The Ariadne Compact

First appearing in the late 40's as the Arachne Group, this organisation has proved to be a frustrating and multifaceted foe. It has adjusted its membership, organisation and apparent goals several times over the decades, and underwent a major schism during the Gateway Wars, splitting into the Ariadne Compact, which opposed the madman Professor Gateway, and the Janus Syndicate which joined forces with him. Despite many of its agents assisting the Primacy, the Compact has been and is responsible for major acts of terrorism and crime across the world. Nine-tenths of Atlantic piracy is carried out by their privateer fleet; though, predictably, ships 'insured' by bribery remain unaffected. Scientists working for the Compact developed a ball-bearing bomb that could be carried into orbit by a cheap rocket, allowing an affordable anti-satellite weapon that quickly appeared on the open (black) market. Ariadne's agents deployed a toxic ink to certain critical mints in China, rendering millions of cash notes unusable.

Like a spider, the Compact seems to have multiple arms operating semi-autonomously, each involved in a project, which might be extortion, political intrigue, assassination or information brokerage. If there is an overarching plan orchestrating these actions, it has thus far eluded the Primacy's Impossible Scenarios Group, except that it involves the Primacy in some critical fashion. Generally, the Compact's behaviour thus far has demonstrated a keen interest in acquiring wealth, depriving rivals of critical technologies and resources, and ensuring the security of their headquarters.

Threat Ratings

GTR: Severe; Life & Limb: Moderate to Severe; Property: Severe

Group Membership

Unknown, but possibly very large. Comprises a large number of superhumans, including some intermittent and former heroes, with some kind of central committee or steering board, and a variety of divisions and microprojects that have been spun off on a short term or continuing basis. The Compact's normal forces, from mercenaries to lawyers to anti-metahuman commandos are numerous and widely-placed.

Bases/Centres of Operation

An archipelago east of the Caribbean called the Nexus Islands. Numerous other arsenals, training facilities and front organisations across every continent.

Compact Militia

Mercenaries looking for a steady pay-cheque, ex-cons and escapees who need somewhere to disappear and stay safe from the law, desperadoes wanting to forget the past, brainwashed hostages: the Ariadne Compact's covert army of terrorists, pirates and guerrillas is drawn from the scum and victims of the world. Training bases are located on every continent, the boot camps and indoctrination seminars kept fed by recruiters willing to use bribery, threats and drugs to get fresh bodies.

  • Hydras: The Compact's rank and file. Proverbially, for every one slain two more rise to take their place. The quality of training, discipline, morale and equipment possessed by a hydra can vary widely: some are the equivalent of special forces soldiers with cutting-edge hypertech armaments, while others are barely-competent conscripts armed with Cold War relics.
  • Cerberuses: The NCOs, cerberuses are more consistent in their skill and effectiveness, as they all serve a stint in the Compact's central training facility in the Nexus Islands.

Harpies: Trained more in driving and piloting than combat, the role of harpy is seen as a cushy post by most Compact troops. Every harpy is certified proficient in crewing and maintaining at least one land, one sea and one air vehicle, and some even have orbital and micro-G experience.

  • Satyrs: Scouts and rangers. Part of satyr training involves being dropped into the wilderness with no equipment, ensuring the specialisation has a high mortality rate, but that its members are highly focused and motivated. A common piece of equipment are 'cheetah-style' carbon fibre leg extenders, allowing a long, springy gait for traversing terrain, giving them the goat-legged look of their namesakes.
  • Chimerae: The Compact's technical specialists. Chimerae are often recruited from technical institutes or lured in by adverts in scientific and engineering journals, offering advanced training and exciting opportunities. What this usually amounts to is the thankless task of operating radios, crypto gear, sensors and other equipment too complicated for the muscleheads.
  • Minotaurs: Heavy weapons specialists. To become a minotaur requires little more than the build, aptitude and willingness to carry, deploy and use the largest man-portable weapons black market connections can buy.
  • Centaurs: Centaurs look down on harpies. While both specialisations are vehicle-qualified, centaurs are also extensively trained in combat. They utilise high-mobility vehicles like motorcycles, jet-skis, skimobiles and even jetpacks for rapid deployment, flanking and harassment.

Maenads: More a sentence than a specialisation, maenads are expendable berserker shocktroops. Their aggression and muscle mass is ramped up by drugs, their fear and pain receptors stripped, and their deployment usually involves opening the cage and standing well back. The are generally incapable of using weapons beyond crude melee implements or suicide bombs triggered by death or remote control.

Leaders/Notable Members


The mysterious leader of the Compact has been lurking in the shadows for decades, formerly under the name Arachne. It is unknown if she is the true leader of the group, but what little evidence has been gathers indicates she is high in their standing. Her powers are likewise vague, but seem to include an impressive array of magical talents (her favourite spells seem to have an arachnid theme, including casting webs and summoning demonic spiders) and technological devices, including a bladed multi-armed battle harness, a laser field and flying disc or chariot.

Dr. Zeit

A brilliant but ruthlessly cold genius, Zeit is a researcher who focuses on the control and manipulation of 'chronal waveforms'; in other words, time technology. While he does not appear to have functional time travel as of yet, those that face the Compact may have to deal with temporal decay beams, chronolocks and personal relativity accelerators. Unlike some scientists he is as adept outside the lab as within in, and serves as the second in command of the Compact, overseeing many of its operations. A former Nazi scientist, Zeit was transferred to America by Operation Paperclip at the end of the war, but after faking his own death (from old age!) defected to Triland Corporation in the late 50's, after which he went rogue and allied himself with Ariadne.


Formerly a Trinidadan hero known as Stonehorse, this powerhouse fell from grace in a sex scandal. His public image shattered, Stonehorse's depression turned to bitterness, which was subtly fed by agents from the Compact. He joined them in 1998, and has become the chief field commander. Able to transform his body into living rock, the renamed Actaeon is extremely strong, resilient and much faster than one would expect given his size and density. He always had an excellent grasp of tactics, and his close association with Ariadne has nurtured his ruthless streak.


The Compact's chief assassin, Aconite has reputedly studied every martial art on Earth, and found them lacking. Thus, she resolved to create her own. She was one of the few students accepted by the Tellran family's combat camp, but her pathologically competitive nature got the better of her, and she was forced to flee after killing another student. While arguably not the most skilled martial artist on Earth, Aconite's willingness to use every dirty trick and shadowy advantage she can to win make her a significant threat to more honourable foes, even if they are the more talented. Her favoured techniques include a variety of tailored bioweapon toxins and the ability to 'phase out' to avoid attacks. It is unknown if her phasing ability is a result of magically enhanced martial arts, technology or metahuman genetics.


Jimmy Mulligan, a former colonel in an Australian black-ops outfit known as QUEST (Quiet Unilateral Elimination/Surveillance Team), went rogue after Indonesian pirates killed members of his family. Stealing a prototype aquatic power armour device, he wreaked havoc on those he thought responsible, before turning mercenary. Ironically, he now serves as the leader and pointman of the Compact's armada, as much a sea-brigand as the men who killed his family. The Thresher armour is powerful enough to operate in all but the deepest parts of the ocean, which makes it highly durable and strong on the surface. It features mini-torpedos, a high power 'sonar shield' that can block attacks, and a diamond tipped bite that tears through hulls with ease.


Jackanape owes his origin to a botched robbery perpetrated by the Guild of Thieves' Cheshire Cat. She was attempting to acquire the Golcondan Masterpiece, a black diamond held in the Tower of London, reputedly cursed. She successfully penetrated the Tower's security despite alerting the guards, but when she touched the diamond its power was unleashed. By some freakish chance, a guard's taser grazed the gem at the same moment, causing the curse to go awry. The magical energy filling the room coalesced into a humanoid form, and, after fleeing the Tower, developed an ever increasing personality and individuality.

As best anyone can determine, Jackanape is a luck elemental, the forces of fate that were supposed to strike down the thief granted sentience and form. As a result, his powers include the ability to steal luck from those around him to bolster his own, combined with some odd quirks of magical, non-human biology. He worked with the Guild for some time, but his developing mind grew dark and sadistic over time, causing clashes with the other, more profit-oriented Thieves. Jackanape left the Guild and eventually drifted into an alliance with the
Ariadne Compact.

Heroic The Congery
The Primacy
Project Flotsam
The Tellran Family
Villainous The Ariadne Compact
The Furies
The Guild of Thieves
The Khans
The Second Renaissance
Triland Corporation
Neutral/Civilian The Global Mumbai
The Ministry of Extraplanetary Technology
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