Earth Zero

THE MEN IN THE SHADOWS

The Monsters Society

Believed to be dead after the final contfrontation with his archenemy Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls, Professor Moriarty woke up from a 3 year coma defaced, cripled and paraplegic only to learn that his crime syndicate was meanwhile crushed by Holmes.

While recovering from his severe injuries, Moriarty decided to avoid further confrontations with his enemy and rather stay in the shadows as a mastermind who coordinates the crimes of others. Using his still superior criminal intellect, he started a new secret criminal organisation in New York that soon evolved into a worldwide operating "Network" of thieves, killers, mercenaries and whatnot who all answered only to Moriarty himself.

24 years later he was the undisputed king of global crime, but still had serious problems with his health and, moreover, he had reached an age where his physical condition had heavily deteriorated. Unwilling to retire and give up his empire, Moriarty soon fell back on unconventional methods to prolong his life - among them the work of a german scientist who already had experimented with transplantations some decades earlier. But Moriarty was opposed in his search for the journals of said scientist, by Viktor Frankenstein's very own monstrous creation "Frank" who wanted to prevent that his "fathers" work falls in the wrong hands.

Moriarty, however, realized that monsters were actually real and began to search for other such creatures all around the world. In a minimum of time he rallied a number of infamous characters that were thought to only exist in novels and nightmares and founded the "Monsters Society" that helped him to get possession of Frankenstein's secret files as well as various powerful magical artifacts which in turn, in combination with modern science, helped him to overcome his physical limitations and become even more powerful than ever.

 

The Shadow League

Shortly after his lost battle against the Monsters Society, Frankenstein's Monster learned from a time-traveler called "The Walker" that the attainment of his father's research documents was only a small piece of the puzzle in a much bigger scheme by Moriarty, that could mean the end of the world as he knew it.

Realizing that he didn't stood a chance on his own against the combined power of Moriarty's Monsters Society, "Frank" decided to look for help and with the help of The Walker, he formed a team of adventurers from all around the world to join him in the fight against Moriarty and his goon squad: The Shadow League.

Abby Van Helsing

Based on Abraham van Helsing, created by Irish author Bram Stoker in 1897, who is now a public domain character.

Arsène Lupin

Arsène Lupin was created by French writer Maurice Leblanc in 1905 and is now a public domain character.
 

The Dreamer

Randolph Carter was created by American author H. P. Lovecraft in 1919 and is now a public domain character.
 

"Frank"

Frankenstein's Monster was created by English novelist Mary Shelley in 1818 and is now a public domain character.

The Ghul

Based on R.M. Renfield, created by Irish author Bram Stoker in 1897, who is now a public domain character.
 

Greystoke

John Clayton (aka "Tarzan") was created by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912 and is now a public domain character.

Invisible Man

Thomas Marvel was created by English writer H. G. Wells in 1897 and is now a public domain character.
 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were created by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886 and are now public domain characters.

The Journeyer

John Carter was created by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912 and is now a public domain character.
 

Nightstalker

Based on "Dracula", created by Irish author Bram Stoker in 1897, who is now a public domain character.
 

Professor Moriarty

Professor Moriarty was created by English writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1893 and is now a public domain character.

Solomon Kane

Solomon Kane was created by American author Robert Ervin Howard in 1928 and is now a public domain character.
 

The Walking Mummy

The Walking Mummy is not based on a specific public domain character, but rather on several different similar characters.

The Wolfman

The Wolfman is not based on a specific public domain character, but rather on a widespread concept in European folklore.

Zorro III

Zorro was created by American author Johnston McCulley in 1919 and still a public domain character.
 

Stories

  • Monday, May 4th, 1891 - London, England (Prologue)

    When The Travellers arrived in Earth Zero's London of the year 1891, they decided that it would be best if H.G. Wells would first consult his counterpart in this reality in order to obtain possible clues for their search for the Mato'Nai while the rest of the team would search for references in other places.

    But at the very moment when he reached the house of his "twin", he was intercepted by a completely dilapidated, dirty man in odd-looking, ripped clothes, staring at him with a wild look behind even odder glowing red goggles as he began to seemingly incoherent talking to him.

    "H.G.! Oh my God, am I glad to see you here! You're the only one who can help me now. I got it all completely wrong and now Moriarty has managed to acquire the lost artefact. We have to stop him or the world as we know it will be doomed."

    "What? What the hell are you talking about? And who are you, anyway?"

    "Don't you recognize me? It's me, the Walker. Wait a minute! What date is it?"

    "Today is Monday, May 4th".

    "No, I mean, what year is it?"

    "Is this a joke?"

    "WHAT YEAR IS IT???"

    "Calm down! It's 1891. Why?"

    "Damn it, 25 years too early! Of course you don't know me, we haven't yet met in this time period. How could we anyway - I'm only born today. Is this a coincidence? Whatever, unfortunately it takes a few more years until we'll meet for the first time. At least from my point of view."

    "Don't tell me you are also a time traveller!"

    "What? What do you know about time travel? You shouldn't know anything about that for the next four years."

    "I guess you're confusing me with this reality's H.G. Wells. Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not him. I'm from a parallel world and came here on a search for an alien race that lives hidden on this earth."

    "Oh boy! A dimension jumper. Well, that explains a lot. Guess I didn't confuse you after all then. Wait! This alien race you're talking about - those aren't the Mato'Nai by any chance?"

    "You know them?! That's splendid! Then you can lead me to them - my world needs their help against a common enemy."

    "Now it's me who has to disappoint you. My only contact with this species was by a computer, which I have to thank that I have to carry out such confusing conversations over and over again. Long story..."

    "Well, I think I know very well how you must feel. Time travel is a complicated thing. But perhaps our meeting is no coincidence. Maybe I'll find a pointer to the Mato'Nai if I first help you with your problem? What is that anyway - something about an artifact?"

    "Oh, believe me you can't help me on this matter - at least not your present self. But then again, considering the information I have now, I guess you already did help me in some way. Just not today, but rather in the future. Precisely in 25 years from now in New York to be exact. Huh, another May 4th - what are the odds? Anyway, if I understand this correctly, that will also be the first time that we meet from my point of view. Man, I hate these time travel paradoxes..."

    "Well, I guess I'll see you in 25 years then."

  • Monday, May 4th, 1891 - Meiringen, Swiss

    After the final contfrontation with his archenemy Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls where he supposedly found his demise when he plunged into the depths, Professor Moriarty was found with shattered bones and a damaged face, after hitting the rocks at the bottom of the cascades, by his accomplice Colonel Sebastian Moran, who managed to salvage his severely injured partner in crime and bring him to a sanatorium where Moriarty was treated.

    Believed to be dead to the rest of the world, Moriarty slowly recovered from his worst injurys in a swiss sanatorium while being in a coma for over 3 years and when he finally awakened, he realized to his horror that he was now cripled and paraplegic. Since his crime syndicate was crushed by his nemesis Holmes in the meantime, he used his still superior criminal intellect to start a new criminal organisation that will later become known as the global operating "Network" - a sort of a job center for thieves, killers, mercenaries and whatnot.

    But there was still the problem with his health. He wasn't getting younger and his physical condition deteriorated in the following years so much that he was even willing to fall back on unconventional methods to prolong his life. One of this methods included the work of a german scientist who already had experimented with transplantations some decades earlier. When searching for his scientific journals Moriarty eventually encountered Viktor Frankenstein's very own monstrous creation "Frank" who would oppose him to prevent his "fathers" work to fall in the wrong hands.

    In search of allies in his battle against Frankenstein's monster Moriarty eventually rallied more infamous monster of its time and founded a group called "Monsters Society". With their help, he managed not only to get possession of said documents, but also to collect several powerful ancient artifacts from around the world. Through the combination of magic and science Moriarty was finally able to overcome his physical limitations and become even more powerful than ever.

  • Friday, August 13, 1915 - near Munich, Germany

    After his lost battle against the Monsters Society in his "fathers" former laboratory at the university of Ingolstadt in Germany, Frankenstein's Monster had found refugee in an old abandoned abbey near Munich where he recovered from his injuries when a mysterious scruffy men in ragged clothes and with an old musket on his back entered the ruins. Hidden in a dark corner he studied the odd man who seemed to search for someting when suddenly the men turned around and stared directly at the spot where the monster was hiding.

    "You can come out now, I know you're there."

    "Who are you? What do you want from me?"

    "People call me "the Walker". I'm here to help you - and ask for your help in return."

    "You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know me."

    "Of course I do, Frank. Can I call you that? Frank? I know you don't have a real name, but Frank somehow sounds appropriate for Frankenstein's so called "Monster"."

    Frank slowly stepped out from his dark corner and studied his opponent suspicious.

    "How do you know about me? Most people think I'm just a character in a novel."

    "Well, to be honest I thought that too once. But as I had to learn the hard way, this world is stranger than most people think possible. Take me for example - did you ever think that there could be a man who travels through time to fix historical events that have gone wrong?"

    "You are a time traveler? That explains how you knew where to find me."

    "Huh - now I'm somewhat disappointed. I didn't think you would swallow it that easy. I'd already prepared ​​myself for lengthy explanations."

    "Not much unlike you I have seen many strange things in the 127 years that I have now roamed this world. And what exactly is it you think you could help me with?"

    "Well, in fact I think we can help each other. After all, it is about a common enemy."

    "I guess you're talking about Moriarty?"

    "Bingo!"

    "Bingo?"

    "A word you'll probably learn in about 11 years which means that you're right. Anyway. Yes, it is Moriarty who I need your help to fight."

    "Why?"

    "Well, unfortunately, the attainment of your father's research documents was only a small piece of the puzzle in a much bigger scheme by Moriarty, which could mean the end of the world as we know it. If we want to save billions of lives, we have to stop him."

    "That sounds pretty ominous. And how would this mutual aid, of which you are talking about, look like?"

    "As you may already have noticed by now, you don't stand a chance against the combined power of Moriarty's Monsters Society - and neither do I. But with a little help of friends? So, what do you think of joining - or rather founding - a team of adventurers?"

    "Umph. Never been a good team player."

    "Well, then it's time to change that. I think we should start our recruiting tour in London."

    "Why? Who is there?"

    "Ever heard the name Van Helsing?!"

The characters introduced on this web page are my own copyrighted versions of public domain characters which are free for use to everyone. The fact that I renamed some of these characters to avoid possible trademark issues doesn‘t mean that I didn‘t have the right to use the original character concepts for my own use. Copyright © 2015 by M. Jack Schiltz. No use without permission!
Character visualisations realized with HeroMachine3.