Sojourn Green

The Phantom of the Solid
Attention Whore!

So everyone sort of took a moment to look at each other and assess the situation. The Black Dragon had been seriously restrained by the rules of the game. Rules enforced by equipment which had now just been shut down somehow. The barrier had fallen and the Black Dragon no longer seemed very interested in protecting the flag. In fact, he seemed a lot more interested in eating people.

Speaking of people the crowd went F’ing nuts when that Green Dragon broke through the wall, the roar could be heard all throughout Emery Plaza, even over the six other competing arenas.

DarkHeart visibly shuddered, steadied himself and prepared to wrestle two dragons.

Everyone else considered retreat. Fortunately, so did the Black, who after years of captivity decided that despite wanting very badly to eat the little pests who’d just been annoying him so persistently, he’d better use this opportunity to escape before it passed. He took to the air and started doing a few lazy circles around the stadium, spreading dragon fear and spraying acid into the crowd.

Thorgrim looked worriedly at the Black as he prepared a spell for the grounded Green Dragon still threatening him. Nothing to be done for it at the time, but he knew he had to stop the Green quickly if he had any hope of drawing the attention of the Black before it did any real damage to the crowd.

Eve and DarkHeart were also trying to engage the Dragon up close while the mystic energies of Thorgrim and Cruise’s heavy rifle pelted its hide. DarkHeart was already badly injured and when the Green turned, he barely had time to raise his still functioning arm before the Dragon bit down on his midsection and tossed him bodily into the acid pool.

Eve screamed in defiance and leaped at the beast, putting herself between it and the fallen warrior. Reuben and Gravy, who were frozen in fear, snapped out of their trance and ran to aid their comrade. As they pulled him to safety, Eve swung her Lightning Blade in a vicious overhead arc, “Get away from him you Bitch!” and cleaved its head from its long neck, fine poison gas continued to vent from its gaping wounds, causing everyone to choke and retch as they backed away from the corpse as it deflated like some grotesque and morbid parade balloon.

Above them, not unnoticed, but having little to do with them, Jasper Fox had decided to intervene personally and had soundly bested the Black Dragon.

“Good work, Gentlemen, ladies. I appreciate you lending a hand protecting my audience. The other contestants, in the first arena that lost restraints, they just left and it was a slaughter, my men couldn’t contain it quick enough with the crowd panicking. Luckily, we were able to ground it with a lucky burst from a flame gout before it bashed its way into your arena. I have to clean up here, but I after I want you to…”

Just then, an image appeared on the Jumbo-Screens. They flickered to a staticky half-life and a strange, spherical face, with what looked like snakes or tentacles for hair was seen in silouhette, speaking in a loop, with a gurgly voice:

“Hehehe… yes… Fear me… Fear the Phantom… Hehehe… yes… Fear me… Fear the Phantom…”

Capture the Flag

After the rules were established:

1. HP now represented a force field provided by the show, once exhausted you would teleport back to your staging area and be stunned for a round as the shield recharged.

2. Anything related to the Bloody mechanic was inaccessible for the duration.

3. The only way to score a point was to capture the flag.

All hell broke loose. DarkHeart made it clear he would not be directly attempting to retrieve the flag, as he found wrestling the dragon in acid to be much more productive for him.
As for the stars of our show, they sprang into action, trying to make their way to the prize without exposing themselves to the Dragon’s acid breath attack.

As Eve tried to close in on the sharp-shooting Cruise, Kenzie scrambled for the flag against Gravy, who’d taken an air cannon short cut at the direction of his team captain. Thorgrim tried to harry the dragon with Magic Missles, but it was nonplussed and concentrated its ire on the War Priest, former Headhunter MiaLee as she stepped within its reach on the lower level.

Gravy was the first to go down, being teleported back to GO instantly as his shields fell about two seconds after he grabbed the flag. Kensington capitalized on the situation as Reuben and Thorgrim both fell in the next few moments, turning invisible as he snatched up the fallen flag. Cruise could only ineffectually kick at the nimble mouzle as he ghosted by into the end-zone, scoring the first point of the match!

The next round wouldn’t go as smoothly. The competitors lined up again at their platforms and the buzzer sounded the start of the round. It progressed much as the first, however, the second round featured founts of flame blasting across the upper level at intervals, much to Reuben’s surprise and terror as he spun and feel to the bottom level, disabling his forcefield and being teleported back to the staging area. The competitors were startled by the arena shaking. Cruise felt an overwhelming sense of deja vu as he was also competing the day the explosion caused the barrier to fall around Rat City. The stadium had rocked then as well.

The fight continued unabated this time, however, and Kensington got his hands on the flag once again and never one to quit a winning tactic, he turned invisible and started sprinting into the end zone. But the stadium rocked again and this time, the wall behind the Black Dragon cracked, another huge boom and pieces of concrete exploded out as the wall split and shattered away, revealing a badly wounded and seriously pissed off Green Dragon.

Presumably by the dead Rodeo Clowns (show personnel who wrangle Mist Fiends) hanging from its mouth, it had killed or run off every living thing its own arena and at some point had its wings damaged and been rendered unable to fly. So it decided to bust into the next arena and kill some more people.

Seems reasonable.

Signature Studios
Round 1: Fight!

The party opted to ride the “express” lift to the top floor offices of “The Solid” arena where 30 Minutes is shot. This was a first for the Mist Walkers. Outside the main entrance, they ran into Biff, a young man who’d been bumped from the night’s roster at the last minute to accommodate the “Avengers of Rat City.” Biff didn’t hold any grudges though, he admitted he had little to do with his victory at the Wild Card Tournament last month anyway. He’d been hanging around the locker room when a last minute effort to put a team together was going around and he signed on. The dudewho put it together was slick. Biff wished them all well, he even offered to fill in for Eve when she seemed hesitant to compete. The party let Biff try to tag along with them, but security recognized him instantly, sent him packing.

Inside, the crew met with Show Runner and Producer Jasper Fox. He introduced himself and asked that they please not die too poorly on his show. Mr. Fox is a notable figure in the history of 30 Minutes to Kill. He was a champion in his glory days. He competed for five years, a record that hasn’t been matched, and retired after a winning season. What he did next shocked everyone, he took a job behind the camera, in production. 30 Minutes to Kill became the powerhouse it is today under his guidance. Mr. Fox is unique in another aspect is well, he’s one of the few citizens of New Eden born outside the Corporate Houses older than 50 and literate. He’s a leader.

After a few nerve-wracking hours, the party was led to the green room to await their cue. They were advised to follow the instructions exactly regarding their entrance, since by necessity they would be in complete darkness until they enter the arena.

The match was a modified Capture-the-Flag round and their opponents were Cruise, Dark Heart, Reubenand Gravy. But their was only one flag and guarding it, a Black Dragon.

This arena was specifically designed to bisect the action. The ground level featured a knee-deep, four-section, acid stream that fed into a whirlpool which could drown you before your face melted off. Traversing this led to the flag guarded by the dragon, who’s orders were alternated between the DM and Players each round.

The second level featured several raised platforms with gaps between them. The gaps could be traversed with randomized teleportals, hidden catapults or a zip-line. The upper level also featured an array of booby traps including gouts of flame and spring-loaded pistons that would knock an unwary competitor down to the lower level within reach of the Dragon, who was kept from reaching the second level by an Omega Barrier.

As the crowd roared, the announcer… announced:

Ladies, Gentlemen, Draken and Mouzles, boys, girls, coffin, etc. Welcome! One! And! All! To the most exciting! Action packed! Death-defying! Ass-kicking half-hour of entertainment in New Eden! That’s right! You know it! You love it! You’ve got…


This round, our competitors square off not only against each other, but against the deadliest Mist Fiend in our stables, the Swamp Dragon! This heartless killer can eat its own weight in raw meat in less than seventeen minutes. It can dissolve a full-grown Cloven in an instant with one blast of its horrible Acid Breath. And it is utterly convinced that flag there is its prized possession, its one joy in this entire, cruel world. Go get it, Killers!

30 Minutes to Kill
The Deadliest 1/2 Hour Ever

Given the rapid saturation of the media culture in the contained and heavily oppressed society of New Eden, something like the events of Rat City are going to fill a news cycle for a good day and a half and they’re gonna get spun like a record, baby, right round, right round.

That said, when the heroes finally returned to Emery Plaza, hours later and well into the night to claim their prize, they were greeted by an impromptu parade of well wishers and paparazzi. However, the gratitude was short lived as they were unable to cash in their bounties at ICE Super Center. Apparently, an executive had put an all-stop on their accounts until he was notified. Reaching an executive is a process that takes about a dozen drones and five hours. Luckily there was a qualified employee on hand to help out. The Customer Service Rep said as she summoned her superior.

‘Hi! I’m Terry! I’ll be handling your negotiations today.’

Terry assured them nothing could be done until someone from corporate removed the hold, but if you would just wait in one of the adjoining sitting rooms, someone will be down shortly.

Shockingly true to his word, someone did arrive. To ask them if they’d like some refreshment while they wait. Everyone made an ass of themselves ordering the most expensive things they could think of which were served by aesthetically pleasing wait-staff. But the novelty wore off as the hours went by.

The average commute from the “penthouse” takes about two hours using VIP express elevators that move at a comfortable pace and have a full bar and club. These “elevator” discos are always packed and ride up and down all day long. It’s one of the few places that the lower class can mingle with the upper crust, if the bouncer thinks they’re good looking enough. In an emergency, an executive can ride a “Rocket Tube” in less than thirty seconds going down and 45 going up. But it’s so uncomfortable and boring.

Two hours later, Euclid Buhstrahd waltzed through the executive elevator. He gushed and cooed over the adventurers and offered them the chance of a lifetime. The Wildcard slot on this season of 30 Minutes to Kill.

Showdown With Terrorists
The Exciting Conclusion

The party emerged, blinking, into the Mist-shrouded outside world. It’d been hours since they entered the basement and probably days since they’ve been outside the walls of the city. Those who weren’t immune to Mist exposure or wearing top of the line containment suits were visibly agitated by leaving Rat City. Not that the barrier was functioning there, but at least it was possible to run back to Emery Plaza from there.

They needn’t have been concerned as the Stone Shaman cleared a path through the Mist with a wave of his hand, literally. He held his stony hand upright, palm out and the Mist moved as if blown by unseen winds, clearing before him. He led them to an abandoned town five miles from New Eden. Here they noticed Agent 13 had left their company. No one offered to look for him.

As they approached, the Stone Shaman stopped at a rise and beckoned them forward. He said he was feeling his years. The rest of the party moved forward, approaching a dilapidated bridge. They could hear voices, arguing loudly, obviously unaware of the group’s approach, “If you’d let me bring Vera, we wouldn’t have been in such bad shape.”

“Vera wouldn’t fit in the tunnel, Dumbass.” The second voice, though obviously not human, had a feminine quality to it.

“Now we’ve had to come all the way out here to get her, how are we supposed to get back into Low Town?” The first voice complained.

“Shhh… do you smell something? Smells like human blood, but dry, like wounds. Get Vera.”

Vera turned out to be a Rage Drake the size of a car. The Children fought to the death, knowing the capture would mean execution. Sadly, Pai Xhai seemed to be in absolute denial of the situation, crying out, “No, we’ve come so far!”

Thorgrim replied solemnly, “We all have, child, has nothing to do with anything.” Before putting a magic missle right between her eyes.

While the battle raged, the heroes could peer over the shoulders of the enemy to see The Headhunter escorting the Corporate VIP and his small entourage to safety. He’d apparently used his suits cloaking capabilities and the handy distraction of his new-found cannon fodder to spring the prisoners. He made a couple of rude gestures as they exited the danger zone.

Just as Vera was laid down with a mighty blow from Eve’s Breaker Sword, The Emery Group enacted its containment phase 2 policy, a barrage of laser fire from a space station in orbit. Carefully coordinated by computer to blast between the structures. As the fire rained down, the Stone Clan Shaman was reunited with his apprentice.

“Thank you for helping my grandson. He is brave, and he grows stronger every day, but sadly, he is not as smart as you. One against four is grim odds, even for Stone Clan. But he bloodied them well. Please accept these talismans as gifts. They are kept by our people who cannot master the Way but must travel through the Mist, it will keep all but the strongest storms from finding you. Please be careful. This fire from heavens is an ill omen, one that I believe was foretold by my grandfather. I must return to my home and beseech my grandfathers for guidance. Be strong, but use your strength wisely”

This last saying had a hint of ritual that suggested some ominous portent had passed between the two groups. The Stone Clan walked away, disappearing as the Mists swirled and closed around the gap of safe space the Shaman created with the force of his will.

The party took the tunnel into the now “cleansed” Rat City, hopefully finding an uneventful path back to Emery Plaza.

Enter the Headhunter

Once on the ground level, the Headhunter addressed, Mialee, recognizing her as a former employee of Orphan House and assuming she was in charge. “You Dick-heads want a job or what?” The conversation went downhill from there. After some tense negotiations, two things were established, the group would work with anyone willing to pay and this man was going to leap on every opportunity to disparage them whilst in his employ.

Agent 13 was using some sort of handheld scanning device to do a building to building search in the area immediately around the silenced panic alarm. He had decided to climb the rigging for a better view of the surrounding area and had been merely finishing his cigarette before enacting his own plan for defeating the Worm.

After several uneventful sweeps, the Heroes heard the rumbling of the Great Mist Worm heading their way again and made for higher floors. Unfortunately, Reubenand his crew were caught on the ground. If not for the timely intervention of Mialee and Eve, they would likely have been swallowed up.

More buildings and more negative scans, but one oddity. 13 detected a humanoid without and DCI (Data Chip Implant) which are required for entrance into New Eden and almost impossible to remove or conceal the lack there of. Yet here there be a something without one. The Headhunter opted not to investigate since he could confirm from the second floor it wasn’t the lost VIP in the basement, but the rest of the team decided to investigate.

The basement was cavernous and stretched beyond light sources of the party. At intervals, there were great pylons of ultranium reinforced concrete, designed to resist stress from the extreme heights of the mega-city skyscrapers. Diverted through the basement was an underground aquifer with water of questionable quality. Despite this, the unlicensed foreign organism was resting his rocky feet in it.

He greeted them like friends, didn’t bother with introductions and answered to Shamanor Stone Clan. The strange mystic was eight feet tall and had skin like granite that crumble and made grinding noises as he rose. He asked for the Groups’ aid, admitted to actually seeking them out after witnessing them outwit the Great Mist Worm, in rescuing his kidnapped grandson and apprentice. Another Stone Clan, who had apparently attempted to intervene in the kidnapping of the missing Corporate Executive by none other than the Children of Bahamut’s Fire.

The Stone Clan Shaman led the group, regrettably rejoined by The Headhunter, through the cavernous basement and to a section of concrete wall with a huge crack, worried into a hole large enough to allow even the small giant to pass through. This hole joined a passing Wild Cave, most likely dug long before the Emery Group broke ground for Residential District 2, that led into the darkness. Hours passed and Thorgrim glanced nervously at his watch. Hours were passing and the Orbital Lasers would fire before nightfall.

Worm on a Hook

With little choice but to press on, the Heroes began walking through the eerily abandoned Residential District, on guard for attack Mist Fiends. This deep within the Mega City, however, they had not yet fully enveloped.

The group was set upon by an entirely different sort of monster, a gang of savage street children catcalling and hurling bottles, rocks and the occasional Molotov cocktail at them from the surrounding buildings. The dour dwarf wanted to respond with lethal force almost immediately, but the rest of the group balked at the idea of engaging children in battle. Fortunately, before the debate grew heated, a third option presented itself. Another childappeared, claiming to be independent of the violent “Lord of the Flies” type gang, at the entrance to an alley and beckoned to them.

The young man, Otter, led them to a pipe which they slid down and were subsequently shat out into an abandoned maintenance sub-basement. Nothing is Rat City is actively “maintained” by EG other than the Barrier. Kenzington bribed Otter with an auto-pistol to lead them to a “suit” which the group presumed to be the corporate VIP. Before the exchange, Otter’s sisterwisely intervened, “You can’t give him a gun! He’s only four! Take the sword, Otter.”

True to his word, Otter led the group to a “suit” who was not a corporate VIP, but a Headhunter. The group was frustrated, but appreciated Otter’s effort. Otter sensed the disappointment and shot them the bird, “He’s wearing a suit!”

Wisely, they did not rush out into the square the Headhunter was currently suspended over on some half-fallen scaffolding left over from a long since abandoned project. He was dangling there from a grappling hook, apparently taking five, smoking a cigarette and occasionally glancing at his watch. As the group watched he hocked a big lunger at the ground, which was almost immediately swallowed up by a huge circle of sinking dirt. Then the dirt rippled as the ground seemed to undulate, like something was swimming just under the surface, like a shark circling the Headhunter, hanging on his hook.

There were some very “Tremors-esque” hi-jinks which ensued, wherein the party used an abandoned piece of heavy machinery, an old generator, an imp in a bottle, and their own panicked screams to lure the Great Mist Worm away from its meal.

Barrier Down
The Adventure Continues!

After disposing of the Spiders and stopping to collect a trophy for ICE bounties, the party moved further down the tunnel, assured by The Mechanic, there would be a military checkpoint a few miles into the tunnel.

The party made a point to look up every few moments.

Once they reached said checkpoint they were surprised to find a fully functional military outpost already established and nearly two hundred ICE operatives queued up and waiting for contract services to coordinate the sweep & clear of RD2. Apparently, the Heroes weren’t the only ones who thought the barrier falling was a sure sign of trouble aka opportunity.

After a brief, but frustrating exchange with Terry, the crew was directed to a ready zone with some Caravaners and other mercenaries assigned to the same sector waiting for transport. The Caravaners had their own rides of course, but the Heroes and their new associates would be taking an APC provided by Emery Group as part of their contracted services.

As they raced through the now heavily beseiged by Mist Fiends tunnel, they began to see the evidence of the ongoing struggle to keep the infection from surging through the tunnel and into Emery Plaza itself.

With a coordinated battery of fire at the second military checkpoint, the APC convoy managed to break through the Mist Fiends sieging the entrance to Rat City and began racing through the streets, with Fiends in hot pursuit. The mysterious stranger with the obnoxiously huge cape chose this moment to speak: “Hear that? Sounds like… wolves.”

As had been hinted, Mist Wolves were running rampant in RD 2 and now they were attacking the APC. Their powerful jaws were rending the steel-belted wheels as easily as the hindquarters of a tasty deer. It didn’t take long for the vehicle to go careening out of control and crash into the side of a tower, destroying half of a shanty built by Mouzles against it.

The crash separated the group Resident Evil 2 style, leaving Reuben, Dark Heart and Gravy cut off in an alley and the main group atop the APC, surrounded by Mist Wolves. They struck fast from the darkness, falling Thorgrim before he could utter a spell. Panicked, the Heroes readied their weapons and spread out on the overturned vehicle as best they could. What followed was a truly epic battle between them, three Mist Wolves and a late arriving Dire Mist Wolf.

Initially, it appeared the Heroes had been abandoned to their fates by their new acquaintances and their prospects were grim considering poor Hammershard’s fate, but the tide turned quickly. The boysreturned, appearing at a second story building to lay down cover fire, except for Dark Heart who instead hung menacingly from the window, cape billowing in the wind. Then Kenzington and Eve managed to turn the tables on the Dire Mist Wolf with a coordinated attack. Its smaller pack mates soon fell as well.

After collecting their bounties, the crew surveyed the area and moved out away from the creeping Mists that were beginning to seep into the area. Before leaving though, they sought to aid the APC driver who’d been severely injured in the crash. Before he finished dying, he managed to reveal that a VIP had hit a panic button in the area, a personal alarm that signaled all available corporate security should immediately move to aid this person. Only the topmost executives have access to this type of device.

Welcome to New Eden
The Adventure Begins!

Vignette: Sons of Bahamut

Best way to start off a new campaign, disposable characters and a gigantic explosion! The players found themselves temporarily inhabiting the bodies of the following Draken “freedom fighters:”

Pai Xhai-
A young female Draken Rogue. You are the leader of your resistance group, Children of Bahamut’s Fire and fully intend to take the credit for this, your group’s first major operation.
A strong, wise warlord and veteran of the Purge. You originally worked for Draken Corp before they allied themselves with Emery Group to overthrow the Draken King and the Council of Elders. You had your doubts about Pai’s plan, namely blowing up a Barrier seems like a pretty sketchy plan.
A Draken handler, Guilysh has a bond with his pack of Drakes that approaches familial. You’re nervous about this, but Pai says it’ll be easy.

AND the Drake!

This lot have planted a bomb inside the Main Power Station for the Barrier surrounding Residential District 2, aka Rat City, but have gotten themselves hopefully lost while making their escape. As they enter some sort of hanger, noticeably empty, forebodingly large, they spot a couple of elevators and make a B-line for them.

After some quick work on the locks they manage to summon one of the lifts. When it reaches their level, a bell chimes and the door slides open, revealing an eight foot tall robot with a cannon for an arm. The Draken Rogue blinks sheepishly through several magnifying lenses, purses her lips and hopes the robot’s vision is based on movement. (shakes head sadly)

Another robot and several annoyingly well equipped soldiers arrive on the scene and a fight breaks out. Just when it seems the Draken might limp away from the fight, the previously unnoticed freight elevator in the center of the hanger groaned to life, raising up to reveal a Bi-Pedal Tank. Fortunately, this guy showed up:

A Mysterious Figure
Your mysteriousness is matched only by your figurativeness.

And saved their bacon, shouting:

Fools! I knew you couldn’t handle this, coming here to aid you has cost me time, precious as it is that I can ill afford to waste on the likes of you. This way, if you plan on living long enough to be useful.

as he led them out. Moments after reaching safety, the facility was ripped apart by a powerful chain of explosions, sending rubble and sections of the structure flying for miles.

Finally the players settled into their own characters and the adventure begins in earnest. Each found themselves exploring the spectacle of Emery Plaza while keeping a keen eye out for adventure. It wasn’t long before an explosion rocked Rat City, shaking the Plaza and even sending a particularly large chunk of debris crashing into the terrified onlookers. As the party looked on, the barrier surrounding Residential District 2 sputtered and failed.

The characters each reached the entrance to RD 2 at the same time, finding it surprisingly devoid of life, save a lone technician struggling with a portable barrier generator. Unfortunately for him, a pack of Mist Fiend Spiders attacked before he could get it running.

The Mouzle Hexblade Kenzington fought bravely but fell victim to the spider’s venomous bite. If not for the White Magics of Mialee, Elf War Priest, he may not have survived the battle. Fortunately, the rest of the adventurers rallied to their fallen comrade and took out the largest spider.


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