The Big Villains Thread

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PlatinumWarlock
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Villain of the Day:  November 24 (The Snake Charmer)

As with many villains, Ulio Renata was among the most gifted in his field.  It just so happened that his field brough feat to the hearts of individuals across the world already, and Ulio had little to do to inspire terror in those he sought to conquer.

Ulio, as it turns out, was a Snake Charmer.  Or, more specifically, a zoological herpetologist.  Ever fascinated by all things reptile, Ulio worked at one of South Florida's premier reptile houses, milking venomous cobras and wrangling alligators for throngs of admiring (and often horrified) guests.  Ulio particularly liked showing off his left hand--after having been bitten by a king cobra during one of his acts, Ulio was forced to have the hand amputated as the antivenom was administered too late to prevent the toxicity from spreading throughout his palm.  In its place, Ulio wore a menacing hook, which he often used in his snake handling act to display animals to an adoring/astonished public.

Ulio's unorthodox occupation, however, turned to villainy when he first caught word of the menacing Nightsnake--a fiendish metahuman with similar temperament and affinity for reptiles and amphibians.  Seeking to ally himself with Nightsnake, Ulio immediately gathered his workplaces' most venomous specimens and set out for the Phoenix area.  Unfortunately for him, Ulio was too late--Nightsnake had already been captured by the Southwest Sentinels and turned over to the 'proper authorities'.  Ulio, though, was undeterred.  Putting together a costume and equipping himself with all manner of toxic creatures and spray-bottles full of venom, Ulio took up the mantle of The Snake Charmer, preparing to orchestrate a breakout.

Needless to say, Nightsnake was astounded when this pudgy, one-handed man with squirt-bottles of cobra venom appeared in front of his cell and began deactivating the power dampeners that held the metahuman bound.  Since that day, Nightsnake has called upon Snake Charmer a number of times, anytime the creature needs a degree of backup.  As it turns out, Snake Charmer has something of an affinity for heists and is quite well-suited to incapacitating individual guards and taking down security systems.  A well-placed Vietnamese two-step viper has the propensity to do that, I suppose...

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Villain of the Day:  November 25 (Mack the Knife)

Just a jacknife has old MacHeath, babe / and he keeps it out of sight...

Four bodies washed up on the shore of the McKinley River over the course of six days.  Megalopolis police were dumbfounded.  No fingerprints, no evidence, not even a speck of blood or hair were to be found on any of the bodies outside of their own.  Four throats slit, their bodies weighed down with concrete blocks, and not a single lead.

That is, outside of an old song.  Mack the Knife was back in town.

An old swing hit from the 20s, made popular by a number of the Rat-Pack performers in the 60s, Mack the Knife tells the story of the highwayman MacHeath, from The Threepenny Opera, who made his way across the highlands on a rampage of rape, theft, and murder.  Known to use a switchblade knife, MacHeath was supposedly hung at the end of the opera, with his spirit consigned to the deepest underworld. 

Obviously, this couldn't be the original--and fictional--Mack.  Someone out there has been following MacHeath's lead in the underbelly of Megalopolis, leaving no trace of their crimes outside of a string of bodies in the McKinley River.  Until this crime is solved, no street may be safe from Mack.

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Villain of the Day:  November 26 (Captain Ernest Calhoun)

If you were to ask Captain Ernest Calhoun to describe himself, he'd gladly expound on his lineage and how he is latest in a long line of explorers who have circumnavigated the globe, dove into the deepest trenches of the ocean, and soared to the greatest heights.  

If you were to ask anyone else?  Ernest Calhoun may well be the dumbest billionaire alive.

It's true that Calhoun comes from a long line of explorers:  his father's side of the family comes from British aristocracy, with Calhoun able to trace his lineage to (and beyond) Captain Cook.  Calhoun claims that his forbearers dated back to the Vikings who traveled to Newfoundland in the early 1000s.  An elder cousin on Calhoun's mother's side was married to Don Walsh, one of the first individuals to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.  As such, Calhoun thinks it to be his birthright and destiny to find the hidden things in the world.

And, unfortunately, Calhoun himself is utterly inept as an explorer.  While he has taken countless courses in cartography, survival, and biology, Calhoun never seems to be able to translate his coursework--in which he excels, as he'll brag vociforously--into actual field experience.  This has, unfortunately, led to a number of accidental deaths:  two guides were trampled by a pack of rhinos during an African safari, while a sherpa guide died while Calhoun attempted to climb a mountain he *thought* was Everest (and turned out to be a totally different mountain entirely).  Calhoun has gotten lost countless times, misplaced critical equipment on nearly every expedition, and has emotionally broken down on a number of occasions, requiring critical evacuation and extraction.

Nevertheless, Calhoun perseveres.  His family fortune has allowed him to pursue any interest he could muster and, unfortunately, Calhoun is utterly convinced that he is destined to find some great new vista for mankind.  Lately, this has led to two-fold interests:  the exploration of the Solar System (especially a private expedition to Ganymede, courtesy of Nautilus Industries) and a complete mapping of Magmaria.  In both cases, Calhoun wants on board...

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Villain of the Day:  November 27 (William)

William is always a gentleman.  Regardless of the situation.

Select few people are among those who know the identity of The Chairman.  Fewer still are ever granted an audience with the man himself.  Those managed to work their way up through the ranks of The Organization often find themselves receiving their orders from William.

No one knows William's last name.  Officially, he sits on the C-suite of Pike Industrial, though unofficially, he is Chairman Pike's personal valet and 'handler'.  All meetings with The Chairman move through William.  All orders from The Chairman come down through William.  All reports of profits and loss are directed specifically to William.  Any amount of news, good or bad, gets filtered through William.  Details down to The Chairman's preferred tie brand and what goes into his coffee rest upon William's head.

No one seems to know how The Chairman met up with William or how William came into the Organization's fold.  Many have conjectured that, like The Operative, William may have been groomed for this position since childhood.  Still others believe that The Chairman holds some deep secret over William, effectively blackmailing him into perpetual service.  However, one source has related a lengthy store involving the crime families that once held sway over Rook City before The Organization, a masked vigilante subjected to years of psychotropic conditioning, and a mob wedding gone horribly wrong.  This rumor, however, is completely unsubstantiated.

William's role in The Organization has been well-known to the members of Dark Watch for years, though they have yet to capture or even to approach William at any level.  The reasons for this, however, are as unknown as William's last name.

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Villain of the Day:  November 28 (Nurse Stitch)

Student loan debt is no joke, as Hope Birtles quickly found out.  

From her earliest days of middle school, Hope wanted to be a doctor.  While she studied her heart out through high school and college, Hope was never at the top of the class, never among the most elite prospects.  Nevertheless, she forged through, following her dream all the way into medical school at a state college not far from her home.  However, as she entered the first year of her residency, the reality of her financial predicament had finally started to catch up with her.  Despite working numerous jobs to pay for her apartment, books, and other necessary items, Hope often found herself pinching pennies and ending up late on bills, even suffering through the worst winter Rook City had seen in decades with no heat in her apartment.

After a long shift in the Overbrook Medical Center ER, Hope hit the brick wall.  Heading off to the nearest bar, she held her head in her hands as the bartender of the Wretched Hive poured her a double whiskey sour.  As she took her very first sip, the doors swung open, with an openly bleeding thug being carried in by two compatriots, who splayed the wounded man out over a table, yelling for towels and trying to calm the victim into quiet.  

"Call a doctor!" the call rang out.  And, as if on cue, Hope set down her drink and went to work.

After five hours in The Wretched Hive's back room, Hope managed to extract all of the bullet fragments from the thug's abdomen, had managed to keep the wound from going septic, and had stitched him up fairly cleanly.  As she cleaned up in the bar's kitchen sink, the adrenaline finally wore off, as a group of well-dressed men walked into the back door.

"Hey, Stitches.  Nice job on Tommy.  Here..."  The smiling man reached into the pocket of his white suit and tossed her a bundled wad of cash--$5,000 in total.  "You got a number, if one of my buddies slips and falls again?"

Since that day, Hope Birtles--now known as Nurse Stitch--operates a cash-only clinic out of the back of The Wretched Hive.  When henchmen are wounded, when villains need a broken leg set or a wound cleaned up, they need only look no further than their local watering hole to find one of the best doctors in the business, ready to serve.  Hope, in truth, has taken to this new lifestyle with aplomb.  Her undergraduate loans are already paid down, and Hope's sights are clearly set on finishing off her medical school loans well before she turns forty.  Every day brings new challenges and another way to make her medical degree matter.  What more could one ask for?

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Villain of the Day:  November 29 (Alvie Adcox)

Never play dice with the universe.  Especially if you can play the odds instead.

Alvie Adcox grew up in the Vegas area, surrounded by the bright lights of the strip and the whirl of roulette wheels and slot machine tumblers.  He knew he was destined for a life in the casinos, so as an undergrad statistics major, he was quick to look for work as a croupier, a blackjack dealer, and eventually a floor manager at the Grand Stampede Hotel and Casino.  There, as he watched the news footage of the carnage in Megalopolis during the climactic Vengeance event, Alvie had a brilliant moneymaking idea.

Speaking with the oddsmakers on the floor below, the Grand Stampede posted the first ever registered Las Vegas odds on a metahuman event:  Legacy over Baron Blade as a 3:2 payout.  For the next twenty minutes, the oddsmakers' office went beserk, with a near-record day of wagers made on both sides.  When Legacy eventually prevailed, Alvie Adcox's idea hit its true payoff:  a net profit of nearly $1.2 million to the Grand Stampede on just that evening.  Needless to say, his efforts met with phenomenal accolades from the Grand Stampede's executives and a promotion came in short order.  Within the next 6 years, Alvie made his way all the way to the role of Chief Financial Officer for the casino and Lead Oddsmaker at SportsBook Stampede.  Today, Alvie employs a legion of researchers and computational analysts, assessing everything from in-combat performances to training regimens to what's being served at the Freedom Plaza for breakfast.

When the first residual check arrived, though, the Freedom Five were left in a conundrum.  While refusing the check was easy, getting the Grand Stampede to stop their morbid oddsmaking practice was much more difficult.  While the group filed a cease-and-desist order through their attorney, Brianna Hawke, a Las Vegas area court ruled that there was no violation of intellectual property or personage through the Grand Stampede's oddsmaking practices.  While the casino was banned from using any official Freedom Five logos or imprints, the prescedent for oddsmaking on celebrity activities had been well-established:  even Punxatawney Phil has odds each year, on whether the little rodent sees his shadow.  There was little more recourse that the Freedom Five could take.

To date, nearly every hero to rise to any degree of public prominence has been paid a visit by representatives of the Grand Stampede; while the Freedom Five have exhorted anyone in the new Sentinels of Freedom to refuse any sort of outside compensation for their heroics, it may only be a matter of time where a funds-starved hero cashes that check.  And from there, it may just be a matter of time before a hero takes a dive during a critical conflict, which could lead to all manner of chaos and carnage...and a huge payout for that hero.

After all, the house always wins.

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I'm stunned by how possible that final pronouncement could be.

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Villain of the Day:  November 30  (Donald Harvey Palmer)

You'd never figure him to be a criminal mastermind to look at him.

Donald Harvey Palmer--Harv, to his friends--stands all of 5'7", a slightly pudgy 265 lbs, with a set of wire-framed glasses and a likely-stained polo shirt that's seen better days.  Each day, he walks into his office at the Reno branch of Sportsbook Stampede, boots up his computer and goes to get his first cup of coffee for the day.  He often stops to talk to some of his coworkers, chatting idly about recent movies and tv shows:  Harv has a well-known love of the Game of Swords series, with a picture of himself with star Krystin Klein (the Stiletto Queen) sitting on his desk in a decorated fame.  He likes watching football on the weekends, cooks a mean lamb curry, and is generally an affable fellow.

He's about the least likely person anyone would figure to be a TALOS operative.  And that's just the way Harv likes it.

At the behest of his TALOS handlers, Harv compiles and analyzes countless terabytes of data, ensuring that all manner of information compiled by Sportsbook Stampede reaches the ears of his superiors.  As a representative of Sportsbook, Harv often meets with would-be heroes, introducing them to the wider world of oddsmaking, even as he plants the seeds of converting those very heroes into TALOS operatives.  And worse yet, he serves as a primary point of contact for a new team of unpowered TALOS special operatives:  he's even got Sjambok and Riposte on speed dial.

If the best place to hide is in plain sight, Harv will be camoflaged for the rest of his long, profitable life...

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

With that, we come to an end of No-Powers November!  After 30 days of unpowered menaces, it's time we flipped the script.  Starting tomorrow, we enter Decimation December--31 days of villains with plans of ultimate destruction, world-ending cataclysm, and multiverse-shaking power.  

For those curious, Decimation December will be the last month (at least for the foreseeable future) for my Villain of the Day project.  All told, we'll be looking at a total in excess of 350 new villains, ready for that imminent Sentinels Comics rpg kickstarter.  I'll likely drop in now and again with a new villain or other NPC, but a full year of villains should tide yinz over for a while... 

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I think this month had the highest ratio of "how is this a villain?" A lot of people whose motivations were sympathetic and means relatable.

That said, I love the idea that yon TV show focuses around trying to secure a sword made out of thrones. :V

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Isn't it funny how that happens? The more relatable the characters, the lower power they tend to be.  Not always the case, but it's really hard not to empathize with the nerdy data analyst who loves fantasy shows or the med school resident struggling with student loan debt.  Especially compared to galactic conqueror and interstellar spies. 

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Welcome to Decimation December, the final month of the Villain of the Day series!  This month, we've got our eyes on world-ending, genocidal threats with the power to shake the Multiverse to its very core.  31 days to go!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Villain of the Day:  December 1 (Pathogene)

Upon his first appearance, Pathogene nearly annihilated every living soul in Chicago.  And, if not for a case of the hives, Pathogene might be behind bars already.

in the months following the OblivAeon event, emergency cleanup and recovery efforts were in full swing.  However, the destruction to the infrastructure of nearly every major metropolitan area worldside had been particularly severe.  Roads were sundered, rent sewers openly spewed waste into clean waterways, and even the best supplied areas suffered for basic supplies:  food, water, electrical hookups, and shelters.  Disease ran rampant, and the hospitals overflowed with the wounded and sick.

As rescue workers moved rubble and recovered bodies, none really expected yet another supervillainous attack.  Of course, that's when plague strikes, doesn't it?  Victims carrying a number of rapid-moving symptoms--boils, vomiting, intense fevers and delerium--started flooding the Chicago local hospitals in droves, with the young and the elderly dying within 36 hours.  Doctors and hospital workers suffered next, as the disease seemed to be resistant to all manner of anti-microbial and anti-viral loadouts.  After the first two days and the first 500 fatalities, the truth made itself known.  A message dropped to a Chicago-area radio station was immediately forwarded to police, the message reading as such:

Circle of life, peasants.  The cow eats the grass, you eat the cow, and now its your turn to be eaten.

Long live the true inheritors of the earth:  the viral, the microscopic.  We are legion, and I am the hand that will deliver you mammals from existance. 

I am Pathogene.

Police investigators, accompanied by a number of Dark Watch-affiliated heroes, immediately started a manhunt spanning the whole of the Chicago area.  Analysis of security camera footage revealed a strange interloper at the radio station:  a short visit by Dr. Melvin Partes, a noted virologist and epidemiologist.  Dark Watch raided his apartment by night, only to find the good doctor already packing to leave.   A fight erupted and the team seemed on the verge of triumph when Pathogene tossed out a small grenade-like sphere.  While all the heroes were caught in the blast, Red Lynx caught the worst of it, her skin erupting in hives as she descended into anaphylactic shock.  The heroes were forced to beat a hasty retreat, allowing Pathogene to escape.

While an international manhunt continues for Dr. Partes, the last known data actually shows him in the Kyoto area of Japan.  One can only imagine what might happen if Pathogene managed to take control of some vestige of the titanic Invirodan.  The whole world may face an unimaginable plague...

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Villain of the Day:  December 2 (The Man in the Moon)

Some people called Steven Galbrecht a lunatic when he said that the moon smiled at him.  Turns out, it was more  of a predatory grimace.

In days long past, when Thule, Atlantis and Lemuria fought their epic wars for dominion of the primordial Earth, Lemuria fielded a warcaster known as Ordinale.  Called "the Breaker" by those who faced him in battle, Ordinale wielded eldritch magicks with aplomb, alternating gouts of sorcerous fire with titanic blows from his two-handed hammer, Shatterstone.  Ordinale the Breaker faced down two full legion of Atlantean sky cavalry by himself, felling all but four of the dragon-riders before they could manage a desperate retreat.  All the while, Ordinale called for more:  more bloodshed, more death, and more challengers.

While alliances were the orders of the day for the three-way Arcanists' War, Ordinale rose to the top of the list of concerns for both Thule and Atlantis.  Negotiators from Atlantis were brought before the Thulian Elder Mind, who offered a suggestion.  If Ordinale could not be slain, perhaps he could be imprisoned.  Thulian and Atlantean spellcasters began devising a plan...

Lemurian spies quickly learned of a ritual being planned by the Thulian Elder Mind; one that would align a powerful eldritch force with their own cunning and intellect.  Supposedly, a retinue of Thule's greatest spellcasters were dispatched to an island (now known as Easter Island), where the ritual was to take place.  The warcasters of Lemuria were convinced utterly:  they dispatched Ordinale to the island to dispose of these upstarts.

As Ordinale arrived, cthonic sorceries swirled about the island as the Thulian warlocks were midway through their ritual.  As he shouted a war cry and drew forth Shatterstone, Ordinale leapt to the battle...only for invisible Atlantean arcanists to catch the warcaster in mid-air with a holding incantation.  Ordinale struggled to counter the spell, but even as he did so, the Thulian warlocks completed their incantation.  The seas surrounding the island parted, as chunks of stone and rock tore themselves free of the moorings of the Earth's crust.  Shouting one last curse, Ordinale was imprisoned within tons upon tons of rock and stone, which sped off in a blast of crimson and azul energy, embedding the stone prison deep within the Earth's moon, in what is now known as the Aitken Basin.

Ordinale slumbered for centuries, unable to gather his conscious mind long enough to manage any modicum of freedom.  That is, until a strange beam struck the moon, pulling a chunk of the celestial body and slamming it into the Earth.  Brought closer to the natural ley lines of the Earth, Ordinale's eyes opened, and he looked upon the Earth once more.  There was one thing that could bring him his freedom:  shattering the Moon against the Earth itself.  Even now, he worms his sorceries into the minds of weak-willed individuals, intending to reactivate the beam that nearly freed him in the first place...and eradicating all those simpletons on the surface of the Earth.  Even here, with the Arcanists' War a forgotten memory, Lemuria may yet be ascendant.

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Villain of the Day:  December 3 (De'jah Vu)

De'jah Michonne Thorpe knew that this wasn't the future she was promised as a child.  As an Earth resident in the collapsing human mess of the 23rd century, Thorpe couldn't help but think that something had truly gone wrong along the way.  

Now, Thorpe was hardly a schlub, trudging her way through the crumbling remains of what could have been a utopia.  She was a noted theoretical physicist, having worked for a number of the largest research labs across both this world and on Mars.  And, while she'd never resorted to implementing some of her more outlandish ideas, Thorpe had finally decided that her time had come.

Using her high-level credentials to steal a prototype micronized quark director, Thorpe outfitted herself with a massive amount of technology and armaments and set out to work backwards through the timestream, fully intending to change the past.  However, one more than one occasion, De'jah Vu's interference has changed the present in subtle, destructive, and chaotic ways.  Believing to take down the ancestors of a noted dictator, she has destroyed the lives of numerous future scientists and political leaders.  In her efforts to restore the future's climate, she has crippled the economies of nations.

When confronted, De'Jah Vu's 'futuretech' devices are easily a match for any current armaments, and her particle shielding provides her nigh-invulnerability, albeit on a temporary basis.  However, the greatest danger surrounding De'jah Thorpe are not her immediate attempts to 'repair' the timestream, but rather the continued use of chronal reversal on the whole.  Each time she leaps backwards into time, she weakens the chronal integrity of the timeline, making it easier to fracture and less likely to result in causal links.  As such, reality becomes more and more chaotic as the fundamental laws of the universe are unraveled to their core.  De'jah is aware of this, but in her hubris, believes that if she could just find the correct temporal anomaly to correct, the whole of the universe would fall into place like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

However, one too many jumps, and there may not be a world for De'jah Vu to 'save'.

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Villain of the Day:  December 4 (That Which Consumes)

The denizens of Magmaria have always had a strange relationship with the Crystalline Behemoths that lurk in the deepest tunnels of the Earth.  Even as the Magmarians can use the behemoths as a food source, the hulking creatures are also feared and revered by the tribes lurking beneath the earth's surface. Those that can communicate with Magmarians may well learn the truth of this reverance:  the Magmarian shamen know what lurks at the heart of the world.   

It has no name.  They call it That Which Consumes.

According to these shamen, the creature sleeps encased in the molten iron in the Earth's core.  In time immemorial, when the Magmarians ruled more openly, the creature slid its way across the spaceways, feeding upon world after world, swallowing them up not unlike eggs swallowed by a snake.  As such, the creature would have fed upon the whole of the earth. 

The ancient Magmarians, though, knew of such creatures that roamed the primordial spaceways.  Were they able to consult some cosmic scribe or historian, they might have even compared the creature to that strange beast known as Ta-Lor-En-Da-To.  They scried upon the draconic beings in bowls of purest molten nickel.  They sought wisdom from their greatest minds, and they trained their greatest warriors harder than ever before.  As That Which Consumes arrived within the solar system, the ancient Magmarians were ready.

Calling forth a powerful arcanoscience ritual, the Magmarian shamen called upon the creature's natural bioelectric current and the Earth's own magnetic field, pulling it bodily into the earth itself .  The meteoric strike which slew the dinosaurs, so many million years ago?  That was none other than this creature, slamming into the earth and being pulled towards the Earth's core.  As the being thrashed its way through the Earth's crust, Magmaria's warriors leapt to the attack, stabbing and slashing by the legion.

Weakened tremendously by its impact with the world's surface and the continual bleeding from Magmaria's finest, the creature was in no shape to eat or even to defend itself.  There, in the deepest bowels of the planet, it coocooned itself within the natural minerals, preventing any further damage to itself from the Magmarians who interrupted its meal.

And there it sat, driftlessly dreaming within the core of the earth, occasionally arising only to peck at the infernal shell which contains it.  The great Magmarian civilization rose and fell, and That Which Consumes became nothing more than a legend. 

Then, more than a legend.  Massive crystalline eggs began to appear within the Earth's mantle; from these eggs hatched the beings now referred to as crystalline behemoths, devouring all within their path.

The Magmarian shamen of today know the truth.  That Which Devours is awakening from its self-imposed slumber.  Its progeny already feast upon the world below, and the fallen Magmarians have nowhere near the might of their long-lost aeons.  When That Which Devours finally emerges from its shell, it will surely be hungry...

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Suck it, dinosaurs! >:V

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Villain of the Day:  December 5 (The Automaton)

He calls himself a machine, yet he walks like a man.  Nonetheless, he wishes that he wouldn't.

The being calling himself The Automaton has been positively identified as Tom Rutherford, once an employee at IMAtrix, a global producer of medical implant devices and biomechanical creations.  One of their lead programmers, Rutherford was hospitalized for an arachnoid cyst in the center of his cerebellum and volunteered to be one of the first to attempt a radical new surgery to eliminate the cyst and restore his normal brain activity.  

That's where Rutherford's story goes off the rails.  In the days following the lengthy and messy procedure to install a grain-sized implant in his cranial cavity, Rutherford's emotional capacity swiftly drained to nothing.  He began referring to himself as a machine, not as a man, and showed no care for his wife, their children, or any of his former friends.  And, the longer they were around him, the more they became like him.  Within a few weeks, everyone within Rutherford's social circle had become emotional sponges, leeching away any ability for a mind near them to feel or experience an emotion. Those he has already 'excised'--The Servitors, he calls them--have enough of a hive-mind prescence that they act as a single unit, making them particularly deadly battlefield combatants.

Rutherford as The Automaton believes has come to believe that emotion and empathy are vestigial parts of the human experience and the sooner they are removed, the sooner mankind can move apace in the grand evolution of the cosmos.  As such, Rutherford has begun to examine ways to systematically broaden the capacity of his pseudo-psychic, pseudo-mechanical powers to encompass the whole of the world. Recent attacks on major satellite stations, cable news networks, and other mass media outlets have all been attributed to The Automaton and his Servitors, insinuating that Rutherford has found some way of manipulating his powers through sound or video.

In any case, The Automaton's goal is clear and he is frightningly close to reaching it:  a world bereft of joy, sorrow, or any other emotional response save cold, unfeeling logic.

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Villain of the Day:  December 6 (Project BASK)

A warm light for all mankind.  That was the initial hope when Nautilus Industries CEO Eliot Marklund started buying up real estate in droves in equatorial desert areas.  Employing a literal army of subcontractors, Nautilus began setting up a legion of solar panels, capable of delivering terawatts of power to areas all across Africa, Australia, and Asia.  

But that wasn't quite enough to sate Marklund's ambitions, of course.  And it just so happens that the right people are in place to take advantage of Marklund's good intentions.

It's a matter of public record that Nautilus Industries maintains a number of private communications satellites in low Earth orbit outside the upper atmosphere.  Nautilus has long been at the head of private space exploration, and many look at Eliot Marklund as one of the fathers of "space tourism", catering to the rich and influential and providing those individuals an experience that few others could imagine.  However, Nautilus' interests in space extends to a number of other venues, particularly linking to Nautilus' clean energy arm.  And, under Project BASK, that vision may be realized.

Were it to be implemented successfully, Project BASK will utilize a number of satellite mounted lenses and solar arrays to focus solar radiation into an intensified, mile-wide beam capable of delivering over 100 times the normal energy provided through solar power.  Linked into geosynchronous orbit at strategically placed locations around the globe, Nautilus plans to provide free, limitless electricity to all points throughout the world, effectively eliminating the need for carbon-based fuels in one fell swoop.  Even as the earth rotates, the satellites continue to reflect and focus the solar energy, beaming it down to Earth in a cascade of free power.

That is, if Project BASK were used to specifications.  With a significant number of strategically placed agents within Nautilus' upper eschelons, The Annihilationists will ensure that this never comes to be.

The satellite arrays currently in orbit have been aligned such that the beams are effectively weaponized.  Within mere minutes of the array's activation, the solar energy will scorch through the energy collection apparatus and burning miles-wide holes into the earth's crust.  Within an hour of activation, the focused beams would impale the whole of the earth, disrupting the natural shape of the planet and effectively cutting the globe in half roughly along the Equator.   By the end of that day, not a living soul would remain on the planet.

Eliot Marklund intends the announcement of Project BASK to be a landmark moment in mankind.  He doesn't know how right he's going to be.

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Villain of the Day:  December 7 (Hollow)

When she started, she simply wanted the freedom to use her powers as she saw fit.  By the time Hollow left Earth, she knew that would never be enough.  And in her greed, she may well bring doom to the whole universe.

Born Sarah Langley-Sizemore to a middle class household, Sarah started to manifest strange powers as a pre-teen, and was identified successfully by a GLOBAL metahuman watchgroup, whereupon her parents consented to her relocation for intensive training and control protocols.  At age 11, Sarah was separated from her parents, moved to a training facility in the Falkland Islands, and spent approximately 10 hours a day training in the use of her powers.  

The key, there, is the training.  GLOBAL never did find a method to categorize Sarah.  Generally viewed as a telekinetic, Sarah actually is capable of manipulating the weak vacuum state governing the flow of radiation across the universe.  In practice, this creates 'bubbles' of kinetic force capable of moving massive objects, pulling or pushing things within her line of sight, and manipulating the four fundamental physical forces of the universe.  As codename Hollow, Sarah was set to become a peacekeeper to rival any of the worlds' heroes.

Mind you, it wasn't until she started learning physics that Sarah actually put together the pieces.  As she entered advanced military training--including a number of science courses--she managed to answer the questions that no one else could solved:  she realized the truth behind her powers.

And that?  That utterly frightened her handlers at GLOBAL.  Naturally, they overreacted, to which Sarah immediately fled.  An international manhunt ensued, with Sarah eventually fleeing to space.

Surviving in the vacuum was as much of a surprise to Sarah as it was the astronauts she passed by, but Hollow immediately felt a boost in power once freed from the bonds of an atmosphere.  And, as she found, the longer she stayed out in space, the more powerful she grew.  With an ever-increasing degree of cosmic power, Sarah's delusions of grandeur only grown exponentially; the more power she has, the more power she wants, the more power seeks.

However, Hollow has yet to realize the truest ramifications of her powerset.  Her abilities, in actuality, do not so much 'manipulate' the weak vacuum state, so much as remove it.  The longer that Hollow stays in space, the more she absorbs the ambient energies of the cosmos, the weaker the integrity of the universe becomes.  Eventually, her absorption will reach what physicists call a 'vacuum metastability event'; the fundamental energies keeping the universe in stasis will simply fracture, spinning out into the nothingness in a universe-wide shockwave obliterating everything in its path.  Hollow will becoming nothing short of a walking Big Bang; all the power she possibly could have wanted, and more.  

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Villain of the Day:  December 8 (Lepton)

Love is a many splendid thing.  That is, unless you're as petty and self-centered as Lepton.

Once an aspiring recruit with Dark Watch, Toby Wheeler is an identified Omega capable of emitting powerful radioactive blasts from his hands.  While in training, he began dating Courtney Erazo, another Dark Watch recruit known as Kestrel.  While the pair seemed to make a perfect pair on patrols--Kestrel was an accomplished martial artist and acrobat, while Lepton laid down cover fire with nuclear blasts--their romance was certainly one with no shortage of drama.  Nine months into their training and partnership, it was evident to both Kestrel and Lepton, all of their fellow apprentices, and every instructor in the Dark Watch program that the pair were on the rocks.  Despite a glorious weekend in the lakes around Lake Overbrook, it was increasingly evident that their romance was not to last.  Over those months, Lepton had proven to be not only a poor boyfriend, but also a possessive, petty individual eager all too eager to see his girlfriend fail, so that he could be right there, waiting to be on the upswing.

Kestrel, however, was no dummy.  She was more than aware of the cycles of abuse and control and grew wise to this.  When she broke up with Lepton that April, however, he went (pardon the pun)...nuclear.  His outburst in the Dark Watch training facility earned him the ire of every trainer affiliated with the program.  Lepton was discharged from Dark Watch that very day.  

Even as he applied (and was denied) for the Sentinels of Freedom program, Lepton utterly refused to leave Kestrel alone.  He called her incessantly, sent letters and packages to her apartment, even attempted to break in on no less than four separate occasions. Needless to say, though, breaking into the home of a superhuman-trained, martial-arts expert vigilante was not exactly the best idea for Lepton's personal health.  As he spent the next month recovering in a Megalopolis area hospital, Lepton started planning an elaborate revenge.  He would go to Lake Overbrook and microwave the whole thing, turning into so much steam and gas.  No more memories of Courtney.

Under normal circumstances, all this may seem rather ordinary, at least in the lives of superhumans.  However, one extant issue changes all that.  Among the tests run on Lepton during his application process included practical tests on how his powers interact with various elements and compounds.  And, of course, a rare type of runoff into Lake Overbrook has an adverse reaction with the nuclear energy that Lepton emits.  If Lepton goes through with his plan, petty though it may be, the ensuring radioactive cloud would taint approximateily 45% of the world's water with radioactivity.  Further, the weather across the entire western hemisphere would become nothing short of a burning, irradiated cloud spewing noxious water and foulness.  Within days, the irradiated water could destroy all organic life on the planet.

All that over a broken heart...

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Villain of the Day:  December 9 (Cataplex)

After 24 hours of sleep deprivation, the average human experiences impairment to coordination, memory, and the ability to form judgements in the brain, comparable to holding a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent.  After 36 hours, inflammatory markers begin showing up in a person's bloodstream, even as their endocrine system begins growing erratic, with hormone levels in the body willdly fluctuating.  After 72 hours, the body begins experiencing significant issues in concentration and other higher mental processes, experiences hallucinations and other perception-based cognition errors, and can even develop false memories.  After 96 hours, an individual might begin having violent seizures and the body starts breaking down neural tissue, resulting in psychosis and other short-term mental illness.

The psion known as Cataplex, however?  They intend to push the world much beyond that 96 hour mark, and simply document the carnage that ensues.

Originally Brian Jouvet, Cataplex was born with a rare abnormality known as an Arnold-Chiari malformation, in which some of his brain tissue protrudes into the spinal canal.  While this abnormality provides him a number of psionic abilities--a degree of telekinesis and telepathic communication--it also provides him the unique ability to manipulate the delta brain wave required for individuals (himself included) to enter a sleep cycle.  Cataplex himself can stay awake for nearly one month with "no ill effects", though his burning curiousity (and madness) has resulted in a number of strange experiments involving sleep deprivation and manipulation.  Most often, his victims die of an onset version of fatal-familial insomnia, in which his victims' neural network decays to the point where they can no longer enter any degree of nREM sleep, eventually suffering paranoia, dementia, then death.

However, Cataplex's experiements are about to take on a whole new scope.  After years of experimentation, Cataplex has managed to locate a single wavelength capable of transmitting his psychic manipulations.  After infiltrating a major satellite relay station, Cataplex can broadcast that psychic wavelenth across the whole of the world.  And from his fortress/relay-station, Cataplex will observe his grand experiment in action...

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Villain of the Day:  December 10 (Mass Driver)

The years of FILTER's timeline-hopping infiltrations may well be over, but the remnants of their dominion in the Null Space Observatory still remain.  The metahuman known as Mass Driver is among the most dire of FILTER's mistakes, and he seems more than ready to wreak his vengeance upon whatever Earth lies below.

No current prison records seem to have any actual record of Mass Driver's true identity; both DNA tests and facial recognition technology have failed to match Mass Driver with any known criminal or metahuman.  Further, no one seems to know exactly how long or why FILTER was holding Mass Driver.  Based on limited interactions with the metahuman, it appears that Mass Driver had been held under FILTER's most secure cells within The Block, with access to him restricted to personnel with the absolute highest security clearance.  Mass Driver must have been held there for something upwards of four years, as there was no evidence of him in The Block during the Vengeance-era riots, but did appear prior to the destruction of The Block at the hands of Becky Blast and the Steel Squadron.

While physically strong and fit on his own, Mass Driver's true strength lies in his manipulation of ambient magnetic fields.  Mass Driver has shown himself capable of propelling metallic objects as projectiles, with an acceleration ratio sitting at approximately .5% of Caianiello's maximal acceleration, a number previously viewed as incalculable.  While his usage of this power has typically been restricted to the typical cars, girders, construction equipment, and other items, Mass Driver has proved only more and more deadly in confrontation, wielding larger and more potent items with aplomb, and has shown no signs of reaching any upper limit.

In actuality, Mass Driver has no cap to his powers.  As long as he is within a magnetic field of any significance, his body absorbs that field, making him stronger.  However, this has its own side effect:  the eventual demagnetization of the extant magnetic field.  On Earth, this will eventually--within the next year--result in the complete demagnetization of the Earth's core.  So demagnetized, the Earth's atmosphere would be ripped away by the naturally-occuring solar winds that stream through our solar system.  Much like Mars, the Earth's atmosphereic pressure would drop far enough that all water would evaporate before being whisked out into the ether by the solar winds.

On the plus side, though, Mass Driver is no longer on Earth.  Rather, he has taken up on an abandoned FILTER base on Mars...where he has begun extracting the iron oxide from the surrounding fifty-odd miles, preparing one last huzzah:  a mile-long lance of metal, set to spear GLOBAL Headquarters--the inheritors of FILTER, in his eyes--all the way from space.

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Villain of the Day:  December 11 (Attricia)

Where she walks, only dust remains.

The first known appearance of the woman known as Attricia reduced the Fort Stevenson Bridge into crumbled mortar.  As rush hour descended and the citizens of Megalopolis dreamed of a relaxing weekend, a dark haired woman began to stride down the middle of the eastbound lanes heading into the city.  While Attricia's prescence drew stares--reports of a 'naked' woman walking down the freeway were erroneous; as keen-eyed observers realized, Attricia was wearing a reddish form-fitting bodysuit--attention swiftly turned from the woman herself to what was occuring in her wake.

Behind Attricia, matter simply began to unwind.

Steel cables of the suspension bridge corroded and unraveled.  The concrete and asphalt in her footsteps sizzled and disintegrated into so much dust.  Cars in her wake rusted, the chassis wafting away in the breeze even as their owners fled in horror.  By the time that heroes managed to arrive on the scene, the bridge was beyond salvaging:  their efforts were pushed by necessity towards rescue/recovery and preventing Attricia from entering Megalopolis proper.  However, as quickly as Attricia arrived and crossed the bridge, she disappeared.  A swirling, rust-colored portal opened before the woman, disappearing immediately after she entered it.  As Attricia vanished from sight, the last bits of the Fort Stevenson Bridge collapsed into the river, sending half-ruined cars and crumbling cement blocks splashing into the water.  

Each time Attricia has appeared in a given place, the story goes the same.  Matter simply disintegrates as Attricia passes by; she does little to actively engage heroes or law enforcement, simply letting her very presence unravel everything around her.  Attempts to determine from whence Attricia comes have been inconclusive; residual extra-dimensional energy would seem to indicate some degree of sorcery or arcane power, though her abilities seem to disassemble matter at the molecular level, implying some form of heretofor unknown science.  

However, astute investigators have begun to realize:  each time Attricia appears, she stays approximately 25 seconds longer.  One can only wonder what will happen to the world should she decide to stay...

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What a strong image. And why 25 seconds, I wonder...

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Villain of the Day:  December 12 (Xagan, Master of the Oubliette)

There is a great unrest in the Realm of Discord.  And, for a dimension of roiling chaos and ever-changing landscapes, that's certainly saying something.

For time untold, the undisputed master of the the Realm of Discord has been the being known as Gloomweaver, the Voodoo god of despair and nightmares.  However, in this recent era, mighty Gloomweaver has found his centuries-long plots thwarted time and again by bumbling mortals from the Material plane.  No amount of cultists nor relics managed to result in a victory for the Lord of Nightmares.  And, after Gloomweaver's eternal essence became trapped within a mortal energy being, the dormant and cowed powers in the Realm of Discord began to question their fealty to their long-tenured lord and master.

Now, beings have turned against Gloomweaver numerous times across the aeons.  Within mortal reckoning, Ruin's betrayal of Gloomweaver stood as a finite example that Gloomweaver, despite its near-immediate defeat at the hands of The Argent Adept.  But with Gloomwaver away from its seat of power, numerous other beings have taken the opportunity to grasp for power in the fields of madness.

Not the least of these is a being known as Xagan, titled the Master of the Oubliette.

Ruler of a plane of torment and imprisonment, Xagan has gone by numerous names across the centuries, never truly forming a cult unto itself.  Rather, its worshippers have lurked on the fringest of society, with Xagan influencing a set number of individuals to create massive dungeon labyrinths, filled with all manner of deathtraps and torture devices.  Xagan cultists--known in occult circles as 'jailors'--are noted kidnappers, who use their powers to capture unwitting and unwary individuals, thrust them into their labyrinth lairs, and watch the carnage unfold.

Demented as that may be, Xagan has larger plans.  Never one to try a failed concept, Xagan has long given up on the idea of breaking 'into' the material world.  Rather, it plans to imprison as much of the material plane in the Realm of Discord itself, allowing the naturally occuring arcane energies break down the barriers between the planes, effectively dissolving whole sections of the material plane into the chaos that permeates the Realm of Discord.  With each completed labyrinth, with each blood smeared rune traced through winding passages, whole chunks of the material world are merged wholesale into Xagan's Oubliette.  And, with just a few more sacrifices, whole cities and nations will find themselves under the steel skies of a discordian dungeon.

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Villain of the Day:  December 13 (Tsunamus)

In the beginning, there was life.  Then, came the flood, with life drowned beneath crashing waves.  And, as the waters receded, mankind arose.

The concept of the flood has lurked within the collective subconscious of mankind's myth and legend since time immemorial.  With nearly every culture having some sort of "flood myth", the question arises, from whence to those myths arise.  The answer, of course, is Tsnamus.

Not a native to our dimension, Tsnamus was one of the prime elementals--a being so massive and powerful that it, unto itself, could be considered a dimensional plane on its own.  Tsnuamus, as one might figure, is a being comprised entirely of the universal solvent.  It has something akin to a consciousness, but only one primary need:  to spread.  If not contained in some manner, Tsnaumus (or any prime elemental) would simply continue to expand until it encompassed everything in existence.

The ancient cultists of lost Lemuria did not know this much, as it turns out.  While they knew Tsunamus as a powerful force capable of gifting them arcane might, they had no idea of exactly 'how' powerful Tsnamus truly was.  And, when that power by itself turned out to not be enough, those same cultists only learned the truth as their lungs filled with water and they gasped out their final screams.  

It was only through the intervention of Atlantis (at the time, Lemuria's ally, though not for much longer afterwards), that Tsunamus was locked away once more, sealed behind the labyrinthine Atlantean wards beneath what has become modern Greenland.  There, Tsunamus was frozen, his expansion halted by a continually-refreshing incantation that ensured that the prime elemental could not expand as he so chose.  There, those lost Atlantean sages left behind a set of natives capable of refreshing those wards, of maintaining the frigid cold capable of keeping Tsunamus from encompassing the globe.

But now, the world faces a two-fold gateway for Tsunamus to complete his deluge of Earth.  As the globe continues to warm, thanks to human intervention and global warming, Greenland's wards have begun to fail.  And, for some reason, the long-standing line of winter guardians in Greenland who could refresh those wards is simply...gone.  

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Villain of the Day:  December 14  (Dr. Julian Osprey)

After all manner of treachery, Dr. Julian Osprey may be one of the few unpowered individuals on Earth capable of saving the world...if you can keep him alive long enough.

A noted agricultural biochemist, Osprey was never satisfied with his work, drifting between the various Big Six agribusiness firms in various, increasing roles.  He lived an opulent life, but he really felt that he could make a true impact doing...something.  As he vacationed in the Maldives, sipping a cocktail and contemplating his luxurious and unfulfilled life, Osprey was given an offer to make a real change.  A chance to be a part of something greater, something that would forever impact humanity.

That's when Julian Osprey was recruited by The Annihilationists.

Whisked off to a bunker in a location that even he was not fully aware of--Osprey believes that the bunker to be in a major mountain range, likely the Andes--Osprey began work on what became Test Case #4C385.  Osprey's test case, in fact, was a microscopic mite, capable of living on grains of pollen and utterly invisible to the naked eye.  These mites would be carried by native bee and insect populations through natural pollination cycles, allowing the mites to spread rapidly across all manner of flowering plants, including food production fields.  Resembling a tardigrade in many respects--Osprey used a DNA sequence remarkably similar to tardigrades when engineering Test Case #4C385--the mites are immune to extreme temperatures, all manner of poisons, differences in atmospheric pressure, and any number of traditional effects. 

Plants pollinated by #4C385 mites experience a particularly rapid death cycle, seeming almost to rot as if by some fungus.  However, no amount of fungicide or antimicrobial seems capable of killing the creatures and if Osprey's calculations are correct, the spread of the mites would be on an exponential scale.  Over the course of six months, over two-thirds of the world's primary food production facilities would be infected with #4C385 mites beyond any possible recovery.  Worldwide food production would plummet, resulting in the starvation of approximately half the extant world population within two years, and a 95% depopulation within 5 years.

Two weeks ago, the reality of what Julian Osprey was doing caught up with him.  In a crisis of conscience, he fled the bunker, managing to elude his former compatriots long enough to reach Megalopolis.  He gladly aids any heroes with whatever knowledge and resources he can muster, but Osprey knows it may well be too little, too late.  While #4C385 has yet to be unleashed, the countdown to the world's end has already begun.

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Villain of the Day:  December 15 (Cannonade)

Like so many, Scott Jamison entered the 'real world' with the best of intentions, wanting nothing to be a hero.  However, the more good he does as Cannonade, the closer the world inches towards utter destruction.

Scott's fiery powerset first emerged just two days shy of his eighteenth birthday.  While on an excursion to a local lake with some friends, Scott went to skip a stone across the water, only for a blast of flame to emerge from his fingertips, sizzling into the water with a gout of steam.  Astounded, Scott's friends pushed him for more and greater tricks; within hours, Scott was blasting plumes of red-orange flame into the sky and picking off floating logs with aplomb.  Naturally, the local forest service soon came to investigate, though Scott and his friends beat a hasty retreat.

Scott wasn't particularly discreet with his powers and, rather than trying to hide them from his parents and relatives, he decided to sit them down and have the awkward conversation as to what he should do next.  His parents were concerned, but overall supportive, deciding to refer Scott to the Sentinels of Freedom program after his graduation.  They did, however, put Scott through all manner of medical tests and examinations, simply to ensure both Scott's safety and the safety of those around him.  After a good deal of genetic testing, it was determined that Scott's powers had occured through a natural metabolic mutation; he was not an Omega, nor was his powers from any sort of outside locus.

After graduation, Scott moved to Megalopolis, where he was assigned to a cohort of new metahumans for additional training and education in regards to power usage.  During one of those training sessions, though, something strange happened.  Rather than simply emitting flame, Scott's entire body burst into flame.  While he himself wasn't damaged, the extreme heat emanating from his body torched his clothes and set his fellow heroes scrambling for cover.  After a moment, Scott returned to his natural form, suffering only a touch of embarassment as he struggled to cover his inadvertant nudity.

However, this transformation seemed to continue to plague Cannonade, even as he went out on his first patrols.  Metahuman experts and doctors at Freedom Plaza have noted that his powers seem stable, and continue to be linked to his consciousness, which allow his degree of control even while asleep or knocked out.  However, doctors have yet to piece together that every time Scott utilizes his powers--even in the most innocent of manners--the temperature at which he burns increases.  His core temperature, when transformed into his 'elemental' form is currently capable of melting solid titanium.  If this trend continues, Scott may well reach a temperature capable of igniting the very atmosphere around him:  the whole world would be cast aflame in a conflagration nothing sort of apocalyptic.

Unfortunately, Scott is no longer conscious.  Cannonade was incapacitated during a skirmish with a few former members of the Citizens of the Sun, and currently is comatose in a Megalopolis area hospital.  Doctors have already noted that Scott's hospital room has been increasing in heat, currently sitting around 140 degrees F.  Nurses and doctors have reported gouts of flame scorching the walls and equipment, and Scott has had to be moved a number of times, for the safety of other guests.  Scott appears to be fighting some psychic battle while comatose, resulting in the usage of his powers in the conscious world.  And, if not stopped, the whole world will soon be consumed in a Cannonade

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Villain of the Day:  December 16 (Backup)

Nessa Parker-Black never came back from Mars.

A noted data technician on the Wagner Mars Base, Nessa found herself lucky enough to survive not only Ambuscade's attack on the base, but also the infiltration by the Scions of OblivAeon and the legion of alternate-universe KNYFEs preparing a final strike on reality.  As battles raged across Earth and the Wagner Mars Base klaxons sounded with all manner of ominous warnings--"Base Self Destruct in T-15 minutes and counting.  Warning: Base Life Support is now offline.--Nessa simply did her best to find a way to survive.  

And, somehow, beyond all odds, she did.

Sitting alone in the darkened base, wondering when she was going to die, Nessa came upon a project that she'd only worked on in a cursory basis.  Several of the scientists and engineers had been working on a scanning device capable of identifying and sequencing DNA from a distance:  a doctor could receive a full genetic profile from a patient across the country simply through a downloadable webcam app.  There, amid the massive server banks, Nessa came to a realization:  Earth needed a Backup.

Since that day, Nessa has worked in the shadows, stealing items from government labs, high security science facilities, and all manner of black markets as she perfects her piece-de-resistance.  Nessa has begun work on an amplifier capable of broadcasting the scanning signal of the Wagner genetic profiler device on a massive scale, sequencing the genetic makeup of whole swaths of the world in a single usage.  She intends to record every living creatures' DNA digitally, for posterity, launching her servers into deepest space....before using that same carrier wave to erase every mind subjected to it.  Every conscious being on Earth would become a drooling, incoherent husk, capable only of the most basic actions.

For whatever reason, Nessa has become an utter nihilist regarding humanity's chances, believing that the only way for the species' survival is to hope that some other sentient species will reconstitute the species from her DNA sequences and piece mankind back together.  And, if she completes her work, she will have created nothing sort of a backup for humanity.  It can thank her once it's alive once more...

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Villain of the Day:  December 17 (The Formula)

Its existence is mere rumor, scattered across the myriad worlds of the Multiverse.  Mathematicians, philosophers, logicians, and arcanists across the cosmos have but touched upon its presence.  Sane men have pursued it, only to be driven mad.  Madmen speak it, and whole worlds end.

It is known as The Formula:  the collective mathematical representation of the entropic principles governing our universe.

The foremost scientists of worlds occasionally touch upon The Formula.  Eliot Marklund knows of it; disseminated through his loyal workers, his understanding of The Formula culminated in the dimensional gate technology found within Nautilus Industries' enigmatic Design Bay L.  The geneticists within Black Site Tango touch upon the genetic aspects of The Formula, establishing one unified theory for the breakdown of an individual species, creating something more than it ever was.

However, no portion of science can ever truly grasp The Formula without an understanding of the arcane and occult.  The ancient Atlanteans knew this:  their wars with Thule and Lemuria led them to blend science and magic in equal measure, breaching the walls of this reality and letting *something* through.  However, even the most stalwart minds of the Atlanteans crumbled beneath the knowledge conveyed through The Formula, leaving Atlantis without its best and brightest as it faced its final culling.  Am-Dhaegar glimpsed portions of their sorcery, looted from ruins beyond time and space and culling knowledge from beyond this reality.  Yet he, too, delved too far and drunk too deeply of the well of knowledge, walking in realms where no man was meant to tread.

Today, only the most foolish try to unify the two-fold realms of science and magic, of the technological and the occult.  And as the universe dies, the end of man is to know.

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Villain of the Day:  December 18 (Emergent)

Project Cocoon has made all manner of transgressions against the metahuman community over the years, in their never-ceasing quest to create the ultimate psionic super-soldier.  Their most heinous sin, though, has yet to finally emerge.

The Visionary spent much of her early years in this reality tracing the disparate threads that linked Project Cocoon black-site facilities, following leads between scientists, military personnel, and independent consultants to bring a vast conspiracy to light.  In many ways, the liberation of the young Vanessa Long--once known as The Dreamer, now known as the up-and-coming superhero Muse--represented the culmination of this conspiracy.  This universe's proto-Visionary was liberated, the black-sites involved were shut down, and the perpetrators brought to light.

However, one clue never seemed to correspond to any known Project Cocoon.  A mid-level informant killed by Major Flay managed to scratch out a single word onto a a nearby folio:  Anticosti 48359.

Visionary did manage to cross-reference Anticosti to a sparsely-populated island off the shore of mainland Quebec.  Owned by the Canadian Government, the primarily usage of of Anticosti Island is to operate the lighthouses that aid in navigation through the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  While Visionary traveled to Anticosti, she found no evidence of any Project Cocoon interference, nor did she find any sort of disturbances.  However, the few individuals that Visionary interacted with seemed...off.  A conversation with a lighthouse keeper seemed normal by itself, but a later conversation with a diner owner referenced elements of that earlier conversation that the diner owner could have had no way of knowing.  Psychic probing, however, provided no reason for this linkage.  Leaving with more questions than answers, Visionary never did find a meaning for 48359.

However, in a bunker deep beneath the island, in a self-cleaning cryonic tank linked to an independent geo-thermal energy array, a single member of Project Cocoon still sleeps, their will and mental power slowly insinuating its way into the collective subconscious of the few individuals on the island.  And, with each individual that stays in proximity to The Emergent, the more psychic power is added to their own.  Unless discovered and somehow neutralized, the Emergent's psionic dominance will encompass all of Quebec, all of Canada, then all the world.  

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Villain of the Day:  December 19 (The Eraser)

Logan Weir knew the truth that no one else was willing to admit:  Guise was right.

Within the fan community following the various metahuman heroes in Megalopolis, quite a few individuals had become aware of Guise's somewhat strange beliefs that the whole world was, in fact, naught but elements of an ongoing comics series.  While even the sharpest-eyed of cape-followers couldn't ascertain the truth behind Guise's powers, all of them laughed off Guise's continual references insinuating that he, as well as his adoring public, were fictional characters created for some fickle audience's amusement.  That is, all except Logan.  

Logan, after all, had seen The Eraser.

2249 East Garfield Avenue used to be a high-rise.  Logan lived on the 6th floor in a two bedroom apartment.  The window facing the fire escape had a draft and the outlet near the front door didn't work, but it was home.  Logan's cat had claimed the spare bedroom as her own and the dining nook had been converted into Logan's very own reading lounge.

During the OblivAeon event, Logan was at work.  As carnage filled the streets, Logan drove home as fast as he could, his path thwarted no less than 4 times by legions of Aeon Men, the massive foot of Sky-Scraper, and a massive traffic pile-up.  As he arrived, though, Logan was confronted with a curious sight.  2249 East Garfield had vanished.  In its place, an empty lot, with no evidence that an apartment building had ever existed in sight.  Dumbfounded, Logan rubbed his eyes in disbelief, only to catch the most curious sight:  a white gloved hand, holding a giant pink eraser, rubbing the last bits of 2249 East Garfield out of existence.  Logan screamed, "Hey!", gesturing at the hand, but within seconds, the last of the building had vanished and no evidence as to the hand or The Eraser could be found.

Frantic and in disbelief, Logan looked around for anyone who might have seen the hand.  In the midst of the chaos of OblivAeon, no one was dumb enough to be out on the street, save Logan himself.

Since that day, Logan has become nothing short of a sign-bearing evangelist, proclaiming that 'The End is Nigh' in no uncertain terms.  Any fool unlucky enough to engage Logan in conversation will hear a whole, well-practiced diatribe on "The hands that govern the universe, eager to simply wipe us out of existence if we don't do what they want!"  Logan claims to have seen The Eraser no less than 6 times since that initial occurence, with elements erased ranging from a park in a public pond to Ellis Haworthy, one of the few individuals who actively believed Logan.  In the midst of a late-night discussion over a Dad's burger, Logan watched Ellis be erased from reality, with the waitress completely oblivious to the fact that anyone had even been there with Logan.

Logan has tried to reach Guise for comment on numerous occasions, but Joseph King has made it quite clear that he wants nothing to do with that wack-a-doo...in the meanwhile, Logan simply wonders when the world on the whole will be nothing but an erasure.

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Villain of the Day:  December 20 (Bartolomaeus of Wharram Percy)

Could it truly be that Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess herself, is the lesser of two evils?  If the legends surrounding Bartolomaeus and the legions of the dead beneath the long-forgotten village of Wharram Percy are even partly true, the world's heroes may soon find themselves leaping to the defense of the vile Court of Blood.

Bartolomaeus last breathed in Buckinghamshire in the year 1195.  A cobbler's son, Bartolomaeus taught himself to read from a cache of books he had found while exploring a cave near his home.  Within those mouldering tomes, however, was lore that Bartolomaeus simultaneously found repellent and seductive.  Day after day, he found himself returning to those caves, poring through page after page until he had committed the whole of the rites within to memory.  However, even as he delved into this ancient lore, his body began to waste away.  His flesh became sallow, his pulse stilled, and his hair and nails began to fall from his body.  

The undead being that once was Bartolomaeus became known as the Birminghamshire Vampire, as Bartolomaeus began to test the limits of his newfound infernal powers.  Eventually, he was driven away by St. Hugh, then the Bishop of Lincoln, who believed that he had defeated Bartolomaeus once and for all.  However, the rites necessary to destroy a creature such as Bartolomaeus were incompletely performed, and Bartolomaeus returned to the lands of the living within the week.  

Bartolomaeus' title as "The Birminghamshire Vampire" is, however, a misnomer.  While it certainly wields blood magic with aplomb, Bartolomaeus in truth is closer to a lich--his eternal essence has been tied to those long-lost mouldering tomes with which he exchanged his life essence.

Since that day, Bartolomaeus has wandered the world, finding small, isolated towns in which he could exercise his fell influence.  Like a pestilance, Bartolomaeus preys upon these towns, to the point where the undead population overwhelms the living.  He then orders his undead servitors to bury themselves, effectively becoming 'sleeper agents', waiting for the correct time to overwhelm and eliminate the living.  Since those long-gone days of his initial rise, Bartolomaeus has crossed the globe numerous times, setting up whole colonies of undead in strategic locations:  Wharram Percy in 1200s, the Roanoake colony in 1585, Jerusalem's Lot in 1789, Hoer Verde in Brazil in 1923, Ashley Kansas in 1952, and Centralia Pennsylvania in 1963.

And now, with the pieces for a worldwide infestation in place, Bartolomaeus simply needs access to as much blood magic power as possible, to simultaneously raise awaken all of his children across the globe.  He has assaulted the Court of Blood four times thusfar, each time unsuccessful, though his continued assaults have severely weakened Bathory's hold on the ancient cathedral.  As undead clashes against undead high in the Carpathians, humankind may fall to the crossfire in a War of Blood.

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Villain of the Day: December 21 (Supplicant Fahrell and the Order of Ashes)

Some men just want to watch the world burn.  The alien known as Supplicant Fahrell and his Order of Ashes asks why one would settle for merely one world. 

One of the few survivors of the scorched world known as Telinord-IV, Fahrell was a philosopher and observer as his world fell, first to war, then to atomic self-destruction, then lastly to a failed bid to reignite the sun of the Telinord system.   From a space station elsewhere in the system, Fahrell watched as whole planets were reduced to so much ash and celestial dust as his species' best and brightest caused their sun to enter a red giant phase prematurely, sending solar matter into the cosmos and turning anything within a several million mile orbit to ash.

That day, Fahrell knew the face of god.

Consumed by religious fervor, Fahrell and his followers travel from system to system, overloading celestial bodies with gaseous matter until the whole system is consumed in cosmic flame.  The Order treats these occasions as high sacraments, rites meant to please the consuming flame that lurks at the center of all reality.  Members of the order care little for individual lives, and even less for the lives of entire species; rather, they believe that only when all life is consumed in solar fire, will the enlightened finally be at one with the flame.  

Most intriguing to Fahrell personally, however, has been the rumors that an Enclave of survivors has been whisked outside of time and space.  He gazed made it his personal mission to find a way to breach ur-space and destroy this colony, so that the inevitable destruction of all things may avoid any 'loose ends'. And, if rumor is to be believed, Fahrell may just have an inside man...

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Villain of the Day:  December 22 (Kalki)

The Hindu monastics at the Kanchipuram temple knew that their forebears spoke truth though their art.  The final avatar of Para Brahman, the Destroyer of Filth,  Kalki was en route.  What they did not know, however, was how close their monasticism brought them to shaping reality. 

The continued worship and veneration of this aspect of Para Brahman reached something out in the beyond.  Whether Host spirit or some other spirit from the Realm of a Discord, no hero or arcanist has managed to determine what Kalki truly is.  However, it has raged across India, following the tales in the Vaishnava, fulfilling Hindi prophecy after prophecy.  This has led to all manner of confusion throughout the Hindu community, as spiritual leaders are torn on whether this truly was Vishnu reborn as Kalki.  The longer they deliberate, the more are hewn down by Kalki's sword, the Ratna Maru.

Two days ago, the grand mural of Kalki in Kanchipuram simply disappeared.  What that portends, none truly know.  But surely, it cannot be a good sign...

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Villain of the Day:  December 23 (The Pacific Trash Vortex)

Humankind's impact upon Earth's environment cannot truly be understated.  Between landfills full of plastic taking thousands of years to decompose, to toxic waste facilities capable of fouling groundwater irreparably, to the continued gaping hole in the ionosphere, mankind has left its indelible mark upon the planet.  And, with the physical manifestation of the planet itself rising to aid's Earth's heroes, one can tangibly see the power we have wrought upon the planet.

And no larger evidence can be found of this than the Pacific Trash Vortex.  A massive flotilla of human refuse covering 1.6 million square kilometers, the Trash Vortex roves the Pacific, entrapping plant and animal alike and poisoning the waterways with mankind's refuse.  While efforts have begun sporadically to attempt clean up the Vortex, these efforts have been severely hampered by one major issue:

The Pacific Trash Vortex appears to be alive.

Six months ago, the villain known as Professor Pollution and her homunculous known as Toxin returned to the heart of the Trash Vortex aboard a fusion-powered submarine purchased in Mordengrad.  Arriving at the Vortex, the pair re-enacted a variation on the ritual that Professor Pollution used to create Toxin in the first place.  Warping ley lines and channelling fell energies, the pair imbued the Trash Vortex with a degree of sentience....and a hatred for all mankind.

Since that day, ships and planes flying over the Pacific have simply gone missing, subsumed into the mass othat is the Trash Vortex.  Effectively, the Vortex has becoming a mobile, trash-based Bermuda Triangle, adding every victim to its befouled mass and gaining in strength with each piece of refuse it absorbs.  And, once it has gained enough strength, the Trash Vortex will make landfall along the West Coast of North America, overwhelming whole cities in the massive blob of plastic and filth that comprises its body.  And, at its head, Professor Pollution will wreak the havoc upon the world she so desires...

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I mean, it doesn't even have to be alive to be a villainous threat to humanity, but I like the way you think. :)

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That's my modus operandi: take something that's already horrible and make it even worse...

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Villain of the Day:  December 24 (Star Wormwood)

It blazes upon high, with an unhealthsome, pale yellow light.  Its radiance has been a harbinger of countless disasters and catastrophes the universe over.

And now, the wandering star known as Wormwood makes its advance upon Earth.

Star Wormwood is no true star, however--its origins are much more nefarious than that of a simple ball of atomic flame.  In ages long forgotten, the Varusiod people created the the celestial body, fashioning it from the skull of a dead Satellan arcanist and binding it with the ley lines of fourteen different living worlds.  As Star Wormwood rose to its state of semi-consciousness, those primordial Varusiods knew the folloy that their craft had wrought.  They had anticipated Star Wormwood to be a weapon capable of ending the Overwar that decimated so many worlds; instead, they loosed a horror onto the multiverse capable of ravaging reality.

Wormwood wends and drifts its way through the void of space with no true intention, drawn only by the occasional flare and pulse of ley lines running through inhabited planets and moons.  This occult energy draws Star Wormwood, pulling the being through the ether towards the origin of that ley line.  As Star Wormwood draws near, that world experiences all manner of arcane calamity:  plagues of vermin fall from the sky, the celestial bodies of that system align in prolonged eclipse, and all manner of magical creatures scream with madness and pain.  The ley lines of that planet rise and pulse visibly; even the most rudimentarily occult-sensitive can physically see and manipulate these lines, inflamed by Star Wormwood's presence.  Invariably, these new magic users find their newfound powers spiraling out of control, as they lack the training and will necessary to contain their own arcane potentially.

Finally, as Star Wormwood settles into orbit around a given world, it begins stripping away the ley lines from the planet one by one, adding the lines to its own crosshatch of lines.  In most cases, the removal of a world's ley lines leaves it not only bereft of magic, but also throws basic planetary functions into total disarray.  As the planet's magnetic field inverts and dissipates, the portions of the ionosphere necessary to shield life from the continual bombardment of solar radiation slough away:  most worlds assaulted by Star Wormwood die within weeks of its arrival, if the very act of ley line removal does not tear the world asunder on its own.

And, once its arcane prizes are stolen, Star Wormwood simply drifts off into the void, waiting for another arcanely-endowed world to garner its attention.  

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Villain of the Day:  December 25 (Snoozles)

Every generation has one:  that single toy that every kid seems to want during the holiday season.  In the 80s, it was the Garden Grove Dolls.  In the 90s, it was Huggable Hugo.  This holiday season, Snoozles are all the rage.

Something of a cross between a toy and a pet, Snoozles are the newest creation of PlayTime Amusements--a subsidiary of JoyTech Limited--and are the brainchild of Abigail Orman, a long-time toy and game inventor.  Designed for maximum cuteness, Snoozles are nothing short of a foot-tall ball of fluff with gigantic oversized eyes and a chirping, chattery voice eager to talk with any and all willing to engage it.  PlayTime has currently produced over 10.5 million individual Snoozles units, selling to stores across the western world.  Over 9 million of those units have already been purchased, with countless holiday shoppers clamoring at store counters, aching to buy a Snoozle for their children/friends/family/significant-other.

Built into the Snoozles' genetic arrangment is a predisposition for ease of care.  All Snoozles expel their waste gaseously, and only at intervals specificially prescribed by the owner, upon the Snoozle's initialization sequence.  Further, Snoozles are capable of eating almost anything; Abigail intended Snoozles to be a perfect secondary pet, eager to get along with other animals and capable of sharing their same diet, thereby saving owners on upkeep costs.  

However, therein lay the problem.  Snoozles are capable of eating *everything*.  If ever instructed to eat something outside of their usual diet, a Snoozle will consider that type of object as a part of their intended diet, actively seeking it out for further consumption.  Some would-be ingenious Snoozle owners have already begun treating their new pet as a sentient garbage disposal, feeding them food scraps, paper, plastic, metal, and more...each time, teaching that Snoozle that the fundamental building blocks of existence are nothing but food.  Within a matter of weeks, the whole world may be infested by an adorable, plushie plague, capable of eating their way through nearly any matter.  And if they find some way to breed?  The world will surely fall, eaten beakful by beakful by adorable synthezoids.

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Villain of the Day:  December 26 (The Carnivale Protocol)

As the world spins on, the nefarious organizations lurking in the shadows have all manner of plans and machinations in various states of completion all around the globe.  However, the plan closest to completion may well be one that The Annihilationists have been funding for over six years:  the research of Dr. Mariah Cordon and the implementation of The Carnivale Protocol.

Dr. Mariah Cordon is a long-time veteran of the medical arena, making her bones in neurosurgery and neural-interfacing technology.  Cordon's specialty dealt specifically with the use of mental implants to treat schizophrenia, severe mood disorders, and any number of violently manifested anti-social personality disorders.  Cordon has worked with all manner of government entities and hospitals over the years, all the while espousing the benefits of using grain-sized implants to moderate and mitigate the violent tendencies of criminals with severe mental issues.  

Now, while the potential moral issues of artificially regulating the mental function of violent offenders on its own may raise questions, the further application of Cordon's research led her to the attention of The Annihilationists.  Cordon has long believed that the majority of mental disorders stem from the incorrect firing of neurons within the mood-regulating sections of the amygdala.  If only one were able to remotely override those signals, so many violent outbursts could be contained with ease...

...which is exactly what The Annihilationists are banking on.  Through the usage of their global satellite array, the so-called Carnivale Protocol utilizes the theories and practices used by Dr. Cordon to broadcast a low-level wave of electrical interference.  This interference disrupts the normal amygdala function in anyone within proximity of the wave, repressing any sort of natural override response to stress, anxiety, depression, fear, or anger.  Targets subject to the Carnivale Protocol become hedonistic, territorial, and incredibly destructive, attacking anyone who dares prevent the subject from indulging their basest vices.  Worse still, prolonged exposure to the Carnivale Protocol overloads the hippocampus, severely damaging the subject's long-term memory structures.  Once weaponized, exposure to Carnivale Protocol waves can reduce a large city to rioting chaos within 48 hours, to an all-out battleground within 96 hours, and within two weeks turn any surviving rioters into drooling amnesiacs unable to even care for themselves.

Dr. Cordon is utterly oblivious to the truth behind all this, mind you.  She continues to believe that neural implant therapy could provide the next great leap in terms of both criminal incarceration and the treatment of severe mental disorders.  She knows nothing of The Annihilationists' true motives; she's simply happy that angel investors are finally giving her research the respect (and funding!) it's been due.  She continues her research at a feverish pace, eager to share any and all findings with her investors at Dynamic Solutions.  

And first on The Annihilationists' list of targets?  The legendary Megalopolis New Years' Eve Celebration...

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Villain of the Day:  December 27 (Chiara Violante)

"He, in his madness, prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace."

The woman known as Chiara Violente has been one of the greatest enigmas in the metahuman committee since her first appearance three months ago, when she presented herself in the center of Freedom Plaza and announced that the multiverse was doomed.

When engaged by security and a team of Sentinels, Violante made a daring proclamation:  "I have seen this, heroes.  I have seen all of it.  I have seen it over and over again, glimpses in the mists of time.  You will not win.  You cannot win.  The end comes for us all."  As security guards approached, Violante's eyes blazed with purple light and launched herself into combat.  

In melee with no less than 8 security guards and three Sentinels of Freedom, Violante metaphorically tore her foes apart.  She dodged blows and projectiles as if she had seen them coming, countering each with swift, painful strikes.  One security guard stood, astounded as Violante's open palm strike shattered the riot shield on his arm with a single, well-placed strike.  Within a few seconds, Violante had incapacitated every one of her opponents and she began to flee the scene.

Since that day, Chiara Violante has been encountered four times:  while planting a bomb at the Svalgard Global Seed Vault, scouting an underground bunker near the Tunguska crater in Russia, orchestrating a massive drilling operation on Oak Island, and aboard the newly rebuilt Wagner Mars Base.  In each case, Violante has been interrupted in the midst of performing some destructive act, yet each time she has eluded capture.  Violante has claimed at each of these confrontations that the multiverse on the whole is somehow 'meant' to be destroyed and that she only is facilitating the change from this world into its truest form.

However, each encounter does seem to add to the overall knowledge regarding Violante's past.  Prior to the OblivAeon event, it seems that Violante was already a metahuman--a precognitive, capable of processing information from the myriad shattered timelines.  Her martial arts abilities, as such, don't come from any degree of training or supernatural power; rather, she simply reacts to events that have yet to happen striking, dodging, and parrying in manners that make her an equal to even the greatest martial artists.  Each action Violante takes, she claims, moves the world towards ultimate destruction, following some hither-to unseen plan.

And, for what it's worth, Violante's violent actions seem to be having the very effect she predicts.  Despite being thwarted at bombing the Global Seed Vault, an imperceptible leak in the vault's vacuum-sealed chambers has already started a long decay of the seeds within.  Despite being driven away from Oak Island, locals and tourists have experienced a number of tremors, verging on full earthquakes.  And aboard the Wagner Mars Base, the enigmatic Problem Light has turned red.

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Villain of the Day: December 28 (Johannes Kepler)

The world knows Johannes Kepler best as one of the world's foremost thinkers on astronomy, physics, and the movement of celestial bodies.  What the world doesn't know is just how close Kepler was, and still is, to gaining ultimate mystery over the music of the spheres. 

Long fascinated by the ancient Greek  (read: Atlantean) theroems set down by Aristotle centuries earlier, Kepler's work on the "Mysterium Cosmographicum" brought him to the attention of one Maxwell Heindell, a member of the Rosicrucians.  The Rosicrucians were a nominally Christian order devoted to unearthing the secrets of lost Atlantis and using them to ascend bodily into heaven.  Kepler's work, as it turned out, represented a new step towards understanding the ancient Atlantean science,  and he was recruited posthaste.

With the backing of the Rosicrucians, Kepler continued his research in secret, even faking his death in 1630.  In all reality, Kepler had attuned the natural vibrations of the molecules in his body rp the ambient vibrations of the universe itself, drawing power over all sound and vibration around him.  Kepler had since shared this gift with the innermost circle of Rosicrucians, turning them into a fiercely loyal conspiracy to unlock additional power. 

However, in his quest for knowledge, Kepler only later became aware of the true consequences of vibrational unification. As more and more of the universe vibrates at the same wavelength, the wave itself becomes stronger.   If enough of the universe vibrates at that wavelength, the whole of reality may well vibrate itself apart, causing a new Big Bang.  Kepler has kept this secret from his Rosicrucian fellows, hoping that they will go along with him long enough to witness the majesty of the Music of the Spheres given truest form...

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Villain of the Day: December 29 (Leptospirillium perfringens)

Destruction of the world so rarely comes from a single cataclysmic creature or event.  Rather, The Annihilationists bank on smallest of organisms to do their dirty work.  

Leptospirillium perfringens is the final result of years of secretly funded biological research and engineering, the culmination of billions of dollars in manhours and supplies, to say nothing of the numerous accidental infections across the globe.  

L. Perfringens is a stabilized hybrid of several disparate forms of drug resistant bacteria.  Most notably, however, L. Perfringens has two primary qualities. Firstly, the bacterium expands at an alarming rate, with a colony doubling in size every 12 minutes. Secondly, and more alarmingly, L. Perfringens oxidizes iron as its primary form of sustenance.  

In the wild, this results in the utter dessication of any iron-based metals and ores, though in living creatures, the effects are quite devastating.  Effectively, the bacterium takes up residence in the circulatory system, eating away at the hemoglobin clusters on a being's red bos cells.  During this time, the victim will experience symptoms reflecting acute anemia.  However, given enough incubation time, the bacterium will eventually rust out the subject's circulatory system, leaving their body unable to process or circulate oxygen.  Administration of iron supplements-- the common response to acute anemia cases-- only results in further acceleration of the infection, effectively giving L. Perfringens more to feed on. 

The Annihilationists have already begun deploying L. Perfringens in various third world metropolitan areas.  Given enough time, both the world's technology and its population will be eaten away from the inside out. 

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Villain of the Day:  December 30 (The Malignance)

They have lurked at the fringes of society since time immemorial.  They have gone by many names:  Babylon knew them as the "shedu", the Gerasene demoniac called them "Legion", while later Christian theologians referred to them as the Horsemen of Apocalpse, still others referred to them as the Dukes of Hell.  They have appeared time and again throughout myth and legend across Earth's history.  The ancient sages of Thule called upon them once, but the incantations needed to reach their far-off  home reside only within the mind of the Thulian Elder Mind.

The four beings that make up The Malignance reside on a demiplane they call Abaddon; within is a realm of blood-spattered obsidian and harrowed, rusting metal.  Within is a chamber of horrors, with those unfortunate souls to have arrived upon Abbadon's shores tormented eternally for the amusement of The Malignance.  For whatever reason, the four revel in both the spiritual and physical corruption of mortals, but also in the the devastation and wrack left behind in their manifestation.  Most occultists do not believe that The Malignance gains power from these actions; rather, they simply derive pleasure from their depredations....and the destruction of the material world will stand as their magnum opus.

The first brings wrath and fire.  Born in the River of Chains, it appears first as a column of blue-purple flame with a voice seductive and sweet.  The Mayans knew it as Huracan, the flame that will awash the world and carry it forth into the final age.  They sought to placate the first with blood, but no amount of spilled blood could quench the flame of wrath.

The second brings the winds of plague. The Iroquois knew it as Dagwanoenyent, the wind which rends flesh from bone and tears the walls asunder.  It carries The Malignance from place to place in mere instants, breaking upon the unwary with all the force of a frozen hurricane.  The Iroquois sought to placate the second with sacrifice in the high places of the world, though the doomed flung themselves from mountain peaks in fits of madness.

The third brings the prolonged agony and the ache of want.  The Sanskrit knew it as the Preta, the many bodied devourers with the needle teeth and the claws that scrabbled and groped for its never ending meal.  They sought to placate it with feasts and gifts of foods most sumptuous, though even as they gifted these, the supplicants themselves became the meal.

The final one brings slow, eternal annihilation.  It has borne many names across the aeons and is the most frequently approached.  It appears as a skull-headed humanoid, impaled with all manner of blade and spike.  Its frame bleeds a foul ichor and it weaves a tangle of human hair between its emaciated fingers.  It is quick to deal with mortals, speaking with the curt, grinding voice of iron across stone.  It offers puzzles with no solution, for whom fortune would destroy, it first drives mad.

Occultists have yet to figure out what The Malignant truly are.  The best definition thusfar came from Pope Honorius III, who thought them as demons, but ones possessed by some other spirit--as if a Host spirit had merged with a denizen of the Void.  Whatever their origin, though, their designs on the prime plane will result in nothing short of the eternal torment of everyone on Earth.

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Villain of the Day:  December 31 (Ur)

It is the foundation upon which all the cosmos have been constructed.  It is the eternal bedrock of all reality.  And it grows tired of its timeless and thankless vigil.

It has no name.  Given that it comprises the ur-space outside of time and reality, some have come to call it Ur.

The Varusiods have been the only race in all of cosmological history to have spent any amount of time outside of reality, constructing fantastic feats of engineering like the Null-Space Observatory through which they could scry upon dimensions never before seen.  While their works were feats of cosmic impossibility, the Varusiods were canny enough to keep their visitations to ur-space infrequent and their constructions made in secret and stealth.  Even as the Null-Space Observatory became active, then faded into memory, the visitations upon ur-space were discreet enough as to avoid notice from that which lurked within.

However, with the numerous incursions beyond reality in these past few years, something has changed.  The explosion of the The Block, the banishment and return of Rainek Kel'Voss, and the arrival of the Enclave of the Endlings has awoken the primal being that comprises all of ur-space.  Their blundering has awoken unreality itself...and it knows true rage.

More than anything else, the entity of Ur resents its place in the cosmos:  it longs to feel time pass, to feel the consequences of actions and the fundamental forces of reality.  It thirsts to be a part of reality proper and to enter the timesteam, to have some degree of consequence in the vast, unfeeling nothingness.  Its intent, as such, is nothing short of a complete inversion of reality and ur-space; Ur seeks to transplant itself into true reality, while consigning reality's current denizens to the lonely banishment of no-when and no-where.  How close is Ur to this inversion?  Can it possibly even be done?  Only one knows the truth...and, sadly, the last of the Varusiods is currently a prisoner of Ur.  Jansa vi Dero and the Enclave of Endlings now resides within the very place/being that she alone could aid in thwarting.  And if left unchecked, Ur will be all that is, rather than all that is not.

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And that's it, fam.  A full year of 353 villains, at your disposal and usage for the upcoming SCRPG.

Thank you all for being such a great and supportive audience through all of this; I hope that this is useful to you as the game comes out.  If you have any questions on any of these, don't hesitate to ask away.  I'd be happy to provide some more info on any of these!

And, for what it's worth, I'm not *completely* done.  I'll likely pop in now and again to toss in a new villain as I come up with a new idea, but that'll be on a sporadic basis to say the least.

In the meanwhile, Happy New Year!

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Great job! Thanks!


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard, "The Tower of the Elephant"

TakeWalker
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Joined: Feb 26, 2016

This has been a great ride. :D Thank you for all the villains!

PlatinumWarlock
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Joined: Feb 10, 2013

It's been my pleasure, gang.  I think the index is totally up to date at this point, but if you do find anything incorrect, just let me know and I'll fix it.

Rabit
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Joined: Aug 08, 2011

This is awesome, PlatinumWarlock, and a beautiful resource. I'm going to pin it for future reference, as I'd hate for newer folks to never have a chance to see this. :-) 


"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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