Marcus Dumont is Cheval, hero of Vibora Bay! Blessed with the power of the loa Ogoun, Cheval is a nigh-invulnerable bastion of iron that always stands ready to protect the people of Vibora Bay from any comers. Having grown rich and famous from sponsorships and time as a hero, he strives to remain true to himself and remain a defender of the people.
Marcus Dumont was was born to a pair of loving parents in the Weston District of Vibora Bay. Though Michael and Gabrielle loved him and his 5 years younger brother Johnn dearly, they were struggling financially, and while they did their best to provide for their children, it wasn't always enough. The children were often left in the care of their maternal grandmother, "Nana" Dee. The brothers loved spending time with Nana Dee. She was a firm believer in Voodou, and she would tell them stories and tales of the loa. Papa Legba, Ogoun, Mami Wata, and so many others. Their songs, their offerings, their deeds. To the boys, it was but fairy tales, but to Nana Dee, it was all so real.
As they grew older, the bookish John would often face bullies in school and on the street. Knowing full well that his younger brother was smarter than him, the stronger Marcus decided that he would be his brothers defender. From bullies, from life, from everything. He would often get in fights and trouble, sometimes ending up suspended from school, but to Marcus, it was all worth it to keep his brother safe. He slowly developed a dream to become rich, to provide for his parents, brother and Nana Dee, but even as a child, he figured it was just that. Life was not easy for the Dumont family, but still, Marcus kept a smile on his face and a fist ready to protect his brother.
Once he turned 18, Marcus left his childhood home and found a small apartment, doing menial labor, working whatever jobs he could find, figuring that he would no longer be a financial burden on his parents. It was hard living, but he did what he could. One evening, while walking home from a late shift at some job he since forgot, he was jumped by a group of would-be robbers. Fighting back, Marcus managed to beat a few, before an older man came to his rescue. Francis Brown, a former boxer saw something in Marcus that day, and took him under his wing and into the world of boxing. Marcus was a natural. Strong, able to take any hit, he quickly started rising through the amateur leagues, well on his way to becoming a professional.
Then, distaster struck. Michael and Gabrielle was killed in a car crash. While first struggling to deal with the loss of his parents, Marcus discovered a fondness for rum, but pulled himself out of his depression. Determining that he would take care of John, Marcus took his younger brother in and threw all he had in on becoming a professional boxer to support his brother and put him through the education that he knew his younger brother would put to good use. Marcus 'The Iron Horse' Dumont rose through the ranks, earning greater and greater prizes, growing in fame and wealth. He was finally making something of himself, and finally able to support his family, as he had long dreamed of. Marcus kept fighting and supporting his brother as the years passed. It seemed only a matter of time until he would be offered the heavy weight title match.
In 2018, Hurricane Michael hit Vibora Bay. As John disappeared in the chaos, Marcus disappeared into the streets, spending weeks searching for his brother. He was devastated and depressed, disappearing from the professional boxing stage entirely during the time. Riches, fame, it didn't matter. Only his brother did. During this time, Marcus was rarely seen without a bottle of rum as he wandered the streets, seeking out his still missing brother. It seemed to be to not avail, his brother was lost.
By what seemed to be pure chance, Marcus stumbled upon a ritual in a ruined, abandoned warehouse. The Mayombe sought to regain the power they once had by striking a bargain with the loa Dinclinsin and Mademoiselle Charlotte. As their newest sacrice, the newest bargain for the power that she sought to posses once more, Lady Mamba offered John Dumont, chained to a table, prepared with offerings to the loa. The ritual was in full progress. The Mayombe gathered around the sacrifice were singing, it was only a matter of time now. Enraged and seeking to rescue his brother, Marcus fought his way through the cult. Strong as he was, Marcus eventually broke under their numbers and the might of the snakemen among their ranks. Lady Mamba had another sacrifice, one that she declared to be greater than the old one.
The ritual started anew, the Mayombe sang and danced for the loa, and Marcus bided his time. As they reached the invocation stage of the ritual, he sang out to Papa Legba, his freed arm holding a bottle of rum high as he remembered Nana Dee's teachings.
He found himself at the crossroads. Before him was Papa Legba, amused by Marcus' actions. He was displeased with the actions of the Mayombe, but still, he would do nothing. What did Marcus want? What did Marcus offer? Marcus wanted, no, needed help. The power to save his brother and stop the Mayombe. He offered the bottle of rum, freely giving it to Papa Legba. Papa Legba called forth Ogoun, and the deal was made. Ogoun would ride Marcus, turning Marcus into his cheval, granting him the power that he needed. Power that he would use for good and to make justice. Marcus accepted.
Returning to his body, Marcus found himself transformed! His skin was like iron, he was bigger and stronger than ever before. Lady Mamba were enraged, Marcus had disrupted their ritual. Using his newfound powers, Marcus fought his way through cultists and snake hybrids alike, saving John in the progress. The fight spilled out into the streets. Repeteadly, Marcus threw himself in the way of stray attacks that would have hit innocent onlookers, or stopped the snake hybrids from hurting them. In the end, he was victorious. Swearing revenge, Lady Mamba pulled the Mayombe back, and Ogoun left Marcus' body. The entire thing was caught on camera, skyrocketing his status in the local community.
In the weeks that followed, Francis tried to use the situation to secure sponsorships and endorsement deals for Marcus, even as he was banned from competing in professional boxing. After all, no one knew if Marcus' powers might return, or if he always had them. Still, Marcus had become a local hero, even as he no longer possessed the abilities that he had used to drive back the Mayombe. Then, the headaches began. Growing worse and worse, until, finally, he heard the voice of Ogoun. Marcus' deal had not ended. Granted a piece of Ogoun's power, he would continue to act as Ogoun's cheval in the world, protecting the innocent and meting out justice.
Since the fall of 2018, Cheval has been a fixture in the streets of Vibora Bay. Francis Brown made sure to secure sponsorships, appearances and more, only adding to Marcus' wealth and a fame. A hero of the people, he has made sure never to forget where he came from. He has put much of his newfound wealth back into the community and personally helps in any effort where his considerable powers can be of use.
Costume and Appearance
Marcus is a 6'3'' tall African-American man that weights 167 lbs. Despite his size, Marcus is lean and athletic, his physique clearly showing his active life style as a hero, and his past as a professional boxer. He is shaved bald, otherwise sporting black hair. His black beard is kept in as perfect a state as events in his life allows. His black eyes are usually full of life, with a happy smile plastered across his lips. He prefers wearing red dress shirts and black slacks, but even when he wears something else, he will usually opt for combinations of red and black, to stay on brand with his Cheval identity.
Marcus' costume as Cheval is a black and red bodysuit that leaves his shoulders, arms, neck and face visible. With no secret identity to protect, he has little reason to hide his face, after all. The costume is predominantly dark red framed by black. A black triangle from his shoulder, pointing down with the down pointing point at his solar plexus. After a small red stripe just below the triangle, the outside of the costume is the same black as the triangle, from his ribs and stretching down his legs. He wears black boots with dark red soles. The costume is made out of Morphic Molecules, ensuring it grows with him when he transformers.
When possessed by the power of Ogoun, Marcus grows to 7 feet in height, and his skin becomes like smooth iron. He grows broader and more muscular along with the increase in height, ending in at a weight of 1.336 lbs. His black eyes turn completely white, turning metallic as well.
A natural fighter, Marcus Dumont is an experienced boxer, being most known for applying the Slugger style when in the ring. Even before gaining his powers, he could take an unreal amount of punishment, which he leaned into, rarely bothering to actually dodge, instead prefering to just take a punch. Despite having faced plenty that were stronger than him, his offense combined both speed and power. Despite being barred from boxing after gaining his powers, Marcus still uses what he learned in the ring as a hero.
Marcus is possessed by the power of Ogoun, the loa God of Iron and Fire. Forever bound to the loa, Marcus is transformed into a form of iron and power when he speaks the phrase "I am iron, I am covered in iron", from a Voodou song in the honor of Ogoun. Despite not making a big show out of hiding either the phrase or that his powers from Ogoun, Marcus doesn't do the opposite either: He will not deny that his powers come from the loa, but he has no reason to explicitely tell anyone either.
Even outside the God of Iron form, Marcus has been altered by being ridden by Ogoun, being able to see and understand with any spirit, be they natural or not. Somewhat disturbed by this ability letting him see both natural spirits and those of the dead, Marcus is still unused to this ability, and what much of what he sees might mean.
As he transforms into the God of Iron, Marcus grows in height, weight and power, as his skin turns to iron. Partially possessed by Ogoun, his already impressive fighting skills grows ever greater. He attains super human strength and resillience, his skin can stop bullets, he can move at super human speed and leap great distances. A tank of a man, Cheval is hindered by few things, appearing much as a typical powerhouse hero at first glance. The Power of Ogoun is more than what first meets the eye, however. By calling upon Ogoun's blessings, Cheval can channel his superhuman strength into lightning fast blows, strikes that drain his targets to heal him, or even the ability to create a blast of flames from his very fist. Of course, if Cheval learns how, he might be able to channel Ogoun's divine power in other ways.
- John Dumont: Marcus' younger brother, currently attending University of Florida Vibora Bay. Marcus has been taking care of him and providing for him since their parents died in 2009.
- Francis Brown: Marcus' agent and manager, going back to when he was a boxer. A bit gruff, sometimes focusing a bit too much on the money and fame side of things, but he means well.
Heroes of Vibora Bay: Cheval met the majority of the heroes of Vibora Bay during the Hurricane Dorian, when they joined together to stop the gigantic zombified Beast. Since then, they have organized to work together, with Cheval and a few others working as official municipal defenders.
- Persephone: An interesting woman who, despite her odd speech mannerisms, seems to be a voice of reason. As a municipal defender, Marcus finds himself working closely with her.
- Torque: A human transformer! To be honest, Marcus finds her abilities rather strange, but she has more than proven herself. Another municipal defender, Marcus is proud to call her his friend.
- Speed Demon: A burning speedster, who might be possessed by a less benevolent force than Marcus. While he feels some kinship, Marcus also believes the force that posses Speed Demon to be destructive, and admires the man for trying to keep it in check..
- Sagrado Corazon: A young man with a voice that commands. Marcus is happy that he is heroic, as he has no idea how he would fight someone like him otherwise.
- The Immutable Betsy Brooks: A British woman deep in the supernatural. Marcus had decided that she is the best one to turn to when he needs help to understand what is happening with the spirits he sees.
- The Woodsman: A strange man that claims to be just a Woodsman. Fought the giant Beast alongside the other heroes of Vibora Bay, but he seems the most closed off of them all. As with the others, Marcus has decided to trust him. He believes that the Woodsman means well, but needs to lighten up.
- Dragoneer: The one hero that weren't around when the Beast attacked. Cheval respects Dragoneer and his exploits and fame, at least initially seeing the two as kindred spirits.
- November 13th: Weeks after hurricane Michael hit Vibora Bay, Marcus' search for his missing brother leads to a fight with the Mayombe that eventually sees him becoming the cheval of Ogoun.
- September 4th: Vibora Bay - Storm of the Century: Cheval unites with the heroes of Vibora Bay to protect the city from Hurricane Dorian and a massive monster brought to life by unholy means.
- September 5th: Vibora Bay - Rough Draft: In the aftermath of the previous night's battle, the heroes of Vibora Bay get organized.
- Early September, a few days after September 5th: Dragon's Harvest: The Dragoneer hosts a party for the heroes of Vibora Bay. Cheval must of course attend.