Age of Wonders thread IV

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:04 am

Middle-Zoth!

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:10 am

Phrozen, your vote doesn't count because you got greedy - Charles, we'll see how you REALLY feel about my proposed mission to Middle-Zoth when you have read the PM I am currently preparing to dispatch to you containing one of my more specific ideas for that part of the Setting (which I wish to sound out with you first and foremost, since they're building upon characters you mentioned in your own articles on the subject and you likely have ideas of your own concerning them).

Voting will not close until ... shall we say whenever I announce my intentions tomorrow?
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by greycrusader » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:00 pm

Of course, I want the USA team!

And still awaiting Red Riding Hood and the Night Terrors!

Of course, I have a lot of catching up to do on this thread.

All my best.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:05 pm

Libra wrote:Phrozen, your vote doesn't count because you got greedy.
I think you might have meant me, Libra. :lol:

But between the two, I wish more to see your interpretations of the Atomic Horror heroes of Earth-51.

So please, show us The Astro-Golem, Doc Amoeba, The Fifty-Tonne Woman, Melissa "Missy" Linke, The Human Fog, The Orange Smasher, and Plutonius. :mrgreen:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:31 am

BLAST! that's what I get for typing when it'c closer to bed-time than ME-Time; apologies to you both, Voltron and Phrozen.

Right - votes tallied at 1 each from Grey Crusader and Voltron for the USA-Team and 1 from Charles for Middle-Zoth - let me see, since Charles counts as two (his privilege as the man who keeps the index updated!) that means we still have a draw! 8)

(Actually it means I'll be posting about E-51 aka 'Earth Atomic Horror' or 'Earth Fuzion did it AGAIN!' and a bit more about the Unique Special Assets during my next burst of creativity - THEN I will get around to Middle-Zoth or whatever other pet project catches my attention). :wink:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:08 am

Libra wrote:Mongo: 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).
Mongo's curious continued encounters with the Protectors of the Universe is due to the fact he's got a secret you wouldn't believe. Mongo, of all beings, isn't just a henchmen but the apex of henchmen. When cavemen and neanderthals wanted to create a embodiment of dumb muscle, rage, and low pleasure they pretty much created a creature in mind like this.

As a result, a very primitive group of Aeons (barely formed and outcast from their kind) gave one particular member of their race immortality. Unlike most immortals, however, said being didn't have lesser fertility. Yes, there is a vast-vast Mongo CLAN across the multiverse wherever he and his descendants go forth in service to breed. While not all of their descendants are as dumb as bricks and twice as tough, the vast-vast majority are.

A few have even found their way into the One's computer system (a smarter one named "Smash it Steve") while a few have landed on Earth.
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.
The Red Emperor is a curious rebuttal to those trashy (but lovable) old pulps where the villain was some variant on the Yellow Peril. Quite the contrary, this particular one maintains all the decadence expected of a interstellar despot (harems, opulent palaces, gladiator fights, and mad science) but actually has the curious quality of speaking with a pronounced Southern drawl.

While our heroes would love to remember the Red Emperor's father well, the truth was he was an immortal of a decidedly Antebellum bent and the discovery of Mars was merely a place to institute his own distinctly Neo-Feudal values. The Red Emperor eventually discovered his father and, against all odds, actually slew the man--though that was less difficult than it should have been since his dear papa had abandoned himself to mortal pleasures as a warlord in South America.

The Red Emperor is quite long-lived but is starting to show his age, now looking distinctly like a Georgia version of Charles Dance with his gorgeous blonde hair having rather faded.
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 Huns are, quite bluntly, as close as one is likely to get to the Mandalorians in the Nexus. Having taken the Proud Warrior Race thing to its natural conclusion, they have unfortunately avoided nearly all of the "Stupid Honor" pitfalls of such things. They're brutal, ruthless, and overall intelligent. Honor exists primarily in obedience to one's superiors but, even trumping that, victory over one's enemies.

As a result, any tactic which wins tends to be accepted as honorable so they're extremely good at being sneaky bastards. Also, they've learned to "stretch" the whole "race" business so that they have an excellent track record of recruiting their conquered subject peoples into their expansive Empire.

In short, they're like the polar opposites of the Sovius in terms of skill and planning. The thing is, they've conquered several Sovius worlds during the upheaval and the influence of the Commandant has resulted in quite a few saying, "screw this" and joining the Huns. With the addition of Sovius technology, its quite possibly they may be going from a minor Nexus power to a major one.

Worse, the Protectors may waffle about stopping them since the Huns are a damn sight better than the genocidal Sovius.

As was said to Genghis Khan (paraphrased). "Destroy China, you'll get 10 million bundles of silk. Conquer China and you'll get 5 million bundles of silk every year." The thing is, the Huns proceed to sell that silk to conquer OTHER lands.
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.
Furher Wolfenstahl has a nasty habit of surviving their encounters, which is surreal given the Protectors of the Nexus have little objection to lethal force against Nazis--even Nazi women. However, her armies and military forces are a complete bust and she's been forced to make due with mercenaries and scum all round. This is starting to get her to reconsider some of her beliefs. Specifically, she now thinks that WEREWOLVES are the superior race rather than Aryans and she needs to make a WEREWOLF master race.

Furher Wolfenstahl is also prone to developing affectionate crushes on heroes, which would be humorous were she not such a repulsive...well, Nazi. Also, she's quite unwilling to take no for an answer and that's not nearly as fun as you'd think.

A noteworthy fact, also, Wolfenstahl is not NEARLY as smart as she thinks as well. Compared to Doctor Tao and Queen Arachnia, she's barely up to the level for a No. 2#.
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.
Queen Arachnia is about the most dangerous woman in the universe and somehow manages to make a metal covered bikini and loin cloth with silk look regal. Despite looking like the cover to a Barsoom novel (only blue instead of red), she is one of the great evil geniuses of the Nexus. Despite some oddball quirks (maintaining a vast all-women agency of fanatically trained warrior priestesses trained in spywork and seduction) and scorpion worship, she's surprisingly pragmatic in her villainy. One might even say that she's red the Evil Overlord list, it's just that it DOESN'T WORK against the Protectors.

The "Cleopatra of the Cosmos" is also extremely good at forming temporary alliances with heroes against people she can paint as worse than herself. Many a hero has unwittingly or wittingly advanced her cause and the attempts to destroy her have all failed. Partially this is due to the fact that the title of Queen Arachnia will fall to her most talented subordinate thereafter with all of the immortality potions, poison immunities, and secrets passed down for just such an occassion. They're all trained from near birth for just such an eventuality so it's not like much changes should one fall.

Oh yes, the trick where a spy falls in love with the hero (she has male "sons" for this too given opposite gender or preference), she INVENTED that. It turns out they don't actually fall for the hero but merely exist to divert their attention or ingratiate themselves in the long game.
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).
Doctor Tao was originally a servant of Red Jade, notably, and faithfully served as that interstellar despot's Number 2# until One cravenly destroyed their interuniverse Nexus and crippled their Empire. As a result, he's well over a thousand years old and one of the few individuals in the Multiverse who could actually RESTORE said network and revive their once-grand Neo-Chinese Imperialist Empire.

Given Revered Elder Sung and the Four have fallen due to the actions of Earth-0, the planet is rather ripe for takeover by the old man. He's appalled by all the Western influence but has to admit his former students have been running the place into the ground anyway. Only time will tell how he tries to take over.

Though, oddly, he's started by ingratiating himself with the current President of Earth-0 under a CLEVER DISGUISE as an advisor on his world's affairs.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:54 pm

Charles, thank you kindly for these comments and please prepare for some replies which I intend to precede my article on E-51 and the USA-field team.

I hope and trust that your wife continues to recover in as pleasant a state as friend might wish! :D
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:07 pm

Mongo's curious continued encounters with the Protectors of the Universe is due to the fact he's got a secret you wouldn't believe. Mongo, of all beings, isn't just a henchmen but the apex of henchmen.
Cro-Magnus would disagree (because as he sees things, to qualify as a HENCHMAN you have to do at least half of your bosses thinking for him), although his thinking may be just a BIT clouded by professional pride; I, on the other hand, can only consider this a confirmation of briefly-cherished suspicions because let's face it Mongo is the Great White Shark of Minions - he hasn't evolved since the days of cavemen because quite frankly he doesn't NEED to.

His thinking, on the other hand, could probably use a few upgrades.
Yes, there is a vast-vast Mongo CLAN across the multiverse wherever he and his descendants go forth in service to breed.


To be fair it's hard to call Mongo a CLAN per se (since they don't tend to go in much for either family reunions OR family solidarity); think of them instead as something of a criminal sub-species to Humanity, widely scattered across the stars (and be grateful no-one has as yet managed to recruit enough of them to form what would likely be a remarkably destructive and INCREDIBLY odiferous horde).
While not all of their descendants are as dumb as bricks and twice as tough, the vast-vast majority are.
The sad fact of the matter is that even the smarter ones prefer to let someone else do their thinking for them; for an example of one of the more subhuman examples of the breed, examine the McAuslan novels of Mr George MacDonald Fraser and marvel at both the tartan caliban, as well as the forbearance of his superior officers!
A few have even found their way into the One's computer system (a smarter one named "Smash it Steve") while a few have landed on Earth.
Given this is Mongo of whom we speak, doubtless his extraterrestrial counterparts found him already waiting for them as they splashed down, bawling the odds and beating his dingy bosom to announce his master's discontent with this new competition.

While our heroes would love to remember the Red Emperor's father well, the truth was he was an immortal of a decidedly Antebellum bent and the discovery of Mars was merely a place to institute his own distinctly Neo-Feudal values.
For all his remarkable success record as a hero, he was definitely the sort of rugged individualist whom you would most likely prefer to keep away from (partly due to those somewhat-archaic attitudes of his, partly due to the fact mere mortal men tended to feel distinctly flimsy and sub-human in comparison to this particular hulking gladiator).
The Red Emperor eventually discovered his father and, against all odds, actually slew the man--though that was less difficult than it should have been since his dear papa had abandoned himself to mortal pleasures as a warlord in South America.
He would never admit this, but the Red Emperor's attitude to this patricide is not one of unalloyed pride (it's about 85% pride, 10% vague dissatisfaction, 4% melancholy and 1% hubris): chillingly his father seems to have been ... well, here is a reproduction of the last words spoken between the two:-

"Father, I have killed you."

"Good boy, GOOD - now do better still."
The Red Emperor is quite long-lived but is starting to show his age, now looking distinctly like a Georgia version of Charles Dance with his gorgeous blonde hair having rather faded.
I'm not surprised he has a face made for aquiline intimidation - although his father somewhat resembled a more muscular Randolph Scott - and you may be interested to know that The Red Emperor is about ten more white hairs and a handful of lost hair away from shaving his head absolutely bald.

You'll also be interested to know that he and Queen Arachnia have been ... courting.

In short, they're like the polar opposites of the Sovius in terms of skill and planning. The thing is, they've conquered several Sovius worlds during the upheaval and the influence of the Commandant has resulted in quite a few saying, "screw this" and joining the Huns. With the addition of Sovius technology, its quite possibly they may be going from a minor Nexus power to a major one.
Admittedly they've been reaping the benefits of the USA-teams unexpectedly-succesful attack on the Sovius homeworld, but then again that particular attack was only the tip of the iceberg that seems to have struck the Sovius ship of state in recent years; a multitude of superheroes in the multiverse is a sovereign tonic for tyrants and the regimes that create them.

Still, the Sovius are MUCH bigger than The Huns and there are other factions in the Nexus which have grudges to settle with it's most successful mercenary association; luckily none of them are Hyper-powers, but should they ever work together (and spot the flaws in the Hunnish armour) then they could quite possibly splinter the Huns into a dozen sub-factions (or die trying).
Worse, the Protectors may waffle about stopping them since the Huns are a damn sight better than the genocidal Sovius.
They're a less immediate threat, on the whole, but they're still fully prepared to reduce worlds that refuse to buy into their protection racket to ashes and horror, all the better to make an example that will persuade other worlds to answer 'Yes' when the question comes. They may not do it on a daily or even a yearly basis, but once in a lifetime is far more than enough to bring The Protectors down on them (with friends).

Even if there IS a solid chance of The Protectors dying in the course of this attempt to bring them down.

Furher Wolfenstahl has a nasty habit of surviving their encounters, which is surreal given the Protectors of the Nexus have little objection to lethal force against Nazis--even Nazi women.
Unfortunately Nazi werewolves (actually any sufficiently potent werewolf) can recover from the sort of damage The Protectors are prepared to inflict on Evil Overlords and their henchmen - well, mostly recover at any rate. Wolfenstahl still has a few psychological scars left over from past attempts, but is unfortunately crazy enough to ignore them until someone manages to rip the scabs off.
Specifically, she now thinks that WEREWOLVES are the superior race rather than Aryans and she needs to make a WEREWOLF master race.
The REALLY sad thing is that she'd still prefer they were ARYAN werewolves (when you've been a Nazi for as long as she has and are ardently obsessive to boot, you change by minuscule degrees if at all).
Furher Wolfenstahl is also prone to developing affectionate crushes on heroes, which would be humorous were she not such a repulsive...well, Nazi. Also, she's quite unwilling to take no for an answer and that's not nearly as fun as you'd think.
The problem is that heroes tend to be the sort of strong, confident supermen she was trained by the Third Reich and hot-wired by evolution to admire - also did I mention that she tends towards obsession?
A noteworthy fact, also, Wolfenstahl is not NEARLY as smart as she thinks as well. Compared to Doctor Tao and Queen Arachnia, she's barely up to the level for a No. 2#.
<Insert own joke here and prepare to have it extracted by the most horribly, horribly appropriate aperture by the 'Fuzzy Fuhrer should she ever deign to hear it'>.

Queen Arachnia is about the most dangerous woman in the universe and somehow manages to make a metal covered bikini and loin cloth with silk look regal.
It's not what you wear, it's how you wear it (it does help that while Queen Arachnia isn't so much a physical threat, she IS spectacularly self-disciplined when it comes to that unspeakable beauty regimen and getting the proper exercise); Queen Arachnia was born and bred to the sort of Style that lesser mortals dream of finding on the clothes-rack.
One might even say that she's read the Evil Overlord list, it's just that it DOESN'T WORK against the Protectors.
Mostly because heroes read that sort of thing too (and not every villain can be bothered to), which restores the natural balance of the never-ending struggle between Good and Evil (in other words tilts it right back in favour of blind luck - who at times seems to be own sister to Dame Justice, at least where The Protectors are concerned).
Many a hero has unwittingly or wittingly advanced her cause and the attempts to destroy her have all failed.
Mostly because while she's a very minor pan-nexus power she's a MAJOR player; were she to be removed her heir would possess all her training, but might STILL fail to uphold the balance of power to the degree her predecessor has (it should be noted that there's at least SOME evidence that several successions have occurred within the lifetime attributed to a single individual - with an institution this devious it's hard to tell).
It turns out they don't actually fall for the hero but merely exist to divert their attention or ingratiate themselves in the long game.


On the whole YES, but people being people sometimes this gambit doesn't turn out QUITE as planned; sometimes it works out EVEN BETTER (or far, far worse - for Queen Arachnia).

Though, oddly, he's started by ingratiating himself with the current President of Earth-0 under a CLEVER DISGUISE as an advisor on his world's affairs.
Rumour has it that he's working undercover at the White House as a Feng Shui expert.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:41 pm

So the Red Emperor is the son of an Evil Jon Carter?

:mrgreen:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:21 pm

Voltron64 wrote:So the Red Emperor is the son of an Evil Jon Carter?

:mrgreen:
Ayup!

Not all Pulp and Pre-Pulp heroes were men ahead of their time, sadly.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:25 am

I would like to say that The Red Knight (guess who ... ) wasn't exactly EVIL, he did rather nourish a bad case of values dissonance AND committed the major sin of failing to qualify as The Protagonist of whichever tale he found himself in (Morality therefore failed to reshape itself to suit him!).

Will not be posting the USA-field team today, owing to family commitments and a desire to settle down from an overstimulation High (crusing The Internet can occasionally hit me like an overload of sugar to the head!).
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:48 am

One thought before I go; Charles, you said that you were a little torn over whether or not to write-up The Golden Lions (being unsure if you could distinguish them from The Lannisters) - I don't know if this will help you very much, but it strikes me that The Celestial Lions are PERFECT vehicles for showing how accurately the Lannister's genius, varying intrigues, perversions, pride and misdeeds mirror the legends of Pagan 'Deities' and how this can be taken to explain why The Olympians and Asgardians get stuck in the 'Folklore and Mythology' section rather than 'Theology' these days.

The adventures of The Four that would be Free also provide a very neat opportunity to show just why a solid majority of people would like and respect a certain celebrity carpenter, even if he were just an entirely mundane preacher, the son of a humdrum day-labourer and eldest brother of a family so poor they couldn't even afford a marriage portion - even absent miracles, Our Lord stood up against The Mighty on behalf of the meek and was willing to die for his beliefs.

To say that The Celestial Lions are NOT the sort of individuals who would command respect even were they no more than mortal men of no family is putting things rather mildly, on the whole.

Just a thought and one that I'm not sure has any particularly useful application to your dilemma, but I didn't want to leave off posting without leaving SOME food for thought.
By the way, Best Wishes for your family and in particular your dear wife's recovery continue to flow from somewhere between Virgo and Scorpius! :wink:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by greycrusader » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:57 am

I'll be updating the surviving members of the Esoterics next. No current ideas for the new recruits Charles mentioned in his article about Drake assuming leadership and going on a membership drive, so I invite any others to contribute their ideas.

All my best.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:20 am

Well, we can certainly say this about Mongo and his ilk.

They're only pawns in game of life. :mrgreen:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:08 am

Just to give Libra's sequel group some food for thought.

The Lamplighters (Bronze Age)

The second generation of heroes in the Lamplighters were a collection of misfits, strong-personalities, and oddballs who in any other setting would have discovered the value of teamwork before becoming an unstoppable fighting force of good. Unfortunately, this being Earth-1986, they mostly just decided they hated one another and worked alone.

Still, the Lamplighters were far more effective and bound by stronger ties than they really wanted to admit. Many a time, the group would get together, seething with resentment only to drop all of that to smash down whatever was threatening the world. Their role in smashing down the "Psychic Parasite", the Red Freighter of Ghost Pirates, the Nixon Robot, and other beings never really achieved much notoriety in the public, though. Perhaps because, at the end of the day, the public didn't believe in heroes. Which is why, sadly, one of their own became one of the worst villains of all time.
Or so it appeared.
Formed by the Wildcard in the 1970s, the group came to prominence during a time of severe social unrest in the United States. Unwilling to take a stand with either side of the hawks versus doves debate, they were accused of everything from racism to fascism to communism. Individual members being of a less-than-stable persuasion didn't help things. The group lasted right up until a Presidential order insisted they desist lest they be labeled a terrorist group. Given that was 1979, it lasted far longer than anyone expected.

As mentioned, the group frequently came together in individual pairs or trios (or the whole group) during the 1980s. These unsanctioned, frequently un-costumed, missions were actually some of the group's finest. They were also either ignored or slanted by the papers. People still hadn't forgiven the original Lamplighters of their bad reputation but somehow considered the next generation to be inferior successors.

The Lamplighters were permanently reviled when one of their own was blamed for a massive cataclysm which ushered in the arrival of the Octagon. Ultimately, many of the modern citizenry no longer blame the majority of the team but "The Zealot" has become a new word for traitor. More than Judas or Benedict Arnold, people think of him as the party who "must have" brought the Octagon to their world.

Trenchcoat: "The Hero of the Straight Razor" was a figure who the Lamplighters might have done better to abandon all associations with. However, Trenchcoat always seemed to know when and where meetings were. The heroes all owed him their lives at various points, so none of them felt comfortable bringing him in. That and, aside from Ketra, everyone was pretty sure he could kill theme easily. Trenchcoat claimed to be on a mission from God and followed wherever the voices in his head lead him too.

He frequently claimed encounters with demons possessing human beings but no one was able to verify these outrageous stories, especially since "only he could see them" and his straight razor was able to kill them handily. Given said individuals always turned out to be serial killers, child-molesters, hate-crime participants (Trenchcoat developed a substantial following amongst gays who considered him a guardian angel), and so on--it's difficult to say whether or not he was guided by some higher power or just a very good instinct about evil. Wildcard, privately, believed he could simply recognize fellow psychopaths.

Trenchcoat, ultimately, died from smoke inhalation helping a number of squatters escape from a house fire. No one ever realized this due to his not being in his mask at the time. His straight-razor, however, has an odd habit of showing up in vigilante murders, though. The Lamplighters maintain its a replica, though.

Ketra: Ketra is one of the most powerful beings in the Nexus, essentially having unlocked the "cheat codes" to the universe that he used to alter himself to be able to fully unlock his potential. Ketra spent most of his time walking around completely covered in a hoodie, mask, and gloves because his true form caused people to die. Believed to have been a Jewish physicist who studied the Tree of Life in combination with physics, the source of his powers was attributed to a laboratory accident.

Ketra, himself, always maintained that he simply had a moment of realization about reality and that ascended him. At PL X, Ketra's ability to affect the world was unlimited but for the fact that he could see the future to an equally unlimited degree. As a result, he acted a bit like an Old Testament God. No one could really understand when, where, and how he would choose to act.

The Zealot's seeming attempt to destroy Ketra saddened him but was not the reason Ketra chose to leave the Earth. He claimed there were "other things" he had to do and proceeded to make sure the environment healed itself after the Octagon's latter massacres--improbably leading to humanity's survival.

The Zealot: Jefferson Brauner got his career started due to a sense of cultural guilt that his father passed down to him. Having escaped Nazi Germany with a vast fortune before things went to hell, Jefferson was encouraged repeatedly to somehow make up for his father's weakness. Jefferson proceeded to become enamoured of ancient Jewish warrior traditions and modeled himself after those who destroyed Jericho as well as drove out the Greeks. From his hidden fortress of Masada, (actually a penthouse apartment over numerous floors of equipment), he fought hate-groups with a variety of gadgets before moving on to protect humanity as a whole.

Ultimately, the Zealot felt he was doing less good as a vigilante assassin than he could be as a philanthropist. "Coming out of the phone-booth", he was pardoned by the government and used his immense wealth to form a foundation for the helping of others. He maintained strong ties with Israel but actually attempted to work out peaceful solutions with its enemies in a surprising 180 on his previous views.

The Zealot was blamed for a plot by the Octagon to destroy a dozen cities and blame Ketra. This "wheels within wheels" plot permanently blackened the Lamplighters name and made the Zealot an international criminal. He's still out there, though, and became a terror to the Octagon and its forces.

Wildcard: Wildcard's nostalgia for a previous time resulted in him creating the second generation of the Lamplighters. While his government connections kept the organization from becoming his own personal boondoggle, it never really shaped into the team he envisioned. Part of the reason was that Ketra was a god, Zealot took poorly to WIldcard's "good-natured ribbing", and Trenchcoat was insane. Touched by God, perhaps, but quite seriously coocoo-for-cocoa puffs.

Wildcard died before the events of the Octagon, perishing due to a lifetime smoking habit, so he was spared the indignity of watching his world burn. However, his influence on the team and later resistance movements had a larger role than anyone expected. The Wildcard's secret bases and stashes of weaponry assisted the future resistance movement (lead by Night Guardian II and Satin Siren II) in fighting the Octagon.

Night Guardian II: Night Guardian II: Henry Hollands was never the sort of figure who his father expected to turn into a superhero. The illegitimate offspring of Horace Olds with a Queens waitress (I remind people, there's a scale named Kinsey for these sort of things), he grew up shy as well as nerdy. Horace's attempts to involve himself in his son's life frequently turned out poorly with the only real lesson he managed to impart being, "great privilege begets great obligation." Frankly, Henry wished his father had found a punchier way of saying that.

Henry might have become a swashbuckling hero if he'd gained superpowers another way but the young tinker was forced to wait a few years until he'd inherited his father's massive trust (a gift from the US Commando to the son of a friend). From there, he used the money to create a variety of amazing gadgets to fight crime. Henry Holland's identity was never as much of a secret as he'd wanted it to be (El Diablo blowing up his mother's home at one point) but he pretended like it was.

The costume was just the sort of thing to make Henry's life easier, though, as he was a strong and confident hero wearing it. Ultimately, it served as his security blanket right up until the time the Octagon took over the world--and his obligation was at its greatest.

Satin Siren II: The daughter of the original Satin Siren was expected to be her only more so. Sadly, or perhaps better for her, she turned out to be quite the opposite. Despite being stuck with the name, Sally Lawnickzak was anything but soft. Looking like a model, she talked like a sailor and seemed almost irritated that she seemed to continue to be considered one of America's most desirable ladies no matter what she did.

Of course, she eventually softened a bit and started up a relationship with Night Guardian II. That fell apart with some rather disturbing revelations about her potential father. Still, the two managed to work together and eventually drove the Octagon off.

"Boom" was her catchphrase.
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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