Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mayhem on Mount Galahad

Following up on the lead from their seance, the team took the Scrap Van south and arrived at Mount Galahad State Park early in the afternoon. In the parking lot, they noticed a family of four (two adults, two kids), all apparently blind, each with their own doberman to lead them. Instead of taking the trail, the family wandered off into the woods. After a quick aerial reconnaissance by Disco, revealing only the bald stone mountain and the thick canopy of trees around it, the Scrap Pile decided to be thorough and take the trail.

Along the way, Magi sensed something otherworldly and, eccentric recluse that he is, just wandered off without telling anyone. By the time the rest of the team noticed, he was long gone, so they split up to look for him, leaving Land Shark on the trail as a reference point.

Magi followed his nose (metaphorically speaking) towards the dimensional interface he had sensed. Before he got there, he spotted the blind family picking their way through the trees, still guided by their doberman companions. When they stopped moving, he froze and tried to stay quiet, but it soon became clear that they had detected him. Turning their eyeless faces his way, the form of each hiker blurred and merged into that of its canine counterpart, finally settling on the image of the wraith hounds the Scrap Pile fought in Ontario.

Magi fought the hounds, aided soon by Disco and then the rest of the team. Of the newly deforested battlefield, Land Shark said, "They needed picnic grounds."

As they moved on to the mountain, it became apparent that the entire area was sparkling with windows to other worlds, no doubt accounting for many of the UFO sightings and other legends surrounding Mount Galahad. At the mountain, they found two armored super-humans blasting a wraith hound to ash. Each wore a glowing crystal. After some conversation, it came out that one of them, now called Bludgeon, used be Grasshopper. He and his compatriot, Scalpel, had been rescued and saved from their impending dissolution by "a great man" known as Covenant.

Image borrowed from The Great Game - Click to Check it Out
Hiding their skepticism, Magi and Land Shark joined the two Covenant fans in opening and exploring one of the mountain's many portals to search a crashed space ship for equipment that was supposed to help them become fully human. Magi quickly determined that the equipment they were looking for was actually more portal-access equipment. Magi surveyed the bizarre crash site and then asked Land Shark to trash it.

Meanwhile, Disco and Torpedo watched two winged men in black armor swoop onto the scene and demand that they vacate the area because they had claimed this mountain in the name of Warmaster Qth-raq.

The fight at the crash site moved outside as well, and, in the free-for-all, Bludgeon and Scalpel escaped while the two winged legionnaires both went down, partly because of Magi's berserk assault.

Magi, not much cheered by the victory, gathered up a number of components and went to work on some secret project.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Purple Rain

Featuring: Disco, Land Shark, Magi, Torpedo
(This was actually two sessions, but I never got around to writing up the first one.)

While deciding on what to do next about the ever more complex web of villainy sprawling out all around them, the team got word that some sort of monster had escaped from the Gladstone Superhuman Detention Center (aka the Gladstone Pits) in Tripod City and was trashing Wentworth outlets (the one the Scrap Pile destroyed in their battle with the Unbeholden was only one of many).

Heading out to deal with this unexpected disturbance, the team found a man-shaped being of crackling purple energy (radiating small amounts of deadly-to-Magi Qalnor waves at that) ranting about how they had stolen his humanity. Magi managed to get him talking and discovered that he had once been the supervillain known as the Grasshopper, one of Deathbird's former henchmen. Previously, the Grasshopper had not had any powers beyond those that his equipment gave him. Grasshopper believed that, somehow, the equipment he had been given had been deliberately designed to slowly change him into an energy creature.

It was unclear why he blamed Wentworth's for all this, except that the parts for his costume might have come from there. The conversation was punctuated with brief outbursts of violence after which it was necessary to calm the Grasshopper down again before the discussion could continue. Eventually, Magi talked him into turning himself in by promising that this was the best way to get a team of experts working on changing him back.

The equipment that Grasshopper was talking about was among the items taken from the supervillain equipment warehouse during the team's first mission, so there was no way to examine it. Torpedo had some friends at Beta City Community College, so the Scrap Pile went there in search of answers. There, they were introduced to a somewhat eccentric professor who called himself Doctor Concord. He believed that the effect was a result of exposure to a kind of between-space energy often found around dimensional gateways.

He then went on at some length about star-gods from the smaller, brighter universe of the past, and nebular corpses and other stuff, but nobody was listening.

Then the prison blew up. Well, they got a phone call saying it blew up, or a text message or something. Anyway, there was a big riot and they needed some super-heroes, so off they went. As they approached the prison, they saw another energy-form fly away, but, feeling that the riot took priority, they decided to keep going and just call the other escape in.

At the Gladstone Pits, they found that the prisoners had surged into the outer yard and were trying to storm the gates. They were held back by snipers and guards in high-tech armor. Magi was detecting more Qalnor radiation, but again at low levels. Disco put on a big light show while Land Shark and Torpedo worked on corralling the rioters in the yard. Magi jumped over to the main building to find the warden.

The warden reported that the prisoners claimed to be fleeing from some kind of weird purple lightning in the inner courtyard (which was actually a large indoor space, not a real courtyard). Despite Magi's invitation, he declined to leave his office. Disco's light show was, for once, not terribly effective, but Land Shark and Torpedo were still able to herd the prisoners into a corner with the help of some swarming stone shark fins. Magi, adapting his mind shield technology, was able to construct a device that helped contain the spreading dimensional instability.

Fighting their way into the core of the prison, they found the aforementioned open space lined with swirling purple portals. Not sure what to do about this, they paged Doctor Concord (after first attempting to call him at his office) and sent Disco to retrieve him. Concord was fascinated by the phenomenon, and proceeded to draw the energy of the portals into several large crystals he had brought with him. The portals disappeared and Concord muttered some thanks and started to wander off.

Torpedo, already suspicious because of the phone-hopping, slugged Concord just hard enough to knock him out. Strangely, although Torpedo got a good solid hit in, Concord didn't seem injured at all, just annoyed. Disco tried to brainwash Concord with a lightshow, but somehow the effect reflected back on him, convincing Disco that Concord was exactly what he appeared to be - an eccentric professor who had just helped them out. A much more successful light show against Land Shark left only Torpedo and the still-ambivalent Magi in the fight.

Torpedo, however, made a speech with the full authority of his Atlantean princitude, and was able to bring them to their senses. Magi was still not really all in, though, because his hesitation was based entirely on legitimate skepticism about their reasons for attacking the professor. After they encased Concord in rock and attempted to snatch his crystals away from him, the professor paused to concentrate for a moment and then vanished.

Back at the University, their friend reported that Doctor Concord had never actually worked there. There was just something about the way he asked that made her think it was a good idea to cover for him this once. He had, apparently, known the heroes were coming all along. The only thing they found that might have come from him was an odd diagram on a scrap of paper.

Torpedo gathered some mystic friends together and they held a seance to try and find out more about Doctor Concord. This led them to some trippy scenes of alien star fleets and black stars and civil wars and finally to Doctor Concord and a place south of Beta City called Mount Galahad. A final image showed Concord overlapped with a ruby-masked figure and the name, "Covenant."