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Lord Liaden

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Lord Liaden last won the day on July 6

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    theatre, history, mythology, fantasy, sci-fi, supers
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    Drama Teacher.

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  1. DeSantis has chosen to double down on his position toward anti-vaxers. Either he's an idiot surrounded by idiot advisers (not impossible), or more likely, he still sees political advantage in maintaining this stand while Floridians sicken and die and hospitals are overwhelmed, again.
  2. Right-wing media have been coming down very hard on those officers after their testimony, calling them cowards and/or liars. That almost certainly translated into hostility from some members of their home communities. It just goes to prove that the Right "support the police" only when it's convenient. How could you tell?
  3. I find it interesting to consider where the planetary demons would fit within the CU's official Descending Hierarchy. The references I found suggest that the Hierarchy is roughly divided among "cohorts" following one of the Sin Emperors, "supreme exemplars of one particular brand of evil" (The Mystic World p.27). Besides Baphomet and Mephistopheles, named Sin Emperors include Lucifuge Rofocale (Greed) and Beelzebub (Envy). Associating the planetary demons with the Seven Deadly Sins would probably put each one within those respective Cohorts. But Astralle's example made me think it would be appropriate (and fun) for those seven devils to have formed their own little cabal. I'm reminded of the concept of Marvel Comics' "Six-Fingered Hand," a group of minor demons pooling their strength to wield greater collective power. Like Dean wrote in TMW, the Descending Hierarchy is not very orderly, with constant intrigue and scheming for power among them, so such a development seems very in-character to me. EDIT: There are also groupings of devils mentioned which appear based on other commonalities, e.g. Beelzebub leading the fallen gods of Canaan displaced by the Abrahamic faiths, and an order of "knights" who compete in performing deeds of evil, the Order of the Fly.
  4. It's worth noting that Dean also provided a 4E write-up in Creatures of the Night for two demons who have since been defined as "Sin Emperors" in the CU Netherworld's "Descending Hierarchy" of Abrahamic devils, Mephistopheles (Pride) and Baphomet (Wrath). Like Aratron they're well below the power level for comparable demons established under 5E, but would still make useful examples and templates. For my own use I blended elements of that Mephistopheles with the Demon Prince of Guile from the Bestiary, and Baphomet with the Prince of Strength from the same book.
  5. A while back I was helping a player of Champions Online brainstorm a new character derived from the Zodiac Working. She wanted an aggressive super with a warrior heritage, but didn't want to deal with a father who was a preeminent demon like Baphomet. Because of the descriptions of the spells from each planetary demon in Astralle's write-up, and the associations of the planet Mars with violence and destruction, but also with defense (many thanks to Dean for his discussion of Hermetic Theurgy in The Ultimate Mystic), we settled on the Demon of Mars, Barsabel.
  6. Oh, sorry, I didn't pick up on that part of your inquiry. For that there's actually a very direct analogue: Daniel Collins, who in the early 1960s was one of the founders of the world-famous Sentinels superhero team (CU analogue to the Avengers) under the code-name Microman. Collins and his research partner accidentally discovered a shrinking ray which, for unknown reasons, only ever worked on Collins himself (with a couple of exceptions -- see below). Collins retired from adventuring in 1987, publicly revealed his identity, moved to Dearborn, Michigan, and opened a small radiology company, Collins Labs. Another organic being on which Microman's ray was effective is the monster Cazulon, one of the menagerie of giant monsters unleashed by the invading alien Qularr in 1965. Microman shrank the creature from its original 200' height down to 8". Cazulon was later placed on display at the Millennium City Zoo. The ray's effect ultimately wore off in 2003, and Cazulon went on a rampage in MC until Collins used an enhanced version of his ray to shrink it again. In the mid-2000s "the second Microman, inheritor of the fabulous shrinking devices of the aged celebrity hero Dan Collins," joined Nighthawk's anti-VIPER team, "Project Mongoose" (Champions Universe: News Of The World p. 23). His true name isn't given, and there's no character sheet for him. However, Daniel Collins received a full 5E sheet and background write-up in Digital Hero #13. That sheet does include Microverse-based abilities, although no mention of Microman interacting with it otherwise. His later exploits are described in Millennium City and News Of The World.
  7. I found two references to an official "microverse" in the Champions Universe, other than Shrinker's. One appears on p. 10 of The Mystic World: "Superbeings with shrinking powers sometimes report worlds that exist on the scale of bacteria, atoms, or subatomic particles. Mystics believe such characters find natural portals to other dimensions. Reported “microverses” seem to follow strange but consistent natural laws, so most mystics think they must be Assiatic realms. Some microversal explorers, however, tell stories of talking bacteria, a Quantum Casino where God plays dice with the universe, and other oddities. Mystics speculate that these super shrinkers may find their way into strange Yetziratic or even Brialic realms." None of these mystics or explorers are named, though. The other is on p. 121 of Villainy Amok, part of Chapter Six discussing scenarios revolving around heroes who have been shrunken. It describes the "Bottle City" of Naldar, once a Malvan colony which rebelled against the Phazor of Malva. As punishment the Phazor hired Thane sorcerers to shrink its inhabitants to microscopic size. After several misadventures detailed on p. 121, the bottle ended up in a curio shop in Millennium City, its true nature undiscovered. Its inhabitants still research ways to try to break the spell.
  8. I enjoyed Aquaman quite a bit. It wasn't deep (no pun intended), it wasn't great cinema, but it was exciting and fun. The characters were meant to be larger-than-life, not realistic, so I didn't judge them that way. The plot was an excuse to bring on the action, but that didn't make it bad, it just meant that it did what was intended.
  9. There's quite a bit about Japanese pop culture that sometimes makes me question whether the Japanese are quite right in the head. Then again, I have the same question about Americans.
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