Friday, June 11, 2010

Raptor: Noble Anti-Hero

Name: Prince Varex XXXI of Zouar
Fight: 28
Amazing +5 Warrior Arts
Incredible +4 Sense of Honour
Remarkable +3 Ruler of Zouar
Remarkable +3 Duty to Protect the World
Excellent +2 Anti-Hero Reputation
Excellent +2 Weirdly Attractive
Excellent +2 Orator
Good +1 Knowledge of the Ancient Mysteries

Powers: Amazing +5 Metapower: Zouarian
--Amazing +5 Super-Strength *
--Incredible +4 Invulnerability *
--Remarkable +3 Flight (Limitation: Wings) *
--Excellent +2 Super-Agility
--Excellent +2 Super-Endurance

Good + 1 Sorcery Meta-Power (Sub-Powers Weak -2)

Origin: Raptor is Prince Varex of the Bird-Men of Zouar, a city hidden within the Transantarctic Mountains. Varex displayed his family’s ancestry from an early age: the previous Princes of his line had all been longer-lived and stronger than the average Zouarian who are, themselves, super-strong compared to normal humans). He grew to manhood during the early part of the 20th century, isolated like all his kind from events in the outside world.

Varex left his hidden world in the early 1950's to investigate the strange energy readings his people had made for some years. These energies turned out to be atomic testing being carried out by the United States. Varex came to America and quickly found out what was occurring. Fearing for his people’s safety--and that of the world-- he launched a one-man war against the U.S. Army for some years after his attempts at negotiations were unsuccessful. During this time, he adopted the name Raptor. As the Raptor, Varex was considered a super-villain and came into frequent conflict with the few super-heroes operating at the time. He occasionally team-up with super-villains such the Atom-Master, but such alliances never lasted long as Varex's old-fashioned sense of honor was generally at odds with such criminals' methods.

The Raptor's war ended in 1954 not because of the United States or it's heroes, but due to his own people. In Varex's long absence, a vicious power struggle had occurred back in Zouar. Eventu-ally, Varex's cousin Zoran emerged as the power. He was convinced that Varex's actions would eventually cause the United States to search for and found Zouar. Thus, he issued an order that Varex was to be captured and brought back to the hidden city.

Varex spent many years in imprisonment in Zouar. During that time, Zoran began to succumb to madness. Unknown to all, he had acquired a copy of The Drama of the Crimson King which contains the blasphemous and mad rituals related to the worship of that reality-destroying elder being. Prince Varex was eventually freed and retook his throne. Since that time, he has made his home in Zouar, but has made repeated trips to the rest of the world, establishing himself as envoy to the land-bound humans and a passionate advocate of nuclear disarmament. In this capacity, he has had occasion to act as a super-hero to protect the world from disasters. The Raptor has also had occasion to carry out unilateral attacks upon nations who he fears could upset global peace. This ensures that his reputation will never remain simple.

Commentary:  I don't think I'll even offer a No-Prize for figuring out the basis for this character.  It may be a little too obvious really.  But I always loved the Sub-Mariner and his tenuous relationships with the super-heroes of the Marvel world.  On the other hand, I'm fairly sick to death of sunken Atlantis.  It seemed to me that a race of winged folk accomplishes the same kind of alieness than the water-breathing Atlanteans do.  But where to hide a bunch of people sprouting bird wings?  That's hard to do.  Then I thought of Antartica, which reminded me of At the Mountains of Madness, and I thought of a neat little back-story, which is just the sort of stuff I was talking about with supers-settings.  I get to tie in the Lovecraftian Crimson King and the Kirbyesque Ultra (the latter of whom I am inordinately fond of).  I also have just a whiff of Elric of Melnibone too for kicks.

Mechanically, one should note that the Raptor has been around for some years and is better than a starting character.  He has boosted up several of his Zouarian powers and has several more ranks in Qualities.  All in all, he's a pretty heavy-hitter, who can pull off the occasional bit of cool magic with an investment of Hero Points.

And no, I don't have a picture for him.  I can't find a Dee picture to steal.  :)  But the Zouarians are taller and more etiolated than humans, with massive chest muscles to support their wings.  They have amber-coloured skin and display a wide variety of hair colours.  Nevertheless, the Raptor is weirdly attractive and the women are all hot.  Because...well, that's just the way it goes in the comics.


  1. Cool. You know there is a winged human race in Antartica (in the Savage Land) in the MU--the Aerians, which appeared in Ka-Zar.

    Of course, there's also the Bird People of Red Raven fame, who I think had a hidden flying city.

  2. Actually I forgot about Ka-Zar's guys. Hmn. I think I'll stick with them anyway.

  3. No reason not to, your guys are fairly different. I was just pointing it out if you didn't know.