21: The Realm of Heroes

21: The Realm of Heroes

Every Realm has its heroes. You are, of course, among them. Some are recognized by the people the save and protect. Others go about their careers unknown, serving the people and places they love in secret. Still, no Realm has heroes like the 21st.

Here is a world of great powers and abilities. People are born or called to greatness, the universe deeming them worthy of wielding a potential unlike any other. Often these are inherent and unwieldy, changing over time and only reaching their full potentials in the worst case scenarios.

As much as it is the Realm of Heroes, it is also the one of villains, for the cosmos do everything in balance. Some are selfish and others think they do the right thing. Regardless, the result are fights like those between the most powerful of other Realms. In the 21st, these battles are all too normal.

A World In Need

Terra is a world of humans, like so many other Earths among the Realms. But these humans are different. There are mutants, individuals imbued with wild magic, those touched by alien artifacts, and more. Individuals are given incredible powers and no one teaches them how to use them.

Once upon a time the world was full of those who would use those powers for good. A generation ago, an alien race didn’t have a beachhead on the moon. Terra is safe at the moment, but it is a desperate safety. Should the aliens gain an advantage things will turn. If the villains of the world decide to work together governments could be rewritten. Terra is a world in need of change, of help, of heroes.

Heroes Lost

Forty years ago, the world was rife with powerful heroes and equally powerful villains. They fought for their countries, their cities, their beliefs, and their desires. It was a harrowing time and many cities were leveled in the worst battles. Over time insurance, architecture, and more adjusted and developed. Just as the world was catching up to the advent of super-powered humans, things changed.

An alien race of conquerors arrived only to be pushed back by hero and villain alike. Cooperation was tough, but many villains knew there was no gain without a world to call their own. World governments also learned to work together a little better, but the cost was great. Nearly a whole generation of heroes was lost to the conflict, but Terra remained free.

Sigma Crisis

Near the end of the war with the invaders, alien viral technology was deployed in an attempt to eliminate the main force which fought them: supers. The Sigma Virus, as it became called, sought all genetic markers that would make an individual more than human. This worked down to even the smallest mutation allowing for manipulation of magic.

What the invaders did not expect was the adaptability of the human immune system. Heroes died by the score, but in the process of transmission the virus changed. Eventually it infected some of the alien. Those few months became known as the Sigma Crisis and ended the war. A handful of invaders were left on the moon, too weak to continue the war and the virus too great a risk to go home.

As for the heroes and villains of Terra, few were left alive. Young people got sick and died worldwide, the future supers of the world. As years went by the world recovered and it seemed like the invaders were no longer a worry, but heroes became scarce. Those who did come into powers tended to be targets of research and secret government agencies. The result: an over abundance of villains and few heroes.

The New Generation

Today things are changing for the people of Terra. Most supers have died or retired and the world has been calm. Over the years, though, the Sigma Virus as remained as a standard part of human physiology. Most doctors believed that this created a wall from powers redeveloping among humans. This was a fact that has been accepted for almost 10 years, until things changed.

Recently a whole slew of super-powered folk have begun to show up. No one is sure why and the triggering events are even more diverse than they were in the first generation of heroes. Those few who have been studied to any degree all have the Sigma Virus, but not the virus that started the Crisis.

This newly discovered form has maintained the DNA of supers subsumed in their destruction. Something is triggering a reversal of the virus’s intent. Now the Sigma Virus doesn’t target all abilities, but instead can give almost any ability. Regardless, there is now a new generation of powerful individuals in the world. Terra is struggling to keep up with the sudden resurgence and the balance sits close to tipping. Those few who take the mantle of hero and seek to protect others are all that are helping keep things in check.