"Glassworks: the Devil's Den" Session 7

Into the Devil's Den

Fellow role-players, here are Jason’s and Gene’s notes for Session 3.7 of the “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero scenario, which Rich C.G. hosted in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 12 April 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./ absent ]-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.]-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

“2 February 2014:” The “Eighth Legion” raced to foil a mysterious mastermind’s schemes, journeying to prisons and alternate dimensions. The superhero squad continued following various leads.

Thunderbird stays with her mentor, the shaman Kittaguka, who is stuck in dragon form in the pocket dimension used by Merlin for his library. Kittaguka’s cintomanni (dragon pearl) is cracked and drained as part of an attempt to harness its power.

Merlin goes to Indian Beach with Metion, the Wind Lord, a fellow member of Hamilton’s mystical Conclave. Several other mages and vigilantes have gone missing because of mind-controlling Indian Head and Devil’s Head candies. Merlin and Metion hope to summon a true Atlantean.

Empty Spoon leaves his sifu (teacher) Kunzang Tenzin, who was also influenced by the insidious sweets, back at the legion’s secret base in an abandoned subway station. Empty Spoon races after the police car holding supervillains Dream Hunter and Shadow Queen because he has learned that the latter was responsible for destroying his monastery.

Erwin72 is nowhere to be found as the remainder of the Eighth Legion strategizes at its base of operations. The Cloaked Quarrel says the top priority should be stopping Franz Keidel, a.k.a. reclusive video game programmer Frank Zorn, who is believed to be behind a plot to unravel the multiverse.

DarkStorm is more concerned with rescuing magnate James Orex, founder of Oryx Industries, and his daughter (and Tim’s fiancee) Maggie. Phantasm notes that the “quintum” chip, which DarkStorm gave to Orex before he was kidnapped and is now part of a device in Merlin’s library, is key to thwarting Zorn.

The Stranger senses that the dark sphere he took from the Shadow Queen and hurled through a portal has grown into a black hole, collapsing that dimension and draining his powers.

Empty Spoon punctures a tire and flips the police car carrying the two criminals. He drags the unconscious police out of the vehicle and interrogates Dream Hunter and Shadow Queen, who escapes as soon as she realizes her power-dampening restraints are damaged. Empty Spoon trashes the cruiser to eliminate any evidence and leaves Dream Hunter.

Merlin contacts his companions as he and Metion successfully summon an ancient submarine. Nephos, the anemo potiro (automatic pilot, literally “wind pilot”) of the Pa-ka-na, (“Sword”) hovers insubstantially above the organic vessel and apparently speaks English, despite having been alone at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for millennia.

The Eighth Legion reconvenes at the Delaware beach. The Cloaked Quarrel asks Nephos if he can convey the group to the nearest “Atlantean redoubt,” where Zorn’s followers and captives are suspected to be gathering. The ghostly man agrees, and the costumed crimefighters board the submarine. Metion, Kunzang Tenzin, and Kittaguka stay behind.

Hamilton’s protectors are surprised to find that the Pa-ka-na is a biomechanical ship, with no recognizable equipment or controls. The Cloaked Quarrel and DarkStorm watch Nephos on the bridge, while the others explore strange chambers connected by sphincter-like hatches.

They encounter a boarding party of humanoid newts, an ancient race of high-pitched creatures who believe that they can finally attack Atlantis if they seize control of the sub. The humans manage to talk them into leaving, but the anemo potiro says that he can’t keep them out without disabling weapons, which include egg-like torpedoes.

The submarine drops off the strike force at the redoubt, and Nephos agrees to wait nearby. The Eighth Legionnaires crawl down a narrow tunnel, and invisible Phantasm scouts ahead.

She sees a cavern with a large Atlantean statue, as well as a pale woman, a six-armed swordsman, and a martial artist with blades for feet. Adriana reports back to the others and creates illusions of them entering the chamber before they actually do so.

DarkStorm attacks Lady Snow, but the ice ninja dodges. The Cloaked Quarrel fires glue bolts from his crossbows, briefly immobilizing clockwork-enhanced Feng Bo. Phantasm sends illusory Erwins after Lady Snow, Merlin casts a fireball at her. It damages the stone idol, but not the cold assassin.

Lady Snow and Feng Bo hit DarkStorm with frost and bladed feet, and Phantasm realizes that Lokapala, the six-armed swordsman, is a robot immune to her illusions. The Cloaked Quarrel hits Feng Bo [an alternate of “Tempestade” in the “Vanished Lands”] with a blast bolt, knocking him back.

Merlin hits Lokapala with a lightning bolt, and Thunderbird finishes him off with a sonic scream. Phantasm’s ersatz Erwins tackle Feng Bo. The Cloaked Quarrel briefly knocks down Lady Snow with another blast. Merlin melts her armor.

The Stranger brings up the rear and uses his dark force whip and gun against the icy femme fatale. Empty Spoon maneuvers to help restrain fallen foes. Merlin heals DarkStorm. The group continues through the undersea stronghold.

A fork in the corridors takes the investigators past alcoves with clothing taken from 20 young women entrapped by the mind-controlling candies. As the Devil Dolls, they were wrapped in mummy-like bandages became arsonists and assassins. Phantasm finds the personal effects of Maggie Orex and gives them to DarkStorm.

The tunnels lead to a catch basin with a waterfall and magical alarms. Merlin disrupts the grid, and Empty Spoon creates an air bubble large enough for the party. The Cloaked Quarrel, DarkStorm, and Phantasm go ahead. The Stranger, who wasn’t able to bring his steed Gabriel along, follows with Thunderbird, who has shifted back to human form.

They pass through the pipe and notice a shaft of water leading up. They follow the horizontal passage and pass through another catch basin. A sign welcomes the Eighth Legionnaires and asks them to don white robes before ascending a staircase.

The heroes recognize everyone present and meet Frank Zorn for the first time. The precognitive neo-Nazi Atlantean nihilist wears a white robe, and one of his hands glows red while the other is blue. Merlin recognizes him as the murderer of violent vigilante the Red Right Hand.

Zorn’s prisoners include “the Fire Children,” notable Hamiltonians sharing the birth date of 27 February 1933, when Germany’s Reichstag burned:

  • Viktor Ozerov, a Russian mob boss and contact
  • Jimmy Galati, the head of the Galati crime family
  • Jeanne Baylus, proprietor of the Baylus Museum, where an exhibit of Frank Zorn’s video games was robbed
  • Harvey Thorne, manager of Stevens Inneman Refractory Co. (SIRC) data processing center above the Eighth Legion’s base
  • Rosa Gualtero-Lazare, Franz Keidel’s mother, once rescued by the time-traveling Black Hat
  • Kunzang Tenzin, Empty Spoon’s sifu

Zorn has a “dead man’s hand” — a magical noose around each Devil Doll. He says that each of his prisoners is capable of “carrying a second soul,” where he intends to force the monks of the Four Winds to enter. He will then transfer his mind into the Atlantean Anchor to escape the destruction of the universe caused by his program on the quintum chip so that he can emerge and recreate it in his own image.

Zorn is also accompanied by his remaining lieutenants — Shadow Queen, Inferna, Palmetto, and Rasayana. He invites the Eighth Legion to fight them to earn a place at his side in the new world order. Young archer Cloaked Quarrel tries to engage Zorn in conversation but realizes that he is insane, even if he has the powers of prediction and reshaping reality.

Mystical gunslinger Stranger struggles to open a portal from his collapsing shadow plane. Giant eagle Thunderbird unleashes a sonic scream at Shadow Queen, knocking her unconscious. Merlin’s heir returns to his magical library to retrieve the quintum chip.

Armored DarkStorm tries to hit Inferna, and Empty Spoon bends air to try to suffocate the assembled supervillains. Stealthy Phantasm remains invisible. Zorn strolls out of the chamber as the fight rages on.

The Stranger sucks Shadow Queen into the void, instead of nigh-invulnerable Inferna, as he intended. The Cloaked Quarrel knocks back old nemesis Palmetto, and Empty Spoon loses his grip.

Meanwhile, in his pocket dimension, Matthew disables the force field around the machine with the quintum chip, and he has Grizzel Greediguts grab it. The imp familiar and friend of Thunderbird gnaws on the processor before Merlin heads back to the Atlantean redoubt.

Thunderbird attacks Inferna with more sonic screams, but the flaming woman shrugs off Rain’s attacks. The Stranger swings his whip, and Sam has more luck, stunning Inferna. The Cloaked Quarrel shoots acrobatic Rasayana, but Inferna had wounded DarkStorm.

Rasayana stabs the Cloaked Quarrel, and cockroach-suited Palmetto adds insult to injury by hitting Kyle with stink goo. Empty Spoon knocks Inferna toward the Stranger’s sucking portal.

Phantasm releases Zorn’s prisoners from their mystical nooses. DarkStorm drops Rasayana, and the Cloaked Quarrel shoots a grapnel line at Inferna, dragging her into the Stranger’s bottomless pit. Empty Spoon knocks out Palmetto.

The Cloaked Quarrel realizes too late that Merlin should have had someone go with him to his pocket dimension. Zorn takes the quintum chip from the mage, who is still affected by the candy! The evil mastermind admits that the Eighth Legion has damaged his plans, but he promises that his schemes will still come to pass with some “reprogramming”….