Wednesday, September 30, 2015

After the Rain ep30 : Houses of the Blooded

After the Rain

Episode Thirty

Houses of the Blooded

Rio and Ash decide to explore Jarik's old castle.  There are no orks in the castle, however there seem to be a lot of wards present.  All the Art have been ransacked save for a statue of Galeo Silja.  There is a glowing door and stories of a hidden shrine.   In the courtyard, a scene has been immortalized with makeshift statues reenacting the events of the opera house.  The castle remains structurally sound.  The staff tell them that Jarik used to stare at the recreations a lot.  He has had no visitors for twelve years; and his last visitor was a certain Lady M.  The two also locate tunnels which Jarik may have used in the past.  Rio finds a mannequin representing Nia and her Tulpa - and finds a note that says, "Sorry, Jarik, this isn't how the ritual works.  This is not a tulpa."  

Ash discovers the tunnels extend to Warriorset and Catan.  The staff share that Jarik used it for select vassals, and they never were permitted inside.  Rio notices an unidentified mannequin but fails to recognize who it should be.  She rearranges it's position elsewhere and sticks a note, "Try again" on it. Birds flutter away.

Cass and Gil prepare to leave Warriorset, but thee memories of Dalvinosh's visit are still fresh in their minds.  During his stay, no Contracts were established.  Dalvinosh shared he is convinced the attempts on his life are not by fellow Elks.  He told Cass he had forgiven all the insult he had taken from her vassals, but has requested for Gillian to be lent to him for a season.  Dalvinosh caught Cass during one of her moments when she was speaking to herself.   As Gil and Uvanla prepare for the travel to the Peak, they talk about Kether and see Artemesia and Lukas talking.  Gil remembers that her familiar saw the two talking before, and referring to them as "the children."

Cass talks to Artemesia and Lukas, provoking them to give her information.  She discovers they used to own land but "they" took everything.  Even her name.  She stresses they cannot even have children because she does not have a name.

Gil and Uvanla  talk and he shares his "assassin" was really an affair.  They establish that there is something between them, and that they have been flirting.  But Gil notices something odd, Uvanla seems to be leaking wine.  She inspects his back and finds a tiny clean hole.  Somehow the wine he drinks leaks out there.

Rio and Ash send for the vassals and meet Jeeves, and old man, and Sofia.  Both were once Jarik and Nia's valets.  Jeeves shares that the tunnels were built with the help of "The Duchess" named Dranna Ru and that it leads to five locations:  Catan, Warriorset, Calcifer, Meridian and the last being one only Jarik would use.  The last one is heavily warded.  To their surprise, Jarik emerges from one tunnel, mumbling to himself about the wrong puzzles.  It fades away.  Jeeves explains that echoes of Jarik and his work still linger.  Sofie admits the echoes are strongest during the Summer.  The group then returns to the Opera House which had been completely burnt down and find the echoes visible.  Rio realizes his is how Jarik was recreating the scenes in the courtyard.

Stepping into an echo, they see the opera's final moments.  Rio stares at the unknown person and sees it is a woman with golden hair, who is looking straight back at her.  The strange suddenly speaks and asks for the master of the house!  She introduces herself as Norene, Baroness of Bleylock and claims to be here to search for Anguish and finds instead Avanadande.  She seems disappointed to learn Jarik is dead and says she was his guest.  She claims to visit every Summer at his invitation.  She claims she needs no roadmen, however, to return to the supposed city Under the Sky.  She disappears through a glowing door.

Ash and Rio continue to investigate, sensing the ruin feels like a puzzle house.  Rio calls upon her secret name, Tissera, the hooded light, which she cites when she travels through ruins.  They learn not all echoes are what happened, but are projections of something else.  The ward blocks all ven, ruk and veth alike.  A new structure in the garden is a tower with no visible entry way.  At the base, a lush growth of a variety of plants.  There are no books to be found.  They find the remains of a glider hanging at one area.  But no tomb for Jalani, Jarik's wife.

Cass arrives at the Peak, much to the dismay of Ash and Rio.  As she is walking in, she's met with a glowing figure, Jalani's echo.  Jeeves welcomes her to the Garden.  Sofie warns them not to touch anything.  There are frames of ruined paintings, including Cherno's "Five Coming Ages" which have the Riddle of Blood, After the Rain, and others.  Artemesia points out the oddity of the various trees in the garden, and their impossibility given the season.

Ash and Rio join Cass, who claims to be concerned about his welfare.  A one-eyed woman interrupts them, an echo of Szaz,   Artemesia is denied the chance to excuse herself.  Glass shatters inside - and the sounds of footfalls close in.  From the Opera ruins, figures dressed in light emerge.  A man emerges after the guards, with blood-red eyes.  He bows and introduces himself as Nolwen, Shivu of Belgrave, and Norene's sister.  Before he can explain his presence, he notices Cass and mistakes her for Ash's wife.  They learn he is an emissary from Canulderene, to confirm if the Treaty of Summer still stands.   It is clear he is distracted by Cass' presence, however, and is surprised to hear her name.  Nowlen is taken aback that she is Galeo's daughter.  They learn that an agreement had been established between Shanri (through Jarik) and Canulderene and they note how Nolwen speaks of their world as that of the ven.  He sees Cass, however, as close to that perfection.  Ash asks to review the treaty's conditions and learns the castle is deemed neutral grounds.

Nolwen's power is hinted at when he casually "splits" into two beings to both converse with the gathered and invite Cass to the other castle.  Rio asks if they may visit the domain of Jaymen Steele - the Sorceror-King - and Nolwen readily acknowledges he is their Totem Rex.  Somehow, he seems to easily "read" their Blessings as well.   They learn Jarik's death would undo the Treaty, and Ash lies through his teeth to claim he still lives.

Gil and Uvanla go through the days as normal, with Gil attempting to tend to the hole.  It baffles her, however, as it seems to not need to heal.  Uvanla tells her about Kether - whom he claims to have never met and only knows of thanks to Kether's closest friend.  During the narration, however, Uvanla unveils a lapse in his memories. The hole seems to be that caused by an arrow.  Cass, Lukas and Artemesia walk in them and mistake the moment to be one sexual in nature.

Nolwen invites Cass to stay in his Castle for two seasons until the Winter.  She agrees if a door can be opened in her own Castle.  Nolwen says Cass is "Pure" unlike the others and claims she has four names.  Ash is unhappy with this offer, but chooses to stay.  Rio chooses likewise to remain.  Having no choice, Ash accepts that he has to let Cass go through the door.

Rio reports the events to Jessie, who is appalled and confused by these newcomers.  The factions of orks, the exodus from the storm, the tasks assigned to Bowen remain unresolved.  Could there be a third city of these kind of ven?  One filled with the Wicked Ones?  Rio does not like the fact this new city has its own armies.   They consider warning the Senate, and Rio considers it time to raise secret armies.  They wonder if Dalvinosh should know of the events.  Rio has two seasons to try and locate the missing Quill.  Jessie is very worried.  Rio opts to act as an intermediary with Dalvinosh Steele.

Uvanla maintains the castle, now that he truly is one of Cass' vassals.  In her absence, he informs any visitors that she had gone to a "pilgrimage."

Norene visits Ash once more, who admits to be happy to know Jarik is well.  She wasn't sure what to tell Jalani - which makes Ash realize Jarik's wife has been at the "other side" for the last ten years.   She has land, it seems in the other city, but Jarik never visited as the city is full of Sorcery.  To Ash's surprise, Norene and her kind do not believe in any Suaven.  Norene also claims Jalani is her mother and that their father is the Totem Rex.  Ash arranges to have a meeting with Jalani and she laughs when Ash calls themselves ven.  Almost at the perfect moment, Ash catches sight of an echo of the moment Jarik bid farewell to Jalani.

Gil sees a man at the gates of Cass' castle.  She goes to see who it is and discovers it is the same man which Uvanla sketched to identify the "closest friend" of his father, Count Kether.  The man introduces himself as Count Kether and claims Uvanla is his familiar, a child he found before whom he had claimed.   He invites Gil to discuss things in his castle, which turns out to be an airship in the sky, but Gil declines and brings him instead to the village to talk.  

More and more, the children begin to realize that their parents have left them far more stories to finish than they had thought.

Monday, September 28, 2015

RE:UNION was a success!

A HUGE THANK YOU to the four who trusted me in playing in a romantic comedy home-brewed game I call, Re:Union. Sometimes, some things do not stay in Highschool.
Thank you to Bog, Emi, Robert, and Drexx. It was truly a riot of a great time and I loved all the catch-phrases and crazy antics you all added to the hilarious narrative.

Here's to seeing more people this October as I run a Dread game. More information to follow.

A full report of the seminar, plus my talk details to follow.
Thank you again!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Updates for late August and this September

Where do I begin?  August ended with Gamers & Gms hosting the AD&D seminar (August Dungeons and Dragons) inspired by Gary Gygax day.  We had a huge turn out, two fantastic talks, and a lot of games held that single day.

For that event, I ran Eyes Upon Amaras - a Mouse Guard hack of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition.  I had six players that day (which became seven when one had to leave early and Rocky slipped in to join the game) and while I know there were some slower parts in the game, the game overall entertained and I count that as a success.

A greater success is  the fact many got more interested in checking out, if not playing, Mouse Guard afterwards.

For this September, we are having an event specifically meant to help people introduce the fun of gaming to loved ones, significant others, family members and non-gamer friends.  STARTER SEPTEMBER is the name of the event and we have a number of talks and game session lined up.


Mon discusses the tips, techniques on how to prepare for your next adventure session. In this "workshop-style" talk, Mon will show you the various ways you can make and prepare an adventure if you have limited time and resources.


What is D&D? How do you play the game? How do you get started playing? Marc Reyes discusses the very basics on how to play the 5th edition of the world’s most famous tabletop roleplaying game as well as how to get started in the hobby.


Tobie shares some personal tips and suggestions on how you can introduce the fun and love of gaming to your non-geeky or non-gamer friends/family/significant others. As well as some free or affordable games you can opt to try with them in case crunch is not what they're comfy with.


Next, we have our games! Check out the event page for details on each game:

GM: Tobie Abad
System: custom!
Player Slots: 2 - 4

Different couples from different points in time find themselves inexplicably reunited with old flames. As each attempt to make sense of the feelings they struggle with and the insane events that transpire, will they find the courage to admit their feelings and embrace this... reunion?

Tobie invites four players to try something different, a romantic-dramedy role-playing game that requires no previous experience in gaming or familiarity with the system. The game can have two to four players only.  Audience is welcome to watch the story unfold.

*Maturity warning. Topics may revolve around typical rom-com content which may not be suitable for certain people.

GM: Mon Macutay
Player Slots: 4 - 5

The once silent town of Ashanath has recently been overrun by the Undead. The dead have risen from their graves ever since a small meteor crashed into the nearby ruined Abbey of Suffering (a shrine once devoted to Ilmater, god of Pain and Martyrdom). Your intrepid group of adventurers is the town's last hope.

Will you dare explore the mysteries behind the Abbey of the Dead?
A D&D 5E adventure for character levels 2 and first-time D&D players.

GM Allan “Dave” Sta Cruz
System: Scion: Hero
Number of player slots: 5

In Scion, players take on the role of Scions, children of Gods of myth and legend. In this story entitled The Apple™ of Discord, the technology giant Apple Inc prepares to reveal the latest in its growing family of consumer electronics: the iPad Omega. As agents move to steal the iPad prototype, you are brought in by its unnamed creator to see to the prototype's safety.

GM: Jay Steven Uy Anyong
System: Worlds in Peril
Number of Players: 5

When an audacious plan hatched by a coalition of super-villains succeeds, Millennium City is left without its finest heroes... or so they think! Play the members of Champions Team B, a team of reserve heroes that are called in during the most dire of situations!

Team B has been described as anything from reckless to dangerous, but desperate times call for desperate measures!

GM: The AL Team
System: D&D 5E
Number of TABLES: 2

And finally, on the personal projects side, my Pateron Patrons have helped fund my upcoming book, A SINGLE MOMENT!  The text is currently in the hands of Eloy Lasanta (Third Eye Gaming) who will be laying it out for me.  I'm still working on the artwork that will be used in the book, but I'm very excited at the prospect of having my own book out there very soon!
The current logo for Tagsessions will be this one, and I'm feeling pretty excited to get my work out.  Hopefully, there will be some fans of it.  Most likely, it will pass beneath most gamers radars.  But its high time I started giving back to the community this way.

Thanks again for the support!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Wardens ep05 : DC Heroes

The Wardens
Episode Five
"The Challenge - Part II of The Quest"

Mayfair Games' DC Heroes

Apollo, El Teniente, Reliquary and Buzz are at Axis Mundi.   The group struggles to avoid accepting any gifts, fearing that this place might permanently imprison them - like those legends of the wee folk - but to their surprise, the inhabitants of the place are both generous and welcoming.  They learn that the arriving group was indeed merely a welcoming committee, using Worsmiths to implant the language of their people to others.  Even Minotaur, whose imposing visage looked villainous to them, was just a herald.  They are told of the challenge of Magic and Steel, which happens once ever 1000 years, to determine whether the world will remain a world dominated by science  or magic.  They meet Myrddin, who represents the side of Magic, and his two daughters, Medea and Karadjeri.  And to their surprise, they learn that the last challenge was won by Conception Gonzales, El Teniente's abuela.  Various "houses" are chosen to give the heroes a place to recuperate and eat.    Buzz ends up at the Diwrnach household with the single chef that feeds the whole town.  The man somehow manages to prepare an entire feast all by his lonesome, but only when alone.  Reliquary stays with the Pious household, learning of their tomes and love of books.  He is even given a book on Rites and Rituals to keep.  El Teniente stays with the Brigid house, and the man there is not happy with Merea and seems distant towards the sisters.  Apollo, however, ends up in Valorum house, and finds a bronze-sinned man who asks him if he knows of "Benjamin Wilder."

Back in Port City, Trace cannot find any way to get to her companions.  The dark thing in the sky seems forever beyond her reach.  She teleports the injured Cassie to the hospital, learns she has all these fake "superhero team ID cards" and tries to see what they can do to help out.  Eleanor White shows up, and claims to be the "go-to-medic" for the Wardens as she tries to do what she can to help.  But soon, she also finds herself meeting her estranged parents.  Trance is even confronted by the child's father, a military man, who questions them allowing their daughter to join the team.  She is challenged with the possibility that their presence in Port City has endangered some of the youth that seek to emulate them.  Cassie might never even walk again.   She makes contact Ren Takenoko, Buzz' brother, and with FanGirl's help, the two try to find a way to see where the others had gone.  They re-calibrate the telescope but find no sign of the others.  

Back at Axis Mundi, Apollo makes a discovery.  The bronze-skinned man turns out to be an agent of the Chronochart Securities.  He is there to investigate the disappearance of Benjamin Wilder whose history supposedly has already been charted and is marked to be "out of sync" with the Chronal Records.   When the group is gathered for the Challenges, Apollo opts to participate, despite the warnings of the Time Agent.   The various challenges are presented, with the team worrying over how to win them given Medea spent most of her years of her life preparing her senses for the challenge.  The other sister, Karadjeri, is able to glimpse the future, and she tells the team she already knows who will win.  The challenges are based on the virtues of Strength, Courage, Sight, Song, Spirit, Sacrifice and Cognition.  And while each member of the team contributes to try and succeed in the challenges, the final Challenge of Sacrifice becomes the remaining one to determine who will win in the end.  Buzz considers making a sacrifice.  El Teniente wonders what he can sacrifice too.  Reliquary considers giving up his Immortality.  But Apollo realizes he has the answer and steps forward.

Trace considers finding a way to speak to the Mystic but finds Diego's abuela frantically trying to place her hand on water in the hospital.  Her ramblings are about the Axis Mundi and the need to face the challenges.  Through her, she heads to a location where an assistant admits the Mystic is preoccupied.  The apprentice talks of the Cosmic Tree, the Axis Mundi, and how she is not able to help.  "The ways of Magic are not about doing what you desire, but about reading the signs and understanding how they affect us.  Your friends have been Chosen.  They are now undergoing a Quest. In their Quest lies whether or not they return.  And whether or not we remain."   Oddly, she does suggest that Trace might need to make a sacrifice as well. And how they are always as multi-faceted like a mirror ball.   Not finding the answers she needed, Trace ends up not knowing what else she can do.
Apollo announces to the crowd who he is, what time he is from and admits he would want to go home from this barbaric time.     He sacrifices his future, the timeline beyond his current life, to the Challenge.  The Chronochart Security Agent reveals himself and reassures them all that no one will cease to exist.  Medea hates how he's sacrificing something that hasn't happened yet.  "Don't you know, sometimes potential is more powerful than others," Reliquary admits.    Steel wins the Challenge.  El Teniente whispers to Buzz, however, and asks what did he plan to sacrifice.  Neither says anything more.

The Arms Grow Stronger.

The Question and the apprentice discuss with Trace that the alien contingent is demanding for her to be returned to the alien camp.  Given the warlike nature of the alien vessels, the Question asks her if she is willing to meet with them, despite this possibly meaning she will never see her family or friends again. When she agrees to, the Question teleports them both to the Spire, a high-tech structure in geosynchronous orbit around the planet.  Trace is surprised that this had happened, and he implies its an inherent power he has.   Interestingly, he has powers of darkness.  The EYE, which turns out to be a sentient computer system, addresses Trace as the woman "the Question has been watching the last few days."  He eventually admits to her that he is actually an Afrokator, and admits it was Trace whom he had spirited away from the Royal House of Mthkhala.  The Mthrsyn have come demanding the return of Trace whom they refer to as nobility.  The Question agrees to give her back to them, in exchange, they are never to return to earth.   Trace believed there was a war between Afrokator and the Mthrsyn, but learns from the Question that there was no war.  Instead, the Afrokators were being massacred by the Mthrsyn with ease.   When she agrees to go with them, however, the Mthrsyn betray their side of the agreement, however, and unleash their weapons upon the Spire.  Trace watches in horror as the Spire is destroyed and as the ship they are in jumps into a dark hole.    

El Teniente wishes to see the Lady, which Myrddin allows him to.  He learns the Lady was a being of Magic herself, but had believed in the power of Steel.  So she was imprisoned for the rebellion that she incited for mankind to have their own freedom.  As a prisoner beneath the waters, she then reaches out to her chosen Knight and guides them to the locations of Artifacts.  She guides him to the location of another Artifact and explains that events are now making another one within reach.

At the roots of the Cosmic Tree, with the waters all around him, Diego looks into the depths and sees her staring back at him.  She rises and seeing him upset, she admits she is a prisoner in the Axis Mundi.  And that the abuela used to be the previous Knight.   She did not have them prepare for the challenges, because she believes in Steel no matter what.  But now it is time for his Quest.

The signs will be clear.

It will start with the sun.
Thrice it will fly from the north, amidst the rain of steel.

A falling stars shall herald the darkness of the sky.
Amidst the pain and anguish shall the Imprisoned cry out, "Why?"
Of broken oath, the Mountain walks armed with tarnished steel,
In his hands lies your Quest, dear knight, in this turning of the Wheel.

The others, on the other hand, hear Medea in anguish for having wasted fourteen years of her life preparing for the Challenge.   They invite her to go back with them and when she complains about how doing so would be to place her in a world she despises daily among barbarians that don't realize the would could be better.  Apollo nods and admits that means she will experience the world like he does.  "There are a lot of problems in the world.   And I think someone with magic can help us fix what we can," Apollo confesses.  Karadjeri interrupts them, admitting Medea will agree to go.  And that Medea could always see through Apollo's mirror-ball helm and likes what she sees.  Medea blushes and agrees to go.

As the group returns to Earth, they find themselves staring at meteors streaking across the sky.    Reliquary reaches out using the communicator to reach Trace, but instead gets Fangirl who is all frantic about the news of the Spire having been destroyed and the rain of debris striking the other coast...  New York City.  They realize there is no time to waste, and they have to rush there to help as the meteorites are crashing down there.  El Tentiente turns to Buzz.  Buzz calls his brother and admits, "I need your help."  Reliquary calls Conrad to make arrangements for them all to have a ride there.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

wideawake ep2 : Bliss Stage


Episode Two
"Techno one to Trust"

Bliss Stage

With the storm brewing outside, the pilots are separated to two missions:  Takeshi and Kyle sortied to handle the Mission while Katie and Christine stay by the base to handle defenses.  

Takeshi sees Krishelle waiting at the Creches, who complains about him being late.  "Ten seconds can mean the difference of life and death. Get into the pod, now!"  Takeshi grumbles as he slides in, but clearly is starting to get stressed over her tendency to boss him around.  As the Veteran Pilot, he feels the moment was one of having to tolerate her once more.  He thought he had started to understand her more given their drinking session some nights back.   He feels a growing touch of Stress in their relationship.    He slips into the dream and the ANIMa forms.

Not too far away, in the other Creche, Gerard preps Kyle for the Mission.  He even offers the "superstar" young Hotshot Pilot tea or coffee for when he returns.  Kyle remains silent and Gerard excitedly says, "Joe it is!  Remember Superstar, you are Number One." Kyle eyerolls as he slips into the Dream.  He feels his Trust towards him go up by one.  As he drifts into the dream, he has a brief moment of seeing hundreds of people applauding as he descends atop a stage.  Kyle for some reason recalls a rabbit.  His ANIMa begins to form as well.

Chris, recovered from his coughing fit, checks both Anchors if all are well.  Both report an all-clear.  He tells them to relay any Mission parameters from this on as he did not want to declare the details while the others were present.  The Mission is in three-parts and each has to be cooperatively yet independently accomplished by the Pilots.  Mission I: Blue is to arrive at the target location without being spotted.  Mission II: Midnight is to gather sensory information without being spotted.  Mission III: Indigo is to return to headquarters without being followed, and terminate any scout ships that may be following.   Chris reminds them transmitting Scouts mean Heavy Scouts coming in.  If Pilots are unable to handle the enemy, they are best to not return to the base.  At any point in time the Anchors feel the Pilots are making decisions that may jeopardize the safety of the colony, the Anchors are to abort and leave them outside.

Mission Blue begins:  the Anchors contact their Pilots and inform them the first Mission parameters.  The coordinates of their target location are given.   Krishelle considers shutting down Takeshi's weapon to force him to go stealthy, but reconsiders it for now.  Both begin moving to the location, with all ANIMa functions activated.  "Tell Kyle that we have to keep a tight formation to minimize our sensor signature.  I'll lead, and he can follow close behind," Takeshi informs Krishelle.  She questions if he's sure, and she reminds him, "Be very very careful out there.  Or I will be forced to do something drastic.  I am not joking."   Krishelle tells Gerard to inform his charge to do what Takeshi said.  When Gerard asks if "Rockstar" will be leading this one, however, Krishelle absent-mindedly says yes.   Thankfully, Gerard's relaying the information has Kyle learning he should follow Takeshi's lead.  The two emerge from the colony and skim the surface of the ruins and stay low.

They move across the ruins, and soon the rolling hills with parks and markets and other debris.  Occasionally, there are floating mirrors of quicksilver that the two dart past as they move.  Occasionally, a quicksilver mirror suddenly pops into view on the ground, and as they rush past it, both Pilots can see people inside waving at them to come closer.    They move through the dreamworld, invisible to the others.    Back in the real world, Krishelle and Gerard peer out of the access hatches to see the storm building in the distance.  Chris tells them they estimate a 20-minute safety margin before the storm reaches the mission area.  Both remind the Pilots of the duration they have.  Krishelle nags Gerard if his pilot can somehow move faster, so Gerard asks Kyle if he knows anyone who can speed up his movement. Kyle brings up that maybe Kristine can help.  Remembering her, Kyle imagines how she tends to move him around and Gerard activates the emotional resonance to become skates at the bottom of the ANIMa's feet.  "As fabulous as ever," Gerard grins, then to Krishelle, "Happy now?"  

"Focus on the Mission or you might lose your Pilot," Krishelle warns.

"At least I don't bitch my Pilot around," Gerard hisses back.

The two Pilot reach a pile of car wrecks blocking the way.  Takeshi realizes the hill they are skating over is a massive stack of wrecked cars!  Realizing the whole thing can shift and crash, revealing their location, he quickly tells his Anchor to warn the other Pilot via the other Anchor and slows down his movement.  Wanting to minimize his noise, Krishelle shuts off Takeshi's main weapon - the spear of longinus - without telling him.  The existing Trauma Takeshi suffers from complicates things for him in fulfilling the Mission.  Takeshi successfully comes to a halt, although the double legs rattle against the car wrecks.  Some debris tear into the paint job of Darkwing's ANIMa.     Kyle tries to mirror what Takeshi had done.  He succeeds in doing so, but while he accomplishes the same move without mobility bonuses, the newly formed skates shatter.   They descend down the hill.   Blue Mission Successful.

Mission Midnight begins:  The two have twelve minutes left.  Chris tells both Anchors to proceed with gathering information.  Takeshi opts to take the right side for scanning and has Krishelle tell Kyle to take the left side.  They are to meet back in four minutes.   Gerard even adds a counter on the screen to help Kyle keep track of time.

Back in the Colony...   Christine arrives and sees the others there.  She feels annoyed given when she saw Chris having his coughing fit and rushed to help him, he shoved her back.  Kouki walks past Christine as she mutters, "I need sex."  Sitting beside her, the jock admits he doesn't like girls.  Christine offers to be his matchmaker and he decides to shift the conversation to how long she has been a pilot.  The conversation quickly shifts to him asking to know more about Kyle and Christine admits that she doesn't really know him that much.  "He doesn't seem to be interested in sex.  Are you interested in him?"  The jock admits he finds Kyle cute.  "Well, maybe he's interested in boys since he doesn't seem to be interested in me," Christine ponders, then adds, "Do YOU like me?"  The jock just answers she is not so bad.  "At least you don't hate me.  What was your name, again?"

"If I give you my name, will you do something for me?  Introduce me to Kyle."

"When he gets back," she grins.


She admires him for his physique, but he teases her that he works out every day for "the ladies."  The moment allows Intimacy to grow between them.  

In the other room, Jake, Katie, Miranda and the new girl see Christine and Lewis talking.  Katie takes this moment to cheerfully introduce herself to the new girl.  The girl responds coldly, finding Katie "too cheerful" and even asks if she has ADHD or something similar.  Katie, however, is unfazed.   The new girl turns to Jake and asks, "Hey, is this girl for real?"  She doesn't realize she happened to ask the only guy who feels emotionally connected to the cheery pilot.  "Of course, she is!" Jake responds. "Its her optimism that keeps this base going."  The newcomer, however, is angry at how optimistic she is given all the death that has happened in the world.  Katie however reminds her everyone deals with death in their own way.  "Why can't I deal with it in my own way?"  Katie however surprises the newcomer more when she reveals to her that she is the Pilot in her pair.

Back at the Mission, the group ponders on why there are so many Scout ships in the vicinity.  The fact they detected more than ten makes them feel nervous.  Chris asks the Pilots to try to find out why there are so many in the vicinity.   Krishelle suggests to Takeshi to look for something that might still look intact.  That might be what the aliens are looking for.    They find a sixteen-wheeler trailer, with part of it fallen into the lake.  The back, however is still locked shut.  An attempted x-ray scan reveals the interior has a lot of containers.  There is a box inside, among the others, however that cannot be x-rayed.  Takeshi asks Krishelle if he should try to get inside.  She belays that idea, warning him it would take too much noise.  Takeshi suggests using an ultrasound beam on it, and the results are slowly forming, and it looks like a hand.  Human-sized.  But the pilots are in the dreamworld.   Krishelle notes a radio signal however emitting from nearby.    When Krishelle hopes to ask Chris for advice, she discovers to her shock he's stepped out.  Takeshi keeps an eye on the source of the radio signal and tries to stay in place as long as he can for the ultrasound to finish.

Moving into position, Kyle begins scanning the area while Gerard scans for hostiles in the area.   They soon see a ramp-like structure and it seems to be a partial bridge that had been broken into the lake.  With sensors active, Gerard finds no hostiles.  Kyle moves the ANIMa under the bridge to look for anything interesting.  That's when both find a concealed door under the bridge.  It looks human-sized.  Infrared Scanning reveals two heat-signals: one adult sized, and one that of a child.  "They don't look like hostiles to me," Gerard admits.  Their movement suggests they are aware something is outside their door.  Kyle has the scanners switched to x-ray and true enough it shows two humans! Both think they found survivors... somehow inside the dream.

A thundclap.  A flash of lightning.  Heavy drops of rain begin to fall.  Kyle maneuvers Archer to hide under the bridge.  Takeshi ducks Darkwing under the closest building.  The anchors stare in shock at the displays: Both pilots are somehow OUT of the dream!

Further down the corridor... Kouki had run off to chase after Chris.  He finds the boss staring through binoculars to see the pilots in the distance.  "They're in position. They are out of the dream."

The anchors check their pilots and find them both still sleeping in the creche.  But their scanners detect that both ANIMa are now outside the dream.  "If they go home here, what will happen to their bodies?!" Gerard gasps.  Kouki returns and tells them the ANIMa can be seen outside.  Gerard yells at him to drag Chris back.   Both Kyle and Takeshi begin to realize they have slipped out of the Bliss somehow.  They are starting at the quicksilver puddles forming with each rain drop hitting the ground.  Krishelle asks Takeshi to calm down, but there's no denying the terror they are beginning to feel.   The anchors confront Chris, who had just returned, to admit he had his suspicions that this can happen.  He had the pilots undertake the mission to test his theory: that there are hotspots or zones in the Bliss that spill out into the real world.  The pilots are now to try and detect the perimeters of these zones.  They are to visually identify each other.  Gerard reports about the survivors near the lakeside, and goes to talk to the other pilots to discuss retrieval plans.

Kyle studies the rain and starts noticing where the falling rain drops fall but do not hit the ground.  He asks Gerard to mark these areas as the zone perimeters.  Takeshi is directed by Krishelle to go back to the rendezvous point.  Seeing the falling rain, however, Takeshi tells Krishelle to tell her to relay to Kyle that he cannot step into the rain.  But having heard of the time remaining, he decides to risk it and runs into the rain.  Kyle searches for something to use as an umbrella and realizes the large debris atop the door of the survivor can be used.   Gerard begins to calculate the dome of the zone.   Darkwing's systems go wild as Takeshi runs through the rain.  The stress pounds against the relationship composing the ANIMa's body.  A turret emerges from the ground where the radio signals were emitting.  It doesn't see Darkwing, thankfully.   Darkwing moves stealthily to the meeting point, hoping to get to Archer without further detection.  Kouki wonders if with the ANIMa out of the dream means did the  dream turn into actual material?  Archer watches as the door opens after he knocks gently.   Gerard informs Kyle that Takeshi is already in the rendezvous point.  The woman at the door is old, with grey hair and a tired face.  The "baby" he thought in her hands turns out to be a dog!  With the rain pounding around the area, Archer notes where the base would be and points in the direction of the base.  The woman starts yelling in shock then slams the door shut.  Archer turns to see something emerge from the sand.  The turret had detected him!  Archer twists in the land second as the turret launches two missiles at him.  Archer opens fire, launching two crossbow bolts of fire to destroy them.  He then leaps into the rain and makes for the rendezvous point.  Darkwing can't find any sign of Archer, not realizing the other ANIMa is still in the real world.  Krishelle yells at him to go back to the base, but he insists on waiting for Kyle.

Mid-air, the Archer suddenly appears and lands close by, with quicksilver mirrored hands trying to cling on to the ANIMa, before falling to the ground.  Darkwing reports they're reunited and the two now have to head back to the base.  The two zip across the dreamscape quickly making their way back to the base. They see strange sights:  A river that turns into an upside down waterfall that cascades into a rainbow triangle in the sky... like a shark's fin... chasing after the two of them.  Wyrmwood in the sky transforms into a headless corpse at it passes through a cloud.  The clouds seem to distort its imagery each time.

Archer turns to face the closing rainbow shark, and charges his crossbow weapon.  Darkwing hears Krishelle relay to him the message from Archer that he should get to safety.  The bolts fly.  The sensors spark and flash as the blast of the ANIMa flies straight for the shark.  Darkwing watches, ready to help Archer escape if need be, with a plan to buy the young pilot time if need be.  The quicksilver fin recoils, pulling away from the bolt launched by Archer.  Both Anchors yell at their pilots, "RUN!"  The two hurry back, with Darkwing's ANIMa shutting down the extra mobility parts as they are heavily damaged by the energies unleashed.  He leaps into the Conceptual Hangar Bay in time to disengage and safety land.  Archer rushes to head back as well, successfully escaping behind Darkwing's passage.

Takeshi comes to and finds Krishelle scrubbing him clean of the blue goop from the creche.  He commends her on disabling the weapon.  He got pissed at first, but realized it was the right call.  The two feel the stress between them fade down.

Gerard hands Kyle a towel and coffee as he comes to.  Kyle feels the trauma of the mission still haunting him.  The two banter over why coffee would be called Joe and work their way through the trauma.  "Maybe we will save her," Kyle admits, "No.  We will," Gerard reminds him.

As the pilots leave, Kouki rushes back in to the Creche with the others.  Kouki and Pickles begin clean up immediately the room.  Jake and the others arrive with a new supply of the goop to fill the creches with.  Maryanne receives word from Chris that the pilots have to head out again to investigate the survivor, and while that's going on, the two others will remain on base defense.

Jude tells Lewis and Becky, the newcomer, that neither of them have been cleared to be pilots or anchors yet.  Becky laments that someday they get to do what they can to help out.     The four jury-rigged devices will remain tied to the four existing pilots, at least for now.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Wardens ep04 : DC Heroes

The Wardens
Episode Four
"Harbinger - Part I of The Quest"

Mayfair Games' DC Heroes

The Wardens attempt to return to their lives, with the breathing room they gain after bringing down Rey Princeton and Le Chateau d' Univers.  Tara White (Trace) focused on her school work and found herself spending time with Dermont, a classmate who happens to be the son of Conrad.   Hadrian Fauntleroy (Reliquary) takes the opportunity to meet with Conrad and introduce his son to the fact he will someday inherit the business. Shin Takenoko (Buzz) and his brother discuss their family's legacy and learn that their parents actually prepared some video message for them regarding the powers to be inherited.  Ben Frank (Apollo) attempts to reconnect with the people, hoping to find ways to help the less fortunate citizens of Port City.  Diego Franco (El Teniente) tries to talk to his mother about the team, and finds the discussion shifting instead towards his Abuela and his sister, Lucita.

Ben learns many have been evicted from their homes, a move which was initiated by some major corporation that seeks to develop the land into better housing.  His recollections of the future do confirm that such structures do eventually stand here.   When he opts to join them for a barbeque at some park , he finds his day crossing into Diego's (whom he recognizes since El Teniente unmasked himself [Editor's note: See the spectacular second issue, "Confessions").

Buzz receives a call from Lucita, asking him to join the barbeque.  His arrival does not come unnoticed by Diego, who still has a beef with his teammate seeing his sister.  The two trade verbal jabs, but its clear that Diego still does not believe Shin is worthy to be part of his family.

But when dark clouds gather, the team opts to send out an alert.  Hadrian learns Tara is with Conrad's son, and insists the boy be taken to safety.  Tara finds herself dealing with an eager Dermont who is amazed to realize he knows people with super powers.   While Hadrian tries to get to the park in time, the rest of the team gather to deal with what seem to be otherworldly enemies:  dark skinned humanoids with disturbing weapons, who speak a language that feels familiar yet strange.   Even worse, they seem to be hunting for "Abuela." The team mobilizes to move people to safety, with Tara teleporting any of those injured to the nearest hospitals, Buzz and El Teniente facing off against a gigantic troll of a warrior, and the suitless Apollo being forced to rely on the damaged Mirror helm once used by Princeton and his skills to fight.  Unexpectedly, a new "heroine" emerges to join the battle as a young girl dressed like a super hero leaps into the scene.  Calling herself Wilder, the girl bites of more than she can chew when her antics place her in danger and the sonic boom Buzz generates to try to bring the Troll Warrior down catches her and grievously injures her.   Apollo grabs a hold of one of the guns held by the goblin-like folk and discovers the thing somehow has an effect on the mental stamina of its targets.  The weapon, however, bears an odd name: Wordsmith.

As Hadrian arrives at the scene, he catches sight of a tall, majestic woman wreathed in dark flames directs the assault from a nearby rooftop.  Hadrian rushes past her, hoping to reach the team, but then stops upon hearing her mutter one word:  Gervaine.  The name of his Alchemist mentor back when he was still mortal!   When he tries to demand for answers, she wades through the resistance with ease and demands for The First Knight.

Seeing more people injured from the wordsmith guns, Trace opts to teleport everyone she can to safety while the rest of the team use their combined abilities to fight against the tall woman, who they learn is called the Minotaur.   Buzz and El Teniente strike true, with Reliquary keeping her off balanced with intense mental assaults.  But just when the group thought they were about to celebrate a victory, they are all swept away from the park through what appears to be a magical portal!   By the time Trace, who had just teleported from the hospital, returns, the rest of the Wardens are missing.  And though she sees the dark shape in the sky, even a series of repeated teleports that push her to the brink of exhaustion fails to bring her any closer to her friends.   Sadly, even Fangirl, whose intense abilities to tap into electronic networks seems unparalleled, is unable to find where they had gone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

AD&D (August D&D)!

Gamers and GMs Philippines is proud to announce our seventh Seminar: AD&D (August D&D)!
Sunday, August 30 at 12:00pm

There will be two stages to this month's seminar. The TALKS will begin at 12nn, and will cover certain aspects of D&D 5th Edition. The GAMES will begin at 3pm, and ALL of them will use the 5th Edition ruleset of the Dungeons & Dragons game, tweaked per GM!

Kindly be reminded that, in order for us to cover the rent for the location, we will be charging a PARTICIPATION FEE of PhP 170.00. 

Here are the TALKS:

Genre Savvy 
by BJ Recio 12nn-1:00pm

5th Edition D&D is touted as the most customizable version of the game, yet. Let’s put that theory to the test! In his most technical talk yet, BJ examines tweaks that can be done “under the hood” to run different genres such as weird fantasy, modern, or post-apocalyptic games. Basic understanding of D&D 5th Ed. (whether as a player or as a DM) is assumed for this talk.

(Support BJ at Patreon)


Dungeons and Dragons 101 by Marc Reyes 1:30-2:45pm

What is D&D? How do you play the game? How do you get started playing? Marc Reyes discusses the very basics on how to play the 5th edition of the world’s most famous tabletop roleplaying game as well as how to get started in the hobby.

Here are the GAMES: All Games run from 3pm-9pm

The Eye of Miron
by BJ Recio

Tensions between the Blood of Vol and the Silver Flame have always been high. In Sharn, the city of Towers, this tension takes a turn for the worse when Lord Hazal of the Vol clergy is found dead and all evidence point toward Silver Flame zealotry. Can a famous dwarf investigator solve the murder before tensions erupt into a holy street war?

“Eye of Miron” is an investigative game set in the world of Eberron. Up to five 3rd level pre-generated characters will be provided.

The Broken Tower by Marc Reyes

Ages ago, the Triboar Tower stood as a bastion against bandits and marauders that plagued the Triboar Trail running east through the Neverwinter Wood. But in the chaos of the Sundering, goblin bandits have taken up residence in the tower, and are slowly choking the small mining town of Phandalin by raiding supplies coming to the town. Toblen Stonehill, the innkeeper has made a dangerous journey to Neverwinter, hoping to find a party of adventurers willing to rid the tower of it’s goblin infestation.

“The Broken Tower” is a simple dungeon crawl adventure set in the world of the Forgotten Realms for 4-6 players, Level 1 pre-generated characters are available but you are welcome to use any Level 1 Adventurer’s League compliant character. or any character from the D&D 5th edition starter set.

(This game is not an Adventurer’s League game.)

Return To Baldur’s Gate
by Mon Macutay

A hundred years after the Time of Troubles, Mystra’s death has caused a massive Spellplague, scarring the Realms and changing it forever. Baldur’s Gate, untouched by the Chaos, is now a haven for all races of different ethos and religions.

Your band of adventurers was recently commissioned by a high-ranking official of the Seven Blades, a prominent merchant’s guild of the city, to investigate strange irregularities within its ranks - but everything should be done in the utmost secrecy.

Are you bold enough to earn your keep?

A D&D 5E adventure for Level 2 characters, pre-generated, set in the Forgotten Realms. 3 to 5 players

Dungeon Delvers Extreme! by Jay Anyong

In the near future, the most popular spectator sport to grace the holo-screens of every household is none other than Dungeon Delvers Extreme! Cyber athletes from around the world compete in virtual reality dungeon crawls against other teams, engaging in bloody spectacles of might and sorcery.

You and your team have made it as far as the qualifiers, and this match could mean the difference between moving on to the finals or going home as losers. Which will you be tonight?

D&D 5E, Up to 4 Players, Level 3 Pregenerated Characters

Eyes Upon Amaras by Tobie Abad

Inspired by David Petersen's Eisner Award-winning comic, join the brotherhood of mice who have sworn an oath to serve their fellow civilian mice and protect them from predators. Are you ready to be one of the Mouse Guard?

Enroute to escort Amaras, a grumpy erudite from Lockhaven, back to his hometown, the Mouse Guard find themselves stalked by a vengeful owl. Can the Mouse Guard succeed in bringing the old wizen mouse safely home?

Characters will be partially pre-generated. Some systems from the Mouse Guard role-playing game, using The Burning Wheel system, will also be used.

Maximum number of players: Four

D&D Adventurer's League! 

The D&D Adventurers League is an ongoing official organized play campaign for Dungeons & Dragons. It uses the fifth edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules, and features the Forgotten Realms setting. You can play D&D Adventurers League games at any place that features adventures bearing the D&D Adventurers League logo. You can create a character and bring that character to games anywhere D&D Adventurers League is supported.

The Adventurer's League DM for AD&D will be Hans Libay.

DDEX2-1 City of Danger
On the southern shores of the Moonsea, the residents of Mulmaster have eked out a living where others woukd likely have given up long ago - in a bleak city where corruption is rampant and the Church of Bane holds sway. In these fuve short introductory adventures, you will travel the breadth of the City of Danger, meet its people, see its sights, and witness firsthand how the city truly has earned its ominous moniker.

DDEX2-2 Embers of Elmwood
A derelict raft drifts into Mulmaster's harbor carrying a young woman. Delirious with hunger, the only words she seems able to speak so far have been "ash and fire." The only other clue to her identity is an ornate tattoo. Is the woman insane, or us something nefarious at play?

Requirement: AL-legal (Elemental Evil guidelines) 1st-level character of any mix of classes/race, as preferred by the player.

The Adventurer's League can supply pregens, as may be required/needed.

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