Welcome to the Brave New World

“O wonder! How many goodly cretures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such creatures in ’t!” —Miranda, The Tempest, Act V, Scene i

The year is 2030, and the Superhumans walk among us.

At the dawn of the 21st century The Shadow Weave saturated the world with strange quantum forces. Around the globe, people spontaneously started developing powers that couldn’t be explained by science. These Novas began tackling the problems of the day, trying to use their new-found powers for the good of mankind. For one glorious decade, it seemed like the world was destined for a new golden age.

It didn’t last.

“Some kinds of baseness are nobly undergone.” —Ferdinand, The Tempest, Act III, Scene i

The Novas were only human. Some began to use their power for selfish or destructive ends. Some wound up making the world’s problems worse instead of better, making tragic mistakes that endangered millions. The Baselines reacted, trying to reign in the superhumans. Tensions rose as governments and corporations worked to crack the secret of nova powers and give them their own, more trusted agents. A scandal at the heart of one of the most visible Nova institutions shattered the trust between Nova and Baseline.

And then The Avatars appeared.

“Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war!” —Antony, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene i

Twelve Novas with godlike powers appeared out of nowhere in the Middle East, conquering nations in a serious attempt to rule the world. Their power was such that they could create new Novas almost at will—or slaughter thousands in an eyeblink. The nations of the world scrambled to respond, opening a Pandora’s box of genetic modification and cybernetic enhancement. The war killed millions throughout the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Eventually, the Avatars were defeated and locked away, their power turned into cheap electricity for the rest of the world.

But their dark legacy lives on.

“…all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts And frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. it is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” — MacBeth, MacBeth, Act V, Scene v

The Pandora’s Box has been opened. New Novas appear at an alarming rate, and propaganda has turned them from saviors into monsters. Cyberware and genetic tinkering have given the power of the gods to those who can afford them, but are either tightly controlled or fiendishly illegal. Artificial entities challenge the notion of what it means to be human. And a new threat looms, as beings from outside reality take notice of the world and empower mortals to act in their stead, bringing their holy wars to a new battleground.

“That is the question, whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them?” —Hamlet, Hamlet, Act III Scene i

You have been granted superhuman abilities, whether through mutation, training, technology, magic, or outside empowerment. Once held in reverence, your powers now bring suspicion at best and outright hostility at worst. But with great power comes great responsibility. The Watchmen seek to repair the damage, to heal the rift between Abnormal and Baseline, to stop those who would use their powers for selfish or destructive ends, and protect other Abnormals from those who would oppress and exploit them. It is a tough task, and a fine line to walk. Are you up for the challenge?

Welcome to Drake City. Welcome to The Brave New World.