Stories of the Betterverse

For those who have a way with words.
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betterwatchit
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:55 pm

Operation Inundation III: London, Part 4

Museum of London...

As Griffin was about to land, he saw eight SHADOW troopers and a giant in SHADOW uniform enter the Museum.

Griffin had been to the Museum before and he's seen the Stone being kept there, while its cupola in Cannon Street was being repaired. He knows that he hasn't got much time before they find and smash it.
Please use this map (PDF format) to track everyone's position: Museum of London Map

Griffin has just made it to the entrance. SHADOW are currently moving towards New Acquisitions and the London Stone itself is at the War, Plague and Fire exhibit.
Griffin had some familiarity with the Museum's layout which SHADOW certainly lacked. Such as the balcony that SHADOW would have to walk along to reach the Stone quickly. If he got there first, he could fly to the Stone before SHADOW could run there.

That's when Griffin quickly extended his wings all the way forward and then snapped them backwards to move in a high-speed burst towards the Archaeology in Action exhibit, which left SHADOW confused for a second. A second that Griffin used to fly across the balcony and towards the Stone.
Griffin spends a HP to stunt his wings into High-Speed Flit: Teleport 2, Accurate, allowing him to bypass SHADOW altogether.
As Griffin arrived at the Stone, he heard a young woman yell "That's Griffin, Cass! He's safe, he's on our side!"

The second woman said in a New York accent "Are you gonna help us kill these bastards or somethin'?!"

Griffin recognised the two women. The first was a girl known all over London as Cheddar. She once magically transformed herself into a mouse but she botched her attempt to transform back, permanently leaving herself part-mouse. She's known for teaching magically-gifted children in London how to use magic to help the human race and Griffin has seen her at the museum enough times to believe that she lives in the nearby Barbican Estate. The other woman was a New York mage known as Ms. Magus, who Griffin has seen having a chat with Cheddar at the Time in a Bottle on occasion. Ms. Magus is known to fight to the death when innocents are in danger and a third Operation Inundation would be more than enough to set her off!

Griffin drew Justice, saying "Yeah, I am! The big one's mine!"
Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 26, four Advanced Trooper minions get 16-19, The Fist-In-SHADOW gets 15, four Advanced Trooper minions get 9-14, Cheddar gets 5 and Ms. Magus gets 3.

Cheddar, Griffin and Ms. Magus each get a HP for entering combat. Cheddar gains a HP for using non-lethal force. Griffin gets a HP due to his two unhealed injuries.

Everyone other than Cheddar is using lethal force.
Griffin then charged the giant, shouting "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" and planting his blade squarely in the giant's chest! While the giant fell, Ms. Magus blasted the head off of one of the SHADOW troopers.
Griffin Charges at the Fist-In-SHADOW with the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 29, crit scored! He stunts the crit into Soul-Severing Strike: Affliction 10, Impaired, Disabled, Dying. Resisted by Will. The Fist-in-SHADOW gets 8 and is Dying! Fist-in-SHADOW gets 21 to stabilise and is instead Incapacitated.

Four Advanced Troopers fire their Blaster Rifles at Griffin, getting 7, 9, 14 and Natural 20. Griffin gets 24 and resists the one that hit him. Two fire at Cheddar, both getting 11 and missing. Another two fire at Ms. Magus, getting 23 and 13. Ms. Magus gets 25 and resists. Cheddar fires a blast of Magic at a trooper, getting Natural 1 and missing. Ms. Magus fires her own blast of magic at a trooper and gets 15, hitting the trooper. The trooper gets 10 and is killed.

Fist-In-SHADOW: Incapacitated. 7 Advanced Troopers remaining.
Griffin put all his pain and rage into a single wide stroke, felling five SHADOW troopers at once! After that, he took a blaster shot to the face. Cheddar and Ms. Magus quickly took down the two remaining troopers.
Griffin lets loose with the Flurry of Steel, getting 25, 16, 15, 21 and Natural 20, crit scored! Griffin raises the DC for the crit by +5. The Advanced Troopers get 15, 18, 21, 21 and 23, and are all dead. The two remaining troopers fire at Griffin, getting 22 and 19. Griffin gets 22 and 27 and is hit. Cheddar fires a burst of Magic at one of the troopers, getting 26. The trooper gets 8 and is knocked out. Ms. Magus fires another blast of Magic at the remaining troop and she gets 29, crit scored! She raises the DC by +5. The trooper gets 23 and is killed.

Griffin: 3 Injuries. One Advanced Trooper knocked out, seven dead.
Griffin fully extended his wings, singing "London stands forever more, ever more, ever more! London stands forever more, My! Fair! Lady!"

Ms. Magus said "Who the hell taught you how to fight like that, Griffin?! Killing five guys with one swing of a sword, that's a hell of a trick!"

Still high off the adrenaline, Griffin replied "Archangel Michael, that's who! He taught me everything I know about fighting and tactics! Argh!"

Cheddar asked "What's wrong, Griffin?"

"If either of you know a healing spell, I could do with it right now! I took a fireball and a blaster to the chest at St. Paul's on top of the blast I just took! Ask Britannia if you don't believe me!"

Cheddar said "Here, let me help with that. Just stay still."

Ms. Magus went "This'll cure ya, Griff!"
Cheddar does a healing check and gets 19. Ms. Magus got a Natural 20. All of Griffin's wounds have been healed up.
Griffin felt his pain ease and his scars fade... and that was when the Giant in SHADOW uniform got back up and suddenly grew to about nine feet tall!

Griffin went "How in the Lady's name did you survive that blow?! That was a bloody heart-shot, I felt it!"

The giant roared "HAIL SHADOW! OUR SHADE WILL COVER THE EARTH!" He then turned to face Griffin and went "STARTING WITH YOU!"

Griffin then concealed his wings and then roared "KILL HIM! KILL HIM NOW OR WE'RE ALL DEAD!"
Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 18, Cheddar gets 17, Ms. Magus gets 14 and the Fist-In-SHADOW gets 12.

The Fist-In-SHADOW Now has Growth 1.

Cheddar still isn't using lethal force, everyone else still is.
Cheddar reflexively fired a blast, hitting the giant right between the eyes. How he resisted that, she had no idea. Ms Magus had much better luck when she got him in the chest.

The giant lashed out at Ms. Magus, hitting her in the chest and knocking the air out of her.
Griffin attacks Fist-In-SHADOW with the Flurry of Steel, getting 18. Fist-In-SHADOW gets 25 and resists. Cheddar fired a blast of Magic at Fist-In-SHADOW, getting Natural 20, crit scored! She stunts the crit into Sleep Spell: Progressive Ranged Affliction 7; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated, Resisted by Will. Fist-In-SHADOW gets 20 and resists. Ms. Magus fires her blast of Magic at Fist-In-SHADOW, getting 29, Crit scored! She raises the DC by +5. Fist-In-SHADOW gets 19 and is Staggered. Fist-In-SHADOW does a minor All-Out Power Attack in order to punch Ms. Magus, getting 19. Ms. Magus gets 20 and is hit and Dazed.

Ms. Magus: 1 Injury, Dazed.

Fist-In-SHADOW: 1 Injury, Staggered.
The giant roared "KILL YOU ALL!" as he lunged at Cheddar...

... but Griffin got in the way of the almost killer blow, shouting "I'm the one you want! KILL ME IF YOU CAN!"
Griffin unleashes his own All-Out Power Attack with the Flurry of Steel on the Fist-In-SHADOW and gets 19, crit scored! He raises the DC by +7 (including Multiattack bonus). Fist-In-SHADOW gets 29 and is hit and Dazed. Cheddar fired a blast of Magic at Fist-In-SHADOW, getting 18. Fist-In-SHADOW gets 29 and resists. Ms. Magus fires her bolt of Magic at Fist-In-SHADOW, getting 24. Fist-In-SHADOW gets a Natural 20 to resist. Fist-In-SHADOW punches Cheddar with a minor All-out Power Attack, getting a Natural 20, crit scored. DC is raised by +5. Griffin uses Interpose to block the attack instead, getting 20. He spends a HP to re-roll, getting 27, and is hit.

Griffin: 1 Injury.

Fist-In-SHADOW: 2 Injuries, Staggered.
Cheddar managed to land another headshot, this one finally flooring the SHADOW giant!
Griffin unleashes the Flurry of Steel, getting 14 and missing. Cheddar fires off a blast of magic and gets 24. Fist-In-SHADOW gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated. Fight's Over!
The SHADOW troopers who survived both started having seizures and then they suddenly went limp. Cheddar checked for a pulse and started sobbing "I- I think I killed them! May God forgive me, I'm a murderer!"

Ms, Magus saw Griffin's eyes turn completely white for a split-second! She asked "Are you alright, Griffin?! I just saw your eyes go completely white, I thought you were having a seizure!"

Griffin replied "I'm fine, Ms. Magus. I just had a revelation from my Lady. What we just saw there was not your fault, Cheddar! I've heard this one story about SHADOW that we can now confirm, called the Umbral Protocol. It's a remote-control implant that gives a trooper a massive neurotoxin dose when activated. If it looks like they're about to betray SHADOW, all their superior really needs to do is flip the killswitch and their enemies will still be in the dark. Looks like it works very well with magic, given what Overshadow had in mind for it."
Griffin spends a HP to receive some inspiration.
"So... I didn't kill them?"

"No, Cheddar. You didn't. That blood is on Overshadow's hands, not yours! And given how fanatical SHADOW troopers get, I don't think they'd care about the implant even if they knew about it. Even if you did kill them, what you did before that was in self-defence. No one in their right mind's going to throw you in jail for this, you have my word."

"Are you certain?"

"Absolutely. You did nothing wrong here, Cheddar."

Ms. Magus went "Are you sure about that, Griffin?"

Griffin told her "I'm absolutely certain, Ms. Magus. I was taught by someone who knows what right and wrong are really like. Now, let's see if anyone's still here..."
Last edited by betterwatchit on Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:06 pm

Operation Inundation III: London, Part 5

Griffin was searching the Museum of London, looking for anyone who's gotten lost. His sword's back on his belt and his wings are out. He's calling out "It's the Griffin of London here! Don't be afraid, you're safe now! You can come on out, I mean you no harm!" repeating it in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese to be sure anyone who hears him understands that he poses no danger to them.

That was when he was shot. Both bullets grazed his wing.

As Griffin turned to see who shot him, he unsheathed his sword, going "Show yourself, you weak-souled coward!"

That was when he saw the man who everyone called the Akimbo Assassin with both his guns smoking out the barrel coming out of the Debtor's Cell, the one with the wooden walls and no door. AA said "Very well, Mr. Griffin. Consider it your last request to know who killed you, if not why."

Griffin knew that AA had recently taken a contract - word gets out very quickly when AA's on the hunt - but he didn't expect to actually be the target!

Griffin just roared and charged at the Akimbo Assassin. His objectives now were to kill the Akimbo Assassin and reduce collateral damage. And the best chance for both was to keep AA in the cell so he can't use most of his acrobatic skills.
On the Museum Map (link is in previous chapter), the Debtor's Cell is located in the Modern London exhibit on floor L2, on the western end of the Expanding City section.

Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 18, AA gets 7.

AA does an opposed Stealth Check against Griffin's Perception. AA gets 24, Griffin gets 18 and is Surprised.

AA and Griffin both get a HP for entering combat.

Griffin gets 3 HP for his Motivation (AA's confirmed bodycount alone would be just cause enough to attack him), his Fame (The 3rd Street Saints want to make an example of anyone who beats them and lives) and his Honour (Everyone who AA has killed must be avenged and there's only one effective way Griffin knows to do that and make it last!).

AA gets 2 HP for his "Honour" (When AA fights, his assumption is "two men enter, one man leaves!") and the other for his Reputation (Cape- and cop-killer who a lot of people want to arrest or kill).

In the surprise round, AA gets 28 and fires at Griffin with his pistols. Griffin gets 12 on his Perception check and doesn't hear its position. He gets 22 and is hit. It's only his calling-out that reveals AA's position.

Griffin does a Well-Informed check, getting 19. He knows that AA is an acrobatic cape- and cop-killer who took a contract recently.

Griffin Charged at AA with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22 and missing. AA fires on Griffin getting 18. Griffin gets 28 and resists.

Griffin retracted his wings and got AA in the shoulder while getting a bullet in the chest.
Griffin unleashes the Flurry of Steel, getting 29. AA gets 9 so he spends a HP. He gets 19 and is hit. AA fires at Griffin, getting 31. Griffin get 21 and is hit.

AA: 1 Injury, 2 HP. Griffin: 2 Injuries, 3 HP.

Griffin managed to hit AA behind the ear, keeping him from shooting straight!
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 27, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. AA gets 17 so he spends a HP, getting 23 and is hit and Dazed. AA fires at Griffin, getting 22. Griffin gets 26 to resist.

AA: 2 Injuries, Dazed, 1 HP.

Griffin then proceeded to crack one of AA's ribs.
Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel and gets Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. AA gets 18 and is hit. AA fires at Griffin and gets 30. Griffin gets 28 and resists.

AA: 3 Injuries.

Griffin proceeded to cut AA up a little more...
Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 24. AA gets 21 and is hit. AA fires at Griffin, getting 16 and missing.

AA: 4 Injuries.

And then AA shot him in the arm.
Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21 and missing. AA fires at Griffin, getting 19. Griffin gets 20 and is hit.

Griffin: 3 Injuries.

Griffin then missed stabbing AA in the side...
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 21 and missing. AA fires, getting 14 and missing.

…then he put his all into three almighty blows, nearly gutting the Akimbo Assassin!
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel with an All-Out Power Attack, getting 14, spending a HP and getting 30. AA gets 13 and is Incapacitated. AA spends his last HP on stunting Diehard to automatically stabilise. Fight's Over!
Griffin checked to see if Akimbo Assassin was still alive...

AA was indeed alive and he was helpless enough that Griffin killing him now would have been straight-up murder, one of the few lines Griffin won't let himself cross and still in good conscience call himself a human being. He put AA in the recovery position and shouted "CHEDDAR, MS. MAGUS, I NEED HELP OVER HERE!"

Ms. Magus and Cheddar both came over. Cheddar said "We heard the gunfire, Griffin! Hey, is that the Akimbo Assassin!?"

Griffin said "I gave him slightly better than I got! He's down and he's no longer an immediate threat. I have the number of a Ministry officer who'd be glad for such a collar. I also need several bullets removed from me without telling the police. That means I can't go to the hospital!"

Cheddar said "Cass, if we work together..."

Ms. Magus said "I got it. But what are we gonna do with him?"

Griffin said "I've got this," and he picked up a mobile that someone dropped and sent a text to Officer Benbow...

Code: Select all

AA severely wounded @ Museum of London! Floor L2, Expanding City. Debtor's Cell, to right of big heavy door. Bring ARMED backup & ambulance ASAP!
He then said "Now that's done... Cheddar, you know the Barbican area better than I do. Lead the way."

Cheddar said "This way, everyone! I have a flat nearby."

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:25 pm

Operation Inundation: London Conclusion

Cheddar's Flat, Barbican Estate, London...

Griffin's on Cheddar's sofa, feeling very tired after having several bullets magically taken out of him and watching the news channels to see the full extent of Overshadow's attack. Which looked very thorough. There's a knock on the door.

Cheddar opened it, saying "Hello, Officer Benbow."

Officer Benbow asks "Is Griffin there? I need to have a chat with him."

Cheddar replied "He's in the living room but he's a bit tired. Having a few bullets taken out will do that to you."

As Officer Benbow entered the living room, Griffin sat up and said "Officer Benbow, what a surprise! Cheddar let me in willingly, you can ask her. How did you know I'd be in here? CCTV? Telepathy?"

Officer Benbow told him "No. Because I already knew that Cheddar lives here. I got a text saying that a major fight broke out in the Museum of London. Imagine my lack of surprise when I saw evidence of what looked like two separate major fights having broken out! What are you doing here?"

"I was in Woolwich when I saw Overshadow's declaration of war on the BBC Big Screen they have there. Stopped some yobs from burning down a church by knocking them out. After that, I heard an explosion in the direction of the Royal Artillery Barracks. Before I could react, I got a message from my commanding officer telling me to get my arse to St. Paul's Cathedral ASAP. I flew straight there and I helped Britannia get rid of a SHADOW APC, killing their entire assault team. After that, I made my way to the Museum of London to protect the London Stone."

"The London Stone?! I thought it was just a really old stone, nothing worth putting your life on the line over!"

"That stone is the 'Palladium', the spiritual heart of London fed by multiple ley lines that intersect at its cupola in Cannon Street, where it's normally meant to be. It'll take a while before you actually need to put it back. The legend goes, 'so long as the Stone of Brutus stands, so long shall London flourish!' And I've seen things that mean I can't honestly dismiss it as superstition! And as you've seen, I'm willing to give my life for my city, my country and my world! Anything less would be an act of cowardice and of treason against humanity! I encountered Cheddar and Ms. Magus at the Museum and we killed several SHADOW soldiers who weren't going to give us any quarter!"

"That doesn't explain why I found the Akimbo Assassin bleeding out in the Museum."

"I was searching for survivors in hiding, calling out in multiple languages that it was safe to come out now. My sword was on its belt and my wings were out so anyone who saw me could tell I wasn't a slave of SHADOW. That was when I was shot in my left wing. The bullets went clean through, but I lost a few feathers. I drew my sword and I demanded that whoever fired at me from behind show themselves. That was when the Akimbo Assassin came out of the Debtor's Cell. I only realised it was him because of his twin bayonetted pistols. I knew he'd taken a contract recently, but I didn't expect to be the one his employer was after! His response was 'Very well, Mr. Griffin. Consider it your last request to know who killed you, if not why.' I charged at him. I had every reason to believe that only one of us was getting out of there alive and he did attack me without any other apparent provocation. I focused on keeping him in the cell, because I was aware of his acrobatic feats from LiveLeak and keeping him inside the cell would keep him from actually using most of them properly."

"That does make sense when fighting an acrobat."

"When the Akimbo Assassin fell, I put him in the recovery position, picked up a mobile that someone else dropped and I used it to tell you where to find him. I put the phone back where I found it. Cheddar led me here. She and Ms. Magus both did a ritual to teleport AA's bullets out of me. They then cast healing magic on me to stop the bleeding and fix my wing. I fell on the sofa to have a lie down and here we are. I'm going to rest for a couple of hours and then go and help quell any rioting that's kicked off. Something like this, you know a lot of people are thinking 'That thing we couldn't get away with before? Now's the time!' You only need to loot a single rifle or pistol to make it look like SHADOW did it!"

Officer Benbow asked "You said that you nearly killed the Akimbo Assassin? If you want to leave here uncuffed, then I want to know where I can find evidence proving your claim that he shot first."

"CCTV from the Museum, including the camera that I saw inside the Debtor's Cell, will clearly show that the Akimbo Assassin attacked first. It'll show that my back was turned and my sword was sheathed and on its belt and I was calling out, hands to mouth when he shot me. There is simply no way a reasonable jury is going to think that I was being an immediate threat to him! And SHADOW troopers wear their own uniform, so anyone with a working eye can't mistake me for one of them. The bullets are on the table there. Ms. Magus knows how to handle them without contamination. With his arrest, the CCTV from the Museum, the confiscation of his guns and those bullets, you now have hard evidence that the Akimbo Assassin clearly attempted to murder me! Even if you can't do him for his previous murders, you've now got something that'll actually stick this time! That's a collar that'll help your career. How is he, by the way?"

"When we put him in the ambulance, the paramedics said that he was critical but stable. Given his injuries and the fact that we have his guns, it'll be a very long time before he opens fire again. I have to ask..."

"Yes, officer?"

"Why did you not kill him outright? You had him right where you wanted him!"

"When the Akimbo Assassin hit the ground, he had lost consciousness and was completely helpless at that point! I only touched him to check he was still breathing and to put him in the recovery position. I left his guns untouched so the only prints I know for a fact were on there when we left the Museum are his. Killing a completely helpless target, that is one of the few lines I can't cross and still call myself a human being afterwards!" Griffin sighed "I've never seen myself as a hero, Jill. Only someone lucky enough to be in a better position than most to get things done and actually keep them done. There's something I ought to tell you."

"And that would be?"

"When we fought SHADOW at the Museum, I received a divine revelation when Cheddar thought she murdered their men. SHADOW clones have cranial implants that trigger a massive neurotoxin dose."

"Are you absolutely certain?"

"Yes. I've never known my Lady to lie to anyone, and I wouldn't be surprised if she can't. Those implants - codenamed the Umbral Protocol - activate under certain conditions. These include attempting to betray SHADOW, taking a severe enough blow to knock them out and getting their minds read. If it remotely looks like they'll reveal anything at all or be taken prisoner, the implant activates and their enemies will still be in the dark. That would explain why they fight with lethal force like fanatics. Because anything that could keep them from fighting or being loyal to SHADOW will lead to their deaths."

"Why would knocking them out set it off?"

"To waste an enemy's manpower, of course. And since SHADOW uses clones, Overshadow doesn't really care at all if he needs to lose a few to maintain security! Knowledge of the Protocol helped me calm Cheddar down and keep her from going suicidal or even worse! You remember when those little ponies came to town?"

"That was... unusual to say the least."

"If some selfish knob or even a villain got there first, what do you think could've happened?! I knew that it was my obligation as a human being to genuinely and honestly help them, regardless of the personal risk or cost. By making sure that Hexenhammer was taken down and that the ponies made it safely home, we showed Celestia that there are people around here who actually give a toss, you know?"

"Yeah, I know. Why do you think I joined the Ministry? Someone's got to keep you lot from going too far!"

"As good a reason as any to join them, I suppose. Are you here to arrest me, Jill?"

"No, because I don't have proof of wrongdoing. I'm just very concerned about you, Griffin."

"What's concerning you, officer?"

"It's your use of lethal force, Griffin. The only reason I haven't already tried to arrest you is because there's too much evidence of your current usage - that I'm aware of so far - appearing justifiable under the law to go through the drama of an arrest and trial. And when we in the Ministry arrest someone, we want to be absolutely certain that we can prove you actually did something wrong first! I'm worried that you're going to cross the line one of these days. I know you're trying to do some good, that business with the ponies showed it."

"I try to go non-lethal, Jill. But sometimes you simply have no choice but to kill or die - as today clearly proves - and the scenarios I find myself in tend to be the sort where no-one else in the immediate area can actually do anything effective in time, forcing me to act at once to prevent unjust injury or untimely death. As for me crossing the line... I'll tell you what I told Britannia earlier today. You need to remember that a very powerful individual who cares about humanity has a vested interest in me behaving myself, is capable of keeping an eye on me at all times and has the power to instantly do something about it if I mess up. If I get violent without just cause, I'll immediately get in the sort of trouble you wished you could arrange for a power who's mad enough to hurt an innocent!"

"What sort of trouble do you mean?"

"The absolute worst you can do to me is kill me, Jill. The worst my Lady can do to me is kill me, throw me into Hell and make sure I can't get back out again, I've actually seen her do it! If I ever have to choose between an action I knew would annoy you and one that would annoy her... It won't be anything personal at all, Jill. I bet you tried looking in her head when you met her in the Guardhouse, against my advice."

"I did. I've never witnessed a mind that old or that... sharp before! I've seen all sorts of stuff in this line of work that could've had a more mundane explanation, but this... this was one of the few things I've seen in my life that simply had no other rational explanation. I would've noticed it if she had any signs of being affected by hypnosis, mind control, mental illness, delusional, psychotic or neurological disorders. I couldn't find anything that would give me cause to question her sanity!"

"When you try reading the mind of a goddess, you're lucky if she lets you keep your sanity afterwards..."

"And before you ask, the answer's yes, this means I know for a fact that you're on the autism spectrum, Griffin."

"DAMN IT! So you know my greatest secret, Officer! You know why it's in my best interest to keep that quiet?!"

"No, I'm afraid I don't."

"Because I want people to judge me by my actions, NEVER by that! Do you understand me, Jill?! I can't let this get out!"

"What are you going to do about it, kill me?"

"Even if I wanted to, I can't! If I use violence on a Ministry officer regardless of whether I had just cause - and this isn't anywhere near it - it'll prove the critics right when I'd rather they be proven to be a bunch of perma-noobs who don't know what they're on about and it would irreparably damage the one thing I need besides my powers and my sword to get anything done to any degree worth the bother of doing it at all!"

"What would that be?"

"My legitimacy. I need people to know and to trust that I can not only get something done, I can do it right and actually keep it done, Jill! The Equestria Incident is an example of this. Getting those little ponies into the Guardhouse was getting it done. Preventing Hexenhammer from killing everyone in the Guardhouse was doing it right and getting the ponies back home was how I kept it done. Princess Celestia publicly praising us on video of her own accord was just the icing on the cake, the sort of thing that proves I'm not an idiot in the face of death and danger!"

"Were you absolutely sure Hexenhammer was going to kill the ponies?"

"Yeah, he was! And you can look inside my head if you don't believe me!"

Officer Benbow said "Since I have your permission, this shouldn't hurt a bit..."

That was when Officer Benbow touched Griffin's forehead... and knew everything about the caper from his point of view. From the summons to picking the ponies up at Woolwich, the train ride, picking up the two books, the tour of London from Trafalgar Square to the Bottle, the escort mission, taking out the van of cultists, the duel with Hexenhammer, slaying him, dragging his hammer into the infirmary, beseeching his Lady to pass judgement on him, ending with Celestia's appearance.

Officer Benbow went "Griffin?"

"Yes, officer?"

"Did you really have to blind the cultists who were in the van?"

"It wasn't permanent! And it caused less drama and drew less heat compared to killing them! I used a bullethole they made to make it easier to keep myself out of the blast radius and then they were knocked out."

"Why did you slash their tyres and impale their engine? We needed a breakdown truck to move that van!"

"In case they recovered before the police got there, of course! Even if they got better in time, they couldn't get far. You need be thorough and vigilant in this line of work."

"Don't you mean paranoid?"

"No, I don't. Those cultists were a legitimate threat to the girls, meaning that my reaction was simple, basic vigilance! And in both our lines of work, you're either vigilant or you're just a dead man who simply hasn't fallen down yet."

"That's one way to put it. Now for the one thing I'm concerned with."

"And that would be?"

"Was there any way you could've taken Hexenhammer alive?"

"No way, Jill! You heard what he said! Holding back or retreating would've likely killed me, the ponies, the Guardians, you... It was the first time I've ever been in a scenario where deliberately taking the life of a sentient being was a justifiable and understandable response. I don't regret killing him, Jill. But I never enjoyed it either. I knew before but I understand now that the act of killing is a serious business and only a psychopath would ever enjoy such an act!"

"I understand. How did you feel after you killed Hexenhammer?"

"Everything I was ever taught about killing someone said that I was supposed to regret it. But I didn't. All I really felt was that I did what I had to do. I gave Hexenhammer a chance to leave peacefully, you heard me give him one! It was hardly my fault that he really was crazy enough to choose death instead! After I killed him and was dealing with the shock of having just straight-up killed a man for the first time, one of the gunmen went 'What- What in the name of God are you?!' That question helped me shake off the shock, Jill. I revealed my wings and told them who I was and on whose behalf I was acting. Those guys were religious extremists. And their leader had just been killed by an angel who could prove on the spot that he really was serving the God they falsely claimed to worship. How quickly do you think they realised their mistake?"

"Very quickly, I suppose."

"Indeed. I kept an eye on their trial and I can see why they all pleaded guilty to attempted murder and then asked for a lot of other crimes to be taken into consideration. It's pretty much the only way they can be reasonably certain to not bump into me again. So I dragged the hammer into the Infirmary, using a rope that Red Mage gave me to avoid touching it myself. The security measures in there are strict! I'm talking about you needing Dr. Green's permission to get in or out of there. With her reputation and her usual research subjects, I'm not surprised. I couldn't see any, but I'm willing to bet that she had Sakura and Red Mage place a few wards here and there to make sure. I went down on both knees in prayer, asking my Lady to pass judgement on Hexenhammer. That is not something I do lightly, Jill. A flash of light and there she was. The one Lady I owe more than anyone."

"The only one you fear."

"Not just fear, Jill. I actually respect her and I owe her even more than I owe my own family. You see, my Lady made me an offer earlier this year. If I swore to serve as her Chosen, she would give me the one thing I haven't been able to find or make for myself, something that no amount of money can ever hope to buy: a purpose to my life. And she has indeed made good on her end of the bargain. She sparked me up and in return, I do whatever assignments she gives me. Anyway, my Lady said I wasn't in trouble with her over that fight. It seems that Hexenhammer had been giving her a bad name for the past six hundred years, Jill. No one was as glad as her that I put Hexenhammer down and brought him before her at last. She picked the hammer up and told me to stand up and bear witness. She spoke to Hexenhammer in what sounded to me like an archaic German dialect, probably the one Hexenhammer spoke back when he still had his original body. If he didn't believe who she was before, he certainly did afterwards! She told him how disappointed she was with him. He was going to stand before her and explain himself. It was sad enough that his own actions and choices besmirched his own character. But falsely claiming to serve her while killing innocents... She'd still give him a fair hearing, don't get her wrong, but it wasn't looking too good for him. My Lady then told me to bring everyone to the Guardhouse's library. She then disappeared in a flash of light, taking the hammer with her. Hexenhammer isn't coming back, Jill. After that, you know as much I do."

"Hang on! She was only gone for a few minutes! How could she properly pass judgement on him and get back to the Guardhouse in time?!"

"Time itself actually works a bit differently on the other side, Jill. I'm sure you heard about me having the near-death experience that made me what I am. I was professionally diagnosed as being DEAD for about 8 minutes over here. You know long that is over there?"

"An hour? Two hours?"

"No. Try eight YEARS. I spent eight YEARS learning how to be an angel, Jill. By the time my dad found out that I was even gone, I was already back on Earth! And they know that I'm a power by the way, told them the very same day I got out of the hospital and swore them to secrecy. Once my Lady got back to Heaven, she quite literally had ALL the time in the world to properly pass judgement on Hexenhammer, make sure he knew and understood exactly why he had that particular judgement placed upon him and send him wherever he was meant to go. And no, I don't know where he went exactly. I was a bit busy as you might recall."

"About this meeting..."

"Yeah, Jill?"

"I'll have to mention everything you just told me to my superiors, who are quite aware that I'm here by the way."

"Fair enough. Can't guarantee they'll believe it, though."

"The thing is, Ministry files - including the one we already have on you - are sealed by law. They require signing the Official Secrets Act just to look at, you need to convince the Ministry that it's in the national interest for you to see the file and act on the knowledge of its contents and it's against our rules for anyone to be alone in the room where we store the files. You won't have to worry about some journalist reading it."

"You have no idea how much I appreciate that, Jill. Thank you."

"What did your Lady mean exactly, when she said that she Chose you?"

"A very ancient treaty among pantheons allows each god or goddess to empower one mortal to directly serve them on Earth and they're the only ones who can legitimately claim that they do things in their God's name. The exact criteria used naturally tends to vary from patron to patron. Those so empowered are traditionally known as the Chosen by those who've heard of them. Thinking of Chosen as real-life paladins or like clerics from Dungeons and Dragons isn't off-base, Jill. I only know of two Chosen who are currently active within London: myself and Sakura of the Guardians. There may very well be other Chosen out there.

"Sakura is empowered by a god as well?"

"By Amaterasu, the Kami of the Sun to be precise."

"I see. Are there any rules that dictate who can be Chosen?"

"The only hard rule I know of when Choosing someone is that you can only Choose one mortal at a time. You need to Unchoose - and depower - someone before you can Choose someone else. Mutual agreement, gross disobedience, betrayal of your divine patron and the death of the Chosen are all known reasons for being Unchosen. Anything else you want me to tell you?"

"No... No. You've actually given me a lot to think about, Griffin. I've got to go, stay out of trouble!"

"Good luck out there, Jill!"

When the door slammed shut, Cheddar and Ms. Magus re-entered the living room. Cheddar said "I didn't know you were on the spectrum, Griffin!"

Griffin said "It's not the sort of thing I share with anyone, Cheddar! And you can't say I don't have a reason to keep it quiet. Someone could take advantage! It's only because Officer Benbow's a telepath that she even found out at all! And if either of you tell anyone, you'll come to regret it!"

Ms. Magus replied "Well, you seem to have a grip on it. And I can't believe you didn't get arrested! How'd you do that?"

Griffin told her "Jill's a telepath and she literally got inside my head. And she was dumb enough to look in my Lady's head. Everything you two just overheard me tell Officer Jill Benbow of the Ministry of Powers... was true. All of it."

Ms. Magus asked "Are you really an angel?!"

Griffin fully extended his wings, saying "Yes, I am indeed an angel of the Host of Heaven and the current Chosen of the Almighty. There's no need to be afraid of me."

Ms. Magus went "My God..." while sinking to her knees.

Griffin helped Ms. Magus up, saying "No I'm not. I do not deserve your worship, Cass. I never did."

"You saved my ass and Cheddar's, so I still feel like I owe you."

"I saved you because it was my duty. If you feel like you owe me, I know of a way you can help me if you wish. Early next year, I'm planning on doing a world tour and I'll be heading to New York during it."

"And let me guess, you'd need a place to stay?"

"If that's okay with you. I don't want to impose. I can even cover the relevant expenses if that's an issue."

"It's no trouble at all. I've got the room for it. But I've gotta tell you, I don't live in Manhattan. I'm from Brooklyn."

"Maybe you can show me around then. I wouldn't mind getting a look at all the Five Boroughs."

"I've gotta ask though, do you have a visa?"

"I went through the Visa Waiver Program, good for the next two years. Applied for it on the U.S. embassy's website. The waiver does allow me to legally enter America for business and tourism purposes for 90 days and it's much easier to get a hold of one. It does have a few restrictions, though."

"What are those?"

"I can't appeal for an extension to the waiver like actual visa holders can. At the airport, I must present both my ticket into the States and my ticket back out again. I don't need to go to the same country I come in from as long as I'm gone before the 90 days are up. I can't enter Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean islands unless I'm at least a permanent resident in those places. And I must use an approved airline to fly in and out."

"Seems like you're not a noob at this kind of thing. I've gotta ask one question, though."

"Go on, Cass."

"How in God's name are you getting that blade of yours past Homeland Security? If they find it, they'll know who you are and you'll get a glove up your ass at least!"

"Leave that to me, Cass. If my idea on the subject holds water, they won't know a thing! Now if you and Cheddar excuse me, I still have my duties to perform. Thank you, Cheddar, for your hospitality. If you need to talk, you've got my business number. Feel free to give it to Cass."

Cheddar went "Bye, Griffin!"

Ms. Magus said "See ya later, Griffin!"

Griffin told them "Farewell, see you both later."

That was when Griffin got out on to Cheddar's balcony and took off…
Griffin gets 2 PP, which he saves up, totalling 7 PP.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:04 pm

Monster Mash-Up, Part 1.

Griffin's House, Halloween 2016…

The sun was setting in London and Griffin has just answered his phone.

"Griffin speaking."

"It's Cheddar. Do you know where the Blackheath Tea Hut is?"

"I know where it is. What's going on?"

"Meet me and Goldwing there in half an hour, there's something I want to discuss."

"Understood, see you then."

Upon hanging up, Griffin put his sword in his new bag, which was designed to hold and conceal his sword. Then he went to Plumstead Common to take off.


Blackheath Tea Hut, three minutes later…

Griffin landed next to the Tea Hut, a legendary institution among south Londoners, particularly those who work at night. Few places within London served hot food and drink 24 hours a day, and even fewer have lasted as long as the Hut. He could see Goldwing and Cheddar waiting for him, with Goldwing having the Hut's famous Animal Burger.

Goldwing was a real griffin who arrived on Earth-Prime around the same time that Griffin attended the Expo. Griffin knew that Goldwing's been making his income by placing minor enchantments on various items. A ring that lets the wearer fall from any height without harm, animal-ear headbands that do improve the wearer's hearing, that sort of thing.

Griffin said "Evening, Cheddar. Evening, Gold."

Cheddar said "Hey, Griffin. I got your gift. I have to say, giving me a gift card for the only cheese company who still make it in the village of Cheddar…"

Griffin went "While I was recovering at your place, I was looking for something to drink when I saw you had different varieties of cheese in your fridge. And that the non-cheese contents were of various things that feral mice prefer. Milk, nuts, that sort of thing."

"And that's what gave you the idea."

Goldwing went "I have to ask… Why did you invite us here, Cheddar?"

Cheddar said "Randall Fox is inviting all three of us to his Laugh at the Reaper festival tonight."

Goldwing asked "The same Randall Fox who let fame get to his head, resulting in his crew revealing how the 'encounters' in his Ghost Chaser show were all faked up?"

Cheddar replied "The same."

Goldwing said "I've heard of those comedians joining Fox tonight. They all have their own followings on-line and in London's comedy scene. Miss Cho's from Freedom City but she does make an occasional visit here. The wiki says that she's a dual citizen, so the visits are above board."

Griffin said "Goldwing's right. And I know the films they're showing. They're all flops, but each one has its own fandom. One of them, Blood Like Wine, stars Lauren Hammond and another one, Pain Portal, stars Lily Esther. Lauren committed suicide - becoming the Silver Scream - and I don't know how Lily became Madame Macabre. And I think that she might actually be Hellsworn… And a lot of bandwidth's been used on-line, debating about the possibility of B-movie actresses somehow attracting the supernatural in real life."

Cheddar said "Bloody hell… It looks like Randall's planning to summon the Silver Scream. Taking the mick out of her films in public? He's either a complete idiot or someone told him something."

Griffin said "I don't know about Gold, but I have to accept your offer. I'm under standing orders to slay Hellsworn and the undead, wherever and whoever they are."
Goldwing does a DC 13 Pop Culture check and gets 21, confirming what Cheddar said. Griffin does a DC 12 Pop Culture check on the films and gets a Natural 20. Goldwing does a DC 13 Pop Culture check on Randall Fox and gets 17.
Cheddar passed envelopes to Goldwing and Griffin, saying "In that case, this invite will get you past security."

Griffin looked at his invite…
Randall Fox wrote:This Guest of Honour is cordially invited to the "Laugh at the Reaper" festival at the Greenwich Picturehouse at 6 p.m. on the 31st of October. As a courtesy, they are exempted from all security procedures.
Griffin put the invite in the inside pocket of his jacket as he told Goldwing and Cheddar "I know where the Picturehouse is. It's to the north-west of Greenwich Park, downhill from here. I can guide you to the market behind it, an excellent landing area when it's closed. Like it is right now."

Cheddar said "Well, lead the way then, Griffin!" as she mounted her enchanted broomstick.


Greenwich Picturehouse, two minutes later…

Cheddar, Goldwing and Griffin soon arrived at the Picturehouse. Which had a bouncer outside, saying "Invites please?"

"Here you go," chirped Cheddar

Goldwing said "Right here, mate."

Griffin went "Here you are, my good man."

The bouncer checked the invites and said "Okay, you three can walk around the scanner. But don't start anything."

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:04 pm

Monster Mash-Up, Part 2.

Greenwich Picturehouse…

While they took their seats, Griffin said "Have either of you two seen Mystery Science Theatre 3000? This is going to be a bit like that."

Film aficionados considered Blood Like Wine to be Lauren Hammond’s magnum opus, where the late actress portrays a woman with multiple personalities—all of them killers with varying MO's.

45 minutes into the film, a strong wind blew through the cinema, knocking out the power. Cheddar started looking worried.

Goldwing asked "What is it, Cheddar?"

"That wind… Lauren's found us!"

Griffin said "We better get ready. She's got enough of a sense of drama that she'll want to wait until the end of the film before she attacks."

Goldwing nodded.

Griffin opened his bag, ready to draw his sword.
Cheddar does a Expertise: Magic check and gets 27. She knows what the sudden chill meant.
As the film reached its climax, revealing not one schizophrenic killer but murderous septuplets, a cold wind blew through the cinema. The temperature plunged until the breath of the audience was visible. A voice carried through the wind, echoing the film’s opening line: "This. This life. You slither and slink and play-act your superiority over those who would bare their souls. And this is what you call life? So be it. I will pay what it is worth."

The lights and film flicker as they did earlier, and the seven figures on the screen turn from their intended victim and glare out across the audience, then step free of the screen, wielding blades, guns, and a hangman’s noose.

Goldwing was the first to call out "She's here, tool up!" as he took his gloves off, Griffin unsheathed his sword and Cheddar readied her wand.
Roll Initiative!

Dagger Figment: 20
Silver Scream: 19
Candlestick Figment: 15
Strangling Figment: 12
Cheddar: 11
Goldwing: 10
Griffin: 9
Revolver Figment: 9
Noose Figment: 6
Poisonous Figment: 3
Sword Figment: 2

All Figments are Minions. Griffin, Goldwing, Silver Scream and the Figments are all using lethal force, Cheddar isn't. Griffin, Goldwing and Cheddar get a HP for entering combat, Cheddar gets a second HP for reduced force.

Cheddar: 3 HP. Griffin and Goldwing: 2 HP. Due to all the energy directed at her, Silver Scream gets a +2 bonus to ALL Defences. Griffin is not violating Clause Five of his Agreement as the Silver Scream is already dead to start with, and the Figments are using lethal force. Griffin's Instant Up lets him get out of his seat as a free action, while Goldwing and Cheddar use their move actions to do so.

Silver Scream's stats are in Freedom City 3E.
Griffin went "I see her, moving to engage!", as a dagger whizzed past him. Then he heard a SCREAMING in his head, the pain was indescribable! It was all he could do to parry the figure coming at him with a candlestick.

A figment with strong strangling hands leaped at Cheddar and missed. Cheddar said "No messing about!" as she raised her wand. A shockwave went through the club, destroying four Figments!

Goldwing simply blasted the noose-wielding killer to ashes. Griffin just flew straight at the Silver Scream, striking her and making her visible! As he landed the "fatal" blow, a beam of blue light came from the ground, holding the Silver Scream in place.
The Silver Scream is invisible, but Griffin's True Sight allows him to see her. Dagger Figment throws the dagger at Griffin and gets 21. Griffin gets 29 and resists. Silver Scream uses her Psychic Attack on Griffin. The attack takes the form of a scream, so Griffin's Disability complication kicks in. He rolls a 19 and then spends the HP he got to get a Natural 20 to resist!

The Candlestick Figment attacks Griffin, getting 9 and missing. The Strangling Figment attacks Cheddar, getting 5 and missing. Cheddar spends a HP to stunt her Blast into Selective Burst Area Damage 8, ensuring that only the Figments get hurt. All seven Figments are in the blast radius.

Candlestick Figment gets 8 and is banished. Dagger, Noose and Poisonous Figments each get 18 and survive. Revolver and Strangling Figments both get a Natural 1 and are banished. Sword Figment gets 6 and is banished.

Goldwing attacks the Noose Figment with his Magic Blast and gets 26. The Noose Figment gets 17 and is banished.

Griffin Charges at the Silver Scream with the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 25. Silver Scream gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated. This also banishes the Dagger and Poisonous Figments.

Silver Scream hanged helplessly in the air, face frozen in a grimace of pain as her body trembled as if held taut.

Randall Fox walked to centre stage, one hand extended to the crew, the other clutching an aging leather book. "Ladies and gentlemen, how about a round of applause for these amazing examples of London’s selfless hero community!"

During the applause, Griffin took a quick bow as he landed and sheathed his sword.

Randall continued "What would we do without them? I can tell you, we might be better off with regards to spirits like poor Lauren Hammond here—the Silver Scream. Heroes have been trying to solve this problem with punching since the fifties, and she’s still visiting her old… haunts. No, for this, London needs a different sort of hero. A Ghost Chaser."

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:50 pm

Monster Mash-Up, Conclusion.

Greenwich Picturehouse…

As they were shooed backstage by Randall, Goldwing said to Cheddar and Griffin, "We should wait until after Randall fails before we have a go at him."

"Why?" asked Cheddar.

Goldwing continued "If he pulls it off, it's because he got a point. If he messes up, he won't be able to hide his being an idiot and a stupid amateur in front of everyone."

Griffin told him "I like the way you think, Gold."

The audience gasped in shock as all the theatre’s doors burst open with deafening force, and a crack of thunder boomed through the air. A sinister laughter echoed through the hall.

Griffin said "We've taking centre stage. Now."

A woman appeared on centre stage in a puff of smoke, saying "Good evening, boils and ghouls! We’ve interrupted your dead-ularly-scheduled programming to bring you a terror treat. If you scare easily, plug in your fright-light, because— I… wait… What the heck?! Are you… Are you thwarting someone during my big entrance?! This is so typical."

Griffin came out of backstage, went in front of everyone and flared his wings as he went "Damn right, Madame Macabre! I am Griffin of the Host of Heaven! For selling your soul to Hell, you will surely die!"

A sigh echoes through the chamber. "Whatever. I’m still doing it. Get ‘em, Natas!"

That was when a massive looking demon charged out of the door and towards Griffin.

Goldwing blasted and disintegrated the demon!

Griffin went "Let there be light!" as he charged and stabbed Madame Macabre. At the same time, the Silver Scream bursts from her binding! Macabre launched a bolt of hellfire at Griffin, who slashed it to nothing with his sword.
Roll Initiative!

Goldwing: 25
Griffin: 20
Cheddar: 17
Silver Scream: 17
Natas: 14
Madame Macabre: 11

Natas' stats are of the Brute Demon from Gamemaster's Guide. Natas is also a Minion. Madame Macabre's stats are in Secrets of Emerald City.

Cheddar, Goldwing and Griffin get another HP each. Griffin is not violating Clause Five of his Agreement as Madame Macabre is Hellsworn.

Goldwing fires a Blast at Natas, getting 27. Natas got 24 and is banished. Griffin Charged Madame Macabre with the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 22. Madame Macabre gets 14 and is hit and Dazed! Cheddar fires a Blast at Madame Macabre, getting 22. Madame Macabre gets 25 and resists. Silver Scream is under an Affliction 10 effect. She gets 39 on her Will save to break free! Madame Macabre launched a Hellfire Blast at Griffin, getting a natural 1 and missing.

Madame Macabre: 1 Injury, Dazed.
Goldwing went "Cheddar! We've got Hammond! Griffin's got Macabre!" as he fired a brief blast at the Silver Scream. Griffin unleashed an onslaught of steel on Madame Macabre, causing terrible wounds.

Hammond just screamed "YOU WILL DIE FOR THIS INSULT!" into Randall's mind, making him hit the floor.

Macabre told Griffin "Kneel. Before. ME." And it had weight to it.

Before his knees started to buckle, Griffin stood up straight and shouted "I kneel only for Her Majesty and for the Almighty God!"
Goldwing fires a Blast at Silver Scream. He gets 12 and misses. Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel on Madame Macabre, getting 21. Madame Macabre gets 11, and is hit and Staggered! Cheddar fires a Blast at Silver Scream, getting 10 and missing. Silver Scream uses her Psychic Attack on Randall. He gets 8 and is Dying! Macabre aims her Infernal Domination power at Griffin, getting 28. Griffin gets 10, spends a HP and gets 23 to resist.

Madame Macabre: 2 Injuries, Staggered
Randall Fox: 1 Injury, Dying.
Griffin then proceeded to execute Madame Macabre, by stabbing her in the stomach, then the heart and then by taking a gouge out of her throat!

Silver Scream screamed at Cheddar "NO! HE HAS TO DIE!"

Cheddar yelled back "No, he lives so he can ANSWER for all this! Death would be sparing him!"
Goldwing fires a blast at the Silver Scream, getting 12 and missing. Griffin All-Out Attacks Macabre with the Flurry of Steel, getting 24. He spends a HP to get 32. She gets 13 and is dying! She gets 13 and fails her 1st death check. Cheddar uses her Healing power on Randall to stabilise him. Silver Scream uses her Psychic Attack on Cheddar, who gets 28 to resist.

Madame Macabre: 3 Injuries, Dying, 1 degree of failure.

Goldwing blasted the Silver Scream, making her look slightly faint.

As she fell to her knees, Madame Macabre said "Mercy..." to Griffin.

Griffin said "No." He then impaled her in the heart, driving his blade all the way through! Her death rattle filled the cinema while the audience ran out. He then said "Macabre's down! Moving to engage Hammond!"

Silver Scream simply screamed "MURDERER!" at Griffin!
Goldwing fired a Blast at Silver Scream, getting 23. She gets 13, and is hit and Staggered! Griffin does a Finishing Attack on Madame Macabre with the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 17. Madame Macabre gets a Natural 1 and is killed! Cheddar fires a Blast at Silver Scream, getting 23. Silver Scream gets 20 and is hit. Silver Scream used her Psychic Attack on Griffin, who gets 17. He spends a HP, getting 21, and is hit.

Clause Three of Griffin's Agreement clearly states that he is not obliged to accept the surrender of Hellsworn like Macabre.

Griffin: 2 Injuries.
Madame Macabre: DEAD.
Silver Scream: 2 Injuries, Staggered.
Griffin simply charged Silver Scream and cut her down with his bloodstained blade! She screamed as her ghostly form evaporated.
Goldwing fired a Blast at Silver Scream, getting 13 and missing. Griffin Charges at Silver Scream, getting 29, crit scored! He raised the DC by +5. Silver Scream got a 1 and was Incapacitated! Fight's Over!
As Griffin landed, he sheathed his sword and went "Is everyone alright?"

Cheddar said "Randall's a bit shaken, but he should be alright."

Griffin said "Can you hear me, Randall?"

Randall said "Yeah."

Griffin told him, "Let's go to centre stage. There's something I need to say, and I know that the stream's still running."

As they got to the table at centre stage, Griffin asked "You invited two magi and an angel, Randall. Did you really think we wouldn't find out?"

Randall, puzzled, asked "Find what out?"

Griffin completely unfurled his wings and went "We knew from the very start that you planned this event for the specific purpose of reclaiming your false fame by banishing the Silver Scream. You didn't expect Madame Macabre to pay a visit, though, did you? To be fair though, neither did we. You imported a ghost over the ocean and nearly killed everyone here as a direct result, yourself included. What in the name of the Almighty God is wrong with you, Randall? I have only one thing to say about you trying to reclaim your lost fame: Fame. Is. A. TRAP. Never seek fame, for you can never choose what you become famous for. Let Cheddar take that book. You've proven too weak in the head to use it."

Randall went "Fine, take it."

Goldwing asked "Why is he calling Randall out in public?"

As Cheddar took the book, she said "He's an angel, remember. Griffin has a very strong sense of right and wrong, and Randall messed up badly enough that Griffin has to make an example out of him! And Randall's lucky that Griffin only needed words this time. Look at what he did to Macabre!"

Griffin told them "Goldwing. Cheddar. You remember where we were a couple of hours ago. Meet me there in five minutes. Don't say where out loud, the stream's still live."


Blackheath Tea Hut, five minutes later…

As Griffin was having a coke at the Hut, Cheddar landed and demanded "Why the f**k did you kill Madame Macabre, Griffin?!"

Griffin told her "Did you really think I was joking when I said that I was under standing orders to execute Hellsworn and undead? I can't joke about my duties, and it's not my fault you didn't understand until you saw me do it."

Goldwing went "Yeah, I did hear him say that earlier."

Griffin said "I owe you one for dropping Natas, Gold."

Cheddar asked "Was he that demon who tried to charge you?"

Griffin told her "Yeah, he was from Pain Portal, one of Macabre's old films." He sighed and said "For what little it's worth, Cheddar, I didn't enjoy killing Macabre. To enjoy killing someone is something even I know way better than to even try to enjoy. Why do you think I made it as quick as I could?"

Goldwing said "Cheddar, I think he might be telling the truth. Did you see that video of him killing Hexenhammer?"

Cheddar nodded.

Goldwing continued "Griffin was the same back then. He didn't enjoy it either."

"Makes sense," Cheddar replied. "I saw him cleave through five SHADOW soldiers last month, I don't think he enjoyed that either."
Cheddar and Goldwing both make an Insight roll. Cheddar gets 24 and Goldwing gets a Natural 20. Since Griffin isn't doing a skill check, they both realise that Griffin is actually telling the truth.
Griffin told them "The agreement I made to get my powers. There are eight clauses. Clause Three normally requires me to accept my opponent's surrender."

Cheddar asked "Normally?"

Griffin continued "The three notable exceptions are if my opponent is Hellsworn like Madame Macabre, undead like Silver Scream... or if I get a direct order from my Liege to kill them. And the Agreement requires them to explicitly say out loud if the main objective of an assignment is to kill someone. Those orders tend to be very high-stakes, I'm talking about the legitimate risk of a World War, Great Depression or Great Plague repeating itself if I don't do it. I don't enjoy killing, Cheddar… But when I have to do it, I can't hesitate. Well, I'm heading back home. I'll see you both later."

Griffin then took off for home.
Cheddar, Griffin and Goldwing gain 2 PP each. Griffin banks his. Cheddar spends hers on four ranks of Expertise(PRE): Teaching. Goldwing spends his on Specialisation 2 (Perception, visual) from Better Mousetrap 3E.

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:16 pm

No Man's Land, Part 1

Imperial War Museum, Southwark, London, Friday 11th November 2016...
Author's Note: While the Imperial War Museum is real, the specific exhibit as detailed in this story is fictional. No disrespect, insult, offence or slight is intended towards anyone who fought in World War I, one of Europe's bloodiest conflicts, or towards the Imperial War Museum.
Griffin decided to attend the IWM's controversial new World War I exhibit. They had somehow managed to dig up an actual trench from the Somme itself and carry it all the way over to Britain!

The soil that Griffin was about to step on was the very earth upon which thousands of soldiers died in 1916. Griffin, no longer a stranger to bloodshed and death, could feel the horror that occurred on this very soil a century ago. And since he was likely the only one in the Museum who had actually killed someone, he could very well be the only one there at the moment who could really understand the horror at all! The Battle of the Somme was so bloody, they're STILL finding bombs and bodies there, even TODAY!

As he descended down the ramp into the trench itself, Griffin noted that the soil had been coated with something to keep people from taking bits of the trench away with them. He could see stepladders to peer over the top with. The sounds of machinegun fire and biplane engines being played also increased the feeling of being there and he could imagine the screams. He noted the tank which was used as a defensive position when its tracks broke down and the Maxim gun, which was the first machinegun that people from the modern era would recognise as being fully automatic.

It was now 11 AM. Like most Britons, Griffin honoured the national two-minute silence to commemorate those who gave their lives in Britain's defence. And all the death he could feel around him was making him extra quiet today.

When the two minutes finished, skeletons started to crawl out of the earth! And the screams Griffin was hearing now were real!

Griffin went "By the Lady's Heart!" as he reached into his messenger bag and unsheathed his sword! He's fought in close quarters before, but nothing this tight!

That was when he saw the skeletons' rifles briefly gleam. Griffin knew from his experience with the Golders Green Guardians that the gleam was evidence of a repair spell being used! It meant that even though those guns had been rusting away for over a century, they were now fully repaired, oiled, loaded and ready to fire, with a residual enchantment allowing the weapons to wound him where they couldn't before! Whoever's doing this is well and truly out for blood and they know exactly how they're going to spill it!

And that's when a pair of skeletons charged Griffin from both directions...

Griffin gets a HP because of his Motivation (The war's over, damn it!). Due to the narrowness of the Trench, Griffin can't do the Flurry of Steel or use his wings until he gets back out again.

The Skeletal Soldier minion stats are those of Skeletons from the Gamemaster's Guide with Light Service Rifles with bayonets that allow them to be used like Spears (both from Gamemaster's Guide). They have 5 ranks each of Close Attack and Ranged Attack.

Roll Initiative! One Skeleton got 18, Griffin got 10 and another Skeleton got 1.

Everyone's using lethal force.
...and he managed to smash the skeleton in front of him, noticing the resistance he felt on contact with its bones.
The first Skeleton Charged at Griffin with his Bayonet Spear, getting 15 and missing. Griffin performed the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 16. The Skeleton he struck got 4 and was killed. The other skeleton Charged at Griffin, getting 14 and missing.
He turned around and struggled with the skeleton behind him...

Griffin performed the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 16. The Skeleton got a Natural 20 and resisted. The Skeleton attacked with the Bayonet Spear, getting 19. Griffin got 26 and resisted.
...then Griffin took that skeleton down.
Griffin does the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 28. The Skeleton gets 14 and is killed.
As he took a breath, he knew what his objectives were now...

Objective One: Get all civilians out of the exhibit!
Objective Two: Kill the skeletons all over again!
Objective Three: TAKE DOWN THE DAMNED WARLOCK WHO BROUGHT THEM HERE!

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:28 pm

No Man's Land, Part 2

Right now, Griffin's thinking that he needs to extract any civilians still in the exhibit and FAST! He decides to make his way back to the entrance.

He sees two skeletons on the ramp to the exhibit above to shoot some tourists, so he cut them down from behind. After all, they'd do the exact same thing to him!
In the surprise round, Griffin does the Flurry of Steel on two Skeleton Soldier Minions, getting 17 and 23. They get 10 and 9, and are killed again.
When the skeletons fell, Griffin sheathed his sword. He didn't want any civilians who see him to think he was hostile.

He saw an elderly couple banging on the entrance door. The smashed emergency exit button means that the doors must have been sabotaged or they would've gotten out by now! He said to them "You're stuck as well?"

The old man said in an American accent "Who are you?"

"The name's Griffin, I'm getting you both out of here! Stand back, both of you! That corner ought to do it, they can't see you from there! Move it! And take your glasses off, this is about to get messy!"

Griffin then drew his sword and shattered the glass out of the door!
Griffin's going to smash the glass door. He attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 20. The glass - with a Toughness of 1 - gets 17 and is smashed apart.
When the glass completely shattered, Griffin went "The door's open now, GO!"

The old man asked "What about you?!"

"I have to take down whoever started this! GO, before I push you out!"

The old man and his wife soon ran out of the door.

As Griffin was about to smash the door to the Gift Shop, he was knocked flat by an explosion! As he got up, Griffin went "The tank! They got the tank to work! How in God's name did they get that damned tank to work?!" The blast shattered the Gift Shop exit door though, saving Griffin some time and effort!
Griffin wasn't hit by the tank's shell but he was caught in the blast and knocked Prone. The Tank's main cannon was Ranged Burst Damage 6 (World War 1 tank guns weren't as powerful as modern main guns) and enchanted the same way as the skeleton's rifles, so it could affect him. He gets 26 on his Dodge check and 22 on his Toughness, meaning that he's unharmed for now.
As Griffin entered the Gift Shop, he called out "The name's Griffin! If anyone's still alive, I'm getting you out of here!"

A woman asked Griffin "What about you?"

That was when four skeletons marched into the room, ready to fire.

Griffin roared "GET DOWN OR DIE!" as he put three skeletons down at once!
Roll Initiative! The four Skeleton minions get 19, 13, 9 and 7. Griffin gets 3. The four Skeletons open fire on Griffin, getting 13, 10, 23 and 20. Griffin gets 24 on both Toughness saves and resists. He Charges at them and uses the Flurry of Steel, getting 23, 13, 13 and 8. The three he hits get 15, 12 and 6 on their saves and are killed.
Griffin barely managed to dodge a bayonet before leaving the last skeleton in pieces!
The Skeleton attacked with his Bayonet Spear, getting 21. Griffin gets a Natural 1, spending a HP to reroll, getting 31 and resisting. Griffin responds with the Flurry of Steel, getting 26. The Skeleton gets 15 and is killed.

Griffin: 1 HP.
Griffin sheathed his sword and got his wings completely out, saying "Do not be afraid! I am the Griffin of London, angel of the Host of Heaven! Listen to me and you'll get out of this alive! Anyone who's not hurt, help anyone who can't move! The nearest exit's that way!"

A Frenchwoman asked "Are you going to help?"

"Of course!"

As he helped the wounded out of the Museum, one of their staff came up to Griffin, going "Griffin! What in God's name is going on in there!?"

Griffin told him "Some damned warlock summoned a bunch of skeletons out of the No Man's Land exhibit! They somehow got the tank and multiple firearms back in working order and they're killing everyone they see!"

The staff member went "And you're going back in there?!"

"Of course I am! That bloody warlock is still in there, I know it! I can't leave before they've been dealt with! I'm heading back in, I may be some time!"

As Griffin headed back to the exhibit, he saw some skeletal riflemen make their way out of there. They aimed and fired at Griffin, who ran into the rain of lead and took down three of them in one draw.
Roll Initiative! Four skeletons get 23, 16, 12 and 11. Griffin gets 10.

The skeletons open fire on Griffin, getting 7, 14, 11 and 13, all missing him. Griffin Charges at the skeletons and performs the Flurry of Steel getting 8, 20, 22 and 16. The three skeletons who were hit get 10, 15 and 20 and were all taken down.
The remaining skeleton tried to impale Griffin, who deflected the rifle with his forearm while using his sword to shatter the skeleton's neck.
The Skeleton tried to stab Griffin with his Bayonet Spear, getting 10 and missing. Griffin performed the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 29. The Skeleton got 9 and was killed again.
As Griffin re-entered the exhibit and hid his wings, he saw that the tank's blast had wrecked everything made of glass, meaning that he was now able to reach it.

He started to take fire from the Maxim gun on the other side of the trench. While he cut the tank's side hatch open, Griffin got a bullet in the arm, roaring in pain.
Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 19, Skeleton Machinegunner 2 gets 19, Skeleton Machinegunner 1 gets 16.

Griffin gets a HP. Since he was busy rescuing civilians, these skeletons had time to prepare!

Griffin attacks the tank hatch with the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 14. The hatch gets a Natural 1 and is cut wide open! The second Machinegunner fires with the Maxim (treated here as a Light Machine Gun from Gamemaster's Guide), getting 11 and missing. The first Machinegunner gets 23 with his Light Service Rifle. Both Machinegunners are Prone. Griffin gets 21 and is hit.

Griffin: 1 Injury, 1 HP.
As he jumped into the tank, the two skeletons crewing the tank each pulled a knife on him! And he could see the gleam of the repair spell on them, showing that they could indeed cut him.

Griffin manages to take a skeleton down while avoiding a backstab tactic.
Roll Initiative! Skeleton Tank Driver gets 17, Griffin gets 15, Skeleton Tank Gunner gets 13. The Tank Driver tried to stab Griffin with his Knife, getting 16. Griffin gets 30 and resists. Griffin attacks the Driver with the Armour-Piercing Strike and gets 16. The Driver gets a Natural 1 and is killed again. The Gunner also stabs at Griffin, getting 10 and missing.
He then turned and cut the other skeleton down.
Griffin uses another Armour-Piercing Strike on the Gunner, getting 28. The Gunner gets a Natural 1 and is destroyed.
As Griffin got out of the tank, he used his wings to get across the trench, deftly avoiding the enemy fire. He then landed on the skeleton with the Maxim gun as hard as he could.
Roll Initiative! The two skeletons both get 24, Griffin gets 19.

The two skeletons fire at Griffin, getting 17 and 15, both missing. Griffin Charges with an Unarmed attack, getting 26. The Machinegunner gets 15 and is killed. The rifleman gets 24. Griffin gets a Natural 20 and resists.
Griffin then finished off the second skeleton with a hard stomp to the neck. Given that he got a broken neck when he got hit by a bus just before he had his NDE, he knew exactly how the skeleton would have felt. Good thing his neck was fixed when he sparked up!
The Prone skeleton fires at Griffin, getting a Natural 1 and missing. Griffin does another Unarmed attack, getting a Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. the skeleton gets 15 and is killed.
As Griffin leapt down into the trench, he mutters "Now where's that bloody warlock..."
Last edited by betterwatchit on Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:57 pm

No Man's Land, Part 3

As Griffin headed to the bunker, he saw the door to the bunk room move very slightly, like it was only slightly locked. He thought 'That door... The idiot just gave away his position!'

Griffin had an idea. He knew that it was just a latch-hook being used to lock it, so he positioned himself so he was against the wall and not against the door. He slid his sword down the gap he saw. As he cut downwards, he heard someone shout "<FIRE AT THE DOOR!>" in what sounded like German. The gunfire coming out of the door showed that yeah, the warlock's definitely in there! After letting the hail of bullets whizz by him, Griffin entered the room.

There was a man wearing a cheap linen suit, flanked by two skeletons with rifles aimed at Griffin. That had to be the bloody warlock!

The man simply went "<KILL HIM!>"

Griffin just cut the skeletons down, going "YOU! F**KING! WARLOCK!"

The warlock fired a bolt of magic at Griffin, going "Dummkopf!" Griffin deflected the bolt with his sword.
Griffin and the Warlock each get a HP for entering combat. Griffin gets a HP for his Temper (He was face to face with a warlock, someone who abuses magic for personal gain! He can't leave until the warlock's gotten the beating he deserves!)

Roll Initiative! One skeleton got 13, Griffin got 11, the Warlock got 10 and the other skeleton got 6.

Everyone's using lethal force.

Skeleton #1 fires at Griffin, getting 23. Griffin gets 20 and resists.

Griffin does the Flurry of Steel. In order, he gets a Natural 1 on Skeleton 1, 19 on the Warlock, and 17 on Skeleton 2. Skeleton 1 gets 7 and dies. The Warlock gets 20, spends a HP to get 26 and resists. Skeleton 2 gets 16 and is killed.

The Warlock fires a Mystic Blast (Ranged Damage 12, Magic Descriptor) at Griffin, getting 27. Griffin gets 27 and resists.

2 Skeleton Minions: DEAD.

Warlock: 1 HP.
Griffin manages to land a pommel blow on the warlock, who blasted him in the face.
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel and gets 27. He gets a +2 DC increase from Multiattack. The Warlock gets 17 and is hit and Dazed.

The Warlock fires another Mystic Blast and gets 25. Griffin gets 15, spends a HP, gets 25 and is hit.

Griffin: 2 Injuries, 2 HP.

Warlock: 1 Injury, Dazed.
There was a struggle...
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel and gets 24. The Warlock gets 16 and spends his last HP to reroll, getting 27 and resisting. The Warlock fires another Blast and misses with a Natural 1!

Warlock: 0 HP.
...Which ended with the both of them pushing each other back as hard as they could.
Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 27. The Warlock gets 17 and is hit and Dazed. The Warlock fires a Blast and gets 23. Griffin gets 20 and is also hit and Dazed.

Griffin: 3 Injuries, Dazed.
Warlock: 2 Injuries, Dazed.
Both fighters stumbled to their feet. The warlock was thinking 'Gott in Himmel! He wants my death!' The look on Griffin's face was that of a man incensed!
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting a Natural 1 and missing. The Warlock fires off a Blast and misses with 16. Griffin is struck!

Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 20. The Warlock gets 15 and is hit and Dazed. The Warlock fires a Blast and gets 28. Griffin gets 12, spends a HP and gets 23, and is hit.

Griffin: 4 Injuries, 1 HP.
Warlock: 3 Injuries, Dazed.
A deadlock...
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 26. The Warlock gets 29 and resists. He fires a Blast at Griffin, getting 16 and missing.
And again, they wound each other!
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 21. The Warlock gets 18 and is hit. The Warlock fires a Blast at Griffin, getting 19. Griffin gets 24 and is hit.

Griffin: 5 Injuries.
Warlock: 4 Injuries.
That was when Griffin had enough. He said in German "<You wouldn't let these soldiers have their REST, damn you! Now BE JUDGED BY GOD!>" He rushed and struck the warlock down!
Griffin Charges at the Warlock with the Armour-Piercing Strike and gets a Natural 20, crit scored! He stunts the critical into Judgement Day!: Affliction 8; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated; Resisted by Will, Quirk 1: Non-Lethal Only. The Warlock gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated! Fight's Over!
Griffin noticed a small book on the floor next to the temporarily dead warlock. A quick browse and he realised that he just hit the jackpot! He pocketed the book and made his way out, but not through the front entrance.

Griffin had been to the Imperial War Museum on multiple occasions before and after he sparked up. He knew the public layout inside out as well as the fact that there was a terrace at the Museum's roof on the fourth floor... Complete with an emergency exit to the outside! For fliers like Griffin, it was the perfect escape route, giving him quite the head start! When he made it to the fourth floor, that's when he heard one of the few things that's really bad news, even for him...

A full team of Ministry Firearm Officers, all wielding Merlin Laser Rifles, had just entered the Museum from the front entrance, yelling "FREEZE, ARMED POLICE!" It didn't look like they clocked him, so Griffin ran into the roof terrace, got his wings out, opened the emergency exit and took to the air! No way were they going to catch him now!
Last edited by betterwatchit on Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:06 pm

No Man's Land, Part 4

Vanburgh Park, Blackheath, two minutes later...

Griffin landed at Vanburgh Park, using the bushes and the slight dips in the ground there to conceal himself from any vehicles while he hid his wings. He knew that even though he needed help with his bullet wound, he couldn't go to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Given that he was the only deceased in their mortuary who had actually returned to life, the staff would instantly recognise him. And since they have to tell the police when they treat gunshot wounds, it was ironically the one place Griffin can't go for help.

He also couldn't call the Bottle or the Guardians this soon after an incident without effectively telling every policeman in London - and Officer Benbow - where to look for him. So Griffin had to call someone else. He headed over to Blackheath Library, where he found a phonebox and dialled a number he was saving for emergencies...

"Goldwing? It's Griffin, I need your help."

"What sort of help?"

"I got in a big fight and I need a small foreign object removed. I can't exactly go to the hospital if you know what I mean."

"Yeah, I do, and I can help. Listen, are you anywhere near Charlton?"

"I'm near the Blackheath Standard if you know where that is."

"I know it. Meet me at the old war memorial outside Greenwich Park in ten minutes."

"Understood."


Blackheath War Memorial, ten minutes later...

As Griffin arrived, he heard someone shout "Look out below!" As he landed, Goldwing carried a noble yet predatory air to him. Then again, a hybrid of two apex predators probably couldn't help it.

"Hey, Goldwing."

"Hey, Griffin. You said you needed help?"

"Yeah, I got a bullet in the right arm, and I took a few magical blasts all over."

"You actually got yourself shot?! I thought you were bulletproof!"

"I am against mundane ammo! I just took down a warlock who hit the new No Man's Land exhibit at the Imperial War Museum. He summoned a load of skeletal soldiers and let off a spell that fully repaired and reloaded their guns! It was that magic that allowed their rifles and bayonets to affect me when they normally couldn't, hence how I got shot."

"I can help get it out. Can you still fly by yourself?"

"Yeah. Like you, I have separate arms and wings. Which way are we heading? Because every copper in the Met is likely to turn Greater London upside-down looking for me!"

"We're heading to my place in Kent."

"I've flown into Kent on occasion. Lead the way."

So they both took off.


Six minutes later...

As Goldwing led Griffin to a balcony at a block of flats, Griffin asked "Where are we now? It looks like we're in Kent for certain."

"You're right there. We're in Ingress Park over in Greenhithe. I got lucky, getting a flat with a balcony."

"I've got to ask, are you the tenant of record or do you at least have their permission to enter from the balcony?"

"I'm the tenant of record, why'd you ask?"

"Because we've got a law around here that makes landing on someone else's balcony a trespass if you don't have the permission of the building's owner. And the tenant of record is treated as having sufficient permission."

"I've got a certificate proving I've got permission. And since you're with me, it's not a trespass for you to do it either."

"Fair enough."

"Follow me to the bathroom, this isn't the first time I've taken a bullet out."

"It's not the first time I've had bullets teleported out of me, Goldwing."

"Teleported, you say?"

"Yeah. That's how Cheddar and Ms. Magus did it when I got shot during Operation Inundation. Then again, two magicians working together can create some amazing things when you get them to agree."

"True. Listen, this'll require you to strip to your chest. Just put your hoodie on the chair there." Goldwing removed his gloves, exposing his bare talons. "Stay still, this is going to need all my concentration... There! The bullet's out and it's all closed up!" Goldwing had the bullet in his talons.
Goldwing spends his HP to stunt his Magic into Battlefield Surgeon: Regeneration 10, Affects Others Only, Feature: Removes Foreign Objects, Persistent. This is more than enough to remove the bullet and heal the gunshot wound.
"Thanks, Gold! It didn't even hurt!"

"Don't mention it."

"Is it alright if I have a nap here?"

"Yeah, use the guest room. And make sure you use the toilet before you do!"

"This isn't the first time I've had a rush, Gold."


A few hours later, Griffin woke up and had a glass of water. When he went into the front room, Goldwing turned from his laptop to face him and said "Hey, Griffin."

"Hey, Gold. How long was I asleep for?"

"Four hours. I kept an eye on the news and on the Bottle in the meantime to see if anyone wanted a word with you."

"Did anyone?"

"Yeah, actually! The Ministry wanted to bring you in for MURDER! It's only because the bloke they thought you killed actually came back to life and confessed to everything that convinced them to drop the warrant!"

"I'm not surprised they had a warrant out on me. The specific blow I gave that warlock would've killed him, if only temporarily."

"How do you temporarily kill someone?"

"You know I'm an angel, right?"

"Yeah. So?"

"So I know a few things about life and death that most living people simply don't. Such as how to deliberately induce a near-death experience and be sure that they actually come back afterwards. That blow I dealt only killed him temporarily, but it was hard enough to trigger the judgment that all men must face in time. One that even I have faced. You know what the worst part is?"

"No?"

"You're completely incapable of forgetting what you saw and heard during the judgment. I've had it happen to me, so I know what happened to that Warlock! I do not deal that specific blow lightly, Goldwing. And I think I've found a way to repay you for hosting and healing me."

"What would that be?"

"I found a diary belonging to the warlock and I got it out of the Museum, just ahead of a Ministry fireteam. It contains a spellbook and I know neither of us can translate it alone."

"Is there a specific reason?"

"The whole thing's in German. I can read it, but I don't know much about magic. You know about magic but I don't know if you can read German."

"I can speak and read Japanese fluently, but not German."

"Good to know. I've found spells for a magical blast-"

"Easy to find those."

"I've got a repair spell here, and I know for a fact that this one actually works! At the Museum, I was shot at with World War I-era rifles, a Maxim gun and even a TANK that were repaired with this! And it reloads any firearms affected by it! It even leaves a residual aura of magic on them so they no longer count as normal weapons. That bullet you took out of me was fired from a magically repaired Gewehr, so you have proof it really works."

"I don't think anyone in Britain has that one! Help me translate that spell and I'll consider the debt to be paid in full."

"You're on."


Two hours later...

Goldwing said "I think we've got it!"

Griffin said "It sounds about right to me as well. You know, your laptop looks like it's really high-performance, Gold. Did you enchant it?"

"Oh yeah! It's my pride and joy! Moisture-free cooling enchantments, enhanced battery life and my favourite, the boosted wi-fi! This can connect to a hotspot up to ten miles away on a good day!"

"Ten miles?! The only mundane wi-fi routers I know that can cover that distance unaided are designed to be mounted on a boat or to a motorhome! And you've got it in a laptop! I think you're the only mage I know of who does technomancy. I mean, I've heard of grimoires being made in PDF format and I'm aware of MagicNet. But mixing modern technology and magic? You're the only one I know of who does that in Britain!"

"Mate, I will enchant anything, given a good reason to! Also, on the Bottle's website, it said that a Mr. John Bull wants a word with you at seven?"

"I've heard of John Bull. He's one of Britain's many national spirits. If you told me that he actually served during the Great War, I wouldn't argue with you."

"Is he actually a bull?"

"No, he isn't. And if anyone else asked that question, I would've thought they were being an idiot."

"How's that?"

"At least you're from a world where it's possible for him to be a bull."

"True. It's half past six. If we both take off now, we can be at the Bottle before seven."

"I can get there by then, no problem. And I can make it in minutes if there's no warrant on me!"

"How fast can you really fly, then? It looked like you were holding back on the way here."

"That was because I don't know your cruising speed, Gold. My maximum cruising speed's about 120 MPH now. The only living thing on Earth I know of that can go faster without using powers is a peregrine falcon going into its famous high-speed dive! See you at the Bottle!"

"I'll be with you shortly, just need to lock up!"

That's when Griffin and Goldwing took off for the Bottle...

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:01 pm

No Man's Land, Conclusion

The Time in a Bottle, London

The Bottle. Sooner or later, every power in Britain comes to this pub, whether to drink, socialise or to conduct business. As Griffin arrived, he landed in the beer garden, in a cordoned-off section meant to give fliers like himself a place to land safely without having to distract anyone out on the street... Especially anyone who's driving or riding a bike.

As he opened the door into the Bottle, the place went quiet. Even Griffin could tell that everyone must have heard about the Museum fight. Jane the barmaid went "Griffin! John Bull wants to see you upstairs, room two, right now!"

"I'm heading there now, Jane." The upstairs rooms were used by those who needed a little privacy while benefiting from the building's truce enchantment. The one that prevents anyone inside from harming anyone else. If Griffin tried to stab someone, he'd likely miss... and maybe look like an idiot as well.

As he opened the door to the upstairs room, Griffin saw a stout middle-aged man wearing a Union Jack waistcoat, sitting at a table. There was only one person who Griffin knew of who visibly wore a Union Jack waistcoat in public. John Bull himself, a national spirit of Britain, was right there in front of him! And there was no doubt at all in Griffin's mind that Mr. Bull had actually served in World War I.

Griffin said "Mr. Bull! I'm surprised to see you here!"

"Please, call me John. I heard about what you did at the Imperial War Museum earlier today, Griffin. Take a seat."

As Griffin sat down, he said "Don't look at me John, I didn't start it!"

"I know you didn't. And I know that you got as many people out as you could before you started taking those skeletons down."

"I was just doing my duty, John." Griffin put the diary down on the table, saying "And I managed to make off with this book just before a Ministry fireteam turned up. It's a diary and spellbook written in German. It's what that damned warlock used to raise the skeletons! I've been reading it and I could see why the warlock thought that raising them was a good idea."

"Why's that?"

"According to this diary, Elmar Ganz's great-grandfather was hanged for using mustard gas on civilians during the Great War, his grandfather was caught doing 'experiments' for the Nazis, his father was shot by the Soviets when he crossed the Berlin Wall after he was caught dealing heroin and his uncle was part of a socialist terror cell who were all killed by GSG 9. This was someone who had a serious grudge with authority and a persecution complex extending back for generations. And he had finally obtained the means to actually do something about it! Too bad it was all in vain! And it mentions something about the exhibit that you should know."

"What would that be, Griffin?"

"I know how Elmar got the skeletons inside the Imperial War Museum."

"How did he do that? That's the one thing I haven't been able to work out."

"Elmar's diary mentions the section that the Museum removed from the Somme and carried to London. What Elmar knew about it that they didn't was the fact that it contains a German mass grave! That's how Elmar got the skeletons inside, he just let the Museum do the hard bit! The trench was effectively being moved on government business, who in their right mind was going to check it out? And if Elmar was searched, who cares about a diary? The Museum's security team would've had a more valid reason to stop and search me than they did him!"

"I did wonder how on Earth he got that many skeletons in the Museum."

"You know something, John?"

"Yeah, Griffin?"

"I definitely learned how hard and brutal it was, fighting in World War I. Not in a way the Imperial War Museum expected me to learn it, but I learned it. As well as a very healthy respect for our Armed Forces."

"It's good to know that someone actually learned something there. I saw a lot of good men die in those trenches, Griffin. During the Napoleonic Wars, I swore an oath to never let the struggle or death of British soldiers be in vain ever again."

"You know, I'm not really surprised that you actually served in the Great War, John. It's the reason I was worried when I found out that you knew I was involved in that fight."

"And I can see why you were worried. How did Elmar come back from that blow, anyway? It looked like a bloody miracle to me! Was it?"

"His survival was intentional, John. The blow I dealt was designed to cause a near-death experience. If he woke up screaming and looking like Judgment Day had happened to him, that's because it did!"

"Did Michael teach you how to do that?"

"Yeah, he did. And he also taught me not to do it unless it was absolutely necessary. I reckoned that fighting a warlock who was a necromancer would make doing it VERY necessary. And I was right. If I wasn't, there's no way I would've been able to fly my way out of the Museum like I did. Don't know about you, but I'm not spending the night in a cell!"

"I know what you mean. After all, Elmar was the only one I saw who actually did anything wrong."

"So I'm not in trouble?"

"Not at all. In fact, I came here to give you this." John then put a briefcase on the table.

"Can I have a look inside?"

"Of course, it's all yours!"

Griffin opened the briefcase... and found £15,000 inside! He closed it and asked "Are you absolutely sure about this, John?"

John replied "Oh yes! I believe that good deeds shouldn't go unrewarded. And you did a very good deed by stopping that warlock."

"Well, I know I'm donating some of this back to the Museum."

"Why are you donating some?"

"It's part of the deal I made with my Lady in order to become her Chosen. The terms of my service require that if I make or otherwise 'acquire' any money from the use of my supernatural abilities or as a result of performing my duties to her, I must donate at least ten percent to charity in the next seven days after I receive it."

"And if you don't?"

"I don't want to find out. One thing I know about my Lady is that she never says anything without being able to instantly back it up. And it sounds like someone I owe is downstairs."

John asked "Before you go, what's this I hear about you making a round-the-world trip next year, Griffin?"

Griffin replied "I'm still a relative noob at the whole power thing and I feel like the trip would do me a lot of good, John."

"I have to say that from what I've seen of you in action, you've been getting more and more experienced."

"That's good of you to say, John."

"I do have to ask, how in your Lady's name are you getting your sword past customs?"

"I've got an idea about that, but I can't safely discuss it with anyone other than the one person I need to make it work. After all, what you don't know, you can't tell the Ministry."

"I know what you mean. Mum's the word!"

"See ya, John."

"Cheerio!"


As Griffin heads downstairs, he sees Goldwing and calls out "Hey, Gold!"

"Griffin! How was it with John?"

"We're cool."

"Glad to hear it!"

"Fancy something to eat? It's on me!"

"Yeah, I'll have the large mixed grill!"


A few minutes later, as they were both eating a mixed grill, Griffin said "You know, Gold. I've noticed that you really enjoy your meat. I even saw that Bovril in your kitchen next to the kettle where everyone else I know has their teabags."

Goldwing replied "I'm surprised you even had it here! And I actually have a good reason for a meat-only diet."

"Really?"

"I've got quite the metabolism, you see. I need plenty of meat to sustain myself. I can eat vegetables without falling ill, but I need meat to gain enough energy to fly."

"I can see why that's important to you."

"You are aware that I have an anatomy that's designed for tearing through meat, aren't you?"

"I know. I saw those talons of yours when you got that bullet out of me. And it's a good thing that it wasn't a hollow-point round they used!"

"How's that?"

"Those are made so they expand upon impact! They're banned around here under the Hague Convention of 1899 from being used in international warfare. But it's a popular bullet type for the police since it's less likely to go through someone and hit an innocent by accident."

Goldwing looked slightly perturbed, asking "How do you, an angel, know this stuff?!"

"I may be an angel, but that doesn't make me a saint. And to quote Dan Bull: Ignorance induces incapacitation."

"I've never heard anyone put it like that before."

"You have now. And I think I know why you wear those gloves."

"Oh?"

"I think it's so you don't hurt people with those talons of yours."

"You're right. They're also made with conductive material so I can use touchscreens."

"I can see why that would be an issue for you."

"Why did you pick 'Griffin' as your alias, anyway?"

"Because around here, griffins are associated with guardianship and nobility of spirit. And it also means that I don't care if it flies or walks, I'll fight it if I must."

"Sounds about right, given what I've seen of you in action."

"Well, I have to go. See you later, Gold!"

"See you later, Griffin! May the wind always be at your back!"

Griffin went outside to the beer garden and took off for home, briefcase in tow! It looked like he was going to have a very good round-the-world trip...
Griffin gets 2 PP, which he saves for a total of 11 PP

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:24 pm

One Year On

21st March 2017, Griffin's house…

After Griffin had dinner, he said to his father, "You know what today is, Dad?"

"No?"

"Today is exactly one year to the day when I died, came back and actually sparked up!"

"I remember now! And you've had quite a time since then, Simon! You've come out of your shell!"

"And I'm glad you've been supportive of me. These past twelve months, I've successfully aided a First Contact, slew a dragon, stopped World War Three before it started, faced SHADOW and stopped a warlock from wrecking the Imperial War Museum."

"When did you stop World War Three?!"

"You remember when I made the news, fighting that dragon in Rochester? That was when I stopped it. That dragon made for a serious distraction, I'm telling you! But it wasn't enough of one as you can see!"

"I'm still surprised you killed it, Si!"

"I was surprised I could actually take it down without getting burnt!"

"We need to talk about the trip you're starting at the end of the month. The round-the-world trip. If only for my peace of mind."

"Yeah, Dad?"

"Let's start with the basic stuff. Why are you doing this in the first place? You've been to Paris and Berlin before, but a round-the-world trip can't be on a whim!"

"It's not. How can I perform my angelic duties if I do not see and understand what it is I am supposed to defend in the first place?"

"That makes sense. Have you got the paperwork sorted out?"

"Way ahead of you there. That blue folder there has my tickets, receipts and proof that I'm insured. Backpacker's insurance, category 4. You want proof it's legally sorted out, it's all there."

Simon's dad examined the paperwork... "It all looks in order, but there's a problem. Your saving up doesn't really explain how you paid for all this."

"Both the reward for stopping that bank robbery and what John Bull gave me for saving the Imperial War Museum - some £40,000 in total - means that I can afford this, dad."

"John Bull isn't real."

Griffin sighed "Your son was turned into an angel as the result of a near-death experience for reasons he's still trying to understand. Are you honestly telling me to my face that you never even once considered the possibility about what else is actually real now? I might have said some weird stuff, but have I ever done so without showing some basis in hard fact?"

"No… no, you haven't. Does Annabelle even know you're doing this?"

"Of course I told her, she's my commanding officer! I explained that it would be a good idea in order to truly understand my duties."

"Does Annabelle even have that sort of authority over you?"

"Yes, Dad. She does. The Almighty herself appointed Archangel Annabelle to be my commanding officer in front of me. Annabelle's authority over me is legitimate and the source of said authority over me is indisputable. I discussed the tour with her and why I was doing it in the first place. She agreed to me doing it on one condition."

"And what's that, may I ask?"

"She had me swear an oath that I will not knowingly or willingly take any domestic commercial flights during the journey. And she made it clear that any flight within the same country counts as domestic."

"…Does Annabelle even know just how big the world is?"

"I asked her that same question, she said she knew. She made it clear that international flights are allowed, as is the use of my own wings. You've flown from London to LA, Dad. You know better than I do just how big the world is. Very soon, I'm going to know it better than you! And I get the feeling that the oath she had me swear is so I can actually understand it better."

"That makes sense. I have to ask… What's your itinerary?"

"31st of March, I'll take the Caledonian Sleeper to Glasgow, stay there for a few days, then I'll take the ferry to Belfast. I'll take the train there to Dublin and fly from Dublin to NYC."

"Which trains go from Belfast to Dublin?"

"The Enterprise, run by both Northern Ireland Railways and Irish Rail. It terminates at Belfast Central and Dublin Connolly."

"Why are you flying out from Dublin instead of Heathrow or Gatwick?"

"They've installed a US Customs and Border Patrol preclearance post there, all US-bound flights from Dublin require passengers to use it. It'll reduce delays when the plane lands."

"Have you got an ESTA?"

"Yeah, it was approved a while ago, it's in the folder. I know that as of September 2016, AEGIS haven't linked my real name to my work. And I had a theory about that, which was confirmed by Annabelle after what I got up to at Halloween."

"What was your theory?"

"As long as I remain a good and faithful servant, no one on Earth can link my identities together unless I say so. To date, you're the only one on Earth who can, because I actually told you both my names to your face with my wings out. So you don't need to worry too much about me being arrested."

"And if I tell someone?"

"They will not believe you, dad. Even if you did a image search, it'll fail. The only way to positively identify me as the Griffin is if I look someone in the eye and say to them, 'I, Insert Name Here, am the Griffin of London, angel of the Host of Heaven.' while I have my wings out. If I don't do it and you don't know me before my NDE, you will only be able to see me as the Griffin. I don't even leave forensic evidence behind anymore if I don't want to!"

"Okay, your identity's secure. And what about your sword, how are you going to explain that at the border?"

"I do have a plan for that. It was one of the first things I discussed with Annabelle."

"Care to share it?"

"I'm afraid not, Dad. What you don't know, you can't tell the Ministry… And what they don't know, they can't tell AEGIS. Suffice it to say, my plan will work!"

"Are you absolutely sure about this?"

"I know it! I'll send you a selfie of me at each air and seaport I successfully make it through via Whatsapp as proof I made it past Immigration."

"Fair enough. Have you sorted out a place to stay in New York? I see receipts for flights to New York, but no proof you paid for a hotel."

"Yeah, I sorted out a place to stay there."

"Which hotel is it?"

"It's not a hotel, Dad. I'm staying at someone's house."

"Does your New York host know that you're a power?"

"Yeah, she does! My host is Ms. Magus of Brooklyn, she's a power herself! I fought alongside her at the Museum of London during Operation Inundation, so we're on friendly terms. I'll be paying her $40 a night as well."

"As long as you're both aware. And after New York, where are you planning to go?"

"I plan to spend time in NYC, Gotham, Freedom City, maybe Metropolis and then I’ll make my way west to California. I plan to hit LA and San Francisco, then I'll take the Coast Starlight train to Oregon and finish the American leg of the trip at Emerald City, the traditional end stop for such a long journey and where my ticket to Tokyo departs from."

"You're not messing about!"

"You know I don't, Dad. And sparking up means I have even less of a reason to mess about."

"Where will you go after Tokyo?"

"I’m planning on Singapore. Then I’m thinking India, Dubai, Tangier, a boat to Spain…"

"If you’re going to Spain, what about Gibraltar?"

"It's where I'm going after I arrive in Spain. As a British citizen, I can get to the Rock without any undue drama, even with Brexit negotiations kicking off for real this week. Then I’ll make my way through Europe and then take the ferry home from Holland. Once I enter Europe, I’ll be in the Schengen area. I won’t even need a visa for it, given that we’re still in the EU for now. There’s one thing I must ask."

"And that would be?"

"If you hear about something going on in the same area as me, please don’t ring me up! How many people do you think died during Operation Inundation because someone rang their phone and gave their position away?!"

Griffin's father was putting some papers in a brown briefcase, saying "I can't really argue with that. It looks like you checked everything. Tell me, did you get a power that lets you understand different languages?"

Griffin beamed "Yeah, actually. And I've used it repeatedly ever since I got it. It lets me speak, understand and read any language. Say what you like about my Liege, she doesn't mess about."

"Looks like you did check everything out. Look, I've got to get to church for a meeting, I'll see you later. Be careful out there."

"I will." Griffin then hugged his dad, wrapping his wings around him. He said "See you later, Dad!"

"See you later, Simon."
Griffin's dad is Unfriendly to the idea of him doing a round-the-world tour, especially on his own. Griffin does a Persuasion check, with a +5 circumstance bonus for supplying proof that he knows what he's doing, getting 16. He spends his HP to reroll, getting 30, raising his dad's reaction to the trip all the way up to Helpful!

Five minutes after Griffin's father left the house, a white light appeared in the living room. When it faded, there stood Annabelle. Griffin went "Good evening, Annabelle! What's happening now?"

"I'm sure you understand that Mother's busy at the moment, so she sent me to give you a gift for your journey in her stead."

"When isn't she busy? So what is it she's giving me, Annabelle?"

"Lie down on the couch and you'll find out."

When Griffin lied on the couch, Annabelle landed on him. She said "Now stay still, this will only be a minute."

She then put her paws, shining with Heaven's light, on Griffin's eyes, ears, nose and hands.

Griffin asked her "What did you just do, Annabelle? I can see colours that I know I couldn't a few minutes ago."

Annabelle giggled. "You now have the ears and nose of a canine and the eyes of an eagle. You can see ten times further away, and in the ultraviolet spectrum. If there is even the slightest spark of light, it will be enough for you to see clearly. And you now have the Gift of the Healer. One touch will heal any mortal other than yourself of their wounds and afflictions."

"By the Lady's Heart, that's a gift!"

"Indeed. Is that your luggage there?"

"Yeah. Packed it myself. I'll have to let Customs search it, but there's only clothes in there, maybe a few leads for my laptop's adaptor."

"I thought you only needed one lead."

"I used to only need one, but now I need one with a British plug, another with an American plug, an European plug, I could go on."

"But why? Why not use just the one?"

"Because they use different voltages on different frequencies, Annabelle. I use the wrong one, I destroy the laptop!"

"I see. You know that discussion we had about your sword…"

"Yeah, Annabelle?"

"I'm still… not comfortable with the idea of keeping it in Heaven to withhold it from inspection by the local authorities."

"Let me ask you a question, Annabelle. Do you know what a diplomatic bag is?"

"I do. I understand why they would need to… OH! I see what you're thinking, Simon!"

"What do you think I'm thinking?"

"You're thinking that as Mother's Chosen, you're technically an ambassador to the Kingdom of Heaven and can therefore claim a diplomatic bag."

"Spot on. Since Heaven isn't going to be recognised by the UN any time soon, we need to use other measures. Justice is something I need to get past checkpoints to perform my official duties to the Lady and I would get arrested if I tried to get it through myself. It's the only thing I've got that needs to get past them for me to do so, Annabelle."

"I'm afraid you're right. I have to ask… Where do you intend to pick it up when you arrive in New York?"
Griffin does a Persuasion check on Annabelle, who's currently not so sure (Indifferent) about the idea. He gets Natural 20, making her Helpful!

"The only place in the Five Boroughs I can think of that's at all secure and private enough is Ms. Magus' house. And she's a mage, so she won't freak out if she actually sees me get the sword out of the mirror. I mean, she sees and does weirder stuff than that every day! I'll make sure to tell her, of course. Other than that, the best place would have to be an en-suite bathroom. I've been in a couple of those, they don't usually have any windows that could compromise security."

"I see. Have you got everything ready?"

"Yeah, Annabelle. Passport, insurance, luggage, train, ferry and plane tickets, I'm all set."

"You forgot one more thing."

"Oh?"

"Don't you have some washing up to do?"

"Oh, right. I need to do that soon."

"I'll be seeing you later."

"See you then, Annabelle."

That was when Annabelle revealed her wings and disappeared through the mirror in Griffin's living room.

Griffin said to himself "Well, let's finish that washing-up…"
Griffin spends his 11 Power Points:

2 PP into Angel Wings to remove Activation and to raise the speed to Rank 7 (250 MPH).

1 PP to give Angel Wings the AE Healing Touch: Healing 6, Persistent, Stabilise, Limited: Cannot Heal Self.

6 PP into Predator's Sense: Acute Smell, Extended Vision 1, Low-light, Tracking (Smell) 1, Ultra-hearing, Ultravision.

2 PP into Gift of Privacy: Feature 2. No-one can confirm Griffin's identity without his explicit permission. He also no longer leaves forensic evidence unless he makes a conscious decision to do so.

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:22 pm

Battles of Britain, Part 1

23rd March, 2017. Seven days before Griffin starts the Tour.

Griffin stood on the misty shore of a small lake or pond. Nearby, a man in black medieval armour held one end of a chain in a withered, almost skeletal hand. The rest of the chain ran into the lake and disappeared. The man began to pull on the chain, a leering grin on his face. A beautiful woman dressed in a flowing white dress rose until she stood on the surface of the lake. She held a shining sword in her right hand, and the other end of the chain was wrapped around her neck. Though she struggled against the man, she is unable to resist his strength as he pulls her to the shore. When she reached the shore, her eyes pleaded silently for Griffin's aid. Before he could move, the man took the sword from her with his withered hand and plunged it into her chest. As he does so, a shining gold crown descended from above to rest upon his head. The mists cleared and Griffin saw all around him a crowd of thousands, all bending knee to the man in black.

Then Griffin woke up in his bed, with a pain in his chest like he'd been stabbed himself. "Lady's Heart…!" When the pain subsided, he said "Someone is going to bleed for this!"
Griffin performs a Pop Culture check, with a +5 bonus due to being native British. He gets 15, recognising the Lady in the Lake.

After getting dressed, he went to his dad's bookcase, which was full of books about British history, myths and legends. "Where is it… Ah, North Cornish Camera." Griffin quickly skimmed the book. "Dozmary Pool, near Bolventor!"
Griffin does a Well-Informed check (with a +5 bonus for having access to a bookcase dedicated to the subject), and gets 17. He has a good idea where to start looking.
When he went downstairs, Griffin said to his father "Just had a really vivid dream, and I think it was a distress call."

Griffin's father asked him "What makes you think that?"

"I saw who I believe to be the Lady in the Lake being dragged out of the lake and stabbed by someone I believe to be Mordred using Excalibur. Mordred was then crowned. Before I woke, I could see a crowd of thousands bending the knee to him. I just woke up feeling like I was stabbed myself! I'm heading to Dozmary Pool right now to confirm my suspicions."

"Isn't that in Cornwall?"

"Yeah. It's one of the few places where the Lady's Lake is believed to be. Looks like I'll get to test my HUD after all. I'll see you later, dad!"

"Be careful, Simon!"

Once Griffin got to Plumstead Common with his sword-bag, he turned his HUD on and said "Flight Path: Dozmary Pool." He could see an arrow pointing south-west. He took off for the M25.

The M25 was the motorway completely surrounding the Greater London Area, with 32 junctions. The law for fliers using the M25 to navigate required them to have a HUD like the one Griffin bought last week, so they don't fly into restricted airspace by accident. As Griffin flew over Junction 12 for the south-west, he saw Cheddar flying in the same direction on her broomstick. As he slowed down to greet her, he pointed at his mouth and held his other hand out. It was a signal among fliers without a shared radio system, meaning "Slow down, I want to talk."

Cheddar stopped and said "Are you heading to Cornwall, Griffin?"

"Yeah, how did you guess?"

"I had a dream of the Lady in the Lake being forced to crown Mordred. Woke up feeling like I was stabbed in the heart! And you?"

"The same. Want to crew up?"

"Of course."


Cornwall, an hour and 35 minutes later…

Griffin said "Okay, HUD says we're over Bolventor now, home of the famous Jamaica Inn. We go south by southeast, we'll see the lake. Hang on a minute."

Cheddar asked "What's going on."

"I see four blokes guarding that motorhome and van on the path to the Lake, all carrying guns. They're not police, so I say we take them down."

"Why?"

"The more we take down now, the less backup Mordred will likely have when we move on him."

"That… actually makes sense. Try not to kill anyone, Griffin." Cheddar dived down and Griffin followed her.

Cheddar blasted one of the guards, Griffin floored the rest in one stroke.
Roll Initiative!

Cheddar: 22
4 Criminals: 17, 9, 7, 6,
Griffin: 3

The four Criminals (from Hero's Handbook) are all minions. Griffin and Cheddar are using non-lethal force.

Cheddar fires a blast at one of the Criminals, getting 8. The Criminal gets 15 and is Incapacitated. The other three Criminals open fire on Cheddar, getting 15, 15 and 13 and missing. Griffin lands while performing the Flurry of Steel on the Criminals. He gets 24, 28 with crit scored and Natural 20, crit scored! He spends the crits to raise the DC by +5 on the hostiles he hit with them. They get 6, 17 and 15, leaving them all Incapacitated.
Cheddar saw a diary left there on the motorhome's step. The parts she could read included…
Diarist wrote:"Now that I finally have the right hand of Sir Mordred, I find myself stymied for how to employ it. Contrary to some popular myths, it does not appear that he was a sorcerer of any measure. Perhaps his bloodline holds some promise…"

"I have found a surgeon in London who holds interests parallel to my own esoteric arts. I shall make inquiries and maybe we can reach an mutually beneficial agreement."

"My efforts with G. were successful beyond expectations. He seemed as pleased as I am with the outcome and gifted me with several of his creations. I have no doubt I shall find use for them in the near future."

"The graft works! I tested the Great Sword’s scabbard and found that I benefit from its puissant ward as if I were of the blood myself! Now, away to the lake to claim my prize!"
Cheddar went "Oh s**t."

Griffin, concerned, asked "What is it?" He had never heard Cheddar swear before, so whatever she read was something serious.

Cheddar said "According to this diary, whoever's at the lake isn't Mordred! Someone got hold of Mordred's right hand and someone skilled enough with both surgery and sorcery to graft it on them!"

"Lady's Heart… Do they have Excalibur?"

"Just the scabbard, whatever that is. The rest of it must still be down there."

"That's the sheath for it, like the one I have for Justice here. I see more guys to the east."

Cheddar said "Let's do this."

As Griffin and Cheddar arrived at the lakeshore, they saw two men standing beside several large crates near where the trail enters the clearing. The men had just finished prying the lid off the last crate.

A third man who looked startlingly like the black-armoured man in the dream stood near the water’s edge. On his waist was an empty scabbard. He took off his gauntlet, revealing a withered and tattooed right hand. The man raised his right arm, and a sharp stabbing pain struck Cheddar and Griffin, flooring both of them. While they were floored, Griffin and Cheddar could see someone come out of each crate with tattoos all over them.

Though briefly incapacitated, they could hear the man speak: "…son of Mordred, son of Arthur Pendragon, rightful king of all the Isles! To me you must give that which you hold in trust, the mighty Excalibur, birthright to the true king and proof of my royal bearing!"

The Lady of the Lake rose out of the water, Excalibur in hand. And her right arm was bleeding.

Griffin said "She's bleeding." Then he roared "The Lady is bleeding!" He charged at the warlock, his sword biting deep into the warlock's arm.

Cheddar blasted one of the gunmen away from Griffin.

The warlock was distracted by the pain, unable to shoot straight at Griffin, who managed to fend off the zombies with his other hand and his feet.
Griffin and Cheddar each get a HP for the forced landing and are knocked Prone. They are under the effects of Affliction 10: Impaired, Disabled, Limited Degree 1, resisted by Will. Griffin gets 25 and successfully overcomes the Affliction. Cheddar gets 15 and is Impaired.

Roll Initiative!

Criminal #1: 22
Criminal #2: 19
Zombie #3: 18
Griffin: 17
Cheddar: 6
Warlock: 6
Zombie #1: 6
Zombie #4: 3
Zombie #2: 1

The Warlock has the stats of the Mystic from Hero's Handbook, with Excalibur's Scabbard: Immunity 110: Fortitude and Toughness, Restricted 1 - to Members of the Arthurian Bloodline, Limited - Half Effect, Quirk: Doesn't Affect Unarmed Damage. The warlock's grafted Hand of Mordred allows him to be a member of the Arthurian Bloodline as far as magical items are concerned.

The Zombies are from Heroes Handbook, but with Fighting 2, Parry 5 and Claws: Strength-based Damage 1, Dangerous, Penetrating 3.

Everyone except Cheddar is using lethal force. Griffin and Cheddar both get a HP for entering combat. Griffin gets a HP for his Temper (which was the main reason he was able to overcome the Affliction) and Cheddar gets one for reduced force.

The Lady of the Lake will reach the Warlock in two turns.

The two Criminal minions fire at Griffin, both getting Natural 20! They're minions so they can't score crits, and the bullets just bounce off Griffin. Zombie #3 tries to Claw Griffin, getting 10 and missing.

Griffin Charges at the Warlock with the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting a Natural 20, crit scored! He spends the crit to stunt Justice into Amputating Blow: Cumulative Affliction 10: Impaired, Disabled, Transformed. Limited to Removing Limbs, Resisted by Fortitude. The Warlock gets 8, leaving all checks requiring the use of his right arm Impaired.

Cheddar blasted one of the gunmen away from Griffin, getting 22. Criminal #1 gets 5 and is Incapacitated. The Warlock fires a magical Blast 10 at Griffin, getting 10 and missing. The three Zombies Claw at Griffin, getting 16, 4 and Natural 1, all missing.

Cheddar: 3 HP.
Criminal #1: Incapacitated.
Griffin: 3 HP.
Warlock: Right Arm Impaired.

The remaining gunman fired at Cheddar and missed.

Before the Lady of the Lake reached them, Griffin severed the warlock's arm. As it hit the ground, the zombies collapsed. Holding his bloody stump, the Warlock went "NO! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!"
The remaining Criminal fired at Cheddar, getting 6 and missing. Zombie #3 tried to Claw at Griffin, getting 6 and missing.

Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting Natural 20, Crit scored. He spends the crit to stunt the Flurry into the Amputating Blow. The Warlock gets a Natural 1, losing Mordred's arm! Fight's Over!

Griffin said "I just did a lasting act of justice. And I think the Lady of the Lake wants you to answer."

As a giant wave rose out of the lake, the warlock begged Griffin "Save me! I'm begging you, save me!" The gunman just grabbed his friend and ran, he knew the wave wasn't after him.

Griffin waved the warlock goodbye as he took to the air and said "Sic semper tyrannis, mate. Thus always to tyrants."

The giant wave washed over the shore, swallowing the severed arm, the sheath, the zombies, the crates and the warlock without a trace. Cheddar got airborne just in time. When they landed again, Griffin and Cheddar saw the Lady of the Lake walk across the surface towards them. When she reached them, she simply said "Thank you, both of you."

Griffin said "Just doing my duty, madam."

Cheddar said "It's an honour, madam."

"You both have my gratitude for your aid. Go with my blessing."

Griffin and Cheddar both said "Thank you," as the Lady descended into the lake.

Cheddar asked "What now?"

Griffin said "I've got a little mopping up to do here, the Jamaica Inn in town is meant to be a good place to have lunch. I'll be right behind you."


At the motorhome and van…

As the thugs were getting ready to leave, Griffin landed, saying "I am Griffin of the Host, and I have a message for you! Your master has answered for his treason!"

"How the-"

Griffin flared his wings and said "I freed the Lady of the Lake from his influence, that's how! She was incensed that someone not of Arthur's bloodline got that close to taking Excalibur from her. Did any of you see that big wave come up and swallow him? I suspect that his body will wash up in a couple of days as a warning unto others, if it ever does. If you flee or surrender now, I will not harm you. Either way, your master's plan is done, you have no more reason to be here."

The thugs got into the van and motorhome and took off at high speed.


The Jamaica Inn…

As Griffin arrived at the pub, he saw Cheddar having a Cornish pasty on one of the benches outside. She said "Got one for you as well, Griffin."

Griffin went "Thanks, Cheddar," as he tucked in.

Cheddar asked "I hear you're starting your trip next Friday?"

"Yeah, I am. I'll be taking the Caledonian Sleeper to Glasgow. I'll spend a few days in Scotland, then I'll get the ferry to Ireland and from there, a plane to New York."

"Are you staying at Cass' place?"

"Yeah. I dropped £35 to send her an old-school telegram yesterday via the Looking Glass, just to make sure that she knew when I was coming. And I know for a fact that she got it."

"You're joking! No one sends telegrams anymore!"

"Au contraire, Cheddar! Western Union stopped doing them in 2006, so a different company simply bought the entire global telegram network from them and started letting customers compose telegrams online. That's how I sent it to her. Since they're hand-delivered, it doesn't matter if I don't know her number or email address. After all, you gave me her physical address with her permission."

"Yeah, that was after she headed back home after Operation Inundation. What did you actually say to her in the telegram, if you don't mind me asking?"

"'Shall be arriving in NYC on 4th April. Please reply via Bottle. Yours, Griffin.' I expect her response sometime today or tomorrow."
Last edited by betterwatchit on Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:11 pm

Battles of Britain, Part 2

28th March 2017. Three days before Griffin starts the Tour.

As Griffin washed up after his breakfast, he saw Annabelle on the Kitchen counter.

He said "Morning, Annabelle."

Annabelle said "You have an express assignment, Griffin." Express being code for the assignment starting straight after briefing, usually due to an external constraint.

"What is it, Annabelle?"

"The pro-EU terrorist from Poland? I know why he's here, Annabelle!"

"Oh?"

"Tomorrow, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will formally announce to the European Union that we're leaving them under the terms of Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. In other words, Brexit negotiations officially begin tomorrow. A country leaving it would get his attention. Where is he now and where's he headed?"

"He's currently on board a train that's arriving in Ashford, heading to London."

"Which station is he going to exactly? I need to know so I can fly ahead of him."

"St. Pancras International."

Griffin dashed to put his shoes and jacket on, saying "I'm heading there now! What is he trying to achieve when he arrives?"

"He's going to mount what he calls a 'reprisal' attack."

"Or as I call it, murdering innocent people!"

"There's something else you need to know."

"What is it, Annabelle?"

"Mother wants the European arrested for his crimes. He is to be taken alive and preferably in a state where he can be interrogated."

"Understood. Could you do me a favour? I want you to text me his train number, ETA, what clothes he's wearing and a mugshot of him. The one of him in the passport he's using should do."

"On its way now. You have thirty two minutes to get there before he does and prepare for him."

"I'm on it!"

Griffin grabbed his sword-bag, made his way towards Plumstead Common and took off for Central London!


St. Pancras International Station, thirty minutes later…

Griffin was on the upper catwalk, watching the gate where Eurostar passengers leave the train. 'Now where is he… Got the bastard. And it doesn't look like he's clocked me back. No luggage. He either has plans to leave Britain straight afterwards or he's got a safehouse with clothes ready.' Griffin was going to enjoy acting like the predator he modelled himself after.
Griffin does a Perception check to see if he can recognise the European from the photo. He gets a Natural 20! European gets a Perception roll and gets 8. He doesn't notice Griffin. The European's stats are in Atlas of Earth-Prime: Eastern Europe. He doesn't have his motorcycle with him, as Eurostar is passenger only.
Griffin couldn't hear what the European's accomplice was saying, but he saw Ernst quickly look in the bag with a smile on his face. With his newly enhanced vision, Griffin could see what he was beaming about. He recognised the item as a SHADOW Laser Rifle and thought to himself 'It's illegal to own SHADOW-made weapons around here, I've finally got something on him! Even Jill has to do him for this!'

The world's governments couldn't confiscate all the laser weapons that SHADOW used during Operation Inundation III, and they've since been appearing in the hands of criminals and terrorists. Even government forces have been reverse-engineering them to make their own versions. And Griffin knows from previous experience that the rifle does work on him.

He thought to himself 'Why is he heading east? It can't be to shoot up Downing Street, it's in the wrong direction. Probably to go to whatever safehouse he's got lined up. I'll have to take the bastard when he's outdoors, in one blow and by complete surprise.'

Griffin shadowed the European, opening his sword-bag so he can draw it when ready. In twenty minutes, he saw the European turn towards the Thornhill Arms on Wynford Road. That's when Griffin POUNCED, beating the European with sheathed Justice.
Griffin gets 20 on a Stealth roll to get close to the European. European gets 15 on his Perception and doesn't notice him.

Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 14 and European gets 8.

In the surprise round, Griffin performs a Power Attack with the Flurry of Steel, getting 25. European gets 20 and is Staggered!


"<Who the f-?!>"

As Unkowski tried to get up, Griffin unsheathed his sword and put it to Unkowski's throat. He then told him in flawless Polish "<Ernst Unkowski, I am the Griffin of London, angel of the Host of Heaven. You have a choice. Surrender now or you will surely die.>"

The European replied "<…fine. You've got me, Griffin.>"
Griffin decides to Intimidate the European and gets 20. The European gets 5 and is Coerced into surrendering!
"<I know you have a phone on you, give it to me.>"

"<To call the authorities, I assume?>

"<Of course! Let's sit on that bench. If you put your hand inside the bag or touch any part of the bag other than the handles, you will die where you stand. Do you understand?>"

"<Yes.>"

Griffin then dialled Jill's number.


He heard a voice saying "Officer Benbow speaking."

Griffin went "It's Griffin. Something's come up."

"I'm a bit busy, this had better be important."

"It is. I've just taken Ernst Unkowski AKA the European down on Wynford Road and he's in possession of a SHADOW Laser Rifle. Could you please send someone to pick him up? Since Unkowski likely came here to commit a Brexit-related act of terrorism, you had better hurry! Look for my wings and a sports bag at his feet, you won't miss them."

"Wynford Road, was it? Where they have the Thornhill Arms?"

"Yeah, Jill. We're across from it right now, at the benches opposite!"

"I'm in the area. Keep him still, I'll be right over!" Then she hung up on him.

Griffin said "<The Ministry will be right over, Ernst. And I find that using violence to aggressively further a political agenda only damages the legitimacy of said agenda. If you truly cared about the EU as much as you claim to, you would never have resorted to open violence in the first place. I can understand where you're coming from, though. Plenty of people don't agree with Brexit. I mean, the margin of victory at the referendum was only two percent. If even that. I honestly believe that if you actually conducted a terror attack during the referendum campaign, the margin in favour of leaving would have shifted enough to leave no controversy over the result.>"

"<…I see. I have only one thing to ask you before the Ministry arrives.>"

"<What is it?>"

"<How did you know that I was coming to London in the first place? I never told anyone what I was doing.>"

"<You know how some people say they're on a mission from God?>" Griffin then fully extended his wings, saying "<In my case, it's the actual truth of the matter.>"

"<Oh no-!>"

"<Oh yes. My Liege wants you stopped and arrested. Half because you give the EU a bad name, half for the murders you've falsely committed in their name.>" As a nearby car screeched to a halt, Griffin said "<And I think I'm about to fulfill the order.>"

Jill stepped out of her car with her pistol out, shouting "Freeze, Ministry of Powers!"

Griffin folded his wings and put one hand up and said "Afternoon, Officer Benbow. I've got for you one Ernst Unkowski, AKA the European, infamous pro-EU terrorist. I believe he's still wanted by Whitehall, Interpol and every country in EU territory."

"Oh, he is."

"In the sports bag under the bench, you'll find his Eurosuit costume and a SHADOW Laser Rifle."

Jill puts her phone up to Ernst's face and says "Facial recognition and retina scan…"

The phone said on the loudspeaker "Ernst Unkowski AKA The European. Currently wanted across the European Union for murder and for multiple acts of terrorism."

Jill then said "Ernst Unkowski, I am arresting you for murder, for the unauthorised possession of a firearm and for multiple acts of terrorism. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?"

Ernst said "Yes, ma'am."

After Jill handcuffed Ernst, she turned to Griffin and said "You did really good here, Griffin. Thank you."

"Thanks, Jill. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish preparing for my trip."

"You're going today?!"

"Friday, actually. I've already packed, but you know how it is to be under the authority of another. My Liege commands and I obey, over the hills and far away. Here's his phone, I used it to call you."

After handing Ernst's phone over, Griffin then took off for home.

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