Category Archives: Wormverse

Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Reflections (Southern Star)

Incident Report

 I responded to a call for assistance from Eureka member Valkyrie approximately 12:55 during what sounded to be an escalating incident with suspects with possible Black Light ties apprehended earlier in the day. Stranger/Changer protocol was initiated at Valkyries suggestion. I approached the Royal Melbourne Hospital by air ahead of PRG and Hephaestus.

When approaching the entrance to emergency I was intercepted by Bloodhound (Striker 2 Master 4) and a second assailant. The second assailant was a man in his mid-twenties, dark complexion, dressed in a black leotard. Bloodhound was armed with a pistol and fired off a few shot that were deflected by my force fields. The second assailant engaged me in close combat so I took to the sky. The second assailant snorted some unknown substance and proceeded to float, grappling me in the process. Bloodhound continued to fire without any regard for his companion.

The second assailant’s ability to float dragged me from my floating force field and we began to ascend slowly into the air. Around this time I noticed that the detainees from earlier in the day (Alice Dee, Wrighteous and Pressure Point) emerged from the emergency entrance with other suspect, Daniel Hacking before loading into two different white vans. It was at this time that Hephaestus and PRG arrived. Over the radio I heard that the vans broke through Hephaestus and the PRG response vehicle was on pursuit with Sergeant Mitchel.

Eventually I managed to shake the second assailant who appeared be unable to control his ascent into the sky. I left him to float while I went in pursuit of the two vans and PRG.

The chase had already hit the freeway by the time I arrived by air. The PRG vehicle was already assaulting one of the vans. The other van could be seen in the distance leading the chase. Sergeant Mitchel was on the roof of the trailing van, injection suppression foam into the cabin with her artificial arm.

I left the PRG vehicle to pursuit the leading van, this one sported the tell-tale scars of Hephaestus’ mace. Once within range of the leading van two things happened I began to see things like in a hallucination and  I was attacked by what seemed at the time to be a missile but in hindsight was a fire extinguisher shot at me. This make-shift missile exploded on one of my shields obscuring me in white powder/gas. Struggling to see and to breath I descended and hit the asphalt which threw me off my force field. It took me a moment or two to get my bearings, getting into the air just before the trailing van nearly ran me down.

I managed to follow the trailing van at distance before they headed into Bedlam territory. I reported the news and was ordered to stand down.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Reflections (Wrighteous)

{FlyonWall Drone1 @ 12:43 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} CONTROL/REC

Video shows the drone navigating the air ducts into the halls of the Parahuman ward of the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The windowless ward is located underground and is arranged in a square donut, separated into wings. The west wing  sealed off from the rest of the ward, this is a secure area where nurses can be protected from dangerous parahumans, the fortified doors can be electronically locked and are made from a reinforced glass. The grainy, fisheye lens of the drone picks up the form of the armoured clad form of Eureka member Valkyrie and a lone nurse. Valkyrie is sits with halberd in hand at a row of uncomfortable-looking seats while the nurse is at her station tending to her work.
The drone continues surveillance of the ward, passing by myself, Pressure Point and Alice Dee in the south wing. The south and east wings and east and north wings are once again separated by a door but not of the same fortitude as the west wing doors. Running along outer circumference of the south, east and north wings are individual rooms for parahumans in treatment.
Buzzing past one of the rooms the fly spots girl in her late teens, sitting on the edge of the hospital bed talking with herself focusing on a certain point on the far wall.
Navigating past the east/north door the fly spotted James, the boy that had accidentally turned people into glass at the nightclub just last night. We’d finally found him and hopefully he’d give us the information we needed…

{Mosquito Drone2 @ 12:53 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} ATTACK/REC

After locating our objective, we moved onto stage two of the mission. The mosquito drone armed with an incapacitating drug to take Valkyrie out easily. The mosquito drone went in for the kill landing on the exposed flesh of Valkyrie’s neck…STATIC

{FlyonWall Drone1 @ 12:54 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} FOLLOW/REC

Wright: Shit. Mosquito down. Pressure Point blow the doors.
The doors to Pressure Point’s room blows open under the pressure for her power then with two further wumps the doors to mine and Alice D’s rooms are blown off their hinges.
Wright: Alice slow Valkyrie down. Pressure Point, let’s go get Daniel.
LSD: Too easy.
As Alice Dee moves off to the south/west door, myself and Pressure Point head to the north wing to retrieve Daniel. Moving through the west wing I stopped at the north/west door to turn around and find Pressure Point looking into the room of the girl talking to herself.
Wright: What are you doing?
PP: Hellbunni is here.
Wright: Who? That girl talking to herself?
PP: No she’s Blacklight.
Wright: More reason to get Daniel and get out of here.
She [Pressure point] saw reason and entered the north wing. I peered into the room that housed Daniel.
PP: Stand away from the door and block your ears.
I stood aside from the door as Pressure Point blew it open.
Daniel: Who are you?
PP: We’re here to help you.
Daniel: Where’s Hannah?
Wright: don’t worry we are keeping her safe.
Coalescing in the corner of the room was a glittering miasma that slowly took human form. It was Glitter Bomb and he was holding a gun.
Wright: Daniel. Come. Now.
This was when the sprinklers and fire alarms went off as flames licked up over the top of the closed north/east door.

{FlyonWall Drone1 @ 12:59 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} FOLLOW[PP]/REC

GB: Came prepared this time.

Glitter Bomb pointed the gun at Pressure Point as Daniel and I moved out of frame towards the west wind. Suddenly distracted by the flames making their way around the gaps in the door and burning regardless of the sprinklers, Pressure Point unleashed a concussive blast. Launching Glitter Bomb into the wall where he burst into glitter. The sprinklers hindered his movement as he attempted to flank her but she disbursed him again with another concussive burst. The two tussled for a bit before the door leading to west wing blew open unleashing a small fire ball…STATIC

{GoggleCam @ 13:02 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} REC

Currently without drones the feed skips to goggle cam.
The image is obscured by a crack in the goggle lens and water washing over them. The goggles swung around to capture Pressure Point and Glitter Bomb slowly moving away from a quickly spreading fire. It may be due to the poor image quality but there appears to be female faces formed in the fire itself. The goggles captured a wet and frightened nurse exclaiming the earth was shaking.
Wright: The ward is on fire get the hell out of here.
The nurse hesitantly moved from her workstation and ran towards the fire escape. Valkyrie was nowhere to be seen and neither was Alice Dee. The image bounced as I rounded the corner and poked my head through the doorway out to the south wing. Valkyrie was in the south corridor, no Alice and the fire was steadily creeping along walls, ceiling and floor.
Valkyrie: …fire. Initiate Stranger protocol. The bogeys we picked up are with Blacklight. Request…
Valkyrie was cut off as she attacked an invisible assailant. Swinging her halberd around in an arc, followed by a kick.
Valkyrie: …immediate assistance.
At that moment Alice Dee poked her head out of one of the patient rooms. I motioned for her to leg it. She dodged a swing from Valkyrie as she continued to battle with her phantom.
We arrive back in the west wing to find Pressure Point bringing the ceiling down on Glitter Bomb.
The remainder pf the footage is shaky as we exit the hospital via the fire exit with Daniel in tail.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Parahuman Capes (Parahuman Response Group)

Parahuman Response Group

PRG or ‘Purge’

With a smaller population density Australia naturally had fewer parahumans than other nations to cope with, as a result the Parahuman Response Group was not formed until parahuman syndicates had already gained a foothold. Training is extensive, focusing on tactical scenarios with various power classifications, physical training, as well as weapons training, everything from rifles and shotguns to foambow and shock batons. Teams are equipped with armoured vehicles, firearms as well as the foambow, a device that looks similar to a grenade launcher that attaches to a shotgun that fires bolts which contain a head of containment foam.  In Melbourne, PRG works closely with the corporate sponsored cape team Eureka. Recently new to the role Sergeant Mitchel has been nurturing a parahuman-phobic atmosphere. This has proved difficult at times especially with maverick members of Eureka like Southern Star.

Sergeant Kate Mitchel

 In her early thirties, she is a fit woman, with a massive tinker-made arm that billows steam. She was originally trained as an officer in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), specialising in counter-parahuman warfare. She is now the lead officer for the Parahuman Response Group (PRG) for the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Taking the role after she lost an arm during Southern Star’s trigger event and awoke later in the hospital with a tinker powered replacement made by Eureka cape, Hephaestus. She never had much love for parahumans after being dismissed from the army, losing an arm and  gaining a grotesquery she thoroughly hates capes, taking a very front-line approach to operations.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Reflections (Pressure Point)

The fight was over as quickly as it escalated. Glitterbomb dissolved into scintillating dust cloud and retreated into the drains, an unconscious thug that had been walking on the ceiling dropped unceremoniously from onto a  table, collapsing under his weight. Wrighteous was attempting to get up with very little luck, the glass in her goggles were cracked from a blow to head. I lead her to a booth and sat the girl down.

The ringing in my ears reminded me of the shots fired by the moustachioed man in a red coat. Liarbird was arguing with him about the use of fire arms. I was about to add my two cents when something hit the pavement that once looks like Black Light goon I had sucked out the window. Whatever effect they were under was now gone and he’d plummeted to his death. I stood there stunned, I had taken up the mantle of Pressure Point to continue her good work not to kill people. I’d taken up the Tin Man’s jobs to support the original Pressure Point’s kid.

I was brought out of my reverie by a tremendous crash followed by a car alarm, my eyes tore of the corpse towards the alley behind me. Liarbird, the moustachioed man in the red coat and I walked over to find the black sedan, its roof crumpled in with the remains of Space Cowboy and Deadbeat.

“My car,” groaned Moustache. Collectively, all three us drew gasps as we saw movement from one of the crumpled bodies in the wrecked roof of the car. It was Deadbeat returning to the land of the living. I wretched at the appearance of his bones popping back into place and his overall appearance morphing from the thin white haired man into a svelte dark skinned youth.

The ‘new’ Deadbeat hopped off the top of the car attempted to dust himself off but most of it was blood and said something over the alarms. He foraged through Space Cowboy’s jumpsuit and pulled out a white powder and pocketed it. Moustache’s mouth hung open as he pulled the keys out of his pocket to quiet the blaring of the car alarm.

“It’s definitely Black Light,” he repeated as he lead us back to the bar shouldering Moustache on the way past. “Is this the dickhead with the gun?”

“Watch your mouth boy,” growled Mustache.

“Yeah, keep your distance. That’s Bloodhound, he’s a bounty hunter. Striker/Master, requires touch,” Liarbird stated almost mechanically.

Once back inside the bar Deadbeat grabbed a bottle off the shelf. His mouth opened as if to haul more abuse at this Bloodhound, when he was cut off by a distinct thudding sound coming from the fridge. For a second or two no one stirred then Bloodhound pulled out his gun again and pointed it at Deadbeat. “You lot have gotten in my way enough already today now open that fridge and tell me what you see.” He Demanded.

“Go ahead,” Deadbeat scoffed stretching his arms wide taking a swig from the bottle.

Bloodhound reconsidered his initial action and decided to point the gun at me. “Fire that gun at anyone and you’ll find that the barrel of your gun will be blocked and I doubt you will enjoy pulling the trigger.” This was definitely in the scope of my power albeit difficult. To maintain the charade I have always tried to mimic Pressure Point’s powers as best as I could. Bloodhound considered this for a moment or two and lowered the pistol. My heart continued to pound in my chest.

“Great, Deadbeat could you open the fridge and let us know what is in there.” Liarbird said very business-like. Deadbeat shrugged and opened the walk in refrigerator and disappeared inside for a moment. He re-emerged propping up a girl with multi-coloured hair and makeup, her hands were bound and mouth was gagged with a rag, she was dressed in the motorcycle jumpsuit common to Black Light.

“Ok, so who is she,” Liar Bird asked Bloodhound motioning with a tilt of her head.

“ Alice D. she’s a Black Light defector. I am tasked to retrieve her unharmed,” he replied. The phone in my pocket vibrated the others also seemed to react to their phones. I pulled mine from my pocket. The message was curt from PRG and Eureka are on their way.

“We’re running out of time here Eureka are on their way,” I added to the conversation. Everyone bar Wrighteous seemed to want to be somewhere very far away right now.

“Deadbeat, what did Space Cowboy say?” Asked Liarbird.

“Their tinker White Rabbit is cooking up drugs one called Pixie Dust to allow them to walk on the roof and one that affects powers ,” he replied pulling the Pixie Dust drug from his pocket.

“Ok, we get out of here now and reconvene to break out the kid in the Parahuman Ward at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.”

“No, we get captured,” Wrighteous had not spoken for a while and everyone turned to her. “Wait, hear me out. We’re parahumans and we’re injured. There’s no better solution they’ll send us straight to the Parahuman Ward.”

“Great you get captured I’m out of here with Alice,” grunted Bloodhound. Alice D seemed to squirm at that, trying to talk through the gag. Deadbeat removed it.

“I’m in. Anything to fuck with Heartache and her crew,” the colourful woman asserted.

“Out of the question I’m getting paid for your safe return.”

“ Well then you’re going to have get me ‘out’ safe,” came Alice’s rebuttal.

“Great! Not all of us need to get captured just me, Alice and someone with firepower,” Wrighteous said turning to me my eyes then continued. “The rest of you will wait for us outside in case we need some outside assistance. What are you waiting for tie us up and lock us in the fridge?”

 Alice D, Wrighteous and I were then locked in the fridge to wait for Eureka to rescue us. While the other three left with the vans to wait on our orders. Once sealed inside we began to sort out our story to tell the police. It turned out Alice D had some sort of hallucination inducing powers.

Alice D, Wrighteous and I were locked in the fridge to wait for Eureka to rescue us. While the other three left with the vans to waiting on further word. Once sealed inside we began to sort out our stories for the police. Alice D was a peculiar girl, she was garbed in the same motorcycle jumpsuit as the rest of Black Light though it seemed to have been designed by Pollock, colours swirled and ran through each other, giving the outfit the look of motley. Her hair was predominantly green, though the tips dipped in fuchsia, the roots appeared  to be her natural colour. With the makeshift gag now hanging round her neck Alice was free to enlighten us on her ability.

I was barely listening to Wrighteous disseminate the situation, she had killed someone. The crumpled form of the Black Light thug was a grim reminder of the death of the original Pressure Point. It should have been me. The first time I was supposed to die instead Pressure Point died and I was cursed with these powers.

I was brought out of my reverie by sirens muffled by the insulated walls of the walk-in fridge. It was then we began  to shout and kick the fridge door.

The door was pried open and inside the doorway was a PRG officer from the Australian Federal Police clad in black body armour, shotgun and suppression foam at his belt.

“… three probable capes, appear to be bound and injured. Otherwise, clear,” The black clad figure spoke into a headset. We waited until the bar was cleared by the PRG with a shotgun pointed at us. The Tin Man was right  Eureka was here, while waiting for the bar to be clear I spied the unstoppable heroine Valkyrie. Clad in steel armour, her blonde hair flowed through the top of an ornate helm, she was armed with a buckler and a halberd.

It wasn’t until we were escorted outside that we saw the extent of the response. The street had been cordoned off by police cars, a Parahuman Response Group truck stood off to one side and ambulances on the other. In the sky floated Southern Star dressed in his flashy union jack and southern star emblazoned armour. Beside the PRG truck stood Mirage garbed in an Arabian Nights-esque style and a Sergeant Mitchel, the head of the PRG. The athletic woman held a radio in a clearly artificial arm. She appeared to be listening to some instructions then approached us.

“Divide them up I want to question them before they are moved to the Royal Melbourne,”  Sergeant Mitchel ordered our escort, they followed the order without word are escorted us to separate areas of the cordon.

I waited as Sergeant Mitchel questioned the other two I stared as the forensic team began taken crime scene photos of the dead. I wondered how the police had sold the story of the death of Rachael, the real Pressure Point to her family.

“Pressure Point,” the Sergeant stated. I looked up from my seat at the edge of the ambulance, she seemed weary up close, circles under her eyes. “You’ve been off the grid for some time and the next time you show up, you’re involved with Black Light.”

I considered answering but kept my mouth shut, figuring she’d met the last Pressure Point.

“What were you doing back there in the fridge with those other two?” The Sergeant continued.

“What did it look like we were doing?” I asked rhetorically. “Black Light got the drop on us.”

“Then why were you all cozy in there with a known Black Light member?”

I stared her down.

“I’m not going anywhere anytime soon and you’re not going to get any medical aid until I am satisfied with your story,” she threatened.

I exhaled. “Alice D is a defector. Wrighteous and I were there to bail her out. Get some information on Black Light. Unfortunately, they got the drop on us. Locked us in the fridge. What happened while we were inside I have no idea.”

“Is that so?” Sergeant Mitchel motioned for a paramedic to approach. “Just tell me, why didn’t someone with your ability simply break free from your makeshift cell?”

I couldn’t help but look towards the others. “I guess I was just waiting for the right time.”

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Parahuman Capes (Blacklight)

Blacklight

 Having established themselves properly in the last few years, Blacklight rapidly made themselves a fixture in the city. Rumoured to have interests in the majority of businesses on the north end of Melbourne, it is unclear exactly where Blacklight are basing themselves from, or how far their influence extends.


Heartache

Having built Blacklight from the ground up around her through single minded determination, Heartache is a cold and ruthless businesswoman. Her power appears to instill a low level influence over people around her, causing them to fall in love with her and, over the long term, become impossibly loyal pawns.

Space Cowboy

Previously operated solo under the alias ‘Fingerbang’. Has the ability to fire rapid salvos of lasers from his fingertips. Born in Sydney, he left after Leviathan’s attack devastated the city. After spending some time in Queensland providing low level enforcement for a local villain he moved down to Melbourne and fell in with Heartache. He rapidly became her right hand man, proving himself capable leading her other capes in the field.

Tasedancer

With the ability to momentarily freeze time for everyone other than      herself, while emitting a bewildering, strobing flash, Tasedancer offers Blacklight their primary muscle. After a recent skirmish, Southern Star speculated that Tasedancer might have some form of cognitive disorder, that she had seemed barely responsive and had needed to be shepherded into the fight by Space Cowboy.

Glitterbomb

Having worked alongside Space Cowboy in Queensland, Glitterbomb was recruited to fill a gap in Blacklight left after a previous member split from the group. His power lets him dissolve into a cloud of metallic flakes.

White Rabbit

Adopted by Heartache in mysterious circumstances, White Rabbit is a Tinker with a specialty in chemistry. She uses this ability to supply the group with improbable drugs that cause impossible effects. One of the youngest publicly operating capes in the city.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Reflections (Deadbeat)

“What happened to your beautiful face?” crooned the blonde, delicately running the her manicured fingers across the shiner on my cheekbone.

“Rough day at the office,” I winced playfully.

“Aww, what happened,” asked her friend a brunette with a low-cut dress.

It had been a while since I had occupied an attractive body, perfect teeth, dark, tall, irresistible. “You been heard of these Spontaneous Triggers at local clubs recently?” each nodded. “Well, me and my team were employed to look into it.  We started with the latest case down at Billboards with the kid that turned people into glass. We checked out security footage of the night the kid went on his glassing spree and shook down the bartender working the night.  It all pointed to Bla…” I paused as the bartender pointed in my direction. “Scotch and coke and two of whatever these ladies are having,” I said indicating the blonde and brunette.

“All signs pointed to Blacklight peddling some drug. So we head straight to the problem, right into Blacklight territory, to a seedy bar called the Rochester Castle,” the bar tender returned with our drinks and I motioned over to a booth. The ladies followed, I slumped into the chair and continued my story.

 “So we’re at the Rochester and me, aerophile and pressure chick break into the joint. Seems like the bartender we were squeezing for information snitched on us because they were waiting for us,” we had actually got a tip from the bartender but went anyway being one of the few leads we had. “Just as I went to pour myself a drink at the bar, they showed themselves. Space Cowboy decked out in his space helmet and silver jumpsuit and two lackeys, standing on the ceiling.”

 “So I’m there, at the bar standing with a bottle of scotch, top shelf shit right and tumbler. And Space Cowboy’s like ‘Who sent you,’ and I’m like ‘I’ll tell ya when you tell what’s going on’. Then he’s all like ‘You’re in no position to bargain’ and I say ‘That we could discuss this over a drink’ and I take a sip then hurl the tumbler of whisky right at his stupid helmet.” The two women leaned in closer to hear over the thrumming bass of the club.

“I gotta admit the guy is fast, he blasted the glass mid-air with a laser from his finger. This gave me a enough time to duck behind the bar when he started shooting in my direction. I ran the length of the counter half crouched over, as all hell broke loose. I closed the gap between Spacecowboy and me, I swung him with the bottle of whisky from the floor while he tried to shoot me with his finger lasers.”

“ I got some good hit on Space, I had him, smashed open the visor of his helmet. Then Glitterbomb attacked in his glitter form blinding and choking me. That’s when I took a couple of laser blasts. I also heard some gun fire but that ended when Pressure Point sucked one of the goons on the ceiling and Glitterbomb out the window. Nearly sucked me right out with ’em.”

“That goon right, he fell straight into the sky, funniest shit I’d ever seen,” I laughed to myself. “I spent a second watching the guy fall and Glitterbomb tussle with the shooter and turned back to see Space limping away on the ceiling back towards the pissers.”

“I leg it after him bust in the loo and he’s climbing out the bathroom window with powder all over the front of his shattered helmet. He fell with a gentle thud onto a parked car in an alley. I followed but he was waiting for me and threw some powder in my face. I felt light headed high but it wasn’t just the sensation of being high, I began falling into the sky like that other poor sap,” the parahuman groupies leaned in close.

“As my world turned upside down I grabbed onto Space taking him with me and we both fell up into the sky. As we fall I ask him “What is this shit? How longs it last.” As if answering my statement the other goon plummeted back down to earth. With fear in his eyes he says,”Not long. Pixie Dust, it gets you high, one of White Rabbits tinker drugs.””

“I shake him a little, I reckon I could smell himself shitting his bricks, so I press him further, “We’re both going to die so why not tell me what have you been handing to those kids?” Resigned he mutters, “It’s another of White Rabbits drugs, ‘spose to give temporary powers to potential parahumans. We’ve been looking….” He was cut off abruptly as the drug wore off and we both fell to the ground.”

“But how did you survive?” one of the girls asked.

“Babe, I’m bloody immortal.”

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Parahuman Capes (Eureka)

Eureka

Eureka are a massively funded and endorsed by both the Australian Government and the Protectorate, with all the benefits that come alongside. With far greater access to equipment and recruits that anyone else in the city, the Eureka Tower is a veritable fortress of tinker technology.


Southern Star

The poster boy of Eureka, Bruce Wilson was recruited directly from the police force after his very public trigger event, brought in as founding member of Eureka. His powers are well documented in the media – flight, enhanced strength and agility and the ability to project force fields that can either be used defensively, or thrown with remarkable velocity and force.

Southern Star acts as the public face of Eureka, making the vast majority of media appearances and dominating screen time in interviews.

 Valkyrie

One of the founding members of Eureka, Valkyrie had been operating in Melbourne solo before the team was founded. Apparently unkillable, whenever a mortal wound is dealt to Valkyrie she is reborn in a column of golden light, a glowing aura  remaining around her that increases her strength and agility.

 Dreamtime

In a move that was dismissed by many as a publicity stunt, Eureka recruited one of the prominent native capes. Able to summon the spirits of animals long extinct, Dreamtime quickly made himself invaluable to the team.         

Hephaestus

Much of the work on the Eureka Tower was done using Hephaestus’s technology. A tinker with a speciality in thermal energy, Hephaestus has incorporated a geothermal power plant into the Eureka building, allowing it to run as a self-contained, isolated structure. In battle he fights in a large suit of powered armour and wields a massive hammer that he can superheat to the point that it will melt clean through plate steel.

 Mirage

 A recent immigrant to Australia, Mirage’s power lets him bend light, shifting it to flow around an object so that it can’t be seen, or focusing light on a single point to burn or scour.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Reflections (Liarbird)

Unceremoniously, I flopped down onto the couch, the Mardi Gras-esque domino mask I’d been wearing all day now sat on the coffee table. From the side table I grabbed the glass of wine the kind one could pour a half of bottle of red into. I also pulled out the voice recorder, a device that I found helped on cases, voicing my thoughts and locking it down into my aural eidetic memory. Especially observations that were not conveyed through sound. I took a sip of the full bodied shiraz blend, I thumbed the play button on the recorder and listened to my notes for the day.

“April 12 2015,” boy I hated the sound of my own voice. “I received an encrypted message from an unknown source. Referring to my moniker Liarbird which was particularly disconcerting as I rarely utilise it. The message itself gave an address to a warehouse in Spotswood, offering work for someone with my ability in return for payment. As well as myself, three other parahumans were also invited to the briefing:” The recording paused a moment and I took another sip.

“Deadbeat, a short stocky, girl with black hair cut into bowl cut, she had goldfish-like features which were not hidden by a mask though she was wearing a black leotard with an overcoat. Her personality is best described as abrasive and confrontational. Currently I am uncertain to what her powers entail.”

“Wrighteous, is a tinker with a specialisation in aero applications, remote controlled drones the size of insects is what we saw today. Her costume comprises of leather aviation cap, googles, ivory scarf, slacks and boots. She’s smart, cautious and stubborn displaying a firm set of morals.”

“The third cape raised some eyebrows; it appeared to be Pressure Point, a vigilante that went quiet about a half a year ago. She definitely appeared to be Pressure point, height and size seemed to be consistent and the multicolour vein patterned, full body suit she wore looked legitimate. The thing that irked me was her voice. Pressure point always put on a ‘voice’ but there was always a bit more vibrato in this one. I just don’t think this is the same girl but out in the field her powers lived up to those of the original Pressure Points’.”

“Once we were gathered we received the call from our mysterious benefactor over speaker phone. The voice was altered to mask its identity.”

On the recording I recited the conversation perfectly mimicking the augmented voice of the benefactor.  “Welcome,” a no nonsense voice greeted us augmented to hide their identity. “Firstly, the job I am about to offer you may require you to break the law and make enemies, so if you have any compunctions I suggest you leave now.” The voice had waited for dramatic effect then continued. “Very well, two days ago the corporate cape agency Eureka moved two large packages from the Eureka Tower headquarters to a butchers in Footscray, a place called Chan’s Meats. The establishment has known Black Light affiliation. I require the four of you to retrieve the packages from Chan’s Meats before they are moved, how you achieve the results is up to you but do it with discretion. Beneath the barrel is a suitcase with a retainer for your services and on completion of the job you will be further compensated. The packages are to be delivered to Coburg cemetery where you will deliver the packages to the Zafarelli mausoleum where the exchange will occur. Finally, do not open the packages.

“I would feel comfortable if I knew who I was working for,” mimicking Wrighteous.

Then you will be working outside your comfort zone. Information will only be given on a need to know basis,” our employer said sharply.

“What resources are at our disposal?” I queried.

You have a case full of money and you’re parahumans, impress me. I look forward to your success.

“With that the line cut out. The group then proceeded to plan. ”

“April 13 2015”

“Utilising Writeous’ bugs we surveyed the goings on at Chan’s Meats. Eventually, Mr Chan himself received a call. Writeous piloted her bug onto the hand set and managed to pick up the voice I recalled as Glitter Bomb a member of Heartache’s Black Light crew. The exchange was arranged at 9 that night.”

“With that we formulated a plan. I would ring Mr Chan mimicking the voice of Glitter Bomb and making an abrupt rescheduling of the exchange. Driving a rented small truck, Deadbeat would wear a bike helmet posing as Glitter Bomb with myself in the passenger seat throwing Glitter Bomb’s voice. Pressure Point and Wrighteous would provide our back-up in a separate car.”

“The plan was going swimmingly, the two large human sized crates were moved from the meat locker and into the truck. It wasn’t until we were half way to Coburg when we met trouble. We were being followed by a motorcycle that appeared to be ridden by the real Glitter Bomb. A combination of Deadbeat’s erratic driving, my gunshot mimicking and Pressure Point’s powers, we managed to lose our tail.”

“At the first opportunity we stopped the truck, and against the wishes of our employer we opened the two human sized crates. Inside were two bodies of parahuman gang, the Rail Rats; Clot whose blood sets hard creating a protective coat and Scratch with the ability to alter the material properties of his body by scratching the top layer of skin off. Both appeared to display some battle damage but also displayed mortal gaping wounds in their torsos. Clot had bleed out enough that he was effectively stuck to the crate. After resealing the two crates we made it to the rendezvous point and handed over the two crates and received our money. From there each of us went our separate ways.”

“If we are to assume the Eureka team did kill Scab and Scratch not to mention Black Light ties. This could be detrimental for Eureka’s public image and their corporate sponsors. This raises a few questions to what the motivations of our mysterious employer are.”

With that, the play button popped up signalling the end of the recording. I paused for a few moments in reflections then reached for the bottle of wine topping up the glass.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – The Setting

Just five years after Scion’s first appearance, the superheroes emerged from the cover of rumor and secrecy to show themselves to the public. Though the villains followed soon after, it was the heroes who shattered any illusions of the parahumans being divine figures. In 1989, attempting to quell a riot over a basketball game in Michigan, the superhero known to the public as Vikare stepped in, only to be clubbed over the head. He died not long after of a brain embolism.

The golden age of the parahumans was thus short lived. They were not the deific figures they had appeared to be. Parahumans were, after all, people with powers, and people are flawed at their core. Government agencies took a firmer hand; in America the Protectorate was wormed, a government funded and nationally coordinated team of superheroes to support the beleaguered Parahuman Response Team, a new branch of the emergency services.

In Australia, events took a different turn. The Bathory Massacres, occurring just months after harsh gun control reforms, were one of the most catastrophic acts of parahuman violence to date. With this setting public sentiment so strongly against the dangers posed by parahuman individuals, Melbourne became host to a superhuman game of hide and seek, with illegally operating teams of vigilante heroes working against the inevitable surge of parahuman villainy in what was effectively an unprotected city.

This led to an escalating war over the streets of Melbourne, with under-equipped and overtasked emergency services attempting to keep the city together in the face of constant parahuman violence. It was only years later that the legal provisions were created to allow a newly formed team to work alongside emergency services in a role similar to that played by the Protectorate. Privately funded and corporate sponsored, Eureka is led by Southern Star, a hero drawn directly from the police force after a very public trigger event on camera. Their formation has sparked a whole new debate regarding parahumans. A controversial bill has been introduced in parliament that, if passed, will force any superheroes operating in Australia to register both civilian and parahuman identities in a national database.

Melbourne itself is still recovering, with large swathes of the city claimed by assorted villainous gangs and warlords and others under the rather dubious ‘protection’ of vigilante teams. It is an uncertain time, the city on a tipping point between being restored to order and descending into anarchy.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – The System

My friend Will and I are big advocates of the Strands of Fate RPG system. An offshoot of the popular narrative driven Fate which uses fudge dice. Strands of Fate still utilises the narrative driven system but adds a bit more crunch.

In the past I have used the system (with some minor additions) to run a Potterverse campaign  and run a one shot convention game Harry Potter and the Handle of Janus. This time Will has adapted Strands for use in his Wormaverse Campaign. For those unfamiliar with the webserial Worm by Wildbow, it is an internal consistent serial involving Parahumans (people with superpowers), one in particular Taylor and her journey to do what is right.

The main differences with the homebrew include:

 Attributes

The Attributes have been refined down to:

  • Physical (Agility, Athletics, Brawling)
  • Mental (Genius, Perception, Willpower)
  • Social (Deceive, Persuade, Resource)
  • and Power

 Aspects

Strands of Fate suggest that PCs be made with 10ish Aspects by utilising the Aspect Alphabet. Instead out PCs were created with 6 with the following inspiration:

  • Defining Aspect – This is what your characters schtick is. I’ve always like 2-3 adjectives and a noun.
  • Origin Story – This can relate directly to your trigger event, why you have become a hero/villain.
  • Power – This aspects relates directly to your power.
  • Places/People – These can be family, friends, mortal enemies, headquarters, home turf or forbidden areas.
  • Exceptional – What is your character good at?
  • and Inferior – What is your character bad at? Hindered by?

Stress Track

Physical and mental stress has been combined into one stress track and s a sum of your Brawling, Athletics and Willpower (plus any relevant Advantages).

The other defining difference to the stress track is there is only one, once this is filled up you die (go insane, otherwise incapacitated forever). The filling of this track can be mitigated though by taking consequences to lower your stress table.

  •  A Minor consequence would remove one stress box. These consequences can be recovered from after a short amount of time, akin to dead leg or retching.
  •  A Major consequence removes three stress boxes . A major consequence takes a days to recover from, like concussions or lacerations.
  • A Severe (P) consequence removes all stresses in your track. These persist over weeks or months and since they are marked with the persistent P, they can be Compelled without burning a Fate Point.

These changes aim to make the game grittier and attempt to convey the feel of street level capes campaign. Find an example of below of my character Wrighteous.

Maebh ‘Wrighteous’ Hallett

Aspects
Defining Aspect:            Stubborn Tinker Support
Origin Story:                  Deadly fear of flying
Power:                            Here’s a plane I prepared earlier
Places and People:       Air Raid. Is. MINE!
Advantage:                    Outdoors-man
Disadvantage:               Moral high ground

Attributes
Brawling:        1
Athletics:        2
Acrobatics:    2
Genius:               2
Will:                    2
Perception:        2
Persuade:       2
Deceive:          2
Resource:       2
Power:                3

Refresh Rate: 5          Stress track: 5

Advantages
Tinker Specialty By virtue of your power, you are an authority in a specific field of science or engineering, be it biology, thermal energy, aerospace engineering, computer software, etc. Gain a +2 on Genius rolls related to your specified field and a +1 bonus to make relevant Declarations.

Headquarters Gain a new Facility with a rating equal to your Resources +1 if it is a general Facility or +2 if it is specialised. You may take this Advantage multiple times. Each time your Facility gains a new function (Library, Lab or Workshop), or you increase the rating of one Facility you already own by +1. Multiple members of the same team may contribute points toward the same Headquarters.

Playing Possum – Trained in the subtle arts of improvisation, you find it easily to fake your own death. You receive +2 to deceive others rolls when pretending to be dead or injured.

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