From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
SASR (Australian special forces, retired) Longbow (reserve duty)
Dual citizenship, Australia and United States
Local business owner in Paragon City: Ogre Accounting LLC
Kat Kisses, hero
Venom Scourge, fmr Arachnos
Thag is gregarious and big hearted but he is also prone to being over-bearing and over-protective of "anyone smaller than him." His struggle to join human society has made him a conformist.
Thag Zhug is an ogre, not a superadine addict but part of a mythical and nearly-extinct offshoot of the human species. Strictly speaking, ogres do not have super powers apart from being big and strong and having an exceptional sense of smell. An ogre's skin is thick and studded with chips of bone and padded with thick layers of fat, providing an excellent natural armor against physical attacks and light weapons. Most of the genetic markers that distinguish ogres from humans are almost entirely on the Y chromosome, making female ogres exceptionally rare. In the past the species both preyed upon and bred with other hominids to survive.
Besides being one of the last, Thag is an exceptional example of the breed. He has endured and accomplished much more than other known members of his race. A plot to clone an army of ogres from his DNA was scrapped when it was discovered that the clones were not much more effective and less intelligent than an enhanced human super soldier.
Thag has access to a surprising array of military hardware, although he uses it sparingly. He can also tell a great deal about a person with his nose alone, but he doesn't usually say so out of common courtesy. Decades of practice have made him very intimidating and he is able to make most foes shake in fear with a dirty look.
Thag's body is designed to survive on large quantities of fatty meats. He eats voraciously to keep a healthy layer of fat on him at all times. Under great stress his body converts those stored calories into extra muscle and bone mass, and exposure to the Terra Volta reactor has made that process much faster. He can grow a horn and bony protrusions from his skin in moments, in addition to elongated teeth and nails.
Most of the time Thag runs or leaps from place to place, although he occasionally uses a teleporter or jetpack to cross long distances.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Ogres evolved to feed on their human cousins, and despite Thag's strict conditioning his instincts still respond inappropriately to human contact. He overcompensates for this by being excessively conservative in his manner. Additionally, Thag is not quite as fast as other heroes.
Thag Zhug is one of the few remaining ogres on earth, found running wild as a child in the Australian Outback. He was taken to be an earth spirit by local Aborigines, until the Australian army captured him to exploit any unusual powers he might have. Before he could grow into a feral and dangerous adult, Thag was domesticated into human society and became a citizen after proving himself as a soldier.
Ogres are not native to Australia, however. He was presumably born around 1950 in the mountains of China, and Thag knows that his biological father was gunned down in the ports of Shanghai. He believes his father was attempting to stow himself and his brood away on a ship to escape the mainland.
Thag's military record is confidential and he rarely speaks of it, although he has mentioned seeing action in most of the military engagements of the later 20th century, most notably his help as part of the Australian-led peacekeeping force in East Timor, and of course taking up arms against the Rikti invasion. Technically he has retired from the Australian SASR, but as a civilian and as a registered US superhero he seems to find himself in position to strike at his country's enemies and aid its allies a little too regularly for a man who is no longer part of the special forces.
Thag is a Longbow reservist and defends their policies, particularly against Arachnos, vehemently.
Thag works as an accountant and lives an upper class life outside of the military. He has always been keen on raising a family in order to integrate the ogre species with humanity, although his first marriage ended in 1979 when his wife committed suicide. He has tried to maintain a relationship with Kat Kisses, the heroine who worked with him for most of his career in the States, but size and physical differences made it impossible for them to stay together.
Thag has obtained dual citizenship in the United States and is staying in Paragon City where his hero work is "just for fun." Although he is registered with MAGI and ELITE, he pays special attention to para-military villain groups and to the remaining Rikti, and seems to know more about Malta than he lets on.
Thag considers his true father to be the human who supervised the military project that tamed him, General Nathaniel Schuman. While many of the doctors involved in the Project tried to appeal to the young ogre's reason, General Schuman was strict to the point of cruelty. He defeated and broke every wild instinct in the young monster and rebuilt him as a loyal soldier, and Thag is fanatical in his devotion to the General to this day. General Schuman has no family of his own, but proudly refers to Thag as his son in turn. Thag is hesitant to tell outsiders the extent of the conditioning he endured in his youth for fear of shaming his father.
A less invasive part of his conditioning was to press him into the mold of the human nuclear family during his adolescence. General Schuman took the role of his father and his mother was one of the social scientists taking part in the project. Unfortunately, his mother was quick to abandon the Project at the earliest opportunity and she even went so far as to protest its work and change her identity. She has returned to her real family in civilian life and has a distant but polite relationship with Thag now.
Also of note in Thag's early years was Robert Taengi, a Aborigine civil rights activist who had attempted to care for the young ogre in the years before the military took him away. Aborigines were not allowed to vote in Australia until 1965, only a few years before Thag's training was completed, and Taengi campaigned vigorously to expose the Project's existence and free the ogre from its grasp. As it turned out, since so much of General Schuman's conditioning hinged on Thag's acceptance of his place in human society, the military reluctantly agreed that Thag should be allowed to work his way to full citizenship in return for his loyalty. Today Thag keeps contact with Taengi and affectionately refers to him as an uncle but their relationship is strained due to political differences.
Thag's younger brother survived and remained in China, where he was captured and raised by the Chinese military. Known as the Manghus, the difference in their upbringing is stark. The Manghus has become a feral, cannibalistic shock-trooper and was usually unleashed against the people of Tibet and China rather than foreign enemies. Thag originally came to Paragon City to see if his brother had been quarantined in the Zig, but the Manghus disappeared in an Arachnos breakout. Regardless of their shared blood, the two brothers would tear each other limb from limb should they ever finally meet.
Thag has learned much of the unhappy story of his origins in recent years. As female ogres are exceptionally rare, it was believed that his mother was a human. Indeed, after searching among Chinese refugees who had arrived in Australia around the same time he did, Thag met the woman he had believed was his mother. But she had nothing good to tell him:
Thag's relatives were of the last strong ogre tribe in the mountains of China, mostly due to the presence of a matron who could produce full blooded ogre progeny. Pressure from the Chinese military after the second World War thinned their numbers to an unsustainable level, however. Thag's father, the largest and strongest of the clan, took a human mate after fathering the last full-blooded ogre with the aging matron. Gathering up his two sons and his captive human bride, he headed south to escape the mainland and begin anew in a less densely populated land.
There, in the port of Shanghai, the ogre was gunned down by soldiers in pursuit. His captive human abandoned the full-blooded ogre child and tried to escape with her half-breed son by stowing away in a merchant ship.
What Thag did not know, however, was that the last full-blooded ogre was a cruel child; cunning enough to find the place where his half-brother was hidden and fling the younger ogre into the cold water of the port. When the human woman returned for her child after reaching Australia, she was horrified to find the spawn of her brutish husband in place of her own child. Angered, she abandoned the ugly orange brute in the wilderness to die, and she mourned the son left behind in China.
Discovering that he is responsible for his brother being raised and abused by the Chinese army instead of receiving an honest life in Australia haunts Thag to this day.