Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Everett Blake Returns!

Everett Blake Crossover 3: Fade to Grey
Lady Penelope takes Everett Blake seventy years forward to 1982 London to show him how people dress, dance and party in the future – well, at least that was the plan until the Time Lady and the Edwardian psychic investigator met a very special girl and the grey ghost hanging over her. Underneath the decadent Paradise Lost nightclub, something silent and sinister waits for the end of the world, preying on those who would do anything to be the next icon of the new romantic twilight. A tale of false promises, lost souls and stolen voices.

I had posted THIS on the excellent DWAITAS forum before running the episode... 

So how did it go?  

Well, it went very well. It was perhaps a bit short and could probably have benefitted from an extra plot twist- but all this was more than counterbalanced by my two players' stellar roleplaying performance, including the interactions with Miranda, the crossdressing Blitz kid who acted as the main plot hook / endangered NPC of this scenario. In fact, things went so well between them and Miranda that, once all ths trouble with the Gods of Twilight was over, Everett and Miranda had a short & happy affair - started in 1982 and ending (more discreetly) in 1912, after Penelope had taken the psychic investigator back. Yes, Miranda boarded the TARDIS for a short temporal escapade... and then decided to try some more time-travelling in Lady Penelope's company, preferably in "flamboyant spots", just for fun and thrills. So Lady Penelope's next regular episode will feature this new (presumably temporary - but who knows?), unexpected companion - see you at the Moulin-Rouge!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Season 12, Episode 6

Episode 6: The Cardiff Syndrome
2012: following the closure of the Cardiff Rift and the departure of Jack Harkness from Earth, Torchwood 3 was dismantled, its Hub closed and its Rift Manipulator disassembled. 2018: Everything Changes – again. The Rift has reopened and an ancient, unstoppable evil is rising from oblivion. Can Penelope and Gwen Cooper prevent the return of Abaddon the Devourer?

In Lady Penelope's Odyssey, the closure of the Cardiff Rift was one of the most important events of Season Four (yes, this takes us way back - back THERE, actually) - but I felt like reopening it once again and the recent space-time cosmic crisis generated by the reassembly of the Key to Time and  the return of Gallifrey from the Time War gave me the perfect excuse to justify this kind of continuity-warping events. Everything Changes, right?

The actual plot of the episode involved the return of Bilis Manger (remember him?) who was attempting to bring back Abaddon into being by a complex process involving stealing and harnessing the psychic energy and sleeping time of a growing number of Cardiff citizens (hence the "Cardiff Syndrome" of the title) to create a "reality focus" acting as an interface-cum-beacon (yes, this is "psycho-techno-babble") and allowing the dispersed essence of Abaddon to reshape itself through the space-time maelstrom of the Rift...

Eventually, Penelope DID manage to defeat (and destroy?) Manger, using the time-honored method of turning a villain's weapon against himself - here, the process involved unleashing her own psychic strength AND the formidable power of her TARDIS through the psychic conduit which linked Manger to his growing army of sleepless psychic drones / puppets / pawns. A desperate, next-to-impossible move which involved massive expenditure of Story points and some lucky dice rolls - but in the end it succeeded and Penelope even managed to repair all collateral psychic damage...

The epilogue saw the resurrection of Torchwood Three - complete with its beloved Hub and a reassembled Rift Manipulator, with a new team entirely composed of existing NPCs - including Gwen Cooper, Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (grandson of the Brig, former time travel companion of Penelope and Torchwood One wonderkid), the time-sensitive Indira Kapur and a few others...  This new development creates a new "21st century anchor" for Lady Penelope's adventures, giving new roles to existing NPCs and reinforcing the sense of continuity of the campaign - Everything Changes but the Odyssey goes on!

One final note: in a way, this episode could be seen as a homage to the Torchwood series, just like the previous one was a tribute to Quatermass... now I might (not sure yet) complete this emerging pattern by another 'TV sci-fi show homage' episode - but our next episode will be what we now call an "Everett Special" - you remember Everett Blake, our occasional guest-star, don't you?  Check HERE and HERE for more details.