Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bloodlines: A Supers Campaign Seed (Part Six)

This series draws from supers campaign I put together almost ten years ago, "Bloodlines." That focused on inherited super-powers limited to certain bloodlines around the globe. This material sets up some of the groups in the setting. You can see the first post here which lays out the general concept. Once again you'll see a combination of new material and published ideas, primarily used to add color to the background.

Part Two: Bloodlines 1
Part Three: Bloodlines 2

Taken from a briefing prepared for the Untouchables just after they arrived in Chicago.
The following Anarch organizations have operated or been spotted in Chicago in the last six months. Note that this list is incomplete, but does provide a good idea of the kinds of adversaries you may be facing.

One of several smaller or lowered powered Anarch groups known to operate in Chicago. Like the others, they apparently paid a kind of Anarch protection to Ravage and/or the Sinistry. Their leader is Instinct, who possesses a broad range of powers including mental abilities. Known associates include: Ranger Dread, Tactica, Jade Willow, Disaster and Singularity.

Copernicus Dark
Mastermind. In the past he has employed a number of thugs whom he supplied with special equipment and devices, including blaster rays and power armor. These have a nasty habit of exploding if not removed carefully or if the thug in question disobeys orders. Still he is said to treat his minions well. He often find and recruits dissatisfied Anarchs to serve with him. Usually they last a few operations before moving on. Darks own powers seem to be matter manipulation to an intense degree. He usually works on carefully planned heists and has never actually struck in Chicago, but has been seen here. It is believed that the presence of other major Anarch groups, like Ravage, kept him relatively quiet.

Fairly recent, said to be a split off from Ravage. When Tacitus, the leader of Ravage, was captured several months ago and sent to Lockdown, there apparently was a split within the group. Shatterstar, the second-in-command, apparently began planning the operation that led to the Zero Moment. Abyss, another senior member of the team, decided to leave. It is unclear how that fell out. In the past such splits have been met with force. In this case, however, Abyss managed to leave with two others: Collision Course and Jack of Battles. They recruited a number of others, specifically drawing from those independent operators who have worked with Ravage once or twice in the past. Believed recruited are Chronophon, Helios Rex, and Electrocutioner. While Decimation has not been seen yet in Chicago, they have operated in the Midwest in the meantime.

A protection paying smaller Anarch group, they were known as particular opportunists. It is believed that they had finished a job in Canada and otherwise probably would have been involved with Ravage's attempted assault on Lockdown. Their leader is RatioZero, a woman with Inertia control abilities. Other members include: Blazewave, Soot, Praetor, Crasher and ElectroEel. Captured by the Untouchables. During transport by A-SWAT two members (Praetor and RatioZero) were killed and Crasher escaped.

The Foundry
Approximately four months ago, the Foundry made a strike in Northern Chicago, breaking into research facilities at Northwestern and "braintaping" a number of researchers there. In response, the Sinistry attacked one of their operations in Detroit. Conflicts between the two have escalated. It may well be that the Foundry will attempt now to set up an operation here in Chicago.

This group is notable for having tangled with Ravage on a couple of occasions, though never coming out on the winning end of events. They lost at least three members to their rivals in battles over the last couple of years. Accordingly they have been rarely seen in Chicago, but that may change. It is believed they have a larger number of members than have been publicly identified. The four that are known are: Godwitch, Carrier, Albedo, and Lex Talonis.

Mad Dogs aka Kingdom Come
Another low level Anarch group, they came from England by way of Canada. Their goals are apparently lofty, but their crimes tend to be low level. There is some suggestion of a political agenda to their actions. Their leader is McGuffin, an emotion controlling anarch from the Kavanaugh-Doyle bloodline. Other members include: Bond, Transit, High Risk, Feng Shui, Archimedes, and Gargantuan. This last anarch is notable for the lethality of his methods. In the UK he remained on the field several times to finish off opponent superheroes. Most of team captured by the Untouchables. Feng Shui and Transit managed to escape.

Operation Threat
A group that has only been seen a couple of times in Chicago and is more known for operating in the South. One of their original members, Warhead, was recruited by Ravage, leaving a hole in their number. Two others, Killzone and Switch were identified among the dead at the Zero Moment. Their current status is unclear. Remaining members believed to be alive include: Solitary, Kim Reaper, Psychonaut, and Mad Alice.

The Rook
Supposedly an Anarch, his criminal operations in Chicago and the Midwest have been undeterred by the presence of other groups. It is said that he works quietly, behind the scenes, avoiding the interference of other groups. When he does operate publicly, he has lieutenants and troopers well equipped to carry out his plans. The Rook is legendary, having been a known Anarch for almost three decades. He matched wits with Dr. Cross before that hero's retirement in the mid-nineties. Note that this is not the same Rook as leads Chimera, an issue that has spawned a decades-long rivalry.

Mentioned in passing but looming large in the history of Anarchs in the US, it was revealed recently to the PCs that the notorious villain Firstborn is Shutdown's father.

From a briefing:
There was also some question about Firstborn and who he is. The short answer is that he is a Syzmanski version of Magneto, but with general energy control powers. He started out his career in the mid-seventies, but was almost immediately political in his actions, swiftly moving from hero to Anarch. The Syzmanski family disowned him and his activities quickly. By late in the decade he'd begun a group known as the Prometheans who had a central philosophy regarding Bloodliner supremacy. They became well known for taking on both hero and anarch groups, especially those who did not see eye to eye with their philosophy. A number of the Anarchs who had been prominent in the 50's and 60's were taken down and eliminated by the Prometheans. They also battled the Sentrymen on several occasions. Firstborn became one of the most known and feared Anarchs of that era, whispered in the same breath as Caliber Saint, Demise, the first Oblivion, and Dr. Waste- the other most feared Anarchs of the 20th century.

By the early 1990's, some of the polish had faded on Firstborn's reputation. He had seen many of his followers disillusioned with their progress. Some had become even more radical, demanding less planning and more assaults. Others had gone the other direction, discarding their identities and deciding to live normal lives. In 1993, the Prometheans clashed with the Storm Riders, at that time the single most powerful hero group in the world. The battle laid waste to miles of the Florida coast and is said to have sifted the weather patterns for the region for months. Only four people out of thirteen walked away from the battle alive: Tacticus (who went on to become a leader of Ravage), Willforce, Fair Warning, and Firstborn.

After that, he vanished out of sight for a number of years until the millennium when he reappeared, conducting small actions and starting to recruit from the young and disaffected among the Bloodliners. His charisma has drawn many to his side, including heroes. It is unclear what their plans are, but some estimates put his numbers at the dozens, including Acolmiztli, Sear, Lightbearer, and notably the former heroine, Transcendence, who, while twenty+ years his junior, is said to by Firstborn's lover.

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