Torg

Episode Five: The Savage Garden
That's showbiz, baby!

humvee_side.jpg

Act One – Movie Magic

It’s the Delphi Council’s first Annual 4th of July Family Cookout and the Storm Knights are invited! Also in attendance is famous movie director Alexander Becker, who wants to take a documentary film crew into the Living Land. The Delphi Council thinks this is a great idea and knows just who to bully into providing security for Becker. Also, protestors from the Common Ground Association storm the cookout, disrupt the BBQ, set fire to the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, take Becker hostage, try to shoot Picnic, and threaten to blow up the entire proceedings with a malfunctioning suicide vest. Good times.

Our heroes arrive at Mount Sterling, a lawless borderlands town on the edge of the Living Land, to meet Becker’s film crew. They’re a really dodgy bunch, testament to the Delphi Council’s usual sound judgement in choosing its associates. Becker also reveals that they’ll be sharing transport with the surviving cast and crew of the Rex Able – Freedom Fighter TV show, to some consternation. Narrowly avoiding an unpleasant encounter with some local mercenaries, the group boards its new Humvees – Rose, Buttercup, and Daisy – and heads into the Living Land.

The weather in the Living Land is atrocious and a massive mudslide and accompanying swarm of crosktreckts briefly derails the expedition. Later, a lakten tries to carry Rex away while he’s filming a scene for his show. Matters deteriorate when the mercenaries from Mount Sterling, who have followed the group, choose this moment to mount their inevitable ambush. Losing Rex’s PA to enemy gunfire, our heroes rally and sow death and discord among their foes before hightailing it to nearby Constitution. There they discover the truth of ugly rumours doing the rounds: the majority of the town’s population lie dead in the streets – apparently massacred by none other than Spartans.

trex.jpg

Act Two – Constitution

After Marshall Rick Rogers and Ragnar Ragnarson rejoin the group (Ragnar doesn’t even get a saddle this time), our heroes are forced to contend with the remaining mercenaries. And a swarm of lakten. And three carnol – including the one Jaidyn gave a rocket enema to on their previous trip into the Living Land. They handle the challenge with grace and dignity, apart from Emily, who ends up covered head-to-toe in an impressive variety of dinosaur gore. Constitution’s hardpoint – the church bell – is destroyed in the battle, and the Deep Mist sweeps in over the ruins.

It transpires that Trask survived the Spartan attack on Constitution when she emerges from the jungle, accompanied by Tal Tu. From her and Billy-Ray, another survivor, the group piece together the picture. Spartan Team 15, under command of Captain Volker, ordered the people of Constitution to depart, killing them when they refused. Our heroes realise that this is the Delphi Council’s response to the discovery that untransformed Core Earth natives in occupied territory are providing Possibility Energy to the High Lords. They contact Delphi HQ, only to be rebuffed, their loyalty now openly in doubt.

Suspicious of how much Becker and his film crew are concealing from them regarding the true nature of the mission, the group try to question them. Ragnar suggests an alternate method of discovering the truth and, when the slaughter is over, they learn that their expedition is actually a death squad with orders to wipe out a community of humans who have transformed to the Living Land and are now apparently able to communicate with its dinosaur denizens. The group also capture three scouts from Spartan Team 15, who confirm the news and confess to their attack on Constitution. Becker finally proves his worth by filming it all.

With the day lengthening, the group split up. Trask and the non-combatants take one of the Humvees and head out to spread the word of Spartan atrocities to other nearby resistance communities. Tal Tu offers to lead our heroes – and their prisoners – through the jungles to Carter Caves. Hopefully, they can reach the settlement before the Spartans do…

cave2.png

Act Three – Salvation Run

As sun sets across the Living Land, our heroes forge a path through its perils. They persuade one of the Spartan prisoners – Estevez – to change sides. Estevez cements his new allegiance by helping his former captors kill the other two Spartans. Leaving the bodies to decay, our heroes climb (or are carried up) an immense waterfall. Before long, an edeinos hunting party has their trail, and harries the group as they press onwards towards Carter Caves. The edeinos adopt guerrilla tactics, striking fast and fleeing into the forest before their targets can retaliate. The group fights on the move, killing any edeinos that dares expose itself, and finally reach the entrance to the caves. The edeinos refuse to follow.

At the entrance to the caves our heroes discover what appears to be a downed spacecraft, half-buried under decades of mulch and creepers. Investigation reveals a genuine alien corpse inside. Within the caves, matters only grow stranger, as a curiously intelligent theropod leads the group into a grand cavern. Here, a ruin from a conquered cosm remains intact, inhabited by a tribe of Jakatt Teks who have gained psychic powers from the ruins and can now communicate with dinosaurs. From them our heroes hear ancient legends of the cosmverse and of Apeiros, the Nameless One, the Darkness Devices, and the Torg. In turn, they relate the tale of their own endeavours and see that the stories of their glorious exploits seem to refill the people here with hope. With Possibilities.

Further discussions are interrupted by the arrival of Spartan Team 15, who demand the surrender of the group. Emily unsuccessfully tries to convince the Delphi Council to call off the assault in return for vital intelligence on how to safely uproot stelae, and battle is soon joined. Combatting twin Apache helicopters and Spartan fire teams, our heroes staunchly defend the tribe. Although they are unable to save everyone, they eradicate the attackers, with Captain Volker meeting his fate surrounded by the bodies of his men.

Our heroes know that they have almost certainly burned their bridges with the Delphi Council and upload Becker’s film of the Spartan atrocities to YouTube, then prepare to forge a new future for themselves. Armed with the knowledge of how to deal with stelae zones, they decide to learn more about the larger situation in the Living Land. And where else to find such knowledge than in one of the largest hardpoints in the realm? Next stop, New York City…

View
Episode Four: Drawing the Lines
Worst. Conference. Ever.

walker_s_cay2.jpg

Act One – Back to the Beach

The Storm Knights attend a conference of war on Walker Cay, organised by the Delphi Council. They are joined by two new Ayslish emissaries, Cleophee and Ragnar, who arrive atop Cleophee’s rambunctious dragon Kuranath. At a high-level briefing, our heroes learn of how the invaders use stelae to impose their reality on Earth and drain Possibilities from the untransformed dwelling in conquered territory. Removing stelae would restore Earth’s reality but would erase from existence those who have already been drained of their Possibilities and transformed.

Hoping that the conference can find some way to restore drained Possibilities to people in the invading realms, our heroes soon have other matters on their hands, when one of the conference attendees turns up dead in the swimming pool. Clues implicate another of the delegates, but Rosa’s keen investigative powers reveal that the clues have been faked. Someone is trying to turn the conference attendees against each other.

Matters don’t improve much. Another attendee is found strangled, Jaidyn misses an opportunity to have a very adventurous threesome, and Ragnar discovers a masked vigilante from the Nile Empire trying to steal secret conference documents. The Dark Shadow (seriously, that’s his name) attempts to escape but is subjected to a truly horrifying barrage of abuse before our heroes capture him. Ragnar interrogates him to little effect, but Cleophee is able to learn something of the Dark Shadow’s purpose here. Of course, the Dark Shadow uses some weird Nile gadget to escape, laughing melodramatically.

Rosa, meanwhile, discovers hidden cameras and further investigation reveals that they are Cyberpapacy technology. It transpires that “Sparky” Pete from the Delphi tech team is actually Brother Pierre of the Church Police and has been spying on the conference for his masters in Avignon. Our heroes pursue him through the labyrinthine maintenance level, dodging steam jets, booby traps, and swarms of cybernetic drones, before finally confronting and overcoming Pierre.

Act Two – Daggers in the Dark

The Dark Shadow interrupts proceedings by trying to blow everyone up and seduce Cleophee. He fails spectacularly at both, but kills one of Jaidyn’s Spartans during a standoff. Our heroes react predictably and the Dark Shadow receives another hail of abuse (including a well-timed tail-slap from Kuranath) and is captured once more.

The surviving delegates regroup to assess the situation. Several suspect Cleophee of aiding the Dark Shadow, so Rosa and Bianca stand guard over the elf. It becomes clear that, while Brother Pierre was here to spy on the conference and the Dark Shadow here to steal documents (and blow things up and get his ass repeatedly kicked), neither were the murderer. Also, another delegate – Yuka – is almost slain by a sudden ninja attack. Which is totally legit and not some attempt to divert suspicion.

While the group try to make sense of events, it also transpires that Orrorshan delegate Sir Maximillian is actually a vampyre (that’s how you spell it in Torg, OK?) and, now that night has fallen, he completely loses his shit and flips out and starts trying to murder everyone. He manages to kill the Russian delegate Piotr and another of Jaidyn’s Spartans, as well as bring half the ceiling down in the hotel lobby before Jaidyn beheads him with the Nile Sunblade.

axe.jpg

It’s all getting a bit much for the surviving delegates, and Jaidyn calls for extraction. Yuka argues that they should take a boat from the fishing village in order to escape sooner. The other delegates want to use the remaining hours to reach some kind of consensus, at which point Yuka decides that enough is enough and unmasks herself as the assassin. And also a ninja. She manages to kill another two delegates (including Delphi Council regional director Kastella) before Ragnar cleaves her well and truly in twain. Examination of captured ninja gear suggests that it comes from an as-yet unidentified cosm – Earth has six invading realms, not five.

Our heroes end their stay on the cay back at the fishing village, sharing tales of their exploits with their old friends. At these tales of glory – How Rick Destroyed the Drones and How Ragnar Killed the Ninja – hope fills the villagers’ faces. Hope, and the realisation that there are always possibilities. Even though the conference has been a failure, it has revealed the existence of a sixth, hidden realm And it has revealed a possible solution to the problem of restoring lost Possibilities to the transformed – through deeds of glory and the tales that they inspire…

View
Episode Three: State of the Union
Another dead president!

edeinos1a.jpg

Act One – Rocket Science

The Delphi Council sends Jaidyn, Rosa, and Emily into the Living Land to rescue the survivors of a crashed Nile plane who have come to Core Earth to help fight the High Lords. The only survivor is Marshall Rick Rogers of the Rocket Rangers. With the help of edeinos hunter Tal Tu, our heroes head to Rick’s crashed plane to recover vital gear. Crossing a dam, they tangle with a torada and a carnol, two of the Living Land’s monstrous denizens. Jaidyn gives the carnol a rocket enema, Emily and Rosa send the torada over the dam, and the group retrieve the gear from the plane.

That night sees riotous celebrations at the resistance community of Constitution. Rosa gets Tal Tu very drunk. The edeinos enjoys the experience immensely and dances the dance of his people. The group departs Constitution and heads back to Core Earth. Passing out of the Living Land, they are intercepted by a band of Spartans under the command of Jaidyn’s old colleague, Kane. Kane is determined to kill Tal Tu, but the group convince him that the edeinos is from a faction that opposes the invaders and has agreed to return to Houston and share what he knows. Kane grudgingly agrees, and orders his men to stand down.

Back in Houston, our heroes attend a high-level Delphi Council briefing and learn that President Wells will be flying into Houston the next day in preparation for a conference of Core Earth’s defenders and allies. The group is invited to attend in recognition for past achievements and potential assistance. But the meeting turns into a total clusterfuck. Marine One is shot down by a drone and a combat assault team from the Cyberpapacy attacks in full force, dropping from VTOL aircraft onto the roof of Delphi HQ.

armour1.jpg

Wielding energy weapons and almost impenetrable armour, the Cyberpapal troops steal the nuclear football from Marine One and make for the coast. Our heroes give chase, assisted by Picnic and the displaced New York chapter of the Hell’s Angels. They manage to deal with the assassins in a battle that ranges from downtown Houston to the sea, including defusing a wayward Cyberpapal nuclear missile launched from a hidden sub. When the battle is over, Jaidyn reveals that President Wells warned him against some agenda of Vice-President Quartermain with his dying words.

Act Two – Friends in High Places

Marshall Rogers immediately takes to the skies and hurtles back to Delphi HQ, smashing through the windows, and carries Quartermain into the sky, where he proceeds to demand that the vice-president confess his crimes. The others catch up (bringing the defused missile and captured Cyberpapal warrior) and they decide to head back to Delphi HQ to reveal what they know. There, Dellphi Council Director Ellen Connors defuses the situation, promising a full investigation. Quartermain promises dire consequences for those who have crossed him.

Back at the safehouse, Ellen further debriefs the group. Examining the Cyberpapal gear, they realise that the Cyberpapacy could possess technology capable of controlling minds. They identify the six people who knew Marine One’s flight plans, and Ellen promises to scan them all for invasive hardware. Our heroes head into town with Tyler and get him very, very drunk with Picnic and the gang. Tyler ends up with an ornately descriptive tramp-stamp.

Tyler contacts the group the next day and says that Loretta wants to meet them in secret. He claims she has discovered who leaked Marine One’s flight plans to the Cyberpapacy. But when the group arrive at the meeting place (a creepy abandoned fairground), Loretta is dead and her assassin apparently a cyberknight backed up by off-duty Delphi Council guards. The group kill one of the guards, capture another, and disable the cyberknight. He claims that Loretta was the traitor, which is why he killed her, and that he has arrived here to lend aid to the Delphi Council.

Unsure of who to believe, our heroes take their captives back to the safehouse, and face a tense confrontation with Ellen Connors on the helipad. She backs up the cyberknight’s story, saying that she has proof of Loretta’s treachery. Suspicion also falls on Tyler, and Ellen orders his capture. But when our heroes demand further explanation from Connors, she pulls rank on them, reminding them that they serve the Delphi Council – not the other way around. The group protest, arguing that they have more than earned her trust. Connors eventually concurs and offers to bring them into the inner circle. With this offer hanging before them, she leaves the group to ponder their allegiances and the choices they have made…

View
Episode Two: Before the Dawn
To save the Still Earth!

blue_hole.jpg

Act One – Still Life

Forced to enjoy a week of Caribbean exile while waiting for transport back to the continental USA, our heroes decide to return to unfinished business at Big Blue. Along with new acquaintance Jess, they are joined by Yuha and Atabey to watch Daniel and Jaidyn plunge into the depths. There, Daniel recovers the Pearl of Atabey. It also transpires that Yuha and Atabey neglected to mention the giant octopus. Oh, and the world is apparently slowing down. Which is just great. 

Bidding farewell to the Bahamas, they join a military transport chopper back to Houston. The city is at breaking point and our heroes are soon immersed in their new lives. Tyler comes looking for them, inviting them to a meeting with Loretta – she is now a respected member of the Delphi Council. Loretta offers them a mission to investigate a meeting between agents of the Nile Empire and a tribe of Living Land edeinos. Apparently the edeinos have something that is key to unlocking the Still Earth and a certain Professor Marlen is bringing Nile agents to trade with the lizard-people.

Back in the Living Land, our heroes soon discover Hildy Marlen, the professor’s daughter, fleeing in the midst of a botched escape attempt. They rescue her from an edeinos hunting party and she explains that her father tried to overpower his guards once his Incredible Digging Device reached the Living Land. She begs the heroes hurry back to the Digging Device to help her father. Scouting ahead, Jaidyn reports that the Device is surrounded by several Nile shocktroopers. The group prepares for battle.

Through a combination of long-range sniper fire and close-quarters hatchet-work, the group makes short work of the Nile forces, liberating Professor Marlen. They discover the Nile commander’s diaries and a Fabergé Egg. Rosa and Jess deduce that the Nile agents traded guns to the edeinos, in return for the egg – which would seem to be the key to unlocking the Still Earth. They deduce that further information will be found at base deep in the Nile Empire. Leaving Hildy in the tender care of Father Callahan, our heroes board the Incredible Digging Device and tunnel their way to Egypt.

Act Two – The Empire of the Nile

The Digging Device arrives at the Nile base. Here, Pharaoh Mobius is staging his expedition to wrest control of the Still World from the Gaunt Man. The group stealthily infiltrate the base and discover that the Fabergé Egg is to be used to somehow overcome a demon called Gibberfat, who stands guard over whatever is slowing the world down. Looking for the pilot who knows where to find Gibberfat, Jess and Rosa realise that he is currently in the brig, sleeping off a drunken binge.

PBY_Seaplane.jpg

When guards spot Daniel, our heroes throw stealth and caution to the wind. While Rosa and Jaidyn pick off shocktroopers like lice from a hound’s backside, and Daniel lays down suppressing fire, Emily and Jess ram a stolen truck directly into the brig to liberate the pilot. Rescuing him at gunpoint, our heroes bundle the pilot into a stolen seaplane and are soon airborne, fleeing the Empire of the Nile.

It is not a trouble-free departure. Two Nile fighter planes streak out of the clouds to intercept the fleeing Storm Knights. Daniel, Rosa, and Emily man the seaplane’s guns while Jaidyn struggles to pilot the plane well enough to keep up with the nimble Nile fighters. Matters only become worse when Jess discovers that they have a stowaway – a Nile mechanic who was having a sneaky snooze in the back of the plane. While Jess struggles to deal with this foe, the mechanic does his best to ruin our heroes’ day, including attempting to throw Emily out of the plane. After a hard-fought battle in the clouds, the two Nile planes are downed and the mechanic knocked unconscious. Emily and Rosa throw him out of the plane. And there was much rejoicing. Following the captured pilot’s directions, our heroes soon find themselves nearing Indonesia and the stormwall that surrounds it… and the realm of Orrorsh.  

Act Three – The Infernal Machine

The plane passes through the reality storms surrounding Orrorsh. It is a particularly intense tempest and the group is wracked by the energies of clashing realities. Ahead, they see a tornado-like vortex rising out of the ocean, close to a recently-created volcanic islet. Jaidyn lands the plane, which is promptly attacked by an enormous shark. Our heroes fend off the beast, then rapidly don Nile diving gear while the plane sinks around them.

demon.jpg

Descending into the depths, the group lands on the slopes of the volcanic islet. Below, a kelp forest separates them from the energy vortex that is presumably their destination. Passing through the kelp, they are attacked by a giant eel and it soon transpires that shark and eel have both been Gibberfat in disguise. When the demon appears in his true form, Daniel tries to bargain with him using the Fabergé Egg, but only manages to insult the creature. Naturally, combat ensues. It ends badly for Jigglypuff. I mean, Gibberfat.

With the demon dispatched, our heroes see that the vortex emerges from a strange machine housed in a wrecked 17th century galleon. Somehow this machine is responsible for the Still Earth. As soon as the group set foot aboard the rotting hulk, their presence activates the machine’s final defence – it heats the rock beneath it and begins to sink into the planet’s crust. Also, undead pirates attack.

While Rosa figures out a way to deactivate the machine and return Earth’s stolen kinetic energy, the others battle the undead. The machine sinks deeper and only Jess is able to complete what Rosa started. She reverses the energy flow and the Earth begins her rotation once more. The infernal machine sinks into the molten rock, forever lost, if not destroyed. Our heroes return to the surface to see the sun rise, glinting off the windows of their approaching rescue plane.

View
Episode One: Storm Warning
The invasion of Earth begins!

jungle1.jpg

Act One – Escape from New York

Our heroes – Jaidyn, Dany, Rosa, Emily, Father Callahan, and Eric – are aboard Harlem’s elevated subway when Earth is invaded by the Living Land. At least they have a good view. As reality transforms around them, they find themselves connected to a primal energy that seems to well up from the Earth itself. Using this energy to nudge reality in subtle ways, they survive the subsequent subway crash (along with Tyler and others of lesser importance) and emerge into a world gone mad.

Seeing that New York is being overrun by reptilian invaders – and that many humans seem to be succumbing to the new reality – the group commandeer a pair of abandoned military Humvees and make a break for it. Battling lizard men, plant zombies, giant spider monsters, and a winged reptile who summons lightning from the sky, our heroes soon discover that New York is lost. They turn Boris and Doris (perfectly normal names for Humvees) around and head for the NYPD Harbour Unit.

With the help of Officer McGee – the only harbour cop not to abandon his post and go charging into the mist shrieking like a baboon – they fire up a police patrol boat and set off down the Harlem River. A flock of monstrous pteranodon-like beasts assaults them as they flee, but Dany’s steering and Father Callahan’s unexpected calming miracle buy the group enough time to reach the East River and the Atlantic Ocean.

Act Two – Beach Bums

Heading south, our heroes witness the aftermath of a mid-Atlantic battle between US forces and an unknown enemy. This enemy shortly reveals itself when a war zeppelin from the Nile Empire cruises into view. It disgorges waves of fighters that are essentially Spitfires covered in weird hieroglyphics. With only a single .50 cal machine gun and small arms, our heroes are hard-pressed but manage to deal with all the fighters and find refuge in a fog bank. The airship lets them escape – for now – in order to deal with a fresh assault from US jets. Tyler spills his orange juice.

beach1.jpg

Rosa and McGee both agree that the engine is fucked. The boat drifts in the fog for hours before the group attracts the attention of Vincent, a local fisherman. He takes them to Walker’s Cay, northernmost of the Bahamas. There the group discovers that Nile forces have already been to the island looking for them and have killed Vincent’s uncle and abducted his cousin Isabella. If the islanders turn our heroes in, they’ll release the girl. The villagers agree to offer our heroes refuge when they offer to rescue Isabella. There’s also a weird encounter with an old dude called Yucahu who wanders out of the forest to offer beer and cryptic pronouncements about Earth choosing her defenders and his mother Atabey offering the group a valuable pearl. The beer is quite nice, too.

While the group is getting ready to dive for Atabey’s pearl, the Nile zeppelin returns. Our heroes abandon all thoughts of the pearl and ambush the Nile troops (and their commander with his kooky electro-belt), then charge aboard the zeppelin to find Isabella. On board the vessel, the axioms of the Nile Empire hold sway, and the group is soon in the grip of the pulp heroism of that cosm. They thoroughly trounce the Nile forces, who manage to crash the zeppelin while trying to escape. Twice. Jaidyn personally rescues Isabella and behaves entirely appropriately for the genre. For which he is rightly rewarded with several slaps to the face. The zeppelin’s captain tries to escape in his personal fighter, but receives a sound thrashing for his efforts. And there was much rejoicing.

While the dust is settling, a woman dressed like someone out of Game of Thrones arrives on a dragon and info-dumps all over the place. Introducing herself as Tolwyn of House Tancred, she explains that she is en route to bring messages of peace to the interim government in Hoo-Stun. One of the invaders, it would seem, has turned against the others and now pledges to fight for Core Earth. The fantasy cosm of Aysle has joined the fight against the other High Lords. She invites our heroes to meet her there and help Earth coordinate its defence…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.