|Star Empire of Koronis
|Place of Birth:
|Base of Operations:
|Shadowstar SA District, Praetoria
|Shadowstar Imperial Dynasty
|Gadgetry, Power Armor, Corporate Mercenaries
|Commanding Presence, Technological Affinity
|Various, Power Armor
Argon Shadowstar is the former Emperor of the Star Empire of Koronis, a space empire that dominated the Koronis Galaxy, a satellite galaxy of our own, in the alternate reality of Koronis Prime. The Star Empire of Koronis had been led by the Shadowstar Imperium, a powerful dynasty, for centuries, and thus had achieved a remarkable level of power and influence in the empire's feudal society. Though among the smaller houses, the dynasty held some of the nation's greatest heroes and knights, giving it an edge in all conflicts. As a meritocracy built upon a martial foundation centered on a warrior code which resembled a kind of mix of chivalry and bushido, heroes and adventurers held great respect in the society. Social progress was measured in merit, and patronage allowed the Great Houses to adopt notable individuals to bolster their influence and gravitas. Yet, none could challenge the might of House Shadowstar. This allowed them to achieve control of the throne and keep it until the uprising roughly 15 years ago.
20 years ago, Shadowstar commissioned the construction of The Gateway. This massive project was intended to create a stable jumpgate that could reach the Milky Way from Koronis. The Milky Way, called the Great Eye by Koronisians, was huge in the skies of the worlds of Koronis, and had represented the ultimate goal of space travel for centuries. The technology required to travel through intergalactic space had been beyond Koronis, but with the discovery of a powerful artifact on the world of Kh'Khel, such lofty goals suddenly became reachable. But not everyone agreed with the goal of reaching The Milky Way. The fanatical Watchers of the Eye opposed the construction of The Gateway. The Watchers were an old crusader order which had lost much influence after the scientific revolution which established that the Great Eye was just another galaxy, albeit a much larger one. Despite the foundations of their entire religion being challenged, the Watchers refuted the evidence, and only became more devout in their beliefs, despite losing much of their membership and influence.
With the rise of Lord-Prelate Xenon Whitestar, the Watchers experienced a reformation. They admitted that the Great Eye was indeed a galaxy, but in so being, it was a living creature, and still as divine as it had ever been. With this, their message appealed to environmental groups and other spiritualists, and allowed them to poach members from these other organizations. The Gateway represented a great threat to the Watchers' ideology. They claimed it was akin to attacking a god and sought to oppose it. With a major enemy to focus their zeal on, the Watchers engaged in galaxy-wide recruitment, aided by Whitestar's intellect and charisma. Their numbers grew enough to make them a formidable force of well trained and equipped zealots.
Yet still they lacked the numbers to challenge the Star Empire directly. Whitestar sought allies across the galaxy, and to his surprise, found many. The Gateway had made news across the galaxy and the Shadowstars had acquired many enemies in their centuries of rule. Organizations large and small, pirate gangs and rebels, rival houses and fallen heroes, all sought opportunities to attack Shadowstar and his court. The Gateway was a massive investment and so represented a way to weaken the Empire for some, while others wanted control of The Gateway in order to plunder the resources of the galaxy beyond. Others feared that Shadowstar would become even more powerful with access to an even larger galaxy. The Watchers sought to destroy it, but knew they could never achieve their goal without allies, and so they accepted alliances from factions who sought control of The Gateway, planning to destroy The Gateway during the final conflict and then deal with the consequences afterward. To them, it did not matter what happened afterward, as long as it was destroyed and the Great Eye was safe.
And so, quite suddenly, the Koronis Galaxy found itself embroiled in a massive civil war. The Star Empire had fractured almost overnight, with the Shadowstar Imperium now besieged on every front. Many of the allied factions fell to the might of the Shadowstars, but such was their number that eventually they found themselves driven back to the homeworld of Koronis Prime, the location of The Gateway. Argon Shadowstar and his court knew by now that they could not win, and though The Gateway was not complete, it now represented their only chance for escape. To surrender was death guaranteed, and though there was great risk in using The Gateway in its current state, it at least gave them a chance at survival. And so they fled through The Gateway's unstable artificial wormhole, braving the chaos of battle surrounding the massive structure. During the fighting, the Watchers of the Eye were betrayed by the Koronis Republic, one of their allies who sought to gain control of The Gateway. Lord-Prelate Whitestar was flung through space and fell into the wormhole during the battle. Without their leader, many of the Watchers suicidally attacked the gate only to be destroyed by the Republic.
The Koronis Republic took control of the former Imperial homeworlds and The Gateway. The remaining Watchers of the Eye, their numbers severely reduced, retreated to their monasteries at the edge of the galaxy and deliberated on the future. Unfortunately for the Republic, they found the galaxy they had conquered to be a lawless and chaotic place. Despite their previous alliance, most of the surviving factions had no interest in the communist rule the Republic offered, and with military and police forces across the galaxy depleted by the war, fringe groups and marginalized factions found opportunities to seize control and power. Anarchy reigned across much of the galaxy and criminal factions rose to exploit the masses. The Republic, itself weakened by the fighting, could barely hold its own borders against the chaos. The Watchers were largely safe, retreating to their hidden sanctuaries and falling back on the methods they had used for centuries to hide from their enemies prior to the civil war.
As for Shadowstar and his people, they found themselves in the Milky Way, orbiting Earth. In their universe, Earth was under the control of Praetoria. Returning to Koronis was out of the question for three reasons. One: without a Gateway on this side, it was impossible to open a wormhole. Two: such a wormhole would naturally connect to the one at The Gateway in Koronis, a location controlled by their enemies. And Three: Emperor Shadowstar had no interest in returning. The Milky Way was ripe with opportunities for him and his people. The Shadowstar Palace Ship took up orbit above the South Pole, where it would be masked from detection by the Earth's magnetic field, and began exploring the planet. They quickly gained knowledge of Praetoria and found opportunities there. Argon spearheaded the initiative, carefully using Koronisian technology to exploit opportunities and gain allies. He established the Argon Labs Corporation, for capitalism on Earth was much like it was in Koronis, and he was a master of it. This allowed him to amass wealth quickly and gain access to Primal Earth. Expanding the corporation's interests across dimensions, he found many opportunities for success as one of the very few multi-dimensional corporations. Establishing strong relations with both Praetorian and Primal militaries, and technology-sharing agreements with the governments of both planets, it was not long before the power and influence of the Argon Labs Corporation began to rival that of the most powerful corporations on both worlds.
The Palace-Ship was retrofitted into Starbase Koronis while the main administration was moved to the Argon Labs Corporation Headquarters on the surface. Shadowstar's many children began representing his interests across both worlds, though some of the heirs had very different ideas about their futures. Iridium, first in the line of succession, disagreed with her father's ruthless capitalism and found the democracy of the United States inspiring, unlike her father who saw it as flawed compared to the power and authority of his own administration. They had many ideological discussions and he never tried too hard to discourage her, for he had always been proud of her intelligence and personal strength. There were only a few points on which they differed greatly, and one of those points was the idea of openly sharing their unique technology with the heroes of Paragon. He initially rejected the idea, willing only to sell some of it at very high prices. Eventually, they came to a compromise which resulted in the establishment of Project Paragon: a superhero school which would be under the purview of Iridium herself. Students who excelled in the school would be permitted access to special Koronisian Invention Enhancements. The school quickly gained a reputation as one of the most difficult schools in the world, and many students flunked out before completing their first year, but this was by design. Argon was not willing to part with his technology cheaply.
It was during this time that FBSA sources came to learn of an organization with ties to the Argon Labs Corporation engaged in criminal activities of scientific and technological nature. When questioned regarding this "Project Rogue", Shadowstar disavowed any knowledge of it. It was eventually discovered that this rogue project was the work of former Argon Labs employees who had become disgruntled with Shadowstar's reluctance to share his technology. Initially of little concern, their power grew substantially after another of Argon's daughters, Zoey, rebelled against him and shared much of her knowledge and technology with them. This enabled them to create a doppleganger of Argon Shadowstar, which they used to discredit him by having it engage in wanton criminal activity throughout Paragon City. Not only did this create negative PR for the corporation, it allowed the rogue project to loot valuable resources from across Paragon and beyond, for the doppleganger itself was quite powerful. After a grueling investigation, the truth was discovered and the corporation was released of all charges, but in the course of this incident, Starbase Koronis was invaded by Project Rogue agents under the command of Zoey Shadowstar. By that time, Starbase Koronis was not a tremendous loss for Argon, for he had already moved much of value from it to his planetside headquarters, but the loss of its strategic position had an effect on morale. An attempt was organized to retake it, but before it could be launched, the Starbase seemingly disappeared. Attempts to locate it again have not been successful. Project Rogue continues to be a thorn in the side of Argon and the other Koronisian Refugees, as well as the FBSA and other law-abiding organizations. It is believed they have a relationship with the Praetorian government and perhaps even Emperor Cole himself, and thus have protection in that domain.
Since coming to Primal Earth, the Koronisians, both of the Shadowstar Dynasty, as well as his allies and courtiers, have adapted to life in Primal Earth and Praetoria. Many of them can be found pursuing their own agenda, which the Koronisian Embassy has gone to great lengths to ensure is within the laws of both nations and ideally beneficial to life in Primal Earth. Some can also be found in the Rogue Isles, where they largely cause havoc or pursue more selfish agenda. The FBSA has no influence over how Arachnos chooses to handle these threat actors, but should any of them choose to attack our interests in Primal Earth, they will be treated as criminals like any other miscreant from the Rogue Isles. Koronisian culture still strongly influences the activities of the refugees, who find our culture similar to their own, aside from the more feudalistic aspects of it. Heroes here are celebrated like in Koronis, and merit a strong indicator of status here as in Koronis as well. Thus the transition has not been that difficult for most of them. As a result, the arrival of the Koronisians has been a net positive for life on Primal Earth, though they have recently come under fire from local human-supremacist groups who want to see all aliens exiled from Earth.
About Koronisians: The humans of the Koronis galaxy are much like Earth humans, though with a tendency to occasionally have purple or reddish colorations (more common among the nobility). Koronisian males tend to be slightly taller on average than human males, while Koronisian females tend to be slightly shorter. Many of them also tend to be more athletic and flexible, possibly owing to centuries of life in space. Further research into the differences is being conducted by both Koronisian and Earth scientists. Personality-wise, they tend to be more aggressive or passionate than the average Earth human, and the nobility favors spectacle and decadence, though this trend does not seem to be supported by the Shadowstars themselves, who tend toward more subtle displays of power and influence, perhaps as a result of the uprising, which has humbled them somewhat. There are only a few other noble families on Earth, as Shadowstar did not have many allies left at the end of the war. They demonstrate more Koronisian-standard tendencies and few of them engage directly in heroic pursuits, preferring instead to surround themselves in luxury and spend extraordinary amounts of wealth on supporting their client heroes' agenda and celebrity. Meanwhile, the Shadowstars are more directly involved in politics, fortifying relationships with the governments and power players of Earth.
About Koronis: The Koronis Galaxy is a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. It has been identified by Earth astronomers and is visible with powerful telescopes. Previously, it was considered an intergalactic star cluster, but with the arrival of the Koronisians and their insistance that it be properly dignified as a galaxy, its designation has changed. The galaxy is substantially smaller than the Milky Way, containing only a few hundred thousand stars. It does not have a distinct shape, and appears as a faint pink smudge even on our most powerful telescopes. Despite its appearance and extreme age, the galaxy's character and history have captured the interest and imagination of enthusiasts on Earth, leading to a few minor popular culture trends, one of which is a kind of celebrity culture surrounding the Shadowstar Royals.
Koronis Aesthetics: Once compared to 60's and 70's era sci-fi villains, the attire of the Shadowstar Royal Court is angular, striking, and often intimidating, though not always intentionally. The primary coloration for authority and court is a reddish-magenta along with black or white for contrast. Chrome materials also feature heavily in Koronisian noble fashion. For more casual clothing, and activewear, it seems the Koronisians largely prefer a mix of 30's and 90's Earth styles. This seems to be the closest they can get to what they are accustomed to from their home society. The younger Koronisians are more adaptable to current Earth trends and have more openly embraced Earth culture. The reddish-magenta coloration of the Shadowstar Imperium is prevalent in all of their nationalistic displays as well as the tinting of energy created by their technology. This oftentimes gives their powers and abilities a pinkish appearance, though they will be quick to correct such assumptions.
The Kheldian Connection: Long ago in the Koronis Universe, the Kheldian race faced annihilation. Threatened with extinction, they chose instead to bind their energy into artifacts scattered across the Koronis Galaxy, and as we have discovered recently, the Milky Way and potentially other galaxies as well. The humans of Koronis were among the first races to discover these artifacts early on in their interstellar history and became inextricably bound to their power. Though this power remained dormant, it is thought that this might explain some of the unusual "magical" powers certain Koronisians used throughout their history. Upon arriving in Primal Earth, this latent energy acted as a beacon to the living Kheldians in our universe, drawing many of them to investigate. Koronisian Refugees thus have strange interactions and relationships with the living Kheldians of Primal Earth. This phenomenon is not well understood and being actively studied. While very little is yet known about these interactions, we have recieved reports indicating that some Koronisians have managed to "enslave" living Kheldians inside their minds, similar to how Nictus would enslave human hosts. It seems that perhaps it could work in reverse for Koronisians. Obviously, this has prompted investigation by both Peacebringers and Warshades to determine the nature of this potential threat to their race. In order to assist these efforts, and demonstrate good will on behalf of Argon Shadowstar and his people, the hero Avenstar, another of Argon's Daughters, has chosen to bond willingly with a Kheldian and become a Peacebringer. Her efforts, and those of the Koronisian Embassy, have assisted in the tracking and arrest of several Lightstealers (the colloqueal term for Koronisians who enslave Kheldians).