Libra wrote:Charles, you generous spoilsport, these are some fine works of villainy and I'll address them in slightly greater detail if I may be so bold;
Much appreciated as all, Libra, and I confess to a certain degree of cheating in order to maximize the terrifying power thereof. Though, honestly, in the Masked God With No Eye's case, I was simply going with the idea he didn't go blithely sharing his backstory as opposed to not having a tragedy.
I have corrected the Death's Head entry and will go forth and add to your own comments with the caveat that you have done so much better than my initial entries!
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Libra wrote:The Abyssal:- I would suggest making him effectively a Heavy Metal Harry Dresden or perhaps what John Constantine might have become, had he stuck with his music or even the surviving member of a Bill and Ted-type duo who basically allowed all the Cosmic Stuff he saw in a near-death state to turn him from a message of Peace that would have ennobled SEVERAL worlds (as well as creating a version of the Time Lords composed of pretty cool dudes instead of Dusty Senators) to something infinitely more Infernal with the results you have noted above.
The Abyssal's nose-dive off the slippery slope began when he was the half-god Australian hero of a world neck-deep in the 90s Dark Age. Whether or not it was Earth-Cabal and he was the "last" of their heroes (and they served the worst for last) is anyone's guess but his bloody, murderous, and ruthless destruction of supernatural evils occurred for decades as he single-handedly held off the corruptive forces by himself.
Unfortunately, the hubris of being the only remaining superhero in the world gradually wore away at his sanity--especially after the fact that the rest of the Abyssal's bandmates were horrifically killed. His fellow godlings slew many monstrous evils with him but they also kept their manic-depressive leader from going completely schizophrenic.
Here's a scene of Mister Arcane stumbling on one of their old battle sites (his roadies usually took care of the demons during the songs).
Heck, here's his Death Valley concert!
In the end, aging and his magic having worn down to the quick, the Abyssal decided that suicide was preferrable for his world than letting it fall into the hands of the dark forces he'd fought his entire life. He summoned a massive demon to consume the world in one gulp and let everyone die painlessly than let their souls get taken by the Titans.
And a couple of heroes stopped the monster. It's questionable whether it was the realization he tried to murder the world broke his sanity forever or whether it was the fact those two nobodies UPSTAGED HIM.
Libra wrote:Harmonious Jade in Winter:- Since she rather reminds me of Miss Saigon-turned-Vigilante, one can only suspect that her quest to protect the joygirls of feudal Japan did not exactly do her quality of living any good, with her state and that of her son turning so desperate that in the end she was faced with a choice to take her own life or that of her son.
She chose poorly.
In this case, it was fate's way of being especially ironic. She'd worked her entire life to make sure her son, the illegitimate offspring of a samurai, ended up getting the kind of education and armor to actually make him one. As the deflowered daughter of a Ronin herself (and a prodigy with the blade rivaling Yagyu Jubei), she never thought of the possibility of seeing him again.
Harmonious Jade in Winter
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Libra wrote:The Masked God with no Eyes:- I wonder if he might have begun his career as a slightly Raistlan Majere-type mage (possibly adventuring across the face of Middle-Zoth) who trod a path that led him ever downward until he not only abandoned his comrades but sold them to their enemies, with hideously tragic circumstances that he foresaw AND DID EVERYTHING TO BRING ABOUT to give himself power at a price he would should have scorned, even by his own flexible principles.
Rozarak the Undying would NOT be happy to discover one of his old fellowship not only set up his fall, but fell even further than he did in the process!
The Masked God With No Eyes actually didn't start as a wizard, though he was indeed an associate of Rozarak the Undying. The Handsome Prince turned Ranger who would have been not so far removed from Aragorn if he stopped shaving for a bit. The Masked God With No Eyes opposed his Lich opponent by choosing to take the Maguffin they were attempting to destroy. It granted him every desire but, ultimately, brought ruin to him as such devices were want to do.
However, unlike Isildur, was not content to leave it at that and sought the magic to reverse time so he could fix everything. He became almost a paradoxical Chrono-Trigger danger to the timestream as big as Lavos. In the end, after having murdered and slaughtered his way across creation's history for the power to do what he needed, he GAINED the power to fix everything and discovered he no longer cared. His wife and children would never have understood his actions so they were unworthy of him now.
So now he wants to destroy Creation so he can rebuild it.
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Libra wrote:The Ordinary:- I suspect that he's almost wilfully NORMAL in appearance and behaviour, but that around him so is EVERYTHING else, as if the Age of Heroes simply cannot take place in his presence, with the inevitable consequences in the middle of an emergency.
On a note unrelated to characterisation, it's perhaps interesting to speculate that instead of ONE MORE DAY Parker, my thoughts went to the cinematic Man of Steel - who stood by and watched his beloved foster-father die, doing NOTHING to help. For all that the film had some decent points that scene crushed almost every one of them by putting a black hole where the storied 'S-shield' should be (killing an entire Heroic Age in the process, as CK determines to quietly kill ANYONE who does what he did not dare to).
Indeed, there is a terrible banality of the spirit that descends on everywhere he walks. A numbing sameness with no hope, no ambition, or possibility of change. It is not enough terrible because that would require you to feel.
As for the Man of Steel, the scary thing about the Ordinary isn't that he's like Clark in that he obeys his father and regrets it. The scary thing is that he DOESN'T obey his father and comes to regret it.
Which is so much worse given what his father asked.
Libra wrote:The Twins who Dwell in their Name:- One imagines that the father of these ladies was killed before he could publish a manuscript with some ... sensitive details regarding Lord Ruthven contained within it's pages. It is also somewhat hard to escape the suspicion that the major reason The Clan Ruthven escaped Earth-Cabal was because the new master of these by-now elderly ladies required that it do so.
Hard to rub salt into the wounds when the salt-mine is destroyed, eh?
Libra wrote:Mister Nihlism:- Since I don't actually have access to a copy of Crooks I'll climb out on a limb and suggest that he was a science fiction hero who might have ushered in a bright and noble future amongst the stars - then decided that since the Universe was going round perdition's flame anyway he might as well rob those aliens as befriend them, marring Mankind's First Contact and it's entire future - creating either E-000 or something very like it in the process.
The short version of Mister Nihilism is that he is a hero who once was every bit the kind of salt-of-the-Earth aww shucks hero we've come to respect from Steve Rogers, Clark Kent, and other good guys. Unfortunately, Mister Nihilism's snapping resulted in him becoming a master of depravity and horror every bit as nightmarish as Uncle Mikey. The only thing notable being that no one really DOES know why he became so utterly EMPTY.
Mister Nihilism is notable for the fact that, science hero or not, he's not so much actively interested in wiping out everything in that he has no care NOT to. It was Mister Nihilism who created the "Star Stealer" of a certain Pirate and told him to use it however he wishes. This is just one of the weapons which has slain billions he's created for no other reason than boredom.
Oh and just as an added bit of detail.
The King in Shadow
: In ancient times, we're taking Hyborean Age, Victor Vanquish and his brother Valance travelled the world as the archetypal Barbarian Hero and Thief. Indeed, one might believe that the members of the Aeon's godly council took some inspriation from the two. Hell, he was even at it as a boy when Victor and he were poor children living outside the superheroes' super city and they had to go climb a dimensional bean-stalk to steal a Titan's gold.
A certain Cimmerian met the two and learned quite a few secrets about moviong silently as well as cleaving with mighty thews. A guile hero extraordinaire, the King in Shadows was vital to the Neo-Concordians defeating Devil Sun due to his ability to think outside the box in a manner which rivals Mister King.
Unfortunately, personality wise, the King in Shadow was always too clever for his own good. The very desire NOT to die heroically that allowed him to prevent the Neo-Concordians from throwing themselves futiley in the mouth of chaos often lead to numerous problems for the two. There was the time that he arranged a peace-treaty with one of the Titans by agreeing to marry Victor to him (in a white wedding dress no less), the time they had to scale the world-tree to kidnap a squirrel goddess, and the whole business with the Star Dwarves.
And seriously, it's totally a coincidence his resemblance to Loki. He DATED the Queen of the Underworld, she wasn't his child. Oh and the female horse bit never happened, he swears. The scary thing, though. If the PCs got The King in Shadows cunning working again--he might become MORE dangerous than the End as he'd be that much determined to make up for his Ragnarok level sins.