Campaign of the Month: March 2014

Gotham Reborn

Gotham Reborn Newsletter - Issue #1
Announcements will be and Decisions have been made!

Announcement #1: Obsidian Portal invites have been sent out

You should have all received an invite to join the Obsidian Portal site. If you’re not going to be able to play, I’d kindly ask you to remove yourself. You’re welcome to favorite the site still, but I want to keep my Player list clean. The site is still under construction but a good amount of information from the last two series still exists. I’ll be cleaning it up shortly.

Decision #1: It will take place Friday nights starting at 8pm CST

When it came to which day the game will take place on the decision was based less on everyone’s input and more on my personal schedule. Friday nights simply work better for me than Saturdays. Sadly, this means not all of you will be able to play. I wasn’t trying to exclude anyone with this decision, but ensure that my personal life continues to grow and develop in my new town.

Decision #2: The game will start on January 3rd, 2014

Hopefully starting the first Friday of January won’t interfere with anyone’s New Year’s plans. Next weekend I’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday so that’s out. The 20th and 27th are very close to Christmas and I expect people to have weekend holiday plays. While January 3rd may interfere with New Years for some people, I’m hoping most people will still be free. I’ll be adding the game day to the Obsidian Portal page and I’d ask you to RSVP ASAP.

Announcement #2: The first session will be Character Creation

Since Google Hangouts has a flow-chart app, I think we’ll be able to do Pathways with little to no difficulty. I’ll play around with the software this weekend but it should work for what we need. If not, I’ll manage the pathways chart myself.

Don’t worry if you’re not too familiar with Dramatic Role-Playing (or Smallville) character creation. Just know that it’s group based but it’s a good idea to have an idea for the kind of character you’re interested in. Avoid specifics, but have a broad idea.

For those familiar with the process, there will be a custom Pathways chart. So, no working ahead.

Decision #3: It will be a DC Based Game

First, in regards to the informal survey I sent out recently: I’ve decided to remain in Gotham City. After consideration, I feel like Gotham City is as much of a character as Batman. Marvel doesn’t have a location that I feel is nearly as strong as Gotham is. I toyed with the idea of the game focused around creating a new Avengers group, but I just wasn’t happy with the mood change.

While the game will be set in the DC Universe, it’s my version of the DC Universe. I’ve shuffled various storylines around and brought in elements from movies, video games, television shows, and the original comics. The game is also focused around Gotham City, but outside characters will occur from time to time. The player character’s should reflect a Gotham-centric style though. Technology and training over magic and aliens.

Decision #4: It will be a reboot of Gotham Nights

The second major decision was the timeline of the game. I haven’t had much response from my original player base so I’ve decided to reboot the story. Right now I have three Series mapped out; “Gotham Reborn”, “Gotham Burns”, and “Gotham Crisis”.

Gotham Reborn will be about vigilantes rising up to fill the void left by Batman. I specifically use the term vigilantes, because you do not need to be heroes in the traditional sense. You do need to oppose the Villains and generally operate in a method you believe will make Gotham a better place. Your definition of “better” may (and should) vary.

Gotham Burns will be about the Villains rising up to challenge your old Vigilantes. And Gotham Crisis will see former Vigilantes and Villains coming together to save Gotham’s past.

Announcement #3: Character will be Gotham Style Vigilantes

I know I covered this a bit in the last two decisions, but it’s important and I want to really emphasize this. Your characters for the first Series will be Vigilantes, not Villains. The second Series will feature new Villains but right now we’re starting at the beginning.

Your Vigilantes should also be Batman or Gotham styled. No aliens, no magic, no “Superheroes”. Characters should have a healthy dosage of the Gotham Three Ts: Technology, Training, and Tragedy. When coming up with concepts, ask yourself if the character would stand next to Batman, Nightwing, Oracle, Red Robin, etc. If you have to use the phrase “this one (obscure) Batman character…” then ditch that idea and go back to the drawing board.

Decision #5: There will be “priority” seating

In the survey I asked for a commitment level and while I appreciate your input, I’m more curious to see how that commitment will shake out. The first few games will be on a first come, first served basis but after that I’ll be dividing up the players into two groups: “Primary Characters” and “Secondary Characters”. Any player who shows up for at least four sessions in a row (regardless of if they were able to play or not) will become our “Primaries”. Missed session exceptions will be given for announced absences if advanced notice is given. I’ll post more information on this system to Obsidian Portal.

This way I’m able to build a game around a core group of characters and reward players who are dedicated to the game. Those of you who selected the every other week or irregular commitment level are still more than welcome to join. I’m just hoping to get a core group of three-four characters and two-three rotating seats. Of course, if I get six super dedicated players the open seating may be closed in favor of creating a solid reliable group.

Announcement #4: This is the end of the newsletter

I’ll be moving these updates to the Obsidian Portal page from here out. Keep your eyes on the Adventure Log for announcements in the future. This one will be cross-posted there as well.

How’s all that for a nice wall of text? If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to reach out to me either by e-mail or on Obsidian Portal. Thanks guys, I look forward to seeing you all in Gotham shortly!

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Gotham Reborn Newsletter - Issue #2
The State of the Portal

We’re two weeks away from out casting call and with the holidays just around the corner I expect things to be a little chaotic. I’ve done my best to get the portal site to a state that it’s mostly complete. As such, I’d like to take a minute to explain and familiarize you with the various sections.

First off, we have the Home Page. This is usually the first thing you see when you visit the portal. I’m keeping News posts on there as well as an Episode Guide. There isn’t much there right now but you’ll want to check it before and after episodes for updates.

The Main Page is the home to all the wiki information. I’ll go through a few specific sections for you, but when I talk about going to the Face or Location pages this is where you’ll look.

On the wiki, there are two big fat important sections that are (more or less) finished up. First, theSetting Primer is the backstory to the Gotham City we’ll be playing in. Give it a read, find out who all’s dead, see the bleak and hopelessness of Gotham City.

The section that is probably more important to you for making characters is the Face Briefings page. I’ve gone through and separated out thirty important Feature characters for you to use during Pathways. They all have a brief synopsis of public knowledge about them, some have Arkham profiles, and details about their location, names, status, and the like. If you have a question about a specific DC Character, check here.

There is also a Locations page where I’ve divided up places in Gotham City that may be important to characters. This page has the die rating for each location type and some places have a brief bit of detail. If you REALLY want to see Gotham City though, check out the Map section. I have a full map of Gotham City with location markers for every Location on the Locations page. Orange places have write-ups, Brown places are just names.

Back on the Main Page]] you’ll find a System section that breaks down all the various rules changes that I’ve implemented from Cortex+ Dramatic Roleplaying. The game is going to be part Dramatic (Smallville), part Action (Leverage), part Heroic (Marvel) and part Collaborative (Spark RPG). The Character Creation section will be your go-to for making characters: DO NOT USE THE SMALLVILLE BOOKS. Some things have been changed, I do Stress totally differently, and I’ve compiled information from the Core book, Yearbook, Watchtower, and Hacker’s Guide for this.

The System section is also where I detail the basic rules for the game. Scenes and Actions will teach you how to play and, again, it’s a little different than stock Smallville. Advance and Reflect goes over the end session rules as well as character advancement. I’ve done away with the Growth Pool, so brush up on this to see how your character’s will grow. Finally, the Plot Points and Trouble Pool detail how those two element work.

The last two places on the Portal I want to talk about are “Backend” areas. They look a little different, because their not publicly facing. First, we have the Calendar where I’ll keep everyone informed of game days. Please, please, please, RSVP to games early so I can get a feeling for how many people I can expect.

The other, far more important, backend area is the Forum. I’ll be using the Forum over the next few weeks to run ideas by you guys and get feedback. I have a few posts up there already, so if you haven’t taken the time to review them please do. Once the game starts, I’ll be gathering in-between game writing for players there as well. So, keep an eye open for those posts.

Right now on the Forums I have a few posts that could really use your attention. First, the Value Voting post discusses Values for the game and I could use a hand narrowing down what we’re going to us. If you have favorite Batman\DC stories, let me know about them in the Batman Recommendations post so I can check out some stuff I may not be aware of. The Feature Input post has had some action, but is still wide open for contribution. If there are character you want to see as a Feature, let me know there. Finally, the Extra credit Homework post talks a bit about how you could do a little writing and help get ahead on the game.

I know this might all seem like a lot to take in, but hopefully it still sounds like fun. My goal is to have some stuff for you guys to check out or write up over the holiday season, because if you’re like me you’re going to have an odd amount of free time between incredibly busy times.

That’ll do it for this newsletter. See you guys in Gotham!

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Gotham Reborn Newsletter - Issue #3
Casting Call Day!

Casting for Gotham Reborn begins tonight! To celebrate I wrote a short vignette, a meta-piece for the game. While a bit longer than the majority of my intros, this is a very similar style to how I write game opening scenes. Hopefully, it’ll give you a little taste of the style.

I created a Google Event for the game, and I’ve been lead to believe that the Hangouts liked to reoccurring events share the same key. So, the url should always be

https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/calendar/cm9ianVzdGljZTc3N0BnbWFpbC5jb20.rf48nasuoeu83dvl8jqpbchcn4

But don’t worry, I’ll make sure there is always a link in the portal to the latest Hangout if it changes. Just check the Home Page and look for the Google Hangouts link.

As a reminder, this first event is open to every possible player and isn’t limited to the six-seat limit future events are subject to. Invite friends and interested parties. Even if their not on the Obsidian Portal page, they can still join in if their interested.

Now, without further ado, I give you the “Casting Call” opening scene.

The camera fades in on a conference room. A bunch of middle aged white men in suits sit around with their portfolios in front of them looking very businesslike. At the end of the table is a younger man, mid-twenties, with papers and sketches laying in front of him. The young man is just finishing up speaking, “And that’s my idea for a new Batman show.”
One of the old men harrumphs and says, “Now, I don’t know much about this Bat Man but the kids love him. I don’t know if he’s the right fit for our 18-35 demographic.” He says Batman as two words.
“Not just kids, sir. Batman is a pop culture icon. People of all ages love him.”
The old men laugh. “Grown men?! Reading comics books? No no no. We’re trying to get the demographic with lots of disposable income to sell to the advertisers. Not a bunch of nerd virgins.”
The young man just shakes his head and the camera fades out.

Now we see the same young man, a slightly larger stake of papers and sketches, laying out in front of him. This time though the room looks more like a dorm room than business office. A handful of late twenties men sit around on sofas and in arm chairs as our young protagonist is setup on a coffee table. Again he’s saying, “…idea for a new Batman show.”
One of the other guys nods, “Yeah. That’s good. We’ll do his origin as the first episode and really establish the character.”
The young guy beams, “That’d be fantastic!”
Another guy says, “We can open right with the murder of his parents. We’ll have the mugger blow his mom’s head right off. It’ll be totally visceral, brains on the little Bruce Wayne’s face and everything!”
The young man looks a little concerned, “Well… that’s a little more violent than…” but he’s cut off.
“You don’t want to open with violence, that’ll turn people off. Gotta open with sex. We’ll start the show with Batman and Catwomen banging on the rooftops of Gotham. We’ll need an actress that’ll do full frontal too, since we can totally do that there isn’t any reason to be subtle.”
Again, the young man lowers his head in defeat and the camera fades out.

Next the young man is sitting in a conference room again, but instead of being surrounded by suits he’s sitting next to early-thirties men and women dressed business casual. He’s finishing his pitch again, “…new Batman show.”
Everyone in the room nods for a second, trades glances. Then one lady speaks up. “We like it. We’ll start with a Year One adaptation, then season two will focus on the Long Halloween. If the story is already written, why change it?”
The young man, skeptical, nods. “Ok, sounds good.”
Another man speaks up, “Yeah, we like to stay faithful to the material here. At least for the first couple seasons.”
The young man is nodding, but the last part catches his attention, “A couple seasons?”
“Yeah, hook the fans. Once their in we can start doing our own stuff.”
“Like… what?”
“Who knows? We’ll see what the writers come up with each week and spend the last couple episodes of the seasons working it all together.”
The young man lowers his head again and the camera fades out.

Now the young man, looking a little older, sits in front of a white board. He’s talking to the camera, sketches bordering his face.
“And that’s why I turned to you, the fans. I’ve pitched this idea to numerous networks and could never get anyone to see eye to eye with me. Everyone thinks Batman needs to be either too childish or too adult. No one wants to have a plan, a vision. What I want to do is map out a Batman show that’s serious, real world, and dramatic. I don’t want lazy writing, or half-ass plots that get deus ex’d together. That’s where you come in. With your help we can make my vision a reality. And I have some great rewards for your pledges too…”
The screen cuts to the young man talking with a young lady who’s saying “I can’t believe you funded so quickly!”. The man smiles, “I knew I would. This is the Batman people have wanted for years.”
The screen cuts again, now the young man is sitting with three other people in casting chairs. A folding table is setup in front of them and folders and head-shots litter the surface. One of them men looks to our protagonist, “Ready?” The young man nods, “Send in the first audition!”

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Gotham Reborn Newsletter - Issue #4
Character Creations Deadline!

Short newsletter with just a couple announcements. We had a few people turn out for the Casting Call on Friday and a couple characters are (mostly) complete. The first session will be happening on January 10th and if you wish to play characters must be completed and posted before then.

The Character Creation page has been updated with a brief guide to creating characters, including links to relevant places. If you missed the Casting Call then the burden of creation falls on you. Please take the time and read over the various system sections and learn how the pieces work by next Friday. If you have questions post them to the forum or send me a message here on Obsidian Portal. As I see characters appearing on the site I’ll contact you if I notice anything that’s not quite right.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO FILL OUT THE CASTING CALL SPREADSHEET!

Thats it for now. Lets get some Character’s posted and I’ll see you guys in Gotham!

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Webisode - Episode 1: Gotham Nights

Hatter Stays Put

The webisode starts with a shot of Arkham Asylum. A quick cut moves inside the building where we see Dr. Matias Maxwell walking though it’s halls with Hugo Strange. Maxwell is talking;
“I know I’ve been calling in a lot of favors around here lately, but I was wondering if you could help me with one last thing?”
“Dr. Maxwell, you are one of our largest supporters. You know that my facility functions because of your help, my services are always at your disposal.”
“I understand one of your inmates, Mr. Jarvis Tetch, is slated to be moved to another facility.”
“…”
“I’d prefer of Tetch stayed put. Transferred into solitary confinement.”
“This is hardly your concern Mr…”
Strange can’t finish his sentence, as Matias stops dead in his tracks.
“Doctor. I have seen numerous health and safety violations during my many visits here. If my monetary contributions aren’t enough maybe my silence is. Keep Tetch here. Am I understood?”
Strange looks upset, but nods agreement. The scene cuts and we see Matias walking out of Arkham and climbing into a waiting car.
“Strange isn’t happy about this but your tip clearly paid off.”
“Yeaas. I imagine he would be. Thank you, Dr. Maxwell. We both know we can’t have the Hatter absconding his bonds. It should save us both a lot of trouble.”
“Hatter is nothing to me. But I don’t even want to know what trouble you’re in, Cobblepot.”
The scene fades out.

Zsasz is Captured

The show cuts to GCPD SWAT officers moving through a wooded park somewhere in Gotham City. The move quickly and fluidly though the thin trees and underbrush. When they spot their target they split and begin circling the perp. A voice calls out, the stern fatherly voice of James Gordon.
“Victor Zsasz! Put your hands up and step away from the body!”
The camera moves in and we see Zsasz kneeling in a pool of blood, the body of Simon Chesswell laying dead on the ground. Zsasz lifts his hands in the air and begins to rise slowly.
“Hello, Jimmy.”
“Victor, put the knife down and step aside slowly.”
“It’s ok, Jimmy. I was just finishing an old job. Never want to leave work incomplete.”
Two officers move towards Zsasz, one keeping a shotgun pointed at his head. The other pulls out handcuffs and pulls Zsasz’s hands behind his back. The camera fades out as the officers arrest Victor Zsasz.

Powers get Annoyed

The episode cuts to the office of Derek Powers, CEO of Powers Technology. Derek sits behind his desk and his secritary stands across from him. Powers looks annoyed.
“Mr. Fox says he isn’t interested in a buyout. He says they have already found a new CEO and will be making the announcement Monday morning.”
“This is unacceptable, Vanessa.”
“I know you’re disappointed Mr. Powers, but there is only so much we can do.”
Derek Powers stands up, placing his hands on his desk and leaning forward, “We will own Wayne Enterprises, Vanessa. Keep trying.”

Falcone frees Dent

In the next shot we return to Arkham Asylum to watch as Carmine Falcone escorts a free Harvey Dent out the front door. The pair walk to Carmine’s waiting limo and climb in.
“I appreciate the rescue, Falcone, but I don’t understand why.”
Carmine smiles smoothly, “There is a war coming, Mr. Dent. And I need soldiers.”
“The name is Two-Face. That coward Dent killed himself a year ago. And I’m not a soldier.”
Carmine’s look turns serious, “Oh, I know you’re not just a common soldier. And I don’t intend to give you any orders.”
Carmine turns from Two-Face to address the driver, “Driver, take us to the old Solomon Wayne Courthouse please.”
Two-Face looks at Falcone and Falcone smiles again, “A gift, Two-Face. A new home and a fresh start.”

Bane Stays Put

The show cuts to an nondescript building somewhere in Gotham. Inside a bunch of goons stand around talking. Their cheap suits and masks give them away as Black Mask’s men.
“I don’t get why the Boss would even want the guy. He’s nuts.”
“Ours isn’t to question why.”
“I just don’t think this is gonna work. Blackgate is a supermax and Bane is in the supermax of the supermax.”
Then the door swings open. The streetlight floods in, making the figure in the doorway glow ethereally. His dirty duster and hat give him away and one of the goons goes for his gun. Brimstone moves quicker and slams a shoulder into the goon, launching the gun across the room. A brawl ensues and by the end only Brimstone is left standing. He bends down and lifts a conscious, but seriously injured, man up by his collar.
“Tell your Boss that Bane stays put. You tell Black Mask that. You tell him that if I see you around here again that I’ll come for him. You tell him.”
Then Brimstone delivers a hard elbow to the mans head and drops the now limp body to the floor.

Agent Arrival

The show then cuts to a small plane soaring over the Gotham Skyline. As we watch the single seat drops from the unit and plummets towards the ground. The rest of the plane soars up into the sky but the camera tracks the seat. The plane’s lone passenger picks up speed before deploying a tear-away parachute. His descent slows and another chute launches. The seat jars but the passenger looks relaxed. When the chair is a few feet from the ground the man cuts the chute and lands on the pavement hard. He cuts the straps that held him to the seat and stands. He pulls off his helmet and tosses it onto the seat. Then from his belt he pulls a flare and tosses it into the pile. The chair, parachute and helmet burst into flames and the man turns away.
“Agent to Checkmate. Come in Checkmate.”
“Checkmate here. Verify location and name.”
“Gotham City. Deadshot. "

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Brimstone's Journal - Episode 1: Gotham Nights
Birdscratchings on a page.

Someone sent a message over the TV. House in the Narrows was highlighted with an open invitation to Vigilantes. Had to check it out, wasn’t the only one. Sleeper watched the building when I arrived. My knuckles itched.
Sleeper had also seen the message. Tried to find quiet entrence, Sleeper kicked down the door. Awful racket. My knuckles really itched. We headed inside. Downtrodden building in downtrodden neighborhood. Took time to find the right appartment. Vagabond was already there. Murder had been comitted in there. Smell of blood overbearing. Didn’t see much of use. Woman, Stabbed in heart, neck snapped, Blood covering floor. Cops arrived so had to skip. Sleeper had set rendezvous at Cape Carmine Lighthouse. Vagabond was late. Though he brought clues. Womans name was Sarah Went, Etchson according to checkbook. Still warm when Vagabond arrived. Checkbook had a diffrent adress. Over in Westvillage.

Set of with Vagabond and Sleeper in tow. Awkward silence as Sleeper drove his boat upriver.
Arrived at appartmentbuilding, decent, middleclass, light security. Got the lock open. Owner, Douglas Went, sleeping soundly. Searched appartment. Douglas got married to Sarah fairly recently. Divorced soon after. “Irreconcilable differences”. Sarah had post forwarded to adress in Narrows. Vagabond wanted to lean on Douglas, See if he knew anything. Sleeper didn’t agree. Sided with Sleeper. Sleeper planted bug in appartment. Note to self, sweep apartment twice a day.

Police arrived to see Douglas. Bug told us Sarah’s brother is Abattoir. Nutcase serial killer. Only kills familymembers.
Probable motive for divorce. Police took Douglas into protective custody. Group split up to tap contacts, Reconvene later. Fresh Face Foundation Parkinggarage.
Got back home, Had mail. Envelope had bithname, letter said Brimstone. Does not bode well. Letter was invitation. Noted adress. Bank, in the Narrows. Probably a trap. Burned letter.

[A page seems to be missing because the narration presumably picks back up at the Bank.]

Bankbox contained a book. Small adressbook. Filled with names, numbers, notes. Everyone involved in “Cult of the Bat.” Leader by the name of Thomas Stonehill. Hopes they have all seen The Light. Be prepared if not. Vaultdoor closed, light went out. Came back on. We where not alone in the vault. Thin man, old looking. Appeared out of thin air. Said his name was Ra’s al Ghul. Had an offer to us.

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Vagabond's Journal Episode 1: Gotham Nights
Thee Blind Mice And A Boat

What a long couple of nights. I should have just stuck to the Narrows and rolling Black Mask’s shipments. If I was as cold of a hearted bastard as I put on, I probably would have.

My night started setting foot into the flashing lights and pulsing masses that frequent ElectroCity. I know many of my staff and consultants frequent the place. It was for this reason I found myself leaning against the bar watching for Justine Monroe. The ex-cop had the contacts that I need to get in touch with Sleeper. The conversation didn’t go horribly. Justine wanted to deliver the message himself as I expected, thankfully I was able to dissuade him from the idea.

My night took a turn for the unexpected when a news flash revealed that the psychopath Abattoir had escapade Gotham and was killing again, and in my own backyard. Someone was kind enough to reveal the location of his latest victim.

I slipped out of the bar and quickly out of my face. Checking my mental map of the Narrows revealed that I had already noted a way in on the third floor. It didn’t take me long to find the apartment. The corpse was less than an hour old. I slid the door shut behind me. If I was lucky that would keep any intrusions out of the crime scene while I looked everything over.

It took less than a minute to see that the killer had been let in. I probably could have found out more but before I could the door swung open and there stood two men I would have preferred not to see. But as they were here I wasn’t about to start a fight in the middle of a crime scene and at that point I assumed two more sets of eyes would help.

Fifteen minutes later when they both looked like they were leaving and all I had determined was that the broken neck had been post death I had to make a choice, stay on without them or trick at least one of them into watching the door. It didn’t take much to get Brimstone to stay. With him watching the door he would be between me and the cops if it took that long, which was exactly what I wanted.

My work only turned up the stiffs purse. Seems that Sarah Went was also Sarah Etchinson and had someplace a little nicer than her place in my slums. As we all left Sleeper suggested that we exchange notes at Cape Carmine Lighthouse in two hours.

I stopped back at the office to consider my options, and surprise surprise I found a letter waiting for me. I shredded it after noting the date and location. A bank in the Narrows, a man who wanted me dead should pick his battlefield a little better. This had to be a meeting, probably an offer.

The trek out to Cape Carmine probably wasn’t worth it. I knew that neither of them had anything useful to add. The problem was, for all I knew the address I had from Sarah’s checkbook was Abattoir’s next stop. The last thing i wanted was to be stuck in a little apartment with a murder. Between Brimstone and Sleeper there was enough muscle and training to take down half of Gotham’s crime families. My tumble with Great White Shark showed me that there is a big difference between a thug and a boss in this town. Abattoir may not have any goons but I didn’t want to be stuck in a cramped space with a man who uses a short blade.

Sleeper knew enough to realize why I had shown. Brimstone was too focused on his obsession with justice to question it overly much. Sleeper little boat got us there fast enough. After the walk out to the Cape I could use the couple hours off my feet.

The apartment was dead in the middle of Black Mask’s territory. Chances are this was one of his buildings. I let Sleeper and Brimstone do the leg work. Took a lot less leg work than I thought. A quick search of the place, after Brimstone let us in, revealed that the apartment I had noted belonged to Doug Went, Sarah’s recently divorced husband. My gut told me that waking the sleeping man would give us everything we needed. The three of us didn’t exactly look on the up and up, more like a fever dream come to life.

I should have known I wasn’t going to get my way all night. The muscle turned on me. If I went into the room Sleeper was going to stop me and it didn’t take long for Brimstone to flip. Weaklings, unwilling to do what needed to be done. Sleeper had already planted a listening device. I dropped it, but not happily.

Returning to the office I put my face back on and prepared for the next day. It wouldn’t be hard to take a copy of Abattoir’s files from Arkham. Strange had never denied me any record before now. But things just didn’t seem to be going my way.

Before I could reach the Asylum the Roman decided to pay me a visit. His messenger boy wanted Dent’s files. Nothing good could come of it, but I had taken the Roman’s money up until now and I saw no reason to start acting ignorant now. I got them their files. Dent was always a reasonable man, and I doubt he and I will have much to argue over after the Roman frees him.

I should have known that Sleeper and Brimstone would be at the bank. I did expect the hurled accusations. These were my stomping grounds after all. The open bank vault and named lock boxes were troubling. The obviously living matter inside the vial more so. It looked disturbingly familiar. The question of why was set aside as the three of use were joined by a fourth and locked in the vault.

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Webisode - Episode 2: Mortal Remains

Live on Gotham Tonight

The webisode opens with helicopter footage of a masked vigilante fighting a small gang on an alleyway. The reporter is excitedly yelling, "We have official conformation that what we’re seeing is the first ever documented footage of Gotham’s newest vigilante. Sources say he goes by the name, “Son of None”, and is seeking to replace Batman as Gotham’s protector." The footage continues as Son of None cleans house and then runs into the night.

Lucius Fox Resigns

We then see Lucius Fox standing in the office of Wayne Enterprises’ new CEO, Thomas Wayne Jr. Thomas is talking.
“These allegations are totally out of place, Lucius! You know it and I know it! We’ll fight it. We’ll clear your name.”
Lucius smiles but shakes his head, “I appreciate your loyalty Mr. Wayne but I think my resignation is best for the company.”
Thomas looks upset but Lucius softly explains, “There is going to be enough mud slung at you for being the lost son of the Waynes. You don’t need rumors of my indiscretions, false as they may be, dirtying your waters.”
“But Lucius, if you step down it will look like you DID do all of these things.”
“If anyone ever finds out, but I’m pretty sure the people who sent us this message just want me out of the way. If I step down, I bet these allegations won’t even see the light of day.”
Thomas lowers his head. A moment passes and he softly says, “I… I don’t want to lose you Lucius. I need help.”
“You’re a Wayne. You’ll do just fine.”

Brimstone Objects

Now we see Two-Face directing traffic. He’s ordering men to reorder and clean the old Solomon Wayne Courthouse. Things are starting to come together when the front door is kicked open. The dusty jacket and hat of Brimstone step into the room and Two-Face looks towards him and snarls.
“What are you doing here, Vigilante?”
“I’m stopping whatever you’re up to!” Brimstone bellows and begins to trash the place.
Two-Face cries out, “NOOOOO! STOP HIM!” and mooks start to swarm Brimstone.
Brimstone wipes the floor with Two-Faces men and finishes by throwing a chair through one of the Courthouse windows.
“I don’t know what games your playing here, Two-Face, but I’m not going to let you hurt Gotham City.”
“You’re a fool. A damn fool. And you just made an enemy, vigilante. I’ll see you hung for this.”
“Come and get me.”

Kryptonite Motherlode

Next we see a handful of scientist types standing around a dig site in St. Mary’s Park. One of the workers down in the hole calls out, “We’ve found something, boss!” and the camera swings down into the pit. The men are illuminated by an eerie green glow as a hunk of rock is exposed under their shovels. As others dig they begin to hit more and more of the green glowing rocks. The camera swings around to the face of one of the scientist, “I’ve never see so much kyptonite in my entire life…”

Freeze Walks Free

The scene fades in on a long single shot of two prison guards escorting a man with icy blue skin through Arkham Asylum. They walk through the corridors and to a small room in the front. Another guard wheels out a crate as large as a person. The blue skinned man moves towards it. The scene then cuts to the exterior of Arkham Asylum where we seek Dr. Freeze, clad in his environmental suit, step through the door. His eyes are cold and distant and there isn’t even a hint of a smile on his face as the scene fades out.

My Alibi Stands

[Webisode Note: Guest Director – MLM] The killer was happy. His work was good, the plan was in motion, and he felt a bit of pride as he entered his high-end condo.
Suddenly he heard a voice, loud over his home speaker system, and his whole body went rigid. Before he could ask who, he recognized it.
“Of course, sir. Been a long time coming, I know. Yes, sir, very excited for the opportunity and I promise there won’t be a wall left standing.”
His blood froze. This was a conversation he’d had in this very condo. In his work-room, on the secure line. He stepped into the main part of the living room and could see the work-room’s high-tech security panel glowing faintly with lights indicating it was as secure as ever.
“My Alibi, and anyone foolish enough to step foot inside, will trouble the good people of Gotham no more. That’s the Frisone guarantee.”
Oh. Shit. He pulled out his phone and began to frantically dial. He had to call this off, before it got back to him, or the boss.

CEO for the Birds

The next scene is a press conference with Queen Industries announcing it’s new CEO. The speaker, a random Queen board member, is speaking.
“I know it’s a bit unorthodox but we believe with his experience he knows the best way to prevent Queen Industries from becoming a merchant of death. The board views this appointment very similar to appointing Felicity Smoak as our IT Director, the same hacker who once compromised your network now works to secure it. In his criminal past, this man compromised many Queen shipments but with those days long behind him we couldn’t think of a better man at our helm to prevent those same compromises. Please, everyone give a warm welcome to our new CEO, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot.

Stripes Unchanging

The previous episode transitions directly into the next. We see Oswald Cobblepot sitting at a conference table finishing a speach to his board of directors. The men clap and leave the room, then the receptionist informs Mr. Cobblepot he has a visitor. Oswald directs the man into the room and we see Black Mask enter the room. Cobblepot smiles and stands to shake Mask’s hand.
“I see that I have successfully scratched your back.”, Black Mask says.
“Yes yes, oh yes. And I suppose you’re looking for some scratch in return?”
“No. Not scratch. Firepower.”
“Not a problem, sir.”, Penguin says and slides an id card to Mask, “You have top level clearance to the R&D Department. I understand after Oliver Queen’s death we turned up some very interesting prototypes. Help yourself.”
“Whatever I find I want in production by the end of the week and on the streets in a month.”
“Agreed. Thank you for your assistance with my competition, Roman.”
“Don’t ever call me that.”

Killer Croc’s Wild Ride

The show cuts to Renee Montoya as she leaves GCPD Central and starts to walk home. She’s almost there when a sewer lid behind her flies up and a brute of a man bursts from the hole.
“Montoya…” he growls.
Detective Montoya pulls her service pistol but before she can draw a bead on Croc a man comes plummeting off the rooftops. A bundle of dirty rags dropkicks Croc back into the sewer and Montoya is left speechless. The camera pans across the street surface to the manhole and we see Killer Croc thrashing wildly as Vagabond holds on for dear life. There is a quick cut and we see Vagabond standing over an unconscious Croc, both breathing hard. Vagabond picks up an empty syringe that’s discarded near by, one that’s clearly embossed with the Fresh Face logo.
“Fast acting sedative my ass.”, he curses and pockets the plastic tube.

Gordon Takes a Walk

Next we see James Gordon as he walks through the dirty streets of Gotham City. We hear a voice over as Gordon makes his way down Nolaim Street near Gotham Square.
“Request for a month’s leave granted.”, The voice of Michael Akins says.
“Thank you Commissioner.”, Gordon is replying.
“Take your time, Jim. Get you head back in the game.”
“I’ll try…”
“And take care of yourself. You’re the best damn detective I’ve ever seen.”
“That’s only because you never saw him in action.”
“Who?”
“Nobody. Nevermind. Thank you again.”
Gordon rounds a corner and sees some young boys spraying an MS-13 tag and we hear another voice over.
“I believe in Jim Gordon. I believe in Harvey Dent. I believe in Gotham City.”, Batman is saying.
Back in reality, Gordon replies, “I wish I still did…”
As Gordon draws closer to the gangbangers he tucks his head down, trying to not look at them. But it’s no use, one of them calls out.
“Hey! Old man! I think you’re a little far from your nursing ho…” But his comment is cut off abruptly.
Gordon looks up in time to see a man in military fatigues and a black balaclava punching out the last of the street toughs.
“I believe in Gotham City.”, the masked man says to Gordon, “But Gotham needs you to believe in it, Gordon.”

James Gordon is Wrong!

The scene cuts to a video from Jack Ryder’s youtube show. It’s a typical news room setup with Ryder sitting behind a desk and “Giving you the news the corporate media won’t!” Ryder is already mid-rant.
“And that brings us to this Abattoir case. Detective James Gordon was in charge of that case. You might remember him as the commissioner who retired after the Batman was killed. The cop who couldn’t do his job without a vigilante helping him. Apparently, he can’t even stop a single killer without vigilantes either. Abattoir murdered his entire family and James Gordon didn’t life a damn finger to stop him. If you think that James Gordon cares about Gotham City than… You. Are. Wrong!”

HiThere.avi

The show cuts to a computer screen where we see text scrolling past at a speed too quick to read. When the scroll stops we see a terminal prompt blinking. After a second, commands begin typing.
_ Init SurveillanceScan -“Vagabond”
→ No video found
_ Init SurveillanceScan -“Brimstone”
→ No video found
_ Init SurveillanceScan -“Sleeper”
→ No video found
_ Init SurveillanceScan -“Son of None”
→ GothamTonight_2853.mpeg
_ Init SurveillanceScan -“TheJape”
→ HiThere.avi
_ play HiThere.avi
A video fills the screen, an overly close up view of The Jape’s grin. There is a second of uncomfortable silence before he says “Hi there.” and chuckles a little bit. Then the video ends.
From off screen we hear an oddly digitized voice, “How dare you taunt me. I will find you, Jape. Oh. I will.”

Quinn’s Big Escape

“But sir! We can’t”, an orderly is exclaiming as the scene fades into the halls of Arkham Asylum.
“We have no other choice.”, Hugo Strange is saying in return.
The two men reach a door and push through into the small room used for patient checkouts. Harleen Quinzel, better known as Harley Quinn, sits in a plastic chair waiting.
“It’s about time. You going to let me out, Strange-y?”
“Ms. Quinzel, I do not advise you leav…”
“Doctor Quinzel, please HueGee.”
“Harley. You’ve made great strides but…”
“I admitted myself, Strange. That means I can leave on my own free will. And I wanna leave.”
Strange lowers his head and shakes it slightly, “True. True.” He looks back up, “But you’ve made such strides!”
“Let me go, Doctor.”
Strange nods, “She’s free to leave if she so chooses. Please. Harleen. Be safe.”
Quinn bounces to her feet and hugs Hugo Strange. “Thanks Doc!”

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Jape's Journal - Episode 2: Mortal Remains
Face to Face

Things haven’t gone… smoothly.

May be in real trouble here, because it’s hard to go back to being the guy people aren’t sure is worth bringing up when you’ve got cops pointing guns at you. Better to be a ghost, right?

Let me start at the beginning.

I left the home of a Falcone’ goon, a big obvious surprise accompanied by a half-dozen smaller ones waiting to sneak up on him over the next day or two, with a little bit of information. Someone had seen this Joshua Freeman boy getting snatched by a figure that could only be Abattoir, and information like that can earn you pocket money if you know who is buying.

Lucky me the mark wasn’t home, but I was there when they called to offer him the information. That’ll be another fun twist of the knife for him. “What do you mean you weren’t home? Who did I talk to?”

Want to laugh just thinking about it, but the meditation’s been working. I can suppress the giggles when out of costume.

Knew then that I’d have to go to the others; I knew nothing of this little killer, but I’d been watching them get their hands dirty for a while now. Brimstone the unbalanced cowboy and Vagabond the flayed firebrand. Who am I to throw stones?

We found the boy, but not without Vagabond showing some true colors; can’t work with someone like that, only around them or for them. No compromise in his blood. Lesson learned.

Brimstone may be a different story. Dangerous guy, wants to fight his way through any problem, but priorities in the right place. Watched him handle someone up close, no damage, and was impressed.

I haven’t written this much in a few years. Not since the hospital and those first few weeks overseas. Fuck was that crazy, or maybe the only reason I didn’t go crazy.

Back to the present, Singletary.

It went wrong, very wrong, so fast. I noticed some things about the layout of the trap, heard some of the things the others said about what they’d learned with Abattoir so far, and went for a walk on my own. Can’t believe I thought being in the open, on my own, would be easy. I had some crazy daydream about maybe, someday, being such a hero around here that I could let some people I used to know in on the secret.

I’d watch their faces as they regretted every wince, or remembered the man they had written off as a cripple, and feel normal again. That’s not why I do this, and life isn’t a daydream.

I found Abattoir, chased him like the devil, and we fought. I wanted to play with him, wind him into stupid desperation, and catch him in a stupid mistake. Well it worked, because he practically threw himself off the railing.

Now it’s all on the verge of falling apart.

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Brimstone's Journal - Episode 2: Mortal Remains
Spindly text written on the back of a cereal box

I don’t trust this Ras’ fellow. But he knows too much. I might have no choice in
taking his side in this war of his. Remember to investigate further. Gift was strange enough though. Small leather adressbook. It contained way to much private information of a group who call themselves “The Cult of the Bat.” However Ra’s came upon all of this it’s safe to say that he could wipe the cult out if he so wished. So why give away all of it? So many questions. Vagabond got some sort of vial. Whatever it is, he seemed mighty impressed when he read the lable. Could be bad. Sleeper got a stack of papers. Must’ve been important to him. Didn’t see him for a while after that night.

I don’t trust this Thomas Stonehill. He knows too much. Book said he was the leader of the cult. I followed him to a meeting. about 50-60 people maybe. Rented out an old AA basement for the congregation. Not that well lit. Had a spotlight on a small podium where Stonehill stood and preached. I snuck in the back. Then Stonehill pointed directly at me. How did he know I was there? He told his congregation that I was the first prophet of The Bat and that I was going to write the Prophesy of Brimstone. I stood there as all those eyes turned against me. It was an uncomfortable feeling, to be seen by so many. After what felt like an eternity Stonehill bad his congregation to depart. Was it hope I saw on their faces as they passed me by? Left in the room as only me and Stonehill. He came up to me and said he was happy I had come. I didn’t respond. After a while Stonehill continued. Said that he knew much about me Who I was, Where I came from, Who my parents where. My heart jumped when he mentioned my parents. My thoughts where in complete disarray. I wanted to ask, to scream, to beg of him to tell me what
he knew but I couldn’t speak. The silence between us was unbearable untill finally Stonehill started to speak. He wanted me to look into a man named Brian Denny. Said he would rob a bank if I didn’t stop him. I was still reeling from the shock of it all. I told Stonehill I would look into it.

I don’t trust the Jape. Met up with Vagabond at the Parkinglot. To talk about the Abattoir case. Wheren’t alone though. Creepy little giggle shot through the dark. My breath caught. Out of the shadows a whiteclad figure emerged. Called himself The Jape. He spooked me bad. He told us that Joshua Freeman had been kidnapped by Abattoir.The name rang a bell. I used to hang out with that guy back in highschool. His father wouldn’t have none of it though. Father was a cop, didn’t want his kid catching dirt off me I suppose. My research into Abattoir had revealed that he was born and bred in the narrows. School records, street was unfamilliar though. As many times as the place had burned down and been shoddily rebuilt it wasn’t a surprise. Vagabond said he knew the place though. All of us set of.

Building had seen better decades. A couple of tramps occupied the groundfloor. Vagabond convinced them to leave. We stared to search. The mime was slow. Had a hardon for looking in every nook and cranny. Vagabond and him had alittle talk. didn’t pay too close attention but Jape hurried up after that. Finally we found Joshua. Abattoir had left him in some infernal bladed contraption. First instinct was to smash it, Jape said no. Said finesse was called for. Just in the nick of time he kicked the legs from the table. Joshua will live, but he might wish he hadn’t. Tons of blades was roughly janked out of his flesh.
He will probably be scarred.

Looked into Brian Denny. Had a suburban house. Brian was not home when I looked in. Meeting up with his co-conspiritors? found a woman sleeping in the master bedroom. Assumed she was Brian’s wife. Looked into Brians finances. Found invoces from Gotham General. Denny’s daughter was sick, Very sick. They needed money, fast. Brian came home the next evening. They probably alternated who stayed at the hospital with their sick child. I felt like such an asshole, but I had no choice. I let him sleep alittle before I made myself known. He sat up like a shot when I called his name. He tried to put on a tough act, but his words died in his throat when he saw me. I gave it to him straight. I told him that if he robbed that bank I would have no choice but to hunt him down and hand him over to the police. The man was speechless and scared, just like anyone would be. I gave him my well wished, for whatever they are worth and left him. My heart thumping and my mind ablaze. He didn’t deserve this, no one does. I needed advice, I needed to know I did the right thing.

I met up with Vagabond on a rooftop in The Narrows. I told him about Denny, about his little girl, about what
I had done. His eyes where cold when he turned to me. He said he might be able to help. I felt cold. The scumbag asked me why he should help this girl. Revulsion clawed it’s way up my thoat and I felt my bestial fury rise. Had that little girl scarred his face? Was she responsible for all the shit smothering Gothams soul? Vagabond got up, right in my face. His eyes where as ice. He told me that he was going to save this city, He couldn’t waste his precious resources on just one little girl. My will broke and I came out swinging. I was filled with Righteous fury. I was going to make him do his duty as a servant of Justice or I would throw him off this building myself! The Scumbag deftly avoided my blows and jumped back. He threw his fist against the rooftop and it shattered under my feet. When I got back up there he was gone. I later found out that Matias Maxwell, the man who runs the Fresh Face Foundation had picked up the Denny’s hospital tab. There might still be good in Vagabond but it seems my faith in him was missplaced. I can’t trust Vagabond anymore.

Continued on the Abattoir case on my own. Tracked the killer to Gotham Steel Refinery. But I was too late. Though a skylight I saw how The Jape let Abattoir fall to his death. there is nothing left but to bring that giggling chucklefuck to Justice.

Addendum
The camera pans into a dark hospital room. A redhaird little girl, no older than seven lies in the hospitalbed, sleeping.
The figure of a man sits, head bent down towards his chest on the chair to the right of the bed. A small gust of wind is heard and a new figure enters the frame. The figure is dressed in a dirty duster and a broadbrimmed hat. The figure moves over to the left side of the bed and when it turnes away there is a bowclad teddybear on the nightstand. Next to it lies a get well card.
The camera cuts to a close shot of the teddybear. The card next to it reads.
“Hope you get well soon”
[Under the words is scrawled a rough symbol of a bat.]

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