Return to Recaps
The PCs are Storm Knights, members of the Delphi Council trying to save our world against several invading realities. If you aren't familiar with the setting, check out my Torg Eternity Overview.
Each name links to their current character sheet (as PDF).
Almorian of the Seven Towers (Aysle)
- Storm Knights: Meridian — Almorian's "moon drake"
Baptiste le Tireur (Cyberpapacy)
Captain Amnesia (Nile Empire)
Ignus Forgeheart (Aysle)
Slaan (Living Land)
Gone But Not Forgotten
- Cpt. Johnathan William Aster, Ret. (Orrorsh) — A quick-thinking and quick-moving Victorian monster hunter who has faced a wide variety of evils. He has traveled extensively and was one of the first to come to Core Earth.
Spoiler Warning: Much of this is from official adventures.
The Burden of Glory
The heroes were stationed at Lincoln University, a Missouri hardpoint against the western encroachment of the Living Land, working with the soldiers and civilians there to help them hold out against edeinos attacks. Suddenly, Rex Steele flew on on a gyrocopter with orders for them to uproot the nearby stela, as conditions were right and it was believed there was no backup.
As the team headed out, they encountered and (Slaan) saved Daybasker, a friendly edeinos trapped in a tarpit. He told them that he saw their scouting party head into a temple, a Living Land Wonder; only one survivor exited, told Daybasker something in there could change the war, and died. But Daybasker also warned that a huge party of Redjaws was en route to wipe out the Lincoln hardpoint once and for all! Faced with a tough choice, the team talked Daybasker into racing to the hardpoint to warn them, and decided to head to the temple, then the stela.
The temple was an Orrorsh-cosm Wonder, a pyramid wrapped in a tentacled tree, deathly and foreboding. The Storm Knights entered through the hole the scouts had blasted in the side and found alien writing. Almorion recognized it from a rare book he read in the Seven Towers Library, and translated (see below) as they walked through the temple, finding the corpses of their scouts and of bullet-ridden humanoid beetles who they realized were dead when they were shot (zombeetles).
The glyphs told the story of an ancient advanced travelers, chased by an unstoppable Doom, who built lifeboats to journey to other cosms and meet other races. But the Doom always followed. One mysterious race helped them fuse magical trees with their technological lifeboats (like this one), which let them live in the space between cosms, a sad but necessary fate. But when this mysterious race was threatened by a warrior-mage, they bargained the location of the travelers for their own survival. The warrior-mage summoned the Gaunt Man who utterly wiped out the travelers and twisted their lifeboat trees into Nightmare Trees to plague his conquests.
Captain Aster had been reading and following along, and realized that Almorian was keeping something from them. That "mysterious race" were the elves of Aysle! They had offered the travelers as a sacrifice to Uthorion to save their own necks. Ignus nearly attacked Almorion for this, but when Slaan found a strange headband that let Almorion open the doors, they decided to press forward. On the upper level, the zombeetles attacked, and it was a hard fight, but they prevailed and opened the control room. There, a map showed them the location of the last living lifeboat, and an Eternity Shard hung in the air. Slaan grabbed it and it nearly killed him, but Ignus tamed it, and they managed to escape the temple before (many!) more zombeetles arrived. On the way out, they stumbled across the scout's cache of explosives, but had also drawn the attention of an Orrorsh-transformed dinosaur: a Horrorsaurus Rex!
The fight was intense, but they brought the beast down and headed toward the stela, trusting that bringing it down would give their allies back at Lincoln University the edge needed to prevail. Then they headed to the stela, which was guarded by many gospog "hidden" in nearby trees. Sneaking down, they planted the explosives around the trees before assembling to attack the stelae in a Reality contest. When the gospog decanted — BOOM! A ravagon named Pakkoat showed up shortly after, and it was a fast, furious fight; in the end, the Storm Knights managed to both uproot the stela and kill its defender. Core Earth's axioms washed over the area.
They raced back to Lincoln University, where Redjaw leader Atanakta, atop a massive T. Rex, was leading the attack. Thanks to Daybasker bringing his tribe along for defense, and the axioms reverting to Core Earth, the casualties were bad but could have been much worse. The heroes split up so Slaan could lure Atanakta out into the open where he was vulnerable to attack from Cpt. Aster (on a machine gun), Almorian (throwing grenades), and Ignus and Baptiste (on the ground). Baptiste was tackled by an athletic edeinos named Dark Branch but their tangle turned romantically tense and they ended up making out instead; meanwhile, Atanakta was driven back and killed as he retreated.
The Lincoln folks were grateful to the Storm Knights, and let them keep the Barrett HMG. Dark Branch was unwilling to leave Tatka Ker (the Living Land) but made Baptiste promise that they'd see each other again.
Race for the Scarab
A seaplane pilot named Redner flew the heroes out to Cairo, where they were to meet Aster, an informant who had info (for sale) about Amenhotep's Scarab — a potent eternity shard that Dr. Mobius needed for some unknown (but surely wicked) plan. They had to get to him before the Insidious Wu Han's agents did. They deplaned on a Nile bank into a bazaar, most incognito except for Slaan who insisted on wearing a gaudy turban (and embarrassed a trio of edeinos tourists). Surprisingly, local Shocktroopers mistook Cpt. Aster for the pulp hero "Captain Amnesia" and tried to bring him in. The fight did not go well for the Shocktroopers.
Hurrying to make up for that delay, the team made it to Silk & Needle, Aster's tailor shop. Unfortunately, the Archaeologen, an old nemesis of Slaan, was there leaning on Aster with a squad of thugs. He laughed and attacked the Storm Knights, constantly hiding behind his men for protection, and when the fight truly turned against him he dropped a smoke bomb and "disappeared." The one thug still conscious, Ahmed, was willing to talk but his "inside info" was stuff the PCs already knew; still, they let him go and even healed his friend Anit.
Aster was surprisingly uncooperative, but after sufficient bribing he told them that street rats had discovered a newly opened area in the (former subway) tunnels beneath the Nile, that looked like Amhotep's tomb. The heroes checked it out, and as they spotted the sarcophagus, a stone block sealed them in and the tomb began filling with Nile water. They secured and raced across the bridge, grabbed the sacred Scarab, and found a safe tunnel out, emerging in the Nile — where Shocktroopers were looking for them! (Turns out they'd shown up shortly after to "carrot-and-stick" the info out of Aster as well.)
The Storm Knights sneaked away. Slaan talked the same edeinos tourists into making a distraction, and they stole a jeep to flee Cairo. Scarab Warriors gave aerial chase, and many fruit carts and building outcroppings were smashed before the heroes were able to lose their tails. When they drove to the dock to meet Redner, though, he was held prisoner by the Electrostatic Avenger and a squad of Shocktroopers. Lucking onto a box of costumes, the PCs disguised themselves as unique pulp villains and somehow managed to convince him that he was needed back at Dr. Mobius' base; he took half the Shocktroopers with him. After a misunderstanding in which Redner brained Slaan with a wrench (he didn't recognize them), they were able to speed away before the bad guys figured out the truth.
Back in Greece, they gave the Scarab to Karima Ba, who was surprised that it was a Core Earth eternity shard. She explained the Delphi Council's theory that the Nile Empire here was full of ancient sites that didn't originate from our Earth or from Terra, but from some heretofore unknown "Egypt That Never Was." Hopefully the Scarab would shed some light on that and, if not, at least it wasn't in Dr. Mobius' hands.
In Ottowa, Canada, "Ghost" Burton gave the team information on Honoki Biomedical, a firm recently acquired by Magnolia Research, which they believed may be a High Lord front (possibly involving Kanawa Corp). Magnolia had leased the entire University of Toronto campus (after it was evacuated) for Honoki, and recently a security guard named Samantha called in a tip about weird experiments on dinosaurs, along with Nile Shocktroopers being captured and smuggled in. She then dropped off the grid.
The Storm Knights drove down, scoped out the facility, and carjacked one of the employees as he left. Stealing his RFID card and car's barcode sticker, they drove their own SUV in via some fast-talking. Samantha's apartment showed signs of a struggle and being tossed; they also found a (hidden) women's locker key for the Athletics Center, which would turn out to have a duffel bag with several maintenance outfits and RFID cards (thanks, Samantha!). After tailoring two outfits to fit the dwarf, they borrowed a laundry cart (to hide Slaan) and explored the campus.
Walking near the Innovation Center revealed it as a Pan-Pacifica hardpoint, so of course they investigated. Any labs seemed like they would be underground, so they hit the freight elevator, but their disregard of protocol alerted the Head of Security who questioned them aggressively. Fortunately they played it off as being new hires. An employee (Maurice Gagnon) on his way out held the elevator for them; they thanked him by pickpocketing his RFID badge. Once he was clear, Slaan pointed out that he was certain Maurice knew not only that he'd been robbed but that the group didn't belong here — they worried that he was reporting them right now, so Almorian used a once-a-day Disguise spell to cloak them all (making Slaan look like Maurice himself).
Sub-Basement 1 had a Mutation Lab with a protoceratops and a Bio-Vector lab with six imprisoned edeinos; Slaan immediately charged into the latter and lied that there'd been a chemical leak. However, the one edeinos who didn't appear drugged used that distraction to psionically shatter the glass, killing the scientists and shredding the room (and ceiling ducts). Slaan (who had found cover) convinced the one edeinos (Crouching Latken) that they were friends. Crouching Latken explained that they'd all been infected with something, but only he seemed immune (his Moment of Crisis made him reality-rated, transformed to Pan-Pacifica); he agreed to keep his brothers locked in the room until after the PCs were clear. "After that, everyone in this place dies." Seemed reasonable.
The alarms were now going off, so the PCs had to move fast. They learned that the lab computers had no storage; it was on a server. So they left this floor half-explored and took the stairs to Sub-Basement 2. Facility Administrator Dr. Osato's office was there, and he was arguing with a woman ("Hachi") on the screen, pleading that they would find the infiltrator. In the corner, six staffers were shredding documents. Slaan (as Maurice) walked in, and Osato blanched and pointed, "There he is! Get him!" (It was at this point that the heroes realized why Maurice didn't care that they'd stolen his card; they were inadvertently helping the spy cover his escape!)
The six staff members stood up, uncertain, but Ignus, Slaan, and Baptiste cowed them into realizing what a terrible idea a fight would be, and they fled the room. "Yes, you found the infiltrator, Osato, and immediately lost control of the situation to him. Such incompetence is actually impressive in its own way. Your services are no longer required." The screen showed that Alpha Contingency (delete all files then explode the building) had been initiated. Osato and Almorion helped Baptiste hack the server while Ignus grabbed the paperwork. Cpt. Aster confirmed that Samantha and the Shocktroopers didn't seem to be on this floor; it was all residences/offices for high-level admins.
Unfortunately, the infection had gotten into the damaged ducts and the six assistants began turning. Cpt. Aster recognized it right away and took out half with an alchemical fire grenade as Slaan began Warding his team. Unfortunately, the infected edeinos made it down the steps at the same time; Crouching Latken followed, explaining, "Watch yourselves, friends! I have no control over my brothers." He did not stop them from defending themselves, but nor did he help; instead, when he saw Dr. Osato he raged that this was the man who had overseen the infection experiment — and asploded the man's head. Crouching Latken then headed further down the hall, seeking prey.
Dr. Osato rose up as a jianshi mere moments later, but the heroes held their own and put down every infected monster. Meanwhile, Baptiste downloaded every bit of info, temporarily overcame the hardpoint's immunity to damage, and punched it right in the processor, stopping the explosion countdown. The elevators were down, so the heroes raced up the stairs, only to barely avoid the (now free) protoceratops as it collapsed the entire stairwell. Seeking Samantha and the Shocktroopers, they found them, but as a yokai and more infected! The battle was long and demanding, and Slaan nearly lost his life to her claws, but they prevailed, and took a moment to catch their breath.
After climbing the elevator shaft, they saw that the way out was blocked by heavy metal shutters. Worse, two huge combat robots blocked their way, both malfunctioning and murdering everything in sight. Their miniguns and RPGs had the team fighting for their life, but thanks to a combination of careful positioning, stealing heavy ordnance from the Security Office, and Cpt. Aster's electric slayer shells, they disabled the 'bots. Upstairs, past a few infected and a locked door (no match for C4), a helicopter gave them a way out.
Back in Ottowa, after taking a few hours to go through the stolen data, Ghost informed the team that Dr. Hachi Mara One (the mysterious woman) and Dr. Osato were experimenting on infecting Living Land fauna, and the data clearly linked Kanawa Corp to Magnolia Research; this might be ammo needed to convince the Asian populace of the invasion! They also learned that the Shocktroopers were captured after attacking a Honoki team, but when interrogated they mainly revealed that Dr. Mobius had ordered them to seek out and slay any Cyberpapacy agents. (Weird, right?) Finally, data showed that Honoki explorers had discovered a Wonder, a strange tree-like structure by Niagara Falls that they'd dubbed "The Observatory"; given the team's experience with the Lifeboat Temple, Ghost wanted them to find this now.
She added that their psychics had been able to get information of the "tiara" (properly called the "commtrol device") and eternity shard from the temple. Apparently the lost civilization were known as the Akashans, and given the similarly between the Observatory and that temple, it seemed that forces of the High Lords were interested in Akasha as well.
Observatory of the Gods
Baptiste flew the Storm Knights in via the Magnolia helicopter, expertly maneuvering over the reality storms at the border. But then, through a bad patch of mist, a green ray struck the 'copter, causing them to (safely) crash-land in some vines. Half of the vines attacked them, followed by a pair of sobha-sobha, all of which they killed or drove away before a swarm of 20 spider-like "things" flew from the Observatory. They hid, watching these alien harvesters "eat" all of the electronics in the 'copter before returning.
Upriver toward the Observatory, a half-eaten Shocktrooper gave them a heads up about the villain La Calavera before dying. Then, atop the waterfall, a covert Cyberpapacy plane crashed; the fuselage tumbled over the falls and landed near the heroes. They recovered a cyberdeck from it, with older pics of the Observatory apparently on the moon! (It was also a bit smaller, suggesting it was growing.) They used stairs from a former tourist trap to reach the top of the falls, but Slaan and Baptiste fell prey to hallucinatory spores, and when they encountered edeinos they saw them as demons. The war-leader (who tried to run, but was caught) managed to poison Cpt. Aster before they defeated him; the team eventually overcame the poison and spores.
The Observatory was made of a silvery metal, with "tree roots" that were flexible yet tough as steel. Regolith (moon "dirt") was in the entryway, with prints from multiple other visitors. Glowing pictograms within depicted Akashans visiting ancient Earth, and willing to return again once Earth was more advanced. Moving past raptor-infested tunnels, the heroes encountered cyberpapal agents led by Father Ribiero, probing a computer terminal as they waited for a good chance to ambush La Calavera in the next room. A fight began, which ended with the Father's death and the Streetbeaters negotiating surrender. Almorian sensed something in one of the crates here and freed a "moon dragon" who he named Meridian.
The Storm Knights confronted La Calavera in the main control room, just in time to see an Akashan hologram speak. Due to broken systems, it was alternating almost randomly between various dialects of Indo-European, Austronesian, Afroasiatic, and other ancient proto-languages: "... reached ... destiny ... homes here ... moon ... destiny ... ready to contact ... three (places? items?) ... possibility ... chalice ... Forever City." Three locations on Earth's globe then lit up. The villain and heroes were all recording this, of course.
La Calavera wrecked the terminal and grabbed its data spike; the Observatory immediately began powering down, its pieces fusing into place. She escaped and raced to a boat, but the heroes managed to grab the data spike and wreck her boat, causing her body to plummet over the falls. Surely, no one could survive that.
After two days to rest in Ottowa, Quinn Sebastian himself arrived to discuss the Council's findings. "We theorize the points on the globe conceal pieces of a map to an Akashan embassy called the Forever City. They believed we had great potential, and once we were living on the moon we would have come across their Observatory there. No clue why or how it moved to Niagara Falls. Those dots each cover a vast area of territory, though, so we'll send in recon teams to try narrowing it down. This was a huge win, Storm Knights. Good job."
The Delphi Council had intel that Brother Laplace, a high-ranking Cyberpapal agent, was searching for ancient, possibly alien technology near Copenhagen. The heroes flew into this mixed Aysle/Core Earth zone from Kiel, where Major Jouni Nielson of the Danish Army briefed them on the city and loaned them an electric car.
Summary: There was a fragile truce between the elves (who controlled west Fredericksburg), the Core Earthers (who controlled central Old Copenhagen), and the Sjodrekkar Vikings (who controlled east Amager). In addition, trolls recently moved into the southern sports complex (now "Trollsport"). Mayor Paulina Madsen was theoretically in charge of all Copenhagen, though the team would later realize that in practice she didn't even rule all Core Earthers, just the civilians; the Danish Army was really its own faction, though an allied one.
The Cyberpapal agents were last seen fleeing into Fredericksburg, so the heroes headed toward elf territory. Along the way they were nearly ambushed by Vikings, saw religious pilgrims who followed Asten (elven god of secrets and wisdom, very popular here), and were the targets of a "rodeo" stunt by trolls. Frederickburg guards gave the PCs a hard time and made them leave their van; turns out those agents had vandalized a shrine of Asten, causing serious distrust of outsiders. In fact, some elven toughs tried causing trouble and then called the guards, forcing the heroes to disguse themselves.
With difficulty, they found the one true shrine to Asten and the necessary code phrase to get in: "Mayor Madsen Must Fall." There, Sister Leisha explained how this shrine was a place for believers to leave coded messages, and that the defilers read whatever info was here and then literally wiped the wall clean. She suggested that Eruvel Cathfaine, leader of the local elves, would know more. The PCs decided instead to rent a carraige (from Alvar, a local human) and pursue the defilers north, into ruins.
Local bandits, led by Jabbelline Agate-eye, threatened the heroes but quickly capitulated under duress and instead told them about some massive "animal pens" to the north (guarded by draugr) and an encounter with high-tech enemies to the east. Heading east, the Storm Knights were ambushed by cyberpriests under holographic cover; once defeated, and promised that they'd be turned over to humans (not elves), they spilled that they were looking for "Lake Armsvartnir" to find "the Twilight In Amber." Brother Laplace had headed into Sweden (his best guess), leaving this team to deal with pursuers.
The team brought the cyberpriests to Mayor Madsen (a good bargaining chip for the elves). She didn't know about the Lake or Twilight, but offered to reach out to Tatrice, leader of the Sjrodrekka Vikings. She decided to extend a Council seat invitation to the trolls and asked the PCs to deliver it. They did so, meeting Tongue-Lasher Frold, local troll leader, who seemed very concerned about whether the Mayor would lead from the front in a fight, but ended up accepting the invite after the Storm Knights promised that they would. They then met with Eruvel, who acknowledged that there was a plot against the mayor's life, admitted he'd prefer the Major in charge, and said they'd had a vision that she'd be attacked tonight — and that no one needed to die if the mayor gave herself to them.
The Death of Captain Aster: Racing back, the heroes found two wyverns and dozens of draugr assaulting the palace. Captain Aster shot a "falling star" bomb to save a neighborhood, then stayed behind and sniped one of the wyverns. Its sibling, ridden by a necromancer, flew in for vengeance, clawing Aster and burying him alive. Bleeding out, the Captain burst free just enough to detonate all of his alchemical grenades, slaying the second wyvern and its rider and sparing countless lives.
The rest of the party fought through draugr waves, receiving surprise help from first the Sjrodrekka Vikings, and then the trolls. This let them get to the mayor's office, defeat the draugr trying to break in, and convince their leader (a "night wingsman") to flee. The mayor led them to a radio room, where she coordinated with Major Nielson to take out the remaining draugr. The rest of the night, they rebuilt, and the mayor announced that the broken fountain would be replaced with a statue of Captain Aster, and the neighborhood he saved would be known as Aster from this point on.
The Long Road
After resting, the heroes were approached by Jabbeline Agate-Eye, who revealed that "she" was actually the shapeshifting super-agent, Captain Amnesia! Now that his time undercover here was up, he was free to help the team.
Tatrice Sjoddreka thanked the Storm Knights and offered their skalds, who explained that Lake Armsvartnir was not an actual lake, but a cave system beneath "Mount Fenrir" in Sweden — past the town of Malmo and the land of Helmar Corba'alson the Twice-Born. Gifted with some magical potions and items, the heroes headed across the long bridge to Sweden, stopping at Bridgetown for advice on how to easily get through Malmo.
At the rest of Thomas the Jovial, barkeep and leader of Bridgetown, the PCs spoke to some Shocktroopers and their prisoner. Captain Amnesia's mind control "convinced" them to leave, and their prisoner Corcorath turned out to be a "prisoner-diplomat" — a unique Aysle tradition. Corcorath was to be "ransomed" to Helmar Corba'alson, and offered to share what info he had. About then, the Shocktroopers returned angrily. Bar fights are a tradition, after all.
Thomas suggested the PCs defeat some of Uthorion's scouts as a way to "pay" for passage through Malmo. They were surprised that some of those scouts had automatic weapons, but managed to capture them all alive (and learn that Uthorion apparently had given orders to grant Brother Laplace's team safe passage). The folks at Malmo were happy to accept the scouts, and their leader Oscar Stjernfeldt offered the Storm Knights a meal. While Captain Amnesia drank literally all of Oscar's ale, the leader asked the heroes for help with a nearby raiding party, led by a fiery warrior named Red Raven. The team apologized that they were on too close a timetable, and offered to help on their way back. Oscar was visibly upset, but understood.
The team left Malmo and headed north into the mountains, through freezing snow; poor Corcorath was chilled to the bone. From a distance Great Dark Wolves stalked them; Corcorath said they were tied to Helmar Corba'alson the Twice-Born. They came across the snow-covered corpse of a huge Tharkold warrior loaded with Occultech (including a canister of green goop in his back), slain by the cyberpriests via laser blasts and a very strong unarmed attack. The priests had left a nearby hologram, warning the locals that their master Uthorion was allowing these "demonic thralls" to enter Aysle, and could therefore not be trusted.
When the heroes took a lunch break and made a fire to warm up, Slaan and Captain Amnesia played with the jar of green goop that the Captain had collected, dropping a bug into it; it grew to nearly double size before being torn apart by its own muscles. Gross. They spotted a Great Dark Wolf angling for their camp, but quickly drove it off via intimidation and ranged attacks. (to be continued)
Return to Recaps