The Ravaged City of Augustgrad
Augustrgrad is a border city in the Eurasian Alliance, also known as the Neo-Soviet Union, and is located in the former Republic of Ukraine. Being on the border between the Alliance and the Wastelands, and proximate to the Silk Road, the city is a fortress, major trade center, and has seen significant structural and cultural damage through it's checkered history. It has been the site of six official dimensional fatigue events, and a further nineteen that were quickly contained and not made official, though many residents are aware of some of the events. It has been besieged twice, once by wasteland warlords, and once by a splinter sect from the Neo-Soviet army attempting a military insurrection in the region. There is, on average, a serious viral outbreak about once a decade. The fact that the city is host to an arcanotech reverse engineering facility, a research lab dedicated to psychotronic technology, a high energy development center, and a Russian version of the Federation's Castles Avalon is merely a coincidence and nothing else.
Likewise, the fact that the legendary Chernobyl Brigade keeps a standing force of a battalion, and a training center in the city, is coincidental. The Augustgrad Military District is served by the 13th Army (Mechanized Infantry with artillery support), the 4th Heavy Guards (veteran power armor and support) and the 2nd Shock Army (Mecha and destroyer pattern tanks) and it is the home port for the Black Fleet of the Neo-Soviet Union. The Black fleet has four superheavy dreadnoughts at it's core, plus more then two dozen support ships greater than 1000 tons. In the wargames and planning for what many consider to be the inevitable conflict between the Eurasian Alliance and the Atlantic Federation, the forces concentrated at Augustgrad represent a major part of the defense of the Crimean/Ukrainian/Black Sea region. In the event of an offensive war, these forces would mobilize as a hammer to fall either against EuroZone or AfroZone theaters, and in support of the mobile armies and independent fleets.
All this being said, Augustgrad is an interesting place to live. Rents and housing costs are low, many utilities are government subsidized, and the local healthcare system is robust. It is technically a desirable place to live, on paper and by the numbers. Most of this is done so that people move to the city, or stay in the city, all those military personnel and the scientific labs need basic support, the sort that comes from being located in an urban area. Civilians don't like living in cities prone to disasters and conflict, but economics are still economics, so people keep living in Augustgrad even when strange diseases pop up, Wasteland terrorists challenge the walls, and sometimes one of the massive warships above the city accidently hits something and rains a few hundred tons of debris down onto the streets.
The Augustgrad Anti-Hero Club
The Anti-Hero Club is an organization that meets regularly in the city, typically at one of the import cava houses, where they indulge in imported Federation goods, consume Federation media and entertainment, and generally enjoy the overlapping cultures that meet at the city. They come from different economic backgrounds, different professions, genders, age demographics, etc. The only thing they really have in common is that they have survived living in the volatile city, and it has left a mark on them, some form of trauma. In this, they are a sort of survivors support group, or a Loser's Club social circle, because they have survived, but that is all.
The Expert is a common Anti-Hero Club archtype. The Expert has survived a number of serious and catastrophic events, and as their name implies, considers themselves an expert on those events and matters. Who can argue with the person who's debating the manifestation of a teratomorph, or the existence of reverse time flow anomalies when they were present for both? Despite being traumatized by these events, and having survived them, they have almost no actual experience, and their expertise is marginal at best. When that teratomorph manifested and crashed through the north wall and the hyperail, the Expert was across town, technically underground, and spent the day in a lockdown shelter. When time inverted for seventeen seconds, they were sitting on a bus, and didn't notice because they were on their phone.
The Echo has doubts about the validity of their own existence. Not in a metaphysical sense, but in the context of are they the person they think they are. The city has had a lot of fatalities, the Alliance is heavily invested in clone tech, body doubles, and memory manipulation, and sometimes luck can't explain away amnesia and questions of how someone survived something. Is the Echo really a government decanted clone? A replica of a person who died in an event but was, for whatever reason, deemed important enough to body double ahead of time? Similar to the Expert, the Echo has been proximate to disaster, but rather than being uninvolved, they have fragmentary memories and questions they can't answer. Many are not able to accept that they survived something horrible, and those close to them did not, and that their emotional anxiety is a form of selective memory and mental trauma.
The Paranoid survived a brush with the unexplainable, unlike the Expert and Echo, they have full memory, and hands on experience with the disaster and the aftermath. This left them with superficial physical trauma, most commonly in the form of burns, cosmetic scarring, and minor loss of extremities and or physical senses. After this, they have become paranoid and hyper-vigilant, to the point of being armed, possibly armored, and carrying out 'patrols' to make sure the previous event doesn't happen again. Inside the club, the Paranoids are talkers and information gatherers, bringing back their intel for the Expert and others to debrief and discuss.
The Bogatyr was a working person, police, regular military, medical sector, whatever. Their job put them directly in the path of some disaster or violence, and they survived through bravery and patriotism, and this left a mark on them, making themselves the ideal of their childhood aspirations. Like the heroic Bogatyr, the noble counterpart to the western Knight or the eastern Samurai, they live by their own heroic code, one that mimics they stories of the old Rus warriors and heroes. They have suffered significant personal loss, a limb, the function of a sense, close friends and family, and these have been replaced with cybernetics, clones, implants, and the rest of the things the Cosmic Era can do to replace that which has been lost.
The Doomsayer is typically a religious minded person, or were already known for having zealous views and high levels of personal intensity. These traits are seriously affected by dimensional fatigue events, and they become fatalistic or highly judgemental, deeming humanity deserving of every horror it inflicts on itself. The Doomsayer is also very likely to be heavily involved in conspiracy theories, cherrypicking reason and validation from the darkest corners of the CogNet. They tend to keep all of their trauma mental and spiritual, rather than physical losses.
The Hero Star
The Hero Star wants to be like the Bogatyr, but just turned up to 11. They are always looking for a way to be a hero, to be famous, and to be internationally known and recognized. They are friends with the Paranoid and the Doomsayer, often at odds with the Expert, and generally annoy the Bogatyr with their attention seeking antics. Hero Stars have wrecked levels of anxiety, and have seen just how quickly someone can be snuffed out, but how the legacy of a hero goes on, especially a media hero.
The Lost is kin to the Echo and the Doomsayer, they've been deeply traumatized by what they experienced, and it left them broken to the point that they have to reinvent themselves because of how much pain is in their past life, the one they often mentally block out. The Lost is a genuine character, and while might fall under the sway of the Doomsayer, the Expert, or the Paranoid, they are only part of the Club because it is a place where people share their pattern of personal trauma, and can understand what they went through without having to bring it up, or talk about it.
The Inventor comes from an industrial/technical/scientific background, and if the club is armed, armored, and gadgeted up, its the Inventor who made the stuff, or fixed the stuff they are using. The problem is that arcanotech isn't for the unprepared and most arcanotechs are trained like medical doctors. The Inventor should be a mass of neuroses, and this can make them fast and serious friends with the Doomsayer, Expert, and Paranoid. How well the stuff they make works is up to the DM's discretion, a high level Anti-Hero Club could have scavenged rail guns and raider power armor, while a low level one might have metal bars with rubber grips and battery packs.
The Isekai has created an elaborate world around themselves, one that they use as a filter between themselves and the ongoing horror of living in Augustgrad. These range from deeply delusional fantasies where they think they're trapped in a computer simulation, or time traveled from an alternate timeline to change the future, or were even abducted from another Earth and abandoned on this one. Unlike conspiracy theory, none of their actors are based in reality, though are overlays, such as someone who had a fleet related incident might transpose the Dragon Empire over players in the Black Fleet, swapping warships for dragons, and prominent local figures for dragon kings and priests of flame and ash. The fun part of the Isekai archetype is for them to have a completely accurate assessment of a situation, but no one believes them because everything is couched in the context of their alternate reality delusion.
The Anti-Heroes Club is a at it's core a self organized support group for people who have survived extreme trauma, and how they cope with it. They are anti-heroes because many of them come from less than stellar backgrounds and professions. Augustgrad is rife with criminal and black market elements, wastelanders, people who don't want to be in the Alliance, but leaving is worse than staying so living on the fringe is the illusion of freedom, and so forth. Many of the archetypes above can change rapidly just by altering their day job. A Paranoid discharged cop, and a Paranoid prostitute are the same archetype, but very much different. Same goes for a Doomsayer that was a church official, or former state/city employee, or just one who worked in some blue collar job.
The Anti-Hero Club is a place to build and put augmented characters, shadowrunners who don't want to do corporate shadow wars, and general weird character builds for games. Low power games can be street level vigilance and play on how there are greater forces at work and disaster is inevitable, or grim dark ventures into how mental health is really important and some people need to get help, even if it just in the form of companionship. High power games can see corrupt state and corporate agencies running amok, and the military is left trying to contain their accidents and test mistakes. The Anti-Heroes are the only ones who have a clue what's going on, and its up to them, their kitbashed gear, and half-cocked plans to save the city.
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? Responses (1)
Great place to go when your fixer says, 'Yeah,I know a guy....'