Category Archives: Heroes

Book of Changes

50: Book of Changes

AT: Mastermind
Primary: Ninjas
Secondary: Storm
Not RP

Named after the Chinese fortune telling book. Although Ninjas are Japanese, and the ninjas  say “Hai!” when attacking, I chose to use the English translation. The numbers and names are the names and numbers of the hexagrams (six lined blocks) found in the I Ching, or Book of Changes.

Casey Blackfox

His face was fierce because of the war paint yet he was silent like his namesake on a hunt. He held a hand up and the men behind him paused. They listened for the signal.
The sound of a bat finding its way in the dark filled the air—their signal. With a loud cry, the men ran out of the woods, barreling to the makeshift cabins and tents scattered in the meadow.
A man screamed as his head was beaten in. The people in the cabins shot their firesticks at the rushing men. The man next to Winter Red Fox went down silently, injured but not dead. His brother led the other group from the sunset side of the encampment.
Winter Red Fox burst through a door and bludgeoned whoever came at him. When no one moved, he ran out of the one-room cabin to the next one. Someone had set a tent on fire, and its orange and red flames reached up in the air. One of the warriors, Foot-maker, ran from building to building with a torch, feeding the flames that filled the sky.
Women were gathered at the edge of the woods, two holding babies. As part of the spoils of war, Winter Red Fox could choose any of these women for his slaves. He had the means to keep a slave, but his wife wouldn’t need one. However, his wife would be happy with one of the children.
Winter Red Fox approached one of the women and held his arms out. The woman screamed and cuddled her baby closer. Two warriors tore the baby from the mother and brought the child to Winter Red Fox.
He undid the bundle. It had no hair. He wondered whether their babies were born male or female. He checked to be sure. If these white people were like them, then this one was a male.
In the firelight, the baby stared up at Winter Red Fox, reaching up to him. Yes, this one would be perfect for his family, even though it was hairless and lily-white.
“Claiming the child?” asked Summer Bear.
“As long as the men are dead.”
“We have their firesticks.”
“They work with magic,” said Winter Red Fox. “Leave them.”
Summer Bear yelled to leave the firesticks, as Winter Red Fox turned from the women. Of course, the mother cried, but that was what happened with war.

Angelius (part 2)

A fallen angel, he was thrown out of heaven for loving another angel above God. What he doesn’t know is that God did him a favor.
He’s a water/ice blaster. Water is a new ability that wasn’t on “live”. When playing him, I concentrate on the slows that both water and ice provide. However, I don’t play him that often because I have an ice/ice blaster that I put aside to play with another group that has since fallen to the wayside.

he stood looking at all the pastries and breads loaded in the glass cases. She returned holding a bag and handed it to him.
“There’s some cookies and bread.”
“Bless you,” he said, taking the bag.
“That means a lot coming from you.”
He took out a cookie and bit into it. The sweetness of the chocolate and the cookie made him think of the nectar of Heaven.
“This is wonderful.”
“I’m glad you like it.” The baker smiled. “So, what brings you to Earth?”
“I have offended God.”
“So you’re a fallen angel.”
“Yes. My love for another angel superseded my love for God. He was angry.”
She put a hand on her hip. “Well, that’s not right. He sounds jealous.”
“He demands all our love. It’s a price we pay.”
“High price if you ask me. You should be allowed to love whoever you want.”
He gave her a weak smile, holding up the bag. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Put in a good word for me, huh?”
He nodded and pushed open the door, holding it open for another man to come in. He left the bakery and walked across the street to the park, and meant to sit on a park bench. But as he approached, he saw two men with bats threatening another older man. He had thrown his briefcase to the ground in an attempt to appease the bat-wielding men, but they didn’t look like they cared.
They wanted to beat this guy. He wouldn’t stand for that.
In a flash, he ran toward the fray. Calling upon his powers that were gifted to him by God, he summoned a block of ice to hold the one that swung the bat at the older man. He was encased in a block of ice immediately.
The other man with the bat yelled incoherently and rushed at the angel. He summoned water into a ball in his hands, and threw it at the man. He stopped, shocked, soaking wet, and then froze to the ground.
The one in the block of ice passed out from the cold. The one frozen to the ground took out a gun, aiming it at the older man. The angel from heaven blew the gun out of his hand with another blast of water. He slammed the bat-man over and into a nearby bush, knocking him out.
The victim was shaking, slightly wet from the ricochet of the water. He bent to pick up his briefcase. The angel got there first.
“Thank you so much,” he said. “You’re a hero.”
That was the second time he had been called that today. Maybe there was something in it for him. But where did he go to become a hero?


He walked around Atlas Plaza, noticing people stood gathered talking around other single people. He waited in one of the lines gathered around one of the men.
“Hi,” said the man in the fancy three-piece suit. “What can I do for you?”
“I want to be a hero.”
“You have to go into city hall for that.” The man thumbed behind him to the domed building. “Stop at the desk and they’ll let you know who to see.”
He climbed the stairs and went into the busy building. People of all shapes and sizes, and colors, thronged in the area. He walked up to the first desk that was open.
“Hello. I want to be a hero.”
“This is for Supergroup permits,” said the woman behind the desk. “That line over there.”
The line snaked among velvet ropes, with people and creatures of all types waiting patiently for the single person at the desk. Some held papers, some did not. Some were human, most were not.



Obilian (end); Angelus

“Help,” he heard a woman choke out.

Obilian searched with his hand to find the light switch. He flicked it on.

A woman, with only a ratty blanket thrown over most of her body, lay on the bed, handcuffed to the headboard. Her face was tear-streaked, her left breast exposed. Obilian shut the door and crossed the room to the bed.

“Can you help me?”

He tested the handcuffs, firmly attached. He studied the lock. If he could have, he would have used magic to spring the locks, but he couldn’t because it wasn’t natural. A lock was meant to stay locked.

“Let me try.” He pulled on the handcuffs. He wasn’t strong enough to pull them away from the wooden headboard. The cuffs went down to the mattress, not leaving her with much room to move.

He stood up straight. “I’ll be back,” he said.

“Don’t leave me here!”

He opened the door, leaving the light on. Peaches had what he needed. He dashed to the main entrance, where he left Peaches. After rummaging in his saddlebags, he came up with a lockpick set. He started to run back, when another black man came out of the entrance.

“Done already?”

“No, forgot something.”

“What, condoms?” The man laughed. “You got five minutes on the clock.”

Obilian nodded and ran back to the room. He had the lockpick set out the moment he shut the door. He undid one lock, when there was a knock on the door.

“Time’s up!”

“Gimme a minute.” He fiddled with the second lock, and it sprung open. Obilian put his finger to his lips.

“I said, time’s up.” The door opened.

Obilian shoved the door into the man’s face. Leah gathered the blanket around herself as Obilian punched out toward the man’s body. But he wasn’t there.

The black man had moved to the left, out of the way of the door, and out of eyesight. Obilian took a step out, and immediately got slammed in the head by a bat.

Obilian was tougher than most people, but he still saw stars. Leah screamed, which made it even worse.

He barely recovered when he got hit in the ribs. Obilian blindly reached out, grabbing a hold of the bat and yanking it out of the man’s hands. He flipped the bat around and swung, crashing against the man’s shoulder, probably shattering it. The man howled in pain, and Obilian wound up for another strike.

The man held up his hand that hadn’t been hit.

“No, man! Shit!”

“Get in the room.”

The man struggled to dive into the room, while Leah came out, barefoot and holding desperately onto the blanket. Obilian grabbed her, yanking her to his side, slamming shut the door. He locked the door from the outside, assuming that was the only way it could lock.

“C’mon,” he said, pulling her arm. He would buy her some clothes as soon as he got away with her.

Sometimes, it didn’t matter whether he had magic or was fae. As he helped Leah onto the bike, he realized that now was one of those times.




A fallen angel, he was thrown out of heaven for loving another angel above God. What he doesn’t know is that God did him a favor.


He wasn’t familiar with the deep feeling in his gut, a rumbling and gnawing sensation. He walked past the bakery, and the feeling got worse.

The white-haired man gazed into the window of the bakery. Confections of sugar and flour sat beyond the window. He took a deep whiff, the baking bread aroma almost overpowering his senses. His gut gave another grumble.

Hungry. He was hungry.

He opened the door to the bakery. Fresh baked bread, something sweet beneath it, made his mouth water. The woman in an apron behind the counter smiled at him as she wiped her hands on the hem of her apron.

“Can I help you?”

“What smells so good?” he asked. His voice sounded gravelly, unused. He was used to singing praises, not speaking without a melody.

The woman grinned even more. “Chocolate chip cookies. A dollar a piece.”

“What’s a dollar?”

The woman’s grin faded. She glanced at his hair, and then nodded to him. “You’re one of those Kheldians, aren’t you?”

“A what?”

“One of those space aliens that change forms. They’re mostly heroes.”

He shook his head. “I’m sorry, I’m not a space alien.”

“Then you should know what a dollar is.”

“I’m afraid I don’t. I’ve only just arrived here.”

“From where?”

“Heaven,” he said, looking down, embarrassed.

“Heaven, huh?” The woman shrugged. “This is Paragon after all, I suppose anything’s possible.” She held up a finger. “Wait right here.”

As she went in the back room,

Obilian, part 2

Did curiosity kill the cat? Maybe.
Obilian got off the bike, even though Peaches was telling him in her own certain way to not bother. He pocketed his keys, informing Peaches that he wasn’t going to listen to her, and went back into the bar.
He glanced at the back of the vests that the bikers wore. None were Sidewinders. They were Skulls, famous gangs throughout the country. Maybe they knew where the Sidewinders could be holing up.
Obilian slammed shut the door to the bar, causing the bikers to stop talking and look up at him.
“I’m looking for Sidewinders,” Obilian said. “Any idea where they might be?”
“Left one on the pavement a few miles back,” said one guy, and the rest of the group laughed.
“I’m looking for a girl.” Again, he pulled out the picture. The gang passed it around between them, studying the picture.
“I’ve seen her,” said the woman with the knives. “Over by the Red Cactus. Turning tricks there, I suppose.” The woman handed the picture back to Obilian. Their hands touched. She wasn’t lying.
“Thanks,” said Obilian, and left the bar. He wouldn’t come back there, but go right to the Red Cactus.
First, he needed backup.


Fae magick utilized nature. Unfortunately, Obilian couldn’t use the magick here in the American Southwest, because his blood didn’t come from there. It came from the Aztecs and probably another tribe that the Aztecs absorbed when they conquered Mexico.
All the indigenous tribes had stories of the “Little People”. Some were beneficial, some were not. His mother had been of the fae, his father a human in her captivity. So his father said. He didn’t know his mother.
The Red Cactus was a single-floor sprawling motel with a courtyard or pool in the middle. He pulled up to the main entrance and dismounted. Red cacti decorated the front door. He didn’t know there were such things. But then, he was from Texas and they didn’t have much cacti in Houston.
Obilian pushed open the glass door and was immediately assaulted by cool air. No cacti lived in here, but green, brown, and yellow plants that had seen better days and much more water decorated the base of the walls. Beyond the hallway of dead and dying ferns was a large black woman watching soaps.
He walked up to the counter. The woman didn’t look at him while she spoke, “Whatcha want?”
“I’m looking for a girl.”
“You come to the right place, Jack.” She shifted her body to face him. “How long?”
“How long you gonna need? Fifteen minutes?”
He certainly hoped not. “Thirty. And a specific girl.”
“That costs extra.”
Obilian shrugged, pulled out his wallet. “How much?”
He frowned. That wouldn’t leave him with much. “Seventy-five.”
“Twenty minutes.”
“Fifty for fifteen.”
He grumbled and counted out two twenties and two fives.
“Got a name of the girl?”
“That mousey little slut? To each his own.” She handed him a key. “Past the pool, at the end.”
Obilian left through the back door, passing the empty pool, and counting the doors until he reached the one with the key on it.
He knocked. “Leah?”
He unlocked the door and slowly pushed the door open. There was no air conditioning in this room, and he could smell the overpowering scent of old sex and sweat. The room was hot and dim, the heavy curtains cutting out any light.

Obilian pt 1

Obilian is an energy/energy aura brute. Brutes are melee fighters, so they get in up close and personal. His aura is based on Endurance, both using it and getting it. Energy fighting animation is a lot like Super Strength—there’s only so much fun animation you can do for punches.

As of this writing, he’s level 45. He’s boring to play, but I developed this backstory so I haven’t given up on him yet. When he reaches 50, I’ll probably put him away like I did with other 50’s in this book.


They took one look at him. The short, stocky man at the bar put away shot after shot, and they knew he was ripe for picking. Four on one. What were the odds?

The man hadn’t taken off his long trench coat even though it was warm in the bar. The four rednecks watched him like jackals watching prey that a lion would soon get around to. Finally, the man put both hands on the edge of the bar and shoved himself away. The bartender took his money while the man waved off change for a tip.

Rox got up first to follow the man out the door, and his three underlings, Josie, Bill and Pike followed at an arm’s length behind their fearless leader. The man in the leather trench left the bar, Rox close behind.

The bar sat on the edge of a lake, with motorcycles parked in front and cars relegated to the side and rear, where it was dangerous to park because of the shifting sands of the lake. More than one car had been swallowed by the marsh.

There were no alleys, no places to hide. So they walked right up to him.

“Hey,” Rox called. The man didnd’t turn. “I’m talkin’ to you!”

The man kept walking to the end of the row of bikes, tucking a hand in his jacket. Rox stiffened as he only pulled out a set of keys. Rox pulled out his .357. “I said, I’m talkin’ to you, asshole.”

Now the man turned. His hair was cut short, his eyes dark in the progressing sunset. His face was a block on a thick, thorny stick.

“What.” It was a statement, not a question.

Rox waved the gun. “Gimme your money or I’ll have the boys rough you up for’t.”

The man rolled his eyes, dropping his keys back in his pocket. He stood with his legs spread evenly with his shoulders, and clenched his fists at his sides.

“Suit yourself,” said Rox, and the three men ran past Rox to tackle the other smaller man to the ground.

But he was fast, faster than they expected a man made out of cinderblocks could be. He caught Josie, who ran at him wildly, and tossed him right into Pike. He dodged Bill, who tripped and slammed face-first into the sandy marsh.

“In the first place,” said the man, “I have very little money.”

Pike got up first, and ran at him.  The man whipped an arm around with a loud “whoosh” of air and clotheslined Pike in the throat. Bill was spitting out sand as he got to his feet.

“Secondly, I really don’t need a fight right now.”

Rox clicked back the safety. It made an absurdly loud noise in the twilight.

“That doesn’t work on me.”

“Gimme your wallet.”

“Fuck you.”

Rox squeezed the trigger.

Nothing. Rox turned the barrel toward his face, and the gun fired.

“Shit!” screamed Bill, running to his friend whose face had just been blown off.

In the commotion, the man in leather rode away.


Luck, supposedly, came to the fae in spades. Luck and an aversion to cold iron. As Obilian ran a red light, heading to his fleabag of a motel, he checked his mirrors to make sure that no one followed him from the bar. He really didn’t want the cops around, not right now. He was a stranger in this strange land of Albuquerque, too far south to his liking, and way too hot and dry. The fae didn’t belong here, and he knew it.

He got to the motel without incident. After parking the bike and locking it up, he went to his room on the second floor. If he could, he would carry his bike upstairs and keep it in the room, but there wasn’t enough space. He didn’t like that his iron steed was out alone. Although it was magicked, warded and locked, and had its own sentience, Obilian was not comfortable.

He unlocked the room, glancing inside before taking a long look at the bike outside. “Sorry, Peaches,” he muttered, going into his room.

A bed, a chair, a rickety three-legged table, and a TV on a

COH Splash with account name)

Heroes, Villains, and in between

I mostly play “bluesdie”, that is, the hero side of the game. That’s because most of the people who play this game play on the hero side. Red is the villain, which can be really rough to play, considering you’re a villain.

Finally, there’s “Gold”, which is Praetorian (in other words, the mirror dimension). Many people say that it’s the best content of the game. Gold can be a Loyalist (to the Praetorians) or Resistance (against the tyranny of Emperor Cole). You play in the shiny new city until level 20, then you have to choose whether you will be a hero or a villain. The Resistance fighters are the usual scrappy types with weapons that they scrounge from anywhere. In City of Heroes (blueside), you fight them during a Portal Incorporated arc with Tina McIntyre.

If you build a character blueside, you can go to redside as a “vigilante”, and vice-versa as a “rogue”. You get these by doing “tips” and choosing your own path. Or you can go to the club, named Pocket D, see Null the Gull and change your alignment that way. There are long ways and short ways to everything. Another example is the Midnighter’s Badge, which you need to get to Cimerora (an ancient Roman city). There are two ways to get the badge: the hard way, which is a series of missions; or the easy way, which is sneaking into the Night Ward’s Mansion.

There is a whole bunch of canon and lore, stories and arcs, that are constantly being updated and changed. You will hear people talk about “Live”, which is before November 2011, as if the present-day CoH is not “live”. In this system, Statesman, the main character of the City of Heroes, dies, and Khallisti Wharf exists as his memorial. These weren’t in the original storyline.

As you play the game, you level up, of course. You see a trainer to get to your next level and you will either get a new power or enhancement slots. Enhancements build up your power’s ability, be it accuracy, damage, length of hold, time cooling down, and the like.

There are so many Easter Eggs, badges, task forces, extra powers, and assorted events that I can’t go into here. There is a Paragon Wiki if you search for that, which will tell you everything you need to know.

COH Splash with account name)


“CoX” is shorthand for “City of Heroes/Villains.” Created by NCSoft in the early 2000’s, it takes place in Paragon City, RI and was the first superhero MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game. It closed up in November 2011 but had dedicated fans that helped bring it back to life as the “Homecoming” server just about a year ago.

I developed characters in this world, eventually writing a series of novels based on one of them, Grimaulkin. I pulled Grim and his husband out of the CoX world, stripped him of a CoX origin story, and put him in our own world.

For NaNoWriMo this year, my plan is to post 800 words here. If I go long, you won’t see it; just the first 800 words. Hopefully this will start a daily habit of 800 written words, from these short short stories, character sketches, backstories, to essays to reactions to the world crises. My theme this November is the characters I’ve been playing for the past year.

Who knows? Maybe Grimaulkin will make an appearance.