“Glassworks” superhero miniseries, Session 1 — Born in flames

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Jason E.R.‘s first full “Glassworks” session (originally using DarkPages), on Monday, 21 May 2012. Note that they may eventually be edited and posted to our Obsidian Portal site. Josh C. also plans to write up his notes.

Metal Month of May
Glassworks in flames

>>Player Character roster for Jason E.R.‘s “Glassworks” Bronze Age/noir superhero scenario, using the “Marvel Heroic Roleplaying” game (based on Margaret Weis Productions Ltd.’s “Cortex” system), as of spring 2012:

-“Kyle Martins/The Cloaked Quarrel” [Gene D.]-male human college student and legacy crime fighter with mystical crossbows

-“Eli Wasserman/the Amazing Mr. Fantastic” [Brian W.]-male metahuman with shadow manipulation, retired superhero and private investigator

-“Rain Tomotowa/Thunderbird” [Sara F.]-female Native American metahuman park ranger, able to change into an eagle

-“Matthew Shanks/Merlin” [Josh C.]-male incubus sorcerer and occultist with an ancient family legacy

-“Tim Gray/DarkStorm” [Bruce K.]-female metahuman super soldier, experimented upon by the government, amnesiac weapons designer for Oryx Industries, and dark vigilante

-“Summer Winters/Santanica Pandemonium” [Rich C.G.]-female human nurse and mother/demon with flame powers, unaware of dual nature

-[Beruk A.]-male metahuman with the ability to temporarily imbue machines with personalities

>>Sometime after “The Gate With the Dreadful Faces” incident, college student and would-be superhero Kyle Martins goes skulking in the Fairmont neighborhood of Hamilton, Delaware. The scent of smoke alerts “the Cloaked Quarrel” to a possible arson, and he runs to an apartment complex where he sees a stairwell on fire.

The Cloaked Quarrel slips past firefighters and police and enters the building, shouldering his way past evacuees. The costumed crimefighter’s attention is divided between devices on the walls and a woman wearing a mask and cloth wrappings….

Meanwhile, across town, Tim Gray is relaxing in his King’s Gate pad when he gets word about a blackmail meeting from the “Red Right Hand,” a fellow vigilante. The weapons inventor suits up as “DarkStorm” and drives to warehouses at 315 Mycroft Ave. They’re supposed to be abandoned, but electronic security is active.

The Red Right Hand’s methods are relatively brutal, so DarkStorm isn’t too surprised to find the body of Albert Boyle with an envelope bearing a bloody handprint. Apparently, Boyle worked at “B” Branch of Oryx Industries, an arms firm that is also Gray’s employer. DarkStorm finds a file mentioning “Project Jabberwock,” which stirs fragmented memories….

In Germantown, the metahuman once known as “The Amazing Mr. Fantastic” gets a well-dressed visitor at his private investigator’s office. Eli Wasserman asks Faisal Marzug to state his business. Marzug explains that he needs Wasserman’s services on behalf of Ms. Sharif, the owner of D.J. Sharrif (a tobacco company) whom was recommended to him by former colleague Whistler Johnson (a.k.a. “Harrier,” now deceased).

Mr. Marzug says that Boyd Burch, a chemist working at D.J. Sharrif, was kidnapped from its offices at 54 Tennant St. in the Annex. Company security cameras caught footage of two men. Eli reluctantly agrees to take the potentially lucrative case, and after Marzug leaves, he calls Sgt. Larry Barley to see what he can find about Burch….

Not far from Kyle’s apartment in Fairmont, student Matthew Shanks hears a scratching at his window. A talking cat summons him to “the Conclave at Spring Unity,” a fountain in Germantown and the site of a secret gathering of mystics.

The heir of Merlin grabs his Irish walking stick and finds other local notables already there, including Rebejah DeJardines, Papa Chango, Kunzang Tenzin, and Metion the Windlord. They are soon joined by Soul Mage, Kerbala, Nethryk the Whisperer, Arcane, Alpha Draconis, and Zodiac, and Shard teleports in. Each represents a different tradition, and there is much posturing. Notably missing are the White Magus and Rainer Burroughs (the latter is M.I.A.).

In the absence of the White Magus, DeJardines leads the Conclave, saying that a “cintamanni,” or “dragon pearl,” the organ responsible for certain dragons’ flight, is missing, as is Rainer Burrows, a protégé of the White Magus….

Nurse Summer Winter is at All Saints Hospital when two patients are rushed into the emergency room. Their uniforms indicate that they were working at the Ramseir Museum of Natural History, and their symptoms indicate that they’ve been poisoned. Nurse Winter calls for toxicologist Ben Nitten.

However, when the doctor arrives, he seems more interested in getting the comely nurse alone in a room than in treating the poison victims. He tries to place her in a circle of containment, but Summer transforms into Santanica Pandemonium. The succubus is surprised to find that she isn’t as powerful as she is used to being….

Rain Tomotowa spends time with her grandmother, “Kittaguka” (a Metinuwak or shaman of the Lenape tribe), who is banned from the Conclave. Kittaguka asks Rain to serve as her representative, so the young woman transforms into “Thunderbird” and flies to the meeting….

Back at the burning building, the Cloaked Quarrel realizes too late that the second stairwell is also set to explode, and he chases the masked woman across the roof. She easily leaps across an alleyway, but Kyle finds himself barely hanging on. He pleads for the woman’s help in an attempt to slow her down. She releases a fire escape with a thrown dagger, which he later retrieves.

The Cloaked Quarrel doesn’t have time to rest or analyze clues because he hears of a “211 in progress at Charlie and 8th” — an armed robbery. After checking his crossbow bracers, Kyle jogs to the site and finds an armored car and the bodies of two guards….

Eli finds that he’s not the only one watching Boyd Burch’s apartment on 54 Tenant St. in King’s Gate. Since nobody notices an old man, Wasserman can get close to two thugs at a coffee shop as they complain about their work for the Russian mob. He recognizes the tattoo on one of them from the security footage of Birch’s abduction….

At the Conclave, “Merlin” meets latecomer Thunderbird and offers to help find the dragon pearl. The group divvies up their search, leaving the South Market to Merlin and Thunderbird. But first, they stop at Kittaguka’s place, where they encounter Rain’s grandmother’s friend Richard, also known as the White Magus. He says that his properties have been victimized by arson, possibly in an attempt to find the artifact. Kittaguka also reveals that in ages past, the Thunderbirds slew many “Unktehila” — great dragons — and kept their cintamanni in a safe place….

Trapped in the summoner’s circle, Santanica Pandemonium rages. Three demon lords — Narasimha (a sphinx), Zhu Bajie (a boar), and Abezethibou (an ogre) — ask three questions:

-“Would you sacrifice the life of Summer Winters to protect a loved one?”

-“Who do you truly blame for your son’s tragedy?”

-“If you knew a crime was being committed by the Galati organization, would you interfere?”

Only Abezethibou likes his answer, so he reveals critical information that Mancari Security Co. is a front for the Galati crime family. Released, Santanica flies on leathery wings to the Ramseir Museum of Natural History.

Santanica crashes through a skylight into a large hall, where she sees a floating woman surrounded by snakes. Pandemonium blasts two guards under Erichtho’s control with hellfire. The serpent sorceress then animates a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, which Santanica smashes from the inside. However, Erichtho flies away….

DarkStorm drives his black sports car to Boyle’s apartment in the suburb of Blackbird, but it has already been tossed by the Red Right Hand. Tim finds that Boyle went to CalTech, and a safe rattles him with dim memories. DarkStorm then rushes to another fire….

Merlin and Thunderbird head to the same arson in Fairmont. A divination reveals that “Devil Doll” is about to set fire in yet another stairwell. The urban wizard helps evacuate the building, while winged Thunderbird chases Devil Doll, who uses parkour to get to a third-story ledge….

At the armored car and dead Mancari Security guards, the Cloaked Quarrel confronts “Palmetto,” a costumed criminal resembling a giant cockroach. As Palmetto threatens to shoot, the arcane archer fires bolts that jam his stink guns.

The Cloaked Quarrel finds a metal casket with a woman seemingly made of glass. He takes the vehicle and casket, which is labled with the name “Boyd Burch,” to an outlying parking lot of his college and heads to Burch’s apartment….

Santanica Pandemonium returns to All Saints Hospital and returns to human form. Without memories of recent events or clothing, the attractive nurse gets help from a janitor named Wally who assumes that she has a drug problem. Summer goes home, where she finds a parchment note note with incomprehensible writing.

Nanny Lucy McGillicutty hands over Summer’s son Timmy, who asks again about when he’ll see his father, Bobby Gallotti. Summer puts him off again and finds a TV news report about a jade dagger stolen from the Ramseir Museum of Natural History strangely fascinating [event milestone: jade warrior’s panoply]….

At Boyd Burch’s apartment, the Cloaked Quarrel is impressed to watch the Amazing Mr. Fantastic pull one of the Russian mobsters into an alley and interrogate him using his shadow powers. The surprised thug admits that he was told by someone named Oserov to watch Birch’s unit.

After the goon is released, the Cloaked Quarrel eagerly introduces himself to the Amazing Mr. Fantastic, who wants nothing to do with an “amateur.” Kyle tries to assure Eli that he is aware of the dangers that crimefighters face. He also says that he has found something strange that belonged to Burch.

Wasserman reluctantly accompanies Martins to the stashed armored car and the glass woman, and they agree that the D.J. Sharrif scientist was involved in something big as they head to Eli’s P.I. office….

DarkStorm arrives at a blazing building and sees a huge bird attacking a woman on a ledge. Not realizing that Thunderbird is trying to stop arsonist Devil Doll, he shoots at Thunderbird until Merlin arrives to straighten things out.

Thunderbird and Merlin later report to the White Magus and turn over Devil Doll to him….

P.S.: As you may have seen from discussions on the Yahoo/eGroups message board, Rich is willing to host a game tomorrow, 4 June 2012. OF course, you should touch base with him and the rest of the group, especially since Josh was wondering if he should try to move his FATE 3e “Spelljammer” game from tonight to Monday.