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Canon Fodder/2009-12-02

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Greetings players,

Welcome to the clarification and confirmation issue of Canon Fodder. A lot of the answers this time are an attempt to compile outstanding questions that were either answered on the question thread unofficially or required additional information. I will circle back and do this from time to time in order to keep things as clear and centralized as possible.

The goal of this thread is to provide official stances on lore for the game and to clear up any confusing continuity where possible. Feel free to PM me if you find something amiss in one of the Canon Fodder posts and I will correct it.



Where and how are these questions being answered?
I compile questions, research answers in the game, the story bible, and our ancillary products and then write up first drafts. Those are passed by experts on the development team for editing and final approval. The answers are then posted in this thread.
Mutants. One of the most active ATs out there seems to be welcomed by the general public, yet in the Captain Mako bio he was persecuted. How was he targeted and our heroes aren't?
The fact that, by and large, mutants are accepted by most folks in Paragon City is just another testament to the kindness and generosity of spirit that exists in the City of Heroes. However, not everyone agrees with these sentiments. There are some who fear and distrust mutants greatly. They each have their reasons and they are too numerous to list but certainly Mako’s monstrous features and the fearsome nature of the sharks he resembles would cause great trepidation in some. I’m certain some mutant heroes in Paragon had similar experiences but were fortunate enough to find someone to help them or make their own way out of such a dark place.
Is it proper to think of high-level characters as peers of the Freedom Phalanx and the elite of Arachnos, or are these rare moments of glory flukes and, in fact, player characters are intended to serve more as sidekicks to these figures?
Although this isn’t exactly a lore question it has come up quite often in posts and PMs. As player characters work their way up the ladder it is expected and even encouraged to think of them as the peers of the signature characters if that fits their story.
Whether it was Statesman’s burning need to protect Paragon city or Lord Recluse’s obsessive need to destroy it, all the signature characters have goals and they recruited hundreds of thousands of heroes and villains so there would be a next generation to carry their torch.
Why is the CoH Earth considered Primal Earth?
Leading scientists of Primal Earth believe their world is a nexus of power with tendrils that connect it to many alternate Earths such as Shadow Earth and War Earth. They further postulate that it has more such connections than any alternate Earth and so it must be considered the focal point of those worlds.
As with any scientific theorem there are some who disagree, even within the Primal Earth scientific community. Beings who call those other Earths their home also tend to see their world as central. Tyrant, for example, often refers to Primal Earth simply as “Statesman’s World” and any scientist trying to convince him otherwise would most likely find his employment terminated.
What is Lady Grey’s first name?
I'm curious about the Ascendant soldiers of the Council. What can you reveal about them?
The Ascendants are chosen first and foremost for their loyalty. Extensive background checks and multiple mental and physical tests of loyalty are performed on every candidate. Once a member of the Council has been accepted as a potential Ascendant they are put through a rigorous training program that teaches them combat, bodyguarding, and security techniques as well as testing their resolve. After successfully completing the training phase, a final personal interview with the Center is the make or break moment for any aspiring Ascendant. If they pass, they’re accepted into an elite force within the ranks of the Council, if not they are removed from the organization entirely.
Can you tell us more about the leading members of Vanguard including their powers and origins?
This post from Positron is a great place to start for some information about how Vanguard found their way into the game. [1]
As Posi stated, most of these characters came from the CCG but here are some basics for those that never got their hands on those cards.
Lady Elizabeth Grey is the overall head of Vanguard. She was endorsed for the position by Statesman as well as several other powerful heroes. Her powers as a Dark Melee, Regeneration Scrapper are subtle but extremely powerful. Her origin is lost in the sands of time but it is believed her Aging Touch signature power is the reason she’s been alive longer than even Statesman.
Incandescent is the head of the Herald division of Vanguard and is ultimately responsible for public relations as well as liaising with the United Nations. She’s a Fire Blast, Energy Manipulation Blaster. Her signature power is called Lambent Flame and with it she combines the potent forces of fire and energy to knock down her foes in a large area. Kelly Dupuis was an environmental lobbyist charged with protecting the bayou of Louisiana. On a fact finding mission in the swamps she was separated from her group and had a life-changing encounter with a mystically charged Will-o’-the-wisp. It imbued her with the power of a living energy source…and a clean one at that.
The Shield, or security division, of Vanguard is headed by the sisters Borea and Levantera. Their status as champions from the Order of the Four Winds has been discussed in previous Canon Fodder posts. Anne and Sarah Connelly were born to parents who were both martial arts experts. The girls grew up around dojos and both mastered kenjutsu before they hit puberty. They were clearly Scrapper’s from birth.
What the young ladies didn’t know at the time was that their parents studied with the Monks of the Four Winds and they had been destined for something larger from birth. Anne was presented with the mantle of Boreas the North Wind, one of the four cardinal winds the order is named after. At the same time Sarah received the mantle of Levanter, a minor Eastern wind. They were both thrilled initially, but Anne’s “larger destiny” has become a sore point over the years. Still, the sisters balance each other nicely. A little known prophecy of the Order states: “She who walks the earth in Boreas’ name will not succeed without Levanter’s champion at her side.” Borea’s Chill Wind Signature Power comes from the frigid north to rend her opponents, and Levantera’s Cloud Strike is derived from the easily identifiable cloud formations often created by the Levanter.
The Dark Watcher, or as Positron likes to think of him the CoH version of Wedge Antilles, is at the Helm of Vanguard. His extremely powerful mystical abilities make him well suited to gather and act on intelligence. His origin and membership in the original Freedom Phalanx are well documented. (Editor’s note: Web of Arachnos novel) In 1954, the Watcher’s path took a difficult turn and he was lost for decades in nightmarish dimensions full of magic and monsters. (Editor’s note: Top Cow CoH Comic Issue 19) Once the best of friends, it remains to be seen if Statesman and the Dark Watcher will ever have a relationship that goes past an extremely uneasy truce.
The Dark Watcher is an Illusion Control, Force Field Controller. His teleportation and Dimensional traveling abilities are legendary, including his signature Dimensional Twist power that allows him to move his foes through other dimensions, causing them great harm.
Andrew Crenshaw began his career as Gaussian by becoming a Sidekick to Rick Davies aka Horatio, but when his mentor was injured during the Rikti War he had to forge his own path. Using the high-tech assault rifle created for him by Davies, Gaussian waged a one man war against every Rikti he could find for years until he was recruited into Vanguard. He is primarily known for his tactical skills but he’s become a fair hand with tools and tech himself. He’s never forgiven himself for not being there when his mentor was ambushed by the Rikti and that fuels him to this day. He knows he wasn’t the first choice to lead the Sword division, that distinction fell to Manticore (Top Cow CoH comic Issue 19), but he is quietly determined to prove he was the best choice to head up Vanguard’s special operations.
Serpent Drummer is the calm within the storm. He does whatever is needed of him to help secure our world against hostile foes. He was once at the forefront of Vanguard’s offensive against the Rikti but now his role is primarily to help new members of Vanguard acclimate to the organization…and each other. He is the living embodiment of one who embraced the mental aspects of martial arts and merged them in perfect harmony with the physical.
He was once a member of a super-group that boasted another martial arts expert called Spirit Phoenix. Spirit Phoenix had tapped into the spirit plane through meditation and was able to call forth mystical animals to help him fight evil. Sadly, Spirit Phoenix fell in battle, giving his life permanently to close a mystical rift that had been opened by the Circle of Thorns. After saying goodbye, all his animal spirit friends prepared to return permanently to their home, well almost all. One of them had a different idea. The mischievous monkey spirit who had always loved Serpent Drummer, which of course didn’t prevent the rascal from tormenting him, believed that the animals should carry on fighting the good fight using Serpent Drummer as a conduit. The others agreed and now in times of great need, or in the case of the monkey…great fun, these powerful spirit animals will come to his aid.
Trivia note: Serpent Drummer was a table top RPG character created by a good friend of Posi and me. The character Spirit Phoenix was the creation of another friend of ours for that same campaign.
Have the Vanguard been related to actual Xenophobic actions other than their billboards? Have the Vanguard made any public statements to justify their propaganda or to dismiss the word about their racist orientation? Can they really be considered xenophobic after they are even working with the Traditionalists in recent years to stop the war?
At the time the Vanguard billboards were originally placed, we were in the midst of an extremely bloody war with the Rikti. Humanity was fighting for survival and the enemies were invaders. Although the imminent threat of eradication was halted by the actions of Hero 1 and the rest of Omega Team, the Rikti are a clear and present danger even today.
Just like any such issue, this one has generated a great deal of controversy. There are many who question the ethics of the billboards, but so far the ongoing battles with the Rikti have quelled any reversals.
Just like any organization, Vanguard is made up of individuals. There are those that believe there is a great risk in becoming too soft on the subject of Extraterrestrials. Many of these hawkish members, but certainly not all, are among the “villains” who have been taken into the Vanguard fold. (The issue of Vanguard’s recruiting guidelines is another cause for disagreement among politicos) There are also those who feel it ‘s time for more actions like working with the Traditionalist Rikti and be accepting of Kheldians and other friendly alien races. Vanguard’s public position has consistently been “to remain ever vigilant in the face of an ongoing threat to our world”.
There are powerful supporters on both sides of this topic and it’s difficult to say when this complex issue will come to a complete and satisfactory resolution, but there is hope that a combination of diplomacy and unflagging defense of our world will result in a lasting peace.
Can we have more details about Maria Jenkins aka Madame Danger and her connection to Statesman?
Madame Danger was not Statesman’s sidekick but she was his closest friend for many years in part *because* she was in no way involved with the Freedom Phalanx and for the most part stayed out of the public eye. Since she was not involved in Statesman’s day to day adventures…and misadventures…she was able to provide a different perspective.
She and Statesman worked several cases together when their investigations crossed paths. Although he always considered her an equal partner in these matters, Statesman often got the lion’s share of the acclaim at her request. Remaining relatively obscure was the primary reason Maria was able to retire Madame Danger so easily. Statesman always respected her desire for privacy and as a side effect it afforded him a place to talk things over with someone he trusted out of the spotlight.
How is the mantle of Hero 1 passed on and how is the wielder of Excalibur decided? Can you tie up the history of the Excalibur wielding Hero X's and how Ms. Liberty got into the mix?
The key to the mantle of Hero 1 is blood. All those who bear this legacy are descended from the same bloodline and can trace their ancestry to the ancient fae of England. The fae were charged long ago to keep Excalibur safe and who better than one of their greatest champions to be given that responsibility.
In the most recent case, Hero 1 is the son of Hero One although his path to assuming the mantle was a rocky one. The current Hero 1 didn’t initially want the responsibility that comes with being a super-powered hero but events transpired that changed his mind…and his destiny. The death of his father landed the title of Hero 1 and custodianship of Excalibur squarely in his lap. The transition from a rough and tumble bloke living in London to the single most influential hero of the Rikti War was long and difficult, but in the end Hero 1 proved to be one of the greatest heroes to ever live.
Hero 1 knew well it was unlikely he would return from Omega Force’s mission and so he chose Miss Liberty to watch over Excalibur for him. There were many among the fae who strenuously objected to this, but Hero 1 stared them down with his well documented resolve. No one has ever received a straight answer from him why he chose Miss Liberty, but those who fought by her side believe it was her unflagging desire to do the right thing. With Hero 1 tainted by the Rikti and the sword passing to Miss Liberty’s hot-headed daughter, Ms. Liberty…the controversy among the fae has arisen once again but for the moment they seem to be content to let it reside with her. (As was evidenced in Issue 20 of the comic)
What happened to the Greek gods in the CoH lore? Were they real beings of supernatural power or people who were lucky enough to find the well and gain powers and were immortal for a few centuries until they just faded away? And if that be the case does that mean Statesman's power is temporary as well?
In the CoH universe the gods of the Greek and other pantheons are real beings of great power. In ancient times they took a much more active role in mortal affairs until their actions and conflicts threatened to destroy the world itself. Pacts were made, oaths were given, and accords were reached. Statesman and other Incarnates are one representation of these agreements and serve as the avatars of the gods. Their powers are not temporary and in most cases are no longer even directly dependent on the gods themselves. Although what would happen to something like Statesman’s “Lightning of Zeus” power if Zeus were to somehow be eliminated thankfully remains an unanswered question.
Most of the gods agreed to operate through chosen champions instead of manifesting directly.
Of course some of the gods are unwilling to be bound by any such agreements and threaten this delicate balance. Even some mortals refuse to abide by the ancient covenants as is in evidence with the servants of the Banished Pantheon.