At long last Lell and I have finally gotten our crap together (aka found a spare moment hiding somewhere) and we've managed to compile our outline for the Pell-verse. Since we just recently passed our nine-month anniversary, it's really only fitting right?
To those of you who are new to the site, and/or just putzing around and giving us a gander, you might be curious as to what this document is. With Marvel canon and Timeline being as confusing as it can be, and the site having lived so long and grown in size, we were starting to get a little confused ourselves. What we decided to do was combine our Admin brains and come up with a skeleton of our universe (hereinafter refereed to as the Pell-verse) so that people who have been here for a while, and people who are newly arriving are all on the same page.
Humans know them as deities worshipped by races far back in Earth's history, the Nordic Gods and Goddesses of old. A thousand years ago, they were central to an entire culture's religion. Now, they are regarded as myth and legend, an old religion that died out with that chapter of human history.
As with all things, though, there is more to any story than what is immediately obvious.
To us, they are the Norse pantheon, myths. To them, we are mortals, denizens of Midgard, a world beyond the event horizon to their own planet - Asgard. The universe is bigger than just this planet. Bigger than this solar system, in fact. Bigger than all that we know of what stretches out beyond our particular galaxy. And Asgard is not the only inhabited planet out there but it is, arguably, one of the most powerful.
Asgard is the home to the Ăsir, the beings who inspired Norse mythology on their last visit to Midgard back in human history. It is understandable why the mortals of that time thought them Gods, for differences in their physiology, in terms of how they perceive the flow of the time and the inherent abilities of their race, means that they are far longer-lived than humans, so much so in fact that they appear immortal. As a very rough estimate, one Asgardian year is equivalent to approximately one hundred years on Midgard. They are stronger, faster and physically more durable than denizens of the Midgardian realm, adapted as they are to the harsher environmental pressures of their own realm. Physical prowess and skills in battle are much prided amongst the Asgardians, who count themselves a race of warriors, wherein the men are fighters and very, very few woman ever even pick up a sword since they are culturally expected to be skilled in other areas, including more womanly arts and what the Asgardians call 'magic.' The Nordic peoples of that time a thousand years ago when the Ăsir visited Midgardian Earth also marvelled at what they thought to be their Gods' 'magic' when, in actuality, these seeming miracles and feats of great power simply reflected the advanced technology and scientific understanding of the Asgardians.
What humans are only beginning to touch on now with their studies into string theory and other aspects of advanced physics are the most basic principles of Asgardian technology. Through a far superior understanding of the way in which the laws of physics work, the Ăsir are able to both manipulate and bend the layers of reality in the universe, since their strange physiology is keyed into the specific energies of their planet, Asgard. Not all are gifted in this area, just as not all humans are capable of becoming rocket scientists, but those who are are capable of great feats of manipulation that the mortals of old mistook for magic. Illusions, energy manipulation, teleportation - all of these are possible if the 'sorcerer' is skilled and clever enough, though Asgardian 'magic' (as they call the application of their advanced science) works optimally under the physical conditions of Asgard. This means that, though their magic is practicable on the other planets it is much more difficult to initiate, is slower and less effective, as well as taking up a lot more energy and being far more prone to back-firing upon the practitioner. This is because the inherent part of their physiology that allows them to channel energy is keyed to the specific signatures of their planet, an optimal 'wavelength' so to speak. While they can pick up others, they do so less efficiently. Most sorcerers focus the application of these scientific mechanisms via 'enchanted' objects, which are comparable to catalysts in a chemical reaction.
Mostly, though, the Ăsir are a warrior race. Led by Odin Borson, the Allfather, prowess in battle is the scale by which men are measured, and wars punctuated the history of the Ăsir. The other planets the Asgardians know of have always tended to be greater threats and, actually, a thousand years ago Odin had to ban the younger Gods from their travels to Midgard since some seemed to be too fascinated by 'mere' mortals and the Allfather felt that their attentions (especially that of a certain God of Thunder...) was better focussed on adult things. Travel between planets is possible though, either via the rainbow bridge, the Bifr÷st (a wormhole under the control of the Asgardian sorcerers who are capable of changing where its ends are anchored) or the actions of a skilled sorcerer. But Asgardians have been banned from the mortals' planets for a long while now and Midgard - and its mortal inhabitants - have all but forgotten the Gods and Goddesses once worshipped by races of old.
On Asgard, the Ăsir are at war, not with any denizens of planets that they recognise, but an entirely new foe. And, for once, they might be outmatched. On the battlefield, one of Asgard's enemies has developed a weapon that strips the Ăsir of their arrogance and their power both. One by one the people of Asgard are having their souls slipped into mortal version of themselves that are created upon being struck by this weapon before being dumped on modern, Midgardian Earth. In these human shells the Ăsir lose their strength, their speed, their immortality and they are no different from the mortals around them.
One by one, this alien race's technology is spiriting away Asgardians from the battlefield, stripping their very souls from their bodies and slipping them into human shells before depositing them on Midgard, powerless and mortal. This is the first time any of the Ăsir have visited Earth for nearly a millennium and it is a much-changed world to what the last visitors must remember.
Notes on applying for Asgardians:
- The rules for 'magic' stay the same - Asgardians just happen to be technologically advanced beings whose understanding of the laws of physics and reality are so much beyond those of
mere mortals humans that their abilities appear magical to us. Rock on science because I'm pretty sure that Asgardian ~magic~ has its basis in string theory. Sorcerers are, in many ways, the equivalent of rocket scientists, IF rocket science involved an inherent ability within one's body and mind to 'see' and manipulate the energy.
- All Asgardians applied for will end up trapped on Earth/Midgard and stripped of their powers after being slipped into a mortal, human shell. As such, roleplay will still be limited to occurring on Earth. No travelling back to Asgard and the other realms just yet.
- Asgardians will arrive on Midgard in the order in which they are applied for, meaning that you cannot backdate a particular character's arrival on Earth.
- Asgardians can appear anywhere on Midgard, but their arrival will be accompanied by an intense flash of light and a significant displacement of air, plus a loud cracking noise. Clothes may or may not survive the materialisation (it's up to the roleplayer) but any that do materialise will be Midgardian and nothing from Asgard will travel to Earth. Alien tech is not subtle, yo.
- All Asgardians' last memories will be of a battlefield on their homeworld.
- The creation of artificial human bodies (don't worry, they test as completely human) involves a rudimentary imprint of the main language of the country into which the Asgardian manifests, though it is an imprecise science, hence why they will sound archaic to modern Midgardians. They are not able to read, however, unless taught.
- Asgardian open starters can be listed here.
For decades there have been rumors of mutants. These have mostly been thought of as childrens' tales or gossip. Sure, everyone had heard the story of the man that could bend metal, or the woman that could look into your mind with simply a thought, but no one believed them. That would just be silly. There was no way such things were real, they were just fantasy.
As years passed the stories became more common, creatures stealing away children in the night, whole factions of the government made to focus solely on experimenting on such beasts. These stories were still rare, spoken of only in whisper and brought up to scare and excite. There was no actual proof to any of these words.
At least, not until five years ago. In June of 2007 the rumors were proven to have scientific backing. An article published in the research journal Science stated that not only were mutants in existence, but according to research done over a decade, they were an all together different species than humans themselves. Each mutate was a specific evolution of human DNA, granting them something that was deemed the X-Gene.
After this was published, the scientific community (as well as the world) began to look into mutation and its effects much more seriously. A test was created to determine if someone was positive or negative for the X-gene, though such tests were hard to obtain and very expensive.
When the article was first published it was estimated that there would be one mutant born to every one hundred thousand humans. As of 2012, the ratio is vastly different, one to every thousand. Mutation, it seems, is on the rise.
MUTANT RECEPTION IN THE USA
The average human's response to seeing an obvious mutant in a public place would vary between curiosity at the sight of something extremely novel, through wariness at the unknown, right through to outright fear or anger. There have been increasing reports of violence done against mutants and mutant-owned property. In New York City alone, there have been several documented murders of known mutants.
It is not currently illegal to be a mutant. In fact, there is no mutant-related legislation in American law right now. However, outed mutants tend to find themselves 'let go' from jobs fairly quickly, or denied chances for promotion etc. The most public example of this was when Oprah was discovered to be a mutant two years ago and, in response to a public uproar, was very quickly cancelled from appearing in any sort of television shows. There are also rumours that hospitals - generally hubs of mutant suspicion because of poor scientific misconceptions and the belief that mutation could be 'catching' - are secretly testing for the X-Gene whenever any blood samples are taken from patients, without their consent.
The general feel of the populace is that they are not comfortable with mutants in sensitive roles in society, or in positions of authority - for example, people would be highly suspicious of mutant doctors, teachers and lawyers. In particularly unaccepting areas, mutant-owned businesses are boycotted or vandalised. Several religious organisations are known to condemn mutants. In New York City, many mutants with very obvious physical mutations chose to leave human society and live beneath the city, forming the reclusive group known as the Morlocks.
There are some bright spots, however - the current DA of New York is known to possess the X-Gene, while some mutants have managed to fight their way to the top of their field in spite of prejudice towards them, including businesswoman Emma Frost. As a general rule, though, the notion of the existence of mutants is still new and scary enough that the response to them is negative more often than not.
Careers for which candidates will be specifically tested for a lack of an X-Gene before being accepted:
- Interpol and other international agencies
- Foreign ambassadors
Careers for which there is no current X-Gene testing, but known mutants would not be accepted:
- US military
- Medical professionals
At this point in time the only superhero group that exists in the Pellverse are the X-men. Formed in 1999 originally as a school for those with unique gifts, the original students of the Xavier Institute soon grew to be more, learning to use their powers for the good of the universe. Their status as Superheroes is another one of those rumored secrets. It is known that there is a group, but that is all. Their location and their identities are still completely secret. As is the school's true purpose. In the common opinion, Xavier's is just a high-class boarding school.
THE XAVIER INSTITUTE
Located in Westchester New York, the Xavier Institute provides a place of education and shelter for mutants. Characters in the X-MEN, X-STUDENT and NEW MUTANT usergroups live here, while X-CORP individuals also have the option, though are not obliged to do so. Permanent residents must either be mutant or superhuman in nature, for the sake of protection, and the Institute's existence is an extremely vigilantly-kept secret. All non-resident visitors to the Institute must submit to telepathic screening and/or a telepathic 'block' that prevents them from speaking to strangers not in the know about its existence.
As well as Shi'Ar physical security, accidentally stumbling across the Institute is difficult to do because a telepathic barrier causes those who do not know it exists to suddenly 'remember' that they have elsewhere to be and to turn around. If unexpected strangers do end up on site, a stronger illusion would make the Institute appear to be a Jehovah's Witness headquarters
a la Ultimate X-Men. These telepathic defences can be negated by specific, pre-existing knowledge of the Institute and strong mental fortitude, but the security system involves an alert system of sorts keyed to respond to unfamiliar minds crossing the boundary of the grounds.
The school has academic links with and a weekly trans-Atlantic Blackbird shuttle service to the Eisenhardt Academy.
THE EISENHARDT ACADEMY
Nestled in a corner of South Kensington in London, a stones throw from Hyde Park and the museum district, the collection of buildings once called Queens Gate Mews has now been transformed into a school for mutants. More modest than the Xavier Institute, the Eisenhardt Academy has one extremely key difference to its sister school.
It is openly an institution for mutants.
This is England and, though it is a radical development and the first of its kind, it is tentatively viewed as progress in a more mutant-friendly society than America. That is not to say that its students and teachers and headmaster (Charles cheerfully handed that one over to Erik) have not or will not experience prejudice, but the man who was once going to become Magneto was very much about making a public statement. Provisionally a day school, it caters to both primary and secondary education, but older students are also welcome. It is much smaller than the Institute and currently only has a few students, but both Charles and Erik hope that their classes will soon grow in number.
And though the connection is a secret one, there are of course still links to the Xavier Institute in New York. At Charles' request, there is now even a weekly shuttle service via the Blackbird to allow easy commute between the two schools, with one of the X-Men landing the jet in Hyde Park after closing hours every Sunday night. Students are allowed to travel between the two schools, but the transportation only runs once a week
because even X-Men worry about carbon footprints.
The antithesis of the X-men the current version of The Brotherhood was founded in 1999, as an answer to Xavier opening his own academy. Its leader Magneto, however, found much less the need for secrecy, and as the truth of mutants have become common knowledge he would often flaunt his power, and the superiority of his brethren. His true identity is unknown, though the world knows who Magneto is and what he can do.
While the Brotherhood do not attempt to hide their existence from the prying eyes of the world as much as the X-men might, the location of their base and the true identity of its members is unknown at this point in time. Entrance to the Brotherhood is by invitation only, and then only by a specific handful of members.
THE HELLFIRE CLUB
Originally, the Hellfire Club had nothing to do with mutants. It started in 18th Century England as a Gentleman's club for the rich and powerful, with the cream of society coming together to tweak the strings of their developing nation. Over scotch and cigars, the wealthiest men in England would meet and settle matters in the shadows, rather than dealing with the messy judicial system. It was a place where deals - in business and otherwise - could be struck and it was a mark of great favour to be invited to join this most secret and aristocratic of societies.
Two hundred years later and the Hellfire Club had factions in nearly every major city in the world, with the same families with old money and older blood cropping up again and again to the point where they could claim 'ancestral seats' in any club charter that they wished. By now, there was a distinct pattern of organisation, with the club having an Inner Circle and an Outer One. The Outer One consisted of members who were famous, wealthy and powerful, yes...but small fry compared to the extremely secret Inner Circle, a council based on a game of chess. The Inner Circle mirrored the courts of a game of chess, with black and white sets. Kings and Queens, Bishops and Rooks of both colours all made up the Inner Circle, ruled overall by a Lord Imperial who existed both inside and above the Inner Circle itself. Seats in the Inner Circle were often hereditary and many names were familiar throughout the club's history - Worthington, Braddock, Stark - with families able to claim seats if they so wished. Throughout the ages, the Hellfire Club had always sought to influence politics to the liking of its Inner Circle members, as well as diverting affluence and power to those who wanted it. All branches of the Hellfire Club were ruled separately from each other, though a certain degree of cooperation could be expected at times. For nearly two centuries, the Hellfire Club operated this way and survived.
Then, in the twenty-first century, they went too far. With Sebastian Shaw as Black King and Emma Frost as White Queen, the Hellfire Club got greedy and set their sights on harnessing one of the most powerful entities in the universe - the Phoenix Force that resided within one Jean Grey. The New York chapter of the club, where most of the Inner Circle was based, set about trying to capture the woman and the firebird within her, but were stopped and brought to ruin by the X-Men and the entire faction of the club was brought down as well as the Inner Circle. As a result, the entire New York chapter closed, along with multiple other branches of the club that had depended on the lofty ambitions and material drive of the Inner Circle. The London branch, which had always set itself apart from the New York chapter and the Inner Circle as a whole by choosing to remain true to the original, more insular and moderate aims of the Hellfire Club, remained open, but kept to itself. And for many long years, it seemed as if the Hellfire Club was gone for good.
Then rumours of the Phoenix force and its uncontrollable and unstoppable will began to surface again. And, between them, Elizabeth Braddock and Emma Frost sought to bring about the rebirth of the Hellfire Club, but under their rule. And, this time, it was an altogether different game that they were ready to play...
Entry to the newly-formed Hellfire Club is strictly controlled - invitations can only be offered by Inner Circle members and, even then, consensus on recruits must be reached between them. As an extremely private, secret and select club, offers of membership are rare and not offered on a whim. Quite simply, you do not find the Hellfire Club - they find you.
The current roster can be found here.
Because of the fact that Mutation is so new, and power use in general, at this point in time no more superhero or Villain groups have been formed. There is only the X-men, the Brotherhood and the Hellfire club. Other groups might come into existence at a later point, but as so far none do.
This means that the following do not exist, nor ever have: The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, more to be added as they are brought to attention. Neither do organisations within any sort of government such as SHIELD, SWORD and so on exist
So where do superheroes and supervillains fall into this? Well, currently, they are not a familiar concept to the general populace. If people hear talk of powers beyond that of a normal human being, their first thought is 'mutant'. Their next thoughts are then usually unpleasant, due to the current attitude towards mutants, whether or not these powered people have the X-gene or not or have developed powers through a different fashion. Right now, with the way the world is, no powered person will be gloried as a 'hero'. That is not to say, however, that non-mutant powered people do not exist and that some of them are not trying to do right in the world, albeit on a very local and individual scale.
This document is organic, just like the majority of WoH, and is subject to change depending on what may occur in game. It is meant as a launching point for the shared site history, and a reference to our members so they know where the Pell-mind resides. If you have any questions or suggestions of things that should be added, feel free to pm either of us or reply here and we will address it/take it into consideration!