My co-GC and I have spent some time polishing write-ups of our spycraft group's exploits. We started the group envisioning a bleak espionage game set in a darker version of our own world. Our players, on the other hand, had different things in mind. It has slowly evolved into an over the top action romp although we have still retained some of the originally imagined grit. We have also had quite a bit of fun spinning side threads and delving into character backstory, often with varying genre and theme. Anyway, this first post us just our backstory and most of the important characters so far in our world.
The World (2005- 2011)
In 2005, George W. Bush's approval rating was 86% largely due to the efforts of Undercurrent International, a newly formed branch of Blackwater USA. Undercurrent was contracted by the NSA to stop the spread of dissent and information which would damage the United States. The fact that Iraq had no WMDs remained unknown to the general public.
In 2006, Osama Bin Laden is captured illicitly by the United States. The War on Terror is declared a success, though terrorist cells continue to operate. Israel participates in the Dead Sea Massacre, in which boats laden with Palestinian refugees are destroyed by Israeli forces. The total death toll is 6000, one of the largest losses of life in the region. The UN urges for an end to the violence, but the United States proudly continues to support Israel. Iran and Saudi Arabia send troops and equipment to the Palestinians.
In 2007, the United States invades Iran on the pretense of ending terrorist activities in the Middle East. Blackwater Worldwide is expanding at a rapid rate, possessing a military force rivaling that of a mid-size county. Mercenaries now fill in many non-essential roles in militaries around the globe. France, an outspoken critic of PMCs, faces a economic meltdown. Aegis Defense Services offers security and non-combat service to the French government in exchange for an apology and continued public support of PMCs. Blackwater introduces a military ranking system and begins actively engaging in frontlines warfare, and is renamed Blackwater Worldwide.
In 2008, Russia invades Georgia, sparking a large conflict in Eastern Europe. The United States prospers from the economic stimulus of multiple PMCs locating their headquarters within its borders. The conflict in Iraq has dwindled to a mild insurgency, with many corporations vying for a stake of the countries new economy. A predominantly Chinese Asian PMC, Shen Bo Transnational is formed by the Chinese government to covertly increase their stake in world affairs. Conservative candidate John McCain wins the 2008 US election by a landslide. Eastern Europe becomes a hotbed of terrorist and smuggler activity.
In 2009, tensions between North Korea and Japan escalate into full scale war, Shen Bo Transnational aids North Korea in combat, and the United States supplies South Korea and Japan while remaining outside of conflict. Shen Bo operatives assassinate Kim Jong Il and frame the United States for it. Mexican Drug Cartels use their immense wealth to hire Shen Bo and destabilize the Mexican Government, leaving the country in a state of anarchy. The United States closes all borders with Mexico and efforts to stop illegal immigration are increased. The country of Iceland faces a complete economic collapse. The Chinese government, in a joint venture with Shen Bo Transnational, buys a controlling share of Iceland's assets, and subcontracts much needed infrastructure work to Chinese compaines.
In 2010, the landwar in Korea reaches a critical stage and Blackwater Worldwide, now the largest PMC alongside Shen Bo Transnational, enters the conflict under joint contract from Japan and South Korea. Undercurrent provides valuable intelligence and strategic support to Blackwater forces in what is the first overt clash between Shen Bo and Blackwater. The ongoing conflict in Korea is christened the Second Korean War. Blackwater Ground troops, an American Battalion, Japanese Defense Forces and what remains of the South Korean army launch a massive assault on Pyongyang and Haeju. The forces are defeated before they even reach Pyongyang by a series tactical fuel-air bomb strikes launched by Shen Bo fighters. Israel, near a brutal collapsing point, calls for US intervention against Palestine. Already fighting a fierce battle in Iran, the United States sends a Taskforce of Blackwater soldiers operating under US command to assist the Israelis.
In 2011, Blackwater Worldwide, Shen Bo Transnational, and the renamed Aegis Global Defense Solutions join the list of world superpowers.
The Agency- Undercurrent International
Based on the increasing need for private military and intelligence operations, Undercurrent International was formed in 2005 as a clandestine organization to handle Blackwater's Intelligence and Special Forces work.
Since Undercurrent International's incorporation a large web of contracts, from both government and private clientele, have allowed Undercurrent to maintain a hold in worldwide political affairs. The organization has featured in conflicts on all continents, but prominent areas of operation include: Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, China, Columbia, Egypt, Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and the United States.
The Cover- Blackwater Worldwide
Blackwater USA was founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark. In October 2007, the company was renamed Blackwater Worldwide and was colloquially referred to as "Blackwater". It has drawn controversy, and has a wide array of business divisions, subsidiaries, and spin-off corporations. Under the Bush administration, Blackwater has acquired exponential assets and resources rivaling a mid-size countries. Currently involved in the Second Korean War and many smaller conflicts around the globe.
The Opposition- Shen Bo Transnational
Shen Bo Transnational was formed by many former PLA members in 2008 to enter the growing, mainly western, Private Military market. The Chinese government is the primary benefactor, although Shen Bo draws its ranks from countries throughout Asia. In 2009, mild controversy arose when documents linking Shen Bo operations directly to the Chinese government were discovered. Currently involved in global conflicts, particularly in the Second Korean War.
The Rival- Shen Tian Group
Like Blackwater's Undercurrent, Shen Bo Transnational has an intelligence and Black Operations division, the Shen Tian Group. Shen Tian is more public than its western counterpart, but still retains many clandestine aspects. Little is known about how they factor into current global affairs, though involvement in Korea is a near certainty.
The Europeans- Aegis Global Defense Solutions
Started in England as a continuation of the infamous Sandline International, Aegis has the smallest sphere of influence of the "Big 3" PMCs. The company retains a strong security and counter-terrorism focus, contrasting the militaristic Blackwater and Shen Bo. The nations of the EU (excluding Switzerland and the Sweden) employ Aegis as a paramilitary security force to augment their existing forces.
The Underdog- CESA- Centre Européen pour les Solutions Avancées (European Center for Advanced Solutions)
CESA is the conglomerated intelligence service of the European Union. While many nations maintain an intelligence division of their own, CESA is a joint venture directed at countering the power of the CIA, Shen Tian, and the spectral Undercurrent. CESA retains close ties with Aegis Global Defense Solutions and the United Nations Intelligence Task Force.
Franz Letsego- Team leader, survivor, jack of all trades, master of none.
Arolilja Grimmsdottir- Former hotel owner and Aegis Operative, master of smooth talking. Killed in Action.
Citrus Sicily- Young italian american driver, hot-headed and in trouble with the mob.
Clarence Wilson- Former SAS, now working as an infiltration expert for Undercurrent
Cormac Callahan- Retired badass, former US special forces in Vietnam, spent years working in the drug trade.
Kyoko Nakamura- Japanese-British former SAS operator. Friend of Clarence. Terrible accent and foul language.
Anne Park- Detective from San Francisco, Killed in Action
Peter Mathias (Prometheus)- Eccentric German-Canadian playboy, expert hunter. Uses a gun with explosive bullets.
Jonathon Langdon- Con artist rescued by Franz and Citrus. Expert with a revolver.
Mitch Stevenson- Intelligent commando, ex-US special forces.
Non- Player characters
Simon- Undercurrent's top analyst.
Geoff Bronson- Lazy bureaucratic Control.
Ted Waller- Former cold war Era spy control.
Mark Hiram Washington- Blackwater military captain.
Chris Wentworth- Friend of Franz, freelance information dealer.
The Collector a.k.a, Roland Prinz von Thurn und Taxis- Wealthy and incredibly well connected Nazi art thief.
Serpente Liquido- Citrus's friend and contact in Aegis.
Nicholas Bode- CFO of DGI.
Kim Ho- Psychopathic North Korean-Shen Bo liaison.