The ArchEvil Incident was a planetary supervillain plot that took place mainly in the third week of July 2011. Prominent scientist, noted philanthropist and respected superhero Dr. Victor Archeville had an apparently unforeseeable psychotic break that led to him terrorizing Earth and cutting a wide swath of destruction before being defeated by his own superteam, the Interceptors. In the wake of the disaster, it was revealed that Archeville had been mentally unstable for a long time, and that his villainous alter ego had been responsible for the murder of a number of heroes and villains in Freedom City over the past year. Disgraced and distrusted, Dr. Archeville handed off control of his various enterprises and began a regime of intensive psychiatric treatment to let him bring himself back under control.
Because this was a citywide event, a large number of PCs participated in various facets of the plot. PCs should be linked in the summaries of the threads where they appear. For the purposes of this page, the evil alter-ego of Dr. Archeville will be referred to as “Chevalier,” the identity he created for his solo activities.
- September 19, 2010: Heroes Serum, Intel, Metallic Warrior, Lullaby, and Dryad are burned alive by Chevalier.
- October 1, 2010: First public appearance of Chevalier, perceived to be a new hero to Freedom City.
- October 10, 2010: Demonic antiheroine Dark Vixen is murdered by Chevalier.
- October 22, 2010: Chevalier betrays and murders heroine Valkyrie.
- October 29, 2010: Heroine Cougress is murdered by Chevalier.
- November 10, 2010: Heroine Kunoichi is kidnapped and tortured by Chevalier
- November 17, 2010: Chevalier teams up with, betrays, and attempts to murder teen hero Kid Cthulhu
- December 13, 2010: Heroes Lion and Finder are murdered by Chevalier.
- December 25, 2010: Dr. Archeville infects the Interceptors with mind-controlling nanites by way of Christmas presents.
- January 4, 2011: Villainess Kakoku is kidnapped and tortured by Chevalier.
- January 6, 2011: Heroine Ferlyn is burned alive by Chevalier.
- January 9, 2011: Chevalier travels outside the city, where he murders dozens of minor villains as well as 13-year-old villainess Naxean and the villain called Berzerker.
- January 10, 2011: Chevalier murders heroine Sheyra and her unpowered associates.
- January 11, 2011: Chevalier kidnaps villainess Black Priestess by faking her death by electrocution.
- January 13, 2011: Chevalier tortures and murders hero Hellbound.
- January 13, 2011: The Scarab learns of the death of her old teammate Hellbound and begins investigating the string of strange murders and disappearances in the city.
- January 14, 2011: Fulcrum moves in with Doktor Archeville, curtailing the activities of Chevalier for a time.
- February 13, 2011: Chevalier breaks into Providence Asylum and murders heroine Honey Queen, then frames Beekeeper II for the crime.
- March 22, 2011: Chevalier assaults hero Dynamo and kidnaps heroine Je'La.
- March 26, 2011: Chevalier kidnaps and tortures hero The Big Man.
- April 20, 2011: Chevalier murders costumed metahuman American Patriot.
- June 17, 2011 (early morning): Arrowhawk returns to the United States and consults with Scarab about her investigations into a crime wave against metahumans.
- June 17, 2011 (early evening): Wander shows Dr. Archeville Omega's chestplate, inadvertently triggering his full physical transformation into Chevalier, ready to take over the world.
Evil Archeville/Reaping of the X-Vault
The gradual ascent of Dr. Archeville's evil side, as manifested by the treacherous “hero” Chevalier leads to a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances in Freedom City and its environs over a period of seven months or so. Heroes and villains who catch Archeville's attention also tend to interest his dark alter ego, who then kills them, or if they are resistant to death, kidnaps and tortures them. He begins by luring a group of heroes into an abandoned building before setting it on fire, then quickly escalates to more personal, face-to-face methods. By varying venue and method, he manages to escape detection, and indeed many of the crimes are not solved. Between October of 2010 and April of 2011, Chevalier murders fourteen heroes and two villains, plus several dozen civilians, and kidnaps another five metahumans for torturous experiments.
Die Me, Dichotomy
After a punishing battle with SHADOW forces, Arrowhawk calls his old and trusted friend Dr. Archeville to treat him and his girlfriend and fellow hero Valkyrie. The trio discusses the SHADOW threat, including the reemergence of the villain Ragnarok. Eight days later, Valkyrie is summoned by her masters in the Norse pantheon to deal with a threat on the shore bordering Providence Asylum, and there finds Chevalier cleaning out a nest of hostile vampires. Believing the vampires to be the threat, she assists him in clearing out the nest, dropping her guard long enough to let him shoot her from behind with a blast of radiation. She attempts to fight back, but her injuries and Dr. Archeville's knowledge of her powers and weaknesses allow him to overpower her. He carries her high into the sky and drops her to her death, but is himself injured by a bolt of lightning she calls down. Afterwards, he convinces Arrowhawk that Ragnarock was responsible for her death, sending the hero on a wild goose chase to Europe.
Who You Gonna Call?
During the months of Chevalier's crime spree, Doktor Archeville begins working with teen hero Kid Cthulhu to determine the nature of his unusual metahuman appearance and abilities. This brings him to the attention of Archeville's evil alter-ego, who becomes determined to destroy the teen hero. At this point, Chevalier is a known hero, so when he attempts to team up with Kid Cthulhu for an evening, the latter readily accepts. He lures Kid Cthulhu into the Super Museum, then disguises himself and lays in wait to attack. Employing one of his favorite tactics, Chevalier sets Kid Cthulhu and the Hall of Mysteries on fire, then puts a fist through the young man's chest to ensure his death. Blake Salazar survives the attack, but loses his metahuman abilities and appearance for a time.
A Very Interceptors Christmas
Dr. Archeville attends a Christmas celebration with his proteges on the Interceptors at their Brownstone headquarters. Touched by their unquestioning acceptance of him as one of the family, he presents each of them with a personalized cuckoo clock of his own design. These cuckoo clocks are implanted with mind-controlling nanites that will make the Interceptors unquestioning slaves to Chevalier's will.
In mid-January, Elena Guerrero is listening to the news when she has a psychic vision related to a John Doe found mutilated and murdered in Freedom City. Upon investigating the site, she realizes that the murdered man is an old teammate from the Knights of Freedom, Hellbound. She begins investigating the crime, creating an intricate web linking dozens of seemingly unrelated deaths and disappearances over the course of many months.
Back in Black
After spending months in Europe, attempting to track down the villain he believes killed Valkyrie, Arrowhawk returns to Freedom City at the summons of his friend Scarab. She lays out the details of her investigation, and the two of them puzzle over possible suspects. They bring up and rule out the supervillain Malice, noting that these crimes have a cruelty and sadism that the self-described savior of humanity has never shown. Clearly they are looking for someone else.
The ArchEvil Invasion
Wander, recently hired as a security guard for ArcheTech, has concerns about the safety of the chestplate of Omega that Young Freedom brought home as a trophy after a recent mission, so she brings it to Dr. Archeville's home for him to examine in private. The shock of seeing the armor, and its implications with regards to the current power void in the Terminus is enough to shock Dr. Archeville unconscious and bring Chevalier to the fore. Without his power armor on, Chevalier is revealed as a Deep One, scaly, green and monstrous. Knowing that a fight with Wander would be inadvisable, he deceives her instead, professing horror and shame at his solely physical transformation. He's successful in convincing her, to the point that when Arrowhawk and Scarab show up at the door hoping to consult with Dr. Archeville about possible suspects in the crime wave, Wander heads them off at the door. Chevalier uses those few minutes of delay to take his equipment and make good his escape. Arrowhawk departs to track him down, while Scarab takes Wander to her base under Pyramid Plaza where Scarab makes preparations for the worst.
Dr. Archeville goes to the Interceptors Brownstone headquarters, interrupting a friendly sparring session intended to welcome and acclimatize the new members Thrude and Geckoman. With the use of subliminal commands hidden in images and briefings over the past months and nanomachines introduced to them with cuckoo clocks on the team's last Christmas celebration, the 'core' Interceptors Jack of all Blades, Jill O'Cure, Fulcrum, Dynamo, Colt and Grimalkin are transformed into darker versions of themselves fanatically loyal to the unveiled Other side of the Doktor. After a brief clash with their new team mates and Willow, the newly-christened Auffägangers and their master are teleported to the home of Taylor and Jack Faretti (Phantom and Avenger), aiming to capture the powerful dimensional guardian and the city's king of vampires along with their young son. Before he departs he has the likewise-altered A.I. VINCE destroy the Brownstone, right when new potential member Ferros knocks on the front door.
A new villain – some sort of super-Deep One – hijacks communications systems worldwide and makes a bizarre, terrible pronouncement. Creatures pour out from ArcheTech facilities around the globe, while a great mechanical squid beaches itself at Freedom and vomits forth Deep Ones.
The Interceptors caught in the destruction of the Brownstone escape from the rubble with the assistance of new arrival Ferros, Geckoman losing an arm in the process of extricating himself. Swearing vengeance on the Doktor for his betrayal, Thrude uses her power over the winds to discover where he and his altered Interceptors have gone, with the group making their various ways towards their dire enemy and brainwashed allies.
Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit
Archeville arrives with the Auffägangers before the Faretti's home, sending in his soldiers to search the place, finding it empty of inhabitants. Outraged, Archeville begins to prepare for departure to the Scarab's headquarters when his Archeville side breaks free and releases the Interceptors from his control. After a struggle where Archeville uses his carefully-laid counters against his one-time friends, Fulcrum knocks out the villainous side of the Doktor. The other Interceptors arrive and after a furious argument about what to do with the man are confronted by the monster-spewing form of the impossible creature that lay behind the Archeville family madness, an Elder being of tremendous power whose rise using the bodies of Archevilles living and dead causes madness in citizens even distantly related to the cursed family, causing riots throughout the world. Meanwhile, the various plots Archeville's Other side had laid over the years are begun, from the Deep Ones using his immense submarine to launch and invasion from the sea to mutated grue granted the powers of the Interceptors running riot to the vast space station hidden in the Asteroid Belt preparing to attack. After a desperate struggle, the Interceptors weaken the beast, and Fulcrum uses her power dampers to inject a flood of Terminus energy into the horrific monster, destroying it but hurling herself out of that dimension.
As the Interceptors finish off the monster, the Scarab, Phantom and Ferros enter Archeville's mind, cleansing him of the Other's corrupting influence and healing his damaged psyche.
With the battle over, the Interceptors are faced with a diminished and grieving Doktor, their own injuries, and a world that has been ripped apart. Jack of All Blades severs the Interceptors' connection with Doktor Archeville and leave, while Geckoman tries to find the rest of his teammates and sort order out of chaos.
The Doctor is In(Sane)
A week after the battle, Dr. Archeville has been confined to Providence Asylum for evaluation and safekeeping. He receives several visitors. The first, Miss Americana, comes to deal with the business of ArcheTech, which she is trying to save. The doctor resigns his position and signs over control of the company to her, with the request that she make restitution a priority. The second is Harrier in his civilian identity, who Archeville does not recognize thanks to the Scarab and Psyche pulling all secret identity information from his mind. Harrier speaks of guilt and grief, and promises to take care of Mona's cat for as long as she is lost. The third is Ace Danger, who denounces atonement as selfishness and reminds Archeville that as long as he remains consumed with the enormity of what he has done, no one is building the scanner that could free Mona from the Terminus.