From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Debut:|| June. 10, 2010, |
|Colors:||Navy and White|
|Alex Dutchman||Council President|
|Play style:||Reasonably Casual|
|Roleplay:||Expected and Required|
|Timezone(s):||US Eastern to Pacific -
see website for details
|Contact:||Any current leader.|
The Hero Heights neighborhood is a three block area north of Galaxy City. The neighborhood has earned a reputation of being nearly crime-free, due to the abnormally high ratio of metahumans living within it. Approximately 30 percent of Hero Heights residents have meta-abilities.
Hero Heights allows most types of characters into its ranks. As long as your character would works well in a neighborhood setting, you are good to go. If your character wants to blow up the place, then this isn't the supergroup for you.
Hero Heights believes in providing a sandbox role playing envioment. As such, the supergroup only has a short list of rules.
- Harassment is not allowed.
- Expect people to react your character's behavior in the same way such behavior would be reacted to in real life. (i.e. Susie tells her friends she wants to rob a bank, then Susie's friends are probably going to think she hasgone nuts and call the police.)
- You character may not commit a felony without prior permission of Supergroup leadership.
The Hero Heights neighborhood stands on a hill originally settled by Dobry Gerszewski in 1740. The area became known as Gerszewski's Hill and and, within two decades, simply Gerszewski Hill. During the American Revolutionary War, the family home and outer buildings were commandeered as barracks by British forces. The Gerszewski family continued to farm sheep and goats until the growth of Paragon City absorbed the hill, raising the land value and allowing the family to cash in.
1844 to 1920s
In 1844, the land was divided and the area became know as home to Paragon City's wealthy elite. The next year, the Glenn Lutheran Church was completed and began holding weekly services.
Slowly the character of the neighborhood changed over the decades. In the time between the American Civil War and the Panic of 1893, mansions were gradually replaced with opera houses, fine jewelers, banks, and other businesses that catered to the rich. During this time, Gerszewski Hill functioned as a small satellite of Steel Canyon. The aforementioned Panic devastated the area as the wealthy faced hard times and moved to areas in which they could still afford some luxury at a more modest price tag. Once-opulent buildings of commerce were transformed into tenements; old houses were torn down to create warehouses for the new cheap labor. The area became known for its large Scandinavian population.
During this period, the Bukke ("Hill" in Norwegian) was home to many men hoping to earn their fortune. The neighborhood church expanded to meet the community's needs. Work included barrelmaking, fishing, and carpentry. As time went on, the men sent for wives and families from Europe and the single men found girls among the newly arrived daughters. The area slowly recovered in wealth and had reached lower middle class by the end of the 1920s.
1930s through WWII
The Great Depression of the 1930s hit Gerszewski Hill harder than most places. The downturn caused the mobsters of Independence Port to make inroads. Already hard-hit by a lack of work, woodworkers found they needed to pay "gardeners" for window boxes and "protection" for their businesses. But young mobsters, looking to live life as if the 20s had never ended, found they had picked a poor place to expand.
The dawn of heroes had come to Paragon City and Gerszewski Hill took part in its light. Two new heroes, the Bukke Viking and the Norse Fisk took the fight up the fight against the Mafia. The heroes were instrumental in pushing the influence of the Italian mob back to the port.
When the Germans invaded Paragon City, only a pair of 5th Column scouting parties came into the Bukke. Bukke Viking and Norse Fisk both greeted them and the battle was fierce. Viking was gravely wounded and remained crippled for the rest of the war, but Norse defeated the remainder of the intruders the and joined up with other heroes to fight back the rest of the German force.
The young men of the neighborhood volunteered for the military in droves and Viking lead the area's effort to sell war bonds. The area's experience mirrored city life the rest of America. Rationing made life harder. Wives hung banners in their windows for sons and husbands fighting in far-away battles, and they feared the knock on the door that would tell them a loved one was no more. The whole neighborhood faced this shock with the news that Norse Fisk was killed late in the Battle of the Bulge.
The late 20th century
After World War II came to an end, the remainder of the 1940s was used to complete Norse Fisk Memorial Park. A memorial was set up just to the right of the Park's western entrance.
In the 1950s, Gerszewski Hill lost over half of its population to the suburbs. Together, the post-war boom and the rise of supervillain attacks on Paragon City encouraged many of the young returning G.I.s to leave. Many businesses closed and remained vacant. A healed Bukke Viking remained keeping watch over his part of Paragon City even as it changed around him. He married and fathered a son and two daughters.
Within seven years, the old residents were replaced by African Americans looking to escape the Jim Crow laws of the Southern States. Attracted by work and voting rights, the now "colored" neighborhood became a mix of cultures. Gjetost (goat cheese) was sold next to grits at the local grocery as an somewhat uneasy coexistence was forged between the old and new elements of Gerszewski Hill.
In 1963, Bukke Viking was pressed into service under the Might for Right Act. He was killed seven months later, in one the few superpowered Cold War battles to spill over into public knowledge. Gerszewski mourned the death of their native son and added his memorial next to Norse Fisk's.
Without a strong hero to guard its streets, Gerszewski Hill began a slow decline through the 70s and 80s. As inflation roared in, more and more people found the area too expensive to live in. A gradual exodus left buildings half-empty as long time residents moved away to the cheaper suburbs. Drug activity filled in the resulting vacuum.
The 1990s were better for Gerszewski Hill. The We-Deliver-It Corporation, a startup looking to exploit the new teleportation technology and deliver it to the civilian market, moved into the neighborhood at the start of the tech boom. The resulting jobs and the cheap housing led to community growth for the first time in decades. Additionally, the sensitive technology encouraged more heroes to make Gerszewski part of their patrol route, increasing the neighborhood's safety.
First Rikti Invasion
The 2002 Rikti Invasion brought Paragon City to its knees and Gerszewski Hill down along with it. The We-Deliver-It building proved a tempting target for the invaders. While the employees sabotaged the technology to keep it out of Rikti hands, the building that housed the company was obliterated. Surrounding buildings collapsed or were gutted by fire and over 210 people died.
As the war raged on, Gerszewski found itself outside the protection of the War Wall networks. Those still remaining after the We-Deliver-It attack left when sightings of Rikti patrols became commonplace. Most moved to safer areas such as Overbrook or Atlas Park.
Gerszewski Hill was on the wrong side of the War Walls to recover with any speed. What was once a community became a wasteland of Lost, Hellions, and Tsoo all fighting for influence. Most of Paragon's heroes had been killed and the fledgling replacement supers had taken a blow with Faultline's rupture of Overbrook.
Once every so often, heroes would patrol through Gerszewski Hill in an attempt to clean it. Unfortunately, as soon as the heroes had left, the gangs would return.
Renaissance and rechristening
Fusion Fuss, daughter of the late Bukke Viking, moved back to Paragon City to help with the reconstruction. Dismayed at the state of her old neighborhood, Fusion started to patrol Gerszewski regularly, but suffered the same setbacks other heroes had before her. Frustrated, she called her friends in the Dames of Maine supergroup and convinced some of them to establish a temporary satellite base in the old community.
Facing this new resistance, the Hellions quickly moved to easier hunting. The Tsoo, however, chose to make a stand. In late 2003, the local Tsoo leader, Yong Fist, gathered his troops in a direct attack on the Dames' base, the abandoned high school. Facing 50 to 1 odds, the Dames still broke the Tsoo and arrested Yong Fist. Their mission complete, Fusion's teammates then began making plans to return home.
Reasoning that some other gang would return after the Dames departed, Fusion took out loans to buy an abandoned apartment building and renovate it. To attract protectors to her home, she offered a rent discount of $300 a month to anyone who moved in with a valid Hero license. She filled the building in a matter of weeks, with approximately half of the residents being heroes.
Her first step accomplished, she requested developmental loans from the city and the federal governments to help with the urban renewal and purchased two more buildings. A condo developer copied her policies and offered a 20 percent discount to people with meta powers. Eventually, the concentration of heroes reached critical mass and other metas started moving in on their own.
The communities around Gerszewski Hill started referring to the neighborhood by names like Cape Town, Heroville, or Spandex Hills. Worried that one of the more unfortunate monikers would stick, Pressing Matters]], a hero with a day job in public relations, started a campaign to change the community's name in a positive direction instead. Pressing Matters also championed the creation of a community association to give a united voice. On April 12th, 2005, the community association formally asked the Paragon City Council to rename the Gerszewski Hill neighborhood to Hero Heights.
The population has changed immensely since the First Rikti Invasion. In the 2000 census, Gerszewski Hill was reported as having a population of 42% Caucasian, 43% African American, and 7% Asian, with the remainder claiming other ethnicities. Only 0.2% of people claimed any metahuman status.
A survey by the Hero Heights Community Association showed a population of 69% Caucasian, 15% African American, and 7% Asian, with the remainder claiming other ethnicities. Over 32.8% of the population claimed metahuman status.
- Glenn Lutheran Church - The church has been a part of Hero Heights since the mid-nineteenth century and is the oldest building in the area.
- Haakon Square - A public space with the Gerszewski Museum and the Community Center.
- Hero Heights High School - 7th to 12th grade. Also, for a few months, headquarters of the Dames of Maine.
- Macintosh Theater - A stage and movie house built in 1935 and recently restored to its old glory.
- Norse Fisk Memorial Park - The main public space for Hero Heights during the warmer months.
- Public Library - Located behind the Macintosh Theater. Small but serviceable.
- We-Deliver-It - A company that has been providing commercial teleport services since 1994. Allows heroes to use its systems free as a crime deterrent.