The Civil Engagement is a Steampunk Superhero setting whose backdrop is the American Civil War (1861-1865). The action primarily takes place east of the Mississippi River. Individuals with strange mystical or scientific abilities fight on both sides of the war, and there are also those who try their best to stay out of it.
The setting was created during Episode 5.
Unlike many of our settings, the Civil Engagement focuses on specific individuals in whose hands the future lies.
One of the United States’ first publicly known superheroes was the Sergeant-Major, a “super soldier” who rose to prominence as a reaction to the success of Colonel Dixie in the South. He commands a platoon of cavalry from the back of a mechanical horse. He carries a pair of Colt Dragoons and an electrified cavalry saber known as the “terrible, swift sword.”
Much of the North’s strange, new defense technology is developed and maintained by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which has been charged to do whatever might be necessary to act in the Union’s defense. Aside from their regular offices, the Pinkertons have a base located on an airship. The dirigible acts as a mobile headquarters for Allen Pinkerton, the head of the Agency, who is said to carry a specially-developed lightning gun.
The Pinkertons’ airship is also a launching base for the Tuskeegee Airmen. Originally escaped slaves from Tuskeegee, Alabama, the Airmen provide the Union with a significant advantage in reconnaissance and surprise maneuvers. Each Airman sports an experimental jetpack, allowing him to fly faster than the speediest ornithopter.
Many of the inventions being used by the North have been designed by the still-living Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Franklin wears a metallic frame that he created long ago to stop his aging and prolong his life through strategically applied surges of electricity. He is employed by the Pinkertons, who develop and distribute many of his “technological wonders” for the war effort – though Dr. Franklin is sometimes of the opinion that they’re also his wardens, maintaining a constant watch over him in an effort to keep him out of trouble. Among other things, Franklin is responsible for the design of the Sergeant-Major’s sword and the Tuskeegee Airmen’s jetpacks.
The best-known super-powered individual in the South is Colonel Dixie. He possesses considerable mental powers that allow him to control people’s minds as well as read their surface thoughts and emotions. He is also known for his ability to create mental illusions, something he’s used to considerable advantage on the battlefield. The model of a Southern gentleman, the Colonel carries a cane and often dresses in a white coat and tails.
While Dixie is a member of the Confederate military and many seek to follow his example, there are a number of private citizens who also fight for the Southern cause. Among them are a group known as the Daughters of the Confederacy.
It is known that there are three Daughters, each possessing her own different abilities. The first is an empath called The Belle, a masterful manipulator who has the ability to control people’s emotions. The second is Scarlett, who is skilled in a number of close combat techniques and possesses superhuman agility. The third is known as the Veil, a lady skilled in the art of stealth who has the ability to change shape and impersonate virtually any individual.
The secrecy of their identities is aided by the fact that they are not truly a group of three, but seven. They are made up of two sets of twins and a set of triplets. An unknown mystical entity has granted them their powers, but there is a catch: only one from each set of sisters can use the powers at any one time, and the abilities pass back and forth between them. So, they each take turns as their super-powered personae.
Another private citizen who supports the cause of the Confederacy is an inventor by the name of Beauregard (or “Beau”) Poseidon. He is an eccentric contractor who comes from a wealthy family and is the primary gadgeteer for the CSA. Poseidon is also the shipwright of the South’s Ironclads and possesses his own submarine vessel. For his own protection he carries a number of personal devices of his own creation, including an electrified trident.
Occupying the Disputed Territories is a neutral group of super-powered individuals who try to limit the damage done on both sides of the war. Their membership consists of a core of six members dedicated to the cause of peace.
Major Ursa is a former member of the military who left for the territories shortly before the war. He has been granted the power of the Totem of the Bear. When he calls on it, he gains the Bear’s super strength.
The Acadian is a French fur trapper from the former Louisiana Territory. He is a master at both laying traps and disarming them.
Rolling Butte is a geomancer. He has the ability to call on the power of the Earth and can manipulate it to do his bidding. He can command all forms of rock and dirt to aid in the defense of himself and his comrades.
The Medicine Woman is a wizened lady with the power to heal. There are many times that she has brought her teammates back from the brink of death.The final member of the group is the Maiden, also known as the Maid of Orleans. Like the Acadian, she is also French, and she is rumored to be the reincarnation Joan of Arc. She has the ability to summon up a holy sword and shield made of pure energy.