Vanguard had been gated to the bottom of the world in their desperate quest to stop the end of the world.
In the Lost Lands of Antarctica, a hidden valley that time forgot, they searched for the next mysterious Artifact of Power. They were immediately struck by the heat and humidity of the prehistoric rainforest. It was summer solstice here. And it might have been daytime but, like the rest of the world, it was no longer easy to discern day from night. A thin rain fell.
They were on a plateau, overlooking a region the size of Rhode Island. From their aerie they saw the impossible prehistoric valley before them. Dense tropical forests, deep canyons, pristine rivers and lakes, smoking volcanoes, and breathtaking waterfalls from dizzying plateaus, all beneath a dark sky of mist. The Lost Lands were breathtakingly beautiful. Perhaps all the more so because of their precarious state, surrounded on all sides by a climate deadly to the valley’s inhabitants. They saw flora and fauna of another millennium. They witnessed Terrordactyl flocks, Sauropod herds, Tyrannosaurus Maximi (their skulls eerily elongated) hunting in packs, dragonflies as large as eagles, and plants that could devour men whole.
Vanguard suddenly found a stone path in the prehistoric jungle and cautiously came upon a silent clearing that held nearly two thousand Dino-Men! Vanguard remembered they were seven feet tall, lithe, fast and lethal! (Velociraptors meets Giger’s Alien!)
Beneath the valley’s mist, the World Storm and the solar eclipse beyond, they had gathered for some sort of occultic ritual. They were eerily still, and had not yet detected Vanguard’s stealthy arrival.
Vanguard clung to the tree line for cover. The Dino-Men had gathered at the base of an active volcano. Into its side was built an ancient stone ruin around what could best be described as a sacrificial altar.
It seemed like something out of time and space, built ages ago by hands that were not human. Its size and shape were hard to gauge because its architecture was somehow non-Euclidean. The altar’s surface was carved with the same kind of pictoglyphs from the Temple of Terror.
Surrounding the altar was the immense stone ruin, perhaps 300 feet across, filled with the silent, torch-lit legions of Dino-Men who faced it. It had been a stronghold of some kind, aeons ago.
In the skies above, patrolled a half-dozen Dino-Men warriors with long lances riding Terrordactyl steeds. The deadly flying predators were the result of 65 million years of merciless evolution applied to the Pterodon! (Imagine Velociraptor-Pterodactyls!)
On the ground, beyond the moss-covered walls of the ancient Ruin, near the treeline, patrolled four Dino-Men warriors atop Tyrannosaurus Maximi.
The nearest row of Dino-Men was merely 25 feet away from Vanguard. They faced the altar. Vanguard had never before been this close to the Dino-Men. The Vanguardians who had witnessed the Star Giant, and what Echo became, recalled the same dread sensation of being in the presence of something that was not right. The sense of fear was abated only by Avatar’s supernatural powers.
Menagerie and Sentinel could detect the energy of the Fourth Artifact of Power. It was atop the sacrificial altar, near dark and distant shapes that seemed to lead this silent ritual. From this distance, Vanguard could not yet see what the Artifact was. Nor had Menagerie or Sentinel ever encountered an energy signature like it before. The closest comparison was the anti-life aura of the Necronomicon.
[OOC: Here are the Ruins:
· Every single floor-square inside the Ruins’ walls has a Dino-Man standing in it, facing the Altar.
· There is one Dino-Man in every turret. They face inward toward the Altar.
· The Altar is marked by the Red A.
· Vanguard is hidden near the Red V.
· The three main gates on the central path to the Altar are all open.
· The Northern cliff (at the top of the map) is the side of the active volcano.
· Each stepped ring in the Ruin rises ten feet as it climbs higher to the Altar.
· The crumbling stone walls are ten feet high (for a total of 20 feet from the floor to top of the wall on the inner rings when looking inward)
· The left, right and bottom edges of the map mark the treeline for the prehistoric jungle that surrounds the Ruin.
· The four Dino-Men riding Tyrannosaurus Maximi are each near a different corner of this image.
· The ruins are torch lit. It’s dark, hot, humid and rainy. ]
Vanguard quickly made plans and leapt into action!
Avatar manifested the power of mighty Zeus, god of the storms!
Clone divided into 23 bodies!
Avatar attempted to seize control of the weather! The World Storm made the attempt harder, but Avatar succeeded! Lightning crackled across the sky as Avatar began to drop the temperature in the Lost Lands! He held them just above freezing to avoid turning the rain to snow and further alerting the Dino Men to their presence!
As it was, the Dino Men who rode the Tyrannosaurus Maximi barked to each other in their inhuman tongue. Those in the Ruin remained silent. A T-Max snuffed and roared.
Clone, Lightning Strike and Symbiote held their actions, waiting for Vanguard’s plan to unfold. When the time came, they would support the team’s extraction of the artifact, and their escape! With Avatar, all four stood together waiting at the treeline (at Location “V” on the map).
Menagerie, Sentinel, Slate and Slingshot all acted simultaneously!
Menagerie transformed himself into a Terrordactyl!
Slate jumped on the reptile leviathan with his flash grenades and the two soared up into the dark, rainy sky!
Slingshot slung shot himself toward the Altar!
Sentinel turned his constructs as translucent as possible and flew alongside Slingshot at the Altar!
Menagerie and Slate tried to blend in with the Dino Men Terrordactyl patrol. Menagerie intended to provide aerial cover for Sentinel and Slingshot, and to scan for the artifact’s exact location and thought-speak it to everyone. As he climbed from the treeline, the shamanic sorcerer thought-spoke to Slate: “Have your flash bang grenades ready to use on any Dino Men who leave the Ruin, attack Vanguard, or come too close to…”
He was cut off mid-sentence!
As they took to the sky over the Ruin, they both felt the temperature instantly go from near-freezing to the sweltering jungle heat and humidity of the Lost Lands.
Menagerie could no longer sense the artifact’s location. He could no longer sense any connection he had to Archimedes. His telepathic mind speech was mute. And most surprising of all, he began to transform against his will! He was returning to the shape of Man… in mid air!
Slate was surprised that his Terrordactyl steed was changing shape – shrinking – beneath him! Menagerie was returning to human form! Before he could use any of his grenades as a diversion, he was hanging on for all his might. The two of them were plummeting out of the thunderous, rain-filled sky, veering east from an altitude of nearly 200 feet!
Simultaneously, Sentinel and Slingshot had hurtled toward the Altar, over the 2000 Dino Men!
Sentinel suddenly lost track of the artifact’s energy signature. His Energy Sense wasn’t working! Then he watched helplessly as his energy shields dissipated around him! He could feel the heat and humidity slowly leak through and then his shields were gone. Along with them, went his mode of travel. He began to fall uncontrollably out of the sky, from a height of 30 feet, down toward the legions of Dino Men!
Slingshot kept hurtling, his momentum still carrying him. But something was terribly wrong. Slingshot was suddenly hot and he watched as his hands and arms grew smaller and paler. He was returning to human form… after all these years! His strength was leaving him, and Scott wondered if he’d be able to survive his imminent crash landing!
Avatar, Clone, Lightning Strike and Symbiote stood together waiting at the treeline. Between the distance, the darkness, and the rain, they weren’t exactly sure what just happened, but they knew that something had gone wrong. Menagerie and Slingshot were changing into human form, and all of them were falling!
Avatar, Clone, Lightning Strike and Symbiote are hidden by the treeline, on the spot marked “V.”
Sentinel is falling from a height of 30 feet, and is at the spot marked “SE”. His momentum will carry him north as he falls.
Slingshot is falling from a height of 30 feet, and is at the spot marked “SL”. His momentum will carry him north as he falls
Menagerie and Slate are falling straight down from 200 feet, and are at the spot marked “MS”. )
(OOC: Saved actions first!)
As Clone watched his friends falling helplessly from the sky something unexpected happened to him . . . he began to remember. Fragmented memories of covert infiltrations, daring escapes, and ‘life on the run’ all began to flash through his mind like a hyperactive strobe light. The images disappeared as quickly as they had come and Clone’s mind instantly felt clearer than it had in ages. Without effort or thought, Clone instinctively put together a plan to save his friends and recover the artifact. A universal calm came over The Collective as they all simultaneously thought to themselves. “Time for Plan ‘B’.”
With the inflection of a seasoned strategist and tactician in his voice, one of the Clones quickly turned to Avatar and said, “We need a blizzard!” Another duplicate looked over at Symbiote and said in a tone ripe with urgency, “You have to use your Gravity Control powers to control their decent. The ones highest up are your primary targets.” With a full head of steam behind them, the platoon sized group of replicates began to charge towards the edge of the tree-line. As they passed by Lightning Strike one of the Clones said in an almost whimsical manner, “Some cover fire would be nice, Mr. Strike.”
With the memories of the recently absorbed ‘Rogue Clone’ now firmly accessible to them, each of the duplicates knew what they could expect from the others. With their stave's jutting outward before them, the horde of duplicates looked like a silent army charging head first towards their foe. Although they still lacked the ability to communicate with each other telepathically, each of them knew the plan . . . it was an easy one - first man to the top of the hill wins! They hoped that their knowledge of stealth and infiltration combined with their black costumes, the heavy rain, the dark skies and the sudden appearance of their teammates plummeting from the heavens would buy them at least a second or two before the Dino’s knew that their position was being advanced upon. His friends falling from the sky . . . he thought about that for split second and smirked. Although he cared deeply for them, he couldn’t help but think to himself, “Why play the Knight, when you can send the Pawns in first.”
Once the doppelgangers reached the main gate they knew that they would have to face the possibility; like their friends before them, that they would all lose their powers and quickly disappear until only one of them remained . . . but that was all part of the plan. With any luck they would all start to disappear just as the Dino’s realized their temple was being assaulted and tried turning the clone army into a late night snack . . . leaving just one.
Between the combination of a stealthy charge, disappearing clones, arctic temperatures, the distraction of his friends falling from the sky, Strike’s electrical cover fire, and some good old fancy foot work, the clones were confident that at least one of them could make his way to the altar and recover the artifact . . . that’s what they hoped any way. As the group emerged from the tree-line and started their covert charge one of them turned to the other and said sarcastically through a smile, “We are so gonna die.”
The charge of the Clone brigade was on! 23 Clones entered the Ruins of Remorse and none of them evaporated! Clone’s superpowers were intact! Battle staves held close to their bodies, the Clones all dodged and raced between the tight ranks of the seven feet tall Dino Men legion! The Ruins were sweltering hot, and the animal stench of the loathsome Dino Men was overpowering!
(OOC: All Clones use their saved actions to Evade, and their movement to race to the Ancient Altar!
Fyi, Racing between the tight ranks of the unsuspecting, surprised Dino Men legion is considered an Obstacle to Movement. So, each of your 23 Clones will make an Agility saving throw on % dice. Any who succeed with their roll will be permitted to use their full movement rate.
Those that fail may only use a fraction of their movement rate, based on how badly they missed their roll.
For example: Miss your Agility throw by 30 percentiles, and that Clone may only use 70% of his movement.
Miss your Agility roll by 80 percentiles and that Clone may only use 20% of his movement rate.
I hope that’s clear.
Clone’s heroic efforts are continued below, with his regular action…)
Sentinel soared towards the altar with determination and his goal fixed firmly in mind. And then he felt his energy dissipating, vanishing from his control, and even worse, his connection with everything around him, what he called his 'energy sense' suddenly gone, torn from him along with it. A momentary flicker of the first time that had happened to him, on Vanguard's first mission when captured by Swastika, came to his mind... and how he prepared himself not be overwhelmed by panic and the sense of loss that accompanied its loss ever again.
His 'gifts' were gone and as he immediately began surveying the situation in mid-air ignoring that he was seconds away from an much too literal crushing defeat; his mind tried to formulate some means of salvation. Bigger things were at stake than just his life and those of his teammates. At this point whether it was the otherworldly temple, a magical spell, the artifact itself, or something else, they were powerless and about to plummet to their deaths.
He shouted back to the rest of Vanguard hoping his words would reach them to protect them, “Breaching the border of the temple canceled all of our powers within seconds.” and added “Hal, maybe you can still project inward to at least break our falls?!?”
Kirk prepared to grab the edges of his cape, to attempt to ride some volcanic drafts to lessen his hurtling speed into the legions of Dino Men when suddenly…
Lightning Strike had heard Clone’s plans, and had plans of his own. The high voltage vigilante realized there wasn’t enough metal on the endangered Vanguardians to safely attempt his magnetic stunt again. But he had another trick up his sleeve. Turning from the Ruins, he found the largest prehistoric tree on the treeline, and held his hands out at it! SHAKOW!!! Electricity poured from Strike’s hands as he altered the neutral charge of the tree to negative!!! The ancient palm was glowing with arcing tendrils of blue static electricity, sparking wildly. “There’s Clone’s distraction,” he thought to himself. (OOC: This was Strike’s saved action)
Then Lightning Strike turned back to face the Ruins and, cursing softly beneath his breath about heroes that were too arrogant to listen, he blasted Sentinel in midair with jolt not intending to electrocute him - although the thought had crossed his mind - but instead to positively charge him! SHAKOW!! (OOC: Strike’s action)
Sentinel saw himself surrounded by electricity. His hair stood on end and spark flews from his skin! Then he felt himself slowing - the trajectory of his crash landing was losing speed until he stopped for a second in midair! Then he felt himself being pulled backwards! The negatively charged giant tree, glowing with electricity, was attracting him! Sentinel began accelerating and soon hurtled at the tree! He suddenly felt cold and then WHAM! Sentinel slammed into the trunk (5 points of impact damage, can’t be rolled with), and the two opposing charges discharged KRAKA-KOOM!!! (4 more points of electrical damage, can’t be rolled with). The charges neutralized each other, dissipated, and Sentinel fell to the jungle floor, landing on his feet (makes an Agility save and takes no falling damage).
Lightning Strike said, “You’re welcome.”
At the treeline, beyond the strange borders of the Ruins of Remorse, Sentinel sensed that all his superpowers had returned! He quickly re-activated his energy shields!
(This is Sentinel’s action this turn. If you had acted before Lightning Strike, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this now. See? It’s not so bad going later in the turn. ;)
Let me know if you would have rather done something else with this action. Thanks.)
Slingshot was hurtling at over 60 mph at the Altar, and for the first time in years, he was human again!
This is where I hope that they think humans taste bad and they are a really peaceful and we can get it by asking nicely, he thought. The former malleable man of might tried his Vanguard wrist communicator but the magnetic interference of the South Pole gave him nothing but static. Hoping that someone would save his now skinny ass, he desperately prepared to grab his now loose, stretchable costume and form an airfoil. If this doesn’t work, I need to have a little faith and do a lot of praying, he thought, when suddenly…
Symbiote was on board with Clone's plan. Basically because he couldn't think of anything better. After seeing Sentinel’s powers return (and making a Detect Hidden save) the super scientist wanted to test the range and properties of the Ruin’s power. He gestured at Slingshot, and using the replicated gravity powers of Zero G (and his saved action) made Slingshot lighter than air! Symbiote’s powers could project through the Ruins!
Slingshot suddenly felt his trajectory rising higher and higher until he was no longer traveling forward but instead was inexplicably falling up into the sky! 20 feet, 50 feet, 75 feet, 100, 150! Suddenly he felt a blast of cold surround him and then he watched his hands warp and mutate as they grew larger… and blacker! Slingshot’s rubber form had returned and along with it, his super powers! But he was still hurtling uncontrollably up toward the mists that covered the lost valley!
Symbiote saw Slingshot’s powers return at an altitude of approximately 200 feet. He had discerned the upper range of the enigmatic effect. But now Slingshot threatened to rocket out of the range of Symbiote’s gravity control. Then Slingshot would fall back into the area where his powers would disappear again! At the furthest edge of his range, Symbiote used his gravity powers again on Slingshot (this is Hal’s action), making Slingshot weightless!
Slingshot stopped his meteoric ascent and hovered weightlessly over 200 feet above the Ruins! He had all his powers (and a saved action from this issue, since none of your orders anticipated this turn of events).
Slate was falling out of the sky aboard his former Terrordactyl steed, Menagerie. Hearing Sentinel, and remembering the experience at the U-Stor facility, Slate yelled back, "I think this may be some kind of illusion, or trick. My powers do not appear to be affected!” Then the scion of cyberspace grabbed Menagerie and twisted in the air so that Slate would take the brunt of the impact! (this was his saved action)
Avatar was surprised at what was unfolding before his eyes. With the power of Zeus, he commanded a blast of wind to hit Slate and Menagerie from below to slow their fall! The myrmidon of mythology felt the roar of the zephyrs blast past him on the way to the Ruin and then… nothing happened! Avatar’s powers were negated by the same phenomenon that affected the powers of Sentinel, Slingshot and Menagerie! But at the treeline, his powers were intact!
Menagerie kept thinking as he fell, "Dear Lady of the Lake! I'm going to die again!"
When Slate grabbed him, he yelled "Hey kid, do you still have your rope? Maybe you can make like a cowboy and lasso a ledge or something!" Menagerie started trying to free Slate's rope from his gear, in the twisting tangle of limbs that was the two of them, plummeting to earth.
"Your hands are kinda full there, Internet Jones. How about I give the desperate rope throw a shot instead?"
As Menagerie began trying to access Slate's backpack, a grin grew on Slate's face... "We don't need a rope", he wrapped his arm around Menagerie's waist and used his thumb to unsnap the belt clip holding the Indiana Jones’ style bullwhip at his hip, and began looking for something to wrap it around for them to swing to safety!
The pair fell to earth! 150 feet! 100 feet! 50 feet!
KER-ACK!!! (cue Indiana Jones' theme music) Slate cracked his Indy whip at the circular turret below them to the northeast! Thwip!! It wrapped around a jagged piece of stone battlement! The pair swung down on the arc of the whip, across the outer ring of the Ruin, and plowed hard into a row of Dino Men! SLAM! (Slate and Menagerie take 4 points damage each from the impact, can’t be rolled with)
Four Dino Men were knocked out cold and Menagerie and Slate were sprawled on the ground surrounded by surprised prehistoric prehumans! (see map)
Menagerie and Slate were still in the Ruin! Slate still had his superpowers and Menagerie did not! (but Menagerie does have a saved action as Slate pre-empted Menagerie’s rope attempt)
One Clone made it through the crowds to the circular stairs before the Ancient Altar! He raced up the stairs and what he saw there gave him pause! At the top of the stairs was a small stone structure that reminded him of the Temple of Terror. Its architecture was hard to perceive. It violated the Euclidean laws of space itself. Inscribed on the temple’s walls appeared the familiar pictoglyphs of prehuman civilization. Its door were open.
Clone was overcome with a powerful sense of dread and loathing (Avatar’s morale boosting ability isn’t working here!) but Clone held steady!
Clone entered the temple and saw a large stone altar. Atop the altar was a stone idol of Cthulhu. It was two feet tall and gave off a soft green glow.
It illuminated the five Dino Men that surrounded the altar. They were involved in a mystic ritual of some sort. The central one was a female.
This High Priestess appeared to be a hybrid between Dino Men, Humans and something else entirely. Flanking her were her four High Priests (two on each side) who also looked different from Dino Men. None were happy to see Clone.
Clone raced to the Ancient Altar and placed his hand on the Stone Idol! (That was Clone’s “attack” and his action ends here!)
The high priestess and her high priests screamed in hate at this profane sacrilege!
To be continued!
Actions please. Everyone gets one action, except Slingshot and Menagerie who have two.
This ends your one turn (two issue) advantage of Surprise. The Dino Men may act freely in Vanguard’s next issue: “Two Thousand Maniacs!”
Here’s the map at the end of this issue:
Avatar, Lightning Strike, Sentinel and Symbiote are by the treeline, near the spot marked “V.”
Clone is everywhere you see a spot marked “C.”
Menagerie and Slate are sprawled on the ground in a heap at the spot marked “MS”.
Slingshot is hovering weightlessly at a height of 200 feet at the spot marked “SL”.
All of Vanguard has their superpowers except Menagerie.
Avatar: Hit Points: 49, Power Points: 63, Manifestation: Zeus
Clone: Bodies: 23, Hit Points: 1, Power Points: 42, Hit Point Pool: 23, Evading til your action phase in issue 188
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 39, Power Points: 75
Menagerie: Hit Points: 14, Power Points: 63, Form: Man! No Superpowers! Saved Action!
Sentinel: Hit Points: 21, Power Points: 52, Creation Points: 104, Shields: 100
Slate: Hit Points: 31, Power Points: 70
Slingshot: Hit Points: 79, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8, Saved Action!
Symbiote: Hit Points: 62, Power Points: 88, Charges: 12, Activated: Zero G
Avatar will go ahead and try to bring down the temperature as low as he can get it over the broadest area between him and the altar that he can. Not going to attack with a blizzard because he doesn't want to hurt any of his team but he is hoping that an extreme temperature drop will slow the reptiles down to the point where the team will have a sizable advantage over them. He'll stand ready to use Weather Control in a true offensive manner if need be, though.
Awesome issue Jeff!
Here is a link to listen to as you read this issue.
Jeff, were the Dinomen we KOed carrying anything?
Re: Indy link:
It doesn't get better than that!
Poor Clone . . . he's so screwed! I should really try to give him a break one of these days LOL
Really awesome issue, Jeff - thank you!
Avatar: This issue, Avatar saw that his weather powers don't work inside the Ruins.
That said, this tactic could affect the four Tyrannosaurus Max riders outside the Ruins, and some of the six Terrordactyl riders patrolling above the Ruins.
Menagerie: Menagerie looked at the unconscious Dino-Men and saw they have their own primitive technology of clothing, weapons, tools, etc. All four wore necklaces of stone charms on a leather-like cord. All have leather-like belts that can hold weapons. Two have swords that appear fashioned from the fierce jawbone of a dinosaur, complete with layers of razor sharp teeth. They've been treated with something like black lacquer.
One has a similarly-fashioned dagger, and the fourth has a long spear.
(Clone didn't observe this because he was racing full steam ahead, not stopping for anything)
Kirk was genuinely surprised by the method of rescue he had just experienced. He sometimes forgot just how much scientific genius and acumen Strike possessed since it was usually overshadowed by his lone wolf tactics and superhuman ego. Ever the peace keeper he genuinely said, "Thanks for the save Strike."
But realizing Strike seemed even more frustrated with him than usual he couldn't resist and he smiled performing a quick kiss towards Strike with his lips and he added, "I knew you couldn't live without me."
Then Sentinel back to business added, "Looks like it’s 'magical' based powers that aren't working in the ruins. You're up, hotshot."
Kirk had realized some time ago back when Symbiote had tried to unsuccessfully duplicate his powers that the source of his gifts might have been different than he and Gramps had originally speculated. From his energy sense he knew he was in touch with universal forces, with the natural environment, but this seemed to confirm that the source was what most would define as magic. Although not a shock about himself, it was a surprise to him regarding Slingshot.
Realizing his powers couldn't help directly within the ruins and that Vanguard's element of surprise was now most definitely lost he thought he could provide assistance in another way; a major distraction to keep the inhabitants confused and off-balance. He figured either the Dino men were trying to summon Cthulhu or satiate him. Either way, John's manipulation of the supernatural storm had 'nature' responding to the ceremony beyond what he assumed the imagining of the Dino men. He could work with that.
"And it looks like you could use a distraction here."
Perhaps it was his thoughts about the source of his gifts or the environment surrounding them itself but Kirk outstretched his arms palms upward looking more like a mage casting a spell than his normal self, exercising his powers as he concentrated. His energy shield around him began to change form and morph into the appearance, color, and texture of the images of Cthulhu they had all seen. Once fully convalesced around him Kirk began to rise into the sky, the image growing into massive size around him towering outside the ruins. To the denizens of the ruins it appeared as if Cthulhu had arrived!
Morale, fear, react as stunned, rolls for all non-Vanguardians?
Jeff: I know that Kirk can't do a total perfect 'illusion' but given the darkness and phenomena of Avatar's storm along with some aspects of gravity gone wild from Symbiote and the ceremony proceedings we shouldn't need anything to be perfect for this to work and have the desired effect on the Dino men to give Vanguard more time to retrieve the artifact. Kirk did a huge construct like this back in our first adventure with the giant Robot... I figure he makes this thing as big as possible for the area allowing him to keep his distance above and
beyond the sphere of influence of the ruins magic negating effect.
In addition to the image (movement) as needed Kirk could attack any threats outside the ruins sphere if they prove antagonistic (ie perhaps swatting flying Dino men out of the sky adding further to the effect and the fear).
He could perhaps manipulate the movements of 'Cthulhu' to make some of the effects of the storm (ie attacks of Avatar or possibly Symbiote) look as if they are his doing further spreading the panic among the Dino men so they don't attack Vanguard.
Finally if there is nothing going on outside the ruins he could perhaps uproot or cut the biggest tree his construct's strength could wield to use either as a battering weapon from outside the negating range or a means to get reach into the arena that heroes within could use to egress out if blocked (ie extending his reach by physical means within). As an alternative he could also pick up things around him to be thrust inward as a ranged weapon (rocks, stones, shrubs, soil, etc) to help clear the path for teammates within the walls.
I think all of this seems within the scope of Kirk's powers and the possibility of what we have seen thus far. If anything is unclear let me know. And naturally, as unanticipated things occur (as they always do) whereby Kirk could do something else to support or protect any of
his teammates feel free to have him do so.
And thanks for not having Kirk go 'splat'... Even if Strike will never let him live it down.
OOC: Couple other things I forgot.
I figured Slingshot could use Kirk's construct as a basis of movement until freed of the lack of gravity. Either Slingshot could stretch towards the Cthulhu construct or Kirk could have it reach towards him as needed. This way Symbiote can used his science-based powers within the ruins. And at this point with Slingshot's physical appearance and with realizing he is actually a being of magic himself, who knows what the Dino Men will make of him.
I do know that Kirk's physical sight will get limited a bit due to the darkness of the construct so he would manipulate a small portion of area as best he could to allow sight as needed (and with the storm raging and mixed darkness there would be some limitations to sign anyway, so he will supplement with his energy sense. He 'sees' his teammates via their auras along with the artifact and perhaps the Dino men have a unique aura different so he can quickly sense enemies from all directions. I know you'll work fairly with all that given whatever comes up.
OOC: Hmmm... I'm going to have to reread this issue... I missed the whole "nullifies magic only" part. I thought it would nullify all powers.
OOC: That was my thought last issue, and this issue Vanguard witnessed:
Slate unaffected within. Clone unaffected within.
Strike's powers projected and worked within, Avatar's powers projected and failed to work within.
Menagerie, Sentinel, and Slingshot lost powers within; Sentinel and Slingshot regained powers once outside the ruins. The height scope of the 'field' over the ruins was measured by Symbiote when he raised you high enough to revert you back to superhuman form.
That was the evidence Kirk used to reach that conclusion. At this point it is only his conclusion but he voiced it because it made sense to him.
So I have two actions, and I'm stuck in mid-air, near the limit of Symbiote's range.
Counting the squares, I believe I can stretch to the edge of the mountain/ruins.
(assuming that's the case), I'll stretch as upwards as I can to reach the mountain ledge on the far side of the ruins from our arrival. I'll be out of range for Synbiote, but I know my limitations and I should be able to slingshot up and above for my return.
If that's the case, then I want to do it fast enough to not cause Symbiote to lose an action holding me up.
Once I reach the ledge, I'll wait and look below for the drama to unfold.
1) If Clone gets what we need, then I'll slingshot my way back. no muss, no fuss.
2) if he or anyone is under attack, I'll grab/dislodge large parts of rocks from the mountain ledge and throw them and provide cover fire from above.
I'll look at the structural strenght of the whole ledge and see if there's any way that I can drop the whole thing on top of the altar (no need for lava flows, a few tons of rock can do).
If I think that thing are going bad enough for us and I need to pull this ace out of my hand, I will. I don't expect to need to do so this turn.
P.S. Have a great Easter weekend! or what's left of it.
IC: Slate, flush with the success of saving Menagerie, will hold his action until the Dino men respond to their appearance. If they become hostile, he will pop the flash bangs he has and run with Menagerie to the extraction site. If not, he will try to be as Un - menacing as possible and see if they can communicate.
Menagerie quickly picks up the spear that one of the knocked over Dino men had. He will move to where his back in next to Slate's back. "Are you really sure about this kid?"
Menagerie will hold the spear in an nonthreatening manner as he waits for "Internet Jones" to talk with the "natives". Menagerie holds his actions ready to coordinate with Slate on their flight.
When the Dino men move toward them especially if they try to surround them. Menagerie will yell, "Time to move kid!", Menagerie will evade and use the spear to defend himself. He will avert his eyes when Slate towards his flash bangs. The run for the outside area as best as he can.
If the Dino men don't try to surround them he will stand there silently waiting to see what happens next.
IC: The High Priestess appeared to be a hybrid between Dino Men, Humans and something else entirely. Flanking her were her four High Priests ( two on each side ) who also looked different from Dino Men. None were happy to see Clone. Clone raced to the Ancient Altar, placed his hand on the Stone Idol ( That was Clone’s “attack” and his action ends here! ), and said in a playfully roguish way, “What’s shake’n ladies? Come here often?” The high priestess and her high priests screamed in hate at this profane sacrilege!
Sensing that he may have overstayed his welcome, Clone firmly tucked the idol underneath his arm like a football and ran towards the entrance of the altar room. Bounding through the entrance he shouted out desperately, “If we’re going to start teleporting, NOW would be a great time!” With the High Priestess and her high priests right behind him, Clone stretched out his hand as he raced towards the first duplicate he could see.
Clone is going to try and “chain absorb” himself back towards the Main gate of the Temple – If I remember correctly, he has done this before so it shouldn’t be difficult to pull . . . “shouldn’t be” being the key phrase here lol.
For the duplicates that aren’t inside the Altar Room, they’ll use their Actions to Evade if need be. In their minds they’re not trying to win a brawl with the Dino-men, they just want to make off with the Object of Power and get out of there asap.
Talk to you all soon,
Symbiote has two possible actions....
1) IF he can see Clone's predicament (the one at the altar) and IF Clone cannot "chain merge" as he describes, Hal will use his gravity powers to levitate him up, up into the air and out of the range of those Dinomen freaks.
2) If he can't see what Clone is doing, or if Clone already has the situation in hand through the chain merging, Hal will simply attack. He'll start by making one of Terrordactyls supper heavy, unable to fly, and send it crashing to the ground. Preferably while it is directly over one or more of the ground dwelling Dinomen.
Seeing that Clone has his hands on the artifact, Strike will move to position himself to get a clear shot at one of the priests or even better the priestess and finally provide Clone that cover fire he requested. He will blast whoever is closest to Clone.