Glassworks

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

View
Session 1: Born in Flames
Born in Flames

Here are the notes (98% Gene, 2% me) for the first full " Glassworks " session, on Monday, 21 May 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./ absent ]-male metahuman tinkerer with the ability to temporarily imbue machines with personalities and communicate with them

Metal month of may 2

Sometime after “The Gate With the Dreadful Faces” incident, college student and would-be superhero Kyle Martins goes skulking in the Fairmont neighborhood of Hamilton, Delaware . The scent of smoke in the air alerts “the Cloaked Quarrel” to a possible arson, and he runs to an apartment complex where he sees a stairwell on fire.

The Cloaked Quarrel slips past firefighters and police and enters the building, shouldering his way past evacuees. The costumed crimefighter’s attention is divided between devices on the walls and a woman wearing a mask and cloth wrappings….

Meanwhile, across town, Tim Gray is relaxing in his King’s Gate pad when he gets a phone call from the “Red Right Hand,” a fellow vigilante. The weapons inventor suits up as “DarkStorm” and drives to warehouses at 315 Mycroft Ave. They’re supposed to be abandoned, but electronic security is active.

The Red Right Hand’s methods are relatively brutal, so DarkStorm isn’t too surprised to find the body of Albert Boyle with an envelope bearing a bloody handprint. Apparently, Boyle worked at “B” Branch of Oryx Industries, an arms firm that is also Gray’s employer. DarkStorm finds a file mentioning “Project Jabberwock,” which stirs fragmented memories….

In Germantown , the metahuman once known as “The Amazing Mr. Fantastic” gets a well-dressed visitor at his private investigator’s office. Eli Wasserman asks Faisal Marzoug to state his business. Marzoug explains that he needs Wasserman’s services on behalf of Ms. Sharrif, the owner of D.J. Sharrif (a tobacco firm) who was recommended to him by former colleague Whistler Johnson (a.k.a. the “Harrier”), now deceased.

Mr. Marzoug says that Boyd Burch, a chemist working at D.J. Sharrif, was kidnapped from the D. J. Sharrif offices in the Annex . Corporate security cameras caught footage of two men. Eli reluctantly agrees to take the potentially lucrative case, and after Marzoug leaves, he calls Sgt. Larry Barley to see what he can find about Burch….

Not far from Kyle’s apartment in Fairmont, student Matthew Shanks hears a scratching at his window. A talking cat summons him to “the Conclave at Spring Unity,” a fountain in Germantown and the site of a secret gathering of mystics.

The heir of Merlin grabs his Irish walking stick and finds other local notables already there, including Rebekah DeJardines, Papa Chango, Kunzang Tenzin and Metion the Windlord. Noticeably missing are Rainer Burroughs (who’s M.I.A.) and White Magus. They are soon joined by Soul Mage, Nethryk the Whisperer, Arcane, and Kerbala, and Shard teleports in. Each represents a different tradition, and there is much posturing.

In the absence of the White Magus, Dejardines leads the Conclave, saying that a " cintamanni ," or “dragon pearl,” the organ responsible for certain dragons’ flight, is rumored to be in Hamilton, as is Rainer Burrows, a protégé of the White Magus….

Nurse Summer Winter is at All Saints Hospital when two patients are rushed into the emergency room. Their uniforms indicate that they were working at the Ramsaier Museum of Natural History, and their symptoms indicate that they’ve been poisoned. Nurse Winter calls for toxicologist Dr. Ben Nitten.

However, when the doctor arrives, he seems more interested in getting the comely nurse alone in a room than in treating the poison victims. He tries to place her in a circle of containment, but Summer transforms into Santanica Pandemonium. The succubus is surprised to find that she isn’t as powerful as she is used to being….

Rain Tomotowa spends time with her grandmother, “Kittaguka,” (a Metinuwak or shaman of the Lenape) who is banned from the Conclave. Kittaguka asks Rain to serve as her grandmother’s representative, so the young woman transforms into “Thunderbird” and flies to the meeting….

Back at the burning building, the Cloaked Quarrel realizes too late that the second stairwell is also set to explode, and he chases the masked woman across the roof. She easily leaps across an alleyway, but Kyle finds himself barely hanging on. He pleads for the woman’s help in an attempt to slow her down. She releases a fire escape with a thrown dagger, which he later retrieves.

The Cloaked Quarrel doesn’t have time to rest or analyze clues because he hears of a “211 in progress at Charlie and 8th” — an armed robbery. After checking his crossbow bracers, Kyle jogs to the site and finds an armored car and the bodies of two guards….

Eli finds that he’s not the only one watching Boyd Burch’s apartment on 54 Tennant St. in Kingsgate. Since nobody notices an old man, Wasserman can get close to two thugs at a coffee shop as they complain about their work for the Russian mob. He recognizes the tattoo on one of them from the security footage of Burch’s abduction….

At the Conclave, “Merlin” meets latecomer Thunderbird and offers to help find the dragon pearl. The group divvies up their search, leaving the South Market to Merlin and Thunderbird. But first, they stop at Kittaguka’s place, where they encounter Rain’s grandmother’s friend Richard, also known as the White Magus. He says that his properties have been victimized by arson, possibly in an attempt to find the artifact….Kittaguka also reveals that in ages past, the Thunderbirds slew many Unktehila – great dragons and kept their cintamanni in a safe place.

Trapped in the summoner’s circle, Santanica Pandemonium rages. Three demon lords: Narasimha (sphinx), Zhu Bajie (boar), Abezethibou (ogre-like) ask three questions:
1. “Would you sacrifice the life of Summer Winters to protect a loved one?”
2. "Who do you truly blame for your son’s tragedy?
3. “If you knew a crime was being committed by the Galati organization, would you interfere?”

Only Abezethibou likes his answer, so he reveals critical information that Mancari Security Co. is a front for the Galati crime family. Released, Santanica flies on leathery wings to the Ramsaier Museum of Natural History.

Santanica crashes through a skylight into a large hall, where she sees a floating woman surrounded by snakes. Pandemonium blasts two guards under Erichtho’s control with hellfire. The serpent sorceress then animates a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, which Santanica smashes from the inside. However, Erichtho communicates with an unknown party and flies away….

DarkStorm drives his black sports car to Boyle’s apartment in the suburb of Blackbird, but it has already been tossed by the Red Right Hand. Tim finds that Boyle went to CalTech, and a safe rattles him with dim memories. DarkStorm then rushes to another fire….

Merlin and Thunderbird head to the same arson in Fairmont. A divination reveals that “Devil Doll” is about to set fire in yet another stairwell. The urban wizard helps evacuate the building, while winged Thunderbird chases Devil Doll, who uses parkour to get to a third-story ledge….

At the armored car and dead Mancari Security guards, the Cloaked Quarrel confronts “Palmetto,” a costumed criminal resembling a giant cockroach. As Palmetto threatens to shoot, the arcane archer fires bolts that jam his stink guns.

The Cloaked Quarrel finds a metal casket with a woman seemingly made of glass. He takes the vehicle and casket, which is labeled with the name “Boyd Burch,” to an outlying parking lot of his college and heads to Burch’s apartment….

Santanica Pandemonium returns to All Saints Hospital and returns to human form. Without memories of recent events or clothing, the attractive nurse gets help from Wally the janitor, who assumes that she has a drug problem. Summer goes home, where she finds a parchment note with incomprehensible writing.

Nanny Lucy McGillicutty hands over Summer’s son Timmy, who asks again about when he’ll see his father, Bobby Galati. Summer puts him off again and finds a TV news report about a jade dagger stolen from the Ramsaier Museum of Natural History strangely fascinating…. ( Event Milestone Jade Warrior’s Panoply)

At Boyd Burch’s apartment, the Cloaked Quarrel is impressed to watch the Amazing Mr. Fantastic pull one of the Russian mobsters into an alley and interrogate him using his shadow powers. The surprised thug admits that he was told by someone named Oserov to watch Burch’s unit.

After the goon is released, the Cloaked Quarrel eagerly introduces himself to the Amazing Mr. Fantastic, who wants nothing to do with an “amateur.” Kyle tries to assure Eli that he is aware of the dangers that crimefighters face. He also says that he has found something strange that belonged to Burch.

Wasserman reluctantly accompanies Martins to the stashed armored car and the glass woman, and they agree that the D.J. Sharrif scientist was involved in something big as they head to Eli’s P.I. office….

DarkStorm arrives at a blazing building and sees a huge bird attacking a woman on a ledge. Not realizing that Thunderbird is trying to stop arsonist Devil Doll, he shoots at Thunderbird until Merlin arrives to straighten things out.

Thunderbird and Merlin take the bound Devil Doll the White Magus….

View
Session 2: Devil in the Details

Here are Gene and Jason’s notes for Session 2 of “Glassworks,” which Rich C.G. hosted at his apartment in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 4 June 2012:

Player Character roster for Jason E.R.’s “Glassworks Bronze Age/noir 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./ absent ]-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

Sometime after Santanica Pandemonium encountered snaky sorceress Erichtho at the Ramsaier Museum of Natural History, nurse Summer Winters sends an e-mail to her ex-husband, Bobby Galati. Their son Timmy has been asking about his father. Summer then goes to a local library to do some research into a dagger that was stolen from the museum, according to news reports. She isn’t sure why she is curious about this item.

The schizophrenic woman goes to the museum, not realizing that her demonic alter ego visited it. Summer finds only the gift shop open, and she buys a book cataloging a collection of Asian artifacts including the jade dagger. A picture shows a makara (sea-dragon) design in the hilt. Summer studies late into the night….

Meanwhile, three other metahumans have met and captured arsonist “Devil Doll.” DarkStorm drives Thunderbird, Merlin, and their prisoner to the “Little Baghdad” neighborhood of Kingsgate, a section of Hamilton, Delaware. They go to the stately manor of the White Magus.

A strange turbaned manservant greets the motley group, and they take the restrained Devil Doll to a sitting room. DarkStorm removes the woman’s mask and sees burn scars and that she is mute. Devil Doll seems to recognize her host, and after she is magically bound and given some writing implements, she identifies herself as Eva Ball, the former partner of the White Magus thought killed in a fire! Merlin divines that she escaped from a hospital-like institution….

Still excited after his first brushes with the superhero community, the Cloaked Quarrel leaves the private detective office of Eli Wasserman in Germantown and returns to the apartment of Boyd Burch at 54 Tenant Street in Kingsgate.

The Russian mobsters whom “The Amazing Mr. Fantastic” had met are gone, and a hopscotch board with odd symbols has been drawn on the sidewalk in front of Burch’s building. The Cloaked Quarrel quickly copies them into his notebook before going in to look for clues to the missing chemist.

Burch’s apartment has been thoroughly ransacked, but the Cloaked Quarrel does pick up some keys and pictures of Burch with his wife and a fellow CalTech grad. A sound in the bathroom brings the Cloaked Quarrel face to face with the Red Right Hand, a violent vigilante.

Kyle eagerly shares what he and Eli have found so far, and “Mr. Hand” gives him a manila envelope with more files and a burner phone in return. The Red Right Hand tells the Cloaked Quarrel that he believes the Russian mobsters were actually trying to protect Burch, possibly from the Galati crime family, because of his gambling debts and connections to tobacco firm D.J. Sharrif….

The next morning, Nurse Winters returns to All Saints Hospital. She confronts Dr. Ben Nitten, who had lured her into an examining room. Not knowing that she had transformed into Santanica Pandemonium, Summer isn’t sure how she got from there to waking up naked in an alley sometime later.

Nitten responds cryptically, gesticulating wildly. He denies any wrongdoing and takes Summer to the security office, where they find Wally, the janitor who had helped her the other day. The nurse’s vision blurs, and Wally somehow becomes guard Billy, and they review fragmentary camera footage.

Summer also glimpses Dr. Nitten flickering back and forth with a dark-haired peasant. She gets sleepy and is surprised to find herself back at home, with her alarm clock ringing for her next shift at the hospital….

White Magus isn’t sure what to do about pyromaniac Devil Doll, especially if she’s his former partner, but Merlin asks her to show him where she escaped from. DarkStorm drives the team back to the not-so-abandoned warehouses at 315 Mycroft Ave. in Fairmont. They find only police tape at the scene of the murder of Albert Boyle, a former colleague of Tim Gray.

On the way back to the White Magus, the would-be heroes learn of another arson. The leader of the mystical Conclave says it’s not one of his properties, and he reluctantly agrees that they should go investigate the blaze at 26 Orissa Street.

As firefighters get the flames under control, Merlin collects ash and scrys upon a woman wearing a mask and cloth wrappings similar to Devil Doll. She is headed northwest. Merlin douses a necklace with a potion of stealth and gives it to DarkStorm.

Thunderbird flies to the roof and is shocked to notice a pattern of holes from vertical fires in a row of buildings leading to the Glassworks section, home of the Hamilton Harriers [see DarkPages one-shot]. Since Merlin’s spell tracking “Devil Doll 2” is still active, DarkStorm decides to follow that lead first.

The Cloaked Quarrel reviews the files he got from the Red Right Hand and is waiting to share with The Amazing Mr. Fantastic. Boyd Burch’s wife Maura died about five years ago in an industrial accident. Kyle recognizes her as the glass woman he found while foiling costumed villain Palmetto’s heist of a Mancari Security Co. armored car.

The other man in the photos from Burch’s apartment is Albert Boyle, a biologist at Oryx Industries, which supports D.J. Sharrif’s plan to take over the Annex. The Cloaked Quarrel sets out for the suburb of Blackbird to check on Boyle….

Outside All Saints Hospital, Summer meets ex-husband Bobby Galati. Dr. Nitten appears and encourages their argument. An orderly tries to interpose, and Santanica Pandemonium emerges and rips out his heart!

Horrified, Galati tries to run to his limousine, but Santanica blows it up. He admits that he stashed a jade dagger stolen from the museum in the car, and the succubus retrieves it and flies away….

On the way to Boyle’s house, Kyle is sitting in a city bus when he recognizes DarkStorm behind the wheel of his car (with Merlin, as well as Thunderbird overhead). The superhero fan jumps out, and once he learns that they’re also investigating the arsons, asks to join the case.

Merlin is frustrated when he realizes that he had been magically tracking a dagger that the Cloaked Quarrel got from the first Devil Doll rather than the second arsonist. DarkStorm notes that Boyle is already dead and agrees with the Cloaked Quarrel that their leads are connected.

Another fire erupts, and DarkStorm drives his new acquaintances to it. Rain transforms back into avian form and brings the Cloaked Quarrel to the roof, where he confronts Devil Doll 2. Merlin engages Santanica Pandemonium, who is curious about the inferno.

The Cloaked Quarrel fires bolts from his mystical crossbows, but Devil Doll 2 knocks them away and hurls a knife in return. DarkStorm stashes his vehicle a few blocks away and begins climbing the ornamented exterior of the old theater to get to the roof.

Thunderbird creates a thunderclap with her large wings, briefly weakening the fire. However, Santanica whips up the flames between the Cloaked Quarrel and Devil Doll 2, provoking an attempt by Merlin to banish her with a silver crucifix. The wizard is unsuccessful, and they begin trading verbal barbs.

The second Devil Doll is entagled by a second volley from the Cloaked Quarrel, and DarkStorm unmasks the arsonist. Tim is upset when he recognizes her as Maggie Orex, his former girlfriend killed five years ago by muggers! Her face is bruised, and like Eva Ball, she is apparently mute.

After a few minutes of sparring, Merlin and Santanica stand down at the request of the other crime fighters. The Cloaked Quarrel gets the demoness to go to Evergreen Park to talk. Thunderbird later translates the hopscotch characters as a mix of a nursery rhyme (“Little Jack Horner”) and primal runes.

DarkStorm drives Maggie to Rain’s grandmother, the shaman “Kittaguka,” for treatment of her physical and mental injuries. At Evergreen Park, the team reconvenes to finally compare notes, but Merlin and Santanica Pandemonium continue haggling over the jade dagger.

Arcanists Merlin, Thunderbird, and Santanica wonder about the connection between the Cloaked Quarrel’s ancient crossbows, the “jade warrior’s panoply,” and the dagger that Erichtho of the coven stole from the museum and that Bobby Galati had.

What’s the significance of the fires leading to Glassworks, and where is the “cintamanni” (dragon pearl or Philosopher’s Stone) that various mystics are hunting? Merlin and Thunderbird had promised the Conclave that they’d search the South Market.

DarkStorm, the Cloaked Quarrel, and (presumably) The Amazing Mr. Fantastic want to investigate the connections between the murder of Oryx biologist Albert Boyle, the disappearance of D.J. Sharrif chemist Boyd Birch, and the attempted theft of the glass corpse of Maura Burch.

The Cloaked Quarrel takes DarkStorm to the armored car. They agree that the mix of magic, science, corporate espionage, and organized crime is confusing. A burned-out house bears further examination, and DarkStorm also still wants to find the warehouse in Fairmont.

Further complicating matters is Santanica Pandemonium’s dual nature. Summer calls Tim from All Saints Hospital, and when he and Matthew explain what has happened, she begins to remember her activities both as a nurse and a demon.

In the meantime, DarkStorm and Thunderbird decide to go with Santanica/Summer to find her son Timmy. The Cloaked Quarrel and Merlin head to the White Magus to report on their findings and check in on the Devil Dolls. Kyle [+ 6 x.p. total] also hopes to talk again with Eli and the enigmatic Red Right Hand….

View
Session 3: Alley of the Devil Dolls

Here are Gene and Jason’s notes for Session 3 of “Glassworks,” which Brian hosted at his home in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 25 June 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./ absent ]-male metahuman tinkerer with the ability to temporarily imbue machines with personalities and communicate with them

>>Session 3: “Getting the Shaft”

In response to a rash of arsons and mysterious murders, a strange group of people gathers in Hamilton, Delaware. Kyle summarizes what he and his newfound super friends have learned so far for Eli:

The Case of the Masked Arsonists: The masked and wrapped women known as “Devil Dolls” have been setting incendiary devices around the city.

Devil Doll I was caught setting fire to properties belonging to the White Magus, leader of the mystical Conclave to which Matthew belongs. She was later revealed to be Eva Ball, former partner of Richard/the White Magus, and was taken for treatment to Rain’s grandmother, the shaman Kittaguka. Mute Eva recalled escaping from some institution.

Devil Doll II was captured while setting fires in a line leading to a factory in the Glassworks neighborhood. She turned out to be Maggie Orex, daughter of James Orex, the founder of the firm Oryx Industries. Maggie was also Tim’s girlfriend who was believed to be dead, and both Eva and Maggie suffered from serious physical and emotional/mental injuries.

The Case of the Glass Woman: Upon foiling a Mancari Security armored car heist by the costumed Palmetto, the Cloaked Quarrel had discovered a glass woman in a metal casket. She was Maura Burch, wife of the missing Boyd Burch, a chemist at tobacco firm D.J. Sharrif.

Eli had been hired by Faisal Marzoug on behalf of Ms. Sharrif to find Boyd, who had been kidnapped from D.J. Sharrif’s facilities at 54 Tennant Street in the Annex — a neighborhood that Sharrif wants to rename “Fatima.”

Meanwhile, DarkStorm had gotten a tip from fellow vigilante the Red Right Hand about Burch’s former CalTech classmate, Oryx scientist Albert Boyle. Boyle had been found murdered near a warehouse at 315 Mycroft Ave. in Fairmont. Burch had been working on something called “Project Jabberwock,” which involved “reverse-engineered DNA” and “umbral matter.”

Near where Russian mobsters (led by a man named Ozerov) had been watching Burch’s apartment, the Cloaked Quarrel had found primal runes later translated as “Little Jack Horner.” Kyle also made contact with the Red Right Hand and believed that the D.J. Sharrif and Oryx Industries cases were somehow connected.

The Case of the Dragon Pearl: Merlin and Thunderbird had been assigned by the Conclave, a group of about six mages, to search the South Market for the “cintamanni,” a.k.a. the “Philosopher’s Stone” and the organ responsible for certain dragons’ flight. While apprehending the Devil Dolls, they had encountered Santanica Pandemonium.

The fiery winged woman had fought Erichtho of the Coven over a jade dagger at the Ramsaeir Museum of Natural History. Summer’s ex-husband Bobby Galati, of the Galati crime family and Mancari Security, eventually surrendered the dagger to her at All Saints Hospital.

Santanica/Summer also later mentioned that she has been seeing the face of Dr. Ben Nitten (who had summoned three demons to question her) and some peasant flickering around other people. Is he a shapeshifter, some spirit possessing victims, or a figment of her fractured imagination?

The “jade warror’s panoply” apparently included the jade dagger and the Cloaked Quarrel’s crossbows. Other mystics from the Conclave and Coven, including Shard, were hunting for the cintamanni.

Making connections: While the Red Right Hand may have killed Albert Boyle for his involvement in shady Oryx Industries research, Boyd Burch was likely also searching (or had even obtained) the dragon pearl to try to change his wife Maura back to flesh and blood.

Because of his gambling debts, Burch had apparently turned to Ozerov for protection, even as Mancari Security had his wife, and Bobby Galati ended up with the jade dagger that Erichtho had taken from the museum. How were the jade warrior’s panoply and the cintomanni connected? What were the Devil Dolls trying to flush out with fires toward Glassworks, and for whom? Who wrote the primal runes, and what was Dr. Nitten?

Back into the field: Rain and Tim go to Kittaguka’s to check on Maggie. The Native American shaman tells her granddaughter that Devil Doll II’s wounds were caused by science, not magic, and that she needs herbs from Kunzang Tenzin, a member of the Conclave, from which she was expelled. Matthew and Kyle plan to visit the White Magus to check on Eva/Devil Doll I.

Summer is upset to find that her ex-husband Bobby is missing, along with her son Timmy. Now aware of her Santanica Pandemonium identity, she asks her former mother-in-law about Timmy. Apparently, the Galati crime family is angry that Bobby has gone into the witness protection program and fears that he may expose the family’s leadership to law enforcement.

Eli calls in his “science guy,” Ezra Goldman/ “Daedalus,” to track down Palmetto. However, the “Amazing Mr. Fantastic” and Daedalus, as well as Merlin and the Cloaked Quarrel, are sidetracked when Santanica Pandemonium calls for backup as she, Thunderbird, and DarkStorm go to the warehouse in Fairmont where Albert Boyle’s body was found.

An alley connects Mycroft and Pallas Avenues, running between an apparently abandoned factory and a warehouse whose security DarkStorm found was still active. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic believes that the warehouse is a decoy or trap and that the best way to any subterranean hideout is through the factory.

Thunderbird and Santanica fly to the roof of the warehouse and use their wings to buffet security cameras out of position. Daedalus reroutes other monitors near the doors, then he and DarkStorm join the others at the factory. They easily break in through a window.

The Cloaked Quarrel finds machinery under tarps that has been reassembled in a strange configuration. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic looks for clues and sees scratch marks in the floor. Santanica Pandemonium keeps watch outside.

In a dusty office, Merlin and company find unused “Indian” brand candy wrappers belonging to the defunct Hamilton Candy Co. He and DarkStorm also find a cargo elevator that leads to a lit shaft.

Daedalus and the Cloaked Quarrel find that some of the devices can be moved to slots in the factory floor, but as they interact with one, it pierces a barrel of fluorescent goo. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic contains it with his summoned shadows, even though the private detective doesn’t like using his powers.

Armored DarkStorm and the magical Merlin descend and find a corridor with about 20 Devil Dolls! The masked women stand in rows, seemingly inert. Closer examination determines that they are inhibited by pieces of “magic candy.” Merlin hits all of the Devil Dolls with a lightning storm, forcing the candy out of their mouths. The wrapped saboteurs begin advancing toward the two metahumans!

In avian form, Thunderbird flies down but tells the Cloaked Quarrel that everything is under control. Gadgeteer Daedalus and the young Cloaked Quarrel are curious about the machinery, while the Amazing Mr. Fantastic recommends caution and notes the commotion down below.

Santanica Pandemonium enters and is drawn to the devices. The Cloaked Quarrel draws his mystical crossbows in alarm, but the fiery woman comes to and identifies the devices (later confirmed with Merlin’s divination) as components of a “mystic dragon cage.”

Winged Thunderbird knocks down some of the Devil Dolls, and Santanica flies down and pulls out DarkStorm, who doesn’t want to harm the women, and Merlin. The group narrowly escapes the factory, despite Merlin and Santanica’s desire to destroy it.

The crime fighters regroup and discuss what to do next. Thunderbird goes to Kittaguka and asks about the dragon cages. She learns that her ancestors were known as dragon slayers (Unktehila), a history that seems related to the hunt for the cintamanni.

Merlin has one of the candies chemically analyzed and contacts White Magus. Summer/Santanica wants to send a bloody message to the Galati family but decides to leave her ex-husband and son in the relative safety witness protection until she can solve her cases.

Eli uses his psychology experience to help Maggie remember her time as a Devil Doll. She says that the fires were set to drive something out of the buildings. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic theorizes that Faisal may have hired him on behalf of a real dragon.

Despite the Cloaked Quarrel’s misgivings, DarkStorm brings Maggie to her father James Orex. Summer accompanies them as a nurse and is alarmed when she recognizes the butler as Dr. Nitten!

James seems happy to be reunited with his daughter, but his house goes into security lockdown as Santanica and Merlin look for Dr. Nitten. Metal plates drop in front of windows, security guards scramble through the mansion and its grounds, and the outer gates close and lock.

The rest of the would-be superheroes borrow one of Matthew’s vehicles and get past the outer perimeter’s security measures. Santanica blasts through doors and walls and pursues a nearly invisible man.

Matthew’s secret identity as DarkStorm is blown before his boss, but James says his first concern is Maggie’s safety. The CEO of Oryx Industries claims that Project Jabberwock was mothballed as a failure and that he knows nothing of the Devil Dolls’ arson scheme or Albert Boyle’s murder.

The Cloaked Quarrel manages to pin the man fleeing Santanica Pandemonium, who redirects her attention at new arrival Erichtho. The flying witch casts fiery snakes at berserk Santanica and Thunderbird. Merlin and the Amazing Mr. Fantastic try to block Erichtho, but she, Rasayana (the man with the invisibility suit), and Dr. Nitten teleport away.

DarkStorm tries to do damage control with the Orexes and call for law-enforcement backup for the candy factory. He also makes plans with the Cloaked Quarrel to contact the Red Right Hand, mainly about the corporate espionage and organized crime. Daedalus analyzes the candy sample, which uses a neural inhibitor and “reverse-DNA” to control the nearly dead women.

Furious Santanica Pandemonium and Merlin want to track down Erichtho and Dr. Nitten and to find out more about the cintamanni and jade warrior’s panoply. The Amazing Mr. Fantastic, the Cloaked Quarrel, Thunderbird, and Daedalus plan to head to the second factory in Glassworks….

View
Session 4: Disco Roach Motel

Here are Gene and Jason’s notes for Session 4 of “Glassworks,” which Brian W. hosted at his home in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 9 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

As an impromptu band of metahumans and crime fighters reviews its cases in Eli’s office, the semi-retired vigilante gets a distress signal from his Seventh Legion communications device. Fanboy Kyle recognizes the “VII” symbol and 1960s technology.

The “Amazing Mr. Fantastic” recognizes the signal as coming from John Getz, a.k.a. “Red Planet.” The group goes to the Indian Beach neighborhood of Hamilton, Del., and finds Getz’s tract home trashed.

Merlin identifies the deceased as members of the Coven, a New York-based rival to Hamilton’s mystical Conclave, who lie sprawled amid the wreckage. DarkStorm is impressed that Red Planet, a “brick” or “tank” of the Seventh Legion, didn’t go down without a fight.

Eli attends to Getz, who is mortally wounded and gives him a burned-out cintamanni (also called a dragon pearl or philosopher’s stone). Red Planet notes that it was a trophy from King Naga, who disappeared years ago. The costumed villain’s breastplate was part of the jade warrior’s panoply that various parties are seeking.

The rocky brawler says with his last breath that “He was always her white knight.” The mournful Amazing Mr. Fantastic notes that Richard, the White Magus, was once known as the “White Knight.” His partner Eva Ball, who was recently entangled in the Devil Doll arsons, was known as “Damsel.”

Santanica Pandemonium keeps an eye out for Erichtho, Shard, or other members of the Coven. Thunderbird and the Cloaked Quarrel search Getz’s apartment for clues and find an old subway map with an extra line. Apparently, a Metro line to Fairmont was built in the late 1960s but was never used – the metro project funds were diverted to the infrastructure of the Annex. The team leaves before the police arrive.

Back at Wasserman’s office, Daedalus keeps watch on prisoner Rasayana, who with Erichtho attacked the estate of industrialist James Orex. Merlin hides the cintamanni in his extra dimensional library.

Thunderbird observes that the stations on the train map correspond to the arson sites leading toward Glassworks. The assembled heroes agree to go to the crystal factory at Inneman Station.

DarkStorm makes sure to park his vehicles a safe distance away, and the Cloaked Quarrel shoots a nylon line to lower himself into the disused tunnels. Santanica Pandemonium unfurls her demonic wings and creates a whirlwind to lower the others.

Flashlights in hand, the investigators don’t go far before they meet four cockroach-themed malefactors! Palmetto, whom the Cloaked Quarrel had humiliated in their first encounter, praises “the glory of the mother.”

Death’s Head engages Santanica Pandemonium, who erupts into an infernal blaze. Discoid readies his disc shooter, as Palmetto dodges crossbow bolts. Hisser and Thunderbird trade sonic attacks.

The Amazing Mr. Fantastic misses Discoid, and Thunderbird slams Palmetto into a wall. Death’s Head and Santanica Pandemonium grapple. Merlin conjures up an illusion of a giant can of insecticide, but it’s too dark for his foes to see.

DarkStorm uses his staff to parry shots from Discoid, while Merlin casts Chain Lightning. A muscular man wearing a mask watches the conflict from the sidelines. Santanica Pandemonium later identifies him as Ilya Petrovich, or “Tarakan”, the nigh-indestructible bodyguard of Russian mob boss Ozerov.

Cloaked Quarrel misses Hisser, who responds by inflicting horror on the young hunter. DarkStorm drives off Hisser, and Santanica Pandemonium tackles Death’s Head. Thunderbird disrupts Hisser’s sonic scream with a thunderclap.

Palmetto blasts his stink guns at Cloaked Quarrel, who narrowly dodges. Discoid and DarkStorm maneuver, while the Amazing Mr. Fantastic blinds Palmetto with darkforce manipulation.

Death’s Head pummels Santanica Pandemonium, but superior Thunderbird saves her winged ally by knocking him out. Discoid’s weapons find their mark, wounding DarkStorm, and the do-gooders stumble about in the dark.

Santanica Pandemonium ends the battle by blasting the area with flame. Three of the four roaches scuttle away, but Petrovich apparently broke Death’s Head’s neck rather than allow him to talk. DarkStorm and Santanica Pandemonium take his mask as a trophy and for further analysis.

The subway spelunkers continue on toward Inneman Station. Music from the ’60s emanates from speakers, and inside a wall, they find the skeleton of King Naga. According to the Amazing Mr. Fantastic, Naga was a villain and had fought Harrier back in the 1950s before reforming.

Merlin takes the jade breastplate, and the Cloaked Quarrel tracks wires from a speaker northwest to a strange vending machine in Stevens Station. It dispenses Indian-brand candy, which was manufactured at the factory where the group recently encountered Devil Dolls and a mystic dragon cage.

Santanica Pandemonium knocks the dispenser over, exposing elaborate machinery and more wires spreading through the tunnels. The women who were turned into masked, wrapped pyromaniacs must have each placed a quarter in this machine, even though it’s in an unused station. More mysteries.

Back on the surface, the super friends continue their many inquiries. DarkStorm finds out that Maura Burch, the wife of a missing scientist found turned into glass, was originally entomologist Maura Petrovich, tying her to both the Russian mafia and Oryx Industries. She must be the “mother” Palmetto referred to.

Santanica Pandemonium interrogates Rasayana, whose real name is Keith Lucido. The goon says that Erichtho merely hired him and gave him alchemical armor (with some invisibility). Eli then turns Lucido over to the police.

Thunderbird and Merlin consult mystic Kittaguka. The old woman tells them that Dream Hunter and the Coven have the helmet of the jade warrior. The Cloaked Quarrel has his bow, Santanica retrieved dagger, and King Naga had the breastplate.

DarkStorm and the Cloaked Quarrel go to meet the Red Right Hand at the ‘Forcements. The violent vigilante tells the armored wonder and crossbow-wielding kid that “everybody’s looking for a warehouse in the South Market — the Russians, the Italians, the Coven, and the Conclave.”

The Amazing Mr. Fantastic recalls that D.J. Sharrif hired him to find missing chemist Boyd Burch and believes that he may be tied to dragons. Burch had gone to Ozerov for protection against the Galati crime family because of his gambling debts. He and the roaches apparently sought the dragon pearls for glassified Mora.

Kittaguka tells Thunderbird that King Naga, like her ancestors, was a dragonslayer. Merlin says the package that everyone is looking in the South Market could be the last cintamanni, the helmet, or even a dragon.

Merlin goes to the White Magus to share what he has learned so far and to ask about the Devil Dolls and Red Planet. The Cloaked Quarrel wonders why so many people are seeking the pearls and the related jade warrior’s panoply.

After dropping off Lucido, Eli finds Faisal Marzoug in his office. On behalf of Ms. Sharrif — who wants to rename Hamilton’s Annex sector as “Fatima” — Marzoug gives Eli a check for $25,000 and says that his services are no longer needed.

Late one night, Santanica Pandemonium receives a shadowy visitor. The “independent interest” offers to lead Summer to her son Timmy (and presumably, ex-husband Bobby Galati) in return for the inactive dragon pearl.

DarkStorm learns about Todd Klukas and that the Hamilton Candy Co., which produced the Indian Head brand, was bought by D.J. Sharrif. This connects back to the strange machinery and the mystic dragon cage…

View
"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….

View
Glassworks Session 6
Dragon Tales

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.

View
"Glassworks: the Devil's Den" Session 1
Breakout!

Fellow role-players, here are Jason’s and Gene’s notes for Session 3.1 of the “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero scenario, which Rich hosted in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 27 January 2014:

Hamilton remembers when its streets were rough and newly trod. When its people slept in peace and dreamed of tomorrow. It wakes at night, a jagged ghost dulled to the sounds of gunfire, the smell of smoke, the touch of razor wire. It weeps, and the sky opens with a roar. It’s raining in the city, and the gods are going to war.

Glassworks is set in the city of Hamilton, an urban sprawl on the eastern seaboard of North America. Glassworks is inspired by occult noir, hardboiled crime fiction, pulp adventure and gritty, street-level cop dramas. Its themes explore the allure of immortality, the shadows of the past, the fear of death and the corruption of power.

“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.]-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

“Hamliton, Delaware, 20 to 27 January 2014:” About a year has passed since the city’s latest superhero group pursued an arson investigation that uncovered kidnappings, corporate intrigues, mob wars, and supernatural conspiracies.

The Cloaked Quarrel welcomes newcomers to the “Eighth Legion’s” headquarters, an abandoned subway station. The Stranger, Erwin72, and Empty Spoon look around as the Cloaked Quarrel explains how the Jade Bow Affair brought his team to Inneman Station in Fairmont.

During the hunt for the cintomanni, or dragon pearl, the young crossbowman and company found dragon hunter King Naga and the indomitable Harrier, deceased members of a previous generation of mystery men and women. They eventually learned that murderous vigilante Red Planet was in love with shaman Kittaguka.

The subway station contains a few trophies, including a machine dispensing Indian Head candies. The dangerous sweets have been replaced by a Devil Doll dagger. The Hamilton Candy Co. was later bought by D.J. Sharrif, whose widow Fatima seeks to redevelop the Annex.

Meanwhile, DarkStorm works on improving the base of operations, and Merlin and Thunderbird meet with the Conclave, Hamilton’s mystical organization. Phantasm seeks to go straight after encountering Silverfish.

The Cloaked Quarrel struggles to explain how the police scanner, walkie-talkies, and smartphones work to the time-displaced Stranger, Erwin, and Empty Spoon. They recommend searching for alternate exits rather than having to walk back to the Penn Station intersection.

Gunslinger Stranger tries to comprehend modern lifestyles and prejudices, as replicant Erwin72 sends multiples of himself to search nearby tunnels. Martial artist Empty Spoon bends the winds to lift himself to a hatch. The Cloaked Quarrel recommends waiting to open it until they can verify what’s above.

Erwin and the Quarrel check online and find that the Stevens Inneman Refractory Co. (SIRC), a manufacturer of specialty lenses and mirrors, owns the building above the hatch. The company is best known for the cobalt SIRC Tower downtown, which is the unofficial symbol of the city and after which the Hamilton Blue Sox baseball team is named.

The Inneman building above the subway is supposedly home to a financial operations center, but only one employee is based there. Harvey Thorn is a 30-year veteran, and the Cloaked Quarrel poses as a real estate investor to get an appointment with him next week through secretary Abigail Williams.

The Cloaked Quarrel gets a text message from Conchita Melendez, a blogger who tracks costumed heroes and villains. She had worked with the noirish Black Hat [see DarkPages one-shot] and the brutal and secretive Red Right Hand.

Melendez tells the Cloaked Quarrel of rumors of a new player in town recruiting for three intricate schemes. Although the unknown mastermind is allegedly insane, the schemes are so flawlessly planned that villains are buying into the ideas, she says.

The Cloaked Quarrel asks the Stranger to saddle up for a hunt, since the InterWebs can provide only so much information. Erwin looks forward to taking down criminals for interrogation. Empty Spoon offers to visit Kunzang Tenzin, his shifu (teacher) at the “Wheel of Joy” herbal shop in Germantown, since Chinese New Year is coming.

After some discussion, the Cloaked Quarrel takes the rookies to Krasnaya Strela, a Russian restaurant in the style of a railroad car. Kyle Martins dons his civilian garb as a college student but still manages to talk his way past burly bouncers.

Sam A. Jackson’s cowboy hat is a big hit with the Russian mobsters, and Empty Spoon wears a nice Nehru jacket. Agent Shrodinger wears a dark suit and keeps quiet. Kyle greets crime lord Viktor Ozerov, one of the survivors of the recent mob wars.

Ozerov complains that enforcer Ilya Petrovich, code-named Tarakan, has disappeared. Kyle notes that Petrovich is probably catching up with his dysfunctional but powerful family and was among the super soldiers experimented upon with DarkStorm.

In addition, Ozerov’s replacement for Tarakan, Dmitri Cheznokov (aka the Colonel), has also left. Ozerov extends an offer to DarkStorm or the Stranger to serve in his organization. Although the Italian Mafia is decimated and under new leadership [see “Santanica Pandemonium”], Ozerov says that Latino gang La Basura (Monday Garbage Pickup Zone 1) is on the rise.

Cheznokov was a colonel in the Spetsnaz (Russian special forces) and was recruited by the mysterious new mastermind to lead a team. The would-be heroes are surprised to learn that a massive prison break is planned, apparently for the James T. Vaughn Sr. Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del., a suburb near the Annex neighborhood.

Kyle thanks Ozerov for the information and hastily leaves the restaurant. Melendez says that chat discussions have revealed that the mastermind is also looking for people with naval experience.

Hamilton’s Sharp Harbor has three old ships: the U.S.S. Superior, a frigate from the War of 1812; the Ice Fish (SS-367), a World War II Balao-class submarine; and the Bullock (AK-165), a WWII Alanosa-class cargo vessel. The last ship also served in the Turkish merchant marine, was renamed the S.S. Edime, and was refurbished by D.J. Sharif.

The Cloaked Quarrel considers staking out the harbor with Erwin, but the sniper decides instead to take all available heroes to the prison. As night falls on Smyrna, the Stranger creates a dark portal to teleport into a guard tower, releasing shadowy creatures on the way.

Erwin72 gives one of his duplicates his firearm and prepares to talk his way into the prison. At super speed, Empty Spoon reconnoiters the perimeter and finds nothing suspicious. The Cloaked Quarrel’s initial research finds that warden Richard Gladstone has a good record.

A helicopter bearing the state seal arrives. From their perch on a nearby hill, the members of the Eighth Legion see a heavily armed team get out. An electromagnetic pulse grenade douses all lights and electronics in the area.

Erwin reveals that he can jump to anywhere he can see. The Stranger summons his steed Gabriel and rides over the 30-foot tall wall. Empty Spoon levitates on a cushion of air, and the Cloaked Quarrel shoots a grapnel line to get to the prison yard.

Empty Spoon creates a vacuum in the helicopter, incapacitating the pilots. The Cloaked Quarrel uses his mystical crossbows to fire a flare bolt, briefly blinding the raiders with night-vision goggles. The Stranger and Erwin help subdue the armed attackers, and the Cloaked Quarrel explains to the guards surrounding them and Gladstone that he’s one of the good guys.

Empty Spoon hears on the helicopter radio that “the Beta Team is a go,” and the warden tells the Quarrel that there is a secret detention facility beneath Hamilton’s Korean War Memorial. The Eighth Legion races south, across town.

One of stone slabs at the base of the memorial has been moved, and the fearless foursome finds guards being tossed around like rag dolls. They descend a staircase under flickering fluorescent lights, and the Cloaked Quarrel momentarily considers sealing themselves in rather than allowing supervillains to escape.

They descend, and the Cloaked Quarrel recognizes sometime nemesis Palmetto, whose cockroach-like costume has been improved. Whiptail, a woman in a lizard-style outfit complete with a tail, knocks out the remaining guards.

Empty Spoon faces off with Whiptail, as the Stranger shoots with old-fashioned firearms. Erwin72, who has retrieved his pistol, shoots at Whiptail. The Cloaked Quarrel fires a blast bolt, knocking Palmetto down several steps.

Enemy reinforcements arrive. Col. Cheznokov fires at the Empty Spoon with a triple-barreled shotgun. Inferna, a woman wreathed in flames, burns Erwin72, and Palmetto sprays a foul-smelling liquid on the Cloaked Quarrel and the Stranger, knocking them down.

Empty Spoon deafens the villains by manipulating the air around them, and Erwin tries to punch Inferna while sending a parallel to look downstairs. The Stranger shoots at Palmetto and the Spetsnaz colonel.

The Cloaked Quarrel shoots sticky bolts, but they miss. Whiptail evades the Empty Spoon’s fists, as Cheznokov blasts Erwin, whose duplicates disappear when he’s unconscious. The Stranger creates a shadowy chain, as Erwin and the Cloaked Quarrel recover.

Empty Spoon continues deafening their foes, and the Cloaked Quarrel’s fire-extinguishing foam arrow has no effect on Inferna. The flame fatale escapes, even as the Stranger subdues the colonel. The Cloaked Quarrel and Empty Spoon knock out Palmetto and Whiptail, and Erwin secures the colonel.

The Eighth Legionnaires leave Palmetto, Whiptail, and Col. Cheznokov for the authorities and check the cells of the secret superhuman prison. Five cells are intact, with labels indicating their residents: Entropy, Kerbala, Kraken, Lady Snow, and Ouroboros.

However, the sixth one, which held “Maxwell’s Demon,” is empty. The Cloaked Quarrel, the Stranger, Erwin72, and Empty Spoon head back to base for backup, since two other incidents are planned beyond the prison breakout….

View
"Glassworks: the Devil's Den" Session 2
"Fortress of Fortitude"

“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.]-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

“Hamliton, Delaware, 28 to 29 January 2014:” After preventing a prison breakout and fighting supervillains working for a mysterious new mastermind, members of the Eighth Legion regrouped at their secret subway base.

The Cloaked Quarrel, the Stranger, Erwin72, and Empty Spoon tell DarkStorm, Thunderbird, Merlin, and newcomer Phantasm about how they learned of rumors of a criminal mastermind plotting a three-stage attack on their city.

Erwin72 and Thunderbird go back to the secret metahuman prison beneath Hamilton’s Korean War Memorial downtown to try to track Inferna and Maxwell’s Demon, who escaped. Inferna’s molten footprints fade after several steps, suggesting that she shifted back to human form.

The Cloaked Quarrel texts Conchita Melendez, a blogger following the vigilante community. She tells him that Maxwell’s Demon was a member of the “Seventh Legion,” a previous band of colorful characters. The demon apparently wore a glowing yellow gargoyle costume and was also known as “Anomaly S48,” with the power of “quantum manipulation.”

DarkStorm contacts police detective Scott Scowronski and learns that Dmitri Chesnokov, a former colonel in the Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) and recent employee of mob boss Viktor Ozerov, is being held at the James T. Vaughn Sr. Correctional Center.

Scowronski also says that the Stevens Inneman Refractory Co. (SIRC) had a false alarm a few years ago, but its building in the Fairmont neighborhood has had no other incidents.

The Stranger explains that a hatch in a tunnel near the “Fortress of Fortitude” led to a SIRC financial center that strangely lists only one employee. Harvey Thorne is a 30-year veteran who has an address in Kings Gate. Secretary Abigail Williams calls Kyle, who posed as a real estate developer, to move up his appointment with Thorne to 8:00 a.m. the next morning.

The Eighth Legion splits into three squads. DarkStorm, the Cloaked Quarrel, Empty Spoon, and one of Erwin’s duplicates drive to the prison to interrogate “The Colonel.” The Stranger, Thunderbird, and another Erwin go to the South Market to shake down criminals to find out more about the mastermind.

Merlin, Phantasm, and yet another parallel Erwin go to Sharp Harbor to visit three old ships said to be involved in one of the meticulous but insane schemes. The vessels are the U.S.S. Superior, a frigate from the War of 1812; the Icefish (SS-367), a World War II Balao-class submarine; and the Bullock (AK-165), a WWII Alanosa-class cargo vessel. The last ship also served in the Turkish merchant marine, was renamed the S.S. Edime, and was refurbished by tobacco firm D.J. Sharif.

At the Vaughn jail in suburban Smyrna, Del., the Cloaked Quarrel talks with warden Richard Gladstone, who is grudgingly grateful for heroic help stopping the recent breakout attempt. The Cloaked Quarrel manages to resist the temptation to taunt personal nemesis Palmetto.

DarkStorm questions Chesnokov and pretends to be a sympathetic super-soldier, at least until the Colonel sees Empty Spoon looking into the holding cell.

At South Market, the Stranger pulls his revolver on a local drug dealer. He pulls him into an alley, then into a pocket of darkness. Thunderbird shifts to avian form to follow, even as startled bystanders record the incident with their smartphones.

At Sharp Harbor, Merlin and Erwin take a tour of the three antique warships, while Phantasm slips away from the group to explore the Edime’s cargo hold. She finds five stripped-down video game cabinets and vending machines that dispense Devil’s Head candy.

Col. Cheznokov tells DarkStorm that Empty Spoon fought well and that his newest boss pays generously. The mercenary declines DarkStorm’s counteroffer and asks for the time, confident that he’ll soon be released.

The Stranger dangles the druggie, who says that a flash mob is planned for the Ramseir Museum of Natural History, the site of previous misadventures. As the three teams compare notes, word comes over the police scanner of mass trauma at the museum.

The Eighth Legionnaires race to the scene, where several people appear to be suffering seizures and are bleeding from their mouths. Thunderbird smells tomatoes and guesses that these pranksters are the flash mob. Phantasm projects an avatar and talks with the police, while Empty Spoon quickly searches the museum.

From the renovated glass dome, the martial artist can see people gathering around a Tyrannosaurus Rex and chanting. The late Erichtho (a.k.a. Anna Lucia Schizzitano) once animated that skeleton during an attempted heist of a jade dagger. The remaining flash mobbers disperse.

However, another alarm has gone off at the Baylus Museum of Science and Technology, and the police radio says those guarding the 1,200 inmates at the Vaughn facility are again in danger. DarkStorm takes Thunderbird, Empty Spoon, and an Erwin to the prison.

The Cloaked Quarrel takes the Stranger, Merlin, Phantasm, and another Erwin to the Baylus Museum, and yet another version of Erwin heads back to Sharp Harbor to make sure the ships are secure.

Another helicopter sits in the prison yard, this time a larger military model. In avian form, Thunderbird unleashes a sonic scream and pecks at the cockpit, scaring the pilots.

Speedster Empty Spoon runs into Inferna, who sends fiery blasts at him and armored DarkStorm. Erwin leaps to catch up, and gunslinger Stranger’s shadowy steed Gabriel tries to trample the villainess.

DarkStorm draws his shotgun, but neither his bullets nor Empty Spoon’s air control affect Inferna. She gets away, and DarkStorm is surprised to find that both guards and prisoners appear to have died, bleeding from the mouth like the flash mob foreshadowed. Thunderbird finds a remote detonation device in the helicopter, more evidence of a diabolical plan.

Erwin suspects a Rudolph-series replicant, whose precognition was used to enforce the law in his home dimension. DarkStorm and Thunderbird wait for more state troopers to arrive, while Empty Spoon rides the winds to join the Erwin at the docks.

Meanwhile, at the Baylus Museum, sniper Cloaked Quarrel and company see Jeanne Baylus talking to police. She explains that “Pixels,” a special exhibit of 1980s video game consoles, has been robbed.

Phantasm notices a dazzle disc on the ground and recognizes it as a souvenir from Flashbang, a former colleague in the “Technoluminati.” Illusionist Phantasm tells her new companions that the group probably conducted the heist and includes Flashbang, dark force manipulator Blackout, reflective speedster Ricochet, and power drainer Mundane.

Wizard Merlin and duplicate Erwin examine the captions in the exhibit curated by Ernest Gutner. They describe the Hamilton Gaming Co., before eventually being sold to D.J. Sharrif. The lead programmer was one Frank Zorn, who created several best-selling video games from 1980 to 1984 before disappearing.

Strangely, characters in those games, such as “The Devil’s Den,” seem to predict the Eighth Legionnaires! Over the radio, the Stranger speculates that somehow Harvey Thorne and Frank Zorn are the same person, and Erwin says that the as-yet-unidentified mastermind might be able to see the future.

Merlin casts a spell and determines that the game parts have been taken to Sharp Harbor. The Stranger, Merlin, and Empty Spoon argue over where to go next in trying to thwart the hidden mastermind’s plans.

The Erwin incarnation there reports that he sees the Technoluminati leaving the S.S. Edime and boarding the Icefish. The entire Eighth Legion converges on the ships.

Erwin notices the Technoluminati checking their watches. The Cloaked Quarrel and Empty Spoon head toward the sub. However, Maxwell’s Demon appears and begins to phase out with the cargo vessel.

DarkStorm, the Stranger, Erwin72, and Empty Spoon jump onto the Edime as it vanishes, leaving the Cloaked Quarrel, Thunderbird, Merlin, and Phantasm with the Technoluminati on the Icefish….

View
"Glassworks: the Devil's Den" Session 3
Arrival in Lepton City

Fellow role-players, here are Gene’s notes for Session 3.3 of Jason’s “Glassworks” superhero scenario, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 24 February 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.]-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

“Hamliton, Del., 29 to 31 January 2014:” The “Eighth Legion” responded to prison breaks and the tripartite threat of mysterious criminal schemes. At Sharp Harbor, the superhero squad was split in two when some members apparently blinked out of existence.

The Cloaked Quarrel uses a new glue bolt to block the periscope of the U.S.S. Icefish, a retired submarine boarded by the “Technoluminati.” Thunderbird rips open a hatch, but the criminals can only be heard scampering around the metal decks.

Phantasm, who was once a member of the “Technoluminati,” creates an illusion of the Stranger, Erwin72, DarkStorm, and Empty Spoon in case they’re being watched. Merlin is called away by mystical affairs.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, the World War II cargo ship Bullock appears in Lepton City’s Sharp District. Maxwell’s Demon, clad in a glowing yellow suit, flies off, leaving the Eighth Legionnaires to answer to multiple Erwins, synthetic law-enforcement agents.

Erwin72 asks the Stranger to create multiple shadowy portals as a diversion. DarkStorm is ready to fight, and Empty Spoon holds the officers at bay with gusts of wind. The other bioroids say they are hunting Anomaly S48, whom Erwin72 identifies as Maxwell’s Demon.

Aboard the U.S.S. Icefish, the Cloaked Quarrel calls out to Blackout, Flashbang, Mundane, and Ricochet to surrender, but they seal themselves in a compartment. Three spirits, which were released when the Stranger had teleported through their dimension, enter the sub and surround it with a dark haze.

Phantasm notifies the local authorities of problems at the harbor, and Thunderbird takes flight to survey the scene. The Cloaked Quarrel drops his cell phone into the sub, even as the shadows prevent water from entering and take the vessel out.

The young archer, shapeshifter, and illusionist return to the “Fortress of Fortitude,” their base in an abandoned subway station. Kyle reminds Rain and Adriana that they have an appointment the next morning with Harvey Thorne, a person of interest at Stevens Inneman Refractory Co. (SIRC).

In Lepton City, Erwin72 quickly explains to the Stranger, DarkStorm, and Empty Spoon that he is one of four models. The Rudolph uses its ability to see the future to strategize, and the Alex synths patrol and command. The Joe, which has tactical precognition, is designed for rapid response.

Erwin72, a.k.a. Agent Schrodinger, manages to keep his extraplanar companions from being arrested. Rudolph62 says that Maxwell’s Demon is a “dimensional lacuna” and agrees to let the Eighth Legionnaires help hunt the supervillain before destabilization spreads.

DarkStorm finds a reassembled video game console whose components the Technoluminati had stolen. It eerily parallels his team’s current situation. The armored vigilante hands over the computer parts to Rudloph62 for analysis.

Time-displaced gunslinger the Stranger and monk Empty Spoon are confused by talk of Schrodinger’s research into singularities and quantum entanglement.

The next morning in Hamilton, Kyle, Rain, and Adriana don business clothes and go to SIRC’s Cobalt Tower downtown. Secretary Abigail Williams shows them to an oak-lined office with nautical decor.

Harvey Thorne, a 30-year veteran at SIRC who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, quickly sees through their disguise as real estate developers interested in the Fairmont neighborhood, home to a mysterious financial processing center (and the Fortress of Fortitude).

Adriana says that they’re actually interns sent by a SIRC competitor. Thorne wonders aloud if it’s the Eden Institute, D.J. Sharrif, or Oryx Industries, and Kyle indicates that he has connections with Oryx (actually through DarkStorm). Confident Thorne still agrees to give them a tour of the facility that afternoon.

The crime fighters return to their underground base and decide to open a nearby hatch into the SIRC building ahead of their tour. The Cloaked Quarrel, Thunderbird, and Phantasm find a huge warehouse full of servers and dot-matrix printers.

One spews names, Social Security numbers, and addresses, all with the birth date of 27 February 1933 (possibly Thorne’s). Another antique printer reels off seemingly random equations ending in a null set. They take some of the reams of paper for further study.

Beneath Lepton City’s glittering skyline, the fearless foursome hunts for Frank Zorn, the lead programmer for the video games and a suspect in a meticulous but insane plan back in Hamilton.

The Stranger, Erwin72, DarkStorm, and Empty Spoon go to the Iron Orchid Migraine Cabaret, a “vein arcade” or nightclub. Numerous drugs, such as Coma Plus, Friendzy, Merge, Shadow Fury, and Soar, are available, apparently legally.

The intoxicated humans give Erwin a wide berth as he leads the way to a roped-off area. The Eighth Legionnaires meet a strange group of criminals. Jani Gold is a statuesque enforcer with big guns (Zero Approach Kafkacell Hand Cannons), and Remmer uses his skills to raise money.

The Scholar [Gene/Non-Player Character], in 18th century garb, provides backing and legitimacy. Aurora Stevens [Sara/N.P.C.] is a young courier under the wing of mob boss Adriana Novak [Brian S./N.P.C.], a nonpowered alternate of Phantasm!

Novak seems bemused by Erwin72’s request for help finding Maxwell’s Demon or Zorn. The Scholar compliments the Stranger on his fashion sense, but Empty Spoon doesn’t trust the would-be revolutionaries.

Tim considers Novak’s offer for the newcomers to conduct a heist: to obtain a quantum chip guarded by a logic puzzle in a Helix Tower safe. DarkStorm’s companions disagree.

In the SIRC server farm, the Cloaked Quarrel, Thunderbird, and Phantasm see a monitor displaying footage of people touching a large bone and chanting “kydtayn siacca.” The archer and eagle shaman recognize that as the invocation of a flash mob at the Ramseir Museum of Natural History, where the late Erichtho once animated a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.

The trio tries to leave, but they are surrounded by security robots. Rather than fight, the Cloaked Quarrel leads the way through the hatch and runs toward the surface rather than lead the droids back to their base. Kyle, Rain, and Adriana separate to continue their investigations.

Rain goes to Harrow House, an orphanage for master-less familiars, to talk with Rebekah Dejardines about the chant. The enchantress says that senior members of Hamilton’s mystical Conclave are leaving the city. Kyle tracks his cell phone and the Icefish to the site of a sunken World War II U-boat.

Adriana seeks out Silverfish, the superhero who set her straight, but finds his snotty sidekick Firebrat instead. He looks at the equation printouts and says they’re related to quantum fields, brane theory and N-dimensional space.

Speaking of alternate dimensions, the other Eighth Legionnaires decide to leave the Iron Orchid. As “Saffron Lightning,” Empty Spoon uses super speed to snatch Aurora for further questioning by DarkStorm at one of Erwin72’s safe houses. Aurora mentions District Fatima, which might be parallel to Hamilton’s wealthy widow of D.J. Sharif.

The interrogation is interrupted when Erwin learns of a sighting of Maxwell’s Demon at Helix Tower. The glowing anomaly is apparently unable to get through an invisible barrier around the massive skyscraper.

Empty Spoon blasts the demon with air and jumps off the tower as he falls. The Stranger throws shadow bolos but misses, and DarkStorm joins him on shadowy steed Gabriel in riding vertically down the twisting tower. Erwin72 aims at their foe and notices that Jani Gold has entered the building, presumably also to steal the chip.

Saffron Lightning stops their descent by smashing Maxwell’s Demon through a window. The supervillain disintegrates part of the tower in an attempt to get away. Erwin72 and Gold slide down the tower, and the Stranger teleports himself and DarkStorm so that Gabriel can try to trample Maxwell’s Demon.

In Hamilton, Kyle, Rain, and Adriana meet Harvey Thorne and feign ignorance during their tour of the SIRC data center. Thorne looks around for robots but doesn’t see any. He panics when the Red Right Hand, a violent vigilante, appears with a manila folder.

Thorne confesses that his boss, Frank Zorn, has been using SIRC as a front and has been buying up exotic technologies. In return for sparing his life, Thorne is compelled to say nothing of their meeting and to inform them if he hears more from Zorn.

The Cloaked Quarrel thanks the Red Right Hand, with whom he has previously worked, for his help taking out the robots and warns him that a major criminal enterprise is about to happen. The sniper, Thunderbird, and Phantasm return to their base and aren’t surprised to see that a vending machine, which once dispensed dangerous Indian Head candies and more recently held a Devil Doll dagger trophy, has been removed by the robots.

In Lepton City, DarkStorm punches Anomaly S48 through the floor. Maxwell’s Demon tries to slam him in return, and the Stranger throws his shadowy bolas. Erwin72 pursues Jani Gold, who is in an ascending elevator. Will the two superhero teams be able to stop the unfolding cross-dimensional horrors in time?

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.