Steel City

Powers no more...?
Being notes and to be filled in later

Huitzil’s mother(s) are missing; Eden is free (been free about two days); Gilly is missing (been missing about a day). Note at Gilly’s gives address of Hightecker warehouse, which is same warehouse they got from Rapture last week.

When she awakes and while the team is on the way to the warehouse, Lacey sends Ninety-Nine a telepathic message that says she did it because the Commander planned on blowing the lid off the whole retirement business and 99%’s involvement OR depowering the team. (That was why she wanted to kidnap the whole group, and why Lacey violated the whole shit-where-you-live philosophy.) Lacey suspects the Commander might be satisfied by a simple non-interference agreement.

Ninety-Nine Percent tells the group she has been mentally contacted by Rapture Jr. who claims that Commander blackmailed Rapture & the Boys into making the attack. Rapture Jr. wouldn’t tell her what dirt Commander held on her, but she told her that Commander has been accumulating a ton of blackmail info on many many people, including secret identities and the like. Rapture believes that Commander knows Ninety-Nine Percent’s own secret identity and possibly the IDs of other Sentinels. Rapture thinks that Commander would be willing to agree to a mutual non-interference pact with the Sentinels, in exchange for not dishing the dirt.

Warehouse big, proof against remote senses and X-ray vision, and it might take Izzy two shots to get in. Email from Hightower indicates that lots of prototypes are stored there, including a set of power suits that they made for SAT but didn’t get the contract. The security system isn’t responding any more. Huitzil asks Hightower to appoint them as an agent and representative.

Calling Future Foundation gets Washout, who turns out to be the highest seniority person there, and they don’t know him. He says, gosh, a lot of people are out sick tonight; Sonia’s supposed to be on dispatch but isn’t. Izzy asks to be called and Washout asks the secret way or the phone. Secret way? says Izzy. Yeah, I see the post-it note—you want to be sent messages by the secret text way, an IM thing. He doesn’t know how it works. Izzy repeats that she wants the phone; she doesn’t know anything about the “secret way.”

Turns out that between the Commander, 99%’s mom, and Thornbird, everyone has put secret ways to their information.

Izzy and Huitzil go to the back of the warehouse, about a block away. Dragoneye goes in astrally, and sees that the inside is all overgrown and floor broken up; both of Huitzil’s mothers are there, in thorn cages. Then the birdperson attacks the astral self, and Dragoneye gets out. They figure that inside are:

  • some birdperson, a woman, looks of Indian subcontinent descent and mien
  • Eden the tree, and the pile of sand over in the corner is probably Jet (the blackness is a giveaway)
  • Six power suits, three in the front and three in the back. Izzy’s X-Ray vision eventually reveals that one of each triplet contains an unconscious hostage—they memorize the numbers (3 and 6, for convenience) and take care with those suits.

Timing it so that they’ll attack at the same time, Dragoneye, 99%, and Volt attack the “front” and Izzy and Huitzil begin attacking the back. The three get in almost instantly, and engage some of the enemy: Volt goes desolid, and the birdwoman (who can attack desolid things) engages with him. Dragoneye and 99% deal with the power suits that happen to be there and working (there are five total, but two are in the back, with Izzy and Huitzil).

Izzy

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The Rapture of Victory
A slugfest

One of the things I dislike about myself as a GM is that I frequently (say, two-thirds of the time) make a combat the centerpiece of the whole session. Part of that is that our sessions are just three hours or less (eight to eleven, or less), which means that structurally, the session is frequently a bit of building subplots and then combat, rather than the more comic-bookish hook-unsatisfactory fight-subplots and investigation-big fight-conclusion. And so it was this time.

The group had to place themselves inside the museum, because it has a number of (modular) security systems: mental, mystical, and movement. For this exhibit, all were enabled, despite the cost of running the generators to power all of them.(For new exhibits, they choose whether to turn on the mental or mystic shields.) volt was in the basement, in the security office; Huitzil and Dragoneye were in the exhibit room on the second floor; Ninety-Nine Percent was there, too, but in civvies; and Canadian Lass was above the exhibit room, with the old Dutch masters (a permanent exhibit). Several employees were there, too: the old exhibit had been cleared out during the latter half of the day and they were assembling the new one.

Note that the various safeguards didn’t prevent people from using their powers in the building.

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The End of Thornbird

Day after atomic supermen. Canadian Lass had an inconclusive battle with Immaterial Girl and Hellteen (they vanished) but not before IG said something like, “She thinks of you as her real daughter.” So after recovering, Canadian Lass had a scan of the Future Foundation building and found several areas that her X-ray vision couldn’t penetrate. A small room, a medium room, two large rooms.

Chiclet (under that name) gets a text message from her old friend Lacey to have coffee, says it could be valuable for both of them. Lacey is Rapture’s daughter, so she knows the important stuff. At coffee, she reveals that she knows who Chiclet is, mostly because when she disappeared, Chicle was asking around, and with that clue it wasn’t hard to say, “99% has been missing for so long and Chiclet has been missing for so long; both are Asian-American girls, of the same size.” After commiserating about the things super-powered parents put their kids through and revealing that Mom is in a home (something to do with trying to take over Lacey’s body: “You made it real easy to decide about the home, mom” that just recently had a summoning problem thanks to mom, so now Lacey has to pay for magic protection too), Lacey reveals that a gadget-based person has been making herself a pain about joining the group, and Lacey gave her this time and address for a job to pull. She’d like one or more of Chiclet’s “friends” to show up at the same time and see how the girl handles herself. If she gets arrested, enh, Lacey doesn’t have to hire her. If she stays free and gets a good report from Chiclet, then maybe she’ll be a useful addition. Chiclet cautions her about shitting where you eat, but Lacey promises not to break the supervillain out if she gets caught.

The time and place, not surprisingly, are the museum, the night before the opening of some Japanese equivalent to the Faberge egg, which is the artifact that Mr. Shibota wants Dragoneye to keep an eye on.

In the meantime, Izzy asks 99% to use some clairvoyance on the mysterious hidden areas. Dragoneye comes along because they want to talk about this egg thing, which apparently has some mystic legend associated with it. Huitzil is away dealing with family issues, and Volt is busy, dealing with private eyes who are in danger of finding his secret identity.

Clairvoyance shows that one of the large rooms is a super high tech lab that puts the official Future Foundation lab to shame, with a hacking substation and a genetic engineering substation, with a set of flash drives labels with superpowers and one “possible cures for radioactive decay”. It also contains a half-dozen dolls of the type that exploded over Ottawa. The medium size room shows evidence of being where Hellteen is living, though Hellteen is not there; the small room is apparently some kind of mystic summoning room with a small workbench and some magical-style materials (mystic aura). All four are connected, and the fourth large room turns out to be a subway-style boarding station big enough for one of those digging machines, but with dirt on left and right sides: no tunnels, though dirt where tunnels could be made.

So they grab one of the students who gets dubbed PortalGuy, who can open a portal a mile away (he’s a middle-aged man who normally works at restoring auto bodies; 99% suggests “Porter” as a name, because Porter was a car make). They scoot one of the Atomic Supermen to the middle of the Blasting Range, a wilderness on the property that they use for training people to use their powers, and follow, just in time for the pod to open and a (brief) fight ensue. The Atomic Superman whiffs most of the time, and is eventually destroyed. So now the team knows that if you cut power to the pods, they open up. PortalGuy gets a $25 Tim Horton’s gift certificant for his help.

That’s when they discover that Izzy’s mom, who went into the hospital for a “routine procedure” has been kidnapped. Izzy brings both the others to the UNTIL base in Windsor, which is a hive of activity, because it’s not just Izzy’s mom: it’s five agents, all identical, who have been kidnapped. At the hospital, the kidnapper left a note that says “I needed the parts” and a bank safety-deposit key.

At the bank, which is already closed and cordoned off, they discover a present addressed to Izzy. The card says, “Let’s see what you can do.”

Her dad tells her that because she’s directly named, she now has the security clearance, and it’s his wife, dammit. Professor Apocalypse used a great deal of alien tech, and usually could figure out what it did. He thought he had a teleporter—he pushed a junior accountant into it, and she disappeared. So he followed.

Instead, it was a copying machine. Professor Apocalypse found himself to be a pretty young brunette woman with an IQ much lower than it used to be. He/she split, and the UNTIL agents hunting him followed, including Murcheson and four other agents….all of whom became copies of the pretty young brunette woman. Yes, Izzy’s mother used to be a man named Murcheson.

Now Professor Apocalypse (as Thornbird) has kidnapped all of the clones.

A little X-ray vision shows a doll inside, a smaller doll than the ones in the lab, and the X-ray vision seems to have started something electronic in it (according to super hearing)…but it’s not moving. They’re afraid to move it, X-ray it, clairvoyance won’t help because it’s dark inside the box. They get UNTIL to bring the parts for a Faraday cage while they get PortalGuy. They carefully slip the package into the Faraday cage, and PortalGuy opens a path to Lake St. Clair, and Izzy dives down to the bottom, cutting the batteries free with her heat vision, then slicing the doll into little tiny pieces. No bomb inside. Some kind of needle for a biopsy, though. She goes back, looks at the dirt under the hospital, figures out that it’s been recently disturbed….and follows the tunnel back to the Future Foundation.

But if she has a clone who is twentyish, why does she need the others for parts? Ninety-Nine Percent puts the answer together with Immaterial Girl’s earlier comments and realizes that Izzy is the daughter who is reasonably like her genetically, and would be a great place to put a brain from a body that, say, had radiation poisoning from the Atomic Supermen. This is the point where a secret door slides open and reveals a corridor leading off to…a place that clairvoyance and X-ray vision can now show a surgical laboratory. (Almost as if a mystical enchantment had been lifted that was hiding it from view.) The surgical laboratory contains a wasted and dying Thornbird/Izzy’s mom clone in the equivalent to an iron lung; five identical women on surgical tables; five surgical robots poised over them. Immaterial Girl and Hellteen are also there.

Ninety-Nine Percent does part of the wall breakage (they’re not going to go down that corridor), and Izzy does the rest. Thornbird, in a creepy voice says, “If you want your mother to live, all you have to do is give up and be the recipient of my brain,” and starts the surgical robots.

Dragoneye throws a wall between the unconscious victims and the surgical robots, Izzy starts brawling with Hellteen, and Immaterial Girl takes on Dragoneye, going into him and then making part of her body solid. Ninety-Nine Percent concentrates on killing Thornbird’s iron lung (and by extension Thornbird).

To attack the ghost, Dragoneye has to drop the wall, which means Izzy concentrates her movements on rescuing the victims…while Hellteen is whaling on her.

Ninety-Nine Percent and Dragoneye switch (because Ninety-Nine has an attack that affects insubstantial). Sometime after the seams on the iron lung split open from the hammering that Dragoneye is doing, Dragoneye notices switches flipping themselves on the far wall. Sparks are flying from Thornbird’s head, and they hear a Japanese phrase, which Ninety-Nine Percent helpfully translates as “It is done.”

Ninety-Nine finally deals with the ghost who vanishes up Ninety-Nine’s telepathic lance; Hellteen decides he doesn’t have to worry about the victims and lets loose a flame blast that does terrible damage to them, though all the heroes escape. Thornbird is apparently dead…but Ninety-Nine’s clairvoyance shows that the biopod containing the Izzy’s mom clone has opened and the clone is dressing herself in Thornbird armor.

Hellteen goes down quickly after that, and Dragoneye does a healing to stabilize the women who are in bad shape from the howitzer-shell powered flame blast. (In fact, he did two, but that’s because I didn’t understand how healing works. First time it’s really come up.)

Dragoneye rushes upstairs, only to be caught in a fight with the invisible ninja, who is trying to buy the clone Thornbird some time. Ninety-Nine Percent flings her helmet away while Izzy is destroying the surgical robots (lest they hurt the stabilized women). The heroes manage to knock the clone Thornbird unconscious, but her boots take off….Ninety-Nine Percent implants a hidden message using mind control that Thornbird will turn herself in, and Izzy follows at a safe distance to figure out where Thornbird is actually hiding. Hellteen gets a similar mind control message, along with “If Thornbird contacts you, tell Ninety-Nine Percent and then forget you did this.”

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No gaming tonight
Snowstorm!

(Trying to remember the old details about Rapture and the boys, who I’m sure had a group name but I have no idea what it was. “End Days”?)

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Attack of the Atomic Supermen (in brief)
When the personal stuff is gone, all that's left is fighting

Just some quick notes on this week’s adventure—not a complete writeup.

It’s the midst of rush hour on a November afternoon/evening. and the Steel City downtown is (as usual) gridlocked.

Huitzil is in a counselling session between Mom1 and Mom2 precipitated by last session’s events. It turns out that Mom2 is now living with Huitzil, and Huitzil does sometimes have the experience of waking up to find Mom2 watching, to make sure that Huitzil is not being used as a breeder location for elder gods and their minions. The counsellor’s office is right by City Hall, only four or five people-mover stops away from the Sentry building. As is their wont, Huitzil is equipped with the wings, and is starting to suspect that this saving alternate version of Mom has had bad repercussions. Fortunately, this counsellor, Dr. Bashavadra (or “Dr. B”) is the only one in the city who concentrates on side effects of what supers have done (Huitzil got the name from the law company Rolodex).

Dragoneye is going to the Setries building for other reasons (to talk with the Sentries, who are not going to invite him to join in order to keep him from the nefarious plots that the Commander must be plotting for the Sentries. I can’t quite reproduce the reason that the player gave, but Dragoneye is okay with it because his job is to protect Chinatown. Before he enters the building, he is called down by a middle-aged Asian man, who on closer inspection is Japanese. He gives Dragoneye his card (Ken Shibota),. He imports art objects, and he has something with a mystical bent coming in soon, so he wants to know if Dragoneye protects just Chinatown or other areas of the city as well. (He just thinks that only another Asian would protect it propertly; the mystical thing is a bonus, the Chinese thing a minus. He doesn’t know that Ninety-Nine Percent has Japanese ancestry.)

Volt is trapped in a meeting with some PIs who are actually watching him, so he won’t be showing up. Ninety-Nine is working on getting back in good graces with her editors at IO9, and is in a hotel room across town, writing feverishly. Canadian Lass is at the newly-built Future Foundation, trying to figure out why the kids say it’s haunted, and what’s in the room with all the biopods that Ninety-Nine saw, but which is protected by a “Danger: Radiation!” sign and is, in fact, radioactive. None of them will be showing up, though they might be referenced.

Both of them feel a rumbling, perhaps the precursor to an earthquake. Because Dragoneye is outside, he sees the gigantic tunneling machine burst from the ground over in Grand Circus park. Had he seen Thornbird’s tunneling machine in Ottawa, he would recognize it. It is essentially a locomotive, pulling some number of cars. The cars (and the locomotive) have treads on them for when the digging machine is above ground. (It also has the interesting side effect of the digger being slower above ground than when tunneling. It can move at a couple of hundred miles an hour while digging, but on the surface the digger is not pulling it through earth and rock, so it moves only about thirty miles an hour.)

Like a whale breaching, the “locomotive” part of the digger heads way into the air and then falls down. At the park, the locomotive manages to get one of the trailing cars out. This is not true for the one by City Hall, which has to go through cars.

While the counselor and the moms head for the panic room (every counselor specializing in supers work has a panic room), Huitzil runs down the corridor, dives out the window (Strength 5 will do it) and trusts to the wings to open in time.They then get people out of cars in time before the “locomotive digger” breaches high enough to fall down. En route, Huitzil calls for the other members of the Sentries and discovers that Canadian Lass is busy with the exciting threat at the Future Foundation and the others are busy at the other two locations where diggers have appeared. Each digger has three cars.

Dragoneye tells Mr. Shibota to get to cover and flies over. His first action is to try to disable the digger; a blast of dragon’s flame at the treads makes one fall off, but this does not seem to incommode the villains. His bad guys are faster, so the sliding doors on the first car open up and reveal thirty nearly-similar men in red and blue tights. All are athletic, all have blandly similar faces, all have blue-black hair, and all have glowing green eyes. They leap from the car, revealing that they can, in fact, jump higher than would be expected (Leaping 3).

This is about the point where the digger falls on the gasoline tanker. Which, it turns out, was full, spraying gasoline over everything. Bystanders run like the dickens.

Huitzil has no strong attack with which to stop the digger, so they look for a way to open the door and find the button. Inside are two copies of Thornbird, one apparently steering the digger and one handling some other apparatus. Huitzil makes an impassioned, persuasive speech that convinces one of the Thornbirds not to attack. The other one uses a flamethrower. The door, might I remind you, is open to the area with all of the aerosolized gasoline.

The FOOOOMP that follows is lessened by the fact that gasoline is not very flammable until it is aerosolized, so the explosion is merely awful and not lethal to everyone is the surrounding six blocks. The little that leaks into the compartment with the open door breaks in half the pacifist Thornbird, who (it turns out) was a robot, and damages the other one’s knee.

Over in the park, Dragoneye has thirty of these atomic supermen to deal with. Ten of them start pulling the digger; ten head over to the pylon of the People Mover, and ten look at Dragoneye in an eerie way that indicates some kind of telepathic teamwork…and the green beams lance out of their eyes and hit Dragoneye.

(Fortunately, their eyebeams, even when they’re working in concert like that, are weaker than their punches…only as strong as a tank shell or so. If they get one level of success as their best, then it’s damage 8; if they get three levels of success, it’s damage 11. The Teamwork advantage gives them +5 to hit when they are using team attacks.)

The slow process of whittling Dragoneye down begins.

Huitzil takes care of the second Thornbird robot quickly. Alas, the digger cars have opened in the meantime, and each car held about thirty of them, so ninety are marching is a lovely 9 abroad by 10 deep rectangle up the street. Screaming and running is happening all around, and a second spark will probably get the rest of the gasoline….

Dragoneye uses his area effect Dragonroar and discovers that it works most of the time (it’s saved by Will, and these guys have sucky Will saves)…when damaged, these guys turn into grayish-green dust and blow away. The others never get out of their cars because Dragoneye takes care of them, with help of….

Captain Fantasy!

Yes, the superhero whose powers totally depend on a gullible audience arrives. He can fly. He can have whatever power he wants if enough people believe him. And, after the Atomic Supermen smoke him until there is only a pair of boots on the ground, turns out to be immortal. It takes about four minutes for him to come back from the dead….Dragoneye’s healing shortens that tremendously.

(Whether it was right or not, I added Dragoneye’s 6 ranks of healing to Captain Fantasy’s high level of Immortality to get the time to revive him. It was in excess of 19, so each time Captain Fantasy got smoked, Dragoneye brought him back for the next round.)

As various Atomic Supermen were defeated in the park, others left their business of pulling the digger or destroying the People Mover pylon to deal with the upstart superheroes.

Eventually, Dragoneye convinced Captain Fantasy that he had to use his super nova blast, which the Captain replied he had never used before because it was Too Dangerous. It turned out that enough bystanders in the People Mover believed in the good Captain that he was able to generate a fine explosion centered on himself that destroyed him (again).

Dragoneye then made sure that various supermen could not get out of the other two digger cars, and with Captain Fantasy flew off to help Huitzil, only a few stops away.

In the meantime, Huitzil had realized that the Multiattack option could be used as a kind of suppressive fire, so they were destroying four or five Atomic Supermen at a time. Huitzil also rescued a small girl who was trying to help Huitzil (Huitzil at first hoped the girl had powers, and then got her away to the police barricade). Curiously, the cop who received her said, “You’re okay in my book, Huitzil, no matter what people say.”

Between the three of them, Dragoneye, Huitzil, and Captain Fantasy dealt with the remaining Atomic Supermen, though at the cost of killing Captain Fantasy (again) when he tried to stretch too far, and not enough people believed he had stretching….

Izzy’s tale at the Freedom Foundation:

What Izzy discovered:

1. The place was said to be haunted because there was in fact a ghost there, staying in the atomic radiation room with the biopods. (The room actually is radioactive: every superman in the pods is generating radiation.)

2. The ghost turned out to be Thornbird’s “daughter,” the Immaterial Girl, who has a hatred of Izzy that surpasseth immediate understanding….she said Izzy was as close as Thornbird could come to a “real” child.

3. Her brother was also there to fight Izzy because, hey, he does what his older sister says.

4. Izzy had told the Future Foundation kids to get away, so it was just Izzy/Canadian Lass and Immaterial Girl/Hellteen, but gosh, there was lots of equipment to use to pummel people. Upstairs there was probably something that would affect ghosts.

Hellteen is about as tough as Izzy is, but more likely to be distracted by Izzy’s looks. Izzy can lift more dead weight than Hellteen, but they do the same damage on punches. Hellteen is impervious to small arms fire, but can’t fly. His Initiative is way higher than Izzy’s, though nowhere near Huitzil’s.

5. One biopod was different from the others in that it had a metric fuckton of more radiation shielding. It contained someone that Izzy recognized…her mother…at about age twenty.

6. Ripping up biopods to use as weapons meant that she also had to deal with the biopod inhabitants….radioactive supermen. I don’t think it’s a decision Izzy would have made twice, if she made it even once.

7. All that Huitzil knows is from phoning Izzy to ask for some help on the whole Atomic Supermen thing, and Izzy said, “Kinda busy here. She says I’m Thornbird’s niece or something.”

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Remember, Remember, the End of October

One of Huitzi’s blind spots has been a general lack of ranged attacks. Given their mobility usually an issue but after the problems with the Skull in the last session, I decided to buy Throwing Mastery just in case:

“You have a +1 damage bonus with thrown weapons per
rank in this advantage. You can also throw normally harmless objects—playing cards, pens, paper clips, and so
forth—as weapons […]”.

Normally I am playing catch up with Huitzil, addressing issues that never come again but this time? Hilarity ensued.

The session opens with Volt’s Secret ID being sued by a tenant over alleged lousy upkeep on a building. Volt countersues. Shortly thereafter he notices he is being watched by PIs. Annoying. He sets his PIs on guys spying on Volt and also EMPs all their toys from time to time.

The group gets a name for the magical mercenaries: the October Men.

Dragoneye knows about a night club for magical and supernatural types, the Third Eye. It is strictly neutral ground so it might be a safe place to look for information. Dragoneye brings Huitzil and Volt as muscle (99 Per Cent was busy). Since mundanes cannot see the place, Dragoneye has to guide the other two.

Once inside what looks like an abandoned Warehouse to normal eyes, the trio find themselves in a lavish nightclub.Also, the elderly doorman is now a 9ft troll. Waitstaff are mostly ghosts for some reason.

One of Dragoneye’s pals, a 7 foot-tall angel, approaches with an invitation to lunch. Dragoneye takes advantage of the opportunity and does some digging. The angel does not know a lot but they do know the October Men have a connection to a group of immortal poker players who meet in the Third Eye’s backroom.

Dolores the gorgon batend knows a bit more, although her geas limits what she can say. She doesn’t ask who is at the game and never asks in case that would cause problems.

As Dragoneye is chatting, Huitzil spends their time watching the crowd watch Huitzil and their pals. Huitzil spots a rumpled, elfy guy – Darren Mcgavin with pointy ears – making a hurried, hushed phone call. When Huitzil asks Volt what Volt’s Very Special Senses can pick up, Volt can tell phone is not actually on. Either the guy is nuts or the phone is not a regular phone.

It turns out there is a poker game tonight and Dragoneye is immortal enough that he could get in could get in.

Elf Darren Mcgavin heads to the men’s room, Huitzil declines to follow but does take advantage of the opportunity to vanish into the crowd. When Elf Darren Mcgavin comes out of the washroom, huitzil shadows him. Elf Darren Mcgavin heads to a back room with a poker table, an altar, a multicultural dais and a small theology library. There is an alcove to one side; no EDG, though. A woman teleports into the alcove, explaining where EDG went. Huitzil slips back out without being seen.

Fast forward to 9:00 PM.

As the group’s known immortal (Huitzil is too but has never been in a circumstance where it would matter and so has no idea), Dragoneye plays. Volt and Huitzil are allowed to watch.

Thanks to a discussion about jurisdictions and pocket universes, Huitzil gets into a discussion about magical law. They are offered a phone number. No idea who or what is at the other end.

The dealer is normal, but nothing else is. The stakes are bizarre, everything from demonic weapons to beating magical hearts. Dragoneye hands over a pike he took from a Chinese demon but only gets ten chips; because Volt is renting space to a Chinese hell, artifacts from there are more common and the prices are down.

The Dealer does offer to buy Huitzil’s gender fluidity but Huitzil says no.

All players have glamours cast on them so they look like the members of Steel City’s city council.

After the game has been going for a while, giving the immortals a chance to show that they are all murderous head cases off and on, a new player shows up and is dealt in. He is almost certainly Assurance Mather. At any rate he makes it clear he tried to have Dragoneye killed. He also makes it pretty clear he was hired to set that up. Without saying the name, Mather hints that the Commander hates mages because magic users are immune to the Controller’s powers. does not use machine. Basically admits that is who hired him. Mather loses heavily, deliberately, and leaves.

Huitzil misses some of this because they get an urgent call from their mom, who caught Mom2 in bed with dad. Dad claims it was an case of mistaken identity but Mom1 is upset. Drama ensues.

Dragoneye cashes in his chips, a few more than he had at the beginning of the game. The group then considers exit strategies. Mather knew the group was at the Third Eye. The October Men probably know too. The trio could try the teleporter or the front door. The teleporter could be spelled to turn everyone inside out so front door it is.

Not being idiots, everyone takes suitable defensive measures before stepping out into the inevitable ambush. Surprise! There’s an inevitable ambush!

The good guys are Volt, Dragoneye and Huitzil. Apparently Bookbinder and the kid were busy but otherwise the October Men brought the whole team: Hexenwolf, the Flying Skull, Sister Sanguine, and Springheel Jack.

On the grounds that the Skull can curse their wings away, Huitzil makes good and sure they are right next to the Skull. The Skull is small and difficult to hit, although not difficult enough. It’s also pretty tough and Huitzil begins to think about what you can do an object the weight of a magic skull.

I will say this: the October Men were having trouble connecting but they did manage to stay on target, mostly focusing on the person they were hired to kill and not the two body guards.

Although Dragoneye manages to set the nun back on her heels with a bit of dragon-breathe, Sister Sanguine manages to stay conscious, at least for the moment; she flicks blood at Huitzil, which has no other effect than to provoke an angry shout from Huitzil that throwing blood around is a good way to spread hepatitis.

Volt tries to zap Hexenwolf but the shape-shifter manages to twist out of the way and then inexplicably collapses to the ground. This is because the wolf’s spirit can shed its body – no surprise, given past events – but this bold gambit is a mistake: the ghost-wolf’s attacks slide off Volt’s defenses and its mortal body is right there for Volt to grab.

While Huitzil uses the Skull as a speed bag, they look around, considering targets (actually, the Skull rolled very badly at this point but rather than have them go down so early, the GM gave Huitzil a hero point).

Since it was clear his allies couldn’t handle the trio on their own, Springfield Jack stops watching from the sidelines. Dragoneye finds himself enveloped in blue hellfire, not enough to take him down but definitely something that gets the mage’s full attention. Interestingly, Dragoneye does not take a shot at the demon but the Very Bad Nun. Just like last time, it turns out she can’t take a hit and she collapses.

One of the ways you can use hero points in M&M is to get two actions in one round, so I took advantage of this. After Huitzil distracts the Skull with a flurry of completely ineffective blows, they backhand the Skull in the direction of Hexenwolf.

Natural 1s turn up just as often as 20s.

The Skull vanishes through the just-opened door of the club and out of sight.

Volt does his best to keep Hexenwolf busy, frying the wolf’s limp body and then as the soul slips back into it, trapping the wolf in one of his “taser nets”. Hexenwolf is strong enough to tear his way out but is slowed enough that Huitzil and Dragoneye can get some shots in.

In an attempt to keep the wolf trapped, Volt throws another taser snare at it. Look, another natural 1! The electrical fields crackle around Dragoneye but dissipate harmlessly. Springheel Jack takes advantage of the distraction to blast the mage, this time connecting solidly. There’s a pop as the Skull teleports behind Dragoneye but unlike the demon, the Skull’s curses cannot overcome the mage’s eldrich defenses.

A shaky Hexenwolf bounds to other side of road, hoping to get enough time to catch their breathe. Dragoneye tosses a spell the wolf’s way and when it misses, Huitzil flies over and hits the wolf so hard his ghost briefly leaves his body.

Since the Skull is small and hard to hit, Volt sets off an explosion centered on the Skull. Alas, the Skull darts behind Dragoneye and uses him as a human shield. Seeing Dragoneye stagger from the explosion, Springheel Jack sets off one of his own. Volt is close enough to be affected along with Dragoneye but shrugs it off. The mage, not so much. Also, the Skull not so much, which really pisses the Skull off.

Figuring the racket ball idea has to work eventually, Huitzil backhands the Skull again, this time at the demon. It’s a clean miss on the demon but the Skull makes a pleasing sound of two pool balls being clacked together as it bounces off the pavement.

One of the things that distinguishes the bad guys from the good guys is that people who are just it for themselves can be rat-bastards. Springheel Jack does a head count, realizes that it is now three of the Sentries to only two October Men and since he is not that fond of the Skull, he grabs Sister Sanguine and leaps away across the rooftops.

Shouting imprecations at his craven ally, the Skull also flees, which is the point when the GM discovered the Skull only has three points of flight, about 15 miles an hour. Although he gets a head start as the trio crack up at how slowly he moves and while he does make the best use of his terrain that he can, he isn’t good at hiding and he can’t move fast enough to run away.

Another point of XP, spend on another level of throwing mastery.

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Dragoneye--or Dragondeath!
The obligatory Hallowe'en episode

As Dragoneye floats over the rooftops of Steel City’s China Town, he sees an older man beckoning him from the ground. The amiable old fellow hands a kid named Jasper Thompson to return to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. Assuming little Jasper is lost, Dragoneye accepts, picks up Jasper and floats back into the sky.

Instead of giving Dragoneye directions, Jasper begins to explain how his parents were murdered, which is brutally. This is off-putting but somehow Dragoneye cannot stop listening, which is how the wolf manages to get into a position where it can leap up and latch onto Dragoneye’s leg.

The good news is, Hexenwolf didn’t manage to actually hurt Dragoneye; Dragoneye’s defenses are very good. The bad news is, now Dragoneye has a psychopathic boy in his arms and a wolf clamped onto his leg. And things are going to get worse.

While Jasper starts attaching jumper cables to Dragoneye, Dragoneye drops Jasper (who manages to hold onto Dragoneye on his own) and hits the speed dial for the Sentries. Dragoneye explains the situation to 99 Per Cent despite the notable distraction of improvised electrified nipple clamps and being gnawed on by Hexenwolf, then hangs up his phone to concentrate on his immediate problems.

These particular bad guys can commit exposition during an assault and they do, making it clear someone wants Dragoneye dead.

Bad luck for Dragoneye: Volt and Canadian Lass are both busy so it’s just 99 Per Cent and Huitzil to the rescue.

Hexenwolf turns into bear, hoping the extra weight will haul Dragoneye out of the sky. No luck and his attempt to just claw Dragoneye is equally unsuccessful. Since the bear hasn’t managed to connect and Jasper has, Dragoneye concentrates on Jasper. Neither Dragoneye nor Jasper seems to have any trouble connecting with the other. The problem is, if Dragoneye and Jasper knock each other out, Dragoneye will be easy meat for Hexenwolf.

Dragoneye is still conscious when 99 Per Cent and Huitzil arrive. On the assumption that the great big bear is a much more serious issue than the rather harmless looking kid, Huitzil attacks from out of the sun and not only knocks Hexenwolf off Dragoneye’s leg but out cold entirely. Sadly, Dragoneye is distracted – semiconscious, really – thanks to all the electricity pouring through him from Jasper’s jumper cables and is in no way properly appreciative of what just happened.

Jasper’s mind is no match for 99 Per Cent’s brain-crushy-thingie but as Jasper tumbles to the ground, 99 Per Cent hears chanting and sees drops of blood appear from nowhere to land on Hexenwolf. Who wakes up.

For those keeping score, this is the second time Huitzil one-shotted Hexenwolf and the second time a team-mate then woke him back up. It’s like Hexenwolf gets worfed frequently.

Dragoneye, who usually can heal others but not himself, suddenly realizes how to focus whatever the basis of his magic is on himself (gamespeak: he stunts regeneration from healing) while moving away from Jasper.

Huitzil takes the time to look around and sees what looks like an evil nun, a bear, a horrified old couple who are probably innocent bystanders, a remarkably calm 1 black woman with ereader, a floating skull, and a well-dressed devil (or possible a demon). Huitzil recognizes the bear but they commits the sin of profiling by assuming the evil nun, the floating skull and the devil (or possibly demon) are all definitely baddies and the calm woman probably is one too and shares what they noticed with everyone else, thus averting the usual “Huitzil forgets to share mission critical information” thing.

Since most of the other side cannot fly, Huitzil tells Dragoneye to go high while Huitzil plays distraction. This works except for the part where Huitzil misses the nun and also nobody is distracted.

The Skull turns out to be a mage of some kind and hits Huitzil with “the curse of Icarus”, which demonstrates to Huitzil just why it might be worth paying down the “accessable” part of the wings design. On the way to the pavement, Huiztil aims for the nun. No luck, although it was close.

It turns out the bookish lady has the power to throw people into stories and she can do this on whole groups of people at once. 99 Per Cent and Dragoneye vanish in a sparkle of narrativium but Huitzil manages to resist the effect (I don’t remember how because I cannot recall what that attack targets), which means 99 Per Cent and Dragoneye are off to Castle Dracula while Huitzil has an evil nun, a bear, a horrified old couple who are probably innocent bystanders and who are also a lot farther way than they were a couple of seconds ago, a remarkably calm black woman with ereader, a floating skull, and a well-dressed devil (or possible a demon) all to themselves.

“Welcome to Castle Dra-” and then the Balkan-looking man rolls to one side as 99 Per Cent’s telekinetic hammer pulverizes the paving stones Dracula had been standing on. Dragoneye breathes flame at the vampire, who suddenly decides he needs to be somewhere else, transforms into a bat and flutters off. The flames have no effect on Dracula and Dragoneye wonders if this is all an illusion.

Harker Westenra shows up but in the Sentry’s tradition of never cooperating with the bad guy’s plan, 99 Per Cent just chases him off. As the harried looking lawyer vanishes, wolves howl.

Huitzil begins with a traditional foot hooked in other-person’s-belt-so-the-short-person-can-get-enough-height, knee-to-the-face for the nun, who collapses on the spot. The well-dressed lady does … something to try to keep the nun conscious but it doesn’t work (it was luck power stuff and involved dueling dice rolls). What it does do is convince Huitzil that they have not just committed an egregious assault on an innocent nun who just happens to look kind of sinister. Yay!

Although the ease with which the nun fell over is kind of worrying. And maybe the woman with the ereader is just a good Samaritan. But the nun looks really shifty and since Huitzil is pretty sure the nun is the party cleric, they give the nun another boot to the head, just to keep them down.

The Skull says something about “the Curse of Thor”. Huitzil isn’t sure what that it but they are sure it smarts quite a lot. The Skull is way the heck up out of reach so while Hexenwolf swings and misses, Huitzil either commits another egregious assault on a good Samaritan or whittles the other side down some more with a flurry of knees and elbows to the black woman, who turns out to take a punch as well as the nun did. Or the shapeshifter, so at least there’s reason to think the other side just brought along a lot of people with glass jaws.

99 Per Cent begins demolish Castle Dracula on the reasoning that probably the bad guys’ plan didn’t involve her ripping their real estate to pieces. Never do what the bad guys want! Shoot the hostage if you have to!

Dragoneye can tell the castle itself is magic, although the area around it is not. He begins stripping the magic from the castle. As wet, crunchy, solicitery sounds indicate that Harker found the wolves, Dragoneye realizes he and 99 Per Cent are trapped in a story. Dragoneye also manages to deduce that Dracula’s wives are probably somewhere about and by somewhere about I mean latched onto him like demonic lampreys.

99 Per Cent covers Dragoneye with a force dome to buy him time to recover from being gnawed on. Dracula, being Wrong Genre Savvy, tries to take control of 99 Per Cent’s mind, which is about as effective as tossing marshmallows at the USS Enterprise.

The Skull suggests that everyone who is still awake simply attack Huitzil all at once and to make that easier, he casts the “Igneous Curse”, which turns Huitzil into stone. Not all the way, though, and Huitzil is confident the effects cannot stand up to their regeneration. They still have enough mobility to spin out of the way of the Devil or possibly Demon’s flame breath.

While Dracula’s wives can dole out a fair amount of damage and they do manage to crack the force dome, they’re just minions and they go splut as soon as 99 Per Cent brings their telekinetic tomahawk to bear (although I think one got aerosoled by Dragoneye’s dragonroar).

Huitzil tries to bury a stony foot in the devil’s groin but sadly fails at their exploration of cross-dimensional comparative anatomy. The Skull tries to finish turning Huitzil to stone and asks why, since they weren’t the target and Dragoneye is gone, Huitzil refuses to let the Skull and his friends leave. Huitzil spins out of the way of more devil flame and points out that A: they aren’t doing anything to keep Team Magical Sparkle Creampuff from running away, and B: Huitzil is pretty sure that Huitzil is able to take on the Skull and all his pals all by themselves and offers to provide proof of this. The effect of theboast is somewhat undermined when Hexenwolf manages to slice Huitzil’s side wide open but only a little.

As their flesh flows back into an unblemished whole, Huitzil openly mocks the entire group of baddies for relying on the Skull. The Skull is the only one who presents a real challenge; the others are just bystanders and bleeders. Then since Hexenwolf made the mistake of not exploiting his greater mobility and is next to Huitzil 2, Huitzil pops him one nicely between the eyes with a stone fist.

The Skulls suggests Plan B: rather than keep providing Huitzil with punching bags, just leave. The devil grabs the librariany woman, Hexenworf grabs the nun, some old guy in a teddy bear costume who somehow managed to stay out of sight until now runs off with Jasper and while Huitzil does give chase, being partly made of stone really slows them down.

Once the baddies are out of sight, Huitzil reverts to flesh. There is no condition their regeneration cannot overcome! Or perhaps the Skull just revoked his curse but that does not occur to Huitzil.

Back in storyland, 99 Per Cent and Dragoneye methodically find and destroy all of Dracula’s coffins. The vampire himself is forced by the rising sun to retreat to his sarcophagus, easy meat for the two supers. As soon as the stake goes in, the pair appears in China Town.

All this leaves the question “who wants Dragoneye dead?” Happily, 99 Per Cent’s parents are well connected and they can provide an answer to that: the Sons of Salem, an Anti-Magic hate group. It’s kind of odd that they’d hire one group of mainly magic using types to go after a sorcerer but perhaps they hoped one way or another the magic-user herd would be thinned.

(Another way to look at it is the population of mages would be selected for stronger members, maybe not 100% good from the point of view of the SoS)

The specific name that comes up in connection with the Sons of Salem is “Assurance Mather”. A quick call to the Confederacy of Justice gets more information: Mather is an immortal and a real pain in the ass. He is also apparently not in any way familiar with modern methods of obfuscating either his identity or his home address.

[The GM forgot last time’s cliffhanger so next time we find out what happened]

1: Presumably these sort of superhuman fights are happening often enough some people have become jaded.

2: Characters with a lot of movement and one particular advantage can move, hit and move, which is awesome when Huitzil and Izzy do it and bloody annoying when the other side does.

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A Mark In Time

The group is home in the 21st century! All is well. Except it is
November and the group has been missing for five months.

Huitzil makes a mental note that the next trip into the past they have to make sure to send a letter to their parents warning them not to worry about the five month gap.

It turns out the group has arrived back in Steel City in the middle of a bank robbery spree by some ambitious supervillain, apparently a speedster. So far they’ve hit 14 banks and since they seem to be going for a world record, and the record is 24, they’re not finishing any time soon.

It seems that when the party vanished, the Future Foundation stepped in, with some success. 99 calls the Future Foundation and some kid answers the phone. The Perp is a guy called Speed Demon, more a gadget based time control guy than a true speedster.

The mayor apparently covered for the team, claiming they were on a secret mission. The kid also mentions that Thornbird has been mentoring the Future Foundation. Someone named Mr Brand has been tutoring Kid Singularity, who got kicked out of school. Deal with that later.

Rather uncharacteristically, the team comes up with a plan first: Huitzil will go in and play bait. Dragoneye and 99 Per Cent will use their ability to create barriers to contain the speedster. Volt will use their entangle if possible. Izzy will fill in as necessary and will also be the team’s eyes in the sky, using her extended senses.

Speed Demon drops by a radio station to explain his goal: 30 banks in one day. For some reason he wants to leave a legacy and this is the one he hit on. Just for fun, he promises to hit a specific bank at some point.

The Future Foundation has a model for Speed Demon’s pattern and either the model is good or lucky; the team encounters him at the first bank they try.

So the plan goes pretty well right up to the moment it is put into action. Speed Demon arrives, does the laughing villain thing and knocks the bank manager out for not having the money ready in garish bags. Huitzil pops Speed Demon a nice one. He quivers oddly, like he is made from flavoured gelatin desert product and divides into two. Gosh, this wasn’t in the briefing notes. Canadian Lass clips Speed Demon in passing and yay, now there’s three of him. Volt at least manages to hit one with a tazer snare and Dragoneye casts a bubble over all of the Speed Demons.

And Huitzil. But at least it’s dark so they don’t have to look at all the Speed Demons pummelling them. And ha ha ha, while Huitzil cannot see in the dark, the Speed Demons have IR goggles and they can see Huitzil just fine.

On the off chance the duplicates are weaker than the original, Huitzil lashes out at where they think one duplicate might be, connecting so hard the duplicate is knocked out cold. Shame that this created two more duplicates.

Almost everyone on the team except Huitzil has special senses. Volt’s tell him the Speed Demons are all wearing big mojo tech of some kind. Volt shares this via the team mental link.

Around this time, a guy in a dark suit approaches Canadian Lass and introduces himself as a Time Cop. He tells her he knows her dad. They chat.

Having paid the points to turn what used to be a stunt into a full time slot in his power array, Volt sets off an EMP centered on the middle of the bubble. Goodbye, Huitzil’s phone number, hrm, five? And also all but one of the time vests. And all the computers with 60 feet of Speed Demon. 99 Per Cent makes a point of repeatedly blaming this on Speed Demon.

Dragoneye opens a hole in the barrier big enough for him to do the Dragonroar thing through. This has no effect on Huitzil 1 but it thins out the non-powered Speed Demon duplicates nicely. Unfortunately the original manages to get out the holes and zip away from the bank. This leaves just one non-powered Speed Demon still up and moving and he runs into Huitzil’s elbow.

The guy in the black suit looks pained. He is Fenris Ferris, Time Cop! and he is here to stop Speed Demon from destroying space time with his time vest. The team was supposed to be part of his plan but they’ve been missing until now. Ferris thinks the reason the return was so far off is the rips in time the vest causes drew the group to this moment.

The Duplicates are actually from parallel universes. Speed Demon himself is a refugee from a parallel universe who likes to raid this universe for Stuff. A side effect of his powers is that he seems to age at an accelerated rate and now that his parents have died he is obsessed with his legacy. Thus the spree.

Dragoneye calls the radio show to report that Speed Demon didn’t manage to rob the bank, only steal a woman’s purse and that if Speed Demon claims to have robbed the bank, he is lying.

99 Per Cent (?) calls the Future Foundation. The kid wants to email the list of possible targets but since Volt killed all the mobile phones this won’t work. 99 Per Cent gets passed onto Mr. Brand, who provides two possible lists, one that Thornbird had her hand in and one untainted. The team decides to go with the untainted one.

Meanwhile, some of the Future Foundation kids confront Speed Demon and get their heads handed to them, metaphorically; Speed Demon seems to be one of those wonderful crooks who does not casually kill people. Unfortunately the kids do well enough there are two Speed Demons by the time the Sentries catch up with him at a bank.

Try two:

Huitzil tries to sweep one of the Speed Demons’ legs from under them and fails abjectly. This does distract the pair long enough for 99 Per Cent to create a barrier around all three of them and unlike the first one, this one is transparent. Izzy focuses on getting people out of the bank. Volt’s EMP has no visible effect on Speed Demon but it does give 99 Per Cent a chance to convince everyone in the bank it was Speed Demon who just caused millions of dollars damage.

I am not 100% sure the cost-benefit ratio was in the team’s favour this time around.

Speed Demon manages to bruise Huitzil briefly but of course this had no long term effect. This put them within arms length of Huitzil so abandoning the ideas about immobilizing Speed Demon, Huitzil decides to try to tear the vest off one of the Speed Demons. This doesn’t work but there’s an odd spark and suddenly the light turns red from the perspective of Huitzil and the Speed Demons. To everyone else, it looks like everyone in the bubble vanished. At first it seems like Huitzil dropped out of the mind link but then it becomes apparent there is an unintelligible mental whine, like a psychic mosquito.

99 Per Cent makes her field into mesh so sound can go through. Volt drops another EMP into the bubble with no obvious effect, but Dragoneye’s roar does managed to leave Huitzil dazed. Inconsiderately, the Speed Demons both shrug the roar off.

While one of the Speed Demons attacks the barrier with the old vibrating hand trick, the other ineffectively pummels Huitzil. Figuring that they were on the right track, Huitzil grabs Speed Demon’s vest again. Both Huitzil and the Speed Demon roll natural 20s in the contest of strength but Huitzil is much stronger and tears the vest off their opponent. Huitzil barely has time for a vainglorious shout of triumph before they are sucked through a hole in space and time across the dimensions.

Because Huitzil had been thinking about warning their mom about the whole vanishing thing, the dying vest takes Huitzil to their mom or at least a version of their mom. Call her SpareMom. SpareMom lives in a universe being invaded by Lovecraftian horrors. Two of them are in the process of trying to attack SpareMom. Violence ensues.

Back in familiar reality, Volt finally manages to fry the last powered Speed Demon’s vest and once that’s gone, he’s easy meat. They hand him over to the Time Cop, who very considerately gives them a there-and-back-again device to retrieve Huitzil. They find a panting Huitzil, clothes shredded, standing over two dead horrors.

Things are very bad in this dimension and while 99 Per Cent has “save world from invasion by horrors” on her bucket list, the locals have a plan to seal off the infestation and if the team does not leave now, they never will. SpareMom comes along for the ride since everyone she knows is dead.

Except maybe SpareHuitzil. Don’t think about the uses to which Horrors could put someone who cannot die.

The team decides to drop by their HQ, where they find some cleaners from Molly Maid just leaving. Thornbird (who has no criminal record or warrants in the US because SAT does not talk to UNTIL) has legged it but on the assumption the bad guy always leaves a note, the group looks for a note. Except it is not a note but a creepy doll like the talking atom bomb in Ottawa. After flying it out to the lake, Izzy discovers it’s not a bomb but a messenger. Thornbird apologises, explains that she tries to keep things organized but it would be best if the team didn’t go into the HQ’s basement.

Of course 99 Per Cent can use her clairvoyance to look into the basement. The basement is filled with biopods of the sort you could store clone or stormers or Things Humans Were Not Meant to Know in. And they are all opening.

1: Because I keep rolling high every time there’s a Will based save, Huitzil believes they have unusually high mental defense. Actually, I think they are the second lowest in the group.

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It's Wartime--Things Happen
It's Wartime--Things Happen

Thinking quickly, Huitzil explains that they are so intent on justice that they harried the miscreants to hell itself! Sadly, the Yama King explains while that’s very nice, he’s going to kill everyone because you have to be dead to be in his court and here everyone is. The Yama King is a bit of a dick.

Huitzil assures the Yama King the PCs have documents allowing them to visit hell. The only problems are the pass is forged, which Huitzil forgot, but more importantly it’s at the top of the pit with Volt, who cannot fly and who is unwilling to jump into the not-so-bottomless pit.

It turns out the demons can teleport.

Once down, Volt hands the pass over. The Yama King gets distracted by the fact Volt is insubstantial which the Yama King thinks must mean Volt is dead. Since Volt has committed no crimes, the Yama King tries very hard to send Volt on his way to his next incarnation. Volt only manages to worm out of this by turning solid, proving that he is alive.

The pass passes, apparently, but even after the situation is explained the Yama King is unwilling to to travel with the group since the August Emperor of Jade has decreed that weird ‘timey wimey’ stuff is off limits to such as the Kings and any way this particular one is very busy directing people to the correct court and/or fate.

The Yama King excuses himself to go deal with urgent business involving the Monkey King, although not so urgent the Yama King lacks time to complain about the Monkey King. Muttering something like “I really hate that guy”, he heads off into an adjoining room.

While Ubermench and Canadian Lass are simply out cold, Hexenwolf is a smear on the floor. His chatty shade appears; death is nothing new to him and neither is this court, although it has no hold over him. He walks towards the light and his next incarnation. There is no way this will come back to haunt the characters.

Now that’s too late, Magister Angle explains that where the pit goes changes and the PCs have a time limit before the exit vanishes from where they are.

99 Per Cent uses the mind link to wake Izzy.

Whatever the Monkey King business is, it involves an Unearthly commotion. Investigation reveals that Lucky Lass has stolen one of the other Yama King’s sigils of officer – a scythe – and is doing a champion job of trying to kill Yama King. The King insists he has the situation under control until she nearly takes his arm off, at which point he reluctantly accepts the PCs’ help.

Izzy races off up the pit to grab 99 Per Cent and Dragoneye while Huitzil, Volt and the Yama King square off with Lucky Lass. It is very, very clear that in the few minutes she was out of the PC’s site, Lucky got souped up somehow; after the first pass, the only attack to affect her was the area affect one that couldn’t miss.

Also, various demons attack Lucky but they’re mooks and none of them roll a natural 20.

Then things begin to go even more wrong: Huitzil lands a flurry of blows but Lucky just rolls with them, unaffected. Vanishing, she reappears behind Volt, who remembers as the scythe buries itself in his back that he forgot to ghost once he proved his bone fides to the Yama King. Dragoneye lets out a mighty area affect attack that only manages to blow the Yama King off his feet and while Volt is still composed enough to go insubstantial, the bolt of electricity he sends Lucky’s way somehow manages to ground out on a nearby metal object.

Huitzil decides to take a more aggressive approach, sacrificing defense for offense. This time it seems to have an effect. Perhaps distracted, or just not expecting this sort of attack, Lucky lets the stolen scythe slip as Canadian Lass reveals that her breathe weapon can suck as well as blow.

Canadian Lass is the only one who notices the amulet around Lucky’s neck.

The Yama King has just struggled to his feet when Lucky appears in front of him and snatches his staff of office away from him. The Yama King barely has time for a horrified “No!” when Dragoneye’s next attempt to take Lucky down blows the King ass over teakettle.

Maybe it’s not Lucky the King should worry about….

The staff lets Lucky control the demons. This is annoying.

The mind link – which 99 Per Cent in no way uses to influence the rest of the party onto the path of DARKNESS! – allows the PC to coordinate an attack that leaves Lucky trapped in one of Volt’s snares. Huitzil snatches the amulet, careful not to disrupt the crackling electric snare.

As soon as their hand closes on the amulet, Huitzil can hear a charming, seductive voice. The voice begins to suggest a deal Huitzil cannot refuse but it barely gets a few phrases in before Huitzil rejects the deal. Huitzil’s a lawyer, they know better than to trust a supernatural contract.

There was some snarking at this point about Huitzil’s negotiation tactics, which involve assuming whatever the other side says is a trick and that the best reaction is overwhelming force as the other side’s negotiator is inhaling. It’s not entirely untrue.

The amulet slips out of Huitzil’s fingers and takes a lucky bounce towards Lucky, blocked by one of 99 Per Cent’s psychic barriers. The amulet keeps trying to convince the PCs to just let the King vanish right up to the moment Izzy crushes it under foot.

Canadian lass carefully considers how to get the staff away from Lucky without breaking the snare. Huitzil helpfully points out that Izzy could just push her finger into Lucky’s brain without risking breaking the snare. Canadian Lass rejects this on the grounds she isn’t a killer and while she does that Huitzil suddenly begins to wonder if Michigan’s Stand Your Ground laws really extend into a Chinese Hell in 1941. Plus Lucky is kind of helpless….

Realizing it is only a matter of time before she loses the staff,
Lucky lass tells the demons that regardless what happens with the staff, she is their true ruler and they are not to believe the frauds who will follow. She teleports away but the staff stays behind, firmly held by Izzy.

Dragoneye notices his powers have vanished. His suspicion is the current Dragoneye, fighting the Japanese in Shanghai, blocked his access somehow.

With Lucky gone, the demons are split on attacking or obeying Canadian Lass, now in possession of both the scythe and the staff. While she dithers what to do, shadowy figures emerge from her, dressed in court robes. They begin judging the shades of the dead. It seems that anyone who has the regalia will be shaped to fulfill the duties of the bearer…

Rather than be assimilated into a Yama King, Izzy returns the staff to the Yama King. Restored to full power, the King heals quickly, which is when an angry and confused Angle, having handled the tentacle invasion for all we know shows up to unleash his power on the Yama King. Izzy gets in the way and the eldrich energies wash off Canadian Lass with no effect that the party is aware of.

The group leaves before the pit closes and for some reason the Yama King comes along. In an interesting gambit to calm the irrational Angle down, the Yama King summons Izzy’s great-grandfather. Well, what actually happens is the King summons 99 Per Cent’s great-grandmother but since she’s currently in flagrente with Izzy’s great-grandfather, he comes along for the ride. Things get kind of awkward and the phrase “it’s wartime! Things happen!” tossed around.

Also, the party keeps up its habit of letting things slip about the future. I am sure that will not come back to haunt the group.

Interesting bit of trivia: 99 Per Cent’s great-grandmother is pregnant and the magical energies in the tower will surely have an effect on her child. This is why 99 Per Cent’s family tends towards weird powers.

Angle has a mad crush on 99 Per Cent’s great-grandmother and seeing her with another man so breaks his spirit that he is willing to calm down. Their purpose served, the two adulters are sent back to where they came from.

The Yama King very grumpily comes with the party when they check to see if a powerless Dragoneye can still work the time travel ring. Angle ends up powering the ring.

After a quick chat with the 9th King, the 1st King arranges to act in a way that will convince the 9th King that the 1st is dead, and then the 1st and Angle heads back to 1941 with the time travel ring. How the 1st squares the time travel with the August Personage, no idea, but that’s just the sort of thing nobody needs to spend any time worrying about.

Before he vanishes, Angle gives us his own ring to give to his successor. The arcane defender of England seems shattered, which goes a long way to explaining how Hexenwolf will kill him in his near future, which maybe the Sentries should have warned Angle about. Another victory for the Sentries!

The party is determined to give the ring to the current Magister until they realize the ring stops machinery. All machinery. Machinery like the nanotechnology that gives Stormers their powers. It could be very useful for dealing with the Commander. On consideration, the Sentries decide that there is no reason to be hasty.

The 9th Yama King and Volt then begin to dicker over the landing Chinatown that the court is occupying. Volt wants to lease land rather than selling it so he can exploit the tourist potential in his secret ID. Some ground rules get hammered out, like the Court is forbidden to grab people off the street anymore. This can only end well!

As the session ends, word comes of a bank robbery in progress.

We got two experience and since I keep rolling crappy, I dropped them into improved critical punchy punchy in the hope that if I improve the odds of a critical to 1/7, maybe crits will come up one time in a hundred.

2 exp: improved critical with punchy punchy.

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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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