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OK So we started a new game in my Tuesday night group and well I'm trying to A) record this crap. B) Post more on my LJ.
It's only a transitional game 2-3 sessions to stall while some Real Life(TM) stuff happens to a couple of the players and the next GM in the troupe get's his act together. I love this particular campaign/group of characters. Questor is a fun character, cross the Joker (well not Heath's, more Jack's) with Doc Strange and throw in a little more silliness. The power levels are near Godlike -- 900pt GURPS 4th ed supers will do that. If he wants to do it mostly he can. This is fun thwarting my GM's plans in ways he never thought of. But the four-color power level makes it so it's hard to play for extended periods of time and feel challenged, so I'm glad we're only using it as a transition.

The back story is long, but I provide it here for your amusement and cause my GM went through the trouble of compiling our misadventures. From there I'll lead into what happened last night. But for starters here are the principles:

Current Roster of East Coast Crusaders
Questor: Team Leader. Archmage and Supreme Sorcerer of the Prime Realm Elven prankster, think "Puck" (my character.)
Virus: Living Metal Nanomorph. Reprogrammed T-1000 turned into a "perfect" wife (well maybe by 50's definition).
Titannos: The strongest man on Earth. And we don't just mean the smell.
Chance: Extreme Sports Icon and capable of probability defying feats.

Key NPC's
Matrix: Deputy Leader, Our eye in the sky. An awakened AI of IMMENSE power. Skynet, but as one of the good guys. Well we think.
Warp: Speedster of the first order.

Crusaders Backstory
Once upon a time… In a Galaxy far, far away….

60,000,000 BC- Alien race later named the "Seeders" enters Sol system. Using their technology they modify Earth's climate destroying the dinosaurs.

500,000 BC- Seeders return and perform genetic modifications on Homo erectus, the ancestor of mankind.

495,000 BC- A series of solar flares alters the Seeders implanted gene structure, suppressing the power traits of Homo erectus.

400,000 BC- Homo sapiens appear.

35,000 BC- First true modern humans appear.

35,000 BC to 1924 AD- The Seeder gene remains dormant, only occasionally manifesting creating, what many believe, are the figures
of legend.

1924 AD- The wave front from a stellar explosion bathes the Earth with a massive amount of Gamma radiation. This re-activates the Seeder gene in many humans.

After this event Metahumans began to appear in the world. Individuals that possessed incredible abilities and powers, some of which were helpful, some not so much.

Their acceptance into society was mixed. During World War II metahumans appeared on the battle field, fighting for both the Axis
and the Allied forces. As time passed, the world grew accepting, for the most part of the metahumans. They became the stuff of popular culture, movies, product spokespersons and even politicians.

Groups of metahumans banded together to form Superteams, most of the time protecting their city, occasionally expanding their operations to a global scale. Also, metahuman criminals joined together to further their own goals/plots.

Of these teams the most well known was the, then New York City based, Crusaders. Lead by an older and well known hero named "American Eagle" the Crusaders set the standard for modern superteams. In 1991 in a battle atop their base, the Crusader's Citadel, American Eagle was killed by a power armored villain named Centurion.

After American Eagle's death his 2nd in command a young Martial artist/speedster named Warrior took over as the leader of the
Crusaders. In the next few years he and the Crusaders did battle against Centurion and his Legion, and several other criminal groups across the country. All the while Warrior continued to recruit new members to the team, even turning two of Centurion's former Legionnaires, Kraken and Firestorm, into Crusaders.

The team grew until Warrior decided to expand the team into separate groups to protect cities at different points throughout the country. Warrior sent his second in command Disruptor to lead a group L.A. While he stayed and recruited a new group in New York.

In a public announcement he put forth the call to metahumans to join this new group. The response was best summed up with "Be careful what you wish for… you may get it". The individuals that answered his call were as varied as they were powerful.

Virus: Nanomorph; a robot comprised of nanites, forming a collective brain. It is essentially living metal, capable of dividing itself, forming multiple limbs, fantastically sharp weapons and clinging to walls.

Matrix: A.I. A sentient computer. Capable of building and controlling robots to carry out its wishes.

Questor: Archmage; The supreme sorcerer of the "Prime Realm". Originally from an alternative dimension were creatures of myth and fantasy rule. One of the few remaining of his race. (Elf)

Later they encountered a powerful telekinetic who could travel through space at faster than light speeds, she named herself Aurora, but had no memory of who she was or where she had come from. That question was answered when a spherical starship, nearly the size of our moon, came to earth and took up orbit around it. It was revealed that she had been created by the commander of the planetship, a being known as The Overlord. Possessing technology far more advanced than earths he brought a warning to the people of earth. A race that threatened to wipe out organic life in the galaxy, called the "Monad" was on their way to earth. He came from an alliance of worlds that had made him supreme ruler in exchange for protecting them from the Monad threat. He offered earth the same deal. It was declined and a battle commenced between the Crusaders and the Overlord. It ended only when the Monad arrived and the Crusaders discovered, Virus was actually a reprogrammed member of the Monad race. Creating a destructive invasive
program and using Virus to join their collective the Overlord was able to destroy the Monad invasion before it reached Earth. Weakened by the battle with the Monad and Crusaders he retreated from earth. During the battle Matrix had hacked the Overlord's central computer to discover his true wish was to conduct genetic modifications on the humans of earth that possessed the "Meta-gene. By doing this he could create a loyal metahuman army serving him and his goals of the conquest of the galaxy.

Not long after, during a battle with their old nemesis Centurion and his newly formed Legion, the Crusaders were attacked and some captured when Disrupter, leader of the West Coast Crusaders turned on the team and allied himself with Centurion. During a battle at the ultra-secret Area 51 air force base Centurion introduced his newest ally, the daughter of the Arch-fiend of hell Asmodeus himself, Glasya. She provided the magical power needed to capture Questor. The team escaped and with the help of a guilt riddled Disruptor, defeated Centurion and his Legion. During the battle a captured alien ship was damaged and caused its stardrive to go critical. The resulted in a massive explosion which destroyed Area 51, Disruptor and Centurion were killed, because NO ONE could have survived THAT blast…

In the aftermath of Disrupter's death, Warrior left the east coast team to take over command of the now leaderless west coast Crusaders. Questor was named as replacement for team leader.

Time passed, many adventures happened including an encounter with a time manipulator by the name of Dr. Q. During the encounter it was discovered that Dr. Q had discovered Virus when it had first crash landed on earth in ancient Greece. He had reprogrammed it to act as his companion (yes it's what you think). He would send her to retrieve things for him and assist him in his time manipulations efforts to bring about a "more ordered", even trying to engineer a victory for Nazi Germany in World War II. During one of these missions for Dr. Q, Virus was damaged and did not return. Dr. Q believed he had lost "her".

Not long after the encounter with Dr. Q a world wide crisis arose, the walls between dimensions and time began to break down. The Crusaders while fighting to restore the dimensional barriers discovered it was Centurion, who had been believed dead, had in fact returned and was the cause of the crisis. The Crusaders battled him and his Legion in the lower level of the New York museum of art. The Crusaders suffered a crushing defeat and Centurion won possession of the artifact buried beneath the floor of the museum, a giant red crystal known as the "Reality Gem". This artifact could convert thoughts of its possessor to reality; however, it came at a cost. It drained all mana from the area it operated in. To power it to the levels they needed Centurion
and his ally Glasya took the Gem to the stronghold of the Lord of the Nine Hells itself and placed it in the portal at it lowest level. This portal, known as the "Well of the Worlds" tapped into the dimensional energies in all time and space. With the Gem's power Centurion imprisoned all of the Arch Devils, including Asmodeous himself, and began his plans of conquest. The Crusaders arrived with allies from other realms to stop him. In the ensuing battle Questor drove Glasya into the Well of the Worlds, instantly destroying her. Using an Ally known as the "Wraith King", who had the ability to stop the flow of mana, the indestructible Reality Gem was thrown into the Well of Worlds and lost forever. An important note to mention, the Arch devils
talismans containing their essence, which had been gathered by Centurion to control them, had fallen away into a bottomless pit in the portal room. All save one. The Archfiend Asmodeus, his talisman came into the possession of the Crusaders.

When the Crusader's returned to their world they found themselves displaced in time (an after effect of the reality gem's entrance to the Well of the Worlds). They arrived 20 years in the future. They found the world conquered and controlled by the Overlord. They met Warrior, who was operating a resistance against the Overlord's forces, and were told what had happened.

After the team had gone after the Reality Gem the world appeared to return to normal. Although for the team that had entered Hell, it was NOT the past they remembered. Instead of the metahumans of the world forming their own teams, the UN had created the International Super Teams. They protected member countries from embassies around the world. There were private super teams, but much fewer than before. Warrior explained to the team after they had left for Hell, the world was approached a few weeks later by a race known as the Kronin. They brought a warning of another enemy from space. The antithesis of the mechanical Monad collective, known as The System. A race of organic parasites that fed on worlds. The Kronin offered to stand with earth
so both their races could survive. They met with the UN and as the meeting got underway it was attacked by an entity known as the Void. It killed all the UN delegates and made it appear to the people of earth the Kronin had setup the attack to weaken them for conquest. Earth and its heroes attacked the more advanced Kronin fleet. Instead of fighting back against a vastly inferior foe, the Kronin left earth. Unfortunately the warning they had brought was only too real. The System attacked an unprepared Earth and nearly decimated it. During mankind's struggle against the creatures, the Overlord returned and offered his assistance, for a price. He told the people of Earth he would rid them of The System, and demonstrated the ability to do so, IF, they turned over the metahumans of the world to him. In such a desperate hour earth's people turned on its heroes to save themselves and their families from the genocidal System. Upon delivery of the first metahumans Overlord began to destroy The System with a
genetically crafted virus. In a matter of days the conquerors became the conquered. The Overlord stayed on to "help rebuild" the earth and eventually though manipulation, bribes of life easing technology and cloned replacement of leaders was given control of the world.

As soon as the Overlord took control of the Earth he quickly ferreted out Matrix in his hidden bases and destroyed him. Or so he believed…

The group joined Warrior and his resistance in this alternate future. The group that had come from the past included a robot of Matrix's, when he met Warrior's tech expert of this future team, Brainstorm, it was discovered he was a biological storage unit of the Matrix AI. Matrix had downloaded himself into a microframe implanted in Brainstorm's brain. With the information from the future, Questor decided to try to contact Dr. Q, in this time, to return them to before The System arrived.

The Overlord, alerted to the presence of the Crusaders from the past, sent a large force to the site of Dr. Q's base to stop them. He very nearly succeeded, by using Sorcerer Blue, a powerful mage and former close ally of Questor, who had been enslaved and conditioned to serve the enemy. The Crusaders prevailed and with the assistance of Dr. Q returned 20 years to the past.

Upon arrival, they found the Kronin had already arrived and contacted the UN. The Crusaders persuaded the UN and IST to allow them to setup precautions to prevent the disaster that caused the future they had witnessed. When the Kronin delegation arrived the Crusaders were in place with IST personnel. The Void appeared and began to attack. It was held at bay until it teleported past the intervening guards and attempted to draw the Kronin leader and Questor into its singularity. Warrior threw himself into Questor and the leader of the aliens saving them, but in doing so he was draw into the black hole of the Void and was killed instantly. The Void was then driven off by the gathered metahumans.

After Warrior's sacrifice, the Kronin leader pledged his support to the earth and its defense. The combined IST forces and the Kronin armada began to prepare. To insure success against The System, Questor sent out a call to all independent super teams in the world. Gathering them together they were organized and dispatched to key areas across the globe. With the fore knowledge of the attack at their disposal Questor and Matrix coordinated the defense of Earth.

The battle for earth began as sleeper agents, humans infected by infiltration units of The System, sprang to life around the world to lead System creatures as they invaded from space. The battle raged across the earth until The System's central mind was driven into the sun.

In the aftermath of the battle the Kronin allied themselves with earth after the combined victory over The System. The Crusaders regrouped and begun recruiting to strengthen the team. Questor became dark and despondent, barely involving himself with operations of the Crusaders, leaving Matrix to coordinate most things. Susan Winthrop, Firestorm of the West Coast Crusader team and Warrior's lover, left active duty after Warrior's death. The countries of the earth began to rebuild in the wake of The System attack.

During the next year after the battle with the system, Earth lived in a time of prosperity and for the most part peace.

Old foes however have long memories.

Asmodeous, enraged over the loss of his Talisman to the Crusaders and less about his daughters destruction, manipulated events for his greatest gambit… To bring Hell into the Prime Realm thus and all under his control.

The first harbingers of this crisis came in the form of the psychics of the world dreaming and seeing in visions Questor… destroying all of creation.

Mystics of the world researched and it was determined that when the Reality Gem was cast back into the Well of the Worlds it fragmented reality forcing it into a false tangent. The only way to correct the problem was to shatter the tangent and force reality back into "sync". Using a MASSIVE amount of energy focused through the Talisman of Asmodeous, this "rouge reality" could be shattered and put things right. Needless to say many of the world's heroes did NOT subscribe to this belief and attempted to stop the ritual. A cataclysmic battle took place on Liberty Island where the statue had been used in essence as a large collector capacitor for the power of the spell, between the Crusaders and the metahuman's of the UN sanctioned International Super Teams. Questor had designed bracers that would allow the Crusaders, native to the correct reality, to return when the spell was complete. Just as the ritual neared completion the Crusaders of the West Coast arrived to confront Questor. During this Questor realized that Firestorm was pregnant with Warrior's child. As the maelstrom roared around them he smiled and pushed the bracer that he was to wear into her wrist and said: "You don't get to die today. I'll explain later, it's been planned for!".

Then … Blinding light…. Death appears….. and ……Oblivion…….

But it got better….

Those Crusader's with the bracers arrived in a reality that "appeared" to be correct. The Warrior of that world arrived soon and then.. literally.. All Hell broke loose.

Asmodeous had arranged events to bring this about, realizing the ritual would move the world back into the order prior to the Reality Gem's causing it to run askew. He was there waiting for the weakened new reality as it formed and launched a full scale invasion, bringing the forces of Hell to Earth. In the ensuing battle, the Firestorm of the new reality was killed, leaving the pregnant Firestorm Questor had saved still alive when the Questor of this world came into the fight. When she saw him and went to him she handed him the bracer repeating his last words to him. The Elf's eyes glowed for a moment as he held the bracer and he laughed.. commenting on how very intelligent and sneaky he was. Questor had passed the sum of his experience to his counterpart, thus enabling him to assist in thwarting Hell's plans. Knowing where the Reality Gem lay hidden Questor went there with the Crusader's and opened its protective case, causing it to absorb the manafield from the surrounding area. This immediately stalled if not stopped the assault of the Hellspawn. Questor knowing the Gem's mere existence would only bring forces to attempt to gain its power.. used it to dispel Asmodeous and his forces and then to make it "lose itself". The Reality Gem faded from perception and the world was restored.

Some time later, the Crusaders are enjoying a brief respite and being honored in Giants Stadium. Chance has been asked to play an exhibition match solo vs. the entire Giants team, and is using his probability manipulation to really make a good game of it. Questor and Titannos are answering questions about Titannos' strength limits and embarrassing fanboyz. Virus is pondering how to hook up with the football team. Such times however can't really last, and Matrix interrupts the revelry to suggest inform us that the Citadel, super secret prison for the worst metahuman villains, is under attack. He is unable to register the attacking forces only the destruction they are raining down. "My conclusion is that its more of your realm Questor," his soothing monotone relayed. "Until you trust me with a mana-coprocessor, you're going to have to deal with it." "Forgive me if I don't want to give the all-access awakened AI MORE power," Questor retorts. Warp dashes back to tell the gathered that a pirate ship is attacking the citadel and has taken out a sortie of jets already. With a summary apology to the gathered and his characteristic snap of the fingers, the Crusaders East are aboard Matrix's jet with Chance at the helm heading for the off-shore location of the Citadel at MACH 2 (or so).

A short distance out from the Citadel, all the power drained from the Jet, our headset connections to Matrix went dead, and oh yeah Virus crumbled to her component Nanobots. Questor got that old familiar "odd" feeling, and tried to dispel the magic stopping the power to the jet... and his spell rebounded back like it was quashed! "Hrmm that was new, time for a different tactic...," the sorcerer muttered. As Chance desperately tried to bring the careening jet into control, Questor reached out with his hands and drew the magic up and BAMF the plane transformed into a giant Bird, with the passengers in a compartment strapped to its belly, Chance holding "reigns" like one would on a horse. Much better, next Questor focused the sunlight to a concentrated beam to power up Virus who began to reform as Chance steered the bird directly into the Pirate like ship attacking the complex. Closer inspection reveals that the attackers are a strange race from Questors past called the Githyanki or Gith. A colossal battle ensues culminating with an attack on Questor which he uses his "Timeslip" to skip over the second and avoid. But this was what they'd hoped for and a large stone dropped in the place he vacated, effectively trapping him on the ship in limbo until the stone was removed. Their quarry captured, the Gith returned to the Astral, leaving the bulk of the Crusaders to clean up the Citadel. A titanic struggle between Titannos and some important brick ensued with Titannos coming out victorious an the villains being returned to the Citadel.

Questor pops back into existence, surrounded by Gith. They take him to their Lich queen and she relays her plans. She plans to repeat the experiment that caused Questor to become split across the multiverse. She has distilled a concentrated volume of "anti-life" and wants to use it to destroy all the Illithids (Mind-Flayers). Questor will be the Gith's greatest hero and their most noble martyr. Many retorts culminating in a reminder that one of Questor's "selves" was willing to sacrifice himself (and a whole pocket of the multi-verse) to set the time stream right. Did she really think I wouldn't do the same...

Meanwhile back in the Citadel...
Warrior and Crusaders West finally show up, late to the party again. The East team fills them in on the happenings, and the misplacement of their erstwhile commander. Sorcerer Blue identifies the Gith, and places the probable location of Questor in the Gith's home in the astral plane. He is about to open a gate when we pick things up next week...

Tune in next time for "Butterfly Effect, Ain't it a Bitch" or "Illithid Affairs: Succeeding in spite of our Elf"

Ok that's a long one - I'll target Matt's([ profile] innocent_man) meme tomorrow. Too many blogs in one day might make my friends heads a$$plode!


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November 2011

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