Shadows Angelus is the name for a dark future where ancient magic, powers of the mind, and high technology mix in a city on the edge of tomorrow. The player characters defend the citizens of Angelus against demons from outside our own reality, cyber-criminals, rogue espers, black sorcery, and other threats.
In the year 2019, a massive earthquake tore apart the San Andreas fault-line and cast the entire state of California into the Pacific ocean. This cataclysmic event caused destruction and chaos across the globe–weather patterns produced erratic storms of unprecedented power, aftershock tremors plagued the northern hemisphere while tsunamis and typhoons lashed nearly every coastline on earth.
A massive salvage operation began in an effort to recover the vast industrial and technological resources of California’s undersea remains. As the salvaging began to show results, the operation became the foundation for a new city, suspended above the waves by fusion-powered stabilization “hydrolizers.” The city served not only as a mobile base for the salvage effort, it also became a symbol of the world’s recovery from the cataclysm. A significant portion of Japanese citizens relocated to Angelus, as the city became known, and brought with them the seeds for a settlement focused around high technology and heavy industry.
The city that these pioneering survivors founded became a center for the concentration of unusual people and artifacts. For one, human evolution had produced quantifiable psionic ability–known as Espers, these people were found in great numbers among the denizens of Angelus. For another, vast unexplainable phenomenon were appearing more and more after the cataclysm–these bizarre effects had been named true “magic,” and quite a few sorcerers capable of utilizing the arcane made their home in the city as well. In addition, artificial lifeforms known as “clades” (specialized clones built for specific purposes, often combining human and animal DNA) were considered as property and lacked many civil rights in many nations of the world–Angelus was one haven where the new lifeform could enjoy some security while battling for equal treatment.
To study these unique conditions, the floating city was expanded and became a teeming metropolis where the denizens of a battered Earth sent their best and brightest. As Angelus grew, it became known for technology, industry, learning, and danger… for where there is wealth and power there will always be predators. Some of these predators are human, criminals or pirates drawn to the technology and politics of the city. Others are called “Entities”–foul reality-rending and sanity-destroying creatures drawn from the Shadow World to collect souls for unknown reasons.
Against these threats, Angelus struggles to provide itself with defenders. A special police force was founded, collecting sorcerers, espers, cybernetically-enhanced agents, power armor pilots, and other uniquely talented individuals to keep the city safe. Other groups of salvage teams continue to plump the depths of an increasingly strange sea, encountering monsters of the deep and clues to solving the mystery of the broken seal. Still others fight the power-armored pirates who strike from high-tech seacarriers and island bases, ensuring Angelus’ resources do not go easily plundered.
Those who seek to protect Angelus are often called “Shadow Angels.” The player characters take on the roles of these Shadow Angels–this name encompasses many aspects of life in Angelus. PC’s can be members of the elite police force, XSWAT, and investigate cybercrime, fight off power-armored pirates, or deal with demons attacking from the slums in Omega Sector. PC’s can also be on a Salvage Team, delving deep below the waves to seek out hints regarding the history and purpose of the broken seal, all the while defending themselves from encounters with bizarre monsters and rival teams seeking glory and wealth. PC’s can form one of the many mercenary groups hired by the city as a deterrent to the pirates who attack from island bases and carrier ships, devising plans of attack to head off trouble and get down & dirty when a battle ensues. PC’s can also join one of the sneaky bands of rebels who challenge the overwhelming might of the corporations who control Angelus’ destiny, striking from the shadows to steal data, destroy dangerous experiments, and interfere with plans to turn every single human being into commodity to be bought and sold. Clades and Espers also have an underground within Angelus, struggling to find a place of acceptance and stability away from the threats of organized crime, prejudice, and corporate headhunter teams.
For the first two campaigns, the player characters in my games are all members of XSWAT, the elite police organization that serves as Angelus’ main defense against the Entities of the Shadow World–XSWAT is the thin blue line that stands between the city and soul-devouring demons from beyond our reality.