The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 20 - Someone's Shocking End

Having arrived at the shoreline of what used to be Cyre, the heroes scout the watch towers built to protect the nation from naval assault, searching for the edifice they feel house the trapped Magnus. As they move along the perimeter, however, they find an anomalous tower set back from the shore, but that can only be seen from between two certain towers and no other angle from the ground.

Upon approaching the place, travel to it on foot is determined to be impossible. The characters simply don't seem to be getting any closer no matter how long they fly or walk toward it. Kurt discovers that a short bamf forward takes him half the distance to the place and the characters resort to teleportation to get to the tower, which turns out to be a huge construction, likely more comfortable for giants than men. Stone blocks weighing tons are set together to form the walls, and the great gates seem to be made of slabs cut from a single massive tree.

The Spider, their once brief ally from their battle in the jungles of Q'barra, is present when they arrive, puzzling over the statues placed into alcoves carved above the gates and stringing the entire length of the wall. A massive, eight armed man flanked by 8 smaller, yet no less powerful-looking men.

The Angle...Gnome
The gates are obviously sealed somehow and no windows allow egress from the outside, so Kitty tries to travel through the gate to see if she can open it from the inside. Her idea works, but her tampering with the door triggers the trap on the opposite side and an sphere of high voltage static discharges, leaving many injured, and Connar dead at the feet of his comrades. This is shocking (tee hee) to his comrades, but they are hundreds of miles from help, and leaving could mean giving up the investigation, so they press on.

A thick mist permeates the whole inside area, preventing vision at range, leading to a slow, methodical crawl through the compound. The rooms are not plagued by the fog, though, allowing the party to witness the fine craftsmanship and ancient magic obviously used to preserve the keep.

The party strikes gold in the library, coming across more detailed knowledge of the Destiny Arms and what they represent and their purpose. Entering the war room gives the group even more clues as to where they can find the giants, as a huge table engraved with a map with various locations placed throughout dominates the room. There is magic associated with the table, but it cannot be puzzled out by those who try.

Downstairs, the party finds only abandoned barracks and an armory with long-corroded weaponry and armor. Until they round a corner at the far hall and start to enter a chamber, at which point they are ambushed by The Scorpion and Angle Man, who had both been hiding!

Eberron's Scorpion
The Scorpion, remaining invisible, unleashes devastating attacks against Kurt, but is contained by a force wall, leaving him vulnerable to the teleportation master's skill at hit and run. Angle Man fires off a few spells, but attempts to run when things get bleak, only to be cut off by Bennet by a wall of electricity and blasted to charred bits by a bolt of lightning.

A clanging sound had been heard periodically throughout the combat, and Kitty goes through a wall to investigate, to find Magnus beaten and bound to a chair with rope and leather. The clang had come from Magnus hurling his helmet against the wall, and Kitty picks it up to bring it to him, when he attacks her, only to be put down a minute later by quick spells and might.

The party regroups and leaves Cyre, heading for Sharn in search of answers.

Next Issue: Lantern's Light!

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 12|Wilder 12  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 11|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 6 -Taylor
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Lesser Tiefling Rogue 3/Fighter 8/Swashbuckler 1|Totemist 2/Wizard 3/Umbral Disciple 2/Telflammar Shadowlord 4/Soul Caster 1 - David 
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Human Wizard 10|Ninja 10 - Sam
Connar Kent [Superboy], Kryptonian† 10|Fighter 10 - Paul (deceased)
Pete Salvis [Spider-Man], Battle Dancer 4|Warlock 4 - Jon G
Johnathan Blaze (Phantom Traveler) [Ghost Rider], Flaming Bone Creature 2/Warlock 7|Fighter 5/Lasher 4 - G2

The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 19 - Reunion and Mourning

We find our heroes, at the start of this issue, scattered during and after the battle with at Sentinel Tower. Kurt and Jean lay low until they get fully healed, using guile and acting as fishers whose boat had capsized in the Sound.

Kitty had made her way as well as she could to land and was using all her wits and strength to make it out of Karrnath alive, headed to the safety of Aundair, where Bennet was already entreating his allies to aid him as quickly as possible to gather the fallen at Sentinel Tower, using the amount of tech and items that could be recovered as negotiating incentive. Aurala jumps at the chance and agrees, sending some of her most powerful mages to aid Bennet in the retrieval mission.

After Bennet gets Connar back to the land of the living, the rest of the party begins to trickle in, all having had the same idea of getting to the closest area of safety. The group then does some more investigation into the Destiny Arms and then decides to venture into the Mournland, when they are prompted by a weak telepathic message from Magnus about being held captive along the Cyran coast.

Not many people were around for this session, so we left off there.

Next Issue: A Castle Most Perilous!

Wow, so...time flies. It's been exactly 5 months since I posted anything, but I'm back for a few, anyway. Blogging just hasn't been what I have wanted to do at the end of the day, but it feels good to sit down and hammer out a post.
There's been some really good gaming happening, and I'll hopefully tell you about it soon enough. The Defenders game at the session in this post, started to wrap up. Seven more sessions later, we would play out the end of the campaign. Keep reading!

Edit: Remembered an important bit and slipped it in.


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 18 - Robo-A-Go-Go!

Facing the White King at last!
After preparations, the band is flung into the main hangar area, in the upper gantries. Across the huge chamber, also on the gantries, stand what for all purposes is a team of villains to our heroes: the White King, Trevor Fitzroy, Lady Deathstrike, Feral, and Pretty Boy. Among the group is also the baseline engineer Bolivar Trask, who is just as much an enemy in the group's eyes as the Extranormals.

Behold, Master Mold!
Below them, on the floor of the hangar are some of the Sentinels like the group had faced before, a few of a model much larger, but similar in build, and one enormous Sentinel, seated on a throne it seemed to be built into, and that was apparently making more of the two smaller types!

The band caught the others by surprise with their sudden appearance, and Bennet was the first to act, taking the opportunity to discharge a bolt of electricity, frying the White King where he stood. Fitzroy and Trask both fell within seconds to other attacks and battle was fully commenced. Pretty Boy fell a moment later.

Within a few more moments, giants had rushed into the rooml; backup promised from Uxas to aid in taking down the general defenses of Sentinel Tower. These warriors engaged the Sentinels while the band engaged further with the enemy Extranormals. A few more seconds and Connar lay dead to the ferocious assault of Feral, but not before slamming the beastial Shifter through the gantry she had been on.

"But she's a heroine!" Feh!

The fight was now on the hangar floor, except for Jean and Bennet, who used their psionics to do what they could from above. Kitty dropped through the floor and was lost for the rest of the time. Kurt engaged in melee with Lady Deathstrike and, when she was vanquished, went forth to deal with the giant Sentinel, knowing that this is where he would find Dr. Pym's component.

On the brink of destruction, the giant Sentinel stands, ripping itself from its throne, and blasts a hole in the floor. Kurt, seeing that it has now created a hole in its body, teleports in when he sees a piercing light. Jean, at this time, having pushed herself to her limits, slips out of control and the Phoenix rises. Bennet, seeing this for the first time, and having a little knowledge of it, decides to preserve his own life (since he's standing adjacent to Jean when this happens), and teleports to Queen Aurala's War Room, in Aundair.

Kurt uncouples the component and the mobile creation forge totters forward, crashing down through the hole it had created in the floor, taking the fallen, as well as some living giants, and a large portion of the floor, with it. The Tiefling takes stock of his surroundings, having saved himself from the fall, notices that Jean is still alive, though barely - the Phoenix force having guttered out just a moment before - and starts hopping across Scion's Sound with her, healing her after getting into Thrane.


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 17 - A Gentleman's Agreement

Our heroes are ushered into a vast throne room, lit on both sides of the great hall by troughs of magma, casting light on shields and banners strung high on the walls and covering almost all of the surface of both sides. Astute viewers recognize some of these as company, house, and personal heraldry of all those defeated on the field by the lord of this fortress, the man known as Uxas the Conqueror!

Seeing this historical figure in the flesh, some are perhaps surprised to find that he is literally a giant, though it makes sense, if his homeland is noted. He sits proudly on his throne, bedecked in glistening black armor of what looks like polished obsidian. He is not introduced, he needs none. He politely lets the heroes take in their surroundings for a moment before speaking.

"It is awe-inspiring, is it not? This keep was gifted to me by my brother, when it sank into the mountain and he took his leave of Xen'drik." Uxas goes on to explain that he named his keep after a nickname the younger lived races gave him. As he speaks, Jean begins to see his words played out as if projected with illusion, though no other can see this until a few minutes later, when Kitty is also struck by the images. The visions do not shake the heroes, and they get down to business as soon as possible.

In case anyone didn't know who Uxas is.
Kurt leads off with the negotiations and is asked to pose his questions before Uxas decides to answer, and if an answer is given, then a small favor must be performed for the warlord, which will lead to no harm of those it is asked of. The group are desperate for any lead, and Kurt agrees to the terms, then begins to ask about the Destiny Arms and what they represent. Uxas explains that the Destiny Arms were what humans might call a knightly order, though they numbered only 8, and they represented the literal appendages of the eight-armed titan, Gharzum Bang, who founded the order 50,000 years ago. He then goes on to explain that there are only four of their order still alive that he knows of, having lost the titan and four others over the millennia.

Uxas presses upon the group the importance of the Destiny Arms' role, to keep a certain 'status quo' (Yes, giants know Latin. They are, after all, from an ancient culture.) to prevent the world from a future that could not be contained. He goes on to use the analogy of the four remaining Arms as being the four legs of a table, and infers that they being stability to the whole of Eberron.

The group's questions answered, he then states his terms: The band of heroes gathered before him will stand aside when he makes his push on Khorvaire in a new campaign to conquer the continent. The heroes are torn when they hear these terms, but since they are in the lair of the beast, so to speak, they acquiesce. Then, to sweeten the pot on their side, the band begin to tell Uxas of the Sentinels. He agrees that they pose a severe threat to his advance into Khorvaire and agrees to get them into Sentinel Tower as a show of good faith, so that they might cut the head off of the Sentinel program.

Uxas lets them visit his quartermaster and trade or buy anything they may need that he has. He also buys the armor Irons had made for himself at an exorbitant amount, since the S-shield on it intrigues him.

Next Issue: Mecha Robo Attack!

You may have noticed there's no Cast listing for this session and the last. There won't be another until I get to Issue 20, as I hadn't made note that kind of thing, and my guessing game was proving futile. I began taking note last session (the aforementioned #20), so things will be back on track there.
Sorry for any confusion. If it helps, no cast changes really occur between now and Issue 21. Foreshadowing!

*Last minute edit before I post! That amazing Darkseid art is by Nebezial.

Edit: Count on the sessions was off.

The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 16 - Into The Unknown Continent!

A casual visitor to Stormreach...
Upon approach to the city of Stormreach, aboard the airship graciously loaned by Queen Aurala of Aundair, Connar hears screams far off in the distance (thanks to a natch on the listen check) and alerts the others to something happening within the city. Spyglasses are used on deck and Connar's supreme vision together can make out an enormous green creature ripping a section of the city to shreds.

Connar takes flight and moves to engage the beast, taking a blow from the thing that would have killed most normal men. Battle ensues, and the group try to contend with the beast and a small man at its feet that is assumed to be controlling it, when he is witnessed casting a spell on the thing. The gigantic creature brings more destruction down on the city before it and the small man beat a hasty retreat under the pressure of attack.

The rest of the group who were unable to engage due to no flight capabilities of their own finally make shore, and the band sets to working disaster relief and trying to figure out what/who that thing was, but find very little that convince them to follow up on the attack.
...and his pet.

Thereafter, they split up to see if they can find someone who would be willing or able to help them acquire the knowledge they came to Xen'drik seeking. During this time, Kitty is approached by a miserable-looking, hunched man who says that he could lead her to his master, who would be able to answer her questions and only would ask a small favor, in return. Kitty tells him that she would need to consult with her party about the matter, despite the man's persistence, and he finally agrees to meet her in the taproom of the inn they are staying at in the morning, after breakfast.

The next day, the group had barely settled in to their meals when the man approaches their table and begins to repeat the offer he had made to Kitty. This man's master could give them the answer to many of their questions, and more, but the information would come at a cost; the price to be named by his master. He demands their answer immediately, and urges them not to pass the opportunity. The band of heroes debates only shortly before deciding to agree to go with this mysterious stranger to meet his even more mysterious 'master'.

Trustworthy chap.
The man leads them outside the city on foot to a large soar sled that would be able to accommodate about twenty people, shaped like a semicircle with a railing on the leading, curved edge that was set with Khyber dragonshards. At each of these shards, a dark elf was bound with chains made of some dark material. When the stranger activated the sled, the drow writhed in agony. Some of the group guessed that the drow powered the vessel with their lifeforce, but made no question to their host about how. Connar, knowing not much more other than how much he dislikes people being enslaved or confined, was visibly shaken and angered by the mechanism, but also held his tongue, taking care not to jeopardize his newfound friends' mission.

The sled flew deep into the jungles, slowly approaching a volcano that loomed in the distance when they started their trip. As they approached it, the jungle canopy became thicker and thicker, completely obscuring the sky until it was pitch black, then the heroes realized at some point, they had traveled underground to a massive cave. As far as they could see within the confines, giants were encamped or doing drills. Great pyres and runnels of lava gave the whole place a sinister glow and finally, a massive keep, looking as if it had sunk or slid into place, comes into view and the mysterious man turns to them and says, "Welcome to Apokalips."


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 15 - 'Round, 'Round, Get Around. They Get Around!

Battle is joined, and Yellowjacket drops quickly to the full assault of the PCs. Bullseye enters the fray against the group with devastating attacks, but is taken down shortly thereafter, having been overwhelmed when not fighting the single target he and Foster expected. Scarlet Witch appears during the battle, apparently having insinuated herself into the minds of the group, since they feel like she's been there all along, after having magically (accidentally?) transported herself into the lab - she observes and hangs about with the band, but is nowhere to be found later, seemingly without notice of the group.

Dr. Pym thanks the heroes for their aid and welcomes them, explaining that he fears he was targeted for his work. He then explains that he and his wife were entertaining a guest when the assassins struck, then goes about disposing the bodies of his wife, their friend, and Bullseye down a waterfall that the doctor explains leads to a fast-moving underground river. Bill Foster is tied and held in the wash room, unconscious, while the group and Dr. Pym decide what to do with him.

The doctor suggests they all get rest and they discuss what to do over breakfast. Here, Dr. Pym begins to explain his great work. He tells the PCs that the component was actually ordered by him, as the power core housing for a self-replicating construct that he had designed. This construct, the first named Ultra-1, would replicate as needed to serve the needs and wants of Extranormals only. The race of constructs would act in any capacity the Extranormals needed, serving as a replacement for what might otherwise lead to subjugated Baselines. With the Ultras, the Extranormal "race" would be free to pursue their own goals with no interaction or involvement with Baselines - all of those small concerns would be handled by the Ultras.

The heroes seem interested, yet hesitant to subscribe to the doctor's Utopian dream. Noting the awkwardness felt in the room, this is when Pym indicates that they should just kill his former lab assistant and drop his body in the crevice, as well, (nothing like a little levity to lighten the conversation!) as any involvement with proper authorities could compromise his and the group's separate works. The group agree and Yellowjacket is put down and flushed like the rest were.

A little bit more back and forth about the construct and the stolen component leads all to the same conclusion: the Sentinels are likely designed based off of a similar (or the exact) technology that Ultra-1 was designed with. The group decide the Sentinels need to be put down, and quickly, and head to France Aundair.

Here, they meet with Queen Aurala, with another small information exchange taking place. The band then present their idea to storm Sentinel Tower, on the southern coast of Karrnath. Unable to agree on how to assault they tower, they switch gears and focus on a piece of the Draconic Prophecy found in Dr. Pym's lab, which mentions the great weapons of the giants, named the Destiny Arms, and how as long as the Destiny Arms still exist, the world cannot be restored.

The band decide that they need to know about giants, and agree to go to Xen'drik to do research, since they also feel like the threat of Uxas is a growing thing, it then begins to seem like getting intelligence on him is included in their trip. Queen Aurala grants them the use of an airship to make passage, and they set off.

Their first stop is in Zolanberg, so that they may consult with Dr. Pym. He admits to knowing very little about the Draconic Prophecy, and claims to have found that snippet that was in his notes in his travels, though he cannot recall where he first saw it. He basically reiterates what the snippet says, and then wishes them well again on their quest as they depart for Sharn, there for a layover and resupply before heading to the mysterious southern continent.

Next Issue: The Welcoming Party

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 8|Wilder 8  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 8|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 3 -Taylor
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Lesser Tiefling Rogue 3/Fighter 7|Totemist 2/Wizard 3/Telflammar Shadowlord 7 - David 
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Human Wizard 7|Ninja 7 - Sam
Connar Kent [Superboy], Kryptonian† 6|Fighter 6 - Paul
Dr. Isaiah Crane [Scarecrow], Sorceror 6|Cleric 6 - Jon
Johnathan Blaze (Phantom Traveler) [Ghost Rider], Flaming Bone Creature 2/Warlock 4|Fighter 5/Lasher 1 - G2
Scarlet Witch, Human Wizard 5/Cleric 5 - Brady (retired)


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 14 - Is There A Doctor In The Building?

Three large,  bulbous warforged-like constructs (one of which identified by some of the PCs as Detroit Steel - I couldn't think of a good analog for the name, so I kept it the same, with it being a descriptor of the type of steel used) manufactured by Hammer Corp., a direct rival to House Cannith in weapons manufacture, and an unknown man radiating flames and heat descend from the busted skylight, weapons and spells at the ready, firing into the mass of gathered heroes, obviously intent on attacking Irons. Our heroes burst into action, engaging the attackers, but Irons is slain within seconds.

Though their goal is apparently achieved, these assassins push their attack on the heroes, but things turn for them when Dr. Crane issues forth a dark sense of dread and the two auxiliary Hammer drones flee from the fight. Connor and Kurt engage the fire mage and quickly contain and defeat him, while the rest of the team engages Detroit Steel. Bennet has had a bad spate of luck with his powers so far and exits the fight, going back to the front of the building and sitting in a waiting area, looking at table literature and pamphlets available.

Before long, the rest of the group has managed victory, snagged a bit of loot from their enemies, plus the suit that Irons was working on, and also make to leave from the way they came, collecting Bennet in the waiting area and making awkward statements about getting help to the already panicky staff.

Out the door and on their way via Orien coach, they made Zolanberg in good time and straight to the manor of Dr. Pym, a vast structure carved into the side of the mountain, furnished and accented with touches that would befit most nobility, yet devoid of any signs of life.

The band made down to the lower levels, into a work area filled with shelves that stretched far too high for a man to reach. At the back of this room stood a man, standing at a workbench, apparently poring over notes. As the PCs approached, he began to make conversation, explaining that "Janet was a distraction" and "just had to go, as did Simon." This is when the group noticed the coppery taste in the air and the bodies lying at the feet of Dr. Pym in cooling pools of blood.

Bennet addressed Dr. Pym, having the most connection with the man, since they had met a few years ago. Dr. Pym made small talk, as if oblivious to the bodies beside him, or to the fact that he was speaking to an actual man, and not just some disembodied voice. The scientist had cracked, it had seemed, and was seemingly only interested in "the work."

During this time, the room was periodically shaking and loud booms could be heard. Pym explained that it was caused by mining efforts in the nearby mountains, but his statements were soon to be proven as lies when the actual Henry Pym, grown to enormous size, burst backwards through a wall nearby, the Halfling assassin, Bullseye, standing behind him in the adjoining room. As soon as this happens, the figure they had been speaking to spins, revealing himself to Bennet to be Bill Foster, a long-time research assistant to Dr. Pym. Foster begins to shrink and lift into the air telling them that this is not their business, and they must leave. Here, we leave our heroes with a decision to make!

Next issue: Moving Targets!

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 8|Wilder 8  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 8|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 3 -Taylor
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Lesser Tiefling Rogue 3/Fighter 7|Totemist 2/Wizard 3/Telflammar Shadowlord 7 - David 
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Human Wizard 7|Ninja 7 - Sam
Connar Kent [Superboy], Kryptonian† 6|Fighter 6 - Paul
Dr. Isaiah Crane [Scarecrow], Sorceror 6|Cleric 6 - Jon
Johnathan Blaze (Phantom Traveler) [Ghost Rider], Flaming Bone Creature 2/Warlock 4|Fighter 5/Lasher 1 - G2


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 13 - The Riddle of Steel

When the group disembarks at Sharn, T'challa - the hero Black Panther, ruler of the Xen'drik nation of Wakanda, and friend to the Extranormal groups known as The Defenders and the Avengers - awaits them on the dock. His friends, The Avengers, have come up missing following the Defenders' trail in search of the great missing heroes the League, and he hopes to gain information and stick with this new band to possibly aid them, if only a little, in their quest.

T'challa is surprised when the first few of the companions brush past him as if he were standing there, in costume, for his own good. The king is able to get one of the girls to stop and talk to him, but Bennet and Kurt both walk right by, separately, on their ways to see Magnus.

While the Black Panther explains to the remainder of the team that his companions, the Avengers, went missing in search of Dr. Strange and his Defenders, Kurt makes it to Magnus' floating base first and questions the powerful Extranormal about the Conclave that took place before Cyre was destroyed, including who was being held captive, who was there that he doesn't know about, and what the Conclave's purpose was about. Magnus gives guarded, but useful answers, and Kurt - satisfied - leaves, walking out the door as Bennet arrives.

Bennet, in contrast, gives Magnus a status report as to the mission, noting that his companions are not those he might otherwise have chosen. Magnus, in so many words, reminds him that no one would search harder for Xavier than his own students, and that is why things have happened how they have. Bennet then asks Magnus if he might contribute more knowledge to the leads they have thus gained, but Magnus points out that he only knows what has been shared and reiterates again (the last time nudging when the group was in Aundair) that he thinks their best bet is finding the metallurgist that helped construct the component that caused problems at the start of their adventures.

Both having returned to the rest of the group, Bennet and Kurt then hear T'challa's tale, and when the group further discusses their plans, the foreign king offers them a ride aboard his airship to Trolanport, to save them time, since it might be the only aid he will be able to give. The heroes agree and, after informing the captain of the ship they had traveled to Sharn in, make for the tower where the Black Panther's airship is docked.

As they approach the boarding ramp, something slams against the docking tower, shaking the thing slightly. When everyone looks, they discover it to be a young human male, perhaps still under 20 years of age. He slowly picks himself up and wipes his mouth as a hideous purple monstrosity that once was a troll, but has been modified, magically or biologically, to something much more disturbing and dangerous looking. Both exude an air that lets the band know that they are Extranormal, and they leap to engage each other as soon as the purple one lands.

Though neither one of these new arrivals are known to anyone gathered on the docking platform, the youth sports a distinctive 'S' symbol on his clothing, prompting the PCs to jump to his aid, in hopes that he may be able to shed light on the whereabouts of the man who is more well known to wear the symbol - the Super Man.

With the combined might of the heroes, including the Black Panther and this new young man, the purple troll-beast is taken down quickly, and while the group stands about discussing what to do with the thing, guards wearing odd-looking uniforms show up on a large soar-skiff and claim the thing, explaining that it was simply an escapee of a laboratory facility, and will need to be returned to its rightful place. Though dubious to the purpose of this laboratory and its practices, the heroes wish to reach Zilargo soon, and brook no resistance to the guard's right to claim the beast, but stand close with the young man, who has already explained that he, also, had made his escape from a facility sounding similar.

Our heroes board the airship and make for Trolanport, arriving much earlier than anticipated, and T'challa wishes them well and good luck on their quest, excusing himself so that he may return to his nation and his duties. The PCs give thanks and then immediately proceed to the local Cannith Guildhouse, so that they may meet with Irons.

After some awkward exchanges with reception, the group make entrance to a grand workshop, featuring many of House Cannith's greatest wonders, including Warforged titans! On a small workbench just inside the room, Irons is caught off-guard and awkwardly covers up what he is working on, failing to keep the heroes from seeing what, at first, appears to be a Warforged, but the guildsman recognizes some of the heroes and uncovers his work, revealing both visually and verbally, a suit, complete with weaponry and sporting the S-shield of the Super Man, whom Irons explains was his spiritual inspiration for the suit, with Dr. Pym, a former Cannith artificer living near the mountains in Zolanberg, as the technical inspiration.

The heroes are impressed and intrigued, but steer the conversation toward the component and what role he had in its manufacture. The metallurgist tells the band of the alloys used and why they are important, as well as what else he knows about the thing, bringing up Henry Pym again. Before the conversation can go any further, however, the skylight of the workshop hangar is busted open and several figures begin to descend into the area!

Next issue: Hammer Time!

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 7|Wilder 7  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 7|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 2 -Taylor
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Lesser Tiefling Rogue 3/Fighter 3|Totemist 2/Wizard 3/Telflammar Shadowlord 1 - David 
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Human Wizard 6|Ninja 6 - Sam
Connar Kent [Superboy], Kryptonian† 4|Fighter 4 - Paul
T'challa [Black Panther], Catfolk Noble 4|Fighter 4 - Steve
Johnathan Blaze (Phantom Traveler) [Ghost Rider], Flaming Bone Creature 2/Warlock 3|Fighter 5 - G2

Kryptonian is a race that can be leveled up, based on rules presented in the Savage Species. The chassis for the race was the Astra Deva, with abilities and powers altered to better fit the theme of a hero from Krypton, or a clone thereof, in this case. The Kryptonian may be presented in detail  as a bonus feature when I catch up with action reports.


Awaiting the Swell

Boy, surfing attire sure has changed since the 14th century.

First thing that came to mind when I saw this image, depicting a line with bowmen waiting for engagement at the battle of Crécy, in 1346, was how it resembled surfers relaxing on the beach. I also like how the guy in the white armor in the foreground seems to be giving our foreground "surfer' some tips. Dude, you've got a boogie board at your feet, along with a single ski. I don't think you're qualified to tell anyone how to do anything.

The 'surfboards' you see in the pic are bow cases, usually made from oiled leather, meant to keep your bow and bowstring protected from the elements. This was especially important in the sea-sprayed coastal areas in France and Britain where many battles took place, as too much exposure to moisture will warp and weaken wood.

If anyone is interested, I had seen this image a few places before, but I snagged it from Beyond the Black Gate. Go read the blog. It's good, especially if you are interested in older editions of D&D and the sword and planet genre.

The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 12 - This Ship Is DOOM-ed!

Not long after setting sail, a lookout in the crow's nest spots sails to the aft, calling out frantically "Green sails! Green sails!" Everyone in the crew seems to rush in controlled panic, doing all they can to put speed to their vessel and making sure weapons are at hand. The captain instructs the PCs to go belowdecks and let him handle the situation. When questioned, he states that they are beset by the piratical Lhazaar Prince Doom.

The name having no more than escaped the captain's mouth, Doom appears on deck and demands the ship furl their sails and prepare for boarding, laying claim to the ship and crew as his, to serve under his mark. Bennet challenges Doom's right and strength and the pirate lord disappears from the ship, apparently driven off by the presence of Extranormals unafraid of him.

Presently, however, five devils - two barbazu, two hamatula, and a cornugon - appear on the deck and begin to slaughter crewmen. After shrugging off a few blows, the cornugon rises into the sky to watch, the battle transpire. The fighting is hard, with all the heroes using all their resources, but seemingly barely scratching the devils. Bennet goes belowdecks, ultimately unconcerned with who controls the ship and not seeing this battle as his.

The first devil falls, then another, but Beast has suffered a grievous wound from the corrupt weapon of a barbazu, and Kurt is battered. Jean pushes herself beyond her limits and awakens a primal force held deep within her, unleashed in an inferno in the shape of a great bird beast! None have seen this from her before, but are horrified at the sheer destructive power it holds. Her psychic powers become much stronger and she destroys another of the devils, then immolates in a dramatic explosion, but not before the cornugon teleports away. Kurt manages to rescue Henry from the deck of the ship before the inferno rips across the deck of the ship, but the Beast succumbs to the foul wound inflicted by the devil before aid can be delivered.

Taking stock of the situation, Kurt finds some of his companions (barely) alive on deck and Jean weak, but seemingly unharmed by the frightful transformation. Bennet returns to the deck to find it charred, but not damaged beyond repair, thanks to the quick actions of the surviving crew and the saturation of sea water. Only the sails have been destroyed completely.

The Phoenix by IsoBan
The party discusses who captains the ship now with the remaining crew and retrieves the body of Henry and gives him a short, somber funeral aboard the ship while the crew do the same for their fallen. During these ceremonies, Doom appears again, this time with a large chest at his side. He gives his condolences for the lives lost, and again enforces his claim to the ship, now enhanced by his crew having taken the life of the captain of the ship. Doom tells them their passage will not be interrupted, since he does not interfere with brokered deals, and though some muttered challenges to his power are put forth, no real resistance to the claim is to be had and he presents the new captain of the vessel with the chest he has brought, that is filled with fine green sails. The Lhazaar Prince departs, leaving the crew to hoist their new sails to complete their journey.

We leave off with the ship arriving for their layover in Sharn, the captain requesting three days to repair and restock.

Next issue: Stalked by a panther!

Cast of Characters*
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 7|Wilder 7  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 7|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 2 -Taylor
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Rogue 3/Fighter 2|Totemist 2/Wizard 3 - David 
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Wizard 6|Ninja 6 - Sam
Henry [Beast], Artificer 6|Anthropomorphic Ape 2/Monk 4 - Paul (Deceased)

*Starting from here until I catch up with things, levels and cast appearances will get murky, as I don't take note of that during sessions. I'm working off memory for appearances, but will increase character levels as seems appropriate as the posts continue.


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 11 - To Traffic With A King

And so our heroes made southerly passage downriver to Newthrone, the capital of Q'barra, with the hopes of finding something resembling civilization and acquiring goods and services to help them upon their quest. They decided to stay fairly low-key, not pushing or causing disruption in the everyday bustle of the city, and instead went about their work quickly.

The first order of business was finding an inn with private rooms and bathe and have a decent meal. Then, Kurt decided to see if he could search further on various events that had piqued his interest and that he thought might be connected to their quest to find Xavier, even if tangentially. Bennet went about purchasing a wand of Scrying and a few other things, while Jean and Kitty stayed behind.

Once Bennet had gotten the wand of Scrying, he gathered the group and they went about Scrying first the Toyman and then the White King, who was seen with the baseline he was in the company of previously, standing on a walkway above more of the Sentinel Legion, some seemingly three or more times as large as those the party had faced before.

Bennet communicated with Pierce through Message while scrying and they brokered a tenuous peace in which both parties agreed to not interfere with each other's machinations. The White King assured the party of Winslow's well being via the Scrying window, and the communication ended on a somewhat bittersweet note; the party knowing the Sentinels would be used for ill toward Extranormals, but an ally was safe and they would not have to worry about encountering the Sentinels, themselves, while this peace lasted.

The group took stock of all the things they knew and decided their earliest lead, the metal apparatus they encountered in Karrnath, might still be a strong clue to what or who could be behind the disappearances, and found out what they could about the metallurgist Magnus had indicated, a man named Irons, who could be found in Trolanport, Zilargo.

Agreeing to ship passage, with a layover in Sharn, the group set to embark on what seemed the most promising path toward their goal.

Next issue, the heroes see green sails on the sunset!

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 6|Wilder 6  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 6|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 1 -Taylor
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Rogue 3/Fighter 2|Totemist 2/Wizard 3 - David
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Wizard 5|Ninja 5 - Sam


Dark Heresy, Session 12: Dead Stars

And so we conducted ourselves far into this frozen prison on Mara. We suspected more warpspawn and such at every turn, growing suspicious of every creak, groan, or movement around us.

Indeed, here we were, great saviours of  the Imperium, jumpy and frightened, but with conviction in our hearts, our hands taken in His, that He may guide us.

Before long, we heard the chatter, roar, and snap of firearms and made to see if we had found another island of Imperials afloat and in danger in this Hell. We did find a woman, wearing finery more appropriate to a dining hall or ball room, and her retinue. She introduced herself as a Miss something-or-another, a Rogue Trader who had come seeking the fortunes of Haarlock.

She knew we held some of the man's corrupt treasure and demanded it from us, but when we refused, she and hers attacked. We quickly tore her retinue apart, but we had great trouble with the lady, finding mid-way through the engagement that she was of some accursed xeno race.

I begged the Emperor to give me and my companions strength, but one fell, then another. We gave it our all that this alien not sully and bespoil our precious Empire, but in the end it was just me and one of the others I had not the notion to gain the name of. A shame that I think he knew not mine, either. We could have vouched for each other in this glorious afterlife given to those who serve Him.

We fell together, and that was the end and all of the service I could provide you. Would that it could have been more, my Emperor....my God.

Cast of Characters
??, ?? (??) ?? (??) - Angela
??, ?? (Hive World) ?? (??) -  Paul
??, ?? (??) Magistrate (Arbiter 7) - Taylor
Mohrdecai, Cadian (Fortress World) Lieutenant (Guardsman 6) - Me
??, ?? (Forge World) Mech-Deacon (Tech-Priest 7) - George
??, ?? (Feral World) Nihilator (Assassin 7) - Sam


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 10 - Enter...Sentinels!

While searching the boxed items that the Reavers had been moving from the temple, Kurt discovered chest plates for warforged marked with an unusual emblem with a serpentine neck leading down to two upraised wedges and a three-pronged arrow pointing downward. None of the heroes could imagine what it symbolized, and so kept it fresh in their minds for when they were able to think on it more. At the moment, finding civilization was the foremost concern.

And so, after a quite hefty trek through the woods, which was relatively incident-free, the group emerged from the jungle into a small town that abutted a river, there to be greeted by friendly locals with funny accents. The locals offered the heroes free food and lodging within a barn, since they had no formal inn. In addition, the group brokered the usage of one of the village's rafts and draft lizard in exchange for seeing cargo downriver safely.

A fine, restful night was had by all, but on the following day, when preparing for their voyage to Newthrone, the capital city of Q'barra, danger came streaking down to earth like a comet in the form of an eight foot tall construct, ordering the band to stand down, and telling them to prepare for their own extermination as a breach of the natural laws of Eberron!

When it lands, the group can see that it has the strange emblem on its chest plate and immediately surmise that this thing was constructed in the temple ruins before the operation pulled out. Further chatter with the thing also revealed that it identified itself as being associated with something called the "Sentinel Legion".

Since it was intent on eradicating our heroes, battle was commenced. Dr. Crane approached the thing and cast Darkness on it, shrouding the construct in a bubble of inky shadows, which the others used to guess its location as they attacked it from range. Isaiah backed from the thing while Henry moved forward to engage it, taking several solid blows as the others attacked the general area.

Then, screaming from the sky came another of the Sentinels, this one hovering in air and firing force beams at the party. The first of the powerful warforged was felled, leaving the group to deal with the one in the air. Many tactics were tried to engage the thing in melee in mid-air, but were ineffective. Finally, the use of the cargo meant to be taken downriver as missile weapons against the thing proved enough to damage it enough that it flew off from whence it came.

An apology was made to the villagers, and they accepted, helping the group prepare for their trip downstream - quite possibly just to hurry up getting the Extranormals out of their town. Henry inspected the fallen warforged, and tried to pry out small dragonshards used to focus its force blasts, but broke both of the delicate crystals, then gave up after doing a bit more study of its construction.

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 6|Wilder 6  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 6|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 1 -Taylor
Henry [Beast], Artificer 6|Anthropomorphic Ape 2/Monk 4 - Paul
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Rogue 3/Fighter 2|Totemist 2/Wizard 3 - David
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Wizard 5|Ninja 5 - Sam
Dr. Isaiah Crane (Scarecrow), Sorceror 4|Cleric 4 - Jon
Johnathan Blaze (Phantom Traveler) [Ghost Rider], Flaming Bone Creature 2/Warlock 2|Fighter 4 - G2

Bonus Feature: The First Limitations
I'm a session behind writing this up, but during the playing of Issue 11, just how powerful the special ability I gave to Scarecrow is came up. Initially, I had said that Baselines - that is, any creature or person without the Extranormal subtype - would not be granted a saving throw against Scarecrow's spells and abilities with the Fear descriptor. This is, very obviously, severely broken.

And so, I have made the following errata for Dr. Isaiah Crane/Scarecrow's granted power:

No Baseline creature or character may save against Dr. Crane's spells or abilities with the Fear descriptor, unless they meet the following criteria.
- Dragon or Outsider type. This does not apply to Native Outsiders.
- All inclusive types (unless they have levels in a PC class, see below) get saves, as normal, if their Hit Die is double Dr. Crane's level.
- Any creature or character with levels in a PC class may make a save against the aforementioned abilities or spells if they are at least 4 levels higher than Dr. Crane.
- All creatures normally immune to Fear effects, either from type or ability, retain this ability as it concerns Dr. Crane's abilities or spells.
- Those within a Paladin's Aura of Courage, if they would be affected by Dr. Crane's granted power, gain the ability to make a saving throw, but do not benefit from the +4 bonus normally granted by that aura.


Campaign Alphabet - C

Eberron (Defendersverse)

Captain Aundair

This Extranormal being was, in many historian's minds, the only reason Aundair survived past the final days of the Last War.

Art by pursuer-of-darkness
Shortly after the plans by Lord Marlex were intercepted and acted against with brutal efficiency by the Thranes in late 925 YK, and another crushing setback in 927, Aundair was put on their back foot in the war and were struggling to hold their lines against an empowered Thrane and keep a stalling presence upon the Karnnathi front. This was not to be for long.

Thrane pushed forward and held much of southern Aundair, cowing the citizens there and denying them food to break their wills. The Karnns, however, were conducting even viler practices. Though known to have employed undead in their armies, a new commander on the western front, known as Kron, was reviled, even among his allies for corpse-harvesting battlefields to bolster his armies. 

Aundair could not stand by any longer. The Knights Arcane had collected the only survivor from the field of a Karnnathi victory, a body clinging to life after the awful enervating touch of an undead had nearly claimed him. He was taken to the towers of Arcanix and powerful magics and alchemies were concocted and forced into this soldier's body. 

On the brink of death as he was, his physical shell could not fight off any of the effects forced into him, and all involved feared that this soldier would give his life for his country on the slap of an arcane lab. It was not to be, however, as his will to fight and live held the magics tight to his frame, shaping him into the peak of human perfection. 

Aundair had the first of what they hoped was a series of enhanced soldiers, and by keeping him unnamed, save for the nomme de guerre of Captain Aundair, had a powerful tool to rebolster patriotism and, in theory, also aid the failing recruitment seen in the nation. 

Captain Aundair was dispatched to the Eastern Front to battle Karnnath, where he met in battle with Kron and soundly defeated him, leading Kaius II to dismiss the general in the face of defeat and overwhelming political pressure over Kron's battlefield atrocities. Kron was a blessing in comparison to his replacement, however, a diabolical soldier - matched in many ways to Captain Aundair - and being called the Red Skull.

Captain Aundair served diligently and courageously for the crown of Aundair for sixty-six years in the Last War, never seeming to age a day in his service. He ended up missing in action, and feared dead, after the Day of Mourning, as he was in Metrol around that time.
Sabotage brought about the end of the program which birthed the Captain, and though heralded as the first Extranormal early on, evidence that others had come before leaves many to believe that he is simply the first in the modern era.


The Catacombs (of Wrath)

Discovered by Vic, Walt, and Rissi after pursuing Tsuto Kaijutsu through the Glassworks in Sandpoint, the heroes did multiple excursions into these vaults, even once taking the sage, Brodert Quink, with them to help determine the age and purpose behind the structure, as well as determine who built it.

Quink was certain (and correct) that the catacombs were constructed during the days of ancient Thassilon, and the party discovered cells and chambers that made it apparent that it had served as a prison during that time. 

Deep in the bowels of this structure, the heroes encountered twisted rage-driven abominations and even a weaker form of demon known as a quasit, both of which gave the group more trouble than they bargained for.


The Council

Alternately known as the Council, the Council of Wyrms, the Dragon Knights, or the Dragon Council, this odd body is rumored to be composed of some of the oldest and most powerful of each type of dragon on Khardtha.

Little else is known about the Council, save that it was presumably founded by Clughfelyliam, a great wyrm green - who is also rumored to be the first dragon to ever step foot on Khardtha - after supposedly delcaring that he would gather his kind in grand council. For what reasons then or now the dragons band together is unknown, though it is said by those claiming to have seen them that they never travel in their true forms, instead traipsing the countryside disguised as knights (thus the alternate name for the group), resplendent in fantastic armors, and carrying equally magnificent weapons.

Each, in their knightly forms, sits astride a mount unique to the rider and reflecting their supposed demeanor. Among these beasts are enormous hell hounds, nightmares, pegasi, and more. Others have reported seeing the members of this group riding horses that match their own draconic hues, leading some to speculate that the 'horses' were dragons, as well, using shaping magic to assume the form of stallions.

Whatever the truth behind the Council, even if they are these great dragons, indeed, when and if they decide to act upon or against any idea or individual or group, they will present what may be the most powerful force ever gathered on Khardtha.

The Wilderlands

The City-State of the Invincible Overlord

The Great Enemy. The City State of the Invincible Overlord - known as Ryan's Ruin to sages, Rhamsandron to wizards, and Normoot to the native barbarian Altanians - or simply, the City State, lies to the east of Viridistan and has been a constant needle in the side of the World Emperor.

Though defeated decisively in almost every engagement, the City State is seen as a necessary pest, the bug that shall not be permanently smashed, as its tributes keep a steady flow of gold into Viridistan's coffers. The periodic incursions and the contested borders that are a hotbed of military and civil action are of little distraction, though the tension grows and may someday soon pop, making Viridistan finally conquer their neighbor to the east.

Travel and commerce between the city-states is sometimes necessary, but no true Viridistani would stay long in a city occupied by those would would regularly traffic with the monstrous races of orcs, trolls, and goblins.

Likewise, the heretical beliefs practiced in the City State no doubt breeds the poor dispositions that most denizens of that tyranny display. Might be all the mammals they eat, too.

At least, that's what the World Emperor's own Guard Sergeant Trisful says...


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 9 - Shocking Discovery

And so our heroes stood, looking at what was apparently a major, and very illegal - though now dismantled - operation that was harnessing the power to manufacture warforged. The room was now mostly empty of equipment, though boxes lined the walls, but was very full of Reavers. Primary among them was Bonebreaker, a fearsome Valenar whose dead body had been bonded with that of his horse to form a centaur-like elfforged with the power of both he and the spirit and body of his former mount.

The Reavers wasted no time and charged the band.

Battle was joined fiercely, though many among the troupe had depleted their power reserves in earlier exchanges outside the temple with other Reavers, or had sustained minor injury. Bonebreaker charged forth and unleashed a barrage of attacks against Kitty, and Henry moved up to take some of the pressure off of the young woman, allowing her to escape the extreme force of the powerful Reaver.

Jean again pushed forth to whip the stale air of the lower chamber of the temple into powerful winds, keeping some of the Reaver regulars at bay while Bennet put up a crackling energy field to dissuade their attackers from pressing forward en masse like at the beginning of the combat.

The few stragglers close were cut down by a powerful blast of psionic fire from Jean, as Kurt began to teleport around the room, cutting down those affected by the psion's winds. Henry ripped through many Reavers and fared well against Bonebreaker physically while Jean blasted at his mind, eventually bringing down the fearsome fighter.

With battle done, the group searched the room, for further clues as to what, exactly, was going on and were surprised to find that some of the machinery still contained quite a bit of energy as electricity arced out from exposed coils and wires to shock and jolt searchers.

While this search happened, a whirring click could be heard and several party members saw a small, golden orb fly away from Bonebreaker and flit out of the chamber on metallic wings. A docent, likely capable of reporting everything that had taken place was speeding away to give its report to Deathstrike, Pierce, or whoever else was in charge of this overall operation.

Concentrating more on what they could affect at the moment, the group continued their search and found a secret passage deep into the earth, where cells and workrooms and other chambers where the former priests and adherents of this temple held to their daily duties when it was still attended. One of these chambers was where Toyman had been kept, but the whole operation had been pulled and no sign of him or the work being done was to be found in these rooms.

Further, a door led out onto a veranda that overlooked a lush jungle valley, this where Pierce, Fitzroy, and the strange man had been discussing the Tinkerer's Grand Design. No further paths led from here, and so the group backtracked to the chamber where Bonebreaker and his charges had given battle.

Here, Kurt made an unusual discovery as he made a short search of the crates before the team headed for Whitecliff, where they planned to start the next leg of their journey.

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 6|Wilder 6  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 6|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 1 -Taylor
Henry [Beast], Artificer 6|Anthropomorphic Ape 2/Monk 4 - Paul
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Rogue 3/Fighter 2|Totemist 2/Wizard 3 - David
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Wizard 5|Ninja 5 - Sam

Retcon alert! The end of this session report is what should have happened. What happened during the session itself was the heroes exited and started through the jungle toward Whitecliff, when they suddenly heard the roar of what they identified as a dragon.

The reason for this retcon is simply because I didn't crack my notebook during the session, because I thought I could remember everything (I do VERY light prep for this game), but had forgotten a key piece of information, which David would have uncovered due to his search.

No harm, no foul. Retcon takes place next session and we move on.


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 8 - Along Came A Spider

And so, with the Reavers on the ground defeated, the others that had remained on the Aundairian airship make their way to the ground, along with another passenger who had been observing the battle from the deck, and who had zipped down to join the group. The Spider Man, known to hail from the Lyrandar headquarters of Stormhome, had been aboard the heroes' airship and had taken good measure of their acts, deciding to join them on their quest to find the whereabouts of Xavier and other extranormals who had come up missing in the past year or so.

After a short exchange between the group and the newcomer, the party makes a cursory search of the boxes that the Reavers had been hauling out of the temple, finding them to be holding what appeared to be warforged components, though slightly larger than normal.

Curiosity piqued, the group ventures further in, oddly uncontested by the Reavers that had fled within, finding the place to be a vast colonnade, each column decorated with hideous visages of demons and devils in various acts of depravity. The centerpiece of the upper level of the temple was a vast altar, roughly fifteen feet long and eight feet high, with etchings that Bennet deciphered as meaning that the site was dedicated to Belial, the Archlord of Lies.

Leaving the altar well enough alone, the Spider Man scouts forward, down a convening ramp that branches from either side behind the altar. The others follow behind and a few notice what appears to be huge fingerprints stamped into the stone, though how recent those were placed is anyone's guess.

In the chamber below, the group is surprised to see what appears to be what was the resting place of a giant machine of some sort, with components still scattered about or placed into boxes that line the walls. Some parts of the machine still hum with power, electricity arcing from wires and cables. Henry recognizes the setup as a small creation forge! The Reavers had been making warforged, but why? And how did they get the components to construct a creation forge?

There were no time for answers, as awaiting our heroes was a host of Reavers, ready to put an end to their mission!

Next issue, the heroes are left with more questions than answers.

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 6|Wilder 6  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 6|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 1 -Taylor
Henry [Beast], Artificer 6|Anthropomorphic Ape 2/Monk 4 - Paul
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Rogue 3/Fighter 2|Totemist 2/Wizard 3 - David
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Wizard 5|Ninja 5 - Sam
Pete Salvas [Spider-Man], Warlock 4|Battle Dancer 4 - Juan
Johnathan Blaze (Phantom Traveler) [Ghost Rider], Flaming Bone Creature 2/Warlock 2|Fighter 4 - G2

Sadly, this session was cut really short by snow. Some of us have long drives home, so we wrapped up the session and cut out.


The Defenders, Vol. 2, Issue 7 - Welcome to the Jungle!

The fray is immediately joined by Henry and Kurt as they teleport over to the White King's airship, pressing the attack against the Reaver crewmen aboard. They are met with resistance from a handful of Reavers on deck and Arnold, who exits from the cabin at the sound of battle. The Lyrandar crew aboard raise their hands to show they will not participate in combat.

Meanwhile, Bennet takes command of an arcane ballista and fires upon the White King's airship, scoring a hit square to the binding strut, in hopes of unleashing the elemental bound to the ship upon the enemy. At this, the Lyrandar crew of Pierce's ship begin struggling to take the magical guidewheel from its mount, to preserve at least one piece of the airship, should it fall.

Other Reavers can be seen on the ground, but the group holds until the airship conflict is resolved. Other crew fire upon the enemy ship and Bennet manages to bust the elemental binding ring, releasing a towering column of living fire at least three times the size of a man.

Arnold, the Lyrandar, Henry, and Kurt all make their way off the falling vessel and the rest of the heroes take the fight to the ground, engaging the Reavers - who appear to be packing up and evacuating the ruins - there.

Kitty sneaks up and causes a little disruption as Jean whips the wind in the area in a telekinetic frenzy, pushing the defenders down, allowing Henry, Kurt, and Bennet to bring force to the primary threats among the Reavers - Reese, Cole, and Macon - while the rest of the Reavers flee into the temple that seems to have been their base of operations here in Q'barra.

Arnold, who had previously fled into the jungle after featherfalling out of the crashing airship, circles back around and engages the party again, falling quickly to the heroes, who had gained an upper hand early in the fight on the ruins.

Catching their breath in the aftermath of the skirmish with some of the Reaver's most powerful members, the group takes stock of what is contained in the crates that the elves had been moving and find what appears to be pieces of warforged. Here, we left off while the rest of the team make it from the airship to join up.

Next issue, one aboard the ship finds great responsibility in joining the group.

Cast of Characters
Jean Grey, Elan Psion (Kineticist) 6|Wilder 6  - Angela
Bennet du Paris [Exodus], Human Psion (Nomad) 6|Spellthief 5/Cerebrex 1 -Taylor
Henry [Beast], Artificer 5|Anthropomorphic Ape 2/Monk 3 - Paul
Kurt Wagner [Nightcrawler], Rogue 3/Fighter 2|Totemist 2/Wizard 3 - David
Kitty Pryde [Shadowcat], Wizard 5|Ninja 5 - Sam

Edit: I had mistakenly put Skullcrusher in this session report. He has not made another appearance since Fairhaven!


Dark Heresy, Session 11: Dead Stars

Somewhat surprisingly, I was kept on with the two newest of our band, the pilot and the coward, and in the intervening weeks and months, we trained extensively. The Inquisitor wished that I brush up on the Tactica, and was seemingly grooming me for the officer corp. My foremost duty, I feel, is as a guardsman on the ground, and so I took every spare moment I had practicing martial skills. I had very little contact with my companions during the trip, except when the matter was forced, and I was shocked to find that our numbers had grown. I suppose these were also agents of our Inquisitor, but also could have been on loan from Inquisitor Marr, who we were to learn was a driving force behind our next mission.

And so we were briefed, all seven of us - me, the pilot, the pacifist assassin, a member of the Adeptus Arbites, a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and two others I couldn't quite pin down as to their previous careers or specialties. Inquisitor Marr had given our own Inquisitor a head's up on the last known location of Erasmus Haarlock, whose vile legacy I had been chasing since my first missions with the Holy Ordos.

We were to be dispatched to the planet Mara, a forbidden ice world, and the last known whereabouts of Haarlock. The planet is also known to be the location of something called the Blind Tesseract. The planet used to be a penal mining colony, but was abandoned and the planet and lanes into it sealed. We were granted a full writ, allowing us to act as if an Inquisitor was with us, and given two squads of Maccabian Janissaries, as well as two more Acolytes of some mental prowess. I'm not sure I like this last bit. Memories of Xantippa still vex me, even months later, Emperor rest her soul. The Janissaries, however, are a welcome addition to the force, and these dour troops are known for their effective execution of His will wherever they are deployed.

We are made to prepare before we translate to real space, but are shocked to find we have materialized in the middle of a battle between Imperial forces and seditionists! Our ship is rocked hard as we swoop through crossfire and the noble captain takes it upon himself to sacrifice his ship that we might make planetfall and complete our work. Then, the Spear of Destiny is spotted - the ship of Erasmus Haarlock, himself! Things were dire, indeed, and we made quick to the hangar bay, boarding our guncutter and flinging ourselves like a comet to the suface of Mara.

Our guncutter makes it into atmosphere, but is suddenly rocked with a violent explosion and we crash land, making a quick exit from the ship with only minor injuries and, I believe, no losses...though I honestly didn't take the time to count noses, so I will likely never know.

We made fast for the mining complex, but were engaged by a small group, which we took out fairly rapidly, our new additions to the band showing great skill in combat and conducting themselves valiantly in the charge. These marks held no badges or other indicators of allegiance, so I can only assume they were of those who would secede from the Empire, and thus deserved their deaths for turning from their God.

Entry to the complex was fairly easy, thanks to the odd rites of the tech-priest, but no sooner than we had made it into the compound were we attacked by some warp-spawned beast. One of the new members that I hadn't a good grasp of, nor know the name of presently, was quick with the Angelus that I had taken from those agents I faced with Fihad on Sinophia, and blew the damned thing back to whatever warphell it was from. This left us, then, wondering where we should go in the sprawling complex.

Cast of Characters
??, ?? (??) ?? (??) - Angela
??, ?? (Hive World) ?? (??) -  Paul
??, ?? (??) Magistrate (Arbiter 7) - Taylor
Mohrdecai, Cadian (Fortress World) Lieutenant (Guardsman 6) - Me
??, ?? (Forge World) Mech-Deacon (Tech-Priest 7) - George
??, ?? (Feral World) Nihilator (Assassin 7) - Sam

Nope, I didn't take note of what everyone made, where they were from, or their character names. There was a lot of character creation the session before this and I was busy increasing the rank of my own character and helping out where I could. I do recall Paul's quirk was a gunshot wound, so that makes his character a Hive Worlder, but I have no idea, otherwise. George's character was the exception, because I thought a missle launcher expert tech-priest was funny.

I also probably got a lot of this session mixed up. I had a pretty wicked headache that night and just wasn't as focused as I would like.