Ultimate Comics Archivist
The Ultimate DC Universe RPG - Information Thread
The Ultimate DC Universe RPG
This thread is for information regarding references, the wikipedia database, character profiles that are accepted, etc. Replies should be relative to the information and not off-topic.
The current roster as it stands:
All information compiling should be relevant to: http://ultimatecomics.wikidot.com/ultimate-dc
Last edited by Gowi; 10-26-2013 at 02:34 AM.
Ultimate Comics Archivist
THE PLANET KRYPTON:
Located in the Andromeda Galaxy, Krypton is a massive, ultra-high gravity planet roughly the size of Neptune, with mass and gravity roughly equal to Jupiter. It is an ancient world, roughly seven billion years old, and home to one of the harshest, most unforgiving environments of any known planet in the universe. Its incredible size should be impossible for a rocky planet to form, much less maintain its atmosphere for billions of years, but Krypton has a unique mineral in its makeup: Sunstone, a crystalline mineral that absorbs sunlight and emits an altered gravitational field. This Sunstone is an integral component in nearly all Kryptonian life-forms, and is the only way complex life could evolve on a planet where the gravity (hundreds of times that of Earth) would otherwise crush anything more than bacteria.
Krypton's landmasses are extraordinary in size, even its smaller continents larger than the surface area of the entire Earth. Its wildnernesses expand in all directions for hundreds of millions of square miles, its mountains thrusting higher than the clouds, its oceans plunge so deep that the cold and pressure create a layer of ice so dense that it is impenetrable to all but the most powerful lasers (hardware which, at that depth, would crush and freeze anyway) In its billions of years, Krypton has seen countless civilizations rise and fall, some surviving down through the ages, innumerable more simply lost to history. It is home to exotic creatures, beautiful but deadly jungles, lost treasures of incalculable fortune, and forgotten horrors which doom the unwary.
In short, it is a perfect world for a civilization of explorers, scientists, and adventurers.
CULTURE AND ANCIENT HISTORY:
Kryptonian culture is hundreds of thousands of years old, and much of their early history is lost to them, wiped out in wars or disasters or the ravages of time. Many of their older cultures' creation myths tell that they descended from the heavens, either as children of the gods (as believed in old Kandorian folklore), penitent outcasts struck down from their place in the sun (as believed by the old priests of Argo), or refugees who fled from a conflict among the gods (as believed by the ancient tribes of Vathlo Island). While archaeologists and theological historians alike have spent generations looking for why this is so, no Kryptonian culture tells stories of them being born on this planet-- an idea supported by the fact that the famed geneticist Dax-Ur showed that Kryptonians had no evolutionary contemporaries, no species known on the planet with DNA even remotely like theirs.
Over the course of millennia, the planet's multitude of nations and townships, sprawling empires and isolated tribes, became a single, united society, though this unity first came from a hardly idyllic source. Khorzod, last of the High Kings of Kryptonis, waged a campaign of conquest from continent to continent, using advanced engineering to keep his body alive for centuries and eventually uploading his consciousness into the Kryptonis's Mind-Net in order to see his vision through to the end. Under the House of Khorzod, Krypton became a military titan, venturing out into the stars as a colonial power, one of the most powerful and feared interstellar empires in the history of known space. Kryptonians spread their technology, and more importantly their genetic legacy, across twenty-eight galaxies over the course of twenty thousand years. There were few in the universe that could withstand the might of Kryptonian Sunstone weapons, none that could replicate the vaunted Star Drives, or outmatch the dreaded Eradicator drones.
Eventually, however, a Psi-Weaver named Feln, discovered that the Mind-Net that united Khorzod's empire was corrupted, controlled by an alien entity that had embedded itself into the Mind-Net before even the great unification. Leading a small but dedicated team of warriors into the heart of Kryptonis, Feln fought his way through Khorzod's mind-controlled soldiers and confronted the ancient alien AI. While they could not destroy the AI, which called itself the Eternal Brain, they severed its connection to the Mind-Net and imprisoned it within a compression Sapphire.
Having freed Krypton from the despotic rule of the Brain, Feln and his companions, now dubbed the Sapphire Guard, dedicated their lives to undoing the damage done by Khorzod and his empire. The great warships were dismantled, and armies of conquerors and interloping colonists were replaced with peaceful emissaries and philosophers. Powerful alliances were forged between vast networks of worlds, and societies that once saw the men of Krypton as the stuff of nightmares now looked upon them with awe and wonder.
Through the five hundred thousand years of Krypton's Second Age, the world's society slowly but surely coalesced into the form it maintained just until the Phantom Zone War that ended in the planet's destruction.
Krypton consists of a collection of independent city-states which, after the advent of scarcity-free economics and millennia of genetic cultivation, have no need for a central authority. There is the High Science Council, which oversees research and developments at each of the Eleven Houses' grand Universities, and the Sapphire Guard, who serve as an emergency-response force to keep the peace within and between city-states (and its innermost circle, who are tasked with protecting the ancient Sapphire containing the Eternal Brain). For the most part, however, the administrative tasks of maintaining the day-to-day functions of these tremendous cities (many containing several billion people) are delegated to high-functioning AI.
Kryptonians themselves are a culture of idealists, adventurers, scientists, explorers, philosophers, artists, and historians. With all menial labor performed by robots and all basic physical and economic needs tended to by AI, Kryptonians are instead urged to focus their time and energy on either achieving or spreading enlightenment. Thanks to millennia of genetic cultivation, there are three levels of Kryptonian people:
-House-Born: These are people bred inside the Birthing Matrices of one of the Eleven Houses. Two parents provide genetic material and then have total control over which traits are inherited by their offspring, leading to idealized 'designer' children. House-Borns are usually extraordinarily beautiful and serene, if somewhat aloof. They are often considered vain, and their conflicts and worries are often petty compared to others. Still, they are usually lead the most successful careers, leave the most enduring legacies, and climb highest in their social circles, and for this reason, House-Borns are given often given the highest standing in Kryptonian culture.
-Gifted: These are people born without a Birthing Matrix, but given extensive genetic augmentation in the womb. Gifteds are often augmented to serve specific purposes, to excel at a specific duty far beyond any other Kryptonian, but find themselves lacking in other respects. Gifteds are generally highly successful in their chosen field, but not given much consideration elsewhere.
-Free-Born: These are people born without the aid of a Birthing Matrix or genetic augmentation, their genes mixed together through purely organic processes. Free-Borns are by far the most common among Kryptonian culture, but are usually given the lowest social standing, considered 'mutts' by House-Borns and Gifteds. Despite this, they are the most genetically diverse and hardy of the Kryptonians, and have generated countless heroes in expeditions into the wilds, or great social reformers within the city-states. This reason, their immense capacity for greatness despite impossible odds, their ability to adapt in the worst of scenarios, is why Jor-El and Lara-Van eventually decide to have a Free-Born child.
Also of note are Companions, four-legged mammals bred specifically to aid and protect family households. They come in a myriad of breeds, and can grow to nearly ten meters in length from nose to tail, or be small enough to fit in the crook of one's arm. Curiously enough, like the Kryptonian people, Companion animals have no common genetic traits with any other animal on the planet, and it is believed that they share a common history (whatever that may be) with their people's progenitors.
THE HOUSES OF KRYPTON:
All classes of Kryptonian, House-Born or Free-Born, are raised in the ways of the Girrod, an ancient but secularized religion founded over thousands of years of debate between Krypton's old spiritual and religious leaders. Rather than worship the sun Rao as their ancestors did, or any number of anthropomorphized deities that rose and fell over the centuries, the Girrod instead glorifies concepts still in the abstract, Eleven Virtues which eventually became the basis for the Eleven Houses of Krypton.
The Eleven Great Houses and their virtues, their names carried over from old Kandorian:
Ak= Beauty, Creativity, Imagination. House Ak is the house of dreamers, known for their ability to see boundless possibilities in any given setting or situation. Members of House Ak are typically artists, designers, musicians, and entertainers.
An= Justice, Integrity, balance. House An is the house of crusaders and protectors of the peace, known for producing great heroes of law and order. Members of House An typically aspire to become officers of the Sapphire Guard, or failing that, any number of the local security guilds.
Da= Harmony, Community, Synergy. House Da enforces the idea that when people act together, they become greater than the sum of their parts. Sometimes seen as collectivists, they are known for their strong sense of community. Members of House Da are usually seen in counseling and organizing roles, particularly on local levels.
El= Hope, Inspiration, Compassion. House El reveres above all else the ideal of Hope, that the greatest ideal to which one can aspire is to leave a better future for those who follow. The House of El is home to great social leaders, as well as inventors and philosophers.
Em= Endings, Death, Renewal. Unlike Earth-people's fear and aversion to the concept, Kryptonians--House Em in particular--accept and celebrate natural death as a fundamental part of life. Members of House Em typically carry out traditional rites and ceremonies for the dead, particularly in the Tomb City of Rozz.
Ko= Peace, Restraint, Serenity. House Ko is the house of peacemakers, those who value self-control and reflection. Often reclusive and monastic, members of House Ko do venture out into the larger world, typically to become negotiators of consuls.
Mer= Nature, Purity, Conservation. House Mer promotes the preservation of wildlife and tending to Krypton's fragile ecosystems. Sometimes considered backwards-thinking by other Houses, members of House Ko are often seen as rangers in the wilderness, or wardens of nature preserves.
Van= Family, Home, Inclusiveness. House Van values the importance of family, the crucial roles that parents and grandparents have in raising the next generation. Members of House Van are often caretakers of young and old alike, or specialists in genealogy.
Veks= Beginnings, Birth, Adaptation. Just as House Em celebrates the end of the life cycle, House Veks celebrates the beginning. They are often midwives for the delivery of Free-Born babies, and have a central role in operating the Birthing Matrices that produce House-Born children.
Zar= Progress, Industriousness, Wealth. House Zar is a house of action and reaction, of risk and reward. They are often considered the backbone of any economic or technological boom period in Krypton's history, and often find great success in the mercantile guilds.
Ze= Truth, Freedom, Ethics. House Ze espouses above all things the importance of the rational mind, guided by an absolute objective truth and a strong sense of right and wrong but unfettered by outside restrictions. Members of House Ze are problem-solvers and fact-finders, which provides members a wide range of roles from historian to merchant.
THE MINOR HOUSES:
These are Houses whose Virtues were not universally accepted into the Girrod. While they still can carry a great deal of influence in local circles, few of the Minor Houses have the planet-wide reach as the Great Houses.
Ek= Force, Aggression, Conquest. Fallen into almost complete obscurity after Krypton ended its war-faring colonial ways, House Ek values martial prowess and dominance over others. Though it is nearly extinct in Krypton's later days, members of House Ek still find their place, most commonly in athletics.
Gar= Glory, Honor, Chivalry. A leftover from the days of the High Kings of Kryptonis, House Gar maintains the old ways of the Kings' vassal lords, praising daring feats and courage in the face of danger. While the paladins of ancient Kryptonis are gone, House Gar has survived as storytellers and errant bards.
Kann= Faith, Devotion, Altruism. Selfless to a fault, House Kann holds the belief that one's greatest duty in life is to the service of others. Typically consisting of Free-Borns, members of House Kann often live as servants to more affluent families, or breed and train Companions.
Lor= Journey, Exploration, Adventure. Challengers of the unknown and explorers of lost ruins, House Lor is usually found outside of the major cities and further towards the wilderness. Members of House Lor are often archaeologists or expedition leaders into the world's limitless wilds.
Ran= Influence, Persuasion, Negotiation. A House that values the importance of communication and influence to achieve wanted goals, members of House Ran are usually involved in some form of politics, often advisors to a faction's leader.
Tor= Secrets, Mystery, Espionage. Finders of forgotten or hidden knowledge, House Tor covets information that others do not possess. While they are often considered untrustworthy by other Houses, members of House Tor still often find employment as inquisitors, spies between guilds, or path-finders on expeditions into the wilds.
Ul= Strength, Perseverance, Evolution. Often vain and haughty, House Ul values physical perfection over all else. Members of House Ul often find roles where their strength can be put to best use and admired.
Ur= Intellect, Technology, Experimentation. A House of scientists and researchers, House Ur went into sharp decline after the destructive Clone War brought about by the infamous mad scientist Jax-Ur.
Zod= Order, Unity, Security. A House forever tainted by their lineage tracing back to the tyrant Khorzod, House Zod nonetheless aspires to achieve greatness in society by instilling security and order. Members of the House of Zod are usually seen as high-ranking members of the Sapphire Guard, or as justices of the peace.
FINAL DAYS AND DESTRUCTION:
The events that led to the Phantom Zone War and the final destruction of Krypton began with a bombing in Argo City. A group of religious radicals calling themselves the Sword of Rao, led by the fanatical Faora-Ul, destroyed a series of Birthing Matrices, claiming them to be blasphemous against the ancient sun god. To stop this threat, the Sapphire Guard's most celebrated officer, High Captain Dru-Zod, pursued Faora deep into the vast and impenetrable depth of the Scarlet Jungle, following her into the long-lost ruins of ancient Kryptonis. It was there that the Sword of Rao laid an ambush for Dru-Zod, and where they told Faora's plan.
Dru-Zod, they believed, was an exact genetic replica of the ancient King Khorzod, who stretched Krypton's rule across entire galaxies. They believed this new Zod was a bringer of destiny, who would lead their world back into glory. After months of torture and brainwashing and indoctrination, Dru-Zod began to see himself as the resurrected King, claiming his rightful place at the head of the Sword of Rao. Forswearing his first name and claiming only the name of his House, Zod was reborn, with his lieutenants Faora and Nam-Ek claiming the ancient names of Khorzod's most trusted vassals, Ursa and Non.
Meanwhile, in the city of Kandor, the brilliant inventor Jor-El detected an anomalous signal in his experimentations of applied dimensional-membranes: a voice, in an alien language, being broadcast through a crude wormhole in space-time. When he attempted to trace this signal to its source, he was astonished to discover images from an entire alien world, populated by primitives that, against all logic and probability, were visually identical to his people. Jor-El brought these findings before the High Science Council, only to be met with dismissal and ridicule as one of a long line of religious crackpots claiming to have found the long-lost "Mother World."
The dimensional instability caused by the wormholes stretched between vast gulfs of space and time, and did not go unnoticed by other forces in the universe. An entity, ancient beyond ancient, was stirred by this bridge between worlds. Inside the long-hidden Compression Sapphire, the AI menace once called the Eternal Brain began to stir.....and to reveal its true nature.
While away in his ancestral home celebrating marriage with his new wife Lara-Van, Jor-El was stunned by news across the Mind-Net of an alien invasion. A ship had appeared, evidently out of nowhere, over the skies of Kandor, and encased the entire city in an unknown force-field. Before the Sapphire Guard could react, the alien ship disappeared just as suddenly as it arrived......and all of Kandor and its hundred million inhabitants disappeared with it.
Shocked and horrified by such sudden and immense loss of life, the various guilds and councils of Krypton's myriad factions were unable to quell the hysteria in cities across the world. Taking advantage, the newly-entitled General Zod reemerged into the public sphere, championing the Sword of Rao as a force to restore order and peace.
While the Sword of Rao did not have the numbers of the Sapphire Guard, they had a powerful edge against them: Phantom warp devices. Lost technology from the days of ancient Kryptonis, Zod's weaponry created rifts in the fabric of space-time, bleeding between the material universe and an ethereal plane known as the Phantom Zone. This allowed Zod's soldiers to travel across the planet in an instant, to spy as intangible ghosts, and most devastatingly of all, to imprison opponents in the shapeless Phantom Zone as consciousness without a physical form.
In the city of Argo, Magestrate Zor-El, Jor-El's brother and Zod's predecessor as High Captain of the Sapphire Guard, became the most outspoken opponent of Zod's revolution, and his wife Allura-Ze worked to expose Zod not as a champion of a new age, but as a thrall of a much more powerful threat. Zor-El raised an army of his own, and enlisted his younger brother to develop weapons to counter the powerful Phantom devices that Zod possessed. Jor-El's answer was Star Seeds: taking advantage of Kryptonians' ability to absorb sunlight, Star Seeds supercharged one's cells to increase their natural gravity-altering abilities exponentially, temporarily making someone physically invulnerable.
As conflicts between the Sword of Rao and the Sapphire Guard escalated, so did desperation among the Houses to quell the violence. Tragically, their efforts failed, as just as she was on the verge of exposing who was truly behind Zod's revolt, Allura-Ze was murdered by Ursa. Zor-El swore revenge, and the only recourse was all-out war.
The Phantom Zone War raged for three orbital cycles, and devastated significant portions of the planet. Billions were killed in the destruction of Vathlo Island, the razing of Kahlo, the siege of the Jewel Mountains. Birthing Matrices were converted into Clone Hives, spawning mindless soldiers by the millions to fight across the continents. Zod's scientist Jax-Ur further weaponized the Phantom warp devices, creating Phantom bombs that pulled gigantic areas of the planet into dimensional singularities. Similar warheads were developed by Zor-El's factions, creating Nova Lances with tachyon warheads that not only devastated space, but destroyed whole stretches of time itself.
Caught in the middle of it all, Jor-El and Lara-Van saw their world dying, and pleaded for the war to end. He eventually persuaded his brother to negotiate, and Zor-El called for a summit with Zod. General Zod saw this as his opportunity to destroy his rival once and for all, and attempted to betray him. As the two leaders discussed the possibility of peace, Zod activated a Phantom warp projector he had hidden on his person. However, this is presicely what Jor-El had counted on--the summit was in fact a trap to not only end the war, but save Krypton from Zod's despotic rule. As soon as Zod activated the Phantom projector, it was countered with a dimensional reflection field of Jor-El's design, turning the signal back on the mad general and trapping himself within the Phantom Zone.
Even with the war over, however, the damage done to their world was too great. The overuse of Phantom warp weapons and tachyon warheads had created massive fields of instability in time-space, made worse by the irradiating of Krypton's Sunstone core. The 'Green Death,' a creeping radiation poisoning, continued to kill by the millions, and worse, the radiation fed into the time-space distortions, threatening to rip the planet apart.
With precious little time before the planet's inevitable destruction, Jor-El desperately devised a plan to save his people: place all surviving Kryptonians inside the Phantom Zone. To get everyone out, however, would require one person to remain in physical space, sent to another world to start over. He set out to put this plan into motion, designing a small life-pod with a powerful Star Drive, and a self-sustained extraplanetary colony sealed within a dimensional tesseract, a city capable of housing billions, but from the outside barely bigger than one's fist. The tesseract was sent through the wormhole he had discovered before the war, to the impossible alien planet dismissed by the Council as the fairy-tale "Mother World."
However, the High Science Council, still vainly hoping to rebuild in the wake of Zod's war, refused to hear Jor-El's proposal for continued use of the Phantom Zone. The citizens of Krypton would spend their remaining days trying to re-create the lives they had lost, unwilling to believe there was no going back. The tesseract city would remain empty, save for the single occupant of the small life pod: A Fortress of Solitude.
Realizing the life pod did not have the energy to accomodate more than a single passenger, Jor-El and Lara decided to save the life of their infant son, Kal-El. In his pod they placed a key to the tesseract Fortress, a hologlyph containing the known history of Krypton, and a banner of the House of El, emblazoned proudly with the symbol of Hope.
It is with this that Kal-El left his doomed home world, which was then torn apart in a final cataclysmic explosion. Thus the history of Krypton ends, with the Last Son of Krypton finding a new home among the stars, on the small, primitive, impossible planet Earth...