The #SavageWorlds #RIFTS heroes take on the Federation of Magic at the Southeast Fortress and find the Seal of Solomon! Featuring Bob, Jung Soo, Brendan, Frank, Ron, and Frankie of the Roll20 gang. #TTRPG #RPG #SWADE
The heroes have learned that Hamelin, the avatar of the dark Tyrant Plague, needs only the spirit ring of Kirai Ankoku to activate the machine that will raise him to godhood. While Zai carries the wounded Providence to the Governor-General’s mansion for treatment, Bal, Bernard and Anna Mae pursue Hamelin to Kirai’s tower in the Quarantine Zone.
As Anna Mae dashes through the streets of Malifaux City, she glances down an alleyway and comes to a screeching halt. Standing in the alley is a man who has apparently died by hanging and whose skin is covered in yellow glowing runes. Anna Mae yells, “Stop,” and Bal and Bernard come back to look down the alley as well.
“Whatcha lookin’ at?” asks Bernard. Anna Mae realizes that only she can see the man; she also remembers that she has seen him before – hanging from the tree in front of the Governor-General’s mansion.
“We don’t really got time to stare into the void,” says Bernard. “How about we do that later?” Bal and Bernard take off, and Anna Mae follows for a moment and then doubles back. She calls a greeting to the hanged man and he walks over to her, removes the noose from his neck, and hands it to her, then vanishes.
Looking back, Bal sees Anna Mae holding the noose. “Looks like she lost her marbles but got a rope,” he mutters, and keeps running.
As Zai approaches the Governor-General’s mansion, the guards accost her. “Who are you?” they demand. “Tell Lucius to fix this,” she says, sets Providence down, and whirls to run for Kirai’s tower.
As Bal, Bernard, and Anna Mae approach the tower, they hear the sounds of a great battle. Turning the corner, they find a massive melee. On one side, Hamelin leads a horde of rats, plague zombies, and plague gamin, with a few plague golems in the front line. On the other, a few humans led by Kirai head a massive force of terrifying spirit creatures leavened with undead zombies. Kirai screams continuously, her ring glowing with a blinding green light. All three heroes freeze for a moment, uncertain what to do.
Bernard looks up and sees winged plague gamin fighting in the air against flying ghosts. Lighting off his jetpack, he soars into the air to take them down; unfortunately, one of the gamin latches on to his arm, throwing off the controls and sending Bernard crashing into a wall. Anna Mae begins lecturing the plague zombies about the evils of violence; with the magical energy of Malifaux powering her academic skill, she causes several to hesitate, giving Kirai’s forces a moment of breathing room. Overall, however, the forces of Plague are clearly winning the day.
Back in the city, Zai frantically looks for a way to get to the tower faster. She commandeers a Guild construct, but with no idea of how to drive it, she only manages to travel slightly faster than she could on foot.
In the battle, Kirai’s forces are badly battered. Bernard returns to the sky, only to be struck again by the flying gamin and injured. Bal cooly takes shots at the approaching horde, slowing them, but Anna Mae is cut off and badly hurt by a force of rats. The heroes hear Kirai’s scream abruptly stop, and then the sound of sobbing. Kirai is collapsed on the ground – all of the ghosts have vanished, and one of Hamelin’s orphans is running away with his hand glowing green from the force of Kirai’s ring. Bal aims carefully and takes a shot at the orphan, killing it. The ring flies from its open hand and rolls along the cobblestones; then a rat seizes it in its jaws and dives into the sewers.
A loud clanking announces Zai’s arrival on her “borrowed” construct. The heroes climb aboard and head back towards the entrance to the Necropolis, expecting that Hamelin will head for his machine. As they head back, a large patrol of Guild Guards appears, led by the healed Providence. Providence climbs aboard and heals the wounded Bernard and Anna Mae, asking “What happened? What happened?”
From the back of the patrol, Captain Dashel appears. “You have the ring?” he asks.
“No, follow us!” says Bal, gunning the construct for a bit of extra speed.
“Y’all aren’t so good at acquiring artifacts, are you?” says Dashel as he gestures for the guards to follow.
“You were sitting on your ass while we were out there fighting!” yells Bernard as the construct pulls away.
Looking at her comrades, Providence notices Anna Mae’s rope. “Do you know that rope is infused with the Grave Spirit?” she asks. Anna Mae gasps, then explains that she learned from Lucius that the Grave Spirit was brought into this world by Titania, Queen of Malifaux, in the ancient battle against the Tyrants. The Grave Spirit was brought to destroy them, but also corrupted the Malifaux natives and led to the first necromancers. Zai is shocked – this is not the Malifaux she remembers – does she want to spend her immortal existence here?
The heroes abandon their construct at the sewer entrance and run through the Necropolis, retracing their earlier path. As they run, they see ghostly forms moving through the corridors, similar to those they saw fighting with Kirai. Anna Mae begins shouting directions at the ghosts, hoping they would follow.
At the machine chamber, the strange engine is glowing with blue-green energy. Parts of it are moving, some in an expected mechanical way and some with eerie biological flows. At the control panel is Hamelin, who cackles, “You’re too late – soon I will be a god!”
“Enough talk!” yells Bal, and Zoraida’s voice in his head says <<STALL>>
“Hamelin, I’m going to punch your machine apart!” yells Bernard.
“You can try!” laughs Hamelin.
Zai enters the room in a burst of illusory fireworks, scattering colorful butterflies rather than sparks and distracting Hamelin from the others’ actions. She throws a knife at him, which sticks in his body and then flows down it, clattering to the floor. Anna Mae freezes in panic. Providence’s eyes glaze over as the latent rat disease sinks into her, and she detonates a freezing blast right on the heroes, slowing them down.
“Snap out of it, soldier!” yells Bal, slapping Providence.
Bernard runs towards Hamelin. “Hey, Hamelin! I got a taste of your rats and I have to say I think you’d taste better! Guess what’s going to happen to your fingers?” Hamelin just laughs, rips one of his own fingers off, and tosses it to the Gremlin; from the stump, vermin flow out and regenerate the finger in seconds. For a moment, Hamelin’s will tries to override Bernard’s, but his Gremlin stubbornness carries him through. A swarm of rats erupts between Bernard and Hamelin and forms into a human shape, roaring with rage.
Providence, shocked by Bal’s slap, breaks free of Hamelin’s control and collapses. Bernard launches into the air, the flames from his jetpack washing over the rat-man and setting it on fire. Adding to the fiery chaos, Zai summons a fire gamin. Bal charges Hamelin and batters at him with his relic hammer, but Hamelin’s vermin form simply oozes around the blows as the avatar laughs in Bal’s face.
Providence stands back up. “Hey, what… you took over my mind! I hate it when people do that!”
Bernard, flying above, mocks the enemy. “I know you want in, Hamelin!” Anna Mae holds up the noose, hoping for some reaction from Hamelin. She believes it is important, but isn’t sure whether she should be putting it on herself or trying to lasso Hamelin. Unfortunately, Hamelin doesn’t react, his focus on his furious melee with Bal. Zai summons another gamin and commands both to sabotage the machine to the best of their ability.
Bernard zooms through the air to punch the machine with full force, badly denting it. As he does, the rat-man snags his leg and sends him crashing into a support pillar, badly injuring him. Providence runs forward, firing a bolt of ice at Hamelin, who simply absorbs it. As he does, he sees Anna Mae’s noose and seems to pale in fear. He sends a blast of plague energy at Bernard and the gamin, and knocks Bernard out of the sky. Bernard slumps to the ground unconscious, his jetpack sputtering as he releases the controls. “You won’t stop me now!” laughs Hamelin, pulling a lever on the machine. The intensity of the glow from the machine increases tenfold, and the machine parts rapidly speed up.
While Hamelin is distracted, Bal finally gets in a good hit with the relic hammer, staggering the vermin avatar. Providence moves up to heal Bernard, while Zai’s gamin tear at the machine innards and Zai throws another knife at Hamelin, which passes through his body without effect.
Suddenly, Kirai runs into the room, brandishing an enormous pair of shears. “Get out of my way,” she hisses.
In Bal’s head, he hears Zoraida’s voice again. <<FINISH HIM>> Hamelin looks afraid as Kirai brandishes the shears at the rat-man, and the beast dissolves into a puddle of steaming slime. Anna Mae looks at the noose in her hand, and suddenly realizes it is meant for Hamelin. Bernard lunges at the machine at claws at Kirai’s ring. In a blast of blue-green energy, he is hurled backwards – but in the same glow, he suddenly grows to a height of six feet, his clothes tearing away as his body expands.
“The god-making machine worked for me!” crows Bernard, still shaking from the energy shock.
Providence fires another ice bolt, and one of Hamelin’s arms is blasted off, freezing and shattering as it hits the ground. Kirai steps forward. “Give me my ring back,” she snarls, and stabs Hamelin through the chest with her shears.
There is a moment of total silence. The blue-green energy from the machine pours into Hamelin, and for a moment he begins to grow – then he explodes in a shower of vermin.
And then the heroes are somewhere else. They stand in the Bayou, and from the sky comes a sound of screaming. A cage formed of living flame plummets from the heavens and crashes in the swamp, exploding and forming a massive crater. In Bal’s mind, Zoraida speaks. <<CHERUFE IS FREE>> she laments.
There is a moment of darkness, and visions fill the heroes’ minds. A gremlin and his pig expanding to three times their normal size. Zoraida transformed into a beautiful woman floating above the swamp. Sonia Criid wreathed in flame, striding through the city, twelve feet tall. Ramos clad in armor like a titan bursting forth from Hollow Point. And then… another moment of darkness.
In the machine chamber, Kirai takes the ring from the half-melted machine and puts it back on her finger. Ghosts and spirits flow into the room and disappear into her shears.
Bal hears Zoraida’s voice once more. <<THE AVATARS HAVE WOKEN>>
And that brings Savage Malifaux to a close for now. Look here for new adventures as playtests begin on new products from Happy Monster Press!
Guided by the prophecies of the Tyrant of Winter, the heroes are exploring the Necropolis underneath Malifaux City for an ancient device that could allow the Tyrant Plague to ascend to godhood.
The group moves through a corridor in the Necropolis and approaches a torch-lit space, proceeding very cautiously. The corridor opens into an immense cave, within which is an insanely complex device like nothing any of the heroes have ever seen. The arcs and curves of the machine seem to bend in ways that human eyes cannot follow.
Working on the machine are four small children guarded by another dozen rats, and supervised by a strange man. Looking closely, Anna Mae sees that the man’s skin seems to be shell over a swarm of writhing vermin. The man sees the heroes and cackles, “I’ve been expecting you…” and runs out the door. “Only one piece left!” his voice trails off into the distance. The rats charge, biting at Bal and Bernard but without effect. Anna Mae freezes in panic, but fortunately behind the battle lines. Providence draws on the power of December and produces a frigid blast of ice shards in the midst of the rats, freezing and shattering several of them. Bal swings his relic hammer and crushes another rat. The small children begin throwing rocks at the heroes; one ricochets off Bernard’s rocket pack.
“I just polished that,” yells Bernard. “Ehh, you’re not worth punching,” he adds to the child who hit his pack, then runs over and kicks a rat into the air and punches it into the wall behind. Zai catches another rat across the back with a thrown dagger.
Providence runs forward to one of the children and picks him up. “You look tasty and helpless. I’m going to eat you and all of your friends.” Shocked, one of the children runs for the corridors.
Anna Mae steps up and begins a droning lecture about parental responsibility and societal norms, stupefying the two remaining children. “Shut up, lady,” one of them mutters. Zai quickly casts an illusion on Providence to make her seem more intimidating as Bal smashes another rat. The last surviving rat attempts to bite both Bal and Bernard, but can’t connect with either.
The last two children shake off their confusion and run, but Anna Mae manages to snag one of them by the wrist. The other yells, “Boss is gonna get you!” as she runs out of the room.
Bernard sighs. “Rats again. When am I going to get something interesting to punch!” and flattens the last rat.
“What about the machine?” suggests Providence.
“Hey, there’s an idea!” grins Bernard, moving over towards it.
“Don’t punch the machine until we know what it does!” shouts Zai. “We don’t want to destroy the city!”
Anna Mae drags her child over to some rocks. “Sit down here,” she demands.
“I’m not doing anything with you, lady,” the child replies, struggling against her grip.
Thinking fast, Zai transforms herself into the strange man who left the room first, the man she thinks of as “the rat guy”. As she strides forward, the child beams. “Boss Hamelin! You came back for me! Get these guys – especially this lady, she’s so mean and boring! Get her, get her!”
“Hey, Providence,” yells Bernard. “You want me to punch that little twerp for you?” He pauses. “Aww, but he’s so cute and harmless. No meat on him either. I just gotta go check out this thing” He walks over and starts poking at the machine. “I’m looking for the big red self-destruct button!”
Bal heads for the machine as well and examines it. The machine makes no sense from an engineering perspective. Bal can tell that it is soul stone powered, and that somewhere in the huge contraption, there must be a whole lot of stones because there's a lot of energy running through this thing. But there are mysterious fluids and what looks like it might be steam or some other vaporous thing and there's electrical stuff happening and arcane plasma is flowing around, and it's just really messed up and he doesn’t have the first idea how to do anything to it, or whether smashing it would be good or bad. Smashing it might shut it down, or it might destroy the city, it's really not clear. Bal also notices as he looks over what he thinks might be the control panel, and what the orphans we're working on, that there is an area of the control panel that has a small cavity in the shape of a small hollow cylinder, basically the shape of a ring. It's surrounded by glowing green serpent iconography. Thinking back, Bal believes that the shape matches Kirai’s spirit ring. “I think the missing piece is back on Kirai’s finger,” he announces.
Providence drags her child over to the shape-shifted Zai. “Boss, boss,” the child cries, “Get this lady off me! She says she’s gonna eat me!” Providence giggles in a slightly unstable fashion, and both children cry “Hamelin, save us!”
Zai replies, “They can’t see me right now,” pointing at the other heroes, “or hear me.”
“Wow, cool!” says the smaller child.
“I’m going to help you break free. You’re going to take an important part from the machine and bring it to me, OK?”
“But, Hamelin, we’re almost finished, right? You didn’t tell us how to take things out.”
“Oh, well, I’m sure you can figure it out.”
“We’ll give it a try boss, but you know, you didn’t tell us how. How do we do this?”
“Just think about the way the last piece went in and do the opposite of that.”
“Oh, that sounds simple, OK!” Providence and Anna feign confusion, and the children scamper over to the machine as Bal steps out of the way. The children open a panel and yank at something within. An enormous blast of coruscating blue-green energy pours over them like slow-moving liquid light. For a moment, the light oscillates, and the skeletons of the children are visible through their translucent flesh, and then they explode.
Taken aback, Bal blurts, “Well that shed some light on the situation.”
Providence goes over to the machine and begins poking at it. “Now where are those soulstones…” she mutters, opening the panel that the children just opened. “Anybody got a crowbar?”
“I think we should leave, right now,” says Bal. “That ring is on the surface – let’s go get it.”
“Yeah, I didn’t sign up to be turned into jelly and exploded!” adds Bernard.
Seeing Anna Mae’s distress about the children, Zai says, “I’m 100% sure those were undead.” Zai and Anna Mae head out of the room, with Bal and Bernard following.
“Guys, I need a crowbar. Guys? Hey guys, wait up!” Providence shouts as she follows the group.
Partway back up to Malifaux City, the group hears strange, liquid groaning sounds coming from behind them. As they turn to look, hideous creatures emerge, seemingly formed of mucus and slime and bubbling with foul greenish vapors. “Those are plague gamins and plague golems!” exclaims Providence. Immediately the heroes make a run for it, with the hideous creatures pursuing. Distracted by the novelty, Providence falls behind the group, and the gamin catch up to her, clawing her badly. Providence collapses to the ground, unconscious and bleeding out. Bal ducks back to pick her up, dodging the gamin, and Anna Mae quickly administers first aid as the group continues to run. Zai casts confusing illusions behind them, fortunately distracting and slowing the golems.
“Give her to me,” yells Bernard.
“Please, take her,” replies Bal, handing the limp Providence over. Bernard kicks his jetpack into gear and carefully pilots himself and Providence through the maze of corridors. Bal stumbles as he hands over Providence, and the gamin start to catch up to him, but he shoots and runs, hitting another of the gamin and killing it before sprinting away. As Bernard flies forwards, Bal grabs onto his jetpack harness for a minute.
“Hey, one at a time!” protests Bernard. He kicks Bal off his harness, but the burst of speed still helps. Zai summons a flame gamin to attack the plague golems. As the heroes flee, the flame gamin claw futilely at the plague golems, only to be crushed, bursting into flaming explosions without any apparent effect on their enemies. Zai drops in another gamin in an attempt to delay the golems, and Anna Mae fires her shotgun back towards them, but with no effect. The fire gamin, however, delay the plague golems long enough for the heroes to escape.
None of the heroes have any ability with healing, but they all make an attempt to patch up Providence – unfortunately without success. Bal and Zai carry her the rest of the way to the surface where, after a brief debate, Zai takes her to Lucius at the Governor-General’s palace to be healed, and the other three heroes head for Kirai’s tower to try to intercept Hamelin…
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