World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

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Davies
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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Davies » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:45 am

greycrusader wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:20 am
Why were Ultimaid and Oblivion Knight allies with Vladimir? Sorry if I’m being obtuse, but Ultimaid seemed a straight up hero, and Amanthi’s cause really doesn’t dovetail with the Vampire Lord’s dreams of horror and conquest.
Ultimaid wanted to kill Superior, and lacked the power to do so. By allying with the other three, she hoped to use them as weapons to accomplish this, and honestly did not care what happened afterwards. More than just his death, she wanted him to know pain, fear and humiliation before his end, all the things she'd felt when she realized that her first love had completely forgotten her. She'd become consumed by her need for revenge.

The Knight believed that Dracula's dream of a world of darkness -- the eternal night brought on by the supervolcano eruption -- would be a productive step towards Oblivion, a way to bring about the Termiforming of Earth-Prime. Once this had been accomplished, she would have turned on her erstwhile allies and continued to make the world into one fitting her mistress' ideals.

Dracula knew this, and was counting on Herald Sisyphus to help him defeat the Oblivion Knight when the time came, believing that she -- as a product of this reality -- didn't have any more use for the servants of the Terminus than he did. He didn't understand that the Herald of Ruin's motivation was simply to cause as much despair as possible, and that she found the Knight, and her lack of understanding that her love is poison to Mistress Oblivion, to be utterly charming. (Also, Sisyphus knows that even if Earth-Prime does get absorbed into the Terminus, the Lord of Bitter Laughter will continue to exist in other universes, and can thus recreate her whenever it sees fit.)

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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Shock » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:47 pm

Wow October 2016 is a big event. That's pretty much everybody.

And motherhood seems to be doing wonders for Songbird's perspective.

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Davies
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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Davies » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:54 pm

Shock wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:47 pm
Wow October 2016 is a big event. That's pretty much everybody.
"You want more?!" :D It's funny, I don't really like the big crossover events, but I definitely get why the writers do them (beyond the fact that they sell.)
Shock wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:47 pm
And motherhood seems to be doing wonders for Songbird's perspective.
Yep.

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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Voltron64 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:07 pm

Davies wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:54 pm
Shock wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:47 pm
Wow October 2016 is a big event. That's pretty much everybody.
"You want more?!" :D It's funny, I don't really like the big crossover events, but I definitely get why the writers do them (beyond the fact that they sell.)
If it were up to me, I’d make it them bi- or triennial occasions for A) breathing room and B) make them feel more special or significant or whatever.

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Davies
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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Davies » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:27 am

Author's Note: Background for my next several character builds ...

The Vanguard

In 1992, a mysterious figure who called himself the Seer recruited a team of superhumans whose powers (and some cases activities) had made them into outcasts. The Seer's purpose was to prevent certain events, which he dubbed "temporal trigger points", from going "the wrong way". The Seer was in fact Dr. Jeremiah Prophet, psychologist, profiler and distant cousin to the more famous Prophet family, who kept his connection with Colonel Jackson Cross of the United States Army a deep secret even from his teammates.

Over the next few years, the Vanguard did quite a bit of good, but generally kept a very low profile in comparison to the Freedom League or the Justice Foundation. That came to an end in 2001, after they foiled an attempt by the Hypersapiens to engage in large-scale mind control, using UNIQUE (the United Nations International Quorum of Unaligned Exceptionals) as pawns. While successfully resolved, the situation was a serious embarrassment for UNISON, and for the United Nations in general, and prompted the dissolution of UNIQUE.

Soon afterwards, Colonel Cross (by now retired from the Army) joined UNISON and began laying the groundwork for a new team of superhuman operatives. He turned to his old ally for help. The team's first major recruit was the mysterious Luminary, in 2002, and the others followed soon after. The team's quick response to the Evanston incident, in 2006, catapulted them into the spotlight, and they've remained there ever since. (The original Vanguard, or at least those who stuck with Prophet after the changeover, are members of the other Mission Teams.)

Generally, relations between the Vanguard and the other teams, such as the Freedom League, are friendly. The team does good work, after all, even though the rest of the heroes are often a bit disconcerted by the sheer amount of arranged media attention that attends every one of the Vanguard's activities. Nonetheless, the consensus is that if that's the way that the Vanguard wants to do things, then let them -- so long as nobody gets hurt in the process. The more suspicious heroes, like the Raven, are keeping a careful watch on UNPAX; regardless of the good intentions of the heroes, in a team beholden to a mundane organization like this one, it's important to keep an eye on the people who are actually in charge.

That group has gone through some changes recently. In 2015, Colonel Cross retired from active duty after a serious heart attack, though he remains an adviser to the agency he helped to found. Jeremiah Prophet was promoted into the Executive Director's chair, with Vanessa Ashe, the first operator of the Valkyrie power armor, given his former office as Deputy Director of Field Operations. Four months later, Jeremiah Prophet disappeared. He'd had a tendency to engage in unexplained and unaccounted absences of this nature during his time as Deputy Director, but had stated that these were at an end upon his promotion to the agency's top seat. Furthermore, none of these absences had lasted as long as this one has, up to the current day.

With some reluctance, Vanessa Ashe accepted the title of Executive Director pro tem until the Prophet situation can be resolved, with the Field Operations desk being given to Niara Cheboi, alias Matron. Under her supervision, the Vanguard has successfully prevented Malador the Mystic from completing a global mind control scheme, among other triumphs, but also suffered a serious loss during an operation in Canada, which resulted in the apparent death of founding member Luminary. Relations with the Freedom League have also suffered following Matron's decision not to send her teams into the Yellowstone Battle, but rather attempt to organize a worst-case scenario response to the situation.

The possibility that Jeremiah Prophet's disappearance might involve the Vision which led him to form Vanguard has been discussed, but Jackson Cross, the only other individual who knows the full details of that episode, has refused to discuss it with anyone.

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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by greycrusader » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:30 pm

So the Vanguard replaces UNIQUE, essentially? But with a bit more operational independence? Do they operate in any of the three Security Council nations which historically resist international intervention, China, Russia, and the U.S.? The first two have pretty strict controls on non-state Supers (though not as much in present day oligarchic Russia), and America has plenty of its own heroes.

All my best.

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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Davies » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:13 pm

They have operated in the US, and have had occasional missions in Russia, but China has "politely" declined any offers to have the team intervene in situations within their borders.

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NetherWar Prelude: Master of Earth

Post by Davies » Fri May 01, 2020 4:03 pm

So in my infinite foresight, I decided to have the NextGen team that appears in Hero High, Revised Edition form after the events which led to Seven becoming the Dark Lord of the Netherworld. And now this prelude to the Nether War series of adventures portrays that NextGen team as active during those events. Instead of that, the fourth NextGen team (HHRE presenting the fifth, active from 2015-2018) was involved. But I've never said who was on that team.

Until now.


NextGen Team IV (2012-2015)

Cepheid is the English translation of the title bestowed on the planetary defender of a world in the former Lor Republic. The title is currently borne by Sel'ntro, daughter of the previous Cepheid, who martyred herself to buy time for the refugee fleet abandoning their world to escape the Stellar Imperium forces besieging it. Sel'ntro understandably feels incredible pressure to live up to this legacy, and is trying to kill her natural kindness and gentleness by posing as a cold, callous warrior who neither needs nor wants anything from anyone else except in a tactical sense. (Don't worry, she grows out of it.) Her father is one of the leading members of the Star Island colony, and a constant target for hostilities from both human xenophobes and aliens who dislike his policies. [Then: Alien Exile, HHRE p. 25; Now: Avatar, Basic Hero's Handbook p. 17]

Battleforged is the codename adopted by Advanced Guardian Autonomous Robot Unit Eleven, AGAR-11, one of the sole surviving examples of androids produced by the long-destroyed Federation (see AVAR-7) Assigned to serve as Sel'ntro's bodyguard, he naturally chose to accompany her when she joined the NextGen. While the other members were skeptical about having a decidedly non-teenaged robot on their team, they weren't able to deny that he added a lot of heft to their team. As he was also viewed as a responsible adult by the school's administration, AGAR-11 was also able to cover up some of the team's stunts which would not have had adult approval. [Then: Construct, HHRE p. 28; Now: Construct, BHH p. 25]

Golden Lion is the name given to the superhuman champion of Venice, supposedly empowered by an angelic or mystical entity associated with the city's lions and St. Mark the Evangelist. Leo Delvecchio is the son and grandson of previous Golden Lions, and is the youngest member of his family to inherit the powers, for reasons that defy ready explanation. His mother (from whom his father is divorced) is a senior agent of the Dreamgirls Talent Agency. Leo is a genial if slightly arrogant young man who is views his heroics as noblesse oblige; he eventually comes to the realization that he's always going to be a little fish in a very big pond, but resolves to be the shiniest little fish he can possibly be. [Then: Future Paragon, HHRE p. 30; Now: Strange Visitor, BHH p. 23]

Redshift is the daughter of Captain Zoom, a speedster hero who was active in Nevada in the 1970s as a member of a minor league team, prior to events somewhat inaccurately depicted in the motion picture Zoom (2006). Trained by her father, with some assistance from Speed Demon as well, she accepted an invitation to fully develop her powers at Claremont Academy. Her exposure, there, to the breadth of superhuman activity on Earth has left her wondering if there's really a need for one more speedster, but she's still working out what she's going to do about that. [Then: Heir, HHRE p. 31; Now: Courser, BHH p. 29]

Kid Aladdin was the only member of this team who wasn't called to Seven's side during the events of Master of Earth. His attempts, and the attempts of his genie, to figure out what was going on, also came to naught, likely because Una prevented them. (Or possibly someone else did ...) Since his time with the NextGen, he's learned how to merge the genie with his own form, enhancing his magical powers considerably, at the cost of periodically having to do the bidding of those who possess a correctly drawn Solomonic Seal, regardless of their intentions. This has occasionally put him at odds with other heroes, even his former teammates. [Then: Young Mage and Genie, HHRE p. 34; Now: Sorcerer, BHH p 21]

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Re: NetherWar Prelude: Master of Earth

Post by Shock » Fri May 01, 2020 6:11 pm

Davies wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:03 pm

Cepheid is the English translation of the title bestowed on the planetary defender of a world in the former Lor Republic.
But what does it mean? Or is it just "Planetary Defender"?

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Re: NetherWar Prelude: Master of Earth

Post by Davies » Fri May 01, 2020 6:41 pm

Shock wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 6:11 pm
But what does it mean? Or is it just "Planetary Defender"?
A Cepheid variable is a kind of star that varies in brightness on a schedule.

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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by greycrusader » Thu May 07, 2020 1:20 am

I love that you did a callback to AVAR-7; the ending you wrote for him some time ago was actually rather poignant. And Kid Aladdin-is he a Freedomverse analogue of Jakeem Thunder? Especially given that when the character debuted in Kingdom Come, he had merged with the Thunderbolt genie, it seems to track. And you found something to salvage from a fairly banal movie as well (Zoom could have been decent, but just wasn't enough of...anything really, unlike Sky High, which played matters straight but still had fun doing so.)

Were there references for the other members which I missed?

All my best.
Last edited by greycrusader on Sat May 16, 2020 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Davies
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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Davies » Thu May 07, 2020 4:30 am

greycrusader wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 1:20 am
And Kid Aladdin-is he a Freedomverse analogue of Jakeem Thunder?
[/quote]

Not what I intended, but that's a great idea! I was just straight up using the archetype from Hero High.

Golden Lion's general personality is more or less a lift from Roberto da Costa; the bit about the Lion of Venice is loosely inspired by the Heirs of Alexandria novels by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer.

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Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Post by Davies » Thu May 07, 2020 4:57 am

Additional data about Kid Aladdin, inspired by the above: Just how many hands the prison of the genie Jelat passed through over the centuries is known only to him, and he even admitted that he's forgotten most of them. It came into the possession of reporter and later private detective Luisa Williams in the late 1970s, who may have been the first person to work with the genie as a crimefighter, with her summoning him through the magic words, "Chill out." Tragically, Luisa died during the Terminus Invasion, and the prison, incorrectly believed to be empty, passed into the hands of her nephew. Luisa's grandnephew, Maurice Reyes, discovered that Chelat had actually spent the past two decades recovering from his injuries, and joined forces with him in 2012.

(Sources: Cloud Atlas, one of my favorite movies of all time, and the obscure Jonni Thunder character.)

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