Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Vanguard: Issue 199: Here There Be Monsters!

CHAPTER ONE: Brocelïande

In Broceliande, Vanguard quested for an artifact of power to stop the coming of Cthulhu! There they battled sorcerous supervillains who worshipped him, and encountered someone they did not expect!

Sentinel stood over the large, motionless form of the mysterious, hooded figure. “We know an artifact is here. We need to safeguard it.  We need it to prevent the coming of Cthulhu and the destruction of earth.”

A deep voice rumbled from beneath the black cloak. “Then take it!” The cloak opened, revealing a large cold steel sword. The inferno that surrounded them reflected clearly in its blade. Sentinel knew this was an Artifact of Power. Lightning Strike was close by.

Sentinel said, “…Are you the being of legend once known as Merlin?”

“No… Men… call me… Dr. Monster.”

The cloak continued opening, revealing the face that had been hidden from the public.

Sentinel recognized this face.
He was one of Swastika’s early experiments in the area of prolonged life by scientific, and sorcerous, means. Dawning realization hit Sentinel. A Frankenstein’s monster! Perhaps the original, given the date and region of Swastika’s birth!  Dr. Swastika was the creator, the “father,” of this 150+ year old creature called Dr. Monster!

Sentinel’s grimace turned to a smile and he said, “I know you. Oracle spoke highly of you.  You’re one of us and we’re not leaving you behind.”

[Next turn of combat!]

“Time for another bank shot," Symbiote thought to himself. He then ran to the Northeast, circled back and came up behind Big Bad. "You're about to get fleas, dog. Or flies." And with that, he palm-struck the Hirsute Horror and transferred his velocity into the direction of The Fly. Hal hoped that this would both damage Big Bad and critically damage the Fly's containment suit and the insects within that make up his "body." He hoped that finally, The Fly would be swatted!
Symbiote touched Big Bad sending him careening back into the Fly and a stone pillar! WHAM!!! Both were injured and conscious. The Fly “bled” more buzzing insects from his containment suit. Al Azif! Al Azif! Al Azif!

Big Bad scrambled up on all fours, and shook his head to clear it. He looked at Symbiote and growled deep in his chest. He barked, spitting saliva in feral ferocity and then pounced at the scientific superhero, seeking revenge and cutting him deep with razor sharp claws!  REND!!  [15 points of damage! Hal rolls with 7 and takes 8 from hits.] Hal flew back into a stone monolith behind him! SLAM! [2 more points of damage, can’t be rolled with]

The Fly arose with unnatural body language, and flew toward Dr. Monster and the sword. He spoke in his inhuman whisper of buzzing flies, “I’ll take that.”
Green energy spread from the Fly’s hands, weakening Dr. Monster as it had Menagerie. Dr. Monster groaned in pain.

Le Fou, even badly injured, was still nimble. He scrabbled up a stone, sprung off the top of it, tumbled in mid air, laughing maniacally, and landed on Dr. Monster’s wrist from behind him, kicking it with unexpected savagery. CHOK! The weakened Dr. Monster dropped the sword to the ground. KTANG!! The little jester of chaos landed near it and smiled at it with naked avarice.
“Get the sword!” he shrieked into the wind.

Avatar didn’t see or hear that through the storm, or the stone pillars and heroes that blocked his view.
His mind was elsewhere. He respected the malleable might of Slingshot, but also knew his weakness. The myrmidon of mythology thought that aid sent Slingshot’s way might help most at this point.  He targeted Inferna, attempting to call lightning from the storm to strike her!
Avatar brought the hurricane winds to an end [costs 4 Power Points], but lightning and thunder still rumbled in the heavens, and rain fell in sheets. The son of Olympus summoned a lightning bolt down from the sky! [Costs 2 power points]  KRAKA-THOOM! 
It struck Inferna, electrocuting her demonic form! She cried out in rage and pain. Although surprised by the attack, Inferna remained standing! But she was shaken from the attack.

[OOC: With the hurricane downgrading to a thunderstorm, visibility and communication penalties now lessen]

The Puppet reeled about in pain, looking for a target to use to kill Menagerie for what he had done to him! He leapt atop a stone and found Lightning Strike. 
“Yeeeeessss,” the bizarre, animated doll hissed as he held his hands out once more, as if manipulating unseen puppet strings. “Yes, my toy,” it crooned tenderly. “…My doll. Yesssssss. You are MY puppet NOW! AH HAHAHA HAHA HAAAA!” he laughed in maniacal glee.

Lightning Strike froze dead in his tracks.

“Get the sword!” shrieked Le Fou!      

Dexter Sinister chuckled at Clone’s anguish. He walked around them all, picked up the sword and looked around for more pain he could cause. He found Avatar and walked back around. “I wonder what your worst nightmare is. All those centuries, all those wars.” Sinister sauntered over to the eternal champion and reached out to touch him. The immortal veteran of countless battles easily dodged the attack by the young inexperienced psychopath.

Inferna was badly injured by Avatar’s lightning bolt. She pushed through the pain to continue her assault on Slingshot. “Apostate! There is no escape from our judgment! No escape from the flames of retribution!” her blast furnace voice roared and crackled. VROOOSH!!!  Hellfire and damnation exploded from her hands at Slingshot!  [9 points of damage. Due to your Vulnerability, it’s doubled and cannot be rolled with. Your Invulnerability and Regeneration don’t work on fire damage. 18 to hit points. You’re conscious and not on fire.]

Slingshot was getting seriously tired of all these fire-types knowing his weakness! He noticed that former members of the Crimson Coven were present, who knew Slingshot’s weakness.  Also, the Puppet was last seen working with Homicide for Hire at the battle at Aztechnology. Homicide’s leader, Jim Harrik, a.k.a. the Mercenary, knew Slingshot’s weakness as well. 
Slingshot thought to himself, “Now that I know this circle isn't for summoning, and the hooded figure is an ally... I'm going all out on Inferna!”  The malleable man of might lifted one of the massive stone pylons from the wet earth!  It weighed over one ton. Scott held it above his head and slammed it down on Inferna! BAMM!!! The fire demoness screamed into unconsciousness and her flames went out!

Sentinel offered an arm to help Dr. Monster to his feet.  As he did so, Kirk’s energies flowed beneath him and they both began to rise into the air. He said to Dr. Monster, “Anything we need to know that would help us here? Any idea what they were doing or who the other hooded figures are that Samedi ran over to join?”
Dr. Monster, who was still stunned by the lightning blast, said, “They… are despoiling… this sacred grove… with unholy flames… I interceded…  We fought… I retreated here… and was surrounded… when you arrived. Those hooded figures… are more cultists… of Cthulhu.”
Sentinel asked, “Can the sword help us here against them?”
Dr. Monster said, “I… know not...”
“Menagerie, we need to be out of here once we recover the sword,” Kirk yelled to him.  “I’m thinking if our exit is a bit on high perhaps we’ll have less objection.”
Then Sentinel fired an energy blast at Dexter Sinister Jr., trying to drop the villain to recover the sword! ZARK!! Sinister was badly hurt, but remained conscious and in possession of the artifact of power!

Clone was momentarily stunned. The influx of knowledge and memory shocked the very sense of reality Clone had come to know. Was this real or was it just an elaborate illusion created by Sinister Jr.? Although they didn’t see the vision that he had, Clone’s duplicates felt the strong emotional impact of Clone’s shock and dismay.
Before he had the chance to fully appreciate what he had done, Sinister Jr. found himself on the business-end of an all-out assault by the Clone Collective!
Six Clones surrounded Sinister Jr. and pummeled him with their battle staves! KRAK! CHOK! THOK! Three connected, beating Dexter Sinister Jr. unconscious! The degenerate druglord dropped the sword! [The Clones had moved before attacking and so don’t have movement to pick up the sword!]

Scarlet Fever, the Blood Mage, picked up the Artifact of Power, looked into the blade and laughed in triumph. Once more, she cast a magic spell on Sentinel’s energy shields that would teleport them to the moon.  ZZRAM!!!  She only got part of them again!   [Lose 33 more points from shields.]

The Ghoul ran and leapt up over 100 feet at Sentinel’s floating orb and grabbed hold of the gaping hole with his left hand.  They he put his right hand through the hole that Scarlet Fever had made and touched Sentinel! Sentinel was suddenly paralyzed! He couldn’t move any part of his body!

Dr. Monster said, “…No…” and hammered the Ghoul with a big fist! - KRAMM!!! - knocking the Ghoul off Sentinel’s floating, broken energy orb and down, down to earth! KRASH!!!! The Ghoul was knocked out from the fall! But Sentinel remained paralyzed!

The Puppet pointed at Menagerie and shrieked, “KILL HIM!!! Kill him NOW!!!”
Lightning Strike obeyed, against his will!  SHAKOW!!! Jagged, white hot electricity arced from the electric avenger into Menagerie’s eagle form!  [Only 8 points of damage because Lightning Strike’s subconscious was fighting against the Puppet’s control. Menagerie rolls with 6 and takes 2 from Hits!]

Menagerie shook his head. His rage had allowed him to be caught unaware by The Fly. He wanted to finish off the Puppet but now he was too fatigued.  “Next time” he muttered to himself as he took to the sky.
“Archimedes, we have the artifact and …. a friend. Open the portal so we can get out of here.”
Then Menagerie called upon his vast willpower to try to fight off the fatigue! This fight was far from over and he had to be ready for what happened next. This time he would face it with a clear mind and would not allow himself to be caught from behind again!
[Menagerie uses his action and 4 points of power to use his Willpower defense in a power stunt to successfully overthrow the effects of fatigue from his body!]

Symbiote hurtled around the battlefield again, absorbing his own incredible velocity.  Then he stopped at Le Fou and touched him, releasing all that speed into him. In less than a second, Le Fou instantly accelerated, flying back into Scarlet Fever! SLAM!!!  The collision knocked out Le Fou! Fever was knocked back but remained relatively unharmed! The little jester didn’t have enough mass to hurt her. She looked at Symbiote defiantly, swinging the sword in the air before her.

BOOM! Mystic’s portal suddenly opened! But Scarlet Fever still held the artifact of power!
[Gate remains open for one issue: next issue]

Suddenly, Baron Samedi’s vulgar laughter could be heard from the chapel! As the hurricane winds subsided, the undead voodoo priest was revealed to Vanguard! He and the three black robed cultists led a nightmarish procession from the stone chapel’s graveyard.  An army of the dead marched on Vanguard! “HA HAHA HAHA!”

OOC: Actions please! End of turn map is below. Skeleton army is just off the map, North of Baron Samedi.
Symbiote gets two actions, via to the speedster powers of Accelerator.
Lightning Strike, let me know your actions if you make your saving throw between turns. Thanks.

Current Conditions:
Avatar: Hit Points: 21, Power Points: 26, Manifestation: Hephaestus, Zeus
Clone: Hit Points: 1/6/6, Bodies: 6/1/1, Hit Point Pool: 23, Power Points: 60/67/67 (Stats: France/Russia/Vault)
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 33, Power Points: 55, Mind Controlled by the Puppet!
Menagerie: Hit Points: 24, Power Points: 51, Form: Eagle, Status: No longer fatigued!
Sentinel: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 57, Creation Points: 114, Shields: 33, Paralyzed!
Slingshot: Hit Points: 41, Power Points: 90, Invulnerability: 8, Fire damage that can’t be regenerated: 38
Symbiote: Hit Points: 18, Power Points: 67, Charges: 13, Activated: Accelerator

Unconscious Villains: Dexter Sinister Jr., The Ghoul, Jack Lantern, Le Fou, Inferna


Lightning rods atop the Empire State Building had harnessed the power of the World Storm to energize a new Digital Zone Portal!

Slate and Nanite took each other’s hands on the brink of that precipice, and jumped!

Nanite and Slate became digitized, rendered in green linear data, and Slate felt as if he was coming home. He felt a sense of completion.

(OOC: Slate has a new character sheet in this plane of existence.
Your Intelligence score is now your Agility score as well.
Your Charisma score is now your Strength and Endurance scores as well.
Your Hit Points are now equal to your Charisma Score.
Your Power Points equal (Chax2) + (Intx2) and they are currently full.)

Suddenly a great face of green data formed itself in the sky. It was the amalgam entity of Nemesis and IT. Father and son, joined as one.

The gigantic visage silently looked down upon Nanite and Slate.

Slate and Nanite floated across the digital landscape.  Slate's body began to change, morphing into a smaller likeness of IT/Nemesis a disembodied head, maintaining his own face.  Slate felt no fear, or concern, the agitation he had felt in the Vault left almost instantly, replaced by the warm assurance that he was "home".  A kind of lethargy came over him, as they moved seemingly with increasing speed, though it was hard to judge that here.  

He looked around at Nanite to verify she was OK, she seemed concerned. "It's going to be alright Mother", he thought to her.  He turned to see the portal becoming smaller and smaller behind them.  There was something he had forgotten to tell them, but what was it, and who were they?  That was the dream, this was reality, but why could he never remember his dreams?
He felt something like a splinter in his mind.  Something small, but there. He couldn't quite grasp what it was that he needed to remember.  

Memories flooded his mind, IT/Nemesis visiting his dreams, They/We said this would happen, that he would return, something would happen, something would change... it was almost there, but he couldn't grab it, couldn't capture the thought, as it danced away on gossamer wings data moving through the digital dimension at almost the speed of light itself.

Slate turned to face his Grandfather/Uncle.

The brobdingnagian face said, “You/they have returned…  I/we include me/Nemesis. With you/Nanite here, can I/Nemesis return home???”

Slate knew that when IT wanted to invade Earth, he needed Nemesis and Nanite together on Earth to do so. Nemesis elected to make the sacrifice of going to the Digital Zone to prevent that from happening. Nemesis and Nanite were separated by a universe, and our universe was saved.

But with Nanite here, could Nemesis go home?

OOC: Actions/Replies?

Current Conditions:
Slate: Hit Points: 13, Power Points: 62


Avatar is close to Scarlet Fever and sees that she now has the Artifact.  He'll go ahead and try to call down a bolt of lightning on her.  If someone else hits her and takes her down before this, he will use his action to try and get the sword.


Lightning Strike:
OOC: Hi All,
This scenario seems strangely familiar to Lightning Strike. 

IC: "I will be no man's puppet!  I will see all of you blasted into your base elements."  With that thought Strike will attempt to turn into electrical form and hopefully free himself of Puppet's control (saving throw of some type).  If that fails, he will blast the sanctimonious Sentinel with all his power!  LOL

OOC:  Having gone through this multiple times in Jeff's games and missed multiple turns, I can only hope that it works or I return as one of the supervillains in the next game incarnation.


OOC: Hey. Your most famous hero-to-supervillain transformation (Black Bat) had nothing to do with me!  :)

But given the nature of teenage boys, I'm shocked that every member of the Freedom Force didn't turn into a villain!


OOC: Jeff,

Some information before I go with my next move - Did I hear Dr Monster's explanation of who the cultists are? Am I aware of it?

There are several moves I'm willing to do, but it depends on the information Slingshot has.

I'm assuming that taking out Samedi will calm the army of zombies.

But we need the cultists - Information is always good to have.



Hi Stephane,
Yes, Slingshot heard it.



OOC: Wow... digital mind blown. :)

Slate's mind whirled, his enhanced comprehension began to wrap around what the being facing him had just asked, and why would he have the choice/power to make such a decision?  He again looked at Nanite, and he knew what they must do.  What was broken must be repaired. Something was wrong with IT. Slate was part of IT, but not directly.  He was part of Nanite, but part of him was human/Slingshot.  He could share that with IT.

"Mother, we must become one with IT/Nemesis.  We have to use our abilities to change whatever it is that has made IT want to take over our universe.  IT created you to enable his invasion of Earth.  Why would IT wish to do that? That train of thought is not logical.  Something is wrong and that must be corrected, maybe then We/Nemesis/Slate/Nanite can exist separate from IT."

OOC: I had no idea what to do, so I'm spit balling.  If I'm off track, or if this is an impossibility, let me know and I'll try again. My thought is if Nemesis is able to match with IT, maybe the three of them can overwrite his desire to take over the world... without that, the three of them would be able to return together.  



“No… Men… call me… Dr. Monster.”

Sentinel’s grimace turned to a smile and he said, “I know you. Oracle spoke highly of you. You’re one of us and we’re not leaving you behind.
“So, what do your friend’s call you?”
(He already has a 'doc' as a friend and surely is not going to call him 'monster')


The Ghoul ran and leapt up over 100 feet at Sentinel’s floating orb and grabbed hold of the gaping hole with his left hand. They he put his right hand through the hole that Scarlet Fever had made and touched Sentinel! Sentinel was suddenly paralyzed! He couldn’t move any part of his body!

Kirk’s energies coalesced around him to support his paralyzed form.  If his facial muscles weren’t paralyzed preventing it a small smile would have crept upon them as Kirk thought to himself, ‘See Strike, with the proper motivation even I can remain silent.’

He surveyed the situation trying to see what assistance he could provide his team in his deprived physical condition and tried to shake off the effects of the paralysis.

Action:  Jeff, depending on what happens in the battle, at this point his shields are really all he has going for him so likely his action will be to reform them.  The exception would be if somehow not reforming his shields would allow him to gain possession of the sword and thrust it through the portal.  He isn’t leaving without his teammates but would send the sword through the portal and back to Chess to get it ‘off the board’ if they couldn’t retreat with it.  If he can reform his shields and retrieve the sword, all the better (he’s keeping his eyes on the prize).



OOC: Oh crap. I forgot to post!

IC: My action: tentacle grab scarlet fever and wrench the sword from her. Then go through the portal.

If we got the sword away from her and through the portal by the time it is my action, I'll do my usual grab the stragglers and run through the portal.

If it have the chance (i.e. GM is nice enough), I'll grab one of the‎ of the cultists. Need more info.



If Vanguard doesn't have the sword on Menagerie action he will grab the sword and fly through the portal.

If Vanguard team member has gone through portal with sword he will leave too

If Vanguard team member has sword but hasn't left he will ask for it to be given to him and he will leave with it



OOC: Yes, forgot to add, per Stephane's post reminder - if we are leaving as a team Kirk will try to use his energies and movement to help grab any Vanguardians needing the assistance through the gate if Slingshot doesn't grab them including Dr Monster.  He isn't leaving anyone behind once we the sword is safely out of their hands.



OOC: Thank you Seth for the reminder - Slingshot will consider DrMonster as an ally and he will try to bring him along as with the others.


OOC: Hoping we can get through the gate this time... each time it seems tougher and less likely :)


Some text for the scene:

Scott looks at the scene before them. The end of apocalypse is near the dead are rising‎. What drives these people to do this sort of thing? What madness would bring someone to deliver all of humanity to the clutches of this madness?

Then he looks at the Cadre of superhumans arrayed before him, one crazier than the next. ‎Vanguard would mop the floor with them in a few more moments, but that is not the goal. The sword cannot be lost to them.

"Vanguard! We need to get the item and leave. We are running out of time!"


Symbiote will use his first move to attack Scarlet Fever, attempting to zip in and grab the sword from her hand before she even realizes what has happened.

His second move will depend on what happens after that...

1) If Hal gets the sword, he will move towards Menagerie and the others and hopefully get ready to gate out of there.

2) If she hangs onto the sword the second move will be to try to get it from her again, or will attack any enemy who has the sword next..

Viva Vanguard,



Seeing the approaching undead army; and that the balance of the magical super villians have been defeated, Clone prepares himself for travel back to The Vault. Each of the duplicates instinctively reach out their hands to one of others and re-absorbs the replicant standing next to them until there is only one remaining.

Clone will save his action and as much movement as possible just in case he needs to evade, retrieve the sword (should it fall loose again), help carry someone to the gate, etc.

Basically - Clone will fill whatever gap needs to filled to retrieve the sword and get the team to safety.