City of Villains Screenshots: Shivans of
October 24, 2005 —
NCsoft and Cryptic Studios
have released a set of screenshots from City of Villains, which is due for
release shortly. The screenshots and briefing document show off the Shivans
villain group, a group which plays an important role in the PvP zone Bloody Bay.
History of the Shivans
As their world collapsed around them, desperate
scientists fired thousands of probes into space warning of a massive entity
poised to devour their very world. The Arcosians knew that this scourge would
eventually reach other solar systems and hoped the tiny blue planet called Earth
could avoid the same catastrophic fate.
Hundreds of years later, Australian Kurrin Wirake
set out on a traditional pilgrimage along his ancestral songline, a dreaming
trek connecting the landscape of his aboriginal people to the mythic episodes
that occurred at specific locations during the ancient dreamtime. According to
his people, the Earth retains a memory of its own origin. This memory echoes
across the modern world and often manifests as a guruwari, or “seed of life.” It
was during his search for this vibratory echo of the Earth’s creation that
Kurrin instead found warning of its possible destruction. In the shadow of the
famous rock, Ularu, Kurrin uncovered one of the pods launched over 800 hundred
years before by the doomed Arcosians.
The pod might have remained in Kurrin’s remote
village forever if an Australian AWACS plane had not flown directly over it.
Performing a simple test flight, the Airborne Warning and Control System
surveillance equipment picked up an unusual signal emanating from Kurrin’s
village. The Australian military investigated and confiscated the pod from the
angry villagers, then called on allies from NASA to help decode its alien
The lead cryptologist, an Indian woman named
Seetha Neremanu, deciphered the code in a matter of hours. Dr. Neremanu
immediately alerted the UN Security Council that a gigantic planetary devourer
was heading our way. The thing’s name was unpronounceable in human speech, so
Dr. Neremanu named it Shiva, after the Hindu deity “Destroyer of Worlds”. Shiva,
Seetha added, would reach earth within a year.
With the help of secret alien technology owned by
the Russian government, the UN gathered a multi-national force of superheroes to
confront this imminent danger. Dr. Neremanu called this band of heroes Operation
Vishnu, the “Preservers”, which consisted of Russian, American, Chinese, and
French volunteers. Set to annihilate Shiva with a nuclear strike, Operation
Vishnu launched late in the summer of 1989.
A blast was detected and Shiva disappeared from
deep space detection system, but the heroes who guided the rocket to its final
target were never heard from again.
That same summer, the infamous meteor shower of
Bloody Bay began. It wreaked havoc on the island, causing not only direct damage
but radiation sickness and other, more sinister maladies as well. Perhaps
strangest of all, weird energy from the meteor formed around the corpses of the
dead and created protoplasmic entities filled with Shiva’s destructive rage.
Those few who know of Shiva wonder if these new creatures, the “Shivans”, are
somehow trying to reassemble the pieces and resurrect the Destroyer of Worlds.
Even more amazing, some of those who have
investigated the Shivans and their meteors claim that tendrils of the fragments
reach for miles across the island. There is some evidence that a giant tree near
the nexus of these tendrils might somehow be absorbing the energy, though what
this means none yet know.
In the wake of such destruction, Arachnos
evacuated those they could, then abandoned the rest The island lie in ruins for
many years, a stepchild left to rot by an uncaring Lord Recluse and an
international community too timid to enter his domain.
But recently, it was discovered the meteor
granted amazing properties. Some who were exposed to it even gained phenomenal
superpowers. Arachnos quickly returned in force, as did scores of desperate
explorers and excavators. Longbow could not allow Lord Recluse to have exclusive
control over such a powerful resource, and also sent in a team to cordon off the
island as a “humanitarian effort” to save those Arachnos had abandoned.
Now heroes and villains fight over the meteor
shards, collecting samples as freelance agents to avoid direct conflict between
Longbow and Arachnos that could touch off World War III. Unfortunately, this
limited engagement is dramatically slowing down research that might reveal if
the meteors are indeed pieces of Shiva, and why they are seemingly connecting to
the ancient tree at the isle’s center.
These mysteries must be solved, for if Shiva does
indeed reconstitute herself, she will certainly feed first on her host—Earth.