Stories of the Betterverse: The Bloody Week

For those who have a way with words.
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Out on the Town

Post by betterwatchit »

SHADOW of the Past, Part 2

The Legacy could smell and see smoke billowing into the distant sky. Arriving on the scene, it’s clear the firefighters have their hands full battling the blaze: Trucks are arrayed near the building, with fire crews hosing it down, just trying to contain the fire so it doesn’t spread to the neighboring structures before they can put it out. "Start pulling back!" the chief yells. "Radio says it’s an ASTRO Labs warehouse with volatile chemicals inside! It could blow any minute!"

After the chief says that, a heavy stack of crates fell, blocking the entrance.

Midnight saw the unconscious night watchman at his post and dragged him away from the entrance.

Freedom Eagle smashed an empty crate open to get to the firefighters. One of them went "Thanks! There are some chemical tanks there that look flammable, see if you can get them out of there!"
Roll Initiative! Midnight gets 22, Freedom Eagle gets 15, Scarab gets 14 and Lightbearer gets 14.

The Legacy have six rounds before the fire gets out of control.

Midnight gets 15 on his Perception check, finding and saving the watchman, who's currently incapacitated.

Freedom Eagle smashes a Toughness 6 crate, getting 28. Since it's an inanimate object, a crit is scored. He raises the DC by +5 The crate gets 14 and is smashed. Freedom Eagle now has to resist Fire Damage 6. He gets 22 and is unburnt. Freedom Eagle gets a HP for freeing the firefighters.

Scarab gets 22 on her Perception check to see the chemical containers. She uses her telekinesis to get a container away from the fire.

Lightbearer uses his Healing Touch on the watchman, getting 25. The watchman is fully healed.
Scarab moved another container out of the way as Freedom Eagle grabbed one and moved it out of the way.

When the building finally collapsed, the chief went "Fire's out! Get the investigation unit in here! The watchman said he saw someone leave the warehouse before the fire started."

Lightbearer said "It was Hutchinsons where Luna Moth said that factory was, wasn't it?"

Freedom Eagle said "Yeah. You know where that is?"

"I did some negotiations there. Didn't know about the SHADOW base, though. Let's go."


Hutchinsons…

This condemned factory was dusty and in poor repair, and it had even been declared condemned and was scheduled for demolition. Lightbearer said "Hang on, let me shed some light on the place." He then started to shine so brightly, it was like broad daylight.

Freedom Eagle spotted the fake wall panel. After revealing the keypad, he asked "Does anyone have a multi-tool I could borrow?"

Scarab passed hers over, saying "Next time, bring your own."

Freedom Eagle nodded. He said "This is late 80s tech. External alarm's fitted, most likely to the base. There's an emergency switch for this sort of thing in case they're locked in. A cut here to disable the alarm and a push here to open the door." As the floor panel slid down, the alarm went off.
It's a DC 20 Perception check to find either the keypad or the concealed trapdoor. Freedom Eagle gets 26 on his check and finds the wall panel. He uses Scarab's multi-tool for a DC 20 Technology check with a -2 penalty for using a multi-tool and not a dedicated toolkit. He gets 16 and spends a HP to reroll, getting 18. They get in, but the alarm is triggered.
As the Legacy entered the metal door, they saw a stark, industrial chamber of concrete supported by heavy, rusting steel arches, lined with coffin-like chambers connected to retro-looking technology. There was a bank of antiquated computers humming with large reel-to-reel tapes. One end of the room has a raised dais, with steps leading up to another coffin-like chamber. The opposite end had a low raised platform with a control podium beside it.

Inside the chamber is busy with eight figures in SHADOW uniforms, two of them working beside the chamber atop the dais. Just as they entered the room, a pneumatic hiss announced the chamber’s opening to reveal a tall figure clad in black and silver armor, red cloak, and a full helm reminiscent of a hooded serpent. He steps out of the chamber, one hand pointing towards them. An electronically amplified voice booms from behind his helm. "Who dares enter the presence of the Overshadow unbidden?! Guards! Destroy them!"

Scarab went "Drop them all!"

Lightbearer just fired a cone of really hard light, vaporising most of the guards, while Freedom Eagle struck down the survivor. Overshadow fired a beam of light back at Lightbearer, just missing a headshot. Midnight fires his Midnight Mist at Overshadow, who's somehow still standing. He used Scarab's mindlink to go "He's got filtered systems in there, my Mist won't work!"

Scarab went "Let's how he handles this!" as she hit him with a mental blast. She went "That's some good shielding!"
Roll Initiative! Two SHADOW Agent Minions get 17 and 15, Lightbearer gets 14, Overshadow gets 14, three SHADOW Agents get 13, 11 and 11, Freedom Eagle gets 8, Midnight gets 7, one SHADOW Agent gets 5, Scarab gets 6 and two SHADOW Agents get 5 and 3.

Overshadow's stats are in page 280, Freedom City 3E. Everyone is using lethal force. These SHADOW Agents don't have the We Are Legion power. The Legacy each get a HP for going up against the Leader of SHADOW.

Two Agents fire their Blaster Pistols at Scarab, getting 24 and Natural 20. Scarab gets 28 and Natural 20 to resist. Lightbearer spends a HP to stunt his Light Blast into Flash Light: Cone Area Damage 10 The SHADOW Agents get 9, 9, 17, 20, Natural 1, 16, 8 and 11. Only one of them made their DC 20 Dodge save. He gets 15 on his toughness and is killed. The rest get Natural 1, 13, 21, Natural 20, 19, 9 and 10, getting most of themselves killed. Overshadow fires a Power Blast at Lightbearer, getting 26. Lightbearer gets 24 and is hit and Dazed! Freedom Eagle attacks the last SHADOW Agent, getting 25. The Agent gets 20 and is killed. Midnight fires his mist at Overshadow, getting 25. Overshadow got 29 to resist the knockout gas and 30 to resist being blinded. Scarab fires a Mental Blast at Overshadow, who gets 30 to resist.

Lightbearer: 1 Injury, Dazed

When Lightbearer blasted Overshadow, he saw wires coming out of him. He went "He's a robot! No wonder he walked it all off!"

"Overshadow" said "So now you know my secret. I am a mere simulacrum of the great Overshadow, this world's sole rightful ruler. No matter. I have one clear order if any 'hero' discovers my secret: YOU DIE." It blasted Lightbearer while deftly dodging Midnight's punch.
Lightbearer fires a Light Blast, getting 25. Overshadow gets 23 and is hit. The damage reveals him to be a robot double, with wires coming from him which are too deep to just be a battlesuit. The Overshadow duplicate gets -2 to abilities, linked defences and powers, making him only PL 13. It also has Immunity to Fortitude and to Mental Effects, due to not having a living mind or body to affect. It fires a Power Blast at Lightbearer, getting 20. Lightbearer gets 20 and is hit and Dazed. Freedom Eagle attacks, getting 28, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. "Overshadow" gets 18, and is hit and Dazed. Using Follow-up Strike, Freedom Eagle gets a second attack. He gets 22 and misses. Midnight tries to punch Overshadow, getting 19 and missing.

Lightbearer: 2 Injuries, Dazed.

Overshadow: 1 Injury, Dazed

A shimmer of light and an electronic hiss sounded from the platform opposite Overshadow’s dais and a group of eight more SHADOW agents appear out of nowhere. Standing in front of them are two men, one white with a blond crewcut, the other black and bald with a short goatee. They each wear black and red uniforms and a single high-tech bracer on one arm, the infamous super-mercenaries: the Battle Brothers! "Light ‘em up!" the black man yells as they and the agents charged into the room.

Scarab went "The Battle Brothers! Knock one of them out, the other goes out as well!"

Lightbearer used the hard light cone he used before to disintegrate the SHADOW Agents again. Overshadow fired a blast at Bryce, wounding him. Malcolm went "MOTHERF**KER! as he punched the false Overshadow’s head off! He didn't notice Midnight firing his Mist until it was too late. Bryce only had enough time to see his friend fall before he too fell unconscious. The two remaining agents were soon put down.
The Battle Brothers' stats are on page 17 of Threat Report. The SHADOW Agent Minions they brought with them do possess the We are Legion Power. They are all using lethal force.

Six SHADOW Agents get 20, 19, 18, 17, 17 and 16. Manning of the Battle Brothers gets 14. Another SHADOW Agent gets 14. Bryce of the Battle Brothers gets 11 and a SHADOW Agent gets 9.

Lightbearer does a Expertise: Streetwise check, getting 15 and recognising the Battle Brothers. Freedom Eagle gets 24 on his Expertise: Superhumans check. Midnight gets 20 on a Well-Informed check. Scarab gets a Natural 20 on her Well-Informed check. They know who the Brothers are.

Six Agents fire their Blaster Pistols at the Overshadow robot, getting 10, 23, 13, Natural 1, Natural 20 and 23. Overshadow gets 22, 19 and 15, getting hit.

Lightbearer spends a HP to stunt Flash Light. The Agents get 21, 20, 17, 16, 16, 8 and Natural 1 on a DC 20 Dodge save. The two who made it get 21 and 22, evading the blast altogether. The other six get 18, 17, 13, 12, 10 and Natural 1, getting themselves killed. Manning gets 13 and Bryce get 21 on their Dodge saves. Manning gets 28 to resist the blast while Bryce gets 17, getting hit and Dazed. Manning throws a Power Attack punch at Overshadow, getting a natural 20, crit scored! He raised the DC by +5. Overshadow gets 13 and is destroyed.

Bryce skips his turn to try and overcome the daze.

Freedom Eagle slashes at an Agent, getting 16. The Agent gets 21 and is killed. Midnight fires his Mist at Manning, who's in point-blank range! Manning gets 10 and fails to dodge. He gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated. Bryce's Connected Complication means that he's also Incapacitated.

Scarab does a Psychic Blast at the remaining Agent. The Agent gets 8 and is killed. Fight's over!

That was when a voice could be heard from the central console, saying "Self-Destruct in 60, 59…"

Freedom Eagle went "Midnight, help me with this!"

Midnight ran over. Within ten seconds of fiddling, a voice said "Self-destruct cancelled."
The team have six rounds before self-destruct. Freedom Eagle does a DC 20 Technology check with Midnight Aiding him. Midnight gets 22 while Freedom Eagle gets 22 for a result of 27! The self-destruct is switched off.

Scarab asked "How did you two do that?"

Midnight said "I've got a library at home, containing info on all sorts of pre-millennium tech. They have fail-safes for cases like accidental activation."

They could hear sirens outside, the FCPD were incoming. Scarab went "Time for us to go!" She then used the remote for her teleportal.


Scarab's Lair…

When they arrived, Scarab said "I really should have known that they would have a fake Overshadow!"

Midnight said "Overshadow leads a global terrorist organization. If he's got the resources for a clone army, he can get hold of a robot replica for telepresence. Also, the Battle Brothers are escaped convicts, so they're getting an extended stay in Blackstone for their trouble."

Freedom Eagle went "And all that SHADOW stuff is going to keep AEGIS nice and busy for a while. Even though it wasn't used during Operation Inundation, they ought to get something good out of it."

Lightbearer told them "As for why I vaporized the SHADOW clones like that, it's because they were designed to not last more than a few days outside of a manned SHADOW facility."

Scarab asked "Are you sure about that?"

Lightbearer said "Yeah. Not a single SHADOW clone has lasted more than a week in police custody. Autopsies and CCTV footage have proven that it was indeed a case of rapid cell degeneration. And they die when people try to read their minds. SHADOW clones simply can't be made to talk. That abandoned base we found will shed some light on what they've been doing before that."

Scarab went "Well, at least we did something that'll last. I'm off to bed, you can show yourselves out."

Freedom Eagle said "Before I go, here's your multitool back."
The Legacy each get 1 PP for a total of 2 PP. Freedom Eagle creates the Eagle's Helmet, a Removable Device with Eagle Eyes HUD: Senses 3 (Direction Sense, Distance Sense and Extended Vision 1). The Conceals Identity Feature of the Harness is moved to the Helmet.

Lightbearer obtains the Teamwork and Well-Informed advantages.

Midnight gets four ranks in the Technology skill, making it 6 (+8).

Scarab gets four ranks in the Technology skill, making it 4 (+7).
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

Warflower, Part 1

5th April 2017, 8 AM, the Lodge…


The phone was ringing in Cass' living room. "Miss Valentine speaking."

"Miss Valentine, it's Marco Iannucci here, of Iannucci’s Auctions. We've got something special in, are you available for some security work at the standard rate tonight?"

"I am. Also, you know Griffin?"

"Griffin, as in that British angel with the sword?"

"Yeah, him. He's in town right now, and I can reliably contact him while he's here. I can ask if he wants some cash-in-hand work as well?"

"Yeah, having a real guardian angel will come in handy if you can get him. Tell him to wear a suit. Even if you can't get him, I'll talk more at the auction tonight, be there for six."

"Okay, see you at six."


Soon after, there was a knock on Griffin's door. Griffin went "Just a minute," as he finished getting dressed.

After he opened it, Jane said "Mistress Cassandra wishes to speak to you, she is in the kitchen."

Griffin said "Alright, I'll be right down."

When Griffin came downstairs, Cass said "Got a job offer if you have a suit and you're interested, pays cash-in-hand."

Griffin went "Go on."

Ms. Magus said "Iannucci’s Auctions specializes in medieval artifacts from the Old World, they're one of the very few who hold such auctions in the Americas. They've got something in that's going to need… specialist security."

Griffin asked "The sort that only people like us can deliver, I presume."

Cass asked "Yeah. They pay specialists $1,500 each per event. More if there's an actual incident. Do you have a suit by any chance?"

Griffin told her "I've got a bespoke suit from Savile Row, so I can blend in with such events. Any bidders ask, I'm there on behalf of a good Lady who shall remain nameless." Then his phone rang. Griffin answered "Hello?"

An older male voice with a local accent came on, saying "Mr. Griffin? It's Mr. Zelinsky. I'm calling to inform you that your order is ready."

Griffin said "Thank you, sir. I'll be over sometime this morning."

Leo said "Okay, see ya." Then Leo hanged up.

Ms. Magus asked "Who was that?"

Griffin said "That was Leo, saying those gloves are ready. I'm going to head over there in a minute."

Ms. Magus said "The subway's opened up again, so it'll take about half an hour to get there."

"I'll go after I've printed off a letter."

"What kind of letter?"

"To go with the gloves, so Goldwing knows who sent them."

"Okay, that makes sense. My printer's got wi-fi, can you print it from your laptop?"

"I can do it from my tablet. Once I see it, it won't be hard to confirm the exact model and get the right app for it."


Twenty minutes later, Cass' printer produced a letter…
Griffin wrote:Dear Goldwing,

I said I'd repay you for dropping Natas, and you ought to know by now that angels of the Host always repay their debts. The gloves in the box that came with this letter were made by one Leo Zelinsky of Manhattan, who specialises in making outfits and accessories for the likes of us, to the pattern you once gave out. I believe that these should help you just as well as the gloves you brought with you when you came here.

Your friend,
The Griffin of London

PS. In case you're wondering how I got enough details to send the package via DHL, you should be more careful of letting your bank statement lie about like that when you have a visitor. Someone who steals it can learn and use all sorts of information. I only recorded the name and address on the statement, nothing else. I won't ask how you got the document, that's not my need-to-know.



10:30 AM, Leo's Tailoring…

Griffin entered the shop as he said "Hello? Leo?"

Leo came out of the back, saying "Morning, Griffin. Those gloves you ordered are ready to go. It was definitely a challenge, making them for a non-standard anatomy. Now, are you sure you can get them to Mr. Goldwing?"

"Yeah, absolutely. I know his address and the nearest DHL drop-off. I can get them to Britain, no problem. Here's your second hundred dollars, I believe that's everything paid in full."

"Thank you very much. If you ever need a new outfit, you know where to find me."

It only took an hour for Griffin to find the nearest DHL branch and it cost him another hundred dollars to mail the gloves back to Britain.


Back at the Lodge…

When Griffin returned to the Lodge, he saw that Ms. Magus was watching the TV. He said "I didn't know you had BBC World News on there!"

"You get CNN and MSNBC, don't you?"

"Point taken. I've sent those gloves off, they should be at Goldwing's place within the week."

"Can you vouch that he's okay?"

"Yeah, I can. Cheddar gave him an invite to that Laugh at the Reaper Festival last year. During that fight, he dropped a demon, giving me a clear run at the warlock who summoned it. And after I took that other warlock down at the Imperial War Museum? I took a bullet during that fight. Goldwing was the one who got it back out. It's how I found his address. He also helped deal with the national haunting we went through recently."

Ms. Magus said "Okay. We're getting pizza in at 4:30."

"Okay. I'll change for the auction afterwards."
Last edited by betterwatchit on Tue Feb 15, 2022 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

Warflower, Part 2

6 PM, Iannucci’s Auctions…

As Griffin entered, he asked "Name's Griffin, sir. Ms. Magus said that you had something that needed a bit more security?"

Marco said "Yeah, we need your help with this exhibit, the Dominus Muscas." On the stage, the Dominus Muscas was a gold-and-silver-coated sceptre topped with a block of amber containing a large, prehistoric insect.

Griffin looked at it as he said "The Lord of Flies. Seems apt to me."

"You know Latin?"

"Mate, I know all the world's languages. Spoken and written. And for the record, I can tell you plain that the Dominus doesn't have any demons floating around or inside it. I don't know about any Satanism in its origin, but I'm certain you won't get possessed just by touching it."

Marco told him "Good to know. What I want you two to do tonight is blend in with the bidders. If any of them start something, your job is to stop it. There are four people attending who are likely to try something. Shane Booth's co-CEO with Melissa Abraham of Booth-Abraham, a Wall Street hedge fund worth $20 billion. He's got enough of his own money to straight-up buy the Dominus if he wants it that badly, but people with that kind of money might pay someone a bit less to steal it. The next is Gianni D'Agati, the so-called 'Duke of Perugia'. He claims to be descended from Italian nobility, but I haven't seen any proof from the Italian authorities to prove his claim. Azazel McMillen's a vocalist for the black metal band Megiddo, and an avowed Satanist. I don't know if the Dominus is Satanic in origin, but McMillen certainly thinks it is. The last is Anne Monet. She's here on behalf of a group of born-again Christians. I think they might melt the Dominus down if they win."

Griffin asked "As long as McMillen and Monet don't sit too close to each other, I don't think any fighting's going to break out among the bidders. Are the seats pre-arranged for each bidder or can they choose?"

Maria said "They're pre-arranged. You're both going to sit at the front row. You will be between McMillen and Agati, Ms. Magus will sit between Booth and Monet. If any of them start shouting and it's not because they're bidding, it's your job to keep things from getting overboard."

Griffin said "Okay."

At 7 PM, the auction started. The bidding room at Iannucci’s Auctions had all the usual features: a room with rows of chairs, a stage where the items up for auction will be presented, the auctioneer's podium and a small table by the entrance with wine, water and a small amount of hors d’oeuvres. Griffin saw that Monet was giving McMillen some of the dirtiest looks he's ever seen in a situation where violence wasn't expected.


At 8 PM, the Dominus was up for bidding and the bidding was fierce.

"Going once… Going twice… SOLD!" That's when gunfire broke out backstage.

Ms. Magus and Griffin ran into the backstage area, a white-walled room filled with antiquities destined for this auction and others. Weaving among podiums and display boxes, two groups of three people seemed bent on killing each other. One group were wearing coveralls but were also carrying medieval longswords, which they were swinging with obvious skill. The other three, dressed in the purple and gold street clothes of the 3rd Street Saints, were firing pistols wildly to keep the sword fighters from closing in. One security guard lied slumped against the door to Marco’s office, on the left. Another guard wearing white gloves is sprawled under a bench which held items for today’s auction, one of which appears to be missing. In the far right of the room, Griffin could see two motionless feet sticking out from underneath a hanging tapestry next to the room’s loading dock door.

One of the swordsmen shouted "We haven't got it, you f**king punks! You've got it!"

One of the gunmen fired back while shouting "No, you've got it!"

Griffin went "I've got the swordsmen, you've got the gunmen!"

Ms. Magus said "On it!" as she blasted a shooter.

Griffin disarmed all three swordsmen in a flow of clashing steel. One of the disarmed swordsmen went "We surrender, just let us live!"

Griffin went "I accept your terms!"
The Swordsmen are Thug Minions with their "Choose One" Skill put into Close Combat: Swords. They each have a Sword and are all wearing Chainmail. The Gunmen are Criminal Minions with their "Choose One" Skill put into Ranged Combat: Guns.

The Gunmen and the Swordsmen are using lethal force. Griffin isn't, neither is Ms. Magus. Ms. Magus gets a HP for reduced force.

Roll Initiative! A Swordsman gets 21, a Gunman gets 19, another Swordsman gets 14, Griffin gets 13, a Gunman gets 10, Ms. Magus gets 10, a Gunman gets 6 and a Swordsman gets 6.

A Swordsman attempts to Disarm (Page 247, Deluxe Heroes Handbook) Griffin, getting a Natural 20! The Swordsman gets 13 on the opposed check, but Griffin gets 17. This allows Griffin one attempt to disarm the Swordsman back. Griffin gets 20 while the Swordsman gets 19 and is disarmed! A gunman fires at Griffin, getting 16 and missing. A swordsman swings at Griffin, getting 24. Griffin is Impervious to the Swordsman's blade and is unharmed. Griffin makes a Disarm attempt back, getting 28. He gets 19 on the opposed check and the Swordsman gets 8, getting disarmed! A Gunman fires at Griffin, getting 7 and missing. Ms Magus fires a Magical Blast at one of the Gunmen as a routine check. The gunman gets 16 and is Incapacitated. The third Swordsman tries to Disarm Griffin, getting 23. The Swordsman gets 19 on the opposed check while Griffin gets a Natural 20! Griffin attempts to disarm back, getting 21. The Swordsman gets 9 and is disarmed!
One of the shooters aimed at a swordsman, but Griffin blocked the bullet. He then did a wide-arc strike to floor the two remaining shooters.
One of the Gunmen fired at a disarmed Swordsman, getting 19. Griffin used Interpose to get in the way. He's Impervious to Light Pistol bullets and is unharmed. He runs over to the Gunmen, hitting them with the Flurry of Steel, getting 23 and 22. The two Gunmen get 21 and 17, getting Incapacitated.
Ms. Magus asked "What was all that about?!"

The swordsman who spoke said "Since your friend there beat us fair and square, we'll talk. He's clearly a better swordsman!"

Griffin said "So talk. What were the six of you after?"

The swordsman told them "We're members of the Society of Perugia, a Historical European Martial Arts school based here in New York. Our master, the Duke of Perugia, sent us to get the Warflower. We don't know what the Saints wanted, but we were here for the book. It was missing before we got there. Those gangbangers followed us in, then the fight broke out. No one expected you to show up, though."

Griffin asked "What's in the Warflower that you would steal it instead of bidding for it like you're supposed to?"

The swordsman told him "It's the most important text in our martial tradition. It was Lot 1972 in the catalog I believe."
As Griffin beat them with superior swordplay, the Swordsmen were badly demoralised, making them Helpful for the purpose of answering his questions.
Griffin quickly checked the catalogue…
Iannucci’s Auctions Catalog wrote:LOT 1972: Mid-15th-Century text titled "Flos Bellum" (Warflower), vellum bound in wood-backed leather. Written in Latin, this illustrated text explores military training and miscellaneous matters.

NOTE: As per arrangements with the seller, the buyer must also agree to provide high-quality scans of the entire text (4800 dpi minimum) for Empire State University. Further details will be given to the winning bidder.
He said "That explains the theft."


Ms.Magus went to check on the security guards. They were both unconscious but still breathing. She proceeded to heal them both awake.
Ms. Magus uses her Healing Touch to perform a Healing check on the two guards. She gets 21 and 13, waking them both up.

One of the guards went "…W- Woah! Can't believe we missed the party!"

Griffin asked "Does anyone know who that dead bloke is?"

One swordsman said "We've never met him in our lives!"

Griffin asked "Then please explain why a sword that looks identical to yours is inside him."

Another swordsman said "We had a break-in last week. Some cash was taken along with the sword. We're being framed."

A still-conscious Saint went "Oh that's bulls**t! You trying to lay it on us!"

The swordsman yelled back "We reported it to the NYPD last week! If you've got anyone in the department, you can ask them!"

Ms. Magus looked at the body then she said "Griffin, they might actually be telling the truth. It looks like he simply fell on the sword, there's no sign of a struggle."
Ms. Magus does an Investigation check and gets 21. It certainly looks like a suicide.

Marco strided towards the two, pocketing his phone. "There’s some problem with the police," he said. "They’re not coming down for half an hour, at least. I’ve got a buddy in the NYPD. She said they’re being encouraged to ignore as much of this incident as they can. Find out why this weird fight happened and track down Lot 1972. I’ll pay double the agreed fee each, plus expenses."

Ms. Magus said "Okay. We have a possible suicide here, could you check the CCTV?"

Marco's walkie-talkie came on: "Marco, it's Maria. Put me on speaker, security need to know this."

"Got it, sis."

From Marco's radio, Maria said "So, I just did a quick CCTV check. When the Dominus was being auctioned, someone in overalls like those given to the backstage crew was carrying a sword on his belt. He fired a tranquiliser pistol at the guards. He took the Warflower, handing it and the pistol to a man in a suit and shades. I don't know what they said. After the man in the suit left, the man in the overalls fell on his sword and he fell behind the tapestry. He was already dead by the time those swordsmen and 3rd Street Saints came in. By the look of it, they didn't expect each other. They started arguing and gunfire broke out. Also, D'Agati fled the scene when he heard the gunfire."

One of the Society of Perugia said "See?! We didn't kill the man, he killed himself!"

Griffin went "Then the law won't care if we checked his pockets…" He found a keyfob for a BMW and an empty baggie with the symbol of the 3rd Street Saints. He asked "Marco, is there a car park around here?"

Ms. Magus said "He means a parking lot, Marco."

Marco replied "Yeah, there's the one outside for customers only. The nearest public lot is a block that way."

Griffin told them "I'll be back shortly. Nobody else leaves until after the police arrive. Ms. Magus?"

"Yeah, Griff?"

"If any crooks act up, feel free to knock them out." He then set a 30 minute timer and went to the lot.


Parking Lot north of Iannucci’s Auctions…

Griffin thought to himself 'Okay, I've got the fob, so the alarm won't go off. I need to find out who that fellow was.' He pressed the button and saw the lights flashing on the man's BMW. He put the key in and turned the car on. He didn't start it as he only needed a way to turn the lights on. He saw a box in the backseat. One look and he saw medical records for one Shawn Mortensen. The records showed that he had stage four lymphatic cancer. A terminal diagnosis. Griffin realised 'He was already on his way out. Suicide would be understandable after that diagnosis. Pity I didn't get to him first, he'd be grateful enough to spill. Oh well.'

Griffin checked the glovebox and "Hang on, what's this envelope?" Griffin opened it and saw two tickets to the Annual TrevTech Charity Ball happening tomorrow night. Griffin had heard of TrevTech. It was a major employer in the Five Boroughs, specialising in using AI to help design various chemical compounds. AI that were not sapient and thus unlikely to turn on them, which has been the major problem with using it. He had also heard that TrevTech have started branching out into affordable virtual reality.

After pocketing the tickets - Shawn's family won't care about the Ball when they find out about him - Griffin searched the glovebox. He found a safety-deposit key for a local bank. They'd probably come looking for that, so he put it back. In the centre console, he found a wallet containing a NYC driver's licence and a TrevTech visitor ID, both belonging to Mortensen. The face matched that of the fellow who committed suicide. After taking the ID and licence, he turned the car off and locked it. He then flew back to the auction house.


Iannucci’s Auctions…

Ms. Magus asked "What did you find, Griff?"

Griffin took the licence out of his pocket as he said "The man who committed suicide was one Shawn Mortensen. He did this as he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My guess is that whoever put him up to this promised to pay a very large amount to his family." He then put the licence in Shawn's overall pocket. That was when he saw the sirens.

Griffin asked "Think it's time to go, Ms. Magus?"

Ms. Magus said "Yeah, got any ideas where?"

Griffin told her "I have an idea, let's go."
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

Warflower, Part 3

As they made it to the Subway, Ms. Magus asked "Where are we headed, Griff?"

Griffin got on his phone, saying "According to Maria, D'Agati fled when the gunshots rang out. It was because something went wrong with the robbery, not because he feared for his life! There's only one place he's going, the Society of Perugia! According to their website, the Society of Perugia is a Historical European Martial Arts school, which reconstructs the techniques used by 14th- and 15th-Century Italian knights by using manuals and experimentation. And now we have their address."

Ms. Magus said "Yeah, there's a few HEMA schools in New York, but none of them are as intense as the Society. For one thing, they prefer to fight with live-edged weapons. Not something most HEMA schools go for."

"Michael made me do that from the very beginning of my training. When you train to fight demons, you learn very fast if you have the killer instinct or not. If they're that intense, I've got an idea if they get in our way. But you'll have agree not to intervene."

"What's your idea?"

"A one-on-one duel with their highest ranking member."

Ms. Magus was incredulous. "…Oh my God, you're actually serious!"

"They take the way of honour seriously, as do I. If their representative loses, the rest will be honour-bound not to stop us reaching D'Agati. After all, if I could best their best in combat, what chance have they got?"

"That actually makes a weird kind of sense. And if you lose?"

"If I lose, the Society's an effective dead-end to us, as we'll have to leave and not come back."
Ms. Magus performed a Well-Informed check, getting 20. Griffin rolls Expertise: Tactics, getting 21. He has a good idea on how to get past all of the students.

Society of Perugia…

The Society of Perugia’s hall sat in a large storefront, marked by a large sign with a griffin wielding a longsword. Through large, open windows, Griffin and Ms. Magus saw six people training with medieval weapons, directed by a seventh. Other weapons hung from racks along the left wall. A door beyond them leads further back.

Griffin opened the door and asked "The name's Griffin! Where's D'Agati? Where is your master?!"

The woman instructing the students said "I am Julie Horn, Society Provost! I'm afraid that that our chief instructor is not seeing anyone at the moment!"

"Then I challenge you to a duel to first blood, Provost! You beat me in single combat, I won't disturb your master. If I best you, you and your students will not intervene when I see him. I guarantee that he'll survive the meeting."

"Very well. Everyone clear the floor! If this Englishman manages to make me bleed, stay out of his way! If I make him bleed, make sure he leaves!"

Griffin tossed Justice over, saying "You had better use this. It's the only blade in the city that can wound me. Have to keep it fair, right?"

Julie said "Someone pass him a blade!"

Griffin said "If you don't have a shortsword, an arming sword will do!"

Once Griffin got an arming sword, he assumed the ready position.

Julie said "Begin!" and the duel was on! Griffin lunged, hoping for a quick kill. Horn expertly evaded his blow while he dodged hers.
Julie Horn's stats are those of a Hired Killer (Deluxe Gamemaster's Guide, pg. 155) with the Elite Template (Deluxe Gamemaster's Guide, pg. 157). Her Ranged Combat skill is replaced with the same amount of ranks in Close Combat: Swords. She's also wearing Plate-Mail with her head exposed.

Horn is in possession of Justice for this fight (but she doesn't know how to perform the Flurry of Steel), while Griffin has an ordinary Sword. Both combatants get 1 HP for their Honour.

The fight lasts until one of the two is Staggered or Incapacitated.

Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 15, Horn gets 5.

Griffin starts with a full Power Attack, getting 14 and missing. Horn reacts with a strike with Justice, getting 19. Griffin gets 30 to resist.
Griffin manages a pommel strike on Julie's off-hand shoulder, ducking to avoid a decapitation.
Griffin does a standard strike and gets 26. Horn gets 15 to resist, and is hit. Horn attacks, getting 20. Griffin gets a Natural 1! He spends a HP, getting 28 to resist.

Horn: 1 Injury.
Griffin manages to break Julie's left wrist! The pain distracts her, keeping her from landing a blow.
Griffin strikes, getting 14. He spends his last HP to reroll, getting 30. Horn gets 14, and is hit and Dazed. She swings at Griffin, getting 12 and missing.

Horn: 2 Injuries, Dazed
Griffin landed another pommel strike on Julie's head.
Griffin performs a minor Power Attack, getting 28. Julie gets 14. She spends a HP, getting 21 and is hit. She attacks, getting 13 and missing.

Horn: 3 Injuries.
Griffin saw his chance, and cut Julie's face!
Griffin does another minor Power Attack, getting 22. Horn gets 9 and is Staggered!
Julie said "No more! I yield! I yield! None of us will get between you and D'Agati!"

"Thank you. And I'll have my sword back."

Julie handed it over, saying "It's yours, anyway."

As Griffin sheathed Justice, he said "You should be honoured. Not that many people get in a fight with me and retain consciousness for long after I hit them."

Julie asked "Who trained you like that?! I've never seen a swordsman fight like you!"

Griffin revealed his wings as he said "The name's Griffin. You shouldn't have picked a fight with someone trained by Archangel Michael. I get that you were honour-bound to fight me and I won't hold it against you. Now, where's D'Agati?"

"He's in the back, here's the key to his office."

"One last thing, it's in my power to heal the facial wound if you want me to."

Julie said "…Do it."

Griffin told her "This won't take long." He stroked her cheek and it was unmarred again. The students were amazed. Griffin hid his wings again.
Griffin performed a Healing check, getting 16. The scar isn't there anymore.
As they went to D'Agati's office, Ms. Magus said "Even for you, that was unbelievable. I didn't expect her to agree or keep her word afterwards!"

"A dishonourable fight would have made her warn D'Agati. Beating her fair and square means that we have a clear run."


As they entered the office, Griffin said "D'Agati, you thieving piece of s**t! Don't bother with calling Julie, I just beat her fair and square. Your students won't mess with us either."

"Julie's my second-best student. If you're after my best, you're looking for Amanda Trevayne. She managed to outgrow my instruction. I hoped to get the Warflower, so I could learn the techniques inside it and win her back."

"The founder of TrevTech? Pull the other leg, it's got bells on! What does she have to do with a Renaissance-era book?"

"Trevayne practically bankrolled the Society, and she f**ked me over to get the Warflower. Look, I don't have the book, but I know where Trevayne's going to be. She'll either have it or know where it is."

"Where is she going to be?"

"She's having a big masquerade ball tomorrow evening at her headquarters, formal dress only. The who's who of NYC will be there! The mayor, the chief of police, Tony Stark, that Elliot Allen fellow, everyone with major clout in the city ought to turn up! You can take my invites, they're on the desk."

"Thanks."
Griffin rolls Intimidate with a +5 bonus for besting Julie in single combat. He gets a Natural 20! D'Agati also has the stats of an Elite Hired Killer with the skill ranks also going to Close Combat. He gets a 10 and is Coerced!
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

Warflower, Part 4

After Ms. Magus checked in with Marco, she and Griffin were at a nearby café. As they were having dinner, Griffin said "So we know who took the book, how they did it, where they are, and we have ourselves a way in."

Ms. Magus told him "We still haven't figured out why she took it."

"The auction catalogue clearly stated that the winning bidder had to scan the Warflower for Empire State University. Whatever's in there, she doesn't want it going public. According to the wiki, it has a section on martial arts, including how to wrestle, swordfight and use a pole axe. In and out of armour, like the gear you saw the Provost wear. Aldo Villari, the original author, was a commoner who was made minor nobility in Perugia for his military expertise and insight. The Warflower also had sections on military tactics of the period and the construction of war machines. Copies of the book were wildly popular among Italian military, until Villari was declared a heretic for a passage in the book that said, 'One may become one with the Archangel Michael by skill at arms, as one may discover the Resurrection within oneself by further secrets I will tell you.' That's as far as the wiki goes on it, I'm afraid."

Ms. Magus said "That phrase… That phrase just reminded me of something. Among spellcasters and occultists, it's said that the Warflower frames warfare as a struggle with oneself and with Satan, to attain spiritual perfection. Much of the language would have been heretical and connected to medieval occult traditions. Mastery of the martial arts within is claimed to give the practitioner superhuman abilities, 'like an angel.'"

Intrigued, Griffin asked "What else can you remember, Cass?"

"The book has an extensive section on practical and spiritual alchemy. It used the rose and cross imagery later found among Rosicrucian sects, providing the only evidence of historical predecessors. It's woven through with practical instructions for making gunpowder and remedies for various ailments. Later texts bemoaned that the 'true secret of the Philosopher’s Stone' was lost when the Warflower disappeared."
Griffin performs a Well-Informed check on the Warflower, getting 14. He knows about what sort of mundane information would likely be in there. Ms. Magus rolls Expertise: Magic, getting 25! She knows all about the book's occultic aspects.

6th April 2017, the Lodge…

After getting their suit and dress cleaned and dried, Griffin and Ms. Magus made their plans.

Griffin said "So here's the plan, Cass. We go to the ball at TrevTech HQ and gather intel on the precise location of the room containing the Warflower. Once we find out, we grab a keycard and leave the ballroom at first opportunity. Once we have the book, we'll teleport it back here, first priority."

Ms. Magus asked "You do know that Stark Tower is literally across the street from TrevTech, right? Tony Stark himself will certainly show up."

Griffin told her "And he wouldn't need to sneak in. If they're in the same industries, professional courtesy would mean that he has an invite already. I might be able to talk my way out of a fight. One more thing, I've thought of a code. If either of us talks to the other about house keys, that's a reference to the keycard. As in, 'I haven't found the house keys, I'll ask that person if they've seen them.' Does that make sense?"

Ms. Magus said "Yeah, it does."


TrevTech HQ, Manhattan…

The TrevTech Building is a glass and steel spike which almost dominated that part of Manhattan. Security officers in black formal dress led Griffin and Ms. Magus to the elevator, which whisked them to the 10th floor. Once there, two other guards at the elevator door gestured to an enormous area with a high ceiling, which occupied the 10th and 11th floors. Most attendees were wearing costumes to the theme of Eternal Venice. Serving staff in domino masks circulated with food and drink. A wide, crowded strip of the 10th floor contained various guests, including four individuals in lab coats who don’t seem especially happy to be there. Griffin saw four emergency exits and two sets of double doors, each of them with a pair of security guards dressed as Venetian mercenaries. Their shoulder-holstered pistols were notable anachronisms.

Griffin started to mingle in the direction of the lab coats. He reckoned that Trevayne threw them all out of the lab she's using. He overheard one of them saying "Amanda knows that Lab #1 has sensitive content! What's she-" Then he felt someone's hand on his shoulder. Griffin turned around to see Tony Stark.

Tony said "Mr. Griffin. What are you doing here?"

Griffin said "I was invited for a good night out. I rarely get to see how the other half parties and networks, so I agreed to come and see. What are you doing here, Mr. Stark?" Griffin was thinking 'I've got to find a way to get rid of Stark before I find Cass.'
Griffin does an Insight roll, getting 23. He's got a good idea where to find Trevayne. He does a Perception check, getting 22 and overhearing some important intel. He gets a HP for the complication of having to deal with Stark.
Stark told him "Well, as a leader in the tech industry, I was invited out of professional courtesy. And I wasn't talking about what you're doing here. You've got an invite, that's good enough for me. I'm talking about why you're in America in the first place."

"I'm currently on a round-the-world journey. I don't exactly have Tony Stark money, and inter-city train routes aren't as big a deal here in North America as they are in my native Britain and in Europe, so I have to plan my route rather carefully. I was thinking of heading south to Florida, west through the South to California and north to Emerald City. Yes, Amtrak does have services out that way."

"You know about Amtrak?"

"I did my research when I made the decision to make my trip. I know that Emerald City is served by the Coast Starlight and Empire Builder routes, so I can get there via Los Angeles or Chicago."


While Griffin was dealing with Stark, Ms. Magus caught a jacket that was thrown at her by a drunk. She saw an executive keycard sticking out of the pocket, so she slipped it into her purse before putting the jacket on a nearby chair. She then sent a text to Griffin.

Code: Select all

To: Griffin
Found the house keys. Get to bathroom, quick and quiet.
Stark said "Trouble?"

Griffin told him. "Not at all. My companion found something we thought was lost. It was nice meeting you, Mr. Stark."

Code: Select all

To: Cass
Confirmed recipient's delivery address inside building. See you soon.
Ms. Magus understood that Griffin meant by that. Within a minute, Griffin was at the bathroom.

Griffin said "Glad you're okay, Cass. Just had to get Stark off me."

That was when the security guards' radio went off: "Backup required at first floor! Repeat, backup required at first floor!"

Ms. Magus said "Now's our chance, Griff!"

Griffin followed as Ms. Magus opened the now unguarded security door. Once they got to the lift, he said "Here's a map, it might show where Lab #1 is. That's where the scientists were thrown out of. I bet you that's where we find Amanda!" He looked… "It's on the floor right below us. Get ready for guards." Griffin turned his phone off and got his sword ready.


9th floor…

Ms. Magus said "I don't see any guards."

Griffin said "That's probably because they're inside. Let's use that card to get in and really get the party started."

Once the door opened, a man and a woman each equipped with a P90 pointed their guns at Griffin. The woman said "Identify yourselves!"

Griffin revealed his wings as he said "I am Griffin of the Host of Heaven! No deals, Amanda! I'm taking the Warflower back and I don't care if you get hurt or not!"

Amanda drew her sword as she shouted "KILL THEM BOTH!"

Griffin roared "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" as he blocked Amanda's blade, which had a strange glow to it.
Amanda Trevayne has the stats of an Elite Hired Killer with AGL and DEX flipped, +2 STR, +2 STA, +1 FGT, Close Combat (Swords) 4 (+11), Expertise: Alchemy 8 (+10), Expertise: Business 10 (+12) Expertise: Science 16 (+18), Technology 16 (+18), Treatment 16 (+18), Improved Critical (Swords) 3, Improved Trip and Regeneration 5. She is equipped with an armoured bodysuit equal to a Bulletproof Vest and Will-powered Sword: Strength-Based Damage 3 with Dangerous 1 and Penetrating 8.

Kira and Mark are Veteran Soldiers from Gamemaster's Guide with Bulletproof Vests and SMGs with Penetrating 4.

Griffin attempts to Intimidate all three, getting 15. Amanda gets 23 to resist, Kira gets 14 and Mark gets a Natural 1. Amanda's still fighting, Kira and Mark are both too freaked out at the sight of an angry angel to target him!

Griffin gets two HP for his Honour Complication (the Agreement requires him to put his divine duty and personal honour over making money when possible), for entering combat and for using non-lethal force.

Ms. Magus gets a HP for entering combat and another for using non-lethal force.

Roll Initiative!
Amanda: 22
Mark: 19
Ms. Magus: 16
Griffin: 9

Amanda attacks Griffin with the Will-powered Sword, getting 19. Griffin gets 23 and resists. Mark fires his SMG at Ms. Magus (He's too scared of Griffin to shoot him), getting a Natural 20, crit scored! Ms. Magus got 17. She spent a HP, getting 27 and resisting. Ms. Magus fired a Magical Blast at Mark, getting 16 and missing. Kira also fired at Ms. Magus, getting 18 and missing. Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 29! Amanda gets 21 and is hit and Dazed!

Amanda: 1 Injury, Dazed.
Ms. Magus: 2 HP.
Amanda lands a solid blow on Griffin's skull, almost knocking him out! Griffin returns the favour while Ms. Magus blasts Mark in the stomach!
Amanda attacks Griffin, getting 30, crit scored! She raises the DC by +5. Griffin gets 18 and is hit and dazed. Mark fired another burst at Ms. Magus, getting 17 and missing. Ms. Magus fires a Magical Blast at Mark, getting 23. Mark gets 14 and is hit and Staggered. Kira also fires a burst at Ms. Magus, getting 9 and missing. Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 22 and raising the DC by +5. Amanda gets 27 and is hit.

Amanda: 2 Injuries.
Mark: 1 Injury, Staggered.
Griffin: 1 Injury, Dazed.
As Griffin dodged another blow from Amanda, she saw one of her wounds close before his very eyes! Ms. Magus said "ENOUGH!" hard enough to stun Kira and Mark, while giving Griffin a clear strike at Amanda.
Amanda Regenerates. She then attacks Griffin, getting a Natural 20, crit scored! She raises the DC by +5. Griffin gets 17. He spends a HP to reroll, getting 29 and resisting. Mark fired a burst at Ms. Magus, getting 17 and missing. Ms. Magus spent a HP to stunt Magical Blast into Silent Night: Selective Cone Area Affliction 7. Griffin is in the cone radius but he is not selected. Amanda gets 12 and resists. Mark gets 11 and is Stunned. Kira gets 10 and is Stunned. Griffin does a Flurry of Steel, getting 22. He adds +2 to the DC. Amanda gets 13, and is hit and Staggered.

Amanda: 2 Injuries, Staggered.
Ms. Magus: 1 HP.
Amanda and Griffin were still locking blades while Ms. Magus knocked Mark out with a blast to the head.
Amanda attacked Griffin, getting 15 and missing. Ms Magus fired a blast at Mark, getting 24. Mark got 9 was Incapacitated! Griffin attacked with the Flurry of Steel, getting 14 and missing.

Mark: 2 Bruises, Incapacitated.

Griffin shouted "Mind out! She regenerates!" as Ms. Magus blasted Amanda.
Amanda Regenerates.

Amanda attacks Griffin, getting 25. Griffin gets 27 and is hit. Ms. Magus fires an All-Out Blast at Amanda, getting 22. Amanda gets 19 and is hit. Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 24. Amanda gets 16 and is hit and Dazed.

Griffin: 2 Injuries.
Amanda: 3 Injuries, Staggered
Griffin saw his chance. He grabbed Amanda's wrist and held her sword away from him as he beat her unconscious and bloody!
Amanda attacks Griffin, getting 15 and missing. Ms. Magus fires a blast at Amanda, getting 15 and missing. Griffin does an All-Out Flurry of Steel, getting 14. He spends a HP to reroll, getting 23. Amanda gets 8 and is Incapacitated!

Amanda: 3 Injuries, Incapacitated
When Amanda fell, Griffin said "Thank you, Ms. Magus. Now where's the Warflower?"

As she looked for it, Ms. Magus said "I've never seen you like that, Griff! It looked like the wrath of God was about to kill us all!"

He told her "Just be glad the Spectre wasn't here, he's the real Spirit of God's Wrath. If he's after you, he kills you in such a way as to remind others that the stuff you pulled to warrant his arrival can never be tolerated, not even once. Dr. Arthur Light learned that one the hard way."

Ms. Magus passed the Warflower to Griffin, saying "Got it! Time to get outta here! Emergency Entrance!" Once Griffin crossed with the book, Ms. Magus crossed, closing the portal behind her.
Ms. Magus spends her last HP to cast Emergency Entrance: Extended Teleport 7 with Portal and Limited Location 2: The Lodge.
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

Warflower, Conclusion

At the Lodge…

After they both made it inside, Ms. Magus closed the portal. Griffin said "That was f**king wild! Two swordfights in two days! Now if you'll excuse me, I need a whizz…"

A few minutes later…

After Griffin finished in the bathroom, he sat down on the sofa saying "Now I can collapse. I just want to say for the record, I wouldn't have accepted any offer Trevayne would have made."

Ms. Magus asked "You wouldn't have? No matter how much she would have paid?"

"I'm bound to an Agreement in exchange for my powers, Cass. One of the terms is that once I agree to do something, I must do everything in my power to see it done. The only ways to release me from it are when it's fulfilled, if the other party releases me from the deal, they break it first or if I die while actively fulfilling it. I agreed to help retrieve stolen property, and that's what you saw me do. I was never going to negotiate, as the very act would have made me an oath-breaker. Honour must be reborn, Cass."

"You're serious, aren't you?"

"Yes. You've seen that I can't do sarcasm or irony, Cass. I either do deadly serious or I'm just plain dead. Do you really think that anyone less honourable would have been at all capable of getting the intel needed to get the Warflower back so soon?" Griffin opened the Warflower and had a look inside. He said "Er, Cass… You're not going to believe what I'm reading here."

"What is it?"

"The Warflower talks all about alchemy, and at least one formula looks like it might actually be sound."

"What makes you say that?"

"You know how Trevayne could regenerate? There's something in here that would explain her doing it… And this section here is all about channeling your will into your sword. I know that those techniques work for a fact."

"Are you sure about that?"

"I learned similar techniques to correctly wield Justice and make it possible to strike ghosts with it. And they're the main reason Trevayne was able to hurt me during that fight. It's not just a strong body you need to make it useful, you also need strength of spirit sufficient to face death without hesitation and without regret. I'll come with you to Marco in the morning."


9 A.M. 7th April 2017, Iannucci's Auctions…

Ms. Magus rang the intercom. Marco said "Who is it?"

Ms. Magus said "It's Cass and Griffin. We got that missing property back for you."

"Come on in, I'll buzz you through!"


After the door opened, Griffin said "We got the book back, sir. And we made the thief answer for it."

Marco asked "Who was it?"

Griffin "We'll talk about it in the office."


In the office…

Once he sat down, Griffin said "The real thief was Amanda Trevayne, CEO of TrevTech."

Maria asked "…How?"

Griffin said "Cass can back me on all of this. I heard Marco say earlier that D'Agati called himself the Duke of Perugia, the same name the swordsmen gave when they spilled who told them to rob you. So we went to his HEMA school, the Society of Perugia."

Ms. Magus said "I told Griffin that the Society was intense, even by HEMA standards. He had the idea of calling out the highest-ranking student in a duel. Something I thought was ill-advised."

Griffin told them "If they were as intense as Cass said they were, they would take their honour seriously and relish the chance to fight someone who wasn't a student. After all, the students at the rear storage admitted that my swordplay was better than theirs, that's why they spilled anything at all. So I gave the students at the Society a chance. I called them out, challenging the Provost to a duel to first blood."

Maria said "Oh my God, you're serious."

Ms. Magus said "That's what I said when he told me! He even handed them his sword, just to keep it a fair fight!"

Griffin told them "If Cass used any powers or if we were dishonourable, we wouldn't get anything more detailed from them than 'Go eff yourself!' I managed to cut the Provost's face before she cut mine. The rest of the students kept out of our way as we entered D'Agati's office."

Ms Magus said "We told D'Agati we were there for the Warflower. He said he didn't have it, but he knew who had it. It turned out that Amanda Trevayne had effectively bankrolled the Society, and she f**ked D'Agati over to get the Warflower. He mentioned how he had tickets to a charity ball she was hosting at her HQ. If it wasn't there, she'd know where to find it."

Griffin said "So we got our suit and dress on that night, and we hit the ball. I saw some scientists who looked like they were just thrown out of a lab. I overheard them mentioning that Amanda was at a particular lab. Then I had to talk my way around Tony Stark, as fighting him wasn't exactly a valid option. So I discussed my round-the-world trip with him."

Ms. Magus said "While Griffin was distracting Stark, someone who had too much to drink threw his jacket at me. So I pocketed his ID card and texted Griffin. He texted back and we met up right before security was ordered to guard the entrance, leaving the emergency exits unguarded. We made our way to the lab."

Griffin continued "When we entered the lab, there was a man and a woman guarding Amanda. I recognised the man from the CCTV as the one Mortensen handed the Warflower to. And they were both packing P90s. I told Amanda that I was taking the Warflower back. She ordered the guards to kill us! They started shooting at Cass while Amanda engaged me in a swordfight. I didn't know then how she did it, but she could regenerate and she was able to wound me, both things I know most people can't do. I managed to knock her out while Cass laid out the guards."

Ms. Magus continued with "We got the Warflower and made our way out of there. When we were safely home, Griffin looked at the Warflower. He could read Latin, I couldn't. And what he saw explained a few things."

Griffin finished with "I found that the Warflower is an alchemical formulary, and one formula allowed the imbiber to regenerate. It also has various techniques for channelling your will into a melee weapon. I had to learn similar techniques while learning to swordfight myself, so I knew the contents were actually sound and based on something true. We made it here and here we are. I must insist that you let ESU scan the contents, as per your agreement with the seller."

Marco said "Will do. Also, as agreed, double your agreed payment is in each envelope. There's $3,000 for each of you."

As Griffin was about to leave after taking his payment, Marco said "Just one thing, Griffin. If you ever need to send something between Europe and the United States on the quiet, you can come and see us."

Griffin said "Will do, Marco. Will do."
Griffin gets 2 PP. He spends 3 PP on getting 6 ranks of Investigation. Ms. Magus gets 2 PP. She gives her Mystical Blast 2 ranks of Dangerous. She raises Healing to Rank 7 and her Move Object to Rank 8. She spends her last PP on the Magical Array to get Emergency Entrance: Extended Teleport 8 (250 Miles), Portal, Limited Location 2: The Lodge.
Thorpocalypse
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:52 pm

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by Thorpocalypse »

I just started reading and this is good stuff. I can't wait to catch up. :)
Me fail English? That's unpossible. - Ralph Wiggum
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

Thanks, Thorp.
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

Operation Inundation: Tilbury


While Griffin was working on how to plan the Creamer Street raid, he decided to take a break and call a mate of his…


Goldwing's Flat, Greenhithe, Kent…

Goldwing had just finished dinner when his phone rang. Someone was using WhatsApp. "Goldwing speaking."

"Coming to you live from New York, it's the Griffin of London! How are you, Gold?"

"I'm good, just finished a personal project of mine. I hear someone's been a busy angel! What's this I've been hearing about a fight breaking out in Brooklyn last night? From what little I saw on YouTube and LiveLeak, it looked like Ms. Magus, an unknown long-haired male and another male wielding a sword who appears to fit your description were getting into it with some really hairy blokes and their massive dog!"

"All I know is that the 'unknown long-haired male' you're on about sounded like he needed some help regaining some stolen property of his, which apparently included the massive dog in question. And I understand that he reasserted himself as the dog's rightful master."

"Don't worry, I get it."

"And I can safely say that bugbears and elves are both real, I've gotten close enough to them both to be sure."

"Fair enough. And I've seen fresh pictures and video of you waving to the tourists at the Statue of Liberty. So, why have you called?"

"I was just wondering, did you do anything during Operation Inundation?"

"Yeah, I did get into a fight. Here's what happened…"



September 2016, the day of Operation Inundation III…

As Goldwing was having lunch and listening to KMFM after finishing his latest project, he was planning on going to Gravesend to do a shopping run, which usually meant a LOT of meat. And that didn't come cheap, because his hyper-carnivorous metabolism meant that he needed a mainly meat-based diet to remain healthy.

That was when he heard Overshadow's broadcast. What Goldwing understood was that Overshadow tried to take this world over twice. He said to himself "I'd better get to town."

His landline phone rang. Not many people knew the number and it was ex-directory, meaning it wouldn't appear in any phone-books or on their websites.

Goldwing asked "Hello?"

A man asked "Is this Goldwing?"

"Speaking."

"This is the Dockmaster at the Port of Tilbury! Did you hear Overshadow?"

"That bloke on the radio? Yeah, I did."

"We need you over here right now!"

The Dockmaster and the Chief Police Officer of the Port of Tilbury were among those who Goldwing allowed to know his landline number. It would only take about a minute to get from Ingress Park to the Port at the speed Goldwing flew, and he didn't even need a boat to get there.

Goldwing said "I'll be there in about a minute! Remember to tell the Port Police that I'm coming!"

"They'll be told! Just get here NOW!"

"On my way!"


Goldwing then took his gloves off and put them in the pocket of his hoodie, revealing his sharp talons. He normally wore the gloves when he went out to keep from hurting other people by accident, but this time he was out to do some damage. He went out to the balcony, locked the door behind him and took off!

As he flew over the Thames to reach Tilbury Port, Goldwing saw a woman drowning. He flew down to her and used his Mage Talon spell to lift her out of the water up to his height. He asked "Are you alright?"

The woman he lifted out said "Thanks for the lift, Goldwing! I didn't know the river flowed this fast!"

"Now you know for next time, love! Which side of the river do you want me to drop you off?"

"South, near Broadness Harbour!"

"I know where that is, it's on my way."


When Goldwing landed and put the woman down at Broadness Harbour, he said "I heard that SHADOW are attacking, you should get indoors at once!"

The woman asked "Are you sure?"

Goldwing said "Yeah! Just heard Overshadow declare war on KMFM, it's why I'm out here! If you're not a power, a soldier or a copper, I suggest going back home and staying there for a couple of days."

The woman said "Alright, I'm going!" and then she headed into one of the moored boats, at least she wouldn't be seen from there. Goldwing then took off towards the Port of Tilbury, ready for trouble.
Goldwing gets a HP for saving a life.

As Goldwing arrived at the Port, he saw an unusual craft land inside it, just outside its police station. It certainly didn't bear any police or military insignia he knew about, so he knew it wasn't a friendly.

The roof-mounted cannon on the flying vehicle blasted the main door to the police station open, and then a squad of Troopers came out, heading straight for it… along with a couple of blazers. The blazers headed for the station. Goldwing blasted one from the air to keep them from getting in.
Roll Initiative! Goldwing gets 22, One Flame in SHADOW gets 22, two SHADOW Trooper minions get 12, the other Flame in SHADOW gets 10, three SHADOW Trooper minions get 8 and the Advanced Trooper piloting the Charon-Class APC (Stats for the APC are the same as the AEGIS Raptor-Class APC in Gadget Guides) gets 5. Goldwing's Favoured Environment advantage is active and set to Defence.

Goldwing gets a HP for entering combat. Everyone is using lethal force.

In the surprise round, Goldwing fires a Magic Blast at a Flame-in-SHADOW, getting 24. That Flame-in-SHADOW gets 15 and is hit and Dazed.

Then all hell broke loose, with lasers and flames firing on Goldwing, with a laser grazing his arm and the APC's Autocannon striking him in the chest!
Goldwing fired another blast at the same Flame-in-SHADOW and got 27. The Flame-in-SHADOW got 19 and was hit and already dazed. The Dazed Flame-in-SHADOW tossed a Firebolt at Goldwing, getting 15 and missing. Goldwing, getting 12 and 19, both missing him. The unwounded Flame-in-SHADOW threw a Firebolt at Goldwing, getting 27. Goldwing gets 29 on his Toughness save and dodges the bolt. Three SHADOW Troopers fire their lasers and get 19, Natural 1 and 23. Goldwing gets 17 and is hit. The Advanced Trooper fires and gets a natural 20, crit scored! The Trooper raises the DC by +5. Goldwing gets 20 to resist, then he spends a HP to reroll, getting 21. Goldwing is hit and Dazed.

Goldwing: 1 HP, 2 Injuries, Dazed.
Flame-in-SHADOW 1: 2 Injuries, Dazed.

Goldwing threw another bolt of magic at the wounded blazer and managed to avoid the return fire.
Goldwing fired a bolt of magic at the wounded Flame-in-SHADOW and got 28. The Flame-in-SHADOW got 23 and resisted. Two SHADOW Troopers fired at Goldwing, getting 8 and 21 and missing. The unwounded Flame-in-SHADOW threw a firebolt and got 18, missing altogether. Three Troopers fire and get 17, 7, 13, all of them missing. The Advanced Trooper fires with 12 and misses.
SHADOW simply couldn't lock on to Goldwing!
Goldwing fired a bolt of Magic at the wounded Flame-in-SHADOW and got a Natural 1, missing outright. The wounded Flame-in-SHADOW threw a Firebolt and missed with 12. Two Troopers fired, getting 13 and 16 and missing. The unwounded Flame-in-SHADOW threw a firebolt, getting 14 and missing. Three Troopers fired, getting 8, 12 and 13, all missing. The Advanced Trooper fired, getting 12 and missing.
Goldwing shouted "Fall, all of you! FALL!" He then simply sprayed the shooters with magic, killing one of them and then taking an autocannon shell right in the chest!
Goldwing uses his Magic on the wounded Flame-in-SHADOW and gets a Natural 20, Crit scored! He stunts his Magic into Ranged Damage 7 with Multiattack, targeting 3 Troopers and both Flames-in-SHADOW, in initiative order. Goldwing gets 24, 22, 12, 15 and 7. The wounded Flame-in-SHADOW gets 11 and is hit and Dazed. The SHADOW Trooper who was hit gets Natural 1 and is killed. The wounded Flame-in-SHADOW throws a Firebolt at Goldwing and gets 28. Goldwing gets 14 and is hit and Dazed. One SHADOW Trooper fired, getting 8 and missing. Another Trooper got 26. Goldwing got 24 and resisted. The last trooper fired, getting 12 and missing. The Advanced Trooper gets a natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. Goldwing gets 27 and is hit.

Goldwing: 4 Injuries, Dazed.
Flame-in-SHADOW 1: 3 Injuries, Dazed.
Goldwing sustained the rapid magical blasts, taking down another shooter.
Goldwing uses his Magic on the wounded Flame-in-SHADOW and gets 29, Crit scored! He stunts his Magic into Ranged Damage 7 with Multiattack, targeting 2 Troopers and both Flames-in-SHADOW in initiative order. Goldwing gets 17, 17, 17 and 8. The wounded Flame-in-SHADOW gets 16 and is hit. One Trooper gets a Natural 1 and is killed. The second Trooper gets a Natural 20 and resists. The wounded Flame-in-SHADOW threw a firebolt and got a Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. Goldwing gets a Natural 20 and resists. One Trooper fired, getting 26. Goldwing got 20 and resisted. Two Troopers get 12 and 21, both missing. The unwounded Flame-in-SHADOW threw a firebolt, getting 20 and missing. The Advanced Trooper fired, getting 15 and missing.

Flame-in-SHADOW 1: 4 Injuries.
Another blast and the wounded blazer wasn't looking too good.
Goldwing blasted the wounded Flame-in-SHADOW and got 24. The Flame-in-SHADOW got 10 and was Staggered. 27, Goldwing got a Natural 1 and spends a HP to reroll, getting 25 to resist. The wounded Flame-in-SHADOW fires at Goldwing and gets 24. Goldwing gets a Natural 20 and resists. The three Troopers got 16, 20, 11, all missing. The unwounded Flame-in-SHADOW got a Natural 1 and missed. The Advanced Trooper got 15 and missed.

Flame-in-SHADOW 1: 5 Injuries, Staggered.
Goldwing then took down the wounded blazer!
Goldwing fires and gets 23. The wounded Flame-in-SHADOW gets a Natural 1 and is Dying! He gets 16 on his death check and is still alive. Three Troopers got 17, Natural 1 and 13, all missing. The surviving Flame-in-SHADOW got 19 and missed. The Advanced Trooper got 8 and missed.
He was finally shot down by the second blazer, landing on the police station entrance!
Goldwing fired another bolt of magic, at the other Flame-in-SHADOW, getting 16 and missing. The dying Flame-in-SHADOW got 25 on his death check and is stable. A Trooper fired and got 28. Goldwing got N20 and resisted. Another Trooper fires, getting 24. Goldwing got 10, and was hit and Dazed. The last Trooper got 6 and missed. The Flame-in-SHADOW got 24, Goldwing gets 9 and is Dying! He gets 20 on his death check and stabilises.
That was when the British Army finally made it to the port. Eventually, the gunfire stopped. When it did, Goldwing called out "Can someone help me out, I need a bloody medic here!"


April, 2017…

Goldwing concluded with "And that's what happened at Tilbury. I was treated for burns, broken ribs and a wing that broke when I fell. The hospital had to get in a vet who specialised in large avians to help set my wings and bind them."

Griffin told him "I can see why they did that. It's not really something that most human medical personnel know how to do, you know."

"I know, hence why I didn't complain. The vet said it was a nice change for her, dealing with a patient who could give proper feedback for once. It took two days before I was well enough to use my magic to fully recover, fix my wings properly and discharge myself. Officer Benbow from the Ministry of Powers saw the fight on the port's CCTV and she said my use of lethal force was justifiable. She also said that my fight was likely the main reason that none of the civilians in the station died!"

"I actually know Benbow, she's a straight shooter as Ministry officers go. She knows what self-defence and defence of another look like. If she said it was self-defence, then I believe her. The fact that she's a telepath helps as well."

Griffin then heard a very loud SCREECH over the phone and then Goldwing saying "She's a telepath?! Are you serious?!"

Griffin replied "I am serious! Because of her, the Ministry now has something in their file on me that I'd very much rather they didn't know about. And you protected a vital port by yourself against a known terrorist organisation, that definitely leaned things in your favour!"

"Any idea what they did with the SHADOW soldiers after the fight?"

"They're likely all dead by now."

"WHAT?! You're telling me that the Ministry-"

"No. I can say beyond reasonable doubt that the Ministry of Powers did not kill them all."

"How's that?"

"I had one of my revelations after I fought them at the Museum of London. All SHADOW soldiers have an implant codenamed the Umbral Protocol, designed to inject a powerful and lethal neurotoxin into them. It goes off if they surrender, get their minds read or if they betray SHADOW. It's only because I revealed it to Cheddar that she didn't completely break down when the soldiers she hit with her wand dropped dead. And since they're all clones, Overshadow - their leader and the one who made that broadcast - doesn't care at all if he has to sacrifice them to maintain security. After all, he can just get more."

"…Makes sense."

"Also, it took a squad of SHADOW to bring you down and they had to use an autocannon and two powers! You may be many things Gold, but everyone now knows that a weakling coward in the face of death is not one of them! A lot of people learned the hard way what they were truly made of that day, so be thankful that you didn't find yourself wanting when it actually counted!"

"I appreciate that, Griffin. I've got to go, just made some new gear and I need to see if it works."

"Catch you later. I hope you have a good evening, it was good to talk with you."

"Likewise. See you later."

"Yeah, bye."

Then Goldwing hung up. He was ready to down the potion that would enhance his wings. The hard part was finding the feathers of a peregrine falcon, the fastest bird on Earth, due to disturbing their nests being highly illegal. So he made a large donation to a falconry centre - plenty of those about in Kent - to acquire some freshly moulted feathers instead. He disconnected his phone and doorbell and turned his mobile off. He was taking no chances with being disturbed. Then he drank the potion. Not the best-tasting potion he's had. When he finished the bottle, Goldwing started to feel his wings change shape, from those of an eagle to those of a peregrine falcon!

Goldwing then said to himself "Time for a shakedown flight. From here to Rochester should do it."

He then turned his mobile back on and went outside. He started the stopwatch app on his phone, put it in his pocket and took off for Rochester. When he flew over Rochester Bridge and thus entered Rochester, he checked his phone. Two and a half minutes, smashing his previous best of five minutes! Feeling very pleased with himself, Goldwing flew home. That potion was worth the expense!
Goldwing got 1 PP. He spends it on increasing the speed of his Winged Flight to Rank 7 (250 MPH).
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

The Bloody Week, Part 1

8th April 2017, the Lodge, Griffin's bedroom…

Griffin had just finished getting dressed after a shower when Annabelle came though the mirror in his bathroom.

He asked "Hey, Annabelle. What's going on?"

Annabelle said "Mother wants to speak to you. Now. Follow me through the mirror."

As he used the mirror to cross over, Griffin recalled how, during his near-death experience, he didn't even realise he was dead until he was before the Throne and, like then, he was very quickly thinking about how much trouble he thought he was going to be in.

Once he saw her, Griffin immediately went down on both knees, saying "My Lady."

The Lady said "I suppose you're wondering why I summoned you before me." She sounded like she was angry at someone. And that usually meant that someone was going to be dead and damned, and Griffin was hoping it wouldn't be him.

Griffin said "I am, actually. Our Agreement lets you summon me whenever you want, but I doubt that you'd do it unless whatever you wanted to tell me was THAT important that you couldn't afford me ignoring it. And I can't recall messing up badly enough to get you angry at me."

"You're quite right on all counts. I am angry, I'm angry with the wicked every day. You can calm down, I'm not angry at you. This is your next assignment." A portrait appeared in the Lady's hand. "This is Robert Moses, the vampiric 'Prince' of New York City. He cares not for the city which he bleeds to sustain himself."

Griffin had a vision. Robert Moses was the biggest city planner in New York's history. He was out of power in the mid 1960s and his influence was further weakened in the 70s when The Power Broker was published, a very well-referenced unauthorised biography proving that he was a racist, that he favoured cars over public transit and, worst of all, he was never actually elected to any of his official positions. This was a big deal in a country that took the concept of democracy seriously. He was supposed to have died in 1981, but Robert becoming a vampire was something Griffin didn't expect.
Griffin made a Well-Informed check and got a Natural 20! He knows everything that's a matter of public record about Robert Moses.
The Lady helped Griffin up, then she put her hands on Griffin's shoulders, looked him in the eye and said "In my name, you will go into Robert's lair, kill him and liberate New York from vampiric hold. You shall deliver my wrath unto him and bring him before me for judgment. Do you have any questions?"

"Where in the city does he stay, my Lady? The city itself may never sleep, but its people certainly do."

"A mansion in Manhattan. Look at Clauses Three and Five of our Agreement on the desk. There's something you should be aware of."

Griffin read the Agreement again. "Clause Three says that an explicit order from you to kill a target is one of the few times I CAN'T accept a surrender! And Clause Five says that it isn't a sin that gets me damned if you give the order to kill them!"

"That's right. And I know you read and understood it the first time."

"Also, this will be my first time fighting a vampire. I have two questions to ask, will the sun kill him or just weaken him a bit? And what would happen if I used my healing touch on him?"

"The instant he catches the sun, he will catch fire. And he can't recover from fire-based injuries by feeding like he can from other injuries. Justice is one of the few weapons in the city that can harm him. And your healing touch would burn him just as badly. I also want to make one thing clear before you go back."

"Yes, Ma'am?"

"I will not accept any proof of death other than having Robert's soul right before me. On your phone will be a message with a photo and his address. You will tell no one about this, not even Miss Valentine, until after it is done. Do you understand me?"

"Of course, my Lady. Your will be DONE."

"Very well. Use the portal behind you to get back to New York."

"And I'll see you later, Ma'am."

"Don't worry, you will."

Once Griffin left, the Lady summoned Annabelle, who asked "Yes, Mother?"

"I need you to keep an eye on Griffin. Once he kills Robert Moses, I'll need you to immediately open a portal. There should be a mirror near his location."


When Griffin got back, he checked his phone. One new MMS message from an "Unidentified Number":

Code: Select all

<PHOTO>
Name: Robert Moses
Address: 991 5th Avenue
Approaches Allowed: Any.
5th Avenue was the most famous street in all the Five Boroughs, which meant that there would be a lot of witnesses if Griffin was foolish enough to go through the front door. So he used his PC-On-A-Stick to look the place up. It used to be the HQ of the American Irish Historical Society for more than a century before it was sold to an undisclosed individual, who has owned it for the past few years. Google Maps showed that there was a tradesmen's entrance while the Street View showed five floors.

Griffin thought 'I need to put the phone in Flight Mode and turn off the GPS for this. Can't take the tablet or the laptop. I need the rucksack. And Justice. Can't do this assignment without it. Back then, the topmost floors were used as servant's quarters, hence their lack of decoration. Robert must be on the second floor or in the basement. And I need to do it before sunset, as I do not want to fight a vampire at full strength.'

Griffin bought the rucksack at an army surplus shop while getting things ready for the Creamer Street raid. It contained Griffin's tactical outfit and had a detachable day bag.
Griffin does a Tactics roll and gets 19. He has a good idea where to start looking. He also gets a HP for his Honour complication: he got a direct order from his Lady.

5th Avenue…

Griffin took the R Train and the 4 Train to 86th Street. He flew to a rooftop a block away from the target building in question, before changing his outfit. He swapped his sweatpants and hoodie for tactical trousers and shirt and his platform high-tops for a pair of lightweight military boots. And the most important bits, a Guy Fawkes mask in the style of V for Vendetta and his pair of gloves with the carbon fibre inserts. He unzipped the day bag from the main rucksack and flew to 991 5th Avenue.

When he landed behind the mansion, he cut the basement door open. He searched all over it and found nothing that could be used as a hidden bed or coffin. All he saw was that it was used as a loading area. He sighed as he thought 'Upstairs it is. This is going to get messy…'
Griffin has to check the basement first before he can begin his search for Robert. He rolls Perception and gets a Natural 20! He confirms that this is not where Robert Moses sleeps during the day.
As he went to the ground floor, he saw a single guard pass by. This was when he had an idea. 'I'm going to do an impression of Agent 47.' He sneaked up to the guard and laid him out with one blow. 'The more guards I deal with now, the less I have to on the way out.'
The Guards are Elite Soldiers from Gamemaster's Guide Deluxe with the Elite Template also added on. Griffin will try to use non-lethal force on the guards. Griffin gets 23 on his Stealth roll, The Guard gets 12 on Perception and is Surprised. Roll Initiative! The Guard gets 16 while Griffin gets 9. In the surprise round, Griffin All-Out Attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 33! This raises the DC by +5. The Guard gets 9 and is Incapacitated.
Griffin saw that the guard had an assault rifle. Those were difficult to get, even in American black markets. When he dragged the guard to the basement, Griffin realised something. He thought 'That's weird, I thought there would be more people here. On to the next floor.'

Griffin sneaked his way to the first floor. He managed to floor the second guard without him getting a shot off. He dragged the man into an empty bathroom.
Griffin does a Stealth roll, getting 13. The Guard gets 11 on his Perception. Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 22 and the Guard gets 9. In the surprise round, Griffin All-Out Attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 28. The Guard got 15 and was Staggered. In the first combat round, Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting a Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. The Guard gets 12 and is Incapacitated.
Griffin was glad he masked up now. Even though the guard managed to see him, he didn't see his face. No talking meant that the guard wouldn't recall his voice.

As he opened the door to the second floor, a guard walked out of the bathroom, directly facing Griffin! He drew his pistol out, shouting "FREEZE, MOTHERF**KER! Hands against the wall! NOW!"

Griffin realised one thing. 'Damn it! Time to go loud!*' He charged at the guard and managed to floor him before he could fire. After dragging the guard back into the bathroom, he thought 'THAT was close! Wait a minute… I can hear snoring, he's STILL asleep?! I still have my chance!'
Griffin did a Stealth roll getting 15. The guard got 20 and spotted Griffin! Roll Initiative! The Guard gets 20 while Griffin gets 11. The Guard tries to Coerce Griffin into surrendering, getting 13. What he doesn't know is that Griffin is Fearless! Griffin Charges at the Guard, doing an All-Out Attack with the Flurry of Steel. Griffin gets 28! The Guard gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated.
This was when Griffin unsheathed his sword. He turned the knob and opened the door to the Master Bedroom. He could see a four-poster bed with the curtains drawn shut and a tall man-sized mirror on the wall. A quick check on the phone was made to confirm Robert's identity. He gently opened the curtains and found him. Griffin simply sliced down, taking Robert's head off.
Griffin is now using lethal force. He spends a HP to stunt his True Sight into Sense Life and Death: Senses 7 (Detect Life, Detect Undead, with Acute on both and Radius on Detect Life. Griffin could confirm Moses' vampiric nature and that the few guards he knocked out were the only living souls there except for himself. Robert Moses has the stats of a Crime Lord from Gamemaster's Guide Deluxe (pg.87) with the Elite Template and the Classic Vampire template from Supernatural Handbook (pg. 48). He is currently Asleep. Griffin does a Stealth check, getting a Natural 20! Moses gets 14 and doesn't hear Griffin sneaking up on him. Griffin performs an All-Out Flurry of Steel, getting 36, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. Moses gets 16 and is killed!
Robert's ghost rose out of his body, which quickly disintegrated into bones, including a skull with pronounced fangs. When he saw his skeleton, he shouted "You- You killed me! Who do you think you are?!"

Griffin sheathed his blade and said "You find out in a minute, sir! ANNABELLE!"

The mirror became a portal and Annabelle said "Bring Robert in here!"

Griffin told Robert "You're going in that mirror, one way or another!"

Robert yelled "Who are you to make demands of me?!"

Griffin revealed his wings as he said "I'm an angel and I was ordered to send you to judgement. Now go! Into the mirror!" Griffin used his sheathed sword like a police baton to drive Robert forward into the mirror.


Soon, Annabelle, Griffin and Robert were in a white empty space.

Robert asked "Where are we?"

Griffin said "We're in Purgatory, last stop before judgment. I don't know how you became a vampire, but you had to know your luck would still run out. And it also means it's not looking good for you."

Robert spat out "I might be damned, but you have no idea what Hell you’ve just opened up! Not just for you, but for the whole city! Would you burn down a forest just to get a single fox?!"

Griffin calmly said "If my Liege commands the fox's death, absolutely! Look at Sodom and Gomorrah if you don't believe me. And don't worry, the NYPD won't link me to this."

Robert begged "Please! This has gone too far! You don’t want to do this! I can help you! I can offer you so many things! Will you listen?! Will you wait?!"

Griffin told him "The Almighty ordered your death, so your fate was sealed. And besides, once you cross over, there's no turning back. Meaning that you can't give me anything anyway." Griffin put his hand on Robert's shoulder. "Eternity awaits. Go on, Robert, you've got an appointment you can't miss."

Griffin brought Robert through a bright light, where they were finally before the Lady, with the same desk as before next to her.

Griffin said "Ma'am, I've brought Mr. Robert Moses before you, as per your orders!"

The Lady said "Thank you, Simon. You should know that it'll be about two hours before the guards you knocked out wake back up. That note on the desk is for the safe in the master bedroom. It's in a wardrobe."

Robert saw the note and said "That's the right combination!"

The Lady lifted Robert by the neck and said "1981. The year you were originally supposed to stand before me, Robert! And I don't like being held up!"

Griffin told him "You can't take the contents with you anyway, Robert. Don't worry, I'll put them to good use, like you were supposed to from the start. If you don't require me any further, my Lady…"

The Lady said "You can go. Besides, you already know what's going to happen next."

Griffin ran to the mirror and made it out right before judgment was passed. During his training, he was made to see such judgments every day. And the Lady started with his own. He does not want to go through all that again.

He soon found himself back at Robert's Master Bedroom. He found the wardrobe and opened the safe, which was easy with the combination. He found a whole pile of money, he could barely fit it all into the day bag! Since all the guards were still unconscious, Griffin was able to just walk out the back door and take off.

After flying back to his stash, Griffin only took two minutes to completely change his outfit. He was wearing a hoodie, sweatpants and a pair of platform high-tops. Those really helped lessen the impact on his feet when he landed and he was glad they came in men's sizes. He landed in a nearby alley and took the subway back to the Lodge.


When Griffin opened the door to the Lodge, he heard Ms. Magus say "You won't believe what I heard while you were out."

"Try me," Griffin replied.

"Apparently, someone had broken into a mansion on 5th Avenue! In broad daylight! The homeowner was killed in his bed and his safe was emptied."

"Funny you should say that…"

"You didn't-!"

"You're not going to believe why the Lady had me do that."

"Try me."

"I was sent to kill Robert Moses. He was the homeowner in question."

"What? THE Robert Moses?! I thought he was already dead!"

"From what I understood on Wikipedia, he was a highly controversial figure. I didn't know until today that he became a vampire in 1981. That's why I got the order to kill him."

"He was still here, all this time-?!" She then crossed herself.

Griffin put his hand on Ms. Magus' shoulder, saying "Not any more, he isn't. I dragged his soul before the Lady. Under her direct orders. She made it quite clear that it was the only way to prove I've done it to her satisfaction. Trust me, he isn't coming back this time!"


In a New York office, just after dusk…

A man and a woman were at a table with documents all around it.

The woman said "I've got a guy in the NYPD who gave me this preliminary forensics report. The head was cut off in one blow! Whoever this was left no trace. No hair, no fingerprints, they're not in AFIS or CODIS! Forensics drew a total blank! The only thing they could confirm was that Robert was beheaded in his sleep!"

The man said "How's that even possible?! Is it one of us?!"

"I thought that as well, but the time of death was in the late morning/early afternoon, ruling that out. I do know that Robert died in his bed and whoever did this managed to knock out his guards, cut his head off and empty his safe."

"Could a mortal have done it?"

"They would need to be prepared well in advance. I'm suspecting a superhuman."

Another man came in, saying "Ma'am! I've got the autopsy report in."

The woman said "Spit it out, man!"

The second man told her "It says that the weapon used was extremely sharp. It seems to be more like a sword than an axe."

The woman asked "Who uses a sword around here?"

The second man said "Nobody local that I know of. I know that the man calling himself Griffin came into town last week. Him and Ms. Magus took down a Saints crew and a bunch of Devil's Advocates a few days back."

The woman asked "So?"

The first man said "Griffin is known to use a sword with a wound profile that matches the wound that killed Robert."

The woman said "If he killed Robert, we're in deep s**t! He isn't known for negotiating. Get the word out right now! In Robert's stead, I'm calling a Blood Hunt on Griffin!"
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

The Bloody Week, Part 2

Griffin's Room, the Lodge…

Griffin counted the money and found $100,000 and a book.

"Lady's Heart, that's a good haul! Hang on, what's this book…"

Griffin read the book hidden in the dollar bills, which had a lot of details on vampiric society. As he did, he discovered something important.

He went downstairs to the living room to see Ms. Magus. He said "Cass, there's something I need to show you in the dining room." And he said to the living room mirror "Annabelle, it's Griffin. I need to speak to you at once."

Annabelle stepped out of the mirror. She asked "What is it, Griffin?"

Griffin opened the book on the dining room table and said "When I dragged Robert Moses before the Lady, she gave me the code for a safe of his. As well as a pile of cash, I found this book in there. It's all about Robert's unlife as a vampire. In the later pages, Robert mentions what he called a box of secrets that he used to keep the other vampires in line. He even mentions in detail how he once used it to take down a vampire of considerable influence who he called the Defiant. There was a covert recording of a conversation where the Defiant badmouthed the local leader of a vampiric faction. Robert made sure that said local leader got hold of the tape."

Ms. Magus asked "What else did Robert do to them?"

Griffin said "A second package showed a map to - and of - the Defiant’s haven and was sent to various neonates across the city. As I understand it, a haven must be where they sleep during the day. Like the mansion I hit earlier. And neonate likely means someone who recently became a vampire. A third package revealed forensic and otherwise court-admissible evidence that the Defiant was responsible for the 'Final Death' of a young vampire who happened to be the child of a prominent elder. And who do you think got that evidence?"

Annabelle said "The prominent elder?"

Griffin said "That's right, Annabelle. And a fourth package was 'sent' to Robert to deflect suspicion. The evidence within revealed what he called 'Masquerade breaches' committed by the Defiant, his coterie and his childer. If I'm reading it right, the Masquerade is most likely a rule against letting mortals find out that vampires really exist."

Annabelle said "Just like how you use the name of Griffin to masquerade."

Griffin just said "Point taken. I suspect that 'coterie' meant who the Defiant hung out and worked with and 'childer' very likely means who he made into a vampire. It looks like my focus has shifted, Annabelle."

Annabelle, puzzled, asked Griffin "What are you talking about?"

Griffin told her "Do you remember what the Lady said? Not only did I have to kill Robert but I still have to free the city from the vampires' grip! I need the box to ensure her will is done."

Ms. Magus asked "Griffin. How are you going to do this?"

Griffin told her "The book mentions two vampires running a racket here in Bay Ridge. And Emphasis has been holding out. Apparently, they'll be there about an hour after dusk. It's literally just around the corner. I have a plan."


8th April 2017, an hour after dusk…

Griffin was at the Emphasis restaurant around the corner from the Lodge, having a large ham, cheese and onion omelette. On 1010 WINS, he heard about a certain break-in on 5th Avenue. All they knew was that someone had died and their guards were assaulted.

He thought 'It sounds like they're hiding the fact that the safe was emptied out. They never mentioned the number of guards who were knocked out, either. And I bet the station wasn't told what really happened to the body.'

As he finished the omelette, two men, one big and one thin, came up to the counter. The thin man said to the man at the counter "Theo, I hope you've got the money. Your week is up, man."

Griffin thought the men smelled like Robert. Smelled like death. Then he caught the thin man's pronounced fangs. Like the ones he saw on Robert.

Theo said "And I told you, Jonathan, I won't pay any rackets!"

That gave Griffin the excuse he needed. He unsheathed his sword as he said "Right, you two! Where's the box? Tell me and I let you two walk out of here!"

Jonathan said "The limey knows about us! Kill him, Larry!"

Larry punched Griffin in the face. Griffin drew his sword and started cutting!
Griffin got 24 on a Perception check and caught the fangs. Jonathan is a Gang Leader with the Metrosexual Vampire template from Supernatural Handbook, page 49. His ranks in Athletics go into Acrobatics instead for a skill total of +8, and his "Choose One" skill goes into Ranged Combat (Guns) for an attack bonus of +7. Larry is a Goon from Heroes Handbook with the Classic Vampire and Elite templates with his Ranged Combat skill ranks instead put into Close Combat: Unarmed. Their Toughness works even against holy weapons.

Griffin gets a HP for civilians in danger.

Roll Initiative! Larry gets 16, Jonathan gets 9 and Griffin gets 5. Larry and Jonathan's Unarmed Damage can bypass Griffin's Impervious Toughness. Everyone is using lethal force.

Larry punches Griffin, getting 24. Griffin gets 18 and is hit! Jonathan fires his gun to clear the customers out. Griffin attacks Larry with the Flurry of Steel, getting 16. Larry gets 22 and is hit.

Griffin: 1 Injury
Larry: 1 Injury

Griffin cut Larry's cheek and then took his head off. Then he felt a headshot! Griffin beheaded Larry and approached Jonathan.
Larry tried to punch Griffin, but he got 9 and missed! Jonathan fired at Griffin, getting 21. Griffin is Impervious to the bullet. Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel on Larry, getting 31, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. Larry gets 17 and is killed!
Jonathan ran out the door and went airborne. Griffin sheathed his sword, got his wings out and took flight. He caught Jonathan on the roof of Emphasis.

Jonathan said "Look, you oughta calm down, pal."

Griffin told him "What, and be easy prey like you? If you want the taste of a real predator's blood… Come and get it if you dare!"
Jonathan attempts to hide on the roof, getting 21 on his Stealth roll. Griffin gets 22 on his Perception. He has Extended Low-light Vision. allowing him to clearly see Jonathan. His Favoured Environment is set to Defence. Jonathan uses his Emotion Control on Griffin, who gets 26 to resist. Griffin responds by using Taunt, getting 20 on his Deception. Jonathan gets 19 and is Demoralised, impairing him with a -2 circumstance penalty on all checks until the end of Griffin's next turn.
Jonathan flew at Griffin, ready to take his blood. But Griffin was ready to push him off and then lay him out. Jonathan fell to the ground with a bone-crunching thud.
Jonathan Charged at Griffin, ready to Grab him. He has a -5 circumstance penalty due to having two minor circumstance penalties active. Jonathan gets a Natural 20! But Griffin gets 24 with his Dodge check and Escapes the Grab! Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 28. This raises the DC by +5. Jonathan gets 9 and is Incapacitated.
Griffin got his phone out. "Ms. Magus, it's Griffin. I'm at the corner near Emphasis. I've got a potential source of intel."

Ms. Magus said "Intel, you say? I'll be right over."

Ms. Magus flew over to Griffin. "That's your source? Good thing it doesn't strain me to open the portal back any more." Griffin dragged Jonathan's unconscious body into a room in the Lodge that Jane led him into, which had a wooden chair and a metal chair (with metal restraints), a wooden table and a digital dictation machine with external microphone.

Jane said "The recorder has been freshly charged and formatted, you can record when ready."

After locking Jonathan into the chair, Griffin said "Thanks, Jane. Now, please clear the room. This is going to be between me and him."
CONTENT WARNING: The following scene concealed by the spoiler tag contains supernaturally-induced coercion.
Spoiler
Griffin spent some time writing up a list of questions he wanted to ask Jonathan. About half an hour later, Jonathan woke up. Griffin hit the record button and said "Welcome back, Jonathan. How was your sleep?"

Jonathan briefly struggled against the restraints and then asked "Where the f**k am I?!"

Griffin told him "We're somewhere we won't be disturbed, and I'm certain your people don't know this place. I have a list of questions for you."

Jonathan, enraged, told Griffin "You know I'd rather die than talk!"

Griffin said "Don't worry, you'll talk." Griffin placed his glowing hand on Jonathan's forehead and said "You will answer me truthfully, answer me clearly and answer me out loud. You will not remain silent, you will answer! Do you understand?"

"…Yes."
Griffin spends a HP on stunting his Wings into Compel Truth: Progressive Affliction 8; Controlled, resisted by Will; Limited Degree (Third Only), Limited to Truthfully Answering Questions. Jonathan gets 2 on his Will and is Controlled.
"Now… What do you know about the box of secrets used by Robert Moses?"

Jonathan said "Not much. I know he had some dirt on me. He had dirt on everyone of our kind in town! If you've killed him, every one of us is going to tear the place apart looking for it! Why did I just say that? And why do I feel relieved?"

"Because I can compel truth with a touch. And because the truth sets you free! Now, who would know more about the box?"

"Moses kept most of the box's details a secret. The only two people who would know more about it are Amélie, his personal assistant, and Harmon Kale, our people's sheriff."

"What do you know about Amélie?"

"Amélie was Embraced ten years ago to serve as his secretary and primary messenger. Her job with the box was to keep it hidden and to ensure its security."

"So she knows where it is and how to access it. What do you mean by Embraced?"

"She became a vampire like us."

"And what of Harmon Kale?"

"Aside from serving as Robert's sheriff, his job was to gather the evidence used in the box. He was under standing orders to wait ten minutes after Amélie left a building with evidence for the box, so he couldn't follow her to it."

"So he doesn't know where it is, but he knows what's in it. What's the process for this Embrace?"

"We drain a mortal of all their blood and put a few drops of our own into their mouth. They soon wake up as one of us."

"What can harm your kind?"

"Fire scares us. We can't use blood to recover from wounds caused by it. We can do it to recover from burns caused by hot metal, but not those made by naked flames. The same thing goes for sunlight. If we're caught in it, we stay dead. Same goes for beheading."

"What about a stake in the heart?"

"It won't kill us, but we'll be paralyzed until it's pulled out."

"Where is Amélie's haven?"

"I don't know where it is."

"In that case, where and when is she next scheduled to appear?"

"Tonight, nine o'clock, Golden Terrace on Atlantic Avenue. You'll be a bit late, even if you killed me now."

"How do I get in?"

"Present the invite to the bouncer."

"Do you have an invite on your person? If so, where on your person is it?"

"Yes, I do. It's in my inside jacket pocket, same with my gun."

"The same gun you shot me with?"

"Yeah, that's the one. How did you survive that?"

"I'm asking the questions! Where is Harmon Kale's haven?"

"I don't know. Harmon won't tell us and you killed the one person who would know. I know his office is in Harlem, but I don't know the exact address."

"Word got out pretty fast. I have two questions. Would you try to kill me if I loosened your restraints?"

"Damn right, I would! You made me spill information I shouldn't! I'm a dead man once word gets out anyway!"

"The second question is: Did you actually want to be a vampire? Yes or no?"

"No, I didn't. But there are some who wanted to be Embraced, they're the ones to be worried about."

"How's that?"

"They're some of the biggest monsters you've seen shaped like men. I know you're going to kill me, so I have a last request."

"What's that?"

"Make it quick."

"Very well."

Griffin beheaded Jonathan. Once the body disintegrated, he checked the jacket and found the invite and the gun.
Amélie wrote:The bearer of this invitation is welcome to this month's meeting of the Elysium Society at the Golden Terrace Banquet Hall at 120-23 Atlantic Ave in Queens on April 8th, 2017 at 9 PM.
Griffin pocketed the invite, stopped the recorder, took the gun and put it into his bag with Jonathan's skull.
He walked out of the room to see Ms. Magus right in front of him.

Ms. Magus asked "I take it you've made him talk?"

Griffin said "Without bloodshed, I assure you. Torture has some nasty effects on the person doing it as much as it does to the person it's being done to. That was very informative and I didn't know you had that sort of room in here."

"What did you find out?"

"A lot about local vampire society. And I've got a lead. They have a meeting in Queens at nine."

"It's eight now. You'll have to fly to get there in time. And I don't want that skull in the house!"

"Got it. And I know where to put it. I'm going out, I may be some time."

So Griffin flew from the Lodge's backyard to Queens.


Golden Terrace Banquet Hall, Queens…

Griffin landed a block away. He turned the corner to see the Golden Terrace banquet hall. He presented the invite and went in unquestioned.

He could see a bald man on the stage, with a microphone in hand. He said "New York City’s f**ked because of him! Plunged into chaos and darkness because of what he's done! That is unacceptable! He violated the peace, so now we! Violate! HIM! I'm calling a Blood Hunt! A HUNDRED GRAND FOR GRIFFIN'S HEAD!"

Griffin ran up to the stage, grabbed a microphone, turned it on and said "Looking for me, Mr. Kale? HERE I AM! Those of you who don't know me, let me introduce myself!" He revealed his wings as he took a bow and said "I am Griffin, angel of the Host of Heaven! And I have a question to ask all of you before you start! How many of you actually wanted to be a vampire? Ask yourselves that! Why stick with this false society you were dragged into when you can turn your back on it and walk your own path? I'll be in town for a few days! I'm sure you can find me if you want to turn your back on all of this! All you have to do is pray to God and if you're sincere about helping people and forsaking this false society, the path will be clear! I've said my piece, I know when I'm not wanted! I've told you how to find me if you want to help for once! All liars be warned! It is no sin to kill that which is already dead! Two of you thought you could take me. They're gone now. Mr. Moses had former spec-ops for security, who nearly had me. He's gone too."

He then tossed Jonathan's skull into the crowd and walked out of the rear entrance. Everyone was simply too freaked out to stop him from leaving. Then he heard Kale shout "What are you waiting for?! FIND HIM!"

As he flew out, Griffin thought to himself 'That should shake them up a little!'
Griffin gains a Complication: Blood Money. The vampire community of NYC has put a bounty on Griffin's head. And his death is the only way to get them to pay out.
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Warflower

Post by betterwatchit »

The Bloody Week, Part 3

When Griffin got out of the Golden Terrace, he took off as fast as he could. He flew west to East New York, a Long Island Railroad station about 4.3 miles away. He paid $6.50 to take the train to Atlantic Terminal. While he took the train, Griffin took stock of what had happened today.

'So in the morning, I got an order from the Lady Herself to kill Robert Moses, who had become a vampire. I did so, finding a secret society of vampires living in New York. And the existence of something I need to expose them. Now there's a $100,000 bounty on my head and every vampire in the Five Boroughs is gonna be after it. And I can't really tell who's who until they bare their fangs. And if they send word to the other gangs, I'm in deep s**t. I've got to get that box ASAP! Leaking it would be one hell of a distraction.'

Griffin's reverie was disturbed by the train's PA saying that it would soon arrive at Atlantic Terminal. Griffin would have to change here to get the subway back to the Lodge.

As Griffin waited at the Barclays Center station for the subway back, with an estimated three minutes before arrival, he could hear two men a few column posts away. They were both wearing a purple top, signifying their alliance with the 3rd Street Saints…

"Ain't that him?"

"Who?"

"The guy with the laptop bag."

"In the platform sneakers?"

"Yeah, him!"

"Looks like we have a payday!"

Griffin turned around and said "Can I help you lads?"

One of the Saints pulled a gun, saying "Yeah! Boss put a hundred grand on your head, limey!"

The other Saint, a much larger man used an autoinjector and got even larger as he said "And he don't need it attached to the rest of ya!"

Griffin got his sword out of his bag as he said "Let's get this over with."

The Saint with a gun fired, hitting the column behind Griffin. The bigger Saint gives Griffin a solid haymaker.

Griffin responded with several blows to the head with still-sheathed Justice.
The Saint with a gun is a Criminal from Heroes Handbook. The larger Saint is a Goon from Gamemaster's Guide with his Ranged Combat ranks instead going into Close Combat: Unarmed with Maxed-Out: Enhanced Agility 4, Enhanced Stamina 4, Enhanced Strength 4.

Griffin gets a HP for entering combat.

Roll Initiative! The Armed Saint gets 14, the Maxed-out Saint gets 9 and Griffin gets 5.

Armed Saint fires at Griffin, getting 12 and missing. Maxed-Out Saint punches Griffin, getting 21. Griffin gets 21 and is hit.

Griffin attacks the Maxed-out Saint with the Flurry of Steel. getting 20 and two degrees of success, raising the DC to resist by +2. The Maxed-Out Saint gets 15 and is hit and Dazed.

Maxed-Out Saint: 1 Injury, Dazed.

Griffin: 1 Injury.

Griffin managed to dodge another bullet and used the momentum from slapping the meathead's fist away from him to deal several bruising blows.
The armed Saint took another shot at Griffin, getting 7 and missing. The Maxed-Out Saint took a swing at him, getting 10 and missing.

Griffin performed the Flurry of Steel as a +2 Power Attack on the Maxed-Out Saint, getting 23 and three degrees of success, raising the DC to resist by +5. The Maxed-Out Saint gets 18 and is hit and Dazed.

Maxed-Out Saint: 2 Injuries, Dazed.
Griffin actually deflected a bullet with Justice and then swatted the swollen Saint's arm from him. He then broke the Saint's leg!
Armed Saint fired a bullet at Griffin, getting 4 and missing. Maxed-Out Saint swung at Griffin, getting 21. Griffin got 30 to resist.

Griffin performed the Flurry of Steel, getting a Natural 1! He spends a HP to reroll, getting 26 and three degrees of success, raising the DC by +5. The Maxed-Out Saint gets 17 and is hit and Staggered!

Maxed-Out Saint: 3 Injuries, Staggered.
As the swollen Saint howled, Griffin knocked him flat on his back! The Saint with a gun broke and ran!
The Armed Saint fires, getting 14 and missing Griffin. The Maxed-out Saint gets 11 and misses Griffin. Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 30! The Maxed-out Saint gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated! The Armed Saint is out of combat!
Griffin hit the emergency call-point.

A voice came out of it, saying "What is the nature of your emergency?"

"This is Griffin speaking. There's a 3rd Street Sinner out here who took some Max and attacked me! He's unconscious now and likely to go into fatal withdrawal."

"Is anyone else in danger?"

"No, just the 3rd Street Sinner. If you don't get an ambulance here soon, the Max withdrawal might kill the man. And I think I broke his leg."

"Police and EMTs have been dispatched, ETA 5 minutes. Get the man in the recovery position if you can."

"Got it."

Griffin put the Saint in the recovery position and finished just as a NYPD officer came down. The officer pulled her gun and shouted "FREEZE! NYPD! STAND UP WITH YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD!"

Griffin stood up, saying "Understood, officer. Ambulance is already en route."

The officer said "Turn and face me! What is your name?!"

Griffin got his wings out as he said "Name's Griffin, ma'am. That 3rd Street Sinner down there took some Max and tried to kill me. This place has CCTV, you can check that him and his mate started it."

The officer got on her radio saying "Control, this is Karnowski! Got that Griffin fella here saying he laid out a Saint! I need the CCTV checked out from Platform 1 of Barclays Center!"

Griffin heard Control say "I saw the whole thing. It shows that he might have tried to talk them out of it, then one of them pulled a gun and the other used an autoinjector, most likely containing Max. They attacked Griffin, who knocked one of them out. The other one ran. EMT should be arriving soon."

Karnowski said "Thank you, Control." She then said "You can put your hands down, Griffin."

Griffin finally relaxed, saying "Thanks, officer."

"I've gotta ask, how did you get your sword here from England? TSA should've busted your ass by now!"

"I'm afraid my method's classified, ma'am." Griffin then hopped backwards through the train door, saying "Not that you'd believe it. And I do hope your next shift's more peaceful, Officer Karnowski. Good night." Then the train door closed and Griffin went on his way.


Forty minutes later…

When Griffin opened the door to the Lodge, he said "Evening, Cass. Sorry I'm a bit late. Bumped into some 3rd Street Sinners on my way back and had to talk a copper out of arresting me. Good thing there was camera footage of them attacking first."

"You know there's a hundred grand on your head, right?"

Griffin asked "The hundred grand the Sinners put on me or the hundred grand the vampires put on me?"

"I didn't know the vampires had that much beef! I was referring to what the Saints put on you!"

"So I have two hundred grand on my head! The vampires declared a Blood Hunt on me, meaning that when night falls, it's open season on my arse!"

"They what?!"

"I heard Harmon Kale, the vampire Sheriff, make the declaration right before I made my move. You can't keep a difference without slaves to the status quo suddenly finding profit in stopping you. So you have to work harder and smarter. So I got on the stage and I asked questions none of them asked before, like 'Did you want to be a vampire?' And 'Why not reject this society that you were forced into?' Then I tossed Jonathan's skull into the crowd to freak them out and buy myself time to escape."

"I've seen some crazy in my time, comes with being a mage in New York, but I've never heard of anyone who was crazy enough to willingly enter a whole room of vampires, showboat like that and get back out without getting bit!"

"My Lady made sure that I can't be scared of anyone other than her. Bared fangs? Yawn. A gun in my grill? Yawn. My little spectacle lets them know I have no problems killing them and gives them the doubt to divide themselves further. And if they think that was Robert's skull I tossed among them, that's more because they were panicked than anything I did or didn't say. When I got out, I flew as fast as I could to the East New York station on Atlantic Avenue."

"That's a Long Island Railroad station. Why didn't you just fly back here?"

"I couldn't let them find out where you were, that's why it took so long for me to get back. I planned ahead and made sure to have $20 and my dirty MetroCard before I left and left my mobile behind. That way, I could cover whatever fare the LIRR wanted from me and not worry about being tracked. After I changed to the subway back, two 3rd Street Sinners attacked me and you already know the rest."

"Did you kill them?"

"No. I had to be better than that."

"What are you going to do?"

"Simple. I go out every night, put down any vampire I find and help quell the rioting. My order to free the city from vampiric hold still stands. I'm off to bed, see you later."
User avatar
betterwatchit
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Stories of the Betterverse: The Bloody Week

Post by betterwatchit »

The Bloody Week, Part 4

9th April 2017, the Lodge…

Soon after Griffin had breakfast, he saw Annabelle standing to attention at the mirror.

Griffin said "Good morning, Annabelle."

Annabelle told him "You have an assignment. Mother wants to speak to you about it. Follow me." Griffin followed.

The Lady was at her desk. Griffin bowed, saying "Good morning, my Lady."

The Lady said "Good morning, Simon. You have an assignment."

Griffin asked "What do you need me to do this time?"

"There is a vampire by the name of Adrian Van Dyjk. He runs - and lives in - a hazardous waste disposal company in an industrial park upstate. He was supposed to stand before me shortly after the city of New Amsterdam became New York. Naturally, I expect you to make sure he doesn't leave the facility alive. The death of a major candidate to replace Robert would make it harder for the vampire population to rein things in. Remember, I want that city purged of vampiric influence."

Griffin said "And not reining it in would help them expose themselves! What can you tell me about the place you want me to hit?"

The desk showed a holographic display of the building. The Lady said "Dutchman Recycling and Processing processes a wide variety of waste and makes it reusable again, even having the gear to handle toxic waste."

Griffin said "So what are you not telling me, Ma'am?"

The Lady said "The security there is a bit stricter than usual for such places. All the guards are armed, for a start."

Griffin replied "I get that a facility that handles toxic waste needs to be secure, but unless nuclear waste is involved, I can't think of a reason why they need to carry P90s. The 5.7mm rounds they pack are armour-piercing. In other words, they'll likely work on me. Is this a live feed, Ma'am?"

The Lady nodded.

Griffin continued "I'm having a look and you're right, all the guards I see here are armed. And I see a mail delivery coming in. Is there a way to follow it? I have an idea."

The Lady passed Griffin an Xbox One controller and said "Here's something you're familiar with. Left stick moves, right stick rotates. Left Trigger descends, Right Trigger ascends."

Griffin said "Got it, Ma'am." He moved the "camera", following the courier. He saw the secretary deliver letters to the security office, the cube farm and the executive offices. He noticed that the security office had two guards, the cube farm area was occupied and there were several patrolling guards.

Annabelle asked "What are you doing, Simon?"

Griffin told her "I'm learning the layout. And it stands to reason that if anyone ought to know where anything important is, it would be the executives. I hate to admit, but I don't have much choice. I might have to mask up for this one."

Annabelle jumped onto the seat beside Griffin's and asked "What do you mean by 'mask up', Simon?"

Griffin told her. "The way I took Robert Moses down in the mansion was me being masked up, Annabelle. And please be quiet, she's seeing Mr Van Dyjk now. Hmm… The office has no windows, no sunlight can get in. Now she's gone. He's looking at a handwritten letter, bit rare these days. He looks concerned. What's he doing under the desk… A trap door! He's got a trap door under there!"

The display turned off at that point. The Lady said "Your time's up. And I'm going to need the controller back as well. Use the portal behind you to get started."

Griffin handed it back as he said "Of course. I've found the important bit anyway. Your will be done, my Lady."

After Griffin used the portal to get back to Earth, Annabelle said "Mother, I noticed that you didn't warn him about-"

"Now, now, Annabelle. I want to see how he can handle this by himself."


When Griffin got back, he saw a multimedia message on his phone.

Code: Select all

<PHOTO>
Target: Adrian Van Dyjk.
Address: Dutchman Recycling and Processing, NY.
Approaches Allowed: Any.
Griffin gets a HP for his Honour: He's on a mission from the Lady.
Griffin did a quick search on his OS-On-A-Stick. The facility was pretty far upstate. It was on the Hudson River, so they can receive barges of rubbish from NYC. The Hudson would make a good exit strategy. If he could reach it, Griffin could just fly over it and take the NJ Transit train to Penn Station. He took the SIM out of his phone and did a kit check.

"Keys, check. MetroCard, check. Justice, check. Rucksack, check. Kit, check. $100 in tens, check. I'll leave the gun as I can get one while I'm there if I need it. Next stop, upstate."

Griffin went downstairs and said to Ms. Magus "I've got an assignment upstate. All goes well, I'll be back tonight."

Ms. Magus said "Is it the kinda mission like you did yesterday?"

"I'm afraid so. Don't worry, I'll make sure not to lead any pursuers to you."

"I know you won't."

"See you later."


Griffin took the subway to Harlem and took the Metro North Railroad upstate, taking him about half an hour to get to the nearest station. It took another hour for him to reach the facility as he had to walk. Flight would attract the wrong people very fast and no local public transport served the facility. He was glad for the facility being on the Hudson, as it gave him a way to navigate.

Griffin saw the sign saying "Dutchman Recycling and Processing Facility." A place like that should have pigeons and gulls surrounding it. The fact that he couldn't see any birds surrounding it made the place highly suspicious. There was an apparently abandoned warehouse two hundred yards away. After a quick check to make sure no one was using it, Griffin used the warehouse to put his tactical outfit and mask on and put his sword on his belt. He was soon over the wall and in the office building.

To avoid a premature alarm, Griffin knocked out the receptionist with still-sheathed Justice. He stashed her underneath her desk.

When he opened the door onward, two security guards saw Griffin. They aimed their guns at him while one of them shouted "DOWN ON THE FLOOR! NOW!" Griffin just knocked him out and leapt at the other guard, flooring him with a single blow.
The guard minions have the Police Officer archetype from Hero's Handbook, but they are each carrying a Submachine Gun and Heavy Pistol , both with Laser Sights and Penetrating 4 (5.7mm FN is armour-piercing).

*Roll Initiative!* One guard gets 13, Griffin gets 5 and the second Guard gets 5.

One Guard attempts to Intimidate Griffin, getting 14, but Griffin is Fearless. Griffin attacks both Guards with the Flurry of Steel, getting 24 on both. They get 19 and 20, and are both Incapacitated.
Griffin ran down the corridor and opened the door to the security room. These guards were ready for him and one managed to get a shot off, just whizzing past Griffin. Griffin responded with a swift double takedown.
*Roll Initiative!* One Guard minion gets 18, Griffin gets 15 and the second Guard minion gets 14.

One Guard gets 9 and misses. Griffin attacks both with the Flurry of Steel, getting Natural 20 with a scored critical and 23! The Guards get 15 and 10 and are Incapacitated.

What Griffin saw on the security monitors was bad news. Several black vans had just rolled up outside, their crews disgorging and establishing an armed perimeter around the facility. And the cameras on the dock showed a gunboat blockading it! He checked a guard's mobile phone and found zero reception. They had a signal jammer active!

Griffin thought 'LADY'S HEART! Who did Van Dyjk p**s off?! Good thing I know about that trap door, it might get me past them! Now, I know the route went here…'
Griffin gets a HP due to the second set of hostiles blocking his exits.
That was when a voice came out of the PA system: "Condition Yellow! Facility is under attack! I say again: Condition Yellow! Facility is under attack!"

'Good thing this was a combat mission anyway.'

Griffin ran towards the office, encountering two guards blocking the entrance to the office he seeks. He leapt at them, one avoiding him. The guard he missed returned fire, but Griffin was ready to parry the bullets.
Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 15, one Guard minion gets 12 and another gets 5. Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting Natural 1 and 20. The Guard he hits gets 8 and is Incapacitated! The other Guard fires his P90 at Griffin, getting 17 and missing.
Griffin managed to get the situation back under control by flooring the second guard.
Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 23 and two degrees of success. The Guard gets 13 and is Incapacitated.
Once he entered the office, Griffin moved the chair away from the desk and saw the trap door. He climbed down into the dark dank shaft. He didn't expect the low-wattage lightbulbs. Luckily, Griffin's altered eyes let him take full advantage of the low-light conditions. He could see that he was in an earthen tunnel. He unsheathed Justice as he was now in what his dad called "bandit country," where you don't know the lay of the land and the locals won't let you surrender.

'Incandescent bulbs! Haven't seen these in ages! Must be close to burning out. Were there any mines around here? Unlikely with the Hudson right next door, but you never know. Is that concrete?'
Griffin's Predator Sense allows him to see as clearly in the low-light conditions as most people can in broad daylight.
He went to the concrete tunnel and found three cages with five people inside each one and a bigger one with about ten people inside. A caged woman said "Get us out!"

Griffin said "Not yet, I have to secure the area first! No point freeing you if something else in here kills you just because you panicked. Right now, you're safe. And remember: If you panic, you die. And what happened to that lot over there?"

The woman said "They're the walking dead! At least get rid of them before you go!"
Griffin gets a HP as he must make sure the hostages are freed. But he can't safely do it just yet.
Griffin saw a blinking light near the ceiling and realised that it was a CCTV camera. That was when the zombie cage opened with enough of a creak to warn him. The zombies then lurched towards Griffin, who roared"LET THERE BE LIGHT!" as he came at them.

Griffin started off well by shoving two zombies back before taking four zombie heads in one swing.

Six zombies came at Griffin, who managed to keep them away from the other cages. He couldn't let the contagion spread.
Roll Initiative! Two Zombie Minions gets 20 and 18. Griffin gets 17, eight Zombies get between 1-14.

The Zombies are from Hero's Handbook, but with AGL 0. Griffin and the zombies are all using lethal force.

Two zombies attack Griffin, getting 14 and 9, both missing. Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 17, 23, 21, 10 and 14. Four zombies get 18, 14, 14 and 13, dying instantly.

Six zombies attacked Griffin, getting 3, Natural 1, 3, 9, 3 and 15. All of them missed.

6 Zombies remaining.

Griffin cut the zombies down as fast as they came at him.
Griffin attacks the zombies with the Flurry of Steel, getting 26 (Crit scored!), 23, 11, 12 and 16. He raises the DC by+5. The Zombies get 15, 9, 14, 4 and 9, making them all dead.

One zombie attacks Griffin, getting 4 and missing.
Griffin took the last zombie down by simply beheading it.
Griffin attacks the last zombie with the Flurry of Steel, getting 15. The zombie gets 20 and is killed.
One of the captives said "Hey, I know you! You're that Griffin dude! No one else swings a sword like that!"

Griffin said "That's right. And like I told that woman, I need to secure the area before I can get you out. It wouldn't do to free you and then have you run into someone else who kills you. So just hang tight."

"What about that tunnel, the people who brought us here dragged us through it, man!"

"That tunnel's small enough to make you have to crawl. It could be booby-trapped, with whoever you saw knowing how to turn it off. If you try, I can't guarantee your safety. I'll be back soon."

"Just hurry!"

Griffin carefully headed in the other direction. He saw a closed coffin in the wall. He opened it carefully and found a vampire sleeping inside it. It was a good thing indeed that he had a weapon that worked on them. He thrust Justice into the vampire's chest!

The Vampire lashed out, barely missing Griffin and landing on their face.

Griffin then proceeded to finish the job he started by impaling them from behind.

The Vampire is a Criminal from Hero's Handbook with the Metrosexual Vampire template from Supernatural Handbook with the Choose One ranks going into Close Combat (Unarmed).

Roll Initiative! The Vampire gets 21, Griffin gets 5.

Griffin is able to Surprise the vampire. In the Surprise Round, he attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 23 and three Degrees of Success. The vampire gets 11 and is hit and Staggered!

The Vampire attempts a Blood Drain, getting 13 and missing.

Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 22 and three Degrees of Success. The Vampire gets 14 and is killed!

'That was too f**king close! Got a kidnapping operation, those MIB fellas upstairs and vampires down here! And I need to secure the escape route to get the hostages out! Hang on, what's that light over there? It's brighter and more white compared to this dim yellow…'

Griffin discovered a chamber that looked a lot like the security office back upstairs. And someone was manning it.

The vampire manning the cameras roared "I'LL HAVE YOUR HEART OUT!" as he charged at Griffin, who managed to graze him.

The Vampire is a Criminal from Hero's Handbook with the Metrosexual Vampire template from Supernatural Handbook with the Choose One ranks going into Close Combat (Unarmed).

*Roll Initiative!* Griffin gets 11. The Vampire gets 5.

Griffin attacks the vampire with the Flurry of Steel, getting 14. The vampire gets 19 and is hit. The vampire attempts to use Emotion Control, set to Fear. Griffin is Fearless and resists.

Vampire: 1 Injury.


Griffin dealt a telling blow to the vampire, dodging a vampiric lunge.
Griffin attacks the vampire, getting 29, raising the Flurry's DC by +5. The vampire gets 21 and is hit and Dazed. The vampire attempts a Blood Drain, getting 11 and missing.

Vampire: 2 Injuries, Dazed.


Griffin landed a slash on the vampire's arm.
Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 14. The vampire gets 20 and is hit. The vampire attempts a Blood Drain, getting 13 and missing.

Vampire: 3 Injuries.


Griffin landed a blow right in the vampire's chest.
Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 23. The vampire gets 15 and is hit and Staggered.

Vampire: 4 Injuries, Staggered.


Griffin managed to land another blow to the head.
Griffin used the Flurry of Steel, getting 23. The vampire got 19 and was hit and Dazed.

Vampire: 5 Injuries, Staggered.


Griffin saw his chance and beheaded his opponent.
Griffin used the Flurry of Steel, getting 19. The vampire got 1 and was killed!


After getting his breath back, Griffin saw a note in Dutch taped to the monitors, saying:
Note wrote:Zet de Tunnel- en Deurschakelaars overdag op ROOD. Zet de schakelaars 's nachts op GROEN.
English Note wrote:Set the Tunnel and Door switches to RED during the day. Set the switches to GREEN at night.

As he pocketed the note, Griffin thought 'I was right! I was right to assume a f**king booby trap! Now, left is back to the cages, so right is likely closer to Van Dyjk.'


As he travelled through the tunnel, Griffin spotted a tripwire. He followed it to one end and saw the post it was tied to. He followed it to the other end and found a frag grenade! It wasn't the first time he dealt with a grenade, but it would be the first time it would be in his favour. And Justice made it easy to disarm the tripwire. The wire just fell in two at the sword's touch.
Griffin performs a DC 15 Perception check. He takes no penalties from the low-light conditions, getting 18 and spotting the tripwire. He pockets the Frag Grenade.
Griffin searched carefully but he couldn't see any more tripwires or coffins. What he did find was a steel door. Which he opened by slicing around the lock.
The door is an inch-thick steel door, giving it Toughness 9. Griffin performs the Armour-Piercing Strike as a +5 Power Attack, getting 15. The door gets 17 and is sliced open. Adrian is a Crime Lord from Deluxe Gamemaster's Guide (page 89), with the Classic Vampire template from Supernatural Handbook. The signal jammer and the fact that he's underground both prevent Adrian from alerting his minions!
When he opened the door, an old man shouted "<WHO DARES?!>" at him in Dutch!

As he charged in, Griffin shouted in Dutch "<LET THERE BE LIGHT!>" Griffin thrusted Justice right into Adrian's heart! Then he took his head off!
Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 20, Adrian gets 17. Both are using lethal force.

Griffin Charges with the Flurry of Steel, getting Natural 20, crit scored! Griffin raises the DC by +10 (+5 for three Degrees of Success and +5 for the critical.) Adrian gets Natural 1 and is killed!
Griffin shouted "My Lady! Thy will is done!" He then went back to the CCTV room and set all the switches to green to allow a safe exit.

He headed to the cages. Once he arrived, Griffin said "Try to stand back, I'm cutting the locks open." He did so for all three cages, one stroke each.

The woman he saw earlier said "I remember you now! You're Griffin! Griffin the angel!"

Griffin told her "That's right, ma'am. Now, we're taking the tunnel out of here. Upstairs is surrounded by MIBs and judging by all the gunfire, they're killing everyone they see. If you want to live, do what I tell you. I'll go first through the tunnel, just follow me."

The tunnel was narrow enough to force everyone to crawl. The distance seemed interminable until Griffin saw the ladder. He said "Pass the word down the line! The ladder back up has been sighted!" When Griffin climbed the ladder, he cut the lock open to the trapdoor to the surface. Once he opened it, he said "I know where we are, no one's guarding the place."

He was at the abandoned warehouse where he stashed his casual outfit. He told the escapees "When you've caught your breath, there's a police station about half an hour south of here on foot. It looks like we're outside-"

Then an explosion could be heard outside in the direction of the facility.


Griffin looked outside and said "Yeah, they just blew the place up. I think we might the only survivors. We wait about half an hour. After that, we head south to the police station."

One of the escapees, a woman, asked "Why should we trust you?"

Griffin got his wings out and said "It seems you lack situational awareness, ma'am. Those MIBs just killed everyone they found inside the building - human and vampire alike - and I'm the only reason any of you got out of there alive and free. If that isn't a solid reason to trust me, I don't know what is. Yes, I know that vampires exist. I had to kill three of them to safely extract you. The sun shines on me right now and that should show I'm not one of them!"

The woman sank to her knees, saying "Oh my God…"

Griffin helped her up, saying "On your feet, ma'am. I'm not your God, I'm only Their servant. Now, let's go."

One man said "And if we don't follow you?"

Griffin said "If any of you want to make your own way, I won't stop you. But the law won't be able to ensure your safety if those MIBs find out about where you were. Just don't go north for a while."


45 minutes later…

At the nearest police station downriver, Griffin came in with the escapees and with his wings out as he said "Officer! You won't believe what happened at Dutchman Recycling!"

The Desk Officer went "Griffin?! What in God's name are you doing here?! And who are these people?"

"You know how it just burned down? We're the only people who got out alive!"

"How?!"

"There was an unauthorised set of tunnels underneath it. These people were caged up underground and I did some liberation of my own!"

One of the escapees said "We were treated like cattle down there but Griffin just sprung us, man!"

Griffin put three vampire skulls on the counter, saying "Three. Vampire. Skulls. They were feeding on these poor souls who I freed."

The officer got on his radio and said "Sarge! You won't believe what's going on out here!" Everyone was too distracted by the skulls to notice Griffin quietly making his way out of the station.


Griffin flew back to the warehouse to change his outfit and then he flew across the Hudson. It didn't take him too long to get a train back to NYC.

As soon as he got to the Lodge, Griffin went to the mirror in the living room and said "Annabelle, it's Griffin! I want to speak to our Lady at once!"

Annabelle said "She's actually been expecting you."

Griffin crossed over through the mirror, seeing his Lady at her desk, Annabelle on her lap. The Lady said "Have a seat, Simon."

As he sat down, Griffin said "Which bit didn't you want to brief me about, Ma'am? The kidnapping victims or those MIBs?"

The Lady said "Both. I needed to see if you could handle a suddenly unexpected issue while performing my will."

Griffin asked the Lady "In that case, how did I do?"

The Lady smiled as she said "Quite well, actually! Not only did you make sure of your main objective after an unexpected complication, you also ensured the hostages' safety. You met my every expectation!"

Griffin nodded as he said "Thank you, Ma'am. Who were those MIBs by the way?"

She told him "ARCADE, the American Research Center for the Arcane Defense of Earth. A beyond top-secret branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation focused on studying supernatural beings who might pose a threat to the United States. And of course they have a file on you."

He went "I'm not surprised that the Feds have a file on me. How did ARCADE kept a lid on their existence for so long?"

Griffin knew that the Lady's policy on revealing classified information to the living was incredibly strict, but he reckoned that asking her about something that she herself brought up wouldn't be too much of a risk.

The Lady told him "They have an enchantment, the Gravity of Balance. It's designed so that people who are not affected by it have a hard time remembering the actions of anyone under its effect. And where they can remember, they certainly won't be thinking of ARCADE!"

Griffin asked "So how in your name can I remember seeing them commit arson instead of a gas leak or whatever excuse they're using to cover it up?"

The Lady said "Your mind is under my protection, Simon. You will not have your memory altered by the Gravity of Balance."

Griffin could only say "Thank you, Ma'am. Is there anything else you need to tell me before I head back?"

The Lady shook her head. "No. Not at the moment. I'll see you later."

Griffin said "See you later, my Lady." Griffin then used the portal behind him to get back to the Lodge.
Post Reply