Campaign World of 5th City

 

Campaign World

The world is much equivalent to that you see in the comic books.  Itís contemporary with slight touches of technology that go beyond what is truly capable in reality.  And then there are those pesky meta-humans, mutants, mages, gadgeteers, and the like.  Whatís a normal person to do?  Call for help, of course.

Thatís where you come in.  Youíre concerns are primarily domestic, your realm of assistance extending to what you see in the streets.  Youíre the street level hero.  Even if you have come from the year 1862, Uncle Vincentís laboratory, or Epsilon IV, you are here to take out the trash on an intimate basis.

Your home, adopted or otherwise, is the City of Lazarus, a glittering utopia (or so the press clippings say) just minutes from most environments, be it snow, desert, ocean, or plain old civilization.  Itís a vast and booming city that was founded on the principal that we can make a better world, but it is a city troubled now by a crimewave that dwarfs that of other metropolitan regions;  Particularly, super-powered crime.  As a result, the City Council put out a call to arms to replace itís once mighty heroes, a feisty band called the Sentinels, in hopes that these new heroes could bring down the crime rate before it starts to have an affect on the boom times.

Nolan Brisbain, Genius and Visionary

Founder of Lazarus, Nolan Brisbainís odyssey began with many scholarships and a quick progression through college at a very young age.  In his second post-graduate year he hit upon a number of patents and founded a corporation that was responsible for a number of major scientific advances in the construction and electronics industries.  Somewhere along the climb to the top, Brisbain became disenchanted with the corporate world.  Deciding on a move into politics, he sold the Infinity Corporation to Wyatt Holdings, thus creating the corporation which would later be Lazarusí largest investor, Wyatt-Infinity.

Publicly known already, Brisbain became governor on his first run and followed that with two terms in the senate.  Just as he seemed primed to become President in an overwhelming wave of support, he halted his political aspirations, to the shock of millions.  Some talk has been made that he must have had skeletons in his closet, though nothing has ever been uncovered, even by the authors of seven different biographies currently on the market.  His sudden midstream change this time saw him become a sort of unofficial ambassador, traveling the world and spending his wealth in ways that benefited the masses across the globe, garnering not one but two Nobel peace prizes for peace to match the one he already had for Scientific Achievement.  The next years spent traveling the world changed him somehow.

When he returned to the states, he seemed less poised, somehow rattled, perhaps by the state of the world.  He authored a book during the next year, but before he released it he began to garner support for another effort.  He had a vision of Utopia, a city where everything could be controlled to bring peace and freedom.  He at last found the site and set about gathering funding.  Because of his massive popularity and the fact that nothing he ever attempted went unfulfilled, politicians, captains of industry, and corporations with deep pockets came to his aid, and Lazarus set to construction under his personal supervision.

The book was released and it became an international bestseller.  A strange cult formed around a belief they garnered from his book that the world we live in is a dream and that we pass through it to get to the true world.  Scholars say that this belief may not be what Brisbain was implying in his book.  Nonetheless, this new religion caused a sort of pilgrimage, with new converts coming across the desert.  They solved a worker deficit as they joined in the construction.  And the city seemed to already be blessed.

The House of Rain became the first completed structure and from there Brisbain commanded the construction of the flood district.  Then he lay the groundwork for the rest of the city.  Corporations that were competitors with him once rushed to lend money.  But as he accepted money he gained less and less control over the city.  Subsequently construction began in earnest without his permission on many fronts and the city began to take on its own shape.  According to the few who worked closely with him, Brisbain began to slowly lose contact with reality.

At the same time, the new capital and the burgeoning city began to see its first signs a crime-wave.  Brisbain contacted a number of sources and gathered a group of heroes to secure the city, and they came willingly to his aid.

The sentinels met their end during a bizarre incident that is not completely documented.  (See the Siege of 43rd Street, below.)  The team ultimately dismantled, it was a few months later that Brisbain died in his sleep at the age of 47.  Official cause of death was natural causes, many claiming that the heartache of losing hold of his vision is what took him.  He left behind one fully completed segment of the city (The Flood District), a super base (The house of rain), and a mass of plans that were pushed aside by the newly founded City Council who were eager to rubber stamp any corporate plans before those businesses became scared off by Brisbainís death.  The city continued to grow, though Brisbainís vision of it was nothing like what was resulting, nor was the once again cresting crime-wave.

Brisbainís will left the House of Rain to his young charge, Audra Blue.  The city filed for receivership, claiming that she was too young to control such an important piece of property.  Their true hope was to use the base as the operational center for a new team of Sentinels.  Audra and a team of attorneys headed by friends of Nolan Brisbain managed to defeat both legal charges.  As they mounted up for their third try, the City Council at last came to a legal agreement with Audra.  She would forever retain control of the base and in return she would agree to house a new team of heroes selected by the city.  Any other legal terms are not disclosed to the public.

The city has continued to financially flourish despite recessions and problems all around the globe.  Most districts are built up now.  The Flood district is a tourist attraction that draws architectural design students the world over.  The University of Lazarus has an ivy league caliber reputation, despite its youth.  A major league baseball expansion team called the Prophets began four years ago and at the age of two already won the World Series, defeating the Red Sox in four straight games, though they have since fallen on hard times.

There has never been a mayoral position.  The City Councilmen bicker but ultimately resolve their issues and seem to move as a unified front.  And they are responsible for the characters being here today.

Geography

Where is Lazarus?  Does it matter?  Not really, since in game terms itís pretty much the only place youíll be.  But if this absolutely has to be nailed down, picture it somewhere in central California.  The important thing is that it has proximity to the ocean, and therefore has docks.  Thereís a rail line that runs through the edge of the city.  Thereís a major interstate that links it to the outside world and to a stretch of snowy mountains via a desert and alkali flats simply referred to as the badlands.

The interior of the city is broken into many districts, each having been named for the vision that was to encompass them.  The Flood District is the most famous.  It is constructed of materials created by Wyatt-Infinityís manufacturing corps, and is wildly imaginative, filled with fountains, statuary, and an exotic lighting system which changes seemingly randomly, thus making the district seem different on a daily basis.

The House of Rain is a true prize.  It gains its name from the torrent of water that flows over the exterior, concealing all entrances.  It sits like a small island in the middle of a civic pond that acts like a moat.  The interior is a wide selection of rooms and laboratories.  The labs are changeable and thus can be customized to the vocation of whoever dwells within the house.  There are enough rooms to allow for private offices in addition to personal rooms, should anyone desire one.  There is a common kitchen which nightly features a chef who serves dinner and restocks, though the characters often have their own private kitchen as a part of their living quarters.  The only rules of the house are as follows:

  • No one is admitted who is not cleared by Audra Blue first.  She is adamant about this rule, wanting to keep the base secure and a total mystery to the outside world.
  • Characters cannot enter each otherís room without mutual permission, and are forbidden from the room and personal laboratory once occupied by Nolan Brisbain.  Those two rooms are currently occupied by Audra Blue.
  • The vehicles on base are for team use, as needed.  There is also room for personal vehicles should the characters desire their own sports cars, jeeps or cycles.

The main asset of the base is Audra Blue, who has a vast knowledge of computers and is rumored to be somewhat of a hacker.  She is distant and seems to only seek out the characters when necessary.  She is also a storehouse of information related to the city, its construction, the original Sentinels, and on Nolan Brisbain.