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Is there a CU analog for DC's Darkseid?


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As written Xarriel's game stats make him one of the most powerful characters ever published for Champions, which also makes him usable as a foe only for the mightiest of PC hero teams. On and off I've been working on enhancing Xarriel's utility by fleshing out his followers and his planet Ashraal, so that heroes won't have to face him directly to thwart his plans; which material I hope to publish under the Hall of Champions banner one day. However, I'd like to offer one concept I developed from solid precedent in the setting, which would immediately make Xarriel much more user-friendly.

 

As revealed in Champions Beyond, the cataclysm which destroyed Ashraal and birthed Xarriel cast Coruscations of Power, discreet "sparks" of cosmic energy, across space and time. Several of these have appeared in the vicinity of Earth in recent years, sometimes mistaken for other phenomena like solar flares or lightning storms, and contact with them has produced the supervillains Photon, Sunspot, Stareye, and Vector, and the superhero Victory. (The CoP thus also make a fine potential origin for PCs.)

 

I saw the logic in Xarriel searching out other beings across the galaxy who had become recipients of "his" power, and sending his minions to persuade or coerce them into serving him. By this time he could have a whole cadre of such super-beings in his service, which I named the Lightbearers. From the examples of the villains above, and the many aliens described and often game-statted in CB, it would be easy to create your own Lightbearers for your games; and Xarriel's "recruitment drive" provides an excuse to first bring some of them to Earth.

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Good thoughts, LL. Darkseid's role isn't just, "Wow, he's tough" (and in an uneasy space between alien super-science and the supernatural), it's that he has a whole planet's resources, a massive army, and a cadre of super-powered minions. In this sense, Skarn and Tyrannon occupy a similar role -- though they are completely supernatural, without the Kirbyesque style. Whereas Doctor Destroyer and the Warlord have the raw power, the cadre and the army, but not the "From Beyond" vibe.

 

Dean Shomshak

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It is interesting to compare Skarn, Tyrannon, and Xarriel. The first two strike me as having similarities to Dormammu, not just in their mystical style and trappings, but in that their campaigns of conquest are fundamentally transformative to the very physical qualities of their conquered territories. OTOH Skarn as revealed to date is most like Darkseid in having a group of elite, uniquely-powered servants (which I seek to add to Xarriel). Skarn is also the most like a "person" among them, as he has a recognizable personality and understandable motivations, however twisted, like Doctor Destroyer; whereas Tyrannon and Xarriel have become something more abstract, almost embodying forces of nature, reminiscent of Galactus. And of course Xarriel's background and expertise is firmly science-based and devoid of magic, another motif I want to play up.

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  • 6 months later...
3 hours ago, Hermit said:

I tend to prefer Istvatha V'han but she certainly a far more benevolent tyrant compared to old Darkseid

 

I long considered V'han to be the CU's closest analogue to Kang the Conqueror from Marvel Comics, although her focus is more transdimenional than transtemporal. However, Darren Watts elaborated on a CU figure much more analogous to Kang in his Golden Age Champions book, Korrex the Conqueror, sometimes called "Korrex the Time King."

 

Korrex hails from Earth of the 51st Century, which has become a utopian paradise. Korrex and a small number of followers seized rulership of the planet, mostly because everyone else was so decadent and indolent that no one else wanted the job. But when Korrex discovered the secret of time travel, he began to travel to past eras of Earth's history to pit himself against that era's greatest generals and conquerors. Korrex would limit his troops to weapons just somewhat more advanced than those prevailing at the time. He wanted a challenge, but he also wanted assurance of victory. His conquest of an era would create an alternate time-line of Earth, which Korrex would place one of his lieutenants in governance of before moving on to a new era.

 

Korrex was behind the "Secret Crisis of Infinite Wars," "a war across space and time involving almost all of the heroes that had ever existed, or ever would exist," referred to in Champions Universe. Korrex stole the power of the cosmic being known as Entropus, the Time Elemental; but heroes succeeded in "overloading" his power and discorporating him. He subsequently regained his physical form and has returned to his previous activities. (GAC has Korrex's full write-up and character sheet.)

 

Now that I think of it, once Istvatha discovers Korrex's existence and empire I'm sure she'll consider him a threat and campaign to destroy him. That could be an interesting conflict for PC heroes to be caught up in. 😈

 

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6 hours ago, HeroGM said:

The fun thing about Darkseid is he's always 5 steps ahead of everyone that the heroes never know what his full goals are.

 

What's even more fun is Darkseid's occasional discovery that he only thinks he's 5 steps ahead of everyone. Like Loki he can be overconfident in his own cleverness.

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49 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

What's even more fun is Darkseid's occasional discovery that he only thinks he's 5 steps ahead of everyone. Like Loki he can be overconfident in his own cleverness.

 

In honor of the day, it is also time to remember that every year Santa penetrates the defenses of Apokolips to deliver Darkseid a lump of coal.

Every year.  Darkseid has rivals, and has betters.

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_FVXCQBs2iUU/TNpu07Bj9zI/AAAAAAAAE_g/a8ePJt-LKXk/s1600/darkseid.jpg

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2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

What's even more fun is Darkseid's occasional discovery that he only thinks he's 5 steps ahead of everyone. Like Loki he can be overconfident in his own cleverness.

 

Or he's misguided and confused as in Superman -  Batman: Generations 3

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6 hours ago, JmOz said:

Always heard it as "Lightbringer" so thank you for that...

 

Yes, there are a few translations circulating. Depends on the translator, of course. But "lightbearer" seemed to work better as giving a sense of carrying some of Xarriel's "divine" light.

 

One theme I wanted to explore is something I always felt missing from DC's Darkseid. He proclaims himself a god, and supposedly is worshiped as the god of Apokalips, but we never get much detail as to what the "religion" of Darkseid actually entails. He behaves like any other megalomaniacal tyrant, and his followers act like the frightened sycophants you'd expect to surround him. I thought Xarriel and his Ashraalians would make a good substitute example of a ruler also being his people's god.

 

One of the conventions I'm using for that purpose is to include some names for concepts, artifacts, and titles which have religious connotations, particularly to the Abrahamic faiths. My conceit is that these are the closest English translations to the sense of the "Ashraalian" words. ;)

 

 

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20 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

One theme I wanted to explore is something I always felt missing from DC's Darkseid. He proclaims himself a god, and supposedly is worshiped as the god of Apokalips, but we never get much detail as to what the "religion" of Darkseid actually entails. He behaves like any other megalomaniacal tyrant, and his followers act like the frightened sycophants you'd expect to surround him. I thought Xarriel and his Ashraalians would make a good substitute example of a ruler also being his people's god.

 

A snarky person might suggest that no few religious believers portray their gods as megalomaniac tyrants, and seem to like them that way. Possibly because no few people seem to like mortal leaders who are megalomaniac tyrants, too. 😈

 

Though since (IIRC) Xarriel recreated the Ashraalians after annihilating them, it's fair to suppose he adjusted them to make them extra-reverent and compliant to his rule.

 

Dean Shomshak

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1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

Though since (IIRC) Xarriel recreated the Ashraalians after annihilating them, it's fair to suppose he adjusted them to make them extra-reverent and compliant to his rule.

 

As per Xarriel's background in Champions Beyond  pp. 251-52, that's exactly what he did. "All Ashraaleans serve him unquestioningly; most of them can't even contemplate disobeying him." However, "Xarriel has had to leave a few of his servants with a little bit of free will because they need intelligence and creativity to perform their jobs properly." That's something I'm elaborating.

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On 6/22/2020 at 9:22 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Oh, just in case anyone missed it, "light bearer" is a common English translation for, "lucifer." 😈

I have a campaign NPC megahero in Germany named Der Morgenstern whose archenemy is NeoMephisto.  The two beings' origin starts when a sorceror/alchemist named Faust struck a "powerful demon lord" in the chest with the Spear of Destiny and a piece of it stuck in his heart...

There's kind of a Sentry/Void dynamic going on there.  

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On 12/25/2020 at 3:38 PM, Lord Liaden said:

That link doesn't seem to be working, at least for me. Let's try this one.

 

dbxsqg0-f31ff7ec-44ad-4aeb-a2ca-7af4355a

 

By all rights, the way this should have ended is that Darkseid watches Santa escape, then tosses the lump of coal into a pile with al the other lumps--which by now is the size of a small mountain.

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