Monday, August 11, 2014

Bloodlines: A Supers Campaign Seed (Part Three)

The third part of a series drawn from a supers campaign I put together almost ten years ago. It focuses on super-powers which are inherited and limited to certain bloodlines around the globe. This is the first half of the section detailing those families and groups. You can see the first post here which lays out the general concept. I should note in looking back I'm a little disappointed on how much some of this material goes for the obvious idea. I think I'd try to complicate this a little if I went back to revise. Part One of the Bloodlines is here.

Arayama: The Japanese have taken to the idea of Supers with vigor. Supers are well-known and admired spokesmen, celebrities and heroes. There is little of the separation of Hero and Super there. Instead, most take positions serving as symbols of public life. Nearly all enjoy public sponsorship. Bloodline stories make up a massive part of the media and popular culture. Staged superfights, Supers assigned particular characters, imported heroes, tales of the mythic origins of bloodline powers, all of these have become the stuff of life.

The Arayama line is a moderately scattered one. It involves the use and manipulation of force. This can include force walls, deflection, velocity control or very visible telekinetic effects. The showier the power, the more popular. Many American supers move to Japan to be part of the culture there, yet many also leave after a few years because of the enormous culture differences, even after their return their fan clubs continue to operate. There are a few non or mechanically powered heroes in Japan who tend to fill the role of the Dark Avenger type. Villains and Villain groups tend to act out roles culturally assigned to them. Diaspora often gather in teams to serve as support groups for more famous Supers.

Dhanapal: India is one of the most troubling of Bloodline areas. The majority of the known Dhanapal supers arise from the upper castes of India. They are well integrated into the government of the nation. In fact, India has the highest proportion of Military Supers of any country on earth. They use these ruthlessly to support the current Indian Super president Raghuvhir Dhanapal. Many of the Indian supers participated in the invasion and suppression of Kashmir and the follow-up assault on Pakistan. During this assault, Indian Supers destroyed much of the military capability of the Pakistani forces.

Dhanapali powers are among the strangest of the bloodlines. They include a broad-range badly described as “reality-warping.” Among these are desolidification, time manipulation and teleportation. These powerful abilities combined with the strong ties of the bloodline to the government have made India one of the most powerful third-world nations. One trouble which mars this is the treatment of those Supers and bloodliners who come from the “untouchable” class. Many have become anti-government revolutionaries, many have gone into exile and many more have been detained by the government because they illegally possess lethal powers.

Dhanapal supers have often been assigned names by Westerners drawn from Hindu mythology by western sources. These are resented by Indian bloodliners who find them sacrilegious.

Muzenda: There is some debate about the source of this Bloodline, but the origination point clearly stretches back many generations. The Muzenda bloodline tends to pop up in those areas with the greatest degree of cross cultural contact. Areas like South Africa, Tanzania, and Zaire where there was either an educated class that traveled to other countries or a migrant worker class that moved around. Muzenda is the default name for the family as it is spread across several bloodlines. Some believe it may contain more than one original line. Their powers tend to cover the whole spectrum but generally low powered. However, their strongest members are ranked as among the most powerful in the world.

Hagar-Jebril: This line is split between two groups. The first is believed to be the original group (Hagar) which is made up of Arab or Sephardic Jews. Their line is mostly confined to Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. The other line (Jebril) is believed to be a split off branch which converted to Islam at some point in their history. They are mostly settled in Egypt, Spain, Lebanon and Morocco. Although there were many years of hostilities, the First Conference of Reconciliation in the year 2000 brought together elder members from both groups to deal with their differences. Many saw this as a bright promise of peace. However, in 2003 a significant portion of both sides of the bloodline moved in to take control of Lebanon. Military forces supported by Arab neighbors as well as Israeli occupying forces were thrown out. Since then they have been rebuilding Lebanon as a cooperative society. They are strongly opposed by the US, Israel and a number of the more conservative Arab nations. They are supported by Turkey, Syria and Egypt.

Hagar-Jebril powers are primarily telekinetic. They include pyrokinesis, fine manipulation, cryrokinesis and a variety of other variants of this. There are a number of foreign pockets of this line, mostly Muslim, many in the American Midwest.

Gaptchenko: While this family has some immigrants elsewhere almost none are found in the US. Most ended up in Europe and the far East. In the USSR, now reduced to the Western most regions, the Gaptchencko maintain tight ideological control. Many involved in the reconstruction of Russia itself. Besides the bloodlines of India, they are the family with the most ties to the government of their nation. As well, many have become servants or masters of the various corrupt corporations and organizations that rule behind the scenes. Gaptchenko members can have a wide range of low level powers. However, their strong powers require a degree of focus, meaning that only one can be used at a time.

Xiaomin: The Chinese government keeps a tight rein on this bloodline. They claim this genetic material as a proprietary possession of the nation. In this regard they have been forceful in pushing for like control over intellectual and genetic "property" around the globe. No one is sure how many members of this bloodline exist, but rumors suggest that a breeding program has been undertaken. Popular conspiracy theory belief suggests that every bloodline disappearance around the world is a planned kidnapping by the Chinese to further their ends. In the few cases where Chinese bloodliners have managed to find their way into other countries, the Chinese authorities have pressed the matter severely, making it clear that granting refugee or asylum status to such persons will result in severe reprisals from the government. This matter has not openly been put to the test, though in some cases this has only happened because of the mysterious deaths of the offending bloodliners.

Tecpatl: It is believed that this bloodline is based on old Meso-American bloodlines, probably Aztec. Certainly that particular cultural lens has been taken up. It is a moderate spread bloodline, with some existing outside of South America. Within South America, they are primarily clustered among the northern bloodlines. It is uncertain what the primary talent of this group is, they have a high proportion of personal augmentation and energy projection. Their key characteristic seems to be wild or side effects from their power use. Some of these are mild, some are quite dangerous to people in the vicinity.

The Tecpatl line in unusual in its structure. They have accumulated a strong central core of Supers, apparently led by the elders of their line. This group comprises perhaps half of the known Supers and a few Diaspora. They apparently assign the Aztec-drawn names to these supers and have some control over them. However, this group is made up of both heroes and villains. It is believed that they have some communication between each other, but its nature is uncertain. It does not stop them from fighting against each other either. The Elders apparently have the right to assign, change or take away names. Some have speculated that they have ordered the elimination of certain Supers in the past, both heroes and villains, members and non-members of their group. Several international agencies monitored their activity as best they can, nervous about a repeat of the Hagar-Jebril Lebanon takeover.

Tecpatl heroes in South America tend to be individuals, and not form groups. They are highly apolitical. As well, they travel across borders and pursue criminals wherever they wish. They care little about local laws and rights, instead taking the law fully into their own hands. However, Tecpatls outside of South America don’t follow this pattern, instead adhering to local customs. Many Tecpatl have close dealings with the Japanese government through the large Japanese immigrant populace in Peru. Some even travel to Japan and become heroes there.

Hunter: At one time scientists believed that the Hunter family was an offshoot of the English Edige line. However, significant differences between the two have refuted that theory. Hunter powers tend to be physical rather than mental. Unusually very few Hunters possess "boost" abilities, i.e. abilities than enhance physical characteristics such as toughness or strength, with one notable exception. More Hunter family members are fast in one way or another. Some can run at high speeds, some have lightning reflexes, others have amazing mental agility. Most Hunters have this speed to one degree or another and its additional drawback, a heightened metabolism. Most members eat twice the normal human intake in calories per day. When exercising their abilities the necessary intake level increases. This drawback is significant enough that members can be injured or even killed if they don't have access to food.

Next: More world background

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