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Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

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  • Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

    Welcome to Phoenix Bay, City of Tomorrow and Pearl of the Golden Gate. The 4th-largest city in the United States with a population of some 3 million, it forms the heart of the greater Bay Area in California and was a nexus of superhuman activity. Located at the crossroads of East and West, high technology and culture, selfless heroism and ruthless villainy, this city's dazzling present is mirrored by its riotous and sometimes bloody past.

    The city has risen from the ashes more than once. But its gravest challenge would come in the 21st century when a massive alien invasion nearly razed the city to the ground. The invaders were as mysterious as they were silent, wielded science and sorcery alike, accepted no parley and took no prisoners. Most of the capes gave their lives to defend its people in the city's darkest hour. The few surviving heroes launched a desperate suicide attack on the alien mothership, destroying its power core and ending the Invasion. The aliens, who came to be known only as the Armada, were never seen again. Till this day the reasons for the invasion and why only Phoenix Bay was attacked remain a mystery.

    One year later the wrecked Mothership down by Lakeside is a tourist trap and a captured starfighter is the city museum's hottest exhibit. Business as usual has returned to the financial towers of the Glass Canyon and high-tech corporations buzz with activity around the Feynman-Yamaguchi Reactor. But not all is well and across the city, empty hero bases lie darkened and forgotten while gangs battle for dominance in the streets above. The old city centered on King's Junction is now the hideout for many a criminal mastermind. Smugglers and drug-runners take root in the docks of Liberty Port. The city's power-hungry mayor, Mr. Reginald P. Cooper, seeks to consolidate his influence. Lord Steel, a world-conquering tyrant from the future, has traveled back in time to terminate the leaders of the future resistance against his rule. All that stand between them and the innocents of Phoenix Bay are a generation of young heroes who have banded together to fight both new foes and old conspiracies. Now the city's greatest stories are about to be told and proudly again the Phoenix sings:


    Adventures Assemble! IC/OOC

    Phoenix Bay Neighborhoods
    Angel Square
    Deep Six
    Flagship Island
    Glitter Falls
    King's Junction
    Glass Canyon
    Liberty Port
    Mothership Lake
    The Roost
    Silicon Alley
    Whatley's Folly

    Beyond the Bay
    The Planet Oziri

    History of the City
    1700-1848: Early Beginnings
    1848-1906: From Gold Rush to Gilded Age
    1906-1916: By Fire Reborn
    1916-1937: Dawn of the Heroic Age
    1936-1945: The Burning of the Bay
    1946-1960: A Colder War
    1961-1974: The Sixties
    Last edited by Ysariel; 17th January 2018, 02:05 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Adventures Assemble!

    Kings' Junction


    King's Junction is the old industrial district of the city, located just north of the Harborfront and the city's glittering downtown heart. The area is a maze of rusting smokestacks, corroding pipes, abandoned warehouses and dilapidated factories, some of which have not been used for decades. The city's original power plant, long since rendered obsolete by the Feynman-Yamaguchi Reactor, is located here as well, a mass of crumbling transmission towers long since looted for copper scrap. At night, sparse orange light from sodium lamps illuminate broken windows and empty streets. Few live in the area and fewer would brave it in the dark.

    The area's confusing layout and forest of decaying architecture make it an easy hideout for villains. For this reason King's Junction has long had a crime problem and was witness to several titanic clashes between heroes and their super-powered foes. A few memorials to the most famous battles, now heavily vandalized, still stand. Some heroes built their secret bases in the area as a deterrent and to reassure residents of nearby communities. Today the old hero bases lie abandoned, their owners perished in the Invasion.


    Kings' Junction was once the city's manufacturing district, dating back to the 19th century and situated here for its proximity to the city's old port (now the Waterfront). In its heyday legions of blue-collar workers operated factories that poured out a constant stream of goods and materials to the world. The businessmen who built their commercial empires here grew so powerful and so influential over local politics that some locals referred to them not merely as 'robber barons' but as 'the robber kings'. This area was then called 'Kings' Junction'.

    The reign of the 'kings' came to a sudden end as the Great Depression hit. Factories closed and unemployment soared, and brothels and gambling houses set up shop. Smugglers and drug-runners used the complicated warrens of narrow alleys to evade law enforcement. During this time area acquired a stigma that it never quite shook off. By the time World War II arrived, the inadequacies of the old port at the Waterfront were acknowledged. Industry and shipping had already shifted to larger, deeper Liberty Port to the south and Kings' Junction never recovered.

    Despite proximity to the city center, toxic pollution prevents the area from being used for residential development and the neighborhood's unsavory reputation discourages investment. While some factories and warehouses still operate, today Phoenix Bay's corridors of power are elsewhere, in the high-tech industrial park of Silicon Alley and the financial district centered along Glass Canyon, and this neighborhood's old name is all that's left of its glory.

    Current Situation

    Crime rates rose sharply in the aftermath of the Invasion as organized crime took advantage of the lack of active heroes to move into the area, utilizing it as a base for attacks on more affluent parts of the city. With police resources stretched to their limit, the Honorable Mr. Reginald P. Cooper, Mayor of the city, has called for a New Initiative against Crime and Evil (NICE) to strengthen law enforcement's ability to patrol the area effectively.

    Street crime has fallen sharply since the hero Nightbird began making rounds in the area, however the more organized operations of smugglers and drug-runners persist.
    Last edited by Ysariel; 5th July 2016, 06:47 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Adventures Assemble!

      Glass Canyon


      Glass Canyon is a 0.8-mile-long street running east to west, bordered by the Harborfront and the Pacific Ocean on the west and City Hall on the east. It is the heart of Phoenix Bay's financial district and is lined on both sides by towering glass-and-steel skyscrapers that define the city skyline and give the area its name. The headquarters of major banks and investment firms flank the tree-lined avenue and its spotless sidewalks and landscaped gardens. Interspersed among them are a number of hotels catering to traveling executives, as well as a small but renowned luxury retail presence. A strict ban on signage above a certain height in the city ordinances maintains the street's clean, professional look. From City Hall at one end, it is possible to look all the way down Glass Canyon to the waters of the Pacific Ocean at the other.

      While brightly-lit and safe, Glass Canyon has borne witness to the occasional spectacular airborne battle or rooftop chase along the length of the 'canyon'. During the day, men and women in smart business suits talk shop in the shade or sip expensive coffee at posh open-air bistros, while sunlight glitters off the mirror-like faces of modern skyscrapers high above. Things quieten down after dark as most of the office workers leave for home, but there is activity at all hours.


      Once called Heritage Street, Glass Canyon is situated around the oldest core of the city center and was once home to numerous historic buildings. For most of the city's history this street housed major governmental buildings as well as the homes of the wealthy and powerful.

      Throughout the 1970's the city's economy suffered greatly as American manufacturing and heavy industry took a hit. Citizens fled the decaying city center for suburbs in the heights above Glitter Falls as the area became a seedy symbol of Phoenix Bay's decline. The desperate and gritty conditions of the area inspired a generation of costumed heroes to fight back against crime and most of Phoenix Bay's great hero legacies date back to this era. However, the prime beneficiary was one Mr. Reginald P. Cooper, future mayor of the city.

      Voted in on a platform of economic revitalization, Mayor Cooper made the controversial decision to raze the historic townhouses for new development. Generous tax incentives and a friendly local government attracted major financial institutions to the area. Cooper claimed credit for the fall in crime rates that the heroes risked their lives for, and the job opportunities and investment that the new tenants brought allowed him to quash the outrage at the destruction of the city's heritage.

      One after the other, glittering skyscrapers of glass and steel rose along the avenue and gave it its contemporary name. By the 1990's the street had been turned into the clean, modern financial hub that it is today.

      Current Situation

      Glass Canyon's bright appearance hides dark secrets and its origins are far less transparent than its name suggests. Here, crime takes the form of financial espionage and insider trading instead of muggings and robbery. Rumors abound that the contracts for the area's development were awarded to flunkies and cronies of Cooper and that he is involved in millions of dollars worth of corruption. Even wilder rumors suggest that something important, something Cooper wanted to keep secret from the light of day, was destroyed along with the century-old buildings (including the old City Hall) that used to stand here. It will take a hero with incredible detective skills to navigate the maze of conspiracy that surrounds Mayor Cooper and the foundations of the Glass Canyon.
      Last edited by Ysariel; 5th July 2016, 04:20 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Adventures Assemble!

        Mothership Lake


        Located at the geographic center of the city, Mothership Lake sits close to the Santa Barbara river that flows through Phoenix Bay. This approximately comet-shaped lake and the surrounding woods and creeks are a nature lover's haven, attracting recreational boaters, water sports enthusiasts, anglers, hikers and more. The city has constructed boardwalks and a extensive city park hugging the water's edge.

        At one end of the lake, a corner of the tetrahedral Mothership's iridiscent blue hull sticks out of the water to a height of 200 ft. Next to it is the Invasion Museum, chronicling the story of the alien attack. There is a section of the ship's interior open to the public as well as a memorial to all the heroes who died to bring the ship down.


        The area that is Mothership Lake today was once home to several large parks and nature reserves, the green lung of the city. On the day of the Invasion, the heroes launching a desperate suicide attack on the Armada Mothership chose to bring the ship down here. The titanic impact wiped out the park, creating 6.7 square miles of freshwater lake fed by Placer Creek, a tributary of the San Barbara river.

        After the Invasion, the military stripped the ship of any technology of interest, but the hull was judged impractical to move. The city government restored the area, constructing a city park surrounding the lake and various amenities.

        Current Situation

        The lake has attracted attention from more than just boaters and hikers. Criminals and the occasional supervillain are not above attacking the ship and the museum, hoping to find alien artifacts that the authorities have missed. Like the prospectors of the Gold Rush years, adventurous citizens comb the forest and creeks hoping to find some bit of alien technology dislodged from the ship. Despite the best efforts of law enforcement there is a thriving black market in "Armada stuff".

        Many curious phenomena have been reported in conjunction with the lake. Strange creatures have been sighted in the lake or emerging from it, including a series of photographs that some say portray a giant grasping tentacle rising from the water. Others claim to have observed strange lights flashing from beneath the water surface. The crashed Mothership itself has a presence that many visitors find "unsettling" and which popular legend credits to the ghosts of heroes who died aboard. Sneaking into the Invasion Museum at night or skinny dipping in the lake (swimming is prohibited) is a popular dare among the city youth.

        Recently, environmental scientists have reported unusual levels of radiation in the lakewater and have called for further study while emphasizing there is no danger to public health.
        Last edited by Ysariel; 12th September 2016, 02:57 AM.


        • #5
          Re: Adventures Assemble!

          Silicon Alley


          Formerly known as Northeast High Technology Park, Silicon Alley lies to the east of the Feynman-Yamaguchi Antimatter Reactor. Despite the name, Silicon "Alley" is not a single street but a large area of gentle, rolling hills -- once home to orchards and vineyards -- dotted with the campuses of high-powered technology companies. It sprawls all the way to the city bounds and is surrounded on all sides by expensive real estate that houses the technical and design staff of the corporations here. Here there are few high-rises but plenty of buildings with exotic, futuristic design straight out of a science fiction novel, interspersed with lush, flawlessly landscaped gardens. Neighborhoods in the area have quirky names that pun on computer science and technology, such as Dangling Point, Infinite Loop, Iteration Drive, etc. Delivery drones flit through the area on errands and self-driving cars ferry sleep-deprived engineers to work.


          Phoenix Bay has always been home to a strong entrepreneurial spirit and with the completion of the Feynman-Yamaguchi Antimatter Reactor in the 80's, it was only a matter of time before high technology companies started popping up, fueled by a generous tax environment, cheap, plentiful energy, and a robust superhero presence. At the peak of the first tech boom in 1998, Iteration Drive -- the main trunk road through the region -- was the highest-priced real estate in the world due to the concentration of tech companies headquartered along the road. This area was then called "Silicon Alley" in contrast to the larger Silicon Valley area to the south. While the area was always a prime target for supercriminals given the exotic technology it held, the citizens here had a close relationship with their protectors and the area was home to the strongest superhero presence in Pre-Invasion days.

          The bursting of the dot-com bubble hit the area hard and many promising internet companies went bankrupt. However, the lure of the reactor was impossible to resist and over the next decade, unconventional and cutting-edge startups moved into the vacated premises to take advantage of cheap energy and a highly knowledgeable workforce. This had a lasting effect on the techie culture of the city and the makeup of Phoenix Bay's tech industry. Today, while the San Fransisco Bay area draws companies from the mainstream consumer/enterprise market whose breakthroughs are mainly in software and internet services, Silicon Alley is home to corporations pushing the frontiers of science and engineering in exotic varied fields. Some of the major companies headquartered in the area include:
          • Future Dynamics (robotics)
          • Stellarium (aerospace)
          • Atomicon (exotic physics, nuclear technology)
          • Innogene Inc. (biotech, cybernetics)
          • Amethyst Tech (AI, electronics)
          • General Arms Systems (defense)
          • Picobot (nanotech)
          • Sysco Technologies (chemicals, materials science)

          Current Situation

          Silicon Alley was severely damaged during the Invasion as the Mothership's initial path of attack passed over the area. Companies suffered billions of dollars in damage, and memorials to employees and co-workers killed in the event were commonplace for months later. Lingering anti-alien sentiment from the event remains a year later, as seen by the anti-alien riot directed at local hero Grotesk, and has only began to die out with the Media Blitz incident. The destruction of the city's heroes has also led to a resurgence of supervillain activity, with criminals from across the States converging on the area to plunder its high-tech treasures.

          The situation has only just began to recover as the Invasion has fueled a third tech boom based on interest in space exploration, alien technology, and defense. Security has improved with the arrival of the alien hero Grotesk, who works as a freelance security contractor and has been hired by Amethyst Tech. The company's CEO has herself joined the city's heroes. Attacks have dropped due to the deterrent effect and a number of other corporations have said they are looking to hire super-powered security agents as well. However, as researchers in the region delve into the Armada's secrets, some speculate this is merely a temporary reprieve as criminals adjust their methods.


          • #6
            Re: Adventures Assemble!


            Planetary Overview:

            Located in the Alpha Centauri system, Oziri is the fourth planet in orbit of Alpha Centauri A. It is similar to size and mass to earth, and has both abundant oceans and a breathable atmosphere. However, Oziri is more twin to Mars than Earth, a desert world dominated by dry, sandy plains, naked rocky mountains and stark ice, the result of a massive ecological disaster in the planet's past from which it is still slowly recovering from. Oziri is also considerably colder than earth, that while survivable, are still too close to sub-arctic conditions for human comfort.

            Ozirian plant life is largely fungal in nature, from several varieties of edible moss to mushrooms-like "trees and bushes"

            finally, there is the "ghost fog", a perpetual thin-to thick white-to-gray mist that provides a maximum visibility of 1,500 metres on average, composed not of water vapor, but tiny nanomachines.


            the dominant native life form, Ozirians are able to pass for humans, although they have a far wider range of eye and hair color. the main major difference is that their bodies are infused with nanotechnology, allowing them to survive comfortably despite Oziri's inhospitable conditions. the nanotech within Ozirian nobles is so advanced as to grant them super-powers. but all Ozirians possess what they refer to as a 'familiar', a free-floating holographic construct that acts as combination pet and personal digital assistant. in the past 30 years, the Ozirians have been interbreeding with another alien race, the Vorlick, who are taller and stronger than humans, and are blue-skinned.

            Oziri culture is feudal, often resembling the cultures seen in the Planetary Romance genre, and the popular conception of ancient Egypt, where the nobility are regarded as living gods by their subjects, their arcology-palaces resemble futuristic pyramids, and, due to their nanotech, the general population are half-naked.

            it is from these pyramids, or 'star tombs', that the Ozirians survived the cataclysm that befell their world. not only as a people, but in preserving what they could of their native ecology. as such, Ozirian city-states are jeweled oases in the frigid deserts, focussed on reclaiming and restoring their world


            in addition to their enhanced physiques and star tombs, Ozirians possesses many of the standard galactic technologies: FTL starships, ship to surface teleportation, energy weapons, robots and the like, often incorporating advanced nanotech best described as 'smart matter', capable of self repair or melding with other smart matter objects. however advanced this technology is, however, it has stagnated in the centuries since the cataclysm.

            Ozirian technology continues the 'Space Egypt' motif, with robots and vehicles designed in effigy of the wildlife, while major starships resemble flying pyramids.


            As mentioned, Ozirian culture is feudal, the noble families of each city state organized under a "System Lord", who are in turn united under a planetary king.

            at least, that is how it is supposed to work. the truth is that Ozirian nobility are generally decadent and self-obsessed, constantly plotting and scheming against one another to increase their standing, such that traditionally, the planetary king has been a succession of tyrants those who best played the game of thrones. that is, until recently...

            Recent history

            the current ruler of Oziri is King Kron The Usurper, an alien slave and gladiator turned barbarian and pirate. Kron came to Oziri at the head of an army of escaped slaves, hoping to find his fellow Vorlick a new home to live in freedom. And Oziri was to be that home, after Kron had fallen in love with the Ozirian princess Mazra and overthrown her despotic father, King Rakos, who'd sought to make the Vorlick his slaves as he had attempted with the people of earth several times in the past.

            Kron has ruled his people wisely, directing their attention outward and towards not only reclaiming Oziri's deserts, but to take steps back out among the stars and escape their millennia long reputation as "space flyover country". to this end, Kron his sent Qora, one of his daughters, to Earth, that Great Crossroads of the space boonies, thinking she would join with his old rivals, the Justice Foundation (Kron is unaware of their deaths saving Earth from The Armada). Since Qora's departure, other Ozirian nobles have turned their eye to earth for their own purposes...
            Last edited by Kreuzritter; 28th November 2016, 05:36 AM.


            • #7
              Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

              History of Phoenix Bay

              Welcome to Phoenix Bay, City of Tomorrow and Pearl of the Golden Gate. The 4th-largest city in the United States with a population of some 3 million, it forms the heart of the greater Bay Area in California and was a nexus of superhuman activity. Located at the crossroads of East and West, high technology and culture, selfless heroism and ruthless villiany, this city's dazzling present is mirrored by its riotous and sometimes bloody past.

              1700-1848: Pre-Gold Rush Days
              Early Beginnings

              The city that became Phoenix Bay grew out of a small fort and religious mission founded by Spanish explorers in the late 1700's. They chose a location at the mouth of what is now the Santa Barbara river, within a protected bay divided roughly in two by a raised spur of rock that jutted out into the sea now known as The Roost. Abundant food, a sheltered port and the security provided by the nearby Spanish presidio led to the growth of a successful fishing village along the shores of Northbay, where the river fed into the Pacific Ocean. The less-populated Southbay would not be settled until much later.

              In 1846, the U.S. Navy steamed in to seize control of the port during the Mexican-American war. Commodore Robert F. Stockton sailed in with his squadron of ships, taking control without bloodshed and surveying the area. On the day of his arrival he and his men climbed to the top of the Roost, the highest point in the city. It was late afternoon, when the sun was low in the sky and the seas calm. Before him lay the vast expanse of Northbay and Southbay, set aflame by the sun's golden light, like the two fiery wings of a great Phoenix. Awed by the sight, Stockton named the port "the Phoenix's Bay", a name that soon caught on with his men -- and the world.
              Last edited by Ysariel; 1st April 2017, 10:07 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                1848-1906: Mid-19th century onward
                From Gold Rush to Gilded Age

                "Gold! Gold!" rang the exultant cry, and the world answered. It was 1848, and countless thousands poured into California in search of gold. Overnight, the sleepy coastal town turned into the beginnings of a bustling metropolis, where the sounds of construction rang out day and night and men combed the mountain slopes for gold. Sailors would desert their ships and strip the vessels down to build dwellings, which were then built around or above the abandoned hulls. The city grew outwards onto the water even as it expanded inland, and eventually some of those wrecks were buried underground, beneath the Harborfront where they remain till this day.

                Prospectors of every nationality and race and religion came, and in their footsteps came even more people, businessmen and bankers and entrepreneurs to supply them with goods and services. In those turbulent early days the authorities were overwhelmed by the huge influx of people. Violence often broke out due to squabbles over placing rights or accusations of theft, and racial tensions ran high, especially between the large number of immigrant Chinese and the Californians. To preserve law and order, groups of well-meaning citizens, often led by a respected local citizen, would form up to protect their neighborhood. Some merely broke up fights and settled disputes, while others went as far as lynching suspected criminals. While these "Vigilance Committees" had little in common with today's brightly-clad, colorful heroes, they set a tradition of vigilante justice in the city and the wider United States.

                Many small towns popped up surrounding the bay proper as people fanned out in search of gold. They were eventually annexed by the city of Phoenix Bay as it grew, but their legacy remains in the names they bestowed upon its neighborhoods: Placer's Folly, Rough and Ready, Boomtown, Fool's Gold, and more. Few of the prospectors ever found gold and these towns, lacking any real economy, soon became havens for gambling, prostitution and crime. Among the worst was the town jokingly named "Millstone" -- for the mill on its main street and the fact that it was only a "stone's" throw away from Phoenix Bay. The locals named it the Grinder, for it ground up people and spat them out, crushing dreams and hopes. The city tried renaming it Milestone, but the old name stuck. Every city has a bad part of town and even today this is Phoenix Bay's dark bowel of crime, a place where heroes aren't welcome.

                As the Gold Rush waned throughout the 1850's the would-be prospectors turned to other avenues of wealth. Orchards and farms sprawled over the city's east and south. Factories sprang up surrounding the city center at Northbay. Rail links connected Phoenix Bay with the rest of the nation. Hardly touched by the Civil War, the city entered a phase of massive expansion and truly grew into a major metropolis. The American military had opened up Japan to trade in the 1850's and commerce with China grew rapidly through the rest of the century. Phoenix Bay became the gateway to the Pacific, receiving raw materials from all over the Orient and pouring out manufactured goods to Asia and the States.

                The city's industrialists profited enormously from the growth in trade, and grew to dominate politics with their immense wealth. The entire city government was thoroughly corrupt and all were being bribed by one faction or another. Openly jockeying for local and national power, the captains of industry were called not merely the "Robber Barons" but "Robber Kings" by the working class, and their dominion, the industrial core just north of the old harbor, became known as King's Junction.

                By the end of the 19th century Phoenix Bay was an overcrowded, polluted mess. The Santa Barbara river had become an open sewer where factories emptied untreated waste into water poisoned by mining. Thousands lived in overcrowded, unhygienic city streets laid down with little planning in the heady Gold Rush days. The skies over King's Junction were filled with smog. Yet the city was also a place of technological innovation and creativity, as engineers pioneered new manufacturing methods in the factories and electric lighting lit up the night sky. Cultures from all over the world blended and clashed to produce new ideas in art, music and poetry. Phoenix Bay had become one of the most cosmopolitan cities of its age with immigrants from every corner of the world. Nobody knew it then, but those turbulent early days of heady optimism, soaring ambition, seedy corruption, vibrant creativity, and occasionally violent conflict would come to define the character of the city for the next century and beyond.
                Last edited by Ysariel; 1st April 2017, 10:07 AM.


                • #9
                  Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                  1906-1916: Early 20th century
                  By Fire Reborn

                  On April 18, 1906, a tremendous earthquake struck North California. Phoenix Bay was located largely on solid bedrock and should have been spared massive destruction. But the Harborfront, old Port and city center, all built on land that had once been below sea level and raised by loose soil washed down the river by decades of mining, were wrecked as the silt liquified under enormous pressure. Hundreds died in the cramped and crowded streets where rescuers could not reach them. Worse, ruptured gas and electric mains burst into flame, and fire destroyed what the earthquake had spared. The fire department attempted to dynamite buildings to create fire breaks, only to cause more fires themselves, and some set aflame their own property to claim insurance money on policies that did not pay for earthquake damage. Thousands died in one of the U.S.'s worst natural disasters.
                  Phoenix Bay was immolated on the pyre of its own wild, rapid ascent.

                  It rose from the ashes almost as quickly. Almost immediately people gathered by fountains, hospitals, and other public spaces to help each other look for missing loved ones. Banks, investment firms, wealthy citizens and more donated to clothe and feed the homeless and get them back on their feet. Legends tell of a white-clad Specter who confronted looters and sent them running, convinced he was the spirit of those who died in the quake. He is now thought to have been Phoenix Bay's first costumed hero, but his identity was never discovered. A French physician named Bernard Clairvaux who happened to be traveling through the city at the time stepped up to help, organizing those with medical experience and setting up an impromptu hospital in the Museum of Natural History. He fell in love with a nurse, settled in the city, and would go on to found the Bernard Clairvaux Medical Center that stands till this day.

                  Strict new building codes were passed and ambitious plans drawn up, and the sound of hammering and drilling started up again as the city rebuilt. The new plans called for a large public park in the city center, wide tree-lined avenues with electric lighting, public squares, fountains and more. Money and supplies poured in from New York, London, Los Angeles and all over the world as news of the disaster spread, but it was not enough. The city needed money from the Eastern United States to rebuild. One by one, the financial elite of the East Coast were convinced to invest in the city's reconstruction by the city fathers. These wealthy, called "Angels" by the locals for their aid, were honored with large marble busts in the public square at the heart of the new city park, which then came to be called "Angel Square". However, not all residents welcomed their being indebted to old money from the East, and indeed, conspiracy theories would sprout in the years after, claiming that the fires in the wake of the quake were an Eastern plot to seize control of the city government and destroy the power of the Kings they so envied.

                  Southbay, which had been relatively undeveloped until now, grew to become part of the bustling metropolis as shelters and tent cities sprang up there and eventually grew into new neighborhoods. The wealthy moved southward to what is now Glitter Falls, by the base of the Roost: buying unclaimed land let them start rebuilding faster than waiting for the wreckage of their mansions to be bulldozed. This neighborhood soon became the most exclusive and upscale in the city, home to many of its luminaries.

                  Not everyone moved, however. King's Junction recovered relatively quickly. Chinatown was almost utterly destroyed, but the Chinese Chamber of Commerce successfully resisted pressure to move the Chinese enclave to the city edge, and remained in place near the old port. A new Harborfront was built, designed to be more friendly to foot traffic; it would grow into the famous tourist attraction and cultural center that it is today. Mayor William Whatley boasted that the new Harborfront would prevent the seedy neighborhoods that surrounded the old port from sprouting up again. His bombastic claims were soon proven false. As respectable businesses moved west to the Harborfront or south to the wealthy in Glitter Falls, the area between the Harborfront and Chinatown was soon populated by seedier establishments and once again became the city's unofficial red light district, servicing a constant stream of sailors and the lower classes. The stage was set for the gang wars and organized crime of later decades during which it would earn its moniker of "Whatley's Folly".

                  The quake was to change Phoenix Bay's destiny. San Francisco, the largest city in the American West until then, was completely destroyed in the quake and never recovered. This diverted shipping east to Phoenix Bay and south to Los Angeles. Many San Franciscans moved to Phoenix Bay in the aftermath, which soon replaced San Francisco as the gateway to the Pacific and the cultural and financial capital of the state.

                  By 1916 the rebuilding was complete. Phoenix Bay had died and rose from its ashes. The indomitable spirit of its citizens was remarked upon by many who witnessed the events of the quake. As the city grew higher and greater than ever, the people of Phoenix Bay were certain they had prevailed over the city's darkest hour.

                  They were wrong.
                  Last edited by Ysariel; 1st April 2017, 10:08 AM.


                  • #10
                    Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                    1916-1937: Prohibition & Depression
                    Dawn of the Heroic Age

                    The Roaring Twenties were an age of prosperity as Phoenix Bay had never seen. The television, automobile, airplane and silent film crept into everyday life. A new breed of fashionable, financially independent woman was born, shedding the corset for slinky dresses, while jazz dominated the music scene and Art Deco was soon to blossom in streamlined glory. The wealthy competed to throw the most extravagant, glitzy parties in palatial residences at Glitter Falls. Down by the harbor, sailors and the working class thronged cabarets and dance halls, looking for female companionship and ribald, noisy entertainment. Brothels, opium dens, gambling halls and all manner of sleazy establishments flourished by the waterfront neighborhoods. Soon they would be turned into a bloody battleground, thanks to a daring young man called Antonio Falcone.

                    Falcone arrived in Phoenix Bay in 1916 as the capo of one of New York's minor Mafia clans, harboring grand ambitions like so many who came to the City of Tomorrow. Forced out of New York by a feud with rival Mafia families, he hoped to find new business opportunities to increase his power base. What he found in 1920 instead was the opportunity of a lifetime. The profits from selling illegal liquor vastly exceeded those from gambling, racketeering, prostitution and other "traditional" kinds of organized crime and the Chinese gangs, or "Tongs", that had controlled local crime were embroiled in internal rivalries and slow to take advantage. This left a golden opportunity to upset the balance of power in Phoenix Bay's underworld which Falcone seized at once.

                    Falcone was no ordinary gangster. He had only a small cadre of loyal men, but he was cunning, charismatic, ruthless and methodical. He established a network of speakeasies in the area sandwiched between the Harborside and Chinatown, gaining considerable influence over a large voter base and allowing him to infiltrate the powerful labor unions of the city. Able to extort businesses with threats of strikes and ruin a political candidate's campaign through his vast influence, his power quickly grew to rival that of the Kings. Soon politicians were courting his favor and nobody who wanted to get elected could afford to ignore his blessing. When Mayor William Whatley ordered the creation of a special task force to root out the Mafia's influence in the area, Falcone demonstrated his power for the first time. Whatley was routed in the 1924 mayoral and city council elections, and Falcone's territory became known as "Whatley's Folly".

                    The Chinese and Russian gangs intensified their efforts against Falcone. Bloody street warfare erupted all along the coast as speakeasies were machine-gunned in drive-by attacks and a boat carrying smuggled alchohol was even dynamited. To fight the Chinese, Falcone fanned anti-Chinese sentiment, causing the city to bolster its Asian Crime Task Force even as the police budget was being slashed overall. Control of the dockworker's union allowed Falcone to easily smuggle in liquor by the harbor while his rivals had to move it overland. Through a ruthless campaign of bribery and blackmail Falcone was able to keep his operations safe from the police and wield vast influence over the cowed city council.

                    He also received some unintentional help from Benito Mussolini. The Italian fascist cracked down on the Mafia in the mid-1920's, destroying numerous clans. Many mafioso fled to America and overnight, it seemed as if all of Cosa Nostra had uprooted and replanted itself in the U.S. Falcone persuaded many of these men to join him in Phoenix Bay, and his clan's ranks swelled with hardened criminals and those who choose a glamorous career in crime over a life of poverty in tenement housing. Where the Mafia had never been a major West Coast player, now the name of Falcone became the most powerful in the city.

                    Phoenix Bay in the years of the Depression was a dangerous place of dark streets and bright gunfire. Honest policemen were driven from the force, every cop was on the take and the law looked the other way while Made Men terrorized citizens and businesses. Millstone, trapped between Chinatown on the west, Whatley's Folly to the southwest, and King's Junction to the north, became the focus of brutal street warfare. Falcone set out to crush his rivals once and for all and ordered a series of assassinations on prominent leaders of rival criminal organizations. 29 people, mostly innocents, were killed or injured in the botched attacks. The shootings caused a public outcry but with the police and the city council firmly under his control nobody could lay a finger on Falcone. It was that hour of desperate need that gave birth to the first superhero.

                    Alan Walkers originally had no intention of becoming a hero. A young, mild-mannered schoolteacher, he regarded his powers (now thought to be mutant in nature) of incredible toughness and super-strength as a mere curiosity that came in handy sometimes. But the dire situation in the city pricked at his conscience; perhaps he was immune to bullets, but the citizens dying out there every night were not. He felt compelled to take action. In doing so, he defined the image of the modern superhero.

                    Walkers choose a bright, form-fitting costume to stand out from the mobsters in their dark suits bristling with hidden weapons. He resolved not to use firearms or explosives, as drive-by shootings were all too common and innocents often hurt in the mobster's indiscriminate shooting. Most of all, he was determined not to kill. He wanted to stand apart from the gangsters, their callous disregard for human life and their pursuit of bloody revenge. For a pseudonym he choose the attitude he dearly wished to see from his beloved city. He called himself "Defiant".

                    "Mystery Man Mauls Mobsters," screamed the headlines of the over a grainy picture of Defiant smashing a Mafia car held aloft in both hands. But soon the unthinkable happened. More heroes began appearing, from Samson the Jewish powerhouse who kicked the Mafia out of their beachhead in Millstone, to Swordwind whose swift katana was the terror of Chinese and Japanese gangsters alike in Nihonmachi (Japantown). A blind seamstress working the looms at a garment factory came across a legendary sword that was the embodiment of Justice itself, becoming Lady Justice the blind crusader. Next door in Chinatown, a deadly and beautiful woman warrior called by the locals as the Little Dragon Girl pit ancient martial arts techniques against tommy guns and revolvers and handily won. Some even came from far abroad to Phoenix Bay in search of adventure. Not all of them had superpowers; some had only their own two fists, backed up with incredible skills, wits and daring. What they all did have was the common goal of putting an end to the bloody nights in Phoenix Bay. Walkers had believed that the city only needed a symbol to rally behind, that it was ready to resist the depredations of criminals and would rise up behind a leader. He was right.

                    But he also underestimated his opposition. The gangsters did not keel over and surrender; if anything they fought even harder against this new menace. Defiant realized the new heroes needed to get organized if they were to restore peace to the city. He and four of his closest friends -- Madame Mystic the master magician, Sixgun the deadly sharpshooter wielding pistols bequeathed to her by Annie Oakley herself, Doctor Future, scholar, adventurer, scientist and engineer, and American Eagle the hero of the skies in his marvelous winged suit -- swore an oath to always stand by each other and come to the aid of those in need. They called themselves the Fantastic Five, and they were the world's first superhero team. While they did not seek to recruit new members and operated more like a close group of friends (leading some historians to consider the Liberty League (1941-1955) to be the first superhero team instead), there is no doubt that this was the first time the world had seen heroes fighting side by side as a cohesive unit.

                    The public in America and abroad grew obsessed with these flamboyant, daredevil "mystery men" and women who confounded criminals the law dared not touch. Their daring deeds were a rare ray of hope in the bleakness of the Great Depression. From Canberra to London, Beijing to New Delhi, people all over the world cheered their exploits with each new headline. Doctor Future's Ethanol Destroyer robbed Falcone out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit within a single night, while Sixgun's peerless marksmanship terrorized and demoralized the Mafia men. The heroes put immense pressure on organized crime and began to turn the tide, breaking the power of the Chinese and Russian syndicates. They were joined by an unlikely ally in the form of Robert Wilbur, editor of the Phoenix Bay Chronicle, who published countless scathing editorials criticizing the corrupt authorities and splashed his front pages with dramatic reports of the heroes' battles.

                    But Falcone fought back, assassinating Lady Justice in 1932 and severely injuring Doctor Future the next year. The shadow of the Great Depression led some men and women with extraordinary powers and desperate need to turn to him for survival. His men were joined by figures such as the Dark Pharaoh (a magician wielding cursed artifacts stolen from Tutankhamen's tomb), Enchantress (a seductive master spy with a talent for wringing secrets from men and women alike), and High Roller (a gambler with the power of incredible luck). Nor were all the heroes' losses the work of criminals. Dragon Girl was branded a "traitor of the Han (Chinese) race" for fighting against Chinese organized crime and would spend the remainder of her days ostracized from her people. The crimefighters had to contend not only with criminals but with the city's corrupt police force, dodging bullets from cops and mafioso alike.

                    Defiant knew that they had to strike a telling blow fast. The end of Prohibition in 1933 provided the momentum the heroes were hoping for. When Madame Mystic prophesized a high-level gathering of Falcone and all his top men, he decided the time had come. Gathering the Fantastic Five and all the heroes they could contact in time, a veritable battalion of heroes stormed the drydocks where the meeting was held, intending to shatter Falcone's prestige by showing the city he was not untouchable. They discovered to their horror that they had blundered into a trap: Falcone and his best men were there, armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons in ambush. Machine guns and even cannon fire tore through the heroes. The Dark Pharaoh dueled the Defiant and Madame Mystic while High Roller brought down American Eagle before being dispatched by the Little Dragon Girl and Samson. Falcone and his men performed a fighting retreat, detonating the explosives in the dry docks after them and collapsing the entire structure. Few of the heroes escaped that slaughterhouse with their lives.

                    But this time even Falcone had overextended himself. While the heroes reeled from the loss, Federal Prosecutor Sam Spiegel, reading the account of the desperate battle, realized Falcone could be prosecuted under federal law thanks to the National Firearms Act passed in 1934 that banned heavy weapons, and got in touch with the surviving heroes. No witnesses had ever been willing to risk testifying against Falcone. But this time there were costumed heroes willing to take the stand. Would the court rule their testimony admissible? In a landmark trial that seized the attention of the nation, the answer turned out to be yes. The Supreme Court found Falcone guilty of weapons smuggling in 1937 and sentenced him to a decade in jail. The man so powerful he was even called "capo di tutti capi" (boss of all bosses) would spend his last three years of life penniless in newly-built Alcatraz Prison, less than two miles from the city he terrorized, until his death due to complications from syphilis and gohnorrhea. As for Alan Walkers, he set aside Defiant's mask and returned to teaching. He had never been interested in fame and was only glad to return to an ordinary life.

                    The events in Phoenix Bay were the start of the Heroic Age and defined the modern image of the costumed crimefighter. Superheroes were recognized as a new kind of vigilante, unlike the lynch mobs of the past. Legal precedents were set regarding issues ranging from the right of a hero to testify in costume and the admissibility of evidence gleaned from superpowers, leading indirectly to the Hero Act of 1942 that legitimized super-heroic activity. History will not soon forget those days of high drama in low places, nor the iconic image of costume-clad heroes facing down black-suited gangsters.

                    They also shaped world opinion of superheroes. Western democracies were more tolerant of citizen crimefighters. Conversely, oppressive regimes such as China and the Soviet Union would see how one man with a conscience ignited a revolution against those in power, and would come to view the super-human as a threat to their authority. After all, one hero defying the regime could do as much damage as 100 dissidents. Over the following decades, many superhumans were captured, killed, or forced to flee to the West by these governments before they could become threats, and their own super-soldier programs tended to favor lower-powered supers that could be more easily controlled, and attempt to field them in larger numbers to compensate. Ironically, this led to the U.S. and Europe having a disproportionate number of the world's superhumans in the end. Meanwhile, in Japan and Germany, cunning minds observed what superhumans working in concert could achieve and took notes.

                    The Italian Mafia survived, but without Falcone at its head it was leaderless, a shadow of its former glory. Organized crime in Phoenix Bay licked its wounds and learned well the lessons of those bloody days. No longer would criminal syndicates clash openly in street warfare. The Mafia, the Russian bratva and the Chinese tongs established "The Chamber", a committee that demarcated territory and settled disputes by vote instead of violence. They would retreat into the shadows, clearing the stage for the rise of the modern supervillain.

                    The Fantastic Five were not especially powerful by the standards of modern superheroes. The tommy guns and revolvers of the gangsters were threats to nearly all of them. But they seized the imagination of a generation and, as superheroes are wont to do, changed the world beyond their wildest dreams.
                    Last edited by Ysariel; 1st April 2017, 10:08 AM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                      1936-1945: World War II
                      The Burning of the Bay

                      The First of the Kaiju

                      By the 1930's the shortcomings of the overcrowded, heavily polluted old port at Northbay were plain to see. As recovery from the Great Depression began, Phoenix Bay started one of its largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever with WPA support. The shores of Southbay were to be dredged and a vast, modern shipping port constructed along its shores, sporting container terminals, high-speed rail links, shipyards and dry docks. Named Mackenzie Port for chief architect Joseph Mackenzie, the new harbor would incorporate civilian and military installations within a single sprawling facility, the largest in the world. The old harbor would be repurposed for tourist and leisure activity and the Santa Barbara river cleaned up from nearly a century of heavy pollution.

                      The project made headlines for the large number of worker deaths that could not be explained merely by the choppy waters and strong currents of the bay. Entire dredging ships would vanish at night along with their crews. Soon ships started disappearing in the Northbay as well. Native American tribes in the area had warned early Europeans against digging for gold on what they believed was sacred ground, and tales of gold miners digging up eldritch horrors better left alone were passÚ in Phoenix Bay. But this time the strange happenings could not be easily dismissed. Vessels moving through the bay at night had to travel in Coast Guard convoys for safety while the city's heroes investigated. What they found defied comprehension.

                      On the morning of August 20, 1936, a coast guard convoy reported coming under attack. Military forces were unable to respond effectively due to the fog in the bay. Instead, leading some 20 heroes in coordinated assault, Madame Mystic and Doctor Future confronted and killed a vast creature described as a "monstrous turtle" with a dome-shaped spiked shell some 100ft in length and width. The corpse, too large to be housed in any museum, was towed to the shore and left to rot; souvenir hunters destroyed the skeleton by chipping away fragments, although a tooth and part of the skull are on display in the Museum of Natural History. A local reporter fabricated a report that the creature's name in the Chochenyo language was "Kamoebas", and the name stuck even after the claim was disproved.

                      In the wake of Kamoebas's assault many questions were asked. Paleontologist Ishiro Shimizu, leading a team of renowned paleontologists and geologists, hypothesized that Phoenix Bay was the nesting site of a titanic marine reptile. The two wings of Northbay and Southbay had been created by the sweeping motion of a colossal organism's limbs, much like a sea turtle's hind flippers, excavating a cavity to lay eggs. Over time, erosion had washed away much of the softer, looser earth packed over the eggs, lowering the surface below sea level and forming the bay. However, attempts to gather more information were hindered by the deep water, strong currents, and busy commercial activity in the bay. No further sea monsters appeared. Relegated to an academic curiosity, Shimizu's research was gradually forgotten with the completion of Mackenzie Port in 1939, and the dramatic events that followed.

                      Attack on Phoenix Bay

                      "December 7, 1941. We go now to strike the perfidious enemy. The weather is fine but waves are high." With those nonchalant words, written in the journal of Ichiro Honda -- the super known as Divine Wind -- war came to the United States. While Pearl Harbor came under surprise attack, the Imperial Japanese Special Assault Forces -- a unit of elite troops and superhuman warriors -- descended upon the West Coast by night to destroy all warships, bases and shore facilities they could find. Unable to maintain a naval force in the Pacific, America would surely capitulate and leave the Japanese Empire a free hand in Asia.

                      The brunt of the assault fell upon Phoenix Bay. Startled citizens of San Francisco awoke from sleep to the roar of rocket engines, the chatter of machine guns and the thump of armored boots down the streets. Within minutes the U.S. military base atop the Presidio was overrun and the attackers advanced across the waters of Northbay to destroy Phoenix Bay itself.

                      Dazzle, a young heroine with powers of pyrotechnics and flight, was the first to meet the invaders over the bay. Knowing she could not fight an enemy force of this size alone, Dazzle filled the sky with sparklers to wake the city and turned tail for the harbor where a defense could be mustered. Her fireworks illuminated a fearsome sight: the sky was filled with Iron Tengu jetpack troops and Imperial Japanese supermen. Small, swift attack boats ferried squads of ninja assassins, henshin mystics and power-armored samurai towards the Harborfront. By the time Dazzle landed before City Hall she was met by Sixgun, Doctor Future and Madame Mystic as well as some 25 other heroes, several of them veterans of the gang wars with Falcone. They quickly agreed on a general strategy: buy time so that the city could be evacuated and the military could arrive to repel the attack.

                      Then the Imperial Japanese assault was upon them. At their front was Divine Wind himself, clad in glittering gold and crimson samurai armor, held aloft by swirling winds. With a single blast of tornado-force wind he demolished City Hall. Invading troops swarmed all over King's Junction, blowing up vital industry and manufacturing plants. Teams of saboteurs slipped through the heroes' defenses to dynamite the Transcontinental Rail Link and the city's power plant. Divine Wind's lieutenants blew up the strategically irrelevant but symbolic busts of the Angels in Angel Square and the surrounding park. The city burned from the Harborfront to Millstone as the troops torched everything of importance.

                      The heroes made the invaders pay dearly for every block but all they could do was slow the assault. Defiant put on his mask for the first time in years and joined the fray, while American Eagle's daughter picked up her father's winged flight gear and took to the skies. Genius inventor Toshiro Yamada put on his heavily-reinforced mining suit as an improvised weapon to defend his home, and became the hero Ironclad. The heroes were also helped by the city police and even a few brave citizens or veterans with little more than small arms. The locals in Chinatown, fearing the same atrocities the Japanese Empire committed in China, gave the superheroes what help they could.

                      Still they could not halt the attack. Imperial Japanese troops continued to advance into Glitter Falls, pausing to loot and burn the homes of the wealthy. It was Skybolt the Lightning Lass who came up with the plan that saved what remained of the city. A Chinese-American Skybolt had fought the Special Assault Force briefly in Manchuria before coming to the U.S. and knew the culture of their supers. The Japanese supermen believed in the samurai ideal of the peerless warrior and were hungry for individual glory in battle. If the heroes split up, she argued, taunting the lead Imperial Japanese supers into strategically pointless individual duels, they might buy enough time for citizens to be evacuated and the military to assist. At first the other heroes were skeptical but as the fighting encroached upon Mackenzie Port's outskirts and the situation grew increasingly desperate they relented.

                      With Samson and Ironclad leading the way, Phoenix Bay's heroes punched through the Imperial Japanese front in a blitzkrieg assault before splitting up into ones and twos amidst the razed city. They were each followed by hordes of elite troops screaming for their blood. But the heroes' gambit was working! What had been a coordinated assault was degenerating into a rowdy brawl as the elite Japanese supermen, rather than razing buildings and demolishing structures, scrambled to claim the scalps of famed American heroes. Spectacular super-powered duels erupted among the smoldering ruins as the heroes played a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. The Navy fuel depot was damaged in the battle; leaking oil spilled out onto the waters of the bay and caught fire, lighting up the night sky. Phoenix Bay burned, burned as never before.

                      The attackers withdrew near morning, fearing the arrival of the U.S. military in force, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties. But the heroes could not cheer. Sombre news was beginning to pour in from around the world. Pearl Harbor had been reduced to a smoking crater. The Pacific Fleet had detected the Imperial Japanese sneak attack and sortied to meet it. Without carriers or planes of their own, they were torn apart by the faster Japanese carriers; eight U.S. battleships were forever destroyed. The ninth, Pennsylvania, was bombed in dry dock at Pearl Harbor and would later be repaired. Japanese supers had hunted down the carriers Enterprise and Lexington, while Saratoga lay burning in San Diego harbor. Some 25,000 U.S. soldiers and civilians were dead or missing from Hawaii to California.

                      The rising sun dawned on terrible carnage. Phoenix Bay, from King's Junction to the Millstone, was razed nearly to the ground, with thousands left homeless and countless millions in damage dealt. The bay itself was a sea of flame as fuel oil burned and bubbled. The city's heroes paid dearly for their gambit. Defiant, Madame Mystic and Doctor Future were found among the dead.

                      But Mackenzie Port and most of its shore facilities remained critically intact. Imperial Japanese intel had been scant on the new port. In the confusion of the night the attacking troops had not realized that much of the port remained safe. But more than anything, the heroes' ferocious defense and daring distraction had saved the harbor. Its extensive shipyards and dry docks were largely spared. Thanks to the heroism of a few super-powered citizens, Imperial Japan's strategic objective had not been achieved.

                      (to be continued...)
                      Last edited by Ysariel; 1st April 2017, 11:09 AM.


                      • #12
                        Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                        A Terrible Resolve

                        "This Means War!" declared the Phoenix Bay Chronicle, running off hastily-repaired presses in bombed-out rooms the morning after the attack, and Mackenzie Port was renamed Liberty Port in a patriotic fervor. Overnight, Phoenix Bay became the frontline in the war against the Axis, as an industrial center, a strategic seaport, and a symbol of U.S. defiance in the face of what was seen as a cowardly and unprovoked attack. The Roosevelt administration swore that Phoenix Bay would be rebuilt greater and grander than ever before, declaring billions of dollars in reconstruction aid and vast new facilities for the military. One of the most iconic images of the war was a propaganda poster depicting the attack on Phoenix Bay. It showed the burning city skyline beyond the oil-filled waters of the bay and, rising from the flames, a great fiery Phoenix.

                        A wrathful giant had been awakened and was flexing muscles of steel. Throughout 1941 and 1942 the thunder of hammering and drilling continued without end in Phoenix Bay while the arc welder and the gas torch lit up the night. Battalions of soldiers mustered for war, and at their front were the heroes of Phoenix Bay spearheading the counterattack. With its capital ships rusting away on the seabed, the US needed superheroes. The Hero Act of 1942 was signed into law, authorizing caped crimefighters to act in defense of the nation against foreign threats and making them police deputies to assist in the fight against saboteurs and spies. Indeed, the demand for heroes was so high that the government tried to make more.

                        As early as 1939 physicists had realized the power of the atom. Now, top-secret efforts to produce atomic-powered super-soldiers swung into high gear, and soon produced their first, stunning success: Miss Victory. An all-American girl-next-door beauty originally intended only as a propaganda device, she became a strategic weapon overnight when a dose of Isotope X (described as a 'super-serum' to hide her nuclear origins) unexpectedly produced super-strength, invulnerability and energy control powers an order of magnitude above what was previously thought possible.

                        Japanese-American supers were promised exemption from internment and the restoration of their rights if they fought. The kendo master Swordwind joined heroes such as power-armored genius inventor Ironclad, and the lightning and water controller twins Violet Lightning and Tsunami in Europe to fight alongside the almost entirely Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. They would go on to become some of the most decorated units of the war in Europe. Other heroes came from the ranks of the military, including Navy ace Airman One, who earned the monikers "One and Only" and "Seven at One Blow" (after downing seven enemy planes in a single battle) in his prototype F6X Super Hellcat. As women were not allowed to serve as combat troops at the time, the Victory Brigade and the Liberty League were formed as civilian militias to spearhead the counterattack, uniting all U.S. superhumans serving in the war under two commands.

                        Allies Regroup

                        Early 1942 was filled with setbacks, defeats and tragic accidents. A motley group of Americans from wildly different backgrounds and cultures struggled to work together as a unified force in the Victory Brigade. In turn, military commanders were often disdainful or distrustful of the superhumans they worked alongside with.

                        Circumstances soon forced them to work together for survival. Ostensibly superior military forces proved shockingly vulnerable to superhuman attack, such as when Divine Wind single-handedly sank the British ships Prince of Wales and Repulse, whose 14-inch guns would have pulverized him had they landed on target. Instead, Divine Wind dived underwater and tore open the hulls of both ships, taking not a bruise in the process. He even managed to pose atop the gun turrets for propaganda photos taken by attacking aircraft. The Victory Brigade and the military learned to cooperate and develop a mutual rapport. U.S. supers proved a powerful counterpoint to perceptions of Imperial Japanese invincibility, and troops were frequently enthusiastic about their support. Heroes screened military forces, performed reconnaissance and evacuation, and spearheaded the most difficult assaults.

                        They were met by the supers of the Imperial Japanese Special Assault Forces as well as the regular Japanese military, equipped with the creations of a genius engineer known only by her ominous pseudonym Reiko Kozuibu (洪武零子). Among these were the notorious Mitsubishi A6M-VF "Zero Kai" that shredded U.S. planes in the air before transforming to a ground-based humanoid robot to wreak havoc on Marine forces. The Americans had their own industrial powerhouse in the form of Rosie the Riveter, a brawny, redheaded genius engineer clad in overalls who orchestrated the U.S. transformation to a war economy.

                        By 1943 the tide had began to turn. The Victory Brigade and the U.S. military had defeated further Japanese assaults in the Coral Sea and Midway. Heroes joined savage jungle fighting in Guadalcanal. Phoenix Bay's reconstruction was well under way and now the city's rebuilt factories poured out ships, tanks and planes by the thousands, a tide of military power that helped the heroes push back Imperial Japanese forces on all fronts. Meanwhile, working with the Navy cryptanalysis unit, a little-known American super by the codename of Cipher -- whose power was to decode all languages, even those written in ciphertext -- helped break Imperial Japan's Ultra code, revealing vital intelligence.

                        Reiko and Rosie were evenly matched, but Reiko fell victim to wartime shortages and the Imperial Japanese mindset of trying to make super machines that could take on anything, while Rosie focused on optimizing cheap and reliable designs. Rosie relented only once: when she was asked by Eisenhower for "something special" to spearhead the retaking of Europe. Thus it was that stunned Nazis on the Normandy shores were treated to the sight of Lady Liberty herself wading through the waves, unleashing gigawatt laser blasts from her torch, her tablet now bearing a single stark phrase, ominous in its double meaning: "LIBERTY OR DEATH". The weaponized Statue of Liberty was returned to New York harbor after the war and stands till this day.

                        Operation Downfall

                        Phoenix Bay's citizens intensified their contribution to the war effort through 1943 and 1944. Millions of tonnes of supplies were shipped to the Soviets through Vladivostok, putting immense strain on the Nazis, while heroes smashed Imperial Japanese strongholds island by island. Soon, the Home Islands were within striking distance of conventional military forces.

                        Therefore the heroes were shocked to their core when the first mushroom cloud bloomed over Hiroshima. For several years now, the Manhattan Project scientists had known that atomic energy could be released in other, more devastating ways, and efforts at secrecy had been so successful that not even the Victory Brigade knew of the atomic bomb.

                        The heroes were divided over the use of the new weapon. However, having fought the Japanese Empire for over three years, all of them agreed that the Chrysanthemum Throne would never surrender. Not knowing how many bombs the U.S. had, and based on Allied demands that the Japanese Empire surrender unconditionally or face "prompt and utter destruction", many believed that President Truman would be forced to bomb Japan into a charred wasteland, and had the weapons to do so. Several high-ranking heroes -- among them Bombshell, Airman One, American Eagle, Major Megaton and Miss Victory -- convinced members of the Brigade to intervene. Acting without government approval, Victory Brigade heroes delayed atomic weapons from being loaded for transport to Trinian at Liberty Port, preventing the second atomic weapon from being dropped, while an elite group of the Brigade's finest fought through the defenses of the Imperial Palace and confronted Emperor Hirohito and the members of the War Council. What transpired within the walls of the Imperial Palace that day remains classified in U.S. government archives, and academics debate whether it was the bomb or the heroes' intervention that ended the war. But come dawn, the war was over. Imperial Japan had surrendered.

                        For the first time heroes had conducted a major action with international repercussions without the approval of the United States government. This was the beginning of a period of strained relationships between the White House and the superheroic community. The U.S. realized that superheroes could, and would, act outside of the government's wishes with potentially far-reaching consequences. Nevertheless, to recognize their outstanding heroism throughout the war, heroes from Phoenix Bay were honored by being requested to escort Admiral Nimitz to the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.

                        The war changed the face of Phoenix Bay forever. Already a world center of commerce, industry, culture and finance, the city now gained new significance as one of the largest seaports and a military strongpoint. Significant numbers of Blacks and Mexicans from the South had moved in to take up industrial jobs left vacant by the Japanese-American Internment, changing the city's demographics significantly. The homecoming troops caused a vast population boom and the development of new neighborhoods east and south towards the Santa Clara valley. Returning along with them were a large number of supers that served in the war, including some of the country's most decorated heroes, making Phoenix Bay a center of superhuman activity for many decades to come. Factories sprouted up around Liberty Port, attracted by cheap land and access to sea, air and rail; it remains the largest West Coast container port and one of the busiest in the world till this day.

                        Not all stories had happy endings. King's Junction was rebuilt, but never regained its former glory as the industrial heart of the city, entering a slow decline as industry clustered around Liberty Port. This and the resulting loss of blue-collar work caused Millstone -- which had recevied little reconstruction money when it was burnt down -- to sink further into poverty, becoming an unappetizing slum that the city would rather pretend not existed. Phoenix Bay's Japanese-American heroes and the soldiers of the 442nd returned to vandalized homes, looted businesses and signs reading "No Japs Wanted". Nihonmachi was a shadow of its former self and would not recover for many decades.

                        The war was over, but if Phoenix Bay's citizens hoped for a lasting peace, they were soon to be disappointed. The Truman administration's relations with its superheroes were beginning to worsen amidst fears of Communist sympathies and heroic defiance of government actions. Among the supers returning from the war, poverty, disillusionment and the lure of wealth and power tempted many into taking up the mantle of supervillain. Divine Wind committed ritual suicide in shame for having failed to destroy the Japanese Empire's foes. A handful of his elite troops would continue fighting against the Allied occupation and later, a government they viewed as a U.S. puppet, forming the terrorist organization they named after him -- the Divine Wind. And across the Pacific, the Soviet Union was beginning to flex its muscle.

                        Awesome powers and terrible new weapons had been unleashed on the world, and the number and strength of superhumans increased by leaps and bounds. As humanity marched towards a colder war, Phoenix Bay would soon see some of the most ruthless villainy of the 20th century.
                        Last edited by Ysariel; 17th April 2017, 11:00 AM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                          1946-1961: McCarthy Era and early Vietnam War
                          A Colder War

                          Lost and Damned

                          In 1946, the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory was founded at Phoenix Bay and became the largest U.S. lab for applied nuclear science. Officially founded to study the effects of Operation Crossroads nuclear tests and to study decontamination procedures, the NRDL also conducted secret experiments to try and produce super-soldiers.

                          In those early days the long-term effects of radiation were poorly understood or downplayed in the haste to produce results. The NRDL operated with little concern for the health and safety of Phoenix Bay's residents. Human subjects were dosed with radiation, given radioactive substances to drink or exposed to various isotopes. Volunteers signed up for projects to produce atomic-powered supers; the risks of the experiments were rarely disclosed. Few ever learned what they were being dosed with and many were even excited at the idea that they had a chance to become a mighty superhero.

                          The results were disappointing. They drove home what had been discovered during the war, which Soviet scientists were learning simultaneously. Even minute differences in biochemistry might cause a super-serum that worked on one person to fail miserably on another. Worse still, the failures often developed severe health problems, horrendous mutations and massive cancers.

                          In 1947 and 1948 the NRDL's experiments caused a sudden outbreak of people mutating into hideous, deformed monstrosities. Not understanding what had happened to them and suffering from excruciating pain from their mutations, many either went berserk, or inadvertently harmed people and property in their confusion. A series of dramatic clashes resulted as mutants clashed with police and heroes attempting to keep the peace. The Victory Brigade's attempts to uncover the cause of the mutations forced the NRDL to scale back its experiments down to almost nothing, but the heroes could do little to help the victims.

                          Some of the more powerful found work as enforcers or mercenaries, or joined a growing number of super-powered criminals. Most were treated as monsters by former friends and family, rejected by human society, and never returned to their old lives. Driven from the surface world, the mutants sought shelter underground, retreating into the maze of sewers below the city and the old Graveyard of Ships under the Harborfront where they tended farms of luminous fungi, developed their own society, and came to terms with their fate. They became known as "the Lost", and till this day they and their descendants haunt the city's bowels. For its part, the NRDL continued various experiments, eventually dumping some 44,000 barrels of nuclear waste at the Farallon Islands some 30 miles from Phoenix Bay before its shutdown in 1969.

                          Red Scare Rising

                          In 1947 a Grue spacecraft crashlanded in Roswell, New Mexico. First contact with aliens had been made, and they were not friendly. Throughout the late 40's the U.S. government found itself fighting a shadow war on two fronts, against Soviet infiltrators and the Grue. Then, amidst the paranoia and fear, something happened in 1949 that severely shook the American people. Major Megaton, one of the Victory Brigade's most celebrated heroes, declared his allegiance to the cause of Communism and assumed the alias of Comrade Hero. Comrade Hero was neither a Soviet puppet nor a spy. He genuinely believed that communism was in the best interests of the people, and he was a gentle and charismatic soul. He deplored the Soviet Union's actions but chalked them up to its corrupt and dictatorial government. Americans, he claimed, could do Communism better.

                          Members of Victory Brigade reaffirmed their commitment to American ideals but the damage was done. Ordinary citizens awakened to the possibility that powerful superhumans could well turn into Communist sympathizers overnight. When one Senator McCarthy claimed that he had a list of influential public figures ready to turn to Communism, including several leading superheroes, he found a receptive and eager audience. Cries that superheroes should reveal their identities and be screened for Communist sympathies resounded throughout the nation. For the first time, the protections of the Hero Act were severely tested.

                          Lux Omnia Vincit

                          U.S. government distrust of superheroes had been growing since the Victory Brigade's storming of the Imperial palace. Now it reached an all-time high amidst fears that leading superheroes might have been Grue or Soviet sleeper agents. To counter the perceived danger of defection en masse, the highest echelons of the U.S. government envisioned a top-secret organization of loyal and capable super-powered operatives, completely under government control. Faced with Communist subversion and alien infiltration, the United States would fight darkness with light. Light would conquer all, in the form of the Super-Powered Elite Corps for Tactical, Reconnaissance and Undercover Missions (S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.).

                          For twelve long years starting in 1949, S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. served as the government's super-powered arm. Its goal was to ensure that super-powered individuals remained subservient to the cause of the U.S. government. S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. kidnapped, blackmailed, tortured and coerced super-powered individuals from America and around the world into serving the interests of the U.S. government, controlling them by brutal means such as brain implants, bomb collars and addictive designer drugs. They performed deadly experiments on captured supers and aliens and designed cruel and exotic new weapons. S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.-controlled super teams fought unseen battles in the Congo, Indochina, Korea and South America safely out of the limelight, performing assassinations and sabotage that none would trace to their backers in the U.S.

                          Those few who knew of S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s atrocities usually excused them on the basis of their outstanding performance, beliving that the means justified the ends. In 1954, S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. masterminded the defection of the top Soviet super-soldier, a man known only as "Red Flag", a feat no Western intelligence agency has surpassed ever since. As a reward, Red Flag was chosen to lead S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s newly assembled super team, the elite of the elite, a group of seven handpicked supers known only as Rainbow Seven.

                          S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. and Rainbow Seven played key roles in the developing Vietnam War. They developed many of the "Rainbow Herbicides" used in the war (such as Agent Orange) and their agents were heavily involved in fighting against the Viet Cong (who were in turn backed by Spetsgruppa Gamma, the Soviet Union's own covert super-agent division). As its successes mounted, S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. operated with little oversight, no accountability and unlimited funding. Indeed, there was no warning that one fine summer day in 1961, it would vanish off the face of the Earth.

                          S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s disappearance came as a shock to the handful of people who were aware of its existence. Its agents simply went dark and disappeared, taking with them untold billions in slush funds and the most sensitive secrets of the U.S. government. Bases were found meticulously stripped of anything useful and evacuated, files had been sanitized, bank accounts wiped clean and equipment vanished without a trace. It was as if the entire organization had never existed in the first place. At first it was feared that S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. had defected to the Soviets, but that possibility was soon disproved when reports surfaced of occasional, highly-skilled raids on both U.S. and Soviet facilities bearing the signature style of the Rainbow Seven. How the organization was subverted, who it now serves, and what its new goals are, all remain mysteries till this day.

                          (to be continued...)
                          Last edited by Ysariel; 17th April 2017, 11:02 AM.


                          • #14
                            Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                            "If the superman [sic] cannot be controlled, he must be destroyed," reads the internal memo arguing for S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s creation. With the Soviet Union's first nuclear weapons test in 1949, and explosion of the Korean War a year later, the U.S. government deeply feared that a rash action by superheroes (such as the Victory Brigade's storming of the Imperial Japanese palace) could provoke nuclear war. It was also thought that if heroes knew of the Grue presence their uncoordinated and brash action would tip off the Grue and cause the aliens to vanish deeper into hiding. These fears, not unjustified, would form the rationale for S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s actions in the years to come.

                            Tasked with both controlling the superhuman population and fighting the Grue, S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s agents, clad entirely in sinister black suits (an in-joke, for black absorbs all the colors of light) would show up to investigate alien sightings or reports of superhuman powers manifesting. Through the U.S. military, S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. obtained and exposed Comrade Hero's civilian identity, which would have been illegal under the Hero Act.

                            Meanwhile, the Victory Brigade had its hands full fighting off the agents of Spetsgruppa Gamma, which engaged in both overt and covert actions against the United States. The heroes won a series of spectacular super-battles along the Harborfront and in the bay against agents such as Kapitan Hammer, Siberian Winter and the Red Star. However, the true Soviet goal had already been accomplished: U.S. heroes were busy on home soil, unable to intervene in Korea.

                            Matters came to a head when the Victory Brigade was called upon to apprehend Comrade Hero, who was continuing to espouse the cause of socialism. Following a series of cat-and-mouse encounters, both sides finally confronted each other in early 1954 one evening. Miss Victory angrily confronted Comrade Hero, asking him it he was betraying everything they had stood for. Comrade Hero insisted that he was merely peacefully advocating a political position. Airman One then asked him to consider the effects of his actions in a period when the Soviet Union was actively attempting to divide the American people.

                            In later years, members of the Brigade gave conflicting accounts of what happened next, that dark windy night by the bayside. Either the argument grew heated, and they briefly came to blows; or Comrade Hero left, stung by his friends' accusations but unwilling to surrender. Whatever the truth, the end result was the same. Comrade Hero turned and vanished into the darkness of the Pacific before he could be stopped. While Miss Victory was stronger, the Comrade was faster, and none of the heroes could catch him in time. He was never seen again, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most controversial super-powered figures ever.

                            Senatorial Showdown

                            The Victory Brigade's failure to capture Comrade Hero led to a public outcry. Claims that he had been allowed to escape due to the Brigade's Communist sympathies mounted, at least in part instigated by S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. from behind the scenes, and the Brigade faced public scruntiny as never before. By 1954 many Victory Brigade members had been pressured into retiring, leaving a diehard core of around half a dozen who stood accused of corrupting American youth. Among the charges levelled at them were wearing a revealing costume (Miss Victory), homosexuality (Airman One), atheism (Bombshell),

                            By 1955, the HUAC was openly contemplating summoning the Liberty League. McCarthy sensed the time for the killing blow had come. Under his direction, the U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Investigations held a series of hearings to determine the Victory Brigade's rationale for its continued existence. In an unprecedented move, every minute of the hearings was to be broadcast live on national TV. McCarthy predicted a public cruxification of the Brigade before the eyes of millions.

                            But the ploy backfired! The heroes of the Brigade acquitted themselves well and impressed audiences with their sincerity. Instead of exposing the heroes' alleged Communist sympathies, the hearings revealed the American people McCarthy's unethical tactics of character assassination. The most dramatic exchange of the hearings came when, in the middle of aggressive questioning by McCarthy, aides burst into the chamber blurting out that the largest supervillain attack ever had hit the West Coast. Immediately the members of the Victory Brigade exchanged meaningful looks, stood up and began to leave. Furious, McCarthy began ranting at the departing heroes, accusing them of disregard for procedure, contempt for the Senate, and outright treason. The heroes ignored him until Bombshell, unable to endure the ranting any longer, turned and fired back, "I'm sorry, Senator. You're welcome to come help save lives with us if you want to."

                            As the heroes walked out, all else who were present burst into applause.

                            Doctor Zero's Revenge

                            Fantastical war machines, from armored mecha-crabs to minute, robotic dragonflies that served as spy drones and flying bombs, swarmed out of the sea in a tide of steel before screaming crowds. They bypassed U.S. military forces on the West Coast and struck inland, heading for nuclear missile silos in the sparsely populated Midwest. The machines all bore a single insignia: the kanji for 'zero' within a perfect circle. The press soon had a name for this ominous new mastermind: Doctor Zero.

                            But the veterans of the Victory Brigade realized that it was actually Reiko Kozuibu, mysterious creator of the Imperial Japanese military's war machines whom none in the West had ever seen, come to wreak revenge on her old foes; the name 'Reiko' means 'child of zero'. In a series of running battles, the heroes blunted and stalled the attack long enough for the military to arrive and break the momentum of the attack.

                            Just as it seemed as if the day had been won, the ranks of the mechanical monstrosities parted and a towering figure in bulky, jet-black powered armor emerged. In a synthesized voice, Reiko herself came forward to challenge the heroes, promising to finish the job she began during the war and destroy the heroes who had caused her countrymen such suffering.

                            The ensuing fight was more vicious and brutal than anything the heroes had witnessed. Reiko had continued improving her skills over the last decade and brutally beat the heroes who opposed her, while USAF planes circled overhead, not daring to fire for fear of killing the downed heroes. The Victory Brigade was saved only when those heroes who had retired arrived en masse, lead by the woman who had once been called Rosie the Riveter. Swiftly pinpointing the machine's weakness, Rosie led a furious counterattack and turned the tide. Reiko's armored suit toppled to the ground, but before the power died, the villain promised that if she could not destroy them, she would destroy their descendants instead. The heroes tore apart the suit of armor, only to realize it was nothing but a remote-controlled drone. Their foe remained as mysterious and implacable as ever.

                            The Torch is Passed

                            For walking out of the hearings, the Senate's Committee for Investigations decreed that the Victory Brigade had to disband. But the dejected heroes returned to cheering crowds and thunderous applause in the streets of Phoenix Bay. They had saved the U.S. nuclear arsenal and vindicated themselves once and for all.

                            The fever of the Red Scare had been broken. Public opinion turned sharply against McCarthy after the hearings and his later investigations against the Army. Conversely, while criticism of the Brigade never completely disappeared, in the years that followed citizens slowly grew to welcome costumed crimefighters once more. Sensing that momentum had turned against it, the highest echelons of S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. made secret preparations to break ties with the U.S. government and continue their mission as an independent entity. In their eyes, the elected government of the United States was too easily swayed by public opinion and could not be counted upon to do what was necessary to defend its people against subversion. They took with them the secrets of their war against the Grue, and went AWOL in 1961.

                            S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s disappearance discredited its backers in the U.S. government, and lent strength to those voices in the Kennedy administration calling for a different relationship with super-powered citizens. It is no coincidence that in 1962, the year after its disappearance, AEGIS was established, beginning a new era of government-superhero cooperation. But the rogue organization did not lay idle, remaining a sinister force behind the scenes. In the years after, Men in Black and ominous black helicopters could be seen at scenes of purported alien sightings, often long before actual government officials could arrive.

                            The Victory Brigade lost the battle but won the war. After it was disbanded, heroes from the Brigade went on to mentor younger crimefighters, or retired but remained active in charity, public works and education. They laid the foundation for a vibrant and active superhero community that would blossom in the early 60's and last over two decades, when super teams flourished and colorfully clad crusaders dotted the city skies. Thus, as the sun set on a generation of protectors, it rose on another.


                            • #15
                              Re: Phoenix Bay Setting Compendium

                              Organizations and People
                              The Justice Foundation

                              The Justice Foundation (Justice Society in some early documents) was born out of the Justice Guild of America, one of the first superhero teams to emerge after the landmark McCarthy trials. Originally a small five-person affair, the modern history of the Foundation began in 1969 during the rise of the Anarchy Command. Members of the Guild were killed or severely injured thwarting the Anarchy Command's state-wide attacks on what would come to be known as Mayhem Monday. Inspired by their heroic defense, many of Phoenix Bay's heroes flocked to the Guild's banner, thwarting further attacks on the city as well as operations to disrupt the U.S. Space Program and turning the Foundation into a major force for good.

                              The Moon Landings put Earth on the galactic map for the first time. Towards the tail end of the 1970's, aliens started showing up on Earth, including one mysterious character -- a hulking blue-skinned humanoid known only as "Kron". He would often show up in the city with no warning to have his idea of a 'good time': drinking, womanizing and brawling with the Justice Foundation (not always in that order). Other visitors were more sinister if no less rowdy, such as King Rakos of Oziri (Alpha Centauri IV to human astronomers), who masterminded several failed attempts to conquer Earth, each time thwarted by the Foundation and other Earthling heroes.

                              It was during one such incursion that the Justice Foundation discovered that Kron was actually an escaped slave and gladiator from Oziri. In a legendary adventure during the late 1980's, the peak of the Foundation's strength, Kron led the Foundation's members to Oziri itself, where he fell in love with the Ozirian princess Marza and freed the native Vorlick slaves. Together, the Foundation and the slave uprising toppled Rakos's rule, and Kron I the Usurper was crowned King of Oziri. The Foundation returned to Earth, leaving Kron to rule over his people, but not before making him an official member.

                              The Justice Foundation's strength has varied over the decades since. However, it has always been a major force for good and anchored the defense of the United States and the world for over 40 years. All this came to an end during the 2015 Invasion, when the Justice Foundation and other heroes of Phoenix Bat launched a suicidal attack on the Armada mothership. None came back from that last mission and the entire active roster, which took part, are believed dead. The Justice Foundation's sprawling underground super-base now lies ruined and darkened, waiting for masters who will never return.

                              During the Hero Corp incident, DNA from the dead bodies of several Justice Foundation members were used to produce clones for Hero Corp's mercenary supers. The clones were no match for Phoenix Bay's last heroes, who proceeded to uproot the evil plot and return the bodies to their resting place.

                              Senior members at the time of the Invasion were:

                              Rex Mundi: In 1970, thief, adventurer and "tomb raider" Salvatore Montagna found himself saddled with terrakinetic powers after asking a very literalist Djinn to make him 'King of the Earth'. Despite insisting on not being a hero, he accompanied the Guild (and later the Foundation) on its many adventures to dangerous corners of the Earth and was recognized as an honorary member, earning the ironic moniker 'Rex Mundi'. Officially retired in the 2000's, but still considered an active member by all much to his annoyance. By then he was no longer in good enough physical shape to do the tomb raiding thing, but had acquired a lifetime's worth of magical know-how, cunning wiles and powerful artifacts, serving as the Foundation's chief occult advisor.

                              Kaiser Erde: A German college student who inherited Rex Mundi's terrakinetic powers in 2008 as the result of a drunken bet, Kaiser Erde's membership was hotly contested as many members feeling he had not demonstrated himself worthy of being called a hero. Following a number of altercations, he eventually won their trust during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. He later applied for and received U.S. citizenship.

                              Lady Divine: When Aria CÚleste sprouted great, feathery wings from her back overnight at age 15, her devout parents thought they had witnessed a miracle of God. The Church of Jesus Christ, Paragon convinced them to let her be raised in their care, and under their guidance, she performed numerous good works with her powers of flight, super strength, invulnerability and healing. Eventually, 'Lady Divine' learned that her powers were extremely rare spontaneous mutations and not miracles. But she kept the loss of her faith private, believing that doing otherwise would cause more harm than good. Despite parting ways with the Church, she continues working to inspire hope and aid the innocent as a member of the Foundation.

                              Killpatrick: Killpatrick grew up in the rough inner city and while he learned to fight and survive its hazards, he never seemed able to escape its grasp. After dropping out of school and getting dishonorably discharged from the military, he went on a soul-searching journey and vanished for six years. He returned a changed man: focused, driven and supremely skilled in estoeric martial arts. Nobody knows what happened to him; the most outrageous legends say that he travelled to Shambala where China's martial clans sought refuge after the Communist Party destroyed the Wulin in the 1950's. A formidable fighter, he was always ready to dish out tough love to some street punks and showed no mercy to Mafia and Triad goons. Unlike many heroes, he eschewed code names and insisted he be addressed by his last name only.

                              Arcadia: Aisha binti Ismail's scientific career and gene-engineering work were ruined when her lab was bombed by anti-biotech terrorists. Aisha went through several years of loss, depression and financial ruin, but eventually emerged stronger and filled with the resolve not to squander the miracle of her survival. She repaired her disfigured face and broken body with revolutionary phytogenetic treatments that turned her into a part-plant, part-human being, gaining incredible phytokinetic powers in the process and fighting to protect others from the violence she suffered.

                              Cornelius Z. Caesar, Gentleape Adventurer: Pet ape of the famous adventurer-archeologist Lady Skye, Cornelius drank from the mythical Fountain of Life during his owner's last adventure in the late 50's and was granted longevity and great wisdom. Curious about the human world, he stumbled upon a bank robbery, decided to help, and the rest is history. Cornelius is a polymath, highly educated in numerous topics, skilled in the use of various weapons, and has strength, stamina and agility considerably exceeding that of an adult human. He enjoys dispensing pithy and profound observations on human nature in a cultured British accent.

                              Star Strider: A Navy test pilot who dreamed of going faster and farther than ever before, Star Strider was granted her wish when she was selected for NASA's early experiments into human space exploration. Turned into a human solar furnace and able to brave the void of space cloaked in her plasma field, she left NASA after the Apollo program's cancellation to join the Foundation as it pushed into the dark corners of Earth and Space. Consumed by wanderlust, Star Strider left to explore the galaxy with Daedalus after the liberation of Oziri, but periodically returned to check back on her homeworld as a reserve member and perished with the others in the final Armada battle.