A timeline of events as they have transpired since the start of the game.
Established early after the rise of the Endbringers, the blacksite is a large PRT research site devoted to an as of now unknown purpose. Its establishment led to the rise of Grand Haven as an area, drawing more and more people to the previously rather quaint city. Yhe blacksite made Grand Haven quite attractive to villains looking to establish some turf - and to heroes hoping to stop them.
Notably, the lack of a Protectorate presence has led to the development of a large number of unaffiliated hero teams and freelance mercenary groups in the early days of Grand Haven's cape scene.
Quartet formed as a relatively small sort-of-villain-sort-of-hero faction led by Blacklight, seen as unimportant and “meaningless at all times”. The other initial members were his clustermates: Shorty, Debutante and Renaissance. Its express goal was the protection of its members and of civilians on its turf, though said turf was, at the time, incredibly small.
Due to their reputation The Quartet was left mostly alone, seen as a non-threat or even just not active enough to warrant attention. Secretly, during this time The Quartet had developed an expansive underground network of insiders, informants, and spies, including the high-level Elite member Debutante. Debutante and Blacklight worked closely together for a long period, employing subtle manipulation tactics to ensure their pervasive group's prosperity. One example of this was Debutante's coup to usurp the local Elite cell's leadership.
The most impactful manipulation was the Elite's involvement in the Untamed War, which resulted in the destruction of the Untamed, the last faction of purely non-Quartet members or agents. A cape named Herald discovered the plot but it was too late: he posted on PHO a list of all known Quartet members only for The Quartet to own their actions and squash opposition, their numbers too much and network too large. The Quartet ruled the city in relative peace for a while, passing control over to The Elite when Blacklight retired.
The Elite was a local branch of a larger criminal organization, founded by Royale. Its focus was around professionalism, organized crime, and style. The Untamed, on the other hand, was a bunch of rabid hyper-libertarians who thought that because the world had been rude to them, it was morally okay for them to just, do fucking whatever. Founded by Tombstone, a corpse biotinker, it ended up in conflict with The Elite after Mirage killed Swathe, an Untamed member, in a freak accident. Peace talks were attempted by Debutante, leader of the Elite and known Trustworthy Individual, but broke down after Tombstone demanded the right to perform invasive surgery on Elite members, because Tombstone was a weird little creep with a thing for guts.
It didn't help that neither of both sides was willing to compromise. So a war broke loose.
In reality, Debutante sabotaged the peace talks for the benefit of The Quartet.
Things started to escalate quickly once Tombstone started Untameds' retaliation off by murdering Zealot using their largest creation, the “Rurik”. After Zealot falling unconscious, the large winged beast with a sickle arm flew off with him into the sky, snapping his neck and hiding the body. It wouldn't take long until Elite had found out that he had gone missing but due to Tombstones long-range master power there wasn't a lot of ways to get a grip on him. Time passed by in which both parties were eyeing each other carefully; always trying to be prepared for the next move. However, a third smaller party would step out of the shadows and take everyone by surprise.
A singular cape by the name Antiacid managed to best one of the few members, and widely considered strongest, of the Untamed - Bedlam - and take her hostage. Antiacid was a greed-driven anarchist who didn't care about the war itself but about the opportunity. He reached out to both Untamed and Elite and invited them to auction over Bedlam.
What both parties didn't know was that Antiacid wasn't acting on his own. Him and Alcazar, a gravity shaker, who once teamed up to rob a bunch of banks were still in close contact, despite Alcazar's Elite membership, due to their shared interest in cash.
While both parties were preparing and scraping money together, Alcazar prepared a place for the auction. A giant cave a few hundred feet beneath the earth.
On the day of the auction both parties arrived. The Elite was planning to snipe Tombstone before he could arrive at the meeting point but they never got the opportunity for a clear shot.
Pax and Tombstone both arrived at the scene, and Antiacid teleported both of them down into the cave.
Two seats were in front of a large podium. Bedlam was hanging over a large puddle of acid. Both Pax and Tombstone were asked to switch to a set of provided clothes and to sit down.
In the meantime Alcazar was fulfilling his part of a deal with the Untamed to become a member of their team. He was supposed to save Templar (a cape with a huge grudge against the Elite, who had been sold into their captivity by Renaissance) from the Elite base, which at first glance didn't seem like a problem, but Debutante and her paranoid nature would prove that the opposite was the case. The walls of Templars cage were reinforced with a material with a manton limit. So Alcazar couldn't pass through them. He walked up to Royale who was guarding the prison. After a quick talk Alcazar couldn't convince Royale to let him into the cell with Templar, and Royale got suspicious. While Royale was dialing Debutante to check wether Alcazar had permission to enter or not, the traitor walked off acting as if he was answering the phone but the cyber security team of the Elite quickly found out there was no one at the other end of the call - but it was already too late to stop him.
Down in the cave the auction was about to begin. Antiacid was making a big show in front of his audience. Everything was going well until Tombstone stood up: “Before coming here, I infected myself with a particularly virulent custom developed plague,” intending to blackmail Antiacid into giving up Bedlam, but Antiacid immediately replied: “Ah. Well then I will make this quick,” and blew up the C4 hidden inside the chairs Pax and Tombstone were sitting on. He teleported out of the cave as the ceiling started to come down.
Meanwhile Alcazar still had a task to fulfill, but with his cover blown he had to take drastic measures. He sank into floor directly below the Elite base and started a small scale earthquake. Panic broke lose and everyone was trying to escape the building. Boulders started dropping and one was about to hit Templar when Royale the benevolent being he was decided to interpose and threw himself over the girl. He died through his heroic act.
At the end of the day Royale, Tombstone, Bedlam died. Pax second triggered and would return a few days later. Twelve Elite mooks and 27 civilians died due to the base collapsing.
Antiacid and Alcazar were wanted criminals and despite Weatherman surviving the Untamed were defeated.
([Larger Summary Needed])
The Nightingales were a team of extremely powerful and skilled villains who roamed America, similar to the Slaughterhouse Nine, but they were much less extreme. That's not to say they weren't violent, their arrival in Grand Haven was celebrated with terrorist attacks at a police station, the nuclear power plant, and the Church of Three with hundreds dead in the wake of it. Three capes had also been captured during the events: Wintermute, Angelus, and Templar. A kill order was approved by the PRT director for all Nightingale capes.
The capes of the city rallied against the new threat but with only a small degree of success. It seemed for a time like the locals were simply outclassed, it certainly didn't help that a couple of the local capes had been converted to the Nightingales, though they were acting under alternate personas at the time it was later revealed these defectors were Templar, Wintermute, and Jacob.
Brawls against the Nightingales broke out all over the city but none were stopped, the Michigan regional hero team, Extinction, even lost their headquarters to a bombing by the Nightingales. Amid the chaos the Nightingales unveiled their true project, a tinkertech clock tower that literally sprang up from the ground one midday. The heroes were quicker to rally this time, deploying many teams of capes in an attempt to overcome the defenders and thwart whatever The Nightingales were attempting inside. One group managed to make it to the top and disable what seemed to be an explosive of massive scale but too late to stop Belltower, the tinker responsible, from activating tower and its defenses, rendering it immune to damage.
After their first success the efforts against the Nightingales redoubled, the now coordinating local capes acting under an alliance named “Operation Elizabeth Tower” (OET for short). OET was quick to deliver, raiding a Nightingale base in the old Poe hotel and rescuing the capes imprisoned there with the help of Sherlock, a nightingale defector.
The Nightingales weren't ones to sit idly by though and in a climactic night they entered the Aethernet Nightclub, a renowned neutral ground for capes, and attempted to abduct Debutante and Omni. According to them it was payback for their abduction of Templar, a now completely converted Nightingale, and some uncertain history with the Elite organization. Local heroes were quick in their response, arriving in force to support the two Elite capes. In the end it was agreed that Omni would be handed over but it was intended as a bait as they tried to catch the Nightingales out as they left. The effort was in vain and only made the situation worse, resulting in the disappearance of Uplift hero Forge and total destruction of the neighborhood through combined usage of Templar's nukes and Victoria's, the leader of the Nightingales, antimatter explosion.
OET, eager for a win, returned to the raided Nightingale base in the Poe hotel and Procyon, an Uplift time tinker hero, attempted to break the time lock on prisoner's cells there. Unfortunately his accomplishment was to trigger a fail safe that created an expanding field of accelerated time that spewed ash. The team decided to throw the body of deceased Nightingale Adam into the bubble, resulting in the body growing to fill the entire space and turning the bubble an opaque black. The 'Black Sphere' continued to grow, swallowing an entire block of houses until Procyon and Firebrand returned with a solution, shrinking the Sphere back down to a small area, saving the city of any deaths from the event.
The Nightingales took the last step of their plan nineteen days after their arrival, a raid on the Blacksite. The bell of the belltower began ringing as black smoke rose up from the invaded building, the defensive contingent there massacred by the attacking capes. The Blacksite called to the local heroes to assist them in it's defense. After a bloody battle OET had succeeded, the Nightingales were partly dead and partly in custody, with a few able to flee before their demise caught them. The Blacksite returned to its standard operational and mysterious state and OET was thanked by the city for its efforts. Later on two of the Nightingale converts, Templar and Wintermute, petitioned against their kill orders and crimes, citing human mastering among other things, as to why they didn't deserve to be punished for the crimes. With the assistance of Shorty, leader of Uplift, and Extinction the petition went through and their names were cleared and kill orders removed.
James Recard interviewing local parahuman, Sovereign Sovereign. So Mrs… Sovereign? Wait what? Your name is Sovereign Sovereign?
“Long story, remind me why you wanted me for an interview again?”
We just wanted some clarity on what kind of work you were involved in prior to your tenure at uplift.
“Oh of course Darling! What would you like to know? Be specific please!”
Mainly about Deep Court, People don’t seem particularly interested in talking about it, Why is that?
“Mainly because there’s just so much misinformation on the topic! You’d be surprised how many frivolous lawsuits I’ve had to deal with in the past, It’s just shocking the amount of people that think we were all a cult of devious cannibals!”
I mean, you were arrested by uplift under charges of murder and potential cannibalism, Care to comment on that?
“Ugh, please, those charges were proven completely false! Otherwise I wouldn’t be here with you today! The fact of the matter is, Deep Court was a fringe group of outcasts that didn’t ‘Align’ with the ‘ethnocentric’ policies of the times, naturally when any hero organisation got an opportunity to take a crack at us, they all jumped on board.”
Are you Implying that there was a racial prejudice against the members of Deep Court? If I recall correctly, you were the Only case in the entire cult.
“One is enough.”
Care to comment further on that statement?
Would you care to provide clarity into what started this whole debacle? The disappearance of the cape known as Sindri?
“I can neither confirm nor deny that I ever interacted with the cape formerly known as Sindri.”
But we have photos of you interacting with viscera, who was one of Sindri's victims. Did viscera ever tell you what he did to her? Did that make you angry?
A couple of capes tore up the basement of your headquarters during the red rampage, do you know what they found down there?
Do you think Renaissance would reconsider the Plea deal with the deep court members if they knew Sindri’s half eaten body was buried under your clinic the entire time?
“Do you have a point? I made it clear in my statement that I had no interaction with this cape, and it was in fact Viscera acting of her own volition.”
Oh so you knew that Viscera wanted to hurt Sindri? Is that why the group of you surrendered peacefully to the amassed heroes when she sold you out? You knew she’d done something wrong?
“My faction was not responsible for the murder Viscera committed, nor did we have any part in what she did to the body.”
Is that why she sent a note to uplift saying you drugged her, and forced her to eat Sindri alive?
Do you know what happened to Viscera?
“Not a clue”
Did you know she committed suicide in her cell? Snapped her neck when she hung herself from the rafters.
“What a shame.”
Did you also know that all the security footage from the night has been erased? How convenient that you also happened to work the cameras at the uplift facility, do you know what happened there during those missing hours?
I figured as much. I take it you also have no comment on the high rate of disappearances in the area around your old restaurant, the Seafood Royale.
During your stint at uplift, what was your opinion on the villain known as FosseGrim? I hear he committed a shooting at a joint venture that the two of you were operating, would you condemn or support his actions?
“This interview is over.”
Avalon was originally founded by the cape Helios. It was a hero group, its aim to protect the denizens of Grand Haven and act as a neutral ground and sanctuary for all who needed it.
They grew slowly but surely, their close-knit starting with the capes Helios, Cerberus and Umbra. The kept recruiting more as they made a name for themselves, the Avalon members taking up the monikers of Knights, and even offered a place for previous villains to prove their worth and leave their criminal dealings behind, such as Frostpunk of Dominion.
Helios (then Good Knight) retired, appointing Umbra (Mid Knight) as Leader, and it was from there that the groups demise was fated.
As they continued to develop, becoming more trusted within the city as the activities and strength of Uplift began to dim it was agreed that they would take on more responsibility, rising up to become the most prominent group of heroes in town. Avalon expanded, its territory reaching further and further from its main sanctuary as its members worked to protect the city, working against threats such as the Corpse Hive, and villains such as Prince Pestilence, Wild Hunt and Bully. Other notable capes joined the ‘knights’ such as Rott Wheeler, Occam, Rosie and, as the group was reaching its highest heights, disaster struck. Fosse-Grim, just having been accepted into the team, snapped, brutally slaughtering 24 civilians at a restaurant before killing himself. This led to a public outcry and the team steadily losing its standing.
Following this, an Avalon member, Sir Rebral killed a fellow team member, Frostpunk(then Frostwarden) destabilizing the team further and rousing Requiem, the leader of the then disassembled Dominion, to act in retribution, prompting him to join Prince Pestilence.
More incidents occurred, one after the other, more failings and murders until the team was a shell of its former self, sustained only by a few loyal members.
The remains of the faction was crushed and burned to the ground during the Red Rampage which was spurred by the death of the Union leader’s sibling at the hands of Rott-Wheeler (then K-9ight). See Crimson Day Its members scattered, the group went out not with a bang, but a whimper.
A former leader of The Deplorables, a tinker known as Prince Pestilence set his sights on the city as a whole. His work began with a declaration of his plans to launch a rocket into the skies of Grand Haven, releasing a deadly virus to those not vaccinated. This lead to a large-scale resistance from the heroes of Grand Haven, but they were playing into his plans. The missile a decoy, his true target was the Grand Haven Water Treatment facility. After a small squabble with two heroes Prince Pestilence alongside the help of the villain Requiem succeeded in poisoning the city's water supply, leading to the death of 223 people through exposure to the deadly drug Phage.
After kidnapping local hero Sovereign and holding her ransom. Prince Pestilence was caught during his final mission: attempting to steal the key to the city. During this attempt he was betrayed by The Royals, resulting in the combined forces of The Royals, Avalon, and Uplift being able to take him into custody. Prince Pestilence has since been sent to The Birdcage for his crimes, but the city is still recovering from his deeds.
See Crimson Day
“The Day of Rage, A Retrospective” Feb 28th, 202 - John Johnson, Grand Haven
One of the most terrifying sounds a human can hear in the 21st century is the wailing peal of an Endbringer siren. You hear them on TV shows and PSAs, perhaps your city even holds drills or tests, but nothing turns the blood cold quite as fast as hearing the alarm on a calm day, without any warning.
September 25th, 2019 was a peaceful day to begin with. It was a characteristic Autumn day for northern Michigan - there was a calm drizzle across the city, unhindered by any weather-controlling superpowers. The city seemed as if it were slumbering, rush hour traffic was lethargic, most people were staying in and keeping warm. This illusion of peace was shattered as, for the first time, Grand Haven's Endbringer alarm sounded without predication.
Confusion only lasted for mere moments before turning into a full-blown panic. The more level-headed perhaps wondered why the Endbringers would break their schedule, as it had not yet been four months since the Simurgh attacked Detroit, but you average every day Grand Havenite, so accustomed to worst-case scenarios, did not. They did as instructed: drop everything, only grab necessities, and head for the nearest designated Endbringer shelter.
As it turns out, in this single instance, that was the exact wrong thing to do.
Leading up to this incident, the villain group Convocation hadn't made any waves. There had been a few changes of leadership, a few scuffles between heroes and mercenaries alike, but nothing quite as world changing as their actions leading up to September 25th - “the Day of Rage.” Up until this day they had spent their time sneaking a cocktail of drugs into the vents of Endbringer shelters and, as panicking citizens packed into the shelters, Convocation triggered micro-explosions that filled the shelters with this drug.
This drug that they had concocted was later identified as a “rage drug,” a drug that, when exposed to a human, makes them fly into an unchecked rage. Thousands of men, women, and children, saw red. Thus, the moniker: The Day of Rage.
If you want a reasoning behind Convocation's actions you can search the internet for their manifesto, which was posted to the popular forum Parahumans Online as these events were unfolding. The facts are that thousands of people experienced serious injuries, and hundreds died. Only two heroes died during the scuffle: Malfunction and Raditude, the former killed by the villain group Labyrinth who took advantage of the chaos to make a break in, and the latter killed trying to stop Convocation.
The week after was nearly as chaotic as the Day of Rage; hospitals were flooded with casualties, heroes banded together to hunt down the now-killed-ordered members of Convocation, with the mercenary group Vanguard killing some, and the hero-for-the-moment Billy/Myrmidon killing the rest.
In the end, Convocation was hunted down and killed to a man, the wounded were healed and the dead were buried, and Grand Haven itself began the process of healing, all over again.
From the lost audio logs of Raditude using his unspeaking drone Yeetz as a therapist:
“Yeah man the whole Simurgh fiasco sucked. Like imagine the worst thing ever, and then imagine that it's *worse* and that's a pretty good picture of how it all went down.
“So like it started with some company that makes satellites that wanted to launch a satellite to track the Simurgh, right? And I mean, in hindsight, it was *pretty fucking obvious* what was going to happen, but we all still went. It was just another job for me and Wayward Son, you know? So me and him and a bunch of other capes - mostly heroes, some villains (honestly I think the villains were getting paid by someone to stop it, but it's not like it mattered after the shit went down).
“Anyway we're escorting the truck that has the parts across a bridge, and that's when *she* showed up. It was - instant - mayhem. She started like, pulling the bridge apart, swatting capes out of the air, shooting, I don't know, some sort of weird tinker laserbeam or something, it was nuts. We…saved as many people as we could, you know? And then we left. It was all we could do.
“We spent the next few days just kind of helping where we could. It was insane - there were people driven crazy by her scream, and often she showed up herself. I tried to be as many places as I could.
“Frequent Flyer - he was a radio tinker, or something, right? - she went right after him, first thing. We had to protect him three or four times, specifically against *her*, but eventually we just couldn't keep up, and she got him. Scooped him up and swept him away.
“At some point, she must've gotten ahold of a biotinker, because flesh golems started popping up all across the city. We had to contain those on top of everything else. They were just these super gross, unthinking, unfeeling killing machines. We mostly contained them, but they kept cropping up all over.
“There were other notable moments, too. A fucking meteor hit the Detroit Mariott, and we had to save the civilians that were trapped in there. We got all of them out before it collapsed, luckily. There were a couple of flooded places that we had to rescue people from, too. There was a cape - Hive, some sort of tinker? Who managed to scrape together a piece of tech that could scan how insane people were from the screams. The Simurgh came after him, but we managed to get him out, and we got a reliable way of scanning people.
“So after she got Frequent Flyer, she disappeared for a little while, then popped back up, dead center of Detroit, with a bunch of capes floating around her - including him. Thinker reports said that she was going to use him to construct a radio tower so that she could broadcast her scream to the *whole world*. You can imagine how that fight went down - it was brutal, bloody, lots of capes died, but we just managed to scrape by before our Golden Guy came in to save the day.
“Of course it didn't stop after that. It never does with the Simurgh, you know? There were these two capes - Warden and Rovinaire - who we found out later assassinated the PRT directory during all this, driven mad by the Simurgh. Frequent Flyer showed back up, but, like, I don't trust him being sane either. There was another cape who bombed a civilian shelter during the attack, but no one's sure if he was crazy before the Simurgh showed up, or went crazy during.
“It fucking sucked, dude. That's really all there is to it.”
Cecilia's diary, first entry. Dated sometime mid-fall.
Emperor told me he needed more advice. More costume designs. More lines. More everything. All for a meeting with the Labyrinth freaks. His whole group was so demanding. I'd never even met most of them but he was always so authoritative when he'd ask for Convocation art or designs… And now I have to deal with the Labyrinth people indirectly as well. He said something about a truce but kept details short other than that. Territory, money, what were they sharing?
Cecilia's diary, a few weeks later.
Endbringer alert: Leviathan. Evacuate immediately to your nearest shelter.
Parahuman Response activated.
This is not a drill.
It was a “drill.”
Please disregard the previous alert. There is no endbringer attack. Emergency measures have been revoked. Leave your shelter immediately. Stay home. Lock your doors. Everything is fine.
And Labyrinth had helped. A post went up on PHO “The truce is over @Convocation.” by Tarantula. Nobody saw that group crawling out of the woodwork and helping terrorists. Even in the perceived S Class threat, they killed Malfunction.
That was the domino that caused their lives to come tumbling down.
It wouldn't stop there. Sure Ragdoll turned himself in. But the group get trudging along. Ragdoll being mauled in the streets by Progenitor wouldn't even make them consider laying down and dying.
They killed Templar Licht. Then Progenitor and Legatus. It just kept spiraling. Digging their own grave while throwing others into it as well.
I heard snippets here and there. I pieced together what I could. Ranger, Lichtus Rex, Billy, and Seraph went to wipe out the members. It was a near utter success.
One survivor on Labyrinth's side who would go on to die at the nightclub, Turismo Blitz. And that's all there was to it. A violent end to villains everyone thought as docile. A seemingly deep chapter closed so soon. And the end to my partnership with capes.