During the early Sixth Century, in Northwestern Europe, a variety of influences -- magical and super-technological influences -- combined to create an anachronistic civilization which would have been very familiar to students of the Thirteenth or Fourteenth Centuries. The center of this realm of knights in shining armor was the kingdom of Logregia in what is now England, and in particular its capital -- Camelot. The legends of this place are too well-known to be repeated here, and the stories that legend has forgotten are too many. One such forgotten story is that of Giles de Morphant. One might say it is a justly forgotten story, for it teaches nothing but that human nature remained what it was even in an age of wonders.
Sir Giles was one of more than a score of black-hearted villains encountered by the innocent squire Percival in the first year of his wandering
. Equipped with his deadly blade Eater of Shadows and his mighty mace Crusher of Hope, and with a suit of enchanted armor that allowed him to move from shadow to shadow, de Morphant should have been more than a match for the boy. But such was the power of Percival's destiny and his innocence that he shattered the fell blade and dealt a mortal wound to the robber knight, then rode on, mourning his fallen opponent who would not be able to travel to Arthur's court to tell of his vanquishing and redemption.
But Sir Giles was not yet dead, and clung to life with a devil's grip. And as soon as Percival was out of sight, the Black Paladin's leman, an enchantress named Chantal -- or was it Ylionoire? -- took charge of her lover. No magic of healing did the witch possess, but she knew a way that his life could become a dark legend that would endure from that day until the ending of the world. The spell was an intricate one and deadly, for it would claim the life of its caster. Yet such was the witch's desire for revenge on the world that had taken her lover from her that she spat out the words nonetheless, and the body of Sir Giles and his armor and mace became like dust on the wind ... and so did she.
Seven times in the centuries that followed would that dust be discovered and the Black Paladin reborn as he usurped command of the body of his discoverer. The most recent time was in 1943, when an archaeologist employed by the Nazis was claimed by Sir Giles, who then used his powers at the behest of the Germans in the last days of their 'thousand year Reich'. He was captured by the Allies in the end, but escaped punishment by portraying himself as the victim of sinister magics, rather than the product of them. With some misgivings on the part of his interrogators, he was granted his freedom, and set out to discover this brave new world.
The differences between his era and this one were profound, but so were the similarities. He recognized the knights of old in the forms of the superheroes of this day, and yearned to test himself against them. He felt the tides of magic in the world, and knew that there were workers of vile treachery who would be in need of strong arms to guard them against their opponents. And so the Black Paladin became a supervillain of the post war world, frequently defeated but able to escape from captivity through the use of his enchanted armor. In the seventies he became a leader of other supervillains in the alliance known as the Masters of Fortune. In the eighties, he joined forces with one of the factions of SHADOW and served as their enforcer.
Never had he known such success. In all of his lives before this one, he had managed to endure less than a score of years before some good-hearted occultist or would-be saint put an end to him. Yet though his magic strengthened the body he inhabited, it could not fully hold back the ravages of time upon it, and by the nineties, the body was dying of old age. Not wishing to give up his gains and wait for a chance to be resurrected in an era which might not come for centuries, the Black Paladin made an arrangement with the sorcerer Matthias Casimir, vowing to defend him in exchange for the magus' promise to gather the dust and expose it to a new host within days of Sir Giles demise. With that promise, Sir Giles led one last charge against the newly reformed Freedom League and seemed to meet his end.
For a wonder, Matthias kept up his end of the deal, and now the Black Paladin enjoys a better sort of immortality than he has ever known. This has changed the way he does battle, and so he has become a more reckless and unpredictable combatant than he ever was before. Sir Giles suspects that Matthias will eventually push his luck and make unbearable demands of the Black Paladin, but until that time, he will keep his oath and guard the magus against their mutual enemies.
Black Paladin -- PL 12
4 | STA
4 | AGL
3 | DEX
4 | FGT
8 | INT
2 | AWE
0 | PRE
Powers: Bitter Experience
(Senses 1 [danger sense]), Enchanted Armor
(Enhanced Will 7 AND Impervious Protection 8 AND Teleport 8, Increased Mass 4, Removable), Enchanted Mace
(Array: Strength-based Damage 8, AP: Ranged Damage 4, Removable), Enchanted Shield
(Enhanced Defenses 8 [Dodge 4, Parry 4], Easily Removable), Undying
All-Out Attack, Daze (Intimidation), Diehard, Great Endurance, Improved Critical (Enchanted Mace), Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Inspire, Leadership, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 6, Skill Mastery (Intimidation), Startle.
Athletics 8 (+12), Close Combat: Enchanted Mace 4 (+12), Deception 8 (+13), Expertise: History 6 (+8), Expertise: Magic 6 (+8), Intimidation 12 (+17), Perception 6 (+6), Persuasion 8 (+13), Ranged Combat: Enchanted Mace 6 (+10), Stealth 6 (+9).
Initiative +8, Unarmed +8 (Close Damage 4), Enchanted Mace +12 (Close Damage 12), Enchanted Mace +16 (Ranged Damage 4).
Dodge 10/6, Parry 12/8, Fortitude 11, Toughness 12/4, Will 13/6.
Abilities 60 + Powers 53 + Advantages 18 + Skills 35 + Defenses 16 = 182 points
Complications: Power--Motivation. Hatred
(deal with Matthias Casimir).
Matthias Casimir, the Black Magus, is a PL 10 Mystic (M&M p. 42) who is not Fearless but has eight spells in his magic array, which should be selected according to the needs of a scenario featuring him, but one of which is Perception Range Move Object 7, Precise, Subtle.