Episode: Steel Ark
17 Days have passed since the Destiny’s Reach Incident at the end of Episode: Blue Devil. SPU36 has been designated as an R&D unit in a partnership a University team called Unified Portal Logistics, or UPL. Along with that partnership has come an addition to the unit, Detective Lord Vän Berial. Undertaking long daily shifts of intense training due to their now-raised security clearance, the unit has spent the majority of their time at the Crystal City proving grounds, testing weapons made out of a substance called Red Mercury, which – so the UPL team & Accordant brass believe – can counteract the Damascus Steel applied science being used by the Seraph Immaculate. Red Mercury needs a power source, however – in this case a roughly man-sized device called a Nephilim Connector.
Outside on the proving grounds, the unit is wrapping up their last consecutive day of training (ten in a row!) with a a combat sortie against an illusory group of soldiers patterned after the few Seraph Immaculate troops the Esteemed forces in the Outlands have encountered so far. It’s a routine combat until Lt Laszlo dashes out of the command center, running for the Nephilim Connector sitting in the middle of the combat field. “We’ve got a situation”, he yells as he dodges a bullet from a sniper that appears on the tower above the bunker. Bullets richochet off the device as Ingram tries to active it. The source of the bullets is one of three attractive young females – all human-looking, and all attacking with either spells, bullets, or fists. Laszlo activates the Nephilim Connector, and the illusory soldiers disappear while all of SPU36’s weapons begin to softly glow, channelling power from the device. A few moments of harrowing combat later, the device is damaged to such an extent that is ceases functioning – but not before Frances looses two bullets from his pistols into the head of the the spellcaster. There’s a scream as the sniping girl uses her gun to create a wall of fire, and the melee combatant and sniper escape with the body of the fallen spellcaster.
Things are not as they seem
No further information is discovered about the attack initially, however: Glanthur & Lord Vän’s investigation of skull fragments reveals that they are not material from a living creature, and a scry from Glanthur points to a darkened corner in an alleyway. Medical checks out Laszlo, the only one to face the attackers in direct combat, and he is curiously unharmed. The Nephilim Connector itself has sustained moderate damage, but the UPL team says it can be replaced. A stakeout over the next several days and investigation into said alley reveals nothing save a traces of a sticky residue that is later found to be of an identical makeup to the “bone” fragments. It is identified as wax, and Lord Vän indicates that he’s encountered such things before.
It’s the evening of 1st Low-day, and Ingram advises the unit to enjoy their brief respite over the weekend. No sooner does the group part ways for a period of rest then Carredyn is involved in an altercation in the Clerk’s ward and is beaten very badly. In response to his ordeal, Carredyn contacts the unit members and advises that they should all be on their guard and travel in pairs.
Working for the Weekend
The following Void-day morning, Carredyn and Frances are called into a meeting with Lt. Laszlo where they are informed of an important train that will be arriving in the New City the next evening, on Lady’s day. It seems that not only is this train carrying a piece of the Wave Leader Cannon (WLC), but also contains a massive shipment of the currently-popular drug Daylight, which has been linked to the Iron Ring.
The team spends their 2 days off pursuning their individual interests, largely apart from one another, despite Carredyn’s warnings, though no ill fortune befalls any of them. Flash-forward to the evening of Lady’s day, where SPU36 – minus the curiously-absent Glanthur – meets a large force of Accordant troops at the City Barracks. The sizable force makes their way to the Lower Ward’s Driftwood Station and takes their positions on the train platform, blocking all exits. The plan is for the investigative unit to investigate the train cars one by one.
The Great Train Robbery
Meanwhile, the train has entered the New City in the underground tunnels of the Merchant Line, and has been boarded, it is revealed, by no less than three parties, interested in the cargo. The train guards are ambushed by a massive group of Greyback gang members, who in turn are ambushed by a group of shadowy, black-clad assassins, who in turn are attacked by a squad of WarDwarves, being led by none other than SPU36’s own Glanthur BreakBlade.
To say that the Chaos is epic as the train arrives at the station is an understatement. After securing the cooperation of the Dwarves, Carredyn, Laszlo, and Frances head for the front of the train, while Glanthur and Vala subdue the combatants with fire and lightning spells, and Lord Vän heads for the rear of the train, filling each train car with smoke that pacifies the melee participants. Laszlo’s group reaches the front of the train, where they are forced into a combat with a group attempting to re-start the train and move it out of the station. Back in the chaos, Glanthur levitates up and runs along the top of the train, arriving in the rear car, where he discovers the shipment of Daylight. He is soon joined by Lord Vän, and the two of them are confronted by a young victorian couple who are familiar enough with Vän and Glanthur to know their names, though if either law officer has any clue to the identity of the man and woman, they do not voice it. After a few spells are exchanged – they both seem to effortlessly dispel the enchantments leveraged against them by Glanthur – They refer to the shipment of Daylight as a “consolation prize” and a squad of bruisers loads the palettes of drugs out of the back of the train.
Many gang members escape, the black-clad group disappears, and the Dwarves are held, briefly, for questioning, and Lord Vän and Glanthur give their report about the theft of the drugs from the train. Just one question remains – what of the Savior Drive, the piece of the Wave Leader Cannon being transported on the train? None have seen it – save Glanthur, who speaks up. “The Train is the Savior Drive. The whole thing.” Ingram remarks how SPU36 is fortunate to have present an individual who is probably the one person in the entire city that would know what to look for when identifying parts of the Wave Leader Cannon. The Accordant paddy wagons arrive to take the arrested guards and gang members into custody, and scene fades to black.
- Ok, seriously, were those chicks made of wax?
- Who gets to keep the train?
- Who are the well-dressed victorian couple who’ve recently earned a spot on SPU36’s shit list?
Updates (Presented at beginning of game)
- SPU36 has been granted an moderate-term extension as an R&D unit to test special weapons and items. It’s the only way Lt. Laszlo could keep the unit together. As a procedural necessity, the unit as a whole has undergone extensive training reflective of SPU36’s raised security clearance. Non-Accordant members of the unit have been issued work uniforms. Not dress uniforms.
- One HUGE point of the SPU36 training that is emphasised repeatedly is Lethal Force. Lethal Force cannot be used against a non-violent combatant for any reason. Additionally, if a combatant surrenders during a fight, their surrender must be accepted immediately and the offender must be taken into custody.
- The Seraph Immaculate have not declared any particular agenda, nor have they technically broken any major laws or even declared war. Technically.
- Unsurprisingly, their actions are begin treated as a declaration of war by all interested parties.
- Faction Council response has been to call up Accordant/Esteemed reserves, and assume that a state of war is coming.
- The New City is technically a neutral territory where warfare is concerned
- Following the laws set by the Highwater-Randolf compact, Accordant/Esteemed forces are gathering and training in the Outlands, Mount Celestia, and Arcadia.
- The Godsmen, under the leadership of their Factol, the genius engineer Gideon Anthony, have allied with the Seraph Immaculate, though they have not formally joined them
- Many indeps, Chaosmen, and Revolutionary League members have joined the SI, swelling the ranks to very significant proportions.
- Esteemed Intelligence believes that The SI are currently in control of virtually all of the Beastlands – the home plane of the former Sign of One – and large parts of the Outlands, and Ysgard. This is significant because these are not usually places that are controlled by any one entitity.
- The Hall of Speakers has been abandoned as a faction HQ, but remains operational under control of the Faction Council
- The Great Foundry has been shuttered by the Godsmen, but is planned to be reclaimed for use by Macht Heavy Industries at the direction of the Faction Council.
- Though you can request supplies, etc within reason, the unit is limited in resources. Though he sometimes commands other units indirectly, Laszlo is limited in the manpower he’s able to assign to any one task. Which is to say: Never hesitate to ask, if you’re looking to have a place staked out, or have someone watched, etc. That being said, the SPU teams are somewhat on their own due to their nature as temporary structures.
- The Astral Combustion Incident occurred when the Motor Fortress Tyler’s Sorrow, captained by then-Sr. Lt. Montgomery Lynch, was dispatched to explore extra planar space at the behest of the recently-formed Faction Council, as a show of unity. After spending some number of weeks traversing deep in to the Astral, the ship is said to have encountered serious mechanical problems, and was forced to return to the New City after a number of internal explosions rendered the craft unsafe. Re-christened as Tyler’s Despair, the ship serves in the Esteemed fleet today.
- The Great War began when the political situation between the Githyanki and Githzerai deteriorated into an arms race that would grow to encompass the majority of the planes, splitting and ending the Unified Faction Alliance and resulting in the destruction of the Merkhant, Guardian, Planarist, and Convert factions.