Knights of Albion

Issue 1 (Volume II)
Night of the Ninja

The China Star restaurant, Monday afternoon.

It is mostly empty, just the staff clearing up after the lunchtime rush, and three older chinese gentlemen leisurely drinking tea. The door opens, and a motley trio enter and take seats at a table. They are in civilian guise, but you may recognise them as Catseye, the Blue Bolt and the Serpentine Spectre, while Paul T. Geist accompanies them invisibly.

As they order tea, Catseye makes enquiries about the ninja battle the previous night. The waitress claims that nothing happened, and the customer she talks to next makes excuses and leaves hastily. Eddie Wong, the proprietor, leaves the kitchen and asks Catseye to leave the other guests in peace, and quietly hints that such things are best not discussed in public. Catseye returns to her table and enjoys her tea, then heads to the kitchen to compliment the chef.

In the kitchen, Eddie is somewhat more informative, but is interrupted by some banging on the window. Catseye remains with Eddie to get the story, while Paul investigates. Outside, a group of thugs are standing guard while one of their number tries to smash in the kitchen window of the restaurant. After an attempt at fisticuffs Paul chases them of, save for one whom he interrogates under hypnosis.

The thugs story lines up withthat being told by Eddie Wong: The Dragons, a local gang including the thugs who attacked just now, run protection in the local area. They were asking Eddie for his regular contribution last night, when a rival group, the Si Fan, showed up with the same intent. This rapidly devolved into a brawl, with the Green-clad ninjas of the Si Fan against the street thugs of the Dragons. The Tigers, the scum of the Earth according to the thug, a group of concerned citizens who help the locals according to Eddie, intervened to break up the fight. They brought ninjas in white, and street toughs in black coats. A lone ninja in red, presumably from the Hand, appeared just to watch.

The thug is released to meet up with his associates, shadowed by Paul, Catseye and the Serpentine Spectre. He had a motorbike stashed nearby, giving Catseye a chance to use the 3-D Manouevre gear designed by the Engineer, and the Serpentine Spectre demonstrated the tracking abilities of the Komodo Dragon.

The chase led them to the borders of the London Docklands, where a break in the fence has been arranged in a blind spot from the CCTV. Catseye and the Spectre head in, while Paul heads back to the Shard.

In the docks, they hear cries for help. Following them,they find a shipping container that has been broken into, a black van driving off and a man tied up. As they go to rescue the man they are attacked by half a dozen thugs and as many ninjas in green, one of whom gets the drop on the Serpentine Spectre and nearly decapitates her. Catseye picks up her fallen comrade and carries her off over the nearby buildings, gaining enough of a head start over the ninja pursuers that she can tend to the Spectre’s injury and radio for assistance. There is a tense minute as Catseye battles the ninjas, knocking one out and wounding a second but suffering several good hits herself, before the Blue Bolt flies onto the scene at full speed. The Serpentine Spectre returns to the fray as well, and the remaining ninja are no match for the three combined.

The Engineer arrives shortly afterwards on the airship, and they see to the rescue of the man, who turns out to be from the Docklands security force. He tells the heroes how he was attacked, and helps them check the container against the manifest to discover that the only thing missing is a box of religious statuettes addressed to a Mr Li Min. He then reports in to his superiors, and suggests to our heroes that they make themselves scarce before the paperwork arrives.

The team reconvenes at the Shard, where Lady Britannia is brought up to speed on the events of the day. The rest of the afternoon is spent making inquiries to trace the ninjas, the gangs, the statuettes and everything in between: Mr Li Min runs an antique shop in Chinatown. The statuettes came from the ship Celestial China, which has a long history of owners over the years but is currently owned by a Hong Kong plastics corporation. The White Tigers are a traditional triad, but have not been known to operate in London.

That evening, in Chinatown

The Engineer has set up a tea table on the roof of a cinema, along with the Blue Bolt, Lady Britannia and Paul T. Geist. There are a couple of empty seats set up in the expectation that some of the local colour, probably the Tigers, will stop by for a chat.
Nearby, The Serpentine Spectre and Catseye head into the shop of Li Min. Inside, a disfigured young man is sweeping up. From behind a curtain a voice says “I have been expecting you, though you bring evil news. Please, come into the back.”

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Issue 0 (Volume II)
Recaps and Revelations

Our issue opens in a briefing room in the Shard, where a visiting Interpol agent named DuPris is giving a presentation about The Hand. This organisation, he explains, have a long history of Criminal enterprises dating back to Feudal Japan, either as muscle for hire to other organised crime or to further their own mysterious ends. They are master infiltrators, and will replace key personnel of organisations they are interested in with ringers, detectable only by blood tests or DNA matching. As they have recently encountered a ninja from The Hand*, it is likely that they have embedded agents within MI13, maybe even within the Knights of Albion themselves!

The panel jumps to the Knights of Albion, arrayed watching the presentation. A year has passed since we last saw them, with a few changes to the roster. As the door clicks shut from DuPris leaving, the Engineer is the first to react. He suggests that each of the Knights demonstrates their unique powers, which no ninja could hope to duplicate, to prove their selves, then throws a small firework flawlessly formed from the refreshments on the table in front of him.
The Serpentine Spectre activates the Camouflage of the Chameleon, and fades into her chair
The Blue Bolt lifts a table with the touch of a finger.
Not to be outdone, Lady Britannia flips a table with her pinky finger, forcing the Blue Bolt to catch it before it breaks a window.
Paul T. Geist reaches into his hat and pulls out a small rabbit, which runs along the table.
Catseye pricks the palm of the Engineer with her claw, then dabs a drop of her saliva into the wound, which closes instantly.

As the team finish confirming their identities, a news report is directed to their phones of multicoloured ninjas battling in Chinatown, and our Heroes spring into action…

*See Issue 8 of Volume 1 – ed.

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Issue 7 and 8 (Volume 1)
Double Issue Special!

The Awakening

The first inkling the knights had that anything was amiss was the unusually, even by London Standards, tail back from a ‘Traffic incident’ near A10 & A503 at Markfield Park. Ambulances are on the scene and minutes later so are MI 13 and the Knights of Albion.

Dead bodies are everywhere, the best part of a dozen young men lying scattered and broken. At first glance it was a particularity brutal gang shooting; but the machine pistol lying in the road and trying to bite anyone who got near it was another matter.

Examining the evidence revealed that several of the machines nearby seem to have developed a life of their own. The pistol was partially animated and had the rude intelligence of an aggressive dog, desperately seeking to harm anyone who came near or trying to touch it. The motor bikes had to be physically lifted from the ground before they would move. the brakes were locked on, and even when the brakes were removed, the wheels still refused to turn!

Examination of the CCTV footage in the area showed a gang of motorcycles bearing down on a group of four youths. a gun is drawn, and two of the youths go down… then all the bikes suddenly stop and the drawn pistol is systematically, and independently targeting the prone bikers! The two remaining youths fled the scene.

its not much to go on, but this is definitely a case for the Knights of Albion.

Lacking familiarity with the North London Gang scene, and facing the prospect of a youth gang with access to paranormal abilities, a meeting is held between MI13, The Tridant Gang Squad (ably represented by Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon, and his Turkish Gangs expert Det. Inspector Peter Koylan) somewhat alarmingly MI 5 are also represented by a ‘Mr Syth’ and a ‘Mr Brown’.

The Knights are briefed on the murky world of the Turkish and Kurdish gangs of North London. Our heroes also learn that MI 5 have an agent in the field, but they will not identify who this person is to the investigating team! Instead they offer up away to identify the individual, if he should decide to break cover and talk to the Heroes during their investigations.

Several days of low profile foot slogging then follow. It soon becomes apparent that the motorcycle riding gunmen in the initial incident were members of the ‘Snooker boys’, who were defending their turf from some sort of incursion. The one victim who was not local was eventually identified as being a student at the Stoke Newington 6th form college, adjacent to the Shakespeare estate. On the road heading towards Markfield park there is a clear demarcation between territories. All the shops south of the South Tottenham carry a magazine called “The Struggle” – a propaganda pamphlet for the Dev Sol organisation and Turkish/Kurdish Solidarity Association. All the shops north of this point do not, instead displaying images of Ataturk. there is a region of several hundred yards between the two zones where shops either display both, or have obvious evidence of broken windows or injured shop staff. breaking into the code of silence these two this communities seem to operate under is almost possible.

Contact with Det Inspector Peter Koylan reveals that any sustained moves made by the Shakespeares into Kurdish gang territory is going to be at the behest of the Babysin or Bombacillier clans – who have been engaged in a tit-for-tat war since 2003, almost certainly filtered through the ‘Green lane social club’. Sadly the good detective has learnt that one of the victims in the recent para-human/shooting incident was actually relative of his – a nephew on his wife’s side of the family. The incessant tribalism and ‘prestige through violence’ gang cultures have struck closer to home that the Knights of Albion could have imagined.

Heading straight for the heart of the Kurdish mafia at the Green Lane Social club, there is a brief moment of tension when the petty thugs and gangster notice the strangers in their midst – and also pick up on exactly how strange they are – and call for reinforcements from the Kurdish Workers Party (aka The National liberation front of Kurdistan AKA ERNK aka PKK). The men facing off against the party have the thousand yard stare of those used to violence; and they seem more than happy to face up to suspected para humans with confidence in their own ability to meet any threat. The stand off is diffused without violence, and the team turn their investigation towards the Shakespeare estate and the school attended by one of the victims.

Several days investigation make little headway, but they do at long last get a name – Musa Babysin.

It seems Musa, unusually large and muscular for a young man of his age, was quickly recruited into the gang life. As an ethnic Zaza-Kurd living on the Shakespeare estate was to join the “Soldiers of Shakespeare”. he has not bee seen on the Estate, nor at the school since the incident, and was a close friend of the local victims.

Whilst Catseye is running surveillance on the Shakespeare estate, and single handedly trying to tackle London’s drug problems, she spots a mysterious figure, who is also obviously monitoring the estate. a figure that can only be described as a ‘ninja’, clad in a deeply dark red shōzoku outfit.

Attempting to give chase proves futile, and the mysterious ninja figure vanishes without trace. the watch for Musa also seems futile, until a call comes in of machines going mad at a nearby building site!

Rushing to the scene our Heroes are hard pressed to cope with the awesome power that is being manifested. Earth movers, road rollers and even the conveyor belts on the site have come alive and are crawling, slithering and even flying all over the place!

The knights are the first on scene, and attempt to persuade the young man to stop playing with his Tonka toys and come along with them back to MI 13 where the can help him; but young Musa has had a life time of rebelling against authority figures and things quickly descend in to all out violence. The Blue Bolt manfully protects the watching crowds from the showers of debris generated as the rest of team, most notably Lady Britannia, tear the living construction equipment to shreds.

Meanwhile Musa attempts to make his escape.. and runs straight into the arms of the PKK enforcers we met earlier at the Green Lane Social club! This team of the Kurdish veterans are clearly armed, and the engineer warns our heroes that the short swords they carry are charged with energy and far more dangerous than may be suspected at first glance. Catseye notices once again that this confrontation is being watched by the red garbed ninja.

Desperate to avoid a full on para human confrontation with civilian crowds and an unknown interested third party clad in red and skulking along the roof tops – Casteye steps forward to tray negotiate the hand over of Musa.

The leader of the PKK enforces steps away from the main body of his men… and it soon transpires that he is the MI 5 double agent!

This spook is convinced that Musa is a valuable asset to the national security of the UK, and should be handed over to the PKK to be used in the front lines in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria!

The Engineer in particular is incensed at the idea of using a 17 year old school boy as a living weapon to manipulate a foreign war! Tensions rise again as it becomes clear that both he and the rest of the Knights of Albion will not stand for such a perfidious dereliction of duty regarding the safety of a British citizen!

Whilst the rest of the team face off against the MI 5 operative and the PKK enforcers and try to play for time the Blue Bolt calls into the Shard and asks who has jurisdiction over Musa, MI 5 or MI 13. Upon hearing that MI 13 have at least a claim on the boy he forms a platform from kinetic energy and spirits him away to the Shard at high speed.

As the reason for the MI 5 spook and his PKK enforcers is no longer at the scene they back off and leave. With the police arriving to secure the scene and Musa in protective custody the Knights call the evening a win and return to the shard for debriefing.

that conluceds this volume – keep your eyes peeled for the next exciting adventure!

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Issues 4 to 6 (Volume 1)
Chocolate Bomb Bombs

Once again the Knights make headlines and the recovery of the (majority) of the weapons cache in a little under 16 hours is hailed as major achievement. The only headlines that vie with our heroes that day is the very odd story of the residents of one London’s largest Morgues getting up and walking out of the Whittington Hospital!

At the same time the team are contacted by Felicia Bifrost again – she wants to meet at the Albert memorial.

Splitting up, our team visit the hospital and manage to save one of the eye witnesses from an overly sweet poisoning plot, and the other half of the team learn form the distraught Felicia that her little brother Johnny has gone missing! Rushing to the urban horror of a council estate to investigate, the team find themselves in his empty room staring at a suspiciously large box of chocolates… of course it’s a bomb! fortunately the engineer is more than a match for the primitive explosive device

Both the poison at the hospital, and the explosive chocolate box at Johnny’s house points toward the Mimet chocolate factory…

Mimets Chocolate Factory is cooking up trouble! Inside the radiation count is off the scale, armed faces of fear gang members tote the last of the missing assault rifles, and what appear to be van loads of poisonous confections are ready to be shipped out! Catseye crashes the party and soon feels the heat in the highly radioactive kitchen! Johnny Bifrost dangles from a thread over a pool of molten chocolate, and the Black Talon (aka the large black chicken guy) is torturing the semi conscious former gang member.
Wasting no time Catseye uses the temporary gifts granted by the Hexing Vulpine and teleports Johnny back to the shard, hoping to save him though though the signs are not good. Lady Britania, the Engineer and the Blue Bolt struggle to bring things to a close as they discover to their horror that the vats of molten chocolate are being stirred not by paddles, but crowds of radioactive zombies!

It’s a close run thing, but eventually the team are victorious, and returning to the shard they can clearly see the smoking hole in the side of the building… a hole they are fairly certain is located more or less where Mr Williams office is located! it soon transpires that Johnny Bifrost has manifested meta human powers as a result of his radiation exposure! it was this that blasted a new window in Mr Williams office…

Questioning of the captured members of the faces of fear finally reveals the dasterdly plot…

The Bosses (there is more than one?!) want to cripple the Richardson gang. The monster attacks and the theft of the ‘magic book’ to pin it on them were to turn the criminal underworld of London against them, the poison chocolates were directly linked to legitimate front used by the Richardsons and was to have tied up the legally usable assets of the gang in a swath of legal cases as their company was caught up in the supply of poisonous sweets to school children, and the bank robbery at Couts & Co tonight will destroy their stores of back up cash!

With a major bank heist due to happen at any moment, and one of the worlds most prestigious banks no less, the team launch into action. At the bank they foil the robbery by Frankenstein and the rest of the Night Shift, but the villains once again vanish in the emerald flash we are now so familiar with

Horror of horrors, after the fight the team are implicated in the robbery! With the security footage somehow showing they are the ones trashing the place and stealing the money!

On a very short leash, and with a significant bail posted, the team carry on the investigation, not only trying to capture the bad guys, but now trying to clear their own names. Johnny Bifrost rings the group and arranges a meet. Since the accident his powers have continued to manifest, and he has developed some sort of link with his sister Felicia. it seems she is in danger! he doesn’t know exactly what is wrong, but he received a vision from her that she was in trouble, and somewhere out near the Kingferry bridge on the isle of Sheppy.

Once again we swing into action, and uncover a Black Air facility conducting research on mutants! Battling against the legacy Sentinel Robots is a pleasant work out for the team, and Felica is returned to safety once more… but what is all this interest in Felica and Johnny Bifrost all about?

At something of a loss, the team return to the British library to talk to Prof. Pride. he has been doing research and learnt two things – Bartholmew Jacobs was hung at Tybourne (aka Marble arch no less! ) and since the teams fight at the famous tourist attraction, a ghostly figure has prowled the area every night at midnight!

With the Hexing Vulpine preparing the ground for a supernatural encounter, the team await the witching hour. As expected the haunting form appears! Bound by red hot chains to a burning pillar it seems he is still being punished for his unspeakable crimes… but he wants to help!

Over the centuries he claims to have learnt the error of his ways, and he needs to ensure that his book does not fall into the wrong hands! the book is a source of enormous power, and he must help the heroes to recover it… with more bravery than most, Lady Britannia steps forward to try and release him from his spectral bonds. There is a scream and a flash and Lady Britannia arises, but much changed. true to his word the spectral Bartholomew Jacobs catches the scent of his missing book and leads the team on to their next port of call.

The Camden catacombs are soon accessed, and these in turn lead down into the sewers and tunnels beneath the metropolis. With the ancient spirit possessing the body of their team mate, it is short work to find the villains’ lair.

Suddenly things take a more bizarre turn, as the spirit of the author is ripped from Asguardian’s body and the fell forces demand the return of their property and destruction of the book! Not sure exactly what just happened lady Britannia informs her team mates they had a narrow escape at the hands of the sorcerer; his goal being everlasting life once he got his hands on the book! the fell powers released her back to her body in order to recover his spirit, and with the demand that the book be destroyed!

The Final Battle!!

Now at the doorstep of the perpetrators, they burst in to the lair only to find themselves expected!

Arrayed in front of them is the full might of the remainng members of the Night Shift, Mr Fear, Mentello, The Fixer and lady Anguish aka Felica Bifrost!!! (dun-dun-DAHHH!)

The battle is long and hard….

EXPLOSIONS!

MIND CONTROL!

KICK ASS MARTIAL ARTS MOVES!

The climatic battle rages back and forth, but eventually , thanks to quick thinking and team work of the knights, they stand victorious. Mentello and Mr Fear are both captured, but it transpires that the Fixer… was only some sort of andriod! All records indicate the real Fixer died several years ago; so who or what is behind this particular simulacrum?

No clues can be found to answer that question, and both Mr Fear and Mentello refuse to cooperate. the Night Shift and Felica have undergone some sort of mind control. Shroud, Adam and Jack Russel return to their usual super hero duties, and the rest of the Night Shift are returned to prison.

it seems the teleoportation used by Mentello and the Fixer not only transported people, it could overwrite the mind of the person transported! they had all been under the control of the Fixer-robot and Mentello all along.

With the vile machine destroyed, the book recovered, and their names cleared thanks to the recovery of the missing, unadulterated surveillance footage from the bank, the Knights of Albion headed back to the shard, to once more take up their vigil against the forces of evil that threaten Britain (but are not quite important enough to bother eXcalibur with!)

The story Continues

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Issues 1 to 3 (volume 1)
Previously in the Knights of Albion

Previously in the Knights of Albion….

tumblr_lzpu8fd92j1qc3h7bo1_500.jpgThe Murmura Furentium, by Bartholomew Jacobs, an obscure text with mystical accreditation, was stolen from the British library! With national and international coverage, with celebrities and art critics all commenting 24hrs a day, the UK Government was forced to create a rapid response team for this crime. With clear evidence of meta human involvement, MI 13 put together a unit to investigate the crime.

Talking to the library head curator of antiquities, (Prof) Maximilian Pride, they soon gained access to the crime scene and a non-to-subtle link to the infamous “Torture Gang” – the Magia affiliated Richardson gang from south London. Our team of investigators soon figured out there must have been an insider link of some sort, and it was thanks to their impeccable human interaction skills they eventually realised that Felicia Bifrost (assistant to the good professor) has a younger brother called Johnny who has significant gang links to the ‘Flashing Blades’.

Our team of intrepid super heroes head for the “Prospect of Whitby” in Wapping. This drinking hole is the main hangout of the flashing blades.

Magia style thugs attack the bar, as our heroes arrive, and hideous screaming comes from inside. It soon becomes clear that what can only be described as fully fledged werewolf attack is in progress!

After a few close calls, Hawker soon manages to put a leash on the werewolf, who then vanishes in a coruscating display of a mysterious green energy field. Talking to Johnny our team is pointed in the direction of the ‘Buzz Cuts’ another street gang with known links, not always friendly, to the Magia and the Richardson gang…

The Starkey pool hall is the next link in the chain, but as our team go to investigate this sleazy dive on Deptford street, the patrons are attacked! Inside a growing pool of darkness, form which cries of pain and anguish are emanating has covered half of the pool hall, and the other half of the establishment is quickly turning into a riot as the remaining patrons try to escape what can only be described as Frankenstein’s monster!

Once again out team of mighty heroes save the day, and the grateful remnants of the Buzz-cuts reveal that the Richardson gang operate out of the ’Roarin 20s night club, on Rushy Green in Catford. The Richardsons have a regular, high stakes poker game in private area of the club on a regualr basis

Cleverly making use of the phantasmal Paul T Geist, our heroes learn that a prominent Magia enforcer is traveling to London to take part in this poker game, and they hatch a brilliant plan to replace this individual at the game and try to find out what the torture gang are up to, and how they have managed to use the book to summon these unspeakable horrors!

At the game they soon find out that the Richardson gang has been set up! they didn’t steal the book, and have nothing to do with the monster attacks. whoever is behind it all however has been in touch with Davey Richardson, head of the gang, and arranged a meeting at Marble arch at Midnight tonight…

Wasting no time out team set up observation on Marble Arch and wait for events to unfold….

As our team await events, they see a lone figure dressed in the typical Magia style, walk under the arch.

Moments later a plethora of monsters appear out of nowhere: Werewolf, Frankenstein, the creeping shadow, a shambling scarecrow figure, a pair of pumpkin headed ghouls, a moth winged succubus and enormous black chicken (!) materialise in an eerie green flash and attack the man under the arch.

As our team launch their counter attack, they realise there are two more figures leaping into the fight! The Eel and the Scorpion are both om hand to defend their Magia allies!

The three way fight quickly escalates as hordes of zombies suddenly burst from the ground. hampered by the need to protect the public our heroes are hard pressed, but eventually save the day.

The next days papers and new blogs are full of shaky pictures and videos of the Marble Arch affair, MI 13 find themselves in the center of a media frenzy and somewhat reluctantly they decide the only way to handle things is to go public with the investigation team. The Knights of Albion are Born!

Territorial Army Reserve armoury robbed in Bexleyheath!! Two crates of assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition for them have gone missing – once again the criminals who stole the Murmura Furentium have struck. Having seen him action twice now, our team are convinced that it is non other than the creeping shadow who was present at both Robberies… is this masked man the mastermind behind the dastardly plot?!?

Summoned in to the office of Mr Williams (their direct superior) the Knights of Albion are ordered to recover each and every weapon as a top priority. In the wrong hands this arsenal could be a force for evil such as London has hardly ever seen.

Somewhat at a loss as to how to proceed, the heroes decide to follow the only clue they have; a message on their newly created forum from someone calling themselves Johnny B – “Knight of Albion; meet me in Hyde park at midnight, near Berts place”

Fearing a trap, but unable to think of a better plan, the team stake out the Albert memorial well in advance of the deadline….

It soon transpires that Johnny Bifrost has learnt the error of his ways and wants to quit the Flashing blades. The recent Monster attacks have shown him the dangers of his chosen lifestyle, and he is worried by the recent developments. A new gang on the block, going by the name of the “Faces of Fear” have been making waves, and they are now calling a London wide gang meeting to deal with the increasing number of attacks from, they assume, the Richardson gang and their new force of magical monsters. grateful for the rescue during the first werewolf attack, Johnny has decided to try and atone, at least a little, for what he has done in the past by helping the knights now.

The knights are soon informed that ‘The Boss’ of the Faces of Fear will be at the docks at 1 am tonight!

With no time to waste the team head out to try and make the meeting…

At the docks the team sync together like clock work, taking down the various gang members, forcing the notorious Mr Fear to flee the scene, and recapturing almost all of the assault rifles! it seems the Faces of Fear were behind the armoury theft. Is Mr Fear the master mind behind the plot to frame the Richardson gang? It was clear that he was trying to recruit the other London Gangs to his cause and give them the means to wage an all out war on the Torture gang and, by logical extension, the UK Magia as a whole… and there still a few of the assault rifles missing that must be recovered at all costs!

The story Continues

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