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.

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