Background StoryThe Nature of the Experiment:
Dimensional RadiationThe General type of Experiment:
What Happens When We Expose a Human to This Weird Light Coming Through the Devil's Gate? The Sponsoring Organization:
The Coalition States (actually Desmond Bradford)Status with Sponsoring Organization:
Considered a failed experiment, they might try to recapture him if there's an easy opportunity, or if they learn the full extent of his powers.
John Altfeld was born in a small farming community outside Kingsdale, on the Kingsdale/Fort El Dorado trade road (he now only refers to it as 'Craphole'). The third son/fifth child of farmers, his life was one of hard work and toil. Whenever he could, he escaped to the woods, to hunt, fish and get away from the rigors of farm life. As one of so many children, he knew he wouldn't inherit the family farm and sometimes shirked his duties - only his skill at catching additional meat kept him in his parents' good graces, though his siblings thought he was lazy and didn't do his share.
John looked forward to the times that traveling merchants stopped in the town on their way to somewhere else more exciting or the Kingsdale regional defense force came through on patrol. Whether it was true or not, he believed that these visitors looked down on his community and its residents - in reality this was just a reflection of his growing dissatisfaction with the life he had inherited. It seemed to him that no one in the town ever tried to make anything better. Travelers spoke of the wonders of Kingsdale, of electricity and indoor plumbing, of air conditioning. But the town had none of these things and no one seemed to be trying to get them. Any high-tech weaponry and armor had been handed down or bought used and partially broken. John saw the caravan guards, the mercenaries, and Kingsdale forces and he knew, that if they wanted, they could kill every man, woman and child in his village. He felt vulnerable, and he HATED it.
One day, John was hunting. He had killed a deer and, as he was about to hang the kill for skinning, he heard a rustling in the brush. To his surprise, out popped a small dinosaur, which rushed John and his kill. Terrified, he climbed the nearest tree. He tried shooting the creature, but his conventional rifle did nothing, only making the lizard his at him in annoyance. The lizard called its friends and they ate the deer. And they stayed, watching John. All night they waited, until eventually giving up in the early morning. Hours later, John finally had the courage to climb down and make his way back to his home.
When he reported the dangerous pack of dinosaurs to the next Kingsdale patrol, the sergeant in charge listened to his description carefully. When John had finished, the man shrugged. "It's just a pack of Scampers," he said, "they can't do any real damage. Just pop them with a laser next time." The patrol left the next day.
The day after that, John left on the road to Kingsdale, hoping to become a Juicer.
When he arrived he found Kingsdale both exciting and overwhelming. He took out a room with a family in a poor part of town, with the intention of seeing the city before joining the Kingsdale Guard. In a few days of watching city life swirly around him, he had already noticed the dark nihilism that hid under juicer culture. Still, he went to the barracks to sign up - if he couldn't be a juicer at least he could be a warrior. After hearing about John's experience hunting and tracking, the captain on duty was happy to put him into the rangers unit, and John's training began. In addition to formally learning scouting, he was taught reading and writing and he cross-trained with mages. Seeing their power and the position of respect that the Kingsdale magical guild held, he knew he wanted to learn more - if he couldn't be a wizard, he could still find out how best to leverage this tool in the future. John's reading was voracious, but focused on magic's capabilities, its weaknesses, enchanted items, and anything that would be a strategic advantage. He also learned that gods were real.
For the next few years, John worked for the Kingsdale Guard as a ranger and scout, traveling as far as New Paducah, Whykin, and Fort El Dorado. He and the wilderness learned to respect each other. Then a Coalition strikeforce captured him and took him, along with more than a dozen other people to the Devil's gate. John never learned who had ordered the experiment or why he was taken, all he knew was that he and the other people were put in front of the open rift, inside the Coalition's containment bunker, where an eerie blue/white light shone on all of them. After ten minutes they were ordered by loudspeaker out of the containment area and into holding cells. A day later, the rift closed and opened onto another nightmarish hellscape. But all those who had been exposed to the light except John died. He changed, gaining the powers of a mighty housecat. A tall, imposing man in a lab coat declared the experiment a failure, and instructed the guards to dispose of John. While they were out of the room, John turned into a pile of pebbles and slipped out through the air vent in his cell, even though it was only a pipe.
Since the Coalition knew John was from Kingsdale, he hid in the wilderness for a year before heading to New Paducah, where he believed he could 'blend in.' He also believes it's a place where he can learn more about his powers, make use of them, and, perhaps one day, become a god himself.Old Mexico
Hired by Reed's Rangers (who have some WEIRD fashion sense), John traveled to Tampico to gauge the settlement's feelings about an alliance against the vampires. Unfortunately, he discovered that while they would likely be interested in fighting vampires, the Tampico fortress had been infiltrated and conquered by the Splugorth. After an attempt on his life, John escaped the fortress with the help of the Roughnecks and made his way to La Venta, where he hired on with the group, just in time for them to blow up most of Mexico, doing massive damage to the vampire kingdoms, and forcing the company to make their escape in the group's airplane and submarine, respectively.
Stuck in a terrifying underwater tin can, John traveled with most of the Roughnecks to Atlantis in order to pay back their 'benefactors' who had given them the locations of a number of vampire king blobs in exchange for a sightseeing tour. John spent the entire trip worried about his actual friends (and Murdoc) in the group airplane who were probably dead. In Atlantis, they found a village of refugees and gave them some smarmy aliens and a black box. John had a nice climb up Mt. Skull and hallucinated having an awesome fight with a tiny BBQ boy and finding a bunch of treasure. In the meantime, the rest of the team hallucinated their own pinatas only to discover that the town of refugees was locked in a battle between sea-based piranhas and land-based vampires. In a trust-building exercise, the Roughnecks killed a bunch of delicious fish and melted some vamps. They also saved a bunch of escaped Atlantean slaves.
The sub then went back to Mexico where it was discovered the Splugorth (Atlantis?) had tried to conquer sad little Tampico, only to be thwarted by a standard mercenary army. With vampires chomping at the bit to bite Splugorth bits, Commander Shades did some soul-searching, which made a god pop a land-bridge-boner that raised Evil Epcot above water level. Vampires flooded it.
Just before launching the attack, Team Subnecks got a call from the Plane-necks that they were okay, in-dimension, and ready to kick Spluvamp ass. Thus did operation "Burn Everything to the Ground" commence.
Deciding that saving Mexico was enough, the team dropped the refugees from Atlantis in Houston (cosmopolitan!) and then went home. Because anything is less crazy than that crap. Joint Taskforce Awesome vs. the Ridiculous Horror Dildo
The Roughnecks had barely gotten back from Mexico when they were summoned by Geoffrey "Geoff" Blackman to his... lair? Is it a lair if it's also an office?
They went to Geoff's place of business and found out that supervillain team The Spook Squad had also been invited to the lobby. Ushered into the big desk energy space, the two teams of unlikely partners that were definitely neither buddies, nor cops, learned that an evil god was coming to Earth soon and needed to be stopped.
That was it, no more information beyond a general direction and vague promises of pay.
Team Spooknecks went up the Ohio River and found a village of people being kidnapped by a Rasputin-looking guy in a red robe. They mostly stopped this, only to be harassed by a joint taskforce of busybodies from Magestar and the "True" Federation. After explaining the situation, the Spooknecks made fast friends with Peaches (the dragon), Greasy Joe, and Blubber. All of which were their real names.
In the end, the three groups of staunch warriors parted company, all agreeing to find additional help (how do you think that worked out, dear reader?).
The Spooknecks then continued their journey, fighting random evil a lot until getting to Stormspire, where they learned that Kazoo had (in)conveniently gone on vacation at that exact minute. This was due to the also suddenly imminent transposition of Nxla, the 'god' to Earth in the next four hours.
On the upside, Lahz's father was there to act like a sanctimonious jerk to 90% of the people making a difference and William "Man in Black" Summers found out his Dweomer private school headmaster was also a dick. After a little sucking up, said headmaster agreed to help out on not letting the world die. I guess because if people are dead, you can't also be a dick to them? It's at least got to be harder, right?
Team Save the World teleported to the site of the summoning ritual and handed the sex-pervert cult their asses. Which they kind of liked, unfortunately.
And then! The "True" Federation rifted in, allowing Nxla to enter our reality. Nxla, in case you don't know, is too big. It is bigger than John. It has way too many arms. It is ugly. And it can fly.
Team Save the World dog-piled the ridiculous horror dildo 'god' at which point some spooky ghosts came out and just sucked it back into its home dimension like a spirit-based vacuum.
A bunch of people died. But no one who mattered.
Last edited by John Altfeld
on Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:35 pm, edited 12 times in total.