Green Emperor (Villain)

Code-name: Green Emperor

Full Name: Green Emperor

Faction: Jade Cult

The first memory of each incarnation was always of being reborn after incineration by terrible supernatural flame. The last memory of every incarnation was always the first recollection of the next.

The story was always the same; hatching from a jade egg deep within the heart of a sacred mountain, far away from the dread touch of fire. The hatchling slithering out into darkness and waiting months until scales begin to shed and a human form took shape. Soon, there was a visit from a shadow Oni who brought naga milk to bind the reptilian with human. Then, the first guttural words of command would be uttered to demonic minions: “Bring me my sword and armor.”

What was to follow would ever be a cycle of conquest and bloodshed. And in the end, it always culminated with the same fiery defeat.

This time would be different.

The shadow milk was strong, stronger than ever. This oni was different too; there was something very powerful about the way it moved.  This time, it was the oni who spoke first.

“We will break the cycle. No longer will you defeat the Tiger only to fall at the hands of some peasant that wields the Phoenix power. You will command the other shijin as the Dragon should. The new Oni Queen will lend you her resources to conquer this plane. Times have changed and gods no longer deal with mortal affairs. The world is yours.”

“For a price?”, were the first words of the Dragon this time. The oni grinned at him.

”Yes, for a price.”

 

The days under that darkly numinous mountain came to an end and conquest began. But everything was different. This was not all out war, it was a silent game of Go. The means of war had changed and the Dragon had the best lieutenants to lead his war from the shadows. A mysterious woman in jade vestments who called him ‘father’ led the countless armies of the most skilled shadow warriors the Orient could muster. All crime organizations of the East were subdued and subjugated within a year. An assassin, wreathed in shadow, brought the heads of crime-bosses to the Dragon, just like a cat brings dead mice to the hand that feeds it. Clandestine laboratories and factories across the water were tasked with improving his army Terror Cotta Warriors to face new threats. The oni that had greeted him to this world remained silent every time he asked about the price of the victory.

The orders from the new Oni Queen arrived exactly seven years after the Dragon’s latest rebirth. She directed him to find the underwater tomb of the Black Beast and awaken it. The monster had been defeated and entombed by the White Tiger one hundred years earlier and she stated that its resurrection was the key to breaking the cycle.

Unlike the other shijin, the Beast was a mindless force of destruction that always began the cycle, threatening the world, only to be defeated by the Tiger. Tiger would then be defeated by Dragon, and finally Phoenix would defeat Dragon for the cycle to eventually begin anew. But now the cycle could be broken.

His Jade Cult headed out the next day moving towards the coastline. This world was new to him, but the rules remained unchanged – the jade wave rolled down the mountain, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

 

The sparkling towers of the city they called Hong Kong welcomed the arrival of its Emperor.

He strolled through the streets, amazed to see how this part of his country has changed. The soldiers of the city armed with bizarre projectile weapons tried to stop them but their attempts fell short when one hundred of his newly-modified Terror Cotta Warriors unleashed a barrage of rockets upon them.

Stragglers were cut down by the combined forces of Jade Cult ninjas and oni.  They were almost in the harbor as wall of flickering amber fire rose in front of the Jade Cult army. It was happening again. Laughter rose from the ranks of his demonic allies as two female shapes emerged from the flames and walked towards his army of thousands.

The shorter one wore a crimson gown and a cape of peacock-like feathers that had all of their color replaced by changing hues of red. She bore no weapons but sparks danced around her fingers. The other one wore a white tunic with black stripes and a mask that covered her eyes.

“We meet again, but this time it is different, the Tiger and the Phoenix will not let you awaken the Black Beast of the Depths,” shouted the woman in red.

The massed ranks of oni laughed again, but only until a fireball that fell from the sky destroyed a dozen of the demonic creatures, leaving only smoldering husks and a pool of molten metal that had been shadow weapons.

The Dragon felt fear creep into his jade heart. It was happening again. The Tiger bore her steel claws and covered the distance between them in one giant leap. This was the moment when his sword usually pierced the Tiger heart, but this time, the jade blade got caught in the claws and broke.

The Emperor looked at his sword shortened almost by half. The hilt was still locked with the Tiger’s weapon, so he spun around, and delivered a massive kick to her lower body, sending the woman flying away from her ally, the Phoenix.  He turned again, pivoting on his left foot, only to duck beneath a gout of flame. The temperature rose dramatically, as the Phoenix manifested itself in its fullest, a tiny female shape was the only dark spot in the middle of two massive fiery wings.

His armor started melting like it always did in the course of the cycle. In an act of desperation, he hurled his broken sword in her direction. The blade flew unscathed through the firestorm and hit the bull’s eye, sinking in the woman’s chest. Flames were extinguished instantly and his army cheered. The body on the ground was still twitching as he walked towards it. There was no sorrow or pain on her face, only shock and disbelief.

The Green Emperor twisted his broken sword in the chest of the Phoenix and the fire died in her eyes. Indeed, the times had truly changed. He turned around looking for the Tiger, but she was nowhere to be found. It mattered not, for they were writing a completely new history this time.

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Supreme Zed (Villain)

Code-name: Supreme Zed

Full Name: previously known as Mr. Supreme

Faction: Necroplane

From Dr. Tenebrous’ Research Log:

Day 3: Finally! The patient, Subject Z, is recovering from his death. After my agent Wonder Wight (disguised in the persona of War Woman) successfully implicated him in genocide, and revealed his true identity to an unsuspecting world, it was but a matter of time before events would spiral out of the subject’s control, which of course to the slaughter of his Earthly mother and father. Subject Z then met his end in his Antarctic base when he tried to reveal our conspiracy; an assault by Necro-tech weapons began to convert his tissues to an unliving state. When he understood what was happening, he took his own life.

As commanded, Harvesters recovered his lifeless body, immediately placing it in stasis, while the defenseless Earth was stripped of death-energy. Subject Z has provided an impeccable experimental focus. This revival has surpassed all previous attempts with other trials. His body is literally glowing with all of the necro-atomic fuel we filled him up with, as his dead tissues absorb the energy with seemingly unlimited capacity, thus powering his newly granted life.

The transition has evidently caused serious and significant lasting cerebral damage. The patient seems to be at significant cognitive loss, much more than projected, although that may have useful secondary benefits, and from time to time it behaves as if it was searching for something.
Day 5: Progress has been much faster than I expected. Subject Z may see its first field tests in less than one month. The first observations from combat room exercises show great promise. Upon facing a group of five hand-picked elite Necro G.I.s, the subject received a volley of necrorays, stood up, blasted two of them with its eyebeam and smashed the next two together with its powerful fists. I am noting down a faint trace of emotion, some hint malice in his actions. It grasped the last Necro G.I., flew up all the way to the ceiling and smashed the wretched unliving soldier through the floor, only to continue the slaughter in a room below the combat area. In that chamber were another half dozen Necro G.I.’s and a dozen servitors; they too were brutally torn apart by the subject.

Day 12: All damage from combat room exercises has been repaired. The success of the revivification process has informed how to proceed with other subjects. Subject D, N and R will undergo modified revival processes based on those of Subject Z. Since in life neither D, N nor R had the inherent durability of Z, the levels of necro-atomic energy that will be used has been reduced accordingly. If all three subjects undergo successful revival, the ranks of the Scourge will be swelled, and other options will become available. Optimism is heightened following the apparent early success with Subject Z.
Day 18: Each new investigation into Subject Z’s capabilities seems to serve to underline its vast potential. Its damage-threat level has produced ratings comparable to that of a Soul Golem. Even in a Supreme-class battle environment Subject Z will be almost peerless. If its limited intellect can be harnessed and Subject Z be given suitable direction and focus, it could prove almost unstoppable.
Day 22: Further testing has revealed potentially unparalleled Supreme-level strength; incredible resilience; flight capability remains intact; and even a limited capacity for regeneration.

Day 25: The first field test is over. The exercise was a partial success, involving the subject, now codenamed Supreme Zed, supported by Mourn, a Soul Golem and a cadre of Necro G.I.’s

During the mission Supreme Zed was beheaded by the Blood Watch’s leader, but that didn’t stop Supreme Zed from destroying two National Guard tanks, and battling the accursed Six Feet Under to a standstill. I ordered evacuation of the deployed Scourge Team after V.H.’s blade first maimed then decapitated Supreme Zed; probability did not favor a prolonged and protracted battle at this stage of investigations.

Personal note: I had not anticipated just how powerful the subject could be after less than one month; how powerful will it become in just a couple of weeks more? And it already has begun to hate the detestable Blood Watch?

Perfect.

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Tanuki (Hero/Villain)

Code-name: Tanuki

Full Name: Tanuki

Allegiance: Jade Cult

Outside of the closed ranks of the Jade Cult, Tanuki’s origin is veiled in secrecy, and even within that terrible society few know the truth. One of the Jade Cult’s mysterious spirit-onis, Tanuki is probably the least loyal of that kind, even if ultimately he is the only one that recognizes that fact.

As the Green Emperor has extended his reach beyond Japanese shores and turned his attention to the West in general, and Pulp City in particular, Tanuki has been an instrumental agent of the Jade Cult. Tanuki has found great pleasure in all that the modern world has to offer, and especially the liberty he has seen first-hand in Pulp City, once described as a decadent cesspit by his master. Cesspit or not, Tanuki loves what Pulp City has to offer – he just enjoys being unleashed in the world!

The earthly plane that Tanuki finds himself in is like Las Vegas for a newly confirmed gambler, and diametrically opposed to the feudal Japan that the Green Emperor seeks to re-create after his own design. There is not a single sensation or experience that he does not revel in, and he has learnt the ways of his new world in short order. Tanuki already owns a significant business portfolio, having generated massive profits from speculative investment in the burgeoning Japanese real-estate market of the late 1980’s, withdrawing his investments as he foresaw an imminent crash. He also loves manipulating gullible people and the media, and on many occasions he has planted fake stories for unwitting journalists to pick up on, all part of grander plots; the famed June Summers has yet to fall for one of these elaborate hoaxes and so he views duping her as the prize target in his wild little intrigues. Tanuki often has to pretend that he cares deeply for the goals Emperor and his Jade Cult, but the small raccoon-dog spirit is expert at putting on his ‘engaged’ face, and thus sparing himself the wrath of the only entity he fears – the Green Emperor.

Tanuki has been afforded certain freedoms not given to other Jade Cult agents; the Green Emperor has allowed the mischievous spirit a long leash as he gathers intelligence and makes new contacts to further the Jade Cult’s strategies. This has allowed Tanuki to pursue his own agenda, something he relishes. Seeing a city whose culture was clearly dominated by the super-powered Supremes living and fighting there, Tanuki felt it obligatory that he join in with their customs; thus he fashioned himself a domino mask as he felt this would help him blend in! Of course he has had to kowtow to the wishes of the Green Emperor, and so has adopted traditional Japanese garb as part of his ‘costume’. And so the bizarre sight of a talking raccoon dog hurling magic spells and potions around with abandon is one of the stranger tales that grace the Supreme scene, and Tanuki for one loves his role. His cheerful demeanor is disarming to most of the other Supremes he encounters; few realize the full devious extent of his plotting and machinations.

There are many onis within Green Emperor’s employ, and Tanuki is unique among them. Of all the spirits within the Jade Cult’s ranks, Tanuki’s link to the material world is the strongest, and he is the most difficult creature to banish. Tanuki weaves magic and twists probabilities to service the goals of the Green Emperor, but just as often his own objectives. Tanuki hopes to one day liberate himself from the control of the Green Emperor. He knows that day is probably long off, but that does not stop the strange little spirit-creature from scheming his schemes, in the hope that one day he will be free. However he inwardly acknowledges that to do so is to run a grave risk.

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Moonchild/Moon Coyote (Hero)

Code-name: Moonchild/Moon Coyote
Full Name: Maria Moonchild
Faction: Blood Watch

The story of Moonchild begins with the Arrajo tribe; a small Native American tribe that had suffered for more than a century and half, and which came to reside on part of a reservation jointly held with the Avaje, approximately fifty miles north-east of Pulp City. Today, the reservation casinos are a tourist attraction on the Avaje part of the site. This success has led to some improvement in quality of life on the reservation, although this has not been shared between the two tribes as the Arrajo have shunned this new way.

For the past two decades the Arrajo had suffered the threat of possibly dying out, as no boys had been born among the tribe’s offspring in that time. Marcus Moonchild recognized that some dark force had accursed his people and had led to the tribe producing no boys. He committed all of his abilities as tribal medicine man to combatting that malignancy. He also sought to train his daughter Maria to become the first female shaman of the Arrajo. It was clear to Marcus that whatever the source of the curse was, it was on his tribe alone, as the Avaje with whom they shared the reservation suffered no such problems. From that recognition he was determined that the curse would be broken, and so set to instructing his daughter in the skills she would need to continue his efforts should he fail or fall.

Thus, from a young age Maria learned her father’s shamanic secrets. Years went by, and after her father’s passing, and her coming of age, it was through ritual in the sweat lodge that she finally discovered the origin of the curse that her father had believed to afflict the tribe. Joined in her ritual by the lodge leader, a tribal elder, the two women sat in darkness as smoke swirled around and heat enveloped them. The lodge leader chanted and drummed while Maria freed her mind of earthly constraints. Maria’s vision in that smoke-filled construction revealed images of a black crow demon spreading plague wings over the people of Arrajo. Despite her skills and knowledge, Maria knew she was unable to fight this dark beast. As her vision came to an end the screaming crow flew at the teenager and the elder, talons stretched out to rake them both. The vision ended suddenly and Maria was awake, alert and unharmed, but shaken by the experience. As she looked around she saw the lodge leader lying prone, dead, her face stricken with anguish.

The following night saw Maria nervously enter the sweat lodge again, this time alone with no-one to guide her with chants and drumming. Outside nervous elders waited. She took upon herself the sacred rituals and unbound her shamanic senses once more. Her sight went beyond sight and the vision began.

In her vision a wise albino coyote visited and spoke with her, its voice as old as the lands in which her tribe lived. The coyote explained that the crow could be defeated, but that Maria would need to give up part of herself to do so; a part of her would always belong to the albino coyote and in return, she would get its help to fight the crow. Fearing what the crow-demon would do if she did not act Maria agreed. As she woke from her vision Maria found half of a moon-shaped amulet in her hand.

On the third night Maria looked to the moon above, bright and clear in a cloudless sky. She took that as a sign that the path she had chosen was correct. She grasped the Moon Amulet tightly. Her body shimmered in the moonlight and her form became that of the albino coyote, its body adorned with mysterious markings. The Moon Coyote leapt into the night then, running effortlessly across the reservation towards the larger part that was home to the Avaje. On the outskirts of the Avaje lands Moon Coyote found a darkened lodge. As Moon Coyote waited, a wiry old man emerged from that lodge, his arms adorned with sleeves of crow feathers.

Moon Coyote became Moonchild once more, however her body was now covered in fine white fur, and her long hair that was once dark was similarly white, and her hands adorned with vicious claws. She took a moment to notice this change, noting also her own heart racing, then focused on her quest.

“You are the crow-demon,” Moonchild said, her voice steady and full of certainty.

“Yes, yes I am,” replied the wiry man, “I am Black Crow, and you are another shaman?”

“Yes, I am Moonchild,” she responded “and I fight for the Arrajo”.

As they stood facing once another the wiry man then explained himself; that he had cursed the Arrajo so they would die out so that his tribe, the Avaje, would become stronger on those sacred lands; that he had killed the lodge leader, and years before, Moonchild’s father; and that now Moonchild would die at his hand.

Silence followed. Then both leapt to attack. Moonchild charged forwards, claws slashing out as the wiry man himself transformed into some sort of crow-man. They battled for long minutes before one final slash from Moonchild caught Black Crow across the throat. Dying, he fell to the floor, blood pooling around his body, his curse lifted with his dying breath.

Moonchild had fulfilled her father’s quest and in doing so gave herself over to a greater power. In time she joined Blood Watch, making use of both of her forms to aid them. Her work with those Heroes in turn made her aware of Loup Garou II. She eventually learned of the bond they shared through their possession of each of two halves of the Moon Amulet; each held an influence over the other which unsettled their respective allies. Nonetheless, Moonchild’s courage and unswerving dedication to stopping dark forces is beyond question among the Blood Watch and so for now they respect the bond she has with the hulking werewolf.

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Boreas (Villain)

Code-name: Boreas

Full Name: Boreas

Faction: The Forgotten

The volunteer team was ready to face metaphorical demons that day, but none of them bargained for the demon they found.

The flowing lava on Etna’s slopes turned the night into the fourth of July. The blackened mountain spewed fire that drowned the vineyards and villages.

As soon as the chopper landed, people in orange vests jumped out and started setting up a field hospital and distributing sleeping bags and blankets for all those who lost their homes. Most of the volunteers were unaware that two Americans who wandered off in the darkness right after landing had very little to do with the charity that had organized the relief operation. The only charity that The Coven carried out since the day of its founding was offering a quick and painless death to all who opposed it.

The pair climbed the slopes. At some point they had to stop and strap on breathing apparatus as the fumes became increasingly toxic. Their ESP trackers went crazy when they finally reached the summit. Suddenly, the screens flickered and died.

“John, what was that all about?” asked Martin, a second before he looked into the red eyes of his comrade and his own body was sent tumbling into the boiling crater.

 

The chopper landed on the deck of a ship harbored in a Sicilian port. The pilot informed everybody on board that the rest of the team had decided to stay a couple of weeks more. Two weeks later, when the ship ran aground on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, no survivors were found.

 

Fast forward. Moonchild wakes from her feral dream as she smells an intruder in Twilight Hills. She pokes a razor-sharp nail into the muscled side of Six Feet Under to wake him up. A second later, a man in a black suit shows up on the rocky road. Come on – Twilight Hills? Late at night? Strange man in a suit? You don’t have to be able to smell a trap to know there is something wrong.

The man takes his time to climb the path, and the wind picks up. When the suited man is finally at the summit, facing the two Blood Watch sentinels, he does not seem to be spooked by the presence of a she-coyote nor the hulking man. There is something weird about his eyes and Moonchild bares her teeth and leaps at him, only to be caught in midair by an invisible whipping force that hurls her back into the onrushing Six Feet Under.

The wind turns into a hurricane and both heroes fly high on this lethal carousel ride. The air crackles but they clearly hear how the stranger hisses: Greetings from Stygian, you are all dead, humans. There might have been some more of this dreadful poetry coming, but patience is not Six Feet Under’s strongest suit, so he swims down through the spiraling wind and hurls his shovel, breaking the neck of the visitor.

The wind howls and Moonchild could swear she saw a demon face with fangs dripping of blood in the tornado juts a second before all goes quiet and all that is left is the body of the stranger.

 

A week passes, and all of the heroes in Pulp City know about this new threat – the just-awakened Forgotten that joins the ranks of Stygian’s followers. Blacksmith claims that the evil demon is Boreas, once good but now a harsh godling of the wind who was apparently captured by a Greek pirate king, Aeseus, who kept him in slavery and mistreated Boreas for years.

Aeseus would draw on the godling’s power to rule the seas. In return, he would feed the chained Boreas with the blood of his fallen enemies.  With the passing years, controlling the force of the wind became more and more testing and since the seventy-year old pirate king did not want to pass on his secret to anyone else, he cast the golden cage that restrained Boreas into the fiery bowels of Etna.

When Stygian learnt about the fate of Boreas, she knew that if provided with a human host, the demon of the winds would slowly regain his powers. Instead of sending her underling Hellsmith to do the job and potentially alert other Supremes, she passed the information to one of her cultists that she suspected to be The Coven’s snitch. Once again, her machinations deceived all others.

Boreas is new to Pulp City and his bloodlust and hatred of people high as never before. Fortunately for humanity, he is still weak at this time and cannot support a material body for a long time before having to find a new host. V.H. and other heroes are desperately seeking to permanently banish the demon while he is still vulnerable, and before his true power rises again.

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Sgt. Bale (Hero)

Code-name: Sgt. Bale

Full Name: Richard ‘Rich’ Bale

Faction: Blood Watch, The Way

Sergeant Richard Bale died on an unrecorded mission, earing a burial place in Arlington as well as the star-spangled flag draping his coffin, his interment marked gun shots that rang in the sky and the tears of his beautiful wife.

A recognizable tale, if not for the fact that he already died once in the minds of the rest of his world.

Joining the secret Omega Occult team of the US Army equaled ‘death’. Families received notification that their serving died in an accident. Recruits then spent the rest of their lives on covert missions or deep in the force’s underground base with four teammates all similarly burnt out from living that zombie life as they were. Recruits died a silent death and nobody would shed a tear over the life they lost in the service of their country.

Today, Bale never talks about why he joined Omega Occult. It may be deduced that many of the events of his early childhood pushed him that way. He rarely speaks about his missions while serving unless the information is relevant to the latest supernatural threat that Blood Watch is combating.

But he will repeat the story of how he died the second time just to make the curious stop asking questions.

Neither Rich nor any of his Omega Occult team knew why they were sent to the lush jungles of Cambodia. It was pretty common for them to receive briefings right after they parachuted from their stealth transport. This time was different, and the shift in the pattern sent chills down Bale’s spine.

Their local guide handed them the envelope containing their orders: follow the guide; shoot the guide once at the destination; and recover the target from the lower levels of an abandoned temple. The executed each stage of their orders to the letter, quickly arriving at the temple.

Call-sign Tank Red, the unit’s weapons specialist, exchanged the muzzle on the gun after unloading a wall of firepower, while Bale deciphered the glyphs on the ruined walls of Beng Mealea temple, using his specialist training.

Ichiro died first as a huge chunk of the naga statue crushed his body, his blood draining into the cracks of the floor. This was the first true Omega Occult death in five years. The second and third happened almost simultaneously as the floor broke and two more fell down into the dark water below. A hiss echoed in the darkness and the water exploded with seven lashing reptilian heads of doom. Bale dodged at the last second, while Tank Red fired up his battle-suit rocket boots and flew for the surface through the cracked hole in the ceiling.

Rich was left alone facing the massive beast, a creature clearly far more intelligent than its form suggested. The behemoth whispered into his mind: Fight me? Rich knew then that this was an assignment beyond the usual good and evil, he knew that more than his life is at stake.

The reptilian heads struck at him again. Bale waited calmly and in the last moment grabbed one to ride it like a cowboy on a bucking bull. The beast tried to shake him off, trying to crush him against the wall but to no avail. Bale just waited as the six remaining heads hunted for the burdened seventh. He leapt from head to head, and watched them kill the next in turn until there was only one left.

Out of options, the last man standing of Omega Occult fired his entire clip into the gaping mouth of the dragon as the beasts flaming breath engulfed him. The fire felt good, cleansing, forging a bond between the ancient creature and its slayer. Rich fell into the water, his right arm burnt as the shrinking dragon snaked around it, leaving a mysterious tattoo and thus sealing the Dragon’s Pact.

It would all have seemed a bizarre and horrific nightmare if not for the fact that a small flame danced on Bale’s hand, guiding his way. The union with the dragon made him strong and powerful.

Six months later Richard Bale infiltrated the HQ of Omega Occult, a place he had called home. He was not here to pick up his stuff, as he headed straight for the commander’s office. No robot, no beast and no soldier could stand in the way of his dragon’s fury. Sgt. Bale burned his way through all resistance, the dragon on his arm seeming almost alive as it spewed flame on all his enemies and ignited their bullets.

The journey ended fast and Bale had only one question: Why?

They do not have to divulge details, but villains at gunpoint always talk and talk and talk. So Sgt. Richard Bale learned all he wanted and even more. Omega Occult’s top brass had decided that better a one man army with the ancient power of dragons than a team of five replaceable covert operatives. The dragon had to choose only one as its champion. A new occult contact, a woman of great power, promised that more soldiers would be able to fuse their bodies with ancient beasts, to promote US military interests. Bale could be the leader of a new hybrid Omega Occult.

A flaming bullet to the head of his ex-commander was a clear answer to this promotion opportunity.

The US military acted swiftly to cover up a very unfortunate chain of events, and so Sgt. Richard Bale had a second funeral, amid a newly concocted story about his death while defending American security.

Sgt. Bale and his dragon powers went on the run, and sought a refuge, as he knew he was too powerful and too dangerous to return to his twice-widowed wife. He was approached by many: government agents; power-hungry tyrants; the woman that claims she knows the spirit that slumbers in him. He rejected them all, accepting an offer from the mysterious V.H. and her Blood Watch Team, finding a home at last. They all accepted his grim presence because none of them doubted his loyalty and total dedication to a greater good. His journey later took him into alliance with The Way, the Dragon charting that path. Yet if Bale’s allies in both Factions only knew about Bale’s nightmares of a seven-headed dragon setting the world ablaze and bowing in front of a snake goddess…

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Twilight (Villain)

Code-name: Twilight

Full Name: unknown

Faction: The Coven

Less is known about the origins of Twilight than almost any other Pulp City Supreme, and not much more is publicly known about the truth of the group she represents. Hidden beneath the web of corporations that form Coven Enterprises, The Coven is a secret organization headed up by practitioners of the dark arts. Some scholars claim that after centuries of undermining Southern social structures with voodoo and assassinations of politicians, leaders of The Coven have forged a bloody and secret truce with official authorities.

Today, following its recent public exposures and now lurking less and less in the shadows, in trying to pursue its political and economic goals the Coven deploys a small but highly skilled Team of Supremes. This Team acts not only in the South (where the location of the Coven’s primary headquarters is confidential and closely guarded), but in other important cities, reaching out to influence politicians, local businessmen and celebrities. Pulp City has become one such key location in Coven plans. Since the Coven rarely relies on brute force alone, despite the power of Loup Garou II and Rook at its disposal, Twilight, the mysterious shadow thief, is without doubt one the leading operatives for the organization in Pulp City.

It has been suggested that the Coven is hunting down those who have left its ranks or have stood in its way, and that Twilight was banished to Pulp City after a spectacular failure in Louisiana, where a young Creole managed to slay Loup Garou, an important Coven resource. Twilight was subsequently tasked with delivering the death-proclamation of the Coven, the trail leading to Pulp City where the Creole woman found refuge in the ranks of the Blood Watch. Despite Twilight’s many successes since, rumor on the Supreme grapevine is that this one failure continues to hang over her Coven career.

Twilight is a mistress of avoiding detection and cheating death. Her enemies claim that she possesses the skill to disappear into shadows or to strike from behind with her twin blades, known as the ‘fangs’, only to reappear a hundred feet further in the blink of an eye. Some experts in Supreme matters have speculated that her origins may lie to the East. Others have wondered whether Twilight is just a codename for an assassin in the Coven’s ranks, or whether there is there a troubled woman behind Twilight’s mask? Nobody outside the Coven knows the answers to these questions, or if they do, they are not saying.

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Ace of Wraiths (Hero)

 

 

aceofwraithsCode-name: Ace of Wraiths

Full Name: unknown

Faction: Blood Watch

Even over one hundred years later, they still talk in Pulp City about that night of poker. That was the night a dazzling card-sharp became the Ace of Wraiths. His name is long-since forgotten, but the legend says that he was the greatest gambler of his day. He could bluff his way to a win with just a pair of deuces, and today Ace of Wraiths is the oldest resident of Pulp City’s Crossroad Hills district.

Over one century ago, that was his night; nobody could best him at cards, until a stranger joined his game. The stranger’s native blood did not match his white man’s clothing, nor did his Old World accent. The two played for hours until the momentum swung back to Ace in the gray hours just before the breaking of dawn. It came down to one last hand.

The stranger had no money, but he laid his gun and card box on the table. At first glance, the gun appeared to be nothing special, but as Ace stared at it he saw its exquisite workmanship along with ornate etching on the barrel. The same pattern was impressed on the solid silver box.

The final game was five card stud. The stranger took one card, Ace took three and drew aces over eights. He laid his cards down. The stranger sighed and looked Ace in the eyes. A smile came to his lips that grew into a laugh that chilled Ace’s soul. Then the stranger’s body collapsed into a pile of ashes. Ace flipped over the stranger’s cards: six, seven, eight, nine, and the one-eyed jack of spades.

That gambler Ace did not realize what had happened that night until a wandering preacher on a pale horse, upon seeing the winnings, told him a story about a cursed gun and deck of cards which damn their owner with immortality and eternal torment. He told the tale that they cannot be given away, but the owner can try to outwit another into winning the trophies in a game of cards, thus condemning the winner’s soul to an afterlife in hell. Ace had met his match that night, and his winning streak had come to a damned end.

Ace soon found he could not die. A bullet, or a knife, or a hangman’s noose may take his breath and stop his heart, but he was always reborn on the following night at the nearest crossroads. A few arcanists that know of his curse whisper that his life on earth will one day come to an end, when every man and woman tricked by the cursed Deck of Souls is redeemed with a claimed life of an evil being. And these days there seems no end of evil souls to harvest.

The powers of Ace of Wraiths rely on his artifacts. A skilled gunslinger and a cartomancer, Ace has had more than a century to master the art of paying his toll with the blood of evil men and women.

 

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Hellsmith (Villain)

Code-name: Hellsmith

Full Name: Hellsmith

Faction: The Forgotten

Stygian, the leader of the awakened ancient dark gods known as the Forgotten, describes Hellsmith with one word: inhuman. From the mouth of a being who plots with and against the Lords of Necroplane and has killed and vanquished thousands, ‘inhuman’ is almost a compliment.

Hellsmith was a minor deity of forges in the Greek pantheon, his true name long lost in the sands of time. Asleep for aeons, gods sometimes wake up when their name once again evokes strong emotions, leaps of faith, fear, anger or lust. Hellsmith’s tale is that of the forge guardian who lived in the shadow of Hephaestus, the master weapon-smith.

The brilliant weapons crafted by Hellsmith were always credited to the Hephaestus, and so Hellsmith’s frustration grew. At the time when mortals fought for Troy, messengers of Hades offered Hellsmith a chance to betray his master and become the chief armorer of Hell. The plot was uncovered by Zeus when Hellsmith betrayed himself with his drunken boasting, and punishment was enacted immediately.

Struck down by a bolt of lightning and cast into the oily depths of the river Styx, the lifeless body of Hellsmith floated for many, many centuries until one of his most magnificent creations, the Hell Hammer, ended up as a center piece in a Pulp City Museum exhibition. The crowds were enchanted by the dark beauty and the surge of emotions it stirred up within those gazing upon it woke up the would-be armorer of Hell. The smith clawed his way from darkness to the very streets of the city. Now, recovering his power in Pulp City, Hellsmith is a vital tool in the hands of Stygian, who has gathered an army of no longer remembered gods.

There is not much wit or intelligence within Hellsmith. He makes up for such deficiencies with commitment and persistence. He doesn’t have many sworn enemies since being ‘an enemy of Hellsmith’ is often a temporary state, lasting only until he hunts them down. Cold eyes stare from the depths of the horned Spartan helmet, often transfixing victims until the moment when reality comes crashing down with a crushing blow of the Hell Hammer.

 

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Mourn (Villain)

Code-name: Mourn

Full Name: Unknown

Faction: Necroplane

Blacksmith’s voice was gruff as ever as he continued the education of Youngblood, Blood Watch’s newest recruit. Youngblood was absent-mindedly playing with the warding charm around his neck, and Blacksmith gently patted the youngling vampire’s hand, both to capture his attention and to stop him weakening the wards bound within.

First off lad, some gruesome facts about the Necroplane; that evil realm of existence that neighbors our world is a horrid parallel of the reality we know. Everything, starting with the landscape, is twisted as if some macabre visionary succeeded in translating his nightmare into a material world – even Hieronymus Bosch would be impressed.

The same applies to Necroplane’s Supremes. To join the ranks of the scourge or the Necroplan’es other Supreme agents, most of them were super-sinners in life, earning enough favor from the Lords of Necropolis to be granted supernatural powers.

Mourn’s true name was never known, as far as we can tell, though some claim he used to be a blood-thirsty dictator in a remote country. He ended up in the bowels of Hellrock Prison under charges of genocide.

On the walls of his cell were hung the flayed skins of all of his victims. They tormented Mourn past the limits of sanity, chattering, whispering and shouting curses at him. Each day, each waking moment was filled with their relentless mind-breaking babble.

At last, after two years, silence finally descended. The door to his prison-cell burst open and what was left of Mourn’s mortal body walked out of the cell, shrouded in a moving cloak of shifting, howling faces. When the prison’s guards tried to stop him, the tortured souls embedded in the living fabric of his cloak clawed at them, shattering their bones, their screaming unhinging the guards’ sanity.

Only one mortal witnessed Mourn’s rebirth. In a nearby cell was chained Six Feet Under, our hulking giant who somehow managed to escape Hellrock on that same fateful day as Mourn did.

Six Feet Under reported that Mourn was granted the powers of a malign spirit, a baen sidhe. After a few encounters we think that actually Mourn is a host of several baen sidhe, acting like a beacon that transmits and directs their destructive cries. We think that their minds are a collective that directs Mourn’s activities. The souls in the cape most often have contradictory ideas, arguing and screaming among themselves, so that the flying Villain rarely acts in a predictable way. He may look weak, but he is dangerous.

Mourn seldom speaks; he hisses few words and more often lets his cape of souls speak for him. His arrival is heralded by thousands of whispers, building to a crescendo as Mourn floats like a huge airborne manta above the field of battle. He then selects and closes on his prey and lets loose an unearthly scream, the mourning song of his past victims.

So be warned, lad. Mourn is a threat that should not be underestimated, and if we can free his victims’ souls, then all the better.

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