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What is the full story of Praetoria?

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I've played this game a lot back when it was live and now when it's emulated. But there was one thing I never got to the bottom of, never explored fully and failed to find any information on across the internet. It's the full story of Praetoria, from start to finish. I'm playing through as many Praetorian Arcs in Ouroboros as I can, but it's taking a lot of time and it feels like I'm not following it in a way that was intended which only makes the lore more difficult to grasp.

 

What I have gathered so far is that;

  • The Hamidon decimated Praetorian Earth and anything under Emperor Coles Empire is the last remaining bastion of civilization, he defeated the Hamidon?
  • Every need of every citizen is cared for namely by the Clockwork, it's an oppressive regime but there is an uprising- the Resistance.
  • Ground water is contaminated by the Hamidon, so everyone drinks Enriche?
  • Praetoria loses the battle against the Hamidon?
  • At some point Praetorians invade Primal Earth? For what reason/motivations?

 

If anyone has any good links or videos that cover the lore I'd appreciate it, or if you're willing to dedicate the time to put things in writing. I guess this feeds in to the actual story of City of Heroes which despite playing all this time the story of the game sometimes evades me, prior to Going Rogue it just seemed like Red vs Blue, but with Going Rogue things seemed to of gotten a lot more complicated.

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One thing that is an early secret the Undeground Incarbate Trial uncovers.. Cole didn't beat Hamidon. He cut a deal to try and prove humanity could be controlled and non destructive. This appears to be post First Ward construction.

 

Cole either decided or was informed as Primal Earth discovered Praetorian Earth, the 'uncontrolled' humanity still organized into nation states and hero/villain fights on Primal Earth risked breaking the deal.

 

Tyrant having a plan to conquer makes me personally suspect his real plan was more around moving somewhere away from Hamidon, or knowing Praetoria was inherently unstable.  He may not have admitted to himself. Or the Well pushed the situation somehow. 

 

Praetoria was originally evil Freedom Phalanx but got richer with Going Rogue. Some is mentioned in universe as Portal Corps getting more information.

 

Also there is a sewer exploration badge, where the Enriche plant draws water from the same source as the Praetoria mains. It is quite possibly drugged.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I played a bit more of the later missions- specifically the (Solo Story) missions where you play as Tyrant and Anti-Matter but I'm still really confused on why Praetorians invaded Primal Earth? How successful was that attack? What was the outcome of it?

 

I'm guessing from piecing together the few bits I know that Praetorians invaded Primal Earth because Primal Earth invaded Praetoria first, it seemed like a retaliation, I heard also that some Praetorian "Heroes" (as in Signature Heroes, not Player Heroes) are locked up? It's all very confusing.

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A lot of this is Paragon Wiki to make sure I got this right:

 

So the big starting point for all this is Tina MacIntyre and Maria Jenkins; these versions of the arcs are updated from Issue 18 and reflect to some degree the earlier version of the arc (Statesman was held prisoner in the past verison of the arc, and it's referenced in the current version where Positron gets the honor) as having taken place in the past.  At this point in history, Praetorian Earth is something Portal Corps AND the Vanguard are aware of but dealing with the occasional raid - Anti-Matter's first attack and the revelation of a universe with apparently evil versions of the Freedom Phalanx was the old version of Tina's arc, and seems to be from what I can find the first incursion by Praetoria.

 

Anti-Matter was previously trying to improve his standing - but a big issue was getting enough information on Primal Earth to adequately pinpoint an invasion (Portal Corps is apparently the multiverse's leader in cross-dimensional technology.  Go home team) He lost, Neuron tried to copy, and he lost too.  Both got snatched out of the Zig, by portals.  

 

Maria Jenkins then gets involved when a more involved plot involves capturing the Statesman to weaken Primal Earth's defenses.  Statesman hadn't been very forthcoming on how he got his powers, and some items how Tyrant restrained him got noted as being incorrect in later versions of the arc.  Tyrant also appeared, but was defeated.   

 

There are several side missions fighting various Praetorians.

 

Sometime in the middle, some individuals from Praetoria defect to Primal Earth to be heroes or villains, and pass on more information on what Praetoria is like, showing it isn't just 'evil Freedom Phalanx' (Going Rogue happens, in other words).  Some time previously, Maelstrom defects.  

 

The current version is a bit later - Portal Corps is aware Praetoria is a threat and the Vanguard, the primary Earth defense organization, is assisting - besides dealing with Anti-Matter trying to get his position back and get Dominatrix to like him, Neuron steals Anti-matters' plan (as usual), and the heroes stop both Praetorian scientists.  

 

Positron then gets kidnapped in an arc run by Maria Jenkins that runs similarly, except Tyrant himself doesn't show up - but the Praetorians DO steal a page from Nemesis and start building a duplicate Positron to leave Paragon City's defenses completely shut down, and Tyrant doesn't show up in person - arguably, full scale war would have followed if the plot succeeded.

 

A bit later, as Incarnates start to power up, it looks like Tyrant says 'what the hell' and starts the invasion in the Apex and Tin Mage Task Forces - Vanguard successfully counterstrikes both on Primal Earth and Praetoria to basically stop the invasion before it can really start, but Tyrant then apparently somehow REALLY digs deep of the Well of the Furies and starts powering his forces up - the Incarnate Trials begin as Incarnates work with Resistance to dismantle Praetoria piece by piece.  
 

Except for a bit where a God of death wakes up, but even then some of the Praetorians are involved in the action.

 

By the end, Praetoria is nearly dead - Tyrant's treaty with the Hamidon is null and most of the surviving Praetorians are refugees on Primal Earth; Tyrant's actions certainly killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of his own people in his mad bid to retain power.

 

 

On the timeline question of who invaded who - it's not clear - I don't think Portal Corps was looking for trouble (the Shadow Shard was already an existent threat taking their attention) but the dimension name is cataloged - it's possible a research team was THOUGHT to be an invasion.  Or Anti-Matter found Primal Earth, attacked, and Primal Earth's retaliation was thought to be an invasion because Anti-Matter kept his mouth shut.  

 

I'm not sure WHY Tyrant was sure the existence of Primal Earth was such a threat - Praetoria has some contact with some of the dimensions Portal Corps does (such as Warrior Earth; where Battle Maiden and Valkyrie's powers originated) or he was simply afraid news of such an 'underregulated' Earth would damage his regime.  I personally lean to the latter just because of the First Ward/Night Ward storylines - Cole had gone out of his way to remove as much as one of the traditional origins (magic) as he could - it's the hardest to track and regulate, compared to technology or genetic powers.  

 

  Arguably by the time of the defectors the Praetorians had made so much noise many of the more organized groups (Longbow, Arachnos, Malta, Crey, Nemesis as the big contenders) had started infiltrating and boosting the Resistance but the support given before Apex/Tin Mage is a lot less than Primal Earth throwing literally its most powerful heroes to the task of destroying the Cole regime.  

 

Feel free if anyone wants to chime in, I think I got most everything through the last Trial in here, which isn't quite the end of the story.

 

Edited by tremor3258
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That is an amazing write-up and helped me understand the lore a whole lot better.

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That agrees with my assessment of the story. What is confusing is of course the Mr G and Prevost Marchand arcs in red and blueside happen in your mid levels (30s), but chronologically take place AFTER Praetoria has fallen and after the incarnate trials which you do once reaching 50. The first mission in each of these arcs is to visit a devastated imperial city and either rescue Mr G or Praetor White depending on your alignment. Marchands arc deal a lot with the refugee crisis after the fall of Praetoria.

 

Then you have Number Six's arc in RWZ which takes you back to Praetoria to help defend the final outpost from Hamidon etc, so this is the final part of the plot arc as far as I can see. There are various hints dropped at times about Battalion but that never came to anything coz of the shutdown.

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On the topic of Praetoria being "saved"- I just recently played through the arc with Number Six- was Kallisti Wharf which was in development at the time intended to be what Praetoria built itself back up to or was Kallisti Wharf just an addition to Paragon City/Primal Earth?

 

If not then I assume the Developers never got to realize their plans for Praetoria, the arc of Praetoria's Story seems close to finished but not quite.

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Thats an interesting idea, my zone* could have become home to the refugee Praetorians. There is a big building complex in the NE of KW so perhaps that would have been their starting point.

I really would like to know more about the background to that zone and what their plans were for it.



*Kallisti Gold (my original character) insists Kallisti Wharf was named after her!

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31 minutes ago, Latex said:

On the topic of Praetoria being "saved"- I just recently played through the arc with Number Six- was Kallisti Wharf which was in development at the time intended to be what Praetoria built itself back up to or was Kallisti Wharf just an addition to Paragon City/Primal Earth?

 

If not then I assume the Developers never got to realize their plans for Praetoria, the arc of Praetoria's Story seems close to finished but not quite.

Number Six's arc was intended to be Praetoria's last hurrah, more or less.  People were burned out of the setting so they just kinda nuked it.  I think Marchand/Mr. G are supposed to take place afterwards to show what the "survivors" are up to in Primal, but I might have that backwards.

 

Kallisti Wharf was meant to kick off a wholly new story arc facing Battalion.  Tyrant himself would've had a part to play during that arc, but I don't think there were any other solid plans related to the fate of Praetoria that they spoke of for that story arc.

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Kallisti Wharf is, from looking at the old AMAs - was intended to be an area recovered ala Faultline for the city outside the previous War Walls, timeline wise after Statesman's death and Tyrant's fall.  With Praetoria inactive and the Rikti Traditionalists working more and more closely with Vanguard, the biggest threats of large troop movements the War Walls help stop receded as well.

 

Naturally the Battalion were going to choose it as Ground Zero for their invasion because Paragon City is one Task Force away from destruction every day of the week and twice on Saturdays. 🙂 

 

Based on the NCSoft MOBA and some other comments, the plan was for Statesman to help rally the fight against the Oncoming Storm, as things looked darkness but not the Marcus Cole who'd spent eight decades tirelessly fighting for justice, but the weakened Tyrant showing the power of symbols - and if Earth could do that while thinking they were fighting with Statesman but instead merely a powered-down Tyrant, Earth's defenders had the strength all along and everyone just needed to step up - which I guess shows at least that Praetorian Marcus Cole did learn his lesson.   This would probably end in in his death.

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That sounds interesting, really love this games story.

 

What of places like First Ward from a brief look up of Lore it seems to be part of Praetoria that succumbed to the Hamidon but still has Citizens seeking shelter away from Coles regime?

 

If I'm understanding things correctly, Emperor Cole purposefully hunted down Magic-Archetype heroes or anyone that dabbled in it which means if you're a Magic Archetype Hero/Villain from Praetoria your character story will be very different from someone that is say Science, Natural or Tech.

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If I recall correct; Magic was hunted with the express statement of "join us, or die" as opposed to the "join us, or disappear in to a lab" which all the other Origins got threatened with.  

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I don't recall Cole specifically hunting magic users, though I may be mistaken. I do know that the RIKTI purposefully went after magic users, because they were originally not prepared to deal with it and found themselves unable to stand against it. Though it would make sense as the only magic users we really see in Praetoria are in First Ward...

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Cole performing 'witch hunts' is given as why the Midnighters retreated to a 'pocket dimension' where Master Midnight was able to deal with the Club all at once.

 

The Circle of Thorns not being present  on Praetoria always seemed conspicuous by their absence, given their sheer ubiquity on Paragon City.

 

Possibly they went to ground. It took Rikti portal tech to crack Oranbega's wards, and it is much less secure than it was in the 20th century

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For a more explicit reference check out Montague's backstory here: https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Montague_Castanella_(Praetorian)

 

"Under his leadership the Midnighters survived Cole's witch hunts and stole themselves away into the shadowy psuedo-dimension between the worlds of the living and the dead"

Edited by kallistiuk
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One reason why the treaty with Hamidon was broken was that Cole used nuclear weapons on Nova Prospect in the Magisterium trial in order to power up himself with the souls of the citizens living in the area due to his Incarnate link to... Hades, I believe.

 

The act of using nuclear weapons and polluting a section of the planet with radioactive fallout was probably the tipping point for a ecologically focused entity that was the Hamidon who was more or less patient with Praetoria until that moment.  That led him to dropping his full might onto Praetoria which we saw in the Mr. G/ Provost Marachand intro mission with the multiple Seed of Hamidons and massive tentacles going ham-wild in the distance as you frantically tried to evac people.

 

Everything after that was just cleaning up the aftermath of that one singular action in the Magestrium trial.

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I started a thread in another part of the forum yesterday, completely forgetting this thread, so I'll cross post to here!

 

I'm trying to come up with a chronological mission timeline for the entire Praetoria story, So far I've come up with this list:

 

Tina Macintyre
Maria Jenkins
Gold content
First Ward
Night Ward
Admiral Sutter

Apex TF

Tin Mage II TF
iTrials: BAF to MoM
Dark Astoria
iTrial: DD
Belladona Vetrano
iTrial: Magisterium
Mr G/Prefect Marchant
Number six

 

Am I missing anything or is the order wrong?

The order around Belladona Vetrano is explained when you first click on her as a contact, but you never see it again.

 

 

Edited by kallistiuk
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Update:  I forgot Apex and Tin Mage in the first iteration. Since these are all about the Praetorian invasion of Prime, I've placed them after Admiral Sutter and before Prime then goes and invades Praetoria in the iTrials.


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There is some lore a bit further back in Praetoria's history. If I recall correctly Tyrant did meet Prae Hamidon as a human at some point before he turned himself into what he is now. Prae Hamidon asked him to use his powers to stop the wars and the abuse of nature and Tyrant refused at that time. That refusal is what sent Prae Hamidon over the edge into becoming the biggest threat Praetoria ever seen.

 

It's also mentioned briefly in Number Six's arc that their is or was other human settlements around the world....but Hamidon is gloating to you that he just overran them and is creating new creatures  from the people he is devouring there. He mentions settlements that were on Germany, Japan, and South America specifically. Praetoria was the most powerful one but there was other existing human settlements before Tyrant decided to go full control freak and pretty much get his whole world killed because the Primal Incarnates fought back against his war.

 

Also, yeah it's specifically mentioned that Cole went out his way to kill all the magic users. He had the Praetorian Ravenwing Cabal (or known as just the Cabal in Primal Earth's Croatoa) all killed by Diabolique whom he had controlled by an amulet at the time, the Circle of Thorns in conspicuously absent in Prae which implies he either slaughtered them all or that they are hiding underground (doubtful to me as Hamidon likes tunneling underground and would of found them) the only known surviving magical users are the Carnival of Light/War/Vengeance which have surviving members of Prae's version of the Legacy Chain, one surviving Cabal member, Prae Carnival members, and one living Midnighter aka Cerulean.

 

To give you a rundown of the lore of First Ward. First Ward was the first city that Praetoria built. It was protected by Praetor Berry's/Neuron's Sonic Fences at the time but Hamidon managed to tunnel an way under the fences to start an massive attack on the city that got so bad that the Praetorians were forced to abandon it and nuke it in a sense, via having the Sonic Fences pulse inward. This attack killed many many civvies in the process and is why First Ward is so thoroughly wrecked. This isn't to mention that Mother Mayhem had an asylum in First Ward were she did her really awful Seer initiations where she'd rip out any ''bad mental parts'' of her seers to make them brainwashed and compliant to her and much easier to put in the Seer Network. That is why the Apparitions exist. The Awakened are psychics that either couldn't handle her cruel experiments or are former seers that got twisted and burned by their own powers. Seriously anything to do with the Awakened is seriously fucked up and many did manage escape to Primal Earth and are following Prae Penelope Min, or Penelope Mayhem as she later on becomes.

 

The reason why their is still people in First Ward is because First Ward become a dumping ground for anyone Cole's regime disapproved of which means if they simply suspected you were a Resistance member they could toss you in. First Ward was intended as a death sentence. The Carnival of Light tries to protect the people whom disturbingly enough usually are defenseless civvies thrown in the best they can but between the Ghouls, the apocalypse cultists, the slavedrivers/Dregs, the Awakened, and infighting within their own ranks (along with the Talons later on), they have their arms full. The only other heroic magic users nearby are the Midnights and in First Ward they were all controlled as zombies by Prae Percy.

 

Night Ward is a bit more complicated I think to explain lore wise. Diabolique is crazy as hell and decided to try controlling the Apparitions, it went horribly wrong as Sorceress Serene (Praetoria's version of War Witch whom was angry that Dia killed all of her sisters/Ravenwing Cabal) took them from her and kicked off this event where the spirit world is now merging with First Ward which causes all manners of mayhem. Serene also is the one whom brought the Talons in Praetoria if I recall corrects and she is forcing any angry people she can find on her side via them. Night Ward kind of shows just how bad the civvie death counts are in Praetoria as you find ghosts of them everywhere and you of course have to protect them from being eaten by local souleaters, aka the Spirit Stalkers.

Edited by Sleepymoth
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On 1/20/2020 at 7:40 PM, tremor3258 said:

On the timeline question of who invaded who - it's not clear - I don't think Portal Corps was looking for trouble (the Shadow Shard was already an existent threat taking their attention) but the dimension name is cataloged - it's possible a research team was THOUGHT to be an invasion.  Or Anti-Matter found Primal Earth, attacked, and Primal Earth's retaliation was thought to be an invasion because Anti-Matter kept his mouth shut.  

Primal Earth invaded Praetorian Earth first; it was the group Ultimatum that sent its agents to Praetoria and were discovered by Cole. One of them, Maelstrom, defected and joined up with the Praetorians (and fed into Cole's paranoia), while another, Twinshot escaped back to Primal Earth. For some reason, I was under the impression Ultimatum was connected to Malta, but I'm not sure whether that is my own assumption or something that was actually mentioned (in-game or in the forums) at some point.

 

Also, there are other cities/settlements outside of the "main" Praetorian areas that are not yet conquered by Praetorian Hamidon. I know that New Tokyo gets name-dropped in one of the Praetorian arcs. I think one or more also get mentioned by name, but the concept of other places outside of Praetoria proper is mentioned also.

Edited by Zombie Hustler
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None of you previous have really brought up the Resistance side of things.  Isn't Calvin Scott's story a good chunk of the lore as well?   I've only caught snippets, but I kind of thought it was.

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We never really got nearly as good of a look at Calvin Scott's story; it's fairly underdeveloped by comparison, I think.  Most of what's there is in either out-of-game sources (with unreliable narration) like the official bios from the game's official website (still available via Paragon Wiki) or is given in short snippets.  Some of Calvin Scott's actions seem irrational or don't really come off as making sense; one particular example that is only thinly justified is Scott's attempts to overrun the survivor compound in First Ward with Ghouls (which seems to be explained by personal animus at Demetrios Vasilikos over his not sticking around in the city with the Forlorn so that they could be used as shock troops).  

 

The biggest thing there is the reveal in the Minds of Mayhem trial (that Praetorian Aurora Pena was his nurse, not his wife, and that he's a schizophrenic who escaped from Tilman's asylum).  Then, in the aftermath of the Magisterium trial (shown in Marchand's Primal Earth arcs)...

Spoiler

he and the survivors of the Resistance evacuate to Primal Earth with the rest of the Praetorians, where they proceed to form an alliance with The Center (and the Council) to take over Primal Earth.  (I get the idea that Scott planned to double-cross The Center in the end and take over himself - I can't see him being second fiddle to another fascist dictator.)  Scott attempts to sway the Praetorian refugees to his side with the narrative that Vanguard is just another prison for them.  Ultimately, after you fight your way through the combined force of the Council and the Resistance (now the United People's Army), Aurora finally gets through to Scott that he's sunk to Cole's level, and Scott activates the Striga Isle volcano base's self-destruct, which the Council intended as a failsafe to kill the player character and the New Praetorians, to instead dispose of the Council's army of giant robots, dying in the process.

 

Had the game not sunset, all of this was setting the stage for the Council gaining Incarnate powers in future arcs, as The Center had come into possession of Neuron's super-serum used by Marauder in Lambda Sector.

 

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This has been amazing - thanks all for putting this together. I have long toyed with the idea of creating an AE arc involving Praetoria, but frankly never played through Going Rogue and have felt like I have not had a handle on the core story. With so many groups and maps devoted to it, its ripe to do something with. I always enjoy anchoring my arcs to the lore and trying to explore hooks I see int he lore. (E.g.  “Where did the people in the Shadow Shard come from?” = Rularularian, and “Where did the Serpents of Mercy Island come from? = The Serpent Beyond the Horizon.) This gives me a few ideas to explore. I have not yet found a hook into an untold story here - ideas welcomed - but this gives me more to explore and consider so thanks again!

Edited by Ankylosaur
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AE Arcs----> Heroic: #848 Rularularian - 41-54* | #854 The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52* | #30367 Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 #31353 Policemen vs. Aliens -  45-54 | #32295 Return to Faultline - 45-54 |  #32791 Future Storm's Past  - 35-54 Vigilante:  All That Glitters (multi-arc series) - 1-54 #855 Save the Diver, Save the World - 25-30 Neutral:  #28330 Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54* | #33968 The Ghost In The Machine - 46-54 Rogue:  #33211 When Carnivals Collide - 20-30  | #27055 The Atlas of the Multiverse - 46-54 Villainous: #26387 The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 #25869 Condemning Croatoa -  25-33 | #25870 Robolution - 25-34* |*Dev's Choice / HoF

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