This is some history from my New Rome setting. I didn't want to put this into 101 campaigns because in and of itself, it is not a campaign idea. The Sentinels are a team composed of signature characters in my setting. They are based (purposely) on the Avengers and earlier incarnations of the JLA. They are meant to be both playable and signature characters, sort of like how you could play Spiderman in the Marvel RPG. This is significant history in the game I will be running.
In the mid 1960s, former members of the Silver Star squadron, Franklin Scott, (the Rifleman) and Rosalyn Roarke (Rosie Rocket), came out of retirement at the behest of fellow member, Dr. Infinity. Through his research into super-humans, (or Icons, as they would later come to be called), Infinity determined that a new age of power had dawned upon the world and Earth would need new protectors, new sentinels.
Both heroes were ultimately reluctant. Franklin remained paralyzed from the waist down by his brush with Z-energy during WWII, and his doctors were not optimistic. Rosie was growing old and her powers were diminished severely. She wanted a normal life after the tragedy of Sovereign’s death over Hiroshima. Nonetheless, they joined forces with Rosie’s eager children, Roy, (Ion) and Katherine (Rocketgirl). Both had grown up fairly normal, with no apparent powers of their own. Roy’s super speed powers developed while he was in college, during an experiment. Katie’s flight and combustion powers developed abruptly during a car accident when she was only sixteen. The team was rounded out by the mysterious and powerful being called Marduk. Marduk claimed to be an ancient Sumerian deity whose ultimate duty was to stop the dragon, Tiamat, from destroying the earth. He had decided to enlist the aid of mortals because they shared the same blood as Tiamat, and only they could truly destroy her.
At this time, Franklin Scott donned his old armor, repaired and refitted with shoulder mounted jump jets, and led the team in the field. Rosie remained behind the scenes, directing the team from their New Rome HQ. In their first outing, the heroes encountered the rampaging Enigma, a powerful shape shifter named Josef Gunderman, who had been altered at the hands of mad nazi scientist, Axel Nacht. Working to preserve Josef’s intellect and personality, the team eventually managed to help him regain control and he later joined the Sentinels.
During the 1970s, the Sentinels essentially came of age against the backdrop of racism turbulence and criminal intrigue that rocked New Rome. Rosie retired completely from the team, and for a time, the Sentinels seemed to lose their focus. This feeling was exacerbated by the apparent death of ion during an experiment to measure his top speed. The Sentinels stood on the verge of disbanding, and still the threat allegedly posed by tiamat had not manifested. By the time the Enigma went insane again, the Sentinels could hardly be called a team.
A new burst of vitality was injected into the team by the forced addition of the small town hero, Brigade. Also known as Tom Kendrick, brigade had been a soldier in WWII and was a war hero long before he gained his powers. He had been selected for Project: Next Man in 1945, which made significant advances by using blood samples surreptitiously collected from Sovereign. Wearing a suit of ballistic armor and carrying a host of high tech devices, Brigade emerged as the premier hero/ agent of the U.S. government.
In return for allowing brigade to join, the U.S. provided the sentinels with jurisdictional powers as long as they operated on the general behalf and at the general behest of the American government. With Brigade’s cunning and cleverness, the team swiftly captured the rampaging enigma and placed him in the specialized custody of the rhinegate Correctional Institute, a superhuman containment facility designed with input from Franklin Scott and Rosie rocket.
It later became known that Project: Next Man, taken over by a new research arm of the government, was actually controlled by Axel Nacht. Nacht had always eluded capture by the Silver Star Squadron, and had even taken on Captain Orion during the war. Nacht’s hope was to ultimately control Brigade, and to create his own army of “Next Men”. Brigade proved more formidable, however. Public light was cast on Project: NM’s activities and a scandal ensued. In the resulting fallout, Brigade separated himself officially from the government. Nacht again eluded authorities.
Nacht turned up again, some years later, developing superhuman muscle for various criminal syndicates and paramilitary organizations. He was, in fact the man responsible for the powers of Johnny Neutrino, which allowed him to fly and to utterly control his density. Johnny was a former mob soldier who turned state’s evidence against the Maldanado Family, and went into protective custody. When he was released from prison after serving a reduced sentence, he received a new identity. Even so, he soon found himself the target for numerous super-powered hit men and assassins. When it was determined that these were Nacht-Class super humans, the Sentinels became involved. Joining forces with Johnny Neutrino against the criminal overlord, Mr. Vile, they brought down the alliance of crime lords he was attempting to rule. Not long after Johnny joined the team, he and Katie entered a roller coaster courtship/ romance, and ultimately fell deeply in love.
Several other individuals joined the team during this time period. Medea was an ancient Greek witch who claimed to be the Medea of legend, who had assisted Jason in his quest for the Golden Fleece. Medea was very beautiful and mysterious. Her sorcery proved a great asset over and over to the team, but her true motives were never learned.
Jehanne Darc, a traveling companion to Medea, also joined the team. Another immortal, she had once been known as the French national heroine, Joan of Arc. She joined the team after having terrible visions of a great beast swallowing the earth. This beast later turned out to be Tiamat.
Ion returned to the team, seemingly from the dead. In truth, he had been propelled into the future. He had several adventures, but eventually devised a method to return. He did so eventually, with his powers greatly increased.
The Android, Steel also took Rifleman’s place for a while. As his paralysis grew rapidly due to the Z-Energy exposure, Franklin Scott devised a series of automatons based on his armor systems that he could remotely control to use as avatars. Scott later modeled a sleek, slimmed down android with a neural network based on his own engrams. Steel, now a fully self-aware “cybernism,” decided to continue in Franklin’s place as a member of the team.
*During this time period, Marduk’s membership became sporadic as he frequently hunted the Apsu to combat Tiamat’s agents and monsters.
The 80s were a significant and turbulent time for the Sentinels for several reasons: the Black Sash, a former member of the Silver Star Squadron, returned as the criminal overlord referred to as the Devil-Tiger. Now, skilled in sorcery as well as martial arts, the Tiger was revealed as the ultimate mastermind behind Mr. Vile’s sudden rise to power (and the resulting gangland warfare that tore through the streets of New Rome).
In retaliation against the Sentinels and his former teammates, he kidnapped the now fully paralyzed Franklin Scott, Rosalyn Roarke and her granddaughter, Marie Altieri. Dr. Infinity returned from obscurity to gather Steel, Ion and Katie Roarke and Johnny Neutrino (both of whom had retired to get married and have Marie). The five of them then disappeared and went to the jungles of Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Tiamat’s son and general, Qingu, made a full assault on Earth, attacking several major cities in a series of quick, destructive strikes. Marduk took on the powerful Qingu in single combat, and in the resulting energy blast of their battle, both were thought vaporized. At this same time, the cult known as the Brotherhood of the Dragon unleashed global terrorist attacks in an attempt to pave the way for their Queen’s return.
The city of New Rome was one of hundreds thrown into chaos. Essentially crippled, there was no coherent team of Sentinels to handle this crisis, and there was no word from the members who went to rescue Scott and Rosie. Answering the call for aid were Vanguard, a powerful superhuman who had been merged somehow with the Sirani energy matrix, and maelstrom, an Atlantean sorcerer. Meanwhile, Medea secretly visited the Enigma in his containment chamber at the RCI, and used her magic to remove his madness and to stabilize his form and powers. The Enigma then reclaimed his original identity as Josef Gunderman, and found that his youth had been somehow restored. Learning of the danger posed to the Earth, he also joined the team. Together, this new team dubbed themselves “The New Sentinels.”
During this time, the original team was captured at the Devil-Tiger’s fortress in Malaysia. Oddly, the Devil-Tiger scarcely seemed to recognize them from moment to moment, and was often distracted, as if someone else was constantly talking to him and holding his attention. He would only become lucid and decisive when giving orders or when killing. Dr. Infinity’s unvoiced suspicions were confirmed: the hero and friend they had known as the Black Sash was a prisoner in his own mind. He had been possessed by a “Hungry Demon”, one of the powerful ghost spirits ruling the Malaysian night. Once they realized this, Franklin Scott devised a way to trick the demon into his own paralyzed form. Franklin decided to make this sacrifice because he was dying from his exposure to Z-Energy so many years ago. Regaining his Rifleman armor and setting it for detonation, he and Steel battled the Devil-Tiger to a standstill while the others rescued Rosie and Marie. Steel, using the last of his power, dealt a lethal blow to the Devil-Tiger. This scared the ghost within into fleeing its host. It could not possess Steel, since he was an android. Its only choice was to inhabit Franklin Scott. Initially, the ghost thought it had outwitted its foes, now having access to the mighty Rifleman Armor. And then, it realized that it only had two seconds before the armor’s primary core shut down and caused a cascade containment failure. The detonation killed Franklin Scott’s body and disrupted the Devil-Tiger’s spirit energy permanently.
Now freed from his possession, the man once known as the Black Sash, Maxwell Crane learned he was dying as well. With the rest of the heroes, he learned of Tiamat’s awakening and of the resulting chaos engulfing the planet. Crane decided to join his friends in order to redeem himself. They returned to New Rome as fast as they could.
Maxwell Crane (the Black Sash)
Rosalyn Roarke (Rosie Rocket)
Katie Altieri (Rocket Girl)
Gianni Altieri (Johnny Neutrino)
The New Sentinels:
Josef Gunderman (The Enigma)
Meanwhile, the new team had discovered reports of strange activity on Europa. Vanguard and Medea were dispatched to investigate and discovered that Marduk, battered and bloody, had been chained to the icy surface. Freeing him, they learned he had been imprisoned there by Qingu. In fact, Tiamat herself was imprisoned beneath the ice-moon’s surface, in its mysterious and unknown seas long ago. The god, Marduk was intended to provide the returning Queen of Madness with a meal! Freeing Marduk barely in time, the heroes fled as Tiamat’s massive form erupted from the ice. Spreading wings that drank in the solar tides, she hurled her scaled coils into space, chasing the heroes all the way back to Earth. Vanguard and Marduk fought a holding action in orbit, while Medea teleported directly to Earth to coordinate with the rest of the team.
On Earth, both teams merged to deal with the onslaught of Tiamat’s horde of powerful monstrosities and her cult. Maxwell Crane, haunted by the sacrifice of Franklin Scott, began to prepare a spell that he hoped would redeem all his crimes of the past decades: The Soul-Oath of a sorcerer, his final spell fueled with the energy of his very soul. As Tiamat’s shadow darkened the entire northern hemisphere, Crane released the Final Words of his Oath. He disappeared in a flash of light, and his spell effortlessly sliced open the barrier between dimensions, trapping the Dragon Queen forever in a prison that existed only between realities.
In the aftermath, they all took stock of their honored dead, and of the wounds they had suffered. But in the midst of this pain arose a new hope, a new legacy. While Katie and Johnny retired to raise their daughter Marie, Ion rejoined the team. Steel, repaired and upgraded with all of Scott’s memories joined. Dr. Infinity again disappeared into his invisible mountain fortress and Rosie was content to be a grandmother. The New Sentinels carried on the legacy established by the original team, and added a new member, the youthful genius and master of gravity, Singularity, also known as John Francis Huxley.
It was in the later half of the 90s when the Vishtani Combine finally attacked Earth as was predicted by the alien Sirani. Again, the New Sentinels came to Earth’s defense. They were aided in this fight by the HyperMen, human/alien hybrids and Vanguard’s old allies, as well as a host of new heroes across the planet. Key among these allies were the nanotech-symbiote, Ronin, Captain Orion, and the teenaged daughter of Dr. Infinity, Golden Girl.
The Vishtani, utilizing an energy matrix similar to the Sirani matrix that powered vanguard, built their own deadly and powerful champion, known as the Phalanx. The Phalanx took on all of the major heroes of the planet, defeating all and killing several. Vanguard realized that, with the power he had gained from the Sirani matrix, only he was capable of stopping Phalanx. The two powerful beings battled across the globe as the Vishtani fleet drew near. While the HyperMen battled Vishtani advance shock troops side by side with UN Coalition military forces, the new Sentinels fought an assault by Vishtani strike cruisers and tactical fighters. John Huxley, who had by then received his doctorate and now referred to himself as Doc Singularity, flew into orbit to disable a network of killer satellites, put in place by Vishtani agents. He later tried to assist his friend, Vanguard in his battle with Phalanx, but Vanguard knew there was no more time. And he knew there was only one way to win.
Grappling with the Phalanx, Vanguard flew into lunar orbit just as the Vishtani fleet dropped out of hyperspace. Maneuvering into the very midst of the alien fleet, Vanguard willed himself to release the energy of the matrix his body contained. The resulting explosion vaporized his body and the Phalanx, and made nine-tenths of the alien fleet simply cease to exist. Reduced drastically in strength, the Vishtani were crushed by Earth’s primitive but effective military. And the HyperMen and the New Sentinels wiped up the rest of the enemy forces.
It is believed that Vanguard’s death, more than any other event, caused the final disintegration of the team. He was mourned as a national hero, but even this recognition seemed hollow for Medea, who had loved vanguard, and for Doc Singularity, who had come to be his best friend. Medea disappeared, and Ion finally retired, with a healthy respect for the mortality of the hero. He married one of the HyperMen, Giselle Brand. Josef Gunderman also married and decided to permanently retire his role as the Enigma. Maelstrom returned to Atlantis to try and regain the noble birthright of his family. Brigade, seeing the team he had led over the years collapse, decided to leave and form his own group, later to be known as StrikeForce.
Doc Singularity and Jehanne decided to leave the Sentinels legacy as well. She disappeared into the Middle East on some vision-inspired quest and Huxley went into the private sector to establish his own corporation, Singularity ventures.
Currently, the legacy of the Sentinels has not been taken up. Perhaps it never will. Or…perhaps, there are new heroes who can stand…
I should note that, in this setting, the Atlanteans are not in any way naturally aquatic.
Last edited by Strict31
on Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It was just that he was all alone, always by himself; never anyone to share the game. A man who lived in dreams. That's who he was."
Are you living in the real world?