The Primacy


The origins of the Primacy stretch back to the darkest days of the Twentieth Century, in the decade following the Second World War. The great conflict had left superhero populations around the world severely thinned; the nature of war meant that the bravest, strongest and most practically-gifted had suffered the worst attrition. There were few left to help rebuild the war-scarred countries of Europe and the Far East, and those that remained often found that their isolation from others of their kind meant that they were easy prey for the machinations of the governments, most of which were in desperate need of proxies and supersoldiers to fight their new Cold War.

So, on a private Sri Lankan estate in 1956, a number of the world's most prominent experts on the occult, hyper-inventors, daredevils and those blessed and cursed with metahuman abilities met in secret. The most powerful beings on Earth were addressed by Joe Clockwork, the android that had recently escaped his Russian masters in order to seek a more just world. Before them, Joe and Professor Steele presented the idea of a worldwide team of superheroes, gathered from the elite and chosen, by necessity, through merit and ability alone to defend mankind from the ever-growing threats of natural disasters, mad science, alien invaders and power-hungry metahumans, and to uphold the rights and freedoms of people everywhere.

Many were swayed by these passionate words, even delivered as they were by a machine. Though some rejected the idea, those that remained included many of the most powerful and noble people of their time. They formed a league of heroes stationed around the world, sharing information and lending aid where needed to avert both world-threatening and local catastrophies. Being the first line of defence for the planet, they took the name the Primacy. In later years, the Primacy would face crises that would shake it to the philosophical core, but when it was established, it was without doubt the most prestigious and bold group of champions the world had ever seen.

The Primacy has had scores of members and associates over the years. The seven most prominent and powerful founders were:

Iosef Tochnyy

'Joe Clockwork', as he was more commonly known was (and perhaps still is) the most advanced robot ever built… and all the more remarkable because he was constructed in 1899, 21 years before Czech playwright Karel Capek even coined the word robot. Created by Nikolai Tesla, Joe had spent the best part of the century dismantled in a catacomb beneath St. Petersberg, but was rebuilt by the Soviets during the war to lend aid to the defence of Mother Russia. After the war, he did all he could to distance himself from the totalitarian madness of Stalin. Joe Clockwork's android durability and brilliant analytical synthetic mind, combined with his ability to project beams of teleforce for assault and protection made him an excellent member of the nascent Primacy. But it was his more-than-human courage and kindness that he is most remembered for. Joe resigned from the Primacy in the mid 70's, and quickly faded from public view. Few believe that the unaging robot hero has met his final end, however.

Professor Jonah Steele

The very archetype of the inventor-scientist-explorer-athlete, Jonah Steele is the only one of the original Primacy core members to maintain an active public role. During the early years of the 20th century, he explored the last few unknown corners of the globe and worked with the most brilliant minds of the age, from Rutherford and Einstein to Oppenheimer and Chandrasekhar, often pushing then to the very bounds of science in pursuit of greater understanding. Though he celebrated his 130th birthday in 2010, his patented Revitalising Solution has ensured that neither his body nor mind have suffered the full ravages of age. Prof. Steele is the British government's chief advisor on all matters of exotic technology, inexplicable events, and, in his own words, the 'bloody rum and queer'.

Ti Lung

Known as 'Earth Dragon' or 'Undermine' in the west, Ti Lung was a master of earth and stone. His powers proved as useful in rebuilding cities and landscapes around the world as they had in fighting the Japanese invaders during the war, but enemies of peace soon learned to fear the strength of his stalagmite bursts as well. Ti Lung died slowly but peacefully; over the years he slowly petrified, becoming one with the substance of the world he loved, and now his statue stands in a park in he heart of Beijing surrounded by a perpetual springtime.

Madam Rosary

Abbess of the Sisterhood of the Arcane Verities, Madam Rosary was the Vatican's foremost magician. With full access to the Library of Banned Books, she was able to muster formidable magical powers against the many supernatural threats the Primacy had to deal with. The Australian-born nun died in 1982, after a long battle with cancer that her own sorcery was unable to cure. She was soon after beatified, and is remembered in the prayers of the countless thousands she helped during her life.


The German 'Haste', the fastest man alive in his day was a conscientious objector during the War. This, of course, made him an enemy of the Nazi party. He was imprisoned and experimented upon as the Nazis sought to create more ubermenschen for their armies. Released after the war, he devoted the remaining period of his life to fighting those kinds of violations of human dignity. After using his preturnatural speed in the Primacy's cause for many years, he had to retire after being crippled by an evil temporal duplicate of himself created by Dr. Zeit. Eile finally lost his life to the bullet of a fanatical Zionist who blamed all Germans for the Holocaust. Though wounded, Eile still had more than enough speed to avoid the shot had he chosen to; and yet he did not.


Daughter of a secret prehuman lineage, the woman who came to be called 'Strong Peace' was a dynamic adventurer who emerged from a staid society into an optimistic but perilous time. Though she began by helping with the infrastructure developments and concomitant accidents in her home region of Ghana and helping the victims of natural disasters across the Gold Coast, she eventually travelled north to test her peak human physical aptitudes and nigh-magical technology against the Germans in North Africa. The war and contact with other heroes broadened her horizons and only increased her drive to give aid where it was needed. Adwokumi's work with the Primacy was excitement enough to keep her busy for decades, until she and her husband decided to move on.


Gazing through his telescope one night, Argentine astronomer Rodrigo Castenda observed a strange spatial distortion arcing through the cosmos – and veering straight towards him, as if attracted by his awareness. Struck by a modulated beam of what would come to be called scalar energy, his consciousness was inundated with the knowledge and soul of an alien being. The interloper, Gantiath was a savage and reckless scientist from another universe, no less, flung into the Primeverse as an energy signature by one of his own experiments. With Gantiath's inspiration, Castenda developed the theory of scalar energy, though he was never able to stablise it enough to suit his reserved nature. When an earthquake struck the observatory, trapping him along with dozens of colleagues and visiting students, however, he set aside his caution and donned the Magnitude Harness of his own design, bolstering his size and strength to hold the crumbling building up and press for freedom. Unlike many of his contemporaries Titan, as he came to be called, was never involved in the war, though he found plenty of need for both his size-gaining powers and genius dealing with the conflict's fallout, criminals, disasters and the odd minor alien invasion. He was always struggling with himself, too; the more scalar energy he channelled the more his personality veered towards Gantiath's, a wild side that attracted Adwokumi to him, and eventually lead them to leave their comrades in the Primacy and the Earth itself behind, vanishing through a macrocosmic transporter after a suitable heroic send-off.

Early Triumphs and Loses

The first threat of a magnitude comparable to their own that the Primacy faced was a quartet of diabolical villains called simply the Dark Lords. Eversor, Tenebrae, Nocturn and Tristram were shadowy eminences of the worlds of crime and politics. Perhaps the most powerful men an/or women of their age, they wielded many different weapons and powers at different times - sometimes they pursued mad science and robotics to wage their war against humanity, at other times they delved deep into the darkest sorceries, while at other times their powers seemed to be inherent. Always they were cloaked behind layers of bribery, deception and falsehood. Unlike the villains of earlier years, who were driven by greed or political ideology, the Dark Lords were nihilistic philosophers of evil. They caused suffering simply because they thought it the best thing to do. Every life ruined, every thing destroyed, every tear shed was a thesis and statement of their belief in utter malice as the way of the universe and the inevitable destiny of the species.

It took many years for the Primacy to come face to black-cowled face with the Dark Lords. At first, the masters of evil remained in the background, brewing vile plots and plans through countless layers of proxies and pawns. The Primacy foiled the Dark Lords' attempt to start a genocidal war in Saudi Arabia, but didn't uncover the true identities of the instigators. Likewise, they never drew a connection between the flying mechanical locusts that dropped rinderpest spores across Brazil and Argentina and the living plague farms they purged from Java. Eventually, though, enough clues were assembled for the villains to be located in a secret catacomb beneath Zurich. Before they could act, however, the Primacy were subjected to a pre-emptive strike. Their base, which was at that time the Skyfortress, a massive floating complex that sailed around the world's atmosphere as needed, was stormed by soldiers under the influence of psychoactive drugs, and swarms of conjured demonlings. Though the Primacy easily neutralised these minor threats, they were distracted long enough for the Dark Lords to appear and attack from hiding. One of the heroes, the Canadian ursomorphic strongman Kodiak was slain by the cowardly ambush and cunning tactics of the Dark Lords. The Primacy regrouped and retaliated, capturing Nocturn. Before they fled, however, the Dark Lords murdered their former colleague without compunction. After this defeat, the supervillains sunk into obscurity, and troubled the world no more.

The public was never really aware of the threat or cost that the Dark Lords had wreaked on the world of its heroes. In general, however, this was the time of their greatest acclaim. For all the good works the Primacy did, fighting crime and metaterrorism, advocating for causes that promoted global justice and their tireless efforts at aid work, the world's population almost universally loved them. Being seen to oppose the Primacy was a sure way to earn the ire of the electorate, so the governments of most free nations were likewise well-inclined towards them. At least on the surface, these were simpler times. They were not entirely free from loss, however.

Another group of villains remains active, despite early defeats by the Primacy. In 1975, the world was ravaged by an epidemic of coordinated natural disasters. A sandstorm tore across Morocco, burying entire villages in the dust and almost scouring the capital of life. In Bangladesh, the monsoons came in the wrong season and fell only where they chose, delivering drought and flooding with an uneven hand to maximise suffering. The ground itself burst into flame in Australia as underground coal seams caught light, impossible geological forces pushing the hot, smoking earth into major settlements and across farmland. The Primacy rushed to contain these disasters, and at each one they found a living human infused with the energies of the catastrophe, summoning and guiding the forces of destruction as one might unleash a favoured pet. The Furies, as this ever-changing army of living disasters is called, have reappeared many times throughout the years. They have claimed more lives from the ranks of the Earth's foremost than any other faction, but in return their own attrition rate has been appalling.

The Gateway Wars

In 1979, Professor Gateway joined the Primacy. With both Prof. Steele and Joe Clockwork having recently resigned, the world was in desperate need of a scientific genius prepared to stand on the front lines of global defence. Gateway fulfilled this role admirably; with his translocation belt and ability to summon objects and forces to attack the Primacy's foes, he could more than handle himself in a fight, and few could equal his analytical mind when it came to researching new threats or better ways to defend against existing ones. The Iranian born Faramarz Nasiri initially studied to be a mullah, but later turned from practising his faith formally to embrace what he found a more fulfilling calling; dimensional mathematics, and later heroism.

His growing madness would one day threaten to tear the world apart at the seams.

Gateway's instability first manifested as portophobia, a fear of doors; a manifestation of a philosophical loathing of the very idea of limitations. Each night, he would get out of bed and prowl the halls of the Primacy's Skyfortress, opening every door he could find. Galvanic, at that time a wet-behind-the-ears recruit was given the task of making sure that at least the main hangar entrance and security doors remained locked after the Professor's obsessive-compulsive excursions. The team tolerated what they saw as a harmless foible because he was otherwise an intelligent, urbane man whose courage and humanitarianism they came to rely on.

Gateway's inventions changed the very way the Primacy operated. In 1981, he unveiled the first part of the teleportal network, allowing the heroes to respond to crises across the globe in mere moments. The teleportals proved their worth when the Fury Atomocaust left a wake of destruction across the south central United States. Medical aid was able to to brought in instantly and survivors evacuated in unprecedented numbers. His creations were the first reliable mass teleporters ever built, and they immediately became the focus of much naked greed and ambition from governments, corporations and supervillains. The world's greatest had many new enemies to deal with. They never expected the worst to be one of their own.

In 1985, as the Primacy was celebrating the opening of a new wing of the teleportal network, the device began to malfunction, opening and closing with random connections to others in the grid. It finally settled in a configuration no one had ever seen before. From the swirling doorway came a man clad in gleaming ceramic-steel lorica segmentata, carrying an electro-enhanced pilum, and carrying a satellite uplinked battle standard. With a roar, he and ten thousand of his legion-mates charged into battle for the glory of the Interstellar Roman Empire. The first battle of the Gateway Wars had begun.

The professor from which the wars took their name disappeared during the chaos, but the world soon became horrifically familiar with his methods. At first the effect was confined to existing teleportals, but soon rifts began forming anywhere and everywhere. Across the world, people were assaulted by invading monsters, aliens, and an influx of parallel realities. The Primacy scrambled to mount a defence, but found themselves being spread ever thinner and thinner as the number of attacking beings and locations grew. Ascendant, the then leader of the group, called upon every able-bodied superhero on Earth to lend their aid to local defence, one of the global battalions, or the continuous and overwhelmed damage control effort.

For five years the world was wracked by random, terrifying superpowered battles, disappearances and inexplicable phenomena. The Gateway Wars went through many stages; sometimes, Gateway's forces were allied with the Furies, the Khans, the Freak Krew and various other malevolent or mercenary villainous groups and freelancers. Still others took the opportunities to mount crimewaves of unprecedented magnitude. The Primacy too had to seek allies; the teamed up with the Congery, the Tellran family, the newly-formed Pact and even, on occasion, alt-real duplicates of themselves.

The Gateway Wars finally ended when the professor's lair, an extradimensional base called the Hub was discovered and his plans came to light. As the ultimate step of his portophobia, Gateway planned to cast Earth's metaspatial 'doors' wide open, dropping every dimensional safeguard or barrier and allowing free access to the entire multiverse… in both directions. The world, potentially the entire universe would dissolve into a coterminus expanse with every other.

Gathering the most resolute fighters from amongst both friends and those enemies with a vested interest in not destroying the universe in a shaky alliance, the Primacy engaged in a cataclysmic battle with Gateway in the heart of the Hub. The madman summoned deadly beings and forces from across the universe, assaulting the Primacy with solar flares, event horizons, chthonian worms from the planet's core and Taroxian sabre-beasts. There were dozens of casualties on the Primacy's side, but they at last forced Gateway to retreat through a portal, which he destroyed behind him. Flushed with triumph even at such cost, the villainous recruits declined to turn against the Primacy, and everyone retired to the new, tentative peace outside to lick their wounds and begin rebuilding.

Damage from the Gateway Wars still lingers in some places. Half of Jerusalem is walled off after it was merged with an alternate reality in which Armageddon had already taken place; the city streets ring with the moans of trapped ghosts, and demons stalk the shadows. A 20 kilometre wide swathe of the Gobi desert is a no-go zone, because unstable patches of reality shimmer in and out of being. A traveller could lose a limb or a life in a collapsing spatial pocket. Denmark is dotted with ruins from one of the more surreal incidents,when two textual dimensions intermingled and attacked the country, transforming it briefly into the Marxist State of Denmark, under the melancholy lifelong ruler the People's Prince Hamlet.

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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