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Found 308 results

  1. A question for those of us who have played Adventure! well enough to know: how would you create an Inspired character that has survived through to the Nova Age or even into the Trinity Era? IIRC, that's a gap of 80-100 years between Adventure! & Aberrant. Likewise, the gap is further increased by another 12 decades if an Inspired manages to make it to the Trinity Era. The "how" of the characters' survival into the latter Eras is obvious: Optimized Metabolism (as knack or Innovation), suspended animation, anti-aging drugs & so on. What I'm asking is how would you create such a character from the whole cloth. Is it just a matter of adding in a huge amount of transformation points into character creation, or would the process need further tweaking (Boosted Attributes/Abilities/Backgrounds)? If it's just a matter of adding more transformation points, then how many would be needed? I'm figuring that an Inspired who actually lived through most or all of those decades between the Eras would get more points that those who were "in stasis" as human popsicles or the like. And yes, this question pertains to the Aberrant: Nexus project I've been working on.
  2. The following is an excerpt from an interview (June 2002) with the Developer for the upcoming EON E-book Adventure!: Trial by Fire Trial by Fire Developer: 'Slagheap' Interviewer: 'Breearg' Breearg: So, what kind of stuff you guys putting in TbF? Slagheap: Mainly it is intended to be a setting update for WW2. So we'll update the organizations and character bios, as well as adding more and detailing Inspired on both sides of the war Breearg: cool--how much stuff do you have done already? Are you going to talk about the events surrounding Crackshot's betrayal and death? Slagheap: The first round of writing assignments is out and should be coming in with in the next couple of weeks (suuurrrre they will) and yes we will touch upon Crackshot's death Slagheap: In fact I think it's being covered with he opening fiction Breearg: schweet Breearg: mmmm, and then described inside the book proper? Breearg: When you say update character bios--does that include the Traits part? Are there new knacks? Slagheap: A little, we did a little homework and realized that Crackshot is dead before WW2 even starts, so we don't really plan to spend much time on it Breearg: Well, she dies shortly before World War II Slagheap: There will be new knacks. We haven't decided if we are including traits for the bios, but I wouldn't hold my breath Slagheap: Yeah Slagheap: For now I'm letting Defender have free reign with that subject, so I'm not even sure what is planned Breearg: You mean on Knacks? Breearg: ::erases next question about whether their will be knacks that suggest the increasing power of certain Inspired--ie: Divis Mal:: Slagheap: No actually Joseph is working on that right now. I've seen the descriptions for them, but most of the mechanics have yet to be written Breearg: so--do they touch a higher power level? Slagheap: Not really, we're staying with only three levels, but most of the new ones are at least level 2 Breearg: hmm Slagheap: Though some do take their...forgive the pun, inspiration from Aberrant and Psion powers Breearg: heh Breearg: cool Breearg: Aberrant powers... like... QUANTUM INFERNO, hehehe Slagheap: Well...not quite that powerful Slagheap: But cool all the same Breearg: hehehe Breearg: Like? Hehehe ::fishing for the inside dope:: Slagheap: well I don't want to give too much away, but we are trying to even things out for the Mesmerists, they're getting some pretty cool new powers Breearg: k Breearg: Can you give an example or two of some new knacks, or at least their names? Slagheap: Well I don't suppose a little hint would hurt Slagheap: Mesmerists are getting some new knacks like Preemptive Strike and Mirage while Stalwarts are getting knacks like Borrowed Essence and everybody's favorite the Daredevil gets clever new knacks like Spit and Bailing Wire Breearg: Spit... sounds, interesting, heh Slagheap: Any other TbF related questions? Breearg: hmmm Breearg: Do you have a timeline of events? Slagheap: Actually we do...which is to say we will Breearg: Are any important historical figures Inspired, Mengelei springs to mind as a possible "mad scientist" (for example) Slagheap: Well, actually we decided to shy away from making many actual historical figures Inspired, but you could see a few Breearg: I assumed that would be the case, generally people avoid that. So, could you give some hints at some Inspired figures on either side of the conflict? Slagheap: It's still a little too early in the game to start naming names Breearg: As in you don't want to give them away, or you don't have them yet. If you don't want to give them away could you simply make a suggestion as to the role of one person on each side? Slagheap: Well we're planning on showcasing "super soldier" types on either side, and the war just wouldn't be a war without at least one Psychic Intelligence officer Breearg: Will Captain America be making an appearance? :-) (little questionnaire humor there, hehehe) Slagheap: Well no, but you might see some fellows of similar inclination and occupation.
  3. Recently some of my friends have got into steampunk, and well we are looking at posbably setting up a game in steampunk setting, of Skyship captains, things like that, not so much space-ships. I am starting to really think using the Adventure! system is the best way forward, I have Gurps steampunk and Steam-Tech. I just think it would work so well. Has anyone ever used Adventure to do Steampunk, Has anyone got any notes on tech that they may have already done.
  4. Ian Watson

    Adventure! RPG - Z-rays

    The following comes from my own thoughts regarding Adventure!'s Z-rays, based on conversations with various people involved with the creation of the series. --- Z-rays do not exist as a discrete energy in and of themselves, but are a phenomenon generated by the interaction of quantum and subquantum energies. The discovery of subquantum is still several centuries away, and even then its interaction with quantum is not well understood. Perhaps with the the arrival of new "daredevils" following the Venezuelan Phenomenon, investigation into this mysterious realm can finally get underway. For the purposes of this dissertation, and in the interest of brevity, Z-rays will be treated here as a separate energy. In quantum mechanics, we learn that particles of matter do not exist in a solid sense like a billiard ball, but in a probability cloud. Heisenberg pointed out that the more precisely a particle's position is known, the less precisely one can know its velocity, and vice versa. Even more bizarrely, Richard Feynman discovered that particles don't have a single history, but rather have all histories. If a particle is at point A, and later at point B, it can be shown to have travelled every conceivable path between A and B. However, once again, one can measure each path's probability to determine the most likely path taken by the particle. In plain English, if you are attempting to determine the position of a pendulum, the position distribution can be shown as a bell curve; it's therefore most probable at any given time that the pendulum will be in the middle position. This situation doesn't just apply to particles, but on a large scale as well. The most probable path for an object on the large scale exactly conforms to predictions made by Newtonian physics. Also, as can be shown in the double-slit light experiment. The "Shroedinger's Cat" thought experiment demonstrates that an object's state rests in a state of limbo, with a 50/50 chance of either probability, until observation "locks" it into one of those probabilities. Now here's where things get hinky. The quantum forces dictate how particles interact with each other, while subquantum forces deal with information. On the scales normally employed by psions and novas, quantum and subquantum interfere with each other to a large degree, but at fairly low scales, they can actually work together. Combining the control of matter with the control of information results in the ability to affect probability. Places The uncontrolled explosion of Z-rays in the 1920s had an unforeseen effect on the world: they temporarily adjusted the history probabilities for certain places. These are places which had only received the most cursory of observation, if any, and thus Z-rays didn't have much observation to "fight against." This resulted in areas far from civilization - the foggy wilds of Transylvania, the deep swamps of the southern US, caverns extending deep underground, and so on - instantly getting new histories written for them, despite the improbability of dinosaurs in the modern day. These alternate histories seemed to be based more on imagination rather than simple observation. As time goes on, and Z-rays begin to dissipate, these locations begin to reassert the "correct" history, returning to the most probable outcome. By the Trinity era, Earth has largely been investigated and catalogued to such an extent that the Venezuelan Phenomenon, amplified though it was, didn't have sufficient momentum to overcome the known world as observed, and thus no "newly discovered" ancient civilizations or the like were found. People Some people hit by the initial Hammersmith explosion - and the later Venezuelan Phenomenon - got affected by it. It may have been a certain frame of mind they were in, a material they were handling, or perhaps a genetic quirk. The scientists of the Trinity Universe may never find out why. In any case, once affected, they become sort of encased in a bubble of personal spacetime. This bubble functions largely like normal spacetime, except the prevalence of Z-rays within the bubble. The Z-rays respond to the unconscious desires of their owner to a certain extent, affecting the probabilities of the world around them. Traffic congestion and traffic lights function in a way to impede any followers, the individual just happens to make perfectly-aimed attacks, and what seemed to be a killing strike is rendered a glancing blow. These bubbles affect the probabilities of the outside world only slightly (no instant armies of ninjas at your beck and call), so they're generally strong enough to survive the duration of an individual's life, or several decades at least. It should be noted that, like electron shells on an atom, daredevils have at least one additional "energy level." The common expression of daredevil manifestation is as described above, the unconscious manipulation of probability, or perpendicular time. The higher energy level, much less common, is the conscious manipulation of linear time. Instead of merely manipulating the quantum histories of the world around them, they are able to consciously manipulate their own personal history and its place in larger spacetime. The only known example of this manifestation achieved the higher energy level by being directly present at the initial Hammersmith explosion. While events of this type are exceedingly rare, it is not recommended for anyone to attempt to repeat this themselves, just as it's not recommended for aspiring novas to place themselves in mortal danger in the hopes of awakening a dormant M-R node.
  5. Ever since I helped put out Aberrant: A Breed Apart, I've been wondering how the kids of the surviving Adventure! Era stalwarts would turn out. Granted not all of them *do* survive to have kids, & most of those have neutral or possibly daredevil spouses, but still. Here's my take on the situation: stalwarts who breed w/ the non-Inspired will simply produce offspring with the latent M-R coding. Any breeding w/ mesmerists would result in stillbirths or sterile offspring. Those who breed w/ daredevils could produce offspring of either Inspired type. Stalwarts who breed with other stalwarts *might* produce full-blown 2ndGen nova offspring, although probably low-powered specimens of such. I'm unsure of how this would interact with the "Inspiration as the middle ocean between Quanta/Taint & Psi" concept, so YMMV. Do I have something usable and/or plausible here, or are there one or more mistakes lurking in the concept?
  6. Well, since the forums are merging, and I find that both forums are notably deficient in new Knacks/supplements, I shall begin to fill the gap by cranking out new Knacks here every so often. Please comment and review. And join in. Heroic Knack: Lucky Find "Look, Johnson left this movie ticket, Sergeant!" "Yes, for the symphony playing at Carnegie Hall at 7:00... tonight. Excellent, we'll lay a trap for the burglar there." People are always leaving behind little clues, and you're able to find every one of them- and the answers they hold- with ease. Whether your kidnapped friend left a clue behind as who took him, or a discarded box of distinctive cigars left at a crime scene identifies the culprit, they come to your attention quickly. System When spending Inspiration points for dramatic editing, you may ignore the extra cost for plot ramifications and further decrease the cost by one Inspiration point, provided that the ramification answers or helps make significant progress towards answering a previously unknown question. Appropriate examples include uncovering the identity of the buyer of several killer robots from the Machinatrix, or where the famous missing singer is hiding for fear of her life. However, an appropriate person MUST have left behind this clue, eg. you cannot find out who the King of the World is from looking in a cobwebbed mansion. The GM is the final arbiter of when this Knack applies. Requirements: It's important that you see the clue, and you have to make sense of what it means. A character must have Wits & Perception 4 to purchase this knack.
  7. Scott William Derringer Private Investigator In: The Mystery of the Heiress' Money As told to: Christopher Chase Sometimes, all you need is one lucky break. I kind of figured that I'd used up all my lucky breaks during the war, taking that trench, coming back in one piece, knowing my own name, not like some others. I see them on the street, old before their time, wearing eye patches and scarves to cover up what pieces they'd left behind. Some of them try for some sort of dignity, the sleeves and pantlegs of old uniforms folded and pinned where arms and legs ended. Others didn't care about dignity. They had left that behind, and now all they have are those desperate hours between dawn and dusk, trying to remember who they are, and when they are. If they're lucky, they get enough for some bathtub gin, bought from a guy who looks for people like them. Then they drink themselves dead drunk, or just dead, depending on how clean the radiator was that was used for a still, all so they don't dream, going back to the mud and the blood, the noise and the cold, cold silence. There are still times I feel the same. Sometimes, I sleep with a light on just so I know that I'm home, not in a dark trench somewhere. Thankfully, those times are getting farther and farther apart. *** I'd been reading the paper, seeing that the Yankees had yet again lost me five bucks, when a picture on the front page caught my eye. Forgetting what I wanted to do to the New York Coach, I stared at the picture, not knowing whether to feel angry or not. There she was, Mary Elisabeth Endicott-Maverly, 'Ellie' to her friends, ducking into the family car, which was big enough to hold a family of ten. She had looked into the camera for this picture, and I could see something there, something only someone who knew her would see… Everything faded for a second, and suddenly, I was a poor boy of fourteen again, and she was a girl of sixteen, from the right side of the tracks, money and wealth at her beck and call. Spoiled but tough, because that's the way her father had raised her, she enjoyed pushing everyone around, acting as if her victims were her personal slaves, especially the people around the stables…especially a poor, fourteen year old boy… I shook my head, came back to the present I looked at the story, not really much of one, just good scandal sheet stuff, of how she was spotted leaving the police station, and a rumored suitcase full of money. Right at that moment, my door opened up, and in walked the only real friend I had left from my childhood. "How are you this morning, Sergeant McMurphy?" "Ah, it's me joints again. Too much walking, too little sittin'." We go through this dance every couple of days. In the end, I give him a little 'medicine', kept in the drawer of my desk, courtesy of 'Dr.' Gleason, former Canadian soldier, now owner of Carl's, distributor of whiskey and other joint medicines. He's about the only one who'll talk to me now who knew me as a kid. Not that I was bad, of course. But some of the people I knew back then are respectable now, and don't want to be seen talking to me, a gumshoe, a window peeper. Once I even heard keyhole copper. The rest of the people, well…I'm no crystal ball reader, and since I don't believe in disturbing the dead… And my father, so happy I came back from the war alive, proud when I joined the police, was now so angry at me for quitting the force to become some 'dimestore novel detective', that he wouldn't even speak to me. And I can't even tell him why I quit, the corruption I saw, the darkness behind the shields, because then, I'd be waiting for something heavy to fall on him from a tenth story window. That was the deal I made with certain people when I left. So, McMurphy and I would do the dance, and after, when he'd finished his 'medicine', I'd ask about my father, and he'd say: "Ask him yourself." But today, I changed the steps of the dance, and started my own. I showed him the paper, pointed out the picture, and asked him about her. He knew her for what she was. She liked to pick on police too, not just kids with a shaky past. "She had a flat tire," he said. "She was alone, and she wasn't able to change the tire by herself." Likely afraid she'd break a nail. "The car that found her was looking out for some smugglers in the area, so they searched the car all the while they were helping her." Humph. Probably one helped, while the other went around the other side of the car to take a piss. "Then he looked in, and saw the case…" "One hundred thousand in that case, Boyo. Enough fer just about anything. So, a'fore she could say anything, Bingo!, an' sure she's at the station, ringing up Daddy." I wonder what the two flatfoots who caught her are doing now. Likely patrolling the docks, where idiots who arrest the rich go. So much smuggling goes on there, that no one will allow the police to interfere with it. They either look the other way, or they get swept away. That, or they ended up shoveling after the horses on parade. "She wouldn't say what the money was for I'm told, but after her lawyer came in, curse the parasite, she and the money took the high road out." I wonder what the money was for. People like her don't pay for things, they get them given to them, or they're paid to take them, just so someone could say that what they had or made or sold went to rich, influential people. Kiss-ups. "One hundred grand," I said, rolling the sound around. Made me completely forget the Yankees. "Buy a lotta bootleg with that." McMurphy agreed. But we both knew that couldn't be it. The Endicotts likely had enough booze in their cellars to float away half the town. The Sarge said that he'd heard the scores, and I handed over his five bucks. I now had six dollars and change to my name. Lucky thing I always paid the rent first. But then, something'll turn up. It always does. *** Now, an hour later and a dollar shorter, I was at Maudie's, the only restaurant in town that makes an apple pie I can stomach. Washing it down with coffee thick and strong enough to re-sole my shoes, I asked Maudie what the good word was. "Rich," she said, polishing the counter. She always said that, like it was the key to happiness. Well, I suppose that if you had enough money, you could at least rent it. And, of course, it brought me back to Miss Endicott. Why had she been out there? What was she doing with enough money to buy…anything? It was an itch I just had to scratch. *** Now, shorter two dollars and three hours of daylight, I stood outside the old stables, where once upon a time I'd worked, where once upon a time a girl with too much money and too much free time had tormented me, and where now something sharp was digging into my back The voice behind me was thick with a Cockney accent. I knew who this was. Old Ralfie Hornquist, an Irishman raised in London. He'd been my friend until I'd left, me being the only one who'd listen to his old Irish folktales. I also knew that Ralfie didn't carry a gun, having been shot by an Englishman trying to run his family off their ancestral lands, sixty-five years ago. Likely, he was digging the old shovel he carried around into my back. But since I didn't want to get whacked over the head, my hands went up. It took me fifteen minutes to convince the old coot who I was. ,,*** "…Can't get why," he was telling me. "She never carried too much money with her. Always had her husband carry it. And, I hear, he didn't mind it too much, if'n you know what I mean." "Not have his own?" "Not so's you'd notice. Word is, his family, name'a Maverly, descendents of a Duke or some such, lost most of it and married into the Endicotts to save the family name. She got an influential name, and status with Old Families. And the Endicotts used that status to get richer." "Kids?" "One. A boy name'a Michael. Looks like his mother, but he don't act like her, thank goodness. Though, she's calmed down some, with a child and all." He continued: "Husband though…he's likely the reason his family near lost everything a few years back." "Bad business?" "Betting. The worst gambler you've ever seen, next to you and the Yankees, I hear." Cute. "He in debt?" "With Endicott money? Not likely" Unless he was so deep he couldn't tell. Or maybe Daddy Endicott found out, and cut him off. Hell, maybe Mrs. Endicott-Maverly cut him off. But if he was in deep to the wrong people… "Anything else?" "Nah, she ain't been here for a while. She used to ride here every day or so. Bring the lad along. Ain't seen neither of 'em." She's been seen, I thought. Driving alone in the dark with a case of mon… Oh, no. Maybe she wasn't smuggling, or buying bootleg. Maybe she had been trying to deliver a ransom. Trying to buy back her kid! Even as I thought that, a twist in my gut told me that I was right. Easy enough to find out. Using one of the greatest creations of science, the telephone, I called the boy's school. All the rich kids who didn't have private tutors went to a school named Collinsworth, so finding it wasn't a problem. With a cloth over the mouthpiece, I demanded to speak to the Head, then demanded to know if anyone had been told of the kidnapping, impersonating the gruff, shout coarsened voice of the great man himself, Mr. Endicott. The man at the other end stuttered and whined, but at the end assured me that no one knew of my grandson's disappearance. I hung up. I looked at my watch. It'd be dark soon. I could probably just make it to the Endicott Estate before they tried another ransom run. And they would. No one walks away from a hundred grand. No one. *** So now, here I was, at the only turn-off within sight of the Endicott Estate. Hah, estate. It was so big it should have it's own seat in that League of Nations everyone's talking about. Well, good luck, Mercer. You'll need it. The walls were just as high as I remembered them, bigger than some of the older buildings in the old city, with more predators walking around inside than a lions, tigers and bears only circus. Of course, there was another way in, discovered in my misspent youth, an old steam pipe that had been cut off from the main line when the Endicott's went for a bigger one. Handy thing to know, if I ever needed to get inside without an invitation. *** I had just finished the last of my cigarettes, when the gates opened up, and a Ford Roadster rolled out. It drove along, as if everything was completely normal. I watched it go past, with me hidden behind some brush, then I started my own car, a Studebaker Light Six, (bought for a song from the police impound) and drove along without any headlights. It was a full moon tonight, so it wasn't too hard. The car turned a corner, and I hit the lights, following the little automobile through the city, until it left the outskirts, and followed a well-worn path, no road, just ruts in the dirt. Now I knew where the car was going. The only place around here for something like this was Dusty's, a seedy little joint in the middle of nowhere, named, I think, for the layers of it on the furniture. I hoped she, if it was Ellie in the car, didn't go in there. That place had a tendency to eat people up and spit out bones. Was she going there to deliver the ransom? Check and see if anybody had left further instructions? ,,,,I topped a hill, and saw Dusty's, all lit up like it was Fifth Avenue, plain as day. Made me wonder why people paid the police, with the crooks giving them a better paycheck. A covered truck was parked out front, and five guys built like walls were unloading Canadian whiskey from the back. Just to the side of the truck was the car, well away from the other cars in the graveled lot, the headlights just winking out. I pulled into a spot where I could see the whole area in front of me, and I could watch the deal going down. Then, as my door was yanked open and the second before a sap pounded my head, I found myself wishing I'd checked the scenery behind. *** ,,,,The first thing I thought, as I came to, was that I was back in the trenches. The ground shook under the shelling, others whistled overhead, and all I could smell was dirt, straw and manure Straw and manure? My eyes, often getting me into trouble with a wandering gaze popped open. Then, after coaxing what was left of my dinner back down, I opened them slower. The rumbling and shaking had become rhythmic, the sound of iron wheels clacking against a track, in time with the hammer inside my skull. The smell of straw and manure, strong to a city boy like me became the dirt covering the floor of a boxcar. The screaming shells became the sound of a train whistle. Surprise! I was tied up and gagged. The bad news is that I wasn't blindfolded, meaning they didn't care if I saw them. Speaking of…sitting on a chair that looked small, like a kid's, was the biggest thug I'd ever seen. His back was to me, but I could see how the jacket he wore was stretching over his shoulders. His arms looked to be the same size as my legs, and his legs looked to be the size of cut-down trees. He was cracking the knuckles on the construction tools he called hands, and spitting black tobacco juice into a growing pool on the floor. Then I heard him, crying in the corner, opposite me. He had a blanket, ratty and full of holes wrapped around him, but with his school uniform, shorts and a thin shirt, it wasn't doing him much good. He was shivering, shaking like a leaf. I could see his breath frosting the air slightly. Didn't seem that cold to me, but then, I was dressed a little heavier. My gun was gone, and so was my wallet, no surprise there. They'd tied my hands behind me, but they'd left my feet loose. Strange, but maybe luck was finally turning my way. The kid's teeth began chattering, and I could hear it even over the sound of the train. He was obviously suffering, but the human tower didn't seem to care, another bad thing to add to the fact neither the kid nor I were blindfolded. My gut twisted, and told me that we were going to get off the train, but with a lump of lead in our skulls. A lurch, and the train's motion slowed. I could feel the train beginning to angle up, as it began to climb. Our chances of escape wouldn't be getting much better. Of course, being tied up complicated things. As I was thinking I should've stayed at the office and enjoyed losing the rest of my money to McMurphy, I heard a voice. It was tinny, like I was hearing it from a radio. I knew it wasn't from the man mountain, because it sounded like it had brains behind it. Following the voice, I saw the box, with wires leading out. The box began giving orders, and I didn't like them one bit. ""I know that the wait has been hard for you, Clarence…" (Clarence?) "But I've gotten the money. I'm sure this man watching Mary was doing so without her, or her father's knowledge. But he will make an excellent Judas when the boy is found. A man, down on his luck, steals the grandchild of a rich man to make some money. A mishap, and both die in the wilderness, (Don't like the sound of that) falling from the train they were riding to escape the city that the Grandfather and his daughter have swarming with Pinkertons." "Finish it now, Clarence. The sooner the brat is gone and the family in shambles, the sooner I can proceed with my plans." Damn! Shovel-hands didn't waste any time, because as soon as the voice was done, he stood up and pulled out what looked to be my gun. Lana looked like a toy in his big mitt, but like most ladies I know, small or not she was no less deadly. Seeing me as the immediate threat, Clarence the kidnapping oak tree turned to wards me, the hammer pulling back and the cylinder turning, putting a round under the pin. Damn! Damn!! Lana's .45 caliber eye gave me a cold, black stare. The train whistle blew, and we began picking up speed again as the train leveled off. Big boy turned his eyes toward the sound as the whistle sounded again. Not believing how my luck was turning out, I kicked him in the knee as hard as I could. My angle was awkward, but I still managed to stumble him, his shoulder hitting the wall, and Lana fell, hiding in the straw. I looked at him, and saw the ugliest face I'd ever seen. Someone had taken a knife to his face, jigsaw puzzled his looks. His teeth were revealed in a permanent snarl, scar tissue pulling the lips apart. Eyes the bright brown of new pennies looked at me, then a boot the size of Rhode Island lashed out, and caught me in the ribs. I was surprised my ribs didn't shatter. And I thought it would hurt more. Apparently, Scar thought it should've too, so he did it again, flipping me over this time. Then he picked me up by the scruff of the neck, like picking a kitten out of a litter, and slammed me several times, face first into the wall, letting me slide down with stars swirling in my vision for company. My head spun, and I could taste blood. But I knew, somehow, that I wasn't hurt very badly, and even as I thought about it, the weakness of being manhandled like that began to fade. A hamhock landed on my shoulder, and suddenly the corner of the car was rushing at my face, and I slid down the wall again, everything a blur. And to top it off, something was poking into my arm. I shook my head, clearing it quickly. Strange, you'd think Jojo the scar-faced boy could do more damage than that, but I wasn't counting on that good luck holding out for much longer. And what the hell was digging into my arm? I felt around, and immediately felt the nail sticking out from the wall. Now if I could lift my arms a little bit more… The nail caught the rope, and I began working it, feeling the strands break. Tall, dark and ugly was looking for Lana, but bless her little steel heart, she stayed hidden. Giving up after a minute, he pulled out a knife. Why he didn't pay attention to me I don't know, likely thought I was down for the count. Why I wasn't, I don't know, but I wasn't going to waste this chance. The rope broke as he started towards the boy, who starting screaming as he caught sight of the blade. I was up and running, plowing into the goon's lower back, lifting him off his feet a lot easier than I should have, and drove him into the wall. I wanted to yell: How's that taste?, but I gave him a couple of shots to the kidneys instead. I reached up, and grabbed a hand full of grey, slicked back hair, and slammed his face into the wood a couple of times. I swear I heard something crack. An elbow caught me in the side of the head, knocking me down into the straw, but I rolled with it, and was on my feet in time for the man-mountain to come at me, arms wide, his face pulled back and bloody. Ducking under his arms, I got around behind, then jumped on his back, my arms going around his thick neck. He clawed at me, having dropped the knife, catching and ripping off pieces of my shirt. He stood at his full height, my feet left the floor, and he ran at the nearest wall, whipping around so I'd hit, with his full weight crushing me to paste. The wall cracked, but I only grunted, so he slammed me back into the wall again. He began driving his elbows into my ribs, even as he slammed me into the wall again. He kept this up for what felt like a few months, bouncing me off walls he took running starts at, with me flopping around like a rag doll. The smokestack began to gag, clawing for my eyes now, trying to grab me and pull me off. Then he went to one knee. Then the other. His arms flapped around, and I could feel his throat working beneath my arm, straining to pull in air. He sagged, but I held on, and after I was sure he wasn't faking, I let him fall. Dead or not, I didn't care, just as long as he stayed down. My foot banged against something, and looking down, I saw Lana waiting patiently for me to hold her, which I did. She felt good, like a shot of extra aged scotch, smooth like a favorite brand of cigarette. I retrieved my holster from the ruins (funny, I don't remember hitting it) of the sleeping giants chair, put it on and slid Lana inside, where she nestled comfortably. ,,,,,,There was a choking sound, and I remembered why this had all happened in the first place. Scooting over to him, I put a hand on his shoulder. He tried to pull away, not surprising really, considering what he's been through. "Michael?" I asked. He tried to huddle deeper into the blanket, hoping everything would go away, and that he'd wake up at home. All safe and sound, monster hidden away in the closet. Problem was, the boogeyman of this nightmare is lying in a mound of straw, and is seven feet of muscle and whalebone. I didn't want to be here if or when he woke up. "C'mon, kid. We gotta go. Your mom's waiting for you." "Mommy?" His head poked out. Christ, the kid was barely eight years old, for crying out loud. I wanted to go back over and kick Big and Gruesome a few times, but it'd have to wait. "Yeah, kid. I'll take you to her. But first we gotta get off the train." Suddenly the radio crackled to life again. Most of it was muffled as I hauled back on the loading door, revealing the world as it whipped by at sixty miles an hour, but I could make out the voice asking if 'it' was done, meaning were we dead. Watching the treed landscape rush by, I was at a loss. We'd likely break something if we jumped here, and it would look like the accident the Voice wanted. Speaking of which, the radio crackled again, demanding Clarence answer him. Nuts. At no time did I think Clarence was the only one of the Voice's thugs on the train. If he got antsy enough… My eyes settled on a coil of rope hanging on the wall, about thirty feet's worth, probably what they used to tie me up. Not much good now, nothing to tie it to, and nowhere to go. And outside, the trees whipped past, just like our chances of escaping. The speaker went dead with a snap!, and my gut told me the jig was nearly up. Likely sending some of his goons over right now. No choice. "C'mon, Mike." I hauled him up, grabbed the coil of rope with my other hand, and hoped that I could think of something before the Voice's goons got here. We went over to the door, and I tied one end of the rope around my waist, then tied part around his. Looking out the door, I saw a bridge coming up fast, bracing girders stretching up, and over the rails. I couldn't see from where I was, but it looked like it was a ways down. And to top it all off, I could hear footsteps, clumping along the roof, heading for the top hatch. The bridge was about thirty seconds away, the sides rising up like a cradle. The river it bridged was about seventy feet down. No way out. Unless… I grabbed the big guy in a fit of inspiration/desperation, and hauled him over to the door, the kid looking at me like I'd lost my marbles. If only he knew what I was thinking… Grabbing the guy's knife as we went by, I made a couple of cuts on the rope, then tied one end to Clarence's ankle, and made a loop in the other, and slid my hand in. I gotta be crazy. The hatch opened, and some five o'clock shadow face shoved through, turning until the beady eyes that came with it locked on to us. He opened his mouth to shout, so I did the only thing it could do, and threw Ugly's knife at him. Whether it hit or not, I didn't know, or care. Grabbing Michael, I jumped out the door, the kid in one hand, the rope in the other. We were in midair just before the first brace of the bridge, and we skinned by it, like a football between the posts, and momentum kept us going both out and forward, where the rope hit the next brace, drawing us up, and the force yanking the body of Tall and Ugly out of the car. Michael and I dropped like a stone, but stopped as Clarence jammed against the brace that the rope was sliding across. Forty feet above the river, Michael was yelling his head off and so was I, him from being scared, and me from nearly having my arm ripped from the socket. Then the pressure lessened, and we fell the last forty feet into the water, which was thankfully deep enough to keep us from becoming human pancakes. I twisted, and took most of the impact myself. We were swept along, the water fast for a few, chaotic minutes, until we rounded a bend, and found a clearer, gentler patch. We took the chance offered, and climbed out. I flopped on the bank, and slipped the rope off, the marks on my wrist so bad that I thought maybe it was broken, but my fingers worked, everything bent only so far then stopped, just like it was supposed to. I turned my head. Michael was curled up on the ground, groaning. If I'd thought he was cold before, he was turning blue now. He wasn't even bothering to shiver. I'd seen this in the trenches, when men froze to death. They just began to go to sleep, and they didn't wake up. I had to get a fire going, before the cold started to settle into the both of us, so I reached for my jacket pocket, where I kept a steel tube, waterproofed to hold emergency matches. I'd had it since the war. I reached for it, only to find it gone like my jacket, stripped off when the Voice's goons first caught me. What the hell was I supposed to do now? Rub sticks together? I was no Indian! But I had to do something! Preoccupied, my back to the water, I didn't hear the splashing until it was too late. A hand latched onto my ankle, pulling me off my feet. I twisted and saw Clarence, waterlogged and no prettier from his dip, one leg obviously broken, his face mashed up worse than before, wheezing as he crawled up the bank towards us. I could see trailing beyond him the rope, still tied to the now broken leg, swaying gently in the current. His teeth, what remained of them, were gritted, coming closer like a gap toothed car grill, bearing slowly down on me. Not bothering to fight the grip on my ankle, I pulled Lana out and let her speak her mind. Unfortunately, he didn't listen the first two times, started to at the third, paid complete attention at the fourth and finally got the message on the fifth try. Lana always liked talking to strangers, and she always smoked when she was done. I kicked myself free of Clarence's bear trap of a hand, and against my better judgment, got closer to search him. Maybe he had some matches or a lighter that might still work. I couldn't help but smile as I took from his pocket my wallet, and a steel cylinder of matches. *** ,,I had a fire going now, an hour after we crawled up the bank, warming us both. It was strange, but though I felt the heat, it didn't seem to affect me much, just like the cold air and water. I had set Ugly drifting down the river, the rocks I shoved into his pockets will eventually weigh him down. I'm sure the fish'll appreciate it. Michael and I were in our underwear, our clothes drying on sticks I'd propped up by the fire. My shirt was in tatters, barely enough to cover my back, but my undershirt had come through all right. We were hungry, but at least we were warm. The kid and I both had bruises ringing our waists where the rope had bitten in. The abraded ring around my wrist had turned the color of raw steak, and my shoulder was sore, but it still worked. My shirt, or what was left of it was dry now, so I handed it over to Michael, who draped it over his shoulders and leaned back against a moss-covered stone. And finally safe and free from his kidnappers, he was soon asleep. I threw some more wood on the fire, and watched the kid for a bit, closing my eyes for only a second, then opening them to find that it was daylight. Mike was still asleep. *** Four days later, broke and tired of eating nearly ripe apples, raspberries off the bush and drinking from hand pumps from the farms we passed, the two of us walked up to the front gate of the Endicott estate. *** Micheal was taking a long, hot bath, ordered by his mother as soon as she finished hugging the life from him, the woman no longer the sadistic bitch she had been, while I ate like a pig in the servant's kitchen. They were still looking at me like I should be in cuffs, but Michael's story left them with no doubt that I was the hero in this particular chapter of his life. I ate the steaming…whatever they'd put down in front of me, barely tasting it. I'd been hungry enough to eat the kid, but then, there wouldn't have been any point to all this. I'd also been given clean clothes by the staff, on order of the Big Man himself, which I appreciated, tucking Lana into my waistband because the leather straps of my shoulder holster needed to be oiled, and a place to throw some water and soap together. I hadn't shaved yet, but I was feeling a lot better. But, something strange had happened out there. Happened to me. I barely felt the cold anymore, the hot water felt lukewarm, even though it steamed. My old clothes looked like they'd been through a cheese grater, but I barely had a mark on me. And the biggest surprise came when I'd looked in the mirror after washing my face. I'd always looked strong, my hard working days 'carving', as my mother said, a good set of muscle. But what I looked like now was crazy, my muscles were harder, like wire under the skin, and my veins stood out like cords. I looked like some of those bodybuilders from out of California. I hadn't ever looked like this before, not even when I was younger. *** ,,The Great Man himself, Carl Richard Endicott, Michael's grandfather and Ellie's father finished shaking my hand. A big man, he'd made his money in the railroad, his fortune rising with oil in Texas and rubies from Africa, along with rubber from the Congo and silks from the Orient. He'd worked for all his money, a fact he proudly held up to the bluebloods he kept company with, scarring his hands from labor and fighting, and his eyes held that look that saw strengths he could use and weaknesses he could exploit. Endicott was self-made, and was refusing to let himself go soft. He sat me down, and we talked, drinking his scotch, and I found we were both Yankees fans. Ha. Common ground. But soon, we talked about the boy, and what had happened. He'd been grabbed from the only spot at the school not visible to supervisors, a corner now bricked and mortared over. The spot had a swinging board, hung on a single nail, that some of the more adventurous boys would use to go truant. I asked him why he'd put his grandson there, and he told me he wanted Michael to see some of the real world, not be locked up with some stuck-up tutor. "Something's going to happen someday," he told me. "And only the people who know the outside world, the real world, will be strong enough to keep what's theirs. Everyone else will lose…everything." Humph. So he's only there to be tough. Well, let's find out how tough the old man is when I change subjects. "How deep in debt is your son-in-law?" I asked him suddenly. His eyes widened only slightly. "I imagine that covering his losses is getting to be quite steep." His eyes narrowed slightly. I continued: "I have it on good authority that he's the worst gambler that most people have ever seen. Matter of fact, I'd bet that he wagered you'd cover his markers and lost." "He's cut off," said another voice, a familiar woman's voice. "He's got a monthly living allowance that most families could live off for most of a year." I had to admit, as she walked into the room towards us, that she had matured beautifully. I started at the top, and worked my way down. Her hair was that rich brown that was almost red, and was pulled back into a simple, long pony tail, not the elaborate styles she used to wear. Her face, heart shaped and pretty, was pale from sleeplessness, and the rings under her eyes stood out starkly. Her neck was long, disappearing into a high collared blouse and tailored skirt that covered a tall, voluptuous body that was out of fashion at the moment, hinting at a strength and passion that would likely draw or intimidate men. "Michael's asleep. Finally," she said, sitting down and pouring herself a glass of what smelled like sherry. Not wanting her to drink alone, I 'settled' for some more whiskey. Then, with her head bowed slightly, she looked at me. She knew who I was. How did she see me now, I wondered. Did she see me as the man who'd saved her child? Or would she see me as the kid from the wrong side of the tracks? She flushed slightly, and looked away, ashamed. "It's all right," I told her. She'd told me enough just by looking away. "It's over." The Old Man thought I was talking about Michael's ordeal, but Ellie knew what I meant. "Is it?" he asked. "You told us yourself that the man who was killed was a flunkie. There was some one else…" "I heard his voice," I told him. "So did Michael. If we ever hear him again…we'll know." Mr. Endicott looked like he wanted to say something, but he seemed reluctant. I asked him something I'd thought of while Michael and I were walking back to the city, dodging cars and hiding from strangers, not knowing friend from foe. Who, I asked him, would inherit if Michael had died? Who would gain from the death of one, or all of the Endicotts? Who would call her Mary, and not Ellie, which I knew for a fact she preferred. The Old man gave me the answer I was expecting. But so, at that moment, did the object of our concerns. Charles Maverly stepped into the room, a smile on his once handsome face, rounded by too many years of good living, a tailored suit that didn't hide the paunch and a Tommy gun in his hands, aimed at us. "The one hundred thousand was more than enough to cover my debts. But I've discovered a thirst for more than mere money. So, I'm afraid that the police will come, and find all of you dead, shot by the kidnappers who took my son. They will leave me alive to deliver the ransom, but my poor, poor son will never be seen again." He smiled wider. "Then, I'll use my new empire to expand my interests. Smuggling to start, but that is only the tip of the iceberg, my friends. New machines are being built everyday, like portable two-way radios that can be held by one person." Yep, I guessed right. Sounds a little different here in the flesh, but Chuck is the Voice. "Yes, machines that will reshape the world as we know it! Weapons of such power, the world will tremble at the thought of their use! Machines of such intelligence and power that they will hold an entire library's worth of books for those who have the power to use them! "Technology, weapons, drugs from exotic lands, slaves for those who wish them, transport for small armies and criminals who can pay the price. All this and more!" "My empire will spread it's wings and soar!" He looked down at the gun in his hands, as if he'd forgotten he was holding it. Then he looked back up, and the grin was replaced by a snarl. "But first…" Ellie winced at the scream following the gunshot, and looked in wonder at her father, herself and then me, unharmed and alive. Charles, on the other hand squalled as blood gushed from his leg. He was rapidly turning pale as he clutched at the wound. The artery hit had been lucky. I pulled Lana out from under the table, her smoking showing that she was pleased with herself. I walked over to Maverly, and looked down. "Should've told us to put our hands up," I told him, watching the fear in his eyes and remembering the terror on the face of an eight-year-old boy. His hands relaxed, as the blood flow slowed, then trickled…and stopped. *** It's been a week and a day now. The elder Endicott was so grateful, he rewarded me with a new wardrobe, had my car retrieved and tuned up and paid me enough to keep the Landlord off my back for a few months. I haven't seen Ellie since that day. She'd taken her son and grabbed a ship to Paris. They should be there soon. Hope the lad likes it. He'd been pretty upset when his mother told him afterward that it had been his own father that had him kidnapped, but I think he was even more upset when he came downstairs after hearing that gunshot, and found me standing over him with Lana still showing her pleasure. He would've come after me with that fireplace poker he'd grabbed if Ellie hadn't grabbed him right then. Her telling him what happened didn't calm him down, but me telling him that it had been his father's voice on that radio drove the point home, and he fell into his mother's arms crying like, well like someone who'd just lost their father. He'd been about to empty that Gat at us, but listening to the kid, I was the one that felt like a heel. None of this reached the scandal sheets, of course. Endicott had a reputation for evening scores. So now, eight days later I was leaning back in my chair, feet up on my desk. I opened my morning paper, ignoring the headlines of 'Where is Maxwell Mercer?' and 'Hammersmith Explosion Still Being Investigated' I know that I missed the damn thing, being unconscious at the time and all, but it was a week ago! Let it go and get back to the really important stuff that everyday schmoes like me need to know. I opened it to the sports page, saw the headline and the story beneath: ,,'NY Yankees Losing Streak Broken. Management Lauds New Player As Savior Of The Team, and Welcomes 'Babe' Ruth to New York City. ,,Nuts. Of course, just when I bet against them… I heard the door open and a thick Irish brogue called out: "Seen the scores yet, me boyo?" finis Written by Christopher 'Quest' Chase
  8. So this is heavily borrowed from another game, i have made slight alterations, like using the Thule Society instead of Nazis like it does in the other game as i want to set the game in the 1920's the current time of Adventure!. It is the first story that the players will get involved in, they are to become protectors of the Crown and the british empire, but for now they aren't until this story climax. THe climax of the story will be a battle upon a Zeppelin like from the Rocketeer. But it does seam a bit well pansy and i don't know if there another organisation like the nazi or even Hydra from marvel, a group that is hell bent on destroying the civil world(might no be the best words to use). The game will become like the League of gentlemen but in the 1920's, as i said earlier they will be defenders of the crown and King. Any suggestions or help from my ramblings will be of great help James (Btw the steampunk idea developed because of whole group just saying why not do pulp as you can sort of include steampunk in there as well so we have more options)
  9. A week ago, New York's human population was a little less than 20 million. That was last week. Now it seems like there are more corpses on the sidewalks than there are stopped cars and taxis in the streets. The only things more numerous are the pigeons and herring gulls swarming in the air, picking a once-in-a-lifetime feast from the bloated flesh of the Big Apple's citizens. Barr Longley sits on the step of a church and cries to himself. He's not homeless anymore. There's homes everywhere; everyone is dead. New York's dead. He's still poor, still ugly. But everyone else is dead. He coughs loudly into the sleeve of his jacket, an Armani tuxedo he's taken from a shop on Main Street. Nobody had stopped him. He'd have liked it if they did. The cough echoes, reverberating off buildings and coming back even more ragged and sick-sounding than before. Still, as sick as Barr is, he knows he's getting better, not worse. And he's a damn sight better than the rest of New York. New York's dead. * * * In another part of the city, Lieutenant Gerald Myers surveys the carnage. His sinuses feel like they are burning. The metal of his semi-automatic's grip is painfully hot against the calloused palm of his right hand. Nothing is moving at all, except the birds. The f!cking scavengers. He opens fire. Gulls and pigeons take to the air like an ocean wave slipping away from the shore. A deafening RAT-A-TAT-A-TAT resounds off the concrete and glass and metal that was Times Square. Nothing happens, really. Myers lifts his black walkie-talkie from his utility belt to his ear. "White?" "Yes, sir?" The response crackles instantly over the line. It sounds loud over the little speaker. "Keep trying to contact the Pentagon, or any other military base across the country. In the meantime, quarantine New York City. Post guards in the tunnels and on bridges, and don't let anybody in or out." He pauses. "Well, just don't let anybody out. Anyone wanting to come in must be a madman, but we needn't stop them." There is silence over the line for a few seconds. A gull squawks and Myers smiled a grim smile. "Sir?" hisses the walkie-talkie. "What about the creature that Jenkins found?" Myers slowly nods. Yes, that would require his attention. "Are any of our survivors any kind of scientific personnel?" "No, sir, not at all. I mean, Perry and I went to college, but this is just..." The line falls silent again. Myers nods to no one again. "You keep that thing from going anywhere, and wait 'til I get back, Private." He takes a long, deep breath through his nose, filling his big lungs slowly. He's gotten used to the smell already. * * * What should I do, Lord? The church's silence is so painful. Sister Jane wonders how many silent churches she has been in over the years. Now, perhaps the whole world is full of them. A sick-sounding cough comes faintly in through the thick doors. Sickness is another thing there's a lot of, now. Sickness and death. No answer seems forthcoming. Sister Jane runs her fingers over the cool metal beneath her pew. * * * Michael Trafton makes his way across the road, weaving through stopped cars and gingerly stepping over corpses rotting in the road. He's not too worried about what's coming. After all, if he survived this plague, chances are there will be others. Enough for a whole new civilization, probably. Maybe even one without all the bullshit the old one had. And in any civilization, there has to be trade. And he has something to trade: a practical knowledge of karate, for one, and of how to teach self-defense to complete novices. He wonders if there'll be any need for that kind of thing in the new world. And he's not bad with cars, either. He wonders how long it will be before the streets are cleared off. He surveys the road up ahead and sees someone moving around. He'll talk to them, once he gets there. Too far away to tell, but it looks like it might be a lady. That would certainly be nice, because for Michael it's been a long time since he had a woman's company, or any kind of company, for that matter. He continues walking through the cars. He can see now that she (he thinks it's a she) is also moving, actually, moving faster than he is, towards him. Michael places his hand on the hot hood of a red Honda next to him. She looks like she's walking quickly, even running. Well, he loves a lady in good shape. He grins and throws a couple of punches in the air, showing off to no one in particular. She's behind a big stopped Mack truck; when she comes around it he'll be able to see her. He turns to head around its front and meet her on the side. "Hey, you!" Michael says, enjoying the sound of his own voice in the warm air. "Man, am I glad to see another human be--" She walks into view. Michael screams. Something is really wrong. The girl's eyes have no pupils or irises; her face is bruised and bleeding; patches of her long, black hair are coming out, especially in the area of a large, messy wound in her temple. Her fingers and nails are black and gangrenous, and her right arm meets her shoulder at an unnatural, painful angle. Michael stops screaming. The girl cocks her head slightly, as though sizing Michael up. Michael loses control. He responds to the terror in the only way he knows how. He throws a punch, pouring his weight in behind it, supporting the blow - strong enough to knock a man's head clean off. The girl's mouth opens. Mouths shouldn't open that wide. He feels her jaws around his fist, her broken teeth digging into his wrist. His blow lands against the back of her throat, but it's not where he thought the blow would land and feels almost ineffectual. He starts screaming again. The girl digs her sharp teeth into his wrist; he knows he's bleeding. He pulls it out in a swift moment of agony; he feels like his hand will never be the same. And for a moment, he makes the mistake of looking at the bleeding circle of cuts on his wrist, and away from her. She lurches forward, and he feels her jaws around his throat. Michael stops screaming. * * * Barr stops crying. He surveys the man before him. His voice cracks when he talks, but steadies itself. "Shit," he says to the beat-up, injured looking being with no eye, "I thought I was the ugliest f!cker still standing in this city." The thing groans loudly at him. Barr uneasily retreats a few steps up. The thing lunges. There's an explosion, like a clap of thunder went off just a few feet from Barr's head. The thing's head explodes, spraying all over the cars and corpses in the street behind it. Barr turns around. A slender black woman wearing a nun's habit and brandishing a big shotgun (with two smoking barrels) is standing in the door to the church. She pats Barr on the back. "On your feet, Mac," says the woman. "We got work to do." * * * [Watch this space.]
  10. Okay! As you can see from this thread , there is a new game in town. Cottus Centimane and I will be collaborating as your Storytellers. This ain't your daddy's USA The game will begin in New York City, the United States of America. A deadly plague has just been unleashed upon the world, and now all but a fraction of a percent of humanity lies dead on the ground. Living corpses are beginning to walk the earth, hungering for the flesh of the living. In the wake of these events, men and women with superhuman abilities and mystical senses have begun to appear. Strange, huge wheels are turning, and humanity may stand in the space between the gears... * * * Watch this space.
  11. So with Sky Captain coming out soon, I was thinking about what movies are great examples of pulp and inspirations (no pun intended) for Adventure!. Here's what I've got so far: Indiana Jones Trilogy Both of the Mummies The Shadow The Phantom The Transporter All of the Star Wars movies (Lucas based it on pulp) Any other ideas?
  12. And so it begins ... the guitar player is Henry and the man at the bar is Leland. Use this thread for any kind of table talk for the game.
  13. Marrakesh, Morocco, January 23rd 1929 The seven stood on the gently swaying deck. Swaying wasn't exactly the right term, nor was rolling, heaving, rocking, or any other term developed for the naval tradition. Of course the ship was not a naval ship and that may very well have had something to do with it. The open deck rode not water but wind and the ship, the zeppelin, was not powered by wind but by propeller engines the jutted out from the main body below the helium chamber as a triplicate of nacelles. Marion leaned over the rail in a manner that was neither ladylike nor entirely safe. Somewhere, down five hundred feet below in the teeming throngs was a man who might just might have some suitable ancient texts which would tell them more about the Heart of Darkness. Behind Marion Janos, one arm literally tied behind his back, fenced with Daphne. She was using a wooden sword and comparison to Peter Pan was both apt and humorous. Ben, Catori, and Mia were at the rail beside Marion, though they all stole occasional glaces back. It was hard to not watch Janos in action; his level of physical perfection matched with unparalleled skill made his movements both efficient and beautiful. The zeppelin turn slightly and a whistle sounded as the motors began to slow. The great ship was starting its descent to the mooring and in another twenty minutes they would be able to disembark to Marrakesh proper. The porter came out to the deck, "Tea is served ladies and gentlemen." Ben had arranged for an light afternoon meal and tea to allow them to discuss their research into the shard now that they were soon to arrive. Prior it had been a topic which was only touched upon briefly lest the obsidian object darken their entire journey.
  14. Lee/Ben Your last OOC post (on March 1) said you were having some IRL issues. Your last IC post was March 6. As of now I am putting Ben into piloted NPC mode. Per the abandonment rules please resume activity in the game or reply to me by April 5th to let us know if you will be continuing in this game.
  15. November 11th, 1924 -Milledgeville, Ga. United States She ran as if she were being chased by the devil himself; maybe she was! She had been taking some laundry down to the creek when she heard curious noises by the barn. She put down her clothes by the river and moved towards the invasive sounds. She only saw it for a second, but that was enough. It had fur like a beast, but stood upright like a man. As if it new when she came around the bend, it turned to face her with eyes that glowed yellow and surreal. She didn't think, she ran. Never looking back to check for the pursuit until now, the young womans pace began to slow. She had been running for what seemed like hours, no chance it kept up the pursuit. I should never have gone looking for it. IT IT...what was IT? Her memory of the moment crept back into her head as she peeked around trees into the approaching dark of dusk. Back the way she came was clear, no animals, certainly no monsters. She decided perhaps her eyes were playing tricks on her, she headed home. She took four steps before she realized that she was on her side in the mud and the air was gone from her lungs. What happened? Panicked she tried to cry out but she couldn't...hear heart began to beat so fast it tryed to burst from her chest. Then she saw it again. It loomed over her as she had remembered. Tall, hairy, yellow eyes that betrayed a strange intellect. Please. Please I have a baby. These thoughts were lost on the way to her mouth. Nothing came out. She had time enough for a single tear to fall from her left eye, before the creature moved in and grabbed her stunned body...carrying it off into the night.
  16. Mother Daddy's special experiment was over, so Daphne began to hum to herself, still watching the movie-man. Then her father started to talk to him, which was even more interesting. Slipping off her chair, she edged closer to the movie-man and his sword. She wished she had a sword. For a moment, Daphne does; it appears in her hand invisible to the adults because it's magic. It's long and pretty, with a pink hilt and butterflies etched on the steel. Grinning, she executed a couple of quick thrusts, making the noises of her vanquished foes in a whisper. The adults couldn't see them either, because... well, that didn't matter. All that mattered was that only Daphne could save the day! Then another shiny caught her eye, and the sword and the enemies were forgotten. She edged closer to the swirling vortex, sneaking around a bit. She had to sneak everywhere; Daddy didn't think she was old enough for some of books she liked to read. Some of the she couldn't read, but the pictures were always interesting. Some were scary, full of scary things, but Daphne was brave; she knew that things in books wouldn't hurt you. Daphne took another quick look around. The Indian lady was messing with her knife, which after the sword just wasn't very impressive. Daddy was still talking with the movie man. Everyone else was messing with books or empty cages. Pleased at tricking the adults again, Daphne edged closer to the vortex. A familiar whisper reached her ears, and the girl froze for a second, unsure she'd really heard her mother's voice. She crept closer still and the orange light from the portal fell on her, its flickering aura drawing her like a moth to flame. She peered in, squinting - and then she saw her. Emma Walton had been dead for a few months, but it wasn't long enough. Daphne had missed her mother terribly, and when she saw her just on the other side of the vortex. Without thought, she squealed, "Mommy!" and jumped into a portal to hell. She landed on loose rock and scree and let out a childish yelp as she fell to her knees. "Ow," she lamented as she examined the scrape. "Daphne!" The voice jerked her head up, as the child saw her mother running toward her. But her mother's face wasn't welcoming; it was afraid. "Run!" Behind her mother were monsters, like from Daddy's book. For a second, the girl was frozen; then she bolted. Terrified, she ran mindless, losing sight of the vortex in seconds. She was in a twisting maze of valleys and cliffs that rose in ugly, ragged formations around her. She ran as hard as she could, like she was chasing butterflies at home, but this was nothing like that. "Daphne! Here!" her mother shouted from the left, and Daphne unerringly changed course, running straight to her mother. She was standing next to a small black hole in the ragged cliff, pointing. "Hide in here!" Daphne crouched by the entrance and peered in. She was scared of the monsters coming, but she was just as scared of the dark, dark hole. "Mommy..." "It's safe, just go! Go!" her mother screamed at her; with a sob, Daphne crawled into the darkness. The cave was small and dry, with a small dead-end at the back. The little girl curled up at end of her little cave, whimpering to herself. After a moment, when nothing came after her, she started to cry. Eventually, her mother crawled in, moving in easily despite the fact that most adults would have gotten stuck. "Oh, my baby," she murmured, pulling Daphne to her. Daphne didn't care that her skin was cold; she cuddled against her mother, wrapping her arms around her. "I wanna go home, Mommy," Daphne moaned on her mother's shoulder. "I know," Emma whispered into her hair. "And someday, I'll get you back. I promise." Daphne's stomach growled as it twisted with hunger. "First, though, some food." Emma went first, stepping out to make sure that there were no monster waiting. When she was sure it was clear, she waved Daphne out and took her by her cold, cold hand. For the first time, Daphne had the opportunity to see where she was. It was an ugly place, with a red sky and pillars of flame. It was hot, and Daphne choked on the smells in the air. Her mother lead her to another cave, hidden high in the rocks. "Never lead a daemon here, honey. This is our safe place." "Ok, Mommy," Daphne said, feeling the seriousness of the moment deeply impress itself into her. "Now, let's get some food," Emma said, leading her outside. There, the two turned over rocks until they found bugs, horrid, crawling thing. "I know this isn't pretty, but you have to eat, ok?" "No!" Daphne protested, backing away. "Honey, please," Emma sighed, holding a writhing beetle firmly in her fingers. "No! I want rolls!" Daphne shouted, tears welling up in her eyes. Emma thought for a bit and nodded. "Ok, we'll try something new." She took Daphne back to the cave and left her there, promising to return. After she'd convinced her daughter to stay, she found a small, hard-shelled daemon, killed it, and butchered it. Then she returned to the cave, built a fire and made a soup in the shell. "That smells funny, Mommy," Daphne observed. "But it's good soup. Just promise me you'll try it," Emma said. Daphne protested, but eventually hunger won. As she eagerly ate the soup, her dead mother watched her with cold, cold eyes.
  17. Looks like we have a sub forum now!! WOOT. The other forum "Chance the Magic Stone" will be moved into this subforum when I can get them to do that. As soon as I get all your submitted sheets we can begin IC posting so get a mover on it! I am currently waiting for sheets from Blade and Tooho.
  18. Please use this thread to keep track of your in game use of Willpower, Inspiration and loss of Health.
  19. Over in the "Why do you like A! Ab and T?, Seriously" thread I made mention of how one of the characters in my Adventure! game seduced Baba Yaga's robotic daughter. Folks were interested or amused, so here's the story. In real world folklore, there's this Russian witch named Baba Yaga who lives in the woods in a hut that walks around on a pair of giant chicken legs. Baba Yaga also flies through the air in a magical mortar and has iron claws and teeth. She may also have a daughter or three, or maybe I just made up that detail and it's not really part of the traditional lore (I can't remember). Adventure! has Dr. Hephaestia Geary-Wexler (a.k.a. The Machinatrix) and my Adventure! game was set in 1999. I and my players love all kinds of sci-fi, so after pasting together all of the above information, here's what we ended up with. In 1975, the Machinatrix suffered a lab accident that left her disfigured and scarred. Her Reptilian Regeneration nanites healed her, but only at the cost of her physical appearance. She was left looking haggard with much of her skin shot through with silvery lines and her teeth and nails taking on a distinct metallic look. This didn't bother her at all, because after all, she's the Machinatrix and she's all about scientific logic. She's more efficient now—better, faster, stronger—and physical appearance is irrelevant. Certain of her Russian contacts felt differently about her appearance and suggested that she looked like Baba Yaga. Always enterprising, she used that to her advantage, especially when she went out traveling in her spherical Kath-Yal corvette UFO (see the Conspiracy X RPG). At least one vodka-soaked witness described seeing "Granny Yaga in her flying mixing bowl" to my players' characters. This led the characters to Gora Pobeda, a mountain in northern Russia that has been home to the Cherskogo Gulag (a.k.a. the Victory Collective.) And finally, the bit about seducing Baba Yaga's daughter. Baba Yaga/the Machinatrix also built herself three stunningly attractive female assistants to use in "negotiations" with the powerful men running Russia and other nefarious agencies, like the Disney corporation. These should be imagined as Metropolis' Maria and Austin Powers' femme-bots all rolled into one. During our game, Toné "Big Air" Black—an exxxtreme athlete/supermodel—romanced one of the daughters. Toné romanced female NPCs all the time, so this was nothing new aside from the fact that the woman in question was a robot. Toné didn't know that she was a robot (although several of the other PCs did) and went ahead with his impressive game. Spending some Inspiration, the player rolled a spectacularly successful Dexterity + Perform check and Toné gave the robot the best night she'd ever had. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she went totally still for a second as her system rebooted and for just an instant, Toné saw the Blue Screen of Death scroll across her eyes. So, in short, Metropolis + Mount Nevermind + Baba Yaga + The Machinatrix = Sexy robot reboot.
  20. Ben's decryption of the cueniform carvings on the Urn: Quote:*unreadable* a great island nation rose in the west *unreadable* *either ruled by or protected by, possibly both* two brothers, M’lek and M’gog, wise in the ways of sorcery. *unreadable* a talisman of great power. Such was the power that *removed/chiseled off* rose to an empire over all the world. For one hundred by three years the brothers shared the talisman. *unreadable* power was such that it began to twist the brother’s against each other. Power begat greed begat envy and envy begat enmity. M’lek and M’gog set upon each other to control the *broken* After seven and ten years of war M’lek slew his brother and held aloft the talisman, now black with corruption, and beheld his empire. Of its citizens only one of every ten stood alive, of its lands fully half were blasted to ruin, of its culture, once wise and benevolent, only death and cruelty remained. M’lek beheld the ruin and beheld his brother, in death now returned to his peaceful countenance, and M’lek wept *unreadable* And thus he named the talisman the source of evil, the Heart of Darkness itself. M’lek used his great magicks and drawing the magic of the world into a great ritual he did sunder the Heart. Into ten and three shards did the talisman break but it was not destroyed only broken. M’lek cast two and ten of the shards to his followers and bade them to carry them to the ends of the earth *unreadable* As the island home of his empire shuddered and crumbled in the wake of the ritual M’lek bound the final shard into a chest, *removed* and together with his home and M’lek slipped beneath the cleansing waters such that he could rejoin his brother in peace. Thus is the fall of mighty Atlantis.
  21. December 23rd, 1928 Sunlight poured through the windows hammering at blinds and curtains and creeping around until the rooms of Abel Manor began to grow bright. One by one the guests and their hosts woke from slumber. Each recalled distinctly one dream that they had had during the night. Unusually clear, it remained fresh as though it were no dream at all. Slowly they each made their way to the conservatory. Here, despite the harsh winter cold outside the greenhouse glass and crackling fire made the room warm and comfortable. Servants brought breakfasts out for all, fruit or eggs or muffins, whatever was requested was available. The butler informed Ben and Marion that their parents had already left on the first boat, they had "run of the house." Ben had arrived last to the table, the butler in tow, between them they carried a half dozen large tomes that the Librarian had selected last evening and the box, still open, with the obsidian shard resting with the black silk and velvet interior. The books were given to those interested in researching Rasputin while Ben himself stared at the box with it's runic script trying to figure out the mysterious language.
  22. ((Hiya kids! I had an Official Inspiration Moment* the other day and have a character all rarin' to go! ::cool )) Amid the seedy yet solvent world of underground art and artifact smuggling, there is no figure more feared than The Ophidian. ,, Born Hadrian Blakemore (angliscized from Blackmoor to hide the "colored" ancestry of his wealthy family), the last scion of a prestigious investment banking clan. From an early age, Hadrian rejected the awful mundanity of his expected destiny. While his peers played at sport or wasted away to the dalliances of the idle rich, Hadrian's interest was firmly planted in the world of books and mythology. In prep school he taught himself Latin despite it's fall from popularity as the mark of a learned scholar. ,, To further spite his father's ambitions for him, Hadrien got himself expelled from Harvard Business School when a few choice word's obliterated the pride and ego of first his professor and then the Dean. Taking up his considerable savings, Hadrian disowned his family and traveled to the shores of Mediteranea to pursue his passion for ancient lore and culture. While searching for the lost wisdom of Alexandria, he discovered a scroll in Latin detailing a previously unheard of Egyptian cult dedicated to Apep...the Serpent of Darkness. ,, Legend told it that the brother of the Egyptian god Osiris, Typhon Set, followed Apep into the Underworld and slew it, eating its heart and claiming the power of darkness for himself. This fragment Hadrian found claimed that this "Heart of Darkness" took the form of a jewel, The Serpent Eye Saphire that had been safeguarded by the Cult of Typhon Set until the Followers of Apep stole it. The Eye gave it's wielder the cunning and craft of the ancient Serpent and the ability to gaze into the Soul of mortals. ,, The fragment of forrbiden knowledge was too much for the insatiable Hadrian, pushing his lifelong passion past the edge into a fiendish obsession. For the next 10 years of his life, he became life's blood to the infant science of Egyptology, and funded the most prominent Archaeologists of the day. Many of the Artifacts that made it to Western Museum's were loaned from his personal collection, but the most obscure and telling pieces remained in locked away for his own study. ,, Finally after a decade of searching, Hadrian found his prize, tucked away in a secret tomb in the Valley of Kings. His prize had a will of it's own however, ancient and terrible. Possesed by the Artifact, Hadrian plunged it into his own eye socket, fusing it into his skul and merging its soul into his own. It changed him irrevocably, in both appearance and personality. While outwardly possesed with a tremendous aura of personal presence and guile, the Serpent inside him coiled, cold and calculating. ,, As The Ophidian, few have come into direct contact, dealing instead with his personal assistant and proxy. Those few whom have seen him in person refuse to speak of their encounter with a fervor that suggests they believe their immortal soul to be in jepordy... ,,
  23. I just discovered that a number of original Shadow Radio shows are now available as free podcasts via iTunes. Huzzah!
  24. Mia: You find yourself in a boat floating down a river that is black and cold as death. You recognize it from the one time before you had seen it, the River Styx. On the right you see nothing, the river simply ends in an impenetrable void of darkness, as though staring into eternity and finding it empty. To the left you see the living world, vibrant and vital. Turning you see Charon behind you slowly guiding the boat down the river. “The darkness, it provides power if you wish to seize it.” Pushing back its cowl you see that the being is not Charon. It is a being completely devoid of features. Black with ill defined edges it is like a personification of the void. It holds out it’s hand and in it is a piece of obsidian, “Take it and the power and knowledge is yours.” Mia puts on her best you-kidding-me expression. "I wasn't born yesterday, buster. Nothing's free. What's the catch?" The obsidian shard seems to float on his outstretched hand. "Catch? You seek truth do you not? You see to uncover that which is secret and bring it to light? What catch is there to your every action as you are now? This will only serve to lay bare those secrets to you and give you the power to uncover truth. Take it, seize what you have sought. Or do not and the truth will elude you." "See, all you had to do was be honest and I'd have listened. Yeah, I chase stories like dogs chase cars. And everyone who gives up anything on a story does it for a reason. If they don't tell you - even after you ask - it's 'cause they don't want you to know. And the less they want me to know, the more suspicious I get of what they tell me." Mia props her feet up and lights a cigarette. "I can find the truth just dandy on my own, slugger. So take a hike." The edges of it's hand closed round the shard, enveloping it in nothingness as though it wasn't there. With a horrid scream the form winks out of existence leaving you alone on the River Styx. **** In her guest room at the Abel manor Mia awoke suddenly from the dream, a disconcerting feeling washed over her momentarily before going away. The room is dark and the manor quiet. The clock on the wall shows that it is only three am. Reluctantly Mia lies down and returns to sleep.
  25. December 21st 1928 The evening sky was already dark the first of the nights stars beginning to sparkle and twinkle in the night sky. With the setting of the sun the temperature on the harbor quickly plummeted into the teens. The waves were whipped into whitecaps by the on shore breeze and the sound of them slapping against the hull of the ship was steady as the craft cut through the murky waters of Boston Harbor. The ferry held a great many passengers all headed to the same location; the island estate of the Able family. Carolers sung to entertain the passengers as men came around with mulled wine, spiced cider, and hot toddys for the passengers. The ferry’s engine chugged along pushing the craft through the icy waters until the Captain rang a brass bell. Passengers quickly moved toward the stern to watch as the craft pulled up to the dock at the Abel Estate. The craft was tethered and its passengers disembarked to the path cut through the waist high snow that wound its way toward the manor house. The way was lit with lanterns in colored glass that festively illuminated the trees. Garlands of silver and gold, glass balls in every color and design made the grounds appear as though a great forest of Christmas trees. The house too was lit with colored lights and decorated with great boughs of evergreen and holly. The guests were met at the door with the sounds of music and the smells of all manner of treats and delicacies. The scent of gingerbread cookies, pies, and roasting meats all mingled in the air with the smell of pine and incense. The living room and dining room were decorated with Christmas decorations including a great green pine strung up with twinkling electric lights and topped with a silver and gold star held aloft by and angel in white. The ballroom however displayed a banner proclaiming “Happy Birthday!” and along one wall was a table with champagne and a cake decorated by the finest bakers in Boston. At the end of the table the guests placed their gifts, some great bow topped parcels, others small oblong shapes wrapped in fine decorative paper. Others were not wrapped at all instead being contained in ornate boxes carved in fine woods or stone. As the guests arrived Benjamin Abel greeted them personally, his sister and parents also thanking their guests at this party to celebrate both the season and his birthday. As Marion welcomed yet another socialite she looked behind her at Daphne who was on her best behavior. The hellhound Spot was elsewhere most likely sleeping in the room set aside for he and Daphne. With only a single ferry to bring guests to and from the island there was a lag between guests and both Ben and Marion had been forced to entertain stuffy businessmen, lawyers’ wives, and members of the wealthy upper crust of Boston. As more guests entered Daphne and Marion were both pleased to see the Count Rakozi enter the room and behind him the Apache woman Catori from the Arkham society. Ben meanwhile was more than happy to greet both Archibald Bannister and Ms. Mia Foster who had also arrived on the last ferry to the island. At last the guests were all assembled and aperitifs, hors d'oeuvres, and drinks were brought around while guests mingled.
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