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Malva Awakened

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At the conclusion of the final story arc of my Champions campaign before it went on hiatus for a while, the PC team traveled to Malva in order to try and win the freedom of Terran superhumans taken there for the gladiatorial games. They succeeded in their efforts, managing to defeat the Phazor's previously-undefeated champion, Firewing. (In my campaign, Firewing never came to Earth and was still a gladiator at this time, so this was his very first meeting with Terrans.)

 

Towards the end of the story arc, the mage of the team discovered the ancient curse that was laid on the Malvans by the Elder Worm. While normally lacking the power to undo such a thing by himself, special circumstances boosted his spell and the curse was lifted.

 

Malva is now awakened. So, now what?

 

Since it took thousands of years for the Malvans to gradually slip into their hedonistic state, my thinking is that it could take them quite a while to fully rouse from it. For now, only a few individuals are beginning to awaken.

 

How might an awakened Malva affect the galaxy?

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Looking at those official Malvans who had already become more motivated, such as Firewing, Athulos Starheart, Tateklys, Telxaxares, we can see a wide range of motivations and activities. It's quite possible that such a gradual "awakening" might merely introduce an increasing number of random, chaotic wild cards into the galaxy.

 

OTOH Durzan Malakim raises a far scarier prospect. Once the Malvans realize what the Elder Worm did to them, some of them may be of a mind to continue their genocidal vengeance against the species. Not only do humans possess Worm DNA; the last supreme ruler of the Elder Worm, the Slug, is alive on Earth.Considering that one front-line Malvan warship can devastate an entire fleet of less-advanced ships, and purge whole worlds of life, it wouldn't take many vengeful Malvans to pose a deadly threat to Earth.

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

Looking at those official Malvans who had already become more motivated, such as Firewing, Athulos Starheart, Tateklys, Telxaxares, we can see a wide range of motivations and activities. It's quite possible that such a gradual "awakening" might merely introduce an increasing number of random, chaotic wild cards into the galaxy.

 

OTOH Durzan Malakim raises a far scarier prospect. Once the Malvans realize what the Elder Worm did to them, some of them may be of a mind to continue their genocidal vengeance against the species. Not only do humans possess Worm DNA; the last supreme ruler of the Elder Worm, the Slug, is alive on Earth.Considering that one front-line Malvan warship can devastate an entire fleet of less-advanced ships, and purge whole worlds of life, it wouldn't take many vengeful Malvans to pose a deadly threat to Earth.

 

In my campaign, one of the side effects caused by this taint of Elder Worm DNA in humanity is that it has enabled the appearance of superhumans.

 

One of my thoughts was to have a more benevolent Malvan show up who chooses an alternative to genocide, instead doing a mass purge of humanity's DNA, erasing every last trace of the Elder Worm in mankind. Since Malvan technology can do most anything, such a cleansing seems possible.

 

Mass depowerment would be a possible outcome, I suppose.

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4 hours ago, Durzan Malakim said:

I could see a newly awakened Malvan wanting to tour the lost empire to remind themselves of earlier days. Or perhaps they would want to see for themselves these strange Terrans who bear traces of the Elder Worm and yet ended their curse. 

 

That could trigger the rush to build a whole new tourism industry!

 

And people complain about the "ugly American" tourists....

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Another consideration would be, what happens to existing factions on Malva who have long been sidelined due to general lack of interest in what they stand for? For example, let's take the followers of Ralathurion, the ancient Malvan fire-religion which maintains the Furnace of the First Ones in their Grand Temple, and reveres Firewing as a divine avatar. Might larger numbers of Malvans turn to religion to find purpose in their lives? Perhaps try to overthrow the Phazor and establish a fundamentalist theocracy, maybe with Firewing as their leader (or figurehead)? Even start a galactic jihad?

 

And what role might the Wisdom Stones play? With more Malvans desiring to do something positive, perhaps the Stones would consider the race worthy of their attention and involvement again, and recruit agents to carry out missions for some larger purpose. One that might involve Earth.

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18 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Another consideration would be, what happens to existing factions on Malva who have long been sidelined due to general lack of interest in what they stand for? For example, let's take the followers of Ralathurion, the ancient Malvan fire-religion which maintains the Furnace of the First Ones in their Grand Temple, and reveres Firewing as a divine avatar. Might larger numbers of Malvans turn to religion to find purpose in their lives? Perhaps try to overthrow the Phazor and establish a fundamentalist theocracy, maybe with Firewing as their leader (or figurehead)? Even start a galactic jihad?

 

And what role might the Wisdom Stones play? With more Malvans desiring to do something positive, perhaps the Stones would consider the race worthy of their attention and involvement again, and recruit agents to carry out missions for some larger purpose. One that might involve Earth.

 

A Malvan Jihad would certainly shake up the galaxy, once it got going. It's probably not something that would immediately occur, but I could see it happening in a few hundred years, once a critical mass of Malvans awakens from their hedonism and decides to change their standing in the galaxy. Finishing off the last remnants of the Elder Worm would probably be at the top of their list, which might be an act encouraged by the Wisdom Stones.

 

I could actually see the Malvans evolving into something more like Marvel's Kree or maybe the Shi'ar once their awakening expands far enough in their culture. They don't necessarily have to be imperialistic and expansionistic though.

 

Having Malva start taking more of an interest in the galaxy could bring them into an alliance with the Star*Guard, which would definitely shake things up.

 

A religious Malvan culture replacing their current hedonistic existence could evolve their culture into something like Star Trek's Bajorans, only with far higher technology.

 

If the Phazor is one of the first among the awakened, which I'm currently leaning towards him being, he could do something like what happened in Rome with the spread of Christianity and use the Ralathurions for his own purposes, not necessarily nefarious ones.

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3 hours ago, Hermit said:

If the Malvans are aware humans aided them against a curse? Oh boy

Imagine the form the "Thanks" might take? Even if that's only from a few Malvans? We're talking a species that terraforms for a hobby.

 

It's one of the things I'm considering including in a follow-up campaign.

 

The team basically disintegrated when the campaign came to a conclusion after almost three years of real time spent playing, the team's leader joining the cabinet of President Sutherland (Invictus) and the rest riding off into the sunset (one player even leaving for another state IRL).

 

When I start it up again, it will be a new team and possibly a new city, although I still have much I think I could do with Millenium City, depending on the direction I decide to take things.

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8 minutes ago, Steve said:

When I start it up again, it will be a new team and possibly a new city, although I still have much I think I could do with Millenium City, depending on the direction I decide to take things.

 

I look forward to NPC me (Valiant) having to talk to PC me (whoever I play). So far the gold standard of talking to yourself goes to our time-traveling mage Hexen who had to talk to his younger self. It's a high-bar.

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31 minutes ago, Durzan Malakim said:

 

I look forward to NPC me (Valiant) having to talk to PC me (whoever I play). So far the gold standard of talking to yourself goes to our time-traveling mage Hexen who had to talk to his younger self. It's a high-bar.

 

Yes, because he was nearly a century old in the present day, he even did it in a couple of different time periods in the past, as I recall.

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On 2/15/2019 at 7:08 PM, Steve said:

 

It's one of the things I'm considering including in a follow-up campaign.

 

The team basically disintegrated when the campaign came to a conclusion after almost three years of real time spent playing, the team's leader joining the cabinet of President Sutherland (Invictus) and the rest riding off into the sunset (one player even leaving for another state IRL).

 

When I start it up again, it will be a new team and possibly a new city, although I still have much I think I could do with Millenium City, depending on the direction I decide to take things.

 

Oh, now if players aren't against a unified origin, I can easily see one step of Malvan influence being in what they do best, enjoying spectacle...and expanding it further by empowering a smattering of humans but also making them unknown living cameras (To use a crude term) who can be watched and observed at any time, but especially when they battle.

All it takes is one Malvan with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, a rivalry with that fellow on the moon, and a 'let's genetically alter humans tech kit' and you can have say a dozen (or two) humans with new powers and maybe whole new bodies ,and some of them would be the PCs.  Heck, one of the PCs could even be a somewhat sympathetic Malvan (as sympathetic as they get) coming to warn the humans what's been done to them because he thinks it violates the spirit of the arena to have them fighting outside of it or not knowing they are being treated properly as gladiators etc so he will help them.

 

Or keep it a mystery and each PC is confused on what happened whatever works.

 

As Malvans love the exotic, it could be quite the team of 'beautiful freaks' to use the term with odd skin or hair, extra limbs ,etc.Or maybe whatever patron is behind this will insist they remain VERY human looking thank you..that's the point, or a mix. Whatever actually suits the players best.

Why you'd even have an excuse for new Psychological complications/disadvantages 'imprinted' by the Malvans to encourage a better show.

A shy young woman with social anxiety remembers two muggers coming for her, a flash of light, and now she's a veritable superstrong lavender skinned amazon with the pscyh lim "overconfidence" or "show off"- That should help her provide a better show.

A soon to retire 60 year old librarian who likes peace and quiet finds himself walking through a door in the library that was never there before, then returned as a very fit age 25 but now with energyblasts, wings and a new Psych Lim "Enjoys a good fight!" implanted.

A wheel chair bound cop, now behind a desk , drinks some odd tasting coffee, and discovers her legs work again, she can also change size at will... but that new psych Lim/complication "Maverick" means its' hard to follow the rules.

And so on.

Meanwhile , Malvan audiences tune in, and enjoy their superpowered soap opera placing bets on which ones will be come heroes, which ones will become villains etc and eagerly make a tailgate party every time their 'earth bound gladiators' get into fights with each other or other superhumans.

 

Or maybe your players would hate that...

 

though now I wish my old f2F gaming group were available 

 

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13 hours ago, Hermit said:

 

Oh, now if players aren't against a unified origin, I can easily see one step of Malvan influence being in what they do best, enjoying spectacle...and expanding it further by empowering a smattering of humans but also making them unknown living cameras (To use a crude term) who can be watched and observed at any time, but especially when they battle.

All it takes is one Malvan with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, a rivalry with that fellow on the moon, and a 'let's genetically alter humans tech kit' and you can have say a dozen (or two) humans with new powers and maybe whole new bodies ,and some of them would be the PCs.  Heck, one of the PCs could even be a somewhat sympathetic Malvan (as sympathetic as they get) coming to warn the humans what's been done to them because he thinks it violates the spirit of the arena to have them fighting outside of it or not knowing they are being treated properly as gladiators etc so he will help them.

 

Or keep it a mystery and each PC is confused on what happened whatever works.

 

As Malvans love the exotic, it could be quite the team of 'beautiful freaks' to use the term with odd skin or hair, extra limbs ,etc.Or maybe whatever patron is behind this will insist they remain VERY human looking thank you..that's the point, or a mix. Whatever actually suits the players best.

Why you'd even have an excuse for new Psychological complications/disadvantages 'imprinted' by the Malvans to encourage a better show.

A shy young woman with social anxiety remembers two muggers coming for her, a flash of light, and now she's a veritable superstrong lavender skinned amazon with the pscyh lim "overconfidence" or "show off"- That should help her provide a better show.

A soon to retire 60 year old librarian who likes peace and quiet finds himself walking through a door in the library that was never there before, then returned as a very fit age 25 but now with energyblasts, wings and a new Psych Lim "Enjoys a good fight!" implanted.

A wheel chair bound cop, now behind a desk , drinks some odd tasting coffee, and discovers her legs work again, she can also change size at will... but that new psych Lim/complication "Maverick" means its' hard to follow the rules.

And so on.

Meanwhile , Malvan audiences tune in, and enjoy their superpowered soap opera placing bets on which ones will be come heroes, which ones will become villains etc and eagerly make a tailgate party every time their 'earth bound gladiators' get into fights with each other or other superhumans.

 

Or maybe your players would hate that...

 

though now I wish my old f2F gaming group were available 

 

 

That's an intriguing campaign idea. It's like a superhuman version of The Truman Show.

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The only thing that I can think of that could possibly be worse than the 'let's genetically alter humans tech kit' idea where

the Malvans are concerned would be if they were to conduct their version of the Proscillicus Experiment* on Earth (?)...

 

 

(*The experiment conducted by one of the Watchers in the Marvel Universe -- Uatu's father, IIRC -- in which nuclear technology

was given to a less-advanced species, which ultimately resulted in said species destroying themselves in an atomic war, and

which further resulted in the creation and adoption of the Watchers' code of absolute non-interference.)

 

 

Major Tom 2009 :dyn

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On 2/17/2019 at 6:31 AM, Hermit said:

 

Oh, now if players aren't against a unified origin, I can easily see one step of Malvan influence being in what they do best, enjoying spectacle...and expanding it further by empowering a smattering of humans but also making them unknown living cameras (To use a crude term) who can be watched and observed at any time, but especially when they battle.

All it takes is one Malvan with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, a rivalry with that fellow on the moon, and a 'let's genetically alter humans tech kit' and you can have say a dozen (or two) humans with new powers and maybe whole new bodies ,and some of them would be the PCs.  Heck, one of the PCs could even be a somewhat sympathetic Malvan (as sympathetic as they get) coming to warn the humans what's been done to them because he thinks it violates the spirit of the arena to have them fighting outside of it or not knowing they are being treated properly as gladiators etc so he will help them.

 

Or keep it a mystery and each PC is confused on what happened whatever works.

 

As Malvans love the exotic, it could be quite the team of 'beautiful freaks' to use the term with odd skin or hair, extra limbs ,etc.Or maybe whatever patron is behind this will insist they remain VERY human looking thank you..that's the point, or a mix. Whatever actually suits the players best.

Why you'd even have an excuse for new Psychological complications/disadvantages 'imprinted' by the Malvans to encourage a better show.

A shy young woman with social anxiety remembers two muggers coming for her, a flash of light, and now she's a veritable superstrong lavender skinned amazon with the pscyh lim "overconfidence" or "show off"- That should help her provide a better show.

A soon to retire 60 year old librarian who likes peace and quiet finds himself walking through a door in the library that was never there before, then returned as a very fit age 25 but now with energyblasts, wings and a new Psych Lim "Enjoys a good fight!" implanted.

A wheel chair bound cop, now behind a desk , drinks some odd tasting coffee, and discovers her legs work again, she can also change size at will... but that new psych Lim/complication "Maverick" means its' hard to follow the rules.

And so on.

Meanwhile , Malvan audiences tune in, and enjoy their superpowered soap opera placing bets on which ones will be come heroes, which ones will become villains etc and eagerly make a tailgate party every time their 'earth bound gladiators' get into fights with each other or other superhumans.

 

Or maybe your players would hate that...

 

though now I wish my old f2F gaming group were available 

 

 

In thinking about this concept further, something like Zen Team from 4th Edition might be an interesting way to pull this off. A Malvan patron provides five random youths/college students with Zen Team armor and powers, then televises their adventures across Malva as a type of reality TV show. Monsters could be provided as well for the team to fight. It would be like a superhuman form of pro wrestling, I guess.

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Nice. Of course the youths would have no idea their battles were a staged entertainment. Like Power Rangers as a deliberate hoax.

 

It could make for an interesting change in the tone of the campaign after the PCs learn the truth, if they aren't willing to "play" any more. They might have to go on the run to escape Malvan punishment.

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8 hours ago, Steve said:

 

In thinking about this concept further, something like Zen Team from 4th Edition might be an interesting way to pull this off. A Malvan patron provides five random youths/college students with Zen Team armor and powers, then televises their adventures across Malva as a type of reality TV show. Monsters could be provided as well for the team to fight. It would be like a superhuman form of pro wrestling, I guess.

 

I like it. I'm not a big power Rangers fan ,but I liked the Zen Team homage to them... and it sounds like it could lead to a lot of fun for players

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