Ashes of a fading hope

Episode 4: Anarchy in the UK

Moonjava and Basilica have a plan: create a distraction, catch the murderer.

While Julian escorts the council to Inverness and Moonjava rides the train to the edge of the city, Basilica decides to set up the demoleculiser in the sanctum. To get the giant nuclear-powered monstrosity from the physics lab to its new home he goes for the most sensible plan: Get some students to drag it along on wooden rollers!

At this point, the GM interjects that this is a stupid idea. Basilica does not care. The GM says not to do it. Basilica does not care. The GM pleads with him. Basilica does not care.

Returning to the sanctum, Moonjava is horrified when a few hours later the BBC reports a terrorist event near Whitehall. Pretending to be a CIA agent he succeeds in convincing the SAS to merely capture Basilica (at the cost of the lives of five students)instead of killing him.

Moonjava is caught out in his ruse. This leads to fighting for his life from Prince Philip: servant of the Exarchs, barely escaping. Meanwhile a kneecapped Basilica has a bad case of paradox, drastically ageing a large chunk of a military hospital/prison and its inhabitants. Long story short, he gets rescued and the council is forced to flee the country.

Next Week on Ashes of a Fading Hope: Werewolves! Metal! Nobody is going to die!

Episode Three: We Have a Plot Now...

Our adventure resumes where it left off; with our heroes confronted in the pub by an infuriated Dave. Lisa, he explained, had gone missing. No, he didn’t know where she could have gone. No, he thought she had been with Basilica and Moonjava. No, he didn’t know why Moonjava had beheld a great red eye upon trying to scry for Lisa and being catapulted out of his seat. These were all very good questions with which to commence an adventure!
That adventure was suddenly sidetracked, however, when the senior mage Orias approached our intrepid duo with more unfortunate news. Balam, another senior mage, had been murdered in a grisly fashion by an unknown assailant. Basilica was quickly promoted to fill his seat on the Council, and just as quickly delegated the task of investigating the murder along with Moonjava. Putting their werewolf allies to one side for a moment, our heroes opted for the adventure inflicted upon them by authority instead.
They were sent via a one-way portal to Balam’s Sanctum, where they discovered his mutilated form and a curious copy of the Lesser Key of Solomon – a copy with Balam’s own page torn out. Basilica employed all of his magical might and prodigious prowess to ascertain that (A) there had been a murder, and (B) that Balam had probably died of the shock of being torn open. Basilica then proceeded to beat his head against a wall, while Moonjava made contact with the guardian of the Sanctum’s corridor, an alligator with a sword for a face. Throughout a lengthy questioning, our heroes determined that the guardian ad detected no intruders from the corridor, clashing with Orias’s own account of events. The guardian, being limited in its function, was unable to provide much more.
Leaving the Sanctum proved problematic, however, when the door leading to the exit remained out of reach despite constant running, and attempts to circumvent this with portals by Moonjava only resulted in gravity flipping and him injuring himself on the guardian’s face. A spiteful follow-up attack only resulted in Moonjava injuring his hand on the guardian’s face, which was when our heroes decided that the Sanctum had lost its charm, and proceeded to attempt to leave with another portal.
Things became peculiar at this point. Our heroes apparently emerged into the pub, and tried to spirit Moonjava away to a hospital. The nearest turned out to be their university’s own teaching hospital, which was currently host to Rolf Harris presenting a Moonjava-centric version of Animal Hospital. Sequential events involved Basilica shocking the wounds on Moonjava into cauterisation, Rolf Harris wheeling Moonjava through a field of orphans and spiders, Fascist Jack putting on a concert for said orphans, Moonjava becoming utterly entranced by Rolf, and Basilica only belatedly realising that they were likely to be trapped in some sort of illusion. He was able to shock himself and Moonjava out of it, discovering that they had been induced into the illusory state by the aliigator guardian, which Moonjava promptly killed.
Escaping, they finally got Moonjava to a proper hospital, and discovered in their absence that not had another senior mage, Valefor, been killed in an even grislier fashion, but that a general election was in progress. Orias brought them to the scene of Valefor’s blood-eagling, where they once discovered a torn copy of the Lesser Key of Solomon. Determining other missing pages, they were able to pinpoint Amon as the next victim. They arrived at his Sanctum, but were repelled by an unseen force, and were unable to prevent him from being killed by the mysterious assailant.
Emergency measures were taken. The entire Council, including several archmages, were relocated to the living room of Basilica and Moonjava’s Sanctum. A happy evening was whiled away with the Council and the gradually-sexier vampire Jeffrey on time-shifted copies of the seven Star Wars movies. Events came to an unhappy close, however, when one of the archmages – one Belzebuth – was discovered decapitated and partially flushed down the Sanctum’s bathroom during a brief moment of separation. Panic ensued. Plans for roping the mages together like ducklings were drawn up and implemented. It was clearly time to bring the werewolves back into events.
Our two heroes got Dave’s agreement to act as a sort-of-guard for the mages, while Julian went off to investigate the deaths of the mages on his own. Baslica and Moonjava met up with him later in Amon’s Sanctum, after hearing about the news of the general election’s results. The Conservative and Unionist Party had carried the day, and one Margaret Thatcher had become Prime Minister. This could only bode well.
Upon returning to their Sanctum, however, the situation turned from debatably-terrible to definitely-terrible. The mages had been attacked and blinded, Buer had been killed, and Dave lay dying and broken. Investigating the Polaroid he had managed to take in his last moments, our heroes saw an image that only raised more questions than it provided answers.
Lisa, next to the glimpsed great red eye.
Next week, on Ashes of a Fading Hope:
“Don’t worry! Everyone knows spiders are notoriously averse to nitroglycerine!”
“What part of ‘Quick, distract the Queen!’ sounded like TELEPORT HER TO THE BLOODY MOON?!”
“Are you all they can muster, Heroes of London? I feel almost sorry for you. But I still intend to enjoy this.”

Episode Two: Spiders Everywhere

We rejoin our onstage at the local public house, as Werewolf Explodes a Punk, London’s leading exponents of upside-down sitar-rock, performs their inaugural gig to a small crowd of politely baffled bar-patrons. Ground-breaking as the act most surely is, commercial success seems unlikely. Can artistic integrity trump the siren-call of popularity?
Fortunately, or perhaps not, our heroes were rescued from their dilemma by the arrival of a bad-tempered senior mage: Balam, come bearing the timely gifts of arcane busywork. The stench, he explained, was growing intolerable, and the lack of answers was forcing the senior mages to mobilise even the most unreliable of their subordinates. Clear enough as it was that Balam had no over-abundance of faith in the troublesome duo, they possessed something which he did not, the favour the local werewolf packs, and so an as yet-unpursued line of investigation into the stench.
While Balam wearily informed our heroes of their mission, the werewolves were receiving some instructions of their own from a scarificially uglified figure known only as “Dave”. Although the werewolves proved reluctant to show what they knew of the stench, a combination of good-favour and chiselled jaws allowed our heroes to strike a deal: if they helped the werewolves fulfil their obligations to Dave and his various facial mutilations, they would share what little they knew.
London, Lisa explained, was being visited by the Azlu, the spider-hosts. A pair of blank stares prompted elaboration, allowing an enthusiastic Julian to dive into a far-fetched story of wolf-gods, spider-queens and the lost world of Pangea. Locate the Azlu, Lisa instructed, – and whatever you do, don’t confront him! Not a little sceptical, our heroes returned to their sanctum, and set about researching the creatures. After a few horrifying hours, our heroes gather that the Azlu are spider-demons, cheerful creatures with an endearing habit of devouring humans and wearing their skin. Particularly favoured are those of high status and noble blood- the former offering the most valuable costumes the latter a particularly delectable meal. Contacts are contacted, meditation-spaces prepared, and after some wining, dining and a few cosmic bong hits later, they have a name: Lord Jonathan Marlsby, who disappeared briefly a few days ago, only to return suspiciously without explanation.
The young lord is discovered to be a student at the University of London, the theoretical employer of our work-sheer protagonists, and as luck would have it, in one of Moonjava’s own classes. During a tutorial, the rest of the class is dismissed, Basilica summoned and the young lord confronted, Moonjava wisely observing that rules exist to be completely ignored. Like any self-respecting blue-blood, Marlsby does not take kindly to these presumptuous plebeians, and a scuffle ensues. Moonjava leaped to demonstrates the Eastern art of braining oneself against a radiator, but a more on-the-ball Basilica, drawing on his days as an army prizefighter- and, if it must be known, a cattle-prod which he merely happened to have about his person- managed to subdue Marlsby and tie him to a chair.
Briefly considering skinning Marslby alive to see if there’s a giant spider underneath, our heroes decide that they may be just a little out of their depth. Instead, the prisoner is secured inside Basilica’s physics laboratory, and the werewolves are called. Lisa and Julian arrive sooner after, less than totally impressed by the turn of events, bringing with them an associated by the name of Sandy. With the application of ancient werewolf truth-divination techniques that appear only to the uninitiated as violent torture, it is determined that, while Marslby is not the Azlu, he knows where it can be found. Tragically, the interrogation proves too much for Marslby’s aristocratic constitution, and the former aristocratic is partially-fed into the laboratory’s demoleculiser, Basilica solemnly observing that he would not be the first student to inadvertently contribute himself to scientific advanvement.
Setting off to confront the Azlu, the werewolves bring out heroes to a well-appointed Victorian mansion, greeted at the door by a well-spoken young maid. In what seems a rash move, Sandy shifts into the form of a giant, slathering wolf-man, and seizes the maid by the throat, pushing her forward into the house. Before the propriety of this gesture can be considered, the maid reciprocates, her skin peeling away to reveal a huge, red spider. Spewing acid, the Azlu twists out of Sandy’s grip, and a flood of tiny, biting spiders fill the room. The werewolves seem to lose their confidence- but not before out dynamic duo spring into action!
Through the well-established formula, “portals + swords = dead things”, Moonjava is able to banish the demon, while the quick-thinking physicist makes use of matter-magic and a cattle-prod to flash-fry her minions. Escorting our heroes from the premises, which by total coincidence seem to have burst into flames- faulty wiring, our heroes nod sagely- the werewolves share what they know. Mother London is dying. The spiritual fabric of the city is infected, putrefying, and unless something is done about it very quickly, things will not bode well for London. What can be done about this, our heroes demand, but to no avail: the werewolves know what is wrong, but not why, or how to resolve it.
Troubled, our heroes return to the pub, to the welcoming arms of Ex-fascist Jack and his soothing screeches. Reporting their discovery, our heroes meet not a little incredulity, but for want of a better lead, they are told to see what more they can discover. Before their next move can be considered, the mysterious Dave bursts into the pub, eyes-blazing- Lisa has been kidnapped!

Next time, on Ashes of a Fading Hope:
“Whadda you mean, the entire orphanage contributed itself to science!?”
“Why are there not more spiders, is my question?”
“With dynamite on your side, nothing can go wrong!”

Episode One: A Bit of a Jam

Something was rotten in the heart of London. The senior mages could see that much. And when senior mages observe, delegation inevitably follows.
Moonjava and Basilica, two professors recently awakened to the darker world around them, were retained by Orias to attend to disturbed spirits at the Marble Arch. After some amount of sobering up and punk-shaming, they agreed and were off.
Taking a portal to the Arch, the intrepid duo almost immediately found the cause for the disturbed spirits in the form of a tear in the Gauntlet, the barrier dividing the real world from the world of shadows. After this discovery, and while debating courses of action, they were then witnesses to a murder. An unknown man – with whom they would later cross paths – shoved a boy into an oncoming train, drawing a flurry of attention from sprits of death in the vicinity.
This provoked two differing courses of action from our two heroes; with Moonjava attempting a sensible plan by attempting to teleport the boy out of harm’s way, and unfortunately failing by teleporting himself into an occupied train bathroom. Basilica in turn pursued a downright stupid plan by transitioning into the shadow world to confront the death spirits by himself, and found himself rewarded with some form of success when a werewolf intervened in the battle. The werewolf, who took the form of mild-mannered punk singer Julian Cope by day and a slavering vigilante by night, shared the goal of fixing the Gauntlet with the mages.
Basilica and Moonjava met up and returned to their underground Sanctum to recover and research the Gauntlet, with Moonjava discovering doing so would require exorcizing the spirits around the station. They were interrupted, however, by a messenger – one ‘Jeffrey Greenbanks’, a not-sexy vampire serving the Baroness of the Underground. Rent for their property was demanded and promised, in exchange for ‘Jeffrey’’s promise that he would return in a sexier form.
They returned to the Marble Arch, where they found waiting for them the unknown man from before – Johnny Rotten, another punk singer and a mortal Hunter – who was determined to slay those he deemed ‘witches’. He drew his sword, and between him and our heroes, a mighty battle was joined.
The said battle was very brief, exceedingly horrific, and involved a stray sword, the laws of gravity, and portals in ways portals were never meant to be used. Johnny ended up as jam smeared all over the floor and across the astonished Basilica and traumatised Moonjava. Julian joined them in the aftermath, and promised to bring a friend who could help with the tear. All Moonjava and Basilica had to do was to hold their ground until she arrived, and hold their ground they did; accounting for another materialising spirit before Julian’s friend – Lisa – arrived and negotiated with the spirits, including the station’s genius spirit.
The tear, it emerged, would be repaired in time and assisted by the station’s spirit. In return, the station was to never see Moonjava again, and was to receive five hundred pounds-worth of gold. Two successful heists from a jewellery store yielded the required amount, although the second ended with Basilica being arrested. Shenanigans with claimed legal authority, portals, and boobs were sufficient to get him free; and the duo could finally report their mission complete.
But what of the vampires, of the mysterious forces behind Johnny Rotten, and of Moonjava’s ill-advised promise to play the sitar in a band?
What of them? For now, our heroes rest easy, drunkenly, and complacent. What future calamities would have even the slightest risk of arising?

Next week, on ‘ASHES OF A FADING HOPE’…
“The bomb, you bastard! What’s the code for the BOMB?”
“No, Moonjava, I am your father.”
“Jeffrey? I…I’m pregnant. And you’re the father.”
“Punch the universe where it hurts, in three – two – ONE!”

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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