Campaign Dates: September 4, 2017
- Session 1: Wed, Sep 06, 2017 – 1800 PST
- Session 2: Wed, Sep 13, 2017 – 1800 PST
- Session 3: Wed, Sep 27, 2017 – 1800 PST
- Session 4: Wed, Oct 11, 2017 – 1800 PST
Constable Dantes Panza
Lt. Daniela Barrera (of UNTIL)
Silver Avenger Webster
Los Defensores de la Libertad (‘The Defenders of Freedom’)
- Serafín de Guerra (‘War Angel’)
- Velocidad (‘Velocity’)
Session 1 – Narrative:
Labor Day — A day of respite celebrating the American labor movement’s historical contributions to the lives and future well-being of working Americans. And how did the Hollywood Knights spend it? The day started with a public appearance in L.A, followed by a few hours of fan selfies, autograph signing, and other annoying PR shit. Could they paint a bigger target on their backs for Genocide?? I’m stunned Little Miss Conspiracy didn’t avoid the scene on the premise that some of the ‘fans’ might be operatives gathering intel on the Knights…
After hearing “O my gawd u r so hawt, Twister! Can we get a selfie?” nearly 100 times per hour, I was in a cantankerous mood. Thankfully we returned to The Keep shortly after noon, so no one was the wiser. When we got home, Hardcore set about hauling a load of beer and booze up to the rooftop deck while I fired up the grill and started some burgers, brats, and BBQ. Shortly thereafter Sarah, Dana, Grim, Edge, Quinby, and Steve showed up, and what began as a relaxing afternoon somehow morphed into an engagement party for Quinby and Edge. Grim got an actual ID, too -something I didn’t list in my next report lest it reflect poorly on Sarah, who I strongly suspected to have had a hand in it.
I’m not sure when I began to think of The Keep as ‘home’, but that’s what it had become. On this day, however, it had also become a romper room full of drunken children which tapered off only after Quinby and Edge left. Sarah and Grim soon followed, while Amber and Steve sidled off to who-knows-where. (Probably fucking in the gym, again — as if the rest of us can’t smell the stink of sex each time they ‘work out’ in there.) Zeke and Dana headed to Twister’s room only to have Dana return and complain to Honey that Zeke was too drunk to fuck. Before I could chime in with an appropriate put-down, Webster called, indicating:
“John, the PRIMUS tech guys went over all of the TechnoSmith equipment recovered from the recent Genocide fight. They found that the power core shielding was an alloy of questonite and a highly energy-resistant substance they labeled rodonite. Intelligence tracked the origin of the rodonite to the Andes Mountains in Venezuela, so we sent a couple squads to the area to rendezvous with UNTIL forces. Contact with the combined team was lost yesterday as they were about to enter a mine near Torondoy. Our UNTIL contact, Lt. Daniela Barrera, sent another squad to recon the mine and they have not been heard from, either. Obviously this is above PRIMUS capability; we could really use the Knights’ help. Your past reports suggest the Hollywood Knights are still pretty green; we could call The Protectors if you don’t feel the Knights are up to it.”
PRIMUS and UNTIL lives were on the line, and we were within the most important window for missing persons – the first 24 hours. After the morning’s HK PR, what was I supposed to say? Despite Twister’s drunken stupor, I committed the team without hesitation. Webster sounded pleased, but worried. He cautioned about the near-indestructible nature of the new alloy, TechnoSmith’s potential to have created as-yet-unseen gadgets, and the lack of clear intel regarding with whom TechnoSmith had been working. He also indicated that Torondoy lacked an airport and provided coordinates for use with our sky cruiser’s VTOL capabilities. I provided a midnight PDT departure projection and estimated a 9am local time ETA so that Webster could coordinate our meet-up with Lt. Barrera.
With that, I roused the troops, except for Twister who was too far gone to notice. AMorph was kind enough to encase Twister in a ‘suit’ that ‘walked’ him to the sky cruiser, while TK Kid grabbed Twister’s costume. Six hours, multiple cups of coffee, some hair of the dog, and three time zones later found us approaching the coordinates provided by Webster. As we landed I identified Lt. Barrera amidst a squad of seven UNTIL agents. Once we were out of the sky cruiser I made my way to her, flashed my credentials, and introduced Twister and Psi-Kick as the leaders of the Hollywood Knights. While her native tongue was clearly Spanish, she responded in perfect English, saying:
“Hello Twister and Psi-Kick, I am Lieutenant Daniela Teresa Molinares Barrera of UNTIL. Silver Avenger Webster told us to expect you. We were contacted by PRIMUS to arrange for an investigation in the nearby mountains and later asked to send another squad to search for them. I wasn’t originally worried. The mountains contain ore deposits that play hell with communications equipment. After the second squad went missing, I called Señor Webster with concerns. The last communication I received from our squads was that a thick fog was rolling in around the mine entrance. As you are probably aware there aren’t many superheroes in South America, so Señor Webster said that he would see if your team was available. I have spoken to some of the locals and they said that they have noticed a lot of activity in the mountains over the past year or so. They have even told stories about flying people and one that they call ‘El Relampago’, which, in English means ‘The Lightning.’ The squads that entered the mines were well armed, and I think they would have been more than a match for mercenaries. I have a meeting scheduled with the local constable shortly. Perhaps we should meet with him before we check out the mines.”
The town, itself, was tiny. Uninterested in meeting the constable, Hardcore unsurprisingly headed for the nearest bar. I almost asked him why he wastes money on booze since he can’t get drunk, but then I noticed he was dragging TK Kid with him, so I kept my mouth shut. Arriving at Constable Dantes Panza’s office we learned that he had lived in Torondoy his entire life and that in the last year there had been an influx of affluent foreigners, most of which hung out at the local bar when not at the mines. Constable Panza also indicated that the mines were locally known as Bajo Obscuridad (‘Underdark’), and that all permits and property rights regarding the mines were legally obtained by one Mr. Lawrence Tolomer. He then showed us a map of the mines, which we looked over, thanking him as we departed for the bar.
Besa de la Noche (’Night’s Kiss’) was a decent enough place. As we approached it we found ourselves mobbed by a group of ~14 kids, eager to receive autographs and/or handouts. Entering the bar, we noted it was unusually busy for a town as small as this one, no doubt to the pleasure of the barkeep. Hardcore had already noted that most of the patrons did’t look like locals, and we observed that several were speaking English. I spotted a woman in dark glasses seated in a booth near the back of the bar that looked a great deal like Morgaine The Mystic of The Crimelords. She got up and hurriedly exited through the rear of the bar as we seated ourselves, confirming my suspicion. Before anyone could stop him, TK Kid was off and flying after her – damn that kid!
I requested Lt. Barrera arrange transport for us to the mine entrance while I mentally briefed the Knights on what I knew of The Crimelords:
- Dreadnaught – Huge, super-strong metallic man who is extremely tough
- Morgaine The Mystic – Female with Elemantal Powers (Earth, Fire, Ice, Wind)
- Starflare – Extremely fast flying energy projector
- Tiger Lily – Very fast martial artists
- Warhammer – Powered armour user with exceptional strength and strong blasts
- Skullcrusher – The newest member of the group based on the last time the team was seen in the USA; manifests purple energy field around him in the shape of a huge hulking man. Probably a mentalist.
TK Kid found himself outpaced by Morgaine, but he was still able to spot where she entered the mountain near the mines. AMorph volunteered to head to the mountain as a bird in order to scout ahead, and the team agreed. The rest of the group waited for a pair of UNTIL vans to arrive at the bar, and then the team rode with the UNTIL agents to the mine entrance. ~30 minutes later, AMorph had some scouting under his belt as the vans, nearing the mine entrance, were overturned by a pair of shots fired from above. As the Knights extricated themselves from the vans, a bright flash of light zipped by and flew directly into one of the two visible mine entrances.
I grabbed one of the UNTIL agents’ heavy rifles and formed up with the rest of the Knights, leaving Lt. Barrera and her squad to shake off the hits at their own speed. Before anyone could protest, our hungover leader picked us up and moved us a half mile closer to the mine entrance — parking us smack in the middle of a field with absolutely no cover. A thick fog immediately appeared outside of the twin mine entrances.
Our position was a perfect example of why you don’t let a hungover party boy make tactical decisions: we were sitting ducks. To make matters worse, the mist obscured my mental vision, so I was effectively flying blind. Something that read as a mental paralysis unexpectedly lashed out at Hardcore from within the mist. I made myself someone else’s problem and then tried to mentally block it, but I just wasn’t quick enough; tat’s how we immediately lost our center.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, I noted that I had no way to break Hardcore out; he’d have to get out of it, himself. I was in the midst of informing the team of this via the mind link when a fireball sailed out of the mist and erupted around me, my ass saved only by a hemispherical barrier Amber slammed into place at the last possible second. Apparently my typical tactic of using Hardcore as a meat shield wasn’t going to work against this team.
Session 2 – Narrative:
Twister tried to disperse the mist but found himself unable to do so. The Crimelords pressed their field advantage with a coordinated move through on Amber by Dreadnaught … coupled with an earthquake by Morgaine and an explosive blast by Warhammer that were both centered on Dreadnaught. The combination was devastating, nearly knocking me out and damaging everyone except Hardcore, who was still immobilized. On the plus side, the mist had disappeared.
Tiger Lily unexpectedly flanked the team and went after Amber, clocking her with a solid hit while Skullcrusher unloaded on Twister while Twister surrounded Warhammer with an ineffective wind vortex. Psi-Kick, attempting to draw heat off the team, advanced on Skullcrusher and grazed him with the blunt end of her psionic weapon, only to be focused-fired by Skullcrusher with a pair of area of effect telekinetic punches, Morgaine with an ice blast, and Warhammer with a piston-powered punch.
TK Kid throttled Tiger Lily, Amber englobed me, and I blinded Skullcrusher figuring I might take the biggest, fastest threat out of the fight — at least for a while. Starflare emerged from the mines and laid into Twister, knocking him out in mid-air. Dreadnaught turned around and punched me through the globe, leaving me dizzy and barely aware of the rest of the fight. Fuck, these guys were a tight team!
AMorph finally showed up and let loose a fist of proteus on Warhammer, Morgaine, and Psi-Kick just as Psi-Kick was about to get up. While only moderately effective on Warhammer and Morgaine, it was devastating to Psi-Kick. Meanwhile, Twister’s unconscious body hit the ground as Amber both attacked and dropped Morgaine, a psychokinetic ‘woosh’ passing by Amber as the blinded Skullcrusher attempted to hit her. TK Kid kept at Tiger Lily with telekinetic thrusts until she finally fell, only to have Dreadnaught close with and engage him. Warhammer and Starflare focus-fired Amorph and delivered a clean KO, while TK Kid and Dreadnaught began trading blows.
Amber drew Starflare and Warhammer to the river while TK Kid and Dreadnaught kept at each other. The pair focus-fired Amber as she exited the river and KO’d her just as Hardcore broke out of his mental paralysis. Warhammer began to lay into Hardcore while I recovered and gathered strength to try to control Dreadnaught. Unfotunately Starflare noticed me and blasted me into unconsciousness. It was only a matter of time for Hardcore and TK Kid, thereafter, I’m told.
Session 3 – Narrative:
We awoke to find ourselves in a large, lavishly decorated penthouse. Twister and AMorph had been healed and were recovering in bedrooms while the rest of the team found itself on sofas and chairs in some kind of main room. A tall, blonde-haired man with large white wings and god-like looks stood nearby, along with a woman in a silver/blue costume and a cat-man dressed in a black jumpsuit. As we gained our bearings the winged man said:
“Hola, Mis Amigos. I am called Serafin de Guerra – War Angel, if you will. These are my compatriots, Puma and Velocidad. We are Los Defensores de la Libertad (‘The Defenders of Freedom’) and we work closely with UNTIL here in Venezuela. Lt. Barrera radioed us and said that help was needed. It is good that we arrived when we did, as things were not going well for you. I am afraid that communications with UNTIL were lost, and I fear that Lt. Barrera and her squads have been taken. From what I can gather, it appears that the mining operation is a front for ARGENT.”
As we gathered ourselves up, AMorph appeared from one of the bedrooms. Twister, however, was still down for the count – apparently due to his bender (if Serafin was to be believed). Psi-Kick promptly established a mind link among the present Knights, and we quickly compared notes. Hardcore and TK Kid had apparently been mentally paralyzed and then focus-fired by the remaining Crimelords. Before they fell, they noted UNTIL forces on the horizon accompanied by three superhumans — obviously Serafin, Puma, and Velocidad.
Since it looked like The Defenders of Freedom were on the level, I expressed my gratitude to them and introduced the Hollywood Knights, noting that Twister was the team’s leader and Psi-Kick was the second in command. After a bit of small talk Serafin returned everyone to the situation at hand by asking if we had heard of a man who called himself ‘Technosmith’. He further observed that this individual seemed to be leading the operation in the mines.
I responded to indicate that the Knights had experienced numerous run-ins with forces equipped by Technosmith. I also shared that Constable Panza told us all permits and property rights regarding the mines had been legally obtained by Lawrence Tolomer and that Mr. Tolomer might have additional insight to offer on Technosmith. To this, Serafin replied:
“I do not know what we may be up against, but if ARGENT is involved they may have security robots in addition to The Crimelords you faced, before. I do know that if we are to rescue Lt. Barrera we will need to act quickly. I have taken the liberty of having Puma and Velocidad scout the area. There are several entrances, but all of them except the main entrance are hidden. It is fortunate that Puma’s senses are so good, no?”
Everyone agreed that time was of the essence, so the Knights and Defenders of Freedom each made their way to the roof, boarded the Defenders’ VTOL craft (the Sinsonte aka ‘Mockingbird’, and headed for the mines with the Sinsonte in stealth mode. During the flight, Puma pointed out each of the hidden entrances using topographical maps, and Serafin hatched a plan entailing a split into three groups that would leverage three different entrances – forcing The Crimelords and other opposition to split their forces. In order to provide a means of keeping in touch, Psi-Kick added The Defenders to our mind link.
Soon after, Psi-Kick zoned out for a moment, recovered quickly, and began sharing a waking premonition over the mind link. Through her eyes we each saw 4 Minuteman Robots, several Powered Armored entities, some Knight Cyborgs, and thirty Genocide agents attacking the mines. There was also a brief glimpse of a frequency and code on a communicator possessed by one of two Rooks. Leveraging my rapid recall, I identified the frequency as 626Mhz and the code as A6412BZ, which I noted was most likely an encryption code. TK Kid requested permission to make adjustments to the Sinsonte’s scanner, and within moments of receiving approval, he had us listening in on coded Genocide radio traffic:
“Black Rook Five this is Black Bishop Two, Hollywood Knights were taken down but rescued by Defenders of Freedom. ARGENT has fortified position with MechEnforcer Robots. There are still three mutants on site in addition to five other superhumans, eight MechEnforcer Robots and approximately thirty ARGENT troops. Recommend direct assault as soon as possible. I will move to engage primary target TechnoSmith upon engagement. Be aware secondary target Voltiac is hard target, over.”
“Black Bishop Two this is Black Queen. I copy transmission. Be advised Black Rook Five is en route to your location with a full contingent of assets. Can you take down internal power to early warning and monitoring devices as discussed?”
“Black Queen this is Black Bishop Two. Yes ma’am. Am I to proceed to primary target following instruction?”
“Yes Black Bishop Two but I want him alive.”
“Understood Black Queen, Black Bishop Two out.”
Voltiac – I recognized that name as an alpha level mutant operating in South America … one of Columbian descent who had successfully taken on the likes of Gravitar and lived to tell about it. I shared this with the team and together, we reconsidered our three-group plan. Our primary goal was the recovery of the captured PRIMUS and UNTIL squads – personnel totaling 34, including Lt. Berrera. After confirming the Sinsonte could carry such a large group, we reformulated our plan to one entailing two groups, each with a primary goal of rescuing the PRIMUS and UNTIL forces while ARGENT and Genocide kept each other busy.
Nearing the mines, I scanned for Lt. Berrera’s mind as we set down and was able to establish a psychic lock. I shared the precise distance and direction to Lt. Berrera’s position with the team and then initiated thought transference with her in order to acquire additional intel. I’m not sure Berrera believed me when I told her Psi-Kick was the one enabling the sharing of thoughts, but she didn’t seem to care; I suppose being cooped up in a cramped cell with seven UNTIL agents will do that. We then divided into two groups as proposed – Alpha Team comprised of Serafin, Puma, Hardcore, and Psi-Kick and Bravo Team composed of me, Amber, AMorph, TK Kid, and Velocidad.
Bravo Team took the mine entrance closest to Lt. Berrera, with AMorph scouting ahead as water dribbling under the entrance, under another internal door into a room with two guards, past them under another door, and into a hallway. Knowing the first entrance was clear, TK Kid entered the mine and forced open a set of unscouted double doors to reveal two MechEnforcers, one of which released a gas that knocked out the guards AMorph had seen. Amber tossed up a barrier that sealed most of the gas into the room with the mechs, but the second mech unloaded five shots on it that blew it apart. Knowing I could add little to the fight, I held my breath and backed off to a safe distance where I could focus on increasing my quickness and endurance. TK Kid, impetuous as ever, pressed the fight with a telekinetic explosion that knocked down both mechs. Velocidad sprang into action keeping one mech busy while TK Kid traded blows with the other. Amber alternated her fire between both mechs until both fell from her needles, while I mentally worked with Lt. Berrera to help AMorph locate and free her group.
Meanwhile, Serafin transformed into light and bled through cracks in the next closest entrance in order to scout ahead for Alpha Team. Once inside he relayed that he was alone, so Hardcore smashed his way through the entrance, enabling the rest of Alpha Team to follow. They made their way down winding tunnels to another door which Hardcore nosily smashed open, alerting a MechEnforcer beyond to their presence. Puma, Hardcore, and Psi-Kick engaged, with Puma rending the machine into scrap metal in three vicious strikes.
Session 4 – Narrative:
XP and Rewards
Agent Storm receives 4 XP
Amber receives 4 XP
AMorph receives 6 XP
Hardcore receives 4 XP
Psi-Kick receives 4 XP
TK Kid receives 6 XP
Twister receives 2 XP
Surrealone receives 4 GMXP for the Adventure Log
Amber is voted MVP receiving 1 additional XP.