Back to the Future

Playlist: The Times they Are a'Changin - Bob Dylan

The Pit, Glemt Øe, Norwegian Sea, Monday 2nd June 1941, 18:03

Keeper Note: Some Nomenclature; Past Palladion refers to the item as discovered in Atlantis at its' fall; Future Palladion to the pieces quested for and recovered by the PCs during this adventure.

Gathered in a rough arc around the Gate, the team and allies could still see the side-temple garden through the arched opening, at the end of an apparent fifty-foot corridor of coruscating rainbow light. A hole in reality, it appeared to intersect the Nazi machine that still rumbled and crackled in their own time.

Senator Leandros

What they could also see was Senator Leandros, emerged from the portal hot on Marcus' heels, and still clutching the Aten Life Giver - the power source for the Past Palladion.

Marcus glared at him, remembering his name from one of the books he had read as a prime mover in the scattering of the Palladion. "He has to go back!" he bellowed over the noise of the Bifrost. Birapeer turned and spotted him. With a lunge, he and Anné siezed hold of the great golden disc, trying to wrench it from the Atlantean's hands; but utter terror had given Leandros energy, and he clung to it desperately while trying to force his way past the team - away from the things destroying his city.

The Aten Life Giver

Joe and Thor joined them, laying hold of the disc as well, while Anné shifted to trying to pull Leandros away from them. No-one could have resisted the combined force of those brawny four, and it was pulled from his hands. Birapeer was yelling Marcus' information at him, telling him that history recorded his survival and that he would live, but realized Leandros was screaming back at him - and that he could not understand a word. Whatever effect of the Bifrost had left the team able to communicate with the citizens was gone. Birapeer shoved him away, into the gateway, but his hope that it would suck him back was vain; Leandros just stumbled into the 'tunnel'.

Captain Thomiedes

Behind him, the armoured forms of Thomiedes and his two surviving soldiers loomed up as they moved down the 'tunnel', energy spears levelled. He barked a command at Anné and Thor but Anné's grasp of the language wasn't sufficient to understand him. He seemed to have a very strange accent - or maybe she did; it was his language after all. He pushed the Senator behind him and took up a guarding stance.

Behind them, Marcus came into sight, hefting the Blevins Steam Gun. He pointed back down the corridor, shouting "You. Go. Back. There!" and hefting the weapon. His words were ineffective as he knew no Atlantean - but his body language, backed with the bizzare weapon, luminous green steam seeping from vents along the side as the power pack came up to operating pressure. Anné shoved Leandros backwards. "Sorry," she said, "but this is your Destiny!" Ignoring her, he pushed and shoved, still struggling to get past her.

Keeper Note: Unbeknownst to the players, having any piece of the Past Palladion in the Future was going to prevent the Bifrost closing - regardless of damage done to the generator. As will be seen, this throw was half the saving of the world from a terrible unnatural disaster.

Birapeer hefted the disc of the Aten and squinted down the 'tunnel'. Straight to the middle stump, he thought, and bowled it with all his British Indian cricketer's skill. With a faint, eerie moan as it turned in the air, the glittering thing hurtled down through the Ages, past the desperate grab of the Atlantean Captain, and bounced across the grass in the garden beyond.

While all this was happening, the badly wounded Cyril had rammed a pad against his injury to slow the bleeding and made his way to the north-eastern generator of the four attached to the Bifrost. A quick examination showed him where the controls were, and he simply turned it off. The diesel engine spluttered and died, and the humming and crackling of the machine dropped in level.

Birapeer brought up his Bren, fully prepared to shoot the four Atlanteans, but his eyes met Thomiedes' and - again - the empathy of soldiers flashed. Bellowing in Italian in lieu of any other means of communication, beard and mustaches bristling, he lifted his aim and put two rounds through the ceiling of the 'tunnel' instead. It shuddered and crackled, and pieces of reality began to be visible through the fabric. Behind him, Marcus began to pantomine the casting of magic - effectively, as he knew how to do it for real. The combination began to intimidate the Atlanteans, who began to back away.

Cyril's actions had not gone unnoticed. Sprinting to the south-eastern generator, Anné looked over the controls without understanding. No time to experiment, she thought, grabbed up a piece of spare metal blasted free by one of the original grenades, and rammed it into the mechanism. The generator died in a scream of tortured metal and a cloud of smoke, and the Bifrost weakened again.

And then everything changed.

Shudde M'ell

The far end of the 'tunnel' went dark as something vast occluded the light, and an immense bulk rammed itself into the entrance. A vast, worm-like shape with no discernable head, but uncountable tentacles writhing and reaching began to force its way through, accompanied by a number of far smaller versions of itself - Chthonians, Marcus concluded. Shudde M'ell had come, drawn to the energies of the Bifrost.

Instantly, the four Atlanteans fled for the Future side of the 'tunnel'. It only took a moment's consideration for the team to back up and allow them out of the portal; on the scale of Man versus the Great Old One, they were all on the same side. Once through, Thomiedes and his men spun to face the threat, but Leandros, panicked one more, fled blindly towards the wreckage of the German encampment. Thor dived after him, tackled his legs and brought him down.

Keeper Note: There was a great deal of laughter as poor Thor got a tentacle up his bum. Sorry, Arthur!

Tentacles lashed across the pit, seeming to be everywhere at once. One went clean through one of the Atlantean guards, tearing him almost in half; another clanged off Joe's helmet. A third struck Thor; as he was flat on his face, it unfortunately took him from the rear, tearing into him and draining blood and other vital fluids in a great draught.

Atlantean Power Staff

Beside him, Joe backpedalled across the pit, his Bren gun hammering. Bullets thudded into and ripped through tentacles, showering black fluids, though on the vast scale of the Beast, tiny scratches. Side-by-side with him, Thomiedes levelled his power staff and a bolt of blue energy blasted at the enemy. It failed to hit a tentacle but blasted a ragged hole in the 'tunnel', seeming to weaken it more.

Rounding the cable from the generators she'd just disabled, Anné sprinted half-way to the next one, dropped to one knee and levelled her rifle, aiming at the same spot she'd attacked on the first one. The copper-jacketed round slammed into the generator and it burst into sooty flames, crackling and sparking as it died.

Tacmap as at the end of the fight- click it for larger image!

Birapeer was preparing to draw his tulwar and sell his life dearly as the others backed off. At that moment, Cyril reached the last generator, wrenched the safety cover off and slammed his hand down on the Halt button. The engine coughed and died - and the Bifrost time portal vanished instantly. From the literally cataclysmic level of noise before, everything went dead silent, a silence punctuated only by the thumps of severed tentacles dropping to the earth, to writhe and twitch for a long time.

As it closed, everyone felt a deep, fundamental shift in reality; an indescribable sensation of adjustment. Glancing fearfully around, they were reassured - everyone seemed to still be there. Marcus frowned; one thing was different. The grenade blast where Charlie had been mortally wounded, and the few fragments of bone and equipment left behind when they'd hauled him away, were gone, as if they'd never been. Was he never here at all? wondered the professor.

Once everyone's wounds were bandaged and cared for, there was a discussion about the Bifrost generator. Should it be kept - a working Time Machine? Joe was the most vocal against this, Marcus in favour. It was pointed out that a significant blood sacrifice, as well as use of the blue Atlantean crystals, was required to make it work. Joe's compromise was to let Marcus and Cyril sketch, photograph and analyse the device while he assembled all the explosives they had left, plus the fuel from the diesel generators, to blow the thing up.

Prof Deadman

There was also extensive discussion on how badly the things they'd done in the past might have affected the Now in which they found themselves. Birapeer considered that killing the three survivors might help, but most of the rest felt that any damage was now done. Marcus recalled that one of Deadman's dearest obsessions was with Atlantis, and noted that the American professor might just kill them if robbed of the chance to meet and speak to three real live Atlanteans.

The dead Guard's power staff lay near his ripped corpse, and Birapeer picked it up, looking at it with interest. Marcus quietly took samples of the tentacles, tucking the glass bottles away in his coat with a quiet, disturbing chuckle.

Stefan Gulbrandsen

Finally, the pyre was ready, the four pylons toppled into the centre atop their remaining charges, loose pieces stacked on top, all soused with diesel. As the group left the pit heading for the anchorage on the far side of the island, Joe triggered the detonator and the machine was enveloped in flames.

Back at the anchorage, they found that Gulbrandsen had things under control. The opposition had turned out to be a mixture of Danish and Kriegsmarine sailors rather than combat troops, and most had been captured and disarmed. According to their officer, the KDM Nordlys was due back with supplies in twelve days. Making sure their radio was smashed, the party elected to leave them to wait for it.

Glemt Øe, Norwegian Sea, Tuesday 3rd June 1941, 09:13


With the Gate they'd used to get to Greenland a one-way affair, the team faced a problem; how to get back to England. Various ideas were floated, but in the end it was decided to try - again - the summoning of a Byakhee star-steed as a means of travelling home. Not without trepidation, Anné settled to the spell, playing the correct atonal notes again and again on the silver whistle the ritual required.

The first try was unsuccessful, for no reason anyone could tell.

Glemt Øe, Norwegian Sea, Wednesday 4th June 1941, 08:16

Again, her casting of the Summoning was flawless; so successful that an enormous specimen of the kind appeared. Unfortunately, she proved no more successful at Binding one than she had before, and it plunged from the sky, talons readied to rend her for her temerity. She and Thor scrambled over each other, each trying to hide behind the other as Anné fumbled for a handgun. Then Marcus opened up with the Blevins Enzymatic Steam Gun and practically griddled the thing.

Sorcery was ever an unreliable tool...

Session Date: 21st April 2020 - in CyberSpace!