Reborn Recap for 2020

Just some bullets of “big picture” concepts in play since everyone is starting to dive back in. Here’s some of mine:

  • Post White Cell, Diamond is starting to become more of a Corporate Oligarchy as Zion’s personality cult has grown. The megacorp has converted parts of Tasnicaport’s harbor district into Diamond Burrough, a corporate theme park for its transdimensional employees. It also has a massive space yacht, Lycidas, that serves as Zion’s home and a floating Diamond HQ.
  • The Space Race begins! It is a promotional competition for the Grand Army and several corporate sponsors (spearheaded by Damond), which is open to anyone and everyone to compete (as per Kupopolis tradition). It does complete successfully with a set of winners, though their identities not been revealed at this time of this post. (Let’s find that out, yeah?!)
  • An unknown company seems to be working on space gate technology near an asteroid colony in Alter Mana (I think that’s a place, right??).

Here is what I have!

  • The Esper Union has become a bureaucratic morass, with a problem where people who had magitech infusions started having children with natural-born magic, called the Imbued. They have ended up becoming a de facto magocracy, but also are stuck in a pretty corrupt rut. They have tense relations with a freshly independent Doma and the communist Greater People’s Republic of Tzen, which is a state set up by the Scandians before they left. Hilariously: probably the Web’s premier communist power.
  • Alice Halberg’s daughter, Teddy, has gotten two Phoenix Knights, named Lera Casterian and Caldus Agaro, to tag along for the space race and a secret auction held by Owzer. His reasons for this have not been revealed. Lera is secretly a half-Esper, as seen in City of Heroes. Caldus is the titular King of Figaro, but doesn’t claim the title (and Figaro remains in the EU).
  • There are Esperian terrorists who want to see the EU conquer both Doma and the GPRT. There are three cells; one that will factor in prominently is led by Poltergeist. The others, of course, are led by Doom and Goddess. I believe Trav claimed one of those.

So, in the past I posted lengthier notes, and they’re frankly a bit of a mess, so I’m going to give a “bird’s eye view” as I sort out what’s important.

Still exists, we decided, House of Lords and Alliance Congress still exist. The Grand Army itself is a shell of its former self, though. (We did talk about having this “space rangers” group potentially running around…remember?)
No one is Generalissimo now, though various prominent characters and military figures are on the Soldierly Council.

Tasnica Republic
So during the White Cell War, the Tasnicans mass-produced a robot army (the Janissaries, because I’m not subtle), and also technology as as cybernetic replacements and cloning became more common and developed as they desperately tried to find a way to win the war against an overpowering opponents. Although these technologies existed in Tasnica in the Proper Era, they’ve now gone mainstream. So Tasnica is now even more cyberpunk.

Oh, and the robot army was issues “Emancipation Protocols” after the war. So there are a bunch of combat droids running around with PTSD. And Tasnica’s pre-existing robot population (who were not part of the robo army, and probably fought as free ctiizens) is probably a bit nervous at how quickly mechanical life was devalued when the chips were down. The organics think that that was totally a long time ago, and they never enslaved any robots, so why don’t you just get over it, man? Can’t we all just get along?

The other big change is that Tasnica lost a number of countries form its empire. White Cell had promised places like Carrion and Ticondera independence, Kenny cuts a deal with a bunch of them to side with Tasnica now in return for a vote on independence later after the war. Most places vote to leave the Republic.

Former Tasnican Possession Roll Call!
Space Colonies - Inside Mana, mostly corporate-owned these days. Outside Mana: smuggler havens, pirate ports, and other lawless hives of scum and villainy, using Tasnica as a “flag of convenience” to keep anyone from doing anything else about it.
Carrion - Independent, as the Federal Kingdom of Carrion.
Tasnican Moogle States - Free, as the Principality of Kudel.
Veldt - Overrun by horrifying Rinsterical monsters. Technically they haven’t voted on the matter of independence.
Winlan and Prima - So the Tasnicans some gerrymandering chicanery here by making their Dragon Dimension possessions vote together, and “Remain” narrowly prevails, largely because the rest of the Dragon Dimension has REALLY gone to hell.
Tasnican-Ticonderan Territories - This is a bit messy, because during the White Cell War the mercenaries Tasnica was using to secure the area turn out to be all White Cell and it becomes a major stronghold for them. There’s considerable fighting in Ticondera between White Cell and FTSR/Scandian forces. It’s possible the Abdilene area emerges as an independent, democratic Ticonderan state, but it’s possible that it gets carved up by the other Ticonderan Successor States. (…depending on whatever happens in Ticondera…)

BUT - Tasnica did survive the war with its essential democratic institutions intact. And they remain in their traditional role as the Web’s moneymen, though the somewhat more complicated political situation in the Web means they are not the Great Power they once were. They have a much more low-key approach on the Web stage, now; and domestically the slogan is very much “a return to normalcy.”

Corporations Go On
All your favorite #brands are here! #KuatIsYourFriend #TrustKuat #WeStanLofwyr.

I kind of want to do something with Kakkara, and although I have a longer write-up I need to revise, the key points are (1) It’s a great vacation spot and (2) Kakkaran mercenaries are now A Thing, sort of like the Swiss Guard.

Eblan suffered mightily as the first major battle of the White Cell War, but the country has risen phoenix-like under the leadership of its new King and Queen to prosper economically and culturally. There is still significant debate over the role the country should play in the politics of Crystal (and the Web.)

Dragon Dimension
Gods, this place has gone to hell.
So, if you recall, the White Cell War ends with the climactic battle of Dragonspace as the combined space fleets of the Web try to prevent SAGA from nuking the whole planet from orbit. They didn’t save everything.

Travin Rumanski is dead. The Scandian League is in tatters as various warlords and party higher-ups fight for scraps.

Though there are countless smaller petty warlords the important players in the dimension are the Aradia Sultanate, the United Clans (meaning Forest Clan, they’re like a werewolf biker gang), and remnants of the Scandian League. Bleak is basically a free city run by the Vory y Zakone criminal group. Actually, I’m thinking the Vory may be much more prominent in the Web’s underworld in Reborn-era, mirroring the rise of the Russian mafia after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The Scandian League itself is run by a shadowy, secretive group called the Presidium. They’re planning to resurrect the Dark Goddess, Tyr, not because they are worshippers, but because they believe they can use the power of the goddess to Make Scande Great Again.

Characters - Where are they now?
Rhodes Palmerston - is dead. PROBABLY he died before the White Cell War started, or in the middle of desperate, last minute peace negotiations.

Travin Rumanski - dead. Nuked alive in his bunker.

Celiose Cole - History records that Celiose Cole died as he lives: saving the Web. In the climactic battle, he sneaks on board the Executor and initiates the self-destruct of the monstrous ship.

Torstensson Lenart, Model Steinmetz, Rimmel Coward, most other “old breed” GA generals - All dead. This was a GA Civil War, after all.

Kenny Brackhaven - After reading the above names…I don’t think I have the heart to kill Kenny. After making a bunch of incredibly difficult and controversial decisions in the war to save the Republic, he resigns. Leave him alone. He just wants to go fishing in peace.

Damien Gavalian - Alive, still Kuat CEO, still has a ton of money. It’s good to be the King. (Isn’t it funny how tremendous wealth and privilege allow you to weather world-changing events without major consequences?)

Halder Skalice - Serving in the new GA Soldierly Council, though he was sort of “kicked upstairs” by the Presidium to avoid meddling in Scandian affairs. (Like, he probably would not be down with resurrecting Tyr.)

Sheila Sporr - Working as a mercenary, probably joined by other mecha aces as part of a unit. But not…

Jendon Fel - Still loyal to the Scandian League.

Praxer Riose - Decent people shouldn’t think too much about that.

The City of Heroes Cast!?
So, it’s important to remember that City of Heroes is a “Proper-era” story, and takes place about ten years before Reborn. At this time, I don’t want to spoil or restrict future CoH developments by having these characters appear in the Reborn era, unless I have a great idea or good reason to do so. In fact, City of Heroes partly exists because I wanted to do “spunky young heroine” Fara Somers instead of “wise warrior” Fara Somers.
However, their exploits have inspired a new crop of heroes.
It’s also why CoH is with set more-or-less in Kupopolis “as it was”, with Great Powers, a big Grand Army, a not-dead Celiose, etc.

Oh, duh, Hannibal…

Hannibal is presumed dead, since he led the Malakim, the GA’s elite Seraphim unit, which defected en masse to White Cell. They were mostly wiped out during the Battle of Dragonspace, basically overwhelmed by spacefaring Dracoforms and massed units of space-type KN-series. That said, they only found his Seraphim’s broken form, with its cockpit opened…

Maybe he should have been the one to nuke Travin? His Seraphim had a massive Gigamerton cannon, and could have done the trick.

Well, I originally imagined Erdeny and Travin exchanging harsh words before Erdeny rains down hell from orbit, but…you know…I kind of like the idea that Hannibal is the one to kill Travin…especially if Travin knows who did it.

Death at the hands of Erdeny confers upon Travin an almost heroic status that he frankly doesn’t deserve, but dying at the hands of Hannibal reminds us that Travin has perpetrated a cycle of hatred that has brought the Web to this very moment, and for all his efforts to defeat White Cell he is very much to blame for the conflict.

Yeah, and I like it because it shows that Hannibal, for all that he grew into a person trying to defend the Web and overcome his past hangups, desire for power, and anger at the loss of his family… well, he never really shed all of that either. So he absolutely tells Travin who’s murdering him, probably even as his robot is getting shot to shit.

Probably with a “From hell’s heart, I stab at thee!” type of speech.

Yeah. I mean, I even imagine it as something Erdeny has over him at the end.

“The war has turned against us. Why shouldn’t I just turn you over to Celiose now?”
“With me, you get to kill Travin.”

Worth pointing out that Alter-Mana is one of the two worlds in the Alter Dimension that natively supports life (the other, of course, being Alter Dragon), so it’s probably more accurate to say “on an asteroid colony in Alter” (or, alternatively, Alterspace).
Also I’m not sure any asteroids have explicitly been colonized, but maybe that’s a thing that the unknown company has done?

Yeah, the story is going to progress to be about a class war of nimby tasnican expats vs alter mana natives on this new asteroid colony. By alter mana I meant the dimension? Little foggy on how alter works so I was leaving it vauge

Alter-Mana is a world within the Alter Dimension.

I know I must have posted this elsewhere… but Reborn changes from my neck of the Web have mostly to do with Unravelling…

The Kingdom of Guardia
The Kingdom is in a decent place post-White Cell. Just before White Cell happened, we had the Guardian Civil War, which was the culmination of all of the Proper era “plans” (because in Kupopolis, there are always “plans”). Both Porre and Chorras are now independent, but GATO has been re-formed and re-imagined as a treaty organization specifically for the nations of the Gate Dimension – ostensibly a new take on dimensional unity (cf. Esper Union) that decentralizes power and affords its member states more autonomy. But basically, Derik comes in toward the end of the civil war and he says something to the effect of “Guys, look, let’s just stop the war. Being a Great Power isn’t as important as ensuring that peace returns to this world, so let’s hold peace talks and seriously start laying out the process of having you guys secede from the Kingdom. Besdies it’s not like we have anything to worry about since the Grand Army will never, ever betray us.”

The Merge League
I know that Travis and I decided that Alkar probably sides with White Cell, but I haven’t really thought through what the consequences of this could be. A diminished Merge League? Some kind of half-assed escape hatch that helps the League avoid reprisals? Right now this is an open question, but one interesting facet is that it pits Alkar against Travin, so maybe that’s a Thing.

So, I had been writing an arc on the Proper boards before they went down, years ago, that was building up a climactic battle to decide the fate of Alter-Mana going forward. It essentially split the six Seiken Densetsu 3 protagonists’ home nations down the middle, into two rival camps: on one side was the Forthenan Dominion (Forthena, Altena and the Beast Kingdom), on the other the naiscent Holy Mana Empire (Naba’al, Laurent and Wendel).
The Forthenan Dominion– A union of Forthena, Altena and the Beast Kingdom. All three nations have new leadership, with the old SD3 protagonists having been either killed or thrown into a magically-induced sleep due to having SCPD (sudden cardiac Padmé disorder). The leader of the Dominion is Irzoile Ricrot, officially King of Forthena, and Alter-Mana’s Mana Knight.
The “Holy Mana Empire”– In response to the rise of Irzoile’s Forthena (and the deaths of Duran and Kevin), Hawkeye Navarre, the Great Khan of Naba’al, forms an alliance with Laurent. (which is super easy, barely an inconvenience, since Hawkeye is sleeping with Laurent’s Queen Reisz) They understand that Irzoile’s next move is to occupy the Holy City of Wendel and lay claim to a divine right to be king of the entire planet due to his status as wielder of his world’s Mana Sword, so they move to take Wendel first and protect Bishop Charlotte (who was Alter-Mana’s pope, I guess). To head off Irzoile, they have Charlotte crown Hawkeye as Holy Mana Emperor… which would have lead to the Battle of Wendel.
The Battle of Wendel– Didn’t get this far in Proper, but my intention here was for this to be an inflection point in the timeline. In the Neo timeline, Hawkeye’s side wins, the Dominion is crushed, and Alter-Mana is ruled from Naba’al as the Holy Mana Empire. (… which eventually is obliterated 100 years later as Alter-Mana is rendered uninhabitable by the Triad’s orbital bombardment) BUT… in my Proper timeline (which I guess is now the Reborn timeline), Irzoile wins, Hawkeye’s force is routed, the Dominion occupies the Holy City, and Naba’al and Laurent put up a flagging resistance for a bit before being eventually stamped out.
White Cell– Of course all of this happens pre-White Cell. I don’t imagine the Dominion is a big player in White Cell; they likely resist initially but are then pacified. Forthena, especially, has a history of defiance in the face of oppression from the Core, so maybe there are pockets of resistance. Maybe Irzoile himself is moved to use his Mana Knight abilities to resist. It remains an open question.
In the end, the Dominion persists into the Reborn era. The Dominion remains on decent terms with GATO, and is likely pretty chummy with the Alter-Dragonian Combine.

The Eastern continent of Alter-Dragon is, by this point, unified under the Alter-Dragonian Combine; a quasi-fascist authoritarian state that comprises Highfort, Simafort (after the coup that deposes Empereur Tadpoleon), Guntz and the Priman Merchants Guild. The Combine boasts twin capitals in Capitan and Coursair.
The story here is similar to the one told on Alter-Mana during White Cell: initial resistance to White Cell is followed up by pacification, followed by enthusiastic collaboration. The Combine make themselves worthy compatriots for White Cell, setting up the following Plot Point That Must Happen (and hopefully this will eventually appear in a White Cell post):

  1. The GSF musters several of its fleets in Alterspace to help push White Cell out of the Dimension. In Thames’ formulation of the war, the Battle of Alterspace is intended to be a turning point toward breaking free of SAGA’s stranglehold on Webspace.
  2. Disaster! One of the Fleet Admirals turns out to be a traitor, has seized control of his fleet and has started firing on the GSF ships from within!
  3. During the battle, Admiral Max Gordon’s ship is destroyed, and all hands presumed slain.
  4. The traitorous Admiral, meanwhile, breaks from the GSF formation to join ranks with SAGA, and the remnants of GSF end up retreating from Alterspace. Thames (who was not there) is Not Amused, and realizes that he must now join up with the GSF’s main attack force to roam the Web as a 4-man gank squad for the rest of the game.
  5. MEANWHILE, Admiral Gordon’s escape pod crashes down on Alter-Dragon. There, White Cell has assets on the ground in the form of the Combine military, but they are opposed by resistance elements in Windia (and deposed Empereur Tadpoleon’s rag-tag band of rebels). The Windians learn of the defeat of GSF, and how Admiral Gordon – who was in command of the forces at the Battle of Alterspace, and was meant to be Alter’s savior – was shot down and destroyed.
  6. Word comes to Windia that a GSF escape pod has been recovered… and then, one of the Windian generals says, in his best Brian Blessed: “GORDON’S ALIVE???”

While the Combine and the PMG were initially cast by Nick as quasi-villainous, I’d think that they’d be too pragmatic to stick with White Cell once momentum begins to turn against them… and this may be the Combine’s saving grace: the Primans’ survival instinct outweighs any loyalty they may have to Erdeny’s enterprise.


  • Derik is King of Guardia. He was dead for a bit during the Guardian Civil War, but he got better.
  • The Royal Family of Guardia is big, and confusing. There’s Derik, his two surviving children (who spent their formative years in the End of Time learning from the Gurus and are a little age-accelerated ahead of their actual ages), his father-from-a-parallel-timeline, his parallel-universe sister (who is actually sort of his “twin” since she was partly cloned from parallel-timeline-Derik’s dead fetus), and his Arythian bastard. Post White Cell, there is going to be a big Guardian Succession Crisis after Derik, Doan and Elayne Crant’za team up to save the timeline and leave Guardia’s throne unexpectedly empty for a bit!
  • Alexander Crant’za’s theme song is Iron Maiden’s “Alexander the Great.” I have a series of posts planned where he rebuilds the Glory Tower and becomes a Big Deal in Aryth. Then he shows up in Guardia and is like “Hey looks like I’m a potential male heir to the throne because that guy was my dad.”
  • Grand Admiral Thames remains the Grand Admiral of GSF. Possibly he’s also been tapped to join the Soldierly Council, but I don’t recall. He definitely came out of the White Cell war as one of its heroes; though GSF was smaller than SAGA, and got its clock cleaned in Alterspace, once Thames assumed direct command the fleet was able to outmaneuver Velasco at every engagement. Until Dragonspace, the victories were small and of little consequence; but Thames bested SAGA here, and it was the One Big Victory he was looking for to really turn the tide against White Cell. (feather in his cap: he destroys the Executor)
  • Manta shows up during White Cell, though he ends up fighting against White Cell. While you’d think that he’d be down for a good scrap as long as White Cell pays his tab, turns out he’s a big proponent of the status quo (“Shouldn’t the Grand Army be stopping all these wars that keep happening?” “FUCK NO, I got to get paid, bitch!”). Probably as a result of his defiance against White Cell, some harsh reprisals fall upon the poor nation of Tunlan.

OH I also did

…which Tex may want to make some changes to, though I had mostly CoH/Proper era Damcyan in mind and assumed it would largely be true for Reborn.

The Esperians did that! Sorta. They took an asteroid that’d been heavily mined out, widened the tunnels and made some chambers, and made it into the main base for the Sky Riders, Space Fortress Eidolon.

Which is totally just A Baoa Qu from Gundam.

I love this. Also, I love the idea that Neo is a separate timeline and there are clear inflection points where they diverged.

Also, I… haven’t given a ton of thought about Crystal? I think they were moving towards making the UCS in the wake of White Cell and probably a better place to live than the Esper Union, which has gone to hell.

Asteroid colonies were definitely A Thing (inaugural megapost Quiet Mining Colony was set on one!), but I don’t know if Alter’s asteroids specifically were colonized.

And dipping into White Cell – since White Cell has most of SAGA, it’s in a very strong position in the Fringe, and I could see them approaching the various Alter and Merge leaders offering redress of grievances in return for their support. Forthena, for example, could see White Cell either as just another Core oppressor, or the means they need to finally get the Core to leave them alone. White Cell probably gains quite a bit of support from any country that feels like it’s a “loser” in the old Web order.

…I mean, it would have been great if 2006-7 me would’ve teased this by showing shadowy figures meeting with all of these people, but doing the “secret conspiracy” thing I always ended up not showing enough.

IIRC, we had discussed Thames being on the new Soldierly Council.

Crystal’s in a weird spot, because I feel like we have all these plans for it but we’re hazy on when they happen. Like Rast is supposed to go liberate Baron at some point, IIRC, and we kind of wanted to do an RPG of it.

…oh BTWs I kind of want to change the leader of Fabul, even though it can functionally be the same, just because write the leader is Tzu Mao, and writing anything about “Chairman Mao” is sure to get in trouble, lol. (i think I did a quick wiki on Fabul, too, just so I could have some cities down…one of my long-term goals is “Fabulian character who is not a criminal or fascist jerkface”).

Oh, yeah. And Fabul was a fascist power, and I mean… modern day and age, I’d rather avoid “fascism can be okay!” That was a 2001 Tex thing, not a 2020 Tex thing. I figure Fabul could have been flattened and ended up having its monarchy come back, or just… you know. Some kind of regime change?

And yeah, I agree. I am inclined to say those changes happened? Rast liberated Baron, Toria’s got a nascent set-up for the United Crystal States together. Maybe more of a mutual defensive pact, modeled on GATO?

But they have Gaugals.

So, because I can’t sleep, here’s a few extra White Cell things and a suggestion for Crystal.

One of my thoughts about White Cell is that they would have a laundry list of supporters who were former enemies of the GA, a sort of “greatest hits” deal.

-NUMBFH in Pandora represents the New Wraith, who originally brought him to power, and he sides with White Cell, providing a staging area for their assault on Tasnica and lending them his army of Balseraph, the techno-organic “fallen Seraphim” (as well as a bunch of poorly armed, poorly-led conscripts.) Post-White Cell Pandora is in “Regency Council”, as they try to decide the future of the nation absent a clear heir.

-Representing the Omnisent arc, White Cell has magical support from Aryth and an army of Tanes, all of whom grew up hearing about how Celiose nuked their forebears. They are led by none other than Elayne Crant’za herself.

-Foo is now White Cell’s Infinite Resources Bitch. (It’s destroyed at some point during the war. Praxer shows up with Typhon.)

-As I said above, the Tasnican-Ticonderan Territories side with White Cell, representing the KMT War along with Foo.

-Also…they have Hivans. Not actually controlled or tamed Hivans, but sort of like “we have bunch of them in a cage and can point them in someone’s general direction” thing.

So maybe the Hivans could be unleashed on Crystal, which could be a catalyst for this reordering? IIRC, Crystal was a major front in the Hivan War so it kind of makes sense…and there’s no point in giving the Torians Gaugals if they don’t get to use them on something…

BUT…as a plot element…I kind of like jerkface Fabul, and how Damcyan has that East.West Germany thing going on.

I like that! We could maybe say, uh…

The Torians made their Gaugals, and there’s a Torian-Baron alliance, with Fabul and Damcyan as members. Damcyan is still divided; southern Damcyan wants the north back, but Fabul wants it to stay independent, and maybe has a new military dictatorship in the wake of White Cell and heavy losses to the unleashed Hivans.

So the nascent UCS has pretty confused relations, suffice to say. Baron and Toria want to try to make it more unified and into a European Union type thing, but Fabul and Damcyan are kind of nipping at the bud to go to war and resolve the situation in northern Damcyan… and Toria is awkwardly tied down in northern Damcyan, too, having put a lot of infrastructure there during the occupation.

I mean to ask! Does this dude have (basically) the same powers as Fara?

I’m going to defer to Matt on Irzoile specifically, but my read on the Mana Sword/Mana Knights is that though the basic powers are similar, different wielders will express and use those powers in a different way.

So, for example, CoH Season 1 Fara favors using elemental powers like flaming swords and freezing enemies, because it’s a pretty direct, straightforward application, which mirrors her thinking. The Neo Mana Knight was able to project force beams out of the Sword (like Link in Zelda with full hearts!), which Fara is not able to do. (partly for “game balance”, partly because Fara is defined as a melee monster.)

I do consider cutting strands of mana to defend against magic a “core power” though, that almost all Mana Knights would have.

…of course, this is somewhat different form how it was shown in-game; at a minimum you’re having the Mana Knight self-cast “Saber” spells on themselves. And at one point I did think Fara should get spellcasting sidekicks (one offensive-focused, one defensive focused), but given how her supporting cast has evolved it now seems kind of unnecessary.

That makes a lot of sense! It makes me wonder if, like, you had a Mana Knight who wasn’t martially inclined if they’d end up with a really out there powerset.