[Let's Build an Alternate Universe] Moonstruck Timeline

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PlatinumWarlock
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[Let's Build an Alternate Universe] Moonstruck Timeline

So, I got this started as a thought experiment over on the Realm of Discord server, but I figured I'd bring the concept over here to see if there's anyone else who wanted to contribute some ideas.

Fundamental Conceit:  an alternate universe where the Moonfall event--i.e. Baron Blade crashing the moon into Earth--was a partial success, resulting in catastrophic destruction of the moon, the deaths of both Blade and the Freedom Four, and the loss of approximately 40% of the world's populace.

Setting:  The Moonstruck Timeline is one that borders on post-apocalypse.  Continual meteoric strikes (colloquially called called moonstorms) are a continual problem, to say nothing of natural disasters, such as flooding, tsunamis, and extreme weather events.  The initial strike, caused by Baron Blade's terralunar impulsion beam, caused a massive chunk of moon to land in the North Atlantic, effectively wiping Megalopolis off the map via seismically-induced tidal wave.  The next largest chunk landed in the straits between New Zealand and Australia, leaving Oceana utterly devastated. 

While technology and industry still exist in the Moonstruck Timeline, the significant loss of manpower (and the long-running climate shifts) has stagnated growth and left most consumer technology in a late-70s, early-80s state.  While instances of higher technology exist--generally as military or industrial projects--most of the populace are more concerned with survival than growth.

In the wake of the Moonfall event, leadership in many of the major power centers of the world struggled to cope with this brave new world.  As one of the largest still-standing cities in the United States, Rook City becomes a chaotic hub of refugees, crime, and desperation.  However, seeing the opportunity for a good PR twist, Mark Bennodetto begins transforming Revocorp into a powerhouse within Rook City, utilizing a combination of leverage and underhanded tactics to undermine The Chairman, effectively ousting the long-standing crime lord.  In Pike's place, Bennodetto installed his own Operative:  a former data analyst with a keen fondness for throwing weapons and a calculating intellect.

Boosted by his successes in Rook City and running on a platform of insular nationalism, Bennodetto claimed victory over the more globalist Emily Parsons in the most recent presidential election.  Notably, the new Legacy (Felicia Parsons) campaigned vocally against her mother during the campaign, with insinuations that her now-deceased father might still be alive if "we focused on what was happening at home".

Bennodetto, however, is not content to merely hold the presidency.  Rather, he has elected to utilize his power (and his prior positions) to cement power.  Bennodetto handed the Revenant suit off to a well-paid, loyal actor named Andrew Moreau, who has become a featured, state-sponsored hero.  Revenant's most common foe is a centripital force manipulator, known as ReVolution, and his legion of lackeys.  What few know, however, is that ReVolution and his followers are unwitting tools.  The twin chiefs of the Revenant program--Raymond Mantae and Shirley Shane--have a number of operatives within ReVolution, including a deft manipulator known as Mirage, who engineer ReVolution's continual defeats.

However, as the old institutions of power crumbled, three new states emerged:  New Kemet, the Pax Primalis, and the Maerynian Zone.  With flooding rampant along the Nile Valley, the Ennead stepped forth as the would-be saviors of much of North Africa, reasserting their dominion over most of the continent and ruling from a new citadel in Alexandria.  Notably, Ra has been absent from any opposition to them--Atum himself has, on occasion, been seeing wielding the Staff of Ra, particularly when New Kemet faces some great peril.

As one of the few notably arable places in the world immediately following the Moonfall event, Insula Primalis flooded with refugees seeking somewhere to live.  While initial waves of these refugees were repulsed by Citizen Dawn, desperation has resulted in a shift in her policies.  Declaring the Pax Primalis, Citizen Dawn now rules over a feudal state, wherein non-powered individuals swear fealty to powered nobility in exchange for basic needs and security.  Dawn's daughter, Amanda, sits on Dawn's forum as the singular non-powered member:  the token 'representative' for the non-powered people.  Dawn's empire has recently expanded as a newly-risen Atlantis began releasing squamous horrors onto Insula Primalis' shores.  Driving back the horrors, no less than three colonies have emerged upon the Atlantean sub-continent, bearing the Pax Primalis banner.

As Oceana languished and Australia's population dissipated, a group of Maerynian fugitives saw their opportunity for a new life.  Led by a being known only as Leviathan, a cloned militia of Maerynians swiftly swept over the coastal areas, starting with Sydney and Canberra, eventually taking the whole of the continent.  Some have queried from where this strange cloning technology has come; the few who have managed to escape from the Maerynian Zone claim that the Maerynians have laid claim to a number of once-crashed alien spaceships, the largest of which now sits atop Ayers Rock.

While heroes are few and far between in this brave new world, there are a number of teams that have emerged.  The Prime Wanderers--an ancient Maori warrior, a bearded alchemist, a massive brute, and a being of pure light energy--roam the wastes aiding all those they can.  A band of skilled infiltrators and thieves continue to work throughout Rook City, disrupting the Revocorp-sponsored Organization.  Known as The Wraiths, these individuals answer to an enigmatic figurehead known only as The Solution, believed to be capable of great sorcery. 

A former military project, known as Chrysalis, has brought forth another team:  Flagellant, Sanis, Veritas, and Thrasys, who stand as the front-line in pushing back against the force known as Akash'Omnia.  Once the operating AI of a seed vault believed lost during the Moonfall event, the Omnitron protocols assimilated an ancient earth spirit which had been weakened by the devastation across the planet.  Chrysalis was dispatched to the remnants of Norway to locate this vault, only to find it crawling with techno-organic drones; to this day, they are instrumental in keeping these drones in check.

Thoughts? Ideas?  Questions?  I'm eager to add to this!

VGBM
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This looks great, and I'd love to add to this, but I'm still trying to figure out who and what's already been done here. A more concrete description of who's who would be very helpful. For instance, I can't figure out who the Wraiths and the Solution are supposed to be, nor anyone in Chysalis.

PlatinumWarlock
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The Wraiths aren't meant to be anyone specifically--a potential avenue for PCs to take, for a Rook City based campaign.

The Solution is, of course, Mister Fixer by way of Zhu Long.

Chrysalis is a team based on the members of Project Cocoon:  Major Flay, Muse, Truth, and Dare.

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Characters currently accounted for:

Baron Blade (believed deceased, in Moonfall Event)

Legacy (believed deceased, in Moonfall Event)

Tachyon (believed deceased, in Moonfall Event)

Bunker (believed deceased, in Moonfall Event)

Wraith (believed deceased, in Moonfall Event)

Mark Bennodetto (former Revenant, current President of the United States)

Legacy (Felicia Parsons) currently active hero

Parse (now the Operative in Rook City)

Andrew/Ansel Moreau (the new Revenant)

Ray Manta (technician on the Revenant suit)

Stylin' Shirley (technician on the Revenant suit

ReVolt (and the remaining Slaughterhouse Six) (part of the ReVolution anarchist group)

Glamour (known as Mirage, mole within the ReVolution anarchist group)

Citizen Dawn (ruler of the Pax Primalis)

Amanda Cohen (part of ruling family on Pax Primalis)

Ra (believed deceased)

Ennead (currently ruling New Kemet)

Leviathan (and various Maerynians) (currently ruling the Maerynian Zone)

Haka (member of the Prime Wanderers)

The Scholar (member of the Prime Wanderers)

Mainstay (member of the Prime Wanderers)

Dr. Medico (member of the Prime Wanderers)

Major Flay (member of Chyrsalis)

Muse/The Dreamer (member of Chrysalis)

Citizen Truth (member of Chrysalis)

Citizen Dare (member of Chrysalis)

Mister Fixer (known as The Solution, leads The Wraiths)

Omnitron (merged into Akash'Omnia)

Akash'Bhuta/Thryia (merged into Akash'Omnia)

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How does Mordengrad fare in this new reality? I assume one of the priorities of Baron Blade would have been protecting that city/state, and I suspect it would not have been affected by the tsunamis. Are they a dominant technological force with what Baron Blade left them?

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Not sure.  Haven't come up with anything that sticks yet.

Wanna take a crack at it?

VGBM
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When Blade monologued about his Moonfall plot, he did say he'd "rule the ashes" or something, so it'd make sense if he had some sort of contingency plan for Mordengrad. (He probably should've also had a plan for himself but oh well.)

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Assuming Blade really is dead, he'd almost certainly have a Blade-Bot left in charge.  I don't believe that canonically he wasn't making Blade-Bots that early, but he could have easily had the one as a contingency plan.

Of course, that's pretty boring.  If someone figured out that it was a bot--and if it was a prototype, that's likely--there's a power vacuum there.  What if someone took advantage of that?  Dark option: Unity.  (After all, Israel would be in a very different place without U.S. military support, so her arc would be changed from before her birth.)


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Missingno
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My immediate first thought here is where's Fanatic and Apostate?  I'm highly confident that Fanatic could survive Moonfall and Apostate couldn't die even if he wanted to.  A world wrecked by the moon falling on it sounds like prime time for Apostate to manipuate people.


I'll put things in here later.

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MindWanderer wrote:

Assuming Blade really is dead, he'd almost certainly have a Blade-Bot left in charge.  I don't believe that canonically he wasn't making Blade-Bots that early, but he could have easily had the one as a contingency plan.

Of course, that's pretty boring.  If someone figured out that it was a bot--and if it was a prototype, that's likely--there's a power vacuum there.  What if someone took advantage of that?  Dark option: Unity.  (After all, Israel would be in a very different place without U.S. military support, so her arc would be changed from before her birth.)

Ohhh, I like the idea of Devra as the technocratic ruler of a Mordengradian diaspora state.  Probably either a major rival or tense ally of the Pax Primalis!

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Missingno wrote:

My immediate first thought here is where's Fanatic and Apostate?  I'm highly confident that Fanatic could survive Moonfall and Apostate couldn't die even if he wanted to.  A world wrecked by the moon falling on it sounds like prime time for Apostate to manipuate people.

Haven't figured out anything for those two yet, nor have I really found places for many of the mystic characters.

I'd assume the massive global devastation would likely lead to some degree of disruption to the various forms of magic, due to the breaking of ley lines.  However, that doesn't apply to every character, and there's got to be more to it than that...

Have at it!

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:

Ohhh, I like the idea of Devra as the technocratic ruler of a Mordengradian diaspora state.  Probably either a major rival or tense ally of the Pax Primalis!

I was thinking more in the shadows than a "ruler" per se.  Israel loses the Yom Kippur war and its power rapidly erodes in a series of disastrous conflicts.  Because of the danger, Devra's powers evolve in a much more subtle way, and she's better at taking control of robots and other machines than creating them from scratch.  One day, Devra (possibly still a child, even) she sees Mordengrad and "Baron Blade" on TV and sees that it's ripe for her.  She goes there, manipulating device after device and basically just getting hand-waved in everywhere she wants to go, all the way up to the top, where she takes control of Blade-Bot.  Suddenly Mordengrad opens up its borders to Israeli refugees...

... but now we're looking at a Devra who spent a lot of her formative years as a secret child tyrant.  Spoiled, selfish, and paranoid.  She wouldn't want to risk Mordengrad in an offensive war, but she'd also be petulant and nearsighted.  She's probably not so great at actually taking care of people, and diplomacy would be a real problem--she couldn't talk to anyone directly, and Blade-Bot is just an AI.  She'd likely be surrounded by extremely corrupt, nationalist flunkies


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TakeWalker
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This is really cool. :D

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@MindWanderer-- awesome.  Consider it in!

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Magic in the Moonstruck Timeline

To say that magic has been disrupted in the Moonstruck timeline is something of an understatement.  The massive climatic changes wrought by the continual moonstorms, coupled with the resultant changes to landscape, have wreaked havoc onto the earthly ley lines that govern natural magic on Earth.  Ley line manipulation has been all but abandoned by modern sorcerers, as natural magic has proven too wild and too unwieldy to use with predictable results.  While some magical practitioners have attempted to blend ley line magics with other disciplines--scientific processes, blood magic, cthonian magic, discordian sorcery, among others--natural magic seems to most usable as an amplifier and conduit for arcane energy, amplifying and enhancing other disciplines.

Areas hit by increased devastation in the Moonstruck reality are often susceptible to wild surges of natural magic, making spellcasting difficult, perilous, and temptingly potent.  Reckless spellcasters often view ley line breaks (sometimes colloquially called Craters or Fonts) as sites of great promise and power, often seeking to utilized the severed ley line's magic to amplify their own abilities.  The outpouring of raw magical power in these places interacts differently, depending on the types of magics utilized and the strength of the wielder or artifact within that area.  Host spirits, for instance, become manifest, effectively trapping strong emotional responses into amorphous bodies, unable to return to their original plane.  Blood magic in a crater becomes a suicidal gamble; a blood mage invoking a simple spell may find themselves unable to staunch their own bleeding, while a blood sacrifice can easily spiral out of control and backlash with spectacular results.  Void leaks in these areas area also common, as ley line damage weakens the overall fabric of reality separating the material from the Void.

Otherwise, magic in the Moonstruck timeline works as normal; sorcerers and wizards of all sorts still exercise arcane power in the shadows, ever looking for the next source of eldritch power or to curb the tide against some great ethereal destruction.