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Author Topic: Characters I'd like to play: Supers edition.  (Read 298 times)

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Offline KolbrandrTopic starter

Characters I'd like to play: Supers edition.
« on: June 25, 2015, 11:57:34 PM »
So! I've noticed a couple of threads like these and figured I'd make a few of my own, because, well, why not. Worse comes to worse, I've subjected people to some "let me tell you about my character!". Best case scenario, I get some use out of pcs that have otherwise been something of internet flotsam between games that never get started, or die off, or go really sour.

So.. supers. I tend to prefer the higher end of such things, and having been asked once whyfor that is, I had some time to put thought into why and came up with this:

The illustrative comparison: In a cosmic event, Captain America will generally do the "so long as one man stands against you!" against the big whatever, then get his ass thoroughly kicked almost immediately after, because he has no business really being there. Thor, while he will also get his ass thoroughly kicked eventually, will first do some epic scale performance of mythological level defiance as he blankets the entire area, even world sometimes, in driving thunderstorms, something from Wagner or a heavy metal band kicks up in the background behind him and he cries out "I say thee fuck your couch Exitar!" or some other actually dramatic speech (I grant that his actual lines which included "I spit upon your heavenly judgement!" had more of a ring) and he hurls his just killed father's 20 foot tall, empowered by all the pantheons of man sword like a javelin through the body of a Celestial. /Then/ he gets his ass thoroughly kicked.

Gilgamesh and Thor will spent the better part of two issues beating each other stupid as they tear out multi ton chunks of scenery, fight from earth to space, and have dueling Shakespearean soliloquies about their interpretations of the warrior ideal.

I just.. like that kind of stuff. The sheer operatic mythological bombast. The high concept, high scale, high action that high scale supersish stuff almost uniquely these days has the capacity to portray and convey.

Anyway, going to throw some of the characters I've put together over the years into here.

Should say, I reaaallly  prefer system gaming, and of them, mutants and masterminds 2e hit a really great sweet spot for such things. (I also quite like Aberrant, warts and all, but its system, while charming, is also kinda broken in that white wolf sort of way)

Offline KolbrandrTopic starter

Re: Characters I'd like to play: Supers edition.
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 12:09:26 AM »
So, this was a character I made for a reaaallly high powered game that was also a sort of collaborative setting building exercise that ultimately went nowhere due to, well, poor GM quality amongst other things, to be blunt. Anyway, I went a bit experimental with the backstory writing, since the whole idea was a time travelling paragon sort of thing, so I both decided to write it up as a series of fictional vingettes and also not go entirely linear with the dates.

T'was a character called the Harbinger was sort of.. Superman by way of The Doctor by way of a million little things I ripped off by way of ANGST. Also I just stole Vandal Savage wholesale, but I needed an immortal caveman for this.

6000 CE (900 FF- from the founding)

He looked to them from a podium, generals, ministers, physicians. His gaze swept over them as he sighed, delivering a report as much epitaph as debriefing.

“The Charlemagne project was a dream given form. A heritage of continuous genetic therapy and educational rigor had produced the finest Emperors the Imperium had known. The glory, peace and advancement they had brought to known space demanded a retinue that could reflect their glory. Could be the hands and guardians of their peace. A gift back unto the Emperor for the gift he had given civilization, to reward him his due with peers, advisors and guardians that did not just embody the best of his work, that /were/ the best of his work.”

“Genetic material was culled from the finest of the subjects of the Imperium and enhanced further still. Life grown around frames of refined materiel. Enhanced with the best technologies. Infused with experimental energies. Trained then, raised then, named then from the deeds and words of heroes, of mythic figures, of the titans of history. Captain Diomedes Plantagenet. Lord Marshal Saladin Musashi. Doctor Aurelian Bolivar.”

He intoned the names as if a requiem, and he took the time to list them all besides, though some began to shift uncomfortably as he did, at one name particularly from the rest.

“For these men and women would take these names and do what had never been before possible. Take these stories of myth, of legend, of history, and make them real, make them truth. So great was our Empire that this would not simply be a gift to our Emperor, but to mankind itself. Our dream, to show that an Empire had been made, where legend was not simply birthright, but birthed.”

“That dream failed.”

“The why of it is still not understood. Some believe that an imperative to devote oneself with indomitable will and refined tactical intellect to the well being of the Empire lead to those that decided they must control it to do so. Some others maintain it was the simple corruption that comes with both an elevated state, coupled with an elevated station. Ego deciding upon an ethos of engineered genetic fitness, that their warlike purpose and strife heavy lives lead them to see only themselves as worthy, and those around them as weak. Others still point to the unnatural charisma of the one who would proudly call himself Ganelon-“

A brief catch in his speech, one quickly stifled.

“To gather his brethren to his will. The point remains that it happened, and a conspiracy of engineered superhumans would have seized this Empire whole, barely stopped in brutal war by those of their own kind who remained loyal. The point remains that it speaks to an endemic flaw in this process. Even now, the lives, deeds, the sheer existence of the Table of Peers undergoes a process of historical nullification, lest our enemies understand how close we came to destroying ourselves from our own folly.”

He frowned.

“Unfortunately, this council has seen fit to ignore my final recommendation. For some believe it is possible that as this was a flaw, it can be corrected. And so, instead of the final destruction of all subjects I have submitted to this report, it has been decided that the survivors of the Table of Peers, both renegade and loyalist, will be placed into stasis for study. And as loyal warriors of the Empire, I and my brethren submit to the will of this decision. But I will say one last time. We should not have been made. And we should not live. Even now the rumours abound of those of us that might have escaped and are in hiding. Finding ways to breed. And if not, to modify humans instead in their image. To train descendants in their ethos of superiority.”

“The Charlemagne project was a noble dream. A heavenly dream. But if the reach of a man does not exceed his grasp, then what is a heaven for?”

6100 CE (1000 FF)

The bunker shuddered violently from the explosions overhead, lights flickering, the ceramsteel ceiling beginning to crack and rain down shavings of metal as a herald of imminent collapse. A heavily bloodied figure hunched over a large crystal cylinder, shaking fingers moving almost quickly enough to blur over a panel etched in relief into the crystal.

"You were right. You were right and we were fools, though I don't know if that will console you when you wake and hear this. We made more, as you knew we would. They seized all of you, freed those of a like mind, and now.. Now the empire burns, worlds burn, the galaxy burns, humanity burns, time itself splinters. And the chief architects of this hell do not even remain to face the consequence of their war. They flee through temporal streams, to forge unbreakable chains of slavery in more primitive eras that would give them dominion over a universe, over all that is. And in the desperation of our efforts, all we could obtain to counter this was you. We have channeled such chronal energies as remain to us into you, in the hopes of bolstering you, to fix you into time as unchanging against the shifts your kin will make. We-"

A pause, with a wracking cough covered by a hand that came away covered in blood.

"I am sorry, you are sorry, we are all sorry. But you are all that is, and though we made you strong beyond reckoning, I do not know if you can truly bear the weight of our hopes, and the weight of our penance."

A flare of blue white energies then, the cylinder vanishing into them just as the bunker collapsed entirely.

5 billion BCE

There came a day when the Old Gods died.

A cosmic conflagration ended their time and shook reality. Impossible warfare of incomprehensible technologies, peerless might. For elevated beings temporally adrift, there was no finer scavenging ground in the space time continuum for energies and artifacts alike. And the desperate struggles of one man against many were certainly easy to lose track of or even ignore amidst such furious Gotterdammerung.

A man who might have won his struggle then and there all the same, if he could have ultimately borne the sight of noble beings dying and sacrificing for each other all around him, could have turned from their plight, for all that he knew their futile destiny. His timelost enemies laughed and seized an opportunity to flee with ill gotten gains, mocking his soft and noble heart.

The Big Bang

It is a jarring shock to such precious few that have managed to glimpse the creation event and survive that it is sound that first assails them. That of laughter, harsh, dark, triumphant, shrill and cacophonous. For a twisted assemblage had gathered, battened on stolen power, and made ready to realize fell ambitions in ways beyond even their wildest hopes.

And then, a hand, reaching out, bright and golden and giant. Laughter dying in throats as fear finally finds itself a borning in the gaze of once untouchable tyrants. A voice called out then, sure and strong, a clarion call pronouncing judgment.

“I bled for the Old Gods, and they bled for me! Bled power into me! They will not birth and live and fight and die over a universe transformed to nightmare!”

A golden god reached forth his hand, and stolen power was sundered and scattered, even as that gifted to him was expended. Enemies fleeing in desperation in every direction, to every corner of time on sheer survival instinct. The warrior was left alone to sigh softly at that he had told himself it would have been that easy. Later he would wonder if enduring to see what came next was the result of his own innate gifts, the lingering touch of granted power, or, in his quietest moments, the reward of some unseen force underlying the universe itself. At the time he could only lose himself to weeping in awe and wonder at being able to look around now and seeing the elegant dance of a forming universe, of a grace and beauty and promise he could never allow to become the hell of his own future.

47,000 BCE

He had inspired, intimidated, cajoled and pacted his way into this warhost of primitives, but he needed an army to fight an army, and they weren’t exactly otherwise thick on the ground in these parts. Still, one of their leaders was as obstinate as he was disturbing in his inhuman resilience and his capacity to learn.

“Alright, are we clear on the plan?”

The thick haired barbarian grunted as he shifted his mighty thews.

“I am clear on the part where I will eat their hearts for power!”

He rubbed at his temples.

“I think you are the worst person I have ever met, Vandal the Savage.”

The barbarian just laughed and clapped his shoulder.

“Hah! You are a funny man, it is a good thing in a friend.”

The warrior groaned.

The Vanishing Point, Time Unfixed

Joshua Epoch could only move at a crawl, but that left him more fortunate than Doctor Tomorrow, whose limp body slumped to the wall suggested a paralysis his futuristic technology might not get the chance to repair. They were both doing better than the crumpled, now lifeless body of Matthew Hunter, Last of the Linear Men. Cruel and perfect features leered down at them all in cold and contemptuous triumph, an imperator of future dominion, outlined in shadows cast by spark showers from sundered machinery.

“Sad. When they write the songs of my triumph, that the end will have been such anticlimax.”

The man had a thoughtful look as he made his way to machines pulsing with chronal energy, working to fuse strange crystals to them.

“I suppose I can always lie when they ask. Hell, when I am master of time, I can simply rearrange details to more befit my person.”

He tsked as he worked.

“What you gnats thought to accomplish against me is beyond my comprehension. Time travel has made you arrogant, forgetful of that you are but men, lesser and weak, alone and flotsam before a god.”

A fist emerged then from a distortion effect, sending the would be temporal tyrant sprawling. A voice sounded out from within it. A voice that had once been that of a god in truth, and for a moment, a conqueror that had strode across burning worlds perhaps trembled.

“They are men, and greater thus than a god could ever be. For it is men that truly understand sacrifice. It is men that can understand beyond any being the price you pay for time. To buy just enough of it, dearly enough, for the hope they have earned to be fulfilled.”

The ancient enemy of the imperial overmen emerged, and the rage and judgment in his features fell to stricken sorrow at the sight of his friends.

It allowed his foe time for a taunt and a smile in response.

“Greatness comes in such fragile packaging then.”

The battle that followed was quick, frenzied and desperate. In a last moment, the overman managed a leap into an energized time platform, laughing in triumph as the warrior rushed in a blur to half failing machines and worked quickly. Laughter turned into blood curdling screams that echoed for some time as the overman vanished, the ancient warrior moving to kneel in silence over the body of his fallen friend.

It was Epoch that finally managed to speak.

“What did you do?”

The warrior did not even look up, still staring silently to Hunter’s body with tired, haunted eyes.

“Antigonus was the most ambitious of us all. A wild, mad dreamer beyond even my crèche brother. Only he could have conceived of merging himself with time, found a way to make it so.”

The warrior sounded half admiring, almost.

“So I gave him what he wanted.”

A confused look from Epoch at that.

“I sent him through time. To all time. To every time. He felt himself superior to all other time travelers. And now he is. Forever. But who else will ever be able to say they have traveled to every single time at once?”

The warrior fell silent again, simply cradling Matthew’s head as his eyes teared up, for his friend, for himself, for his enemy.

Left in silence to ponder the cold horror of this triumph, even if it was for the sake of a man who had just tried to torture and kill him, Epoch could only hope that it might be true that there truly would be an end to time.

100,000 BCE

This, the warrior told himself, was a mistake. He could tell, for how right it felt, how true to his purpose. Teaching these races war, leading them in battle across stellar expanse. It was like being home again. It nauseated him how good it felt.

It was not that he was opposed to the idea of changing time. He was in a very real way fighting his own future after all, and while his experiences with the Old Gods seemed to have fixed him against being changed, he had no reason to feel his future was similarly fixed. So he and his four pointed star were there, if you looked, in ways strange and wonderful, and sometimes terrifying, scattered across space and time, mixed up in various events, woven into various stories.

Still, this was a mistake. But there was nothing to be done for it, faces looked to him now. Tamaranian, Thanagarian, Khund, and a score of others, in hope, in eagerness. Waiting for the speech to martial them to warships that some of them barely understood (and there at least he had no plans to teach them) to lead them to salvation against his kinsmen and their alien janissaries. He hoped that when this passed into legend, they would at least remember honour to go with their martial spirit. He hoped this defeat would at last put an end to his seeming endless war with his brethren, that persisted no matter how few of them ever seemed to be left.

He hoped those were not very pretty lies he was telling himself.

20,000 BCE

He smiled despite himself as he walked down halls of silver and gold, of shining living crystal. He made his way through elegant, impossible towers that spired into the clouds, looking out at verdant seas of exquisite greenery, of the brilliant blue oceans beyond. He had seen the creation event itself, and somehow Atlantis always took away his breath all the same.

He would miss it, like he had missed nothing else. The people, the culture, the achievement, the potential. Even, especially the endless petulant arguments between Arion and Mastermind as to whether science or magic was more important to Atlantis’ glory. Even Vandal the Savage’s endless, ridiculous schemings for power in the middle of a utopia. Somehow they only felt endearing now.

He came to a window and looked out just quietly. So lost to himself that he missed the woman coming up behind him, sliding an arm around his waist, and placing a soft kiss to his neck.

“So solemn and brooding my love. You have not seemed thus since we found you decades ago.”

Concern crept into her voice amidst gentle teasing and adoration as she continued. “And I had long thought your spirit finally healed, to match your body.”

He could not bring himself to look to her, he could only speak quietly.

“I am so, so sorry. I lost track of things. Of them. Of myself. I thought they were beaten. I thought it was over. I thought.. I started thinking three dimensionally again. Like a fool.”

The rising bitterness in his voice compelled her to use her own strength to turn him about, to gaze to him in worry and force pained and misted eyes to look to hers.

“Tell me what troubles you. Tell me what is wrong and we will face it together my love, as we have faced everything. Tell me what I can do.”

The sky outside began to darken unnaturally, and it was all he could do to pull her close in his arms and whisper.

“Just hold me. Hold me until forever comes.”

2100 CE

The warrior hated the near futures of the nexus time. They not simply spawned in some ridiculous number, they were also, quite often, either ridiculous of themselves, dystopic, or both. At least this one had less pouches.

“Shock you, you shocking shock! Shock you right in the shock!”

About the usual level of pointless nonsense jargon though.

He just let the gang rain down blows on him until whatever drugs they were on wore off and they moved on. He didn’t feel like the trouble other solutions would bring him. Not when he wasn’t even here on personal business. He simply gazed up at the sky and waited for the gigantic hologram of the mechanized demonic religious figure to coalesce.

“Behold my children, the glory of the Cyber Satanic Pope! Turn your cerebral anti-bibles to page 666 for today’s nega-sermon!”

This is what happens when you let mischief demons steal a time machine. Every era where the Master Mage wasn’t quite up to snuff seemed to always result in some damn thing he swore to never speak of again, as experiences go.

500 CE

The armor was heavy, and he stank of sweat. Not for the first time did he regret his pact with Merlin to let his power be channeled into the seal that was keeping demonic activity out of Camelot, allowing the strength to grow here that would let it purge the foul creatures from Europe.

Still, anti demon seals apparently didn’t actually cover dragons.

“Alright, are we clear on the plan here?”

Vandal Savage snorted.

“I am clear on my plan to use that dragon’s bones in a ritual to give me the strength to topple Arthur from his pretender throne!”

The warrior rubbed his temples.

“You are the worst person I know, Vandal the Savage.”

“You know perfectly well you love me.” A pause. “In a manly way. I only tried that the one time in Athens.”

1970 CE

He had very little time before the asteroid would be drawn down onto earth, and the force channel that guided its path seemed to make disruption impossible, pounding a fist on the console before him. He had to hand it to Savage, even his own genius couldn’t reprogram equations of such constant and sophisticated evolution that they bordered on sentience. At least not without more time. Which was ironic enough to goad a laugh, then a frustrated cry.

“Damnation Savage, there are easier ways to commit suicide!”

The ancient barbarian snorted from where he was bound.

“Not for me, you know that.”

The warrior’s eye twitched.

“Then I do not suppose I could talk you into living.”

Savage laughed.

“I have done everything, seen everything, ruled everything. Fucked everything. There is nothing new under the sun for me. Nothing left for me to live for.”

A wild light flashed in the warrior’s eyes, and a blazing force of inspiration with it in the eyes of a man who had been birthed to lead billions.

“But that is just it man! You have never lived for anything!”

“… what?”

“What has Vandal Savage done, except for the gratification in some way of Vandal Savage, delayed or otherwise? For edification, pleasure, gain? When have you ever had the experience of dedicating yourself to another? Living for another? Truly being for another?”

Savage eyed him incredulously.

“You can’t possibly think that has any appeal for a man like me.”

“Ahh, can I not? Let us say you finally figured out how to die, you genius you. Can you tell me some corner of your fine mind is not wondering if this one thing you have not done, and we know you have not, truly has anything to it? That if at last you are finally to die, will it be not with peace, but with frustration that comes from a sense of incompleteness, like.. like just one more mortal?”

Savage scowled deeply at the warrior for a long moment. Then his eye twitched.

“First, if you don’t start using contractions regularly I’m going to strangle you, invulnerability or no. Second, you are the worst person I have ever met.”

“You know you love me” The warrior paused. “In a manly way.”

“Sparta was entirely manly.”

“In a different manly way!”

1940 CE

The theatre was packed, but it had nothing to do with any film listed on the marquee. Rumours had spread like wildfire of recent events, and the newsreels were the only way to catch anything resembling a living glimpse.

"This is RKO, bringing you the news of the world! Dateline, Europe!

"Nazi forces chase British and French troops all the way to Dunkirk, where their unstoppable supermen prepare to inflict a slaughter straight out of a nightmare!"

Newsreels were not exactly known for their sense of restraint. What was by now stock footage of the Nazi ubermenschen played at this point to a chorus of boos that had a sense of fearful strain to their bravado.

"But just when all hope seemed lost, coming in with the rays of the sun themselves, a new hero to stand with the forces of freedom!"

Footage and displayed photos then of this new hero in action, and if they contained a few ones from incidents taken after Dunkirk, the audience were too awestruck to care. A flying man, all perfect features and lantern jawed, hair framing his face that did nothing but give him an enhanced sense of the regal, even imperial power. His uniform had a military looking cut, a side fastening jacket with a central, encircled, four pointed starburst and high backed gloves. And there he was, hurling tanks or melting them in flashes of energy, punching out Nazi supersoldiers, and carrying a damaged battleship of cheering soldiers to a port.

"With this courageous titan standing rearguard, an incredible effort came forth from the British people, from their navy right down to their fishing boats triumphed in an impossible rescue, evacuating their forces from the brink of disaster!"

Some footage of the flying hero, alongside some boats.

"But who is this mystery man? The British people have taken to calling him the Dunkirk Spirit, though from his own cryptic comments, we know he calls himself the Harbinger. But Harbinger of what?"

A great big question mark spiraling out over his face.

"As his valiant fight against the Axis continues, we can be sure that the tomorrow this new hero heralds, is a better one for us all!"

Closing footage of the man in flight again. The crowd erupts into wild cheers.

1945 CE

The blaze of the fires cast the cold sculpted beauty of the ubermensch simply called Superior in an unholy light, his usually immaculate blond hair wildly unkempt. Dresden was bombed into an inferno, Superior ripping up a burning building whole from the ground to smash apart over the Harbinger’s head, then flying up in a blur to vapourize the rubble in a pulse of crimson energy from his hands. The smoke cleared to show a staggered, but still standing Harbinger. The sight goaded a scream of pure frustration from his enemy, that quickly became mockery as he charged.

"In all this time, have you even stopped to think why you even are alive to try and stop me! Or is your head too thick with that repeating single track of 'honour. duty. empire. humanity.' to have room!"

The Harbinger met Superior's charge with gritted teeth, an intercepting punch that flattened a city block in the shockwave, and a gaze that held a very out of place sorrow.

"I do not, I think, have to accept points about my intelligence from a man who conceals himself as the servant of a one testicled lunatic dwarf with a ludicrous mustache and scientifically inane ideas about racial purity."

Superior's laugh was as wild as the anger in his gaze as he wiped blood away from his mouth.

"Gods. You haven't stopped with the no contractions either. I can't believe I used to find your formality endearing."

"If it consoles, I wonder to this day how I used to find you inspiring," was the Harbinger’s simple reply.

Superior's laugh trailed off into a half feral snarl, and in the furious assault that followed, managed to pull the Harbinger into a hold, slamming him into the ground over and over, deepening the crater he was forming beneath them as if in rhythm to punctuate a series of outraged yells.

"Kill him they said! We freed you to lead us, and kill him! If you leave him around, they will find a way to use him against us! Gods above I nearly butchered them all then and there! So proud of being made as we were. The sheer presumption to even think that! You were unimaginably lucky to have never met the second generation Tristan, they were a joke! Barely worth cannon fodder."

The Harbinger managed to bring his legs up into the hold and kick outwards with practiced skill, sending Superior hurtling back.

"So you kept me around for a trophy."

The Harbinger's effort to press his momentary advantage was halted by the force of a thunderclap from Superior bringing his hands together, even that boom was defeated by renewed laughter.

"I and mine were megalomaniacs Tristan, not idiots!" A darker laugh. "At least not idiots in that way. Damnit, I was going to fix you! There was a flaw in you, and I was going to make it better! You could have joined us! You were our brother, my brother! I loved you! I love you! And if those travesties of inferior genetics hadn't taken you, you would be at my side right now, you would be building a better world with me! I would have fixed you!"

Superior was screaming again, waving his hand around at the burning city. "And now look at where we are instead! Look at what you've reduced us to! What’s left of us! You and your precious, righteous hunt!"

The Harbinger paused, and began to laugh, in rich tones of his own. Superior just stared.

"It is just, oh Ganelon, the last time anyone suggested our flaws could be fixed in the name of a better world, I replied that we should all be immediately put to death. It- it's just funny."

The Superior's eyes widened in surprise for a moment.

"You used a contrac-"

The Harbinger used that moment to hurl himself forwards, tackling Superior and pulling him to the impact point where a massive cluster of bombs was about to land.

1985 CE

If the Harbinger was uncomfortable, he kept it to himself. The studio was a gaudy, glitzy thing compared to any other location he preferred to give interviews in, but there was a promise of proceeds to charity in an amount he felt could not be ignored.

"On the 40th anniversary of your famous battle with Superior, do you have any thoughts you want to share with our audience? They'd love to hear from a living legend."

The man's smile was a fake, plastic affair in the Harbinger's eyes. He missed the newsreels, they were at least completely upfront about existing to manipulate the people. He knew the anchor was looking for a usual answer. 'Honour. Duty. Empire. Humanity.' He thought of his brother's voice, and all he wanted to do was weep.

What could he say? He could speak of the hyper-quantum math that had him live out most of his time these days in 20th century Earth, which seemed for some reason to be the critical nexus of all time and space for those who would guard such things. He could speak of having laid low so many of his own brethren. Of decades of ‘conventional superheroing’, if you could call it that, not knowing if any of it would be enough to ensure this timeline did not end with his future. He could speak of not knowing whether to grieve or feel triumph over the point he had reached.

He paused, and his gaze was introspective, his silence drawn long enough for the anchorman to grow visibly uncomfortable before the Harbinger finally spoke.

"I used to think, I struggle with still thinking truly, that my power is a flawed thing, that past a certain point all power is such. But I cannot deny that I have managed to do some good in these past decades, that better yet, far more importantly, my power has inspired others towards good, towards building a future that I dare to hope will be a better one that we might have ever known as a people. That doing my part for being the herald of that better future, my mission, it is not simply to counter the evil of others, but to nourish good. That when I doubt, when I despair of the nature of my own strength, there is much in what my- what Superior would have called a 'lesser people', to encourage me to keep going. That with so many having been able to believe in me, in the strength I wield, I am a forerunner to them believing in their own one day."
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 12:17:30 AM by Kolbrandr »

Offline KolbrandrTopic starter

Re: Characters I'd like to play: Supers edition.
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2015, 12:33:55 AM »
Insomnia means more characters!

So, despite what I mentioned in that first post, this next character is actually not a giant pile of cosmic insanity, and is somewhat more grounded in scale. They'd still come in at a decently high end, and have the few times I've played them a little bit, but, to define it in Mutants and Masterminds terms for a moment, generally pl 12-13, with a fair whack more points than the 15 per level to reflect being more broadly capable, being both a solidly potent brick sort of thing, but also with some leaderly capacity and fightin skill and a few bits of magical esoterica. It riffed on a WWII starting superhero vibe I was on for a while.

This character was.. Ult Captain America (in the sense of being an actual full out powered metahuman, not in the sense of being something of a reactionary douchebag) by way of a whole lot of Arthuriana (have I mentioned I love Arthuriana? I love Arthuriana) by way of Captain Britain, by way of just my riffing on various things.

This one I wrote up well more conventionally.

Name: Caliburn
Real Name: Gareth Somerset
Age: 20 (physically)

He was the young and only son of the well heeled and well bred, coming into his early teens in the onset of the war. And he manages to actually exemplify good breeding, as opposed to the worse aspects of his class. He was keenly intelligent even, and keenly perceptive to go with it. It has a side issue of him burning to join the war, as he watches people go off to fight and die, a fine mind only helping him to understand the sheer nightmarish scope of the war before them. Only he faces the problems of being underage, and high enough up in his social strata that even if he could, it's not exactly like he'd be on the front lines, as far as parental string pulling.

What's a boy to do? Well, run away and scam about his age and name, is what a boy's to do.

In retrospect, all things considered, it felt a little too easy, like something on high wanted events that way. It wasn't that he was broken or horrified by war, it was even something he took to, like it felt almost innate, even earned him a small measure of authority, granted on the battlefield. And his resolve simply became grimly tempered and dedicated, as far as the things he saw. And then the withdrawal to Dunkirk.

Where there would be some later debate as to what exactly happened, but most people like to believe the youth's story (and the War Ministry enjoyed promoting it) Where dying on a field as the price of covering a withdrawal of his squadmates, he saw a vision of what he swears was the Grail's maiden, bearing the cup itself, telling him his family's pedigree was more impressive than they knew. That it traced back to Arthur's table, and Gareth Beaumain.  That he bore the table's legacy, and had shown worthiness to bear their collected strength. And with the grail, she anointed him with it. Though Arthur must yet slumber away with his sword, a different blade could be placed in the hand of Britain. Gareth himself.

And he rose up, faster, stronger, smarter, fearless, a titan of the battlefield. That innate feeling magnified beyond him. Able to lift many tons, while bouncing an exploding grenade off a winning smile. Peering about with senses that extended into a mythical Otherworld. He rallied men around him and seemed to be ranging everywhere (though the chaos of battle tends to lead to some exaggeration). Victory at Dunkirk was impossible, but the efforts of a young man helped engender a miracle to armed forces that faced annihilation from soldiers and Axis metahumans. Both the evacuation, and the youth himself were called the Miracle of Dunkirk, though he himself clarified that given the events in question, he was bid to call himself Caliburn. Given the vast skill with hand and weaponry he now showed, and how hard he could hit, no one exactly complained or thought it inaccurate.

It certainly beat the name the American press gave him when they noticed his youth, and not a preternatural wisdom beyond his years that, powers aside, had kept him in fighting service.

Still, as the war went on, they did eventually stop calling him Kid Galahad.

For he was as the boy king of the Allied war front, man and superman alike ceding their trust and faith to him, he was the Table’s promise, collected in a single youth, and though promise, and trust and faith were heavy burdens, he strove to bear and be worthy of them.

It was a gift after all, a nation’s hope. The honour of it removing the hesitance of regret at a lack of anything resembling a normal life, a lack, as the force of his personality grew, of people who related to him without an element of deference. It was alright that he was feeling the isolation of an archetype, for it was needed. A field marshal and champion was needed. He moved between commando raids and commanding brigades. He received the ancient wisdom of his patrons to guide him and make his own. He could be a young man again after the war.

He took up the brunt of facing the darkest nightmares the Nazi regime could call up from pits of infernal sorcery, to maddened scientific experiments, to impossibly vile combinations of the two.

It seemed right to him somehow, at the very end of things. As the Thule society’s hidden bunker tumbled down onto his head in the war’s final days. That he should bring it down, laying himself low even as he destroyed with it the eldritch horror that would have turned the war’s tide back in the favour of hell. It was how a knight should die. It was how a king should die.

Only he didn’t.

Decades later, an excavation unearthed his perfectly preserved form, the warping arcane energies unleashed in the bunker’s destruction, along with his own innate blessings, having somehow kept him alive.

And after everything was verified and the youth recovered, at first it was a celebration. He had been a hero after all, a legend. But as the fanfare died down, well, he was ultimately a 20 year old young man in a world well past his own. It wasn’t that the technology was jarring to a person that had dealt with insane Nazi superscience, but the culture seemed all wrong. And he was exasperated by England’s lesser place in the world. And even various of its general policies, and those of other nations besides. And he was surprisingly disinclined to become some sort of mouthpiece of approval for the current administration. It was bad enough that he was an outspoken, eloquent young man that people listened to. It was worse as far as the legal wrangling over it having turned out that while he slept, his family otherwise died off. His lands had been sold off to government favourites and corporate figures. World War? He could handle. The political strife over the pettiest of causes? It wore at his soul.

He was all too eager to accept what was presented as “The United Kingdom offering its finest hero to be a champion at large to the world, as he had been so many years ago.” And after that he wandered, fighting evil where he comes across it, being called up by secret agencies run by spymasters unaging since the war to solve their crises for them, trying to inspire who he can, how he can, taking in the new face of the world.

And just sometimes, he wondered if when Arthur returns, he too will end up as miserable. For while the human race remain a fine people, and worth fighting for, it may be that the race has just passed him by.

Appearance: Gareth’s bearing belies his years, and other than the sheer and vibrant sense of vitality it gives him, it can be hard sometimes to recall how young he looks. His dark brown hair he yet keeps at a fairly short trim, his eyes still a startling, piercing green, even if there is a certain sorrow at the edges of his gaze. Tall, lithe and athletic, there is a sense of the leonine about him, of a forceful grace that holds back a readied, just fury. He is the young king in winter, shoulders squared as though readied to face a storm, and somehow make it remember him forever. His costume is a world war II English army officer’s uniform done in a deep, midnight blue, with golden lion’s heads on the shoulders, and a golden sword over the chest of his jacket.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 01:34:23 AM by Kolbrandr »

Offline KolbrandrTopic starter

Re: Characters I'd like to play: Supers edition.
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2015, 12:47:58 AM »
I actually liked this character enough that I wrote up a big ol WWII superteam around the dude, even if my penchant for tragic things had most of them come to bad ends in a long string of bummers.

The Vanguard Brigade

A coming together of metahuman resistance fighters and frontline warriors in their nation’s militaries, the Vanguard Brigade took its name from several sources. The first and most obvious, its membership was regularly involved in the thickest areas of fighting in the war from near its inception, often going in ahead of entire military operations to prepare the way, or being a lone force covering evacuation and retreat. The second was that they had an actual brigade’s worth of troops seconded to them on a regular basis, reflecting that several of their membership were considered to hold active military rank and expected to make use of it.

Of the various World War II superteams, the Brigade was generally the most heavily involved in direct combat and commando operations across multiple fronts, and generally the most nationally diverse from its origins as an early joint Allied effort to marshal any and all available superhuman resources (which tended to make them somewhat more famous in Europe and Asia than North America as a team, however individually renowned any of them might be). The team generally followed a cycle of weeks focused on individual efforts, only for Zephyr’s speed and Maugris’ teleportation to bring them together for greater extended effort across Europe, the Pacific theater and North Africa.

As a team specifically created to fight in the war, at war’s end, and particularly with Caliburn’s seeming death, they drifted apart fairly quickly. Several memorials exist to them throughout Europe, Hong Kong , Taiwan (mainland China attempts to pretend the team never existed.. see below) and Israel.

Centered around Caliburn, the membership of the team would fluctuate with casualties, recruitments, the rise of resistance movements and the joining of nations to the Allies. There was generally a core membership for most of the war all the same that beyond Brigadier Somerset, consisted of the following:

The Dragon Knight

A mysterious figure to most, encased in red plate armor chased in golden sigils, with a helm in draconic shape, the dragon knight was touted as a mysterious champion from the oppressed peoples of Eastern Europe. An expert swordsman, physically potent and durable, seeming capable of flight, and control of the weather. Lesser known abilities were his hypnotic gaze, control over swarms of vermin, ability to shapeshift into a wolf, bat, and hybrid form, a knowledge of ritual magics and ability to turn to mist.

Which is to say, the Dragon Knight took his title from one he held by ancient right. Which is to say, the Dragon Knight was Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Count Dracula. The armor was not just a disguise, it seemed to allow him to operate at full strength during the day, instead of being weakened by it, and had a practical use against stake and silver. The sacred was still a problem of course, but how often did that crop up amongst the Axis?

His identity was a military secret, but Dracula sought to make common cause with the Allies fairly early into the war, objecting apparently to rising Nazi influence over lands and people he viewed as personal property, and being in some kind of vendetta with the Thule Society. He would later admit to Caliburn there was some kind of ornate political game going on amongst the undead, the challenge of which required Tepes to take the side of the Allies.

Gareth’s objections to his presence were frequent and culminated in a brawl between the two where the Lord of the Vampires apparently agreed for the rest of the war to only feed on already fallen Axis soldiers and animals. Fortunately for the Count’s sense of taste, the former were all too frequently available.

Tepes’ moderately perverse sense of dignity and honour allowed him to otherwise function within the team. He didn’t even stoop to needling them over moralistic differences, feeling that “beneath his presence”. He seemed even to (very one sidedly) admire the young Briton as a fellow warrior aristocrat, even if Gareth was a nascent immortal with priorities just tragically out of whack. His regard for the others ranged from lust to respect to contempt.

After the war Tepes withdrew back to into his own shadowy world, seeming content to rule over his night-kin. There were rumours of course of a plot in the 1970s to plunge the world into eternal darkness that was foiled by a rag tag band of mystics and monster hunters (“Everyone in my social circle tried to conquer the world at least once, I began to feel left out”, opined he, lightly), and that he holds unseen political and financial influence over much of Eastern Europe, yet otherwise Tepes and the world have touched each other but little. As if he has no care to.

He did sent Gareth a “welcome back” fruit basket on hearing he was alive, mind you, with no traceable return address. The blood oranges were an unsubtle touch.


When the Metaxas Line fell, several fortresses held out for days longer on sheer spiteful defiance and courage. As they were mopped up one by one, a particularly ragged garrison of Greeks opted to burst forth from their walls for one last glorious stand. The metahuman awakening of one of their number made this decision stunningly literal.

Whether from latent metagenes, ancient gods and heroes heeding a cry to them or, look, who knows really, but unless the Trojans sent it, why look a gift horse in the mouth, hey? (this was Megas’ cleanest joke about his origins and his utter lack of concern for what they might be, the rest were usually inventively crude variants about not wanting to see how they make the sausage). Whatever the reason Megas found that he now had a prodigious baseline of strength and durability, with the ability to further increase it by being able to grow in size, to a maximum height of some fifty feet.

The oldest son of an impressively sizable family of shepherds, Dimitrios Sarganis enlisted cheerfully, fought with unflagging energy and never once wavered in morale. This was not out of some sense of patriotism exactly, but a belief in fighting to protect his family, which became an empathy for all the families of his countrymen besides.

He moved seamlessly into the Greek resistance after the fall of his nation and was recruited into the brigade not long afterwards. A simple, kind hearted, earthy man, he had a ready smile and crude joke or filthy story for most situations. He was one of the few who could get a slight embarrassed blush out of Caliburn over the years (who he viewed as a brother) and was held in thorough contempt by Dracula, who regarded him “as a peasant who has managed to learn a useful trick. Like a dog who can clap their forepaws together entertainingly.” Self aware of his own limitations, he was amenable to take orders from such as he respected.

After the war, Sarganis refused to take sides in the waves of civil strife that would grip his nation, fighting instead to keep his countrymen from suffering overly during their span. For that he was even further beloved in his homeland, and the statue to him in the capital is almost as tall as he could get. He died peacefully in his early 90s, surrounded by children, grand children and great grandchildren. One of those great grandchildren looks to have inherited Megas’ abilities, and has been the national superheroic champion of Greece for the past several years.

Caliburn looked the fellow up on his return. They shared stories of Dimitrios, several bottles of ouzo and Gareth told the man what few dirty jokes and stories his great grandfather had not yet managed to share.


“That’s right, that Maugris,” he would say with an expectant smirk, only to have it turn into a disappointed, dark scowl to the inevitable “who?” and mutter something in response that sounded like “fucking Merlin.”

For he was that Maugris, sorcerer and warrior who sat proudly amongst the Peers of Charlemagne. Not that all the stories of him were accurate, but what did it matter, he would remark bitterly, no one remembers them anyway. Though his sorcerous might had grown over the years, his sense of morality, honour, conviction, his strength of spirit had much fallen. By the 20th century he was a cynic, a rake, and a dissolute vice addled sybarite. Perhaps because of the pain of having outlived his own heroic age and glorious friends to watch the progress of lesser ones. Perhaps out of bitterness for all of them sinking into obscurity. Perhaps because he simply became just that bored.

All the same, he never degenerated quite so far into outright amorality, or at least any crime beyond petty theft or cheating at cards. He even, just rarely, performed a small act here and there that might have been called good, or at least of aid to another. “The most egregious of all my hypocrisies,” as he would put it.

Still, but for the conquest of France and the energetic pursuit of the Thule society, hunting him for his knowledge and agelessness, he would have sat out the war as he had so many others. Instead he was backed into a corner with the Nazi regime where it was kill or be killed. Maugris grudgingly made his mystical lore and skill available to the Free French Forces, and the Allies through them.

He got on well enough with Dracula, the two previously knew each other in the way immortals in the mystical world have some awareness of one another, and both at least had a certain sense of manners. And Tepes could hardly condemn a man for his vices, he had been quite the sensualist himself in that whole debacle in Victorian London that Stoker somehow got wind of (though the debacle did break him of that behaviour, for his part). Megas found him a touch off putting, for while Megas was earthy, Maugris was a degenerate, and there is a certain difference between that, even if a matter of nuance.

Initially infuriated by Caliburn as an actual proxy of the Round Table that condemned his own companions to the dustbin of historical obscurity (“the peers of who?” was always a good way to get Maugris to start a bar brawl), in the end he simply found Gareth’s company painful. He was too much like Maugris’ old friends. He was too much like Maugris himself once was. And seeing Gareth’s spirit untarnished despite being mired in the most unspeakable deep hells of the war made the old sorcerer feel a shame he had not been capable of for centuries. It made things worse that through it all, and the worst of his own behaviour, Gareth remained supportive as a teammate, and loyal as a comrade in arms.

Somehow this translated into what would evolve into a violent sense of protectiveness for the young lord, to the point of having once recklessly and brutally confronted Morgan LeFay in his place. A deep friendship evolved between the two, even if flavoured in heavy sarcasm on Maugris’ end. Americans knowledgeable of the situation would make Wyatt Earp/Doc Holiday allusions.

Maugris was hardest hit by Gareth’s seeming death, and he embraced his old, terrible habits with a vengeance. Ultimately he fell in with the counter culture movements of the 60s, eventually dying of a drug overdose in a filth encrusted apartment in San Franscisco. His body was shipped back to France, where he was given a hero’s funeral he would have hated, his tomb more popular than Jim Morrison’s grave for the young to sneak about, fuck and get high around.


“So beautiful a name, for so bloody a warrior,” Dracula was known to comment, with no small admiration and obvious desire. Rivka Abramowicz was a Polish Jew and partisan, of an age with Caliburn, but with a ferocity and acumen that left the ragged band she joined up with unable to deny her. From a rural family impoverished enough that she took up the skills of a hunter for herself rather than see them die, that sort of knack translated easily into the stalking and killing of men. In that she never otherwise spoke of her family, her motivations seemed clear enough. She rarely spoke at all, when not on task.

Finding the young girl with her guns and knives comical even for a moment was a good way for her targets to end up dead. On a raid to destroy what seemed like some kind of Nazi research outpost, Rivka and what was at that point her followers disrupted a Thule Society effort to create a cadre of superfast fighters (Project Blitzkrieg was the somewhat on the nose name). The wild energies let loose amidst explosions and gunfire seemed to all coalesce into Rivka. She was empowered with force intended for several men, and her sheer coldly burning will was such that she took full control of it, instead of being consumed (the risk of that outcome why it was intended for several men in the first place).

While superheroes were new enough that being the fastest woman in the world was not necessarily a huge benchmark of itself, that Rivka could hit speeds in excess of 10,000 mph, and actually fly at similar speeds besides was remarkable by any standard. She refined a host of tricks and related abilities with guerilla cunning and the inspirations of a life of necessity. The Thule were hellbent on capturing her and reclaiming all their work, and while she was almost gleeful to send back the heads of their agents, a need for support in the face of the situation all the same lead her to Vanguard.

Her relationships with the team were, generally speaking, professional and quietly polite, if slightly and intentionally distant. As though the losses and traumas of her life left her unwilling to let herself get close to people again. As a moderately devout Jew, she regarded Dracula as a walking abomination, but like the silent appreciation and gratitude she had for (most of) the rest of the team, it was something she largely kept to herself. She let her guard down and smiled warmly just the once, on meeting Megas’ youngest siblings, who were children at the time. She even played with them.

She otherwise served as something of Gareth’s second as a tactical leader, and sometimes guided Vanguard to raid trains transporting Jews deported from their homes in the later stages of the war, when she could, evacuating them to Allied territory. She went so far as to give them each a somewhat stiff and awkward embrace when they aided in the liberation of some of the camps at the end of the war. Even Dracula.

She emigrated to what would eventually become Israel at war’s end, splitting her efforts between helping to found that nation and relentlessly and ruthlessly hunting escaped members of the Nazi regime. Affiliated ultimately with the Mossad, her successes in that arena were many and notable. She died in the mid 60s, unmarried, of long injuries sustained after explosively destroying a central operating Thule Society headquarters. She was given a state funeral attended by thousands. It is said by some that every few years a dark and forbidding figure can be seen at her memorial. Others deride the idea of the Lord of the Vampires having that much sentiment in him.

Reignlief, The Valkyrie.

“It’s Reignlief. Or The Valkyrie if you must. Not ‘Valkyrie’ Would you like it if I called you ‘Soldier’ as your name? Or you ‘Politician’? Or you ‘Fat Hunched Wrinkly Jowl-Face In A Ludicrous Hat’?” the last was to Winston Churchhill himself. Reignlief could get a bit tempestuous when irritated.

The Valkyrie’s problems in the world dated well back to her heyday as a chooser of the slain. Unlike her sisters, she did not simply choose, she listened. To the cries of these dying, heroic men, to the last gasps around them. No few times it was not some paen to Odin that was the last words on their lips in satisfied valor. Many died in fact bemoaning loved ones, family, spouses, friends, homes. Many died pleading for one last moment. The light she could see going out in their eyes was not looking to some promise of Valhalla, but one last vision of everything they held dear on this world, had fought for, and would never see again.

It taught her to value these seemingly small human things herself, to question her warrior ethos, and very simply, it struck at her heart. But there was little she could do, bound to her purpose as she was. Which made her moody and irritable. And in a land where ale flowed freely, sometimes her mouth ran off with it. Punishment from on high was not infrequent in her experiences. She began to sneak away from her duties besides, to spend time trying to see to the orphaned children, defenseless families, to give some comfort or protection to bereaved loved ones. She did not always succeed, but when she did, the sense of reward in that work was undefinably sublime, to feel connected to humanity in this way. And this was a dereliction of her sworn purpose, there were already gods tasked to aid man, so again, punishment from on high was not infrequent. It was almost a relief when the gods largely withdrew from overt meddling in the mortal world. At least she no longer had to do her hated job.

Still, she was a Valkyrie, and an awareness of the dead and dying in the lands bound to the Norse was worked into her very existence. Which was painful at times, and at times she still snuck off to benignly meddle in response. The time afterwards locked up in some tower was a small price to pay. When Norway and Denmark fell in the opening moves of the war, it was more than she could bear. She went before Odin and proclaimed furiously that if he did not allow her to walk in the world and defend it from a spreading nightmare, he had best simply kill her now, for it would destroy her spirit anyway. Perhaps the gallows god was impressed with her spirit. Perhaps the looming tragedies to come moved even him. Perhaps he was simply in a fit of pique at the Nazi regime using the trappings of his people as though they did not belong to Odin alone and inclined to handwave permission to anyone looking to go mess with the Germans.

Either way, for the duration of the war, Reignleif was allowed to fight for the people of Earth, which she did with vigor, conviction and even compassion. Her time spent connecting with humanity on a level of their own existence meant for doing so besides without the incidents connected to, say, the Huntsman (who generally she rolled her eyes at and groaned at his occasional “flirting” with her). A skilled warrior and flying physical powerhouse affiliated to the Scandinavian resistance movements, Reignlief also had peculiar abilities relating to the spirits of the dead, influence over intangible worlds and movement within them.

She largely pitied Maugris, which made him crabby and brusque with her. She loathed Dracula as a walking atrocity, who seemed lightly bemused in response. Megas treated her with an outright reverence and actually kept his language (mostly) clean around her. Well, relatively clean. Clean-ish. Well he certainly never told that one story about the nuns and the stablemaster around her. You don’t do that around a lady! Zephyr was basically as distantly polite as she was with the others, Reignlief’s ebon black hair and ice blue eyes at least helped avoid feeling like she was fighting alongside the embodied ideal of the master race.

There was an immediate connection between Reignlief and Caliburn. Their hearts were noble, their purpose true, their wars fought in an effort to have might, suborn itself to right. And also, you know, they were both very, very pretty. Reignlief’s permissions to Earth were only temporary however. At the end of the day, she was still a Valkyrie, sworn to Odin. Their mutual crush was a painfully unrequited one.  Rather than be wracked by their passions, they managed an impressive display of maturity in trying to work through them.

They were able in the end to bypass momentary infatuation towards a deep, even familial affection and friendship as the months and years passed. Gareth after all had not seen his parents since the war began, and was more or less raising himself on the battlefields of the world. Reignlief had felt for centuries as an outsider from her sisters and divine race entire. They became something of a surrogate family to each other, something almost pure in the contentment and support they found in each other’s company. (“I’d like to be clear on this. You gave away your chance to fuck an actual magical divine vagina, to intentionally pick friendship. I am going to be sick, and not just because of how much I had to drink last night,” quoth Maugris, before indeed puking)

At war’s end, Reignlief was recalled to Asgard, her permissions ended. While her long experience with death and the dying allowed her to handle Gareth’s passing without being consumed by grief, she has all the same not been seen again on Earth.

The Steel Sage

Cai Yue had been fighting her own war well before the rest of the world decided it was being left out. In fact Cai Yue had been outright leading her own war as a third faction in the clash between the Kuomintang and Communists over China’s destiny. A patriot and nationalist in her own way, she viewed either faction as nothing but the promise of corruption or tyranny, or even both. In another age, the sheer brilliance of her intellect- well, no, she was a woman, in another age, her society would have squandered or ignored her potential that much harder. It was almost perversely fortunate she was born into the time of the warlords. Desperate men in need of an edge over their many enemies will listen to almost anyone, even a woman with reams of incomprehensible schematics.

Coups are exceptionally simple matters once an army is in staggered, grateful awe over the technology provided to them, and you yourself are encased within explosion proof superalloy flying armor, Cai Yue would later observe. Did she feel badly for such treachery? Do you feel badly when you fumigate termites out of a house? The Steel Sage could be somewhat ruthless pursuing goals she felt were in her people’s name. Still, her love of her nation was evident, and time and resources actually spent tending to their despairs and traumas was a comparative handicap over her many enemies and their ultimate lack of regard for any beyond their own people.

She made up for that split focus, and her smaller forces, and her humble origins, with sheer personal brilliance and relentless willpower. Self taught simply for quickly outmatching any school’s capability to teach her instead, by 16 Cai Yue had skulked and sneaked and begged her way through library and university halls, taking in knowledge with effortless ease. She was hellbent on bringing peace, prosperity and democracy to a China whose chaos had taken her family from her at an early age, even if she had to do so at the point of a sword, or rocket powered mega wrist explosive crossbow bolt barrage, perhaps.

By 26, she was her third front in her nation’s civil wars, and had a slim, but legitimate chance of coming out ontop for all the (sometimes quite strange, in response to her own prowess) foreign backing, or necromantic pacts, or, Buddha, is that some sort of ridiculous multiplying one man army man the communists just desperately belched out? And then Japan invaded, and in sheer forces and their own private metahuman enforcers simply smashed apart all opposition, seizing mass territory, to the point that former enemies had to ally for survival, or at least take a break from trying to kill each other.

She joined the Vanguard Brigade with no small reluctance, chiefly for viewing the peoples and nations of the West for having a large share of blame in the miserable state of her people, but in the end, there was no choice. It didn’t stop her from making the occasional insulting crack about it, of course. Dracula tended to find such things hilarious, and his penchant to wax philosophical in response about any nation’s particular potential for brutality to other nations was a fairly potent conversation killer as far as her going any further than brief remarks.

It wasn’t that she didn’t respect Caliburn as a leader, find that Megas reminded her of a particularly incorrigible, adorable uncle, or feel Zephyr was a kindred spirit in their sense of loss, but their world, was antithetical to hers. It outright bothered her that she felt anything positive for them at all. Fortunately Dracula was eminently hateable, she felt her technological mastery and self control made her superior to Maugris’ dotty, drunk magics, and Reignlief just offended her on a conceptual level as someone who at the end of the day could go back to her perfect heaven while the rest of us lowly mortals bled out into the muck.

It didn’t stop her from functioning within the team, or prevent her from trying to keep her relationships with them functional besides, but it was a source of stress, and she already had so many.

Worst of all, her rivals in China almost gleefully held themselves back from full commitments in the war, leading her to have to expend her own forces down to near nothing to save what of her people she could from suffering, atrocity and misery, and contribute to the weakening of the imperial Japanese armies. That she was actually grateful to Vanguard to fighting alongside her in such moments lead to a night of heavy drinking, waking up beside a naked Maugris, and each swearing to never speak of that again.

She died not long after the world war ended, and her original war resumed, killed in a three way urban warfare clash she abandoned to hold up a hospital long enough for it to be evacuated. She would have found ironic her enemies declaring a truce long enough to strike it as she did with the most powerful munitions at their disposal.

Chang Kai Shek would later try to co opt her as having been a Nationalist heroine all along (hence the memorials to her in Taiwan and to the Vanguard generally), while the Communists would simply attempt to excise her from history, and where they could not, refer to her as an expatriate who fought in Europe for the Allies.

It would turn out that Cai Yue, while still ruler of her own territory, secretly gave birth to an illegitimate child from an affair with one of her subordinates, who would grow up and start a family of their own. Her modern day descendant not simply demonstrated much of her mother’s brilliance, but found some of her secreted journals and a hidden laboratory. As the new Steel Sage, she is active in Taiwan as its local superhero, and strongly advocates in her off hours for the return of an accurate accounting of her great grandmother to the pages of history.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 01:33:16 AM by Kolbrandr »

Offline KolbrandrTopic starter

Re: Characters I'd like to play: Supers edition.
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2015, 01:23:17 AM »
Last character for the evening, for realises. Now to get all obscure on y'all. Hey, remember HERO system and Champions? *horribly dates self* I was actually never hugely into them, but I had friends who were, and we played a few abortive online games thereof. And a couple of forum games. This character is actually the source of my online handle! I made them for a sort of "generational successors to the Avengers" game that the technical details of the place it was set in were too frustrating to go on with (and then it apparently eventually died on its own anyway). System wise though he's not hard to adapt to what all ever.

So this was back when in Thor comics, Ragnarok totally happened, Thor became superpowerful, and basically ended his own setting and himself, and the whole thing was dead for a while. So I riffed on that and made a survivor of the ravaged nine realms as the son of Balder and Karnilla. Capacity wise he was.. how to put it. In Champions terms he would be a "martial brick", basically someone with superstrength and toughness, but also trained fightin skills and what have you. He also had a not overwhelming Sorcerer Supreme level or anything, but useful and notable fluid capacity to throw magic around for a variety of helpful effects that could sometimes synergize to majorish things.

Obviously the guy being so setting event specific makes him hard to use, but eh, it's Marvel. Alternate realities or being some X-men style "I have come to the present from a terrible future I must prevent!" type shmear are pretty standard.

Appearance wise, he had his father's white hair fairly wild and thick around his face, if short to his neck, otherwise framing a gaze of piercing, ice blue eyes that sometimes went radiant from mystical energies. The beauty and grace of his parents came together to give his features a sense of noble, even otherworldly aching perfection, but his time spent as a half feral survivalist made it easy for them to twist in unsettling and shadowed, almost animalistic wrath. He was tall and lithely built, and his costume tended to vary for very originally being "a pile of rags and tatters and hides" (ever see that ep of Angel where that thug calls Connor "the shammy man!" - yeah, that) which he's tried to replace out of embarrassment for that with a variety of different looks he's never quite 100% on.



There was a time, or so it was whispered, when for once, Balder, noblest son of Asgard, might have ever so briefly reciprocated the affections of Karnilla the Norn Queen, before spurning her for a base nature she could never truly overcome. Gripped in spite, the legends say the jilted Queen concealed the child of that ever brief union, to take a twisted comfort in her heart of having something of Balder's for her own, something he could never have. Something that if he knew of, he would want. To ensure that Balder would not even hear of him, she deigned to have him raised and put forth as the child of one of the warriors of her court.

In time her bitterness even festered enough to reveal the boy's heritage to him, as part of an effort to raise him to hate his father, and drive him to slay the God of Light.

But Ragnarok carried with it the end of all schemes, and the only future spread before the youth was a life in bleak and shattered ruins, amidst the bleak and shattered remnants of armies of monsters and undead. The inherited fire of his father and mother alike drove him not to go to his end in such wasted land without struggle. That will and the innate gifts of his birth ensured that struggle turned into survival as the boy grew to become a hardened young man, a canny and furtive presence amidst the blasted planes of Asgard.

Yet though it was a constant war to be waged, survival eventually was maintained. Still, for one with a legacy of intellect and drive, it was not enough. Learning as he had near the end of his parentage, the young man combed through the ruins of the Norn kingdom, reconstructing what he could of his mother's magics and making them his own. With them his presence was now not simply established, but feared. Spoken of by the surviving and lingering traces of evil as a ghost of Asgard, wreaking vicious slaughter in the name of retribution.

In truth of course, the young man's motivation stemmed from little more than a lack of aught else to do, for growing up amongst monsters and living nearly as an animal cannot help but give a monstrous edge to the soul. And yet, perhaps as a lingering touch of his father, and perhaps that there began to be precious few beasts to vent frustrations upon, such a life was still not enough, and brought him no satisfaction, no sense of peace.

He resolved at that to find what commemoration might be left of his father, perhaps the site where his body fell, perhaps even a sword he had wielded or home in which he had lived. If nothing else, it would pass the time.

He journeyed through the searing fires of Muspelheim and the biting, scouring cold of Jotunheim. His soul was resilient enough to endure the empty despair of the wasted expanse of Nifelheim. Almost pointlessly epic, the youth traveled through mountain and forest, glacier and sea, until he found himself in the shattered heart of fallen Asgard.

There he found a simple stone bier, the air about it almost palpably sacred. He knew at once that this was where his father's body had rested while all gathered to give tribute unto him for his life and deeds. As he neared, a trembling whose source he could not define taking him over, he saw that Asgard's last defenders had taken to using their final moments to carve into it a record of the Brave one's deeds. Their dying intent looked to be for that if someone, someday came by this ruined land, deeds among the worthiest of all might outlive Asgard in legend.

The stories themselves played out vividly in the young man's mind as he read, and the force of their valor, and the gesture itself of last lifesblood spent to ensure their recording left him overwhelmed, and left him shamed. His life had been so petty and small, his deeds so cruel and useless. What merit was there to his survival, in the face of such a man? What worth could there be to his life, measured against such nobility?

And though for different reasons, like his father had before him in empty desert, the youth cried out in despair, in rage, in pain striking at his soul. And like his father before him, he was answered. For as reality endured, so too did destiny, and so too the weaver Norns that sat over it, that had beheld Thor's decision to end the cycles of Ragnarok, that had graced Balder himself with visions to inspire him back to valor. They brought to the youth his father's shade, to complete his training as a warrior, in tactics, in battle, in command, in honour. To counsel him in finding purpose to his soul, and to tell him the full scope of Asgard's final days.

And in such bittersweet reunion was that purpose gained, as the tale was told of Thor granting a final rest to the warriors of Asgard that had been cruelly enslaved to act out Ragnarok as an endless cycling hollow play for those that Lived Above in Shadow. How Thor had gained the strength to obtain that freedom from his time among Midgard, from his life among humanity, from their strength of heart and spirit. From the Earth itself.

There was a debt thusly owed from the gods of Asgard to the mortals of Midgard, one that a worthy champion might devote his life to repaying. One that fate had graced the son of Balder with a chance to enact, and one which before departing once more to his rest, his father's spirit offered to him as a purpose to take up in his name.

Though the journey was no less harrowing than it had been to Asgard's shattered halls, with the strength of noble and powerful legacies, and through his own innate quality, the journey to Midgard was made.

It has been some years since that the young man has spent walking its cities. Fighting the wicked, the monstrous, standing before those that would shatter the world of mortals as the world of immortals had been and battling them back with magic, might, a strong sword arm and an indomitable will.

And in such fashion is spent a hero's life. Yet though he has the preternatural beauty and grace of both his parents, and their regal force of personality, his is a more fiercely edged heroism. For he is still the youth that grew and survived in nightmare, and still the young man that knows how fragile a world can be, and how sudden disaster can come. Though he strives to live up to his father's nobility, it is the fiery passion within him that compels him to so strive in the first place. He does not simply repay the mortals, he has come to love them for their vibrant lives and struggles, and takes enjoyment in a world that by comparison to much of his life, is a veritable paradise. And so, as the mortals would say, he fights hard, trains hard, and then parties like a rockstar. Such is the life of the son of Balder.