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Thread: World of Freedom 3.2 - Setting Detail

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    Keeper of Secrets Davies's Avatar
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    World of Freedom 3.2 - Setting Detail

    The setting for my Character Thread. This post reserved for an index when one becomes necessary.
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    Keeper of Secrets Davies's Avatar
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    A Slightly Altered Timeline

    2005
    June: Project Freedom is inaugurated. Thunder and Lightning, Panda and Raccoon, and Rant and Rave are some of the first of its "clients".

    October: Andrea Atom is rescued from the Terminus, and joins her children in their adventures.

    2006
    May: The Honor Day Brawl. The Sentry Statue is briefly animated by the Centurion's spirit, recalled from the afterlife. The Crime League begins its reorganization.

    June: Project Freedom's inmates assist Dr. Metropolis in fighting against Hiroshima Shadow. Soon after, the Commander joins the team.

    July: The new Beacon and the new Scarab debut.

    August: Toxic is released from Prison and joins the Ex-Cons, as they're now called, just in time for Wainwright's discovery about what Rant and Rave get up to when nobody's watching. Soon after this, the Alterniteens arrive on Earth-Prime.

    September: The Freedom League go on an adventure in time, leading to their journey to the Vampire Earth and resulting in the Old Man being stranded in the present. He eventually becomes the first voluntary member of the Ex-Cons.

    2007
    February: Lady Tarot is apparently killed in a bombing orchestrated by the Silencer. Foreshadow begins considering forming a team of Freedom Knights, which comes into being over the next few months.

    May: Panda and Raccoon are sent back to jail after it's revealed that they're continuing their criminal activities while acting as members of the Ex-Cons. (In fact they were framed by Thunder and Lightning.)

    April: Shortly after a falling out with her grandmother, Seven graduates from the Claremont Academy and forms the Seven Shadows.

    July: Aquaos joins the Ex-Cons.

    September: Completing his sentence, Aquaos is hired by the Silber Agency. Savant joins the Ex-Cons and within a week has annoyed Wainwright enough that she's forced to reveal her secret to him.

    October: Final battles of The Seven Shadows; death and damnation of Lucius Cabot and beginning of a civil war among his former partners and their retainers.

    November: The Gathering, leading into the start of the Crime League's attempt to steal the power of the Olympian gods. Soon after this begins, the original Next Gen disband in the wake of the events called Graduation Day.

    2008

    January: Olympus Falls, but rises again. Dr. Stratos and Medea are both missing and presumed dead.

    February: A new Next Gen team forms, numbering Glasya Lebolas among its members.

    March: The Time of Vengeance.

    April: A second team of Ex-Cons, sometimes called "You Guys", forms.

    July: A group of Average Joes in Freedom City are empowered and begin having wacky adventures. Shortly after this, the Ex-Cons are sent on a mission to Belarus and thence to a parallel world where they fight Omega and win. Yes really.

    August: AEGIS Director Horatio Powers is transformed into a paperweight, and he is temporarily replaced by Senior Agent Edward Ritter. Also, the tensions between the various factions of the Freedom City mob finally boil over, and outright war is declared between the Oliverti and Driogano families. Big Al Driogano is assassinated by the Silencer, the Silencer is exposed as Don Oliverti's brother, and Don Tonnifanni becomes the leader of Freedom City's mob with assistance from the mysterious Capoyabun, though he is challenged by the returned Tarot. The Freedom Knights part company from Foreshadow.

    September: Project Freedom's Team B is disbanded due to a mission gone wrong, and its paroled personnel are transported to be imprisoned in Buckner Ridge. However, this is all part of a secret operation conducted by AEGIS. The members of Team B are able to uncover the criminal activities committed by the prison's staff and defeat their agents, as well as exposing the cartel behind the prison. They are reinstated after this success.

    October: Project Freedom comes under attack from a variety of individuals who have grudges against them collectively and individually, who have all gained superpowers from an unknown source. While they are dealing with this, one branch of the Meek launch an all-out assault against Project Freedom's headquarters. In the process, everyone on both of Project Freedom's teams learns about the Terminus portal in the basement. Later, Team B is caught up in a sequence of terrifying events at Providence Asylum that result in the apparent death of Dr. Ashley Ellis, the destruction of most of the asylum and escape of many of its prisoners, and the summoning of an Elder Evil known as the Lord of Bitter Laughter. Their failure to prevent any of this is spun as a failure on the part of other heroes, such as the Freedom League, to inform the city administration of the possibility of these events.

    November: On election night, as it becomes apparent that Jonathan Grant will be the next mayor of Freedom City, Wainwright asks her people to accompany her on an invasion of the Terminus. She has acquired a powered armor suit from Japan, made friends with it, and will be using it in the invasion, whether anyone come with her or not. The fate of Project Freedom is decided. Ultimately, Wainwright sacrifices her life to send the survivors of her invasion force back through the gate. Some of those survivors receive pardons as a result of their participation in these events, others continue to serve as members of the Project in the grim years ahead.
    Last edited by Davies; 10-21-2017 at 10:46 PM.
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    Keeper of Secrets Davies's Avatar
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    The (New) Olympians

    As mentioned here, many of the "original" Olympian gods fought and fell in the battle known as Gotterdammerung (fought largely in the Pacific, c. 535 CE, and marked by the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in that year) only to be replaced by younger gods who took their names and roles in the Olympian hierarchy. This 'new' Dodekatheon ("twelve gods") has remained stable since then, despite occasional squabbles that have been largely undocumented by Earthly chroniclers.

    Zeus: The original Zeus was apparently slain in the final instants of Gotterdammerung, though there is no living witness to his demise, which has led to speculation that he might have faked his own death. This seems unlikely as much of his divine power settled on his heir, formerly known as Dionysus, immediately after the battle's conclusion. The new Father of Gods and Men has largely settled into his role as King of the Universe, and is a calmer, more measured ruler than even his father was. On the other hand, he still has moments of great pettiness and is perhaps overly fond of ambrosia, the wine of the gods. Zeus is a PL16 deity known for his Dimensional Perception Damage attack, "the Thunderbolt".

    Hera: The original Hera led the hosts of the Amazons during Gotterdammerung, and was slain with them in the battle's early stages. Her role as Queen of Heaven was promptly assumed by her daughter Hebe, formerly the wife of Heracles. (The two amicably separated sometime in the last century before the common era, and remain friends, though as Hera she is happy to cause trouble for him when she believes he's being an ass.) Hera is a PL15 deity with many Perception Range mental powers.

    Poseidon: The original Poseidon was killed leading an army of Atlanteans during Gotterdammerung, and was succeeded by his son Triton. The new Lord of the Seas is much like his father, but lacks his interests in earthquakes and horses. He is probably the most active of the gods on Earth-Prime, as he still receives worship from the Atlanteans, many of whose rulers and heroes claim descent from him. Poseidon is a PL15 deity with Perception Range Move Object Limited to Water and related powers.

    Demeter: Demeter, one of the two goddesses trusted with guarding the gates to the Olympian realms during Gotterdammerung, was overcome during the enemy assault on those gates. She was succeeded by one of the elder anthousai (nymphs related to flowers) whose original proper name is not recorded. The new Demeter has something of an inferiority complex concerning her humble origins, and a poor relationship with the original Demeter's daughter Kore, whose role as Queen of the Underworld kept her from assuming her mother's station. Demeter is a PL13 deity with plant control powers.

    Hestia: The other goddess trusted with guarding the gates, Hestia survived the battle and is now the eldest of the Olympian deities. Unlike most of them, she shows her age and seems like a crone among the elder adults and youths of the panttheon. However, she is also known for her wisdom, and has become one of Zeus' chief counselors, especially in the long absences of Athena/Minerva. Hestia is a PL X deity who is connected to the Secret Fire; she cannot be permanently harmed while Olympus itself exists.

    Hades: Hades initially refused to take part in Gotterdammerung, but in what is now officially considered a complicated feint, attacked the enemy at the last moment and ensured victory. He was outraged that, as the eldest surviving son of Cronus, he did not receive the power of Zeus, and returned to his kingdom to brood. Ever since he has sought to seize that power for himself. Hades is a PL15 deity who is described in Freedom City 3e. He can be used as a model for most of the other deities. Ah me so clever!

    Apollo: A survivor of Gotterdammerung, the loss of his sister and the advancement of his old rival Dionysus have embittered Apollo, as has the more recent gradual turning away of civilization from 'classical' (read Greco-Roman) influence. He has become a schemer seeking to diminish the influence of 'foreign' cultures (particularly African and Asian) on that civilization, and thus something of a sponsor of white supremacy and misogyny as well. Apollo is a PL14 deity whose "arrows" are Dimensional Perception Range effects.

    Artemis: The original Artemis was killed in Gotterdammerung, and succeeded by one of her hamadryad followers. She has done her best to live up to the example of her mistress, but has no interest in friendly relations with her mistress' brother, whom she has lately come to view as a mad god whom she opposes to the best of her abilities. She has often lent her assistance to the mortal Minerva in dealing with Apollo's schemes. Artemis is a PL13 deity with a very high Ranged Attack.

    Athena: The exact fate of the original Athena is unclear, as she was with Zeus in his final fight. Someone who appeared to be Athena returned to Olympus a few years after the end of Gotterdammerung, satisfying every test of her identity, but claiming amnesia concerning the battle and preferring to go by the name Minerva. Lately she has abandoned godhood to become a mortal on Earth, causing some chaos on Olympus. As a deity, Athena was PL15.

    Ares: Ares survived Gotterdammerung, but his absorption of the energies of his sons Phobos and Deimos, who did not, made him something of an outcast afterwards. The lack of any war facing the Olympian gods left him with nothing to do, and he reportedly found the wars of humanity over the next millennia 'tedious repetitions'. The attack of supervillains on Mount Olympus recently energized him, however, and he has been paying close attention to the battles of heroes and villains every since. Ares is a PL15 deity with a focus on personal combat.

    Aphrodite: The lone member of the original Dodekatheon who took no part in Gotterdammerung, she left Olympus for an extended period after Hebe's ascension, leading to rumors that she had expected to become the new Queen of Heaven. Her behavior since returning has certainly contributed to such rumors, as she acts as a critic of every choice made by either Zeus or Hera. The recent invasion of Olympus has lent her criticism some weight ... Aphrodite is a PL16 deity who hides her full power.

    Hephaestus: The original Hephaestus perished in Gotterdammerung on one of his few journeys out of his workshop. He was succeeded by one of his sons, the Norse god Volundr or Wayland, who continues to act as a forge god for the Asgardians as well as the Olympians ... and anyone else who can afford to pay him his fees. Rumor has it that he contracts out work to the Foundry ... Hephaestus is a PL15 deity who has plenty of PL15 minion robots.

    Hermes: The original Hermes was with Athena and Zeus in their last fight, and is likewise believed to have perished there. His power descended to one of his undocumented children by the goddess Hecate, who has since acted as the 'wizard' of the Olympian gods, behaving more like the Egyptian Tahuti or Thoth than the god of messengers and thieves. Hermes is a PL15 deity who possesses magical ability much like a Master Mage, with effects resembling The Wizard of Speed and Time.
    Last edited by Davies; 10-11-2017 at 07:33 PM.
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    Keeper of Secrets Davies's Avatar
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    Vampire Demographics

    The exact number of vampires on Earth, according to the best estimates of ARCADE, is somewhere between "too many" and "just enough to keep people mindful of what stakes and garlic are for". More serious scientific estimates generally focus on individual communities and the number of vampires resident within, with the numbers typically ranging between 1 vampire per million living residents for a region such as Freedom City, generally viewed as relatively untainted by this supernatural predator, up to 1 vampire per hundred thousand living residents for the Chicago area, known for decades to have a serious problem. The matter is somewhat complicated by ongoing academic debate as to what sort of monsters qualify under the header 'vampire', with many not resembling the stereotype created by film and derivative media.

    The overwhelming majority of vampires, especially of those fitting that stereotype, are PL6 threats -- a serious danger to an innocent bystander, a dangerous opponent to an individual novice monster hunter, but more or less a non-factor to an experienced monster hunter or a typical superhero. These creatures often have many more dangerous vulnerabilities and complications than powers -- the documented tendency of vampire flesh and blood to ignite and be reduced to ashes with seconds of exposure to direct sunlight is near universal among these creatures, for example.

    On the other hand, one of the most frequent limitations of more powerful vampires is rarely found among them. They are typically able to limit their consumption of blood to that of animals other than humans. Most do not, but even they are able to 'feed' on blood to a much lesser degree than more powerful vampires, such that they can meet their needs without killing a human being. Again, many vampires on this level do kill their victims, but the existence of vampires who (for example) obtain their blood supply through consensual exchanges with knowing partners has led some theoreticians to view them as a more tolerable evil than others.

    Experience and a willingness to experiment with the vampire condition can give rise to PL7 or PL8 vampires who still retain this level of humanity, but it is more common for aged vampires to lose it with time. PL9 or PL10 vampires are typically elder vampires who have existed for centuries and no longer bother to feel any sympathy or compassion for humans. Carmilla is an ideal example of the type. More rarely such levels of power are found among relatively young vampires who possess unusual strength of will or supernatural affinities -- but even so, it is rare for them to be able to feed without killing. Some of these, such as Nightrage, develop codes of honor that permit feeding on certain "acceptable" targets, such as criminals.

    Given how easily it is to trespass against such codes, it should come as no surprise that more powerful vampires almost never have any such compunctions. PL 11 vampires are typically "master vampires", often able to exert direct psychic or supernatural influence over less powerful examples, especially those who descend from them. They are quite rare, each representing a combination of experience, intelligence, willpower and magical aptitude that is seldom encountered in humanity. There may be no more than one such creature for every hundred million living human beings, or even fewer. Dracula is exceptionally powerful even among this level of creatures, and may be the most powerful vampire active at this time.

    But there are far more powerful vampires than Dracula, entities of the category of monsters dubbed Elder Evils which are, thankfully for human civilization, not active in the world today. Understandably, little if anything is conclusively known about their whereabouts or numbers, which are thought to be less than one in a billion living human beings. Perhaps the only hopeful thing that can be said about them is that they would no longer be able to subsist on human blood, but most likely require that of other vampires or other supernatural or superhuman entities. On the other hand, they might require "life energy" from thousands or even millions of humans, drained without any contact. The notion of such a being going to and fro in the world, walking up and down in it, or perhaps driving a cab, haunts the nightmares of those aware of the possibility of their existence.

    'Perhaps driving a cab'? Why did I just type that?
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    Re: The (New) Olympians

    Quote Originally Posted by Davies View Post
    As mentioned here, many of the "original" Olympian gods fought and fell in the battle known as Gotterdammerung (fought largely in the Pacific, c. 535 CE, and marked by the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in that year) only to be replaced by younger gods who took their names and roles in the Olympian hierarchy. This 'new' Dodekatheon ("twelve gods") has remained stable since then, despite occasional squabbles that have been largely undocumented by Earthly chroniclers.
    Apollo and Aphrodite taking a darker turn, and Ares being one of the least bellicose (and most potentially hero-inspiring or hero-empowering) survivors of the old generation is a neat twist on expectations.

    Hestia as the oldest and most powerful of the remaining gods is totally cool! I've long thought she'd make an interesting patron for a super-hero, being the goddess of hearth and home, which thematically lends itself to the ability to raise walls to defend herself and others, and to generate fire. (Plus I like the idea that Hestia, goddess of the home, might have been the source of the vampiric restriction on entering a home uninvited.)

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