Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Aeon S305: Darker Times

Yankee Stadium is surrounded by a giant dome that's preventing entry to the rift in reality. We fuck around on the outside of it for a while, trying to determine what's causing it.

Andre's character knows that it's being created by a Crystal Skull. He previously interacted with it while he was tooling around on a STARS2 team with Mikhail.

We decide to see what AEGIS has for info on the skulls. Veracity crits on a  Tradecraft!+Encyclopedist!+Mastermind!+Detective! check, succeeding by 21 before even figuring the crit. It's not a huge mental leap to realize Legend has one in his office.

Veracity is offered as tribute to grab the skull. It tolerates him, but seems perturbed that its been disturbed. Attempting to use Telepathic Learning on the skull causes Veracity to have a strange out of body experience where he seems to slip into the future for a few seconds. Veracity recognizes it as the knowledge Skull. It can explain how to do things.

Arclight's bitch wife appears on screen, addressing various agencies. Blah blah Martial Law, blah blah MAPS and Federal Authorities and AEGIS will be reporting to her. Veracity is not particularly concerned as he'd both dead and Zeroed.

The Skull takes a moment to learn from Veracity, an experience that's really unpleasant. The skull proclaims that since Veracity has the skull, he's now responsible for saving the world.

As if.
It tells us to get to Yankee Stadium.

We opt to use the portal gun. Mikhail opens a door from Fort Tilden to Yankee Stadium.

The Skull instructs Veracity to touch the wall, and a giant section of the barrier disappears.

People stream out from inside, no longer trapped with the remnants. AEGIS folk are getting civilians out. Veracity feels an explosion happening just before it does- a huge mental blast that causes everything to go grey.

We opt to drive to Yankee Stadium- reserving the Portal Gun for escaping the rift in reality when we secure the load bearing shmuck keeping the reality gash open. Mikhail finds us a big box truck that still runs.

We drive it into the stadium, over a massive pile of remnant corpses. Mikhail manages to get the truck right into Yankee Stadium.

The Cavalary is sucked into some kind of vortex type dealie. Only a woman in strange white clothing, with chalky white clothing and hair reminds.

Digs is tied up next to the rift.

Veracity succeeds by 14 on Tactics.

We opt to run over the chick in white on the assumption that she wouldn't be standing next to our extraction target if she were friendly. She gets thrown up and away from the truck, not clearing the hood in time.

Marsh, Mikhail and Ayumi all fire at the woman, who starts bleeding purple blood. She looks very much dead.

We contemplate wrapping Gunther in explosives to give him some extra oomph as he punches people and draws aggro.

The skull is concerned that Atlanteans have entered the situation.

Marsh stunts to use his illusion to make Gunther appear like the Lady in White, and to make Anya look invisible. Anya patches Terry up.

Gunther valiantly holds off the swarm of Remnants, triggering the explosives we strapped to him and blowing up a ton of Remnants.

We get out of the rift with Terry, and it snaps shut, trapping Gunther inside.

Marsh uses the portal gun and Science! to try and locate Gunther. We spend a great deal of Karma to counteract DOOM. Marsh fires the altered gun and disappears. The gun clatters to the ground and smokes, rendered useless.

Marsh finds himself in the jungle next to Gunther under an orange sky. Then a reptilian roars behind him and the screen fades to black.

The General calls us. He says that AEGIS is done, consumed by a Cancer within. He declares AEGIS exempt from being under the thumb of any world government, and throws in his lot with Sentry as part of the High Command.

So ends Aeon C-Team, for now.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Penumbra Alliance 3: Enter Nox Eternia (Setup and Recap)

The Players:

Mr X: A commando working for a shadowy government agency that doesn't officially exist. Mr. X is possessed by a benevolent (to them) spirit or presence of some kind- a voice that frequently pushes them to commit various acts of violence.

Hannah: An experiment who escaped the clutches of Specte Corp. Hannah has fine turned senses of vision and smell, and is a frightening front line combatant.

Arzela Ascoli: A philanthopist sage, Arzela funded the tricked-out RV the group drives around in, and is a big bibliophile and researcher. Arzela works for the Librarians of Alexandria, attempting to preserve knowledge of the occult.

Aquos: A non-binary witch, Aquos asks that you use the singular they pronous to refer to them. Aquos is extremely competent at magic, preferring the Path of Energy primarily. They help the Hidden Path guide newly awakened students of magic reach their full potential.

Nox Eternia:

Mission Statement: The Nox Eternia is a cult dedicated to Abaseth the Bone Stitcher. Abaseth is a demon lord currently seeking passage to Earth. Nox Eternia performs perverse magical rituals and rituals in the hope of raising their master, They recruit heavily in rural areas, hoping to subvert entire communities to support their efforts. 

The cult has a national presence across the US, having about 5,000 total members existing in roughly 100 or so sects. They 

Stratton, Vermont

A small town at the foot of Stratton Mountain, population 216. Only really notable due to the nearby ski resort, which provides all reason for the town existing, as well as the presence of Nox Eternia in the area.

The local Nox Eternia cult consists of roughly eighty individuals total- multiple families and their children, most of the local police, as well as almost all of the staff of the Stratton Mountain Ski Resort.

Notable Individuals:

Sheriff Clyde Lautner(50): The county Sheriff, Lautner was kidnapped by Nox Eternia, and magically brainwashed to work in their organization. Lautner's new personality is bitter, gruff, and callous.

Father Greg Davis(60): The pastor of the local baptist parish. Greg was indoctrinated into the Nox Eternia as a teenager by his ex-girlfriend in the early 70s. Greg became ordained as a Baptist priest to subvert local churches for the organization, and established the cult's presence in Stratton. He's still working on corrupting his congregation. 

Clarice Mills (19): The local Nox Eternia leader. Clarice was kidnapped from her family at the age of 17, and possessed by Bolazar, one of Abaseth's lieutenants. Clarice's family was murdered to prevent them from bringing media attention onto the disappearance of their daughter after the sheriff's office refused to cooperate.

Bolazar: A powerful, but non-corporeal demon. Limited by having to occupy Clarice's body, Bolazar is searching for a way of securing himself a more powerful vessel. Bolazar is a powerful spellcaster and cunning opponent. Bolazar uses his position to force the Nox Eternia to participate in profane ceremonies to increase his power.

Cermur: A lesser demon summoned to possessed Fred Stone to keep him in line. Cermur resents Bolazar and being forced to play nanny to a young adult. Cermur is looking for an opportunity to backstab Bolazar.

The Stone Family:

Brandon Stone (48): The current owner of the ski resort, and a willing member of Nox Eternia. Brandon currently also serves as the family patriarch. Brandon is Bolazar's current favored lieutenant. 

Martha Stone (43): Brandon's wife. Martha is a fanatic of the Nox Eternia, being one of the most vocal and outspoken voices for taking the town by force. Martha is a hedge witch. Her magical training under Bolazar has made her more dangerous- and more emotionally volatile.

Sarah Stone (85): Brandon's mother. Sarah is believed to be infirm and incapable, but in all actuality was magically lobotomized when she learned what the Nox Eternia is truly up to. Sarah desperately struggles with her aphasia and incapability to write- hoping to alert anyone to the evil her family has been placed under.

Leonard Stone (26): Brandon's youngest son. Fred has been resistant to the Nox Eternia's teachings since youth. Deciding that enough was enough, Brandon asked to have him 'fixed' at the age of 14. Fred has since been inhabited by Cermur. 

Daisy Stone (24): Brandon's oldest daughter. Daisy was ordered to carry out to murder of Clarice's parents two years ago to affirm her loyalty to the cult. Daisy has decided that she likes killing, and has asked Bolazar for more opportunities to have some fun.

Fred Stone (20): Brandon's oldest son. Leonard has been selected by Bolazar to be prepared as his next vessel should Clarice's body fail. Leonard is scared shitless by this fact and is trying to seek help against the Nox Eternia. His first attempt to escape lead to the death of his best friend from higschool, Marco.

Stratton Ski Resort:

Percival 'Percy' Smith (28): The current head of maintenance of the ski resort. Percy is a new hire, having replaced someone who died in an 'accident'. As such, Percy is currently unaware of the cult's activity, although he thinks Daisy is really into him. Percy is a contact for Veilwatch, as his brother works for the organization in Vermont.

Kyle DiGlado (36): A VIP staying at the resort. Kyle has booked the presidential suite for the span of six months. His presence perturbs the Stone family, since all attempts to engage him socially have failed entirely, and he's grown hostile when asked to attend church.

Francis Poole (40): A wealthy investor who has been asked by Brandon to tour the ski resort. In reality, Brandon plans to have the Nox Eternia capture her and forcibly indoctrinate her to gain access to her wealth.

Claw-That-Kills (173): A were-eagle who has lived on Stratton Mountain since the 1840's. Claw-That-Kills has slowly grown more rational over his time alive- becoming Semi-Rational near the turn of the 90s, and becoming fully rational in 1966 after taking a hit of LSD offered to him by some traveling hippies from California. Claw can sense the demonic presence on the mountain, and knows where the remains of the Mills family were buried.

Events of Play:

The group enjoyed a week of R&R, coming back to be briefed. Told that a lead had surfaced from the computer files taken from their first case in New Bedford, the team was then sent into rural Vermont to see if someone calling themselves Bolazar was the actual demon or not.

They arrived at the skii resort, where the IP address seemed to originate from. Having been booked a room, they checked in and then got to exploring the resort. Aquos, bored and unhappy with the lack of snow at a skii resort, summoned up a patch of the stuff. Arzela quickly became embroiled in a snowball fight with a group of preteens- losing horribly.

Martha Stone took notice of the snow, taking the opportunity to talk to Aquos about magic. She invited them to dine with her at the resort's swankiest restaurant so that she could learn more about magic.

Meanwhile, Mr. X and Hannah tried to do some carousing- poorly. They were able to learn about some of the strange events going on involving the resort, such as the death of the former caretaker, and the disappearance of the Mills family, but not much else.

Martha has Aquos call Arzela so that she can learn more about The Hidden Path and magic. Arzela, always eager to teach, is more than happy to oblige. All seems well until Martha leaves the room and returns with two police officers.

The two are lead into the basement of the hotel, and thrown into a room that's been turned into a complete no-mana zone.

It takes Hannah and Mr. X a while to realize that something is wrong. It's about this time that Arzela remembers that he has his phone on him (Absent-Minded strikes again), and he tells Hannah and Mr. X to try and help them reach the basement.

Mr. X and Hannah are intercepted by Martha, three cops, and two cultists. A fight breaks out. Hannah rushes into the fray (Move 14 with enhanced move), quickly coming under fire and regretting her decision, while Mr. X calmly starts mowing people down.

Arzela decides to hide, while Aquos slings a few lightning bolts into the fray.

They capture Martha, opting to kill her on the spot now that she's confirmed as a Nox Eternia member. The team then quickly goes to escape from the resort.

Claw-That-Kills spots the commotion, opting to follow the group. They stop and talk with him, and his information helps confirm their suspicions that Clarice is the current host for Bolazar.

Arzela and Aqous hide the RV in the woods while Mr. X and Hannah take some time to scout out the resort to see if they can locate Clarice. After about eight hours, they determine she's being kept in a large bedroom on the third floor of the resort.

They decide on a plan- Hannah, Mr. X, and Arzela will ascend to the roof with a grappling hook and rope, make an opening to drop down through, and subdue Clarice.

Aquos will create a distraction- by causing everyone within 100 yards (except the party) to believe that they're being attacked by swarms of bees.

The plan goes off without a hitch, aided by Clarice/Bolazar getting completely caught unaware by a flashbang grenade and then getting clocked by Hannah with a tire iron for instant unconsciousness.

They take Clarice/Bolazar back to the RV, ready to decide how to proceed...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Aeon C-Team S304: Void Rifts

We'll update the logo... eventually
The Team:

Marsh Langston (Maverick): A blond, smiling hacker that will rip the most secure files out of your mainframe while convincing you that he's just downloading more RAM. Marsh is a technical wunderkind and social engineer with a shadowy background in intelligence. PROHIBITION MOBSTER

Mikhail Kovalenko (Alex): Measuring 6'4" and weighing about 230lbs, Ukrainian-born Mikhail Kovalenko was a former special agent in Eastern Europe and is extremely competent at drinking vodka, making friends with random people, piloting, field action, reminding others that he's from Ukraine (not Russia), field operations, and handling firearms. TOTALLY NIKO BELLIC

Agent Veracity (Me): The Subway's resident spook and dumpster diver, Agent Veracity is a highly skilled investigator, tradecraft expert and conspiracy nut. HE'S IN YOUR TRASH!

Louis (Andre): A metamorph who can control his appearance and do all kind of mimicry stuff.

Ayumi (Annia): Basically Katarra. Japanese. 


In the following two months, Blue Skies goes down HARD. Some of the Blue Skies upper ups actually get charged with Treason. We end up aiding mop up efforts against Blue Skies.

Mikhail's missing eye is replaced with a cybernetic implant- one that only has black and white vision however.

Blue Skies is broken up and bought out by other groups. Anything metahuman related is confiscated by the government before they're sold. 

We're thrown into debriefing hell, followed up by paperwork hell, then followed by mole whacking hell, then followed by congressional hearing hell. This last numerous months.

B-Team's last confrontation with the guy in the black suit gets in our hands- it looks like he imploded inside a house. Confirmation that he's dead doesn't follow.

We find ourselves at the end of work hell investigating the overthrow of the Argentinian Government, an event that happened six months ago.

The entire populace has been put to work building infrastructure. The coup was bloodless, basically a huge uprising of citizens who decided all at once to reform the government right then and there.

It doesn't appear to be mind control- the populace seems perfectly happy with the change in government. The new head of the government is some guy named Constantino Alvarez. 

We're in the area because the new government has shown that they have access to tech that they shouldn't have their hands on. The medical advancements they're showing off are way ahead of schedule- basically they're heading for generalized TL9 medical tech, possibly even as far as a generalized vaccine against all disease.

We've assumed World Health Organization credentials.

We know that Alvarez was rescued by the Cavalry on the same mission Arc Light died on. 

We arrange a meeting with Alvarez. He'd asked the WHO to visit, but we smooth it over by claiming we weren't sent due to that request and that wires got crossed.

There's a lot of amazing stuff going on in their research labs- cybernetics, vaccines, new treatments, prosthetics. We debate trying to get Mikhail's cybernetic eye replaced with something better, but decide against it.

Marsh uses Science! to determine how Argentina's tech is advancing so quickly. He spends Karma to get a crit. His first guess would be that Alvarez is a ridiculously talented savant, but the advances are just too fast. There's something going on, something that Marsh can't quite put his finger on the source of. They're showcasing medical and transportation tech, but the advancements aren't limited to just those fields.

Some Blue Skies lab techs have been hired to help with the research endeavors. Veracity's gut doesn't rule out Argentina attempting to create metahumans as a possibility.

Alvarez has a huge cabinet full of crystal skulls. A few look real to Veracity and Marsh, but neither of us have ever handled one. Alvarez claims he inherited them from his predecessor. Both Marsh and Veracity attempt Detect Lies (via wildcards). Alvarez is definitely on the fringe of lying by omission.

We're recalled to the States by Legend shortly after our meeting with Alzarez concludes. 

We're shown the press release for the Homeland Security/Department of Justice endeavor to register and control metahuman activity. 

The Human Purity Association has been gaining media traction within US, spewing vitriol and bile all over the place about metahumans. 

We're called in to talk with Legend. He looks like he's having a bad day. We all sit down on his oversized couch- even Mikhail looks small compared to it.

Legend asks us about Argentina, and Marsh explains the situation with accelerated tech improvements and the fact that Alvarez seems to be going off something else's script.

He asks if we noticed anything out of place. Marsh answers that he saw no dissent- definitely abnormal. 

Legend doesn't look happy, and inquires about crystal skulls. Legend says "looks like he found the mind skull" and then tells us not to pay attention to that. Considering that two of us have Eidetic Memory (Photographic), that's not fucking happening.

Legend says we're getting a fourth person assigned to us since three of us just isn't enough muscle. Then he requests to talk to Veracity alone.

Outside, some analysts talk to Marsh and Mikhail. They're intimidated by Mikhail. The brothers go on to talk to the last time Mikhail kneecapped a guy. The analysts flee and then the brother talk about who inherited what from which parent. 

Mikhail is concerned that Yelena is out hurting people while she's being influenced by the tattoo. (Sr. has ended up in the labyrinth, the most prisony prison available for the baddest of the bad.

Legend calls everyone back in and hands out folders on Arc Light's Widow. He explains the whole battlesuit leasing program, including 1,300 troops in Arc Light like armor. His widow's rampage against Metahumans is a little strange cause he was a meta at one point in time.

Legend will get back to us on the new team member. He's assuming a wait and see approach to the registration brouhaha. Legend sees the situation as a slippery slope where law-abiding metahumans are put under additional suspicion just for having powers.

Blackwell is terrible, a fact admitted by Legend. Despite being a career politician, Blackwell's been a bit of a dark horse candidate, despite talking about being president for almost half a decade. 

"You know things have really gone downhill when you turn to Niklos for moral advice."