This manse is strange. Sophia’s attempts to discern who it belongs to is successful (no one) but its layout escapes her.
So begins our heroes’ descent.
The first door they reach bears a fully filled in golden circle. Kuku opens the way to a small room with a Vetruvian man inscribed on the floor. The second door bears a fully filled in silver disk. Sophia opens this one, leading into a room in which rests a giant suit of armor, immobile, a hallway protected with a lattice of lasers, and a third door with a purple-rainbow disc. Nixie opens the latter, which leads to yet another door, on which is a large panel of five buttons, one green, yellow, red, blue, and purple – a game of Mastermind. Solving the game leads to a room with a flat dais (upon which sits a plastic banana) and two sealed doors holding Erymanthoi. Removing the banana activates the suit of armor in the first room; it’s hardly a trouble to dispatch thanks to an all-out coordinated attack. When the dust settles, they move on past the now deactivated laser doorway.
The stairwell they find leads further downward, into a strange room with a platform. A huge, crystalline sphere sits dead center, swirling with color and pure light.
It was all a lie.
Gabriel sheds his mask. Sheds his ties to Ebon Dragon. Spreads his white anima wings as his tainted existence pours into the heart of the city. Shatters the trust of seven demi-gods in the span of minutes.
Everything’s gone wrong.
“Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home. Your house is on fire. Your children will burn…” He’ll let them go free, without harm, but they’ll have to do in kind to him to prevent the death of their loved ones and Thunder City.
“I did it… because this city needs you. This city needs heroes. I’ve learned something important through my lifetimes. Heroes are never, ever heroes forever. Look at what’s become of every one of them who ever stood for this city. Human beings don’t want to be saved. They want to be… entertained. I say this with the certainty of this entire miserable species’ history in my memory, over life after life, incarnation after incarnation. A hero is only a hero as long as the novelty lasts. And never if the hero needs to be saved. I won’t let the same thing happen to you. Not to any of you. You’re going to leave here. No one you love will be hurt. You will be safe. They will be safe. I will ensure them a steady stream of the entertainment they crave. As I have done. Every single villain this city has faced? Each one unknowingly knelt before me. The Raksha? The Abyssals? They each and every one played to my plans. And they will continue to do so. And you will fight them. And win. And everyone will go home and sleep soundly in their beds satisfied the strong and good have won over the weak and wicked.
Al resists leaving. Terribly. The others won’t have it; everyone needs to leave or everyone dies. Kuku is prepared to kill her if he needs to, and Gabe is just about to save him the trouble when Nixie devours Al’s love.
They leave, physically unharmed. Their loved ones are safe. But nothing is okay.
The manse at city hall shifts into a huge tower. Blasphemy is committed. A Yozi has broken captivity.
This is just the beginning of the end.
(End of Story)
Thursday, August 18th, 2168
Session Award | 4 XP
Story Award | 6 XP
3 Die Stunt Award | 2XP (Jen + Kate)
Total | 10 XP
Running Total | 663 XP