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MTeague's Characters. The Good, The Bad, and the Gold


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All of my characters are on Excelsior. This isn't all of them, just the ones that feel fully fleshed out enough for prime-time. I'll probably add to this list every so often.

These get wordy, because I loooooove writing backstories, and I took this excuse to post them all.

So I'm doing one character per post. 

 

(gradual flood incoming...)

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Cygnus-X1

Origin: Magic
Archtype: Controller
Powersets: Mind Control / Kinetics
Alignment: Hero (only ever Hero)

 

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Character Description
 "They sat awhile in silence. Then they turned at last to me. 'We will call you Cygnus, the God of Balance you shall be'..." 
-Rush, Hemispheres 
 
Professor Emeritus Colin Reginald Brown was dean of History, Archaeology, and Philosophy at Paragon University. He always had a slight smile on his face whenever his students would debate what had or had not happened in the distant past, or what we could or could not truly "know". And he was the undisputed master of the obscure reference. 

 

How long he had secretly been a wizard, only he knows, for Cygnus is of that rare breed of magi that values subtlety and discretion over overt displays of raw power. But he has decided that the time has come at long last, for him to emerge from the shadows. No longer a hidden hand secretly guiding humanity, but an active defender. He may physically appear just a frail old man in a hat and mask, but he has proven himself the equal of any who he has needed to bring low.

 

Additional Notes:

  • this is my main, was back on Guardian server in the old days
  • would have preferred name of "Cygnus" but it was taken
  • however the full name of the Rush song inspiring him is "Cygnus X-1, Book 2, Hemispheres", so, there you go
  • Headcanon, he is the leader and organizing force behind ALL of my heroes. He has been alive for at LEAST four thousand years, and in most of tht time, has operated behind the scenes, guiding humanity from behind the shadows. When he has intervened, few would have ever known it, for usually it was enough for him to turn someone's thoughts from one path to another, without ever needing a Major Magical Showdown.
  • He has one costume that is entirely "Spectrum" with Celesital Wings, White/White coloring, if I ever need to have him go Vorlon and unmask his full power. 
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Agent Blackcat
Origin: Natural
Archtype: Scrapper
Powersets: Claws / Super Reflexes
Alignment: Vigilante (has Full Circle badge)

 

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Character Description
Codename: Blackcat.  Analysis: Identity uncertain. Asset has provided the name Aimee Marie Parent on various paperwork, but this is confirmed to be a fabrication. Normally this is more than enough to disqualify anyone from being brought into the Agency, but exception was made at the Very Top. Investigations into asset's identity have been permitted, but have found nothing. Still, "Blackcat" has proven extremely capable in missions requiring infiltration or elimination, and has proven extremely loyal. Asset maintains Agency itself does not have sufficent clearance to know her identity. 

 

Asset's reflexes exceed known human limits. Agency suspects a degree of psi powers may be at the root, as super-slow-motion footage has shown asset beginning to dodge BEFORE shots were fired when asset should not have been aware that an attack was coming at all. Asset has been observed performing leaps and other feats of strength that should not be possible for a human of her physique. 

 

Additional Notes:

  •  Has firm conviction that she has full right and authorization to set aside any law, at any time, for any reason, if she believes it is necessary to protect the public, and that she is answerable to NO-ONE, not even Cygnus. (Though she never quite becomes angry enough to come to blows with him....)
  • In clashes with police or others she did not wish to kill but needed to get past, she has kept her claws sheathed and simply kicked them unconscious, while dodging all attacks. In one documented instance of this, she rendered over 45 Psi Cops unconscious, as well as the heroes Overdrive, Miss Thystle, and Desdemona. In the end picking Desdemona up and telling her to stay the hell out of her business before throwing her to the ground, as Desdemona's pet demons tried ineffectually to defend her. All using just her feet.
  • Has been talked down from violence by the heroes Cygnus and Blue Avatar.
Edited by MTeague
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Thundercrow
Origin: Mutant
Archtype: Defender
Powersets: Storm Summoning / Sonic Blast
Alignment: Hero

 

Thundercrow.jpg.4e4a6eeb1aff2c846a11b32bb2a43546.jpg

 

Character Description:
Michael Vincent Stankowski was just a surfer dude slacker, college dropout from California. He never had any ambitions other than to hit the waves, impress the ladies, maybe get a band going.

 

His powers manifested on a family trip to Yosemite in the early spring. His kid sister, Cathy, was running screaming from a bear. None of them had a weapon or could possibly reach in time. Until Michael literally flew forward like a bullet. He snatched his sister away just in time, and a giant torrent of wind rose up and hurled the bear through the air like it was a rag doll.

 

GIFT got involved then. Michael laughed in the recruiter's face at first, telling him to get bent, he was never going to Paragon. Yet all the surfer dude slack in the world was no match for the honest idealism of his kid sister. She pled with him, saying people were dying and HE could make the difference. He went with the GIFT rep, calling himself a fool as he packed.

 

Additional Notes:

  • I picture him asking various female NPC contacts out on a date, and usually being shot down in flames.
  • Absolutely untrustworthy for small things, lies easily, and is prone to pranks and lowbrow humor. 
  • Will set that aside in a flash and throw himself into fire to save someone in trouble before he even thinks about it.
  • Even though he still sometimes questions why he became a hero and puts his life on the line for strangers, he's come to enjoy it. He's not entirely sure how he feels about that. "I shouldn't enjoy this! But it's GREAT!"
  • I kind of hear AC/DC Thunderstruck in my head when I load him up
  • I have a half-formed idea of him being some prophesized "Storm King" once he becomes an Incarnate, that my Ninja MM incorrectly believes is supposed to be HIS destiny.
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Blue Avatar
Origin: Science
Archtype: Tanker
Powersets: Invulnerability / Super Strength
Alignment: Hero (possibilty of going Vigilante if Crey involved)

 

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Character Description
Darren Edward Finnegan spent every day since his seventh birthday in a wheelchair. Caged there by Muscular Dystrophy. He was dependant on the kindness family and aides, never able to do a single thing for himself. When Crey Corporation offered him an experimental cure, he leapt at it.

 

The treatments were agony. He was injected with self-replicating nanobots that attacked every cell in his body, dismanteling and rebuilding. The nanobots produced various serums, projected localized radiations to alter his DNA. To Crey, he was just an experiment with a scheduled termination date. He was to be disintegrated by the nanobots once Crey was satisfied with the results. But the junior researcher, Dr. Susan Lee, rebelled, altering the nanobots to refuse ALL external commands before the kill order could be issued, then helped him escape while he was still learning how to walk again. 

 

Sadly, Dr Lee was gunned down by a Crey sniper just as she delivered Darren to SERAPH. 

 

Additional Notes

  • Generally calm and soft-spoken. Universally liked by all of Cygnus's allies.
  • Uses his true name freely. Crey eliminated his family when they could not bring him in. He has no reason to hide his name anymore.
  • When not stopping threats to Paragon City, often volunteers at schools or organizations that work with disabled children.
  • Any mission he's on with Crey becomes a Defeat All.  He completely loses it against Crey.
  • Last seen entering a TUNNEL with Agent Bluejay on request from Cygnus, to answer a call from a possible Praetorian ally
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Agent Bluejay
Origin: Technology
Archtype: Blaster
Powersets: Assault Rifle / Martial Combat
Alignment: Hero

 

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Character Description:
Margaret Rosaline O'Malley, or "Maggie", is at first glance, a tall, very pretty, and very shy woman in her mid-late 20's, often awkward in social situations. She also happens to be one of the most efficient and lethal members of the Rikti Rapid Elimination Force. The RREF are dispatched into run-and-gun, door-to-door, hand-to-hand combat situations against the alien invaders. 

 

Maggie's career came to an abrupt and violent end, which she knew someday it would. The RREF has a very poor survival rate. But she was stabalized and brought to proper medical care. She was then approached by the Agency, offering to "repair" her. 

 

She is now a human-looking cyborg. Most muscle groups in her body are now replaced or supplemented by bio-augments. These are also wired into her brain, allowing her to kick her mind into hyperdrive, giving her time to react far faster than a normal human. Ports in her left arm allow her to directly interface with computers. But she can continue to fight for her home.

 

Additional Notes

  • Not a leader. Far too shy. Except in combat, where she will take charge and bark out orders without even thinking about it.
  • Fear of social situations is amplified by knowing that she's not what people see. She still has her mind, her self, but physically she's far more machine than human, even if she doesn't look it, and has a massive hangup over this.
  • Her "teleports" like Burst of Speed and Jaunt thematically fit with a machine that can for short-peroids of time, move faster than most people can follow.
  • Hero-Worships Blackcat. Wants to be that self confident, wants to be that "I don't care what you think." 
  • Unlike Blackcat there are lines she can't bring herself to cross, not even for a greater good. She can handle battlefield triage, knowing when you can't save someone and have to move on. She can't handle coldly deciding to allow bad things to happen to lay a trap for someone else, or to avoid a trap that's been laid for her. 
  • Went through a TUNNEL with Blue Avatar at Cygnus's request. They became separated, and she's currently trying to help out the people of First Ward, and find where Darren is. She's at least confident Darren can't possibly be dead. But she is worried what the Wards might do to his mind.
Edited by MTeague
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Dog Mom
Origin: Magic
Archtype: Mastermind
Powersets: Beast Mastery / Empathy
Alignment: Hero

 

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Character Description

Colleen Sheedy was a volunteer at the Hide Park Veterinary Center in Skyway City. Though untrained in any kind of medical care, Colleen seemed to have a gift with animals. Every dog, cat, bird, ferret, etc were always excited to see her, and any animals she helped care for made miraculous recoveries. In a local interest story, she was nicknamed "The Dog Mom" for the mutual care and devotion to her charges.

 

Sadly, the building was completely destroyed when Praetoria sent a strike force to demolish Skyway City. Colleen lives because she was visiting family that weekend. 

 

While placing flowers at the wreckage, she was attacked by a pair of Trolls. Suddenly, a swarm of dogs, cats, and birds came out of nowhere to protect her. Ever since, she has found herself accompanied by ghostly animal guardians, and has found she can spread health outward by concentrating. She has no idea how. She is no witch, no sorceress. But she is determined to use it for good.

 

Additional Notes:

  • I made this character as joke. Plain and simple. Just to have it be funny to have an empath all worried about her poor doggies and kittehs, and all "Aaaaaaah!!! YOU HURT DAISY!!" when a Skull shot her first wolf. (picture a Crazy Dog Lady over-spoiling her babies, and there you have it.)
  • She grew on me though. 
  • Beasts are all named like household pets:  Daisy, Buddy, Lily, Fluffy, Mittens, and Mr Snuggles.
  • Uses Kick, and Boxing, and Crosspunch. It works... Quite well. Keeps her in melee with all her pets, so they keep Supremacy and all the pet aura IO's, keeps them in easy range for Healing or the Aura buffs, and the Stuns and Knockdowns end up being decent mitigation and giving her pets some free attacks.
  • In groups I have to be more focused on being a good buffer and spot healing where needed rather than melee, but I'm enjoying this character FAR more than I thought I might.
Edited by MTeague
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Medusa Girl
Origin: Controller
Archtype: Mutant
Powersets: Earth Control / Poison
Alignment: Vigilante

 

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Character Description
Melody Susan King, aka Medusa Girl, had it rough from the very start. Her mom was an addict, who used anything she could get her hands on, no matter that she was pregnant. Twenty years ago, her mother got ahold of mutagen drugs, while Melody was still in the womb.

 

Her mother died in childbirth, from a manifestation of Melody's powers. She carries a lot of grief and guilt at knowing she killed her own mother, however unaware she was at the time, even knowing the woman was not fit to be a parent. She was raised by GIFT, one of their earliest projects. She had no friends in school. No one wanted to play with the green-haired snake-skinned little girl. She was outcast and freak. And *things* happened near her sometimes, as she tried to learn control. Eventually GIFT took her out of school and privately tutored her.

 

Her loyalty to GIFT is absolute. To her, GIFT is mother, and GIFT is father.

 

Additional Notes:

  • Anyone who's ever watched Babylon 5 should get the "GIFT is mother, GIFT is father" bit.  And if you haven't watched B5, go do it. Now. RIGHT NOW.
  • Given her childhood, she very much sees the world through a "Mutants and Mundanes" lens. She'll help people now because GIFT orders it, and because it helps keep the Anti-Mutant feelings in check. But she doesn't really like Mundanes. They rejected her and treated her like a freak for too many years.
  • She's much more willing to befriend and trust mutants who do not look normal. Has unrequited feelings for Feril, and sees Deepfathom as a sister.
  • Mutants that look fully human, she's more reserved with. Melody still considers them "her people", but the ones who look fully human might still ally themselves more with Mundanes instead of fellow Mutants, if push really came to shove. Thundercrow in particular is one of these.
  • She considers Agent Bluejay an "honorary mutant", for being more machine than human. It helped that Bluejay was always kind to her, and fought like the devil to help Melody when she was in trouble.
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Hephaesto
Origin: Science
Archtype: Sentinel
Powersets: Fire Blast / Fiery Aura
Alignment: Villain

 

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Character Description:
"... Any trace of compassion that might have existed in my soul was permanently snuffed out when they cast me into the flames..."

 

Brandon Thomas Silver was a materials engineer, working at the Hell Forge on Sharkhead Isle. He knew next to nothing about his employers. They were shady at best, but the money was excellent and the project was fascinating. They were trying to create an liquid metal circuit to open entire new lines of robotics technology. A strike team of vigilante heroes burst in one day. They trashed the place, demanding answers. He distinctly recalls one "hero" saying "Scum like you... working  for the 5th Column... you don't deserve to live. Throw him into the forge. Throw everything into the forge."

 

No trace of his human flesh remains. But sixteen hours later, Hephaesto emerged from the flame. He is not wearing armor. He is a being of living steel and fire, possibly immortal. As payment for what he has become, he has decided he will rule over them all.

 

Additional Notes

  • quote at the beginning of his description is flavor text from a Magic:The Gathering Card ("Inferno"). I forget which edition.
  • My first Villain ever created on LIVE (Guardian server)
  • in that Incarnation, he was a Corruptor, because Sentinels didn't exist. But I wanted him to be a durable imposing foe made up of Living Steel and Fire. He was almost a Brute when I first created him in Live, but I HATE the look of Fire Swords. 
  • Now, he gets to be what he always should have been. Tough as nails, made of fire and steel, hurling fire.
  • He's the Doctor Doom of my villains, the one whipping the others into shape, or manipulating them, or making bargains with them.
  • He does have actual friendship for Feril. Neither one of them can die, and Feril doesn't have the plain "I will betray you without a second thought if it serves me" that Tithonos has.
Edited by MTeague
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Trifid
Origin: Natural
Archtype: Dominator
Powersets: Plant Control / Psi Assault
Alignment: Villain

 

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Character Description:
The Trifid is a hybrid being. The plant was a parasitic organism, possibly the last of it's kind, dating back to the Carboniferous Peroid. It has survived by taking its prey, devouring and consuming it, and using the shell of the host to travel. The human was born as Jessica Elizabeth Morgan, and she lived an unremarkable life as a withdrawn accountant, taking care of her plants, and her cats.

 

The only reason she was not utterly consumed by the Trifid is because, unknown to her, she was also a very powerful latent telepath. Her power held the Trifid at bay enough for a .... merging ... to occur.

 

What now exists, is a terror indeed. She has full sentience, full memory of being a human, and of how human society functions. And full memory of a plant-being that watched the rise and fall of the dinosaurs. The composite bears no love for humanity, and believes that the human race must be culled. She may form temporary alliances, but her agenda is her own.

 

Additional Notes:

  • name is reference to "Day of the Triffids" but at time I created her, I thought "Trifid" was the correct spelling. Decided I prefer this spelling anyway.
  • Headcanon, she's the one psychic Cygnus can't feel or even detect. Her mind is too alien to even recognize. FAR more alien than Hellfrost Demons or Devouring Earth or even machines.
  • Also headcanon, she's a psychic vampire. Every mind she drains (by Mind Probe or Drain Psyche) makes her even stronger.
  • Also headcanon, she doesn't interrogate anyone. Drain Psyche or Mind Probe and she RIPS what she needs to know from their mind. This also gives her understanding of computers, science, technology that the hybrid might not otherwise comprehend.
  • She's willing to work with Hephaesto... for now. Ultimately she knows they will be cross purpose, because Hephaesto wants to rule, and she wants to cull the human race by a staggering amount, leaving far fewer to rule over than Hephaesto would be happy with. Both eye the other somewhat dangerously. Neither one is completely sure they can kill the other, and neither one is willing to risk losing... yet.
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Feril
Origin: Mutant
Archtype: Stalker
Powersets: Spines / Regeneration
Alignment: Rogue

 

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Character Description:
Feril has no other name. His earliest memories are of crawling through dumpsters, looking for food. As best he can tell, his parents were horrified upon his birth, and threw him into the trash. But he did not die. His inherent regeneration kept him alive, and he grew and thrived as a wild thing. He has had no formal education, no family, no friends, just the street. He is functionally illiterate, but the thugs who survived do not taunt him about it.

 

He took the name "Feril" as his own after being chased away from stores as a young child, by merchants who called him a "feral bastard". He is not irredeemably malicious, but he learned very early that life is cheap, and he must take to survive, lurking in shadow. He has some power over shadow, and cannot be found if he does not wish it. This is not simply skill in hiding; to the best sensors he simply does not exist. Until he strikes.

 

Additional Notes:

  • My second villain ever created on Guardian server. 
  • He cannot be killed. He regenerates from ANYTHING.
  • He cannot be caged. When he hides he... ceases to exist... from this reality, and travels in a strange shadow realm before re-emerging.
  • Cygnus is trying to get Longbow to realize they need to negotiate with him and work to bring him around, because they're not going to be ABLE to just wipe him out. Longbow isn't prepared to accept this yet. They've lost too many of their own to him.
  • Looks up to Hephaesto as a wise older brother, since Hephaesto was first one to ever treat him like a human being instead of a freak. Hephaesto has no qualms about using this, but does actually see him as a friend as well.
  • Has a crush on Amanda Vines of WSPDR from the Marshall Brass arcs. Wants to be someone she could be proud of, but will NEVER say that out loud.
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Red Havok
Origin: Technology
Archtype: Brute
Powersets: Energy Melee / Energy Aura
Alignment: Rogue

 

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Character Description:
Ivan Vulikh, better known as the criminal Red Havok, is the son and murderer of the famed scientist Anatoly Vulikh. Anatoly and his wife Nadia fled to America in 1988, fearing the instability in the Soviet Union and a new Stalinesque purge.

 

The Vulikhs lived a humble life in the Russian District of King's Row. It was never enough for Ivan. He and Anatoly argued constantly, Anatoly lecturing Ivan that he never appreciated how good they had it, and how bad it was in Russia. This only got worse when Nadia died in a seizure when Ivan was twelve. Anatoly was at work, and Ivan never forgave him for not being there. He began to wear clothing emblazoned with the Hammer and Sickle, knowing it would enrage his father. Things tipped to the point of no return two years ago, when Anatoly angered Ivan for the last time, and Ivan lashed out with his full strength.

 

Seeing his father dead by his own hands only fueled his rage at the world. He stole his father's inventions and embarked on a life of crime.

 

Additional Notes:

  • Yea, there's some serious Cold War stereotyping going on with this character.
  • Conceptually, he's a mechanic, not a scientist. Remembers enough science that his father drilled into him to figure out how to experiment and control his force-field armor and focused-force gauntlets.
  • Rogue rather than Villain, because riches have their appeal, and he can be bought. But he's not on any path to redemption. This is not Han Solo or Lando Calrissian. Ivan just likes to PUNCH things when his thoughts go to places he doesn't like. It amuses him to break a man and makes him feel better about himself that he can do that to other people. Better to be the hammer than the nail. The casinos of St. Martial are where he likes to be.
  • Ivan fears and respects Hephaesto. Ever since Hephaesto picked a man up by the face and burnt him to char in front of him.
  • Ivan does not like Feril, considers him a freak and a punk. But he's aware that Feril will not die, no matter how much he's beaten, and he's aware that Feril can be anywhere and strike with frightening savagery. Ivan is cautious around him.
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Zhang Li
Origin: Magic
Archtype: Mastermind
Powersets: Ninjas / Cold Domination
Alignment: Villain

 

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Character Description:
Zhang Li is a sorcerer from a forgotten age. There are still legends in China of the "Winter-King". But on the eve of victory, he was cast down by an outlander sorceror, Cygnus.

 

To prevent him from re-forming his essence, Cygnus had made a pact with Yu'lon, the Jade Dragon, a protector spirit that could not defeat Zhang Li on it's own. The spirit Yu'lon took physical form of a great statue of a Jade Dragon curled about a pillar where his soul would be imprisoned and devoured.

 

Zhang Li knew he was doomed, but fought on. For thousands of years Yu'lon ate away at him. Even as the statue was put on a freighter and carried across the oceans to the Overlook Art Museum, they fought silently. He was near final death when the Faultline incident smashed the statue, sundering Yu'lon, and freeing him at last. Though weakened, he has taken on flesh once more, and summoned his Storms, ninja-spirits bound to eternal service to him. Zhang Li will recover his power, and subject this world to his dominion.

 

Additional Notes:

  • inspired by Lo Pan of Big Trouble in Little China, but with an ice-mage twist. 
  • Serves Hephaesto for now, while he remains weakened. Fully plans to overthrow him, and bind Hephaesto to serve him in the fullness of time.
  • Hephaesto is fully aware of this, and has multiple scenarios planned out to deal with him when the time comes, some relying on Feril, some not. Hephaesto has even kicked around the idea of allowing Zhang Li to triumph, and coat the world in ice, so that people might turn to a figure of living flame as a rescuer.
  • Cygnus is not yet aware that he is loose upon the world once more. 
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Tithonos
Origin: Magic
Archtype: Corruptor
Powersets: Dark Blast / Dark Miasma
Alignment: Villain

 

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Character Description
"Never more shall I be free, escape these chains of life. For I have dined on honey-dew, and drunk the milk of paradise..."

 

Ages ago in the Scottish Highlands, Cormag Dunbar bargained with the Sidhe. His wish: To Never Die. It was granted. He bargained... poorly. If cut he still bled, and he did not heal faster than any other man. He still aged. Caught in a blaze his flesh will blacken and char, but he can never die. He has been buried alive in a mudslide, trapped for 80 years, his body invaded by worms and burrowing things, driven mad by confinement, but he can never die.

 

Cormag has learned enough necromancy to suck life from others to grant himself temporary youth, but above all he seeks a means to break his curse, to be allowed to die. His greatest terror is that the world will end and he will drift helplessly in the void. Forever alive. Forever alone. Forever tormented by vacuum. Wishing he could die.

 

Additional Notes

  • quote at the beginning of his description is an adaptation of the lyrics at the end of the Rush song, Xanadu. I just swapped out "Caves of Ice" and added "Chains of Life". The song still seems quite appropriate for a mad immortal man seeking above all a release from life, but forever denied it. 
  • the name is reference to a figure of Greek mythology, and is sometimes spelled Tithonus. But Tithonos is used too, and this is the spelling I could get. Cormag is not meant to ACTUALLY be Tithonus of Troy, he simply felt the name appropriate after reading the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and took it as his own.
  • Cormag is entirely uninterested in world domination or riches or other classic villain goals. He just wants to be able to die. 
  • Hephaesto employs him, using his power in a favor-for-favor exchange to recover certain artifacts, locate various wizards, etc. 
  • His outlook may change upon gaining Incarnate power. Right now he has to suck the life out of someone every few days to not age into a withered zombie husk. Combat drains him more, requiring him to draw life (Twilight's Grasp) from his foes several times.
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Gloomspinner
Origin: Natural
Archtype: Night Widow
Alignment: Rogue

 

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Character Description
Rebecca Hanson grew up in a poor family in Port Oakes, wondering why the United States allowed the Rogue Isles to deteriorate so. Television showed a near idyllic life on the mainland, after all, and surely the nation that won so many wars, fielded so many heroes, and driven back the Rikti, could spare some effort for Port Oakes. Eventually she realized the truth. The United States simply didn't care. Not enough.

 

Rebecca studied judo and karate to be better able to protect herself, but her fate truly shifted when Arachnos noticed she had moderate psychic abilities. That, plus her athleticism, allowed her to join the ranks of the Widows. She has never looked back. It's a far better choice than being a clerk at a hardware store, helpless and preyed upon, or being the dame of a Family tough, and enjoying their protection only while still young and pretty. 

 

She would once have preferred a simple, peaceful life. But if she can't have that, well, it's better to be the hammer than the nail.

 

Additional Notes:

  • because yea, why WOULD Recluse be given such free rein to do any darn thing he pleased in the Rogue Isles except that no one cared enough to stop him, or would otherwise be focused on a more Cold War geopolitical outlook where "we can use Recluse against X, Y, and Z".
  • And I tried to think, okay, say you were a normal everyday person living in the Rogue Isles. Why WOULD you join up with Arachnos instead of catching the first boat or plane out? Beacuse a Widow isn't just a freelance villain. A Widow has SIGNED UP WITH Arachnos. Who does that?  All I could come up with is no one is willing to take them in. You join Arachnos to have some measure of protection, because otherwise you're easy prey. So you have to make whatever faustian bargain you need to have a half-decent life. Or at least, that's what you tell yourself AT FIRST, as bit by bit, day by day, you're a little bit more corrupted by the power, and a become a little bit more ruthless to guard what you have.
  • Has zero TRUE loyalty to Arachnos. Serves for the abilities to defend herself, to be able to boss others around.
  • Was VERY interested in Praetoria as a possible safe haven to run to, until learning of what became of anyone with a hint of a psychic gift. Being a Seer is not her idea of happy fun-time.
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Deepfathom
Origin: Mutant
Archtype: Corruptor
Powersets: Water Blast / Sonic Resonance
Alignment: Rogue

 

Deepfathom.jpg.29ad0199baedf266a200c5c44781c25c.jpg

 

Character Description
Danielle Fleur Lessard, was heiress apparent to Henri Lessard, a fanatical mutant-hater and financier of the Earth For Humans movement.

 

Days before her wedding, for no reason except perhaps karmic justice, her latent mutations went into full bloom. At a party in front of everyone, her pale skin deepened to an angry bruise. Her blue eyes turned a baleful red. Her brown tresses shifted to sky-blue. She grew fangs, and her fingernails became claws. Dani shrieked at her reflection and glass shattered and water burst from the ground around her.

 

Her father disowned her on the spot, avowing that no child of his could be a mutant, publicly accusing her mother of infidelity. Her friends and fiance, far more enthralled by her father's money than her, immediately agreed and rejected her.

 

Dani threw herself off a bridge. 
But she did not die. 

Enraged at almost killing herself for her father's hate, she swore revenge.

 

Additional Notes:

  • One of my more sympathetic redsiders. Arguably, she never did anything more wrong than be born into money and believe everything she was taught growing up, hook, line, and sinker. 
  • she was never tested for mutant genes growing up, as prior to her mutations manifesting, her father would not even hear a HINT of his little princess "being some kind of tainted abomination" (as he would have called it). So there was never any chance of her being brought to GIFT at an early age and learning to control her powers until they flared all at once. 
  • As she's adapted to her new reality, she has become friends with Medusa Girl and Feril, feeling a kinship of being freaks and outcasts.
  • She still wants her old life back, and knows full well that can NEVER happen. 
  • Still maintains contact with Remi Marchand, a family friend and confidant, who in truth cares nothing for her but plans to use her to murder her father after Remi manipulates Henri into changing his will.
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Fixeur
Origin: Mutant
Archtype: Defender
Powersets: Empathy / Psychic Blast
Alignment: Rogue

 

Fixer.jpg.4d4b48801abc58b95976bcd44236ec48.jpg

 

Character Description
Remi Marchand has cultivated deep ties with the Family, owed many favors by many powerful individuals. He is famous in some circles, but the wider public has never heard of him, and Remi prefers it this way. Most who know him, know him as a shrewd businessman, an excellent negotiator who always seems to find a way to leave all parties believing that they came out ahead.

 

In truth, Remi is a mutant, with a powerful telempathic gift. He can read and manipulate the emotions of others, and he has no hesitation or remorse in doing so. He can heal, and he can use his power to turn people into near-unstoppable combatants... and he uses this, together with his basic telempathic gift, to coerce others into doing his dirty work, while accruing owed favors from mob bosses who know they would be dead but for his intervention. Never realizing he arranged for them to be wounded so that he could put them in his debt.

 

A "Fixer" in every sense of the word.

 

Additional Notes

  • is in many ways a sociopath. Due to his powers he can understand what others feel and why, but they are all simply playthings to him. Toys to be directed and manipulated however he wants them to be. 
  • used his telempathic powers to gain the trust of Henri Lessard, Deepfathom's father, and to ensure Henri never questioned for even a moment whether Remi might be a mutant himself. 
  • has no desire for world domination; can't be bothered with it. 
  • ruthlessly uses his powers to ensure he has all the best things in life. Wealth, women, respect, adulation.
  • much of this fell apart when he was caught in large scale Family bust / financial sting. While being processed he tried to use his powers to convince the officers he was entirely an innocent bystander and they should want to let him go. But Cygnus felt it, and rendered him unconscious, and on Cygnus's word he was brought to a special holding cell for telepaths while they investigated further. Eventually he was sent to the Zig. 
  • in the Zig he called in many favors to gain preferential treatment, and eventually escaped with Arachnos.
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Jack Spades
Origin: Technology
Archtype: Blaster
Powersets: Dual Pistols / Devices
Alignment: Rogue

 

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Character Description
Call me Jack Spades. No, of course that's not my real name. I'm a professional. Real names just cause trouble. Jack Spades is memorable, is an easy calling card, won't agitate any former associates by sounding too much like one of their callsigns, and won't be confused for an MHI.

 

You went through some trouble to arrange this meeting, which means you want work done. Untraceable work. Maybe extracting data or personnel, maybe planting one or the other. But much more likely, you need wetwork done, in a manner that can't get back to you.

 

I can also tell you're new at this. Nothing goes on paper. A man's word is his bond in this business. Also, you may be interested in these photos of your home and kids. Don't get any ideas about trying to 'tie up any loose ends' after the job's done, clear? You pay me when the job is done, I go my way, you go yours, and everyone lives happily ever after. Well, except the people you want dead.

 

Additional Notes:

  • ex Malta agent who managed to go freelance without a price on his head.
  • does not talk about exactly how he managed that.
  • has kept Malta's secrets under extreme duress. Some speculate his "exit inteview" may have involved selective memory erasure. 
  • is able to keep in touch, presumably with a series of dead-drops or an emergency call line.
  • does not appear to have any hostility toward MHI's, considers prior interactions "nothing personal, just business".
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Yu'lon
Origin: Magic
Archtype: Scrapper
Powersets: Staff Fighting / Willpower
Alignment: Praetorian

 

Yulon.jpg.be6696f635162b928c805d80aa49cbd7.jpg

 

Character Description
Toshiko Harper lived a fairly normal life in Praetoria. As normal as life gets in the city of Emperor Marcus Cole, preserver of humanity. Tosh worked as a surveyor and researcher, in the dangerous task of charting out the subways beneath the city, and tunnels that lead off from them.

 

In one such foray, her team and the PPD guard were completely overrun by ghouls. She ran, down tunnels and access corridors, looking for a way to the surface. She ran into a dead end, in a triple-sub-basement of a ruined museum. Rubble blocked the stairs up. The door she locked behind her was denting as the ghouls howled in rage. Among the artwork and statues in basement, was a serpentine Jade Dragon, holding a bladed spear.

 

Tosh was no warrior but the door would not hold long, and a spear was better than nothing. As she touched the spear there was an explosion of power. She found herself armored and filled with martial skill. She was Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent.

 

Additional Notes:

  • Toshiko and Harper are both references to Torchwood
  • This Yu'lon is the Praetorian version of the Yu'lon that Cygnus made a pact with to contain and destroy Zhang Li.
  • In Praetria, Yu'lon succeeded, and Zhang Li is no more.
  • Toshiko is now the human avatar of this spirit.
  • She will stay in Praetoria, as a Praetorian, never choosing Hero or Villain until lvl 50.
  • Headcanon, feeling an echo of Yu'lon is why Cygnus asked Blue Avatar and Bluejay to enter the TUNNEL.
  • In my imaginary Final Showdown of characters, her appearance on the battlefield will send Zhang Li into a Villainous Blue Screen of Death
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Sagitarrius
Origin: Natural
Archtype: Blaster
Powersets: Archery / Tactical Arrow
Alignment: Praetorian 

 

Sagitarrius.jpg.46735a3af84fa98bf7dc9fe9d10a7070.jpg

 

Character Description
Dawn Marigold grew up as a protected and priviliged child in Emperor Cole's capitol city. With no real need to work, she chose to focus on athletics, and social climbing. Dawn excelled at archery, winning 1st place in every contest she entered, without even using her family connections.

 

She lost her arm in a car crash caused by the Destroyers. She was still recovering in the hospital, adapting to the horror that her arm had been severed and a prosthetic put in it's place, when she was informed that she was being conscripted into Powers Division whether she liked it or not. Her skills already made it borderline, but with the strength of her robotic arm added, it was now REQUIRED, in the Emperor's name.

 

Dawn is determined to claw her way back to the life of idle wealth and easy living that she believes is her right and due.

 

Additional Notes:

  • name is mis-spelled, but I didn't realize it until she ws lvl 17, and decided to let it stand.
  • did mostly Power and Crusader arcs in the 1-20 journey
  • will end up Redside
  • has no desire to end up in some kind of standoff between Emperor Cole and the super-powers of Paragon City
  • By the end of the 1-20 arc, she realized she'll never ever have a cushy life on Praetoria again, so she's leaving. Plus, the idea of a world without Hamidon on Steroids has it's appeal.
  • will feel right at home in St. Martial
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Grayshade
Origin: Magic
Archtype: Sentinel
Powersets: Ice Blast / Dark Armor
Alignment: Praetorian

 

Grayshade.jpg.0255dbd7ecc7ae24388dadb23956987e.jpg

 

Character Description
Tara Helene Fisher is a citizen of Praetoria. She harbors no illusions about Emperor Cole or his Praetors, but she is keenly aware how close humanity was to being wiped out forever by the Hamidon. Cole may not be benevolent, but she is certain that without him, none of them would be around to debate better ways of life.

 

Tara is also a mutant, though she did not know this until this year. Twenty Devouring Earth attacked Tiberious Point one Sunday. Over a hundred people died, including most of Tara's family. As they reached for her, she felt a frigid emptiness within. The Devouring Earth froze to ice and shattered upon touching her. Her skin, hair, and even clothing had become gray, drained of all color. All light, all energy, kinetic, sonic, thermal or otherwise was simply sucked into her and gone. She laid waste to the Devouring Earth in her rage.

 

Her powers have NEVER manifested so strongly since, but TPN called her The Gray Shade, and Powers Division has her registered under that name.

 

Additional Notes:

  • Her powers are tied to her emotional state. Feelings of loss, betrayal, hate, rage and cynicism, all strengthen her inner conduit to the Netherworld, and the cold emptiness that she uses to power her attacks. Friendship, joy, and hope weaken her powers.
  • To be more and more powerful, her life has to suck worse and worse.
  • In my Final Showdown, she will be the one who stops Hephaesto, quenching the endless fire within him by leeching it all out and into the endless hunger of the Netherworld. This will only be possible because of who Hephaesto has killed in front of her.
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Coatl
Origin: Natural
Archtype: Stalker
Powersets: Ninja Blade / Ninjistu
Alignment: Praetorian

 

Coatl.jpg.083fcb60d25dda431f90b9e6b3366475.jpg

 

Character Description
The assassin known as Coatl was born Benedict Stefan Morgan, on Praetoria. His family was the result of decades of genetic engineering by the 5th Column... and were freed when the 5th Column was consumed during the Hamidon Wars. His family joined the crew of a cargo ship, transporting resources from the wild to Imperial City.

 

Disaster struck at age 12. The Devouring Earth attacked, and he watched in horror as everyone he knew, including his sister Jessica, were taken and infested. Benedict survived only because Praetor Sinclair and his forces arrived and slew the Devouring Earth... and then all infected ...including Jessica.

 

Coatl was trained by Chimera ever since. A separate wing of Project Phoenix, each unknown to the rest. After he was fooled by what he saw too many times, Sinclair took his eyes. To their surprise, Coatl reacts better and faster without them, "seeing" without sight. His training complete, Chimera has assigned him to infiltrate Powers Division.

 

But how loyal is he?

 

Additional Notes

  • his dead sister Jessica is the Praetorian version of the Primal Earth woman who grew up to become Trifid.
  • On Primal earth, it was Benedict who died young, one reason primal Jessica became withdrawn and avoided people.
  • he was not merely blinded by Chimera. He no longer has eyeballs. They were removed.
  • I haven't fully worked out all the handwaving needed for him to read signs and documents and operate computer terminals other than a nebulous "second sight". If his primal earth reflection of his sister was a powerful latent telepath, he could be one too.
  • such telepathic infusion of his will into his blade is why it can cut steel or stone, or harm incorporeal spirits.
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Shadow Hand
Origin: Science
Archtype: Dominator
Powersets: Dark Control / Rad Assault
Alignment: Praetorian

 

Morden.jpg.4c468c9e4a7d433c5ce3c64592823ca3.jpg

 

Character Description
Eric Rafael Morden is a smooth-talking businessman from the Imperial City. Always perceptive, always able to close deals for his 'associates', no matter how shady.

 

There was... an incident. Or perhaps, 'will be'. Morden is not sure which. He knows the PPD woke him up and pulled him from a still-smoldering ruin he was told had been the center of a massive explosion. And he is periodically hit by waves of Deja-Vu, knowing what will come next. There was no trace of his partner...a man named Hakim al-Najjar. There is absolutely no record of any such person ever existing. Morden began to hear chittering darting whispers that he can't quite understand and recorders do not detect.

 

Morden has POWER now. Shadows are no longer just patches of lesser illumination near him. They reach out and grasp his foes, or strike from his hands. And the whispers in his mind drive men to do his will. Power too strong to hide and too untrained to resist, he was conscripted into Powers Division.

 

Additional Notes:

  • 'Morden' as a smooth-talking deal closer for his 'associates' is of course, a Babylon 5 reference.
  • There is NOTHING in B5 canon that I can find that ever given Morden a first or middle name, so I made them up.
  • In this universe, he never went to Zha'Ha'Dum, never met the Shadows, never worked for them.
  • Instead an experiment gone wrong has made him a conduit for malevolent Shadowy forces.
  • I cannot tell you how badly I want an alternate animation for the T9 shadow pet that looks like a B5 Shadow. But that will never happen because copyrights, so I will have to make do with Shadow Puppy.
  • His partner who created a space-time disruption is my only half-fleshed out Praetorian Time Defender.
  • All his Rad Assault and Pool powers use a pitch-black with hints of very dark blue color scheme. I just didn't want the feathery fluffy look of Dark Assault, and I already had a Dark Blast character in Tithonos, anyway.
Edited by MTeague
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