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Found 18 results

  1. Date: April 1st, 2019. An hour or so after sundown. [GM Post] April Fools' Day. A day to play jokes, spring pranks, and spread hoaxes. A day where everything must be taken with a grain of salt, even in a place like Freedom City, where fantastic things happened with some regularity. But there are some things that even the citizens of Freedom would consider "unusual." Long-time residents of West Freedom know of Lantern Jack, the spectre that haunts Lantern Hill. Or, rather, haunted -- not a spark of his eerie lamplight has been seen for years. Some hope he had finally passed on to Heaven, others fear he had been dragged down to Hell, or banished to some Limbo. But now, an eerie, blue-green light -- similar to the one from his lamp -- shone again on Lantern Hill, slowly wandering about the graveyard. Was it Lantern Jack, back from... wherever he had been? Or was it something else?
  2. So over here I was talking about moving Dead Head out to Bedlam. But then I was reminded of something: Bedlam's got a cap of PL 10. And right now, he's at PL 12/15 (PL 12 for offense, fully Toughness-shifted PL 15 for defense). Time for some changes! How to explain it? Maybe his long absence weakened him some physically, but he made up for it by learning some new tricks.
  3. Folks have been reporting odd -- odder than usual -- things at Lantern Hill lately, a figure with some glowing blue lights. Is it Lantern Jack, returned after a long absence? Nope -- it's Dead Head! Thought I'd have a quick thread in FC for ol' Burt before he moves on the Bedlam. Meet some old friends, maybe some new ones, have a chance to see that Freedom's in good hands before he moves on. Anyone interested?
  4. In Brief: The Revoltin' Revenant, enemy to graverobbers and death-warpers, friend to all children! Catchphrase: “What’s all that racket? Y’all are bein’ loud enough t’wake the dead!” Alternate Identities: Burton "Burt" Lee Identity: Secret; most people assume Burton Lee died nearly twenty years ago (which is technically true) Birthplace: Durham, North Carolina, USA Residence: Mobile; formerly Parkhurst Hotel in Freedom City Base of Operations: Bedlam City; formerly Freedom City, formerly up and down the East Coast of America Occupation: Advocate, Ghostbuster, Psychopomp, Superhero Affiliations: The Midnighters Family: David Lee (Father), Jamie Lee (Mother), Keith Lee (Brother), Katherine Lee (Sister), numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins; all believe Burt Lee died over ten years ago. Age: 41 (Born October 1977, Died/Reanimated 2000) Apparent Age: Early 20s... ish Gender: Good Ol' Boy Ethnicity: White American (some Irish on his mother's side) Height: 6'2" (1.88 m) Weight: 170 lbs. (77.11 kg) Eyes: Ectoplasmic Cyan Flames (formerly Green Flames, formerly Blue) Hair: White-Grey (formerly Platinum-Blonde) APPEARANCE Dead Head is a mostly preserved corpse, dry though not quite mummy-like, with purplish-gray skin and wild white hair. (“More beef jerky, less cajun gumbo.”) Sometimes he creaks when he moves. He smells like tobacco and spices and rum, and his eyes glow with a soft cyan (greenish-blue) light. He still doesn't get out to the shops much, but has been raiding his teammate’s old wardrobe for outfits to supplement what he gets from dumpster diving (a habit he has not, and probably never will, break); he enjoys wearing a noose as a necktie. He still carries a shovel, but now he's usually able to get new ones instead of using rusty discarded ones. His voice still sounds like a harsh, strained whisper, with an eerie reverb when speaking when he shouldn't be able to (like when his head is detached from his body). Description (Old): Dead-Head's skin is shriveled and rotting (but constantly renewing), and purplish-grey in color, like a bruise over his entire body. The trauma of his death changed his hair from platinum blonde to white-grey, and his eyes (once blue) glow with green, ectoplasmic flames. His mouth has been partially frozen into a rictus grin, and his voice is a harsh, strained whisper. (Sometimes, such as when his head is separated from his body, it has an eerie reverb.) Having neither job nor source of income, he wears whatever he can get from where ever he can get it, though he's sure to always obtain a shovel. Currently, he's wearing discarded Army boots, old jeans, a t-shirt full of holes, and a well-worn black leather jacket. His current shovel is stainless steel model with a spade-like blade and a D-shaped handle. He smells as bad as he looks. Power Descriptions (Old): Dead Head's body is in a state of "dynamic stasis" -- constantly putrefying and rotting yet also regenerating. He takes damage like any other person -- powerful blasts don't bounce off him, they go through him -- but his body restores itself so quickly it takes a lot for him to even notice. His eyes constantly glow with emerald flame, which flares when using his Animate Dead and Resurrection abilities. Power Descriptions (New): Dead Head's resilience still comes not from being so tough that attacks bounce off, but rather that blasts and bullets and fists go through him harmlessly. His eyes constantly glow with a cyan light, which flares when using his spirit powers. HISTORY Burton “Burt” Lee had a very pleasant childhood, with a loving and supportive family. The only real troubles to bother him were frequent headaches, accompanied by odd auditory or visual hallucinations. These were in fact the first signs of his psychic abilities: reading snippets of thoughts, seeing through the eyes of others, and so on. In time the the visions became clearer, but the headaches remained, and he could never consciously control his abilities. After high school he went on to a prestigious college, with plans to study neurology, in the hopes of unlocking the mysteries of psychic abilities (his own and those of others). A few weeks before moving onto campus, Burt was hit with the worst headache he’d ever experienced, and saw things no one should. He found his mind’s eye in a great chamber, surrounded by five great looming figures. These things, from beyond space and before time, were in no way humanoid. They all turned and regarded Burt, and reached out towards him, making sounds that were both unintelligible and terrifyingly clear: he was/is/will be the Gate. Burt awoke right as the things touched him, soaked in sweat. Mercifully, his visions never went to that place again, and in fact the pains of them lessened even more, and he found he had some minor control over his abilities. Burt did well in college, and enjoyed himself. A campus movie marathon on Halloween introduced him to several new friends in his first year, bonding over their love of horror and sci-fi. One of these new friends, Kim, the daughter of posh restaurateurs, would throw very popular New Year’s Eve parties at her parent’s house (while they parents were off in their yacht). Plans were made for the party on December 31st, 1999 to be one that nobody would forget. Unfortunately, their wish was granted. In a hidden place of unwholesome power, the Atlantean lich Malador and the malicious Voudoun loa Baron Samedi enacted a vile ritual. Neither of these mystics cared overly much about technology, but the “Y2K Bug” provided a unique opportunity. While the “bug” itself was nowhere near the threat that fearmongers were making it out to be, the fear that was spreading, the uncertain dread among the masses, was something these evil mages could use, to power a spell that would open a portal between worlds and summon some dread thing to do their bidding. Their work was interrupted by the appearance of Adrian Eldrich, as well as a backstabbing Baron Samedi, who was quite upset when he realized what it was Malador was attempting to summon, a thing so nasty even he did not want to see it loosed on Earth. Malador and Samedi were driven off, and Eldrich undid what progress they had made in their ritual. This was almost enough. What none of them knew was the the horrors Malador had intended to summon -- the same entities that Burt had contacted years prior -- knew of the lich’s attempt, and failure, and had set up Burt as a backup plan. As Eldrich sealed the rift Malador and Samedi had started to open, they sent a portion of their combined essence into Burt’s mind. As the clock struck midnight, and Burt was trying to arrange some adult fun with Kim and her on-again/off-again girlfriend to celebrate the lights not going out, he was struck by a sudden headache. Cursing all the while, the pain grew and grew, until it exploded out of him -- in the form of green lightning, killing him and the score or so of other people at the party. Minutes later, Burt rose up, and slowly made his way around the house, horrified at all he saw. He saw himself in a mirror, and wailed at the sight of himself. Slumping down on the couch, he wondered aloud what to do, who to contact, when the bodies slowly began rising up and turned to face him, as if expecting instructions. Afraid he was hallucinating from blood loss or brain damage, he began laughing, an eerie sound that echoed through the house, and was soon joined by the spectral images of his friends. His friends, their spirits still lingering at the site of their sudden deaths, were all as confused as Burt, and some wondered why they were separate from their bodies instead of in them as he was. After a bit of experimentation, Burt found he could rejoin them, putting each spirit back into its own body. (He did not try to swap spirits/bodies, as there was already enough weirdness for one evening.) Soon enough, everyone was back in their undead bodies, and most decided to get back to partying, seeing no reason to let their current condition stop their fun. A few hours later, just before sunrise, something outside caught Burt’s attention: a large flame, running towards the house! Unknown to anyone else, one of Kim’s neighbors was latent metahuman, and his powers -- to manipulate, but not generate, fire -- had just recently fully activated. He’d been experimenting with it all night, but carelessly set himself on fire... and panicked, as he had no resistance to fire (or at least not to ones he was not consciously controlling). Driven mad with pain, he ran to the nearest source of water he knew, the big pool at the back of Kim’s house. He battered/burned down the front door, dashed through the house, setting things alight all about him. At that exact moment, two of Kim’s friends were fiddling with the gas stove, and had worked the tank’s hose loose. When Burt regained consciousness, he was outside the remains of the house, blown clear by the blast. Everyone was dead, again, their bodies burned beyond recognition. He tried animating them again, and found he could, but the sight of their jerking, twisted bodies was too much for him, so he released them. The spirits of his friends faded out one by one as they felt the call of whatever lay beyond, leaving Burt alone. As the wails of approaching fire truck’s sirens filled the early morning air, Burt ran, thinking it better to let everyone think he’d died along with all his friends. For about a decade, Burt wandered across America, alternating between extreme depression and grim vengeance, seeking to help the dead, who could not help themselves. The ghost of a Jerry Garcia fan gave him the name Dead Head, which he took with humor and pride. By September 2009, he’d made his way to Freedom City, perhaps the hub for superpowered and mystical activity in the world. He opposed numerous cults and necromancers, as well as some more traditional supervillains (and even few Grue kaiju), but things came to a head for him on Halloween 2010. On the 50th anniversary of his imprisonment in Tartarus, Hades, Greek God of the Underworld, tried to manifest on Earth, but was stopped by a group of heroes and by Baron Samedi and his agents. During the battle, something stepped out of Dead Head: Papa Ghede, Baron Samedi's more benevolent counterpart. When Malador and Samedi had opened that rift a decade ago to that pseudonatural prison-realm, Ghede and some other gods rushed to close it. The Horrors fought back, and dealt the guardians a severe blow; desperately seeking some spot to recuperate, Ghede went to the one place available: Burton Lee. He backtracked the mystical link the Horrors had set up, which they had just sent a portion of their essence into. Due to the restrictions of The Pact -- a universal ban barring gods from entering the mortal realm unless invited in -- Ghede still needed Burt's permissions to inhabit his body... but he was dead, his soul about to be intercepted and consumed by the Horrors. Ghede had to act fast, and offered Burt a deal: he'd save him from the Horrors, resurrect him (mostly), let him continue amongst the mortal world, if he could hole up in him for a bit. Burt, not really wanting to be dead (or Horror-chow), agreed... but there was an unexpected hitch. The alterations the Horrors had made to Burt's mind/soul, as well as the damage it caused when it lashed out and tried to send a portion of themselves into him, altered his metaphysical being such that when the wounded Ghede tried to bond with Burt, he was instead trapped and put into a state of semi-hibernation; the resurrection also went awry, bringing Burt back as a type of super-powerful zombie, constantly rotting yet regenerating. The increased magical activities of the past month as Hades tried to free himself finally roused Ghede, who spent some time cleaning and undoing the damage the pseudonatural Horrors had done to Burt before manifesting and carrying Baron Samedi and Hades away. Ghede planned to take Burt's spirit with him to Guinee, where he would be rewarded in final rest, but he pleaded to stay, and his friends rallied for him. Ghede allowed it, but could not fully restore the revenant’s abilities; in compensation, he left behind one of Legba's hounds to help the hero, which he named A Mutt. Fortunately for Dead Head, he knows a few powerful and skilled mages and benevolent necromancers, who would help him relearn those abilities. Dead Head was absent from Freedom for some time, when a cold case took him on a veritable tour of several afterlives. He’s recently returned, and is going to tie up a few loose ends before moving on to Bedlam, a place that seems to be calling to him. PERSONALITY & MOTIVATION At first, Burt was exceedingly depressed and horrified about his condition. All his friends were dead, twice over, and his family thought he was gone. Lacking any ties to the world of the living, he wandered and did what he could for the dead, but some of them wanted him to do horrible things. He never did them, but being constantly exposed to those requests didn't help his mood. Over the past few years, however, Burt has learned to lighten up -- thanks in part by helping to bring peaceful closure to several families -- and to even enjoy some aspects of his condition (like his Anatomic Separation power). Of course, given his appearance, voice, and mannerisms, his humor is very much in the vein of Tales from the Crypt's Crypt Keeper. He is very much like a member of The Addams Family: compassionate and loving, friendly to all he meets, eager to help strangers in times of need, tolerant to a fault... and largely incapable of noticing how creepy and wrong he comes off, or just how badly his "idle fun" (like snapping off a hand and having it crawl around like a spider, or stretching and twisting in ways no living person should or could) unnerves some people. For all his strange abilities and creepy nature, there is one sure way to make him uncomfortable: overt sexual talk. He was still a virgin the night he’d died (and had never gotten much farther than kissing a few girls), and his lack of hormonal responses has muted those urges. Not that he could engage in them even if he wanted, since that’s the one dead thing he cannot raise. He has, of course, made a few enemies, and holds particular types of criminals with special distaste. Baron Samedi and Malador both wanted him, either to lead their armies of undead monstrosities, or to rip out whatever power is in him and add it to their own; now Samedi wants him destroyed just out of spite. Hades has also become an enemy, due to his role in preventing his possession of/merging with Daedalus. Burt himself takes special interest in cases involving children (especially those who weren't able to fully enjoy life) and those who disturb the dead (such as graverobbers and most necromancers). POWERS & TACTICS Due to his undead nature and unearthly fast regenerative abilities, Dead Head is monstrously tough and near-impossible to put down; shots to the head do no more than shots to anywhere else, but his body restores itself slightly slower from wounds inflicted by magic or silver weapons. Separated body parts can still operate independently, and he can willingly remove pieces to have them scuttle about. (On one disgustingly memorable occasion, he separated his head & viscera from his body, and through a combination of necromanticaly-charged decompositional gases and flapping lungs flew after a group of drug smugglers hoping to escape by plane.) His strength level is not superhuman, but it is nearly peak-human, and his undead nature means fatigue poisons don’t build up so he never tires; he can (and frequently does) push his body past the point where muscles shred and bones break. He can also communicate with the spirits of the dead (who can sometimes be frustratingly difficult to understand), and physically interact with them. He can transfer a portion of the energies animating him into another corpse to animate it, and ‘insert’ a spirit into a corpse to create a sapient zombie. (He is reluctant to do this, partly because he believes the dead should lay dead, partly because sometime the process goes horribly wrong.) Thanks to all he’s done for the dead -- and the simple fact he can hear and listen to them -- many are willing to help him out in non-combat ways, such as by translating languages or revealing long-lost secrets to him. He is also sensitive to mystical energies, particularly necromantic ones. In combat, Dead Head takes the Stone Wall approach, letting his foes wear themselves down and then striking (usually with a shovel) when they’re weakened. He’s also quite fond of striking unholy terror into his foes, either by contorting his body in hideous ways, or simply channeling the chill finality of the grave. Powers & Tactics (New): When he lost his connection to Papa Ghede, Dead Head lost much of his power. He was still monstrously tough and near-impossible to put down, push his body to beyond what the healthiest athlete could manage, and could still communicate with and even grab spirits of the dead, but that was about it. (He also found one odd change: with the corruption from the Horrors gone, he was no longer susceptible to damage from blessed/consecrated/holy weapons, but is now susceptible to the bane of voudou zombies, salt.) Fortunately, with the help of his friends in the Midnighters, and some self-experimentation, he’s worked out several new tricks. He re-learned how to animate the dead, and to control himself if separated into up to four pieces; he can even make his detached head fly around. He can summon spirits to help him translate languages, and take on the appearance, sound, and even smell of anyone who has died -- good for confronting a murderer with their victims (either as they were in life, or as the corpse is now), bad for trying to sneak into guarded areas. He can form weapons from his body, such as having supernaturally-hardened bones break through his skin to use as claws, yanking out a rib and using it as a dagger, or removing one arm and using it to club someone; he can charge these weapons with necromantic energies so they can penetrate armor and so the wounds don’t easily heal. His Fearsome Presence can be either contorting his body in hideous ways, channeling the chill finality of the grave, or making himself look like the decayed remains of someone the person knew. He can teleport, with great skill and barely any hint of his coming or going, but only to & from “places of death” such as cemeteries and morgues. ALLIES Owing to his appearance and personality, making friends was not easy for Dead Head, and those friendships he did make are very dear to him. For a time he was a member the Midnighters, a group of (mostly) supernatural-themed fellows who fought against the darker, hidden things out there, and he considered them all to be family. He also had some interactions with some members of the Interceptors. When Papa Ghede left Dead Head, he left behind a parting gift: one of Legba’s spirit-hounds. A Mutt, as he came to be known, is a faithful sidekick and confidante. A Mutt appears to be a mix of Mastiff (Neopolitan and Tibetan), Newfoundland, and Saint Bernard, standing about two feet (~0.6m) tall at the shoulder, though most of their foes only see his terrible jaws and glowing red eyes. A Mutt is a spirit, and as such naturally exists in an incorporeal and invisible/inaudible/un-sensable form. He can run up walls and across the air with ease, and his mighty jaws can bite corporeal and insubstantial foes, whether he is corporeal or not; these wounds are slow to heal. He can let our a baleful howl, far more terrifying than the call of any mere wolf. Most impressive of all, though, is his extraordinary sense of smell, which allows him to track creatures even across other dimensions! ENEMIES Baron Samedi, Hades, and Malador were at the top of his list -- or, rather, he was at the top of their lists. He also has a special dislike for those who disturb the dead (graverobbers, necromancers), who profit off people’s grief over lost loved ones (psychic scammers), and those who endanger children. HEADQUARTERS For most of his unlife, Dead Head’s been a drifter, a wanderer, going wherever the dead needed him. When he was running with the Midnighters, he stayed at Parkhurst Hotel with them, helping where he could. COMPLICATIONS Appearance: It's a zomumbie! Eek! Creepy and Kooky, Mysterious and Spooky: Even when he's trying to present himself as 'normal,' Dead Head always has an 'Addams Family vibe' about him. Enemies: Baron Samedi, Hades, and Malador are the big three. Then there's all the graverobbers, organlegging rings, and death-cults he's busted up. Pain Don't Hurt: Dead Head feels no pain, literally. He wouldn't know there's a knife stuck in his back unless someone points it out to him. This could get problematic if he's in a situation where he's being damaged but doesn't directly see it. Spare Change? Chaaange? : No job, legally dead, gets most of his clothes from the dumpsters behind the Goodwill and Salvation Army (or his teammate’s closet). Temper/Hatred: Dead Head has a special dislike of those who harm children or disturb the dead. OTHER Character Sheet [link] HellQ [link] Interview/20 Questions [link] Tropes of Dead Head [link] TIMELINE 1977 Summer: Burton "Burt" Lee is born to David and Jamie Lee in Durham, North Carolina. 1995 Fall: "Burt" enrolls at NC State University, majoring in biology, with plans to focus on neurology. 1999 December 31st: Burt attends a big Y2K party with all his college friends, including that one gal he really likes & her girlfriend… 2000 January 1st, 12:00am: ... and then they all die when Burt's head explodes in pseudonatural energy... January 1st, 12:01 am: ... and then they start rising up... and continue their party. Until a burning man runs in and re-kills everyone. Burt becomes an undead avenger, seeking to right wrongs and balance injustices, and mortal pains are no deterrent. 2008 Spring: Dead Head begins to shift out of his "grim & brooding" mindset and into his "have fun, laugh while you can" mode. He visits some kids in Virginia after an April Fool's Day prank goes horribly wrong. 2009 September: Dead Head arrives in Freedom City. He meets Blink, Jack of Blades, Leon Mighty, and Tempest while Leon is Training in Wharton Forest. October: Atlas, Avenger, Dead Head, and Phantom meet up to stop the Darkness Rising in south Lincoln. Later, Breakdown gets back together with an old friend (Grimalkin), and meets a new one (Dead Head) in Lantern Hill. He soon discovers that Death Don't Have No Mercy. Later, Deedra's Traveling Menagerie in in town, for a full ten days! Colt, David (Ironhide), Dead Head, Erik (Jack of Blades), Kristian (Razorwing), Lynn (Grimlakin), Marcus (All Star), Max (Spitfire), Megan (Velocity), Tempest, and Yuki (Tarantula) are all present at the Carnival in the Park. Hilarity ensues! Dead Head makes some money (and interacts with some real live people) by working at the Haunted House. Halloween: Dead Head enjoys himself at the 14th Annual Haunted Block Party in the Theatre District. November: Dead Head fights lots of demons alongside Atlas, Avenger, and Phantom (Invasion! Riverside), but later retreats to Ace Danger's warded mansion (Invasion! Danger Mansion). December: Once things settle down, Avenger and Phantom decide to try and make a new team of heroes, ones geared more towards the dark and ugly side of things. Atlas, Dead Head, and Hellion are recruited, Once Upon a Midnight. 2010 January: An angel appeared in Freedom on Christmas Eve, or so the rumor goes. Is there truth to it? Dead Head plans to find out. Along the way, he finds two others who wish to know: Moira and Mongrel Angel. What will come of this Holy Meeting? February: Physicus speaks to the family of his mentor, the first superhero under that name, seeking their permission to take up his now-dead friend's mantle. He learns many things that the first Physicus never told him when the superhero's brother talks of Happier Times, and encounters Dead Head when he seeks something the old superhero left behind. March: Breakdown, Dead Head, Fleur de Joie, Hellion, and Jack of all Blades fight weird plant-creatures, mutated by a meteor that the Green Man is after! Can they stop him, leaving him Green with Envy? Later in the month, Dead Head is interviewed by Rich “Voyeur” Royer, in Greenville Cemetery. The interview is never aired, deemed too controversial for airing by the Globe Broadcasting Network execs, though tapes of it do exist in the GBN studios. April: Moira and Dead Head team up to stamp out a new threat to the city, before it becomes a threat to all life, in Gods & Zombies. Later, Avenger & Dead Head have a chat while bustin' cultist heads. Dead Men Do Tell Tales! May: Avenger, Dark Star, Dead Head, and Phantom fight Monsters in the Streets of Midtown! Later, Nick Cimitiere, the new necromancer in town, heads to Lantern Hill Cemetery to check out the Fresh Plots and ends up meeting some of the heroes who regularly haunt the place. Later, Following the Grue Invasion, several of the city's heroes meet to let off steam. Dead Head decides to check it out, and is immediately attacked by Wander. When he uses a newfound ability to see certain parts of her past (which she then relives), she beats him again. (Fisticuffs 2: The Opening Credits/Wander vs. Dead Head) Later, Robin Cross seeks out Dead Head for some assistance in a case involving a Hand of Glory. (A'Walkin' Amongst the Lilies) June: Lady Winter and Dead Head meet. Hilarity ensues! (Cold Case) Later that night, he meets with Fleur to see about restoring the graves which were disturbed during the meeting with Lady Winter. (Groundskeeping) July: Midnight's grandfather has been kidnapped! But by whom? And why? Can Dead Head help? Perhaps... but while they'll find the trip is short, the exchange rates are murder! Later, The Midnighters -- Atlas, Avenger, Dead Head, Hellion, and Phantom -- receive a distress call from a strange world where vampires have taken over! But is it a true distress call, or a trap set by the denizens of this World of Darkness? Later, Dead Head and Wander meet again, but this time just to talk. (Crypt Tonight) August: The various mystics, magicians, and spellcasters of Freedom gather at Pyramid Plaza to discuss the arcane and the unknown, in Thistle and Thyme. November: During a massive battle between Hades & his forces, many of Freedom City's heroes, and Baron Samedi and his minions, Dead Head undergoes a radical change. (Unbalanced: Dead Head's Oct 2010 Vignette.) Later, Dead Head volunteers to be a medical cadaver... for Doktor Archeville! [Meet Up Vignette] Later, Dead Head meets (briefly) one of Freedom's newest heroes, the kinetic manipulator Push. (When Push Comes to Shovel) Later, Dead Head, while tracking down rumors of cultists, finds other heroes at the warehouse he'd tracked them to: Cobalt Templar, Dragonfly, Ironclad, and Push. When the dust settles, they are left with Too Many Questions, Too Few Answers. Later, Miss Americana happens across Dead Head while he's fighting a mad graverobbing scientist, and helps him out of a sticky situation. After the brief fight, she takes the revenant back to her laboratory for study; he is remarkably okay with this. DOA? A-Okay! Later, Gabriel gets word of a zombie running around n the cemeteries. He investigates, and finds Dead Head, chasing down some organleggers. (Carson Finbar and the Deathly Fellow) December: Dead Head's heard rumors about people who've been killed by the Mob being buried by Mob-affiliated contractors into the foundation's of buildings, so he began checking out some of these tales. It was perhaps unwise to chose to investigate the Millennium Mall four days before Christmas, but it's a good thing he was there at that time, due to an attack by hideous monsters! (The Closing of the Year) Christmas Day: Dead Head finds a card on one of the tombstones at Lantern Hill, addressed to him! It's from Push, asking him to help move in. Having nothing better to do, he partakes in A Moving Day Christmas. 2011 March: Dead Head helps Grimalkin take out some Neo-Nazi Cultists who've been desecrating Jewish graves (with White Knight's help!). Along the way, they talk about their odd forms of immortality, and what the future may hold for them. (Whole Kit and Kaddishle) April: Dead Head abruptly finds himself transported to a hellish, toxic world -- Earth of the year 3,500,000,000! ([Time Warp] (Red) Giants Win!) June: There's a dead man walkin', and he's after a little girl. Dead Head works to get to the bottom of it! (Die and Let Live) September: Nick Cimeterie, Dead Head, Equinox, Kid Cthulhu, Phantom, and Rene de Saens deal with an invasion by magical creatures and their goons while the Gorgon looms. (Gorgon: Unwelcome Guests) October: Nick Cimitiere's taking Ghost Girl around on a tour of Freedom's necropoli, and takes her to see their other resident caretaker, Dead Head! Equinoix is there, too. (Fine Spirits) November: Dead Head, Equinox, and Nick Cimitiere investigate a series of grisly murders, and try to find out who made Burnt Offerings to Baron Kriminel! 2013 January: Dead Head, Nick Cimitiere, Equinox, and Ghost Girl investigate weird goings-on at the Levant Arms, an apartment building in the West End. What will they find of The Lonesome Death of Henry Darger? 2014-2018 For part of this time, a cold case takes Dead Head on a veritable tour of several afterlives. 2019 April: Dead Head resurfaces briefly in Freedom City, paying final respects to the spirits in Lantern Hill, before moving on to Bedlam.
  5. Nick Cimitiere, Equinox, and Ghost Girl deal with a really strange haunting.
  6. Wednesday, January 23rd 10:13 PM There was no reason the Levant Arms should have loomed the way it did. It wasn't even that tall - a mere five stories, and there were much taller buildings on this stretch of the West End. Likewise, the street was fairly well lit, and lights were on in most of the buildings surrounding it. But then, that just made the shadows inside loom that much taller. Nick took the building in, trying to get a more detailed read off of it. It had only been empty for the last few hours; there was no official word from the city, but so far, their opinions ran everywhere from "gas leak" to "undetermined event" - the usual code for "we don't know, but boy, is this weird." He'd heard rumors over the past few nights, from all over the city. Customers at the Black Petal whispering about the strange lights in closed-off rooms. Ghost hunting websites talking about strange wails. The ghosts themselves at Lantern Hill, speaking of an "overwhelming presence." He had been about ready to check it out tonight when all hell had broken loose. There was little word on what had happened, but a 911 call brought most of STAR down on the place, and the first response team had been quick to get all the tenants out. Nor was there any one solid account, with stories ranging from "phantom fire" to "I saw this horrible face looking at me in the mirror" to... "there was a unicorn in the elevator." He'd had to make sure he'd heard that one right. More than once, in fact. Nick checked his watch and kept his eyes firmly on the building. It probably wasn't the sort of place to go in alone. Fortunately, he wasn't going in alone.
  7. April 26th, 2012 9:37 PM Down on the beaches, the crowds were pouring out. The people who wanted to celebrate the weekend one day early, the desperate, the young lovers. Given all things, Nick Cimitiere would rather be there - and he couldn't rule out that his business might take him there. But there were more pressing matters to attend to. The necromancer stalked through the back alleys of businesses and townhouses that served as connective tissue between the Boardwalk and Southside. Over the past few nights, there'd been a number of... "sightings" might be the best word. "Visions" if you believed, or "hallucinations" if you were a cynic. The witnesses, many of whom had had more than a few drinks, had described glowing, ephemeral beings moving through the neighborhood, either flying overhead or tearing through at great speed. One person, especially poetic under the influence, had described them as "more real than real." Nick might have written it off as fancy... if not for Angela Zilani. A local medium of some repute, Zilani had been found dead in her apartment, seemingly burnt to death. The funny part was, nothing else had caught fire. She'd been the only target of something using a very controlled burn. It was safe to say that if these beings were responsible, they really didn't have the best of intentions. It might have been folly to search all of the Boardwalk alone, looking for the first sign of phantom activity. Fortunately, Nick wasn't doing it alone. He pulled out a slate with three glyphs on it - representing his partners in the endeavor - and ran his fingers over the simple trinket, opening a line of communication. "Things are dead out here. And not in the exciting way. Anything on your end?"
  8. The New Midnighters on their first real mission - dealing with Tarot troubles on the Boardwalk.
  9. Index Dated Entries Compressed Timeline Nov 1, 2010 (post-Unbalanced thoughts) Miscellaneous Allies & Enemies Dead Head's New Shovel Films of the Living Dead Interview/20 Questions The Questionnaire Reputation (different thread) Ritualist Cheat Sheet Skeletons & Zombies Dead Head Can Raise TV Tropes: Dead Head
  10. Friday, October 28th 5:39 PM It was another quiet day at the Black Petal Cafe, and Eric LaCroix was pretty happy about that. It had actually been a rather quiet month - ever since the incident at the Parkhurst, it had been a good month of simple dealings with the restless dead and the occasional exorcism for flavor. Every so often there'd been an attempt at a robbery, or maybe the occasional cackling supervillain, but things had been pretty sedate on the heroing front. It was good to have some time to think on things and not have to deal with a major crisis. Of course, the Halloween weekend was starting up, and who knew what would come with that, but for now, it was time meant to savor. He was in the middle of preparing a double-shot caramel latte when something pinged the distance edge of his senses. Someone dead was in the coffee shop. He scanned the crowd - no one looked like parts of them were falling off, or even had the pallor of the recently deceased. There weren't any obvious ghosts, and a poltergeist likely would've made more noise by now. He filed it away in the back of his head, waiting for the time to go on dish-clearing duty to see if he could scope out the specter. He handed the latte off to the customer and took the register once more. "Welcome to the Black Petal," he said. "How may I help you today?"
  11. September 24, 2011 11:15 PM Nick Cimitiere tended to the main hall of the Parkhurst. He knew full well the ghosts would've been happy to help, but he'd decided to give them the night off. They were back in their quarters, passing the time, while he waited for some sort of miracle. He took a look over the Parkhurst - it was still hard to believe that, six months ago, it was effectively abandoned. The ghosts had kept it in order, but it was still a husk, soaked through with the essence of tragedy. Now it had become a formidable center for magical thought. The workshops were fully functional, the dimensional portal hadn't yielded up anything hideous yet, and the scrying crystals mostly stayed on target. It was a tribute to what could happen if a bunch of like-minded mystics put their mind to something. He hoped tonight would have similar results. It had been four days since the Gorgon had appeared in the skies above Freedom, issuing its dread ultimatum. In the time since then, Freedom City had fallen into panic, and it had taken most of his strength for Nick not to follow with them. In his line of work, he was familiar with multiple apocalypse scenarios - molten steel drowning the earth to burn the wicked, giant wolves eating the sun, and other such cheery scenarios. For all of them, though, he'd never heard of the possibility of the earth ending in stone. Bet Frost is kicking himself for not thinking of that one, he thought to himself as he finished up preparations in the main hall. He'd borrowed a few pastries from the Black Petal's freezer; the rioting hadn't spread to Riverside yet, and the store had stayed open, wanting to remain loyal to its customers during the "brief emergency." That was the Freedom City way - stand defiant in the face of angry gods. It had worked against Omega, against the Grue, against Hades... He just had to hope it would work this time. He took his seat, and waited for the others to arrive.
  12. September 24, 2011 Rene, Nick Cimeterie, Kid Cthulu, Equinox, Dead Head, and Phantom deal with an invasion by magical creatures and their goons. Trollthumper be runnin' this.
  13. Time: After November 1st, 2010 "Okay, Dok, let's start at the top. Th' trapesiuz 'rises from..." "From the external occipital protuberance and the medial third of the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone, from the ligamentum nuchae, the spinous process of the seventh cervical, and the spinous processes of all the thoracic vertebrae, and from the corresponding portion of the supraspinal ligament." Dead Head read along on the laminated sheet Archeville had given him, and noted that the Doktor got it all right. He nodded, causing the exposed muscles to contract and expand as they slid over one another. Archeville had filed a request for a medical cadaver a few days ago, so he could practice some of his lesser-used medical skills and not let them get rusty. Dead Head got word of this from one of his contacts at the hospital morgues, and decided to volunteer, showing up at Archeville's doorstep in Hanover. (And if the good Doktor would pay him for his services, so much the better!) Archeville was skeptical at first, but decided to humor the man. He was surprised at how still he could lie while being worked on, no involuntary spasms or tremors, and if not for his incessant talking he would think the body on the operating table was a regular (if very badly bruised) corpse. But there was a complication, aside from the corpse's constant talking testing Archeville's powers of concentration as well as his medical skill: Dead Head's 'undying factor' repaired damage to him as soon as it was inflicted, making practicing most surgical techniques impossible. How could he practice a small bowel resectioning when the abdominal incision closed around him before he could even get his laproscope in? So instead they went with basic anatomical review, peeling back layers of Dead Head to expose and identify assorted structures. "Alright, next set," Dead Head said as he reached back and tore loose the clamps and forceps pinning back his skin. As soon as he did, the flaps closed and sealed shut, leaving him looking completely unharmed. He tossed the instruments, still holding tiny bits of his skin, into a bucket holding other used instruments, and resumed his face-down position on the massage-turned-operating table. "Latissimi dorsi, dextral and sinistral," he instructed. Archeville took up a scalpel and forceps and began cutting and pinning. "How is it you know so much about medical terminology? I mean, the stereotype is that you 'zombies' are, well-" "A bunch'a brainless boneheads?," he interrupted, and chuckled. "Most are, but I ain't 'xactly a run'a tha mill zombie. Had a Voudun loa in me fer 'bout a decade, animatin' me, but he left recently. Did somethin' ta me when he left," he shrugged, making some of the exposed muscles twitch, "but through it all I've kept ma mind. Which I am very grateful for! 'Fore all that, though, I was a college student, biology major. Wanted t'be a Neurologist, but didn't have th' grades." "Really?," Archeville replied, sounding quite surprised. "So your interest in brains existed long before your transmogrification?" "Heh, ya could say that, yeah, 'cept I ain't ever et a brain. Well, not since ma death an' rise. Friend'a mine back home, his granmaw had a hog farm, an' most ev'ry Sunday they'd have a big heap'a scrambled brains 'n' eggs fer breakfast." He grimaced, "never could stand 'em. Naw, my interest were from all the migraine headaches I'd get as a teen. I read up on th' causes, got hooked on the neuroanatomy'a it, tried pursuin' it as a career. Never had th' grades ta do so, though. An' in my current condition, it ain't easy ta continue mah education." "Oh, I am sure you could take distance education courses, many colleges offer several courses online, and-" Dead Head laughed, "that ain't it, Dok, not at all. I cain't go 'cuz I'm broke! I got nothin' but my shovel an' th' clothes on mah back!" "Oh, pshaw. I am sure there are numerous scholarships and grants you could apply for, and-" "Ain't got no permanent mailin' address. I mean, I could have 'em forward it care'a St. Stephen's Church on Lantern Hill, but... I don't wanna be a bother." "Dead Head, I would like to help. I am fairly wealthy, you know, and make numerous donations to-" "Nah, Dok," he said, shaking his head, "ain't no need fer that. I got so much t'do fer the Dead, I'd never have time t'study. I caon't get any'a my credits t'transfer, 'cuz I'm legally dead, they closed or erased all mah records. I'd have ta start over from scratch, an' I'd already been a full-time student fer four an' a half years. Now, quit yer jawin' an' answer me this: th' lateral margin'a the latissimus dorsi is separated below from th' obliquus externus abdominis by a small triangular interval, the..." "the lumbar triangle of Petit," Archeville rattled off, "the base of which is formed by the iliac crest, and its floor by the obliquus internus abdominis. And the latissimus dorsi can be remembered best for insertion as "The Lady Between Two Majors," as it inserts into the intertubercular groove of the humerus and is surrounded by two major muscles, the teres major on one side and the pectoralis major on the other." This went on for some time. Archeville was amazed at his recuperative powers, and mildly impressed by his anatomical knowledge; Dead Head was mildly amused at his fascination. As soon as he had seen the 'zombie,' Archeville had another idea for him, but it was not until halfway through the 'anatomical tour' that be broached the subject. "Dead Head, have you ever allowed your recuperative abilities to be tested?" "They're tested all the time, Dok," he replied while pinning back a section of skin on his left calf, "but, uh, naw, never had a scientific study done. Mostly 'cuz, well, I don't think science can 'splain it." "Oh, nonsense!," Archeville cheerfully retorted. "I am sure I can find out why and how this happened. And along the way, we can discover the extent of your abilities. Would that not be helpful to you? It certainly would to me and my research!" "Well, if it's fer Science, I s'pose I can help..." Soon Archeville had named all the muscles, bones, and organs in Dead Head's body, and he had exposed every inch of himself to the Doktor. Washing up, he lead Dead Head to the reinforced Hazard Hall below his laboratories, where realistic holograms covering overlapping polygonal force fields and tightly-focused pressor beams (as well as an assortment of robots) could create a variety of threats for superhero training... or superhuman power testing. "Alright, Dead Head, just stand right there, please, and I will go to the control room and set things in motion." "Yeah, but what about monitorin' me? Dontcha need, like, monitors attached to me?" "Indeed so!" A small section of the floor irised open, and a slim pedestal rose up, atop which was something looking like a watch. "Her, put this biomonitor on, it will link to the dozens of sensors in in the walls, ceiling and floor to monitor you!" Archeville practically skipped to the control room, giddy to start cataloging another Metahuman's abilities. He set the Hazard Hall to its lowest level to start, all nonlethal attacks. For the most part, Dead Head simply stood there, unaffected by it all; at one point he looked up with his arms crossed over his chest and the most bored expression his dead face could muster. Archeville looked over the biomonitor readouts, which showed absolutely nothing. He stepped up the intensity of the attacks, and these attacks did break skin and fracture bone, but Dead Head bounced back in practically no time. Archeville set about removing the safeties from the Hazard Hall, which caused parts of the control room to unfold as new options were made available. He turned to one console, but did so just as another was descending, and suffered a nasty concussion. Archeville fell to a crumpled heap on the control room floor. A hand reached up to the main console from the floor. It was not human. "Herr Totenkopf... I mean, Mister Dead Head... are you ready for de next level of intensity?" "Sure thing, Dok! I'm startin' ta get bored ta death down here! An' I'm already dead! Yer borin' me back ta death!" "Oh, do not vorry about dat," he muttered, while black-scaled, taloned hands manipulated the controls. First came whirling blades and crushing hammers, but they could not kill the zombie. A shotgun blast to the back of the head healed over with annoying swiftness. "Yea! Now we're cookin', Doc!" "'How about a little feuer, scarecrow?'" It would take days to get the smell of burnt zombie out of the Hazard Hall, but only moments for Dead Head's charred body to regenerate. "This ain't mah first barbecue, y'know!" "Hold on a moment, you are still smoldering..." A saline solution was prayed onto the smoking zombie; the solution was filled with several million particularly nasty nanobots designed to rip and tear their way through skin, organ tissues, and blood vessels, causing massive internal hemorrhages and shock response in the victim. They barely managed to keep Dead Head at the same level of injury, and in time, unable to draw power from the zombie's non-existent bioelectrical field, their tiny batteries gave out and they fell inert. And he didn't even seem to notice. "What's next?" Unintelligible curses issued from Arch-Evil's fanged and spittle-flecked mouth, even as he programmed in a new attack. Behind Dead Head, a machine assembled itself from hard light holograms, but the unconventional undead was too busy focusing on the large hulking robot that was rising from the floor. It charged, swinging a massive hammer-fist at the hero; he simply smiled as he braced himself for impact. The blow connected, a mighty uppercut that sent Dead Head flying into the machine behind him. The western wall of the Hazard Hall became dark red. "Ha! Ein Zombie shambled bis zu hölzernen abklopfhammer und sagt "Ich vergaß, nicht in sie gedrückt zu werden, und jetzt ich bin laubedeckt." Ha! Es ist lustig, weil der Zombie mit laubedeckt erhält! Ahhh hah hah hah hah hah!" The remains stirred, wiggling and writhing back towards each other, slowly un-mulching themselves. Arch-Evil looked on, unbelieving. "Nein! Nein, nein, nein, nein, nein! Computer! Erstellen Sie eine Kopie von den letzten fünf Minuten dieses Lernabschnittes und außer zum Wraith-Antrieb," he commanded while adjusting the controls to the Hall and his Electromagnetic Screwdriver, "wenden Sie dann Filter 23-E an den letzten fünf Minuten der Primäraufnahmenan." Arch-Evil took a few deep breaths, then did what he hated doing: went back to a quiescent state. With the last microsecond of consciousness, he activated the Screwdriver, which set off a memory-altering pulse to cover his actions, making Archeville think they were his own; the doctored audio and video logs would show Archeville running the tests. The gadget reset itself to standby mode as it tumbled from his unconscious hands. Archeville stood, placing a hand over his throbbing head. "Dead Head? Still with us?" "Jes' fine, Dok, the regenerative -- and very naked -- revenant called from the empty Hall, "but... uh... I'm gonna need some new clothes!"
  14. Taylor had been stretched to the breaking point and then some. After some terse words exchanged with Jack (and perhaps a chair or two thrown), she'd been forced back onto yet another emergency but something had tickled in the back of her mind. Had been tickling in the back of her mind so this time, after the emergency, she'd waited around and spent some time doing some serious scrying and spell casting to check her suspicions. What she'd found left her more coldly furious than Taylor had ever thought she could be. Normally, her return to the library was soundless as she filtered in from one reality to another but this time, Phantom ripped time and space asunder, leaving bolts of eldritch energy flashing and crackling through the windows and a fell wind knocking over papers and sending them whipping around the room. She seemed unaware or uncaring of the magical storm she was causing in the library as she tore through it, tossing priceless volumes aside in some sort of personal quest.
  15. Blackstone Prison is what allows the citizens of Freedom City to sleep at night. They know that all of the super villains Freedom City seems to attract are safely locked up inside the formidable walls of Blackstone. That security blanket was shattered as a large scale break out attempt larger than any since the Terminus Invasion began mere moments ago. The Blackguards were fighting valiantly, but it was only a matter of time before they were overrun. Prisoners were already making it to the surface, there only saving grace was that the least powerful of the villains were kept closest to the surface. The longer the prisoners went uncontained, the more likely the guards were to be overrun by Freedom's most wanted.
  16. With a little help from Alex, Erin was quickly on her way through the nighttime shadows of Freedom City, leaping from rooftop to rooftop across the downtown, then speeding along surface streets when the neighborhoods got residential. Alex had said he was around here, and there were only so many cemeteries in the neighborhood. It felt so strange to be out here at night in her street clothes, almost as though she were underdressed. She definitely missed the weight of her bat at her side. But there would be no fighting tonight. She'd promised Dr. Marquez and Alex both that she would be able to restrain herself. As soon as she found the zombie, she would talk to it. Him, whatever. Just talk, and then she could go home and be done with this especially obnoxious part of therapy. As she neared the closest cemetery, she slowed, looking around for signs of motion. It would be really bad, after all this, if the zombie took her by surprise and she did something unfortunate.
  17. Date: May 23rd, 2010 The city was in sad shape, but the day had been saved, but barely. The heroes realized that they needed to better themselves should such a dire situation ever arise again. An old abandoned arena, probably from the hey day of Circus Maximus would prove to be a way to better themselves. This was a venue where the heroes could spar away from prying eyes, on neutral ground and best of all, not worry about hurting anyone. Word was spread through the grapevine in the hero community. Take the evening off to come test your mettle against the other heroes. No one knew definitively who was coming, though heroes had their suspicions. But among all of these unknowns, there was one truth to the whole matter, tonight was going to be an interesting night.
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