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@Crasical's Characters: The Tournament Arc

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I have kind of a lot of alts. 


I say 'kind of' because I know there are people who are going to say that 26 isn't actually that many, but I wanna clarify none of these are throwaway characters, I've dragged most of them to 50 the slow way. Regardless, it's enough that "I'm a lot of people." has become sort off a recurring stock response to people remarking "Oh, You're [Character]?!"


So I've been sort of on and off been thinking of making one of these threads, but never quite got around to it. Well, I've realized that I have a whole toychest of action figures here: Might as well smash 'em together and go 'pchoo pchoo crash bang'.




That's right: It's a character list in the form of a tournament.


I've gone ahead and seeded characters based on the sum of their archetypes' Survivability, Ranged and Melee damage, based on that graph that pops up when you're picking the archetype. Those are, of course, only very broad suggestions at best and outright misleading at worst, and variable on powerset picks,  so we're likely to see some upsets here.


As it is, it seems like the general ranking seems to be
Blasters > VEATs > Brutes > Scrappers > Stalkers > Tanks > Sentinels > Dominators > Masterminds > Corruptors > Defenders > Controllers 
Which, we'll see how that bears out. Also yes, this is excluding the HEATs, because it turns out I kind of don't like playing Kheldians. So they're being excluded, which does constitute bullying but I don't care.

There's two of each archetype, one hero, one villain, except for the VEATS who are both villains, so team evil has a very slight edge in this showdown.


I suppose that's it for the ground rules. Next post will start off the tournament proper.


Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Coming in hot off the block at Seed 16 is Samuel Hain, though his friends just call him 'Sam'. Or they would, if he had friends. To be fair: It's not easy to make friends when you're an unseelie fey, evil trickster, and creature of darkness. Sam is minor fairy nobility, a liminal spirit and barrow-guardian, having authority over the festival of Samhain. In practical terms he's a supernatural border patrol officer, keeping dangerous creatures from the spirit world from sneaking into the mortal plane, and warning humans away from accidentally wandering over to the Oher Side during periods when the worlds grow too close.


Or at least, he's supposed to. In actuality Sam is bored of his vigil and open enough to being paid off to let travelers cross over illegally, both ways. He's always willing to bargain, and often enough to cut a deal that seemingly favors the other party: A minor magical enhancement in exchange for not eating a specific candy, knowledge of a hidden passageway to the spirit world in exchange for carrying and never losing a pretty stone, or magical tutelage in exchange for a tithe of Halloween candy gained trick-or-treating. What Sam actually gets out of these banal pacts is the right to enforce them: Specifically, the right to cross over into the mortal world and make sure the other party is holding up their end of the bargain. The bargains are largely pretext for him to abandon his post and go roaming about causing mischief.


Unfortunately, Sam's sense of mischief is defined by a inhuman fey sense of morality. While he might find harmlessly wandering about shapeshifted into the Headless Ghost of Statesman amusing, he also thinks that a whole squad of Longbow agents waking up in the hospital collectively wondering 'What the actual fuck was that' after a sudden and savage attack is equally funny. Generally, seeing the scarecrow out and about means one of three things: Either he's shirking his duties guarding the borders off the spirit realm, he's fulfilling one of the many bargains he actually has to put some effort into himself, or it's Halloween. 


While the first case is hard to predict, as what happens to amuse Sam from moment to moment is subject to his strange whims, it's increasingly common to see him bound to a particular task: The Cabal, M.A.G.I., The Midnight Squad and Arachnos have all entered pacts with him in the past to deal with a specific problem. Sam has been fairly free in allowing himself to be summoned and is starting to regret it; The day when he starts try and wriggle out of some of his more time-consuming and onerous obligations is fast approaching. Ironically, the method he currently favors is to make a new bargain, with the required payment being preventing someone else from fulfilling the terms of their obligation to Sam so the earlier contract is nullified. The drawback that this leaves him with the same number of contracts doesn't dissuade Sam, he pacted and pledged his way into this mess and by the high throne he's going to pact his way out of it.



Being a spirit of Samhain, it's not a surprise Sam is very active during Halloween, but during the month he's generally unusually focused on his actual job, catching up on months of backlog while the proximity to the spirit world throws the world into chaos and spirits cross back and forth freely, throwing the world into eternal night as they do. While unseelie hunting bands cross over to earth with Eochai and Jack of Irons in tow, or powerful Hollow Reapers stalk the streets for souls to harvest, he must work to keep his position within the Courts.



Sam is a Magic Dominator with Darkness Control and Savage Assault as his powersets. His ancillary set is Primal Forces, with pool picks in Concealment and Fighting. His notable powers are as follows:


  • [Shadow Manipulation] Darkness moves at Sam's command, simultaneously the least and greatest of his abilities. His opponents will find their shadows rise up as murky tentacles or grasping hands, in a single petrifying binding or a whirling maelstrom of darkness that blots out the senses. 
  • [Spirit Conjuration] Sam rarely is entirely alone. Drawing in shadows, he can create temporary vessels for lesser unbodied Unseelie to inhabit, ranging from wispy ghosts to terrible stalking black dogs to murders of crows that swarm and peck. Sam can also manipulate his opponent's shadows to open the up to possession by this same cadre of malicious fey.
  • [Shapeshifting] Sam can take on many forms, some more convincing than others: While he doesn't expect appearing as Ms. Liberty to fool anyone for very long, it might be good for a laugh. Similarly, he often appears as different monsters when in combat: An alien beast, a frightening clown, a hockey-mask wearing slasher. 
  • [Claws] Despite his shapeshifting. Sam's combat forms generally have the 'tell' of long, sharp talons. While more than willing to savage and maim his foes, Sam isn't truly equipped for a fair fight with a dedicated melee combatant, and he tends to only approach to put these natural weapons to use once the enemy is helpless with fear.
  • [Jumpscare!] Sam likes to lurk about unseen and pick his engagements: He often starts fights by appearing from nowhere in a burst of shadows and cackling laughter, terrifying his opponents. Even during a fight he blends concealment and speed to rush up to opponents in a flurry of claws, appearing suddenly in front of or on top of a foe already attacking.
  • [Curse of Annihilation] Sam tends to hold this attack in reserve, as the weight of evil summoned by this attack is so powerful that it causes a backlash or recoil, withering and corroding his own body when used, his hands harmed by the same eerie green light he uses to smite his opponent. However, it provides a potent 'tankbuster' attack against enemies that are resistant to his claws. making it a risky but viable strategy.
  • [Sturdy] Sam has some of the eerie, dreamlike inevitability of a nightmare. fists, blades, guns and the like seem to always do less damage than they should. However, while it's enough to delect some panicked, glancing hits and increase his aura of fear and invulnerability, Sam is a Dominator and remains relatively frail. 



Edited by Crasical

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Our seed 17 and heroic Mastermind is a transdimensional Czech and Portal Corp employee, Dr. Oleg Makovic, better known in the hero community as Comrade Utopia.

Oleg was born on an alternate earth where corporations eclipsed governments in power and became the law unto themselves; Caped heroes were little more than advertisements for the corporations that sponsored them, and the greatest measure of one's personal worth was the size of their bank account. Wealth inequality was staggering, with ever-more of the population falling into poverty every year. Those living in the outskirts, the slums and backstreets of the big city were squeezed for every eurodollar, forced to toil in dead end jobs with no hope of advancement, or to constantly move between part-time positions. Many turned to crime just to make ends meet and avoid being rounded up by the street sweepers as homeless, sent off for 'processing' and never seen again. Whole 'academy towns' sprung up outside the gates of the corporate enclaves of desperate aspirants hoping to study for and pass the incredibly stringent examinations to become a cog in the great machines, to ascend to the arcologies and live a life of security and comfort.


Oleg was clever and a fast study, gifted. He was always a few steps ahead of his fellow students, even before his mutations expressed. Once they did, he was practically a living computer; neurons and nerves rewired with supercooled organic metal allowed for speed and reaction far greater than even peak human ability. The half-semester he missed as his body painfully reworked itself into a frigid vessel of intellect was made up for in days. Oleg passed the entrance examination to the Prague arcology with flying colors, and tried to ignore the feelings of guilt he felt, the resentment and jealousy directed his way. 


Life in the arcology was infinitely safer and more comfortable than the dangerous squalor of the backstreets, even in the relatively clean and controlled academy town. Working as a maintenance engineer, Oleg kept the arcology running, performing simple routine inspections and fixes to the systems and machines around him, including the arcology's force of robotic drones. These simple robots became a subject of fascination for him, something he felt internally conflicted about: Every robot replaced a job that one of his comrades from the academy town could have worked; and yet, those drones did dangerous and dirty work; would it better to have one of his learned, studious colleagues here with him but relegated to scrubbing the floors? The questions grew and grew, and Oleg became increasingly dissatisfied. He was here on the strength of his natural gifts, his position felt unearned. Why was he living in comfort while others starved outside? When Oleg shared his thoughts with other arcology dwellers, they laughed his concerns off. The people outside hadn't done anything for the corporation, so why would the corporation throw away money keeping them safe and fed? Wasn't it arrogant to think that doing nothing entitled you to pay? Wasn't it arrogant to think that being alive entitled you to keep on living? Communism was, in Oleg's world as on Primal Earth, as failed ideology, unworkable. The nickname 'Comrade' he received from his fellow engineers was, then, not a flattering one.


Contact with Primal Earth scientists, though it happened half a world away, sent shockwaves through society. Other earths, other dimensions, existed. This other earth had a 'portal corp' dedicated to exploring them. A bidding war erupted amongst the megacorps, who demanded that Primal Earth sell them the technology, this new competitive edge to their enterprises. No amount of money seemed to tempt the scientists, however, and they retreated into the portal from whence they came, declaring Oleg's native earth to be a 'Dystopic Dimension', one that would not be contacted again for security reasons. In time, the excitement died down, and with no breakthroughs forthcoming, dimensional travel was decreed to be just as much of a financial dead end as space travel, and all research projects were officially abandoned. Unofficially, the information galvanized Oleg. He had long given up on his own world, but if others existed, perhaps in one had succeeded where his had failed, and created a society based on the principles of liberty, equality, peace, justice, and progress rather than the endless naked greed and drive for profit that his own represented.


Researching in secret, Oleg spent years assembling a prototype dimensional transport harness. After dozens of failures, he managed to create an unstable warp suit, hurled between different dimensions trying to find his dreamed-of utopia. None of the other worlds he found met his criteria, many were dead or dying after a civilization-destroying disaster, some were fascist dictatorships, or primitive, savage and even crueler than his native dimension. The closest he ever found was Praetorian Earth, where despite the tyrannical reign of Marcus Cole, he found the vast proliferation of robot labor and the extremely high quality of life for its citizens inspiring. With Praetoria's destruction, the last few rays of a setting sun vanished, and he chose to evacuate to Primal Earth with the rest of the city. With the remaining people of Praetoria living here, as well as the offices of Portal Corp, he has chosen to put a temporary end to his aimless wandering, instead assisting the displaced Praetorians as a Clockwork technician, and to assist Portal Corp in exploring other dimensions, hoping that somewhere out there, a better and more perfect world exists.


Comrade Utopia is a Mutant Mastermind with Robotics and Cold Domination as his powersets. His ancillary set is Chill Mastery, with pool picks in Super-Speed, Leadership, and Medicine. His notable powers are as follows:


  • [High Speed Thought] An across-the-board boost to many attributes. Medicine, rapid repair of his machines, optimized combat routines, and more.
  • [Roboticist] Enhanced mutant intelligence has a great many benefits, but the swarm of custom robotic servants and bodyguards that surround the doctor are the most obvious example of his genius. Equipped with a steel hammer-fist and MKVI 'Sickle' laser weaponry, the robots original roles acting as lab assistants and cooking and cleaning as robotic maids have been largely superseded by their duties as bodyguards and soldiers.
  • [Supercooled Nervous System] The other half of High Speed thought, Oleg has a low-gade superspeed, his nervous impulses traveling faster along supercooled metal nerves, while his muscles and skin are reinforced to operate at subzero conditions. This lets him run without tiring and at great speed, as well as a dodging most physical attacks thrown at him. However nimble he is, however, he is still only a Mastermind, and is unsuited to frontline battle.
  • [Cryonic Emanation] Oleg eschews weapons and simply projects beams of extreme cold, should he deign to personally engage enemies. These attacks weaken, slow, numb and expose enemies, more suited for finishing off weakened enemies or opening strong opponents up for his robots to dispatch.
  • [Cryonic Bloom] While his robots are designed to benefit from Oleg's mutations, with exposed heat-sinks that he can drain to keep the laser weapons from overheating and their defensive forcefields working at optimal levels, Cryonic Bloom is the focused culmination of his abilities. Creating a spark of absolute cold that expands into waves of frost like a blooming flower, Oleg can supercool himself and his robots, letting them achieve optimal performance for a brief period of time while subjecting his opponent to bitter, hostile conditions. 
Edited by Crasical

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Match 1: Seed 16 Samuel Hain Versus Seed 17 Comrade Utopia


Claxons blared as Oleg skated through the hallways, the ice forming under his feet crunching and cracking under the heavy metal of the robots that followed in his wake. Between the buzzing wails of the alarms, an automated message was piped over the intercom:


"Alert. Villain activity is present in building 112. Occupants of building 112, please evacuate the premises in an orderly fashion. Occupants of building 111 and 110 please shelter in place until an all-clear is given. This message repeats. Alert. Villain activity is present..."



No scientists in sight, he mused. They've all evacuated by now, or have been captured for use as hostages. He crushed down the cynical part of him that followed this up with 'or they're all dead already'. No point. Run faster. Arctic mist poured off his body as he pushed himself further, tensing his muscles as he turned the last corner and leapt, flying over the railing into the primary portal room. Time slowed to a crawl as he fell. Portal open, unstable. arcs and whips of energy lashing out from the central wormhole. PPD on the floor, down. The drones ripped apart, shredded by jagged-edged claws, the Awakened leaking streams of light and pale, luminous blood from deep gashes. Culprit... there. The grotesque parody of a scarecrow. gathering cold in his right hand, he hurled a bolt of frozen energy at the villain, before thrusting out his left to arrest this fall. Landing with one knee bowed, one hand out to quickly push him back upright, he jerekd his head up in time to see the pumpkin-headed transgressor jerk out of the way of his snap shot.


"Oho. Quick one, aren't you. I admire your lack of hesitation." The scarecrow sketched a mocking bow as Oleg rose, holding his hand up, palm forward, where a spike of ice gathered. "Halt! By Longbow directive 22-A, you are under arrest! Place your hands behind your head and come quietly, comrade."

The villain let out a bone-chilling laugh at that. "Oh, I'm afraid I'm no comrade of yours. The name is Hain, Samuel Hain. A friend of mine needs access to your fancy portal machine, so kindly stand aside. Otherwise, well, you'll meet the same unfortunate fate as these constables..." 


There was a deafening CLANG as Utopia's demolitions robot landed behind him, its skeletal frame half obscured behind layers of thick, ablative ice. The protector bots followed, filling the air with the static tingle of their forcefields, with the general service trio bringing up the rear. Utopia kept his hand upraised, pointed at Hain, but even behind his thick goggles the expressive eyebrow raise came across clearly. "Yes? And now? No need to do anything foolish, comrade." Sam made a noise as if he'd just clucked his tongue, though the jack-o-lantern remained motionless, expressing only its fixed grin. "Tsk... Very well." Raising his hands, the shadows pooled around the fallen bodies of the Kheldian officers slithered and writhed, sliding forwards as clumps of darkness, shapeless wraiths taking form. A great stalking black dog erupted with a howl, its jaws dripping ichorous black drool as it set itself between its summoner and the mechanical soldiers. "Let's dispense with the ultimatums and begin." Utopia grimaced, bracing himself. "You asked for this. Robots! Attack pattern Sigma nine!" 


With that command, Utopia fired off that spike of ice, leaping backwards as he did, the huge dog's jaws snapping shut where he'd been a split second before. The ice sailed through the air between a hail of laser fire, skewering Sam an sending a burst of straw and tattered fabric flying as it passed through his skinny body. Skidding backwards, he slammed a palm against the floor. As the huge shadowy wolf gathered its legs under it to pounce, a tiny pearl of sheer cold formed below it, sending out a rippling wave of supercooled air, layers and waves of frost and mist peeling off it like a blooming flower, fractal patterns frozen across the floor in its wake. Caught in the eruption, the shadowy spectre was unable to dodge when it caught a demolition charge to the face, screeching demonically as the blast ripped open the mass of nether-darkness that made up its body.


Utopia's eyes darted around frantically, his robots advancing between sprays of laser and plasma, the beam weaponry quite effective on the shadowy fey constructs. But he'd lost sight of the main opponent, having expected the Dominator to advance along with his pet. Instead, Sam had hung back, howling with laughter as the long shadow he cast on the ground, backlit by the portal, erupted. Grasping tentacles of abyssal blackness rose to grip and entangle, while a seemingly unending cloud of cawing crows poured out around him, swooping in to peck at the ice and steel of Utopia's robotic drones. Laughable, until they began to target the optics and joints, the precise and regimented weapons fire becoming erratic as the drones started to try and blast at the attacking murder. Grunting, Utopia started to perform manual targeting overrides, the repair drone would be enough to keep the drones functional until...


And then Sam was upon him in a blink of an eye. The wobbling stick legs the wicked fairy balanced on suddenly propelled it into the fray with a wicked lunge, Utopia avoiding a swipe to the throat by scant centimeters. The razor-sharp claws ripped at the same weak spots as the group of birds, tearing into robots that would be repaired seconds later, the searing-green nano-repair-ray unmaking a damaged component only to dynamically re-forge it on the fly. Everything in his HUD was green, with the cryonic bloom, the machine-servants were in no danger of overheating, with the repair drone actives, the villain couldn't damage them fast enough to destroy any of them. This was his method of fighting: Despite being a speedster, he wasn't a fan of blitzkrieg tactics. Instead, outlast your opponent; repairs, refueling, the thick defensive layer of ice, the forcefields. Never let up on your implacable offense and grind the enemy away.


This was all well and good in theory, and in practice it had served him well. That was up until a cackling, howling magic scarecrow became determined to rip out his jugular vein with its fingers. None of his simulated battles had really prepared him for THAT. Feinting left an juking right, Utopia dodged a pair of claws trying to open his ribcase like a book. One of his demolition bot's incendniaries went off, vaporizing a wraith and leaving a spreading pool of burning accelerant on the floor, but the implacable pursuer followed him through the flames, claws lashing out again and again. Still, he was keeping up, at least until his opponent let out a bellowing "ENOUGH!"


The shout, laced with dark magic, froze Utopia and his drones in place. Deep, bone-chilling fear overwhelmed him, leaving him cowering as Sam approached at a stately pace. "You're an excellent defensive combatant. If I kept fighting a conventional battle, I have no doubt you'd use some mortal trick or medicine to heal yourself should I land a blow. You'd have backup drones ready should I actually disable one. So..."


An eerie, unearthly light gathered around the scarecrow's talons. "...I'll end this in a single strike, instead."


Utopia couldn't make a sound, words frozen at his lips, but he DID scream when Hain thrust his needle-like fingers into his chest. The horrible, crawling blackness that came with it was like a poison on the soul itself, a writhing, primordial curse. There was a lot less blood, Oleg thought, than he expected, as the unseelie fey drew his hand bacck, a long, fleshy tongue flicking out from inside the jack-o-lantern to lick the red stains from his fingers. Bonelessly, he collapsed, clutching his chest. It felt like he was having a heart attack, like he couldn't draw breath... His drones fell to the grondn with a clatter, empty automatons.


"Hahaha! Yes, don't worry, 'Comrade'. I'm sure your heroic mages can break this curse before it consumes your soul entirely. Run along now. I have work to do..."
"Ngh...! Mediporter, one to teleport!"




Samuel Hain V S Comrade Utopia
Deals Lethal and Dark damage, Does not resist Energy or cold damage. - ✔️ Deals Energy and Cold damage, resists Lethal but not Dark damage
Powerful Mez Capability (Confusion, Fear) - - Resistant to Confusion and Fear
Powerful Mez Capability (Hold, Stun) ✔️ - Mez Vulnerability
Good AoE Capability, Multiple Pets - - Good AoE Capability, Multiple Pets
Bonus Perception, Invisibility - - Bonus Perception, Invisibility
Trump Card is a large amount of melee spike damage ✔️ - Trump Card is a resistance debuff and endurance sustain ability


Hain and Utopia ended up having a LOT of abilities that just counterplayed or nullified each other. Both had the ability to bring a fair number of pets to the fight, and the AoE to wipe out opposing henchmen. Both had both stealth abilities and bonus perception to block being ambushed or counter-ambushed. While Utopia's robots couldn't be feared or confused, Hain still had some very powerful controls that Utopia didn't have a counter for, while Utopia had a general advantage in dealing damage. The final tiebreaker came into their trump cards: Utopia's supports his playstyle of slowly grinding out an enemy with high defense, exhaustion effects, and lots of healing, while Hain's is a very powerful melee hit that's off-type for his usual offense. One of the ways that Utopia can LOSE fights is to get spiked from full health to zero in one hit before he can self-heal or Hibernate, and dropping a Heart of Darkness gave Hain the opportunity to do that. 


The winner of the first round is Samuel Hain, who will go on to face our first seed, Looter Goblin, as we continue down the initial set of bouts. Next round will be the Stalker, Lord Romulus, versus the Controller, Slumberlamb. See y'all next week.

Edited by Crasical

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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I don't know why we've got such a lopsided mismatch this week considering how close the first round was, but here we are.





Our 9th seed is Caleb 'Lord Romulus' Katsuros, the genius billionaire philanthropist... or so he likes to imagine himself.

Caleb, at the very least, has plenty of imagination to go around. Born into wealth and power as the heir of a shipping empire, Caleb was clever but bookish, generally withdrawn from the people around him, usually immersed in some other fantastic fictional world. Books and videogames, tales of knights and wizards and epic heroes were his companions for much of his childhood.  It was entirely to his delight when the young boy found out that his family could trace their ancestry back to the mythic past he so adored, to the emperors of rome. The fact that their heritage was that of Romulus Augustus, the infamous and reviled traitor and sorcerer-tyrant, did not bother him at all. The larger-than-life nature of the ancient warrior was what he admired, his morality was a secondary consideration if factored in at all.

It was at some otherwise unremarkable family function that Caleb met Anna Katsuros, his cousin and who would become his closest friend and confident. His elder by a few years, Anna also shy and withdrawn, and easily drawn into Caleb's hobbies of fantasy and adventure; as the two grew older, they spent hours devouring novels, running tabletop roleplaying adventures for each other, writing their own amateurish attempts at fiction, and exploring online multiplayer games together. Seeing the two loners become so close was generally seen as a good development, and neither of the pair's parents nor their caretakers noticed a decidedly sinister bent to the two's games; the tabletop adventures less concerned with saving the kingdom as with conquering it, their online adventures resulting in a reputation as vicious PKers that attacked indiscriminately, a demon king and his queen that rivaled end game bosses in the threat they posed.

Skipping several grades, the young Caleb joined his cousin at Aeon University, the most prestigious place of higher learning in the Rogue Isles. Deciding to shed his previous reputation as a gloomy loner, Caleb made his debut with a splash: He flaunted his 'villainous pedigree' as the descendant of an ancient tyrant, play-acting with the ego and dramatic flair he put into his tabletop character. He followed up by splashing about his family fortune, throwing lavish campus wide parties that everyone was invited to. Donning a toga and golden laurel, he presided over the drinking and feasting as Lord Romulus. Despite Anna's teasing that he was basically LARPing a supervillain, the parties were a huge success, causing Caleb to throw more and more effort into redoubling the spectacle each time he hosted one: Hired entertainers, Olympic feats of strength and finesse with medals and seats of honor up for grabs; then mock gladiatorial combat and 'sexy roman slave girls' (his hormonal teenage brain may have gotten the better of him with this particular idea); and eventually chasing decadence with danger, inviting the infamous of the isles, supervillains, as guests of honor; the things you'd see and the people you'd meet at these events going down in campus legend.

Supervillains, alcohol, and mock combat seemed like a general recipe for disaster, but oddly enough it wasn't that volatile mix that eventually lead to tragedy. Not everyone was fond of Caleb's large, disruptive parties, nor of his boisterous, swaggering attitude. And while he'd laugh off most complaints, he wasn't above just using his wealth to squish any criticisms (or the critics themselves) with brute force. Rather than directly, then, their displeasure was vented at his constant companion, shy and unlikely to defend herself. Insults, harassment, and vicious rumors circulated, all of which Anna bore stoically, not informing the faculty, nor her cousin, and not allowing the critics to see how deeply their insults stung. Her lack of reaction only caused them to redouble their abuse.

His cousin's suicide shook Romulus to his core. Grieving, he withdrew from public life. In isolation, surrounded by books, games, toys all linked with memories turned bitter and painful, his thoughts turned dark, curdling and growing more toxic. The most important person in his life was gone, no, she had been taken from him. He had been blind, unaware, unable to protect her. His delusions of grandeur and importance were shattered; and so he created new, stronger delusions. He'd played the part of a villain, but now he would become a villain for real. He'd played at having power and authority, and now he would seize it or real. Thankfully, rubbing elbows with supervillains and attending Aeon University, alma mater of many evil geniuses, had given him plenty of inspiration on how to turn his stockpiled wealth into real power.

It started with espionage, locating the ringleaders of the group of students who had started the worst of the rumors. From there it escalated to stalking, before finally constructing and luring the miscreants into a series of deathtraps; over which he presided in full costume and person (The spectacle of seeing these classmates eaten alive by starving beasts in his 'Coliseum of Vengeance' was not worth the difficulty of importing live lions, he later decided). With his beloved Anna avenged but feeling unfulfilled, Caleb decided that he needed to go further, to seize power. A cruel and unjust world that would allow this sort of tragedy to occur was unacceptable. The world needed to be brought to order, and he was the one to do it.

To rule the world with an iron fist, one first needs an iron fist. Driven to the laboratories under Aeon University, Caleb found he had a knack for weapon development, and for robotics. Combining the two, he assemble his first suit of power armor, a hulking, overdesigned armored warrior in the shape of a Praefectus Castrorum, one of the Cimeroran warriors, the greatest fighters history had ever known. From behind this metal faceplate he would rule over Cap Au Diable, then the rogue isles, then the world! 


Lord Romulus is a Technology Stalker with Broad Sword and Shield Defense as his powersets. His ancillary is Body Mastery, with pool picks in Fighting and Teleportation. His notable powers are as follows:


  • [I'm a genius! A GENIUS!] Romulus is not a genius. But he is smart, and has a real knack for the process of designing robots, weapons, and powered armor.
  • [My superpower is that I'm rich] While he doesn't command the whole financial might of Katsuros Shipping just yet, he still has more than enough to design and maintain a suit of state-of-the-art battle armor.
  • [Direct-Neural-Interface Electrode Band] The golden laurel crown that Romulus wears is actually a sophisticated 'speed-of-thought' interface to several computer networks, as well as his armor. It's also a posititonal beacon for his teleportation matrix, allowing him to teleport straight into his armor, or his armor straight onto his body.
  • [Tyrant-Pattern MK IV Battle Armor] Pretty much everything of note that Romulus can do in combat is the result of this custom designed, high-yield armament.
    • [Optimized Stealth Camouflage] A powerful stealth field that camouflages against most of the visible spectrum of light, baffles radar, dampens thermal signatures and silences the noise of motion. Considering that the Tyrant Armor is gigantic, towering over the average civilian and looming over even Council supersoldiers, completely obscuring its presence is an impressive feat. Opponents are often left wondering how something that weighs half as much as a truck snuck up on them.  
    • [Advanced Metalurgical Processes] Twice the durability of steel and half the weight, the composition of the Tyrant armor allowed Romulus to build an efficient, lightweight suit. He instead reasoned that if it weighs half as much, you can layer on twice the armor if you don't particularly care about being sleek or subtle. The suit is generally very resiliant, especially against physical attack.
    • [Redundant Expert Targeting Systems] Romulus is not much of a swordsman, but with his armor crammed full of computer assistance, he doesn't need to be. The varioius agent programs adjust his stance and positioning, and accelerate his motions to lethally fast and effective swordplay. The sword-and-board style of close combat provides a great deal of defense as well as offense; making him a well-rounded combatant.
    • [Hardlight Energy Matrix] Glowing purple scifi blades and shields, the coherent energy projected by his powersuit provides constantly-reforged, instantly repairing armaments. While the benefits of a nigh-unbreakable shield andnd sword is obvious, theh system also gives the armor powerful eye-lasers; something that Romulus finds particularly cool. 
    • [Mobius Infinity Reactor] While not *actually* producing limitless clean power, it gets close enough for Romulus' purposes. The suit will rarely depower without outside sapping interference, and its self-repairing systems will constantly replace damaged components.
  • [Tessaract Wormhole Drive] While Romulus grouses that now everyone and their mother taps into the teleport grid to get around, something that was once solely the domain of dedicated teleporters, he does find the ability to blink up to a foe and obliterate them with an assassin's strike very satisfying.

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Our 24th seed (Reckoned to be the single weakest entrant into the tournament) is Anna "Slumberlamb" Gallagher, Part-time heroine, librarian, and fluffy sheep person.




Anna was born in Brickstown, living a stones throw from the laboratories of the famous Dr. Brian Webb. Her parents, gifted with good fortune or a powerful gift of instinct, decided to move to a larger home with their new daughter, their moving van departing mere days before the invasion of The Reichsman and Axis Earth through Webb's original portal laboratory. 
Moving away to the growing suburbs of Eastgate, a lovely residential area that had a nice view of the ocean, they had a peaceful and happy ten years, Anna being very well loved by both her parents. With payments on the house skyrocketing and concerns about their plans to retire, the family moved from their increasingly pricey family home in Eastgate to the affordable and comfortable apartment housing in Steel Canyon. When Eastgate collapsed in on itself durin the Hollowing, destroying everything in a cataclysmic collapse, the family thanked their lucky stars, and settled in for another comfortable comfortable couple of years. 

When the Portals appeared over Paragon City, Anna's parents had had enough close calls. Packing up, the family relocated to a hotel in their favorite vacation spot, the sleepy town of Salamanca. As night fell, and the First Rikti War began, the family blessed the fortune that had so far kept them one step ahead of disaster. Though the six-month war didn't leave the lakeside resort town entirely unscathed, they weathered it far better than many others, eventually purchasing a small home to stay in while Paragon City rebuilt itself in the aftermath of the war. 

Another two years later, misfortune finally caught up with the Gallagher family. The fey incursion, the site of the magical war between the allied Fir Bolg and Cabal against the Red Caps and their Tuatha de Dannan slaves. Captured by the Tuatha for the torturous amusements of the Red Caps, the wicked fairies realized the aura of sheer fortune surrounding the family would be best used elsewhere: Working the same magic that degenerated the Tuatha into beasts and the Fir Bolg to ambulatory gourds, they cursed the Gallaghers to become sheep, their good fortune spun into wool that the Redcaps would clip and weave into their signature caps, carrying the protective good luck of the family with them. 

And so, as simple penned sheep they remained for years. Years of only being dimly aware of their surroundings, content to graze and sleep, only troubled by dreams of once having had only two legs, of standing upright. Thankfully for Anna, in the spirit world the Red Caps inhabit, dreams have power. Like a rasp, it ground away the shackles on their minds and forms, until the curse was broken: Though changed by their long durance as slaves to the Red Caps, they were themselves again, and managed to escape back to the living world. 

Resettling into their old lives, albiet with horns and silky, fluffy woolen hair, Anna in particular was troubled with prophetic dreams, dreams she started to share with the townsfolk to assist their survival while living in the crossfire of an ongoing supernatural war. Eventually, this gift for prognostication drew the attention of Percy Winkley and Buck Salinger, both agents of the mysterious Midnight Squad. Offering Anna an invitation to the secret society, she gladly accepted, beginning training to control her budding new abilities: It seemed that she had brought some spark of magical talent back with her when leaving the spirit world. From this ember of supernatural power, she slowly grew into a strong sorceress, a talent at Oneiromancy, the magic of sleep and dreams.

Anna's still leaving a peaceful, trauma free life as a Midnighter librarian, with loving and supportive parents (now happily retired); but she sometimes now puts on some spandex and goes out into the city to do some good with her parents. She has these powers, now, and feels obligated to do something with them. While she might be concerned with getting enough sleep and if her love of crispy fried snackfoods is going to make squeezing into her hero suit an issue the next time she goes on patrol, her life remains a happy one.


Slumberlamb is a Magic Controller with Illusion Control and Empathy as her powersets. Her Ancillary pool is Primal Forces Mastery, with pool picks in Force of Will. Her notable powers are as follows:


  • [Sleep!] A spell that puts the target to sleep. A simple but devastatingly effective way of ending a fight, but it only affects a single target and only works on the simple-minded.
  • [Sleepwalk] Forces the target into a near-asleep state. In this suggestible state, they can be convinced to walk about and even use their powers on Slumberlambs behalf.
  • [Nightmare!] A bad dream that can leave the target weakened, frighened, and fatigued. A waking nightmare formed of nebulous dream-fluff that exists in the real world is also possible.
  • [Dream-fluff] Bundles of good feelings and positive emotions gathered from the dreamscape and collective unconscios, these can be absorbed to heal wounds, both physical and mental, and even empower allies. These generally don't work on Slumberlamb herself.
  • [Dream Ally] Plenty of citizens of Paragon City dream of having superpowers of their own. Drawing a dreamers psyche into a construct of dream fluff, their mental-self-image of being a hero manifests as a temporary ally with real superpowers, before returning to their sleeping mind.
  • [Sheepy Leaping] Boing! Lowering her own weight and reinforcing her legs, Slumberlamb can make drifty, floating leaps
  • [Pew pew!] Firing bolts of energy has nothing to do with her main skillset, but no wizard would resist learning how to shoot laser beams. These powers are pretty inaccurate and inconsistent in how much damage they do, but she does know the spells.

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Match 2: Seed 9 Lord Romulus vs. Seed 24 Slumberlamb


"Excuse me. That book. Give it to me."
Turning around, Anna looked left and right, then down, blinking at the short young man holding his hand out to her expectantly. 
"...I'm sorry?"
"Book. Hand it over. This is a library? You are a librarian? I want to check that book out."

It took her a minute to sort through the chain of events. She was, indeed, a librarian, and dressed as such. She was indeed holding a book absent-mindedly, the Ravenna Grimoire. The problem came in that she was not a librarian at *this* library, here in Cap Au Diable, but of the mystic order of the Midnight Squad, who's secret lair just happened to exit out onto the campus. She'd just ducked out to use an invention terminal! And the book was definitely not something that an bossy young college student should have their hands on.

"I'm sorry, this book isn't part of the library catalogue, so..."
"I'll buy it from you, then, if it's a personal possession." He interrupted briskly. "A rare volume for 500 dollars cash, right this minute."
She stared. Who was this sassy child? "It's not for sale." "I don't believe that and I'm not taking no for an answer. 750." "It's NOT for SALE! This tome is very dangerous! It has knowledge that-" "Knowledge that I need! If you aren't going to give it to me, I'll take it by force!" "You'll *WHAT*?!" Anna bristled. "Who do you think you are?! You little-"
"HEY! TAKE IT OUTSIDE!" The two both looked up to find the Dean, John Yu, glaring at them. "...Fine." "Yes, sir."

Squaring off in the courtyard, Anna let out a sniff, waving a hand as she sent a pulse of energy toward her opponent, expecting him to be sent to the paving stoned in a snoring heap with just this lightest expenditure of her power. "You've got a lot to learn about manners, Mister..." "Romulus. Actually, that's Lord Romulus to you!"
Her head snapped back in surpise as shadowy purple energies coalesced around the student, a violent flash of energy leavin behind a towering machine in its wake, a sword and shield in its hands, eyes glowing a ominous purple. "Now. The book." He repeated, expecting the powersuit to intimidate her into compliance.

Slumby paused for just a moment before raising her hands, soothin blue and purple light flowing together. one, two, three, four humanoid shapes, a lingering cloud of darkness, as she quickly dropped all of her summons at once, shapes of dream and light manifesting as colored heroes and heroines, that all converged on Romulus in a rush. His shield snapped up to intercept a flaming sword, while his blade lashed out to find the phantom army intangible, his rapid strokes with a sword passingn through their bodies. He was driven onto the defensive, forced to block and parry, using small teleporting jaunts and invisibility to elude and baffle their strikes. He cast his gaze about, trying to find the summoner, to put an end to the onslaught, but she was nowhere to be found, having vanished in the confusion.

"So, you're a little bit more dangerous than I first assumed... So I'm going to let you tire yourself out fighting some dream warriors. Once you've exhausted yourself, it'll be naptime, okay?"
"Don't you... take me lightly!" Knocked and battered about, he was forced to go wholly on the defensive as figments swirled around him. His consciousness flickered and faded, forcing him to bite down on his lip, the sharp shock of pain keeping him from falling asleep entirely. The suit's defenses and auto-repair was holding, so if he just focused on keeping himself awake, just forced himself to endure...! There was no way she could maintain an assault for long, could she? The readouts on the inside of his suit flashed with dire warnings, but he couldn't trust them, couldn't trust anything, just keep fighting, and hope he didn't lose consciousness...



Sweat ran down his face, eyes unfocused as he sagged, the pavement cracking as one heavy metal knee struck it. staggered, he could barely keep himself upright, pulling his head up weakly as Slumberlamb shimmered into view, now wearing tight white spandex instead of the skirt and sweater-vest she'd had on before. Her myriad summons were gone, only the sheepy illusionist remaining. "So, are you done yet? Willing to give in?"

"Not...Hardly." Willing aching muscles to move, servos to fire, he hauled himself upright and charged. Three steps was all he needed.
First step... Knock on the door! 
Rushing forward, several microthrusters activating along the back and feet of the powersuit to accelerate it to max speed in an instant, the broad surface of his shield turned from a barricade to a ram, from armor to a weapon! The full weight of the shield and armor crashing into Slumberlambs slight form flying backwards, as if struck by a speeding truck, but he wasn't done yet.
Second step! Insert the key!
In a flash of purple haze, Romulus vanished, reappearing behind Slumberlamb. Having rotated 180 degrees and facing her back, he lunged forward with what remained of the shield bash's momentum. The blade pierced through the heroine's midsection cleanly, emerging from the front in a gout of crimson.
Third step! Open the door!
With a horrible wrench of exertion, he twisted the blade, turning it sideways and ripping it out of her body in a horizontal sweep of thhe sword. Disemboweled, cut nearly in half, the three strike sure-kill combo, Gate of Tartarus, was-


"Wow. You really did such a brutal attack on an ordinary person with no hesitation? How bloodthirsty... You're actually kind of gross, aren't you?"
Romulus' head jerked to the sidelines, where Slumberlamb was giving him a faintly disgusted look, arms folded across her chest. Looking back, he found his sword unbloodied...

"What part of you qualifies as 'Ordinary'?! What was that, another Illusion?"


"Fufufu." Slumby puffed up smugly. "You're starting to sleepwalk... your attacks won't land in this state. I can erode even your willpower with enough time, and you've given me plenty!"
"...Is that so? Then..."The armor straigthtened up, joints locking in place. 
"How about this?! A perfect psionic impervium barrier! I can counter your attacks on the fly! Go ahead! Do your worst!"


"Hhmm..?" Slumby frowned, putting a hand to her forehead. Casting out her mystic senses, she found she couldn't find Romulus' mind anymore, as if it'd fully vanished. "What?! That's impossible! You can't perfectly veil your thoughts like that! If you can think enough to carry on a conversation, that's enough for mental powers to take hold..."
"Hahah! Common sense like that doesn't apply to geniuses like me!" Romulus' armor stood immobile, tauntingly, as Slumberlamb cast forth waves of psychic energy, attempting to circumvent or overload whatever last barrier he'd erected, sweat trickling on her forehead  as she devoted all her energy and focus into the task. Drawing in all the mind-fogging slumber she could muster, she supplemented it with black threads of nightmare, a woven spectre of terror building around her.


In her intense concentration, she failed to notice the subtle blurring of optical camouflage creeping up behind her, until Lord Romulus de-cloaked behind her a long fallen stick picked up from the ground as a sword. Swung without finesse, held two handed like a baseball bat, he let out a short yell as he swung with all his might, horizontally landing a strike across Slumberlamb's spandex-clad backside with an almighty CRACK!


"HhhKYAAAAAAHGH!" Pitching forward, Slumberlamb bounced once, landing flat on her face, both hands gripping her butt, legs kicking wildly as she struggled on the floor. "OOOOOW! You BULLY! You little brat! How on earth did you-"
"Teleportation. I teleported *myself* and left the armor behind. I figured as long as I kept using the speakers, you wouldn't notice it was empty." Examining the now broken stick, he shrugged and cast it aside. "Now. The book!" "Grrr...! Fine, it's yours! But I won't forget this!"
Romulus puffed himself up smugly. "Hah. Fool! If you want to get spanked again, I'll give you a rematch any time! But today, the win, and the book, are mine!"



Lord Romulus V S Slumberlamb
Deals Lethal and some energy damage. Resists all damage except for Psionic. ✔️   Deals Psionic and energy damage (low damage). Resists Smashing and Lethal damage.
Resistant to Holds, Confusion, and Fear     Mez Capability (Hold, Confuse, Fear)
Superior Stealth, no Perception bonuses     Superior Stealth, no Perception bonuses
Only Shield Charge for AoE   ✔️ Dream Allies
Trump Card: Tartarus Gate (Single target high-damage series of attacks ✔️   Trump Card: Champion of Dreamtime (Powerful Ally Buff)
T-that name...   ✔️  'Anna'


So, really, this match should have been a draw, not because the two had evenly matched abilities, but because both can become invisible but not see through invisibility. However, no ties in this tournament, and I really do think that the sheer amount of damage a stalker can do, even a broadsword stalker, outweighs the ability to dump Phantom Army, Phantasm, and Spectral Terror on someone to mess up their day. As it is, Slumberlamb just has so much of her kit locked behind having someone to back up and support, she's just not meant for one on one duels like this. So in the end I gave th edge to Romulus, who will be moving on to face the Luchadora Colmilla. See you next week!

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Please welcome our first contestant for the third match, Seed 13, Wunderwoofen! Nicknamed 'Einz', short for 'einzigartig', 'Unique', for her... well, singular nature.

Wunder is, in her own words, a 'super-warwolf super-soldier super-prototype, with three times the super'. What that means practicality is that she's the only success(?) of an experimental procedure that occurred in the Council base on Striga Island prior to its destruction. In his never-ending medical experiments to restore his own hearing, Maestro had found a way to induce a similar sonic resonance to his own in test subjects. The possibility of Sonic Troopers was interesting to Maestro, but the process was very unstable. Maestro decided to reach out to Nosferatu, the originator of the original supersoldier formula, for help in improving the procedure. Nosferatu was able to make the procedure work consistently, but they found that the human body could not sustain the resonance for long without tearing itself apart; and not even Nosferatu's Vampyri could integrate the procedure successfully. They needed more durable test subjects, and for that they turned to Arakhn, who had inherited the Warwolf Corps after Requiem's defection.

This lead to three archvillains nudging the parameters of the project, each with their own goals and ambitions. Maestro wanted a personal bodyguard of Sonic Soldiers, more powerful and precise in their powers than the simple rifle-carrying infantry the Council already had. Nosferatu saw the project as a test-bed for adapting the sonic resonance as yet another customized, personal procedure for powers to add to his Vampyri. And Arakhn was looking to dispose of as many Warwolves as possible, having no interest in that branch of N-fragment research and seeing them as a relic of Requiem's era, while keeping an eye out for any way to bend the project towards Nictus benefit.

Wunderwoofen (an ironic nickname from Nosferatu that stuck) was not exactly what anyone had wanted from the experiment. On paper, it was a success: The subject inherited most of the speed and strength of a warwolf, some of the Vampyri's hypnotic gaze, and a great deal of sonic resonance potential. But the procedure was mentally draining and traumatic, with best success coming from totally erasing the memories of the warwolf after the procedure was completed. That made it poorly suited for a Vampyri upgrade, from Nosferatu's perspective. While the trooper was a lot more powerful than a line infantryman with a sonic rifle, the overlapping efforts needed by three archvillains made their training and creation a lot harder to coordinate, making massed sonic infantry more cost efficient for Maestro. And despite her best efforts to sneak them in, the final product contained no N-Fragment or Galaxy technology whatsoever, leaving no assurance of their loyalty to the Nictus.

There was also the... aesthetics of the project. To put it mildly, the subject was diminutive. Unable to properly shift into true warwolf form or to shift back into a human form, the end result was a human with canine ears and a tail. The tiny, yapping anime dog girl was not in line with the disciplined, intimidating air the Council wanted to project. Whether this was a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, or just a sheerly random mutation is unknown. Mad science is not, after all, a precision instrument.

So, Wunder was shuffled off to the small Council base on Sharkhead Island, where she became a guard-dog. Fighting off the slag golems, sky raiders, arachnos, banished pantheon, and stray villains that would attack the base, she was both a useful tool and perpetual headache for Archon Higgs, under who's command she was entrusted. As Wunder's skills and power improved, so was the length of her leash, she was allowed to launch attacks on the Sky Raider's floating aircraft carrier, on Arachnos bases, and eventually on raids to Paragon itself, pulling bank heists for money. She has self-trained in 'espee-ownage' and will clumsily attempt to spy on and report back the weaknesses of heroes and villains, a process that has thus far yeilded absolutely no useful results. Wunder's astounding loyalty to the Council and to the Center in particular is the singular area where she excels, having apparently too small of a brain to doubt the doctrine and brainwashing charisma of The Center.


Wunderwoofen is a Science Sentinel with Sonic Attack and Invulnerability as her powersets. Her ancilary pool is Psionic Mastery, with pool picks in Fighting, Super Speed, and Leaping. Her notable powers are as follows:


  • [Yip yip yip!] The most basic form of attack, sonic barks that rattle and shake the target. As the inner ear is effected, the target is disoriented, naueated, and generally collapses unconscious before death or permenant damage is inflicted. 
  • [Yap yap yap!] The more advanced version of sonic attack, wide cones affect material objects more than flesh. Targets can be thrown away, temporarily black out, or, if Wunder can target the harmonic vibrational frequency of their equipment, find gadgets, inventions, focuses and often their very costumes disintigrating around them. Many opponents will retreat rather than continue to do battle with Wunder in the nude. 
  • [AWOOOOOO!] The ultimate sonic attack, Wunder stops attempting to control her sonic powers and simply unleashes them in a deafening howl. The sonic bomb is devastatingly powerful to all around her, combining both frequencies of attack in an indiscriminate nova.
  • [Warwolf CQC] Above-average strength combined with the heavy armored gauntlets and boots of her uniform make charging in and simply punching and kicking a suprisingly effective strategy. Opponents are often taken by surprise to find that closing to melee doesn't render her vulnerable, as it might with a dedicated ranged combatant like a Defender or Corruptor.
  • [Universal Chew Toy] Attacks often just bounce off Wunder, or deal glancing blows at best. She's functionally immune to physical abuse, and resistant to positive and negative energies, heat and cold. Poison and especially psionics are effective. Beyond that and her seemingly limitless stamina, The universe just doesn't seem to be willing to let Wunder die; she survives insane circumstances to recurr again, leaving some to wonder if she's actually a line of clones being decanted with no memory of the previous Wunder's death.
  • [The Zoomies] Wunder has the enhanced run speed and jump height of a Warwolf. The only thing notable about this is that she often drops to all fours when running long distances, some atavistic throwback not present in mainline warwolves.
  • [Vampyri Hypnosis] While the red-tinted goggles are actually a prescription lense designed to correct Wunder's colorblindness, Nosferatu's tinkering did give her some low-grade vampyre abilities, specifically a hypnotic stare. 'Puppy-eyes-attack!'

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Our seed 20 is our first Corruptor, Henry 'The Cartoonist' Haumann.
Well, probably Henry. It's a matter of some debate. To get the whole picture, we roll back to the foundation of Inkstain Studios. A small studio founded in the early 20s, they were part of the earliest days of animation, contemporaries of what would become the largest and most influential animation studios of the era. Inkstain was sadly also a money sink, nearly bankrupting Hugo Haumann, the founder. Moving the studio to the Rogue Isles, Hugo became a costumed thief known as the Illustrated Man to keep the studio solvent. The studio prospered for a time, until the Arachnos Coup seized control of the island, Hugo, a Marchand Loyalist, was killed in the fighting. 

Hugo's son, Harvey, abandoned his studies of the occult and arcane to take up the mantle of running the studio. In the face of declining sales and popularity, he also chose to become a costumed thief like his father, becoming The Painter, a famous Isles villain who used paintings to teleport to distant locations. Harvey managed to keep the studio running for years, having a long and successful career as a mage and thief, even surviving the Rikti War as a member of the Midnight Squad, raising a son, and passing the studio off to young Henry, his successor. 

Harvey's death during a botched heist years later sent Henry into a long, deep, and dark depression. Drinkin heavily, keeping the studio and making rent became impossible, and he chose to sleep in the decrepit office. Doing small, high-risk-low-pay jobs for The Family, he barely scraped by, feeling all the time that he was an unworthy inheritor of the studio, of the Haumann family legacy.

At the end of his rope, Henry went on a suicide run of risky ventures, gathering up enough money to buy a cocktail of different super-serums, mutagens, and drugs: A lethal cocktail of chemicals designed to introduce superpowers. The concoction, when imbibed, dissolved him from the inside out, rendering him into a black sludgy stain on the studio floor.

And that's where his sad tale should have ended, but something persisted. some scrap of consciosness that taught itself how to think again, how to, at great effort, maniplate the mortal remains on the floor.absorbing the ink and paint leftover from the days when it was an active animation house, it formed a new body of itself, a 3D cartoon, a living animation, a creature of ink. Though The Cartoonist has Henry's memories, he isn't sure he's truly the same being: No ordinary human can survive being liquified, nor become a disembodied intelligence as he did. Still, he has decided to keep the studio alive, to follow in the family name as the dashing gentleman art thief, with his crime spree of thefts, forgeries, and heists continuing to mount in infamy by the day.

The Cartoonist is a Science Corruptor with Water Blast and Poison as his powersets. His ancilary set is Dark Mastery with power pool picks in Leadership, Superspeed, and Fighting. His notabl powers include:


  • [Ink Manipulation] The foundation of everything The Cartoonist can do. Fluid is absorbed, corrupted into a viscous black ink, and then used for form a solid body that the Cartoonist can interact with the world through. Too much liquid too fast overwhelms his ability to convert and can dilute and disrupt him.
  • [Ink Body] The Cartoonist is a liquid, with attendant abilities to stretch and squash, contorting himself to avoid damage or squeeze through small gaps.Becoming an amorphous mass lets him travel extremely quickly overland, or through pipes and across wires.
  • [Sketching] By detatching stored ink, The Cartoonist can create projectiles, from simple bullets of ink to more complex shapes that fit his current fit of whimsy, which can range from projectile boxing gloves to falling anvils.
  • [Toon Physics] The Cartoonist can coat others in his ink to gain a certain degree of power over them. He uses this to support his allies by turning lethal blows into cartoony slapstic that can be easily walked off. Allies find themselves with the ability to shrug off explosions with just a scuff of soot, while enemies find their best attacks landing with all the power of a pie in the face.

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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Another day, another 5th Column vault of priceless paintings.
Well, Council paintings, anyway. The Cartoonist mused on the distinction as he used a needle to puncture some plastic tubing, watching the hydraulic fluid turn a murky black as he injected just a drop of his ink into the mechanism. The blast door sealing the storehouse was nearly impenetrable, and even a frenzied Brute could hammer at it for hours before leaving a dent, but for someone with even his limited hydrokinesis, the hydraulics needed to open and close the huge slab of metal were a crippling security vulnerability. With a little effort of will, he could move the ink in the hydraulic pistons, the vault door starting to ponderously grind open. With a sense of satisfaction, he applied a piece of tape to the pinprick, shut the access panel and turned around.

Wunder was On Patrol. Which meant more generally she had no specific duties at the moment, having been foisted off on another base by Archon Higgs and her new commander hadn't given her (enough) work, so she was wasting time wandering the base looking for Intruders. She'd found one, but was just kind of staring at The Cartoonist, not really sure what she was looking at. Red goggles and white-framed glasses locked, and the two shared a silent moment just oggling the other in bafflement.

As the mini-warwolf opened her mouth, the spell broke, and The Cartoonist immediately launched his best sucker punch, thusting out a hand, launching a glob of ink that resolved into a flying boxing glove, impacting Wunderwoofen squarely in the face and sending her reeling backwards, stumbling and falling onto her butt as a second block of ink shaped like a bundle of dynamite landed in her lap and exploded, painting the whole vicinity like a water balloon had gone off, Wunder laying flat on her back in the middle of the blast, motionless.
Toons slowly relaxed his posture, drawing a handkerchief and dabbing at his brow, addressing the prone form. "Oh, my apologies. You startled me. Well, if you'll excuse me, I have a vault to rob-"

He had nearly taken his eyes off the little warwolf when she sat up, unleashing a deafeningly loud bar. He twisted his body, bending and contorting out of the way of the blast bonelessly, but the sonic bolt blew the small maintenance hatch to pieces, ink-tainted hydraulic fluid leaking out messily, the vault door grinding to a motionless hault. "Intruder! In the base! Base intruder!"

A series of violent sonic bolts followed in a rapid 'yip yip yip' of barking, The Cartoonist twisting and weaving to dodge the onslaught while returning fire, distantly aware of an alarm activating elsewhere in the base. So much for being a phantom thief, now he was going to be lucky to fight his way out with any loot at all. Wunderwoofen was proving to be an agile, fast-moving target, leaping and pouncing out of the way of a lot of his thrown projectiles, the fight rapidly devolving into a comical slapfight in which neither party could hit the other. He was just starting to ponder his next move when Wunder pounced at him, suddenly closing the distance in a blink and swinging at him with a whirling, spinning kick, metal boot scything out at his midsectioin. He had to jerk his whole whohle torso back a foot, his limbs and head remaining in place, before snapping back like a rubber band, ducking under a swingin fist and then juking to the left of a straight jab. Every little dodge left a splash of ink, coating the heavy metal goggles, neutering the power of the onslaught. "Hey! Stop dodging and lemme hit you!" "...I'll give you credit for just straight-up asking, but no. I may be only ink, but I can still feel pain." "...Huh?!" "I'm merely a figment of pigment, girl. Your attacks won't ever connect. You can't hurt a cartoon, can you? While I..."

Wunder realized a little too late that The Cartoonist had just been dodging for a while now, his counterattacks having ceased. The ink that had been splashed around, on the floors, walls, and ceilings, surged in, stygian arms with pristine white gloves eruptinig from the puddles on the floor to grab and snatch at her, slowing her retreat as a great mass of ink gathered on the ceiling. Gliding backwards, The Cartoonist gave his fingers a dramatic snap, dropping a piano, a large floor safe, and an anvil in rapid succession.

"...can give you a private screening of some slapstick mayhem you won't be walking away from." "Hnnghhh..." "Oho? You're stronger than you look." Wunder gritted her teeth, straining under tthe weight of the ink constructs, throwing the enormous weight off with a gasp. "Give it up, little dog. You're clearly out of breath and out of energy, and I'm out of time. Call this a draw and run away." "Never! For the Council! For the Center!" Planting her feet, Wunder took an increasingly deep breath. "If you're gonna be all noodly and dodgy, I'll just attack everything at once! That way there's no way for you to dodge!"


Throwing her head back, she let out a thunderous howl, the sheer noise throwing the cartoonist back against the metal vault door like a physical blow, dazing him. Wunder pressed the advantage, barking as she walked forward, each attack pressing him flat against the armor plate. His body started to lose cohesion, his protests drowned out as his outline became indistinct, a great circle of ink spreading out around him as his features started to wobble and melt.

He was just about to lose consciousness as the attack ceased, letting him flop weakly to his knees, concentrating to avoid simply collapsing into a puddle. Weakly, he flicked a finger. sending trails of his ink toward the warwolf, but there wasn't any power behind the attack, simply sending a pair of trails towards the Council agent.

"Hah! You lose!" Wunder puffed out her chest smugly, tail wagging excitedly behind her. "You're powerless to defeat the awesome power of The Council! Glory to the Center! With our power, our tenacity, we will crush our enemies! The false heroes of paragon will fall, the fascist Arachnos, the traitorous scum of the 5th Column! Our genius leader shall assume control over all and lead the world to a period of peace and prosperity never before seen on... Hey, what are you doing?"

Wunder cocked her head. The two streams of ink terminated at her boots, and The Cartoonist had been busily adding cross-strokes. From her perspective, it looked like a series of Hs stacked atop each other.
The blaring of the horn made her snap her head up. As a whole cartoon steam engine erupted from the large black smear of ink she'd left on the vault door by smashing his body into it repeatedly, emerging from the black disk like it was coming out of a tunnel, she could only gawp in disbelief. The train struck her head on, slamming into her like a tsunami of ink, sending her down the hall with a howl of impotent frustration as she was carried off.


The Cartoonist rose unsteadily, adjusting his top-hat. "...Time to leave, I think..."

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

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