Fictional Countries on Champions Earth

Earth in Champions Online follows the precedent of the mainstream comics companies like DC and Marvel, in that it's essentially the same as the real world in terms of modern history, society, and geopolitics; just modified to account for the presence of superhumans. But those comics also often include cities and even whole nations in places where no such things exist in reality, and Champions is no different there, either. Fictional countries allow story tellers to create locations, character backgrounds, and plotlines unfettered by the restrictions of the real world. I've noticed that quite a few CO players are unaware of the countries added to this setting, and the potential they provide; so I thought it might be helpful to offer a summary of them here.

The countries I'm including in this list are known to the general public of the world at large, although most people don't know any more about them than they do about any other foreign country. They are all populated mostly by normal people with the same priorities as anyone else, and are an integrated part of geopolitical affairs. Champions Earth has quite a few places which are full of nonhuman or superhuman people, and/or are hidden from public awareness; but they could fill another list by themselves.

The information below is culled primarily from the PnP book, Champions Universe (both the current and previous editions, since there are a few differences in what they cover), with supplementary data drawn from Champions Universe: News Of The World, Champions Worldwide, UNTIL: Defenders Of Freedom, Millennium City, Book Of The Destroyer and DEMON: Servants Of Darkness. The entries start with what's commonly known about these countries, including what government intelligence agencies in the free world believe or suspect about them; followed by the truth of these beliefs and any deeper secrets known only to a few.

So, let's go places:


Awad, a small nation on the Saudi peninsula, between Yemen and Oman on the Indian Ocean, is becoming an increasing world security problem. The sheiks of Awad, most of whom are closely related to its ironfisted ruler Thamar el-Hiri, are incredibly wealthy thanks to their country’s vast oil deposits, and care little for how their actions affect others if they can increase their own power and bank accounts. Harsh Muslim fundamentalists, they intensely dislike Western culture in general and the United States in particular, and have for years funded numerous terrorist organizations. Awad supported Iraq during the Gulf War and Iraq War.

Awad is in effect a dictatorship, with Sultan Thamar el-Hiri controlling all aspects of public (and, as much as possible, private) life. The shari’ah (Islamic law) is strictly enforced, and stringent efforts are made to stamp out all Western influences. Maiming and the death penalty are common punishments, even for infractions that would be considered relatively minor in the West. Visitors are usually watched, even followed, wherever they go. Despite these policies, most Awadis are relatively happy, since the government uses petroleum profits to guarantee every citizen a minimum level of income.

In recent decades Awad has invested extensively in technology, ranging from computers to bio-engineering. As a result, today it’s considered one of the centers of world technological development, though many high-tech firms deal with it reluctantly (if at all) due to its repressive political climate. Some Western officials fear that the Awadis use their high-tech expertise to equip terrorists with weapons and devices that would otherwise be well beyond the reach of most such groups. They also suspect strong ties between Awad and ARGENT and VIPER.

Western suspicions about Awad’s connection to supercriminal groups are well-founded. For years Awad’s worked closely with both ARGENT and VIPER, providing a haven from extradition for some of their personnel in exchange for cash and technology, allowing them to build special labs and facilities there, and so forth. Recently relationships with VIPER have been strained since the Awadis suspect (correctly) that VIPER took advantage of the chaos during the Iraq War to steal some Awadi technological secrets. As a result, the alliance with ARGENT has become even stronger.

Rumors about a past joint Iraqi-Awadi program to create superhumans are true. Using a secret lab built in Awad (to avoid U.N. observers in Iraq), Saddam Hussein and Sultan Thamar el-Hiri had hoped to custom-build enough superhuman soldiers to avenge Iraq’s defeat in the Gulf War, take over the Middle East, and establish a chokehold on much of the world’s oil supplies. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for the world), the program’s only true success was Saddam Hussein's former superhumanly strong personal bodyguard, whom he referred to as Turs al-Sh’ab ("Shield Of The People"). Many failures were dropped in the deep desert to die. The program has been suspended due to the overthrow of Hussein’s regime and the presence of American military personnel in the region, but it’s possible Awad may try to resurrect it with help from ARGENT. Dr. Bohuslav Strasky, who headed UNTIL's own largely-failed attempt to manufacture superhumans, the "Future Soldier Program," has secretly been offered millions by Awad to bring his expertise to that nation. The sultan has a few other hired superhumans on his payroll.

The favorite brother of the Sultan of Awad is an informant in the pay of Dr. Destroyer, although probably not knowingly -- Destroyer's agents lead most of his informants to believe they're providing assistance to organized crime, rival nations, or the like.

Chiquador is a small nation on the Atlantic coast of South America, wedged between French Guiana and Brazil. It was a member of the United Nations from 1960 until 1979, when the democratically-elected government of Presidente Pablo Somohardo was overthrown in a miltary coup by General Lorenco João Garrastazu e Silva. Garrastazu made himself President For Life, installed a "cabinet" of his cronies from the army, and declared that Chiquador was resigning from the UN. In power since that time, he has conducted a military buildup that worries the other nations in the region. Garrastazu maintains a relatively massive army, particularly on his borders, and periodically threatens shipping lanes in the area, or threatens to declare war on his neighbors. As yet he has made no moves to use his army and air force, but he must have something in mind for them, given the money and attention he spends on them. A lot of observers, including many in the United States, keep a nervous eye on events in Macapa (the nation's capital).

By Chiquadoran law, all native superhumans must register with and work for the government, on pain of imprisonment or execution. The only publicly-revealed superhuman actually working for the Chiquadoran government is El Grifo Rojo (“the Red Griffin”), a flying brick whom some observers say is as powerful as Charm Girl of Japan.

Garrastazu is now in his mid-seventies and generally believed to be ill and mentally unstable. The CIA thinks most governmental decisions are made by his Minister of Affairs, Alejandro Subano, who may have contacts within either VIPER or ARGENT. Needless to say, UNTIL, PRIMUS, and other agencies concerned about international peace carefully monitor the "Chiquador situation."

President For Life Garrastazu e Silva poses an even greater threat to the rest of South America than anyone realizes. He’s been building up his military with the aim of eventually launching wars of conquest against his neighbors, but since he knows his army is too small to compete with the likes of Brazil's on traditional terms, he's recruited teams of unscrupulous scientists to develop a crash program to create superhuman soldiers obedient to his will. His researchers haven’t had much success yet, but their latest “test case” — a crazed, superhumanly strong man whom they released in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro to go on a rampage — showed signs of promise. If they can figure out how to make the superhuman soldiers more controllable, Garrastazu can destabilize, and perhaps conquer, much of South America. And it’s doubtful his ambition would stop there.

Unfortunately, Garrastazu e Silva is becoming increasingly senile, and his plans for conquest have become more outlandish. Alejandro Subano is an agent of ARGENT. President Garrastazu brought him in originally to help develop the superhuman-soldier program, but now he's wormed his way into the cabinet and Garrastazu's confidence. Through Subano, ARGENT is now running a series of experimental programs in the jungles and secluded coastlines of Chiquador, and every day brings its plans closer to fruition.

Costa Azúl: An archipelago consisting of three principal islands and several smaller ones located south of Jamaica and Haiti, Costa Azúl has a well-deserved reputation as a haven for drug smuggling, money laundering, and other criminal activities. Its former long-time leader, the notorious Colonel Enrique Pineda, tried to maintain a facade of normalcy to attract tourists, but was well-known as one of the most corrupt officials in the Western Hemisphere.

In 2003 credible evidence obtained by the CIA and presented to the President and Congress indicated that Pineda and his government were responsible for sheltering and training a group of supervillains calling itself Los Aplastantores ("The Crushers"). These villains committed a terrorism-for-pay attack in Washington, D.C. in July 2003 that would have destroyed the Lincoln Memorial if not for the timely intervention of the Sentinels. (To date the Crushers have refused to say who paid them to make the attack.) On top of Pineda's well-documented role in international drug smuggling and money laundering, this was more than the Unted States was willing to tolerate.

In November 2004, the United States invaded Costa Azúl and overthrew Col. Pineda, taking him to the mainland for trial and imprisonment. The US army occupied the country until 2006, withdrawing following "democratic" elections. Since then a series of councils and leaders has tried to steer the country down a better path, but it remains better known as a hotbed of criminal activity than a tourist destination.

Guamanga: A tiny nation between Honduras and Lago de Isabél, Guamanga is afflicted with poverty and despair. A mere five percent of the population owns approximately ninety percent of the land, consigning the peasantry to a life of subsistence tenant farming. Many have turned to the drug trade, or the theft and sale of Mayan relics from archaeological sites, to survive.

In 1994, ARGENT attempted to engineer a coup in Guamanga to oust the die-hard Communist president, Martín Orama-Tijernas, and replace him with a figurehead it could control. Fortunately, the Justice Squadron got wind of the plot and stopped it, doing significant harm to ARGENT’s interests in the region. Long-forgotten superweapons and other relics of the conflict occasionally appear, causing more trouble in this already troubled nation.

In 2005 Menton used his powers to manipulate the Guamangans into electing him their president — the first step in a planned campaign of world conquest. Thanks to some help from what the authorities later discovered was ARGENT technology, he was both able to affect thousands of people at once with his power and do it without leaving psychic traces. The United States and the United Nations mobilized their forces, but did nothing more at first. Although everyone knew what Menton had done, there was no proof -- and without proof, the UN in particular, was not willing to overthrow a seemingly legally elected official. That would have set a dangerous precedent the UN desperately wanted to avoid... so it found another option.

Working through back channels, UNTIL secretly hired two teams of mercenary villains and sent them after Menton. Their attack was not going well... but then Rakshasa, Dr. Destroyer's shape-shifting minion, disguised as one of Menton’s mind-controlled followers, shot Menton point-blank in the back of the head, rendering him unconscious. Menton was confined under "hot sleep" in Stronghold until he awakened in 2009 and freed himself, precipitating the second major breakout from the super-prison.


  • bulgarex
    bulgarex Posts: 2,183 Arc User
    Larisagrad: Located deep in the Ural Mountains, Larisagrad was once a secret Soviet city, but is today an effectively independent city-state. During the Cold War era Larisagrad was where numerous top-secret Soviet research projects were conducted. Merely attempting to enter the city without proper authorization was a capital offense.The foremost of these research projects was Directorate Black-12, the Soviet superhuman soldier program. This project was about as successful as most of the similar American programs — which is to say that it produced a handful of superhumans in exchange for killing, crippling, or driving insane hundreds of “volunteer” test subjects.

    Since the collapse of the Soviet regime, all government work in Larisagrad has ended. To support themselves, the scientists there work as contractors and consultants for whomever will hire them... including more than a few supervillains, according to UNTIL reports. Larisagrad officials vehemently deny these charges. In 2005 UNTIL received even more disturbing intelligence. According to its clandestine sources, the criminal corporation ARGENT has effectively taken control of the city. Further reports since then tend to confirm this information, though the Tribunal doesn’t yet have rock-solid proof.

    When the Soviet Union crumbled and funding for Larisagrad’s expensive research dried up, the scientists there were faced with a choice. They could become legitimate researchers, competing in the world of commercial scientific research... or they could offer their services to the highest bidder, regardless of purpose or morality. Unwilling to give up their high-class (by Russian standards, anyway) lifestyle, they opted for the latter path. A few scientists who couldn’t stomach the decision fled the city, often ending up with European or American research firms.

    It didn’t take long for Larisagrad to develop a reputation for the quality of its work, not to mention the blind eye it turned to what was done with its technology. The scientists there often put their unique acumen and equipment to work creating technology for supervillains, providing medical care for injured superhumans who don't want their condition revealed to the outside world, and so forth. VIPER soon became a frequent customer, as did the Warlord, the Ultimates, the Crimelords, Utility, and various powered armor-wearing supervillains who needed occasional maintenance, upgrades, resupply, or spare parts for their equipment. Thanks to the influx of cash from these clients, most Larisagradians enjoy a standard of life far higher than that of other Russians.

    As Larisagrad’s reputation waxed, ARGENT looked on with concern. It didn’t need any more competitors than it already had. But rather than destroy Larisagrad, the organization’s board of directors decided it was a valuable resource they needed to acquire. To that end, ARGENT infiltrated operatives into Larisagrad, established commercial ties with the city, kept its most important citizens under surveillance, and started a corporate espionage campaign against it. Through a combination of business manipulation, cutthroat competition, Maskbot replacement of key personnel, and blackmail, ARGENT took effective control of Larisagrad in late 2003. The current “mayor” of the city, a physicist named Stepan Dolovsky, is an ARGENT puppet; the group keeps him supplied with the drugs, women, and scientific resources he wants, and he does what it tells him to. The power behind the throne is Group Leader Gregory Attenborough, who reports directly to ARGENT’s leaders and conveys their orders to Dolovsky.

    A “client” who wants to contract Larisagrad’s services contacts Dolovsky or any other member of the city’s governing council, the Komityet Upravlyeniya Issledovaniyami (“Research Steering Committee,” or KUI). The Committee looks into the request, determines what it can do for the client, and quotes a price. There’s no dickering — a client either accepts the price or walks away (though on occasion the Committee has agreed to be paid in trade or services rather than cash). After a client deposits the nonrefundable full amount into a secret account, the Committee puts Larisagrad’s scientists and factories to work on his behalf. The finished goods are delivered at a time and place specified in the original contract.

    Larisagrad would make a rich prize for many villains and Russian organized crime groups, not to mention the Russian government, so it has plenty of defenses to keep unwanted “visitors” away. Besides the assistance of grateful superhumans they have helped, the most prominent of these defenses is a corps of powered armor-wearing soldiers called the “Larisagrad Division” (or simply, “the Division”). The leader of the Division is Shturm, or “Onslaught,” a superhuman created by Directorate Black-12. Gifted with energy projection and teleportation powers in addition to the powerful suit of battle armor he wears, Shturm has earned the gratitude of the Larisagradians — as well as millions of dollars — keeping their pleasant little home in the Urals safe and secure.

    Lugendu: On the West Coast of Africa, wedged in between Nigeria and Cameroon, lies the small country of Lugendu. Lugendu has suffered several violent revolutions in the decades since it achieved independence from France. In 1995, another bloody coup brought Joseph Otanga, then a general of the army, to power. After appointing himself President-For-Life he’s ruled ever since, in part thanks to the support of several major international oil companies (Lugendu’s blessed with large offshore petroleum deposits). In the inland jungles several tribes remain opposed to his rule.

    Lugendu has become an oppressive place, which Otanga controls with an iron fist. Natives who dare to speak of such things claim Otanga possesses dark powers of sorcery that he uses on anyone he suspects of plotting against him. The fact that many people who speak out against or oppose him simply “disappear” without leaving a single clue as to what happened to them only fuels these whispers. Some Lugendans even believe he has superhuman powers. Outsiders scoff at these stories as mere superstition, noting how easy it would be for a man in power to make his enemies “disappear” through mundane means like bullets and shallow jungle graves. But most of Otanga’s subjects are deathly afraid of him and wouldn’t think of turning against him.

    From his luxurious palace in the capital of Nahambane, Joseph Otanga has worked for years to extend his power. According to Interpol and UNTIL, he’s established networks of criminal gangs and spies throughout western Africa. He uses them to funnel drugs, conflict diamonds, slaves, and anything else of value through Lugendu. Between this and his methodical looting of the Lugendan treasury, Otanga is thought to be a billionaire already, and his fortune is still growing.

    Joseph Otanga, President of Lugendu, is not the simple despot he seems. His terrified subjects are correct when they say he possesses mystical powers. When he performs blood sacrifices at a strange altar deep in the jungle, an altar known only to him, he gains the power to assume animal forms (even forms mixing the attributes of several beasts), or to transform anyone he wishes into an animal. It is by these methods -- sacrifice or transformation -- that he disposes of anyone he even suspects of harboring harmful intent toward him.

    Otanga has transferred much of his own ill-gotten wealth out of the country. He's invested a generous chunk of it with companies in Millennium City, since he believes in the long-term value of tech stocks. Otanga has become a significant stockholder in several of the city's small, cutting-edge companies, usually through various proxies and without the companies' knowledge. What he plans to do if he gains majority ownership in these companies remains unknown.

    While Otanga dominates Lugendu, the criminal occult organization DEMON also has a presence there. They maintain a Demonhame in Lugendu, under the cover of the Good Samaritan Mission, which is one of DEMON's hubs for slave-trading, by which the organization acquires many of the human sacrifices it needs for its rituals.

    Lurranga: This African nation occupies a long narrow stretch of territory sandwiched between the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Very little has been revealed about Lurranga in any official Champions source, or is likely to be in the foreseeable future. While few hooks are given on which Champs players can hang their creative hats, this does give them freedom to invent details about the country to work into character back stories and adventure plots.

    What has been revealed is that Lurranga is known to be heavily involved in the drug trade and other forms of transnational crime, and sometimes thus attracts the attention of foreign supers. The Vice President of Lurranga is secretly an informant in the pay of Dr. Destroyer, although probably not knowingly -- Destroyer's agents lead most of his informants to believe they're providing assistance to organized crime, rival nations, or the like.

    Taqiristan: Another “trouble spot” in Western Asia that particularly worries UNTIL and other law enforcement agencies is Taqiristan, a tiny country wedged in between Iran, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Once part of the USSR, it declared its independence in 1992. Since the mid-Eighties it’s been led by Bodrush Meklani, formerly a high-ranking Soviet official in control of the area but since 1992 “President for Life.” He rules his small state like a cross between a medieval baron and a gang boss: he controls everything and takes a cut of every business transaction, large or small, that occurs in Taqiristan.

    Since Meklani has no scruples about where his money comes from, Taqiristan has become a major transhipment point for heroin and other drugs, a popular place to launder money, and a haven for criminals with nowhere else to go. As long as a “business partner’s” money is good and he doesn’t threaten Meklani’s rule, the President for Life doesn’t care who he lets into his country. As far as Western observers can tell, Meklani has no designs on other countries in the region; he’s content with his own piece of the pie, as long as no one threatens him. He doesn’t seem to have any superhuman soldiers or agents, though he could certainly afford to hire some if necessary.

    UNTIL recently uncovered links between President Meklani and several supervillain teams, including the Ultimates and the Brain Trust. Apparently Meklani is willing to strictly enforce his country's non-extradition policy on their behalf... for a substantial fee. While it's not always easy for a fleeing supervillain to reach Taqiri soil, if he can and he's paid up he has a guaranteed safe haven. Unable to do anything about this except exert diplomatic pressure, UNTIL's left to hope that somehow this odious policy will backfire on Meklani, perhaps even bringing down his regime in the process.

    DEMON maintains a Demonhame called "the Reconciliation" in Taqiristan, another of its slave-trading hubs, by which the organization acquires many of the human sacrifices it needs for its rituals.