The Big Villains Thread

612 posts / 0 new
Last post
PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

MindWanderer wrote:

I happen to be playing Life is Strange right now and was thinking about how the rewind ability could be used in a superhero game, but figured it would be incredibly challenging to represent mechanically in any kind of balanced and fun way.

I imagine that within a game context, it'd actually be close to something like a 'stun' or even a 'mind control' power, forcing the target to repeat their past actions or even stand frozen in time.

In the SCRPG, for instance, I could envision Rewind having a ton of debuffs, with one of his most common actions forcing a target to take a single basic action on their turn, rather than using their 'kewl pwers'.  

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Deeper into the scene tracker, he could maybe force rerolls?

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Oh, that would be cool.
Maybe an escalating ability-- if green, reroll the min die; if yellow, mid die; if red, max die.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 13 (Operation Mind-Fire)

Dr. Amie Hagens took the best sick day of her life. 

Not exactly the most moral of genetic pharmacologists, Amie was once one of Pike Laboratory's most talented individuals.  However, for almost two weeks, she'd been fighting off an upper respiratory infection.  Her coworkers had pleaded with her to stay home, if for no other reason than to keep them from getting sick, but Amie simply brushed them off.  That Thursday, though, she woke up to a hacking, wheezing cough and complete and utter sinus congestion.  Resigning herself a day or two of bed rest and sitcom re-runs, Amie called in sick.

That afternoon, the off-the-books Barzakh Wing of Pike Laboratories erupted in flame, with the broken bodies of lab assistants and prison guards covering the floors. 

When word of the devastation reached Amie, she knew exactly what she need to do.  She ran.  She packed her computer--particularly with all the encrypted files on Operation Mind-Fire--and made for the border.

Amie, you see, was the architect behind the Mind-Phyre drug cocktail that created the deranged metahuman known as Spite.  An expert on psychotropics, Amie had hand-engineered a derivative of psiolocybin, such that the user could telekinetically manipulate nearby.  Further, when exuded through sweat glands, the gaseous form of Mind-Phyre could alter others' perceptions of their surroundings.  The combo made the user into a titan of combat...

...and a complete lunatic, as Amie soon found out.

Dr. Hagens currently has traded her employment with Pike Industries for that of a new group:  the Annihilationists.  Many believe that, if distributed on an international scale, enough Mind-Phyre could bring about the extinction-level event sought by the deranged cabal.  And, with a newly outfitted lab in Croatia and enough test subjects at her disposal to fill a hundred morgues, Amie Hagens may just be responsible for the end of the world.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 14 (Spectrum)

In his younger days, Mainstay had left a series of broken hearts in his wake.  Lindsay Vandiford was not one of those.  

Having gone to college with both Nick Hernandez and Jackson Bognetti--she, of course, knew him before he changed his name to Bravo--Lindsay spent many an evening the local juke joints and had an on-again, off-again flirtation with Jackson.  When Jackson and Nick experienced their transformations into the heroes, eventually becoming the Southwest Sentinels, Lindsay was among their first fans.  However, she quickly lost touch with the pair after moving to Ann Arbor for graduate school.

However, the change in her--the same sort of change which affected Nick and Jackson--had already sunk into her genes.

Football season in Michigan is always awash in maize and gold.  As the fall sets into the trees, Michigan becomes awash with color.  That is, unless Lindsay is around.  

Lindsay's powers as an Omega manifested on just such a Saturday.  Taking a break from her corporate accounting textbook, Lindsay and some friends decided to head off to the tailgates, play a few rounds of beer pong, and enjoy the lovely fall afternoon.  As the group walked through the parking lot outside of the stadium, everything behind Lindsay started losing its color, becoming an unshaded, drab hue of gray, as if washed out for years by the sun.  Lindsay, however?  She started glowing.  Her body coruscated with bands of maize and blue, interflected with the colors of the campus trees.  

Needless to say, both Lindsay and everyone around her were beyond alarmed.  Frightened and confused, Lindsay started screaming, at which point a brilliant yellow beam erupted from her mouth, slamming into the wall of the stadium.  Bricks were scorched and vaporized, but every point hit by the beam immediately took on that signature maize color.  As the area descended into chaos and screaming, Lindsay fled.

Now referred to as Spectrum by those who keep track of such things, Lindsay is utterly panicked.  While she has no designs on villainy or greed, her powers seem to escape her control at every turn.  Her body serves as some sort of conduit and capacitor for wavelengths of light, effectively stealing the ability of an object to hold and reflect those wavelengths, then projecting them as intensified blasts of energy.  

Lindsay is desperate for help from any and all comers, but is nothing if not scared out of her mind.  She did her best to contact Jackson and Nick, those stalwart heroes, but after the OblivAeon crisis, she's been unable to get hold of them.  And, if unchecked, her powers may leave the entire world a blank slate...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 15 (Michael and Mae Armstrong)

The Armstrong family has always had a proud military tradition.  Dating back to the Spanish-American War, where Lance-Corporal Philip Armstrong rode with Teddy Roosevelt up San Juan Hill, nearly every male member of the Armstrong clan has entered the US Military.  Most times, such as with General Joshua Armstrong, this came with the Army, though Joshua's brother Andrew joined the Marine Corps.

General Armstrong's twin offspring, Michael and Mae, went in separate directions as they served their country.  

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Armstrong went to West Point after high school, then serving the Army at Yongsan base in South Korea for years before his transfer back to the states.  Currently stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.  His current assignment deals in Materials Command, as he assess and procures resources for bases throughout the country.  Mae, on the other hand, opted for the Air Force.  The more cerebral of the pair, Mae graduated from the Air Force academy, and after being stationed in Stuttgart for four years, she enrolled in additional degree programs, focusing on aeronautical engineering and weapons development.

Then, their father died.  General Armstrong took his own life during the attack on Fort Adamant, defending some thankless superheroes involved in one of his pet projects.

The funeral for General Armstrong was a tense one.  Still grieving, Michael and Mae tersely shook the hands of Tyler Vance, Ryan Frost, and Devra Caspit as their father was interred at Arlington National Ceremony.  The bitterness was tangible and apologies fell on deaf ears.  In the days since their father's death, Michael and Mae have begun a silent vengeance of their own, borne of grief and loss.  However, the avenues of their vengeance have taken very different turns.

Michael, a well-spoken savvy veteran, has entered the political arena.  Running for Senate on a third-party ticket, Michael has gained a number of notable political allies, particularly Senator Daniel Ellison from Indiana.  With political infighting leading to overall dissatisfaction with both the current candidate (Senator Randall Hapshatt-R) and his progressive opponent (Nadine Kowalski, a local nonprofit organizer), it's widely believed that Michael will soon be Alabama's newest Senator.

Mae, however, has taken her talent as an engineer and weapons creator in a new direction:  to Black Site 515 Tango.  Disappearing from public life, Mae has devoted her life to creating the weapons that will make superheroes obselete and return normal humans to their proper place as defenders of this world.  

Together, Mae and Michael form a critical crux in the wide-spread anti-superhero sentiment throughout the government.  With their resources and connections, good people will never again have to pay the price for the crimes of superhumans.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 16 (The Clowns)

The official police report regarding the man that stumbled out of the Haftner's Woods State Forest stated that he'd gotten lost during a historical reenactment event.  Park Ranger Jennifer Brolings swore up and down that a simple 'reenactment' was the furthest thing from the truth.

Jennifer found Henry Morganstern in a clearing on the western side of the forest, disoriented and asking where he was.  Morganstern was dressed in wool slacks, suspenders, a white collared shirt, and a pair of shoes that Jennifer had never seen outside of an old-timey photo booth in a tourist trap.  As she pulled in her forest service truck, Morganstern looked like he'd never seen such a thing and nearly bolted in horror.  When Jennifer stepped out of the car, though, with a bottle of water and a number of first aid supplies, she managed to sit him down and start asking him some questions.

Most alarming?  Henry wanted to know what year it was.  His reaction to Jennifer's answer said it all.

Henry claimed to be from the year 1874.  He and his family had decided to spend a summer evening at a new festival on the outskirts of his town--some Madame Mittermeier's something-or-another.  Since that day, Henry had never left the festival.  Jennifer was enraptured as Henry related the continued horrors of the carnival, of the haunting music and the harrowing hazards throughout the midway; within the first 5 minutes, she asked Henry to stop so that she could record his tale on her smartphone.  All the while, Henry wolfed down the granola bars Jennifer offered him and chugged the water with abandon, as if it were the first time he'd eaten in months.

But, in the midst of Henry's story, Jennifer heard the first notes of a discordant harpsichord.  Carnival music.  Seconds later, she saw The Clowns.

They lurked in amongst the trees at the outskirts of the clearing, stalking like jungle cats.  The occasional flash of a motley costume dashing through the underbrush, the sight of a red-painted nose hidden within the foliage; Jennifer's eyes darted as she mentally counted, 5, 10, 15...

"Henry.  I need you to come with me.  I need you to get in the truck now."

Henry never made it to the truck.  Even as Jennifer pulled open the doors and yelled back to him, but white-gloved hands were already dragging him back into the underbrush.  Within seconds, Henry was simply gone.

When Jennifer filed the police report, it was almost immediately placed on the crank file.  No matter who Jennifer spoke to, she was treated as a pariah:  that video had to be faked, "Henry" was some actor she'd hired.  The kerfluffle even cost Jennifer her job.

But, she forgest on.  Jennifer knows exactly who has Henry:  whoever's operating that Madame Mittermeier's festival. And she's going to find him, come hell or high water.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

 Villain of the Day:  September 17 (The Nihilists)

They believe in nothing, and they just won't stop talking about it.

John Rhodes first encountered The Nihilists off the coast of California, while he was docked a few miles outside of Los Angeles.  All John wanted to do was pop open a beer, kick back on the deck of his houseboat, and watch the sun set over the Pacific. But, as he went to check out at the local quick-stop, John couldn't help but notice the black-turtleneck clad hooligans accosting the clerk. At first, they demanded money, but then one of the trio loosed a viciously-trained attack weasel through the store. As the poor store owner tried to keep the weasel from escaping into the store's back room, The Nihilists broke out into song as they trashed the aisles, singing from some obscure German rock album.

A quick transmutation later and the floor became as ice, with The Nihilists slip-sliding across the surface, landing unceremoniously at John's feet. Looking down through his shades, John was just about to offer The Nihilists a chance to surrender when the attack weasel dove to defend its masters. With their heist plan foiled, the Nihilists beat a hasty retreat, chased by the sandal-clad Scholar, who broke off the chase to check on the counterman.

Since that day, The Nihilists have made a number of bizarre appearances throughout the world, often demonstrating just as much 'performance art' as they do actual heists. Most notable was their attack on Guise one Easter Sunday, charging at the shapeshifting hero with oversized garden shears while wearing white bunny ears and poofy tails. Guise (along with a few obligatory guest appearances) drove off The Nihilists, as all the while they kept claiming their belief in nothing and no one. Another time, the group broke into a noted museum featuring a series of Persian rugs, which they micturated upon, rather than stealing or destroying. Another time, they interrupted Guise's weekly bowling night, doing nothing so dangerous as to walk across each and every one of the finely-waxed alleys.

What all The Nihilists' chaos means; who really knows? To be sure, any heroes facing these wackos will truly be out of their element.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 18 (Haze)

Othman Zakaria showed all the warning signs from the start.  

As a child, he seemed utterly devoid of empathy or compassion.  His parents had to give away their cats, as Othman would torture them, putting poor Misha in the emergency-vet's bench more than once.  Othman had no friends and had to be pulled out of his Marrakesh-area preschool, when he started threatening and harming other children.  While his family was wealthy enough to afford home tutors, Othman grew up without any sort of check on his darkest influences and without any degree of human kindness.

Naturally, Othman was perhaps the worst person imaginable to become an Omega.

Othman's parents all but gave up on him by the time he was 17, which Othman himself was perfectly fine with.  Draining one of their numerous savings accounts, Othman made his way further into Africa, taking advantage of whomever he came across, stealing cars and money for his own pleasure.

It was in Abuja, Nigeria, that Othman experienced the change that transformed him into a Omega.  Stealing a bottle of vodka from a liquor store, Othman settled in for a night of debauchery with some ladies of the night.  However, as he proceeded to indulge his companions for the evening, he found them both to be gasping in thirst.  Ever the 'gentleman', Othman poured them each a new drink, but no amount of liquid managed to sate them.  Not only did they grow more and more parched, their bodies began to shrivel and wither.  Othman had inadvertantly begun dehydrating the pair from the inside-out.

Othman was torn between his shock and outright glee.  Within month, he managed to hone his abilities:  Othman could vaporize any form of liquid, including the basic fluids within the human body.  Normal liquid boiled with but a glance, capable of causing significant burns.  However, if used on a living being, his target would experience the symptoms of acute dehydration, even losing muscle tone and body mass.  Those slain by Othman victims appeared dessicated and dehydrated, often as if they were mummified or left out in the desert sun.  

It was only through Conteh Energy that Othman was brought in.  While the local police force was confounded by Othman's spree--now calling himself Haze--Michael Conteh's personal security force managed hunt down Othman to a hunting lodge on Conteh-owned property.  While Haze was put on trial, the inherent corruption within the Nigerian government allowed him a swift (if costly) escape. 

Since that day, Haze has become something of an urban legend, harrying and killing Conteh Energy employees and leaving their dessicated bodies on the company grounds.  And, unfortunately, now that Michael Conteh has relinquished control of Conteh Energy, it seems unlikely that the Haze will lift any time soon. 

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day: September 19 (Dead Drop)

Amanda Cohen would surely love to leave her days as an assassin-for-hire behind her.  However, targets like Dead Drop just seem to keep coming back to haunt her. 

Once simply a ganger on the Rook City streets, Tyrone Mackintire focused entirely on how to make fast money.  Dealing drugs, serving as hired muscle, or working as a wheelman for drive-bys, Tyrone quickly gained a reputation for being tough and loyal, willing to hire his services out for whomever was willing to pay.  This led him into contact with a number of powerful underworld figures, which in turn led him to the Wretched Hive one Wednesday evening.

That was the night Expatriette shot up the Wretched Hive.

As Tyrone sat, talking with a potential employer over a bourbon, Expatriette burst into the pub, firing with aplomb and dropping a string of grenades into the center of the room.  Tyrone watched as his employer took two rounds--one to center of mass, one to his left shoulder--even as his own drink exploded into shards of glass and ice.  Tyrone moved to run just as the grenades went off...then all went black.

When he awoke, Tyrone found himself dazed and weak in a Rook City coma ward; he had been unconscious for nearly three months, as one of the shards of shrapnel had punctured his cranium, lodging itself in his occipital lobe.  Unfortunately, the depth of the shrapnel made extraction impossible; the metal was trapped in his brain in perpetuity.  However, after nearly two years of rehabilitation and physical therapy, Tyrone found himself back on the streets, eager for a taste of his former life.  

However, something in him had changed.  The piece of shrapnel interfered with the natural bioelectric fields in Tyrone's brain, allowing him to manipulate localized gravitic fields.  Immediately seeing the potential for profit, Tyrone proceeded to make his way back to his various earlier employers, most of whom were eager to pay for some metahuman muscle able to take on some of the so-called heroes that kept popping up in Rook City.  It was then that Tyrone took his 

Under normal use, Dead Drop's powers cause him little harm; he is capable of increasing or decreasing gravity in small areas, usually up to the size of a small room.  However, as he broadens the intensity and scope of his powers--affecting a larger area or intensifying a gravitational field beyond 8g--Tyrone will swiftly find himself with an intense migraine. Despite this, while on the job, Dead Drop always gives his all:  he's nothing if not loyal to his employer.

Strangely, Dead Drop has only encountered Expatriette once since their initial, incidental meeting at the Wretched Hive.  Amanda reported Dead Drop as being conversely smug at her presence, "You're a meta-hunter?  You just made me." and utterly enraged at her for attacking him in the first place.  Expatriette noted that, during the fight, blood seemed to be utterly pouring from Dead Drop's nose and the corners of his eyes, just before he beat a fighting retreat.  Tyrone is, of course, still at large.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day: September 20 (Stitches)

Faye Diamond had faced a number of horrific denizens of the outer dimensions through the years, cataloguing them in her ever-expanding tome of monsters, The Little Black Book. For many heroes, it serves as a guide on how to escape, banish, or defeat these monstrosities. For Stitches, it's become more of a shopping list.

Gemma Adelaide was a student of the occult in New Zealand who dabbled in otherworldly creatures. She summoned her first quasit at 14, and as she approached adulthood, began to use the fell powers at her disposal for personal gain. However, np amount of wealth or arcane power was enough; she ever lusted for more, too transcend the vessel of humanity and attain true might.

So, she cut off her hand.

Mind you, she had another hand ready and waiting-- the dexterous claws of an erinyes succubi-- which she grafted onto herself with a ritual dating back to ancient Thule. Since that day, Gemma--now known as Miss Stitches in occult circles-- traverses the oceansin search of arcane power and strange creatures from which she can derive new body parts. She has already replaced much of her body with new elements-- the teeth from a Balarian, the arm of a hellknight, the wings of a nightgaunt, the right eye of a portal fiend-- but there is never enough.

While she knows of Nightmist's disappearance, Gemma also knows that some remnant of the mystic mistress may yet linger in her old sanctum... perhaps just enough for a wispy set of mistbound braids. And, if she can loot the sanctum for artifacts of power, so much the better...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 21 (Jerem Kir'Tal)

The war on Dok'Thorath still simmers, like the water of a kettle just about to reach a boil.  Skirmishes between the remnants of Grand Warlord Voss' genebound nightmares, the jackbooted Thorathian military, and the various resistance fighters occur almost daily, with the average Thorathians caught in the crossfire.

This is nothing new.  Jerem Kir'Tal, now a lieutenant in the Thorathian resistance front, is far beyond tired of his planet's cycle of war.

One of the resistance's few powered members, Jerem worked alongside Porja Kir'Pro and several of the other heroes from Earth as they beat back the oppressive regime and the would-be usurpers.  Jerem's talents lay in energy distribution:  he could touch an energy source and wick away the pure power within, holding it within himself.  Then, he could touch an object and flood it with that stored up power, overloading it in a cascade of energy.  Jerem's abilities came in most handy on blackout raids, where he would drain a base of its electricity while resistance operatives would infiltrate and extract assets.  Similarly, his ability was most useful during demolitions runs, destroying bridges, spaceports, and other key infrastructure locations necessary to the Thorathian military.

But, one by one, all the heroes left Dok'Thorath.  The efforts made by the resistance slowed to a crawl, as the three warring factions drifted back into their usual routine.  Jerem watched as friends and family fell beneath lasgun fire and slashing ion blades.  Weariness and despair hung on him like a cloak of sorrow.  And, in that haze of gloom, Jerem found resolution.

Jerem intends to find the largest possible fusion reactor on Dok'Thorath and drain as much power from it as possible.  Then, he intends to travel to the deepest portion of the sulfanium mines south of Dok'Thorath city and release that power into the mineral veins that run throughout the planet's crust.  With that much energy coursing through the volatile mineral, Jerem calculates, the surface of Dok'Thoarth would become utterly uninhabitable within 6 galactic days.

A fitting fate, Jerem believes, for a people consumed by a petty war.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 22 (Sweet Miss Coffee Brown)

That Black Fist?  He was one bad mutha-, layin' the funk down all across Rook City.  On a given night, you could be sure he'd be busting the heads of those what do wrong, then back in bed with a gorgeous honey by dawn.

Sweet Miss Coffee Brown, though?  She was the one that always got away.

Brown made her first appearance as Black Fist started in, hunting down the Big Man, who was pumping all sorts of junk through the 6th Ward of Rook City.  Black Fist had kung-fu kicked the doors down of at least six dealers, but no one was ready to give up the Big Man, no matter how hard the Black Fist laid the smackdown.  Then, just as Fist was leaving the last crackhouse, in walked a long-legged drink of hot Coffee, with a .45 in each hand.  Black Fist dove for cover as pistol slugs slammed into the stucco walls.  About that time, Black Fist beat feet, chasing down another lead on the Big Man.

Coffee Brown and Black Fist crossed paths a number of times over the years; each time, her motives seemed inscrutable.  While she claimed to have no allegiance to the Big Man, each time that Black Fist got just a little too close to finding out the truth and exposing the conspiracy, Coffee seemed to make another appearance.  Further, she always gave Black Fist a run for his money in a fight.  While she didn't seem to be a trained martial artist, her skill with those silver .45s and a natural street-fighter demeanor made her quite the challenge for the smooth-talkin', smooth-fightin' Fist.

The last time Fist and Coffee Brown came to blows was on the rooftop of the Taywood Holdings warehouse on Rook City's south side.  The pair traded banter and blows as Coffee's .45s clicked empty.  It was just then that Black Fist learned the one piece of the puzzle that Coffee Brown was holding back.

"He has my sister."

That was the last time Black Fist, nay anyone, ever saw Coffee Brown.  In his later identities as Sensei Walker and as Mister Fixer, Walker has searched off and on for Coffee Brown, though she's become a ghost in the wind.  And, of course, the Big Man is still out there...and what he knows about Coffee Brown may be the key to finding her.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

I am once again impressed. :D

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 23 (Dr. Niles Darrow)

Dr. Niles Darrow never intended on becoming a supervillain.  But, when the opportunity arose, he certainly didn't hesitate.

Darrow was one of the top professors at Cental Megalopolis University's physics program, teaching numerous graduate-level courses on wave harmonics and supervising the university's internship programs at Eaken-Rubendall Laboratories.  Darrow himself had a laboratory space not three doors down from his esteemed comrade, Dr. Meredith Stinson.  Darrow's primary research focus dealt with the usage of sonic wavelenths in the transmission of energy; his work contributed directly to the Particle Yield Enhancing Wavelength device, providing the sonic destabilizing device that initiates the yield enhancement cycle.

Dr. Stinson, of course, went on to become the noted hero Tachyon.  Darrow, however, found his funding cut and his internship program eyed for consolidation with another department.  Faced with such a drastic cutback, notable items started disappearing from the laboratory, finding their way into Darrow's own personal home laboratory. When this revelation came to light, though, Darrow railed against his accusers:  how dare they question him!  how dare they question all the progress he had made!

Darrow was placed on institutional suspension, but that night, his basement laboratory was awash with activity:  one final experiment that left Niles Darrow forever changed.

Whatever strange malfunction occured during Darrow's experiment altered his neural-network's homeostatic wavelength.  Darrow found himself able to manipulate vibrations on the molecular level; he could slow down molecular vibrations to the point where an object would lose cohesion; he could speed up those same vibrations until the object flew apart in a dramatic explosion.  And he himself?  He could vibrate straight through objects with ease, even through the police officers who came to investigate the flashing lights and cacaphonous noises.

Darrow has since gone on the lam, taking up refuge with whichever villainous organization is willing to make use of his services.  While Darrow himself doesn't hold much villainous ambition beyond completing his research and proving himself one of the world's intellectual elite.  But whoever gains use of Darrow's talents?  Surely no one could stand against such a vibrational onslaught...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 24 (Finis, Expunger of Stars)

Captain Cosmic rarely leaves loose ends.  Finis, the Expunger may well become a forgotten foe capable of shaking the cosmos.

Finis was one of the few-hundred Gotolians who managed to evacuate their planet following the invasion of Grand Warlord Voss and his Thorathian fleet.  As a career military being, Finis served as one of the defenders of the now-refugee Gotolians, as they made their way to a refugee waystop to regroup and reorganize.  Unfortunately, the planet that the Gotolians chose was already under siege by Empyreon, who desired to consume the planet's core and soak in all that cosmic energy.  

Many of the Gotolians resigned themselves to defeat and destruction.  Finis felt otherwise.  Alongside some of his comrades and what few military-trained refugees he could find, Finis marshalled a ragtag fleet to engage Empyreon and drive him off.

That's when Captain Cosmic arrived.  With his old foe already engaged in siphoning off the planet's core, the Earth-bound hero joined the fleet in bombarding Empyreon with blasts of energy.  Unfortunately, most of those blasts only served to fuel Empyreon further, as the creature absorbed or deflected blast after blast.  And, it just so happened that one of Captain Cosmic's blasts richocheted off of Empyreon's form, slamming into Finis' ship.  As his craft exploded around him, Finis cursed his luck under his breath and his body drifted through the void of space.

Finis drifted for months, if not years, his frozen body slowly absorbing the energy from the conflict and all manner of other cosmic radiation.  Then, most unexpectedly, he woke up.

His body streaming with blue-gray light, Finis found himself bereft of any memory, save his destruction.  He recalled the red-and-gold fiend whose blast destroyed his ship.  He remembered the destruction of his homeworld, the annihilation of his people.  Surely that infernal "Captain Cosmic" was the cause of their deaths, much as he was responsible for attacking Finis himself.  He would have vengeance; his people would be avenged with the blood of an Earthling.

Since that day, Finis has tracked Captain Cosmic across the spaceways, traveling from planet to planet.  Each location to which Finis tracks Captain Cosmic's energy signature, Finis utilizes his "anti-light" manipulation to extinguish the star in that system, signaling the ultimate failure of Captain Cosmic's inscrutable motives and that the flame of Gotolis could not be forgotten so quickly.  Never mind that Finis, known as the "Expunger of Stars," has caused the death of numerous species on his own; Captain Cosmic would pay for his crimes.

However, only in recent days has Finis managed to find the one key piece of information that has eluded him thusfar:  Captain Cosmic's own homeworld.  Surely, Finis would find some way to repay the Captain in kind...

 

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 25 (Osteos)

Dr. Ramon Acosta Avalos traveled to many places throughout his career as an osteopathic surgeon.  One of the preeminent doctors in his field, Avalos's expertise was sought in case after case, in trauma after trauma.  There never seemed to be any shortage of individuals who were in need of the services he could provide.

This is not to say that Avalos was infallible.  Despite a stellar record with trauma cases, Avalos did have a number of fatalities on his case load.  Most notably, he found himself called on emergency to Lima, where a young homeless girl was struck by a bus, shattering most of the bones in her skeletal system.  However, by the time that Avalos had scrubbed up and entered the arena, the poor girl was already flatlining.  There was little Avalos could do but deliver her his condolences to the poor foul who brought the girl in the first place.

Avalos, however, found his services in particular demand following the Deadline disaster and the attacks on Fort Adamant.  And, it just so happened that one one of those occasions, he was exposed to the blood of a latent Omega...

That evening, finally getting back to his penthouse apartment, something began to shift within him.  His body twitched and shifted; it was as if his very bones wanted to escape his body...

Two days later, a strange man(?) appeared on the streets of Megalopolis.  While it looked like Avalos--albeit a ragged, harried version of Ramon--heroes quickly found that he had become something of a rampaging monstrosity, capable of tearing out shards of his own bones to use as weapons, while also manipulating and wrenching the skeletal structures of his foes.  At least four civilians and three police officers were incapacitated with gruesome injuries before any of the Sentinels of Freedom arrived, but by that time, Osteos had already made its escape on spindly, skeletal legs.

Since that day, Osteos has made a number of appearances, most often attempting to steal medical technology or various medical records.  For some strange reason, he seems focused on that cold case back in Peru and finding out the identity of that unnamed little girl...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 26 (Shutterbug)

Joseph King was once the undisputed "King of the Capes".  A supers-chaser par excellence, The Megalopolis Examiner was never short of candid shots of the city's biggest heroes, whether it was Paul out by the grill, Meredith and Dana out for a night of Turkish food, or Tyler looking lonely at the laundromat at 2am.   No matter the issue, you could be sure that Joseph King would have a fresh set of pictures on A. Aaron Aaronson's desk every week.

Then Guise happened.  A piano fell, some produce exploded, and Christmases came and went.  Somehow, photography seemed the least of Joseph King's concern.  The Megalopolis Examiner, though, elected to search elsewhere.

Enter Alfie Everts.  A trained photographer and one-time war correspondent, Alfie was used to snapping solid, salable pictures in the harshest of environments.  He'd been everywhere from Beirut to Bogota and was looking for a new thrill.  So, he signed an exclusive deal with the Examiner.  And, naturally, the first hero that Alfie managed to snap was Guise...as he was being smashed into a puddle of goo by a giant radioactive iguana.

The photos of Guise's "fight" against the iguana were, to say the least, not flattering.  And, once they made the front page ("Below the fold!  Hacks!") of the Examiner, Guise had to make his displeasure known.  He stormed into the Examiner's office, slammed the paper down onto A. Aaron Aaronson's desk and began an incoherent diatribe about "his best side" and how the Examiner was peddling yellow journalism.

Aaronson smiled and lit up a cigarette as an old-timey flashbulb flared in Guise's eyes.  

"How about this for a headline, Triple-A:  'Ranting Renegade Wrecks Reporters' Room!  Guise Goes Gonzo!"?

Alfie Everts stood smiling, the flashbulb still flickering in Guise's twinkling eyes.  The editor-in-chief guffawed out loud, clapping a hand on Alfie's shoulder, "That's a good one, Shutterbug! I'm gonna have to keep you around!"

Guise, his usual mature self, stormed out, knocking several papers off of desks as he clomped his way out of the room.  Since that day, Alfie Everts--The Irrepressable Shutterbug--has been a thorn in his side every step of the way, seemingly have a sixth sense on where to find Guise at his most embarassing, most humiliating points.  Sure, Alfie managed to find his share of other heroes in various candid shots--his shot of Expatriette and Setback kissing made international headlines!--but Alfie always saved his best, most mortifying work for Guise.  And Alfie will never let Joe King hear the end of it...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 27 (The Last Denizen)

The remnants of the Citizens of the Sun have always been a thorn in the side of the world's heroes, especially Amanda Cohen.  If the killer known as The Last Denizen has his day, the sun will set on all those former Citizens for the last time.

The first noted death attributed to The Last Denizen came in Kansas.  Local authorities had recovered a body, staked out in the midst of a dessicated, withered cornfield, with both severe burns and puncture wounds.  After a police medical examiner began an autopsy, the identity of the dead woman became quite clear:  Citizen Autumn.  Both the Sentinels of Freedom and Dark Watch were notified immediately, with Heritage deferring to Amanda's expertise.

Upon arriving, Expatriette couldn't help but note:  this cornfield (the dead stalks and withered fields notwithstanding) was quite familiar.  It was, in fact, the very same cornfield where she took her first life:  poor Citizen Gate, who teleported Amanda away from Insula Primalis so many years ago.  Assessing the crime scene, it appeared that Autumn's death occured within feet of where Expatriette herself emerged into that cornfield through Gate's portal.

The death would be strange enough on its own; coupled with the intimate details of Expatriette's origin, the results became downright harrowing.

However, Autumn's death was only the beginning.  Over the next five years, on the anniversary of Expatriette's arrival in the United States, another former Citizen died.  Each time, the body was covered in severe wounds, though the cause of each victim's death seemed to stem not from the burns, but rather two puncture wounds delivered to the the abdomen, one just below the other, directly below the sternum.

To date, The Last Denizen has yet to actively target Expatriette, though the fact that the Denizen seems to have access to her innermost, never-told-to-anyone memories has been disconcerting to say the least.  Expatriette has gone so far as to have her mind scanned for any sort of psychic interference but, to date, none have been found.  How The Last Denizen accesses her memories seems to be the greatest memory of all.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 28 (Torpedo)

Major Erica "Torpedo" Dodd was meant to be the new paradigm of modern warfare.  A benchmark never to be exceeded, if you will.  She never made it quite that far.

After Revocorp had turned down General Armstrong for inclusion of their designs into the Bunker paradigm, the military was forced to look elsewhere to 'keep up with the neighbors'.  Enter "Barrage"--a project created between a joint US Air Force program and the Blackstock-McCalley arms corporation.  Inspired by her classmate (and chess team colleague) Randall Butler, Erica elected to serve her country this program.

At first, the invasive implantation process seemed to be too much for Erica's body to handle.  Despite being in peak physical form, her body attempted to reject several of the subcutaneous implants that provided the necessary hardware to keep her augmented nervous system online.  Within the first two months following her initial surgery in the Barrage program, Erica spent six weeks comatose, as surgeons dosed her body with antibiotics and other chemicals, hoping to get her body to accept the implants.

They succeeded.  Partially.

When Erica awoke, her body immediately went into a frenzy.  Weapons systems came online, targeting displays appeared in her vision, and every sinew and cable in her augmented frame turned to defense mode.  She could recall going under the knife, she could recall joining the military, but her memory seemed hazy and her emotions became volatile, resting on the proverbial edge of a knife.  

If the Barrage protocols were implemented properly, the result would have undoubtedly been superior to that of Revocorp's.  The weapons array built into Torpedo's chassis was capable of generating bio-electrical shielding, autotargeting micromissiles, blasts of focused ambient solar energy and much more.  However, the mental damage suffered by Erica coupled with her body's continued rejection of the Barrage implants made the project one more for the scrap heap, relegated to the skunk works at Black Site Tango.

Torpedo, though?  She's gone AWOL.  Numerous thefts have been reported, regarding bio-mechanical implants, military-grade software, and other components that Erica might need to 'upgrade' herself.  And, as one might figure, each time a theft is reported, Torpedo has some new, unique power.  However, her body continues to degrade as she has yet to find any real way to keep her organic form from completely rejecting her metallic one.  But, at this point, there's no going back.  She's already made the queen's gambit...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day: September 29 (Omnitron 11)

It first appeared on a UStream video.

A strange video, made up of garbled audio amid images that flashed between colors and hexadecimal code, started making the rounds through the Internet, spawning everything from reaction videos ("Watch what Aunt Betty does at 3:48!!") to spinoff tributes to outright reply vids. At the fate of publication, the video labeled Omnitron 11 had over 18 million hits, including 8 million unique downloads.

UStream administrators immediately attempted to take down the videos, but each attempt to delete the video resulted in two identical repostings under obviously bot-created usernames. Of course, the Sentinels of Freedom were contacted posthaste. Despite a great deal of investigation, few leads have drawn up any conclusions regarding the veracity of Omnitron 11. The Wraith and Unity traced one reposting to the home of computer programmer Sarah Hagens, only to find that Hagens had died in a freak auto accident three months prior. Something similar occurred with systems analyst Morgan Mayer; he was found dead of a fentanyl overdose in a Megalopolis park not long after his repost of the Omnitron 11 video.

To date, the video itself seems to have had no truly harmful effects and appears to simply be the work of a hacker or performance artist, gaining views and hits by using a famous name. But if not? Three world may be watching an all digital destruction...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  September 30 (Remember)

No attack from the villain calling herself Remember has ever been a solo effort.  If theories surrounding Remember's power-set are to be believed, that's entirely by design.

Remember first appeared on the streets of Megalopolis, attacking Absolute Zero and several new heroes along the James Madison Bridge.  While Remember roamed about, severing suspension cables with an industrial laser cutter, the group approached her from a tactical position, surrounding her as Mister Enigma offered her a chance to stand down.  Ryan Frost stood by, letting his apprentices take charge of the situation, as Remember locked eyes with his facemask.  

She smiled.  And a host of Proletariats poured out of the back of a nearby box truck.

Strangely, though, these Proletariats seemed quite different from every other encounter that Absolute Zero had faced against the Soviet super-soldier.  Rather than using organized battle-tactics, these clones simply swarmed, rending with fist and tooth more than making calculated hammer strikes.  They showed none of the absorption and healing ability of their predecessor; only a never-ending flow of clones pouring forth like water from the box truck.  Finally, as each of the apprentices landed a blow, the targeted Proletariat seemed to dissipate, as if they were a mirage or an illusion.  

Not long after this incident, yet more were reported:  Remember appeared in the Ruins of Atlantis, where Time-Slinger and Harpy attempted to replace the Atlantean artifact that they had utilized during the OblivAeon event.  There, gathering up a series of Atlantean lore crystals, was Remember...and, within seconds, a host of swarming kraken tentacles and snapping beaks.  Later, Remember was sighted again in the remnants of the quarantined Omnitron IV factory; when confronted by Bunker and Benchmark, the skies parted, only to reveal the massive form of an Omnitron drop-ship, with legions of drones falling from the sky.

While it has yet to be determined whether Remember's abilities are arcanely inspired, created from science, or are of some psychic variety, but the results seem to be the same:  Remember reaches into a target's psyche and conjures an illusory form of how that individual pictures their worst foe.  For Absolute Zero, the memory focused on the never-ending swarm.  For Time-Slinger, it was the dangerous tentacles and devouring maw.  For Bunker, it was the skies overlowing with Omnitron drones, accompanied by blasts of disintegrating energy.  While the illusory creatures fought savagely, they possess little durability and seem to serve more as distractions as Remember chases down her own unseen agenda.

If only someone could Remember who she truly is...

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

And that brings us to an end for the September to Remember!

Starting tomorrow, we get into the spirit of the season:  October is Monster Month!  Whether created by mad science, drawn from the depths of antidiluvian time, or conjured by some mystic master, October will feature monstrous foes sure to scare!

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

...Proletariat attacking with teeth? That's kind of horrifying all by itself. @_@

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

TakeWalker wrote:

...Proletariat attacking with teeth? That's kind of horrifying all by itself. @_@

Yup!  

The whole thing with Remember is that she summons a psychic projection of how a target views that 'worst-enemy'.   They're not ever going to be true to form, as they're filtered through the lens of Remember's victim's memory.  The projections likely will seem more horrific and tend to focus on singular, overstated features (whatever stands out most in that victim's memory).

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

With a September to Remember in the books, it's time to do the Monster Mash!  October will feature all manner of creatures that go bump in the night, whether created by magic, science, or something else entirely.  With that...

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Villain of the Day:  October 1 (Invirodan)

The road to hell has always been paved with good intentions.  If Invirodan is any herald of things to come, we may be well on our way to the underworld.

Invirodan had its origins at the Institute for Virus Research at Kyoto, where Dr. Yushio Sawa and his team of virologists, genetic engineers, and microbiologists worked ceaselessly to rid the world of infectious viral diseases.  Their most notable project to date has been their manipulation of a bacteriophagic retrovirus, adjusting the virus' structure to actively hunt down and destroy human T-cell leukemia virus organisms. 

While the group's inital practical trials proved to be more than successful, Yushio-san's vision outstripped his caution.

Long an advocate of using low-level beta wave radiation to accellerate the growth factor in retroviruses, Yushio made a dire choice.  He adjusted a single coefficient in his team's regular radiation bombardments, turning what should have been a miniscule amount of radiation into a dosage typical of sitting directly underneath a solar flare.

While this dosage killed nearly all of the virus cells, the creature that emerged alive was one of horrors.  A dog-sized, spider-like virus cell clattered its way through the lab, draining anyone it could manage to grab of its genetic material, stripping it down into its fundamental RNA and growing in size.  Within two hours, the virus-creature was as big as a house, crashing out the Institute laboratories and skittering its way towards downtown Kyoto.

Japanese police and military immediately engaged the creature, but it wasn't long until the Sentinels of Freedom (alongside the size-changing Japanese hero Issun-Boshi) engaged the creature.  Swiftly, Invirodan was driven into the nearby Lake Biwa.  Unloading a series of Tachyon-designed anti-viral grenades, Bunker was particularly critical in destroying Invirodan, exploding its crystalline head and felling the creature into the lake.

Even still, rumors still swirl around Lake Biwa of dog-sized virus creatures skittering about the lakeside parks, catching lone joggers and homeless individuals unawares.  Perhaps, just perhaps, Invirodan was only the first form of something new mutating beneath the lakes at Kyoto.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

And you start monster month with a legitimate kaiju. XD Well done.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 2 (The Sins of Greenbrooke)

Greenbrooke Village is about as nice a place as you could ever want to live.

An idyllic New England village in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Greenbrooke is home to just over 2,000 individuals.  Kids play basketball and street hockey on the side streets, and the main drag through town is home to a lovely downtown district, complete with a two-screen bijiou, a number of family-owned specialty stores, and Gramma Pearl's All-Nite Diner, where the cherries in the pie are as big as a ping-pong ball. Each fall, Greenbrooke hosts a glorious Fall Festival and Cider Tasting, wherein folks come from all across the region to enjoy carnival food, cups of delicious cider (both hot and cold!), and the crisp fall air.  Any visitor to Greenbrooke would certainly attest to the town's cleanliness and great atmosphere, as well as to the friendliness and warmth of the citizens of the town itself.

After all, it's not like the people of Greenbrooke had any choice.

In decades prior, Greenbrooke had been just another Rust-Belt town left to languish as industry left for overseas and poverty skyrocketed.  Crime--mainly in the form of theft and the drug trade--made the region borderline unlivable.  The village council members met one fateful fall evening, their board room all but deserted, aside from Charles Edward Larrick (the resident 'complainer', who made it a point to attend every meeting, and a tall, thin woman with sharp features, whom no one in the room could recognize.  She sat alone, in the back corner of the room, as the council ran through the usual items of their minutes, making sure that Larrick had plenty of time for his usual 'rant and rave' about the state of Greenbrooke.

At the end of Larrick's screed, the woman stood up, "Permission to ask a question, council members?"  Chairman Cooley nodded, gesturing to the floor as the woman continued, "I believe I have a revitalization plan.  There is a cancer that eats at the moral soul of Greenbrooke, which erodes you and keeps you from true greatness.  This filth pollutes you, it taints you...and I can take it all away.

The council members sat, enraptured by the woman's words...all but Larrick, who rose in protest.  With a single wave of her hand, Larrick's mouth sealed over, a swath of new-grown skin covering the entire lower half of his face.  As Larrick clutched at the spot where his mouth once was, the woman continued.

"I can cleanse you of this sin.  I can cleanse you of all your ills.  All you need to do is follow me..."

The woman led the group (minus, Larrick, who cowered away, clutching at his non-mouth) out into the streets.  As she led the council down Main Street, doors along the street started opening.  As if in a trance, one citizen after another began following the group, until the whole of the town arrived at the town's outmost limits.  There, the woman reached down and lifted a manhole cover, exposing the entrance to the city's sewer system.  

Entranced, Chairman Cooley stepped forward, possessed of an overwhelming urge to vomit.  As he retched over the manhole, the woman's eyes flashed green and Cooley expelled nearly a gallon of viscous black filth into the manhole.  One by one, the entire town expelled this filth into their sewers; as each person finished, they found themselves brought to tears of joy, as if years of weight had been lifted from their conscience.  As dawn broke over the town, the woman smiled, "Go now, and sin no more..."

Since that day, Greenbrooke has been a paradise.  Sheriff Ramsay hasn't made an arrest in years, spending most of his days draining the coffee at Gramma Pearl's and chatting with the locals as they come by.  Occasionally, there's a rumbling deep beneath the street, but Gerry Gordons (the state geologist) says it's just a minor fault line rumbling away far beneath the town.  Surely it couldn't be something as fanciful as all those sins, ready to drown Greenbrooke in a tidal wave of filth and evil and sin.

And meanwhile?  The only person who didn't lose their sins that day, Charles Edward Larrick has disappeared.  Children and teenagers, wandering out in the woods outside of Greenbrooke, often tell stories of The Mouthless Man who lurks out in the woods, trying to steal their teeth, so that he can rebuild his missing mouth.  But, in truth, he may be the only one ever to admit what befell Greenbrooke that fateful night.  And would anyone ever dare go back?

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 3 (Mount Shasta)

The locals never gave Mount Shasta a second thought.  Just another mountain, with the typical hiking paths, scenic views, and camping spots.  Only the few crackpots who dared explore the mountain fully knew even fragments of the truth.

The local native tribes, known collectively as the Klamath, had their own legends about Mount Shasta.  Skell shamen and wise women told of the being known as the Skell, who was cast down from some far-off land and buried beneath the mountain iteself.  Skell, they said, had fought the "spirit of the Below-world", known as Llao, who entombed Skell's spiritual form within the stone and earth of the mountain itself.

Most people gave the Klamath no heed and, as California was settled and populated, the native people became as much of a legend as the stories of Skell and Llao.

Those stories became dormant until the turn of the 20th century, where explorer and author Frederick Spencer Oliver returned from the mountain's summit, babbling incoherently and bearing a scrawled mess of notes.  After being institutionalized for nearly 9 months, Oliver managed to piece together his notes....and nearly earned his way into another session of mandatory institutionalization with his deranged findings.

Oliver claimed that Mount Shasta was, in fact, alive:  wending through the tunnels and caverns within the mountain, Oliver stated that the mountain itself would shift and writhe beneath his footfalls, leading him into the most precarious passes and atop terrifying cliffs or at the bottom of great chasms.  The stalactites and stalagmites of the caverns formed gnashing maws, while flowstone formations burst into brackish limewater.

However, the deeper in darkness which Oliver roamed, the more strangeness that he found.  At the innermost depth, the explorer claimed, was a massive gateway covered with strange runes.  Gazing within, he could see an idyllic city, buzzing with activity and power.  Within, strange creatures loped and cavorted; Oliver was convinced that he had rested his gaze on lost Lemuria.

Oliver documented his findings quite thoroughly and, as such, Mount Shasta has become a magnet for all manner of weirdness over the decades.  The would-be psionicist Wisar Cerve claimed to have received strange postcognitive abilities after holding a vigil in the twisting passages, while others have claimed that a man claiming to be the Comte de St. Germain (the long-dead 8th Merlin, who died of arcane exposure while slaying the Fenris Wolf) wanders the surface.

The best known expedition into Mount Shasta was that of prospector and miner John Root, who was set to lead a team of 80 into the depths of mountain.  However, on the night before the expedition, Root left the encampment and began scaling the mountain's slopes.  He never returned, and the expedition foundered before it ever started.  However, Root's second in command and financier, Reginald Cowdray, later received a strange letter, written in Root's handwriting.

In runes that Cowdray could not read--runes later translated by 20th Century sorcerer Eckhard Mordiggan--there was a simple message: "Skell, Titan of Lemuria, holds court here.  None will pass through to the world below without its sanction."

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 4 (Mike on the Bike)

If you drive through Hafter's Woods, just north of Rook City, the darkness and oppression of the city below seems to only compound the isolation of the forest.  Two-lane roads tangle through the thick forest, with snapping curves eager to take the unwary driver over the edge, careening down the hillside or, worse, into the Overbrook River.

But everyone around Rook City knows:  If you're driving through Hafter's Woods, don't ever pass a bicyclist at night, if you value your life.  Only a fool tries to pass Drowned Mike, the Man on the Bike.

Like so many stories go, a group of teenagers were Mike's first victims.  A cool October night, the group was celebrating a high school football win with a late-night joyride deep through Hafter's Woods, on their way to some secluded pull-off where shenanigans could be had.  Brock, the driver, had his car cranked up past 75, whizzing along the curves with abandon.  Eliza, his date, caught a glimpse of a red reflector ahead of them and made to shout a warning, but it was too late:  Brock's convertible clipped the Schwift bicycle with his bumper, sending the shadowed rider plummetting over the guardrail and down the hill, out of sight.

Brock pulled over the car as his passengers screamed bloody murder.  What should they do?  Brock and Eric scanned the hillside with their phones as Miranda tried desperately to calm down Eliza, who could only gape at the bent frame of the bicycle, crumpled at the side of the road, and the blood covering the guardrail.

The teens searched for almost an hour.  No body could be found.  Eric moved the bike off the side of the road, as Brock gathered some brush with which to cover it up.  Cold and forlorn, they clambered back into the convertible and shakily started heading back home.

That's when Eliza first saw it.  Behind them, the lone, pedal-powered headlight of another bicyclist.  Brock's eyes flashed back in the rear-view mirror disbelievingly.  It was 2am.  Who's out biking at 2am?

That's when the bicyclist raced towards them, pedaling at a speed impossible by any standards.  She screamed once more and yelled to Brock, "Go!  Faster!"  Glancing back, Brock shifted up, his engine roaring even as the simply bicycle kept gaining on them.  Pulling up beside the convertible, a meaty, grimy fist slammed onto the drivers' side windown.  Brock turned as the fist burst through his window, grabbing at his steering wheel and yanking it sharply to the side.

Miranda, supposedly, got the best look at the figure:  grimy and unwashed, he had the wet, tangled hair of a vagrant, his brow soaked in dried blood.  He hissed through broken teeth, jagged and rotting, "Faster!  Faster, kiddies!"  As if on command, Brock's foot slammed down, trying to hit the brake but, instead, flooring the accelerator.  The convertible screamed through the night and careened over the edge of the curve, crashing through tree and branch as the car plummeted down into the Overbrook River.  The last thing Miranda saw was the patch sewn onto the man's work-shirt:  "Hello, My name is Mike!  Can I help you?"

Rook City Recovery and Works Department needed almost 14 hours to pull Brock's car--and the four bodies within--from the muck and mire at the bottom of the river.  A funeral service was held, but word started spreading soon of a broken bicycle and the body of a homeless man found not far from the crash site.  What had those teenagers done?  Could something nefarious be afoot?

Since that day, tales of Mike on the Bike have become one of Rook City's most infamous urban legends, especially throughout the city's high schools.  Teenagers will dare each other to race through Hafter's Woods or, worse yet, to take their own midnight bike-ride through those infamous curves.  Very few have the nerve to test the veracity of the legend...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 5 (The Night Marchers)

It seemed like a paradise.  The remote Seashells resort seemed like the perfect honeymoon getaway for Rob and Cheryl:  the resort featured individual bungalows, none in sight of the other, but each featuring their very own hot tub (complete with privacy shades).  IT seemed like the perfect place for romance and relaxation.

Then the drums started.  The Night Marchers had arrived.  By sunrise, not one soul at Seashells was left alive.

Arcanists have known of the Night Marchers for centuries.  The spirits of ancient Polynesian warriors, interred in seaside temple platforms known as marae, would travel the seas, protecting their decendents from spiritual threats.  At night, the ancient Polynesians could hear the approach of the Night Marchers from the sound of echoing drums, which called these warriors back from beyond the veil to defend their decendents.  Hawaiian legends tell of ghost ships breaking colonist blockades or ta moko-clad warriors swarming over would-be conquerors.

However, with the deaths at Seashells resort, it has become evident to many that something has gone terribly wrong.  And, if several arcanists are to be believed, the fault lies with Gloomweaver.

Something dire seems to have happened during what's referred to now as the Skinwalker event, as the ancient Voodoo demon took on the form of The Rotting God, bringing back corpse after living corpse, devouring anything in its wake.  However, the sudden surge in necromantic energy pierced the veil between life and death, sundering the usual life cycle that governs existence.  Typically benign spirits went mad; meanwhile, long-banished spirits pour into the waking world each day, often resulting in new occult threats across the world.

In the case of the Night Marchers, the necromantic surged caused the Night Marchers to turn from protection towards outright vengeance.  Any not of their own bloodline become a target, bodies smashed by spectral clubs and slashed with ghostly ritual knives.

Unfortunately, if this theory proves true, only one solution seems evident:  Lifeline believes that a blood magic ritual could be used to return the Night Marchers to their true state.  Unfortunately, magic always has a cost...and someone will have to pay for their power.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day: October 6 (The Tooth Fairies)

What was once a childhood tradition of loose teeth and nighttime dollars in our reality reflected a much darker truth in another reality.

In the days of mighty Thule, where arcane power flowed like wine through the halls of the wealthy and powerful, the creatures known as Tooth Fairies borderlined upon a plague. Underclass sorcerers often made a living hunting and exterminating these and other beasties, rooting out nests and putting these creatures to the torch.

Tooth Fairies, when fully grown, are insectile creatures, much resembling what we might call a cicada larvae, though assembling in great hives that often can exceed 5 feet in diameter. However, only adult tooth fairies live in the hive.

To lay their eggs, tooth fairies seek out mammalian hosts. When the host sleeps, the fairy enters the hosts mouth and devours a single tooth, numbing the area as it eats with a secreted anaesthetic saliva. The fairy then lays a compound egg sac in the socket of the devoured tooth, which quickly crystallizes. Oftentimes, a victim may only think that they have chipped a tooth or such, not realizing they are a host until it is too late.

The eggs lay dormant for approximately 21 days before hatching into a swarm of tiny worms. Those fairy larva then proceed to devour the host's remaining teeth before bursting forth from the host's ruined, bleeding mouth to seek outthe nearest fairy hive.

Thusfar, oddly two such hives have been found in our reality, but the sheer number of fairies in each hive certainly brooks concern in arcane corners. The influence of lost Thule upon our reality seems to continue, unabated...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 7 (The Myers Hill Charnel Pit)

It seemed like a fine idea at the time.

In the days of the Civil War, the Myers Hill Hospital served as a Union surgical outpost along the Ohio River.  Used primarily as a recovery site, Myers Hill swiftly gained something of a gruesome reputation.

You see, as a surgical hospital, Myers Hill became one of the main locations for surgical amputation for both the Union forces and for their Confederate captures.  The four-floor hospital sat over a large hollow.  So high was the volume of amputations necessary after the battles of Bradenburg Crossing, Corydon, and Morgan's Raid, that the surgeons were said to be seen throwing the amputated limbs out of the hospital windows, down into the hollow, so that they could move onto the next patient and bury the limbs en masse.

And, that's exactly what happened.  Leg after shattered leg, arm after mangled arm were pitched wholesale into the Myers Hollow for nearly three weeks, with surgeons working round the clock to save the lives of what soldiers they could.  As hospital wagon trains made their way to the hospital gates, caravanners claimed that the smell of the rotting limbs in Myers Hollow stunk like death itself, and that they could occasionally see something squirming down below, as if some animal had tunnelled down into the mound of flesh to feed.  But, given the urgency of the situation, they simply moved as quickly as they could and brought the surgeons batch upon batch of new patient.

However, the battles in that region soon petered out and the war moved south and east.  The mound of severed limbs in Myers Hollow was buried over, with a nearby historical plaque to memorialize so many soldiers that had died or were injured during the nearby battles.  Myers Hill Hospital changed hands a number of times, eventually becoming a regional history museum.  While the gruesome history of Myers Hill Hospital was not forgotten, it simply became a part of the tour--a grisly historical footnote to feature during the Halloween ghost tours.

Curator Robert Parker was the first to discover the strangeness, though.  Eating his lunch each day at the benches overlooking the Hollow, he could have sworn that the topography of the land itself had started to change.  Like watching something wriggle from under a carpet, it was as if something alive was burrowing through the earth.  Four days later, the entirety of Myers Hollow had erupted into giant swath of upturned, blood-soaked grave earth.  

Arcane scholars still struggle to define exactly what the creature below Myers Hollow was, but its appearance is surely one of horror.  A roving amalgamation of undead flesh and clawing limbs, it appeared that every severed limb buried in Myers Hollow had congealed together and animated under some undue necromantic presence.  Since that day, the Myers Hollow Charnel Pit has made appearances at a number of other battlefields and burial grounds, each time leaving them scraped barren of human remains.  It only grows, week after week and month after month, awaiting the day to overtake the world in a tide of rotting bone and flesh.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 8 (Mister Misery)

Red Jenny held her head in her hands, sitting in the waiting area outside the Freedom Plaza infirmary.  Her third full mission as a member of the Sentinel of Freedom Epsilon Squad (known colloquially also as the Rainbow Guardians), simply couldn't have gone worse.  What was supposed to be a simple interception of a CRETIN heist had turned into a bloodbath.

Emerald Knight was currently in surgery; his body was pummelled into a bloody wreck by Adrenal.  The Eburnean was in fairly decent shape; his kinetic rerouting abilities served him well against Strut, though the initial collision with the cybernetic speedster did result in a dislocated shoulder and a few cracked ribs.  But Skyboy?  Red Jenny shook her head, tears falling openly now.  Caustic had caught Skyboy full-on in the face with a spray of sizzling acid.  He plummeted to the ground in a screaming heap, his body crunched awkwardly onto the top of a semi-trailer.

"Miss Red Jenny, I'm Doctor Moeller..."

Her vision blurry with tears, Jenny looked up.  A female surgeon stood before her, a clipboard in hand.  But behind her, someone strange...

His clothing was tattered and torn, yet jet black as if it had been soaked in crude oil.  In his hands he held a set of prayer beads, but instead of counting beads, a single thorn replaced each bead, dripping openly with blood.  But most distressing were his eyes. The man's eyes seemed to be vacant hollows, dripping with a black ichor onto the floor, where it sizzled and popped like hot grease.

Shouting a warning, Jenny flung the surgeon to the side, letting loose one of her "Spinning Jenny" blasts.  The cyclonic energy slammed into a wall and...nothing.  Jenny blinked away her tears.  The man was gone.

Dropping into a defensive stance, Red Jenny immediately activated her hands-free comm device, "Code 10-74!  Freedom Plaza infirmary!  All hands!"  Within moments, the room was swarming with superhero trainees, police, and GLOBAL response agents...who found only Red Jenny and Dr. Moeller.

Red Jenny provided a full report to her superiors at the Sentinels of Freedom, but the man she had seen was gone.  However, her eyewitness testimony began to corroborate a disturbing trend across the world.  The man--labeled as Mister Misery in the Sentinels of Freedom master file--appears to be some kind of occult horror, which preys upon those who are wracked by guilt or anguish.  Misery appears to magnify these feelings and, if confronted, will actively attack those it preys upon.  Those unfortunatels slain by Mister Misery appear to have superficial wounds, as if lashed with a scourge or--as Red Jenny noted--a set of thorn-studded prayer beads.

However, Misery's own nature seems to have kept him out of the public eye.  Based on Jenny's own investigation (a skill which has swiftly become one of her strongest, following the fall of the Rainbow Guardians), it appears that Mister Misery can only actually be seen through tears.  Someone not crying has no hope of even seeing this horror, much less imprisoning or defeating it.

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Why couldn't Slenderman be this original?

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 9 (Lernaeans)

The wars between Atlantis, Thule, and Lemuria brought many horrors into the world.  Eldritch sorceries, covenantss with otherworldly beings, and miscarriages of occult biometrics have left their scars upon the hidden places of the world, visible to only with those gifted with the ability to open their third eyes and see the truth.

The Lernaeans are a mere sample of the horrors unleashed in this primordial days and, in their day, were no more than Atlantean guard dogs.

Commonly known as hydras, Lernaeans were the the misbegotten creation of an Atlantean sorcerer named Lernaeus.  A flesh-shaper by craft, Lernaeus came of age as Atlantis clashed mightily against its two eldritch neighbors, and the Kings of Atlantis sought any new possible edge that might tip the scales in favor of Atlantis.  As such, Lernaeus began developing a guard creature, using a simple grub as a starting point.  He gifted that grub with immense size, the ability to burrow through earth, and a fanged maw capable of rending both armor and enchantment with ease.  While not truly intelligent, the hydras were given enough sentience to respond to trainers--Atlantean search parties often used Lernaeans when tracking down fugitives or in guarding sensitive installations and bases.  Lernaeus himself was lauded by his superiors; his creations worked exactly as intended.

The most notable feature of the Lernaeans, however, was totally an accident.  It so happened that the grub that Lernaeus used as his initial creature was a distant relation of the creature that we know as a planarian flatworm.  If destroyed or slain, a Lernaean hydra is capable of regenerating a distinct body from each of its finite parts, growing swiftly into a full-sized (about 9' long) hydra within hours.

While this accidental mutation earned Lernaeus even further accolades from his superiors--a legion of guard-creatures which only create *more* creatures if killed!--that very mutation led to his downfall.  It quickly became apparent that as a Lernaean hydra divides, its capacity for intelligence and sapience is divided between its newly divided selves.  After a few divisions, a battle-trained Lernaean would be reduced to outright savagery, seekingly only to feed and divide.  Beyond 6 or 7 divisions, a given Lernaean would simply not have the mental faculties to support homeostasis and a further division would simply result in death.

Lernaean hydras reached modernity's ears through the legend of Heracles, the half-Atlantean warlord known for his phenomenal strength, his equally phenomenal temper, and his prowess as a wrestler.  Today, we tell of Heracles' "twelve labors", though in primordial Atlantis, Heracles' tasks were more akin to missions, dispatched to him by the Kings of Atlantis.  His victory of the singular Lernaean hydra, in fact, was the act of putting an abandoned Atlantean outpost to the torch, having been overrun by overly-divided Lernaeans.

Lernaeans still haunt the deep places of the world, both in land and sea, and even the most cogent of them have long since gone completely feral.  Sightings of sea serpents and giant water snakes, most often, are simply Lernaean hydras--these include both "Champ" and the Loch Ness Monster.  However, a heroic encounter with such a creature may only result in the world being overtaken by the replicating creatures once more...

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Excellent use of real-world myth! :D

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

I'll take it.  :P

So many of these have their roots in something from history, myth, or fairy tales.  The best types of monsters are the ones most familiar... 

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day: October 10 (Murmux)

"Sleep with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and you shall give your nightmares fodder on which to feed."

Christine Ramandowski desperately needed a vacation.

Work had been incredibly stressful in recent weeks, with her often spending 10-12 hours days crunching data at her desk, wolfing down whatever food would deliver to her desk from Eat-Street.  Her teenage daughter had descended into a particularly rebellious phase, her ex-husband was late on alimony and child support (again), and an ongoing fight with her landlord had descended into a messy court battle.  "Just two weeks," Christine told herself, "Then maybe I can take some time off..."

As Christine looked up from her computer terminal, she stared blankly at the setting sun outside the plate glass windows of her high rise office.  Was that...a vulture?  In downtown Megalopolis?  How strange...

When Christine finally dragged herself home, her daughter was already in her room, listening to some punk rock anythem on blaring headphones.  Tossing her overstuffed briefcase onto a chair, Christine flopped face-down onto her bed.

She never rose.  After two straight days of sleep, Christine's daughter called EMS Express to take her mother to the emergency room.  After five days, Christine entered a state of brain-death.

Legends of the creature known as Murmux, also known as Murmur or Murmus in the Lesser Key of Solomon, have long stretched through occult circles.  Some believe Murmux to be a demon, while others have posited that the shape-shifting creature to be a servitor of Dread Gloomweaver, stealing away psychic energy to break down the veil between the Realm of Discord and the material world.  

Murmux most often descends upon individuals suffering undue amounts of stress, for whom a lengthy rest would seem a respite.  Masquerading as an vulture--Murmux's true form is something akin to a round-bodied creature standing atop twelve insectile legs, with a two-faced, crowned head that bears a human face on one side and a vulture's face on the other--Murmux descends upon the individual and implants them with an "oneiric seed" that keeps them asleep as he works his foul ministrations.

Murmux then bodily enters the individual's dreams, turning normal dreams into phantasmagorical nightmares from which the victim will never wake.  These dreamscapes are often surreal, with a victim fleeing from misshaped creatures in living landscapes or being tortured in all manner of physically impossible ways.  Murmux, all the while, observes from afar, tending the swelling oneiric seed and fertilizing the seed with the dreamer's fears.  

When the seed finally sprouts, the victim's mind is consumed by these irrational fears, overwhelming their conscious mind and leaving them a drooling husk.  Meanwhile, Murmux harvests as much realized fear as possible, then flees the dreamscape, returning to the physical world.

What Murmux *does* with these realized fears, however, remains a mystery.  Most believe that it simply uses the fear to add to its own power. Those who believe Murmux to be a servitor of Gloomweaver believe that Murmux channels the fear to its master.  Still others believe that Murmux requires this fear in order to feed or sustain itself.  In any case, the sweet respite of sleep no longer offers refuge from the horrors of the world.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 11 (The Tempter Bug)

Mike Hawkins always wanted a Puma x70.

The background on his computer was a scene of the sleek black sports-car, whirling along a banked curve.  His screensaver was a slideshow of the gorgeous piece of machinery, in all manner of dramatic poses.  His favorite was, undoubtely, the shot of the Puma roaring through a rainstorm, headlights beaming through the deluge, as it plunged towards the viewer.  Everyone knew that, once Mike finally decided to retire, that Puma would be his.

What shocked everyone, though, was the Mike didn't bother to wait.

Mike was arrested just across state lines, after a state trooper clocked him going 135 in a 70 zone.  Running the plates before striding up to the car, the officer immediately noted:  dealer plates.  After a quick exchange with Mike, it quickly became apparent:  that Puma was stolen.

Mike confessed to the crime, but his entire social circle was incredulous.  This was a guy who reported a $4.72 accounting error to his superiors during an audit.  This was a guy who would always give back the wallet he'd find on the street.  This was a guy who loved nothing more than sitting on his back porch with a cold drink, watching the sunset and listening to the sounds in the wetlands behind his house.  This was a guy who gave to charity, was always good for a favor, and was easily one of the nicest guys around.  What could possibly have driven him to steal a car, particularly one he was already saving up for?

The answer, at least according to some sources, lies in The Tempter Bug.

Believed to be a pseudo-natural mutation of a normal cicada, tempter bugs tend to congregate in areas of ambient occult power--swamps, graveyards, intersections of ley lines, and ancient ruins.  And, as it just so happens, the wetlands behind Mike's house was just such a location.

Tempter bugs affect humans by providing a low-level bioelectric interruption to the judgement centers of the cerebral cortex, allowing the natural wants and desires of an individual to overrun their logic and their adherence to social norms.  Under brief exposure, the drone of a tempter bug does little to influence individuals in any manner.  However, with repeated, continued exposure--or exposure to many tempter bugs simultaneously, that bioelectric interruption can swiftly turn the most moral, upstanding individual into a self-serving, id-driven madman.

Several factions have come into conflict over what to do regarding tempter bugs.  Some have advocated exterminating them en masse, though environmental rights activists have noted that tempter bugs represent a new evolution which should be protected.  Still others have attempted to collect tempter bugs, for surely nefarious purposes.  All of these factions dread the day when a swarm of tempter bugs move into a new, urban locale, which would surely descend into carnage within hours...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 12 (Flat Susan)

Chris Markham just wanted his wife back.

He hadn't meant to hit her.  The argument had just escalated, he equivocated; Susan threw that drink in his face and that just set him off.  He hadn't meant to kill her.  How could he have known she would hit the side of her head against the stove?  It wasn't his fault!

Despite his tears, despite his frustration and grief at his own callous, abusive hand, Chris managed to think quickly.  The crime scene was scrubbed clean, Susan's body was piled into the tarped bed of his truck, and Chris left the house at 2am, heading far out of town.  His destination?  A junkyard and recycling center three towns over.  In the darkness of the new moon, Chris dropped the tarp containing Susan into the trunk of a long-rusting sedan and drove off, tears still streaming from his eyes.

Chris Markham was found dead three days later, under the most unusual circumstances.

You see, despite Chris' abusive and foul intentions, Susan Markham was not dead.  She awoke in that tarp, mumbling and woozy.  That's when she heard the beeping of a nearby forklift, felt the sway as the entire junker she was trapped in lift up...and felt it crash into the car crusher.  As bone snapped and organs popped, Susan's mumbled curses surely must have reached the ears of some force of vengeance...two days after, she arose in a new form.

Chris Markham's body was found squeezed in all manner of grotesque ways, his body twisted and compressed as if smothered in a blanket which simply compressed him to death.  Only one eyewitness to the event came forward:  88 year old Agnes Hawley, who claimed that something slithered into the house itself, trailing blood and hair behind it.

Flat Susan has since become an urban legend throughout rural America, serving as a twisted pseudo-cautionary tale against any who might raise a hand against their spouse.  Flat Susan herself is borderline amorphous, capable of slithering across the ground, transmuting into various temporary shapes, and possessing an unearthly strength capable of twisting and crushing flesh.  However, her mind has been utterly shattered.  Despite having taken revenge on her killer, Flat Susan continues to target anyone who remotely resembles Chris (himself being a fairly non-descript, 40s-ish brunette male).  She prefers to stalk her prey, striking only when her target is isolated and unsuspecting. 

Since Chris' death, Flat Susan has struck four times, her prey always crushed and twisted in unnatural ways.  And she's not done yet.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 13 (The Eyes Beware Him)

Artist Bill Stoneham has long been said to have created one of the most haunted paintings known to man, The Hands Resist Him.  Urban legend spoke that, within the span of a decade, the owner of the gallery in which the painting had first been displayed, the original buyer of the painting, the first art critic to have reviewed the work, and the first family to have purchased it were all dead.  Tales of the disembodied hands, seeming to clutch at the vacant-faced children as they stared helplessly at the viewer, tearing free of the painting and slaughtering anyone who dared view the cursed work.

Bill's less known work, The Eyes Beware Him, makes his other work look like a simple vase of flowers.

Stoneham, as it turns out, is not only a student of the arcane arts, but also one of its most vindictive, misanthropic members. Stoneham, known in certain circles as Lord Exeter, utilizes his art as a medium for his hateful designs.  Utilizing a form of geomancy--the act of utilizing geometric shapes and movements to tap into ambient leyline energy--Stoneham seeds each of his canvasses with an intricate series of arcane linework, over which he paints a disturbing scene.  Arcane energy gathers in the painting over time, eventually releasing in a deluge of negative energy.

The Eyes Beware Him, however, may be Bill's piece-de-resistance.  Sketched in a method once used by Italian occultist Ignacio Gallo, the painting was colored almost entirely by the bile and internal fluids of three dying men.  The painting itself shows a man in drab, sitting in a padded room, as if incarcerated there.  His hands claw at his face in anguish, and a broken bottle of what might be a dark liquor spills out onto the floor.  As the viewer's gaze draws back, the horror of the drawing quickly becomes apparent:  the various segments of the room itself are, themselves, eyes; the man is trapped within a cell of eyes, ever-staring  into the angished figure with a gaze that wil never relent.

The spell encoded within the painting is one straight out of a body-horror nightmare.  If the spell take holds in the victim, their skin begins to split and crack over a period of days, eventually revealing foul, bloodshot eyes beneath the skin.  Eventually, the whole of the victim's skin sloughs away, revealing a flesh made entirely of squirming, bloodshot eyes.  In intense pain and madness, the victim flails away at any in the vicinity until their body discorporates into a mass of squirming, disembodied eyes.

Stoneham himself intends to attend the unveiling of his newest painting at the Overbrook Museum of the Arts.  If only the public knew what horror awaited them...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 14 (The Groves at Marlbury Heights)

The hills have eyes, they say, the trees hear every whisper in Marlbury Heights.  The people of the surrounding village (of the same name) fear every day that their deepest secrets would be revealed to anyone who dared walk in that cursed wood.

As it turns out, the forest surrounding Marlbury Heights harbors much greater dangers. The trees there stalk through darkness and do not brook interlopers of any sort.

And, while some have taken to calling the groves "cursed" or "haunted"--Marlbury Heights was long home to a mental institution, which was shut down in the late-1960s--though the truth of the matter is quite more strange, and even more otherworldly.

One of the star-seeds sent hurtling through the cosmos by the Stolon, the Prime Extensor of the Exciccatus, landed in Marlbury Heights' woods, embedding itself deep within the ruins of the long-forgotten Heights Home for the Mentally Disturbed, buried deep within the basement.  Cracking open, the star-seed's tendril roots began working their way into the vast root system of the forest outside the asylum's walls.  Within a matter of months, the entire forest became a part of the Exciccatus, executing the alien hive-mind's fell will from hundreds of light-years away.

To the poor souls living in Marlbury Heights, the horror stories from their woods simply keep coming.   Tales of interlopers hung by vines in the depths of the forest, of unwary teenagers impaled upon root and branch, of children who wander into the woods and never come out.  While the town elders have long-considered hiring a logging service to simply strip away the forest piece by piece, the tales of Marlbury Heights' horrors have kept away all but the most profit-driven logging companies.

Enter Toporos Logging and Clear-Cutting LLC.  Owned and managed by the ever-cash-motivated Paul Tavolini, Toporos is set to begin working on the east side of the Marlbury Heights woods in just a few weeks.  Paul is quite the skeptic, and would hardly let any "old ghost stories" get in the way of a several hundred-thousand dollar contract.  If he only knew what he was truly in for...

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 15 (Johnny No-Face)

The stories surrounding Johnny No-Face are numerous and varied across the country.  None of the stories could have possibly lived up to the the day that Johnny No-Face actually appeared.

A long-time urban legend, teenagers and college students lumped Johnny No-Face in with Bloody Mary and Spring-Heeled Jack in terms of names to evoke around the campfire or while up late at night at a sleepover.  Those stories, though, never seemed to be entirely consistent.  Some said that Johnny was once a famous actor obsessed with perfecting his looks; he was so vain and conceited that his plastic surgeons refused to perform any more procedures.  Johnny dropped into a fit of rage, stalking and killing off each of his surgeons in turn, taking with him a number of surgical supplies.  When police finally caught up with him, Johnny had dropped into a fit of mania--in trying to 'perfect' his face, he attempted to perform a new surgery himself.  However, the surgery was so botched that nothing remained of Johnny's face; all that was left was a bloody ruin.  As police burst in, Johnny fled into legend.

Still others say that Johnny was no actor, but rather a Rook City informant who dropped some information on The Chairman's backroom dealings.  When one of the various underbosses of the Organization found out, they whisked Johnny away to an isolated warehouse.  There, Johnny's face had an unfortunate meeting with a belt sander, where the skin of his face was ground away until nothing but a bloody mess remained.  The thugs then simply dropped Johnny into a shallow grave, one less problem standing in the way of the Organization's daily operations.  

And yet others tell any number of variations on these themes.   Some say that Johnny's face was burned off with fire or acid.  Still others say his face was taken in an industrial accident or in some superheroic collateral damage.

All the tales, though, end the same way.  Johnny No-Face stalks the night, scalpel in hand, ready to find himself a new face.  Universally, victims claim that running from Johnny seems to be all but impossible; no matter how far one runs, Johnny always seems to find his quarry.  Hiding is a temporary measure, at best, as Johnny has a keen awareness for the location of his quarry.  Should he catch his prey, Johnny tries to remove their face with his scalpel, applying it to his own ruined head.  To date, no less than 8 faceless corpses have been found, attributed to Johnny's mania.

The few who have survived an encounter with Johnny No-Face continually cite one thing that has saved them.  So petrified of his own visage, Johnny can be driven back temporarily by the sight of his own reflection.  However, this is a short respite at best, as Johnny No-Face is nothing if not relentless.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 16 (Grand Marsh, Illinois)

The thing that descended onto Grand Marsh, Illinois defies all convention. 

When authorities first lost contact with the small, rural town, the first belief was some gas leak or some other mundane disaster had destroyed the town.  As EMS and hazmat crews descended onto the towns nearby , it swiftly became apparent that the town of Grand Marsh simply... wasn't. 

Rather, the buildings of the town stood as if the town had never begun inhabited.   No bodies remained in the city limits, no sign of motion, no evidence they anyone had ever lived in Grand Marsh.   However, in the center of town, something strange emerged. 

No two people were ever able to describe the thing in the same way.  One hazmat crewman described it as a swirling, crystalline spiral surrounding the town gazebo.  A second described it as an inky darkness, oozing and seething as if away a roiling boil.  Yet another saw something more akin to a 'crack' in reality, through which something watched. 

To this day, the entire town of Grand Marsh has been under military quarantine, with none permitted within its walls without expressed permission from the commanding officer, Lieutenant Leslie Natick.  To date, only three teams have been dispatched within the quarantine zone.  All three have disappeared without a trace.  Occult scholars have been stymied, as have the finest of the world's scientists.   

And only one fact seems to hold true.   Grand Marsh is spreading...

 

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Getting into SCP territory here. :D

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day: October 17 (El Gato Malvado)

The native tribes knew to fear it.   Deep in the Orinoco basin, something stalked the darkest jungles.  Something wild.  Something savage. 

And despite every warning against doing so, Dr. Maria Vasquez, professor of zoology at Megalopolis State University, was sure that her career would be built upon catching the beast known as El Gato Malvado.

Maria was forever a 'cat person', studying numerous big cat species in both South America and in sub-Saharan Africa throughout her academic career.  However, when rumors reached her ears of a particularly notable big cat in the Orinoco river basin, she began gathering as much information as possible.  El Gato Malvado was said to be responsible for the deaths of at least 14 citizens in the small town of Puerto Ayacucho, and of at least 20 tribal natives in the surrounding rainforests.  Those who glimpsed the creature and lived claimed it to have dark, ruddy fur and at least 6-8 clawed limbs-- something unheard of within big cats worldwide.  Survivors noted it to be whisper-quiet, given away only by a ferocious yowl as the creature pounced.

Securing funding from a grant through the Marklund Foundation, Maria led a group of zoologists, botanists, jungle guides, and survivalists into the deepest parts of the Orinoco basin in search of El Gato Malvado. 

That was three days ago.  No one's heard from them since. 

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 18 (The Eye in the Deep)

Max took a long sip of his coffee as the last vestiges of the sun descended beneath the wine dark sea.  His knees ached; a storm was surely rolling in, despite the clear skies.  Billy, the newest hand on the oil rig, sidled up to the old-timer, still gnawing away at one of the sandwiches from dinner. 

"Can't beat the view, can you?"  Billy smiled in the twilight.

Max shifted his gaze, looking sideways at the 22-year old, "This your first time out, is it?"

"Yeah.  Do I come off as that green?"

Max chuckled, "You do.  You ain't seen the hard stuff yet.  We've had good weather.  That's about to change."

Billy shook his head, "I checked the weather.  Clear skies for days.  What makes you think it's going to rain?"

Max looked down.  The sea soaked in all the light, leaving a vast expanse of black to contrast the red-purple skies.  Squinting sideways, he could almost see it down there.

"You'd best get ready when the storm comes.  There ain't no shelter from the wind or the waves, even indoors.  It'll lash you like whips across your eyes.  Close 'em and you can't find your way around this thing.  Keep 'em open and you might as well go blind.  When the rain's comin' sideways and the wind scours your back, just remember one thing:  don't you look down."

Billy paused, audiably swallowing the last of his sandwich, "...you mean from the heights?  Never bothered me before."

Max stared down the new hand, grimacing, "You don't look down, because all you'll see is The Eye.  It's down there, watchin', waitin'.  In the storm, it rises up closer to the surface.  It can't break free yet, but it'll look right down your gullet into your deepest fears. And it'll call to you.  It'll speak right into that pea-brain of yours and tell you everything's gonna be all right.  All you gotta do is jump in, and it'll all be taken care of forever.  All your worries drowned in the embrace of the sea.... you don't dare look down."

Billy stood stunned.  A slight breeze picked up, curling cold across his neck.  He opened his mouth briefly, but no sound came forth.

Max turned on his heel, "The Greeks called it Charybdis, I think.  The big whirlpool sitting at the end of the world what swallowed Ulysses' ship.  It's had a lot of names, I'm sure.  Same thing remains no matter where it is.  It's down there, and it's looking up.  Don't you dare look down."

Max crumpled his styrofoam coffee cup into a ball and stalked away, tossing the cup into a nearby wastebin as he went.  Billy looked after the older rig-hand, unsure of how to even reply to such weirdness.  As the last few rays of sunlight descended and the stars emerged over the ocean, it was all Billy could do to keep from looking down into that wine dark sea.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 19 (Blink Scorpions)

The Realm of Discord is truly a place where seemingly anything can happen.  The more chaotic and bizarre the circumstance, the more likely it will appear within that plane of chaos and madness.  However, the same goes for the creatures that call the Realm of Discord home.  None may epitomize that strangeness better than blink scorpions.

Blink scorpions are so named due to their relative similarity in anatomy to the fatttail scorpion (androctonus crassicauda), though the the similarities between the two begin and end on at the holistic-anatomical level.  Blink scorpions often grow to the size of six feet in body length, reaching up to 10 feet when claws and tail are included.  Females tend to be larger than males, and the largest catalogued specimen of blink scorpion totalled twenty-six feet in body length.  Further, while most 'normal' scorpions tend to be dark in coloration, blink scorpions border on translucent; even their internal organs are relatively see-through, making detection of such creatures particularly difficult.

Blink scorpions, however, take their name from their preferred method of catching prey:  the use of a localized distortion field to stay outside of their prey's sight range.  The creatures reflexively teleport to the periphery of their target's vision, working in mated pairs to outflank and incapacitate their prey.  As such, few have actually seen a living blink scorpion for more than a few seconds; in most cases, those who have survived encounters with blink scorpions only truly recognize what they are fighting once the creatures are dead.

While they do attack with vicious claws and a wickedly-curved stinger, blink scorpions are not, by default, venomous.  However, much like the so-called 'poison dart frogs' of the Amazon, blink scorpions can take on and excude the toxins secreted by their food.  In such a case, the toxin often is visible within the blink scorpion's system, providing a vague green-black outline, ending at the tip of the scorpion's tail.  While the venom may provide the scorpion with more offensive capability, this outline does make them easier to detect and can provide a would-be target an easier time avoiding the blink scorpion while in combat.

To date, blink scorpions have not exhibited anything beyond basic insectile intelligence.  As mentioned earlier, they are often found in mated pairs, though larger colonies of blink scorpions are not uncommon.  Some nefarious forces across the Realm of Discord have even encouraged larger colony formation as a sort of natural method to defend against interlopers.  Female blink scorpions lay their eggs in fallen creatures, ensuring that their young have a tasty first meal ready and waiting upon their hatching.  Anyone discovering such a creature is sure to find it a foul surprise.

While not necessarily the greatest threat in the Realm of Discord, blink scorpions ensure that travelers should surely keep their guard up.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 20 (Plutarch)

The act of taking on a familiar is one that has been passed through arcanists throughout the ages.  While the magic used to summon a familiary actually verges on that of minor blood magic, the summoning ritual allows the caster to channel additional energy through their blood-linked familiar, enhancing their own abilities and providing the caster with a useful compatriot and spy.  The first Merlin, Myddrin Wyllt, was the first to call upon a familiar, an owl that became known ages later in fiction as Archimedes.  The Harpy called upon her familiars, Huginn and Muninn, early on in her arcane career, forever linking the powers over birds given to her by the Mask of the Matriarch to her burgeoning occult abilities.  

The cat known as Plutarch, however, is something unique:  a familiar without a master.  This is, primarily, because Plutarch has arranged to kill every master he has had, taking their arcane lore and artifacts for his own.

Plutarch began his life as a normal cat, raised to sapience as the familiar of a minor Renaissance-era occultist, Lavinia Cosimo Fabritio.  Fabritio was a talented enough arcanist, though her true love was that of collecting arcane baubles and jewelery.  Rings, amulets, brooches, and more:  Lavinia simply couldn't get enough.  her arcane laboratory looked more like a glittering treasury than a repository of knowledge and, true enough, Lavinia didn't quite know what she had gotten her hands on.  One of the necklaces that she had procured was, in fact, a Thulian "Forever-Star"--a teardrop-shaped diamond that was capable of trapping an individual's consciousness within it.  Seizing the opportunity of his owner's naivete, Plutarch stood by as Lavinia inadvertently whisked her consciousnessess into the diamond, with no way of emerging.  However, this left Plutarch in a unique situation:  with his blood-linked master trapped in stasis, he had become effectively immortal.

And, with such long life and so many arcane trinkets as his disposal, Plutarch fell swiftly into a power-mad lust.  He began seeking out other arcanists, offering to become their own familiar, fully knowing that the ritual would fail due to his already-extant bond with Lavinia, while still maintaining all appearances that the ritual had succeeded.  He then proceeded to accompany those arcanists, learning their rituals and their wards, all the while leading them into an untimely demise once Plutarch had full access to the depth of their arcane libraries.  

Since those days, Plutarch has been responsible for the fall of at least ten--possibly up to thirty--separate wizards, including the fifth Merlin, Francois Jollivet-Castelot, known as the father of 'hyperchemistry'.  With each fallen sorcerer, Plutarch adds to his own arcane library and lore.  While Plutarch himself is something of a limited spellcaster--not having a humanoid form does tend to limit one's options--his mastery of those artifacts makes him a cunning foe and a dangerous ally.  All in the form of a simple black longhair.

PlatinumWarlock
PlatinumWarlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

Villain of the Day:  October 21 (the Pwca)

As Patraig Magonus made his way across what are now the British Isles, he often came across strange creatures who menaced the local Celtic tribes.  While many of these were animalistic creatures, seeking only to devour and defile.  However, others were more than reasonable, if sinister and calculating.  Chief among theses, surely, were known as Pwca.

Small fairy-like creatures standing only about a foot tall, Pwca most often make contact with the humans near them while shapeshifted into some form of livestock animal, such as a goat or sheep.  On rare occasions, Pwca would take on the form of a human, though a shapeshifted Pwca always has some 'tell' that reveals their true nature.  Most times, this appears as a furry tail, vestigial ears atop their head, or a downy coat of fur. 

In most cases, Pwca simply want a taste of the human life.  Provide them with a meal, a fine piece of clothing, or some finished good, and the Pwca may well provide some reward.  Some of the occasions chronicled by Patraig showed the Pwca leaving their benefactor a chalice that magically filled with grain each day at sunrise, a coat that disguised the wearer from creatures they were hunting, or a fishing spear that never misses.  

However, on those occasions where a human comes into confrontation with a Pwca, the fairy becomes a nemesis unlike any other.  The Pwca will ceaselessly, endlessly harass their foe, destroying portions of their home, interfering with their works, and causing minor harm such as migraine headaches and muscle cramps.  Finally, when the foe is at their wits' end, the Pwca joins together with its tribemen, their skin turning from a pale gray to a deep vermillion.  The Pwca then surround the offender, each tearing a fragment of flesh away from the foe, leaving it crippled and bleeding in the forest.  As each Pwca devours their stolen bit of flesh, the target is spiritually sundered, vanishing from the memories of everyone who ever knew it.  When the bloody feast is finished, it is as if the foe has never lived.  The only evidence that they ever existed remain in writing or in pictures.

Modern arcanists, however, have noted that Pwca have become more and more aggressive--their natural habitats have long been stripped away, driving them to the furthest corners of the once-Celtic isles.  And, concurrently, certain people have begun vanishing, if they had never existed...

Pages