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Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:33 am

MightyDavidson wrote:I thought it was Battle Czar that killed Stalin in HED?


Just as Divinos' name is Mikail, Battle Czar is named Urielus.

The Mithran were a very enlightened species with direct contact with the Host.

They are not, however, archangels, of course.

Though, peculiarly, Michael the Bull Host Viceroy of Heaven looks surprisingly much like Divinos in one of his favorite host bodies.

Another looks like John Henry.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby greycrusader » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:22 pm

The Gatekeepers, continued:

Here are my thoughts on the three most committed members of the 1970s and early 1980s Gatekeepers, Bluejay, Brunhilde, and Celestial Crane, who really comprised the core of that era's team.

Bluejay: Kylie Goldman was the daughter of a wealthy but emotionally distant family, her father the CEO of a leading defense contracting firm. Unlike her parents and siblings, Kylie had little interest in business or politics, instead being drawn to science and mathematics. Somewhat withdrawn, and lacking the athletic and social skills of her kin, Kylie was often considered the family misfit. She nonetheless possessed a brilliant mind welded to a brave and idealistic spirit. She was something of a fan-girl, deeply interested in all things related to superheroes. She often fantasized about being the same kind of heroic and dynamic figure as her idols, though Kylie realized this was a hopeless daydream.

Shortly after earning her Master's degree in electrical engineering (Kylie already had double degrees in physics and math), her father's company was exposed by Black Wing I as having illegal dealings with PHANTOM and other criminal organizations; the Goldman patriarch was arrested and charged with multiple federal crimes. Kylie set out to prove his innocence in the matter, deciding to investigate on her own after being rebuffed by the FBI and Justice Department. Creating a costume and equipping herself with several hi-tech (for the period) weapons and devices, Kylie tracked down the PHANTOM connections, sure she would find evidence clearing her father. She had several brushes with danger, barely escaping several encounters with PHANTOM agents despite her inventions and exceptional intellect. However, following one harrowing scrape in an industrial warehouse, Kylie came across a prototype winged exoskeleton among the debris. Seeing potential in the device, she took it back to her private lab and perfected the flying harness, adding a cybernetic control helmet, a chainmail vest, and steel talons to the design. The Bluejay was born!

Unfortunately, while her new superheroic identity enabled Kylie to successfully complete her investigation, the Bluejay's efforts only confirmed the case against her father: the man was guilty. Though the truth left her heartbroken, this only strengthened her resolve to remain active as the Bluejay, as she was motivated to redeem her family legacy. PHANTOM intitially remained her primary antagonists, as Kylie blamed them (a bit irrationally) for buying off and corrupting her father. Bluejay was soon in over her head when she uncovered a sinister plot involving a squadron of meta-powered PHANTOM androids, each created to match one of Earth's greatest heroic champions. She sought out aid from the only other superhero she had encountered, the Celetial Crane, who was by then a Gatekeeper. Bluejay fought ably beside the other Gatekeepers during the subsequent battle, and was given a (cautious) invite to became an associate team member.

Bluejay overcame her shyness soon after becoming the Bluejay, adopting a rather snarky, irreverant sense of humor to mask her insecurities. She was one of the most "grounded" members, more rooted in everyday reality than her mystical, alien, or monstrous allies. Bluejay at first relied mainly on her costume and weaponry, frequently tinkering with and upgrading her crimefighting gear. But she undertook a fitness regime and trained under Sherry in martial arts, developing into a capable if lackluster physical combatant. Her greatest assets remained her scientific, technical, and deductive skills, as well as the personal wealth inherited from the family trust.

Brunhilde: The Gatekeepers' Brunhilde is not the Valkyrie of the same name known from the work of Wagner, but a 20th century woman who is distant kin to the legendary warrior woman of the same name whose story was told in the Volsung saga. Sonya Stout was a promising opera singer whose career was derailed by severe depression and resulting alcholism, conditions which eventually resulted in poverty and homelessness. At one point, Sonya was assaulted on the streets and suffered a serious head wound, though she managed to fend off her attackers.

While recuperating in a charity hospital, suffering partial memory loss, she was approached by Morwen, who enlisted her in a now largely forgotten gambit, pitting several super-powered females against prominent male heroes of the day. Morwen had sensed the Sonya's connection to the Brunhilde line, and gifted Sonya with the spear, shield, and armor of the woman's ancestor. The latent magic within the items were awakend by Sonya's blood-heritage, granting her superhuman strength and durability. The embrace of her heritage quelled her depression, but deepened her memory loss. For a time, Sonya believed she was the actual Brunhilde reincarnated, germanic heroine and half-sister to Atilla the Hun. Following the failure of Morwen's plot, Brunhilde subsequently drifted again, coming into conflict with Frankenstein's Monster and aiding Aquarius against science rogue Dr. Agrippa. It was these adventures which led Merlin to tap her for the newly formed Gatekeepers.

In addition to her physical gifts, Brunhilde's spear and shield were enchanted, being stronger than steel and able to harm normally impervious foes. Following a victorious battle against Dr. Necros, she adopted a genetically created Griffin as her steed. She eventually recovered her full memories from her prior life as Sonya Stout, and even returned to singing. Sonya learned to deal with her personal issues, drawing on the fiery spirit of her ancestor and then her own will and determination. She came to see the Gatekeepers as family, bonding with the "outsiders" Adam and Aquarius, and "gal pals" Bluejay and Celestial Crane. She was deeply saddened by Aquarius turning to the Justicars and the resurgence of the evil "Doctor" personality of Frankenstein's Monster.

Celestial Crane: Sherry "Showbiz" Strider was a veteran runway model (since age 16) who never quite made "supermodel" status. Considered too old for modeling at age 28, she turned to acting in B-movies and guest spots on television to continue her career. She enrolled at a dojo to train in martial arts for a film and discovered she had a prodigious natural talent for hand to hand fighting. It was a great help that her sensei was a disciple of the White Lotus. While at the dojo, she became close friends with Susan Wu, the master's grand-daughter, and nurse Jean-Anne Carter, the other two most talented students. After the sensei was mortally wounded by Black Hand assassins, he revealed with his dying breath a prophecy about the "Daughters of the Crane", three women who would stand as one against injustice. He bequeathed the Three Rings of the Crane to Sherry, Susan, and Jean-Anne. Their athletic and fighting skills were heightened by the magic objects, and they went on to battle the Black Hand, the Triads, and even the Mafia as the Daughters of the Crane. They teamed with other 1970s heroes on occasion, most often with Night Cat.

The Daughters of the Crane ended with a whimper, not a bang: Susan Wu suffered a bullet wound to the leg which never completely healed, and retired from crimefighting to teach martial arts, taking over her grandfather's dojo rather than become a weak link. Jean-Anne decided she wanted a normal life and turned her attention to nursing and planning marriage and family with her boyfriend. Sherry gained possession of all the Crane rings, which transformed her into the Celestial Crane, a supernatural being with martial arts skills surpassing even those of Blackwing I or Kung-Fu King. She could change between her human and Crane forms at will, her fighting costume magically appearing from nowhere when she transformed.

Sherry joined the Gatekeepers in the wake of an early incursion by the Soul-Less; street people, prostitutes, vagrants, and others in poverty stricken neighborhoods were disappearing and then coming back as murderous, vacant-eyed monsters. Sherry teamed with her ally Night Cat in investigating and stopping the "urban zombie outbreak", but soon found themselves badly outnumbered and overwhelmed. It was then that Brunhilde stepped in to help, her sheer power turning the tide (Sonya Stout had been working at a soup kitchen at the time). The three heroines managed to stem the Soul-Less invasion, and Brunhilde offered membership in the Gatekeepers (though there really no offical members) to Celestial Crane and Night Cat. Both accepted, but Night Cat vanished from the public eye shortly thereafter. Celestial Crane remained in part because Merlin promised to search for her friend. Sherry was the most fun-loving of the Gatekeepers and her cheerfulness and optimism helped buoy the team. She never forgot her lost ally, and later had John Milton Miller mystically alter her Celestial Crane garb to combine design elements of Night Cat's costume in memory of her friend.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Libra » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:09 pm

Keep up the good work fellows! :D
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby EnigmaticOne » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:08 pm

SuperFans!

A recent organization (or shadow association perhaps is more appropriate) that has made its appearance in recent months- SuperFans! is an oddball to beat all others, even UNITY pre-Unifer healing. Superheroes and villains simply in general attract fans. And fan clubs, and stalkers and the whole nine yards. Except SuperFans seems to be composed of rather obsessive ones- oh, and seem to be all powered or very skilled mundane humans.

The first appearance of the group's members was invitations to major media outlets scheduling an auction for various pieces of super-information... and a night with Angel Girl who had not agreed to be present, much less sooooo revealing dressed. Hot tidbits on JWIII were also on the specials, which prompted a rare team-up by the HoS and the Patriots.

Later, James Moriarty V was briefly taken by the FISS Gianna for what turned out to be topless pictures and an interview. Similar dangerous to strange activities have been attributed to the SuperFans! and admittedly, their attempt to apply the study of cartography to Abaddon nearly allowed Earth to get invaded.

In any case, most of the members of SuperFans; be they public camera-grabbers like Gianna or the more quiet clubbers doing things like supporting the network and trying to hack into Seventh Heaven are unknown, except for a few, and in all likelihood won't be found out. Sorting out who in the populace is among them is a bit of a waste of time, despite the issues at hand. That JWIII might be carefully twisting matters to make the SuperFans more distracting to his rivals and do-gooders will only make things worse.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby greycrusader » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:46 pm

It should be stated, as first reported by another author in the previous HED thread, that under the guidance of Merlin the Gatekeepers always have seven-no more and no fewer-members at any given time. Though the membership is quite fluid with many coming and going through the decades, Merlin has kept the ranks at that number. There are several reasons for this principle. First, seven is a traditonally "lucky" number, and Merlin is all about grand tradition-long-standing and widely held beliefs help to fuel magic. Also, a team of seven champions has been prophesized to finally end the threat of the Soul-Less forever, following a great world-wide crisis. Finally, the seven members also represent the mystic pentagram-Merlin at the center, overseeing all, five heroes standing directly against a foe, like the five points of the star, and one working subtly on the periphery, or being drawn into the conflict as if summoned into the pentagram.

Even when the Gatekeepers were first formed, Merlin had set in motion the events which would lead to Bluejay's origin, made sure Brunhilde was in the bowery to destroy a nest of Soul-Less infiltrators, and steered Sherry Strider (still a Daughter of the Crane) into a showdown with a vampiric Hollywood agent who was in compact with the Soul-Less Emperor.

(Thanks be to Mighty Davidson for the inspiration elucidated on above).

The latest incarnation to be led by the Old Hedge Wizard consisted of Brunhilde, Misty Weiss, Mr. Impossible, Pure (a further mutated and even more self-righteous Stain), a new of Bluejay (an African-American forest ranger provided with a licensed version of the flying suit), and a female legacy of the 1970s hero Captain Atlantic II (the super-powered one). They were led by a future version of Merlin, called simply Lynd and possessing the body and temperment of a brilliant but mischievous twelve year old boy. They were brought together to repulse a massive Soul-Less invansion and finally close the portal which allowed them access to our world.

All my best.

BTW: Really like the Super-Fans concept, Enigmatic One.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:10 pm

Phrozen wrote:Despite his demon blood, animals don't actually avoid John. Buster his loyal companion as one. Its just that well he can't ride. Maybe it is a latent fear of horses (of all the things to be afraid of) and maybe it just puts a crick in his spine.

"Gringo, I don't know who is a worse rider. You or that trumped up wannabe from Raven..." ~El Vaquero while riding with JMM while tracking down La Llorna.


He's actually a rotten driver too. He has a driver named Charlie for ferrying him around on his cases. Charlie is his gay cousin and the subject of all manner of backlash but has managed to survive much of the trouble the world has thrown at them.

Well, it didn't take much and some of the denizens were frankly creeped the heck out by some of the turned Aztec Deities. In fact they really don't know whose side the Smoking Mirror is actually on or if it is on anybody but its own side.


At the risk of demeaning an RL religion, many of them may or may not actually be Cosmic Eternals and there's been more than a few Entropic Masters worshiped as RL deities. For example, Aladdin fought a cult of Baba Yaga worshipers they THOUGHT was Kali in the 1930s.

As Aladdin said, "I can't believe that movie didn't contain a disclaimer."

Also, where the laws of reality and physics are merely suggestions. It helps to have someone think really outside the box.


Creative types are actually kidnapped less often than you'd think given the kind of danger they pose.

Unlike as portrayed by Brahm Stroker, the Vampire is an urban creature. Not only does the country provide less prey, the people are well more able to actually survive and hunt.


City people are also less prone to hanging crosses, keep Torahs in plain sight, and so on.

"Vampires are not sparkly. Most of them actually have pretty poor hygiene. Your average fang face will look and act more like your heroin addict then the sauve Bela Lugosi type much less whatever was in the Twilight book."


JJM wasn't there for Salem's Lot but, in general, vampires are actually quite creepy and unpleasant. "There's a reason they need mesmerism, guys." Dracula, of course, is the exception to every rule but only he and Carmilla plus a handful of others possess any real urbane power.

Some vampires become very good at MIMICKING being cultured and urbane but they really mostly lose that.

Well, he got disbarred for practicing criminal law when he actually has his degree in civil law. Though since metahuman law is a new field and JMM was one of the few to have experience in it. He got rebarred.


It's remarkably easy to get accredited for superhuman law. Strange, I know.

JMM would like to let you know that he did not inspire Twilight or Ann Rice. Though he has wrote some cheese, none of the supernaturals were portrayed as anything other then frightening or loathsome.


He has an affection for weredeer. No, seriously, one of his ex-girlfriends was one.

Well, when JJM writes schlock it is like Robert Howard or Edgar Rice Burroughs. When the DU writes, well he only writes shclock it is more like a game of F.A.T.A.L. It is pretty much offensive to almost everybody.


Well spoken.

And Merlin wonders why no one in particular really is helping his current situation. He hasn't made (m)any friends.


I think virtually all of Merlin's friends go, "Well he's a hero BUT..." describing him.

"Less reading, more sexy time/angsting/punching." Apply to each member as the situation dictates.


A philosophy which worked well for him!

Well, Belial does have a tin ear. If it were Old Crossroads it might of been different. The Demon Law prevents any demon from declining a rock off challenge though. Still, it gets harder as more people have become genre savvy. Though JMM would point out that folklore is pretty much the how to guide when it comes to supernatural interaction.


From Alan Wake: American Nightmare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-SGqKUgaaw

JMM and the Old Gods of Asgard slay the Devil with music!

Also, Red Tape isn't such an obvious sleezeball or complete monster. In demon terms he is quite boring. JMM does have a sneaking idea that Mister Red Tape and Puriel are related somehow. JMM also suspects that Mister Red Tape is actually the Devil as Prosecutor as shown in the Torah.


In a more humorous game, one could see them like Crowley and his partner from Good Omens.

"Alan Wake hit rather closer to home then it should of. I wonder where they got the idea."~JMM
"From me of course, My grandchild."~Belial


That game is disturbingly autobiographical for JMM.

Well, one of it is that writing is his passion. Freeing souls is just a little bit of spite. To spit in the eye of those that pre-damned him. JMM and Mick Drake actually get along swimmingly. Its just when they get together the apocalypse is just about to happen.


The fact they're, by some standards, brothers makes it all the more humorous.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby greycrusader » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:52 am

Excellent expansion of the John Milton Miller character, and nice delineation from his pater, Lucien Drake.

I'm looking forward to any further commentary of the Gatekeepers and Midnight Pact.

My next entry is going to be on the strange and sometimes creepy adventures of Robert Jack and Hannah Sweet, AKA the Big Answer!

The concept is they investigate cases for a midwestern tabloid a la The Weekly World News-but the headlines are usually all too real.

This may be a week or tend days from now, as I'm working on a couple other projects, so if anyone wants to throw out suggestions or ideas, I'm completely open.

All my best.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:38 am

The Midnight Pact part 1

The Midnight Pact, as described before, was a group of nineties anti-heroes and occult characters all gathered together. What was strange about the group was that, by the standards of the time, they were surprisingly gentle. The influence of Amulet, Tiffany Blackthorn, and John Milton Miller prevented the deaths of regular humans while the rest of their opponents tended to be literally soulless monsters.

The Midnight Pact broke Merlin's original rule of seven members, which happened on occasion, instead becoming an unlucky thirteen. The group was gathered together to initially stop the doings of Lamialith who had managed to be unfrozen by Arctic explorers from her original Edenic-era body. Lamialith swiftly began birthing her myriad children like the creature from Species, seducing and manipulating others to form an army of Lilin to destroy humanity. Dark Lustre was notable for working with Lamialith as her second in command, the two sharing a variety of fanservice shots and implications which were immature even by the standards of 90s comics.

Really, the team would have probably not worked out nearly so well if these two hadn't immediately started targetting the Midnight Pact's family and friends. Lord Abyss lost some of his family, Lucien Drake his old Romani friend Gregor, Morwen one of her lovers from the 19th century who she'd cared enough about to get long life, and so on. Signing a geas that they would work together against all odds lest they suffer terrible pain also helped, though it was rarely necessary.

Later, after Lamialith's original body was destroyed, they managed to reassemble the Book of Orkus in its entirety to fight Dagon. Dagon had risen from the crumbled civilization of Lemuria and mass insanity was sweeping the planet. There was a question who'd use the book and damn their soul but, ironically, Tiffany Blackthorn did. The purity of her wish managed to prevent Orkus from claiming her soul and Dagon found himself once more forced to the bottom of the ocean with his lost continent.

One notable action of this period was the Silver Spear II was created. Claiming to the original Silver Spear's child she gave up for adoption, he used the Book of Orkus to becoming a sort of ultimate supernatural monster-hunter killing machine. Rather than try and kill him despite being a murderous creature, they attempted to heal him. This action shook the original Silver Spear who had, even at that point, considered most of her team to be monsters.

Mammon briefly was born into the world and began purchasing the souls of nearly every supervilllain on the planet, giving them a variety of hellish superpowers. Notable for this time was Black Dragon's refusal to sell his soul for a cure "I would never be part of a club that would have me as a member" as well as Kenneth Kane laughing at the prospect since selling his soul was the cheapest deal he ever made. Mammon was defeated by John Milton Miller challenging his contract in a court of hell and winning, obliterating him from existence.

Oddly, Mammon's own children and successors have since claimed his name so it's questionable how much of a victory this was.


The team was briefly targeted by the White Lotus Society of all people, who believed the potential dangers of so much magic in the hands of so many questionable people needed to be stopped. Invoking the Doom of Gamorrah, they hunted the team across dimensions and attempted to get at them through their friendships.

Mick Drake ultimately, against the wishes of his teammates, went to save the leader of the White Lotus Society from a magical ailment despite this and gave the group the mother of all "What the hell, hero?" speeches, causing them to pardon him. Later it was revealed one of Puriel's agents in the Knights Hospitaller was framing him. The group later and uncovered the Black Lotus Society and seemingly destroyed its agents in the upper ranks.

The group's dynamic began to fray a bit when Amulet became pregnant with Infamy's child. Initially, the father was assumed to be Mick Drake because our hard luck hero had briefly been involved with her before she went with Tiffany Blackthorn. The team, believing Infamy slipped her a "magical roofie", nearly killed him in retaliation. In truth, it turned out to be the Amulet itself and they had to purify the Amulet in an ancient ceremony that took them against some fairly malevolent forces even by their standards. They gladly did it, though, because after almost four years together - they were a family.
Then the Living Mummy killed Tiffany Blackthorn.

The loss of her severely weakened the team's dynamic and, geas or no geas, they were willing to hunt him to the ends of the Earth. The need for the team also weakened, as well, since Divinos returned much of the world was righted. The death of John Milton Miller thwarting a full-scale invasion of New Amsterdam via Mandy Blackthorn (possessed and turned into the "Devil Queen") certainly didn't help. Still, the team maintains fairly cordial relations and a couple of reunions have happened since.
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:42 am

The Midnight Pact Part 2

Here's a brief rundown of their state during the team's tenure.

Amulet: Clarice O'Hara was never part of a superhero team before and initially was skeptical of anything involving Merlin (already proven to be untrustworthy) and known criminals. Clarice, however, was a woman who naturally gentle in nature and swiftly accepted (perhaps too readily) the better nature of her companions.

She believed the Living Mummy was sincerely trying to reform and Lord Abyss had been ruined by his upbringing. Mick Drake and she were closest of the team, being friends who shared a lot. They were also briefly lovers, though this never quite worked out since she only reminded Mick of his police officer friend back home. In fact, Amulet was already developing feelings for Tiffany she didn't quite understand. Her coming out and eventually moving in with Tiffany caused her considerable grief with the police force (not to mention her new "associates").

The loss of Tiffany and her semi-unwanted pregnancy with Infamy's child caused her to leave full-time superheroing as a result. She still maintains contact with Lord Abyss in a Friendly Enemies sort of way, The Last Ranger often breaks into her house to steal from her fridge, and Mick Drake visits everytime he's at the Big Pear.

Frankenstein: Having once more had the Doctor side of his personality suppressed, Frankenstein adopted a somewhat bizarre new personality many people called, "The Professor." Smart as anything else, he was an ugly as sin but highly intelligent sort who carried a huge gun and seemed to take saving the world in stride. Many liken this to Frankenstein's "Hellboy" period.

Part of why Frank had such fond memories of this is Tiffany, John, Clarice, and Mick were fairly normal human beings (aside from the obvious) who treated Frank as just a slightly scarred Ron Pearlman type. This kind of basic acknowledgement of his humanity is more precious than gold to Frank and they even named him, "Franklin F. Frankenstein" to give him a name beyond the Creature. The Silver Spear loathed him for much of the team's career but, ironically, it was he who never trusted the Living Mummy. Part of this, ironically, was just Frank's distaste for scientists.

John Milton Miller: Much has been said about John Milton Miller's role in the team but if Tiffany was the glue, he was the head. Ironically, Merlin rarely did any actual leading of the team despite being its leader. This was partially due to the fact no one trusted him and that role fell to John. John wasn't entirely taken seriously by his fellows with his free-wheeling party lifestyle but everyone liked him, even Lord Abyss.

John maintained a "friends with benefits" relationship with Morwen during much of the team's tenure and many believe him to be the most likely father of her baby. Of course, many believe John probably has more children than Robert Baratheon given his pellicados during this period. John's closest relationships were with Mick Drake and Tifanny Blackthorn, the fomer being like the brother he'd never had and the later being almost like a daughter to him despite their similar ages.

Amusingly, Tiffany Blackthorn was horrified to learn John proposed to her twin sister siser Mandy. Not only did everyone think it was creepy but she also believed it would lead to disaster (and did). The Last Ranger, to this day, throws holy water in John's face to make sure it's still him before beginning any conversation. The odd thing is, thereafter, treats him like an old friend.

The Last Ranger: Suspicious, bizarre, and insane. The Last Ranger was at his most peculiar during this period being a Zen Buddhist Conspiracy Theorist Randian despite the inherent contradictions (Buddhism and Rand? Seriously? There's no way to mock that- Mick). Still, despite being a constant source of weirdness in the team's ranks, he was actually very much at home in their ranks. Even more than Lady Grayhaven's later team, he considered the Midnight Pact to accept him and his complete inability to be phased by anything from Kaithooloo to Satan did much to improve morale.

Frankenstein and Moonstalker were the closest of the Last Ranger's friends, though he actually considers all of them to be buddies despite his ability to freak them out. The only ones he doesn't care for are Lord Abyss and the Living Mummy. As criminals, he had little affection for them. Amusingly, he was also the only male with a complete immunity to Morwen's charms. As one of the few pure humans in the group, the Silver Spear was initially somewhat friendly but the Last Ranger dismissed her bigotry out of hand.

The Living Mummy: The much maligned Doctor Edward Easton believed the Midnight Pact was his chance for redemption. Amulet and Tiffany accepted his desire for atonement at face value while Morwen believed in a kind of cold-blooded utilitarianism ("yeah, you killed people. So save them now). Frankenstein, as well, believed he deserved a chance to be more than he was. Moonstalker, especially, loathed the Living Mummy as the kind of man who gave into the urges he'd fought against his entire life. Lucien Drake, also, seemed to sense the Living Mummy didn't have the courage of his convictions. Mick Drake was torn, believing everyone had a chance to redeem themselves but he'd killed a lot of innocent people.

In the end, what chances he was given were squandered.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:42 am

The Midnight Pact part 3

Lucien Drake: Lucien Drake started to joke he had "Demon Rider Publicity" around the time he'd joined the team and debated joining the (then defunct) Patriots just so he could appear everywhere. Still, he was jovial and got along with everyone but the Liviving Mummy. He was, amusingly, completely unaware of his relationship to his family on the team but Mick Drake.

Lord Abyss and he had a somewhat peculiar relationship, though, as the two often tried to kill each other away from the team. They also hung out in clubs picking up aspiring actresses and models. Amusingly, he and Morwen did NOT ever have a relationship, having tried in the past only to nearly level a city in the break-up.

Lord Abyss: Lord Abyss never considered himself a superhero and the idea has always been physically repulsive to him. So, instead, he's considered the Midnight Pact a case of "protecting the world so I can have it." This was always somewhat of a self-delusion because Lord Abyss wasn't a complete psychopath.

Lord Abyss seemed to think he could actually redeem himself if he protected those genuinely good members of the team like Tiffany and Amulet. Likewise, he considered John Jackson Miller to be like a kid brother (a assessment John was more or less bewildered by since he was older than him).

Merlin: The erstwhile founder of the group, he was always somewhat along for the ride with the team. The team's collective power was more than he could deal with and they were all so hard nosed they never really listened to ANYTHING he had to say other than, "The monster is over here."

He had the time of his life.

No, seriously, it was wonderful to put away his responsibility for a time and just follow along for the ride. The fact he was an actual participating member of the team versus being a quest giver should tell you a lot of about his opinion of them. They weren't just cannon fodder to him and, unfortunately, previous teams had been.

Mick Drake: Never really being a team player, the Midnight Pact weren't exactly the sorts of superheroes he wanted to be a part of. It didn't help his adoptive father was a member of the team and his first real relationship in ages ended with her leaving him (the fact it was for a woman was only incidental). Morwen, of course, desired Mick and wanted to make him her personal toy for much of the team's tenure.

This, of course, resulted in his "cold shower" spell that conjured a little cartoon raincloud over his head.
John Jackson Miller and the Last Ranger were extremely close friends during the team's tenure. Also, Mick Drake became close to Moonstalker. That latter relationship would lead to comedy gold as the two routinely tried to outdo one another in the supernatural monster hunting scene.

Moonstalker: Benjamen Black had been a member of the Gatekeepers before and was only a little leery about a permanent collection of oddballs working together. He found them to be simultaneously the most effective and least crazy group of members, which he thinks JUST COULD be linked in defiance of traditional comic book logic where crazy=effective.

Moonstalker had a great deal of control over his werewolf powers during this time and developed a close working relationship with Frankenstein. Silver Spear and he became intimately close as well, at least after her initial period of hating him as a supernatural monster. He and Mick Drake eventually became bosom buddies.

Morwen: The ultra-violent femme fatale pretty much decided the Gatekeepers were the perfect place to lie-low for a time. Setting herself up as a fashion model/actress, she proceeded to build herself a life with countless infatuated lovers while occasionally helping out the world. Tiffany Blackthorn was easily manipulated by her during this period as was John Jackson Miller. The others were more suspicious of her motivations and always considered her every decision to be fundamentally self-motivated.

Morwen has mixed feelings about the group since so very few people seemed to take her side in matters.

The Silver Spear: The world's greatest monster killer being forced to work with some of the world's greatest monsters didn't exactly go over well with her. She was always suspicious of her fellows motives and considered anything that stank of magic to be evil, despite the fact she used a magic spear. The Silver Spear had to deal with the fact that many of the supernaturals on the team were more human than quite of few of the humans she'd fought. Ben Black, especially, managed to get past her defenses in a way that made her extremely uncomfortable.

Tiffany Blackthorn: Enough has been said on her.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Phrozen » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:12 pm

Wow.

Lots of stuff from both grey and Charles while I was away. I shall proceed to give my comments in the coming week hopefully.

Possibly another theme post once I get everything together.

BTW, Netflix is very addicting.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby greycrusader » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:30 pm

More Gatekeepers-related fodder for Charles, Libra, Phrozen, and any other interested parties

Duirng periods when the Hierophant assumed leadership of the Gatekeepers, he reverted to the seven member configuration which Merlin traditionally held to (aside from the Midnight Pact era), but as the Hierophant rarely took to the field of battle personally (more of a rear-echelon general than the bolder Merlin), the structure was seven members in addition to the team's leader.

The Gatekeepers had even more of a revolving roster than in past incarnations, as the Hierophant recruited individuals for specific missions, even empowering a few formerly normal people for his own purposes. He was also much less interested in having high-profile heroes or strong-willed individuals, as Earth's would-be Master of Magic saw the Gatekeepers as powerful but expendable cannon fodder. The Hierophant had the Pryde as his fallback champions, a team whose effectiveness and leadership were beyond question, even though they were often truculent and even unwilling minions at best. He also (though the Hierophant would vehmently deny it) had a fondness for Lady Grayhaven and her Lionesses, and did not want to risk them in the same situations as his pawns in the Gatekeepers.

Under his tenure, the Gatekeepers included a few veterans, such as Moonstalker (even stronger and more in control, as the Hierophant supplied Ben Black with a mystic belt which let master his lycanthropy), Powerfist (sanest and most grounded, and team field leader], and Starlight Rider (the Rider had near-Galactic Guardsman level powers, but his belief he was a "champion of the cosmos" was a story fed to him by the aliens who gave him his space-faring and light-manipulation abilities; these extraterrestrials were rivals of the Grigori who were testing Starlight Rider as a prototype for their own brand of guardsmen) were among the team's veterans. Others included a new Devil Hound II (legacy of the 1970s occult anti-hero; he was a ex-soldier who was given the occult vestments of the original), Stormqueller II (a Inuit woman of Storm Giant heritage tracked down by the Hierophant and gifted with a copy of the retired Canadian heroine's old armor), Son of Frankenstein (the 1990s "replacement hero" was perhaps the only non-psychotic creation of one Prof. H. West, an infamous doctor of resurrection; the revived deadman prefered to be called simply John Q, but his teammates usually called him Captain Cadaver or Corpse-Boy), Eagle-Eyed Horus (who returned only briefly to Earth, to battle the machinations of Anubis), a new Nightwoman (secretly Angela De Lynne, a woman whose life was once shattered by Professor Purgatory; the Hierophant nurtured her minor talent for magic to help thwart an especially ambitious doppleganger of Purgatory, allowing her to transform into a shadow-shape with powers similar to Splotch), and Madame Tomorrow (who forced her way onto the team at the behest of Ymir and Lucien Drake, neither of whom trusted the Hierophant).

The Hierophant's version of the Gatekeepers had a relatively high attrition rate, as a few members were killed or disabled, several quit out of contempt for their "leader", and those imbued with powers by the Hierophant generally lost their abilites or had them removed after a short time, forcing their retirement (Ms. De Lynn, for example, though she still pursues magic with usually poor or bad results).
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby Phrozen » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:23 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:I hope greycrusader won't mind me making a bit of notes on this.

The Gatekeepers

Way back in the 1926s, Erich Weiss was resuscitated from death by the White Lotus Society who believed that there was a terrible danger coming to face the world. One which would destroy humanity unless it was faced by someone with a considerably more grounded worldview than the average wizard.


Weiss' first words after being resuscitated probably weren't "Nice trick. I could of escaped myself thank you very much" though many like to think they were.

Suffice to say that Weiss's training put him in better shape then practically the whole white lotus society. He was remarkably strong for his build and extremely dexterous. While Weiss could do real magic he found his stage magic just as useful. Its easy to fool someone who already wants to believe.

Erich was more than a little annoyed by his involuntarily resurrection, especially since one of the terms for it was to keep silent about the supernatural he'd spent his life attempting to either expose or debunk.


Like any good escape artist, Weiss tried every trick in the book to get out. Much to the annoyance of his handlers.

Throughout occult comic books of the 1930s, Erich Weiss teamed up with The Ghost, The Avenging Angel, The Spirit of the Minuteman, Doctor Ankh, and several other lesser known Freeport-based crime-fighters to deal with a variety of creepy stories. The Gravediggers, as they were known, were a semi-successful comic that everyone assumed was an in-poor taste attempt to cash in on Harry Houdini's fame.


There foes included: Gangsters, Zombies, Gangster Zombies, Red Caps, Banshees, and various other nasties that came over from the old country. They even fought a Wendigo, Skinwalker, and a Thunderbird.

Eventually, the Gravediggers learned that the reason for their existence related to Dagon and a host of other Entropic Masters which had been bound to the planet Earth by the Lightbringer during the days the planet was still in its primordial state.

Lucifer was assisted, of course, by the rest of the Host's Archangels and every other Cosmic Eternal worth his salt around that time. Ra, Ymir, Uranus, etc.


"Can someone explain to me why no other planet has bound entropic masters and demons?" ~ Mick Drake, to Michael.

While the majority of their power was locked away in the Annihilation Zone, these fragments of their essence would allow them to break free and destroy the universe if their bonds were broken. To this day, no one knows whether Lucifer was already plotting his rebellion then or if it was an attempt to somehow cripple the beings before they became too powerful. Whatever the case, the bonds were already fraying and Erich spent much of WW2 attempting to keep them from completely unraveling.


"Actually, it was just the nearest place at the time. Always planned to come back later and move them a much less summonable place. Then the whole fall thing happened and well, I was occupied for a couple millenia." ~Mr. Scratch

Right before the United States entered WW2, Erich stumbled upon Merlin the Magician as a homeless amnesiac. The German bombing of London had resulted in his stasis-prison being leveled (London was a great deal smaller back then). Curing the old wizard of his madness, Erich joined Merlin in his magic barrel and the two began fighting evil across reality.


Merlin of course was trying to convert Erich to his side. Every encounter got less and less black and white.

Erich was, initially, in awe of Merlin. They used his barrel to travel to ancient Mars, the planet of the Exterminatus, and assisted numerous historical figures in events Merlin insisted would help the people of Earth survive their coming dooms.

In fact, Merlin's idea of what helped them included helping foster the Crusades and possibly assisting Genghis Khan in leveling much of Asia. Disgusted with Merlin's methods, Erich resoundingly quit and any trace of the Gravediggers ceased to exist. Merlin ended up dumping Erich on a balloon to the land of Oz in a story that you've already read about.


Merlin acted as translator for the Great Khan's ambassadors to the Khwarazmian Empire. He made sure to insult the Shah as much as possible and get over the Mongols were going to invade anyway.

Merlin, not being a people person, was initially reluctant to recruit allies in his quest to prevent the supernatural from overwhelming the world. Being Earth's Gatekeeper, having won the title from The Man in the Light, he nearly brought the world to ruin several times during the 1960s.


Oh Merlin had a variety of tools in his belt he just applied the chisel more then any other when perhaps the sledgehammer or angle grinder would of been more useful.

The Man in the Light, bizarrely, kept the world safe from the Anti-Gods and Entropic Masters all without ever leaving his bakery.


Never underestimate the power of finely crafted breads, cakes, bagels, and donuts. The Fae in particular are weak to apple fritters. He also looked like Chef Boyardee amusingly.


Merlin's failures only were prevented from destroying the world due to the presence of the Counter-clockwise Culture. They engaged a renegade branch of the Illuminati called The Church of One Angle in a multi-spatial voodoo time war across the 1960s. It was the hope of the CCC to prevent the Church of the One Angle from releasing the Entropic Masters to destroy the world so reality could be rewritten as a place with free-will.

Needless to say, it took Grant Morrison and Alan Moore BOTH to write about their adventures in a coherent fashion.


"LSD is a hell of a drug."

Merlin, finally, managed to develop some civic responsibility and ended up working with the early Pre-Foundation for World Harmony United Nations Special Taskforce for Extranormal Mastters, classified as The Eye. They managed to defeat the Mars-based incorporeal beings known as the Wisps with the aid of Commander Crimson. His lovely assistant, Sarah Merriweather, helped him defeat the The Clockwork People, The Anti-Merlin (his doppleganger from a hellish counter-Earth which predated Hell-Earth), and Set.


Well, it was grow some civic responsibility or be exterminated. If you piss off enough people even the Gatekeeper can be taken down.


Deciding than the Eye had been useful for several of his missions and finally getting his magic barrel working again, Merlin formally founded the Gatekeepers in the 1970s. The team was initially conceived as an Un-team, which included virtually every hero at one point or the other. This is when the Soulless started to formally arrive. Beings who had no conscience or human spirit and could literally suck the spirits out of mortals.


and some villains. Johnny Vice was actually a part of a few teams. His ahem negotiating skills came in handy.

The Soulless were considered by many to be a dated reference to communism when they appeared in comics but, in fact, were pretty damn terrifying.

While many were highly intelligent, others were completely mindless and created the first incidents of "zombie plague" on Earth. Unlike George Romero zombies, however, they sucked the breath out of their victims to make them undead.


A good way to identify the soulless is that their breath stank like rotten potatoes. They also have a craving for sunflower seeds soaked in grape juice.

The Gatekeepers of the 1970s were, to be blunt, people who were constantly at each others' throats. The Bluejay, Brunhilde, ex-model turned real martial artist Sherry Showbiz, and Lucien Drake were the only people known to take it remotely seriously. A time-traveling John Milton Miller, amusingly, ended up joining the team for a time and helped Moss Pit come to terms with his inhumanity.


Most of the team frankly didn't want to be there. Merlin's spell simply summoned the best people to solve the problem.

John, unfortunately, was one of Moss Pit's few friends so his absence til the 1990s sort of hurt Moss Pit. Moss Pit, notably, used astral projection to put his consciousness in John's body. It thus allowed Moss Pit to sire Tiffany Blackthorn and her sister with his true love, Rebecca Blackthorn.

Sadly, both girls ended up being raised by Moss Pit's archenemy. John is, to this day, completely unaware his paternal feelings for both Blackthorn girls come from something other than their trusting natures.


Probably for the best. That is a pretty big violation of John's body and mind.

The 1980s had Merlin become a close companion of the Patriots, so there was less need to call together the team. The Starlight Rider, Fuzion the Nuclear Wizard, The Last Ranger,Earthmover, Ymir, The Jersey Devil, Black Wing I, Aquarius, and Lucien
Drake were all members for several "black ops" works, however.

Merlin, in particular, hated these missions since the various personalities involved were not unwilling to follow his lead but were powerful enough to challenge his decisions when they happened.

It should be noted Aquarius and Black Wing I created the Justicars, in part, because the Gatekeepers experience could be done "better."


They also asked tough questions like "why exactly do we have to make sure this Damien Black get hit by a bus while going to school again?"

or flat out refused to follow his orders.

One incarnation of the team, called The Lost Legion, was a complete disaster. So much of a disaster that a DOZEN individual superheroes died during their mission to stop The Darkness Beyond Time from devouring the future back to the Big Bang. Merlin was so terrified of the consequences of such a dramatic disaster that he actually erased all memory of these heroes from the universe.

Some believe the Futuremen may have been on this mission and it was only their distinctive place in history that prevented Merlin's spell from being completely effective.


What really frightens him is that he believes that they aren't dead just yet and could come back as thralls of the Darkness Beyond Time.

The Last Ranger is one of the few people who know about the Lost Legion and holds it as yet another reason why Merlin shouldn't be trusted. Interesting, he was on the team and was one of the few survivors along with Merlin.

As a result, he remembers THEM ALL. It's just his ramblings are usually dismissed by his fellow heroes.


This really disturbs Merlin. Memory can be used to bring things back.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby greycrusader » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:20 pm

My absolute last post on the Gatekeepers concept:

The Unredeemed were the briefest incarnation of the team, formed shortly after the final disolution of the Midnight Pact. It was headed by the Damnation Knight, one of the many mystical doppelgangers/living time bombs left behind by Professor Purgatory when he was driven from the HED universe proper. The Damnation Knight was more sane and self-aware than most of his brethren-the other doppelgangers, androids, and brainwashed Cleansing Flame occultists who tried to claim the mantle. Unfortunately, he was a self-loathing manic-depressive with a death wish, as he despised his own existence and felt true redemption was impossible except through a heroic death-preferably one which would also take out hundreds or thousands of "evil-doers".

Damnation Knight began by gathering the remnants of the Iron Age villain team, the Sinister Seven. By this time, only Infamy, Nega-Valkyrie, Marionette, Penny Painful, and Supreme were left of the original seven; Big Game Hunter had seized on a reversal of fortune when Project Icarus clandestinely hired him as a combat trainer for their Elite team, and Assassin Eve had joined the Tomorrow Academy as a probationary student. Damnation Knight quickly assumed leadership of the group, bringing along Morwen along with him (The Knight was her latest lover and he also promised to hunt down The Living Mummy), as well as the Frankenstein Monster (now with a cunning, gangsterish persona in place, Frank the Patch-Man). He manipulated the others to grant him leadership, granting Superios a cure for his nanite-inflicted sickness and restoring Penny Painful's full magical might (through a foci that stripped Misty Weiss of most innate power) as examples.

However, his dangerously unbalanced mental state soon became impossible to ignore. He was leading the group into what amounted to near-suicide missions, even for a team of their power and ruthlessness. Attacking the Cleansing Flame cult around the world was the starting mission for the team. Storming the underworld to assault the Dark Fey court, lauching assassination attempts on all Belial's children across the known worlds, and teaming up with Angel Rider to lead a revolt on Hell-Earth were among the Unredeemed's missions under the Damnation Knights leadership. Infamy quit early on, recognizing the man as insane (and besides, Infamy's life was complicated enough), and Penny Painful soon followed. Morwen didn't share her boyfriend's death wish, so she soon departed. The Knight destroyed Marionette when the psychotic artificial intelligence went berserk on the Hell-Earth mission, and began to kill innocent people. Superios eventually figured he'd paid any debt and went back to merc work. DK brought in new members to replace them: Mr. Awesome, brother of Nega-Valkyrie, Night-Hound, the "Blackwing of the Balkans", a resurrected Scarlet Kiss,the vampiress eager to escape Hell, Black Dragon, depressed and suicidal over his disfigurement and chronic illness, Hellbound, who had broken his oath to Mr. Hoppy and was desperate for allies against a deluge of demonic foes, and Garnet, the energy-projecting borderline socipath.

This was one of the most unstable versions of the Gatekeepers, and actually led to the first Hieorphant led team, formed to thwart DK and his allies. His crusades were not saving the world from mystic peril, they were attracting the attention of all sorts of baleful supernatural creatures and threatened to bring about doomsday. In the end, all the others abandoned the Knight and he received his secret wish-death and perhaps a sort of peace.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (The Magi - HED's Biggest Mob!)

Postby greycrusader » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:34 am

Phrozen wrote:Wow.

Lots of stuff from both grey and Charles while I was away. I shall proceed to give my comments in the coming week hopefully.

Possibly another theme post once I get everything together.

BTW, Netflix is very addicting.


Enjoyed your recent commentary on the Erich Weiss' Gravediggers and the early days of the returned Merlin very much, and look forward to more whenever you have time to post.

Also, if anyone has suggestions or ideas they'd like to throw out regarding my next planned article (The Weekly World News styled adventures of Robert Jack and his girlfriend The Big Answer in the Quad Cities, feel free to post away).

All my best.
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