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 Thu Sep 13 2012, 00:40

Saladin watched Lionheart for a moment, then smiled and lowered the gun to the table. "I'm in your head. I can sense where you are, for some reason. A consequence of having shared minds? Who knows? All I know is that the sun suddenly winked out of sight and that your DICE agents dragged me out of the medical bay on a V-Ship without warning and did the same to what was left of Spartan and the two women, one of whom looked to be more machine than human."

He chuckled "Risky business, being on the 'good side'. They laud you as a hero, but can't wait to drop you like a hot coal if it means they'll save their skins! It brings up another problem, however. Much as I'd prefer it not to, there are signs, portents if you will, that this is the 'end of days' - not in a biblical sense, but it should be a time of great rejoicing. The World War has ended prematurely, and thanks in no small part to you. So why then is the World shrouded in darkness, the people panicking in the streets, and governments of the world rounding on Britain, blaming them - somehow - for this new terror? What's more, I have walked these streets. Despite the chilling darkness and induced winter conditions, there is an air of optimism and grim determination in the air. No panic, no fear, only stoic drive in every Man, Woman and Child to do their duty. Even the dogs don't howl on a night."

He leaned forward "King... Richard. This is not Britain. Whatever it is, it is not the land that eventually gives birth to the PSI Corps or you and I. It is changed. Perhaps... perhaps if Britain survived this new terror then it might well bring about the conditions that set Bentham and Trowers on their path to ruling the future. If that were so, we should not exist as the future is not certain by any means. The world could end tomorrow, which means we should never have existed!" he added with a humourless chuckle.

He leaned back in the chair, steepling his fingers. "Put the kettle on old chap. Hear me out. Because of the nature of time, and travelling backwards and forwards in it, there must therefore be infinite dimensions, infinite versions of the Earth. We have come back into a past that was not our own - our Earth, from what we can remember, never had aliens invading, superhumans, at least until the 1960s though the history files are sketchy in that regard, and there was certainly no mention of a great darkness! Therefore I propose that we find some means of traversing time and space to leave all this behind. Find another Earth, perhaps a more civilised time, and live out our lives in peace. The world we knew has gone - no amount of vengeance seeking on my part will bring it back, and my own near demise has driven home just how precious life is. Plus, what is left here?"

He shrugged, staring into the mug of tea Lionheart handed him, and raising it slightly in thanks. "We are outlaws, all. The radio and newspapers have our pictures and descriptions plastered all over them. We are wanted fugitives. The Agents who came to arrest me were Peelers. Oh don't worry, they'll live. Your friends - Boadicea, Guillotine and Spartan, escaped with the aid of an Alien. He called himself NoMan. They are on the run, as we are. I knew you'd come here." he tapped the side of his head "But the question is, what do you intend to do from here? I have a plan... but you won't like it."

He gave a pause, then his eyes narrowed.

"Claude Bentham is the smartest man in this and probably any other era, at least as far as adapting and inventing technology goes. I say we swallow our distaste and force him to make something - a dimensional portal - and we get out of here. Leave this world and these people to their fate. There's nothing we, even you, can do against that!" he said, looking out of the window at the jet black sky.

"So what do you say? Truce, not just with me, but with the man we've both sworn to bring to justice, him and his partners in crime, including that scumbag Damon Trowers?"
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Sep 13 2012, 07:52

Admin wrote:Lionheart

"So what do you say? Truce, not just with me, but with the man we've both sworn to bring to justice, him and his partners in crime, including that scumbag Damon Trowers?"

Lionheart laughed at Saladin's proposal. "Oh my friend, you know so much but realise so little."

Then Lionheart proceeded to tell Saladin how the Devourer was the destroyer of all dimensions it existed in many places, leaping sideways wouldn't help. Lionheart also knew that Bentham and Trowers might well not even be available.

Finishing his small discourse he said, "Jump if you wish, but if life is so precious, then you'll think twice about abandoning this place."

Lionheart took his seat, staring into the fire his mind turning to the remainder of the time he had left before meeting the others and wondering where Noman would have taken the others.

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

Post  Admin on Fri Sep 14 2012, 00:40

Saladin chuckled and sipped at his tea, looking into the fire "So you are saying that all is lost? Any attempt to change or improve our lot is futile? Ha! Poppycock! I will fight till my dying breath and even then, spit in deaths eye as he comes for me!" he grins. "The nature of time and space may have been mastered by this creature, the so called Devourer, but if that is the case, why are we not dead already? Why has this creature simply not travelled through time to an age where people are ignorant of its power and unable to resist? Instead it has come here, now, to a time where there are a group of remarkable individuals who can change worlds? Why is the Devourer here?"

Lionheart thought for a moment. Saladin continued "Shall I answer? I believe it is here precisely because of those individuals. Everything else... what does it matter to this thing that the people of Earth exist at all? It can block out suns, shape the universe, conquer it, devour it. What does it matter about one puny planet?"

"Nothing matters about this planet. I can say that because we know, now, we are a speck of dust in the affairs of cosmic powers. We see Aliens and their fleets of invaders, spaceships and weapons of mass destruction, and they rain down death from above whilst the people of Earth battle over who controls which patch of muck! And the Vanguard stopped them. We see a dictator who allied himself with dark forces and won a war that changed the course of human history, wiping it out in an instant and replacing it with one in which the Nazis became the supreme power on Earth. Except they didn't because the Vanguard stopped him. men from the future, intent on shaping that future to their grand designs by treading on the butterfly in the past, so to speak. Their pebble dropped in the ocean of time would send out a ripple that becomes a tidal wave three hundred years in the future. Their plan was worked out to the last detail by a man who is never wrong, and yet he is thwarted, by the Vanguard."

"You see? There is nothing on this planet the Devourer could want, save for the Vanguard. Why? Who knows? It existed before we knew about it, and will exist after we are gone, doing what it does. It wants the Vanguard. It is the only logical choice."

Lionheart looked up, alarmed.

Saladin leaned back in his chair, watching his former foe. "So give them to it."

Saladin watched Lionheart for a few heartbeats then added "Unless I have it wrong, and the Devourer wants the designs of the internal combustion engine and the secret of how to make ice-cream." He shrugged and he laughed, raised his mug and drank deeply.

Lionheart watched the former PSI Corpsman laugh to himself with the glow of the fire on his face, then cast his thoughts to the location of NoMan. A P'utinarian exposed to the fierce Lunarium radiation that should have killed him and instead changed him, he had been less than successful in his attempts to be part of the team, yet there was much potential in him with his ability to mimic superhuman abilities once he'd seen them. He knew little of the procedures and ways of the DICE organisation, and even less of civilians. He'd probably stick out like a sore thumb. That said, he wasn't daft. He'd find somewhere to lie low, then look for a sign from the rest of the Vanguard to know when it was safe to come in.

Just then Lionheart turned, looking at the door.

Saladin asked "What is it?" before he tilted his head to one side. "Ah."

Lionheart knew then that the authorities - soldiers for the most part - were conducting house to house searches, and were on the floor below this one! They were looking for the Vanguard, and unless he did something, they'd find them, or him at least!

Saladin finished his tea, rolled his neck and popped his knuckles. "Time to bust heads?" he asked.
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Sep 14 2012, 07:32

Admin wrote:Saladin chuckled and sipped at his tea...Saladin finished his tea, rolled his neck and popped his knuckles. "Time to bust heads?" he asked.

Lionheart listened, as much as he hated to agree with Saladin, there was something in what he said. But right now there was an additional complication. If they were to make the meeting point, they had to remain out of the clutches of the authorities. Though it would be no problem to evade them, the last thing they needed to do, was cause a world of hurt to fall on their human friends, who'd find it much harder to escape.


"I know you'd probably like to work the kinks out of that new body, but this isn't the time. We've got a meeting to make, we can talk about what you've been saying later. Right now we'll head for the roof. You can get your work out trying to keep up."

The last words were said with a smile, but not one of good natured friends, more of a challenge to an enemy.

OOC:
Ok so I think once we've done all we can to make it look like we've not been present. We'll head out to the roof, and head across that way.

If it turns out there is no way to the roof, we'll head out an open window and fly up our out or away. We're not looking to bust heads, just take the opportunity to get away without causing undue attention.


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

Post  Admin on Fri Sep 14 2012, 21:43

"Spoilsport" muttered Saladin as he eased up and opened the window. To Lionhearts incredible reflexes it looked like the man was clumsy, hamstrung. In reality Saladin was probably already at the level of the best 20th century Olympic Gymnast and getting better all the time as his mind adapted the bodies connections to its unique working. Lionheart considered the method and knew he was different. His body had been altered, at the molecular level. Perhaps he wasn't even human anymore.

Not a comforting thought.

"Are you coming?" yelled Saladin from the roof. He'd scaled the walls and reached the guttering, pulling himself up. Lionheart didn;t really have to follow the same way - he could fly - but it was of no effort to more or less sprint up the wall with a few well placed pulls of hands on gaps in bricks.

The pair raced through the darkness with little or no light. Saladin used his improving sense of balance and reactions, Lionheart could see in the dark, but even that was starting to falter. His night vision was based on an animals, which generally used ultra violet light. With the suns energy blocked by the Devourer even UV light was blocked.

=========

St Pauls Cathedral was surrounded by scaffolding, but repair work had been suspended, indefinitely

Ernest Slobotham grunted painfully, shifting his weight. He sat in the car and watched the great old building from across the street. "We're on"

He and Emma Steed paced across the road to meet up with Dawson and Forbes, the latter of which was puffing on a pipe. The small group met on the steps, then moved to the deeper shadows, watching the street in all directions.

More shadowed figures turned up. Peelers, having refused to surrender to the authorities, came in their twos and threes. When Saladin and Lionheart turned up there were around 30 people gathered, speaking quietly and exchanging information. Lionheart surreptitiously scanned surface thoughts of the people in the crowd and was surprised to find not a single one harboured thoughts of betraying the former DICE operatives. It seemed Dawson and Forbes had chosen their people well.

There was no sign of General Wynn.

One agent walked up to Saladin and Lionheart, and Lionheart smiled. Saladin asked "What's...?" then saw the Peeler morph into the form of NoMan, his P'utinarian form basically humanoid without facial features such as a nose or ears. "Spartan, Boudicea and Guillotine are safe. Spartan and Boadicea are being cared for, but are in no condition to fight. I am."

Forbes came over. "Lionheart, we have someone we need you to meet." he lead the Vanguardian through the small crowd and moved to where Dawson was stood with a young woman.



Dawson shook Lionhearts hand "Meet Peeler 92. Jane Ellen Walker. She's..."

Jane smiled "One of Dawsons 'odd squad'. I have strange dreams... I dreamed a day ago about a place on the moors. Standing stones. The stones glowed bright white, and it was too bright to see. People came through. Lots of people, from somewhere else...."

Dawson look excited "Don't you see? 'From somewhere else'. What if that were a gate we could use to get people away from here, to not be here when the Devourer strikes?"

'Help me' said a voice in Lionhearts head, faint like before...
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Sep 14 2012, 22:57

Admin wrote:Jane smiled "One of Dawsons 'odd squad'. I have strange dreams... I dreamed a day ago about a place on the moors. Standing stones. The stones glowed bright white, and it was too bright to see. People came through. Lots of people, from somewhere else...."

'Help me' said a voice in Lionhearts head, faint like before...

Momentarily distracted, Lionheart realise he cannot ignore the call, the vision that Jane had had, clearly was linked. Lionheart shared as much with the others, before adding, "Whatever else happens, I've got to go. The voice is weaker all the time, I was hoping to get away sooner, but now it seems we've confirmation and I want to get away. I suggest you lie low, it might be that we can find out a bit more from our guests, if my guess proves true as to the visitors in Jane's vision and the voice I keep hearing."

OOC:
ok its time I got on with checking out the voice and stones as I should have done straight away.

I'll suggest Saladin helps out, although I know its more likely he'll either want to follow me, or find his own way out. Still I can but ask.


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

Post  Admin on Sun Sep 16 2012, 23:26

Forbes and Dawson glanced at each other. "You are the only chance we have of... finding Wynn. If anything happens to you our little underground movement here, will be fairly... completely impotent!" said Forbes.

Saladin smiled "I will make sure he gets in before 11" he chuckled.

Dawson frowned at Saladin and continued "What if it's a trap...? This is madness!"

"The ... the dream..." spluttered the Agent. "The people that came through. Some were strange.. they dressed in odd clothes. Their ears... pointed at the tips. Others looked like they had the heads of animals... I know strange things happen in dreams but..."

Lionheart wasn't quite sure what to expect at Avebury, but it was clear something was going on. He was also aware of the time - Nowhere Boy had mentioned being at Caer Alwyn which was tomorrow. He'd also stated that he was dead..."

Agent King rubbed at his eyes, then sighed. Too many places to be, not enough time, even for him. Still...

He looked at Steed, who'd joined them, then Forbes and Dawson. "I'll have to do my best. I need to know what's going on at Avebury. Saladin? You coming?"

"Ohhhh, I wouldn't miss it. Sounds like a midsummer nights dream, what with animal headed people and fairies prancing about with pointed ears..." Saladin looked about. "What? I'm just saying. It'll be fun!" he smiled.

=========

"So, how do you want to get there? Pinch an aeroplane, catch a cab? A bus? Jog... Run?"

The snow had turned to ice cold sleet, and the pitch black night was eerily silent. The DICE personnel had left, drifting off into the night after establishing a means of communication and code to use in case of being compromised. Brigadier Dawson had handed out earpieces to everyone, capable of communication across London instantly. The alien technology had been put to good use, and was reserved for the most important or powerful DICE operatives. Now it'd been handed out to whomever was left.

Pulling his coat about him, hat down, Lionheart considered the options. He could fly or run at speeds faster than any plane. He looked at Saladin. His former enemy looked back, then rolled his eyes.

"85 or so miles in the freezing cold. Well... best wrap up then. Don't drop me."

=========

A thick mist hung over the plains.

Lionheart had used a map to navigate, not easy seeing as the land was wreathed in pitch darkness. The moors were silent, like the grave, aside from the shivering breath of the two men who stood looking at a wide circle of stones.

Suddenly Lionheart was aware that they were not alone! He tipped his head to one side. The pitch blackness and fog was broken somewhat by Saladin fishing out a flashlight, but Lionhearts superhuman senses could hear footsteps... and heartbeats... of numerous - a dozen? people stepping from the behind the stones to close in on the pair in the circle!

OOC You are stood in the stone circle at Avebury, it's pitch black and thick with fog, and something is approaching. Several somethings. They've not said anything and Lionhearts Intuition is telling him he's in danger... Saladin is not yet up to speed - no mental powers, though he's a supreme hand to hand fighter and marksman. Fight, flight or talk? You also have an array of powers you can call on...
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Sep 17 2012, 07:11

Admin wrote:OOC You are stood in the stone circle at Avebury, it's pitch black and thick with fog, and something is approaching. Several somethings. They've not said anything and Lionhearts Intuition is telling him he's in danger... Saladin is not yet up to speed - no mental powers, though he's a supreme hand to hand fighter and marksman. Fight, flight or talk? You also have an array of powers you can call on...


"Don't do anything hasty."

Lionheart quickly whispered to Saladin. For he knew that he had been summoned here, more than that he'd got confirmation that this wasn't just his imagination. He reached out with his mind, seeking to speak with the owner of the voice that had summoned him, here first of all.

"Hello, its me. Lionheart, member of the Vanguard. I've come as you indicated I should. Are these...people, with you! Best call them off we don't want a fight in the dark. They will get hurt!"

The last line was spoken mater of factly as they crowd drew nearer, Saladin could only be counted on to be self interested, which might mean he struck first. Lionheart didn't like to think what he could end up doing if, he really let loose.

OOC:
Ok fancy dancing, I guess this is either allies or foes, but if foes I don't think I'd have been summoned here! Could be wrong of course, but I suspect a battle will only go one way, so hoping we can get through to who I suspect has come through and go from there. In any case I am keeping one eye on the crowd and one on Saladin, if he gets jumpy I want to make sure it doesn't take me by surprise.


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

Post  Admin on Tue Sep 18 2012, 12:51

Saladin glanced at Lionheart "Easy for you to say. I don't have a force field!"

A dark form towered over Saladin, and he stepped back into a defensive position - not that that would have done much against a titanic 8' tall Minotaur!



"WAIT!" shouted a regal female voice, strangely muscial.



"Ah, now she is easier on the eye!" proclaimed Saladin with a cautious glance at the Minotaur that had advanced from the mist and the dark shadows that stood ready to pounce!

"I am Elesieth." said the woman. "I serve the fallen Queen, Morganna le Fay. She is trapped between worlds and I mean to free her! Speak truth - do you serve Morrigan, and ware ye, for I shall know if ye speak untruth!"
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Tue Sep 18 2012, 23:00

Admin wrote:
"Ah, now she is easier on the eye!" proclaimed Saladin with a cautious glance at the Minotaur that had advanced from the mist and the dark shadows that stood ready to pounce!

"I am Elesieth." said the woman. "I serve the fallen Queen, Morganna le Fay. She is trapped between worlds and I mean to free her! Speak truth - do you serve Morrigan, and ware ye, for I shall know if ye speak untruth!"

Lionheart couldn't hold back a smile. He and the team needed some good news and maybe this was it. He moved into the light so he could see better, not that he needed to. "Milady, I can see what Frostbite, Joe see's in you. But he didn't do you justice. I am Lionheart friend and Vanguardian with Frostbite, Silver Sentinel and Anyman.

I know one man, who'll be very pleased do see you. But that will have to wait.

The woman Morrigan, has already infiltrated and turned our Government against us. She wanted to use me to help her find certain items in order to make off with this place as her new kingdom. I'd doubt she'd succeed with the Devourer being present. But it doesn't stop her causing merry hell."


Lionheart paused, mindful that he might be going to fast. But then there wasn't a whole lot of time for talking. He had a team to assemble and a plan to try and enact if they were going to capture and stop Morrigan's plan.

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

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 19 2012, 23:03

Elesieth nodded, taking in Lionhearts words. "My Queen, Morgana, worked hard to save us. We moved from world to world, narrowly avoiding one catastrophe after another, until the evil of Morrigan took over! Thankfully I was able to guide us here, when all was thought lost. Morgana believes it is because I have some... emotional attachment with someone... or this place." she added hurriedly. "Tell me, is Frostbite...?" she looked around then composed herself. "There is not the time. Morgana was separated into good and evil. The evil half, you know has turned your... government? Against you? What is that? A weapon of some kind?Whilst you must believe me and know that we will help try to stop her plans, there is a more pressing need. We need magical artifacts to act as a focus and amplifier for whatever magic we few can summon, in order to pull Morgana from the between worlds place she is trapped in! She has called out to me, so that I may find her, and I believe her spirit is close by... for a time. Soon even the Queen will lose the battle to bind her spirit together, and she will wander the place between worlds as ... no... it cannot, MUST not happen! Can you help me? We need magical artifacts, of some power I might add!"

Saladin chuckled, a mirthless sound. "Magic, woman? Look around! Do you notice something strange? There is no sun! For all we know it is midday! We are talking about the end of the world, and you wish to save one woman? With conjurers tricks?"

Elesieth turned, her eyes glowing, and a a thick column of vines instantly grew around Saladin, entwining him and ensnaring him, then constricting!

He gasped, and Elesieth whispered "There is magic still, unbeliever. With or without you I shall find it, and bring it to this place! Then I will rescue my Queen! She is a woman of great power and vast experience! powers she can find some way to ease the malady that would strike this world down!"

Saladin gasped, choking, and Lionheart was about to act when the vines suddenly shrunk back into the ground near instantly, leaving Saladin on the floor, gasping for breath!

The Elf maiden turned to Lionheart. "You must help me sir! We must find magical artifacts of power to bring to this place! This is your land, so where may they be found?"

OOC I know you didn't play in the old Lore Knights game, but take your best guess anyway...
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Sep 19 2012, 23:17

Admin wrote:OOC I know you didn't play in the old Lore Knights game, but take your best guess anyway...

OOC:
Caer Alwyn in Wales where I was supposed to meet Nowhere Boy, would be the best place to start as I know that has some sort of magical connection, so that would be my guess. Not least of all because that is where I was supposed to meet up with Nowhere Boy, anyway. Out of interest what happened to the Spear of Destiny after we parted ways, might that be one of the artefacts we need as well.

Ok I suggest to Elsieth Wales and see what we get.


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

Post  Admin on Sat Sep 22 2012, 00:14

OOC You guess right. In the original Lore Knights game the swords of Albion were bequeathed the ordinary men and women who answered the 'call' of the land to right the wrongs and fight the evil forces man was not meant to know about. powerful magical artefacts and just what Elesieth needs... As for the Spear of Destiny - it's under lock and key on the robo carrier, with Adolf Hitler who is shackled, kept unconscious and for now, not a threat.

Elesieth listened as Lionheart mentioned the ancestral home of the legendary Lore Knights, an ancient order of warriors for truth and justice. There might be found the fabled swords of Albion, artefacts made of powerful magic.

From the detailed description Lionheart gave of the place, the Elven maiden was able to use her magic to attune to the land. "If you stay close, I will use my magick to transport us all to..."

Lionheart smiled "I can get there just as fast under my own steam. Saladin?"

He looked at Lionheart, winced and shrugged. "I'll try her way. Might feel less like I'm having my hair pulled out by the roots from travelling too fast, and breathing is easier too..."

=========

Shrouded in pitch darkness save from the light in the various houses of the village, the village of Caer Alwyn in Wales seemed a world away from the horrors of World War II, and the chaos that had followed...

Lionheart had sped across the country in moments, high enough and fast enough to ignore the constant wave of searchlights across London and the home counties. With an inch perfect knowledge of the British Isles in his head, the man from the future sliced through the sky in a straight line.

Swooping down and landing in the shadow of a crumbling castle he looked about and saw a manor house nearby. A few lights were on in the place. Other habited places included houses, an inn, and various other buildings.

There was a bright, sudden flash and the agent turned, expecting and finding the strange group of half humans and his former enemy, Saladin. They arrived in the glow of a circle with a fading pentagram encircling them. Elesieth turned, seeing Lionheart. She smiled, seemingly lighting up the gloomy place "My, you are a fast one! Well?"

"Well indeed?" said an aged voice. "Welcome to my home. I am the Earl of Caer Alwyn." The group turned to see an old man, somewhere in his late 60s. He was impeccably dressed in a tweed jacket, fine shirt and trousers and high riding boots. He held a pipe in his hand, a walking cane in the other. A manservant in a suit held a lantern up next to him. "Ah, sir. place settings for... fourteen guests? I'm not sure we, ah, have chairs suitable..."

"Or ceilings high enough, I expect. If our guests don't mind, the barns are warm enough and well decked out from last weeks banquet. Have some of the stable lads roused and give you a hand. I will convene in the drawing room with the two gentlemen and the lady, I think."



Earl St Johns lead the way "Don't get many visitors around these parts. Of course, the land has been calling, so I expected someone. Just not... men with bull heads, half horse, four armed or what looks like a man carved from wood, amongst other things."

"For centuries this place has been the ancestral home of the Lore Knights. They are group of ordinary men and women brought together to defend the land and see that justice is done, and fairly, for every man woman and child no matter high or low born. For a long time now the Knights have been dormant. Now the land calls, and I feared no one would answer. There seems to be some kind of... magick ... affecting the minds of most ordinary people. I sensed it. A kind of 'dark power' yet one dedicated to doing good despite the evil I felt within it."

He paused, slowing, and looked to the sky. "There is nothing good about that" he said, referring to the Devourer.

=========

The Stately home was large and sumptuous.

Oak flooring and panelling contrasted with fine (and expensive) drapes and furnishings. The Earl, despite his eccentricities, was clearly a very wealthy man.

Saladin looked about, then asked of the Earl "We are here to collect and use magic artefacts. Though I believe more in magic than I did only a few minutes ago, I remain to be fully convinced..."

Suddenly Lionheart turned, eyes narrowing. A heartbeat later a shimmering form came into view of a man in his late twenties. The book case and furnishings of the room were visible through the ghostly figure.

"Agent King" said Nowhere Man. "Earl. My respects."

"Saladin."

Nowhere Man turned to Elesieth, the Earl and Lionheart. "I'm dead. Or rather, my body, the form I wore, has died." he looked sad, somewhat lost, for a moment, then continued. "I pretty much went without a fight because I needed a good look at what it was we were fighting."

"And it's us. Alternate versions of us. The Vanguard. Gathered from countless dimensions, having used the dark power once too often, or succumbed to its lure. The result is the Devourer, a being composed of a vast multitude of alternate selves that journeys from dimension to dimension gathering beings such as us to add to its power. In the process the Earth of that dimension, and in many cases vast swathes of the universe, are destroyed."

"I hate to say this, but the Earth is doomed."

He let that sink in for a moment before adding. "There is a way we can save other Earths though. Other times, where people live their lives in peace without having ever heard of the Devourer or it's Dark Power. The Shadow Demons exist there, they exist everywhere, but the Vanguard does not exist in those other Earths. Not yet. We can save them."

Elesieth spoke softly "but there is a price"

Nowhere Man nodded sadly. "We need to perform several tasks before we can get to that stage. Anyman is on the moon, setting one up. Silver Sentinel doesn't know it yet, but he is close to gathering another part. Frostbite needs to stop the menace growing in New York, or all is lost. And here, the magic items being gathered must be used to create a vast gate, a portal of unimaginable size and power. My plan is to send the memories, life force and souls of every living beast, man, woman and child through the portal gate, give them a chance at life somewhere else."

Saladin frowned. "And the price?"

"For the world to live, the Vanguard must die."
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sat Sep 22 2012, 18:53

Admin wrote:Saladin frowned. "And the price?"

"For the world to live, the Vanguard must die."

Lionheart, who up until this point had been listening somewhat dumbfounded, suddenly jerked his head up. "You what! But I'm part of the Vanguard! Any of us would be willing to lay down our lives, and have done already. But we won't throw them away needlessly. Perhaps you ought to explain yourself a bit more clearly. Earth needs heroes, not martyrs!"

Lionheart hadn't meant to, but he felt himself loosing his temper with this man. It wasn't rightly his fault, but it was getting to him. The worry about what he said, how vulnerable the rest of the DICE operative were and what St Johns had said.

OOC:
Ok I know you're setting the scene and I'm replying to that. Not sure what he means with the VAnguard having to die, is that metaphorical, and like Nowhere Man, to be 'reborn' again. Does it mean we return to being Human without the dark power - which would be a bit odd. Do you mean we get to roll up new characters when this is all said and done?

Anyway once we've got that sorted out, Lionheart will want to get on with tracking down the weapons and or transporting the DICE staff here, if appropriate to keep them safe.


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

Post  Admin on Sun Sep 23 2012, 00:06

OOC What is said by NPCs, and what actually happens, well you guys get to have a lot of say in that. I'd planned for WWII to be a long, gritty, grinding campaign, but you brought that to a swift end when you guys got into your stride with the dark power. Unfortunately that was also what brought the Earth to the attention of the Devourer, across space and time...

Nowhere Man, glowing form stood amongst them as if he were still among the living, smiled. "You are as much of the Vanguard as I was, or General Wynn, Frostbite, Anyman or Sentinel. Even those we lost. Kitten and Sky Eagle. However, you are not like we are... were. You know as well as I that much of our power came from a union with the Shadow Demon outcasts, former rulers over an other-dimensional race of powerful creatures."

"I let myself be taken. I could have battled, called on the dark power as well, more so, than any of the other Vanguard combined. My death bought me knowledge, and I intend to use it. The Devourer is composed of many alternate versions of us. Not all are like us. For instance, in some worlds Lance Allard never became custodian of the Dark Power. I've met Anylass, Anywoman, Anyone, amongst others. Some are Alien. All are part of the devourer, and convinced that theirs is a greater cause, and will not be swayed... But I hope to change that. My Shadow Demon will not be able to persuade them all, or even a few, but it can convince one or two of the Devourers number. They in turn will convince others, and the doubt will spread. Or so that is the plan. Whilst the Devourer is a unified whole, nothing will persuade them."

"Eh? Then why do we waste our time talking to you?" spluttered Saladin. "You died for nothing!"

"Not so." replied Nowhere Man, eyes bright with anger. "Even now Anyman prepares a weapon on the moon which will utilise the vast stores of power that Lunarium produces in a focussed beam that will, I hope, strike the Devourer. It cannot destroy it. No weapon I can imagine would do that, but it will disperse it. Enough for the Devourer to be broken into smaller clumps, and those into smaller clumps still. Individuals. Then my Shadow Demon will act."

He turned to Lionheart "I need help. One voice trying to convince countless trillions will be better than nothing. The rest of the Vanguard, all channelled to the same task, will hasten the process."

"What?" laughed Saladin. He looked about "This is madness! Idle chat amongst the godlike creatures of that... that cloud out there and you think it will save this world, and all those on it?"

Nowhere Man ignored Saladin this time. "Your friend forgets himself Lionheart. When the Dark Power acts, it does so with a speed and effect that cannot be comprehended by mere man. We are talking about creatures with Godlike power. They can strike you down with nought but a thought, and you here think to doubt me? Remember that the majority of the Devourers host form is composed of alternate versions of us! I am ... was... not a perfect man, by any means. I made mistakes. Awful mistakes. I live with those scars daily, heh, or I did. But I use those scars, that regret, that knowledge of what I have done to seek justice for all. It drives me. Some of that drive will reside in all of those alternate selves in that vast cloud. Frostbite, Anyman, General Wynn and Silver Sentinel are all good men. In that vast cloud up there, there is the seed, the spark of goodness that resides in the Vanguard. I mean to fan it to flame."

He let the silence hang then added "Lionheart, do not think that this is a hopeless task. This timeline was not meant to be. Think of it. Aliens, Superhumans, technology that will not be invented for hundreds of years, Shadow Demons, the Devourer. This time period is an Aberration that cannot be allowed to continue, but it can serve a purpose. To stop other worlds falling to the same awful fate of feeding the Devourer! We can save the living creatures of this world. They will live on. As will you. Well, that is my hope. At the moment we stand on the precipice of disaster. But by gathering the elements of hope together into one coherent force, we can give ourselves a fighting chance, albeit a slim one. Even now the Devourer plans its next move. It plans to turn the Earth into a hell of terror, fear, slaughter and death! It plans to feed on that and when it has fed, it will pick over the bones and take what it wants - the Vanguard - and move on. It cannot be stopped or reasoned with. It is a fire, burning out of control."

"And sometimes, a fire must be fought with fire."
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sun Sep 23 2012, 09:35

Admin wrote:"And sometimes, a fire must be fought with fire."

Lionheart picked over what Nowhere Man had said. He gave Saladin a stern look when he interrupted but continued to listen on until Nowhere Man had finished.

Feeling that, for the time being, he had little to add he said, "Ok so where do I come in all this? I don't have a Shadow so how can I and these folk from Albion help?" He said mindful of the entourage that he'd only recently met up with.

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

Post  Admin on Mon Sep 24 2012, 10:52

Nowhere Man turned to look at Lionheart. "Gather the swords. Some are here." he said with a nod towards the Earl. "But many are lost. Some fell where the Knight wielding them was killed, and others were buried. Others still are in private collections and some are... elsewhere." he said, turning to look at Elesieth.

She nodded. "I can sense the magic emanating from several of the swords in this land. One is in a church far to the north, a land of wind and rain, lake and tree. Another is buried in the hills not far from here, in the ruins of what was a castle before the land slid and claimed it. Another is across the sea, on an island a days travel." she glanced at Lionheart. "It is held by a madman in the woods, who sees enemies where there are none and the sword, unwittingly, aids him. If you claim one task I shall divide these others of my people into the other tasks. Magic shall make them seem as ordinary folk from this strange land and time, so they shall pass unnoticed."

"The others.. their magic is faint. Some may have been buried, and lie dormant, or encrusted with the muck of ages. At least one is across the sea." she concentrated. "Two... three. A land not far, across a channel of water. Another was a land of great evil and strife, where a man led his people to ruin by promising them a dream of empire. There are two there, in castles of stone surrounded by trees of pine. If I concentrate, I can see the places, and perhaps describe or draw what I see. A road sign perhaps, or some famous landmark?"
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Sep 24 2012, 12:46

Admin wrote: Lionheart Another is across the sea, on an island a days travel." she glanced at Lionheart. "It is held by a madman in the woods, who sees enemies where there are none and the sword, unwittingly, aids him.

"Hmm all sounds so delightful, but a mad man..." Lionheart said with a sly look sideways at Saladin, "well that sounds like my cup of tea."

Then looking more serious, he added. Lets gather what we can here, then we can concentrate our forces on retrieving the ones further afield. But if these items of power are what I think they are, its likely that Moragan is also after the swords. These are the items she also hopes to retrieve in order to secure her plan. So its a race against time. Better get a move on. Where is this mademan?"

Lionheart said as he returned his glance back to Elesieth.

OOC:
Looks like I got my mission, will Saladin come with me, stay here or go with the others. If he ends up going with others I will tell them not to trust him. It would be just like him to steal a sword and return it to Moragan so as to be able to gain her favour and aid her plan to escape.


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

Post  Admin on Thu Sep 27 2012, 22:59

Elesieth glances at Saladin as Lionheart quietly mentions in passing that Saladin is not to be trusted.

She nods, then sighs. "I know not the customs of this land of yours. Unfortunately I cannot spare the time to be choosy when it comes to who is friend or foe, and besides, you and I have just met! Who is to say you are trustworthy?" she whispers. Lionheart is about to reply when she holds a hand up and smiles "I sense your spirit is true. His is... as you say, wayward. That is a kind word for the darkness in the mans heart. He will go whichever way the wind blows that best serves his path. I shall be well protected by my friends. That reminds me. I had best ensure their appearance does not attract undue attention." With a nod to Lionheart she moves over to her companions, and chants softly, transforming them from their strange, weird, wonderful or even frightful appearances into humans who would pass without a second glance!

"Magic" said the shade of Nowhere Man "Got me into trouble all those years ago. The Sword, the land, called me. I was James Caldwell, a computer programmer and content with my lot. I ran my own business, had a girlfriend I loved, and wanted nothing me. When I visited this place, or one identical in another time, little did I know where it would lead me. Now here I am, dead. Again. This time is different. The magic of the land holds me here, not the dark power. I feel... I may have erred in what I have done, but I shall stay the course. It is a short one. The Earth doesn't have long left. We save it, somehow, or we preserve the hopes, dreams, memories and lives of the living beings upon it and transplant them to a version of the Earth where there are no Dark Shadows. Or we die."

He turned to face Lionheart "You feel like a leaf in a storm, I suspect, but believe me, possessing the Dark Power was much like that. The storm was ever brewing, waiting to unleash its fury. Poor Anyman. He has borne the brunt of the storm more than most, and I know what that does to you. All too well."

"Ireland. Dunluce castle. Be careful. The power of the swords of Albion should not be underestimated!" said Nowhere Man. He glanced across the room to where Saladin sat, enjoying a tumbler of whisky and watching the movements of the people in the room, where the Earl was pointing to places on the map spread out on the drawing table, and the fey people paid heed. There was a wistful smile on his face, and he glanced at Lionheart, raising his glass.

"Nor should he." said Nowhere Man, and he disappeared...

OOC Anything you want to do/say before you go hunting down for this sword of Albion in Northern Ireland? Flying, Running, what is your power setup (might make a difference when you get there). Any special precautions, use of power?
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Sep 27 2012, 23:10

Admin wrote:OOC Anything you want to do/say before you go hunting down for this sword of Albion in Northern Ireland? Flying, Running, what is your power setup (might make a difference when you get there). Any special precautions, use of power?

Lionheart stared hard at the place left in the wake of Nowhere Man. He felt alone in some odd sort of way. When this was all said and done, if it was all said and done, would the Vanguard go with their shadows?

He shook his head, a drink right about now would be good, but it wasn't to be. He crossed the room in a short bound and pumped the Earl for whatever information, precautions or advice he could gain. Not knowing what he went in for made it difficult to know how best to prepare. After listening dutifully to whatever the Earl said, he looked carefully at Saladin. He nodded in his direction as he took the opportunity to warn the Earl has he had Elesieth. He didn't like the thought of leaving Saladin behind, but neither could he afford to baby sit him in a mission that would likely need his full attention.

After saying his farewells, Lionheart, taking onboard that which the Earl had said took off into the dark knight sky. Once over the channel he'd probably stretch his legs for a bit.

OOC:
Ok so not knowing what the Earl might advise, know, offer I've left my post vague. But when I travel over I will run off the rest of the distance.

When I am near my aim is to circle around, get a good feel for the location, see if I can find anything out from all sides.

Then, having plotted a course around it, go for what seems like the best way in, take the time and trouble to slow down, scan and allow my danger and animal senses to guide me to any traps/magic/or other worries I might need to have.

I want to be alert to others - that might also be after the sword, agents or Morrigan for instance.


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

Post  Admin on Sun Sep 30 2012, 00:14

The Earl pondered. "The Magic of the sword is drawn to do good, but what's good for one person might not be so great for the next. An example. A Nazi gets their hands on a sword. He uses the power to defend his countrymen and save the lives of the innocent, and in doing so strikes down his enemies. Up until recently, we were enemies with the Nazis and one could argue we always will be, but the war is over. Was the man evil, or doing his duty? This fellow in Ireland is said to be slightly tapped. Barmy even. What if he sees enemies everywhere he looks? That presents a problem. The sword is a force of magic. In the hands of the Lore Knights it was essentially limited to how well the individual could channel and focus the magic. An experienced magic user could get far more out of it than someone who walked in off the street. What I'm saying is, don't underestimate this man."

==========

Lionheart slowed to a walk, and stood on the cliffs looking across at the castle ruins...



Lionhearts animal senses and intuition fair screamed at him. The all encompassing darkness (OOC Sun has 'gone out' thanks to the Devourer) meant even his superhuman senses struggled to pierce more than a few feet away - the lack of ultraviolet light was to blame for that.

Even so, he had other senses, and he concentrated, filtering out the crash of waves on rocks and the howl of wind... listening, listening...

"Lookin' fer somethin' might ya be?" drawled an irish voice from 50m or so away. Lionheart turned, squinting through the darkness and walked nearer the sound.



"Damned if'n I'll be givin' ye what ye're wantin' laddie. An' ye're trespassin', so ye're are. Ah'll thank ye're to get gone, afore I turn ye're into a... let's say newt. Frogs are fer witches..."
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sun Sep 30 2012, 15:50

Admin wrote:"Damned if'n I'll be givin' ye what ye're wantin' laddie. An' ye're trespassin', so ye're are. Ah'll thank ye're to get gone, afore I turn ye're into a... let's say newt. Frogs are fer witches..."

"and there was me thinking that of all the places a stranger is guaranteed a welcome, it would be upon the Emerald shores. I'm dissapointed."

Lionheart said as he moved closer, slowly so as not to give cause for concern, to the man who had warned him. His look was, outlandish but he wasn't going to underestimate him. "You may have noticed that the sun has gone out, I'm here on behalf of Earl St Justin of Caer Alwyn. We seek to gather together the ancient Swords of Albion, to fight the creature that has caused this affliction. More importantly another, a woman of great evil and of greater magic is probably also seeking the swords but only for her own gain. We aim to use them in the service for which they were forged, the defence the land. There I've been honest with you, perhaps you can be as honest with me. I come seeking, not hiding or stealing, only asking.

Lionheart looked back at the man, he wondered if being truthful was wise, but every now and again it was good to let the truth out and let it speak for itself. Besides the man may be dangerous or a complete idiot, Lionheart had to keep him from attacking, till he know what he was up against.

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

Post  Admin on Tue Oct 02 2012, 00:14

"So, ye come tae my island, an' ye're wantin' th' source o my power, th' only power that can protect th' fair people o this land from ... whatever... that is." he said, waving at the sky.

"Me answer, laddie, in case you was wonderin', is no."

Lionheart had an instant before the ground around him seemed to spring to life, vines instantly growing to stretch and reach around the Vanguardian!

They constricted like steel cables, and Lionheart knew that if he were less strong the air would crushed from his lungs, and unconsciousness would follow!

The fellow on the rock laughed "Ah, tis th' folly o youth tae think th' older ones are somehow less capable! Ah've been custodian o'er th' power o the sword for most o my life boy! You tell Earl St Johns tae stick his request up his bum! When ye wake up, that is!"

OOC The vines are getting tighter! That said, Lionheart is the most powerful superhuman on planet Earth, so how much of this he'll put up with is up to ye... and I mean you...
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Re: Shadowland - The Vanguard Issue #1B The Lion and the Lightning

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Tue Oct 02 2012, 07:21

Admin wrote:OOC The vines are getting tighter! That said, Lionheart is the most powerful superhuman on planet Earth, so how much of this he'll put up with is up to ye... and I mean you...

Saddened that he hadn't been able to be understood, Lionheart simple said, "You had you're chance, old man"

With that he concentrated so his fast store of psi energy was brought to bare, and giving himself great strength speed and psi force he sought to go on the offensive.

OOC:
Ok so spend Psi points thuswise

1 Hyper field
2 Strength
3 Speed
and the remainder on Psi blast and use 2d10 HTC to attack.


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

Post  Admin on Wed Oct 03 2012, 00:43

OOC I'll assume you go for Grade 3 Force Field, Grade 2 Strength and Speed, and the remaining points allow 3 PSI Powers at grade 1 apiece. using 2D10 htc gives you a x2 damage multiplier for your mental attack.

The 'Wizard' laughed. "Ye're outta yer depth boy! Ah've been preparin' fer years fer attack from them that's wantin' tae take ma stuff away! Got it all figured... eh?"

His ranting was cut off when he saw the shining yellow glow coat Lionhearts body and the constricting vines no longer seemed to have much effect! More than that, with a casual flex Lionheart pinged them apart like elastic bands that'd been stretched too far!

"We can't be havin' that laddy!" roars the Wizard, rising to his feet and pointing the staff at Lionheart! Suddenly, all goes dark around the hero!

Lionheart considers for a moment what has happened - he can move inside the bubble of his force field, but there is what appears to be a stone barrier encasing him!

=========

The Wizard walks up and taps the stone obelisk he'd just created

"Tis magic stone that, lad! No gettin' outta there! Just as soon as I figger th' spell tae get yer back where ye came from I'm gonna..."

He stopped and mouthed a curse. "bloody hell! Tis not possible!" he shouted!

Stepping back, he had time to shield his eyes as the obelisk exploded from within!

Lionheart had expanded his field, then applied his strength to it and shattered the stone! Now he was on the offensive, and his eyes crackled with power as a glowing energy lion erupted from his chest to spring at the crazy wizard!

OOC And therein lies the problem - if the man were sane he'd be an easier target for a mental attack! As it is, Lionheart will need a decent roll... 2d10+18=28 Lionheart, 2d10+20=31 Crazed Wizard

The Wizard, despite seemingly able to shrug off Lionhearts mental attack (OOC Lionheart takes 13htc) is taking him more serious now! He turns to some tumbled down rocks at the base of a wall of the castle, waves the staff and the rocks spring up, animating into a 20' high stone golem that moved surprisingly quickly to close the distance between the pair!



"Ha!" bellowed the Wizard. "Ain't no way no how ye're gettin' me magic now!" he started to glow with sparkling energy whilst the Golem strode towards its foe - Lionheart!
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