Game Setting

Other Locations on Earth

ANTARCTICA

Capital: N/A


Situated on the edge of the Ross Sea and the Dyer Ice Shelf, shielded from the interior by the Transantarctic Mountains, the Danforth Antarctic Research Center is the largest settlement on the continent. Founded in 1932 as part of the Titan City University expedition lead by Professor Douglas Starkweather, the base is now home to the United Nations Antarctic Survey Team. Located mostly underground, and drawing thermal energy from a semi-active volcano in the nearby mountains for both heating and general power, the facility is a spacious and comfortable home to the collection of international scientists who come there to study the frozen continent.

The current focus of their research is divided between expeditions to the glacial Atwood Lake and the mysterious mountain range that is known to lie under the snowy wastes of the interior. While the investigations at the lake have been proceeding well, with plans now being laid to send a small submarine down under the ice, the team working to drill down to the mountains beneath the snow have been hindered by the disappearance of supplies and equipment – publicly, bad weather has been blamed, but not everyone working at the base shares this view.


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CAINAN ISLANDS (Caribbean/Atlantic Ocean)

Capital: Princehaven


Lying south-west of Bermuda and directly east of Florida, the island of Cainan Royaux and the cluster of smaller islands around it that together with it form the Cainan Islands have a dark past – their somewhat isolated location made them a haven for pirates, as well as a staging post and unofficial trading station for trans-Atlantic slavers, leading to it being fought over by the British, French and Spanish colonial powers, changing hands between them several times. Following the decline of piracy and the slave trade, and with it the loss of its strategic or economic importance, the islands returned to their previous status as a quiet backwater, with the British only maintaining a token presence.

But that began to change in the early 1950s – heavy investment from the American businessman JR Gall on Cainan Royaux began to transform the main island into a luxury resort, and they soon gained a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous. However, in 1960, its growing popularity was placed in danger by a sudden assault by the notorious Black Talons mercenary group. Whether they were acting on their own or hired by an unknown backer remains a mystery to this day, along with the true motive of the attack – although speculation seems to favor the theory that they were intending to kidnap and ransom the wealthiest and highest profile visitors who were on the island at the time. Whatever the truth is, their invasion was beaten back with surprising ease by JR Gall’s personal security force.

Prior to the attack, the Cainan Islanders had been overwhelmingly happy with continued British rule, but following the assault, there was widespread public anger over the perceived failure of the British to adequately protect them, and after a referendum partially funded and organized by JR Gall in 1961, the islands gained full independence the following year. Since then, an already low tax rate has been completely abolished, making the Cainan Islands one of the most popular havens for companies and individuals looking to keep every cent of their profits for themselves, and the main island is now awash with money, along with being one of the most fashionable vacation spots in the world for those who want to see and be seen.

Although the entire economy now completely relies on these foreign companies and visitors, few islanders seem to be concerned at such a fragile base for their income – and even fewer express any unease over the obviously figurehead nature of the role played by their president, with it being an open secret that the apparently never-aging JR Gall is the real power on the islands.

As far as most of the inhabitants are concerned, JR Gall was the man who first invested in their islands, JR Gall was the man who saved the islands from the Black Talos, and JR Gall was the man who helped them get their independence, and all the wealth that’s come from it – so whatever JR Gall wants and does is just fine with them.


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CHERNOVODYA (Siberia)

Capital: Zvenigrad


Sparsely populated but rich in mineral wealth, the Siberian republic of Chernovodya only gained its independence in 1991, following the break-up of the Soviet Union, and still maintains close links with Russia. These ties have become somewhat strained recently owing to the Chernovodyan government no longer supporting preferred bidder status for Russian companies looking to access the nation’s mineral wealth, which has opened up the country to Western interests, including the ruthless Westpath Mining Corporation.

This new found openness hasn’t extended to the area around what was formerly the town of Ovcharka, where the Soviet Union had its meta-force and transdimensional research facility until the abrupt end of the project in 1949 and the apparent disappearance of the town – the Chernovodyan government still has a strict exclusion zone around the place, and officially denies that it even exists, in spite of satellite evidence to the contrary.

There are also concerns in the West that a number of members of the Soviet’s now disbanded elite superpowered division who refused to accept both the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union have relocated to Chernovodya, and it’s from one or more secret bases in the Siberian wilderness that they plan and launch their continuing operations against those they still view as their enemies, especially the United Sates, and the heroes of Titan city in particular, with whom they regard there being a great deal of unfinished business.


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KHEMRAT (North Africa/Middle East)

Capital: Khemrat City


Bordered by Egypt to the east and Libya to the west, the desert nation of Khemrat relies heavily on two main industries – oil from the Al-Sud oilfields to the north, and tourism, mostly based around the remains of what was once the western edge of the ancient Egyptian kingdom. While not as spectacular as those of Egypt itself, the ruins outside the town of Masir still hold great interest for tourists and archaeologists alike, with three of the rock tombs north of the Masir pyramids currently being excavated in a joint dig involving Titan City University’s Department of Ancient History, the Titan City Historical Museum, and the Khemrati Commission for Antiquities. The leader of the dig, TCU’s Professor Bob Salle, believes that the tombs hold the key to the location of the legendary City of the Black Temple, built in the Valley of the Dead by a pharaoh whose name was erased from all records by his successors.

Unusually, the inhabitants of Masir seem unwilling to assist the professor’s work, which he has put down to the fact that the rumored location of the city is west of Masir, beyond the dune sea of Alarq and the rocky uplands of Haraam Al-Rawabi, placing it in the same desolate area of the Sahara as the vast underground fortress of the Skorpion organization that serves as its global headquarters.

Indeed, Khemrat is the birthplace of this worldwide menace – it was here in the early 20th century, while the country was still under British rule, that the English explorer who would later become Baron Skorpio claims to have discovered the dark and ancient secret that transformed him into one of the world’s most dangerous supervillains. Over the years his agents are said to have infiltrated the Khemrati government at all levels, ensuring not only access to the profits generated from the oilfields but also a complete lack of interference from the authorities anywhere near the Skorpion HQ, effectively turning the surrounding territory into an independent no-man’s land directly under Baron Skorpio’s control, lying outside national or international law.


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KUWANDA (East Africa)

Capital: Queenstown


Formerly the old kingdom of Ufalme, the territory was organized and governed under the name Kuwanaland when it became a British colony in the late 19th century, before becoming Kuwanda after gaining independence in 1962. Famed for its diamond mines even in pre-colonial times, this natural resource initially made Kuwanda one of the wealthiest of the new African nations, with Nyekundubonde, the Red Valley, located in the west of the country containing some of the largest diamond deposits on the whole continent.

However, all that changed after the 1966 red valley mining disaster – the reckless use of untested and experimental technology by the Westpath Mining Corporation, an American based multinational company who had won the contract to mine the area, resulted in a partial collapse of the main mine, along with a massive outflow of dangerous chemical effluent into the Eden River that runs through the valley and into Lake Albert.

While this pollution killed much of the wildlife that used the river as a water source, it had a far more radical effect on the local gorilla population, who had already suffered from earlier discharges of mine waste into the river. These gorillas swiftly developed human levels of intelligence, and were soon united under the leadership of Kongoro, the largest, strongest and most cunning of their kind, who shared his vision with them – a vision of world returned to the hands its natural primate masters, who had only been robbed of their inheritance by an evolutionary quirk of fate that saw the lesser primates now known as Homo Sapiens undeserved position of power, from where they had despoiled and exploited the planet.

But now that same greed and arrogance had gifted the world’s true masters with the intelligence they needed to overthrow the human usurpers and restore the natural order once more.

Kongoro’s first move was to lead a successful attack to occupy the entire Red Valley area, defeating the military force sent against them by the Kuwandan government. Since then, the gorillas have worked to fortify the valley and surrounding jungle, including excavating a vast underground nest, from where they’ve launched dozens of attacks regional and global targets in their quest to obtain more and more human technology to adapt to their own purposes.

In addition to this, the gorillas have also established black market trade routes to exchange diamonds for increasingly sophisticated equipment and technology from unscrupulous dealers, using and modifying it with the help of kidnapped human scientists. Regular raids by Kongoro’s troops constantly tests the Kuwandan defenses, and it is only through the actions of its superpowered heroes as well as the occasional helping hand from outside that they’ve managed to prevent the gorillas from over-running the entire country.

Now, amid rumors that the Westpath Mining Corporation is assembling its own high tech army of mercenaries in a secret jungle base with the intention of taking back its mining operation, a further threat to the struggling Kuwandan economy has emerged in the northern savanna. Rangers in the Msitu Wildlife Reserve, which has provided a valuable source of income from safari tourism since the loss of the diamond mines, have reported the mysterious disappearance of a number of the animals, including elephants, rhinos, lions and giraffes.

While poaching has been a constant problem on the reserve, the complete lack of any animal corpses or other signs of bloodshed that are the normal results of poaching have left the rangers baffled as to who or what might lie behind the disappearances.


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MONTEZUELA (South America)

Capital: San Martin


Located between Brazil and Peru, the republic of Montezeula is a predominantly rural nation, with the western half of the country dominated by the Andes Mountains and the eastern half lying in the Amazon Basin, leaving the capital of San Martin as the only significantly large urban area.

Since winning independence from Spain in 1822, the country has struggled with large scale poverty, with a succession of military coups and dictatorships during the first half of the 20th century adding to the country’s problems. The situation has improved somewhat since the restoration of democracy in 1989, although the post-dictatorship period has also seen an increase in the power of the drug cartels in the north of the county, with cocaine produced there finding its way onto the streets of Titan City, leading to some American heroes teaming up with their counterparts in Montezeula to try and smash the supply line at its source.

The San Martin University has attracted international attention thanks to the discovery of a series of unexplained temporal anomalies that seem to be focused in different parts of the country, while the economy has been boosted by the government’s heavy promotion of the country as a tourist destination, based mostly around the ruins of the Inca Empire found in the western mountains. Archaeologists have also shown an interest in locating further ruins that are said to lie deep in the rainforest, while treasure hunters have been drawn to the Andes for decades, searching for the legendary last city of the Incas that was never discovered by the Spanish Conquistadors – the city of Eldorado.


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NA’TAUI (Pacific Ocean)

Capital: Merulina


Previously known as the Churchward Islands, and nicknamed the Coral Islands and the Sunshine Isles, the Pacific archipelago of Na’taui is a popular tourist destination, its sweeping expanses of white sandy beaches and numerous coral reefs attracting both sun-seekers and diving enthusiasts, and the small port city of Merulina on the island of Kahiki is known as one of the most laid-back and friendly capitals in the world. However, the isolated nature of several of its islands has attracted a number of less welcome visitors looking for a place to drop out of sight for a while – pirates are known to operate from a base somewhere on the island of Muaroa, and a shadowy scientific group is said to have established a presence on Lemaii, while the waters around Riahnei Atoll are claimed to be the home of things altogether nonhuman. Phillips Island, which the United States first leased from the Na’tauian government in 1945 as a place to conduct research into trans-dimensional energy sources has been kept strictly off limits by the U S Navy since 1948, when the project was shut down suddenly and without explanation.

Much of Na’taui has been shaped by volcanic activity – and although the volcano that rises up above Merulina is now extinct, the one on Lemaii is only dormant, while the peak that dominates Muaroa is active, sending out regular plumes of ash and smoke. For those who study arcane lore, these mountains are known to have been both the most sacred places on the ancient island of Lemuria, and the cause of the great island’s destruction during their war with Atlantis twelve thousand years ago. Rumors persist that the holiest temple of the Lemurians still exists, deep under the volcano on Muaroa – it was here that they entombed their mummified priest-kings in chambers cut from the black rock of the mountain, and it was to here that the last king of Lemuria was said to have fled as his land collapsed into the sea.


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SYLVANIA (Central Europe)

Capital: Königsburg


Surrounded by Austria to the west, Hungary to the south, and Slovakia to the north and east, the nation of Sylvania has a long and bloody history, in spite of its relatively small size. Much of the reason for this is down to the fact that the flat lands on either side of the Danube river that form the center of the country has been a strategic gateway between the Alps to the west and the northern arm of the Carpathian Mountains to the east for centuries, and the area has at various times been the home to Celtic, Germanic and Slavic tribes, a frontier province of the Roman Empire, and suffered from the ravages of the Huns, Mongols and Turks.

In modern times, Sylvania officially claimed a neutral position during the Second World War, although in reality, being ringed with Axis countries, combined with its size and lack of major natural defenses meant that it was unofficially under Nazi occupation, and was used by them as both a source of supplies for their war effort and as a transit route between central and south-eastern Europe.

Following the end of the war, Sylvania again tried to maintain a neutral stance as the Cold War began, this time with much more success, although a side effect of this was the capital city of Königsburg becoming a meeting place and refuge for spies from both the West and the East until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In spite of the end of the Cold War, this policy of neutrality wasn’t abandoned until 2004 when Sylvania joined the European Union. This greater openness has also lead to the capital Königsburg becoming a popular destination for tourists, partly drawn by its unspoiled medieval architecture and the world famous Hohenwald ski resort, and partly by the government’s shrewd use of Sylvania’s folklore and legends to promote the country as a unique tourist destination.

But in spite of these changes, much of the countryside still remains rooted in a deeply traditional and fiercely independent past. And while the urban centers have enthusiastically embraced the trends of 21st century global culture and tourism, the people who still live in the dark forests and rugged mountains know that the ancient tales of their land hold much more truth than any city-dweller or tourist knows.


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TSANCHAN (Himalayas/Central Asia)

Capital: Lhahiha


High up in the Himalayas, the “Roof of the World”, between Tibet, China and India, the ancient Kingdom of Tsanchan remained relatively isolated from the outside world until the 20th century, and even today it still seems to harbor many secrets. Over the years, this sense of mystery that lies on the valleys and peaks of Tsanchan has drawn a number of Western travelers in search of Eastern wisdom, and a small but significant number of the heroes of Titan City either began their heroic careers here in the Himalayas, or returned from an extended visit with new insights into themselves and their powers.

Their chief teachers and guides have been the Masters of the Council of Seven, based in the legendary monastery of Shangri-La, said to lie in a valley in the shadow of a mountain named Kunlun, beyond the Pass of the Four Winds. This mountain is also thought to be the entrance to a network of tunnels and caves reaching deep under the earth, perhaps even to the subterranean ruins of Agartha, and the two cities that wage a constant war over them.

But just as there is enlightenment to be found in Tsanchan, there is darkness there too – lead by the Black Dragon, the sinister monks of the Red Lotus Temple wield a great deal of influence in the more rural areas, and have been slowly but steadily spreading their reach to the capital Lhahiha, while the shadowy Tao-San Society is known to have its powerbase somewhere in the kingdom, the center of an international network of agents who have links with criminal organizations across the world, including a number of the gangs that menace Titan City.

A less sophisticated but still dangerous threat comes from the elusive Yetis, who are said to roam the highest and remotest mountains – although evidence for their existence is scarce, in spite of the various expeditions that have tried to track them down. Wildlife of less fantastical nature can be found in the hilly regions at the feet of the mountains, where the jungle to the south east is home to a population of tigers, and a small enclave of pandas live in the bamboo forests to the north east.