Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spotlight: Carnival of Fear

Today we look at a special crew of assassins  who operate under the guise of entertainers until close enough to their targets. Their killer show can draw massive crowds, great for panic issues. They treat onlookers with everything from the beautiful to the horrifying. Crime families and syndicates around the globe look to the Carnival of Fear for those tough jobs that require a special touch. The Carnival is always looking for new talent too, but be careful. If they think a new recruit is a wannabe or less than effective, that person becomes cannon fodder and gets sacrificed for the job. So who are these terrifying miscreants? Follow along:

Showmaster; the leader: William "Billy" Chesterfield likes to watch things die. While talented in several entertaining arts, killing is all he ever really wanted to do. "Mother always said to find something I'm good at and this is my very best." Showmaster is pure diabolical psychopath who demands utmost loyalty from his team. You don't make mistakes on his team until you've earned the right to do so. Showmaster doesn't often get into the thick of a fight, but that doesn't mean he can't handle himself. He's full of nasty tricks and a submachine gun with energized bullets that never run out.

Antimatter; the marksman: Maxwell Romonoff started out long ago as a sniper for the KGB in Moscow, Russia. Because of his unique powers, he was also called in to clean up large "problems". Maxwell can generate and convert antimatter energy. With excellent control, he can destroy any size of target from a person to a city block. He carries a special antimatter rifle with long range capability. The worst of this is that, once he fires a shot, he can control it's direction with his power. Few targets have ever escaped (usually heroes of significant power or sensory). As Showmaster's right hand man, Antimatter has proven to be ruthless and deadly, leaving a trail of bodies anywhere he goes. Thanks to the destructive effects of his energy, those bodies are usually scattered smouldering remains.

Post Mortem; the undead monk: No one knows Post Mortem's real name. The only thing that is known of his deep past is that he is a corrupted and tainted Tibetan monk. As a mystical undead, Post Mortem is hard to contend with. He's Showmaster's "big gun" capable of more death than even Antimatter. Post Mortem has the power to drain the life force of anything around him at as far as 100 yards in any direction. Once he's done this, he can convert that life into supernatural energy blasts. If defeated in combat, all anyone has to do is sacrifice a drop of blood on what ever remains of Post Mortem and he's back again. Post Mortem handles collections on clients who fail to pay. The only thing Post Mortem can't do, is change his appearance, even with magic. Some think this is because of some form of curse.

Mage; the magic act: Charles Prestwick looks like a washed up magician with no where to go. His clothes may have been neat at one time, but now are shabby and dirty. He's also something of a drunk. So why would Showmaster keep him around? Mage has a power called 'magic control'. He can command magic to do anything he wants, without the training of a real sorcerer. Mage is very good at it, even when drunk off his heels. Mage loves to pull monsters out of his hat and throw them into the crowd when they need a good panic to cover activities. Showmaster knows that people underestimate Mage because of his appearance. That mistake has cost many lives.

Four-Score; the muscle: You have to admit, a Teri-Moor warlord makes for a great strongman act. Add in the power to teleport and mastery in all sorts of combat and you get a killer for sure. Four-Score can wipe out a large number of security personnel in seconds. He's also a military strategist capable of out-thinking any human security force on Earth. Four-Score has also gotten into many a hero's path while the rest of the team escaped. Since Four-Score can teleport from planet to planet, he could also easily escape once his team was clear. His main reason for being with the team is his rage. Four-Score is angry with his own race for stopping their war with the Orcanians. The last thing he wanted was peace with a race he hates. He would kill Orcanian targets for free, but Showmaster won't allow it.

Wildcard; the gambler: Wildcard shakes up any situation he gets into because he's a power mimic with some serious luck. His real name is Ethan Saint James and he comes from Las Vegas. Any power his team or opponents can use, he can too. He's not as good a mimic as Major Xeroh of the Chessmen, but still effective enough for the job at hand. Ethan also carries a few strange gambling items of high technology. He has trick cards, dice, and a slot machine belt that you never know what they'll throw at you. Wildcard's power of strange luck has a tendency to shift things where you least expect it. Of course, that almost never turns out bad for him or his team. On jobs, Wildcard likes to set up gambling to score some extra cash before making a kill. Gambling also serves as a great distraction to crowds and targets alike.

Videotron; the walking arcade: "Would you like to play a game?" If you hear that from this dark robot, you need to run. The reality warping technology of Videotron sucks people in to play deadly video games. The only way out is to beat the game. If that doesn't work, Videotron is loaded with high tech weaponry for a fight. Videotron serves as a form of security for any hideout the team holes up in. Videotron doesn't give the team much in personality, but has proven to be a useful tool.

Carousel; the show girl: Lief Leonne is a psychopath's dream girl. She often poses as Mage's sexy assistant during magic shows, but she has a nasty trick of her own. She can cause vertigo so bad that it causes victims to have strokes and heart attacks. It's dizziness that does direct life force damage. While she works with Mage her heart is only for Showmaster. Showmaster allows her to be "his girl" but may only be using her. Even so, Carousel is quite happy in her position even though it puts her at odds with Antimatter.

When the team is off duty, they frequent hideouts in places like Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. For this they have a moving hideout filled with automatons and carnival deathtraps. It's very difficult to find them and they move location at random. It's thought that they have other locations not yet discovered. If discovered, they are on a "do not approach" list for standard law enforcement including FBI or CIA. They've killed off too many standard human task forces to count. Only powered teams should approach or attempt to handle the Carnival of Fear.
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