In that world, two superpowers fought a very long war.
The first power was the Altaran Dominion, an empire ruled by a hereditary line allegedly stemming back to a legendary heroine who vanished from history after striking an immense blow to the (then differently-named) Dominion's enemies. Some, more fantastical accounts claim she ascended to divinity, though the truth is far less encouraging.
The Dominion was a bleak place. Its rulers were tyrannical, and it remained under perpetual martial law. The military enjoyed great power, and the nation's industrial capacity was unmatched.
This country's most (in)famous legacy is its final Prince, a man known to the Nexus as the former Emperor Vyrn, the first and only Emperor of the Acronymian Empire. The Empire's legacy spans further, in its Remnant that still rules Inside.
The second was and is known as the League of Syndicated States (informally the Syndicate), a conglomeration of smaller countries controlled by a single massive corporation-like organization. The true 'owners' of this organization are not known. As history goes, the Syndicate's territory includes what was once a particular empire that, in ancient days, was at war with the Dominion. This nation once held a massive advantage over the then much smaller Dominion, before this advantage mysteriously vanished, and the country was shattered and absorbed into the Dominion.
The Syndicate's ruling body started as a simple company and grew until it essentially controlled massive amounts of territory, close to that of the Dominion itself. This amount soon grew once again as it declared that the territory the Dominion took all those years ago now belonged to it, which started the war.
People in Syndicate territory tended to be a bit better off. Syndicate technology was more advanced in all areas compared to its Dominion competitors, offering its smaller military an edge and giving its other 'employees' (citizens) greater quality of life.
The general technological level, in more exact terms, was greater than modern even in the Dominion. Old Imperial laser weaponry, cloaking devices, and the now-defunct aerial dreadnought Haven originated in the Dominion. Examples of Syndicate technology include more advanced variable laser weaponry, advanced stealth aircraft, and power armor.
The war between these powers was long and bloody, primarily being fought in the same region the war was started over, which eventually became known as the Cemetery among forces on both sides for how bloody it was, and the fact that bodies were rarely recovered. The name was fitting, and the graves in the Cemetery only grew in number as the war went on.
This war was not fought with only soldiers and technology, however.
While the supernatural was rare in this world, it was by no means nonexistent. Individuals with unexplainable powers in it are termed Anomalies, for good reason-rarely did they ever show any biological reason for their abilities. The Anomalies were treated with extreme stigma from both sides, and neither made a secret of their efforts to capture and brainwash them for military service. Their excuse was that Anomalies were unstable, and to tell the truth, they were and are. When their abilities first manifest, they tend to be uncontrollable and destructive, though exceptions for less directly harmful powers exist. This tendency created such a massive hatred of Anomalies in the civilian population that few people objected to the treatment given to them by the Dominion and Syndicate militaries.
In addition to the Anomalies, other groups existed. Neutral areas along the borders between the two powers and away from the Cemetery banded together in hopes of avoiding the worst of the war. This, together with one Anomaly, ultimately led to the undoing of the Altaran Dominion.
First, however, it must be understood that the Dominion's scientists had been attempting to find a way to imbue individuals with artificial Anomaly powers, and ultimately, they succeeded. Codenamed Project Wraith, the product of this effort turned out to have a life of its own, and escaped. The research was done using items allegedly claimed from unusual Syndicate dig sites in the Cemetery, which dated back to its Pre-Dominion times.
Project Wraith found a host of its own, and was a total success, aside from one issue.
The host it chose was already a latent Anomaly. This union boosted the host's potential far beyond that of a regular Anomaly. He lived in a neutral city, unmarred by the war...until he was detected by the Dominion military.
The man in charge of the Dominion military's black ops division, General Drelin, ordered his abduction. It did not go as planned, as the Anomaly's abilities manifested during the capture operation, leading to the city's destruction.
Not believing the Dominion story that one Anomaly could cause all of that damage, Syndicate forces swelled as the neutrals turned to their side. Many individuals, at this point, took the opportunity to flee.
The Anomaly disappeared from the world's history completely, not appearing again after the city's destruction.
General Drelin fled what he saw as the Dominion's inevitable defeat.
One man, in charge of the Dominion's construction of the Haven, recruited his workers, took the ship (incomplete and unarmed), and fled with it in the chaos.
Another, a Syndicate officer in charge of one of their strange dig sites in the Cemetery, uncovered a secret that shook him to the core around this time. Not long after, the entire place was wiped out, the most valuable artifact discovered stolen, and all but one transport destroyed by laser fire, the last missing. The rest of the place was turned to cinders.
As the Syndicate's victory drew near, most of the Altaran royals were captured and executed, including the Emperor himself. One remained, and one remains to this day. Vyrn would go on to blaze a long, bloody trail through history.
Ultimately, the Syndicate did win. But that victory only lasted for so long.
One day, Prince Vyrn returned, and he began a rebellion against the Syndicate that brought it to its knees and came very close to restoring the Dominion. His powers gained while in the Nexus baffled many-he was not detectable as an Anomaly, and yet had powers reminiscent of one.
However, General Drelin returned too, with another monster of an aircraft, the Imperial stealth vessel Spectre. He began attacking both rebel and Syndicate forces with it, both taking severe losses from its every appearance, neither able to fight off multiple sides very well at this point in the conflict.
Vyrn eventually staged a battle in the Dominion's former capital itself to draw Drelin out of hiding, causing heavy damage to Syndicate and rebel forces. Vyrn and some of his men boarded the Spectre, and succeeded in sabotaging the craft. Drelin then took an unexpected action. He activated a device he had installed on the ship post-theft, ripping a portal back to the Nexus below the burning Spectre as it was crashing, and it came to rest near GLoG. The Prince and General were both sucked back into the Nexus as well.
The damage done in this conflict led to a widespread collapse of Syndicate control. Much of the Dominion's former territory was in chaos, until the Syndicate, still largely unopposed, once again established order. Even then, though, this order is far more tentative than before, and much lies hidden in the former Dominion.
While only understood as 'freaks with powers', Anomalies have a number of unusual traits not shared by others of that mold.
For one thing, Anomalies' powers are directly tied to their souls. Anomalies' souls are twisted, bizarre things, generating their powers as a result of some incredibly powerful and very old effect. If they were examined in detail (as much as such a thing could be) it could be described as seeming as though something had been violently torn out of the Anomaly's soul, only for the 'wound' to be 'healed' by something very different.
Anomalies are, for some reason not yet exposited, incapable of channeling 'conventional' magic directly. More complicated 'ritual' type spells are possible for them, but they cannot channel magic through themselves at all.
Individual Anomalies do NOT tend to be outrageously powerful. Most simply don't have that level of power at all, and if they do, it tends to not be accessible except in extreme circumstances.
The most powerful Anomaly is DC
. He is the product of the Anomaly-Project Wraith union described in History and no normal Anomaly can have his level of power.
The powers an Anomaly might have vary greatly. One could be capable of turning intangible. Another could have fire manipulation. Yet another could be a kineticist or telepath (combinations of the two would actually be rare, and would be weaker in those areas than individuals with just one of them, besides Mr. Exception up there).
Anomalies are, as previously stated, unstable. When they first manifest their powers, they tend to lose control of themselves, often leading to chaos as the Anomaly in question randomly unleashes their powers on their surroundings, if possible. This can also occur when an Anomaly is emotionally compromised, be it by anger, sorrow, or any other overwhelming emotion. This tends to be worse in more offensively powerful individuals-a fire controller will be more vulnerable to it than an invisible. However, Anomalies who practice and gain greater control of their abilities can grow to resist this emotion-based instability.
Anomalies tend to come in three main types: Syndicate, Rogue, and Latent. Syndicate Anomalies are brainwashed servants of the Syndicate, obviously. Rogues are unaffiliated and uncontrolled. Many Rogues were once part of the Dominion's brainwashed forces. Latent Anomalies are simple-their powers have not yet manifested.
I'm giving people a chance to take the backstory and concepts I've created and create their own Nexus characters with them. These characters don't have to be Anomalies, either-you could make anything from an ex-Dominion Anomaly to a Syndicate Anomaly-hunter. There are, however, restrictions.
Power levels for Anomalies, naturally, must follow the description established.
No messing with the main 'plot' of the world. The current state of the world is described at the end of History and is not to be changed. You are free to make up minor details such as exact descriptions of some weapons or characters' hometowns-what I've worked out is mostly large-scale detail, which I hope to somewhat rectify here.
No making your characters too important in the grand scheme of things. For example, a lower-level Syndicate or ex-Dominion officer would be acceptable, but no making a General or other such individual.
Finally, besides these guidelines, all characters created from this are to be run by me before being played. I reserve the right to veto something if I feel it doesn't fit or breaks the established guidelines.