Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Vanguard: Issue 226: The Return of Cthulhu

After countless millennia, Cthulhu and his pantheon of terrifying madness return to Earth at last.


They would soon remake the world in their horrific image.


And then, the universe.

Vanguard’s sanity is held together by a thread thanks only to Avatar, whose godly presence bolsters the morale of mere mortals.

Through the hole in the sky, beneath the lunar eclipse of the winter solstice, the cyclopean horrific beings writhe and undulate, ready to re-enter the world of Men.

Swastika-Mystic ascends to meet them, chanting with venomous ecstasy:

“’Ai! ‘Ai! Ftaghn! Thanarak! N'gha! Vulg'th! Zhro!”

Sentinel cries above the howl of the World Storm: “Vanguard, the altar and the design on the floor before are linked and imbued with unimaginable arcane power.  Whatever Swastika has done to ensure the dimensional gateway be open for Cthulhu’s entry at the right time – it seems to be the only thing I can perceive holding it all together now. We need to destroy his key to the gateway, or at least remove it from where it can be used by him!”

Avatar nods grimly and summons two more bolts of lightning from the heavens. This time, he doesn’t target Swastika, adorned in the flesh of Mystic and all the Artifacts of Power.  This time, he targets the sorcerous power nexus before the ancient altar.

KRA-KA-BOOM!


Lightning strike joins in, firing white hot arcs of crackling electricity from both hands at the lodestone!

SHAKOW! SHAKOW!

Menagerie shouts, "We need to destroy the source of entry!" as he weaves a powerful spell to drain energy from the nexus point of the dread ceremony. [OOC: Two attacks. PR: 36!]

After the devastating onslaught, the smoke clears and Vanguard sees the magical design is cracked.  Eldritch energy sparks from the occult symbol!

Swastika-Mystic turns away from the sundered veil of this reality, looking down at what the heroes have done. “No! Stop!”

Sentinel flies toward him, and sees all the other areas of the temple are connected in micro-ley lines to the altar and the design that evokes “rising steps” or “ascension.”

The golden age hero concentrates and projects his thoughts outwards towards Swastika high in the sky above him; not an attack but, he hopes, a reawakening.  For Swastika wasn’t the contact he wanted to make but rather the prisoner he held mentally and emotionally captive all this time: Mystic.  Mystic!
He reaches out, how his grandfather Lancaster, the original Sentinel, had taught him.
“Mystic!  Mystic!  We need you.  All of existence needs you.  Wake up man!  You are the most powerful magical hero known. We need you! Wake up!” [OOC: Spends 1 Luck Point]

Swastika-Mystic glares at Sentinel.
“No! Damn you! Not yet! It isn’t time! Not ye-eeeaaarrrrggghhh!!!”

Swastika-Mystic suddenly spasms violently in mid-air, a man at war with his own body, limbs lurching and flailing as he hurtles erratically though the storm, writhing, snarling, growling, screaming!
Far below, in the ageless stone courtyard, the ghastly, unliving corpses of the 13 sorcerous supervillains known as the Crimson Coven strike!


With chilling speed, preternatural strength and still-present super powers, the dead lunge at Vanguard!

Avatar withstands the undead malevolence of Superstition; his powers over Fate too much for her bad luck hex.
Sentinel’s shields defend him against the airborne Inferna’s hellfire blast! [OOC: -17 to shields]
Soldier acrobatically rolls with the zombie Demonoid’s vicious claws. [OOC: 15 damage. -8 to Invulnerability. Rolls with 7]
Slingshot is struck by the staff of the twice resurrected Baron Samedi [14 damage. Rolls with 9. 5 from Hits.  Still conscious]
Five Clones are felled by the undead legion of The Witch, The Fly, Pendulum, Mirage and the headless Warlock!
The invisible Aperture is not detected by any of the living dead!
Lightning Strike survives the necrotic claws of Big Bad [13 damage, rolls with 6. 7 to Hits. Still conscious]
Menagerie braves the assault of the revenant of Jack Lantern. [13 damage. Rolls with 3.  Takes 10 from Hits. Still conscious]
The unliving remains of Le Fou and Scarlet Fever miss their targets.

Then the heroes of Vanguard strike back!
Soldier fires explosive rounds into Demonoid and the undead thing collapses to the stone floor.
Slingshot grabs Samedi and hurtles him into the flying Inferna, knocking both of them insensate!
Clone’s army fells The Witch, Pendulum, Mirage and Scarlet Fever!

Above the desperate fray, the form of Swastika-Mystic suddenly stops buckling.
The remaining undead legion of the Crimson Coven that are still standing suddenly collapse!

Something leaves the form of Mystic…


…and merges into Cthulhu!
Mystic cries in his own voice. "I… no! Everyone! Swastika has left my body! But he is entering the body of Cthulhu! That was his master plan all along! Not only to destroy the world by summoning the Great Old Ones, but to possess Cthulhu itself!” he yells in horror.


The titanic thing from beyond space and time suddenly utters an inhuman laugh that chills the blood.
The Swastika-possessed Cthulhu begins to pass through the portal, entering into this universe!

Then Aperture sets his digital “anti-magic” cannon to overload.

VRA-BOOOM!!!

It ruptures the seal before the altar. Eldritch energy explodes and dissipates, leaving only a smoking crater.

The rip in the fabric of reality closes, with the Great Old Ones, and the mind of Dr. Swastika, on the other side! The breach seals to a crack of thunder and the shockwave rocks Vanguard back!

Then all goes still.

The interdimensional crack in the sky is gone.

The lunar eclipse wanes and with it, the power of the World Storm.

The Crimson Coven are dead and unmoving.

And Mystic, wearing the Artifacts of Power, still lives.


Vanguard did it.
Vanguard had saved the world!

OOC: Actions for the next hour or so?
Congrats, everyone! Next issue: Experience Points!


Current Conditions: 

Aperture: Hit Points: 15, Power Points: 21, Nanotech: Invisibility
Avatar: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 35, Manifestation: Heightened Speed, Weather Control
Clone: Bodies: 18, Hit Points: 1, Power Points: 65, Hit Point Pool: 18
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 59
Menagerie: Hit Points: 16, Power Points: 27, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 60, Creation Points: 120, Shields: 83
Slingshot: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 81, Invulnerability: 0 til Issue 227, Non-regeneratable HP: 42!
Soldier: Hit Points: 31, Power Points: 61, Invulnerability: 0 til Issue 228.



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Aperture:
OOC: Worth the wait!

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Soldier:
OOC: I enjoyed it. Now, what to do next?

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Menagerie:
OOC: Awesome issue!!!

Now I need to take a deep breath and figure what next.

Tom

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Slingshot:
[OOC] Wow. I'm not sure what to say there. I didn't think that setting the cannon to overload would do it. Good thinking Jon! Let me know if the next bit is a little too much for you all, but I think it's a valid finish.

[IC] Slingshot looks at the wreckage. Looks at the sky where moments before Cthutlhu was there. The parallels with another world shattering encounter was not wasted on him. He thinks to IT and Nemesis. This combination isn't quite so positive. He felt tired, exhausted. Did we win? At what cost?

He turns to the team. He surveys it. Slingshot is well aware that he was the one that has likely lost the least in this insanity, by pure luck. He walks up to Sentinel put a hand on his shoulder. He reaches out, extends, to all the members present, even Mystic, creating a link between them all, bringing them closer. His own flesh losing cohesiveness due to the large number of individuals and tendrils needed. When the whole team is closer together. He speaks up, overwhelmed at the situation and his own feelings, "The world survives to live another day." he says somewhat flatly, he continues more fervently, "How we continue from here is entirely up to us. You all are my brothers in arms and I trust you with my life. We have done so many times over. While we are Vanguard, I really see you all as my family. Family help and support each other. " Each tendril pulses creating a sense of a hug, "Now, let's pick up the pieces and start new."

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Soldier:
OOC: I wouldn't try to follow that Stephane, so Soldier's post would have to be before yours. I also agree good idea on the cannon Jon.

IC: After a moment to catch his breathe, the Patriotic Powehouse's first thoughts are of The Vanguard reserves and The Soviet Super Soldiers. He checks his comm to find out if they require help.

If they don't, he will contact CHESS to request a team to collect the zombie remains.

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Sentinel:

IC: They did it.  They won!  And for a brief moment he felt exuberance.  He had done something right. He had made a difference.  And then that feeling turned to numbness as the reality of the cost returned. Vanguard as it had been was gone.  All the people he had made a life with, fought the good fight beside, were gone. Aside from these men at his side now and Grey, they were all lost. And then he realized, this wasn’t over yet.

Kirk turned to Mystic, knowing what he had endured … and the power he currently held.  And that they really didn’t know him.
“How are you doing?” he asked Mystic.

As they began to converse Kirk had to know, “How long?”  “How long did he have you?  Was that you back in the 1940’s or him already?”

Kirk needed to understand things.  At this point, at the very least, it had to make sense.  And he had to be able to understand the man standing before them.

“Do you feel he is truly gone?  Prevented from returning as Cthulhu is blocked from doing so?  Can he get back here?”  Kirk had wanted the menace of Swastika ended for good. He was prepared to end no matter the cost.  Now it seemed he was merely out of reach but somehow still out there.
Upon getting those answers and feeling confident they can count Mystic as one of the good guys again, Kirk turned back to Vanguard.

“We have two questions that we need to answer.  And it needs to be all of us that decide here.  First, looking especially to Mystic and Menagerie, ‘can the artifacts fix this?’  Can we fix all damage that has been done since this began?  And I’m not merely talking about our personal losses here, the world as a whole has been devastated by this event and loss of life likely unparalleled. And second, ‘what do we do with them?’ When they come for us, whether we are heralded as heroes or framed as scapegoats for all that has happened, the one thing that is clear is that this much power cannot be held in the hands of one being.  They were separated for a reason.  What do we do with the artifacts now?”

OOC:  Great issue Jeff.  Very glad the team survived the big event and we all had a share in the save.  And three cheers for luck points!  Hope the above doesn't cramp any of your plans but it seemed like it needed to be answered.  Certainly even if one of the good guys, Mystic can't have them for 'safe keeping' and no way we can turn them over to the government.

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Menagerie:
Menagerie stood still and listened to the world. He tried to reach out to the natural order. "Had his patron survived?" He waited longer. "Had he completed his mission or did the Natural Order still need its champion."

When asked about using the artifacts to heal the earth he said, "I don't know let me consult with Mystic"

Menagerie looked at all the artifacts and when he touched Excalibur ....

{OOC - Jeff I was thinking of somehow using Excalibur as part of Menagerie's next level advancement. I am thinking with Menagerie's connection to Merlin, Arthur, and the Lady of the Lake that he would have some tie to Excalibur. Maybe he absorbs it or something fantastic that you can think up.}

Menagerie will grieve over the loss of Archimedes, Snowball, and all of the Vanguard family.

Best
Tom

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Aperture:
Once everyone is together Aperture can gate them back.

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Slingshot:
Slingshot shivers at the memory of that monstrous god. Now that Zwastika merged with that thing, How can we protect ourselves? It will never stop trying to get back here. He looks around. We cannot get caught flat footed again.

He surveys the area, looking for anything that he can bring back and learn from. He will be better prepared next time. [OOC] looking for books, scrolls, anything that would help better prepare us for the next time[/ooc]

He turns to speak to Mystic: " Hand over the artifacts, Mystic. Until we know more, these objects need to be split. One artifact each. I'm sorry about the suspicion, but better be safe than sorry."

Unless we want to debrief here?

Jeff: Having all these artifacts of power, is there a chance to pull a mystical reset button? something that would help the world recover from the ordeal?

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Clone:
As Sentinel and Slingshot approach Mystic to reclaim the Artifacts, the Clones gather together slowly and begin to walk towards them. When the questions are asked about what should be done with the Artifacts and how will they be separated, the Clones digs deeply within themselves and offer to sacrifice part of themselves to protect the world and to hide the Artifacts once again. One of them looks up at Sentinel with says in a soft tone filled selfless regret and understanding, "We can hide them Comrade, we can be taking them to farthest reaches of world where no one will be finding of them and act as their guardians for as long as time allows."

OOC:
Jeff, GREAT Issue! You actually had me with the 'Well, Earth had a good run while it lasted.' - I couldn't believe it when I read it. I thought to myself, "No freak'n way! We failed?!? Oh my God - Jeff did it - he took the story to 'the crazy place' - holy crap." I started reading the issue with a little fear and thought to myself, "This can't be happening." Absolutely epic conclusion - well done and well written - thank you, I truly enjoyed this part of the Vanguard Saga.

As for the players - thank you one and all - you've all made Vanguard an absolute joy to be a part of - Long Live Vanguard!

As for Clone, he's basically explaining how he is willing to have several of his duplicates cut ties with him (if this is even possible - Jeff's discretion - I believe he was able to 'pull this off' at least one in the past) and hide the Artifacts all around the world (sought of like the knight did with the Holy Grail in the Indiana Jones movie). If this plan is rejected by the other members of Vanguard, Clone will simply reabsorb the Collective and sit quietly in prayer for the next hour (very subtly rocking back and further as he does so), reflecting upon all the death and suffering that's taken place during this chapter of Vanguards chronicles as he does.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Vanguard: Issue 225: Earth's New Masters

Too late, the heroes. Hundreds of human sacrifices had already opened the doorway across the screaming gulfs of oblivion… to Them.

Within an ancient stone courtyard, six stories tall and open to the lunar eclipse of the winter solstice and the raging World Storm, Vanguard would soon die, joining Doc Rocket, Oracle, Archimedes, Shelley Harper and the entire world. Earth had reached the end.

For, adorned in the Artifacts of Power and the body of Mystic himself, Dr. Swastika the sorcerous psionic puppet master, is triumphant.


An unholy halo of mystical energy crackles around the devil as the sky itself is sundered and Earth’s ghastly new masters peer into this dimension with eyes gigantic, alien and malevolent.



At this sanity shattering sight, only Avatar’s supernatural power to bolster the morale of mortals in his presence stops Vanguard from fleeing in madness and terror.

Dr. Swastika makes Mystic’s mouth say:
“Come. Let us battle, as it was meant to be. Now, at the end of all things.
“Come. Make my victory complete, before I ascend beyond all of this.”

Avatar has heard enough. The embodiment of Mythology on Earth uses the power of Zeus to summon lightning down from the World Storm into the open jungle temple of the ancients!


KRAKA-BOOM!

When the deafening roar and the blinding flash fade, Swastika-Mystic still stands, completely unaffected! He chuckles darkly.

Invisible, Aperture races behind Swastika, readying his invention, the digital cannon.

Sentinel flies up, out of what he imagines the range of the anti-magic weapon to be, and uses his energy sense to examine the altar, and the design on the floor before it, and finds them linked and imbued with arcane power. A nexus hub of unimaginable magic.

Slingshot tries to guard Aperture but is unable to find the unseen scion of cyberspace!

Clone turns to Slingshot: "Quickly Comrade Slingshot, you must be shooting me at him!"

Slingshot complies with a smile.  Anchoring himself to two cyclopean stone pillars, the malleable man of might pulls back his elastic arms and hurtles Clone directly at Swastika! In mid-air, Clone instantly multiples into 23 bodies that rain down upon Swastika and harmlessly pass through him and crash headlong into Aperture who is standing behind him!

Swastika-Mystic is but an intangible ghost! An illusion!

Many Clones slam into Aperture… [OOC: 20 hit points damage! Cannot roll with damage due to being Surprised. Takes 20 to hits and remains conscious!]

…as Aperture simultaneously fires his digital cannon at “Swastika!” The beam of static passed through the mirage and hit Slingshot straight in the chest, digitizing part of his supernatural flesh!
[OOC: 18 damage! Cannot roll with damage due to Surprise. 8 from Invulnerability. 10 to hits. Slingshot stays awake.]

Swastika-Mystic laughs as he dissolves into nothingness. A mirror image of the possessed sorcerer-superhero suddenly appears on the other side of the courtyard, identically adorned in the Artifacts of Power.

Sentinel uses his energy sense to confirm that this second Swastika-Mystic is real.

Reeling, Avatar, Lightning Strike, Menagerie and Sentinel hold their attacks!

Suddenly, from out of the treacherous sky parachutes Solider!


The patriotic paratrooper navigates the gale winds with ease and drops into the courtyard. The epic battle between the SSS, the Vanguard Reservists, the Ubermensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard became a skyborn battle of the titans, in and above the clouds. Unable to fly, Soldier realized he would be more useful in this arena of operations and called an audible.

The star-spangled superhero quickly scans the terrain with his bionic eye and gets his bearings as he flashes Vanguard hand signals that confirm his true identity.
[OOC: Everyone, please welcome Jamey to the game, who will be playing the role of Soldier!]

Swastika-Mystic’s black laugh becomes a vicious snarl. “Now. Kill them!”

And the 13 dead bodies of the Crimson Coven, that surround Vanguard, rise from the beyond the grave, including the grisly, headless corpse of the Warlock.


Baron Samedi, Jack Lantern, Le Fou, The Fly, Big Bad, Inferna and Scarlet Fever:


As dead men awaken, Swastika-Mystic ascends to the hole in the sky, chanting with venomous ecstasy:

“’Ai! ‘Ai! Ftaghn! Thanarak! N'gha! Vulg'th! Zhro!”


Actions?!  [Lightning Strike, Sentinel and Menagerie have two attacks next issue. Avatar has three!]


Map:


[OOC: One square = 10 feet. ]
Vanguard and the undead revenants of the Crimson Coven are in the open courtyard (M9).
With 23 Clones on the north side of the courtyard, there are over 45 people(!) …too many for me to map clearly.

Swastika-Mystic is 100” (500 feet) directly above the temple now, almost gone to glory.

Seth: The four rough shapes in M9, in square formation, are cyclopean pillars of stone.
The small item in the upper left corner is rubble. The four stars in M8 are statues of gods long past.
The shape south of the altar, that looks like stairs, is a design etched in the floor.]


Current Conditions: 

Aperture: Hit Points: 15, Power Points: 21, Nanotech: Invisibility
Avatar: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 44, Manifestation: Heightened Speed, Weather Control
Clone: Bodies: 23, Hit Points: 1, Power Points: 67, Hit Point Pool: 23
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 36, Power Points: 85
Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 66, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 62, Creation Points: 122, Shields: 100
Slingshot: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 0 til Issue 227, Non-regeneratable HP: 42!
Soldier: Hit Points: 31, Power Points: 70, Invulnerability: 8



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Avatar:
OOC: Ha!  That didn't go as we envisioned.

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Aperture:
OOC: It never does...

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Slingshot:
OOC: I have not read anything, but the title does not bode well.

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Soldier:
OOC: Am I the only one thinking that a) The alter is where we should attack, and b) Warlock's head will show up later.

Jeff, As I cannot see how the team's are spread out, is there an area where none of Vanguard is close enough so that Soldier can toss a grenade in? I would not like to hurt the team.

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Menagerie:
OOC: Jeff, did the anti-magic blast miss the altar or did it not effect it?

Tom

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Sentinel:
OOC: I'd come to the same conclusion.  We have to break the 'key' to the gateway.  Will try to post IC this morning, but I think Aperature sending the altar 'away' (ie digitalize) it may be our best bet here if it were to work.

Seth

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Sentinel:
OOC:
Been a while since I found time to do a total IC posting... but with the end of the world and all, glad I found the time...

Part I
It was seemingly the end of all things.  After all our loss and pain, and all our planning, it seemed all for naught.  Cthulhu stood ready to breach into our world and Swastika currently wielded the most powerful collection of mystical might known to humankind.  Vanguard’s best hope to vanquish him had failed and all his other possible adversaries were enslaved vessels now his pawns, or deceased… or both.
They still were missing huge pieces of understanding of these events but one thing still seemed clear, the only reason Cthulhu and his minions were peering and not entering was the timing.  Despite the mind-numbing events in gathering the artifacts one thing stood clear… the time, the time Cthulhu could make entry into our universe.  The one thing fixed in all this.
So Kirk did what he did best, calculated based on the known facts, and hoped.  He hoped this one last time he could perceive enough, against all apparent odds, to tip the scales in their favor.  To provide an edge so that good might triumph and innocents might be saved.  So that there might be hope of a better positive future.
“Vanguard, the altar and the design on the floor before are linked and imbued with unimaginable arcane power.  Whatever Swastika has done to ensure the dimensional gateway be open for Cthulhu’s entry at the right time – it seems to be the only thing I can perceive holding it all together now.”
Earlier Kirk had been concerned about sending the magical artifacts to the Digital Dimension, wondering if somehow the energies we defined as mystical meeting head-on an existence based on the building blocks of scientific knowledge, those basic digits of zeroes and ones, might itself become the nexus of the catastrophic event to come.   He held that in reserve in his mind, a last ‘Hail Mary’ if it seemed all hope had been lost.  It appeared now was that time.  With the end of all things here, what matter if such a miscalculation ended things moments sooner?
“We need to destroy his key to the gateway, or at least remove it from where it can be used by him.  ‘Send it away Aperture!’ he shouted, ‘Send it away!’”

Comments
Jeff, I’m going to assume no scientific energy type sources going on around here and my thoughts about the combination of those wrong since you didn’t indicate anything at all in that respect but the debris in the room still bothers me.  No other debris around, nothing where it might have come from.  What is the debris… and if it couldn’t be identified quickly we could always say that Kirk used some of his movement while flying to envelop it as he flew upward to examine it (if it is as out of place as it seems to be to me).
As Kirk gains altitude from above and sees the area does the arcane energy of the altar and image seems to spread to other areas of the temple?  Kirk’s gut still feels the image that looks like steps are indeed steps to another place… there are other areas of the temple that have steps that he can now see from above… are any of those areas emanating mystical energy?

Part II
Vanguard faced two problems.  Even if they destroyed the gateway and prevented the arrival of Cthulhu they still had their own ‘Mad God’ to face, who had destroyed all his other opposition and wielded a combined arcane energy never before known.  Whatever destructive force Kirk could muster on his own was a pittance compared to what Swastika possessed – there was simply no way it would be enough to stop him.
So Kirk concentrated.  He centered himself and tried to gather all that he was… it was difficult given recent events.  Even if Vanguard pulled this off, Kirk’s world was gone.  Shelly, his love, along with his unborn child had their life crushed from them.  His mentors and friends of the Liberty Legion and all the courageous fine men and women of Chess that had become his extended family were lost too. And it seemed that at his essence Kirk had been lost with them.  A pitiful shell of what he was waiting to join them.
But he tried.  One last time.  He focused to try to make a difference.  He remembered the training Gramps had given him and wished at this moment he had found the time to complete it so that he would have had a better opportunity for this to actually work.  But he somehow had managed to do this in the past even before beginning his training in the mental disciplines … with the Star Giant… in Vanguard’s first mission, before they were Vanguard, against this very same Emissary of Evil.
He concentrated and projected his thoughts outwards towards Swastika high in the sky above him, not an attack, but he hoped for a reawakening.  For Swastika wasn’t the contact he wanted to make but rather the prisoner he held mentally and emotionally captive all this time.  Mystic.  Mystic!
He hoped against hope he could reach out and reawaken the dormant hero held captive for so long.  Kirk reached out with his inner being, “‘Mystic!  Mystic!  We need you.  All of existence needs you.  Wake up man!  You are the most powerful magical hero known.  I know Swastika has held you captive and beaten … but things are different now.  We need you. Everyone and everything needs you!  And Swastika isn’t the only one with access to all the most powerful magical talismans known to mankind… YOU HAVE IT TOO!  Wake up and access the power he had brought into YOUR possession!  Be the hero you have always been again… Remember!  Remember who you are and what you know!  MYSTIC HELP US!”

OOC:
Jeff – So the above really isn’t an attack but I’m guessing it will count as such if you allow the opportunity.   Although Kirk’s powerset doesn’t include reaching out like this as of yet his doing this isn’t without precedent.  And he has had training since that time.
Kirk will expend a luck point to make contact and to hopefully reawaken Mystic.  It is actually a good play here – Swastika may have dominated Mystic but whatever is left in there if him he is now in contact with all of the same arcane energy from the artifacts and there has to be something he can do to wield some of it.
Kirk may also need to fly higher towards Swastika or fend off an attack of his if he takes notice of him.  Guess you can decide on that or whether the above takes all his actions or what not.  I think all of the above is still just ‘one attack’ but you can let me know and/or hold the second until next issue.

Viva Vanguard!

Seth

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Menagerie:
OOC: I need a GM ruling. Will Menagerie's Essence of Life spell work on the Altar's energy. I want to drain it of its magical energy.

Thanks
Tom

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GM:
Hi
Thanks everyone.

OOC GM Replies:

Tom:  The altar wasn't targeted or hit by the anti-magic cannon. Swastika-Mystic was targeted and Slingshot was hit.
Essence of Life use is allowed only because Menagerie is a sorcerer type.

Seth: No scientific equipment.
Debris is stone rubble. It's not out of place. This is an ancient ruin.
Again, the altar and the design on the floor before it are the magical energy nexus.  Sentinel detected nothing equivalent in his range.
Reaching out to Mystic telepathically is a legitimate action attempt. Results, if any, to come next issue.

Jamey:  It's too crowded with friendlies in here for safe grenade use. There are 23 clones, and every zombie member of the crimson coven is closing with a hero. Sorry.

Hope I answered all your OOC questions. Please let me know if I missed any. Thanks.

Best,
Jeff

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Soldier:
As he approaches Vanguard, "I thought that I would lend a hand........and I can't think of a better group of people to face a possible Armageddon with."

As the Coven moves forward he replies. "Does anybody have a preference of who they want to dance with?"


OOC: Soldier unless otherwise directed will fight whomever comes toward him. If there is enough distance away he will use his pistol, or if range does not permit it he will pull his baton and prepare for hand to hand.

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Sentinel:
OOC: Thanks Jeff.

And Sentinel reaching out to Mystic with hope seemed to be a very Kirk-like action, coming full circle here... and really - Mystic is the most powerful mage known to the heroes and he is in direct physical contact with the most powerful mystical energies known the the universe - if even a small part of him becomes aware of that you have to think he can do something with it...

Seth

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Menagerie:
Menagerie uses his movement to activate his Willpower Defense.

Menagerie's first action will be to use Essence of Life on the Altar. "We need to destroy the source of entry!"

If the Altar is still function on Menagerie's next action and the Essence of Life had a noticeable impact (including Menagerie experiencing the spells PR costs of draining his power equally) he will use Essence of Life again and any luck points he has left of increase the drain.

If the Alter was not effected by his attack, he will hold his action until next turn.

If the Altar is gone because of other attacks, the Menagerie will use Essence of Life on Dr. Swastika.

If the Altar is gone and Mystic is fighting Swastika or taken control of his body away from Swastika, he will hold his action for next issue.

Regards
Tom

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Soldier:
Soldier will evade and fire his explosive rounds. If any of the team seems to be in trouble, then he will move to assist.

--------------------------------------------------

Aperture:
OOC: Love the idea of reaching out to Mystic brilliant.

IC: Aperture gets up after being struck by Clone, and listens to his teammates regarding the focus of the ceremony.  Still invisible, he hopes to evade the "Zombie Coven".  He knows he doesn't have enough energy to switch powers again to open a portal to send the altar through.  Instead, he moves as close as he can get to it, and sets the Digital Cannon to overload.  Hopefully, this will diarupt the ceremony, and maybe drop some Zombies...

Viva Vanguard,

Jon

--------------------------------------------------

Soldier:

OOC: Jeff, how close are the zombies to the recently injured team members, and are they moving towards them?

Jamey

--------------------------------------------------

Slingshot:
I'll try to create some chaos and maybe improve my bowling score. Reach out and grab Demonoid and throw him at as many of them as possible, If I can catch baron samedi in the gang or inferna, all the better.

Stephane

--------------------------------------------------

Clone:
Due to the close-quarters nature of the immediate situation - the Clones will immediately engage as many of the recently risen zombies in hand-to-hand combat as possible. Hopefully the confusion of this mass-melee will; at the very least, provide the other members of Vanguard with an opportunity to pull off something dramatic against Mystic ( i.e. I'm hoping the army of Clones can keep the zombies busy if nothing else).

A super-simple plan; but with any luck, an effective one.

-Kev

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Vanguard: Issue 224: At The End of All Things


The countless corpses before the temple mean that the ritual has begun.  Perhaps it has already been completed! Either way, only scant minutes remain before the stars are right and Great Cthulhu can return to Earth at last.

The Vanguard Reserves and the Soviet Super Soldiers had drawn off the Ubermensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard, that Vanguard can act freely.
Without hesitation, Earth’s mightiest heroes hurtle into the black maw of the ancient Mesoamerican temple, tracking the artifacts of power by their unique energy signature through ageless corridors.



Vanguard rockets over the timeless stones, painfully aware that time is running out… for them, and for everyone on Earth.

They burst into an open stone courtyard, six stories tall and open to the lunar eclipse of the winter solstice, and the raging World Storm.


There they find Mystic, the superhero wizard of World War 2, made prisoner in his own flesh by the mad science-sorcerer, Dr. Swastika, who cruelly possesses Mystic’s body now.


He has the artifacts of power.  In fact, he is wearing them:


In one hand he holds the Spear of Destiny from the Lost Lab of Dr. Swastika behind the Iron Curtain.

In the other hand, he holds Excalibur, taken from Broceliande Forest in France.

On his belt is the Sacrificial Dagger of the Maya, recovered from the Crimson Coven in New Jersey.

On a finger is the Ring of Eon, found with the Liberty League in the mid-Atlantic circa 1943.

On another finger, encased within a ring, is the Splinter of the True Cross, taken from Black Bat.

Around his neck hangs the Stone Idol of Cthulhu from the Ruins of Remorse in the Lost Lands.

Atop his head sits an Iron Crown of which Vanguard knows nothing.

The Green Gem and the Bronze Mirror of Ancient China are not visible.  Perhaps they are secreted beneath his cloak.


(OOC: Mystic/Swastika is the red “S.”  Vanguard are the blue “V.” One square = 10 feet.
The shape due north behind Mystic is a design in the floor.  Beyond that, an altar.
Vanguard had just travelled via M1, M2 and M8.)
Magical energy crackles around Mystic, the artifacts forming micro ley lines, a web of arcane power.

Broken, at his feet, are both factions of the Crimson Coven. The Warlock’s head has been severed from his shoulders.

There is no one else here.

A deafening peal of thunder heralds a fearsome crack in the sky itself, forming beneath the eclipse of the moon. Eerie, otherworldly light, in colors unknown to Man, shines from it horrifically, as the rift grows wider and wider.

Dr. Swastika makes Mystic’s mouth say:
“Vanguard. At last. Cutting it rather close, don’t you think? 
“Come. Let us battle, as it was meant to be. Now, at the end of all things.
“Come. Make my victory complete, before I ascend beyond all of this.”


Actions?!


Current Conditions: 
Aperture: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 22, Nanotech: Invisibility
Avatar: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 44, Manifestation: Heightened Speed, Weather Control
Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 67, Hit Point Pool: 23
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 36, Power Points: 85
Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 66, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 70, Creation Points: 140
Slingshot: Hit Points: 38, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8, Damage that can’t be regenerated: 42!


--------------------------------------------------

Slingshot:
OOC: So we need to use coordination in taking him down.  He will be all that he can be: fast, strong, impervious and deadly.

I assume this anti-magic cannon will be of great help. So I'll stay back and protect Aperture so he can attack accordingly.

I would like to see if anyone else focus on either taking him down or taking artifacts away from him.

Here are some Option:, as I'm slow, I expect Swastika to act well before me. I may not be able to protect Aperture as I expect I want to do.
1- Swastika disables Aperture somehow and we need to get the cannon in action: Slingshot will take the gun and go for it.
2- Slingshot will step in harm's way to absorb any hits destined for Aperture
3- Swastika hasn't moved against Aperture and Slingshot has an action at the end of the turn, I'll hold my action for next turn.

--------------------------------------------------

Menagerie:
Menagerie has the choice of make a Devitalization attack, firing his pistol, or attempting to grab an artifact. He will be one of the last to act.

Which do we want to do on the first round? Everyone pound him or split between attack and grab?

Tom

--------------------------------------------------

Aperture:
Aperture will use his invisibility to get behind Swastika, and blast him with the Digital Cannon, hopefully disrupting the ceremony.

--------------------------------------------------

Menagerie:
He will hold his action until the last phase (moment) of the turn. If Vanguard needs help stopping Dr. Swastika and the Anti-Magic cannon didn't work he will Essence of Life spell (Devitalization Ray).

If the Anti-Magic cannon worked he will use his pistol to shoot Dr. Swastika. unless no one is near him then he will toss a grenade.

If Vanguard is winning against Dr. Swastika then he will grab an Artifact and run in a direction away from anyone else with Dr. Swastika or Vanguard but no where near the WWII Super Villains.

If none of the actions make sense in the current situation then hold his action to next turn.

Menagerie said "Viva Vanguard! Save the world and lets stop this foul menace once and for all. It is the end of all things Dr. Swastika!"

Best
Tom

--------------------------------------------------

Sentinel:
OOC: At this point can we assume the broken bodies of the Coven are strewn around the room?  Do they appear unconscious-dead-or a mix-or can we just not tell at this point?

From energy read standpoints and vision - I know mystical energy has to be an insane level around Mystic currently - what about other areas of the room?  What are Kirk's perceptions?  Or primary concern"
(1) the altar
(2) the design on the floor (what is it?  looks like steps --- and when we dealt with the Coven earlier wasn't there something like that which actually led from one area to another?)
(3) what are the four images somewhat circular forming the edges of what could be a square of some sort?  Are they just stones in the temple or something new?  Can they be smashed and/or moved?
(4) What is the little item at the top left corner of the room?  (this looks really out of place - is this tech?)
(5) What were the four items with stars in the middle that way passed in M8?

... I won't ask about the other rooms since as PCs we haven't seen them ...
And here is a big question - does Kirk perceive any sort of high tech energy influences in the area?  They should stick out as a sore thumb in comparison to all the mystical stuff going on here.  Swastika has always been about the blend of science and 'magic' - maybe despite having the most powerful magical artifacts known science holds they key...

At this point once I get a read of what is around us I think one possibility is Kirk using his actions to disrupt the physical components of the room which would hopefully upset something Swastika needs here... or
What is the range of the anti-magic weapon?  Since the room isn't enclosed but open to the outside I'm thinking Kirk could take off upward at his top speed (yes, I know its not much) a if he is fleeing and giving up to distract Swastika from the others so that they can deploy the anti-magic weapon and hopefully he will get out of its range so he can return still with his powers intact and able to do something afterward.

Seth

--------------------------------------------------

Slingshot:
OOC: Here's another thought. ZOMBIES

Would not be surprised if he's going to turn all the coven into Zombies and all of a sudden we have to deal with a dozen more enemies.

Anything we can do to clear the place fast?

Stephane

--------------------------------------------------

Clone:
OOC:

Ok - time to go all superhero on this guys ass! Clone has a plan, it's last minute, risky, foolish, implosive, and probably not well thought out . . . but this is Clone we're talking about here, not Batman lol. Basically he wants Slingshot to latch onto the two pillars between Vanguard and Swastika, and literally form a giant slingshot in order to fire Clone at Swastika. If all goes according to plan, Clone will replicate as fast as physically possible in order to act as a shotgun blast against Swastika. Hopefully Swastika won't be able to take out all the duplicates flying at him and the Clone Collective will be able to knock him over like a bowling ball. If they're able to get their hands on him, the duplicates will start swarming him with more duplicates in order to bog him down. He realizes that this plan could go to hell in a heartbeat; but with the fate of all existence riding in the balance, he's ready to take that chance. With any luck, Clones shotgun swarm attack will distract Swastika long enough that the rest of Vanguard can get into place and put the beating of a life time on him.

Clone knows he can't beat Swastika with this move, but maybe he can buy the other members of Vanguard some time so that they can.

For all you X-Men fans out there, think of this as a crazy-ass version of Wolverine and Colossus's Fastball Special.

IC:

Clone quickly turns to Slingshot and says desperately, "Quickly Comrade Slingshot, you must be shooting me at him!"


Talk to you guys soon,

-Kev

--------------------------------------------------

Slingshot:
OOC: Ah! Now that's interesting! Slingshot is all about Fastball Specials. :)

--------------------------------------------------

Clone:
OOC: Awesome! I was really hoping you would like that idea. Worst case scenario, the plan fails horribly and we all have a great laugh at Clone's expense lol

--------------------------------------------------

Avatar:
Avatar will try to smite Swastika with lightning prior to anyone else acting and then will hold an action to evaluate what effect everyone has.

--------------------------------------------------

Sentinel:
OOC: If it appears the anti-magic cannon will be deployed and Kirk can get out of the range before it happens so he can attack afterward with his powers that would still work.

Seth

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Vanguard: Issue 223: Midnight Solstice

There is little time left for Vanguard, and for the world.

Midnight of the winter solstice draws nigh. Above the roiling storm clouds, the lunar eclipse has begun.


Vanguard hovers over the thick jungle canopy, one kilometer from their target; from the resolution of their quest. Darkness, mist and the hurricane conspire to destroy visibility.

Aperture’s nanotechnology reconfigures his optical sensors and the scion of cyberspace discerns ancient stone ruins rising up from the dense foliage. Near those ageless temples, warmth radiates under the canopy. Aperture believes it to be dozens of people.

The Vanguard Reservists and the Soviet Super Soldiers openly hurtle toward the ruins, trying to draw fire.


(OOC: Despite the above image, the Collective is not among the SSS. Clone is with Vanguard.)


Dr. Swastika’s legion of villainy, comprised of the Ubermensch and the Imperial Guard, fly out from ambush!



The villains burst from the jungle and the cloud cover, attacking the Vanguard Reservists and the SSS!
The heavens thunder and flash as this battle of the titans is joined!

Vanguard believes their path is clear. Aperture sees that the heat signature at the temples are unchanged.

Sentinel and Slingshot quickly confer. Aperture uses his nanotechnology a third time (PR:15 again) and turns invisible! Avatar summons the powers of Zeus and Hermes!

Sentinel dims the glow of his energy platform and Vanguard flies through the rain and wind toward the coordinates, and the temple! It takes 30 seconds to cross the kilometer.

Vanguard reaches the temple without incident. They descend beneath the jungle canopy to find hundreds of dead bodies, still warm. A mass suicide. All races, ages, genders and cultures are represented, including primitive natives. Each apparently cut their own throat. There are hundreds of wet, crimson knives. All for the glory of Cthulhu.

Invisible, Aperture separates himself from Vanguard’s ranks.

Menagerie and Sentinel detect that this area is thick with sorcerous energy. Menagerie’s and Sentinel’s paranormal senses also detect the energy signatures of the Artifacts of Power! All are present, and they are together. For Sentinel to detect them, they must lie within 120 feet of him, but neither hero can tell the exact distance, only the direction: directly into the dark maw of an ancient stone temple.

The magical heroes report their findings to the rest of Vanguard.

Less than two minutes remain until the end of the world!


Actions?!


Current Conditions: 
Aperture: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 22, Nanotech: Invisibility
Avatar: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 44, Manifestation: Weather Control, Heightened Speed
Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 67, Hit Point Pool: 23
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 36, Power Points: 85
Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 66, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 70, Creation Points: 140
Slingshot: Hit Points: 38, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8, Damage that can’t be regenerated: 42!

--------------------------------------------------

Slingshot:
Slingshot looks at the carnage. He can't believe that so many people are so desperate that they will kill themselves to doom the world. He shakes his head. He feels the dread of the impending doom. He wishes his fellow superheroes, The reservists and SSS well. They have a big fight in front of them.

With resolve, he turns to Vanguard, "This is it, we have to get there!".

[ooc]I have no plan. While the other teams are fighting each other, we still have little information on what is actually there waiting for us. I think we need to come up with multiple plans. What can they be exactly? The ones I still have in my head are:

A- Stop the spell somehow
1- Run away with a bunch of artifacts, essentially going on the premise that he needs them all for the spell to work
1.5 - Aperture opens a portal to the Digital world and we start throwing artifacts through and wait for the fireworks
2- Beat the tar of the bad guys, but I'm not sure how much of that we can actually do in 2 minutes
3- Ruin the Spell
B- Stop Swastika's control over Mystic and hope that Mystic can stop this thing
1- Aperture opens a portal to the Digital world and we throw Mystic through, hoping that will sever the swastika link
2- Kill/Disable Swastika, assuming he's physically there.

[/ooc]

--------------------------------------------------

Aperture:
OOC: Stephane, that’s pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking, separate the artifacts from Swastika/the spell.  Aperture is hidden/invisible at this point, but he’s running very low on power at this time, he’s got maybe one switch (to teleportation/whatever left), and he’s got the digital cannon.  I’ve thought about trying to get the cannon as close to the spell as possible, and overloading it as an anti-magic bomb, that wouldn’t cost power, and I think most of our “magic” friends have prepared if it takes out all magic for a while,  maybe we’d get lucky and it would work on Swastika.  I doubt it, but if Sentinel’s powers are actually magic, maybe.

Aperture has separated himself from the team in the hopes that they’ll distract Swastika so he can take these actions, but with two minutes, we’ve got to act fast.

IC:  Aperture will follow the rest of the team into the tunnel, hanging back a little, so as not to get caught up in any area effect spells/traps.  He’ll be using his heightened comprehension to try to identify any traps/triggers so they can be avoided.

--------------------------------------------------

Sentinel:
OOC: Our working theory is that any of the objects can summon Cthulhu (information given to us) but ALL of the objects are required to control him (seems to be the most logical reason (& the only we can think of) that Swastika had us gather them all and then stole them all).

We have every reason to believe that Swastika's powers are both magic and scientific based.  We also have reason to believe he has no physical body of his own.

Seems like we have to go in and hopefully we will be able to do what we came here to do once entering.

Kirk will focus his energy senses to hopefully avoid any potential traps/foes before they hit and warn the team... but really until we know what is actually happening in there not really any way to plan.  Preventing the summoning is surely the goal and it would seem getting all the artifacts away would be the way to do it.

Seth

--------------------------------------------------

Menagerie:
 Menagerie turns into a Cheetah. He sprinted to the artifacts. His goal was to assist Aperture either by being a distraction to the Swastika and any remaining minions or by grabbing 1 of the artifacts and running away with it.

Whichever he could do with the best chance of success he will do.

Thanks
Tom

--------------------------------------------------

Clone:
IC:

Clone looks out upon the field of dead body before with horror and sadness. His strong religious beliefs and personal love of life make it difficult for him to comprehend the carnage at his feet. As his mind struggles to understand this grotesque mass suicide, Clone suddenly comes to terms with what is transpiring around him. There is no political agenda here, no cultural misunderstanding, or a difference in ideology . . . this is a fight between good and evil, a fight for man's right to exist. He must prevail, Vanguard must prevail, nothing can prevent them from stopping this arcane ritual from coming to fruition.

He steps off the platform and starts to think about all the good things in the world.

He starts to walk quickly towards the ancient monument as he envisions all living things being destroyed by the chaos of Cthulhu.

He breaks out into a full sprint as he remembers the love he has for his dear, sweet Rachael.

Clone doesn't know what he'll do once he reaches the artifacts, he just knows that he has to reach them . . . because in two minutes the world as he knows it will cease to exist.

OOC:

Clone will race towards the artifacts and do whatever is needed, even if it results in his own death. If he has the option of taking Actions, he'll save/hold them and prepare to split into as many duplicates as necessary at a moments notice. He'll grab artifacts, organize duplicates to act as human shields for anyone in Vanguard that is stealing an artifact or is in life threatening danger, he'll provide distractions if necessary, he'll do whatever he must - failure is not an option for this man.


-Kev

--------------------------------------------------

Slingshot:
OOC: Gang: I just realized last night that we had another option, but that's not something that can be done easily.

Take over: if they needed all the artifacts to take control of the beast, maybe we could take control of all the artifacts to control the monster and send it back?

I would assume that would mean we need to have Mystic on our side or something like that as we do not have access to the knowledge of the ritual.

Stephane

--------------------------------------------------

Avatar:
Avatar will take off toward the entrance with Heightened Speed.  Reckless, yes, but with nothing else to do action is all that he can do.  He will use his speed to bypass any opposition, if possible, and head toward where the ceremony is taking place.

--------------------------------------------------

Clone:
Clone's ability to duplicate could definitely help with rounding up the artifacts quickly. He's already storming into the pyramid, so you may want to bring him up to speed quickly on any last minute plays you may want to call lol.

As for Mystic - is it possible that he has one of those control devices on him? Could we short it out or disrupt the signal quickly if he does?

-Kev

--------------------------------------------------

Sentinel:
OOC: At this point it would seem we have to enter and find out what exactly is happening before we can make a true move.  We don't have any idea what is happening or who is present other than that we expect to be in the middle of the summoning and they have all the artifacts.

Given the preliminary bloodbath outside the summoning area you wonder what sort of sacrifice ritual is directly involved and we are about to discover.

It would seem preventing the arrival of Cthulhu would be the method to use if that were possible as opposed to allowing his arrival and trying to then control him to send him back but if we were unsuccessful in preventing the arrival then trying to gain control would be an option (although Kirk is still sure that others may be lurking to try exactly that for their own nefarious purposes).

Seth

Vanguard: Issue 222: Do or Die


The clock is running out for Greater Vanguard. Only minutes remain until the stars align and the world ends. The heroes grimly prepare for what could be their final mission.

Symbiote and Nanite remain behind to enact repairs to the Omni-Carrier’s mainframe. Nemesis and Doc Monster join the Vanguard reserves.

Everyone wears short range communicators that don’t rely on satellites. Greater Vanguard totes CHESS gear. Menagerie has grenades.

Grey replies to Sentinel, “If MEDUSA has anything to stop mind control, they ain’t tellin’ us.”
Sentinel remembers the training his grandfather, the original, golden age Sentinel, gave him to shield his mind.

“Lock and load, people,” says Soldier.
“Seems like old times,” grunts Viper.
“Indeed,” agrees Forester.
“Gentlemen,” says Blue Comet. “It’s been an honor.”

VMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Aperture and Shatter teleport them to their final destination.

Two teams, greater Vanguard and the Soviet Super Soldiers, are the two bottom points of a triangle. The top point is the location where lie all the Artifacts of Power. Each side of the triangle is 1 kilometer long. (0.6 miles)

Their molecules reform and they are immediately attacked by an overwhelming heat and humidity.

The World Storm rages on.  Thunder roars. Lightning cracks. It’s nearly midnight. Wind and rain hammer down.  Greater Vanguard hover over the jungle canopy, under their own personal power, or atop Sentinel’s energy platform.

Darkness, mist and the hurricane conspire to destroy visibility. Aperture reconfigures himself to vastly improve his visual senses. In combination with powerful telescopic settings, he cycles through spectrums, infrared, ultraviolet, until he can make out the heat signatures of the Soviet Super Soldiers a half mile to his right.  A half mile ahead, through the torrential downpour, he discerns ancient stone ruins rising up from the jungle foliage.


Near those ageless temples, warmth radiates under the canopy.

Aperture tells Greater Vanguard what he sees.


Actions?!


Current Conditions: 
Aperture: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 38, Nanotech: Heightened Senses
Avatar: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 85, Manifestation: None
Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 67, Hit Point Pool: 23
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 36, Power Points: 85
Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 66, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 70, Creation Points: 140
Slingshot: Hit Points: 38, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8, Damage that can’t be regenerated: 42!


--------------------------------------------------

Sentinel:
OOC:
Seemed like the team choice was to hold back rather than port right into the scene... do we want our speedsters to do reconnaissance?  Seems like as good a chance of being discovered that way than anything else.  I don't see it playing out that we get valuable information without Swastika knowing it but I'll go with the team call.

Do we know which of the locations is the ceremony at this point?

If so, at this point, per my earlier suggestion, I'd suggest we send the other two teams ahead to run interference and clear a path towards the summoning (you know, like my rudimentary understanding of football, you have the blockers that clear the way so touchdown can be made - we have the weapons to hopefully best neutralize Swastika so they need to intercept and neutralize his forces to allow us to get there)

Only thing I thought about is once Swastika's team comes out to be intercepted by our guys, if we know the location instead of traveling the terrain perhaps we can port in on top of them - perhaps with the anti-magic bomb ready to be deployed if the time is right.  Maybe it disrupts things and renders the summoning ineffective or the magic of the artifacts neutralized.  It takes their magic qualities to do the summoning, no?  If we render them and/or the summoning area neutralized  from magic doesn't that prevent the summoning and the end of the world?

Or am I missing something?  Or might too much magic neutralize our anti-magic bomb?

Seth


--------------------------------------------------

Hey heroes,

OOC GM Replies:

Stephane/Slingshot wrote: 'How far are we from the actual coordinates of the artifacts?'
GM: I quote from Issue 222: 🙂
'Two teams, greater Vanguard and the Soviet Super Soldiers, are the two bottom points of a triangle. The top point is the location where lie all the Artifacts of Power. Each side of the triangle is 1 kilometer long. (0.6 miles)'

So, 1 km away.

Stephane/Slingshot wrote: 'Can Aperture pinpoint the building from what he sees and what he knows?'

GM: Vanguard has the coordinates of the artifacts of power.


Jon/ Aperture wrote: 'Can Aperture create some kind of invisibility/camouflage?'
GM: As per his character sheet, Aperture can create any standard device on the V&V Powers list (Devices). 🙂
Anything non-standard requires an Inventing Attempt. There probably isn't time for that at this point.

Jon/ Aperture wrote: 'Can he currently detect heat signatures near the apex of the triangle, where the artifacts are?  Not specifics, but general number?'

GM:  In general, it seems like a lot, dozens at least. But at this distance, at this position, the jungle canopy is blocking his view.

Jon/ Aperture wrote: 'I’m assuming this is not the location where we recovered the Statuette, where the anti-magic shell was, not that there wouldn’t be one here, but maybe…'

GM: Correct.  That was the Lost Lands in Antarctica.

Jon/Aperture wrote: 'Speaking of anti-magic, just want to make sure Aperture has the Digital Pulse Cannon with him.'

GM: He does.


Seth/Sentinel wrote: 'Do we know which of the locations is the ceremony at this point?'

GM: See quote from Issue 222 above.


Other questions seemed rhetorical or not directed at me.  If I'm wrong and you still need an answer to something I missed, please let me know!

Thanks!

Viva Vanguard.

Best,
Jeff

--------------------------------------------------

Sentinel:
OOC: Thanks Jeff.  Yesterday night was ComicLink original art auction closing so that was where my attention was focused.

I thought we'd had the exact location of the artifacts but wanted to clarify.

And yes, my comments were more for the PCs so we could come to a plan to act since it seemed they felt reconnaissance prior to attacking the ceremony was prudent.

Swastika knows we are coming and is anticipating it.  We've come up with our best defense of inventions to hopefully allow us to disrupt his plans and prevent the summoning... we just need to get there and do it and hope our planning is better than his.

But I'm open to any ideas that gives us a better fighting chance here... I just don't have them to offer at this point.

Once the other teams draw out his legion of villains to allow our entry I thought perhaps the port in instead of  covering the physical terrain might give us an element of surprise he hadn't expected and get us past exterior ground offenses he may have set up... but it would seem we would be porting into an unknown situation too so it could have the reverse affect on us.

Seth

--------------------------------------------------

Slingshot:
OOC: I agree.. the thought was to get some reconnaissance going. I half expected legions of foes.. much like the undead horde in france or the dinosaur men in Antarctica.

Obviously that will not be the case. So I expect us to have a lot of super powered foes instead.

so i guess that going in full strenght will be the best route. Let make sure we coordinate our attacks to make the best use of our attacks and their weaknesses.

I have no specific action plan from this either.

Stephane

--------------------------------------------------

Aperture:
OOC: Perfect, Invisibility is on there.

IC:
Aperture will inform the team that he’s going to try to get the artifacts away from here.  He’ll switch his power to invisibility and move a little away from the rest of the team close enough to keep an eye on them, but far enough away to hopefully not get involved in whatever conflict they might get caught up in.

His plan is to get around the enemy, get to the artifacts, and teleport them out, possibly making a portal beneath them if they are all in one place, or at least breaking them up if possible so they aren’t all together.

He’ll use the digital cannon if he runs into a magical foe, or switch to disintegration/teleportation if he gets into a pickle.

Slipping into the foliage, he fades from view…

Jon

--------------------------------------------------

Avatar:
Will activate Weather Control when it becomes apparent that we are going to make a move.  Heightened Speed, also.


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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Vanguard: Issue 221: End Game.



In a desperate gambit, Vanguard hands over all the hard-won Artifacts of Power to Dr. Swastika in exchange for the lives every soul aboard the CHESS Omni-Carrier.

Vanguard ultimately agrees to run out the clock until 2.5 hours before the stars align at winter solstice and the Pantheon of Great Old Ones once again walk the Earth. Then they will attempt to use the Janus Chair.


“I always hated the ‘Shoot the Moon’ strategy,” groused Grey mildly.
As time passes, Vanguard rests, prepares, and guards the chair and their two telepaths.

Dr. Swastika's heinous journal, and the blasphemous Necronomicon, were lost in the fall of Vanguard Vault. Aperture had scanned some images from these profane tomes, searching specifically for chilling likenesses of his black, amorphic father to fuel an unsettling conversation about Scott's true origins.


Aperture did not scan for gate rituals. That said, from what he did see, the ingenious inhuman calculates that any summoning ritual could encompass several hours. Vanguard knows nothing more about the ritual.
Considering the level of crisis facing humanity, the Vanguard reservists are deemed well enough for active duty.


None have any memories of their time in Swastika’s Body Farm.

Vanguard now has the Soviet Super Soldiers and the Vanguard Reservists counted among their forces.

They believe that Dr. Swastika, in addition to controlling Mystic’s body, has at his command SKULL, the Ubermensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard.

With 2.5 hours until the end of the world, the telepaths, Menagerie and Sentinel, take their seats in the Janus Chair.
Symbiote says, “Here goes nothing,” and fires it up.


Once more, their consciousnesses are transported.

They are given awareness of the entire World Storm-wracked planet.

They can seemingly see forever.

They steel their will to retain their identity. Their sanity.


The Janus Chair shorts out again, sparking and smoking. The heroes are pulled from it before it explodes.

KA-BOOM!

Menagerie and Sentinel know where the Artifacts of Power are.

In the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

With satellite imaging and the entire world wide web down from the World Storm, they only know what is remembered by archeologist and historian, Avatar. And Mexico is not his specialty. Avatar briefs Vanguard as best as he is able.

“Given the location, it must be an Aztec site,” Avatar posits.

“Alone in the classical world, only they had pantheons of gods that had no resemblance to Men, and whose origins stem from other worlds and stars.


“They were steeped in mysticism, warfare and cannibalism.


“When Europe was in a Dark Age, they were at the height of their power. An advanced civilization, whose full knowledge still eludes modern historians.”


Actions?


Current Conditions:
Aperture: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 73, Nanotech: Heightened Intelligence
Avatar: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 85, Manifestation: None
Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 67, Hit Point Pool: 23
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 36, Power Points: 85
Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 66, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 70, Creation Points: 140
Slingshot: Hit Points: 36, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8, Damage that can’t be regenerated: 44!


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Clone:
OOC: I can tell you this from personal experience, navigating that jungle on foot is impossible - it's an absolute mess of vegetation and REALLY HOT! This will have to be an aerial insertion or teleportation type mission - moving along the ground is pointless given our time constraints

There's a ton of ruins in there, but Chichen Itza is the most popular. My suggestion; again OOC, find the temple that's known for having design elements based on the current stories time (i.e. date, astological events, solstices and equinoxes, etc). For example, the main pyramid at Chichen Itza has two snakes running down its main stair case that 'light up' during different times of the year (I forget when exactly). The entire civilization in that region and time period was heavily into astrology and stuff - I'm guessing we can narrow down our choices looking for stuff like that. That's just a guess though . . .

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Sentinel:
OOC:  We had mapped out the ley lines earlier in the campaign.  Let's see if they produce a hot spot in our designated area and especially if it corresponds to known temple area.  Or course it could be a 'hidden' temple too.  But I think the ley lines of power would help us find the location.

When going are there any Chess Knights still around?  I was thinking more of having them on the side-lines as eyes and ears for intel and to perhaps assist in conveying information between groups of heroes that may become separated as we enter the complex.

I'd also think that SSS and reservists would engage the Imperial Guard and Ubermensch for the most part leaving the PCs to engage Swastika and whatever else he has at the core of things.

Seth

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GM:
OOC: Kev and Seth:
The ley line information was kept at the now-incinerated Vanguard Vault.

The World Storm Crisis has shut down the world wide web. Your usual information architecture is unavailable.

All CHESS Knights are in the field, helping with emergency crisis management of the World Storm and the global civil unrest it has sparked.

The Vanguard Reservists and SSS are at your disposal.


Viva Vanguard!

Best,
Jeff


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Aperture:
Aperture prepares to teleport to the coordinates provided by Menagerie and Sentinel.  “Maybe we should teleport a short distance away, instead of coming right in on the ceremony.  So that we’ll have a chance to prepare before we face whatever Dr. Swastika has prepared for us.  Or, maybe we send one group through as a distraction to pull the Ubermensch and Japanese Guard away, then come in behind them to acquire the artifacts.  In my opinion, we don’t have to beat them, we just have to stop the ceremony… whatever that takes.”

Aperture will prepare by donning his signature Indiana Jones outfit, complete with fedora, “if he can find it”, but he will be packing his occult, ceremony wrecking supplies… salt, garlic, silver… whatever he can find.

Jon

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Menagerie:
Menagerie gathers this items in this pack and strapped on the CHESS issued firearm. He didn't believe there would be an anti-magic zone but he wanted to be prepared is what he told the other's in Vanguard. Secretly he was fearful that the Digital (Anti-Magic) Cannon would catch him in the blast too. He wanted to have a backup in case that happened.

"So we know where we need to port but we are going in blind. At least, that is what the CHESS intel is telling us. We might be on top of the  sacrifice within an Aztec ancient temple or it might just be open ground. Since the Soviet Super Soldiers has a teleporter and Aperture can teleport. I recommend to groups. We teleport in on the same side but on either side, like a triangle with the sacrifice as the point on top and we are the two points on the bottom."

"I will use my "Essence of Life" spell to slow down the process until the cannon can be fired"

"Not much more that a Hail Mary pass", Menagerie paused and looked a Director Grey, "but when time has ran out it can be the winning play."

With that Menagerie put his pack on his back beneath his cloak.

OOC: I am thinking a standard pack for CHESS agent going into this type of terrain. If he could get 4 grenades he would gladly take them.

Best
Tom

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Sentinel:
OOC: I think I mentioned taking what Kirk could in case he becomes magically neutralized along the lines of what Tom said below too; but in case I meant to do so and didn't give 'orders' then let's us magic based guys do so.

Also, if there is any chance any of the tech that the covert anti-Vanguard/anti-extra-normal division of the government has given anything to alter/assist with mental control is available now would be the time for Grey to share it.  He has always maintained there is no such thing but given we are facing Swastika (and Kirk still feels Black Bat at some point) anything in that regard would help.

I also think that with Soldier back as NPC he might have knowledge about some of the above...

I know I'm pulling at strings here but we are pretty desperate... and if Grey is genuinely in the dark, which Kirk things he is, perhaps some verification from Soldier might at least alert Grey to the threat assuming he and we survive this...

Seth

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Slingshot:
OOC: Teleporting straight at the artifact is like suicide, Scott not particularly interested in doing so with his son. On the otherhand, he feels that we need to do some reconnaissance.
We should be able to teleport in at a distance and look for an understanding of the situation.

My assumption is that the coordinates point to Chichen Itza, right? Or another temple? The question is really about being able to teleport to somewhere close enough to use something like a high powered telescope to see what is going on and what do we expect to see happen. Say 1km away? We could find a place high enough to see from afar.

That's my suggestion as a first move. Once we have a little more information, we can put a plan together.

Otherwise, we move in blind and take our lick when we land in a pit of vipers.

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Menagerie:
Menagerie agreed. " I still think we should teleport in as two separate teams. It wouldn't have to be far apart but enough to keep us from being in the same pit."

Menagerie checked his pack for binoculars or something similar

Tom

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Avatar:
OOC: Aperture should be able to configure himself as a Heightened Senses device

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Aperture:
OOC: I like it!

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