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  1. Burnham Military Camp Near Christchurch Aotearoa/New Zealand July 3nd, 2021 On the first day of the Matariki celebrations an army of giants appeared from the Southern Alps, marching upon the city of Christchurch. With no time to respond the New Zealand Armed Forces had to turn to other sources of help. And so, the day after Matariki the government of Aotearoa put forth a call for heroes. At Burnham Military camp a liaison waited for the heroes to arrive, smiling when relief when the four heroes were assembled in front of the building. "Thank you all for coming so swiftly."
  2. May 2021 After All Bad Bad Nevertheless The good news was that Sea Devil and Singularity had beaten the monster. Whether it was the injury Aquaria had done to it, or the terror Jessie had put in its eyes, Memento Mori had disappeared before it could attack the Project Freedom crews that had arrived on the scene. Singularity had even been talked back to Jessie before she could hurt anyone, thanks to the need to get Aquaria to a hospital and the nearby presence of people she knew well. The Kingston cleanup process was...going to be delayed for some time. Jessie's fast healing meant that she didn't have so much as a bruise by the next morning. There was just one piece of bad news. Aquaria still hadn't woken up. Out of her armor she looked decidedly bedraggled, a downcast look on her broad face, her eyes responding to light and her body to stimuli, but her mind seemingly elsewhere. Eve had found that Aquaria was indeed still in her head, but far away as if in deep sleep, and magical probes by Tarva and others hadn't gotten very much further. They'd taken her home to the castle where she could rest, in the deep wading brackish water pool where she was the most comfortable, but her quietude was alarming. No one else who had been hurt by the creature had stayed down like this. Even going back to the worst injury anyone had heard of Aquaria getting, the in all honesty probably too-violent beating from Nereid that had led to her initial arrest, there was no reason for her to still be unconscious, especially with seemingly no bruises herself, the next day. People had been in and out of the Castle all day, specialists from the League and elsewhere, but nobody had figured anything out yet.
  3. May 2021 Kingston This had once been a fine place, where Surfacers competed to live in the finest homes and own the finest things. Now hardly anyone lived here, beneath the terrible shadow of the doomforge that loomed squatly over the mostly-abandoned remains of the neighborhood. It made Aquaria sad to be here, sad to smell the death that lingered on the air and hear the mournful, echoing cry of the murdered soul of this place. There was not even anything good to eat that Surfacers had not brought here themselves, all but a few scavenging beasts avoiding the surrounding landscape with the sensible judgement of things that crawled and flew. Surfacers rarely did this. "With these brave heroes at our side, volunteers from Project Freedom," Councilman McGrath was declaring, his round face flushed red from the summer's heat, "I believe we can reclaim Kingston for the forces of life. Maybe we can't stop that - that thing - " he added, making a gesture from his podium at the doomforge as the cameras below flashed, "but we can bury our dead and let the land heal. The wounds of the past can be healed if we are strong enough to look them in the eye!" It was only technically true that Singularity and Sea Devil were volunteers. Ms. Wainwright of Project Freedom, sitting here on the platform with Singularity and Sea Devil, was an ally of George McGrath and had asked two of her most successful graduates to come along to show that McGraths' plan to clear away as much of Kingston as possible to let nature take its course had the support of the heroic community, at least as far as making sure his workers wouldn't be operating on their own. At least the waters hereabouts were clean, Aquaria thought, a little regretfully.
  4. Late December 2020 A beach south of Freedom City It was a time, Sea Devil had assured everyone, of great importance. Hydra in her wisdom had provided a great blessing here in the coldest, darkest time of the year, a gift of food, and light, and shelter. Aquaria had guided her people to the site and with a little help from the Freedom League, the nearest tribe of Deep Ones had eaten well - and without conflict with surface-dwellers or Atlanteans. But most of that tribe was gone now, migrating out to the deep waters off the coast that stayed the same temperature in any season. So it was just Aquaria, her friends, and a few straggling Deep Ones to commemorate this rare blessing for her people. She had begged, pleaded with those she loved to help make this occasion a truly special one, and with a few promises of cleaning here and quiet there, she had won the help of important allies for a rare, glorious holiday amid a site made holy by the occasion. The best part was - it counted as community service hours, just the thing after the last time she'd gotten in a little trouble with the law of the Surfacers earlier in the year. Come to think of it, Indira had been there for that one too - maybe why she'd come along this time? It was hard to say. And so it was in late December that Sea Devil and Singularity crouched inside the almost completely skeletonized remains of a beached whale that Aquaria had assured all her Surfacer friends had been dead before her arrival there a couple of weeks before, Sea Devil wearing a crown of teeth and other bones and not much else to mark the role she played in the ceremony as Dagon, Jessie wearing - well, Jessie had preferred her own garb for the celebration and Aquaria could hardly blame her, the traditional Hydra garb not really being suitable for a great many reasons. Still she was here, making a sacrifice out of love, and as usual Aquaria was touched by emotions too profound for words. Crouched inside the skeleton, Aquaria laid a wet hand on Jessie's and hissed "You are the best friend anyone could want." Then she began to sing; a short, ponderous song about the blessing of the cold dark sea, and how in certain very special times of the year, Dagon and Hydra awarded their children special tokens of their esteem before she popped her head out of the rib cage and bellowed at the top of her lungs before adding a translation for the benefit of the humans in the audience - mostly a few volunteers from local communities and a couple of students from Claremont: AUSPICIOUS SEASON! Back inside, she turned a joyful smile on Jessie, an impressive sight indeed, and raised her two thumbs high to encourage Jessie to take her part. - Outside, Nightscale's extra credit project was certainly giving him something interesting to talk about. He was the oldest student there for once, a few first-years there in the company of Mr. Sadler, a parent volunteer who'd been a hero back in the far-off days of the early 1990s, being his Claremont escorts. There'd been music, and food already - hot apple cider brought over from the nearby small town, all of it locally caught fish fried over hot coals, though the 'locals' on the scene here were scaly fish-frogs that looked like they could bite his head off. The Deep Ones he'd seen in Claremont lectures had been fearsome beasts laying waste to Freedom City and fighting superheroes; the half-dozen here (besides Aquaria, the Deep One hero) didn't seem interested in much other than eating fish and watching the ceremony - though he was conscious occasionally of big black-and-gold eyes cast his way.
  5. Make whatever checks you think are appropriate.
  6. Somewhere else There are many roads to the Temple of Vhoka, built on a platform deep above a bottomless sea, far out into the inky void of the Dreamlands that stretch on forever in an endless sky of ever-changing colors that the unwary do not study too long lest they find themselves studying the place for eternity. The Temple is this - a low place like an iceberg in a blood-red sea, a small fragment of curled stone like an animal's tongue extending a story or two into the air, surrounded by jagged rocks like an unholy maw. A perpetual waterfall falls below through the mouth, down into guts that must be miles deep, but the temple itself never floods. Vhoka is after all very hungry. A line of stairs seemed to lead down into the water, if one is brave enough to do it. The roads are this, the curls and twists of the Cosmic Coil that leads one to this place through worlds enough and time. The Sea Devil arrived in this wise - erupting out of the bottomless sea with a maddened cultist in her grasp, the man's mad chanting interrupted by his gasp of astonishment. "What!? But no unprotected human could have survived such a spell - and lived!" "None did!" agreed the Sea Devil before picking him up by the ankles and striking him against the rocky causeway until he was no longer a threat. after that she hunkered down on the island where she and her prisoner had landed, studying the distant fortress of her foes and the slippery stone pathway that led there. Perhaps she had come hastily but she knew that time in Freedom City would not last forever, and if they were not careful, there would be no saving those transformed by the cultists' spell. Her liver turned over at the thought of what had taken place - Lemurian sorcery, Lemurian magic, corrupted by Surface-Men again, this time to change the world in the image of one of their long-dead vassals! It truly was disgusting. She sat down next to her unconscious prisoner and sniffed the air, then after a moment's consideration opened her helmet and pulled a still-wriggling fish from her armor, tossing it in the air before catching it with her tongue and swallowing it in one mighty gulp. Normally she chewed but this was a stressful day, and a thorny problem. Surely she and Tarva couldn't have been the only ones to find the Road to this place? She would take the place alone in Dagon and Hydra and Singularity's name if she had to but the Lair of the Devourer was perhaps a bit larger than she had imagined...
  7. December 2019 Dutemps Tower I AM GOING UNDER THE SEA. I WILL BRING YOU A FISH. Aquaria considered what else to say, then added HAVE FUN AT THE ART GALLERY! It was only a day trip out to the art museum with the glass with her other friend, but Jessie had been looking forward to it and that was good. She didn't want to spoil her good time, so she added a note on the refrigerator that said CALL HELP IF I AM NOT BACK SOON. With her job done, Aquaria headed to the closet where she kept her armor. She climbed inside and throbbed with satisfaction as the space-metal closed around her, the warm liquid that emerged from every crevice inside immensely more satisfying than the cold, dry air of their apartment. She and Jessie had special windows that actually opened, something Eve had said was the "superhero" model and because sometimes the claustrophobia in this little dry space was terrifying. With her armor on, she hung her trident over her back and began climbing the sides of the building, up towards the castle. Was anyone home today? She certainly hoped so. December 2019 "Would Heroditus Stylianos please report to the headmaster's office? He is being picked up." The rather odd PA announcement seemed to make Heroditus' art teacher very worried, and right in the middle of watercolors no less. Heroditus had never actually heard that particular phrase said over the intercom before, at least not when it came to him. "Oh dear, oh dear, well, ah, Mr.Stylianos, we'll take care of everything," said Ms. Zinzendorf. She walked him to the door, a sympathetic expression on her face. "Don't worry about a thing."
  8. Fall 2019 8PM The night of Sea Devil's talk in Dagon the King The reception had mostly, but not entirely, cleared out. Aquaria had seriously considered skipping it but the food was free and she never would turn down free fish. She'd stood by the snack table, picking up kippers and eating them like a Surfacer would eat canapes, and chatted with a few faculty and students who were interested in what she had to say. By the end of the evening she was feeling, perhaps not perfect, but better. Some few of those who had come had been willing to listen, and even that Atlantean prince had been willing to sing to her for a little while. Even if he has no manners. Sweetest of the Fallen indeed! But now the Atlanteans were gone and it was just the monster and the men, and some of the students were milling around with the knowledge that curfew didn't technically apply if you were attending an on-campus event like this.
  9. Fall 2019 Claremont Academy 6PM There was quite the crowd gathering for this year's first Ambassador Talk, both among Claremont students and the occasional adult parent or guardian who had turned up for what promised to be a very special talk. Everyone knew who was coming - Aquaria Innsmouth, the first Deep One superhero! The word 'first' had been used with some vigor when faculty were talking up the event to students, Attendance was by no means mandatory, and many students (such as Watchdog and Daystar) were skipping it either out of personal conviction or taco night, but there were good snacks in the upper galleries of the big classroom that was usually used for the big first-year classes. Headmistress Summers was on the scene, standing up by the snacks to greet new people as they arrived, and (along with a few teachers) keeping an eye on students, guests, and guests of honor. She was currently having an argument with one of the second of those three. "That you would subject a prince of the blood to this appalling display is one of the most deplorable things I have ever heard." General Dalekos had come dressed as a Surfaceman for this event, albeit with the rumpled look of a man not quite used to this particular fashion. "The embassy will certainly hear of this." "Prince Telemachus," the young Atlantean princeling was staring straight ahead in the second row, and looking desperately as though like he was trying to pretend he couldn't hear the Atlantean general arguing with his headmistress, "is here by choice - and by his family's permission," said Summers frostily. "Just as you are here out of courtesy in your role as loco parentis to our Atlantean students." She murmured something else - and then, his face flushing scarlet, the general took a seat in the upper tier among the other visitors for the talk. As more students entered, Summers and other faculty greeted them by name and pointed them to their seats. "Our guest of honor will be arriving soon."
  10. Summer 2019 Kingston Aquaria sat in the shadow of the grim and terrible doomforge, squatting on her haunches as she meditated on the gods and their will for humanity. She didn't like it much here in the shadow of Destruction, where the world still moaned softly in the aftermath of the invasion, but she appreciated the chance for some quiet. Hopping past the memorials left behind for the murdered people of this neighborhood, she stopped at the foot of a dried-out fountain and began to sing. It was a song of mourning and loss, for all that would have been but now would never be, and the booming bass echoed from inside her opaque armor through the streets of the mostly-deserted neighborhood. Would there be justice for these people when the stars were right? Perhaps not. It was a terrible thought.
  11. Okay, Supercape, make whatever skill rolls you think would be appropriate at this juncture as we start helping rescue victims and figure out the cause of the disaster!
  12. Summer 2019 London Sea Devil had invited Singularity along on her trip to London, but Jessie had been decidedly uninterested. Aquaria had tried to assure her that her social plans for the trip were only a small part of her agenda, but Jessie had started covering her ears and singing, which is what she did when she really did not want to hear things. So Aquaria had flown out to London in a Freedom League jet, safely ensconced in her armor, so she could tell what she knew about life Below to the heroes who lived on the tiny island where Sgt. Shark made his home. The members of Vanguard hadn't betrayed Shark's trust by telling her where she could find him, of course, but they had been willing to tell her how to contact him. She didn't like the way Surfacers talked on telephones much, but she'd been introduced a few years earlier to something that conveyed messages but didn't make her feel like she was talking to a ghost. And so it was, as Aquaria perched by the Thames, safely wrapped in her armor, that Sgt. Shark's phone buzzed with a message. IT IS I. THE SEA DEVIL.
  13. GM December 12 2018, 11 PM Local Time Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean The A.E.G.I.S. vessel that had carried the heroes so far was finally beginning its descent. They hadn't had long to prepare, but now they were almost at the destination. Asad, Sgt. Shark and Sea Devil. An unlikely group, perhaps, but they had been the ones available that would actually be able to participate in this mission. The A.E.G.I.S. commander was a frail little man, with thinning grey hair. He was reading from a tablet, looking over his bottle cap glasses, explaining the situation to the three heroes. "Err... yeah, so... A company that I'm not legally allowed to name was drilling for oil here. And, err, they kinda hit something." He fidgeted a bit with his glasses, adjusting them, before scrolling further down on his tablet. "Turns out that some, errr, aliens had crashed under there. We don't know how long they, err, have been there. But, they're rather annoyed at being woken up, so, errr... They threatened to basically flood the Pacifim rim and the rest of the world?" He looked up, a little smile on his lips. "So, please go stop them, and save the world?"
  14. February 2019 Midnight Manor Loyal worker though she was, February was not exactly Aquaria's season for outdoor work. She could stand very cold water, but air was different and it was nearly freezing out there! So instead she was working in one of the Manor's big kitchens today, cleaning the hard-to-reach areas up on top of the cabinets, and cooking up steaks as she went. The fine fat fish she'd caught earlier that year was more than half her height and thick, and had been soaking for a whole day in big pots full of delicious-smelling things. Now things were cooking on the stove, and soon there'd be enough fish for herself, Jessie, and perhaps Trevor and Erin as well! They had been content to let her salt the fish and store it in their home for a while, her apartment with Jessie lacking the kind of space one needed to store significant quantities of really good fish. She had other reasons for wanting to talk to them too, especially when Jessie wasn't around. She sang to herself as she worked, hopping from foot to foot, and opened the front of her suit to smell the good things sizzling on the stove. She was in her suit for a variety of reasons, comfort when she went outside, and also so she didn't make too much of a mess in a place where Surfacers made their food. She knew what they sometimes thought of that, even though Jessie was typically too kind to say anything. They could be so fastidious!
  15. Seven years ago "Perhaps, one day, Dunwich would rise again. Not as an exercise for visions of madness, but as a true place of realization." Thanksgiving 2018 The Parkhurst Hotel Arcane energies crackling around its edges like so much barely-suppressed lightning, the mystic gateway opened and out stepped a visio n from beyond the very edges of our reality! Resplendent in his starry robes, his eyes glowing with the energies that lay between the planes, the Gatekeeper raised his gloved hands and said, "Hello, Nick!" Kyle and Eric were actually on a first-name basis but they both were working, the latter especially. With the holidays, Claremont students with no particular place to go had been attached to established heroes for a "ride-along" - which explained what Ms. Thursday was doing there. "And company, I see." The Gatekeeper brushed his hair, looking a little distracted; the faint smell of smoke rising from him. "Are the two of you free for a small favor?" he asked. "I hate to interrupt whatever you're doing for the holidays, but I have a situation."
  16. OK, guys, whatcha gonna do about this? @Cubismo @trollthumper
  17. April 2018 The Castle Aquaria climbed her way up the side of the skyscraper, sticky pads clinging to opaque panels rather than translucent windows. She didn't normally indulge herself in this way, but it was much too dark for Surfacers to see clearly outside - and the driving rainstorm outside disguised her from any prying eyes below. The warm wet wind, thick with ocean-scented rain, felt wonderful on her skin. Freedom City was never quite as comfortable as her home waters - but at times she could dream, and imagine a better place. Once she reached the floor where she and Jessie lived, she wriggled her way to one of the secret access panels installed for the benefit of flying superheroes or outdoor maintenance and made her way through a supply closet to the secluded floor where she and Jessie lived. Padding her way nearly silently down the corridor, as usual careful not to alert their neighbors, she took only a few seconds to nimbly lope down to the rooms that she and Singularity shared. She had a fish under her arm, thick and juicy, and there would be frying tonight!
  18. Sloane Manor North Bay, Freedom City New Jersey Thursday, July 12th, 2018 4:02 PM Erick Sloane's beachfront villa in North Bay was far from untouched. The prior day's assault on Kingston left much of the surrounding upper-class neighborhoods in a state of disarray. And North Bay was no exception. Especially after an entirely new force from the Terminus emerged to fight against both the Resistance Force and the invading force. Ironically, it seemed as if for the first time in the history of Freedom City someone could make the claim that the Fens was the safest neighborhood to live in. Of course, most residents didn't have a sprawling underground headquarters in their villas. A team of heroes had been risking their lives gathering and spreading information and equipment covertly to the Resistance in the city. The latest transmission pinpointed where one of the power sources for the device generating portals into the city was. Unfortunately, said generator was currently guarded by what had to be one of the largest armies of the Terminus sighted thus far. To make matters worse it was positioned deep inside the Raymond Nuclear Power Plant. Which had seen extensive renovations by Daedalus of the Freedom League to convert the plant into a virtual fortress. In short, any attempts to destroy the generator would be a suicide mission. Foreshadow sent a recruitment transmission through his headquarter's computer with the hope that anyone nearby would answer the call. When Sea Devil, Singularity, and Cobalt Templar arrived they found piles of Omegadrone armors strewn throughout the sprawling manor. The inside of the home appearing as if an explosive had been set off with the stench of entropic energies wafting through the air. Having to step over the burnt and battered Omegadrones they would find an open bookshelf that at one point covered the staircase that led down into Foreshadow's Forebode. The computer's holographic display had a Power Pike sticking through it slightly covering the top leftmost point on the 3d layout of the Raymond Nuclear Plant. A hooded man stood in the center of the room his back turned to the staircase, a dark blue cape flowing in tatters.
  19. Character Name: Sea Devil (and Singularity) Power Level: 12/13 (214/220PP) Trade-Offs: Various Unspent Power Points: 6 In Brief: A Deep One outcast living among Surfacers, gifted with space armor and trying to fight for a better world. Homebase: The DuTemps Building, Freedom City Songs: My Beloved Monster, Eels Fight Song, Rachel Platten Alternate Identity: Aquaria Innsmouth (Aquaria's Deep One name is not pronounceable by Surfacers) Identity: NA Birthplace: An unnamed island in the US Virgin Islands Occupation: Adventurer Affiliations: The DuTemps Building, the Liberty League (associate member), the Esoteric Order of Dagon and Hydra Family: Jessie White, the DuTemps Building, the Liberty League - she has living relatives including several young adult spawn, but Deep Ones do not view these relationships the way Surfacers do. Age: Aquaria is a Deep One female in the prime of life. Gender: Female Height: 5'7"/6'1" in armor Weight: 180 lbs/280 lbs in armor Eyes: Black and gold Hair: None Description: Outside of her armor, Aquaria Innsmouth is clearly no Surfacer. Her bulging black and gold eyes are set much too far apart to be a human's and her nose, flattened almost against her face, is more like a snout. She has no visible ears. Her mouth is big and opens far wider than a human's could - the teeth inside are sharp and serrated like the inside of a shark's mouth. Her skin is mottled green and white, white towards the belly and green towards the black, a dark green the color of certain unnameable seas. Her body is not quite shaped 'right' either - her limbs are too long and jointed like a frog's rather than a normal woman's, her torso too sturdy, and her arms and legs both end in three-fingered 'hands'. Her skin is covered in blue and black tattoos depicting strange and fantastic scenery, looking like something out of a hallucination. Her voice is deep and loud and sounds decidedly peculiar to human ears. She is cold and slick to the touch, like touching the skin of a frog or a smooth-scaled fish. When using her disguise spell, she looks like a distinctly odd human - a muscular female with pale skin, long limbs, a loud voice and fluffy black hair, with big, wide eyes that stare fixedly and with a particularly large mouth. She usually wears hoodies, long pants, and rain boots to hide the ways her body still doesn't match the profile of a human's. Her skin is still cold and slick to the touch. Inside her armor, Sea Devil looks rather different from the typical armored hero - the armor's massive limbs and glowing blue 'fingers' are probably its most striking feature, as are a faint opalescent sheen overlain over the black of the armor itself. That sheen, seeming to glow with all the colors of the rainbow depending on one's perspective when looking at the armor, is instantly recognizable - and all too familiar for space-born heroes. Her head is almost completely invisible inside the armor, though she can make her faceplate go translucent, or even transparent, should she wish. When she speaks while wearing the armor, the digitized booming base of her voice sounds like nothing else. History: It's an old story, really - a tribal people, trading with the city folk who lived on the good land, hunting and fishing and singing the songs of their ancestors, at least until the others come - with terrible weapons and sinister intent, they destroyed the tribe's home and chased them away into the darkness. The tribe roamed from spot to spot, settling here and there for a time, until finally finding a home among the people far from the ancient and terrible enemy. Aquaria has lost track of her age. She was an adult, old enough to have mated and spawned, when the tribe found the ancient city, ending their long wandering after the Atlanteans had destroyed their rocky island home during the first flush of her adulthood. She remembers her joy at meeting the Dark Brothers (or so they called the city-dwellers), the glee at learning she would finally gain her true power as a Deep One - before finally she saw the horrific blood sacrifice of the city-dwelling cult of Dagon and Hydra. She fled, in horror - but where could she go, in a sea beset by her enemies, where even her own people were no longer her friends? She picked the Surfacers and began a long, solitary journey up the East Coast of North America - she taught herself to read their language and understand the rudiments of their culture. When she learned of a Deep One attack against a Surfacer city, she headed that way - she'd heard confused stories of a Deep One hybrid leading the invasion forces and wanted to see what had become of it. So she showed her face in Freedom City - and promptly found herself battling superheroes. After all, this was just a few months after Archevil - nobody wanted to take any chances. She nearly died in Blackstone, the air cold and dry, her voice echoing off the walls, alone - until she heard the halting echoes of Lemurian from the Surfacer outside her cell. An early volunteer for Project Freedom, her acclimation to Surface life - to the mistrust, the prejudice, the dry air, the bad food, the aloneness, was hard, but it was better than death. And then things got even better when she met Singularity, aka Jessie White - she'd seen the Surfacer woman in a cell near hers in Blackstone and though they hadn't spoken then, the familiarity was enough to make them roommates at Project Freedom. Aquaria wasn't scared of Jessie's strange moods and desire for solitude - and Jessie didn't mind Aquaria's strange smells and bizarre habits so much. She was the first new member of Aquaria's pod. Now they're free and living in the DuTemps Building, where their pod has grown substantially - even including friends who swim in the Sea of Stars. It's not the same as the world she left behind, but it's a good enough world. She'll be reunited with her Deep One brothers and sisters again - when the stars are right. Personality and Motivation: By Surfacer standards, Aquaria is generally cheerful, talkative, and loud - something that can be intimidating for a frog-mouthed, shark-toothed Deep One! She's aware that friendliness and good cheer are something Surfacers like, so she sometimes plays this up. She's gregarious, being a creature happiest in groups, and always eager to make friends. She nonetheless is _not_ a Surfacer - she is an obligate carnivore who worships strange gods and practices strange rites, and who has a worldview very different than many of her friends. Powers and Tactics: Outside of her armor, Aquaria is not a terribly brave fighter - she'll strike from concealment or from surprise, and otherwise seek every advantage in a fight. She'll probably take advantage of her superior senses and familiarity with the dark and the water to fight an opponent at night underneath a flooding dock, and the like. Despite her sharp teeth and handclaws, she prefers to fight with hard kicks from her massive legs. She's not that different while wearing the armor, hanging back and firing spectrum blasts from her tridents until she's actually forced into melee. Once there she's effective enough - but is particularly effective when fighting alongside the mighty Singularity. Complications: How Far I'll Go: An explorer born, Aquaria Innsmouth can never turn away from a new adventure. An Innocent Warrior: Of all Aquaria's friends, Jessie White is the greatest - and perhaps the most troublesome. We Know The Way: Aquaria is a disciple of what is sometimes called the Aeon Cult among Surfacers but to her is simply the Faith - the worship of the gods of the Deep One, widely considered a dangerous, apocalyptic cult among Surfacers and Atlanteans. Shiny: Aquaria despises Atlanteans, thinking of them as cruel, jealous imperialists - and Atlanteans typically view her as a murderous barbarian cultist. Where You Are: Aquaria dreadfully misses her fellow Deep Ones and the society beneath the waves - and might take chances to return. It doesn't help that the Surface is so cold and dry! I Am Aquaria: Apostate, traitor, and worse - her fellow Deep Ones (those who know the story of the Deep One who consorts with Surfacers) generally don't share her feelings. You're Welcome: Granted space armor by a quirk of galactic politics, Aquaria Innsmouth is an object of interest both to the Star Knights - and to the secret patrons of the terrible Spectrum Knights. Abilities: 12 + 12 + 12 + 2 + 4 + 2 = 44PP Strength: 22 (+6) effective Str 37 Dexterity: 22 (+6) Constitution: 22 (+6) Intelligence: 12 (+1) Wisdom: 14 (+2) Charisma: 12 (+1) Combat: 14 + 14 = 28PP Initiative: +6 Attack: +7, +11 Melee, +15 w/Spectrum Power Grapple: +18/+21 w Dagon's Might, +11 w/Move Object Defense: +11 (+7 Base, +4 Dodge Focus), +3 Flat-Footed Knockback: -11/-6/-3 Saving Throws: 1 + 1 + 5 = 7PP Toughness: +12/+6 (+6 Con, +6 Protection, +10 Impervious) Fortitude: +7 (+6 Con, +1) Reflex: +7 (+6 Dex, +1) Will: +7 (+2 Wis, +5) Skills: 40R = 10PP Acrobatics 2 (+8) Diplomacy 4 (+5) Disguise 0 (+16/+1) Knowledge (Arcane Lore) 4 (+5) Knowledge (Theology and Philosophy) 4 (+5) Languages 2 (Atlantean, English [Base: Lemurian]) Notice 4 (+6) Sense Motive 4 (+6) Stealth 4 (+10) Swim 4 (+10) Survival 8 (+10) Feats: 48PP Attack Focus (melee) 4 Dodge Focus 4 Evasion Fearless Environmental Adaptation (underwater) Luck Ritualist Sidekick 35 [Singularity] Powers: 27 + 6 + 45 = 78 Deep One Physiology 5.1 (26PP, PF: Innate) [27PP] Additional Limb 1 (Tongue) [1PP] Comprehend 2 (animals, Flaw: Limited [Sea Life]) [2PP] Dagon's Might Array 3 (6PP, PFs: Alternate Powers 2) [8PP] BE: Swimming 6 (100 MPH/1000FPM) {6/6} AP: Leaping 2 (x5, Running Long Jump 80 ft, Standing Long Jump 45 ft, Vertical Jump 20 ft) + Speed 2 (25 MPH/250 FPM) + Super-Movement 1 (Wall-Crawling 1 (to 2) {2+2+2=6/6} AP: Super-Strength 3 (Effective STR 37, Heavy Load 2 tons) {6/6} Features 2 (Deep One, Iron Stomach) [2PP] Immunity 3 (Environmental Cold, High Pressure, Suffocation [Underwater]) [3PP] Super-Movement 1 (Wall-Crawling 1) [2PP] Super-Senses 8 (Accurate Ultrasonic Hearing, Acute Scent, Darkvision, Tactile [Ranged]) [8PP] 1 + 2 + 8 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 8 = 26PP Hydra's Power 2.5 (magic tattoos, 5PP, PF: Alternate Power 1) [6PP] BE: Super-Senses 3 (Magic Awareness 3 [Auditory, Enhancements: Analytical, Extended]) [5/5] AP: Morph 3 (Aquaria Innsmouth, +15 Disguise bonus, PFs: Covers Scent, Precise) [5/5] Device 11 (Spectrum Knight Armor, 55PP, Flaw: Hard to Lose, PF: Restricted [Deep One]) [45PP] Communications 4 (radio, 1 mile) [4PP] Flight 3 (50 MPH/500FPM) [6DP] Immunity 9 (Life Support) [9DP] Protection 6 [6DP] Space Travel 1 (interplanetary) [2DP] Spectrum Power Array 12 (24PP, PFs: Alternate Powers 2) [26DP] BE: Damage 6 (energy trident, PFs: Improved Crit 2, Mighty, Precise, Takedown Attack 2, Variable Descriptor 2 [any energy]) + Impervious Toughness 10 {10} {14+10=24/24} AP: Blast 8 (spectrum power, PFs: Accurate 4, Precise 2, Variable Descriptor 2 [any energy]) {24/24} AP: Move Object 8 (energy constructs, Effective STR 40, Heavy Load 3 tons, PFs: Accurate 4, Precise) {21/24} Super-Senses 2 (Danger Sense [Radio], Uncanny Dodge [Radio]) [2DP] 4+ 6 + 9 + 6 + 2 + 26 + 2 = 55/55 Drawbacks: -1PP Vulnerable (visual Dazzles, uncommon, minor) [-1PP] Totals: Abilities (44) + Combat (28) + Saving Throws (7) + Skills (10) + Feats (48) + Powers (78) - Drawbacks (1) = 214/220 Power Points DC BlockATTACK RANGE SAVE EFFECT Unarmed Touch DC21 Toughness Damage (Physical) Trident Touch DC27 Toughness Damage (Energy) Blast Ranged DC23 Toughness Damage (Energy) Singularity Power Level: 12 (175/175PP) Trade-Offs: None Age: 24 Gender: Female Height: 5'8" Weight: 175 lbs Eyes: Brown Hair: Short and blonde Description: A young woman of average height and muscular build, Singularity's blonde hair doesn't quite match her dark eyebrows. She carries herself with a combination of athleticism and hesitancy - as if forever afraid she's going to break some thing, or some one. She generally speaks quietly, even, and perhaps especially, when angry. In combat she wields a short, dark baton like a single escrima stick, one she can snap open to staff length. She wears a blue jumpsuit in combat, if she has time to gear up. History: Victim. Survivor. Monster. Weapon. Prisoner. Artist. Hero? Jessie White, displaced from her own dying world into a hellish alternate reality, now living on a world where she is a shadow of another woman, bearing her own reputation as a mindless killing machine. At least her best friend is a monster from below the waves who worships strange gods and eats live fish for fine? It's good to know she's not alone - even if sometimes she thinks she's better off that way. Personality and Motivation: Jessie keeps her personality restrained as best she can, keeping her voice and passions to herself. She's better off that way - and so is everyone else around her. She does feel things, sometimes intensely, with strange visions of a life that wasn't hers and of the horrific reality beyond it - but she tries to keep them to herself. Pretending to be normal is hard enough without thinking about all the ways she's anything but. Powers and Tactics: Jessie White fights with her bat, striking with the mechanics of someone who has solid, albeit limited, training in melee combat. She'll strike to stun and to daze, staying mobile with leaps and kicks, not too dissimilar from her aquatic friend. Singularity fights to kill. She doesn't come out much - even when Jessie's in costume. But sometimes she does. Jessie doesn't like to think about that. Abilities: 8 + 4 + 4 + 0 + 2 + 2 = 20PP Strength: 30/18 (+10/+4) Dexterity: 20/14 (+5/+2) Constitution: 30/14 (+10/+2) Intelligence: 10 (+0) Wisdom: 12 (+1) Charisma: 12 (+1) Combat: 12 + 12 = 24PP Initiative: +5 Attack: +6 Base, +10 Melee Grapple: +24 Defense: +10 (+6 Base, +4 Dodge Focus), +3 Flat-Footed Knockback: -12 Saving Throws: 0 + 3 + 7 = 10PP Toughness: +14/+2 (+8 Enhanced Con, +2, [Impervious 10] +4 Forcefield) Fortitude: +10/+2 (+2 Con, +8 Enhanced Con) Reflex: +8/+5 (+2 Dex, +3 Enhanced Dex, +3) Will: +8 (+1 Wis, +7) Skills: 64R = 16PP Acrobatics 10 (+15, SM) Craft (Artistic) 8 (+8) Intimidate 14 (+15, SM) Notice 9 (+10, SM) Sense Motive 9 (+10, SM) Stealth 10 (+15) Survival 4 (+5) Feats: 20PP Acrobatic Bluff All-Out Attack Attack Focus (Melee) 4 Challenge 2 (Fast Acrobatic Bluff, Fast Startle) Dodge Focus 4 Evasion Interpose Move-By-Action Power Attack Skill Mastery (Acrobatics, Intimidate, Notice, Sense Motive) Startle Takedown Attack Uncanny Dodge (auditory) Powers: 4 + 16 + 6 + 12 + 1 + 2 + 10 + 5 + 9 + 2 + 8 +10 = 85PP Device 1 (Bat, 5PP, Easy to Lose, PF: Subtle [Collapsible]) [4PP] Damage 0 (PFs: Improved Crit 2, Mighty, Paralyzing Attack, Stunning Attack) Enhanced Constitution 16 [16PP] Enhanced Dexterity 6 [6PP] Enhanced Strength 12 [12PP] Feature 1 (Temporal Inertia) [1PP] Immunity 2 (disease, poison) [2PP] Impervious Toughness 10 [10PP] Movement Array 2 (4 points; PF: Alternate Power) [5PP] BE: Leaping 4 (x25; running long jump 500 feet, standing long jump 250 feet, vertical jump 125 feet) {4/4} AP: Speed 4 (100 mph / 1000 feet per move action) {2+2=4/4} Regeneration 9 (Bruised 3 [No Action], Injured 6 [No Action]) [9PP] Super-Senses 2 (Accurate Hearing) [2PP] Super-Strength 4 (Effective STR 50, Heavy Load 12.5 tons) [8PP] Device 3 (Elder Sign Shield, 15PP, Flaw: Easy to Lose, PF: Indestructible) [10PP] Damage 4 (shield strike, PF: Mighty) {5} Enhanced Feats 3 (Second Chance 3 [Toughness Saves Against Falling Damage, Will Saves against Confuse and Mind Control) {3} Immunity 3 (drowning, environmental cold, high pressure) {3} Force Field 4 {4} DC BlockATTACK RANGE SAVE EFFECT Unarmed Touch DC29 Toughness Damage (Physical) Totals: Abilities (20) + Combat (24) + Saving Throws (10) + Skills (16) + Feats (20) + Powers (85) = 175/175 Power Points
  20. Character Name: Sea Devil Power Level: 12/15 (233/236PP) Trade-Offs: Various Unspent Power Points: 3 In Brief: A Deep One outcast living among Surfacers, gifted with space armor and trying to fight for a better world. Homebase: The DuTemps Building, Freedom City Songs: My Beloved Monster, Eels Fight Song, Rachel Platten Defying Gravity, Wicked Survivor, 2Wei cover Alternate Identity: Aquaria Innsmouth (Aquaria's Deep One name is not pronounceable by Surfacers) Identity: NA Birthplace: An unnamed island in the US Virgin Islands Occupation: Adventurer Affiliations: The DuTemps Building, the Liberty League (associate member), the Esoteric Order of Dagon and Hydra Family: Jessie White, the DuTemps Building, the Liberty League - she has living relatives including adult spawn and their spawn, but Deep Ones do not view these relationships the way Surfacers do. Age: Aquaria is a Deep One female in the prime of life. Gender: Female Height: 5'7"/6'1" in armor Weight: 180 lbs/280 lbs in armor Eyes: Black and gold Hair: None Description: Outside of her armor, Aquaria Innsmouth is clearly no Surfacer. Her bulging black and gold eyes are set much too far apart to be a human's and her nose, flattened almost against her face, is more like a snout. She has no visible ears. Her mouth is big and opens far wider than a human's could - the teeth inside are sharp and serrated like the inside of a shark's mouth. Her skin is mottled green and white, white towards the belly and green towards the black, a dark green the color of certain unnameable seas. Her body is not quite shaped 'right' either - her limbs are too long and jointed like a frog's rather than a normal woman's, her torso too sturdy, and her arms and legs both end in three-fingered 'hands'. Her skin is covered in blue and black tattoos depicting strange and fantastic scenery, looking like something out of a hallucination. Her voice is deep and loud and sounds decidedly peculiar to human ears. She is cold and slick to the touch, like touching the skin of a frog or a smooth-scaled fish. Inside her armor, Sea Devil looks rather different from the typical armored hero - the armor's massive limbs and glowing blue 'fingers' are probably its most striking feature, as are a faint opalescent sheen overlain over the black of the armor itself. That sheen, seeming to glow with all the colors of the rainbow depending on one's perspective when looking at the armor, is instantly recognizable - and all too familiar for space-born heroes - the armor of the villainous terrorist organization the Spectrum Knights. Her head is almost completely invisible inside the armor, though she can make her faceplate go translucent, or even transparent, should she wish. When she speaks while wearing the armor, the digitized booming base of her voice sounds like nothing else. Her trident is about as tall as she is and black, a version of orichalcum favored by the craftsmen of Lemuria. Carved with ancient runes, it looks wrapped all around with grooved edges and curved lines like tentacles rather than the smoother craftsmanship of Atlanteans. When she casts spells with it, the trident glows with a cheerfully impossible black light. History: It's an old story, really - a tribal people, trading with the city folk who lived on the good land, hunting and fishing and singing the songs of their ancestors, at least until the others come - with terrible weapons and sinister intent, they destroyed the tribe's home and chased them away into the darkness. The tribe roamed from spot to spot, settling here and there for a time, until finally finding a home among the people far from the ancient and terrible enemy. Aquaria has lost track of her age. She was an adult, old enough to have mated and spawned, when the tribe found the ancient city, ending their long wandering after the Atlanteans had destroyed their rocky island home during the first flush of her adulthood. She remembers her joy at meeting the Dark Brothers (or so they called the city-dwellers), the glee at learning she would finally gain her true power as a Deep One - before finally she saw the horrific blood sacrifice of the city-dwelling cult of Dagon and Hydra. She fled, in horror - but where could she go, in a sea beset by her enemies, where even her own people were no longer her friends? She picked the Surfacers and began a long, solitary journey up the East Coast of North America - she taught herself to read their language and understand the rudiments of their culture. When she learned of a Deep One attack against a Surfacer city, she headed that way - she'd heard confused stories of a Deep One hybrid leading the invasion forces and wanted to see what had become of it. So she showed her face in Freedom City - and promptly found herself battling superheroes. After all, this was just a few months after Archevil - nobody wanted to take any chances. She nearly died in Blackstone, the air cold and dry, her voice echoing off the walls, alone - until she heard the halting echoes of Lemurian from the Surfacer outside her cell. An early volunteer for Project Freedom, her acclimation to Surface life - to the mistrust, the prejudice, the dry air, the bad food, the aloneness, was hard, but it was better than death. And then things got even better when she met Singularity, aka Jessie White - she'd seen the Surfacer woman in a cell near hers in Blackstone and though they hadn't spoken then, the familiarity was enough to make them roommates at Project Freedom. Aquaria wasn't scared of Jessie's strange moods and desire for solitude - and Jessie didn't mind Aquaria's strange smells and bizarre habits so much. She was the first new member of Aquaria's pod. Now they're free and living in the DuTemps Building, where their pod has grown substantially - even including friends who swim in the Sea of Stars. It's not the same as the world she left behind, but it's a good enough world. She'll be reunited with her Deep One brothers and sisters again - when the stars are right.  Personality and Motivation: By Surfacer standards, Aquaria is generally cheerful, talkative, and loud - something that can be intimidating for a frog-mouthed, shark-toothed Deep One! She's aware that friendliness and good cheer are something Surfacers like, so she sometimes plays this up. She's gregarious, being a creature happiest in groups, and always eager to make friends. She nonetheless is _not_ a Surfacer - she is an obligate carnivore who worships strange gods and practices strange rites, and who has a worldview very different than many of her friends. Powers and Tactics: Leaping fresh from the ocean, Aquaria is stronger than a man and faster too - fighting with powerful kicks, bites, and lashes of her gigantic tongue, she really is an oceanic alpha predator. There's a reason why solo Deep Ones can clear out small ships full of humans, or why Deep One tribes hunt whales for sport. She'll strike from concealment or from surprise, and otherwise seek every advantage in a fight. She'll probably take advantage of her superior senses and familiarity with the dark and the water to fight an opponent at night underneath a flooding dock, and the like. In her armor she is all that and space-worthy and flight-capable - and armed with a glowing energy trident about the length of a short sword she can project from the flexible armor's metal. The armor also renders her nigh-bulletproof and really tough. When wielding her trident, she'll try and stab or strike with it, given the cost that comes from using her magic. For that, she'll typically fly right into the middle of a large crowd of enemies. Complications: At the Mountains of Madness: Aquaria would do anything for Jessie White, her best friend. Call of Cthulhu: Aquaria does not like being single - but mating opportunities are sketchy here on the Surface. Dagon: Aquaria is a devotee of the dark gods of the Deep Ones; Dagon and Hydra. The Color Out Of Space: Aquaria's Spectrum Knight Armor doesn't actually seek her death - but it is essentially a Yellow Ring crossed with The Anarchist's Cookbook. The Dunwich Horror: People do not like Deep Ones! The Haunter of the Dark: It's always too bright here, and too dry. The Horror at Red Hook: Aquaria's fellow Deep Ones typically regard her as apostate and traitor. The Shadow Over Innsmouth: Aquaria and Atlanteans have a special beef with each other. Abilities: 10 + 14 + 10 + 0 + 6 + 12 = 52PP Strength: 28/20 (+9/+5) Dexterity: 24 (+7) Constitution: 20 (+5) Intelligence: 10 (+0) Wisdom: 16 (+3) Charisma: 22 (+6) Combat: 8 + 12 = 20PP Initiative: +11 Attack: +4 Base, +8 Melee, +12 Natural Weapons Grapple: +15/+17/+20 Defense: +12 (+6 Base, +6 Dodge Focus), +3 Flat-Footed Knockback: -8/-4 Saving Throws: 3 + 1 + 5 = 9PP Toughness: +12/+8 (+5 Con, +3 Protection, +4 Armor [5 Impervious]) Fortitude: +8 (+5 Con, +3) Reflex: +8 (+7 Dex, +1) Will: +8 (+3 Wis, +5) Skills: 86R = 19PP Acrobatics 8 (+15) Climb 5 (+10) Diplomacy 10 (+16) Handle Animal 5 (+11) Intimidate 7 (+13) Knowledge (Arcane Lore) 5 (+5) Knowledge (Theology and Philosophy) 10 (+10) Languages 2 (Atlantean, English, Base: Lemurian) Notice 7 (+10) Sense Motive 7 (+10) Stealth 8 (+15) Survival 2 (+5) Feats: 23PP Attack Focus (Melee) 4 Attack Specialization (Natural Weapons) 2 Dodge Focus 6 Environmental Adaptation (Underwater) Evasion Improved Initiative Luck 3 Move-By Action Prone Fighting Ritualist Takedown Attack Ultimate Save [Will] Powers: 48 + 26 + 41 = 115PP Container 9.4 (Deep One Physiology, Extra: Duration [Permanent], PF: Innate) [48PP] Additional Limb 1 (tongue) [1PP] Comprehend 2 (Animals [speak/Understand], Flaw: Limited [Sea Life]) [2PP] Damage 3 (Power Feats: Mighty, Variable Descriptor 1 [bludgeoning/piercing/slashing]]) [5PP] Immunity 3 (environmental cold, drowning, pressure) [3PP] Immunity 5 (grapples; Flaw: Limited [Half-Effect]) [3PP] Leaping 1 (x2) [1PP] Feature 5 (Deep One) [5PP] Movement Array 2 (4PP, Alternate Powers 2) [6PP] BE: Enhanced Leaping 1 (to Leaping 2 (x5) + Enhanced Speed 1 (to Speed 2 (25MPH/250FPM) + Enhanced Super-Movement 1 (Wall-Crawling 2) {1+1+2/=4/4} AP: Swimming 4 (to Swimming 5 [50MPH/500FPM]) AP: Enhanced Super-Strength 2 (to 3, Effective STR 35, Heavy Load 1.5 tons) Protection 3 [3PP] Speed 1 (10MPH/100FPM) [1PP] Super-Senses 12 (Darkvision, Radius Sight, Detect Magic 3 [auditory], Hearing [Extended], Sonar [Accurate Ultrasonic Hearing], Scent [Acute], Tremorsense) [12PP] Super-Movement 1 (Wall-Crawling 1) [2PP] Super-Strength 1 (Effective STR 25, Heavy Load 700 lbs) [2PP] Swimming 1 (2.5MPH/25FPM) [1PP] 1 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 5 + 6 + 3 + 1 + 12 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 47PP Device 8 (Hydra's Trident, 40 points; Flaws: Easy to Lose, PFs: Indestructible, Restricted 1 [Deep Ones]) [26PP] Immunity 1 (Own Powers, Extra: Affects Others) [2DP] The Stars Are Right! Array 14 (28 points; PFs: Alternate Power 4) [32PP] BE: Damage 12 (The Golden Sign; Extra: Area [General, Burst], PFs: Affects Insubstantial 2, Indirect 2) {28/28} AP: Move Object 12 (The Grip of the Mother; Extra: Area [General, Burst], Flaw: Range [Touch], PFs: Affects Insubstantial 2, Indirect 2) {28/28} AP: Nullify 12 (The Father's Power; all magic, Extra: Area [General, Burst], Flaw: Range [Touch], PFs: Indirect 2) {26/28} AP: Teleport 5 (The Mother's Coils; 100 ft/5 miles, Extras: Accurate [+1], Portal [+2]) {25/28} AP: Trip 12 (The Father's Ocean; Extra: Area [General, Cone], Knockback, Flaw: Range [Touch], PFs: Affects Insubstantial 2, Improved Trip, Indirect 2) {27/28} Strike 3 (trident strike; PFs: Accurate 2, Extended Reach 1, Mighty) [6DP] 2+32+6 = 40/40 Device 10 (50PP, Spectrum Knight Armor, Flaw: Hard to Lose, PFs: Restricted 1 [Immunity (suffocation underwater)] [41PP] Communication 4 (1 mile, radio) [4PP] Enhanced Feat 1 (Luck) [1DP] Enhanced STR 8 (to STR 28/+9) [8DP] Enhanced Strike 0 (PFs: Extended Reach 1, Variable Descriptor 1 [any electromagnetic]) [2DP] Feature 5 [Buys Off Drawbacks]) [5DP] Flight 5 (250 MPH/2500FPM) [10DP] Immunity 5 (disease, environmental heat, poison, radiation, suffocation [full]) [5DP] Impervious TOU 5 [5DP] Protection 4 [4DP]Space Travel 1 (interplanetary) [2DP] Super-Senses 4 (Radar) [4DP]4 + 1 + 8 + 2 + 5 + 10 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 2 + 4 = 50/50 Drawbacks: -5PP Vulnerability (dessication attacks [heat, dryness, etc], common, moderate) [3PP] Vulnerability (visual dazzles, uncommon, moderate) [2PP] Totals: Abilities (52) + Combat (20) + Saving Throws (9) + Skills (19) + Feats (23) + Powers (115) - Drawbacks (5) = 233/236 Power Points 
  21. Leviathan's Lair The depths of Great Bay, Freedom City, New Jersey Saturday February 10, 2018 Up on the surface of the waves of Great Bay, the winds still whipped the cold that had gripped the East Coast across the water toward Freedom City. But deep beneath the waves’ surface, the waters were not much colder than they normally were. Along the rocky floor of Great Bay, nestled amongst the kelp and seaweed beds that rouse up dozens of feet, lay the undersea lair that Dr. Tristan Delacroix had created to be his lair as Leviathan. It was there that the good doctor was currently located. After encountering the Deep One Aquaria (also known as the superhero Sea Devil) a few months ago, a number of different things had seemed to come up and prevent him from showing the Deep One his headquarters. But finally they had been able to find a day that fit both their schedules, so now Aquaira and her roommate Jessie White would soon be arriving.
  22. Disclaimer: the author is one of those liberal-minded academics interested in defending an oppressed people, sometimes to the disservice of their own objectivity. Let's start with what the Freedom City book tells us about Deep Ones. Deep Ones are Atlanteans corrupted by interbreeding with the Serpent People, as well as the influence of the Serpent Scepter. What does it mean to be "corrupted by interbreeding"? When people talk that way about humans; we know what they mean, and we recoil from it. Deep Ones carry the blood of their Father Dagon and their Mother Hydra, the mighty gods that in the days of Lost Lemuria reached up from the depths Below and reshaped them in their image. This is a shameful thing in our history books because the history books were written by the people who kept the ability to write; whose civilization weathered the great Cataclysm that destroyed Lost Lemuria They have hairless, green, scaly skin, clawed hands and feet, entirely black eyes (with no iris or pupil visible), pointed ears, and sharp teeth. Their scales provide Deep Ones with some natural armor, and their eyes are adapted to see even in the blackest ocean depths, but they deal poorly with light as bright as daylight on the surface. This is a common look for many Deep Ones, especially the ones that live down in the tropics or up along the eastern coast of North America - but the Children of Father Dagon and Mother Hydra wear the shape of their home waters. Arctic Deep Ones have the fat bodies of seals and move as slowly as a Greenland shark; riverine Deep Ones could almost pass for a green-skinned human. Not that there are many of the latter left. Their skins (labeled incorrectly) are in the British Museum - and in the Royal Museum in Atlantis (labeled correctly). The ruins of Lemuria lie at the bottom of the Pacific, largely undisturbed, though occasionally visited by scavengers (human and otherwise) looking for ancient artifacts and secrets left behind by the Serpent Empire. Some scattered tribes of Deep Ones can be found there, usually worshipping some sunken idol or ruin. When humans worship at long-neglected churches, or pray in shrines destroyed by fire, we admire their piety and their commitment to their faith. Why don't we do the same for the sons and daughters of Dagon and Hydra? The truth, as it ever is, is complicated. - Let's move now to legend and story. Deep Ones eat people. This has happened. Deep Ones are endocannibalistic - they eat the bodies of their dead in homage to the maw of Dagon and Hydra, absorbing the power of those they've lost as a way of keeping their souls alive. A Deep One has never truly died if someone who has eaten their flesh lives; and so in some of the great cyclopean cities Below the chain of being goes on to the days of Lost Lemuria. (The Deep One word for Lemuria literally is Lost Lemuria in the dialect of Lemuria before the Fall.) Deep Ones are also exocannibalistic. They eat the bodies of fallen foes and feed them to their young; the better to honor a worthy enemy and to gain some of that power for themselves and for their kin. A Deep One might do things to the body of a Surfacer that would horrify said Surfacer but it's nothing they wouldn't want done for themselves in the same circumstances. There is another reality to Deep Ones. They are starving. They have been starving for a long time. Surfacer ships have drained their hunting grounds dry and pumped poisons in their waters; the pitiless mercy of Atlantis awaits if they venture out from the deep open oceans and rocky shoals where they have been forced by circumstance and centuries of unending warfare. If a tribe of Deep Ones should swarm a shipwreck or a crashed plane, hooting with a terrible cheerfulness as they bare their fangs, they are enemies to be defeated who will kill and eat what they can but they are doing it because they are out of food. Deep Ones worship strange gods. This is true. Deep Ones worship their Dark Father Dagon and their Dark Mother Hydra (who have at times been worshipped by Canaanites and feared by Greeks) and believe that one day Dagon and Hydra will rise from the Depths and the world will be transformed. When the stars are right, the first will be last and the last will be first, the sea will be as the land and the land will be as the sea. The apocalypse will come and Deep Ones will rule where now they suffer. The faith of Dagon and Hydra is an apocalyptic faith that demands personal sacrifice and penitence; a Deep One with no tattoos, piercings, or other scars (in memory of the marks on Dagon and Hydra, left there in their long-gone wars with the foul gods of Atlantis) is no Deep One at all. But their suffering - their suffering for faith, will be rewarded. The false gods of Atlantis will fall and Lemuria will rise, and there will be a new world. And perhaps this is cruel. But their faith believes in apocalypse because they need an apocalypse - an uncovering that will reveal the world for what it truly is. Where there will be justice for a people who consider themselves lost and hunted, where there will be a reckoning for a people who consider themselves to be sorely used. If they aspire to supernatural change, so have many fallen peoples down through the centuries. If they try to hasten the great day of Jubilee, as some do, so have many peoples over the centuries. The difference is that when they do magic, it works. A charismatic priest or shaman will sometimes unite a tribe, or even a whole kingdom, for a raid on the Surface or against Atlantis - an attack blessed a thousand ways. The mingled blood of sacrifice will please Dagon and Hydra (for oh yes, I already said Deep Ones practice sacrifice and bloodletting, and mimic the great hungers of their gods through sacred cannibalism, didn't I?). The booty of the raid will feed a tribe, a kingdom, a people, until the time comes for the next attack. And if a warrior dies on said raid, their flesh will make a pleasing sacrifice for the tribe. It is a terrible thing to die on the land and have one's bones be buried in the dead earth. Deep Ones love the water better than the air. Yes. Yes, of course they do. Even for the more amphibious sort the light is always too bright here and the air has a killing dryness. Everything smells strange and the voices sound wrong, and everything looks bizarre. Their songs echo strangely in the air, proof of its disconnection from the realms of the gods below. Deep Ones want to kill us all. There have been Deep One invasions of the Surface - the most recent and most infamous saw an army of Deep Ones assault Freedom City during the Archevil Incident. Objectively they were cannon fodder and distraction for the Archevil's entity's larger plans for transcendence and global domination; but that hardly matters to the human beings they killed in the process. That was back in 2011, but you can find images and horrific accounts of their attack with just a little Googling. This is how people know what Deep Ones do - because they've seen it in action. Sing a different song. When a nest of Deep Ones falls to an Atlantean reprisal, what do the Atlanteans do with the survivors? When a prisoner is taken after a raid on the Surface, what do the Surfacers do with her? That they are not as brutal as Deep Ones does not excuse brutality, nor does it return to life those who died in the cold dry ground Above or beneath the tridents of Atlanteans below. Deep Ones consider themselves in a war, and in a war you fight to win. There is nothing they would do to a Surfacer they wouldn't do to each other if suitably pressed. What about the stories that Deep Ones have more than once subverted the Atlantean royal family; driving them to threaten the Surface in 2002 and actually invade it a decade and a half later? Well those stories are all true (and even now, there are agents in the Atlantean royal family waiting for another chance to strike!); but does the average Surfacer believe them? The Atlanteans would blame it on the Deep Ones, wouldn't they? One bit of supernatural subversion by the Serpent Scepter could happen to anyone but twice seems like carelessness. Deep Ones hate Atlanteans. Yes, yes they do, and the feeling is mutual. Deep Ones see Atlanteans as cruel, arrogant aristocrats whose goal is the extermination of their people. Atlanteans see Deep Ones as cold-blooded monsters whose goal is the extermination of their people. Both sides can point to atrocities, to killings, to tortures, across millennia of warfare, as proof that what they say is true. Deep Ones resent Surfacers for their alliance with Atlanteans, for what they've done to Mother Hydra's oceans, and for the Deep Ones they've killed. They _loathe_ Atlanteans. Deep Ones are sexual predators. Why would they do that? That is nasty. Deep Ones want to be my friend. Deep Ones are obligate carnivores, raised from birth with the idea that Atlanteans are cruel and arrogant monsters and that Surfacers are callous, alien fiends. Through blood and sacrifice, they believe that the world will be reborn anew and the Deep Ones will be freed from the captivity that is their powerlessness. They are carnivores who can talk to their food and know it would prefer not to be eaten - but they must live anyway. They will kill you because they are hungry and because stripping the flesh from your bones will be a sacred rite to them. They will kill you to send a message to their other enemies - to show the power of the sons and daughters of Dagon and Hydra over their foes. They will kill you at the command of their shamans, in the name of their dread gods, and of the coming apocalypse that will sweep away all the Surface world in waves of oceanic annihilation. But they won't kill you because they are Deep Ones. They will kill you if they have a reason. When they are monstrous, they are monstrous in our image. And that is the most frightening thing about them of all.
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