From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Mercad Calypso was conceived as a design to fit into the VG "Aztec Empire" and was mostly designed as a 'lover' for the character Aztec Priestess. Since I was not too familiar with Aztec characters or customs, I chose a 'quirkier' path of character development with him being initially defiant of the VG's members. When the VG fell apart, it was pretty easy to write advancement for him and a resolution to his story. However, he has not been very RP-active since then, and the i12 nerf to Poison Trap ruined a lot of my drive to play him. While he was (and still is) a fairly good PvP character, the Poison Trap nerf makes him a lot weaker. I've since moved on to other characters.
|Real Name:||Mercad Calypso|
|Known Aliases:||"Corpse Explosion", "MC Necro"|
|Place of Birth:||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Base of Operations:||Mercy, Etoile Islands|
|Marital Status:||Single (never married)|
|Known Relatives:||Father, mother, 5 siblings (all presumed alive)|
|See listing below|
- Aztec Empire - Former VG; Mercad slew all its members.
- Aztec Priestess - Slain by Mercad.
- Shion Phoebe 2.0 - Mercad "owes" her for her help in freeing him from his past. He paid her, but it's still a debt that he would like to repay. He has also made some upscale modifications on her Crey powersuit to increase the efficiency of its magic energy channeling.
- Ludov - A independent mercenary, Mercad has not seen him since his liberation.
- Brother Rakos - Due to the need for maintenance on his stolen Crey powered suit, Rakos needs a specialist's touch. He was referred to Mercad and the two are on good terms.
- Cackle - Mercad has done quite a few runs of bounty hunting in Sirens' Call, where he ran into Cackle. The two have been fast friends, and they work fairly well together.
Mercad is a fairly easygoing man with a tendency to take people seriously. He does not try to involve himself with politics or drama on the Rogue Isles, and would prefer to live a (relatively) peaceful life. Despite this, his serious nature means that when he decides to take action, he does so with the utmost of deadly force. Mercad has a certain code of honor and will live up to the letter of any deal he makes. However, he is ultimately a cutthroat villain and will not hesitate to strike a helpless foe down or take advantage of loopholes in an agreement. He is, oddly enough, rather protective of those he considers his friends, although all 'friends' he may have had (most notably Ludov) have gone missing or are deceased.
Mercad will do his best to avoid harming innocents people whenever he commits a crime, as he believes that they are what makes the world revolve and are not for people to step on. However, he will not go out of his way to protect the people and may hurt, kill or kidnap innocents if they end up in his way.
In battle, Mercad is highly arrogant and often taunts his opponents. He is particularly fond of provoking the biggest, strongest foe he can find, knowing that he is practically unkillable. His strong, driven personality causes foes to often react to his challenges. Those that don't get angry are often intimidated by his apparent mastery of negative energy. This has been the downfall of several heroes, including the foolish SunCe who was cornered by Mercad and easily beaten after the Scrapper left his hiding place, administering wounds that sent SunCe to the hospital.
Mercad's body radiates negative energy unless he concentrates on suppressing it. While his dark energy is exceptionally powerful, he cannot control it very well, even with lengthy researching to do so. Instead of using his powers directly, he summons betrayers of the Aztec gods to his side. These servants, normally powerless and unable to move, thrive in Mercad's area of negative energy and use it as a power source, channelling it in ways he simply does not have the ability to. His servants' powers will begin to fade if they cannot dwell in his negative energy field, losing some of their speed, durability, and destructive power. If Mercad moves too far away, his servants will discorporate, only to reform near him. When initially learning to summon the ghosts Haklan and Ashka (using the body of a slain minion as a focus), Mercad's control over the power that sustains them was not enough to last for more than a few minutes. Mercad's negative energy also helps to sustain him. His body reforms if it is slain by leeching from life energy in the nearby area, although if nothing alive or recently deceased is nearby, it will take a very long time. Injuries to Mercad also are dispersed through his negative field, displacing much of the wounds dealt to him.
Despite Mercad's general lack of skill in manipulating his own negative energy, he does have some limited mastery. He has increased his skill in directing it, allowing him to grant much more effective powers to his undead servants, as well as improving his ability to control Haklan, who he can maintain almost indefinitely with some concentration. His control over Askha is still weak, and he must expend a great deal of focus to keep both ghosts active at once, and he is still unable to do so for more than a minute. He can also consciously exert his negative energy in a field around him, creating a kinetic barrier that absorbs incoming attacks in addition to his unconscious dispersion of energy through his own negative field .
Mercad has also learned to cause necrosis in objects and organisms, causing them to slowly corrode or wither and die. He can also absorb life energy from other beings in order to restore any wounds that are not dispersed into his negative energy field. He has also demonstrated the ability to produce tendrils of energy from his fingertips, encapsulating his opponents in a mass of glowing "tentacles." His mastery of these powers were mostly taught to him by the lich Haedongum and his ability to use them is far beneath those of the lich.
Mercad also has doctorates in electrical and mechanical engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and is extremely talented at building and repairing mechanical devices.
These were liberated from a Wolf Spider when Mercad broke out of the Zig. Originally he used them out of necessity, lacking other methods of defense. Since then, he's become rather fond of using them to force airborne adversaries to the ground and has created his own personalized versions of these Arachnos classic weapons.
These simple floor spikes are, like Mercad's web grenades, the result of improvisation. Since deploying these simple devices for the first time, he has adapted enchanted materials to better impede the movement speed of even super-fast heroes and villains. Even still, these are merely floor spikes, even if magical, and can be avoided by highly skilled foes.
Personal Medical Unit
This is a throwback to Mercad's early contracting days. It can apply sutures and antitoxins to a wounded ally, aiding in the healing of injuries. Mercad rarely uses it on himself, preferring to absorb life energy directly from his foes.
L81A6 51mm Indirect Automated Defense System
This handy device unfolds into a fully automated defense turret capable of firing indirectly at enemy targets, even if they are obscured by terrain. It can mount a wide variety of munitions, including high explosive, concussion, or incendiary projectiles. The primary munition used in this weapon, however, is a magical necrotic compound capable of decomposing all manner of substances, leaving their structural integrity heavily compromised and vulnerable to abuse by other attacks. The weapon itself weighs about 14 pounds, while each round of (acid) ammunition weighs approximately 1.1 pounds. Additional ammunition is stored in the FSD; the mortar can carry ten rounds before needing to be reloaded. Mercad usually stores three in the FSD for quick deployment.
Field Support Drone
This device, which largely inspired Sky Raiders' development of personal force field generators, produces a wide area dispersion field capable of deflecting incoming enemy attacks. It also serves as a portable storage device, and can be directed to return to a base of operations in order to resupply Mercad and his teammates with extra ammunition, food, or supplies.
Remote Observation And Detainment Units
These short-range drones serve as additional eyes and ears of Mercad's. They mount sophisticated cameras and can be deployed to scout ahead for foes if needed. They also are fitted with small 'flashbang' charges which can be deployed in order to momentarily disorient foes. Due to the magical nature of the flashbang charge, it is effective even against superhuman senses or against beings with no sense of sight or hearing. After releasing the charge, the drones can be recovered and re-armed.
Anti-superhuman Tactical Mines
Quite possibly Mercad's least favorite invention and also his least frequently deployed. These powerful explosives can severely wound most heroes and villains. Unfortunately, the electronics present in the mines are very complicated and take a while to set up so that the mine can be deployed safely. Similar explosive charges are also often mounted with Mercad's minions, allowing him to remotely deliver a massive payload of explosives without the need of robots.
Multipurpose Synaptic Disruption Chemical
This is quite possibly the most feared and terrible creation of Mercad's. As a contact agent (delivered by zombie minions) it is highly corrosive and will melt flesh or metal in an instant. As an airborne agent, however, the chemical is far more dangerous. If a living being is exposed to this chemical, it will cause the victim to immediately lose control of his or her synaptic nervous system, causing an immediate loss of control of most bodily functions. It is also capable of causing severe nervous system trauma. Very few beings can withstand more than a few seconds of exposure. Even powered suits cannot resist the toxin due to its virulent nature; it will penetrate even environmental sealings and has been proven to work even on Positron himself. It can even disrupt the electrical current present in robots, although the exact nature of the gas on machines is unproven and may vary widely from one to another.
Vulnerabilities and Limitations
Physically, Mercad is an ordinary human. While his negative energy field keeps his body functioning at near peak efficiency for a normal human, Mercad is not superpowered in any physical sense. He can leap approximately five feet high and has a standing long jump of around three yards. He is able to bench press around 240 pounds, and can run a mile in about five and a half minutes, mostly due to his negative energy giving him the endurance to sprint continuously.
Mercad has above average tolerance to psionics, but he is only human in that respect. He has some training in the art of eluding mind invasion, but he can only do it if he is aware that he is being invaded. Telepaths can easily read his thoughts and redirect them to confuse him. Thanks to the FSD's dispersion bubble, incapacitating him through mind control is difficult, but softer forms of mental manipulation, such as fear, confusion, or sleep will evade the field and affect him. Additionally, if he leaves the field or if the FSD is destroyed, he can be affected with the full brunt of mental attacks until the drone can be repaired or he re-enters the field.
When death was not a part of life
Mercad was the second child (of 6) born between his parents. His mother was a student at the University of California, San Diego who was visiting Mexico City, while his father was a Mexican steel laborer working in Mexico City. His family life was harsh and poor. Even though his parents were married and moved to the relative economic freedom of Escondido, California, it was hard for his family to make ends meet.
As a teenager, Mercad had a natural aptitude for machines, and graduated high school when he turned 16. Shortly thereafter, Mercad took his future into his own hands. Moving away from his parents, he recieved a minority scholarship for California Polytechnic Institute, Pomona, and graduated at the top of his class in the studies of mechanical and electrical engineering.
Even with his impressive credentials, it was hard for a young Mercad to find work. He joined the US Navy as an officer, eventually achieving the rank of Lieutenant before finishing his six-year tenure.
Immediately after his discharge in 1999, Mercad entered into work as a civillian engineering contractor, working for corporations such as URS, Vexx, and DCS. He is at least partly responsible for the development of personal medical units (PMUs) and several different types of short range self-propelled drone. In 2004, his talents for working with military hardware caught the eye of Longbow, and he was hired to work on long-range explosive weapons.
After being contracted by Longbow for years, Mercad was given a golden opportunity. He contacted underground channels and found a small third-world country looking to buy improved missile systems for anti-armor and fighter aircraft use, as well as for use by super-powered operatives. Mercad acquired the merchandise from the Longbow facility using his own personally developed spy drones and miniature robots, but was stopped when a Longbow Ballista and several officers discovered him. While Mercad dove for cover, the stray fire from the Ballista hit the explosives, destroying most of the work area.
Mercad's body was retrieved from the wreckage the next day. To the medical team's surprise, he was alive, but on the brink of death; his cells had regrown after what had seemed to be a completely fatal injury. The bodies of the Longbow troops had been decayed into dust.
Opening the eyes eternal
Mercad awoke in the Ziggurat medical facility, his body still recovering from the shock. A female voice echoed inside his head, urging him to spill blood in the name of his masters.
Arachnos air vehicles opened fire on the 'Zig moments later. He scurried for cover, but soon he was found by rioting prisoners looking for someone to take their aggression out on. The loomed over the beaten body of a Wolf Spider and glared at him.
Mercad took the only rational approach and started to run, but to his surprise a zombie with amazing strength burst from the ground, groaning at him, calling him "Master." The zombie moved with incredible speed, beating the attacking prisoners into a pulp. Mercad quickly moved to the body of the fallen Wolf Spider. Unfamiliar with his Arachnos mace, Mercad took the soldier's reserve of web grenades instead.
Fighting a retreating battle out of the 'Zig, he realized that the Arachnos raid had been for him. A "Destined One," they called him. He was escorted on an Arachnos flier out of the Zigguraut.
Awaken to a nightmare
Upon arriving in Mercy Island, Mercad met up with his "masters." Calling themselves the new "Aztec Empire," they were warriors of the undead serving the mighty Aztec gods. Leaders among them were the Aztec Priest Tlamacazqui and the Aztec Priestess Ixipltatli risen from nearly 500 years of 'rest.'
They explained to Mercad that he was their "chosen one" to bring a new age of prosperity to the Aztecs. He had been born on a charmed star in the place where the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan once stood. The power of the Aztec blood gods dwelled in Mercad, and they intended to use this power to bring enslavement to the land of the living. Indeed, it had been Mercad's "death" that had caused his power to awaken, giving unlife to the Aztec warriors of long past.
Mercad seemed opposed to this idea, but the power the Aztecs held over him was strong. He could not challenge them or his powers would act against himself, causing his body to decay. In order to rise up against his masters, he would have to first master his powers.
Warriors choose their destinies
A long period of study began for Mercad. He went on to raid vampire dens, witches' coven, and untold numbers of Circle of Thorns' hideouts in order to learn more about the Aztec magic. While much of it was done violently with his newfound power, even more was done diplomatically, speaking with numerous experts on the occult, mediums, and even fey in an effort to better understand a way to free himself from the Aztec curse.
While control of his powers would come with time, the shackles of the Aztecs would not be undone so easily. The more he learned of seals and spells, the more the truth became clear to him: if he was to be free, he would have to slay his Aztec masters, weakening the ability of the Aztec gods to affect the Earth. With all of their servants and sycophants slain, Mercad would be able to challenge the gods openly, and conduct a ritual which would release him from their servitude.
And so Mercad began his plan. He constructed new devices, including a deadly toxin which disrupted the magical flow of energy to a person's synaptic nervous system. While it would not prove 100% effective against all forms of magical creature, in combat tests with heroes it would even cripple psychic entities like Numina. This would be more than sufficient to incapacitate the powerful Aztec warriors when he couldn't use his own powers against them.
Next, he would have to find help. While he could incapacitate many foes at once, the trouble lied in slaying them all. Getting a firearm was easy enough through contacts with Arachnos and on the Black Market, but that would not be enough, as Mercad had only had basic firearm training in the Navy - many years prior. He would need help.
And so, he hired the assassin Shion Phoebe 2.0 and the mercenary Ludov using gold he had stolen from the Aztec temple. Together, the three of them cut down the last of the Aztecs, exterminating every single sliver of belief in the Aztec gods. For months, the three hunted down and ruthlessly murdered anyone who professed belief in the Aztec faith.
At last, Mercad chanted the ritual and released himself from Aztec servitude.
Every great villain needs a team
After being liberated, Mercad found himself alone in the world. He worked quietly in Mercy, running an automotive garage (mostly operated by small-time employees, including his undead minions) and a TV repair shop. One day, while retrieving some extra-market electronics from the black market distributor in Cap au Diable, he was approached by Crimson Fire of The X-Patriots, who asked him if he would like to make some extra money doing contract repairs on the Villain Group's vehicles. Since then, he has served in a support manner, providing repairs and upgrades for X-Patriot vehicles, weapons, and other technological equipment.
While Mercad has not performed combat operations for the villain group in any official manner, a small number of the group's members have sought him out for advice and mentoring. For the most part, Mercad helps out the more inexperienced members, although he is not sure where his reputation for being a combatant came from.
Still, working in any function takes very little of Mercad's time, and the now immortal necromancer looks on and observes humanity.
Heroes and Arch-Villains Defeated by MSDC
- Aurora Borealis
- Back Alley Brawler
- Bat'Zul the Imprisoned
- Calystix the Shaper
- Countess Crey
- Eye of the Leviathan
- Ghost Widow
- Kronos Titan
- Lord Recluse
- Ms. Liberty
- President Marchand
- Silver Mantis
- Sister Psyche
- ↑ The player of Aztec Priestess quit many, many months before this story was ever written.
- ↑ Ludov also quit a long time prior to this entry.
- ↑ Mercad has the Presence pool powers Provoke and Intimidate.
- ↑ Supremacy inherent and pet aura IOs.
- ↑ Necromancy power Soul Extraction.
- ↑ Where was the last Mastermind that had an actual reasoning for bodyguard mode?
- ↑ Dark Embrace.
- ↑ Gloom, Nightfall.
- ↑ Life Drain.
- ↑ Soul Tentacles, Soul Storm; I respecced out of them, though.
- ↑ Aid Other; Mercad may respec out of it, though.
- ↑ Acid Mortar can't really shoot over cover, but it's a 'mortar' so it should be capable of indirect fire. With the right slotting, it can deal additional damage, so the ability to load alternative munitions isn't -too- farfetched.
- ↑ Yes, my FFG is a portable fridge. I realize it is actually dumb as shit and doesn't follow commands at all, but hey, I can dream, right?
- ↑ Like real flashbangs, Seekers don't always produce the desired effect on the enemy. And, like the FFG, I do realize they are dumb as shit in actual gameplay.
- ↑ I respecced out of trip mines. They suck. I also respecced out of detonator in favor of nightfall, although that's a preference choice.
- ↑ Poison Trap works on "player" robots, but not Arachnobots. It does work on Council battlesuits and all Nemesis, save for Jaegers. So yeah, it randomly works on robots.
- ↑ Superspeed is a completely OOC power. It is my only mobility option, but it is not in-character, so if you see him running around and RP that he can, I will correct you.
- ↑ Calystix required Provoke, Demonic Aura, and a Shivan to beat solo. He sucked.
- ↑ Quite possibly one of the most unsoloable enemies in the game. I used a ton of purples to avoid getting hit by Posi's slows and provoked him away from my pets so his AoEs wouldn't be effective. It took me my entire tray, including four blues, a full load of purples, and demonic aura just to beat him. Poison trap was a brief respite but he could still attack through it on occasion. If not for the Lingering Rad I would have beaten him much more easily.
- ↑ I got the mission complete for beating Valkyrie, but she self-rez MoGed, and slowly whittled me down, which means I didn't really win, but couldn't rematch her.