Episode: Blue Devil
A Heroes’ Welcome
Following the major Iron Ring bust at the end of Episode: Fortress in The Pit, SPU36 is being hailed as heroes, and is being recognized at an Accordant/Esteemed gala where new advances in policing and military science are being introduced.
All of society’s big players are in attendance – Vala and Frances seem to know everyone. Notably present are the Factols of most of the Factions in the New City.
- Accordant Police Commissioner Deklan Archer
- Esteemed Commander-General Bolt Rustrock
- Godsmen Factol Gideon Anthony
- Guvner Factol Alpha
- Cypher Factol Li Shu Xun
- Signer Factol Dr. Summersun Hyde, Esq.
After SPU36’s official recognition and the appropriate applause for the local heroes , there are speeches by higher ups and etc. Following some character-specific intrigue, Laszlo reveals near the end of the gathering that – due in no small part to his politicking – SPU36 has been selected for a high profile assignment that is entirely ceremonial in nature. It seems there is some mid-level diplomatic function at an Esteemed facility in the Outlands where the unit has been asked to serve as an honor guard.
The morning after next, all of SPU36 – including Lt. Laszlo – exits the New City into The Outlands, where they are picked up by The Factol’s Judgement, an Air Titan Class Variable Motor Fortress – or more popularly known as a War Zeppelin. The steamtech juggernaut is a masterpiece of a vessel, kept aloft by both magic and engineering know-how. It’s not fully operational yet – no weapons systems, for example – and this is it’s maiden voyage; it will be christened at the ceremony. While aboard, the team is introduced to the exceptionally disagreeable Angelika Levi, an elf and ambassador for the Faction Council. She’s very specific about her importance and how it’s the team’s badges if anything bad should happen during the ceremony.
The team approaches the remote military installation called Destiny’s Reach and sees that a significant guard contingent is already present. In their pre-deployment briefing, Laszlo activates a scroll of Telepathic Bond so the team can stay in touch. Laszlo will remain aboard the Factol’s Judgement, where he will command the entire ground operation and be in direct contact with all platoon leaders. He also reveals that the Godsmen will be showcasing a new applied science device at this function. The unit deploys after riding a floating disc down to the ground from the Zeppelin. Everyone takes their positions as a tension fills the air.
Ambassador Angelika Levy enters the bunker at Destiny’s Reach first, flanked by a small entourage. Waiting for the “guests” that are expected via airship, feelings of uneasiness increase as clouds begin to gather and darken. A chill fills the air as a hole in the sky opens up, with lightning criss-crossing the light shining out of the portal, and a massive, flaming object roughly the size of the Factol’s Judgement appears, moving slowly through the gate. The soldiers and guards are all stunned by this massive floating object that docks on the far side of the compound. A small platform descends, and three very normal-looking and formally dressed men and one woman disembark and walk into the courtyard of the installation, and into the bunker. The odd feeling of tension increases, as shortly after the second delegation has entered, a very large metal hatch opens in the ground in the center of the courtyard, and a roughly 20-foot construct, belching steam and smelling of metal grinding against metal, emerges from the underground hangar.
Laszlo finally receives a classified information update on the Godsmen’s new device. The GS-03X Mammoth Jupiter is a PsychoDriver-class Tactical Steam Golem, the brainchild of Godsmen Engineer Dr. Demetri Snowblind. The golem takes a few steps to re-position itself, then appears to go slightly dormant, as it’s fires dim and a hatch below it’s belly opens, with a man in pilot’s garb – Dr. Snowblind – exiting and walking inside. Laszlo affirms to the team that he has no idea what is going on, as everyone begins to question exactly what is going on at this function. After 15 minutes or so, Dr. Snowblind re-emerges from the Hangar, boards the construct, starts it up, and walks the massive machine to the entrance of the facility. His amplified voice comes from the machine, and all present hear his decree: “This farce is at an end”. The Mammoth Jupiter begins to belch large amounts of black smoke, and lightning is seen to surround coils inside the golem, visible through the spinning gears that drive the construct’s movements.
The golem, now shuddering and crackling with energy, raises it’s drill arm towards the vehicle of the “Guests”, the gigantic fire-ship docked several hundred feet away. “Black Hole Drill Crusher!” is the cry from the machine, as it’s drill arm rockets towards – and through – the ship, causing multiple bursts of explosions that cause the air to shake and shimmer as the flying craft begins to sink to the ground. Hundreds of flying creatures burst forth from the ship like an insect hive, falling in short order upon the all of the guards at the base – including SPU36.
The team enters combat against these shelled creatures, best described by Glanthur as “Flaming Lobstrosities” due most likely to the fact that they have pincers and exosketeons like a lobster, and the fact that they are effectively, um, on fire. The other guards at the base fight off the beasts as well, though take serious casualties in the process. The Mammoth Jupiter smashes its way through wave after wave of the beasts, in some cases literally ripping them to shreds. Laszlo coordinates the defense of the facility from his vantage point above the Factol’s Judgement. After an intense several minutes of combat, the day is won, and the Esteemed forces stand victorious. Then Carredyn places the Mammoth Juipter under arrest and instead of complying, the machine turns it’s weapons on the guards and begins butchering them.
Dr. Demetri Snowblind
The Mammoth Jupiter is nigh-unstoppable, tearing through the already battered-and-bruised Esteemed guards while suffering hardly a scratch, even from everything that SPU36 has left to throw at it. Laszlo messages that he’s moving into position, but is moments away. When the rest of the soldiers lie dying or incapacitated, the construct direct it’s attention directly on the team and hurts them badly. Though the unit plays it safe, Carredyn and Vala are badly injured, and just when it seems the Mammoth Jupiter may kill every last man, Laszlo dives into position holding an immense shoulder cannon, and advises the team to escape the area around the Mammoth Jupiter with all haste. After some brief confusion – Milo is nearly ripped in two by the metal beast, and has to be healed at a distance by Vala, so he can escape it’s area of attack – Laszlo aims, primes the weapon, and issues a final warning to stand back – “Double Phantom Vulcan… Overload!” and unleashes a massive blast on the blood-drenched machine. Everyone on their feet is knocked back by the raw concussive force of the blast, as all that remains is a crater and a mass of black smoke.
And through that black smoke steps the Mammoth Jupiter, unharmed.
The Worst Is Yet To Come
The Golem moves to charge Laszlo, then begins to shake with energy and belch black smoke again, as the officers attack it to little effect. The golem again raises it’s drill arm, and points it at the War Zeppelin. With a “Black Hole Drill Crusher!” the Esteemed’s most high-profile weapon of applied science is in pieces and in flames, as the Factol’s Judggement sinks slowly to the ground. The unit is unable to stop the constuct’s rampage as a chuckle is heard, and then “Snowblind!” as a think-nearly impenetrable snow storm instantly appears, which Glanthur & Vala recognize as a magical effect not dissimilar from certain fog spells.
The voice from the Tactical Steam Golem is heard to say “I’ve got a Doctor’s Appointment” as the mostrosity activates a massive generator on it’s back, and, floating just inches about the ground, zooms out of the base and into the Outlands. At Destiny’s Reach, the entire PC team has survived, but only just. The Factol’s Judgement is in pieces – though can be repaired. The diplomacy efforts are assumed to have failed, and the total dead number more than 100. SOme hours later, as the complex crawls with Esteemed Military Police, SPU36 is corralled in the base’s command center, cooling their heels.
The Sign of One No More
A Sensory Stone Projection comes in over the facility’s communication equipment, listed as originating from The Barracks in the New City. However, the transmission seems to have been taken over by another source, as who appears in the Sensory Stone Viewer is not an Accordant or Esteemed, but rather, Dr. Summersun Hyde, Esq. – Factol of the Sign of One. As top brass and intelligence officers at the base hurry into the control room to watch this message, he addresses his audience in a serious, grave manner, with drive and passion.
You have heard the tales of the Motor Fortress Tyler’s Sorrow, sent by the Council to explore the spaces outside the planes, and how the vessel met with mechanical problems while in the deep astral plane.
The truth is far different. The ship was attacked and all but destroyed by Extra-planar forces the sort of which most of us can only imagine. The Council chose to concel the truth from all beings in the New City, keeping the existence of these creatures and the threat of their impending invasion shrouded in darkness. It may be that these facts were concealed to keep the peace in the New City, but it does not change the reality that we are faced with the crisis of invasion from unknown forces.
The People of the New City and of the plances no longer have anywhere to run. When these walls fall down, and monsters walk our streets, who will protect us? The Accordant? The Esteemed? The Council? Never.
Will the answer be to hide ourselves away, in the hopes that we might remain safe? Flee our city to the Memorial Cradle or the DiamondGate Stronghold?
Are we insects, that run from every threat?
What we need is not an Ark, but a sword to defend our homes. Our Cities. The very planes themselves.
Today the Sign of One is no more. Reborn as the Seraph Immaculate, we will ensure that the planes have that sword. We will purge the decaying, corrupt authority and drive out the extra-planar hordes when they come. We will establish the right to exist for all that are just and righteous.
We Seraph Immaculate will not turn our eyes from this danger. We will not bow down, we will will protect our city, our homes, and our families. What the planes need is a political power capable of wielding military force on a massive scale. This does not mean ruling through fear or dictatorship. We will never turn our weapons upon the public that we protect.
Those who understand the will of the Seraph Immaculate, those who desire the continued existence of the planes, and the New City, show that will to your family, to your neighbors.
In the name of justice, in the name of peace. Unite under our sword. Leave the old order behind, and fight for the future of the New City, and for the Planes.
And those with the will to stand against us, we welcome you.
And with that, the transmission cuts to a seal representing the Seraph Immaculate.
The hustle and discussion among the high-ranked officers is immediate as they enter a conference room to discuss, leaving SPU36 again alone in the control room. Laszlo sighs and puts his feet up. “Kick back for a little while, gentlemen and lady. This is probably the last little bit of downtime we can expect for the foreseeable future”.
- The Seraph Immaculate have a plan
- The Accordant have some harsh words for the Seraph Immaculate
- When do WE get a Tactical Steam Golem?