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The Age of Wonders Universe

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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:08 pm

Phrozen wrote:"So, Legendary. Your whole culture is basically an Austin Powers movie...." ~Momentum


"well, she does look a bit like Elizabeth Hurley..."
-Mister Arcane

"Who?"
-Super Dragonpunch Zero.

More fun ideas ahead.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:30 pm

Phobos

The nature of criminality is something that is difficult to keep track of in a changing world. Phobos is willing to skirt the edges of international law, treaties, and morality for the benefit of its stock prices. It is quite possibly the world's first fully autonomous for-profit spy agency in the world and cares nothing for the countless lives it leaves ruined in its wake. Despite this, most of its agents still believe themselves to be doing a necessary service for the good of mankind.

The irony? This is actually their public face. Their private face is much, much worse.

Phobos has murdered, tortured, stolen, and blackmailed across six continents. They've recently spread their business across other worlds as well, making use of a stolen Celestial Commerce Guild Nexus Gate to abuse other planets in the ostensible name of Earth-0's prosperity. Pendulum is aware of Phobos' existence but has yet to put together the terrorists on other worlds are tied to the mercenaries they've encountered world-wide.

Complaints by Pendulum that Phobos agents have interfered in investigations, assaulted, and even killed members of their group have been curiously ignored. As a result, many Pendulum agents have simply started shooting at Phobos agents once identified.


The head of Phobos is Arthur Sterling, a dual-citizenship British/American Oxford graduate who specialized in geo-political analysis and game theory. He was part of the initial think-tank sent to study the effects of the Nexus. Arthur Sterling was not mentally prepared for discovering the universe was infinitely vaster than he ever thought possible, rendering virtually all of his models and knowledge obsolete.

Sterling was one of the initial sponsors of FORCE and championed extremist responses towards the existence of Nexus-particle affected humans. When FORCE failed miserably, he managed to maintain enough of his reputation to be a major force in recruiting agents for ARROW and UNITED. Analysis indicated that those picked by Sterling were 50% were more likely to use lethal force and 30% more likely to involve collateral damage.

These figures were considered to be a benefit during the early chaotic years but became embarrassing when Legendary and other heroes started displaying Nexus-empowered beings were friends to mankind.


Lawsuits and criminal charges were filed against several of his operatives, which nearly destroyed Sterling's career. When PENDULUM was created, Commander Raphael Adiv made it clear Sterlings agents and operatives were unwanted. Sterling, himself, was offered a position on an adjoining analysis group with no real authority.

Right up until Sterling found Emily. Emily was a girl with foresight and precognition more accurate than other other psychic yet found. Realizing the potential of the eleven-year-old, he murdered her parents and covered up all existence of her. Sterling gracefully retired and began making plans for the creation of an organization capable of protecting the planet from fools who risked the world by not taking extremist measures against the enemy.

Emily is, obviously, precocious for her age and looking for a way to escape Sterling's custody. She's hoping a group of superheroes will somehow find their way to the fortified bunker she's kept in.


Recruiting every one of his operatives willing to work with him, occasionally lying about the level of support Phobos was getting from the world's governments, Sterling has relied on Emily's visions to pull off ridiculous numbers of successful missions. These include attempting to steal technology from Nexus-enhanced inventors and reverse-engineering stolen otherworldly tech. It also involves attempting to gain control over politicians and corporate figures in order to expand Phobos' reach. What they do to Nexus-empowered individuals is better left unspoken.

The organization is 80% self-funded, having a surprising number of investors from billionaires who believe recent events show the word's governments can no longer be trusted. These include two brothers in the USA, the Saudi Royal Family, and the Sung-backed new regime in North Korea. an additional 20% of their funding comes from hiring themselves out as mercenaries.

Sterling and his operatives believes they can make themselves indispensable to reactionary parties around the globe in anticipation of a worldwide revolution. A revolution Sterling intends not only to benefit from but to control.

To this end, Phobos is outright installing dictators and starting wars. They've even engaged in outright genocide with a nuclear strike against a nearby parallel world Sterling believed was a potential threat to the Earth (because it had successfully integrated Nexus and normal humans).

The majority of Phobos agents are self-satisfied, cruel, and arrogant individuals who have been subtly brainwashed by Sterling's mind-control techniques (acquired from Reverend Sung in the height of hypocrisy) into buying his reactionary ideology.

Though they usually believe they are working for the benefit of their country or religion; all of them are unconsciously conditioned to believe whatever benefits Phobos benefits what they cherish most. In short, virtually all of them are fanatics. The irony is most of them were unpleasant enough people the lucrative paychecks alone would have been enough to bring them over to Sterling's side.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:39 pm

Updated the Index.

Great music choices, Phrozen.

I learned to love those.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Voltron64 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:15 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:Phobos

The nature of criminality is something that is difficult to keep track of in a changing world. Phobos is willing to skirt the edges of international law, treaties, and morality for the benefit of its stock prices. It is quite possibly the world's first fully autonomous for-profit spy agency in the world and cares nothing for the countless lives it leaves ruined in its wake. Despite this, most of its agents still believe themselves to be doing a necessary service for the good of mankind.

The irony? This is actually their public face. Their private face is much, much worse.

Phobos has murdered, tortured, stolen, and blackmailed across six continents. They've recently spread their business across other worlds as well, making use of a stolen Celestial Commerce Guild Nexus Gate to abuse other planets in the ostensible name of Earth-0's prosperity. Pendulum is aware of Phobos' existence but has yet to put together the terrorists on other worlds are tied to the mercenaries they've encountered world-wide.

Complaints by Pendulum that Phobos agents have interfered in investigations, assaulted, and even killed members of their group have been curiously ignored. As a result, many Pendulum agents have simply started shooting at Phobos agents once identified.


The head of Phobos is Arthur Sterling, a dual-citizenship British/American Oxford graduate who specialized in geo-political analysis and game theory. He was part of the initial think-tank sent to study the effects of the Nexus. Arthur Sterling was not mentally prepared for discovering the universe was infinitely vaster than he ever thought possible, rendering virtually all of his models and knowledge obsolete.

Sterling was one of the initial sponsors of FORCE and championed extremist responses towards the existence of Nexus-particle affected humans. When FORCE failed miserably, he managed to maintain enough of his reputation to be a major force in recruiting agents for ARROW and UNITED. Analysis indicated that those picked by Sterling were 50% were more likely to use lethal force and 30% more likely to involve collateral damage.

These figures were considered to be a benefit during the early chaotic years but became embarrassing when Legendary and other heroes started displaying Nexus-empowered beings were friends to mankind.


Lawsuits and criminal charges were filed against several of his operatives, which nearly destroyed Sterling's career. When PENDULUM was created, Commander Raphael Adiv made it clear Sterlings agents and operatives were unwanted. Sterling, himself, was offered a position on an adjoining analysis group with no real authority.

Right up until Sterling found Emily. Emily was a girl with foresight and precognition more accurate than other other psychic yet found. Realizing the potential of the eleven-year-old, he murdered her parents and covered up all existence of her. Sterling gracefully retired and began making plans for the creation of an organization capable of protecting the planet from fools who risked the world by not taking extremist measures against the enemy.

Emily is, obviously, precocious for her age and looking for a way to escape Sterling's custody. She's hoping a group of superheroes will somehow find their way to the fortified bunker she's kept in.


Recruiting every one of his operatives willing to work with him, occasionally lying about the level of support Phobos was getting from the world's governments, Sterling has relied on Emily's visions to pull off ridiculous numbers of successful missions. These include attempting to steal technology from Nexus-enhanced inventors and reverse-engineering stolen otherworldly tech. It also involves attempting to gain control over politicians and corporate figures in order to expand Phobos' reach. What they do to Nexus-empowered individuals is better left unspoken.

The organization is 80% self-funded, having a surprising number of investors from billionaires who believe recent events show the word's governments can no longer be trusted. These include two brothers in the USA, the Saudi Royal Family, and the Sung-backed new regime in North Korea. an additional 20% of their funding comes from hiring themselves out as mercenaries.

Sterling and his operatives believes they can make themselves indispensable to reactionary parties around the globe in anticipation of a worldwide revolution. A revolution Sterling intends not only to benefit from but to control.

To this end, Phobos is outright installing dictators and starting wars. They've even engaged in outright genocide with a nuclear strike against a nearby parallel world Sterling believed was a potential threat to the Earth (because it had successfully integrated Nexus and normal humans).

The majority of Phobos agents are self-satisfied, cruel, and arrogant individuals who have been subtly brainwashed by Sterling's mind-control techniques (acquired from Reverend Sung in the height of hypocrisy) into buying his reactionary ideology.

Though they usually believe they are working for the benefit of their country or religion; all of them are unconsciously conditioned to believe whatever benefits Phobos benefits what they cherish most. In short, virtually all of them are fanatics. The irony is most of them were unpleasant enough people the lucrative paychecks alone would have been enough to bring them over to Sterling's side.


Let's hope Sterling gets his agency utterly destroyed and his ass kicked.

Or talked into suicide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bECaRof9dsM
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Phrozen » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:07 pm

Phobos reminds me of an evil version of G22 along with Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 in regards to using a precog to help their business.

Its a good organization for more black ops- spy focused characters to fight.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:29 pm

Oh yeah, Arthur Sterling is a complete scumbag and the organization REALLY needs to die.

One of the benefits of Infinite Dreams is it's filled with people superheroes can use lethal force on without feeling guilty.

:mrgreen:

Pendulum is becoming more like SHIELD every day.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Voltron64 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:37 pm

The ironic thing is that Phobos' actions are probably going to end up critically endangering Earth-0. I mean, their terrorist actions across the multiverse are painting a target for all the trans-dimensional powers.

Also care to explain why Arthur Sterling is so ***deleted*** up? (Was it like the Master staring in the Untempered Schism on Gallifrey for him?)
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:02 pm

United Asian Prosperity Sphere

Because that's what Earth-0 really needed right now, a super-powered North Korea. When the Nexus particle first started affecting the world, there was global chaos. This allowed the fall of the North Korean government without nearly the level of concern many people thought it might have. When the Kim family was executed by a military coup, everyone assumed internal politics and was ready for the regime to collapse or a possible war with South Korea/Japan.

That was when the Juche Idea revealed themselves. A group of five or six extraordinarily powerful Nexi who were said to be the the semi-divine embodiment of the North Korean people's desire for independence. The Juche Idea was lead by Supreme Leader, the new masked dictator of the country, and his second-in-command Chawi (Self Reliance in Defense) who assumed control over the military with her technopathic abilities. Other members of the Juche Idea include Charip (Political Independence), Chaju (Economic Independence), Songun (Military First), and the humongous transforming monster Pulgasari.

The Juche Idea initially seemed to be too good to be true. They publicly proclaimed a desire to make peace with the rest of the world and reduce North Korea's dependence on the rest of the planet. With their impressive powers and some extremely questionable advances in technology, North Korea looked well on the way to economic recovery. Soon, virtually the entire country was filled with lights and the beginnings of a planetary infrastructure. To signal the new direction of the nation, North Korea was renamed the United Asian Prosperity Sphere.

That was when Pendulum found out what was really going on.

The Juche Idea are, in fact, North Korean citizens but they have no particular loyalty to the citizenry at large. Whole segments of the country's population have been liquidated to make room for settlers from Earth-17 (Revered Elder Sung's homeworld). The military, itself, has been compromised by Supreme Leader's immense telepathic abilities and the small segment of the population judged to be fit for integration into the larger planet's empire. The irony that the government of that planet has disintegrated doesn't effect Supreme Leader, who longs for the day he will conquer the rest of Earth-0 and overthrow Revered Elder Sung.

As bad as tensions were before, they've actively heightened with the futuristic technologies and massive number of experiments done on innocent citizens having given them a fantastic edge in Next Generation Warfare. They also have nuclear capable weapons, satellites, and devices from Earth-17 that have turned them into a dangerous first world nation. Even worse, they have not abandoned their previous criminal practices as they now have the active goal of arming groups to assist them in the eventual conquest of the world.

The Juche Idea and their junta are overreaching themselves, however. While the Supreme Leader believes he is a vital part of Revered Elder Sung's plans to conquer the Earth, the truth is he is a mid-level player at best. Revered Elder Sung believes that the United Asian Prosperity Sphere will eventually incite the rest of the planet to go to war with it. A war which the newly empowered North Korea will be obliterated off the map from. It is is his hope, however, that the new found technology and Nexus powers of the country will inflict devastating casualties on his enemies.

Even worse, there is an organized campaign of genocide going on with North Korean citizens being killed and replaced en masse by citizens of Earth-33. New cities are being constructed underneath the satellite energy shield barriers of Revered Elder Sung's invention, cities populated by citizens of Earth-33. They are also modernizing their army and preparing for war against the rest of the world. Billions of dollars are pouring into the country from another world as the Organization is taking advantage of the country's history of criminality to benefit in gross and disturbing ways.

In short, it has become a military base for an extraterrestial invasion of Earth. PENDULUM suspects this is happening and is doing its best to argue that something needs to be done, either for the local population or for the security of the planet as a whole. The argument that NORTH KOREA could pose a threat to the rest of the planet, however, is such an asinine insane idea to military traditionalists (the ones who are used to thinking of it as a backwards nation under the grip of a madman) that it hasn't received much traction.

Which is exactly how Revered Elder Sung likes it.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:10 pm

Voltron64 wrote:The ironic thing is that Phobos' actions are probably going to end up critically endangering Earth-0. I mean, their terrorist actions across the multiverse are painting a target for all the trans-dimensional powers.

Also care to explain why Arthur Sterling is so ***deleted*** up? (Was it like the Master staring in the Untempered Schism on Gallifrey for him?)


Absolutely. At the very least, there are cultures wondering about the government agents trying to steal their advanced technology and engaging in unprovoked acts of terrorism. Assuming the planet survives, there's also a whole world that's been devastated by them with LOTS of superpowered people who want to rip Sterling something unpleasant.

While I want to do an eventual write-up of The Operator (Arthur Sterling's codename), I'm open to anyone else running with it. My basic view is some people are natural control freaks and obsessive-compulsive about making sure everything is in place. In Arthur Sterling's case, the infinite possibilities of the Nexus were too much for him to handle and he's become an extreme reactionary acting a bit like General Ripper meets the Illusive Man.

He would have gone equally insane if aliens were revealed to be real. He thinks being twisted and ruthless will somehow magically make Earth-0 powerful enough to be a superpower in the Nexus. When, really, it's more likely to get them turned into a giant target.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Voltron64 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:42 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:
Voltron64 wrote:The ironic thing is that Phobos' actions are probably going to end up critically endangering Earth-0. I mean, their terrorist actions across the multiverse are painting a target for all the trans-dimensional powers.

Also care to explain why Arthur Sterling is so ***deleted*** up? (Was it like the Master staring in the Untempered Schism on Gallifrey for him?)


Absolutely. At the very least, there are cultures wondering about the government agents trying to steal their advanced technology and engaging in unprovoked acts of terrorism. Assuming the planet survives, there's also a whole world that's been devastated by them with LOTS of superpowered people who want to rip Sterling something unpleasant.

While I want to do an eventual write-up of The Operator (Arthur Sterling's codename), I'm open to anyone else running with it. My basic view is some people are natural control freaks and obsessive-compulsive about making sure everything is in place. In Arthur Sterling's case, the infinite possibilities of the Nexus were too much for him to handle and he's become an extreme reactionary acting a bit like General Ripper meets the Illusive Man.

He would have gone equally insane if aliens were revealed to be real. He thinks being twisted and ruthless will somehow magically make Earth-0 powerful enough to be a superpower in the Nexus. When, really, it's more likely to get them turned into a giant target.


And if he eventually realizes this, it will break him beyond belief.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:49 pm

Earth-17 invades Earth-0

This is a scenario for Gamemasters to use when and if they want to do something huge. This scenario has the United Asian Prosperity Sphere launch a sneak attack against the United States of America (or the home country of the PCs) using technology acquired from Earth-17 mixed with the assistance of the Organization and an Aeon known as The Black Shadow.

Covering the United States of America in a electrical suppression dome, virtually the entire country is shut down on the first day. The United States fleet is also transported to another reality, allowing the United Asian Prosperity Sphere to transport thousands of fighters, troop transports, and Nexus gate-ways onto the country. Accompanying these regular troopers in their attack are mecha, robots, and the Juche Idea themselves.

Bluntly, this is a massively stupid idea that is motivated primarily by the Supreme Leader's arrogance and Revered Elder Sung's goading of his catspaw. Only the massive amount of supernatural hooey being thrown around and Nexi-based technology gives it even the 1% to 2% chance of this sneak attack working.

Other countries are easier but will have help from the outside once they can get past the Aeon's magic.


Even with surprise on their side, the bulk of the assets used to attack the United States/the PC's home country come not from the United Asian Propserity Sphere (which could only attack a single state at most) but Earth-17. The Nexus gateways transported into the country allow millions of troops to potentially land. While the countries of the world are capable of fighting conventional wars, Earth-17 fights anything but a conventional war and will attempt to make use of Nexus in fighting.

Part of their strategy, indeed, will be to attempt to neutralize any Nexi they encounter. These Nexi will be captured, disabled using power suppressors, and transported back to the home world. There, they will be placed in internment camps until they can either be brainwashed or compromised in some way. Earth-17's troopers will attempt to eliminate any threat they encounter, but may avoid wholesale brutality in hopes of persuading their newly acquired territory into peacefully surrendering.

Fat chance.

The invasion scenario can be done in a number of wars. Street-level heroes are capable of defending their home city from the invasion of UAPS soldiers (many hailing from Earth-17 and less likely to show mercy than most). Upper-level heroes may work with Pendulum (coordinating with the United States government) in regaining the US fleet, shutting down the dome, and taking down the Juche Idea. Likewise, there might be a Deus Ex Machina button which forces all of the Earth-17 invaders back to their dimension at once. Another solution would be to get the Aeons to intervene on their home nation's behalf.

Player characters wondering what the rest of the world is doing during this should note they *WILL* come to the aid of the PC's home nation.

It just takes a while to adequately survey the depth of the problem. These few weeks will feel like an eternity. Worse, it will allow Earth-17 to land enough forces it will feel like World War 3 when the fighting finally breaks out.


Unless the Gamemaster is interested in running an extended Homeland-esque campaign, the military eventually gets its act together and retaliates against the United Asian Prosperity Sphere. The Earth-17 reinforcements are plentiful but the chaos on their home world makes it impossible for them to reinforce Revered Elder Sung's armies indefinitely. PCs who journey to Earth-17 will discover that the planet is hardly united behind invasion and only Revered Elder Sung's own assets are involved. Indeed, presuming that the war is not just limited to one nation, they are stretched to the breaking point before the war even gets off the ground.

Depending on the PCs actions, they may have saved millions of lives and will be the heroes of the hour in their home nations. Unfortunately, the first widespread use of Nexus-based technology in warfare changes the geopolitical situation and causes things to get a whole lot more...comic book.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Leliel » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:15 pm

Even in this 'verse, I doubt if North Korea can even rent a room for military forces, much less launch a successful invasion. Still doesn't mean they ain't a thread

Anyway, hit by a bolt of inspiration involving the One-Above-All and their motives:

Namely, the One, above all else, is not motivated by greed, or power, or simple boredom (that would be the Aions)-it's survival. Raw, simple survival in a multiverse filled with things that want to destroy all life, it included.

It was created to be that way-the initial civilization that became the OAA had a really, really bad experience upon their Nexus Event, and collectively decided, as a people, what they wanted above all else was to be safe. Since that is impossible in this setting, they decided to go for the next best thing, remake themselves into a form that, so long as a single member survived, could not be destroyed. Subversion and mental enslavement were regrettable, but needed-after all, they had to make sure they were safe from internal threats as well, not to mention the possibility of a population extinction that destroyed any cloning infrastructure.

Thus, the OAA is not just scary because we will be forced to become them-they're scary because we may choose to become them, all for the sake of survival.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Voltron64 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Leliel wrote:Even in this 'verse, I doubt if North Korea can even rent a room for military forces, much less launch a successful invasion. Still doesn't mean they ain't a thread

Anyway, hit by a bolt of inspiration involving the One-Above-All and their motives:

Namely, the One, above all else, is not motivated by greed, or power, or simple boredom (that would be the Aions)-it's survival. Raw, simple survival in a multiverse filled with things that want to destroy all life, it included.

It was created to be that way-the initial civilization that became the OAA had a really, really bad experience upon their Nexus Event, and collectively decided, as a people, what they wanted above all else was to be safe. Since that is impossible in this setting, they decided to go for the next best thing, remake themselves into a form that, so long as a single member survived, could not be destroyed. Subversion and mental enslavement were regrettable, but needed-after all, they had to make sure they were safe from internal threats as well, not to mention the possibility of a population extinction that destroyed any cloning infrastructure.

Thus, the OAA is not just scary because we will be forced to become them-they're scary because we may choose to become them, all for the sake of survival.


That's actually what I originally thought the Reapers' origins would be in Mass Effect 3. The revelation being that the originals may have willingly transformed themselves into such aberrations.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:00 pm

Even in this 'verse, I doubt if North Korea can even rent a room for military forces, much less launch a successful invasion. Still doesn't mean they ain't a thread


I doubt North Korea had anything to do with it, to be honest. Sadly, their nation is more or less destroyed in this scenario (which I felt guilty about but I felt I'd do better than creating a fictional nation). Earth-17's military would be fighting for the North Koreans in this respect.

Which, ironically, would make the World War 3 scenario (which is a pun based on the fact it's a war between TWO worlds) similar to the original Korean War.

I should have made that more clear.

Depending on whether they kill the Revered Elder at the end, they might actually end up liberating the country.

Which is a huge irony there.
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Re: Infinite Dreams: Age of Wonders

Postby Phrozen » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:36 pm

I would say that the United Asian Prosperity Sphere kicks off World War III by invading Taiwan. That not only pisses off China but makes Japan wary as well.

They also are somewhat allied with Russia who sees this as a way to expand their sphere of influence in Asia to China's detriment. North Korea uses Phobos to try and paralyze the major players from interfering too quickly.
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