FA Session 22: Road to Londinium

   With the city more or less secure, an assortment of information as detrimental to the mages guild as possible handed out, and the locals getting organized (despite a regrettable tendency to look to the visiting adventurers for recommendations and leadership… Kevin groaned… that’s right, everybody keep looking at the 14-year-old fey-demon mischief-maker for leadership… “Go look at Marty!”), it was time to take stock.

   It looked like Londinium was the mages stronghold, as well as the capital of Baelaria, the center of operations for the ministry of magic, and the probable location for the primary “well” and biggest labs. The locals weren’t really sure what to do; some were advocating swift assault while others were talking of digging in and using the portals to other realms as a supply line during a long-term war. What with their general impatience, the group decided on “fast”. The mages had won in too many places to let them consolidate. That meant that they wouldn’t have time to wait for those Voidstone amulets; even if they had just provided plenty of Voidstone, it would take a day or so to set it.

   The situation in Londinium was hard to ascertain. While the Guild had apparently managed to achieve swift victory, energy discharges were increasing in the city, refugees were fleeing, the news was scrambled, and the military was trying to comprehend what just happened. It looked like they’d received orders from one or more of their commanders to head to the frontier and prepare for an assault.

   Come to think of it, on the subject of “assault”, they sent the Mirage back to the Singularites for a tactical program upgrade. It didn’t seem to comprehend ranges of less than twenty miles or so, so it relied on its pilot to limit it – and Jarvian just wasn’t inclined towards limiting his firepower.

   Marty wanted to use the sewer system – it was supposed to be one of the most extensive and robust in the realm – but it mostly opened up along the river. Still, people did seem to be fleeing the city – and it looked like the mages attempts at stopping them were being countered. Looked like some of the “refugees” were covering the others.

   Well, that would make good cover – hm, disguising themselves as war profiteers would be even better – and they could just duck into the sewers once they were in the city. It was a three-day walk, so Kevin busied himself getting a steam-truck out from under the rubble (and dealing with a free fire elemental which liked beer.. He encouraged it to live in the brewery fireboxes: it could get all it wanted and the locals would never know). Smoke liked the idea; it meant they actually could get food/medicine/etcetera to endangered civilians. Smoke and Marty headed off to Potterworld to get some goods – medicines, weapons, and such for preference, food for second best. Platform 9 3/4’ths connected to Potterworld London, so it was an easy enough trip. The locals had apparently noticed all the school traffic, so there were plenty of shops… It didn’t look like Magic was as “secret” as the books had originally implied – and it looked like the disappearances had been more widespread than just Hogwarts. There was a lot on the TV about them. They made a note to tell Kevin about it later.

   Getting the stuff back through the station turned awkward. A truckload of stuff was just a bit conspicuous.

   They settled on having Marty drive a U-haul truck up the steps and through while Smoke did an impromptu solo Shakespeare performance to distract everyone. It was quite a performance – but there was still panic (Truck Bomb!) when the truck came up the steps. The cops reacted very quickly indeed – but Marty made it through and the station on the Baelaria side was pretty much deserted anyway.

   Back in Potterworld, the locals were speculating about “it being one of those weird superhero bombs”. Looked like they were more aware of the Manifold than they used to be – and the cops were certainly aware of Smoke, and the connection wasn’t hard to make. At least one of them was also aware of – and apparently immune to – forgetting spells.

   Smoke explained. This mostly just added to the confusion, but the cop who apparently had truthsense – and decided that he both didn’t like the implications and didn’t want to try and explain to anyone else. He also didn’t want a repeat.

   Kevin put a flame-construct into the firebox, they loaded up the Golem and the Kids and Smoke and started off… Marty had to drive: the thing didn’t have a computer.

   Perhaps fortunately with the way that Marty drove, Kevin and the kids had never seriously considered the possibility of being hurt in a vehicle. Within a few hours they could see the city of Londinium ahead. Everything looked calm at that distance, but the masses of people walking alongside the roads testified that things were not as they seemed.

   They settled down to trading supplies for information – and got harangued by a finely-dressed young man with a couple of thuggish bodyguards. Smoke was pleased: a possible future hero. The guy was a bit startled to find that they only really wanted information – what was going on in Londinium, what the major factions were, if there was lots of resistance or were the mages crushing everyone with an iron hand, what were the local garrisons up to (and was Baelaria run by a King of Queen?). He guessed that they were Manifolders quickly enough. They had a discussion over lunch.

   Apparently the local underworld was not happy with the Mages Guild. The mage’s thought they had control of the city when the stormed parliament and captured the Prime Minister. Several members of the Military, the police, and the Ministry of Magic had been in on the coup. Of course, that meant that everyone and their grandmother started to rise up and do whatever they wanted. The mages had been having a hell of a time trying to maintain order ever since – while the underworld had been busy trying to keep the civilian casualties to a minimum. He was pleased to find that the group was also pretty unhappy with the Mages Guild – and that Kevin and company were quite willing to take them on directly. The deal was simple: the “family” would help them slip into the city and help locate targets – and the group would do something about them. The Family could handle the generals and officials, but there were four major mages (currently truing to prepare for the arrival of the military) plus the Minister of Magic and her six powerful subordinates (and two powerful bodyguards) behind the defenses of the Ministry of Magic to deal with. So: 11 major targets, two annoying bodyguards, and other targets of opportunity.

   Well, since the Family would be covering their arrival (taking them in disguised as a container), they wouldn’t need the truck and the supplies. The Family suggested starting in the SW side of town: the mages presence was weakest there.

   2 CP and two new Contacts: Officer Dulandal (From Potterworld) and Taraq the “mobster”.