Age of Wonders thread IV

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:20 am

Amusingly Lord Scorpio still sometimes calls Queen Arachnia "Queen Ant" - the latter remains sufficiently flattered by her protege's success to ignore the fact that she really HATES his mother, Queen Kali having proven one of the few individuals to thoroughly beat Queen Arachnia - albeit not at her own game and at the cost of surrendering her young son to The Queen as a hostage by way of compensation (and it took her long enough to wriggle out of that particular agreement for young Scorpio to pick up a good deal of Arachnia's style and methodology).

Lord Scorpio oddly enough remains fonder of Queen Arachnia than his own mother (the former has ... not a soft spot, but a habit of treating children kindly until she sees what sort of adults they grow into and charm, when she chooses to employ it - also Kali is something of a blatantly unsentimental hard-case at all times), but admires his mother more (or less).


Queen Arachnia and Queen Kali have co-operated over the years, but it's a working relationship that has always remained distant and unfriendly (Queen Arachnia gracefully accepts that there are limits on her ambitions - and seeks to work around them - Queen Kali accepts NONE and tends to discipline those that suggest she ought to, not always fatally); quite frankly Arachnia SNEERS at the company Queen Kali keeps and Kali keeps making telling remarks about Queen Arachnia's fundamental weakness for melodrama and the quite, rural life on Middle-Zoth.

Well did you REALLY think that a Spider-Queen of a Thousand-Dimension web lived on Earth? (she doesn't appear to have originated there, but there are few places she enjoys more - except wherever she gets the opportunity to engage in 'courting' with The Red Emperor - which oddly enough resembles a sort of Heroic Fantasy Villain version of 'The Graduate').
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:23 am

Also, does the Hunchback have a jaded, snarky bodyguard as well?


He keeps trying to find one and they keep dying on him - sometimes literally - but he does keep trying.
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Crazy Steve!

Postby Libra » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:05 pm

Crazy Steve may not be stupid, but he's definitely certifiable - it's in the name - as evidence of which I produce his entire history of service with The Four That Would be Free (wonderful people, terrible employers), as fine a record of assault, battery, brigandage, tomb-robbing, property damage and terrifying horrors beyond the ken of man or woman (although thankfully not QUITE beyond their ability to squash), a history of adventurers finding themselves cheerfully charging from creek to unsanitary creek with Crazy Steve doggedly struggling to keep up (canoe and paddles et al strapped to his head) that he only managed to endure because those wonderful, terrible, WONDERFUL people were a GOLD MINE to a budding merchant-venturer and sometime lawyer.

Their Courtroom fees alone would have kept Crazy Steve comfortable in his old age, but given that this particular bunch of violent idealists and benevolent kleptomaniacs couldn't bargain for anything but their lives, well ... Crazy Steve had GOLDEN reasons to keep following them around. Admittedly they eventually wised up to his racket and insisted that he put in his share of the work, turning him into the most overburdened sidekick on record, but Crazy Steve had always been impressively fleet-footed and his ENORMOUS snoot of a nose made a wonderful counterbalance for whatever weight he happened to be overburdened with at the moment so he got by (amongst other things he got by the Celestial Lions just as the midden hit the windmill) and they didn't mind helping out his 'family' (which either bred faster than rabbits at Woodstock or was more corporate than biological).

Then the Four were rather brutally split and Steve was able to retire, a fantastically-wealthy man ... to an adopted homeland that had been reduced to a forlorn hope, rubble and ruins. To say that this did not meet with this recovering sidekick's approval is putting things rather mildly - getting in touch with some of the most eccentric toughs he had met during the course of his spectacular career across the face of Middle-Zoth through the 'family' who'd cornered the market in turning loot into tax-free revenue (at the cost of portaging it from point A to point £$!), Crazy Steve brought together a Free Company the likes of which Middle-Zoth had never seen before and turned a profit in the process (a small profit, after reinvesting in Goodheart and a multiplicity of philanthropic gestures).

Offerred a Royal Reward from King Alessander, Crazy Steve was still contemplating what to ask for - and what to do with the surviving toughs and the new generation of adventurers they had worked up into a near-frenzy of valour and cupidity when his old employers Mrs and Mr Cosmic (alright, they were friends too, but Crazy Steve would have to be INSANE to admit that - they'd want even better 'Mate's Rates for one thing) popped back into his life for one last adventure, involving Crazy Steve with the Outrageous Order for the first, last and ONLY time.

NEVER AGAIN cried Crazy Steve, hardening his heart against the profits of becoming their manager-sidekick, because those guys are BEYOND Steve-Crazy, they're Mooncalf-Mad!

Vowing to cut The Outrageous Order out of the emerging Middle-Zoth market (and incidentally find something for all those hiresword hard-nuts left wondering what to do with their time now that all the screaming had stopped and coming to the conclusion that they might have to cause some if they wanted work), Not-as-Crazy-as-the-Outrageous-Order Steve requested a Royal Charter of His Grace the Miller's Son and founded the Royal and Right Honourable Guild of Mercenary Adventurers upon being granted it.

With Crazy Steve somewhere below the level of the average member's navel, The Adventurer's Guild has been doing roaring trade ever since (not least because it tends to be very, very noisy work hacking things to pieces or dying in the attempt) and acquiring prestige, profit and political power in the process - as well as finding occupation for the sort of hardcore gallant and money-hungry bravo who'd probably be making life very difficult for the population in any other occupation to boot.

Crazy Steve definitely IS, but he certainly isn't STUPID (just don't mention The Competition around him - who? - I said don't mention the Outrageous Order, he hates that, he goes ... uh-oh, there he goes!).
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:57 pm

I think King Panda now has a rival in the whole lovably amoral nutjob Merchant Adventurer department.

:lol:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby greycrusader » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:10 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:Just to give Libra's sequel group some food for thought.

The Lamplighters (Bronze Age)

The second generation of heroes in the Lamplighters were a collection of misfits, strong-personalities, and oddballs who in any other setting would have discovered the value of teamwork before becoming an unstoppable fighting force of good. Unfortunately, this being Earth-1986, they mostly just decided they hated one another and worked alone.

Still, the Lamplighters were far more effective and bound by stronger ties than they really wanted to admit. Many a time, the group would get together, seething with resentment only to drop all of that to smash down whatever was threatening the world. Their role in smashing down the "Psychic Parasite", the Red Freighter of Ghost Pirates, the Nixon Robot, and other beings never really achieved much notoriety in the public, though. Perhaps because, at the end of the day, the public didn't believe in heroes. Which is why, sadly, one of their own became one of the worst villains of all time.

Or so it appeared.


Formed by the Wildcard in the 1970s, the group came to prominence during a time of severe social unrest in the United States. Unwilling to take a stand with either side of the hawks versus doves debate, they were accused of everything from racism to fascism to communism. Individual members being of a less-than-stable persuasion didn't help things. The group lasted right up until a Presidential order insisted they desist lest they be labeled a terrorist group. Given that was 1979, it lasted far longer than anyone expected.

As mentioned, the group frequently came together in individual pairs or trios (or the whole group) during the 1980s. These unsanctioned, frequently un-costumed, missions were actually some of the group's finest. They were also either ignored or slanted by the papers. People still hadn't forgiven the original Lamplighters of their bad reputation but somehow considered the next generation to be inferior successors.

The Lamplighters were permanently reviled when one of their own was blamed for a massive cataclysm which ushered in the arrival of the Octagon. Ultimately, many of the modern citizenry no longer blame the majority of the team but "The Zealot" has become a new word for traitor. More than Judas or Benedict Arnold, people think of him as the party who "must have" brought the Octagon to their world.


There were two teams of Bronze Age Lamplighters, with the first consisting of the aging Urban Commando, Wildcard, The Clock II, Nightguardian II, Captain Zero, and the briefly-active Satin Siren II; these group only had two adventures together as a whole before breaking up, though they reconstituted in the early 1980s (sans Urban Commando and with the addition of the third Satin Siren) one final time before the Octagon's plan unfolded.

The second team was organized by Wildcard, who took over for the alcoholic and increasingly ineffective Urban Commando; these were mostly heroes pulled from outside the NYC area, and included Ketra, The Trenchcoat, and Knight Guardsman (AKA Night-Guardsman). They proved only slightly less contentious a set of personalities, and their efforts were sporadic though often memorable.

Trenchcoat: "The Hero of the Straight Razor" was a figure who the Lamplighters might have done better to abandon all associations with. However, Trenchcoat always seemed to know when and where meetings were. The heroes all owed him their lives at various points, so none of them felt comfortable bringing him in. That and, aside from Ketra, everyone was pretty sure he could kill theme easily. Trenchcoat claimed to be on a mission from God and followed wherever the voices in his head lead him too.

He frequently claimed encounters with demons possessing human beings but no one was able to verify these outrageous stories, especially since "only he could see them" and his straight razor was able to kill them handily. Given said individuals always turned out to be serial killers, child-molesters, hate-crime participants (Trenchcoat developed a substantial following amongst gays who considered him a guardian angel), and so on--it's difficult to say whether or not he was guided by some higher power or just a very good instinct about evil. Wildcard, privately, believed he could simply recognize fellow psychopaths.

Trenchcoat, ultimately, died from smoke inhalation helping a number of squatters escape from a house fire. No one ever realized this due to his not being in his mask at the time. His straight-razor, however, has an odd habit of showing up in vigilante murders, though. The Lamplighters maintain its a replica, though.


Almost no one else on Earth-1986 "lived the life" as much as The Trenchcoat, save perhaps for his teammate Ketra and the living deterrent Captain Zero (neither of whom had any choice, after all); he maintained no secret identity (going unmasked only to purchase groceries and other sundries), no social ties to his former civilian existence, and little interaction with the world aside from his masked-hero activities. The Trenchcoat dwelled in a abandoned underground subway maintenance station which he converted into a secret lair, complete with closed circuit television monitors, an interrogation room, and various pieces of crimefighting equipment. Cursed with the genuine psychic power to sense violent and cruel thoughts, his mission of tracking down and punishing evil men became an all-consuming obsession.

Though notorious for his straight-razor, Trenchcoat was equally adept with his fists, feet, chains, hurled manhole covers, and stop signs wielded as clubs. Whether his strength was born of fanaticism, psychic adrenalin, or pharmaceutical means remains yet another mystery. Whatever the means, his extraordinary agility and leaping prowess was in full display whenever he doffed his heavy cloak, revealing his black-and-scarlet skintight fighting suit. He was a virtual dervish in close combat.

Though there were superficial similarities in their M.O.s, the Bronze Age Clock disdained the Trenchcoat, considering the latter excessively bloody, loud, and anti-social, a "freak show" who "provokes the citizenry against sane masked vigilantes; yes, really.

Ketra: Ketra is one of the most powerful beings in the Nexus, essentially having unlocked the "cheat codes" to the universe that he used to alter himself to be able to fully unlock his potential. Ketra spent most of his time walking around completely covered in a hoodie, mask, and gloves because his true form caused people to die. Believed to have been a Jewish physicist who studied the Tree of Life in combination with physics, the source of his powers was attributed to a laboratory accident.

Ketra, himself, always maintained that he simply had a moment of realization about reality and that ascended him. At PL X, Ketra's ability to affect the world was unlimited but for the fact that he could see the future to an equally unlimited degree. As a result, he acted a bit like an Old Testament God. No one could really understand when, where, and how he would choose to act.

The Zealot's seeming attempt to destroy Ketra saddened him but was not the reason Ketra chose to leave the Earth. He claimed there were "other things" he had to do and proceeded to make sure the environment healed itself after the Octagon's latter massacres--improbably leading to humanity's survival.


Dr. Zelesky was only one of the many scientists assigned by the Pentagon to study (and replicate) Captain Zero, with the ultimate goal of mass-producing nuclear powered super-soldiers (Project: The Ground Zero Men); he was however the smartest and strangest of the research team. Expanding his intuitive grasp of quantum physics with a variety of psychoactive drugs, Zelesky partially re-created the conditions that led to astronaut Zachary Allen becoming Captain Zero, and used himself as the test subject. He emerged from the experiment chamber with immense powers, but even less human than the erstwhile Captain Zero. As Ketra, Dr.Zelesky was immune to conventional injury, could perceive objects on the molecular level, walk through walls, and project beams of intense light and heat. Most amazingly, Ketra could perceive and manipulate wave functions, selecting among quantum states to create the outcome he wished. This meant he could work PL X miracles, though Ketra's power to do so was limited in range and duration-the effects on non-living matter reverted once he was no longer concentrating on them.

Unfortunately, Ketra's very existence was weakening the integrity of universal constants on Earth. Furthermore, as his perspective became increasingly alien, his actions began to lose any connection to human morality or justice. The situation became grave enough for Captain Zero to take action. Impervious to Dr.Zelesky's matter manipulating abilities and far faster and more experienced, Zero moved the battle between them beyond the Earth's atmosphere and then dissipated Ketra into virtual particles. Feeling remorse over his actions, no matter how necessary, the Captain assumed Ketra's appearance on several occasions while acting on behalf of mankind, to re-establish Ketra's benevolent, heroic persona.

The Zealot: Jefferson Brauner got his career started due to a sense of cultural guilt that his father passed down to him. Having escaped Nazi Germany with a vast fortune before things went to hell, Jefferson was encouraged repeatedly to somehow make up for his father's weakness. Jefferson proceeded to become enamoured of ancient Jewish warrior traditions and modeled himself after those who destroyed Jericho as well as drove out the Greeks. From his hidden fortress of Masada, (actually a penthouse apartment over numerous floors of equipment), he fought hate-groups with a variety of gadgets before moving on to protect humanity as a whole.

Ultimately, the Zealot felt he was doing less good as a vigilante assassin than he could be as a philanthropist. "Coming out of the phone-booth", he was pardoned by the government and used his immense wealth to form a foundation for the helping of others. He maintained strong ties with Israel but actually attempted to work out peaceful solutions with its enemies in a surprising 180 on his previous views.

The Zealot was blamed for a plot by the Octagon to destroy a dozen cities and blame Ketra. This "wheels within wheels" plot permanently blackened the Lamplighters name and made the Zealot an international criminal. He's still out there, though, and became a terror to the Octagon and its forces.

Wildcard: Wildcard's nostalgia for a previous time resulted in him creating the second generation of the Lamplighters. While his government connections kept the organization from becoming his own personal boondoggle, it never really shaped into the team he envisioned. Part of the reason was that Ketra was a god, Zealot took poorly to WIldcard's "good-natured ribbing", and Trenchcoat was insane. Touched by God, perhaps, but quite seriously coocoo-for-cocoa puffs.

Wildcard died before the events of the Octagon, perishing due to a lifetime smoking habit, so he was spared the indignity of watching his world burn. However, his influence on the team and later resistance movements had a larger role than anyone expected. The Wildcard's secret bases and stashes of weaponry assisted the future resistance movement (lead by Night Guardian II and Satin Siren II) in fighting the Octagon.

Night Guardian II: Night Guardian II: Henry Hollands was never the sort of figure who his father expected to turn into a superhero. The illegitimate offspring of Horace Olds with a Queens waitress (I remind people, there's a scale named Kinsey for these sort of things), he grew up shy as well as nerdy. Horace's attempts to involve himself in his son's life frequently turned out poorly with the only real lesson he managed to impart being, "great privilege begets great obligation." Frankly, Henry wished his father had found a punchier way of saying that.

Henry might have become a swashbuckling hero if he'd gained superpowers another way but the young tinker was forced to wait a few years until he'd inherited his father's massive trust (a gift from the US Commando to the son of a friend). From there, he used the money to create a variety of amazing gadgets to fight crime. Henry Holland's identity was never as much of a secret as he'd wanted it to be (El Diablo blowing up his mother's home at one point) but he pretended like it was.

The costume was just the sort of thing to make Henry's life easier, though, as he was a strong and confident hero wearing it. Ultimately, it served as his security blanket right up until the time the Octagon took over the world--and his obligation was at its greatest.

Satin Siren II: The daughter of the original Satin Siren was expected to be her only more so. Sadly, or perhaps better for her, she turned out to be quite the opposite. Despite being stuck with the name, Sally Lawnickzak was anything but soft. Looking like a model, she talked like a sailor and seemed almost irritated that she seemed to continue to be considered one of America's most desirable ladies no matter what she did.

Of course, she eventually softened a bit and started up a relationship with Night Guardian II. That fell apart with some rather disturbing revelations about her potential father. Still, the two managed to work together and eventually drove the Octagon off.

"Boom" was her catchphrase.


I will update the explanation of how Night-Guardsman, the Sally Lawnickzak Satin Siren and the Zealot fit into the 1986 timeline later tonight or tomorrow evening. Hope you like so far.

All my best.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:48 am

Grey Crusader, I like what you've done with the characters so much that I'm planning to keep my head down and keep working on the USA-team until you've posted all that you have to post regarding these particular Action Heroes! :wink:

I think King Panda now has a rival in the whole lovably amoral nutjob Merchant Adventurer department.


Crazy Steve would like you to know that he has always been a commendably moral and only slightly criminal individual (and he paid his debt to Society eventually); King Panda would like to point out that Steve ("CRAZY Steve, I have a brand to protect and contracts to sell") is less a rival merchant than he is the sort of local entrepreneur whom he enjoys doing business with - never dull, but STILL good value for money.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:12 am

Having now actually RESEARCHED King Panda, it strikes me that Crazy Steve is that particular trader's new best friend; Crazy Steve gets a somewhat tenuous and frequently wonky connection to the Celestial Commerce Guild and King Panda gets to hire more meatheads he can add to the wall of muscle intended to keep his enemies at bay (or better yet in hospital).
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:50 am

Libra wrote:Having now actually RESEARCHED King Panda, it strikes me that Crazy Steve is that particular trader's new best friend; Crazy Steve gets a somewhat tenuous and frequently wonky connection to the Celestial Commerce Guild and King Panda gets to hire more meatheads he can add to the wall of muscle intended to keep his enemies at bay (or better yet in hospital).


Personally, what kind of crazy, hilariously illegal or quasi-legal stuff could you see King Panda getting involved in?

Weed smuggling? Arms Dealing? Organized games of Russian Roulette? Having intercourse with a Sexy Catgirl-disguised Ostiliroth in a dumpster behind a fast food restaurant?

:twisted:
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

Postby Libra » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:02 am

Nothing so pedestrian, I'm sure; King Panda handles the CRAZY stuff (hence his entire business relationship with Crazy Steve). :wink:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:45 am

Charles, just leaving my best wish for your health and for the recovery of Mrs Phipps (I wouldn't want you to think that your dual plight has been forgotten).


Everyone else, I'm planning to post my take on the Unique Strategic Assets (and a little on their homeworld to boot) at some point later tonight, barring unhappy accident.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:15 pm

Libra wrote:Charles, just leaving my best wish for your health and for the recovery of Mrs Phipps (I wouldn't want you to think that your dual plight has been forgotten).


Everyone else, I'm planning to post my take on the Unique Strategic Assets (and a little on their homeworld to boot) at some point later tonight, barring unhappy accident.


And by tonight, you mean your time zone?

Because I'm probably like around eight hours behind you, man.

:lol:
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 Unique Strategic Assets of Earth-51!

Postby Libra » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:31 pm

A stalwart bastion of star-spangled solidarity and entirely proper, if sometimes atrociously acute paranoia, Earth-51 (named for the headquarters of it's most prominent residents) has been fighting for it's very existence for a long time - in fact since not long after that nice young superman Fuzion left the planet after first smacking a One-Above-All infiltrator ship (crewed by Subverted Greys) right down to Earth not far from a little burgh called Roswell and then proceeding to work some hilariously surreal wonders across the face of The Earth in opposition to the strange new terrors that had mysteriously chosen to make their first appearance or bring their plots to a long-awaited finale right at the same time the singular being most capable of foiling them was making his way around this particular planet.

To be precise the Trouble REALLY started right after he left and the laws of physics came rushing back in to resume their accustomed place, apparently itching for some payback after their long, enforced absence - to cut a long and frequently ugly story short, the various Government and Private Projects endeavouring so enthusiastically to replicate the magic of the Nuclear Wizard found themselves more frequently unleashing horror rather than heroes (not to mention hideous amounts of radiation, with the inevitable consequences of sickness, pollution, poisoning and death).

Deciding that it was going to die fighting, The United States took the rather desperate step of recruiting those individuals who, by some fluke of chance, were not only monstrous but sapient (and could therefore be bribed, cajoled or intimidated into working for their country), forming them into a team that would be unleashed at the President's personal discretion - named The Unique Strategic Assets (or the Unique Special Assets or the Uncanny Secret Assets or whatever permutation on the initials USA they feel like using today), these individuals would be thrown at whatever Atomic Horror had reared it's ugly head today, because quite frankly it was either them or the Army and at this point the Administration needed all the Martial Law it could lay it's hands on to prevent star-spangled civilisation from being overwhelmed in a wave of panic.

Somewhat to the surprise of everyone concerned, this hare-brained last-ditch scheme WORKED and the team has been steadily employed to clean up the messes left by the Atomic Over-Enthusiasm of ... well EVERYBODY with a super-soldier programme and make a mess of anyone who looked bug-eyed at Uncle Sam; then as the team began to find more time on their hands, things became a little ... tense - the monstrous tendencies of certain team members and incipient lunacy of others began to bubble to the surface, leading to tensions between team-mates, as well as the USA-team and the rest of the World.

At this point the discovery that an Evil Fascist-Stalinist vaguely-Soviet extra-dimensional Empire was greeted by the star-spangled paranoiacs of Earth-51 with something that wasn't exactly a sigh of relief, but which might well have been the satisfaction of the truly Paranoid finally receiving evidence that they can produce in court WITHOUT being laughed out of the courtroom; unleashed on the Enemy they had been waiting the length of their entire career for, The USA-team miraculously failed to shatter on the defences of Sovius-Prime and instead shook that Empire to it's foundations.

Now all Earth-51 has to do is survive the consequences of it's actions; given they've been doing just that for the entire existence of the USA-team, they've become quite good at that, but even so they'll need every ounce of help they can get and then any more they can find.

It might finally be time to call in that favour from E-38 (not to mention swallow their pride and ask those Courageous Coalition ... PEOPLE for help too, preferably using the Squadron Superb as middle-men!).


The Astro-Golem!

In 1951 a being from beyond the stars touched down on Earth, on a mission to propagate the enlightened message of hope, peace and truth that he brought with him for All Mankind and a mandate to judge them, lest they be found to be to backward to be brought forward into a brighter tomorrow - their reaction to his message would determine their fate, at his discretion.

Shortly thereafter he was shot for assault with a fatally obvious allegory.

More accurately The Visitor was shot by an inexperienced GI as he experienced a fit of panic along with everyone else when it was revealed that not only had the former come to Judge the Earth, he had brought a distinctively imposing android angel of death to boot - a giant metal robot-thing with the power to destroy the planet coupled to a countdown that would result in just that outcome, should anything unfortunate happen to it's master.

Thankfully The Visitor got better and since this was principally due to the assistance of the locals, from whom he had received both first aid and appreciation, he cancelled the countdown to Armageddon and left behind his creature to act as a guardian angel against outside influences, confident that he had left his ward in good hands before he returned to the stars.

Then the USA got their hands on the entity now known as the Astro-Golem; it's been kept busy doing what it does best ever since - Protect, Serve and Remind us that there is ALWAYS a bigger gun.


Doc Amoeba!

He's 89.99% sure that he wasn't actually created when a miniaturised medical technician found himself in some sort of clinch either with (or merely within) a unicellular organism whilst embarked on a mission of mercy intended to take internal medicine into well-known places in an entirely novel fashion, but it makes a better story than the other 10.1% so he plans to stick with it until he can come up with something better.

A scientific titan whose frame fails to match his fame (except, you know, for that business when Tessa - she's the next USA-agent down - was kind enough to play host) has been resident scientific genius of the USA Squad ever since he got over those teething problems with his protean technological innovations and stopped turning already peculiar people into slightly MORE peculiar people.

He still hasn't quite gotten over his difficulties with the mental health issues that put the MAD in his Mad Science, but nobody's perfect (just ask him, he's been inside more than a few!).


The Fifty-Tonne Woman! (Theresa 'Tessa' Truman)

She really IS big-boned, which is rather what you have to expect to see from a giantess, which made it slightly easier for her to cope with that abrupt transformation from the brink of suburban respectability to the peak of superhuman lunacy - she might look like something out of Jack and the Beanstalk, but at least she wasn't FAT.

Formerly a budding home-maker, Tessa seems to have moved past her issues with being lifted up from her quiet life and suddenly becoming a special-ops giant - she's discovered new ones, but let's emphasise the positive - but now has to deal with people looking up to HER and cheering (which is fun, but STILL makes her almost as nervous as the screaming with which her elevation was previously greeted).

Also some of her co-workers have been a little ... funny since that thing with the whats-it-called left her a little exposed in the course of a previous battle; privacy may be mighty hard to maintain when you're as noticeable as she is, but that just makes Tessa even more keen to get some.


Melissa 'Missy' Linke

Neither Ape nor Human but someone in-between, a curiosity of evolution who succeeds in being simultaneously the least powerful and most respected member of the team by virtue of the fact that she just so happens to be the most level-headed member and an extremely nice individual to boot, allowing for a will of Steel and a no-nonsense attitude to anything that touches upon her sense of propriety.

Quite possibly a member of the same species that shaped Strongman into the hero he remains, Melissa never-the-less does not appear to have been raised in that culture, having been adopted at an early stage in her development by locals slightly less panicky than was common - now fully-grown, she's been studying for her doctorate and fighting for both the sanity of her team-mates, as well as for greater acceptance of the uncanny on E-51.

Sweet she may be, but Melissa Linke is also outspoken and doubly so when it comes to battling Man's lazy habit of Inhumanity to his fellow Man (and his UNSPEAKABLE treatment of Monsters!).


The Human Fog!

Described as a defector from The Soviet Union (not strictly true), The Human Fog most frequently appearing as a sentient fog-bank that actually looks more like a purse-full of mist on the moors mixed with coffin dust by the handful, which occasionally turns into (amongst other things) a rather attractive dark-haired woman with a distinctive accent, a come-hither look and a coffee-black sense of humour (as well as a peculiar taste for ... vine) when she thinks no-one is looking.

Noted primarily for being very, very sneaky and eager to avoid being pinned down, The Human Fog seems to find the company of other 'monsters' congenial, but admits that only in the somewhat acidulous fashion of any member of the Older Generation who has to work with all this new-fangled 'Atomic Horror' stuff. Still she remains popular with the team, especially the male members - because let's face it, she's a real vamp.


The Orange Smasher

He never was a particularly NICE man even when he was just a grunt and becoming a hulking, radioactive ... THING with frighteningly toxic powers added to an abrasive personality and on top of a command over that temper of his that can only be described as tenuous (except perhaps on his very best day) didn't exactly help his chances of becoming very popular at all.

Although he proved himself a useful trooper as part of the USA, in all honesty Smash proved quite unable to handle BEING a freak on top of beating up that sort of thing and having to live his life with other freaks to boot didn't add anything to the sweetness of his disposition - yes, Freak is HIS word and that attitude didn't exactly do wonders for his relationship with his squad-mates - so while his mysterious disappearance was a cause of concern for his fellows, they couldn't help but feel a little bit of relief at being relieved of this genuinely boorish personality.

The fact that he wouldn't be mutating their immediate vicinity into a thing of Atomic Horror was a bonus too.

Orange-Smasher himself, it must be noted, rather misses his old peers (never more so than when working with the Diabolical Dozen, who are EVIL Freaks), but honestly finds being able to let all his frustrations out on a world that isn't his own just a bit more satisfying than he should (not least because Captain Adventure is there to clean up his messes, so far as OS is concerned).


PLUTONIUS!

The Action Hero formerly known as that walking, talking tilting point of the E-86 Cold War known as Captain Zero (who was never quite powerful enough to be the tipping point, but remains very far from being a weakling) found himself relocated to E-51 after that interesting sequence of events that followed from the murder of Codename: Wildcard and has found himself quite utterly renewed in the process.

Benefitting from the fact that on E-86 EVERYTHING super is Atomic (not to mention most things even slightly strange) and the dissolution of his inferiority complex that followed the revelation that on this world he was therefore better than a God to these people - he was THE superhero - the Plutonium Paladin has done more good in the course of his short time here than he ever felt able to do on his Home-world (thanks to being freed from that strangling red tape and a nightmarish tinder-box of a political situation) and has been happy to rebrand himself to better fit the sensibilities of his new team-mates and his new fans.

As he put it "PLUTONIUS just sounds so much more optimistic than Captain Zero - I do wish the boss wouldn't bark it so ... enthusiastically."

PLUTONIUS - ahem, Plutonius - has also taken a certain delight in spearheading the teams operations against The Sovius Empire, not least because it FINALLY presents him with the opportunity to smash his way through the EVIL REDS that he'd never expected to meet (due to several decades of senior officers trying to convince him they existed and a number of experiences convincing him that they mostly existed in the minds of his more paranoid superiors); it's been oddly therapeutic to put his powers to work at the the task for which he had so long been intended.

Now all he needs to do is cope with the sudden, yet inevitable revelation that in his absence things have really gone to Hades at home; if his newfound confidence can survive that. it can survive anything and the Nexus will have acquired a valuable asset.
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Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

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Voltron64
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:55 pm

I'm becoming curious about the implied history of interaction between Earth-51 and Earth-Greenworld, Libra.

It might be not wrong to say that relations between the two, while not necessary hostile, could be rather tense at times?

(Think JLA/Avengers and how Superman and Cap thought of each others worlds but on a lighter tone.)
Last edited by Voltron64 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: The Unique Strategic Assets of Earth-51!

Postby Voltron64 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:39 pm

Libra wrote: PLUTONIUS - ahem, Plutonius - has also taken a certain delight in spearheading the teams operations against The Sovius Empire, not least because it FINALLY presents him with the opportunity to smash his way through the EVIL REDS that he'd never expected to meet (due to several decades of senior officers trying to convince him they existed and a number of experiences convincing him that they mostly existed in the minds of his more paranoid superiors); it's been oddly therapeutic to put his powers to work at the the task for which he had so long been intended.


That's not to say Captain Zero had never fought commies twice before in his own timeline, first having shot down MiGs in Korea nearly a decade before his transformation and next in Vietnam when he was called in to assist the troops by Tricky Dick.

(I'm thinking Dr. Zelesky's transformation into Ketra occurred around '67-'69 and he arrived in 'Nam only a couple months before the North's surrender on 1970. Captain Zero of all people was the one who called him out on how distant and apathetic he was to humanity. It was over how a mission had gone FUBAR and resulted in a lot of collateral damage and casualties, not the murder of a pregnant civilian. Such an incident was prevented when Captain Zero energy blasted the head off a random thuggish GI about to commit such deed.)
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

Postby greycrusader » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:00 pm

Libra, I enjoyed what you did with the USA team, though perhaps if it strikes your fancy you will update their stories to the current age (and the belated reunion with Orange Smash, their erstwhile ally, after the Unique Special Assets cross-over adventure with the Squadron Superb during The Terror on Three Worlds incident). And how exactly DID Captain Zero come to Earth-51 after the defeat of the Octagon and the Captain's subsequent departure from parallel Earth-86?

(An answer suitable to his Captain Atom ersatz nature would be that Captain Zero foiled the Octagon's plot by absorbing the energy of their ultimate weapon into his own person, which caused his physical being to become violently unstable. Sensing his fractured nature, he raced to escape Earth's atmosphere, fearing he would imminently explode in a multi-megaton burst. Instead, Captain Zero imploded, collapsing space/time around him, forming a mini-wormhole which deposited him on Earth-51. Phew!)

Captain Zero was/is more powerful than ever suspected, his abilities limited more by his mentality than any real physical constraints. Zachary Allan is a highly intelligent man in the technical sense, a highly qualified jet pilot and electrical engineer, but he has a rather mundane worldview, despite all the strangeness experienced in his life. He is not particularly imaginative or creative in the use of his powers or otherwise, and tends to resist any radical new experiences or challenges to his "All-American Boy" worldview. Like most similarly empowered beings, Captain Zero's very presence slightly warps reality; in fact, it was only the Captain's long association with the "core" Lamplighters (The 'Card, Nightguardian II, Satin Siren 2.5, The Bronze Age Clock, and The Solarian) that allowed them to partially escape the effects of the Octagon's own reality altering Chimera Engine. Even so, their reputations were sullied, their effectiveness diminished, memories erased.

Coming up: as promised, comments on Night-Guardsman, Satin Siren II, and Zealot, and a bit more on Earth-86's timeline. Then a more seasonally appropriate Halloween-themed posting (even if I miss the actual date).

All my best!
The Contingent: When all other super teams fail...


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