Jean André Bernard (SteveR) – Unstoppable Cop/Gendarme
Celeste Dubois (Tammy) – Cyberwitch
Jacques Dumont (GM/NPC) – Realm Runner
April 15th, 2017
The player characters are resting at home with their families in new residences in the Paris zone, which has slowly turned into a Core Earth hardpoint. Reality storm rage all around the city, but life seems to have found a way to continue on in a somewhat normal fashion…for now. Each Storm Knight receives a message by courier to meet at 2112-a Chambourcy Street at 8:00 pm that night. The characters do some research each on how to get there, and the locale. Celeste Dubois goes to the public library, and finds that it has been transformed for the most part, with GodNet-hooked terminals and systems as well as friendly librarian drones that seek to help clients. She uses the old-fashioned card files and stacks to find out what she can. Both Jacques Dumont and Jean André Bernard use their local directories through the GodNet to learn about the area. The location is a warehouse in the seedy part of the Parisian docks on the southern edge of the city. Jacques calls Celeste and offers to share a cab with her to the address that night; she agrees, and he says he’ll pick her up “one hour before we’re supposed to be there”. Because of his being wanted by the authorities, Jean disguises himself before heading out by cab for Chambourcy Street.
The Storm Knights reach the warehouse that belongs to La Rochelle Agricultural Ltée., to find the area even more seedy than they expected. And totally deserted. Only Jean notices the jury-rigged security system, a camouflaged drone at the top of the warehouse’s main doors. As the characters approach the door, they are scanned and the entry doors *click* open almost soundlessly. Cautiously, the Storm Knights enter the warehouse. The somewhat brightly lit, large warehouse, shadowed in places, is full of quiet talk as the Storm Knights enter. Jacques is met by Regis [Lalonde], and the two embrace as if old friends, the former pleased to see that the latter survived the incident two days prior, and the two chat merrily. Celeste wonders who this man is and how he knows Jacques, but answers must wait. Marcel Koropoulos, with bandages on his face and one arm and the other arm in a sling, re-introduces the Storm Knights to Marie [Joubert] and introduces Celeste and Jean to Regis. There are also three other men present, and they are introduced as Claude, Armand and Felix. The warehouse’s lower level is full of the expected equipment and materials, and the characters notice there are some 30 or so crates of various shapes and sizes, Marie leaning against the closest of these. [Jacques is the only one to notice that there’s a man leaning against one of the nearby walls, partially obscured by shadows and the drapes in that area.]
Celeste comments on how deserted it was outside the warehouse, and Regis tells her that there is a curfew in the city but that the south part of the city is rife with criminal activity and the docks are not a safe place. He says there have been attacks on the alone and the unfortunate by cyberwolves (wolves that have escaped from the Paris zoo and that have become augmented somehow), and the Church Police are everywhere in the poorer parts of the city. Marcel breaks up the pleasant conversation, and asks the three Storm Knights, though specifically Jacques, if they’ve decided to transport the goods and supplies down to Orange and Avignon. Jacques says that he is, and that Celeste will be coming with him as will Jean. Marie is still hostile towards Celeste, and asks how they can trust her because she’s a witch and a heretic. Celeste bristles at this once again, Marcel once more scoffs at this, and the conversation turns to the cargo (the 35 crates with the La Rochelle Agricultural Ltée. logos stamped on them, and their contents), the semi-truck that’s available to them, and the trip to Orange. Jacques asks about the role of the man in the shadows, and the group is introduced to Francois Marchand, who steps into the light. He’s ex-military and is potentially a travel companion whose job is to protect the cargo. [He is an Ord, but Celeste and the others do not know the distinction as yet.] They discuss the means of getting out of Paris, and learn of the three types of checkpoints - the major checkpoints, where a new type of Church enforcer, the Hands of God (or HOGs), can be found; the minor checkpoints where cyberpriests and cyberknights can be found with Church police; and finally the potentially easiest way out, the Church Police checkpoints, where only the streetbeaters and occasionally a cyberpriest can be found. Celeste reacts with a shudder and shies away from the others momentarily as she deals with the memories of the hellfire spell and the cyberpriest who attacked her two days ago. Regis casually mentions, however, that the Church Police checkpoints are actually small fortresses almost, with bunkers near them. The Storm Knights discuss their options, and make their plans.
The Storm Knights begin their trip to Orange, having decided to have Francois accompany them for protection. Due to his wanted status, Jean travels in the back part of the semi-truck along with Francois and the crates, while Jacques drives with Celeste in the passenger seat. The trip out of Paris is somewhat tense, but the stop at the Church Police checkpoint goes well. [I didn’t play out this checkpoint passage, as it seemed to be something that needed to go swiftly and safely, so as to get to the meat of the scenario.] Some three hours after leaving the farmlands outside Paris, Jacques spots what appears to be a dust cloud slightly off to the east of their path. The two agree, and Jean concurs, that they can’t not help endangered people if such is the case, and Jacques heads the semi-truck in the direction of the dust cloud. They arrive to witness a horrible scene - there is a hover tank (!!) parked in the wide expanse of grassland upon which can be seen a convoy of covered wagons. A group of six Church police are attacking the wagons with Godmeeters, advancing on it in their Church armour.
Without a word, Jacques slows the semi-truck, leaps out of it as he draws his pistol, shouts for Francois to stay with the truck, and then starts to run towards the fighting. Celeste and Jean get out of the truck, and both of them prepare to run after Jacques and help in the defence of the wagons. Celeste casts the scrambler spell first [and spends a Possibility so as to extend the range to 100m radius], and then heads after the Jean. The six Church Police stand no chance against the Storm Knights. Celeste takes down three of them with her GodMeeter, one of the defender with a large bore gun, a Rom male, takes down another one, and Jean and Jacques with their inferior weapons take down one between them. The last Church Police person flees back towards the hovertank, but is taken down from behind by the Romani marksman. In the aftermath of the attack and the suddenness of the violence, the grasslands fall quiet.
As the Storm Knights wait to see what will happen next, an attractive Rom man (the same who attacked the Church Police) approaches the characters, rifle in hand. He thanks them for their help and says that they came just as “She” had predicted. When Celeste asks who “She” is, he replies, “Why Queen Rashilda, of course”. He says that in exchange for their help, the Romani are willing to offer them shelter for the night. An attractive, young dark-haired girl comes up to them. She says her name is Rani [short for Ranilda] comes up to them, as various Romani emerge from the wagons, and says that they should come with her and Josiah, and makes themselves at home. The Romani are planning to camp, while they take stock of themselves after the attack by the Cyberpapal heathens. She suggests that they bring the semi-truck and the cargo to the safety of the Romani wagons, and the Storm Knights agree. Jean heads back to the semi-truck, to bring the truck in and tell Francois what’s going on. Celeste sees that there are several drones now circling the Romani wagons and when she asks, Rani laughs. The Roma girl tells her that those are the Romani’s, well, now anyways. They’ve subverted them for their own use. With Josiah accompanying them, Rani takes Celeste and Jacques by the arms and leads them towards the wagons.
The Storm Knights and Francois find there are seven wagons, two others having been destroyed by Cyberpapal weapons fire. They are taken to the middle wagon, where a large Egyptian man with a scimitar stands guard. They meet with the ancient woman who descends from the wagon, Queen Rashilda. She examines each of the Storm Knights, including Jean and Francois, who have joined the group. She talks with Celeste and the others, saying that “trusting and helping are not the same”, but the Queen says they are currently among friends. She says of Celeste that she is “not one of ours”, but Celeste is more puzzled than anything by this. The Queen calls for the healer, Alida, who talks irreverently with Rashilda, and the Queen has the healer treat both Jean and Jacques injuries [they had suffered a Wound each during the attack]. Before Alida departs for her own wagon again, she tells Jacques to meet her at her tent later. When he asks why, she says, “Because you are fated to.” The Romani go about setting up camp, while several of the men prepare to cremate the bodies of the Church police. While the Storm Knights had the desire to take the armour [of God] and weapons that they had, they decide not to as they may be bugged and the threat of being tracked.
The food and the company of the Romani is very good, though one of the Roma women, Hamma, warns the Storm Knights to keep an eye on their valuables. After the meal, while Celeste and Jean, along with Francois, check the semi-truck out, Jacques heads over to Alida’s tent. The Rom woman tells him that she wanted to talk to him because his life may be in danger. She has had visions of him lying on an altar of some sort, with the chant “Sobek! Sobek!” being heard in the background as a wicked knife of some sort descends towards him. Jacques feels a chill, as if death has touched him, at her words, but puts on a brave face. Alida tells him that perhaps his fate can be changed, but that it is up to him (and perhaps his friends). She also tells him that she senses that he will be betrayed “from within”, but does not know the meaning of it. She hands him a small vial of greenish liquid, and says that it is a potion of healing acquired elsewhere. She tells him that he will know when to use it. He puts the vial in his right breast pocket of his shirt.
In the middle of the night, the Storm Knights are woken by a roaring sound from outside the wagons. Celeste and Jean discover that the hover tank is gone. They can see the impression in the grassland made by the vehicle, and the deep imprints of its landing gear. Almost none of the Romani come out of the tents and wagons to see what has happened. Celeste asks one of the Roma woman, Valara, what has happened. She tells the Storm Knight that the floating vehicle has gone back to where it belongs. For some reason, Celeste is of the opinion that it teleported.
The next morning, the Storm Knights wake to the smell of an oatmeal breakfast cooking. As they sit eating, Celeste and Jean are worried about Jacques, who doesn’t appear to have gotten a whole lot of sleep and who has a disturbed but thoughtful expression on his face. He says he doesn’t have anything to tell them, just that he needs to think through something. Jean spots a suspicious bulge in the breast pocket of his shirt under his jacket. Rani comes uo to them, and says that Queen Rashilda wishes to talk with Celeste. Now.
Somewhat in awe of and afraid of the Romani queen, Celeste is surprised when the woman beckons her over to sit by the fire while they continue their breakfast. Rashilda tells her that she’s had visions, perhaps omens, to share with Celeste. First, she tells her that she must beware of cyberware addiction. If she does not, she may lose herself, her best half, to the CyberFrance abhorrence. Secondly, she tells her about her magic: “You must seek the blind man who holds no key. He is the one who will teach you what you need to know in order for you to meet your destiny on a mountaintop far from here.” Celeste tries to ask her more, but Queen Rashilda dismisses her with a wave of her hand.
Sunday afternoon's game session of the Torg Eternity RPG campaign was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the game session and the stuff that was going on in the adventure. Now that I'm not totally winging this scenario, it was more relaxed for me and somewhat less hectic in feel. (At least to me.) The encounter with the Romani was a lot of fun to run, though I was disappointed that none of the players had the Romance card since I would have liked to have had either Josiah or Rani involved with one of the characters, but such was not to be. Otherwise, the session went pretty well, and the players are working their way through the Act quite nicely.
I'm looking forward to the next session of the Sunday Torg Eternity campaign. Unfortunately, Tammy is back on-call for two weeks, so we won't be gaming again until the first week of August. *sigh*