Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

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!


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!]


[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


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


OOC: It never does...


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


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.


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



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.



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!’”

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!”

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!



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 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.



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.


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...



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.



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


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,




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



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.



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.