Thursday, 18 July 2019

Phenomenal Paragons: Super Teams of Note: The August

I thought I'd share some of the super teams from the Phenomenal Paragons setting. Starting at the top.

The August.

Every world seems to have an analog of the "Big Three" and/or "Big Seven". This one is no different. Although it was the Big Eight. All of them powerful and experienced mega-heroes. 

The August (as in "distinguished" and "Exalted") was formed by August (as in the month) at the behest of The Magpie. The Magpie is a, supposedly, centuries old thief and assassin. The leader of an ancient society of killers that supposedly inspired Hasan ibn al-Sabbah to form his little merry band of murders; from whom we get the word "assassin". Nobody outside his society, the League of Shadows, had supposedly ever seen The Magpie and lived. They were a rumour, an urban legend, a shadow in the darkness. A mystery, wrapped in an enigma, sealed inside a puzzle box made of more complicated puzzle boxes, hidden within a secret room in the deepest darkest depths of a dimension composed entirely of riddles.

Then they pulled a bank job. Or rather they walked into a bank shrouded in a cloak of darkness, identified themselves, told everyone to lie and the floor and keep calm so they wouldn't get hurt, and then waited. The police turned up and were sent packing. The local heroes turned up and were also sent home, bloodied and bruised. But not seriously injured. just put beyond the ability to fight on. At no point did The Magpie resort to lethal force. Even when it was used against them. At every step they demanded that August be sent against them and eventually he arrived. As the most powerful being in the world walked in the front door the world's greatest assassin let their hostages escape out the fire exits. Had this all been a ruse? A plot to assassinate the world's greatest hero? For five minutes silence reigned then August left, The Magpie his prisoner. August paused long enough to explain that The Magpie had surrendered and then the two of them departed together. 

Over the next three days there were glimpsed sightings of them around the world, battling shadowy foes. And every time they'd have a new recruit. From Paris, France, they recruited the sorcerer "Quintessence". From Greece the archaeologist Artemis Argyris. From Tel Aviv the mutant known as "The Everyman". In south east asia they found Kim-Hữu Long, The Immortal Dragon. From Australia the aboriginal mentalist known only as "The Dreamer". Finally, from Area 51 in Arizona, they rescued Cosmonaut Spartak Sobol; the enigmatic Black Knight.  Soon they were eight strong, each member one of the most powerful superhumans on (or off) the planet. Then nothing. For two days they were completely incommunicado.

Then the League of Shadows attacked Rome.

A fell device appeared in St. Marks Square and shadow clad killers stalked the streets. Locals were taken prisoner and dragged to the park to await their fate. Local heroes were less powerless than simply overwhelmed. There was no hope in sight. Had this been The Magpie's plan? To remove the only people that could stop this dark deed?

As it turned out, quite the opposite. Because suddenly, when the first knife was set to fall, they were there. The eight appeared literally from thin air and set to work defeating the League of Shadows. After a battle of hours all the assassins were captured or killed, The Magpie able to take their mastery of shadows from them, and their hostages freed.

It was revealed that one of The Magpie's lieutenants had gone rogue with an insane scheme to murder 80% of the world's population with a magical ritual.  The Magpie had attempted to prevent it but with only a handful of assassins still loyal to them, and those in hiding from their former associates, they had no other choice but to enact a ridiculous scheme to recruit the most powerful beings on the planet.

No charges were pressed against them; the damage to the bank was caused by the authorities and heroes. The Magpie hadn't actually held people as hostages; they'd just presumed that was what was happening and played along.

However to get August's help they'd agreed to suffer whatever punishment the hero felt fit. So August sentenced them to a lifetime of... community service at August's side. They accepted their punishment with what might have been a smile. August then extended an invitation to the others, suggesting that they join them to battle threats to the world. They agreed and The Everyman suggested The August as their collective name.

For years they fought side by side, global champions. Then three years ago August died. Not in battle but in their sleep. Slain by a villain that had learned the greatest hero's weakness; that when he slept he was powerless.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon your point of view, the villain did not live long enough to make good on whatever scheme had inspired the murder. August's wife woke and slew the killer within moments; their reflexes and anguish betraying their better judgement. Because over the years the years the friendship  between August and The Magpie had blossomed into love. They had secretly married under their civilian identities about a decade after meeting.

After August's death The Magpie chose to retire, leaving The August with a roster of only six active members. They've been seeking replacements ever since but their two founders are hard to replace.

Team Roster:

  • August (Deceased)
  • The Magpie (Retired)
  • Quintessence 
  • Artemis Argyris 
  • The Everyman
  • Kim-Hữu Long
  • The Dreamer
  • Black Knight
All be writing them all up for Heroes Unlimited and posting them here as and when.

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