Last week in Scions of Time, March 28th, we skipped even further ahead in time from The Crystal Sphere to a point where Challenger and Stacy had picked up a heavy metal rocker named Draketooth and reunited with Lionel Stroller, now advanced in years after settling down on a far-off planet for a time.
The ship lands to what the travelers discovered to be the roaring applause of a concert audience. In his element, Draketooth leaps to join the band in an encore rendition of . . . something. Nobody else in the band with whom he jams is terribly certain what they are playing, but it seems to please the crowd. Stacy is greatly displeased by the licentious behavior of the band’s hangers-on, but fails to make much of an impression with her impassioned pleas to the audience or the participants in the after-show party. Lionel discovers they must be in the Fillmore East, sometime in the early 1970s judging by the dates on the show posters papering the backstage wall. Discouraged, Stacy stomps off to do “angry dishes” in the ship, now disguised as a stack of amplifiers, which is later moved out to the loading deck by a roadie.
Meanwhile, Draketooth, Lionel and Challenger fall in with the band, the Star Children. Leaving the Fillmore, they are beset by fans, photographers and a very concerned older woman who addresses the lead singer, “Wolfbrother,” pleading for Matthew to come home. This and following conversation at the diner made Lionel suspicious. Remarks about expanding their audiences’ minds to new influences and the band members’ general vagueness about where they came from causes Lionel to probe deeper as subtly as he can. About this time, he suddenly notices all the band members have brilliantly violet eyes.
Back on the loading dock of the Fillmore, Stacy emerges from her “angry dishes” to discover everyone has gone, except for a disreputable looking fellow in a shabby raincoat. Eventually introducing himself as Steven Greer, the self-proclaimed journalist for The Unquiet Times finds a red-hating kindred spirit in Stacy. She informs him of all the licentious, unamerican behavior going on at these rock shows.
The travelers reunite when Stacy and her new friend track them to the diner. Wolfbrother and the Star Children invite them all to join “their community.” This turns out to be a combination of shanty town and festival in Central Park. Stacy notified a mounted policeman of the vagrants in the park while Lionel seeks out more violet-eyed people in the crowd.
More mounted police appear to roust the community from the park. Lionel takes advantage of the ruckus to corner one of the violet-eyed people and extracts a surprising amount of information from him, revealing he is one of many psychic travelers who have come to Earth to flee their own planet, taking over the bodies of susceptible humans. The dust settles from the rousting of the Star Children’s squatter community, giving Challenger and his companions the opportunity to track “Wolfbrother” to the precinct where the police have taken him.
Challenger opens with a strong approach, offering the aliens blank clones and a world to be named later in exchange for leaving the humans they have possessed. When discussion of how Challenger intends to pull this off causes the offer to begin to ring hollow — and the Time Lord threatens to block the technology that allows the aliens to send their consciousnesses across the interstellar voids, the Star Child reacts poorly, announcing “The invasion begins!”
Lighting fixtures in the police station shine impossibly brightly, then explode. The effect radiates outward from the interrogation room, as though power were being drained from the city grid by something with an insatiable appetite. The travelers are distinctly non-plussed.
This session really clicked for me. There was a level of energy that I hadn’t felt before. I think a lot of that came from the players, as we had a line-up shuffle. Alex started playing his heavy metal character, who is much more high energy than the star fighter pilot Lieutenant Gorman. Nonny’s really gotten into her airhead car-hop character. Dan returned as Lionel after an absence, and got into it with gusto. Munk as Challenger really jumped into things at the end, trying to intimidate the Star Children into negotiating.
A lot of the successful vibe about this session came from the characters. Their players were engaged and their characters showed it, particularly in how they interacted. As a GM, I feed off the enthusiasm they bring to the table, so knowing they’re happy help makes me happy. Everybody wins.