A hundred Charlemgane's were born today.
Pyrogram's forum posts
That was the number of human beings which died every second upon Planet Earth.
In every observable timeline, fate had decided that it was Anderson Crofter's time to become this person.
He would be unceremoniously slain by Andres Knightfall, the former White King of the Hellfire Club and Greatest Knightfall of them all. Andres would strike the Aenean down. His display of unparalleled super science eviscerating the lucky hero and ending his short tenure on this fragile world.
But the Doomsday Clock of Death ticked backwards - just this once.
Be it mutant-powered fate, divine intervention, or even simple dumb luck... Anderson Crofter, the Aenean, would be provided yet one more chance to survive his encounter with the Knightfall Don from the most improbable of sources.
---Kurt Pendragon, the Gothic Knight, former mentee, family friend and ally of the man he had once known as 'Rey Blanco', stepped out from the shadows of the jeering crowds that had gathered to watch the fight between the two mutant men.
Bow outstretched, the Emerald Archer was more confused than he had ever been in his tumultuous life. "Andres," the trion arrow-tip resting upon his bow betrayed Kurt's alarm at the sight he was witnessing.
The tip shook slightly, to the naked eye it was nothing at all - but to anybody with a sense of enhanced vision, that tiny shake was as though Kurt was spinning the arrow around above his head - it was completely out of character, ten thousand times less steadfast than even possible.
The Gothic Knight stepped between the two men, placing his back to the injured Aenean, hood down and face visible, gazing directly at the man he still saw as the greatest superhero the world had ever seen. At least, to Kurt he had been. "I need to know what is going on. Why are you doing this? Innocent people... they...," Andres was the pinnacle of everything Kurt had strived to become. Strong, courageous, intelligent and fiercely loyal - what he was seeing now... hearing now. It was impossible, "they are dying, Andres."
The loyal Pendragon lowered the arrow-tip, no longer pointing it towards Andres' face as he finished his words, instead at his friends chest, looking into whatever eye-slits he could find from behind of the inhuman mask his former instructor was now donning. He looked exactly like the countless villains which the Apex Archer had fought time and time again.
He didn't understand. Had he judged the Knightfall so wrong for so many years? Was he truly as insane as Quintus had been too? Just another mutant extremist, hellbent on domination and murder? Never.
Kurt's voice was desperate. Clinging to the hope his friend would explain this all away. He hoped that Andres would use his words and make all of this sound completely understandable as he had done so many hundreds of times. Andres was able to explain away complex science and even more complex martial arts to Kurt in a way that only a true genius was capable.
Maybe he could explain this. Allow Kurt to understand it was not what it seemed. Make it all make sense.
His words pained, confused, tormented by this possible reality, but mostly... lost, like a child, he asked the only question that mattered now.
"What are you doing?"
It was said that the legendary Strigidae, Ivana - the Shogun -, had taken Venezuela with but the toss of a blade. Could it be possible for the Unholy Grayl to take down D.C. without having to of fired a single shot himself?
Nice throwback there, still a GOAT moment for Ivana in that RP. Awesome post man.
One week before the Million Mutant March
Dr. Alexandra Grace Steele, New York City Hospital for the Criminally Insane - Regular appointment
The incarcerated Emerald Archer, still baring the physical scars of half a decade of mercenary work across the globe, looked at the acclaimed Dr Steele with a newfound understanding of his condition. Or rather, his disease. The Pendragon's mind had been broken upon seeing his home... his city, Gothic City, exploding. Shattered into millions of little pieces.
After the fight, after the bombardment... Kurt had forced his body back to full health and trained it to be better than it ever had been, but his mind? The Apex Archer had scooped that up and pushed it back into his already fractured skull, unable to repair the horrors within.
His time in Africa was a hopeless and endlessly leaking bandage on what was an arterial bleed that had been sliced across of his neck, metaphorically at least. Unable to come to terms with what had occurred in Gothic, his past griefs, friends, partners, and everybody else lost... the Gothic Knight simply... broke. What replaced him had been ironically the pinnacle of his physical peak, once dubbed a, 'Paragon', of Power, the Pendragon had never once achieved the status of which his innate mutant abilities awarded him.
But that was no longer true.
Africa had allowed Kurt to self-heal, self-medicate and self-counsel, using teachings and ancient methodologies taught by Quintus Knightfall during his tenure as Raysh Al Shaytan, to finally unlock every iota of power lurking within his physical being. But as Quintus provided Kurt the pathway to attain physical knowledge to true power, it had been Andres Knightfall, the second of the two patriarchal brothers, that had taught Kurt that his power would only be as strong as his intelligence and deep understanding of them would allow. He could not do this suffering such mental illness.
A greater hindrance to unlocking his true self, would be by state-sanctioned execution.
Alexandra Steele had convinced the judge he was medically insane. Upon being, 'fixed', he would be let go.
Dr. Steele spoke, folding one leg over the other.
"You arrived here, broken, desperate, conditions that seem to plague you routinely. You entrusted your broken mind to me, and I'm pleased to say that you have progressed marvelously within our therapy. You have a particular mind, and it has been a delightful challenge to help you piece together your fragmented psyche. It is my pleasure to release you once more into this equally broken world as sane as ever you could be in such an existence."
"I must, however, leave you with some parting wisdom. The happiness and fulfillment you perpetually seek will continue to elude you. You must understand that you may never be fully content, even unto your dying breath."
"You were never meant to be a hero. You were not born for this. You do not posses the temperament, the resilience, nor the emotional intelligence to form bonds required for long-term mental health. You have a history of driving away all your potential emotional support including friends, family, and lovers. And yet somehow, you tried to play the hero, following this foolhardy notion of justice in an inherently unjust world. Sisyphus would be proud."
Xandra shut her lavish notebook, full of detailed remarks and deep learnings about Kurt that nobody, himself included, had such a profound awareness and knowledge of. She gazed at him for a moment, before finally concluding their therapy.
"And with that I will leave you to whatever path you consciously choose."
Kurt Pendragon looked back at Xandra, reluctant to agree but knowing it true. He spoke.
"I don't know who Sisyphus is, but... I guess I know how he feels," Kurt stood up, outstretching his hand for a shake. It lingered there alone as Dr. Steele looked at him in amusement. She did not return the social farewell, Instead, glancing at the door to her office, Kurt took the hint, resting his hand by his side.
- Day of The Million Mutant March
Washington, D.C. is under attack. Mutants have launched a cataclysmic blow on the United States Capitol and are marching on the White House. Dozens lie dead in the streets, attacked by unknown enemies. It has been reported that these terrorists are being joined by, extraordinarily and from unverified sources, the Knightfall Aristocrat known as Andres Knightfall!
These are remarkable images we are seeing - tantamount to a change in world power. Nothing before has occurred like this to the home of the Worlds Greatest Democracy. We urge you. Stay in your homes. Do not open the door to unexpected guests. Do not confront the mutants. Killings are indiscriminate. More to follow soon as--
--transmission cuts out.
4 years ago: Central Superhuman Penitentiary, African Continent
"Kurt Pendragon, you have been found guilty on numerous charges of murder in three nations. Due to the severity and superhuman danger exhibited during your crimes, sentencing will be handed down remotely. Mr Pendragon, you have been sentenced to three sentences of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Due to the superhuman nature of your aging, the sentences will run consecutively beyond a natrual humans lifespan. Do you have any words in response to this judgement?"
The Emerald Archer looked ahead at the judge on the flickering television screen. Flanked by guards to his left, right, and every other conceivable angle one might have assumed he was Hannibal Lecter in disguise. It had been over half a decade since Kurt had set foot within the United States. The last time he had been to America was to rendezvous with his girlfriend Xia and the second to last was his battle in Gothic where he had slain the fierce Strigidae 57, almost costing him his already strained life. Gothic and it's immediate destruction that day had cast away any attachment which the Emerald Archer had once had for his home.
Gothic City, for better or worse, had been failed by him. He had almost died for Gothic more than once as the Gothic Knight and had protected it dozens of times before that. But the world was bigger than Gothic City. Bigger than America. There were other people in the world that could be saved that did not live within the confines of the relatively already protected populace of Gothic once it was rebuilt. There was perhaps no other city within the entire planet, save New York, that harbored so many metahuman and regular human superheroes and vigilantes. The Gothic Knight had laid down his bow... and sworn to protect others in more remote regions, that did not have access to an abundance of altruistic heroes and merciless vigilantes.
There was too, perhaps another reason Kurt had fled America. His girlfriend Xia, born of violence and bloodshed, had grown a rather large distaste for her innate struggle, and joined Doctors Without Borders, taking her to far-corners of the world as a nurse, treating people medically rather than slicing them up anatomically. The Pendragon saw this foreign expedition as a chance to flee America, in his mind, perhaps even subconsciously, a country that he had failed to protect, and help others in need across the globe.
The judge repeated his question.
"Mr Pendragon, do you have a response?"
The Paragon of Power only just glanced at the lens above the television screen. The Paragon closed his jaded eyes. From underneath his thin eyelids, even closed, the color green was visible - simmering beneath the surface like an explosion waiting to happen.
But there were no theatrics. Only simple words.
The next day, the former Gothic Knight escaped without sighting. There was no conventional government facilities which could hold the words upper-echelon of superhumans, after all. Especially ones trained by the League of Shadows, US Goverment, Knightfalls, and various other entities in this expansive universe.
The next day, post-escape - Nigeria, Doctors Without Borders/Mobile Clandestine Operational Base
Xia, The Reptilian Mutate, looked at Kurt as he entered their operational base. Still in his prison garbs, the Emerald Archer closed the door and stretched out, his clothing transfiguring almost magically from prison garbs to more clandestine civilian clothing. He had no reason to physically change clothes anymore, able to transform and create items for his body via unlocking more of his energy manipulation abilities over the years. Time away from the constant strain of Gothic City and the United States of America allowed him to practice and understand his powers at a level which before seemed almost impossible. It was Andres Knightfall many years ago that had told Kurt to understand his powers... Kurt had, well... only just scratched the surface. Now was his chance to dig deep and strike diamond.
Kurt looked up at Xia, a green handgun appearing in his left hand as it coated itself into standard coloring. "I killed them all, Xia. Every single damn warlord that brutalized those villagers last month. It felt... good," Kurt materialized adamantium hollow-point rounds in a full magazine, slamming it into the weapon as it loaded, "I can help more people in a week here than a year in Gothic."
Xia looked at him somewhat alarmed, still in her scrubs, bloody from a days work.
"That... doesn't sound very healthy, Kurt."
The Emerald Archer shook his head, pocketing the gun on a holster that manifested.
The Apex Archer scoffed.
"You don't know what you're talking about Xia."
1 year ago: Sub-Sahara, Doctors Without Borders Covert Mobile Base
"Kurt... I can't... be with you anymore, you're... not the man I fell in love with. I told you in Canada that I don't want my heart broken, but the past four years... I became a nurse to stop hurting people. But you... you've killed more people than I-"
Kurt cut Xia off, looking up at his partner with a heavy growl.
"Stop, STOP! I don't... it was not on purpose, I was doing GOOD. These people I killed were monsters. The worst, most sadistic, rapists... murderers-,"
Xia interjected, slamming her fists into a table before getting up, startling herself from the sudden outrage. She felt distanced from Kurt. She felt... Or didn't feel...
"I... I don't... like who I will become if I stay with you any longer. I'm sorry... Kurt, I'm-,"
The Emerald Archer finished her sentence, "leaving."
His eyes glowed green as Xia walked away, leaving Kurt to the dark room, only lit by a fire beside him.
It was the only comforting warmth he would ever feel in his life again.
Present day: The Million Mutant March
...to be continued