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K'kriki'i Hegemony

A large cluster of stars governed by the K'kriki'i that partially overlaps the Xorn Domain of Stars.  The K'kriki'i are an ancient insectoid species that has been civilized for over half a million years.  Natural meddlers, there is ample evidence of use of their technology on numerous worlds near to the Hegemony such as Relanda, the Pelkons homeworld.

The Xorn once sent an invasion fleet to conquer a K'kriki'i planet.  Only a single Xorn command ship was allowed to return to the Domain, its weapon systems completely destroyed.  This stunning defeat was only one of two failed Xorn conquests (the other being Earth).  Although never having spoken or written any sort of diplomatic exchange there is a de facto peace between the Xorn and the K'kriki'i.  While many Xorn would gladly gain honor (and probable death) in personal combat with the much more advanced K'kriki'i, the Xorn Judges have determined that such events would be counterproductive to the endeavors of their species.

The K'kriki'i are very selective in their choice of inhabitable planets.  Worlds that are too wet, too heavy (the K'kriki'i homeworld has a gravity of .74 of that of Earth), or too cold for them are considered to be "useless", and thus what happens to them in the long run (such as a Xorn invasion) doesn't really matter.


Las Vegas Casinos

The casinos of Las Vegas are a very attractive target for superhuman criminals due to all the gambling money there.  The casino owners know it and so have hired the very best mercenary supers that money can get and then back them up with a squadron of lawyers that are very good at getting 'excessive force' charges dropped.  Nearly every supervillain who has tried to knock over a casino was seriously injured.  Some were crippled for life, and not a small number were killed.  The most notable exceptions were Simon Bar Sinister and Penny Dreadful.

Of course, this level of security is handled with a view towards minimizing the violence in the eyes of the tourists so as not to scare them.  That is the major reason the casino owners object to outside superheroes in Las Vegas.  Such superheroes are considered too soft on criminals, and they often cause property damage and scare tourists even more than the villains they are Fighting.  Unsanctioned superhero activity in Vegas tends to be strongly discouraged, though usually its more through restraining orders than force.

Supervillains who think their telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition or cyberkinesis will win them a fortune in Las Vegas are in for a very bad surprise.  Whether its magical, technological, psionic or whatever, most government agencies consider the Vegas casinos to be some of the most secure areas on the planet.  In general, supers are not allowed to gamble at those places unless they have been cleared with the owners and in general only very famous or very rich (or preferably both) supers are allowed in to do that as tourist draws.

Atlantic City and most other famous gambling centers around the planet more or less operate along similar principles.



In a time that was ancient before the first stone was laid in the construction of Atlantis, the vast continent of Lemuria sat in the midst of what would one day be known as the Pacific Ocean.  Lemuria was a land whose people used a mix of magic and science.  Steam driven machines were common in Lemuria and magic was just as common.  The Lemurian civilization, ruled from the capital city of Mu, flourished for ten thousand years.  Though it had once been plagued by earthquakes, magic kept the continent stable for thousands of years.  Then approximately 50,000 years before the birth of Christ, the Earth's manna cycle hit a low point and the spells that kept Lemuria safe from earthquakes failed.  Thousands of years of penned up energy was suddenly released from the faults all at once and the earth swallowed Lemuria, with water covering what remained.

Fortunately, the Lemurians knew the cataclysm was coming and were prepared.  As the land began to sink, they tunneled even deeper with digging machines enhanced by magic.  Soon, the digging machines found a network of caverns deep within the earth.  In these caverns, the Lemurians began to rebuild their civilization.  But the environment in the deep caverns was far different from that of the surface, and the gases and darkness began to twist the Lemurians, in both body and mind.  Miles beneath the earth, where the sun could not reach, light itself was a precious commodity.  Food was also in short supply, leading many Lemurians to descend into cannibalism.  desperation to survive motivated the Lemurians to embrace dark magic which they once would have shunned.  Worship of the old gods was abandoned, as they were perceived as having abandoned the Lemurians, and darker, evil gods became worshipped by the people of Lemuria.

Over the course of many millennia, the bodies of the Lemurians diminished so as not to need to stoop in the cramped tunnels and their eyes atrophied from living in the dark tunnels.  By the time modern history began, the people who lived in the underground kingdom of Lemuria were almost blind and might be mistaken for dwarves by unenlightened surface people.  In addition, the Lemurians knew of the civilizations which rose from savagery on the surface and grew to first envy them, and then hate them for their life under the sun and the moon -- a life which had been denied the Lemurians.  It should be noted that their hate also extended to the inhabitants of the Undersea Kingdom of Atlantis.  From the perspective of people living deep underground, Atlantis was also on the surface.


The Lost

The Lost are one species of Xorn ex-slaves who are biologically Xorn but are no longer called Xorn for they have done something to shame the race.  Slavery of The Lost is usually done for cowardice since treason is dealt with more brutally by the Xorn.  In addition to their property brand, the Lost have also been so extensively tattooed that their skin, normally light gray in color, is now a bright pink.  The Lost serve the Xorn by doing such denigrating tasks as cleaning sewage lines, food testing, and anything unworthy of anyone but the lowest of the low.  Because they are physiologically Xorn, the few Lost who have escaped or were freed from the Xorn often mistakenly find themselves targets of the various types of heroes of the Earth.  Frequently misunderstood, they might be scorned or feared by most of the citizens who are unaware of their true status as ex-slaves.