The world of Science City isn’t one where things just started getting weird a week before the PCs showed up; it’s been weird a long, long time. Below are some major events that have happened over the past century or so that may or may not have a direct impact upon the campaign:
1908 “Little John” Bayer, the first recorded super human, is discovered. He is a circus strong man who is able to lift many tons and who possesses resilient skin. Many dismiss reports of his strength as a hoax.
1912 Titanic is lost. A German passenger named Samantha Frohm (later called Samantha Frost) is able to use her super human normal abilities to create large sheets of ice. Passengers are able to survive on the ice long enough to be rescued. Still, half the passengers and crew die. Frohm is hailed a hero. It is this first recorded use of superhuman ability that establishes a mindset among many that super humans can be a benevolent force.
1917 John Bayer enlists in the British Army and is later slain by artillery fire. It seems even super humans are mortal.
1920 New York Stock broker Nigel Pears is revealed to be able to see into the future. His case is the first where a super human normal is prosecuted for using their powers for illegal gain.
1921 First physical evidence of vampirism found in Nome, Alaska as nest of vampires is found. Four vampires are captured alive and are kept in captivity for the next twenty years.
1923 Chester Campbell publishes The Society of Seven, a supposedly fact-based account detailing the existence of seven secret organizations across the world that have practiced magic for centuries.The book does not sell well. Campbell dies mysteriously later that year.
1924 Norwegian Jan Eyck is the first paranormal to compete in Olympics. His blinding speeds wins him five gold medals. Later his medals are taken away and are awarded to Paavo Nurmi.
1925 Henri Spaak is born in Belgium, he is the first recorded mutant. Called “The fish boy”, he has light blue skin and gills on the back of his neck and when he grows up can swim at over twenty knots.
1926 The Prohibitor is the first recorded masked vigilante. He declares war on Chicago bootleggers and mobsters. It is rumored that he has paranormal powers but these are never proven.
1928 The first “super villain” appears. Based in NYC, he is called The Black Hand, he is rumored to be able to kill people with his touch. He establishes a crime syndicate throughout the city. A masked hero named The Falcon appears to thwart his schemes.
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1929 The Falcon is revealed to be police officer Joe Grayson, he is killed within twenty-four hours of the newspaper article that reveals his identity is published. The New York Times, which published the story, suffers serious backlash from officials and the public at large, and is sued by Grayson’s wife for a million dollars.
1930 A new vigilante called The Avenger makes his appearance in New York. In a letter sent to the Times he swears vengeance against those who killed The Falcon. Two other super humans make their appearance in Los Angeles. Nightmare, a powerful paranormal criminal, starts a crime wave. An attractive woman calling herself Dreamer thwarts him. It is later discovered after Nightmare slays Dreamer that both are the same person, Mortimer Gant, who splits into both beings. Nightmare ultimately dies as a result, creating a twisted kind of suicide.
1931 Al Capone exhibits paranormal powers at his trial and goes on a rampage. The Prohibitor, killing him with four sticks of dynamite stops Capone.
1932 Several more vigilantes are spotted in Chicago, Los Angeles, and especially New York, as well as numerous criminals who don masks and call themselves names like The Blue Skull, The Reaper and the Crime King.
1933 With the repeal of Prohibition, The Prohibitioner writes an official letter of retirement and is never heard from again. His identity is open to speculation even to this day. More super humans begin appearing world wide, exhibiting a wide range of powers.
1934 The Black Hand is slain by The Avenger in a bloody confrontation on the observation deck of the newly opened Empire State Building.
1935 Rumors of strange sightings of a winged serpent as well as other strange creatures in the Brazilian rain forest are noted.
1936 German paranormal Blitzen is seen for the first time, he is dismissed as a propaganda stunt.
1937 Brooklyn Bruiser attempts reign of terror in the five boroughs. The vigilante known as The Score drowns BB in cement during a battle at a construction site. The Bruiser’s remains are taken to Washington DC for study at the Smithsonian.
1938 Lionheart I makes his first appearance. Unlike super humans who have appeared before he is quite open and vocal concerning his political views. He is anti-Nazi and seems to have Communist leanings, but refuses to support any political party. He speaks out against Hitler and urges his country to oppose him.
1939 “Styf comet” is spotted its unusual activity-namely it is apparently slowing down. In reality it is an alien spacecraft that has arrived in Earth’s Solar System.
1940 German Blitzkrieg begins, Lionheart I helps defend the U.K. but he is only one man and his contribution to the Dunkirk exodus is minimal. US Army begins looking into recruiting super humans; their first is a teenager named “Sergeant Savage”. His real name is kept secret.
1941 Germany invades USSR, take Greek Isles, Blitzen is spotted in both operations.
1942 Blitzen and Sarge Savage meet for the first time; it is the first filmed battle between two super humans. Savage is narrowly defeated but Blitzen is unable to finish him off. Lionheart I arrives in Africa and meets Sarge Savage.The two hatch idea for “Super Squad” of paranormal soldiers. Airgirl is the first recruit, a young inventive genius who has developed a stealthy, ultralight scouting aircraft.
1943 Super Squadron engages in first mission to kidnap German rocket scientists. The squad is able to overcome their respective egos and the mission is a stunning success. Later they prevent Blitzen from rescuing Mussolini. Later the Italian leader is rescued by German commando Skorzeny, a normal human.
1944 Sarge Savage and Blitzen have rematch, this time Savage wins when he uses acid to destroy part of Blitzen’s “speed suit” and the German paranormal burns to death from friction. Lionheart I is recorded as saying “That wasn’t cricket”. Savage replies, “Maybe not, but the guy still bugged me.” The pun goes unappreciated.
1945 Allies win Second World War. Super Squadron is officially disbanded, members part on good terms.
1946 Sarge Savage reveals himself as Audie Murphy. He goes to West Point and graduates as a full lieutenant.
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1947 Lt. Audie Murphy founds the US Army’s Paranormal Force, or the USAPF. It actively recruits super humans for military training.
1948 Lionheart I and the Soviet’s People’s Champion clash over Berlin. Years of sparring with Sarge Savage/Audie Murphy give Lionheart I an edge in terms of experience, and the Soviet is defeated. Later that year the UN creates the charter to create High Justice, Lionheart I is asked to head it. Murphy declines the offer, feeling that while under UN control High Justice will not be able to operate effectively. The lineup consists of Lionheart I, France’s Templar, Belgium’s Henry Spaak (also called Triton), Canada’s Victor, and Germany’s Stalker. All are men.
1950 Joeseph McCarthy begins communist witch hunt in Washington. He arranges to have captain Murphy’s paranormal force taken away from him and made into an anti-communist strike force. Called the Watchdogs, they are used to track down and arrest suspected communists. Murphy resigns his commission in disgust.
1951 High Justice is almost killed in Korea when they are caught behind enemy lines. They cannot prove General MacArthur set them up, but they strongly suspect it. Watchdogs begin witch hunt, they inadvertently uncover coven of actual witches. McCarthy uses this to expand his power base and whip up paranoia.
1952 Murphy meets with Lionheart I. Both are disgusted with what is going on abroad. Murphy becomes Captain Savage while Lionheart and the rest of High Justice break away from UN control. McCarthy brands Murphy a communist and a traitor, while the UN brands High Justice renegades and outlaws.
1953 After being hunted for months by numerous police forces around the world a final confrontation ensues between High Justice and The Watchdogs. Evidence points to the fact that McCarthy was under the control of a powerful Communist telepath named Tass who uses the Senator’s Red Scare to help hide true Communists by throwing him off their scent and who also conspired to try and kill High Justice in ’51 in Korea. McCarthy’s political career is ruined, and Murphy and High Justice are vindicated.
1954 High Justice sets up their first base in London, with an alternate base in New York.
1955 Daedalus from Greece joins High Justice as a badly needed technical specialist.
1956 High Justice battles mystic entity in South American jungle after Argentinian and Brazilian armies are lost. High Justice fights the entity to a draw. Recommendation is to leave it alone and to make regions of the jungle a preserve. Not wishing to escalate the matter where atomic weapons would be used, the UN agrees and persuades the countries affected to agree.
1957 Astronomer Brandon Bartz suggests that the Styf comet is in fact an alien spacecraft slowing down on its approach to Earth. He is ignored. Gateway joins High Justice as the first female member. Her ability to transport the team to any spot on Earth is invaluable.
1958 Aliens launch asteroid at Earth to test its defenses. Lionheart I flies into space on a collision course and destroys the asteroid at the cost of his own life. The same time he dies Kate Bush is born, the future Lionheart II.
1959 Dreamsinger joins High Justice. An Australian aborigine, he is the first non-white member.
1961 Portugual leader Antonio Salazar jails two students for seven years for toasting “freedom”. Gateway liberates both students. Working with British lawyer Peter Beneson she becomes the co-founder of Amnesty International. Numerous countries warn if she attempts the same trick again she will be shot and killed. Despite this Gateway makes over a hundred rescues over the next six years.
1963 President Kennedy narrowly avoids an assassination attempt in Dallas when two gunmen attempt to shoot him. Only his paranormal bodyguard Henry Carrithers and his force field save him. One of the gunmen, Oswald, is later killed by Jack Ruby. The entire incident becomes mired in confusion as potential witnesses turn up dead over the next few weeks as the investigation slows. During this time Kennedy is implicated in having several affairs, one of them with Marilyn Monroe. A new investigation reveals that she was killed by Kennedy people. JFK is forced to resign under a cloud. Vice President LBJ is instated as President to finish his term.
1964 Nelson Mandela and eight other ANC members are imprisoned but are freed by Gateway within five minutes of his incarceration. She is shot and wounded but survives and manages to also rescue Mandela’s family. He lives in exile in Canada.
1965 JFK dies of apparent heart attack.
1966 United States loses H-bomb after a US bomber collides with another plane off the coast of Spain. Pentagon claims that the bomb was recovered to quell fears. A new villain called Lord Dread is now a nuclear power, but holds onto the bomb for a “special occasion”.
1967 The Styf approach Earth and begin offensive, dropping rocks on Detroit, Stalingrad, Newcastle, Johannesburg, Dresden, Kyoto, and Xuzhou. For the first time the entire planet is faced with a common threat. An emergency meeting of the UN security council results in a desperate plan where High Justice will lead a joint American/Soviet/British assault team into the heart of the spacecraft, hoping that the aliens breath oxygen. Gateway manages to open a portal two transport the five hundred troops. The battle results in the destruction of the alien spacecraft, it crashes nearly intact off the coast of Baja. Gateway’s rescue of the surviving troops and High Justice results in her death. Another UN summit results in a special technological branch of the United Nations being formed to study to spacecraft and its technology.
1968 Martin Luther King is almost assassinated but Henry Carrithers once again saves the day. He is unable to prevent Bobby Kennedy from being slain, however. Third UN summit concerning the aliens results in Viet Nam cease fire, ultimately LBJ uses this as an excuse to back out of ‘nam. The result still makes him look weak so he decides not to run for President again.
1970 UN Technology council begins clearing new technologies. New regulations work as if UN holds patents on these technologies and US corporations have to pay split fees between UN and USA. United States corporations quickly take advantage. Martin Luther King dies of pneumonia.
1971 "Corsica is mine!” Master criminal Lord Dread invades Corsica with his army of mercenaries and super humans, taking it in a matter of hours. By the time the UN assembles a response team with the help of High Justice Dread is firmly in place and has installed his American hydrogen bomb somewhere on the island. If he is not left alone he will destroy Corsica and kill all of its inhabitants. High Justice and the UN back down. Thus begins Dread’s reign of terror.
1972 Black September strikes at Israel’s Olympic athletes. Israeli super humans stage a vicious and unexpected attack on the terrorists, killing all of them. Five hostages are killed. Israeli athletes are then flown home. Japan releases its first electric cars. While they are popular in Japan they sell poorly in the United States.
1973 Skylab is launched. With new technology at its disposal the base is to remain a permanent fixture in outer space.
1974 To combat rising “super crime” the United States passes the Babcock Act, granting super humans leniency concerning lawsuits and criminal prosecution if their actions are found to be necessary to prevent other super humans or criminals from committing crime. The act is considered “ridiculous” by its detractors. First personal computers are sold to public.
1975 New generation of computers is produced. Military and Government computers employ light pen as part of their operating system. Light pens are keyed to specific frequencies so only certain pens work on certain machines.
1976 OPEC oil crisis causes Japanese electric cars to sell like crazy. General Motors scrambles to get its concept car into production to compete.
1977 Kate Bush begins musical career in UK with the release single Wuthering Heights. The Electro-lite is released to the public late in the year and due to the new 55 mph speed limit they sell extremely well. Other auto manufacturers attempt to catch up.
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1979 Space shuttle Enterprise, OV-101, launches successfully for the first time, heralding a new age of space exploration.
1980 CDs are produced and sold for the first time. Japan is now the world’s biggest auto maker. Their electric compacts begin to sell like mad in oil starved UK and Western Europe. OPEC begins to lower oil prices to keep share of the “energy market”.
1982 Kate Bush’s powers manifest. Days later she makes her first public appearance, thwarting an attempt on the lives of several Royals. She is dubbed Lionheart by the press and it sticks. Her identity is known only to a select few. Grimoire and Felisomballa make appearances for the first time. Felisomballa’s resemblance to cast of Cats makes the show even more wildly popular in Broadway and London.
1983 President Reagan proposes a space-based laser weapons system to prevent alien invasion. After debate in the UN it is decided each platform will be manned by two armsmen not unlike missile silos. The second armsman will be a non-American to prevent this system from being turned on Earth.
1984 First “Star Wars” platform comes online, a month later Lord Dread takes it over and attempts to ransom the world. High Justice is able to thwart him. Star Wars program is scrapped. Lionheart Inc. is opened to protect marketing. Profits are donated to defray cost of destruction often caused by Lionheart battles. Lionheart is still called a “sellout” by detractors.
1985 Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz erupts. High Justice and a half dozen solo heroes work days on relief.Despite their best efforts 3,000 die.
1986 Chernobyl cold fusion plant comes online, heralding a new age of cheap, clean power for the USSR. Space shuttle Challenger suffers critical damage but new escape pod feature allows the crew to survive unscathed. In the UK it is The Year of The Unicorn. The Unicorn, a villain at least as powerful as Lionheart, goes on a series of destructive rampages. It takes the combined efforts of Cavalier, Lionheart and the Morrigan to contain her every time. Eventually she is subjected to a “neural tranquilizer” that places her in a coma-like state.
1987 “Black Monday”. Lord Dread instigates world wide stock market crash. The Retaliator strikes back by employing Dr. Hades’ Earthquake Machine on the poor island of Corsica. The message is clear: “You can be touched.” Mikhail Gorbachev begins three year plan that will abolish the Communist party and instate open Socialist one.
1989 Gorbochev disbands Soviet party, new Socialist government is instituted with him as first openly elected Prime Minister. Move begins the collapse of Communist regimes across Eastern Europe. Batman is the #1 movie at the box office due to the appeal of a non-super powered person being a hero. Exxon Valdez accident. Optimum Inc.’s new “oil eating” bacteria succeeds in devouring over 75% of the crude oil dumped into the oceans.
1991 Gulf War ends. Despite Gorbachev’s best efforts USSR dissolves into independent states. Windows ’91 hits shelves, it is full of bugs but it is still a hot seller.
1992 New report from UN Technology council reveals that the technology gap between the first and third world has grown to virtually unprecedented proportions.
1993 Siege at Waco. N.U.K.E. and Optima manage to diffuse the situation despite protests from Attorney General Janet Reno and heads of ATF and FBI. David Koresh is brought up on charges but counter-sues the Federal government.
1994 Genocide in Rwanda as Tutsi RPF super humans slaughter members of the Hutu tribe. High Justice intervenes in their bloodiest battle to date. Tutsi super humans are brought to UN for war crimes trials.
1995 Windows ’95 appears. It works flawlessly.
1996 Hubble telescope searches space for more alien life.
1997 Hale-Bopp comet arrives in Solar system. Space shuttles Endeavor and Columbia, both heavily armed, arrive to investigate. They find it is what it appears to be, a ball of ice. The Unicorn and several other Lionheart villains discover her identity and attempt to destroy her. In the most destructive battle in paranormal history Lionheart and The Unicorn destroy much of downtown London. The battle ends when Lionheart II uses The Unicorn’s own attack against her, effectively frying her brains. In the trial Lionheart is acquitted of all charges, although self recriminations continue.
In a strange epilogue in the wake of the attack a group of unknown good Samaritans prowl London, rescuing those trapped in the wreckage. Employing super powers that allow them to find and quickly deliver the wounded to hospitals across the country, they are given the nick-name “Robin Hood and his Merry Men” due to the “leader” carrying a bow and using seemingly magic or hi tech arrows.
1998 UN Mars Mission begins planning stages.
1999 Refugees flee Kosovo as NATO takes on Serbs. Rumors of paranormal activity causes Lionheart to lead High Justice on “pre-emptive strike” against Serb forces. Fatalities are kept to a minimum, but millions of dollars in military vehicles and weapons are destroyed and the fear of God is put into Serb forces. Later no paranormal activity is shown. Lionheart refuses to apologize for her actions.
2000 Audie Murphy, Captain Savage, dies of Cancer. Mars Mission sets out. The team Maximum Justice is formed.
2001 Maximum Justice is destroyed, the members are either slain or driven underground. The Vindicators is formed in the aftermath. Vindicators have “baptism of fire” against the Company of Wolves, other villains.
Vindicators head to Michigan’s Upper Pennisula at US Army’s behest to investigate fate of a base. There they fight a contingent of Styf. Team succeeds in killing all but one, which is then taken into custody by the US Army.
Extra-Dimensional Invasion, also known as the “EDI” happens. The pan-dimensional Empire of Tandia stages attack upon the Earth along multiple fronts. High Justice is rendered useless by “Seven Deadly Sins” curse. It takes the combined efforts of The Vindicators and a host of solo heroes to find a cure and release High Justice as well of fend off the invading forces. There Teresa Kinkaid who had been working with the Vindicators is revealed as a clone.
An Elven Kingdom is established in Ireland, part of the price paid for their aid in fighting off the Tandians.
High Justice disbands, as does 5th Power.
2002 The American Hero reality show airs and Avant Guard is formed as a result.
Storm Guard is formed. British heroes, they are tasked with protecting the United Kingdom.
2003 Havok meets Sirocco, discovers there is a society of elementals.
Doctor Hades, thought to have died in 1997, is discovered to be alive. He kidnaps retired hereo NUKE and uses him to give three villains powers. The Sorcerer is also discovered as being alive as well. Hades is blown up during the altercation, nuclear reactor he was using almost engages in meltdown.
A new Wild Kingdom attempts to recreate the world and make it into one where magic is ascendant. Their plan goes awry and it creates dual worlds, one where magic is dominant, the other where high technology reigns. A majority of humans are split into two people, including the Vindicators. The team manage to fix the problem, but The Wild Kingdom goes free. The Elfin kingdom attempt to take advantage of the situation but fail, resulting in them erecting a mystic barrier cutting themselves off from the outside world.
2004 Second Tandian invasion, this time directed almost solely at Earth’s super powered champions. Most heroes prevail, although Pacific Guard’s Analog literally detonates, blowing up hundreds of vampires swarming into her team’s base, while the her team mates watch helplessly from a nearby rooftop.
2005 Vindicators runs afoul of the United States paranormal team Freedom League.
2008 Lord Dread, realizing he is dying of cancer, stages his endgame…or attempts to. Incredibly every single attempt to attack heroes world wide is thwarted by forces unknown. An attempt to destroy the Starscraper is also stopped, apparently by strange aliens who steal his bomb. It is a bizarre chapter in the annals of super herodome never fully explained. Dread dies of cancer weeks later and Corsica is liberated in less than a week.
2010 Murderswarm. An alien race known as the Ylir attack Earth. Earth’s heroes and military, aided by the space heroes the Kosmic Knights fight off the aliens. Fortunately the presence of the Starscraper allows a convenient staging area for the counter offensive.
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2012 A push is made to construct more orbital facilities to take advantage of alien technologies and to push industries into space.
2013 Third and final Tandian invasion, this time directed at the world’s leaders. President O’Connell is killed. Vice President Russell is sworn in and the Tandians are driven off. This time a contingent of heroes stage a counter-offensive, crippling the Tandians’ ability to stage attacks on a host of Earth’s. The result is a coup and effective decapitation of the Tandian hierarchy.
The Vindicators almost break up but decide at the last minute to remain together. They break up into several groups, each one led by senior members who in turn recruit younger heroes. Each group protects a different part of the planet and work closely with local heroes.
2015 D-Day. Motor City is torn apart by a pan-dimensional event. Chunks of the city disappear to be replaced by pieces of…elsewhere.
2018 Construction begins on the Kilimanjaro rail gun (Also known as the Kilimanjaro Slingshot, or “The KiSS”) which will launch payloads into low orbit. The United Republic of Tanzania where Mount Kilimanjaro resides sees it’s international role increase considerably. Due to negotiations at least half the workers must be Tanzanians, infrastructure is put in place to train them. The project is resisted by environmentalists and other nations, most notably African, who are jealous of Tanzania’s good fortune.
2019 New legislation pushes the construction of military bases on the Moon in preparation for trans-dimensional warfare. The plan is to send and receive units on the satellite instead of on Earth directly to maintain safety and security. Corporations like Awesome Industries flourish and profit from the military contracts and thousands in skilled labor are employed in the massive project.
2021 Operation Desperado goes into effect. An attempt to defeat Nazi forces on another Earth, a combined group of elite soldiers and super heroes travel to the other dimension.
The first steps to Martian colonization begin.
Science City achieves consciousness and becomes the heroine Genus Loci, possessing the body of a comatose patient.
2022 Cannabis is legalized across North America. Various alien technologies are adapted on Earth through Awesome Industries.
Cures for cancer among other advances begin to see widespread use.
Technological advances allow for minimal environmental impact mining of coal and rare earth minerals. as well as cleaning up past damage. “Clean coal” becomes a viable power source plants burning the “fossil fuel” produce virtually no pollution.
Inexpensive and highly efficient desalination plants spring up around the world, alleviating fresh water shortages.
2023 The last of the nuclear fission plants shut down, all being replaced with cleaner and more efficient fusion. End of world wide energy shortages seems to be in sight as infrastructures world wide are expanded and modernized to handle the increasing demands for power as Earth’s third world nations become modernized.
2024 Rapid expansion of Martian colonies ensues as is an ambitious terraforming campaign.
2024 Genus Loci is taken over by a villain calling himself the Dark Druid in an attempt to “excise” the “infection” known as Science City. Genus turns on the inhabitants of her city. In a desperate bid to save millions Genus tells local heroes how to essentially “lobotomize” her. The Dark Druid manages to elude capture.
2025 massive push for industrialization infrastructure into space begins. Asteroid mining operations step up as does more Solar System exploration for easily attainable raw materials. Earth’s modest space navy begins to expand.