Torg update – Session of 22 October 2009

This session’s music: The Night by Disturbed

Call it a first.  We never get through that much material on a single night of gaming.  David was shocked we pressed so far (he had two scenes prepped — one involving a combat sequence, the other not involving a combat sequence.  The dice liked us, and we made it through combat quicker than anticipated).  Two scenes in one night.  Usually takes us longer.

But I digress.

After escaping from Mei’s brain and hopefully controlling her leakage issues, we forged onward, heading toward where we figured the Well of Forever was located.  As we soldiered on, we encountered troops mustering for a major offensive–French, cyberpapacy troops as well as NATO/US/allied troops getting ready to lay the smack down on the technodemons.  Their survival is far from assured and victory…well.  I’m not going to get into what I think their chances really are.

We did have another close encounter with Galen, who ended up leading us down to the caves that held an ancient temple and the Well of Forever.  He told us a bit about what the location really is–a place where reality thins.  Each world has its own Well.  This one is…well…kind of a mess due to the Tharkoldu encroachment on the area (if Ren had a way to make it a hard point…she probably would).  He also explained to us that there is a piece lacking from the story we got at the Temple of the Starfire Wheel — there is a third piece, one that lays between creation and destruction: the matter which is the object of creation and destruction, the form.  That is what Grace’s symbiote, Void, is linked to (perhaps actually is–I’m not sure).

Of course, we come to quickly find out that’s what Odyle wanted from us, why she wanted us to come to the Well–she needs Void for her plan.  Of course, she was in no mood to play nice with any of us, nor was she in the mood (at first) to let us know what she was planning.  When she started to lose control of matters and Fred started to get…well…upset with her, she sicced a group of technodemons on us.

I was shocked by the fact that it was a standard, not a dramatic scene.  Then David reminded me that it wasn’t scene four yet.  And I was like “Crap.”

We, however, were largely competant when it came to dice.  I took the fight as an opportunity to play with the fighting style that Ren had been learning from Grant before we left London for France, the style he and Allison had created.

Giving enemies setback results based on running around like crazy people is fun.  And useful.

It was all over in under ten rounds–six technodemons dead and we weren’t in bad shape, either.

And then we went off chasing Odyle and Fred, who’d walked out of the chamber.  We found Odyle.  Fred is apparently on his way back to Avignon (and probably his imminent demise.  Damn him!)…and she was soon to be away as well.

She wants to destroy everything and then rebuild it.  She wants Void to help her.  Void…doesn’t see a reason not to see what Odyle’s all about, but–mercifully–doesn’t trust Odyle.  Morality is lost on the poor symbiote.  But Void told us where Odyle is going: Avignon, with Void and the Wheel, to where the pope’s Darkness Device rests.

To destroy the world and create it anew.

We’re off gaming this coming week due to Youmacon (I, unfortunately, will be wholly unable to attend due to work).  We will see what lies ahead of us come November 5, when we gaze into the Well of Forever…and the Well gazes back.

Torg update – Session of 15 October 2009

Theme music for this week: Duvet by Boa

So during the last session, we essentially got to see what rattles around in the buried, lost parts of Mei’s mind.  When she pulled out her limiter chip…she did more damage to herself than she thought.  Imagine that!  Because things are never as simple as they seem.  Our nightmares have been all her fault– no wonder they started before we actually got into Tharkold!

Things started out simple enough.  We camped at the base of the poor dead man that we buried with honors.  Mable and Ren had a fight about Ren wanting Mable to listen so Mable doesn’t get killed…and Mable says that if she died she would die with honor and that’s more important than staying alive.  This resulted in Ren announcing that she was taking a walk, which she did.  And then was later joined by Christian, who got to be the first PC to see Ren break down and cry in the wake of recent events (*gasp*  the ice bitch is HUMAN? imagine that).

In the morning, we moved on and thought that we ran afoul of a group of technodemons–or so we thought.  This, however, wasn’t the case.  Galen told us (well, told Ren, who told everyone else) that we were caught in something called a mindquake and what we were seeing wasn’t real.  Of course, the rabbit hole went much, much deeper than that.

Basically, we got a total review of Mei’s history–everything that she didn’t remember started to fall into place.  She and Galen have known each other for a very, very long time (it’s kind of sweet, actually).  She’s the object of a prophecy that had been captured by the technodemons, then “rescued” by the Americans, and then escaped again and was rescued by Galen, who gave her a series of false memories–to protect her, in part.  Then he dropped her off in Philadelphia with Decker and told him that if a group was heading to France, she should be sent with them (we’re such pawns of fate, I swear.  Ren turned to Mei at one point, held out her hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Death, nice to meet you.”  Mei replies, “Hi, I’m the Hanged Man, it’s a pleasure.”).

The big problem is this: Mei has to keep mental control if she’s not going to project/capture us in her brain.  Mei is…not the most mentally stable of the group (then again, I have to wonder who is).

And this week?  This week we go to the Well of Forever.  And we have no plan as to how we’re going to handle this.  We’re so boned.

Torg update – Session of 9 October 2009

This session’s song – Hero of War by Rise Against

So we picked up already in Tharkold for this week’s session of Torg, which sees us in an act entitled “Galen’s War” (we didn’t have that information before, I don’t think).  We’d been traveling in the world of gray for a week and everyone except for Mei had been having nasty nightmares (as I said to Jen on the way home, Ren wouldn’t have been overly concerned about her own dreams if everyone else hadn’t been having nightmares, too).  After that first week in Tharkold, the technomage that’s appeared to the group twice now (Mei’s seen him more than that) appeared and implied that we’d done something wrong at the D.E.A.M.O.N. facility (this said, I’m not really sure what else we were supposed to do there)–then fed us a third prophecy, this one truncated (cut off, in fact).  Ren scribbled it down in her journal:

The city’s cold blood teaches us to survive
Just keep my heart in your eyes and we’ll stay alive
The third arrives…

Before the leaves have fallen
Before we lock the doors
There must be the third and last dance
This one will last forever
Metropolis watches and thoughtfully smiles
She’s taken you to your home

It can only take place
When the struggle between
our children has ended
Now the Miracle and the Sleeper know–

It doesn’t make much sense, not yet, and we’ve all got theories on it, none of which make much sense.  After handing over this bit of confusion, Galen then told us that there was something looking for us here that wasn’t Odyle/Odette/Mariah and the Wraith–someone else.

Well, we found out soon enough who it was.

There was a solider that had been the only one of his unit to survive the destruction of the stelae here last year and had happened to witness us scooping up DeSoto and leaving–never realizing he was there, and alone (David has admitted to coming up with the idea for this character back when we landed in America last winter–he’s been waiting for us to return to Tharkold for us to meet him).  He lived and breathed revenge on us until four months ago, when he died, somehow managing to preserve his consciousness in a computer system.

Greeeeat.  He launched an attack on our vehicles and forced us to abandon them.  Mable figured out which direction he was in.  We then fought our way past some automated defenses and found our way into his bunker, where we found his corpse, four months dead.  While Christian, Fred, and Ren buried this poor, unfortunate First Sergeant, Mei jacked into his computer and started looking for him.  She reported he was somewhere inside the Tharkoldu end of the ‘net.  Xander took over about then, and he was punching keys when we called it a night.

Ahhh, Tharkold.  How I hate thee already.

Torg update – Session of 1 October 2009

Ren is a very, very upset kitten right now.  But no one gets to see her cry.

Here we were after last week, thinking that everything was fine, we’d killed the Hunter and he couldn’t hurt us anymore.  We all walked in thinking that all that had to be resolved in the facility was Grace getting Rosebud (the Wraith calls it “Void” — I think I like “Rosebud” better) out of the weird science machine that was masking its presence and then we could leave.  Sufficient to say, we were more than a little bit wrong there.

The Hunter decided it was going to take some of us with it to the grave and quite literally exploded.  Most of us dodged the worst of the blast, but things very quickly went from bad to worse.  The Hunter had decided it was going to take out one of the tanks with it–a tank full of industrial acid.  Most of the others had dodged away from it.  Ren had the misfortune of dodging toward it.  And trying to dodge falling acid.  And getting shoulder-checked out of the way.

By the time she turned around, the only thing she could see where Grant must have been was a very large hole in the ground.

She froze up.  I’m not sure anyone realized she completely froze up, but that’s pretty much what happened.  Christian and Mable jumped down the hole to look for (whatever was left of) him.  By the time they managed to get a little ways away from the hole, Ren managed to recollect herself enough to shine her flashlight down, trying to give them a little more light.

Christian found Grant, but didn’t actually see what had happened to him.  Just a figure, heard a voice that sounded awful telling him to stay back.  Grant was scribbling something on some paper.  Then he looked up toward Christian.

 Grant: “Tell them both I’m sorry.”

And then he ran.  Christian and Mable tried to find him, to no avail.  Ren is, in a word, devastated.  But at least he’s still alive.

About that time, before we got Christian and Mable out of the hole, DeSoto comes back carrying Mei, who is quite literally chewing on his cyberarm.  Ren starts muttering a few choice words and gives Mei some happy drugs (mostly a sedative so she stops gnawing on Fred).

While all of this is going on, we can all feel something, and that something is Void interrogating Grace and trying to figure out what’s what.  Grace ends up getting at least part of Void/Rosebud back for long enough to prove to it that her (and our) intentions are honorable.

We pull Christian and Mable out of the hole.  Christian tells Fred and Ren what Grant said, since the message was for the two of them.  And then they tell us about the paper.  There’s a single word written on it.


None of us are sure what it means. Mable has it. Ren might take it from her–Ren doesn’t have anything of Grant. She never did.  Of course, she might not.  She might quietly nurse the hurt and the hope that he’s okay, somehow, somewhere, and that he’ll come back.

Ren ended up punching DeSoto in the chest (he was the closest thing to punch) in frustration and pain.  He invited her to keep doing it if it helped.  But in turning toward Fred, Ren spotted something else that could be a good vent for her wrath.

The Wraith.

The grabs him by his collar and stares at him and starts yelling.  No one interferes in her screaming, though several want to.

Ren: How is it that bad things like that happen to good people, but you’re still here?  Why?  Why?

It was all pretty downhill from there.  Ren ended up with a gun to his head but couldn’t pull the trigger.  She did the Tom Hanks Twitch (from A League of Their Own — I’ll have to find a clip of it on YouTube) and backed off.

And then we started to make our way out of the facility.  When we’re all tramping out the door, we hear something behind us.  Mei goes running back in with weapons out while Christian is yelling for the squishie folk to get the hell out (which we do; there’s a comical image in my head of Ren, Grace, and Mable just kind of standing outside the door to the facility looking at each other funny).  And what does Mei turn her weapons on?  A cowering diplomat decked out in North Face who’s been looking for us–for Amaeren Colby (who isn’t a sergeant, dammit, she’s a Captain, get it right!) because she was connected to Amarant (why he was looking for Amarant, we’ve reallynot quite gotten a good answer on).  Ren’s mask of leadership goes back on and she’s in command of herself, at least for the moment.  We take the guy along (Alexander; he says he was working at one of the Italian embassies but Ren is definately suspecting otherwise, given the sniper rifle he has in his possession) and head to where Wraith stashed some vehicles–it’s an interesting question, is he on our side or is he not?  What game is he playing?

He said he made a promise to Mariah, a promise he kept.  That’s why he’s doing what he’s doing.  And he’s afraid of her.  Afraid of whatever she’s fragmented into.  That much is almost certain.

So we pick up a pair of armored vehicles and then we turn back south again to pick up some of Xander’s gear from his Volvo that he left parked somewhere.  Mable cannibalized part of it for components for a new helmet for Mei.  Mei is looking forward to having a new helmet.

We camped for the night shy of the storm front between Core Earth and Tharkold.  We relaxed for a little while–Ren went off and had a good cry in private, Christian and Fred sparred a little, Mable worked on the helmet.  Everyone that night except for Mei had disturbing, twisted, frightening dreams (which David left up to our imaginations–Ren’s were definately about Grant and Bad Things, Christian’s were about being powerless to stop Bad Things from happening to his children, ect ect).  Ren’s pretty sure that someone aimed that at the group, but she’s not sure who, or how.  It wasn’t normal for that sort of thing to happen near a storm front–realities don’t reach beyond their boundaries like that.  At least, not that she knows of.

In the morning, we passed through the storm front and into Tharkold.  And that’s where we left it for the evening.  Ren has plans to talk to Fred about some things–the sort of things that Grant could never tell her, but maybe Fred knows something.  And maybe between the two of them they can figure out what “legacy” means.

Torg update – Session of 24 September 2009

So, it was confirmed.  The subbasements?  Probably the place where Bad Things happened to Mei (Sorry Mei!).  Ren is disturbed by this.

What’s worse?  The Hunter was lairing down there, we found out.  We uncovered some files in the computer systems that hadn’t been totally gutted in the complex that gave us some information on the D.E.A.M.O.N. project.  As previously stated:  Ren is disturbed.

On top of that, the Hunter set traps for us.  We made our way through the first sub-basement and didn’t find nearly as much as we’d hoped.  From there, the only way down was an elevator shaft that we had to climb down the service ladder of.  It was probably a trap, we knew it was probably a trap, but damn Ren’s medical ethics and her desire to be a do-gooder (she keeps thinking if she can understand what was going on, she can reverse it, or at least mitigate its effects).  We went down.  Down to what was probably the seventh subbasement, where we found a mainframe (at least I think it was pretty close to the mainframe) and found out even more disturbing information.

And then we busted through a wall and found a room with ceilings about thirty feet high and twenty to twenty-five foot tall propane tanks (they weren’t actually propane tanks, they just looked like propane tanks standing on end.  In the middle was a Mad Science device like two we’d seen in Egypt–one in the place where we rescued the Mystery Men, the other when we stopped a sacrifice outside of Cairo.  Of course..the Hunter was waiting for us.  So while Mei tried to taunt it out into the open and the others tried to help her kill it, Ren and Grace headed for said mad science device–hopefully to decipher what it’s all about.

Enter the Sorrow, Grace’s nemesis, a Church Executioner.  But not.  Suspicisions have been confirmed: it was The Wrath all along.  Ahh, Alexander, what are we going to do with your sorry arse?  He baited a trap for us, and not a bad one–but one that might work out to our advantage.  Grace’s symbiote, “Rosebud” is in the Mad Science device.  Ren decided that Grace was more than capable of handling Wraith and headed toward the sounds of violence to help the rest of her cohorts.

Not that they really needed her help.  At best, she distracted the Hunter so it could ultimately be killed.  At worst, she was useless.

But the effect of Mei’s Playing for the Moment was epic.

In the past, I’ve been the only one who’s played for the moment–I’ve done it twice, once when I called my first reality storm (Frog God, grrr, frog god) and then a second time while we were in what was left of the United States.  It was almost the end of the chapter, so it was a good time for Mei to try her luck.

So, epic pwning of the Hunter.  Ren started shooting at it, which distracted it.  Mable got the beast with a molotov cocktail.  Christian and Fred rushed in and got a couple of solid blade hits on the beast.  Grant knocks its helmet off.  And Mei leaps out of her armor suit, kneels on its shoulders, and unloads her gun arm into its head as it flailed around on fire.

I think it’s pretty cooked, now.  I’m okay with this.

And that’s pretty much how it ended, since by that time it was 11 and poor Liz had to be to work before the crack of dawn today.  Mike’s new character still hasn’t appeared.  Çest la vie.  We’ll see what happens.  The resolution on Grace, the Wraith, and Rosebud is going to be first thing next week, probably followed by destroying the installation.  But we shall see.  Sometimes, things just end up getting in the way.

Torg update – Session of 3 September 2009

So after a somewhat insane day at the university, I got to play Torg on Thursday night, yay!

We picked up on the deck of Red Hood’s ship and chatted with Galen a bit more.  We were told last week (and I forgot to mention it) that Mable had been infected with killer nanites that were trying to decide whether or not they should kill her–they were designed to kill her Race (or something) counterpart.  As a result of this revelation, she spent a lot of time drinking with Chris.

Mei and Ren can’t make heads or tails of the prophecy that Mei’s trying to sort out.  There’s a few theories floating around in Ren’s brain and she likes none of her theories.  At all.

Galen reported that the new hardware on Fred was keeping him alive.  This got Ren even more worried (she’s very concerned that somehow Odette/Odyle has a kill switch on him, or has otherwise programmed him to do something very, very nasty to the group) and caused Galen to observe that she struck him as someone who worries a lot.  She admitted to it, but asked who else was going to do the worrying.  Galen wanted to know if she was familiar with ulcers and Ren told him she didn’t have one.  “Yet.”  Galen says.  And he’s probably right.

After that, Galen wandered over to Grace and talked to her about Rosebud, her alien symboite we found originally in the Temple of the Starfire Wheel.  He told her in order to get Rosebud back, she had to be patient, humble, and something else.  Either way, the three together had the rest of us snickering and saying “Oh man.  She’s never getting that thing back!”

We decide, ultimately, to go back to one of our many beginnings–the Temple of the Starfire Wheel–to hopefully find something that’s like a clue to where this Well of Forever is.  The Red Hood thinks this is an utterly fantastic idea and decides to continue to chauffer us around–at least for a little while longer.  Ren isn’t about to be looking any gift horses in the mouth at this point and takes what she can get.

We find the Temple of the Starfire Wheel in a little more disrepair than it was before–that is, someone had removed large sections of pictographs from the walls.  We found a passageway that we hadn’t found the first time and Mable blew it open with a shaped charge (much to Ren’s dismay).  At the far end of the place we find a niche that has the D.E.M.O.N. emblem resting in it–clearly, that wasn’t what was originally there.  We all decide that it’s a trap, and Grant finally tells the group what he and Ren had discussed in the past–that Odette had probably been working toward this all along.  Ren admits to trying to kill Odette/Odyle while they were in France and says that if she thought she could have shot straight, she’d have tried to take her out when they first saw her in the streets during the papal speech.  Further, Grant theorizes that the people that made it to the Temple of the Starfire Wheel were deliberately brought there (there was no way that Ren should have survived a Tharkoldu raid, and she admits it).  It was all arranged–and he’s probably just paranoid enough to be right.

The group decides, over Ren’s quiet objections, that we should go to the D.E.M.O.N. installation in Austria where she had worked, regardless of whether or not it’s a trap.  And so we set off again, flying north.

Of course, our troubles neither began nor ended there.  En route, someone spots something on an intercept course.  Rocket Rangers, but of an evil variety.  Mable is livid.  These are the men that killed her fiancee, she tells us.  (Ren was like “What’s going on?  You know about these guys?”  Mable: “They killed my fiancee!”  Ren:  “Oh.  Okay.”)  So now we’re set to fight them, even though they have the advantage of more mobility in flight than we have.

This having been said, we have a grenade launcher and a plasma cannon.  God help us all.

Torg update – Session of 27 August 2009

So…after three weeks without game, we actually got to play last week (and of course, I procrastinate on my update).  We’d been left with some pretty significant cliffhangers from the session before (GM’s never allowed to give us another cliffhanger before a week off ever again–especially if he’s going to get Con plague) and most of the session dealt with the resolution of those cliffhangers.

Grace’s resolution was perhaps the most anticlimatic.  The Marquis just…walked away.  Told her where to find Fred and just left.  There was a lot of blinking that went into that.

Ano found himself looking at a lump of flesh and metal that was Frederico DeSoto in a stupor worse than any alcohol-induced haze than we’ve ever seen him in.  What’s worse?  Ano has no hope of lifting this guy up, and his only job is to get him the hell out of there.  Even between him and Grace (who arrived to help), they could barely get him moving.  Of course, they had a little more excitement on the way out…

Topside, things aren’t going so well for Mei, Chris, and Mable.  They’re in a stalemate with the Hunter–one of them agaisnt him would almost certainly lose.  Mei and Chris, of course, start fighting over who’s going to grab Mable and run.  Chris decides it’s going to be him.  This plan is full of fail.  Mei ends up pulling out the chip that’s a governor on her ability to use bullet-time (thus killing the limits on the ability) and does a very good job of distracting the Hunter while Christian grabs Mable and starts to run….and sees the Marquis quietly leaving.  The Marquis who he has a major bone to pick with.

In the meantime, Ren plays prisoner with Odyle (who backpedals on bits of things she said before).  The plan of Ren attempting to fake being Allison didn’t work so well (partially due to GM confusion), but “WWAD” definately paid off when Odyle was getting ready to zot Ren into a pit.  A well-placed distraction and a high-tech bullet put Odyle down long enough for Ren and Grant to make an escape–and quickly learn that the cavalry (which is to say, a bunch of crazy French knights on the side of the pope) is on the way.

Grace, Ano, and Fred have a close encounter with the result of Grace’s Nemesis card, an Executioner named the Sorrow.  He’s got it out for Grace–and she gets a taste of some pain before he bails out.  Ren and Grant arrive shortly thereafter and all five head for the surface.

In the meantime, Chris has grabbed Mable and made a run for it….then proceeded to drop Mable somewhere “safe” along the way and made a move on the Marquis, who he managed to get by his metal gorget.  They exchange some harsh words–some of which are important, such as the Marquis admitting that he knows where Odyle/Odette is going.  She’s headed east, to something called the Well of Forever (also called the Well of Souls in some references, according to the GM, but we don’t know that in character yet).  He warned that anyone looking into the well to find truth should be careful, because sometimes the well looks back.  This information is later passed on to the rest of us.  Before letting the Marquis go, Chris vows to end him should they meet again.  I’m not looking forward to meeting this guy ever again myself (Ren doesn’t really like the taste of drywall, thank you).

I don’t rightfully remember what sent the Hunter scurrying (was it a bunch of Tachicomas?  probably), but we did start booking down the streets of Avignon, really not sure how we were going to get the hell out of the city–and Mara didn’t have any ideas on that one, either.  Odyle shows up with this gun bigger than she is and gets ready to take shots at us….only to be distracted by Tachicomas that were really, really happy to see her.  She wastes one and then they get really confused.  We ran.

And then the Red Hood and her zepplin rescue us–someone called in a favor (not Yuri; I have my theories on who might have been responsible for saving our arses, though), though she won’t tell us who it was.  And we’re sailing away, to the east–putting as much sky between us and France as possible about now.

The first morning we’re on the zep, the Technomage that’s been haunting Mei shows up…and starts talking.  He’s in violation of some rules by coming and talking to us, he tells us.  I don’t remember getting to talk much before we called for the night (it was already 10 by the time we got rescued, which didn’t leave a lot of time for heavy plot discussions).