The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons Completed! On Break!)

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EternalPhoenix
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Guide to the Phoenixverse (Cosmic)

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Guide to the Phoenixverse (Cosmic)

Note: Please refer to the Earth Guide first. This entry is noting changes from that one.

The Universe

. . The universe is massive. Humungous. Of absolutely indescribable size. Earth is nestled into an unremarkable corner of an unremarkable galaxy. The known universe has over a hundred billion galaxies in it, most of which are reasonably to extremely well populated. The Nobellian Federation is the largest single player as of 2019. It used to be Kuros The Conqueror, but we’ll get into that in a while. The Federation is almost older than human civilization at 7 thousand Earth years old. Nobellian spacefaring civilization predates it by 18 millennia more. The Federation spans nearly a million galaxies with a total population count that is too big to fit in most beings’ heads. Between the Nobellian Core, Outer Reaches, Borderlands, and Fringes there’s probably approximately a quadrillion sentient beings living and working, most of them Nobellian. A quadrillion is a thousand trillion, or a million billion. That’s a lot of people. Second is the Sionil Union. Not quite as big as the Federation, but still several hundred trillion strong. The Borustan Tribal Federation is behind them, with less territory and people but still in the hundreds of trillions of beings. Population wise, humans are next, which means there are more humans out in the universe than there are on Earth. Funny, that. But they don’t have a intergalactic nation of their own, being scattered across all the others. Even he Ingenti Republic has over 100 trillion citizens. Smaller but still influential in their way are the Riidanian Diaspora (no way of counting them all, scattered across the universe as they are, but under 100 trillion for sure), the Venandi Dominion (a few dozen trillion scattered across a mere ten thousand galaxies) and the miniscule Principalities of the Shon (barely above rank and file species with a few trillion across several galaxies). Every other species has under a trillion members and dominates their home galaxy at best.

. . And then there’s the Nega Corps and the mega corporations. The Nega Corps and their auxiliaries are straight up no bullshit superheroes. They serve and protect the common people. They enforce intergalactic law. They provide humanitarian aid all over. A being knows where he stands with a Nega, and it’s never on the right side of a bribe or a threat. Fair enough. The mega corporations, on the other hand, are pretty much everyone’s enemy. The biggest are literally laws unto themselves (extraterritoriality is something the old Nobellian Empire should have never permitted), and all of them will do anything to squeeze out a little more profit and/or damage a rival’s bottom line. This is not hyperbole or understatement. Any given mega corp can and will do whatever it takes to either get ahead or make a rival stumble. Theft, kidnapping, sabotage, murder, terrorism, or even a very quick and very quiet intergalactic war. Why it doesn’t get them in legal trouble (beyond the money to pay for the finest lawyers, bribes, and assassins for the unbribe-able) is that top execs aren’t literally doing these things themselves. They hire out. Subcontract through as many cut outs as necessary to the criminal underworld. The pay is good, if they don’t decide killing the subcontractors is cheaper, so a whole subculture has sprung up around the work. Which, to be clear, isn’t always criminal in nature but always requires discretion. There are protection details, exploration missions, and simple deliveries, too. Though taking what Mister Saraisan (the codename the subcontract broker always uses, regardless of species or appearance) says as absolute truth is an excellent way to find one’s self in an early grave. Just kidding. They don’t bury the people they kill. They just leave them there to rot. Or sell them for their organs and/or cybernetics.

. . It’s a busy universe. Always several million somethings going on somewhere. But here is the part where we talk about Kuros The Conqueror. You see, up until a couple of Earth months ago, his empire made the Nobellians look like the Shon. That over a hundred billion galaxies? Approximately half of them were claimed and brutally oppressed by him, his loyal officer corps, and his seemingly infinite supply of brainwashed clone troops. Kuros was the shadow hanging over all of the known universe. In a very real sense, the only thing actually stopping him from taking the rest of the universe for himself was the sheer time and expense in doing it. Because he could have done it. It’s just that all free sentient species would have made him pay dearly for it, and he didn’t feel like putting up with that bullshit. So the border between his galaxies and all the other ones was and is called the Edge. And boy oh boy was there a lot of money to be made and heroism to perform running missions along the Edge. It was also easily the most dangerous thing a being could do with their life. But now? With whatever happened a couple of months ago happening? Kuros is gone. His loyal officer corps is gone. His legions of brainwashing clone troops, gone. Half the universe’s political, military, and administrative infrastructure just turned to dust and crumbled to nothing.

. . The Nobellian Federation is scrambling. The Sionil Union is scrambling. The Borustan Tribal Federation is scrambling. The The Nega Corps is scrambling. The mega corps are scrambling. Literally everyone is scrambling. Over 50 billion galaxies are in absolute chaos. Quadrillions of beings who were utterly dependent of Kuros and his minions for nearly everything (whether they liked/wanted it or not) have been left swinging in the solar breezes. It’s the single biggest opportunity in intergalactic history. What kind of opportunity is it, you ask? That’s the beauty of it. It’s whatever kind of opportunity you want. Things’ll probably settle down in an Earth century or two, but in the meantime? It’s a whole new ballgame out there. Everybody with money and/or resources is making moves. So. What are you doing?

Heroes

The PL scale is still in place. Anywhere from PL 6 90PP absolute rookies to the highly trained and experienced PL 9 150 PP veterans are all on the table. Even the “90% don’t make it through the first year, and 99% don’t make it through five” thing is still in effect here.

Basically, if you want to be a traditional cosmic superhero, go join the Nega Corps or their auxillaries. You’ll have plenty of crime to bust, and plenty of innocent civilians to protect from certain doom. That is, after all, what they do every day.

Another way of doing things is like a certain sci-fi franchise that also features a Federation. A lot of mileage can be gotten out of being crew and/or captain of a naval ship for one of the big powers. Push out into the chaos and do your best.

But honestly, the intended style of game to be played here is very cyberpunk in nature. You’re heroes, to be sure, but you do the stuff Negas can’t, won’t, or are otherwise unable to. Yanno, because it’s technically crime according to one or more of the big powers. So you’ll be dodging them and Negas trying to both do good and earn enough money to keep your ship in good enough repair and you fed. Working for the mega corps and sticking it to them in equal measure.

Common Source Descriptors In the Universe

Phoenix Mutate
These don’t exist out in the universe. They are an Earth exclusive source descriptor. If you are one you are a human being from Earth. End of story.

Mutation
Nonhuman species (aka all the other ones) don’t have accidental mutation into superpowers the way humans do. They either already have powers next to humans, just a bit better than normal (as seen in metahuman, below), or have been intentionally changed by scientific or supernatural means. Otherwise this isn’t any different, just a lot more rare since accidental is off the table.

Metahuman
This is merely Meta out in the universe, as most people aren’t human, and the definition is slightly broadened. While only humans and the Shon (of all common species, uncommon and rare species naturally differ) have psionics, the boost to natural abilities caused by being meta is actually relative common. If still as weak as usual. The difference is that some species have what would be for human legitimate superpowers, so stacking a minor meta boost on top of that just makes them even more powerful.

Magic
This is functionally the same. The only real difference is that wizards out in the universe don’t use mana to power their spells. Sorcerers still do, as they generate their own, but wizards don’t. They use the Quintessence, which is more or less the life force of the universe itself. Don’t go fretting about that running out, though. A single young star generates so much of it in a day that 99.99% of wizards couldn’t burn through a tenth of it even if they cast their strongest spells that whole day. And before anyone asks, yes, this is how the Grand Wizard Methion casts his spells. He hasn’t used Earth’s mana in centuries. One last thing. There is a third category, different from sorcerer and wizard. Those two’s magic works from the outside in. The Adroit’s use of the Quintessence is from the inside out to enhance various skills and natural abilities beyond normal limits. They may not throw fireballs, warp minds, or teleport, but they’re soldiers, assassins, thieves, engineers, pilots, etc who need only half the training to produce twice the results. So you know. They do okay. A final note. Those who are implanted with cybernetics lose their ability to access the Quintessence until it is removed. So, only sorcerers can get chrome’d up without consequence.

Divine
This one is different, however. Different in that out in the universe it’s kind of difficult to distinguish it from regular magic. It’s not that every deity in the universe hands out power to whoever asks. It’s that the Nobellians alone have 10K+ major deities across a thousand major religions. They’re just the most populous species, and very far from the only one. So there’s a hell of a lot more deities to be throwing power around. This does not even include more potent cosmic deities that aren’t beholden to any one species. Another thing that’s different is that none of these deities wrap themselves in mortal flesh and go on adventures of their own. Just doesn’t happen. Their demigod children, however, are a different story as usual. Most deities take being cybernetically augmented as a sign of a lack of faith in them, and promptly strip their gifts from the person in question. With that said, there are some who wholehearted approve of chasing the tech singularity, and most aren’t going to be mad about replacements for lost limbs and major organs. And the ones that would be are the ones that grant powers that can grow said limbs and organs back in the first place. So what are you doing, doofus?

Alien Physiology
This is exactly the same deal, except the universe is a hell of a lot more full of aliens than Earth. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, you know?

Technology
Clarke’s Law can bite me. The universe is an extremely wide and varied place. As such, there are very few limitations on what technology can do out in it. There are, however, a few important things to keep in mind. Battlesuits are a hell of a lot more expensive than cybernetics and provide more or less the same result. Thusly, cybernetics are the most common form of amplifying one’s own natural abilities. Battlesuits and arsenals of advanced gadgets are still largely crafted by eccentric tech geniuses or the obscenely wealthy. The difference is that the need to justify why the tech works is poof, gone. It just does.

As such, energy weapons of all kinds are relatively common Equipment in the form of Pistols (Blast 5), Rifles (Blast 8), and Grenades (Blast 6, Burst Area). It’s firearms that are Devices out in the universe. Who uses that stuff now? By far the most common are regular Blaster Pistols and Rifles, which deal Force damage, and Plasma Grenades, which deal Fire/Heat Damage. However, melee weapons any fancier than your basic Club or Knife is a handcrafted Device, and anyone using Equipment standard weapons instead of their own custom made Devices will be picked out as a rookie immediately. This is a Bad Thing. If you want anything above the aforementioned Equipment, like an Automatic Blaster Rifle, it is a Device.

Imporant House Rules To Know

There are no changes here. However, Knowledge (galactic) is a skill you would need to know stuff about the universe. Don't forget to pick some up.
Last edited by EternalPhoenix on Sun Dec 04, 2022 10:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse!)
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Hall of Honor Part 3-Individual Wing!!

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Well you know what they say. All good things must come to an end. Countess was the last of the Champions of Justice. "But EP", you say, "there's two entries left to post". Right you are, Dear Reader. Way back in the planning stages those three plus months ago, I knew that a proper finale was needed for the Icons project. All the others just kind of...peter out, you know? Here's the weakest one of the last group more or less, goodbye. And that's fine. But here I had an opportunity to do it differently.

So. The Grand Finale of The Icons postings. The guy responsible for getting them all together. By dying, admittedly, but still. He saw the entire Silver Age. He saw the entire Bronze Age. And the Iron Age ended with him. He was the son of the greatest hero the world has ever known. His name was Jesse Thompkins, but you might know him better as Starman II. He is tomorrow's posting.

"But EP", you say, "a Grand Finale implies that implies it's the last one, and you said there was two left". Right you are again, Dear Reader. After our Grand Finale, we will have a relatively quiet coda to formally end this project. I thought it would be immensely inappropriate to post 3/4s of the Starfamily and not the last, on Saturday you will get Jackie. You may not like her very much as a person, but you ought to also sympathize with her.

So, my Dear Readers, get ready. Enjoy your turkey if you're American, and have a good day if you're not. Either way, it'll be time for Starman II on the morrow.
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! The Stars! Gunsmith! Megagirl! Arriba! Nega! Alsea! Countes

Post by greycrusader »

You really excel at world-building; the bits of alternative history, extended character backgrounds/legacies, and even mysterious lore helps make your setting seem a lot more, well, real. It may be a world run by superhero tropes, but your talent for consistency and internal logic makes that work.

Very much enjoyed Megagirl and the Contessa, both nice variations on well-known character archetypes; the latter is likely my favorite of the pair, so I've got a bit of a fondness for settings such as Xothique, and the Nightlands, far-future realms where humanity is likely doomed but soldiers on with courage regardless. Though I wonder if Contessa's world is THE future of the Earth inhabited by your heroes or just a possible destiny, which could still be avoided in some way?

All my best.
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Champions! The Stars! Gunsmith! Megagirl! Arriba! Nega! Alsea! Countes

Post by EternalPhoenix »

greycrusader wrote: Tue Nov 08, 2022 3:39 am The Star-Family saga is really a great bit of storytelling. You managed to invoke several classic moments from the history of American comics while
presenting them in a novel, consistent context. There are elements of the Silver, Bronze, and Modern Ages, with great triumphs and sacrifices accompanied by long-term consequences. You also left them with an appropriate modern-day legacy. Well done!

All my best!
And as you're now aware, the Starfamily saga is not yet finished.
greycrusader wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:07 am You really excel at world-building; the bits of alternative history, extended character backgrounds/legacies, and even mysterious lore helps make your setting seem a lot more, well, real. It may be a world run by superhero tropes, but your talent for consistency and internal logic makes that work.

Very much enjoyed Megagirl and the Contessa, both nice variations on well-known character archetypes; the latter is likely my favorite of the pair, so I've got a bit of a fondness for settings such as Xothique, and the Nightlands, far-future realms where humanity is likely doomed but soldiers on with courage regardless. Though I wonder if Contessa's world is THE future of the Earth inhabited by your heroes or just a possible destiny, which could still be avoided in some way?

All my best.
Thank you.

1) Time travel is as complicated a thing in the Phoenixverse as it is anywhere else, and considerably more difficult in the bargain. Suffice it to say that it is the only future, but not necessarily as bleak as it appears nor the end of everything forever. That statement leads us to

2) While Countess herself is trustworthy, her information is by her own admission several centuries out of date. There may be other cities out there in her era she is simply unaware of due to the understandable barrier of not taking even the slightest chance of letting the horrors know there's still matter to be consumed. The horrors may have been purged from the half of the universe her city isn't in. It simply may not have been nearly as bad as the histories she has access to say. These statements lead us to

3) Countess lets people make assumptions and draw their own conclusions about her city and era. Just because the universe ended, does not mean it cannot begin again. The Phoenix is one such being that could do this on it's own, to say nothing of what a hyper advanced city (with magical and technological ability that makes virtually everyone in the current era look like amateur dabblers) could do. She has also at no point ever said specifically how far in the future she is from, and what planet her city was even on to begin with. You, like everyone else in the 20th and 21st centuries, have simply assumed that she's from perhaps a few to several thousand years in the future at most, and thus the planet her city was on was Earth. These assumptions are rather dramatically incorrect. For the record, Earth will be just fine. At least until the Sun gets old and big and red and kind of eats it like it did Mercury and Venus previously. That's not a spoiler. That's the expected series of events for Sol and our solar system over the next several million years.
The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse!)
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Starman II (Jesse Thompkins)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Starman II (Jesse Thompkins)

Power Level: 14; Power Points Spent: 285/285

STR: +17 (15/45), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +17 (15/45), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16)

Tough: +17, Fort: +17, Ref: +7/+11, Will: +11

Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+5), Bluff 12 (+15), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Gather Information 7 (+10), Intimidate 7 (+10), Knowledge (current events) 8 (+10), Knowledge (history) 3 (+5), Knowledge (streetwise) 3 (+5), Language 1 (+1), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 2 (+5)

Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 4, Interpose, Luck 4, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Takedown Attack 2, Taunt, Ultimate Effort (Strength checks), Ultimate Effort (Toughness checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory)

Powers:
Starheart Augmented Physiology (Container, Passive 18)
. . Stellar Durability (Impervious Toughness 14)
. . Stellar Might (Super-Strength 8) (+40 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +8 STR to some checks)
. . Stellar Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 30) (+30 CON)
. . Stellar Strength (Enhanced Strength 30) (+30 STR)

Starheart Speed (Container, Passive 10)
. . Stellar Flight (Flight 8+7) ([Stacking ranks: +7], Speed: 500000 mph, 4400000 ft./rnd)
. . Stellar Quickness (Quickness 8+7) ([Stacking ranks: +7], Perform routine tasks at 100000x speed)
. . Stellar Reflexes (Enhanced Trait 26) (Traits: Attack Bonus +4 (+11), Defense Bonus +4 (+11), Reflex +4 (+11), Feats: Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 4)

Stellar Energy Manipulation (Array 18) (default power: blast; Custom (Array 17.5))
. . Stellar Flight Boost (Flight 7) (Alternate; Speed: 1000 mph, 8800 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Stellar Flight (Flight 8+7)))
. . Stellar Quickness Boost (Quickness 7) (Alternate; Perform routine tasks at 250x speed; Stacks with (Stellar Quickness (Quickness 8+7)))
. . Stellar Strength Boost (Super-Strength 7) (Alternate; +35 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +7 STR to some checks)
. . Star Blast (Blast 17) (Default; DC 32; Precise)
. . Star Bolts (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only]; Accurate 3 (+6))
. . Star Burst (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Burst Area (55 ft. radius - General))
. . Stellar Energy Objects (Create Object 10) (Array; Max Size: 10x 50' cubes, DC 20; Movable (Radius: 50 ft., Strength: 50, Force: 12.8 tons); Progression, Object Size 3, Selective, Stationary)

Attack Bonus: +7/+11 (Ranged: +7/+11, Melee: +7/+11, Grapple: +24/+43)

Attacks: Star Blast (Blast 17), +11 (DC 32), Star Bolts (Blast 11), +17 (DC 26), Star Burst (Blast 11) (DC 26), Unarmed Attack, +11 (DC 32)

Defense: +7/+11 (Flat-footed: +6), Knockback: -15

Initiative: +19

Languages: English Native, Spanish

Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 19 (76 ranks) + Feats 15 + Powers 179 + Combat 28 + Saves 12 + Drawbacks 0 = 285

Age (as of Jan 2019): Deceased in 2001 at age 39
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 200 lbs
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois

Theme Songs:
Ocean Avenue (Jesse’s teenage relationship with Judy)
Life Of A Salesman (Jesse’s relationship with his father, prior to his powers emerging)
Only One (his farewell to Jody during the battle with Armageddon)
Miles Apart (Jody reflects on their relationship after his death)
Twentythree (Jesse and Jody’s sometimes tempestuous adult relationship)
View From Heaven (Jody, Jack, and Jennifer’s farewell to Jesse)
One Year, Six Months (Jody, Jack, and Jennifer reflect on Jesse a year and a half later).

All of the above are by Yellowcard. Additionally, there is

Pride, by Fabvl. (Jesse’s relationship with his father, after his powers emerged, especially after his father’s retirement)
Nothing Left (REMASTER), by McGwire featuring Cam Steady (Jesse’s feelings about his father, specifically after John and Judy’s deaths, and the legacy passed on to him. And your opportunity to say farewell to him, when you, Dear Reader, are finished with this entry)

Background: The first best day of Jesse Thompkins’s life occurred when he was 13 years old, in 1975. It was, in fact, 14 years to the day when the sperm of John Thompkins met the egg of Judy Thompkins, and the newly combined cells started duplicating. It was probably 14 years to the hour, minute, or even second, but Jesse was sleeping at that time. It was a school night, ya know? It was still the first best day of his life. It wasn’t just that he had superpowers. That was great. But it was 1975. Starman and Starwoman were some of the most famous people on the planet. Legendary superheroes. Everybody knew they had kids. And holy shit, they were Jesse and his sister Jackie. Well. He’d known that since he was ten. But he didn’t have powers, you know? He was just a kid whose parents happened to be some of the most famous superheroes in the world. And then he woke up one day and he wasn’t.

. . Can you imagine? John and Judy were good parents who children adored them as much as any children adore their parents. But they were also, again, legendary superheroes. Saying young Jesse idolized them is, well, understating matters. And then he got to be one of them! Like, seriously. The first best day of his life. He wasn’t as powerful or as fast, but he was also just a kid. So he didn’t mind. Because he was freakin’ Starboy! Like, he has to learn how not to accidently kill people with his strength or a Star Blast, but he also had two very experienced teachers in Mom and Dad. And just like that, he got to fight beside them. To shield people beside them. To save lives beside them. And, after he started high school the year after, on his own sometimes. It…wasn’t as glamorous as he thought. But it was still important. It still needed doing. No, it wasn’t a thrill a minute like he thought. It was much more important that something like that. Admirable philosophy from a teenage boy.

. . But you know, he was still technically that teenage boy. Girls. Oh, yeah. But not just any girl, oh no. Jody Rice, good god. What an angel, said teenage Jesse. In reality there were probably ten thousand more attractive and/or charismatic girls in Chicago alone, but that’s just how it is when Cupid’s metaphorical arrow strikes. He talked to his dad. He talked to his mom. He talked to his sister (who was still in Stargirl training at that time, her powers having just emerged). And then he talked to Jody. He wooed her, won her, and they were going steady. Nice. This was important, because her house gave him someplace else to go and someone else to talk to after Armageddon attacked and his dad was hurt. He’d been no help at all, despite getting much stronger in the past three years. He hadn’t reached the power of his mom and dad yet. And he started to think he never would. At any rate, this was when Jody learned he was Starboy, and their relationship broke for a while because of the secret kept from her.

. . It broke again when Jody went away for college. Jesse stayed in Chicago to help protect it. This was 1980, and to help make ends meet he started breaking into professional cartooning. As opposed to the amateur stuff in the school newspaper. The money wasn’t much, so he also kept up a steady stream of part time jobs, in addition to art school at Columbia College Chicago and still being a superhero. A very busy schedule for someone not as fast as a Star. Then came 1982, and the invasion of Kuros the Conqueror. He distinguished himself, to be sure, but his father was badly hurt. Jesse was 20 years old. A grown man. He offered to take over and let his father retire due to injury, but John Thompkins, Professional Stubborn Bastard, declined. This is also when Jody returned to Chicago, knowing Jesse had to be hurting. She transferred into the University of Chicago. They were married in ’83. The second best day of his life. They graduated college in ’84, and starting living together full time. The Champions went away to space and didn’t come back in ’85.

. . Jesse spent the rest of his days thinking he should have gone with them. But it’s hard, you know? They were his father’s friends, not his. The adults in the room, so to speak. He didn’t know how to ask. Him, a grown man of 23 years, didn’t know how to talk to them. Jesse’s (his sister’s, too) fatal flaw appearing again. How could he ever measure up to giants? A decade gone, and they still left him starstruck and tonguetied. And of course, they didn’t think to ask him. He was Starboy. A kid to protect, not an equal to stand beside. Not that this was a conscious thought, mind. One watches a kid grow up, and it’s…hard, to shake that mental image of them as that kid. And his father would have never agreed to it, they thought. Wrongly, as the following year (1986) Starman formally retired from superheroics and took his wife with him. But he did not, however, take his name. Starboy became Starman. He found out the powers could be given to other people by accident, by giving them to Jody. But Starqueen didn’t have the aptitude for hero work. Instincts all wrong. Constantly forgetting her powers. Etc. She wasn’t as powerful as he was, either. Something didn’t go right in the transfer. So, pretty much a failure all around. Their first child, Jack (after his sister), was born in 1988. Their second, Jennifer, was born in 1990. The third and fourth best days of his life. Kuros came back in ’92, but Nick Phoenix took care of it before Jesse could do a lot. He was ready to do what he could, though. And then came the undisputed worst day of his life. 1993. The day his parents died.

. . The story has been told. John Thompkins’s Starheart was about to explode. Judy offered to take him away into space. Jesse offered to do it, as he could probably survive the explosion. But no. Judy didn’t want to stick around without her John. They were connected forever. He wanted to scream and cry. To beg them not to leave him. But that, however, would not have been anything like the man they raised. So Jesse could do nothing but watch as Starwoman carried the original Starman into space at a significant fraction of the speed of light. And he watched as the miniature supernova took both of them from him. Then he had to go in their house and call his sister to tell her what happened. He was the one who told the media, too. For people who have never lost a parent, there is no explaining the agony he was in. For those who have, there is no need to do so.

. . That was it. He was Starman. The only one. The only active Star at all. His parents were gone. His sister was…well, she was finished being a superhero, at least. He worried about her, but what could he do besides visit sometimes? And Jody hadn’t worked out at all. He was the most famous and powerful superhero in the world. Well, Nick had him beat to stardust on the power front, but he wasn’t always around. The generation of his father and the ones inspired by him seemed to fade away as the world got darker and meaner. Jesse seemed like a relic of another age, sometimes. He worked himself harder and harder. Even a Star has physical limits and from time to time he managed to find them. It wasn’t so bad when his parents were still alive, you know? But with them gone it was like the Devil himself was whipping him onward. He worked all over the globe. Money wasn’t a problem. He was the artist behind several comic strips in various newspapers and weekly publications. Jesse Thompkins kind of had it made as a cartoonist, by this point. He went through periods where he ate little, slept less, and ended up looking about as bedraggled as a man with that many running comic strips and no powers would look. It was something he and Jody had more than a few blazing arguments about. Their relationship had always been on the tempestuous side, as opposed to the steady tranquility of John and Judy, and this was just making it worse. They loved each other dearly, but there were times where they didn’t like each other very much at all.

. . Then came the fifth best day of his life. He and his sister weren’t special. The Starpowers were inheritable. Jack had just developed them. Jesse was as overjoyed as John had been on that day 26 years before. Thus the second Starboy put on the Star and joined his father in the field. This, however, was 2001. The story of that terrible day in September has been told. But not from Jesse’s perspective. The return of a monster his dad and his friends had narrowly killed over two decades before. His family, attacked. His wife and son, injured. Panic, anger, and determination. This wouldn’t be like ’92. Nick Phoenix had left in June, after congratulating the new Starboy. Troubles in space and time, of course. He’d be back, but for now Jessee was on his own. It had bothered Jesse, a bit, at the time, the look in Nick’s eye when he said his goodbyes. There’d be time to talk about it when he came back. And so the second Starman charged into a battle he wasn’t sure he could win, but one that needed to be fought. One that there was probably no other hero on the planet could fight, as far as he knew. And like his father in ’78 and ’82, he got beaten within an inch of his life. Hell, further. He fought until he had nothing left. And then fought some more.

. . He wasn’t strong enough. That was the knock on him from the start from the news media. Hell, he couldn’t help making the comparison himself. He didn’t have the power or the speed of his parents. He had to fight harder than they ever did against some of the same foes. He knew he could never be what they were. Knew it deep in his bones. That didn’t mean he couldn’t do anything. He was more powerful than basically every hero who but Nick. And Nick wasn’t always around. So the safety of the world was on his shoulders. But you know how it is. His parents were still around. A backup plan in case things really went pear shaped and the fecal matter hit the oscillating device. It wasn’t a conscious idea, mind. It’s just…in some ways a child thinks Mommy and Daddy are always going to be there for them when they need the two. Parents are immortal and all knowing beings. Sources of advice and support. They may age and diminish a little, perhaps, but they are eternal, virtually unchanging parts of the child’s world. Until one day they aren’t. Suddenly John and Judy were gone, and the backup plan was gone. Jesse was well and truly on his own. So he had to try harder. And harder. And harder. It was all up to him, now.

. . He couldn’t get up. His body refused to obey him. Caviezel (when did he get here?) was taking his run at Armageddon. The monster was absolutely going to kill him. Jesse knew this. And he couldn’t get up. All his insecurities crashed down on him in a wave. He wasn’t strong enough. He wasn’t good enough. He’d never been good enough to be Starman. Why did his father ever trust him with this? His body hurt so much. He was bleeding so much. He wanted to cry. Dying hurts, Daddy. Why didn’t you tell me?

. . But.

. . A quiet little voice at the core of who he was, at the core of who all heroes who stick with it are, refused his body’s refusal. It refused the physical trauma. It refused the mental anguish. It refused the reality of the situation itself. And so, for the first time in his life, Jesse Thompkins reached for more power. Not for himself, but for others. To help. To protect. To save. And yes, to not be a failure. His memories flashed through his mind. Toddling over to Mommy at home, the earliest clear one. Standing beside his father at the beach, full of joy in and love for him. The first time he flew, Mom and Dad beside him. The first time he saw Jody. Times with friends. Jody holding him as he wept for his broken father. The day they were married, once again full of joy in and love for someone else. The birth of Jack. The birth of Jennifer. Such joy and happiness he’d known in those days. But pain and sadness, too. Watching his parents get old. His sister getting lost in her own insecurities and depression, while feeling helpless to do anything for her. Super fights, god so many super fights. Watching his parents die. Every verbal fight with Jody. How she wasn’t superhero material at all. The big joys and little happinesses. The agony of loss and the little pain of minor mistakes. You know, life. Jesse Thompkins, all of him, reached for more power. And his Starheart answered.

. . It suddenly didn’t matter that his ribs were broken and his skull cracked. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t get his vision focused, and he couldn’t hear out of one ear. It didn’t matter that he was in more pain than any mortal ought to be able to endure and stay conscious, much less upright. It didn’t matter that he was literally dying on the spot. He still had people to protect. And a Star will never stay down when there’s people to protect. He literally shone with power. Armageddon didn’t stand a chance. He beat the monster down in seconds, smashed it into the air, and incinerated it with a Star Blast more powerful than anything Nick Phoenix had done in ’92. But reality can only be held at bay for so long. With the crisis now passed, Jesse’s power boost faded away and he collapsed to the ground. He died in his wife’s arms less than five minutes later.

. . Thus passed the second Starman. And with him, an entire era of heroics. However, his death was not in vain. It was not in the general vicinity of in vain. Hell, it’s not even in the same galaxy. More heroes have risen (directly and indirectly) because of that day than existed in the entire Mystery Men era and Golden Age combined. It’s a funny thing. Jesse thought he could never escape his father’s shadow. That he could never measure up to the legend. He was wrong. Jesse Thompkins was a superhero for 26 years. One year longer than his father’s 25. 15 of those were spent as Starman. He only stopped being a superhero because he literally died. Nothing else would have stopped him short of complete physical infirmity. He was as worthy as anyone to stand beside his father, and worthier than almost any other. And with the emergence of his son and daughter as the new Starman and Starwoman, his legacy now appears secure. Rest well, hero. You earned it.

Powers & Tactics: Starman II was, technically, a mutant. His powers functioned in a way made legendary by first his parents and then himself. He had a nuclear fusion reaction inside his chest, pumping out energy as only they can. It is known as a Starheart. Physiological alterations channeled that power into his abilities, namely enhanced strength, speed, resilience and stellar energy manipulation. He was never quite able to match his parents in their peak categories, but the combination of their powers proved highly effective on its own. His peak lifting strength was in the hundreds of thousands of tons. His top flight speed was beyond hypersonic. His speed also made him better at dodging and more accurate. One would still need a ballistic missile to begin to consider actually hurting him, as he could ignore even a battleship’s main guns. He could smash through titanium with a punch or a Star Blast. Speaking of the latter, he could emit that stellar energy as lower powered rapidfire bolts or a big burst of energy over an area. He could even make solid object out of the energy, something only his mother thus far has been able to do.

. . He wasn’t the strongest, the toughest, the fastest, or the most powerful blaster ever. However, nobody exceeded him in every category at any point, so he always had options. Until Armageddon provided a brutal reminder of the hierarchy of power. And, of course, the irony is that he absolutely could have been just as powerful as his parents were. To equal them in every area. The measurable output of his Starheart was greater than either of theirs. But he never believed that he could, and the belief of the user is a huge factor in deciding a Starperson’s limits. It is not know how exactly he summoned as much raw power as he did in those last seconds of his life. His mother and father did demonstrate extreme levels of power when sorely pressed, yes, but nothing like that. His Starheart may have been stronger than theirs, but not by that much. Nor is it clear if his parents could have output that much power, or if his sister, his children, or her children can also do so. Even after 58 years, the full capabilities of the Starpowers remain a mystery.

. . Tactically. Starman II was much like both of his parents. They were the ones who trained him, after all. He may have not been as tough as his father, but basic thuggery couldn’t hurt him. Even ordinary supervillains couldn’t hurt him. Toughness 17, Impervious 14 is almost as functionally invincible as 20 and 15, after all. So he could casually disarm all of them, trap them in Stellar Energy Objects until the police were in position, or just lay the full +5 Accurate Attack smack down as needed. Fancy tactics were only required for the beefier supervillains, who got rarer and rarer as time went on. Still. He had Star Bolts, Star Burst, and Takedown Attack 2 for groups. Fancy tactics included All Out Attack, Move by Action, Taunt, and abusing his advantages over a given foe. Not all of them could fly, and none of them could fly as fast. The advantages of ranged attacks versus melee only fighters are well known. The advantages of super strength grappling versus those who are not super strong or especially skilled or dexterous are also well known. He used Interpose a lot, too. Ultimate Strength and Toughness less so. Not a lot of call for that much juice. He had a few power stunts as teen Starboy, but as Starman he really never used them again. Stuff like using a created Stellar Energy Objects as a bludgeon (Strike 2, Mighty), bindings (Snare) or a bright flash of light (Dazzle [visual senses]).

. . PL Notes: Starboy debuted in 1975 as a PL 8. +6 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +10 Strength and Toughness bonuses. Lifting strength probably about 60, so topping out at over a hundred tons. He’d reached PL 11 by ’78 and the first battle with Armageddon. +7 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +15 Strength and Toughness. He was basically this build for the invasion in ’82, but he wasn’t quite as experienced and (paradoxically enough) confident in his abilities at 20 years old as he’d be later in life. This build, however, absolutely represents him as Starman for the entirety of his career. Right up until his death.

Personality: The problem with Jesse was that he never once believed he had it in him to be a legendary superhero in his own right. His parents were legends, their friends were legends, and he…he was just Jesse. You know? He put the Champions and especially his parents on an unreachable pedestal. Far above where he could ever reach himself. The problem part comes in where the deepest, dearest wish of his heart was to stand on that pedestal with them. Even though he never thought he ever could, he still desperately wanted to. To the very last day of his life he kept trying to prove himself. To whom, well. That is a very good question. It wasn’t his parents, who believed in him unquestioningly. It wasn’t his sister, his wife, or his children, who were much the same. Trying to make the tabloids speak well of you is a waste of time. Maybe it was simply himself. No way to know, now.

. . With that said, Jesse was a good man with a large, warm heart. And the strong sense of humor his parents kind of lacked. He wasn’t a jokester as Starman (that was teen Starboy) but he still had the ability to snark and joke with the best of them. He was the type of person who makes friends wherever they go, you know? A likeable guy who made friends easily and stayed loyal to them if they kept on deserving it. A easygoing, humble guy, but with strong principles and ideals he wouldn’t discard for anyone. A nice man. A kind man. A forgiving man. But not a soft man. Kind of the ideal superhero, if one ignores the previous paragraph. And that was the point. It wasn’t a façade or anything. This was genuinely who he was. But it was also who he wanted to be. Who he’d spent his whole life trying to become. He inarguably succeeded, and the world was better off for it. He truly, genuinely, fought until he had nothing left. He served as Starboy and Starman with honor, integrity, and distinction through two alien invasions, the darkest age in heroic history, and battled the monster Armageddon twice. He built his own legend while not believing he could, and left just as strong an example to follow as his father did. He was Jesse Thompkins. He was a son. He was a friend. He was a husband. He was a father. He was Starboy. He was Starman. And his rest is well earned.
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Re: Alsea

Post by Jabroniville »

EternalPhoenix wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 4:41 pm Alsea

Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 255/255
Okay, this one seems a bit different- high Wisdom, lower other mental stats. Then I see plant stuff... but then stretching & telepathy and I figure out who the inspiration is, lol. But still different- a combination of aquatic stuff, Telekinesis (a rarity for J'onn) and a few tricks he rarely used, and we're kind of into J'onn/Aquaman territory as a composite, backed up by the "high, but not CRAZY high" PL 12 stats.

And yet there's this other stuff- the "Movie Monster" origins but like... he's super kindly and the like. I'd say it was "Marvel-like" but he was never deemed a threat like most Marvel "Noble Monsters" were.

Chloro seems like... a "clipping", almost. A unique take on a legacy character.
I mean, I didn't do it as a joke, but if it's funny to you I guess? The Nega part comes from Mar-Vell and his Nega Bands. I liked the name, that's all. It's not supposed to mean anything.
Well, not funny like a gag I guess- more like a knowing reference to characters. Like a "joke" in that's obvious. I figured the Nega-Bands had played into the name, but only after thinking of Quasar and going "ohhhhhhhh yeah that's why that name is there".
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons! Hall of Honor! The Champions! Starman II!)

Post by Jabroniville »

EternalPhoenix wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:37 pm Countess

Power Level: 10; Power Points Spent: 270/270
Wow, only a PL 10! And very human-level stats, but vast mental abilities. Ahhhhhhh this is our mage (lol but also not really). Interesting to read bios from the top down and put the pieces together (I stick "Role" in right under most characters because most of mine are stats of obscure losers who nobody knows :)). The armored clothing & "Sensor Mask" are nice touches- putting expensive powers inside equipment to give versatility without distracting the hero. And..... gadgets! Ooh, gadgets! Always a fun thing to play with, and one you don't often see in comics!

Many I remember the "Array" power. I never did quite figure out how it worked precisely- that and "Container" I guess were more like the old "Device" power where it was a collection of things and were mainly held together so you could slap Extras or Flaws on the entire thing. I think that's what it was. While Arrays were I guess just a flat cost for the entire array of powers AP'd off of another (man, I miss being able to type "AP'd"- the worst changes of 3rd Edition were all name-based).

The usual "Magic Stuff" is there, but not fully Strange/Fate "I can do anything" stuff- a Blast, a Burst, Flight inside of an array, etc. Definitely backup for Alsea with the mental stuff. But then uniquely we get the variability of being a Paragon, an Illusionist, etc. I'm seeing where the high points cost is coming- a low-PL, high-versatility character.

And then the unique "Magical Archaeologist" thing. That's a unique one for superheroes! A very "big concept". Plus the origin, which is both apocalyptic and depressing, made moreso by the boredom of their world- a people trapped. And now I'm wondering what the OTHER time-travellers have been up to aside from Countess and her brother.

It's interesting thematically that all the Silver Age heroes disappeared for the "Iron Age" and are only now returning (via successors or as themselves) in the post-2000s era (a time when superheroes are a bigger deal than ever thanks to the movies, but after the comics themselves had their renaissance in the early 2000s).
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons! Hall of Honor! The Champions! Starman II!)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Jabroniville wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:48 am
EternalPhoenix wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 4:41 pm Alsea

Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 255/255
Okay, this one seems a bit different- high Wisdom, lower other mental stats. Then I see plant stuff... but then stretching & telepathy and I figure out who the inspiration is, lol. But still different- a combination of aquatic stuff, Telekinesis (a rarity for J'onn) and a few tricks he rarely used, and we're kind of into J'onn/Aquaman territory as a composite, backed up by the "high, but not CRAZY high" PL 12 stats.

And yet there's this other stuff- the "Movie Monster" origins but like... he's super kindly and the like. I'd say it was "Marvel-like" but he was never deemed a threat like most Marvel "Noble Monsters" were.

Chloro seems like... a "clipping", almost. A unique take on a legacy character.
I mean, I didn't do it as a joke, but if it's funny to you I guess? The Nega part comes from Mar-Vell and his Nega Bands. I liked the name, that's all. It's not supposed to mean anything.
Well, not funny like a gag I guess- more like a knowing reference to characters. Like a "joke" in that's obvious. I figured the Nega-Bands had played into the name, but only after thinking of Quasar and going "ohhhhhhhh yeah that's why that name is there".
Jabroniville wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 7:04 am
EternalPhoenix wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:37 pm Countess

Power Level: 10; Power Points Spent: 270/270
Wow, only a PL 10! And very human-level stats, but vast mental abilities. Ahhhhhhh this is our mage (lol but also not really). Interesting to read bios from the top down and put the pieces together (I stick "Role" in right under most characters because most of mine are stats of obscure losers who nobody knows :)). The armored clothing & "Sensor Mask" are nice touches- putting expensive powers inside equipment to give versatility without distracting the hero. And..... gadgets! Ooh, gadgets! Always a fun thing to play with, and one you don't often see in comics!

Many I remember the "Array" power. I never did quite figure out how it worked precisely- that and "Container" I guess were more like the old "Device" power where it was a collection of things and were mainly held together so you could slap Extras or Flaws on the entire thing. I think that's what it was. While Arrays were I guess just a flat cost for the entire array of powers AP'd off of another (man, I miss being able to type "AP'd"- the worst changes of 3rd Edition were all name-based).

The usual "Magic Stuff" is there, but not fully Strange/Fate "I can do anything" stuff- a Blast, a Burst, Flight inside of an array, etc. Definitely backup for Alsea with the mental stuff. But then uniquely we get the variability of being a Paragon, an Illusionist, etc. I'm seeing where the high points cost is coming- a low-PL, high-versatility character.

And then the unique "Magical Archaeologist" thing. That's a unique one for superheroes! A very "big concept". Plus the origin, which is both apocalyptic and depressing, made moreso by the boredom of their world- a people trapped. And now I'm wondering what the OTHER time-travellers have been up to aside from Countess and her brother.

It's interesting thematically that all the Silver Age heroes disappeared for the "Iron Age" and are only now returning (via successors or as themselves) in the post-2000s era (a time when superheroes are a bigger deal than ever thanks to the movies, but after the comics themselves had their renaissance in the early 2000s).
I can't get my thoughts together, bleh. But thanks for reading and for your comments.
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Stargirl II (Jacqueline “Jackie” Thompkins)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Stargirl II (Jacqueline “Jackie” Thompkins)

Power Level: 13; Power Points Spent: 285/285

STR: +17 (15/45), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +17 (15/45), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16)

Tough: +17, Fort: +17, Ref: +6/+9, Will: +10

Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+5), Bluff 7 (+10), Diplomacy 2 (+5), Gather Information 7 (+10), Intimidate 12 (+15), Knowledge (civics) 3 (+5), Knowledge (Galactic) 8 (+10), Knowledge (streetwise) 3 (+5), Language 2 (+2), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 2 (+5)

Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Equipment 3, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 3, Interpose, Luck 4, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Ultimate Effort (Strength checks), Ultimate Effort (Toughness checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory)

Powers:
Breath Mask (Device 2) (Hard to lose)
. . Mask Sensors (Super-Senses 5) (distance sense, infravision, time sense, tracking: Visual 1 (half speed), ultravision)
. . Spaceproof (Immunity 5) (environmental condition: Cold, environmental condition: Radiation, environmental condition: Vacuum, suffocation (all))

Edgerunner Communicator (Device 3) (Hard to lose)
. . Long Range Radio (Communication 8) (sense type: radio; Subtle (subtle))
. . Universal Translator (Comprehend 3) (languages - read all, languages - speak all, languages - understand all)

Starheart Augmented Physiology (Container, Passive 17)
. . Stellar Durability (Impervious Toughness 13)
. . Stellar Might (Super-Strength 6) (+30 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +6 STR to some checks)
. . Stellar Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 30) (+30 CON)
. . Stellar Strength (Enhanced Strength 30) (+30 STR)

Starheart Speed (Container, Passive 8)
. . Stellar Blurring (Concealment 4) (all visual senses; Partial, Passive)
. . Stellar Flight (Flight 6+6) ([Stacking ranks: +6], Speed: 50000 mph, 440000 ft./rnd)
. . Stellar Quickness (Quickness 6+6) ([Stacking ranks: +6], Perform routine tasks at 10000x speed)
. . Stellar Reflexes (Enhanced Trait 20) (Traits: Attack Bonus +3 (+9), Defense Bonus +3 (+9), Reflex +3 (+9), Feats: Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 3)

Stellar Energy Manipulation (Array 18) (default power: blast; Custom (Array 17.5))
. . Stellar Flight Boost (Flight 6) (Alternate; Speed: 500 mph, 4400 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Stellar Flight (Flight 6+6)))
. . Stellar Quickness Boost (Quickness 6) (Alternate; Perform routine tasks at 100x speed; Stacks with (Stellar Quickness (Quickness 6+6)))
. . Stellar Strength Boost (Super-Strength 9) (Alternate; +45 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +9 STR to some checks)
. . Star Blast (Blast 17) (Default; DC 32; Precise)
. . Star Bolts (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only]; Accurate 3 (+6))
. . Star Burst (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Burst Area (55 ft. radius - General))

Equipment: The Edgerunner

Attack Bonus: +6/+9 (Ranged: +6/+9, Melee: +6/+9, Grapple: +23/+41)

Attacks: Star Blast (Blast 17), +9 (DC 32), Star Bolts (Blast 11), +15 (DC 26), Star Burst (Blast 11) (DC 26), Unarmed Attack, +9 (DC 32)

Defense: +6/+9 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -15

Initiative: +15

Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, Spanish

Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 18 (72 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 183 + Combat 24 + Saves 10 + Drawbacks 0 = 285

******************************************************************************************

The Edgerunner

Power Level: 13; Equipment Points Spent: 15

Toughness: +15

Features: Communications, Computer, Fire Prevention System, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System 1, Workshop

Powers:
Energy Channeling (Features 1) (Notes: Jackie may use her Star Blasts, Star Bolts, or Star Burst attacks while piloting the ship.)
Ion Drive (Flight 12) (Speed: 50000 mph, 440000 ft./rnd)
Superluminal Drive (Super-Movement 3) (extra ranks 3)

Totals: Abilities 0 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 9 + Powers 3 + Combat 1 + Saves 2 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 15

Age (as of Jan 2019): 55
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 190 lbs.
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Hair: Brown w/ streaks of grey
Eyes: Brown
Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois (1977-1982); Los Angeles, California (1982-2009), Outer Space (2009-present)

Theme Song: Run From You!! by McGwire featuring Ben Schuller from NerdOut

Background: You, Dear Reader, cannot possibly imagine what it was like. Being the second child of two of the most famous people on the planet. The child of a legend cannot possibly measure up to the original. Jesse, bless him, wanted to try anyway. He was thrilled to his toes when he got his powers and could be Starboy. Jackie knew better. Other people’s expectations on their own are a heavy weight. Put them together with one’s own and said weight can become crushing. Of course she put on the Star. Of course she became Stargirl when her powers inevitably came in. Living in that house? With those three? How could she not? She loved her father. She loved her mother. She loved her brother. She couldn’t bear to disappoint them. Even though she always knew she would. Or to put it in better terms, she put John and Judy Thompkins up on a pedestal before they told her they were Starman and Starwoman. They were all so happy when Jesse became Starboy. She couldn’t say no. She couldn’t. The looks in their eyes would be unbearable. As would the understanding they would give her.

. . Then there was Armageddon, and Daddy got hurt. And then there was the invasion of ’82 and Kuros, and Daddy got hurt real bad. She moved away. She was 18. She had dreams of Hollywood stardom. And she couldn’t bear to look at Daddy. He was so broken, and it hurt her heart even to look at him. And away from home she didn’t have to put on the Star so much. But Los Angeles wasn’t what she thought. She wasn’t that good of an actress, really. And she also wasn’t willing to do the things that got mediocre but still attractive actresses good roles. So she did a lot of waitressing and bartending. A lot of fruitless auditioning. And you know how it is. Eventually they’ve seen enough of her and she didn’t even get to the auditioning stage anymore. That isn’t to say she never got any roles at all. But she never got anything good or high paying. She couldn’t go home, and her career plan had fizzled. Someone without her powers might have gotten lost in drugs and partying. And to be fair, she tried for a little while.

. . The last time she put on the Star was the invasion of ’92, and that was quite brief. She basically hadn’t put it on in 7 years, but a massive alien invasion one makes exceptions for. Her parents died the following year, and it broke something in her. She threw herself in the Los Angeles party scene. It was extremely difficult for her to get drunk or high, but by God she really tried. She moved several times, bouncing from short term job to short term job. Someone without her powers may have met a very bad end. Instead she simply got lost for a bunch of years. She has no idea who Jessica’s father is, other than to say that he was Black. Turns out there are drugs strong enough to affect her like a normal. Of course, they’d kill said normal stone dead, but whatever. She’d been raised to be something resembling responsible, so she got out of the life. Got something stable. Of course, for a mere high school graduate in Los Angeles that required two jobs. Even for a Star, that was a lot of working hours. So on that terrible day in September, she came home dead tired and passed out into dreamland. Bombs going off wouldn’t have woken her. A helpful neighbor was watching Jessica. Her brother and his family were fighting for their lives, and she was asleep. Her brother fucking DIED, and she slept through it. The guilt she felt later in the day is unimaginable. Paralyzing. She fell into old habits amid a deep depression. She doesn’t know who Jonathan’s father is, either, other than to say that he was Japanese, Chinese, or Korean. God only knows which.

. . She knows she wasn’t a very good mother. Always working. Emotionally unavailable. Strung out on something powerful half the time. You’re such a good girl, Jessica. Helping look after your baby brother. Can you imagine? A tiny Los Angeles apartment. Occupied by a woman and her two children. No parents. No siblings. No way to contact Jody or her kids, plus like hell they wanted to hear from the failure of the family. This wasn’t what she imagined her life to be, back in ’85. But she wasn’t bitter. She just didn’t care. She’d gone numb. Nothing mattered. Nothing except taking care of Jessica and Jonathan. They didn’t deserve to suffer because of her. She could keep them fed, clothed, and housed. She could keep it together enough to do that. And she did. She may have not had much warm and nurturing left in her at the time, but she could earn money and buy things. Yes, indeed. Until 2009, when she got literally abducted by aliens.

. . It’s not an uncommon story, throughout the ages of humanity. Worlds that haven’t yet developed genuine space travel are and always have been a source of slave labor, experimental test subjects, or uh. Pets. Her depression swamped mind basically said “well, this might as well happen”. With that said, she was not the only person kidnapped off the planet. And this was the unethical scientists doing experimental tests illegal elsewhere kind of things. She mostly didn’t care what happened to her, but her inaction wasn’t going to get other people harmed or killed. No. So that was one batch of villains slapped down. The problem was, she didn’t know where in the universe she was. The people she was with needed looking after, and they weren’t all human. So she made one more crappy choice. She didn’t exactly have to rush to find her way home, right? She could be free of everything for a little while, right? That wasn’t so bad, right? Dammit, Jackie.

. . A little while has stretched into ten years as she’s found one thing after another to do. She’s gotten her own ship. She’s gathered an interesting crew of allies and friends, named after that ship. The Edgerunners. Calling all of them but her heroes would be uh, stretching it. But they’ve done good work. The name of the ship is a logical one. The Edge is the border between free space and Kuros’s empire of claimed galaxies. A demilitarized zone on an intergalactic scale. Or rather, it was. Now, with the disappearance of all of his forces, it’s complicated. At any rate, refugees were always fleeing. Rebel groups were always battling the tyrant and his forces. So, supplies, equipment, information, and sometimes even people needed to be smuggled under the noses of the Nega Corps and Kuros’s forces. Most of the people who tried it didn’t last. Mostly because they approached it stupidly. Reckless violence and intimidation don’t work on groups who either don’t care about losses because they’re easily replaceable (Kuros’s forces) or dedicated hardasses who don’t afraid of anything (the Nega Corps). And even the fastest ships in the universe with the hottest of the hotshot pilots need to refuel and resupply. The ones who last are the ones who play it smart and quiet. Like Jackie and the Edgerunners.

. . But of course, the first person Jackie ran into out in space after the initial abduction event was friggin’ Megagirl. Of all people. She was kind of happy the heroine wasn’t dead. Who wouldn’t be? Besides Valia, yeah yeah we know. Astonishingly, she didn’t recognize Jackie. Granted, it had been 24 years since Megagirl had disappeared and 3 more since she’d seen Jackie, but…did she really look that different? Did 27 years of hard living and two kids really change the way she looked so much that someone who knew her back then didn’t recognize the former Stargirl? (Spoiler: It did not, but if the former Stargirl wanted to be someone else who was Megagirl to judge? As far as the tiny heroine knew, there was nothing keeping her on Earth if she wanted to leave. Starboy had probably taken over as Starman by now, and it wasn’t like Jackie had kids or something, right? If only you knew, Megan.)

. . This was great, actually. Jackie pretended to be someone who wasn’t Stargirl, and they partnered up. Megagirl was never properly an Edgerunner. Morals too inflexible for that. And she had her own commitments anyway, which meant she wasn’t always on the ship with the growing crew. Speaking of that crew, how did they get together? Well, the first go around brought Jackie together with some mercenary outlaws in the ever mysterious Nobellian sniper Esme*, the cybernetic self defined Borustan ronin Tetsukaze*, and the albino Nobellian mage Zima*. A lot happened, but ultimately the four’s actions uncovered a fast spreading religious cult was a front for an extradimensional alien invasion. Specifically, by taking over bodies in the regular universe and slowly transforming them into red insectoid horrors. Fortunately, Esme turned out to be an old hand at tracing and destroying their nests. Between that, Jackie’s raw power, Tetsukaze’s tactical skill and savagery, and Zima’s surprisingly versatile hydromancy, the threat was averted. For now. A grateful Nobellian megacorporation gave the foursome a big chunk of money after their offer of permanent employment was declined by all four. They decided to remain a team, and most of said money went towards buying and outfitting the Edgerunner.

. . The second event was just as hair raising. To make a long story much shorter, a Draconian (reptile men, but stronger and tougher than that implies) decided she wanted to access the intergalactic infoweb via direct neural interface. The problem with this idea is that a direct neural interface requires connecting the tech involved directly (hence the name) to the brain. Which is inside the skull. Which has to have holes drilled in it for that specific purpose. Draconian bones are, generally speaking, harder and more impenetrable than titanium. So, it was either a medical procedure with a length measured in probably days using inordinately expensive and rare equipment…or doing something a bit, well, easier. It would have been better if that Draconian woman had chosen the procedure. Again, long story much shorter, she financed research into nanotech able to perform direct neural interfacing. This was a success. She used it. And then things went directly to hell. First. By nature of being inside the body and thus vunerable to the immune system, the nanotech had to both be able to repair and replicate itself. Second. Mega corporations have been experimenting with artificial intelligence for centuries. Flesh and blood employees are so…inefficient, after all, compared with machines. Their discarded and escaped prototypes and formerly enslaved AIs haunt the darker corners of the infoweb. Third. The lovely thing about normal direct neural interfaces is that the base of the equipment is fairly analog for the reasons just stated. Said base is a plug in that drilled hole in the skull. So if the user encounters any…issues…on the infoweb, all the user has to do is literally unplug from it. You can see where this is going. That Draconian woman doesn’t exist anymore, though her body probably does, piloted by a very angry AI. The planet she was on was lost in hours. The situation rapidly spiraled out of control, and the entire sector was lost in days. The Nega Corps worked fast and efficiently, but it still took them time to figure out what they were up against. And by then saving that entire galaxy was a losing battle. One they’re technically still waging to evacuate as many uninfected civilians as possible, with heavy military backup from the Nobellian and Sionil navies.

. . This is where the Edgerunners come in. There was a priority list for evacuees, and an verification process to make sure they weren’t infected. Money and the political influence thereof being what they are, three guesses who was at the top of the list for evacuation. And any ships from inside that tried to run the galactic blockade got shot to pieces by the Nobellian and Sionil fleets. The Nega Corps had no choice but to cooperate. They have neither the ships nor the manpower to do it by themselves. This, naturally, led to attempts to run the blockade from outside. Plenty of people inside have enough money to temp outlaw crews into taking a run at it. Getting in? Pretty easy. Getting out again? Congratuations, you’re actually trying to run the galactic blockade now. In the Edgerunner’s case, the Borustan independent delta holoscreener (or D-Screener, the Earth equivalent is a V-Tuber) Roxy Jett*. She, her Nobellian bodyguard/lover Geojang*, and Sionil tech support Mirage* wanted out. So, Jackie and the Edgerunners went and got them out. That makes it sound much, much easier than it was. It was kind of like an Earth zombie movie, actually. Except the “zombie” virus in this case was partially airborne, and the “zombies” weren’t anywhere near mindless or shambling. Fortunately, something about Jackie’s stellar energy shorted the nanotech right out when it was outside the protection of flesh, and Zima’s hydromancy could wash them out of the air just as easily. There were still a few fights, and a few space fights. Dodging Negas and blockade ships. And, of course, the general chaos and madness of a galaxy gripped by absolute terror. They got Roxy and company out, but…well. Roxy’s holovid proclaiming her freedom was, quite frankly, a piss poor idea in retrospect. It made her an intergalactic outlaw. So, without any real choice in the matter, she’s stuck being on the crew of the Edgerunner. And Geojang and Mirage are stuck with her. There was one weird thing, however. The AIs, after a little while, recognized Jackie’s stellar energy. Not from her, or from Earth, but from somewhere else. It was the very first hint ever about exactly what had happened to John Thompkins over 50 years earlier, but there was no time to pursue it. Yet. In the mean time, Megagirl ran into Nick Phoenix, causing she and the Edgerunners to part ways.

. . Over the course of their running the Edge, Jackie and the Edgerunners had met a bunch of people. Most of whom even survived the encounter and its aftermath, and thus were free to meet them again. You know, contacts. Friendly faces at certain ports of call and/or watering holes. So they’d gradually become aware of the Crystals of Power, or at least the four that were out in the universe at the time. But nobody thought about taking one for themselves. For one, the people who had each one, well…you’d need to be both crazy and have a full fledged army to take just one. For another, once you did steal one you’d have a bullseye on your back the size of a galaxy. You’d have to be the biggest badass who ever lived, and also never sleep again, in order to keep just one. So nobody seriously thought they’d ever be united. Not even Kuros was that goddamn crazy and badass. Right? Well…about that…nothing like the biggest, most badass battle fleet yet assembled dropping out of superluminal in the Sionil system where the Earth Crystal was kept as a statement of intent. Sionil military philosophy is, very broadly, about discipline, defense, and never bending a micron no matter how much they get hammered. This system in particular was thought to be among their most impregnable fortresses. 12 layers of mines, mobile turrets, heavily armored dreadnoughts and mighty battlestations. The battle was short and outstandingly violent. It wasn’t that Kuros’s fleet didn’t take hideous casualties, because it did. It was that it simply didn’t matter. This wasn’t a tactical victory. It was simple brute force. Even the mightiest stone wall can be smashed by sufficient force. The system in which the Earth Crystal formerly resided was left a shattered glass ruin. And the half of the universe Kuros didn’t already rule immediately panicked. The Edgerunners weren’t much of an exception.

. . So, as Kuros outsavaged the Borustans (whose military philosophy mainly revolves around overwhelming firepower and the most efficient application thereof) for the Fire Crystal and kicked seven shades of hell out of the Nobellians (whose military philosophy generally revolves around subtle bits of finesse, precision strikes, and intelligent, flexible tactics) for the Will Crystal, the Edgerunners were hunting for the ones that were missing. The revelation that Kuros had the Soul Crystal to begin with helped narrow things down. The Edgerunners were not alone in their hunt by a long, long shot. However, they had an advantage in Jackie, who (not being an idiot) knew where this was going. Earth may not have been the literal center of the universe, but metaphorically? It sure seemed like it sometimes. So they raced to get to Earth to warn Earth’s heroes (having left almost a decade before, she knew the Icons existed). Nobody expected Kuros to use the Soul Crystal to break into Tian (the Chinese Divine Heavens) as a shortcut to Earth, so things went to hell in a handbasket. Thus the Eternity War event kicked off. And every one of the Edgerunners except Esme (as usual, said the mysterious Nobellian sniper) ended up Dusted.

. . Jackie and her crew came back when that was undone, and participated in the resulting final battle of the Endgame which saw the end of Kuros and his empire. Including seeing her niece and nephew finally take up the Star for good. She carefully avoided them during the battle. With that finished, and Esme having said her goodbyes (she did spend a year with the Icons, after all), Jackie and the Edgerunners departed Earth. There was a lot to do in space. Tidal and baby Lei Zi were tagging along. He needed a ride for a little while. Tetsukaze wanted to visit the Red Ronin to restore his fraying control over his cyberpsychosis, and Geojang thought it might be good for her own, as well. Zima had encountered her former comrades during the Endgame battle (seeing them again trigged some of her memories of them to return), and she was in need of someone to deprogram the trio’s minds and awaken them from the strange comas they had fallen into after Kuros’s demise. Shockingly, they didn’t die with him. And she was still missing the rest of her memories. If they could fill in any of the blanks she would be extremely grateful. As Jackie herself? She hadn’t forgotten the words of those AI when they picked up Roxy and company. Somewhere out there, in the vastness of the universe, was the origin of the Starpowers. So, a lot to do. But one last thing before they flew off into the chaos of a universe without Kuros and his forces. A thing Jackie does not rightfully know why she did, aside from a ghost of a memory of a dream she had while she was Dusted. The indistinct voices of her father, mother, and brother. Standing in the airlock as the Edgerunner started taking off, she threw a single Star Blast into the air that exploded into a brilliant five pointed star. The Star. Then she went back inside, closed the airlock doors, and departed for that universe in chaos.

*Names are translated into their closest Earth language equivalent.

Powers & Tactics: Jackie is, technically, a mutant and she has a pair of technological devices. Her powers function in a way made legendary by first her parents and then her brother. She has a nuclear fusion reaction inside her chest, pumping out energy as only they can. It is known as a Starheart. Physiological alterations channel that power into her abilities, namely enhanced strength, speed, resilience and stellar energy manipulation. She’s never bothered trying to match his parents in their peak categories, but the combination of their powers has proved highly effective by itself. Her peak lifting strength is in the hundreds of thousands of tons. Her top flight speed is hypersonic. Her speed also makes her better at dodging and more accurate. One would still need a ballistic missile to begin to consider actually hurting her, as she can ignore even a Earth battleship’s main guns. She can smash through titanium with a punch or a Star Blast. Speaking of the latter, she can emit that stellar energy as lower powered rapidfire bolts or a big burst of energy over an area. She’s never tried to figure out how to do anything else. It is, however, quite strange. The stellar energy of Starwoman and Starman II manifested as glowing, amorphous shapes aside from where they turned into solid objects. Jackie’s, on the other hand, has always been jagged and crackling like electricity. This did not help her self esteem issues. Not at all. Clearly, there is more to the properties of stellar energy than is currently known.

. . Her devices are rather simple affairs and necessary for a space traveler. Her Breath Mask has a minor sensor suite that helps when it gets dark and to track people and objects. It also renders her immune to the biggest problems in space, namely suffocation and exposure to cold, vacuum, and radiation. Her second device is her Edgerunner Communicator. Every member of the crew has one. They have a 2k mile communication range and a universal translator because they all (Jackie especially) don’t speak the same languages.

. . The Edgerunner is her ship. It flies as fast as she does, has the superluminal drive that gets them from system to system and galaxy to galaxy, and in place of weapons it can channel her own Star Blasts/Bolts/Bursts. This is occasionally useful, as they can pretend to be unarmed couriers or whatever. But it’s not just a method of transportation. It’s the crew’s home, too, with a bunch of features that any super headquarters needs.

. . Tactically, Jackie isn’t quite the girl her parents trained anymore. She has killed people out there in space. Granted, this was in ship to ship combat when their ship exploded, but still. Her definition of Acceptable Targets has expanded to a degree, past what her father would have ever found acceptable. And she’s long since stopped batting so much as an eyelash when the rest of the Edgerunners are as lethal as possible in combat. But Jackie herself in person to person combat still holds back so as not to kill. She’s still careful about collateral damage, at least in civilian spaces. And she’ll still Interpose and put her mostly invulnerable body between the defenseless and certain doom. Star Blast and punching are really for harder targets. Star Burst and Takedown Attack 2 are for groups of enemies. It’s Star Bolts that, like her mother, she gets the most use out of. Accurate Attack is useful for avoiding lethal damage. All Out Attack is for more accuracy, because the list of ranged weapons that can cause actual injury to someone with Toughness 17, Impervious 13 is pretty fuckin’ short. Startle can also help with hitting. Power Attack can ratchet up the damage on the rare occasion that’s needed. And Move by Action keeps her mobile. Like every Star, she has Ultimate Strength and Toughness for those exceptionally needy occasions. Surprisingly with that much Luck, she’s not really a power stunter. It’s just unnecessary when you have a full crew of allies and have what’s basically godlike power compared to virtually everyone else.

. . PL Notes: Jackie debuted in 1977 as a PL 8 with a more or less identical build to her brother’s from two years earlier. +6 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +10 Strength and Toughness bonuses. Lifting strength probably about 60, so topping out at over a hundred tons. She’d only reached PL 9 by ’78 and the first battle with Armageddon. +8 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. Still +10 Strength and Toughness. She was PL 12, however, for the invasion in ’82. +9 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +15 Strength and Toughness. She was this build in ’85 when she hung it up, and hasn’t noticeably changed since.

Personality: Jackie is a woman who has spent almost her entire adult life running away. From the weight of expectation. From the burden of being cared for. From the guilt at never being good enough in her own eyes. From well, everything really. She’s made a lot of terrible decisions in search of a place to finally stop running. A place where she can simply be herself. Not Stargirl. Not the second Thompkins child. Not even Mommy. Just…Jackie. This is, of course, a rationalization so she can live with herself. She knows she could have tried harder. At being Stargirl. At being the second Thompkins child. And at being Mommy. She could have done a much better job, and it eats at her. Out in space is the first place where she’s apparently capable of doing both good and right simultaneously. And so she stays.

. . The problem with Jackie is that she has never once believed in herself. No self-confidence. No self-esteem. No matter how hard she tried, something would always go sideways. She’d always fall short next to her parents and brother. Always and forever. Whether she wanted to or not. She would never stop being a disappointment and/or a failure. And as is known, whether one believes they can do something or not, they’re right. A self fulfilling prophecy, if you will. The thing is, she does have it in her to be just as good as they were. The past ten years have shown this. She’s mostly a superhero out there in space. Even if the Edgerunners kind of…aren’t, exactly. And while she’s out there in space, she believes she can be good enough. All that baggage of her life on Earth stays there.

. . With that said, you try having parents as absolutely legendary as Starman and Starwoman. You try having them expect great things from you in both as both a superhero and a civilian. Measuring up to them as they actually were is difficult, but doable. Measuring up to their legend, especially the one in Jackie’s mind? Completely impossible. All the love, support, and encouragement in the world wouldn’t be enough if the person involved doesn’t believe in their heart that they can. And it’s something one can never explain properly without sounding pathetic and whiny. At least, she thinks so. Her brother, the crazy man, tried. He couldn’t do it, and it only drove him to try harder. Jackie was never that strong back then. She still thinks she isn’t. She is wrong.

. . However, no matter how long and how far she runs, she is still the child of her parents. Of Starman and Starwoman. She still has the values and ideals drilled into her from an early age. She cannot allow people she knows are in trouble and/or danger to come to harm because of her inaction. She may be suffering from depression and a self esteem that often registers in the negatives, but despite Jackie’s attempts to destroy her Stargirl still endures somewhere inside. She isn’t a bad person. Not really. She’s made lots of bad choices, been a pretty selfish jerk, and rationalized very hard. But she has never succumbed to wickedness, malice or evil. This is…probably of little comfort to Jessica and Jonathan, who most likely think she’s simply dead. She knows that. She hopes desperately that they’ve been better off without her. That she was never worthy of them to begin with. Because otherwise she’d have to accept that she willingly abandoned them. That every time life got too challenging, she gave up and ran away. She believes she’s not strong enough to face the condemnation she thinks she deserves for this, let alone the impossibility of forgiveness. She’s wrong about that, too.
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons! Hall of Honor! The Champions! Starman II! Jackie!)

Post by Davies »

"Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy."
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons! Hall of Honor! The Champions! Starman II! Jackie!)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Davies wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 7:07 pm "Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy."
You see it all the time. Being the child of someone incredibly famous fucks people up. It's easier to count the people that come out of that relatively unscathed than the legions who turned out to be total weirdoes or outright crashed and burned. And so the wheel keeps on turning, each generation both better and worse than the last, as children seek to surpass their parents, despair at ever doing so, or select a third route of their own.

The shadow of John Thompkins looms large over all heroes, but largest of all over his own children. And there wasn't really any help for it. Aside from everyone involved getting some goddamn therapy already. :mrgreen:
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The Icons Complete! On Break!

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Well, that was a fun three months and change, wasn't it? It was for me, at least. I know some of them didn't go over quite as well as the others (looking at you, Orca, Dust, and perhaps Terrifica and Gunsmith to a degree), but overall I think it was an excellent project. My absolute favorites probably don't match yours, as apparently I really enjoy unlikeable female heroes who are a psychological mess. Hello Terrifica and Sage. Perhaps get some therapy, loves. The Starfamily, however, is probably the dearest to my heart. I came up with them when I was 12, you see. Their story came almost a decade later, and I've been kinder to Jesse here than I was back then. At any rate, this is the wrap up post, so let's get to wrapping up.

First. Please, tell me your favorites.

Second. Please take a look at the OP and note which group you would like to see next. I'm working on some cosmic stuff and the Edgerunners right now, but I can switch gears if enough interest is shown. I can elaborate on each one if necessary, but they're reasonably self explanatory because creative names? What are those? :sweat_smile:

Third, I put an interest check over here. If you would like to play a game in this universe, I will do what I can. I may, however, need some ADHD countering assistance.

You know, I've been posting all year. My first anniversary at Echoes isn't that far away. It's been a prolific one, jeez. I suppose we'll see how 2023 goes.
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons Completed! On Break!)

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For obvious reasons, I'd like to know more about the Canadian team. If you want a suggestion for a name, how about calling them the Glorious Jewels? (The original version of Oh Canada includes the following lines: Ton front est ceint/De fleurons glorieux! [Your brow is girded/With glorious jewels!])

Enjoy your break! I'm looking forward to mine.
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons Completed! On Break!)

Post by EternalPhoenix »

Davies wrote: Wed Nov 30, 2022 4:44 am For obvious reasons, I'd like to know more about the Canadian team. If you want a suggestion for a name, how about calling them the Glorious Jewels? (The original version of Oh Canada includes the following lines: Ton front est ceint/De fleurons glorieux! [Your brow is girded/With glorious jewels!])

Enjoy your break! I'm looking forward to mine.
Isn't Glorious Jewels kind of a flashy name for the Canadian Parliament to approve? I mean, it's a major legislative body, so I thought they'd go with something uh...blander.
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Re: The Phoenixverse (A 2e OC 'verse; Newest: The Icons Completed! On Break!)

Post by Davies »

EternalPhoenix wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 12:19 am
Davies wrote: Wed Nov 30, 2022 4:44 am For obvious reasons, I'd like to know more about the Canadian team. If you want a suggestion for a name, how about calling them the Glorious Jewels? (The original version of Oh Canada includes the following lines: Ton front est ceint/De fleurons glorieux! [Your brow is girded/With glorious jewels!])

Enjoy your break! I'm looking forward to mine.
Isn't Glorious Jewels kind of a flashy name for the Canadian Parliament to approve? I mean, it's a major legislative body, so I thought they'd go with something uh...blander.
Eh, probably. Then again, they did name our first satellite after a voyageur folk song. ("Alouette.") Sometimes the mystical spirit overcomes the Scottish banker.

("I see Canada as a country torn between a very northern, rather extraordinary, mystical spirit which it fears and its desire to present itself to the world as a Scotch banker." Robertson Davies. No relation.)
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
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