Emerald City Knights: Chapter One

This blog entry has been waiting for the release of Chapter One of the Emerald City Knights adventure series, since I was able to run it before it saw general release. I’ll likewise limit any other adventure logs to post after the adventure goes on sale so as not to taunt unnecessarily…

Spoiler Warning! The following may contain spoilers for Chapter One of the Emerald City Knights Heroes Journey. Those intending to play in the adventure should avoid reading it if they want to avoid any advance knowledge of the adventure’s contents.

Since my players were intent at the end of our last Prologue adventure to hunt down some more stormers, I figured I’d get some together for them. Fortunately, with the assistance of Green Ronin’s Threat Report series (shameless plug) that was easy: I just printed out character sheets for Pack-Rat, Junkpile, Mindfire, and Tribal and I was good to go. I figured I could start off the adventure with a nice slam-bang fight to get the players in the mood and introduce them to some more bad-guys.

Then, of course, Andy tells me at the game he’s decided Fire Chief isn’t really doing it for him and he wants to come up with another character! So I hand him my iPad with the M&M GM’s Kit (shameless plug #2) and he’s able to whip one up in the time it takes me to get my adventure notes in order and copy down a few vital statistics for behind my GM’s screen (still second edition, alas, as the spiffy new 3e screens haven’t gotten back from print yet).

So Andy’s new guy turns out to be a powerhouse type: super-strong, tough, nigh-immune to most things. He decides a lot of his immunity is due to him being essentially undead—a “construct” but formerly a living person—and that he doesn’t remember his previous life. Oh, I can definitely work with that…

So our heroes come upon four new stormers in the employ of F.O.E. (the Fraternal Order of Evil) breaking into the Emerald City morgue. A fight breaks out, and when one of Tesla’s ‘bots snatches away the body-bag Junkpile is carrying, its occupant breaks loose and joins the fight on the heroes’ side!

“Bodybag” (as he quickly gets nicknamed) decides to stick with the heroes as they investigate the Silver Storm, particularly as he is apparently a victim of it with no recollection of his prior life or explanation for his current condition: no heartbeat, no brain activity, no life-signs at all, but still able to think and move, and apparently stronger and more invulnerable than any mere mortal.

Discussing the situation back at Tesla’s quasi-interdimensional mansion after handing the stormers over to the police (other than Pack-Rat, who managed to slip away during the fight), the heroes get a visit from Ms. Beverly Sloane, executive assistant to Maximillian Mars of MarsTech, Inc., who is interested in meeting with them.

They show up at MarsTech’s corporate “campus” on the outskirts of Emerald City and are shown right away to Mars’ executive suite. There Arcane scans the tech magnate’s mind as he explains why he asked to meet the heroes: Mars was once the super-criminal known as “The Commander” using some half-understood alien technology he recovered. He eventually reformed, earning himself a pardon for helping Earth during the Terminus Invasion, and realized he could do more good for himself and others with his technical and inventive skills. Now, however, he suspects the Silver Storm involves the same kind of alien nanotechnology as his Commander armor. Arcane’s psychic powers say Mars is telling them the truth.

Just then, a quartet of F.O.E. agents appear in the room: Cannon, Cyberknight, Gargantua, and Tempus, the Master of Time! They attack the heroes without warning, Tempus freezing Mars in a “fold” of time. The F.O.E.s prove a challenge (except for Cannon, really, who folds like a cheap suit) and the battle wrecks the top floor of the MarsTech building and parts of the plaza outside (as Gargantua takes Action-Man out through a window, growing as they fall). Still, the heroes are triumphant! Unfortunately, Tempus transports himself, Cyberknight, and Gargantua away, leaving Cannon behind.

Just as Mars and the heroes are about to clear out, a Pegasus-class jet hovers near the smashed out windows. The hatch opens and a deep voice calls out “We knew you couldn’t be trusted, Commander!” Costumed figured appear, framed in the doorway. “Now the Freedom League will have to take you and your new allies down!”

Next: Are the new heroes “Out of Their League”…?