A chemical spill is just about the most cliched event for Nippon Tech. According to the official sourcebook, there’s even a factory on Marketplace devoted solely to pumping out toxic waste.
But that’s not my Nippon Tech.
My Reality builds on the essential elements of the old: martial arts, spies, near-future tech. This is the Martial Arts Technothriller reality.
Technothrillers are spy stories, with advanced technology and espionage. And Wuxia is, well, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Fantastic martial arts, in ancient China.
Well, not actually in ancient China but in another world, a Secondary World, called Jianghu. This is a place analogous to Middle Earth: an imagined or Mythic past.
See, in the cosm of Tellus, there is Qi or “breath”. And qi powers fantastic abilities. Strikes, blocks, running across water, leaping into the sky.
Various schools or clans of martial artists have specific hidden techniques to use qi. They fight for them, steal them, kill to protect them. Feuds over them last for generations.
Jianghu is the world of qi, the place where those abilities are most potent. Tellus is the mundane world, where qi exists, but is hidden. Jianghu is ruled by the Emperor, Tellus by the Authority – a corrupt cabal of wicked men, who seek to control qi.
In Tellus and Jianghu, the poor and helpless are oppressed by the powerful and wealthy. Corrupt landowners, cruel officials, gangs and criminal kingpins. Xia, wandering heroes, defend the helpless, using their martial arts to defeat the wicked.
Which takes us to toxic waste. Part of this Reality is a feeling of helplessness in the face of government apathy, criminal mischief, and naked greed. The High Lord fosters belief in the corruption inherent in institutions. People who lose faith in businesses and the government, and who come to fear them, move closer to becoming a Supporter of the Reality.
So, there was a toxic waste spill, not because all businesses are evil but because the government was corrupt. Bribery, influence, scandal — and belief in a Wuxia Technothriller reality becomes a little stronger.