"Glassworks: the Devil's Den" Session 5

Necromancers anonymous, or Orange is the new black magic

Fellow role-players, here are Jason’s and Gene’s notes for Session 3.5 of the “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero scenario, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 24 March 2014:

“The Eighth Legion,” Player Characters for Jason E.R.’s Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero scenario, using Icons (previously DarkPages and the Cortex: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game), as of spring 2014:

  • “Tim Gray/DarkStorm” [Bruce K.]-male metahuman, experimented upon by the government, amnesiac weapons designer for Oryx Industries, armored vigilante, and team leader at subway base
  • “Rain Tomotowa/Thunderbird” [Sara F.]-female Native American, exiled demigod able to change into a giant eagle, onetime park ranger now working in a pet shop
  • Matthew Shanks / Merlin [Josh C.]-male incubus sorcerer and occultist with an ancient family legacy; member of Hamilton’s mystical Conclave
  • “Samuel Adams Jackson/ The Stranger [Beruk A.]-male human Buffalo Soldier released from Purgatory, time-displaced bounty hunter with dark force manipulation and shadowy steed Gabriel (from Gene’s Mutants & Masterminds: “Drake’s Port” and Josh’s Dresden Files: “Dallas” scenarios)
  • “Erwin Schrodinger/ Erwin72 [Brian W.]-male replicant, law enforcer from an alternate timeline with the ability to tap alternate dimensions
  • Empty Spoon [Rich C.G.]-male metahuman, Tibetan refugee with mystical air control (apologies to Avatar: the Last Airbender/Legend of Korra) and speed, seeking revenge for the destruction of his monastery
  • “Adriana Novak/ Phantasm [Brian S./ absent ]-female metahuman, former magician’s assistant turned permanently invisible; used the power of illusions to commit crimes but trying to turn over a new leaf

“31 January 2014:” One squad of superheroes raced metahuman mobsters to obtain a computer processor in Lepton City, while those left in Hamilton, Del., learned the true identity of video game programmer Frank Zorn. The “Eighth Legion” reunited in time to defeat the “Technoluminati” at a stolen submarine beached in New Jersey.

But now, they must find and stop a mysterious mastermind who has killed hundreds of people at a prison and whose meticulous schemes may mean the end of Hamilton!

On the way back from New Jersey to Delaware, the legionnaires make some phone calls. The Cloaked Quarrel sends swift Thunderbird and Empty Spoon ahead to check the James T. Vaughn Sr. Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del., where they had helped foil breakout attempts.

DarkStorm calls Oryx Industries and agrees to meet with tech magnate James Orex, one of several influential Hamiltonians sharing the birthdate of Feb. 27, 1933. His companions don’t trust any of the city’s big corporations. Tim uses his new jetpack to fly ahead, leaving Kyle to drive.

The Stranger explains how some of the team encountered androids, drug dealers, and supervillains in Lepton City and how Erwin72 apparently perished in the destruction of Helix Towers. The Cloaked Quarrel recaps the investigation so far, but Phantasm is nowhere to be seen.

Merlin interviews his three potential apprentices. Priory, the son of Soul Mage, is polished but cocky. Goth Domini is slightly more humble, admitting fallibility, but she seems a bit too knowledgeable about the dark arts. Eager Mihai de Burigny has more academic awareness than practical experience. He is also a member of the local Red and Blue Society.

Thunderbird and Empty Spoon see a rolling mist across the prison yard. A single figure approaches them with a purposeful stride. It turns out to be Erwin72, who wants the chip that was taken from Lepton City!

Agent Schrodinger’s reunion with Rain and Empty Spoon is interrupted by a voice over the loudspeakers, chanting “kydtayn siacca.” Thunderbird recognizes it as the spell used to animate a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and that the ~1,000 dead convicts are about to be turned into an undead army.

Bioroid Erwin tries to block vents with his suit jacket, and Thunderbird shifts into giant eagle form and blows the external speakers with a sonic scream. Mystical monk Empty Spoon is briefly dumbstruck and then races around to find the corpses, most of which are in the gymnasium. He considers flooding the buildings, and Thunderbird knocks down power lines.

The trio also finds warden Richard Gladstone in his office, with a small burn through his head, probably from a laser. Three helicopters approach, reminding the crime fighters of previous skirmishes at the jail. One blasts a hole in the gym wall, and zombies in orange jumpsuits start to stream out.

Thunderbird flies out and recognizes an Oryx Industries logo. She clears some of the fog with another sonic blast. Erwin72 aims his pistol and creates duplicates of himself. Empty Spoon bends the winds to remove air from the first chopper’s cabin, knocking out its pilots.

The Cloaked Quarrel, the Stranger, and Merlin arrive, followed by DarkStorm. Sniper Cloaked Quarrel and armored DarkStorm tie building doors shut, delaying the escape of the reanimated. The Stranger creates dark portals to grab the pilots from the crashing copter.

Merlin’s heir and namesake recognizes the spell and indignantly realizes that it was culled from recordings of a museum flash mob. The second helicopter blasts the first one, and Thunderbird is struck by shrapnel.

Erwin72 drops some of the zombies with headshots. Empty Spoon redirects the winds to hold back the masses in the gym and to deflect an incoming missile. Unfortunately, it destroys DarkStorm’s beloved sports car.

DarkStorm flies out to the second and third helicopters and the U.S. Army officers tell him that they were chasing a stolen Oryx Industries copter with live military-grade weaponry. They also say reinforcements are on the way, and DarkStorm warns them to watch out for zombies — er, biohazards — and recommends incinerating the bodies.

Kyle runs to girlfriend Rain to help remove the shrapnel once she’s back in human form. He calls over military medics as they arrive. Merlin successfully casts a counterspell, de-animating the undead. The magician then summons his would-be adepts and asks them to track down whoever set the recording and killed Gladstone.

DarkStorm learns that Maggie Orex, his girlfriend who was once brainwashed into being a Devil Doll, has disappeared. Tim takes off, and Empty Spoon follows. Erwin 72 tells the others that his memories and personality were retrieved from a Gold Cross MMDS chip and put into a museum-piece body 25 years after some Eighth Legionnaires visited Lepton City.

As his world slid toward destruction, Erwin says, desperate measures including reactivating him and taking power from the captured Maxwell’s Demon to send him back through time and dimensions. The “quintum” chip retrieved from Helix Towers could act as a skeleton key among dimensions, granting whoever has it great power and the ability to destroy universes.

The Red Right Hand, a violent vigilante and trusted ally, calls the Cloaked Quarrel on a burner cell phone. Amid sounds of battle, he says to find him. Merlin casts a locator spell and finds him at the Stevens Inneman Refractory Co. (SIRC) warehouse above the Eighth Legion’s secret base.

Thunderbird carries the Cloaked Quarrel, and the Stranger takes Erwin72, who leaves some copies behind with Merlin’s apprentices, on his shadowy steed Gabriel. Empty Spoon again flies ahead. The group decides to enter from below, through the abandoned subway station near its base.

The superheroes find 20 dead Devil Dolls, women wrapped in bandages with mind-controlling Indian Head candies in their mouths. DarkStorm comes and is relieved to learn that Maggie isn’t among them.

The Red Right Hand is also dead, and the Cloaked Quarrel unmasks him, revealing Sgt. Scott Scowronski, a police contact of DarkStorm. He has a handprint burned onto his face, echoing the verses found in the adolescent notes of Franz Keidel’s, a.k.a. reclusive programmer and possible mastermind Frank Zorn.

Merlin examines Maggie’s phone, found in a pile outside. It uses a signal on an Atlantean wavelength, roughly corresponding to the same area as the German U-boat visited by the recently defeated “Technoluminati.” Merlin’s three recruits also determine that Scowronski was killed by a member of the Red and Blue Society, but not Mihai.

The Cloaked Quarrel takes the remaining candies from the antique Indian Head vending machine, which DarkStorm happily smashes. Thunderbird makes an anonymous call to law enforcement authorities.

Erwin72 and Empty Spoon observe that, based on the evidence, likely foes have enhanced strength, kinetic force powers, lasers, elemental control, and flaming hands. DarkStorm agrees to return the quintum processor to Erwin and arranges to meet James Orex at his lab to get it.

However, the Eighth Legion finds Orex’s car empty and a guard turned to sulfur. As the costumed crew enters the Oryx Industries facility around 11:00 p.m., it hears someone down an elevator shaft say that it’s expected.

Erwin72 looks down another elevator shaft and is shot at by a woman with an amulet. Thunderbird, back in eagle form, begins climbing down a cable. Invisible assassin Rasayana [“Alchemy”] stabs her in the wing.

DarkStorm grapples with a woman made of living ruby – Kuruntam [“Ruby”], while the Cloaked Quarrel and Empty Spoon take stairs down at super speed, past the sounds of gunfire. They spy a pair of shadows that had escaped during one of the Stranger’s teleports.

The Stranger dodges Kuruntam. A flying skull with flowing hair, Vetala [“Spirit”] attacks Merlin and makes him phase through the floor. Erwin72 leaps and grabs the amulet from Ani Patel, a.k.a. Gandahka [“Brimstone”]. Thunderbird unleashes a sonic scream at Rasayana.

DarkStorm and Kuruntam slam each other into walls, while the Cloaked Quarrel and Empty Spoon return from sublevel 9. The Stranger tries to aid DarkStorm, and Erwin runs from Vetala. Thunderbird charges at Vetala.

Merlin manages to stop sinking through floors and returns to corporeal form. Empty Spoon knocks out Gandahka, and the Cloaked Quarrel fires a sticky bolt at Vetala, briefly muting her. The Stranger begins forming a shadowy whip.

DarkStorm trades blows with Kuruntam, eventually incapacitating her. Merlin returns, but Rasayana has escaped. Vetala breaks from her gag, but the Cloaked Quarrel’s stunning bolt takes down the last of the three members of “One and Manifold.”

After they’ve been restrained, the Eighth Legionnaires interrogate the three India-based supervillainesses. DarkStorm starts smacking people around, but the Cloaked Quarrel gets some information with conversation.

Patel seems ignorant of James or Maggie Orex, despite the fact that her team was attacking an Oryx Industries facility. She seems impervious to threats of violence because One and Manifold has been promised immortality by the as-yet-unidentified mastermind (suspected to be Franz Keidel/Frank Zorn).

The women do mention seeing a woman with flame powers (maybe Inferna?) and that the malevolent plan to unravel Hamilton — and the multiverse — will unfold over the next few weeks….