DC Universe Role-Playing Game Adventure
An Adventure submitted by Mooman
This adventure is designed for a superhero group that consists of 6-8 Level 3 or 4 characters. If using different power levels you may need to adjust accordingly.
There were once two branches of the Human Race, Homo sapiens and another race that came to be known as Homo magus. Where Homo sapiens learned science and bent those laws to his will, Homo magus was one with the natural order and controlled the forces we call magic. In time, Homo magus — though far fewer in number than Homo sapiens — would have ruled the Earth but for their one great weakness. It seemed that whenever a member of Homo magus met a Homo sapien of the opposite sex, both were immediately and powerfully attracted to each other. Homo magi were not as prolific as Homo sapiens and their numbers dwindled. What’s more, whenever the two produced offspring together, the children inherited magical abilities for only the first generation.
Fearful that their species would be absorbed, the mere thousand remaining Homo magi fled the known world in the early days of the Roman Empire. Legend has it they settled in a Hidden Valley somewhere in Turkey. Having no natural power source, they sustained their civilization on the power of the Medulla Jewel. The Medulla Jewel actually subsided within the brain of a member of the race. Each generation produced only one bearer of the Medulla Jewel, the Medulla Child, whose power was focused through a gem-encrusted crown. This and all such knowledge vanished into the valley with them.
There current leader, Highlord, revealed himself to a dark immortal in an attempt to reclaim the mantle of power the Magus once held upon the Earth. The deity found within the Medulla Child a secret knowledge lost to the world since the exodus of the Magus from earth normal.
This secret has brought forth ghosts from the past that warn you of the end of all that is. All that will remain without the timely intervention of your hero group is Anti- Life Itself!!
SCENE 1: “Shades of Justice”
LOCATION: 2 story museum
NPCs: Steel II, Vibe (both sets of stats at DC Universe RPG Resource Site), Rip Roar (stats in JLA Sourcebook)
SYNOPSIS: PC group attempts to save people at a museum fire. Here they encounter Rip-Roar and two ghosts of former JLA members.
The call to heroes can come at any time seen fit by the Gamemaster. The group can be near the museum when it starts fire or get a call from the fire department for support. The structure has two floors and each floor has many windows out of which can be seen thick smoke and flame. The roar of the fire is very loud and the heat can be felt from 50 yards away. Authorities believe there are several people trapped inside.
Due to the smoke, heroes are at -1D to Reflexes, Coordination and all sight based Perception rolls while inside the structure. Unless using specialized breathing equipment, PCs should follow the ‘holding your breath’ rules described on page 5 of the “All the Elements of Disaster” adventure also posted on this site. Any hero that breathes in the smoke takes 5D damage per round.
The heat in the building delivers a BDV of 1D per round to unprotected heroes without appropriate defensive powers. Rafters are also falling from fire damage. Each round, a wild die should be rolled for each character. If a Joker comes up, the character must dodge falling debris. This is a Difficult Dodging roll or heroes will suffer a BDV of 5Dx3.
Have 1 person for each hero to save. Place them wherever would be most appropriate for spectacular saves based on the map you are using. One of the PCs will encounter two people in the building that seem to appear and then vanish into the smoky environment. This could happen a couple of times before the hero finally stumbles into a room and sees that the two people he has been trying to locate are in bright costumes. An Easy Perception roll will have the PC realize that the temperature gets colder within 15 feet of these two. One of the people is miraculously holding up a one ton support beam that has fallen and is on fire. The other character is pulling a person out from underneath where the beam had fallen. Both have their heads facing down and it is extremely difficult to get a look at them.
A booming laughter is suddenly heard from somewhere on he top floor of the building as the victim is pulled from under the flaming beam. The two characters look up at this and you get your first good look into the faces of Steel II and Vibe! Both of these former Justice Leaguers died years ago! Steel and Vibe begin to fade from view in front of your eyes. Steel can be heard saying to Vibe ” We must save Zatanna.” The PC hero must act quickly here to grab the person the two former Leaguers were in the midst of saving and get them out of the building.
Have another PC notice (with an Easy Perception roll) during there journey through the museum, that of all the exhibits they have walked by, there is one that looks like it was smashed open. A glass case is shattered with its contents missing. The display sign reads, ” Royal Belt; rumored to have belonged to the mythical Homo Magus race.” An informational plaque next to the exhibit details the same information that is presented in the first two paragraphs of this adventure’s ‘Background’. It goes on to say that, supposedly, the race was discovered by the Justice League of America years ago and they may have since attempted to relocate their hidden city to an even more remote locale. This character also hears the booming laughter.
The creature that had been laughing now leaps from the top of the museum onto the surrounding grounds. As heroes exit the building they see a monstrous four-armed being wielding two gigantic clubs. This is Rip Roar, one of the evil New Gods! Rip Roar bellows out, “Pain and Suffering! Two of the ingredients of Anti-Life! I couldn’t simply take the artifact without practicing my torment of these pathetic humans, as they will not be here to play with much longer!”
Rip Roar used his fire powers to set the museum ablaze after taking an ancient belt now in his possession. The creature sees Vibe and Steel appear suddenly appear next to him. In a gleeful rage, he swings a club at each of them. The clubs pass through the wraiths harmlessly.
After a brief second of confusion, Rip Roar activates a personal Boom Tube (see JLA Sourcebook), steps through and is gone. The tube begins to collapse behind the New God but suddenly is held open in a last ditch effort by Vibe. Vibe yells out that he can match the vibrations of the Boom Tube very briefly to hold it open for the hero group to dive through. This is exactly what the PCs should do. After those that are going in do so, Steel and Vibe fade from view and say to someone not seen that help is now on the way. The Boom Tube collapses behind you!
It is unlikely that in the brief time you saw Rip Roar that the heroes could have taken him down. This is fine, as you need him to lead you to your next destination.
The group probably realizes that they have just encountered two ghosts trying to find help to stop some dread event.
Heroes may have suffered ill effects from battling the fire.
SCENE 2: “The Snowy Pass”
LOCATION: mountain regions
NPCs: Ice (stats available at DC Universe Role Playing Game resource Site), Rip Roar, Parademons
The heroes are dumped from the Boom Tube as it collapses with a thunderous boom. They find themselves standing in a foot and a half of snow, high in a mountainous area. They will soon discover that Reflexes are at -1D as long as they are standing in the snow as it greatly inhibits movement. Heroes may soon despair, as they see nothing else but rocky outcroppings and mountain faces. It is about 30 degrees F. out here and is snowing.
The group is actually high in snow capped mountains miles from the original Hidden valley location of the Homo magi. Rip Roar and about 5 parademons are actually only about 200 feet away but have walked around some rock outcroppings in their journey. Huge footprints can be seen in the snow. As the group begins to follow these prints, a figure can be made out through the falling snow up ahead. Surprisingly, it appears to be a human woman in a ghostly blue outfit. As you approach her she vanishes. This is, in reality, the ghost of Ice. She, like Vibe and Steel, is trying to lead you on. From your position at the spot where Ice was, the group momentarily sees a reflection of a city in a perfectly polished sheet of ice that was, most likely, created by the dead Justice Leaguer. Rip Roar and the parademons can also been seen from here. They have turned a corner and look your way, as this is their destination- the secret entrance to the Hidden City!
Rip Roar and his demons savagely attack the PCs! They will try to prevent the group from discovering the secret entrance to the city. It will take a Very Heroic Search roll to find an invisible gate in the area. This is the only entrance in. Once a character touches the gate, it becomes visible to that character as long as they are within 5 feet of it. The gate is along the edge of a precipice. Losing footing here will result in a deadly tumble down the mountain face into a lightly frozen mountain lake (BDV of 10Dx2 for the fall unless the PC can succeed at an Extremely Difficult Acrobatics or Climbing roll. From there, the character must find a way out of the icy lake or take 2D damage per round from the extreme cold. PCs will be Dazed from the shock).
The ghost of Ice will intervene one time, at a critical moment of the battle, using her powers to protect someone from a devastating attack by Rip Roar (an especially interesting save could have Rip Roar attack with his ice powers only to have them turned against him be Ice). If the heroes can get through the gate and latch it shut, they will be able to elude the parademons, but Rip Roar will be able to eventually break through. Treat the gate as having the strength of a bank vault door from the Narrator’s Screen.
Once through the gate, the group is in the midst of a beautiful (and warm) ancient city.
The hero group, a little worse for the wear, should have defeated Rip Roar and found there way into the legendary Lost City of the Homo magi. The belt in Rip Roar’s possession (from the museum) is actually a long lost artifact that will protect a Homo magi within 10 feet of it from the effects of immediately and madly falling in love with a Homo sapien and vice versa. This was meant as a gift to the Highlord from Darkseid to help him better resist an attack by humans on his Hidden City. If in your party’s possession, it will protect you from madly falling in love with the Magi. This is knowledge that the heroes do not have, however.
SCENE 3: “Fatal Attraction”
LOCATION: Ancient city streets
NPCs: Crimson Fox (stats at DCU RPG Resource site), 12 Homo Magi (see below)
SYNOPSIS: The ghost of Crimson Fox attempts to lure the group away from the attractions of the native Homo Magi.
Once the group makes their way into the Hidden City, they should all take notice of the ancient beauty of it. None of the trappings of our modern society are anywhere to be seen. A Difficult Perception roll will immediately allow a character to notice another ghost off in the distance. This time, it is Crimson Fox. She fades from view but will not be far. Fox is near the location that Zatanna is being held captive and can be used as a pointer of sorts.
Two rounds after entering the city, 6 members of the Homo magi race enter the scene (3 male and 3 female). Another 6 will enter on the following round from another direction (again, 3 male and 3 female). If any of your group are carrying or are within 10 feet of the belt that Rip Roar had stolen, they will not feel any special attraction to these magical people. Otherwise, characters must make a Willpower roll each round to keep from falling madly in love (this is also true of the Magi). Start with a Very Easy roll and increase this by 1 each round up to an Extremely Difficult level from then on. This should give your magical adversaries a round or two to make some sort of action against you before becoming your true love. They will not hesitate to shout out that there are human intruders.
Homo Magi: All stats 2D except: dodging 3D, marksmanship (spells) 4D, scholar (magic and Hidden Land) 4D, arcane lore 4D, languages 3D (Homo Magi +2D), know how (wizardry or sorcery) 5D, willpower 4D.
PDV 1, Unarmed BDV 1D, P/L Bonus +1, Body Points 14, Character points 2
Advantages: Magically adept. Disadvantages: Paranoia (distrust of Homo Sapiens), Psychological Disorder (innate attraction to Homo sapiens of the opposite gender).
Powers: Wizardry or Sorcery 5D
Heroes that do fall in love will not take any action against their love and will want to stay with them. Crimson Fox will intervene once and use her Pheromones on heroes to induce feelings of desire for her. This should be stronger than the desire toward the Homo magi (as Crimson Fox will not hesitate in using Character or Hero Points) and will allow heroes to break away long enough to follow Fox toward the center of the city where Zatanna is held.
This could be an interesting scene. Any character that falls in love will stick close for the duration of the adventure (they will not attempt to hinder or assist a character but can make for interesting role-playing).
Crimson Fox has led you to the heart of town, where, to your surprise, all you see is a small but very dense forest.
SCENE 4: “Elemental Encounter!”
NPCs: Crimson Fox, Metemorpho (stats available at the DC Universe Role-Playing Game Resource Site), Highlord (see below), Elemental Warriors (see below)
SYNOPSIS: The group encounters Highlord, the leader of the Homo magi, who promptly orders your capture by the cities warriors.
The PC group comes to the edge of a forest. Crimson Fox seems more substantial to you than the ghosts in the previous encounters. In reality, you are actually becoming more insubstantial, making this seem to be the case. The barriers between the living and the dead are slowly breaking down (and are more obvious here at the source of the disturbance). The interior of the forest cannot be seen by normal means even from above, as this is magical in nature with very dense cover. Fox will enter the woods, leaping from tree to tree, telling you that Zatanna is within.
Suddenly, a squadron of warriors armed with ancient weapons lunge from the trees and attacks you! The hero group may think that these warriors will also fall madly in love with any members of the opposite sex they encounter in your group. Not so. These are not members of the Homo magi race. They are, instead, magically animated beings of wood, rock and water created by the Highlord from the mystical forest you are now at (they look very realistic and cannot be distinguished as creations without an Extremely Difficult Perception roll or an appropriate power). These are the defenders of the Hidden City, as the real inhabitants cannot generally win in battle against humans because of their uncontrollable attraction. Stats are as follows:
Stone Warriors: All stats 2D except Brawling 3D, Melee Weapons 4D, Physique 10D, Lifting 12D. PDV 1D, Unarmed BDV 3D, P/L Bonus 6D, Body Points 70, Character Points 2, Natural Armor 3D. Equipment: Oversized Mace ( BDV 6D), Light Leather Armor (AV 6)
Wood Warriors: All Stats 3D except Brawling 4D,Dodging 4D, Melee Weapons 6D, Physique 8D, Lifting 10D. PDV 2D, Unarmed BDV 3D, P/L Bonus 5D, Body Points 59, Character Points 2, Natural Armor 1D.
Equipment: Sword (BDV 4D), Light Leather Armor (AV 6)
Water Warriors: All stats 4D except Reflexes 5D, Dodging 8D, Melee Weapons 8D, Physique 5D.
PDV 4D, Unarmed BDV 1D, P/L Bonus 2D, Body Points 35, Character Points 2.
Equipment: Bullwhip (BDV 2D), Light Leather Armor (AV 6)
There will be 2 warriors for each hero present (mix them up however you see fit). These animations are given life by Highlord using his Optic Gem. Highlord is floating high above the action, close to the treetops. Highlord will attempt to duck into the tree cover if he is about to be physically attacked.
Highlord stats : Reflexes 2D, brawling 3D, dodge 5D, Coordination 3D, marksmanship (spells) 9D, Physique 2D, Knowledge 3D, arcane lore 6D, languages 3D(Homo magi +2D), scholar 4D, Perception 3D, hide 5D, know how (sorcery) 9D, shadowing 5D, Presence 3D, command 7D, intimidation 7D, willpower 7D(10D vs. attraction to humans), Unarmed BDV 3D, PDV 3, P/L Bonus +1,Villian Points 10, Character points 70, Body Points 30.
Advantages: Magically adept. Disadvantages: Paranoia (distrust of Homo Sapiens), Psychological Disorder (innate attraction to Homo sapiens of the opposite gender).
Powers: Sorcery 12D
Equipment: Optic Gem: +8D to Wizardry or Sorcery when powered by Medulla Jewel (otherwise this is at +2D), +2D to know how (wizardry or sorcery) when powered by Medulla Jewel. Elemental Manipulation (limitation: earth, wood, water only, create animated constructs only) only when powered by Medulla Jewel.
This could be a difficult battle as the Highlord and his warriors are by no means pushovers. If the PCs have the belt that was found on Rip Roar, Highlord will try to magically take it from you.
As the battle rages, another JLA ghost makes his appearance. This time, it is Metamorpho who takes shape from a nearby rock. When he appears he mentions that he smells Crimson Fox around and couldn’t stay away! You can hear a sexy whispered female voice say “Oh, Rexy … !”
Metamorpho, who also seems fairly substantial, quickly recognizes for you that these warriors are actually animated elements (and he should know). He will physically be able to help the PC group one time in his ghostly body. Rex will be able to point out to the group that Highlord seems to be controlling the warriors through the necklace around his neck (the Optic Gem). If no one from the hero group has any luck separating the necklace from Highlord in a couple of rounds, let Metamorpho take care of this little bit of business. Even without the Optic Gem and the elemental warriors, Highlord is a potent foe.
As the battle continues, he will rant about how the Dark God will return the Magi to there former numbers and glory once he has his part of a dark bargain. The new Master has also delivered a degree of revenge on one of the Magi’s own (Zatanna) who has thwarted them in the past. Highlord will play cat and mouse with the group as he enters the thick woods and seems to blend into them. As this takes place he shouts out, ” The Dark Master warned to protect the Medulla Jewel from any threat! He has brought back it’s power and recreated the jeweled crown for it’s bearer- the half -breed Zatanna! We simply needed to use our knowledge of it to draw forth its energies as he observed it as part of an equa-!” Then, quite suddenly and to everyone’s surprise, Highlord abruptly DIES in mid-sentence!
The PCs have gone through a mind-bending battle with the help of the legendary Metamorpho. The scene ends on a strange note as their foe is dead and they must continue on to find Zatanna with the knowledge that Darkseid is up to something completely horrible.
The Optic Gem that Highlord wore is a powerful magical talisman and will come in handy to the hero group. If there is a magic user in your group, this is a prize indeed. Most of its power however comes from the Medulla Jewel, which you journey to find. The gem will send a surge of energy through the first person to touch it, acting as Healing 5D for one time only.
SCENE 5: “The Dungeon and the Dead!”
LOCATION: small dungeon
NPCs: Zatanna (stats available in the Magic Handbook), Flash (Barry Allen), ghostly armies
SYNOPSIS: The heroes find Zatanna who fills them in on their predicament. Ghostly armies attack and the Flash makes an appearance.
The hero group comes upon a faceless stone dungeon in the center of the small forest. No doors or windows can be seen (as there are none). After 2 rounds of the heroes trying to locate a means in, a small area of the wall will begin to vibrate. Almost instantly, the heroic figure of the Flash (the ghost of Barry Allen) steps through from the interior to the outside of the structure and looks around. He seems to register your group but looks beyond you to the ground just behind you.
Rising from the earth itself, are the ghosts of an army of 30 Roman soldiers! Flash begins to move and, before you can register that anything has happened, defeats the entire regiment.
Flash motions for you to follow him through the wall as he begins to vibrate and easily steps back through. Anyone who walks into the same spot that Flash just vibrated through within the first 5 seconds will also pass through the wall he set to vibrate. The intended way in, however, is to use the Optic Gem as a magical key. Simply touching the gem to the wall will cause the stones to open enough to form a perfect set of double doors.
As the group is finding it’s way in, more dead armies rise from all around you. After the Romans, an army of approximately 30 ghostly Egyptians attack. Next will be Barbarians, etc.
Ghostly Warrior stats are: All stats 2D except: Brawling 4D, Dodge 3D, Melee Weapons 4D, Physique 3D, Lifting 4D, Running 4D, Missile Weapons 4D,Thrown Weapons 3D. PDV 1, Unarmed BDV 3D, P/L Bonus +2, Character Points 2, Body Points 19. Equipment: assortment of ancient weapons, Armor AV 10
The vibrational difference between the ghosts and the hero group has become less and less, allowing a normal battle here at the source of the disturbance. The ghosts will not be able to penetrate the magical dungeon walls but will, like you, be able to step through the doorway created by the Optic Gem. Touching the Optic Gem to the wall once inside will close the portal so as to prevent ghost armies from pursuing you further.
An obviously weak and pained Zatanna stands in the center of the dungeon, hunched over but supported by the ghost of Barry Allen. Her wrists look as though someone had attempted to slit them but wasn’t completely successful (Zatanna had done this herself). On her head rests a jeweled crown pulsing with power. The daughter of magic forces her head up to look over the group that has risked so much to be here. She speaks in a belabored voice:
” Thank you for your heroic efforts of the past day. Before we all enter into Anti-Life, let me tell you a story. In each generation, one child of the Homo magi race is born with the Medulla Jewel, which gives power to our entire race. I am that child in this generation! Darkseid realized this when the Highlord revealed the Hidden City to him in a mad attempt to reclaim the power we once held on this earth. The New God recreated the Jeweled crown once destroyed by the Justice League and delivered unto the Highlord his Medulla Child- me. They gained vengeance on me for an earlier defeat by the JLA and myself (see JLA #164, March 1979), reclaimed their power source and, according to Darkseid, would lose their attraction to Homo sapiens.
Darkseid has come to believe there is ancient knowledge in the Medulla Jewel that would afford him the missing piece to the Anti-Life equation he has always sought! Unfortunately, the Jewel is a part of me– it’s a structure that resides in my mind and is channeled though the crown!
He is there — so close to fitting together the missing knowledge into his hellish formula … the formula that will erase the life frequency from this universe! You must KILL ME now, before he deciphers it completely! I have tried but am unable to do the deed. The fiend somehow prevents me from taking my life completely. He resides in my mind now, as he hopes to do everywhere. I am not allowed to live — am not allowed to die — all will be Anti-Life …!
The frequencies of life and death are already beginning to converge, as can be seen by our ability to interact with the dead.
Destroy me now … please …”
Any of the group that try to get to Zatanna find themselves unable to get closer than 5 feet to her. Darkseid has created a 20D forcefield around her to prevent any surprises during his search.
The Optic Gem will glow brightly in such close proximity to the Medulla Jewel. The wearer will once again benefit from Healing of 5D one time as he or she approaches within 10 feet of Zatanna (if the wearer already has full Body Points, he or she may pass the Gem to another character in need to receive this benefit). Zatanna will see the Optic Gem glow and have an idea.
” The power of the Optic Gem- it gives us another option! Alone I wouldn’t have had the power, but a spell focused though that gem …. If neither you nor I can slay me, I can mystically transport you to the Medulla Jewel- where HE is! Do NOT allow him the final piece of the puzzle!”
Before there is time to react, Zatanna casts a spell- transporting you into her mind!
SCENE 6: “Sense and Sensibility!”
LOCATION: inside Zatanna’s mind
NPCs: Kalibak the Cruel (stats available at DC Universe Role-Playing Game resource Site)
SYNOPSIS: Finding themselves in the sense centers of the mind, our heroes must face the power of Kalibak!
(Note: for more detailed adventures in the realm of the mind, see “Dream Machine”, a 1986 DC Heroes Module put out by Mayfair games)
The hero group arrive on a spongy gray landscape with a thick fog all around. The fog is dense enough that a -1D to Perception is applied. The area is laid out in the shape of a donut, with the center being the mind’s Language Center. The circle of the donut is divided into 5 regions, each corresponding to one of the 5 senses (these are the sense processing areas). Smell, Touch, Hearing, Touch and Sight are represented. Each area has it’s own particular quirks that the heroes must deal with. Though they do not know this, the Language Center in the center of the ‘Donut’ is where the group must go to find the Medulla Jewel that is being observed and manipulated by Darkseid.
The PCs have begun their journey in the Smell Center. Their sense of smell is greatly heightened and, although seeing is very difficult because of the fog (which is thickest and generates from the Language center), characters should be able to smell an opponent.
A foul odor accosts the group. The smell becomes stronger until it is sickening. You hear a guttural speech from 10 feet ahead of you (between yourselves and the Language center) just as they make out a gigantic humanoid form. This is Kalibak, son of Darkseid the Destroyer.
“My father has both killed me and brought me back to life so often that I hardly remember if I am living or dead. The difference is inconsequential. Soon, there will be NO difference! Anti-Life is all there shall be- Anti-Life under the sway of Darkseid!
If characters move 100 feet in any direction, they move out of the Smell Center and into either the Hearing Center or Touch center. Kalibak will continue after the group no matter which way they go. He is a brutal opponent and will not surrender (he also wants to prove that he can destroy you all where his rival, Rip-Roar, failed). Kalibak will be confused for one round should the group split up and go in completely different directions. After the initial confusion, he will pursue the opponent who appears to be the strongest. This will be an opportunity for half of the group to see what was behind Kalibak and discover the Language Center.
If you wander into the Touch Center, any touch becomes so enhanced that a Willpower roll is needed vs. the damage from an attack. If the roll fails, the PC is in so much pain that he or she will be incapacitated for the number of rounds equal to the difference in rolls. A Difficult Perception roll allows a character to feel ghostly people brushing past. This would be a great time to have an old character (or two) who may have died in one of your previous campaigns speak to the group. They warn of the coming Anti-Life and will try to direct you to the Language Center.
Wandering into the Hearing Center enhances all sounds to an incredible level. There will always be whispered voices. Any sonic attack gets +3D and simple yelling causes pain and discomfort. A Difficult Perception roll will allow a character to recognize that the whisperings are from the Dead. This would be a great time to have an old character (or two) who may have died in one of your previous campaigns speak to the group. They warn of the coming Anti-Life and will try to direct you to the Language Center.
Feel free to come up with appropriate quirks for the Taste and Sight Centers. Hopefully, you will not have to actually journey there and the heroes will quickly find the Language Center. For10 feet around the Language Center, all 5 senses will be at -2D until you actually reach it.
The Language Center is behind a Great Barrier. Normally this would be locked and near impenetrable. Today, however, it is broken away and dissolved, as the barriers between life and death are doing the same. On the other side of this barrier, you can make out the figures of a couple of the dead characters you may have used in earlier campaigns. If you don’t have any, feel free to utilize a couple of dead mainstream heroes such as the Zatara (Magic Sourcebook), Robin 2 (Gotham Sourcebook) or Aztek (JLA Sourcebook). They will be able to join you for the remainder of this adventure. If need be, allow them to assist with the battle against Kalibak.
The hero group should have picked up a couple of much needed allies. The drama is better if they were once one of their own. They are probably hurting badly from the battle with Kalibak and all that led up to it. Time to suck it up, as the final encounter lies behind the Barrier.
SCENE 7: ” Darkseid IS”
LOCATION: At the Medulla Jewel
NPCs: Darkseid (DC Universe RPG Resource Site), two ghosts of heroes of your choice from last scene
SYNOPSIS: As Darkseid plays with many possibilities for the Anti-Life Equation, the hero group must destroy the Medulla Jewel.
Behind the dissolving Great Barrier is a set of stairs that spirals down into darkness. Special vision powers will not pierce t he darkness and an underlying fear permeates the very air around you. Each round, have the PCs make a Willpower roll vs. the ever-increasing fear. Start at Very Easy and increase by one each round until reaching Extremely Difficult. Failing a roll will force a PC back up to the entrance of the Great Barrier. Only by passing through this fear can you finally emerge from the stairs to the base of the Medulla Jewel (there is no physical distance involved).
Finally, there is light. Standing in front of you, and linked to the Medulla Jewel by tendrils if energy from his great stony head, stands the lord of Apokolips- Darkseid!
Darkseid has much of his attention on the calculations he is making at hundreds per second as he observes the energies he is linked to in the Medulla Jewel. It may look like he does not register you but this is not entirely the case. Darkseid’s Initiative will be at -3D and his Perception will be at -2D because of his split attentions, but he will still be able to act against you.
As you ready yourself for the final confrontation, Darkseid speaks. ” Weakling Humans. You have no hope. All will soon be Anti-Life and all Anti-Life will bend to my will! My final observations and calculations are but minutes away and you will, in no way, be able to stop me!”
The PCs’ best chance lay in the fact that Darkseid has connected himself to the energies of the Medulla Jewel to observe its functions. This limits him by preventing him from moving from his current location (or even turning completely around). Any damage you can inflict upon the Medulla Jewel will cause a painful feedback to the Dark God, making this the most efficient way of hurting him. Every point of damage to the Medulla Jewel inflicts 2 points of damage to Darkseid while he is attached. The Jewel’s defensive stats are as follows:
PDV 6, Body Points 60, Force Field 4D.
After two rounds of battle, one ghostly warrior will materialize to help battle the PCs each round. A clever player may realize that you can also call in help from the ghostly forces of good now that you are so close to the source of the disturbances. Either of the two dead characters with you can contact other ghostly heroes for help with a Critical Success on a Wild Die. You might want to utilize heroes from the All Star Squadron or JSA that are no longer among the living (see JSA Sourcebook).
Darkseid will disengage from the energies once he is down to1/3 of his Body Points (38 Body Points). At this time, the Medulla Jewel will lose it’s Force Field of 4D, making it easier to destroy (destroying the Medulla Jewel will not permanately harm Zatanna as Darkseid has prevented Zatanna from dying while he resides in her mind).
Once the group succeeds in destroying the Jewel in Zatanna’s mind, Darkseid will abruptly cease his activities. He will seemingly stare into each of your eyes at the same moment and say,
“This is beyond belief. You have won. The darkness fades, even as we speak. But remember … the darkness cannot surrender. It is always with you. Beware the curse of darkness which shall come!”
There is a blinding flash. The next thing you see is your group lying on the ground next to Zatanna and outside of the dungeon that had held her. Shards of the jeweled crown that had been on her head lay all about. None of the ghostly heroes or warriors that have been with you remains. If any of your party actually died while in Zatanna’s mind, they will be returned to life and at the Body Points they were at before the death blow was struck (healing will be normal).
Now that the Medulla Jewel is destroyed, the power of the Optic Gem is at a much reduced level (see the write-up of the Optic Gem with Highlord’s stats). With its destruction, Zatanna is no longer of use to the Homo magi.
The universe itself has been saved but you have earned the notice of one of the most powerful and evil forces in the universe. The warning he left you with can be used as a device in a much later adventure as, even though he often lets an enemy live on, Darkseid loves to leave a curse on those who have thwarted him. This should be food for thought as time goes on for your hero group.