test content
What is the Arc Client?
Install Arc

[Unofficial Lore] Northern Guard III

Archived PostArchived Post Posts: 1,156,071 Arc User
edited February 2012 in Champions Pen and Paper RPG
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[1], 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[2] was born.

Enemies Amok
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.

Dimension Dementia
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[3] 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[4].

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.
Post edited by Archived Post on


  • Archived PostArchived Post Posts: 1,156,071 Arc User
    edited January 2012
    Interesting read, thanks.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Posts: 1,156,071 Arc User
    edited February 2012
    Here's another bit of unofficial lore: Starforce, the team led by Justiciar.

    The disbanding of the third Canadian Guard was a serious blow to the nation's fight against superhuman crime, and almost immediately people called for the Canadian government to recruit replacements. In the meantime, Toronto's growth and wealth made it an increasing target for supervillains and agencies like VIPER, and the city council began to look at recruiting veteran heroes to defend it. In June 2000, the floodgates opened when Dr. Destroyer launched an invasion of the city. "Dr. Destroyer" turned out to be Magnus Aignur, a technician who had worked for Albert Zerstoiten and who cobbled together a new Destroyer armor from the original's discarded suits; the invasion itself was a cover by Argent to soften up Toronto area high tech firms (most notably Burrell Industries and Doerksen Tech) for hostile takeovers.

    This naturally brought down the wrath of Lyle Doerksen, the third and most successful Forceknight. He was especially angry that Justiciar's company was being targeted while the cybernetic hero languished in suspeded animation hibersleep. Joined by Trumpeter (the last member to join the Northern Guard) and a local hero named Lakehead, the impromptu team opposed Aignur's invasion and they were soon aided by the cosmic might of Celestar. Quickly, the four heroes subdued Aignur and exposed Argent's involvement.

    After the dust settled, Forceknight proposed the formation of a new team with a more local mandate than the Guard, in part to focus on Toronto's situation, but also to avoid triggering the Land's prophecy of doom that had led to the earlier team's dismantling. In March 2000, Starforce, its moiniker a blend of Celestar and Forceknight's names, was born. Celestar brought a huge monolith down from the asteroid belt, landed it in Toronto harbour and shaped it into the Ironberg, the team's HQ. For years after, many villains would see the daunting, ugly structure as a challenge and attempt to blow the Ironberg off the map, however none succeeded. Justiciar's ward Circ and Forceknight developed the team AI, Kivioq, which became an unofficial member, the one constant in every incarnation of "the Force".

    The remainder of 2000 was spent in an epic battle against VIPER whose Toronto nest, led by a mutant named Ms. Snake, was one of the world's most ruthless. It was a bitter and bloody conflict: VIPER struck at everything from politicians to banks to large crowds of innocents. They even to took the battle to the member's families -- Forceknight came within a hair of losing his wife and young son to a team of VIPER assassins. The vendetta climaxed in an epic battle between Celestar and Viperia over Lake Ontario where Celestar managed to drive Viperia away, but was badly wounded. Lakehead prevented Ms. Snake from detonating a series of bombs planted across the city, but sacrificed his powers to do so.

    With VIPER beaten, it seemed like the major threats to the city were under control. Celestar withdrew for some badly needed healing, while Forceknight retired to be with his family. However, Trumpeter lobbied on the need for a strong Toronto-based team, and a nervous city council backed her initiative.

    With the help of a "superhuman consultant", Celestar and Forceknight began to put together a new team. By March 2001, Trumpeter was joined by novice heroes Hyperknight, Canadian Anthem, and the CN Tower. Forceknight strongly wanted for Trumpeter to lead, however she had never gotten along with Celestar, and the veteran hero vetoed the appointment. Trumpeter responded by quitting. Celestar, at UNTIL's recommendation, recruited a very powerful but untested Swedish superhero named Potenstorm. His first mission with the team, an attack against the creations of Teleios, put the team into conflict with the Justice Squadron. Perhaps this misunderstanding was a sign of things to come.

    Potenstorm was a nice guy, however he was (at best) an indecisive leader who often put the safety of the team ahead of the mission. Two situations where the team premptively pulled out of a dangerous situation were captured on film, first during a movie shoot invaded by a new villain team called the Forces of Nature, second during a fight with Firewing at the CN Tower, where Firewing literally left his mark on the city, after Potenstorm ran from the fight.

    To make matters worse, the new Toronto VIPER commander, Darien Defoe, was a master at manipulating the media. Soon the local press was painting the new Starforce as a failed team; in particular Potenstorm was the subject of intense criticism, lacking the "toughness" and "resolve" of native Canadian heroes. This coincided in a major VIPER PR offensive against superhuman failires in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy, but was far more effective than most, especially after Canadian Anthem was killed by Baron Nihil and revealed to be the estranged teenage son of a local Member of Parliament. Potenstorm was widely blamed.

    A number of Canadian supers came to the Swede's defense, but it was not enough. At the end of 2001, Potenstorm quit the team, angrily returning to Sweden. [1]

    Days of Thunder
    The Toronto city council insisted on continuing with the Guard. Celestar, who had become close to Potenstorm, walked away from the team. Forceknight recruited Craig Carson, his old friend Thundrax from the Northern Guard, to head the team, rebuild it, and improve its relations with the city.

    Almost immediately Carson ran into problems. The media that had attacked Potenstorm went after Thundrax with equal vigor, dragging up some disparaging remarks that he had made about the city when he was a teenager, and the media quickly pegged him as a hostile guy from the west coast who didn't really care about the city. Furthermore Thundrax had been part of four teams but had never been a team leader and transition into the new role was very difficult. Craig asked Potenstorm to remain on the team and assist with the transition, but his request was rejected with scorn. Hyperknight accepted a lucrative offer to join ACI and left the team and Canada behind.[2]

    Craig responded by recruiting several replacements, so by April 2002 the team's roster was Thundrax, Surfacer, Fire Maiden, Trumpeter (who had returned at her friend's behest), and the CN Tower (the only member of Potenstorm's team to survive the transition). It was hardly the most powerful incarnation of the Guard, and the press never let them forget it.

    Nonetheless Thundrax and Starforce found their footing. In May 2002, after losing a brutal battle with the Forces of Nature, they regrouped and defeated them soundly, garnering the team's first positive press in nearly eighteen months. They exposed several members of VIPER in the press and the mayor's office and fought the terrorist group CanadaFirst!, who were targeting judges that supported Canada's liberal immigration policy.

    Unfortunately in October, tragedy once again struck the team. The CN Tower became embroiled in a family feud against his mutant brother, the empathic parasite Dr. Babylon. Dr. Babylon had retreated to an American asylum and was using it to host his Insanity Engine, which he hoped would drive the entire planet insane. The team pursued the AWOL Tower, but it was too late: brother had already slain brother. Worse, the team was driven berserk by the Engine, and for the first time in his career, Thundrax took a human life, ripping apart rioting inmates with his bare hands. Trumpeter managed to retain her sanity long enough to destroy the Engine. It was the greatest victory that Starforce had yet achieved, however with a dead team member, the heroes felt anything but victorious.

    At Forceknight's recommendation, the somewhat clueless Edmonton hero Polar Bear took the Tower's place on the team. He didn't have much of an acclamation period: at the Tower's funeral, the eccentric time travelling villain Captain Chronos, whose temporal technology had been stolen by Baron Nihil. Chronos claimed that Nihil planned to undo six key events in Canadian history in the Battle for the Soul of Canada. If any of them became undone, it could devastate the True North. Thus began Starforce's great time travelling adventure.

    After advetures which included an encounter with Louis Riel in 1870, the founding of the original Hunter-Patriots in 1838, and the most important hockey game in history in 1972, the team found themselves in a Dartmouth Nova Scotia hospital in 1960, where they protected Alice Burrell as she gave birth to her son David, the future Justiciar. On the final adventure, they were joined by Justiciar himself, who had just woken from hibernation and had been taken back in time by Chronos. In the end, Nihil's Time Destroyer was no more, Chronos had recovered his technology, and Starforce was back in Toronto after only a two month absence.

    The press heralded the return of Justiciar as the return of legitimacy to Staforce, and pushed for him to take over the leadership role. David refused to oblige them, however the issue was soon forced for him. Firewing returned to attack Toronto again, but this time the team did not back down. In the end, while the rest of Starforce lay unconscious, Thundrax bore the brunt of the alien titan's onslaught, a brutal assault that was captured on camera where he refused to quit despite gruesome injuries. Impressed, Firewing did not finish the huge Vancouverite as he lay on the ground in a charred, bloody heap and, as a gesture of respect, seared Starforce's emblem into the side of the CN Tower before he departed. The team's bravery was universally hailed, and Starforce's reputation was restored. Thundrax went on medical leave to nurse his injuries, but in actual fact that was just an excuse to transfer the leadership reins to Justiciar, his friend and formal pupil, whom Craig had always believed would lead his generation of Canadian heroes. As for Craig, Torontonians embraced him for the first time in his career, and he would remain one of the nation's most popular heroes even as he withdrew from the superhuman stage.

  • Archived PostArchived Post Posts: 1,156,071 Arc User
    edited February 2012
    And Justiciar For All
    It didn't take long for Justiciar to settle into the role of leader. His first adventure involved a visit from Gravitar to Toronto, as she attempted to hold "HenchCon" to draft elite level henchmen into her service. Gravitar was to be the first of several high level villains to test the resolve of the new Starforce. In addition, they also defeated Darien Defoe and took apart Toronto's VIPER's Nest, again. It would be years before the snakes would attain a strong presence in Toronto again.

    Thundrax retired for a career in politics, while Surfacer and Fire Maiden got married and returned to Halifax, and Trumpeter accepted an appointment with JTF-X. To fill the vacuum, Justiciar began looking for replacements. A tip from the Toronto PD put him in touch with Prism Girl, a superhuman created by Dr. Nafar, a VIPER mad scientist who had been Darien Defoe's chief lieutenant. A failed Hunter-Patriot assassination attempt netted the team Dust Devil, a huge (if obnoxious) genetically engineered brickhouse. Justiciar found a reference buried in an RCMP report that led the team to Argosy, a very odd Newfoundland telepath.

    Together these four heroes faced down many threats, including: an outbreak of Teleios-engineered mutant monsters; an IHA plan to outlaw superheroes from Toronto that was spearheaded by the Canadian Anthem's embittered father; the Babble, a creature from the higher planes that ate people's capacity for language, an apocalyptic Dr. Destroyer worshipping cult cultivated by Rakshasa, an attempt by Paris Vandeleur to infiltrate Canada's first nations community and anger the spirits into a war against humanity (which ended with Adrian Vandeleur stripping him of his mystical abilities and banishing him from the family). On this adventure, another odd hero joined the team: the Constable, who had been assigned the Vandeleur case by the Toronto PD.

    By the time the Constable joined in 2007, the team's reputation and stature were at its apex. Justiciar was easily the most popular and respected hero in the nation, and one of the most highly regarded in the world. Torontonians looked to their defenders with unabashed admiration and pride.

    A New Arrangement
    In 2009, things changed. A violent storm near Force Station Steelhead in Nunavut was the precursor to the liberation of Kigatilik. Recognizing Kigatilik's return as the greatest threat in the nation's history, the team got together with Ravenspeaker, Celestar, Le Fort and the newest incarnation of Forceknight; together they crafted a plan for the defense of Canada. Starforce was split into two divisions: Starforce North and Starforce South. Justiciar and the Constable (along with Celestar and Ravenspeaker) were stationed in the north, while Dust Devil led Prism Girl and Argosy in the south, joined unofficially by Forceknight V.

    The arrangement began to unravel in late 2011, when a Roin'esh incursion set the stage for the unlikeliest of comebacks: the villain who gave Justiciar his cybersystems, the long-dead Cyberlord. His return has shaken David Burrell and Circ to their cores, and Starforce's leader has expressed doubt about his leadership abilities for the first time in his career. Furthermore, the never especially stable Argosy has become increasingly more unstable over the last yeae; he'll probably be forced tol leave the team in the very near future -- one way or another.

    At this point, it looks extremely likely that Forceknight V will officially join the team and be groomed to eventually replace Dust Devil as the southern leader (there's talk of establishing a Starforce West team in Calgary with Dust Devil as leader) while finding one or two new members to replace Argosy. The next few years should be very interesting for "the 'Force".

    [1]Potenstorm is still a superhero in Sweden, however his career has never recovered from the humiliation he suffered in Starforce.
    [2]Hyperknight served as an ACI spokesman for years, and was for a time Franklin Stone's bodyguard, until he succumbed to cancer in 2010.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Posts: 1,156,071 Arc User
    edited February 2012
    Excellent stuff!
  • Archived PostArchived Post Posts: 1,156,071 Arc User
    edited February 2012
    A history of SUNDER, the Vancouver-based superteam of the 1980s. This team was our major campaign in the 1980s: the following history combines events from the campaign and massages them a little to fit the current Champions Universe world.

    In the early 1980s, with the rise of VIPER in the port city of Vancouver, UNTIL targeted the area for special attention. However, the local VIPER Nest, led by the mysterious Serpent-X, proved intractable, and they waged a counter offensive featuring a number of supervillains. More insidious were efforts by a group called the Brotherhood of Terror led by a psychotic mutant named Black Spectre (once the radiation powered superhero Spectral, who went insane when he tried to absorb the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster) to terrorize Vancouver while placing an operative named Masquer[1] into a position of political power.

    To battle these menaces, UNTIL teamed with the RCMP to assemble the Superhuman United Nations Defense Emergency Reserve (SUNDER). The initial team was a collection of oddballs: the leader was a psionic gumshoe from San Francisco named Shamus, who never really explained why he took the job. Even more controversial was his lieutenant Avenger, a decades old mutant (he was active as a pulp adventurer in the 1930s) who had only a few years earlier been the vigilante Night Stalker. Rounding out the team was the temperamental and egotistical cold-powered mutant Cryo, a studious mining engineer in a magnetic battlesuit named Flux, the brash Solar Sentinel (formerly Canadian astronaut Greg Jenkins), a boisterous earth elemental named Elemmus, and George, a physicist with gadgets who resisted any attempt to give him a codename (the press settled on "Vulcan"). They were soon joined by Thundrax, a teenager who could shift his mind into a superhuman body worthy of a god.

    The team's initial campaign defeated VIPER and unmasked Serpent-X as Richard Xavier, a local entrepreneur who was using VIPER as a way to get an edge on the competition. The snakes were beaten, though other incarnations of VIPER rose up in Vancouver over the years, including one led by Avenger's enemy She-Devil, and another run by the evil demonic spirit Black Dragon, an agent of the Death Dragon.

    At War With the Brotherhood
    As bad as VIPER was, the Brotherhood posed a far more serious threat, especially when it was joined by Avenger's sadistic father Master-Mind, who became co-leader with Black Spectre. Despite Avenger's best efforts, Masquer (in the guise of William Donaldson) became mayor of Vancouver, and engaged in a war to smear SUNDER in the press and ban them from the city. However, with help from the veteran hero Acrobat, and (more dubiously) from the super thief Dark Prowler, SUNDER exposed Donaldson, and the Brotherhood fell apart, the huge villain team dividing into four relatively impotent factions that spent as much time warring against each other as terrorizing society and eventually dissipated or were captured.

    These two were far from the only villains SUNDER faced. PLUNDER, a team of superthieves (led by the shape-changer Sleeper) also plagued the team, though they were more interested in loot than power. The international mastermind known as "the Colonel" often embroiled SUNDER in his crimes, though SUNDER always foiled his plots, time and again he managed to elude capture. A group of anti-mutant terrorists, the Human League, were also fierce enemies; as Shamus, Avenger, and Cryo were all prominent mutants. Led by Cull and his remote controlled Genobots[2], the Human League plagued SUNDER throughout their incarnation as they attempted to control "undesirable human evolution."

    SUNDER also faced a band of western Canadian separatists, foiled their schemes, confiscated their technology, and turned to other matters. Little did they suspect that this "negligible" underground group would become the nucleus for the Hunter-Patriots, one of the most significant terrorist threats of the modern era.

    These menaces were not trivial, but they paled in comparison with the Brotherhood and SUNDER's two other archenemies. The first was Borealis, the self-appointed messiah of the True North. Empowered by the great Land spirit, Borealis saw his duty as the conquest of Canada, which would then become the core of a New World Order. They crossed swords several times. starting in 1986, when Borealis tried to use Vancouver's World's Fair as a platform for his plans. Borealis envisioned a Canada that would run the world in accordance with principles of compassion and justice, and saw the ends as justifying his means. Despite being enemies. Borealis did more than just fight SUNDER, he challenged them to use their powers to benefit society in ways that went beyond throwing punches. Eventually Flux teamed up with Elemmus to form a mining and oil company, using earth elementals (Elemmus's family) to scout for deep deposits, which were then surgically extracted by Flux's technology. The profits were then channelled into the Carson Foundation, which Thundrax set up in 1987. Recent expansion into the areas of green technology and space development has made Flux-Carson Enterprises a leading Canadian energy company and a significant player in the mining and petroleum industry.

    The other major enemy was the demon-god Asmiak, who hungered after Shamus's soul for reasons that are not understood to this day. Because of Shamus's efforts, Asmiak was defeated, then was betrayed by his lieutenant, the demon-sorcerer Zorasto, who devoured his essence and usurped his place in Hell. Following Asmiak's defeat, Shamus vanished into a fog and hasn't been seen since. Zorasto had his own plans for SUNDER; he wanted to absorb the "Living Thunder" of Thundrax and elevate himself to godhood. This led to a cataclysmic battle in 1990, which saw Zorasto attempt to drag Earth into Hell through a Hellgate. SUNDER managed to seal Zorasto inside the gate and close it on him, trapping the demon lord on the border between hell and earth.

    The Long Fall Back to Earth
    The years took their toll on the team. SUNDER's last hurrah came in 1992, in a battle with Borealis, where the terrorist was finally brought to justice. By this time, team meetings felt like reunions of a rock band long ast its prime. The team had more or less broken up. Shamus had disappeared in 1988, vanishing into the fog after the defeat of Asmiak, and his departure was a crippling blow. Avenger spent much of his time raising a family in Japan (though he would return to Canada in the mid-90s and take a position in the RCMP). Cryo was raising his own family (including a mutant daughter, Aurora) in Vancouver. Flux had retreated into his business and engineering projects The Solar Sentinel had taken a position with the Canadian Space Agency, which he would eventually lead (and captured Gadroon and Roin'esh spacecraft certainly made them a significant force in this area).

    Thundrax was still a part-time superhero; he spent much of his time mentoring a new Vancouver superhero, the Haida spirit elder Ravenspeaker[3], who would later be his teammate on the Northern Guard. But Ravenspeaker refused the invitation to join the team, citing conflicts with several members. In truth, he was not needed: with Borealis captured, SUNDER's task was done, and Vancouver conly needed one or two superheroes to protect it. SUNDER ended with a whimper, outlasting the threats to the city they had formed to fight, with the possible exception of Master-Mind, who has remained at large but has remained dormant.

    Ultimately, SUNDER was a minor group in a small city that made a moderate impact on superhuman activity in Canada, despite one or two bits of world-saving. They were, however, a model for a number of small locally-based UNTIL teams and at least two members, Thundrax and Avenger/Mark Derringer, went on to more storied careers.

    [1]Certain names have been changed from the original campaign for copyright reasons and to avoid stepping on established characters. Masquer was Masquerade, the name of a villain in the Champions Universe; Black Spectre was simply "Spectre" and the Brotherhood of Terror was simply the Brotherhood.

    [2]Because of the name and their purpose, supers nicknamed the organization "Genocide", and some of the crazier elements of the organization accepted it as a badge of honor. These would be the same extremists who later captured Trumpeter of the Northern Guard and tried to turn her into a weapon.

    [3]Ravenspeaker was not a part of the original SUNDER campaign, being invented by Steve Long as a PC in a separate campaign. Justiciar was a minor NPC in SUNDER. though not yet David Burrell nor a cyborg, he was a fairly generic nice guy superhero who was partnered with the obnoxious superhero Powerlord, who later got ported into Gestalt. VIPER Force-1 from the 1993 VIPER supplement, *****ss Industries, Nightshade, Borealis, Malachite and Dark Prowler, from the 1988 Villainy Unbound supplement, and COTN 5e's Baron Nihil (in a much altered form, as the supervillain "Wind") also have their origins in the SUNDER campaign. Necrull from COTN 5e has his origin in the pulp campaign that was a prequel to SUNDER.
Sign In or Register to comment.