Issue #6 (October 4th, 2003)




Billy Ray................................... Paul
Orland and Dr. T...................... Robert
Duplicity and Rodeo Clown..... Joe
Geoff Gardiner and Typhoon.. Alan
Rift............................................ Jim
Mercury.................................... Mark
Judge LAW and B4.................. Jeff

Our overly-complicated story continues with the heroes having shipped Crucifier and the Black Pope off to The Keep, and taken Monarch (aka Gossamyr) and Magdalene (aka Muse) to St. Marcellinus Cathedral in hopes that they might be cured of their evil and returned to being the heroes they once were.

Wish I could say I was proud of this session, but I really let it bog down and in an attempt to just get things moving toward the conclusion I did too much exposition (I just gave you a few answers rather than making you discover them).

Let the evil begin!

Upon arriving at the church, the characters sense a burning smell. It seems that Monarch/Goassamyr is beginning to smoke. She is hauled outside. When Magdalene/Muse awakens she is frightened by her presence in the church and the proximity of the crucifix. It is about a minute of chanting and such before she calms down and seems to become her old self. Monarch, however, when she regains consciousness, goes right through any entangles and grasping robots. She does not flee until she is sprayed with holy water and is burnt for the effort. Then she goes down through the ground and flees, as she has done before. She's the only person to escape from you guys twice.

Back at the base, Audra seems to want to leave the base to go see the Gossamer, her best friend once dead, but seems unable to leave the building. She instead locks herself in her room and is unheard from for about 16 hours.

According to Muse, the Black Pope uses the black pool underground to "Baptize" good people, enhancing whatever darkness lay within them. In the case of Gossamer, who was very good in nature, being compelled to do evil (and being dead) drove her insane. It was Muse's job to control her. The characters identify the pool as a source of evil and go down to neutralize it. Holy water taken with the characters is poured into it and it hisses and bubbles, but a sample returned the the church still appears to be evil, as it shatters the vessel it was contained in. They also again encounter Gossamer, who seems frightened and is not in attack mode. So naturally Mercury charges her and causes a fight. It's not long before the characters contain them. A search of the throne by Billy Ray turns up a dagger, identical to that belonging to HUNTER. He takes it for use later on prone and helpless people ;-)


The characters also check out the scene where Anthem and her five friends captured the Doctor. It is a rundown factory that manufactured plastics. One thing that is deduced is that he may have been looking down at the puddle of water in which he stood at the time that he was struck by the throwing star, because the wound on his head is in such an angle. Also, the star is too deeply embedded in the wall behind him to be from the mere strength of Anthem's throw. It is pulled from the wall to reveal hair, skin, and dried blood. Dr. T uses his mutant detector to discover that it is indeed showing as mutant in nature, even though it is a year old. Strange.

Then... Dum da DUM! A group of japanese villains, a Hunted of Dr. T, drop in. I've named them ONI (after the japanese Demon... because it's cool :-). They are genetically engineered teams of villains, one each with a specialty. They wear anime-style silver body suits and do exaggerated ultra-man/power rangers style hand gestures when they cast their powers. Poor Mercury runs directly to the electricity using one (doh!). Love them NNDs.

So Mercury jumps upstairs to face them, Anthem follows him up, Geoff Gardiner follows, then Mercury jumps down, Anthem jumps down, and the team faces them in the factory. Two get caught as they leap in, snagged by Geoff Gardiner's robots. Two are roped by Rodeo Clown as they fall to ground. One takes phaser fire from Rift and a shuriken from Anthem. The last is eventually rounded up from the roof.

While bound by the robots, Mercury proceeds to beat on the captured men to ensure they are captured. While downed, one of the villains is stabbed by Billy Ray. This leads to a big touchy-feelly argument later on regarding the treatment of foes. But for the record (GM to players, not so much character knowledge)... The critical hit from Rift did more BODY than Billy Ray's knife; Because it ignored his two activation rolled defenses. Rift = 5 BODY, Billy Ray = 3 BODY. But then when Rift shot him, he looked like more of a threat.

And again, as a GM: If you want a good reason not to kill people (regardless of Rift's resurrection ability), it's because you'll get less experience. If you recklessly kill someone, you're unlikely to get exp for that encounter. Yer heroes, dammit.

These guys are carted off, you have your big discussion, and then the team finds out some info from Muse. The Black Pope thinks that each great age of man will be ushered in by a martyr, a big public spectacle in which someone dies for the sins of man. He also was told once that someone with the symbol of the "null" would one day foil his plan, so he has been searching the world and is performing his duties here. The characters instantly think of one such pending spectacle involving the Doctor. There's also some sort of unknown resentment between Audra Blue and Muse.

B4 has a chance to examine The Book that was captured in game 2. He recognizes it instantly as his own. He wrote it back in 654 AD during a 2 year period in which he searched for the Black Pope. He was sent back in time to track him down and pre-empt just the type of shenanigans that the BP is doing now. However, his systems were damaged in the trip. As a result, he has been in power conservation mode for nearly 1400 years. Back then he didn't have the tools to fix himself. Now he can track down the proper equipment. The book is indeed code. Here is the theory: He wrote things in the book that would only have meaning to him, not to anyone else. Any other person reading it would simply see a diary; but to him each of the phrases has another meaning. So not only was it encoded, it's sort of double-encoded.

Here's what the book tells you (Some of which you already know): The Black Pope seized power in the Vatican back in 304 AD. After a four year reign in which he performed despicable acts in the name of god, the church excommunicated him. He was poisoned and appeared to be dead. But somehow he survived. His followers stole his body and interred it elsewhere in preparation for the day that he would arise. One of the acts that the BP performed was an attempt to track down some "demons", a brotherhood of extradimensional men called The Infinitum. You know them as Zero (From the Baseball field incident), Null (the child stealer, still free), Void (the evil skeletal boatman from last game), Zed (whom you'd encounter later this game), and Infinity (A great patron who has never set foot in this dimension). Each developed his own weird taste. In the case of Zed, it was for human women. But being beautific, they were easy prey for him, so he began to gather women who held a disdain for him, made them his slaves. These women one day rebelled, led by the woman with the mark that you have seen a number of times already (the Zero with the two lines through it). According to the book, she was killed in freeing her sisters. The sisterhood, now called THE MATERNA, has spent ages living underground and moving across the world to hide from the Infinitum. B4 used his knowledge of geography that did not yet exist in the year 654 AD, and found his way to the new world, to the site that his records told him would one day see the rise of the Black Pope. That city being Lazarus. He then instituted a shutdown. He rolled his chronometer backwards by nearly 1400 years. On the day of the excavation of the building downtown where he was buried, his chronometer reached 654 AD and he awoke, his systems believing that it was the same exact moment as when he went to "sleep".


The characters go "underground" to find this woman. After a time they are assailed by a train car! A subway car filled with dirt is launched at them from seemingly out of nowhere (as if teleported?) into the area at full speed. It hits only Mercury, who takes some damage but shrugs it off. (It was 20D6, but I rolled subpar and he has good defenses). If Hunter had been there she would have interpreted the tapping on the pipes as a warning that a train was coming. And if the two people with Danger Sense had rolled under half their roll, they would have been able to warn the others. Woulda..shoulda...coulda. Anyway, the three missing people from the subway car disappearance, are still missing.

The characters continue exploring and find what are later referred to as THE CORRUPTED. These are a tribe that have lived underground for many years in a point of the underground that collects "weird energies". As a result, they've become twisted molemen. They seem to do only two things: Dig coal, and feed it to their pet, ATLAS, the steampowered robot once designed by Geoff Gardiner.


The characters circumvent the encounter. They continue until at last they find the lair of the Materna. They are standing around as if expecting the heroes. They are a group of 14 scrawny, pale, dirty, women. They greet the heroes and tell them they should not have come there. The heroes prevail upon them for information. It seems that they are indeed the "Harem" of one of the Infinitum. When suddenly... *poof*, the Infinitum member known as ZED appears. They blame the heroes for leading him there and when the leader shouts "Bridge!", someone appears out of nowhere and teleports each of the women out of the area in the blink of an eye (Teleport, usable on others, Area effect, Selective, Increased mass to 16x; She makes an attack roll on each person and if she hits, they are teleported to her memorized location and reassembled in the same formation as they were when she initiated the teleport... neat power :-)

The heroes engage Zed without being attacked. They do a heck of a job of knocking him out of commission quickly. He didn't even get to do his desperation parlor-trick. Bummer.

The teleporter from earlier comes back out and sees they've bound the women's enemy. The heroes refuse to turn him over to them. But since they captured him (and most of his brothers) she is pleased enough. She is asked for help but doesn't know how she could possibly help. So she agrees to assist the characters whenever they would like, but will do so only after their tribal weapon is returned (the Duplicate of Hunter's knife), which Billy Ray promptly does.

Nolan Brisbain's books (he's written 3 published works) include the following information:
Book One: In Dreams We Die. It's a philosophical discussion of the world we live in, including passages that have been interpreted as meaning that we live in a dream world and that collective unconscious controls the way our powers develop.
Book Two: Master Builders: A study of form and function. This is a hardcore college text book used at most universities. It's no-nonsense "how to" of architecture.
Book Three: A Room of My Own. This is a pseudo-metaphysical discussion of how power collects through the creation of objects, how vertices, angles and lines conduct power and channel it into nodes, where such power is used for good or bad and ultimately can influence the way we live and work. It's a book on Geomancy, a more serious sibling to the pop-culture Feng-Shui.

From what you can tell, he built this city (not on Rock and Roll, as some in the group have supposed) but on the concept of a shining city that will gather positive energy. When the construction spiraled out of control and went off of his plans, it began to sicken and become corrupt. An analysis of the city and using his principals, where the energy collects now is in three principal points: One is the area below ground approximately where the corrupted perform their excavation. Two is the building on 43rd street which seems to be haunted and where the original sentinels ran into their problems. Three is THE KEEP, superprison. Positive energy is being dispersed; negative energy is going to these three locations.

Five days until the execution of THE DOCTOR.

The throwing star extracted from the wall of the factory shows signs of mutant power. But it seems that this information is not genuine. It is not a part of the DNA attached. It is a hoax that would not have been discovered if it had not been taken to a lab and analyzed by a competent (though crazy) scientist. Additionally, Judge LAW contacts someone (and rolls a CRITICAL), to find out that the Doctor may have actually had no trial. He may be summarily executed. Additionally the Warden of THE KEEP is a religious fanatic of some kind.

The idea has now come into being that perhaps the characters need to break THE DOCTOR out of the keep for questioning. They would need to shut down his cell's power, teleport him out (using your new teleportational friend).

Briefly, Bridge's background: She was an abused wife of a businessman. One day, when she was finally making a clean break from him, he tracked her down in the subway and accosted her. She pulled a gun she had purchased for self-defense and blew him away. The Materna were in the subway area scavenging materials from one of the storage closets and witnessed this. What's more, they saw her as a sign from god. Not only was she abused, like them, but in a previous incident her face was marred by a terrible scar where she'd been cut by her husband. It's a mark in a circle with two lines through it. They ushered her away as the police arrived and have kept her safe ever since. They taught her the powers of teleportation that have kept them safe for centuries from the Infinitum. She excels at it better than any of them ever have. She says it was taught to the Materna back when they made their break. It was taught to their leader, the legends say, by a man... named Andrew.

(I'll take famous Magical Teleporters named Andrew for $1000, Alex. At the very least, Rift should know this one. He's living in his room!)

What's more... A friend of Rift's named TACHYON, has told him that all time seems to cease after September 30th, the day of the Doctor's execution.

Unanswered questions:
1) Should the characters break in and do something with the doctor (So far only Rift is leaning away from such an act).
2) Does the doctor have any powers? It would seem not.
3) Is the Warden in league with the Black Pope.
4) If you shut down the power, will the villains be able to escape? There would be some irony, wouldn't it? Stock the prison, empty the prison.
5) Is the Doctor truly nuts? Does he really talk to someone when he talks to his reflection?