Mutants, Villains and Heroes.

Who Are the Mutants?

Recently more and more mutants have been appearing on Earth and even more in Earth-controlled space and colonies. Some use their abilities for benign purposes, some refuse to uses them, many use them selfishly and even others employ them for nefarious purposes. EarthGov scientists have categorized them into five general classes:

  • Alpha Class – Alphas are the most dangerous. While fewest in number, they generally have a wide variety of abilities within a general concept or one very powerful ability. (These will be most the PCs)
  • Beta Class – Betas generally have one significant ability or a set of minor abilities.
  • Gamma Class – Gammas usually only have one minor ability.
  • Delta Class – Deltas abilities are rarely beneficial and can even be a problem for themselves or others.
  • Epsilon (Psi) Class – Psis are just that, psionics. Most notably telepaths. This is the only mutant ability so far regulated by EarthGov with its own rating system. The Esper Guild is the primary regulatory body.

Legally, most mutants other than Psis fall under weapons, privacy, and trespassing laws in general, but so far legislation on mutation is far behind the growing concerns for the economy, robots, Aliens, Spacers, and more.

Where Do They Come From?

Most mutant abilities are caused by radiation exposure, environmental effects and random mutation gathered genetically over many generation. This free genetic drift in response to the environment explains why Spacers who have for centuries controlled their genome almost never have mutants (at least not random ones). Mutant abilities can be inherited, develop naturally or triggered by extreme stress. Some result from unplanned for side-effects on genome manipulation.

Some Noted Mutant Heroes of the Past

Crusader – A legendary hero of the 20th and early 21st Century.  He set the stage for what it is to be a superhero and his influence has reverberated through the law enforcement community and inspired legions of idealists to try to live up to his example.

Aura – An electricity-wielding heroine of the late 23rd to early 24th Century.

Wave – An energy-projector of 27th Century, disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Shard – A cosmic-powered former hero turned villain, arch nemesis of Quantum.  Defeated at the Battle of Aurora and is now a prisoner.

Quantum – A famous hero of the late 29th Century possessing vast cosmic powers.  Was also a Senator and advocate for universal human rights. Has only been seen sporadically since the Shard Incident of 2896.

The First Monday

The group split up today. After meeting with the my Queen of Sin (I just love her!) and having a brief altercation with the legendary Springheel Jack (he pinched Lyla’s butt) it was decided that the guys would go out to the bars to see what they could discover there. I though Lyla wanted to go with them, but at the last minute changed her mind and suggested we go for a girl’s night out. Sounded like a fun idea, so I went for it. But, keeping the mission in mind I suggested that we try to find an off-night Goblin Market and find out if any human had been sold there or perhaps find out other leads.

We decided to go as twins. I took Lyla’s look and wore her clothes. For hours we scoured the seedy underbelly of Mythic. We endured cat-calls, groping, disrespect, and other misogynistic behavior from the scum of the earth. But they are the ones who might know. We used all our knowledge and finesse, employing our feminine whiles to our betterment and from it we found a couple of leads. Over the next few days we hope to build on this. We might have built on them that night if we hadn’t been interupted.

We had just left one of our more disgusting dives when we were accosted by Springheel Jack. He was unnaturally quick and agile, almost fluid like. He didn’t just want to pinch Lyla, I think he wanted to pursue and rape her and maybe me. He quickly cut her belt and her pants went away just as quickly. I tried everything to inspire fear and bedlam in him, but it didn’t work. I grabbed him to get him away from her and he reversed the hold on me. Now I was the subject of his desire. She kept on him using harsher attacks as time went on, but he shrugged off our punched and healed our cuts. I got loose and took wolf form. His interest in me went away and he turned on Lyla again. I suggested she change as well, but she was reluctant. I guess she had her reasons, but I’m sure he didn’t want sex with a wolf.

Things got bad when he bashed her head against the wall. It was hard, very hard actually. So much so that she lost consciousness. He swept her up and over his shoulder. I thought about taking human form to woo him away from her, but instead I decided to leap and try to save her. I knew I would hurt Lyla by doing this, but the alternative was too gruesome to contemplate.

I gathered everything I had and leaped at Jack, grasping Lyla in my jaws and tearing her away and running off. Jack smiled and leaped away saying “Goodnight Ladies”. Lyla was hurt pretty bad, I was mostly uninjured, save my pride. We felt it was enough for that night and went home. Lyla was a bit frustrated and worried that her boyfriend, Ramiel would over-react and go after Jack in revenge. I agreed to say nothing.

We met the boys some hours later in their hotel suite.  We spent the night gathering info and those hours chatting away and documenting; trying to forget the more violent events of the night.  Lyla said nothing.  Neither did I.  I think Chaska suspected something and perhaps she told him; but I don’t know.  Tomorrow we plan to continue our scouting and follow-up on our leads.

Earth

Formal Name: Sol III

Government Name: United Nations of Earth Government

Population: 6.9 Billion

Brief Description: Earth of 2911 has been through wars, ecological disaster, controlled by its own colonies, robot rebellions, genetic strife and more. Today in many ways Earth is in the best shape it has been in over 200 years. Stringent regulations prevent overpopulation and ecological problems, but these same measures have divided the population into subtle divisions of have and have-nots not seen since hundreds of years earlier. One would think that EarthGov is obviously most powerful here, but local powers, the old nation-states, still hold significant powers over their cultures and populations. EarthGov controls supernational law enforcement and the military and plays a delicate balance between the local regions, old colonies, Spacer worlds and new colonies.

People: Earthers, Terrans, Downsiders. Whatever you call them, the majority of humanity are the descendants of the species Homo Sapiens that never left home. It is by far the most diverse population in the Human Sphere. Despite periodic attempts to improve the species, this diversity still stands as unique. Notable subgroups include ‘Turners – the descendants of people born and raised off-world, most notably former Spacer Loyalists. Those who over two centuries ago were kicked out of the Inner Sphere rebel worlds that eventually became the League of Independant Worlds – the Spacers as Earthers derogatorily call them. Mutants are a tiny minority. Some are evolutionary, others dead ends, still others results of one-time accidents. An even smaller number has shown uncanny abilities from something as amazing as energy projection to simply creating a nice ambient temperature. Most mutants unfortunately don’t have positive side effects to their afflictions and despite Earthgov’s best efforts suffer in underworld of the metrozones.

Telepaths: Of all the mutations, telepathy is the best understood and most studied. While rare, it is genetic, passed on in families, trainable, and highly regulated. Other related telepathic abilities such as psionic empathy (rare), ESP (very rare), and telekinesis (very, very rare) are also regulated. EarthGov created a semi-independent agency two hundred years ago called the Esper Guild or simply the Guild as a regulatory arm to police and license telepaths. Unlike other mutant abilities, technology has limited use in defending against telepathy, which is the reason why telepaths are licensed and powered mutants are not (for now-though there is little push for it). The Guild was neutral in the Spacer Revolts so, unlike many other agencies, it still has a limited presence there – the Guild-trained Directors (Astrogators) being the prime reason. A previous organization, the Psionic Agency was considered somewhat more draconian and Machiavellian. Centuries ago a Psionic Conflict happened wherein rogue members of the Agency tried to take over Earth. After their defeat by the hero Wave the Earth government reformed the Agency into the Guild, purging the power focus and creating more of an association. Even with civilian control, some people still suspect telepaths of underhandedness.

Robots: What are called ‘bots, droids, robots, etc are a growing workhorse of the economy. Since the migration of a vast majority of the human population to the metrozones in the last centuries, farm and mineral labor had become an even-increasing problem. Humanoid robots (‘Droids) had been in use since the end of the 21st Century, but after the AI Revolt of the 2400’s, the EcoWars, and the Great Exodus of humans to the colonies, their use other than as a curiosity nearly ceased other than in dangerous fields of endeavor such as asteroid mining (which even became a human occupation later on). After the second wave of colonists departed for the Outer Sphere after the Spacer Revolt, robots came to be seen as essential for agriculture and mining industries where human labor was lacking. With the exception of the Spacer Worlds, anti-droid prejudice is at an all-time high (A notable and none-too-surprising exception is NeoTokyo). However the need for robots is growing and some menial job categories in the metrozones are beginning to employ them in larger and larger numbers and some are now even becoming household servants. Off Earth, robots are rare, expensive, and disliked. Non-humanoid robots or ‘Bots are neither loved nor hated. They are ubiquitous. When people complain about robots they are usually talking about androids. All androids in Earth controlled space must be obviously artificial, not possess True-AI, and be completely Asimoved and licensed. Ingenious people have found ways to follow the rules but still offer top-level human shaped droids, including the famous Auradine’s Blue series and the metallic Ibri Panion series.

10 Largest Cities: The majority of the worlds population live in hundreds of centralized metrozones. 97% at last count. A few ‘cultural preserves’ exist on all continents preserving traditional cultures from as early at the 19th century. These are the exception. Very small towns have mostly ceased to exist with most (not all) agriculture run on huge robot farms. Robot labor is a growing concern as it is beginning to expand into the metros.

NeoTokyo-49 Million; NeoYork-45 Million; CentraMex-44 Million; Mumbai-38 Million; SaoPaulo-35 Million; Delhiplex-28 Million; MetroShanghai-27 Million; NeoKolkata-22 Million; Dhaka-20 Million; BuenosAires-18 Million.

A view of one of NeoYork's city centers (Newark Sector) looking west.
A view of one of NeoYork's city centers (Newark Sector) looking west.

Current Situation: As the hub of the Human Sphere, Earth is the prime economic engine and largest consumer. However, stringent environmental, population control, cultural control and other regulations have made life there a bit dull for some tastes. The cities and well-managed (usually), but poverty, discrimination and crime still find a way to spoil the Utopian promises of the future. The cultural shock of losing the most economically important colonies so long ago has never quite been fully recovered from, despite the newer colonization efforts on less potential worlds and some trade with the alien species. With so many players, Earthgov, Nation-States, Old Colonies, Spacers, New Colonies, Megacorps and more, the potential for corruption, even in an ideal situation is very high. While violent crime is (mostly) unknown in most cities, anti-robot riots, petty theft, and corruption is slowly on the rise. Most situations are dealt with by the Directorate of Public Safety (Earthgov Security) or local police quite effectively, but a recent increase of crime – including mutant-powered crime – has been threatening to spill over to Earth proper.

The Human Spheres

The year is 2911. Humanity has expanded as far a hundred light years from its cradle on Earth in multiple waves of exploration, colonization and terraforming. In the last hundred years, weak signals from other civilizations other than humanity have allowed the first tentative contacts with even more remote civilizations. In this time some humans have exhibited strange abilities akin to the legends of the past. With humanity spread far and wide and communications and government limited to local space, opportunities for freebooters, pirates and criminals of all kinds have been growing. Those with these mutant abilities have been part of the background of many of these activities, but not all. Some choose to side with law, order and what is right…

The Human Spheres

The human colonies and home world are divided into four discrete types. The first are the Core Worlds, these include Earth, Luna and the orbital colonies, Mars, Asteroids and the Venusian atmospheric colonies. These worlds are nominally controlled by Earthgov. With the exception of Venus, all these were first colonized in the 22nd through 24th centuries by humans selected by various space agencies, the best of their people. Eventually after the EcoWars of the late 22nd century, vast numbers of refugees left Earth for these and the Outer Colonies, giving all worlds of the Sol System (other than Venus for the most part) a mix of cultures.

The next set of colonies started only as research stations out in the Jovan and Saturnian moon systems. With the development first of high-speed V-Drives in the 23rd century and later the first stargates in the 24th century allowing for lightspeed travel. These Outer Colonies are descended mostly from refugees of the EcoWars and the subsequent large scale migrations of people who refused the birth control and genetic profiling programs of the late 24th and 25th centuries on Earth.

Inner Sphere: The next set of colonies were founded over two hundred years from the first explorations of nearby desolate star systems by Stardrive equipped exploration ships. Limited to lightspeed at first these ships explored several worlds over many decades. The best of these worlds became the first outsystem, or Spacer worlds. Colonized by the best and the brightest, by the late 26th century they refused any more immigrants and Earth colonists were forced to use more fringe worlds. After the rebellions of the 27th century, the majority of the Spacer worlds declared independence and decisively defeated EarthGov attempts to reassert control. Only Aurora the first of these worlds, maintained significant links with Earth, and those were tenuous at best. Others are beginning to do so as well. Note: not all Inner Sphere worlds are Spacer worlds. A few didn’t rebel such as Centauri and others were colonized later on less-attractive worlds.

Outer Sphere: The final set of colonies are more recent. During and somewhat after the Spacer rebellions some freelance colonies and corporate colonies kept up attempts at colonization. But for most of the 27th and 28th century Spacer rules, regulations and fleets kept Earth colonies limited mostly to the Inner Sphere. However, in the mid 28th Century, a resurgent EarthGov, pushed by population pressure made peace with the Spacer worlds and colonization began anew. These colonies, the Outer Sphere, soon outnumbered the old colonies, but being so far away from Earth they to this day constantly struggle with supplies, corruption, and simple survival.  It was these worlds that first encountered the signals that led to alien first contact in the first years of the 29th Century.

February 26th, 2008

Things didn’t go so well yesterday. I am beginning to get a feel for this town, slowly but surely. No one is as they seem. Lets start with my own personal issues. First, my lover is a very busy man, though he makes time to see me and pay attention to my needs. That’s okay as I am a Childe of the Morrigan. I have things to do, I don’t need to get completely consumed in my passion for Ironclaw. Though it is fun! I spend my time searching the woodlands and getting to know the valleys and dales that surround the town. I have also been planning to get my coven together, have met with my brother several times, and have been painting and composing. I even broke out my violin once. That being said, I wish i could understand Ironclaw more. He hasn’t really introduced me to his pack, group, tribe? I’m not sure what they call it. Though to his credit, he hasn’t asked too much about things I can’t talk about. That’s good, but I guess I do wish to know more about him, his parents, his group, et al. I suppose in that way I am curious. I find the werewolves, now that I have met them, to be fascinating.

Second also happens to be about Ironclaw. We had an altercation with a spirit or group of spirits that changed him to a man 2/3s of his age. The horny bastard got drunk with Ramiel and Michael and something happened that I really don’t care to know. Though I do. One of the Honeywells, Tara, said she’d take care of it. He innuendo was quite clear. I make it abundantly clear my opinion of her ‘solution’, and she promised me certain guarantees; promises that obviously were not kept, at least in spirit. Now Tara is a powerful being, perhaps as much as Ironclaw himself. I dont’ know what she is or does, but she just annoys me with her seeming arrogance. Then again, I can be that way sometimes too. In any case, something happened and later I learned about it. I didn’t yell, I just began to leave. He turned into a wolf an followed me after I spoke my mind and frustration. He just kept on following. You see, my man can’t apologize in a normal way for something that he did under a magic spell, but I sense he knew I was a bit hurt (I guess the feeling is hurt, perhaps betrayed?) and by following me like he did it was his way of apologizing. I know he knows that sometimes I must sometimes use the promise of romance to hunt prey, but I wont go further than feeding whiel I am with him. In fact, other than him and animals, I have for the most part avoided feeding off humans too much, at least until my herd..um, coven is assembled. He didn’t allow me to feed off him for several weeks as he thought I was treating him as prey. I carefully explained that is also had deeper meaning for me, and hopefully he will let me do so soon. All indications are that he will.

Thirdly we had a fight with one of the spirits. I nailed the flying human-thing with my talons. It bled nicely. Perhaps this was a harpy want-to-be. Anyway between all of us we drove it off. It was a group effort, though I did seem to hurt it a lot. I myself was hurt a bit, but what is pain and wounds to my kind?

January 25th, 2008

This has been a really busy two days. Exciting as well. Suffice it to say that this kindred is now the proud mate (if that is the proper term), of a werewolf. The lycanthrope Ironclaw that I had met earlier turns out to be just like me in many ways, the important ways. We are now lovers, and I’m so very proud of being with him. I won’t drag out the whole courtship that we shared over the last two days, but is was a whirlwind of conversation, then pursuit (me with words, him literally), then consummating our night with the taste of his blood and the passion of his lust. To be honest I have never felt anything like this before. It may be just insatiable curiosity and the love of something new, but both of us want to see where it goes. He’s willing to try everything and I’ll test his limits. As far as I know, I am the only kindred ever to do this. In talking to him and making love to him, not only do I satiate our mutual desire for one another but I literally worship the Goddess and achieve pure mindlessness and oneness with my beast all at the same time. It is glorious.

Now, how did I become his ‘mate’? Besides the obvious, he said so. Again, I won’t go into the details, but after a challenge to his authority by my newly re-acquainted friend Lyla (also a werewolf), he fought like a true master of his world. An amazing specimen of pure raw male power. I’m liking him more and more. This can only get better.

I shouldn’t be selfish. There is a lot going on that I do not understand, and my brother was upset with the fight between Lyla and Ironclaw. Lyla, you see, is pregnant. I warned Ironclaw about it and he went out of his way to avoid hitting the baby. Honorable too! What an amazing place this Eldon Well is.

On, and by the way. In front of a whole mess of people who witnessed the fight he stated most insistently that I was his mate. Cool. I can play at that. I might even like it. I don’t think this one will disappoint me for awhile.

January 14, 2008

I had a facinating evening last night. After spending a few days getting all moved in and set up, I thought I’d take a ook around. Johnny has been a real help. I do regret not telling him earlier, as he has been so kind and understanding. The Masquerade is paramount in general, but so far everyone who knows is supernatural in some way or I suspect they are.

In any case, I decided that the signs were right to explore the woods some more. I had done a little scouting when I first arrived, but this time I needed to find a place to do my ritual sacrifice to the Morrigan. I had promised the Honeywells that I’d be mindful of the townsfolk (not that I wouldn’t, I’ve been at this for nearly fifty years), so I went out as a wolf.

It was nearly one a.m. when I encountered him. He was a great gray wolf. A powerful beast which looked upon me with curiousity. After a time of exchanging signals he tipped his hand, indicating that he was a supernatural creature. We played at games for a bit until I decided to tip my hand. I returned to my human form and unsurprisingly he returned to his. A real, live werewolf! In fact, this was a majestic man. Oh, not beautiful or handsome in an artistic sense, but rugged, powerful and confident, like men should be.

We talked a little while, exchanging innuendo and becoming a mystery to each other. As long as I didn’t mess with his territory, or mark it as my own (as if I would!), I could hunt there. I look forward to encountering this one again. Perhaps this werewolf could make a good ally?

January 10, 2008

Yesterday.

The sun had recently set and I had emerged from my haven of soil to begin setting up my living room. I had to at least look like I lived here. Before I could really begin, I heard a knock on the door. So, I’m thinking, “Okay, which mortal knows my secret now?” It turned out to be Lyla, Ramiel and some indian guy called Chaska. He was plesent enough, though eerily familiar.

Apparently they needed my help against the very Dark Man my brother had told me about a few nights before. He had taken a teen and Ramiel had been hired to find them. I thought, “they saved my unlife, perhaps this is an opportunity to balance the scales.” So, I agreed and got ready for a fight.

The ride there was long and there was little conversation. Chaska likely didn’t know what I could do, actually none of them knew what I could do, just what I was. He didn’t seem to know that. All of them were confident, but there was a tension in the air. They had confronted this one long ago and nearly died doing it, or so Johnny had told me. I think they might have believed they could fail. I prayed to the Morrigan to watch this battle and honor us in blood.

We found the house outside of town. No sooner had we pulled up and left Lyla and Chaska out to scout the area when three cars came down the road. One blocked us off and the other two sped down toward the barn.

Four people got out of the car, three women and a man. Without hesitation, Ramiel drew his pistol on the woman. They knew each other. He name was Lily, I caught that much. They had all drawn weapons and this Lily, who called herself a goddess, Ishtar herself actually, grew some form of armor from her skin. I looked and she was no kindred, but some cultist mage or some such. There was an exchange of fire and I felt the beesting of a bullet hit. These people has saved my life. It is possible that this Lily and I would have on some level understood one another, but they shot first. And more importantly had attacked my new friends.

I charged in. Out of the corner of my eye, I espyed wolf shapes fighting men and metal near the barn. Oh great, they’ve got hellhounds. But no, it seemed like man-wolf shapes fighting for us. I couldn’t really pay attention to them as I had my own problems to deal with. Ramiel had left the car and dashed to the barn. Lily has shot electricity. Yes, electricity, from her hands at both Ramiel and Michael. Dumb, I thought, shooting electricty at a big metal box, but what do I know about these things. In any case they were fine, mostly. Michael put a few rounds into her before she took off after Ramiel. By this time the humans had began shooting at Michael en mass. All except the woman with the shot gun. I’m sorry to admit, I killed her. I thought they were more dangerous that they looked.

By the time I had rendered the other two wounded, but alive, Michael had taken off for the barn where a big fight was building up. He’s a good shot, that one. Then suddenly the sounds stopped and the fight was over. One by one my friends returned to the SUV, wounded, but alive. Ramiel was highly wounded. I felt for him. He looked at my two prisoners and said, “Drink them dry!” I said, without hesitation, “No. I won’t”. I was really surprised about his fierceness, but it may just have been the moment, he likely isn’t like that normally. I hope at least.

I tended to the fallen cultist’s wounds and sent them on there way with a kindly warning to go back to their families and never do this again. They left.

They had brought back the boy and all seemed well. There was some confused conversation and Chaska was incessingly taunting Ramiel about something. Turns out Ramiel is the father of Lyla’s new baby. In other words, she is pregnant. I hear this is Ramiel’s second child. Hmm. I suppose congratulations are in order. I’d like to meet his eldest child, for I do love children. Innocence, once lost, is never recovered. But in the eyes of a child, one can grasp that again.

A few miles south of town, I got out and said I’d walk the rest of the way. I went and hunted. Tonight I plan to thank the Morrigan for the victory.

January 9, 2008

Oh, I’m pissed. So, now more locals seem to know who I am. From what I hear, this place was founded by druid-types a couple hundred years ago, and the descendants are in charge. They Honeywell family. In any case, they invited me to dinner. I thought it was a standard small-town get-to-know you session. But it was a trap of sorts. They knew who I was and what I am. In any other domain, they would be taken and either killed or mind-controlled, but here they had me under their thumb. Oh, they were pleasent enough and the innuendo was thick as a San Franciso fogbank, but in no uncertain terms they said I was welcome and they would be watching. I was polite while I thought about who it was that broke their word and betrayed me. I’m assuming they had to tell. These people seem to know everything.

I like my secrets and don’t like them shared unless I say so.

January 8, 2008

I have just moved my things to a small apartment in Eldon Well. It is a nice location, more central to my followers than Concorde and a good place to establish myself for a few years and I’ll be close enough to fly to the aid of my friends in Albany or even those struggling in Boston and surrounding domains.

My lady Pricilla warned me about Concorde. Now I understand. A breach of the Masquerade has occured and several locals have turned a kindred and were trying to turn myself into a blood bank for a hyper-addictive vitae-based drug. Sickening. I have also found out about the two kindred. I won’t go into the details of how, but in short they are likely controlled by a Mage. I have informed my lady about this and await instructions. My instinct is to ask my new friends to help track down the mage and free the kindred. I must act on this soon, probably within the month.

Who are these friends? I was found and saved by a group of people including my little brother Johnny. I am appreciative of them and after my brother asked me to move in to his town, I agreed. Hence, I’m here. The risks to the greater Masquerade are minimal as all those who rescued me have deep supernatural secrets as well.

Johnny is a telepath of some kind. I guess we have good genes. Michael is some kind of sorceror, but I’m not sure how. Daniel seems to have been a former ghoul. If this is true, that would be bad and I would be forced to cow him to my power. If not, then I won’t worry. Lyla and Ramiel I had met a few years ago. Lyla more intimately, as I was drawn to the taste of her blood. In any case, my kindness to her has paid off well. I only hope they will understand what I am and respect it. I certainly will respect them.