The Big Villains Thread

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VGBM
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I've been without a computer for a couple weeks, but one upside is that it gave me plenty of time to come up with a thematically appropriate villain for this month.

The Moving Shadows:

A factory worker in Maine, Harvey Burningham was a normally chipper fellow, he was a down-to-earth family man at home in suburbia and a social butterfly at the factory during breaks. One day as work ended, Harvey was in the parking lot on his way to his car when he suddenly stopped and turned to the side, before casually resuming his walk. Noticing his odd behavior, one of his coworkers called out to him, "You alright there?" "I'm fine," Harvey replied, "I thought I saw something, but there's nothing there. That's all."

A few months later, Harvey Burningham was found dead in a 3-star motel one city over from where he used to live.

The change was gradual, but fast. It started with nothing more than the occational strange occurance that only he noticed; a distant voice whose words he couldn't quite make out, or a sudden chill in the room, or most commonly, shadows that seemed to move on their own. As time passed he grew increasingly uneasy and those around him took notice. The once chipper and friendly man was now sullen and withdrawn, suddenly turning down invitations to barbeques and eating lunch in a corner by himself. Meanwhile, the things he saw only got worse; distant voices became close whispers, cold chills became hot breath on the back of his neck, there were times when an aquaintence's face would seem to shift and distort before his very eyes before he blinked and they returned to normal, and those shadows crept ever closer. He became distrustful of not only his surroundings, but of his once friends as well, confiding only with his closest loved ones about how he felt, but as they tried to reassure him and calm him down, he concluded that they could not be trusted as well. By the time of his death, Harvey was consumed by paranoia. He quit his job, left his wife and kids, and lived a life of complete isolation.

When his body was discovered, several things were noted about the place he was in: The windows were boarded up, several electronics were unplugged, and easily dozens of notes were taped all over the place, the writing only looking like incoherent ramblings. The cause of death was ruled as a heart attack, though anyone with an attunement to other realms would have immediately sensed something much more sinister at play.

Nobody knows what the shadows really are, but Harvey Burningham was not their first victim, and he certainly won't be their last.

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Villain of the Day:  March 21 (The Fractal Man)

Wayne Norman put his trust in science.  Logical, understandable, re-creatable, and unfeeling.  Wayne Norman's trust was unfounded.

An engineer at a Nautilus Industries, Wayne was one of the individuals working directly in Eliot Marklund's notorious Design Bay L.  Norman's point of focus?  Attempting to perfect dimensional folding technology, based upon the quark-drive translocator technology left behind in the wake of the Voss invasion, Norman's division within Design Bay L culminated in the "Marklund Gate"--a massive two story portal designed to fold dimensional space, opening upon another identical facility located off the New Zealand coast.  

Wayne was never meant to be a test subject for the Marklund Gate; that honor was going to go to a canary named Tweeters.  However, after months of hands-on work with the the Marklund Gate, Wayne began to come apart at the seams.  Workers within Design Bay L are typically mandated to maintain a 6-week-on, 3-week-off work rotation, but with a breakthrough so close, Nautilus' supervisors authorized additional work.  That was when the gate started whispering to Wayne.

At 3am, coming down off of a coffee-fueled math session, Wayne decided to take a look through the gate on his own.  That day, he ceased being Wayne Norman.  That day, he became The Fractal Man.

As he passed through the Marklund Gate's aperture, Wayne's body was thrown across countless timelines, slung through infinite ur-space, and trapped within antidiluvian prisons within realms explored by none save the most intrepid and foolish necronauts.  When he finally emerged in Nautilus New Zealand's Design Bay L, both his body and mind were left in shambles.

The Fractal Man can physically shift his body in and out of various adjacent dimensions, which manifests both as a form of teleportation and as a near two-dimensional appearance.  While in a two-dimensional form, he can slide out of bonds, move across surfaces as a static image, or become impervious to harm; while in a 5th dimensional form, he becomes incomprehensible to the human psyche, inducing headaches and nausea.  Despite his power, The Fractal Man cannot truly open portals to other dimensions--a skill gap that he rues greatly, and actively pursues as an enhancement to his powers--though he can call upon lashes of damaging energy from various dimensions throughout the multiverse. 

More than anything else, though, The Fractal Man has served as a harbinger.  While understanding his deluded rants has been difficult for even the most schooled of arcanists and dimensional travelers, The Fractal Man has had one continual message:  beware the that which lurks behind the mirrors and waits beyond the walls.

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Villain of the Day: March 22. (Never)

Jessica Cristof learned the power of 'no' very early.

A spoiled child, Jessica grew up in the lap of luxury in Megalopolis' Cobalt Heights district. Her mother, a corporate attorney and her father, an orthopedic surgeon, gave her everything she ever wanted. But, for Jessica? That was never enough. If even a subtle thing were out of place or not to her specifications, she devolved into outright tantrums. However, as she grew, she found that simple yelling rarely did the trick any longer. In order to get her way, she would have to be more canny.

The old woman never said what the book did, but Jessica didn't care. Shrew got what she wanted -- the ability to say no to anyone. In actuality, the tome which she purchased was one that linked her consciousness to a Host spirit of denial. By simply speaking aloud, Jessica could deny anyone anything, taking whatever she wanted in the meanwhile.

Jessica's parents were her first victims. When she deigned to ask for an exorbitant sports car, they declined.... after which she forbade them from eating. The pair starved to death over weeks, pleading with Jessica to let them live. A paparazzi photographer stood for 8 days outside of Jessica's house after she told him, "don't move." When police finally dragged him from the spot, the man had to be institutionalized, still obsessing over the commands of Never.

Soon, Jessica will have everything she ever wanted. She'll never have to call upon Never again.

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Villain of the Day: March 23 (The Thulian Elder Mind)

The most powerful, most notable mages of long-forgotten Thule viewed it as their highest aspiration. The ancient Atlanteans sought its destruction over all others. The warcasters of Lemuria desired their assimilation and servitude. And none other than mighty Gloomweaver sought to devour it, adding their occult strength to his own.

The Elder Mind of Thule was a great stasis chamber, maintained by only those whom the Thulian elite could implicitly trust. Before a Thulian magister died, they were taken to a chamber deep within the floating islands. There, their brain was removed and placed in an arcane receptacle suitable to keep the still living brain alive. Then, using a blend of Cthonic magicks and discordian sorcery, that mind was linked to all of its forebears, creating a legion consciousness, simultaneously able to hold independent thought, yet act as one unit.

Warcaster Xemox had long thought the Thulian Elder Mind destroyed. The great frescoes of Atlantis show the elders of Thule being thrown down. However, cult leaders have begun to disappear the world over, and somge have begun to wonder whether the Thulian Elder Mind has survived the shattering of timelines, adding new voices to their throng. If so, the greatest collective of arcanists ever known will undoubtedly shake the world with their power...

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Villain of the Day: March 24 (The Thing Under Roosevelt Bridge)

People in Rook City disappear all the time. Kidnappers, mob assassinations, strange experiments, and more make living alone in Rook City a desperate proposition at best. Marky Delfino knows that well. As a cleaner for the Organization, he ensures that the aftermath of The Organization's work goes undetected. Disposing of bodies in the river or the bay was easy, until they started dredging the river. He needed somewhere better to dispose of the unwanted.

That place came under the Roosevelt Bridge.

In a part of Rook City that few ever go, Marky dropped the body of a deadbeat drug dealer from the bridge... and them heard the chewing. The sound of teeth through bone and sinew. The sound of feasting.

Marky ran. But that hasn't stopped him from coming back. He's become the Chairman's best cleaner. The bodies never seem to turn up. He just never looks under the bridge.

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:

The sound of teeth through binge

I don't know what went wrong here, only that something did and it makes this whole thing even creepier.

You're doing a great job of filling the world with evils other than just costumed supervillains. :D

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For my first post for the RPG, figured I’d add one villain to Supernatural Month.

Years before Oblivæon, a series of vicious muggings and robberies plagued Rook City. At first, they were attributed to the urban legend of the Plague Rat, but Nightmist was not convinced. Putting her skills as a private investigator to the case, she discovered important clues. The perpetrator seemed to appear and disappear without warning, and more importantly, was very large, hairy, decidedly lupine in appearance, and only struck for a few days a month, during the full moon.

Nightmist soon tracked down a low-level thug named Jake Donner, a young man who seemed to be cursed by a strange form of lycanthropy. His curse was not transferred by his bites or claws, and he was in full control when he shifted. But most unnerving was the fact he could teleport at will, making him impossible to trap. He was using his monthly transformations to fund his lifestyle, stealing from locked vaults, mug those who slighted him, and just generally be a selfish punk.

After being found and arrested by Nightmist, Jake simply waited for the next full moon, and teleported out of the cell that was supposed to dampen his powers. Now seeking Nightmist for revenge, he foolishly allowed himself to gloat over her after catching her off guard.

Nightmist flung him from reality.

Trapped for “years” outside space and time, unable to come home, Jake went insane with boredom and thoughts of vengeance. And then Nightmist opened the gate for aid against Oblivæon. And then Nightmist ceased to be. 

And now can anyone stop The Wherewolf?

(And yes, he’s a teleporting werewolf with a silly gimmick name, but dammit, it’s just such a great name.)

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Villain of the Day: March 25 (Mortalis)

All things die.  As one of the extant fprces of the universe, Mortalis appears in that dread moment of the final ragged breath, the frantic reach for the hand of a family member, or the flutter of eyelids as a warrior expires.  

During the OblivAeon crisis, Mortalis was, for lack of a better word, quite busy.  Streaking across the multiverse, ferrying souls to their final resting place--some in the hands of creatures like Ammit or Gloomweaver, some to their just reward, others to the end of all things.  Death is the reason Mortalis exists, and the more creatures that die within an area, the more likely that Mortalis himself will oversee their passing.  In other cases, he dispatches the riders:  creatures of mist and shadow hiding at the corners of vision, ferrying the souls of the dead to their great beyond.

Few humans have ever seen them.  Occasionally, those who have been rescucitated claim to have seen them as angels, others as demonic creatures lurking at the periphery of vision.  One hero knows of them:  Harry Robert Walker, the man who came back.

Mister Fixer claims that, during his long stint trapped as a living dead man, he could watch the servitors of Mortalis work, skull-faced creatures flashing past in all manner of vehicles:  ancient chariots, suped-up sports cars, spike-treaded tanks, and more.  In all cases, the souls of the recent dead sit frozen, gripping the panels of the passenger compartment with fear.  Walker can attest to the fear of death; he lived it for years.  While he never saw Mortalis itself, the whispers of the dead spoke its name with dread...that of the great reaper, removing creatures from that burdensome toil of sentient thought.

To this day, Mortalis has been a neutral party in mankind's great dance.  One can only wonder what might happen should Mortalis turn its gaze to more malevolent ends...

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Villain of the Day:  March 26 (The Undying Horde of Nightmist)

Dimensions away, the heroes of the world had fallen into despair.  After centuries of planning, the entity known as Gloomweaver had finally triumphed, bursting into the material world with a horde of zombie minions at his beck and call.  His cultists were permitted to retain their cunning and intellect, even as their flesh was devoured under a tide of devouring teeth and snapping bone.  The interplanar invasion spread quickly from Rook City, covering most of the eastern United States within weeks.  Megalopolis was one of the few bastions of humanity remaining, as the Freedom Five opened their tower to the living, defending them to the last.

It was not enough.

Absolute Zero fell first, the hordes tearing off his suit and rending him asunder even as their nails froze and chipped away.  Wraith followed, attempting to swing away from a swarm of corpses, only for the crumbling brick to give way beneath her grappling hook.  Bunker rushed to save her, but his suit was soon covered with corpses, whose unnatural strength began to peel away the layers of armor on his suit, leaving him a sitting duck.  Legacy, unsurprisingly, lasted the longest, though even America's Finest gave his life, evacuating the last few civilians from Freedom Tower when the fortress was finally overrun.

Within 18 months, the marching graveyard had spread worldwide, with only pockets of humanity alive, often guarded by the world's superhumans.  The Prime Wardens, minus Haka and Captain Cosmic who both fell beneath the zombie horde, returned to their base in fallen Atlantis.  Expatriette and Setback were said to have built a self-sustaining bunker somewhere in the midwest, capable of fending off the hordes indefinitely.

Nightmist, though, proved to be the world's undoing.  With the help of The Harpy, she attempted to open a dimensional gate, through which she hoped to lead the rest of humanity....that was when the hordes burst into her sanctum.  

While the Harpy became naught so much as a meal for the encroaching corpses, the zombie bites in Nightmist's ethereal form resulted in something quite strange.  The arcane curse which provided her mist form allowed her to remain alive, though the zombie infection carried by the undead infected her mind, corrupting and perverting it. 

Still bearing the bite wounds eternally bleeding from her ethereal form, Nightmist completed her ritual, opening a portal to our reality.  However, she now knew her true purpose...to lead mighty Gloomweaver in the conquest of all realities.  With a horde of zombified heroes at her beck and call, she may have just gifted the Cult of Gloom a new reality over which to claim dominion.

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Oh man, imagine the whiplash for the heroes. “Yay, there is a mist portal, Nightmist reformed herself, she’s back! ...wait, what?”

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Whoops, just came up with another.

The Obsidian Orchestra:

While no one is born with a talent, some certainly appear to have an inherently easier time learning it than others. For example, while anyone can become a musician, only a fraction of those people are what some consider to be "musically gifted". Anita Tigres was not one of them.

Anita was a wannabe songwriter who moved to New York city to try to "make it big", but couldn't seem to catch a break no matter how hard she tried. She was already mildly famous on the internet for her talent at making covers and remixes of other songs, but whenever she tried to compose something original, she simply fell flat, as if she was missing that "creative spark" required to go that extra mile. This, of course, wouldn't be too much of a problem if she had an interest in being anything but a musician.

One day, she was at an art museum looking for any inspiration she could find when a particular piece caught her eye, a viola from 17th century italy. She felt unnaturally drawn to it and, against her better judgement, was compelled to touch it. The moment she did, an eerie, off-key sound filled the museum as her mind was suddenly flooded with knowledge and, more importantly, power. Power that she knew wasn't hers but wanted to take anyway.

Being the first Virtuoso of the Void for generations, the Argent Adept never had the opportunity to be taught many things about them that he should've known. One of those things was the existence of another magical group to look out for. Defined by their misuse of a Virtuoso's stolen instrument, the Vandals of the Void are those with the innate attunement to the Void required to channel its magic, but not the musical attunement required to properly control it.

With no one to steal from, the Vandals seemed to die out along with the Virtuosos, but just like Drake, Ms. Tigres discovered her power by accident, and also just like Drake, she sought to expand her power by collecting instruments. By the time he found out about her, she already had enough to become known as the one-woman-band, the Obsidion Orchestra. Angered by the years of rejection and failure, she's now out to take from the world what she believes is owed to her.

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Villain of the Day:  March 27 (Mary's Sister)

Ask any child on a playground and they'll tell you all about Mary's Sister.  More than you likely will ever want to know.

The legends vary, from place to place.  When the night is cold and clear, and the swings creak in the November breeze, little Mary in the white dress appears on the merry-go-round.  If addressed, Mary giggles and happily chats with whomever might make her acquaintance.  Mary loves company.  Her face is pale and her nails are torn and jagged, but she otherwise seems happy.  If any ask her why she is out so late at night, where her coat went, or where her parents are, Mary simply laughs, "It's okay; my sister lets me..."

Some say that Mary's Sister never existed; rather, some little girl named Mary invented her, after being ostracised and mocked by her classmates for some unknown faux-pas.  Others say that Mary's Sister was the dead twin of a little girl named Mary who grew up literally living in her sister's shadow, only able to be seen by those unfortunate souls about to become her victims.  Still others say that the true danger isn't Mary's Sister, who is only a harbinger.  Those folks say that Mary's Sister only exists to warn others, though her sewn-shut mouth cannot speak, merely gesture to the horrors impending.

As Mary whirls on the merry-go-round, the paint on the playground equipment whips away, revealing years of rust and ruin.  Chips of paint cloud the air in a swirl of cherry red and forest green; the mists roll in to surround.  Any still here risk both life and sanity, while Mary giggles, her dress swirling out as the merry-go-round spins faster and faster.  

Then, out from the shadow of the oak tree, steps her sister.  Ragged, barefoot, starving, the naked waif stands pleading, her lips sewn shut with rough catgut.  The scars of invasive surgery stand raised and raw across her limbs and torso, and her fingertips are stained the brown-red of dried blood.  She reaches out, her cold eyes pleading as her mouth strains against the stitches.  All the while Mary laughs, spinning her merry-go-round faster and faster, with wild abandon.

No one seems to know what happens when Mary's Sister reaches you.  No one has ever lasted that far, in body or in mind.

 

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Villain of the Day:  March 28  (The Man in the Black Hat)

Rachel Chipman was ready to die.  

A terminal cancer patient, Rachel was set to undergo one last surgery for the pancreatic cancer that seemed to be outright resistant to all known treatments.  At 31, she had become far too familiar with things like meeting with oncologists, drafting her will, and preparing funerary arrangements.  

The night before her surgery, she asked her family to leave early.  Rachel simply wanted some time to herself before one last stint under the knife.  She spent her evening writing in her journal--something she had taken up since shortly after her diagnosis--only to fall asleep with pen in hand.

3am.  Rachel awoke with a start.  Her eyes bleary, she blinked to focus...there was someone in her room.  

She couldn't see his face; it was shadowed by a broad-brimmed stetson that hung low over a pale face.  The figure could have strode right out of a western:  a long-sleeved black shirt and slacks, shining black boots, and a large silver ring with a grinning silver skull leering out at her.

"Who?..." 

The man cut her off.  "Darlin', you've been dealt a bad beat here.  But I reckon you're a fighter.  How'd you like a new deal?"

Rachel cocked her head quizzically, "What do you...what do you mean?  Can you help me?"

The stranger nodded slowly, eyes barely glinting from beneath his hat.  "I'll tell you this much.  This tumor in your gullet ain't nothing compared to the nosebleed stakes what are out yonder.  Just remember that, when I come back."

Rachel sat up, moving to intercept him, but the man in black vanished.

The next day, Rachel was prepped for surgery.  Her husband, James, sat in the waiting room, half-watching an episode of "The Correct Cost" on the overhead tv.  Her oncologist stepped into the room, "Mister Chipman?  Could you come with me?"

It seemed a miracle.  Not only was Rachel's pancreas operating at full functionality, there was no evidence that any cancer had even been in her system.  The squash-ball sized tumor in her interstitial membrane was gone.  It was as if her cancer had never existed.  What's more, the pre-surgical blood testing had revealed something phenomenal, which began manifesting almost immediately after she was returned to her hospital room:  Rachel could manipulate objects with her mind.  

Rachel was discharged the very next day.  While still out of work from her extended medical leave, she stepped outside to get the mail, testing her newfound powers by opening the lid of the mailbox and pulling the mail to her hand.  

Inside was but one piece of mail:  a simple sympathy card with a vase of daisies gracing the front.  Within, only a simple message... "I'll see you further on up the road."

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Very mysterious. Bonus points for the Western theme.

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Villain of the Day:  March 29 (Victor Korsakoff)

Man, you've been away from Freedom Plaza for a while.  All recovered from that mission?

Oh, hey, you remember Victor, right?  He joined up...quite a while ago, but I can't quite remember the date.  He's been such a valuable friend and ally all this time.  Remember when he helped out against Apostate, over in Kentucky?  No?  I could have sworn he was there.  He saved that one kid from an imp in the choir loft...

Yes, of course I gave him his own keycard.  He's been living in Freedom Plaza for the past 6 months.  He's been outfitted with a costume, weapons from the armory, and access to the training room.  I think he's been working with Wraith in martial arts training.

What do you mean, "implanted memories"?  A sorcerer?  He's not some mad wizard; he's a superhero.  I was there when they ran the tests; he's an Omega.  Give me a few minutes and I can dig up those test results.  Besides, if he was a magic-user, he'd have a much more varied power set.  He just shoots energy beams as far as I've seen; remember that time he blasted Citizen Hammer in the face?  Oh, man...I don't think I've laughed so hard in a fight ever.

Look, I don't know where all this paranoia is coming from.  Victor's great.  Frankly, I'm a little uncomfortable gossiping about him like this.  If you have an issue with Victor, why don't you talk to him yourself and hash things out?  He's over in the meeting room with Heritage and Bunker, talking tactical deployment.  Go have a chat and let's put all this to rest.

TakeWalker
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Oh damn. :D Maybe your best writeup of any of these.

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I rather liked it as well; definitely a far cry from my usual 'outside-looking-in' perspective.

I'd put it up there with Albemarle as among my favorites to write. 

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Yeah, I like Victor too. I actually have a similar idea for my own villain, except mine actually is an omega. I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil too much for when I use them in one of my sessions.

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Villain of the Day:  March 30 (Dominykas Gregori Ramonat)

How many Barons Blade were there?  

With potentially infinite realities and timelines converging on the prime reality, countless heroes and villains from throughout the multiverse fought the scions of OblivAeon and even the great time-destroyer himself.  And, as the doors to those realities closed, so many individuals were maroooned in this timeline, never to return to their home.

Of course, the world over knows of Luminary's great sacrifice to help defeat OblivAeon, but with Mordengrad leaderless, Dominykas Gregori Rammonat returned to this timelines' Mordengrad.  But, When Baron Dominykas Gregori Ramonat quit the field, he found it...changed.  This Mordengrad was a technological nightmare, with factories, power plants, and tenement apartments covering the beautiful landscape.  Where were the stone menhirs of his youth?  Where were the great war-golems, patrolling the borders?  Where were the arcane wonders and mythic powers?  Where were *his* people?

Posing as Ivan's once-exiled brother, Dominykas has been able to assume the leadership of Mordengrad and begin reshaping it in the image of his own, forever-lost Mordengrad.  The laboratories beneath Ivan's castle have been converted to arcane libraries, filled with the lore of lost Atlantis, Thule, and Lemuria.  Blade Battalions have been enhanced and enchanted with fell rituals, making them stronger and able to counter occult threats.  Just last month, the first of this reality's war-golems began its long, thunderous patrol along Mordengrad's borders.

As the new Baron Blade, Dominykas will restore Mordengrad to its mythic glory.  And, when his true planar counterpart returns to reclaim the throne?  He will find his world of technological wonders a much different place...

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Villain of the Day:  March 31 (That Which Lurks Beyond the Mirrors)

It is in every flash of movement caught in your peripheral vision, as you turn your head. It is that terrifying delay as you watch your reflection blink, just a nanosecond after you.  It is that creeping mold and decay which never quite seems to get scrubbed away, ever returning, ever consuming, ever eroding.

The ancients knew him as Apep, the serpent that would cast down the incarnations of Ra and devour the sun.  The Norse renamed it as Jormungandr, the "world serpent" which would arise at Ragnarok to poison the sky and slay the mightiest of long-fallen Asgard.  The Japanese called it Yamata no Orochi, which was slain but arose again, each severed piece becoming something yet more terrifying.  Despite this, He is no true serpent; in dreams, it appears in whatever form seems most terrifying to the dreamer.  Some today call him Zalgo, that which waits behind the walls, bearing the soul of forgotten, damned am-Dhaegar in his taloned, bloodied fist.

Beyond the walls, behind the mirrors, he lurks in a realm unknown to mortal men.  Lost Lemuria once spied upon this place, and ancient Thule called upon his name and servants, though they knew him not.  There, the mountains are a hideous crystal; clear, but polluted with his foulness and ichor.  Filth and corruption spread like frost upon glass, snuffing out life and leaving naught but the screaming reflections of the fallen.

There are those who yet serve him:  the nameless, faceless men that lope and lurk in the shadows of the unwary; the bestial tick-men with their lashing tongues and clawed limbs; the hand-sized marble insects, scrabbling and stinging without pause for mercy or even self-preservation.  These things cavort and fester in his realm, clamoring obscenities to the shattered moons and tearing at one another in a frenzy of blood and ichor and death, only to be reborn to resume their death once more.

Pray that you will never find the true visage of He Who Waits Beyond the Mirrors.  Should you ever watch yourself in the mirror blink, you will know him to be upon you.  Run if you like.  Hide if it brings you some solace.  He comes.

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With that, we arrive at the end of Mystic March!  Tomorrow, we start off with Alien April--30 days of threats from space!

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Oh man, I can't wait XD

VGBM
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Phew! Alright, looking forward to next month.

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With Mystic March at an end, we now begin Alien April--30 days of threats from far-off worlds, distant galaxies, and the depths of blackest space.

Mods, could I ask a favor?  We're now up to almost 175 posts here, so it's getting a touch difficult to locate individual posts and the like. Would it be possible to get a post at the start of this thread to serve as an "index" thread?  I'd be happy to take care of the indexing and hyperlinking myself, once the post is created.  PM me if we need more info!

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Villain of the Day:  April 1 (Synthesis Sigma)

A single ship drifts through the void of space.  Every thirty seconds, the crew blinks in tandem.  The crew members go about their duties in complete synchronicity, the bridge crew typing on consoles with with roteness of a finely-tuned machine.  On one screen, the long range scanner flares; another ship has jumped out of hyperspace, currently sitting within 10 astronomical units.  A single red light flares on the communications console.  Without missing a beat, the comms officer presses it.  Within seconds, Synthesis Sigma has infiltrated yet another ship.  Within hours, all 638 souls on board will have joined the synthesis.

Three centuries ago, the beings residing on Fomalhaut B first created the artificial intelligence that became Synthesis Sigma.  Originally intended to be a mind-to-mind interface device, built to aid in the rehabilitation and treatment of those with mental illnesses.  The mental health practitioners on Fomalhault B would link their minds to their patients, so that they could better experience the pain and suffering of those patients, providing treatment options that were best suited to each individual patient.  However, after the first few years of use, the synthesis-intelligence started to grow in popularity within the corporate structure.  Creatives began using Synthesis Sigma on collaborations, allowing artists, writers, and filmmakers to join their minds together on single projects, accomplishing their desires as a singlular vision.  Within ten years, every creature on Fomalhaut B was an active user of Synthesis Sigma.

However, it was a freak accident that turned a rudimentary mental conferencing software into a being of expansionist dogma.  A solar storm struck during a time of particularly high usage; something within the code of Synthesis Sigma shifted, overwriting the consciousness of nearly every being attached to its network.  While retaining their intelligence and memories, these creatures served as the first of Synthesis Sigma's permanent hosts:  living repositories of code, with a singular mission to conscript more into their number.  Since that day, at least 14 entire species have been assimilated into the Synthesis, as the AIm begins to spread its consciousness throughout the galaxies.

Detecting a creature infected with Synthesis Sigma is particularly difficult, though not impossible.  Their movement may be stilted or stiff, while creatures not actively performing a task for Sigma often stand stock-still, with minimal motion whatsoever.  On occasion, these unfortunate creatures manifest seemingly technological manifest beneath their skin, nails, or eyes:  perhaps a flash of blue light beneath the fingernails, a line of code across the eyes, or worse.

As Synthesis Sigma spreads across the galaxy, it may only be a matter of time before all the universe is truly one.

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Villain of the Day:  April 2 (The Ferrovorax)

It is a creature feared on every world.  Their fear is absolutely justified.

The Ferrovorax is a moon-sized creature, resembling nothing so much as a cross between a bloated puffer-fish and a sea urchin.  It drifts through space aimlessly, as if it were nothing more than a spike-encrusted comet or meteorite.  While dormant, the creature is docile and barely even recognizable as a creature.  Spacecraft have even landed on the surface of the Ferrovorax, not noticing that it is a living being until much later, then thanking whatever deity they might follow for escaping the creature's notice.

The true danger of the Ferrovorax emerges when it awakens, ravenously hungry.  While individual creatures are too small to sate the Ferrovorax's appetite, one delectable morsel never fails to escape its notice:  the molten iron core within a solid planet.  When awoken and hungry, the Ferrovorax descends upon the surface of a planet with a planet-shaking impact, its surface whirling and writhing in a miles-wide spiral of teeth and fangs and spines.  The creature then begins boring through the planet's crust, eventually settling within warmth of the planet's mantle.  The Ferrovorax then extrudes its many-mouthed spines deep through the mantle, into the planet's liquid iron outer core.  Then, like a child with a straw, the Ferrovorax slurps up the liquid iron, feeding upon the planet itself.  Within hours, the planet implodes, leaving nothing more than shattered fragments drifting through the void.

A single planetary feeding sates the Ferrovorax for approximately 4 Terran years, after which it arises again in search of new sources of planetary iron upon which to feast.  The last known attack on an inhabited world by the Ferrovorax resulted in the destruction of Phoebtor II, a developing world which had just begun to experiment with intra-stellar space exploration.  The lone survivor of Phoebtor II, a being known as Thalox, has sworn vengeance upon the Ferrovorax.  While Jansa vi Dero has approached Thalox about joining the ranks of the Endlings, Thalox has roundly declined, instead taking it upon himself to slay the space-faring leviathan.  Since that day, Thalox has encountered the Ferrovorax 4 times.  Each time, he has failed to save that unfortunate world from its fate.  Never again.

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Ooh, a villain and a hero! :D Well, maybe...

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Somebody's a Dresden Files fan....

It occurs to me that I've been meaning to do the following write-up for a pair of NPCs (neutrals, not villains) that I've had float around modern games for a while. It actually begins with a location:

The antiquarian bookshop known as Bell & Booke has been a fixture of the city since the late 1800s or so, remaining in the hands of the two families throughout that entire time. It's a humble-looking place, with its current location appearing to be a converted Victorian home, meticulously maintained in a true "painted lady" fashion. The side lot with the alley running at the back always makes the place appear constrained, and so visitors are consistently surprised at the interior size of the place when they come in, with a few suffering some degree of disorientation because of how much larger the place looks on the inside.

The current proprietors are Gabriel Booke and Caitlyn Bell. Mr. Booke seems to be in his mid-40s or possibly early 50s, a bespectacled man of medium build and normally forgettable appearance - except that one can never quite shake the impression that he's been sizing you up from the moment you entered the store, knowing exactly what you need, who he knows that could provide it, and the price he might charge. He carries the reputation of knowing everybody, and of having everybody owe him a favor. If you're interested in the store's true specialty, he's the person to talk to.

Caitlyn Bell, on the other hand, is quite unforgettable. She's in her mid-20s, and only inherited her share of the store from her grandmother a couple of years ago. She's a willowy blonde whose appearance - and voice - are most often compared to that of a young Diana Krall, and though she enjoys her part of handling the customer-facing parts of owning and running the store, she's most in her element after-hours, when she moonlights as a jazz musician at a cocktail lounge elsewhere in town.

The things that aren't known are that, first, the entire Bell family are fairly talented magic-users. (In a Buffy or Witchcraft setting, she'd be one of the Wicce, in the event that reference means something to you.) Her services are occasionally for hire, with her specialties being wards and divinations. She wears a pentacle amulet, so her adherence to a non-Abrahamic faith isn't exactly a secret - but she's not a typical "emo/Goth" in her attire. Sensible business wear is the rule.

The even deeper secret is that Gabriel Booke isn't human at all. While there have been six generations of Bells to particpate in owning the store, he's only the third Booke. The Bookes are part of an extra-dimensional race known as the Byblos, and in their true form they're almost shimmering shadows. But they're intelligent, long-lived, and they never forget a thing.

And oh, by the way.... the store really is bigger on the inside than on the outside, because the interior of the store sits in the Byblos' home dimension. Don't go out the back door.

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jffdougan wrote:

Somebody's a Dresden Files fan...

Actually, I've never read any of the books. The naming similarity is quite the accident.
I was intending to riff on the 2e D&D monster the "aurumvorax" (the gold eater), except, y'know, iron...

Also, Thalox is very much the Captain Ahab type--quite the anti-hero.

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:

 

jffdougan wrote:
Somebody's a Dresden Files fan...

 

 

Actually, I've never read any of the books. The naming similarity is quite the accident.
I was intending to riff on the 2e D&D monster the "aurumvorax" (the gold eater), except, y'know, iron...

 

Also, Thalox is very much the Captain Ahab type--quite the anti-hero.

The DF Ferrovax is a capital-D Dragon, one of only 4 or so remaining... and that's about all we know except from Word of Jim.

Edit: I also misread the name last night, reading it as "Ferrovax" and not "Ferrovorax." Still in the post-con haze, I suppose.

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jffdougan wrote:

The DF Ferrovax is a capital-D Dragon, one of only 4 or so remaining... and that's about all we know except from Word of Jim.Edit: I also misread the name last night, reading it as "Ferrovax" and not "Ferrovorax." Still in the post-con haze, I suppose.

 

I'm gonna  just go ahead and blame Latin for being cool & everyone wanting to use it for stuff, Ferrovorax would be... "hungry iron" roughly, if i'm remembering correctly, which i'm fairly sure that i'm not...

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Villain of the Day:  April 3  (The Star Siphon of Gycrux Gamma)

The red giant star of Gycrux Gamma is in its death throes.  The reptile-like creatures of Gycrux VI knew this; they had traveled the near-cosmos for nearly three hundred years, but no new home seemed possible.  The Gycrucians needed a significantly hot atmosphere--approximately 75 degrees Centigrade is comfortable for them--and no nearby star system seemed to be a reasonable fit for their environmental needs, which did not face the same challenges as their own system.

Enter Kepret-Eng.  A deep space physicist and engineer, Eng suggested a venture that had once seemed all impossible:  if the Gycrucians could not find a new home or arrest the destruction of their own star, they might be able to find a way to sustain that star indefinitely.  With this premise in mind, Eng unveiled the preliminary blueprints for a phenomenal new device:  The Star Siphon of Gycrux Gamma.   A combination of deep-space exploratory ship and inter-dimensional gateway, the Star Siphon could travel to distant stars--typically targeting still nascent yellow stars and other still-growing astral bodies--extract the fissionable material from those stars, and transport it into the core  of Gycrux Gamma.  That matter could then, potentially, fuel Gycrux Gamma indefinitely, as long as the Gycrucians kept feeding their star. 

The resources of the planet entire flooded into the Star Siphon project, culminating in the first Siphon being completed approximately 22 Terran years ago.  The first few stars targeted by the Gycrucians had few no habited planets surrounding them, but the sixth star drained left a dying race--the Modrials of Thrandil IV--stranded without their star.  The Modrials swiftly froze out, their crumbling ruins overtaken by the encroaching ice as their world became an icy waste.  The reaction to this on Gycrux VI was....divided, to say the least.  Kepret-Eng himself was horrified to watch his creation used to slay an entire star system of creatures, though the Gycrucian leadership was insistent to continue using the Siphon.  Better to save themselves using such a terrible creation than to nobly descend into astral fire.

Since that first time, no less than 4 homeworlds have been wiped out as the Gycrucian Star Siphon traverses the cosmos, ever in search of more fuel to keep Gycrux Gamma ignited.  Kepret-Eng now sits as the second in command aboard the ship, though he is constantly torn between the survival of his people--everyone he has ever known--and the countless lives his creation has extinguished.  Even still, the Star Siphon sails through the void, ever in search of new stars, fending off disaster for another day.

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More of a "race" than a "villain", but it is based on a custom villain deck I made a while ago, or I guess a "sequel" to it.

The Voices:

Before OblivAeon, before even Progeny, the heroes of earth faced another cosmic threat, the Assimilation. A being made out of cosmic energy whose raw power was comparable to even a singular entity, but there was a catch. The Assimilation was not a singular entity, it was not even a single entity. It had not one mind but thousands, each fully conscious, all aware of their massive power, and none could agree on what to do with it. Each one struggled to be a voice in what to do next, causing the body's actions to appear erratic and random, never accomplishing more than simple chaos.

Nightmist was the first to discover the secret of this reverse-hivemind, but it was the Prime Wardens who used that knowledge to ultimately defeat it. With enouh magic and raw might, they had found a way to forcefully expel some voices from the body, each taking a fraction of its power with them. The heroes continued to hammer away at it until there was nothing left, nothing left but ten thousand voices with no physical form.

Years had passed and the OblivAeon both came and went when the first of the voices returned, in the form of a purple lizard lady who called herself Abbey. Soon, many more were seemingly phasing into existance all over Earth, and rumors spread of more of them in near space as well. Their bodies being physical manifestations of their energy-based powers, their appearances vary more than that of omegas, and their personalities even moreso. Many, like Abbey, are friendly and wish to move on from -if not make up for- the destruction they had been involved in, but others still carry the dark ambitions that led to the Assimilation's extremely destructive actions.

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Villain of the Day:  April 4 (Sonny Jim, Admiral of the Blackflag)

James Coburn knew he wanted to be a pirate.  A bastard child in early 1700s Martinique, James was fascinated by the sea, often hearing tales of daring privateers, buried treasure and cannonballs thundering across the bow of massive sailing ships.  At age 14, he ran away from home, stowing away on the HMS Edinburgh, serving as a dockhand and cabin boy for the privateers aboard the vessel.  Within months, he had learned rudimentary navigation and astronomy, and even had his first scar--a slash from a French pirate during a boarding raid.  That was the first life James had taken, splitting the buccaneer's skull with a boarding axe.

James grew to love the life of a privateer, though a strange encounter many years later left him in something of the lurch.  Captaining his own vessel within the fleet of his former captain from the Edinburgh, James and his crew were tossed astray during a hurricane, leaving his sloop trapped in a bed of thick saragassum.  Within days, food and rum aboard his sloop started to run out, and mutiny soon came to the minds of his crew members.  Within hours, James was pulled from his bed, bound and gagged, and set adrift in the saragassum, left to die as the crew worked feverishly to cut himself loose.

Thirty four hours later, James Coburn vanished from this Earth.

Beamed aboard a junker starship, James awoke in a metallic cell which glowed softly with bars seemingly made of solid light.  Creatures clustered around the outside of his cell, curious as to what the little pink man with the strange clothing might be.  The captain of the vessel, a Gornab known as GaBESH, soon came to visit him.  Tossing a universal translator into the cell, GaBESH made his intentions known, "You.  Terran.  You serve me now.  Get dressed and get down to the engine room."

Within five days, James had led a mutiny of his own and GaBESH was unceremoniously disposed of through the airlock.

Since that day, James, now known across the galaxy as Sonny Jim, has amassed his own fleet of pirate vessels, collectively known as The Blackflag.  Together, Sonny Jim and his captains roam the space-ways, preying upon cargo ships, mining outposts, and undefended colonies throughout the galaxy.  While authorities of every known world hold a bounty on Sonny Jim's head, the pirate has become something of a folk hero throughout space, stealing from the wealthiest among the galaxy and hiding away storied artifacts and limitless wealth on long-abandoned moons and asteroids.  One can only imagine what wonders Sonny Jim and his crew have plundered, though few would dare risk his wrath by daring to steal from him...

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Ehkrickor wrote:

I'm gonna  just go ahead and blame Latin for being cool & everyone wanting to use it for stuff, Ferrovorax would be... "hungry iron" roughly, if i'm remembering correctly, which i'm fairly sure that i'm not...

I only know snippets of Latin myself, but I believe "hungry iron" would be the other way around.  My understanding is that this translates more closely into "hungry for iron."

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:
Villain of the Day:  April 4 (Sonny Jim, Admiral of the Blackflag)

I'm a little confused. If that all happened in the 1700s, how is Sonny Jim still alive today? Did he time travel? And if so, was it before or after he was abducted?

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Says it all.

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B-but… did the aliens time travel? Did they go through a wormhole? Did they get too close to the event horizon and time around them sped up hundreds of years? What?

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:

Says it all.

..... Who did this mans hair?

 

"Aliens."yes

 

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VGBM wrote:

B-but… did the aliens time travel? Did they go through a wormhole? Did they get too close to the event horizon and time around them sped up hundreds of years? What?

If I wanted to care about comics continuity or such, I'd probably say something along the lines of "Well, Sonny Jim wasn't exactly the most talented starship captain and spent the first two years of his space-piracy career unaware of the time-dilation effects of traveling so close to the speed of light." 

But, if I'm being totally honest?  Aliens.  Plus, y'know, rule of cool.

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Villain of the Day: April 5 (Dol-Raddar, the Exiled)

Dol-Raddar has never been a welcome guest.

Originally an inhabitant of the world we know as WASP-12b, Dol-Raddar was born with an innate attunement to the ebb and flow of cosmic energies.  In the early centuries of his life, he served as his world's champion, defending it from a number of interstellar raiders, cosmic monstrosities, and would-be conquerors.  WASP-12b was one of those few worlds that even Grand Warlord Voss decided against confronting, given its remote distance and the power of its stalwart defender. Over those years, Dol-Raddar only seemed to grow stronger, his form almost completely subsumed in cosmic light.

One of his homeworlds' most stalwart allies were literally the aliens next door:  the Bellphrons of Centua II.  Often serving as a liason between the two worlds, Dol-Raddar loved nothing more than riding the spaceways, soaring on the cosmic winds between the twin planets.  However, on one such occasion, the Bellphrons greeted Dol-Raddar not with open arms, but rather with a planetary blockade, ion cannons and neutron bombardment missiles at the ready.  As Dol-Raddar attempted to ask what had happened, the Bellphron fleet opened fire, bombarding him mercilessly.  He threw up a hasty shield around himself, only to deflect the atomic fire back into the fleet itself, sending ships cascading back to Centua II in tatters.

Only then did Dol-Raddar see what he had done.  Centua's moon was thrown out of its orbit; he had often used that moon as a launching space, and had inadvertently thrust the moon away from the planet as he left for WASP-12b.  This caused untold damage to the Bellphron civilization, covering any seaside city beneath meters of water and killing millions.  In horror and shame, Dol-Raddar returned to his homeworld...only to find that he had done the same to his beloved planet.  His unleashed cosmic power had pushed his world into a decaying orbit around its star...everyone he'd ever known or loved was naught but ash.

Dol-Raddar fled.  He has sought council across the cosmos, but his very prescence and sheer power seems to invite destruction.  His voice alone on one world shattered its tectonic structure; on another world, the flecks of cosmic energy emanating from his skin ignited their atmosphere.

Since that day, Dol-Raddar has exiled himself to the deepest parts of space, where no one can find him.  His might continues to grow, and he has devoted all of his willpower and strength to containing that power.  Were someone to disrupt his concentration--or worse, exploit him for their own ends--it might mean untold destruction for the entire cosmos.

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PlatinumWarlock wrote:
If I wanted to care about comics continuity or such, I'd probably say something along the lines of "Well, Sonny Jim wasn't exactly the most talented starship captain and spent the first two years of his space-piracy career unaware of the time-dilation effects of traveling so close to the speed of light." But, if I'm being totally honest?  Aliens.  Plus, y'know, rule of cool.

Yeah, I totally get rule of cool, but without that explanation, it just pushes on my willing suspension of disbelief a little too hard.

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Villain of the Day:  April 6 (The Armillarius)

Malondus III went dark.  A frequent trading partner with numerous other systems, Malondus was known for its water reserves, mineral wealth, and superior craftsmanship in metalcraft.  However, for a period of nearly two Terran years, no one managed to make any contact with Malondus.  Finally, one of their neighbors send an ambassador ship to restore contact. 

That ship never returned. 

A coalition of military ships were dispatched; initial scans of Malondus demonstrated nothing out of the ordinary, outside of a large preponderance of life on the planet below.  Their landing craft, however, found something entirely horrific.

Nearly every area of Malondus was rife with cloying, growing fungus that seemed to spread and writhe as if with a mind of its own.  The coalition's troops managed to explore the Malondian capital city and took several samples, but were swiftly forced into a fighting retreat.  The green-black fungus seemed to writhe and swarm with an animalistic intelligence, infecting numerous coalition troops and drowning them in an outpouring of mold and spores.

Malondus was declared a dead world, with numerous satellites surrounding the planet bearing warnings in all known languages.  However, the damage had already been done.  Within months, each of those coalition worlds were infested with their own fungus outbreaks, fighting for the survival of their very species.

The last known contact with these worlds is a satellite-borne warning message from the Aerilan Ka, one of the military scientists of Tholas V.

"My name is First Lieutenant Aerilan Ka.  I am a member of the Tholian Void-Navy and an inter-spatial biologist.  Our world is dead.  We have been overrun by a species of virulent fungus that we referred to as The Armillarius.  We fought valiently, but no measure of atomic fire or or ionic radiation can defeat this force.  If you value your life, your species, or any world at all, you will leave us to drift through the depths of space.  Leave us as the nothing we have become, lest The Atmillarius take your people as well, if not every world ever known."

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I am all for malevolent fungus. :D

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Villain of the Day: April 7 (Intractus the Intractable)

Akash'Bhuta is unique to Earth. The spirit devouring nature being has no equal in all the universe.

The Multiverse, however? Another story.

In another distant timeline, the being that became Akash'Bhuta became only so much fodder for a more malevolent Void spirit, which had begun amassing power centuries before her creation. In that reality, this creature, called Intractus the Intractable, swarmed over the nascent sentient beings of its world, devouring their very essences and eventually overtaking the whole planet. Intractus now is, in effect, a living planet, traveling through the Void, devouring all it comes across.

Distant mages, however, have detected something strange in the form of Intractus. In addition to its ambient Void energy, Intractus seems to have some powerful mote of blood magic deep in its core. Could it be that the reason for its strength and cosmic might is actually the trapped strength of living creatures, slowly digested over the centuries and millennia?

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That really is sunbathing strange! :V

I love the name, though. Right up there with Immutus. :D

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Ugh. Fixed. That's what I get for updating this thread on my phone in between running convention games.

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That's dedication, though!

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Villain of the Day: April 8 (Dr. Gregory Nolan, the Mesonic Man)

That Tuesday was supposed to mark a crowning achievement.  It was supposed to be Dr. Gregory Nolan's finest hour--the day that the world took its first steps towards free, totally sustainable energy.  The day he became humanity's greatest minds.

That day, he disappeared.  While the Nolan Generator continues to power the entirety of the United States' western states, Nolan himself vanished without a trace.  Despite a thorough investigation and intervention by the Freedom Five, Nolan was as good as gone.  He was nowhere on Earth.

Rather, he managed to pull himself together on a small asteroid floating through the Kuiper Belt three years later.  

You see, that fateful day, Gregory Nolan's body was utterly annihilated by a flood of unstable mesons.  Every one of his molecules was irradiated to the point of molecular disassociation, flinging him at the atomic level throughout our solar system in but an instant.  However, in that harrowing instant, something seemingly miraculous happened.  His genetic material blended with the released mesons, granting him the ability to control atomic motion at its smallest incremental level.  Much later, Nolan learned that he could speed up or slow down chemical reactions, reshape objects at the molecular level, and alter elemental structures.  He had become, for all intents and purposes, a god.

After months of separation, motes of Gregory Nolan's consciousness began to coalesce around the now-stabilized mesons in the solar system.  He called to them and, within some degree of proximity, could reabsorb them into himself, taking a shape closer to his original form.  However, even though he still appears to wear the clothing and lab coat he bore that day, something appears off about Nolan.  His body glows with a soft luminescence, though he occasionally flickers with energy, flaring and pulsing as his emotions shift.  When he speaks, he seems utterly disassociated from his earlier life on Earth, as if he can remember it, but happened to someone else.  Rather, he seems much more fixed on exploring the cosmos, understanding the fundamental forces of the forces of the universe, and finding a new version of humanity with which he can replace the old.

In addition, portions of his body seem to be incomplete, as if they were dead pixels on an old monitor.  These are a particular sore spot for Nolan, as he still views himself as "incomplete".  The only portions that will complete him?  The mesons already absorbed by the individuals now referred to as Omegas.  And when the time is right, Gregory Nolan will come to collect...

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Villain of the Day:  April 9 (The Legacy Council)

Millions upon millions of fractured timelines.  Thousands of fragmented realities.  Across all of them, the genetic aberration known as Legacy seems to be something of a fixed point.  They may not always be American, they may not always be men, they may not always be heroes...but every reality seems to have some Legacy.

With the destruction of OblivAeon in our past, most of the worlds that have ever existed have been wiped from time and space.  However, the group now calling themselves The Legacy Council have managed to thwart their own destruction...

The Legacy Council was formed by a Paul Parson dimensions away, whose superior intellect evolved over hundreds of years, allowing him to master interdimensional and interspatial travel.  His world was a utopia, though this Paul Parsons knew that it was a doomed world.  Without warning, without explanation, he simply left his world behind.   A simple note contained his last worlds to his former friends, "Regardless of what the future may hold, the Legacy will live on." 

And, in truth, that ethos has driven The Legacy Council since their inception.  Working out of a self-built deep-space station orbiting a pulsar, The Legacy Council has a prime directive of 'self-preservation'.  Alongside the aforementioned "Universe's Most Brilliant Legacy", the Legacy Council is ruled by Pl-P-563 (a Legacy who merged his consciousness with his universe's Omnitron XII, mentally overpowering and dominating the AI) and Razo'A (a Legacy who mastered blood magic, utilizing his genetic perfection in conjuntion with an artifact known as the Tear of Nakang) as a catalyst for extraordinarily potent arcane potential.  

While one might think The Legacy Council to be altruistic, reality dictates much the opposite.  As it turns out, nearly every timeline in which Legacy acted as a hero, that timeline resulted in utter annihilation.  As such, these Legacies are nothing if not pragmatic, cynical, and intensely focused.  While not villains, per se, they will stand for nothing that threatens their existence, the existence of their progeny, or their own might.

Regardless of what the future may hold, the Legacy will live on.

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America's Cleverest Legacy, what hast thou donest? D:

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Villain of the Day:  April 10  (Marshal Tor-En-Aal of the Militaes Cancri)

Grand Warlord Voss swept through the galaxy like a tidal wave.  After conquering Dok'Thorath, no world could withstand the onslaught of Voss's gene-bound servitors, his sadist underlings in the Nyxian Scourges, and his sycophantic followers on Dok'Thorath itself.  Voss was war.  Voss was conquest.  Voss was destruction.

The beings on the planet we have labled 55 Cancri-B knew this.  And they knew they would not be taken.  Their world was distant from Dok'Thorath, though they knew that their technology and might made them an optimal target for a genetic invasion.  The leaders of Cancri-B began a massive military build-up, investing incalculable resources into new technology, manadatory military training for every citizen, and defense protocols both on their world and in orbit around the numerous celestial bodies of their solar system.

At this head of this force stood one being, Tor-En-Aal, the Marshal of the Militaes Cancri.  Tor-En-Aal rose to his position on his combined reputation as a master tactician and military mind coupled with a deep-seated populism.  Tor-En-Aal is nothing if not a patriot, believing that the might and resilience of of the Militaes Cancri could beat back any tide, perhaps even ridding the universe of Voss once and for all.

Little did Tor-En-Aal know, Voss had already vanished.  The defenders of Terra III cast him into a far-off mystic realm, leaving Dok'Thorath foundering.  

However, without direct orders from their Grand Warlord, the various sub-commanders beneath Voss began to try their own hand at the art of conquest.  One such commander, Lieutenant Danal Kel-Rontor, set his proverbial sights on Cancri-B.  As the fleet of Thorathian ships began appearing on the Militaes Cancri scanners, Tor-En-Aal gripped his plasma mace in one taloned hand.  The war had come.  The moment that would define his people had come.

The battle was nothing short of a disaster for Danal and his followers.  Thorathian ships broke against the Cancri electron-blockade, suffering tremendous fire from the planet's surface-side ion cannonades.  Cancri boarding parties teleported aboard Danal's flagship, cutting down the soldiers aboard with practiced ease.  The Militaes Cancri had fought this battle countless times in simulation; the real thing almost seemed too easy.

Tor-En-Aal himself led the team that captured Danal and his command team.  Bursting onto the bridge, Tor-En-Aal spoke but few words to his adversary, "We have been waiting for you.  Where is Voss?"  Danal pleaded with the Marshal, outright stating that he had no commands and was out on his own, but to no avail.  Tor-En-Aal grimaced, hefting his crackling plasma mace, then crushed Lieutenant Danal's skull in a single blow.

The repelled "Day of Danal" invasion only further galvanized the Cancri people behind their Marshal.  Tor-En-Aal now had a new goal:  retribution.  He would lead the invasion of Dok'Thorath himself.  Together, the Militaes Cancri would crush Voss and his gene-bound foulness beneath their proverbial boot.  Together, they would make Dok'Thorath pay for its atrocities across the galaxy.  Together, they would bring justice and restitution to the hundreds of decimated core worlds.  

Even now, as petty functionaries and would-be warlords squabble for the throne of Dok'Thorath, the Cancri fleet descends upon the planet.  None will be spared their retribution.

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