Age of Wonders thread IV

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Charles Phipps
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:30 am

I **love** Oklahoma Joe, Phrozen.

The team-ups with Big Ajax a.k.a Lara Croft, Iron Woman must be epic!

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:43 am

You know I see Victor of the Usual Suspects being the most willing to pick fights with Charles Chevalier, mostly on the grounds that since he's a Frankenstein and the filthy French f*** is a Dracula, how else should it go?
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:03 am

The Usual Suspects part 1

A quick-run down on the group and their activities since today is my anniversary and I'm not going to be on much.

Marcus

Marcus started off his career on another world as The Albatross. Which should tell you he didn't exactly have much in the way of skill at naming conventions. A consummate professional who was eager to minimize casualties, maximize payoffs, and avoid prison time--it irritated him that the people who had the most success were the biggest lunatics. He also hated the costume, it itched and looked silly.

Marcus membership in the Octagon was a hostile affair from day one and only the fact he had created a cadre, sort of an Evil Trade UnionTM, around himself kept the Professor from eliminating him. It helped that Marcus was perfectly willing to murder people in horrific and inventive ways if they pushed him. He just didn't particularly take any care from the subject. To quote John Cussack, who Marcus resembles, "Psychopaths kill people for no reason, I kill people for money!"

In the end, it was the destruction of a perfectly good world and it's resources which convinced Marcus to abandon his costumed identity before moving to a civilian life. Marcus faked his death as well as the deaths of several Octagon associates before going to reveal key details about the organization to HANG. He didn't expect Pendulum to be able to do much against the Octagon but the very act of warning him made him feel like he'd done SOMETHING to honor the world he'd unwittingly taken part in destroying.

Unfortunately, there's a reason he still wears a silver Albatross necklace about the size of a hubcap's center around his neck. As much as he'd love to abandon his previous life, he's addicted to the fame, fortune, and danger which comes with it. Worse, he's aware he's done plenty of things no "sane" crook would do. This includes resuming his career as a criminal and taking his pent-up rage out on society at large.

Marcus probably would have ended up killing himself if not for the intervention of the Swan King, the most dashing playboy gentleman playboy thief since Arsen Lupin (irregardless of his godlike powers). Saving Marcus and his crew from dying in a Heat-like massacre that would have killed dozens of cops as well as the heroes themselves, the Swan King made him an offer he could refuse but would have been a fool to do so. He could rob, kill, and destroy as before but it would be against BAD guys. The Swan King would even help him point out the moral gray areas Marcus has never been comfortable with.

Marcus accepted and has been the brains behind the Usual Suspects ever since. He's also managed to keep himself (and his extended family) in the kind of disgusting luxury he's always wanted. Unfortunately, he's got a new worry now. Marcus has a somewhat...overactive...libido and with three marriages and eleven kids (both legitimate and illegitimate)--quite a few of the older ones want to join in the family business.

Victor

Another test subject for the process which created Talbot. Victor emerged from the process completely insane, or would have if not for the fact he was a pill-popping Chinese American hillbilly psychopath to begin with. An occasional enemy of Tunnelman Jack and Zed before his transformation, Victor was an Unfettered Gunman who seemed capable of surviving anything. Well, almost anything. He, eventually, ended up in a fourteen plane pile-up after a sixteen state car chase. When Doctor Xenograft found him, he suspected he had more bullets in him than organs.

The creature which emerged from the vats and experiments was a hideous monstrosity, mocking God and his plan, but slightly more attractive than Victor had been before. Victor thanked Doctor Xenograft, hit on his lab assistant, then stole a nearby golf cart before attempting to assassinate the Secretary of Education for canceling Sesame Street. To this day, he believes the shows continued survival is due to his actions that day.

Too crazy for the Octagon, Organization, and PHOBOS, Victor proceeded to Forrest Gump his way through the majority of events which defined the early years of Earth-0's post-Nexus age. He remembers being at three of the Cartel bunkers the Order destroyed, was a nameless mook when the Professor made his first demands, and is the guy who flushed the head of the Divine Leader down the toilet the day he discovered his powers. How much, if any, of this is true can be hard to say because the verified reports of Victor's insanity are beyond belief.
When he was impersonating a Pendulum agent in Taiwan for fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb7RUY1jzQI
No one quite knows his origins but there's some suggestions he was a Kentucky pot-farmer and Iraq War veteran before his experiments with "other" chemicals caused a good deal of brain damage. Whatever the case, he simply started killing the people who annoyed him and decided that retaliation wouldn't affect him.

A master of "Achievements in Ignorance" Victor has been known to pull off massive scores and amazing assassinations simply because no one could believe he'd do the things he does. For example, he managed to wipe out a major Organization fundraiser by recruiting a posse of drugged-up hipsters and a hippo as his assassination squad. Really, Victor would be a Joker-like threat to the world if not for the fact he's presently one of the good guys.

Defeated in the Legendary Hidden Puzzle Aztec Game of Truth or Dare-opoly contest between himself and Madcap, Victor has abandoned his life of traditional crime. He has agreed to only torture, maim, kill, rob, eat (just kidding-imagine the cholesterol!), do horrible things with a rubber chicken, and spit upon those people who have done much worse. Thankfully, this being Earth-0, he has a surprisingly large pool of people to choose from. What he did to Diva Destruction's gang defies belief.
He's currently seeking treatment, though, for the rather virulent STD he caught from her. Their madness apparently...clicked.
Hilariously, Victor is completely aware the Swan King is the King in Shadows. A fact he seems to have picked up via universal osmosis. It's just his attempts to tell the rest of the team get tuned out.

Stevie

Being a member of the Anarchists is something which should provide you with a good amount of personal integrity as well as devotion to the cause. Unfortunately, for Stevie, he rapidly realized while he had no love for the Man--he **also** loved expensive things. The Anarchists found out about his computer crime (and massive Ebay orders), which they responded to by "de-ghosting" him. If Stevie ever tried to make a name for himself in the hacker business again, he would have a massive trail lead right to Pendulum.

The loss of his elite status was worse than death, so Stevie began plotting ways to regain it. In the end, he decided to do something really stupid and volunteer for the experimental brain-implants produced by ShivaCorp. He believed, not without justification, that if he was cybernetically enhanced beyond all reason then not only would the Anarchitect not be able to stop him but he'd prove himself the better hacker. The Anarchitect, irritated by this presumption, promptly had his surgery revealed to the Worskhop. This bit of pettiness, unfortunately, provided the Man with the perfect "boxed crook."

Forced to assist the renegade CIA branch in all manner of computer fraud and criminality, Stevie was in hell. Salvation came in the form of the Swan King who promptly had him transformed into a "One Above All" cyborg--only with enough magic for him to keep his intelligence. Participating in a variety of "Tron"-esque adventures with the Swan King, they managed to destroy One's accumulated magical reservoir of energy--freeing up trillions of magical mega-zulls (a unit of measurement) onto the universe.
Coincidentally, this also destroyed any chance of One being able to oppose the End in the upcoming battle for the universe.
Appearing as a young African American man who has seen one the Matrix one too many times, Stevie has metal hands and implants on his head which give him incredible insight into everything technological. Unfortunately, the Usual Suspects don't allow him to sit behind a keyboard after discovering he was nearly-bulletproof and capable of handling all hacking while doing other things. Instead, they force him to participate in the heists and he is QUITE vexed about this. Stevie does, however, have a talent for driving and martial arts that has allowed the team to survival several nasty scrapes.

Of the main trio, ironically, Stevie is the most amoral. The only reason he participates in crime against "evil" people is because the Swan King told him to do so. He has a personal loyalty to the man for getting him out of the Workshop's control but, otherwise, cares little for any of the politics involved in their thefts. He's as happy robbing someone "interesting" if they're Saints as much as Sinners.
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:12 am

Happy Anniversary Charles. :D
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:22 am

Please accept my own best wishes for the continuing recovery of Mrs Phipps and for your own continuing health, as well as my congratulations upon your anniversary (may you enjoy many, many more together).
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:24 am

Will do.

Kat also wants to express her gratitude for everyone's best wishes (especially Libra's "once a day good will" PMs).

She's very appreciative and should be recovered in a couple of weeks.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:28 am

I hope that you'll forgive me for sending my Best Wishes through the Main Thread today, rather than PM (also that you'll forgive me for delving into Dragon-Kings last night).

You know I see Victor of the Usual Suspects being the most willing to pick fights with Charles Chevalier, mostly on the grounds that since he's a Frankenstein and the filthy French f*** is a Dracula, how else should it go?
Well they could decide to double-team Grendel? (former Esoteric and the most awful werewolf in our creation known to us at present).


Charles, fine work fleshing out The Usual Suspects! (one can only suspect that at least part of Marcus' simmering RAGE derives from the fact that he and Dynamus have know each other pretty much forever, which makes The Emperor of Electricity ... oh dear, Marcus seems to be experiencing his usual reaction to hearing that title which means our discussion must come to a temporary hiatus as we RUN!).


Also Victor may well need the attentions of an entire asylum and quite possibly an entire curia of exorcists to boot.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:39 am

Charles, would the Usual Suspects' biggest foes soil themselves if they found out who they were really working for?
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:46 am

Voltron64 wrote:Charles, would the Usual Suspects' biggest foes soil themselves if they found out who they were really working for?
Almost certainly.

Especially if the Octagon finds out while planning to squash them like bugs.

Amusingly, I'm having the curious idea that the majority of artifacts they're collecting are the equivalent of Assassin's Creed's Pieces of Eden. They're not so much "legendary artifacts" as technological devices created by the End which SEEM to do good things but are actually pretty damn destructive and free-will destroying.

And when joined together could do....SOMETHING.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:50 am

SOMETHING...fun? :twisted:

Also, Victor has definitely tried this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S2-rr7_j64

Plus, he's given himself this Red Baron-styled nickname, "The One-Man Frankenstein Chinaman (He's taking it back!) Murder Factory". :P
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:53 pm

The Usual Suspects part 2

The Usual Suspects have a specific M.O that drives the majority of their adventures. While the team has taken revenge on the Octagon, Organization, corrupt Pendulum branches, the World Security Organization, the Yakuza, and Revered Elder Sung--their primary mission is the recovery of the Anti-Relics.

The Anti-Relics are devices that the End projects his awesome nihilistic pessimism through. They bestow immense power to individuals but invariably corrupt through into being soulless hateful power-obsessed monsters. Earth-Cabal was destroyed by them as much as the Titans, which makes sense since the Anti-Relics were originally given as gifts to enhance the Titans power until they fully mastered theirs.

The Anti-Relics do not, necessarily, appear evil. Instead, the relics seem to be legendary artifacts of a religious or mythical nature. There's The Chalice, the Robes, the Wand, the Sword, the Book, the Staff, the Ark, The Ring, the Crown, the Scepter, the Fruit, the Throne, and The Tablets for starters. There are, literally, thousands of them and each grows stronger the closer it is in relationship to others of its kind.

In general, most people are unable to make full use of their artifacts. They transform normal people into incredibly successful or powerful members of their class but cannot turn your typical figure into a god. Instead, much like in a certain book series, the results transform your typical Hobbit into a Gollum more than an Aragorn.

When the Usual Suspects locate an artifact or, more commonly, are told of one by the Swan King--they immediately start trying to figure out how to acquire it. This tends to involve breaking into highly secure vaults and fortresses. Missions to recover artifacts have taken them to Langely, Virginia and the Vatican for "easy" jobs while harder ones have been done on the CCG's Central Vault World and at least one job in the Titvanverse*.
The irony being that the Usual Suspects were SO self-absorbed they managed to get through it pretty easily.
Upon retrieval, the group is paid a ridiculous amount of money and the artifact is passed along into the Swan King's "Chest of Demons" that he uses to contain it.

The Swan King

The Swan King is a figure notable for his all-white business suit, coat, and fedora hat that makes him look dapper no matter what the circumstances. The Swan King constantly shifts his basic appearance but no one except rare individuals seems to notice this quality. The outift, itself, was inspired by a music video the Swan King liked.
The Swan King is a figure who never uses magic and there's no indication that he is anything other than an exceptionally well-informed mortal. Instead, he relies on his gargantuan ability to plan and conduct heists of the century. There are hints, here and there, he is something other than human but this mostly consists of Batman-esque ability to disappear whenever he's not being looked at and godlike knowledge of things he shouldn't know.

The Swan King's criminal activities in Los Angeles are two-fold. The first is to create a cover-identity for his activities so he can carry out his plans to free himself from the End. This is why he doesn't make use of his magic or special abilities--such a thing would immediately alert his associates to his presence. The second is to gather Anti-Relics that have slipped onto Earth-0 and other planes. Earth-0, particularly Los Angeles, has a staggering number of these including the entirety of Earth-Cabals.

The End is aware of the Swan King's efforts to take these artifacts together but allows him to do so. He's aware that individuals like Diva Destruction are capable of making use of them but the End thinks he'll be able to properly distribute them once he has them in his possession. The End believes the Swan King is looking for a way to use the artifacts to kill him, which the Dark Lord knows is impossible.

The End is wrong.

The Swan King is gathering the devices because of their connection to the End's mind, yes, but he has a more ambitious plan.

He plans to use the Anti-Relics to REDEEM him.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:58 pm

What about the other Suspects, Sophie and Penelope?
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:15 pm

The Usual Suspects part 3

Sophie

Sophie was originally a superhero groupie who wanted to land herself a famous lover. Deciding the best means of doing this was to become a cat burglar, she discovered a number of interesting facts. First: the majority of superheroes found being forced to take time out of their day from world-saving to stop you ripping off people was deeply irritating. Two: She was really good at stealing stuff.

Sophie's career came to a head when she stole The Specter of Diva Destruction. At once, she managed to cripple one of the most heinous supervillains on Earth-0 as well as make herself a mortal enemy. That was when Sophie realized something: there was a bigger rush from crime than getting the attention of superheroes.

Sophie proceeded to dance on the line between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain for some time, avoiding Diva Destruction's revenge by fleeing from the protection of the Order, Organization, Octagon, Pendulum, and other groups one after another. She broke a large number of hearts in the process and managed to make Professor Proton cry by stealing his (live) anime girlfriend.

Still, ennui was starting to afflict her when she was approached by the Swan King. The one individual possessed of thieving skills greater than herself not only wanted to acquire the Scepter (that she'd left in rural town in the Pacific Northwest--which had somehow morphed into a Silent Hill-esque hellhole guarded by oddball superheroes) but hire her on as a consultant.

Sophie isn't too fond of her teammates, considering them to be far too violent and obvious for "real" professionals. Nevertheless, she finds the heists they involve themselves in to be the most thrilling time of her life. Sophie has now earned more than she could ever spend in a lifetime but can't possibly stop now. The rush of humiliating the truly wicked has gone to her head and left her feeling like a goddess. The only real member of the team she has any affection for is Penelope, who she considers to be a fashion-deprived little sister.

Victor, much to her disgust, nurses an unending crush on her.

Penelope

In a particularly blue part of Fairy Country, Penelope was the daughter of a woodsman and the local sorcerer-queen. Unfortunately, an interfering mortal dropped a house on her mother and stole Penelope's rightful magical inheritance. Later, the same ruffian slaughtered her aunt in a grizzly fashion. Deciding this affront could not stand, Penelope gathered her mystical materials together and headed to Earth in order to avenge herself.
The use of a house and Sailor Cosmos to kill Penelope's mother as well as aunt was, of course, the work of the King in Shadows manipulating her. Sailor Cosmos still thinks the whole thing is a fever dream or joke--rather than a Death Lord disposing of people he utterly loathes.
Feeling a twinge of guilt for slaying Baba Yaga's two daughters and orphaning her granddaughter, the King in Shadows arranged for her spell to divert her to an alternate universe instead. He was well aware Sailor Cosmos and her kin would make swift work out of the wicked witch. Apprenticed to Daji, Penelope learned a great deal about sorcery and subterfuge. She also learned about glamour, accessorizing, as well getting her nose and talons fixed.
The results speak for themselves.

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2 ... odDeed.jpg

She also can hide the green, which she does when trying to live a "normal" life.
The Wicked Witch of the South proceeded to unleash all manner of nastiness and hexes upon the enemies of the Octagon. Unfortunately, fun as tormenting mortals was, it brought her no closer to the vengeance she desired to enact. Enacting a spell beyond anything she'd tried before, she successfully located the world her mother's killer was centered here and lead the Octagon there.

Unfortunately, Sailor Cosmos wasn't yet the killer of her mother due to the peculiarities of time-travel. A drunken tryst with Marcus later, Penelope began to question her commitment to wickedness. I mean, really, had she really spent decades seeking horrific revenge on a fifteen-year-old? The Swan King, feeling a twinge of guilt, presented her the means of recovering The Slippers.

The Swan King has, at various times, dropped bombshell sized hints that he's responsible for her family's death as well as the same figure as the King in Shadows. Penelope ignores all of these because she's too gleeful she was able to get them back and now has chosen to blame the End for the destruction of her family. She's also gained enough self-confidence that, between heists, she DEVOTES HERSELF TO DESTROYING SAILOR COSMOS!

Penelope is a strange figure, simultaneously fascinated and scared by modern 21st century Earth-0 culture. She is the only member of the team who is under the impression they're all friends (indeed, a family). As a result, in a weird way, the Wicked Witch is the team's heart. Watching Victor, Sophie, and she go out shopping is hilarious.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:18 pm

So the Descent Fragment's also called the Scepter, huh? (Golden Minx pay off Sophie for that job?)

Any other artifacts we might be familiar with that could actually be one of The End's little gadgets?
Last edited by Voltron64 on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:19 pm

And why I do imagine that incident in Penelope's past to be equal parts Journey to the West as it is the other one?

8)
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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