The Primeverse [Revised] updated Jul 21; the Congery

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The Primeverse [Revised] updated Jul 21; the Congery

Postby Dirigible » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:15 pm

I've started work on revising and expanding my home-brew supers setting, and will be posting the results here for your delectation. Old material is being re-written and proofread, and new elements will be mixed in. Here's the link to the old version.

Comments and questions are, as always, welcome.

Kingdom City: A super-modern telekinetic city built literally overnight in the middle of America.
Pacifica Prison: The world's largest and most secure single facility for dealing with superpowered criminals, 11km under water.
the Guild of Thieves: An international super-gang that eschews violence for profit.
the Furies: A loose cabal of sapient natural disasters.
the Journeymen: Three of the world's most beloved heroes and cultural icons, long since departed to the stars.
the Congery: The hidden sodality of the world's magic wielders that strives for unity, secrecy and control of the more dangerous elements of the preternatural.
Last edited by Dirigible on Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:31 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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Postby Dirigible » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:15 pm

Kingdom City

They say Rome wasn't built in a day.

Kingdom City was.

The state of the art, sprawling metropolis of Kingdom City rises from the dry plains of central North America like a flawless diamond in a platinum setting. So massive that it spreads across the borders of six states (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma), it has the special exempt status of a free city, making it a semi-independent political entity. The man in control of that political entity is Jericho Kingdom Sayle, founder and sole owner of Kingdom Construction, a vast multinational and perhaps second only to Triland Corp. as the world's richest and most influential company. Lebanese by birth, Sayle came to America and embraced that country's economic dream wholeheartedly, eventually rising from dock worker to the wealthiest man in the United States. Depending on which of the contradictory biographies you believe, Sayle's career may have been a stellar rise of fortune and talent, or years of hard, painful graft and deprivation. The man himself is usually evasive on the matter, and his rare comments seemed designed to muddy the water further. Equally mysterious is the source of his powers; some claim he was involved in a secret space exploration project; others that they are naturally emergent; and some of his detractors that they result from a pact with nephandous and malevolent entities. What is sure is that Sayle is a telekinetic of great power and extreme finesse, capable of lifting objects weighing hundreds of kilotons, while simultaneously stacking bricks, mixing cement, measuring distances and laying foundations in a dozen places at once.

That is how his masterpiece, Kingdom City, was created. In the wake of the Gateway Wars, the US government has nearly bankrupt, faced with the task of rebuilding trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure across the country damaged in the conflict. They needed Kingdom Construction's expertise and resources, thus putting great bargaining power square in Sayle's hands. After securing special rights to a large, desolate piece of land spread across the fringes of six states, Jericho Kingdom Sayle went to the middle of the desert like a man seeking hermitage, and set to work. Gradually but inevitably, over 29 hours (he is frequently self-deprecating about the 'scheduling overshoot'), a gleaming city of sculpted skyscrapers, wide whitestone plazas, silver malls, interlinked office blocks and pale marble apartment buildings rose from the assembled construction materials, all according to the perfect mental plan in Sayle's head. His city was designed perfectly; wide streets unburdened by the shape of the land or old settlement patterns allowed full and free access by public and private transport. All infrastructure was in place, from trash disposal to waterworks powered by telekinetic pumps that tap deep aquifers, all the buildings ready for their occupants to come.

And come they did. Lured by cheap housing, a pristine environment, incredible caretaking and support systems and a wide range of jobs available (80% of which are in Kingdom Construction or one of its subsidiaries), hundreds of thousands flocked to the empty metropolis, many hand-picked and invited by Sayle himself. Kingdom City is a clean wonderland of technology, industry and prosperity. Over a hundred countries have consulates in the slightly misnamed Ambassadors Quarter, along with the Primacy's Embassy, and any company that doesn't have an office or outlet in Kingdom isn't worth talking about.

Still, it is not without flaws. Kingdom City can feel very soulless at times, all shining white and steel-grey, curved edges and glittering blue glass. Few artists call the city home, and many decry the stylish capitalistic coldness and excesses it embodies. It is also not a place to live if you do not trust Jericho Kingdom Sayle; rumours say he watches every event in the city through hidden cameras or an empathic link with the buildings themselves. He also plays a very real and critical role in the maintenance of the city of which he is mayor and founder: many of the buildings simply cannot stand on their own. For instance, Brunel Tower, the head offices for Kingdom Construction and also the centre of municipal government, features a gap on level 101. Put simply, there is no level 101 - the bottom hundred floors of the tower are separated from the top thirty by a twelve foot space, with no beams or other supports. Sayle's telekinesis alone holds the upper floors of the building in place, as steady as a rock at all times, even when he is asleep. The same phenomena is repeated in key buildings and public locations throughout the city, making parts of it seem eerily open, as if it should not exist outside of a computer simulation.
Last edited by Dirigible on Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Davies » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:41 am

Yay!

Chris Davies.

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Postby Dirigible » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:35 pm

Pacifica Prison

Located at the very bottom of the Marianas trench, Pacifica is the world's strictest hypermax security facility for superpowered threats. Several satellites watch the site constantly, some focused on the surface of the ocean, others using terahertz wave or infrared cameras to monitor the depths. Robotic mini-submarines patrol the area in three dimensions, programmed to disable anything that isn't a fish. The facility operates under Japanese law, and most of its staff are from there, though it is funded and technically run by a group called the UN World Penal Authority.

The only way to Pacifica is by an armoured hydrofoil from Nagoya, Japan; though sometimes the most dangerous prisoners are carried there directly by members of the Primacy or other highly capable metahumans, such as Japan's Advanced Security Detail. The Primacy maintains an Embassy in Nagoya specifically to react to possible escape attempts and facilitate prisoner transfers. Entry to the facility is achieved by depth capsule, which must be launched from the surface: Pacifica itself contains no escape pods or pressure suits.

The chief warden of Pacifica is Hanhiro Tosugata, a retired superhero formerly known as Aoiamatsubame, the Blue Swift. He has turned his long experience at crime fighting to holding those that he and others caught. By all accounts he is a humane and just man, but he crushes riots and escape attempts ruthlessly, well aware of the kind of carnage those in his custody could cause in the outside world.

Prisoners are given a string of code letters and numbers reflecting the degree of danger they pose to the staff, and listing any precautions that must be taken to confine them. The majority of Pacifica's inmates are kept in special designed and tailored cells, built to cope their their particular powers or talents.

Survivability Variable (SV)
This is simply a measure of whether the individual can survive the crushing pressures of 11 kilometres under the ocean, and the long swim to any kind of shore. It is rated 0-1, with a normal person (and, indeed, a majority of metahumans) being 0: no chance whatsoever. Those that can survive are watched carefully, as they might have less compunction about puncturing the prison's bulkheads in order to escape, dooming everyone inside to rapid death from drowning, cold or pressure.

Escape Threat Class (ETR)
The administrators of Pacifica understand that every metahuman presents a unique challenge to imprison, and must be treated on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, there are a number of shorthand designations they use to classify general types of metahuman.

An individual can fall into more than one category. One such case is the Cybermancer, rated ETC B/D. Able to control human minds and machines with a thought, the Cybermancer has been imprisoned in a completely isolated cell for 10 years. Cameras cannot be used to monitor him because of his ability to usurp and manipulate them, and no staff can be trusted to resist his telepathic domination. No one has seen, heard or spoken to him in all that time; it is only know that he is still alive because of the waste products flushed out of the cell's toilets.

Some of the more common categories are:

A: Negligible. The prisoner has no abilities that make them difficult to restrain with bars, manacles and other conventional methods.
B: Technology Restriction. The prisoner must be kept away from devices such as computers, cell phones, and in some cases even duct tape and hairpins, because of extreme intelligence, inventiveness and/or technological skills.
C: Physical. The prisoner possesses extreme strength and/or resilience, and cannot be easily held with physical constraints. This category is usually appended with further information detailing the estimated level of strength the individual is capable of exerting. In some cases, powerful mechanical restraints may be used; in others, chemical or neural suppression is the only way of ensuring passivity.
D: Mental/Biological. The prisoner must be kept away from living staff members; all contact must be through remotes and robotics, because of psionic or biohazardous abilities.
E: Energetic. The prisoner is capable of manipulating or generating energy or force of some kind, from extreme heat to telekinesis. Some of these category are contained in cells designed to be impervious to their energy type; others are subject to a variety of dampening or dispersal technology.
F: Extranormal. The prisoner has abilities of a mystical nature. Various techniques are used for these prisoners, ranging from binding circles and magical wards to cells lined with cold iron, willow wood and undyed cloth.
G: Nonlinear. The prisoner has the ability to bypass certain laws of nature. Generally, this refers to teleporters and those with the ability to dematerialise. They are usually kept in forcefield-locked cells or pinned in place with spatial reinforcement anchors.
X: 'X' is a special category, generally referring to a storage wing used to hold objects and devices that are themselves prisons for dangerous beings or forces. The Codex of the Bottomless Abyss is kept here, as is an experimental wormhole generator that has been known to allow Nth dimensional aliens into our reality.

Personal Hazard Rating (PHR)
PHR is an estimate of the combat potential of a prisoner. Various scales are used: since the Second World War, the Russians have used the Barchev Method, which calculates how many 'average metahuman soldiers' it would take to incapacitate an individual. The Americans have used a scale devised by Department of Defence that estimates the number of tons of tanks, bombs, guns and ammunition it would take to do the same, called the Weighdown Balance. These days, the most common method is a simple, quasi-scientific measurement called simply Power Level, that takes into account a huge variety of factors, mental, physical and even social. Most members of the Primacy have been rated by the World Penal Authority in case their talents are ever needed to counteract an escape, and the WPA keeps this information under heavy guard because of the threat it could pose to the world's defenders if it fell into enemy hands.
Last edited by Dirigible on Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Jalinth » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:03 pm

I'm liking this. I think I may just steal Pacifica Prison for the game I'm currently planning. Can't wait for some more!
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Postby Dirigible » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:53 am

the Guild of Thieves

If there is honour amongst thieves, it is found in the Guild. A loose association of superpowered burglars, con artists, pickpockets and bank robbers that cooperate to avoid the law and complete the most daring crimes, members of the Guild must forswear unnecessary violence and offer up a share of their profits to pay the legal fees of captured members, and to provide medical care for sick or elderly former partners. Any Guild member that kills under any circumstances, or repeatedly injures where stunning or evasion would have sufficed, soon finds themselves bound up and delivered to the Primacy Embassy's doorstep in Nagoya, ready for transport to Pacifica. They hold to the so-called 'Code' that binds superhumans on both sides of the law with greater rigour than nearly any other criminals, and this gives them a sense of professional and moral superiority.

The Guild's greatest utility is as an information clearinghouse and networking forum for its members. Dozens of impromptu gangs have been set up within its membership from time to time for specific heists, and the more cooperative thieves sometimes tip each other off to opportunities that match their skill sets, powers and peccadilloes, in exchange for the same consideration, or a percentage of the take. Other members make their living as 'mercenary thieves', hiring out their specific talents to assist others in their crimes.

Though it is largely a ceremonial position, the Guildmaster enjoys a great reputation across the underworld, commanding more respect than any mob boss or gang chief. By spreading a little of the organisation's significant wealth around and dropping a few pointed words in the right ears of organised crime, the master can stir up a world-wide crimewave or summon a veritable army of thugs. The Guild elects a master whenever there is a significant challenge to the current leader's authority – so there is always a healthy degree of paranoia as the leader looks to her lieutenants as potential usurpers. The number of votes a member can cast is reputedly based on the value of loot they brought in in the past year, so the most ambitious Guild thieves are very busy indeed. Of course, not all metahuman burglars are members, but those in the light-fingered profession find that the Guild offers unparalleled access to covert services, job contacts and information. Not only this, but because of its strict non-violence policy, law enforcement agencies and heroes usually focus on the non-member psychopaths first.

Folklore and conspiracy holds that the Guild dates back millennia, to a sect called the Brotherhood of the Hand in ancient Egypt. Whether or not this holds any truth, it is an eclectic and long-lived group, built of the shadowy remnants of other crime syndicates and occult societies, and is reputed to possess a great repository of secret lore.

GTR: Severe
Life & Limb: Negligible
Property: Critical

Group Membership: A core of superhuman thieves and experts, with many baseline informants and assistants. Approximately 25 supers, 1000+ baseline fences, lookouts, procurers, fixers and racketeers.

Bases / Centres of Operation: InterPol raided the Guild's last HQ, located in Djakarta, two years ago. There were dozens of arrests, but the leadership escaped and the organisation regrew elsewhere, currently unknown. The Guild has no fixed fields of operation, but goes anywhere there is money to be illegally acquired.

Leaders / Notable Members

Guildmaster Psiphon: The Guild's current leader, Psiphon has never sullied his hands by stealing mere wealth or objects d'art. The targets of his crimes are nothing less than thoughts themselves. He specialises in blackmail and secret-mongering, including such famous capers as selling Russia's nuclear launch codes to the highest bidder (which was, luckily, Russia itself), and revealing the CEO of a major Triland subsidiary's sexual proclivities to the Global Mumbai. He also has a carefully calculated skill at manipulating public opinion by attacking governments and corporations and leaking their secrets to the public, making many see him as a kind of freedom-of-information Robin Hood. He guards the details of his personal life and history jealously, but it is believed he is a middle-aged man of Khmer descent. Those few that have met him and are willing to divulge information to the authorities, however, claim that his features are so soft and muted, and his voice so completely without accent that his nationality and ethnicity are near-impossible to pin down. That he can use his telepathic abilities to cloud their minds only adds to the difficulties of unravelling his secrets.

Hellbender: Originally a Louisianan paramedic, the man known as Hellbender was infected by some kind of 'weresalamander' in the depths of the bayous. Over the years, this contamination has manifested in a variety of strange abilities. His physical form is mutated, possessing flexible scales and small but sharp claws. He can can project and control small amounts of very intense fire, which he uses to cut into vaults and disable security systems. In addition, Hellbender can transform parts of his body into living fire, allowing him to slip through even the tightest gaps. He is known for his flamboyant use of profits from his crimes, and frequents Las Vegas and Monaco's largest casinos, with supermodels on his elbows and bespoke suits made from his own shed skin. On the rare occasions when the Guild is forced to intervene to rein in a wildcard in its ranks or dissuade an overly aggressive hero from trying to apprehend their members, it is often Hellbender that leads the task force, as he has something of a belligerent streak.

Grey Noise: A technological kleptomaniac, Grey Noise is never seen without his form-fitting stealth suit and numerous infiltration gadgets. His favourite toy is the 'grey noise' generator from which he takes his name, which generates a field of static that affects sight, hearing and electronic surveillance. The high-tech thief is know to be obsessed with the inventions of former Primacy member Professor Gateway, and constantly seeks to increase his collection of them. Some analysts suspect he seeks some kind of ultimate device, which can be constructed from the lesser inventions and experiments. He is known to frequent Hamburg, and some sightings link him with Professor Konnigsedge, the city's scientist mayor with a known antipathy towards superheros.

Cheshire Cat: The Guild's poster girl, the sexy English superthief Cheshire Cat made her name stealing the most heavily guarded jewels and works of art in the world and doing it with style. A skilled teleporter, she has escaped from World Penal Authority custody more than anyone else alive. Little is know about her background; she spins a dozen different yarns about her past and the origin of her powers, sometimes claiming she is a Sidhe queen from the shadow world of Cysgod Golau brought to Earth by magic, sometimes that she is the result of genetically splicing an Olympic gymnast with an MI-5 spy as a part of a bizarre plot to steal the crown jewels, or even that she is the cryogenically preserved tsarevna Anastasia Romanov.

The Prince: There are powers of lawlessness older still than the Guild; older even than its suspected origins in the slums of Cairo, four millennia or more ago. The man who bears the title of the Prince of Thieves was once a fairly undistinguished criminal, a privileged young man named Leonard Collins from Midway City in America, with an expensive lifestyle which exceeded his means. As his funds dried up, he turned to theft to maintain himself in the manner to which he had become accustomed, betraying his friends and using his high society contacts to find opportunities to pilfer cash and jewellery. His greatest achievement – and his final, as a mortal – was to steal an artefact, the Promethean Lockpicks, from the collection of his uncle. This crime roused the interest of a mysterious entity, a timeless patron of ne'er-do-wells everywhere which took the opportunity to vest its power in Collins. He was at once transformed, his mind filled with ages-old secrets of the criminal trade, a grand agenda, and the powers necessary to bring it to fruition. One of the Guild's newest members, everyone sees that he has a great future ahead of him – in many ways, the Prince is the ultimate thief, his abilities of stealth and deception perfectly suited to the greatest crimes and most mundane robberies alike. The only thing more evident than his capabilities is his ambition, something Psiphon has taken careful note of. For the present, he is tied up with his growing criminal empire in Midway City, and suffers frequent entanglements with the local police superhero the Badge.
Last edited by Dirigible on Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Dirigible » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:27 pm

the Furies

They are a thousand different apocalypses, united by a bond that no one yet understands. The Furies are perhaps the threat that faces the Primacy on the most equal footing – both are powerful and global in scale. The avatars of disaster are hard to quantify in general terms; some are extortionists, using their powers for profit; some seem driven by ecological or political ideology; but the majority are simply raging storms of violence and terror. Oddly, many of the younger members are less malign than their elders, and some even fight as heroes for a time, unaware that their elemental powers are actually the early manifestations natural disasters. So far, most have turned to the Furies as they aged, however, and joined the war on mankind – though nearly all of them retain at least an echo of their personalities and appearances. The most powerful of them tend to be able to suppress or transcend their destructive impulses, which has lead to the rather disconcerting trend of several Furies entering the business world, seeking to build their personal fortunes... before following their vocation and destroying everything else.

Several factors link the Furies: they never willingly attack each other, as if there was some familial bond between them. Their plans may occasionally conflict, but when they do they more often unite for short term rampages than come to blows. It is theorised they also share an empathic link with the other members, which may explain the coincidence of their attacks. Ever since they assisted the Primacy in the final battle against Professor Gateway (even though they more often helped the madman prior to that, approving of the world-wide havoc he wrought) they have had access to some kind of improved teleport system that does not require portals; they can appear and disappear anywhere.

The origin of the Furies is a convoluted matter. The first discernible Fury dates from the 1940's, when the world reached a technological tipping point: mankind's technology and impact on the world had reached a level where life itself, not just he fate of individual species, could conceivably be threatened. Their activity went almost unnoticed for decades, however, as the first Furies only manifested within naturally occurring, or at least already extant disasters; they were able to possess and amplify these events, but not create them from calm conditions. Their rise to prominence was only triggered in the late 1960's, when aliens used an ecological weapon to drive them into a frenzy as a prelude to invasion. Even then, it took some years for their power and uniqueness to be recognised, but now they are well known as a threat with few equals.

GTR: Prime
Life & Limb: Prime to Extinction-level
Property: Prime to Extinction-level

Group Membership: Superhuman 'living disasters', linked by some unknown phenomena. Varies between approx. 10 to 30 members of varying levels. Supers only, as they are far too arrogant or mad to accept the equality of other beings, though individual members may have personal retinues, companies or even lead catastrophe-worshipping cults of baselines.

Bases / Centres of Operation: Unknown, but is seems likely there is one hidden somewhere. Perhaps Gateway created a second Hub, which the Furies occupy?

Leaders / Notable Members

Atomocaust: Though few realise it, Atomocaust is one of the Furies, and certainly the oldest 'living' member of the group. He was created at Trinity, New Mexico, by the world's first nuclear explosion, and has ravaged the globe intermittently since then. If he was ever a mortal creature, rather than just a sapient nexus of energy created by the blast, any traces of his identity have faded with age and power-madness. Even his sex is only a guess, based on the roughly male facial features that form out of radiation, flames and smoke where he manifests. He is usually attracted to nuclear blasts from war or weapons tests, and likes to announce his presence with blast waves and radioactive fallout, as if trying to exceed man's destructiveness with his own. He is more beast than man, an insane holocaust of radioactive fire that rampages uncontrollably until he grows bored and fades away, awaiting another surge of nuclear energy. Some Furies treat him with a kind of reverence, like that reserved for a wise grandparent.

Raoni 'Cyclonis' Freiranto: The arrogant Brazilian master of winds, Cyclonis is a frequent threat around the world. Some regard him as the leader of the Furies, though it seems unlikely they have any such formal ranking. He uses his formidable mind to create long term, far-reaching catastrophes that attack the world's economies and political stability, but his brooding, violent temper means he cannot rely on minions to carry these plans out, and must enact them himself. In the past, Cyclonis has targeted major ports, to cripple international trade, and torn up or flooed vast areas of cultivated land to bring about famine and civil strife. He is a challenge to fight, as he is almost always surrounded by a hurricane-force shield, sometimes kilometres across, that makes it all but impossible to approach or target him.

Cecily 'Ionique' Devereaux: With intelligence and planning skills equal to those of Cyclonis combined with greater charm and the ability to inspire loyalty, Ionique might be the most dangerous of the Furies, if her motivation wasn't simple sexual frustration. Because almost everyone, even most electromorphic and lightning-based superhumans that she touches does of massive electrical shock that overwhelms their resistances, she finds it hard to acquire willing lovers, and despite many attempts has only managed to birth one child, the similarly powered girl Sparque. Rumour has it her libidinous sights are currently set on Galvanic of the Primacy, but she hasn't thus far let this get in the way of her plans to alternately control and devastate the world electricity and computer markets. Using another of the Furies, Dataplague, as her servant, she has taken the business world by storm as the secret mistress behind the Paris-based Eclair Internationalè, a company with wide interests ranging from fashion to personal electronics. Her brilliant corporate strategies are helped by the fact that her opponents tend to be struck by lightning...

Amina 'Blacksnow' bint Daouda: Another of the Furies senior members, Blacksnow is the Omani-born mistress of cold and ice. Blacksnow was the first of the Furies to try causing havoc and making profit by engaging in commerce, and was doing very well until Ionique challenged her. Despite Blacksnow's partners in the Triland Corporation, she was driven bankrupt, and retired from public life to brood. She returns from time to time, but more often to lay waste to some isolated Siberian, Icelandic or Alaskan settlement with ebon blizzards than to make a killing on the stockmarket.

Victor 'Drench' Jones: The Australian Drench is the master of tides, floods and tsunamis, though he generously shares these 'portfolios' with a number of powerful lieutenants. Like Cyclonis, he is a serious and persistent threat, but unlike the far-sighted and patient master of winds Drench goes for violent, short term works of 'art' with which he can demonstrate his aesthetics of watery carnage.

Johann 'Dataplague' Valsen : Proving the Furies are not confined to the antiquated disasters, Dataplague is a living computer virus. He transforms his body into digital information and enters vulnerable systems to achieve his nefarious goals, which started fairly small, such as crashing the Danish social security system, but soon escalated to resetting the passwords of the world's intelligence agencies and writing them into a crossword puzzle, and attempting to cause a global financial meltdown by buying and selling every stock on every market simultaneously.

Tim 'the Smog' Grocer: Los Angeles's very own menace, the Smog emigrated from London when the UK supergenius Prof. Jonah Steele introduced emission-free cars to the city. A massive, billowing creature of toxic fumes, the Smog seems to enjoy randomly attacking his new home city, though he often travels to other towns with heavy air pollution, such as Beijing and Christchurch.

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Postby Dirigible » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:15 pm

the Journeymen
Tennyson 'Venture' Tellran! Laser-sword wielding, space-suited, two-fisted astronaut-adventurer and dispenser of justice!

Staropraman! Radiant Czech dynamo, infused with a limitless source of spiritual energy and zeal in the name of defending humanity!

Delilah 'M-body' Hernandez! Temptress with a body of vaporous energy and a heart of gold!

~From the back cover of the Journeymen: Journey to the Stars 1971 concept album.


Three of Earth's greatest and most famous heroes of the 60's and 70's, Venture, Staropraman and M-body are credited with making superpowered beings popular again in the public imagination after the bloody metahuman battles of WWII and Korea. Everything they did they did with an incredible energy: their battles with foes such as Psychodelius and Manifest Destiny, their selfless courage in carrying aid to the victims of wars and disasters across the world and their tireless activism for civil rights and freedom in all nations. Together, they pushed back the frontiers of space, science, dimensionality and understanding more than any heroes since the steam-powered geniuses of the Invention Age.

But it was not only their heroism and exploratory exploits that made them stand out: their cultural achievements won them great admiration from the public. Staropraman was a master of almost every musical instrument under the sun, from grand piano to violin to sitar. People still speak in quasi-mystical awe about his legendary eleven-hour rock opera 'Embrace', played solely on the theramin. M-body was both an accomplished inventor and scientist of many stripes and a painter; her 1965 M-pute would have been the first colour-display computer that could both fit on a desk and be afforded by the average worker (of course, IBM held up the patent, manufacture and release with legal red tape, so the M-pute never saw market). Venture won gold in 27 events during two Olympic games, and donated all his medals and trophies to be held for 'the common glory of man' by the International Olympic Committee. He was also the only competitor in the prestigious, secret Field of Honour global martial arts tournament deemed so skilled that he had to fight three opponents at once.

With such a lust for life and wide-eyed, heroic innocence about them, it was tragically inevitable that they would one day outgrow the flawed world that loved them.

As the years wore on, the world grew a darker place. So-called 'heroes' and villains alike became more brutal and violent, and what was once simply humanitarianism became insidiously political. Some of the world's people, manipulated by propaganda and spin doctoring, turned against them; but for the most part, it was the Journeymen that felt themselves growing distant from the world. Eventually, they turned to the next place in search of new vistas to experience and realms to explore: the wider galaxy. The three departed after a small ceremony for their friends, families and allies, leaving in the Aster Itinerant, a ship designed and built by M-body.

Many alien travellers to Earth, including some of the victims of the Menagerie crash report their first contact with humans being a trio of explorers on some distant planet. It would seem the Journeymen remain true to form, seeking out injustice across the many civilisations of space, always in search of new wonders and dangers to expand the mind and spirit.

Earth could hardly ask for better ambassadors.

(Yes, I'm aware that Staropraman is actually the name of a brand of beer. It's still a great name for a hero, dammit :) )

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Postby Dirigible » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:26 pm

The Congery

In secret, they govern the hidden world of magic and spiritual phenomena. An assemblage of the most powerful and influential magicians, sorcerers, supernatural beings on Earth, the Congery works to keep their world from spilling over too far into mundane, self-assured 'rational' civilisation. The majority of the world's benevolently inclined and impartial mages belong to the Congery, and it does its best to act as an semi-formal watch against corrupt and evil weavers of the Celestial Tapestry.

Magicians are, by nature, a fractious lot; their traffic is in secrets, after all, and every secret shared is one diminished in power. In centuries past, battles over territory, ley line confluences, mystical stone circles, places of great mana and strong feng shui could grow to devastating levels, consuming thousands of ignorant bystanders in their conflagrations. Likewise, entire mystical wars were fought over select tomes and prized libraries of lore. To foster cooperation between the proud – not to say arrogant – members of the sorcerous community, the Congery allows members to progress through its hierarchy only by sharing their spellbooks, their magical laboratories and their knowledge. Those that have reached the council, the inner circle that advises the group's head must have spent considerable time mentoring less experienced magicians and furthering the Congery's goals in the world. The head herself must swear an unbreakable wizardly oath to devote her entire efforts and attentions to supporting her fellows and safeguarding the world from rogue magic – a rite which dissuades the power-hungry and self-aggrandising from seeking the position.

GTR: Critical
Life & Limb / Property: N/A; the Congery is a generally benevolent organisation.

Group Membership: An unknown number of wizards and mystics, ranging from world-class mages to mere dabblers and their familiars. The Congery also retains the services of a multitude of servants and assistants, often from families that have lived halfway across the threshold of the arcane for generations, or bound supernatural beasts.

Bases / Centres of Operation: Not unlike the Primacy, the Congery maintains a central headquarters in a well-hidden place; in their case, in a magical library called the Fortress Arcane, accessible from a number of secret tunnels around the world. There are entrances in the Pyrenees, the mountains of Tibet, and in a cave on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, along with more surprising places, such as in the VIP room of the underground magic club The Black Hat in Kingdom City, and in the basement of a role playing games shop in New Delhi.

Leaders / Notable Members

Alkati, the Shaman: Since 1915, the Congery has been headed by Alkati, a Mongolian shaman of tremendous power and proficiency. Calm, almost unfazeable, he has carefully steered the magical world through troubling times and kept the Tapestry itself safe; not to mention the number of potential sorcerous cataclysms and demonic incursions he as helped avert. The Shaman is, in general, opposed to interfering with the mundane world, aside from shielding it from the obscure and occult dangers around it. No one is exactly sure how old the Shaman is, but he seems ancient, and certainly has the cynicism to indicate it.

Simon Magus: Simon is not alone in taking the name of a historical or mythical mage; there are quite a few Merlins, John Dees, Saint-Germains, Crowleys, Circes and Morganas le Fey in the Congery. He is, however, the appointed representative of the Magi, the Persian priest-kings which have existed as an underground brotherhood for millennia. He is one of the wisest voices in the Congery's council, and a natural peacemaker and conciliator.

Gretchen, die Hexenkonigin: An associate member of the Congery at best, Gretchen heads the Twilight Empire, a broadly based alliance of female magicians which is sometimes at odds with the Congery, keeping its own counsel on their business and agenda. Despite this, they frequently consult her in her tower in the Black Forest on problems, as she is one of the greatest spellcasters on Earth.

Aiko the Exorcist: Few suspect that this pretty, gothic-dressing Japanese girl is by night a berserk ghost hunter, roaming the shadows of the world dispatching evil wraiths and other undead monstrosities with an array of blessed weapons and specialist items for hunting and banishing. She heads up the Congery's semi-official monster slaying arm, which puts her on the front lines of a war that few ever notice.

Sam Athens: A New York based private eye, Athens was a student of some of the lesser magical arts, and found himself drawn into more and more cases with a supernatural twist. He dealt with the murder of a wealthy heiress' doppleganger, and an errant husband he trailed turned out to be running naked and hirsute through Central Park every full moon, not having an affair as his wife feared. Eventually, his intuition and skill brought him to the Congery's attention, and he was hired as a gofer and mundane-world contact. Athens does a lot of the mages' footwork, investigation and message carrying, which sometimes brings him into contact with the world of superhumans as well.

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Postby FinalEclipse » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:18 pm

I'm loving what I'm seeing here so far, a lot of this stuff is really interesting. I'm definitely, at the very least, stealing your classifications for prisoners, and probably the concept behind the journeymen (Old school heroes that leave a decadent Earth to fight for justice for all), though I'll probably put my own heroes in there.

What I'd like to see more about are the Primacy and Professor Gateway, especially the former. I'm not sure exactly what they are - is it a Justice League/Avengers type thing?

Also, for Kingdom City - very interesting, but I have some questions. How does Kingdom City play in global politics? Is it more of a corporate entity or a national entity? Does it have a standing army? Is it a member of the UN? Has it been involved in any major conflicts? Is it actually an independent nation, or does the US govenment have alot of influence over it? How large, roughly, is it actually? (You say it crosses the borders of those states, but does it snake along them, or is it circular? If circular, how does it affect the land beneath it, constantly blotting out the sun?

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Postby Dirigible » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:35 pm

Thanks for the interest, FinalEclipse!

What I'd like to see more about are the Primacy and Professor Gateway, especially the former. I'm not sure exactly what they are - is it a Justice League/Avengers type thing?


There's definitely more to come on both of those subjects, yupyup.

Also, for Kingdom City - very interesting, but I have some questions. How does Kingdom City play in global politics? Is it more of a corporate entity or a national entity? Does it have a standing army? Is it a member of the UN? Has it been involved in any major conflicts? Is it actually an independent nation, or does the US govenment have alot of influence over it?


It's not really either a corporate or national entity - it's a free city with a certain degree of extraterritoriality from the US that makes it very useful for some businesses or work from, like a more extreme version of a free economic zone. The federal government has little say over what goes on in Kingdom City, but the city remains a protectorate or dependency of the US (I don't have the background in international law to give the correct term), so it can't conduct its own international relations or join organisations like the UN. No army, just Kingdom Construction security personnel, a few independent or corporate-sponsored superheroes and a world-class telekinetic mayor.

How large, roughly, is it actually? (You say it crosses the borders of those states, but does it snake along them, or is it circular? If circular, how does it affect the land beneath it, constantly blotting out the sun?


You seem to have the wrong mental image... it's not a flying city, but a 'regular' city in which some of the buildings are held up by telekinesis instead of, say, steel reinforcements.

Looking at the map again, I seem to have drastically overestimated its size - it'd have to be 45+ miles across to cover the area I described. I'll probably rewrite that to something more reasonable.

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Postby FinalEclipse » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:02 pm

Just call me Eclipse. :)

There's definitely more to come on both of those subjects, yupyup.


I really look forward to it.

It's not really either a corporate or national entity - it's a free city with a certain degree of extraterritoriality from the US that makes it very useful for some businesses or work from, like a more extreme version of a free economic zone. The federal government has little say over what goes on in Kingdom City, but the city remains a protectorate or dependency of the US (I don't have the background in international law to give the correct term), so it can't conduct its own international relations or join organisations like the UN. No army, just Kingdom Construction security personnel, a few independent or corporate-sponsored superheroes and a world-class telekinetic mayor.


Ahh, okay, thanks for clearing that up. Out of curiosity, is Sayle just an X rank telekinetic, or are his powers actually measurable with game rules? Also, is the middle name "Kingdom" his birthname, or did he get it changed? (PS: You get a cookie for his first name.)

You seem to have the wrong mental image... it's not a flying city, but a 'regular' city in which some of the buildings are held up by telekinesis instead of, say, steel reinforcements.


Ahh, okay, that makes much more sense. However, that does raise a practical question: you say "Brunel Tower...features a gap on level 101. Put simply, there is no level 101 - the bottom hundred floors of the tower are separated from the top thirty by a twelve foot space, with no beams or other supports." How does one move from the 100th level to the 102nd level? Does a simple elevator shaft/stairway run between them? (which would kind of ruin the look in a way, IMO) Are their teleportation squares one steps on? Something even more exotic?

Looking at the map again, I seem to have drastically overestimated its size - it'd have to be 45+ miles across to cover the area I described. I'll probably rewrite that to something more reasonable.


I don't know if 45+ miles is too unreasonable, if you include a large, sprawling suburbia with it (and a city like this, essentially a corporate city, screams for a suburbia with identical houses and such. Sure, the metro area of KC wouldn't be 45 miles, but the city and the various counties that would spring up around it? Completely plausible.)

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Postby Dirigible » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:18 pm

Ahh, okay, thanks for clearing that up. Out of curiosity, is Sayle just an X rank telekinetic, or are his powers actually measurable with game rules? Also, is the middle name "Kingdom" his birthname, or did he get it changed? (PS: You get a cookie for his first name.)


He's a Prime-level character, which means about PL 15 (the same as the setting's intended PCs, the Primacy). Thanks to M&M 2e, though, he can have effectively unlimited TK weight capacity (and given that he can hold the buildings aloft even while asleep, he must have bought the duration up to Continuous of something like that).

I'm pretty sure Kingdom is a name he chose himself, as he was greatly inspired by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (see the name of his tower, f'rex). And yeah, his first name... if someone does knock him off, then the walls will come a tumblin' down :)

The top 30 floors of Brunel Tower are accessible only to Sayle himself (and anyone else that can fly or climb up via a grappling hook, say, and isn't afraid of the security systems).

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Postby FinalEclipse » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:35 pm

Dirigible wrote:He's a Prime-level character, which means about PL 15 (the same as the setting's intended PCs, the Primacy). Thanks to M&M 2e, though, he can have effectively unlimited TK weight capacity (and given that he can hold the buildings aloft even while asleep, he must have bought the duration up to Continuous of something like that).


Wait, how do you get effectively unlimited TK weight? I suppose if you just sunk a ton of points into TK...how heavy is all the stuff he's holding up at any given time? Does it significantly decrease his combat effectiveness, to be holding them up?

I'm pretty sure Kingdom is a name he chose himself, as he was greatly inspired by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (see the name of his tower, f'rex). And yeah, his first name... if someone does knock him off, then the walls will come a tumblin' down :)


Ahh, that makes a ton of sense for his inspiration. And that's what I though the reference meant...it does make him a hugely unpopular target for assassination, since doing so would kill a huge number of other people. (Everyone in the Burnel building as just one example.)

The top 30 floors of Brunel Tower are accessible only to Sayle himself (and anyone else that can fly or climb up via a grappling hook, say, and isn't afraid of the security systems).


:shock: What does he keep on/do with those 30 floors? That's a ton of space for one man, especially space that only he can access. Also, are their a lot of other floating buildings like this? Do they have more practical access points, or are they all only for Sayle/people he brings there?

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Postby Dirigible » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:50 pm

Wait, how do you get effectively unlimited TK weight? I suppose if you just sunk a ton of points into TK...


Yup.

...how heavy is all the stuff he's holding up at any given time?


No idea. Probably somewhere in the region of 'a lot', though :)

Does it significantly decrease his combat effectiveness, to be holding them up?


Nope.

Shocked What does he keep on/do with those 30 floors?


It's a mystery :)

Also, are their a lot of other floating buildings like this? Do they have more practical access points, or are they all only for Sayle/people he brings there?


I don't think there are many other levitating buildings, if any (it'd ruin the 'ohmigod' effect if they were all over the city), but there are a number of 'impossible' buildings that would collapse under their own weight/design if not for a TK framework supporting them.


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