Glassworks

Jason and fellow role-players, here are my belated notes for your last superhero game (for now), which Rich C.G. hosted at his apartment in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 6 August 2012:

Player Character roster for Jason E.R. “Glassworks” Bronze Age/noir superhero scenario, using the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game (based on Margaret Weis Productions Ltd.’s Cortex system, originally using DarkPages):

  • “Eli Wasserman/ the Amazing Mr. Fantastic [Brian W.]-male metahuman with shadow manipulation, semi-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.]-male metahuman super soldier, experimented upon by the government, amnesiac weapons designer for Oryx Industries, and armored vigilante
  • “Summer Winters/ Santanica Pandemonium [Rich C.G.]-female human nurse and mother/demon with flame powers, newly aware of her dual nature
  • “Ezra Goldman/Daedalus” [Beruk A.]-male metahuman with the ability to temporarily imbue machines with personalities

An assortment of metahumans had gathered to investigate missing persons cases, a string of arsons, and a race for mystical items in Hamilton, Delaware. After a pitched battle with various factions at the South Market docks, the would-be superheroes regroup.

Thunderbird and Merlin go to the remote mountaintop to meet her parents. They tell the young woman that she should finish the job and slay the dragon she recently encountered.

Although tobacco firm D.J. Sharrif has released Eli Wasserman from his investigation of the disappearance of scientist Boyd Burch, the group decides to confront the company’s leadership and phones for a rendezvous.

At the empty Harrier Stadium, DarkStorm and Daedalus wait at an end zone. The Cloaked Quarrell hides in nearby bleachers, and Santanica Pandemonium is ready to take flight from across the stands. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic waits outside to provide backup.

A limousine arrives, and Faisal Marzug gets out. He says that he is authorized to speak on behalf of Ms. Sharrif, but he has no comment on Burch or the conflagration in the South Market. DarkStorm mentions the cintomanni — a.k.a. the “dragon pearl” or Philosopher’s Stone — and says that he knows the location of Mora Petrovich-Burch (whose body has been turned to glass).

Marzug expresses interest, but is interrupted when Santanica recognizes the limo driver as Dr. Ben Nitten, a member of the Coven! “You killed my wife!” shouts the chauffeur, who’s actually possessed by Dream Hunter. Nitten was apparently the husband of the late witch Erechtho, or Anna Lucia Schizzitano, daughter of Tony Schizzitano, a lieutenant in the Galati crime family.

Other members of the “Graveyard Shift” arrive — Shard and Jaguar Knight. Worse still, the costumed vigilantes are affected by a spell that causes their consciousnesses to switch bodies! Armored DarkStorm and mystic archer Cloaked Quarrel trade bodies, as do winged Santanica Pandemonium and gadgeteer Daedalus.

The heroes fumble with remembered skills but suddenly clumsy limbs. The Cloaked Quarrel (in DarkStorm’s body) fires a shotgun at Dream Hunter but is hit by slivers of antimatter from Shard. DarkStorm takes the limo and tries to run over Dream Hunter, who’s in Faisal’s body. Jaguar Knight swings his obsidian-toothed club at Daedalus, who responds with Santanica’s flames.

CQ/DS hits Shard with his/their staff, but Dream Hunter sings, forcing another soul swap. Santanica Pandemonium, now in the Cloaked Quarrel’s body, fires a crossbow bolt at Jaguar Knight.

DarkStorm, now in Santanica’s curvaceous form, hurls hellfire at Shard, who dodges. The Cloaked Quarrel uses Daedalus’ bionic arms to stretch and attack. Shard grabs Jaguar Knight and teleports out, and Dream Hunter disappears. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic calls an ambulance for Faisal and his driver, and the heroes eventually return to their own bodies.

Back at Eli’s office, the adventurers bind their wounds. Kyle points out that even though they didn’t get Faisal or the “Graveyard Shift” to talk much, the stadium skirmish demonstrated that both D.J. Sharrif and the Coven (mystical rivals to Hamilton’s Conclave) are still looking for Mora and the cintomanni.

Merlin and Thunderbird return and agree to a bold plan. They contact Papa Chongo and ask him to spread word that the Jade Warrior’s Panoply will be at the Fountain of Unity.

The Cloaked Quarrel prepares to don the jade breastplate (recovered from the late King Naga), dagger (taken from Erechtho’s museum raid), and helm (which Thunderbird took from the dragon). He already has the remains of the bow from his predecessor, Toxaris the Sniper. Merlin casts an additional psychic ward to protect the Cloaked Quarrel.

Daedalus fabricates some lozenges similar to the “Indian Head”-brand candy that was used to control the bandaged arsonists known as Devil Dolls. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic, still mourning his comrades from the “Seventh Legion,” isn’t sure if all the cases can be wrapped up, but he agrees that the gang war has to stop.

Thunderbird struggles with her destiny, which Kittaguka and her parents have told her is to slay the dragon she met at the South Market. Merlin is more concerned about Santanica Pandemonium, who wants to fill the power vacuum in the Mafia. DarkStorm gets his vehicles to bring the glassified Mora Burch to the park, and aged shaman Kittaguka guards it at Thunderbird’s request.

At the Fountain of Unity, a fragile truce allows representatives of various groups to convene. Angry Shard arrives, as does Russian mob boss Ozerov and his henchman Tarakan. White Magus and Soul Mage of the Conclave appear, and the Cloaked Quarrel bravely assembles the jade armor and warns the amused power brokers not to interfere.

The dragon arrives and takes Mora’s body from Kittaguka. Tarakan attacks the Cloaked Quarrel, who dodges. Thunderbird asks the dragon to heal Mora, and Merlin asks the great beast what it wants. It responds by sending him a vision of the cintomanni, which are harvested from its kind.

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