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Age of Wonders Excelsior!

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  • Age of Wonders Excelsior!

    Well chaps, I had hoped to produce other diversions for your entertainment, but it turns out that I just couldn't deny my inspiration to finish working upon this particular one first; I hope you'll enjoy what follows, however thinly it may be spread out!

  • #2
    Earth Cabal - the Butcher's Bill

    There were no superheroes on the late and unlamented Earth-1023, but that doesn't mean there was nobody worth mourning to be found there; worth mourning for their faith in the face of hopelessness, for their defiance in the face of a system that would reward their courage and selflessness with utterly-obscure and frequently-squalid death, for the sake of their striving to change the Outcome the weight of an entire World made almost inevitable (a world and the Otherworldly THINGS that swarmed in upon it like sharks to a mist of blood amidst the salt-water, then gripped with tentacles tighter than any chain).

    In truth Earth-1023 had many heroes, but almost all died trying and few succeeded in saving anything more than their souls and perhaps a few friend - for a few hours, a day and perhaps even a week. A few of the lucky ones proved so unthinkably DULL to The Titans (or at least disinteresting) that even those nigh-inexhaustible obsessives couldn't be bothered to keep trying to kill them - proving that sometimes, just sometimes, there's no shame in being a background character or a sidekick.

    But then, on the other hand, there are the villains - those who strove to stuff the beast with sacrifices to keep it at bay for a little longer, those who sought to snuff out the candle-lights so as to avert the anger of the Darkness, those who sought to control everything they could and placate that which they could not. There's no reason to celebrate the death of an ENTIRE WORLD, but there's no reason not to feel a certain schadenfreude upon learning that those who fed others into the mouth of the Beast were chewed down upon at the End.

    Unfortunately some of THEM stood right back up again after popping out the OTHER end.


    The Argonaut Club - A collection of contemporaries who spent the first part of the 20th Century finding a way into the most mysterious corners of the World and a good deal of the rest of it leaning on one another to cope with the terror of the discoveries they had made in the shadowy niches of academic, at the roots of Ancient Civilisations and throughout the Wild Blue Yonder, the Argonaut Club did its best to polish up the Golden Fleece (metaphorical and literal), while making sure that Medea (metaphorical on the whole) didn't wreck too much havoc after following them home.

    Results were mixed, but if you were tipsy enough the tales that stemmed from the struggles to uncover the Unknown and make sure it was never able to rise up from the slab on which they found it howling for vengeance well-soaked with blood certainly sounded like quite the adventure ...


    The Clue-Mobile Crew - A travelling team of classmates who were determined to shine the light of science on the shadows of superstition threatening to choke E-1023, the passengers of this particular Mystery Machine were somewhat astonished to discover that there was far less of the supernatural out there than any native of Earth-Cabal had good reason to believe but that there was one HECK of a lot of crazy people with extremely odd supernatural pretensions and criminal ambitions out there.

    The Crew might have been shocked to realise that until they had shown up, those villains had been juiced to the gills on supernatural power to boot - it turns out that curiosity, imagination and courage can wreck HAVOC on magic rooted in fear and ignorance (especially when you have a good old sleuth-hound's nose to sniff out illusions).

    Unfortunately even when you nullify the supernatural powers of a Slasher in most cases that still leaves a hardened killer consumed with various anti-social obsessions - and no one can be lucky forever. Especially on E-1023.


    The Whitecross Institute - Founded by Professor John Calvin Whitecross in the middle years of the 20th Century, the Whitecross Institute was created with the intention of helping those who had been claimed by Ancient Curses reclaim themselves and acclimate to their condition, with the wild idea that they would one day not merely rejoin society but protect it from the darkness always at the back of Prf. Whitecross' mind.

    It was an extremely brave experiment and more than a little reckless, but the programme began to bear some small fruit after much effort and not a little personal tragedy. Small successes just significant enough to catch the attention of an audience which preferred that monsters remain cursed and a curse on others, rather than cured.

    Graduation to the big leagues would NEVER be on the cards for the First Class at the Whitecross Institute.


    The Brothers Tortice - A pair of brothers who shared a fondness for Cartoons, Comics and any number of other hobbies sufficient to mark them out as pariahs in the somewhat nerd-unfriendly school halls of Earth-1023 but which proved surprisingly useful when some new classmates ran afoul of the local nightlife (useful enough to keep them alive rather than undead).

    Unfortunately the lessons taught by TOMB OF DRACULA proved less useful when they were confronted by some very polite humans in suits with hard questions on their tongues and a preference than the General Public stay out of the business of those things that go bump in the night - except when sacrifices had to be made for the Great Good - not to mention a mandate to made sure that those who survived failing to do so kept their mouths shut.

    The Brothers refused and thus began their career as wandering wannabe Winchesters; much to the astonishment of those acquainted with their somewhat ersatz collection of tools and the beater they were obliged to drive across half a continent it took the destruction of Earth-1023 to kill them.

    For a pair of pencil-necks they were OUTRAGEOUSLY hard to rub out.


    The Cunning Men - An unlikely institution of individuals with a shared fondness for trench coats coupled to a mutual obsession with the occult, The Cunning Men were less interested in punching above their weight than they were in pointing out to some promising young prospect with ambitions of Heroism the vulnerable points on the leading local obstruction to a peaceful existence and then sneaking away with the more interesting local occult articles (possibly after sneaking in the odd verbal barb in the process) no matter who won.

    Admittedly this makes them USERS rather than Trainers of Heroes; on the other hand they REALLY ticked off the Titans for some reason (must be the relative self-awareness) so they can't have been a complete net loss as far as do-gooding was concerned.


    Music of the Spheres - A band of heroes in both senses of the word this group were the last living heirs of the 'Gods' that had been eaten up by the Titans as they successfully sought to make E-1023 their own and drive away any hope of the external intervention that might rob them of their precious hiding-hole and its DELICIOUS inhabitants.

    More often that grandchildren and great-grandchildren of a few surviving demigods, these were individuals who had been cut off from the Aeonic Energies of the Nexus for so long that they almost exploded when they finally overcame their fear of discovery and themselves discovered what a little hero-worship could do for individuals with all the innate potential of their particular ancestry finally tapped into.

    Now the only arguments were over just how they were going to EARN that Hero-Worship. In the end it was a toss-up between 'Superheroes' and 'Rock Stars' but The Band figured they could SMITE EVIL even as the made beautiful music together and also that flamboyantly unlikely costumes worked for both professions if they decided to change their minds.

    So they fought to stave off their enemies and sang their hearts out to try driving them back into the void from whence they came (with help from their many, many groupies) - But they were killed off one-by-one and in the end The Abyssal decided to embark on his solo career.


    The Reel Thing Club - best described as a collection of Horror Movie fans who were so eager to make their own and so dedicated to COMPLETE authenticity that they were willing to summon up something rather more than special effects to make sure that they got the monsters JUST right.

    Unsurprisingly they had a bright future ahead of them on Earth-Cabal or at least they did before their greatest admirers ATE them.


    The Nocturnal Nation - Those in the Supernatural Community who couldn't laugh off the efforts of The Cabal one way or the other (either by dint of incredible power or Insanity) and were still Human enough to get organised, The Noctural Nation was a formidable attempt to organise an alternative to the Cabal and thereby take back the Night.

    All the better to prey on any poor sap caught out after sunset.


    The Fortean Investigation Department - also known as the 'Blasphemy Bureau' publicly charged with investigating the various things that went bump in the night and reducing them to understandable phenomena and NOT the most blatant manifestations of Cosmic Horror acquiring an ever-tighter grip on E-1023.

    Privately tasked with making sure that the Supernatural stayed hidden under the bed, to make sure the public was kept guessing and pointing the hypothetical 'torches and pitchforks' pointing at the Unknown, rather than the monsters known to be out there but better left an open secret than public knowledge.

    At least in the opinion of The Titans.


    Acquisition - More often called "The Acquisition" as in 'The Inquisition with sticky fingers' this particular facet of the Cabal was indubitably the most overt of their covert operations departments (unsurprisingly, given its mandate to take possession of any occult entities that could be captured alive - or at least a reasonably fresh sample).

    Notorious for its habit of never taking 'No' as a final answer, not to mention employing some of the more biddable specimens from the Cages (always sentient, usually those former-Humans at Peace with their monstrous nature and eager for some fresh air or those desperate to fight their dark side by using it to expel the ectoplasm out of the opposition WITH THEIR FISTS).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

      For the record I was seized all of a sudden to add elements to the background Earth-1023, to show that World was larger still than what we have seen thus far - even Grimmsbrook offers us only a snapshot of this World now reduced to memory and nothingness, so I though a brief eulogy for the Fallen (and the odd fandango on the graves of the Wicked) would not be inappropriate.

      If anything further occurs to me - and I suspect that it shall - one will be very pleased to post it in whichever thread seems most appropriate.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

        Age of Wonders?

        Sounds cool.

        Could you tell us about it?

        What's the world like?

        [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url]http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/[/url]
        [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

          Earth 1023 where the Cigarette Smoking Man was a good guy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

            Yay, it's back!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

              So saw Kingsman, loved it. Plenty of uses for any campaign.

              More movies should have fight scenes set to the music of KC & The Sunshine Band.

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              • #8
                Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                I too saw THE SECRET SERVICE as soon after it was released as was possible and thoroughly enjoyed it; one must admit that while I'm entirely satisfied with Mr Daniel Craig in the role of 007 it was nice to get a taste of the old day when Bond Movies weren't just Cool, they were Crazy Awesome! (Quite frankly the villains of this film in particular were light-years ahead of any in the last three Bond movies, so far as I am concerned - Mr White and 'Silva' did their best, but quite frankly they just didn't get the chance to SHINE ON as crazy, crazy diamonds).


                Earth 1023 where the Cigarette Smoking Man was a good guy.
                In his own mind certainly, in sober fact possibly.

                For the record though not every organisation on the 'Butcher's Bill' is genuinely Heroic (although I leave it up to you gentlemen to decide for yourselves which of them actually DESERVED to be eaten up by the Titans) and the Cabal's foot-soldiers tended to be morally-ambivilent at best for the very simple reason that the organisation based it's strategy of prolonging the suffering of E-1023 on Human Sacrifice (and not SELF-Sacrifice either).


                One little thing I wanted to add was that I essentially consider Earth-Cabal the 'Vertigo' (mixed with a little Dark Horse and not a little of The Old World of Darkness) of our Nexus and hope that I haven't gone too far overboard in trying to bring that out in my attempt to widen out it's background still further.

                I'm actually fairly confident that what REALLY got the wheels of my imagination spinning on this particular chore was your Charles' review of the Television version of Constantine and his remarks concerning some irritation at not being able to cipher out whether its setting was Vertigo or DC; it occurred to me to suggest that if one were to imagine it as mostly Vertigo with a healthy sprinkling of those DC characters who could best be moulded to fit into the rather bleaker worldview of it's sister-publications - it further occurred to me that this was a pretty fair concept for a setting in its own right (although I have to admit that my little article above is not really an expression of that concept).

                I shall have to throw it on the back-burner with my idea for a setting that answers the vexing question 'How does the World of the X-Men become the Galaxy of Star Trek?' (still working out the basics on that one!) and many another concept bubbling away in the underbelly of my imagination.


                What's the world like?
                Only one of many, for a start - AGE OF WONDERS takes place in a Multiverse known to its inhabitants as THE NEXUS and if one looks hard enough it is possible to find almost any kind of sub-setting one might care to ask for; looking for Classic Superheroes who are quite aware of how Old-School they are? (Earth-1938) want to find out what happens when WANTED goes head-to-head with WATCHMEN? (Earth-1986 holds the answer) Fancy taking a dive into 2000AD-type anarchy? (Enjoy your trip to Damnation City, but do try to avoid actually if you want to avoid trouble head somewhere else!) Hate superheroes? (Go hunting on E-92 where they actually DESERVE to be hounded!).

                These are just a few of the Worlds one may visit and even if you don't fancy rolling up yet ANOTHER Superhero game, then don't worry - Superheroes aren't the only ones moving and shaking the Nexus.


                Could you tell us about it?
                At length and in exhausting detail, in fact, but please do direct your attention to the old Atomic Think Tank, where you may find the entire Setting from its inception to date laid out in a far more interesting manner than I myself can command as you well know, YOU SCAMP!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                  Originally posted by Libra1010 View Post
                  Only one of many, for a start - AGE OF WONDERS takes place in a Multiverse known to its inhabitants as THE NEXUS and if one looks hard enough it is possible to find almost any kind of sub-setting one might care to ask for; looking for Classic Superheroes who are quite aware of how Old-School they are? (Earth-1938) want to find out what happens when WANTED goes head-to-head with WATCHMEN? (Earth-1986 holds the answer) Fancy taking a dive into 2000AD-type anarchy? (Enjoy your trip to Damnation City, but do try to avoid … actually if you want to avoid trouble head somewhere else!) Hate superheroes? (Go hunting on E-92 where they actually DESERVE to be hounded!).

                  These are just a few of the Worlds one may visit and even if you don't fancy rolling up yet ANOTHER Superhero game, then don't worry - Superheroes aren't the only ones moving and shaking the Nexus.
                  And let's not get even started who some of the heroes and villains in this setting.

                  When your signature hero team is an Authority knock-off led by The Punisher as played by Danny Trejo (with some Sam Vimes thrown in as well) and includes a anime/video game fanboy turned Martial Arts Superman, a Jack Kirby-esque demigod, and a Power Armored Knight from an inter-dimensional version of the British Empire that's basically Dan Dare and Gerry Anderson meets Code Geass, you know you got something special.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                    Well, that was an unexpected revival-picking up The Age of Wonders(which in a just universe would launch a series of successful comic book titles) with a posting about Earth-1023-perhaps the least detailed, briefest-lived parallel world of the four Atomic Think Tank threads devoted to the setting.

                    For those coming in late, Earth-1023 was a concept inspired by The Cabin In The Woods, a world corrupted and ruled by the Titans, primordial proto-Gods who demanded dread rituals and human sacrifices to keep them appeased and complacent. In the Earth-1023 parallel, the Titans (Atlas, Croesus, Surtur, Ravenna,and others) defeated the Greek Gods and other pantheons and perverted human civilization. The world was ultimately destroyed, but the circumstances behind its' obliteration loosed the Titans on the Multiverse, along with unleashing a contingent of monsters on the prime parallel of the Age of Wonders, causing a torrent of horrors in Europe, particularly Germany and Japan.

                    Now, if anyone wishes to speculate on individual heroes (or villains, or unique monsters) who might have survived Parallel-1023's demise, feel free with my blessing. As the originator of that particular concept, I would only ask adherence to the following parameters (unless anyone comes up with a good idea which needs to ignore them).

                    1. Non-evil monsters/supernatural beings were VERY rare-the monsters on Earth-1023 had been cultivated, bred, and imported from other parallels for the purpose of preying on humans. However, there may well have existed creatures such as Shelley's Frankenstein Monster (who committed atrocious acts but was ultimately repentant), the Larry Talbot or Paul Naschy Wolfman (heroic in human form, tried to steer the beast form in situations where the Wolf was unleashed against other monsters), or characters such as the protagonist from I, Zombie, tainted humans who resisted the urge to descend into fully monstrous conditions.

                    2.No true super-powered human beings; Stephen King-style psychic characters could exist, as well as occultists who chose to stand against the dark forces corrupting their world. Human survivors of the various supernatural predators could become Supernatural or Hack/Slash type Hunters.

                    3. Again, no four-color or even Post-Modern superheroes, but a Crow type figure who perished at the hands of evil only to return is possible.

                    4. Relatively normal supernatural-investigators are another possibility, though humans had relatively poor track records against monsters on Earth-1023.

                    5.There were Daemons and other monsters who opposed the Titans (though they could never stand up to them directly) and the government cabals which served them. Sometimes such creatures were relatively indifferent to humans, or at least willing to mostly co-exist while only preying on a few at a time.

                    Have a go at it if you wish.

                    All my best!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                      Greycrusader's Horror World is, along with the Fraternity of Supervillain's version of Wanted, one of the best adaptations (IMHO) of concept anthetical to superheroes to being REALLY fun.

                      I say the latter with total humility.

                      :-)
                      [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url]http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/[/url]
                      [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                        Grey Crusader, I am very glad that you have enjoyed my little Eulogy of E-1023 and I shall answer your own post on the topic when I am able to make the time (not to mention persuade the website to accept my posts on this thread!); should you yourself have any names listed in connection with Earth-Cabal then I shall be happy to do my best to develop upon them after I have posted my ideas relating to characters from long-neglected Damnation City tomorrow - also if anyone else has ideas for developing upon the organisations mentioned above or ideas of their own connected with E-1023 then please feel free to share them!


                        Now I would like to gently correct the assumption that this is an Unjust Universe; all across the Nexus there are books, comics, films and a multitude of other productions spanning every form of Media depicting the adventures and misadventures of those that call it Home - what follows is the merest representative sample of this diversity.

                        - VC Comics (alias Violent Century) Comics: A publication that began as an anthology title depicting Wars and Battles, particularly those of the Second World War (still-recent History then) but also others spanning the length of Military History before proceeding to take its readers into stranger places with the Histories of E-000, the long career of Justicar-0 (and fans remain divided by good-natured debate concerning whether or not the lifetime of the latter played out in the far distant past of the latter - consensus generally agrees that this is not the case, but the dispute continues to fascinate), as well as the much-respected Supercrime and Punishment (which very definitely takes place in the timeline of Justicar-0) which shows conventional Authorities doing battle against Villains without a single super-powered Hero to assist them.

                        They win more than they lose but only at the cost of emergency measures that cost the World the very system they fight to defend.


                        -Nightmare Comics: A publisher now defunct, but which was famous in its time for presenting Fairy Tales and Horror Stories drawn from out of the Darkness encompassing E-1023, but which has been defunct for some time now (although certain former artists and writers have formed up a new company to tell the tales that have begun to come to them, tales with much of the Horror and Magic formerly seen on Earth-Cabal but with an entirely different setting - the world of Monster Comics).


                        -Far Away Publications: Extremely popular for its accounts of Middle-Zoth, which one critic described as 'Combining the wit of Pratchett and the action-comedy of Rick Burlew into a delicious brew all its own' and for the even more popular accounts of Earth-17, all published as novels from a variety of hands but which share the command thread of the Fantastic (Classic and Post-Modern by turns).


                        -Sterling Studios: Masters of Old-School Superheroes made new with intelligent twists of surprising modernity, now as famous for their knack of picking out just the right hands to adapt their titles into a range of Multimedia as they are for consistently high standards of writing depicting the veterans of Earth-1938.


                        -The Constitution City Chronicles: An umbrella title invented to encompass an old movie sequel and a number of fondly-remembered TV shows from the middle of the 20th Century by fans who followed the connections between them to better understand the shared universe in which they seemed to take place.

                        Sadly no equivalent of the protagonists in these shows have yet been found by those who LIVE in the Nexus - not least because the Lord of the Abyss once known as The Magistrate takes great care to hide his tragic past history.


                        All these and far more than I can list - let's hope we're able to spread what we gather from our glimpses into The Nexus so that our own world can enjoy a little of what others are so lucky to enjoy in abundance!
                        Last edited by Libra1010; 02-25-2015, 02:48 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                          So what universes are those periodicals from again, Libra?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                            If I knew EXACTLY where they were published I would have already gone there to pick up copies of my favourite series, all the better to inspire my own writings!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Age of Wonders Excelsior!

                              For those coming in late, Earth-1023 was a concept inspired by The Cabin In The Woods, a world corrupted and ruled by the Titans, primordial proto-Gods who demanded dread rituals and human sacrifices to keep them appeased and complacent. In the Earth-1023 parallel, the Titans (Atlas, Croesus, Surtur, Ravenna,and others) defeated the Greek Gods and other pantheons and perverted human civilization.
                              Grey Crusader, if I might be permitted to make a bid for a no-prize the considerable differences between the conception of Titans in the original Earth-Cabal (as the Villains from Mythology somehow victorious) and the more detailed description of them given in later articles as the setting was developed (turning them into the bastard progeny of some particularly vicious hate-sex involving Thanos and a Great Old One of undetermined identity) might best be explained by hinting that there were TWO sets of Titans.

                              One, the actual NATIVES of E-1023, were the likes of Cronus and Ravanna, who in this parallel at least managed to hold their own against the demigods belonging to those Pantheons which have attracted such enthusiastic fan clubs over the course of Human History for long enough that their struggles attracted the attention of Powers far more Ancient and even more Inhuman - Powers that whispered into the nightmares of defeat that gripped so many of the Titans as their young advanced against them.

                              Whispered of power to not merely defeat those that sought to dispossess them, but utterly lay them to waste - whispered of long ages of Human Worship and the delights of an entire Creation stretched out before them as their gaming board, of all the peoples across all the World becoming their playthings and their slaves - whispered of the consequences that would follow a refusal, of something far worse than even the Nightmares of beings whom even Demigods went in dread of.

                              The Titans accepted without demur, the Demigods of Ancient Times were devoured, the World now belonged to the Pact between the Titans and those other things that had empowered them, Humanity was prostrated before them in veneration and in terror, things were DEFINITELY not going according to the script one can read in any mythological primer - then the Things ATE the Titans whom they had used as proxies (all the better to cover their tracks and throw any Aeons off their scent), proceeded to adopt the name TITAN as their own and in the fullness of time contracted a very nice arrangement with the local Humans.

                              Amuse us and YOU get to pick the sacrifices; don't fail in this trust, don't fail ever at all or we will RISE and your World will fall.

                              In theory Humanity MIGHT have been able to drive those now known as The Titans away; other Worlds had done so already, having decided their sacrifices would DENY these Things rather than placate them into dormancy, but quite frankly Earth-1023 had already taken serious gouges into its collective consciousness and were unhappily ignorant of the possibilities open to them by dint of the fact that The Titans had already severed all connections between E-1023 and the wider Nexus (as they intended to turn this parallel into a hiding hole and a breeding ground and an arsenal for their kind).

                              Ignorant, outgunned, hopeless those who knew enough of the Titans to communicate with them made a hard choice - two hard choices in fact; first that they would pay the blood-price to keep the Elder Things as dormant as possible and second that Humanity would NEVER know what would be done in its name. The logic of the first choice may be questioned, the common sense of the latter cannot.

                              Had Humanity on E-1023 known the Power of the Titans early enough in its existence, without any hope of external intervention as the connections healed only at a geological pace, it would have been hopelessly corrupted by it - instead Reason, not Ritual remained the preferred tool even of the Cabal itself (all the better to retain at least a measure of Independence, so they might call the Titans creditors and not Masters) and Science grew from a multitude of bright sparks into an engine of progress, much as it did on Our World.

                              To cut a long story short, there were TWO sets of Titans and one of them stole everything the other had, committing murder in the process - perhaps the bandmates comprising Music of the Spheres descended not from The Demigods, but from those Titans who were native to E-1023 and less than enthusiastic about turning it into something with a little from EVERY Horror Movie?

                              1. Non-evil monsters/supernatural beings were VERY rare-the monsters on Earth-1023 had been cultivated, bred, and imported from other parallels for the purpose of preying on humans. However, there may well have existed creatures such as Shelley's Frankenstein Monster (who committed atrocious acts but was ultimately repentant), the Larry Talbot or Paul Naschy Wolfman (heroic in human form, tried to steer the beast form in situations where the Wolf was unleashed against other monsters), or characters such as the protagonist from I, Zombie, tainted humans who resisted the urge to descend into fully monstrous conditions.
                              I would actually appreciate Charles weighing in on this; I love Grimmsbrooke, his own personal addition to the E-1023 mythos, but that place is FULL of non-Evil supernatural beings from Earth Cabal. Perhaps Grimmsbrooke is simply a redoubt of non-Evil Supernaturals turned into a reservation for the kind by The Cabal - as a strategic reserve to be tapped in the event that, well that events similar to those depicted in THE CABIN IN THE WOODS played out.

                              Either that or just to tick off the Nocturnal Nation by protecting the survivors of its purges!


                              2.No true super-powered human beings; Stephen King-style psychic characters could exist, as well as occultists who chose to stand against the dark forces corrupting their world. Human survivors of the various supernatural predators could become Supernatural or Hack/Slash type Hunters.
                              The only way to acquire Supernatural Powers on E-1023 was to either make a Deal with the Titans or fall afoul of one of their nastier Running Jokes (known as CURSES to we humourless humans); in either case one would pay a hefty forfeit as the price of power - one WOULD become monstrous either in body or in soul or simply turn into a monster outright (if only for the duration of the Full Moon).

                              The Power of Science was just potent enough to defeat and contain those so empowered (hence the Cabal's continued employment of that particular tool), but never quite powerful enough to BREAK the power in those that chose to become far more than merely the Agents of the Titans (thereby becoming the brightest Stars in their horrible firmament); Powers older still than The Titans and more deeply-woven into the Fabric of Creation existed, but knowledge of them was carefully suppressed until in most cases it existed only somewhere in the hearts and minds of Humankind - somewhere too deep and too luminous for the Titans to dare stretch their smothering tendrils into.


                              3. Again, no four-color or even Post-Modern superheroes, but a Crow type figure who perished at the hands of evil only to return is possible.
                              As I understand such figures existed where an individual was doomed to become part of the workings of a Mighty Doom by choosing to embrace it (free choice or no), but strong enough in spirit and in mind to become part of the Cure rather than the Curse; one of the most noted examples of this sort of figure was THE ANGEL OF DEVIL'S NIGHT, an uncanny and terrifying figure who appeared only once a year but often made a towering impact despite the infinitesimal time he had to make it.


                              4. Relatively normal supernatural-investigators are another possibility, though humans had relatively poor track records against monsters on Earth-1023.
                              Heroes on Earth-1023 would always be Survivors, not Saviours.

                              The monsters were bad, but the Slashers were worse; the monsters were pets to the Titans, but the Slashers were proteges and matinee idols in one to their masters; quite frankly The Titans cursed near bent the Laws of Causality backwards, back-to-front and into corkscrew loops - all the better to enjoy their favourite thrills again and again and again and again and again and again until the World's End.

                              But then even that didn't stop these Hacks; they just followed the trail leading back to a new one.


                              5.There were Daemons and other monsters who opposed the Titans (though they could never stand up to them directly) and the government cabals which served them.
                              Most of them constituted the Nocturnal Nation, which was to The Cabal what The Traditions were to The Technocracy - but much, MUCH less sympathetic; even to compare them to the Camarilla might be too generous and comparing them to the Garou Nation would be an INSULT to the latter quite fit to inspire RAGE in a Child of Gaia Ragabash at a Peace Party.

                              On the other hand at least they never pretended to be anything but what they were; Monsters who refused to be used as attack dogs (even as they remained parasites on the body of Humanity or worse yet Predators).


                              Thank you again Grey Crusader for posting these hints and tips on character creation for E-1023; I shall try to make the best possible use of them when my attention wanders back this way once more!

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