State of the Campaign World [Background]

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Here's general background information about Halcyon City, along with unanswered questions . NOTE: none of these questions need to be answered here and now! If anyone has good answers, go ahead and reply, but this is usually going to be stuff that'll come out in play. Halcyon City is located in North Carolina, east of Rocky Mount and south of Elizabeth City. How did it come to be there, and rise up the way that it did? Who are the local leaders - mayor, city council, etc.? Notable mundanes  include... AEGIS Agent Ted Waters Agent 1337 Halcyon High Doctor Dawes (image: Terminator's Freeman Dyson) Mr. Vigil (PE/gym, image: Bruce Campbell) Ms. "No!" Rodriguez (image: Honey Lemon), Leo's lab partner Taz (image: Homecoming's MJ), new creepy student "The Ponies" (Halcyon Herd) PowerPony Duskshine My Little Power Ranger (@PoniesAreMagic) Notable superheroes in Halcyon City include... A10 - attends school with Harry Gale, flying brick type? Played by Michelle Rodriguez Halcyon Heroes League (Silver Age) The Gale family of speedsters (honorary members) - Streak and Tempest Hyena - mysterious veteran vigilante superheroine Justice (Golden Age) - retired, may have a Protege Lucius - retired, running a coffee shop, TODO name The Quill family Transcendent (briefly turned evil) The Vindicators (Silver Age) any others? Notable supervillains  in Halcyon City include... Achilles Chin (formerly) - not local, but has history with the Quills Alycia Chin - Jason Quill's nemesis Aquaria - defender of the oceans The Dread Queen - ruler of Vyortovia The Farlander- alien treasure hunter Ghostheart - sniveling diabolist Hannibal Lectric - cultured electric chessmaster Iconoclast - anti-hero anarchist King Winter - enemy of the Gale family Magus Everard - selfish sorcerer supreme Professor Spectre Sablestar - intergalactic anarchist Troll - wifi powered asshole Voltaic any others? Notable organizations in Halcyon City include... AEGIS Excalibur legacy (including Lucius) Hidden Family of the (Vyortovian) Throne, tied to Ghost Girl's family any others? Notable locations  in Halcyon City include... Halcyon High - public high school, with multiple locations (North, South, Northwest, Riverside, Central, et cetera) Leo and Adam attend South. Halcyon's "superhero academy" - tends to have a lot of 'out' supers - Gardner Academy Paranormal elements known to the citizens of Halcyon City include... Universal Concordance - an alien intelligence Ghosts of the dead any others?
Some of the players above are from a larger context. The Quill family clearly has a key presence here; while Byron Quill's genius was largely turned to matters of global import, a lot of his inventions that had practical applications for urban life (maglev peoplemovers! hydroponic parks! pizza drones!) were funded by grants to Halcyon City, along with other, more social programs. (Byron Quill's father, Justin, was a real estate magnate, establishing much of modern Halcyon in the post-war boom; his father, in turn, Samuel, was a tobacco farmer.) Achilles Chin never really focused on Halcyon City. (One could make a case that Byron Quill was Achilles Chin's nemesis, foiling Chin's plans, more than the other way around.) His daughter, Alycia , though, is much more of a presence here, largely become of Jason choosing it for his residence.  [Btw, +3 virtual points to "Hannibal Lectric"] History-wise, I'm quite happy to see Halcyon City completely replace Atlanta geographically and (to a degree) historically. So no harbor from which kaiju  arise, but a major land transportation hub for the South, and thus by nature more industrial and more cosmopolitan than much of the region. It may well be that Justin Quill's post-war development efforts led to it being even more prosperous than our analog city; I'll posit a more progressive city government that put Halcyon City in the forefront of the civil rights movement, and allowed it to draw economic strength as a lodestone for the best of the South of all races flocking to Halcyon. 
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I can also imagine a Mr. Terrific type character, a polymath genius super, basically making Jim Crow unworkable through sheer competence. Such a person could have a dramatic impact on the social mores of the region. There's plenty of other sources of inspiration for such characters here:  http://worldofblackheroes.com/black-superheroes/
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Halcyon City is located in the American South, either at or near Atlanta. Where, specifically? Is it a port city? How did it come to be there, and rise up the way that it did? Who are the local leaders - mayor, city council, etc.? For a lot of this, I'd like to lean in the direction of the material in the book, except for any part that directly goes against stuff we've come up with ourselves - that always wins. Atlanta was what we'd talked about before, but upon review, I need a little more geographic diversity, so please see the attached map. I want some coastline, and I'd like some ocean, since I might want to put weird islands off the coast and things like that. The location I've indicated doesn't have any major cities nearby (I think it's a wildlife preserve IRL), but it's within shouting distance of Philadelphia, Washington, NYC, and (inland) Raleigh. Should give us all the stuff we'd been aiming at, culturally and historically. How did it come to be here: I'm pretty good with pages 15 and 16, especially the city being big (10 million people), well established, and the single greatest confluence of superheroic, metahuman, supernatural, and impossible activity in the world.
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Doyce T.
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Notable superheroes in Halcyon City include... The Gale family of speedsters The Quill family any others? I'll probably have something like the Halcyon Heroes League (which the Silver-age Gales are at least honorary members of), the Vindicators (also silver age). For specific established heroes, I've got nothing specific in mind, but I'll be influenced more in the direction of Astro City, I imagine. Halcyon is big and multicultural, with "Little [region]" parts of town for just about every culture out there. That attracts a lot of 'local' heroes. I'll bring in (and expect you guys to introduce) heroes as we need them.
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Notable supervillains in Halcyon City include... Achilles Chin (formerly) Alycia Chin Hannibal Lectric any others? I believe Kay mentioned the Gale's arch-nemesis is a cold-powers guy? A few others I see coming up, from the Villains deck for Masks: Aquaria is a defender of the oceans, by any means necessary, and with Halcyon City right on the coast, that might come up. Iconoclast is a young anti-hero anarchist sort trying to bring down the whole superhero system. Sablestar and the Farlander are both extraterrestrials who seem to have a history with the Concordance, if not Concord himself. Ghostheart is DEFINITELY going to show up. Magus Everard is the ... let's say Masks equivalent of the Sorcerer Supreme, this generation's Doctor Fate or "Shaman" from The Authority... except he's a selfish prick who's got the power and is using it for himself. He's also the source of the magic that brought Ghost Girl into the world - he was duking it out with either Dominus or Doctor Infinity (also villains by most standards) - accounts vary. The fact GG was created by the clashing powers of two supervillains, and is also you know DEAD, does not immediately garner a lot of trust in the public's mind. So... that's some cosmic people, some time travel people, a touch of magic.  I also have my eye on a few tech-based guys, like Voltaic and probably Professor Spectre . The city is chock-a-block with supers, so lots of stuff will come up, but I'll at least TEND to focus on the mystical, cosmic, and technological for now (fewer mutants, for example) since that's where the group is personally is focused. (Also not a lot of punisher-types, though power-driven corporations are likely.)
Bill G. said: I can also imagine a Mr. Terrific type character, a polymath genius super, basically making Jim Crow unworkable through sheer competence. Such a person could have a dramatic impact on the social mores of the region.  I like it!
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Aside from that, I don't have a TON of idea for big events, except that there have been dozens. Alien invasions. Magical apocalypses. Time vortexes. Halcyon City natives don't freak out if an alien shows up in front of them - they freak out if it starts SHOOTING, you know? It's not the weird or freaky that's the problem. It's if it's actively dangerous. Otherwise, they get on with their lives. The Silver Generation is still in power, though they're retiring out of the game in many cases. The Bronze Generation has made their marks in niche areas, but they were never a bigger deal then the Silver Generation, as a group. The Modern generation already has more active supers in the game than either the Silver or Bronze generation currently does... but at the same time, they have a bare fraction of the power and influence, and they've surely noticed that discrepancy.
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Doyce T.
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*** Dave H. said: Bill G. said: I can also imagine a Mr. Terrific type character, a polymath genius super, basically making Jim Crow unworkable through sheer competence. Such a person could have a dramatic impact on the social mores of the region.  I like it! Me too! I want to dig into that website you linked, when I have a second.
Doyce T. said: For a lot of this, I'd like to lean in the direction of the material in the book, except for any part that directly goes against stuff we've come up with ourselves - that always wins. Atlanta was what we'd talked about before, but upon review, I need a little more geographic diversity, so please see the attached map. Okay, I'll read the book on that stuff. :-) And I'm fine with the coast of North Carolina, too. Margie, in particular, can do a fine North Carolinian accent.
Doyce T. said: I want some coastline, and I'd like some ocean, since I might want to put weird islands off the coast and things like that. Well, you have "Kill Devil Hills" there, and that's gotta be good for at least three episodes.
Doyce T. said: Halcyon City natives don't freak out if an alien shows up in front of them - they freak out if it starts SHOOTING, you know? It's not the weird or freaky that's the problem. It's if it's actively dangerous. Otherwise, they get on with their lives. So, yeah, time to break out the Astro City books for a re-read. :-)
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Doyce T.
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I'll confess, I love a lot of the place names in that area. :)
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Doyce T.
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*** Dave H. said: Doyce T. said: I want some coastline, and I'd like some ocean, since I might want to put weird islands off the coast and things like that. Well, you have "Kill Devil Hills" there, and that's gotta be good for at least three episodes. Also? Like... 30 miles from Roanoke.
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Doyce T.
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A few possible street or location names for the City: Tandaquomuc Batts Chowan Well-known historian and tenured professor at the University: Fletcher Freeman.
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*** Dave H. said: Bill G. said: I can also imagine a Mr. Terrific type character, a polymath genius super, basically making Jim Crow unworkable through sheer competence. Such a person could have a dramatic impact on the social mores of the region.  I like it! Let's have that super named Justice - with a few long-running conspiracy theories about who they might have been, back in the day (all wrong).  Justice is now in their late 70s, and set their mask aside long ago in favor of an influential life as 'normal' citizen. There might be a bronze-era 'heir to the mask' still active.
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Doyce T.
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Interesting historical note - this part of NC was home to the highest population of freed blacks, anywhere in the south, prior to the Civil War. There was also a lot of intermarrying between european or black settlers and the native tribes in the region. A good RL anchor-spot for the highly diverse Halcyon City.
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Also of note in the roster of Bad Guys - The Dread Queen She's the sovereign ruler of a small island nation. Reports on the location of said nation... vary. Vyortovia mostly keeps to itself, and the Queen seems content to merely strengthen her nation's reach via deals, diplomacy, and judicious application of her country's impressive (and somewhat inexplicable) technological superiority. There will be some others, but the ones I've mentioned are the ones that sort of tie into the larger global picture more than most.
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Updated with some Halcyon High and other mundane NPCs.
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Added Ghost Girl's family conspiracy, plus some AEGIS and Excalibur NPCs.
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Mike
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Somehow I forgot all about this thread and started keeping my own notes.  Of course, mine was less "notable" characters and more "characters that appeared 'on-camera' during the game".  Now I feel silly.  You can take a  peek at it here .
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I should bite the bullet and fire up a micro-wiki.
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http://wiki.menagerie.team/Main_Page I'll move content out of this thread and onto the wiki over the long weekend. Sign up if you want to edit.
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Mike said: Somehow I forgot all about this thread and started keeping my own notes.  Of course, mine was less "notable" characters and more "characters that appeared 'on-camera' during the game".  Now I feel silly.  You can take a  peek at it here . I think everyone on that link who's made any kind of appearance is now on the wiki.
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Halcyon Heroes League (since I'll need them pretty soon) Main members (or the members people tend to remember first) Golem Nautilus Oya Silver Streak Tempest Transcendent Secondary or less-well-known-to-the-public members Blackbird Guardian Hecate Paladin Phantasm Sigrun the Valkyrie Tatanka Vigil Harry can see how much he's picked up from inadvertent eavesdropping over the years by assessing the situation. Transcendent is generally agreed to be the serious league-of-their-own power scale. Most of the rest of the a-listers are comparable to one-another, in broad terms. The b-listers aren't really less powerful, they just aren't as well-known.
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http://wiki.menagerie.team/Halcyon_Heroes_League
Harry can see how much he's picked up from inadvertent eavesdropping over the years by assessing the situation. Are these folk already defined in some fashion, or are you looking for input on that?
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I have general ideas (including who's actually in charge), like "nautilus is a power armor science guy" and stuff like that, but that's probably the most detail I have. So yes I'm totally open to input.
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Here's some potential rumors about the HHL and its members. "________ had an affair with the spouse of a teammate. A couple of downtown buildings came down when the situation came out and they had an 'argument'. They made up a story of a supervillain who got away to cover up the damage, but it's still a sore spot." "________ used their powers to spy on a rival and reported their activities to AEGIS as suspicious." "________ stole a villain's tech, then incorporated it into their own. The villain and/or allies have a backdoor, though." "They ran a private prison for villains, but it was totally insecure. The villains used it to conspire together in safety, relaying messages to their organizations via mercenary teleporter." "They toppled an interstellar empire's despotic ruler, but left the empire itself in civil war rather than stick around and rebuild. Somebody powerful is coming/came for revenge." "One of them is actually the evil doppelganger from another universe, playing a very long game. Of course, the good version is still over there, and if they aren't dead by now, no telling what they'd have had to become to fit in..." "________ has a child at Gardner Academy. The kid's a bully, but the parent secretly supports it because that's how you become leader of a Modern team."
Oh, those  kind of rumors ... "________ is a nice enough guy, but you really don't want to leave him in a room with your daughter. Esp. if she's under age 18." "________ is suffering from taking a drug that [enhances their powers / counters body degeneration from their power user], leading to addiction, behavioral changes, and maybe blackmail from the [big pharma / street dealer] supplier. "________ was a porn star before they had a breakthrough as a hero that put them on the map. They have [paid blackmail / strong-armed the distributor / killed] to keep this a secret. "________ tells racist jokes whey they're drunk. The team's publicist has had to make a number of pay-offs to keep this from getting out." "________ was a super-villain. After a heist went horribly wrong, they were so repelled by what they had done that they changed their identity and became a super-hero. There is still a warrant out for their arrest." "________ lost a child in a tragic accident -- then defied the Time Protection Corps to go back and change the incident in a way that saved their child but led to several other innocent deaths." "________ ran a private prison for villains, and word has it that [the ACLU / Justice Dept.] would plotz if they heard about what went on there. "________ has a child at Halcyon South High, but has refused to acknowledge their parentage." "________ is a member of a secret society, complete with handshakes and funny robes and crazy stories about some mysterious island where their true deity dwells." "________ was a member of [extremist left / right wing organization] when they were younger; supposedly they quit and disavowed the whole thing, but [they sure still act like they belong / can you ever trust someone like that again / it would sure hurt the reputation of the group if that came out]. Now, not every hero on the list is going to have something this significant. If we're talking about rumors that Harry knows, mostly from discussions he's been present before between his 'rents at the dinner table, then at most they're going to be more like: "________ quit smoking last month, and jeez, they've put on a few pounds." "________ quit smoking last month, and jeez, they're annoyingly self-righteous about it." "________ just broke up with their latest super-bait fan. Sooner or later one of them is going to go to the fanzines about it." "________ dropped a huge bundle [in the stock market / on the ponies / on a real estate deal] -- I hear they may lose their house, if not their spouse." "________ has a kid at Halcyon Academy and I wish to God  they would shut up about how clever the little rug-rat is." "________'s spouse has gotten so  into RookWay products and the whole organization, and is always pushing people to buy that stuff at our meetings, and the whole thing is such  a pyramid scheme, and their RookWay Unstable Molecules Cleaning Fluid left this awful stain, right on my left shoulder where everyone can see, and now they want us all to come to a meeting so we can become RookWay distributors, too ..."
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I think everyone on the team has a vehicle for hearing rumors, actually. Link because spending earlier years around his dad would expose him to them. Harry and Jason because of their heroic parents' access to the same thing (Harry in particular because both his parents are members). Charlotte through her network, because dead men do tell tales. Adam through empathy or virtue detection, though this limits what he'd likely have heard/experienced.
I can definitely see Jason knowing all sorts of rumors from both Byron and Rusty - both professional gripes and personal cattiness. Harry's folks are more or less okay, though. Except for his politics and her wardrobe fads. 
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Doyce T.
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 when I when I get back to a keyboard later I'll play a little bit of a matching game between some of the people and some of the stuff you guys put down. Looks like fun. :-)
"________" has secret political ambitions which may influence their behavior.  <== Margie's suggestion
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Doyce T.
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Doyce T. said:  when I when I get back to a keyboard later I'll play a little bit of a matching game between some of the people and some of the stuff you guys put down. Looks like fun. :-) Later = later this weekend. :P stupid swim meets...