(Sorry for the lack of updates. I go on vacation next week, which means I’m trying to get a ton of loose ends wrapped up at work, not the least of which was conducting personnel reviews for my three minions (a first in my career). As a result, when I wasn’t working at the house in the evening, I was avoiding computers altogether.)
Years ago, I created a superhero setting called “Meridian by Moonlight,” for a short-lived Champions campaign. The key influences on the setting were “Batman: the Animated Series” (still in first-run) and the Fleischer Bros. “Superman” animated shorts from the 1940s. Despite the various Dark Deco set dressing, the actual material I wrote for the setting was pretty much a paint-by-numbers approach to city building I’d learned from years of playing Champions. Looking back on it, there’s a lot I’d do different today, starting with discarding about 75% of the original material, and then adding things that actually made it an interesting superhero setting instead of a simulated city where superheroes can hang out.
Which, I guess, is kind of what I’ve been doing for the past year. Mostly by accident. Back when I started making up ICONS characters for this blog, the very first one (Fedora Noir) was just the sort of character I’d always imagined living in Meridian. So, I wrote her background to include the city.
When I wrote the next one, Blight, I mentioned that EUREKA was Meridian’s leading scientific institution. It was? This was news to me at the time, hey, it sounded pretty cool.
So yeah, now I had a whole new aspect of the setting that just showed up from random glurge on the virtual page. What next? Soon, I found myself incorporating little bits from “Sins of the Past” (my ICONS adventure), which made sense, since I’d had Meridian in mind when I wrote it. As I continued, the city and the setting accreted, creating something far more interesting (to me) than my original ideas.
And that’s where I find myself today. This post is about going back and collecting all the random bits I’ve made up and putting them in one place. They may not all make sense, but I want to be able to reference them in the future. So, without further ado, here are the facts of Earth-Meridian, in the order I found them.
- Fedora Noir is the granddaughter of The Black Fedora, Meridian’s original Midnight Detective.
- The Midnight Detective Agency – run by Fedora Noir
- Meridian Star – Newspaper
- Detective Walt Levinson – Meridian PD, Fedora Noir’s boyfriend
- Little Augie Caesar – Chimpanzee Crime Lord from “Sins of the Past”
- EUREKA – Meridian’s leading scientific institute (I don’t know what EUREKA stands for)
- Rex Radium – Local hero?
- Blackatoa – Local hero?
- The Collider – Local heroine?
- The Day of the Blight – First appearance of the Blight
- In our world, famous actors go to Japan and shoot cheesy TV commercials. On Earth-Meridian, superheroes appear on "El Juego Más Peligroso" ("The Most Dangerous Game") a cheesy reality show in which they are hunted by the star of the show, a man known only as Huachu (a Quecha word meaning "Orphan.")
- Stu Murphy is probably the only super-powered dogcatcher in the world.
- Doctor Cereberus the Science Dog works at EUREKA
- Doctor Cereberus was created by HADES, which is EUREKA’s opposite number
- Dumont Family – one of Meridian’s richest families
- The Deco City – Meridian’s nickname
- Julia Whitmore – Daughter of the Mayor at the time of the Bowin Opera Hall Fire
- Bowin Opera Hall – local music venue, burned to the ground in a horrible tragedy that birthed Ripfire
- When historic moments involving superhumans occur, the Witness is always present.
- Meridian University – local college
- Nephilim – Old Testament supernatural monsters
- The Olympians: A superhero team (presumably local)
- Rorek the Ice Elf – escaped servitor of the Frost Giants (“Villainomicon”)
- The Great Summer Blizzard – Isenkriegerin’s first attack on Meridian
- Time Travel Is Real. And Insanely Dangerous.
- Western Yunnan Province is a hellish wasteland.
- Wei Xiong – China’s official superteam
- The Many-Angled Ones – Cthulhoid baddies from outside reality
- Maxwell Demon – 70s rock star (totally stolen from “Velvet Goldmine”)
- The Elder Dark – A powerful magical entity from outside our reality (perhaps one of the Many-Angled Ones)
- Al-Gereshki – The Doombringer’s true name
- WCBN – local TV station
- WCBN has a superpowered meteorologist
- Thunderhead – unstatted weather-controlling villain
- Raymond Gregory – Meridian PD Liaison to the Superhero Community
- Armbruster Industries – local industrial giant
- Detective Andrew Drake – local maverick cop
- The Octofather – local crime boss with an octopus head (ICONS)