This is a critical shift inspired by the final outcome of a long running > MSH [Marvel Superheroes] campaign that I've monkeywrenched into FS. Just a bit of fun :) If, by some bizarre chance, any of the Motley Crew read this; forgive me if the details are a bit hazy: it was a long time ago :) also, the characters have been altered somewhat to be more Feng and less Super.
The Defenders were a group of seven UK based superheroes operating in the late 80's to early nineties. After several years of battling various menaces (including an evil high-tech offshoot of the guiding hand), traveling to the future and even stranger junctures, they vanished when their base (an abandoned oil rig in the north sea) was hit by a nuclear weapon. It remains unknown what happened on that fateful day, but the heroes were not seen again until they had conquered the world.
The Defenders went through several lineup changes over the four years that they were active, but the most enduring lineup is as follows. Stats are given as of the end of their adventuring career, as their stats post-takeover are not easily quantifiable.
Bod 8, Chi 2, (Fu =8), Mnd 6, Ref 7
Skills: Martial Arts 16, Info/Medieval history 12, Creature Powers 12
Fu Shticks: Path of the Healthy Tiger: Tiger Stance (1/0)/When injured in hand-to-hand combat , you may launch a free attack
Unyielding Tiger Stance (2/0)/When attacked in hand-to-hand, you can launch a simultaneous strike.
Path of the Hands of Light : Hands without Shadow (1/3)/Make a Martial arts attack that opponent can't Dodge.
Path of the Sharpened Scales: Bite of the Dragon (2/3)/Martial Arts attack with +2 Damage
Breath of the Dragon (3/3)/Martial arts attack with +3 to AV.
Path of the Storm Turtle: Willow Step (1/0)/Your Dodge Value increases by 2 for the duration of the shot.
Creature Powers: Flight/8M
Detect Evil/As revelation effect of Divination, Sorcery shtick
Light Sword/15 Dam, ignores armour, can be thrown for 11 Dam
Notes: Allegedly (well, according to him, at any rate) the reincarnation of king Arthur. A formidable swordsman, capable of producing a broadsword of pure light, and having the ability to detect supernatural evil. Generally good and pure, and the closest thing to a leader the team had.
Bod 10 (Str 12), Chi 0 (Mag 4), Mnd 5 (Wil 7), Ref 5
Skills: Martial Arts 15, Rune Magic 12
Fu Shticks: Path of the Selective master: Signature Weapon/Staff (18 dam)
Creature Powers: Armour III/6 Points of armour.
Regeneration II/Heal 2 Wound Points each sequence
Unique Schitck: Runic Magic/This works much like the techie's useful gadget shtick. Grimdel has a selection of minor runic magic's; each session he can spend a magic point to have a useful one to hand. Magic points are regained at the end of the session.
Notes: A Norseman, about 1500 years old. Tremendously strong and tough, whether he actually was the son of the Fenris Wolf is a matter of conjecture; but he might as well have been. Possessed of some minor runic magic, and a quaterstaff reputed to be unbreakable.
Bod 5 (Tough 10), Chi 0, Mnd 10 (Cha 5), Ref 5
Skills: Guns 13, Fix-it 15, Info/Genetics 16, Info/Alien Technology 16
Creature Powers: regeneration V/Heal 5 Wound Points each sequence,
Inevitable Comeback/Special; Tesserfield will *always* come back. It may take years to regenerate molecule by molecule, but he will eventually.
Notes: A genetically engineered alien scientist. a genius, but not very practical. His powers of regeneration were so potent that he was impossible to destroy permanently, even if atomized.
Bod 7, Chi 0 (Mag 8), Mnd 5 (Wil 10), Ref 7
Skills: Martial Arts 14, Sorcery 13, Creature Powers 12, Guns 11, Intrusion 10, Deceit 11
Creature Powers: Damage Immunity/Immune to all non-magical fire
Enhanced Intangibility/Allowed him to walk on air, and ignore many physical attacks. Also allowed him to reach into peoples' torsos and rip their spines out, but that's another matter.
Sorcery Shticks: Divination, Summoning
Fu Shticks: Path of the Selective master: Signature Weapon/Spear (13 dam). Ignores armour. Wounds caused cannot be regenerated, and death by the spear negates Inevitable Comeback effects. Is semi-sentient, able to use intangibility itself, and can teleport back to Cain if thrown.
Notes: Cain: also known in the earlier part of his career as Blade. Cain was half demon; the son of Lucifer (yes, that Lucifer) and Lillith (another Immortal who was one of the main villains of the campaign). Charming to a fault, Cain was also a merciless killer. Over 4000 years old and a capable sorcerer, he also possessed the Lance of Longinus. In fact, he'd had it almost all his life: Cain *was* Longinus, the Roman centurion who pierced Christ's side on the cross. He used to posses long distance teleportation abilities, but lost them after a nasty incident when he was crucified by his mother.
Bod 5, Chi 1 (For 2, Fu 7), Mnd 6, Ref 9
Skills: Guns 13, Martial Arts 15, Intrusion 14, Sabotage 12, Creature Powers 12
Fu Shticks: Path of the Clever Eye: The Fox's Retreat (1/1) /Add +5 to your active Dodge
Eyes of the Fox (1/1)/GM tells you one of your opponents numerical values.
Laughter of the Fox (1/3)/Make a Martial Arts check to grab a weapon from an opponents grasp (+5 to Dodge if its a Signature weapon). Until end of Sequence you get a +3 to AV. with this weapon against opponent.
Vengeance of the Fox (2/0)/When hit by opponent in hand-to-hand, make a Martial Arts Check to throw opponent a number of metres equal to the Outcome in direction of your choice. Opponent suffers Damage equal to his Strength + the Outcome.
Luck of the Fox (1/3)/Execute a maneuver that allows you to spend Chi points as Fortune Points until the end of the Sequence each point done so causes you to suffer 5 WP's.
Contract of the Fox (8/0)/Use immediately after Initiative is rolled. You have Initiative equal to highest rolled.
Creature Powers: When hit by an energy attack he does not take damage, but puts the wound points caused in a storage pool. He can then release this energy as light with the same damage as the number of wound points expended. This has theoretically no limit, and an alternate future version of Nicolai was thought to have once absorbed the blast from a nuclear explosion (although he wasn't seen subsequently).
Notes: A KGB agent who had been subject to medical experimentation, replacing his bones with a mysterious rubbery substance that could absorb, store and redirect any form of energy.
Something of an enigma: this strange being changed its appearance, powers, and even personality on an almost monthly basis. He shall be largely ignored henceforth.
Originally the team's lawyer, Gently was never a front line hero. She did, however, transpire to be a psychic, a vampire, and later on something even stranger. Stats unknown. (She was a GMC and I never quite worked out what she did..)
In 1992 the Defenders' not-so-secret base was destroyed by a nuclear explosion by person or persons unknown. The Defenders vanished from view, and were generally thought to have died. This is not strictly true. Nicolai Sergetov survived by absorbing the portion of the blast that affected him, but was unable to shield the others. Tesserfield was vaporized, and took several years to regenerate. The others 'survived' as Cain opened a gate to the underworld by which route they escaped from the blast. It took them four years to fight their way out of the Underworld, and when they did they were not the same people who had entered.
Upon their return to earth, they regrouped and consolidated their position, remaining hidden. The first step was the plague. In 1998 Tesserfield released a lethal and contagious alien virus worldwide, killing over 90% of the world population. The Ascended immediately blamed the Architects, spawning an all-out war that raged unchecked across all open junctures and almost destabilized the Netherworld as well. Ironically, this was the event that precipitated the critical shift, as the Architects were weakened enough that they could not prevent the defenders' takeover while civilization was in ruins. Ming I was caught in the 2056 juncture at the time, and was killed by the plague: Li Ting's troops quickly locked off as much of that juncture as he could and set about burning out any signs of plague in the Netherworld to prevent it spreading down the timestream. After a year the virus died out as planned, but by that time the defenders divided had the world in seven parts, and created a new order.
Cain chose the continent of North America. While the plague was raging, Cain ritually sacrificed the entire population of Memphis to himself with a megaton nuclear bomb. The power this gave his demonic side was enough to unleash hordes of demons across the continent, to possess most of the US army, and to fundamentally alter reality. In the 2056 juncture, "The Dominion" comprises Mexico, the US, and Canada. The USA actually still exists in the form of Alaska; mainly by Cain's whim. Existing as a buffer state to the south lies the FSCA (Free States of Central America) between The Dominion and Aztechna (see below). The Dominion is desolate. Think "Mad Max" but with demons. The nature of Chi flow was altered on Memphisnight and there are few powerful Feng Shui sites; most of the chi flow being channeled directly to the Underworld and to Cain. Cain himself is now possibly the most powerful single creature in existence; easily a match for any one of the Monarchs. He is also, however, tremendously bored. He perpetrated this stunt mainly to annoy his mother, and is actually beginning to hope that some faction or other will achieve another critical shift. He spends most of his time on a beach in Hawaii and exercises very little control over his domain.
Aztechs and dinosaurs rule the continent of South America. Ziggurats have been built on the major Feng Shui sites of the continent, and what's left of the population is rules by a bloodthirsty priesthood with high-tech "magic". The jungle has reclaimed the land, and is stalked by genetically engineered dinosaurs. This is the domain of Tesserfield. Tesserfield is the most fractious of the Defenders, but is afraid of Cain who he knows is capable of ending his existence.
Ruled by the mysterious Gently, the team's lawyer, although she now goes by the name of Tiemat. Gently (as was) was a member of the Ascended, a transformed dragon, who was assigned to keep the Defenders out of trouble. She also had powerful Psychic abilities. It was these that she employed in her takeover. It all started in Iran, where by exercise of her mental powers she was declared the second prophet of Allah. She started to have Mosques built on Feng Shui sites, much as did Tesserfield in Aztechnia, and soon a Jyhad swept Africa, the Mid-East, and the Indian subcontinent. Soon she controlled enough of the chi flow to alter reality to her liking, and dragons took to the skies of Earth once more. The Empire is actually quite civilized (if like everywhere else sparsely populated) with a general standard of living comparable to late 19th Century Persia. Tiemat (as she is now known) has a son by Cain, a sinister demonic dragon named Silence.
Grailknight's realm has no name. Grailknight was never the most mentally stable of people; he was always close to possession by all the spirits of previous once and future kings, and his underworld experience drove him quite quite mad. Styling himself Cieran Darkangel, he rules a squalid realm of pre-medieval conditions and an atmosphere of torture and brutality. He also has a habit of falling in love with people and having them brutally murdered. The memories of his past lives have given him a great deal of Druidic knowledge, and the placement of standing stones around Europe gives him control of the region's chi.
The Fimbulwinter has come to Scandanavia and northern Russia. Giants, trolls, elves and dwarves stalk the snows. Grimdel roams the country, killing all who cross his path.
Is not under any one factions' direct control. It is rumored that the strange seventh member of the Defenders lives beneath Ayres Rock, but this may be superstition.
The Guiding Hand have taken China, and have restored it to the technological level they prefer.
Nicolai was not corrupted by the underworld, and tried to oppose the Defenders plans. When this failed, he contented himself with saving as much of civilization as he could. Japan, Northern China and Eastern Russia are a high tech Utopia. Nicolai himself still contains much of the energy he absorbed from the nuke of 1992, and this is the main reason he was able to salvage so much. Neo Japan is also the HQ of what remains of the Ascended, being more or less the only place they can survive.
These are the base juncture mods; some regions differ from others: see below.
1: Attempts to banish or control creatures are penalised by 5 in the dominion
2: Sorcery mod in the Empire is considered to be +6 when pertaining to Transformed Animals
3: Zero in Neo Japan
4: Zero in Aztechnia.
The Lotus made a large tactical error after the critical shift in attempting to expand into the demon-overrun Dominion. Unfortunately they were largely foiled by the difficulty of controlling demons there, and once Cain became aware of their activities their forces were decimated.
The Ascended have been crippled. First their costly war with the Architects, then the split of the Transformed Dragons have severely weakened them. This may be the primary cause of the Defenders' downfall, however, if one of the other factions can take advantage of this in an earlier juncture and cause another shift.
The Guiding Hand took advantage of the Lotus' error to take China, largely as it was absent from any of the Defenders' plans. From their point of view it's all turned out quite nicely.
The Architects no longer exists as a coherent faction. Their home juncture has been erased, and while there are many abominations and SERU agents running around, the infrastructure and beauracracy that supported and ran them has vanished.
The Jammers were bereft for a short while about what to blow up now the Architects were no more. They quickly adapted to destroying stone circles and killing Darkangel's knights and druids.
The Monarchs were rocked by Ming I's death. They are making active attempts to invade this newly magic rich juncture: Pi Tui is having the most success in the poorly controlled territory of Russia.
Well; that where you come in, isn't it?
Practically the only member of the Defenders active elsewhere in the timestream is Tiemat. The Transformed Dragons split from the Ascended as a whole as many of them flocked to Tiemat's realm. The pledged operatives they controlled form the core of Tiemat's force for guarding against a critical shift against them.
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