The (More Than) Complete Cast of CVRPG

Heroes, Villains, Low-lives, and Agents of Leisure

1 Dracula

Vlad Tepes

Background:

Editor's Note: Dracula's exact age is not known, as the Castlevania series makes it rather ambiguous as to if the Dracula we know is actually the Dracula from history or if it's some imposter who has taken over that identity. We choose to think Dracula is Dracula and ignore everything else.

Centuries ago, Dracula was once the ruler of a small Eastern European country, Wallachia. He fought everyone else to take over his land, slaughtered troops, boyars, and nobles alike if they stood in his way (or at one point had ever stood in his way, no matter how long ago that might have been). A cunning military mind, Dracula was also a cruel, vengeful dictator.

Needless to say, becoming an evil vampire didn't change his disposition much. Didn't even really get rid of his lack-of-conscience, as he plainly didn't have much of one to begin with.

Regardless, Dracula the evil vampire continued to reign over his territory for a time, until he was defeated by Trevor Belmont, one of a clan of vampire hunters sworn to hunt vampires (duh). Every few years Dracula would come back, then a Belmont (or other vampire hunter) would come along and defeat the vampire again.

In and around all these shenanigans, Dracula fell in love and married a human woman, a local healer named Lisa. They had a child together, Alucard (who would grow up to be a vampire hunter -- daddy issues?)... and then the local villagers killed Lisa.

If Dracula hadn't been sworn to evil before, he was after that. He set out his goal to take over the world, subjugate the humans, and kill them off (although what this would have done for his food supply is anyone's guess).

So far he's been unsuccessful.

Personality Details:

Dracula is a bad, bad man. He's also gay now. The two details are not related. One may wonder how it is that a gay man fell in love with a woman, got married, had a kid, and yet is still totally gay (he is so fabulous). We choose not to judge his personal life.

As a soulless vampire (with a flair for style), Dracula has certain gifts he can use in battle. He is able to tap into Hellfire magic, a combination of Dark and Fire-based magics. He also has some limited control over Air magic, used specifically for lightning bolts and other lightning-based attacks.

Additionally, Dracula has a couple of forms he can shift into: mist, bat, and demon. The demon form occurs when he has been damaged enough and has to shift into this final form (like a Limit Break in the Final Fantasy series).

First Appearance: The Four Swords
Last Appearance: #852: All Better?

1 Frankie

Frankenstein's Creature

Background:

Before his rebirth as a horrific monstrosity in Dr. Frankenstein's lab, the creature previously known as Jeff had few aspirations. He'd thought, maybe, about becoming a bard (his father hated that idea as his father, like everyone, hated bards). There was also the potential for him to follow in his great uncle's footsteps and become a village idiot (he certainly had the required skills for that).

Sadly, any dreams the man once known has Jeff may have had were cut short in a tragic game of carriage chicken. Jeff wasn't even one of the drivers -- he just happened to be crossing the street at the wrong time.

His head, his left hand, and three of his right toes were all that survived in good enough condition for Dr. Frankenstein to use, but since the brain was fresh, that was all that really mattered. With a little lightning, a dash of chemicals, and a lot of sewing, the mad doctor was able to bring Jeff back to life... along with the cobbled-together pieces of several other men, two women, and a rather androgynous person that could have been either sex (although we aren't judging).

Sadly, either from the chemicals or the lightning (or just the momentary adrenaline rush of being run over) Jeff no longer remembered his former life. Although the doctor never named him, former-Jeff adopted the name "Frankie", and the rest was history (and also chemistry, biology, and a little zoology for good measure).

Personality Details:

Frankie is a simple chap. He prefers to spend most of his days wandering a random hall of Dracula's castle -- less to patrol it and more just to see what's all the way down at the other end. The castle is huge, and Frankie doesn't really have a lot to take up his time -- minioning isn't exactly busy work most of the time.

When engaged in combat, Frankie is most assuredly a brawler. He likes to fight with his fists (and not in the sporting, Queensbury-rules kind of way). He'll also throw anything he might have at his disposal (rocks, bottles of chemicals, fleamen). No one ever taught him to fight fair, and he's a little past worrying about it now.

First Appearance: #26: Evil
Last Appearance: #829: Good Opportunity

1 Olrox

The Other Vampire Lord

Background:

Vampires are territorial creatures. By agreement (i.e., war, in-fighting, and general bloodshed), the most powerful vampires divided up the realms of Earth into territories to rule. Each vampire sticks to their territories, and unless they're looking to expand (and fully take over another land), there is only ever one Master Vampire in control of specific region.

However, for a time two vampires were in contention to rule the lands of Germany. Count Olrox, Lord of Wismar, claimed the throne of Germany. Dracula, though, was looking to expand his realm (this was in a lull between attacks from vampire hunters, so Dracula has some time on his hands), and set his sights on his neighbor. The only reasonable thing to do was settle this score with blood.

Remember, they're vampires. Everything eventually ends in blood somehow.

The thing is, both sides of the war were evenly matched. Neither side could get a leg up on the other, and repeatedly the skirmishes ended in stalemates. It seemed as if they undead war for the realm would go on forever (and the humans, caught between the two sides, would be exterminated long before the war ever got close to ending).

And then the unexpected happened: vampire hunters went after Count Olrox and defeated him. Without their leader, Olrox's armies crumbled. Dracula was able to walk right in and claim Germany for his own. To rub salt in the wound, Dracula also filed cease and desist orders against Olrox, claiming that Olrox stole Dracula's identity and that he should be barred from claiming the title of Lord of Wismar.

This, it should be noted, was a bold faced lie. Sure, both were Master Vampires with historical ties to the Carpathian Mountains and the kings of Wallachia. And sure, both had tried, at one point, to leave their ancestral homes for foreign lands (Dracula and England, Olrox and the city of Wisborg). And sure, both had a penchant for taking brides among the populace, and later had been chased back to their mountainous homes by vampire hunters because they maybe took one too many brides in too public a setting.

But that's no reason to claim they had the exact same lives. That would be silly, right?

Personality Details:

After discovering the betrayal, Count Olrox was understandably perturbed. Unfortunately, by the ruling of the courts, Olrox had to pay back Dracula damages due to the alleged identity theft. With his realm in the control of his rival, Olrox was left without any means or money. Basically, he had to take a job, and there was only one person willing to hire a (rather ugly) Master Vampire: Dracula.

So, in the end, Olrox had to go work for his rival to pay off a debt unfairly levied against him. To say Olrox is a very bitter employee would be the understatement of the year.

One day he will get his revenge. This is assured. For now he fights back by stealing office supplies and taking extra long smoke breaks.

First Appearance: #89: Didja See it Coming?
Last Appearance: #557: Please Pay

1 Shaft

Yo Damn Right

Background:

Many creatures are born into evil. What is a foul-smelling, eight headed, bulbous flame beast going to do but take up residence in a cave somewhere and eat passing humans? It's what he was made to do. You can't blame a creature for following basic instincts (or, you can, but you don't do it to its face unless you're well armed and possibly wearing asbestos mail).

Others fall into evil because of the way their lives shifted. Maybe have become despondent over the start of their lives, the future, and the universe and figured "hell, I may as well kill and steal because what does it all mean?" (Of course, for the people they steal from and kill, it meant a lot, they just aren't really able to communicate this point, what with being dead).

Occasionally, though, some just choose the life of evil because they've just got the right skill set for it, and the universe has given them an easy career path to follow. For Shaft, a natural magician with powers leaning toward necromancy and ritual sacrifice, the only obvious career path was as a Priest of the Dark Arts (since politics is so hard to get into, while few people trust a doctor who says "worst comes to worst, those kidneys will certainly look good on my desk... here comes the scalpel").

From an early age, Shaft proved to have a gift with the dead. Of course there was the incident where he resurrected the family dog (what necromancer hasn't done that?). More awkward was the time he accidentally brought their dead grandmother back to life (especially awkward since she'd been dead for five years -- she could still bake a mean lemon cake, though). It was inevitable that Shaft would pursue a life as an evil sorcerer.

Because, really, it's not as if he minded killing people and reanimating them (or their bits) for his sorcery. From a certain perspective, we're all just water and carbon, right?

Personality Details:

The thing that makes Shaft a great necromancer is that he just has no consideration for "life". When you can bring anything back from the dead whenever you want, then it's not as if "death" or "life" are terms that really matter anymore. At times Shaft has worked as the local "magic doctor", helping the local masses to turn a buck (and keep a low profile), but Shaft never really felt "among" them -- letting them slowly age and die always seems like a waste of perfectly good materials.

Shaft works to be the best sorcerer in Romania (well, okay, he already thinks he's the best in the world, not just Romania, but he does still work at it). He has a meticulous nature, always working to keep his spells organized, his lab clean, and his spare body parts properly alphabetized. Some would call his need to file and organize everything anal retentive... well, okay, everyone would call it that.

Seriously, for a guy that wades through the guts of corpses, he's a real neat freak.

First Appearance: Introduction #2: More About Dracula
Last Appearance: #864: Ever Changing

1 Thereshiri

High Priestess of Ra

Background:

Centuries ago (many, many centuries ago), in the ancient land of Egypt, there was a Pharaoh (what they called kings because the word "king" hadn't been invented yet). He was called Akmodan (although history remembers him as Akmodan I, but as he was the first the "one" was applied to his title after the fact). He also died, which is sad for the guy. Death happens to us all, and for Akmodan it happened in the Nile river, after one too many pints of beer, a hastily organized royal skinny dip session, and a crocodile. We'll let you piece together the order of events.

As it was, with Akmodan dead, the throne was left open for Akmodan's heir, the hastily named Akmodan II (bearing in mind that oftentimes kings would choose their "official" name upon taking the throne). There was only one small issue: Akmodan II was a small boy, hardly old enough to tie his sandals (they need tying, right?), let alone rule a country. Obviously a regent would be needed. To aid her younger brother, the teenaged daughter of Akmodan I, Thereshiri, assumed control of the realm until her brother was old enough to rule on his own.

Well, the uproar from this action could be heard across the Mediterranean. This wasn't 1479 BC (the start of the reign of Hatshepsut, fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty, and one of the most successful female Pharaohs). These were older times, when things were done properly and women did not rule Egypt. Obviously, this upstart girl had to be dealt with.

For a young girl that was only trying to help out her baby brother, her end was rather unjust: accusations of treason, a sham trial, conviction and death. Thankfully for Thereshiri, her younger brother threw a tantrum and had her mummified. Sure, she was still dead, but her place in the afterlife was assured.

Or, you know, she would have been ushered into the afterlife if it wasn't for the pesky magic of Dracula's Castle. Somehow her corpsified body ended up in Dracula's realm, and the dark magics resurrected Thereshiri as an animated mummy. But that wasn't the end of the changes in store for the mummy-girl. After a century or so of being a brain-munching undead fiend, more magics were unleashed and Thereshiri was granted a second life as a human. After more than two thousand years, Thereshiri was a living, breathing girl again.

The heck was she supposed to do now?

Personality Details:

Despite all that she went through during her prolonged lifespan (betrayal, death, undeath, relife), Thereshiri has a surprisingly upbeat attitude. For her, this second chance as a human is really a second chance for everything -- a chance to right whatever wrongs she did in the past, to make the future a better place.

And she does have a few sins to make up for. As an undead mummy she ate her fair share of people, and that can weigh down on a newly reinstated soul. There are people she's harmed (directly and indirectly) that she has to repay, a balance that needs to be restored to ensure her next chance at the afterlife goes better than the last one.

As such, Thereshiri has taken on the mantle of the last High Priestess of Amen Ra (and, to be fair, as the only person to still believe in the God, Thereshiri has a lock on the job) and has been using her position and power to act as a light in the dark realm of Romania. Now, if only she'd stop hanging out with those Belmont boys...

First Appearance: Thereshiri
Last Appearance: #734: Bomberman

2 Death

The Grim Reaper

Background:

Death is not a man. He is not even, technically, alive. Death is the "creature" that people believe takes their souls to the afterlife -- a force personified. He has many forms, although his most well-known is certainly that of the Skeleton in robes (sometimes seen riding a pale horse) as popularized by Western culture.

Would Death have existed if people didn't believe in him? Possibly, although the likelihood is that he would look drastically different, if he had a physical form at all.

He is timeless, beginning without end. He is of all places, of all times. He can be anywhere, any when, witness any death, see any battle, take part in any war.

He also cooks a pretty mean barbeque.

Death's purpose is to collect souls and usher them to wherever they are supposed to go (Heaven, Hell, Asgard, etc.). This task, however, has never kept Death very busy (he's very good at his job). During his idle moments, Death works as a guard for Dracula, using the opportunity to usher new souls to their final destination.

One could wonder why it is that Death works for someone instead of just doing his motivated soul-taking on his own time. Death would respond that he prefers the motivation and oversight as provided from a guided workplace environment.

He also likes the dental plan offered by Dracula.

Personality Details:

Aside from collecting souls, Death is interested in studying mortals. As one of the few true immortals, Death finds the whole concept of mortality to be confusing. Why people can't simply go on existing, as Death does, confounds his whole thought process.

But then he also can't understand why people are unable to see all of time and space at once, and know everything that has happened, is happening, will happen, and could potentially never happen. He accepts this as a weakness of mortals, but it's still not something he truly understands.

When encountered, Death likes to make battles fair. He knows everything that will happen, so it's not as if he couldn't win any fight he chose. He instead focuses on the now, and balances himself out power-wise, shifting his form to something that could, potentially, be defeated.

Not that battling him is supposed to be easy. Just more fair.

First Appearance: Introduction #2: More About Dracula
Last Appearance: #805: Truce?

3 Carmilla Karnstein

Background:

Born to the noble Karnstein family, Carmilla was the last surviving heir to the barony. She ended up being the last surviving heir, as she and the rest of her family were all vampires, and she happened to be the only one to survive an attack by vampire hunters.

Just goes to show you that a little planning and a good emergency evacuation plan is always a wise idea, even for the practically immortal.

Since her time of ascension to the title of Countess, Carmilla has had to fight off politicians ("females shouldn't control their own land," of course), vampire hunters, and the occasional amorous suitor (Carmilla just doesn't swing your way, boys). She is a powerful force in the Romanian countryside, and should not be taken lightly if ever confronted.

Personality Details:

Unlike some vampires who decide to "go gay" whenever it suits them, Carmilla isn't even a little confused over her sexuality -- girls are totally where it's at. She's as likely as any horny male to be distracted by a healthy bust and nice set of legs. And, unlike any vampire, she knows full well that the inner thigh and around the bust are two good places to feed if you want to avoid being "too obvious".

Carmilla can turn into a cat at will. Other vampires may think wolves and bats are so special, but girls like kitty cats. Carmilla knows her intended targets.

Carmilla has a magical mask she can use in attack. When summoned, the mask can appear either as a small ballroom mask, or as a giant mask that Carmilla can ride around on. The mask will drip venomous, bloody tears.

First Appearance: #32: Frankenstein and Mummy are Dead Part 1
Last Appearance: #847: Chicken Dinner

3 Medusa

Background:

As a figure of Greek mythology, Medusa is famous (infamous maybe) for being an ugly, horrific she-beast. Half-woman, half-snake, the Medusa was so ugly that, were you to stare upon her, you would instantly turn to stone.

Now, of course, any myth is going to get exaggerated over time. Medusa isn't, honestly, that bad a person to look upon. Maybe being half-snake isn't going to get her a lot of guys (some men aren't into serpents), so sure, she could gain a reputation for being hideous.

And sure, staring at her doesn't turn you into stone. It's a magic, something she has to actively turn on and off. It tends to be a wise idea not to meet her gaze, since she could turn you into stone if she wanted.

She is an absolute beast, though. Some women are appreciated for their personalities. Medusa is quite the opposite. There's a reason a hero was willing to chop her head off (she eventually recovered).

Personality Details:

Gorgons (of which Medusa is one) are not charismatic people. Medusa relishes in the pain and suffering of others. She loves to watch the fear build in victims' eyes, watch the dread, the resignation, the willingness to die. And then she turns them to stone, just so she can look upon the frozen face any time she wants.

In combat, aside from her gaze, she also has her snake hair she can use. With a head full of snakes, Medusa can shake the reptiles free. The snakes are independent attackers, and will go after any given target until defeated.

Medusa has also been known to use a sword and shield in combat. As a thousand year-plus-old warrior, Medusa has had plenty of time to perfect her sword skills.

First Appearance: #32: Frankenstein and Mummy are Dead Part 1
Last Appearance: #829: Good Opportunity

3 Succubus

Background:

Although the succubi and incubi are afamed, fabled race, it's rare to actually see one in the flesh. As being of the dream world, the dream demons (as they're collectively known) spend most of their time floating astrally through the minds of their victims, finding those that are alspee and feeding on their sexual thoughts.

The Succubus (not just a succubus but the Succubus) used to be one among the many, but she found a taste for the physical world. Steping through the etherial plane, she found the joys to be had in feeding on the joys of the bedroom. Lust and sex and sweat and all that good stuff that happens behind closed doors (or in a park, or the back of a Volkswagon if that's your thing) became like a drug to her, and she craved more.

To exist in the physical plane, though, makes one a slave to the needs of the physical world -- not just sex but food, shelter, and sleep are all required. these were things the Succubus never had to worry about before, but the matters became all too pressing all too quickly (it's amazing how quickly a physical body craves a shower and a bit of respite on the toilet). To take care of these matters, in the end, required money. Money to buy food, money to rent shelter. Money.

Thankfully for the Succubus a job was just waiting for her -- a job at Dracula's castle. Seizing an opportunity when it's presented, the Succubus quickly joined up with Dracula's bad of merry minions (working title), and the rest has been history.

Personality Details:

While many a succubi has worked for Dracula (you should see the horde that populates Carmilla's abode), the Succubus is a special case. Having joined of her own free will, the Succubus is a bit of a free agent, able to come and go as she pleases, when she pleases.

Part of this is by necessity -- the Succubus feeds on the dreams and desires of mortals, a sexy thought vampire that lurks late at night. While the creates that populate Dracula's castle may have dreams and desires, few provide the kind of sustenence the Succubus needs (and fewer still are desireable bu the Succubus, which is kind of arequirement for her).

And so she leaves when she wants, comes back when she wants... and when a battle looks like it's going to turn against her, more often than not the Succubus takes her leave -- she's a being of the dream world, and the dreams are just a quick step away whenever she wants.

First Appearance: #30: Dragon 1 Heroes 0
Last Appearance: #800: Cornell's Erotic Adventures

4 Cornell

Background:

There was a time when Cornell was the strongest and best warrior in the tribe of "Man-Beasts", those cursed to change into wolves at the sight of the full moon (Man-Beast also being the name of a halfway decent porn, and an altogether awful metal band). Cornell fought Dracula, Cornell bested his best friend (and rival). Cornell banged his sister (she was adopted, but let's all pretend we didn't know that last bit). He was a god among men.

So what happened? Somewhere along the way, he just kind of gave it all up -- the adventuring, the heroics, and the hot sex (with his "not at all my sister, really, don't mind me"). He started spending more and more of his time recounting the glory days when he "once bested Dracula in mortal combat." He took to the booze. He grew a bit of a gut. Most egregiously, he started hanging out with Richter Belmont, a known lay-about and altogether worthless individual.

The two of them are best friends now. Go figure.

Some days, though, you can catch the faint wistful look in his eyes for the day long past. He may not be a Man-Beast like he used to be (more metal band than adult video), but even the lowest of us still has dreams.

Personality Details:

First and foremost, Cornell doesn't do much of anything (except drink). No one actually sees him move -- some speculate that he somehow levitates everywhere with this power of his mind, while others say that he's quantum locked and that by looking at him, you force him to remain in one place until no longer observed.

If challenged in combat, Cornell will, more than likely, use his sharp wit to attempt to avoid battle. If sorely challenged, he may throw a beer can.

First Appearance: #15: So About That Quest
Last Appearance: #865: Fourth Wall

4 Hanz Belmont

Background:

Although many have heard the tales of Richter Belmont -- hero of the land, courageous and just, that man of darring-do -- few have heard the tales of his lesser known brother, Hanz Belmont. Like his brother, Hanz trained in the ways of vampire hunting, and like his brother, he learned to weild a whip of awesome power and majesty.

Well, at least that's what the gypsy that sold it to Hanz told him.

See, while Hanz wanted to fight Dracula with all his heart, Dracula just never showed up. Sure, Richter got to have two adventures against the goddamned bat-head (TM), but that brother hogged all the glory. What was there for Hanz to do with Richter around? Who's going to give him any credit and glory?

No one, that's who. Man, did Hanz ever rack up a debt at the bars, though. Always telling them about that one time he defeated two vampire maids terrorizing the town of Condele. Or that time he defanged the Dread Serpent of the Borgo Pass with only a pair of tweezers. Plus, there was the time he dispelled the Spectral Gypsies of the High Mountain Way.

If only any of those stories were true.

Personality Details:

What's fascinating about Hanz is just how different he is from his brother. For all of Richter's cowardice and avarice, Hanz is strong, brave, and just. It just so happens that Richter is three years older than Hanz, and thus was the rightful heir to the family whip, the Vampire Killer. So while Hanz wants to be the hero -- needs it, really -- Richter just naturally gets all the glory.

And so Hanz has a giant chip on his shoulder towards Richter. Hanz tries damn hard -- maybe too hard - to be the better hero, and often times everything ends up blowing up in his face.

But then he dusts himself off and tries again. Hanz is nothing if not stubborn and persistent.

First Appearance: Introduction #4: Family History
Last Appearance: #865: Fourth Wall

4 Richter Belmont

Background:

Everyone knows the story: the townsfolk are frightened because an ancient evil has awakened. "Oh no, what will we do?! Our daughters aren't safe!" they cry out, desperate for a hero. Sure, it's a story everyone has heard, but in the case of Richter Belmont, it's also his life. Richter is a hero, and when the dark evil comes about, it's his job to take it out, mano-a-mano.

Which is why it sucks that he's just so bad at it. Oh sure, he gets the principles of being a hero. Heck, he even faced off against Dracula once and won (a few other times Richter wasn't really at his best, and shouldn't really count anyway if you ask him). But there are days (many, many, many days) where all Richter really wants to do is hang out in a tavern with some good booze, a fine-looking woman (not necessarily the one he's married to), and to while away the hours listening to whatever crappy bard is around that day.

All bards are crappy. It's a rule of the universe.

Sadly, Dracula always has this way of coming back (over and over and over), and who are they going to call when the shit hits the fan (or blood, we if want to keep the metaphor on topic)? Richter. Man just wants to get his drink on, people!

Personality Details:

Richter is a Cowardly, greedy, womanizing drunkard. This is not a character flaw (not in Richter's eyes, anyway) -- it's his strength, the whole of his being that Richter has done his best to cultivate and improve upon (usually though more mead and ale). It does mean that when the going gets tough, Richter will usually nip off in the opposite direction for a quick smoke and maybe a pull from his flask. There are other heroes, right?

When he does get himself into a situation where he has to actually be a hero, Richter has all the skills and weapons of the famed vampire hunting clan, the Belmonts, at his disposal. His primary attack, the Vampire Killer whip, can be directed with surgical precision (unless he has a hangover, then he's not to be blamed for where that whip ends up).

Along with the famed whip, Richter has access to the various secondary weapons of his clan: axe, boomerang cross, dagger, and holy water. He can even cast an "Item Crash", which sends out a super-powerful version of his attacks (although he does find this attack quite draining).

First Appearance: Introduction #2: More About Dracula
Last Appearance: #865: Secret Stash

5 Link

The Hero of Legend

Background:

Many generations ago (depending on who you ask), there was a time of darkness in the land of Hyrule. An evil thief, Ganondorf, wanted a great power for himself -- the Golden Power. Fueled by three power relics, the Triforces, this Golden Power would give Ganondorf the ability to remake the world as he saw fit.

Like a jerk, he made into a world and darkness and nightmares. That one move just begged for a hero to come along and save the day. That hero was Link.

Well, a Link, anyway. Throughout the generations, the Knights of Hyrule protected the lands. Usually, whenever a great evil would come along, the great hero (a decedent of the Knights of Hyrule) named Link would just randomly appear. He'd get himself the Master Sword (another power relic), fight his way through a series of dungeons, and save the day.

In the end, Ganon (having wisely ditched the "dorf", which was only holding back his cool factor) was always defeated, and Link went on to live a life of peace and happiness.

Well, at least until some new evil came along. Or boredom set in. That often happens, too.

Personality Details:

Our Link, being one of the multitudes of Links out there throughout the centuries, has had many adventures. This has lead him to realize that all of life is an adventure, and there's always a hero for an adventure -- so why bother being the hero? Someone else will always come along. Besides, a while back Link accidentally ended up a zombie, and he's got a long un-life to plan for. He'd much rather make money and retire in style then have to save the world every other week.

If confronted, Link can use his bag of weapons and items to fight off any attackers. He has an uncanny ability to carry untold items, and will fend off any attack not just with his sword and shield, but with boomerangs, arrows, bombs, fire rods, ice rods, quake spells, hook shots, ocarinas (so effective in combat), and nuts... among various items he usually carries in his bag.

Plus, as a zombie, there's always the chance he'll just eat your face. You never know.

First Appearance: The Four Swords
Last Appearance: #864: Black is the New Black

Actrise

The Dark Sorceress

Background:

Dracula draws many to him. His power is immense, and those of evil nature come to him like a moth to a flame. It's nature, of a very dark and evil kind. Thus was Actrise similarly drawn in by Dracula's promise and power.

For her part Actrise was no lovely person before Dracula sucked her in. A dark sorceress by profession, Actrise had a predilection for torturing small children (everyone needs a hobby). As her lust for power, and cravings for death, grew, Actrise eventually sacrificed her own child among 100 others, gaining the attention of Dracula. He brought her to his castle, made her one of his lieutenants, and put the sorceress in charge of ensuring his (eventually needed) resurrection.

Of course, Dracula did eventually die, and Actrise was able to bring him back from the dead, so plainly she proved herself quite useful to the cause.

Personality Details:

Actrise is not a nice person. She's evil, through and through. She kicks pupies, fails to rewind her tapes before returning them to rental stores (Castlevania is about 80 years behind everyone else, so they still have Blockbuster Video stores), and pirates all her favorite music. She's among the worst of the worst.

Of course, like all of Dracula's minions, she, too, was one day defeated by heroes. But, like all his minions, she also came back, undead and stronger than before. So she works, like always to ensure Dracula's resurrection (as well as her own).

First Appearance: Raye
Last Appearance: Season of the Witch, Part 9

Alec Prelude

Background:

Raised in a small farming town, Alec was born to humble roots. While his eldest brother took over the family farm, and his next brother joined the military (much like tradition dictated), Alec looked to becoming a priest (again, as tradition dictated). The fact that the town didn't have much of a church (what with the last one being destroyed by the Turks -- the singing, dancing, musical gang, not the band of marauding... marauders) wasn't something that would deter Alec.

No, once he was of age and ready to head out into the world, Alec left to pursue his destiny. Of course, it was never clear to anyone besides Alec what his destiny was... including Destiny herself.

And so it was that Destiny took Alec on a little journey. Well, not literally. Alec ventured out for quite some time, but it's not as though Destiny was his constant companion... you know, not physically. She was there in spirit... if she had a spirit... which as an anthropomorphic personification of an idea, she actually doesn't.

She's actually not even really a she...

I've gotten distracted. As it was, eventually Alec made his way to a monastery, one that trained holy warriors for battle. Most specifically, the Crusades. Alec was to be a Crusader. A Crusader that was to fight the Turks.

And this time the Turks meant the actual Turks, the ones that were less inclined to sing and dance.

Personality Details:

Alec is a gentle, trusting soul. Despite years of traveling the countryside (especially his time with Darkmoon), Alec has never lost that kind, innocent quality that has come to define him.

That said, he is one of the most powerful warriors in the group (second only to Princess). His skills with holy magic are an additional boon in combat.

First Appearance: The Four Swords
Last Appearance: #2465: He's Impossible

Alec Prelude (Mirror)

The Alec of Earth 2

Background:

Raised in a small farming town, Alec was born to humble roots. While his eldest brother took over the family farm, and his next brother joined the military (much like tradition dictated), Alec looked to becoming a dark priest, oe who ruled the powers of the gods to his will. The fact that the town didn't have much of a church (let alone an evil one devoted to worshipping the dark gods like Alec needed - the best they had was a clown college which, while evil, lacked the aura of menace Alec desired) wasn't something that would deter Alec.

No, once he was of age and ready to head out into the world, Alec left to pursue his destiny. Of course, it was never clear to anyone besides Alec what his destiny was... including Destiny herself. But for Alec he knew what he would do -- he'd learn all he could and bring forth a Dark God. Because, hey, when youre young and evil, why not?

And so it was that Destiny took Alec on a little journey. Well, not literally. Alec ventured out for quite some time, and Destiny did everything she could to send the young religious nut-job back towards the path she'd chosen for him. She's sent him on a trip with pirates, crash him into an island, even had him meet up with a girl who was perfect for the proper, holy orders. But, no matter where he went or what he did, it always ended him up in the same place: a school for religious youngsters that was anything but what it seemed. It was evil, which was perfect for Alec.

At this point Destiny threw up her hands and went to have a cup of tea and bit of a lie-down.

Once Alec reached the school that turned out trained evil priests for battle, Alec knew he had found his true calling (Destiny, meanwhile, rolled over on her couch and put a pillow over her head). Alec trained all he could in learning to tap into the dark magics, and, when the time was right, he killed their priests in charge and took over the school.

This is what brought out you dictator to the attention of this universe's Darkmoon. And their team-up was formed.

Personality Details:

When it comes to describing Evil Alec, some words do not come to mind: gentle, trusting, courageous, heroic. After years of traveling the countryside (especially working with Evil Darkmoon), Evil Alec managed to hone that dark, ruthless, killer instinct that has come to define him.

Through his years of training Alec has become the most powerful, most bloodthirsty dark priest the world had ever seen -- even more powerful that Shaft (rightful owner of the name "The Dark Priest"). Needless to say, this Alec is a perfect fit for the legions of crazed minions lurking in Count Darkmoon's castle.

First Appearance: Evil Alec Prelude
Last Appearance: #887: Discourse

Alec Prelude (Purple)

Hero, Rockstar, Legend

Background

To understand how there can be a second Alec (well, actually, four of them), you have to know about the existence of the Four Sword. A legendary items once wielded by Link, the Four Sword eventually fell into the hands of our friendly neighborhood paladin, Alec. As is well known, Alec and Link share a number of traits in common, not the least of which is that they both link the color green. So when Alec gained the Four Sword, it felt like a natural fit.

Using the Four Sword, Alec was able to split himself into four Alecs: Green, Red, Blue, and Purple. Together, they formed a traveling band and toured the world, scoring record deals and lots of money (and groupies). Despite what you may have heard, they did not go into business as representations of Earth holidays. That's, of course, totally silly.

Sadly, fate was not on the side of the Four Alecs. A freak accident at a show left the Alec down three, with only Purple still alive. Although he toured for a while, he eventually retired from the life of a rock star. Maybe one day he'll find his musical nature again (I hear that awesome band, Righteous Heretics, is looking for a guitarist). But until then...

Personality Details

Like the original Alec, Purple (as he likes to be called) is a heroic sort, good natured and kind. He also has music deep in his bones, always humming a tune or whistling a ditty. It was only natural for him to go into music, to follow his destiny to become a star.

He didn't choose the music. The music chose him. And with it, he had to rock!

First Appearance: #415: Where Are They Now?
Last Appearance: #2407: End of Game 4 (and a Bit, and a Bit More)

Alexander Belmont

Background:

As one of two Belmont children, Alex always knew there was a chance he'd end up facing off against Dracula. Being a Belmont, especially one living in a world that's been under the rule of Dracula for hundreds of years, means that one day the whip will end up in your hands -- you either pick it up to fight vampires or you flee your fate completely.

However, Alex was one of two children. His younger sister, Evie, was always ore skilled with the whip that Alex ever was. Although older, and male, Alex had trouble wielding the energies of the legendary Vampire Killer -- he was always more skilled crafting than fighting. So when his father announced that Evie would be the one to inherit the whip, Alex was relieved, not angry.

Sadly, fate had other designs on the Belmont clan. Their father was killed in a vampire attack, and Evil and Alex were left to fend for themselves. Vowing revenge, Evie took up the vampire hunting mantle and charged off to Dracula's castle. Alex waited for her, but his sister never came back. Not really.

What came back was a vampire with the Belmont powers, the Belmont strength, and his sister's face. She attacked Alexander, took his arm as a trophy, and left him for dead. But he lived instead. He lived, but he never truly found a way to live, not as a Belmont again.

Hiding away in a cave, Alex built himself a new, metal arm. He became a tinker, and engineer of items and weapons, but not a hero in his own right. And there, in that cave, he would have lived until the Belmont name truly died with him, if not for a hero from a past era who came calling one day...

Personality Details:

Alexander doesn't much like heroes -- his sister was a hero and he saw how well that ended. As far as he was concerned heroes were nothing but trouble, and the life they lived would only get them killed. Sure he'd make items and gear, but that was to make money to live -- true weapons for heroes were worthless to him, something to be shunned.

Because the only evil left to fight was the big evil, the last evil -- Dracula. And no one was going to be able to kill that vampire, right?

First Appearance: Alexander Belmont
Last Appearance: This is 2000, Part 50

Alucard

Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes

Background:

What would it be like to be the child of a celebrity? For many children of stars, the assumption is that life would be one sweet ride of presents, money, and love, that the world would open its doors for you and you could have anything you want. Presumably this isn't the case for most children of the famous and well off. While, certainly, they can have most anything they want, most famous children seem to end up miserable, wasting their lives (and their family's money) just because they can.

So then, how much worse would it be if your father was the most hated, evil dictator the world had ever seen (at least until Hitler came along)? Alucard, son of the Dark Prince, Dracula, has been fighting his father's dark and musty shadow for centuries, trying, even valiantly, to forge his own life away from the hellbeasts and mutant monstrosities that are a hallmark for Dracula's reign of terror.

Life wasn't all bad for Alucard. At the start, his father and mother, Lisa, were happy. But Lisa was in love with a vampire, and townspeople don't like vampires (how closed-minded of them), so they burned Lisa at the stake as a witch, and that set off Dracula onto a path of darkness (even more dark than his already pretty dark path that he was on because he was Dracula, the evil vampire lord of Romania... so, you know, really dark). Dracula went hardcore, human-hating evil, but Alucard (ever the son in his mother's eye) followed a better path, the path of righteousness.

And so, when a heroine, Sonia Belmont, came to Dracula's castle to defeat the Dark Prince, Alucard did not stand against her. Knowing that Dracula had to be stopped (because, you know, duh), Alucard helped Sonia. And by "helped" we mean that he trained her in the ways of fighting evil (and by "trained her" we mean he totally slept with her). Dracula was defeated, and the forces of good triumphed (and walked away sated, aw yeah).

Dracula, however, wasn't in the mood to hear from his preachy, whiny son about how "good should triumph" and "the humans aren't really so bad, if you ignore the pitchforks and the torches and the fact that they killed mother". When the Dark Prince came back from the dead (thirty years or less or you next resurrection is free), he has Alucard mentally enslaved in his castle -- Alucard was forced to fight the heroes that came to Castle Dracula. But, Dracula was more optimistic of Alucard's might than he should have been, for when Alucard fought another Belmont, Trevor, Alucard came to his senses and lent his hand in another rousing defeat of the Dark Prince.

And on it went down through the decades. Any time Dracula came back too successfully (sometimes it was for a few minutes, other times for a few days, and once he was able to come back for the entire run of a World's Fair), Alucard would come out of hiding to give Dracula a right proper drubbing (plenty of ass kicking, but no groin shots and no mussing up the face). Dracula still loved his son, but damn if the boy wasn't putting a crimp in his "global terror" plans.

Personality Details:

In encounters with Dracula's estranged son, most people come away noting how gruff and subdued the man is. Alucard is not much for caring and sharing, instead choosing to ignore all but the quest at hand. He knows what has to be done, and damn anything that gets in his way.

Well, unless it's a busty blond. In the case of a cute, leggy, fair-haired female, Alucard will totally play up his "I'm a lost, tortured soul" routine. The blond girls really seem to eat that shit up for some reason.

Most of the time, though, Alucard keeps to himself (sometimes in a graveyard, sleeping the less-than-eternal sleep). He always lurks, awaiting the day when the Earth (and some pretty blond) will need his assistance again.

First Appearance: #26: Evil
Last Appearance: #734: Bomberman

Andrew Claypool

Staff Sergeant

Background

Like many living in this wondrous, futuristic times, Claypool grew up looking to the stars. He knew, from the day when he first though of what he'd want to do when he grew up, that's he join the military and explore the cosmos. He worked hard, went to school, got he degrees, and immediately enlisted. He was gonna make it!

And he did. Kind of. Claypool, among his many traits, is very smart, and he had a tendency to think his way through situations before others did, realizing what would be successful and what wouldn't. And then he'd open his mouth and question orders that he didn't think were right. If you know anything about the military, this wasn't the best move Claypool could make.

That's why, despite his double-masters (electrical engineering and robotics) Claypool wasn't made an officer. Talent is appreciated but insubordination is not.

Still in many ways Claypool found his groove in military life, eventually working his way up to Staff Sergeant. It was the right amount of power for him -- just enough that he could question orders and find his own way to work through situations, but not so high up the ladder that people started noticing when he was off doing his own thing.

Of course, when certain missions came up that required a keen mind (while at the same time having potentially small survival rates), Claypool was often volunteered. His tendency to survive was likely part of the reason, but his smart mouth didn't hurt.

Personality Details

Claypool loves to tinker with gadgets. When left alone he'll look at what's available and try to find new ways to do things, new things to build and experiment with. Now that he's with our heroes on an intelligent, living ship, there's all kinds of new things for him to explore. He's likely to be able to get up to all kinds of trouble.

While some might be upset to be assigned "babysitting duty" for this crew (by the Terran Intergalactic Government), Claypool is actually pleased, over all, with the situation. He gets to explore new worlds, see new parts of space, and no one is getting in his face about questioning orders. Asking questions and defying orders (especially from the captain) is all part of being a part of the team.

First Appearance: #2440: First Impressions
Last Appearance: #2936: Big Surprises

Angel

Background:

Angel is one of the Legion of the servants of God -- although to call him, specifically, God, when you factor in that belief will change over time and that the monotheistic belief is a fair recent development... well, Angel serves the person currently in charge.

Although to say he "serves" Him is a bit of a fallacy. Angel was once an employee of God, but, sometime during his tenure in the Legion, Angel managed to get himself an extended leave of absence -- the kind that doesn't really end, and while he's still on the payroll, he hasn't claimed a check in quite some time. Also, his benefits have been all but revoked.

And he can't really put it on his resume. At least, not when applying for jobs at respectable outfits.

Thankfully, he managed to fall in with a journeying band of heroes to whom "respect" is a fluid term, and is something that certainly doesn't help pay the bills in any physical sense of the term.

Now Angel spends much of his time helping people as a way of making up for past sins... of which he has several (ignoring the the fact that God is mad at him, and what he did for that to happen, Angel is a animal of instincts -- male instincts -- and he does so love to give in to them). Clearing his soul for (hopeful) re-entry into Heaven is his primary goal in life.

Personality Details:

As a one-time servant of God, Angel does feel the need to help those of the "less-fortunate" persuasion. That said, the person Angel most looks out for is himself. Most of his actions and motivations can be described as self-serving. Even helping those in need helps Angel, as it may get him back in with God and the Legion.

When not helping those in need, Angel devotes his life to his... baser needs. He does tend to love the ladies, and for whatever reason they love him back.

First Appearance: For the Holidays
Last Appearance: #861: Still Around

Blacula

Prince Mamuwalde

Background:

Editor's Note: Some liberties were taken with the story of Blacula, specifically when the story takes place, to fit it properly into the Castlevania RPG universe. Blacula was originally intended as a cameo joke, and simply grew out of that.

Leader of an African tribe, Prince Mamuwalde met with Dracula many years ago to establish trade rights between his nation and Dracula's nation of Romania (plainly during one of the stints where Dracula was active and not buried in a ditch by whatever Belmont happened to be alive at that point). Dracula, in one of his many dick moves, killed and turned Mamuwalde, renaming the prince Blacula. He then locked Blacula in a coffin in a sealed up room, and threw the prince's wife in there for good measure.

She died of starvation and dehydration, but Blacula "lived" on. He eventually freed himself, looking for revenge on Dracula. While Dracula was out of the castle one day, Blacula took over, setting his minions on exacting revenge.

Specifically, doing the one thing Dracula had so far failed to do: taking over the world. Also, killing Dracula was on the list -- because, you know, why not.

Personality Details:

Blacula is out for revenge. That is his primary motivator, and the only thing he's looking for. His wife, his true love, has long been dead, so there is little keeping him attached to the world. He will kill anyone and destroy anything that gets in his way.

As one of Dracula's vampiric creations, Blacula has a power-set similar to that of the Prince of Darkness. His primary attacks rely on "Hellfire" magic, a blend of the the Dark and Fire Affinities. Fireballs play heavily in his attacks, and are actually stronger than Dracula's own fireballs.

He also has access to limited Air magic, again just like Dracula. He can cast lightning bolts and lightning orbs, but these attacks are not as strong as Dracula's.

Blacula has a demonic form, one that appears when he's been damaged enough (sort of like a limit break). This demonic form is smaller than Dracula's own form, but it is faster. In a straight fight, on an open field, Blacula's would prove more powerful, but in the rooms of a castle, Dracula's form would have the advantage.

First Appearance: #78: End of Part 1... Part 2
Last Appearance: #864: Ever Changing

Bucky

The Hero of Time

Background:

When one thinks of a hero, many archetypes might come to mind: the reluctant yet willing teenager thrust into an epic quest; the big, buff burly warrior with horns on his helmet and an axe strapped to his back; the lithe, dangerous thief who's always looking for a life of danger -- and to prove that she's better than any man. What you wouldn't expect is a chicken. An undead, skeletal chicken.

That hero, the undead fowl is Bucky, and he's the Hero of Time. Well, really, he's one in a long line of heroes all proclaiming themselves the Hero of Time. Bucky just happens to be the first who's not human (he's only the second to be undead -- but that's a different bio). Bucky started his heroing career just about as you'd expect: he died. After death, he was cast into Hell where he met up with Link, the Hero of Time (owner of the Master Sword, Savior of Hyrule, etc.). Bucky joined up with Link, serving as his familiar, and the two went on to have many adventures together.

But it was when Bucky took ownership of the Master Sword (when Link upgraded to a newer sword) that he become a hero in his own right. He took over the role of Savior of Hyrule, he went on quests, and started working as a freelance hero.

Now Bucky has a career as illustrious as Link's and has truly embodied the title of "The Hero of Time".

Personality Details:

Bucky may be a hero, but he's still an undead chicken. He can't really talk (or, at least, he can't really be understood unless you can speak Hyrulian Chicken). He can understand human languages, though, which does give him a leg up over other birds.

Being an undead also means he has to feed on the flesh of the living. He tends to stick to other animals (not humans, mostly), and has a love for eyes (they're squishy and delicious).

When provoked, Bucky can attack with his sword and shield, his whole bevy of heroing items (arrows, bombs, and everything else Link normally uses), and his claws (he is a chicken, after all). He's a fearsome opponent who's not afraid to fight dirty.

Oh, and as a Hyrulian chicken, he's well-nigh invulnerable. Fearsome.

First Appearance: Bucky
Last Appearance: #2318: A Trio

Bunny

Background:

Not much is known about the Bunny. Although many have studied the tales of Darkmoon and the Bunny, few have managed to pull together a cohesive story that explains all there is to really know about the Bunny.

Among what is known is that one day, sometime after Darkmoon was turned into a vampire, the Bunny joined up with Darkmoon. The story goes that, while wandering through the forest, Darkmoon stumbled across the Bunny and the two teamed up, although if the Bunny came along because he wanted to, or simply out of some animal-bond he and the vampire forged is unknown. Certainly the Bunny isn't saying.

The Bunny has been with Darkmoon for some time, much longer than any normal rabbit should have survived (old age being a constant factor with mammalian species). Of course, many people think that the Bunny is simply one of many rabbits and that, every once in a while, a new "Bunny" joins up with Darkmoon. Now, either Darkmoon knows this, or he simply is too dense to pay much attention to it. Historians are split on this fact. Either seems likely.

Whatever the case, the Bunny has remained as Darkmoon's (nearly) constant companion. Not really a familiar, but more of a friend. Wherever Darkmoon goes the Bunny is sure to follow... or be there first. Sometimes, weirdly, both.

Personality Details:

The Bunny is a quiet sort, prone to sitting and watching the goings on of humans (and human-like kind), only taking part in the proceedings when "his" humans need help. Usually, specifically, when Darkmoon is the one in danger.

Why he feels the need to protect Darkmoon is not known, but it can be assumed it's either out of some owner-pet relationship or the mutual respect of colleagues.

Although why the Bunny feels the need to bother with Darkmoon, of all people, is not known.

First Appearance: CVRPG Preview Poster
Last Appearance: #2917: Uh, Ooops?

Cassandra Belmont

Cassie

Background:

As the only daughter of the eldest son of the current (for the time) generation of Belmonts, it was only natural that Cassandra inherit the Belmont whip, the Vampire Killer. The legendary weapon was passed down from father to son throughout the eras, so despite Cassandra lacking a specific part inherent to that history (a penis), one could have assumed that as a capable fighter, Cassie would still inherit the whip.

That's why is was so galling when her father gave the whip to her older brother instead of handing it off to Cassandra. She was a proper Belmont daughter, better skilled than her brother at fighting vampires, and by all logic next in line for the Vampire Killer. That whip should be hers.

So she stole it and ran off into the night.

Sure, maybe that wasn't the best way to handle the situation. Maybe she should have talked it through with her best friend, Jennifer Baldwin, and maybe found some other way to properly inherit the whip. Or maybe she could have let her uncle have the whip and Cassie could have become some other kind of heroine -- there are plenty of jobs for women in the heroing field, from sorceress to white mage.

But hey, the deed was done. All that was left was for her to go find a vampire to kill and just accept her role as the illegitimate Belmont successor. She had the blood, so it's not like the whip was likely to kill her, right?

Right?

Personality Details:

While Cassandra may have had to steal the famed Belmont whip, she still considers herself the rightful heir to the legacy. Her job, as a Belmont, is to find vampires and kill them and she takes that job very seriously -- she's been training or years for the day when she would one day inherit the whip.

So the fact that she's never actually fought a vampire before is completely irrelevant as far as she's concerned. Knowing how to fight vampires is exactly like fighting them in much the same way that a pilot takes a bunch of simulated test flights before flying for real (or that would be her logic if she knew what aeronautics were and had an inkling of what the future would hold).

All she has to do is go find a vampire-infested castle and do her job. Everything should come naturally from there.

First Appearance: Cassandra Belmont
Last Appearance: #849: A Fine Finish

Chanukah Alec

The Blue Holiday Alec Prelude

Background:

Although there isn't, traditionally, a spirit of Chanukah (unlike with Christmas -- see Santa Alec), there has, deep down, kind of been a need for one. There are a whole lot of kids in the world, and Santa really doesn't have the time to hit all of them. Sure, some could argue that Santa Claus only serves the Christian children, but that would make him out to be a heartless beast and, say what you will about Alec, heartless is not one of his traits. So he realized there were kids that needed presents and they weren't covered under the duties assigned to the office of Santa.

Enter Alec Blue. Created (along with Red and Purple) but the original Alec Prelude through judicious use of the Four Sword, Blue was given the task of handling the good little Jewish boys and Girls of the world. Arguably this was a bigger task than Santa's job -- that man has to scurry around like a beast for one day, sure, but Chanukah is eight days long. That's a lot of days to handle, especially for one guy.

So he outsourced some of the work. He hired extra people to take on deliveries (which he paid a moderate, but well negotiated, wage) and started buying up all the technology (and weaponry) he could to make his job more efficient (and safe). Now he rules the eight days of the year he has to work and can spend more time relaxing in his off season.

Chanukah's never been so good.

Personality Details:

As the personification of the Jewish winter holiday, Blue has had a lot of leeway with his job. There hasn't been a spirit of the season before Blue took over, so unlike Red, Blue hasn't had a lot of traditions he's had to stick to (nor did he want to, anyway). Instead, Chanukah Alec has been making up his job as he goes.

That said, Blue does understand that not everyone out there is fans of the Jewish people (such as Ice Nazis, a very dangerous group indeed). As such, Blue has spent a good amount of money of weapons and other armaments, things he can use to protect his holiday at all costs.

Besides, he hasn't wanted a surface-to-air missile system? That's the right kind of gift to find tucked up the Chanukah bush.

First Appearance: The Four Swords
Last Appearance: #170: So True

Claude Jones

Black Mage

Background:

Although the common perception is that practitioners of the dark arts are evil, this is a fallacy. Sure, there are some black mages and wizards that fall from grace, turning their back on heroism and instead simply working towards their own needs (lust, greed, survival). These sorcerers pervert their powers, thinking only of themselves where there's a world in need. But then, the same can happen for any powerful profession, from policemen to politicians -- power can corrupt us all.

Claude Jones is not one of the bad guys. While he has power over the dark magics (and may dabble, from time to time, in necromantic arts -- for science, of course) he's not a greedy, self-serving lout. He's in it for the greater good, helping people and all that, because that's what Black Mages are supposed to do. That's what he learned at the academy, and we all know mage academies are august establishments beyond reproach.

Having spent his formative years in school, Claude was sent out, degree in hand, to find wrongs to right and demons to fight (a popular cheer at the academy rugby matches). Not officially an apprentice or journeyman, Claude was free to do his own thing, exploring the world and finding trouble. And he did, almost immediately. While he may have had a small compliment of magic, Claude was sadly not ready for all the beasts that lurked in the forest just outside of town (imps, so how sad is that?).

Thankfully he ran into another newly graduated hero, Eric Smith, a warrior by trade (and a good power forward on the sporting field). Teaming up together, Claude and Eric bested the foes before them (which wasn't hard considering they were imps), and their partnership was almost immediately cemented.

Personality Details:

While not much of a fighter -- mages are better at magic then hitting or stabbing -- Claude is a man of his craft. With his magic at full power, and the right spells under his belt (more literally in his spell-book), Claude is a force to be reckoned with. He can annihilate imps at 500 paces, eradicate sharks with one hand tied behind his back, and bake a potato with the snap of his fingers.

He still can't take a punch, though, a fact his friend Eric loves to tease him about. One good smack to the face and Claude is out like a light. Which is why it's good he has a meat shield (Eric) to protect him while he works his mojo.

But don't think Claude can't wield a weapon -- he does have a staff, and knows how to use it. Simply put he just feels like weapons are beneath him. Sure, he'll use one if he has to, but why hit some one when you can incinerate them with fire.

Admittedly it's hard to argue with that logic.

First Appearance: For the Holidays
Last Appearance: #866: Totally Legit

Claudette

Katrina's Shadow Clone, aka Claw

Background:

As has been well document, Katrina is a wild mage. Not everything she does, magically, goes exactly as expected. Often it does, but not quite to the level of effect intended (sometimes more, sometimes less). She also has a tendency to produce effect completely unlike what she wanted to make. Such was the case in the creation of her Shadow Clone, a being with her memories and personality but animated entirely by her own magic.

The shadow clone is an extension of Katrina. From the point of her creation, the clone became her own "woman", developing her own memories, finding her own personality. But she can never be free of Katrina -- without the sorceress's magic, the clone would cease to exist. So while they're two "separate" entities, they're never going to be fully independent.

So they've spent a lot of time trying to find a way to co-exist. Or, really, Katrina has used her clone like a tool, putting it into all kinds of dangerous situations, and the clone has, so far, dealt with it. But, one day, she may just try to find a way to truly break free...

Personality Details:

The clone is, for all intents and purposes, Katrina. At least, she is up to the point of her creation. She's gained nothing new from Katrina past that point -- no new memories, no changes to her personality from the host mage. Instead, she's developed her own memories and personality, finding herself more and more as her own person.

A key difference between the two, though, is that the clone cannot case magic on her own. She can have magic cast through her, or into her to be stored and cast later by the clone, but no original magic can come from the clone. She's Katrina without the magic, effectively. Oh, and she's slightly transparent, and a tad purple.

First Appearance: #2469: Certain Applications
Last Appearance: #2891: Gotta Keep Moving

Cornell II

The Other Clone

Background:

Once there was a hero named Richter Belmont. He... wasn't such a great guy. One day he bought a mail-order clone. That clone was an evil clone but since Richter was pretty evil to begin with, the clone actually ended up as a pretty decent chap. He was pretty nice to people, he treated Richter's wife well (since Richter himself wanted nothing to do with her), and was, over all, just a really good guy.

So, of course, the universe rebooted and removed him from existence.

The new universe had it's own Richter clone, one made by dark magic and bad decisions. In the process of his creation, though, a Cornell clone was also made. Like his brother, the semi-evil Richter, Cornell II was a mirror of the original Cornell. However, the first Cornell was actually a good dude -- lazy and unwilling to move, sure, but a good guy over all. As such, the second Cornell was a terrible human being. Evil through and through.

The magics of Dracula's castle really are fascinating.

Personality Traits:

As the evil clone of Cornell, Cornell II had a desire to prove himself the most evil version of Cornell he could. That's why he tried to become the lord of Dracula's domain (since, of course, Dracula had died again). The castle was just sitting there so someone had to rule it, right.

Leave it to heroes, though, to mess up a good evil plan. Still, we're sure another Cornell clone will be along eventually.

First Appearance: #42: Two By Two
Last Appearance: #294: Putting Things in Place

Country Gnoll

Background:

When you're wandering out the woods, late at night, and you hear a rustling behind you, what could it be? A rabbit? Maybe a deer? It certainly could be a wolf, or a owl landing on a bush. Just wait for a second and listen. If you hear the telltale sound of a banjo, run. Run as a fast as you can. You'll wandered into Country Gnoll territory and you'll be lucky to get out alive.

There's no one Country Gnoll. They're a race of beings, an offshoot of the original gnoll species. While most knolls stay in the northern tundras and plains, some have come south. Most of these knolls joined the populace of other humanoid towns, installing themselves as weird, wolf-like fixtures of normal life.

But then you get the country knolls, a weird cultural offshoot that has gone in a weird and horrifying direction. They’re still knolls. They’re still outwardly nice albeit somewhat scary looking wolf creatures. But they have this dark side to them that causes even hardened adventurers to go, “country knolls? Hell no I’m not going there!”

Personality Details

Country knolls are scary. They’re predators of a very specific kind. Those stories you hear of teenagers getting lost in the backwoods only to discover a family of cannibals that kill, eat, and have their way with corpses? Those stories originated because of the country knolls.

Long ago, a certain group of knolls somehow got deeply into blood Magics and found that a particular gruesome lifestyle gave them unspeakable power. Now, they’ve gone so far into their weird, backwoods culture even “normal” knolls refuse to acknowledge their existence. The country knolls are too far gone.

First Appearance: #13: Every Holy Warrior Has His Limits
Last Appearance: #2406: Live Fast, Play Hard

Crono

Background:

While many of the heroes in our series have worked for years to be the best heroes they can, learning to fight, learning to cast magic, all so they can go on grand quests and fight the big bads, Crono just kind of stumbled into it. Sure, he learned to use a sword, but that's just because there are monsters in the woods and if you aren't armed you asking to be killed. But he wasn't ever intending to be a hero.

That all changed when he met a girl. Collided with her, really. Then his whole world changed. Suddenly he was going on adventures, like saving said girl -- a cute blond, no less -- from a portal into another era. That one was quite a shock.

And of course there was his quest to save the world. He was just chased into a portal (and you didn't hear one complaint from him either, such a good lad) and suddenly the world has ended. With a little goading from his friends he's having to find, and face down, a planet eating parasite that landed back in the prehistoric era. He's fighting wizards, destroying undersea palaces, and causing political revolts left and right.

Oh, and there was that one time he died. That was a bit of a life changing moment, that's for sure.

All because of some girl he met at a faire. Suggestion: next time try online dating instead. Relatively speaking, it's much, much safer.

Personality Details:

The most important detail about Crono is that he doesn't talk. Ever. Occasionally he pantomimes. A lot of the time he motions or waves. Regularly he fist pumps (and not in a masturbatory way). He just doesn't talk.

Why? Well, no one is really sure. Some thing it might be a vow of silence, like monks would take as a sign of devotion. Others think he may have lost his tongue, that his cat (literally) stole it one day (which would explain why his mother is always complaining that he never takes care of his pets).

Whatever his reason, he's has handy with his sword as he is silent with his words. So who cares if he doesn't talk? What's important is having him on your side.

First Appearance: #121 1/2: Scene From a Pizzeria
Last Appearance: #399: Sing a Song of Poultry

Cynthia Redmond

Lieutenant

Background

People can take many paths to heroism. Heroes don't always inherit the adventuring life (and a legendary sword) from their father (or mother). It's not often that a quest just falls into someone's lap and they know, in their hearts, what their destiny will be. Sometimes fate takes a round-about path.

Take Cynthia Redmond. Growing up on a mining colony out past Antares, she was the third of five children. A middle child much like any other middle child in any family, not that much was expected of the girl. Grown up, take up mining, maybe marry, and then continue the family line.

But then the mines when dry, the ores they were supposed to collect seemingly tapped out. The Terran Government didn't care about the colony if the ores weren't being mined, and without Terran backing, the colony had little in the way of resources to survive. People died, and those that could scrape by had to do more and more illegal acts just to live.

Into that horrible circumstance came a savior: the Stalkers. Known on the affluent colonies as pirates and murderers, the Stalkers offered the able-bodies inhabitants of Cynthia's colony a chance at a new life, albeit one as the outlaw scourges of the universe. Cynthia jumped at the chance as any life was better than the one she was living. It was only after she was in the fleet, doing unspeakable acts she wished she could forget, that Cynthia realized she'd made a bit of a mistake.

Thankfully a band of heroes came along and offered her a second chance at her second chance...

Personality Details

Although she worked for nominally bad people (especially when you compare them to the Terran Government), Cynthia was never truly bad herself. She did her best to avoid committing the worst atrocities, and she never stole so much that the ones she robbed would never be able to get back on their feet. There are different levels of criminal and she always tried to be one of the lesser ones.

Still, she knows she has a lot to make up for. And now that she's a hero she just might have her chance.

First Appearance: #2806: Big Gathering
Last Appearance: #2936: Big Surprises

Damaris

Archangel and (Former) Goddess

Background:

Once, when the universe was forming (getting all it's primordial dust and ooze all up in the Big Bang's shit), the Gods were just ideas. Figments of figments, potential to become something potentially. Then the Big Band happened, reality formed and (depending on your view of time and space) the world quickly formed. Life happened, cells at first and then eventually animals. And through it all the gods watched.

Depending on the animals that "ruled" the planet, the gods were different things. The single-cell organisms, they were a shadowy presence floating just to the side of the go. For the dinosaurs, the gods were great hulking beasts, feeding on the world as if they owned it (since they kind of did).

And then humans came along, made the gods into their own image (despite attributing it the other way around). The humans invented religion, organized philosophies that described the world, and in doing so they defined their gods, gave them true shape and form, locked them in.

But the gods could still change. Once, pantheons of gods were the norm, so the various gods all had equal billing, shared duties. Over time, monotheism took ahold of a greater share of the populace, so one god was promoted (to God) and others naturally morphed into other forms.

And thus we get to Damaris, once one of the mightest of the goddesses, and then demoted to archangel. Still a plum position, to be sure, but not something she was too happy about.

Personality Details:

Although Damaris still wields a fair bit of power (angels aren't powerless), she's not the high ruler of all existence. No, her plans, one way or another, are the eventually take over the universe and rule it again, all the other gods and angels and devils be damned.

Let's all be thankful that, so far, this power-mad angel hasn't succeeded. If she did, who knows what it would do to the universe.

First Appearance: #102: A Religious Experience
Last Appearance: #1215: Back with the Potion

Darkmoon

Xavier "D" Darkmoon

Background:

Some heroes venture out into the world as a way of protecting the innocent, the needy, the poor and the weak. Others go out in the name of protecting ideas, such as truth, justice, and the Romanian way (plainly Romanian heroes are the ones that normally do this -- spies and double agents do this as well, but they aren't always called "heroes"... some get the less happy name of "traitors" or "schmucks"). Still others do it because they have a limited skill-set with which to make a name in the world, and what better way to put their ability to beat people to a bloody pulp with their pinky than to do it in the name of "heroics".

Still, a few others do it to earn a little money, gain a little fame, curry the favor of the local barmaids, and clear the soul of the sins one may have gathered during the times they were possessed by a demonic force.

Of that last group, Xavier Darkmoon (Darkmoon, or just D, to his friends) is a member. Once a vampire working for Dracula (a man that needs no introductions), Darkmoon happened upon a gypsy camp and had his soul restored (soul goes in, demon comes out). Having a soul, he didn't feel it was right to just continue working for Dracula. Instead, he went out into the world to find his own way -- one preferably that didn't involve working for evil vampire lords.

Being a hero seemed to be the best way to do this, and clear some of the sins of his newly-restored soul. Heroism, as a job, allowed for Darkmoon to mix with the masses, find the wrongs that needed righting, fight the bad that was feeding on the good.

And yes, to make a quick buck. Darkmoon does like money.

Personality Details:

Having a soul doesn't really change the underlying person. Humans have souls and are still able to do terrible things. Darkmoon isn't really that different. He tries to do good, but doesn't always succeed. While he works to be a good person, he's still a bit of a coward, prone to running when others might fight. "Live to run another day," is his reasoning.

He is also a greedy sort. As a vampire he doesn't have a lot of need for cash, but that doesn't stop him from hoarding it. Money does come in handy, sure, greases wheels, curries favors... buys women out of their dresses.

Everyone has their motivations.

First Appearance: The Four Swords
Last Appearance: #2928: The Obvious Joke

Darkmoon (Mirror)

The Darkmoon of Earth 2

Background:

Some people venture out into the world as a way of making a buck off the innocent, the needy, and the weak. Others go out in the name of to see the world, the visit cool places and taste the local cuisine (and, in the case of vampires such as Darkmoon, "cuisine" is short for "populace"). Still others do it because they have a limited skill-set with which to make a name in the world, and what better way to put their ability to beat people to a bloody pulp with their pinky than to do it in the name of "adventure".

Still, a few others do it for all those reasons and more -- the money, the fame, the favor of the local barmaids, and the power. Oh the power. No one earns all those things and more like an adventurer, one who's good at their job and can kick ass and take names (of kick names and take ass -- many are flexible on the particulars).

Of that last group, Xavier Darkmoon (Darkmoon, or just D, to his friends -- his enemies don't call him anything since they've already had their throats bitten out) is a member. Once a vampire working for Dracula (a man that needs no introductions), Darkmoon found a way to steal Dracula's powers and became the new lord of Romania. Arguably Darkmoon was better at the job than Dracula has ever been since, free to follow the plans he'd developed watching Dracula's repeated defeats, Darkmoon knew exactly what to do. Specially: kill all the Belmonts. Being an indescriminate killing machine, Darkmoon gathered around him the best warriors he could find to go out into the world and find every hero, every other adventurer, every fame-hungry soldier and either bring them to the fold or kill them.

Sure, Darkmoon is still and adventurer -- that's not the kind of thing that ever truly gets out of your blood (and vampires know all about blood). Even now he still goes out into the world to see the sights, to mee the populace, to sample the local cuisine. It can get very stuffy in a castle, and Darkmoon loves the fresh air.

Plus, it's never too late to make a quick buck. Darkmoon does like money.

Personality Details:

Being a soulless vampire suprisingly doesn't much change the underlying person. Humans have souls and are still able to do terrible things. Darkmoon isn't really that different. He may be evil but that's just because he's giving in to his basest instincts as a human. Human or vampire, evil is still evil.

But that doesn't mean he just goes looking for trouble. He may be evil but he's not stupid, and he knows when a fight is lost -- on his mind running when others might fight isn't cowardace, it's just smart strategy. "Live to run another day," is his reasoning.

He is also a greedy sort. As a vampire he doesn't have a lot of need for cash, but that doesn't stop him from hoarding it. Money does come in handy, sure, greases wheels, curries favors... buys women out of their dresses.

Everyone has their motivations.

First Appearance: Evil Alec Prelude
Last Appearance: #2839: Task Complete

Donatello

Donnie

Background:

There was once a young boy in New York. He went into a pet store and bought four turtles. Exiting the toy store, a truck nearly ran into him, causing him to drop his turtles. A canister of waste rolled off the truck, following the turtles in the sewer. The turtles were bathed in the waste, which was actually a mutagenic ooze, cuaing them to mutate. They gained increased intelligence and size, taking on humanoid form. Trained by their master (a humanoid rat named Splinter who was also caught in the ooze), they became ninja masters. They made it their goal to keep their city safe from all the threats the police were ill-equipped to handle.

While the other turtles proved adept at ninjitsu in their own ways, Donnie showed an aptitude for technology. He was able to learn all about the tech he could find, molding and adapting it into new weapons and items the turtles were able to use in their pursuit of their sworn duty. He become their tinkerer, their master weapon smith, their collective Q.

Donnie wasn't just good with technology -- he was an absolute genius. Scoring way off the charts (not that he was ever formally tested), he was the smartest of the turtles and able to think his way around situations the others couldn't see coming. When they'd deal with Shredder (their arch nemesis) and Krang (his sorta-boss) at the Technodrome (a big, round, alien tank), it was Donnie that figured out how to disable the defenses of the vehicle and take down the threat. He was the one that figured out the secrets of the ooze, learned how to undo the nasty beasts Shredder would constantly send their way.

Sadly, though, he's yet to master the lessons of the heart.

Personality Details:

As the "smart" turtle, Donnie is often found in his workshop, putting together new tech. He does love to spend time with the rest of the guys, just hanging out, but often when the others are practicing their ninjitsu, Donnie is practicing his tech-fu. It's his skill, and he's damn good at it.

It's when April (the ravishing reporter who knows of the turtles' secret existence) comes over though that Donnie gets all confused. Some of the turtles think Donnie has a crush on their human friend, but out favorite turtle in purple has yet to admit to it.

First Appearance: #66: Prospective Heroes
Last Appearance: #582: The Tavern

Elder God

Last of the Old Ones

Background:

Back when the universe was young, when it was little more than primordial soup, there were still gods. They were ancient and scary and beyond comprehension. As the universe formed and sentient beings came into existence, many of the gods took forms similar to their "subjects". But not all followed this path, not all of the gods took on the guises of animals and humans, but stayed in their old forms, their scary forms. These were the Elder Gods.

Along with belief, magic is a core element of the universe (sure, and matter and energy, but we're moving beyond those). The Elder Gods consume magic, use it, and belief, to power their machinations. They desire a return of the universe to the old ways, when they were in charge and could make (and remake) reality as they saw fit. Ancient mages, though, feared what the Elder Gods could do with limitless power and worked great spells, sealing the old ones from the multiverse.

These great spells are like giant wards, though -- they may have kicked the old ones out, ejecting them into a space beyond the known multiverse (into a nether region, formless and void). The magic didn't kill the Elder Gods though, no. Time, and a lack of magic reduced their numbers, steadily, but they still exist, still wait on the outskirts of reality, still await the day when they can find a way back into our universe.

And if they do, the whole of reality will collapse around them.

Personality Details:

So far, it's not known how many Elder Gods may still exist. There's every possibility there's only one left. Certainly there have been rumors of an old one finding ways back into our universe, even if only for short spans of time. The tales of it are always the same: a giant beast, masses of tentacles and eyes, looming in from the sky.

If there is only one Elder God left, that would mean they've devoured the magic off all their brethren, all so they could continue existing, awaiting a day they can break into our worlds. For all our sake, let's hope they never find that entrance.

First Appearance: #818: Partially Revealed
Last Appearance: Leftover Soup Bonus Comic: Roommate Search

Elizabeth Bartley

Dracula's Niece

Background:

Born in the 17th century to the noble (if largely ignored branch of) the Bartley line, Elizabeth was an odd girl even from a young age. Odd may not be the right term. Cold-blooded. Rather murdery. Evil. Even as a child she loved to kill, to torture and maim all those "lesser" than her (which, as she was a noble was pretty much everyone). She started evil, and by the time she grew up she was straight up a serial killer.

But murder wasn't enough -- Elizabeth quickly became obsessed with the dark arts, with learning all she could about the blood she spilled and the deaths she caused. She son learned about the vampires, about how blood was a lifeforce to them that kept them eternally young and eternally powerful. Elizabeth knew she wanted to become a vampire.

Still, it wasn't as though vampires were beating down her door to embrace her, so she had to find her own way into vampirism. She managed it by killing many, many young girls. She's kill them, drain them of blood (into a tub, naturally), the bathe in the blood, coating her skin and stealing the youth from the lifeforce in the blood. In effect she became a vampire without ever drinking a drop.

Of course, killing young girls will eventually get you noticed, especially if you do it enough (...not that we're speaking from experience, honest). Eventually the king sent his men to arrest Bartley. They bricked her up in a tower, leaving her there to die. And she would have, too, if not for the intervention (finally) of a vampire.

Personality Details:

When Elizabeth says she's the niece of Dracula, is an affectation (much like how Dracula calls Darkmoon his "son") -- Dracula embraced Elizabeth after having heard so many stories of all her killings. With her newfound vampiric powers, Elizabeth was able to escape her tower. She went with Dracula to serve as one of his lieutenants, and she swore that she would do everntyhing she could to assist her "uncle" with anything he needed.

Thus, when Dracula died, Elizabeth was there to perform the Black Mass Ritual and bring him back. She even aided her uncle by building (or taking over) several fortresses, leaving multiple locations that heroes had to fight through before they could eventually get to Dracula.

Naturally, he still lost because Dracula always loses. But Elizabeth did her best, and that's all a proud uncle can expect from his niece.

First Appearance: Valentine's Day Special
Last Appearance: #32: Present

Eric Smith

Fighter

Background:

Fighters are known for one thing: being meat shields. They are the health-loaded, weapon-bristling power-houses on the field that know how to take a hit... and not much else. Useless in town, horrible at saving money, fighters are good at just one thing: combat.

While Eric Smith, trained fighter and fantastic warrior, would love to change that perception, he would have to admit that what with training in swords, knived, staves, clubs, hammers, sickles, scythes, toothpicks, and boomerangs, it's hard for a fighter to find the time to learn all the other thing heroes need to know to operate out in the field.

This isn't for a lack of trying, mind you. Eric has gtten books, gone to classes, meditated... but that's all so much work, and there are still so many weapons he hasn't mastered yet, like bolas, and juggling sticks, and that doesn't even get into high explosives.

Thankfully, soon after venturing out on his first adventure, Eric met up with Claude Jones, newly minted Black Mage. All the skills and abilities Eric lacked, Claude had in spades. What Claude needed was someone that could take a hit -- and despite Eric's many issue, taking a punch was something he could do quite well.

It was a team-up made in heaven, one that continues to this day.

Personality Details:

Have we mentioned that Eric is great with weapons? Because if we haven't said that, we should: he's great with weapons. You have a weapon you want to see used out in the field? Eric is your man. From stabbing to bashing to squishing and poking, if it can be wielded in combat, Eric will know how to use it.

Along with fighting, Eric is also pretty solid when it comes to defending. Mastering the various jobs skills of the different warrior guilds, Eric can defned his friends, using a shield to defelect (or even completely mitigate) damage thrown his way. He's even working on learning the nifty dragoon leap, although he keeps messing up the landing (and the Russian judge is so critical of landings).

Despite all this, Eric does have one glaring weakness on the field: magic. Not only can he not use magic at all (still hasn't graduated to paladin), Eric can't take a magical hit -- it does excessive damage to him.

So his plan is to always kill stuff before it can cast any magic. So far it's been working fine.

First Appearance: Introduction #6: Fantasy Setting
Last Appearance: #864: Black is the New Black

Evie Belmont

Fallen Hunter

Background:

The rise of the Sorceress and her abilities to amplify Dracula's powers and seemingly raise him instantly upon his death caused chaos across Romania and the rest of the world. It destabilized governments, caused endless wars, and all this destruction and fear only added to Dracula's own powers. It was an endless cycle of evil and death.

Through it all the Belmont clan persevered. Though their numbers dwindled and their power waned, they continued to try and fight the good fight from the shadows, all in a desperate hope that, one day, they would find a way to end the evil vampire once and for all.

In the end, that hope came down to two heroes, Evie Belmont and her brother, Alexander. Evie's father had gone to Castle Dracula to try and defeat the vampire lord, but he had failed, leaving the famed family whip, the Vampire Killer, in the hands of team evil. Evie, knowing full well that the only hope of defeating Dracula rested with that whip, took matters into her own hands and ventured to the castle, in secret, to try and regain the whip.

Sadly, she failed. Worse, still, Dracula didn't just kill her. Instead, he embraced the girl, turning her into a vampire, one of his vampire daughters. He gave her the whip, and combined with her newly inherited vampire powers, made her one of the most powerful forces of evil on the planet.

Personality Details:

As a vampire, Evie is not the same person she once was. The girl she used to be is gone, replaced by someone that looks like her, talks like her, and has her memories. But to her core she's now evil, bent on defending her vampire lord, Dracula, and ridding the world of heroes. And she's very good at her sworn duty.

As a Belmont she uses all the usual vampire hunting tools, from the cross to dagger, plus the famous Vampire Killer whip. But she couples these utilities with her innate vampire powers, granting her greater strength, greater control. She's a force to be reckoned with, and powerful creature of the night that's hard to stop.

First Appearance: Alexander's Story
Last Appearance: #1945: Eternal Rest

Frankie (Mirror)

Frankenstein's Creature of Earth 2

Background:

Before his rebirth as a horrific monstrosity in Dr. Frankenstein's lab, the creature previously known as Jeff had many aspirations. He'd planned to become a great musician, to write many ballads, to become world famous and adored by all. He knew he was going to change the world, he just had to find a way to do it.

While some might have thought his sudden death (in a tragic chicken wagon accident) ruined his plans for greatness. But for Jeff, death was only the beginning.

His head, his left hand, and three of his right toes were all that survived in good enough condition for Dr. Frankenstein to use, but since the brain was fresh, that was all that really mattered. With a little lightning, a dash of chemicals, and a lot of sewing, the mad doctor was able to bring Jeff back to life (after mixing a few other body parts into the whole -- a head, hand, and toes would have made for a living, if very short, being all on their own).

While the mixture of magic, science, and chemicals may have wiped many of Jeff's memories (including his name), it didn't wipe away his desire to be better than he was, his need for greatness. Finding new work with Dracula's crew (before it became Darkmoon's crew), the newly reborn Frankie (taking the name of his creator) moved his way up the corporate ladder to become one of the most trusted men in the evil firm. He's just waiting for the day he gets to take over.

Personality Details:

Although some might consider him nothing more than a minion, Frankie has aspirations. He's a quiet kind of thinker, but that doesn't mean he's dumb. No, Frankie knows when to hide in the background, wandering from hall to hall, keeping his head down. But he also knows when to pipe up, to share his opinion (especially when it sticks a knife in the back of someone else in the agency).

While his physical might would imply Frankie is a brawler, by nature he's cunning a wise, more apt to destroy with words than fists. He's a might in battle, to be sure, but he's more likely to take you out mentally without even having to destroy you physically.

First Appearance: #660: A Hero's Welcome?
Last Appearance: #799 1/2: Soul Steal Reveal

Gertie

A.I. of the Sylph

Background:

As we've reached the future, many of the things we expected to happen have, in fact, happened. Humans have gone out into the stars, finding ways to move (relatively speaking) faster than light, and they've populated alien worlds. A seeming peace has spread through the galaxy, much as was promised in many utopian sci-fi shows. And yet, somethings, technologically, still haven't come to pass. Things like artificial intelligence.

That's what makes Gertie special. Although not the first autonomous A.I., Gertie is the most complete, the most stable, and the most "life-like" A.I. to come to pass. She seems to exhibit emotions, has her own personality, her own opinions. For all intents and purposes she is a real person... albeit one who's several stories tall (since she's the A.I. for a starship.

Gertie was developed by Captain Sprockets, an extension of a voice-activated custom operating system the good captain was developing. Over time the O.S. got more sophisticated, was upgraded with new routines and extensions, until one day it started updating itself. The addition of nanobots into it's control matrix gave it new levels of control over it's own being, and eventually it grew into the personality it has now.

Sprockets named "her" Gertie, and she's accepted the name (and gender) ever since.

Personality Details:

As far as anyone that interacts with her knows, Gertie is a real person (for a given definition of "person"). Most people don't know about her, though. Sprockets and Gertie long ago agreed that if too many people knew about the A.I. there would be a very real chance they'd try to take the ship away from the captain. So Gertie's existence, while not a secret, it not exactly well known.

Still, the A.I. has proven most useful. She handles ship functions, repairs, and even has started to learn magic. In many ways she's the most useful member of the team.

First Appearance: #2617: A New Ship Approaches
Last Appearance: #2927: Massive Hole

Golem

Background:

Golems are created, almost exclusively, to act as servants for a wizard or priest (or a client of a wizard or priest). Golems are reliable workers, never tiring, never needing to eat or drink. Most importantly, they never need to be paid, as they have almost no need for money (beyond the occasional bit of clay to repair themselves, and often clay can just be found).

That was the life of the Golem, eventual hero, but one-time servant. Created by a wizard, paid for by dwarves, the Golem was made specifically to guard a dwarven cave that lead into the dwarven city (that, itself, lead into a dwarven mine). Golems, being the perfect 24-hour security system, worked better for guarding dwarven mines than just about anything else dwarves had ever tried (much better than any mortal guards, and slightly more effective than the dwarves' old strategy of putting out signs saying "certainly no dwarven mines in this cave").

And so for many years (centuries, really), the Golem guarded his cave. He'd patrol, close up unneeded tunnels, ward off the attacks of the occasional band of adventurers, and, always, go back to guarding the entrance of the cave.

Occasionally he cleaned, too, but that was only when he was really bored. Still, even then, he never did windows.

And then, one day, the dwarves were all gone, most lost in a great civil war. There was no one left to guard. The cave was still there, however, and so for a time the Golem continued to guard it.

One day, many years later, three heroes (our favorite heroes) ventured into the dwarf cave. There they met with the Golem, and after much discussing, the Golem realized he was free of his duty... and so he left to explore the world and seek out a new life for himself.

The life of a hero.

Personality Details:

The Golem works as a hero, but that's mostly because he doesn't have anything better to do with his skill set of: hitting things, hitting other things, and creatively hitting two things at once. The matters of humans really don't concern him. He's outlived humans, dwarves, elves, and even a few vampires. Mortals have a short span, and Golems have a long one.

That said, he will still help anyone that asks him for his aid. As a golem, the Golem naturally feels the need to "serve". If someone asks him to do something, invariably he will do it just because it's what he knows to do.

First Appearance: The Golem
Last Appearance: #2914: Malfunction

Igor Igorovich

Background:

Although often attributed as a whole clan of hunchbacks named "Igor", the name itself is specific to one man -- all other beings in the clan are simply fleamen without a common shared name. There is only one Igor, just as there is only one Ringo or Cher (two other fleamen of moderate fame and skill).

What is common among all the fleamen, Igor included, is that they love to serve the dark masters. Evil scientists, genetic mutants, insane wizards, and of course dark vampires have all, from time to time, employed fleamen as their servants and lab assistants. But above them all, rising from the rabble of random leaping, clawing, pouncing fleamen there comes one great servant, better at being a toady, more earnest in their love of cobwebs -- Igor.

Born to humble beginnings (because he is a fleaman), Igor spent his formative years in a dungeon. A literal dungeon, since his parents were servants to a mad scientist and he wanted his dungeon clean and tidy. Igor learned the servant craft in this years -- how to hang cobwebs, how to distribute dust, how to get the blood out of cobblestones, how to put out the fires started by townsfolk before they destroy the tapestries. These are vitals skills for anyone, fleaman or butler alike, and Igor took to them with vigor.

Tragically, Igor has never been able to hold down a job for very long, although this is through no fault of his own. When you work for evil madmen, your job has a life as long as your boss's, ad they aren't destined to remain on this mortal coil for long.

Although between jobs right now, Igor has printed copies of his resume, CV, and references if there are any interested employers.

Personality Details:

As a servant, Igor lives for nothing more than a lab to tidy and a dungeon to call home. Although he could work for anyone, Igor is used to the life of a servant to the exceedingly evil -- it's not that the pay is better, but there are certain creature comforts (like a Creature in the cellar) that you just can't find in the more respectable establishments.

For those interested, Igor knows how to create sever types of liquors, the intricate processes of mummification, wiring for lightning experiments, and he can cross-stitch. Only insane madmen need apply.

First Appearance: #23: What a Big Desert You Have
Last Appearance: #2218: Confrontation!

Isabella (Mirror)

The Queen of Earth 2

Background:

Raised as a assassin, the next in line to take over her father's band of mercenaries, Isabella was trained in the dark skills, strength and blood. She would become a mighty ruler of her men and, one day, the world.

Isabella is cold, an edge of steel, a heart of ice. She spent years among the people, seeing the evil they were capable of, the darkness that lived in every man. She learned from them, the skills they showed, the evil the did, and she found her power among the basest of men.

Then she found a kingdom, one with an inept king and no proper heirs. She staged a coup, fomented a rebellion, and she (and her band of killers) were at the center of it, the head of it. The lead the charge, took over the kingdom, and became the queen

It was then that a certain Dark Lord, one who said he already ruled the country (and all the countries around it). Isabella had just taken out his puppet government. Instead of being angry, though, he said he was happy to have Isabella on his team. And he made her an offer: join with his growing legion or monsters and murderers or die and be replaced by the next puppet regime.

So she joined. She saw potential for more power, and she gladly grabbed for it.

Personality Details:

Isabella was trained to rule. She was taught, from an early age, that she would one day take over her father's band of thieves and assassins and turn them into an army. She would find a way to conquer the world, one country at a time. She would have herself an empire, and she would start in the north of Europe.

She never expected that her plans for domination would align her with the armies of the undead. But then, she wasn't exactly opposed to it -- one evil is just exchanged for another. And she lived in the darkness, immersed herself in evil. Who was she to judge?

First Appearance: #335: The End in Sight?
Last Appearance: #877: Very Existential

Jennifer Baldwin

Jenny

Background:

Although in recent years magic users have become an accepted profession, this was not always the case. For Jennifer Baldwin, growing up in the era that she did, her magic powers were fear, not appreciated, and she learned from an early age she had to keep her abilities under wraps lest her secret came out. She couldn't trust her friends and family for who among them knew how to handle powers like she had. Many considered magic to be a sin, and with the level of ability she knew she had many would consider Jennifer to be nothing less than a consort of the Devil.

Whether male or female, the Devil is certainly not someone you want a neighbor consorting with. Many a poor, sad girl ended up branded a witch and put to death for being a consort of the Devil (this despite the fact that the Devil had rather particular tastes when it comes to who she consorts with).

So Jennifer kept her secret for years, practicing her magic when others weren't around (she had to practice and use it otherwise the arcane energy would leak out in unexpected, and terrible, ways). Despite her fears, she did eventually try to talk to her friend, Cassandra Belmont, about her magic. Cassie, though, turned her back on her friend, fearing what the magic meant (to be fair, as a vampire hunter-in-training, Cassandra knew all to well the evils that could lurk in the hearts of the magically empowered).

Shunned by her one true friend and fearful of what would happen if her secret were ever divulged (by Cassie or a nosy neighbor that somehow knew too much), Jennifer went on the road, running from the dangers in her home town, ever on the lookout for a place she could call a safe haven.

And on the road she'd still be if not for a hero from the future...

Personality Details:

Although Jennifer knows all too well that townsfolk are fearful of the magically inclined, she doesn't feel much anger towards strangers. People are people and as long as she keeps a lid on her magic when others are around, she knows she be safe.

And she really does know it. Like, deep down. One of the special powers Jennifer developed over time was a kind of predetermination -- she can see the future, especially when it comes to dangers actively affecting her. Although most of her visions (when they happen at all) are foggy and vague, she will sometimes get pure sights that can rattle her brain, warning her of things to do or places to go.

Of course she acts on these visions. To do anything less would be to tempt fate. She wouldn't want to lose these visions by not taking them to heart. And, what happens if she elects not to follow her predetermined path and her visions go down one version of the future while she goes down another. That would be scary and strange.

No, Jennifer uses her powers (her magic and her sight) to keep herself safe and to fight whatever dangers may be lurking out in the world -- evil knows many forms, and Jennifer will be there to fight it.

First Appearance: Jennifer Baldwin
Last Appearance: #849: A Fine Finish

Justine Prelude

Rear Admiral (Two Star)

Background:

Growing up in a family of heroes can be difficult. In TV and movies we all see the stories of sons and daughters raised in families of cops and firemen and soldiers, ready to take up the family tradition and continue fighting the good fight, whatever that may be. Those who prove great at the family career are lauded, while those who can't keep up are often considered the black sheep. It puts pressure on children, doubly so when the mission is so important.

Consider, then the kinds of pressures that mat have been put on Justine growing up. The expectation for her were huge, growing up as the latest in a family that stretched back generations upon generations, over 800 years. She was taught, from an early age, that the monsters and demons of stories were real, that it was the family's sworn duty to fight them and to aid those who would do the same. And, above all, she was to keep a vigilant eye out for Dracula and a band of heroes that would one day arrive to vanquish the foul demon once again.

Of course, these were just stories told by her grandmother. Although everyone in her family became military folks, finding jobs across the galaxy, protecting the citizens of the various planets, no one really thought the demons and devils were real.

But then she never expected to actually meet the band of heroes chasing after Dracula. And yet, when she finally did, she knew just what to do... Try to get them as far away from civilized planets as possible, lest they screw everything up.

Personality Details:

In many ways Justine is a lot like her many-times-repeated-great-grandmother -- strong of will and loaded with courage. Justine is a commanding leader, one who has quickly worked her way up the ranks of the Terran Intergalactic Government. In the back of her mind she remembered the stories of Dracula and, when it came time to choose her command (having the pick of any where she wanted to go) she chose the back-water planet, Earth. The solar system was hers to command and protect, and like Princess before her (defending her town while everyone else bumbled around her), Justine took control of her troops and ran the most effective Earth system she could.

Just a pity those damn heroes had to show up, right?

First Appearance: #2461: Meeting with the Admiral
Last Appearance: #2933: Officer's Lounge

Katrina D'Sorciere

Background:

When discussing Katrina's history, two important details have to be mentioned: one is that she's a cat-girl, and the other is that she is a sorceress. She hasn't always been a cat-girl, but she's always had magical ability.

Although she didn't realize she had magical abilities until her teenage years, the magic was always there. Katrina was a natural mage, a woman who had a wild magic aura around her at all times, simply waiting for the right moment to come to fruition (and no, that's not meant to sound dirty).

When her magic manifested, Katrina was forced to flee her home village before the villagers attacked her (witches were not looked upon favorably for many centuries, up until the Halloween costume, the "Slutty Witch", was invented. She took refuge in a school for the magically inclined, a place where she could learn to hone her natural ability.

Sadly, she never really gained control over the sheer power of her gifts. During her apprenticeship, Katrina lost control of her power and blew up her instructor's house. In retaliation, her teacher cursed her, a curse that put her in the form of a cat.

Over time, as she completed various tasks of goodness and light, Katrina regained her human features. This curse gave Katrina purpose, a quest to become human again. It was fate, and Katrina knew she could but follow its path.

Personality Details:

As a wild mage, Katrina has a powerful gift that's also a bit of a disadvantage. At times her magic can get out of control, affecting more targets, with more power, than she ever intended. Practice with her gifts has given her some ability to push and move the magic around better, but there are still times where the magic can get away from her, and the wild edge manifests.

As a cat-person, Katrina has some of the gifts of the cat: better sense of smell, better hearing, razor-sharp claws. She normally chooses to rely on her human traits (fighting with a wizard staff instead of her paws), knowing that one day she may be human again, so there's no point in getting attached to abilities she won't have forever.

Of course, with the cat-advantages come the disadvantages. She is irresistibly attracted to yarn, catnip, mice... and there's that whole grooming in public thing...

First Appearance: For the Holidays
Last Appearance: #2936: Big Surprises

Katrina D'Sorciere (Mirror)

The Katrina of Earth 2

Background:

When discussing Katrina's history, two important details have to be mentioned: one is that she is a sorceress, and the other is that she had enough power to make any who wronged her sorry for their mistake. She wasn't always a trained sorceress, but she's always had a bit of a temper.

Although she didn't realize she had magical abilities until her teenage years, the magic was always there. Katrina was a natural mage, a woman who had a wild magic aura around her at all times, simply waiting for the right moment to come to fruition, to burst forth with wrath and fury. All it took was one small instance and suddenly the magic flowed forth, fire and brimstone, ash and rage.

When her magic manifested, Katrina fed from the fearful townsfolk of her village. They tried to kill her, to stone her and drag her back to town to burn her at the stake, but she fought them off, running from their blows, hiding in the woods. She eventually found herself at a school for the magically inclined, a place where she could learn to hone her natural ability. And she did, learning all she could, but she did it with the understanding that all this power would be used for her revenge.

Gaining power over her gifts, Katrina become one of the most powerful mages at the school. Sensing that her teachers were fearful of her (or maybe she just wanted them to be), Katrina burned the ruling counsel. She absorbed all the magic she could from their library, striping the pages of the many books bare, then stalked her way back to her home town for final retribution.

She melted it down to its foundations, leaving nothing back crackling rocks and cement. Her powerful display, though, drew the attention of a local vampire lord, Darkmoon. He offered her a place of high esteem within his ranks, a home where she could use her gifts as she saw fit. She accepted, and grew to be one of his most trusted lieutenants.

Personality Details:

Although she started off as a wild mage, Katrina quick gained control of her power, learning to hone the magic to a fine edge. She can craft many spells, use her gifts in any number of ways, and never lose control. However, her magic doesn't have the chance to unless the very powerful blasts that were possible with her wild spells. That was her trade off -- better control for somewhat less power.

As one of Darkmoon's lieutenants, Katrina works to continue his existence, finding ways to bring him back if he dies. Much like with Dracula, Darkmoon requires mages to power his eventual return, and Katrina is chief among them, working her magics to resurrect the dark lord as needed.

First Appearance: #335: The End in Sight?
Last Appearance: #891: Triumph?

Leonardo

Leo

Background:

Years ago in New York City, a boy carried a bowl of turtles out of a pet shop. There was an accident, the turtles were knocked out of his hands, the turtles went down into the sewers, and they ended up covered in mutagen. They got smart, they got big, and they learned ninjitsu (from their master, a humanoid rat named Splinter). They became the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (trademarked), and they took on the role of defenders of their city.

Through their training, it became apparent that Leonardo, the turtle with a penchant for blue, was the natural leader. Strong and commanding. Leo took over the team, turning the four brothers into an effective fighting force. But it was through his wisdom, his bravery, that the turtles were able to take on the worst threats that the universe could throw at them. From ninjas to ghosts, alien brains to mutant warriors, the turtles battled them all and saved the world more times than they could count.

And they did it all for the pizza. Man, these guys really love pizza.

Personality Details:

Leonardo is the leader of the team. He's cool and collected in a fight, and he's learned to make quick decisions in the heat of battle. But that's just how he is on the battlefield. At home he's the quiet one, often meditating with Splinter, practicing his ninjitsu.

In his free time, when not practicing, Leo does have a soft spot for old sci-fi. Star Trek, Battlestar, Voltron -- he can't get enough of them. He's watch every episode of every show he could find, repeatedly. He can say the lines by heart (and sometimes uses them as mantras when he has to find inner peace). Everyone needs a way to refocus and blow off steam.

First Appearance: #66: Prospective Heroes
Last Appearance: #719: Room for Improvement

Lucca Ashtear

Background:

Like her friend Crono, Lucaa never expected to be a hero. Heck, she never expected to leave her home country, Guardia. She was an inventor by trade, and most of her time was spent in her lab, working on various gadgets -- she took after her father in this regard, although she was far better are the craft than her parent ever was.

It wasn't until the kingdom's Millenial Fair, though, that Lucca really paid attention to the whole world outside her town. It was a fateful event at the fair, at a time when Lucca was simply showing off her latest invention, a teleporter, that everything snapped into focus. All it took was a girl disappearing into her machine.

While Crono went off the find the girl, Lucca worked on her invention, trying to discover what happened. A rift had opened because of her machine, and she had to find a way to fix it. And she did, studying the after-effect of the portal, tapping into it's enegery to create a way to travel the time-stream.

She did this, bear in mind, never having seen a time portal before. Lucca is pretty amazing.

But even after traveling through time to resuce both Crono and the girl (because Lucaa has to do everything, apparently), there was still the matter of the end of the world. Wait? The world was ending? Oh yes, it would eventually, all because of a parasite living in the center of the planet, one that would break free 1300 years after her own time and kill all of humanity.

While other would have curled up and hid, or simply figured "that was in the future -- it was someone else's problem," Lucca and her friends took it upon themselves to find out when the evil alient parasite crashed into the world and stop it. This was their world, and they were going to save it no matter what.

All because of an invention at a fair.

Personality Details:

Lucca is an inventer by trade, but don't just call her a Tinker -- she more than tinkers. She breaks through the bounds of conventional science, finding the deeper truth, the relity of the universe others can't. She doesn't just tinker, she discovers.

Because of her skill with machines, Lucca developed a very active, very powerful mind. This translates into a deep, powerful ability to use magic. He natural gifts with fire give you control over the Fire Element, a powerful force she can use to burn her foes (or just melt to plates of metal together when she's in her lab).

As a scientist and a mage, though, Lucca is much less proficient with physical combat. While she can a decent hit (better than some Wizards can), she's not very good at dishing out the pain. She's much happier hanging back, using her pistols, and then casting magic.

First Appearance: #31: Elsewhere or Darkmoon Stalls for Time
Last Appearance: #63: Party Crasher

Maria Renard

Background:

Editor's Note: The Castlevania series created a rather complicated back-story for Maria, only because in her first appearance in the series, Rondo of Blood, Maria was just some warrior girl. It wasn't until Rondo of Blood was remade as Dracula X for the SNES that Maria was referred to as Annette Renard's sister. Of course, then the makers of Dracula X said that the game wasn't "officially part of Castlevania continuity", so Maria was, thus, not really Annette's sister. Except, then she was again in Symphony of the Night, which totally takes place in Castlevania continuity.

As far as Castlevania RPG is concerned, Maria is Annette Renard's sister. All material written for her reflects that. If anything, it makes Richter lusting after Maria even creepier, which is just the way we'd have it.

No one is going to dispute that Dracula is a bad man. Hell, Dracula would probably encourage the accusation (he's even gone so far as to have EVL BSTRD made as a novelty plate for his carriage). So when Dracula plotted the kidnapping of four local girls, all as a big "haha, sucker" taunt at Richter Belmont (one of the girls happened to be Richter's fiance), this seemed like just another day under the evil dictatorship of the Dark Lord EVL BSTRD.

What Dracula hadn't anticipated was that one of the four kidnapped girls, Maria Renard, would join up with Richter in the fight against Dracula (once she was freed, of course, because she totally wasn't going anywhere locked in a cage). That Maria proved to be an even more capable fighter than Richter only made circumstances even worse for the Dark Lord.

Knowing how Dracula's story always plays out, it should come as no surprise that Maria (with the help of Richter Belmont, although Richter tends to tell the story the other way around) freed the other girls and defeated Dracula quite handily. Richter might have had the Vampire Killer, but Maria had cunning, guile, and helper animals, and that's how she got shit done.

It was four years later that Maria had to step in again. Dracula's castle returned, and Richter went missing. Who else was going to save the day but Maria? Sure, Alucard played his part in the adventure (although, as he likes to tell it -- late at night at the pubs -- the adventure was really Alucard's), but it was Maria that explored through the castle, found the way to free Richter, and stopped the Dark Lord's full resurrection once again.

The only question remaining is: why isn't Maria the main hero of the series?

Personality Details:

Of the two Renard girls, Annette is the quiet one -- shy, reserved, rarely seen. Maria, though, is the brash, courageous one. Maria is not known for shying away from a fight (or, really, any encounter), and will get in someone's face if they cross her. While Annette was sitting at home, working on penmanship and crocheting, Maria was out in the fields, learning to fight, forage, and train animals to do her bidding.

Of course, her no nonsense attitude means that, as much as Richter wants to sleep with her (as Richter does with every female, ever), Maria wants little to do with him (regardless of the fact that he's married to her sister). She has slept with most of his friends, though, just to rub it in his face a little.

But don't think that she's some wild child, chaotically roaming the countryside looking for fights (and sex). Maria has a strong moral code, and will help those that need helping. Heck, she's saved the countryside from the forces of darkness. Twice.

Richter may be (leaning towards) evil, and Cornell may be useless, but Maria is the real deal.

First Appearance: Maria Renard
Last Appearance: #865: Fourth Wall

Melinda

The Sorceress

Background:

Much of the Sorceress's story is bathed in secret, starting simply with her name. Everyone around her, from the lowliest minion to Dracula himself (although Dracula calls her by her title as a sign of respect). Few use her real name, Melinda, and fewer still know the rest of her background.

Although where she came from has been lost to the storytellers, this isn't just a matter of narrative convenience -- even Melinda has forgotten her past, who she was before her change. Many vampires can live to be very, very old, and as the year tick by their ealier memories slowly fade away. Who she was before the change was lost, and the Sorceress now barely resembles the girl that once called herself Melinda.

What can be assessed, though, is than the Sorceress has always had great magical power. It's possible the vampire that embraced her was drawn to Melinda for her devastating magical abilities. Working with her he crafted her magic to feed from her vampiric powers, greatly boosting what she was capable of.

This is what eventually brought Dracula to her, looking for assistance with a simple problem: how to attain true immortality. While Dracula (and many of his minions) were capable of coming back from the dead over time, the ability to simply never die had not yet been discovered It was hoped that with Melinda's help the problem could be solved.

As of yet she has not cracked the matter, but she expected to have the problem solved soon enough...

Personality Details:

As a powerful mage, the Sorceress's primary skills are all magic-related. From alchemy to scrying, the Sorceress relys on her magic for all her day-to-day needs.

Of course, in combat her magic makes her a force to be reconned with. As a near-iimmortal vampire the Sorceress has spent her many, many years on the planet learning all she can, mastering the six affinities of magic, and she uses all of them on the field. Although she is weak to Light (as are all vampires) she can cast it as effectively as any other magic tupe, giving her an edge over most other magic-users.

And since she's a vampire she has all the vampiric tricks at her disposal as well, from vampire charms to shape-shifting. She does have their weaknesses though, paricularly sunlight and holy items. Still, there is no doubt the Sorceress is not a foe to take on lightly.

First Appearance: The Sorceress
Last Appearance: This is 2000, Part 49, Part 4

Michaelangelo

Mikey

Background:

New York is a dangerous place. It's the kind of place where a kind could go into a pet store to pick up four turtles one minute, and end up nearly crushed under a truck filled with barrels of mutagenic waste the next. Sadly, this happened, the kid lost his turtles in the incident, and their bowl rolled off into the sewers... followed promptly by a barrel of the waste.

The mutagen covered the turtles, changing them into humanoid creatures. It also transformed their soon-to-be sensei into a giant, talking rat. He raised the turtles, trained them to be ninjas (because all talking rats know ninjitsu -- it's in their union bylaws), and sent them out into the city to act as silent, shadowy protectors.

While Mikey was great at the ninja, he wasn't so good at the "silent" or "shadowy" parts. The fun-loving one of the group, Mikey was much better at making distractions and finding direct routes through problems. While stealth and subtlety have their place, sometimes what you need is something loud (and amusing) to get through a situation (or, at least, to distract the bad guys while the others work their stealthy magic).

Mikey's addition to the team proves that, for a team to truly work, diversity is required. He's the goofball, to fun one, but also an essential member of the group.

Personality Details:

Although often considered the "dumb one", Mikey is actually smart in his own way. Sure he is at times a little distractable, and other times he focuses on things that aren't really important, but he also has a quiet intelligence within him that's sometimes hard to see.

For one, Mikey has an eidetic memory, the ability to see something and reproduce the results without having to think about it. While he may not have the book smarts to be able to work experiments like Donatello, he can watch what Donnie does and redo the exact same thing over and over (useful sometimes in the lab).

He can also naturally work out quick scenarios and find the most direct route through a problem. This is handy in situations where the normal resources the turtles would use (shadows, cover, Donnie's tech) aren't available (like in Dimension X), and suddenly Mikey is in charge, handling the unusual as if it's just another day at the beach.

First Appearance: #66: Prospective Heroes
Last Appearance: #719: Room for Improvement

Mrs. Claus

Don't Call Her "Princess"

Background:

Although the concept of "Mrs. Claus" hasn't existed for anywhere near as long as the original Ol' Saint Nick, she's taken a quick and permanent hold in the minds of believers (kids, immature adults, hipsters). And when it comes to belief, once an idea is set, it's not going anywhere.

Not that it doesn't make a certain amount of sense for Santa to have a companion. He spends all year up north with the elves (who look like little kids, so finding "companionship" with them is just creepy). When he's off on adventures or delivering presents, someone has to be at the North Pole, taking care of business. It's just logical for Santa to have a soul-mate, someone that lives with him and helps him and shares equally in the business of Christmastime.

The fact that Mrs. Claus looks a lot like a certain adopted royal (Princess Isabella) speaks more to who her husband is than anything else. More than likely if Santa were someone else, someone gay, "Mrs" Claus would be a dude. We're just saying that personifications are influenced by the people around them.

Personality Details:

Just because she's tied to Santa, Mrs. Claus is still her own person. Presumably if someone else were to become Santa, the current Mrs. Claus would move on, find a new life, and someone else would assume the "Mrs." title. She doesn't cease to exist, she just finds someone else to do with her time.

This Mrs. Claus is a fiery warrior, though, so it's hard to say if she even needs a Santa around to run the north. She might just have this whole "Santa" thing down better than her husband...

First Appearance: #72: No Where to Be Seen
Last Appearance: #170: So True

Mummy

Background:

To say that we're talking about a single mummy here -- the entombed remains of an egyptian pharaoh reanimated -- would be a bit of an error. There are several mummies who reside throughout the halls of Dracula's castle:

  • Akmodan I, king of a unified Egypt and the originator of a long dynasty.
  • Akmodan II, son of Akmodan I. Considered to be an even stronger ruler than his father. Increased Egypt's territory drastically, making the country an empire to be feared.
  • Akmodan III, also known as Akmodan the Intolerant. Pushed the border of Egypt too far, into lands he couldn't easily control. The empire his father, Akmodan II, had built crumbled.
  • Akmodan IV, also known as Akmodan the Callow. Took the throne when he was very young, and was little more than a shy, fearful puppet to the clergy.

The list goes on. For whatever reason, this dynasty of pharaohs all had a penchant for coming back from the dead sometime after their mummification process. Maybe it was magic in the blood, potentially some mythical species who had taken human form and mated with one of the pharaohs - mythical creatures are randy beasts.

Whatever the case, no one has really had a chance to study these mummies up close -- mostly because they keep trying to eat the researchers' faces.

Personality Details:

The Mummy we all know and love (presumably Akmodan XIII, but who can really tell when they all look the same) is a pretty mellow dude. He only really gets angry when he's hungry... and it really isn't even anger, just the uncontrollable need to feed (a horrific case of the munchies, if you will). Of course, lacking a stomach, the Mummy is always hungry (and not, as one would naturally assume, never hungry). So it's always best to give him a wide berth.

If confronted, the Mummy will lunge at any attackers (or non-attackers, or anything that vaguely looks like it might move) in an attempt to eat it. The flesh of the living is what he craves, but he's very up-front about it.

If he can't sink his teeth into a would-be target, the Mummy will strike with flying bandages and poison dust. He's very good about using what he naturally has at his disposal, which is (by and large) bits of himself.

Attempts to communicate with the Mummy are largely ineffectual. It's not that the Mummy can't understand you -- he totally can. But, he has no tongue (cut out during the mummification process) and can only communicate through groans. More common languages, such as English, French, Spanish, or Esperanto, are beyond his abilities.

First Appearance: #26: Evil
Last Appearance: #768: Know It All

Nathan Graves

Nate

Background:

During the long reign of the Belmont clan, tradition dictated that the family whip, the Vampire Killer, was passed down from father to son, through the ages. Sure, sometimes the whip would go to a woman (who wielded it just as well as the men, thank you), but by and large the traditions of the whip were patrilineal.

But that was when the Belmonts wielded the whip. The Belmont family, though, faded into history and other, related clans had to take up the whip. One such group were the Morrises, and tradition would have had it that the next boy in line to inherit the whip, Hugh Morris, should have gotten the whip. But Hugh was vain, egotisitcal, and, above all, he felt like he deserved the whip. So his father threw a curve and, instead, gave the whip the Hugh's friend and training partner, Nathan Graves.

Now Nathan never expected to be a vampire hunter. Sure, he trained for it, dedicated his life to learning how to use the famed whip, to channel magics, to fight the good fight. But it wasn't for fame or glory that he learned and trained. No, it was to get chicks. Nathan was a stud, and he knew he wanted to score with the opposite sex.

Shallow? Maybe, but he reasoned a woman would like a man who was well muscled and could handle himself. Plus the whole, "what do I do? Oh, you know, save the world from vampires," isn't a bad line.

But then his master had to give him the whip, and suddenly he had a sacred duty to uphold? What the heck is that? He just wanted to have some fun and then he was forced to actually care. Sometimes the universe really hates a guy, right?

Personality Details:

Sure, Nathan may not have had to best motives when he got into the life of vampire hunting, but that doesn't mean he's bad at it. If anything, his simple motives were better than his friend's, "because I deserve it so I will fight as hard as I can to prove it so you'll give me the damn whip." Nathan was modest about his skills, but he became more powerful than even his Master first suspected.

Nathan's greatest strength is in his magic. Using the cards he collected (elementals paired with gods), Nate can channel his magci through his weapons, creating flaming whips, area of effect spells, and even summons. He's a power magician who just so happens to also have the famed vampire killing whip.

Not that he's bad with the whip, either. He's quite a skilled warrior, able to use the weapons of the vampire hunting trade effectively in any situation.

But still, all he wanted was a little fun.

First Appearance: Introduction #2: More About Dracula
Last Appearance: Super Special Comic 1750, Part 19

Necromancer

Lord of Another Realm

Background:

There are worlds beyond out own. Many mirror our own world, following similar timelines, having similar physical and magical rules. Other worlds, though, feature their own sets of rules, their own gods and goddesses, magics and mayhems. One such world, the plane of the Necromancer, was one that evolved from it's own god particle, and evolved into a world not unlike our own, but ruled by it's own special lord.

The trick with all universes, not just pocket universes like the one ruled by the Necromancer, is that they have only a finite amount of belief to them. Gods require power, and power for gods is belief. Without many believers in the world, as the plane of the Necromancer is a lonely one, leaves a diminishing source of power in the universe. Gods need belief, though, or they fade away.

That's why the Necromancer hatched his plans. He would pull heroes into his universe, have them perform deeds he commanded, built up his esteem in their eyes, and then he'd kill them, stealing their magic, their belief, all at once. It worked wonderfully, keeping him charged for centuries...

Until he finally pulled in the wrong batch of heroes.

Personality Details:

Although he calls himself "The Necromancer", the god in charge of his own universe is really so much more than that. He has the power to shape the world to his will, populate it with dreams and nightmares, memories from the heads of heroes. He can bend reality in any number of ways, changing up how things are viewed, how they work.

But, then, all of those powers require belief to charge them. Using his powers for his magical traps uses up the very thing keeping him alive. So it's a delicate balance between staying alive and using his wonderful powers.

First Appearance: #1362: Another Land
Last Appearance: #1530: The Last Stand

Olrox (Mirror)

The Other Vampire Lord of Earth 2

Background:

Vampire lords come and go. The thing about the dark gifts all vampires get is that some of them get more of the gifts than others. They can build up more power, gain more minions, and that gives them the designation of "Lord" (or "Master" if you're into hanky-panky). These vampire lords battle each other for territory, and often you end up with one vampire lord left standing, one dead, and twice the territory owned. It's a simple arrangement.

Sometimes, though, the two vampire lords face off but they don't end up dead -- one becomes the minion of the other, showing who was the true power in the realm. Such was the case with Olrox a great vampire lord in Germany, who went up against Lord Dracula, lost, and became his lackey.

That would be the end of the story if not for a young vampire named Darkmoon. He was created by Dracula, gained many of the vampire lord's powers and then, when Dracula was defeated, he took over as the new lord of the castle. The thing is, that was a title Olrox wanted. In his thoughts, the title of "lord of the castle" should have been his. He was next in line, damn it.

But Darkmoon stole Dracula's powers, took them, whole-hog, from the dead corpse, preventing that vampire lord from coming back. With all that power he was easily able to crush Olrox. The German vampire was demoted further, made into little more than an errand boy, and the new lord of the castle went on to plot his new empire.

One day, though, Olrox will have his revenge... That, or he'll remain a screw up.

Personality Details:

The Olrox of Earth 2 had as many great plans as his Earth 1 counterpart, was ready to rule the world if not for Dracula. What wasn't expected was Darkmoon, a Darkmon wiling to steal power from every source he could. Olrox knows that in a match up he wouldn't be able to take on Darkmoon, so he has to bide his time. Maybe one day, he think, but not today.

Deep down, really, maybe Olrox just likes being a minion better. It's less stress, and he doesn't have to fight against other vampires on a near-constant basis. There's something to be said for last place.

First Appearance: Olrox and Zombie are Dead
Last Appearance: #772: On One Front

Princess

Isabella

Background:

Raised as royalty, the next in line to ascend the throne of the Kingdom of the North, Princess was trained in those skills and abilities that would aid her during her ruling years.

But just because she was raised in the ways of royalty, don't think Princess was a "soft" person. She spent time, early on, among the people, learning skills from them, and, most importantly, listening to the needs of her citizens.

She would have made a fine ruler if it wasn't for the pesky fact that her father was a completely incompetent king and really botched the whole "being-in-charge" thing.

While Princess was out of the country (her being a princess, and princesses naturally being a magnet for people looking to kidnap them, Princess had been taken by a dragon and heroes had to come and save her) there was a revolt of the populace (you could say the populace was revolting, but they did occasionally bathe, which was more than you could ask during the time). By the time Princess (with heroes in tow) made it home, the kingdom was no longer a kingdom but a democracy, and Princess had no home to go to.

So she went adventuring with the heroes.

Personality Details:

Princess was trained to be a ruler. Her skills work best around a table, talking about the finer points of diplomacy, negotiating huge tracts of land, etc. Of course, many of those skills have real world applications (haggling over the price of a new cloak is still a form a negotiation), so she is able to put her abilities to good use.

Plus there are the skills she learned from her one-time subjects. Many a back-alley skill has use when you need to get items from a locked room, or off a person, or from a chest when the keys are on the inside.

She was, also, trained to fight, but as a defensive fighter. Many of her most powerful moves come when someone else attacks her, using their own power and momentum against them.

First Appearance: Introduction #10: RPG Systems
Last Appearance: #2465: He's Impossible

Raphael

Raph

Background:

Kids these days, right? They grow up so fast. They're born, they go to school, they buy turtles from a pet shop, then they lose them down the sewers so the turtles can get covered in mutagenic goo, grow to become humanoid super-turtles, get trained by a giant rat in the ways of the ninja, and become protectors of New York. Tale as old as time, you know? Something every kid goes through.

But those turtles, man. Those were something special. Not just any turtles could have handled the goo. Not just any turtles could have learned ninjitsu with such ease. These were special turtles. Brave turtles. Honorable turtles. Angry turtles... well, okay. Just one of them.

While each of the turtles was special in their own way, Raphael became the best warrior of the bunch. Strong and fast and deadly, Raph was the one who could reliably handle himself in a fight no matter what... so long as he kept his anger in check. But, man, was it hard for him to keep it in check. No one had a shorter fuse than Raph, which would get him into trouble time and again. The Shredder knew how to push his buttons, as did the Krang, the Triceratons. Hell, everyone knew. It was hard not to know. He'd blow his top for anything little slight, and then it was uncontrollable rage monster time.

The Hulk was a mild-mannered, self-controlled man in comparison to Raphael is what we're saying.

Personality Details:

Despite his rage, Raph can be trusted in a fight. He's the turtle that always has your back, the one that will always pick you up when the chips are down and you've been beaten, bloody, are there on the ground on your back. He's who you turn to.

That's different from being the leader, though. Raph is not the leader of the turtles, and that's something that makes him quite angry at times. But then, everything makes him angry, so that's not really a surprise.

First Appearance: #66: Prospective Heroes
Last Appearance: #358: Quite

Raye

Background:

Although its arguable how much the evil of the vampire's "demon" or "dark side" plays into making a vampire evil, it's hard to deny the fact that there are any number of truly staggeringly evil vampires in history. But then plenty of humans have been staggeringly terrible as well, so perhaps it's not the vampirism but the humanity that causes the evil.

All of that is a round-about way to discuss Raye who, by all accounts during her time as a vampire, was a very evil person. As one of Dracula's minions (although she prefers the term "co-conspirator"), Raye had the pleasure of fighting by Dracula's side for more than 200 years (and if you think, "well, why didn't I see her in one of the Castlevania games, then?" the answer is, "because she was smart enough not to get killed."). During that illustrious time (of Dracula dying and coming back over and over again), Raye effectively lead the troops and minions, keeping the peace among the slathering and drooling beasts that roamed Romania.

But how did she get to this place? She wasn't embraced by Dracula, that much is clear -- all of Dracula's off-spring share powers and abilities, and Raye has never exhibited any of those powers before. No, Raye was her own person long before she came into Dracula's employ.

Truly, Raye was one of the few people in Romania to be converted into vampirism by someone other than the Dark Prince. A roaming, wandering vampire found the teenaged girl as she was walking through the shadowy woods near her home and quickly, surprisingly, she became a vampire. Unlike many vampires, Raye had no teacher (the vampire that embraced her quickly attacked and ran), so she had to find her own path, her own way to use her new powers.

So how does a sweet-natured girl become a slathering hell-beast? It was he vampirism right? Maybe, but just as possibly it was the social mores of the time period that dictated her behavior up til that magic moment. Being a vampire, she was freed of worrying about mortals. She could have finally been able to be the girl she always wanted to be.

In essence, it's a little of both, then. A Human becomes an evil vampire because the evil of the vampire frees the human to do as they truly want. And for Raye, that was to be the best, most evil vampire she could.

Personality Details:

While Raye was evil basically from the moment she became a vampire, it was through a further curse (laid on her by Darkmoon) that she found new levels of power and rage. Drkmoon cursed her to have a soul (something Darkmoon had been cursed with as well) which effectively meant that the "dark magic" within a vampire gets replaced with the goodness the transition to vampirism removed. At least, that's how it was supposed to work. That's how it worked for Darkmoon (who became reasonably less evil afterwards).

For Raye, though, the dark magic never left her. Instead, she had both the evil of her vampire and the good of her humanity warring in her mind. It made her lust for vengeance, desire more power than she'd ever wanted before. Instead of working happily for a master vampire, Raye wanted to be a master.

And then, once she'd achieved that, she'd set her sights on revenge. Darkmoon would pay, oh yes, and so would anyone aligned with him.

First Appearance: Raye
Last Appearance: A Bun in the Oven

Raye (Mirror)

The Raye of Earth 2

Background:

It's arguable which comes first: the vampirism or the evil. Sure, some humans are evil by nature, but certainly the dark magic of being a vampire drives many to the same fate, to become evil beasts from beyond the grave. However you lok at it, Raye was evil as a vampire.

Why she became a vampire is a question one would have to ask her sire. She's not of of Dracula's "children", so she wasn't turned simply because Dracula wanted a girl around the house. No, she was drawn to Dracula's evil magic, the need to serve as one of his minions. She grew in power, and became one of his trusted lieutenants.

And then she met Darkmoon. This young vampire, brought in by Dracula as one of his new "sons", caught her eye, and the two quickly hit it off. Young love can even strike ageless vampires, and the relationship between the two undead was hot, heavy, and cold-blooded.

When Dracula died (as he so often did, at the hands of a Belmont of course), a decision had to be made: bring Dracula back or argue for a new way of life. Darkmoon argued for the latter, that as one of Dracula's children he could take the demon lord's power and put it to better use. Raye agreed, and the course of history for the world was forever changed.

And yet, not all was right at home. A new, younger woman caught Darkmoon's eye. Raye sensed a new love within her one-time beau, and the two vampires grew distant. It was only a matter of time, then, before Raye made a play for power on her own....

Personality Details:

As Darkmoon was never cursed on Earth 2, this version of Raye wasn't either. She's all vampire, without any pesky Light magic or "souls" bringing her down. That still leaves us with a very evil vampire, though, one bent on taking of the Romanian throne and ruling the world as she desires. And she just might have the power to do it.

Unlike Dracula's children, Raye doesn't have a traditional "demon form". She does, however, have a large stock-pile of Light magic, one of the few vampires to master that craft. It makes her dangerous in way unsuspecting heroes may not be able to anticipate.

First Appearance: #665: The Mistress at the Top of the Castle
Last Appearance: #784: Try a Little Compassion

Richter Belmont II

The Clone

Background:

The realms of Dracula's castle are a weird and wonderful place (and we use wonderful to mean "full of wonder", since they're also dangerous, horrifying, deadly, creepy, icky, menacing, and will prove staggeringly suicidal for anyone stupid enough to enter). The magics of the realm (usually dark, certainly catastrophic) can cause any number of (ghastly) creations and (unintended) reactions. And it's from one of those magic episodes that we have the Richter Clone (aka Richter II, Evil Richter, and, ironically, Richter the Good).

You see, in the lands of Romania there are such things a "doppelgangers", beings that can magically take on the form of other living creatures. Sometimes these beings permanently take on the form (and personality) of another sentient being, and can actually take over their entire lives if not stopped. The Richter Clone was one such being, created as an evil version of the hero, Richter Belmont, and intended to take over Richter's life (and probably kill him as well).

But there was a small issue. See, to create an "evil" version of a person, the magic looks to invert the original person's morals. Unfortunately, Richter Belmont is a largely amoral person. Inverting Richter Belmont actually had the unintended consequence of actually making someone more good than Richter, not more evil (as that's almost impossible to do). As such, Evil Richter is, in fact, Richter the Good, a more kind-hearted (is still impeccably lazy) individual. When the Richter Clone took over Richter's life, he actually ended up making things better: Richter's wife, Annette, was happier; Richter's town, Aljiba (maybe?) was safer, and Richter's job (fighting the forces of the undead) was done marginally better.

It's a weird, wonderful realm.

Personality Details:

As mentioned, the Richter Clone is a better person than Richter Belmont. While he shares the same basic motivations and personality traits (a bit on the lazy side, with an over-powering need to drink and get laid), his inverse-personality means that he actually errs on the side of being good. When it comes to his personal life, the Richter Clone actually stays in a monogamous relationship (one with a whole lot of sex), and only drinks to relax (and certainly only in moderation).

When it comes to his work life -- that of a Vampire Killer -- things are a bit more muddied. See, it's not that the Richter Clone isn't good at fighting (he's quite good at it in fact, even if he can't use the holy items Richter Belmont uses, since he's still technically an unholy being), but he's fighting two overpowering urges:

  • Richter Belmont is a lazy sonofabitch, and the Richter Clone has to fight the urge to sit back, put his feet up, and drink a pint any time the world is in danger.
  • Technically, the Richter Clone is a Vampire Helper, not a Vampire Hunter. To go after the forces of evil strikes against the core of his being. He wasn't made to fight evil, only good.

The Richter Clone is good, but part of him wants to do bad things. It's not much of a conflict, though, since most of him wants to run from battle and settle into a nearby tavern.

In the end, as with the original recipe Richter, the Clone ends up not doing much (but what he does he's slightly better at).

First Appearance: The Richter Clone
Last Appearance: #865: Secret Stash

Samus Aran

Background:

Although most of the time hero stories start with a statement that "the child was known from an early age to be very special", Samus was just a kid. A girl on a mining planet, minding her own business, until one day the planet was attacked by Space Pirates. As the name would imply, Space Pirates were very bad guys, genetically engineered creatures designed to raid and kill. They did both these things to Samus's home planet, killing her parents, her friends, her neighbors, and everyone else. Everyone.

That would be the end of the story right there -- whod expect a young kind to survive on their own alone on a planet? But Samus was saved by a race of bird-like aliens: the Chozo. They took the child in, took her to their home planet, Zebes, and trained her in their ways (which included a whole lot of kicking as with fancy weapons). When she was grown up they gave her a set of Power Armor and sent her to find her way. Samus was free to make her own life.

Of course, when you're raised by giant bird creatures who seem to specialize in weapons and martial arts, the only pace you're going to find a life is in the military (well, or living with a bunch of mutant turtles in the sewers). But military life wasn't for Samus -- she's not much of a joiner -- so after a few months spent listening to other people's commands she went off on her own. She chose the life of a bounty hunter, a job where she could fight for justice (and maybe a bit of revenge on the Space Pirates) but do it on her terms.

Speaking of the Space Pirates, though, their part of the story wasn't over yet. While Samus was off working as a Bounty Hunter, her new home was attacked by Space Pirates (because they're always looking for screw with her). She had to go back and defeat the Space Pirate threat (not that she wasn't up for it anyway) since they'd corrupter her new home and killed her adopted family.

And then, after that, she had to do it again. And again. And again. A bounty hunter's job is never done.

Personality Details:

Stoic to a fault, Samus doesn't really talk much. Sure, she knows how, and she's fully capable of holding a conversation. But most of the time Samus is strong and silent, letting her guns handle the "conversating".

But she is really, really good with those guns. While her basic shot is powerful enough, Samus has learned how to equip and adapt various beams to her guns, altering and enhancing her cannon with glorious new powers.

Of course, in a pinch, Samus can also rely on her full arsenal of powers and abilities, from missiles to bombs to super missile to super bombs to ice missiles to... well, let's just say she has a lot of explosives. She's ready for all terrains and all encounters, so don't get on her bad side.

First Appearance: #15: So About That Quest
Last Appearance: #2395: Two at the Studio

Santa Alec

The Red Holiday Alec Prelude

Background:

To understand Santa Alec, we first have to go back to how he came into being. You see, long ago there was just one Alec Prelude (well, at least, in this dimension, but that's another story) and the world was a good and just place. However, Alec met up with Link. Well, okay, he met up with Link's corpse (another long story), and Alec looted the body. What?! The treasure was just sitting there! Waste not, want not.

Anywho, among the random tunics and old sock hats that lived in Link's carry-all bag, Alec found a sword. Not just any sword, though -- the Four Sword. With this blade, Alec was able to summon forth three extra copies of himself: Blue, Purple, and Red. Alec then used this blade to fight off the growing advances of Dracula (yet another long story), and the universe was back to being a good and just place.

And then Santa died. Yes, the literal Santa Claus. He was reaped by the Grim Reaper, and that was the end of that jolly old man. Alec (being the innocent soul that he is) realized the world needed a Santa Claus (he'd watched enough Rankin Bass movies to know that) and so he enlisted his Red copy to handle the holidays.

And thus did Santa Alec come into being.

Personality Details:

Of the three Holiday Alecs, Red is the most traditional. He's very into the common lore and beliefs of his holiday and sticks to the traditions. That means traveling around on reindeer and fighting with the decorations of the season. His shield is made up to look like a present, his sword is a candy cane, and he has ornaments for bombs. He spreads the tiding and good cheer, and he spreads them violently.

But then, if you really read up on all the lore about Ol' Saint Nick, that man was kind of a monster, too.

First Appearance: The Four Swords
Last Appearance: #160: Powerful

Shaft (Mirror)

The Shaft of Earth 2

Background:

It's no surprise the Mirror Universe has evil sorcerers. It seems like the Mirror universe was designed as a nexus for evil (which may be why it's so important to the fabric of the multiverse). There's a propensity for evil magic in the world, so evil witches and mages, sorcerers and sorceress are going to naturally occur.

Shaft exists in both universes. Although some people don't occur in both (no one has seen a mirror version of Richter Belmont, for example, although that's probably a good thing), Shaft was bound to appear in both. He's evil, the Mirror Universe is evil, so the two naturally occur together (like an evil version of chocolate and peanut butter).

In the Mirror Universe, though, events didn't play out quite the way Shaft expected. In our world, Shaft trained Katrina and, when her magic got out of hand, cursed her. They went their separate ways, fought occasionally (as heroes vs. villains often do), but the two largely took different paths. In the Mirror Universe, though, Katrina killed Shaft in a fit of rage, stole his powers, and went off to be the most powerful mage in the land.

Since that time, Shaft has been planning his revenge. Stuck in ghostly form, Shaft has been working to slowly rebuild his magic so he can influence the world again. Until that time, though, he can't do much more than haunt those around him, making snide remarks as he watches the world pass him by.

It's just as boring as it sounds.

Personality Details:

The Shaft of Earth 2 is consumed by one goal: revenge on the sorcerers who stole his powers. He's not working to try and bring Dracula back, nor his he trying to get into Darkmoon's good graces. No, he just wants petty revenge.

Well, okay, maybe not petty. He does have good reason to want revenge. But considering he's an evil sorcerer who cursed his only student for having a magical accident, it does seem a tad petty, all things considered.

Still, one day he might be the greatest wizard in the land again. it's s slim chance, sure, but it might happen. Maybe...

First Appearance: #777: In the Cathedral
Last Appearance: Super Special Comic 800 Take 2

Shredder

Oroku Saki

Background:

Although always considered one of the best ninjas (in Asia as well as the rest of the world), Oroku Saki always strived for more. Well, coveted really. Throughout his life what he wanted most was the love and devotion of one woman: Tang Shen. Although Saki loved Shen, she did not reciprocate her feelings, instead falling for another ninja master, Hamato Yoshi. Angry and jealous, Saki eventually struck out at Shen and Yoshi, seemingly killing both of them in a fit of rage.

After this incident, Saki went on to take on a leadership role in the evil ninja clan, The Foot. Fueled by his rage and driven by hate, Saki took the Foot to new levels of evil, using them as his own personal army, controlling the organized crime world throughout Asia.

And yet a separate force worked against Saki when he brought his Foot to America to expand his empire. A rat, human sized and claiming to be Hamato Yoshi (or, at least, his pet rat mutated to human size) appeared, backed by his own warriors -- four turtles named for four renaissance artists, trained in the ways of ninjitsu like their master, Hamato "Splinter" Yoshi. Splinter swore that he would stop Shredder at all costs, gaining his own level of vengeance for the lives lost at Saki's hands.

Shredder faced defeat after defeat from Splinter and the Turtles, but his quest for world domination has never ceased. Whether backed by the Foot, or robots, or mercenaries from Dimension X, one thing has remained constant -- Shredder will one day rule the world or die trying (probably at the hands of Splinter).

Personality Details:

Shredder is a half-crazed warrior, skilled in ninjitsu but blinded by rage. He'll seek whatever vengeance he can get against Splinter, not just for their past history but also for all the present indignities he's constantly suffering. His honor, his rage will not allow otherwise.

Curiously while Shredder himself is a madman, he has two clones that cropped up in Romania (during a time-travel incident). This two magically summoned clones are far more sane their this progenitor. While still "evil" technically, they'd much rather spend their days baking pizzas and finding ways to pass the time. One never knows when the magic animating them runs out, and instead of fruitlessly trying to take over the world, the two Shredders much prefer to enjoy what time they have (however long it lasts).

First Appearance: Oroku Saki
Last Appearance: #719: Room for Improvement

Simon Belmont

Background

Throughout the ages there has been a family of hunters. These great warriors have defended the land of Romania from the evils of vampires, werewolves, terrible customer service and poor tippers. These brave vampire hunters were the Belmonts, and most famous of all was Simon.

Sure, growing up Simon had a lot to live up to. He had not one, but three famous ancestors, all of whom had fought, and defeated, Dracula decades and centuries before. But the feared Prince of Darkness (talkin' 'bout Dracula, son) was a tenacious bastard and would come back from the dead, over and over, every hundred years. Simon knew that one day he would have to face off with Dracula (like clockwork), and sure enough, that day did arrive.

Remarkably (considering some of his later descendants -- looking at you, Richter), Simon hadnled himself well, defeating Dracula with a minimum of fuss and just a little bit of muss (does anyone know how to get vampire blood out of armor?). The day was saved and Dracula was sent packing to his grave for... wait, only seven years?

Yes, unbeknownst to Simon, Dracula had set a curse on the vampire hunter (very quickly, in between dying breaths). If Simon was unable to bring the pieces of Dracula's body back together and resurrect the damned bat-head, Simon would die. Obviously, Simon wasn't interested in that outcome.

And so it was that Simon returned to the world of hunting vampires (having retired and opened up a commemorative snow globe shop). He scoured the land, far and wide, to find the five pieces of Dracula (yes, even that piece, you pervs). He then brought the parts together, said a little dark incantation (klatu, verata, necktie), and BOOM! Dracula was reborn. And then killed again, because Simon wasn't having any of that bullshit.

And thus Dracula was sent packing back to his grave for... oh for the love of god! Only one year?! What the hell?! As it turned out, Dracula's first resurrection (eight years ago at this count) was by a dark ritual and, through a loophole, Dracula was still entitled to rise at the 100 year mark. Seriously, that man has the best agent in the business.

By now you know the story. Dracula comes back, and then Simon goes to the vampire's castle. The two fight, and Dracula is defeated. The townspeople rejoice and bury the undead freak (this time under several tons of concrete). And Simon is able to go back to his true love -- creating tiny towns and encasing them in globes of water and glass. Seriously, if you're ever in town, you should check out his shop.

Dracula, wisely, elected to wait on coming back again until after Simon was dead.

Personality Details:

Starting out, Simon was unsure of himself. The Belmont name came with a lot of responsibility, and it's hard to live up to that kind of history. He went to Dracula's castle with some trepidation, not knowing if that would be the time Dracula finally had the upper hand and was going to win the day.

However, Simon was the better warrior. And, as the years wore on and he had to fight Dracula again and again (seriously, one time I think they ran into each other at the grocery store and there was a cleanup in aisle three after that encounter), Simon turned into a grizzled old hunter. He knows the drill, he's the best at what he does, and no goddamned bat-head if gonna fuck with him.

First Appearance: Introduction #3: Resurrection Syndrome
Last Appearance: #255: Simon, Victorious

Sindra

The Devil

Background

Much like another Angel is our series, Sindra started out as an angel riding the grey line between good an evil. Long before humans walk the Earth, Sindra was roaming around, setting fire to whatever she could and basically mucking about with Creation because, well, there wasn't much else to do. Over time, though, she created one to many apocalypses, and God eventually decided to kick her out of Heaven. It was for her own good.

Essentially, Sindra was to walk the Earth, to find a way to be a better person and redeem herself before she'd be allowed back into Heaven. Instead, she met up with Angel (the worst of the angels), and fell even further out of God's good graces. The Devil eventually offered her a job, she had a falling out with Angel (who was still trying to not be absolutely terrible... and failing), and the two went their separate ways.

Centuries later, Sindra met with a different "hero", and undead warrior of time named Link. Link was on the run from Hell (after dying, and then escaping, something the Devil doesn't much like... the escaping, that is), and Sindra was supposed to catch him. However, Link bested the angel, killing her and sending her back to Hell. Out of favor with the Devil, Sindra was desperate to regain her lost powers (since being dead leaves one in a fairly depowered state), so she hatched a new plan: she'd steal the Devil's powers instead.

And, surprise, it worked. Now Sindra is working to be the best Devil the world has ever seen, and that means actually making herself a better person. In the end God was right: Sindra had it in her to be good again, and all she had to to was become the most evil thing in the universe to do it.

Personality Details:

As a fallen angel, Sindra doesn't really sweat the details. The ends justify the means is one of those mottoes she whole-heartedly agrees with. If more peaople are saved by some action than the ones that die along the way, it's a win in Sindra's play book. it does help that most of the people that die are going to end up in her domain anyway (Hell), so why worry about the specifics.

Besides, Hell does suit her. She really likes fire, and Hell has almost nothing but. it's like a match made in... well, you know where.

First Appearance: #157: Make it a Strong One
Last Appearance: #760: Quick Transpo

Solstice Alec

The Purple Holiday Alec Prelude

Background:

So by now you're probably aware that there are multiple Alec Preludes. More than just a good version and his evil (Mirror Universe) counterpart, there are other Alecs as well. These guys came into being when Alec held the Four Sword aloft and summons himself some clones. Getting them to appear was easy, but getting them to go back into the sword proved more difficult. The other Alecs (Red, Blue, and Purple) stuck around... probably much longer than they really should have. Eventually the original Alec (Green) found the sword wouldn't accept the other Alecs at all, and all four were permanent.

The other Alecs went off to have a music career (some say with yet another Alec Green, which... try and figure out how that worked)... and then disaster struck. A freak accident at a concert killed all but Alec Purple. The world was reduced by several Alec Preludes, and the music scene was never the same afterwards.

However, Alec Green still had the Four Sword. When Santa Claus died (a different story, for sure), Alec threw caution to the wind and used the blade once again. This summoned forth a new Red, a new Blue, and a second Purple. The original Purple (Purple I) had just gotten in with a band (Righteous Heretics) and really wasn't interested in being involved in some weird Holidays thing, so the new Purple (Purple II) took on the duties of assisting Alec Red II (Santa Alec)... and then Alec Blue II (Chanukah Alec).

It was only a matter of time, then, before they roped him in and made him a full member of the team. Alec Purple II became Solstice Alec and... well, he had every holiday not covered by Santa and Chanukah dumped on him. Sometimes its sucks to be the last person in the party.

Personality Details:

Solstice Alec is ostensibly in charge of all the Pagan and Wiccan holidays, but that really doesn't leave a lot out. If it's not Christian and it's not Jewish but it has a holiday around the same time of year, it's, what? Usually just national holidays or some day devoted to one of the lesser gods, goddesses, demons or devils. Solstice Alec doesn't judge -- he's immersed himself in every religion he can, learned all he could, and has devoted himself to delivering presents to ever kid that Santa and Chanukah so rudely ignored.

He is, quite bluntly, busy enough that he could really use some help. Maybe he could get Purple I to come help one day...

First Appearance: The Four Swords
Last Appearance: #170: So True

Sprockets

Captain of the Sylph

Background

Unlike the heroes we've come to know through the many years of adventuring, Sprockets hails from the future (which is really her present, and ours since we're reading adventures in the future, which really makes our heroes from the past, and thus it's all present when you're talking time travel and my head hurts). As a being of the far-flung future, there are many things she takes for granted that seems strange to us. Space flight is one thing, something our Earth-bound heroes never even thought to look into. And yet Sprockets make her life among the stars.

Although many would consider her a pirate of sorts, stealing parts from wrecks and waste of the cosmos, Sprockets prefers the term "freelancer" (or, at the very least, "scavenger"). By her reasoning the stuff was just going to waste among the stars so she may as well claim it and put it to good use. Making her money. Because she fixes most of it. And resells it. For a tidy profit.

Of course, many private entities (and the main galactic government) tried to recruit her for her skills (and her amazing skip, the Sylph, which is powered by the self-repairing, fully-conscious A.I., Gertie), but Sprockets has remains steadfast in her desire to be free among the stars. A lone wolf living and working and playing in the vast cosmos.

At least until she met our heroes and was stuck ferrying their dumb asses around. Yet another promising young adventurer brought into the weird, wild fold of our bungling do-gooders.

Personality Details

Sprockets loves to work on tech. She's a gearhead and could spend her days learning about new technology, figuring out how it works... and then building it onto her ship to make it better. That's how she gathered the parts to build the Sylph, how she came up with the nano-technology that powers it, and how she devised Gertie to run everything.

Magic, though... that's something else altogether. As a girl of science, Sprockets is still trying to wrap her head around the power (and consequences) of magic and what it really means about the cosmos. For now she's wary, just hoping that magic doesn't explode and kill everyone.

Which it totally could.

First Appearance: #2500: Is it Special? It Might be Special
Last Appearance: #2929: Big Illusion

Summer Lady

Personification of Summer

Background:

The world is controlled by magic. That may come as a surprise to you, we're sure, since it seems like science runs everything around us. However, that's just because we believe is science, and belief is powered by magic, so in a way science is powered by magic. Mind blowing stuff, right?

Because of magic, many myths and stories are true because people believe (or at least believed) they were true. Monsters are real, gods and devils exist, and there are spirits for all seasons. The most well known of them all is Santa Claus he serves, in a way, as the personification of Winter (and, as we've seen, is really Alec Red). Summer has a personification, too: The Summer Lady.

Ruling all of the warm days of the year, the Summer Lady keeps the seasons moving, the Earth warm, and life alive. Without her this world would be a frozen shell of itself, and we really don't think anyone wants that... Well, maybe the Ice Nazis.

Personality Details:

As the personification of Summer, the Summer Lady likes it warm. She enjoys temperate to hot days, long walks on sun-drenched beaches, and, ironically, col glasses of Pina Coladas. She also doesn't tend to wear much (or anything) in the way of clothing.

Really, she's quite popular at parties.

First Appearance: #38: Flying High
Last Appearance: The March to War: June 21st

Sypha (Zombie)

The Reanimated Sorceress

Background:

The lands surrounding Dracula's Castle are a strange and wild place. Magic roams rampant, casting bursts and shocks as it moves (and occasionally feeding on lesser spells and hexes). This magic is often searching for a nexus, a way point to discharge itself. And it found it in the long dead body of Sypha Belnades.

Sypha, as you may remember, was one of three companions that aided Trevor Belmont in his attack on Dracula. She later married Trevor and helped to further the Belmont clan. She did die, eventually, and her corpse was laid to reset in the lands of Romania.

How she came back in open for debate. Some speculate that it was the dark sorcerer Shaft who brought her (along with zombified corpses of Trevor and Grant). Others think it was an accident, that Sypha somehow rose from the dead due to dark magical discharge and came back as an evil fiend (who then resurrected Trevor and Grant on her own). Still, some speculate it was a curse laid upon her before she died, possibly even by Dracula himself.

Now Sypha works for the Dark Lord, casting her own incantations to further his plans and aid the day when Dracula once again rules the world.

Personality Details:

Not that she'd be upset leaving Dracula's Castle never to return. The dark magic that brought her back ties Sypha to the demon lord's lands. She works to find a way to free herself but so far she's been unsuccessful.

Not that she's all that helpful in Dracula's plans. Like so many of his minions, Sypha is only half-interested in helping the dark lord -- most of the time she's experimenting and conjuring, exploring the dark lands and their darker powers. She has an eternity as a zombie to look forward to, so she has plenty of time to work her dark gifts and learn the unspeakable arts.

She'll speak them, though. She is evil, after all.

First Appearance: #26: Inhuman Resources
Last Appearance: #752: No Fight Today

Trevor Belmont

Background:

A Belmont who faces off against Dracula becomes famous. We're all heard the tales of Simon and Richter (hell, in this comic we keep hearing about them). Even Trevor gained a name for himself and he really only fought against Dracula one time (at least that he can remember). But how does a Belmont live up to that fame, that renown, before he's even gone up against the Dark Prince even once?

For Trevor he didn't really have to think about it much. Although the people of Romania begged for him to come and defeat Dracula, showering fame and fortune at his feet, Trevor still remembers how they'd chased his mother (Sonia) out of town for being a powerful vampire hunter. He was just a babe then (one of questionable parentage) and although he didn't see their actions first hand, he did hear the stories from his mother, over and again.

Despite all this, then, it's amazing Trevor was willing to help at all. And yet he was, and happily (well, as happy as anyone that has to face off against the forces of darkness). Of course he was unsure of himself, and of course he had to learn as he was going along (you only ever fight the Master Vampire for the first time once), but Trevor figured out what he was doing. He figured it out on the fly, mastered that whip, and took out the evil vampire lord.

Or did he. DSWC's timeline is murky and it's hard to know who has done what, and when, and how, and things can shift and change at a moment's notice. What once seemed like a safe universe can get rebooted in an instant, so only time will tell if Dracula is ever truly defeated again.

Personality Details:

Although the stories of Trevor Belmont are varied (he's a mast vampire hunter, he's dark and brooding, he's experienced and knows how to please a woman), the Trevor we meet in the series is young and brash, still figuring out his place in the universe (especially a universe that's constantly shifting and changing). It'll take him time to get his feet and learn about the man he's destined to become.

Still, this is DSWC. Even if Trevor dies along the way, it's not like anyone ever really stays dead in this world, right?

First Appearance: #12: Any Which Way But...
Last Appearance: #856: Happily Ever After