Age of Wonders thread IV

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Voltron64
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:09 pm

Yeah, well lucky for you, my knowledge of the World of Darkness is honestly very basic. :P
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:11 pm

Voltron64 wrote:Yeah, well lucky for you, my knowledge of the World of Darkness is honestly very basic. :P
Short version, Incestuous Necromantic Italian vampires from Renassiance Italy. These are Incestuous, Necromantic, Italian ASSASSINS!

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:16 pm

That's terrific.

Now anways I have an idea on why no one has collected on the bounties of those heroes. Hear me out, it's because of the fact that Moonatic and Mr. Arcane are both incredibly powerful and linked to The Order, so doing so would basically be a death sentence.
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:20 pm

Voltron64 wrote:That's terrific.

Now anways I have an idea on why no one has collected on the bounties of those heroes. Hear me out, it's because of the fact that Moonatic and Mr. Arcane are both incredibly powerful and linked to The Order, so doing so would basically be a death sentence.
That's an obvious reason.

Though, frankly, the Necrosa Order has given the Order a run for its money. Spells which remove their powers, attacks with demons, and so on.

Sadly, they're costly failures.

Image

The Innocent and Slayer's survival is more questionable.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:05 am

True about that fact.

(Also, I once had an idea for an alternate reveal for Ronin's identity being actually Taskmaster, fresh off the events of his then-recent miniseries.)

Also, I look forward to Hero-Killer and how I'd might despise her! :D
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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EARTH-HED!

Post by Libra » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:44 pm

At some point you just have to get back on the horse and remind the mare of her social obligation to go where I want her to go, rather than keep us wandering in the wilderness.

Pseudo-humerous metaphor aside, I really don't want my writing to blow away once and for all after such an extended dry period, therefore here come a few thoughts on this part of the Age of Wonders (hopefully with the hitherto-undelivered Lamplighter article/s to follow).

Please be gentle, it's been a while!

Earth-HED! isn't paradise, but it seems to have moved much further through purgatory than the version of Heroic Earth we're most familiar with - admittedly this might be more because it has enjoyed a slightly shorter Age of Heroes, rather than fewer threats and more than a few lucky breaks to boot (Jack Washington Junior narrowly managing to turn right where on another world he took a sinister turn being a particularly potent example).

On the other hand this is also a world where the man who would otherwise have become Alexander Timmons turned into The Globalist thanks to the mercurial local timeline (blame Merlin, because no other explanation has yet been uncovered) giving George Timmons a few more years with his wife and child (also because Death Mask is STILL a jerk), so not everything has turned out for the best or even as prior experience would lead us to expect.

Partly that's because the wider Age of Wonders universe has begun to cross into the E-HED! continuum, partly due to some peculiar temporal distortions allowing a wide range of individuals to change from predecessors and successors to peers, but also it seems because our choices make a difference (and even when it's only a small difference these tend to add up to something bigger when they grow numerous enough).


Here are a short list of those differences mentioned by visitors (although not necessarily confirmed by direct observation):

The Liberators - Sometimes still known as the Liberty-Men, unless Athena and Jenny Sprockets happen to be in the room, no-one is quite certain when they made their debut but everyone knows that they're the world's first generation of superheroes and quite arguably still the finest, even if they are getting a touch long in the tooth to be taking the fight to EVIL on a daily basis (some of them will even admit this, usually right before Grey-Wing glowers and Antaeus guffaws at the very idea).

With that and the well-being of those young heroes who don't fancy private education with the Tomorrow Society (or just want to hang out more with their costumed grandparents) in mind, The Liberators have been kept busy putting the Liber-teens through their paces and hauling their juniors carcasses out of the fire when the heat gets too much for any band of youngsters to handle.

Even when those youngsters happen to be The Patriots (ESPECIALLY when the Patriots are concerned - can't let The World's Mightiest Heroes forget Earth's Finest are all the better for age).
(The 1940s? the 1980s? they've been confirmed as active in both eras, but even time-travellers can't quite work out which period they originated in because quite frankly there's roughly equal evidence for either and at least a little bit of evidence pointing to BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY!)

Twilight - It turns out even that when George Timmons nephew lives long enough to grow out of being an emotionally-needy and obsessively controlling jerk he's STILL just a bit more invested in noblesse oblige and playing chess-master than any 21st century hero really should be.

Still, he gets results and those results are pretty spectacular, which given the state of this Falconcrest City (all the old favourites are running loose AT THE SAME TIME, including Blood-wing) is a big help to his uncle George - whom he still loves dearly, although he's thankfully toned down that fatal degree of Hero Worship.

He and Eugene Timmons butt heads just as often as you'd expect, but more in the manner of a highly dysfunctional family relationship than the 'RIVALS TO THE PAIN' style another worlds version of Alexander Timmons never ever enjoyed.

Twilight keeps trying to claim he came up with his name before THOSE novels came out, mostly because his only attempt to change his codename to Star-Wing provoked some memorable 'caped crusader ... With SPARKLES!' jokes.


The Justicars - a much-less psychotic septuplet of superhuman champions thanks to the fact that Moss Pit has never been anything more than an associate, Jack Union was kicked out at super-speed and they were blessed with The Radioactive Viking instead of Manhattan Project (who seems perfectly content to hang out with The Liberators instead); they still have to deal with Jane Union but she seems more colourful than terrible these days (at least when she's on her meds and gets paid the occasional visit by Jack with no-one the wiser).

Filling those places are Robin Hood (actually Marianne Sussex-Locksley, wearing a fake beard with Uncle Jim nattering in her ear - sometimes helpfully) and Samson, who seem happy to help Ymir keep things on the up-and-up rather than caught on the slippery slope heading downhill (well, except when Sam is on one of his benders and Marianne isn't trying to part someone's valuables from her uncle's sticky fingers).

The fact that the local Red Jaguar is a very young JC Quatermain helps too (even if 'Uncle Leopard' keeps trying to resume the title), especially given that he's rather good at coping with Aquarius' melodrama and keeping the team on-target


Cassius and Serena Mass - currently obliged to play second fiddle to Helios in the ranks of the Gene Nation, even while he exercises more practical authority on a day-to-day basis than his mentor and rival for the post of 'God-King to the Gene Nation' (who continues to breeze through Genesis Island like a prophet through the Book of Kings); amusingly he still sometimes calls himself the King of Hearts in this world (although usually only in the media or when schmoozing with his latest lady-friend).

Oddly he seems MUCH older than Madame Tomorrow (although the two are still clearly siblings AND she still calls herself 'Madam' rather 'Mademoiselle'), who still effectively runs the Tomorrow Society as a youth movement with more than it's share of after-school classes under the benign supervision of Rev. Alexander Byrne.


Death Mask - Still a jerk and one possessed of an even more touchy pride owing to the complete demolition of Sparta-Corp under the ... appendages of the Celestial Commerce Guild (one of the first points where the wider universe of AOW touched upon this somewhat difficult-to-reach part of the setting), as well as the fact that he got to raise his son as his own heir and the lad STILL went his own way in egregiously flamboyant style ('Jim' Moriarty is one of the more 'friendly' super-villains on E-HED! and eccentric to boot, but he's still not someone you'd particularly want to quarrel with).

Why is Death Mask more social? Well, he isn't really, since he HATES rivals with a venomous intensity roughly equal to the bite of a black mamba and resents being obliged to work with them to boot - but there are a LOT of super-villains on E-HED! who keep quarrelling like sicilian hillbillies while the Heroes co-operate to good effect.

SOMEONE has to get things organised and it's going to be Death Mask (or Godfather Gorilla or The Dark Undermaster - if the latter doesn't find Middle-Zoth or become involved in ANOTHER card game with Merlin*).
*They usually play poker and ALWAYS use a tarot deck because nobody wants too much of the mundane to intrude upon a good bit of urban fantasy.

The Timeline - Don't ask because nobody on E-HED! will give you a specific date for anything superhuman before 2008; all that's known is that The Pulp Era still occurs on schedule (and actually continues for long enough for the likes of Doc Aeon and Erich Weiss to tear Fascism to pieces - with occasional help from The Liberators on occasions remembered with peculiar vagueness and downright strange timer-wimey confusion added to blur the lines still more).

All I can say for sure is that The Pulp Era was followed by a Golden Age sometime around 1938 or the 1980s, which was then began to segue into the Modern Age sometime in 2008.

If you want to know more, ask Merlin but don't expect any CLEAR answers because I certainly got none! (Don't bother the John Smith Society - they're having too much fun getting acquainted with the Phoenix Force crew and anticipating the adventures their much-expanded cosmos may now reveal).


The Headless Hellrider - is missing, presumed either massively hungover or mired in melodrama; the Tomorrow Society is running a pool on whether he'll turn up with his head or without it (a few of the more waggish are seeking to add 'Will show up with ANOTHER kid' to the mix).
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:20 pm

...Awesomesauce, Libra. :shock:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:01 am

What he said.

Oooo.

I wonder how Lucien Drake is fitting into the Esoterrics.

Anyone think I should write their current status up next?

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:31 pm

Thank you for the kind words, Master Phipps and Voltron - it's good to get the words typed up and posted on the Think Tank once more.

Charles, please feel free to post what inspiration drives you to create, which I suspect will deserve to be greeted with interest whatsoever that happens to be (although if I may be so bold, I would be particularly interested in hearing your thoughts on which teams the various Heroes/Villains of E-HED! are working with or what organisations they may be working for - I have had a few thoughts, but nothing concrete and I would appreciate suggestions).

Stay well one and all (Charles, please convey my best wishes and respect to Mrs Phipps).
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:36 pm

Got anything to say about this setting's version of the Big Apple, Libra?
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:22 pm

An interesting place to visit, but not somewhere I'd care to hang out my shingle!

(Rather like the real New York, New York - one of the biggest cities I have visited, but not one of those that I liked best).
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:32 pm

Libra wrote:An interesting place to visit, but not somewhere I'd care to hang out my shingle!

(Rather like the real New York, New York - one of the biggest cities I have visited, but not one of those that I liked best).
Well, at least our reality's New York is way better off.
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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THE PROTECTORS OF THE NEXUS!

Post by Libra » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:48 pm

There is a very simple truth underlying the renown which The Protectors of the Nexus enjoy across the length and breadth of that to-date infinite vista of inexhaustibly varied creation (disproportionate, the ignorant might argue, to the rare frequency and short length of these operations): the Protectors don't assemble their full compliment of champions very frequently, so they make sure that there's something worthwhile to do in order to make the occasion memorable (rather than a deplorable waste of time), usually by making a mental note of any major threats uncovered that they cannot solve as individuals OR during the course of the somewhat more frequent team-ups that bring one or more of them together.

Given that there aren't very many of those left on Earth-1938 this means that they usually have to strike out across the multiverse, which coupled with the fact that 'Phoenix' Hawthorne and Chief Carter are almost as well-travelled as Legendary Iron Phoenix and Star Chief, they still get around more than most posses of old-school mystery men with powers more human than superhuman get the chance to.

The fact that a solid majority of these particularly inveterate adventurers have been fighting the good fight for the better part of a century - and have therefore become VERY good at winning their matches, even when they sometimes lose a round or two - is just icing on the cake.
As a note, the second and longest team-up of the Protectors of the Nexus occurred in the wake of the Octagon-spearheaded crisis that shredded the ranks of the younger do-gooders who had so ably excelled the inspirations and on the whole unspeakably traumatised THEIR juniors; put simply at that point in time, had The Protectors not assembled the super-heroic tradition on Earth-1938 might have perished or evolved into something ugly, rather than returned to it's roots.

Thankfully it took only a little over a year for the Freedom Ring to gracefully fill the gap that The Protectors had been stretched to their limits to cover, but it was a remarkably busy year or so.
What was the FIRST team-up, you ask?

Well it occurred when they were just Protectors rather than THE (sometime in the 1930s) and involved a spirited effort by Earth-17 to conquer E-1938, from which Revered Elder Sung emerged with a degree of credit not entirely commensurate with the degree of success his forces had enjoyed (even after he got rid of a rather obstructive superior).



Shalanya the Tigress: One of the first heroines of the modern Age of Heroes to win lasting fame on E-38, Shalanya the Tigress was raised from her earliest youth on the then-uncharted and now vanished island of Benghalia (by the strange creatures of the wild that dwelled there according to the lady herself, with only the occasional intervention of The Shaman to keep her from going entirely without humanising influence during her formative years), that source of so much that was strange, terrible and wonderful on Earth-1938 in the early years of the last century.

Unsurprisingly she grew up fearless, strong and far from adverse to adventure; pitting herself first against poachers and pirates, then finding herself drawn into the never-ending battle against foes both stronger and stranger, she has seldom found herself settling anywhere for long ever since (time and again she finds herself drawn to the Hollow Earth, only to be reminded why she left it the last time) - for a tigress she evidences a curious lack taste for lounging about (if only due to the point where relaxation tips over into boredom being fixed remarkably low).

While currently enjoying that period of years known amongst the polite as 'A certain age' most young men who meet her remain remarkably prone to being disappointed upon learning that she much prefers to wear clothes rather than go without ...


Doc Zodiac: One of the founding fathers of costumed adventuring on Earth-1938 AND one of the founding members of The Protectors of the Nexus, the good doctor (PhD rather than MD, but it still counts!) there's actually remains some doubt over whether he technically counts as a Costumed Adventurer, since he could actually appear in public wearing his customary attire without being given odd looks even were he not a paragon protector of humankind.

Admittedly he'd only get away with it if that appearance were onstage or at a truly fancy dinner party, but given he doesn't ALWAYS wear a tuxedo the point still stands (no, of course he doesn't dress casual - the man love suits just as much as you'd expect a man who has been seizing every opportunity to strut his stuff in a tuxedo for four-fifths of a century would!). Given that how long he has been adventuring and the colourful style in which he has triumphed in the course of most of those escapades, it seems fair to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Also medals, lots and lots of medals, along with sundry other forms of recognition for his services to mankind (Doc frequently jokes that the reason he's always wearing the tux is that he keeps getting invited to 'Thank You' celebrations and they keep being interrupted).

On a more serious note Doc Zodiac and Shaman remain the heart of the team (even if Hawthorne and Chief are the driving force, like the husky young pups they are!), each having known the other for a very long time and having long since become habituated to calling in the other when they require back-up to provide some power or skill they do not personally possess.

They're not joined at the hip, but the way they seem to seamlessly pick up the threads of old conversations, jests and grumbles makes that salient truth rather hard to pick up from the middle of all this long familiarity.


The Shaman: Almost as much of a dandy as Doc Zodiac, but drawing from a more diverse and eclectic wardrobe (that's what happens when you regard the various warrior traditions and wilderness expertise of the world as your personal smorgasbord!), The Shaman has been active for even longer, even if he left the majority of the adventuring to his students until relatively recently - although he's been making up for time spent otherwise engaged with impressive pace for a man who can't be far off his centennial.

Still, even by the venerable standards of The Protectors he's no spring chicken and playing cock of the walk at his age takes almost everything he has to give - thankfully he has good friends and a promising young apprentice to help take the burden; with luck he might even live to enjoy retirement.

Actually scratch that, he'd HATE retirement - with luck he'll live long enough to palm the more demanding problems off on his successor and start looking for some fun little problems to while away his autumn years!
Moghi: A bright young lad of no particularly discernible ethnicity and already-formidable physical gifts coupled with developing mental prowess, Moghi is exactly the sort of apprentice that one would expect to find following in the footsteps of The Shaman and has conducted himself with great credit even during the course of EXACTLY the sort of stumbles you'd expect to see a well-taught teenager suffer when trying to emulate the feats performed by a man to whom the extraordinary has become routine.

Amusingly he seems to have picked up a penchant for fine suits from Doc Zodiac, but doesn't mind roughing it in whatever style of primal simplicity The Shaman has decked himself out with today.

The Masked Vigilante: Who was that masked man?

Well on Earth-1938 the answer to that question requires a list longer than I can comfortably produce here, at least when it comes to those who have worn THE Mask, a simple strip of black with eye-slits and the curious ability to cloud men's minds; some claim that it first made it's debut when a mysterious masked individual rescued citizens from the lynch mobs of London who'd been panicked by the Great Fire - some who find it's origins in the darkness of an island adrift amidst a sea of pirates - others that it's initial appearances were in the American West (although whether in California or Texas is a question the answer to which depends on which tradition you grew up with).

What is known for certain is that it can only be taken up and given away through an exercise of free will on the part of it's bearer (present and future), that the only powers it seems to possess is that of keeping a secret identity Secret as well as a curious property of being found where it is needed (no matter how far that might be from where it was) and that it has been worn by a long line of heroes (although not quite a family lineage - as mentioned THE Mask goes where it is needed and not necessarily to those who would claim it, however good their intentions and whatever their past ties).

The last man to wear THE Mask found it in the jungle of Benghalia and put it on to protect the people who made that island their home, thwarting the pirates whose actions had stranded him there in the first place as a prelude to a long career across the world, pitting himself against the worst mankind could throw against their fellows, making friends and enemies in the process.

He was killed in action, dying as he and so many of his predecessors had lived - in the front line on the Right side of the never-ending battle, unmarked and much-mourned; to date the mask has not yet resurfaced from the depths into which that gallant rescue carried it and it's wearer.

It will not be lost and go unclaimed forever.
Jane: Student of The Shaman and living link to the last man who wore THE Domino Mask, Jane has a lot to live up to, a burden of expectation that might even exceed that which will be handed over to Moghi, should The Shaman ever get around to turning those threats into a promise fulfilled - a lesser mortal would wilt under the burden, but Jane bears it with fortitude even though she has no particular wish to wear THE Mask herself.

As not a few of those who have carried it over the centuries could point out, that need not mean she won't someday wear it - only that she'll THINK before she puts it on.

'Phoenix' Hawthorne and Chief Carter: While these two are indeed more usually to be found with their Phoenix Force family, quite frankly even the best of fathers/father figures need a little time away from the kids to let off steam - honestly they rather enjoy the rare opportunity that working with The Protectors of the Nexus allows them to be the YOUNGEST Heroes in any given room ("sidekicks only count as heroes with a lower case initial 'h' - that's our story and we're sticking with it" "Why?" "good question").

However, as noted some way above, they are also the engine that drives the team to strike out across The Nexus and the compass that prevents them from getting TOO badly lost (although thankfully Doc Zodiac keeps a fairly good mental map for those occasions when 'the huskies' get a little sidetracked - or knocked out), not least because there are some threats they find it necessary to handle but which they'd rather not expose their kids to (also because Legendary Iron Phoenix and 'Phoenix' Hawthorne have a bet going - the one who wins it gets to use the title 'Legendary' - much to the indignation of the latter he has yet to win it for his own).
Amusingly, having made their debut sometime in the early-to-mid nineties, Phoenix and Chief Carter actually have somewhere in the region of twenty years seniority over their E-0 counterparts, despite being EXACTLY the same age.



Mr and Mrs Cyborg: An American agent who was upgraded with incredible technology and went on to thoroughly enjoy the adventurous career which led him to meet his wife, a russian who had experienced a rather different accident and a similar upgrade but found rather less enjoyment in her career before meeting her mister - the two having met, worked well together and finally wed when they managed to parlay their mutually exemplary records into the position of Free Agent.

While their technology looks rather old-fashioned by the standards of bleeding-edge cybernetics, the only futurists foolish enough to describe them as quaint have been repeatedly obliged to recognise the simple fact that the expertise with which one employs the technology at your disposal matters just about as much as how advanced that technology is held to be.

To put it humorously, six million dollars may not buy quite as much as it used to, but invest it wisely and you're STILL set for life.

Middle-aged by the standard of The Protectors, Mr and Mrs Cyborg are still not quite entirely comfortable with the team (amusingly they seem a lot less 'contemporary' to Hawthorne and Carter than the REAL elders), but find themselves both welcome and fitting in very well whenever they chose to work with the team.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:03 pm

Bravo!

More comments but Bravo!

Oh and a small consolation, I'm getting a couple of short stories published with Emby press.

So writing is good.

http://embypress.com/
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:12 pm

Congratulations! - may this be a seed from which mighty forests grow (all the better for you to cut down, cut up and print your stories on what remains!). :mrgreen:

Thank you for the kind comments - almost more than I deserve after my long absence. :)
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