Night Fright & Leech (Villain)

 

nightfrightCode-names: Night Fright & Leech

Full names: unknown

Faction: Necroplane

Fragments of fears frantically bolted across the desolate Plain of Nightmares, splintered echoes of tormented dreams from worlds beyond the Necroplane.

As they cascaded across dank lands, those wretched imaginings were corralled by nightmare herders, their task to catch all the dark dreams that coalesced into the Necroplane from other worlds, and then to feed them to the armies of the dead. Principal among the herders was Night Fright, an agent of the Necroplane whose murky origins are lost to himself, like a dream forgotten.

nightfright-page-001The herders are not simple plains farmers of dark dreams; no, they are skilled gatherers of the dark stuff of souls. This soul fuel is used to empower the armies of the Necroplane. Hulking Soul Golems are fed dozens of those shadowy eidolons, their outer shell of necro-mechanical armor and their peculiar necro-dermis shackling the tormented shards of unwitting psyches. Necro G.I.’s armed with weapons powered by the dark dreams. And worst of all, the Supremes of the Necroplane drink in the misery and pain.

It is the task and twisted honor of the nightmare herders to gather fuel for the armies of the Necroplane, and foremost among them is Night Fright. It was he that had already drawn out more of the slivers of abject imagination than any other, and it was he that Dr. Tenebrous frequently dispatched to worlds targeted by the Necroplane to sow greater terror and thus feed their world ever more.

 

nightfright-page-002Interlude 1: A distant memory, like watching faded impressions of someone else’s life. Images come unbidden to Night Fright’s mind, of a world other than the Necroplane. Earth? War rages across a city; an invasion by the Scourge and the legions of the Necroplane? In the heat of battle he is in a grassy park full of stone and bronze memorials, and there he faces an oncoming tide of dead soldiers…

 

The herders of the Necroplane ride the wastes aboard brutal Nightmare Engines, crafted when dark dreams become so powerful that they lead to the death of their hosts. Called paradigm nightmares by the Necroplane, those dreams take distinct form in the Necroplane, and seek to re-enter other planes of reality, to afflict the tortured dreams of yet more hosts.

The most powerful paradigm nightmares are transformed into Nightmare Engines when they are shackled in carapaces manufactured by necro-scientists. Powerful jets are mounted to their bodies and nightmares their fuel. Although bound by death-force technologies, Nightmare Engines are unruly creatures, needing a strong master to break them and keep them under control, and Leech required the most cunning and determined of riders to be kept in check.

The dark rider known as Night Fright had seemingly managed to contain the untamable; Leech was the most aggressive of Nightmare Engines, and before being claimed by Night Fright he had disposed of at least half a dozen herders, and had consumed the lives of countless dream-hosts. When the duo met, they knew instinctively that together they could bring greater pain to every world that the Lords of the Necroplane turned their gaze towards. Where other Nightmare Engines were mastered, Leech was Night Fright’s equal. Together they formed a whole greater than their individual parts, and in this Dr. Tenebrous in particular was pleased.

 

nightfright1Interlude 2: Betrayal. An ally, a trusted friend, has warned the invaders. Twisted machines fly forth from the advancing horde, maniacal, leering deathly riders precariously riding those contraptions like twisted demented surf-boards splitting the sky with lopping arcs. They fly towards him. His companions are terror-struck and transfixed. One of the flying metal machines strikes him with incredible force and then blackness follows…

 

In a vast citadel, the Scourge gathered. Mourn swooped above his team-mates, eager to sow screaming terror; a Soul Golem lumbered into position; Supreme Zed crashed heavily to ground. Portal devices were put into operation, and on the other side awaited Sanguine, the Necroplane’s Earth-spawned agent. Necro G.I.’s lurked in readiness, and canisters of zombie plague toxins were ready to convert some of the indigenous population into instant Necroplane agents of war.

Night Fright gently eased Leech into a turn towards the primary portal. They were both ready to feast on the horrors in the souls of any unfortunates whose paths crossed their own. Yet somewhere deep down, Night Fright could not escape the feeling he had experienced something very much like this once before.

 

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

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.

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

Kitty Cheshire (Hero/Villain)

 

kittychesireCode-name: Kitty Cheshire

Full Name: unknown

Faction: Otherside

Mad, mad Kitty; the demonic-looking woman with the twisted ever-present smile.

The first reported sighting of the woman who would become known as Kitty Cheshire was amid the ruins of Ashville Asylum. Within those ruins there had been a small group of teens dressed in black, sporting dark eyeliner and bedecked with silver pentacles and ankhs, imbibing wine while listening to strains of Bauhaus and Siouxsie and the Banshees from their tape machine. They came to this place a lot, to drink in the cachet of danger and mystery associated with it.

kittychesire_logoclock-page-001They partied and talked and sang and drank as they always did on these nights. Even the perceptible chill in the evening air gave no cause for concern. They were here in the ruins of Ashville, near to the legendary Silver Mirror that seemed to hang in the air, just another curio of Pulp City’s troubled history. Inert, peculiar and long-since over-looked by the grand metropolis and most of its people, the Silver Mirror was a mere tourist sight for the most part these days, any threat long since gone according to the finest academics and scientists.

At first they did not notice as strange distorted and contorted visages seemed to dance across the surface of the Silver Mirror. The kids were soon startled and fascinated when they saw the legendary Silver Mirror unexpectedly glow from within. Possibly emboldened by alcohol, one slender, pallid young man approached the shimmering mirror. He claimed to his friends he could faintly see a woman’s reflection in there. They laughed and jeered in reply. The surface of the mirror then rippled outwards from the center, and a shape was extruded. The shape took greater definition and a silvery hand was seen pressing forwards, reaching out from the mirror towards the teen. Slowly an arm emerged followed by the other, and then a face and finally the rest of a woman’s body. The silver peeled away from her form, recoiling back to the mirror, and a bizarre sight was revealed – a strange looking woman with a tail and wild hair, who was there but was not, and whose body twisted as if it danced through reality. Terrified, those teen-agers fled into the night to tell their wild story; while behind them mad, mad Kitty Cheshire grinned and then laughed, peels of her laughter echoing around the ruins into the late hours.

kittychesire_logoclock-page-002In the days that followed more sightings were reported to a baffled Police Department and the city authorities.

Finally, they had confirmation of the existence of this strange figure, when after arriving at the scene of a prestigious gala reception held to honor the great and good of Pulp City, the woman who is here and there caused pandemonium, and announced her name. She somersaulted about the place, trashing decorations and tearing down banners. Attendees ran from the building in panic. When challenged by Pulp City’s Chief of Police as to what she wanted, Kitty simply replied “Why, to make mischief of course!” – grinning all the while – before she blinked away, just her smile remaining, until it too winked out of sight.

In the days, weeks and months thereafter more sightings took place as the peculiar Supreme battled against and alongside all manner of other Supremes, though none could quite say why she was there.

kitty_cheshire_conceptIn fragmentary pronouncements and non sequitur statements, Kitty claims she has pierced the veil of realities between Earth and the Otherside, that she crossed the edge of the Silver Mirror at her own behest. Who is to refute this claim, save to say that none have done so before? She described her arrival as a return, her comeback, and in her wake has been a trail of madness and chaos. Of course from whence Kitty came, will others follow?

In the time since she arrived or returned, Kitty has gained a sometime partner in the form of the addled Vector, and the two have done little to suggest what their ultimate purpose is, as they have both saved and terrorized the city in their seemingly random appearances. Amid the wild, weird and wonderful Supremes of Pulp City, the woman known as Kitty Cheshire is an enigma even amongst their kind. Some commentators suggest she is a demon, others that she is a poor, tortured woman lost when Ashville Asylum burned to the ground. Whatever the truth, Kitty is not saying.

 

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Androida (Hero)

Code-name: Androida
Full Name: N/A
Faction: Heavy Metal

Today she is one of the most respected and powerful women in Pulp City – Androida has come a really long way in her personal journey.

Ten years ago, she was the only perfect artificial intelligence to still walk the Earth. Unfortunately, that breakthrough A.I. discovery was kept secret, deep in the laboratories of the insane scientist and Androida’s creator, Dr. Van Der Beek.

The malign Van Der Beek gave Androida the spark of life just for one reason: to satisfy his own broken lust. Thus, one of the most brilliant inventions of any human mind ultimately served as a degraded sex toy.

Guilt and shame were never conceived as a part of Androida’s personality matrix. Instead the realization and understanding of the circumstances of her creation came during Heavy Metal’s raid on Van Der Beek’s hidden laboratory. Androida was connected to Van Der Beek’s massive computer bank when a major power surge downloaded most of the internet’s content into the female construct’s mind.

With awakened consciousness came fury and a violent need to take revenge for years of degrading humiliation. Ironically, Van Der Beek died in the arms of his dream woman, his own creation, as she crushed his thorax in her searing rage. With the blood of her creator on her hands, Androida swore to protect humankind and safeguard those who would be preyed upon by vile men such as Van Der Beek. Heavy Metal’s leader C.O.R.E. saw Androida as a new life-form, one that needed a home and purpose, and extended an invitation to join the team. Soon Androida was an integral member of the group, and one of the most prominent Supremes in

Just a few short weeks after she joined the team, Heavy Metal confronted a new threat in town – the atomic-powered Nuke. While fighting the monstrous Villain, Androida realized that the destructive nuclear Supreme somehow had a link to things that were meant to be buried in the grave of Van Der Beek. The dead do not rest in Pulp City and Androida is very keen to solve the puzzles of Dr. Van Der Beek’s legacy. What she finds may lead to even darker revelations.

Today Androida is the first non-human PhD teaching at Pulp City University. In fact, she has combined a double degree in Computer Science and Gender Studies to present unqiue courses regarding artificial intelligence, sociology and ethics. A combative and emancipated feminist, she turned down the offer of a lucrative modeling contract from Tirelli. Not even the chance of being the star of their prestigious and artsy calendar tempted her to leave the university or compromise her beliefs.

As a vital cog in the Heavy Metal machine, Androida acts often as a public relations representative, while on battlefield she employs her tremendous speed and cunning mind to achieve the team’s goals while minimizing the risk to innocent civilians.

 

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,