Friday, February 18, 2011

109 Begins

Our story begins well after the characters of 109 arrived at school. all three of them found things to be very different from what they were used to. Adriana of course, had to get used to the idea of living in civility among people - not an idea that came easy to her. Even after she was given everything she needed - roof above her head, warm bed each night, plenty of food - she continued to steal, pick-pocket and use 'shady' (pun totally intended haha) techniques to get whatever else she wanted. Wade was inexplicably idolized among his peers. Used to being the whipping boy back home, this change simply frightened him even more - sure that they were trying to lull him into a false sense of security. Rad, in contrast, became the school's resident nerd (I mean, "Rad"? Really? He was practically begging for it) and ridiculed and picked-on constantly. In response, Rad became a loner, putting on the 'it doesn't bug me' face. This went on for quite some time, leaving all three to be outcasts in their own way.

Until Tenor came along.

Tenor was another gifted at the school. The thing about Tenor was that he loved history - more specifically, his heritage. You see, Tenor somehow found out that he is somehow related to the once-legendary Happy Force Nine. What's more, he discovered that at least three other students in that very school are all related to HFN. (Shocking coincidence, I know.) Tenor gathered up our three heroes and created a club of sorts. He named the club after the room number they were able to use: Room 109. (Yes. That's where the name came from. Sue me.)

Tenor explained all he knew about HFN and the connections Adriana, Rad and Wade had with them. He didn't know many of the details (how could he?) but he knew enough; such as HFN's relative gifts, why they were great (banding together to defeat the evil army: The Revolution) and which three Adi, Rad and Wade were descendants of. In fact, it seemed that the one big detail he didn't quite know was who exactly he descended from, which only fueled his drive to learn more about them.

In one of our first sessions, Tenor led 109 to an old abandoned castle in the woods that was supposed to house a broken-down relic from HFN: the Wolfen Gun that started HFN's campaign against the Revolution! After several challenging trials and obstacles, they claimed the prize. Tenor decided that since the gun used to belong to Lucky, that Rad was the rightful owner. They were even lucky enough to discover that the gun had a built-in AI! Of course the AI - as with the gun - were still incomplete and missing parts, so the AI couldn't shed any light on it's own history. It did however learn that it hates it's new master! Whee!

During the course of several more sessions (mostly hum-drum) of school life, I introduced the short-term/long-term antagonists of the story:

Rafal: a sickly and filthy kid with messy, grimy green hair and a bad cough who seemed to be able to control poisons and disease who (for some reason) really wanted to fight Adriana.

Nolwhen: A beautiful, popular cheer-leader type with massive angelic wings who wasn't afraid to stand out from the crowd to pick on Wade.

Renato: A suave, smooth-talker who is pretty much Rad's better in every social aspect, and loves to rub Rad's face in it. (the group likes to think of him as the mafia don of the 109 universe).

109 had a few, minor scuffles with these three, amounting to not much more that schoolyard bullying.

Finally, after setting the scene and building the atmosphere of the school, I destroyed it. On the day in question, 109 went to the club room after school (like they always do) only to find Tenor missing and all of his notes and papers destroyed. Before they could even begin to investigate, an explosion threw them out the window and into the school's courtyard. A bright light shone down on them from the heavens, and they blacked out.

When they came to, they were trapped in a high-tech cage made of some sort of force-field, dangling high above the floor of some massive steel room. Trapped with them were other students of the school. Above them, the cage moved along a track, surrounded by hundreds just like it. The students had been abducted and were now being shuttled around by the mass.

One of the other students in their cage was able to use his abilities to knock it down and free 109. They had an exciting escape that ended in another explosion.

The next several sessions were jaded and confusing. After the explosion, 109 awoke on a strange planet in the middle of a thick fog that seemed to play with their minds. They gained no coherent information or clues in the strange visions they saw. In fact, the only things they did gain were some useful items: translator chips that they swallowed and could suddenly speak and understand alien languages, and a bag that once belonged to an old lady that has an infinite amount of space and can seemingly generate objects at will (it's my unused tool to set them on the right track if needed).

After some more planet-hopping and strange adventures, they wound up on a small planet with an unusually large, blue moon. On the planet, they met a very friendly hotel owner who took them in and explained much to them. The aliens who abducted them were known as the Alon: an enormous faction of aliens from across the galaxy with the single goal of protecting it from the 'cursed'.

109 also met a new NPC by the name of Ruben. Ruben is an extremely thin and tall boy who talks and acts extremely detached and lethargic. To their horror, they also discovered that Ruben had a very unhealthy fascination with bones (he stripped a dead bird down to it's skeleton in seconds right before their eyes).

Before long, the hotel manager shuttled 109 onto an outbound cargo ship. Unfortunately for them, the pilot suffered a heart-attack in mid flight. 109 crash-landed on yet another nameless planet. There, 109 met the Hollest: a primitive race living off the land. Our heroes made their home here for several months, learning many of the Hollest's ways before yet another Alon attack drove them off the planet yet again - this time aboard a hijacked Alon vessel.

When it inevitably crashed, they tried to find another home-away-from-home. After exploring a massive plastic castle ruled by a living doll, and encountering a giant clay golem in the woods, they finally arrived at the setting for the bulk of 109's story so far: the floating city of Lud.


Sorry for the jaded and rushed explanation on all that. I honestly don't remember a whole lot of details and events from those sessions, and I admittedly didn't care for any of them (although, I love Ruben). A few of the places they visited may come back into play in the future, but I haven't decided yet. I mostly wanted to breeze over those recaps anyway, since they fall into the "Zilla doesn't know what the hell he's doing" category. Once I got everybody on Lud, things started to fall into place and I suddenly had a concrete story to create. Everything before was mostly to get my players used to their characters and the constant threat of the Alon.

I guess I'm just not good at beginnings, but once I get that ball rolling, I'm able to make things happen. I won't say it's easy. Far from it. In fact, there are still many times where I still get a bit of stage-fright and anxiety from running these. It sounds so stupid, considering I'm doing this with my friends who have already seen me at my best and worst, but it still happens from time-to-time.

Anyway, next time I'm going to explain more about the Alon and why they are so important to the Happy Force universe.

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