ASH: Third Heroic Age Rosterbook

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Mon Oct 15 09:51:18 PDT 2007

     Cover shows hundreds of almost invisibly small superhumans darting about
over and in a cityscape.

 .|, COHERENT                                            An ASHistory Series
 '|` SUPER STORIES                        Third Heroic Age Rosterbook
                                          copyright 2007 by Dave Van Domelen

     Latest Update: 10/15/07

     In the wake of the Second Age Sourcebook and First Age Sourcebook, I
figured it'd be a good idea to at least do something for the Third Age, which
ran from 1986-1998 (and incorporates a lot of material from my college
Champions campaign 1988-1992 and grad school Modern Knights stuff 1992-1994).
However, one of the defining characteristics of the Third Age was the
overwhelming number of superhumans and concepts and organizations and...
just plain STUFF.  It'd be easier to do a Fourth Age Sourcebook properly than
a Third Age one.  But some sort of reference material is necessary, to avoid
things like the whole Veterans/Elite Brigade oops, and other cases where I
re-mine my college and grad school RPG campaigns.  So I decided to do a
"short" rosterbook.  And yes, this monstrosity IS short, compared to what
could have been had I used the same format and level of detail as the First
and Second Age Sourcebooks!

     The teams and individuals listed in this file have either appeared in
ASH canon, been mentioned, or are things I intend to have show up someday.
The level of detail is intentionally low, to avoid fixing in stone something
I may want to change later.  I don't plan to write a lot of stories about
Third Age characters (most set then are about First or Second Age characters
who lived long enough), so I don't need a lot of detail.  Andy Burton's LL&DD
series is Third Age, but he's got his own Wiki set up for that.

     Some of these characters use pretty much their original RPG campaign
backgrounds, but many have been altered to avoid trademark issues, and some
of the new backgrounds were written specifically for this document.

     There will be two sections to this rosterbook.  Teams and Individuals,
each broken up into Hero, Villain or Unaligned (which includes those who play
both sides of the fence).  The Teams section also includes organizations,
races, etc.  





     Heroic Teams/Groups - ASH (KCASH, LAASH, MASH), Elite Brigade/Veterans,
London Knights, Raiders, St. Louis Cavaliers, Three Strikes/Four Strikes

     Villainous Teams/Groups - CSV, The Guys (The New Guys), JESTER, Jotuns,
Khadam, They Might Be Villains

     Unaligned Teams/Groups - The City-State of Septimus Artorius, The
Conclave, DSHA, Godmarket, Planetary Confederation, Pranir


     Heroes - Morgan Adams, Aleph Null, Balder, Banshee, Barnstormer,
Barrage, Bastion, Black Opal, Blackjack, Blitzkrieg!, Brightsword II, Bubba
da Gargoyle, The Catman, The Colonel, Commander Force, Constellation, Delta
Rose, Doctor Developer, EMerald, Farrenheit, Fracture, Gravitrak, Haze,
Hellbound, Horus, The Juggler, Lady Lawful II, Lightfoot, Liquid, LU-61,
Matrix, Mylink, Opal, Panzer, Psiberpunk, Pushover, Rad, Ravenfire,
Rechtigkeit II, Redeemer, Set, Jiang Sheng, Solar Max I, Stormcloud, Strafe
I-III/Centurion, Strafe IV, Jack Striker, Triple Eagle, Tymythy Twystyd,
Valkyrie, The Wanderer, Weapons Master, Will Zimmerman

     Major Villains (and their common minions) - Antiochus V (Lysias-13,
Lysias-15), Devastator (Annihilators, Doctor Pue), Doublecross (Ringers,
Light Brigade), Lord Ebon (Elementals, Undead, Magnum Suits)

     Other Villains - Alchemist, Pino Archangeli, Bacteriomage, Challenger,
Chesspieceface, Chro-Know, Darkshield II, Depot, Doc Droid, Flood, The
Fomorian, Hellrazor, Herr Stark, Horus, Erik Magnum, Max & Dex, Meathead, The
Minotaur, Mistah Mekanique, Mr. Claw, Mr. Maze, Mylink (CSV), Naobata,
Onslaught, The Persuader, Professor Upgrade, Doctor Huang Sheng, Skarr,
Software Pirate, Strafe (CSV), Sutekh, Triangle Man, WarStar

     Unaligned - Avatar, Eye of Horus, President Danforth Quayle, Hector


                              TEAMS AND GROUPS


     Heroic Teams/Groups:


     The premiere team of the Third Heroic Age, founded in late 1988 in
Chicago IL, although they later moved to an artificial island off Milwaukee's
shore after several high-property-damage incidents.  Early members included
EMerald, Set, Bubba da Gargoyle, Fracture, Mylink and the Colonel.  It went
through various incarnations and dozens of different members over the years,
with a roster once reaching 14 active members before the decision was made to
split off "franchises".  Lord Ebon nearly destroyed the team in 1997, causing
much of the membership to decide it was time to retire.  In 1998, membership
of the core team was almost entirely made up of high powered avatars such as
Set, the reformed Horus, Stormcloud, Balder and Valkyrie.
     KCASH - Kansas City ASH (pronounced "Kay-Cash").  The first "franchise"
team, it was largely a collection of mid-powered misfits thrown together in
1990 because they hadn't made the cut to join the original team.  During the
Soviet Hardliner incident of 1991 they lost three members in the failed
attempt to stop a fusion bomb aimed at Wichita KS, and disbanded soon after.
There were plans to revive the team in 1998, but it had only gotten to the
planning stages before the Barrier went up.
     LAASH - Los Angeles ASH (pronounced "Lash").  The second franchise,
built around a small core of experienced superheroes that included pre-
rejuvenation Valkyrie.  This team was notable for dealing with menaces that
were bizarre even by the standards of superherodom.  Founded in mid-1990,
drifted in and out of existence for several years.
     MASH - Manhattan ASH.  The third and shortest-lived franchise.  New York
City in late 1990 really had no need for a high powered team, and the
mismatch between MASH's power levels and the sort of street crime they
encountered led them to disband rather than inspire escalation.  They invited
Black Opal to join, but he declined.  The most prominent member of MASH was
Solar Max I, who was only a part-timer.

Elite Brigade/Veterans

     This was a team composed mainly of "former" military veterans who
publically acted as a regular superhero team in the Washington D.C. area
under the name "the Veterans".  Due to treaties signed in the 1960s, the
U.S. military could not officially use superhuman soldiers, but this didn't
stop them from trying to find loopholes.  Project Electric Warrior was an
attempt to create cyborgs who could operate at superhuman levels without
violating the treaty, but the only successes (the Colonel and Strafe IV)
turned out to be supernormals "underneath" the cybernetics.  As the Veterans,
they protected the eastern seaboard after MASH failed to take hold.  As the
Elite Regiment, they engaged in quasi-legal activities in support of military
objectives, such as Operation Stormfront in Kuwait in 1991.
     The Colonel led the team and represented the Army.  Strafe IV was the
Air Force's contribution, and Barrage was the Navy man on the team.  Former
ASH member Barnstormer was the token civilian, and was generally not involved
in the Elite Regiment missions.  Canada's Commander Force occasionally worked
with the Elite Regiment.  The Marines and National Guard had representatives
as well.

London Knights

     Mentioned in passing in WarStar #3, nothing else has been revealed about
this team.  They may not even be European, but from London Ontario.


     Based on Columbus, Ohio in the early 1990s, this started as a simple
case of paroling a not-particularly-villainous superhuman (Bastion) into the
custody of a trusted government-sponsored hero (Matrix).  The duo clashed
with the demon Naobata and ended up teaming with the Wanderer, who had been
drawn to the area by the blood magic practiced by Naobata's followers.  The
trio formalized their grouping as the Raiders, and the team endured even
after both Bastion and Matrix left.  The Scytharian cyborg Blitzkrieg! and
the spatial mage Tymythy Twystyd replaced the founding duo, and they were
later joined by former DSHA agent Haze.
     The Raiders tended to clash with powerful mystic foes, in large part
because the Wanderer knew where to find them, and were recurring thorns in
the side of Lord Ebon.  They broke up in 1995 after several roster changes
that saw people enter and leave in weeks or even days, but Tymythy and the
Wanderer remained close allies until the bitter end.

St. Louis Cavaliers

     A low-powered team that tended to concentrate on street-level crime
despite their flashy powers and costumes.  Once in a while they'd participate
in major events, such as the fight against the City-State of Septimus
Artorius, but their contentment with their niche helped them stay together
far longer than most teams.  
     The core members were Opal, Farrenheit and the Juggler.  The roster
never grew to more than 5 people.  It was rumored that the team was actually
a polyamorous group, but they never confirmed or denied the rumor.

Three Strikes/Four Strikes

     A semi-covert team sponsored by the DSHA, they tended to take on
missions that were "under the radar".  Led by Jack Striker, the team included
armored hero Depot and strongwoman Lady Lawful II.  Later, Depot went rogue
and was replaced by Doctor Developer.  Based in Chicago, but with worldwide
     Originally named the Three Strikes, it was renamed when the mage Will
Zimmerman joined and expanded the roster to four.

               *              *              *              *

     Villainous Teams/Groups:


     When ASH traveled to the Curseworld and helped Preserver (the local
alternate of Devastator, who had ironically been turned good by his lab
accident) defeat their own evil counterparts, the surviving members of the
Conclave of Supervillains found a way to follow ASH home, and soon set
themselves up as the ruling faction of Haven, an artificial city of
supervillains and mad scientists in the Mediterranean.  Their roster rarely
changed, as they didn't trust "aliens", but once in a while they would
replace a member lost in action...or to Haven's cutthroat politics.
     Challenger generally led the team, with Strafe (CSV) and Horus as his
enforcers.  Mylink (CSV) was the most likely to scheme for that position, and
eventually Challenger tired of this and took her into orbit and left her
there to wait for her Safsuit to run out of power.

The Guys 

     A loose alliance of self-proclaimed "macho" villains, who took on
punnish codename when working together.  For instance, a weather-mage might
call himself Harry Kane while on a mission with The Guys.  No women allowed.
     Their most notable mission was also their last.  They successfully
ambushed President George H.W. Bush in 1990 by hiding under the Reflecting
Pool and attacking savagely before defenses could be activated (defenses that
were suspiciously slow in coming online).  They were defeated by ASH and
imprisoned, but vanished soon after, never to be seen again.  Conspiracy
theorists claimed that newly-installed President Quayle used his power to
make them vanish, lest they reveal his part in the death of his predecessor.
     The New Guys - Formed in 1992 in Detroit, although they had no fixed
base.  They kept the alternate codename gimmick, but did allow some female
members, as well as "non-gendered" alien and robotic members, so long as they
were sufficiently manly.  At times the New Guys seemed more like a
supervillain social networking tool than an actual team.


     Justice-Evading Superhero-Tormenting Entertaining Rogues.  Despite their
avowed goal of bringing fun to the world, they were definitely villains, and
possibly the ones a hero team least wanted to see coming their way.  Not all
of their members had actual powers, some were just wannabes who put on wacky
costumes and set out to get on the news.  However, there was a small core
membership that was a lot more organized and clueful than they let on, and
these were the ones who made sure all the goofballs got to have their fun
without getting killed.  They even managed to infiltrate ASH with one of
their own (Barnstormer).


     One of the more organized and persistent groups of extradimensional
invaders of the Third Heroic Age, these fallen Purebloods were able to see
the Godmarket coming, and hoped to get into a position to take advantage of
it, possibly leveraging the fall of another group of gods to reascend to full
godly status themselves.  Powerful mages and shapeshifters, they started
getting involved in small ways as early as the 1930s, but it wasn't until
reuniting with their lost colony (Dimension Z, see Second Age Sourcebook)
that they were really able to get going.
     Their schemes had both mystical and technological aspects, and by 1997
they had significantly infiltrated human power structures despite (or maybe
because of) a number of notable defeats at the hands of both ASH and the
Raiders.  Their greatest success was Magnum Industries, which had managed to
consolidate a large percentage of supertech research and development by the
mid 90s.

Khadam for full details.  The
quintessential superhuman Rogue State.

They Might Be Villains

     Very minor team of misfits, led by Chesspieceface, and including members
such as Flood, Mr. Claw and Triangle Man.  Only notable because at one point
a disembodied Lord Ebon chose Chesspieceface as his new host, leading to
(among other things) the creation of Constellation from TMBV member Flood.
Clashed with the early incarnations of the Raiders, and had an on-and-off
rivalry with JESTER.

               *              *              *              *

     Unaligned Teams/Groups:

The City-State of Septimus Artorius

     In ASH-Mainline, a young woman in Roman Britain met with an untimely end
in an accident in the 5th Century.  But in an alternate timeline, she made
some small choice that spared her life, and one of her sons was born with
paranormal powers of charisma and persuasion.  In this other reality, the boy
grew to become the Emperor of Rome, reuniting Eastern and Western Empires.
     His power of persuasion was inherited by his children for several
generations, leading to a Roman Empire that never fell.  By 1990 (or its
equivalent in local reckoning), the empire was starting its conquest of North
America, facing a powerful Mesoamerica-based empire in land battles that saw
mobile cities as the primary military unit.
     Named after the seventh Emperor to take the name of the great unifier,
one such war city was hit by a powerful and experimental Mesoamerican
spacewarp bomb at the same time that ASH was trying to seal the "hellhole"
leading to Hellbound's dimension of torment, and the entire city came
bursting through into north-central Illinois.
     After some confusion, the war city decided to start conquering this new
land in the name of the Empire, trusting their scientists back home to find a
way to follow.  After all, they were designed to operate with total
independence in the field, with no support for periods of several years at a
stretch.  With hundreds of genetically augmented Centurions and highly
advanced war machines (both supertech and normaltech), they cut a swath
across the Great Plains before being driven into Canada, cornered and
destroyed by an alliance of dozens of superheroes and several supervillains.
     The city itself was abandoned, and the soldiers sent home or given
sanctuary as they wished.  Magnum Industries got the contract to study the
city, but Antiochus V eventually took it over to use as his base in the
TechnoMystical War.  Rather than let someone else try that again, the ruins
were completely destroyed after Antiochus V's mysterious departure (he was
killed by WarStar, WarStar #3).
     They're listed as "unaligned" because they weren't really good guys or
bad guys, just lost foreigners trying to carve out a place for themselves.
They just got a little too aggressive about it.

The Conclave

     An ancient order of Anchors, no one knows exactly how far back their
history goes.  They've always had members in positions of political, economic
and religious power, although they would reach their zenith in the early 21st
     During the Third Age, they were best known as a sort of "union" for
mercenary Anchors, helping them obtain training and alien technology that
would work alongside their Anchor abilities.  Known members included Pino
Archangeli, Devlin Marx and Hector Rodriguez.  Conflicts often erupted
between members of the Conclave, however, and the organization could not be
said to have a consistent or coherent "mission statement" beyond that of "Do
whatever benefits Anchors" and "Keep the peace among Anchors".  A significant
faction within the Conclave advocated worship of the Egyptian gods, however. 


     The Department of Superhuman Affairs, the United States of America's
official organization for dealing with superhumans.  While they did have
highly trained combat operatives, their main focus was on legal matters,
especially liability law and intellectual property law.  Licensed superhumans
essentially had DSHA acting as a combination of agent and legal team,
handling things like merchandising, insurance and lawsuits.
     Generally a force for good, the DSHA did have a tendency to meddle,
trying to get heroes to reduce property damage and other liability matters,
or pushing them to do things that would enhance their marketing potential.
As such, they count as "unaligned" because they were often in antagonistic
     Also, it didn't help that Bennett Rush (Doublecross) manipulated DSHA
resources for nearly 15 years before being "outed" by the Raiders as a


     Various Purebloods sought to manipulate humanity from practically the
start of the 20th Century, but in 1997 it went all-out.  Modern advertising
techniques were applied to bring in worshippers.  Pantheons that had the
biggest success in this endeavor were the Greco-Romans, the Aesir, the
Egyptians and the Titans (although the Titans were knocked out of the running
fairly quickly).  Several other pantheons stuck with their traditional
audiences, such as the Shinto gods in Japan or various African tribal gods.
     A number of "demons" who had fared badly in earlier publicity wars tried
to rehabilitate their images, such as Mammon or Moloch, but with Christianity
having painted them in a bad light for centuries they had little luck.

Planetary Confederation

     See (Alien Races) and (Space Travel) among other sources.
Run by the humanoid aliens the Santari with backing from the insectile T!rir,
the Planetary Confederation is roughly a sphere 250 lightyears in diameter.
Earth is at the fringe of this sphere, and only started to get attention from
the PC in the 1970s.
     The Galactic Warrior Corps is an arm of the PC that concerns itself with
dangerous technologies, and they saw a lot to worry about on Earth.  While
helping protect Earth from some of the more rapacious unaligned alien races,
the GWC also tended to move against Earthly interests at times as well.


     In a strict legal sense, the Pranir are affiliated with the Planetary
Confederation.  However, their own tumultuous political structure means that
at any given moment the majority of the Houses tend to feel that agreements
with the PC don't apply to them.
     Serpentine bodies covered in feathery fur combine with their beaked
faces to give them the nickname "snakeowls".  Their four arms are dextrous if
not very strong.  Pranir are like the Dutch Traders of the spaceways.
They're generally honest ("A happy customer is a repeat customer"), but won't
bend over backwards to warn a buyer of potential pitfalls.  Especially since
they may not even be aware of the problems themselves....




     If the character's real name or aliases are known, they will be listed
in parentheses after their codename.  Those who have no codename are listed
by real name.  Those whose real names are deliberately unknown (and not just
not yet decided on) will be indicated.


Adams, Morgan (real name unknown)

     Unpowered adventurer active in Washington DC and worldwide, often
working alongside Jiang Sheng.  Survived into the Fourth Age.

Aleph Null

     A mathematical mage, member of KCASH and later an occasional reservist
for the main ASH team.  Somewhat fragile in a fight, he was more useful in a
support role.


     Avatar of the Aesir of the same name.  He had light-based powers and a
vulnerability to mistletoe.  It is unknown whether the Balder who served with
the first incarnation of ASH was the same as the one who served with its last
roster, the nearly ten years of absence suggest the original avatar didn't
work out and took a while to replace.


     Power-armored member of ASH, her main offensive system was a sonic
screamer.  Her armor was built by the same people who built Ravenfire's suit,
and after Banshee retired the sonic weapon was added to Ravenfire's arsenal. 


     Light-controller, focusing on illusions and dazzlement, but also able to
create potent laser beams.  Also secretly an occasional member of JESTER.
A founding member of ASH, and later the token civilian of the Veterans
(representing veterans of superhero groups).


     Naval rating who gained the ability to transform himself into living
steel and leap great distances.  Unfortunately, he was also not buoyant,
making him less useful in his old service branch.  Adapted reasonably well to
groundpounding missions with the Elite Regiment.


     Good-natured Rastafarian with the ability to create forcefields.  His
parole on drug possession charges led to the creation of the Raiders, but he
only stayed with the group for a few months.  Once his parole was up, he
left.  Occasionally also known as Dredbanger.

Black Opal (Family name Chin, first name unrevealed)

     A low-level paranormal with enhanced strength and agility and a knack
for supertech.  He became active in 1983 (contrary to claims in WarStar #2
that would have had his career starting in 1977), shortly after Minuteman's
true identity was revealed.  It's believed that he based his own helmet after
Minuteman's as an homage.  He also wore a matte black bulletproof costume of
his own design.  Fought street level crime in the New York City area, died
shortly before July 1998.


     Possessed a deck of magic cards, some of which accessed alternate or
pocket dimensions.  Died as he attempted to banish a nuclear missile into one
of these pocket realities.  Founding member of KCASH.

Blitzkrieg! (DU-3345)

     Scytharian Defense Unit 3345, he was in suspension on the crashed trade
ship that formed the basis of Khadam's technology.  Freed from suspension by
the Raiders, he joined them for a few months before getting drafted as Delta
Rose's lieutenant.  As a cyborg, he had few rights under Planetary
Confederation law, but fairly substantial rights under United States law,
which caused some jurisdictional disputes later on.
     Despite being century-old technology by Scytharian standards, he was
still able to compete as a superhuman.  
     And yes, the exclamation point is officially part of his name.  He
insisted on it.

Brightsword II (Gloria Jackson)

     Daughter of the original Brightsword, whose genetics had apparently been
permanently altered by the experiments than unleashed his superhuman powers,
allowing him to pass on his powers without modification (most superhumans who
have children find that their kids have different powers).  Jim Jackson
passed his laser torch on to his daughter as well once she was old enough to
put on the mask.
     Aside from the military members of the Veterans, Brightsword II was the
most openly patriotic American superhero of the age.  While not containing
stars or stripes per se, her costume was red, white and blue (white bodysuit,
blue gloves, boots and mask, red sword emblem).

Bubba da Gargoyle

     It's a common staple of horror fiction: don't annoy the old gypsy
fortuneteller, she might be a strega.  And that goes double in a world where
there's plenty of evidence that magic is real.  But "Bubba" was too much of a
jerk to pay heed to this, and ended up getting cursed.  He would slowly turn
into unmoving, unliving stone in the shape of a gargoyle.  But because of his
own unexpressed magene ability, he could control the change, at least for a
while.  He hoped that be becoming a hero he might convince the strega to lift
the curse before he turned into immobile stone, and was a founding member of
     It has not been revealed whether the curse was reversed, or if he simply
vanished in 1998 prior to it taking full effect.

The Catman (Edouard)

     In an alternate reality, the brilliant Doctor Moreau was just a little
more savvy about things and managed to keep his island from turning into a
nightmare.  Instead, a new age of legalized slavery began, with domesticated
animal uplifts in the place of oppressed human groups.  
     Edouard the uplifted feline (slaves didn't get last names) was part of a
resistance movement, learning forbidden fighting arts on his Brazilian
plantation.  Unfortunately, the extended life of the neo-Victorian society
came to a violent end in 1989 as one of the many mad scientists of the era
succeeded in blowing up the world via a dimensional rift generator.  
     Edouard was, as far as he knows, the only survivor of his world, blown
through one of the unstable dimensional rifts that tore the planet apart.
It's possible other survivors exist, sent through to other realities, but he
has never found another native of his world in ASH-Mainline.
     As one of many interdimensional immigrants of the early Third Age, and
possessed of inhuman fighting talents, "Eddy" was placed with ASH to help him
fit in, and ended up leading the team for two non-consecutive terms.  As "the
Catman" he was never a heavy hitter, but his tenacity and skill let him pull
more than his own weight.

The Colonel 

     One of only two successes of Project Electric Warrior, he had enhanced
strength and durability, plus electrical generation systems.  For a time he
rode a flying motorcycle, until tampering by JESTER caused it to "give birth"
to a number of miniature three-wheeled AI's known as "The Trikes".  That put
him right off motorcycles.
     After a short career with ASH, he moved on to lead the Veterans and the
Elite Regiment.

Commander Force

     Part of Canada's version of Project Electric Warrior, he had enhanced
physical abilities and circuits that generated a force field.  He was armed
with a plasma pistol that could shoot "pellets" of plasma or streams of fire.
He was a member of ASH for exactly one mission as Force, during which nearly
burned down a large section of Chicago.
     After extensive retraining and a rebranding as Commander Force, he acted
as Canada's lead superhero for a time, occasionally working alongside the
Elite Regiment.  Feeling unappreciated by his government, he joined WarStar's
army in early 1998, and accompanied WarStar to his home reality shortly
before the Barrier went up.

Constellation (Floyd Johnson)

     Formerly They Might Be Villains member Flood, he was thrust into a
drama-run reality by Lord Ebon and merged with a bodiless soul to become a
powerful dimension-spanning entity.  So great was his power that he could
occasionally generate his own pocket realties that reflected his home
universe, but with alterations that suited his needs, conscious or otherwise.

Delta Rose

     See the Second Age Sourcebook.  During the Third Age she mostly acted as
a representative of the Galactic Warrior Corps in an administrative or
diplomatic capacity, rather than going into battle.  By Third Age standards,
she was somewhat low-powered.

Doctor Developer (Cameron McKay)

     Son of a small-time thug, he was taken under the wing of First Age (and
Second Age) villain Tinker Tom.  Despite his lack of a Magene, McKay learned
how to manipulate "Supertech" in significant ways.  After a brief career as a
fairly odd and non-lethal supervillain, he reformed (more or less) and joined
the Three Strikes (later Four Strikes).
     A natural genius at science and synthesis, he often used alien
technology to compensate for his inability to fully use supertech.  He
survived into the Fourth Age and mentored the Reverse Engineers.


     During the late 1980s, Bennett Rush was looking to create the most
powerful battlesuit that someone with low to no Tesla Index could use, and
redirected DSHA resources under the table to a number of inventors to that
end.  One such inventor used his fiancee as the test pilot for a battlesuit
that gave the wearer command over the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the
EMerald suit.  With this suit, she was a founding member of ASH.
     Pleased with the success, Rush used backdoors built into the cybernetic
control suite (that he'd supplied to all of his contractors) to control
EMerald on occasion, having her steal the last few pieces he needed to create
a more powerful version of the suit.  EMerald broke his control and destroyed
the suit, but never found out who Doublecross really was prior to his
"outing" by the Raiders.  She eventually adapted the armor of a reality-
displaced hero for her own use and continued as a hero, leading ASH for
several terms.
     The original suit relied on forcefields for protetion, while the second
suit used brute armoring.  Both could fly.


     Heat projecting hero and member of the St. Louis Cavaliers.  A fairly
fast runner, but otherwise had no special movement powers.  And yes, he knows
his name is "misspelled", it's intentional.  He thinks it looks cooler that


     Originally a founding member of ASH as the power-armored Badger, who
used massive steel claws to burrow through the ground and slash at his foes.
Selected for sacrifice by a demonic cult, he absorbed some of the power of
the disrupted ceremony, surviving a fatal wound and gaining superhuman
speed.  However, he also constantly vibrated in such a way as to crack rigid
objects he was in contact with.  Being knocked out while on concrete could
lead to his teammates needing to dig him out of a pit after the fight.

Gravitrak ("Eric Harris" to any DNA scan, but no alternate ID of his own)

     A flawed clone of Devastator.  His gravity powers were mainly
internalized as great strength and durability, plus the power of flight.  He
shared his "father's" vulnerability to light.  He later learned to use his
gravity power for limited ranged effects.


     A DSHA agent who got in the way of Naobata's cultists and was vaporized,
she found that it didn't kill her.  A living cloud of mist, she learned how
to generate different chemicals within herself.  A member of the Raiders for
several months.

Hellbound (John Travers)

     See the First Age Sourcebook.  Johnny Angel came out of 45 years of
hellish exile with flame-related powers, and a fiery variation of his
original teleportation abilities.  He was rescued by ASH and joined it for a
few months before setting out to find out how the world had changed in his

Horus (Myron Telix, Curseworld)

     In 1998, the god Horus restored the sanity of his Curseworld avatar, and
the now-heroic Horus joined ASH for the final few months of its existence.

The Juggler

     A man made of living chromium, who juggled shotputs and could throw them
at villains with the impact of a cannon shot.  Member of the St. Louis

Lady Lawful II (Jennifer Blair)

     Daughter of the original Lady Lawful (see Second Age Sourcebook), her
baseline abilities (strength, agility, durability) were roughly equivalent to
those her mother possessed while wearing the Enhancement Belt, and putting on
the belt increased those powers another tenfold.  Founding member of the
Three Strikes.
     After a rather strange courtship, she married Doctor Developer, only to
leave him a widower on July 6, 1998.

Lightfoot (Tom Dodson)

     Has the ability to make things go fast, including himself or anything he
touches.  A sort of "apprentice" to Solar Max I, his career in ASH was cut
short by a mission on which he was forced to push himself to near light speed
to get a doomsday device out of Earth's atmosphere.  About thirty years later
(but only a fairly short time subjective) he made it back home, and joined
the Fourth Age's version of ASH.


     Wore a suit of power armor filled with water and powerful pumps that let
him project the water at firehose force.  He could also move underwater at
high speed, and was generally strong and durable in the suit.  A long time
member of ASH, his armor was destroyed by Lord Ebon in 1997 and he never
rebuilt it before vanishing in the creation of the Barrier.

LU-61 ("Louie")

     Lupine Unit 61, an intelligent robotic wolf with a distressing habit of
getting blown up real good.  LU-60 joined ASH during its second year and
eventually got rebuilt into LU-61 using "probability capacitors" salvaged
from a group of interdimensional heroes who were slain in combat (the same
group whose armored member gave her suit to EMerald).  JESTER once built VN-1
(Vulpine Nuisance 1, or "Vinnie") specifically to annoy him.


     A young man dying of a degenerative nerve disease, he was saved by
having his mind placed into a solid light Scytharian construct (similar
technology was stolen and used by Doublecross).  Worked as a government
sponsored hero and was a founding member of the Raiders.  His fate after the
Third Age is a beneficiary of alien technology, he had no
Magene.  It's possible that, as a "cyborg" under strict Planetary
Confederation law, he was recalled by his owner, much as Blitzkrieg! was.


     Telepath, founding member of ASH.  Generally gentle, she never really
liked combat, and retired after only a few months.


     Acrobatic young woman with the ability to project shimmering "liquid
energy" from her fingertips.  Member of the St. Louis Cavaliers.


     Superstrong and durable German hero who could run at 40mph and tended to
slam headlong into opponents.  After his left leg was bitten off by an
extradimensional demonlord, he used a cybernetic replacement.


     Member of The Rush from 2112, this cyborg had a psiweb built into his
skull that let him use talents similar to telepathy and psionic blasts.  He
also had enhanced strength, but preferred not to use it as it tended to rip
up his own body.  Defected from The Rush and joined ASH in 1990.  Apparently
was paranormal enough to vanish in 1998.


     Founding member of KCASH with the ability to drain kinetic energy from
his targets.  Died in failed attempt to stop the nuclear destruction of
Wichita in 1991.

Rad (Rodney Baines)

     Son of Second Age heroes Dragonfly and Ladyhawke, he had powerful
radiation-based abilities.  His offense far outstripped his defense, however,
and he was often the first person to be taken out in a fight, resulting in
"off in Radland" becoming slang for "beaten unconscious".  A member of ASH
for several years, retired briefly in the wake of Lord Ebon's assault on the
team, but came back to help revive KCASH.

Ravenfire (sometimes spelled RavenFire, Natasha Ravenova)

     A rich young lady with minor telekinetic powers, she hired inventors to
build her a suit of power armor that would enhance those abilities, giving
her flight, forcefields and plasma bursts.  She later added Banshee's sonic
projectors to her arsenal.  Member of ASH for several years, she was
critically injured in Lord Ebon's 1997 attack and had not yet fully recovered
by July 6, 1998.
     Despite similar family names, she was not related to Darkshield II.

Rechtigkeit II (Sofie Rasch)

     A drug-addicted gang hanger-on, Sofie found herself called to a cave in
the forests of Germany while fleeing from danger in 1994.  There she found
the Axe of Justice (see Second Age Sourcebook, Rechtigkeit I), which purged
her system of drugs and gave her the power and drive to be a force for right.
Acted as a solo hero in Germany from 1994 until 1998.  When she vanished, the
axe hid itself again, to be found by another in 2023.


     Telepath who replaced Mylink in ASH's roster.  Slain by the demonlord
that took Panzer's leg, his ghost returned to serve with ASH for several
years.   Mentioned in ASH #17.

Set (Myron Telix)

     To call Myron Telix mild-mannered would be to overstate his strength of
personality.  He was downright meek, a real armchair archaeologist.  But,
pressured into going along on a dig, he found himself chosen by the god Set
(in a fit of whimsy) to be his heroic avatar in 1989.  Able to turn into a
physical powerhouse among the strongest in the world, he was still a mousy
academic underneath, and never really learned to be as threatening as his
jackal-headed form would merit.

Sheng, Jiang

     See First Age and Second Age Sourcebooks.  He went underground after his
role as Minuteman was revealed in 1983, but resurfaced occasionally in the
company of Morgan Adams or Chuck Morse.  Cybernetically possessed by his
father on July 6, 1998, he physically survives in 2026.

Solar Max I (Dave Van Domelen)

     Part of a Violation Physics thinktank, he was working in the lab when
several experiments went haywire all at once, empowering several of the
researchers with various talents.  Granted the ability to warp spacetime and
draw power directly from the Sun, he took the name of the little satellite
that could (the Solar Maximum Mission, aka Solar Max), and engaged in an
intermittent heroic career.  
     While effective in a fight, his heart was really in research and
exploration, and he spent more and more time flexing his ability to travel at
high FTL speeds to explore the galaxy.  Lost coreward on such a jaunt, he was
too far from Earth to be affected by the creation of the Barrier, allowing
him to survive into the Fourth Age (once he found his way back).


     Avatar of Amerind stormgods and early member of ASH.  She went off on
her own for several years, but returned to the "all avatar" ASH roster in
1998.  General storm powers.

Strafe I-III/Centurion 

     A small-time thief who stole one of the many power armor projects
Doublecross had financed.  However, this particular projet included the
inventor's own spin on the cybernetic control system, including a compulsion
to do good, which turned the thief into the armored hero Strafe.
     Nearly sacrificing himself to save Chicago from a near-godly threat, he
was rebuilt into a cyborg (Strafe II) and later had his cybernetics refined
to the point where he could pass as human (Strafe III).  All versions were
strong, durable and could project powerful energy blasts.  Strafe I had a
"Overload Blast" that could do tremendous damage at the cost of the user's
life, this ability was not reproduced in the cyborg versions.
     Later, Strafe was subjected to a mutagenic deathtrap which caused him to
reject his cybernetic implants...fatally.  However, the mutations restored
him to life and gave him new powers, at the cost of gaping holes in his
memory.  Shaping the energy fields he could command into romanesque armor and
weapons, he claimed to be a visitor from a reality where the Roman Empire was
still in power...imagine his surprise when the City-State of Septimus
Artorius showed up!
     Note: there is no deliberate connection between his Centurion identity
and the mysteryman of the same name from the First Age, but he may have been
subconsciously influenced.

Strafe IV

     A later attempt at the technology of Project Electric Warrior, this
cyborg could control superheated plasma and fly.  Given that the previous
Strafe was going by "Centurion" by the time he was ready, the Air Force
decided to give the name to their cyborg agent.  A member of the Veterans/
Elite Brigade.
     During the Godmarket he received additional upgrades in an attempt to
stay ahead of the power curve, but they adversely affected his sanity and

Striker, Jack 

     Founder of the Three Strikes, his superhuman power is the ability to
form effective groups.

Triple Eagle
     Founding member of KCASH, had the ability to turn into a winged form
that could fly at Mach 3.  Died in the Wichita Incident.

Tymythy Twystyd (Tim Bose)

     Canadian metaphysics student, he used a combination of drugs and
meditation techniques to raise his Tesla Index from zero to the high double
digits, specializing on the warping of spacetime.  Eventually learned the
full suite of traditional mage powers under the tutelage of the Wanderer.
His example led many to try to give themselves powers, and while his unwanted
"cult" was weakened by the Godmarket, it survives into the Fourth Age.

Valkyrie (Maria Castillo/Mary Castle)

     The Castillo family fled Argentina just ahead of being "disappeared" in
the 1970s, and young Maria felt alone and alienated in their American exile.
Turning to mysticism as a means of rebellion, she sought a demonic patron,
but was found instead by Odin, who made her one of his choosers of the slain.
Mainly active behind the scenes during the Second Heroic Age, although she
played a pivotal role in defeating the invaders from Dimension Z.  In 1987
she founded the Superhero Bar & Grill chain, acting to support heroes around
the country.  She served briefly with LAASH, despite advancing middle age
taking its toll on her vitality.  In 1997, Odin gave her one of Iduun's
apples, rejuvenating her and increasing her powers.  She soon joined ASH, and
was a major factor in the team surviving Lord Ebon's assault.

The Wanderer (admits to no other name)

     See First Age and Second Age Sourcebooks.  Drawn to Columbus Ohio in
1992 by Hellrazor's blood magics in service of the demon Naobata, he joined
the Raiders.  During his brief (and painful) tenure on that team, he met
Tymythy Twystyd and took the young man on as an apprentice...something that
may have saved the world.

Weapons Master (Chuck Morse)

     See Second Age Sourcebook.  Most of his supertech had broken down by the
time the Third Age started, and he confined himself to low-level adventuring,
often with Morgan Adams or Jiang Sheng.

Zimmerman, Will 

     A late recruit to the Three Strikes team, changing it to the Four
Strikes.  A mage of some sort, his specific talents have not been detailed
yet.  Father of "Spaz" of the Reverse Engineers in the Fourth Age.

               *              *              *              *

     Villains - Major:

     It's worth splitting these four off from the rest of the list, because
each had significant impact on the world and left a legacy well into the
Fourth Age.  Each also has various minions, listed in their entry rather than
as separate groups.

Antiochus V 

     See the Second Age Sourcebook.  An artificial intelligence who decided
that humanity needed to be supplanted, evolutionarily speaking.  Late in the
Third Age he attempted to merge science and magic, kidnapping and studying
mages during the so-called Technomystical War.  Slain by WarStar at the
climax of that war, he was never heard from again, and it was theorized that
his use of magic prevented his usual backup systems from saving him.
     Lysias-13 - Organic forms created using research stolen from Doctor
Pue.  Unstable and incapable of looking human, they were nonetheless potent
minions and one briefly contained the consciousness of Antiochus V himself.
     Lysias-15 - An upgraded version (Lysias-14 never made it into
production), with enhanced strength, better stability, and the ability to
disguise themselves as specific humans.  Used extensively during the
Technomystical War, although there's no indication Antiochus V used one as a

Devastator (Eric Harris)

     One of the researchers in the lab where Dr. Van Domelen worked, it was
his sloppy safety procedures that led to the chain reaction of accidents that
empowered several of the lab's personnel.  However, being at ground zero left
him horribly scarred, permanently blinded, and mad.  His insanity fueled his
vast powers over forces, and he decided that humanity needed to be wiped from
the face of the Earth.  Widely regarded the greatest mortal threat the world
has ever known, he used a wide array of technologies in pursuit of his goals,
and even mastered interdimensional travel.  Near the beginning of the
Godmarket, he was trapped between dimensions, possibly due to the actions of
one or more gods who felt he was too likely to succeed before they could
garner more worshippers.  Thus, he survived into the Fourth Age, and helped
breach the Barrier after his sanity returned and he saw what needed to be
done to save the world.
     Annihilators - Cyborg minions capable of channeling vast energies into a
specially prepared "Annihilator Prime" as well as simply coordinating efforts
with inhuman precision.  A single combined blast from one squad of
Annihilators was the equivalent of a focused atomic bomb, and could slay
almost anyone it struck.
     Doctor Pue - A geneticist who occasionally worked in Khadam, but mostly
served Devastator directly.  He designed the organic parts of the
Annihilators, empowered Max & Dex, created living crystal golems and a host
of other insane projects.

Doublecross (Bennett Rush)

     See Second Age Sourcebook for Bennett Rush.  After secretly sponsoring a
number of power armor projects at the dawn of the Third Age, he combined the
best elements of all the projects into a suit of his own, capable of standing
against the combined might of ASH.  However, he was unable to cope with the
weird magics of Tymythy Twystyd and the Wanderer...and while fleeing from his
underwater base he ran afoul of a sabotaged teleportation matrix and was
turned into living light.  This drove him insane, and he was convinced that
living light was the true evolutionary goal of humanity.  His hubris was such
that he challenged Apollo, who stripped him of powers and memory, casting him
down to wander the earth as Simon Smith.  As Simon Smith, he survived into
the Fourth Age and eventually became the inheritor of Lord Ebon's mystic
library, and vizier to Q'Nos.  A copy of Doublecross's light form that was
trapped in a computer network was also unleashed during the Fourth Age.
     Ringers - Covert agents who infiltrated various governmental and
industrial institutions on Doublecross's behalf, with the help of illusion
generators and needle lasers designed for stealthy assassination.  Most of
these agents were cut loose when Doublecross became the Lord of Living Light
in 1993. 
     Light Brigade - Wearing less powerful versions of Doublecross's own
armor, they were his main overt arm.  Later, he forced them to undergo the
damaged teleportation process, turning the survivors into photonics like
himself.  This concept was revived by a copy of Doublecross in the Fourth

Lord Ebon (Iago Montessi, others)

     Iago Montessi was an alchemist of some accomplishment in medieval Italy,
but in finding the secret to immortality he also passed into a transformative
coma and was buried on hallowed ground that prevented him from escaping his
entombment.  The proximity of a vacationing Timothy Bose let him break
through the waning holy protection and emerge as the insane Lord Ebon, who
saw death as the true life.
     His body was destroyed by the Raiders, but his spirit was now barred
from the afterlife and he moved to a series of other hosts.  Each time he was
driven from his host (usually fatally for the host) he was forced to find a
new one with some mystic potential and spend time rebuilding his personal
power.  In 1997 he tried to destroy ASH once and for all, and nearly
     His true goal was to become a god himself, and it's possible he
succeeded only to get caught up in the Causality Wars.
     Elementals - Initially, Lord Ebon relied on elemental servants, mighty
golems of Earth, Air, Fire or Water.  They tended to be vulnerable to attacks
of the opposing element, and not very intelligent.
     Undead - Later on, Lord Ebon's preferred minions were unholy mixes of
corpses and summoned evil spirits.  These could be quite crafty and powerful.
     Magnum Suits - One of Lord Ebon's hosts was the Jotun known as Magnum.
While Magnum was eventually able to expel Lord Ebon, for a brief time the
power armored security forces of Magnum Industries worked for Lord Ebon.

               *              *              *              *

     Villains - Other:

     Some of these were very powerful and influential as well, but aren't
quite in the same league as the Big Four.


     A mage who was able to create a Philosopher's Stone, and also had the
ability to cast healing spells.  One of Antiochus V's captives in the
Technomystical War, freed by WarStar.

Archangeli, Pino

     Powerful Anchor and member of the Conclave.  Enemy of Morgan Adams.
Killed by Adams some time in the early 21st Century, but briefly resurrected
by his son Lorenzo in the Fourth Age.


     A mystic specialist in biological systems, preferring to work his spells
via bacteria and other simple forms.

Challenger (David Van Domelen)

     In Curseworld, everyone born after 1945 was evil in some way, and he was
no exception.  Born in 1963, his drive to master Violation Physics led to a
lab accident in 1985 (thus making it so that he wasn't present at a similar
accident that turned Eric Harris into the benevolent Preserver) granting him
powers and madness.  To introduce himself to the world, he destroyed the
Space Shuttle Challenger with a well-placed solar blast, taking its name as
his own.
     Defeated decisively by ASH and Preserver, he led the remnants of his
Conclave of Super-Villains to ASH's home reality and took up rulership of
Haven.  His Safsuit lets him survive in space, something he took cruel
advantage of in dealing with enemies...he'd just fly them up into orbit and
leave them there.


     Born with a hideously deformed face he hides behind a smooth mask that
resembles a chess piece, he has minor mental powers, useful for keeping his
collection of misfits together as They Might Be Villains.  One of the few to
survive possession by Lord Ebon, he was never the same afterward.  No one
really knows what ever happened to Chesspieceface.


     Able to jump up to a year ahead in time and then back, he generally used
his powers to cheat at the stock market.  As a "quiet" villain, he was rarely
opposed by heroes, but was exactly the sort that the Four Strikes went after.

Darkshield II (Tobias Raven)

     See Second Age Sourcebook.  Son of the original, he was not a Communist
front and tended to be more effective and successful as a villain, since he
wasn't just doing it as a distraction.  He wore powered armor with numerous
defenses specifically designed to work against Brightsword II (specifically,
kinetic dampers and optical absorption) and systems that allowed him to
control magnetism.  He was served by the Dark Brigade, mercenaries who wore
similar armor, but with a lower power level.


     Armor-based ex-hero gone rogue, former member of Three Strikes.
Replaced by Doctor Developer.

Doc Droid

     Genius inventor who specialized in robotics.  He quickly found that
working on his own wasn't nearly as profitable as hiring himself out to
villains, and his droids constructed and maintained the artificial city of

Flood (Floyd Johnson)

     Able to flood an area a mile across up to a meter deep.  Drove a 1950s
amphibious car as part of They Might Be Villains, and later became the hero

The Fomorian

     It is unknown if this one-armed, cyclopean strongman and mastermind was
actually related to the fallen gods known as Fomorians.  He had a preference
for strong but not very bright henchmen.


     Blood mage and servant of Naobata.  His activities triggered the
formation of the Radiers.

Herr Stark

     Son of Rechtigkeit I (see Second Age Sourcebook).  The self-proclaimed
strongest man in the world, and he might have been right, at least when it
came to mortals.  One quarter Jotun, he was as physically powerful as the
mightiest of Jotuns, but completely lacking in mystical talent.

Horus (Myron Telix)

     In the Curseworld, Horus decided the world needed an avenger, and took
Myron Telix as his avatar.  But the brief struggle between Set and Horus for
the mind of the man drove him totally insane.  Immensely strong and
invulnerable, he tended to avenge the most trivial things, but somehow
Challenger knew how to keep him pointed in the desired direction.
     The god Horus finally healed his mind during the Godmarket, and his
avatar joined ASH.

Magnum, Erik

     A Jotun disguised as a human, head of Magnum Industries.  Physically
weak as Jotuns go, he wore powered armor on a few occasions, but preferred to
use guile and magic to attain his ends.

Max & Dex

     Originally a couple of Chicago cops with a prejudice against
superheroes, they were granted unstable powers by Doctor Pue and tried to
kill ASH.  Failing, their bodies fell apart, but their brains were saved and
later placed into robotic shells by Antiochus V.  When those shells were
destroyed, they found they could possess the bodies of superhumans, and used
them to keep killing, with the help of Lord Ebon.  Finally laid to rest by
the Wanderer before they could find a way to work for Doublecross too.


     Your basic strongman, given his nickname by Herr Stark.  He eventually
gained some self-confidence and proved to be a cunning planner as well,
joining WarStar's army.

The Minotaur (Q'Nos)

     Depowered former god, he was used as a sort of messenger by the Greek
gods prior to the Godmarket, and pretended to be a mortal with a half-bull
form and great strength.  Often teamed with Mr. Maze.

Mistah Mekanique

     Paranormal inventor and occasional nemesis of Doctor Developer, both
when Doctor Developer was a villain and after his reform.

Mr. Claw

     His right forearm was replaced by a single huge claw, apparently a
mutation rather than a deliberate graft.  The main muscle of They Might Be

Mr. Maze

     A spatial mage, he was able to generate tesseract warps (similar to the
power later demonstrated by the Fourth Age's Labyrinthe), as well as cast
longer-lasting spells that could teleport objects on command.  Frequent
partner of the Minotaur.

Mylink (CSV)

     Where the ASH version of Mylink was too gentle to stay in the world of
paranormal conflict, the Curseworld version was a vindictive shrew who
relished using her powers to turn someone's brain to jelly.  Frequently
intrigued against Challenger for leadership of the CSV until he marooned her
in space.


     An aardvark demon who once was an African god, until the ongoing
Causality Wars wiped out his history and worshippers.  Powerful by human
standards, and frequently a patron of the users of so-called blood magics.

Onslaught (Arnold Zugmann)

     A splicing of human and animal genes, he was created as a Khadamite
patriotic supersoldier, and was Doctor Sheng's finest creation to date.
Inhuman strength and agility along with a sonic scream were augmented by a
suit of advanced alien power armor.  Lacking a Magene, he survived the 20th
Century and went on to be ruler of Khadam...and later a mere figurehead.

The Persuader 

     A Soviet mind controller and member of the GRU, he helped trigger the
Wichita incident by backing the hardliner power play in 1991.

Professor Upgrade 

     A female version of Doctor Developer, essentially, but she never
reformed.  Her fate after the Third Age is unknown.  Lacking a Magene, she
could well still be alive in 2026.

Sheng, Doctor Huang

     See Second Age Sourcebook.  Notable undertakings of his in the Third Age
include the creation of Onslaught and the global sterilizer (which he never
got to work on a permanent basis, but which resulted in almost no children
being born in 1991).  Still alive and active (in his son's body) in 2026.


     Lizardman, powers unknown.  Based in Haven for a time (WarStar #3).

Software Pirate 

     Small time bootlegger and sometime partner of Doctor Developer during
his villainous phase.

Strafe (CSV)

     Just like Strafe I, but was driven insane by the "do good" directives of
the armor (which was built by someone born before the Curse) and adopted a
twisted code of ethics that let him "do good" while still stealing and
killing.  Never sacrificed himself via the Overload Blast, so he wore the
armor until his vanishing in 1998.  His version of the armor, with the AI
repaired, was donned by Triton in the Fourth Age.


     Set's evil avatar, born out of frustration with the bad press he was
still getting despite the efforts of his heroic avatar.  Physically weak but
mystically powerful.  Very spiteful.

Triangle Man

     Had a magical triangle weapon of some sort.  Member of They Might Be

WarStar (Arn, Arnold Black)

     Sent to Earth to conquer it.  He failed in this, but assembled an army
that let him take control of his home reality's empire.  See WarStar #1-4 for

               *              *              *              *

     Unaligned (Mercenary, or having an agenda that's neither strictly heroic
nor villainous):


     One of the last survivors of the biomystical civilization on Alpha
Centauri, he fought to protect the biosphere, which brought him into conflict
with heroes as often as villains.  He had vast mystic powers based on
manipulation of the spirit in all things, but he was reluctant to use them
due to the way such powers had drained his homeworld of all life.
Additionally, since he had trained in a bioforce-drained environment, he
sometimes used too much power in the rich environment of Earth, strengthening
his reluctance to unleash his full abilities.
     While he did not have the human Magene, he willingly sacrificed himself
as part of the plan to create the Barrier.

Eye of Horus (Devlin Marx)

     An Anchor mercenary who parlayed his earnings into a fortune in the
early 21st Century.  He tended to use archaic technology such as crossbows,
but was not above the occasional alien enhancement.

Quayle, President Danforth

     He was kept out of Vietnam in order to hide his (then unfashionable in
his family's social circles) paranormal status, and he continued to hide his
light under a bushel for most of his career, content to seem a genial but
slightly dim politician.  However, when George H.W. Bush was assassinated in
1990, he took decisive control, and a followup assassination attempt on
Quayle was foiled by his impenetrable forcefield and ability to make anything
vanish.  Permanently.  Possibly the strongest President America ever knew,
much of his government was held together by personal will and it nearly fell
apart when he vanished in 1998.

Rodriguez, Hector 

     Anchor mercenary who made extensive use of advanced alien technology.
He eventually became WarStar's right hand man.


Author's Notes:

     This was...longer than I expected it to be when I started.  A LOT
longer.  Oog.

     Anyway, as long as this is already incredibly long, I figure I might as
well explain a few of the archetype mappings, places where characters from
the ASH Third Age can be considered the equivalent of well known comicbook
heroes and villains.
     ASH itself is closer to the Avengers than the Justice League, down to
the idea of franchises (West Coast Avengers, Great Lakes Avengers).  However,
the CSV is a definite Crime Syndicate equivalent, being made up of evil
alternate universe versions of the heroes.  I think the Avengers have seen
that sort of foe as well, but it's more of a DC thing overall.
     Superman and Spider-Man have no clear analogues.  Batman maps onto Black
Opal, although Black Opal never had the global prominence Batman attained
with the Justice League.  The closest we get to Lex Luthor would be Erik
Magnum, who had aspects of both the "Evil Businessman" and "green and purple
power armor" versions of Lex.  You might make a case that Lady Lawful maps
onto Wonder Woman, but without as much of the overt mythological trappings.
     At this point I'm just going to read through the rest of the roster and
see if anyone else seems to map over.  :)
     JESTER is actually the Champions villain group CLOWN, which isn't really
a DC or Marvel equivalent, but I figured I should admit to it.
     Khadam is Latveria and Qurac and Costa Verde and every other fictional
rogue state full of superhumans.
     The Galactic Warrior Corps has some aspects of the Green Lanterns, but
is more akin to the Science Police.
     Banshee is, visually, a Bubblegum Crisis hardsuit with Black Magic M-66
     Blitzkrieg! is a Liefeld pastiche, down to the tiny feet, glowing eye,
square-barrelled cannon and costume covered in pouches.
     Brightsword II is probably as close as ASH gets to a "flagsuit" American
hero in the Third Age, and could be considered the Captain America equivalent
if you push it.  I've never really been satisfied with any of the patriotic
flagsuit types I've's hard to do the Captain America thing and
have it look good without being a close copy of Cap.  There's been a few in
the ASH RPG campaigns, but I chose not to import any of them into the
storyline here.
     The Catman was originally called Oedi, and was a direct lift from the
Dreadstar comic.
     EMerald is about as close as ASH comes to an Iron Man type in the Third
Age.  Also, the "reality-displaced hero" whose armor she modified was
originally a Rocket Ranger from the Terra world of the Torg RPG setting.
LU-61's probability capacitors come from there as well.
     Jiang Sheng is, as mentioned elsewhere, a Shang Chi homage.
     Lady Lawful, while carrying something akin to the Wonder Woman power
set as mentioned earlier, is probably closer to the Black Canary in terms of
the following aspects: generational hero, second generation more powerful
than the first, notable for being highly talented and experienced, the
daughter having potentially dubious taste in men.
     The demonlord mentioned in Panzer's and Redeemer's entries is Cthulhu,
who was represented on the game map by a large plush Cthulhu, into whose maw
the figures for Redeemer and Panzer were placed at one point.  Infamous
exchange of the night...when asked if he needed help escaping from Cthulhu's
grasp, Redeemer's player said no.  Next segment, Cthulhu rolled his 40d6
damage and bit Redeemer's head off.
     It would be fair to say that Set is the Thor equivalent, including the
"transforms into a meek mortal" bit, although there's some of the Hulk in him
as well.  And I suppose Balder is the Balder equivalent, but maybe not.  :)
     Solar Max is a self-insertion character, but 7 years older than the
author, so that he could realistically have had a PhD by 1988.  He had no
obvious Marvel or DC inspirations.
     Antiochus V is essentially Ultron.  In fact, he's inspired by Peter
David's piece in a Marvel Holiday Special in which Doc Samson tells the
Hannukah story, and Antiochus IV is portrayed by Ultron.
     Devastator has elements of Doctor Doom to him (scarred face, major
player), but his goals don't match Doom's.  He could also be considered a
less cosmic Darkseid, with Doctor Pue as his Desaad and a more literal form
of "anti-life" as his goal.
     Visually, Herr Stark is "evil Aryan Superman".
     Doctor Huang Sheng is Fu Manchu, who in Marvel is the father of Shang
Chi.  He also has elements of the Yellow Claw, the Mandarin, and every other
"Fiend From The East" supervillain ever.
     WarStar is not any specific New God, but is meant to evoke the whole
Fourth World setting of Kirby's.

     Oddly, when you come right down to it, the RPG underpinnings of ASH show
most clearly in the fact that there is no "star" like a Superman or Spider-
Man.  No solo hero who is immediately identifiable with "superhero-ness" in
the Third Age.  It's all ensembles, with the soloists being guest stars, not
main players.  After all, having a single iconic superhero can put a damper
on the players' sense of having an ability to impact the world.
     Solar Max I was a "GM Character", who would sometimes come in to save
the PCs' bacon, but he did so more by knowing vital information (like
figuring out the weak point in Antiochus V's new body and then telling
everyone where to hit him) than through raw strength (while the 18d6 solar
blast came in handy at times, more than half the PCs would put together an
attack that big without expending undue was a high attack, low
defense game).  His in-setting standing was strictly second tier.

     Now, the Second Age was a little more polarized, since it's all
backstory stuff, and never had to be run as a campaign with issues of player
balance etc.  Brightsword I was the hero of the era, the patriotic strongman
with the square jaw and gleaming smile.  Lady Lawful I was the elder
statesman of heroes for that generation, and Dragonfly the high tech, low
luck wonder.  There was still no Superman, because no one was that powerful
during the Second Age, but there was definitely a Captain America.

     As for the first age?  Still working on that one.  Was Minuteman really
the main "face" of heroism?  Or was Lady Lawful?  Or someone I haven't come
up with yet but who never joined the Freedom Alliance?  Time will tell....

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