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Lord Liaden

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  1. There are eight fictional countries on Champions Earth, three of them "banana republics" in the Americas. I'll summarize information about those three below. That information is culled primarily from Champions Universe (both the current and previous editions, since there are a few differences in what they cover), with supplementary data drawn from Champions Universe: News Of The World, Champions Worldwide, UNTIL: Defenders Of Freedom, Millennium City, Book Of The Destroyer, and DEMON: Servants Of Darkness. The entries start with what's commonly known about those countries, including what government intelligence agencies in the free world believe or suspect about them; followed by the truth of those beliefs and any deeper secrets known only to a few. These nations were originally written up for the 4E Dark Champions supplement, Justice, Not Law, and that book (available from the website store in PDF) includes more details about them. Although that book was written for an earlier continuity, and for Dark Champions, much of the info about those countries still seems applicable. To a large extent the DC countries' timeline leaves off where the newer Champions material picks up. Chiquador is a small nation on the Atlantic coast of South America, wedged between French Guiana and Brazil. It was a member of the United Nations from 1960 until 1979, when the democratically-elected government of Presidente Pablo Somohardo was overthrown in a miltary coup by General Lorenco João Garrastazu e Silva. Garrastazu made himself President For Life, installed a "cabinet" of his cronies from the army, and declared that Chiquador was resigning from the UN. In power since that time, he has conducted a military buildup that worries the other nations in the region. Garrastazu maintains a relatively massive army, particularly on his borders, and periodically threatens shipping lanes in the area, or threatens to declare war on his neighbors. As yet he has made no moves to use his army and air force, but he must have something in mind for them, given the money and attention he spends on them. A lot of observers, including many in the United States, keep a nervous eye on events in Macapa (the nation's capital). By Chiquadoran law, all native superhumans must register with and work for the government, on pain of imprisonment or execution. The only publicly-revealed superhuman actually working for the Chiquadoran government is El Grifo Rojo (“the Red Griffin”), a flying brick whom some observers say is as powerful as Charm Girl of Japan. Garrastazu is now in his mid-seventies and generally believed to be ill and mentally unstable. The CIA thinks most governmental decisions are made by his Minister of Affairs, Alejandro Subano, who may have contacts within either VIPER or ARGENT. Needless to say, UNTIL, PRIMUS, and other agencies concerned about international peace carefully monitor the "Chiquador situation." President For Life Garrastazu e Silva poses an even greater threat to the rest of South America than anyone realizes. He’s been building up his military with the aim of eventually launching wars of conquest against his neighbors, but since he knows his army is too small to compete with the likes of Brazil's on traditional terms, he's recruited teams of unscrupulous scientists to develop a crash program to create superhuman soldiers obedient to his will. His researchers haven’t had much success yet, but their latest “test case” — a crazed, superhumanly strong man whom they released in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro to go on a rampage — showed signs of promise. If they can figure out how to make the superhuman soldiers more controllable, Garrastazu can destabilize, and perhaps conquer, much of South America. And it’s doubtful his ambition would stop there. Unfortunately, Garrastazu e Silva is becoming increasingly senile, and his plans for conquest have become more outlandish. Alejandro Subano is an agent of ARGENT. President Garrastazu brought him in originally to help develop the superhuman-soldier program, but now he's wormed his way into the cabinet and Garrastazu's confidence. Through Subano, ARGENT is now running a series of experimental programs in the jungles and secluded coastlines of Chiquador, and every day brings its plans closer to fruition. Costa Azúl: An archipelago consisting of three principal islands and several smaller ones located south of Jamaica and Haiti, Costa Azúl has a well-deserved reputation as a haven for drug smuggling, money laundering, and other criminal activities. Its former long-time leader, the notorious Colonel Enrique Pineda, tried to maintain a facade of normalcy to attract tourists, but was well-known as one of the most corrupt officials in the Western Hemisphere. In 2003 credible evidence obtained by the CIA and presented to the President and Congress indicated that Pineda and his government were responsible for sheltering and training a group of supervillains calling itself Los Aplastantores ("The Crushers"). These villains committed a terrorism-for-pay attack in Washington, D.C. in July 2003 that would have destroyed the Lincoln Memorial if not for the timely intervention of the Sentinels. (To date the Crushers have refused to say who paid them to make the attack.) On top of Pineda's well-documented role in international drug smuggling and money laundering, this was more than the Unted States was willing to tolerate. In November 2004, the United States invaded Costa Azúl and overthrew Col. Pineda, taking him to the mainland for trial and imprisonment. The US army occupied the country until 2006, withdrawing following "democratic" elections. Since then a series of councils and leaders has tried to steer the country down a better path, but it remains better known as a hotbed of criminal activity than a tourist destination. Guamanga: A tiny nation between Honduras and Lago de Isabél, Guamanga is afflicted with poverty and despair. A mere five percent of the population owns approximately ninety percent of the land, consigning the peasantry to a life of subsistence tenant farming. Many have turned to the drug trade, or the theft and sale of Mayan relics from archaeological sites, to survive. In 1994, ARGENT attempted to engineer a coup in Guamanga to oust the die-hard Communist president, Martín Orama-Tijernas, and replace him with a figurehead it could control. Fortunately, the Justice Squadron got wind of the plot and stopped it, doing significant harm to ARGENT’s interests in the region. Long-forgotten superweapons and other relics of the conflict occasionally appear, causing more trouble in this already troubled nation. In 2005 Menton used his powers to manipulate the Guamangans into electing him their president — the first step in a planned campaign of world conquest. Thanks to some help from what the authorities later discovered was ARGENT technology, he was both able to affect thousands of people at once with his power and do it without leaving psychic traces. The United States and the United Nations mobilized their forces, but did nothing more at first. Although everyone knew what Menton had done, there was no proof -- and without proof, the UN in particular, was not willing to overthrow a seemingly legally elected official. That would have set a dangerous precedent the UN desperately wanted to avoid... so it found another option. Working through back channels, UNTIL secretly hired two teams of mercenary villains and sent them after Menton. Their attack was not going well... but then Rakshasa, Dr. Destroyer's shape-shifting minion, disguised as one of Menton’s mind-controlled followers, shot Menton point-blank in the back of the head, rendering him unconscious. Menton was confined under "hot sleep" in Stronghold until he awakened in 2009 and freed himself, precipitating the second major breakout from the super-prison.
  2. I'll be offline indefinitely. Take care of each other. :)

    1. Cancer


      Good luck, whatever you're up to.

    2. Killer Shrike
  3. I don't object to such measures in addition to science. In that capacity they can at least not hurt, and faith in such things can make a difference in people's motivation and confidence. I have a real problem when they're taken as a substitute for science.
  4. Heck, we have examples of doing it better right now. Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, took unified, science-based measures at the start of this pandemic, and are now reaping the rewards.
  5. I literally haven't read comics in almost two decades. A lot of what they've been doing this millennium didn't connect with me, either in story or art. They were pricing me out of their market, too. So I guess I just got out of the habit. Champions filled my superhero needs.
  6. I could so get behind a shared universe of Hannah-Barbera's super series from the 1960s. Space Ghost. Birdman. The Herculoids. The Mighty Mightor. The Galaxy Trio. Samson and Goliath. Shazan! Space Ghost actually crossed over with several of those, so the precedent is there.
  7. This puts me in mind of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy's favorite snacks, like chocolate-covered hamburgers, and pizza a la mode.
  8. That reminds me, I really need to vacuum my apartment.
  9. You make a good point, I should have chosen better words. This was an exercise by the entire Democratic Party. The party leadership and aligned media did maintain a constant anti-Sanders message during the primaries, and I don't think we should underestimate the effect that had on perception among Democrats; but Biden has attained the presumptive nomination by lawful process. However, the party isn't the country. AFAICT Biden's main selling point has been that he'll offend the fewest voters. I've seen many political candidates picked for their perceived "electability." Their record of success doesn't fill me with confidence.
  10. Unless I'm overlooking something, Dalton's public image is less compromised.
  11. Probably why it's free -- without the HP connection there's little chance she could sell it.
  12. The Republican Party's tactics before 2016 certainly laid the groundwork of public alienation and resentment for Trump's ascension. But once he was in office I noticed an interesting trend. The first time Trump crossed a line for what had been acceptable behavior for a POTUS, the Republican grandees threatened consequences. I'm now convinced that wasn't out of principle, but out of fear that the political sky would fall. But Trump crossed the line, and the sky didn't fall, and the grandees backed down. And then he crossed a farther line, and the threat was made, and the sky stayed up, and the grandees backed down. And this happened again, and again, until the grandees decided they didn't need to fear, and stopped their posturing. And now they've enabled and normalized that behavior, and allowed it to be woven into their base of support, to such an extent that even if a Republican has an objection of principle to what the POTUS is doing they don't dare voice it, because any "disloyalty" to Trump will drive their own voters away. The party sold itself to Donald Trump, and now it's too late for caveat emptor.
  13. From the party delegates, yes. That's why I specified, "the Democratic Party." And the line I heard repeatedly from delegates being interviewed was that they were voting for Biden because they thought he had the best chance of being elected. Even among his own party members Biden doesn't inspire enthusiasm. This is a calculated marketing move. But don't think for a moment the party insiders weren't working the delegates to persuade them toward this line.
  14. With that much animal magnetism, you should have a role on a CW show. Have you thought of sending them a photo and resume? (How's that for a segue back on topic?)
  15. I respect and sympathize with that view. I've made no bones that I don't believe Biden is the best man for America's challenges today, just because the Democratic party thinks he's most "electable." But there's not even a chance of things getting better if Donald Trump is reelected, and a near certainty that they're going to get worse. Getting him out of office is a necessary first step to any better road. And the election is the last peaceful, constitutional option available. If that fails we're all in for turbulence.
  16. Generally speaking I agree with you, he's an incredibly useful and fun NPC. And officially, he's rich from patents. The only potential complication, if novi is using the default CU, is that Silverback is already associated with the Champions, and novi sounds like his group wants more independence.
  17. So is Jon Cryer's. Thus Luthor achieves follicular balance.
  18. I try for a balanced perspective on the issue of voting, and I can't express it better than this.
  19. Hey, I used to have a full head of hair. I wish I had someone to blame.
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