Fate of SHIELD: Episode 3 - Murderworld

Previously on Fate of SHIELD: Wendigo was brought down by the team, but the cannibal spirit possessed Richards!  They got help from a shaman named Michael Twoyoungmen and Richards managed to create a device to suppress Wendigo.

The team managed to convince Dr. Twoyoungmen to let Richards attempt to keep the Wendigo under control, but only if Savage was taught how to do the ritual to re-entrap the spirit should things go wrong.  Savage and Gott also agreed to escort the shaman to his department's rendezvous site, where he'd give them the repaired totem and begin work on a second one, so that one could be given to HYDRA as a decoy.

The other members of the team identified a stolen shipment of dendrotoxin and located the warehouse with Zorya's help.  They landed their quinjet about 30 minutes from the warehouse in northern Washington, and rode in on motorcycles.  The thieves had made a mistake in letting their van get caught on camera and then leaving it parked outside the warehouse.

When they arrived, they found the warehouses in the area mostly abandoned and the target warehouse looked mostly so, aside from the suspect van.  The team first checked the adjacent warehouse to their target, because they were nearly identical.  They found a mostly square building with empty floors and used the roof to scout the roof across the street.  Richards hacked into the security systems of the target building and the team couldn't find any evidence of guards.

Richards stayed on the abandoned roof, ready to cause a distraction, while Stalson and Rennaker moved into the target building.  They split up and found mostly nothing.  They were investigating the offices on the third floor of the building when sudden static burst over the comms and Richards went silent.  Rennaker and Stalson rushed to help them, but as they neared the door, a blue mist enveloped them and they were knocked unconscious.

The three members of the team awoke at once in a featureless, small, white room with no apparent doors.  A stereotypically geeky voice mocked them from somewhere unseen, introducing their kidnapper as first Webber Torque (whom none of the team recognized) and then as his name within underground circles, Arcade!  Richards recognized that name.  Stalson mocked Arcade, who explained he'd been hired to kill whomever came after the dendrotoxin.  When Stalson called that stupid, Arcade further explained that his employers were expecting Agent Coulson, whom Arcade claimed was not dead.  Stalson retorted that Arcade was misinformed and Arcade told the team he'd been bored by them and started the ceiling descending towards them.

The team worked frantically, but couldn't find a way out.  The ceiling reached them and dropped softly as a tarp, with the walls also falling away suddenly.  The team cut their way out and found themselves in a vast woods.  They were immediately suspicious and Stalson fired a round at the sky, trying to ping the roof.  Nothing came of it, so as Rennaker and Richards searched the area and assessed that Richards only had about an hour left of his Icer injection to control the Wendigo.

Stalson spotted a cabin off to the team's east, so they began to move towards it.  As they moved, Richards saw something tracking after them.  The headed towards the mysterious figure.  They cornered it and found...  A large man, carrying a machete, and wearing a goalie mask.  It was, from all appearances, Jason, and he lashed out at Richards.  Stalson and Rennaker tried to intervene, but  Jason ignored them and focused on Richards, who had turned and begun running back to the cabin.  One of Rennaker's shots rang true, though, and tore into Jason's scalp, exposing a metal skull.  Arcade was employing a robot of the horror movie icon.

Richards made good time away from Jason and reached the cabin mostly in the clear.  He ducked inside and spotted a figure laying on the bed.  Back in the woods, Stalson tried to hold Jason back, but was thrown aside.  Rennaker stayed focused on her shooting, putting more bullets into Jason, to light effect.

Richards locked the cabin door and then crept to the bed and pulled back the covers to reveal a teenage girl of a bookish sort, wearing a man's leather jacket and tied down despite being unconscious.  Richards started freeing her just as Jason reached the cabin and started banging on the door.  Stalson moved in and swept the robot killer's legs out from under it, dropping it to the ground.  Unfortunately, that made Rennaker miss her shot on the killer.

Inside, with the girl put safely in a corner, Richards set a booby trap in front of the door, with water and electrical wires  He unlocked the door and slunk back.  Unfortunately for him, another figure, with long knives for fingers, appeared at the back door of the cabin.  Arcade's version of Freddy keyed on Richards, who began to fire rounds at him.

Stalson pushed Jason through the door, leaving him in the booby trap Richards had set.  The robot slowed for a moment and then focused on Stalson.  In the moment of opening, Rennaker shot Jason's right eye out, shorting out the robot's sensors and further slowing it.  Freddy retreated over the roof of the cabin, but Stalson managed to catch him and pin the robot down beneath the deactivated Jason.  With Freddy unable to avoid their fire, the team took him down easily.

They woke the girl, who questioned them as to her whereabouts and eventually introduced herself as Lacey.  She explained that she didn't know how she'd gotten there, and was awfully accusatory once she discovered the team was SHIELD.  Rennaker took a serious dislike to the girl, but restrained herself.  Lacey, for her part, didn't like Richards very much, calling him creepy.  The team checked her quickly, determining that she was a real person, not anther of Arcade's robots.  Richards quickly stripped the power cores from Freddy and Jason, reasoning that they might be useful at some point, and their removal would keep the robots deactivated.

From in the cabin, the team could see a lake down a hill.  Stalson quoted game theory, saying he was certain it was where Arcade wanted them to go next.  They moved quickly down the hill.  It quickly became apparent that distances weren't taking the length of time to travel that they should.  They determined that Arcade had them in some sort of complex simulation.  Richard suggested he could build a small EMP from the power cores and set to work near the beach of the lake.  The team could a small boat out in the waters, but ignored it for the moment.

Arcade broke in to mock the team again, before sending out a new threat in the form of a bear-masked Jason clone called Otis.  The figure lumbered down the hill as Richards scrambled to make the EMP and Rennaker and Stalson prepared their defense.

Unfortunately, the situation changed quickly as a long tendril grabbed Rennaker's ankle and began dragging her toward the water.  Stalson couldn't take the chance to let Otis reach Richards, and charged the murderer.  Lacey stole Richard's gun, which frightened the scientist for a moment, until she fired wild shots in the direction of the killer robot engaged with Stalson.  Richards, for his part, was running out of time, with only a few minutes left before the Icer would wear off and Wendigo would be free.  Arcade taunted that he couldn't wait to see what would happen when Richards' timer ran out.

Rennaker wrestled with the Kraken pulling her into the water, repeatedly freeing herself and being re-grasped.  Eventually, though, she got free long enough to turn and shoot, hitting the Kraken square in it's eye.  A moment later, Richards completed the EMP and slammed a hand down on the button, rushing to dive into the water.  The device went off, shutting down the robots and saving the team.  Richards' Icer device was still active, but he was almost out of time, with only 3 minutes left on it.

Grabbing Lacey, Stalson and Rennaker sprinted back to the cabin.  Richards swam towards the canoe out in the lake.

At the cabin, Lacey discovered something banging against her in the chest pocket of her leather jacket.  It turned out to be a single Icer round, which Stalson took from her.  The two SHIELD agents shared a suspicious look at the girl.  Stalson started covering himself in lubricant from the dead robots, hoping it would confuse Wendigo.

On the lake, Richards found a teenage boy in the boat.  Cursing the luck, Richard started back to shore, but only just made it before the Wendigo spirit was free, roaring rage into the night.

Stalson charged down the hill, with Wendigo keyed on him.  They came together and Wendigo tried several times to chomp Stalson, and very nearly killed him by slamming him into a tree.  Stalson managed to ride Wendigo's arm for just long enough to insert the new Icer round and hit the manual injection button.  Wendigo screamed as it was slammed back into Richards' subconscious.  Soon, the heavily bleeding Stalson was laying on the ground next to the heavily naked Richards.

From above, Arcade complained about his cameras being disabled, meaning he'd missed all of the Wendigo action.  Rennaker, followed shortly after by Lacey, arrived and administered first aid to Stalson.  The team got the boat pulled in and discovered that the person in it was Lacey's boyfriend, Flynn.  After a few barbs from Flynn and a shirt wrapped around unclothed Richards, the team retreated to the cabin to regroup.  And it turned out Flynn had yet another Icer round on him...

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Fate of SHIELD: Postmortem - Wendigo

Now that he's been taken down, I'm going to share my character sheet for Wendigo.

Wendigo (Paul Cartier)

High Concept: Cursed Beast-Man of the North
Trouble: The Hunger Never Ends
Other Aspects: Crushing Strength, A Frozen Heart, Kill Me And Take My Curse
Great: Physique
Good: Fight, Notice
Fair: Athletics, Lore, Provoke
Average: Burglary, Deceive, Investigate, Will
A Force of Nature: uses Physique instead of Athletics to defend against physical attacks.
Track By Scent: uses Notice to track, may track when there are no visible signs.
Locking Jaws: +2 to Physique when biting someone and holding on with the bite; count as grapple that does bite damage each exchange.
Powerful Jaws and Claws: unarmed is weapon 2.
Physical Stress: OOOO
Mental Stress: OOO
Refresh: 2

One of the things the players never really figured out about Wendigo is that he was almost never tracking them by sight, but rather by smell.  It never played a huge part in the combat or tracking, but I tried to keep it in mind as they tried to keep pace with him.

While it was possible for the players to save Cartier, I figured he'd probably end up dead, so the curse aspect and the plans for how to save a team member were some of the first things I planned for him.  The team has found two of the three potential routes I'd come up with to save the victim, so they're doing pretty well.

Originally, Wendigo was built to only use A Force of Nature at close range, but it quickly became apparent that it wasn't going to be a factor if that was the case, so it got tweaked to the current wording.  It didn't save him, obviously, but it kept him from being completely picked off at range.

I could have given Wendigo a few more stress boxes or more refresh or stunts to make him closer to being as unstoppable as he is in the comics, but I wanted to keep him in the range of the players' power levels.  Over time I likely will pump some of the villains up that way, but it feels organic where it's at so far.  Especially in the context of the show keeping most of the villains (except for Lorelei, Marcus Daniels/Blackout, and maybe Deathlok) within the same power range as the main characters.

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Fate of SHIELD: Episode 2 notes

This week's game went well, I felt.  Like the previous week, a lot of my plans fell into place without me necessarily pushing it.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I've planned a few routes to the same place and figured appealing clues for them.

I also think the lack of a true GMPC helps.  Both Zorya abd Savage are very background characters used slightly more like contacts than active team members.  I think over the next few sessions, since Savage has been along for the ride all this time, I'll have the players start fleshing out his aspects so he's a little big more than just a prop (especially since Zorya has her own stats in case of need).  It looks like, for now, he'll stick around.  That also gets us to a more organic-feeling team size of five, rather than four; Savage kind of plays the bridge between the action-heavy Rennaker and Stalson and the more social/tech oriented Gott and Richards.

It felt good, for that matter, to have the whole team together.  No missing players this week meant that the team felt a little more balanced out.  They did a great job debating the issues at hand with one another and pushing for answers in a way that really reflects the nature and tone of the show.

Wendigo was more effective this week, despite Stalson dropping 18 damage on him in a round (at least in the raw, before Wendigo's defenses).  I got the sense the players were more worried about him and they layered on a ton of aspects over several turns to get it to the point at which all that damage could happen.  The curse falling on Richards was one of my preferences (the other was Gott), and the player realizing he'd been had was pretty fantastic and probably mirrored the character quite a bit.

The hope for our next session is to quickly resolve the Shaman bits with Richards and roll into our next freak of the week.  It's got a bit of a Halloween theme to it, but it's been planned since before I knew it would be our Halloween session.  Should be another good one.

Related session

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Fate of SHIELD: Episode 2 - Totem

Previously on Fate of SHIELD: the team encountered an 0-8-4 dubbed Wendigo and they were betrayed by HYDRA agents within their squad!  They were forced to retreat to The Observatory to regroup!

As the team moved through the armor towards the Quinjet, Zorya stopped them, suggesting they might want some of the safeguarded ordanence from The Observatory.  She told the team of a gatling gun, a repulsor rifle, and a surface-to-air missile launcher.  The team discussed it briefly and decided to take the gatling gun and the repulsor rifle, which were carried by Savage and Gott respectively.  They were about to board the Quinjet when Stalson decided to reveal another secret.

He told them he felt the need to come clean.  He recapped the events of HYDRA's revelation and then said that he'd known what the signal meant.  He went on to explain that he'd chosen to act on SHIELD's behalf rather than HYRDA's because he still believed in SHIELD's ideals.  In the process, he had betrayed the people he really worked for: HYDRA.  They'd approached him the academy and brought him along slowly until he'd had no choice but to join them.

The team was immediately against him.  Gott wanted Stalson locked away and potentially tried and executed.  Savage glared at the man he'd not so long before been joking with.  Richards argued that he could have killed them more than once, but hadn't, which was worth a chance.  Rennaker couldn't trust him at just his word, though.  She gave Savage the order to lock him in the interrogation room and the field agent moved to comply as Stalson gave no resistance.

Richards explained that he could build a lie detector as Gott argued for a full interrogation.  Rennaker shot down the full interrogation as the hunt for Wendigo was time sensitive.  She told Richardsto get his machine ready.  By the interrogation room, Savage punched Stalson across the face.  Stalson took the blow with no retaliation and went into the room.

The team briefly split up at this point.  Savage and Gott headed north in the Quinjet to the very first logging camp struck by Wendigo.  They searched the wreckage of the Roxxon site and found a journal that appeared to belong to a professor Paul Cartier.  In it he detailed orders to search a nearby abandoned mine.  Someone dubbed SV pushed him deeper and deeper under threat of violence until he found something.  After some translation help from Zorya, they realized it was a totem with symbols of the Wendigo.  SV broke it, apparently, and Cartier reported being very hungry...

Meanwhile, Richards completed his lie detector and he and Rennaker set to interrogating Stalson.  Richards ran Stalson through a series of calibration questions, then asked Stalson if he was part of HYDRA.  Stalson confirmed it and when asked why he'd split from them, he explained that he shared more ideals with SHIELD than HYDRA.  Rennaker, mostly satisfied, excused Richards and asked questions of Stalson's history with 0-8-4's and if he'd ever heard of other organizations within SHIELD.  He listed TASK, STRIKE, and HYDRA, which satisfied her.

Not long after, Gott and Savage returned, handing over the journal to Richards, who was able to interpret the events recorded within to determine that SV, a Roxxon employee forced Cartier to take the totem, which was not what SV was looking for.  The totem, now broken, released the Wendigo spirit, which empowered Cartier.  Cartier then went on a rampage as Wendigo.

Planning to find the totem and take it from Cartier to stop him, the team used Richards' Icer tracker to fly the Quinjet to the woods near where they'd recently fought Wendigo.  They unloaded their gear and followed Richards' tracker signal out into the snowy woods.  As they approached, Wendigo's pacing stopped, a clear sign it had noticed them.  They froze and slowly retreated back to the Quinjet, where they'd make their stand.

Savage dug in against the jet, Rennaker lined up her shot, Gott did the same, and Richards set up an Icer mine before climbing in to man the Quinjet.  Stalson put his sniper rifle in an easy to grab position and headed back into the woods, moving quickly, to bait Wendigo out to the ambush.  Wendigo reacted strongly, and gave chase one Stalson gave himself a superficial cut to let the scent of blood into the air.

At first, it seemed Stalson might outpace Wendigo for some reason, but the beast surged and nearly caught him.  He dodged around the  Icer mine, but Wendigo did not, taking the full blast.  It was slowed, but not stopped.  The team unloaded on the beast.  Wendigo, pinned between too many positions of fire, couldn't do much to avoid the damage and so plowed on after Stalson.

Stalson reached his sniper rifle just as Wendigo caught him.  The beast began to squeeze the life out of him, but Stalson brought his sniper rifle up under Wendigo's chin and pulled the trigger.  Wendigo, acting on some preternatural instinct, jerked it's head at the last second, avoiding being killed but having it's jaw badly damaged.  It dropped Stalson, who rolled away, leaving Wendigo wide open to the cannon mounted on the nose of the Quinjet.

Richards opened fire and the beast stood no chance.  Wendigo was pounded with bullets and slumped to the ground, dead.  For the briefest moment, Richards had a flash of the Wendigo, staring at him from over the corpse, then it rushed him and his vision went black.  He woke up a moment later, none the worse for wear.  The team loaded Wendigo's body onto the Quinjet for study, especially as there had been no evidence of the totem anywhere nearby.  The lifted off and headed back to The Observatory.

Once back, the team moved Wendigo's body to the lab.  It appeared to have shrunk slightly in the trip, as if it was reverting back to Cartier.  Richards accompanied it back and the rest of the team dispersed, finally able to get some rest.

In the lab, Richards began to sense the problem.  The corpse of Wendigo smelled... Delicious.  It had almost completely turned back into Cartier and the totem had dropped from the body.  Richards fought the urge to eat the flesh of the corpse, as something inside him screamed for the satisfaction.  Zorya, sensing that something was wrong, woke Rennaker, who rushed to the lab.  Unfortunately, in the intervening moments, Richards had blacked out and locked the door.  He hovered over the corpse, fighting against himself as Rennaker demanded Zorya unlock the door.  The AI managed it quickly and Rennaker managed to stand Richards off.  She called in Savage and Stalson, who restrained Richards by shooting him with an Icer.  Rennaker declared she'd stand guard and the others tried to return to their sleep.  Stalson locked the totem away using a drone.

In the morning, Gott began making calls to experts in First Nations anthropology, eventually reaching an old contact, Michael Twoyoungmen.  While Gott tried to be cagey about just what had happened, Dr. Twoyoungmen quickly ascertained what had happened and informed Gott he'd be there in about six hours.  They agreed to meet at the University of British Columbia's liquid mirror telescope.

Stalson began loading one of Zorya's drones with Icer rounds, in hopes that it might put Richards down if it came down to it.  Richards, still out from the Icer, had a vision, with Paul Cartier talking to him about the Wendigo spirit.  In the vision, Richards got the idea of using Icer injections to keep the Wendigo at bay so that he could continue to function.  He resolved to start work on it when he woke up.

The team moved about their business for another few hours, tracking the events of Hydra's rise against SHIELD.  Everything on that front seemed bleak, with SHIELD on the run at every turn and most governments turning on the agency.  Zorya informed Rennaker that The Fridge and The Sandbox had fallen, leaving only The Hub as a major SHIELD holdout.  Savage and Stalson locked Richards in an interrogation room and Rennaker continued her watch over him.

He woke there, restrained.  At first he tried to feign sleep, to prevent them from immediately using the Icer on him again, but Rennaker saw through the bluff.  He tried to hurriedly explain to her that he could fix the problem, but Zorya's drone shot him before he could get it out.  He tumbled back into sleep.

Not too much later, Dr. Twoyoungmen arrived and was greeted by Rennaker and Gott.  Rennaker introduced herself and Gott ran the situation down before they blindfolded the shaman and led him into The Observatory.  They led him to the lab, having sealed Cartier's corpse into a storage bay in case they needed it for study, and produced the totem, which Dr. Twoyoungmen said would be inert with what had happened to Richards and Cartier.  He quickly found the broken piece of it and set to work preparing to repair it.

Meanwhile, Richards woke again, and managed to get the team to hear him out.  He explained his Icer device and planned to make it.  He worked efficiently, but slower than he had hoped, completing it just as the urges for human flesh returned.  Stalson was watching over him at this point, and Richards almost made a move to attack him, but the field agent was faster, locking Richards up.  Stalson used the opening to strap the Icer injector to Richards' forearm, suppressing the Wendigo.  He asked Gott to bring a cart of fruits, vegetables, and grains for Richards, remembering the shaman's earlier admonition that Richards not eat flesh for the time being.

Richards and Gott asked about the supply of Icer rounds and Stalson told them he thought they'd run out relatively soon.  Richards back-engineered the ingredients of the Icers and gave them to Gott, who began researching locations to find them.  Elsewhere, Dr. Twoyoungmen had nearly completed his repairs on the totem...

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Fate of SHIELD: Episode 1 Notes

Since I'm GMing, I'm gonna try and make a habit of putting some quick notes up between sessions and recaps.  I'll try and avoid secrets and spoilers, but once enemies are taken down, their character sheets will go in these entries.

All in all, the session hit all the things I'd hoped for.  We hinted at Victoria and Stalson's secrets (more blatently for him with his getting leaked).  There were secrets hinted at with Richards, too, though nothing was really behind that at the moment.

I liked getting some traction with Sparks and Savage, who were part of the associated characters for Rennaker.  Each player gave me two or three, but these two really struck a chord with the team.  Sparks may be dead, but Savage should be a useful NPC with minimal input from me.  I'm picturing Savage as played by Aldis Hodge.

Given the TV spinoff nature of the game, all of the players cast actors for their characters.  Stalson is Alexander Skarsgard, Rennaker is Michelle Trachtenberg, Richards is ___, and Gott is Steve Carrell.  Zorya is currently actressless, since she has no body and her main defining characteristic is a Russian accent.

The players hit exactly the notes I was hoping for in their conflict between linking back up with SHIELD, taking on HYDRA, and hunting down Wendigo.  Likewise, their decision, relatively unprompted, to prioritize Wendigo was just what I was hoping for.

Wendigo himself didn't quite seem to work how I hoped.  Most of his powers focused on physique defense, but that left him vulnerable to gunfire; I wanted that to some degree, but he felt a little too vulnerable.  Suffice it to say, his minor milestone will be changing things slightly.

I'm looking forward to next week, which should hopefully resolve Wendigo and drop a few hints about our Big Bad.

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Related game session


Fate of SHIELD: Episode 1 - Hunger

Our game opened with the two SHIELD teams arriving at the hot springs where the mysterious 0-8-4 had holed up.  Bravo team was being led by Agent Stalson, accompanied by other agents gathered from throughout SHIELD's western teams.  Bravo moved up via inflatable boat across the lake, landing near the outdoor hot springs and moving towards the domed-over indoor hotsprings.  The cold, winter night combined with the heat from the springs filled the area with fog, reducing visibility to about 10 yards.  Stalson ordered a cautious advance to the rear doors of the building.  Agents George, Dyson, Laughton, Oliverez,Watson, Garcia, and McKenzie were with him, gathered from other teams throughout the western region.

From the south, up the road leading to the springs, and pulled in close to the southern doors.  Agent Victoria Rennaker, operating as field commander for SHIELD's CANWEST response team, gathered her own agents to begin their end of the engagement.  With her were Agent Richards, newly assigned scientific-minded agent; Agent Sparks, an old flame of Agent Rennaker's called in from New Mexico; Agent Savage, field operative called in from Portland; Agent Redd, specialist; Agent Short, field operative; Agent Calrissian, field operative; and Agent Barone, communications specialist.  Sparks began grumbling about Rennaker's approach, so she detailed him, Redd, and Savage off to move up to the doors.  Sparks quickly spotted the 0-8-4 via a pair of yellow, glowing eyes staring out of the darkened building at the assembled SHIELD agents.

Bravo secured their door with C4 and quickly circled the building to join with CANWEST at Rennaker's command.  Agent Richards suggested attempting to blind the creature with a flashbang, theorizing that whatever heightened senses allowed it to sense their approach would likely be more detrimental to SHIELD than the 0-8-4.  Agent Redd threw his in, and things went haywire.

Agent Gott, who had been monitoring the situation back at The Observatory (where Commanding Agent Stephenson and Agents Gott, Murphy, Dresden, Ramirez, and Patel had remained), was suddenly replaced by static.  Similarly, the Observatory AI, Zorya, was cutoff.  A strange pulse could be heard within the white noise of static on the comms.  Several of the agents seemed to nod to themselves, as if they almost understood it.  Sparks spun and raised his rifle, ready to fire on Rennaker, but Stalson got there first, almost as if he had known it was coming, just narrowly missing blowing Sparks' head off.  Agent Short shot Agent Redd dead in the confusion.

Richards, who had been toying with his Icer, suddenly felt a gun barrel in his back.  Agent Calrissian threatened, "This is your one recruitment offer, kid, better take it," but Richards thought fast and shot him in the foot with the Icer, knocking Calrissian unconscious. Nearer the door, Agent Savage traded fire with Agent Short, neither quite able to get a clean shot.  In the same moment, Zorya broke through to Rennaker on a secondary channel, warning her that it appeared that HYDRA was responsible for the sudden betrayal of her team.

Agent Watson confirmed it by screaming "Hail HYDRA!" and charging past Agents Garcia, Oliverez, Laughton, and McKenzie while pulling the pin on his grenade.  Watson closed on Rennaker, but lightning fast reflexes allowed her to spin away, diving into the SHIELD jeep and bracing herself.  McKenzie made a diving grab for Watson, but the motion only jarred the grenade loose, The four loyal agents and Watson were caught full-force by the blast and killed.  The jeep took minimal damage, being rolled to one side.  Stalson, who had been atop it, was thrown to the ground, but he quickly recovered and put another bullet through the shoulder of Sparks, who shot back at Stalson, missing.

Short took a shot at Richards, who managed to dodge, but ended up in the mud.  And then things turned for the worse.  The 0-8-4, screaming "WENDIGO!" crashed through the doors, scattering Sparks, Short, and Savage.  Zorya came back on the secondary channel to Rennaker and informed the agent that HYDRA was within the Observatory and that she had lost contact with Stephenson and most of the remaining agents.  Victoria retorted that she was a little busy and several of the agents, SHIELD and HYDRA both, fired at the Wendigo.  Unfortunately for Short, Wendigo was only angered, and the hulking white beast grabbed him by the throat and took a big bite.  Sparks prepared to use the distraction to kill Rennaker, but Stalson was ready and shot the traitor dead.  Savage turned on Wendigo, but missed.

Richards also fired on Wendigo, slowing it slightly with his Icer, but not stopping the raging force of nature.  Stalson fired a moment later, quickly followed by Rennaker, dealing Wendigo the first real damage it had taken since it had appeared weeks before.  Enraged, but shocked by the fact that it had been wounded, Wendigo rocked the jeep as the Agents ducked for cover.  It moved so fast as to have nearly vanished, as the agents could hear it retreating in the distance while crying "Wendigo!"

Stalson cuffed Calrissian, who was still under the effects of the Icer and Rennaker, Stalson, and Savage rocked the jeep back onto it's wheels.  Richards defused the C4 that had been planted by bravo and the team began the hour long drive back to The Observatory.  On the drive back, Zorya contacted Rennaker again, asking permission to patch in the entire team.  Rennaker agreed and the team was informed of events at The Observatory.  Agent Gott was locked in the communications room, trying to get the main channels back online.  Agent Ramirez was identified as HYDRA and cornered by two of Zorya's drones.  The other agents were still unaccounted for, but it appeared that Agent Dresden was the other HYDRA agent.  Zorya also privately informed Rennaker that most SHIELD facilities had been overrun, with only The Observatory, The Hub, The Fridge, and The Sandbox holding strong.  She added that there seemed to be an assault on the Triskelion by Captain America.  Rennaker relayed some of that information and Zorya informed the team that she would be allowing them in through the hangar bay and opening the main entryway as well in an effort to flush out the traitors.

Savage cut around the main entrance on foot, where he was backed up by two automated, motion-tracking turrets.  Stalson began cutting from the Hanger to the Armory (located centrally between three spoked wings of The Observatory).  He stopped briefly to check on Gott, who was securely locked in the communications office.  He then moved on.

Back in the Hangar, Rennaker and Richard had strapped the slowly recovering Calrissian to a wheeled dolly.  They briefly discussed their suspicions of Stalson, who had seemed to act a little too fast on HYDRA's revelations.  Rennaker began to shadow Stalson through the facility.  Zorya, whose drones had been hunting Ramirez, had them move in for the kill, and one of the two rogue agents was neutralized.

Stalson found no one in the armory and evidence that the bunks in the barracks for science staff had been ransacked, especially the one belonging to Richards.  He moved down the hall.  Rennaker checked on Sparks' bunk in the same barracks, but couldn't tell what had made her feel uneasy about it.  Stalson reached the lab after passing the body of Agent Patel, who had clearly been shot by the HYDRA agent.  He reached the doors to the lab and knocked, only to be answered by a shot.

He peered inside and saw Dresden, a gun trained on a heavily wounded Agent Stephenson and another on the door.  Agent Murphy appeared to be down and dead across the room.  Rennaker pulsed out the code that had played over comms earlier on the door and Dresden finally noticed who he'd shot at.  He opened the door and let Stalson inside.  He encouraged Stalson to help him get information from Stephenson.  Stalson looked like he might do it for a moment, but just as Rennaker arrived, he drove his combat knife up into Dresden's throat, killing the HYDRA agent.  Both SHIELD agents rushed to Stephenson's side.

The Agent in Command was clearly dying from several bullet wounds.  Rennaker had more training in medicine, so she stayed to try and keep him alive while Stalson rushed back to the barracks to get a better medkit.  Stephenson reminded Rennaker of their mission and left her in charge of The Observatory, a change Zorya quietly noted.  By the time Stalson returned and Savage joined them, Stephenson was dead.

The remaining agents, Rennaker, Gott, Richards, Savage, and Stalson all gathered in the lab for the moment, discussing the next plan of action.  Savage and Stalson both advocated for interrogating Calrissian, and Rennaker agreed, taking the first shot at it.  She prepared the interrogation room while Richards set to work restoring Zorya's ability to control all the systems of the laboratory wing.  Once the interrogation began. Calrissian hinted at knowing her secrets and hinted that HYDRA wanted The Observatory to try and get alien technology (to which Richards scoffed "there are no aliens, the Battle of New York was just modified humans").  He also hinted that someone still on the team was part of HYDRA.  The team began discussing what Calrissian had said when another problem cropped up.

In Washington, Agent Romanoff had begun dumping SHIELD's files onto the internet.  Zorya urged Rennaker to prevent the files on The Observatory from leaking with the rest of the data.  Rennaker assigned Zorya and Richards to lock that information out.  Somehow, Rennaker's own file seemed to disappear, too.  Unfortunately, Richards couldn't prevent most of the team's information from getting out.  With the team re-united, he began Googling the members, showing off his Academy records and Savage's old afro.  The team also discovered that Stalson had once had to destroy his hometown, as it had been invaded by some sort of reptilian insects that Stalson said could turn people into more of their number.  SHIELD had managed to keep it hidden until Romanoff leaked the agency's files.

The team resolved that they couldn't leave Wendigo on the loose and that SHIELD appeared to be broken, though it was hard for them to give up on the idea that they should try and regroup with what remained.  Richards offered that he might be able to discover a way to track the chemicals in the Icer rounds, and set to work on it.  Savage and Stalson headed outside to patrol the perimeter and make sure no other HYDRA surprises.  Savage admitted the desire to kill Calrissian and Stalson expressed a great deal of hate for HYDRA.

Eventually, those tasks were completed, and Savage and Stalson made a last attempt to try and get information from Calrissian.  Calrissian accused Stalson of being the other HYDRA agent, but Savage didn't believe him and when Calrissian couldn't give any information, the two agents killed the traitor.  Richards told the team he'd found a way to track Wendigo, but that it would only work until the Icer chemicals weakened enough in Wendigo's system to become undetectable.  That gave the team about 24 hours.  The geared up and took The Observatory's quinjet, headed to where Richards' tracking array said Wendigo was stalking back and forth in the woods...

Other posts on Agents of SHIELD


Fate of SHIELD: Part 7 - The Armory

SHIELD has a fairly extensive collection of weaponry and ammunition, but not every item is available to every team at every moment.  Being the base of operations for the CANWEST response team, The Observatory stocks more than the standard compliment of arms.

Beyond the compliment of drones Zorya controls, the base boasts two other forms of automated defense.  First is a series of motion tracking guns at the entrance to the bunker.  The second is a set of blast doors scattered about the bunker, able to seal airtight at either Zorya's directive or on a dead switch.

The base's armory is centrally located between the three spokes of barracks (one ending with a hangar, a second with a lab, and third with the main entrance).  Should it be sealed, it would curtail movement through The Observatory significantly.

There is a 8-person compliment of assault rifles with according ammunition, three sniper rifles with several forms of ammunition (including explosive rounds). There are two-dozen assorted handguns and agents often bring their own sidearms when assigned to The Observatory. There are a similar number of combat knives kept in stock.  Zorya specially safeguards four specific singular weapons.  First is a SAM missle launcher, second is a repulsar rifle brought by Agent Stevenson, third is a vibranium sword, and fourth is a gatling gun.  Zorya jealously guards these items and only allows their use on mission with directive from Agent Stevenson or above.

For their most recent mission, CANWEST has been provided a compliment of 12 ICE-ers.  These items are currently all assigned to agents and are not present in the armory.

Part 6 - Roxxon

Camp Fate-zzly Epilogue

Depending on who you ask in our group, the aftermath of our characters' tragic adventure can vary a little bit.

In the GM's eyes (I think), Lacy and Karen (who hid out all night) were the only survivors.  Karen, who dodged most of the encounters with Otis, was traumatized but not destroyed.  Lacy, on the other hand, lost all her campers, her friends, her semi-reconciled sister, her new and first boyfriend, and almost died while severely injuring or killing a child.  She was ruined by the events at the camp.  And all signs point to Otis surviving.

A second running theory is fairly similar to the first, except that in it, Lacy is so traumatized by the events at the camp that she becomes Otis, killing people to save the psychotic delusion of Flynn she believes is real.

The third theory, which I subscribe to because I always believe in the triumph of good over evil, is as follows.  When the police reached Lacy, she managed to convince them to check on Flynn.  They got a paramedic helicopter to him and managed to get him to the hospital.  They found Otis's mask, but not his body.

Flynn was in the hospital for months and when she wasn't in school, Lacy was by his side.  Aside from Karen, they were the only two who could understand what they'd been through, so they leaned heavily on one another, and eventually married.  Years later, when the camp was foolishly re-re-opened, they visited to see if they could take down Otis once and for all.

A bit of commentary:

I really enjoyed Camp Grizzly, I think in large part due to the fact that we got a lot of interpersonal play out of it.  Because the villain didn't show up till towards the end of the second session, we were all focused on what characters and NPCs we liked and didn't like.  Because it was an 80's movie parody, we could all make pop culture references to amuse ourselves.  It was a good balance and while my Agents of SHIELD game is going to jump straight into the action, my hope is we can do some of the same relationship building over sessions.

And in case there was any doubt...


Camp Fate-zzly Part 3

The group at the van (Roger, Herbert, Flynn, Lacy, and about eight campers, including Kimberly and Gary the DnD fan) climbed over the tree and started walking.  Not much firther down the path, they spotted a bear trap and Roger disarmed it so they cluld take it with them.

Back at camp, Bubba the Lasy started gathering the remaining counselors and campers for a daring plan to escape across the lake.  The assembled group headed down to the docks as the storm broke and set about unsecuring the canoes.  Nervous but determined, they set out across the lake.

As the path before them continued to narrow, Flynn's group grew increasingly nervous.  They felt like they were being stalked, perhaps by an actual cannibal named Shia LeBeouf.  They eventually happened upon a cabin with what looked like Morris' jeep parked nearby.  Roger silenced the others and snuck towards it, only to be shot at by an old man and then chased by an orange-haired hillbilly clown.  Flynn, Herbert, and Lacy began to skirt the edges of the cabin's clearing, to try and get to the truck.

Bubba the Lady's group made landfall and ran to a nearby dorm, only to find the door bashed in and the radio sputtering.  Bubba used it to try and call the police to come and save the kids, but couldn't be sure if she was getting through.  And it was only moments before Otis arrived and she rushed back out to face the bear-masked killer.

Back at the cabin, Flynn's group were almost to the truck when the kids made a little too much noise and the shotgun toting elder turned on them.  Herbert made a run for the road as Flynn charged the old coot and hit him with a crowbar that they'd had in the van.  In the intervening moments, the old man had already fired off a shot, which wounded Herbert.  The angry chef turned and joined Flynn in attacking the man shooting them as Lacy tried to keep the kids out of the line of fire.

They circled and missed one another a few times, but eventually Flynn's mouthiness distracted the old man long enough for Herbert to get a solid blow in.  The old man nearly shot Flynn a moment later, but the teen managed to dodge.  Out in the woods, Roger was having problems of his own, as the clown chasing him was firing arrow after arrow ever closer to the outdoorsman.  Roger began laying snares and other traps to slow the clown, who managed to dodge most of them, as well as the bear trap, before scrambling into the trees.  Having led the archer clown far enough away, Roger began doubling back to help the others.

Across the lake, Otis grabbed onto Bubba the Lady and began dragging her into the water.  Bubba was a mighty lady, though, and turned the tables, pushing Otis under the water as the kids watched on from the shore.  For a time, it looked like she might win out, but as they drifted further out into the lake, the fight with Otis and the press of the water overcame Bubba.  Using her last burst of strength to drag Otis down with her and save the kids, Bubba the Lady died in the lake.

At the cabin, Flynn put the old man down for good with a solid blow to the head.  Unnerved, he yelled for Lacy to start the jeep with the keys they'd kept since the night before.  She managed to and got the kids in, but before Herbert and Flynn could join them, an arrow popped one of the tires of the jeep and the kids scattered.  Lacy only managed to keep three of the girls and Gary from sprinting into the dark woods.

Trying to find shelter, the teens ran to the house.  Herbert pushed the door open and Flynn got the kids and Lacy inside and told them to duck.  Herbert began checking the other rooms as Lacy and Flynn spotted Roger coming in from the tree line, badly hurt by an arrow in his leg.  Before either could go to pull him in, the door on the other side of the house opened to reveal Dawn.  The asthmatic little girl rushed to Lacy, declaring "You're my new mommy!"

Herbert came across an old woman in the den, who almost immediately attacked him with an axe.  He struggled to stay ahead of her as she swung the blade at him, only just narrowly avoiding being disembowled.  Meanwhile, Dawn declared her hatred for Flynn and explained that her father was named Jeremy, the true name of Otis.

As Herbert managed to wrestle the axe from the old woman and kill her, Lacy left Flynn with Dawn momentarily to pull the struggling Roger into the safety of the house.  The outdoorsman paused a moment to scoop up the old man's fallen shotgun and its single round.  Reassembled the teens, and cook, headed upstairs to where Dawn claimed her room and her fathers were.

Herbert and Flynn kicked in the locked door of Otis' room and were treated to the grisly site of Shelly and Kevin's remains.  Flynn demanded that Lacy and the kids stay away, quickly closing the door as Herbert searched the room for weapons.  He found a large meathook, which he gave to Lacy after wiping it down and emerging from the room.  They opened the door to Dawn's room and used her blankets to make bindings for her.  Roger began carrying the girl, keeping the shotgun menacingly close, as they were all afraid Otis or the archer would return any time.

They descended and began edging towards the jeep, but the archer was waiting.  He shot Roger repeatedly, causing the teen to spasmodically pull the trigger of the shotgun, killing Dawn in turn.  Flynn used his imposing presence to scare the kids into running for the jeep and everyone but Flynn managed to get in.  And it was then that Otis arrived as the archer clown scrambled down from the roof and ran to a nearby shed.  On his way, he put another arrow into the jeep, blocking the door nearest Lacy from opening.  Herbert managed to get the jeep moving, though it was slow and awkward.

Otis continued to close in and Flynn still hadn't made it into the jeep.  With a gathered force of effort, he slung himself into the back, hefting the crowbar.  Otis closed quickly on the slow moving jeep, and began slashing at the kids.  Flynn swung his crowbar, missing, and Otis took the opening to haul him from the jeep.  Lacy screamed in horror for the boy she now called her boyfriend, but Herbert listened to Flynn and kept going.  Moments later, the clown archer burst from the shed and gave pursuit on an ATV.  Otis began dragging Flynn back to the house.

Sensing his end might be near, Flynn began using all his skills at word play to enrage Otis, first at the now-dead Roger and then at the archer who had inadvertently caused Dawn's death.  Flynn had hoped it might give him a moment to slip away, but Otis managed to cuff him to a radiator.  Otis mangled Roger's body and then returned to Flynn.  It looked for a moment that he might kill Flynn, and he did bring an axe down on Flynn's shoulder, but his rage at Dawn's death got the better of him and he went after the archer and the jeep.  Flynn quickly began trying to free himself.

The jeep broke down at a bridge a little ways away from the cabin.  The bridge itself seemed weak, so Herbert was quick to take the kids and get moving to the other side.  Gary was stuck, though, and Lacy had to pull him from the jeep, leaving them exposed as the archer arrived on his ATV.  With quick thinking, Lacy and Gary rolled under the jeep as the archer got off his ATV and hurried after Herbert and the girls.  They heard the girls and then Herbert scream and then all was quiet.

Lacy and Gary stealthily made it to the woods only moments before Otis arrived.  In his rage, he killed the archer and then mysteriously vanished.  Lacy convinced Gary to stay hidden and determined to go back for Flynn, despite Gary's assertions that the teen was probably dead.  Lacy managed to make a tense and quiet journey back through the woods without being caught by Otis.

Flynn, meanwhile, had engaged with another of Otis' returning children, Don.  Don was furious at his dead family and tried to throw knives at Flynn, narrowly missing.  Flynn, fueled by adrenaline, nearly pulled the radiator from the floor, but his injured shoulder gave out.  Just as Don was looming over Flynn, Lacy arrived and incapacitated the evil camper.  As she tried to break Flynn out of his handcuffs using the meat hook, Otis smashed through the window and almost grabbed Lacy.  She managed to scramble back and as Flynn swung wildly at Otis to fend him off, Lacy managed to get the other teen free.

Otis was at the doorway already, though.  Flynn rose and hissed for Lacy to run while putting himself between them.  Otis was nearly about to overpower Flynn when Lacy slashed him and gave Flynn an opening to shove Otis back outside.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, as Otis managed to scramble up, and put an axe blow into Flynn's chest.  The teen crumpled, gasping to Lacy that he loved her.  Things looked bleak for the girl until the sound of an ATV echoed through the clearing.  Gary arrived, hitting Otis with the vehicle.  He managed to get her on and they roared back to the bridge.

Unsure that the bridge could take the added weight of the ATV, they began to run across, but Otis had already caught up to them.  Lacy made it to the other side, but Gary turned and declared Otis "shall not pass!"  He jumped and the weight of the jeep, Otis, the archer, and Gary made the bridge collapse.  Gary made a desperate grab for Lacy's hand, but missed and he plummeted to the river below.  Moments later, the police arrived to find a sobbing Lacy.  Otis' body was never found...