Monday, March 26, 2018

Fear and Loathing in Atlantis

Picking up from last time with Dirge's big appearance in Atlantis, we find Harvey Wallbanger knocked out and floating around aimlessly while the evil volcano spirit manifests in all his underwater fiery multitentacly glory and threatens to end the line of Atlantean sovereignty once and for all.

Immediately, the force of Dirge's aura burned into their brains and made them start going crazy. He also animated the buildings all around the team and had them reach out to grab them. Land Shark and Disco dodged the first swipe, but Torpedo was caged by a grabby tower. Land Shark attacked with a column of earth and found that Dirge was protected by a powerful force field. Torpedo crashed through the cage and dove so hard at Dirge that he was able to harm him even through the force field. 

Because of the madness aura, Torpedo immediately asserted his Atlantean kingship and started assigning positions and ordering people around. Disco, likewise affected, became extra diva-ish and took everything Torpedo said as an insulting failure to recognize his fabulousness. I think Landshark was just curled up in a ball or fighting with the animated buildings or something. Then he freaked out and let loose with an earthquake, which trashed the neighborhood, but didn't otherwise help much. Torpedo did manage to save the bystanders by swimming so fast that he created an underwater twister to whisk them to safety.

Eventually Disco decided to show them how it's done. A combination of dice magic and determination points led to the emotion control lightshow of Disco's life, dazzling even un-targeted onlookers. Dirge cried out that "the Avatar" was coming and fled, also ranting about how the black sphere will rise and "he will come from beyond the stars and crush you all" as he fled into the volcano.

Shaking off their madness (well, as much as they ever do) and rallying the Atlantean troops, the Scrap Pile pursued the demon. While Atlantean mystics performed a collective binding ritual, Torpedo channeled the lava and Landshark reshaped the stone to support the Atlantean magic (also taking time to turn the carved face into a shark head). Disco capped it off with another light show, manifesting as a ghostly disco ball image shining briefly above the mountain.

Later they got a video call from Fire of Saturn and found out about the B Team's recent exploits. Also, Mister Chompers barked into the camera when Nimble showed up. Disco saw a subtitle appear underneath reading, "The sow is mine!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Back on the B Side

Jumping back to the end of the fight with the giant lava monster over Lightfoot Island, we find most of the B Team (Comet, Pork Chop, and Grave Grizzly, but not Ghost Lad) freshly released from Rapture's lair. They watched the monster go down, then made their way back to Scrap Pile HQ to see if they could figure out how to find Techmaster.

Techmaster, if we haven't already covered this somewhere, was a special effects man turned supervillain who was horribly maimed when Ghost Lad phased his hands into a lightning machine. He lost both hands, and his face was badly burned. When last we saw him, he had high tech artificial hands and was about to unveil his giant mechanical hornet before the lava spirits got it and turned it into Dirge's volcano monster.

At the base, they met Nimble, who was there looking for her brother, Disco, who of course had just headed out to Atlantis. Grave Grizzly declared that he could find Comet just fine without any help and staggered off to play accordion in an alley somewhere. Chromaticat was teleporting around, and Mister Chompers was there, telling Nimble to kill people. So, apparently, there's something about Disco's family that lets Chompers communicate with them.

Their research led them to an abandoned warehouse disco place, which they noticed was guarded by swarms of bees. Pork Chop got 'em going and Nimble used her super-speed to disperse the converging swarms with a mini-tornado. Inside, oh yeah, this is actually where they found Mr. Chompers. He was locked up in a bathroom next to the lobby. Farther back in the club, they heard screaming and found a big supervillain lab all set up in the main dance hall with Ghost Lad and his buddy John Jameson shackled to a machine and being tortured by Techmaster.
Techmaster had actually started with Jameson, for maximum effect on the main course. As the team burst in, he was pushing a big bluish-white gemstone into Jameson's chest to the tune of breaking bones and screams.

Pork Chop was delayed by a pair of shadow creatures that ambushed him. He quickly dispatched both with a chair he had picked up. At the other side of the hall, they found that Corrosive Soul was there too. She pointed at Jameson, who howled and turned into a white-furred wolf man. This seemed to surprise Techmaster as much as anyone.

Comet crashed into people, Pork Chop threw chairs, and Nimble used her rock-hard purse as a weapon, although at one point she was overwhelmed by the howl of the Man-Wolf and ran away until she could gather her wits and come back. Corrosive Soul used her mind control powers to briefly turn the team against each other, then summoned a group of green fire demons when the fight looked like it might not go her way.

Battered by purses and Comet-fists, Techmaster used the distraction of Corrosive Soul's conjuring to slip out the back door. Pork Chop managed to trigger the emergency sprinkler system and snuff the fire demons. The Man-Wolf eventually went down, too. Surrounded and battered, Corrosive Soul literally fell apart, but her head continued to cackle as it rolled over to Nimble, then abruptly melted into a skull and turned to dust.

The unconscious Man-Wolf turned back into Jameson, but the gem appeared to be grafted to his chest so that they couldn't remove it without badly injuring him. And they got Ghost Lad out so, apart from Techmaster escaping, mission accomplished.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Banging the Walls

Started off with a cut to Harvey Wallbanger, who had a little too much fun at the Christmas Party and woke up lost and alone in the pocket dimension. He wandered deep into the caves where he found a weird mystical substructure and saw something that he decided the Scrap Pile really needed to know about (held for later revelation). Then he found his way back to Lightfoot Island where Fire of Saturn helped him out with the tech to get him to Atlantis.

In Atlantis, he found the team bound and shackled to the walls of a temple. He burst in and bounced around and set the Scrap Pile loose and they fought some undersea villains: Starfish, Sea Mantis, Anemone, and Kelp Queen.

Then big ole scary Dirge showed up and that was the end of the session.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Octopus's Garden

With Dirge's threat to Atlantis hanging in the air, the team went back to base and got a message from Councilor Tyno, Torpedo's contact there. It was mostly garbled, but he clearly wanted Torpedo to come home and included, among other static'd-out words, "the proteans." It was a bit puzzling to Torpedo that the Proteans would be a threat. They were peaceful, intelligent octopods who, in the distant past, were rumored to have helped the original Atlanteans learn magic and become water-breathers.

They looked into their options. Land Shark, worried about the effect his water phobia could have on this mission, asked Disco to supplement his anxiety drugs with calming lightshows. Fire of Saturn wasn't able to go along herself, but rigged up some alien space suits that she "found" to serve as diving suits. Disco gave her some spanglies to add to his. Torpedo got his flying fish shuttle out of storage and they headed out to sea.

On the way, Torpedo advised Land Shark that, after a really nasty civil war a hundred years back, Atlanteans really don't do shark stuff. Wearing a shark costume would be seen as something akin to going around festooned with swastikas. Land Shark, already doped up, might not have fully processed this.

Once they got over water, Torpedo jumped out and swam, happy to be back in the ocean. The ship had an automatic homing system that required no human interaction, but, as it began to dive, Land Shark decided he wanted to bring it in himself and grabbed the controls. The vehicle hit the water at the wrong angle, which created more leaks than its auto-repair function could handle. Eventually, Torpedo got everything straightened out and they continued. It was fine until Land Shark announced to the control tower that "Shark One" was requesting permission to dock.

So anyway, Atlantis was built largely of undersea stuff like pearl and coral. They also made extensive use of a substance called vitredur, which looked like glass of varying colors but was hard as steel. Their architecture had an ornate, gothic look to it with lots of delicate spires and projections. Torpedo looked into the possibility of asserting his rulership rights as Prince of Atlantis. He was told that, while the Imperial Guard would follow him right now, establishing political control would take some time.

They also found out that what Tyno had been trying to tell them was that Octopolis, the city of the Proteans, was under attack. A group of piratical surface-worlders led by the armored raider, Aquatherm, had surrounded and the city and was on the verge of breaking its perimeter. Aquatherm had been a nuisance for years, but had never tried anything this big before.

Off to Octopolis, they found a city with smoother, more organic architecture, being attacked by armored goons riding shark cycles. Torpedo dove in (or, I don't know, can you dive in when you're already underwater?) to slug it out with the leader, who had water control powers and stuff. Land Shark helped out with stony shark heads from the sea floor. Disco commandeered a shark cycle and started mowing down minions.

Eventually they slugged most of the bad guys and the scattered remnants ran away. Then Torpedo was invited to lead the ritual of renewal at the volcano to reaffirm the unity between Atlanteans and Proteans and things like that. Disco found the Proteans easy to communicate with because they used shifting color patterns to express themselves.

As the mystical energies were taking shape, something went wrong. Power was drained from the assembly at an alarming rate. Finally the big stone face carved into the volcano glowed, the ground shook, and the fiery form of Dirge formed from the volcano. As it did so, a group of cultists who served the fire spirit began to change into quasi-bestial forms.

To be continued next session.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Scrap Pile Christmas

Guest-Starring DAZZLER!
I had been wanting to do a holiday issue for a while. My first thought was Halloween, but that was inconveniently timed. The Christmas season, meanwhile, falling at a point where I wanted to remind everyone I still very much dig the Scrap Pile, but also at a point where I didn't have everything together to pick up the ongoing campaign again, worked out really well. We all got together (again, minus the unfortunately overbooked Magi), wore Santa hats, and had a great time.

So, it was a cold, snowy Christmas Eve on Lightfoot Island and the team had a drink together at the base before heading off to their separate engagements.

Disco flew off to his holiday DJ gig at a bar in Beta City. On the way, he was confronted by a dark, winged figure who identified himself as Flying Fish and demanded that he turn over "the gift-bringer." The Flying Fish conjured up wind blasts and stuff, but was particularly vulnerable to Disco's light because he was made of shadow. Upon being defeated, the Flying Fish dissipated and a big red and green gift-wrapped box appeared nearby. Disco opened it up.

Torpedo got in his car to head to Morgana's Winter Solstice service in a grove outside town. He was greeted there by Goth, a shadow-woman who had darkness powers and the same agenda as Flying fish. Torpedo turned into lava, ruining his upholstery, but enabling him to take out the villain who, like her apparent teammate, turned into a gift box. Torpedo called the bomb squad.

Land Shark started walking across Lightfoot Island to go volunteer at the shelter. He ran into Harvey Wallbanger, a globular do-gooder with a strong Boston accent. He was looking to make a name for himself by taking out the Dastards, who were reputed to live in this area. While Land Shark decided how to answer, they were attacked by Ballistic, a sort of fire-based flying villain. Land Shark's street clothes got burned off and he was left with a skimpy costume Disco made. I don't remember why. Again, they were left with a gift which they opened.
Disco, Land Shark, Harvey Wallbanger, and a bomb-diffusing robot all appeared together in an other-dimensional ski chalet. The fireplace was encased in a giant ice crystal and ephemeral shadowy forms flitted about. Santa Claus was chained to a post nearby. Eventually, we got Torpedo in there too. Santa was chained up and the fire pit was frozen solid. Shadowy forms were flitting around. Santa said a rebellious elf named Snaptooth (who wanted to be a dentist) had stolen his mojo and was freezing the world into shadow or something. Land Shark's pug, Mr. Chompers, was there too, and kept telling Disco to kill everyone. Strangely, only Disco could hear this.

They skied down to the entrance to Snaptooth's lair while fighting off pterodactyls, because pterodactyls are cool. On the other side, they fought some reindeer men who knocked Torpedo out, then some snowmen and evil elves that looked pretty gnome-like. Then they fought Snaptooth and got Santa's bag and... I wanna say I threw in the Baby New Year thing from City of Heroes too. Everything after the pterodactyls is a little fuzzy.

Back on the ski slopes, the Angry Beet attacked for some reason, but was quickly bounced by Harvey Wallbanger. They got back to Santa, where the bonfire sprang up and the shadows resolved into party guests, including Dazzler and her band. Disco was ecstatic to meet his idol. Dazzler performed "Shadows of the Night," and everybody had a Merry Christmas.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rampage

This'll be a bit sketchier than usual because it's already taken forever and I want to get it done.

So, as per last session, there was a giant flying monster rampaging across Lightfoot Island.

Disco was badly wounded just before the cliffhanger, so Fire of Saturn rigged the containment tubes to heal him while the others freed the B Team. It became apparent that they had been kidnapped because Ghost Lad had maimed some guy called Techmaster with his phasing powers.

Disco then flew Torpedo out to the critter and dropped him on its back. While Torpedo was grabbing hold hold in lava form, Disco dodged (mostly) blasts from the monster's tail. Once the B Team members (minus Ghost Lad, who was missing) were safely on their way, Land Shark tunneled his way out while Fire of Saturn flew.

Land Shark was able to crack open the creature's armor and render it useless while Fire of Saturn used ice to incapacitate its gun ports and Disco sizzled it with his aura.

Meanwhile, Torpedo had been lava-oozing his way to the creature's core in an attempt to shut it down. What he found there was a psycho-mystical conflict with Dirge, the volcano spirit which had possessed it.
The fight continued both inside and out. Towards the end, the spirit said, "Curse you, Prince of Atlantis! Your homeland will pay dearly for this affront." And with simultaneous final blows, Torpedo and Disco blasted the creature apart. Pieces of cooling lava flew everywhere.

Land Shark, cranking it up to eleven, made a bunch of giant stone sharks rise out of the ground to catch the falling rubble before it could do too much damage, inspiring cheers and adulation from the not-completely-squashed townsfolk.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rapture

Interrogating their captive with a little help from Disco's bright lights, they learned that Corrosive Soul was going to use the brains to power a dimensional spike to unleash demons on Beta City. She was also using the bodies to make cybernetic vampires. She was working in Joe Casanelli's old mansion on the north face of the volcano, abandoned since Darkshade and Groovy Lad took down the Necrodon (from a convention game, so it never got written up here).

Back at Scrap Pile HQ, the heroes discussed their next move. Well, most of them did. Disco was mostly concerned with discovering whether or not Land Shark was gay. He enlisted Fire of Saturn to commence a program of temptations designed to bring out the big lug's true preferences. Not too well-versed in seduction but eager to fit in with the heroes, she agreed to follow Disco's prompts. When the team decided to go to the hideout as the Dastards, Disco made an incredibly skimpy (and, of course, shiny) costume for her, which she at first covered in a robe.

Despite surreptitious radio suggestions from Disco, Fire of Saturn's "moves" were awkward at best. Once she even turned an ankle on the ridiculous heels she was wearing. Did I mention there were demons stealing brains and making vampires and stuff? Yeah, let's talk about that for a minute.

So, the Dastards (Land Pirate, Bad Fish, Blacklight, and Space Invaders) pulled up to the mansion in the Chevy Malibu of Evil and demanded to talk to whoever was in charge about joining up.  They saw more vampires and some normal humans, mostly working with the machinery.

They were led downstairs, where there was a high-tech lair with big glass panels overlooking the channel between Lightfoot proper and Weatherhead. Corrosive Soul was down there with captured B-Team members, a big glass vessel full of bees, a skeleton labeled "Von Meyer," and a blue-glowing rock. At some point they learned that this was all part of a cult called "Rapture."

I don't remember exactly how things went here. Seems like Torpedo went through a cave from the junk yard on the west edge of the volcano or something. I know he communed with lava spirits and found out something. I should have written this while it was all still fresh in my mind, but it was a busy week.

Fire of Saturn left for some reason before the big fight, or they just left her with the car. Anyway, they fought vampires and Corrosive Soul, who crowed while being Torpedo-lava-punched that human hands did not summon her, nor could they truly destroy her. Then she literally fell apart. There were also some surprise werewolves.

There was a cut scene where we saw a man with mechanical hands and a scarred face leading a hornetroid toward a lava pool where he was going to do some kind of ritual. Then, because of the lava spirits Torpedo had spoken to, the lava pool started getting frisky. Tendrils of lava reached up, pulled the mechanical hornet down, and consumed it. Then it rose again, transformed into a living cyber-magic lava monster. The dude who had been leading it screamed and ran away.

So anyway, while the Scrap Pile's fight continued, the glass broke and the bees swarmed over the glowing rock. Eventually they started saying "Swarm, Swarm, Swarm," and formed into a humanoid shape with big glowing blue eyes. It turned out to be hard to hurt, but Disco and Torpedo were able to damage it with their sizzling auras. In the course of doing so, however, Disco was badly stung and lost consciousness. Then the ground started shaking.

Fire of Saturn, who had seen the giant lava hornet fly out and start attacking the city, showed up and said, "Guys, I think we have a new problem."