M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

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M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:30 am

M.A.D. Ramblings-

Before I get into the meat of the setting, I want to take a moment to do a little stream of consciousness blathering. I think, in some ways, the philosophy behind a setting is important if anyone is going use the setting. As I grow older, I find myself less and less enthralled with "big" settings. I'm not really thrilled by huge stories and earth shattering heroes. I used to be. I used to love the great big guys, though never the most popular guys. Still, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), the Thing, Doc Samson, the Vision...I loved those guys. I liked heroes who could smash down walls and leap tall buildings in a single bound. I liked big, broadstroke, master planning, world conquering or at least destructive, rampaging villains. Not so much anymore.

I still like heroes and villains, but now I like the stories smaller, more personal. Intimate. I still don't particularly care for the most popular guys, so Batman isn't my favorite, but I'm a fan of his extended family. For all its' many faults, the stories of heroes who swing from rooftops, or ride around on motorcycles, who use computers and street smarts as opposed to "whatever-ray vision" to gather their intel are more my speed. I like the hero who has to take an ice bath after a big fight. Who has to figure out exactly when he can fit his night time avocation into his schedule because he has to pay bills too. Who excels at disguise because he isn't invulnerable and those bruises show up. But I don't like these guys simply because I no longer have fantasies of super-powers. I like these guys because of the types of stories they lend themselves to.

There's a trope in comics, called "the girlfriend in the refridgerator". It's kind of an ugly thing, because it gets used mostly when a character is so far beyond the mortal pale, that the only way to make them at all relatable on a human level is to kill their significant other. A hero shouldn't need their significant other to be slain just to be comprehensible. Now, I know what the thought is here; "isn't that sort of thing magnified in stories about street level heroes?" Yes and no. Yes, there's generally more death and personal violence, as opposed to monumental extinction level threats (which are often, very impersonal), but the violence isn't there to bring the hero down to a human scale. The violence is there, because most regular crime is personal.

I suppose it's a little bit about life coloring my fantasies. In big stories, when Dr. Villain's plan to blow up the planet is stopped, that's it. In small stories when the rapist is caught, the damage remains. The fallout is still there. Every success starts with a failure, and the emotional impact of those failures can add up over time. Stopping the drug dealers doesn't cure the addict, which means more drug dealers are simply waiting in the wings. That's why I like smaller scale stories. Once you drill down to intimate, personal misdeeds, it's rarely a clean win.

I have become a fan of the terrible beauty of the bleak. I am also a fan of the thought, that even in the midst of crushing, relentless evil there is hope as long as someone tries. That's the real secret of it all. I'm a big fan of the effort of heroism. I like my tales to contain, blood, sweat and tears, not just victory.

Those are the kinds of tales this setting is designed to tell.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:56 am

M.A.D.lands, a brief concept description-

In the early 1800's three towns were founded in relatively close proximity to one another in the Rocky Mountain West. the towns, Majestic, Arroyo Del Oro and Derbyville would expand over time until they shared a common border. By the 21st century, the area was usually known as, the tri-city metropolitan area, though each city retained its own government and police force.

Despite several brushes with economic collapse, the three cities continued to grow and thrive throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, pushed along by gold rushes, oil booms, tourism and military development. In the late 1940's something happened that set the tri-cities apart from all the other metropolitan areas in the US, the first "men of mystery" appeared.

The very first men of mystery were criminals, slightly mentally unhinged thieves and robbers with a flair for the dramatic. The newspapers loved them, as did the adventure radio programs of the day. Their exploits and conflicts with law enforcement were a source of free dramatic material to be mined at will. Only a few doctors and researchers saw them as a disturbing outgrowth of a phenomena that had been becoming more and more prevalent over the preceding 20 years.

The tri-city area led the nation in incidences of autism, mental illness, genetic disorders and physical mutation. At first people were amused, since the initials of the three cities were M.A.D. Soon things went from amusing to disturbing as psychic and supernatural phenomena spiked to accompany the more mundane problems. Crime rates began to rise, and while there were areas of the country equally crime-ridden, nowhere else was crime or criminals as strange.

In the early 1950's, just a few years after the first costumed criminals burst onto the scene, the first "pulp hero" appeared. The Scarlet Ghost made his debut stopping the machinations of the self-styled Dr. Gallows as he tried to execute the mayors of all three M.A.D. cities. With his appearance, the conflict between villain and vigilante began in earnest. To this day the area is considered increasingly a magnet for bizarre phenomenon and crime, earning it the nickname: M.A.D.land.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:21 pm

M.A.D.lands, a brief geographical outlay-

The tri-city area is perhaps defined most by its unique geographical feature of absolutely straight interior borders where the cities meet. This came about from the outgrowth of the the three metropolitan areas overrunning the rural outskirts until they stopped at a man made feature. When the three cities were founded, they were far enough apart that each was surrounded by rural neighborhoods. Small farming or other agri-business properties bordered all three towns. The major problem was the aquifer was deep and drilling to it in the 1800's was not easy. To remedy the problem and bring water to the rural surroundings, a canal was dug from the northern reservoirs that served the communities straight south, running between the townships of Darbyville (now Derbyville) and Arroyo Del Oro, bisecting when it reached the outskirts near majestic, flowing southwest on one branch and southeast on the other.

Over time, the towns grew into cities and the cities grew toward their interior borders as well as outward. For convenience sake, the straight path of the canals were drawn up as the interior borders. Now Arroyo Del Oro also benefits from having the Platte River run through it, but like many western rivers, the Platte is an undependable source of water, having as many years where the current barely flows as those of plentiful water. To supplement the water brought in from the northern reservoirs, there is a large, man made lake east of Derbyville and another reservoir inside the southwest border of Majestic. Finally, a network of huge underground cisterns has been tunneled out in the low mountains just west of Arroyo Del Oro.

Split up almost like an amorphous pie, Arroyo Del Oro sprawls westward from the canal up into the foothills, with neighborhoods hidden in the folds of the low mountain ridge known as the Hogback. To the south and spreading both east and west is the city of Majestic, which contains the wealthiest areas of the tri-cities, including the neighborhoods of Orchard Farms and Holly Hills Ranch. To the east and north is Derbyville with its industrial parks and refineries. Northeast of Derbyville is a small section of land which has been annexed by Majestic. This land, the subject of many bitter disputes is where the Tri-City International Airport is. Where the canal bisects from one north-south flow to two channels flowing southeast and southwest, all three cities meet. This is the area known as Confluence or downtown. This area contains the tallest skyscrapers and the greatest concentration of government and civil service buildings, since all three city halls lie within the neighborhood.

The railyards lay to the north and spill over the border between Arroyo Del Oro and Derbyville. While there are trains that pass through Majestic, only commuter trains have a hub there. The main bus terminal is within Confluence. Busses and above ground commuter trains, so-called light rail trains form the public transportation system in the tri-cities. Public transportation is rife with problems in the tri-city area, so automobiles are still the transport method of choice, leaving all three cities with crowded roads. the major roadways in the area are laid out in such a way, when viewed from above, it almost looks like a gunsight on the urban sprawl. Two interstate highways run through the tri-cities, one north to south and one east to west. To compensate for the time it takes to negotiate the smaller roadways around the city and to try to keep as much traffic as possible away from the Confluence, a beltway was constructed around the city. When the borders of the city grew far enough beyond that first beltway, a second was built. The first, or inner beltway is the Tri-City Green Initiative Road Line, or T-girl as it's cynically known. The second is the Memorial Orbit Beltway, though a push to fight urban sprawl a few years back gave it the nickname, the Morbidly Obese Buttway. The "build up not out" coalition is gone, the nickname stuck.

Throughout the years, the cities have overgrown the end of the southern canals several times, but in a twisted sense of nostalgia, instead of simply mapping the boundaries, the canals have been extended. With modern water systems and the demise of the rural areas, the canals mostly run dry, except when it rains. Now all manner of transients, skate punks, gang bangers and less savory folk call the canals their territory. Every few years the three mayors announce a new initiative to clean up the canals, but they always end up the domain of the cast offs. In the past few years, strange fumes have occasionally pooled in the bottom of the canals on cold nights, adding a new sense of danger to the areas oldest man made geographical feature.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Kid Vorpal » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:33 pm

Would love to see more on this, especially with some detail on some current inhabitants of the cities. Cool stuff thus far.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:31 pm

Thanks Kid Vorpal. I'm working on some background information on each city, criminal organizations, reasons why things might be so bad in the Tri-City area, specific inhabitants (mostly criminals and anti-heroes), etc. I'm into a lot of things on the boards, so sometimes the going is a little slow on any particular project.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:52 pm

M.A.D.lands: Majestic

In 1858, at the beginning of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush (later known as the Colorado Gold Rush), the mining town of Arroyo Del Oro was founded. A year later in 1859, the township of Darbyville was established. Two years later in 1861, when Colorado territory was split from Kansas territory, a group of wealthy banking magnates, rail barons and gold magnates founded the southern city of Majestic. Despite being the newer city, the wealth of Majestic soon had it eclipsing its northern neighbors in prominence. When the territorial Marshall set up his office, he did it in Majestic, the same went for the territorial Governor. It was obvious from the outset, much to the disgust of the city fathers of Arroyo Del Oro and Darbyville, that the political power in the region would be concentrated in Majestic.

When the mining techniques of the day could no longer pull precious metal from the mountains to the west, Majestic founded the Western Stockyard Auction and Territorial Rodeo to attract wealthy ranchers to do business in the city. Savvy businessmen also invested in outlying properties, which they then leased back to the government on the cheap. The federal employees brought with them side industries and even more money. The increase in prominence brought one more thing with it from the coasts, organized crime. Over the years organized criminal gangs and families would intertwine themselves with the powerful business and political forces in Majestic until it was difficult to separate them.

By the time the cities had grown to share a common border, Majestic was the senior partner in almost all mutual enterprises. All has not gone well for the city though. In the early 1950's a construction team unearthed a previously unknown Native American burial grounds south of the city, resulting in an assault by spectral Cheyenne. Additionally, the rise of "Men of Mystery" has made the high tech businesses and banks of Majestic targets for robbery and espionage. Still, even as things have gotten stranger, the creative and savvy business tycoons of Majestic, have adapted and continually find new ways to turn a profit. Majestic remains as it began, the dark, wealthy heart of greed in a twisted land.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by ClassDunce » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:45 pm

I think this is going to be interesting. I really relate to the attitude you're taking into it. My favorite hero, Marvel or DC, has always been Tim Drake. I grew up with him as Robin and have collected his Solo Title since as long as he had one, which he no longer does with the New 52, I really related to that character. Tim wasn't the toughest guy out there, sometimes he wasn't even the smartest, but he was clever. He had to be. He had to think sideways to get out of most situations that he got himself into. He was the first hero I saw that would cheat. When he was challenged to a duel by Lady Shiva, a duel he couldn't possibly win, he snuck into her hotel room earlier in the day and had her poisoned just enough to give him an advantage.

Those are the kind of characters that I enjoy. That I prefer to play and read about.
"When they ask how I died, tell them: still angry." - Quellcrist Falconer

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:11 pm

Well, I have to admit, I grew up with Dick Grayson as Robin, then Jason Todd, then Tim Drake, so I really don't have that much attachment to the character and all the schilling him as better than Dick made me hate him, BUT, had I not had that negative experience I'm pretty sure I could've liked Red Robin.

In the new "52" Batwoman and Batgirl are my favorite solo titles, though I'd really like to see a new Question book. I liked Denny O'Neil's take on the character years ago, but mostly, I just like my heroes more human these days. I like a character to have to put an effort into being heroic. I like to see the juxtaposition of heroes against anti-heroes, like Daredevil compared to the Punisher. Daredevil is a hero because not only does he try to beat the bad guy, but doing the right thing, saving lives always takes precedence. The Punisher also wants to beat the badguys, but his heroism always falters because he's too willing to give up any ethical high ground for the victory.

Given my preference for mortal heroes in a hard world, I decided to create my own dark metropolis. Having lived most of my life in the Mountain West though, I just don't relate all that well to Gotham. Thus M.A.D.lands, which is a darker, more twisted take on the Denver metro area where I grew up. It will also take from the seedier aspects of Phoenix, Tuscon, Kansas City and other western towns I'm familiar with.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by ClassDunce » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:15 pm

Horsenhero wrote:Well, I have to admit, I grew up with Dick Grayson as Robin, then Jason Todd, then Tim Drake, so I really don't have that much attachment to the character and all the schilling him as better than Dick made me hate him, BUT, had I not had that negative experience I'm pretty sure I could've liked Red Robin.
I've never really gotten that. I've heard it from plenty of comic book fans that DC was pushing Tim as being better than Dick but that was never something I really got from the Robin comics. Understand though I didn't really follow the Batman titles that much or even the Nightwing titles while I was younger. But in Tim's solo title it was made pretty clear time and time again that Tim practically worshiped Nightwing as if he was an older brother.

I think you would really like the Red Robin Title, you can pick it up cheap in trades now and it's worth trying to get over a negative experience. I really enjoy the Batwoman title too but I think we've already talked about that before lol. You know I think that you would enjoy Winter Soldier it's the new Brubaker book that Marvel is putting out.
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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:26 pm

Mostly all the Dick v. Tim press was on the fanboards (which I no longer frequent). I'll look for some Red Robin trades at my comic shop. Winter Soldier has Ed Brubaker going for it, which is good, but it stars the last character to die, who I'd hoped would stay dead. It wasn't meant to be though.

First DC resurrects Ferro Lad (though they've unresurrected him now), then Marvel resurrects Bucky. Those were the two characters who died with a heroic sacrifice who always looked like they would stay dead. Neither did. Ferro Lad's resurrection wasn't worth the damage it did to his heroic sacrifice, so I hope Bucky's rebirth goes better.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by ClassDunce » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:30 pm

Horsenhero wrote: so I hope Bucky's rebirth goes better.
Dude. I rarely say dude but here it's appropriate. You haven't read Brubaker's Captain America? Bucky was an awesome Captain America, his return from the dead was handled so well. It was one of the best titles of the past decade. Get thee the Captain America trades first lol. It is so well written.
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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:33 pm

I didn't read Bucky as CA in his own book and only saw appearances in other titles. I gotta say, I hope Brubaker's take was better, because his peripheral appearances didn't impress me, and I LOVE Golden Age characters. I mean, I'm not going to go harshing on the character as if I was Australian or something, but I better see something better than his Avengers appearances or I'm going to be disappointed.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:20 am

M.A.D.lands: Arroyo Del Oro-

The first of the tri-cities, Arroyo Del Oro, or Stream of Gold, was founded as a mining city in 1858, the very first year of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. When Darbyville was founded in '59 and the Gold Rush began in earnest, Arroyo Del Oro was already an established community. From the very beginning life was a hardscrabble struggle in this, the most western of the tri-cities. The businesses that made up the city's core were all dependent in one way or another on the success of the miners.

Through good times and bad, it's always been the roughnecks and immigrants who made up the majority of Arroyo Del Oro's population. Blacks, Chinese, Mexicans, Irish, Native Americans, if there was a racial or ethnic group that suffered large scale oppression and widespread bigotry, they settled here. Along with a downtrodden population, Arroyo Del Oro has from the beginning staked its fortunes on uncertain businesses. First the gold miners. Then the silver miners. Then the oil rigs. Wind farms in the modern era.

Once outside the Confluence, Arroyo Del Oro is a low, sprawling city of tough neighborhoods and vacant lots. At the very southwestern edge, in modern times, the powerplants that supply all the tri-cities sit. North of them, buried beneath the Hogback are the cisterns. No matter where you go, the landscape has suffered. Cutting through the city, almost as far east as the central canal, runs the Platte River. Water usage from the north, in the oil and natural gas fields of Wyoming has reduced the river to a trickle most of the time. An abandoned rail line parallels the river, but the functioning rail line now lies eastward in Derbyville.

In and around the confluence sit Arroyo Del Oro's most prosperous tourist businesses in modern times, the casinos. Owned ostensibly by the Cheyenne and Hopi Indian tribes, the casinos are managed by companies firmly under the control of organized crime. Near the casinos are the many brothels that operate in Arroyo Del Oro. Technically, the brothels are illegal enterprises, but they never get raided or shut down. Medicinal Marijuana Dispensaries are one of the few growth industries in modern Arroyo Del Oro, and like much else, they are controlled by the Cartels.

For the youth of the Stream of Gold, the future is often a choice between, joining the Cartels, working backbreaking labor at the powerplant or welfare. This bleak set of choices is part of the reason why Arroyo Del Oro leads the tri-cities in drug abuse and domestic crime. Clamping down on this crime is the job of the Arroyo Del Oro Sheriff's Department, a gang of vicious thugs with badges.

From the first day a miner set up camp in the low hills, Arroyo Del Oro has been a hard luck town and everything up to and including the coming of the Men of Mystery, has only made it worse.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:22 pm

M.A.D.lands: Derbyville-

The city of Derbyville was founded in the year 1859. It originally was named Darbyville in honor of its' wealthiest citizen, and owner of most of the major industry located there, Clarence Kent Darby. Darby was a thin, tall man with a sinister appearance, who walked with a pronounced limp. This combined with envy over his successful business dealings, led to rumors that he made bargains with the devil for his success, but part of the price was his left leg was twisted and ended in a goatlike hoof. These rumors either never made it to the ears of the tycoon or he just didn't care, for he never addressed them.

Clarence Darby orignally founded the town by dragging his extended family out west and settling them and their servants in the area that would become the town. He built every major business from the slaughterhouse, to the textile mill, to the general store and put one of his relatives in charge. As people were hired to work in these establishments and produce products for the miners of Arroyo Del Oro and later Majestic, it was clear that the top of the social strata in Darbyville was populated by Darby's.

As Majestic and Arroyo Del Oro grew, so did their industrial neighbor. When the railroad came to the tri-cities, it split its hubs between Arroyo Del Oro and Darby, but soon shut down the hub in the mining town. When the unions came to Darby, unlike many other towns, they were welcomed. Union bosses were feted by the business elite and soon had a comfortable working relationship with the captains of industry, especially the Darby family.

When the U.S. Cavalry built a fort in the tri-city area from which to launch efforts to "civilize" the regional indian tribes, Darby was their city of choice. The Darby family made certain it was welcoming of any new enterprise or government effort, the military in particular. Darby men, unlike the banker kings of Majestic, served their country in the armed forces, usually as officers. Darby women married officers who weren't Darby men. Fort Darby was a thriving military base for years. Now, the original fort has been rebuilt as a National Monument. In fact, not until 1974, when overnight, the entire population of the Laotree Air Force Base mysteriously vanished without a trace, did Darby have a less than sterling relationship with the armed services.

In 1986, the last known heir of the Darby family died and the Darby Mansion was made a city historic site. It was 3 years later in 1989 a secret room was discovered in the basement, a secret room filled with grimoires of magic and evidence of human sacrifice was discovered. In the room were journals dating back to 1849 and the beginning of Clarence Kent Darby's rise to prominence, which happened to coincide with his conversion to Satanism. Shocked and embarrassed, the city fathers put forth a referendum that the city change its' name. For financial reasons, the name chosen, was Derbyville.

For the most part, the city government of Derbyville has good relations with its neighboring cities, with one exception. In 1990, as Derbyville was in the midst of its name change and all the logistics involved, the city fathers were too distracted to pay attention to a land deal that allowed Majestic to annex a 6000 acre farm on the northeast side of Derbyville for the construction of the Tri-City International Airport. Having their souther neighbor own a huge patch of land bordered by their city still rankles.

Still, despite any shocking discoveries about their cities most prominent family, Derbyville is now the industrial powerhouse of the Tri-Cities, having most all the good paying, blue collar industries in the region within its' borders, including the Federal High Security Prison, Smokey Hill. Derbyville is a tough town, with tough Unions and wily leadership. While not so rich as Majestic, the hazy air of the manufacturing town is filled with its' own stench of wealth and power.

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Re: M.A.D.lands, an original setting.

Post by Horsenhero » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:06 pm

M.A.D.lands: Men of Mystery-

There are as many theories as to why the Tri-Cities of Majestic, Arroyo Del Oro and Derbyville have such a colorful criminal and vigilante element as there are theorists. Pollution. Radiation. Genetic experiments. Spiritual imbalance. Sin. Whatever the reason, or reasons the prevalence of costumed criminals and crimefighters in the M.A.D.lands is astounding. The very first appeared in 1945, just as the second World War was ending. He called himself The Researcher, and he was, simply put, a serial killer. He snatched people from their homes or off the street and experimented on them in ways that would have made Mengele proud. He was finally stopped by the hero cop, Vincent Darby.

The next few "Men of Mystery" were thieves. Bank robbers and second story men with a flair for the dramatic. The Rake, Good Robin, the Chimneysweep, Charmer, Felonious Monk, the Silver Hood and others kept the public fascinated, even as the police tried put them away. The problem, predicted by Psychologist Herbert Wist, was that the level of daring in their crimes would escalate and for some, even that would be insufficient. Dr. Wist proved to be prophetic, as Six-Gun Charlie, Dr. Frost, the Orphanmaker and others turned to kidnapping, violence and murder to slake their criminal appetites. It became so bad, that by 1955, the police were losing both the publicity battle and the battle in the streets.

For law-enforcement, the situation reached a critical point, when the insane Dr. Gallows kidnapped all three city mayors and planned to hang them in the confluence. The killer and his "Lynch Mob" seemed unstoppable, but in the midst of the grand climax of his plan, a new type of player entered the game. The Scarlet Ghost changed the game forever. Seemingly invisible and invincible, the vigilante matched the villain in skill, daring and ruthless ideology. In modern terms, the Scarlet Ghost would be considered an anti-hero, but at that moment, he was the cities' godsend.

As the madness of "Men of Mystery" exploded, with players representing all possible ethical viewpoints and degrees on the moral spectrum, finally the Cartels and Police both started to make use of them. In 1962, the city passed an ordinance allowing vigilantes to be deputized by the police forces. That ordinance would last until 1993. In 1965, the first "Masked Marauder" working directly for the Xipataca Cartel appeared. Soon the Bishop Gang would have them and even the Sicilian Mob found a few they could tolerate.

In 1973, the game changed again, as not one, but two Mystery Men revealed partners. The savage Wolfman was seen with El Lobo Rojo and Coyote. The enigmatic Snakeman appeared nearly simultaneously with Rattlesnake Jake and Serpentgirl. This firmly established the Tri-Cities two most famous lineages of Masked Vigilantes. It is assumed, as the years have gone by and both the original Snakeman and Wolfman were in battles that apparently ended with their deaths, that their proteges' assumed their mantles and trained more proteges.

In 1993, Masked Vigilantes' rejoined their villainous counterparts as hunted men, when the anti-hero known as The Hanging Judge, blew up a police station in Derbyville to put an end to his ongoing war with the criminal assassin, The Headhunter. In a heartbeat, public opinion turned against the masked men and they found themselves hunted again.

In 2011, the following Vigilantes and Felons are known to be operating in the M.A.D.cities, spreading their violence and lunacy.

Vigilantes-

The Order of the Snake
The Wolf Pack
The Templar
The Lunatic
The Silver Soldier

Villains-

Madame Guillotine (Dr. Gallows daughter, or so she claims)
Claim Jumper
Gila Monster
The Brass Buzzard
The Bishop (Leader of the religious Bishop Gang)
The Cold
Tiger Moth
The Broker
Skorpion
Catamount
Brujeira
El Chupacabra
The Eyekiller
Skinwalker

And more seem to appear each day. While even the best Men of Mystery seem to burn out after about a decade, for some like the murderous Gila Monster or El Chupacabra, a decade seems like a very long time.

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