Memorandum Summary of Coven Vigilante Dossiers (Coven Strike File #2056; cross-reference #0092; # 0545; #1001; #1732; #1789; #1801; #1803; #1898; #1974; #2011)
There have been more than a dozen recorded instances in the past year of individual citizens donning masks and operating as illegal vigilantes in Pulp City, despite there being nothing in their backgrounds to specifically indicate the talents or capabilities required to operate against Supremes. Furthermore, this has taken place in context where such masked vigilantism is illegal.
Even excluding known or emerging Supremes, it appears that numbers of masked vigilantes operating in Pulp City in the past few years exceed that of the next highest metropolitan incidence by more than one thousand per cent. Something is clearly behind this, which may be relevant to Coven activities in the city going forwards. Analysis has highlighted that the rate of masked vigilantism has increased following the emergence of Dan Peyton/”Dead Eye” operating as a Supreme Hero (cross-ref #0545); whether there is in fact any correlation with his appearance and the rise is unproven at this time.
There are several other hypotheses as to why such masked vigilantism is so prevalent in Pulp City. One suggests that that as more Supremes have become active, that more citizens in turn have been inspired to act on their recognizance. Another suggested explanation is that there is a specific trigger connected to Pulp City – possibly some arcane or even occult guiding force – which encourages the vigilantes. Another hypothesis is the suggestion that with so many invasion events in the city, including multiple incursions from the Necroplane, Ulthar and Grimm Under Empire, that donning a mask to fight injustice is a way for some citizens to be able to make sense of circumstances far beyond their understanding. Despite the numbers of masked vigilantes killed or seriously injured in action, more continue to join their ranks.
Recent activities have highlighted a growing issue in the rise of masked vigilantism. While this has done little to disrupt any of our plans, information can often be power, and so it is imperative that we collate accurately what we know or learn. We seek knowledge to defeat not only these foes, but potentially those whom they work alongside, and find ways that the Coven can exploit any potential assets.
Case Study #1 (Coven Strike File #1732)
Wayne Lamont was a musician who lived in Pulp City for four years before becoming a masked vigilante. Taking to the streets armed only with a baseball bat, he first operated alongside Dead Eye, and with a second vigilante – Bruce Cranston – the three battled side by side during the last Ulthar invasion. Lamont exhibited no special abilities, and there was no indication in his background that he had talents that predisposed him towards being able to function as a masked vigilante able to operate as a resistance fighter. It is believed that Lamont may have begun his career as a masked vigilante following a small Necroplane incursion in which the heart of the city was targeted. Many citizens were killed or injured, and this attack left him hospitalized and his then-girlfriend dead. It appears he made a full recovery and it was sometime later that his vigilante activities began.
Lamont operated as a sometime vigilante until he and several allies faced a small group of criminal Supremes. During this encounter Lamont was psychically assaulted by the Villain known as Sister Bedlam. He was hospitalized for several months in a private psychiatric ward before he finally passed away. When his family and friends were questioned after his crime-fighting activities were revealed, they claimed no knowledge that Lamont had been operating as a masked vigilante. His funeral was attended by Dead Eye and a number of Supremes he was known to have operated alongside, including Trail, Harrier, and Solar, and it was Dead Eye who delivered the stirring eulogy on the day.
Case Study #2 (Coven Strike File #1789)
Bruce Cranston was a semi-professional wrestler (under the stage-name of ‘American Guardian’) later known to have operated periodically as a vigilante, occasionally alongside Wayne Lamont, yet neither man shared any prior connection. Before becoming a masked vigilante, Parke had been a member of the Pulp City chapter of the Knight Angels volunteer citizens’ patrols. He left that organization after reporting that the organization was not doing enough to combat crime proactively.
The first recorded appearance of Cranston as a masked vigilante was operating alongside Dead Eye and a large Team of Supremes including Trail, Jade Hawk and Skyline as they foiled a raid by a Coven Strike Team to acquire artifacts from Pulp City Museum (cross-ref #1789). Coven operatives described the Team as ‘ad hoc’, and although seemingly disorganized when compared to Teams such as Heavy Metal and Blood Watch, they followed Dead Eye unwaveringly, and it was reported that Bruce Cranston fought with near super-human power during the conflict as he was spurred on by his leader.
In a later incident when aiding Dead Eye, Cranston was observed in combat with two Pisces warriors during the last Ulthar invasion, barely defeating both single-handedly before he and Dead Eye took on and felled a mighty Aries. While it appears that Cranston has shunned the limelight, it is believed that he still operates alongside a select group of Supremes whom he trusts and is trusted by from time to time, when they need extra support from a proven ally. It is clear that no-one in his home borough of New Port will say anything to implicate him to the Police and he has since become an established Hero of his local community.