Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – The Setting

Just five years after Scion’s first appearance, the superheroes emerged from the cover of rumor and secrecy to show themselves to the public. Though the villains followed soon after, it was the heroes who shattered any illusions of the parahumans being divine figures. In 1989, attempting to quell a riot over a basketball game in Michigan, the superhero known to the public as Vikare stepped in, only to be clubbed over the head. He died not long after of a brain embolism.

The golden age of the parahumans was thus short lived. They were not the deific figures they had appeared to be. Parahumans were, after all, people with powers, and people are flawed at their core. Government agencies took a firmer hand; in America the Protectorate was wormed, a government funded and nationally coordinated team of superheroes to support the beleaguered Parahuman Response Team, a new branch of the emergency services.

In Australia, events took a different turn. The Bathory Massacres, occurring just months after harsh gun control reforms, were one of the most catastrophic acts of parahuman violence to date. With this setting public sentiment so strongly against the dangers posed by parahuman individuals, Melbourne became host to a superhuman game of hide and seek, with illegally operating teams of vigilante heroes working against the inevitable surge of parahuman villainy in what was effectively an unprotected city.

This led to an escalating war over the streets of Melbourne, with under-equipped and overtasked emergency services attempting to keep the city together in the face of constant parahuman violence. It was only years later that the legal provisions were created to allow a newly formed team to work alongside emergency services in a role similar to that played by the Protectorate. Privately funded and corporate sponsored, Eureka is led by Southern Star, a hero drawn directly from the police force after a very public trigger event on camera. Their formation has sparked a whole new debate regarding parahumans. A controversial bill has been introduced in parliament that, if passed, will force any superheroes operating in Australia to register both civilian and parahuman identities in a national database.

Melbourne itself is still recovering, with large swathes of the city claimed by assorted villainous gangs and warlords and others under the rather dubious ‘protection’ of vigilante teams. It is an uncertain time, the city on a tipping point between being restored to order and descending into anarchy.

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