Titan Punk Session 2

An actual play post of Dungeon World in a setting inspired by Ancient Greece.

I had forgotten that there are times when you as a player know things that your character does not. Some fun things happened in this session involving that irony, so those bits will be shown as quotes.

This week our group returned to the mainland with our haul of Titanite from our brief visit to the edge of Atlantis. Taemon brought the agreed share to our employer, who paid us handsomely and showed Taemon some of his more interesting wonders. One was a mosaic on the floor that constantly changed reflecting many different stories from the past. And sometimes, a scene of the future.

When Taemon rejoined the group, we were in the agora, and three politicians were making speeches in support of the three main political parties in Acropolis. One party felt that the wealthy should be in charge, one that only those of divine bloodlines should rule, and another that rulers should be chosen by the people.

Most of us chose to vote with the third option, all but Virgil, which was understandable. He’s the most clearly descended of the gods among us. I decided to try and get in good with the democratic party, in hopes that it would help make a difference back home in Zarathrae. I also pushed for several warehouses back home, owned and run by Arcturus, the fiend that took over my home town and imprisoned my brother.

Unknown to me, the vandals were nearly caught, and it was very clear that Acacia was involved in the acts. Another reason to get in good with the politicians in power in the new city. Acacia is hoping to have some protection.

While we were there, we saw one of the Nicheodons making a deal of some kind with one of the rich party politicians. He was an odd sort of person, with goggles for eyes, and a hunched back under a large cloak. Our group tried to follow him, and found out that he spent a good deal of time in the symposium.

Just then, one of my dear artist friends, Petrukia, found me, and let me know that her play and her playwright had disappeared. With no play to attract voters, she feared the democratic party would lost a great many followers. I agreed to try and help her, and enlisted Teamon to help us find the play. He has a knack for finding something if he devotes himself to it. However, he must also make certain vows when he does this, so he can be a bit of a bear to be around.

The others in our group wanted Teamon to lie to Acacia, and tell her that the play was at the symposium, rather than in the opposite direction as he had discovered. But I would have to wait until the next session to find out if he would be honest about this . . .

TitanPunk (formerly Ancient World) Session 1

An actual play post of Dungeon World in an Ancient Greek setting.

The gods are dead. In the wake of their passing, those of divine descent are hunted down. Eventually they band together on the island of Atlantis and enjoy a brief golden age before the last Titan, the mighty Kraken, brings the island to its watery grave. During the dark times that follow, man learns to create massive clockwork devices powered by Titanite, the crystalized blood of the gods. Then, after centuries, Atlantis is rediscovered, a treasure trove of Titanite and relics of power. Many seek their fortune on its long forgotten shores.

Our first session began in medias res, while our ship was being attacked by a giant octopus. Most of us dove into the water to fight it off (or flee the sinking boat) but together we managed to scare the creature away and save our ship. Xander, the hero who fought her way out of Hades, fearlessly stabbed at the beast, as did my brother Taemon and Manestes, another veteran of the war. Virgil and I cast spells to scare it off, and light the depths where we fought. 

We had journeyed forth, hired by the rich and eccentric Creossus, to gather Titanite from Atlantis. Each of us, of course, has our own reasons for going. I intend to find a magical instrument, something that will help gain me political power so that my brother and I can take back our home from the invaders that imprisoned our brother. Taemon intends to fight back in more physical ways, and became a bounty hunter to help pay our older brother’s blood price. The others have not yet revealed their true goal in going to Atlantis, but I am sure there is more to them than meets the eye.

When we had first set out on our journey, we had come across a ship wreck. Manestes knew that this ship was carrying a shipment of wine, and being the loyal followers of Dionysus that we are, we felt compelled to rescue the wine. We found the remnants of the crew, looking as though they had been crushed to death. Luckily we saved the wine and had a fine celebration with our crew that night. There were some fascinating conversations, and I was able to get to know Xander a little better. I have sung about her for so long, it is so amazing to actually meet her. She left her arm behind in the underworld, and now has a shadow arm that can transform her weapons into something . . . terrifying. She touched my face with it, and it was chilling.

When we arrived at Atlantis, well all right, not Atlantis proper, one of the small islands at the foot of it, my brother tried to give me a long lecture about staying on the ship so as to not get into trouble. The usual big brother nonsense. But they wanted to canvass the island first to see what we were facing, and I can become invisible. So Teamon agreed to take me along with him to look things over. We discovered that there were some harpies guarding the island, and a strange mechanical whirring sound. There was a cult of Cacus, the fire breathing giant, drilling on the island. We snuck back to the ship and filled in the rest of our group.

Out plan was to distract the harpies while our big fighters, Manestes and Taemon, went on ahead to the site where the cultists were drilling for Titanite. Virgil and I helped to destroy the harpies instruments, and Xander leaped up to them and fought them off. I tried to help her leap back down, but well, I’m not built like a fighter, and it didn’t go so well. I am now tasked with carrying Xander’s shield to build up my strength. I hope that means she intends to teach me to fight.

Teamon and Manestes had managed to surprise the cultists, who swallowed some foul potion that let them breathe fire. We found a flaming mess in the swamp around our allies. The others continued the fight, and I hurried toward the enemy in charge, and charmed him into being my best friend. It was easy to get rid of them after that, though I am a bit afraid at how easy it was for my brother to wound and then drown them all in the swamp. The others are all veterans or the war, or followers of Hades, but Taemon had never been so violent before.

We grabbed as much Titanite as we could, and hurried off the island before the sea hag that lived in the cave on the island discovered what we had done. Overall a fine adventure, though nothing worthy of song. I do hope to some day become a great enough hero, like Xander, and have my name be in a poem.

If you like how we play, check out my other actual play accounts under Playing Now.

If you like Dungeon World and other pbta games, stay tuned for our upcoming podcast, Unboxing Games, where we hack Masks into a character driven fantasy game.

Ancient (Dungeon) World – world building and character creation

I am currently on a hiatus from running games. We have Extra Life and two conventions coming up this month, plus nanowrimo. So I won’t have much time to plan out the running of a game. Thankfully, I have lots of friends who run awesome games.

Our Sunday night D&D game ended so fantastically well. The Iron Sorcerer, my character through Storm King’s Thunder, did not bring down the world, or get the party killed. She made the right choice at the end, and it seemed that everyone in the party found a fitting end to their character’s tale.

But we wanted to continue gaming with this crew. They are fun and creative and generally cool all around. And our GM was eager to try a longer campaign using Dungeon World, a system that many of us hold dear. But we thought we would enjoy a dfiferent setting, something other than the typical fantasy world we had just been playing in. So we did what we have come to learn is the most awesome way to start a campaign. We played Microscope to build our own setting.

For anyone who has never played Microscope, you are missing out. It is a fantastic way to create a history and world. Even if you don’t intend to play in it as we do, the experience itself is loads of fun. We have also played Kingdom, by the same creators, which is more about large organizations moving through a world, and feels a bit more role play like that Microscope. But both are fantastic.

Our world for this next campaign, which I’m callling Ancient World until we get a better name, is based in Greek mythology. We began with the idea that the Olympians are dead, but the demigods they gave birth to are still around and powerful. They were driven to Atlantis by the group that killed the gods, the Nicheans. Another group that sprang up in their absense was the Prometheans, who make fantastic mechanical creations. Atlantis sank when the last remaining Titan, a kraken, dragged it into the sea, killing itself in the process. After many years of turmoil, during which it was discovered that there were still artefacts from the gods that held magical powers, Atlantis was rediscovered.

That is the time our heroes are in, and are going to work together as one of many teams exploring into the rediscovered Atlantis for artefacts of the gods. Of course, each of us as our own personal motives as well.

I don’t know all the details about the other players characters yet, but I will outline mine here, and give you the rest when we meet for our first gaming session. We used the companion book Class Warfare to build our characters, rather than using the base playbooks found in Dungeon World.

Acacia Kypris

Class Warfare Choices: Magician

  • Arcane Ritualist
  • Enchanter (or Vancian Caster)
  • Spellsinger

Acacia is the younger sister of Taemon and Cathius. (Taemon is another player character) She has the blood of the muses, and as such can create magic through art. She is also very moody, moved by which ever muse happens to be upon her at the moment. Their older brother Cathius was arrested and accused of treason when their city state was taken over by another. They fled, apart from their parents, to Acropolis. Acacia met another of the player characters there, as she found a place in the temple of Dionysus. She is determined to find an artefact of power on Atlantis that will help her gain influence politically so she can go home and help retake her city and free Cathius. She is a little worried for Taemon, who has become a bounty hunter and fighter, since he seems bent on freeing their brother through violence.

Our GM is away on a cruise (lucky dog), but I will continue to post about our game once he returns.

Character Sketches – Elen and Morion

So we’re playing 13th Age, and I have the privilege of playing with people who enjoy exploring different types of characters. There are several of us playing what is flavored as two people, though mechanically we were able to represent it as just one. I’m playing characters inspired by Ladyhawke. Here is my imagining of Elen and Morion, a couple in love, cursed to be separated al the time. In the day Morion is a dark elf, and Elen is a hawk. At night, Elen is a high elf and Morion is a black fox. The words are their first conversation.

Star Trek: Frontlines – Episode 5: Attack on DS9

A Star Trek: Adventures actual play account

Today’s Lesson: Don’t look like you’re enjoying killing the players too much. Really, I don’t think this was a huge problem, but I do feel like I was trying a bit to hard to cause actual damage, which may have been a bit discouraging. You want the players ot think that the task is difficult, but not impossible. They are the heroes, after all. How do you acheive this balance? I haven’t quite figured that out. I’m more of a lets make the story interesting and lead to the villains inevitable demise. Crunching numbers to make battles even are not so much my thing. So today’s report is a bit more just commentary about the system, since we really only had the one major battle in defense of Deep Space Nine.

deep space nine

Since I knew I wanted to throw all the Klingons at them, I gave the players another ship, a Nebula class called the Shiloh, as well as full use of their fighters, which we haven’t had a chance to use yet. Collins and Nos’grom moved to the Shiloh, Takis and Mooch stayed on the Kidd, and Shon took control of the fighters.

I had the players help me find the rules about how many actions each ship gets in combat. We decided rather than go back and forth after each action, each ship would be allowed to take its full range of actions before allowing the initiative to pass to the next player. Otherwise I think the battles would drag on far too much.

Also, for the purposes of this game, the fighters all acted on the same turn, but counted as four scale 2 ships. This may be giving them more credit than they should get, but the book does allow Federation fighters to be counted as a scale 2 ship. I think this gave a good feeling of the amount of firepower they had, but I’m not sure it gives credence to their manuevering. I may have to look into that a bit more. They are harder for large ships to hit, however. I will have to have a chance to fight back with some Cardassian fighters at some point.

It began with a K’vort and two B’rel class birds of prey up against the Kidd (Akira), Shiloh (Nebula) and the fighters. I fired some shots and cloaked a B’rel, waiting to see if they would do their now famous ‘fire torpedoes in the general area of the cloacked vessel’ maneuver. There was some discussion about who to name it after, since I had though it was Collins’ idea, but apparently I was mistaken. They didn’t go there this time however, and made quick work of the other B’rel. The K’vort took a little longer to take down, and I got a few good hits in against the Shiloh.

Once they had built up enough momentum, however, those ships and the two additional Klingons I brought in were shot down fairly easily. The fighters managed to bring down one of the B’rels.

I got started late, traffic and bad weather kept me from getting there on time. So we only had time for the battle. I am getting a bit more comfortable with the rules I think, though I still forget a lot of them, and have to look up stuff all the time. I need to make a custom cheat sheet for myself I think, so I don’t have to flip around in the books so much.

Join us next time, as the team gets sent off on an away mission that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Find more stories, games and more from Momtoast on my Patreon.

Star Trek: Frontlines – Episode 3: Marie Celestial

A Star Trek: Adventures actual play

Today’s Lesson: Give the players what they want. When you don’t, it’s torture. It’s torture for you, torture for them, and people can even start to get upset. Granted, I had a bad day yesterday when we played this mission. I was still bent on doing a string of intrigue stories leading them into the Dominion War. Really, though, it seems they really just wanted to start blowing things up. Sigh. I have a feeling this is going to be very boring for me. Especially since we don’t have stats yet for a lot of the Dominion stuff. Ah well, I will see if they are interested in taking part in the Klingon War that happened before. We have a LOT of stats for Klingons.

We begin with the crew of the USS Kidd on a mission to escort Partha, an Orion informant for Starfleet, back to Libertalia station, an independent, unaligned station between the borders. They are to see she arrives safely, and await the information she is gathering there. The Kidd has no trouble escorting her towards the station, but rather than roll in and scatter the slimy roaches Partha is there to meet, she takes the smuggler’s ship that the Kidd had impounded last time, and they part ways. The smuggling ship carried a tracking device encoded to send messages back to the Kidd.

As they continue along the border to wait from a safe distance, they pick up an uncloaked Romulan Warbird, floating just inside Federation space. As the Neutral Zone has been very quiet lately, this is an odd discovery. The Kidd comes along to investigate.

Romulan D'Deridex warbird

They find the ship is in perfect working order, but there are no life signs on board. Considering a warbird of this size can carry 2,000 people, this is a disturbing discovery. The crew beams over a tricorder to get some more readings at a safe distance. They find that there are plenty of bodies still there, but nothing in the air or wrong with the ship that would cause the deaths of so many. To prevent further trouble from arizing, the Kidd uses its tractor beam to start pushing the ship back into the Neutral Zone.

Just as they begin to do this, another Romulan ship decloaks, demanding to know what the Federation is doing with their ship, and why everyone is dead. Quick and open sharing of the information they had discovered disarms the Romulan Commander, Modex, who requests they be given a moment to assess the situation, if the Kidd is willing to stick around. The Captain agreed, and they allowed the Romulans to study their data as well as scan the ship of dead. In exchange for some more information about the possible desease that killed all the Romulans aboard, the Captain lets the Romulans know about the smuggling ship that it seems met with this derelict ship not long ago. The Kidd then moves away, leaving the Romulans to deal with their dead.

As they start moving off, the signal coming from the smuggling ship changes to the call for help. The Kidd makes an impresive entrance, dropping out of warp as close to the Libertalia Station as they dare, to find a furball of a fight happening around the smuggling vessel. Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi and other ships are buzzing around, trying to win the prize.

The Kidd target locks as many ships as it can, and broadcasts an announcement that it is claiming the ship as its own. Most of the ships scatter. The Romulans try to lay claim, but the Captain quickly shuts them down. Finally, after a discussion with the Klingons, who are fairly civil considering the current tension between the two governments, they let the Captain know that this ship was known to be smuggling weapons from the Romulans into Klingon space. Partha confirms this once they get her back on the ship, and they head back to Starbase 234 with the information.

Star Trek: Frontlines – Episode 2: Contraband

A Star Trek: Adventures actual play

Today’s lesson: chain of command is hard. Especially for RPGers, who are used to being part of a ragtag bunch of heroes who are allowed to do whatever they want, so long as they don’t get the party killed. My general feeling is that there is no wrong way to play an RPG, so long as you aren’t a jerk. But in Star Trek, there is the added layer of a command structure, and a very defnite set of rules that your character is meant to play by. Also, the missions tend to be not combat heavy. Sure, there are fights, and ship battles, but mostly its about solving problems. Our new player is having trouble adjusting. I hope he is still enjoying the game.

This week found our heros aboard the USS Kidd patrolling the Klingon/Federation/Romulan border in their impressive Akira class starship. They spotted no Romulans so far, but there were several Klingon ships the kept dropping in and out of cloak on their side of the border, just to remind the crew of the Kidd that they were there. With the Klingon Empire having pulled out of the Khitomer Accords, both sides seem to want to make a show of power along the borders.

After a time they caught a distress call from a freighter close to the border. A long range scan relvealed they were being attacked by Orion pirates. As soon as the Akira came within firing range, however, the Orions bolted into Klingon space. Where they were met by a decloaking Vor’cha class ship. The Klingons gave chase to the Orions, while the Kidd stopped to help the freighter.

Right away, Lt. Cmdr. Collins, the by the book XO, knew there was something fishy about Mick, the captain of the small freighter. He had questionable registration, and was less than enthusiastic about discussing his inventory. It was finally revealed that he had quite a bit of hard to get Romulan and Klingon items in the cargo hold. He explained that business used to be fine, there were few patrols in the area, and even a few Feds appreciated his wares. But now, with the war on, no one could get any work done.

An impressive job of scanning was done by Lt. Cmdr. Nos’Grum also revealed a secret compartment underneath the ship. Though Lt. Shawn, a fiesty Andorian security officer, wanted to break into the compartment, they convinced Mick to let them in. It was already empty.

As the crew of the Kidd examined the ship, and locked up Mick, the Klingon ship, one IKS Chal’kul captained by Karuk reappeared nearby, hauling what was left of the Orion ship behind it. Captain Takis hailed the Klingons and basically asked if they were willing to share any information about their prize. Karuk told him to get lost in typical Klingon fashion. So the Kidd began to scan the Orion ship. It still had lifesigns, though it was in bad shape. There was an odd flicker in the Klingon’s shields during the scan. Surprisingly, the Klingons let it go to drift near the Kidd and cloaked.

The Akira class, not necessarily according to the ST:A rule book, but according to this amazing website, has the ability to scan and tell some information about what cloaked ships are up to, particularly if they go to warp. Nos’Grum was able to tell that the Klingons had indeed warped away.

The Orion’s then opened a channel and panicked screaming ensued, and the crew realized that the Orion ship was about to explode. They beamed the Orion aboard and warped away as the ship blew to pieces.

Now, in addition to Mick in the brig, they had three Orion pirates, their captain, and one slave girl.

The Orion captain was angry, and paced most of the way, while the others poked fun at Mick. The slave girl stayed quiet. Even when Lt. jg Mooch arrived to try and talk to her some. He has had a bit of a past with Orion women, and thought he had a chance.

They were all taken to Starbase 234 to be tried for their crimes, and so the Kidd could start cataloging all the contraband they had collected, including Romulan Ale, Klingon Bloodwine, various Klingon weapons, and Romulan eyebrow wax and shoulder pads. Though the Admiral at the starbase was happy to have the criminals in custody, she told the crew that Partha, the Orion woman, was to be liberated, and escorted back to a station known as Libertalia, a nuetral station in an unclaimed part of space.

Join us next week for the next installment of Star Trek: Frontlines, and join us on Patreon for more gaming goodness, or story bites.

Star Trek: Frontlines – Preparation and Episode 1

A Star Trek: Adventures Actual Play

I have a very . . . ambitious playing group. So for this campaign, I am trying to be more prepared. Think I have enough books?

All the star trek resource books

Star Trek Adventures Books

Core Rulebook

These are the Voyages: Mission Companion, Vol 1

The Command Division: Supplemental Rulebook

Beta Quadrant: Sourcebook

Other Resources

The Star Trek Encycolpedia: A Reference Guide to the Future

The First Line: Starfleet Intelligence Handbook (ST:TNG RPG)

A Fragile Peace: The Romulan Nuetral Zone (ST:TNG RPG)

List basic plot structure, timeline choices

The Crew

Captain Takis (Denobulan) – The crew is his family. Lost a ship to Orion pirates, and then lost the Zephyr to Klingons

First Officer, Lt. Cmmdr. Jackson Collins (Human) – fast tracked lifer in Starfleet, very by the book

Security Chief, The New Guy (Andorian) – the newest crewmember, not afraid of a fight

Chief Science Officer, Lt. Cmmdr. Nos’Grum (Tellarite) – everyone around her is an idiot and she can prove it mathematically

CONN, Lt. jg Mooch (Joined Trill) – likes the thrills of flying and women

Episode 1 – Valhalla

This is the second campaign I have played with this crew. The last campaign ended with their Nova Class ship, the USS Zephyr, facing off against three Berel Class Klingon warbirds. It ended in a stale mate, with all the ships engines being blown to bits. The players had been begging me for an Akira class for ages, and I told them they would just cause trouble. This seemed to prove my point. But I could see they were itching for more action, so we began this season with an Akira.

Akira class starship

The crew is sent on a mission along the Romulan Nuetral Zone, where the Klingon border meets it, to make a show of Federation strength in this rough time. Almost as soon as the USS Kidd leaves Narendra Station, they receive a distress signal from Balduk, a small planet not very far away. They head to the planet, and find a Federation shuttle on the planet, giving off an automated distress signal. There are no life signs. The captain contacted a nearby science outpost, and confirmed that they were missing an officer who took a shuttle to survey nearbay planets. An away team heads down in a shuttle to investigate. Once they hit the atmosphere the shuttle rocked wildly, the engines began to lose energy, and thousands of life signs appeared on the planet.

Thanks to some quick work by the XO and the science officer, they managed to polarize the hull of the shuttle and stop the energy from draining. They then landed easily beside the stranded shuttle. The life signs on the planet were of all kinds of races, Klingons, Romulans, Human and more, all a short distance away and moving in battle line patterns. The security cheif and others made a sweep around the shuttle, and discovered a very frightened science officer, holding on to a type 1 phaser like his life depended on it.

They get Lt. Doleo back onto the shuttle and head back up to the ship. Once clear of the planet’s atmosphere, however, they notice that whatever was draining the shuttle was still there, like a cloud around the ship. After further investigation, they discovered part mechanical part biological microscopic creatures that were feeding on the engines of the shuttle. They were also busy repairing extensive injuries to Lt. Deleo. After looking more closely in sickbay they discovered he had suffered extensive injuries that already only appeared to be superficial because of the creatures.

To the Doctor, Lt. Deleo went on about how terrifying the planet is, and how the people there do nothing but kill each other, and that there were large winged women that carried off the dead. He also insisted on speaking to the captain alone, and there he revealed that he was in fact an intelligence agent, and that the crew was tasked to look for three known spies in the area. They are sent back down to the planet to retrieve the data from the stranded shuttle, managing to avoid a direct confrontation with either the people there who were now defending the shuttle, or the large winged being that came to retreive a dead Romulan from within the shuttle.

They beamed aboard a Viking long enough to retrieve the data chip, and sent him back quickly. They sent information back to command about the strange planet, and headed on their way.

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Titan Academy: The rest of the story

Sadly I began blogging about this great adventure far to late in playing it to really keep up with things. I can’t continue to do justice to each episode that we played. I’m going to do my best to sum up the ending of this game for those who were following it. My next game, which will be Star Trek: Adventures, I will try to blog as we go, so as not to lose hold of the story.

Ryan was overjoyed to be reunited with his mother, who he had never believed was dead all this time. The group heads over to Ryan’s house to surprise his father, and there is a tearful and happy reunion-for Ryan. Some of the others in the group are still having troubles, and after trying to kiss and being rejected by Liv, Hiro heads out into the city.

While out, an attack beings on the Spire, the headquarters of Aegis. The attackers: Dryad, Becky, and Nexus, friends and trusted teachers from their school. The team eventually meets up to figure out what’s going on, and which side they need to be on. Aegis is up in arms and ready to go full on war against the attacking supers, so the team split up, some to keep Aegis busy, and others to find out why the supers are attacking Aegis. It turns out they are being controlled by extradimensional beings, that Hiro quickly builds a device to detect. Aether creates a bubble around the supers that knocks the beings off, and returns them to their right minds.

In the aftermath, some of the Aegis agents recognize Liv, referring to her as 12, even though she has only ever known herself as 9. They are met by Alcazar, the new president of Aegis, who offers to have a meeting with them. And the gang takes him up on it. In the meeting they find out that Alcazar is hoping to win them and the public over with more humane treatment of supers, and a more open policy. He has released all Level 5 supers that were not criminal, and removed the brain stem controls from the telelpaths. He shows them Firefly as an example. But to Hiro and Liv it is too little too late. Even when Alcazar offers them all the files they have on Project Oblivion and Chimera. The group argues together whether they should be going after Chimera, or bringing down what is left of Aegis.

They decide their first target will be one of the Chimera stronghold/prisons that remain, one of those Aegis hasn’t gotten to cleaning up yet. There they find several supers imprisoned, and in the middle, Carbine, a former Aegis agent, attached to a strange machine. She manages to use the machine to put Takar to sleep, but Liv soon beats her down. Carbine escapes, but not before Liv realizes this is the sort of place where she grew up, inside a Level 5 prison cell. There she finally meets 12, and they fight, almost completely evenly matched. Takar finally recovers and helps Liv defeat 12. A voice tells 12 that she has failed, and that 9 has passed.

Happy with their success in freeing the supers, and having Ryan’s mother back, and having Liv and Hiro become like family, the gang gets ready to attend the event of the year. Titan Academy is reopening its doors, their principle Stewart is marrying Rydel the local Aegis patrol woman, and the city is welcoming back the newly freed supers. All of this will be held in the new Titan Academy gym. Everyone in the city will be there, guarded by Aegis, city officials and supers. Becky and Ryan take charge of the refreshments, and Becky is a bit crazy about it. The others all start finding dates, Liv with Dryad, Takar with the Fates, and Hiro with Hopper. While at the party, a strange song comes over the speakers, and Liv gets a feeling of dread as he hears the words that they discovered activates her. A fight breaks out, many flee, but it is soon discovered that Alcazar’s daughter has been kidnapped.

Takar and the other level 5s get together, and head off with the group, led by Ryan’s dad, to find Dr. Quintessence and bring him to the bridge, as Chimera is demanding. When they arrive they realize they are missing Hiro. They head into the abandoned warehouse to find Dr. Quintessence in an Aether bubble being attacked by those same interdimensional beings, now known as Howlers, riding Aether caterpillers. They rescue Ryan’s grandfather, and emerge from the warehouse to see the city ablaze, and Cosmic Bond arriving to let them know they have to go stop Hiro before this happens. Wait, did he say before? Before the kids can ask any questions, Cosmic Bond rewinds time, helps them save Dr. Q, and they all head over to stop Hiro together.

It turns out that Hiro has been brainwashed as well, in the same way Liv was, by Project Winter, another division of Chimera. They commanded him to come to the bridge warehouse to help them prepare the Sentinal robots to receive their Howler masters. It turns out that though the Howlers like to feed off the energy of supers, and ride along on humans, it is much easier for them to take over a robot body. The Howlers, as explaned by the Dread Queen, are her people, stuck in another dimension alongside Earth, and ready to take over. Hiro is the only one able to hack into the robots and help them build the portal that will bring them into the robots.

All the supers band together in one massive strike against the Chimera team. But just as it seems they are winning, HIro’s old robot, the one that used to house his brother’s memories, arrives. He still is Hiro’s brother, he claims, but so much more, now also the Dread Queen’s brother. He thanks Hiro for providing a body for him, and tries to talk him into joining him in taking over the world. Hiro was ready to die in this fight against his brother, even though is whole family, even his ellusive mother Jishaku, and her long imprisoned brother Atomic Shadow, and his other mother Friction show up to assist him. Hiro uses his moment of truth, reverses the portal to the other dimension, and succeeds in getting rid of all the Howlers, and destroys Count Zero, and all that is left of his brother.

Everything isn’t perfect at the end, but its better than most expected to be. There are a lot of touching moments, as people find new or old loves, new family, and new strengths.