Exiles #11 Knight Errant

I actually wasn’t planning on writing this character up.  He was just going to be a plot device.  But then, the conjunction between his dad and teleporting and his swashbuckling nature was just too compelling.  I might play around with the relative times and ages.  I think it would be really interesting if there was an Amanda Sefton in the Otherverse waiting for him to fall in love with again.

Also, I need to write up a robot.  I’ve hit all the other classes of character from the Old Marvel Super Heroes game and I’m missing that one.  And when I think about it, there actually aren’t that many robots in the Marvel Universe…Maybe a version of Nimrod.

Knight Errant

Kurt Szardos

Fighting:     EX

Agility:      AM

Strength:     GD

Endurance: IN

Reason:       GD

Intuition:     EX

Psyche:       RM

 

Health:        120

Karma:       60

Resources:   GD

Popularity: 4

 

Powers:

 

Teleportation: Knight Errant can transport himself across Feeble distances (2-3 miles) with ease. Exceeding his normal range limits is possible, but requires an Endurance FEAT. Failing this roll indicates disorientation or even unconsciousness for 1-10 turns. Teleporting with 1-2 passengers causes everyone’s Abilities and Powers to drop by 2CS for two turns after the transfer. As a Power Stunt, Knight Errant can teleport away with part of a non-living target, severing it and causing Amazing damage.

 

Prehensile Tail: Knight Errant’s tail can be used to attack a foe with Good Fighting rank.

 

Equipment

Teleport Disc: This mystical symbol can be used in conjunction with his mutant teleportation power to teleport himself and others through time and space. After a successful Psyche FEAT roll, the disc teleports him to the desired destination. A failed roll indicates a misjump, either in distance (up to one-quarter mile away) or in time. If the FEAT fails, the final destination could be 1-10 days, weeks, months, or years in the past or future. Also using his Psyche FEAT roll, he can make the disc appear beneath other characters and teleport them involuntarily. The target may Dodge if warned. When using the Teleport Disc, Knight Errant negates the penalties normally incurred when teleporting passengers.

 

Soulsword: Knight Errant can automatically summon a Soulsword, a physical manifestation of his status as protector of his realm. It causes Monstrous damage to any magical creature it strikes, using the Edge Weapon column. If swung through a character or item that is magically controlled, possessed, or transformed, Knight Errant is allowed a Psyche FEAT roll with a +2 CS bonus to break the spell and return the being or item to its original state without otherwise damaging it. The Soulsword has SX material strength and does Knight Errant’s strength in damage against non-magical creatures, machinery, or robots.

 

Body Armor: If Knight Errant uses his Soulsword in combat, magical body armor appears on him. Its protection begins with Excellent strength and improves by one rank each time he uses his Soulsword in combat, to a maximum of Monstrous. It remains for up to five rounds after the final time he has used the Soulsword.

 

Weakness: Whenever Knight Errant teleports he produces a loud BAMF, a puff of smoke, and a strong smell of brimstone (sulphur). He is currently barred from teleporting into Limbo.

 

Talents: He is an Olympic-class athlete. He is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and fencing.

 

Contacts: Margali and Jimaine Szardos

 

Background: Kurt Szardos is Mystique’s unwanted child by the demon lord Belasco. Happy to be free of the curse that went along with her pregnancy and eager to forget the torment that surrounded his conception, Mystique abandoned the baby almost immediately after he was born.

 

Kurt was placed in the care of the hospital staff but only for a few days. It was at that point that the baby’s mutant ability manifested and he teleported for the first time. His demonic heritage came into play as well and, rather than teleporting across space, he teleported across dimensions, Limbo calling its errant scion home.

 

But time passes differently in Limbo and what was only a few weeks on Otherworld was months in Limbo. In the time since Mystique had left, the demonic denizens of the realm rose up in rebellion against Julia Carpenter, woman known as the Spider Queen and the de facto ruler left in the wake of Belasco’s death. She had little skill or knowledge in the mystic arts and within days it became obvious that she was going to be overwhelmed.

 

Fortunately for her, a woman named Margali Svardos, a gypsy fortune teller from Earth fled to Limbo. The woman and her newborn daughter were being chased by a group of superstitious villagers and used her magical abilities to desperately create a portal to a random dimension. Without Belasco or any other powerful magic wielders in Limbo, Margali was instantly transformed into the Sorceress Supreme of the pocket dimension. Carpenter knew she was out of her depth and happily stepped down as ruler of the dimension. She continued to use her powers to help defend the realm, though.

 

It was into this conflict that Mystique’s newborn son teleported. Svardos and Carpenter were suspicious of the demonic appearing child, at first, especially given that Margali sensed who his father was. But, she could not put aside her maternal feelings and raised the boy alongside her own daughter.

 

It proved to be the right choice as the boy, who they named Kurt, was incredibly loyal to not only Svardos and Carpenter but his adopted sister Jimaine Svardos and Julia’s daughter, Rachel, as well. The human denizens of Limbo managed to reach a balance with the demons who lived there, though there was constant unrest under the surface.

 

Though they were raised almost like brother and sister, by the time they were teenagers, Kurt and Jimaine had developed romantic feelings for each other. They secretly courted each other, though Margali, with her supernatural perceptions was able to easily ferret it out. As she trusted and liked Kurt, she found little need to curb the relationship and actually fostered it.

 

She and Julia also fostered the superhuman abilities of all three young people. Jimaine was trained in her inherent mystical abilities while Kurt was drilled in his mutant abilities and both he and Rachel were taught swordplay and hand to hand combat.

 

As she grew older Jimaine proved to be a more powerful spellcaster than her mother and by the time she was in her late teens, Limbo chose her to replace Margali as Sorceress Supreme. The demon population knew that if Jimaine was allowed to grow into her newfound position, they would never be able to overtake her and rose up under the command of a demon named N’asym.

 

A savage war broke out and Margali was slain early on. Remorseful as they were, her death only steeled their resolve and the humans started to turn the tide. At least until N’asym managed to ambush Knight Errant, as Kurt had begun to be called. The demon lord managed to sabotage the teleport disc that Margali and Jimaine had created for him and the next time he used it, it teleported him out of Limbo and barred him from returning. Without being able to teleport to his desired destination, he instinctively teleported to his next closest relative.

 

Mystique was quite surprised and less than pleased to discover that she had an adult son. Knight Errant was desperate to return to his realm to ensure that his loved ones won their war but N’asym had planned too well and closed the dimension off from any incursions.

 

He fell into a depression as he discovered that he could not return but was the sort of person who could not leave people in need without helping them. He joined the Exiles, an action that caused Mystique more than a little discomfort and lead her to leave the team.

 

Far more unusual than being reunited with the mother he never knew, he discovered that the woman who had cared for him when he was a newborn was a doppelganger for his adopted mother, Margali Svardos. Even more unsettling for him is the fact that the version of Jimaine that he is now around is only a toddler.

Exiles #10 Lady Le Fay

This one isn’t actually an Exile.  But I figured it might be interesting to flesh out the world around the Exiles in Reality 9.  There are plenty of folks back home waiting when the Exiles return to home base.

Where better to begin than with the Sorceress Supreme. I’ve never been a huge fan of Doctor Strange, though I’ve always liked the mystical aspects of the Marvel Universe.  And it drives me crazy that the movies have established that magic doesn’t exist in their universe.  I am both looking forward to and dreading what that means for the Doctor Strange movie that is coming out in a couple years.

So, with that said I decided not to go with Doctor Strange.  Casting around for other spellcasters, I settled on Morgan Le Fey.  I’d like to say I had a good reason, that I thought she deserved a redemption story and I have always thought she was cool, from the first time I saw her face off against Iron Man in a pretty random issue of his comic.

And those things are probably true…but what is probably more true is that I first saw her during a time when a very voluptuous woman in a slinky gown cut (literally) down to her navel was quite appealing.

Lady Le Fey

Morgan Le Fey

Fighting:     GD

Agility:      GD

Strength:     TY

Endurance: EX

Reason:       EX

Intuition:     IN

Psyche:       MN

 

Health:        46

Karma:       135

Resources:   AM (50)

Popularity: 10

 

Powers:

 

Magic:  Master Level Sorceress of the Faerie School of Magic. While casting spells in Ireland or Britain, Morgan receives a +2CS on FEAT rolls.

 

Personal Spells

Astral Projection (Unearthly). Morgan’s body was once destroyed and she existed for a time only in astral form. She has since gotten her body back, but retains the knowledge and skill she gained while bodiless when projecting her astral form.

Astral Supremacy (Monstrous). Because of her experiences, Morgan receives a +1CS on Magic FEAT rolls while on the astral plane.

Unlimited Shape-Shifting (Monstrous.)

Individual Shield (Amazing.)

Flight (Amazing.)

Other Personal Spells (Remarkable.)

 

Universal Spells

Eldritch Beams/Bolts (Incredible.)

Glamor (Incredible.)

Illusion (Unearthly)

Mental Control (Amazing)

Raise Dead Special Ceremony magic that can only be attempted once on each corpse. A successful Psyche FEAT roll is needed for completion.

Other Universal Nature Spells (Monstrous.)

Other Universal Spells (Incredible)

 

Dimensional Spells

Darkhold (Unearthly)

Demon Winds (Amazing rank, similar to the Winds of Watoomb spell.)

Dimensional Aperture (Monstrous)

Gaea (Monstrous). Morgan can entreat this entity for Plant and Nature Control spells.

Other Universal spells (Amazing).

 

Magic Items

Darkhold

Wand of Watoomb

 

Limitation: Pure iron weapons do double their normal damage when used against Morgan, even if she is in astral form. If she attempts spells while touching iron, or if large amounts are in the same area, she receives -2CS on the FEAT rolls.

 

Talents: Morgan’s Reason is Monstrous when dealing with Occult Lore.

 

Contacts: Darkhold Cult Members

 

Background: Morgan Le Fay is the daughter of Duke Gorlois of Tintagil and his wife, Ingraine. Though she is human, she has a great deal of faerie blood from her mother’s ancestors. King Arthur Pendragon is her half-brother.

 

Morgan’s magical abilities surfaced when she reached puberty and she seduced Merlin and tricked him into teach her sorcery, though whether or not Merlin was taken in by her or let her believe that she did to suit his own purposes is hard to say. After learning what she could from Merlin and mastering the magicks of the ancient Celts, she turned on both Merlin and Arthur, becoming one of their most dangerous foes. Much of this ire was based on the fact that she wanted to become ruler of Britain herself and because he was the illegitimate offspring of her mother and Uther Pendragon.

 

As part of her strategy for vanquishing her foes, Morgan sought out and got her hands on the Darkhold. This powerful book of magic was written by the very hand of the ancient demon Chthon. Knowing that she could not take full advantage of the power within the tome by herself, she formed the Cult of the Darkholders, a group of occult students and practitioners. They managed to successfully summon Chthon (likely because he wanted to be summoned) but were, predictably, unable to control him. To keep the Old One from destroying the world and consuming their souls, they bound him under Mount Wundagore.

 

Morgan’s lover and protégé, Magnus grew disgusted by Morgan’s growing bitterness and evil when she gained possession of the Darkhold. He stole the tome and placed it in a tower on the Isle of Wight. He raised a number of spells around the tower that prevented an evil person from entering it. In retaliation, Morgan hunted him down and destroyed his physical form while he was travelling astrally.

 

Despite her setbacks, Morgan continued to try to destroy Arthur, Merlin and Camelot. At one point Merlin imprisoned her physical form in her castle. Though she could still cast spells, command her followers and travel astrally, her body would die if she left her castle.

 

Morgan often sent her astral form to the 20th century in hopes of claiming the Darkhold from that time. She failed each time, generally due to the interference of Magnus, who had managed to survive in his astral form and could possess the bodies of people on Earth.

 

Morgan also attempted to possess the corporeal forms of people in the 20th century, most often the original Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew. Drew had been in suspended animation for much of her life on Mount Wundagore and Morgan believed that she had absorbed some of Chthon’s power, power that she hoped to gain for herself.

 

Finally, with Magnus’ aid, Spider-Woman’s spirit travelled back in time to attack Morgan in her castle. During the battle, Spider-Woman knocked Morgan through a window and her body was destroyed due to Merlin’s imprisonment spell. Morgan’s astral form was not destroyed, though and, she bound Jessica’s spirit to her ancient time. She survived in Astral form for centuries before finding a way to possess Jessica Drew’s soulless form.

 

As she had hoped, Drew’s body was suffused with Chthon’s energies and she became even more powerful. With most of her foes long dead, Morgan found herself without purpose. Chthon’s reinforced influence drove her to attempt to conquer the world as well as free him from his imprisonment.

 

She clashed with the Night Shift, the Defenders, the Avengers, the X-Men and, most especially Doctor Strange and his apprentices. Realizing that she was growing ever more powerful and that it was only a matter of time before she succeeded, Doctor Strange attempted a final, desperate gambit.

 

Gathering the supernatural heroes from several teams as well as the spirits of Merlin, Jessica Drew and King Arthur, Doctor Strange confronted her on Wundagore Mountain. After a fierce battle, the allies managed to banish Chthon and purge Morgan of his influence on her. Their victory was not without its price, though and Doctor Strange and several others of the heroes had to sacrifice themselves in the process.

 

Morgan was now the most powerful magic user in the dimension and became the Sorceress Supreme. Merlin survived their encounter and realized that, even without Chthon’s influence, she could be a threat to her entire universe. Though it took some convincing, Morgan realized there was more she could learn and accepted Merlin as her mentor. He has since been providing her both mystical and moral guidance and, though she is no unabashed hero, she has fended off numerous mystical invasions of her home and the only really immoral usage she puts her powers to creating a life of opulent luxury for herself.

Exiles #9 – Mystique/Blob

This one got kind of weird on me.  I’d been playing with the idea of having Mystique in the Exiles but in the guise of someone else for a while.  I just couldn’t figure out who she would be disguised as or what her agenda would be.  Probably, to be properly used, she would run around changing skins like I change underwear, causing chaos and confusion, either with an actual agenda or just for the joy of causing trouble.  As a general rule, that is not how my mind works, though.

For no apparent reason, I abruptly thought it would be interesting if she pretended to be the Blob.  Again, probably better if she just faked it without having his powers but I figured the rest of the Exiles would notice.  Then, it became an issue of figuring out why she would have the powers and not just change forms and cause havoc.

I decided magic was the answer.  She was locked in the form and had the powers.  I always liked the link they hinted at (no doubt because of their similar appearances) between her and Nightcrawler.  I also liked the link they made (no doubt for similar reasons) in Paradise X between Nightcrawler and Belasco.  Given that Belasco is a powerful sorcerer, it seemed the problems had somewhat solved themselves.

I think an interesting follow up plot to what is given below would be Nightcrawler developing his teleportation abilities almost immediately after birth and disappearing, ending up, unknown to everyone back in Limbo.  For obvious reasons, and because she’s rather cold-hearted, anyway, Mystique wouldn’t really care but other Exiles would find her lack of worry detestable.  And then, because of the difference in the way time runs in Limbo, he would come back soon as an adult.

Mystique

Raven Darkholme

Fighting:     EX

Agility:      EX

Strength:     EX

Endurance: AM

Reason:       EX

Intuition:     EX

Psyche:       IN

 

Health:        110

Karma:       80

Resources:   EX

Popularity: 10

 

Powers:

 

Imitation: Mystique has the Unearthly ability to transform herself into an exact duplicate of any humanoid creature. If she assumes the shape of a larger person, however, she must make an Endurance FEAT each turn. Each Transformation takes 1turn.

 

Costume: Mystique’s unstable costume bestows upon its wearer the following powers:

The Amazing Ability to absorb any incoming electrical attack and transform it into an

energy blast of one rank lower intensity with a 2 area range.

The costume can rearrange itself into any garment she imagines.

 

Psionic Scrambler: This device gives Mystique a Monstrous resistance to any type of mental probe or telepathy.

 

Enchanted Form: Blob: For his own perverse pleasure, Belasco locked Mystique in the form of Fred J. Dukes, the Blob. Not content with his plaything only looking like the Blob, he also magically granted her the other mutant’s powers. Though she has broken the enchantment that bound her in this shape, the powers remain when she takes it. Additionally, she does not have to make the normal Endurance FEAT to remain in this particular larger form.

Immovability: Mystique can bond herself to whatever surface she is standing on my force

of will (requires one round of concentration.) It requires and Unearthly strength plus a

Red Endurance Feat roll to budge her, and even this pulls up the ground around him.

Mystique can never be Stunned or Slammed, regardless of what martial art or attack

column is used.

Bodily Expansion: Mystique can expand all of the cells of her body’s fatty covering all at

once. This destroys any tight fitting body restraints of Excellent Material Strength or less

(simple iron shackles, iced up, etc.)

Body Armor: Mystique has Unearthly body armor against physical attacks, an Amazing

resistance to heat, cold and energy attacks. Her eyes, nose and mouth are not so

protected and she may be temporarily blinded by called shots in these areas.

Soft Body: Mystique can absorb physical impacts without harm to himself, and can absorb and hold a being who is physically attacking her. This requires a Psyche FEAT roll to relax the body around her opponent. Once grabbed, the opponent is held (as in wrestling) with Monstrous Strength.

 

Talents: She has Remarkable skills with knives, garrotes and any form of handgun or machine pistol. She is proficient in Martial Arts B and C and has Leadership and Espionage skills.

 

Contacts: Mystique’s background gives her complete access to the United States Department of Defense. She was the leader of Freedom Force and could likely call on the members who survive. She also has contacts with the rebel forces of Limbo.

 

Background: Little has been revealed about Mystique’s early life. Since she can eliminate the outward signs of aging with her shape-changing power, it is not known exactly how old she is. She apparently learned to use her shape-changing power at a very early age as there is no evidence of her alter ego, Raven Darkholme looking like anything but a normal human being. Mystique was known to be a longtime friend of the mutant Destiny before the latter’s death. At some point, she became the protector of the young mutant Rogue, whom she looked upon as a surrogate daughter.

 

Mystique has concealed her superhuman powers and criminal intentions so well over the years that, as Darkholme, she has been able to rise rapidly through the United States Civil Service to the trusted position of Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Planning Agency (DARPA) in the United States Department of Defense. This position gave her access to military secrets and advanced weaponry, both of which she has used for her own criminal and subversive purposes.

 

To help her in her criminal activities, Mystique organized the second Brotherhood of Mutants, which originally consisted of herself, Avalanche, the Blob, Destiny, Pyro and Rogue. The second Brotherhood became notorious when it attempted to intimidate the public by assassinating Senator Robert Kelly, who was investigating what he perceived as the possible menace posed by the existence of mutants and other superhuman beings. The X-Men thwarted the assassination attempt, and the Brotherhood later clashed with the X-Men on other occasions as, as well as with the Avengers and Dazzler.

 

As anti-mutant sentiment among normal human beings greatly increased, the federal government launched its own covert anti-mutant program, Project Wideawake. Believing the times had become too dangerous for the Brotherhood to continue its criminal activities, Mystique went to Dr. Valerie Cooper and offered the Brotherhood’s services to the government. Even with the leverage she could bring with her Darkholme persona, Cooper agreed only on the condition that the Brotherhood pass a test she imposed: the capture of Magneto. The Brotherhood, now renamed Freedom Force, succeeded in bringing Magneto to the authorities and soon afterwards officially entered the government’s employ.

 

One of Freedom Force’s first missions was to take the Avengers into custody after charges of treason were leveled against them. Mystique remained the leader of Freedom Force and the federal government was unaware of her identity as Raven Darkholme. In return for entering the Government’s employ, all members of Freedom Force received a presidential pardon for all criminal charges against them but with the provision that it would be revoked if any member was found committing a crime.

 

Freedom Force clashed with the X-Men in their new guise and with their new roster in Dallas. They were not aware that the supernatural entity the Adversary was operating in the area and, while utilizing one of new member Spiral’s teleportation spells, they accidentally ended up in Limbo.

 

Spiral realized the danger they were in immediately, but before she could reverse the spell, she was slain by the ruler of Limbo, Belasco. Most of the rest of Freedom Force fought his forces and several were slain, including Blob and Avalanche and Destiny, overwhelmed by the potential futures she saw in this dimension, died of a heart attack. Rogue attacked Belasco, trying to steal his powers but his will was far too powerful for her and the attack backfired, giving her a portion of his abilities but also perverting her soul and making her his willing servant. In the face of such losses and seeing her own adopted daughter turned against her, Mystique called for her followers to surrender.

 

Far from upset with the invasion, Belasco was thrilled to have new playthings and that was exactly what Freedom Force became. Pyro was forced to become a gladiator, fighting in Belasco’s arena for his pleasure and denied any fire to manipulate. Spider Woman became his chief torturer, the promise of being reunited with her daughter forcing her to commit the worst atrocities in her master’s name again and again. The demon lord made Rogue his favored assassin and executioner, using her ability to steal the identities from her victims and making her more and more powerful with every death she caused.

 

Mystique’s fate was likely the most unpleasant, however. Thrilled and fascinated by her shapeshifting abilities, Belasco took her as his personal plaything. She was forced to change forms at the demon lord’s whims and he took particularly perverse pleasure in making her take the form of her comrades that he’d killed.

 

Time moves differently in Limbo and it is impossible to tell how long Mystique and her followers were trapped there. At some point, Belasco impregnated his plaything. Far from being dissatisfied, he was pleased and amused at that possibility of an heir, even if it was sired on such an inferior being. It happened that Mystique was in the shape of the Blob when this event occurred and Belasco mystically locked her in that form to ensure that no harm would come to his offspring while it was in her womb.

 

The Fates aligned and it was during this pregnancy that the Exiles arrived in this Limbo. Their mission was to stop Belasco’s invasion of his reality’s Earthly dimension. After so many years, far from being broken, the members of Freedom Force had only sharpened their hatred for Belasco and they allied themselves with the Exiles and the forces rebelling against their master. All, that is, except for Rogue. Her soul was irreversibly corrupted not only by her original contact with her “father” but also with all the demons she’d absorbed and slain over the years as his assassin.

 

Though the combined forces of Exiles, Freedom Force and rebels was enough to topple Belasco’s regime, Rogue was powerful enough to stop the coup singlehandedly, slaying Pyro and felling the Exiles. A glimmer of her former personality remained, however and she could not bring herself to slay her adoptive mother. Mystique was not restrained by such sentiment and took her daughter’s moment of hesitation as an opportunity, slaying her with Belasco’s soulsword then turning the blade on the demon lord as well.

 

The invasion of Earth by Limbo was halted with the death of Belasco but he had one final surprise in store. Spider Woman had been bound to the dimension by her very own psychic webs and was incapable of leaving. She had become ever more obsessed with being reunited with her daughter over the years and, despite what a bad idea it seemed to bring a young, innocent girl to Limbo, found a way to have Rachel brought to the dimension. Surprisingly, Rachel had a natural link to the dimension and immediately became the new Ruler of Limbo.

 

Mystique was under no such compulsion and the Exiles could not remain to further stabilize the dimension. When they departed, she travelled with them, joining the team. Of course, she was still in the shape of the Blob and the Exiles were unaware of her true identity. It was not until she gave birth to Belasco’s child weeks later, a son who had her blue skin and yellow eyes but his father’s features, including a forced tail and pointed ears, that she was released from the spell and could resume her true form and reveal herself.