Notes from Freedom City setting for Warcry
- 1 Warcry
- 2 Personality
- 3 Physical Appearance
- 4 Villainous Motivations
- 5 Allegiance
- 6 History &
- 7 Battle Tactics
- 8 3x5 NPCs, Locations and Organizations
- 9 Collectors' Notes
She names herself Cihuacoatl; her subjects call her She-Whose-Cry-Announces-War; the rest of the world refers to her as "Warcry". But she was born Esperanza Juarez Guerrero, of father unknown, to Anunciación Juarez Guerrero, a young nurse who worked in rural cummunities of the Guatemalan hinterland. It was obvious from the day she was born that Esperanza was not like the other kids — her pallid skin betrayed her Atlantean origin, though her mother took the secret to an early grave. Perhaps because of her status as a loner, Esperanza grew up to be at once fiercely self-reliant, and protective of those she perceives as underdogs.
Esperanza believes that the Space Gods returned to Earth, and one of them was her father. She claims to be the avatar of a pre-Columbian war goddess, come back to free her people from their misery and oppression. Until recently, that made her sound insane, but as she developed her super-powers, few people were interested in debating the issue. She used her powers to carve herself some territory in the Guatemalan mountains, and instituted a sort of benevolent autocracy. Though she is megalomaniac, she is fair to those she takes under her protection.
When the aliens arrived, the idea of Space Gods was suddenly not so outlandish anymore. Esperanza, or rather Cihuacoatl, had little love for her unknown father as it was; now she feels her destiny is to wrest the Star Khan and Grue's powers from their greedy hands and be her people's champion. And perhaps "her" people is all of Earth's? For now, she is willing to work with "The Band of Steel" — Doctor Steel, Madame Shade, Boneyard, Carnivore, Noise, then Whiplash and Man'O War... A new pantheon.
Cihuacoatl / Warcry
PL: 10 (156 pp)
ABILITIES: STR: 10 (0) DEX: 20 (+5) CON: 20 (+5) INT: 15 (+2) WIS: 15 (+2) CHA: 20 (+5)
SKILLS: Acrobatics 4 (+9), Bluff 4 (+9), Climb 2 (+2), Computers 1 (+3), Concentration (+2), Diplomacy 1 (+6), Disguise (+5), Drive 1 (+6), Escape Artist (+5), Gather Info (+5), Handle Animal (+5), Intimidate 5 (+10), Investigate 4 (+6), Arcane Lore 4 (+6), Medicine 4 (+6), Notice 8 (+10), Oratory 2 (+7), Ride 1 (+6), Search (+2), Sense Motive 4 (+6), Stealth (+5), Survival 4 (+6), Swim 1 (+1)
FEATS: Attack Specialization (3), Defensive Attack, Improved Initiative (1), Uncanny Dodge, Distract (1), Critical Strike, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Taunt, Contacts, Improved Critical (1), Elusive Target, Precise Shot (2), Redirect, Equipment (6), Assessment
POWERS: *Blast: "Smoking Mirror"  - DC:25:tough, *Flight , *Telepathy , *Protection , *Mind Shield 
COMBAT: Attack 4 [Blast: "Smoking Mirror" +10 (Lethal)] Defense 4 (4 flat-footed) Init 20
SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 7 Reflex 7 Will 7
DRAWBACKS: Vulnerable -vs. Dark Energy [Freq DC 5] [Sev DC 15], Noticeable -Energy shimmer [Freq DC 15] [Sev DC 5]
COMPLICATIONS: Honor, Responsibility
Abilities 40 + Skills 13 (52 ranks) + Feats 24 + Powers 48 + Combat 28 + Saves 9 – Drawbacks -6 = 156 / 156
Ambitious but honourable, driven by the conviction that she has a destiny and a responsibility to rule for the good of the people. She is loyal to allies, but unforgiving toward enemies — particularly if they are not honourable themselves. She hates a slimy villain.
Esperanza/Warcry sports long dark hair, and black eyes with occasional flecks of gold. Her skin is somewhat moist-looking and paler than usual in her homeland, an inheritance of her unknown Atlantean father. She is quite attractive, and her sharp cheekbones and nose clearly show her native ancestry as well. Her bearing is depending on perspective, proud, regal, or arrogant.
In her Warcry persona, she wears a resplendent, ornate Aztec costume with an elaborate feathered headdress. Though no one has ever seen her dress or transform and thus it's not clear whether the nature of the costume is arcane or mundane, it has been noted that the costume is not exactly the same from appearance to appearance. This may be intentional by the authors or may be an oversight from the artist and colorist.
She believes she is the reincarnation of an Aztec goddess, with a responsibility toward her people and a destiny to rule. Her megalomania is tempered by a sense of noblesse oblige, but she is ruthless in her opposition to those she sees as oppressors. Before the arrival of the Grue, she concentrated her attacks on multinational corporations exploiting the native peoples and natural resources of Central America as well as any would-be dictators (other than herself, anyway).
First and foremost, she is loyal to "her people". This was at first the poor native people of Central America, but she has since expanded that concept to anyone she takes under her protection. She is also loyal to allies and has already formed a certain esteem for the haphazardly assembled members of The Band of Steel. In case of doubt, she tends to side with the underdog.
Esperanza Juarez Guerrero worked as a visiting nurse practitioner in the poorest rural areas of Guatemala, high in the mountains. On one visit to a particularly remote village, she found the inhabitants mourning over the bodies of three villagers who had visibly been beaten to death. With much questioning, she learned that the village had lately been pressured by armed agents of a large logging and mining corporation, both to give up their claims on nearby land and to supply manpower for miserable pay. The villagers added that the bodies had been found the day before by two young shepherds; the youngest, no more than ten years old, had run away from the site in terror and had not been seen since. Those villagers who could be spared were looking for him, but few could take time away from the meagre harvest.
Esperanza, once her duties were discharged, decided to help look for the missing boy rather than return to the dispensary she worked with, down in the lowlands. She was literally seething with anger at the recent events, and could not bear to ignore them. She took her beaten old truck as far up on the dirt roads as she dared, then shouldered her backpack and walked to the area where the shepherd boy has pastured his goats. After examining the place where the three bodies had been found, she continued past, up the mountain, in the direction the other boy had indicated.
Acting on a mere hunch she would later describe as an "itch" in her head, Esperanza followed signs that were too faint to be called tracks, up and up the mountains. She was carried by her anger, far past the point where she should have turned back. She had heard tales of ruins up in the mountains, tales the villagers would never share with outsiders — but Esperanza, strange as she was, shared links of Indian blood with them. She thought the boy might have decided to hide in the ruins until the corporate mercenaries were long gone.
She finally reached the ruins just past sundown, in a locked valley craddled high in the mountains, and had to hunker down for the night rather than risk injury in the dark. Several times that night she thought she heard strange sounds and voices, but every time she awoke in a sweat despite the cold, she was unable to find any sign of what had woken her. At last, the sun broke over the edge of the eastern valley wall and revealed Esperanza's surroundings. It seemed to her as if, at the touch of the sun, every stone started singing in a separate voice. The sun's rays brushed the only structure still half-standing, a temple atop a set of badly damaged stairs. Esperanza rose, almost hypnotized, and approached the steps leading to the temple. She climbed over the cracked stones, past the wild encroaching growth, to the altar at the top.
As she reached the summit, blood from her scratched and cut hands dripped in the chacmool. A blinding light flooded the altar platform, and Esperanza felt her consciousness almost ripped from her body. In a single moment at once of perfect understanding and utter chaos, she felt herself change. She claims that she learned then that she was the avatar of Cihuacoatl, the Aztec goddess whose cry announces war. According to her, Quetzalcoatl himself spoke to her and told her was entrusting her with a weapon he had wrested from Tezcatlipoca, god of night, temptation and war.
As Cihuacoatl, she felt her body fill with strength and power. Without thinking, she took flight and revelled in her new abilities. From the air, it became easy to find the missing boy who, hidden in the ruins, had just witnessed her transformation with awe. She descended and approached him as he fell to his knees. She convinced him to return to the village, and watched over him from above.
But as she kept watch over the boy, she spotted the mercenaries as they broke camp in a valley far below. Filled again with rage, she launched an attack, using for the first time the power of the gods. From this day on, she claimed an ever increasing area as hers to protect, kicking out multinationals and military forces.
Warcry tries to take full advantage of her manoeuverability in flight. She tends to use fly-by strafing attacks and evasive flight defence. Her main attack is a blast of blinding light she calls the Smoking Mirror, the weapon of the Aztec warrior god Tezcatlipoca. The blast also produces a sound like a deafening howl or keening cry, which earned Warcry her nom de guerre and can have an intimidating or demoralising effect on less experienced foes.
The Smoking Mirror
The Smoking Mirror was the weapon of the Aztec god
Tezcatlipoca (and the term is also used to refer to the god himself, as
it is a literal translation of his name.) Tezcatlipoca is the
antithesis of Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent; what the Feathered
Serpent stood for in life, in love, and in luminosity, the Smoking
Mirror reversed as the god of night, of darkness, and of deception. Quetzalcoatl wrested the Smoking Mirror from
Tezcatlipoca, which reversed the mirror to light rather than darkness,
and eventually gave it to Cihuacoatl (Warcry) to use on behalf of the
people they protect. Warcry is vulnerable to dark energies, which share
the nature of Tezcatlipoca; should they take the Smoking Mirror from her
(e.g., drain, absorb or steal her blast power), it would return to its
previous nature as a weapon of darkness. It's the essence of the
weapon/power to focus and reflect the energies of the wielder.
3x5 NPCs, Locations and Organizations
- Simeon Juarez Escudero, her grandfather, who raised her after her mother's death. A dour, severe, but honourable old man and a devoted catholic, horrified with his grand-daughter's blasmemous pretentions to godhead, who nevertheless still loves her.
- Dr. Madelene Emmerling, a Dutch-born archaeologist studying mesoamerican civilizations. After an inauspicious start when Warcry thought Emmerling had reached Chantico in order to plunder her people's cultural resources or to spy on behalf of some enemy, the two became friends. Madelene Emmerling is a short, blonde, forty-ish woman with startling blue eyes and gold-rimmed glasses, an easy laugh, and nerves of steel. She is extremely well-read and fluent in a dozen languages.
- Tomas Panitzin Ballestero, a Guatemalan mestizo agronomist who used to work in the hinterlands to help small communities farm more efficiently. He is now the administrator of Chantico in Warcry's absence, as well as a close friend and someone she can rely on to pass messages to other people discreetly.
- Baraka, a super-villain from Algeria. Baraka, like Warcry, is classified as a villain because she works entirely within the law she sets for herself rather than the "law of the land." Baraka has the ability to manipulate probabilities on a quantum level. She hunts down warlords, criminals, slave traders, weapons dealers, pirates, etc. — and makes sure that they meet with an unpleasant end. She and Warcry are friends and partenered up on a couple of fights back before the invasion.
- Manuelita Perez Thompson, a muckraking journalist who compiles information on corporate corruption and abuse, and occasionaly supplies Warcry with useful information. Manuelita started by working for the financial section of the L.A. Times, then moved up to the Wall Street Journal, eventually becoming completely fed up with corporate greed. She left to write a whistle-blower book that was successful with left-wing readers, and used the money to found her own independent magazine and Web site, based out of Eagar, Arizona (population: 4,265) — a decision that appeared wise a few years later, after the alien invaders leveled most large cities.
- Rob Zinser, a hacker and fan of all things occult or bizarre, who styles himself a Fortean investigator. Rob's idea of a career is to emulate the X-Files' "Lone Gunmen", but with better fashion sense. In the last two years, he has been accumulating as much information as he could on the Star Khan and the Grue.
- Paul "Pal" Palinski, a smuggler, fixer, and all-around deal-broker hooked up with the Russian, Sicilian, and Jewish mafia. Despite his unsavoury connections, Pal somehow manages to stay clean himself, and will often turn down deals without giving a reason. His sense of business — or perhaps more arcane, unadvertised abilities — have kept him alive despite this. A good go-to guy when one wants to find something or someone unusual.
- Jack Donald, CEO of StarBase Coffee, who cut his teeth by rising through the ranks of Albertson's, Bromwell's Department Stores, and Harvest Supermarkets corporate sharks. His tactic of employing super-villains to stage fights near competing coffee outlets in order to clear the way for new StarBase stores is notorious, and he refuses to use Fair Trade-certified shade-grown organic goods for more than a fraction of the company's coffees and teas -- which he marks up by an extra 25%. Of course, in his secret identity as Dark Roast, he too now battles the Star Khan and the Grue, which makes things awkward at SHADOW meetings.
- Eskil Diaab Prasutagus, the alien with whom Warcry fought during the original series published by Savage Worlds Comics (a V'sori in the original series, retroactively changed to a Khan in the more recent series published by Mutants & Masterminds Comics). He has not forgiven Warcry for defeating him — and made sure none of the guards who were present survived the battle.
- Shattenfürst (Shadow Prince), a.k.a. Sieghardt Haussmann, son of a Nazi super-villain and current ruler of a jungle kingdom in Uruguay. His father, Wilhelm Haussmann (code name Shattenkönig), was an übermensch created during one of the secret experiments of 1930s Germany; when the Third Reich lost the war, he escaped to a Nazi colony in Uruguay and installed himself as ruler. Haussmann's son Sieghardt later took over. The Haussmanns have both benefited from an expanded life span thanks to the super-serum that reated them, and for decades were active collaborators of Operation Condor. Shattenfürst constantly shows utter contempt for the "traitor" Overshadow, for "non-Aryans", and for the "weak" in general. He and Warcry have had spectacular aerial fights over the fate of native populations in Central and South America; Warcry is partly vulnerable to Shattenfürst's dark energy powers.
- Chantico, the City-State domain she carved from the Guatemalan highlands. As the Aztec goddess Cihuacoatl, she had her people rebuild the ancient city that had lain in ruins around the mysterious temple where she received her birthright and her powers. Size: Awesome (6); Toughness 15 (2); Features: Isolated, Living Space (2) (Total cost: 10).
- Mystic Islands Lair, a hiding spot in the Mystic Islands of Great Bay, NJ. Warcry can easily fly there, but otherwise access is by boat only, through a maze of wetland channels in the Mullica River delta. The site is part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, but that is hardly a concern now under Khanate rule. Size: Medium (1); Toughness 5 (0); Features: Concealed, Isolated, Dock, Living Space (also known as a shack) (4) (Total cost: 5).
- The Dead Zone, a region of the Great Bay which seems invisible to satellites and impassable to overflights. Warcry suspects it may contain a Stellar Khanate base; she has so far been unable to get past its forcefield without using brute force.
- The Band of Steel, a loose cooperation of former super-villains now working with the Overshadow and his SHADOW cells to organize the resistance against the Stellar Khanate invaders and their Grue minions. Warcry has a somewhat unorthodox take on the Band of Steel: she sees them as reflections of the Aztec gods: Boneyard = Mictlantecuhtli the god of death, Madame Shade = Coatlicue the sorceress, Doctor Steel = Quetzalcoatl the artificer, Noise = Ehecatl the god of the winds, Carnivore = Tlaloc the monster with nasty sharp pointy teeth. Let's see what she'll make of Whiplash and Man'O War.
- Global Exchange, an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world. Before leveling corporate headquarters, Warcry always verifies whether the megacorp supports fair trade and workers' rights. The righteous are spared, the greedy punished. Warcry works with Global Exchange to set up cooperatives of coffee, cacao, and yerba mate growers in Central America.
- Opus Dei, spiritual heir of the Spanish Inquisition, has been keeping a close watch on Warcry. She embodies the sacrilegious claim of the heathen Native gods which the Inquisition fought for over 350 years in the Americas. Perhaps the Opus Dei may have relaxed its attitude since the alien invasion... but probably not. After all, isn't the invasion a sign that God has turn his back on humanity because of mankind's wickedness? Someone like Warcry may be exactly what's wrong.
It has been pointed out by others that Warcry closely resembles a villainous version of Marvel Comics' Thor. While the character never displayed the panache of characters such as Doctor Steel, Boneyard or Carnivore, merchandising turned out to be successful due largely to Warcry's visual appeal and the interchangeable, collectible Aztec outfits that would be produced by Stahl Toys. Michelle Rae has reportedly been discussed for the role in the upcoming live-action movie.
There has been much discussion about Warcry's pseudo-Aztec trappings since the character first appeared; it has been pointed out that the character should properly be Mayan, which would tie in with the "Space Gods" theme even better (q.v. the discussion dedicated to the Palenque "paleo-astronaut" in Erich von Däniken's book "Chariots of the Gods"), but the authors felt that "Aztec" would have better recognition with the general public than "Mayan".
Similarly, Warcry's "Smoking Mirror" should really be called "Itlachiayaque", the true name of Tezcatlipoca's weapon. However, it was felt by authors that this would not sound as good to readers and would be harder to remember, let alone pronounce.