Pax Artificium - Second Half - Wednesday 01

During the six months after the death and dismemberment of Sitruc and Noj, members of the "band" have gone their separate ways, occasionally staying in touch. Since then, Pax has been rebuilt. Roughly a third of the population has left Pax, deciding for various reasons that the strange goings on aren't worth being there.

Worldwide, the organized monster attacks have ceased entirely. The creatures are still out there in the wild, occasionally making headlines with an attack or two. Things have seemed to fall back to normal.

Anti-terrorism has been collapsing. Until the next election in 2036, Senate Majority Leader Morgan Russell has been confirmed as president. Many congress members are reversing their stances on outsourcing security and other vital functions to the corporate enterprises. Most responsibilities have been reverted back to governmental agencies.

The war between China-India-Russia and the US-Europe has ended. Various political rife from before the war is returning back into lime-light of the world stage. It is rumored that a conflict in Asia is likely.

In local news

The Pax Miracles, who have been on hiatus, will have their first game tomorrow afternoon (January 1, 2034).

Fireworks and light displays tonight at Pax above Masterson Park are expected to draw thousands as the city celebrates the reconstruction of the city. I'm sure Buck is up there somewhere smiling down on the citizens of our fair town.

With Buck's sad death, Chuck Xavier is expected to win the mayor race early next year.

In world news

The Strategic Improvements Corporation court case determining ownership of the multi-trillion dollar corporation was settled out of court. The former board members have come to some sort of agreement. Former StratCo Vice President Ingolf Rixmann was named the new CEO.

Pre-session character developments

Sara, now six months pregnant, continues to spread the word of Janell. She plans to host the annual New Years gathering at the Garden as usual this year.

Moses Morningbird has just moved to Pax two months ago, and has begun defending it from the forces of evil, while maintaining a mild-mannered secret identity.

In his spare time, Josef has been attempting to unlock the powers of his mind, track down PaleDeathKnight761, and recruit an elite team of thieves. Eight members have signed on, including an assassin called "Carnivore" and a hacker named "Grimm."

Gerald traveled to the Himalayas, located the entrance into the dwarven lands, and went to visit them. He learned that they had been at war with the gnomes for over a hundred years, and though their superior craftsmanship had kept the gnomes and their evil magic at bay in the past, the gnomes had invented thunderous tools that killed from afar, and were now winning the war. However, before Gerald's eyes, the tide of the war turns again, as a strange sickness spreads throughout the gnomish peoples, caused by the magic they had harmlessly wielded for so long.

Session start: Friday, December 30, 2033 – evening PST

Grimm tells Josef of a transport from Bakersfield to Pax Artificium happening tomorrow afternoon, carrying a large supply of cash reserves for First Pax Artificium Bank. Josef organizes his group to make a strike against the convoy. The next morning, Josef and his team head to the desert to prepare their ambush.

Meanwhile, General Leo enlists Gerald (who has recently returned from the dwarven lands along with a gnome named Pip) to take his squad to Bakersfield for an escort assignment. Their mission is to protect a convoy carrying valuable goods on its way to Pax Artificium.

Moses, who works at a cafe often frequented by Gerald and his men, overhears them talking about their upcoming mission. He gets an odd feeling that he may be needed there and decided to help guard the convoy covertly.

That afternoon, Sara is making preparations for the night's festivities at the Garden when her two guardians, Sartus and Benek, appear. "My lady," they warn, "Your friends are in danger. They have been deceived." The wraiths offer to transport Sara to the scene if she wishes.

In the desert, just as the team is about to strike, the convoy suddenly vanishes as it is driving down the road. Gerald and his squad find themselves in an area with many trees. They swerve to avoid the obstacles and stop the vehicles.

Getting out of the APCs, they are confronted with a serene-looking woman dressed in natural robes. "You will pay for your sins against Gaia, she announces as she raises her hand toward the squad. They scream as their hands and arms are torn from their bodies by an unseen force. Some of them even collapse as their hearts explode forth from their chests. All the organs float toward the druid then fall into a pile on the ground, which bursts into flames.

Enraged, Gerald charges the woman, but several pixies appear in the trees above and pepper him with arrows until he collapses into unconsciousness.

Meanwhile, Moses (as Speed Demon) following the convoy from further back, sees it disappear from the road ahead and moves to investigate. Flying in from above, he enters the grove as well, and his keen hearing enables him to hear the skirmish below. He is horrified when he sees the dead men from the squad.

Sara and her wraiths appear next to Josef, who tries to hide his surprise. Sara explains that Josef is walking into a trap. The wraiths elaborate, saying that someone altered the Magitech transport logs, faking today's transport.

Josef orders most of his team back to Los Angeles, but tells Lance Kodiak to go to Bakersfield and track down Grimm, who he suspects faked the transport log entry, and who has been reporting on the status of the caravan from Bakersfield.

Josef, Carnivore and Sara drive toward the area where the convoy disappeared, and also find themselves suddenly in the strange grove. The druid appears once they get out of the car. "Defiler of nature," she says as she tears Josef's hands from his body. He screams and lashes out with destructive magic, knocking the wind out of the druid.

[GM's note: I'll finish this write-up later when I have time...]

Session end: Friday, December 31, 2033 – 1430 PST

XP: 6000