"Glassworks" Session 5

The darkness inside

Jason and fellow role-players, looking back, here are my belated notes for Session 5 of " Glassworks ," which Rich C.G. hosted at his apartment in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 23 July 2012:

Player Character roster for Jason E.R. ‘s “Glassworks” superhero scenario, using the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game (based on Margaret Weis Productions Ltd.’s Cortex system, originally using DarkPages), as of spring 2012:

  • “Kyle Martins/The Cloaked Quarrel [Gene D.]-male human college student and legacy crime fighter with mystical crossbows
  • “Eli Wasserman/ the Amazing Mr. Fantastic [Brian W.]-male metahuman with shadow manipulation, retired superhero and private investigator
  • “Rain Tomotowa/Thunderbird” [Sara F.]-female Native American metahuman park ranger, able to change into an eagle
  • “Matthew Shanks/ Merlin [Josh C.]-male incubus sorcerer and occultist with an ancient family legacy
  • “Tim Gray/DarkStorm” [Bruce K.]-female metahuman super soldier, experimented upon by the government, amnesiac weapons designer for Oryx Industries, and dark vigilante
  • “Summer Winters/ Santanica Pandemonium [Rich C.G.]-female human nurse and mother/demon with flame powers, unaware of dual nature
  • “Ezra Goldman/Daedalus” [Beruk A.]-male metahuman tinkerer with the ability to temporarily imbue machines with personalities and communicate with them

The band of superheroes continues its investigations into connected cases involving arson, kidnapping, murder, and magic in Hamilton, Delaware. After finding retired vigilante “Red Planet” slain and fighting costumed villains in abandoned subway tunnels, the group heads to the docks at South Market.

DarkStorm drives to the neighborhood, which hasn’t yet gentrified like Old Harbor. The Cloaked Quarrel uses his new grapnel bolts to get around more quickly, and Thunderbird and Santanica Pandemonium fly overhead in the night.

Merlin stays behind to continue his research into the cintomanni (also known as dragon pearls or the Philosopher’s Stone), and Daedalus examines the strange equipment retrieved from various warehouses and the train tunnels.

At the edge of about 2,000 containers waiting between the cargo ships and tractor-trailer trucks, Santanica recognizes a group of cars belonging to the Galati crime family (her in-laws). The Amazing Mr. Fantastic pretends to be a member of the Mafia attending the meeting and bluffs his way past the guards.

As expected, the Italian mobsters aren’t the only ones searching the market for the last piece of the jade warrior’s panoply. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic, the Cloaked Quarrel, and DarkStorm hide among the shipping containers as four police cruisers arrive, no doubt tipped off by one of the factions seeking the cintomanni.

Two helicopters shine their searchlights, and DarkStorm stealthily approaches the police officers to listen in. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic and the Cloaked Quarrel go down to a pier, where they see a small submarine surfacing! The vessel bears the logo of Oryx Industries, Tim’s employer and a company involved in metahuman and mystical experimentation.

Winged Santanica Pandemonium and Thunderbird evade the police choppers and witness the eruption of a gang war. Russians affiliated with Ozerov emerge from a container and fire machine guns at the Italian mobsters.

The police cars explode. DarkStorm and those on the pier overhear the voices of the “Graveyard Shift,” including Jaguar Knight, Ghost Owl, and the Cremator, who killed the Cloaked Quarrel’s predecessor, Toxaris the Sniper!

Bloodthirsty Santanica Pandemonium flies into the fracas as feathered Thunderbird blows a container onto the Russians. One helicopter fires missiles at the Galati vehicles, and the Amazing Mr. Fantastic bravely leaps onto the sub. Armored DarkStorm wrenches the hatch open for him.

Ghost Owl, the spirit of a Native American chief, destroys one helicopter with an ectoplasmic tomahawk. The Cloaked Quarrel tries to coordinate his companions by radio and dodges falling wreckage and bodies.

Jaguar Knight screams something about human sacrifice and jumps onto the cargo ship, brandishing his macuahuitl (Aztec club or sword with obsidian teeth). Meanwhile, the Oryx sub uses a drill to dock with the ship below the water’s surface.

Most of the Italian and Russian mobsters are dead, as are the police, so Cremator fires his entropy gun at the Cloaked Quarrel. The arcane archer narrowly evades disintegration. Young Kyle tries to make a quip but is rattled by the fearsome supervillain.

Santanica Pandemonium blows up the second helicopter with infernal flames, and Thunderbird dives to the Cloaked Quarrel’s aid, blowing Cremator into burning wreckage. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic sneaks aboard the submarine and follows a tunnel into the cargo ship.

However, when they forcibly separate the two vessels, they begin taking on water. Eli manages to get ahead of the doors sealing flooding compartments, and DarkStorm leaps from the sub to the ship.

The battle becomes even more pitched as members of the Coven arrive. The destructive mystics from New York are rivals to Hamilton’s Conclave and include Erechtho, Shard, and Obsidian. As Merlin predicted, the Conclave’s Soul Mage, Rebecca Dejardin, and Metion the Wind Lord face off with them for a spell duel.

Floating Ghost Owl attacks Thunderbird, who aerobatically dodges. The Cloaked Quarrel retreats from Cremator by swinging to the cargo vessel. Already aboard, Jaguar Knight hacks at the ship’s crew and the boarders from the sub.

The Amazing Mr. Fantastic entangles Erechtho in shadows, and DarkStorm shoots at the snaky sorceress. DarkStorm then confronts Jaguar Knight but is injured. Shard and Erechtho take their fight over the bay, as Metion aids Rebecca. Soul Mage fires a Mystic Bolt at Jaguar Knight, who uses his air control to flee.

Thunderbird outmaneuvers Ghost Owl by flying into the ship’s hold, and Cremator stalks off. The Cloaked Quarrel crosses the top deck and hears a disturbance below. A huge Asian-style dragon emerges, with a cintomanni on its forehead and a jade helm in its mouth!

The Cloaked Quarrel gets the dragon’s attention with the jade crossbows on his bracers, but he and his team reluctantly agree to let it go. Thunderbird flies after the dragon, as Santanica Pandemonium hurls Erechtho onto a helicopter blade and throws her body into the ocean.

Shard (a.k.a. Jesse Garon) disappears after the Cloaked Quarrel shoots at him. Cremator is found knocked out with a dagger from one of the Devil Dolls — masked, mute, disfigured women under mind control. The Cloaked Quarrel later identifies Cremator as Mark Kessler.

In the hold of the contested cargo ship, The Amazing Mr. Fantastic and DarkStorm find their sometime ally, the Red Right Hand, who has been badly wounded by the dragon’s claws. The creature ripped open the metal container that held the jade helm. As the survivors leave the burning harbor, the Red Right Hand explains that Ilya Petrovich was an enforcer for Craig Thurman.

Santanica Pandemonium sees among the fallen Tony Schizzitano, a Galati lieutenant and the father of Anna Lucia, also known as Erechtho. The group also recalls ties between Oryx Industries and Mancari Security, a front for the Galati family.

Thunderbird follows the dragon as it flies hundreds of miles west and buries the helm in the desert. She returns to ask her super friends what they should do next, since the artifact could yet be retrieved by the competing groups.

DarkStorm goes back to James Orex, head of Oryx Industries. Not surprisingly, Orex claims to be ignorant of the sub, just as he had feigned ignorance about “Project Jabberwock” and scientists Albert Boyle (murdered) and Boyd Burch (still missing).

Mora is glassified and revered as mother by a cockroach-themed gang. Orex blames Gail Rivero, head of contracting, for the dabbling in things man was not meant to know. Tim demands to see his brother, Wesley Gray.

Kyle goes with Tim to the Eden Institute near Boston. They find Wesley covered with insectoid bristles and incoherent, driven insane by similar experiments conducted on Tim and other metahumans. The Cloaked Quarrel persuades DarkStorm to return to Hamilton as quickly as possible.

The Amazing Mr. Fantastic asks Merlin to locate the White Magus, who may know more about their former “Seventh Legion” colleagues and the cintomanni. Meanwhile, Santanica Pandemonium talks with the third of three demons involved with the Galati family. They again offer to help Summer find her son in return for a dragon pearl.

Tim asks Rain to take him to the shaman Kittaguka so that he can ask her to help his brother. Richard, the White Magus, explains to old ally Eli that Kittaguka was once known as “Indian Princess” and that Red Planet killed King Naga out of jealousy, even though the Harrier’s former foe had reformed. How much does she know?

Having located the final jade relic, as well as a real, living dragon (with its flight-enabling gem), Hamilton’s latest heroes try to untangle the web of enemies and close their cases….



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