I've toyed with the idea of pitching a Champions of the North 6e kickstarter, in PDF only. I'm pretty sure I won't do it, as the conversions for the Gestalt book (which I'm finally making some headway with) and my novel will probably occupy most of my writing time for the immediate future. However, I've done some work on expanded backgrounds for Canada's major historical superteams as part of running Thundrax as a PC in Champions Online, so I figure I may as well post some very unofficial expanded histories, in part to thank some friends who supported the Book of the Empress kickstarter. Go Hero!
This is unofficial lore: additions are not approved of by Hero Games or Cryptic Studios. The Northern Guard III
Part One: Origins
Lyle Doerksen became the third Forceknight after the death of Jim Bridges, the second Forceknight, at the hands of Borealis in 1991. In early 1994, Doerksen became aware that a company called StarTech labs in Toronto was really a front for a Gadroon invasion. Contacting Canada's greatest heroes, he gathered Thundrax, Ravenspeaker, Augury, and Voyageur to fight at his side. The team discovered that the Gadroon were collaborating with the head of StarTech, a scientist named Markus Lord, who was really the supervillain Cyberlord, a man who, in the 1980s, had run afoul of the first Canadian Guard and the Red Ensign and under the alias "Dr. Meklar" had supplied the technology for the organization that would later become the Hunter-Patriots.
Cyberlord was using cybertechnology to create a human-Gadroon hybrid, using his captive David Burrell as the first test subject. Cyberlord planned to deliver Burrell as a "Gadroon Justiciar" to the aliens in exchange for power and technology, however when the Northern Guard attacked the lab, all hell broke loose. Burrell's body rejected the Gadroon DNA and broke free; in the ensuing firefight, Cyberlord was caught in the crossfire between Burrell and one of Cyberlord's mercenary villains, Megavolt and (apparently) killed. Dubbing himself Justiciar, David offered to help the team stop the Gadroon; hurrying to the site of the invasion, the team handily did enough damage to the Gadroon forces that they retreated back into deep space. Forceknight suggested a permanent alliance and the Northern Guard III was born.
The team brought numerous enemies with them. Justiciar adopted Cyberlord's son, Circ Lord, as his ward, however the young man was troubled, and also brought the attention of VIPER, especially a young technopath named Mechaniste. Argent, under Canadian head Augustus Martin, attempted a hostile takeover of Burrell Industries. After the initial clash threatened to bog down the Guard in a legal quagmire that could last for years, the very pragmatic Forceknight made a secret deal with Martin that protected Justiciar's company, but which turned a blind eye to Argent's activities in Canada.
Ravenspeaker brought a number of personal enemies with him, especially Tax'et, the Haida god of violent death. Thundrax, a former member of SUNDER, was the target of VIPER and the followers of the imprisoned archvillain Borealis, who had been a SUNDER nemesis.
Voyageur also had a number of colorful enemies: Punition, the Quebecois femme fatale crimeboss Magnifique, the psionic Provocateur and his highly domesticated robot assistant, Allons-Yvette, and most dangerous of all, Le Seigneur d'Histories, a power from the Briah that sought to be the only creature humanity celebrated in stories. Augury's precognitive powers made her a target for the Entity, an extremely powerful and malevolent creature who was only defeated with the help of the mysterious Witness.
Perhaps the most dangerous enemy belonged to Snowblind (Ann Peterson) whose unearthly beauty came from a very unlikely source -- her father, the demon-god Kigatilik! Kigatilik, trapped in the Frost Tomb by the Mighty Canadians twenty years earlier, attempted to use Ann as a catspaw several times in an effort to break free into this reality.
In addition to the enemies that the team brought with them, the Northern Guard made plenty of new ones. The Dragon Syndicate, a now defunct team of VIPER villains, was a constant threat. Brigantine, the Lyle Doerksen from the alternate world of Cabotia, attempted to conquer the world several times for his beloved Prime-Minister-General. The Ultimates clashed with the Northern Guard on several occasions, and although they didn't cross swords directly, the team often found themselves embroiled in various schemes of Teleios.
The team also found itself with a rival south of the border. Thanks to the machinations of assorted villains and VIPER, the Guard battled several times against Chicago's Peacekeepers team.
The Guard evolved several times during its tenure. When Thundrax temporarily left the team for a part time stint in UNITY, the team recruited a replacement. Bonadventure, a happy go lucky Quebec strongman, turned out to be the robotic creation of WW2 super-scientist Dr. Cerebro, and he left the team to come to terms with his identity. His replacement was far less likable: Seger was a Swedish superhero who was one of the most powerful in Europe. He was an archaeologist who attained the power of the Norse pantheon via a mystic amulet that gave him the strength of Thor, the beauty of Balder, the insight of Odin, the cunning of Loki, the vigilance of Heimdell, and the ferocity of Fenris Wolf. He antagonized the entire team except for Snowblind, who fell head over heels in love with him. Eventually Seger fell prey to a Necrullitic infection and took down the entire Guard. He might have killed them all except for the timely intervention of Thundrax; their battle caused nearly one hundred million dollars damage to the port of Thunder Bay.
Seger was cured of the infection, however he quit the team and (much to the team's dismay) Snowblind went with him. Soon afterward Seger and Snowblind married, but alas this was not to be a long and happy union -- they were killed in battle with Eurostar in 1998. As a final indignity, Kigatilik animated their corpses at their funeral and attempted to make them slaughter the attendees, which included the Guard. The team was forced to destroy their former teammates' bodies while all of Europe and Canada watched in horror.
The arrival of Brigantine opened Canada up to threat from the alternate worlds of Cabotia and Laurentia. During one adventure, Augury was trapped in the latter world, where a combination of grappling with parallel timelines and the torture of the dimension's nuns drove her insane.
Believing Augury lost, the team recruited a replacement: an UNTIL agent named Juanita Sand, codenamed Sandpiper. Sand's military outlook frequently clashed with the team, though they won each other's respect. Unfortunately, there was an incident where Juanita absorbed the Entity's power and (as the cosmic entity Judgment) summarily killed every VIPER agent on Earth! This was almost immediately undone, however the incident was not forgotten, and Sand rose to the top of VIPER's Most Wanted List. With a multi-billion dollar bounty drawing the attention of armies of supervillains to the Northern Guard, Juanita overruled the team's objections and faked her death in order to safeguard them.
Her replacement was an equally competent, but somewhat less obsessed woman named Trumpeter, a sonic-powered mutant rescued by Mark Derringer from an insane offshoot of the IHA that called themselves Project: Genocide who were going to use her as a weapon to kill every mutant on earth. Derringer asked the Guard to take her on and train her. Trumpeter exceeded expectations.
The return of Augury from Laurentia heralded the demise of the team: plagued by apocalyptic visions, Augury plotted to break up the Guard. A 1998 incident between Quebec military units and Mohawk nationalist radicals led to the departure of Voyageur from the team. Forceknight's deal with Argent was exposed, but he managed to turn the tables on the evil industrialists, exonerated his name. Argent struck back, but the ensuing battle turned against them and Augustus Martin was killed.
Also, Lyle Doerksen married Eileen Thompson, daughter of original Forceknight Wally Thompson, and contemplated handing over the reins of the team to Justiciar, who had already eclipsed him in the hearts of Canadians. The time of the Guard seemed to be drawing to a close.
After Thundrax was nearly killed in ambush by the Ultimates, Trumpeter uncovered Augury's plot and confronted her. Eventually the team investigated her visions, which led them to the Lynx's Fold and the Land spirit that encompassed most of the North. The Land claimed that unless the Guard disbanded, Canada would eventually be destroyed. When Forceknight and Ravenspeaker confirmed this claim in a visionquest, the team disbanded.
However, Mark Derringer founded the RCMP Steelhead division in response to the vacuum created by the disbanding of the Guard. Seeing the area as a source of numerous threats, Force Station Steelhead was constructed in 1999 near the Lynx's Fold and quickly expanded into one of the world's finest high-tech police installations. Canada would remain protected, though new threats would arise to test that protection.
(1) This origin of Justiciar is slightly different than the one given in Champions of the North 5e, as Cryptic's cutscenes identified the team that freed David Burrell as the Northern Guard, however, no incarnation of the Guard existed at the time given for the event in Champions of the North 5e. Therefore we've moved the date of Burrell's reawakening up to early 1994, and incorporated it into the Guard's original battle with the Gadroon. The involvement of Cyberlord with alien technology also ties into the events of Champions Online's Whiteout Comic Series.
(2) This depends on whether you count the post-Red Ensign Northern Guard as a second incarnation or not. The source material refers to the team as both Northern Guard II and Northern Guard III. Rather than being a typo, I'd prefer this contradiction to be due to a debate by historians on whether the post-Red Ensign Northern Guard I should be considered a second incarnation of the team, considering the Ensign's importance. Therefore, supers experts are divided as to the actual numbering of this team; it's referred to as Northern Guard III in this document.
(3) This is, of course, inspired by the original Genocide organization, which were renamed IHA in 5e because no one in their right minds would dare to call themselves Genocide and expect to get any public support. In this case, these wackos from the 90s were NOT in their right minds and the IHA officially disavowed them. This arrangement lets us fans of the original have them as an extremist splinter cell without threatening the more nuanced approach of the current IHA or straining its credulity as a political force. It also lets us adapt our old campaigns more faithfully to the current Champions Universe.
(4) Trumpeter is currently second in command of JTF-X, Canada's premier team of military supers.