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Our Timeline has Diverged

Per the published Champions Universe timeline, 2020 was to have been the beginning of the end of the Age of Superhumans. In that year, invasion of the Earth by the epic transdimensional conqueror, Tyrannon, led to the diminishing of "ambient magic" in our universe, the force which warped physical laws enough to allow for empowering origins, super genetic mutations, supertech, and all such manifestations which don't exist in the real world. Over the next two years super powers would gradually fade, radical technology would cease to function, and Earth would begin a descent into a dystopian "cyberpunk" era.

Obviously Tyrannon's attack did not occur in CO in 2020, so we're all living in a brave new world full of untold potential. =)

(Before anyone gets their knickers in a bunch over the original timeline, it first appeared in print in 2002, part of Hero Games' plan to unite all the past and future eras their game lines were set in, into one unified history. I'm sure Hero's management figured, if they were still publishing Champs Uni books eighteen years later, they could revise that history then.) ;)

Comments

  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 4,555 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    Obviously Tyrannon's attack did not occur in CO in 2020, so we're all living in a brave new world full of untold potential. =)

    I guess you didn't see of Discord thread where the devs talked about having Tyrannon attack MC and using that as a reason to shutter the game because there'd wouldn't be supers anymore ;)

    Honestly, though, I've never understood writers setting such transformative events so close in time to the events of their stories. You'd think, even by 2002, people would have learned their lesson from the Terminator.
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    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    edited January 4
    Another lesson from The Terminator, as well as Marvel and DC Comics: reboots. :p

    The Champions Universe you're accustomed to is itself a reboot, from when DOJ Inc. bought the Hero Games IP in 2001. They kept many of the elements from previous incarnations of the setting, but changed and added a lot. Even conceptually, rebooting isn't a big deal. Alternate and parallel timelines are a feature of this CU, and well-established in the comic source material, not to mention supported by quantum theory. Heck, CO itself could be considered an alternate timeline from Champions PnP. Cryptic Studios changed several established elements of CU history, like inserting their Shadow Destroyer when the real Doctor Destroyer was supposed to have re-emerged.

    But if you think eighteen years is "close," I have to wonder if you're nearly as old as me. ;)
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 4,555 Arc User
    edited January 4
    bulgarex wrote: »
    But if you think eighteen years is "close," I have to wonder if you're nearly as old as me. ;)

    I did play Champions PNP first edition and still have an original edition of D&D. Also, I am an archaeologist who is used to dealing in thousands of years. The USA is a recent event for me ;)
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    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    Your game collection must be as vintage as mine, then. Ancient history is a hobby of mine, so I get what you're saying. Although dealing in thousands of years isn't the same as living them. :)

    Archaeology on Champions Earth would probably be both a fascinating and frustrating profession. Recorded history on that planet goes back half a million years, with several major eras of civilization before real-world history starts; but the repeated magical cataclysms which reshaped the planet's surface seem to have wiped out almost all evidence of that past. Only a few isolated survivals have persisted to present day, most often due to potent magic.
  • dialamxdialamx Posts: 772 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    ...invasion of the Earth by the epic transdimensional conqueror, Tyrannon, led to the diminishing of "ambient magic" in our universe, the force which warped physical laws enough to allow for empowering origins...

    After reading that, I had to make this meme.

    Always-has-been.png
  • i was under the impression we're still in 2009 in-universe - so tyrannon's invasion is still 11 years off​​
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    Well, that's assuming that everything that's happened in Champions Online since the game first started occurred over a single year. Not impossible, but pretty crowded. Cryptic has played with the timeline already, e.g. Luther Black's apotheosis scheme was run on CO in 2011, but was supposed to happen in 2012, for Black's 100th birthday (he's a leap-year baby, which was key to the spell which granted him longevity).

    I suppose CO being frozen in time would make some elements in the game world make more sense; but it also adds to the sense that nothing our PCs do here really makes a difference.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    edited January 5
    dialamx wrote: »
    bulgarex wrote: »
    ...invasion of the Earth by the epic transdimensional conqueror, Tyrannon, led to the diminishing of "ambient magic" in our universe, the force which warped physical laws enough to allow for empowering origins...

    After reading that, I had to make this meme.

    Always-has-been.png

    I really hope we can avoid opening that debate again. :s
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    edited January 5
    When our veteran CO colleague, and frequent Champions PnP author, Scott "Thundrax" Bennie, created his very useful Champions Lore Primer, he added events from CO through 2017 to the official timeline when he most recently updated it. His working assumption was that events in CO occurred on Champions Earth at the time they first appeared here.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • kjames91kjames91 Posts: 172 Arc User
    Not sure if anyone is familiar with Matthew Colville who is affiliated with a lot of TTRPG, but I watched a video on his take writing for the game Evolve. Basically it was about how the money makers (gaming companies) primarily focused on the money aspect than the writing creative aspect of the lore. Such a bummer to see that being applied to a somewhat enjoyable game.
  • dialamxdialamx Posts: 772 Arc User
    Well we have some confirmation that CO isn't stuck in one moment in time. The Qularr Invasion that is used as the tutorial was something that players in the early years of the game experienced first hand. Now it is a simulation of a past event that current players experience in Ravenwood Academy. Ravenwood's existence, along with many parts of Westside, are also proof of the passage of time. The academy did not exist in the early years of the game, and Westside looked vastly different. Over the years, parts of Westside were rebuilt, giving us Kodiak's police station, and Little Italy, and the Academy was built near the Ren Cen fountain. That amount of construction, along with the rebuilding and repairing of MC after the Qularr Invasion, is not something that would happen within only one year of time.
  • ansemthedarkansemthedark Posts: 543 Arc User
    dialamx wrote: »
    Well we have some confirmation that CO isn't stuck in one moment in time. The Qularr Invasion that is used as the tutorial was something that players in the early years of the game experienced first hand. Now it is a simulation of a past event that current players experience in Ravenwood Academy. Ravenwood's existence, along with many parts of Westside, are also proof of the passage of time. The academy did not exist in the early years of the game, and Westside looked vastly different. Over the years, parts of Westside were rebuilt, giving us Kodiak's police station, and Little Italy, and the Academy was built near the Ren Cen fountain. That amount of construction, along with the rebuilding and repairing of MC after the Qularr Invasion, is not something that would happen within only one year of time.

    I agree on the Qularr Invasion, tho on Westside it is a more graphic overhaul and not changed the missions at all except around the money bag thing and the little Italy part, were before it was near the well, and you disguised yourself as a vendor. I mean the best example would be Kevin Poe, his background still the same in game as son of Simon Poe of PSI, yet he changed from force to Darkness and Dual Pistols for no apparent reason and his design changed drastically. Yet it not shows at all timeline wise in the game or gets mentioned why it changed. The only real thing in game changing time wise is the Vibora Apocalypse with a literal time travel plot after all, and even that now you can skip. Same for the Crisis events, especially MI and Lemuria people not or rarely see at all due to the Que it has now requiring.
  • dialamxdialamx Posts: 772 Arc User
    I agree on the Qularr Invasion, tho on Westside it is a more graphic overhaul and not changed the missions at all except around the money bag thing and the little Italy part, were before it was near the well, and you disguised yourself as a vendor. I mean the best example would be Kevin Poe, his background still the same in game as son of Simon Poe of PSI, yet he changed from force to Darkness and Dual Pistols for no apparent reason and his design changed drastically. Yet it not shows at all timeline wise in the game or gets mentioned why it changed. The only real thing in game changing time wise is the Vibora Apocalypse with a literal time travel plot after all, and even that now you can skip. Same for the Crisis events, especially MI and Lemuria people not or rarely see at all due to the Que it has now requiring.

    That "Money Bag" mission wasn't always there. That was added later, when they first gave you a choice of starting in MC, the Desert, or Canada. Originally you didn't even go to MC until much later in the game, having to choose either Canada or the Desert as your starting area. The missions in Westside were entirely different back then. The entire plot around Hi-Pan and the Westside gangs was also added later. But these mission changes, along with the changes to Kevin Poe's appearance and powers, were retcons, so you're right that those aren't examples of changes in time. However, the whole area where Little Italy resides was rundown, and parts were still in rumble. The fact it's been cleaned up and rebuilt shows time progression.
  • kojirohellfirekojirohellfire Posts: 2,075 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    Well, that's assuming that everything that's happened in Champions Online since the game first started occurred over a single year. Not impossible, but pretty crowded. Cryptic has played with the timeline already, e.g. Luther Black's apotheosis scheme was run on CO in 2011, but was supposed to happen in 2012, for Black's 100th birthday (he's a leap-year baby, which was key to the spell which granted him longevity).

    They ran it in 2010. I'm thinking he probably jumped the gun when he learned that there was a new Archmage in town following the Apocalypse. His entire scheme ruined in a moment of panic.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    Thanks for the year correction. :) That's a not-unreasonable rationalization. It's problematic lore-wise, in that Black's plan, carefully followed for decades, required executing specific actions on a specific date tied to his background. But he had to improvise in other ways when events diverged from his vision, so this isn't impossible. Of course Cryptic has changed the lore whenever they wanted to do something different, as is their right as the IP holders.

    You could even say that all the things Cryptic changed in the timeline led to the faltering of magic in 2020 not happening. :)
  • poptartmaniac#8493 poptartmaniac Posts: 246 Arc User
    edited January 15
    I know you didn't want to open that argument, but I'm kind of curious to what "ambient magic" actually is, if you could elaborate, if not it's okay xD

    on a side note, what you said in the original post could potentially work for an alternate universe RP
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    edited January 15
    I know you didn't want to open that argument, but I'm kind of curious to what "ambient magic" actually is, if you could elaborate, if not it's okay xD

    on a side note, what you said in the original post could potentially work for an alternate universe RP

    "Deep breath" Okay. There's nothing wrong with your question, PTM, it's perfectly valid. I just hope this doesn't start another involved round of, "I don't like it that doesn't make sense it's a bad decision it's stupid," commentary and debate. :s

    The universe containing Champions Earth is governed by and runs according to the laws of science, just as our own does. However, it also contains "magic" in a free state which operates according to different, more subjective principles. The amount of magic present in a given area can fluctuate greatly over time. When magic is low the world functions in the way we're all familiar with, but when it rises higher it can "loosen" scientific laws. Quantum theory allows for incredible, extraordinary events to be theoretically possible, like someone falling hundreds of feet onto solid ground and surviving (which is known to have really happened), but the mathematical chance of such things occurring is so infinitesimal as to be practically impossible. Higher ambient magic greatly increases their probability.

    Since the late Middle Ages/early Renaissance, Champions Earth had been in a period of low ambient magic. Hence history had proceeded pretty much as it did on our Earth. Supernatural beings who depend more on magic for their functioning had mostly withdrawn to other dimensions. Practitioners of the mystic arts still existed, but what they could accomplish by their craft was greatly diminished. Truly great feats of magic were very rare and required extraordinary circumstances to bring about, e.g. lengthy rituals, unique artifacts, rare stellar alignments, and so on. Much like real-world magic traditions, if they actually worked. ;)

    In the summer of 1938, Germany's state-sponsored cabal of mystics, the Reichsamt für die Sicherung völkischer Kulturgüter (Reich’s Office for the Safety and Security of National Cultural Items, or RSvKg) conducted one such grand ritual, attempting to locate magic artifacts to aid in Hitler's plan of conquest. But the power they conjured was too great for them to control, and led to dramatically raising ambient magic across the Earth. As a result, in addition to magic-based spells and powers becoming much stronger, all the things we've come to associate with the superhero genre suddenly became practically possible: superhuman physical and mental abilities, power-granting accidents and genetic mutations, radical scientific breakthroughs, etc.

    As per the aforementioned official timeline, in the year 2020 the awesome dimensional conqueror Tyrannon would invade Earth as the first step to annexing our entire universe. To stop him Witchcraft, who at that time is Earth's Archmage, sacrifices her life to unleash a mighty spell, weakening Tyrannon and allowing her allied superhumans to defeat him. But the unintended consequence of that spell is to drain ambient magic away nearly completely, not just on Earth but across the Milky Way, and perhaps beyond. Superpowers and supertech cease to function. That paved the way for a transition in the shared Hero Universe to more science-fictional futuristic game settings.

    Now, just to anticipate some of the issues people have over the above concepts: Many folks believe this means that all the superpowers and supertech are actually just magic with different trappings. The lore explicitly states that this is not the case. Technology is technology; psionics is its own distinct force; superhuman martial arts are the result of exceptional training; and so on. These things don't utilize magic in any way, magic just allows for more extraordinary manifestations of them than in our world.

    Another common assumption is that super-scientists are actually deluded fools who are inventing "rubber science." Again, this is not the case. Rare geniuses who can perceive more of the possibilities inherent in relaxed physical laws, are able to achieve remarkable practical leaps. Those achievements ceasing to work when magic fades doesn't mean they were mistaken, it means that the potential they were exploiting no longer exists.

    TBH, IME some of the difficulty people gaming in the Champions Universe have swallowing this concept comes from labeling. Gamers, in particular, have such strong and specific preconceptions as to what magic "really is" (an odd concept in itself) that they just can't accept it manifesting this way in this setting. I believe if Hero Games management had chosen another name for their superpower-enabling mechanism, e.g. "cosmic energy" or "quantum flux," most of the objections to how it works would disappear, even though virtually nothing else about the setting would change. ;)
  • That makes sense to me, and thank you for clarifying the common confusions.

    I would love to see more alternate realities in CO where something like that happens and we get a post apocalyptic world. but well that's probably never going to happen lol.

    But again, pretty good base for an RP imo
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Posts: 8 Arc User
    edited January 16
    In theory, when a timeline went low magic it would probably drop out of sight and be impossible to travel to since the gateways are dependent upon that same magic/quantum/whatever and so would cease to function. If so, it would remain isolated from the crosstime-travelling community until it regained enough magic to "surface" again.

    As for the "short sighted" stuff, that is a problem that all near-future fiction faces and there really isn't an easy way to avoid it.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    That makes sense to me, and thank you for clarifying the common confusions.

    I would love to see more alternate realities in CO where something like that happens and we get a post apocalyptic world. but well that's probably never going to happen lol.

    But again, pretty good base for an RP imo

    OTOH it would be a good basis for a character origin. The CU has many well-established alternate and parallel universes already, with characters originating from them on Champions Earth; and the number of possible universes is practically infinite. A PC or nemesis could be a refugee from an Earth where the above events took place. In the old timeline it took a couple of years for ambient magic and super-stuff to disappear completely. Or even a refugee from an Earth where Tyrannon's conquest succeeded.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    edited January 16
    In theory, when a timeline went low magic it would probably drop out of sight and be impossible to travel to since the gateways are dependent upon that same magic/quantum/whatever and so would cease to function. If so, it would remain isolated from the crosstime-travelling community until it regained enough magic to "surface" again.

    That would probably be true, at least in some circumstances. However, there are civilizations much older than Earth's which have developed far more profound understanding of science, with resultant incredibly sophisticated technology which is not assisted by ambient magic. Civilizations like the Malvans and Mandaarians, or the far-future eras of Earth which produced the time travelers, Captain Chronos and Korrex the Conqueror. Travel between dimensions is within their capabilities.
  • servantrulesservantrules Posts: 306 Arc User
    Didn't it diverge in the 90's when Champions: New Millennium occur with the Fuzion ruleset?
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    It's certainly reasonable to look at the New Millennium as an alternate Champions Universe. After all, it shares some of the same characters and organizations, although in many cases they're significantly different, sometimes having nothing but their names in common. However, the current setting we're all playing in didn't even exist until 2002, when the first Champions game line books for the Fifth Edition of the Hero System were published.

    Quick history lesson ;) : When the PnP RPG called Champions was first published in 1981, there was no "universe" as such. Like early Dungeons and Dragons, villains, adventures, organizations, came out over time in books which made no attempt to connect them, written by various authors drawing from their own campaigns. The assumption was that individual Game Masters would use whatever they liked from those for their own groups, building their worlds as they wished. Many tabletop games played today take the same approach, regardless of what "worlds" they're supposedly set in. It wasn't until the early 1990s that Hero Games created its first "Champions Universe" source book, tying most of the things that had appeared to date (that they had legal rights to use) into a more-or-less coherent whole.

    Champions: New Millennium was a 1997 "hard reboot" of the setting, this time with a world conceived from the start as a coherent common basis for play. It drew heavily on what had come before, but changed many details and added many new elements. It also substituted a significantly different game system, called "Fuzion," for Hero System. The negative reception to that system by existing Champions players, plus some presentation problems with the New Mil books, ultimately doomed CNM.

    Our setting today is the result of another hard reboot by the then-new owners of the Champions IP, coinciding with the release of the Fifth Edition of Hero System. It also drew from the a lot of the older material, as well as some elements of the New Millennium, but wove them together in new ways, while adding much original stuff. Because of that history this Champions Universe is the broadest, deepest, yet also most internally coherent version yet.

    Yet even while Hero System languished in the late 1990s, other publishers were producing new Champions material under license, using the last released (Fourth) edition of the rules. For example, Gold Rush Games created their own original setting, San Angelo: City of Heroes, in 1998, with all-original history and characters. Hero Games also made available Hero conversions of their New Millennium characters. After Fifth Edition Hero was released, the company granted licenses to other game publishers to use the system, including our own Scott "Thundrax" Bennie for his unique Gestalt superhero world. (Hero System was actually quite popular back in the day.)

    A superhero game produced by Guardians of Order, Silver Age Sentinels (the superhero guild by that name here asked the publisher of SAS if they could used it) did a crossover with Hero Games in a joint adventure book, Reality Storm: When Worlds Collide, employing characters from both companies' settings. The characters had game stats for both Hero and Tri-Stat, the game system created by GoO, with a detailed translation matrix so gamers could convert other characters between them. The events of the Reality Storm became canon in the time line of the Champions Universe, even though Hero Games didn't have the rights to use SAS material subsequently. And there are other examples of the system being taken up outside of Hero Games, for supers and other genres.

    Because all the editions of Hero System are mechanically fundamentally the same, it's not hard to used characters from any edition with those from others. So it would be acceptable to treat all the settings above as alternates of the Champions Universe, and to "cross over" between them.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 4,555 Arc User
    Never realized that the Nazis made the modern superhero world what it is. Strangely disturbing thought.

    It sounds like magic is just a natural aspect of the universe? Is the amount of ambient magic constant, or does the total amount in our universe rise and fall over time? If so, where does it come from and where does it go? E.g. can it leak in/out from some other dimension(s)?

    Is there a time line of high/low ambient magic periods on earth and any explanations for what caused the changes from one state to another? Or, is magic a bit like weather and these periods of higher ambient magic just happen to sweep across our part of space from time to time (unless evil Nazis are messing around)?

    Is the amount of available magic in an area on earth like an on/off switch. I.e. is it either very high or very low or can there be periods when it is in between? E.g. when the Nazi experiment went off was there a sudden flood of magic that quickly reached a high level, or did it build up over time to reach the level it has today? If it is more like a spectrum rather than an on/off situation, are extraordinary events more/less likely depending on the amount present?

    Magic on earth sounds a bit like a fluid or a gas. Are their eddies, currents and pools of magic, or is it evenly diffused across the planet? E.g. are there places on earth where ambient magic is more concentrated and areas where it is more dilute? Would sorcerers or great scientists seek those high level areas out?

    It's easy to imagine some alien being wanting to conquer the earth by draining the ambient magic off so that earth is more defenseless (cut to James Harmon hurtling across the sky only to have his jets suddenly stop working).

    How many beings on earth are knowledgeable about all this? I imagine that Dr. Destroyer might be a little chagrined that "magic" is what makes his Destroids possible (or does he brush it off as "quantum flux"?).

    I still want my warp-capable starship that's powered by a bound demon.
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    edited January 22
    Whew, that's a bunch of questions. No objection intended at all BTW. Answering lore questions is what I enjoy doing around here. ;) But the answers will be a bit involved. While there's plenty of "what" answers to be found, the "why" isn't always clearly stated, and there are exceptions that need to be noted. Let me address each category of your questions separately.
    jaazaniah1 wrote: »
    Never realized that the Nazis made the modern superhero world what it is. Strangely disturbing thought.

    It sounds like magic is just a natural aspect of the universe? Is the amount of ambient magic constant, or does the total amount in our universe rise and fall over time? If so, where does it come from and where does it go? E.g. can it leak in/out from some other dimension(s)?

    Is there a time line of high/low ambient magic periods on earth and any explanations for what caused the changes from one state to another? Or, is magic a bit like weather and these periods of higher ambient magic just happen to sweep across our part of space from time to time (unless evil Nazis are messing around)?

    AFAIK there's never been one definitive statement as to where magic "comes from," but certain implications can be extrapolated. Galactic Champions p. 24 asserts that the Walpurgisnacht Working of 1938 created a "dam" which caused the buildup in ambient magic, and that the spell by Witchcraft in 2020 had somehow 'broken the dam" and allowed magic to drain away, to its lowest level ever known. However, another accident in the year 3000, the so-called Kolvel Event, somehow "dammed" the magic again, allowing superpowers to return to the Milky Way. To me this implies that magic exists as part of the natural order of the Champions Universe. The other side of the equation, of course, is where did the magic drain to?

    Universes such as the one containing Earth and its many alternates basically run according to the laws of science. However, there are "higher dimensions" in the Multiverse whose physical laws are based more on the principles of magic, and the degree to which that applies increases as one climbs "higher." I would theorize that the magic drained to and was dispersed across those dimensions.

    OTOH it's definitely known for magical energy to flow from other dimensions into Earth. I'll describe that further in response to another of your questions below.

    Magic does go through unpredictable spontaneous periods of waxing and waning, and the Earth has been through several known periods of both over the past 100,000 years or so. These correspond to specified "ages" in the official Hero Universe time line, for which Hero Games created settings reflecting particular game genre conventions suited to the level of magic. For example, the Turakian Age, era of origin for Takofanes, was one age of high magic. The setting then is a "Tolkien-esque" world embodying many of the conventions of the ever-popular Dungeons and Dragons game. Another high-magic era is the Atlantean Age, when Atlantis and Lemuria were major world powers, and cultures reflected the style of classical Greek and Roman civilization and mythology. In between those two was the Valdorian Age, which like the period between the late Middle Ages and 1938 was an era of low magic. That setting is evocative of the fiction of Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Leiber.
    jaazaniah1 wrote: »
    Is the amount of available magic in an area on earth like an on/off switch. I.e. is it either very high or very low or can there be periods when it is in between? E.g. when the Nazi experiment went off was there a sudden flood of magic that quickly reached a high level, or did it build up over time to reach the level it has today? If it is more like a spectrum rather than an on/off situation, are extraordinary events more/less likely depending on the amount present?

    Descriptions of the transition periods between major eras indicate that the rise and fall of magic is normally a gradual process, taking decades, centuries, even millennia for a significant difference to be appreciable. But extraordinary events can vastly accelerate that timeline. The loss of magic starting in 2020 took nearly two years to complete, with superpowers becoming weaker and/or less reliable. After Walpurgisnacht on April 30 in 1938, the world's first superheroes, Der Sturmvogel in Germany and Captain Patriot in America, gained their powers in mid-May. Galactic Champions p. 29 asserts that after the Kolvel Event superpowers returned "almost overnight."

    Yet even in those situations magic isn't necessarily either/or. In several places, notably Golden Age Champions, the average and maximum of superpowers during WW II is noted as less than they became in later decades. Magic on Earth during the Age of Superheroes is specifically stated to be less than in the Turakian Age, so the spells of Takofanes, for example, aren't quite as potent now as they were then. (That's mentioned in Takofanes' write-up in Champions Villains Volume One: Master Villains.)
    jaazaniah1 wrote: »
    Magic on earth sounds a bit like a fluid or a gas. Are their eddies, currents and pools of magic, or is it evenly diffused across the planet? E.g. are there places on earth where ambient magic is more concentrated and areas where it is more dilute? Would sorcerers or great scientists seek those high level areas out?

    There are definitely places on Earth where certain types of magic concentrate, and magicians find spells using that type of magic are significantly augmented when performed there. Some of these are natural, most often tied to unusual geologic formations. For example, Mount Fuji in Japan, and Yellowstone Park in the United States, focus elemental magic drawn from deep beneath the Earth. Other sites may be man-made, such as astonomical calendar sites like Stonehenge and Chaco Canyon which enhance time-manipulating spells; or locations of great death such as Auschwitz and Cambodia's "killing fields" where necromancy is much stronger.

    Occasional "magic spills" may form and linger where great magical events occur, such as after a major sorcerous battle or the death of a god. Luther Black created numerous local spills from the Qliphoth into Earth in an attempt to corrupt the Earth's magic to facilitate his apotheosis ritual. Someone stumbling into such a spill might experience an empowering origin. ;)

    The Black example highlights that it's also very possible for natural or artificial sites to form a "dimensional nexus" connecting to other dimensions, particularly the Imaginal Realms near Earth, and draw power from those. For instance, very large and ancient trees may be infused with the magic of Yggdrasil, the dimension formed by the collective life-force of Earth's plants. Sometimes mystics will plant trees from seeds taken from Faerie to tap the magic of that dimension. Such trees enhance spells dealing with vegetation and fertility. The Taj Mahal, one of the greatest monuments to love on Earth, inadvertently formed a powerful nexus to Elysium, the sum of all the Heavens humanity has imagined. The very dust swept from its floor burns demons on contact. (Most of the info about where and how magic manifests can be found in The Mystic World.)
    jaazaniah1 wrote: »
    It's easy to imagine some alien being wanting to conquer the earth by draining the ambient magic off so that earth is more defenseless (cut to James Harmon hurtling across the sky only to have his jets suddenly stop working).

    How many beings on earth are knowledgeable about all this? I imagine that Dr. Destroyer might be a little chagrined that "magic" is what makes his Destroids possible (or does he brush it off as "quantum flux"?).

    I still want my warp-capable starship that's powered by a bound demon.

    Mystics who are aware that magic surged higher in 1938 (whether or not they know about the Walpurgisnacht Working) often also noticed that superhumans started appearing around that time. Some theorize that there's a connection, but almost no one on Earth has the cross-disciplinary scientific and occult expertise to deduce the true cause. Some very old and advanced alien civilizations, like the Mandaarians and Odrugarans, are aware that there's a force in the universe which affects physical laws depending on its prevalence, but they don't directly utilize it or understand its full potential.

    AFAICT Dr. Destroyer attributes his scientific breakthroughs to nothing but his own genius. However, Galactic Champions mentions Albert Zerstoiten's death in 2022 after the life-sustaining devices in his armor failed, following one last futile bid to conquer the Earth. Ended with a whimper, as the saying goes.

    I'm aware of a few civilizations within the Champions Multiverse which have blended magic with science, so your demon-driven starship is at least feasible. I could mention them later if you like, but for right now I'm talked out. :s
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 4,555 Arc User
    Cool and very interesting! Thank you for the insights.

    Now I'm wondering about the waxing and waning of magic over the 100s of millions of years that there has been life on earth. E.g., were dinosaurs only possible because there was a long period of high magic from the end of the Permian extinction to the end of the Cretaceous? Did some event occur that broke the dam and led to the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous? We can do away with all those meteors, volcanoes and what not. Hmm, could they very origins of life on earth be tied to the first eruption of magic in our part of space?

    Do things like vampires simply cease to exist during low periods of magic? If so, I wonder what brings them back? Someone finds an ancient inscription, reads it, and suddenly there are undead again?

    What happens to human souls in various heaven/limbo/hell realms when a low magic event happens? Do they simply disappear or are these other dimensions sufficiently suffused with their own magic that whatever souls they contain just continue on. Hmm, on a more fundamental level, do humans have souls at all during periods of low magic? All kinds of theological ramifications there!
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,111 Arc User
    Those are certainly intriguing questions to ponder. But whether a soul is any manifestation of "magic" is a topic I'm not gonna even touch. :#

    The Mystic World p. 19 asserts that even the gods in Faerie who are no longer believed in or remembered can still "live off the immense reserve of stored belief that is the Land of Legends [Faerie] itself." So I don't think there's any reason to expect souls to be immediately evicted from any version of the afterlife just because magic drops. ;)

    OTOH the spirits of the dead do also appear in the higher-dimensional Domain of Death, i.e. the cosmic entity who is the sapient Archetype of that concept. Such dimensions are not connected to Earth or its universe, and are unaffected by variations of magic in them. The great question then becomes, how can the dead be there but also in the afterlives of their faiths, at the same time? Are the spirits in Death's Domain just some sort of record or image? Or do mortals possess more than one soul? No one below the "cosmic" level knows for certain.

    One thing to keep in mind about the post-2020 Hero Universe time line, is that it specifically states that magic then and there fell lower than it ever had before. So its conditions were unusual even compared to other low-magic periods. For example, we know that vampires continued to exist on Earth in the centuries before the Twentieth -- some are named. But we never hear about them or any other supernatural manifestations in any future era of the Hero Universe before the year 3000. (BTW the "Hero Universe" document which first laid out the official time line, states that the first vampires were created through necromantic spells, but as they have limited "procreation" abilities were able to perpetuate their kind. So even if vampires cease to exist in the future, there's potential for them to be recreated when magic rises again.)

    The extent to which superhuman beings are affected by changing magic levels seems to depend on how fundamental magic is to their functioning. As an example, even after 2020 the Empyreans live on and remain ageless, although their other powers are greatly diminished. The same applies to the superhuman mutant Cateran, who survives the next thousand years. None of them directly employ magic. OTOH Takofanes finally dies for good, crumbling to dust. The Atlanteans translate their entire city to Faerie, because only magic holds the transformation that allows them to survive beneath the ocean.
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