South America – Year 8

And here is South America.  I realized after I finished this I should have added Red to the Aysle realm (Colombia) and Purple to the Magna Verita/Cyberpapacy Zones (Brazil to Argentina).

Torg South America 3

North America – Year 8

First we have the map of North America.  Unless noted, Mixed Zones are stable.

Green = Lost Worlds Mixed Zone

Yellow = Marketplace Mixed Zone

Dark Red = Nolava Realm (Orange is Marketplace Mixed Zone, Pink is Tharkold Mixed Zone)

Silver = Tharkold Mixed Zone

Brown = Lost Worlds Mixed Zone and New invasion zones.   L=Living Land, A=Arachnidida, R=Tz’Ravok

Purple = Cyberpapacy Mixed Zone

Black = Orrorsh Mixed Zone

Blue = Nile Empire Mixed Zone and Realm

Gold = Aztec Empire Realm

Red = Aysle RealmTORG America 3a

Preview 13 Fighting the High Lords

Stelae still the same distance, and six connection.
AY, CP, and LL “Stelae” are pictured. Not terribly subtle. Instead of a coin its a Dark Shrine. Instead of an altar its a cathedral. Should be much easier to find. Despite this they claim that ripping stelae is an optional game element, and the game should focus on playing in the realms.

Axiom Wash – Bridge Zone starts Dom then flips Pure. Others start Mixed, HL can spend PE to make it Dom, or it will shift in 3-6 months.
Inanimate stuff transforms in 1 day (pure), 1 week (dom). 1/3 population changes instantly, the rest per the old transformation table.
This is good, I recently discovered that the PCs could rip up a just activated stelae within a few hours and have fewer casualties than the invasion would cause.

Eternity Shards
Are supposed to be artifacts. The sample is a Tharkold E-shard. Improves a vehicles Maneuver Rating +2, can tap the 3P for piloting or negating vehicular damage. Tapping DN 16 – which would be low under the old rules, but much harder with the lower numbers in this edition.
No Group Power.
This is an “artifact”? Its a slightly impressive magic item.

Torg Eternity Preview 12

Preview 12 Villains and Foes

Special Abilities
Dread – really scary creatures make the scene dramatic if they show up. Sounds cool. I’ve kinda wanted something like this.
Fear – Much weaker than the Orrorsh Fear. A simple +/- 4.
Large – There is a bonus to hit big creatures. But they get extra shock and wounds. There was a similar large/small trait in D6. I had to add a house rule. Otherwise the bonus of being big is negated by the additional margin of success on the attack roll. Bigger creatures can take more damage, but you automatically do more damage to them – in some cases you successfully hit and do damage at all because of it.
I ruled the To-hit bonus margin does not count toward MoS.
Mindless – Another good rule. Old school had similar rules but they differed from creature to creature or book to book.
Swarms (and Mobs) – some more rules I think sound good.

Villains
Have special abilities as well.
Minions – Works like the Alpha Stech spell. You shoot the big guy, and one of his minions takes the hit. Great way to stop PCs from taking out the big bad without going through his mooks.
Gloater and Insidious – works like the Interaction rules of old. If they perform such an attack they can take cards from your hand/pool. Also, they can do this as a One-on-Many without penalty.

Sample Villains
So I see why attributes are cheaper. Average values are lower. Not sure by how much. Shocktroopers have 6-8 values.

Nile Shocktroopers
Are no longer armed with KK81s but Nazi German MP-40s (Damage 13 – keep that in mind).

Infected
Pan-Pacifican Zombies – not much to comment on.

Dragon
1) It appears that these are a single creature type. The multiple types of OG Aysle are gone apparently.
2) Breath Weapon – Damage 14 (only 1.5 times as deadly as a Shocktrooper’s rifle.
3) Claws – STR+2/19 (don’t worry about the Dragon breathing on you – just don’t get close. They are 10x more deadly than the breath weapon. And 15x more deadly than a Assault Rifle.)

These numbers seem ridiculous. Again, maybe they make sense in context. But they sound absurd so far.

I’m really thinking we’ll be buying the books, using the setting, and making a Frankenstein hybrid of the new rules and old.

Some News and Opinions

I finished writing my Magna Verita Cosmbook a few minutes ago. On the writing side, I have Gaea (and eventually Terra) to finish. On the Uploading side, Khem, Star Sphere, and now Magna Verita need to be edited for HTML and posted. I will try to get Khem done in the next month, and we’ll see how it goes from there.

Gaea’s first two chapters, axioms and world laws, and the rules chapter, are both done, and some work has been done on the Cosm itself (Chapter 3). Chapter four will cover the realms in Indonesia and New Orleans (and what Heketon is up to presently). Chapter Five will briefly update us on the Ravagons – since the Lost Worlds Cosmbook didn’t touch much upon them. This would normally be the Pocket Dimensions chapter, but those pocket dimensions (Nolava, Lereholm, Aztec Empire, etc. are covered in the other Cosmbooks). So with any luck, I’ll have this book done by summer. (Fingers crossed).

On to new business:

Preview 11 Combat Options and Vehicle Chases

Full Auto
uses 7 bullets, not half the clip so its really a glorified burst, not really rock ‘n roll full-auto.

Called Shots
Head (and presumably hand and heart) are much easier to hit. But the damage bonus is reduced as well.

Firearms in close combat
No minimum bonus for point blank range. Only pistols possible in this situation. Not shotguns or SMGs? Because those are used in CQB irl.

Area effect
Simplified rules, easier to determine how many people are hit.

Combat Options – Shotguns
A bonus at short but a penalty at long? The bonus applies for minimal spread, but becomes a penalty at maximum spread? I’d have made it no bonus (short), minor bonus (med), full bonus and damage penalty (long).

Vehicles
Vehicular Stunts work like Maneuver and count as such for Interaction purposes. I think everyone house ruled that one anyway.

Shock from vehicular damage carries over to the passengers. This makes a lot of sense, I’m glad they added it.

Earth Cosmbook

EARTH COSMBOOK

CHAPTER ONE

AXIOMS AND WORLD LAWS

Magical Axiom: 8

Core Earth is relatively poor in magic. Divination is the only magical skill that works with any regularity, and conjuration is not possible. Apportation magic is possible, but it is not that powerful. Alteration magic can occur, but the effects are minor, short-lived, erratic, and take a long time to cast.

Magic takes many years to learn in Core Earth, and the effects will nearly always be minor. However, using conjuration substitution and the reawakening of possibility energy, Core Earth magicians are becoming a more potent, if incredibly small, force.

Core Earth magicians have to deal with high Difficulty and Backlash all non-contradictory spells from other cosms used in Core Earth or by Core Earth characters have a +5 to both, numbers. These increases reflect the resistance the low axiom level puts up against the casting of the spell. Since the spell was, presumably, created using either the conjuration skill or some other method foreign to Core Earth reality,and has that process built into the spell, the spell cannot work as well in Core Earth as it did in its original cosm. The modifiers allow these low axiom spells to be cast without contradiction in Core Earth.

[As the war went on, magic became more common on Earth. “Wild” effects have gone away, and magical creatures, such as elves can now exist on Earth without fear of magic deprivation.]

Social Axiom: 22

The Social axiom of Core Earth allows for the existence of democratic nations, in which different groups fight for political dominance. The beginnings of supranational organizations are seen, such as the United Nations and mulli·national corporations. Aside from these organizations, Core Earth has a multitude of private and governmental organizations which are fighting the invaders. Several of the most powerful of these organizations have been listed in this sourcebook, but there are still many more that are not as potent. The Social axiom allows for this, but does not yet allow for their complete cooperation. At this point, each of these groups believe that they and they alone know how best to wage this war. They see other groups as standing in the way, or think that the other groups have been infiltrated or corrupted by the invaders. Temporary or even semi-permanent alliances are possible, but there will be no true long-term cooperation until a strong leadership arises to bind these groups together (and thereby increase the Social axiom of Core Earth). The Social axiom, along with the Technological and Spiritual axioms, allows for the existence of psionics.

[Alliances and agreements established in the most desperate times, have yet to fall apart. The day that nations give up their sovereignty to the UN is still a long way away. However, trade and the exchange of information has been globalized. Products manufactured in China and India can be shipped to any first world nation in under a week. Through the new Internet, scientists in America, Europe, Asia, etc. can share their findings and debate instantaneously. This is leading to a greater understanding of a great many things.

The “Green” Movement, spurred by the beliefs of the Akashans and Living Land, has gained considerable traction, with recycling and social programs to encourage renewable fuel sources becoming trendy in most first world nations.

Among young people popular trends include “Retro” – a love of clothes and entertainments from the early twentieth century, and “Goth” combining elements of Victorian and Cyberpapal fashion.

Efforts to promote the rights of non-human immigrants are gaining popularity in America and Great Britain.]

Spiritual Axiom: 10

Core Earth is about average in terms of Spirituality. There is a definite divine agency, the form of which depends on the worshipper. At this level, direct intervention of the divine is possible, but not necessarily at the request of the faithful, and any form of intervention is a definite sign of the divine. This means that, at times, characters may be the point of attention of some divine being.

At any given point in time, a character may become the object of divine intervention – but there is truly no pattern by which this intervention works. A character with a high faith skill seems to have no better chance of being aided in time of crisis than one with no faith at all. Characters with high faith, however, recognize the signs of divine intervention far easier than those who do not possess this skill.

Miracles are possible in Core Earth, but there is not enough spiritual energy in the cosm for everyone to learn the focus skill. It is still very hard to learn the focus skill in Core Earth, and it usually takes a lifetime of devotion to be able to call upon miracles. Only Core Earth characters who start with faith or focus as their tag skill can begin the game with the focus skill. Core Earth characters who wish to learn the focus skill after play begins must have an unshakable faith (at least five adds in faith to learn the skill. Focus is also something that cannot be taught, so it always costs 10 Possibilities to learn the first add.

Since the invasion, it has become obvious that there are benefits associated with being one of the faithful. The fact that a Core Earth priest can heal with a touch or ward enemies with any consistency was something not commonly accepted before. Now, it has become more prevalent. It is theorized that the attack of the Possibility

Raiders somehow allowed those with the faith skill to gain focus and fight the Invaders. That is perhaps the most significant benefit Core Earth has seen.

Note: Due to the “reawakening” of spiritual energy in Core Earth, characters who have the focus skill should not have access (or even knowledge of) all the miracles available to them. A character with the focus skill can never have more miracles at his disposal than he has faith adds, and he usually has less.

[“There are no Atheists in foxholes” is a old saying. As the war continued, Earth clerics had the opportunity to learn much from their counterparts from other worlds. As a result, more have answered to Call, and have expanded the knowledge of what is possible with Faith. Focus can now be taught, and clerics may have a greater number of prayers and rituals.]

Technological Axiom: 24

One level below that of Nippon, the Technological axiom allows Core Earth to have a wide range of equipment and weaponry. Portable radar, infrared detection equipment, “stealth” technology, and organ transplants are all possible. Primitive lasers exist, and there is some microtechnology. The Tech axiom of Core Earth has a good chance improving due to the war. Research teams across the world have been working to unlock the secrets of the advanced technology of France and Japan. Each success brings Core Earth closer to a higher Tech axiom.

On the cutting edge is nanotechnology, virtual reality, and energy weapons. Some places in Core Earth have actually raised their axiom level to Tech 24, but, because of the war, the spreading of this knowledge has been so slow as to be almost non-existent. Over 98 percent of Core Earth still exists under the Tech 23 axiom level.

[Earth has successfully pushed its Tech axiom, allowing all Marketplace technology to function without contradiction.

Computers: The Microsoft Corporation of Silicon Valley has been making revolutions in computer technology about every six months, and it shows little signs of stopping. Current computers feature multi-gigabyte memory, CD- and even DVD-RW discs – though they are compatible with Japanese Thumb Drives. All have integral modems, though cutting edge wireless technology is available. The new Internet allows instant communications around the world, and is compatible with the networks of Nippon Tech, and the GodNet and Grid.

Medicine: continued improvements in prosthetic limbs, artificial organs, as well as promising results in finding cures for AIDS and other diseases. Cloning and genetic modifications are possible, though heavily restricted.

Military: Stealth Jets, Drone aircraft, faster, and better armored ground and water craft, improvements in body armor and personal firearms.

Power Sources: Fusion power is possible, though the breakthroughs have not yet occurred. Advances in solar, and other alternative sources have been happening.

Transport: Hybrid electrical car prototypes are being tested. Some of the military developments in propulsion are making their way into the civilian market.

Daily Life: Cellular Phones the size of a deck of playing cards are quite common among the middle and upper classes. DVDs and disc based video games are replacing older video cassettes and cartridge-based consoles. However by the time the prices of these come down enough to be truly commonplace, it is likely that even more advanced versions will be on the market. Long-lasting, more energy efficient light bulbs are for sale, though many are holding out to upgrade until Nippon-style LED bulbs are available. The use of the internet for shopping, social networking, and even watching television shows and movies are all common in those homes with computers – somewhere between a third and half of all first world families. Because of the Comaghaz, and viruses created by the Cyberpapacy and Tharkoldu, antibacterial hand wash can be found for sale in every convenience store.]

World Laws

The Power of Hope

Core Earthers tend to be a tenacious lot, holding on to their world, their lives, and their reality with great ferocity. Their will to fight, and not just lose hope and give in, helps them to replenish the Possibilities of the Earth. As long as Core Earthers have hope, they can succeed and overcome adversity, for the loss of hope can have a devastating effect.

This world law has already come into play. When the mass disconnection/transformation numbers were originally computed, it was realized that it was much more difficult for Core Earth characters to be forcibly transformed than people of other realities. When using this table to determine mass transformation for characters from other realms, decrease all the difficulty numbers by one step (for example, a Core Earth Ord who disconnects in an alien pure zone needs to roll a 105 in the first second to transform to the alien reality. If the character was, instead, from Aysle, he would only need to roll a 90. After a month, the Core Earther needs an 18. Another character from a different realm would need a 12).

But there is another aspect of the Law of Hope that has only recently been discovered. Perhaps it is because the people of Core Earth have only now begun to win back territory from the High Lords. Whatever the cause, it has been revealed that a party containing a Core Earth Storm Knight, once per Dramatic scene, can seize initiative as if he had the card in his pool. But, no matter how many Core Earth Knights are in the party, initiative can only be seized once per Dramatic Scene.

The Law of Hope is a contradiction anywhere but in Core Earth. In an alien pure zone, the character must put up a reality bubble up before invoking the Law of Hope.

The Power of Glory

Again, because of the unprecedented victories achieved by Core Earth Storm Knights and their allies, another World Law of Core Earth has shown itself. This law deals with the planting of story seeds. A Core Earth character who plants a story seed, or who is involved in the planting of the seed, adds an additional +2 to the persuasion attempt necessary during the planting.

Law of Prodigy

Some people in Core Earth are born with greater abilities than others. There is a small percentage of humankind that seem to have innate talents, or who can figure out even the most difficult problems in certain areas with minimal effort. These are the people that have been influenced by the Law of Prodigy.

Any Core Earth character, prior to the start of adventuring, can purchase a prodigy package for three Possibilities, but only one can be purchased. There is no adventure cost assigned to the prodigy package. A character who buys a prodigy package has her tag skill increased by +3 before adventuring begins. This means that the Prodigy starts the game with a tag skill of six adds rather than three.

Ords can also be Prodigies, though this is very rare. An Ord character can become a Prodigy in one of two ways: either she can sacrifice six beginning skill points to buy the package instead of the normal three skill points (leaving her with only seven skill points because Ords only start with 13) or she can take a severe physical or mental handicap. This includes blindness, loss of a limb, or even a severe mental handicap. These options are not normally open to Storm Knight characters, though it is certainly possible that an Ord Prodigy could, at some point, transcend.

[If the prodigy skill is Difficult, it is not difficult for these characters. All Storm Knights may select a Prodigy Skill in character creation. They may choose a skill not native to Earth, and take it at 3 adds, however if it is a Difficult skill, it remains so.]

CHAPTER TWO

NEW RULES

Character Creation

Earth characters follow the standard rules with one exception. Earth Storm Knights all possess a Prodigy Skill – as per the Law of Prodigy. Earth characters may have access to special abilities and tools normally restricted to a specific reality. These still cause the relevant contradictions.

Advantages

Note: Prodigy skills are recommendations and are not required.

Bionic Man (1-5 point) Cyber Rating 3/point for starting cyberware. Prodigy skill Cyberdeck Ops or Cybertech.

Biotechnician (1-4 points) begin play with one implant per point of advantage. Prodigy skill Science:Biotech.

Gadget (Cost of Gadget) The character begins play with a Weird Science Gadget. Prodigy skill Weird Science.

Jakatt (3 point) Includes the Miracles advantage, requires Faith:Keta Kalles skill and Devotion:Keta Kalles (3+). Prodigy Skill Faith. The character may attempt prayers without the Focus skill, at a 1-case contradiction.

Null (3 point) The character is immune to all psionics (for good or ill), but may not learn psionics, or use psionic devices, including TempTrodes orother devices that read neural signals.

Storm-Crossed (Varies- see chart) this character is native to a region where Earth’s reality has merged with another. As such they have an effective ‘dual citizenship’. They may use the highest of the two realities axioms, and all relevant world laws. For costs and link difficulties, see the charts below. If acquired in play, this advantage costs advantage cost x 10 in skill points. In play characters do not gain Prodigy, Ayslish birth magic, or similar benefits that can only be gained at character creation. This option is only available for Earth and one of the original invaders. Two invading realities can not take this.

Tower Trained (4 point) Includes the Magic advantage. Choose Alteration, Apportation, or Divination as Prodigy skill. May use Conjuration as a contradiction. The character begins play with a grimoire of spells as per Ayslish wizards.

Unaligned (3 point) Includes Psionics advantage. Prodigy skill Psionic Manipulation. The character may learn skills from the Aligned power groups as part of the four standard groups – see Psionics below.

Realm Suggested Prodigy Skill options

Marketplace Business, Martial Arts

Orrorsh Research, True Sight

Disadvantages

Directionless (1 point) You can get lost in a department store. May not take the Direction sense skill.

Evil (1 point) You are not a nice person. In the Nile Empire you are of Evil inclination, and pay the Price of Evil. You begin play with Orrorshan Corruption at 8 (minimum success), and 1 add of Ayslish Corruption (Trick +1). Additionally, you gain the following benefits under the Marketplace Law of Intrigue: +1 to Stealth, Charm and Persuasion based on lies/deceit, Trick (does not stack with Ayslish bonus), and Disguise.

These bonuses are not considered contradictory for this character (using the full World Law is still contradictory).

Grognard (2 point) May not learn Non-Earth skills including: Biotech Weapons, Energy Weapons, Cyberdeck Operations, Master Criminal, Research, Biotech, Conjuration, Cybertech, Mindsense, Nile Engineering, Mile Mathematics, Occult, Weird Science, Ayslish corruption, Ayslish honor, Cyberpsyche, Frenzy, Occultech, Pain Weapons, Possibility rip, Possibility sense, Shapeshifting, spirit Medium, swami, True Sight, and all Attributeless skills.

Non-Believer (3 point) you can not use beneficial enchantments or magic items. Hostile spells still work normally.

Rejection (2 point) You can not take Cybernetics, Biotech implants, or even modern prosthetics. Any attempt to use Symbiotic Biotech devices causes 2 shock per use for active items. Passive items (such as suits) cause damage value 10 +1 per additional day worn. Any damage can not be recovered until the biotech is removed.

Axioms

Cosm                Cost     Magic    Social    Spirit.    Tech.    World Laws
Aysle                 5           18           22          16           24        Observation, Magic, Honor, Corruption
Cyberpapacy     5           10           22          14           26        One True God, Heretical Magic, Suspicion
Earth                 —           8             22          10           24        Hope, Glory, Prodigy
Lost Worlds      4            0(12)      22          24(17)    24        Lost Things, Savagery, Action, Wonders
Marketplace      3            8            22          10           25        Intrigue, Profit, Vengeance
Nile Empire      5            12          22           17          24        Morality, Drama, Action
Orrorsh             4            15(20)    22          17           24        Fear, Corruption, Call to Glory, Mandate of Heaven, Occult Mysteries
Space Gods      4             8            27          13           30        Religious Compatibility, Acceptance, Zinatt
Tharkold          5             12          22          17           26        Ferocity, Pain, Domination
Link Difficulty Chart
Character is From: Earth/ Character is in:
|AT AV AY AZ CP CE KA LE LW MV MP NE NO OL OR SG TE TH TZ
Aysle (AY/CE)                  |16  13   3    12  12   3   17   23  23  12    17   10   17  16   9    13  14   9   15
Cyberpapacy (CP/CE)      |15  13   13   12  3    3   14   24  20   13    12   8    16   16  10   7   12   5   16
Lost Worlds (CE/LW)      |14   13   12   12  12  3   19   22  3    12    16   11   25  16   11  12  17  10  15
Marketplace (CE/MP)      |14   12   11   12   7   3   9     22  18  12    3     7     12  16   16  4    8    5   16
Nile Empire (CE/NE)       |14   12   12   11   8   3   14   23  19  12   12    3     18  16   8    8   12   5   15
Orrorsh (CE/OR)              |16   12   12   12   9   3   15   23  18  12   15    8     18  16   3   11   11  7   15
Space Gods (CE/SG)        |17   16   16   16   12 3   13   28  24  16   11   12    15  20   13  3    12  10 20
Tharkold (CE/TH)            |15   14    14   12  8   3   14   25   20 14   13   13    18  17   9    8    12   3  16

Magic

The Delphi Council Worldbook discussed the Voodoo Style of Magic. But there are many others. Here we shall discuss two others.

Irish Bards

Irish Bards (found primarily in Ireland, but also anywhere the Irish can be found in the world) work magic through the power of legends and song. In place of Conjuration, Bards use any Artist or Performing Artist involving music.

Used to inspire, strengthen and aid their friends, and dishearten their foes. The Bard’s spells work through other agents, whether they be people, animals or nature. For this reason the Bard values knowledge and wisdom above all else.. except perhaps a good tale, a rousing ballad, or a dangerous romance.

To create a spell, the Bard must not only spend the requisite time researching and testing his theorems and patterns, but must also spend an equal amount of time composing a song or tale that summons the power. When finished, he will roam the land, inspiring all who hear him.

Bardic magic most commonly employs Principles, Mixed Forces, and Kindred, particularly spells to heal, enhance, or to create illusions.

Some common spells include: Away Sight, Communicate with Animals, Detect Magic, Disguise Self, Find Things, Jump, Touch of Healing, Understand Language, Visions of the Past

Charm
Axiom Level: 7
Skill: Alteration/Folk 16
Backlash: 20
Difficulty: 15
Effect Value: 14
Bonus Number To: Effect
Range: 2 (2.5m)
Duration: 9 (1 minute)
Cast Time: 12 (4 minutes)
The Bard plays a song to his target, and if successful, the Effect Value is compared to the target’s Willpower. If successful, the target’s base attitude is treated as Friendly (friendly or Loyal characters can not be affected – except to be reduced by the knowledge of the attempt). This spell is Illusory, and can be disbelieved with a Willpower check, DN 12.

Buff Spell Template
Axiom Level: 7
Skill: Alteration/Folk 15
Backlash: 18
Difficulty: 15
Effect Value: 17
Bonus Number To: Duration
Range: 2 (2.5m)
Duration: 9 (1 minute)
Cast Time: 12 (4 minutes)
This is a template for any spell that enhances the target’s Attributes. The Caster performs a song, comedy routine, or any other sort of performance relevant to the Attribute to be affected. When cast, compare the Effect Value to the target attribute on the Push Table, and increase accordingly – the attribute can not exceed Cosm Limits however. The Effect is Focused on the target, so he may leave the caster’s presence and still benefit from the spell.
Movement Rates can also be affected with this spell template. The Effect is compared to Agility (or Strength for Climbing) on the Speed Push Table – the results replace the target’s own speed push results.
This template can also be used to create a spell to reduce the attributes or movement rates of a target. In this case the push results are subtracted from the target.

Inspiration
Axiom Level: 7
Skill: Alteration/Light 15
Backlash: 12
Difficulty: 10
Effect Value: 15
Bonus Number To: Effect
Range: 5 (10m)
Duration: 14 (10 minutes)
Cast Time: 12 (4 minutes)
By playing a rousing song, the Bard raises spirits, provides courage, and rallies his allies. If the spell is successful, all characters in range are inspired – removing all shock and KO. Furthermore, the Effect value is compared to any Intimidation attempts, either prior to the spell’s casting, during it, or during the duration. All allies in range may choose to use the effect value instead of their own value to resist Intimidation.

Shaman
Similar to the Voodoo priest, the Shaman communes with spirits and ancestors to gain her power. The Shaman is the spiritual guardian and teacher of her tribe, keeping them safe and helping them to live with nature. Shaman can be found among the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa and Australia.

The Shaman seldom breaks the “natural” laws, preferring to work with them. While the plains may need rain, or the mountains an early spring, the Shaman knows there is balance. Instead of constantly using her power to shape nature to her desire, she instead tries to use her knowledge of the spirit world and natural world to make the most of what her tribe possesses.

The Shaman’s skill is Faith:Animism or Tribal Spirits, or the like, and she works to increase her knowledge of all the spirits. But a Shaman must also deal in the concrete as well. The knowledge of plants and animals possessed by a Shaman are as valuable to her tribe as the spirit shapes only she can see.

The Shaman uses her power to talk to the spirits, her ancestors, and the wild creatures. She summons the spirits of the forest, so she may maintain the balance of nature – it is right that the Deer should be eaten by the People, just as it is right that rain should fall at a certain time.

Dealing with the gathering of knowledge and the interpretation of signs, the Shaman looks after her people by safeguarding against the future – but also by looking to the present. While a Shaman may not have the devastating power of an ayslish mage, the prevention and knowledge-gathering magic of a Shaman command much respect.

Shamanic magic focuses on Kindred and Elemental magic. Shaman have access to all Core Earth miracles, particularly Communicate with Animal, Elemental, and Plant Spirits. Their spells include: Communicate With Animals, Communicate With Birds,Detect Magic, Fish Eyes, Fog, Jump, Pathfinder, Tracker.

Dream Walk
Spiritual Rating: 10
Community Rating: 16
Difficulty: 13
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Ritual Length: 9 (1 minute)
Attainment Rating: 18
The Shaman may travel into the Spirit World – known to the Australian Aboriginals as the Dream Time. He may also take anyone he is holding hands with.
In the Dream Time, characters use their Perception attribute in the place of Agility and Dexterity, and Spirit or Mind in place of Strength, Endurance and Toughness. They may see the physical world, but are invisible, and can not affect it in any physical way. They can however interact with spirits – animal, plant, elemental, or ghosts.

Miracles

While the Spiritual Axiom of the cosm has increased, Earth’s clerics did not instantly gain access to every miracle with a Spirit Rating of 10. However, Earth is extremely flexible. Priests may attempt to gain any miracle – by attempting the Attainment Rating. GM approval may be required as well, does Animate Cables suit Buddhism?

Martial Arts

Previous sourcebooks covered the fighting styles of the East, but the western world has many styles of their own.

New Maneuvers:

Lock (3) a grapple maneuver, designed to render the opponent immobile. If the Wrestler succeeds on the Martial arts attack with a Average or better success, the hold only causes STR-2 damage, but may be maintained until the hold is broken.

Choke (6) a combination Heart Punch and Grapple. The wrestler grasps the opponent with both hands around his throat, and seeks to crush the wind pipe. -8 to the Acting Value to hit, and requires a goods success. If successful the maneuver causes STR+12 for the first round, and STR+6 each additional round until the hold is broken.

Capoeira a style of Dancing Martial Art created by African slaves in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Minor:
Fade
Feint
Instant Up
Spinning Kick
Spring Attack
Major:
Hail of Blows
Iron Kick (as Iron Fist)
Master:
Thunder Kick
Requirements: Dance, Acrobatics

CQB (Close Quarters Battle) Developed by NATO military and Police Forces for hand-to-hand armed or unarmed combat. It is particularly noted for its use in conjunction with guns and both lethal and non-lethal grenades to secure an area rapidly.
Minor:
Palm Strike
Shout of Warning
Fade
Disarm
Crushing Block
Major:
Invisibility
Nerve Punch
Master:
Cyclone Attack
Requirements:Stealth, melee weapons, fire combat, thrown weapons and scholar:small unit tactics.

Kenjitsu A Japanese form of Sword Combat.
Minor:
Entangle
Disarm
Dragon Flight
Lightning Strike (as Lightning Fist but uses the Sword)
Weakness Probe
Major:
Iron Strike (as Iron Fist but uses the Sword)
Sword Master (usually Katana, though modern Kendo uses the Bokken staff instead)
Master:
Cyclone Attack
Requirements: Meditation, Melee Weapons, all maneuvers require the use of a sword (or Bokken)

Krav Maga A lethal unarmed style created by the IDF which focuses on Punches and low risk kicks to disable or kill an opponent swiftly.
Minor:
Palm Strike
Sweeping Kick
Heart Punch
Lightning Fist
Spring Attack
Major:
Iron Fist
Resist Damage
Master:
Thunder Kick
Requirements:Maneuver, Melee Weapons and First Aid.

Pankration A lethal Greek Wrestling Style originally developed over 2500 years ago.
Minor:
Hip Toss
Drop Kick
Shoulder Throw
Palm Strike
Lock
Major:
Choke
Resist Damage
Master:
Judge
Requirements: Running and Lifting for endurance training, First Aid for anatomy.

Savate A French Kickboxing style, dating back to the 19th century.
Minor:
Sacrifice Kick
Sweeping Kick
Crushing Block
Spring Attack
Entangle
Major:
Nerve Punch (or Kick)
Hail of Blows
Master:
Thunder Kick
Requirements: Acrobatics and Maneuver

Systema/Sambo An unarmed combat style, derived from Jujitsu – with later Akido influences – created for the Russian Army and Inform.
Minor:
Throw
Leaping Kick
Instant Up
Lightning Fist
Disarm
Major:
Iron Fist
Resist Damage
Master:
Death Touch
Requirements:Meditation, First Aid, Maneuver

Psionics
Earth’s Psychics do not possess the Way of Zinatt, and have no alignment. With the use of the Unaligned Advantage, they may still learn the powers of the Aligned Groups.

Kinesis
Enhanced Adrenalin
Pyrokinesis (New)
Suspended Animation
Telekinetic Attack

Psionic Defenses
Accelerate Healing
Charisma Control
Clear Thought
Living Harmony
Mind Seal
Psi Scrambler (requires Psychic Screen)
Psychic Willpower
Spirit Enhancer

Psychic Senses
Alignment Discovery
Astral Projection (New)
Psychometry (New)
Reality Probe
Sense Past

Telepathy
Domination
Ego strike
Mind Probe (requires Thought Scan or Mind Meld)
Project Emotion (requires Empathy)
Psychic Assault
Skill Search

New Powers
Pyrokinesis
This power functions exactly like Telekinetic Attack, except that it creates fire, which can ignite easily flammable substances.

Astral Projection
Base Difficulty: 10
Base Range: skill value +3 in meters
Base Effect Value: 15
Bonus Number To: range
Description: Free spirit to wander
Psychics with Astral Projection may leave their bodies behind, wandering the world in spirit form – travelling far more rapidly than is possible while confined within their bodies. Psychic characters may sense the physical world with any of their normal senses, but they cannot affect the physical world while in astral form. However, while in astral form they may use any other psychic skills they possess. The strain of using two such skills at once adds an additional +2 to Psi Strain difficulty.
Astral Projection is not a simple skill to use. For every hour beyond the first the character wishes to remain outside of his body, he must make an additional roll at DN+2 per hour. Failure means the character’s spirit is automatically drawn back into his body.
Note that the body is an empty vessel while the spirit is traveling, and will need to be protected. If the body is moved, the spirit will have to search for it. If the body is killed, the spirit will have no place to return to – eventually he’ll fail a skill roll and his spirit will dissolve.

Psychometry
Base Difficulty: 8
Base Range: skill value in meters (must touch the tool)
Base Effect Value: 8
Bonus Number To: effect
Description: gain impressions about people or places
This ability allows the character to sense information about a person, place, or event by handling an object connected to that person or place. This skill can be a very useful tool in investigations. After initiating the skill the psychic must handle the object, and concentrate on the desired location, event, or individual. The chart below shows sample results.
Level of Success   Result
Minimal               Character receives vague, dreamlike impressions of recent activities involving strong emotions
Average                In addition, the psychic receives a snapshot-quality image of the person most closely associated with the object
Good                    Can register the gist of an event and the number of people involved. If concentrating on a person, can learn
                            general information on subject, like age, emotional state, personality, etc.
Superior              Can clearly visualize event, or the actions of the individual for the last twenty-four hours
Spectacular         Psychic understands the context of all interactions at the event, or into the plans and motives of the person when                               last in possession of the object. Also receives vague impression of the owner’s whereabouts.

New Equipment

The war prompted a rise in the Tech Axiom, and with it many new developments in weapons, vehicles, and civilian consumer goods. Here are some of the most cutting edge tools Earth Storm Knights might call upon.

New Currency – The European Union has adopted the Euro. While there is some fluctuation, it is essentially the equal of the American Dollar.

Weapons

AK-107 – Used by Inform’s elite Alpha Force, Spetznatz, and other special units of the Russian Federation. Comes equipped with a underslung grenade launcher.

Barrett M-82 – American .50 caliber sniper rifle.

Dragunov SVD – Russian 7.62mm sniper rifle.

Spas-12 Shotgun – An assault shotgun used by European and American law enforcement.

HK UMP – German heavy submachine gun, used by special forces in western Europe.

XM-29 Rifle – An experimental combat system developed by the Shop for the Companies’ Storm Knight operatives. Both a 5.56mm assault rifle and grenade launcher with built-in electronics enhanced scope. The system is link to electronics in the helmet. The user may selectively target grenades for specific detonations – such as through a window and precisely 2m inside. The weapon’s laser sight may act as target designation for heavy weapons through the helmet’s communications.

Weapon                    Tech   Damage   Ammo   Range                  Price(Dollars)
AK-107                     23       21             25(B)     3-40/200/400       1500(16)            GP-30 Grenade Launcher
Barrett M-82             22       22             10           3-250/1k/1.8k     8900(20)             Scope
Dragunov SVD         21       18             10           3-250/800/1.3k   6000(19)             Scope
Spas-12 Shotgun       23       17             8             3-15/40/60          1500(16)             semi-auto, recoil compensator (+1 bonus to-hit)
HK UMP                   23       20            10            3-15/60/100        500(14)               Flashlight, sights, laser sight (+1 bonus to-hit)
XM-29 Rifle              24       20            10            3-100/600/1k      NA                     +1 bonus to-hit (+2 with One Warrior System)
Grenade Launcher              *              6              3-25/150/600
Frag                                       22                            2/5/10
Gas                                        22stun                      8/15/40
Stun                                       22stun                      3/8/15

Air Vehicles

A-10 Thunderbolt II – An older heavy aircraft, found in use by most American military branches, and many allied nations.

F-18 Hornet – Developed early in the war, and used heavily by the US Air Force.

F-22 Raptor – A new fighter undergoing trials with the USAF, the Raptor employs advanced stealth technology (negates Tech 24 or lower radar, and smart weapons).

MiG-29 – The backbone of the Russian Air Force.

Su-35 – A modern upgrade to an older Russian fighter, incorporating Stealth technology.

J-10 – A recent development from the Peoples’ Republic of China. Comparable to the heavier Su-35.

Predator UAV – An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or drone, used by the US, its allies, and the Company.

Land Vehicles

BearCat – An armored vehicle intended for use by SWAT forces, but also employed by military units. The battering ram allows the vehicle to ram other vehicles or buildings without taking serious damage. The rear is equipped with a ramp that allows the soldiers carried within to easily enter a second floor window. The BearCat can be found at home in the wilds of the Ohio Valley, or assaulting Demon strongholds in Los Angeles.

HumVee – The modern answer to the Jeep. Produced by the thousands in the factories of Detroit. Civilian models are available in most countries, while heavier, armed models are in use by North American, European, and even Middle Eastern militaries.

T-90 MBT – Introduced during the war, the T-90 is rapidly becoming the backbone of the Russian Army.

Type 88 MBT – A Chinese tank, which is in heavy use.

Water Vehicles

Nimitz-Class Carrier – The pride of the American Navy, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, surrounded by 4-6 capital ships – recently Aegis Cruisers, and numerous support ships, and a Los Angeles-Class Submarine. There are ten in operation. The USS Enterprise is the most famous, and is a mobile harpoint.

Note: The Phalanx CIWS is a pair of 20mm cannons, tied to advanced sensors and computers, and used to shoot down missiles.

Aegis-Class Cruiser – A heavy missile cruiser, intended for the protection of an aircraft carrier.

Typhoon II-Class Submarine – A prototype Russian Missile Sub, equipped with a nearly silent propulsion system, and other stealth technologies. The prototype was stolen by its captain, and is in use by the renegade elements of the Psychic Research Bureau. It was last seen in the vicinity of Cuba, opposing the Ayslish advance.

Vehicle                Tech    kph/mph/value   Man.   Wt.   Pass   TOU   Price(Dollars)
air
A-10 Thunderbolt II   22        560/340/16           +2         21     1        22/+5   $11.8M(36)    30mm Cannon, 11 Hardpoints
4 2.75” Rockets, 2 Sidewinder, 6 Maverick, 1 Bomb, ECM/Flare/Etc., 2 800 Gallon Drop Tanks
F18 Hornet          23        2100/1300/19       +3         21     1         20/+3    $30M(38)     3 Missiles, 20mm Cannon
F22 Raptor           24        3600/2200/20      +3         22     1         22/+3    $150M(41)    Stealth, 6 Med. Missiles,
2 Sm. Missiles, 20mm Cannon
MiG-29                22         2400/1500/19     +3         21      1         20/+3    $29M(38)     30mm, 7 Hardpoints
Su-35                   24         2400/1500/19     +3         22       1        22/+3    $50M(39)     30mm, 14 Hardpoints, Stealth
J-10                      24         2400/1500/19     +3         21       1        22/+3    $28M(39)     20mm Cannon, 11 Hardpoints, Stealth
Predator UAV      24         217/135/14          0          17       —        15         $4.5M (34)(plus armament)
2 Hardpoints: 2 Hellfire, 4 Stinger, or 6 Griffin
land
BearCat                24         120/75/13            -1         22      2+10   20/+5    $200K(27)
Remote Turret MG, Gun Ports, CS Gas Nozzle, Mobile Adjustable Ramp System, Battering Ram, Thermographic Camera,
and Radiation Detector
HumVee               23          113/70/13          +2          19      5          20/+5   $38K(23)
Military Models: 2 M60s, Turret .50 MG (total cost: $45k (24))
T-90 MBT            23          60/40/12            -3           24      3          22/+10  $4M(33)     125mm, .50 Cal.
Type 88 MBT      23           55/34/12            -4           23      4          21/+10  $2M(32)     105mm, .50 Cal., 7.62mm
Water
Nimitz Carrier      23           56/35/11           -4           39      5680     41         $4.5B(49)
24 Sea Sparrow, 4 Phalanx CIWS, 90 fixed wing and vtol craft
Aegis Cruiser       24           60/38/12          -3             35      400      40          $3B(48)
2×61 Mk 41, 122 Tomahawk, 8 Harpoon, 4 30mm, 4 .50, 2 Phalanx CIWS, 2 Mk 32 Torpedo, 2 vtol
Typhoon II            24           80/50/12         -3             35       50        33         $2.5B(47)
Stealth, 8 Torpedo Tubes (40 533mm), 1 Ballistic Missile Tube

CHAPTER THREE

NORTH AMERICAN FREE STATES ALLIANCE

NAFSA is an economic and military alliance formed from the United States of America, Dominion of Canada, and the remnants of Mexico. As of 1 January, 1999, a full political union is still under debate.

Each region is semi-autonomous, with independent military commands. It is thought that through this, future invasions can be blunted – since the region can act swiftly, without the need for permission or the decision-making of distant capitals. But regions also assist each other, through trade, or lending military or humanitarian assistance.

East Canada

Consisting of the provinces Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the newly created territory of Nunavut. Regina, Saskatchewan – the provisional capital of Canada since the beginning of the war – is the official capital of the region.

Canada has two chief concerns. Firstly, Prime Minister Joseph Christian, has made the liberation of Ottawa and Toronto a priority. The US has rebuilt its capital, Washington D.C., and its greatest city, New York. It is a matter of pride that Canada do the same. Unfortunately, thousands – perhaps more – Ravagons have migrated into the region, and roost in the bones of the lost cities. The mountain range surrounding the Land Above also makes it difficult to move large numbers of troops and equipment.

Detroit, has responded. A new offensive is scheduled to begin by spring. The Canadian military will airlift personnel and supplies in from the west, and take possession of a convoy of M-1 Abrams, HumVees, and BearCats. They will cross from Detroit to Windsor, and cross 230 miles through Leopard Man territory to Toronto. If they can drive the Ravagons out, further troops, and engineers can enter the region.

There is also the concern regarding Quebec. The independent, Cyberpapal, nation has not shown signs of active hostility, but the sermons of Cardinal-Deacon Claude Rousseau make it clear that the CyberChurch still has the goal of converting all unbelievers. So border defense is a priority. Especially for the isolated maritime provinces.

New England

New England is comprised of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and East New York (in the Cyberpapal-influenced north); and New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia inside the Land Above.

While Washington D.C. Remains the US capital, New York City has become the NAFSA Capital. Taking advantage of the reconstruction, a government building was built facing the UN Assembly.

Land travel between Boston and New York City has been restored, and roads to Philadelphia and Washington are open – if not as wide, or sturdy as they once were. The next goal – in addition to rebuilding the cities and towns that once covered the region – is opening roads from Richmond to Norfolk through the Mehret Range, and pushing through the Appalachians into the Ohio Valley.

President Nicklaus knows that the road to recovery will be long, and that some scars will never fully heal. “But we owe it to our children to give them their rightful inheritance.”

[For a greater look at New York City, see below]

Dixieland

The southern states of North and South Carolina, Atlanta, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The former national capital of Miami serves as the regional capital. Much to the displeasure of George Young and his Confederate movement. Young continues to object to the use of taxpayer money – particularly from Dixieland – to rebuild the Land Above, Western Land and other realms.

He does however support the use of the Atlantic Fleet in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to contain the Ayslish and Aztec fleets, and keep those realms from expanding.

Southern Louisiana is another concern. New Orleans is still under the influence of Orrorsh. And the western gulf coast is influenced by the Nile, with an increasing number of criminal activities tied to the Baron of Texas.

The region has also seen the influx of a number of manufacturing concerns. Particularly civilian automotive factories to replace the Detroit factories now geared to military vehicles and semi tractors.

Ohio Valley

The Land Above realm, west of the Appalachians, including the newly resurgent Living Land. Cincinnati, Ohio is the regional capital, though a goodly part of the region is unaware of the existence of NAFSA, or any understanding of a government greater than their own tribe. It should come as no surprise that Ohio Valley has the weakest economy, and a small, scattered, military; relying mainly on independent resistance communities.

Darooni hold much of western New York, and Pennsylvania, including the cities of Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. Ohibi tribes live in eastern Kentucky, and Mehret-Ahn has determined that no trespassers shall enter their lands and live. The rest of the state is slithering with Serpentors. In Iowa, Minnesota, and Northeast Missouri, the Pyrians have managed to cross the Mississippi for the vulnerable lands of Illinois and Wisconsin. They have no concern for the struggle between Edeinos and Ustanah, and attack both – and seek to conquer any human settlements they encounter. Ohio, Indianapolis, and Michigan (outside the new stelae zones) are relatively stable. Though there are Keefee, they have proven friendly. They even warned of an Ustanah stelae being planted near Akron which would have captured Detroit.

The presence of Helephez in the region has proven a hardship, as it has disrupted the natural – by Earth standards – cycle of day and night. [For more details on the Living Land realm and the struggle within it, see the Lost Worlds Cosmbook.]

There is one positive development, construction crews across the region have been reporting deposits of gold, silver, diamonds, and other precious stones. A fantastic mineral wealth, which could fund the reconstruction many times over – if the region can be stabilized. And if unscrupulous parties (such as Boruzai Construction) don’t claim the land for themselves.

Midwest

Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and the Dakota. This narrow strip serves as the breadbasket for the continent. St. Louis also works to provide assistance to the Ohio Valley.

Tex-Mex

Houston – despite being at the heart of a surprisingly expanding Nile realm – serves as the big brother that Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Durango, Sinaloa, and the Baja Californias need. The conscious desire is for Texas to aid these states – lacking a central government – not to dominate. Nor to be dominated.

Kanawa Enterprises has moved into the region with a vengeance, hiring the American refugees to fill new factories and offices throughout the region.

Naturally, the Aztec empire is the greatest worry the region has. Recently, that realm has focused on its eastern border, and the Nile incursion. But that could change. [For more details on the Aztec empire see the Aztec Empire sourcebook.]

A secondary concern is the criminal, and economic empire of The Baron. A mastermind who reputedly holds vast amounts of cattle, oil, and even the railroads themselves – despite no evidence to prove he exists. [See the Khem Cosmbook for more on the would-be overgovernor.]

Southwest

Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, and Hawaii are governed by Denver. The region is dominated by Nolava, Marketplace, and Ravagons – with remnants of the Living Land and Tharkold. The priority is neutralizing and containing the realm of Bloodshadows and demons.

Marketplace’s influence isn’t deemed hostile, but rather an ally and useful component of the reconstruction. A peculiar secret of the San Fernando Valley is a small town with a secret. It is the home of the Lotus Blossom Clan – a ninja clan comprised of western recruits. These shadow warriors are skilled in disguise and Ursan Ninjitsu. Their greatest weapon is the fact no one would suspect a European-descended white of being a ninja. 7710 uses these corporate ninja primarily for the assassination of business rivals. But they are also deployed for intelligence gathering and sabotage.

The island state of Hawaii is included in this region, despite its distance from the mainland. With the Guildmaster gone, the Storm Guild is forgotten. The islands are considered too small to merit a High Lord’s attention. But this isn’t entirely accurate. Several realms have agents present. Ironically, each is there to spy on the others.

Northwest

Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territory, Yukon, and Alaska comprise the final official region. Vancouver is the capital. The recent Lereholm invasion is swiftly fading, but the Western Land continues to be a source of mystery and surprise. Recently, big game hunters have claimed their expeditions found their way to strange ancient cities, or even the Trandala Grathteen mountains.

Caribbean

NAFSA considers Puerto rico, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, and Antilles as protectorates. There are efforts underway to make this an official part of the alliance. But the region is an escalating war zone.

Cuba has responded to the threats of a rogue Russian submarine by calling in the Russian navy. NAFSA has protested the presence of Russian ships so close to the American mainland, but thus far it has fallen on deaf ears. In the meantime the Atlantic fleet has had to devote efforts to monitoring their cold war foes. Both sides have skirmished off the coast of San Cristobal. Inform has also staged a covert assault on the Company fort on the island. It may become necessary for the base to relocate to a more secret location.

Relations

NAFSA is allied with the European Union and Pacific Rim. A truce or military pact exists with the Nile Empire, Peoples’ Republic of China, Kanawa Enterprise of California (Marketplace), and Kadandra. Declared hostilities with Nolava, Tharkold, the Aztec Empire, Dark Aysle, and the Living Land. A cold war exists with the Cyberpapacy – but the new Cyberpope has made efforts to appear friendly.

New York City

Once the largest city in the US, the city has grown to 2.5 million people, and is increasing by approximately ten thousand per month. Immigrants from other realms were already starting to arrive when the newly elected mayor – Rudy Guliani – reached out to the various realms, and invited them to join in the rebuilding, to make the city the greatest in the world (and beyond). Several Burroughs are now mixed zones, and incorporate architecture, cultural identity,language, and cuisine from their homeland.

Aysle has taken up a portion of Staten Island, with preserving the natural beauty of the island a priority. Cobblestone streets are lined with buildings of stone, wood and thatch. Unique construction allows for lower floors on some buildings to accommodate Centaurs and Minotaurs, while upper floors have wide windows for Harpies to come and go. Enchanters’ Row offers magic for sale. And the Amphitheater offers weekly plays serializing a dramatic recreation of the War of the Crowns.

The Cyberpapacy has rebuilt Harlem around a CyberCathedral, and a neighboring CyberHospital. Archbishop Marcellin, and Bishop Ambrose Mathys, a Martineist priest, actually have civil debates on a regular basis, as they as both members of a fledgling City Council of Religions.

A mixed species Jakatt tribe and the remaining Living Land creatures in the city have been contained in Central Park. They have inducted and ‘rehabilitated’ the remnants of the Darooni in the city. The rest of the city treats them like a zoo attraction, and they use that to spread the love of Lanala.

Kanawa has rebuilt the East Side of Manhattan from the ports in the south, to the wealthiest of the cities districts in the north. In between are factories and shops, producing and selling goods once found only on Marketplace. Ichi-FOX has a studio in town. The Network offers afternoon Sentai action serials, during the evening they offer police procedurals, tween soap operas, The Simpsons, The Tomorrow Show with Ed McGinty, and a mid-season replacement about space cowboys.

Nile immigrants have found Brooklyn to be much to their liking, and the Burrough looks as though the clock has been turned back sixty years. Gangsters who had to get out of Cairo have settled in. But Maat, the domino masked ‘goddess of justice’, is out to put them away. Ptah Labs is a private Weird Science Institute. Baseball has returned to the city, as the Brooklyn Dodgers are set to play their first game since the War forced them out of LA in April. And luxury airships to Europe and the Nile are available daily.

Victorians have begun established an enclave in the neighborhood previously known as Hell’s Kitchen – or Five Points as they now call it.

Kadandra has also answered the call, importing Synthcyclers and UltraCAD to rebuild wide swaths of the Bronx into a futuristic landscape. The Kadandran Embassy provides botha Gate and DataGrid link to their cosm. The Cobalt Club is the hottest night spot in town, offering first class dining, and big name New Jazz Swing acts, with a large ball room dance floor. The ruins of Yankee Stadium are now the Possibility Wars Memorial.

The surviving resistance communities, returning refugees, and newly arrived Earthers have taken responsibility for the most of the west side of Manhattan, Queens, as well as parts of Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

CHAPTER FOUR

FATOR HUMANO

South America has had a loose association of nations since the Akashans arrived. Most of the continent, excluding Brazil and Argentina, joined in a council to deal with the Space Gods – and, they hoped, reap the benefits of their advanced technology. But in the end, the Akashans brought the Comaghaz, violent aliens, created the southern Land without the permission of anyone whose land was to be used, and their technology mainly found its way into the possession of storm knights and criminals.

Though they did provide a cure for the Comaghaz before their departure, the Fator Humano saw their visit in negatives. And so, the Nations of South America made a new alliance. They turned to Gods Word Industries, and the Cyberpapacy. Inviting them to bring their advanced technology, the prospect of wealth, and even their religion. The decision was made by the entire continent, and it was deemed best that the Cyberpapacy establish itself in Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires. And then the Antipope of Magna Verita got involved seizing the northern half of the realm in the first stages of a new crusade. Before long, the Elves of Aysle invaded the northern coast, looking to wage war on their ancient enemies – the Akashans who remained.

Columbia

The Akashans and the Jakatts of the Southern Land have responded to the Ayslish attack, and have worked to keep them from moving further south. The Columbians presently see the Elves as the greater evil, and actually favor their defenders. Though Jazuit missionaries have begun seeding the region with pro-Cyberpapal attitudes.

Venezuela

Caracas has seen the arrival of Cyberpapal ships, a naval base, GWI factories and hospitals. It could be any day that new stelae permit the Techno-theocracy to spread along the Ayslish border.

Brazil

The northern Amazon Jungle is now the Southern Land. Edeinos, Stalengers, Benthe, humans, Gudasko, and Larendi roam freely. And the jungle teems with dinosaurs and other creatures, disrupting the ecosystem. Zinatt scientsts are working to send their migrations back into the realm – or even the home cosm.

The southern region has seen Roman Catholics supporting a resistance based on the statue of Christ the Redeemer (a hardpoint), while the Magna Veritan church focuses on the greater heresy of their cyber-sibling.

Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina

The Cyberpapists support governments that are little more than puppets. Mass recruiting drives have seen much of the able-bodied men recruited into the army, while women work the factories. This invasion has seen improvements in health, standard of living, and public morale – since propaganda has driven the populace into a fanatical zeal – focused on driving the Dark Medieval Church out.

The Pax Dei, aided by the Inquisition hunts Comaghaz cells – a convenient label applied to anyone who opposes the church. On occasion they have actually infected heretics in order to provide evidence in support of their actions. Unfortunately, the hive mind was therefore warned by the new additions. It remains to be seen how the virus will react.

Pax Dei and Catequil agents known as “Antibodies” are deployed in areas near Chile. They wear GWI Chasseur or Armor of God, with full gauntlets, and enclosed helmets, to prevent infection. Squads are armed with GWI Hellfire Rifles with underslung grenade launchers. A heavy weapons specialist carries a GodsFire Plasma Rifle. Officers are armed with Radiance Laser Pistols. Their duty is to prevent the infected from crossing the border and causing a new outbreak.

Note: for more on the two realms, see the Magna Verita cosmbook.

Chile

The country is devastated. An estimated 75% of the population is dead. Survivors – those not infected – lack most modern technology, and struggle just to find food and fresh water. Rumors have begun emerging from this no man’s land of surviving Comaghaz bases, or even a lightship. Akashans, Kadandrans, The Company, Kanawa, the Cyberpapacy, the Catequils, and the Magna Veritan church are all investigating. The latter are posing as missionaries, offering aid to the locals, and preparing the region for invasion.

Peru

Lima is the seat of the continental government, and has representatives from nearly every realm. Macchu Picchu has been cordoned off. The Peruvians have insisted the Akashans not leave their city – unless it is to leave the planet. There is no real means to enforce this.

Relations

The Fator Humano maintains good relations with Quebec Liberte and CyberFrance. Russia is concerned about the presence of so many psionicists in the region, leading to a close working relationship, but no firm alliance. NAFSA and the EU both disapprove of the Cyberpapal presence, and both are engaged in espionage on the continent.

Latin America

Uthorion captured Gerrik ships bound for Belize, and transformed the crews and soldiers to undead, unleashing them on the small nation. Belmopan is under siege.

House Vareth is financing warlords and revolutions in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador to keep the region unstable. The Dalerons have also been investigating rumors that the renegade Joseph Daleron has moved to aid the Army of the Light. (This is actually a false rumor he started in order to conceal his actual plans: mustering in Rimward Daleron territory to aid the Tancreds and Gerriks in the defense of the Valley of the Sword.)

Panama is safe for the moment with the failed Ayslish push to capture the canal.

CHAPTER FIVE

EUROPEAN UNION

Europe was united against the invaders, and has managed to extend that beyond the initial threat. As of 2 October, 1997, the member nations have open borders, a common currency, and a joint police force – Interpol. Each member retains its internal government, military, and for the next few years – currency.

Ireland

Capital: Dublin. An economic powerhouse, specializing in computers and electronics. Relations with the UK and Aysle are very cool.

United Kingdom

Capital: London. London has resumed rule of law on Great Britain. Oxford is now merely a oversized embassy.

The Ayslish invasion has brought a resurgence of the nobility. With communications and national forces uncertain, the nobles serve as regional law enforcement and militia. A noble funds (and often heads) a small contingent of soldiers who act as army or police as needed. This has helped to curb malevolent Ayslish creatures. Scotland’s interior is much less tamed.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Antony Lynton head the government. The royal family survived the war, only to lose Princess Diana on a diplomatic mission to Paris two years later. Her eldest son, Prince William is serving his required term of military service. His brother, Prince Harry, is only 14, and is serving as a squire while finishing school.

The Tunnel connecting Britain and Free France has been completed, allowing both rail and ground vehicle traffic.

Scandinavia

Norway (Capital: Oslo), Sweden (Capital:Stockholm), Finland (Capital: Helsinki), Denmark (Capital: Copenhagen). The Scandinavian peninsula has portals to the realms of the Ice and Fire Giants. Fighting off the Dark Ayslish has brought about the birth of a new generation of Vikings. These warriors defend their homeland with both traditional weapons and firearms, as well as the blessings of the Aesir, and the wisdom of the skalds (Norse analogues to the Irish Bards).

Iberian Peninsula

Spain (Capital: Madrid) and Portugal (Capital: Lisbon). The economy has been strengthened by ties to Italy, Ireland, and Germany. Both countries support Rome, and there is popular support for the invasion of CyberFrance (fanned by Magna Veritan agents).

Currently, many people are being employed in the construction of an undersea tunnel – running under the Straits of Gibraltar to connect to Morroco. Both the Cyberpapacy and Magna Verita have agents assisting Basque, Catalonian, and other separatists.

Throughout the country there are several Bruja communities. These witches are a mix of Magna Veritan expatriates (both traditional and technomagical), and core earth practitioners. Some are interested only in being left alone, others use their abilities to help their neighbors, and others are active servants of the devil.

Free France

Bretagne, Normandy, Loire, Calais, Picardie, The Centre, Champagne-Ardennes, Alsace, Lorraine and Paris (the capital) all have broken free of Avignon. The remnants of the old government, military, and the Parisian resistance, have reestablished the Republic. The Knights Templar and several corporations support the capitalist government.

Benelux

The lowland countries of Belgium (Capital: Brussels), Netherlands (Capital: Amsterdam), and Luxembourg are over run by brigands, drug dealers, arms merchants, witches, and other criminals. The EU tolerates these ‘victimless’ crimes so long as the government keeps it in check. Benelux is the business/vacation destination for illicit activities.

Italy and Sicily

(Capital: Rome, unofficially Vatican City). The Vatican has dominated the political and military scene since the war began. The government chafes a bit and many of the younger generation has embraced cybernetics, witchcraft, or the old gods.

The Nile empire has supported the Nova Roma Movement. These people maintain temples to Jupiter, Mars, and Apollo, and a growing militia. These legionnaires wear kevlar ceramic lorica, and train with both gladii (short swords) and KK-81 rifles.

John Paul II is an unofficial head to the EU, since most member nations respect his wisdom – even those who don’t follow Catholicism. He works tirelessly to help Europe, and the world recover from the war, and move forward into a new age. Some among the College of Cardinals believe he works too hard, and is putting his health at risk. As such they have quietly begun considering potential successors, so that when the Pope is called home, a swift transition will be possible.

Switzerland

Capital: Geneva. EU Capital, and a major UN center. Economic heart of the Union. The Tharkoldu are long gone, though Marketplace has a foothold.

Germany

Capital: Bonn (plans to relocate to Berlin are in motion). Berlin has been mostly pacified. New Alexandria and the Tharkoldu Occupation Zone are still considered hostile. Victoria Mandate, Kanawa Development Zone, Cyberpapacy Sector, and Aysle Zone have independent governments, but respect the rule of law and support the Zonder Zone.

Marketplace has been trying for years to subvert the Bonn stock market, but the German financiers have subverted their influence and are staging a counter-offensive.

Austria-Hungary

Capitals: Vienna and Budapest. Budapest has become a proxy battle zone as Overgovernor Ramses, Cyberpapacy, Russian and EU militaries fight each other. The Union has tried to force the others out – as Hungary is a member state – but none will back down first. So the fighting continues.

Poland

Capital: Warsaw. Poland fears the renewed expansion of Russia and has applied for membership in the Union for protection. There is strong support for the move, but some fear it will compound the troubles in Budapest, and lead to outright war with Russia.

North Africa

Morocco (Capital: Casablanca), Algeria (Capital: El Djazair), Tunisia (Capital: Tunis). These nations have asked for, and been granted, Associate Status in the Union. They have asked the EU for protection against the Cyberpapacy and Nile Empire. Having trade ties to Europe dating back millenia, these nations have much more in common with their Mediterranean neighbors than with Sub-Saharan Africa.

Eastern Europe

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Moldavia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovinia, Yugoslavia, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. These nations are not a part of the Union. Most are former Warsaw Pact nations – and after a brief period of independence, Russia is seeking to bring them back under their domination again. Though there is considerable resistance, without EU help it is a lost cause.

In the south, the Nile has effective control, even beyond the limits of their former stelae zones. Turkey remains free, but Nile agents have been destabilizing Istanbul for months.

Relations

The EU is allied with NAFSA, the PacRim, and Tolwyn’s Light Aysle. There is a working relationship – definitely not a friendship – with the Triad of Marketplace. A tenuous peace exists with the Nile Kingdom, though negotiations are ongoing. Likewise for the talks with Kadandra’s diplomatic envoys.

The Cyberpapacy officially is seeking to be on friendly terms with its neighbors, but their policies have maintained numerous hostile acts. And a state of war with Mobius’ Imperial Nile remains in effect.

CHAPTER SIX

AFRICA

While much of Earth is coming together, uniting in the face of the new reality, Africa is falling apart. The Mediterranean coast consists of two regions. The Nile dominates the eastern half, though the benevolent Nile Kingdom is working to oppose the villainy of Doctor Mobius. [See the Khem Cosmbook for more details.] The rest of the coastal nations have thrown in their lot with the European Union (see Chapter Five).

The remaining portions of Africa are divided as follows: West Africa, Central Africa, the Horn, and Southern Africa.

West Africa

The nations of Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Faso, Togo, Benin, Mali, Niger, Nigeria. For some of these nations recovery may be a hopeless cause. Many relied on trade Europe and the west, and the war cut off their trading partners. For others, aid (food, medicine, money) was cut off. Corruption and opportunism took over. Starvation and disease run rampant.

And if their troubles weren’t bad enough, there have been demons striking at political and religious leaders. The populace is primed for an invasion.

The Horn of Africa

Ethiopia has effectively ceased to exist becoming part of the Imperial Provinces of the Upper Nile, realms of Natatiri and the Red Hand. Somalia remained opposed to the Nile for years. But the fabulous wealth of the Land of the Dead has allowed the Gangster Overgovernor to buy the Somali government.

Today pirates and freebooters from Aysle, the Nile, Marketplace and Gaea, mingle with those of Africa and the Middle East, and high seas terror is matched only by their violence toward each other on land. Queen Khemintiri has sent the Mystery Men into this powder keg. It is her hope that the rule of law can be restored to the country.

Another element has entered this situation. From the caverns beneath Ethiopia, creatures have been attacking Nile soldiers and gangsters. So far they have only struck the evil, and only in isolated areas. Who knows if this will change?

Central Africa

The nations of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Zaire, Central African Republic, Chad, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi are little better than their northern neighbors.

Chad, Uganda, and Kenya have all lost territory to the Nile, and are braced for renewed hostilities at any time. The Central African Republic is less afraid, having practically given over their country to Russia. The Congo meanwhile has made friends with the Cyberpapacy.

Much of the rest of the region has been driven into civil war for the benefit of foreign powers. Corporate powers from Earth and Marketplace have armed one side or another, in order to gain access to various natural resources. And, as has been the case for centuries, the natives are the ones to suffer.

Southern Africa

Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and South Africa are in much the same shape.

Angola is presently under the dictatorship of a rogue army from South Africa. Zambia and Namibia are under Kanawa control, which might actually be a good thing, as the corporation is maintaining law and order – even if they take the countries wealth. Tanzania, Malawi, and Botswana, face famine and other hardships as shortsighted practices and warfare have left the nations in ruin. And Mozambique and Zimbabwe, have fallen into civil war, with Japanese corporations largely driven out by the conflicts. Mozambique and Swaziland are dominated by the religious soldiers known as the Spirit Warriors.

South Africa itself is actually better off than it was before the Possibility Wars began. Apartheid ended in 1994, and a new, inter-racial government was established. At present the nation is healing old wounds, and remaining out of the troubles in their neighboring nations. Troubles the previous government often started.

CHAPTER SEVEN

ASIA

Asia has no single government. The largest nations are the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China and India. Numerous small nations make up Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Old alliances are giving way as new threats emerge.

People’s Republic of China

Marketplace, particularly the Kanawa Corporation, pushed for the creation of additional Special Economic Zones. Much of the coastal provinces were opened to foreign investors. Despite this, the Central Committee initially kept the populace ignorant of western ideas. But with the internet becoming more important to business, and even daily life, it is becoming harder to isolate their nation.

And so they have changed. The government has deemed that the people are strong enough to hold proper values even if exposed to foreign thoughts. So, where outside corporations have failed, and retreated, the government has taken over, creating a strange mix of communism and capitalism.

The Jhou invasion of Hong Kong has left much of Guangdong outside Chinese control. Lacking experience with fighting the Possibility Wars, the Public Security Bureau and People’s Army have turned to Storm Knights – particularly Agents of Raaru Block – for help.

North Korea

Caught between South Korea and China, North Korea is isolated, and getting desperate. Russia has been providing covert military aid, and the small nation has begun making threats.

Mongolia

An isolated nation seeking to stay out of Russia and China’s relations.

Southeast Asia

The nations of the region have seemingly created their own horrors. It is unclear if Orrorsh is even present.

The PRC has loosened its hold on Tibet, but has not officially relinquished rule.

India

India has found itself playing host to Karthusa Inc., Shori Petroleum, and other powerful corporations. And Skutharka at least has brought his reality with him. Planting a reality tree near Mumbai, and sowing the region with Horrors to exploit the Hindu faith.

Orrorshan reality has also brought about the rebirth of the Thuggee cult. This secret society is dedicated to the Hindu goddess of destruction, Kali, and shows its loyalty with blood sacrifices. A rival society of Swamis has risen up to combat the wickedness.

Middle East

The Nile Empire has captured much of the region. Yemen has welcomed in the Sons of the Prophet to maintain its freedom. The rest of Arabia relies on Swords of Saladin rebels, even as Mobius tightens his grip. In Palestine the PPL has gained nominal leadership, and works with Israel, the Swords of Saladin and the Nile Kingdom to drive back Mobius.

Jordan, Iran, and the remnants of Iraq are divided between the Sons of the Prophet and the Nile.

In the Empty Quarter, the gates to Mythic Arabia are open, it remains to be seen if that realm will aid against the invaders.

Turkey has received Russian aid against the Greek Nile.

Russian Federation

An alliance consisting of most of the former USSR, built on fear, intimidation, and corruption. President Marco Alexi Vazhin, and his wife Petricia, were the founders of the Psychic Research Bureau. They personally lead the defense of St. Petersburg. And they died.

But their souls are not at rest. Their bodies still walk. It was the things that walked out of St. Petersburg that assumed the presidency, and began rebuilding the Soviet Empire. They have set the military to securing territory. Inform’s internal desk roots out all foreign (non-Earth) elements trying to infiltrate Russia. The only exception is Kanawa Enterprises. A reward for their aid in stopping the Tharkold invasion while Moscow was dealing with a hardliner coup. Kanawa has holdings in Kiev, Minsk, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, as well as rights to Siberian Oil. This largesse has made 7710 willing to overlook National Policy.

The Psychic Research Bureau saw what was happening. Most of the agency opted to follow the president’s sister-in-law, Captain ‘Lisa’ Taramasky into exile, working from the shadows to take back their homeland. Some few approved of the change, or could not escape in time. Those who would serve have been absorbed into Inform proper. The rest are imprisoned somewhere in 17 million square kilometers.

Inform also hides another secret. The foreign desk is a smokescreen for a terrorist organization made up of the vilest stormers of nine realities. [See Chapter Ten for more details]

The Nightmare known as President Vazhin has seen the planting of Orrorshan Reality Trees, filled with wicked souls. Six trees cover most of the country around St. Petersburg, Moscow, Gor’kij; Minsk in Belarus; and Kiev and Kharkiv in the Ukraine. This realm is virtually undetectable – not even to Dr. Hachi Mara-Two’s orbiting R-Scan satellites. It is a stable mixed zone, with Earth’s Social and Tech axioms, but the Magic and Spiritual axioms of Orrorsh. Unlike other realities, Heketon can still draw Possibilities in a mixed zone thanks to the Power of Fear.

CHAPTER EIGHT

PAC RIM

The nations of the Pacific have also formed an alliance. It is tenuous, and in many cases unofficial. At the heart is the Operations Arm of Raaru Block. The corporate powers that made up the block have turned on each other. But their muscle remains a potent force. Still using the Raaru name they have allied with the Swords of the Sacellum, Australian Defense Corps, and other Storm Knight organizations to continue the fight against the High Lords and other extra-cosmic forces.

Japan

The fall of the Kanawa Corporation has lead to a corporate war. Nagara Corporation, Shodan Metals, Kokaru Automotive, Dokaru Chemicals, and Allied Technologies have been picking over the corpse. And matters have gotten worse with the arrival of Kubaicho Entertainment and Misaki Computers. Each company is using its own corporate security force, hired ronin, yakuza, and ninja to soften up potential purchases, as well as fight off their rivals. And collateral damage isn’t their concern.

Marsec is divided, unable to determine where their loyalties lay. The Diet can’t come to a decision due to different members being bribed by various factions. And so the Emperor has turned to Raaru Block. The covert force has answered the Emperor’s call and are working to cripple the megacorps, and purge the Diet of corrupt members.

South Korea

With the increased threat from the North, the border has been reinforced with Marsec agents equipped with Rijato Electronics Battlesuits and Oda hovercraft. Rijato has also begun selling armor to China for use on the Tharkold border.

Taiwan

The People’s Democratic Republic of China has been invaded by Jhou. Both Marsec and Raaru have risen to the defense. But the superior technology and combat miracles of Tharkold are proving insurmountable. Kaohsiung is fully under Race dominance. The rest of the island’s population are retreating to Taipei, and overcrowding and shortages are reaching a crisis level.

Philippines

The island nation spent most of the last decade preparing for a war that never came. Now, the arms and soldiers amassed for fighting Orrorsh are being used to that purpose – as Manila has allied with Sydney to reclaim Oceania for Earth.

Indonesia and New Guinea

Horrors still run wild in the islands, but the natives have received aid in the form of the Swords of the Sacellum, ADC, and Raaru Block. The fighting is particularly hard near Borneo, where Ravagons are targeting any Storm Knights attempting to make land fall.

Malaysia

An Associate Member of the Pac Rim alliance, Singapore’s strong economy and modern technology have been welcome to Storm Knights fighting Orrorsh. Unfortunately, this aid is coming from Skutharka. The wolfman is playing both sides in order to ultimately render the liberation futile.

Sidebar: Magestic

Dr. Wells Gate between London, Victoria and New London, Magestic is once again open. And a horribly overcrowded island is bleeding away its wretched refuse onto the shores of another cosm. With such a deluge of immigrants, the natives have been further displaced. An uprising is underway, and modern technology once again has become reliable. However, the industriousness and rugged nature of the Victorians has the upper hand so far.

Australia

Though new Horrors do crop up from time to time, the mainland is largely free of alien influence. As such, the ADC has gone on the offensive, liberating New Guinea, and Indonesia.

CHAPTER NINE

POCKET DIMENSIONS

Atlantis

Thousands of years ago, the island nation of Atlantis boasted a great civilization whose scientific and cultural advances put all others to shame. There is no telling just how high a Tech level they had reached, but what has been pieced together is that work had begun on reality-warping technology.

In 9560 B.C., two Atlantean scientists tested a device somewhat similar in principle to that used by Dr. Alexus Frest to send Storm Knights from Terra to Earth. The machine backfired, tearing a hole in reality and blasting the entire island through it and into a pocket dimension. Atlantis’ cities were devastated by the force of the abrupt shift and the scientists responsible were destroyed along with their device.

Shortly after their arrival, the Atlanteans discovered that much of the world they now inhabited was composed of great oceans, with no land masses near their location. They also discovered, to their horror, that Atlantis itself was sinking, albeit extremely slowly. It was estimated that, within one thousand years, the island would be completely submerged.

This came to pass, but the Atlanteans did not perish. Instead, the constant encroachment of the sea, the knowledge of their plight and the strange nature of this dimension’s waters combined to evolve them into merpeople. Now able to survive beneath the water, the Atlanteans set to work rebuilding their cities, using coral and other materials that could survive immersion.

Today, Atlantis rules a mighty empire that spans six of the seven great oceans of their dimension. The seventh ocean, dubbed the “Sea of Blood” due to its reddish hue, is home to barbarian races who have threatened Atlantis on more than one occasion.

The gateway to Atlantis is a whirlpool in the Mediterranean. Statistics for a typical Atlantean are given below. Cosm attribute limits for Atlanteans are 13, save for Toughn.ess, which can go as high as 14.

Standard Atlantean Warrior
Reality: Atlantis
AGI 10 DEX 9 STR 10 END 12 TOU 11 PER 9 MIN 8 CHA 8 SPI 9 Possibility Potential: some (45)
Dodge 13, maneuver 12, melee weapons 15, stealth 12, swimming 15, unarmed combat 12, vehicle piloting:water 10, Find 11, tracking 10, trick 10, Survival 10, Taunt 9, Faith:Talumnor 10, intimidation 11, Additional Skills: three at +1 adds
Equipment: spear or trident (STR+3/13); sword (STR+4/14)
Description: Atlanteans resemble humans in most respects, save that their skin is made up of smooth scales and is greenish in color. They also have two sets of gills along the sides of their faces and necks. They are capable of breathing and speech underwater, and are prodigious swimmers. Most Atlanteans cannot function out of water for more than a few minutes, though a few exceptional individuals have been amphibious- rare (75). Of course, very few of the amphibious Atlanteans would ever experiment to find out their true nature.

Axioms

Magic Axiom: 10

Enchantments are not a major part of Atlantean society, although the Empress does maintain a wizard at court. But it rapidly became clear after the Cataclysm that this pocket dimension contained creatures that were magical in nature and could not be defeated with normal weapons. Thus, the primary duty of Atlantean magicians is the creation of enchanted weapons, talismans, etc. for hunters and warriors.

Within the markets of Atlantis, one can buy amulets to protect one from harm or disease, or aid in the tracking of an enemy. There are also magical objects that can help detect dishonesty, and even some that can be used to create “something from nothing.” (These tend to work poorly, as the conjurations vanish after a brief time and rarely resemble what they are supposed to be.)

Magic in Atlantis is either looked at as a toy for the amusement of the knowledgeable (or the deceit of the gullible) or as a very useful and expensive tool. It does not fit into any middle category. The magic available to the general populace is unreliable or minor in nature – but there are powerful spells and artifacts all over the Atlantis dimension. They are just hard to come by.

Social Axiom: 10

Atlantis is the seat of an empire, ruled by the Empress Marissa. Repeated attacks by barbarian raiders, as well as encounters with monstrous native creatures, have prompted the city to maintain a standing army 10,000 strong. Over the last 10 millennia, Atlantean forces have conquered much of the planet.

Atlantis enjoys a code of laws, called the Writs of Kancree (after the Fourth Emperor of the realm), which prescribe harsh penalties for all who transgress against them. The area immediately surrounding the city is littered with the mummified bodies of those who have broken the laws, preserved for all time in their agony.

The Atlantean economy is not terribly advanced. The unit of currency is the silver nol, and trade with other parts of the empire has only just begun to take place. Most Atlanteans serve in the army, work as farmers or hunters, or pursue careers as craftsmen. Despite being led by a woman, there is not equality of the sexes in Atlantis – women are expected to care for their families and their husbands, although some have made careers for themselves in science, medicine or the arts.

Male-female segregation is the norm in most of Atlantean society, and both sexes seem to prefer it that way.

Spiritual Axiom: 13

The priest caste in Atlantis is composed of clerics who lead the daily worship of the sea god, Talumnor, and lesser divinities, and the seers. The latter are responsible for voicing prophecy, and most suffer from some physical disability (blindness etc.) that acts as compensation for their second sight abilities.

Priests are capable of performing miracles, and none who have witnessed one can doubt that the power of Talumnor is genuine. But the god is a capricious one, like most sea gods, and has been known to deny his aid on a whim.

There are rumors of a cult that worships Dark Gods, a twisted religion that dates back to the days on Earth. It is not known if this sect truly still exists. There are, however, constant reports of cultists – or pretenders of the cults – waylaying travelers, or attacking settlements in the outlying reaches of the empire. The Cult of the

Deep Gods is the most popular of these “bandit divinities,” and the most powerful. While no reliable witnesses can testify that they have seen anything other than robbery at work, others, some mad with terror, preach that the Cult is the harbinger of doom and darkness for Atlantis.

Miracles of Atlantis

The Miracles of Talumnor are very similar to those found in the Torg basic set, and the more low-powered ones in the Aysle sourcebook.. Usually, they deal with healing, prophesy and protection against enemies. Many miracles also include blessings on births, plantings, and harvests, but very few player characters will be interested in those rituals.

Technological Axiom: 19

Atlantis was, at one time, at the pinnacle of technological achievement. But after the Great Cataclysm, the people turned against advanced technology, and many of the ancient marvels were scattered to the seas and abandoned. Much of the old knowledge has been forgotten, including the means of creating gunpowder and explosives,and the Tech axiom slipped to 19.

The Atlanteans remain relatively advanced in the fields of chemistry, medicine, architecture and other sciences. Their weapons, however, are crude – consisting of tridents, spears, nets, swords and others made of rustproof metal or stone. The need to travel great distances to visit outlying portions of the empire has led to the development of submarines, but these are not armed.

Many of the ancient artifacts are still operational, but few attempt to use them, fearing the punishment of the gods. Only in some isolated portions of the empire have the Atlanteans begun toying with the wonders of the past: personal and heavy energy weapons, incredibly fast underwater craft, etc.

The occasional visits by air-breathers from other cosms has led to the construction of watertight rooms for their convenience. Most of these are located within the capital itself.

Fuels for machines (and some weapons) are chemical-based. Obviously, fossil fuels and the like do not bum under water, so the Atlanteans have learned to harness chemical and biological catalysts and energies. Their fuels are extremely efficient, surpassing anything on Earth, and very clean. Unfortunately, this efficiency is made up for by the general lack of power their fuels can produce.

World Laws

The Law of Artifacts

Although they are regarded in many places in Atlantis as evil, most of the pre-Cataclysm technological devies still survive. Like “weird Science” in the Nile Empire, although their functions require a Tech axiom higher than that of the cosm (roughly 26), they can still be used within Atlantis without fear of contradiction (by natives of this reality.) Storm Knights not from Atlantis with Tech axioms lower than 26 may also make use of them, but it is a one-case contradiction within Atlantis.

Often, finding the artifacts is more difficult than making use of them. Many are buried, hidden in undersea cavems and protected by beasts, in the hands of barbarians, or cursed. Once found, it helps to have someone with knowledge of the Atlantean tongue to decipher the inscriptions on the artifacts, lest a disaster along the lines of the Cataclysm take place.

Most of the artifacts buried in the silt and hidden in the trenches of the Atlanteans domain have forgotten, but generally harmless, functions. But that does not keep the Atlanteans from practicing their fierce superstitions. Many Atlanteans would rather fight to the death rather than let anyone activate the least of these mechanisms – and Atlantean knowledge is almost certainly needed to make use of the artifacts.

Note that no remnants of the reality-warping technology. that forced Atlantis into the pocket-dimension are known to have survived.

The Law of Prophecy

This world law states that prophecies made by seers of Talumnor will come true. Divine intervention, when it occurs, is direct and it is important that the gods not be made angry by mortals willfully ignoring the words of the seers. The words spoken by the prophets detail what the gods wish accomplished – they are scoffed at only at great peril.

Unfortunately, the seers tend to be somewhat vague in their prophecies. Something is apparently “lost in translation” between the words spoken by Talumnor and those that pass the seer’s lips. Prophecies such as, “The light will fail, only to be rekindled by a beast of iron,” are not uncommon, and divining their meaning can be as difficult as acting upon it.

Characters receive a +1 to any action that aids in a prophecy coming true. Characters do not receive a penalty to actions that run counter to a prophecy, but divine wrath may be visited on them at some point in the future for doing so.

Do not let players know whether or not they are receiving a bonus in this situation. After all, they may have misinterpreted the prophecy, but would have no way of knowing without further investigation. Their actions may very well be the opposite of what the gods desired!

Also note that not all seers in Atlantis are truly in contact with Talumnor. Many are simply frauds looking to make some money by mouthing prophecies. Their words are not governed by the Law of Prophecy.

Player characters who want to be oracles of Talumnor can, but they are difficult on the gamemaster. As a general rule, over the course of an adventure, no character should be allowed to make more prophecies than he has faith plus focus adds divided by two. And then, the gamemaster should only “speak the prophecy” to the player running the character, telling him or her what Talumnor has decided he or she should know. Usually, these prophecies will be used to start an adventure (“The Great Trench will be the font of great evil unless the Spoken Word is brought to its very depths”), give hints along the way (“If the Beast of Raluum is not harnessed by the blue of day, it win cause great suffering in Mere Klinior”), or to finish up an adventure with a flourish (“The last Power of the Dark Regiment has fallen. No more will They trouble the waking world, ’til all else has grown evil again”). These prophesies are seldom of immediate use, though they should come into play enough to make the players pay attention to them. They are more to add flavor to your Atlantean adventures than anything.

Avalon

Somewhere in Southern England, there exists a beautiful lake with a single island in its center. Here, the wind does not blow, and rain and snow have never been known to fall. Here, as well, is the primary gate to the pocket dimension of Avalon, home to the legendary warriors of England.

And “legendary” is an accurate description, for this is a realm formed from the tales told around hearth fires for hundreds of years. The Arthur who resides here is truly the Arthur of myth, the ruler of Camelot and husband of Guinnevere. Here light and dark magic do battle for eternity, while noble knights go on mystical quests, risking both life and soul.

Avalon itself resembles a slice of medieval England, with its rolling hills, massive fortresses. and dark and ominous forests. At its center is the court of Camelot, where reside the knights of the Round Table. In this land, the final battle between Arthur and Modred has yet to be fought; Lancelot has fled Camelot with Guinnevere, no one knows to where; Merlin remains sealed in stone; and the hours weigh heavily upon the king as he plans the next stroke in the war with his evil half-sister, Morganna Le Fey.

Unlike most pocket dimensions, there are known to be at least two other gates leading to it, both in England. One exists at Glastonbury Tor and the other at Stonehenge.

Cosm attribute limits for Avalon are 13.

Standard Knight of Avalon
Reality: Avalon
AGI 11 DEX 10 STR 10 END 10 TOU 10(17) PER 9 MIN 8 CHA 10 SPI 10 P 5-10
Beast riding 15, maneuver 13, melee weapons 16, unarmed combat 15, Find 11, scholar:Arthurian law 11, tracking 11, trick 11, Charm 11, persuasion 12, Faith:Christian 13, honor 13*, intimidation 13, reality 11, willpower 12
Honor Abilities: Provide Inspiration to one other character once per act. * this is the minimum honor a True Knight of Avalon may have – most have more. A False Knight of Avalon is usually a bewitched creature – often controlled by a sorcereror the powers of Evil – and has corruption adds of at least four or more.
Equipment: plate mail (TOU+7/17), broadsword (STR+6/16) lance (STR+5/15)
Description: The True Knights of Avalon are all heroic, legendary figures – as are their ladies, their squires, and their foes. They are truly larger than life, and they embody nobility and strength at all times.

Or so it was. Now, with the disappearance of Lancelot and Guinnevere, the evil of Modred and Morganna Le Fay, and the melancholy of King Arthur penetrating the land, the Knights have gotten grimmer, less heroic, and more desperate. Most of them still struggle to hold on to the legends that made them – but it was never a struggle before.

Axioms

Magic Axiom: 17

All four primary types of magic are practiced in Avalon, but not everyone can cast spells. Rather, certain people (such as Merlin or Morganna) are gifted with the ability to work powerful magics, both for good and evil. There is no white or black magic, as such, in Avalon – all magic is a combination of the two. Because of this, sorcerers cannot benefit from the effects of the Law of Right Makes Might (see below), as they are not pure of heart.

The most common types of magic in Avalon are alteration and divination, although conjuration sometimes comes into play. Many lords have sorcerers or wizards in their employ as advisers, as Arthur once employed Merlin. Others use them to aid their armies in battle, and some – like Modred – have even ordered their dead raised to fight another day (one of the foulest acts imaginable).

Many wizards, of varying degrees of power, live in the forests and may aid or harm travelers. Often, they appear to be no more than eccentric hermits, but woe betide the man who scorns them or takes a crust of bread from them without paying. Entire areas of a wood, and all the creatures therein, may be under the command of a single sorcerer.

Social Axiom: 12

Avalon operates under a feudal system. Arthur is recognized as king by most lords, and they had pledged their service to him. They, in tum, have vassals pledged to their service, and so on down the line to the peasants.

The economy is small-scale, with produce and crafts sold at market. Weaponsmiths are in great demand, as are armorers and virtually anyone else skilled with a forge.

After the monarch, the most powerful force is the church. Arthur has, for the most part, been successful in keeping the bishops on his side. But doing this has required sending some of his most noble knights to their deaths on holy quests, and it has been a dear price to pay. Also, more than a few monasteries are havens of corruption and dark practices, and a knight would be well advised to investigate such a place thoroughly before venturing within.

Parts of the realm – those under the sway of Morganna Le Fey and Modred – remain in anarchy, with no real government and no written laws binding the people. Within Arthur’s area of dominion, all are required to obey Arthurian law, which protects the weak and defenseless from those who would prey on them.

Hedge-knights and Bandit Kings are becoming more prevalent in these troubled days. While they do not, as yet, threaten the power in the center of Avalon, they do pose a problem for the people and places they are nearest to. If the Knights of Avalon do not ride against such robbers and usurpers, they stand unchallenged in their small domains. Their subjects are slaves and their power comes from evil and corruption.

Spiritual Axiom: 19

Many places in the cosm of Avalon are holy sites, where miracles occur on their own with no aid from a cleric. Among these are hills where many have seen visions of great and bloody battles being fought, springs whose waters can heal, and caverns where dark and malignant spirits dwell. Weapons forged in these places are among the most powerful objects in the cosm, and knights have been known to go on quests that lasted years for an opportunity to wield a sword blessed with divine power.

Another benefit of the high axiom is that one need not be a cleric to call upon miracles. If one is pure of heart (see the Law of Chivalry, below), it is possible to call upon miracles to aid one in a holy cause. Lancelot was said to be able to give life to the dead, but it is not known if his affair with Guinnevere has so tainted his soul that he has lost his ability to perform such deeds.

Use the miracles of Aysle for those in Avalon, but also create some for your adventures. Most miracles deal with healing and cleansing, though a very few also deal with the Wrath of God. Because of the high Spiritual axiom, miracles do not need to be as structured or as formalized as those available in most other cosms. They fulfill immediate needs and come from a fairly attentive higher power.

Technological Axiom: 15

Technology in Avalon is strictly on the medieval level. Although some crude firearms are available, most prefer swords, pikes and bows as weapons. Knights wear plate armor, while lower-level soldiers wear chain mail or cuir boulli.

While medicine is advanced to the point that anatomy is understood and many ailments can be treated with some certainty of success, most people still go to local healers who use leeches and worry about bodily humors. Others tum to magicians for cures for what ails them.

Printing is possible, but generally only done by monks. Monasteries are the seats of knowledge in the realm, and it is here that one turns to get a glimmer of what terrors await on a quest. The monks compile bestiaries and other volumes of use to a knight heading into unknown lands.

Printing and scribe work not done by court clerks and monks is often associated with evil. A knight or squire may know how to read and write, but the written word is a powerful tool indeed. It is not to be abused or debased, lest it be turned to the working of evil.

World Laws

The Law of Chivalry

The Law of Chivalry rewards, in its own way, both good and evil. The good are expected to defend the weak and fight for just and holy causes. Most of all, they are expected to resist the temptations of evil, which has power of its own and can warp the soul in such subtle ways that the victim is not even aware of it until it is too late.

One noticeable difference in Avalon is that “too late” is a very malleable term. Ogres and evil knights have “seen the light” in the heat of battle, becoming honorable and good in a second. This does not happen often, but it is possible for a truly evil being to convert over to good – if the impetus and the desire are right.

As the gamemaster, you should not overuse this. Only beings with a true desire to repent will do so – the honor inherent to the realm will see to that. Most would rather die than give up their ways, but a few can overcome evil through love or strength of heart.

The Law of Chivalry is essentially similar to the Ayslish Laws of Honor and Corruption, and the Spirit skills honor and corruption are a part of this reality as they are that one. See the Aysle sourcebook for details on this. Note that “patchwork realm” rules do not apply in Avalon. One more note on this law: to win in the realm of Avalon is to defeat evil – not necessarily to destroy it. Converting evil to good is the greatest victory possible in this realm – killing an enemy without giving him a chance to repent is the greatest evil.

Characters with four or more honor adds have the ability to try to invoke the power of God once per act of an adventure. The character must be in desperate circumstances (one of her friends has been mortally wounded, or she is beset by terrible evil) and she must be acting out of pure nobility of purpose. If this is the case, then the character needs to “pray'” using her honor adds as faith adds, and making a roll.

The base difficulty to invoke the power is 18, modified by the gamemaster, up or down, depending upon the desperateness of the cause, the nobility of purpose, and the willingness of the character to “follow the true path.” Characters who try this invocation may not abuse any of their powers or privileges, and must act in a manner true to the Knights of Avalon. Non-Knights of Avalon who are in Avalon may attempt this (as a one-case contradiction), but automatically receive a +5 to the difficulty number (though other pluses and minuses may apply).

A successful total means the character receives aid – though what kind of aid is totally up to the gamemaster. Often, it will be what the character wanted to happen – her friend may be healed, or she may receive assistance – but not always. It is not uncommon for the aid to be indirect or seemingly useless, but it is never really useless. Often, the power in Avalon does not step forward and directly aid its champions not because they aren’t worthy, but because that is not “according to plan.” For example, Arthur is destined to kill Modred in battle, and be killed by him. Even though Arthur fights for right, and is a true King and Knight of Avalon, his aid does not save his life. However, it does allow him to live on forever as a legend to inspire good deeds and justice, and he triumphs in the end.

The Law of Right Makes Might

Characters in Avalon who are willing to fight for right receive special benefits under this cosm’s world laws. Characters with seven or more honor adds are considered “pure of heart.” In addition to other benefits, this gives them the ability to be up once per act in an adventure, providing the action they are attempting advances a just cause.

Note that, if a character’s honor adds drop below seven because he has committed a corrupt act, he loses this benefit.

This ability is in addition to all others accrued through gaining honor adds. There is, however, a dark side to this law – characters who are “pure of heart” will be targeted by agents of evil, determined to tempt them or, failing that, kill them. As one gains more honor, quests become more challenging and infinitely more dangerous. Great warriors benefit from this law more than others, not only because of increased opportunity to do good, but because they are the only ones who have survived long enough to gain sufficient skill adds.

Also in Avalon, characters can lose honor adds without performing corrupt acts. They do this by doing nothing. Each adventure must be a battle that challenges the character’s faith and honor as well as his strong arm. A king gains and keeps honor by ruling justly and making hard decisions well. A lady may do so by retaining her virtue and helping her chosen knight on his quests – or taking on her own (in a ladylike fashion).

The Law of Legends

Avalon is a place where legends live, and so tales of heroes and villains have great power here. A tale that is believed by the majority of people in a given area will come true. For instance, stories have been flying around the village of Murton that a dragon emerges from the bowels of a nearby cavern at night and stalks the streets, slaying livestock and those foolish enough to wander about in the dark. If most of the people in the village come to believe this tale – locking their doors at night, seeking out talismans to protect them against dragons – the dragon will be brought to life by their belief.

By the same token, a local legend that says that a mountain spring has the power to wash away wounds to the soul may be sufficient to infuse the waters with just that ability. Naturally, one must be very careful about what stories he tells late in the night, lest they have come true by morning. And, of course, the people of Avalon do not ‘”have a care'” about what stories they tell- they are, afterall, within the realm of stories.

Characters can aid in the formation of legends. Subplots and Campaign cards can be the spark to start tales about their deeds,and the Martyr card is a powerful legend maker. Any character who accepts a Martyr subplot while in Avalon gains a bonus during his last adventure: a +1 bonus number is the lowest he can roll during his last, heroic quest. All bonus numbers lower are treated as +1 (this does not include other modifiers – a character who performs a multi-action or vital blow attack may still end up with a negative total bonus. The die roll itself is the only part affected). This is the character’s “road to glory.'”

However, if during the last adventure, the character begins to “stray from the right,” he forfeits the bonus number until he gets back on track. Also, if the character decides at any time to not play out the Martyr sub-plot, then he loses the bonus number modifier and two adds of honor for “backing down in the face of danger.” If the character has less than two adds in honor, then he loses points from his Spirit to make up the difference. Often, only performing more heroic sacrifices are enough to get the honor back.

Olympus

With Dr. Mobius’ invasion of Greece, the imposition of Nile axioms on the land has led to the opening once more a portal to the pocket dimension of Olympus, the cosm of classical mythology. The main point of access is Mount Olympus itself, but other points may be found on the islands of Hespera and Crete in the Nile Empire and (possibly) a whirlpool in Atlantis.

Magic Axiom: 15

A look at the Greek legends will show that highly sophisticated magics, such as alteration spells to permanently tum living beings into another form, are possible here. However, only a relative handful of the cosm’s inhabitants have the ability to work spells. Indeed, in the myths, the witches Circe and Medea are almost unique. Such spellcasters as there are will either be court sorcerers fora powerful ruler, or they will be recluses living in the wilderness somewhere, enjoying their privacy as they experiment with their powers.

Thus, magic will be almost as legendary to the majority of the realm’s inhabitants as it is to the people of Core Earth. There is little or no cooperation among spellcasters, and certainly no compilation spells such as can be found in Pixaud’s Practical Grimoire in Aysle.

Social Axiom: 10

This axiom is high enough (barely) so that democracy is possible, and some city states, such as Athens, even practice it. The majority of the city states, however, are ruled by petty kings and tyrants, though few to the extremes of Sparta. There is a standard coinage to encourage trade between the cities, but “brushfire” wars can break out at any time to cut it off. No one even dreams of uniting the entire realm under one ruler.

Spiritual Axiom: 14

Olympus’ Spiritual axiom is identical to that of the Cyberpapacy, with religious miracles far more common in the realm than conventional magic. However, even miracles are rare and tend to take place only at shrines and other holy places. Virtually no priests or priestesses are feared because of their connection with the gods.

(In one of the last tales to come from this dimension, the Odyssey, the hero slaughtered the suitors who courted his wife, finally coming upon a poet and a priest who served them. When they fell on their knees to beg for mercy, Odysseus said he was loathe to slay a man who was taught his craft by the gods. That said, he slew the priest and let the poet go.) Any Storm Knight who thinks cozying up to the priesthood will give him influence in Olympus is in for a rude awakening.

Technological Axiom: 11

In Olympus, spears are the major weapon of war, with the primary battle tactic the conventional phalanx. Cavalry and archers are auxiliary troops at best, while swords are mostly short and are used as back-up weapons. The catapult would be cutting-edge military technology here, but as yet, no one has gone to the trouble of inventing it. In a relationship similar to that of the automatic machine gun and Gaea’s Victorians in Orrorsh, the realm’s military men are so satisfied with what they have that they are not pushing the Tech axiom to the limit in their quest for new weaponry. Iron armor is worn by the heavy infantry, or hoplites. At sea, oared galleys fighting via ramming tactics or boarding are supreme. In civilian technical matters, all the city states are slowly developing decent road systems, whi1e stone bridges and aqueducts have been introduced. Medical care is as good here as one can possibly get at this low Tech axiom, with physicians having a wide array of herbal concoctions and other natural drugs available. Crude but effective surgery is also available.

World Laws

The Law of Humanity

The Greeks were the first people to truly celebrate the human form, being unique for the time by making their gods completely in the image of humanity, instead of having beast gods or man/animal hybrids, as the Egyptians and others did. The realm’s reality reflects this in the Law of Humanity. Essentially, it makes things easier on humans who try to accomplish tasks. Any action a human takes receives a -1 to the difficulty number. Thus, a human character attempting a stealth check while under closer scrutiny would have a difficulty modifer of 0, rather than +1. While this may not sit well with edeinos, stalengers, Gudasko, elves, dwarves, et al, it is a fact of life in Olympus.

The Law of Beauty

The Grecian appreciation of humanity was shared by an intense appreciation of beauty, as demonstrated by their art. Their gods were not only of human form, but their bodies were those of the finest athletes. Even the witches Circe and Medea were young and beautiful, unlike the hideous old crones common elsewhere in the world. Thus, in a law that may be more to those interested in interaction rather than combat, anyone with a Charisma of 11 or higher gains a +1 bonus to all Charisma-related skill checks. And yes, Olympus’ two world laws are cumulative, so a human Storm Knight with a high enough Charisma will find that Charisma-based skills (and only them) will be significantly easier for him or her.

The Cosm

Preliminary exploration seems to indicate that the area of the pocket dimension corresponds to the world known by the ancient Greeks: Greece, a portion of the Balkans north of Greece, Asia Minor,Scythia (the southem part of the former USSR), Italy, Egypt and the rest of North Africa, and the Middle East as far as Iran (not including the Arabian peninsula). The familiar city-states of Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, etc. are all there, and the setup is roughly that of the Trojan War circa 1176 BC. Troy, however, is no more, though “dungeon crawler” characters would have fun poking through its ruins.

All the monsters of Classical mythology are present: hydras, sirens, satyrs, etc., including some species also found in Aysle. The non-monstrous wildlife is dangerous, too, and those Storm Knights who are only familiar with present day Greece will be surprised to learn that in past centuries, the country hosted wolves, wild boars, bears, leopard, lions and the now-extinct auroch (a massive wild ox with a short, goat·like beard). Tigers are also found from Asia Minor eastward, while the Egyptian Nile has as many crocodiles as it does in Mobius’ realm. Deer, elk, and other game are plentiful, so Storm Knights who are skilled hunters need not starve in the wilderness.

The realm wide love of beauty has its advantages for Storm Knight Jakatts from the Living Land. When the first party of Knights entered, a satyr bewitched a female Knight and was leading her away when an edeinos comrade hit him with sensory explosion. Once the satyr came to, he proved to be so grateful for the experience that he became a trustworthy guide for the party. Other Jakatt successes with that miracle, as well as lesser ones such as heightened sight, heightened hearing, etc. led analysts to conclude that many of the realm’s denizens could be readily converted to the worship of Lanala, and that it is just as well that the Living Land is undergoing a period of decline.

As can be readily understood, the Nile Empire has more agents in Olympus than in any other pocket dimension, save perhaps the Land Above/Land Below. The Living Land has none, while Nippon agents are, of course, everywhere. Teams from Aysle and the Cyberpapacy have entered to investigate the new cosm, but the Tharkoldu in Berlin are apparently too absorbed in their struggle to conquer that city to pay much attention to a mere pocket dimension. A band of Horrors have captured an echidna (a monster that can change its shape from that of a beautiful woman to that of an emaciated centaur with sharp teeth and claws) and are taking it back to Orrorsh in an attempt to curry favor with the Gaunt Man. Core Earth efforts to investigate Olympus are sporadic at best, due to the recent intensification of the war.

The Gods

As far as can be determined, the ancient gods of Greek mythology do exist in Olympus, and are taking a hand in the war. However, their aid is uneven, being as capricious as these strange beings themselves. Moreover, some gods and goddesses who opposed Mobius’ initial invasion may be ready to switch sides, or at least remain neutral.

The gods’ lack of a united front goes back to the Trojan war, when the divine beings split down the middle over the Greek·Trojan conflict. Many still harbor resentments toward Zeus for not openly supporting the Greeks’ cause sooner than he did.

Mobius’ invasion threw all factions into confusion. Pluto openly supported the High Lord, seeing him as a being of ultimate destruction who should naturally be favored by a god who rules the dead. His most significant contribution was modifying the flames fired by Mobius’ RoboTroops to affect the target’s very soul.

After numerous skirmishes, the other gods supported the Greek defenders in a big way, creating a massive storm front that deprived the Nile troops of their air support. The resulting darkness also aided the Greek resistance by limiting visibility, as the only Nile foes who could see in the dark were a handful of properly powered pulp villains or those with the appropriate weird science gizmos. Confusion reigned among the battlegroups, and the Greeks, taking the initiative,began to force them back.

Alas, the Nile withdrawal never turned into a rout thanks to some last ditch weird science weapons Mobius had rushed to the front. These strengthened the resolve of his troops and allowed them to retake what territory they had lost. Ares, Greek god of war, was so impressed with the Nile troops’ performance that he has allied himself with Mobius and persuaded Aphrodite to do the same.

Then Mobius sent appropriately powerful pulp villains to Olympus as informal ambassadors to meet privately with Queen Hera. The royal household is not a happy one, as Zeus’ numerous love affairs are literally the stuff of legend. Zeus himself was simultaneously receiving a “private audience” with the Scarlet Asp (on loan from her duties in Berlin). Mobius attempted to create more rifts in the ranks of the gods, though with limited success.

Today, most of the Olympians have placed their support behind the Greeks, in opposition to Overgovernor Ramses forces. Even those who openly supported Mobius initially have been forced by Zeus to return their support to their own worshipers.

[The axioms and world laws of Olympus appear to carry over to Mythic Persia – a realm of Djinn, flying carpets, and dread Assassins, and the Norse pocket dimension the Ice and Fire Giants, Rock Trolls, and Aesir originate from. It is possible that mythic realms of India, China, Meso-America, or other lands may exist, but have yet to be discovered.]

CHAPTER TEN

ARCHER FOUNDATION

During the Cold War, a terrorist organization, the World Espionage Bureau, was formed. Its purpose to create chaos for their own profit. The United Nations responded by forming ORION. By 1986, ORION had located and destroyed the leadership of WEB. Its purpose served, ORION faded away.

Five years later. The Gaunt Man’s invasion plans targeted most of the world’s capitals over the first week. But there was a deeper purpose – not initially seen. Within a week, the CIA, Ministry of Intelligence, KGB, Mossad, among others would have been out of commission. All the agencies from which ORION had drawn membership.

Fortunately, the plan went awry. And not all of the world’s covert agencies were incapacitated.

During the war, someone began recruiting dark stormers, forming a renegade agency. Offering its services to whoever could pay, or simply escalating conflicts for their benefit. And increasingly, it seemed that somewhere, in the shadows, someone was orchestrating events. Financing, recruiting, providing intelligence.

And as the first phase of the Possibility Wars ended, a cabal of veterans looked to the next phase. And they realized that it was necessary to create an agency capable of organizing Storm Knights and battling threats that governments could not, or would not.

And the Archer Foundation was born.

Board of Directors

The Board consists of a triumvirate: Peter “Savage” Hawkins, Captain Michaela “Lisa” Taramasky, and Kazuo Kojima.

Savage

An American, former Navy SEAL, Freelance Executive Protector. Savage worked for both sides during the Cold War. But always for the right reasons. After the rise of Delphi Council, Savage began organizing CIA operatives who wouldn’t be party to Ellen Connors’ immoral activities. Later, he expanded his net to include the British, French, and other NATO countries.

Savage is a realist, but believes that some lines shouldn’t be crossed, and that the ends do not justify the means.

Lisa

Younger daughter of Vladimir Kryuchkov, sister to Petricia Vazhin. Lisa trained as a KGB assassin, Submarine officer, and Nuclear specialist. Her only loyalty has always been to Mother Russia. She realized that something had changed in her sister and brother-in-law after St. Petersburg. And she wasn’t alone. The most adept of Vazhin’s PRB also saw it.

And so she did something rash. She stole a prototype submarine, becoming a nuclear power unto herself. And while Inform and the Navy were looking for her, her allies scattered, going to ground in safehouses across the world.

Lisa was always the sort to want to see the world burn. So long as Russia survived. She can not rest until the cancer in the Kremlin is gone.

Kazuo Kojima

Ex-Japanese Secret Service, Director of Raaru Block’s Operations Arm. And an old contact to both Savage and Lisa. One of the first to recognize the Kanawa invasion. And a dedicated agent who would not be bought.

Each of the triumvirate is responsible for their own agency, and the Board also coordinates with allied agencies in other parts of the world. Storm Knights work for one of these divisions, though trades, and loans are common.

Divisions

The Company

The Company is the largest division of Archer, covering the Western Hemisphere, and most of Europe. The Company has bases in New York, Washington DC (technically Langley, Va.), London, and San Cristobal, with safehouses in almost every major city. The Langley office includes the Shop, an R&D group developing new weapons and gear for the agents in the field.

The Company is engaged with nearly every invader on Earth. Though not affiliated with Team Omega, they have an understanding. And several high ranking military officials respect Savage, and trust his agents for ops inside invading realms.

Psychic Research Bureau

The PRB is of course, made up of Psionic Talents. But in the mass desertion, they were aided by traditional KGB agents, including Alpha Team – the elite black ops military force. Their primary goal is learning the secret of what is going on in Russia, and how the new WEB is connected. PRB shares its Psionicists with other Divisions.

Raaru Block

Though the corporate backers are gone, the Operations Arm retains financing, thanks to insider trading and embezzling. Raaru has expanded from Japan to the Pacific Rim. They work closely with the ADC and Swords of the Sacellum.

Army of Light

The Light Ayslish will proudly stand beside any who fight for honor. Ayslish Storm Knights are often asked to provide their magical abilities to aid against the other High Lords.

Mystery Men

A collection of Costumed Adventurers working for the Queen of the Nile Kingdom. Allies to anyone seeking justice. Enemies to evildoers.

Swords of Saladin

Formed by the Saudi government to fight the Nile Empire, this agency now serves as the resistance, fighting to reclaim their nation from Dr. Mobius army.

Swords of the Sacellum

A Victorian secret society opposed to the Horrors of Orrorsh. A few members of the society have offered their expertise to assist fellow societies in the Pac Rim.

Organization

The Foundation’s Divisions deploy Storm Knights in teams of four to six. Each generally has: a Soldier, Mage, Cleric, and a Specialist (also known as a Rogue or Point Man).

Soldier – Combat specialist. Generally heavily armed and armored.

Mage – some teams will replace this with a Psionicist, Netrunner, or other special talent. Provide extraordinary abilities to the team.

Cleric – an effort is made to arrange teams by religion. Where this is not possible, or where the spiritual axiom is too low, a healer is preferred.

Rogue – a jack of all trades. Fills all other needs for the team.

Larger teams may also include:

Face – Social specialist, often also a disguise expert.

Scout – Expert in survival, tracking, and reconnaissance.

Wheelman – driver or pilot. Generally equipped with a vehicle.

Or additional Soldiers or Rogues.

WEB

The Archer Foundation’s dark twin. Comprised of such outlaws as Delphi Council Spartans, Inform agents, Dark Ayslish, rogue Inquisitors, Pulp Villains, Ninjas and Ronin, Corrupt Secret Societies, and outcast Race. WEB’s goals are often unclear, as they will oppose one High Lord in favor of another.

The answer is that they are another means by which Orrorsh spreads fear. And how those High Lords and Darkness Devices opposed to Heketon’s cabal of High Lords are kept in check.