BOOK 1: ALLIANCES
A new group of heroes is formed to fill the void created by the loss of the planet's greatest defenders. In their first adventures, they have to fight two paranormal groups bent on kidnapping a child, and save the inhabitants of a small town from an extradimensional threat.
Story by ARCS
|0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6||Child of the Nile, Sombra Alta|
R.I.N.G. # 0
Title: The Forging of the Ring
Story by: Fred Furtado
Real Date (RD): 24-Apr-01
Campaign Date (CD): 9-Jan-01
After setting up the administrative and bureaucratic ends of the South American branch of the Reactive International Network of Guardians (R.I.N.G.), Valiant II starts recruiting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He contacts personally three of the future members of the group: Ligeirinho, Eliminador and Relâmpago II. They, and a few other paranormals, show up at the Lagoinha Base a closed club atop a hill that was bought and renovated on the tryout night. Maurício Borges, a playboy with mystical powers is among them. He was goaded into applying by Mário Guerra and Rodrigo Tavares, SEAM's directors, who wish to use him to collect information on the new group. The three recruited by Valiant II, plus Maurício, who choses the alias Senhor Nebuloso, are chosen to be the first members of the Silver R.I.N.G.
R.I.N.G. # 1
Arc: Child of the Nile, part 1
Title: Enter the Hunters
Story by: Fred Furtado
The Silver R.I.N.G. is officially introduced to Rio de Janeiro in a press conference held at Lagoinha Base. Sérgio Bastos, the team's chief of staff and PR, and Ligeirinho, the field team leader, answer questions from the reporters, that range from the team's members zodiacal signs to Eliminador's shady past as a violent vigilante.
Two days later, the team sees action for the first time as the base's communication station picks up a report on hostile paranormal activity at the Xavier de Brito Square, in Tijuca, from the police radio. Ligeirinho arrives first and encounters the paranormal mercenary group known as Caçadores. Members of the group are attacking the police officers and causing property damage, but one of them, Espinho, is running away with a kid no older than one year. Ligeirinho pursues her, but Azagaia engages him. The rest of the Silver R.I.N.G. arrives in their jet and engages the other Caçadores. Relâmpago II knocks Pororoca out and Eliminador, using his mysterious high tech pistol, obliterates the entity known as Rocha, who turns out to be an earth elemental. Meanwhile, Azagaia knocks Ligeirinho out and disappears in a brilliant flash of light, like Espinho and Tatarana did before.
Using his powers, Sr. Nebuloso reads the mind of the kid's mother, Lara Moreira, but finds nothing out of the ordinary about her, her husband, José, or their kid, Daniel. Sr. Nebuloso's rather flashy display of mental powers prompts one of the reporters present to ask him if he violated Lara's mind. He replies with a "yes" that initiates a wave of bad public reaction that will be felt for days to come. He also interrogates Pororoca and finds out that the mercenaries were hired by Captain Schizo, leader of the paranormal criminal group known as Bizarre Company. He is then taken to a special holding cell at the SEAM's Rio de Janeiro compound.
R.I.N.G. # 2
Arc: Child of the Nile, part 2
Title: Among Bizarre Company
Story by: Fred Furtado
Without any leads to where and why the Caçadores might have taken Daniel, the Silver R.I.N.G. is stuck. Help comes in the way of an archeology professor from the National Museum, Reginaldo Thati. He tells the group that Daniel is the reincarnation of Ramses, the late Egyptian hero. He conjectures that Captain Schizo is working for Lord Thanatos, since his group has close ties to the mystical villain. Thanatos probably wants the high-powered soul of the hero. Thati also tells the group that the Egyptian gods may be interfering and preventing the villains from teleporting away, so they must use more conventional means of transportation.
Using the information collected by Sr. Nebuloso from Pororoca's mind, the group goes to the abandoned warehouse where the Caçadores met with Schizo. Through Nebuloso's crystal ball, they peer into the past and witness as the paranormal mercenaries meet with Schizo and Pieces, another member of the Bizarre Company. The events shed no light as to a possible escape route, so Eliminador contact his source on the street and asks for information. His contact tells him he will investigate.
Hours later, back at Lagoinha Base, the team is informed by the SEAM that Pororoca's teammates have rescued him. Soon after, Eliminador's contact calls and gives him a lead: the Greek freighter Alexandropoulos, that will leave from Pier 18 at midnight. Before heading to the harbor, the team tells Sérgio to contact the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The Metro is one of three museums in the world that possess a relic from Ramses' Pyramid. Only seeing one of the artifacts will trigger the awakening of Ramses' buried memories and powers. The group's plan is to try and do that in case things go bad. They also contact the Brazilian Navy and ask them to blockade the harbor. Then they rendezvous with Thati and head for the harbor together with the professor.
Once there, Sr. Nebuloso tries to scry the ship, but finds a protective barrier around it. They then decide to board it, leaving Thati hidden atop a Port Authority building. Entry to the ship is easy and the team finds no opposition until they reach the corridor that connects the cargo holds. As Ligeirinho scouts ahead, he is attacked by Candlekeep. Swift action and a powerful energy blast from Sr. Nebuloso neutralizes the ghostly adversary. After checking the first cargo hold, the Silver R.I.N.G. moves to the second where they are greeted by the combined forces of the Caçadores and the Bizarre Company. Ligeirinho is hit by Captain Schizo, but manages to move away. Eliminador does the same in a way, as a punch from Schizo sends him flying twenty meters down the corridor and puts him at the brink of unconsciousness. All the while, Sr. Nebuloso is using his powers to avoid being hit and get close to Daniel, who is at the center of the hold, inside a protective pentagram. His efforts are mostly successful, except for Azagaia, whose mystical azagaia can hit him even in an immaterial state, and Candlekeep, who returns. As the mage tries to use his lightning wand in Candlekeep, it fails, leaving him without any offensive ability. Outside the hold, Ligeirinho uses his tangle line to hold Captain Schizo immobile. That only lasts a few seconds, but proves highly effective as it allows Eliminador to fire a full auto burst from his pistol aimed at Schizo's head. The burst hits the criminal deadeye in the head and he drops unconscious, but alive.
R.I.N.G. # 3
Arc: Child of the Nile, part 3
Story by: Fred Furtado
The Silver R.I.N.G.'s situation keeps worsening. Eros fills Ligeirinho with love for everybody and he decides not to fight. Candlekeep finally manages to capture Sr. Nebuloso's soul. As if things were not bleak enough Thati shows up becoming yet another target. When Eliminador thought that everything was lost, Azagaia orders a cease-fire and offers a treaty: the Silver R.I.N.G. will leave or Candlekeep will kill Sr. Nebuloso by snuffing out the candle that represents his soul. Ligeirinho, now free from Eros' influence, accepts. Pieces then teleports them away, despite Airhead's shouts of "kill them all." The team finds itself in an unknown location in the wilderness. Sr. Nebuloso, back to normal, teleports the group back to pier 18, where they no longer find the ship. Back at Lagoinha Base, they find out, through Sérgio, that they have been gone for six days Pieces not only teleported them, but also timeported them.
The team decides to track the ship. While the preparations are being made, Dr. Teresa Erlich, the Silver R.I.N.G.'s Chief Physician, talks privately to Sérgio and Eliminador. She tells them that despite the latter's claims of being a normal human, his test results show him to be an enhanced human, a class beta paranormal. She explains that Ian has superhuman recovery abilities and hand-eye coordination, and above-average activity in the brain's precognitive area. Since his germline cells do not show any of the genetic alterations of the somatic ones, she concludes that these abilities are not natural. They were engineered in him. Eliminador is shaken up by the revelation and has no idea how to explain the results.
Ligeirinho, who was informed by Sérgio that Daniel's mother is being advised by a lawyer to sue the Silver R.I.N.G. for invasion of privacy, calls her. On the phone, he assures the distraught mother that they will do everything to rescue her son. He also apologizes for Sr. Nebuloso's invasive mind probe.
In order to use the contingency plan they had devised before, Sr. Nebuloso teleports to New York and receives the scepter from Ramses' Pyramid from the hands of the Metropolitan's Egyptian Section curator, Dr. Terence Hickley.
They leave in the jet as soon as Nebuloso is back. On the harbor, he uses his clairvoyance and follows the six-day old image of the ship, which is camouflaged with an invisibility spell. Having been warned by Sérgio that their earlier call for the Navy to blockade the harbor would lead to the M.E.B. being notified, the group contacts the Brazilian government's paranormal team and asks for their collaboration.Cruzeiro do Sul II, M.E.B.'s leader, joins them and coordinates the action. Unsure about the Silver R.I.N.G.' s fighting aptitude, she tells them to concentrate on rescuing Daniel, while the M.E.B. will handle any opposition. The two groups reach the ship incognito, thanks to a masking spell cast by Sr. Nebuloso. The M.E.B. team rips open the cargo hold and together with the Silver R.I.N.G. stifles any opposition from the now lone Bizarre Company. Realizing they were caught unprepared, Mentalus orders Pieces to teleport them all away. With the enemies gone, the two groups certify themselves that Daniel and the crew of the ship are well. The Alexandropoulos' captain is surprised when Ligeirinho and Espectro tell him what happened. Espectro orders him to take the ship back to Rio.
The M.E.B. assumes custody of Daniel and thanks the Silver R.I.N.G. for their help. Two days later, the team visits Daniel's family. They find them moving out, courtesy of the SEAM. Ligeirinho once again apologizes for Nebuloso's behavior. Lara thanks the group and, before leaving together with Daniel and his father, tells them she has given up on suing the group.
R.I.N.G. # 4
Arc: Sombra Alta, part 1
Title: The Awakening
Story by: Fred Furtado
The field team enjoys two weeks of relative peace. Ligeirinho searches for internet-based sociology courses that might allow him to proceed with his studies. He also tells Sandro, the computer expert, to dig up all available info on Reginaldo Thati, whom the team leader suspects of having ulterior motives for his interest in Daniel. Eliminador goes through his fan mail, most of which is composed of starstruck teenagers' love letters, but also includes its share hate mail. Sr. Nebuloso tries to make a deal with the computer-game company Microprose in order to be able to use their bank of images with his spells. Microprose agrees if the mage wears the company's logo on his chest. Nebuloso agrees but the deal is vetoed by Ligeirinho and Sérgio.
One morning, Marina, the team's mystic expert, tells Ligeirinho she had a strange dream. In the dream, she sees a small town surrounded by mountains under an overcast sky. There is a feeling of dread and ominous foreboding all-around. The town is empty, but then a creeping darkness begins to spread, covering the streets and the houses. The sensation of despair grows until it is unbearable and Marina wakes up. The words "sombra alta" [tall shadow] lingering in her mind.
A quick search through the computer reveals a town in Minas Gerais by the name of Sombra Alta. Ligeirinho decides to check out the town. Marina agrees to go along when Ligeirinho guarantees the field team will teleport her back at the slightest sign of danger. The departure is delayed by Nebuloso, who fails to answer the communicator signal, and his maid, who refuses to wake him up to talk to Sérgio on the phone. This prompts an upset Ligeirinho to run to Nebuloso's home and bring him to the base. Finally, the team leaves for Sombra Alta at noon.
A little over one hour later, they arrive at Sombra Alta. A flyby reveals nothing out of the ordinary, but confirms that it is, indeed, the town from Marina's dream: on a valley surrounded by mountains. The team lands on the outskirts of the town and enter it by foot. They obviously attract the attention of the locals. They head to the town hall and meet the mayor, an extremely friendly man named Juscelino. He is very proud of Sombra Alta and intensely happy with the presence of the heroes, which goes to show that the town is no backwater village. Then, he orders his secretary to organize a party that night to celebrate the heroes an invites them to have lunch at his home. On the way, the mayor explains that the name of the town was given by its founders, during the heydays of colonial mining, and alludes to the tall shadows cast by the mountains early in the afternoon. The field team is treated to a veritable banquet and Eliminador catches, unwittingly, the mayor's daughter's eye. During lunch, Ligeirinho sees a black man by the window, but he is gone before the speedster can take a good look at him.
After lunch, the mayor sends the team to a hotel, all expenses paid, so they can rest for the party. Before they can get to their rooms, the hotel's owner offers them a "little snack," which turns out to be almost another full meal after all, he does not want to be called rude by his neighbors. Later, when everyone is in their rooms, Ligeirinho calls Sérgio. He tells the chief of staff that the only danger they seem to be facing is congestion. Eliminador, coming out of the shower, spots a suspicious man by the corner of the street that reminds him of one of the Comando Vermelho's soldiers. Sr. Nebuloso, warned by Eliminador, uses his crystal ball to look back in time and find out from where the man has come, but the suspect disappears two seconds into the past.
At night, the party is held in the town's main square. The group receives the Key to the city from the mayor and then eat and dance. Once again, Ligeirinho spots the black man, who now seems to be an African soldier. At the same time, Eliminador and Nebuloso sees the Comando Vermelho soldier. However, a few seconds later, both disappear. Feeling that the situation warrants caution, Ligeirinho instructs Nebuloso to take Marina back to the hotel and teleport her back to Lagoinha Base. A few minutes after they leave, a man shows up at the square. He runs through the crowd to reach Ligeirinho, a look of urgency on his face. He tells Ligeirinho, in English, to stop using magic, but his warning comes to late. At that very instant, Nebuloso sends Marina back to Rio. In the second the spell is concluded, an earthquake starts. It lasts for several seconds and when it is finished, the inhabitants of Sombra Alta seem to be in a trance. They start moving, trying to grab the field team and the stranger, who reveals himself to be the Exorcist, an occult vigilante. The heroes avoid the attack and escape to the outskirts of the town, where they are joined by Nebuloso. The Exorcist explains that there is an ancient evil buried either under or next to Sombra Alta. This evil is a creature from another dimension, completely antithetical to life and which feeds on magic. It probably slept for millennia, absorbing the residual magic from the area, up to a point where it issued a call to attract magic users. Nebuloso's use of magic gave the thing the final quantity of energy necessary to wake up completely. Now, they must destroy it before it regains its full power.
Since the group is short on firepower the only weapons available are Eliminador's pistol and the Exorcist's golguintê bullet-firing gun they decide to go back to the plane so as to get help. They find the plane buried in a crack in the ground. Nebuloso manages to rescue the medkit and the flare gun, but with radio contact gone courtesy of the creature that is all they have left. Before they can come up with a plan, they are attacked by six Timbassan soldiers who seem to be after Ligeirinho. The heroes quickly deal with the soldiers, but their main problem remains.
R.I.N.G. # 5
Arc: Sombra Alta, part 2
Title: The Battle
Story by: Fred Furtado
The group is joined by Sakura, who was working together with Exorcist. Concluding that the creature must be inside the caves near Sombra Alta, the team heads there in a borrowed police car.
On the way, they see three Comando Vermelho soldiers holding Carla, Eliminador's girlfriend, hostage. Their leader demands that Eliminador surrender himself or he will kill the girl. Thanks to Sakura's group mindlink, the heroes quickly come up with a plan. Sakura uses her mind control power to force the Comando Vermelho leader to shoot his companion. Eliminador and Exorcist shoot the other one, while Ligeirinho takes Carla away from the leader. The problem is quickly solved. However, after the soldiers are defeated, they disappear. The group attributes the attack to some paranormal agent in the area and decides to deal with it after they have confronted the creature.
When they reach the cave, they have another problem: what to do with Carla. Eliminador talks to her privately inside the car, trying to soothe her and convince her that it is best if she stays in the car. She replies by changing into a monster and ripping his throat open. Sakura and Exorcist try to pull Eliminador's body from the car and Ligeirinho attacks the monster with his baton. He succeeds and Nebuloso, breaking the ban on using magic, heals Eliminador. The incident leads them to believe that the previous attacks were also performed by agents of the creature. Being even more cautious, they enter the cave.
As they proceed down it, each one hears a voice whispering inside their heads, telling them it will give them their greatest desires. They resist and speed up their paces. At the end of the path, they finally meet the creature. The caves' angles and distances are distorted, and the creature's impossibly horrific visage makes all, except Eliminador, hesitate. He fires his pistol and hits the creature with a full auto blast, doing only minimal damage. The creature strikes back with several attacks that include bone missiles, mind control, mystical balsts and grappling attacks. The heroes finally snap out of their trance and fight back. Sakura uses the flare gun, Exorcist fires his golguintê bullets, Ligeirinho attacks up close with Exorcist's golguintê knife and Eliminador keeps firing his pistol. The group proves tougher than the creature expected and it is forced to rotate its attacks to find the best configuration. It gets lucky and manages to grab Ligeirinho, but the Silver R.I.N.G.'s leader is saved by Nebuloso, who teleports him away from danger. Unfortunately, this gives the creature more power and it grows a bit and regenerates damage. Ligeirinho moves closer again and the whole situation repeats itself.
Finally, the creature controls Eliminador and orders him to fire at his friends...
R.I.N.G. # 6
Arc: Sombra Alta, part 3
Title: Soul Search
Story by: Fred Furtado
Eliminador fires at Exorcist, not only killing him, but also reducing his body to bloody pulp. Ligeirinho uses his cable to entangle Eliminador, stopping his threat for a few seconds. This allows Sakura to keep firing the flares at the creature. However, it once more grabs Ligeirinho, wounding him into unconsciousness. With the tide of the battle turning from bad to worse, Nebuloso pulls a desperate gambit. He concentrates all his power into a mighty mystical lightning blast, which he fires together with his wand of fireballs. The creature is hit simultaneously by the attacks and the wave of magical energy released by the mage's use of his powers. It changes shapes, becoming globular, and disappears in a blinding flash of light.
Nebuloso cannot detect any sign of the creature, so he, Eliminador free from the creature's mind control and Sakura carry Ligeirinho and what remains of Exorcist' body out of the cave. As they exit the cave, Ligeirinho wakes up, thanks to his regenerative abilities. Checking on the guards they had to knock out to enter the cave, the heroes find them unconscious, but alive. However, try as they might, they cannot awake them. Reading one of the guard's mind, Sakura finds nothing at all. The group then takes the car and heads to Sombra Alta.
At the town, they find all the inhabitants unconscious. Another mind probe from Sakura establishes that they too have no mind. Ligeirinho contacts Sérgio by phone and explains the situation, asking him to contact the authorities, including the SEAM. While they wait for the reinforcements, the heroes help in what they can: Ligeirinho tends to the inhabitants wounds, Sakura collects all the loose weapons to avoid accidents, Nebuloso uses his powers to retrieve and fix the group's jet and Eliminador does nothing, still troubled by the recent events.
On her last collection run, Sakura sees two men walking towards the town's central square. She infroms the rest of the group and Ligeirinho goes up to meet them. One of the men is a Caucasian and the other an Amerindian. The Caucasian tells Ligeirinho his name is Ricardo and his companion's Tauatara. He also quickly describes what has happened, showing to Ligeirinho that he not only knows what has transpired, but also seems to have a much better idea of what is going on. Ricardo asks to check on the inhabitants and Ligeirinho agrees. He and Tauatara kneel beside one of the sombraltenses and exchange a few words in what sounds like Tupi-Guarani, one of the indian languages of Brazil. Standing up, Ricardo tells the now-assembled group that the sombraltenses' souls are gone. He goes on saying that they were taken by Klacahthal, the creature that the Silver R.I.N.G. fought, and now are in its home dimension to be used as food by the extra-dimensional horror. The only way to save them is for the heroes to go spiritually to Klacahthal's dimension and rescue the souls, but that is extremelly dangerous and there is a good chance they will not come back alive.
Ligeirinho quickly accepts the mission and the others follow suit. It is decided that Nebuloso's presence would jeopardize the mission, since his mystical nature would act like a shining beacon to Klacahthal. So he decides to stay behind, but uses his powers to enhance his teammates' willpower, an important attribute in the horror's dimension. He also heals Exorcist's body, because there is a good chance his soul was also trapped by Klacahthal and prevented from moving on to the Afterworlds. After a few minutes of preparation, Ligeirinho, Eliminador and Sakura's spirits are sent by Tauatara to Klacahthal's dimension.
A brief voyage through a tunnel of light takes them to an immense patio lined with gargantuan columns. In the sky, they see a green sun with an enormous slit pupil on it. It seems to be watching them. All around they feel the perspective and angles changing in unnatiural ways. It is the same effect they found on the cave where they battled Klacahthal. Sakura hears moans coming from some distance away and they head in their direction. On the way, they are joined by a strange flying sphere that talks in hums and changes constantly into polyhedral shapes. Soon after, they see a humongous crystal globe floating over an equally impressive pedestal. The globe seems to be filled with a greenish iquor or vapor and Ligeirinho perceives human shapes inside. At that moment, they hear cacophonic flute music. It has no efect on Ligeirinho, but causes Sakura to experience scenes and sensations of insanity and horror. Only at great cost she resists it. Eliminador is not so lucky. Assailed by the gruesome images and feelings, he drops to the floor screaming. To prevent further problems, Ligeirinho takes away Eliminador's pistol and ties him up with his cable.
Ligeirinho runs up the pedestal and touches the globe. It sends ripples accross the crystalline surface and attracts the human shapes inside it. The Brazilian speedster then puts his hand insides the globe and pulls one of the shapes out. The body collapses next to him, covered in greenish slime. Ligeirinho recognizes him as one of the sombraltenses. He then fires his cable into the globe and pulls several souls out, starting a waterfall of souls. Down by the pedestal, Sakura is warned by the flying sphere of danger. She sees an arachnoid creature approaching and fires the representation of Exorcist's gun at it. The bullet, a representation of the golguintê bullets, flies away screaming and ripping space. When it hits, the creature collapses in itself. By this time, the first souls are getting down from the pedestal by one of Ligeirinho's cables. Eliminador, who has gotten better, helps in guiding the souls towards Tauatara's tunnel of light. Sakura tries to hit the flying sphere, believing it to be a foe. Despite that, the sphere stills warns Ligeirinho of Klacahthal's approach. Everybody runs to the tunnel except Sakura, who stays behind to cover them. She waits until everybody has passed and shoots once at Klacahthal. The shot hits, but barely wounds the creature who tries to grab Sakura. She is lucky and it misses by a hairbreadth, as she plunges into the tunnel and back to her body.
Ricardo congratulates the group on a job well done while the inhabitants of Sombra Alta and the Exorcist start waking up. He tells the Silver R.I.N.G. that he and Tauatara must leave and say good bye. Exorcist also hides before Cruzeiro do Sul II arrives, soon followed by the rest of the M.E.B.. The heroes' debriefing takes three hours after which they are free to go. They give a ride to Exorcist and Sakura back to Lagoinha Base, where everybody is examined by Dr. Teresa. Eliminador, shaken by the events of the mission and still feeling the effects of the visions, asks her set an appointment for him with a psychanalyst.
The next day, Sérgio offers both Exorcist and Sakura membership in the group. Exorcist declines, but Sakura accepts. Later, at night, Exorcist leaves Rio by plane, confident that he has made not only new allies, but, possibly, new friends.
Last Update: 27-June-01