Sentinel Comics RPG is one of the few games I get to play in and our awesome GM Tony has taken our randomly generated characters and our weirdness and run with it. He’s also kind enough to put together issue summaries at the end of each issue.
These are the stories that encapsulate our first “Collection” where we meet our heroes.
The heroes live in the metropolis of Fredericton which has grown to be Canada’s largest city by a large margin. It is the epitome of Canadian engineering, ingenuity and success over the last several decades. These days, Toronto feels small, insignificant. Saint John and Moncton have likewise grown into major population centers but cannot hope to rival the Province’s Capital. With success comes failure as well. Gangs rule the poor (the good ones own the rich). The docks are controlled by organized crime. The Police have turn a blind eye; influenced by cash, threats or worse. Saint John harbor is a mess of villainy. Yet something isn’t right. There is an anger, a frustration, in the air. The people are… everyone is… irritated. One who should have found rest is still in the realm of the living. How can this be? His price has been paid many times over. This must be rectified. Only then can he find his end.
Elsewhere, the Sinner has become the Saint and though they may resist the Relic, it may too much to overcome. There is a stirring in his soul; a dread that portends the end of days. Even the common folk can feel that something is coming; the the air is heavy, dense, foreboding. If the end of days are coming, the question is: should one repent and embrace god? Or should one embrace who they truly are and damn the consequences? Tensions are rising throughout the city. The cause of which is not natural to those few who can feel it. A former hero and a reluctant Saint reach out to the local Mystic in an attempt to find any answers they can find, only to find that their expert is running from his own problems – problems from beyond the moral realm. The end of days are coming. The signs are clear to one with the sight. Indeed, he can almost see
Issue #1: A Path paved with Good Intentions.
Reaper has risen again but he doesn’t know how or why. He seeks out the Alchemist in search of answers. David, not knowing the power he wields, does the same but receives a message from one of the Kingpin’s Lieutenants (Bukket) that Chief wants… something to do with Reaper. It’s hard to tell – she’s only a child after all. Meanwhile, the Alchemist attempts to meet a client unrelated to both. As they enter, Fionne realizes he is interviewing things that are not normal. The Reaper is a thing tied to Death itself; David, an Angel? A Gang named the Death Head Rangers mount an all-out assault on the restaurant that they are dining in in a clear attempt to assassinate Reaper. This is not a subtle attack, but a brazen assault that could only be sanctioned by one man, the Chief. Worse, an Elite assassin named Umbra has been contracted to put Reaper down once and for all. Umbra, by all accounts, will never stop until her target is terminated or the contract is revoked. During the fray, after the helpless are evacuated, Reaper demonstrates that he is not a moral being, the Alchemist steps between world to hinder their foes and David straight up annihilates a van by firing a blast of radiant energy from his pistol. Clearly these three are not moral men. Reaper literally sucks the soul out of a human being, Fionne drives off the assassin and David, somehow, survives a bullet to the brain. In the aftermath, the group suddenly find themselves in a peaceful Glade next to a brook and a cabin. This gives them time to rest and recover while discussing future plans. All the while, an honest to goodness Unicorn grazes in the field. Shit is getting weird
David, who was previously contacted by an agent of Chief, makes a call to set up an audience with the Kingpin himself at, not a joke, the Hutt Cartel Cantina. After a change of clothes and some decent pizza, the heroes prepare to meet someone who is probably the most dangerous man in the city….
Issue #2: David’s World
The Heroes, after resting and chatting a bit, head out to the street corner to meet the car that Chief has sent to pick them up. Strangely, David is greeted warmly by a fellow named Vincent, one of Chief’s Lieutenants and a member of Cerberus. There is some discussion during the trip to the Compound – some of it via Telepathic communication between David and Reaper (who both seem a bit surprised by it!). Between the giant wolfhound in the back of the limo and observing a raven signaling Vincent, the group comes to the belief that he is something of an ‘animal whisperer’. Everyone arrives at the Compound and Vincent pulls up to the “Hutt Palace”. They enter and have a quick conversation with Bukket who is in the midst of playing with her “toys” (one being a military grade, shoulder fired rocket launcher) before entering into the Audience Chamber. To the surprise of everyone, David is met with applause from the entire room – Chief included. After some discussion it becomes clear that David’s bullet did, in fact, kill an ‘inconvenient’ police officer roughly a week ago. Congratulations are in order for the deed and Chief promotes David into the family having been properly Blooded. Chief talks. Chief talks a lot. During his ramblings the group learns the four rules of the Cartel (Hutts don’t kill Hutts, Every Hutt defends their own, Chief gets 10% and the Drug trade is Chief’s and Chief’s alone). Eventually Chief is reminded that the car was initially sent to pick up Reaper (who doesn’t really look like Reaper). After some convincing, and a telepathic message that sets Chief back a moment, Reaper opts to ‘out’ himself by pulling the soul out of a sacrificial pawn. After the incident it is explained that Reaper’s last “death” was at the hands of Cerberus – a hit ordered because Reaper killed Bukket’s parents. Reaper makes no apologies and Chief makes it clear that whatever debt Reaper once had was paid by his murder.
Finn makes his presence known as well and explains some of his expertise. Chief is more then a little interested and the group gets a small bit of insight into his motivations (read: he’s greedy af). When discussion moves over to Umbra, it is explained that she is an assassin for hire, that Chief did not sanction the hit and that a message needs to be sent. David is tasked to see this is done. The group head home and David finds his apartment filled with several gifts. Suits, watches, a vase of flowers with a note (which hasn’t been read yet). He ditches most of the clothes, drinks a bunch (a reoccurring theme of the day) and tries to relax. As he is starting to drift off David receives a message from the Police Department stating that the investigation is closed and that David was found innocent on all charges. He is expected back to work on Monday. He is also expect to, by those in the Cartel, to show up in that suit he clearly can’t afford.
Issue #3: Revelations and a Nuke
The issue begins with Finn taking a ‘spirit walk’ along a Fey Pathway and facing two Aspects. Each Aspect seemed to be tied in some way to his newfound allies. There are some trials and no small amount of danger, but Finn’s intellect, Fey Nature and magical prowess managed to get him out of the situation intact (more or less). He also obtained some important information: – There are either many Reaper spirits in existence or the spirit that inhabits Charlie can manifest in several hosts around the globe. It manifests in times of great tragedy, violence and loss. – Charlie has been brought back from the dead to kill a very large, floating toad thing. Apparently this thing can influence the Fey world and was able to perceive (and strike out) when Finn noticed it. – The Saint Michael Amulet has been around for a long time. Previously worn by Joan of Arc. It brings war and retribution wherever it goes. – Wherever the Reaper appears, some Aspect of Michael does as well. Somehow these two Aspects are paired together. When Finn finally returned to the real world, he found himself in his apartment with most of his library in shambles. In front of him is a detailed schematic, written by his own hand, of a nuclear bomb. This schematic is probably detailed enough that a competent engineer could use it to actually build the thing.
On the morning news the heroes learn that the Hutt Palace was assaulted by a suicide bomber and some sort of militant group. Early reports believe that it was the Saudi Prince, Khalid Kex, who blew himself up. No one has come forward to claim responsibility. David confirms that Chief, Bukket and Cerberus are ok. Worse, he learns that the attack was very likely manufactured to insure that the world was unable to find out about Reaper and what he can do. Chief, apparently, will go to great lengths to keep that particular secret. Indeed, the heroes learn (the hard way) that keeping a low profile will be important going forward.
In the last act of the issue, the heroes decide they need to deal with the Umbra threat. After some research and recon, they opt to have David to speak with MacPherson directly – acting as an emissary of Chief, no less! Reaper may or may not have written his name in his little black book for future reference. The group successfully infiltrates, bullshits and sneaks into the compound and a meet happens between MacPherson and David. Tensions are high, but David navigates the conversation with a mastery that impresses the other heroes (assuming that they are impressed by just how good of a liar David is). David eventually contacts Vincent again (who passes the phone over to Grunt). Grunt chats a bit with MacPherson and while the heroes can only hear one side of the conversation, the results become pretty clear in a few moments when MacPherson turns on two of his men and starts beating them to death with his Club. “This is the Way” The issue ends when the heroes, deciding they cannot stand by and watch this happen, jump into action
Issue #4: Revelations, Part 2
The issue begins in chaos as David intervenes to prevent MacPherson from killing his minions. During which he clearly reveals some of his supernatural abilities to the gang leader. The fight breaks out in earnest and each hero takes on a different group of bad guys: Reaper takes on the Minions, David takes on MacPherson and Finn goes after Umbra. Reaper gets shot. A lot. But it turns out that being dead already makes getting shot more of a nuisance. He takes out a pile of minions and heals his way through enough wounds to kill six or seven normal men without any significant trouble. Eventually, several of the minions flee (with firsthand knowledge that the Reaper exists). Finn talks to “Sweetheart” to find out where Umbra is and teleports to the roof to confront her. The fight is a strategic one with stealth and hit & run tactics being used on both sides. Finn holds his own against the assassin and eventually she is able to flee when Finn is forced to use his magic to prevent the building’s explosives from going off. David’s fight with MacPherson quickly turned into a chase with MacPherson trying to get out of dodge given that the building was about to go up in a fiery explosion. They race through the building, out into the parking lot and the gang leader manages to escape on his motorcycle.
He doesn’t get far. With his target in sight, David loses his battle of wills against Michael, the Aspect in the Relic, and loses control of his body. Michael is full of righteous anger and unleashes the wrath of god on the poor gang leader. Eventually, the gang leader is dead, his bike in scattered in several hundred pieces. David’s car is destroyed as well. Strangely, MacPherson’s blood doesn’t even stain David’s clothes. The group meets and Michael opts to give chance after Umbra. David (in full angel mode) straight up flies after her with his massive blue tinted wings while Finn teleports himself and Reaper to intercept. They corner her on a roof and Finn continues his hit and run tactics for a moment before he, from a short distance away, is stunned to watch as Reaper and Michael stalk and execute Umbra in a coordinated, well-practiced manner that sends shiver up his spine. Somehow, the two instinctively were able to act and react together as a well-practiced team. Apparently, this is not the first time these two Aspects have hunted down a foe.
In the aftermath, the group separates. David calls for help from Vincent who eventually picks him up with a car along with Bukket who is terribly concerned about David. Vincent is concerned that David went against Grunt’s orders (there will be hell to pay for that!) but eventually concludes that getting him to safety and recovered is the priority. Reaper and Finn have a brief conversation about what has transpired over the last few days and what it all might mean. They conclude that there are simply too many threats and unanswered questions at the moment. There’s a Chief problem, a Nuke problem and a Toad problem – no solid plan is made on how to move forward.
In a nondescript ally, the cover of a garbage dumpster is pushed open by a slender hand. The battered and broken body of Umbra slowly crawls out and starts making its way towards the street. Each step brings a small transformation; her clothes turn black and grey, bracers form on her arms seemingly from shadows, a large metal scythe appears in her hand.
The last panels are the Reaper hood forming around the now burned out eyes of Umbra as the Aspect takes hold.
Issue #5: Run through the Jungle
Each of the heroes have a couple of days to unwind and conduct come investigations. David, who awoke on a rooftop after Michael left, spent most of his time in shock and drink. Luckily, he’s been protected by Vincent and Bukket who apparently have taken a liking to the Detective. David goes to work on Monday wearing his ‘normal’ clothes, goes through orientation and is tasked on the team investigating the DHR attack on the restaurant and their base of ops. Word from Chief is that this investigation will conclude that this was an internal DHR matter. Chief also wants info on anyone looking into nukes – apparently he is not pleased by the rumors. Reaper, without the need to eat or sleep, works during the day but spends his nights trying to track down anything related to frog-gods, cults or nuclear weapons. He doesn’t learn much but does find out that several ‘higher ups’ in various organised crime groups are looking into the possibility of acquiring enriched uranium and/or prominent nuclear scientists. The idea that he should avoid interrogating Chief’s people doesn’t enter his mind at all. Finn conducts some research into the same issues as well as the possibility of a Reaper/Michael connection. He doesn’t come up with anything concrete but expects that the frog-god is Tlaltechutli, a monstrous Aztek God/Goddess whose name translates to “The one who gives and devours life”. He comes across some obscure notations that Tlaltechutli was sealed away by “The feathered Serpent” when it’s appetite for human sacrifice grew too great. Oh, and for shits and giggles, he decides to create enriched uranium. He completely strikes out trying to find a Reaper/Michael connection; however, Reaper does seem to be something like Charon and there is a group called Cerberus in the city… Finn opts to carry some coins (justly and rightfully obtained) just in case.
Everyone meets at Finn’s place and the heroes compare notes regarding the nuke, the frog-god and a fair bit of time is spent filling David in to what Michael has been up too. At this stage, David is not really convinced. There is some concern that Finn is actually the problem given that he’s already made a schematic and created enriched uranium – likely the two most difficult aspects of building a dirty bomb. Eventually, Finn opts to bargain with “Sweetheart” to find the location of the Frog-God. For her cooperation, she demands the use of Finn’s body for 2 minutes. Finn agrees and “Sweetheart” spends the next two minutes kissing David, throwing him across the room and making it very, very clear that if any harm comes to Finn that David and Reaper will answer to her. Notably she asked Reaper to protect Finn while demanding that David does.
She makes good on her promise and, eventually, the heroes are teleported into a jungle with a strange looking sun and given direction that the Frog-God is roughly 100kms to the north. The heroes don’t have much time to get their bearings in this unfamiliar land, however, as a small group of… lizard people(?) attack alongside a giant(!) crocodile. Finn manages to imprint his memory to the place so he can teleport back. He also gets a glimpse of a large city filled will lizard people using dinosaurs as beasts of burden and war. During the fight, something large is charging through the jungle to attack the various bits of food stuffs. David blasts a few with is pistol and Divine energy while Reaper concentrates his efforts in wrestling with the croc. It’s close, but the heroes escape via Finn’s teleportation before the big thing makes a bad day worse.
Speaking of worse. During the battle, David instinctually used his telepathy to assist Finn, but unfortunately the connection stuck for a while. Sweetheart is outraged at the intrusion and throws a temper tantrum worthy of a three year old with god-like power. Trees burst into flame, the ground shakes, Finn’s library is ejected out of window, etc. Even the Unicorn gets spooked. Something comes from all her insanity though – Finn learns a couple of things through the conversations: he may be a Prince and he is far, far older then he believed. In time David and Reaper are returned to the ‘real world” and they end up interrogating the corpse of MacPherson where David is forced to confront what the other heroes have been saying. This is… unsettling at best for David though he holds up a bit better than last Friday. They determine that they know where the frog-god is and that they are in a good position to strike. Meanwhile Finn trades a “mortal body that is acceptable to both Sweetheart and Finn” to find out the cause of the pull to make the nuke. He finds that everyone is feeling the pull and that it is coming from the frog-god. Sometime later, Sweetheart pulls both David and Reaper to the cabin with a demand that they insure that the Prince stays in one piece. The Issue ends with David and Reaper knocking on Finn’s door.
Issue #6: Gods and Monsters
Finn, David and Reaper gather and debate on ways to strike out against the frog-god that has been putting nukes into people’s minds. Several plans are discussed that range from crazy to stupid to impossible. They eventually settle on delaying the thing instead of attacking it directly by targeting one of its lesser temples which, as they have learned, is connected to a large geomantic web. After a quick trip to collect a bundle of explosives from Bukket, they decide to head out. They strike out towards the temple with Finn in the lead as he is the only one that can sense the geomantic web connection. While they are traveling over the hills, the heroes have to contend with a severe rainstorm and a pack of highly coordinated raptors. Unused to the Jungle, major rainstorms or dinosaurs, the group opts to distract them and flee. Said distraction came from Reaper literally removing his arm and using it as bait. Many miles and several hours later, the heroes get out of the hills and start across the grasslands. They are tired and soaked to the bone, but at least they gave the Raptors the slip. The peace doesn’t last long, however, as the alpha predator of the Island finds them. The group attempts to put up a fight against the T-Rex but barely manages to harm it. During the battle, David is nearly consumed and is only saved by Michael’s intervention. The fight is a total mismatch and they opt to flee after determining just how outclassed they were. Michael is not nearly as talkative as David and doesn’t hang around to discuss a plan. He takes the other two into the air on blue tinted wings and they fly towards the temple target. The group reaches the altar on the top of the temple via stealth (from the air) and each contribute to destroying the thing. Michael with his radiant powers, Finn with the explosives and Reaper with his Necromancy.
Reaper finds out that Necromancy in the Aztec realm of the dead can lead to problems as his power is magnified greatly. Instinctively he realizes that he can finish off this temple, but will need to remain behind to do so. He tells the other two to flee as he channels several hundred thousands of souls out of the altar, through himself and back into the altar. Combined with Michael’s radiant assault and Finn’s explosives, the world explodes into a flash of fire and light. Luckily, Finn was able to pull himself and Michael to safety via his teleportation. They do not arrive at the cabin. In fact, they do not arrive at all. Somehow, they have arrived at in a glorious pavilion of marble and vines. On the throne sits Queen Titannia. Instead of Finn and David arriving, their Aspects arrive in their stead. The Queen addresses them by name. Finn, who’s been slowing turning into his true form, finds out that his true nature is Grendel, descendant of Cain. The Aspect in David’s Relic is revealed to be none other than Lucifer himself, not the angel Michael as expected. Standing behind the Queen is a creature of shadow carrying a familiar sickle who she names as Charon. Out of the three, the Queen only shows respect to the “eldest”, Charon. It is explained that a direct attack on a God will have repercussions that none of them could imagine. Other Gods will see this as a sign that engagements of this sort is now fair game. Thanks to the heroes, the Gods will start moving pieces on the board more aggressively. Speaking of Gods, the heroes lean that Chief is actually Poseidon, God of the Sea. She debates on simply letting the various Gods have the heroes to prevent further escalation, but Charon advises her to let them flee. And why not, the show will be wonderful.
She is eventually convinced to allow them to leave, but not before she banishes each of the three from the Fey World on penalty of death if they return. Grendel, not wanting to remember the various pains he feels, begs the Queen to strip all memory of this from his mind. She, in a moment of tenderness, agrees and does the same for David before transporting the two of them to the moral plane. David and Finn both wake with knowledge of their success, but no knowledge of the meeting with Titannia. There is no sign of Reaper who sacrificed himself to insure the temple’s destruction.