Steel City

Lest We Forget

It’s April 7 1941 , 24 hours before the Yama King will be killed by Magister Angle. The Sentries plus Dragoneye appear near an antiaircraft battery in the vicinity Liverpool. Given recent events, the local soldiers can be forgiven for jumping to conclusions, particularly since Vieno looks a little like Kreigsvogel*, one of the German “Dreadnaughts”, as their superhumans are called.

Germany has a dozen Dreadnaughts , USA about two dozen super-humans, plus there are lots of costumed adventurers running around.

One of the local soldiers is a fellow named Captain Traynor, who is, of course, Izzy’s great-grandfather.

Happily, the fact that Dragoneye is Chinese seems to calm everyone down, although it soon becomes obvious that this is but a ruse to give The Gurkha time to nail the group with a gas bomb. While only 99 Per Cent and Dragoneye get taken out by it (I think Huitzil is just flat out immune), Volt is very put out and spend some time shouting at the British for their sneaky ways.

Rather than have the usual greeting by combat friendly supers so love, the time travelers keep talking rather than confirming the other side’s suspicions by lashing out. This takes long enough that the rest of the King’s Commandos – Goody Albion, Manticore , Wild Huntress, and Yew Archer – arrive. The PCs agree to wait for Angle, which is no great concession since that’s they came to talk to.

Huitzil glumly notices their phone has no bars.

Rather unsurprisingly for 1941, there is an air raid, an oddly small one: bunch of fighters and three bombers. Manticore has his own airplane (although he seems to vanish from the narrative, no doubt off having his own little drama elsewhere). Because they cannot fly fast enough to catch up with either a bomber or a fighter, Izzy tows Huitzil and Volt up to the enemy air-craft.

Izzy lobs Volt at a bomber, trusting him to go desolid before he slams into it (Volt has no flight at all). This works quite nicely. Finding himself surrounded by irate Germans, Volt begins filling the inside of the plane with explosion after explosion, occasionally pausing to give a specific person attention; happily, while the plane and its crew are dealt with, none of the bombs go off while Volt is inside. Once the crew is out cold, Volt steals a parachute and leaps out, trusting that what he has seen in action movies will be enough to master a parachute the first time.

Huitzil on the other hand is left clinging to the side of a fighter plane. Even for an enhanced person, it takes while to punch an aircraft into sufficient dysfunction that it spirals down out of the air.

Izzy in contrast is just ripping engines off planes as she flies by: score one for brute force. 99 Per Cent simply puts pilots into a restful sleep.

Dragoneye uses something called “Dragon Breath” on one bomber, blowing the bomb bay open. Bombs tumble end over end out of the open bomb bay. Dragoneye, sensing that it go poorly for the group if the bombs reach the ground, detonates one bomb, allowing the chain reaction that follows to deal with the rest, as well as the stricken bomber.

Dragoneye takes a shot at the last surviving bomber, blowing a hole in its side but not doing serious damage otherwise. Huitzil spots a woman with wings leaving hole in bomber, none other than Kreigsvogel herself. Intrigued, Huitzil flies towards her.

Kreigsvogel’s combat strategy is a bit different from Huitzil: where Huitzil is very fast and very accurate at the cost of defenses and damage, Kreigsvogal has armour, a shield, a mace and a magic spear she cannot be bothered to use on Huitzil; compared to Huitzil, she is a lumbering tank. Huitzil has no problem hitting Kreigsvogel but the blow is deflected by a quickly raised shield. A mace blows skims by Huitzil’s face.

Dragoneye burns another hole through the bomber and another Dreadnaught drops out of the bomber. This one is a dark haired man, flying without the use of wings. Dark hair. The Ü on chest hints that he is rather trade-mark infringingly named Übermensch. Übermensch goes after Izzy, who seems to be a good match for him.

(Actually, they were all PL8 while the PCs are PL10 but they were rolling much better than we were)

Dragoneye spots a suspicious looking albatross (birds generally don’t fly towards explosions. His attempts to turn off any magic powering it fail; it is an oddly nimble bird.

Huitzil decides to go for damage over defensiveness and connects nicely with Kriegsvogel’s impervious shield. Not even a dent. Kriegsvogel lashes back with the mace. Huitzil smirks at their foe as the wound heals almost instantly.

Deciding to exploit their advantage in speed, Huitzil unleashes a storm of fists on her foe, managing to sneak a few shots around the shield. Kriegsvogel smiles back at Huitzil as her wounds heal almost as quickly as Huitzil’s, then follows it up with a mace to the side of Huitzil’s head.

As her skull slowly reshapes itself back to its original shape, Huitzil deliberately collides with Kriegsvogel, wrapping their arms around the winged women before folding their own wings. Linked, the pair begin the long fall towards the ground.

Dragoneye finally manages to tag the bird with his magic-nullifying power. Unfortunately, this forces Hexenwolf to drop the guise of a bird for the reality of a large, pointy magical wolf (or possibly werewolf), which is hardly an improvement over the bird.

Up in the sky, Izzy flies into Übermensch’s fist (he rolled a 20, she rolled a 1) and plummets from the sky. Happily, falls of any height cannot harm her.

Huitzil and Kriegsvogel land in the soft, welcoming arms of a local limestone formation. Kriegsvogel easily rolls to her feet but Huitzil is clearly still disoriented from the time travel and fails to get to their feet; they settle for ineffectively ramming a heel into Kriegsvogel’s armoured stomach. Kriegsvogel brings her mace down on Huitzil’s head with a solid crunch.

On the reasonable suspicion Hexenwolf is unusually tough,
Volt uses a particularly penetrating attack on the wolf. It is quite effective but since it requires Volt to be within arm’s reach, Hexenwolf rakes Volt’s side open.

Dragoneye makes a magic wall in front of the remaining bomber. Crunch. The wall vanishes in pretty sparkles but the plane is not a plane any more. As it tumbles from the sky, people leap out. Parachutes open.

Volt notices one parachute – without a person under it so let’s say it’s Volt’s, abandoned when he touched down – about to land on him and Hexenwolf. Volt goes insubstantial, allowing the parachute to drape itself over Hexenwolf before blasting the werewolf another. This is very effective, as are the blows that follow, but the German somehow manages to stay on his feet.

Dragoneye determines that the “Dragon’s roar” has absolutely no effect on Hexenwolf (because Hexenwolf kept rolling 20s). Good to know.

Still dazed, Huitzil stands up slowly. She has a Cunning Idea about how to handle Kriegsvogel but rather annoyingly, the armoured woman just grabs a bug hunk of rock and flies off much faster than Huitzil can follow.

99 Per Cent establishes that Übermensch’s mind is unexpectedly resistant to her powers, given that usually one gets to be either tough or mentally resistant (more 20s, I think). He in turn makes sure that 99 Per Cent is pretty good at avoiding being knocked off her feet for a mentalist.

It takes a while but Volt and Dragoneye finally managed to grind Hexenwolf down, at the cost of being almost taken out themselves.

Kriegsvolgel’s attempt to gooify Huitzil with a chunk of rock moving at hundreds of miles an hour fails miserably. Huitzil laughs at her, hoping to enrage the woman into coming within arm’s reach. Kriegsvogel seems to fall for this but it’s just a fake out; her actual target is Volt, whose intangibility is negated by her magic spear or it would have been had she connected before being KOed by Dragoneye’s Dragon’s Roar.

Huitzil is somewhat confused to find themselves 500 feet up in the air, although Übermensch’s arms wrapped around them offers an explanation. Huitzil is very bendy and doesn’t have much trouble machine gun kicking Übermensch’s face. This very quicky turns into a contest to see whether Übermensch can crush Huitzil into insensibility faster than Huitzil’s various appendages can knock Übermensch out. Huitzil has their healing factor, whereas Übermensch is merely very, very tough.

The contest is left unresolved because Volt and Dragoneye pitch in, quickly knocking the battered brick out cold. As the German falls towards water, Huitzil snags him out of the air. They aren’t so merciful that they fail to slam him into the ground to keep him out.

The King’s Commandos assure the Sentries plus Dragoneye that keeping the Dreadnaughts imprisoned for the duration should not be any trouble (Hexenwolf’s being on the loose in 1944 does not necessarily contradict this because if he dies in captivity, he will simply reincarnate elsewhere).

Only one person who survived jumping from the bomber managed to escape the greeting committee on the ground; surely that one person won’t turn out to be the one person who needed to be caught.

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