Getaway to Gozo

So I assembled my new desk today (thanks James for the help and I hope you enjoy your new desk) but some complications to my plans with a Vesa mount keep me from finishing everything up quite yet. I can still mostly use my computer, I just do not have anywhere to connect my drawing tablet screen for a little bit until the correct adapter for my primary monitor comes in later this week.

So while I’m waiting for that, I figured I would distract myself with some public brainstorm of a story I’ve bothered @fragolakat and @Dave about for several weeks: what if Jason and Alycia, while on a vacation to get away from super heroics, got pulled into the plot of the Mummy.

Now for a bit of preamble into why I even came up with this idea in the first place. Back in 2019 when I first started planning on turning the Menagerie into Sentinels of the Multiverse cards, I had greatly underestimated two facts:

  • Just how long making these decks takes.
  • Just how many decks I would want to make (current total 52)

So being naïve, I pondered what I would want to do next after I finished converting the Menagerie over to SotM, and that was to convert over another team of heroes I loved from a tabletop superheroes game, the Emerald City Knights from the third-edition Mutants and Masterminds game I ran in 2010 (while there is a canon version of that team from Green Ronin, when I’m talking about that team I mean the heroes my friends I was playing with at the time made up that just used that name because it was built into the adventure). And I figured the best way to bridge this gap was to come up with a scenario where members of one team would meet members from the other. Now at this point, I doubt I’m ever going to get around to that goal, but I really liked the team-up I had thought of: the second-generation heroes of Charade, Jason Quill, and Baz Prophet.

So we know Jason and Alycia pretty well at this point: the children of ambitious science adventurers who seeked to shape their children into their successors. And Basil (Baz for short) is not much different: his dad was an ambitious science adventurer who had adventures that traversed space and time (if Byron Quill is Benton Quest and Achilles Chin is Dr. Zin, Baz’s father is somewhere between John Carter of Mars and Doc Savage). But Alan Prophet didn’t really care about the family life and kept at the adventuring until his untimely death left his son to grow up with his mother in an alternate version of Earth where the core idea is just “what if Greek legends and Gods but modern.” Also, while one could argue that Jason and Alycia are worthy successors to their father’s legacies, Baz is a bit more rock on that front. He’s the Terry McGinnis of his legacy, great at the jock aspects but nowhere close to his father’s brilliance. Alan Prophet figured out how to move between worlds so he could become a champion of them, Baz Prophet can probably hot wire a car.

So with that in mind, let’s talk about the story itself.

Our Cast

Alycia: I see Alycia filling the roll of Rick O’Connell in this story, a bit fed up with everything and ready to shoot first and ask questions maybe. I kind of see this as Alycia being the one who wanted to vacation after everything that happened with joining the team, traveling to the future, and dealing with Doctor Infinity (we’ll come back to this later) but I’m flexible on this.

Jason: Jason is our Evelyn, excited to get back to some proper adventurer. Bill really hit the nail on the head with the characterization I was hoping to go with Jason here, but if anything that just means Jason is nothing if not consistent/predictable.

Baz: I see Baz filling the role of Ardeth Bay/Oded Fehr’s character: the person who knows what’s going on. In fact, to tip this on it’s head, I wonder if perhaps Baz should be responsible for this whole mess (as opposed to Jason/Evelyn in the Mummy). Perhaps he was trying to clean up one of his dad’s old messes and everything got out of hand really quick, necessitating asking Alycia and Jason for help.

So what about other roles?

Jonathan/Evie’s Brother: If we really need someone for this spot, the obvious answer is Amir. Not only is this trip to take time away from everything, but also for Jason and Amir to reconcile. I do, however, think it would be hilarious if Amir is just back at the hotel complaining about the rain/waves/whatever-natural-threat-our-baddie-conjures-up while Alycia, Jason, and Baz are dealing with the adventure. Everything we’ve seen of Amir points to him being completely over all this heroics BS, and this could just reinforce that point. “You guys have an adventure, I’m ordering room service.”

Imhotep: While James gave me a lot of awesome suggestions for this, I kind of love Herakles in this role. For one, he’s awful and Greek mythology’s ultimate idiot jock who could become the villain of any story without changing his characterizing from mythology in the slightest. But secondly, he also sort of fits that “legacy” mold our heroes fill (not that that’s hard to find in Greek mythology) and that sort of parallel might be fun to play with. I just don’t have a lot of ideas for his motivation, but it sounds like @fragolakat had some ideas here.

There are other roles we could fill, but let’s move on because I don’t have any strong opinions and this is brainstorming.

Our Setting

So I picked the island of Gozo for a handful of reasons: it’s a tourist spot with links to Greek mythology and it being an island makes it easy to isolate our heroes for whatever the plot winds up being. But also I’m pretty sure found it by hitting random on Atlas Obscura or something similar a bunch of times until I got something with Greek ties, so it’s not like I’m tied to it. But just look at that beautiful scenery and tell me you don’t want to stage an action movie there. :wink:

Our Plot

So this is where I’m getting tripped up. I know the sort of stuff I want (action scenes, giant tsunamis, Greek monsters) but I don’t have a lot of motivation for antagonist, so I don’t know how to string story along. Luckily, it sounded like James and Dave had some ideas, so hopefully they have something that can help spur this project along.

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And I can see him saying any number of things that would piss Jason and/or Alycia off.

Seems a solid choice for me.

Could easily be tied in some fashion (depending on how you’re envisioning the setting) to the plans to build a tunnel from Malta to Gozo. All sorts of things get dug up when you’re digging a long tunnel under the sea …

As to plot ideas … my only thought at the moment is to piggyback on something classical. Riff off the Twelve Labors (only now it’s something Our Heroes have to do and Herc wants to prevent), or off the themes that tie Gozo to the Odyssey. Let the Ancient Greeks do the work for you! :grin:

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The what?

goes and investigates the tunnel
ignores the fact that project was shelved late last year

Oh, this has some possibilities.

Not a bad line of investigation into possible plot points.

As part of some recent investigation (actually it was listening to a podcast where someone tell the story with commentary while James was over helping me build my new desk last week, but it sounds far more fancy if you call it research) I went through the death of Hercules and pondered on how this could be incorporated. After all, Imhotep “death” being cursed and sealed into the sarcophagus was an important part of the Mummy.

Here’s a really striped down version so we’re on the same page. Hercules was tricked into wearing a cloak with centaur blood and hydra venom, which caused him unthinkable pain and would eventually lead to his death. Not one to go out on someone else’s terms, Hercules builds his own funeral pyre and lets that kill him before he can die from the hydra poison. While the pyre burns his body, a lightning bolt strikes it, symbolizing Hercules joining the Greek Gods.

So what can we do with this? Well what if as part of Hercules’ demigod abilities, he was immortal and couldn’t die. So he is poisoned with the hydra venom and it causes him maddening amounts of pain, but he’s not going to die from it. He’s just going be in agony as his blood literally boils and burns within his body. Now if I know anything about Hercules, it’s that he’s going to make his problems everyone’s problem. So rampage.

Now, not to give the Greek Gods too much credit, but I would imagine that even they would think a murderous immortal demigod slaying anything that got in eyesight was a problem and would connive of someway to handle this. So one of them (doesn’t matter who) leaks to Hercules “Hey, you know if you die, it’ll burn away all the mortal bits of you that are causing you pain, and then you’ll just be a god.” So with this false knowledge, Hercules does the funeral pyre but instead of burning away the mortal bits, it chars him down to a weakened state where Zeus lightning bolts him away to say… the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea or something like that where Hercules will never hurt anyone ever again… (But what if he get loose-- PROBLEM SOLVED! But this seems like a-- I SAID PROBELM SOLVED!)

Fast forward to modern day and some engineers setup an underwater tunnel disturbing a long locked away demigod. I could think of worse premises to start this story off with.

Of course it was … after what they found. Or …

Of course it was … officially and publicly. Or …

Of course it was … once they were informed of it. Or …

Why it’s always dangerous to get immortality but not invulnerability.

Btw, that ties neatly to Imhotep’s curse in the movie.


And a few questions that come to mind …

  • How will Zeus feel about his son being dug up again?
  • How will the other gods feel about the renewed threat. Esp. those told by Zeus that it had been handled?
  • How will Herc feel about having been deceived?

Another variant thematic thread to consider: Hera is the one who disposes of the now-highly-dangerous Herc, as Zeus refuses to. Now Herc is back – and both Hera and Zeus are pissed, for very different reasons.

(How all this plays out depends on what you consider the current state of the Greek gods is. Still actively out there? Faded shadows in the metaphysical distance? Elderly folk sitting in a beachside Mediterranean village somewhere sipping ouzo and pining for the good old days (and possibly ready to step up their game if called back to it)?

And if we’re gonna go “Zeus” and “Hera” then we should definitely be referring to Herakles. Except, of course, humanity knows him as Hercules (thanks, Romans!), and the memetic power of humanity – always an underpinning of godly might – has forced the rename, which can lead to various confusions or hilarities ensuing.

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Yeah, mirroring that visual where Herakles starts the story as this charred zombie and slowly returns to his god-like glory as he does something in the second act of the story was definitely intentional with this. Though what that something will be is still a bit of a mystery. Performing deeds to mimic his mythic Trials as was previously suggested? Recollecting his items of power (the hide of the Nemean lion, the hydra poisoned arrows, etc.)? Whatever it is, it needs to confined to something that could occur on the island, since isolating the heroes from their normal allies is part of this.

I didn’t have many plans to address this, mostly because it seems like it might complicate the story more than it helps it. Again, not something I’m fervently tied to. That said…

I was actually thinking about her and her role in all this earlier today, though again in a distant sort of way. Having her having disposed of Herakles is probably the most thematically appropriate way for it to have happened: Zeus always let his kids get away with crap and Hera cleaning up his messes seems appropriate.

I also considered the idea that she might indirectly influence events. Since in myth Hera is linked with the power of prophecy (admittedly like a third of the Greek gods are and it tends to more be Apollo’s thing, but again compressing things) perhaps some ancient book of prophecy (to mirror the role of the Book of the Dead in the Mummy) would be a fun MacGuffin to drive events. Like Herakles needs the book to find out what tasks he needs to complete to regain his powers and rid himself of the burning poison, while our heroes need it to figure out the steps to stopping him.

I also like this idea, because it leads to a very easy mechanic for a card (which is what this is mostly about anyway):

[Book of Prophecy] (name to be updated)
Increase damage dealt to villain targets by 1.
At the end of the environment turn, the villain character with the highest HP deals each hero target 4 melee damage.

It’s perfect. Its mechanics show that the Book is of great benefit to the heroes (increasing their damage against the baddies) while being a huge liability (the massive AOE damage the villain gets in return). Will definitely lead to some interesting game decisions where players decide how long they can risk keeping it before they have to get rid of it. chef’s kiss

Now with visual designs.

I got to say, I didn’t expect the Menagerie to make me draw as many undead nasties as I have, it being an uncommon subclass of supernatural baddies and this being a superhero project, but here we are.

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