“My people! The revolution that we so desperately fought for so long is finally at hand! The oppressive regime that has bled our country dry for so long, is no more! But our struggle is far from over. We have a long way to go to heal the wounds to both our people and our nation!”
White Howler wrote:Ilandere Cuthbert / BedlamPL: 10 (190pp)Abilities:
STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 16 (+3) CHA: 22 (+6) Skills:
Bluff 8 (+14), Diplomacy 8 (+14), Drive 8 (+10), Gather Information 10 (+16), Knowledge [Civics] 4 (+7), Knowledge [Tactics] 10 (+13), Notice 8 (+11), Pilot 8 (+10), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 12 (+14), Survival 8 (+11), Languages (Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese; Base: English) Feats:
Assessment, Benefit (4), [Wealth x2, Diplomatic Immunity, Status – El Presidente], Contacts, Connected, Defensive Roll (2), Dodge Focus (10), Equipment (24), Inspire (2), Leadership, Master Plan, Minions (11) [250 Elite Mercenaries], Sneak Attack, Uncanny Dodge [Hearing], Well InformedPowers:
Device 4 [Uniform – Protection 4, Super Senses 5 (Extended x 3 Infravision, Distance Sense), Summon Minion [Elite Mercenaries] 4 (Extra: Horde; Power Feats: Progression ), Communication Link; Power Feats: Subtle ; 22pp Total]Combat:
Attack +13 [Unarmed +2, Knife +3;19-20 Crit, Assault Rifle +5] Defense 22 (11 flat-footed) Init +2Saves:
Toughness +8 (6 flat-footed) Fortitude +6 Reflex +6 Will +10Equipment:
[Assault Rifle [+5 Damage; Auto-Fire; Extended Range], Grenade [+5 Blast; Explosion Area], Flash-bang [Dazzle Burst 4], Knife [+1 Damage; Mighty; Thrown; Improved Critical], 19ep Total]
[HQ; Size: Colossal; Toughness: 15; Features: Combat Simulator, Communications, Computer, Concealed, Defense System, Fire Prevention System, Garage, Gym, Holding Cells, Infirmary, Living Space, Power System, Security System, Hanger; 21ep]
:arrow: Armored Hummer
[Str: 35; Speed: 5; Defense: 8; Toughness: 12; Size: Large; Features: Remote Controlled; 11ep]
(10) [Str: 45; Speed: 4; Defense: 8; Toughness: 12; Size: Huge; Weapons: Cannon - Blast 6 (Extra: Explosion Area); Progression: x3; 35ep]
:arrow: Military Helicopters
(5) [Str: 40; Speed: 7; Defense: 6; Toughness: 11; Size: Gargantuan; Weapons: Machine Guns - Blast 6 (Extra: Auto-Fire), Rockets - Blast 9 (Extra: Explosion Area); Progression x2; 34ep]Cost: Abilities 36 + Skills 25 (100 Ranks) + Feats 61 + Powers 22 + Combat 30 + Saves 16 – Drawbacks 0 = 190ppElite Mercenary
PL: 6 (60pp)
Abilities: STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 10 (+0) WIS: 12 (+1) CHA: 10 (+0)
Skills: Climb 5 (+7), Drive 5 (+6), Intimidate 5 (+5), Knowledge [Tactics] 5 (+5), Notice 5 (+6), Pilot 5 (+6), Profession [Mercenary] 5 (+6), Stealth 5 (+6)
Feats: Equipment (6)
Combat: Attack +7 [Unarmed +2, Knife +3; 19-20 Crit, Assault Rifle +5] Defense 16 (13 flat-footed) Init +1
Saves: Toughness +6 (6 flat-footed) Fortitude +4 Reflex +4 Will +2
:arrow: Arsenal [Assault Rifle [+5 Damage; Auto-Fire; Extended Range], Grenade [+5 Blast; Explosion Area], Knife [+1 Damage; Mighty; Thrown; Improved Critical], 18ep Total], Body Armor [+4 Toughness; 4ep], Comm-link [1ep], 7 Extra ep
Cost:Abilities 12 + Skills 10 (40 Ranks) + Feats 6 + Powers 0 + Combat 26 + Saves 6 – Drawbacks 0 = 60pp
Maria Ilandere Sanchez was only thirteen when government troops came to her village. Collecting taxes, they called it as they practically stripped her poor village bare. They took money and food and livestock, barely leaving enough for her poor village to survive. They also took Maria’s older sister and the last she saw of seventeen year old Elena, was her crying in the back of the truck as it sped away down the dirt road.
Elena was the only family Maria had, their parents having died some years earlier after having gotten sick. With nothing left for her in the village, she packed her meager belongings in a bag and went down to the road, intent on saving her sister.
“Our nation has long suffered at the hands of our neighbors. They seek to bully us into submission. Because we are small, they think we are defenseless. Because we are poor they think they can enslave our people. The work we have done on our lands went to feed others. Our fathers and brothers arrested and tortured for resisting. Our mothers and sisters raped and abused for the sick enjoyments of others. Where was the outrage of the world? While we were suffering the world turned a blind eye to us. Where was the outrage? The outrage was here, in me and in you! I know I could not stand idly by while our home was being torn apart like vulture ravaged carcass. So I fought back!”
The small nation of Selva del Mar lies on the Gulf of Mexico between Columbia and Venezuela. A poor country that was used as a back door by Colombian drug dealers. The corrupt regime, led by General Humberto Rodriguez was making additional money by allowing Venezuelan petroleum companies dump toxic waste in the jungles of Selva del Mar. The military was nothing more than a band of thugs, who followed Rodriguez into power when he staged his coup and took over Selva del Mar some thirty years ago. In Selva del Mar, the rich got richer, the strong preyed on the weak and the oppression was so thick one could cut it with a machete.
Maria came out of the jungle in the nearest town to her village. It was nothing but a huge slum that supported the local aluminum mines nearby. The people here barely lived better then those of her village. Maria was there barely for a day when she was snatched up by the local criminal element. A lone girl, who looked lost was an easy target and they kidnaped her right off the street. They took her back to their warehouse hideout.
Maria was going to be sold to some flesh-peddler if it were not for the fact that Jaime Chavez was there to make a deal with the gang. Chavez was a local guerilla leader who was dealing with the gang to buy more weapons and ammunition. He wasn’t going to say anything when he saw Maria being pushed out of the truck. He clamped his jaw shut tightly when one of the men hit her for kicking him. The line was crossed however when he overheard one of the men say “I know what we can do to suck the fight out of her.” He knew exactly what they were gonna do and for a price that meant he could only buy half the guns and ammunition he wanted, he bought Maria and saved her from a fate worse then death.
“My brothers and sisters, for all who have struggled for our freedom are my family, it is time that we rebuild our nation. Now is the time for us to be strong again.”
For the next six years, Maria fought with the guerilla revolutionaries. Hiding up in various hidden camps in the mountains and jungles of Selva del Mar, she learned how to fight back. She also learned more of her country. How poor it was and how much the people were being exploited by not only the government but also by its neighbors. Columbian drug lords had a near free reign, controlling much of the crime in her country. Whole villages getting sick and or dying because of the toxic waste being dumped in secret sites in the jungles and mountains. She learned it was because of this toxic waste, is what caused the deaths of her parents. Maria was outraged. No one was doing anything about it, save for the few bands of guerillas slowly losing to the army.
Her time with the guerillas was coming to an end however. The army was clamping down, increasing patrols, offering rewards, infiltrating the various bands, intimidating the populace and targeting the families of known guerillas. It was only a matter of time that the army finally caught up with Chavez’s group, in their hidden camp in the moutains.
Maria took a round in the leg and fell down a cliff, landing on a sheltered ledge. When she awoke later that night she painfully climbed back up the cliff and found that the entire camp was destroyed and many of her fellow guerillas... many of her friends were now dead. Not everyone was accounted for, including Chavez himself. She had hoped that the others had gotten away and waited near the camp for two days waiting to see if anyone returned.
No one did.
Maria made it down the mountain as quickly as she could, fearing that Chavez and the other missing guerillas. It took her a few days but she found out that they were indeed captured and being held in capitol of Selva del Mar, Magdalena. Maria could do nothing to save Chavez or the others. She was powerless to help her friends as they were publically tried and executed.
“We must all do our parts. We must all strive together in this, our greatest endeavor as a people. We must do it for the memory of all those lost to us, for it was their sacrifice that made our victory possible. Let us not mourn for them, for the fallen are the true heroes of the revolution!”
Maria was lost. The fight for her country was lost, her will broken. One week later she was drinking heavily in a waterfront bar, quietly getting drunk to drown her sorrows. A group of soldiers came in looking for a good time.
Rory Cuthbert was sitting in a dark corner of the bar with his partner in crime, Frank London. Rory was once a member of the IRA, but when his cell was captured or killed in a raid by English forces, he fled Ireland before being captured himself. He ended up joining the French Foreign Legion and remained with them for six years before striking out for himself, Frank mustering out with him. He became an infamous mercenary and arms dealer, operating on an international level. Rory and Frank were in Selva del Mar, delivering a shipment of arms to the local black market.
Rory and Frank watched the brawl between Maria and the soldiers with amused interest. Maria did well for being six sheets to the wind but she was just too inebriated to carry the fight to victory. The soldiers had just overpowered Maria, knocking her out, when Rory on a whim, saved her from being dragged off.
Maria woke up in a clean bed, not knowing where she was. She soon found out the rocking motion was not her brain banging on the inside of her skull but rather the rocking of a ship at sea. Fresh clothing was laid out and a note directing her to the galley if she was hungry.
She found Rory and Frank in the galley having coffee and talking of their next business venture. Frank excused himself and left, leaving Rory and Maria to talk. She was tentative at first and rather apprehensive about the situation she was in. After the awkward chit-chat she fired away at him point blank, “why did you help me?”
Rory sighed and sat up staring her right in the eye. “I recognized that look in yer eye when ya were fight’n those soldiers. Ya were past the point of desperation. Ya’ve lost everything an’ want’d to go down fight’n. That would be a waste. If ya wanta fight, then fight, but don’t be throw’n yer life away, cause if ya do, ya never know who’s gonna pick up the flag in yer place.”
“We were past the point of desperation and had lost even hope. I know I did and it was the lowest point of my life. I was about to throw my life away in one last fight, but a wise man once told me, that if I wanted to fight, then fight. He told me not to throw my life away, because you may never know who is going to pick up the flag in your place. I never truly understood what he meant until now, as I stand before you all, declaring our nation free of the corruption that infested it.”
Maria joined Rory and Frank and their small band of mercenaries, culled from all over the world. Leaving behind her old life, Maria began to use her middle name, Ilandere as she began her life as an international mercenary. In the field though, she went by the codename: Bedlam, as she was adept at causing confusion on the battlefield (chalk it up to her years as a jungle-fighting guerilla). Ilandere and Rory were married some two years after meeting and were happily married for some six years. Ilandere learned all she could from Rory and Frank and there was a friendly rivalry between her and Frank as the number two in the outfit. That changed quickly though when Frank lost his left leg at the thigh during a bad deal in Malaysia. Frank retired from active field work to running the money laundering operations for the outfit and setting up the various arms deals that they made a bulk of their money from.
Ilandere’s life changed again in Freedom City. Frank has procured a large shipment of stolen high-tech weapons from an AEGIS warehouse. Rory and Ilandere moved quickly to move the weapons out of Freedom City on their ship. However, Lyger and Shrike were on the trail of the stolen weapons and raided the ship as it was leaving port. As heavily armed as they were, the mercenaries were no match for the super-heroes, even after Rory emerged from the hold with one of the AEGIS blaster rifles and began to fire away with it, the high-energy beam causing much damage. Ilandere was pinned down by Lyger firing away with her shuriken launcher. Shrike and Rory were exchanging shots as she closed in on him. She took a hit and was sent flying into the bulkhead. Thinking the young hero was out of the fight, he took aim at the battlesuited Lyger.
Ilandre looked on with horror as the wounded Shrike stood up and charged Rory. In a rage fueled fury she proceeded to beat Rory. Even though he was a skilled fighter, he was over matched by Shrike and her chi powered strikes. Rory fell from the flying bridge of their ship.
Ilandere stood up, even as Lyger continued to fire her shuriken launcher to keep the other mercenaries pinned. Ilandere looked on in calm detachment, even as she was struck several times by Lyger’s shuriken, as Rory’s broken body hit the deck. Her brazen act to stand amid a hail of fire, gave Lyger pause. She stopped firing and looked to see what the mercenary woman was staring at and saw Shike practically aglow in her Dragon’s Rage energy and the dead man on the deck below her. Lyger looked back in time to see Ilandere calmly throw a bandolier of grenades into the hold were the blaster rifles were and then step over the side of the deck. The resulting explosion of the grenades and energy weapons nearly destroyed the ship.
“I came back to Selva del Mar to continue what I started when I was thirteen. I came back to free us from the corruption from within. But now I need your help my brothers and sisters. I need your help to fight those who would come and destroy us from without, whether it is the criminals who seek to move their drugs through our country or those who seek to take advantage of our people. I need your help to fight the foreign interests who seek to use us or our resources or our people.”
Ilandere went into seclusion for four months. She reappeared and went to Frank with a plan. It was a risky gamble and would bankrupt them both if it failed but Frank agreed. He saw the same fire in her eyes that he saw in Rory’s all those years ago when they were in the Foreign Legion. It took eleven months and millions of dollars and some rather interesting recruitment.
In the Ukraine she found Anton Stepanov who went by the moniker Lt. Strife. A Russian super-soldier from World War II, whom she had actually had to fight against a few years earlier as he was hired by the rival of her employer at the time. She knew well enough the man’s desire to fight.
From a retired CIA agent living in Central America she learned of Operation Backfire that took place in the seventies under the auspices of the School of the Americas. There was one remaining living participant of the Operation, Gabriel Quiroga. Someone with power who could be bought and used, Salvo, as he became to be known, was the thug she needed.
Ilandere, went looking for a monster in Southeast Asia and found a young girl. Ha’ng, born of the monster and a mortal woman, was human, though everyone believed her to be a monster and treated her as such. Ilandere saw the girl in the monster and reached out. A simple act of kindness and she gaining her most dangerous of henchmen. Since many had problems pronouncing her name, they simply took to just calling her Recon.
“The world now turns its eye to Selva del Mar. After decades of ignoring our plight they come to condemn me, what I have done! After freeing our people, they denounce me as a terrorist! They seek to continue to bully us to gain what they want! Why? Because in this world starved for oil, our land has it! A vast superfield off our coast that has untold billions of barrels of oil. But we will not play the game by their rules anymore, not if we stand together as one voice and say “no!” We will not roll over and cater to their whims. Since the world did nothing to help us before, let them merely watch us now!”
Ilandere invaded Selva del Mar. She had been quietly moving troops and supplies into Selva del Mar for months. She chose the day of her coup with great care. It had been 10 years to the day since Chavez’s execution. With her trained mercenaries and her three meta-human operatives, they easily stormed the palace of Humberto Rodriguez and ended his decades long reign.
The world decried her use of meta-humans in the takeover. Oil interests, who completed deals with Rodriguez for the Selva del Mar superfield, began to use their influence to take actions against Ilandere. Ilandere quickly legitimized her claim by holding fair (and even asked for United Nations moderators to uphold the decision) elections. She won easily.
She began to rebuild her country’s infrastructure. The oil project employes tens of thousands and brought much money to the country that needed it. She cracked down on drug runners and flesh peddlers. Her mercenary army trained her new military and police forces. She enacted tough but fair laws. She dragged her country from the brink of dissolution, to one of power in South America... and she seeks to further her power.
She wants to strike back at Venezuela for poisoning her country and is slowly seeding her agents there. Even though she has enacted tough anti-drug laws, she has secretly taken over operations of two Columbian drug cartels. Frank London is her Minister of Finance and still moves guns and secures mercenary contracts for Ilandere’s outfit, even though they have been “officially” disbanded. She has hired questionable personalities to work for her such as the disgraced Dr. Elena Cook. Dr. Cook operates a secret lab in the mountains, her human test subjects are criminals sentenced to death or rounded up in the crackdowns. All these are done in secret and all are done to secure herself and Selva del Mar against those who seek to work against her nation or her growing megalomania.
Ilandere is in her late thirties by now, having just started her second six year term as Presidente. Even though she is the recognized Head of State of Selva del Mar, she rarely leaves her country, since she does have several outstanding warrants for her arrest from her mercenary days. Even with diplomatic immunity, her relations with several countries are strained because of her criminal past and her unorthodox coup of Selva del Mar. Currently the criminal mastermind Twilight has been contracting many of Cuthbert’s mercenaries and buying a lot of weapons.
Ilandere would probably only leave the safety of Selva del Mar to strike back at Shike. As it stands, there is a secret bounty on the young hero’s head. Only one-hundred thousand dollars for her confirmed death... but if someone were capture her and bring her alive to Bedlam, they would be paid ten million dollars. Of course none of this can be tracked back to Ilandere.
“My people, I will admit that part of me is scared. The road to the future is unsure and I worry. I hope that I am strong enough to lead you... to do what needs to be done. But as long as you have faith in me, I will quell my fear. As long as you walk the road with me and lend me your strength, we will prevail.”
-Presidente Ilandere Cuthbert’s inauguration speech the day she became president of Selva del Mar.
Selva del Mar
Magdalena (population 1.6 million)
• Official language:
petroleum, bauxite, aluminum, weapons
• Places of interest:
the offshore oilfields, Bedlam’s Fortress
(location secret), Dr. Cook’s lab
(location secret), Revolution Armaments
(weapons and munitions company), Plaza de los Mártires
(Plaza of the Martyrs in Magdalena, memorial to those who lost their lives under Rodriguez’s rule)
• Selva del Mar is quickly growing into a modern country. Laws are tough but fair. Ilandere rules with a velvet covered iron hand and while she loves her country and her people, she can be ruthless when the needs arise. She limits logging and other exploitation of the jungles and has instituted universal education and health care.
EDIT: fix a couple minor points of contention. -Pandaman