The Pantheon

The Pantheon is a metahuman supremacist organisation, equally willing to use advocacy and terrorism to achieve its goals. It is somewhere between a paramilitary army, racially-motived terrorist group and criminal gang, and one of the most dangerous and unpredictable threats to world peace and security.

At the same time, it operates a Metahuman Outreach Program, offering shelter and advise to young super-people, especially those on the run from the law. These centres, operating under various assumed names and through shell charity groups, can be found in dozens of major cities around the world. It is even suspected that it works hand in hand with the Watchmen Foundation on certain projects.

Pantheon's structure varies. At its heart, it is a dictatorship run by the powerful metahuman Gravastar, and she issues orders to her lieutenants, who in turn gather and direct the formation of cells or teams of lower-ranked members. Apart from the leader and her inner circle, it is a fairly fluid and non-hierarchical organisation, working on a shifting network of mutual distrust to keep track of its members. At the same time, there are factions, generally called 'chapters' that cleave to certain philosophies, strategies or goals with varying degrees of rigor.

Pantheon has, at one time or another, opposed or worked with most superhuman groups. Though Gravastar was once a member of the Primacy, that group now stand against her in every way. Gravastar is one of the only people in the entire world prepared to speak on behalf of Prizrachniyy and his Ubyezhich regime; though of late, even she has grown uneasy about the sheer brutality of that rogue nation. After Pantheon agents exposing a series of experiments conducted on metahumans by the Second Renaissance, they have become more opposed to that group; on the other hand, it has numerous cooperative links with the Ariadne Compact, often lending the Compact the services of metahuman followers in exchange for technology, smuggling routes and information. It is hard to imagine a greater philosophical rivalry than that between Professor Konnigsedge, the anti-super ruler of the Free City of Hamburg, and Gravastar, the ultimate promoter of metahuman rights and supremacy; were it not for the protection of the Red Tower, the city probably would have been levelled again by her hand.

Threat Ratings

GTR: Prime; Life & Limb: Prime; Property: Prime

Group Membership

Because so many of its members are on the wrong side of the law, exact figures on Pantheon's membership are very hard to come by. It is believed to be quite a large group, and by its nature consists only of superhumans - by far the major being metahumans or altered humans, with a handful of superscientists. Those without intrinsic powers face significant discrimination and must work extra hard to prove themselves, and the group has recently taken a more hardline metahuman stance, expelling its few alien members. Gravastar's position is not solely one of genetic superiority, however; any human with sufficient drive and skill can be part of her post-human utopia… provided they submit to her will.

Bases/Centres of Operation

The Pantheon's most successful base is its leader's homeland, the Indian province of Goa. There are so many Pantheon supporters in the area that the national and local governments have all but seceded control to Gravastar. It remains a glamorous tourist destination, but the strict customs examinations of non-metahumans mean that most normal people get stopped at the border, turning Goa into an increasingly exclusive meta-only resort. It is certain they maintain more bases and safehouses around the
world.

Pantheon Chapters

Leaders/Notable Members

Gravastar

Suvita Nagaswami was born in 1952, in the then Portuguese-ruled Goa. She was orphaned by a freak storm that levelled her family's house, leaving her a ward of the state. Even as a child, she displayed several remarkable talents: a keen mind that quickly grasped the intricacies of several different disciplines, from biology and astrophysics to electronics and political science, and a slowly awakening metahuman control over the force of gravity. Her understanding of mathematics brought her to the attention of Col. Aquiles Carvalhal, a Portuguese military officer and intelligence agent (then part of the colonial occupation), who needed an assistant codebreaker. He became a substitute father for her, both sharing a passion for archaeology, and his tutelage helped develop her intellect. Later, he even adopted her. Carvalhal was one of the handful of people killed when India liberated Goa in 1961. Suvita came downstairs on the morning of the 12th of December, and found her foster father dead, the soldier sent to assassinate him still standing over the body. In a spasm of rage, her powers manifested fully. The Indian soldier was hurled straight through the roof of the house and into orbit, perishing instantly.

Since then, she has had a colourful life, working first as a superhero, protecting people from the same kind of losses she had suffered; this period even included a brief alliance with the Primacy, and a dalliance with the then-active Prime, Celestial Dragon. As time went on, however, she grew increasingly impatient with the 'relentless stupidity and simpering weakness' of those the heroes sought to protect. She began to advocate the doctrine of strength providing moral superiority, and often refused to come to the aid of unexceptional humans, preferring to act as a counsellor and defender of her fellow metahumans. This resulted in a violent parting of the ways with the Primacy, in which she badly injured both the first Ascendant and Dr. Amazing.

Operating quietly around the world, she began to unite a veritable army of supervillains, power-supremacists and misguided youths, welding them together with the strength of her vision and charisma. This group burst onto the scene as the Pantheon, attacking the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament) before they could pass a metahuman mandatory-registration bill. This was followed up almost immediately by a mass-escape of prisoners from a super-holding facility in Mexico, and the destruction of a Singaporean genetics firm working on mapping new variations of the metagene. Some people have described Suvita Nagaswami's demeanour as being like a strict aunt, wearied by the foolishness of those around her. Most people that meet Gravastar find her imperious and brusque, but capable of articulating her dreams with great charisma… and great threats. Powerless humans are either ignored, treated with superior disdain, or squashed instantly if they get in her way. If encountered on more friendly terms, such as most of the members of the Pantheon enjoy, she can be surprisingly warm and understanding.

Gravastar is a statuesque, handsome woman in her middle years. She tends to wear colourful, fashionable saris, with a suit of articulated body armoured made from advanced composites underneath. Her power is extensive and highly adept control of gravity, rivalling that of the iridionian general Avon Starshadow. In addition to the more conventional uses, such as crushing foes under their own mass or flinging them around, it is believed that she can direct this ability to create 'Casimir Effect wells' - wormholes - and potentially even warp the flow of time.

Koschei

This cold-hearted sorcerer claims that he is the wizard Koschei of legend; others say that he is Auseklis Kazanov, born over 200 years ago in a village near Liepaja, Latvia. Records of his history are patchy, but connected with several pseudonyms, all involved with the darker side of magic and enacting terrible deeds. In the mid-nineteenth century, he attempted a mighty arcane working to plunge the world back into an ice age, a ritual that required the efforts of the entire Congery to fight. They discovered that Koschei, like his namesake, had made himself invulnerable by removing and concealing his lifeforce; the magicians were forced to banish him instead. It is suspected that Koschei found his way back to Earth during the Gateway Wars, and found a world far richer in warriors with the courage and strength to battle him - superheroes. He sought through the world's evildoers, and apparently settled on Gravastar as the most suitable partner.

Gravastar has little respect for magic and even less for Koschei's depravities, but tolerates him because of his indisputable power and because he makes the appropriate gestures of obsequiousness. He tends to remain subtly in the background, working warding spells to shield the Pantheon from their enemies and keep their bases secret. His formidable sorcerous powers in wielding frost and demonic energies make him a serious threat when he does emerge from the shadows, however.

Tartarus

Known more by his codename than his given one, Harkulez Kazanov, Koschei's son was created as little more than a pawn in his father's ambitions. The handsome young man is tormented by the arcane legacy that birthed him and keeps him enslaved to Koschei. Tartarus is a living vessel for a clutch of fiendish spirits, which he can release to do his (or more often, his father's) bidding and destroy his enemies. Then demons manifest as shadowy nightmares of claws, wings and toxic vapours, bound to Tartarus with glowing chains that allow him to exert a modicum of control. These creatures cause him perpetual pain while confined in his body, but he keeps them defiantly restrained to avoid harming the innocent.

Krode

A seven foot, albino, hairless Korean giant, Krode emerged from the sewers of Pyongyang. His genesis is unknown, but the most frequent rumours connect him with a Triland bioweapons research team operating under North Korean aegis. He tore a brutal path through the military forces arrayed against him, using his great strength and ability to exhale a gas that corroded all metals. By the time he had reached the DMZ, several South Korean and American supers had scrambled to meet him; it was Gravastar, however, that reached him first, and stepped in to protect him. Krode now serves as her fanatically loyal bodyguard and enforcer.

Blurr

Lionas Macerio was a world-champion runner, reaching Olympic gold in the 100 meters and marathon even before his powers emerged - at which point he became the platinum medal winner in the MetaOlympics, proving him as one of the fastest beings ever to live. His supreme arrogance allowed Gravastar to manipulate him, offering him lordship of humans and metahumans alike, and he became one of the Pantheon's most high-profile converts. He is a field leader and, along with Lunar, an influential spokesman for the group.

Lunar

A former comedian with minor powers of mental influence, Jocelyn MacGregor's true powers emerged when she was mocked and booed off stage at the Edinburgh Festival. Rage and indignation welled up in her, and she sent devastating beams of silver light slashing through the surrounding tents – and crowds. On the run from the police and various local heroes, Gravastar offered her sanctuary. Eventually, Lunar's charm and quick wits were put to use as the Pantheon's public relations and Metahuman Outreach Program director. Despite having significant destructive powers, she seeks to avoid combat.

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