; Beckler the Bard, Grissle Who Sees All, and Freshoon The Brave.  It was the strangers that he sought.  He walked over to the party of Bus 15 and attempted to convey his message.  What he quickly found was that heroes in a bar setting are a rowdy lot inclined to mischief.  It wasn’t until Persons and Freshoon were thrashed by the inn’s bouncer, Ronestogga, that the party was ready to listen.

He had been sent by someone of great importance that wished to see them immediately, they had wasted much time in their antics, and it was his job to escort them.  They would not leave without Baagh who was in no condition to move.  Mordrllyn, like all from the year 40XX+50, had seen the effects of Nightmare Sickness and knew that whatever change that had taken over Baagh would have run its course by then.  He volunteered to take a small group down to retrieve Sergeant Patel.  What he revealed to Ghomo, Masaru, Xavros, and Li was that Mordrllyn was no ordinary elf.  Raging beneath the surface calm was a beast eager to rend his enemies limb from limb.  Shifted he had Ghomo release Baagh whom had undergone his own monstrous transformation.  The disgraced Gun Smith had been metamorphosed from man to tiger.  Unfortunately his level of sentience had also changed leaving him an animal in both mind and body.

Eager to be rid of this terrible future the party followed the wereelf in hopes of finding answers.  He led them through UnderChipan wordlessly.  The tiger that had once been Baagh followed Mordrllyn as though they shared some strange bond even with the latter back in his elven form.  They were met at the entrance the castle by Sarcuu, Glass, and a huge black wolfman wearing flames like bracers and greaves.  The creature had no need to speak.  Mordrllyn apologized to chief, Grimylln, for his tardiness and was promised a later and possibly more violent discussion later.  One allowed within the mansion the party’s path was barred by an evolved Yintaff, Nephilim of Yori Deacon.  Juan had not forgotten the flaming serpent and the massive snake remembered his defeat by Ryoku.  After a bit of posturing he fled to allow their passage.  With that Mordrllyn led them to throne room.  It was there that Queen Nivia, Lord Regent Yori Deacon, and Shandee waited.

“I can’t help but recall my sister and the former Regent Deacon giving this group a similar speech years ago.  The words of that conversation elude me but I am in just as much of The Heroes of The Kingdom.”

“Whatever we can do for The Queen we will.” promise Masaru.

“Hive Queen.  Hive Queen is determined to eliminate all sentient life here in old Chipan and if something is not done soon we will perish and with us the resistance.  The Ender’s Army has its sights set elsewhere at the moment this might be the only chance we have to connect with those other groups that have managed to survive The Black Lord of Magic’s warmachine.  Yet we can not leave and all that have attempted to join us have been terminated by the Guyvers.  The machines have made it very clear, there can be only one Queen in Chipan.

“Is there any way we can avoid the guyver’s detection?” asked the strange boy from The Residential Quarter.

“I’m sorry, I don’t recognize you.  What is your name?” asked Lord Regent Deacon.

“I’m Lem.”

“Named after The God of Irony… interesting.” observed The Lord Regent.  “We have tried camo-Shields, cloaking Shrouds, and Mind Cloaks.  Each bought us three days, three days exactly, and then Hive Queen sent a new generation of Guyver to terminate our existence.  What little fighting force we have is all that stands between Hive Queen and her mission and all we have to stand against the true enemy.”

“The Ender.”  Ghomo was growing tired of saying the man’s name with such ominous overtones but it was as if history was repeating itself.  The first Ender brought the world to its knees and The Ender Reborn had managed much the same.  He had to be stopped… it was the case of a lifetime.

“How can we hope to get to this Hive Queen if we can’t elude her Guyver?” asked Kosey who had been mysteriously silent since they arrived in UnderChipan.  It was Shandee who answered.

“There is no hope of getting pass the Guyver unless we find Dr. Lockhead.  Before we lost contact with him he claimed to have found a way to trick their systems.  Before you can defeat Hive Queen we need you to find the doctor but barring that find his notes.”

“How do we know that the Guyver didn’t terminate him?” asked Silverkin, another silent observer.

“Doctor Lockhead had established a lab outside of UnderChipan to work his experiments and traveled between here and there unmolested.  He had been on to something and if we could get our hands on it we could get to the master of their hive mind.”

“Where would we even start looking?”

“His lab” said the Nephilim.  “Beneath the old Blackguard Corporation Building, near the center of the city.”

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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Session Twenty- Search for the Wily Doctor

Three days came and went like a couple of sentences in a long paragraph.  The party split to pursue their own goals and when the appointed time came rallied in the tavern at Umma’s Inn.  The short reprieve did wonders for the group’s disposition and many that need healing were able to recuperate.  They sat at a cluster of tables and quietly talked among themselves.  Mordrllyn had arrived early after speaking both to his chief and to The Queen.  He would accompany the heroes and try his best to ensure the success of their mission.  Veshere the Brave also arrived with his adopted brother Renault Abeo.  The two looked capable enough and the more knowledge of this timeline that the party could gather to them the better.

Somewhat divided over how they should start their search for Dr. Lockhead, the party was relieved when a familiar presence entered their minds.  Shandee would leave her post by Queen Nivia’s side long enough to get The Heroes of The Kingdom to their destination.  The party paid their tab and prepared for adventure.

“Shandee, how goes the secret mission?” asked Ghomo.

“Secret, of course.”  The telepathic Nephilim knew that the detective asked in jest but could also sense the underlying concern.  “Your comrades are no more danger than the rest of you will be once we leave the safety of UnderChipan.  They were all honored to help The Queen.”

“Can you tell us nothing?”


The party abandoned the safety of Chipan’s last safe haven and traveled within the shadowy curve of the dry Palisades River.  They traveled for almost two hours before Shandee stopped them and gestured toward the cliff like top.  She began to effortlessly float to the top.

“Shandee, won’t leaving our side put us danger?” innocently asked Lem.  His child like manner did not fool the Nephilim that could pierce some of the strongest Mind Cloaks.

“The Guyver are attracted to sentience.  At this moment I am the greatest danger to the party.  Meet me at the top and be careful.  The surface is ruled by the wrong Queen.”

The act of scaling the Palisades’ old banks proved a task until the party utilized team work.  It was an interesting scene as men believed to be the salvation of so many found fighting their individualism an adventure in itself.  Once they reached the top they had their first chance to set eyes on the blasted wasteland that was Chipan circa 40xx+50.

All was red and dust.  The metropolis of steam-fueled ingenuity now lay in crumbling ruins.  The war against The Hidden Village of The Owl had leveled much of the city and the swath of utter destruction cut by The Nightmare Moon left very little standing.  It wasn’t long before the Guyver finished those.  What had once been streets of knowledge and commerce had been turned into a dusty mausoleum to the fall of North Westing and the reign of The Ender Reborn.  They searched any landmarks or signs of the time they’d left but all there was was swirling eddies of crimson powder to remind them of their true mission.  The Ender had to be stopped or all would be lost.

Shandee led them through the once great city to the leaning remnants of the old Blackguard Corporation Building, now a monolithic symbol of a lost age.  She took them inside to the cavernous husk of its main lobby.  From thin air materialized 3 bottles.  She handed the bundle to Mordrllyn before parting ways with the party of Bus 15.  Before them gaped the maw of a massive pit and in its depths sat stagnant and foul water.  The group spread out to search.

The Nephilim had given them 3 Bottles of Air and after scanning the building there was nowhere to go but down into the filthy water.  Joining hands and preparing for whatever was to come they dove in.  

Two hundred feet.

They swam two hundred feet down before they reached the bottom and the relatively cleaner span.  It was Lem and the brothers, Renault and Veshere, who found the pipe opening and ultimately led the group to Sub-Basement U…

To Be Continued…

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

-Nicolas Cage
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