The Big Villains Thread

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The Big Villains Thread

Looking for a specific villain?  Look HERE for the Villain of the Day Index!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Villains of the Day:  January 1st, 2nd, and 3rd  (The Undying Husk, The Shattered villain team, and Coagulus, the Living Clot)

 

We have a thread with heroes out there already; let's make some Villains!  

It occurs to me that, long ago, we had a Villains thread...which is now several pages deep in the forum.  Oh well; new one!

 

Two of mine from earlier:  

Xu (of Xu's bell) isn't dead.  Nor can she die.  While her physical essence has faded, her role as a Virtuoso of the Void forever ties her to both the material world and to the Nexus of the Void.  And, because Anthony Drake destroyed her bell during the Voss invasion, she can no longer manifest as a true Void-Spirit or provide counsel to the other Virtuosos.  She has been stripped of her one true purpose and denied the sweet release of death.

Now, as an enervated Void-Wraith, The Undying Husk seeks vengeance upon the Argent Adept and any who would dare defile the relics of the past. Her songs are dirges, broken and dissonant; her chants bring ear-splitting pain and misery.  And the horrible silence from her broken bell?  The sound of heartbreak.

 

...if I'm feeling more ambitious, I might start working towards a "Great Escape" plotline, borrowing heavily from the Crisis on Earth-2 storylines:  the various villains from the shattered timelines, marooned in this reality, decide to band together for self-defense, hoping to acquire/borrow/steal/manipulate enough power to breach the boundaries into a less-defensible reality.  Should they succeed, an entire reality would be at their mercy; all the while, they face the heroes with the challenge, "You wanted to be rid of us, right?  Well, let us go, and you'll never hear from us again..." Enter, The Shattered:

I'm thinking a team-up of Citizens Storm and Dusk, BloodMist (a version of Nightmist who sought additional power from blood magic, rather than the Void), Inferno (a sort-of reverse Absolute Zero, constantly in danger of literally igniting the atmosphere around him), Commander KNYFE (the general-type one, featured in the art on The Letters Page, who mentally commands a legion of subservient KNYFE clones, who provide the group's muscle), and The Reckoner (a version of Chrono-Ranger corrupted by Biomancer's meddling into CON's systems, turned assassin/enforcer).

 

And one New One:

Biomancer hasn't always restricted his arcane creations to mere flesh.  Rather, the unfortunate runoff from his experimentations has served to be a unique medium unto itself.  The blood, effluvia, and arcane fluids leftover from a legion of homunculi accumulated in the vats below Biomancer's laboratory, awaiting disposal...until it arose.

Biomancer has dubbed his most unique creation as Coagulus, the Living Clot, which serves him as a spy and infiltrator.  In its natural form, Coagulus can slither through the smallest opening, shrugs off most physical attacks, and can literally drown its victims in a flood of half-coagulated plasma.  However, Coagulus can also take the form of any person which went into its creation or any creature with which it shares blood.  In this form, it exists as a perfect spy, able to infiltrate 'real life' with ease...

Coagulus' greatest weakness, however, is also its greatest strength:  its true nature as a creature of blood.  This leaves it particularly susceptible to the use of blood magic, which can both permanently discorporate Coagulus or enthrall it to the blood magic user.  As such, Biomancer kept Coagulus as a great secret--a sleeper agent, hidden as a grand contingency--in the fear that the Blood Countess will overtake his magicks.

Edited by: Rabit on Jan 2 2019 - 10:07am
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I'll repost this character from the "RPG Character Thread" to get all the villains in one place. I'll post a second one latter

 

The Patchwork Preacher

The ravages of Obliveon left the entire world reeling, but as is always the case in the face of grand disaster, not everyone suffered equally. The poor and the disenfranchised don’t have insurance policies to cover the damage, and not everyone has a local hero team to employ advanced science or magic power to help clear the rubble. There are angry grumbles by some, seeing ivory towers rebuilt while in the shadows there lives are encroached upon by decay.

Those bitter feelings have found someone to give them a voice.

The man known as the Patchwork Preacher lurks in the worst areas of the world. Slums and wastelands where even day to day living has become a problem. His name comes from his appearance and clothing. He is a weather beaten, leathery man with a wild masses of tangled hair and more than a few scars indicating a live hard fought. His clothing is layers and layers of ragged and unwashed clothing, stitched and sewn together into a mess. Bits of leather and cloth and rags giving his silhouette an inhuman quality and making him appear to have much more bulk then his short height would normally convey.

He preaches a message of survival and triumph though misery, how the meek who now suffer shall use that suffering to grow strong and destroy those who have exploited there pain, and he possess a strange, gruff charisma and miraculous powers that has earned him more than a few followers.

The Preacher is a practitioner of Pathomancy, from the Greek Pathos, a form of magic that takes eldritch energy from the emotions of those around him. He can channel his own anger to inflame the emotions of a crowd and make them more receptive to his words. He can, in turn, channel the emotions of others to great effect.

A favorite trick is the creation of Ragged Angels, bits of cloth and junk animated to serve his will, infused with a malign will if not true sentience by the gathered eldritch energy. These servitors can range greatly in form and power, from a broken doll with a knife created from the essence of a word shouted in anger to a junkyard colossus from the channeled hatred of a riot.

The preacher likely has other tricks up his sleeve just waiting to be used, he has not yet confronted any hero directly, but like fungus growing in an open wound the damage caused by OblivAeon has allowed him to grow ever stronger


Remember, don't turn that frown upside down! Turn it into Eldritch Power to summon our Dark Master to Spite a world that has wronged you.

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Villain of the Day:  January 4th  (Rubble)

The destruction that Rook City faced at the hands of OblivAeon turned an already-shattered city into one of ruins.  While Rook City was spared the total annihilation that faced San Alonzo, its art-deco skyscrapers and grotesque-adorned cathedrals were razed, its streets cracked and blood-spattered.

Rook City's emergency crews were stretched particularly thin during the OblivAeon crisis; the police had all but abandoned the streets, leaving all-out anarchy in the streets.  Paramedics Marcus Mannon and Kathryn Cargile were among those that refused to abandon the people of Rook City in their time of need, providing emergency care to trapped individuals and evacuating citizens to safe points outside of the city limits.

That was, however, until the very street collapsed beneath their wheels, plunging their ambulance into the archaic Rook City sewers.  The pair died screaming, drowned by the filth of Rook City in a cage of steel and stone.

But, of course, the chemicals and runoff in Rook City has strange effects at times and, in the presence of the cosmic power of OblivAeon, can bring about phenomenal change.

Rubble rose that day from the wreckage of Rook City:  an animated behemoth of twisted steel and shattered concrete.  Confused and enraged, it lashed out against any who dared approach it.  However, some witnesses claim that the creature speaks on occasion--sometimes with the voice of a middle-aged man, other times as a young woman.  Could it be that Marcus and Kathryn live on, somewhere in the consciousness of Rubble?  And, if that is so, whose consciousness dominates the creature, causing it to lash out so violently?

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Villain of the Day:  January 5th  (Cross-Cut)

Elliot Barnes was sure that he was the last man on Earth.  The last thing he remembered seeing was the massive form of OblivAeon, walking away.  When Elliot crawled out from under the wreckage of his Lighthouse Studios office, everything in San Alonzo was naught but smoke and ruin. 

Injured, but not dead, Elliot managed wandered for weeks across the devastated city.  Not once did he even find another living soul.  However, he was determined.  Elliot believed that he was the last of humanity, set to rebuild the world after so many others had failed.

After five weeks of starvation, thirst, and desperation, Elliot managed to find a semi-intact car and decided to head towards the American heartland, hoping to find a farm or such, where he could live out the rest of his days.  After the first hundred miles, he found....a rest stop.  With three gas stations.  And two fast food restaurants.  And a convenience store.  All of which were fully staffed and bustling.

Confused, the grimy, lean Elliot staggered into the convenience store, much to the chagrin of the staff and other patrons.  As he looked up, the tv above the the register was flaring a special news report:  the opening of Freedom Plaza and the institution of the Sentinels of Freedom.  There was Legacy, Tachyon, and all the Freedom Five and their allies--still alive, smiling and cheering.  

Elliot screamed in rage.  And, as he did, everything around him froze.  The counterman stood stock still, his mouth hanging open in alarm.  A female patron froze in mid-step, her right foot never hitting the floor.  Frightened beyond belief, Elliot ran...

Within weeks, Elliot grew to realize:  he could manipulate time in small areas:  speeding it up, slowing it down, or freezing it entirely.  Still enraged that "those heroes let my city die, let my friends and family die!", he christened himself Cross-Cut, a knife-wielding time manipulator who would show the world who those heroes left behind.

 

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Villain of the Day:  January 6th  (The Jigsaw Man)

Mark Harrington was Spite's final victim.  Slashed to ribbons with his gardening shears, The Wraith found him crawling across the paving stones in his gardens, trying to reach his kitchen phone.  The last thing he remembered was the look of failure in her eyes as everything faded to white.  

Harrington awoke, screaming, in his own coffin.  The Rook City coroner did their best, but his body was still covered with rough stitched scars--a closed casket, to be sure.  

After the first hour, he finally stopped screaming and realized that, in fact, he was still alive.  Cold, not breathing, with no pulse, but somehow alive.  In a moment of cognizance, he started to wonder how to escape his six-foot deep tomb.  

Luckily enough for Mark, whatever eldritch force animated him also allowed him a most unique ability.  In addition to the strength and durability of the undead, he found himself able to tear off his body parts, which would act independently in his command.  A few severed fingers were all he needed to claw an opening through the coffin lid, then his two severed hands to dig their way out from his grave-earth.  Eyes would skitter about on tendril-like optic nerves, while his chattering jawbone snapped and clattered.

Mark has gone utterly mad from his death and resurrection.  Vengeance and death are his watchwords now, as The Jigsaw Man brings a new degree of horror to the streets of Rook City.  And The Wraith will surely know his wrath.

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Villain of the Day:  January 7th  (Rahm-Tel-Lorn the Ravager)

Rahm-Tel-Lorn the Ravager was born on a backwater world, the son of moisture farmers on the outskirts of a great desert.  Rahm always swore that he'd "make it off this rock, and everyone will respect me, then!"  His parents saw this as nothing more than the foolishness of a ranting teenager, unhappy with his lot in life.  When he stole most of their savings and fled the planet on a scavenger's ship, they were utterly stunned.  How could they have possibly gone so wrong?

If nothing else, Rahm was a poster boy for petulance and greed, taking mercenary jobs on various warring planets and, in between those, exploring rusting hulks in space for salvagable wares.  

On one of those massive hulks, Rahm-Tel-Lorn changed his fate entirely.  Stowed away in the deepest holds of a derelict warship, Rahm found a weapon:  a pulsing orb of living energy he later found to be called the Soul of Paloran.  The Soul of Paloran held the cosmic energy of an entire defunct race--the Paloran energy beings-- which Rahm now wielded with aplomb.  

However, Rahm is nothing if not a selfish, arrogant, childish creature.  He wields massive cosmic power--the ability to absorb and project energy, immense strength and durability, flight, and an ability to catalyze exothermic reactions--but he does so with all the skill, grace, and wisdom of a toddler in mid-tantrum.  He roams from world to world, conquering worlds for their riches and whatever strikes his fancy, then grows bored for further conquests.  He is petulant and immature, but the Soul of Paloran makes him a force that could shake the Multiverse.

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Christian Dunmurray was, finally, just as had been predicted so many aweful years ago, a failed actor. The realization struck like a silver hammer destroying what was left of his tenuous pride. When this type of event happens some people rally, they turn themselves towards the future and make efforts to improve themselves. Christian is not one of those people.

 

In fact, Christian was very much standing at a pit stop on the freeway, looking down at San Alanso and cursing everyone there who had conspired against his "obvious greatness" when OblivAeon arrived. The Shockwave of destruction killed a great many, Christian was struck by the first wave and thrown back against is rustbucket van even with more than an hours drive between him and the massive spectre of doom that now stood like a vengeful god amidst the rubble of the city that had rejected him.

 

When he saw the second shockwave coming he ran, he as fast as he could and as he ran everything started to get brighter until he could bearely see, then he hit a power pole, and smashed through it. Paramedics found him and rushed the injured christian to the nearest hospital to set bones and help him recover. All the while Christian marveled at where he was, from San Alanso almost to Rook City in the blink of an eye. He decided that if people wouldn't make him rich because of his acting talent, he would use these new powers to take whatever he wanted

 

After his recovery and some experimentation with his powers BlueShift set about his first few crimes, determined to gain the fame and recognition that was rightfully his.

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Villain of the Day:  January 8  (The Sous Chef)

There are many assassins and hired killers in the Multiverse.  And, of course, these guns-for-hire run the gamut from colorful, bombastic would-be villains to individuals you wouldn't bat an eye at if they sat beside you on the subway.  Georges Maillard--The Sous Chef--is just one of the latter.  

A classically trained French chef, Georges is particularly adept at preparations of fish, lamb, and numerous vegetables.  And poison.  And, as one might imagine, his knifework is impeccable.  While he trained at the Ecole de Cuise Alain Ducasse, he *also* trained in the French Special Operations Command, from which he was dismissed, following some disturbing revelations during one of his jobs in Vietnam.

George occasionally takes jobs from The Chairman, but mostly works as an independent operator, taking on jobs that fit within his own schedule and are of particular interest to him.  He charges exorbitant fees for his services--typically in excess of $250,000 per job--but his discretion, his skill, and his shocking rate of success make him an assassin in particular demand.

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:

  Georges Maillard--The Sous Chef--

I see what you did there.

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jffdougan wrote:

I see what you did there.

Glad someone caught that one.  It's almost as bad as naming a cold-manipulating character Frost... :P

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:
Elliot Barnes was sure that he was the last man on Earth.  The last thing he remembered seeing was the massive form of OblivAeon, walking away.  When Elliot crawled out from under the wreckage of his Lighthouse Studios office, everything in San Alonzo was naught but smoke and ruin. Injured, but not dead, Elliot managed wandered for weeks across the devastated city.  Not once did he even find another living soul.  However, he was determined.  Elliot believed that he was the last of humanity, set to rebuild the world after so many others had failed.After five weeks of starvation, thirst, and desperation, Elliot managed to find a semi-intact car and decided to head towards the American heartland, hoping to find a farm or such, where he could live out the rest of his days.  After the first hundred miles, he found....a rest stop.
This one beggars my imagination a bit.  San Alonzo is based on Hollywood, CA, which is in the middle of hundreds of square miles of suburban Los Angeles sprawl.  It should take a lot less time to reach the edge of the destruction.  Not to mention, I'd guarantee that news crews and relief efforts, including helicopters, would have showed up a lot sooner.

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MindWanderer wrote:

This one beggars my imagination a bit.  San Alonzo is based on Hollywood, CA, which is in the middle of hundreds of square miles of suburban Los Angeles sprawl.  It should take a lot less time to reach the edge of the destruction.  Not to mention, I'd guarantee that news crews and relief efforts, including helicopters, would have showed up a lot sooner.

Could be his sanity cracked long before this, and he wasn't able to perceive reality until it was brutally smacked in front of his face. I'm just making this up, but if during that time his brain "edited" his perceptions so that he didn't realize there were others around. (This is something that has happened to people in real situations, unfortunately. :-( ) 

Don't know if this was what was intended, but it could work...


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

Until we have an H emoticon:

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Rabit wrote:

MindWanderer wrote:

This one beggars my imagination a bit.  San Alonzo is based on Hollywood, CA, which is in the middle of hundreds of square miles of suburban Los Angeles sprawl.  It should take a lot less time to reach the edge of the destruction.  Not to mention, I'd guarantee that news crews and relief efforts, including helicopters, would have showed up a lot sooner.

Could be his sanity cracked long before this, and he wasn't able to perceive reality until it was brutally smacked in front of his face. I'm just making this up, but if during that time his brain "edited" his perceptions so that he didn't realize there were others around. (This is something that has happened to people in real situations, unfortunately. :-( ) Don't know if this was what was intended, but it could work...

Got it in one, chief. Elliot has seen The Omega Man too many times...

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Villain of the Day:  January 9th  (Scrutiny)

"...but you open the envelope, you always open the envelope, for the end of man is to know."

The true identity of the individual(s?) known as Scrutiny is unknown.  Direct face-to-face contact with Scrutiny has not been recorded by any heroes, though several would-be Sentinels of Freedom--particularly individuals for whom a secret identity is sensitive information--claim to have been contacted, with a manila-brown envelope under their door, with any compromising messages or information in simple Times New Roman font.

Scrutiny provides an information databank to villains, pure and simple.  If you have the cash, Scrutiny can tell you what Dana Bertrand had at the Mumbai Tiger lunch buffet earlier this afternoon or what shampoo is in the bathroom of Expatriette and Setback's apartment.  No detail is too insignificant, no information too 'unimportant'--Scrutiny collects it all and, to the right buyer, that information may be the difference between victory and defeat.  

All efforts to track Scrutiny have resulted in dead ends, though a few leads still remain outstanding.  A former Megalopolis reporter and blogger, Shannon Birchold, claimed to have access to an external hard drive which held recorded video, online chats, and contact information for an investigator claiming to be affiliated with Scrutiny in some way...

...that was before Shannon disappeared.

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Villain of the Day:  January 10  (Senator Daniel Ellison)

When Senator Daniel Ellison (R-IN) ran for office, he did so on a platform of small government, tax cuts, and "A return to Main Street, America."  Ellison was instrumental in the return of over 30,000 jobs to Indiana during his tenure as Lieutenant Governor, and mediated numerous disputes in both the economic and judicial sectors.  Ellison served two tours of duty with the United States Navy in the 1980s before returning to his hometown, where he joined as a managing partner of the Wenzer's Grocery chain.  Now in his 4th term as a Senator, Ellison sits on several notable standing committees, including both the Appropriations and Small Business/Entrepreneurship committees.  

While many of his critics on the other side of the aisle have criticized Ellison for his personal ties to two major defense firms and an ongoing legal battle with his home state's government regarding a questionable property sale, Ellison's moderate social views have allowed him to retain the incumbancy for his Senate seat for what will likely be a lengthy career.  His skill in business brought him wealth, but his skill as an orator and persuader have made him a formidable political rival.

However, Ellison has one particular target within his sights:  the Sentinels of Freedom.  While he will be the first to thank Legacy and his comrades for their service during the OblivAeon crisis, Ellison is galled by the sheer amount of funding being requisitioned for the new Freedom Plaza, a whole series of superheroic shenanigans, and a number of other high-cost items associated with maintaining the Sentinels, who effectively perform without any finite government oversight.  Ellison is quick to note the unchecked, "blank-book" spending at Fort Adamant, citing the lack of financial and ethical oversight by General Armstrong as nothing more than a precursor to the several trillion dollar price tag on the Sentinels of Freedom. And, as vice-chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Ellison is well-situated to create a massive bureaucratic entanglement, capable of shuttering the doors on Freedom Plaza.  

Could it possibly be that the Sentinels fall not to a villain or an alien invasion, but to red tape?

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-- Date, 1.10. 11th year after capture

--- Enclosed encrypted transmission of Commandant Luctiena Ferr-ihm's personal log

---- It has been three days since we managed to secure our freedom.We have been imprisoned in this place since being captured by the human unit called the Freedom Five. Some type of massive explosion in the human city west of us just out of the mountains disrupted our captors. Our force has apparently been held in this secret underground prison until some cataclysmic event disrupted it enough to allow nearly 30 of my men to escape and reacquire weapons. Because of the collapse of the entrance and the lack of human response they were able to slowly conquer the base and free me to reestablish command and gain access to encrypted QuantiCom channels. Of the nearly twenty six authority squads detained as prisoners of war in this camp I am the only surviving comandant. The others either did not reawaken from stasis or perished of injuries during their detainment. Many squads had to be combined to form proper units and I assigned the most experienced leaders available as temporary authorities beneath me until proper Commandants can be found for them.

Once I was reawakened restoring order to the platoon was difficult but it has been accomplished. and we've managed to reacquire and reassemble most of our weapons. The humans were disecting them in a wise, but ill fated attempt to duplicate our superior weaponry. I have taken to using digging out the collapsed entrances to our new opperations center and reassebling weapons as punishment in lieu of the usual lashes. It may not instil as much fear of failure but it has been more useful of late.

I have also, thanks to the prodigious library of the instilations original commander, taken to studying ancient human commanders and warriors, the Philosophies of Sun Tsu, Genghis Khan, and Hannibal have been of particular insight. I have also studied the stories of many humans trapped behind enemy lines, the stories of these sorts are plentiful and held with reverence by the historians involved. Humans seem to have a blind spot in rooting for the "Underdog". Though it feels strange to empathise with dissidents, let alone humans, these stories have been comforting in their similarity to our situation.

Because of my study of them, I now believe though it pains me to say it, that Grand Warlord Voss underestimated these humans. I will await punishement for that sentiment as well as orders from High Command as we fortify our position and ensure it remains secret. If we have not recieved orders by the time the entrance has been cleared we will begin conducting a geurilla war against this world in an effort to acquire enough tech to construct a ship to return to Dok'Thorath.

If the Humans hold this type of story in reverance that will be my greatest weapon against them. I will take a name for myself from their own languages. I will raid their military instilations and burn their science facilities to the ground; all the while their own communications network will spread tales of my last stand in a foreign land and my heroic attempts to lead my people home. I swear on the banner of my soverign, their fractious governments will tremble at the warcries of Peregrivox and her Thousand, while their own people cheer for my victory.

---end playback

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Villain of the Day:  January 11th  (Nimbus)

Augie Emmanuel always had his nose in a book.  Even in elementary school, he could be found in the scienc section of the library, reading up on inventors from throughout history.  While he admired the likes of Newton, Franklin, and da Vinci, he reserved his deepeest admiration for Nikolai Tesla.  Borderline fixated on the eccentric inventor, Augie saw Tesla as something of a kindred spirit--both "misunderstood geniuses" who were never appreciated in their own time.  Never mind that Augie was barely a high-school junior and could barely pass high school chemistry; he knew his own worth, even if no one else would recognize his greatness.

When he was rejected for his school's quiz bowl team--citing his lack of effort in his coursework--Augie snapped.  He'd show them!  He'd show them all!  His frustration and entitlement knew no bounds as Augie took to his 'workshop' (i.e. his parents' garage) to exact his revenge, by completing one of Teslas's forgotten experiments and wreak his vengeance all across the cafeteria.  

He didn't get far.  HIs prototype exploded in his backyard, which was investigated by the authorities.  When they saw what he had been planning, Augie was arrested on domestic terrorism related charges, whereupon he was sentenced as an adult to 4 years in prison.

Augie simmered in a white-collar, medium-security prison...until the day he was visited by a mysterious man with an equally mysterious offer.  He could offer Augie the chance to exact his revenge, to be the genius he was destined to be:  a chance to do all the things he truly 'deserved'.  All he had to do was sign on the proverbial dotted and agree to a few 'future tasks'.

When Augie returned to James Madison Memorial Prep School, it was not in his normal black t-shirt and jeans.  Rather, now it was in his new identity:  Nimbus, complete with Tesla-Coil gauntlets and his Electro-Static Discharge Harness....all courtesy of his mysterious benefactor.

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I just wanna say this thread is really great!

Ehkrickor wrote:

Christian Dunmurray was, finally, just as had been predicted so many aweful years ago, a failed actor. The realization struck like a silver hammer destroying what was left of his tenuous pride. When this type of event happens some people rally, they turn themselves towards the future and make efforts to improve themselves. Christian is not one of those people. In fact Christian was very much standing at an pit stop on the freeway, looking down at San Alanso and cursing everyone there who had conspired against his "obvious greatness" whe OblivAeon appeared there. The Shockwave of destruction killed a great many, Christian was struck by the first wave and thrown back against is rustbucked van even with more than an hours drive between him and the massive spectre of doom that now stood like a vengeful god amidst the rubble of the city that had rejected him. When he saw the second shockwave coming he ran, he as he ran everything started to get brighter until he could bearely see, then he hit a power pole, and smashed through it. Paramedics found him and rushed the injured christian to the nearest hospital to set bones and help him recover. All the while Christian marveled at where he was, from San Alanso almost to Rook City in the blink of an eye. He decided that if people wouldn't make him rich because of his acting talent, he would use these new powers to take whatever he wanted After his recovery and some experimentation with his powers BlueShift set about his first few crimes, determined to gain the fame and recognition that was rightfully his.

At first I thought Christian was going to mistakenly believe he had somehow caused OblivAeon to destroy San Alonso and that would largely inform his character.  You could probably make a hero with that idea who is trying to do good to atone for the suffering they think they caused.

I'm a little confused about BlueShift's powers from this description.  Is he a speedster, or does he teleport, or is it something else?  Will he always travel large distances without realizing it, or is that just because he isn't used to it yet?

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rjc917 wrote:

At first I thought Christian was going to mistakenly believe he had somehow caused OblivAeon to destroy San Alonso and that would largely inform his character.  You could probably make a hero with that idea who is trying to do good to atone for the suffering they think they caused.I'm a little confused about BlueShift's powers from this description.  Is he a speedster, or does he teleport, or is it something else?  Will he always travel large distances without realizing it, or is that just because he isn't used to it yet?

 

He is a speedster. He was just shocked because it was the first time he'd ever done that & didn't really have time to think between OblivAeon and the sudden power pole. When you move above a certain speed the Doppler effect starts to apply light & that's why he couldn't see, everything got brighter cause it was blueshifting. Which is where got his name and is also the extent to which he understands the concept. He would have to train and push himself to hit that speed again(fear is a hell of a motivator) He is very dangerous because he lacks the scientific mind that Tachyon or even to a lesser extent friction had that allowed them to minimize their effects on the stuff around them. He will decide he wants coffee, jet off to get some & go back to where he was. & that's the extent to which he cares about the event, he has his coffee now. but the people he pushed past on the sidewalk are severely hurt & the door to the coffee shop has to be repaired because at his speed he tore it off the hinges on his way out. Tachyon is careful with her powers, Friction while a villain was more focused on what she wanted, Christian just kinda... does stuff.

That hero idea is pretty swanky, maybe a teleporter who leaves just before OblivAeon arrives and is now wrestling with survivors guilt or something, 

 

Also i have to go back through cause rereading it i noticed some spelling/punctuation errors i missed. lol

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Villain of the Day:  January 12th--Missy the Maw

Melissa Akins was meant to be a sacrifice.  A loner by nature, Melissa--or, Missy, as her book club called her--had few friends and would while away the hours reading books in her local Harbucks Coffee shop.  Captured by the Cult of Gloom while on break from Overbrook University, Melissa was abducted fand went missing for 6 days, and was the subject of a feverish manhunt.  

During that time, Melissa was awash with emotions.  Despair, abject terror, stern resolution....then, finally, something of a strange admiration.  These strange, hooded cultists were just like her, only they knew something she did not.  They knew the truth of the universe.  Within the span of 72 hours, Melissa dropped into acute Stockholm Syndrome, even convincing her captors to allow her free roaming of their secret compound and asking numerous questions about their planned ritual.

The ritual, roughly translated from the Sumerian, was known as "Call Forth the Devourer of the Living".  In actuality, it would have summoned Valifar the Ever-Hungry, a lesser servitor of GloomWeaver and denizen of the Realm of Discord.  Even as the cultists began their chant and made their first incision into Melissa's belly, the girl was smiling.  She was part of something greater.

That's when the heroes burst in.  With Valifar only partially summoned, the ritual was disrupted.  Melissa howled in protest as the "heroes" handily defeated her new friends and unchained her from the altar.  However, something was very off...

The interruption to the cultists' spell had left Valifar trapped between the worlds, with his great devouring mouth manifest in the gaping incision in Melissa's lower torso.  Where her intestines and other organs would be, now lay the opening to an eternity of pain, digesting slowly in Valifar's infinite bowels.  That incision flapped open like a toothy mouth unto itself, able to chew through anything and send the remains to feed her symbiotic demon ally.  Valifar could even use Melissa to project toothed, tentacular tongues which could grapple, rip, and rend...making it all the easier for Missy the Maw to feast.

Now?  Missy the Maw seeks out other cultists of Gloom eager to bring about a darker world.  And with Valifar infesting her gut, she need never be alone again...

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That is terrifying, well done. D:

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Villain of the Day: January 13. (Entropos)

All things end. Entropos aches to make the end come faster.

Once a phenomenally powerful alien being, claiming to be a deity of death and carnage, a team of ancient cosmic warriors managed to fight Entropos to a standstill, then fling him within the event horizon of two colliding black holes. Entropos was torn apart by immeasurable gravitic forces, his screams echoing across the universe.

But, an ancient cosmic being of destruction thrown into an all-consuming mass? Much akin to throwing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch.

Entropos has only grown in both size and power. The colliding black holes are now his to control, and the universe will quake with fear as the last few atoms vibrate out of existence.

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Villain of the Day:  January 14th (Max Justice)

Maximilian Juszkiewicz has always been a self-aggrandizing, self-promoting punk.  In high-school, he was an all-star, double-lettered athlete (foot ball and basketball), who could have easily had his choice of college athletic scholarships.  But that wasn't enough for him; Max wanted more.  His selfish personality came off as a major negative with his would-be coaches, and he ended up at a local community college, lacking any options.

If anything, that seemed to make Max even more arrogant--taking classes with adult students looking to enhance their lives and part-time students hoping to complete a degree, Max simply thought of himself as "better" than his classmates, often skipping group projects and presentations and, as one might predict, failing out.  Even as he met with the dean, his attitude of arrogance and entitlement meant that the college skipped over its usual probationary and rehabilitation period in favor of simply letting Max out on his own.

That was the last straw for Max's parents.  They kicked him out of the house, leaving him to juggle part-time jobs in order to make ends meet in a studio apartment on the outskirts of Megalopolis.  Max could hardly keep even these jobs, with his glory-hogging arrogance causing more than one firing.

Not long after?  A mysterious stranger appeared on Max's doorstep.  Claiming to be a fan of his high-school athletics, it quickly became apparent that this benefactor had something of an offer:  "How would you like to be a superhero?"  

With a new super-suit granting him flight, energy projection, strength, and durability, Max was one of the first entrants into the Sentinels of Freedom program under the name Max Justice.  And, as you might predict, he was the first (and only) individual kicked out of the program.  The Freedom Five and their fellow trainers simply had no patience for his attitude, his unwillingness to help his compatriots, and his tendency to showboat.  Since that day, Max has sworn that he'll be "a better hero than they ever were!"  While he has yet to actually do much heroic, he continually provides interference and aggravation for any new heroes as part of the Sentinels of Freedom program.

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First Nimbus, and now Max Justice. Someone is passing out super-tech to those unfit to weild it...

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cheeky 

Hmmm...it's almost like I'm building up a series of campaign seeds right there... 

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On July 23rd, 2018, an enormous monster rampaged through Megalopolis, utterly destroying a diner, a jewerly store, and a post office and severely damaging several other buildings.  The heroes converged rapidly and managed to prevent any loss of life, but the monster managed to elude capture and disappeared into the nearby wilderness.  The fight carried the heroes away from the destroyed jewerly store, and when order was restored several valuable pieces were missing, including a ring set with a small brilliantly blue sapphire.

The beast was nearly 10 ft tall at the shoulder, with 3 pairs of legs (all different, none matching Earth animals), enormous feathered wings, a triply forked tail covered with poison spines, and a face best described as a combination of a cat and a snake.  Which breathed fire.  The media dubbed it The Manticore

 

The Manticore reappeared three weeks later, this time destroying a theater, several office buildings, and the Megalopolis Natural History Museum.  The MNHM was a particular tragedy as many priceless artifacts were utterly destroyed, including a diadem with a small dazzlingly red ruby.

 

Two weeks after that The Manticore struck again, terrorizing the Freedom Plaza.  This time no buildings were destroyed, but a young man was hospitalized in critical condition.  He has been accepting his boyfriend's proposal when the monster appeared and was greviously injured while protecting his fiance.  The ring, a silver band with a small luminously green emerald, was not recovered.  Once again, the Manticore escaped almost entirely unscathed.

 

 

Over the next several months, the Manticore struck at a number of different cities, causing destruction and escaping with only minor wounds.  The heroes have observed no intelligence greater than that of a clever animal, and no pattern has been found to the attacks.  But just because the heroes have not observed these things does not mean that they are not there...

 


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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Villains of the Day:  January 15th (Vortigern of Kent)

In the annals of Arthurian lore, figures like Lancelot, Galahad, and Guinevere have echoed through the centuries through legend and story.  Alongside Arthur himself, these figures have been ushered into the cultural landscape.  Vortigern, in the meanwhile?  Little more than a bit player, notable only for medieval scholars and literature professors.

In the early Middle Ages, Vortigern was a warlord in what is now modern-day Wales, who led native Welsh, Picts, and Celts against Arthur's rising court at Camelot.  The scholar William of Malmesbury described Vortigern as "a man calculated neither for the field nor the council, but wholly given up to the lusts of the flesh, the slave of every vice:  a character of insatiable avarice, ungovernable pride, and polluted by his lusts..."  and was added to William's "damnatio memoriae", being noted as a "superbus tyrannus".

However, one of his gradiose 'conquests' proved to be Vortigern's downfall.  After the attempted abduction of Sevira, the daughter of a powerful arcanist known only as Maxiumus Magnus, Arthur and his knights confronted Vortigern in a place of great power:  the Pillar of Eliseg.  There, Magnus wrought a great enchantment upon Vortigern, casting the knave into a an abyssal portal and purging him from the land...

For what seemed like ages--and yet no time at all--Vortigern plunged through time, his body awash with cosmic energy and eldritch sorcery.  Finally, at long last, the portal deposited him just outside of Megalopolis.

Vortigern has taken to this brave new world with abandon and, while still slow to adjust to modern sensibilities, he sees the area as ripe for the picking.  His greed, his lust, and his desires know no bounds.  His ensorcelled armor and battle-axe--permeated with power from his temporal displacement--grant him a phenomenal strength and durability, as well as a blade capable of slicing through steel girders.  While he has little in the way of grandiose plots or villainous schemes short of taking the things he desires, Vortigern has become a force to be reckoned with in this modern era.

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Villain of the Day:  January 16th  (Heist)

Nathan Whitaker stole his first item at age 5.  Mind you, it was only a candy bar and his mother caught him almost immediately, but the thrill he got--the look on the convenience store owner's face, the reaction from his mother--had him hooked from the very outset.

Throughout his childhood and teenage years, items simply seemed to disappear whenever Nathan was around.  Sometimes he was caught, though most times, Nathan absconded with his prizes scot-free, leaving him with his ill-gotten gains and a knowing smirk.  Wallets full of cash, the occasional bracelet or necklace, lab equipment from his high school; the actual item never seemed to matter to Nathan, simply the thrill of the theft.

It was the lab equipment--sold at a local pawn shop--that got Nathan sent to juvenile detention.  He spent most of his sophomore year in high school in juvie, after which he elected to go to a local career/technology center to finish his diploma, rather than return to a more traditional school.  From that day, Nathan swore:  no one would ever catch him again...he'd start with a mask.

While not a technological savant by any stretch, Nathan graduated with high marks and attended a technical school, focusing on security and audio-visual systems.  By day, he works at for Padlock Home Security systems as a hardware analyst.  In his spare time, though, Nathan's knowledge went to use under his masked identity, Heist.  Nathan's expertise allowed him access to high-security vaults, aided him in disabling cameras and security systems, and provided him the greatest thrill of his life.

Now, Heist provides infiltration and theft services to the highest bidders.  He continues to work at his day job as a cover, though his skill in thievery and tresspassing has made him notably wealthy.  Ever prudent, Heist has reinvested these funds into new technologies to aid him in his thefts, allowing him to take on bigger, more secure targets with ease.  The money's a nice perk, but it pales before the thrill of the Heist.

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Villain of the Day: January 17th. (The Leech)

Denny Maroni was a low-level thug in The Organization for years, shaking down store owners and restaraunteurs for protection money. While loyal to his compatriots, he gained something of a reputation for always being short on cash when buying food, going out for drinks, or otherwise sharing the tab. His friends somewhat good-naturedly started calling him The Leech, as a not so subtle reminder for him to stop mooching.

During Oblivaeon, however, Denny found the biggest score of his life: fleeing from the destruction in central Rook City, he found a tiny oblivaeon shard lodged in his suv tire. Picking it out, he was flooded with power... and hunger.

Denny no longer eats in the traditional sense. Rather, he steals away the life essence of anyone he touches, draining them away like a leech. He has an especial fondness for superhumans, whose powers he can temporarily commandeer after snacking on them. And now, Denny is rising through the ranks of the organization, swiftly becoming one of Chairman Pike's favored lieutenants...

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Villain of the Day:  January 18th  (Shard)

Naomi Zechmann didn't ask for powers.  On a spring-break beach trip with friends near San Alonzo, Naomi's powers first manifested, swirling the gorgeous beach sand into stinging siroccos that she was absolutely unable to control.  While law enforcement officers--with a timely assist from Benchmark--managed to take Naomi into custody, it quickly became apparant that she was out of her league.  Sixteen people were injured--none killed, surprisingly--though two of Naomi's sorority sisters suffered severe injuries.

That's when her lawyer arrived.  At least, he claimed to be her lawyer.  The sallow, middle-aged man smiled in a manner that seemed almost predatory.  "Let me be clear, I'm not an attorney.  At least, not anymore.  However, I do still represent certain governmental interests which hire exclusively metahuman candidates."

Mister Doe--John Doe, as it turned out--left with Naomi that very night, driving her to a helipad which flew to a distant facility full of armed guards, military hardware, and many scowling faces.  At this point, Naomi knew she was in over her head:  "Look, sir, I don't think this is a job I really want...  But, by then, it was all too late.  A swift injection and several months of mental manipulation and brainwashing later, the job was hers.

Eight months after Naomi Zechmann disappeared, Shard made her first appearance.  Able to mentally control silicates--most notably sand and glass--Shard was reported as having been sighted in the Middle Eastern dictatorship known as Kerplachistan.  The Kerplechistani dictator, Colonel Qadir al-Awkil, was found deceased in a stream near the border with Turkmenistan, his body and the bodies of his entourage impaled by numerous shards of glass, presumably from the windows of al-Awkil's state car.  She has been suspected in the assassination of several notable targets--university professors, political dissidents, and other "undesirables", however none have been able to catch or detain the elusive elementalist.  IN all cases, her methods are beyond lethal and she has proven to be a capable combatant in numerous methods of combat, especially in unarmed melee, to say nothing of her metahuman abilities.

There is no more Naomi Zechmann.  Or, at least, if there is, she's so far buried within her own subconsciousno one will ever find her again.  For now, all that remains is a Shard.

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Villain of the Day:  January 19th (The Conquerer Worm)

The evolution of life is a fickle thing:  while hominids sprouted up, evolvinng from austolopithicus to homo sapiens in a mere 3 million years, certain fish and reptile species have effectively halted any changes, existing in relatively the same state for tens of millions of years.  Among those 'static' species are the various annelids:  earthworms, leeches, ragworms, and their ilk.  

Entomologist Thomas Streed spent his life examining these curious creatures, exploring their evolutionary roots and their unique regenerative properties, in the hopes to unlock the genetic mysteries found within.  He never made it that far.

You see, in addition to his research labs at Connecticut State University--Megalopolis, Thomas also held a massive worm farm in the basement below his house.  Originally a dirt-floored root cellar, Thomas transformed his basement into a makeshift lab and breeding facility, often selling batches of worms to farmers and arborists to help aerate soil and aid in fertilization.  All told, the number of annelids found in Thomas' house likely tallied into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

When authorities found Thomas' body, it lay in the midst of his shattered breeding tanks, his bones stripped of all flesh and tissue.  Immediately, police began investigating this strange murder, but no weapon, suspect, or motive was found.  The only clue?  Nearly every worm in Thomas' breeding program had disappeared.

Several months later, the creature known as The Conquerer Worm first appeared.  A rag-clad figure, made up entirely of writhing, dripping annelids, menaced amusement park-goers at the Seven Pennants over Megalopolis, injuring several individuals and destroying several attractions at the park.  Heroes arrived on scene and engaged the creature briefly, only for the creature to discorporate into a mass of worms, burrowing away into the earth and effectively vanishing.  Witnesses to a Conquerer Worm incident claim that the creature has demonstrated higher intelligence, even speaking to certain individuals.  It claims that it has come to "rectify the genetic aberration that is homo sapiens" and return this marble Earth to its primal, prehistoric roots.  

As a man-sized swarm of annelids, The Conquerer Worm is particularly difficult to damage or capture.  It is capable of discorporating and recorporating at will, as well as swiftly burrowing through the earth itself.  Engaging it in melee is not advised, as its blows are capable of draining blood, leaving a would-be assailant weaker and weaker as a fight goes on.  No one knows what brought The Conquerer Worm to sentience--Akash'Thriya/Akash'Darsha claims no knowledge of such a being--but rest assured, the creature will not stop until mankind is laid low.

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@PlatinumWarlock How long do you plan on keeping this Villain of the Day going?  Because I'm loving it!

As someone who knows nothing about GMing, how would you go about introducing this information to your players?

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rjc917 wrote:

@PlatinumWarlock How long do you plan on keeping this Villain of the Day going?  Because I'm loving it!As someone who knows nothing about GMing, how would you go about introducing this information to your players?

I was originally planning on one month--31 villains/teams total--though if there's demand, I'd be willing to go longer.  Much of it depends on my own writing schedule.  I've been doing these on my lunch break at work, which is a good time for it, but I'm about to start at least 3 major freelance writing gigs (including one that I'm really jazzed about, for a different game company), plus I'm prepping my own convention scenarios for Cold Steel Wardens and my currently-in-draft De Civitates Dei.  It's a lot to do, but this is a fun writing exercise and doesn't take too much time--just some creative energy.

As for introducing this within the context of a game, there are a number of different approaches you could take:

  1. Direct confrontation.  The most simple--and the most lacking nuance--you could simply have a villain show up specifically to confront the heroes.  The classic variation on this is to "interrupt" the villain in the midst of performing a crime.  The heroes get called to a strange incident, an alarm goes off directing the heroes to the local bank or science lab, or an explosion goes off across town.
  2. Investigation.  Many of these seeds are meant to foster investigation--the heroes stumble upon some crime with more questions attached to it than answers and start to piece together what's gone on over time before confronting the villain, whereupon their true identity/nature is exposed.  This can be done in a single session or stretch over an entire campaign, depending on the level of the villain.  For villains like Max Justice, Shard, and Nimbus, that means continual encounters with them, in the hopes to eventually unmask the mysterious Mr. Doe who's behind all of their doings.  
  3. Rivalry.  Characters that straddle that 'anti-hero' line are great for this, but even outright villains can work well here, as they might continually show up in adventures specifically to target various PC heroes.  Whether linked in their backstory or not, simple desires such as revenge, jealousy, and pettiness are all emotions that can serve as a villain's driving force.  In these cases, the villains go after the heroes, not the other way around, which can put the players on their heels.
  4. Conspiracy.  The most complex way to introduce these villains blends all three of these techniques, but also adds in its own complexity.  The Shattered, above, is a way to go about structuring this.  The villains all seem to have disparate goals, prompting hero investigation which, itself, is stymied by the disparate nature of the crimes.  Only as they start piecing together the overarching villainous plot can the heroes actively take the fight to their foes; much of the campaign would structure around finding out the Ws:  who, what, when, where, and why.

If you do have more questions, I'd be more than happy to keep on tossing out ideas!

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Working on this one for the last few days. Apparently the day of the bug-themed villain. :P

 

Neville Norwood has always hated people. He's hated them since childhood, a rocky family life with parents that hated one another and a steady string of schoolyard bullies planting seeds that just dug deeper and deeper into him as he grew. Craving an escape he poured himself into his studies and interests, educating himself far past his current class . He enjoyed science and physics just fine, but it was namely the study of bugs that brought him the most joy and kept him sane through his youth and well into adulthood. There was just something about the world of insects that fascinated him.

After graduating college at the head of his class, the now Dr. Norwood got a job at the Eaken-Rubendall Laboratory as the head of their small yet advanced Entomology Department, studying the effects that 'extra-terrestrial energies' had on the habitats of the insect kingdom. Just as he was on the verge of a massive breakthrough after years of research, the OblivAeon attacked occurred. The resulting tremors threw Neville into the insect habitat being bombarded with a mixture of different energies...

- - -

Many of the science labs in and around Megalopolis have been on high alert in recent months. Reports of a “half-human, half-bug like creature” attacking and ransacking facilities with swarms of insects has caused increased security measures, but nonthing seems to be able to stop what the media has dubbed The Hive. One fact has been taken away from these assaults: it does not like humans, and does not leave prisoners...

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Villain of the Day:  January 20th (The Survivalist)

Jerome Pressler Albright was utterly sure that the world was going to end.  When Democrat Marion Thurmer announced her candidacy for president--the first black female presidential candidate and, later, president--he was livid.  "Them bleeding heart, tax-happy snowflakes are gonna be the death of us all!" he loudly proclaimed to anyone who'd listen, often shouting over the omnipresent FIXNEWS broadcast on his tv.  

Now, Jerome wasn't a particularly wealthy man, but if he knew one thing, it was certainly how to make do with what he's got.  Over his years managing a sporting goods store, he had squirrelled away thousands of dollars and had wholesale access to firearms, camping supplies, k-rations, and numerous other necessities to live off the grid.  And, that, in fact, was his very plan.

When Marion was elected president, Jerome closed his store in Megalopolis.  He liquidated the majority of his assets and set out for the farthest place he could think of:  the volcanic jungles of Insula Primalis.  While his first few weeks on Insula Primalis were somewhat difficult, Jerome managed to transform a portion of the now-ruined Citadel of the Sun into something of a home base, arming and trapping it with means both mechanical and environmental.  Over the weeks and months since then, Jerome has gone from a slightly-overweight middle-aged store owner with some extreme political views, transforming himself into a fit hunter, an expert shot, and a devious tactical mind.

When others started approaching him--usually either seeking asylum or his services--he was quick to chase them off of Insula Primalis, often with bullet wounds or velociraptor bites to show for their troubles.  Jerome started gaining notoriety as The Survivalist--the one man capable of living in the most dangerous place on earth.  However, certain villains have noted that, if you approach Jerome with the right motivations--or, perhaps, with the right-wing motivations, as the case may be--he is willing to leave his island to assist with various tasks, regardless of the legality or morality.  And, with the skills he's gained in Insula Primalis, The Survivalist has become a capable foe indeed.

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Villain of the Day:  January 21 (Impound)

Jamal Regan always seemed set for good things, but luck always seemed to fall short for him.  As a senior in high school, he was a star wide receiver on his football team...only to tear his MCL during his senior year, pretty much thwarting any chance of him getting an athletic scholarship.  Instead of heading to a four-year college, he ended up at a local technical school for auto repair.  On graduation day there, his own car broke down, causing him to miss his own graduation ceremony.  As an entry level mechanic, Jamal worked for six months, doing a reasonable job...until one of the lifts used to hold up a pick-up truck collapsed.  Jamal was shoved out of the way by one of his fellow mechanics, but not before the bumper slammed into the back of his head, knocking him cold.

Jamal was discharged from the hospital several days later--he had a head contusion and a concussion, but none the worse for wear.  Unfortunately, the damage to his body shop was too much for the owner to cope with, and the shop closed for business, leaving Jamal unemployed.  Frustrated and growing angry at his position in the world, Jamal took out a loan and bought a tow truck, opening his own towing business.

On a dark night along Interstate 572, Jamal was in the midst of picking up an abandoned minivan to take to a police impound lot.  A grey Lexus, its driver distracted by some important text message, crossed the line into the rumble strip and plowed directly into rear of the minivan, thrusting the entire tow rig straight at Jamal, who raised his arms in front of his face in reflex...

....only to project a bubble of telekinetic force around the entire approaching rig.  With a grunt of effort, Jamal shoved the entire mass away from him.  The driver of the Lexus, angry and dazed, stepped out of his car and attempted to get into Jamal's face, only for Jamal to throw up another telekinetic bubble and start squeezing.  The driver backed off in a panic, eventually taking the full fault of the accident, leaving Jamal with a significant payout.

With some hospital-mandated time on his hands and no tow-rig, thanks to the accident, Jamal found himself in a rare position:  both time and money on his hands.  He began experimenting with the scope of his powers:  he could form bubbles of telekinetic force around objects, which he could then move, expand, or contract.  Each day, he grew stronger and stronger in his abilities...and began to question, "Why can't I have something better out of life?  This shows me that I could..."

A costume was easy to piece together:  a mask, some body armor, some boots.  ATMs were easy pickings--Impound simply wrapped a bubble around the machine and tore it free of the wall, crushing it until it dispensed its greenbacks.  Armored cars came next, though Jamal did his best not to leave any lasting harm to the drivers.  His first bank vault was deceptively simple, though the second managed to get Impound on the heroes' radar.  A skirmish with two new hero recruits from the Sentinels of Freedom led him to new full identity:  that of a supervillain.  Scared and facing down both two metahuman heroes and the police, Impound grappled one of those heroes--an energy projector named Pulsar--in one of his bubbles, squeezing Pulsar until bones started snapping.  Impound fled in all haste, leaving Pulsar's partner and the police to care to the severely injured hero.

Impound may be greedy, but he has a predisposition against real violence.  While he'll do his best to defend himself, he knows the lethality of his powers and loathes to unleash his abilities unless he's truly pressed.  And if he is?  He can easily leave a string of bodies in his wake.

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Villain of the Day:  January 22 (The Swarm)

If the Gene-Bound forces of Grand Warlord Voss' Thorathian military are the galaxy's most feared legion, the creatures that originated on Nibiru-IV stand right alongside Voss' forces among the most destructive species in the known Multiverse.

Many studies have been performed on the Nibiru-IV species, often referred to collectively as The Swarm, though few xenobiologists have come to consensus on exactly *what* The Swarm are.  Comparisons have been made to locusts, sea-dwelling arthropods such as mantis shrimp, and even the infamous camel spider.  Because of their rapid breeding and gestation, any individual creature in The Swarm may differ greatly:  some spew digestive enzymes onto foes, others may have barbed pincers or thrashing tails, while still others exude noxious gases and spores.  

While their individual forms differ, all Swarm creatures do have a few common traits:  they have spined, chitinous exoskeletons which shield them both against damage and against incredible pressure; they do not breathe which, in conjunction with their exoskeletons, can allow them to venture into the depths of the ocean and even into space; and they are omnivorous, eating any and all organic matter, though they actively prefer flesh.

The heroes of Earth have yet to actually directly encounter The Swarm in its full force.  Occasional refugees to the Maenarian Compound on Plavu'Col have made claims that their homeworlds have been decimated by The Swarm, and the Wagner Mars Base currently contains 4 cryogenically frozen Swarm eggs, recovered from a Swarm-annihilated ship by a former agent of FILTER.

One the thing that The Swarm has not yet demonstrated is intelligence.  While individual creatures are little more than drones, the most advanced Swarm creature barely shows more intelligence than a wild pig or a poorly trained dog.  But, with their rapid breeding and evolution, how long will it be until a hive-mind starts to emerge.

 

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OblivAeon had been vanquished, too many great heroes lost their lives to save everyday people from him. Not even simply the super heroes, but anyone who stepped between danger and their fellow man. Still though, one loss was felt more keenly than a great many others. Ra! God of the sun. During these the months after OblivAeon's defeat a new presence was felt, helping rebuild, helping people to stand strong as the gods of old did their world was threatened.

This new Cult of Ra spread the word that all should be counted on to do what they could to make the world ready for the return of the Gods. Paradoxically they were not followers of old religious studies from egypt, but a new cult, spreading themselves far and wide. Due to Ra's noble sacrifice and the gentle message they openly preached they recieved more and more followers every day. However, there was something more to the cult than meets the eye.

Initially they were simply trying to live up to what they saw as their duty, repairing the world. Then with the sudden death of their founder and rise of the newest Regent, as they call their leader, the cult took a more dire turn. They began congregating the most devout followers in a western town where the Regent owned land. There in Truth or Consequences in a building overlooking the Military memroial they started building large obelisks with mirrors set on the top. Echoing chanting could be heard day and night, prompting local law enforcement to take notice of the cults increasingly erratic behavior. It was a fiasco, with high level clerics of the new cult projecting gouts of strange black and white flames at them driving people back. After setting up a cordon to keep civilians away from the Regent's home they set up remote monitoring with some help. Satilite images, telescopic observation everything pointed at some kind of massive ritual. In the chaos after oblivaeon none of the heroes could be promptly reached for help; and on the third day the ritual reached it's climax.

Each of the three obelisks fired beams of collected sunlight at the memorial, striking each point of the star with radiant power while the wild chanting reverberated throughout the valley. A massive explosion of Light and Flame created a shroud of smoke and when it finally settled a figure could be seen. Tall Dark skinned the figure stood in the center of the pentagram formed by the walkways of the memorial. The regent approached and knelt before him, prooffering a staff and crown. When the Regent arose the figure turned towards the ritual site on the hill, then both men and the entire complex were engulfed and seemingly consumed by the same strange flames. Bystanders reported that the figure seemed to look a lot like the fallen hero Ra, but something was off. However, now the cult has been seen around in a more aggressive role, Destroying religeous sites of other faiths. Burning them to the ground with the same strange fires.

Emotions are still riding high, and many heroes have not truly had any time to properly mourn their friend. Even if they manage to locate this new threat, will they have the heart to fight and possibly destroy, Effigy

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Villain of the Day: January 23 (Strain H572-B, aka The Superflu)

Lady Lightning was the first to contract it. A rising star in the Sentinels of Freedom, Corrin Hankinson was born with powers, able to direct, control, and manipulate electricity. Her parents were supportive, yet tried to give her as normal a life as possible, while simultaneously encouraging her to use her powers for the good of everyone. When Freedom Plaza opened its doors to new recruits, she was one of the first in line.

Three weeks later, Corrin took an excused absence from her coursework to visit the medical bay. She had been running a 102 degree fever and felt logy, tired, and out of sorts. Worse, her electricity powers were waning significantly. While typically able to generate several gigawatts of power at a moment's notice, she found herself barely able to function at half her normal capacity.

While her first and second visit to the medbay offered only cursory advice -- rest up, drink plenty of fluid, etc.--Doctor Jeremiah Melville, one of the staff physicians at Freedom Plaza was the first to make the connection between a certain antigen in Corrin's bloodstream and her waning powers. A variation on the influenza virus, H572-B actively sought out the genetic material which provided her metahuman abilities.

Corrin was immediately put into quarantine, but the damage was done. Four other recruits were also infected, including two that were identified Omegas. The group is still in quarantine, watching their powers dwindle away to nothing as days pass. The Superflu, as the news programs called it, had struck. Was this the end of the superhero as we knew it?

Melville, however, knows something that few outside the Freedom Five are aware of: H572-B was a man-made virus. Someone has deliberately released a pathogen capable of targeting-- and potentially outright neutralizing-- anyone with metahuman abilities. And Freedom Tower was only their first target...

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Villain of the Day: January 24 (Cacaphonus)

The Void has always been sensitive to harmonic vibrations. It's why the Virtuoso of the Void has typically been -- at least in our reality --an expert musician. Harmony moves through the Void more easily, shaping its energies like a conductor directing an orchestra.

But what happens to those notes out of tune? Those off-beat rhythms that don't form a true spell effect?

For eons, they simply bounced around inside the infinite possibilities of the Void. The Void spirits there paid them no heed and we, on the material plane, were none the wiser.

That is, until a singular void spirit realized that power lay in those dissonant chords. Eagerly, hungrily, it began seeking out those energies, feasting upon them and growing stronger with each note. And then, one day, it broke free.

The Void spirit first appeared in a small town in Nebraska, inhabiting a trucker eating lunch at a diner. It lashed out with power, draining the jukebox of all its sonic power before racing off in the trucker's rig, causing a massive traffic foul up along interstate 590.

However, it wasn't until the heroes showed up that the true problem emerged. One of the Sentinels of Freedom recruits that showed up was BoomBox, a sound projector from Megalopolis. His powers called to the Void Spirit like a siren song and out quickly abandoned the trucker for more viable prey. To all appearances, the conflict was over, though BoomBox had an unexpected rider on his psyche.

That night, a psychic battle ensued in BoomBox's mind. Though he put up a good fight, the Void spirit took over his body and escaped into the night. And now, Cacaphonus was free to orchestrate his own symphony of destruction...

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Villain of the Day:  January 25  (Haephestus)

Irving Healey isn't a bad guy.  Really.  

A technological savant, Irving whizzed through high school, college, and numerous advanced degrees all before he turned 25.  His quick mind, his near-photographic memory, and his ease in processing made design come as naturally to Irving as breathing.  If anything, he grew impatient with the prototyping process as, by the time one of his designs was finally created, he'd already designed a plethora of changes, redesigns, and implementations for that very design.

With degrees, designs, and months of field experience in hand, Irving found himself something of a hot commodity within the mechanical engineering community, particularly within the defense industry.  Blackstock-McCalley, in particular, managed to sway Irving's attention, offering a six-figure salary, a paid company penthouse, and near-unlimited resources with which to fulfill various government defense contracts.

However, if anything, Irving did his job too well.  One of his first projects for Blackstock-McCalley was a redesign of the US Military's infantry body-armor.  His design and alpha prototype became something out of a cybernetic fever dream:  a heads-up display feeding directly into the central nervous system, variable weapons systems interchangable simply by thinking, regenerative nano-armor capable of withstanding a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade....

...then, they saw the price tag.  Irving shrugged, "You wanted quality, right?"  Within three months, Irving found himself out of a job.

But, then...a funny thing happened.  Irving was approached by a series of angel investors, eager to see him continue his work in armaments, self-defense, and biological-cybernetic interfaces.  A new lab, all the assistants he could care to have, unlimited funding.  All he had to do was let his ideas take shape.

Designs and prototypes ran forth from Irving with an ease and a joy he hadn't felt since college.  This, truly, was his calling.  His new think-tank, Haephestus Labs as one of the investors, Mister Doe, coined it, churned out armor, weaponry, cybernetics and more, each one more innovative and devastating than the last.  Where they go?  Not important.  What's important to Irving is creation.  And he's well on his way to creating something earth-shattering.

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Villain of the Day:  January 26 (Levistus of Thule)

The man calling himself Levistus of Thule certainly knows how to make an entrance.  He literally teleported onto the stage in the middle of a Sentinels of Freedom press conference, proclaiming power and dominion over all he saw.  The press conference promptly descended into a fracas, with heroes torn between facing down the self-proclaimed conquerer and saving the members of the press.  Levistus was clad in a strange cross of battle armor and wizard robes, brandishing a ruby-tipped rod which projected powerful bursts of energy and other spell effects.  However, just as quickly as Levistus appeared, as soon an arcanely-powered hero appeared on scene--the blood mage known as Hemogoblin--Levistus disappeared, vanishing in a puff of foul-smelling smoke.

Levistus has made several appearances since his initial, explosive entrance, but each appearance has had a number of strange elements.  Firstly, Levistus claims to be from a kingdom known as Thule, the seat of sits on a floating island above what is modern Florida.  Naturally, this is not truly the case.  Further, continually claims to be the rightful ruler of the world, having to ascended to the throne after conquering the Empire of Atlantis.  Again, while the Ruins of Atlantis have been discovered, no evidence exists as to any empire.  Also, Levistus claims to be a master magus, one of the specifically-bred spellcasters born to the intellectual elite of Thule.  He claims to be a master of discordian magic, though any reference to Gloomweaver or other denizens of the Realm of Discord seems to perplex him beyond belief.  Finally, Levistus has been known to appear in places with a large preponderance of magical artifacts, often attempting to steal--or, barring theft, corrupt and destroy--said artifacts.  However, ' heroes have noted that Levistus seems confounded at times, as he will show up to steal an item...only for that item to have never been there in the first place.

Of particular note, though, whenever Levistus is confronted by any known magic-user, Levistus beats a hasty retreat.  Several heroes have theorized as to why Levistus flees at the appearance of any other mage, though little evidence has yet been gleaned.  Some believe that others' magic might have a tendency to drain or otherwise hamper that of Levistus, leaving him weaker or otherwise susceptible to harm.  A few others believe that Levistus is not, in fact, arcanely-talented in any sense; rather, he either utilizes arcane artifacts (such as his rod) to gain his powers, or that he has some other suite of powers.  

Most concerning, however, is Levistus' last appearance.  During an exploratory mission to the Ruins of Atlantis, Levistus was sighted, sitting on the Atlantean throne with one hand grasped around the hilt of a broken Condemnation...

TakeWalker
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Another one with a really cool story. :D I want to know what's up with this guy!

PlatinumWarlock
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Glad you like him! Lots of campaign seeds there to say the least...

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He seems like a very Thulish villain.  The King of the Thules, as it were?


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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Villain of the Day:  January 27 (Treant)

Connor Morrison was once a lumberjack in British Columbia.  He always had a great appreciation for the outdoors and had a genuine love for forestry.  While some in his industry balked at reforestation efforts or environmental tourism, Connor embraced it enthusiastically, eager to share his love of nature with all those who were willing to listen.  

Connor's upbeat attitude only seemed to aggravate his coworkers, however.  Worst among these was a fellow lumberman, Greg MackIntosh.  Greg absolutely did not care for Connor's continual prattle, to the point where their manager had to put the pair on separate teams, ensuring never to schedule them such that they'd see each other.  

The dramatic climate shifts of the Deadline event, however, struck the forest that Connor's employer was responsible for quite harshly.  Fires raged across the pine forest, and Connor and his comrades quickly found themselves surrounded by the raging conflagration.  Among them, naturally, was Greg.  As the group made their way through the inferno, a flaming tree crashed to earth, pinning Connor to the ground.  He screamed for help, but the rising smoke turned his screams to little more than a hacking gasp.  He was sure, as the other lumberjacks fled for their lives, that Greg looked back...and left him to die.

Connor's body was consumed in flames that day; his funeral was that of a hero.  But something there, in the deep forests, had heard his cry for help.  Something along that vast ley-line that ran through the British Columbian forest...

Connor's psyche emerged in a new form:  that of a towering western hemlock tree which moved in the form of a man.  This form made him resisistant to most damage and granted him immense size and strength.  While early adversaries of Treant attempted to attack him with fire, the late hardwood of his exterior proved most resilient against most flame attacks that were not sustained conflagrations.  As time progresed, Connor found that he could shift between this form and a more human-sized one, which appeared as a normal human...if that human were carved from wood.  He no longer needs to eat or breathe, and he regrows his limbs with naught but water and sunlight.

Earliest sightings of this creature referred to it as the Tolkien-esque "Ent", though the first attack against the logging companies quickly revealed its true name:  Connor Morrison, the Treant.  He would have his revenge against those who left him to die and all those who would dare defile the forests...starting first with Greg MackIntosh, then onto that self-termed hero Lifeline.

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Quote:
Connor Morrison was once a lumberjack in British Columbia.  He always had a great appreciation for the outdoors and had a genuine love for forestry.  While some in his industry balked at reforestation efforts or environmental tourism, Connor embraced it enthusiastically, eager to share his love of nature with all those who were willing to listen.  

Obligatory link to I bet you can guess what


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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Villain of the Day:  January 28th  (The Tick-Tock Man)

You'll never see him coming.  

Eliza Eckland stood on South Side Monorail Platform, looking forward to a weekend brunch with friends at one of her favorite restaurants in Eastside Megalopolis.  She'd dressed for the occasion:  new sundress, new heels, her favorite clutch.  The sun shown down, her favorite band sang away in her earbuds.  Nothing could have possible gone wrong that day, until she stepped off onto the track.

The Megalopolis monorail moves at approximately 300 miles per hour.  The largest pieces of Eliza Eckland that were found were no bigger than her shattered cell phone, her earbuds still dangling from the phone port.

As both Megalopolis Police and the Federal Transportation Safety Administration tried to piece together what exactly happened to Eliza, they came across a most strange phenomenon.  Even on weekends, the Megalopolis Monorail is always bustling, with tons of people eager to travel across the city.  That day, only Eliza and one other stood on the platform.

The video feed never did catch his entire face, but his grin was a wide one, wider that it should have been.  He was dressed in the impeccable blue of an old-timey train conductor, down to the white gloves and brimmed cap.  As he stood across the platform from Eliza, he pulled forth a silver pocketwatch, looked at it, and spoke a few words.  Within a moment, Eliza stepped off the platform and onto the track; scant seconds later, the express train made impact.  The stranger in the conductors' uniform--called The Tick-Tock Man by some police investigator with a dash of gallows humor--was nowhere to be seen.

The Wraith offered to step in on the investigation and, while the Metropolis PD was reluctant, Detective Marissa Parker funneled Maia the footage from Eliza's death.  Maia managed to isolate the audio track from the recording; only a few words were even spoken, "Eliza.  It's time."

Since that day, 16 separate individuals have died under almost identical circumstances.  In all cases, footage of the mysterious Tick-Tock man exists, but never enough to get a clear facial recognition in any known criminal database.  He never takes any sort of aggressive action and always disappears as the individuals breathe their last.  In all cases, he only speaks three words:  "Victim.  It's time."

They never saw him coming.  Neither will you.

TakeWalker
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Repent, Harlequin! :D Now that's creepy.

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Villain of the Day:  January 29 (Aphelian and Apogee)

Sometimes, the safest place to be is the middle of nowhere.  As the OblivAeon event raged on Earth, Sergeant Robert D. Prater and Colonel Marlena E. Dwyer watched helplessly from the Einstein-VI space station.  The only two humans aboard, they could see the phenomenal devastation from their vantage as their station hung above North America.  Cities burned, bolts of energy blasted into the nothingness of space, and the slow realization of the pair's predicament slowly sunk in:  would there be an Earth to go back to?

As Dwyer signed and turned from the porthole, alarm klaxons blared and warning lights blinked into being.  Prater barely made it to one of the piloting seats before a stray blast of cosmic energy slammed into Einstein-VI, shredding the station like so much waste paper.

Prater and Dwyer floated, unconscious, through the void of space...but did not die.  Rather, Dwyer awoke, frantic and confused, but alive!  Her body bombarded by cosmic energy, she found she no longer needed to breathe and was immune to the extremities of space.  Further, she began to fly through the blackness, faster and faster, streaking past planets, stars, and whole systems at a speed incalculable.

Within moments, Dwyer found herself far across the galaxy, finally pulling herself to a stop.  However, the phenomenal energy and momentum she gained during this travel flew beyond her, bombarding a star system with all her accumulated cosmic energy.  The system was reduced to so much rubble in but an instant--4 billion lives extinguished in a single accident.  Tears streamed down Dwyer's face, freezing to her skin as she hung in space.  She wailed aloud, looking around for any help...only to see Prater, now barely conscious, dragged behind in her cosmic wake, absorbing energy even as she traveled.

The pair currently wander the cosmos, desperate to return to Earth, but trailing destruction and devastation in their wake.  Without some way to inhibit their phenomenal speed and their ability to absorb and redirect radiation, each stop the pair make results in the destruction of whole planets and systems.  They are currently wanted by a number of interstellar forces, turning their unfortunate exile into a manhunt.  Together, Apogee and Aphalian, Prater and Dwyer, race across the cosmos...aching only to be home.

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Villain of the Day:  January 30 (TALOS)

With the dissolution of FILTER following the OblivAeon event, a great deal of the mercenary, surveillance, and low-level metahuman community was left in the wind.  While the heroes and villains of Earth marshalled their forces against the world-ending threat of OblivAeon and its Scions, something dire began assembling in the shadows.  

At first, most of the missing material and individuals were attributed to the outright destruction.  The Wagner Mars Base was devastated, Fort Adamant was shredded, and military bases across the world were blasted--it wasn't a far stretch to count those losses among the bodies.   As the body counts were tallied, as individuals went from "missing in action" to "believed killed in action", several notable individuals went missing.  Geneticists, supply chain analysts, satellite intelligence experts, rocketry and munitions engineers tallied among the dead, their bodies never recovered.

Likely because they hadn't died.  They were recruited.

The public presence of Legacy and other superheroes has always invited backlash.  However, the mustache-twirling lunacy of Baron Blade and the metahuman-supremacist philosophies of Citizen Dawn had provably, visibly failed.  Rather, if the worlds' elite--both human and metahuman--were to survive in this brave new world of the super-men, they must play smarter.  They must organize.

For the past 50 years, TALOS (the TActical Logistics, Opposition and Subversion initiative) has operated in the shadows, gathering information, resources, and manpower to subtly maneuver against the Freedom Five, Dark Watch, and any other vigilante group.  And now, with the rise of the Sentinels of Freedom, the Daedelus Council--the nine heads of TALOS' various divisions--has chosen this time to strike.

TALOS itself operates in the shadows, thought its influence is felt at every level:  political, economic, scientific, military, and beyond.  Numerous legislators (and at least two Supreme Court justices) are affiliated with TALOS, as well as six 2+ star generals and several dozen Fortune 500 executives.  However, TALOS typically operates on an individual or small-cell basis, utilizing the most cutting edge intelligence techniques and encryption, with few permanent safe-houses and even fewer permanent bases.  Even the most in-depth laboratories affiliated with TALOS are built with portability in mind--a TALOS base can be packed, scrubbed and gone within a 2 hour time span. 

The two locations that TALOS maintains on a permanent basis are as remote as humanly possible:  one lab literally built into the side of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies, with the other in the midst of the Mojave Desert.  There, they train the greatest known force in military and intelligence countermeasures ever assembled.  Individual soldiers are supplied with power-replicating techonologies, battlesuits, genetic augmentations, and the finest in cybernetic prostheses.  Their weaponry is state of the art, featuring ion and gauss projectile weaponry not currently available to any other standing military force.  TALOS is incredibly well-funded and supplied, with their net worth currently in excess of the GDP of a solid third of the world's nations.  Were they to emerge in force, TALOS stands a very good chance of a military, economic, and intelligence-based overthrow of the United States government. But, force brings retribution; the Daedelus Council would much rather see the world's power handed to them with ease, rather than wrested from an inevitable rebellion.

Within the view of the heroes, TALOS is a rumor, nothing more.  Not even the original Freedom Five are certain of its existence, though Tyler Vance's testimony before Congress following the Termi-Nation event, started raising questions as to the veracity of various congressional members, particularly their relation to a former military subcontractor with Blackstock-McCalley named Vincent Caraballo.  Caraballo's whereabouts are unknown, though he has been sighted in both Rook City and Megalopolis at various times throughout the past few months, meeting with a certain black-clad individual, often over a Dad's Burger.  Over a burger and fries, a new world order arises...

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