Charles, thank you for your kind words regarding my latest additions to your creation and for your patience regarding my delay in posting concerning Grimmsbrooke. On an unrelated note, a potential name for some sort of RPG sourcebook has occurred to me Wonders of the Many Worlds!
; do you think it fit to be applied to some hypothetical Age of Wonders resource?
Thank you one and all for your continuing interest in my work! (Now here's another brief example of it).
: Mongo isn't the henchman villains need, but he's probably the henchman the majority of masterminds deserve - he is as broad, as stout and as strong as a brick wall (not to mention just as thick, especially in the head), but he's also crooked, dirty and regards self-discipline as something best left to his master - in all honesty you don't EMPLOY Mongo, you keep him like a dumb, dirty and indomitable guard dog with an opposable thumb (or for those of a certain generation a rancor - a beast mongo resembles in everything except it's scrupulous hygiene and manly beauty).
If Cro-Magnus is the Eternal Henchman, then Mongo is The Mook with a Thousand Faces; you'll find a desperate need for him EVERYWHERE, in every evil organisation at it's wits end and desperate to find a human speed bump able to delay whichever champion happens to be cutting a swathe through the opposition this issue in order to buy the rest of them time for a hasty withdrawal - this is when Mongo comes into his own, because even when he fails to actually STOP Our Hero he'll certainly leave his mark (sometimes in the very bones of his opponents skull).
Wherever this stalwart soul, too strong and too stupid to be afraid, steps out onto the stage of history to pound Our Hero into it like a hammer driving in a tent-peg or die trying, there will you find Mongo (just try not to breathe IN because your sinuses will regret it).
The Protectors of the Nexus HATE Mongo because, well, like common clay or any other sort of muck he stinks, he gets everywhere, he prevents you from getting anywhere fast and if you don't look out he'll drag you down like a bog swallowing a pony; they've fought his type so often they know him well enough to think of them as a single individual with a hundred thousand changes of costume (Mongo may come in a thousand varieties but once you've met one of him, you've met them all), but he can STILL ruin their day AND their health.
Mongo hate Pro-tec-tors because Master tells him so and Mongo listens to Master, so Master keeps Mongo in style-to-which-he-being-accustomed; Mongo only pawn in - now Mongo HATE you because you HIT him; MONGO WILL SMASH! The Red Emperor
: The Red Emperor is the Warlord of Mars and intends to be master of far, far more than that dusty old red orb - he's the son of a mighty hero who came from another world, shook the red planet to it's foundations, romanced The Red Emperor's mother, sowed the seed that would become that imperial personage ... then vanished, leaving behind only his legend.
To say that all this left the individual who would become The Red Emperor with a lot to live up to is putting things rather mildly; on the day he subjugated the last of his rivals to survive the ferocious campaign of conquest that followed his mother's murder at the hands of her old enemies (and those allies who had refused to bow down before him to boot) he decided that ONE world would never be enough - others awaited his intervention and there were many, many worlds across which he might write his legend in glory, fire and blood; first he would start with this EARTH
of which he had heard so much.
Then he ran into the Protectors of the Nexus and found them reluctant to allow him to proceed any further with his conquests and INFURIATINGLY reluctant to become corpses in the course of one of those creative demonstrations of the sheer futility of opposing so might a Hero, which rather undercut the point he was preferred to carve out of their demise.
The Protectors HATE the Red Emperor because, quite frankly, he's a fine example of how the efforts of a hero very like themselves can cause more harm than good - not to mention a fine example of how a heroes legacy can cause their heirs to warp and twist under the sheer weight of expectation.
He's also an aggressively-ambitious, viscously-terretorial conquering tyrant with a superiority complex you can see from space and a cruel sense of humour, so there's that too.
The Red Emperor HATES The Protectors because they can't quite seem to grasp that he's the Conquering Hero of this particular story AND keep taking more steps to ensure that his conquests slip through his fingers than a millipede chorus line rehearsing Riverdance. The Huns
: The offspring of a world where Eurasia was conquered from the Pacific to the Atlantic by the heirs of Genghis Khan and a mittel-Europe which somehow managed to produce something remarkably like the second Reich never-the-less (that's the Kaiser's lot), The Huns have a long record of military achievement and professional inhumanity that has left an even longer trail of ashes, bones and plundered ruins where civilisation used to be across a multitude of inhabited worlds.
They are, in short, a PROFESSIONAL horde of killers and willing to hire out to anyone willing to risk becoming their next victim; they are also surprisingly vulnerable to the sort of commando operations that the Protectors of the Nexus have been launching since Hitler was the Big Bad and exactly the sort of menace so many defenceless communities have been willing to call in outside help to deal with (and The Protectors have become pretty good at that sort of thing over the years too).
The Protectors HATE The Huns because they kill people for money and then wreak unspeakable havoc on anyone else who happens to be if the vicinity for fun and profit; they're disciplined professionals right up until the job is done and then turn into a barbarian horde capable of an incredible number of cruelties, in every variety known to freelancers.
The Huns LIKE The Protectors because there's nothing quite like the threat of them for drumming up business; they HATE The Protectors because those do-gooders really do wreak havoc on the health, insurance premiums and chances of success for any band of mercenaries who happen to get their goat (over little things like pillage and Total War!). Fuhrer Wolfenstahl
: A relic of the Third Reich on Earth-Cabal, a raving fascist and a werewolf with pseudo-Darwinian delusions of superiority and a nasty habit of imposing them upon any world that happens to be within range at the point of fang and claw - yeah, I know, if it weren't for the fact that she just refuses to DIE and her nasty ability to make other werewolves do what she commands them to no matter what their personal opinions on the matter might happen to be she'd have been wiped from the face of The Nexus a long, long time ago.
Unfortunately she keeps popping up from time to time and having to be put down at great cost of life - unless, of course, there happen to be superheroes as accomplished and experienced as The Protectors ready to take a hand and muzzle this particularly nasty ... well, you know why I can't type the rest of that sentence on a family-freindly forum.
The Protectors of the Nexus HATE Fuhrer Wolfenstahl because, well, she wants to be Hitler - what more need be said?
This particular Hitler-wannbe HATES The Protectors because, quite frankly, they take every conviction that she holds dear (Law of the Jungle uber alles
, the superiority of the Aryan Race, Werewolves Rule etc) and tears gaping holes in it; accordingly she hates them even more than she hates fleas and fears them still more than she fears silver. Queen Arachnia
: Affable, efficient, horribly evil and just oozing the sort of style that most villains just can't even come close to matching, Queen Arachnia has been making EVIL look like a million dollars since a million dollars was the largest sum a lady could ask for a ransom - she hasn't aged a day and unfortunately her methods don't seem to have aged a day either.
A mastermind of modest ambition, as well as a cult leader of unlimited cruelty, ingenuity and quotability she's been matching wits with The Protectors of the Nexus on one battlefield or another for a long time, across the length and the breadth of The Nexus although never to any lasting resolution - both sides show equal facility for salvaging victory from the jaws of defeat, although not necessarily the SAME victory.
The Protectors HATE Queen Arachnia because quite frankly she's half scorpion, half spider and one hundred percent poison; she's brainwashed innocents, trained assassins and in general fostered terror-cults across thousands of worlds for fun and profit; on the other hand she seems to rather like them which is ... creepy.
Queen Arachnia LOVES The Protectors because, quite frankly, she has never struck upon a more efficient expedient of trimming the fat from her organisation - after all, if those henchman couldn't even escape from the jaws of defeat then she can do without them - admittedly The Protectors have also managed to foil a number of her own personal schemes with equal efficiency, but if she couldn't salvage victory from the jaws of defeat she wouldn't enjoy her current eminence. Doctor Tao
: The first SUPER-villain The Protectors beat as a team remains just a little sore about being remembered as the first stepping stone on their road to glory and has been attempting to win return engagements with them ever since his old subordinate Exalted Junior Sung clambered to prominence over the ruins of his former superior's plans for the New World he'd uncovered and decided to subdue for The Greater Good - get used to hearing that term because this particular Doctor WILL overuse it at any given opportunity (heck he'll CREATE opportunities to do so).
Quite frankly he's not as much of a joke as he sounds; he's always been a master of technologies that come close to equalling The One Above All and even better at applying it to further his own ends - he's no slouch at acquiring a following or securing powerful patrons either. To date he's taken any number of beatings from The Protectors, but inflicted vicious hurts upon THEM too (it may well have been he who killed the last Masked Vigilante for starters) and he's done far worse wherever he's been able to avoid their pursuit.
This is a grudge that has outlasted the 20th Century and shows no sign of going away in the course of the 21st; expect it to generate more world-beating pyrotechnics in the future, near or distant.
The Protectors HATE Doctor Tao because he's been trying to kill them for a very long time, has HURT them in ways most villains only dream of and still shows no signs of stopping.
Doctor Tao HATES The Protectors, because no matter how matter how many times he's hurt them, they STILL beat him; they've killed his chances of ever returning home with glory sufficient to restore his honours and win him new, still greater ones. That rather kills even the faintest possibility of an improvement in relations between the two parties.
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!
Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!
Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.