Masks-616 #19 - "A Debrief Interlude"

As we start …

In the Excelsior, heading back to the Academy,

having left behind an HHL dealing with a weirdly misshapen/corrupted Golem, kinda in stasis, kinda chanting the oath of fealty to Fluvis, Kiln’s Great Enemy, which he knows from their past corruption of Gnega and other temple guardians.

When this all happened, was on a boat out in the bay for some sort of fundraiser. Gothwitch with her parents. Golem. Changed. Bloodbath. GW had to change to restrain him.

A few hours later, at the Phoenix Academy …

Mrs. Old Lady, Selma,
is at the landing pad when wew set down, with a clip board. “Headmaster Hellbinder is on his way.” Motions to GW, and Roddy follows. “But for now we need to get out of sight.”

She powerwalks off the field, GW and Roddy in tow.

As she exits, Hellbinder enters,

along with Applied Myth professor, Fryth,
and Arizella jogging over to catch up, yanking on a hoody.

HB - Everyone, I hear the field trip was very education. Like to debrief you quickly, how school can ensure your attendance won’t be interrupted. Inside!
Dr F - (aborts something he was going to say)
Az - (makes eye contact with all of us, checking in …
… M - Report! An incident in the harbor
HB - Not now, not outside, once inside THOSE WALLS, the ones that are hardened and triple-warded.
… J - (nods, glances back to Mette, more worried about her.) (M is more worried about GW)

At HB’s office …

HB - Glad you’re all right. Don’t have a lot of info but … did any of you punch any HHL member?
J - Nah. (disappointed) But I broke a table.
HB - … or material damage?
J - For a good cause.
HB - HHL member, attacked a group, GW was involved [satellite view of the bay, zoom in on a boat, flare like a nuke] apparently saved everyone who needed saving. Did very well. Understand she’s in shock. Everyone there’s in hospital, no lives lost. What. Can you add?
A - Kiln’s culture villain Water Satan named Fluvis possessed Golem. Golem in stasis, but not working, and Golem is changing the Madness Mantra.
HB - (nods much more quickly than one might expect) So Golem possessed. Kiln, what can you say?
K - Back in my time, we were at war with Fluvis and his creations. He sought to control the world. One of the Elder Race, as old to us as we are to your people.
HB - (glances at Fryth.)
F - Rumors about that, of course. All supposition –
K - I witnessed the destruction his armies wrought!
F - I am not disclaiming what you say, just that I have no further information on it, because all we have in our present time is supposition and guesswork. Theories about an elder race, but I thought your race impressive enough. I didn’t have extra information. Except … Fluvis … he? Gendered pronouns. Does he have some other names? We have only fragments.

K - Not sure what literature you might have.
F - Willing to help any way I can. We have an eyewitness here, and should use them for what we can.
K - Tahi? She would know more about the particulars of the Elder Race.
F - She … is not enrolled in my courses this semester.
K - Princess A’s race / civilization continuity.
F - (looks at her, will you give me info now?) (temp drops in the room 15 degrees)
Az - I will look up what info I can. Worried that Fluvis’ domain encompasses my people’s home.
A - (points at Mette) Memory of stuff going on. Flash some info past her.

J - I dunno if that’s a good idea right now.
M - Not always that reliable. Just flashes.
Az - Good idea, Alex, but if you are uncomfortable about this, then listen to what is best for you. You’re not a computer. Be Mette first. --> +Mundane, -Superior
Az - (Intervenes with HB, do the right thing) (Comment about Joe breaking the table, aw)
M - [Prophecy stuff is impactful to school, includes both faculty and students] (Not going to lay all the cards on the table. Not sure it’s the setting she’d feel comfortable blurting it all out.) (Nods to Az) Not sure what I can do that’ going thelp. I can tell you that today is the day that the League is canceled, and that creature (gestures to screen where A put the image up) and that’s the traitor that causes the destruction of my Earth.
HB - This is a bit more than I had planned on for a Saturday.
M - Filling in aspects of my timeline, but don’t believe it’s immutable.
F - Have you found any part of this timeline actually mutable?
M - That’s my belief. … I don’t have a concrete vision to answer that question.
F - Has anything been changed after you remember it?
M - I believe so. (pause)
F - (squints)

It would be good to know that the world’s greatest hero won’t cause its destruction. (goes back to his office and books)


  • Sgt SURGE exercise, her gravity meant kids weren’t hurt and SURGE wasn’t blamed.
  • Hot Mess did NOT burn down the museum.

HB - Setting aside demonic possession of one of the most powerful metas in our pantheon … how did you guys come to be at the HHL?
Everyone - Powertronic and Roddy.
M - Sigrun and Blackbird
HB - Did they blame you?
M - More Powertronic
HB - Good. Wait, you broke the BIG Table?
J - Just a piece of it.

HB - And holding GW for her protection, not for some other reason?
All - That’s what they said.
HB - Fine. Entirely reasonable for you to bring her back here. … She may get a medal.
HB - So they can’t really claim we were doing anything untoward. Rash, but they invited sophomores to the HQ, and you’re an official team, and you’re chartered, so it’s all much easier.
M - Cutting down on paperwork?
HB - Which shields I can shelter you under … specifically “aegis.”
M - They owe us. We did a solid for them.

I’ll Phone a Friend, Jim

A steps aside.
A - (will reach out to AEGIS) Higher Calling --> 12!!!
A - So, what’s up?
AEGIS - Please hold.
AEGIS - Let us get back to you. (click )

Call back to their mobile.
Waters - Shitshow over there. Wards are holding – sorcery, technology. Can’t get from HHL where he was before he changed. Officially. Unofficially, we have some GPS coords on their big hitters.
A - I have active taps on their systems. In case you need anything.
Waters - Whuh?
A - Yeah, some suss stuff going on there.
Waters - Let me send you some numbers. Cross-reference, where he was last active, check their data banks.

Back when the team first came together … the attempted robbery of old artifacts … oblique communication between official HHL channels about that … a lot of finger-pointing, screwed-the-pooch … Powertronic lots of mea culpas … months/years of work have to be recreated … and all the discussion about when Golem isn’t out in public doing public heroics … “compensation for the dock fiasco” … globetrotting, quietly, about artifacts that were lost … last two place he was at wasn’t about official hero business, but about this kind of thing … harangued about a big event with the mayor, two senators … a day later, “I’m on my way back.”

Two locations in last week

  1. Canary Islands (Atlantis-adjacent?) … very new islands. (Kiln? Tahi?)
  2. The Julian Alps

Presumably, he found The Box That Ought Not Be Opened, opened it, and The Thing That Ought Not Come Out did.

Oooh. So there’s an HHL H-Bird with navigation records. And he’s figuring out locations, so where are his notes?

Huddling with Hellbinder

HB - (Motions Joe closer. Az checking in with Mette, A is on his tablet, K doesn’t speak modern-day) Just wanted to double-check … Alex has a back door into the HHL’s systems?
J - Yeah, but kids these days.
HB - Joe …
J - A just likes to plug in anywhere they go.
HB - Some folk do that for power.
J - I think they use the more complicated cable.

HB - (Motions K, M over) You were already going down this route, name of your club (awful and wonderful), you have insight into this whole sitch the HHL may be lacking, and they may be committed to other things. If this Fluvis a growing threat, you may be the best people to find out about it. A certain amount of risk is what you’ve all signed up for. Hands-on learning. In the purview of your club charter, so goes with … our “blessing” – will facilitate, as long as grades stay up, whatever you come up with … even AEGIS. Please let us know. I think you have the ability to handle this. I think that you could stand to remember that you can shout for help from here, not just the folk with orbital lasers.
J - Your mobile number?
M - A has it.
HB - Az is your advisor. And has knowledge about these areas. Do any of you need … help? Are you all right? This is a lot to handle.
M - No, I’m all here. Before school we all had much more lives.
HB - As much as you are able, please feel comfortable about reaching out to any of us when those puzzle pieces drop into the picture. Shifting the wheels of fate sometimes takes more than one shoulder at the wheel. Hey, it’s Saturday, go somewhere … your basement … with headphones while you listen to Chatify. Carry on. And good work today, all things considered.

To the Fortress of Attitude!

  • M - Closer to the Team (Joe, backing her up) -> +Superior, -Freak
  • K - [TBD]
  • J - Closer to the Team (Mette, being able to help her, and defended about the table) -> +Danger, -Freak [Potential]
  • A - Closer to the Team (Kiln, had his back) -> +Freak, -Mundane

Sounds like a fun time. Sorry I couldn’t make it.

But Roddy shall return next time, with vengeance!

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@doyce So here’s some sources of information Alex might have, and then some suggested ways to handle this in-game or mechanically.

Alex’s hypothesis:

  • Golem was traveling the world learning more about Rock People, looking for artifacts, or something along these lines, likely to find a cure for his condition
  • Golem found Pandora’s Box and caught the Flu-vis (the corruption that puts rock beings under Fluvis’ control)

The questions we want answered:

  • How do you cure the Flu-vis?
  • Where did Golem find Pandora’s Box?

How can those get answered (in-universe)?

  • Golem had to know where he was going. It’s improbable that he just randomly walked the Earth. He was probably finding clues and following a trail somehow.
  • Given that, he probably had to take some kind of notes. These might be in some kind of personal computer - or a notebook or journal.
  • How did Golem travel around? An HHL vehicle. Does that vehicle have a computer with flight plans on it? Where it took off from, landed, etc.? Probably.
  • Aside from this, anyone Golem talked to, or tourists in the area, might have posted it to social media - “hey a major hero just came by the harbor” - and we can also use this to trace his movements.
  • So Alex should be able to hack the HHL craft, the HHL’s own systems, Twitter, and so on to obtain these notes and this information.

What does this look like in game?

There’s usually a journal - the Grail Diary from Indiana Jones, for example - that lets the heroes follow the path of their predecessor. We need to find Golem’s version of the Grail Diary. This might involve Alex hacking, or it might involve more low-tech detective work (for example maybe he left details behind at these two key locations).

Alex will also keep looking for Gnega, who is vulnerable to the Flu-vis. But more than that, Gnega might be able to help us in another way: can we use him, and also Tahi, to try and perfect a “vaccine”?

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I think you mean “with girlfriend” amirite

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I can’t speak for character progression, but as far as plot progression went, our original Menagerie campaign in Episode 19 had the Menagerie, all swapped into different bodies (loved that), going to a Christmas Party at the HHL League Tower. Which turned into calling us on the carpet to stop messing around with the newly Iceland-replacing Vyortovia. Followed by all the non-Menagerie heroes being knocked out by Vyortovian magic, a prelude to the Christmas Cat Attack, starring the Yule Lads.

Just as a comparison point. :slight_smile:

Feels interestingly parallel, which I suppose is good for a ‘616’-iverse.

My editorial to-get-to list:

  • Get Mette’s last ‘role’ identified and thus engage the gears that allow the team to confront Awful Potential Future #1, making (as I understand it) the whole list reset as a result and Mette’s personal past/future alter to some OTHER/NEXT thing to prevent.
  • Get Joe to the temple in Africa to figure out what happened there and why - basically get him some answers.
  • Tie all that into Kiln’s “stuff” - the ancient2 tech and how it’s affecting and/or being used/misused in the present, and what that means to/for Pluvis.

I optimistically plan to address/resolve those things, specifically, before the new year, with any other resolutions/developments being bonus.


I’ll note that’ll put us roughly around sessions 25/26, which was the big Sepiaverse showdown with Jason and GG, Sol dying (or whatever he did) back in Halcyon, and was loosely termed ‘the end of season 1’ in the menagerie recap. So… yeah. General arc of the stories seems to hold.

2021 will be a fresh start (he said, fingers crossed).

I’ve been labelling this the end of Volume One (for that comic terminology) but same difference.

I feel confident about this statement. :smiley:

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