ACT ONE: What's past is prologue?
The story behind the so called 1602 reality, also known as Earth-311, actually began on another world designated Earth-460. Events on this world initially transpired in a similar fashion to mainstream Marvel continuity. Stephen Rogers was given the Super Soldier serum and became Captain America. He fought in World War II and was frozen for decades. There was also a second generation of heroes just like in Earth-616 including Daredevil and Spider-Man. But there were also differences. The Super Soldier serum granted the Captain America of Earth-460 eternal youth. As time went on other heroes aged until it was just Captain America left to stand against the Purple Man. The Purple Man had managed to assume control of America and imprisoned or killed all those who opposed him. Eventually he managed to capture Captain America as well. Rather than just kill him outright and make him a martyr, the Purple Man used a device to banish Captain America to the Earth-616’s past.
A very confused and disoriented Captain America awoke back in 1587. He was soon found by a group of Native Americans who took him in assuming he was from another tribe. Shortly thereafter, Captain America reinvented himself as Rojhaz. Rojhaz remained with the Native Americans for a period of time until he encountered the colonists of Roanoke. Roanoke was the first English colony in America and when Rojhaz came across them they were close to starvation. They had been waiting for their Governor John White and Sir Walter Raleigh to return with supplies. Unfortunately, the supplies never arrived as White and Raleigh were intercepted and killed by the Spanish. Luckily for the colonists, Rojhaz found them food. Without Rohjaz's intervention, they would never have survived their first harsh winter in Roanoke.
Among the colonists, Rojhaz met the infant Virginia Dare. As the first child ever born in America, Rojhaz realized how important she was to the fledgling nation and vowed to become her protector. When Virginia later developed shape shifting abilities Rojhaz was instrumental in protecting her and those around during her “changes.”
Note: The actual Roanoke has fascinated historians for centuries and is famed as the “Lost Colony.” Due to a burgeoning hostility with the Native Americans, Governor John White, Virginia’s grandfather, left for England to request aid for the colonists. In real world history White was not killed and when he returned to Roanoke in 1590, the colony was totally abandoned leaving only two clues the word “Cro” carved into a nearby tree and “Croatoan” carved into the post of a fort. Popular theories regarding the disappearance of the colonists were they grew tired of waiting for White to return and were lost at sea, or that they were killed by the Spanish settlers. The most popular theory, however, is that they were assimilated by the local people.
In mainstream Marvel continuity the Roanoke colony was wiped out by a disciple of the first vampire Varnae who turned the entire colony into vampires.
[Marvel Comics Presents #63-64]
Rojhaz's appearance in the timeline so early caused temporal ripples that had the potential to destroy all reality. These ripples caused dinosaurs to survive their destruction and live on to 1602. It caused world wide storms and bizarre weather patterns. It also caused people to be born out of their correct place in time. This resulted in a generation of superheroes born centuries earlier than they were supposed to.
[1602 #1-8 flashbacks]
ACT TWO: Dramatis Personae
In 1592, Sir Richard Reed crafted a ship called the Fantastick. The ship was captained by an old friend of his, Benjamin Grimm. Among the crew was a young adventurer named John Storm and Storm’s older sister Susan.
The ship was bound for the New World in search of knowledge. As they journeyed through the Sargasso Sea all four were exposed to a strange light that changed them. They now seemed to personify the elements. Richard was now as malleable as the ocean, Benjamin was strong as the earth, John burned as strongly as any flame and Susan was as transparent as the air.
The four continued to circumvent the globe until they mysteriously disappeared. Despite their disappearance, the four became mythic figures and the subject of a well-known ballad. In actuality, the four had been captured by the villainous Count Otto Von Doom of Latveria.
The Four Fantastick weren’t the only people with powers. All across the world people were being born with powers. Dubbed the “Witchbreed”, these children were greatly feared and persecuted, particularly by the Spanish Inquisition and the Scottish King, James VI., who believed them to be witches, demons and an omen of the world's impending end.
Carlos Javier ran a school for these children in England. His students included the cryokinetic Robert Trefusis, the ape-like Henry McCoy, his telekinetic page John (Jean) Grey and their captain, Scotius Summerisle. Javier’s Witchbreed constantly clashed with the Grand Inquisitor, Enrique, who was secretly also a Witchbreed. Enrique had been a former friend of Javier’s. He was secretly using the church to rescue Witchbreeds, but only those who could pass for human such as Toad and Enrique’s own children Petros and Sister Wanda. Unfortunately, a young angelic-looking mutant named Werner wasn’t as lucky. He was imprisoned by the Inquisitor who intended to burn him at the stake.
Queen Elizabeth was one of the first people to recognize the potential value of the Witchbreed. Under the wise counsel of her head of intelligence Sir Nicholas Fury, she was actually the secret sponsor of Javier’s school. Fury had a variety of skilled operatives all over Europe. Among his agents were Natasha, a Russian widow who was purported to be the “most dangerous woman in Europe” , the blind Irish bard matthew Murdoch whose other senses more than made up for his lack of sight and Fury's personal attendant, Peter Parquagh. Parquagh was the orphaned son of former operatives of Fury’s.
As she got older and her health deteriorated the Queen also came to recognize the value of mysticism. Her court physician was none other than Doctor Stephen Strange who, along with his wife Clea, aided the Queen in matters of health and also the occult. Both greatly feared what would happen to them and other magic practitioners if Queen Elizabeth died and King James was crowned king of England.
ACT THREE: Stars, hide your fires!
By the year 1602, after a week of blood red skies, floods and earthquakes all across England it became very clear that something was very wrong with the world. Queen Elizabeth ordered her two most trusted advisers Sir Nicholas Fury and Doctor Stephen Strange to investigate the problem.
Neither Fury nor Strange could identify the problem at the time but it was agreed that something was very wrong. Strange mentioned there was something that may be of value to the current crisis. There was a “treasure” in the possession of an elderly Templar named Donal that was currently in Jerusalem. Strange had been asked to protect it and believing it to be a powerful weapon, he asked for the aid of Fury to courier it to safety. Fury and his attendant Peter Parquagh enlisted two of Fury’s top agents the blind bard Matthew Murdoch and the widow Natasha to facilitate the object’s safe passage to England. En route to meet with Murdoch they were attacked by a mysterious assassin. Fury managed to quickly defeat his assailant and bring him in for questioning.
While Fury was doing this, Strange was attempting to discover the cause behind the “strange weather.” To this aim, Strange departed on an astral journey. In his vision, he saw Rojhaz and a young Virginia Dare as they traveled to London for their audience with the Queen. He also discovered the imprisoned Four Fantastick and the angelic Werner about to be burned at the stake. His astral investigation abruptly ended after he spotted the Grand Inquisitor Enrique and his daughter Sister Wanda, who sensed Strange's presence and banished him from the astral plane. Hurtling back to the physical world, Strange was quickly attended to by his wife Clea as he attempted to make sense of what he had just witnessed and put the pieces of this mystery together.