Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Grand Heroes

Publicly known background information on The Velveteer -

The Velveteer first appeared at a ‘Fairy’s Ball’, a party of dilettante men, dressed in his flamboyant costume. At first seeming to be no more than one more limp wrist, when notorious black hat "Moxy" Redd and his thugs showed up to rob the assembled queens, he burst into action! Battering numerous thugs with his sheathed cane, he seized the darts from the targets on the walls of the bar, pinning several others to woodwork throughout the building. Moxy lost an eye to a ‘lucky’ throw, and although he was hauled away with his goons when the police showed up, has sworn vengeance. Recently busted out of Sing Sing by persons unknown, he may be trouble for ‘The Scarlet Primpernel’, as some of the media have taken to terming The Velveteer.

Dressed in his signature black tuxedo, crimson silk top-hat and a scarlet-trimmed royal purple velvet cape, sporting a black domino mask held in place with a crimson silken Zorro mask and a diamond-tipped cane, the Velveteer swept down upon the street hoods of Brooklyn and Queens, leaving dozens of muggers, rapists, and such-like at the steps of the nearest precincts, frequently needing trips to the nearest hospital. Rescuees describe him as a witty swashbuckler, and confirmed his preference for the lads on many occasions.

It is known that his cane has a sword within, and that the Velveteer is a master fencer, frequently demonstrating vast skill as he carves V’s into his foes. He is also deadly accurate with thrown objects of any sort, and apparently prefers typical barroom darts, which he seems to have an inexhaustible supply of secreted within his cloak and jacket. Several of his viler apprehendees have had to be unpinned from the woodwork. Some of these darts have been reported to have very unusual properties, like sleeping poison, paralysis, electroshock (pain), and even one case of an explosive dart he used to blow open a barred door preventing his escape from the police at the scene of his defeat of Eddie ‘Sixguns’ Thompson. It is rumored that his cape is possibly bulletproof, as witnesses were certain that The Velveteer must have been struck by at least one of Sixgun’s bullets, yet no blood was evident upon investigation.

The Velveteer has worked with several other masked vigilantes in the past, including labor activist Union Jack Murphy and sky pirate Black Scorpion, both known killers, but to all reports has not yet killed anyone. Several femme fatales have also worked with him, but unlike the men he's worked with, there have been no rumors of liaisons twixt him and them. The Velveteer is not the only name he has been called by his critics. ‘The Gay Blade’, ‘The Caped Catamite’, and several other choice monikers have been attached to him by an unfriendly press, and whenever he has worked with other male masked avengers, their names have immediately been dragged through the same mud. This has made many of them reluctant to work with him, and even led to some brief altercations, one or two of which may have been staged to avoid such associations.

It is rumored that The Velveteer is in good with gays all over the Big Apple, and has taken a dim view of attempts to blackmail or otherwise harass them. It seems therefore likely that he has a network of gay citizens from all walks of life that can provide him with shelter, info, or other aid at need. It is even rumored that if one says the right thing to a hairdresser, one can get in touch with The Velveteer within a day.

True or not, The Velveteer was recently implicated in a jewel heist, and a warrant for his arrest is on the books, though as yet no member of the masked avenger society has stepped up to bring him in. No word at all from the ‘Scarlett Swordsman’ on his own side of the story…

Publicly known BG on Cap Atlas, NPC -

Born in 1901, Jeremiah Atlas ran away from the family farm in Minnesota at the age of 15 and made his way to Britain by the time he turned 16. Lying about his age, he enlisted in the British Air Corps and quickly made ace.

After the War ended in 1918, at the ripe old age of 17, Atlas drifted east... far east, to the Pacific rim. There, along with a few older pilots, he got work carrying cargo up and down the Asian coastline in various decrepit crates barely held together by his constant mechanical tinkering and haphazard repair work. In 1922, an older pilot named Tim Truman formed the Four Aces Cargo Carriers Company; Atlas was one of the other three aces who were founding members.

Based out of the Kowloon peninsula, the Four Aces Cargo Carriers prospered. In 1925, after a fight with Truman regarding Atlas' attentions to Truman's 18 year old half Korean daughter Min'ten, Atlas quit the Four Aces and formed his own one man freight company, Atlas Flying Freight deliveries. Shortly thereafter, the Sky Sharks, a ring of air pirates operating an aerial protection racket shot Truman's plane out of the sky when he refused to pay their 'subscription fees', killing Truman. Atlas retaliated and after a series of dogfights over the South China Sea, destroyed the Sky Sharks.

Atlas then returned to the United States, rumors swirling about him that in his time in Hong Kong, he had amassed a significant fortune from various activities, both lawful and illicit, and that he had also made several secret breakthroughs in aviation technology. Within months, Atlas had purchased a small, bankrupt metal foundry just outside of New York City, as well as a Long Island estate with a small adjoining private airstrip, and several other additional properties. Within a year, Atlas had overseen the manufacture of the prototype of his soon to be famous 'Pegasi' aircraft, small single prop fighter planes capable of astonishingly high speeds, and, according to some reports, even hovering for short periods in place like an autogyro.

Atlas used his first small group of Pegasi craft to successfully wreck Hugo Random's scheme to hold New York City hostage with a fleet of incindiery dirigibles. This brought him to the attention of the press, who dubbed him "Evil's Number One Enemy!" and, later on, the first and foremost of the so called "grand heroes".

Less than a year after the first Pegasi craft were seen in the skies over New York City, Atlas unveiled his most impressive construct... his so called Flying Fortress, a vast metal dirigible appointed as both a fully equipped aviatior's headquarters and a luxurious home base. This dirigible houses a small fleet of Pegasi planes, most of which are single seat, extremely maneuverable, heavily armed fighters, but at least one of which is a much larger craft with significant cargo carrying capacity.

Using these tools, Atlas has embarked on a career as a globetrotting adventurer and philanthropist, spending his life fighting evil and helping those being preyed upon by the wicked, the powerful, and the criminal. An SOS sent on his dedicated radio frequency will always reach Atlas, either at the Flying Fortress or his other bases of operation, or, if he is away on a mission, it will be taken by his loyal house servant, Min'ten, and passed along at the first opportunity.

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