Jean André Bernard (SteveR) – Unstoppable Cop/Gendarme
Celeste Dubois (Tammy) – Cyberwitch
Jacques Dumont (GM/NPC) – Realm Runner
April 16th, 2017
The Romani prepare to leave, and the packing and cleaning up of the area goes swiftly. Rani comes over to Celeste Dubois, and asks her where she and her friends are going. She tells Rani that she doesn’t know. Jacques Dumont overhears their conversation, and tells Rani they’re heading for Avignon. Celeste appears to be surprised, as she thought they were going to Orange, but Jacques merely shakes his head at that. As Jean André Bernard comes up to them, Rani tells them that going to Avignon is dangerous. It is the heart of the Cyberpapacy, and security there is very tight. She absent-mindedly adds that there is a curfew in Avignon. Jacques tells her that the characters have papers, but she dismisses that. The Romani take their leave of the Storm Knights and the area, leaving the characters and Francois Marchand alone with their truck in the middle of the meadow.
The Storm Knights discuss the situation, specifically that of Jean. Given they are heading into the heart of CyberFrance, do they dare take a chance that Jean has been chipped? Jacques asks him to repeat what happened to him in Orange, which he does, and Jacques cannot detect any deception. The Storm Knights debate the matter for several more minutes, before coming to the inevitable French conclusion: c’est la vie, and whatever will happen will. The Storm Knights prepare to depart, Jacques and Celeste in the front of the truck and Jean and Francois climbing into the back where the weapons and supplies are to be found. Jacques has Celeste drive the truck, despite her lack of training, but she gets off to a bumpy start. After driving for an hour or so, she switches out with Jacques as she’s gotten too stiff from the work of driving. The other characters and Francois breathe a sigh of relief as Jacques takes the wheel again.
A couple of hours later, Jacques tells the others that the truck is running low on fuel. They need to stop and gas up the vehicle. Consulting a road map, the Storm Knights realize that a small village, Cherville, lies just about 2 kilometres distant. They decide to head there, but Francois tells them to be vigilant. As the truck comes over a rise, the Storm Knights see Cherville in the small valley below - deserted, with smoke pouring from some of the ruined buildings. Celeste looks closer [and the player uses an Alertness card] and spots what appears to be dust trails made from motorcycles. She also sees the gas station is intact. Jacques spots the motorcyclists, actually on hover bikes, and can see their cyberware. Celeste sees the telltale of a rocket launcher missile having been loosed, and tells Jacques to move the vehicle, quickly!
Using his vehicle skills [and a Second Chance, Action, and Supporter cards!], Jacques manages to avoid the rocket as it impacts on the grassy rise nearby, sending the vehicle lurching. The Storm Knights are relatively unharmed, though Francois is somewhat shaken up. Two of the hover bikes head for the Storm Knights and the truck, and with a shout of “Chicken!”, Jacques revs the truck and drives straight towards the cyber gangers! The two cyber gangers fail “the game”, and veer off at the last minute, moving past the truck and coming around to head back towards it. Jacques sees three more hover bikes moving toward them along the road, ad brakes sharply, sending the truck into a sharp, u-turn that leaves Celeste’s door facing towards the onrushing two hover bikers. Jacques shouts for everyone to get out of the truck, and he, Jean, and Francois face the three oncoming cyber gangers, while Celeste gets to face the two returning ones. Celeste attacks the two cyber gangers, but inflicts only minor damage to them, and they keep coming towards the truck, firing their MAS shotguns, but missing their target due to the cover of the truck’s door. Jacques attacks one of the new attackers from the village, and takes him down [he plays a Coup de Grace card]. Jean attacks another of the approaching cyber gangers, but inflicts minor damage. The Storm Knights continue to fight the cyber gangers, and at one point suffer serious damage from the MAS shotguns; they are each able to take the damage [soaking it with their Reality skill]. With the use of some good luck and their combat skills [as well as a few Possibilities and some Destiny cards] the Storm Knights take down the cyber gangers. They turn their attention to the village. Jacques tells them all to get into the truck, and he heads down the road into the village, approaching the gas station where the leader of the cyber gangers is waiting for them with three more of his gang.
The three Storm Knights and Francois approach the cyber gangers and their leader. After a moment’s banter, Jacques fires his 9mm at the (obvious) Stormer, but the bullet bounces off his IriMesh clothing. Celeste attempts to shoot him with the GodMeeter, but he easily withstands the blow. “Is that all you’ve got, Stormers?” he says, taunting them. Then to his minions, Kill them!” The three cyber gangers attack the Storm Knights, but they easily take the shots [with a couple of Adrenalin and a Second Chance card being played] and suffer no damage. The cyber ganger leader fires his GodFire pistol at Celeste, who has flashbacks to the hellfire spells cast by the cyberpriest at her [but she decides there’s no side effects or game mechanics in play], and with the help of her friends [and the trading of a Hero card and the use of two Supporter cards] withstands the attack. Jean, Jacques and Francois attack the three cyber gangers, and are easily able to take out two of them. The Stormer leader taunts them [inflicting some Stymied and Vulnerable results on the characters], and then tells them they are not worth the gasoline for their truck, given they have already taken down most of his men. Gesturing to his remaining cyber ganger, the Storm mounts his old-fashioned muscle bike, and the two depart the small village. Leaving the player characters to come out of the situation with a well-earned victory.
While Jacques brings the truck into the filling station to fuel up, with Francois staying close to him, Celeste and Jean go and scavenge what they can from the dead cyber gangers. They each take a leather jacket [leather armour, +1 armour] for themselves, and then total up the remaining “loot”: 4 more leather jackets, 6 power daggers, 2 battle axes, 1 chainsaw, and 4 GodMeeters. Celeste goes to check if the GodMeeters have been hacked or not, but she is unable to determine whether they have or not. However, the group decides to take them with them, as perhaps the Resistance can hack them if they’re still connected to the GodNet and then use them. They also decide to take the power daggers, since they are tools (for opening the crates!), and the battle axes and chainsaw are also tools (for cutting dead trees away from the road). They put everything into the back of the truck, concealing it around the various crates, and then hit the road once more.
The road trip continues for the Storm Knights and Francois Marchand, with the end of the journey ever in their sights. As the Storm Knights approach within 500 kilometres of Avignon, each character feels a tingle of energy. Francois feels like he is being torn apart for a moment, and then comes back to himself; he tries to explain what happened to the Storm Knights, but can't put it into words. Eventually, the Storm Knights and Francois reach the outskirts of Avignon. They are able to see the drones zipping back and forth through the area, and there are contingents of Church Police everywhere, some with hover tanks and some on foot patrol or with other vehicle types. As they follow the meager traffic towards Avignon, several drones send out the message “Please remain on the road and continue to the Avignon checkpoint.” When the Storm Knights reach the checkpoint, they can see that it is relatively heavily defended. The road comes to a point where there is an electrified fence, the gates open, and a bit further on a pair of bunkers that have barricades between them that are raised to admit vehicles. The Storm Knights can make out two more bunkers further on, as well as barracks, and some other structures. There are around 10 Church Police on duty, at the characters can make out what appear to be cybernetically enhanced large dogs nearby in a fenced off area.
As the player characters stop at the checkpoint, two of the Church Police approach them, their faces concealed by their helmets. One of them approaches the driver’s side, and starts to question Jacques about the group’s purpose in coming to Avignon and the like. He’s revealed to be about 25, red-haired with a trim red beard. Jacques dutifully hands him their [forged] papers, and the streetbeater scans the papers and checks out the characters. He orders Jean and Francois out of the rear, scanning their papers, and recognizes Jean (from the Wanted adverts playing in Paris and through the GodNet). He signals the other streetbeater to check out the goods in the back of the truck, and everything appears to check out okay [Jacques plays an Opponent Fails card to ensure this]. Jean and Francois get back in the truck as the red-haired streetbeater waves them through. As the vehicle starts to move, the streetbeater moves up to Celeste’s window and whispers to her, “Tell your friends that Lafreniére is their friend and that your friends needs to be better disguised.”
Passing through the barrier at the other end of the checkpoint, the Storm Knights and Francois are free to make their way into Avignon proper.
Sunday afternoon's game session of Torg Eternity was a really fun one for me, and helped me get over the not-at-GenCon blues. The players had a terrific time of it, even Tammy enjoying the combat that the characters faced, though she admitted there were a couple of times where she thought Celeste was going to die. The two scenes the group played through were totally different from one another - the first packed with action, explosions, and lots of stunts, the second full of psychological peril ("will they catch us or won't they?") and suspense. A really good session. My one regret was that I forgot to take the pictures I'd wanted to! Nuts! :(
Anyway, a really good session of Torg Eternity. Looking forward to playing next Sunday, and wrapping up the adventure. :)