I was sitting here going through PDFs, trying to figure out how to tackle Xenomega. I wanted to include undead, zombies and vampires, demons and devils, mutants and monsters. I want street level supers, but also cybernetics and robots. Super-soldiers and psychics. I want some magic, but not too powerful. I want the world to have a little bit of everything, but still make it all make sense.
I’ve been trying to consolidate all these ideas into one. I had the idea of the Veil and the border between worlds somehow getting destroyed. There would be the occasional break through as something from beyond came into the real world. That idea worked, but I grew tired of it. It sounds too much like Rifts, and I don’t want anyone to compare this to Rifts. So I took a break.
Today then, I’m reading random d20 Modern PDFs looking for something I can lift to pull everything together and start working on the Xenomega campaign. And then it hit me, the Incursion from Aerinwohl. There it was an opening of a portal to Hell which brought in hordes of Devils. There were other portals open to different planes, but that was the one that would not close. I thought to myself, I could use that idea in Xenomega. I had already been toying with the idea of having parallel worlds brought in, but that seemed too derivative. I needed something more, something different, but that would still have the same effect. If I can take these ideas, combine them into one and make it all work, I might be on to something.
Here’s how it stands now. Earth is roughly the same as it is in our world, up until about WWII. There are some minor changes, magic has been around in secret, psionics is real but nowhere near reliable or powerful, there have been gods and aliens visiting the Earth for millennia, but as far as the commoners were concerned, the world thrat existed has followed the same path as ours. How these aliens and gods interacted is still a topic I’m working on, but as always, the words flow and ideas come out.
In areas like Tibet, Shangri-La, Atlantis, and some others, magic has always existed. Sometimes its outright spellcasting, other times it was development of the mind into a weapon. Some famous people have been more than we know. Da Vinci dabbled in alchemy, Ben Franklin was skilled in arcane arts, Newton learned of a way to see across the stars. HP Lovecraft may have been a writer, or a prophet. The world may appear to be the same on the surface, but there were differences that made things significant. As a whole cloth though, history is what we know and understand.
Things started to change during World War II. With the massive devastation across the globe, governments started or increased their work on super-soldier projects. No longer was it top priority to have a massive military, but now as the Cold War set in, soldiers that could do as much as a battalion were needed to for covert missions, pinpoint attacks, and espionage. The first world powers were working on a variety of fronts, with cybernetics, robots, psychics, magic, and genetics as the most popular. Some nations focused on single areas, but still had research invested in other areas, while the more wealthy nations utilized whatever resources they had available. There were deaths, mutations, mistakes, and failures, but eventually, the research paid off.
Somewhere near the middle of the 21st century, everything went to hell. Or rather, Hell came to Earth. Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at the Bikini Atoll, there was a new experiment taking place. Fueled with the residual power of nuclear bomb tests, a gnome from another realm cast open a great portal directly to the depths of Hell. The ocean was overrun as beasts of myth and legend came streaming forth. The Incursion began and the world as we know it, was gone.
A dark red storm grew with the portal the dark eye in the center. The Maelstrom expanded outward, threatening to take over the world in its shadow. Armies of demon and devil scoured the Earth, leaving death, destruction, and desolation in their wake. Nuclear strikes were attempted, but this only caused the chaos to increase. The Maelstrom fed on the detonations, solidifying its position as a permanent deadly storm and out of the reach of mankind.
With the rising of darkness, however, light came to the world as well. Forces from other dimensions stepped through their own gates to fight back the dark tide. Old gods once thought to be nothing but stories came to the world to defend it. Norse, Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Olmec, Incan, and others had become realigned with Earth and sought to fortify the mortal world and protect it from the dark forces. Legions of holy warriors took up arms against the tooth and claw of the Fel-creatures.
But humanity was not defenseless either. Those super-soldiers who had been fighting secret battles before the Incursion now stepped into the limelight. More than mortal, and at the same time less than man, they used technology, arcane secrets, superhuman abilities, and tactics developed through years of shadow conflicts to bring forth a wave of their own devastation against the demons. Through great sacrifice, the devils were forced back into their storm of brimstone and into hiding in other areas of the world. With a combination of deific power and mortal magics, the portal was sealed at great cost of life. The Maelstrom though, remained.
The Incursion lasted a long time. In the current age, no one really knows when it started or how long the portal was open. About a quarter of the Pacific Ocean is covered in a great swirling storm that must be avoided by all. It is a stain on the Earth and filled with many terrors from beyond the stars who may be plotting for a final war, hiding in the only place they can feel safe, or biding their time until the wards that have sealed them in falter.
Now them, some three or four hundred years in the future, the world is scarred and damaged. Creatures from realms unknown now exist here. There are Dwarves and Elves, Orks and Fey. Some have cybernetics, some are masters of magic. Robots have taken over Japan and the old gods are struggling to gain new worshippers. The world is changed, the world is broken, but we have a lot to work with.