Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Sat Dec 22 2012, 23:34

Using his amazing speed and astounding agility Lionheart is able to dance and weave between grasping hands and race through the darkness back into the large cave...

The glow of heat from the pool of lava shone from every wall, and the P'utinarians were looking to where another of Elesieths' people were being committed to the 'cleansing fire'...

The dark liquid form on the throne seemed to know, instinctively, that Lionheart was there somewhere. "You're just in time!!" it rasped, voice echoing around the chamber. "I've been feeding from the terror of the womans' followers, and she's next! Come out, little man, come out from where you hide!"

Lionheart stood in the shadows of the tunnels entering the cave. He could see - just - a pair of P'utinarians dragging Elesieths' slumped form towards the lava pit. She was unconscious - he hoped, otherwise his return had been in vain!

How on earth was he to get through, around or over a room full of shapeshifting aliens in thrall to the dark monstrosity that controlled them? Therein lie the real problem - the K'atinarian fed on pain, terror and despair. It had fed well from the last of Elesieths' followers and it was her turn next! If he was going to save the Elven Queen, he needed to act quickly!

OOC You are 100' away, but that's nothing to Lionheart. Flying will get you over the P'utinarians, but you'll come within reach of the K'atinarian (evil P'utinarian possessed by a shadow demon). Lionheart has his work cut out to save the Queen!
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Dec 24 2012, 13:54

Admin wrote:OOC You are 100' away, but that's nothing to Lionheart. Flying will get you over the P'utinarians, but you'll come within reach of the K'atinarian (evil P'utinarian possessed by a shadow demon). Lionheart has his work cut out to save the Queen!

OOC: I was hoping to come up with a blinding plan, but to be honest I've been that busy I've not had chance to think, let along think about what to do. So lets go for luck and skill instead.

Reaching out with his mind and strength, Lionheart pulled rocks from the far side of the room and hurled them at the creature. He hoped to distract the K'atinarian, as he flew as fast as he could manage smashing aside the enslaved P'utinarians and grabbing Elesieth from their clutches. If he could only make it away from the creature, divesting it of a source of nourishment, he might have some chance of getting away. Ultimately he couldn't kill such a beast. That would be like a gnat taking on a hurricane, but at least he could get away from it, or die trying.

OOC: If I write it here you are bound to see this at some point, as opposed to the OOC section which I forget is even there. Anyway thanks for another classic year of high drama and adventure.

I know that keeping us on our toes, running so many separate threads and keeping it all together must take some huge mental investment on your part and I know for myself known of it goes unnoticed, even if I don't say it too often. Anyway, tis the season of good will (better still if it was this way all year round Smile But I hope you and the family have a great day(s) depending on how long you're off before getting back to work.

Speak to you soon. D.



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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Tue Dec 25 2012, 23:28

OOC Thanks for the kind words - it's nothing without you guys. I've been playing by post for years, well over a decade (since the days of dial up) and not come across more dedicated players than you guys who consistently put in the time and effort required to keep something like this going even when real life demands really put you under the cosh. So thank you, guys, and just to let you know that whilst you guys are happy to play and put up with my schedule, I'll be here to run this game and others, depending on group preference.

First, we need to have a defined, clear end to this campaign, and we're close... I can taste it... question is, do the good guys win, or does Earth die at the 'hands' of the Devourer...? Let's try and answer that...


Lionheart concentrated and used his telekinetic powers to tear rocks from walls and fling them at the K'atinarian!

It was a distraction, and caused considerable mirth from the creature as they impacted against a suddenly harder than steel form!

"Is that the best you can do little man? I may not have the imagination to fully utilise these powers the Shadow Demon brings, but I am learning! Everything you do I will copy, and I'm finding your efforts to be enter... eh?" growled the K'atinarian...

A blur sped towards the fire pit and the prone form of Elesieth! Grasping hands reached up, but a heartbeat after the blur had passed!

Lionheart landed, then sped, moving as if those around him were statues! Never before had he switched his powers so quickly, and he could already feel the mother of all headaches, like a hangover multiplied, forming in his mind!

Even as his vision blurred and blood ran from his nose, he could feel his legs becoming leaden, and he stumbled once, twice, into and off P'utinarians who started to realise what the blur was!

He tumbled, crashed and spun to a grinding halt on his front as he felt sick. So close! He looked up at Elesieth, who shook off her concussion as best she could and whispered with a throat parched from the heat belching from below "No! Save ... yourself!" she gasped "Go! While you... still can!"

Lionheart turned, batting away a P'utinarian arm, though the next caught him high and sent him sprawling through the air to land in the dust... on the edge of the fire pit!

What! Where...? His force field! Why wasn't...

Rough hands grabbed him up... Backhand!

The world flashed black then white as a fist smashed across his face! So hard to... concentrate! He was dangling off the floor...

Another fist... Blocked!

Instinctual skill pulled his arm up and batted aside a P'utinarian hand that had been shaped into a razor sharp point! He twisted, relaxed then slid from the hands that held him, crashing into the dirt at the feet of several P'utinarians! His head was pounding, and he realized it wasn't just the fact that he'd switched his powers about, but that the K'atinarian had mastered the Psi Blast Lionheart had perfected over years of training and experience!

He was doomed. The end had come.

Rough hands held him up. Groggily he looked at the distant K'atinarian through cascading waves of pain, and was dimly aware that his body was no longer his to control!

"Wonderful! Telekinesis!" laughed the K'atinarian. "Let's see how you like it, eh?" The creature gestured to a stalactite above his head which broke free of the roof and lowered gently to hover beside the evil beasts' head. The cone rotated to have the point towards Lionheart where he was held...

Richard King, through gritted teeth and unable to turn his head, rasped "S... sorry..." to Elesieth, who screamed!

The K'atinarian laughed, then narrowed it's eyes, pulled it's hand back as if to thrust and...

There was an almighty CRACK! The K'atinarian looked around "Eh?" it managed... then the roof fell in on top of it!

=========

The roar of tumbling rock filled his ears as Lionheart regained the use of his limbs!

Reaching across with shaking hands, he cried out with the pain and telekinetically wrenched Elesieths bonds from their mounting points! She screamed as she was roughly flung across to where Lionheart was, and he staggered to his feet, trying to shield them both with a faltering force field as he jogged as best he could with the cave collapsing inwards!

Dazed and confused P'utinarians, unable to think clearly for themselves with their evil master buried under rock, looked up as rock came inwards, falling from the roof! Forms were splattered, dust filled the air and the whole hillside seemed to be collapsing in on the cave!

=========

"Cough! Cough..."

Elesieth looked about. She lay on the hillside outside the cave, the boiling black sky overhead telling her she was still alive! A hundred metres away dust still spewed from the cave entrance!

She turned and saw Lionheart sitting, dazed and pale of face, but alive. His face was smeared with blood and dust, but he managed a grin at her.

"How...? she spluttered. "It was infinitely more powerful than you! You couldn't possibly beat it!"

Lionheart thought for a moment. He had theories - perhaps the cave roof was unstable, or his own power had dislodged rocks that set into motion a chain of events that saw the cave in occur. Most likely it was the K'atinarians sheer blunt power, wrenching a solid chunk of rock from the roof without thought of consequence, that had saved them! He chuckled and remembered a line from an ancient song he'd heard when researching the 20th Century.

"It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it...And that's what gets results." he said, and smiled.

Sometimes there was such a thing as too much power, and it had saved his and Elesieths' lives. He didn't think for a moment that the creature was dead. More likely inconvenienced for a while, but he didn't need long to get out of here!

OOC One more 'wrap up' and we're about done with Lionheart, and the main Vanguard thread won't be too long after depending on the scrape they are in there... Elesieth is rescued, and Lionheart, though badly injured, is able to call on his powers. Question is, can he, can anyone escape Earth before the cataclysmic event that is just about to happen...?
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Dec 26 2012, 08:25

Admin wrote:OOC One more 'wrap up' and we're about done with Lionheart, and the main Vanguard thread won't be too long after depending on the scrape they are in there... Elesieth is rescued, and Lionheart, though badly injured, is able to call on his powers. Question is, can he, can anyone escape Earth before the cataclysmic event that is just about to happen...?

"This world hasn't got long, we'd better get with the others... His voice trailed off as he wiped the remainder of the blood from his nose, barely giving it a thought as he lifted his head up into the night sky. He looked about wondering where in the vastness of space the others were. Wondering if saving Elesieth would mean anything if his friends were dead anyway. He shook as a cold chill ran down his spine. With Elesieth's consent he picked her up and speed up into the cold air, moving at speed toward where the dig and the Earl and Morrigan had been.

OOC:"Ok not sure what else to do but get back to the dig and see what's what.

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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Sat Dec 29 2012, 01:19

With the Earth rumbling ominously behind him, testament to the fact that the K'atinarian wasn't dead by any means, Lionheart soared through the night sky...

Except it was probably daytime, and the Devourer was simply blocking the sun out. Across the world neighbour turned on neighbour without rhyme or reason. The Shadow Demons danced in glee and fed like never before as the panicked peoples of the world lost control of their minds, a result of the Devourer having fed them dark thoughts in their sleep. When they woke, it was as worse a nightmare as any had suffered, and would only end with their deaths!

Only Britain stood alone, unaffected, the people industriously stocking what food they could and working hard in factories, schools and design centres.

Lionheart flashed through the sky, holding the shaking form of Elesieth in his arms. he'd only delayed the creature, and knew it would come looking for its revenge! He didn't have long before that happened...

=========

He landed as the cultists at the dig site were climbing into the back of a truck and looked about...

The Earl was being helped into the back of a car, the cloth wrapped bundle on his lap proof that the muck encrusted weapon had been found.The final piece of a jigsaw that could unleash magical power enough to open a gate between worlds and allow escape from the doom soon to befall the Earth!

As he started to walk over, the image of Morrigan appeared in front of Lionheart and Elesieth.

"Elesieth! How delightful! You rescued 'my' little Elf maiden, Sir knight!" laughed the Evil Queen.

Elesieth hissed, raising her hands to cast a spell, but Morrigan held her up in protest. "Don't waste your efforts my dear! Instead view this as a gift. A way off this soon to be dead rock, and the teeming millions who will die in agony, or be kept alive to feed that thing up there. Our magic is as nothing to its power! We are less than a mote of dust to its senses, so take the gift I offer to you and others."

"Life."

Morrigans face seemed to soften. "Once I was Morgana, and she I. We share memories and feelings, sometimes, and when I look at you, daughter of the spirit if not of flesh, those feelings come to the fore. Go through the gate! Think of where you wish to go, and it will be so! go to a place where you can be happy, live love, laugh and forget all this! If you stay, my heart will be saddened. You may not believe that, but it is truth."

She bowed her head, and vanished.

"Time to go!" said the Earl. "before my dicky ticker gives out! Stonehenge old fellow! You have a few hours before we get there, time enough to gather friends and tell them to head for the gate!"

The Earl looked sad as he continued. "This world was not meant for gods to walk upon, young man. The likes of us, our time was fleeting. It was a time of man, and all the follies, strife and heartache that brings, as well as the joy, achievement and hope. When the world was exposed to the beast blocking out the sun, it was doomed. It's not your, or your friends fault. A series of events lead to this, and each led down a path that brought us here, so close to the end. I for one have enjoyed my life, and even now can feel my heart fluttering. I hope my soul will enter the gate, and from there find peace. I hope you find what you are looking for."

The door to the car shut and Lionheart was left with Elesieth as the vehicles rumbled away into the darkness leaving the hole in the ground that had been toiled at for hours. They were heading to Stonehenge, there to use the magic of the swords to open a gate to other worlds, and a means of escape. How long it stayed open, Lionheart couldn't be sure, and he felt helpless in the face of the all encompassing power of the Devourer.

Just then he looked about. He wasn't sure how he knew, but he did know the K'atinarian was out of it's stone tomb and on the hunt for him!

OOC Head to Stonehenge, or perhaps London and warn General Wynn, Dawson, Forbes, Steed and the others?


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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sat Dec 29 2012, 09:28

Admin wrote:Lionheart
OOC Head to Stonehenge, or perhaps London and warn General Wynn, Dawson, Forbes, Steed and the others?

OOC: Try and make good the sacrifice and rescue Wynn and the others if at all possible. Does Elesieth have magic to transport herself and them, because I think it would be best if I lead the K'atinarian, to somewhere like Bletchley where I might find some super science device to keep it at bay or even destroy its mortal form, such as it is.

Lionheart spelled out what he wanted Elesieth to do, how she could contact the remaining loyal forces of her majesties forces, DICE, and to get them to Stonehenge. Meanwhile with a determined look in his eye, he shot out a message that he knew the beast that thirsted for revenge, couldn't miss. "Come get me, if you can?"

And without a word or glance back, Lionheart took to the air speeding off as only he could in a blur of movement.

OOC:
Ok I will attempt to arrive at Bletchely by a circuitous route so that a) I can check to make sure no one is there and if they are they get out quickly. b) if they can't get out I get what ever super science stuff I can to make a difference and if I can create a base from which to work I will do, if not then I'll have to leave and find a better place from which to fight.


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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Wed Jan 02 2013, 23:44

Trees, rocks, bushes, buildings, all parted before it's wrath...

It was fast.

Very, very fast. It's prey was faster, but it was still learning. The rocks had slowed it, until it figured out how to destabilize its molecules. Making them solid again had been hard, and cost it time. The sky was black, and somehow the creature, through its rage, knew that the sky would fall in. When that happened, it would be one being with near limitless power against ... billions? Billions of creature with LIMITLESS power. It would lose, fail, die.

"Come get me, if you can?"

It paused, skidding to a halt and crashing through a dry stone wall without pause or harm. Nearby was a farmhouse. He sensed the beings in there. Surprisingly calm. Unusually so, given the state of panic the rest of this world appeared to be in. Then again, all of this island was the same, an island of calm in a sea of terror.

Strange. Still, it needed to feed.

The family in the farmhouse was about to feel terror again. Once fed, it would turn in the direction of the voice.

And it would feed again when it caught the little fast man.

==========

Elethiran had been dropped off in London to make contact with the DICE agents that were still in hiding after the goverments order to arrest them all...

Lionheart took off, as only he could, and sped through the streets of London. The people were calmly going about their business. Rebuilding, working, teaching, learning, playing, as if the sun still shone, the temperature hadn't dropped below zero. The people of Britain displayed an unnatural calm and Lionheart found it unnerving. There was something less... human... about them.

The landmarks of London flashed past in a blur.

He would be at Bletchley park in minutes, keeping his speed down as to limit the sonic disruption his supersonic travel would cause.

==========

The grounds of the great house were quiet.

Lionheart watched from a distance.

The place was shut down, the entrance guarded by MPs, more stationed at the doors. Orders were to arrest DICE operatives on sight, in an effort to appease world governments and panicked people who believed the superhuman Vanguard were responsible for the worlds ills.

The darkness was near complete, save to the man who could see in the dark as well as any cat.

He tipped his head to the side.

Moments later two MPs showed up, looking around. They found nothing, and moved on, patrolling the grounds.

Something, some instinct, told him that if any means of salvation could be found, it was here.

Something else told him he'd be walking into a trap.

OOC Guards, in pairs, at the dozen or so entrances. Guards looking out through windows occasionally on the upper floors. The interesting stuff is in the cellars. The Strange Science Section. To get there you need to make like Frostbite and drop through the floor, or go through the building.
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Jan 03 2013, 22:41

Admin wrote:OOC Guards, in pairs, at the dozen or so entrances. Guards looking out through windows occasionally on the upper floors. The interesting stuff is in the cellars. The Strange Science Section. To get there you need to make like Frostbite and drop through the floor, or go through the building.

Trap or not, Lionheart stood not a chance whilst he faced the creature, hosting its dark master. He had to find a way in? Was it simply easier to take on the guards and alert whatever might be triggered against him? No he'd come too far to simply throw it all away.

With all the problems Bletchley had suffered there had to be another way in. Moving quickly, floating so as not to give away his presence, and using whatever cover he could, Lionheart sort to find away through the ring of guards by which he might gain silent entry. If all else failed, he might have to take out a guard, or provide some distraction so he could get past them.

OOC:
Ok so if I can't find a way in, I'll sneak over some guards, floating above where they aren't likely to see me. And then using my telekinetic ability cause some momentary distraction off to one side, like a branch snapping or something. So that I can either knock out the remaining guard, if there are two and only one investigates, or slip past if I can. Might even borrow a uniform if need be.


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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Mon Jan 07 2013, 00:14

Lionheart almost chuckled to himself. The guards were vigilant. They'd been turned against the Vanguard by the panicked people of the world, doubtless stirred up by the beings that were responsible for the crisis the world was in!

He shot straight up into the dark sky, like an arrow, then soared down and landed on the roof. It was a simple matter to break through the roof and drop down into the rafters of the loft of the great old house, which was still majestic despite the battering it had taken from mutated animen attackers!

In moments he'd dropped into the corridors and raced through them, avoiding contact with the guards who stayed robotically vigilant, and didn't chat, smoke or sleep whilst on duty.

It was unnatural, and Lionheart was saddened. They'd won the war, so why wasn't the world fixed? Why had it descended into a chaos worse than any Hitler could have dreamed up? This was truly the 'end of days' and he wondered what efforts he could make, if any, to help.

A pebble thrown into the ocean.

He chuckled again - he wouldn't, couldn't give up. The thing that hunted him wouldn't.

He paused, controlling his breathing. Since his powers had been expanded, he wondered if he still even needed to breathe! The ultimate expression of the PSI Corps operative, the thing Bentham and Trowers had destroyed a world for, and they would never get it. He wondered if it mattered any more.

He waited for his chance to zip through another corridor and down a long, long flight of stairs. Everywhere there were signs of the battle that had sealed the fate of DICE and the Strange Sciences Section. The place would never be used again, likely demolished. Ha! The world was about to end and all he could think of was the fate of one old building!

At the bottom of the stairs, in the cellars, Lionheart looked around.

The place had been emptied.

Strange Sciences had been shipped out, boxed up and was gone!

He was doomed!

The creature would catch him soon enough, and there was nothing here save empty crates and signs of packing up to fight it with!

Might there be somewhere else, one last place, one last person, charged with the protection of this land who would know of some means to help him destroy the beast, or was he doomed?

=========

It paused, sniffing the air.

It didn't really have olfactory senses - it had adapted to sense the life essence of its prey. It looked about at the scattered bodies of the Military Police who'd manned the roadblock. It'd stopped when they challenged it, and stared impassively at the guns they levelled at its face. Then it had looked into their minds, and unlocked their deepest, most primal fears, and fed.

It wasn't enough. It was never enough, and the K'atinarian knew only that the superhuman who had foiled his plans would have the stamina, the fortitude, to long resist the kind of suffering it planned for him! And it would feed, endlessly, deliciously, drinking in the power and perhaps gaining enough to unlock not just half a dozen soldiers minds, as it'd done here, but more.

A village.

A town.

A city.

A country.

The world?

It licked a foot long tongue around its mouth and turned.

North.

There!

Using new found speed it blazed a path through the countryside heading to Bletchley Park!
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Jan 07 2013, 07:11

Admin wrote:Lionheart

Might there be somewhere else, one last place, one last person, charged with the protection of this land who would know of some means to help him destroy the beast, or was he doomed?

Taking a moment to take stock of the situation he let his gaze, his heightened senses take in the whole room. Undisturbed since things had moved out, he looked about for subtle clues, anything that might reveal what he was looking for. He floated so as not to disturb any dust that might subtle reveal a location overlooked, he let his senses smell for strange smells that might not be natural but alien. Unknown and undetectable to normal humans, but patently detectable to him. He let his hands, their superior sense of touch, reach out where possible and feel where touch might give him a clue. He even let his hearing reach out, seeing if he couldn't pick up on subtle differences in air pressure, temperature and variance in the way oxygen flowed or remained still within the room. The super science division were incredible, but they were also focused. Their powers aimed at making the best weapons, not the best safe, or doors. They had to rely on largely conventional technology in that regard and so Lionheart hoped that high tec alien gear might somehow give itself away behind a more conventional, cleverly concealed door.

But he knew he didn't have long...

OOC: Loving the tension in this story so far, I know there is a good chance Lionheart will be eviscerated but, boy does this feel like when we first started playing and I had to use my wits and think constantly out of the box. In an odd way this is fun, not all the time, but its the sense where decisions matter.

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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Wed Jan 16 2013, 00:47

OOC Sorry about missing this with the update - been over a week which is rubbish. Blame 12 hour shifts without a break/chance to get near the computer. Or the kids Rolling Eyes

Lionheart searched about...

His superhuman senses scoured the place... and indeed he found several concealed panels and caches of scientific equipment therein, but nothing that could be used as a weapon.

Think!

He sifted through the debris left behind. Other broken bric a brac, worthless items, broken crates, discarded papers. Scanning through the papers at speed, he found most were simple communiques regarding test results and the typed up names of new test subjects, catalogued weapons captured from the Nazis and ... well, none of this was going to help.

He sighed, sagging to sit down, weary of the battle - they'd won the war, but this wasn't a conventional conflict now. This was a fight for the very survival of the human race! the thing hunting him wanted revenge and, he suspected, more than that. He knew that the symbiotic nature of the Shadow Demons, at least the evil ones, meant that host forms wore out quickly, and therefore it took no great genius to deduce that he was intended to be the next host of this evil creature!

He looked at the floor, and a discarded crumpled piece of paper in the corner. After straightening it, Lionheart gave a small smile - was this a clue to something, someone, who might be able to help save Britain, and the world?



OOC I thought, ah, Dave will remember a previous adventure in which... except Lionheart didn't go on that one, Frostbite did... oops. Anyway, see what you think.
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Jan 16 2013, 07:43

Admin wrote:OOC I thought, ah, Dave will remember a previous adventure in which... except Lionheart didn't go on that one, Frostbite did... oops. Anyway, see what you think.

OOC: No worries about updates, I am constantly amazed at the quality and quantity of what you pull off week by week anyway Paul. So I can be patient, esp since I know having kids is an extraordinarily demanding time, until they get a bit older and independent and then you worry that your drifting apart! BTW love the graphic talk about apt. As regards the adventure, I can't say I readily recall the best son on a door, but the rest sounds like the vault under the palace.

Lionheart wasn't sure that he understood all the details, but it seemed clear that some sort of weapon, some sort of power existed buried beneath the Palace. He imagined in a time like this that it was likely to be abandoned. But he couldn't take a chance, he'd have to lead the symbiot a merry dance so as to provide as much time as necessary to get in and out of the palace without endangering them. The last thing he wanted that creature doing was feeding on any royals.

With that he folded the piece of paper up, for safe keeping and then speed out of the place once again, going by a different route and a circuitous one at that.

OOC: Ok so best speed to London, St James palace, unless that reference at the end was to Caer Alwyn and not the palace in which case best speed to Wales Wink...

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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Mon Jan 21 2013, 23:15

The landscape blurred around him...

Somehow he knew the Symbiote was behind him, learning and increasing in power with knowledge. The Darkness overhead was oppressive and the snow covered land about him silent, save for the wind in the trees. He had little time to sightsee though. At the speed he was travelling, he'd be in London in minutes. Of course, he could fly faster, but some instinct told him ground movement was best. He wondered why when he finally realised - the creature that was hunting him copied his abilities, and the more it was able to encounter, the more it knew. If the thing could fly, the world would be its oyster!

He shivered. Elsewhere in the world he knew creatures like the one chasing him were feeding on the misery and terror of multitudes of people. A world brought back from the brink of a long and costly war now found itself on the edge of oblivion! He wondered how much of all this was connected to the presence of the Vanguard and of the criminals he himself had pursued into the past. Leaping over a wall, sprinting across a field, weaving through a tangled wood, over a stream, onto a road, across a field, up a hillside through more trees and onto another road, in the space of heartbeats, he knew the answer to his own question. Probably quite a lot. But then, had it not been here, and now, the Devourer would be somewhere else, perhaps less able to resist its all encompassing evil.

He paused, not tired, but skidded to a halt and looked up to the sky, inky black save for light from distant stars. He knew if he strained his superhuman senses he might see the distant vessels in space guarding the planet, but he didn't want to look on them and see them destroyed by Shadow Emissaries. Far better to concentrate on his own task, and if the world ended?

No one would care if he succeeded or failed.

=========

The cellar was empty...

The creature growled. Becoming more beastlike as it took on the aspect of a hunting hot on the trail of its prey, it'd barely slowed down to drink from the terror of the guards about this place, and even then, it'd been disappointed. The men with guns had died accepting their fate, mostly without fear and that had been disturbing.

If it stayed here much longer it would starve to death!

With a roar it leapt up, smashing through floors of Bletchley Park manor, exploding through the roof and landing at a run, crashing through anything in it's path! It needed the fast man, and in order to catch him, it would need to be faster.

With that in mind it seemed to step up a gear, and the ground, soil and snow alike, was thrown up into the air in it's wake! Trees tumbled, rocks were shattered, and the trail the K'atinarian left was unmistakeable in it's ferocity and meaning!

In the distance, the lights of London shone, unaware of the doom that approached her...


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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Mon Jan 21 2013, 23:26

Getting in was no problem...

The grounds of Buckingham Palace were well guarded. Peelers and MPs stood vigilant, well dressed and prepared for the cold, but were unlike most guards on boring duty. They didn't chat, they used their eyes and ears constantly, and the Peelers communicated by means of the ear piece communicators issued by DICE strange science section...

"...Delta squad, east wing. Clear." crackled the voice in Lionhearts ear. He'd waited for the right moment to get in, listening in on the intermittent chatter, which had been all business. He still had his own earpiece, and watched from a far rooftop with eyes that adjusted to the dark as well as a cats and zoomed in better than any Eagles!

"...going for a break. Watch the south entrance, Echo squad? only be 10 minutes."

Lionheart moved.

He was a blur of fluid motion, agile, strong, fast. The wall was barely a hop for him, and he landed, sped to the shadow of the famous building where lights shone down around in yellow pools, then sped deeper into the grounds, senses peeled.

What was he looking for? He wasn't sure. Just then he stopped, and frowned. There was something he could hear, distant and different from the usual sounds of breathing, walking, even heartbeats, all of which he blanked out as best he could. This had the hum and whir of a machine generating electricity. It was muffled, and faint, but even so his extraordinary senses caught the sound, amplified it, and gave him pause to wonder what secrets lay beneath the grounds of the palace.

Only problem was, the guards would raise the alarm and dash any hope he had of finding something, anything to combat the threat of the creature chasing him, and then they were all doomed! Rather than blunder about in the halls and rooms of the palace, dare he, could he, ask a guard, or servant, or perhaps... a member of the royal family?

Suddenly the hairs on his neck stood up, and he looked out into the darkness across London.

Something bad this way comes... He didn't have long!
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Tue Jan 22 2013, 22:06

Admin wrote:Getting in was no problem...Suddenly the hairs on his neck stood up, and he looked out into the darkness across London. Something bad this way comes... He didn't have long!

"No time for formal introductions then." Lionheart said to himself. He could help but doubt tackling a peeler for information would only slow him down. He was on his own and he had to make the most of his amazing abilities, and quick.

Screening out the sounds around him, wasn't his brightest idea, but if he couldn't pin point the source he'd be left facing the creature alone. So focusing solely on what his amazing senses had already noticed, he began to move as quickly as he could to pin point the source and a way to get closer to it.

OOC: Ok assume that for the purposes of dice rolling if I come up badly that I use hero points as needed. If I don't find Queen Vic's hidden chambers I'm gonna be backed up against a wall with little to withstand my oncoming enemy.

Sj
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Sun Jan 27 2013, 00:50

Lionheart concentrated, shutting down other senses to heighten the remaining ones...

That strange, humming buzz, muffled as if behind walls or...

He glanced down. Underground?

Moving quickly, he sped from shadow to shadow, into the Palace via a rear entrance after having 'persuaded' the door - time was running out and subtlety was left off the menu.

Glancing around, waiting for ordinary rank and file servants to move through the halls of the service corridors, Lionheart struggled to pick up the 'scent' of the energy emission, and forced himself to relax, calm his breathing, and try again.

Just then something... someone? Someone else intruded on his thoughts... His telepathy was in a passive state, and it would take someone of exceptional will and mental fortitude for him to be able to hear their thoughts when he wasn't actively using his telepathy. Even so, the voice was faint, and he had to concentrate again to hear it. once more he was aware of time ticking away...

'Our land is imperilled. We have need of a champion...' said an imperious sounding voice, a female voice. Again, this came from underground. He looked about, and his senses detected the slight scrape marks on the black and white chequered tiles of the kitchen floor. Making sure no one was around - the kitchen staff appeared to be off duty for the moment - he moved to a wall and started to probe around with his fingers. He couldn't feel a catch anywhere on the walls, but a glance up saw a plate, adorned with a picture of an old lady, along with Latin writing. It hung about eye level to the right of where he was searching for a hidden catch.

Lionheart was convinced there was a secret door in here, but it was doubtless alarmed.

Just then he turned - gunshots rung outside the grounds of the palace, lots of them!

The K'Atinarian was close! And death followed where it went!

OOC Apologies for really rubbish post updates. Usual work/kids schedule disaster. I intend to update later today (it's Sunday by now, 00.49) and *try* to get a wrap on this thread, thus able to finish off the Vanguard thread this coming week. best laid plans and all that. Anyway, the bad guy has tracked our hero to the Palace, and it's about to get nasty...
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sun Jan 27 2013, 08:41

Admin wrote:Lionheart
OOC Apologies for really rubbish post updates. Usual work/kids schedule disaster. I intend to update later today (it's Sunday by now, 00.49) and *try* to get a wrap on this thread, thus able to finish off the Vanguard thread this coming week. best laid plans and all that. Anyway, the bad guy has tracked our hero to the Palace, and it's about to get nasty...

OOC: Ok so the the monster on my tail, I'll focus on the plate, saying the words, probing it, twisting it, trying to get it to open. Seeing if I can't find a way to free the door from what I can deduce from observing the plate. Looking for finger prints, anything else my sense can pick p that might show me the way in which this secret area is usually accessed.

Lionheart probed, spoke and otherwise tried all he could as what stood before him and the means to stop the K'Atinarian, was so close, but remained so tantalizing far away.

OOC: Understand the whole work/home situation esp given your job. Anyway we're here when you're ready.

Sj
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Mon Jan 28 2013, 01:10

Realising the importance of the plate - though others might have missed the reference, Lionheart looked for some means of using it...

It was a simple lift and turn to the side, revealing a simple round button pressed into the wall!

Without further ado he pressed it and the opposite wall (from where he was stood) shuddered and moved via a series of pulleys to push out and slide to the side! The corridor beyond was illuminated by gas lamps suggesting someone had been down here recently, or was still to be found wherever this led.

Running down the corridor, albeit with some caution, he paused at the top of a set of narrow stairs that led down into the ground below Buckingham Palace.

He winced at the sounds of grenades going off, constant gunfire, and screams... Turning away slightly, knowing he could do nothing for the valiant guards staying at their posts, he sped on into the darkness...

=========

A substantial brass and steel vault door barred any further progress...

Lionheart stopped at it and looked back. the long corridor led somewhere - he guessed - under the grounds of the Palace. The vault door was intricately crafted but solidly made, and the walls down here looked to have been carved from the rock, rather than built!

He could probably tear through it, given time, but... he listened...

There were no sounds of the battle above that he could hear. Either that meant he was too far away or that the battle was over...

Examining the vault door, he saw certain details - carved into a tarnished brass plate was a tumbler lock of sorts. Four dials with letters on, some kind of tumbler lock? High up on the door itself, a brass plaque read "Optimus Filius"

The lock could be seen to have various letters on. V, W, E, A, H, L, P when a tumbler was rolled. All four were identical. Lionhearts superhuman senses realised that the strange energy frequency was coming from behind the door. Placing a hand on the door gave a strange sensation too. Chances were it was booby trapped, and/or electrified!

Another portion of the door showed a heraldic plate:



Lionheart frowned. Some part of him recognised it as the personal herald of either a monarch or a prince. Might it be a clue as to the way to get into this vault?

OOC You can try for an Intelligence... oh yeah. Oops. Suppose it'd have to be an Ego check requiring a high roll for some inspiration, but you already solved this puzzle once, albeit back in 2010... Smile

There was a crash - of smashed masonry or tumbling walls, who knew, but it could only mean one thing... if Lionheart were running out of time before, surely the last few grains were slipping from the hourglass right now!
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Jan 28 2013, 07:52

OOC: Thank goodness for google search of the site, I just reread how painful I time I had trying to decipher this last time. I think the trouble was, not that it was a difficult puzzle, but just that I have so little familiarity with puzzles I had no idea at the time how these things are supposed to work.

Lionheart used his incredible senses and began to use the tumblers to spell out the initials of what he imagined to be Victoria's favoured son. A...W...P....A. Arthur William Patrick Albert: b.1850, d.1942, he seemed to remember from some distant vid pool induct session. A time long ago. A time that might not now even exist, nor indeed might this one if he didn't get a move on.

He could hear the sound building behind, but he knew that there was likely only one right combination and if this wasn't it, he'd have to resort to brute force anyway. "In for a penny..." He said to no one in particular.

OOC: So lets see if my G foo worked or not...

Sj
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Wed Jan 30 2013, 19:38

OOC thanks for hanging in there - this week is a killer, but you probably already figured that out by my absence Sad

Lionheart slid the brass tumblers into place, and sure enough there was a distant CLANK!, and sounds of internal bolts moving inside the door...

It swished back smoothly on perfectly oiled hinges, and lights came on to reveal a short corridor that led into a larger, well it looked like a cave!

And it was cold!

Lionheart barely felt that - his forcefield protected him from the cold and the heat, but every footstep brought the crunch of ice. He saw other footsteps, frosted over, and knew that whatever was in here, it was the subject of some care.

Entering the larger cave, he heard a CLANK! behind and turned to see the door closed, witht he whirring of internal bolts sliding into place.

The cave was full of machinery, most of which Lionheart didn't recognise. Not because it was too advanced, but rather the opposite! The styling, function and primitive looking pipework and brass workings all suggested its origin as being in the Victorian era!

His eyes rested on a large block of ice in the centre of the room, seemingly fed and kept cold by huge pipes running from the ceiling and sending clouds of boiling white gas over it, which were cold rather than hot, so as to prevent the block of ice thawing. There was a dark shape in the ice, and Lionheart gasped, his amazing senses telling him that which his mind wanted to disbelieve! Not only was there a person, frozen and kept alive, in stasis there in the ice, but the door, the location, the secrecy, all pointed to...

"You sir, are in the presence of a Queen" said a crisp, clipped voice behind Lionheart. He'd been too busy gawping and ignored the telltale shiver that advised him danger was close at hand! That said, it had been near constant since his encounter and subsequent chase with the K'atinarian, and required ignoring so as not to cause untold distraction!

The fellow holding a gun some ten feet away was dressed in a suit, probably around fifty years old and sporting a white handlebar moustache under a deerstalker hat as might have been worn by Sherlock Holmes! His breath frosted as he spoke, and he added "Show some bloody respect, or I'll gun you down where you stand, you impertinent bounder!" he harrumphed. Then almost immediately he barked "And right after that you'd better bloody well tell me who you are, why you are here and how you got here!"
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Jan 31 2013, 12:09

Admin wrote:Lionheart

The fellow holding a gun some ten feet away was dressed in a suit, probably around fifty years old and sporting a white handlebar moustache under a deerstalker hat as might have been worn by Sherlock Holmes! His breath frosted as he spoke, and he added "Show some bloody respect, or I'll gun you down where you stand, you impertinent bounder!" he harrumphed. Then almost immediately he barked "And right after that you'd better bloody well tell me who you are, why you are here and how you got here!"

"Sorry.." Lionheart offered a bit lamely, as he tried once again to get over his shock. "You're majesty its a..er honour to meet you." Lionheart was only hesitant as he was unsure if the woman within the ice could even hear let alone acknowledge what was going on. But the man proved no threat and unless he played along, what he might know and what might help Lionheart defeat his pursuer might be lost to him.

"Now, sir I appreciate your thoroughness in matters of state protical, but the world is going to hell in a handbasket and I have an alien suffused with living darkness ready to tear out my insides and use my body as its new walking wardrobe. Somehow I'm lead to believe that in this archaic place might be the means to stop this fowl creature. Because if it gets this body, it will be unstoppable in its desire to wreak terrible havoc on the nation and the Queen's subjects!"

Thinking about what he had just said, Lionheart added, "My name is Lionheart I work for the British Army and am part of the group called the Vanguard."

Hoping that a presentation of his credentials, such as they were might help this man get beyond his stiff British formality and onto a means to defeat the K'Atinarian, before it made merry havoc with the Queen and then her country.

OOC: Yeah no problem about pace, find myself very busy at present also

Sj


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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Sat Feb 02 2013, 22:37

The man frowned, bushy brows dipping under the brim of the hat. "Harrumph." he coughed.

"Heard of you. To my mind you and your friends stopped that bounder Hitler and ended the war, almost single handedly. 'They' meaning the blasted politicians, then reward you by outlawing you and arresting all the good folk at Dawsons' place. Good lad, Dawson, knew him from old at Eaton."

He lowered his gun. "For what it's worth, the King thinks you lot are bloody marvellous, and I have an idea that Churchill does too, but he's had his ear bent by someone. Probably the Yanks."

With a sigh he glanced at the ice block housing the Queen. "Her majesty has been unsettled of late. Started a few weeks ago. The land is ... 'wrong' somehow. She feels these things when something threatens this land she loves, and could not let go of, even when she - to all intents and purposes - died of old age."

Lionheart suddenly glanced at the Vault door.

WHOOOM!!!

The ceiling and walls shuddered, and the Vault door bent inwards, tearing from the wall save for stretched, tortured metal that hung the door deep into solid rock walls.

"Bloody hell!" gasped the old fellow. "What in the deuce... you were right sonny jim!" he raised his pistol to aim through a gap between wrecked door and stone frame. A black soulless eye and red skin filled the gap and seemed to light up with humour. BLAM!

The bullet slammed into the eye with a SPLUTCH! and the creature cried out, pulling back.

"Had a few of those, what you call 'em? Lunarium bullets made up. When we found out about the stuff we had those Science boffins at DICE make em safe through some process or other that removed the radiation - for the most part - but left in it's place a bullet that will night on cut through anything!"

He struggled to reload the gun. "Thing is, they are blasted heavy and volatile. Juggle or drop them and they crack open and leak radiation, supposedly." He carefully fumbled with bullets and turned to Lionheart. "Best be out of here sonny. There's an exit out the back, same password on the tumblers you used to get in. I'd change it but ma'am wouldn't hear of it. The thing outside them doors will get to the Queen only over my dead body!" he barked, and with gun loaded, waited in a calm side on pose to raise the pistol for another shot at the K'Atinarian outside...

'The Grail' croaked a weak voice in Lionhearts head. 'use the Grail... drink from it... the power of good will infuse...'

Lionheart looked around, then realized from where the voice had come! He gasped and looked at the ice block, and dark form therein!

And there.

A slightly lighter shade in the ice, in the left hand of the Queen! A shape, like a beaker, or a cup?

The old fella shouted up "There may be more of them outside sonny! Best get... " his voice trailed away as he realized the face in the gap at the door. "It's the same one? With a hole in it's head? How is... how can it...?" he spluttered and seemed somewhat older and more frail as he realized that the chances of his being able to defend his Queen were practically nil...

A pair of powerful hands outside the door grabbed the ruined metal and started to tear it clear ...
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sun Feb 03 2013, 14:07

Admin wrote:A pair of powerful hands outside the door grabbed the ruined metal and started to tear it clear ...

"Quick man the queen is safe, but you will not be from this thing. Get away whilst you can."

Lionheart moved as fast as he could smashing his hand into the ice hoping that his skills with martial arts would render the place where the grail stood easier to reach without the queen being further endangered. He knew if this was to end here, he had to do something and this was all that he'd got. His and maybe even the lands last hope.


OOC: So instructing the last guardian to get away whilst trying to grab the grail without making a mess of things. If need be I'll try and throw up a forcefield over the man or instead using my telekinesis to try and throw off the K'Atinarian. Spoil its aim get its focus on me rather than the civilians in this place.

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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Admin on Wed Feb 06 2013, 01:00

"I'll be damned before I become the first Peterson to ever desert his post!" he bellowed. "HAVE AT THEE, BASE VILLAIN!!!" he cried, and started to advance towards the shuddering vault door, and the creature tearing it from its hinges on the other side!

Lionheart was aghast! The man was either a fool, completely deranged or so blinded by duty and loyalty that his life meant nothing to him if it meant he might save his Queen!

Without time to even shake his head in wonder Lionheart looked at the ice, then he started to rub his hand over the ice at super speed, using his martial art skill and thousands of rapid fire blows to hack at the ice like a pick! In less time than it took to drop a couple of ice cubes into a refreshing gin and tonic, he'd whittled away a small tunnel and saw the cup, for such it was, in the frozen blue skinned frail hand of the long dead queen!

It was plain, perhaps of wood, though it was so aged it was hard to make out details. A simple cup, as might befit a carpenter.

'The Holy Grail!' said a voice in his head! 'Ultimate power!'

Lionheart took the cup gently from the fingers, and they seemed to relax ever so slightly, which he knew must have taken a colossal effort of will from the still living mind inside that frozen body! Already cold gas was freezing the air around the hand and it would soon be encapsulated in ice again!

'Fill the grail... and give it to the creature!'


Lionheart gaped! Was the Queen mad? After decades trapped in the Ice, a silent guardian of the most cherished object in Christian folklore, she was ordering him to hand it over to a creature which would use its power for evil? He turned, ready to place a forcefield over Peterson, the Last Guardian, but the man was already in the grip of a red tendril and struggling to pull his pistol about! More oozing tendrils flowed around the mangled vault door, and Peterson cried out in agony as they started to flow into his body through his ears, mouth, nose...

Lionheart held the Holy Grail in his hand. The K'atinarian flowed into the room like oozing blood, and raised itself to a height of some 5m, towering over the hero.

"Whhhhat have we here?" it cackled. "We feel... a mind... strong of will! Good feeding this shall be!" it laughed "But first, we take your body, little man!"

OOC the creature is about to strike! It has Peterson held, dangling in the air from a writhing tentacle, and is reaching for Lionheart!
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Feb 07 2013, 07:29

Admin wrote:OOC the creature is about to strike! It has Peterson held, dangling in the air from a writhing tentacle, and is reaching for Lionheart!

OOC: Ran out of time to reply yesterday, so here we go...

Lionheart knew that the creature would suspect something was amiss if he tried to be too obvious. He had to wonder if a little reverse psychology would work better. After all the creature was arrogant and unconcerned for its ultimate well being.

"Put him down, your argument is with me. So come and take me, if you think you can!"

As he spoke the last words, Lionheart pointed with the grail, seemingly unaware he had it and which point he hastily withdrew it again. He looked about for a good defensive position, wondering where he might find something to fill the grail before attempting to get the creature to drink from it.

But he was also mindful that Peterson was in grave danger if it wasn't already too late for the courageous, soldier.

OOC: Ok just to be clear I've subtly tried to make the K'Atinarian aware of the grail and my desire to protect it. I want it to suspect that this chase has lead me here for just this. But all I am doing is trying to keep it away from the creature, so as to allure it in. My thoughts will be directed toward getting it away from it and it away from here. So to that end as soon as I can I make another break for it, but this time trying to pull the creature after me. If need be I will taunt it so as to make it leave without the Queen etc.

And to add injury to insult I will give it a really heafty Psi blast, assume I add in 4 hero points to boost damage and accuracy.


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