The Big Villains Thread

611 posts / 0 new
Last post
chrysaetoseagle
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 13, 2016

The Amazons
Shanice Lincoln worked as a receiving clerk for a Los Angeles dockyard which, not to put too fine a point on it, handled a lot of smuggling traffic. And that was fine. But month after month, she watched her superiors take bribes that involved fat rolls of bills or even mysterious locked briefcases, but she only ever got the barest whiff of a kickback. All that changed when a dock worker dropped a crate coming off a boat from "Alaska", and what burst out could only be described as a huge flower armed with thorns the size of her hand and even bigger teeth. She ran, but a barrage of seeds struck her. She got some nice hush money to stay away from the hospital, but it only barely made up for spending the next week and a half missing work, feverish and near-delirious on the couch. When the fever finally broke, she discovered a network of vines wrapped around her body, rooted in her flesh. However, it quickly became clear that the vines obeyed her thoughts, and she found she could launch poisonous thorns with surprising accuracy. Creating a costume out of the living leaves and flowers at her command, she named herself Amazon and went out to collect some really big scores.

When Andressa Silva came to the United States from Brazil, she left behind a family who always had more time for the cartel than for her. She also left behind a family history that was old when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Her grandmother raised her on tales of their tribe taking in refugees from the sinking of Atlantis, and of the ancient sorcerers' mystical traditions which could make the tribe's warriors stronger and tougher than any normal human... if the blood of Atlantis ran strongly enough in their veins. For Andressa, it did. Taking on the name "The Amazon", she struck out to earn power and prestige in LA in the only way she knew how -- the underworld.

It didn't take long for the two criminals to realize they shared a codename. When a fight for the rights to the name ended in a stalemate, Shanice and Andressa compromised: Shanice would be Amazon River, and Andressa would change to Amazon Reaver. Having developed some mutual respect, Amazon Reaver and Amazon River (Mean and Green for short) teamed up and have been on a meteoric rise in LA underworld ever since.
 

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  May 30 (Adrenal)

Maria Brunhault didn't expect to be drummed out of pharmacology school for her stealing component chemicals.  She was too careful for that.  What she didn't bank on was the random drug test that her first employer required.

Even as a teen, Maria was fascinated by chemistry, graduating second in her class and enjoying a full scholarship to University of Minnesota's prestigious pharmacology program.  During her masters' level research with one of her professors, Maria was permitted to use human test subjects for the first time...something she relished far too much.  While working on a potential replacement for the birth-control injection, Maria came under inquest for her treatment of several test subjects, who raised ethics issues to her professor.

Maria was taken off the project, but was permitted to continue on in the program, using the data accrued by her advisor and her fellow classmates.  However, Maria swiftly became bitter.  She knew she could do better, even if that meant experimenting on herself.

Over the course of the next two years, Maria's modest one-bedroom apartment morphed into a grad-student bungalow into an outright pharmacological lab, with equipment and resources stolen from the university laboratories, purchased on the black market, or cobbled together from common chemicals.  Testing her hypotheses on herself, she completed her research and graduated with honors, whereupon she was headhunted by numerous big-pharma firms.

That, however, was her downfall.  After years of self-experimentation, Maria's physiology had altered dramatically.  When ZenaAstra offered her a position with a starting six-figure salary, all she had to do was pass the drug test.  Without thinking, Maria peed in the proverbial cup....and all of her indiscretions swiftly came to light.

Embarrassed and infuriated, Maria fled outright, taking whatever she could carry.  Four days later, she found herself in a strange warehouse, along with several other young, powered women.

Since that day, Adrenal (as Maria has started calling herself) has served as the sawbones for this group.  However, she often takes the field with a strange breathing rig and an auto-injector strapped to her left wrist.  Maria's powers vary by encounter, but the various chemicals in her array have given her the ability to give off intense pheremones capable of altering mood, the ability to exhale corrosive gasses, a series of touch-delivered poisons, and short bursts of increased strength, speed, and stamina.  Further, Maria seems to be immune to all but the strongest toxins and has even shown a significant resistance to blood magic, which seems to indicate that her blood simply...isn't.  

With Adrenal in the field, a new force of ladies has taken the night, armed with science beyond that of any the world has seen...but who's organizing all this?!

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

The bit about her being resistant to bloog magic is a neat touch. :D

chrysaetoseagle
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 13, 2016

Lies! No one is immune to the magic that is Bloogo's love.

Powerhound_2000
Powerhound_2000's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 15 min ago
PlaytesterExceeded Expectations
Joined: Sep 14, 2013

chrysaetoseagle wrote:

Lies! No one is immune to the magic that is Bloogo's love.

Considering Bloogo dies in at least two realities someone is immune apparently. 


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

For the record, Adrenal is resistant to both blood magic and bloog magic. Canon. You heard it here first.

chrysaetoseagle
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 13, 2016

Okay, one more.

The Iron Lady
In 1981, the Soviet super-soldier Red Star crashed the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer and sealed practically the entire peerage of Britain inside St. Paul's Cathedral. Setting a bomb to end the aristocracy once and for all, he made his escape through the roof on a column of fire. It was a black day indeed, for he almost succeeded. However, the queen and the royal couple were saved when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher shielded them with a barricade of structural beams, revealing for the first time her mastery over the powers of magnetism.

In the days that followed, while the royals recovered from their injuries, Thatcher held the nation together. Nicknamed "The Iron Lady" by the press, she declared that this would never happen again; that Britain would be safe forevermore under her firm rule. Security was increased to unprecidented levels.  She saw laws passed that demanded all powered people in the UK must serve the government or face exile or imprisonment. Thatcher herself faced the most powerful opponents, wrapping herself in steel armor and her opponents in cocoons of metal. Year after year, freedoms were traded for security. By the year 2000, the United Kingdom had become unrecognizable.

Well into her fourth decade as Prime Minister, the Iron Lady showed no signs of slowing down. No one had seen her in the flesh for many years, but the sight of her imposing armor suit hovering above the rooftops became a common one. Then the message arrived: the entire multiverse was in danger. The Iron Lady didn't hesitate. She crossed through the mist portal and joined the battle against Oblivaeon, the greatest foe of all.

Oblivaeon fell. But in that moment of triumph, the mist portals vanished. The Iron Lady was trapped in a world not her own, and days turned to months with no clues as to how she might return to her own world. She learned that her counterpart in this alternate universe had died long before, a mere mortal lacking the superpowers that maintained her vitality. Still, Britain was Britain. She offered the people of this new world the safety she had secured for her own, but they rejected her -- called her fascist, villain, evil! And so the Iron Lady stepped forth to show these... children the error of their ways. She would preserve Britannia, whether the people of the nation liked it or not!

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  May 31  (Dr. Melody Stinson)

As OblivAeon fell and the cosmos merged into but two timelines, so many survivors of the cosmic conflagration emerged in a world they never knew, with subtle (sometimes imperceptible) differences from their own reality.

Dr. Melody Stinson is one such temporal refugee, though the cosmos may have truly been better off had she died along with the rest of her universe.

One of the founding members of the Reuben-Eakendall Laboratories, Dr. Stinson had been one of the most brilliant minds in her world's history.  While she started her scientific tenure as a particle physicist, she quickly began branching into astrophysics, mechanical engineering, biophysics, and molecular chemistry.  However, time and again, her contributions to the field of science were overlooked by her overwhelmingly white male counterparts.  After four years at REL, Stinson broke off to found her own think-tank:  the Center for Research, Experimentation, Technology and Innovation. 

While many in her world viewed Stinson as something of a techological celebrity--a person whom modern life would not exist without--the reality was much more harrowing.  Stinson had become obsessed with knowledge and advancement.  She envisioned a world in which science could advance without the shackles of ethical restraint, without the stigma of discrimination and anti-intellectualism.  And, whatever their reasons, her message resonated within the scientific community.

Within three years, Stinson had attracted the most brilliant minds in science and technology--particularly focusing on those the scientific establishment had left behind or neglected.  Stinson often made a point of personally contacting recruits, especially those in underserved minorities.  Within five years, Stinson's succeess allowed her to purchase REL's facilities out from under them.  As she sat in on REL's introductory board meeting, she couldn't help but smile as she proceeded to liquidate all of REL's assets, patents, and equipment, selling the overwhelming majority to herself, as majority shareholder of CRETIN.

Stinson's carte-blanche approach to science led her to numerous dealings within the criminal underworld, purchasing materials on the black market, hiring human traffickers to 'acquire' individuals for experimental trials, and several other blind spots in criminal dealings.  Each time, she equivocated, those actions led to some great advancement in her world's science.  Strip mining for rare earth metals led directly to an inorganic teleportation device, which revolutionized her world's shipping and logistics.  Experiments conducted on abducted latin-x refugees led directly to the eradication of many genetic abnormalities and the formation of a cancer vaccine with over 80% efficacy.

Dr. Stinson's world died in flames.  She, naturally, had contingency plans.  Escaping through a trans-dimensional gateway--the prototype of which was designed by one of her employees, Dr. Eliot Marklund--she arrived in this realm just in time to witness the fall of OblivAeon.

However, Melody Stinson is hardly one to mourn.  Ever the pragmatist, she has already begun assembling the core of a new CRETIN, recruiting individuals known to bend the rules in the name of scientific progress.  And soon, she will have a new world to drag screaming into the future.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

With that, we reach the end of Mechanical May!

Starting tomorrow, we begin Homage-June:  all of our villains will be direct variations on (and share a name with) a figure from history, antiquity, literature, film, or some other media.  

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

With Mechanical May at an end, we say hello to Homage-June!  All of our villains for June will be a new riff on someone from antiquity, history, literature, film, or some other media.

However, Homage-June comes with an announcement:  for the first time since starting the Villain of the Day thread, I'll be taking a few days off.  I'll be attending the Origins Game Fair from Tuesday, June 12 through Sunday, June 17.  As such, there will be no Villains during those days.  After our Monday, June 11th villain, Villain of the Day will return on Monday, June 18th, once I'm back home.  Thanks!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Villain of the Day:  June 1 (The White Rabbit)

Ellen Carroll was practically born into the drug trade.  As a teenager in inner-city Rook City, she started as a user:  marijuana and ecstacy to star, followed by the occasional binges into harder things.  However, after spending a stint dating her dealer--Jerry, the brother of one Randy Burke--she started dealing out drugs herself, starting as a street pusher, then becoming a noted distributor for The Organization.  After Jerry died of an overdose, however, Ellen started looking into other options on the streets.  With The Chairman's sanction, she recruited a legion of chemists and pharmacists, developing the newest, the most addictive, and the "safest" options for their customers.

However, with Dark Watch roaming the streets, Ellen knew that she needed some kind of defense to keep her operations free of interfering martial artists, mystic investigators, and gun-toting vigilantes.  On her own--without The Chairman's consent or knowledge--she had her legion of manufacturers begin working on a series of hallucinogens and other weaponized chemicals, capable of use in a hand-to-hand combat situation.  Within a month, she had a veritable arsenal of drug-based weapons at her disposal:  wrist-mounted injectors capable of causing seizures, gas grenades that caused hallucinations, terror-inducing liquid sprays, and more.

By this point though, Chairman Pike was well and truly tipped off.  He called Ellen into his office--somewhere she'd never been and never hoped to go--and bade her sit down.  Shaking, she complied.  Pike smiled, "You're ambitious...you sell well...you provide such a vital service.  But your lack of faith in my ability to provide defense against the likes of The Wraith and Expatriette shows me that you haven't bought in.  That shouldn't be a problem..."

Ellen was given an ultimatum:  turn in her various devices to The Chairman and get back to work, or keep her devices and prepare an uncermonious end.  Ellen, however, chose a third option:  that very night, she vanished, taking her devices, her recipes, and a semi-truckload of raw materials with her.  Within the month, The White Rabbit was back on the scene, producing high-end hallucinogenics and narcotics for the world's elite.  On the few occasions where heroes have encountered her, Ellen has fully embraced her "Through the Looking Glass" aesthetic, dressed in a motley top-and-tails, a gold pocketwatch, and the ubiquitous striped top hat, with her various weapons and defense mechanisms built into her kevlar-lined costume.

Today, The White Rabbit's influence over the global drug trade has grown significantly, with her illicit sales sitting at #6 worldwide.  While she actively avoids working within Rook City--"a professional courtesy to my former employer", says Ellen--The White Rabbit has begun making inroads into Megalopolis and several other cities.  The recent influx of "Black Absinthe" into Megalopolis, particularly, was directliy attributed to the creations of The White Rabbit and her underlings.  The Chairman, however, views The White Rabbit's presence as an absolute affront to his power and actively takes steps to usurp her power where possible.  However, Chairman Pike's efforts always seem to be just a touch late, as The White Rabbit is always a step ahead...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 2 (Donatien Alphonse Francois, the Marquis de Sade)

The Revolution raged across France.  The Bastille had fallen, the monarchy was cast down, and The Marquis de Sade, Donatien Alphonse Francois had finally been released from the asylum at Charenton.  What would become his most seminal work, The 120 Days of Sodom, was nearly complete, and he would shortly find himself named to the National Convention.  

Would that Robespierre's guillotine had fallen upon de Sade, the world would have been spared a villain that has echoed through the ages.  While many view de Sade as little more than a libertine and something of a sexual deviant, the truth behind the Marquis is so much more dire.

In his earliest experimentations in the late 1700s, the Marquis de Sade found something call to him during his debauched sessions.  He found that, within the act of inflicting or receiving pain, his body became charged with a powerful arcane energy.  While others--notably Countess Bathory--would recognize this as a variant of blood magic, others, such as Charles Fort, referred to it as 'orgone'.  Orgone energy serves as a reservoir of arcane power, capable of shaping reality and effecting tangible change upon the universe.  Within his second book, Justine, the Marquis began to document his experiments in the arcane, encoding his findings using the techniques once perfected by the sorcerer George Monck, the 1st Duke of Albemarle.

Over the remainder of his life, the Marquis continued his exploration of pain-based magics, escaping from the clutches of Robespierre and, later, Napoleon.  While he was 'remanded' to the asylum at Charenton, Napoleon and his courtiers hardly knew that the Marquis had transformed the asylum into a temple of the flesh, devoted completely to the acquisition and usage of blood-orgone energy.  Napoleon's soldiers raided Charenton in 1814, whereupon the Marquis was believed dead....though the sorcerer had shaped the flesh of a manservant to resemble his own, while the Marquis made his escape to Italy.

Since that day, the Marquis de Sade has wandered the world, establishing dens of iniquity across the world, inducting person after person into an inner circle of followers.  While he has faced opposition from Countess Bathory at times--to say nothing of conservative groups, more afraid of brazen sexuality than that of the real threat of blood sorcery--the Marquis de Sade has managed to elude the ancient vampire time after time.  What he seeks through blood-orgone magicks is still unknown, though his methods are brutal beyond measure...

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Now that's some good research! :D

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

TakeWalker wrote:

Now that's some good research! :D

Well, by day I'm a prospect researcher, so I do have some degree of practice. :P

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 3 (Staurakios the Usurper)

The year is 781.  Irene, ruler of the Byzantine Empire as regent for her infant son Constantine VI, appoints Staurakios, a eunuch servant as her foreign minister.  While already instilled as 'patrikios'--a higih court appointment--Irene saw this as a way to solidify power amongst the eunuchs of the empire while focusing on the coup attempts that already threatened her short reign.  For seven long years, Staurakios traveled the empire, building alliances and crushing foes, bringing glory to mighty Byzantium.

Staurakios, however, built these alliances upon a foundation of lies and manipulation.

As Constantine VI grew to age, the young ruler and his mother quickly came into conflict.  Constantine was jealous of the power held by Staurakios and the other eunuch officials, while Irene was reticent to give up the power she had gathered over the years.  As civil war raged against the empire, Staurakios was captured by the soldiers of Constantine's Armeniac Theme, where he was flogged, scalped, and left for dead on an island in the Mediterranean.

What none expected was a cold, ragged Staurakios to return, leading Irene's forces into the palace at Byzantium, capturing Constantine, and driving his talon-like fingers into the young emperor's eyes.  Staurakios dragged the young emperor to the highest parapet of the palace and drove a spear through Constantine's lower abdomen, pinning him to the floor of the tower.  Constantine screamed until he lost his voice, slowly bleeding out over the next three hours.

Even Irene could not brook this madness.  While she expected the death of soldiers, the death of her only son was a bridge too far.  She ordered her soldiers to capture Staurakios, but the creature that he had become was like something out of a nightmare.  His flesh resisted their spears and arrows, he flung seasoned veterans aside with ease, and he sprinted out of the palace with the swiftness of a racing horse.

In truth, Staurakios' hate and malice had turned him into something beyond human.  If he died upon that island, he had become something more, something hateful, something evil.  Staurakios has surfaced a number of times since those far-flung days, often restricting his attempts to conquer areas in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.  During the middle ages, he took the name Vlad Tepes, taking back Wallachia from John Hunyadi.  In the 20th century, he posed as a monastic and spirtualist, growing close to the Russian royal family, before betraying them to revolutionaries.

Today, Staurakios has turned his attention to a new portion of the world.  The Americans have become the new empire, stretching their influence across the world.  This, truly, cannot be allowed to stand.  Empires fall, and Staurakios the Usurper tears down empires.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Okay, but he was Vlad the Impaler and Rasputin? XD Amazing.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 4th (Mister Darcy)

The sudden death of heiress Katherine Hutchinson, Duchess of Westfarthing was beyond shocking to her family and friends.  The truth behind her death, however?  Far more shocking than her death itself.

Duchess Hutchinson was one of the worlds' most eligable bachelorettes, galavanting along the party circuit, drinking with Hollywood celebrities, and enjoying feature after feature in the tabloid magazines.  When she started dating an unknown person, named Eric Darcy Tufts, the blogosphere went berserk trying to find out who the enigmatic Mister Tufts truly is.  They met with limited success at best; more often, they found a nothing but a stone wall.

Why?  Because Eric Tufts never existed.  Nor had Stephen Ladnier, the roguish charmer who had seduced his way into the bedroom of San Alonzo starlet Josephine Thomas before her tragic overdose.  Nor had Carl Evslin, the mystery man who had stolen the heart of Consuela Vee, just before the heartbreaking DUI accident that led to her death.

Rather, the mystery man calling himself Mister Darcy floats from wealthy woman to wealthy woman, entering their good graces, and finding their way into their wallet and home.  Then, once his access to their fortune is unfettered, this "black widower" finds some method to arrange the death of his new paramour, disappearing once more with several million more in his bank account and a spring in his step.

It is still unknown whether Mister Darcy has any degree of metahuman ability.  Those who have managed to corner him have made mention that Darcy simply oozes charisma and charm, though this may simply be a natural je-ne-sais-quoi, though others have postulated that he exudes some mind-altering force capable of charming or otherwise persuading anyone subjected to that force into an unnatural calm.  Darcy is further known to be an outstanding fencer, capable of fending off even the likes of Mister Fixer (not defeating, as Sensei Walker points out) with naught but a fireplace poker.

MindWanderer
MindWanderer's picture
Online
Last seen: 1 min 47 sec ago
Playtester
Joined: Oct 29, 2015

"Are you a robot?"

Catherane Andrade, junior developer, was always incensed whenever she saw that question.  It was like asking a child if they stole the cookie.  Of course they were going to say "no."

And the robots were real, Catherane had no doubt.  There were those rare robots with integrity, like Omnitron, whom she had some grudging respect for.  She wasn't sure if Omnitron was really the hero it claimed to be, but at least it wasn't sneaking around in human guise like all the others.

And there were so many others!  That weird guy who always hung out on the corner?  Robot.  The lady who worked at the corner store, with the lazy eye, who always looked disapprovingly at her when she bought that second carton of cigarettes?  Definitely a robot.  And all those politicians, who clearly just wanted people to be able to kill each other in the streets?  How could they be anything but robots?  Of course, the worst ones were the ones who worked in the tech companies, who hypocriticically claimed to help people identify robots while simultaneously putting their compatriots in charge of transportation, the economy, and ultimately the military.

Eventually Catherane decided enough was enough.  A friend she met online hooked her up with someone called "Ray," who was happy to take most of her life savings off her hands in exchange for an array of actually effective robot detection tools and a modest but effective anti-robot arsenal.  Of course, the weapons were equally effective against humans, and Catherane couldn't usually hang around after a kill to dig through the carnage for the confirmatory evidence.  Besides, she didn't have to.  She knew what she knew.

Concealing her online identity with several layers of proxies and false credentials, she would log on to the online forums of the so-called "conspiracy theorists" lurking in plain sight on the internet, to post just enough evidence to prove she did it.  She set up accounts on various crowdfunding services, which her growing number of followers contributed to--not a vast fortune, but enough to keep her operations afloat.  Every once in a while she'd get an especially large donation along with a body of evidence proving the identity of another robot in hiding, and she couldn't be happier to put that target at the top of her list.

Eventually Catherane realized her exploits had gone beyond the level of the mere "hobby" she'd thought of her project as--she was a true vigilante.  Maybe even a hero, though she'd wait for others to award her that label.  She could be modest.  But she needed a code name for anyone to take her seriously.

Embracing the irony, Catherane called herself CAPTCHA.  Let the "robots" beware.


Sentinels Statistics Project -- Statistics updated daily!

Submit your games here!

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 5 (Black Stephen the Conquistador)

Esteban de Dorantes--known as Black Stephen to some--was one of the foremost guides for the Spanish conquistadors in the mid-16th Century.  For years, Estevanico led expeditions across the Floridian peninsula, up through what is now modern-day Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, and all throughout Mexico.  Despite his Muslim upbringing, he was viewed as one of Catholic Spain's most indispensible explorers and survivors, known across the continent for his flashing cutlass and his penchant for wearing animal hides and other talismans while in the wild.

In 1539, Estevanico first heard of the Seven Cities of Cibola, a ring of magically hidden cities filled with wealth beyond measure.  The local Zuni tribesmen warned Estevanico and his group to leave the cities well enough alone, and that any who dared breach their vaults would be cursed with everything they had ever wanted.

Dreaming of mounds of gold and gems, Estevanico paid the Zuni no heed.  Not two days later, he led an expedition of twelve Spainiards deep into the Yucatan jungles.  

Estevanico and his comrade, Friar Marcos de Niza, were the only two of that expedition to lay eyes on the fabled Seven Cities.  Glittering and gleaming, their emerald spires rose above the jungle with the promise of wealth untold.  As Friar Marcos stood agape, Estevanico slowly drew his cutlass, beheading the friar with a single blow.  Alone, he descended into Cibola, practically dancing across the gilded cobblestones.

Estevanico emerged that day with wealth beyond measure, though as he filled his bags with gold statuary, fist-sized gemstones, and more, each piece of wealth that he found was simply not enough.  No gem was perfect enough, no gold pure enough.  There had to be something better.  Infuriated, Estevanico left Cibola empty handed, with the city disappearing into the jungle once more.

Since that day, Black Stephen the Conquistador still wanders the world, ever in search of more and more perfect treasures.  While he has adapted to the times--he uses modern firearms and equipment, and often keeps "things of use" from the various lost civilizations he has plundered--his lust and greed for treasure has never been sated.  Estevanico has been sighted in Atlantis, in Tibet (presumably in search of the Temple of Zhu Long), the Tomb of Anubis, and even in more far-flung locales.  Each time, he plunders the locale, picking out the greatest, most beautiful, and most powerful relics...only to discard them as his curse pushes him to search out something more.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 6 (Ronnie RayGun)

The year is 1983.  The Cold War continues to simmer, Dexy's Midnight Runners belt out their one and only hit on every radio station, and Ronald Reagan's special security council has assembled in the vaults below the Pentagon.  Reagan's "Strategic Defense Initiative", despite the public perception of absurdity, has already begun, courtesy of another universe.

As Vice President George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State George Schultz, and Lieutenant General Daniel O. Graham debated the merits of a space-based defense system, President Reagan introduced....himself.

Claiming to hail from another dimension, Ronnie Raygun claimed to have joined a special branch of the United States military designed to counter alien threats across the cosmos.  This intergalactic FILTER had provided Raygun with a faster-than-light spacecraft capable of wormhole-based travel, a bevy of prototype weapons and armaments, and a crack team of the most hard-nosed, lethal troops culled from all branches of the military.  Proudly clapping a hand on his interdimensional double's shoulder, Reagan proudly declared Raygun to be the United States' best new defense against the threats of alien invasion.  With overwhelming support, Reagan's SDI program was launched in a manner that not even the most astute political, scientific, and military minds could have ever seen.

Since 1983, Ronnie Raygun and his troops have criss-cross the galaxy hunting down threats to the American way of life across the cosmos.  Unfortunately, though, Ronnie has little to no real grasp of the nuances involved in interstellar politics.  Rather, he often bursts in, guns-a'blazing, preferring to wipe out the leadership of any alien threat.  Barring that, Raygun takes on the age-old tactic of aiding insurgents and rebels, destabilizing existing galactic power structures and toppling centuries-old governments, regardless of their actual threat level to Earth.

Ronnie Raygun and his recruits continue to galavant across the galaxy, leaving a wake of bodies and chaos in their wake.  It may only be a matter of time before an alien race seeks retaliation against a version of Ronald Reagan that few ever knew existed...

VGBM
VGBM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2018

Hey, my computer broke and I've been without one for the past couple of weeks, but I'm back. A few things:

chrysaetoseagle wrote:
Past human testing labs, a prison block, and a morgue, she found what she feared most: a young woman, unconscious and surrounded by life support equipment, glowing brightly and all but wasted away. With precision laser beams, she cut the power to the equipment and stayed to watch until the monitors flatlined.
I'm a little confused. I'm assuming the unconscious girl is the real Zivanka, but then who, or what, is Queen Killer, and how can she exist after Zivanka is dead?

PlatinumWarlock wrote:
As OblivAeon fell and the cosmos merged into but two timelines,
That's not true. Defeating OblivAeon is what saved the multiverse, not destroyed it. The reason universe-displaced folk can't go back home is because without OblivAeon, the timelines are once again cut off from each other and there's no other way to travel between them.

PlatinumWarlock wrote:
With Mechanical May at an end, we say hello to Homage-June!  All of our villains for June will be a new riff on someone from antiquity, history, literature, film, or some other media.
Shoot! I could've saved my Midas character for this! Oh well, I have another villain I intended to write for Mechanical May before the aforementioned loss of computer, so this balances it out I guess.

I'ma start writing her now.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

VGBM wrote:

PlatinumWarlock wrote:

As OblivAeon fell and the cosmos merged into but two timelines,

 

That's not true. Defeating OblivAeon is what saved the multiverse, not destroyed it. The reason universe-displaced folk can't go back home is because without OblivAeon, the timelines are once again cut off from each other and there's no other way to travel between them.

PlatinumWarlock wrote:
With Mechanical May at an end, we say hello to Homage-June!  All of our villains for June will be a new riff on someone from antiquity, history, literature, film, or some other media.

 

Shoot! I could've saved my Midas character for this! Oh well, I have another villain I intended to write for Mechanical May before the aforementioned loss of computer, so this balances it out I guess.I'ma start writing her now.

*nods*  Okay.  I think we're all still in the dark on the details of the OblivAeon event, but I'll take your word for it.  I'll be eager to hear the big Letters Page episode(s?) on OblivAeon to hear the lore as clearly as possible.

And for what it's worth, the monthly theme is an organizational theme for me, personally.  You guys shouldn't feel obligated to follow my themes at all, though if you'd like to follow suit, feel free!

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 7 (Yorick)

A fellow of most infinite jest, the individual known as Yorick is an utter enigma on the Rook City streets.  Dressed in a gray-and-black tinted jester's motley, Yorick capers about through the back alleys and twisted side streets of the city, dealing out justice and brutality in equal measure.  While some have claimed Yorick to be a champion of the innocent, still others claim that the harlequin has been responsible for some of the most heinous killings Rook City has seen.

Of all the currently active heroes in Rook City, Expatriette has had the most interactions with Yorick.  And, by that, she means that she's actually tracked him down once.  After coming across Yorick over a group of dead gangers in an alley off of James Madison Avenue, Expatriette had Yorick dead to rights, ordering the harlequin to stand down.

Naturally, Yorick did not.  Rather, he vaulted up a fire escape, nimbly dodging between liquid nitrogen rounds, occasionally flinging throwing knives and even a skull-shaped bomb towards Expatriette.  Within the smoke and chaos, Yorick led the vigilante on a merry chase across the rooftops, eventually eluding her near the Benton-Hodges Logistics warehouses in southern Rook City.

After the fact, Expatriette did manage to piece together a few details that may provide a way to locate or unmask the harlequin.  The throwing knives Yorick used were made of a carbon-fiber alloy used primarily by German armsmakers.  This was corroborated by the weighted jester's wand she wrenched away from Yorick, which appeared to be a personally modified version of a Leistung weighted self-defense baton.  What Yorick has to do with German armsmakers remains to be seen, as well as why a jester now murders his way through the Rook City slums.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

That's a fun little enigma. :D If there's any character you've created so far that I'd like to know more about...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 8 (Big Brother)

If it appears on your screen, he's already come for you.  The greatest threat to all those who oppose The State.  The digital eyes of Order itself.

They call it Big Brother.

The first instance of it occurring was with PurpleReignx4532.  A known hacker and anarchist, PurpleReign was reponsible for three separate data leaks, exposing peoples' sensitive data, credit card numbers, and more digital information all across the internet for easy download.  Four days before the FBI raided PurpleReign's apartment complex, the grimacing image of Orwell's Big Brother flashed across his screen.  That hour, PurpleReign simply vanished.  When the FBI arrived at the apartment, they found the loft in utter disarray, with PurpleReign's mangled corpse laid across her coffee table, a disturbing grin stretched across her face.

The same pattern followed for a number of other hackers, regardless of allegiance.  White hat security expert, black hat identity thieves, and all those in between.  Big Brother appears on their screen; within the day, that hacker is dead.  Each time, a hideous grimace across a body, broken and tortured.

The Paradigms have begun investigating into the true identity of Big Brother, but to little avail, primarily due to time.  Their continued efforts in superheroics have left little time to spare for investigations into the deaths of hackers.  Despite this, Parse had managed to track down individual packets of data, which had been scattered through a router outside of Boston.  Follow-up investigation from the Paradigms is pending though, if there are any traces of data, they may lead straight to Big Brother's true identity...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 9 (Shelob)

Marianne Browning was bitten by a radioactive spider.

Mind you, she had nothing to do with spiders, didn't even like spiders, and was really repulsed by the whole idea of insects ("Yes, I know they're arachnids...") in general.  But when she woke from her bed one night, feeling a sharp sting along her calf, she immediately knew what she had swatted.  Immediately, Marianne went to the bathroom of her Omaha-area apartment to clean off her hand and to clean out the bite area.

Unbeknownst to Marianne, however?  That spider was carried just the tiniest particle of Isoflux Alpha in its venom sacs.  

Three days later, in the midst of her Dungeons and Dragons game, Marianne had the strangest itch along her back.  She could hardly focus on her elven bard or the terrible combat in which she and her party were locked ("Man, I hate stirges!").  Even a friendly back-scratch from GM Nathan did nothing to alleviate it, and Marianne ended up cutting out early to take a long soak in a warm tub, hoping to put down on some calamine lotion and ease this insatiable itch.

That's when the first leg finally pushed its way through the skin of her back and emerged.  

Marianne screamed when she saw it.  Screamed bloody murder, in fact.  Within the hour, six spindly, arachnile legs had begun protruding from her torso, long enough to lift her entire body up and clamber about.  Sobbing in the bathtub, Marianne had hardly noticed her eyes begin to compound and her teeth elongate into needle-like fangs.

In thid midst of all this, Marianne's elderly neighbor, Mrs. Watson, stumbled into the poor girl's apartment.  With one look at unfortunate Marianne, huddled in the bathtub screaming, Watson collapsed to the floor, her weak heart unable to take the shock of such a hideous monstrosity.  Desperate and bawling, Marianne tried to revive the old woman, but to no avail.  In a blind panic, Marianne skuttled down the side of her apartment building and vanished into the night.

To this date, tales of "the spider-woman" still haunt urban legends throughout the Midwest.  Marianne does her best to keep to herself, but she does need to eat and, increasingly, her diet must be comprised of raw meat.  While she desperately hopes that a cure exists for this vile condition, Marianne has taken to calling herself Shelob, a mother of monsters of there ever was one.  She wanders from city to city, ever in search of someone or something that will cure her monstrous nature.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Awh. :C

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 10  (Saul Bellow)

Things just couldn't go right for poor Saul Stilenka.  

His favorite band had announced they were breaking up.  HIs longtime, live-in boyfriend was moving out.  His job was asking for massive budgetary cutbacks, which meant that he would have to share an office with...ugh, Karen.  His beagle puppy had worms.  Even the chicken tandoori he brought for lunch had gone off, leaving him without a meal until at least 7pm.

All he wanted to do was scream.  So he did.

Heading into the mens' room on his 7th floor office building, Saul locked the door behind him and let out a yell that would sound through the ages.  Little did he know, though, that the stress he had been under had unlocked some strange genetic anomaly within him.  That yell reached 197 decibels, enough vibrational force to shatter glass, crush plastic, and deafen any poor soul unlucky enough to hear it.  

Unfortunately for Saul, that was his entire floor...and the floors above and below his...and the floors above and below that.  Computer monitors cracked and flared with sparks, his co-workers howled in deafened pain, and every window in the building had disintegrated into so much shattered glass.  Saul smiled.  Things were certainly turning around nicely.

Ever the enterprising sort, Saul decided to put his talents up for the highest bidder.  A fit enough fellow to start, his basic kickboxing classes and daily runs made him suitable for the life of a masked villain.  And, when a certain group called TALOS sought him out, well, Saul couldn't join up fast enough.

Using the code-name Bellow, Saul has refined his powers to an astonishing degree.  He can focus his sound energy to a thin cone, able to be aimed at specific targets, or create devastation for blocks surrounding him.  While TALOS has yet to deploy Saul--he's not exactly a "stealthy" character, given his unique powerset--they're sure to find some target for destruction for which Saul Bellow will sound his barbaric yawp!

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 11 (The Limelight Department)

The original Limelight Department was one of the world's earliest film studios, producing over 300 films, starting as early as 1891.  Even as their first feature film was released--Soldiers of the Cross--the Limelight Department brought great controversy.  Depicting the brutal torture and death of Christian martyrs from the dawn of Chrstianity, the 1901 release of Soldiers of the Cross was a traumatizing event for many, inciting protests and demonstrations, with some patrons actually fainting in the aisles during the premiere.

The new group calling itself The Limelight Department has added more terror to its storied name.

Those few individuals who have survived their encounters with the The Limelight Department claim several similar stories.  A 'recruiter' descends upon a small town, claiming to be looking for aspiring actors and actresses to audition for an upcoming feature film.  One on one auditions are set, with predatory 'Producers' watching aspiring actors nervously make their first impressions.  Within days, those auditioning actors disappear, never to be seen again.  As the disappeared-person's family and friends scramble to reach police and start a manhunt, a simple brown envelope with a DVD arrives in their mailbox.  Inevitably, that DVD contains a graphic horror film...starring the missing person.

None know where the Limelight Department operate from, nor who could possibly be affiliated with such a horrific organization.  Just before aspiring triple-threat Serena Markovic disappeared, she mentioned meeting with "The Director" and getting fitted for her costume.  When police began their investigation, they found themselves on the doorstop of the local Biorama Costume Shop, with a traumatized manager nervously telling of a group of strange 'amateur filmmakers' who purchased a significant amount of costume and makeup supplies.  They, too, mentioned how much "The Director" might enjoy these props...though no reference to who that Director might be could be found.

Given his links to San Alonzo and filmmaking in general, several heroes investigating the Limeline Department have contemplated approaching Ansel G. Moreau to see if he knows anything.  However, to date, Ansel has outright refused to discuss Limelight or any disappearances that have surrounded their filmmaking practices.  Other investigations thusfar have been fruitless, which makes Ansel's reluctance to discuss Limelight all the more suspect...

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

As mentioned a few weeks back, there will be no Villain of the Day for the next few days, while I'm at the Origins Game Fair. Villain of the Day will return on Monday, June 18th!

Godai
Godai's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 01, 2016

You could almost say the Villains of the Day went Direct To Video. 

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 18  (The Three Men)

Why is it that children's stories are always the most frightening?  While Rook City remains firmly in the unseen grip of The Chairman, so few know of his existence (much less his true identity) that the concept of an all-overseeing crime lord seems a fiction, torn from the lurid pulps of yesteryear.

The Butcher, The Baker, and The Candlestick Maker, though?  Those names could turn the hardest of Rook City criminals pale as a sheet.

Rumored to work together out of a single location somewhere in the depths of the Rook City docks, The Three Men are believed to be brothers.  As the story goes, their father was a steelworker, violent and abusive, while their mother took out her frustration and rage upon her own children when they misbehaved.  Unsurprisingly, their parents were their very first victims.  The Butcher slipped into his parents' room late one night, hacking into his parents with a small meat cleaver, fresh from the dishwasher.  The Baker, walking in on this, aided his brother in dismembering the bodies, shoving them into an already pre-heated oven.  The Candlestick Maker, though, toddled in last, aiding the pair by scrubbing the crime scene, melting down the weapon, and ensuring that no one could ever trace the crime back to them.

Today, the trio continue to work from the shadows.  The Butcher is, undoubtedly, the muscle of the group.  While he can use any number of methods of assassination, he prefers melee weapons; especially those with blades.  The Baker has become something of a pyromaniac, though he serves as the group's "body disposal" expert, preferring to cremate bodies and scatter their ashes into local riverways.  The Candlestick Maker is the least-combat-apt of the trio, often serving as a "cleaner" at the scene of The Butcher and The Baker's work, but also creating new weapons and armor for them.  

In the ruins of Rook City post-OblivAeon, with even The Organization foundering to reclaim territory, resources, and manpower, the Three Men have become so much more than a terrifying bedtime story.  As villains need insurgents or would-be heroes eliminated--particularly those that arise within the Rook City police department or similar organizations--the Three Men fall into more and more work.  And with each completed job, their legend grows...

Godai
Godai's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 01, 2016

Do the Three Men team up with Tantrum at any point? Three Men and a Little Lady, anyone?

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 19 (Merger)

In 1943, the United States had made a massive committment of manpower to thwarting the Axis powers.  With fewer men of appropriate age, professional sports suffered.  Two NFL teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, elected to merge their teams until the war ended, creating the "Phil-Pitt Steagles", a mashed together team which resulted in Philadelphia's first ever winning season.

The villain known as Merger, however, thought that a temporary alliance simply didn't go far enough.

Merger made her first appearance at a recent Philadelphia-Pittsburgh exhibition game.  While the teams rested their starters and gave their rookies a chance to show off, Merge made her way down to the field just as Eagles linebacker Asantay Brown dove into Pittsburgh quarterback Landry Jones for a three yard sack.  With a wave of her hand, Merger fused the pair's bodies together in a horrific melding of flesh and madness.  The Jones-Brown creature rampaged through the crowd as Merger cackled in delight.  Fourteen other players were so merged, leading to numerous casualties throughout the crowd as the fans fled Heinz Field in horror.  Merger was driven off by Pittsburgh area police and, as Merger made her escape, the hapless football players returned to their normal bodies.

Merger has appeared at a number of similar events, each reflecting some unification or display of unity.  Peace talks, corporate acquisitions, and more have all been disrupted by her foul powers, often resulting in a great deal of both trauma and loss of life.  Most horrific is when Merger herself begins grafting other beings onto herself, adding their strength and vitality to her own in a terrifying amalgamation of flesh and madness.

While she has shown no aptitude for other arcane talents or sorcery, several magically-talented heroes have noted that Merger's powers have similarity to that of both Biomancer and Hermetic.  While this has led some to believe that she is an alchemist or otherwise derives her powers from transmutation, her aims and methods are antithetical to that of nearly every villainous mage or mystic.  Instead of seeking out ancient lore or powerful relics, Merger seems utterly fixated on adding her own dash of union to a potential gathering.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

And we thought Biomancer was creepy. c.c;

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 20 (Lizzie Borden)

We all know the rhyme.  It just so happens that Serena Marchess wanted to know it just a touch better.

One of Lillian Corvus' "Dead Poets Society", Serena had always been fascinated by murder, death, and morbidity in general.  Serial killers were her especiality.  H.H. Holmes was a particular favorite, with his elaborate deathtrap of a hotel, but Serena's outright favorite was the eponymous Lizzie Borden.  In her senior English classs, Serena completed her magnum opus:  a "Thelma-and-Louise" meets "Kill Bill" rampage, featuring Borden and her rumored lover Bridget Sullivan in which the pair hacked their way through the dregs of American turn-of-the-century high society.  While particularly well-researched, Serena's work set off her teacher's alarm bells, who immediately referred her to the school's psychologist.

When Mr. Hardigan was found hacked to death in his bed, as if with a handheld hatchet, Serena immediately rose to the top of the suspects list.  However, she was nowhere to be found; a manhunt ensued.  What happened to Serena, however, was quite stranger than any investigator could have possibly gathered.

Serena's infatuation with Borden opened the teenager's mind to a Host spirit of obsession.  Believing herself to be the heir apparent to Borden herself, Serena merged with the spirit, giving herself over to otherwordly possession.  On the rare occasion when she is confronted, Serena has demonstrated a degree of telekinesis (mainly through eerie floating items), the ability to phase through walls as if a ghost, and a preternatural skill with arcanely-summoned axes.  The Harpy attempted an exorcism during one such encounter, though Serena/Borden managed to escape before the spirit could be extracted from her.  The Argent Adept came closer to success, though it very nearly cost Drake his life, as Serena sunk a hooked axe into the magician's left shoulder.

Even as Serena makes a spectral rampage across the darkest alleys of the world, the world's heroes are still at a loss as to what she actually wants.  Serena has done little to replicate the deeds of those she was so obsessed with, nor does she frequent the same haunts as her forebearers.  However, the grave of Elizabeth Short--the so-called Black Dahlia--was recently split asunder, as if smote with some massive two-handed axe...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 21 (The Prince)

"Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception..."

In the wake of the lives lost during the OblivAeon event, so many power structures were smashed, so many governments and infrastructures were damaaged irreparably as to leave entire nations leaderless.  Would-be warlords and conquerers have emerged in the most unstable portions of the world, attempting to carve out their own niche from the chaos and instability.

Enter the man known only as The Prince.

Dressed in pseudo-medieval royal garb, The Prince first appeared in central Africa, claiming to be able to lead the tribal cultures there into a new golden age, putting them on par with the greatest of western powers.  While this might not be out of the norm, the fact that The Prince was a white, (presumably) American with a Midwestern accent who did not speak one iota of any African dialect, his rise to power was nearly unfathomable.  Within less than a month, The Prince had managed to consolidate power over three unique tribes, each of which had been at war with the others for decades prior to The Prince's arrival.  

The reason for this power lies, however, in The Prince's voice.  A metahuman, The Prince is a master of the spoken word:  his arguments are persuasive to the point of ultimate loyalty and subservience, his threats inspire terror beyond reason, and his scream is capable of shattering titanium alloy armor plating.  His followers, so enthralled, fight with a ferocity unseen by any outside of those utterly dominated or mindless, though both scientific and arcane testing of The Prince's subjects have demonstrated no domination of those individuals.  As such, the actual source of The Prince's power still remains to be seen.

What may be more distressing, though, is The Prince's desire for additional power.  He has been sighted in a number of other countries throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and in Africa, though various international heroes have managed to thwart his efforts numerous times.  Mehit, notably, has come into conflict with The Prince, though she was unaffected by his voice while in her "obsidian giant" form, which seemed to utterly terrify The Prince, who fled the field immediately, leaving a number of followers to cover his escape.

Even still, a number of The Prince's "sleeper agents" travel the world, recruiting and influencing malcontents in global hot-spots, making the way for their Prince to conquer and rule from on high.

 

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 22 (Remarque)

War.  War never changes.

Randal Kochanski had been a soldier for far too long.  Two trips to Afghanistan, one to Syria, and a United Nations peacekeeping action to the outskirts of Mordengrad, Randal had been in countless firefights, watched good men die beside him, and fought his way through situations even hardened soldiers might have balked at.

Maybe someone should have recognized Randal's state of mind.  Maybe someone slipped during his psychological evaluation, preceding his post at Fort Adamant as a weapons testing expert.  Maybe someone should have realized what Randal had truly been through, rather than looking at the medals on his chest.  Maybe the world might have been spared the horror that is Remarque.

Randal went 'off the reservation' not four months after assuming his post at Fort Adamant.  Well before the Termi-Nation event, Randal found himself knee-deep in derivatives from the Bunker project, in an attempt to create sealable infantry armor capable of overcoming biological and chemical attacks, as well as operate effectively in tear gas and smoke.  And, while Randal was hardly an engineer, he found himself in a unique position to build such weaponry directly into one of the prototype suits, despite numerous international laws against utilizing biochemical weaponry.

When Randal disappeared with the modified armor, it was a shock to nearly everyone on base.  That shock was compounded when Randal first appeared, calling himself Remarque--an homage to the ubiquitous All Quiet on the Western Front and its horrifying depictions of gas-warfare.  Randal's first target was Fort Lewis-McChord on Puget Sound.  Crashing through the main gates, Remarque was effectively able to ignore the guards' small arms fire, releasing a stream of stinging gas through the main base cafeteria.  He then made a beeline for the offices of one of his former commanders, Lieutenant Jacob Gagliardi.  As Remarque fled the base, Gagliardi was found writhing in incredible pain, his body covered in stinging welts, his eyes bleeding.  Gagliardi died four days later, his body wracked with an unknown neurotoxin.

Since that day, Remarque has actively targeted military bases, often seeking out those who he believes to have turned him into naught but a killing machine.  He has personally killed at least 3 other former commanders, as well as several other high-ranking military leaders and congressional 'war-hawks'.  No one knows where Remarque is based out of, nor how he maintains his prototype armor, though there must surely be some trail that leads back to Randal himself.

VGBM
VGBM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2018

PlatinumWarlock wrote:
The reason for this power lies, however, in The Prince's voice.  A metahuman, The Prince is a master of the spoken word:  his arguments are persuasive to the point of ultimate loyalty and subservience, his threats inspire terror beyond reason, and his scream is capable of shattering titanium alloy armor plating.
So he's… the fresh prince of bellowing air.
PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 23 (Scafuri)

Bob Dowell loved to dance.  

Even through high school, where his comrades on the football team mocked his digilant ballet- and tap-centric workouts, Bob could hardly be kept off of the dance floor.  After an injury ended his collegiate football career, dance saw him through physical therapy necessary to overcome a PCL/ACL/LCL tear in this left knee.  There was simply something about the rhythm of the motion, the sway of music, which called to him unlike any other.

This was, of course, because Bob was a nascent metahuman.  Each swing of the hips, each plie, each spin, each releve, shunted ambient kinetic energy to his limbs, increasing his strength, speed, and durability in that area.  Imagine Bob's surprise, of course, when a simple landing left a six-foot crater in the hardwood floor of his favorite dance studio!  Bob was boggled, but continued to practice in secret, often in abandoned industrial parks or vacant parking lots where none would be injured.  He soon found that the ambient kinetic weaponry, gathered unto himself through dance, made him a nearly unstoppable force of momentum, capable of kicking through steel security doors, shattering concrete blocks, or punching through hardwood planks.

When his alter-ego of Scafuri first emerged, teaming up with Ray Manta and several other D-list, wanna-be villains, Bob's friends and family were confused.  What had changed?  Bob was always an affable, energetic person, quick with a joke and always eager to share his love of music and dance.  Yet, there he was, fighting the Paradigms in the middle of a Megalopolis power plant.  Benchmark claimed, following the encounter, that Scafuri actively spoke to him, saying, "Back off, hero.  I don't want to hurt you..." before launching into a swirling salamanca that sent the New Standard flying backwards in a heap of metal.  This has given many cause to believe that Scafuri has turned to villainy not out of greed or anger, but out of some external driver, perhaps blackmail.  However, even his closest friends and family members have come up empty when trying to figure out what someone might know about Bob Dowell that might drive him to acts of villainy.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

A villain with a shadowy motive? That's new...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

More like a villain who's not really wanting to be one...

And VGBM? Lose 100 xp for that joke. If you were at my table, you'd now have the Die of Shame in front of you.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:   June 24  (Malachite)

Anne-Marie de Boers grew up like a veritable princess, complete with glistening tiara.

One of the heiresses to the famed de Boers gemstone mining company, Anne-Marie was raised in the lap of luxury, with servants to wait on her hand and foot, an ever-expanding wardrobe featuring all the greatest names in fashion, and more wealth than some small countries.  She didn't particularly care how the money was made--that was for her father and his number-crunching cronies--but as long as she got to spend as much of it as she wanted.  One of her favorite pieces was a diamond-studded silver tiara, inlaid with emerald and malachite.

That was, however, until Ernst de Boers came into the practice of mining and smuggling conflict diamonds.  Accused by a UN war crimes tribunal of funding insurgency (and with it, potential genocide) within several central African nations, the de Boers mining syndicate came crashing down, with most of its assets seized.  This included, naturally, the de Boers' numerous homes, much of their material wealth, and their diverse portfolio and hedge funds.  Anne-Marie was incensed.  How dare they take her things?  How dare they disrupt her livelihood?  How dare they!

While the UN International Courts began the lengthy bureaucratic process of subsuming the de Boers' holdings, Anne-Marie made her escape with a briefcase full of conflict diamonds, intending to sell to the highest bidder.  What she didn't bank on, however, was an approach from an old acquaintance of her father's:  an international financier named Cecil Kimberley.  What she further didn't realize was that Cecil Kimberley was, in fact, a member of a certain elite group known as The Annihilationists.

Seeing a potential tool for his use, Kimberley manipulated Anne-Marie into exacting her vengeance upon the international community.  Still obsessing over her lost gems, Anne-Marie provided the perfect semi-unwitting tool through which The Annihilationists could work.  Kimberley's contacts provided Anne-Marie with an armored costumes, weaponry based upon sophisticated mining lasers, and numerous hand weapons sharpened with a (industrial) diamond coating.  Anne-Marie herself provided the final touch:  the tiara she had worn since she was a teenager.  Donning that headpiece, Malachite was born.

To date, Malachite has been found in a number of high-society locales, exacting her vengeance upon both the international legal community (for destroying her life in the first place) and the idle rich of Europe and Africa (for abandoning her family in their hour of need).  While Malachite's identity was swiftly discerned, she proved quite the able combatant and was able to elude law enforcement.  Because of her actions, though, the UN International Courts have recommended transferring Ernst de Boer from his minimum security prison in The Hague to a more secure facility in France.  Some have conjectured that this might draw out Malachite, potentially leading to her arrest, though others believe that doing so might only be inviting disaster as Malachite carves off another piece for herself.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 25 (The Firebird, 1948 Suite)

The music was burned, the libretto purged, the very theater in which it was performed was razed to the ground.  The Vatincan swore retribution against Stravinsky, who in turn swore he would never create another copy of the blasphemous twist on his magnum opus.  However, the 1948 Firebird Suite still emerges on occasion, leaving only broken bodies and madness in its wake.

Historically, Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird had only three notable suites:  1911, 1919, and 1945.  However, in 1947, a mysterious elderly woman approached Stravinsky with a patronage and a desire for a new rendition of his masterwork.  Stravinsky was hesitant at first, but soon found himself possessed of a new creativity.  For four days and nights, he sat at his writing desk, taking only the barest breaks to relieve himself and to brew a new pot of coffee.  At the end of the fourth day, the new version was finished, with an extended epilogue focusing on the strange, surreal world of Koschei the Deathless and the Infernal Dance.

To even the most learned of musicians, the 1948 Firebird has few variations from the 1945 version, outside of the extended Second Tableau and the return to Koschei's infernal realm.  However, to those trained in both the mystic arts and educated in musical theory, a strange trend emerges:  seemingly dissonant notes, out of place within the greater musical refrains, seem to echo throughout the theater.  Each note seems to almost warp and wend reality, with the performers subtly accelerating their tempo and whirling one another into a frenzy.  By the start of the Second Tableau, all within the theater find themselves in a cult-like reverie, utterly enthralled with the music and artistry.  However, as passage 15 begins and the dancers open their gate to the realm of the Deathless One, no living witness remains.  Stravinsky himself fled the composer's stand, screaming into the night.

The massacre at the first performance of the 1948 suite left 19 dancers, 48 musicians, and over 200 attendees dead, their bodies contorted in the throes of musical ecstacy.  Stravinsky himself was questioned, but released, as investigators attempted to focus their efforts on the strange woman who commissioned the piece in the first place.  No evidence was ever found as to her identity; the name she had given corresponded only to a woman who had died in 1878.

Publicly, Stravinsky decried the work, destroying it as above.  However, his closest confidants knew that he entrusted the original sheet music from that night--snatched from his music stand as he fled--to his protoge:  Warren Zevon.  With Zevon's death at the hands of a spectral machine-gunner in 2003, some believe that Stravinsky's accursed music may well be in the hands of some nefarious forces...

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Sounds like On Mount Golgotha meets the Hanged King's Tragedy. :B

...Okay, but Warren Zevon? O.o

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Go take a look at Warren Zevon's wikipedia page, if you don't believe me. When that tidbit crossed my Pandora feed, I had to go verify it myself!

VGBM
VGBM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2018

Wait, do you really have a die of shame? That's pretty cool.

Anyway, ftr I came up with this character months before reading about Shelob. It's just a coincidence, I swear!

Arachne

Sewing, knitting, crochet, just about anything that uses a thread or string, all considered dying arts, and all arts that retired Mary-Anne Stitch took a lot of pride in. So much that when the retirement home held an embriodery competition, she was certain she'd win no matter what she made. And in fact she probably would have won if she hadn't chosen to embroider a rather unflattering depiction of the adminstrator which exaggerated certain features, and if said adminitrator wasn't also the judge of the competition.

When she lost, she was so furious that, later that night, she snuck into the hall where the winning entry was being displayed and set it on fire. Of course this set off the fire alarm, but she intented to be back in her room before anyone knew what happened. However, she wasn't fast enough to avoid the sprinkling system, and got drenched in what, she couldn't have known at the time, was isophlex-alpha. Just as planned, by the time the fire department arrived, Mary-Anne was nowhere to be found, but some neighbors claimed they saw some sort of black, furred creature crawl out the window and scuttle into the night.

Some people might get humbled from turing into a horrifying spider beast, but Arachne loved her new form, especially her ability to produce threads much stronger than anything she's used before, and which she could do so much more with than mere art. Even better, she was soon after approached with the prospect of joining a team, a team whose goal was to prove its superiority over humanity. She couldn't possibly say no.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

PlatinumWarlock wrote:

Go take a look at Warren Zevon's wikipedia page, if you don't believe me. When that tidbit crossed my Pandora feed, I had to go verify it myself!

I did, immediately after reading that. Wild.

I assume the 'spectral gunner' mentioned in the bio had no head?

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

The Die of Shame is a hunter-orange oversized d10, with black pips instead of numbers.  It's hideous, and it's the mark of one who's either a) done something profundly dumb, or b) made a terrible joke, capable of making the table cringe.  In either case, it stays in front of you until someone does something worse...

And, strange, that spectral gunner *was* headless!  So weird...

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Villain of the Day:  June 26 (Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen)

The first place Ulrich von Jungingen, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, went upon waaking up, was to the National Museum in Warsaw.

He knew who he was.  He knew how he died, fighting the Lizard Union at the Battle of Grunwald.  He even knew what had transpired since his death, for whatever reason.  His consciousness knew of Jan Matejko's accursed painting and its lies.  His first task, of course, was to consume the entire museum in flames.  

Even Ulrich himself does not know how he has managed to thwart death and cross the ages, but his mysterious return has only enflamed his zeal for the sacred mission of the (long-defunct) Teutonic Knights.  However, since arising, he has found this new era to be one of utter sacrilage and madness.  The common folk showed no decency, horrifying monsters roamed the world, lauded as heroes, and devastation rained from the sky.  Ulrich simply could not brook such blasphemies; the Teutonic Knights must be reborn.

Since that day, Grand Master Ulrich has crossed Europe and the new "America" on foot, dressed in the simple robes of a mendicant, recruiting all those of righteous indignation and able to swing a sword unto his new Teutonic Knights.  The group has established a base of operations in southern Minnesota, which resembles nothing so much as a medieval fortress, equipped and outfitted with the most modern in defense technology.

Ulrich's new Teutonic Knights have emerged to a mixed reactions.  While they have been known to help certain heroes--they have a particular affinity for Legacy and Fanatic--though their outright xenophobia has led them to attack those such as Omnitron-X, Tempest, and Sky-Scraper.  Ulrich most recently came into conflict with The Harpy, after she approached Ulrich with tales of a vision of him harboring the madman known as Apollyon.  While Ulrich has outright denied these claims, his methods have only become harsher and more sadistic as his time in this brave new world has gone on.  Whether he rises as a hero or descends into depravity remains to be seen...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Also, behold!  The Die of Shame!

The Die of Shame!

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day: June 27 (The Seven Sleepers)

The practice of meteorology has always been a tricky one, often the butt of jokes related to being "wrong 50% of time".  However, as far back as the Dark Age, man has tried to harness the elements.  None have been so successful as the beings known as The Seven Sleepers.

The only mystic chronicle of The Seven Sleepers comes from Jacob of Serugh in the Sixth Century, whose work was transcribed into a 1260 hagiography by Jacobus de Varagine.  Jacob told of seven powerful sorcerers who sought dominion over the very elements themselves.  In doing so, they renounced their faith, instead pledging their allegiance to the Islamic sorcerer and wanderer known as Am-Dhaegar (he of the eponymous Execration Texts).  Under Am-Dhaegar's tutelage, the group traveled to an unihabited island in the Baltic Sea known within the sorcerous community as a great convergence of ley-lines.

There, upon the summer solstice, Am-Dhaegar enacted the fell ritual.  Natural magic streamed into the Seven, the very elements and weather changing with each blink of the eye.  As Am-Dhagar's chant concluded, the Seven arose, brimming with arcane power.

Each of the Seven had been gifted with dominion over a natural weather effect.  Maximilian crackled with lightning, while Julius could call upon a torrential, beating hailstorm.  Antonius became as the fog, while Adonijah's breath became as powerful as a hurricane wind.  Mattius could summon a baking, searing heat, while Decius could call upon a mighty blizzard and freeze with but a touch.  The final of the Seven, known as Sodinanius, however, was most frightening of all:  he could surround himself with the veritable eye of the hurricane, creating an eerie calm which slowed time to a crawl while Sodinanius himself remained at a normal speed.  

Immediately, Am-Dhaegar knew his folly.  The sorcerer moved to flee, though the Seven surrounded him and began a relentless assault.  And, of course, while Am-Dhaegar was a gifted mage, he knew he could not stand against such chaos.  With a gasp, he levied a curse against the Seven, sealing them away within the island itself, whereupon they could only visit their wrath upon the Earth once per year:  on the summer solstice.  All other days, they slumbered away, held in place by the very ley lines from which they pull their powers.  Am-Dhaegar beat a hasty escape, leaving few mentions of his mistake.

To this day, the Seven Sleepers continue to ravage the world each summer solstice, with the Baltic regions suffering the brunt of the Seven Sleepers' wrath.  However, since the Deadline event (and the subsequential weakening of the world's ley lines), several arcanists have wondered whether Am-Dhaegar's curse could weaken to the point of breaking.  And, if that were the case, could the Seven Sleepers awaken permanently?

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  June 28 (The Sunset Man)

There is a dimension as wide as space itself, as eternal as everlasting time.  It is the the zone between daylight and nightfall, between mans' greatest technologies and the oldest forgotten lore.  It calls upon the depths of ones' terror and tests the limits of his knowledge.  It is a place of dread imagination.  It is the home of The Sunset Man.

None ever truly know when they enter the realm of The Sunset Man.  The world seems normal at first, with kids on bikes riding past and all the trappings of small-town Americana on full display.  The only tell that an individual might have crossed into the realm of The Sunset Man might be some degree of anachronism.  Men and women wear clothing straight out of the 1950s.  Children play jacks and hopscotch rather than video games.  And, of course, nary a screen is to be seen. 

Within one of The Sunset Man's realms, the uncanny rules.  Everything seems just too normal, people seem too friendly.  The Sunset Man himself roams about, blending into the crowd, dressed in a black suit and pork-pie hat.  Most times, The Sunset Man seems to be content to simply observe and test those who enter his realm, though other times, he seems to incite the populace against any interlopers, quickly turning homely housewives into the literal monsters on Maple Street.  If his identity is revealed, The Sunset Man's face disappears, leaving only smooth, pale skin in its place.

The actual nature of The Sunset Man, however, remains to be seen.  Those familiar with sorcery detect no degree of arcane power or magic emanating from The Sunset Man or any of his creations.  Science reveals all to be normal within such a realm, with no evidence of any anomaly.  Some have conjectured that The Sunset Man may be an extradimensional entity, though little evidence remains to corroborate such a theory.  Rather, it remains a guess, at best.  Within his realms, he rarely shows any overt power, though any sort of mundane item or person simply seems to "appear" at his whim.  

The only known encounter between known superhumans and The Sunset Man came when Dark Watch came to investigate the disappearance of James Quincannon, the child of a Rook City socialite.  Entering what seemed to be a Rook City slum, the heroes found themselves in a quaint, 50s-era neighborhood, replete with white picket fences and soda fountains.  Therein, Setback was quick to find James, only to find that James didn't want to leave--rather, he wanted to stay, waited on hand and foot by the terrified townsfolk, as if he were some malevolent god who must be appeased.  After a lengthy investigation, The Harpy managed to break through to James telepathically, causing him to mentally dismiss the scenario and leaving the whole group dazed within an abandoned Rook City tenement.  The Sunset Man, though, was nowhere to be found.  

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Fascinating! :D

Pages