Life on Mars (From the pages of Howard Stark, Warlord of Mars)
Mars - A mostly barren red planet (year unknown) with various species and lifeforms creating a splintered society. Most of the planet has yet to be explored. The far reaches of which are believed to be inhabited by dangerous, savage creatures and beasts that dominate the "Outerlands."
The Xenutians - The dominant species on the planet. Believed to be the most populous as well. Xenutians differ slightly in shape and appearance but most are taller than an average homo sapien, averaging between 8-10 feet in height. Their skin is thicker than a human's with colors varying from yellows (most common), reds and browns to even some shades of green. Xenutians generally have 4 eyes (a small eye on each side of the head as well as pair in front) and arms but some are born with only 2 and even rarer are the 6-armed Xenutians which typically make for great warriors.
Xenutian society remains rather primitive. Theirs is a Spartan male-dominated society that traditionally values one's skill in warfare. Xenutian society is centered around the Kingdom of Helatrobus. A giant fortress city (Helatrobus itself) acts as the Capital from which the great warrior leaders rule. Xenutians are skilled craftsmen in making weapons and have even developed some more advanced weaponry and technology, most of which originally was stolen during raids with rivals. Xenutians who are less apt at warfare typically become laborers or even slaves.
Xenutians also have slight telepathic abilities, the power of which varies in strength from one to another. The few that are able to master this power are usually shunned and ostracized, labeled "sorcerers" or even killed out of fear which is why many who do possess the ability hide it as best they can. Even with some telepathic abilties, Xenutians have proven to be susceptible to control and often look to follow a strong leader and personality.
The Bu-Ro Clan - Once a prosperous and populous subsect of Martian Society. More homosapien in appearance than the average Xenutian. The Bu-Ro are green skinned but in most other ways are human in appearance (2 arms, 2 legs, average height, etc). The Bu-Ro society was more civilized and less savage than it's Xenutian neighbors. The Bu-Ros farmed and hunted but also strove for social progress and advancement in learning, technology and fair government. It is unknown what led to the abrupt clash with the Xenutians who had long tolerated, bartered with and often aligned or protected the Bu-Ros but once it started, the Xenutians ended it quickly. Very few Bu-Ros remain and most are scattered along the outskirts of the Kingdom in hiding or join together as nomadic groups to help one another survive in a land that no longer welcomes them.
The Nightdwellers - An ancient race of half-beasts that many believed were only legend. They were wrong, they do exist and recently have returned from the Outerlands to terrorize the kingdom. Tall, gaunt, vicious creatures with greyish scaly complexion, sharp teeth, sharp claws and cold blue eyes that seem to glow in the dark. They are an animalistic horde of savages with little morality or guidance. They act on the most primal of urges - eat, kill, etc. Legend tells that they are supernatural in origin.
Real Name: No alias other than L-Ron is known Age: True details unknown Hair Color: Fiery Red Eye Color: Orange Skin Color: Green First Appearance: Howard Stark, Warlord of Mars #3
Little is known of L-Ron's upbringing and backstory, many details of his personal life as told by him conflict with other known historical facts and have been disputed as pure fabrication and met with skepticism. What is known is that L-Ron eventually became a central figure in the Bu-Ro Clan after the Xenutian conflict, even ascending to a leadership role of the large group in which Zen-Gamora (who he sought as a potential mate) was also a member. The group was thriving, albeit nomadically, along the outskirts of the Xenutian Kingdom. When Howard Stark landed on Mars and was taken in by the group, L-Ron made it clear that he saw the strange alien as a threat to their tribe and one not to be trusted.
It wasn't long before the green skinned and fiery-red headed L-Ron betrayed the Clan which took Howard in and spear-headed a Xenutian military attack that massacred many of his own while Howard and Zen-Gamora were off to discover the mystery revealed to be Nikola Tesla. L-Ron feigned his innocence and his own capture in the raid to lure Howard to Helatrobus in an ambush attempt, straight into the belly of the beast all the while professing to the Xenutians that the fair skinned alien would be the end of their planet. Howard did come and managed to rescue many of the Bu-Ro captives but fell into the trap by showing off his new physical powers that frightened the Xenutian warriors, cementing him as a major threat and found himself truly captured and scheduled for execution. It appeared that L-Ron's manipulative power play would work until Zen-Gamora and Nikola Tesla (as the Night Machine) crashed the party and rescued their new friend.
It isn't known exactly when it occured, possibly predating some of L-Ron's devious decisions or maybe just igniting the power hungry spark already within, but along the way a dark, all-encompassing power known as the Enigma Force stretched through time and space.threatening all of existence and seeking hosts for its ultimate plan of cosmic extinction. L-Ron became that host on Mars and with his new powers formed an army of Xenutian elite. His forces raided Tesla's labs taking the most dangerous invention of all, a futuristic Death Ray that combined with the Enigma Force would harness enough destructive power to obliterate the known universe. L-Ron nearly succeeded if not for the combined forces of Stark, Tesla, Zen-Gamora and a galactic intelligence agent from the year 2033 named Nick Fury. The Enigma Force was defeated along with L-Ron and the harshest irony of all took place, the Xenutians saw a great warrior save their planet that day, turning Howard Stark from an enemy of the throne to the King himself.
Since Stark's ascension to the throne, L-Ron (minus the Enigma Force) has been imprisoned in a private cell within the Helatrobus Dungeon. He plots and plans. Solitude harvests revelations. Above him, power shifts and new threats emerge (Nightdwellers) and someday soon another opportunity will present itself and L-Ron will be there to take control of his destiny.
Powers & Abilities
L-Ron is not known to have special powers without the aid of the Enigma Force. He has demonstrated advanced combat abilities and prowess that would necessitate intense training in his ambiguous background. He is very skilled in the art of coercion, manipulation and trickery and claims an expertise in a variety of fields. L-Ron has also claimed to have foresight into the future, minor control of telepathic and telekenetic techniques and clairevoyance to "know things" that others simply can not. This however has yet to be proven.
Real Name: Howard Anthony Wayne Stark Date of Birth: February 9, 1925 Place of Birth: Long Branch, NJ (Earth) Hair Color: Black Eye Color: Hazel Height: 6'1" (on Earth) Weight: 190 lbs. (on Earth) Known Relatives: Anthony Stark (son); Peggy Carter-Stark (legal wife); Howard Stark, Sr. (father, deceased); Abby Stark (mother, deceased); Bernice Stark (sister, deceased) First Appearance: Howard Stark, Warlord of Mars #1
The Pre-Mars Years Childhood
Howard Stark is a brilliant inventor, savvy businessman, media darling and social climber that would one day rise to become Warlord of Mars in a far away time but his journey began in a small factory town in New Jersey. His father, Howard Sr., was a hard working factory man that dabbled with his own inventions in the family's modest 3 bedroom home where Howard was born. Howard Sr. turned his son on to the joys of science and instilled in the boy the importance of always looking towards the future. After selling several significant patents and perfecting some breakthrough innovations, Howard Sr. was able to improve his family's lifestyle but became disillusioned when his own inventions were copied and made enormous profts for big industrial companies without any compensation. Howard Sr. spent several years and most of the family's finances in court to claim that what was rightfully his but could not compete with the big company lawyers. A distraught Howard Sr. turned to the bottle and family life in the Stark household took a downward turn.
Howard escaped the troubles at home by concentrating on his studies and extracurricular activities, excelling at school and sports. Unfortunately, hardship mounted when Howard's younger sister Bernice contracted the Polio Virus. Howard Sr. desperately broke free from his alcohol addiction and vigorously pursued scientific and technological aids for his ailing daughter, inventing robotic leg braces to help her maintain functional movement. Howard Sr. enlisted the help of his son in his quest to improve young Bernice's life and chances bringing the two Stark men close together again. Bernice made it through and the robotic braces/limbs the Stark men created were sought after by hospitals and the military alike. This time the patent would hold and set up the Stark family financially for good. Stark Industries was formed and Howard Sr. began working exclusively with the government in a military capacity as Howard went off to pursue his education at MIT.
College Years & Manhattan Project
Howard excelled at MIT in the classroom and on the Lacrosse field and quickly became the "boy genius," envied by classmates and faculty alike, coveted by industry leaders and Cambridge's single and not-so-single ladies. The college life suited Howard to a tee as he had a natural talent for balancing academia and the nightlife, playing the game at a rare level. But soon the party would end. War raged across Europe and the Pacific and Howard and his top peers worked on government sponsered research as part of curriculum, playing thier part in the fight against the Axis Powers. Howard was aware that his father was also naturally involved in the war effort, performing top secret military experiments but believed them to involve robotics to aid soldiers on the field and those returning home with injuries. That illusion would shatter in August 1945 when government officials greeted Howard at the University and quickly escorted him to a top secret facility in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Howard Sr. had been involved in a terrible accident, accidentally irradiating himself during a critical mass experiment after hours. Howard Sr. had managed to save his two assistants and a security officer in the lab at the time from further exposure but absorbed a lethal dose in the process and had minimal chances of survival. The radiation would consume him in 3 days time. Before he passed, Howard Sr. encouraged his gifted son to continue the pursuit, that tomorrow was something worth saving, worth fighting for and even worth dying for. Howard would not return to MIT, his father's research would continue. Howard Stark would play his part in the Manhattan Project.
Head of Stark Industries
With his father's passing and the War finally over, Howard inherited Stark Industries and developed new technology for the military and private sector. The robotic innovations he and his father had developed led to the Arsenal Weapons Project, a huge leap in artificial intelligence but one thats destructive potential frightened Howard and so even as the Cold War raged on and nuclear paranoia swept the nation, Howard began to personally move further and further away from military and weapon based pursuits. Ironically Stark Industries' military patents and weapons program became a financial windfall, rocketing the company into one of the world's most profitable and Howard into a multi-millionaire several times over. With enormous new wealth Stark left his company men to handle the day to day operations and focused on personal obsessions with flight, speed, new forms of transportation and the theories of his childhood hero Albert Einstein.
Howard began holding public exhibitions of his futuristic, and incredibly cost inefficient, gadgets and designs. The press ate it up and Howard quickly became a celebrity due to these charming shows of outlandish inventions, some working and some not, yet Howard's charm, self-depricating humor and resilient determination to push towards the future was just what America was looking for. The media dubbed him "The Man of Tomorrow." Howard set out on a Stark World Expo Tour, taking his "The World of Tomorrow, Today" show across the U.S. and Canada throughout 1954. The final leg brought it all back home to New York City and a unexpected meeting with his lifelong idol, one that would change the course of his own future. Howard Stark swapped ideas with Albert Einstein.
The next 5 years would see Stark out of the spotlight as his meeting with Einstein sparked a new level of concentration, to push things even further by exploring the very laws of time and space through technology. Stark used his vast fortune to lure a select group of the world's leading physicists, top notch engineers and master designers to a private facility in the Nevada Desert built specifically for this venture. This was the birth of "Project Tomorrow." Little is known of the intervening years as the secretive nature and remote location used for the project kept interlopers and inquisitive minds at a safe distance. Ramblings and wild speculation would pop up from time to time in scientific journals but nothing that could be substantiated. Occassional sonic booms and bright flashes of light were reported in neighboring areas. Finally in 1959 some of the world's leading scientific minds were personally invited to witness Stark's latest creation, one he promised would change everything. A brief electrical storm was witnessed in the area that afternoon and the scientists on hand for the mysterious experiment remain bound by a confidentiality agreement. What really happened that day? Howard Stark would not be definitively seen in public for nearly twenty years, reportedly becoming an enigmatic recluse holed up in seclusion within his mansion estate. The truth, of course, involves an entirely different Castle.
Life on Mars
Stark's invention had worked but in ways he never could have imagined. Howard and his Poject Tomorrow Machine crash landed on the planet Mars in a far away time. Xenutian soldiers rallied to the crash sight to investigate, forcing Stark to flee. Experiencing heightened new abilities of speed, agility and strength, Howard was able to avoid the Xenutian squad, inadvertedly leading them straight into a Bu-Ro ambush. With the impending skirmish taking up the attention of the Xenutians and Bu-Ro alike, Howard slipped away into the Red Rock Forest and ascertained that he was on Mars of another time.
Howard failed to stay hidden for long. Soon L-Ron and Zen-Gamora of the Bu-Ro clan located him on their turf and through a language decoding/translating device, known as the pentacostalizer, Alien communication was possible. The Bu-Ro Clan took Howard in despite the objections of co-leader and proclaimed prophet L-Ron, who deemed the fair skinned alien an imminent danger to the entire planet. After inquiring about the Clan's technological devices, Zen-Gamora led Howard to an abandoned cave laboratory where she claimed a strange alien calling himself Kirby and bearing a resemblence to Howard had traded them electronic devices in exchange for raw materials located along the Outerlands. The cave was all but destroyed when they arrived, save for a few crackling electrical devices that seemed strangely familiar to Howard.
Howard and Zen-Gamora returned to camp to find it savagely destroyed with many of the clan's men, women and children slain and L-Ron reportedly captured by the Xenutians. Howard, with his new abilities and armed with Bu-Ro weaponry, joined Zen-Gamora in leading an assault on the Xenutian Fortess of Helatrobus to free the captured Bu-Ro people only to find the Xenutians waiting in an elaborate trap orchestrated by the traitor L-Ron. Stark was able to temporarily fend off the Xenutian forces, allowing many of the surviving Bu-Ro to escape but eventually found himself captured and scheduled as the centerpiece of an execution ceremony.
Zen-Gamora and the surviving Bu-Ro clan were running out of time and in order to save Howard from execution, returned to the "Kirby" Cave in desperation to find the man with the strange technology, none other than Nikola Tesla himself, armed with a powerful physics altering suit. The Bu-Ro proclaimed there was another like him on Mars that the traitor L-Ron and the Xenutians had deemed a planetary danger and planned to put to death. Tesla revealed that L-Ron was the true danger who led the attack on his lab, taking his most dangerous invention of all. It was time for some payback. Enter the Night Machine!
Night Machine and Zen-Gamora successfully rescued Stark but the planet and time itself remained in imminent danger. Tesla introduced Stark and the Clan to his colleague from the future - Nick Fury of the Year 2033, Director of SWORD with the codename "Kirby." Fury warned that a universe shattering darkness known as the Enigma Force was sweeping over all of time and space and he had tracked it to their planet. The Enigma Force by nature aligned with a dark host to execute a plan of planetary destruction. That host had been found and was now in possession of Tesla's most dangerous invention, The Death Ray, and only together could they hope to stop the Enigma Force, hope to stop L-Ron.
The futuristic intelligence of Fury, the mad science of Tesla and the warrior spirit of Zen-Gamora prepared Stark for his ultimate confrontation with L-Ron and unlocked the true potential of the human weapon within him, his "Mind's Eye," merging his mind with new technology to give him an ability to see, to build and to reverse engineer everything. Howard uses this to dismantle the Death Ray and stop L-Ron and his Xenutian forces, saving the universe from the Enigma Force. His new homeworld witnessed the heroic act and on that day Howard Stark transformed from enemy to champion and by decree of the Xenutians....King.
Howard's reign upon the throne of Helatrobus was difficult and too short. He struggled to instill a more progressive, peaceful and accepting society and just as his plan began to take seed, dark new troubles emerged that put in question those very principles. The Nightdwellers, an ancient murderous race of beastly creatures, returned from the shadows to seize the Kingdom. Howard was forced to embrace the Spartan ways of his people and challenged the murderous horde with his own bloody sword. But before victory could be celebrated, greater waves of Nightdwellers swept through the land, putting the Kingdom in dire peril. Enter a time-traveling mystery man named Kang with a proposition: If Howard Stark returned to Earth of the future to fulfill his destiny of "changing the world," then Kang would secure the safety of his people and end the Nightdwellers reign of terror. For the welfare of his new people, Howard could not refuse.
Back on Earth
Howard was sent reeling into the Earth of his future, year 1977. His reappearance set off red flags for SHIELD who had secretly taken over his company and assets since his disappearance back in 1959 and painted his public image as a genuis recluse. Agent Peggy Carter was assigned to interrogate and assimilate Stark into the modern world but before her or Howard could exchange solid information, SHIELD HQ came under attack by a new terrorist group calling themselves INFINITY and possessing futuristic weapons capable of annihilating the eastern seaboard. INFINITY demanded a special gem they claimed to be in SHIELD's possession. SHIELD denied all knowledge of a powerful gem leading to increased threats from INFINITY. Howard with the help of Carter and SHIELD's top dog Nick Fury, a younger version than the man that helped Stark defeat the Enigma force back on Mars, concocted a plan to assemble a device Stark had become quite familiar with - Tesla's forgotten Death Ray on Long Island, aka Wardenclyffe Tower. The team used Wardenclyffe to destroy INFINITY's armada and save the east coast from imminent doom. Howard and Peggy Carter became lovers in the afterglow of victory and together they dismantled and destroyed Wardenclyffe Tower, deciding such a weapon was too powerful and dangerous for their time. SHIELD, despite being upset over Stark and Carter's unauthorized actions regarding Wardenclyffe, reinstated Howard as head of Stark Industries and it appeared that the Man of Tomorrow had found a home again on Earth.
But for Howard, the peaceful dream would not last. Night Machine, transported through time via his suit that further cripples his physical body with such use, brought terrible news. Kang had double-crossed Howard, the Bu-Ro Clan had been exiled again and the Kingdom was ruled by a strange new being, who inexplicably managed to keep the Xenutians and Nightdwellers alike under his thumb, with a little help from his private stormtroopers known as the "Diamond Dogs." Stark was faced with leaving his new home, love and happiness behind or abandoning his kingdom, his followers and the dream of establishing a peaceful civilization on a savage world. Stark painstakingly chose the greater good of his people on Mars and left Earth behind once more. But before doing so, he legally transferred his company and assets to Peggy Carter, someone he trusted and knew believed in peace over war. What Stark did not know however was that Peggy had not revealed everything either, most notably the fact that he was to be a father.
Return to Mars
Howard has returned to Mars and must rebuild his allies. New mysterious outsiders have come to Mars and disrupted the time/space continuum. Stark, Tesla, Zen-Gamora and company will discover just how dangerous those time ripples may be. One outsider now rules a dangerous Kingdom, while another has been sent to end that danger along with everthing and everyone else with it. The journey to the very beginnings of the AOM Universe continue in the pages of Howard Stark, Warlord of Mars.
London's first professional police force came into being during a time when people still believed in the supernatural world. Mainly because it was party time in Victorian London if you were a monster. So when a police force was created it was only right that they had a supernatural division. That very force would become known as the Tintagel Division whose deadly adventures take place in the very heart of the world's largest and most powerful empire.
London's very future rests on the shoulders of just a few.
The Mystic Detective.
The Outlaw Cowboy.
The Exiled Shaman.
The Undead Pirate.
Real Name: Matt Pendragon
Weight: 150 lbs.
Place of Birth: Chichester, England
Team Affiliation: The Bow Street Runners
First Appearance: Bow Street Runners #1
Matt Pendragon - An uber-genius. He is the world's foremost expert in the supernatural and the leader of the Tintagel Division of the Bow Street Runners, London's very own supernatural police force. Matt is very anti-social, to the point where members of his own team can only just stand to work with him. Kelly Robinson seem's to be the only person capable of spending any amount of time with him without hitting him. Matt has never bought anything in his life, he takes his clothes from murder victims rationalizing that they no longer need them. He also lives in the Tintagel Division's headquarters, a major source of consternation to the Chief Constable. When parliament was deliberating disbanding the police force, bemoaning how much it cost to run, Matt created a gang of housebreakers from the local orphans and has them periodically target minister's houses. This gang of orphans is looked after by Maggie Turpin, the Queen of Thieves and one of Matt's best allies. He saved her from the clutches of a demon several years ago and she now spies for him. Matt also has the local ladies of the night spying for him too after he saved Rita Glass from Jack the Ripper.
Matt is a savant of thinking on his feet, able to analyse any situation and work out exactly what's needed. This ability has saved the Runners' lives on several occasions. Matt though is almost useless physically in a fight. Matt has a daughter, Kirsty Pendragon, who is potentially the deadliest and evillest person on the planet. Matt got the leader of a demon worshipping cult pregnant whilst drugged. He only found out about Kirsty many years later when he discovered that she had slaughtered the entire cult including her mother. She is potentially cleverer then Matt and has been behind many schemes and monsters in her joyous pursuit of mentally torturing Matt.
Real Name: Kelly Robinson
Weight: 200 lbs.
Place of Birth: Dodge City, Kansas
Team Affiliation: The Bow Street Runners
First Appearance: Bow Street Runners #1
Kelly Robinson - An American Cowboy running from the law in his own land and what better place to hide then as a policeman. He still carries his guns, and more often then not is the one roped in to trying out Matt Pendragon's schemes for killing the supernatural. He's the light hearted member of the group, not troubled by the evil he's committed in the past but finding life strangely comfortable working for the law. He's Matt's best friend, which means he's the only one who's not tried to kill him yet. He is an expert with his two colts and a famed marksman, he is also a fantastic improviser in a fistfight.
Real Name: Sangoma
Weight: 280 lbs.
Place of Birth: Mbuluzi, Swatini
Team Affiliation: Bow Street Runners
First Appearance: Bow Street Runners #1
Sangoma - An exiled African warrior shaman. He carries a staff and is incredibly skilled with it in combat. He is also the team's doctor and has learnt the secret's of medicine and surgery from all over the world. He really doesn't like Matt, and is usually the main recipient of his insults, but nearly always defers to him in matters of the supernatural. Sangoma has some mystical talents but was unable to save the daughter of a village elder from a powerful demon. He wanders the world in self imposed exile until he can lay the girl's spirit to rest. He came across the Runners during the Fifth of November Crisis and used his skills to save Matt's life, which Sangoma gleefully reminds Matt of when Matt is being condescending towards him.
Real Name: Patrick Ironmare
Weight: 160 lbs.
Place of Birth: Plymouth, England
Team Affiliation: The Bow Street Runners
First Appearance: Bow Street Runners #1
Captain Patrick Ironmare - Once one of the most feared pirates on the seven sea's. It took a fleet to capture him, but unfortunately they couldn't execute him. Curses can be handy at times. He's spent nearly a hundred years locked in a small cell and this is his one shot at earning a new life. Matt came to him for help when the ghost of Blackbeard sailed up the Thames creating a passage for hell. As well as being a skilled swordsman he helps Matt research the supernatural. Matt has promised to lift the curse on the Captain as while he can't die, he can feel pain and he can feel the natural form of his body rotting even though he looks fine.