Melanie Franconi (KathyB) - Cat Burglar/Thief
Wendy Saltman (Angela) - Courier/Street Thief
Sandra Mitchell (Ellie) - Librarian/Magical Dabbler
Lucas Wells (Mark) - Businessman/Realm Runner
Andrew Quilling/Andar (Peter) - Transformed (Living Land) Athlete
April 3rd, 2017
Without any hesitation, Andar charges towards the lizard-men, and Melanie Franconi tells one of the Ords to keep any eye on the others. She, Wendy Saltman, Sandra Mitchell, and Lucas Wells race after Andar, Melanie easily catching up to the transformed Living Land Storm Knight, Sandra brining up the rear. The Storm Knights wade into the lizard-men, Andar wreaking havoc with his baseball bat. Wendy uses one of her spells[, Repel,] to knock one of the creatures towards Lucas, who takes the lizard-man down with his gun. She is then forced to defend herself with her staff from another of the creatures, and watches as Sandra uses simple magic to strike a lizard-man with multiple pebbles, then having to get out of the way of the enraged creature. The Storm Knights are breathing heavily by the time the killings of the lizard-men are finished, with Wendy, Sandra, and Andar having taken several injuries each. The group returns to the civilian Ords, most of who are cowering against some of the nearby ruined structures and foliage. Lucas patches up both Wendy and Sandra as best he can, but Andar refuses the treatment as he will not utilize any of the “dead things” that the others plan to use.
The Storm Knights and their charges eventually reach the Lower Manhattan Hospital, but Lucas is hesitant as he feels something is wrong there. There are lots of corpses, including several National Guardsman lying dead near a tank in the parking lot. The tanks seems rusted and useless, and Sandra points out that the dead men have been stripped of their weapons and armour. Sandra points out that this isn’t the work of the invaders - the men were shot from behind. Lucas tells Wendy and Sandra to keep the Ord civilians behind the tank, but to keep an eye out for trouble from the jungle.
A group of humans emerges from the hospital, dressed in ragged clothes and brandishing spears and improvised clubs. The Storm Knights are told they must attend a meeting with the Thunderlord. Melanie, Lucas and Andar consult, and decide to go to the meeting as it’s the only way they might learn what has happened at the hospital. They are led inside by the primitive humans to the lobby, where tables and benches have been moved around to form a makeshift court. A sofa chair sits atop a table behind the “Help” counter, with the self-styled Thunderlord seated upon his throne. He introduces himself as Brandt, and says that he is the lord of this domain, then demanding the Storm Knights turn over all their weapons and supplies to him. Lucas tells him that’s out of the question, but the soon-to-be realm runner realizes that Brandt is also a Storm Knight! Ten of the primitive humans immediately attack the player characters, but are no match for the savagery of Andar, Lucas, and Melanie’s talented fighting style. Lucas goes down against three of the primitives, but is saved by a blood-soaked Andar [most of it is not his!]. Brandt flees with a couple of his minions towards the elevators, and with a roar of anger and frustration, Andar races after him, leaving Melanie and Lucas no choice but to pursue them. At the end of a long corridor, Brandt turns to face the Storm Knights, his two minions at his side. His Kevlar vest is no match for Andar’s baseball bat, and then club when the bat is lost during a round [he suffers a Setback, and the bat falls to the ground some 2 metres away] and Lucas’s handgun and Melanie’s spear, even as the two primitives flee past the heroes while their “master” fights on.
Out by the tank, Wendy and Sandra are arguing with a couple of the Ord civilians, notably Mr. Hardiman, who says that it would be best if they took everyone into the hospital. The two Storm Knights are able to convince him to stay where they are [Sandra’s player spending a Possibility, and getting a +3 bonus from a Supporter card from Wendy’s player], and Hardiman returns to where the other Ords are. He is shocked to see two lizard-men with spears and sharp knives emerge from the brush, and shouts. Wendy and Sandra race towards the two creatures, and the fight is engaged. Melanie and Wendy give as good as they get, the former using her newfound miraculous abilities and the latter her staff, but the two lizard-men escape into the jungle. Sandra tells Wendy they have to get the peopple to the hospital NOW, as the lizard-men will likely bring back reinforcements. They’ll need the help of the others.
As Wendy and Sandra enter the hospital, the hospital staff and refugees that Brandt was terrorizing come out of hiding. The group decides what they must do - head to the Holland Tunnel and escape Manhattan - but they have several hours to rest. There are plenty of weapons and some sets of armour left in Brandt’s stash. Melanie and Lucas grab up a set of Kevlar armour, an M-16 with an extra magazine of ammo, a 9mm pistol and a Kevlar vest while Sandra and Wendy only take up the Kevlar vest though Sandra also takes one of the 9mm pistols as a “last defence”. The Storm Knights are able to rest for a few hours, and learn what happened from the folks at the hospital who in turn treat the Storm Knights as their leaders, and learn from the heroes of events in the outside world since the invasion started.
Before the Storm Knights, and those who wish to go with them, can leave, Andar returns from scouting and says there is a group of lizard-men riding “three-horn beasts” [triceratops] heading toward the hospital. “They do not look friendly,” he adds helpfully. Soon enough, the lizard-men and their mounts (“they’re triceratops!” exclaims Sandra, the librarian) arrive at the hospital. They are cautious, and are not put off by the humans though one of them speaks excitedly while pointing at Andar to the others lizard-men. The lizard-men attack the hospital several times, each time driven off by the M-16 fire of the Storm Knights, until finally their injuries force them to retreat back into the jungle, leaving their dead behind. Sandra tells them that one of the lizard-men fled like a coward during the first attacks when the lizard-men were dying like flies. Sandra adds that several others fled during the fight as well, and fears they’re going back to whoever their leader is. Lucas says that could mean a large contingent of the creatures might be on the way. It’s time to escape.
With the use of stretchers made from whatever can be salvaged, the Storm Knights lead their own group of survivors and the hospital evacuees out of the hospital and into the setting sun, heading west towards the Holland Tunnel. They reach the Holland Tunnel, sometimes seeing flying mounts watching them and following them from high up, and see that the interior of the tunnel is as black as night (and the sun is setting). There are thick vines clinging to the tunnel entrance and covering the walls. The road is littered with piles of human bones. Andar fashions a makeshift torch for himself, while the others use their flashlights (that seem to work, even if their mobile phones don’t). The sound of trickling water can be heard from inside, and as the Storm Knights enter the tunnel, the water quickly becomes waist deep. With Lucas leading the way, the Storm Knights are able to find the safest path between the hanging vines and twisted roots below the surface. At one point, one of the carnivorous plants is blocking their way, but is also holding up the tunnel roof! The Storm Knights, led by Andar and with the help of several of the Ords, shift one of the remaining cars into a position between them and the creature, also effectively holding the roof of the tunnel up. Finally able to convince the most timid of the refugees and survivors to traverse the tunnel, Sandra exclaims that the lizard-men are coming!
Led by one of the largest of the creatures they’ve seen to this point, twenty of the lizard-men step into the tunnel and start moving towards the Storm Knights. Equipped with a large spear and a vicious, whip-like tail, the leader of the lizard-men races through the tunnel, ignoring the water to all intents and purposes, with her minions following rapidly. Andar tells Lucas to help him, and together the two manage to collapse the tunnel down behind them! Only five of the lizard-men, led by their leader, make it through before the tunnel crashes down in a burst of water, dirt, and dust. As she gets closer, the Storm Knights can see she’s got crimson patterns painted onto her scales like blood splashes.
The fight between the lizard-men and the Storm Knights is as quick as it is vicious and savage. Andar moves in to attack the large lizard-man, whose name he gathers is Theeklik. Theeklik speaks basic English, and tells the Stormers that her people are the Edeinos and that they worship Lanala, the gifter of sensations. Melanie and Wendy are hard-pressed to fight their own opponent, as these Edeinos are true warriors of the tribe, and suffer several bad wounds [2 Wounds and 4 Shock each, but use Possibilities to Soak the damage], but don’t come out unscathed. Sandra is out of her depth against her opponent, but is able to use “dead” materials, small rocks and the like, with which to attack her target, though she also suffers some injury [1 Wound and 2 Shock]. Lucas engages with two of the Edeinos warriors, and is able to fend them off using the machete that he has, but finally caves in and uses the M-16 after his Kevlar vest is hacked into pieces by a couple of attacks. He takes a massive injury from the second Edeinos [3 Wounds and 6 Shock] that allows him to fire the M-16 at it point blank [and has to spend 1 Possibility and a Hero Card] to take it down! Lucas tries to turn towards Andar, but finds himself falling into darkness. The fight between Andar and Theeklik is one that the rest of the Storm Knights will talk about for some time… The two go for several rounds, each one striking the other terrific blows but Andar gradually gains the upper hand and strikes a blow that take out the Edeinos leader once and for all [he rolled a total of 45 on the attack, and also played a Coup de Grace card for good measure - the Law of Savagery, don’t you know!]. In the aftermath of the fight, the Storm Knights pull themselves out of the Holland Tunnel’s western entrance (including the unconscious Lucas) into a bright, starry night…
Several of the doctors and nurses among the hospital survivors treat the Storm Knights’ injuries as best they can. The large group of survivors and the Storm Knights move off from the tunnel, and find shelter for the night. And the first day of the invasion is over.
Friday night's game session of the Torg Eternity Living Land campaign went swimmingly well, but a bit longer than anticipated, as we didn't wrap up until 11:45 pm. This final episode of the opening scenario had a little bit of everything in it, and the players loved the final battle against the Edeinos in the Holland Tunnel, though Mark admitted that he wasn't sure that Lucas would live through the final fight when the edeinos warrior *nailed* him for a massive wound, on top of the damage he still had. He was able to get a Good success on the Defeat roll, though, so that worked out well. But it was a really good, edgy moment to give the end of the scenario a bit of extra je ne sais quois. Quite nice. The players told me they can't wait to see where things go from here with the game, and Peter admitted that he's enjoying the game much more than he expected to.
Looking forward to the next session of Friday night gaming, to be sure! :)