The Aegirian Templar
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|The Silent Sentinel|
|The Aegirian Templar|
|Real Name:||Simon Alexander Thorstengaard|
|Known Aliases:||Aegirian, Templar, Temp|
|Species:||homo sapiens adaugeo |
|Weight:||195 lbs. (unarmored), 600 lbs. (armored)|
|Hair Color:||sandy brown|
|Occupation:||Associate professor of history at PCU's Steel Canyon campus, local martial arts teacher|
|Place of Birth:||Mirke City, Delaware|
|Base of Operations:||Galaxy City, Paragon City, Rhode Island|
|Known Relatives:||Alexander Thorstengaard (father), Maria Thorstengaard (mother), Daniel Thorstengaard (brother)|
|Enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, and senses, combat jumpjets|
|Black belt (kendo, jujitsu), creator/master of Dragon's Claw form of nitojutsu; fluent in Japanese and Anglo-Saxon|
|Einherjar adaptive powered battle armor (Aegir Aspect), twin Impervium katanas|
The Aegirian Templar first appeared in Issue 11 of City of Heroes. Since then he has fought countless battles against nearly every villain group and survived at least a dozen Rikti assaults. He was created out of necessity more than anything else, since my first choice for a character name was taken. After quite a bit of brainstorming, I came up with the name more or less off the top of my head. I based the Templar's original appearance on the best possible representation of my personal superhero's modern battle-armored costume that could be achieved with the costume creator. For the first month or so of play, the Templar had very little in the way of backstory; this was fleshed out gradually over the course of several months. Eventually the change of character worked out, as it allowed me to establish the Templar independently as well as work my existing superheroes into the Paragon universe as part of the backstory.
Since the Templar was created off the cuff, I didn't really have a lot of inspirations for him. As he developed, he incorporated small bits of my favorite superheroes, but by and large he is independent of influences other than my own. There's a small bit of Batman, Nightwing, and Iron Man in there (not to mention some Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe), but not much else that exists outside my own brain. The main influences on his backstory were taken from my interest in ancient Norse mythology.
The Aegirian Templar is an armored superhero who arrived in Paragon City in April of 2008. Since that time, he has joined a supergroup and made a number of contacts, although the vast majority of Paragon's inhabitants still know little about him, if, in fact, they know he exists at all - and if its left up to him, they won't. His career as a hero began several years prior to his arrival in the City of Heroes, having already achieved a number of victories against criminal forces outside the shield-walls of Paragon. Strong, fast, and efficient, his twin katanas are often little more than a quick flash of glinting light in the eyes of his foes before their razor-sharp blades find their mark.
"What man is a man who does not make the world better?"
- ~~Balian of Ibelin, 'Kingdom of Heaven'
Simon Alexander Thorstengaard was born on November 12th, 1982, in the comparatively small industrial metropolis of Mirke City, Delaware. The son of Alexander Thorstengaard, an industrial engineer, and Maria Thorstengaard, a bank teller, Simon and his younger brother Daniel grew up in a fairly affluent middle-class environment. While the Thorstengaards were not wealthy, they did not quite suffer from the near-poverty that many of the aging city's inhabitants were faced with. Long past its prime as both a seaport and an industrial center, Mirke was a slowly decaying city, and as the years passed its streets became flooded with increasing levels of crime. With the city's infrastructure and economy crumbling, the increasingly underfunded police force was hard-pressed to maintain order as each street was gradually taken over by warring gangs and ambitious mafiosos. While their home lay at the edge of the fairly quiet Westhill suburbs, the Thorstengaards still made certain to personally drive their children to school every day.
Although the family was of mixed German, Russian, and Norwegian descent, the Thorstengaards never paid more than token attention to their European cultural roots. Despite their rather notable last name, they were a thoroughly American family with only a passing interest in Scandinavian history or mythology. Aside from the usual childhood curiosity, Simon never felt a burning need to re-examine his family's 'usual arrangement', since his parents were always happy to answer the few relatively simple questions that he ever had, and what he learned in school always seemed enough to satisfy him. Rather, it was the growing problems of their hometown that occupied a far more prominent place in the Thorstengaards' minds.
Simon was an above average student and a talented athlete as well. He played baseball with quiet enthusiasm, likening the game to 'chess on foot' - chess being a game he also enjoyed playing. His real passion, however, was for one or two-man sports, in particular karate and fencing. While it was his talent as a first baseman that would help him advance his future after graduation, it was his interest in martial arts that he truly cultivated beyond what was necessary for ordinary success.
Time At PCU
By the time Simon was eighteen, he had moved from Delaware to Rhode Island. While he could have gone to college locally, he was particularly interested in going to school in Paragon City. His skill as a first baseman earned him a baseball scholarship to Paragon City University, giving him the opportunity to leave the Mirke City limits for the first time in his life. Having grown up in a town that resembled, albeit on a much smaller scale, the kind of place that Paragon City had turned into on several occasions throughout its history, Simon identified with the inhabitants of Paragon; more than that, however, he was secretly depending on them. An intelligent and idealistic young man, Simon was determined to somehow make a difference in his hometown, and he saw a study of the strong-willed residents of Paragon City as a way to learn how to do that. He had a keen and analytical mind, and throughout college, as he had done in high school, he studied a variety of subjects that might have potential value to his cause. History, philosophy, sociology, political science, law - he left no stone unturned in his search for ways to help rebuild Mirke City as Paragon City itself had been rebuilt.
Despite the irony of leaving one crumbling, lawless, dangerous city for another, Simon saw his scholarship as a way to escape the urban jungle and see the world. During the summer of 2002, he traveled to Japan as part of a school baseball trip. There was little time to play baseball, however, as the Rikti War erupted shortly after their arrival in Japan. Trapped in a foreign country by hordes of alien invaders, Simon focused on expanding his knowledge of traditional Japanese martial arts, history, and culture. His interest in both hand-to-hand and armed combat made him a natural at kendo and ju-jitsu, and he acquired a good working familiarity with the Japanese language during his time there. Returning home six months later, Simon was immensely relieved to discover that his home town of Mirke City had escaped the war unscathed, and that his family was alive and well. Unable to return to Paragon, and with PCU's campuses in ruins, Simon was resigned to working part-time and taking whatever classes he could at the local colleges.
It was not until late 2005 that Simon was able to return to Paragon City. Fortunately, his time away had provided him with greatly broadened experiences, and he had accumulated dozens of credits in other courses, all of which seemed sure to give him a smooth ride. When Simon began his third year at PCU, he began seriously considering and planning for a trip to Norway during the summer. His travels to Japan had awakened in him a love of other cultures and ways of thinking, and he found himself becoming increasingly curious about his own family's heritage. He realized that he knew very little about his family's homeland and roots, and he was intensely interested in finding out certain things. He had just begun finalizing the earliest arrangements for his potential trip to Europe when things changed - drastically. Simon's seemingly-normal life of term papers, baseball games, chess matches, and karate tournaments would be completely interrupted by the sudden and intrusive discovery of his family's true heritage.
Discovery of the Einherjar
Simon was in the university library doing research when he received an unexpected call on his cell phone - unexpected mainly because his phone had not actually been turned on at the time. Answering with no small amount of surprise, he found himself listening to a strange voice. Simon had no idea who this person was or how they had gotten his cell phone number - but for some inexplicable reason, he felt as if he somehow knew him. The mysterious caller advised Simon that there was a group of people on the college campus who were looking for him, and that it wouldn't be a good idea if he were to let them find him. Incredulous more from a sense of appropriateness than out of actual disbelief, Simon was surprised to find that he had no real desire to do what seemed the most logical thing to do - assume that it was a crank call and hang up. That same unexplained sense of familiarity pervaded him, coupled with - what? Trust? How could he possibly 'trust' this person that he had never before seen or met, simply by hearing his voice?
Simon crept downstairs and surreptitiously scanned the lobby entranceway, and sure enough, there were two large, tough-looking men in dark clothing entering the library. With just one look, he realized that these were the supposedly-sinister individuals who had come to find him. Guided somehow by his mysterious intercessor, Simon barely managed to dodge past the nefarious-looking thugs and escape the library, but there were two more waiting outside. Moving quickly, he headed for the woods on the edge of campus, but his potential kidnappers had posted watchers there, too. Unable to run, Simon had no choice but to try to fight them. The unseen caller simply gave Simon the order to fight, and he did. The young man called upon his martial arts skills with a level of ability that he never would have believed he possessed. Suddenly, with no more than a simple spoken command, he was faster and stronger than normal, and he was just able to outmaneuver and disable his would-be captors outside. Running for his life into a nearby clearing, Simon heard the high-pitched whine of jet turbines. In a flash, he found himself scooped up by a remarkable advanced helojet that suddenly appeared out of nowhere, leaving the college behind.
In the space of just a few hours, Simon was deposited inside a hidden sub-glacial base in Norway. Left by the transport's two security troops in a small, igloo-shaped room, he wondered just who had rescued him and what he was doing in this strange place. Just then the room's single door slid open, and Simon rose from his chair to stand face-to-face with a man encased in the most futuristic suit of gold and silver combat armor he had ever seen. As soon as the man said Simon's name, he recognized his voice as the same voice that he had heard over his cellphone. He told Simon that he was safe here, in Valhalla Base. His name, or so he said, was the Odinian Crusader, and he was the leader of a secretive yet powerful cadre of warriors who called themselves the Einherjar. For hundreds of years, since the earliest days of recorded Scandinavian history, this group of sixteen superhuman heroes had existed in some shape and form. Each one possessed an individualized suit of advanced powered armor and exotic weapons that they used to protect the whole of European civilization from the deadly ravages of their nemeses, a group of incredibly dangerous villains called the Jotunheim Scourge.
The Crusader revealed to Simon that he was the descendant of one of sixteen original Viking warriors who had discovered and activated the suits of the Einherjar battle armor. As a result of this, only his own unique genetic marker could be used to activate his family's hereditary suit, which had laid dormant and unused for the better part of fifty years. The group needed Simon's help, apparently, to counter the renewed threat posed by the latest generation of the Scourge, as nearly a third of the Einherjar were currently missing, dead, or incapacitated. He also revealed that Simon's above-average lifelong abilities, as well as the suddenly-enhanced speed, strength, and reflexes he had received during his flight from the library, were a genetic aftereffect of his family's centuries-long exposure to the Einherjar armor.
Simon had the same sense of not-quite incredulity and disbelief as he listened to the Crusader's story. Even as he heard it he sensed that somehow, he knew that it was true. And yet, despite the inexplicable sense of trust and confidence that this strange person instilled in him, it was not enough to convince him that it was his destiny to abandon everything he had wanted his life to be. He had done his utmost to find a way to get to Paragon City and get an education, all so that he could return home and help save his city. He could not simply abandon that goal, regardless of what some armored crusader might tell him about strange armors, thousand year-old superhero groups, murderous assailants and evil cabals. Simon nodded politely, giving no other signs that he believed a single word that this surprisingly quiet armored warrior had said, and then demanded that he be returned to his country, his school, and his life.
The Crusader could only shake his head. He explained to Simon that unfortunately, with the manifestation of his genetically-encoded abilities, the Scourge had been able to identify, track, and locate him. Like it or not, Simon Thorstengaard's life as it had been was over, for they would never stop hunting him now that they knew who he was and what he was potentially capable of. Not even his family would be safe from the depredations - which was why, he said, to prevent Simon from flying into a panic, he had already sent a squad of his soldiers to bring them safely to the Valhalla Base. At that very moment, the Thorstengaards were brought in by their Einherjar rescuers. Simon's parents and brother were alive, with only minor injuries, but their home had been burned to the ground by the soldiers of the Jotunheim Scourge. Not only that, but the Scourge had already devoted a considerable portion of their assets to launching a full-scale underworld assault on Mirke City, determined to root out any potential opposition.
The Mirke City Siege
It was at this point that Simon's father, Alexander, made his sorrowful confession to his family. He had known about his family's long-secret heritage, but had kept the secret safe for more than thirty years. His own father, Richard, Simon's grandfather, had been the last to wear the hereditary family armor, having died on a mission against the Scourge when Alexander was only eight years old. Too young to fully understand, he had been made to promise by his grieving mother never to delve into the particulars of his father's sudden and mysterious death. As he grew older, his own powers gradually manifested themselves, but they were never as potent as Simon's were, thus never giving the Einherjar reason to contact him. Curiosity about his father, as well as his remarkable and unusual-seeming talents, however, drove the adolescent Alexander to dig into the history of his father's life, despite his promise to his mother. Believing his father to be a local hero was far different from discovering that he was, in fact, a slain superhero, however, and despite not knowing the true identity of his father's killers, Alexander was an intelligent enough man to realize that they had enough power and ill intent to cause he and his family serious harm if they chose. And so Alexander Thorstengaard led a successful but unremarkable life under the radar, never sharing his secret knowledge with his family for fear that they might draw attention to themselves.
Although Simon was understandably angry about his father's subterfuge, it was largely outweighed by the satisfaction of finally knowing the truth about his family, the reason for his strange powers and recent encounters with murderous thugs and armored super warriors. There was also the combined shock, sorrow, and rage that stemmed from knowing that his family's home in Mirke City had been utterly destroyed, and that the people responsible for this wanton act of destruction were now planning to extend that brutality to the rest of their community. In just a single day, the Jotunheim Scourge had tried and failed to eliminate the bloodline of one of their hated Einherjar foes - one that had not even realized his potential. Now their failure would come back to burn them, for Simon Thorstengaard knew his enemy, and was bound and determined to do all in his power to hunt down and destroy them. He agreed to accept the fifth suit of the Einherjar armor and help his family's ancient fellowship to prosecute their war against their hated foes. Donning the armor that bore the marks of the god Aegir, Simon assumed the ages-old mantle of the Aegirian Templar and began learning the skills he would need to successfully operate it in combat. Despite being untested and largely untrained, Simon nevertheless quickly mastered the basic operation of the armor he had inherited.
After a month of intensive training and drills, the Odinian Crusader deemed him ready to join the rest of the Einherjar upon the battlefields of the streets of Mirke City. Crossing the Atlantic on one of the cadre's Sleipnir-Class fast helojets, the Aegirian Templar was deployed directly into the midst of a raging melee between his fellow warriors and a small army of Scourge soldiers. Drawing upon his serviceable knowledge of the martial arts, he proved capable of holding his own in battle against the lesser soldiers in the Scourge's motley army of besiegers, and both his passion to save his city and his burning desire to avenge his family's losses only strengthened his fervor. As the wave of small but vicious battles continued to spread throughout the streets of the city, the Einherjar were aided in their fight by Mirke City's small but dedicated population of local superheroes. While some of these grizzled veterans were suspicious, even resentful, of the foreign Einherjar's entrance into their domain - some even going so far as to blame them for introducing the Scourge to the city - even the more hostile among them recognized the warriors' willingness to help clean up the mess, and were not about to do anything that might constrain their temporary allies. Within three months of the Scourge's arrival in the city, their conscript armies had been defeated, and their web of plots to destroy the city from within had all been foiled. Satisfied that the power of the Scourge in Mirke City had been broken, the Einherjar left the continued protection of the city in the hands of the local heroes that had fought alongside them, then returned to their base to oversee the completion of the training of the new Aegirian Templar.
Although his family was sheltered in the safety of Valhalla Base, and the Scourge threat to Mirke City had, for the time being at least, been eliminated, Simon's burning desire to make them suffer for the harm they had caused remained. He was determined to master the full capabilities of his armor, thereby unlocking all of the powers and abilities that it could grant him. Simon spent the next two years traveling between Scandinavia, America, and Japan, receiving comprehensive training in several arts of combat and honing his fighting skills to a razor's edge. Thanks to the increasing complexity of the neuromuscular interface between himself and the suit, he was able to learn and practice these new techniques quickly and effectively, and by the end of his training period he was a master of dual-blade combat.
Upon his return to Valhalla Base, he was formally initiated into the Order of the Einherjar. Standing in a ring of his fellow armored warriors with the entire comprehensive arsenal of the Order arrayed out around him, he was given the chance by the Odinian Crusader to select his personal signature weapons. Gazing slowly and purposefully at the staggering array of weaponry laid out before him, his visored gaze fell upon a pair of perfectly proportioned, balanced, and exquisitely-forged katanas. Folded and crafted from pure impervium, an exotic alloy discovered by mankind in the aftermath of the Rikti War, they were the perfect weapons with which to carve a path through the cowardly ranks of the Scourge's soldiers. Walking slowly to the point where the twin blades lay, he knelt down and grasped them with his armored fists, feeling their weight and balance. Brandishing them with deft swings that sliced through the very air of the initiation chamber, Simon knew that these were the blades that he would carry into battle for as long as he had the strength to fight. In the instant of that realization, the essence of the Aegir armor surged through them, staining their polycarbonite hilts and long, curved impervium blades with the same deep-sea blue glint of the Templar's battlesuit.
Weapons in hand, the Aegirian Templar set about distilling his knowledge of both Japanese and European close-combat into a personalized fighting style that would take his suit's full capabilities into account. Eager to put his abilities to use, he asked for and received permission to travel to the American 'meta-human mecca' of Paragon City, Rhode Island, where he had lived as a student. Here, it was believed, the Jotunheim Scourge was making plans for a fresh offensive, marshalling new forces in order to undertake a sinister new wave of chaos and crime. Settling into a small but serviceable apartment in the prosperous Galaxy City District, Simon took a position at Paragon City University as an associate professor of history. He also teaches martial arts to citizens at a small local dojo. By day, he is a part-time teacher of history and hand to hand combat. At night, however, he patrols the streets, taking down criminals and hunting for any signs of Scourge activity in Paragon City.
Paragon and the Rikti Invasion
The Templar made contact with the lower-tier members of Paragon's premier super-powered fighting force, the Freedom Phalanx, and was soon given a number of missions to help combat the numerous criminal elements that roamed the city. While he was returning from a successful mission in the populous King's Row district, the sky suddenly grew dark and green, and his attention was drawn by the sound of blaring air raid sirens. Everywhere he looked, the streets began to empty of pedestrians as citizens scrambled for cover. Whatever was going on, obviously these people had been through it before. Even the normally-vicious gangs of bloodthirsty criminals evaporated from their customary haunts. The air itself seemed to thicken with fear and dread, and he could only wonder what sort of disaster was approaching the city. Noticing that a group of heroes were hurrying out 'into' the streets, their demeanor clearly that of those readying for battle, the Templar decided to trail along behind them.
As he arrived on a street corner on the south side of the district, he discovered what the foreboding urgency was about. Without warning, squads of grotesque avian soldiers materialized onto the streets of King's Row. Clad in suits of power armor and wielding exotic particle beam weapons, they began firing at anything that moved. Since the streets had been cleared of everything but pigeons, blowing trash, and superheroes, the invaders' fire was dangerously focused, to say the least. With the group of heroes ahead of him enveloped in a knot of alien soldiers, the Templar found himself outflanked by a trio of alien assault troopers. A single ferocious leap ended with one opponent dead on the ground, slain in an instant by the razor edges of the warrior's blades. Dodging the worst of the surviving two soldiers' energy blasts, the Templar charged up and deftly sliced them in half.
Even Simon was amazed at the effectiveness of his suit's capabilities against the aliens, but he was also surprised at how eager he seemed to be to engage and defeat these otherworldly monsters that he still knew nothing about. Without even pausing to check his own suit's damage readouts or catch his breath, his legs carried him immediately to the next cluster of fighting. It was almost as though his armor was functioning on autopilot, launching strikes and dodging rapidly in all directions seemingly without any conscious thought or effort from him. Simon felt almost like an observer in his own body as he charged effortlessly from battle to battle, paying no heed to the burning blasts of energy that seared across his armor as his blades flashed and parried.
After twenty minutes of unceasing combat over several city blocks, the aliens vanished as quickly as they appeared, leaving only scorch marks and a number of badly wounded heroes in their wake. As if a switch had been flipped, the feeling of detachment that Simon had experienced during the fight seemed to evaporate, and a wave of exhaustion engulfed him as the accumulated strain of his body's exertions suddenly made itself felt. He knew that adrenaline from the combat could have accounted for his energy level during the battle, but not the feeling of total detachment and loss of conscious control that he was almost certain had been the work of the Aegir armor.
Contacting Valhalla Base, he discussed his experience with the Odinian Crusader and the rest of the Einherjar, who listened eagerly. For many years since the Rikti War, they had compared the design of their own armors to the technology utilized by the Rikti. They did not match; in fact, the Einherjar's adopted technology was superior in design to the standard Rikti combat armor. Considering what the armor seemed to do whenever it came into close proximity to Rikti biological signatures, the Einherjar had theorized that the alien armor had been designed by its creator race specifically to combat the Rikti. Whoever they were, and whatever the reason for them deploying it on Earth, it was a safe bet to presume that they had been at war with the Rikti for a prolonged period of time, and it was possible that they had known that the Rikti would one day attack Earth. The knowledge that his own vital source of power might involuntarily draw him into battle with the invaders whenever they appeared gave Simon some pause. Despite his willingness to defend humanity against such a dire threat, it was unsettling to think that the very armor that he wore might not only have a mind of its own, but its own priority agenda as well. All he could do was hope to meet the Rikti at a time and place of his choosing, so that he could be prepared for the loss of voluntary control that his armor would exert over his body when the aliens appeared.
"True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read."
- ~~Pliny the Elder, Roman historian
Personal Mission Logs
Left Up to the Templar: Severing the Skeins of Armageddon - two centuries into the future, Templar and his allies find themselves locked in an apocalyptic war against the Scourge. To change history and save the future, the only hope is to travel back in time and avert the chain of events that leads to the brutal Scourge domination of Earth.
Left Up to the Templar: Future is Prologue - a direct sequel to 'Skeins' (albeit somewhat of a 'standalone' tale). Templar and his allies assault a Scourge-controlled office tower in search of critical intelligence. Little do they know that one of the Scourge's deadliest assassins lies in wait for them...
Left Up to the Templar: Building Belisknir - when the Order devises a way of achieving strategic superiority over the Scourge, Simon is tasked with securing the vital materials needed to bring the project to completion. Tannan Industries has the means to provide the needed supplies - but this time, the Scourge are not the only ones hell-bent on standing in the Templar's way...
The Synthetic Soul
Late in May of 2009, Simon was brought in on a case uncovered by fellow Millennium Paladin Retaque. It seemed that Omega Corp, one of the main suppliers of specialized ammo for Paragon City's heroes, had taken surveillance footage that indicated a possible break-in at one of their main storage facilities. Realizing the dangers inherent in letting a group of villains get their hands on an entire warehouse full of experimental projectiles, Temp and Ret quickly assembled a team to secure the ammo dump. Upon arriving, they found the warehouse already crawling with Council soldiers who were busy carting off whole crates full of ammunition. The MPs and their allies easily took down the rank-and-file Council troops, but discovered something rather bizarre atop the catwalk of the main storeroom. A mysterious woman, who seemed to remember little else but her name - Elyhaim - was found under heavy guard amongst a group of elite Council soldiers. Unable to get anything else useful out of her, the heroes escorted her out of the warehouse, turning her over to the authorities for safekeeping.
Shortly afterwards, a demand was made by the Council for the return of Elyhaim. Their demand was refused, of course, and the authorities were able to trace the transmission to a recently-abandoned office building within the city. The Templar and Retaque again assembled a team of heroes to perform a force recon of the property, which turned out to be a cleverly-hidden Council base. Ransacking the offices for clues as to the mysterious origins of Elyhaim, the heroes found evidence that the Council was paying a third party large sums in return for the development of a new line of supersoldiers. Little detail was provided as to the methods being used to create these supersoldiers, but there were several pieces of information that pointed them in the direction of the lab where the research was being done. On their way out, the heroes were ambushed by a hulking armored brute and a number of Council soldiers that were determined to stop them from escaping. It was determined, from an analysis of the captured warrior performed after the battle, that he was indeed one of the Council's new experimental supersoldiers.
By that time, a DNA analysis on Elyhaim had been completed, and when compared with the information recovered from the analysis of the defeated supersoldier, the results were clear; Elyhaim and the man in custody had, in fact, been created using the same process. These supersoldiers were not merely chemically or genetically-enhanced humans who had been taken and then modified; they were, instead, completely designed people, engineered and grown in gene tanks from a cellular level into full-fledged superhumans. The development lab and the illegal activites being carried out there were apparently the handiwork of a man named Zeruel, an individual seemingly without morals or conscience. As Retaque and the Templar struggled to wrap their brains around the enormity of this chain of events, their Omega Corp contact, Detective Smith, notified them that Elyhaim had been abducted off the street by a group of unidentified individuals. Determined to rescue Elyhaim and put a stop to Zeruel's immoral experiments, Simon and Vincent led their team in an assault against the genetics lab.
The lab was defended by Zeruel's fledgling supersoldiers, many of whom seemed to be 'unrefined' specimens that lacked full cognitive development, though most, if not all, of their physical capacities had been fully enhanced. They proved no match for a well-coordinated team of true superhumans, however, and the heroes soon found Elyhaim being interrogated in one of the primary labs. Once quickly released from her energy cage, she helped the heroes make short work of her captors, whose underdeveloped capabilities were clearly not on a par with her own. Elyhaim, her memory now fully restored, told the heroes her story. She had been the first of Zeruel's fully successful synthetic soldiers, the only one to go through the entire process completely intact. However, she had, either through some random programming error or a deliberate twist of fate, somehow developed a fully self-aware, independent personality. The idea of a fully free-thinking, reasoning, morally conscious supersoldier had not fit with the Council's plans for their genetically engineered on-demand weapons, and so Elyhaim was deemed a failure. The Council had her memory erased and dragged her off to be held and, no doubt, eventually disposed of.
It was then that Elyhaim informed the heroes of the true extent of Zeruel's mad genius. As his soldiers were, despite being flesh and blood, essentially 'synthetic', he had been forced to develop a synthetic life source for them as well. Somehow, Zeruel had managed to develop a Synthetic Soul, that allowed his creations to live, breathe, feel and think, despite this being something that exceeded the Council's expectations of what they should be capable of performing. Once Zeruel was allowed to expose his largely brain-dead 'children' to the effects of this Synthetic Soul, they would undergo the final cognitive transformations that would grant them the mental faculties that they would need to function as true supersoldiers. Appalled and disturbed by the near God-like powers that this madman wielded, the heroes moved to confront Zeruel. The battle was fierce and difficult, as Zeruel's remaining creations swarmed to their creator's defense. In the end however, the Templar, Retaque, and their allies, with the help of Elyhaim, managed to defeat Zeruel, and the Synthetic Soul was taken into their possession. Despite their protests, the object was taken away to be studied, rather than destroyed.
Simon, Vincent, and Elyhaim can now only hope that the terrible power granted by it, far beyond that which should ever be possessed by any human, is never again unleashed. With the operation shut down, Elyhaim soon departed for parts unknown, though not before thanking the two heroes for freeing her to live a new life of her own choosing.
Best Served Cold
"He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight... ...Know the enemy and know yourself, and you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
- ~~Sun Tzu, Chinese military commander and strategist
As a student, Simon was something of a quiet bookworm, generally serious and perpetually focused on his work. While he enjoyed playing baseball and was a good team player, his true passion lay in solo or two-man sports - such as martial arts and fencing. He always made sure that he had what he needed to get through the day, but his next priority was always helping his fellow students, especially his teammates. While some people tended to label him as 'stiff', or 'stuffy', Simon prefers to think of himself as 'properly cautious and responsible'. He has no aversion to having fun, though he tends to do it quietly in a non-ostentatious way. He is the man who stands off to one side at a party, watching and listening to everyone else and letting the who's-who come to him. He has a dry, self-deprecating sense of humor that comes out usually only on the off-hours, when the lack of mortal combat leaves him some time to relax and loosen up a bit.
At most times, however, Templar is focused, calm, and deliberate in his actions; whether on patrol, engaged in battle, deliberating in council, or 'observing' in Pocket D. Simon prides himself on his self-discipline, and never does anything without having a reason for doing it - right down to deciding to walk rather than run, stand instead of sit, listen instead of speak. Most people don't bother to bother him, as he seems to exude an aura of 'standoffishness'. This is usually not intentional; it just seems to coalesce around him wherever he stands. Generally, there are two kinds of strangers who walk up to him and start a conversation - people who have a good reason to, and those who are just interested in wasting his time. While he'll most likely be businesslike and polite to both kinds of people, that usually changes fairly quickly, depending on which kind he's talking to. People who bother him trying to get a rise, trying to start trouble because he looks like an easy mark, will, at best, find themselves suddenly talking to a wall. Calm and inoffensive as he usually is, Templar has no qualms about telling someone to fuck off and leave him alone if they're wasting his time. Simon has neither the time, patience, or inclination to suffer fools or put up with the everyday stupidity of humans, mutants, aliens, robots, and meta-humans in general. If he senses that the person is worth his time, however, then he will have no problem talking to them for as long as they need.
As the Aegirian Templar, he can be somewhat unsure of himself, given his inexperience both with his armor and with crimefighting in general. This is largely intermittent, however - Simon is a fairly confident young man, and never second-guesses a decision once he has made it. While he knows that most of the 'meta-human' inhabitants of Paragon are far more experienced than he, he remains quietly secure in his armor's capabilities, as well as his own personal skill at armed combat. Despite his determination to seek out and destroy the forces of the Jotunheim Scourge wherever he finds them, and his eagerness to prove himself as the newest member of the Einherjar, he retains his self-disciplined ability for working properly as part of a team. The Templar never rushes blindly into combat, instead relying on the judgement of more experienced commanders and his own confident skill with his weapons to see him through each battle. In combat situations, he remains focused and implacable, keeping necessary chatter to a minimum, speaking his mind only when he thinks it necessary. He rarely ever questions his orders, so long as he understands them, and never stops until all threats are down for good. While he may, on occasion, feel the need to display a bit of theatrical flourish, for the most part he is an eminently practical and efficient combatant.
Both Simon and the Templar possess a strong sense of honor, one that varies only slightly between the two of them. Unethical things like sneaking, lying, and cheating may be necessary evils in modern society, but they are things that neither Simon or the Templar are willing to engage in unless dire circumstances require them. In the appropriate situations, he is willing to engage in a degree of necessary subterfuge in order to protect himself and innocents, as well as any team members he may be with - but on a daily basis, he prides himself on his moral fortitude. While on patrol in the streets, he is known for his inability to ignore a cry for help, regardless of whether the criminals involved are sufficient challenge for his skills or not. Unless he is on an urgent mission in which the fate of the city may be at stake, even while traveling the Templar never ignores a citizen in distress. Considering the deadliness of his fighting ability and his tendency to attack without warning, the Templar possesses a surprising tendency towards restraint in most engagements. His superhuman coordination and reflexes allow him to use the flat of his blades as easily as the edge, and he generally uses lethal force against opponents only in the most extreme situations. Simon considers himself a warrior, not an executioner, and leaves his unconscious foes to be picked up by the proper authorities. Against unliving, mindless, savage, or utterly intransigent foes, the Templar's full deadly fury is often unleashed, resulting in a gruesome spectacle when the dust of battle clears.
Traveling to Pocket D sometimes puts the Templar's code to the test, given the presence of high-rank supervillains on a regular basis; indeed, there are often more villains present there than heroes, all standing at ease with total impunity. While Templar is disciplined and respectful enough to obey DJ Zero's house rules, he very rarely likes it. As a result of his mission profile, Simon knows a great deal about many of the villains whom he has run across in the D; sufficeless to say, the fact that they are comfortably safe in the same space occupied by heroes who would otherwise be trying to arrest them sticks in his craw. Luckily for his stress level, he has not been in Paragon long enough nor established a profile high enough to draw the attention of any villains that would get a rise out of trying to ruffle his feathers. He knows that it is only a matter of time before that happens; if it does, however, then whichever villain attempts it will be in for a disappointment.
Many people - heroes and villains alike - have a narrow-minded, stereotypical view of melee combatants as slow, unimaginative, overly aggressive tin-plated meatheads - an assumption that Simon would very much enjoy testing for them. The Templar may be an aggressive, heavily armored fighter, but his iron discipline and self-restraint are often misjudged by those who make the mistake of underestimating him. Like many modern registered heroes, Simon doesn't fit into a nice neat archetype. He has no superpowers, like Statesman or Sister Psyche; he's not a smooth-talking speedster like Synapse, or a scientific/mechanical genius like Positron. He's also definitely not a hard-edged loner like Manticore; although there is some similarity between the two of them at the present time. In spite of Simon's relatively minor inherited genetic enhancements, and his considerable combat and survival skills, his main source of power comes from his suit. Unlike Positron, and seemingly most other power-armored heroes, however, Simon is a close-quarters specialist. While he can move much faster than a normal person, he has no super speed. His suit is only minimally capable of flight, and he has only one very short-ranged ranged attack power. All of his capabilities are almost totally geared towards being a swordmaster of the highest caliber, and at that, he definitely excels.
Having had his hero license for just over a year and a half now, and having been a member of the Millennium Paladins for a good portion of that time, Simon's personality has undergone a few significant changes. His usual rigidity and reservedness have crumbled somewhat; he often talks far more than he normally would otherwise, and has even developed a quirky habit of making wisecracks. Whatever unusual quality that Servant and the other Paladins possess, it seems to have brought his regularly-submerged sense of sardonic humor closer to the surface. Of course, his groupmates are inevitably the ones who are regularly subjected to Simon's newfound wit...but of course no good deed goes unpunished.
The Art of Half-Zen
Being a student of Eastern philosophy, Simon has developed into something of an aficionado of succinct wisdom. During his years in Japan, he worked closely with many of the country's few remaining swordmasters and practically absorbed Zen philosophy through his pores as a side effect of his study of kendo, iaido, and nitojutsu. He often drove his teachers and fellow students to the edge of patience by taking the comments they made regarding his training process and return firing them at appropriate but inconvenient times. Following the start of his career in Paragon, Simon has occasionally subjected his comrades to the tendency, although always for the purpose of trying to provide assistance. Since he is far from being any kind of bona-fide Buddhist sage, however, having spent only a small part of his life so far studying the subject, he jokingly refers to his approach as 'Half-Zen'.
Being inducted into the Fourth Circle dragged Simon into quite a few 'double-edged sword' scenarios. The truth about his family's mysterious past also brought with it the knowledge that he would spend the rest of his life fighting in a war against a terrifying enemy; in the same vein, the normally awe-inducing acquisition of super-human powers was tempered by the realization that that acquisition would also make him a much greater target. The same kind of comparison can be made for the fact that as a member of one of the Order's Circles, Simon was automatically promoted to what essentially amounts to the rank of general. Granted, the Einherjar themselves do not refer to each other by rank, but by name, and their 'army', despite being organized as such, is still looked upon by many as a paramilitary force. That being said, Simon most definitely thinks of himself as a general and a soldier as well as a hero. Whether officially a military officer or not, he understands that leading people into battle is a great honor, a rare privilege, and a terrible responsibility.
Despite the realization, early on in his life, that he was not military material and never would be, as a history buff Simon always had great respect for soldiers and the military. As fascinating as it was, however, he somewhat disdained the impersonality of twentieth-century military doctrine, believing that medieval combat was far more attuned to the skills and abilities of the individual, rather than a faceless mass of conscripts. He much preferred the individual forms of close combat to the kind of large-scale, long-range fighting that characterized modern warfare. Ironically, as the Aegirian Templar, he functions essentially like a heavily armored super-samurai while commanding sizeable numbers of troops armed primarily with long-range weapons. That being said, he always treats military officers respectfully when he does come into contact with them, even on the few occasions when he performed tasks for the Vanguard commanders that he secretly disapproves of. Regardless of his lack of 'official' rank, he understands the burden of command quite well and respects anyone brave enough to carry it. He is always very conscious of the way he speaks when addressing military-oriented heroes, usually referring to them explicitly by their proper rank, provided that he knows it.
With many ex-soldiers now registered as heroes, or operating as black-ops forces within the cloak of the heroic community, there is often a great deal of tension to be found between the various groups. Many military personnel, whether retired but still fighting or serving in spec-ops units against ultra-criminal threats, have nothing but disdain for the heroes that they find themselves working amidst. There is still a great deal of lingering resentment amongst the military towards the behavior of superheroes during the Rikti War, with many blaming them for various costly mistakes and defeats. Simon can understand their anger, though he does disagree with the fundamental reasoning behind it. There have been times when he has been a recipient of this kind of resentment from 'military heroes' - often, even after he has attempted to explain his actual responsibilities, they still continue to harbor it. In spite of this, Simon will simply reassert confidently that he is a general, even though he obviously cannot present any legitimate documentation to back it up.
The Matter of Meta-Humans
After learning of the existence of the Order, it took Simon quite awhile to wrap his head around the realization that not only was the world inhabited with thousands(if not millions) of meta-humans, but that he actually was one himself. As a descendant of a family whose members had worn the alien battle armor for hundreds of years, he was the inheritor of a dramatically rewritten genetic code - a series of fundamental changes that had come about over the course of centuries. Suddenly, he was a member of homo sapiens adaugeo - 'augmented humans' - with enhanced speed, strength, and intellect. Granted, he was hardly a super-strong juggernaught or a myopic genius, but he was definitely smarter, sturdier, and faster than any other 'ordinary' human being. One had to be, after all, in order to be able to wear and operate an advanced suit of extraterrestrial powered armor and survive the experience for longer than a few seconds.
In spite of his powers - those already established and those that were developing - Simon never quite thought of himself as being terribly different from the vanilla human beings that he had spent his whole life with. While that gradually changed - at least a bit - what really bothered him was his realization that there were people on both sides who were willing to fight and kill in order to destroy the opposition. On the one hand, there were the mutants and aliens and genetically-engineered ubermenschen from other dimensions who saw it as their sacred duty to wipe out ordinary humans so that 'homo superior' could reign supreme. On the other, there were the militant groups of homo sapiens; purists who saw anything more than human as less than human and were determined to keep Earth free and clear for 'the common man'.
Both sides were dominated by fear and hate. After spending the better part of an entire day analyzing them, Simon had been completely unable to determine which faction better deserved to be compared to the Nazis; the truth was they were both equally racist, intolerant, narrow-minded, and dogmatic.
And they were, Simon had later realized, also irrelevant. The extra-dimensional 'augments' were anomalies, lucky victims of the timelines of their particular worlds of origin. Much the same went for the mutants, their mutations the result of random genetic irregularities. Most of the aliens were either refugees, soldiers, or law officers; they had either come to Earth because they were stranded or had no other place to go, or for the purpose of upholding law and justice or to settle old grudges.
Ordinary humans were still the future; the key was to develop them in extraordinary ways, and the Order's technology was one of those keys. Once a civilization developed the right technology, the normal rules of evolution no longer applied. Genetic engineering and nanotechnology made all manner of things possible, foremost of which was the ability for a society to determine its own existential future. The Order had scratched the surface of that with their genetic mapping and nanotechnology programs, and other powerful groups were looking into the possibilities as well. It would only be a matter of time before 'homo sapiens' became 'homo sapiens adaugeo' and gave 'homo superior' a real run for its undervalued money.
Suffice to say, Simon has long been unimpressed by the superior attitudes and boasts of mutants and genetically-enhanced humans from alternate worlds. He respects and accepts other meta-humans for their unique abilities - as he does with everyone - but he refuses to believe that any of them is better or more capable than any other. As far as he is concerned, the mere fact that he exists is proof that their claims of superiority are nothing but wishful thinking on their part - in the near future, every human will enjoy the benefits of genetic, cybernetic, and nano-tech augmentation.
- "Sorry, but you can't win this argument. My two friends here are very pointed debaters."
-To his opponents, after drawing his twin swords.
- "Never let your guard down; not ever. Even in the grocery store. You never know if that pretty soccer mom buying yogurt is really a ninja assassin hell-bent on collecting that bounty that Arachnos put out on your head last week."
-Said only half-jokingly to his Thursday night martial arts class.
- "The D? Well, what can I say...it's an interesting joint, to say the least. I hang out there alot, and I like it - after a fashion, of course. There are always so many unusual and interesting characters in there...sometimes makes me feel like I'm in the cantina scene from 'Star Wars'."
-Commenting on his habit of hanging out in Pocket D most nights.
- "Hey, I never go charging recklessly into combat without a plan, unless that's what the plan calls for. Except, of course, when Rikti are involved. Then it's all the suit's fault."
-In response to taking heat from his SG-mates for defeating two dozen Rikti soldiers single-handedly.
- "The key to sword mastery is at once both profoundly simple and profoundly difficult. The key is simply to control the blade. You must not allow the blade to control you."
-Advice sagely given to Nyte Shaide in a moment of half-Zen.
- "Word of advice, pal. Never bring a gun to a swordfight."
-Spoken to the last conscious member of a squad of twenty firearm-equipped Council soldiers.
- "Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six, hero or not."
-After Servant 12 was forced to kill a plague-crazed woman in self-defense.
- "When destiny calls, you can only ignore it for so long. Sooner or later, it'll just knock your front door down."
-Regarding the oft-inevitability of becoming a hero in Paragon City.
- "A person convinced of their own superiority fails to ensure that they actually possess it."
-Regarding the arrogance of most of Paragon's villains (and even the cockiness of some of its heroes).
- "Ordinary people live their lives forced to accept the things they cannot change. Heroes have the ability - and the responsibility - to change what they cannot accept."
-Regarding perhaps the most profound philosophical difference between the heroes and the ordinary citizens of Paragon City.
- "I've been all over this city for more than two years, and it has more than its share of threats. I know all about Arachnos, the Council, Malta, and Crey. I even know about Nation, Empyrean Mandate, Starkweather and his goons, and Black Tie. Want to hear what I also know? I know that they're all just common bank robbers compared to the Scourge."
-One of Templar's rare responses regarding the threat posed by the Scourge.
- "Never back down; never stop fighting; and never surrender - no matter what the cost. Whatever happens, hold the line."
-Prior to leading his Midgardians into battle against the Praetorian invasion force.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right."
- ~~Isaac Asimov, 20th-century science fiction writer
Like many super-powered heroes, the Templar believes in justice, not necessarily in the law. He knows that there are limits to what the law can do and where it can reach. In a world where supervillains, whether metahuman in nature or merely extremely rich and powerful, can operate beyond the touch of courts and even governments, often the only protection for the innocent lies in the hands of vigilantes. In order to safeguard lives and uphold justice, a more aggressive approach is usually required. The Templar wastes no time worrying about what the moralizers and flim-flammers may think about the ramifications of playing fast and loose with the law; he does what he has to do and worries about the possible consequences later. This is not to say that he has no regard for the rule of law; in fact, he obeys it whenever possible. He merely refuses to let it get in the way when direct action needs to be taken. The Council, Arachnos, Countess Crey, and others are immune to normal means of prosecution; for the Templar, to allow them to operate as such unchallenged, simply due to something as inconvenient an obstacle as the law - especially when there are individuals with the power to oppose them - is lunacy. That is the whole reason for the existence of superheroes - to do what the rest of the world cannot.
As part of the Millennium Paladins, Simon respects and does his best to uphold Servant 12's ideals of what a hero should be, believing that heroes must be held to a higher standard than anyone due to the powers they wield and the freedom to act that their abilities and identities give them. In spite of this shared moral fortitude, the Templar is ultimately pragmatic in his outlook on the results of their work. When Servant 12 once traveled to a parallel world that had been ravaged by a plague, Simon was in the Upper Room on monitoring duty. The plague had wiped out millions of people, leaving less than a tenth of a percent of the population alive, and those that had survived had been driven mad. In his search for clues and survivors, Twelve was attacked by a plague-maddened woman that he was trying to help. Already concerned about the integrity of Twelve's quarantine barriers, Simon was unable to do anything but shout frantically over the commlink as the mindless woman beat and clawed at his leader. Finally driven by his subordinates' frantic urgings, Servant used his wrist gauntlets to defend himself, delivering a powerful electrical shock that resulted in the woman's death. Simon regretted her death, as well as the role that he may have played in driving Twelve to do it...but Twelve blamed only himself, which made Simon feel more responsible.
By the time Twelve returned, however, Simon realized that nothing could have been done to save the woman. In a contest between a maddened victim and his group leader, Simon would take his group leader every time. While he wished that her loss could have been prevented, it was not an option that the situation had conveniently afforded them. Losing Servant in that place would not bring any of those people back, nor would feeling guilty about having to kill one person in self-defense, especially not when the information that had been gathered might help to bring the perpetrators to justice. It was at this point that Simon realized that sometimes, difficult situations forced even the most stalwart heroes to make impossible decisions, often without being given an opportunity to think things through. When a decision needs to be made in an instant, there is nothing a hero can do but live with the consequences, and not lose sight of the larger objectives in the face of tragedy and setbacks.
"That's the coolest thing I've ever seen."
"Not bad, huh?"
- ~~Jim Rhodes and Tony Stark, 'Iron Man'
The suits of Einherjar battle armor are amazingly advanced pieces of alien engineering. While all sixteen of these battlesuits are fundamentally identical in basic design, capabilities, and function, each one is attuned specifically to the DNA of its primary wearer. When the original Viking warriors first donned the armors nearly fifteen hundred years ago, each suit was imprinted with the genetic profile of the person that wore it, thus inextricably linking the suits to the sixteen bloodlines. This means that today, only a person with the same base genetic markers as one of the original users can wear one of the sixteen suits. Once the suit has been activated by a viable user, however, it becomes highly adaptive, melding with the wearer like a second skin. It creates linkages to the central neuromuscular system of its wearer, allowing them instantaneous, near-total control of the armor and its capabilities. At a basic level, the suit operates as powered armor, enhancing the strength, speed, reflexes, and senses of the wearer. It also enhances their cognitive and mnemonic abilities, allowing them to learn and acquire new skills at a rapid rate. As time passes and the armor melds more and more with its wearer, it becomes increasingly more adaptive, increasing the rate of advancement of the user's abilities as well as their level of control over the armor's capabilities.
Each Einherjar has had the ability to customize and adjust the aesthetic qualities of the armor, up to and including the actual physical form of the suit's exterior skin. In the Dark and Middle Ages, this allowed the Einherjar to appear to be no more than heavily armored knights of the day, albeit ones possessed of superhuman abilities. Today, however, the modern Einherjar have completely individualized appearances, all varying depending on their personal preferences. With access to the proper materials and skillsets, each wearer can integrate new components directly into the armor's existing systems, potentially increasing its utility and deadliness to exponential levels.
The original sixteen wearers associated their armors with one of the ancient Norse gods, and today, each suit still bears a number of inalterable characteristics related to the 'aspect' it supports - insignia, minor attributes, and even useable capabilities that derive from the mythological roots of the Norse god it represents. While most of these characteristics are purely aesthetic in nature, a small percentage of each suit's capabilities are both unique and pragmatically useful in various situations. Despite the level of personal, customizable control that each user possesses over their suit, none of the Einherjar battle suits are entirely passive pieces of equipment. Equipped with complex bioneural circuitry and a network of powerful cognitive processors, each suit possesses a complex, semi-intelligent command and control program that can sometimes override user commands in order to ensure that its core directives are fulfilled. Combined with the accumulated neuromuscular imprints of nearly fifty generations' worth of individual users, the Einherjar suits all possess unique and complex 'personalities' with which each new user must contend.
The Aegirian Templar, not surprisingly, wears the armor bearing the aspect of the Norse god Aegir. Aegir was one of the two distinct Norse gods of the sea, representing the deadly and destructive power of the wind and waves. Accordingly, the armor possesses and retains a dull blue color at all times, regardless of its user's preferences, as well as a fairly menacing appearance. The small insignia of a single large, cresting wave is always present somewhere on the armor's surface. It possesses above-average speed-enhancing capabilities and has the ability to auto-streamline its external structure for optimal movement through water. Since the avatar of Aegir was said to possess clawed fingers, it is especially adapted to support each wearer's use of bladed close-combat weapons, and the Aegirian Templars are genetically predisposed to train and develop melee combat skills.
Currently, the Aegirian Templar's suit provides him with a level of enhanced strength roughly 2.5 times that of a normal human, and enhanced speed and reflexes approximately twice normal human standard. Configured as a futuristic-looking battlesuit of a deep blue color, its resilient armored skin provides impressive resistance to physical damage from all manner of mundane weaponry, from fists to clubs, knives, and guns. It is equipped with a multi-form signal transmission and receiver comlink, specially adapted for use in the diverse environment of Paragon City, allowing the Aegirian Templar to converse with heroes of magical and psychic origin. He has also recently installed a network of powerful micro-jump jets that provide his armor with both short-duration combat jumping and medium-duration long-jump capability. In essence, he is capable of arriving on the scene of a battle quickly and with little to no warning.
The original configuration of the Aegir armor as defined by Simon Thorstengaard, the Tactical Armor is designed for functionality in all close combat situations. A vivid deep blue color, it is characterized by its heavy, angular armor plating. A basic, no frills suit of armor, it is devoid of ornamentation and functions solely to provide the Templar with the offensive and defensive capabilities he requires to survive in combat.
Designed and implemented by Simon after roughly one month spent fighting on the streets of Paragon City, the Crusader Armor configuration was intended to increase the Templar's visibility and showcase his increasing influence within the hero community. The 'upgraded' armor features a lighter blue-green color scheme and an enlarged wave-crest emblem on the chestplate. The Tactical Armor's rather menacing-looking bare faceplate has been augmented with an armored visor, and the armor itself has been streamlined with smoother curved plating, replacing the heavy angular plates, particularly around the shoulders and legs. While it retains the side-mounted comm unit, Simon somewhat extravagantly decided to include an emblazoned cape and scalloped gauntlet spikes, as well as the new design name, as something of an homage to his favorite superhero (though the gauntlet upgrades do provide some defensive functionality). Simon intends for the Crusader Armor to be utilized for a future 'command' role - something he hopes to accomplish once a decent-sized 'contact list' has been established - due to its greater visibility and slightly improved communications capability.
Based in design and function after a combination of Eastern-style martial arts training clothes, traditional Japanese domestic garb, and Buddhist monastic robes, Simon programmed this armor configuration late in his fourth month in Paragon. He wanted something less restrictive and slightly less intimidating than his standard armored appearance, particularly for use in non-combat situations. This outfit, referred to by him as his 'scholastic robes' is the result. While still his battle armor (albeit in a highly altered cosmetic state) and retaining a distinct military look, it is not designed for combat functions and sacrifices some protection for other qualities. Simon selects this armor configuration for use in studying, meditation, combat training, lounging, relaxing, and other general social events. It is probably the only time that other people will actually get a chance to see the true face of the man behind the mask.
During the 2009 Halloween Event, Simon completed work on a third design scheme for his armor, this one being the most difficult to attain. After several attempts to fine-tune the cosmetic programming, he was finally able to achieve the desired result: a very dark blue/purple color scheme for his battle suit's exterior layers. Combining a few design elements from his original Tactical Armor and the majority of those from the Crusader Armor, as well as a few new ones, the Shadow-Knight armor is intended for use in low-light conditions. Though deprived of any sort of active camo or stealth capabilities, Simon wanted to have some sort of stealth option, even if it consisted of no more than some night-pattern camouflage. Given how many dark places he often finds himself battling evildoers, Simon doubts that this final configuration will end up being purely cosmetic.
While the advanced design of the alien battlesuit utilizes optical data transmission relay technology for its processing needs, making it essentially immune to EMP, it is still vulnerable to overload from high-voltage electrical discharges. In addition, while its technology is beyond any current human standard, it is possible that villains with access to the more exotic forms of captured Rikti technology may be able to hack into part of its wireless processing systems. Despite the extreme difficulty involved in bypassing the suit's highly sophisticated near-sentient command matrix, the adaptive neural learning matrix and multi-form comlink may be especially vulnerable to certain types of remote manipulation, disruption, or jamming. The Templar will have no choice but to rely on his own willpower to resist such forms of attack until more advanced defensive upgrades to the suit's systems can be made.
Despite the suit's agility and jump-jet capability, it was incapable of reaching extreme heights or scaling the sheer faces of Paragon City's skyscrapers when Templar first began using it, leaving more mobile foes with a higher operating ceiling beyond its reach. This, combined with the Templar's dependence on melee weaponry, left him open to attack from enemies which he could not close in against. To remedy this potentially fatal tactical flaw, Simon upgraded his suit's jump jets to provide Hover capability. While extremely slow and unmaneuverable, they allow him to reach low-flying enemies, as well as climb up to places beyond the normal reach of his super jumps.
Aegirfang and Stormreaver
Simon's two main combat weapons are his two beautifully-curved, elegantly simple impervium katanas. Forged from solid impervium/titanium alloy, they are nearly indestructible. They possess incredible tensile strength for their mass and can hold the sharpest of razor edges for years on end without dulling, making them capable of shearing through any softer material with little to no resistance in an instant. When coupled with the speed, strength, and accuracy the Aegir armor provides, in the Templar's hands they generate a lethal whirlwind of razor-sharp metal that only the fastest or toughest opponents can escape. Just prior to his arrival in Paragon City, Simon decided to give his two swords names; the left-hand blade is called Stormreaver; the right-hand blade is named Aegirfang. When gripped in his suit gauntlets, the blades essentially become a linked extension of the armor; as such, he is able to consciously alter their sharpness. This allows him to shift them from lethal to non-lethal and then back again as needed.
The jump jets installed in Simon's armor allow him to travel quickly through the various neighborhoods of Paragon City; however, he has been known to utilize other methods of transportation, both within the city and at times that require him to travel greater distances. As the Order's primary representative within Paragon City, Simon is sometimes required to interact with other organizations and corporations within the city on their behalf. On these occasions, he will utilize a small, specially-designed limo granted him specifically for this purpose. The Templar also has access to a secret hangar located somewhere within the city, which houses his own personalized Gungnir-class attack helojet.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
- ~~Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America
Simon Thorstengaard's own personal skill with all types of bladed weapons, combined with his suit's inherent combat-enhancing abilities, makes him a terror on any battlefield when wielding his twin impervium katanas. His latest and most favorite move is the Sweep ability; though difficult to pull off, when successfully executed it enables him to topple any nearby opponents to the ground.
Simon spent years melding all of the combat skills he studied across the world into a single coherent style of dual-blade combat, a personalized style that he refers to as 'Dragon's Claw' nitojutsu. It requires full ambidexterity and total coordination between weapons, since the wielder is armed with two full-length blades as opposed to the traditional long blade/short blade combination. Designed to take the Aegir Armor's strength and speed-enhancing attributes into account, Templar's nitojutsu style contains specially-designed combinations for close combat against single and multiple opponents armed with blades or firearms, allowing him to engage hostiles in any situation.
Simon's Aegir-Aspect Armor provides him with exceptional defense against direct attack from conventional weaponry - both through the resilience of its armor plating and through its reflex-enhancing capabilities. The capabilities of the suit's internal medical systems have further expanded over the past year as well, providing him with a level of minor regeneration as well as the ability to instantaneously heal minor injuries.
The recent addition by Simon of jump jets to the Aegir Armor allows him to ascend to heights previously out of reach. Medium-yield jump jets provide combat mobility and the ability to boost over small incidental obstacles; lower-yield, long-duration jump jets permit long-jumping between and to the tops of high buildings. Special boosters within the armor also increase the speed boost provided by the jump jets, making the Templar faster when leaping than he is when running!
Upon achieving Security Level 30, Simon was able to make a final superlative upgrade to the suit's jump jet system. While not capable of providing the suit with sustained, high-speed, high-maneuverability flight, they now possess sufficient lifting force to allow the suit to hover. While slow and ungainly, the Templar can now successfully engage enemies above his suit's operational jumping range, albeit on a melee basis. The Hover mode also enables him to recover from otherwise damaging falls inherent to his long-jump ability, as well as climb to high spots formerly out of reach of his older jump jets.
As a genetically-enhanced young man in peak physical condition and equipped with an advanced suit of power armor, Simon's health regeneration, stamina regeneration, and physical capabilities are greatly enhanced. The suit's internal medical systems are capable of mitigating minor wounds and stimulating wearied muscles, and its control interfaces provide extra boosts to the Templar's speed across the board.
Visor Upgrades (Body Mastery)
For many months after joining the Millennium Paladins, Simon spent most of his off-hours in the workshop of the Upper Room, running diagnostics on his suit's systems. The computers and machinery there, normally used by Servant 12 to analyze and upgrade his battlesuits, proved useful to Simon in making a few modifications to his own battle armor. Simon was able to make the most dramatic improvements to the armor's helmet; specifically, the visor attachment that he had added to the Crusader Armor. New optics and special electronics were added to provide an enhanced scanning mode, enabling the detection of stealthed targets and the acquisition of targets even under low-visibility conditions. Additionally, the inclusion of several layers of superconducting focusing crystals gave the Templar an even more dangerous ability: laser vision. By focusing an energy burst from the suit's solar power reprocessors, Simon can effectively deliver a high-intensity laser blast from his suit's visor, giving him a much-needed ranged attack option.
External Analysis: Crey Industries Threat Report
The following report regarding the Aegirian Templar was retrieved by the Einherjar during a commando raid against one of Crey's ancillary facilities in Western Europe sometime in September of 2009.
The Aegirian Templar (identity unknown)
Threat Rating: 70%
Current Status: Active
Date of Registration: 3-20-2008
Date of First Encounter: 7-20-2008
Subject's licensure forms were submitted to Paragon City Hall's D.A.T.A. division on 3-1-2008; license issued by Office of Superhero Registration on 3-19-2008. Subject did not meet notice of Crey corporate field executives until 7-20-2008, shortly after achieving Security Level 30. The subject was first engaged by Crey Corporate Security Division Operatives at 1202 Zulu, 7-20-2008. A CSD Special Interdiction Squad was dispatched to intercept the subject at the request of the Independence Port local head corporate officer. Intelligence indicated that the subject had agreed to assist Icon Tailor Lauren in preventing CI acquisition of target item: 'Unstable Plans', deemed of vital importance to CSD long-term interests.
The SIS dispatch's initial contact with the target was deemed successful by the SIS commanding officer; the subject was subdued with only marginal resistance thanks to a combination of flanking, long-range fire and superior numbers; no significant losses were reported. However, once med-evacced, the target evaded all further attempts at tracking and pursuit and proceeded to Brickstown, despite all local interdiction protocols. Once on scene, the subject succeeded in single-handedly defeating no less than thirty CSD operatives in a short period of time, as well as securing the desired plans before additional CSD personnel could intervene. Initial underestimation of subject's capabilities was attributed to the SIS having the element of surprise.
All prior information regarding subject's secret identity, personal history, psychology, motivations, and affiliations is unavailable; said unexpected unavailability has prompted CSD Red-Flag Level 2 Information Security Protocol to be enacted. Lack of concrete data has led to rampant speculation. Assessment of said speculation has yielded an Accuracy/Reliability Quotient of only 21.5% (variation of plus/minus 4.5%) - as such, said speculation will not be elaborated upon.
Sufficeless to say, the subject has engaged in willful opposition to Crey Industries personnel of all research and security divisions on numerous occasions, and has been responsible for causing or aiding in causing significant loss of materiel and man-hours on a minimum of half a dozen major research projects.
Personal Data - Unavailable
Physical Description - Unavailable
Typical Appearance - During all encounters, the subject has been seen wearing an advanced suit of powered armor. All attempts to conduct combat scans of said armor have resulted in inconclusive results - the armor appears highly advanced but is obviously very well-shielded. The subject's armor is always blue. During all encounters, the subject's armor has always been uniform in configuration; however, an analysis of surveillance photos taken prior to first contact with the subject show the armor in a different configuration, perhaps indicating the existence of more than one suit with potentially dissimilar capabilities.
The subject's meta-human powers appear to be derived entirely from its battle suit; however, without access to a confirmed and viable genetic sample, the subject's possession of inherent meta-human abilities (i.e. genetic mutations) cannot be ruled out. Likewise, CSD cannot accurately confirm or deny the subject's possession of science- or magical-based meta-human powers without considerably more information. Regardless, the subject's battle suit seems to provide him with enhanced speed and strength, superior hand-eye coordination and reflexes, enhanced jumping capability, and significant defensive resistances against conventional weaponry.
The battle suit has been noted to be in possession of jump-jets, a multi-signal transceiver system, some form of electro-magnetic shielding system, and a helmet-mounted visor. Visor capabilities are believed to include enhanced vision/scanning modes and a superconductor-based laser beam emitter. The battle suit has been confirmed to provide the subject with enhanced long-jumping or 'super jump' capability, as well as a sustained low velocity hover capability.
Apart from his laser discharge capability, the subject seems limited to hand to hand and melee attacks. Despite this tactical handicap, the subject should be considered extremely dangerous due to its enhanced physical capacities and its demonstrated combat skills. Computer analysis of combat recordings indicates that the subject is well-versed in at least two separate forms of unarmed martial arts, and direct observation demonstrates the subject's lethal capabilities with its chosen weapons, a pair of impervium katanas. Said skills do not match the parameters of any known existing form of melee combat, and are undoubtedly the result of years of specialized personal training and development. The subject appears to employ adaptation and improvisation in its close combat technique, greatly increasing the difficulty in devising a reliable, formulaic countermeasure against it in close combat.
Individually, given his lack of significant ranged capabilities or area attacks, and apparent lack of any wide-ranging psychic or chemically-based influence ability, the Aegirian Templar has been labeled a Class 'C' threat. While his ability to detrimentally impact Crey operations is not insignificant, it is not believed that Crey operations are among his primary targets. Crey personnel are advised to give him a wide berth wherever possible, so as to avoid providing opportunities to attract interference. Should confrontation occur, CSD personnel are advised to initiate a tactical withdrawal, moving as swiftly as possible from cover to cover while directing suppressing fire against the Templar. The subject is capable of extremely fast closing speeds in order to initiate a melee attack, so accurate and concentrated fire is of the utmost importance. The subject's sensor capabilities are not fully known; CSD personnel should attempt to lure the Templar into a proper 'kill zone' where sufficient amassed firepower can be applied.
Under no circumstances should CSD regular forces attempt to engage in melee combat with the Templar; deployment of special units to counter this threat will be given top priority should contact be made.
Of greatest concern is the lack of available information regarding the Templar. Despite his threat rating (Class 'C', Threat Level 70%), the abnormally high difficulty in gathering reliable intelligence indicates the possible presence of a greater power behind the Templar's actions. Corporate Security Division's Enforcement Arm and Intelligence Arm have run into solid walls at both the government and corporate levels during their searches for solid data, indicating that several corporations and possibly even governments are running interference for the subject.
The probability that such organizations would go to such trouble to protect a single individual is extremely low; as such, it is the opinion of CSD that some larger power is supporting the Templar's operations from the shadows. Only Crey Industries has been successful in garnering this type of information shielding from governments and other corporations in the past; the only reasonable hypothesis is that the Templar is a representative of some large, extremely powerful organization that could conceivably rival our own. For this reason alone, the Aegirian Templar is to be regarded as a much greater strategic threat than as a tactical one.
"The whole is more than the sum of its parts."
- ~~Aristotle, Greek philosopher and scientist
The Templar's original connections lie with groups established outside of the War Walls of Paragon City.
- The Einherjar - The Order of ancient superheroes to which Simon belongs, the Einherjar are based out of Valhalla Base, located beneath a glacier on the edge of the hidden city of Midgardheim in Norway. Simon acts as the Order's primary agent in Paragon City, gathering intelligence and advancing their cause of combating evil. He also exerts direct command over the Order's substantial local troop detachment, which places a significant number of helojets, Midgardians, and Mjolnirs at his disposal.
- Sigma Platoon - Led by Sergeant Jeffrey Samuel Maddox, its official designation is Sigma Platoon, 1st Company, 4th Regiment, 16th Midgardian Brigade Volunteers. This elite Order Special Forces unit is active 24-7/365, and serves as the Aegirian Templar's fast-reaction force (and on occasion, personal bodyguards). Equipped with top of the line power armor and advanced weapons, they are called in by their commander to respond to dire situations that require an immediate and disciplined response - as well as the precise and surgical application of force.
- Mirke City Heroes League - A local superhero group that operates out of Simon's home town of Mirke City, Delaware. Following their battle alongside the Einherjar to save their city from the Scourge, they have kept only intermittent contact with the ancient strangers from Europe. Given his strong ties to his hometown, however, Simon has done his best to keep in touch with those members of the League who are closest to his own age, notably the Justifier and Hornet.
Denizens of Paragon City
- Statesman - Simon has idolized Statesman ever since moving to Paragon City, during an incident in which the Sky Raiders attempted to hold the entire population of the newly-built Steel Canyon Stadium for ransom. Simon was trying to figure out a way to escape when the city's signature hero, along with Synapse, Ms. Liberty, and Positron, appeared and routed the airborne mercenaries, freeing the 30,000 people trapped there. After his induction into the Einherjar, Simon learned that Statesman was one of the few heroes who actually knew of the Order's existence. Despite receiving several badges 'from Statesman' upon achieving varying Security Levels (actually mailed out en masse to worthy heroes by the city), Simon did not actually meet the famous hero face to face until late February of 2009. He and several other Millennium Paladins were on a mission to free Statesman from his evil Praetorian counterpart, Tyrant. During the battle with the mirror Statesman, Simon was afforded the opportunity to fight side by side with the legendary hero, who did not disappoint; Simon was awed by Statesman's power and fighting ability. On the 20th of May, 2009, the Templar achieved Security Level 50, and was personally awarded the Hero of the City Badge by Statesman himself, during a presentation ceremony outside City Hall. Sheathed in a layer of his suit's highly damage-resistant nanoscopic coating, it is one of the few medals that Simon wears openly on the chestplate of his battle armor.
- Crimson Firesword - Within a week of starting his mission, the Templar encountered a fellow technology-based scrapper, an energy sword-wielding, red-armored flyer who had been given the moniker of The Crimson Firesword. After a small spattering of inevitable 'Red vs. Blue' jokes, the two cooperated together on a few missions. They don't talk much about things outside of work, but they do possess a rather impressive combined ability to take down copious numbers of Vahzilok. After several months, the Firesword dropped off the radar for reasons unknown; he didn't strike Simon as the flaky quitting type, however, and the Templar patiently awaited his return. Just prior to the start of 2009, Firesword resurfaced, albeit intermittently. While he still has not yet reached maximum Security Level, Firesword has been instrumental in the successful completion of several of the Templar's missions over the past few years.
- Alicia-Baker - Like many heroes and villains, the Templar has experienced more than a few interesting encounters in Pocket D. Taking a minute one night to sit in a spot that he didn't usually frequent, he was inexplicably set upon by a blond-haired girl in a gold and black suit and a long ponytail. For whatever reason, this enthusiastic new heroine, fresh from training, picked Simon out of the dozens of other people scattered throughout the club, and proceeded to chat him up. He was polite, as always, wondering if perhaps he could help her with something and then send her on her way, but the girl, named Alicia-Baker, was apparently one of those chatty, impressionable types. With hardly any preamble at all, she was asking him for advice on all manner of subjects, many of which he was ill-qualified to provide it on. Nevertheless, every helpful answer he provided seemed to instantly and vastly improve his standing in the young lady's mind, and Simon suddenly found himself the unexpected recipient of a doubtfully-warranted case of hero worship. Within a day, Alicia-Baker had publicly declared her intentions to become the Aegirian Templar's personal sidekick and to single-handedly get them both into a super-group. Alicia was not quite successful in her efforts, and Simon was preoccupied with his own mission; for this reason, he managed to keep only intermittent contact with her, mainly through e-mails advising her on aspects of superhero work that she was not yet familiar with. At some point, she succeeded in joining up with the Justice Girls; however, not long after being forced to give in to pressure to change her alias, the now-renamed 'Alicia Girl' dropped off the radar for several months. At the end of 2008, however, she re-emerged and tracked Simon down in Ouroboros. They talked briefly and did their best to catch up, but both were on supergroup business and had to part ways. After another long absence, Alicia returned early in 2010 and once again took the opportunity to bend Temp's ear for advice.
- Azaeri - While Simon has many students, the Templar has never had any - at least, until now. Simon first met Azaeri von Temple a few months after she moved to Paragon City under an assumed name. The dark-haired English girl was caging Galaxy City for martial arts instructors, and Simon's reputation had established him as one of the best in the neighborhood. Within two months, she had become one of his most intense students, constantly taking on greater and bigger challenges as she drove herself to learn. One night after class, she asked him, in a surreptitious fashion, if he knew any superheroes who might be willing to train her. His curiosity piqued, Simon asked what kind of training she was looking for. 'Sword-fighting' was her answer. Barely managing to hide his smile, Simon informed her, with complete honesty, that he did, in fact, know a hero with enough swordsmanship skill to train her. Subsequently, a few nights later Simon 'introduced' Azaeri to his 'friend', the Aegirian Templar. After grilling the girl rather relentlessly with about a dozen very tough questions, Templar decided that Azaeri was worth taking the time to train. He spent the next six months running her through a grueling series of exercises and drills, covering not only swordplay but athletics, acrobatics, investigation, hacking, tactics, and physical and psychological endurance. To date, Azaeri is the only other person in the world to be trained in Simon's self-developed 'Dragon's Claw' form. Although she has subsequently graduated from Simon's martial arts program, she still has no idea that both of her teachers are actually the same man.
- Servant 12 - the charismatic leader of the Millennium Paladins, Mykal Tannan personally recruited the Templar out of all the potential candidates in Paragon City. Late on the night of August 4th, 2008, Simon was finishing a trip to the Wentworth's branch in King's Row when an unexpected message came in over his comlink. Servant 12 informed him that he had been monitoring Simon's actions up to that point and was considering him for membership in his supergroup. At that very moment, however, the telltale sounds of a Vanguard alert filled the air. The Templar knew that Rikti invasion forces were on their way, and Servant 12 immediately formed a group to face them, including Simon in its ranks. Rather than range out to patrol for bombs and assault teams, the group stayed put in the center of King's Row, waiting for the inevitable final blitzkrieg of Rikti infantry. At least four full groups' worth of heroes laid waste to the alien attackers in a battle lasting fewer than twenty minutes. Afterwards, Servant 12 and the Aegirian Templar had a long discussion regarding his possible inclusion into the group. By midnight that night, Simon had made the decision to enlist with the Millennium Paladins, hoping that he might be able to utilize their extensive cache of information towards fulfilling his own goal of rooting out the agents of the Scourge operating within Paragon City. Since then, Simon has become a low-ranking officer in the group, and Servant has given Simon an increasing level of responsibility within the group, including handling several new recruits in a test of a new recruitment and training policy.
- Kuragari Umbra - a veteran of the Millennium Paladins and accomplished researcher, Kura is one of Simon's closest friends within the supergroup. As they are both particularly dedicated officers, Simon and Kura tend to spend most of their on-duty time together, usually accompanying Twelve on missions or convening in the Upper Room for briefings. Simon respects Kuragari's rather laid-back attitude and dedication to his work, despite the traumatic events that surrounded the acquisition of his powers. Those same powers have saved the Templar's metal-encased bacon on inummerable missions, and Kura is one of the most skilled Defenders that Simon has had the privilege of working with.
- Ionic Revenger - Ionic and Templar underwent their initiations at approximately the same time; Ionic was actually recruited several days before Simon was, and was present on the night when Twelve recruited him. Aside from Twelve, Templar and Kura, Ionic is the most common participant in most of the Paladins' missions, and therefore is one of the group's members that Simon knows the best. Apart from his talent for blasting things with great efficiency, Simon enjoys Ionic's penchant for innovative costume design.
- Nyte Shaide - Nyte, like Kura, is skilled at both controlling dark energy and using her supernaturally-enhanced empathy to heal her teammates. Short, slender, winged, and attractive, she is enthusiastic and usually upbeat, but can be extremely stubborn. She and her friend Grif are the only two survivors of Servant 12's notorious 'recruiting drive' of January 2009; however, Simon doesn't consider that a bad thing, as he is very glad that they are both still enjoying their time as MPs. Nyte in particular seems very eager to do a good job and prove herself to the more veteran members of the supergroup. She spends most of her time hanging around with her friend Grifter Storm, serving as the butt of his jokes and generally trying to keep him out of trouble, something she has apparently been doing for many, many years.
- Grifter Storm - Simon is not sure if Grif is certifiably insane or just pretends to be. This tall, dark, fairly menacing man has a hard time staying in one place, given that he has a seemingly obsessive need to destroy things. He is seldom very far from his friend Nyte Shaide, whether it be hanging around trading verbal barbs or teaming up to fight villains in dark, nasty places. If Simon were the sort of person to be made genuinely nervous by other human beings, then Grif would probably fit the bill. The Templar is willing to concede that Grif is better at slicing things to bits than he is, but in all honesty, he doesn't really mind hanging back a bit and letting 'the metal-clawed madman' do the work. They get along well enough during combat, as they both seem to have an at least professional admiration for each others' moves.
- Retaque - Retaque is a veteran member of the Millennium Paladins. When Simon first joined, Retaque was no longer a member, though he found and heard references to Retaque in the group's databanks and from several of its still-current members. Nearly a year later, Retaque returned from wherever he had been on his extended sabbatical, and petitioned Servant 12 for re-entry into the group. Since his return, Simon has fought alongside Retaque on a number of MP-related missions and assisted him with several others. Despite his heavier, broadsword-focused fighting style, Retaque is otherwise rather like the Templar; armored, focused, and generally quiet, but verbose when he wants (or needs) to be. When Simon once bemoaned the fact that his katana strikes did not seem to land with the kind of deadly effectiveness that Retaque's broadsword did, the other hero pointed out (quite correctly) that Simon's speed, which allowed him to land three blows for every one of Retaque's, more or less evened things out.
- Scourge Leader R-17
- Countess Valeria Arcova
"Our thoughts form the universe. They always matter."
- ~~Ambassador G'Kar, Babylon 5 - Season 4: 'The Hour of the Wolf'
(Friends, acquaintances, foes - please feel free to add comments about Temp in this section.)
- His favorite spot in the city is Williams Square in Founder's Falls.
- An unusual side effect of his altered genetic structure is to cause his hair and nails to grow at an accelerated rate.
- Though he likes to hang out in Pocket D regularly, he is extremely unobtrusive. He generally just stands, listens, and watches. He is usually willing to talk with others, but avoids intruding upon or interrupting people.
- He prefers being called 'Templar' for short, though some people tend to just call him 'Temp' (which is fine; be forewarned, however, there's nothing 'temporary' about him - he's here to stay). Slightly more masochistic folks call him 'Aegirian' (and at least one person has rather ungraciously referred to him as a 'tin can').
- Due to the nature of his suit, as well as personal preference, he has a thing for blue. (Some people have referred to him as a 'blueberry').
- Having rediscovered much of his family heritage, he has developed something of a taste for Northern European food and beverages, and enjoys a cup of mead on occasion. Usually, though, he drinks orange juice or ice water.
- He has a fascination with other peoples' secret bases, and jumps at any chance to explore them.
- He is an admitted science fiction geek, an avid historian and a dedicated bookworm. His apartment contains not one but two bookcases, each as tall and wide as he is; both are completely crammed with books. Granted, most of them are sci-fi novels and history books, but one must start somewhere...
- In spite of his mild disdain for Vanguard, he nevertheless has to admit that they do have some really sweet guns.
- He hates undead - especially zombies. And ghouls. Specters give him the creeps. And vampires are just plain creepy. Not to mention weird.
- Coming into contact with Rikti forces of any kind activates his armor's full alert combat mode; his armor all but takes control of his motions and actions. This goes for Rikti attacks as well as Rikti forces already on the ground. He has recently been able to install a new subroutine in his armor's operating system that allows it to differentiate between Traditionalist and Restructurist Rikti forces, but it is not 100% reliable. If the attack is two zones away or more, he has a much better chance of resisting the compulsion to intervene.
- Since his armor is fully sealed against outside contaminants, he is immune to any and all forms of airborne influence so long as his helmet is on. He cannot be affected by poison gas, demonic pheremones, allergens, bacterium and viruses, hallucinogens or psychotropics, or anything else floating around in the surrounding atmosphere. Should his helmet not be sealed due to the current configuration of his armor, then he is as vulnerable as any other human being.
- His suit provides no resistance to psionic powers, but he is distinctively difficult to mind-read, due to the presence of his suit's control VI. Its complexity causes it to mimic a second distinct intellect, potentially causing mind-readers to believe that he has a split personality. This can cause his own thoughts to be shielded against all but the most powerful and determined psychics.
- Theme Song (Finally!) - "This is War" by Thirty Seconds to Mars
- Dual-Blade Combat Theme Song - "More Human Than Human" by White Zombie
- This page is the 20th-longest page on (the new) VirtueVerse! ((However, discounting story pages, it is also the 3rd-longest character page!))
- Temp's attitude and personality are a reflection of my own; serious, taciturn, and more than a little anti-social. I can be insufferably verbose with people I know well if they give me the chance; with strangers, I'm more likely to just ignore them. I don't have a problem making polite conversation if someone bothers to start it; it just usually won't be me. I usually just stand and take everything in and let people be. (There's a reason why my badge title is "Silent Sentinel"). I respect others' privacy and value my own, but I am willing to listen, help, etc. if someone needs it. I am a stickler for proper chat etiquette; as a rule, I simply ignore anyone who warrantlessly spams me about joining a team. (I don't talk to strangers who don't bother to politely introduce themselves first, and I don't join PUGs.)
- Temp is a mysterious stranger. Plain and simple. Very few people know him or even know that he exists. While he is registered, not even City Hall knows the full extent of his capabilities, connections, or true mission; as part of the very strict security protocols of the Order, most of City Hall's data regarding him is actually bogus, appearing just good enough to seem genuine. Unless I decide to reveal anything of Templar's backstory to somebody, then there is no way that anyone is going to know about any of it. (He belongs to a secret order. That's right. S E C R E T. Get it?) You'd have to be some kind of crazy-obsessed, secret-chasing, conspiracy theory nutjob/master computer hacker with a cyborg brain and a supergenius-level I.Q. to even know what you were looking for, much less find any info. As for his comlink, you'd have to be almost as good to hack into that. So unless you've got a similar device and a lot of electronics skill, any tell you send him will be regarded as a telepathic communication. I'm going to assume then that your character is a telepath, so you'll have to explain it away in the resulting RP if you're not. As far as mind-probing him goes - Temp's mind is highly focused and disciplined, benefits of meditation and mental conditioning. He knows the tricks for blocking a telepathic scan, although he has no other psionic defenses, so a powerful and/or determined psychic can probably batter through. Assuming they manage it, they still have to sift out Templar's thoughts from the processes being run by his battlesuit's control VI, which can be, frankly, complex and confusing.
- I am a compulsive heavy RPer; I rarely, if ever, do or say anything without an RP justification for it first. I won't claim to be a complete expert on roleplaying, though I am a veteran. That being said, I sure as hell don't know everything, and I'm always eager to work on the things that I'm not quite good at or familiar with. I don't know everything but I can (usually) handle my end of an encounter, as well as give advice to someone who perhaps doesn't quite know the ropes yet. I don't personally care for certain kinds of RP. I know that many people have demons and other such characters and RP them accordingly; that's their prerogative and I won't hold it against them. I tend to steer clear of those folks anyhow; nothing personal, that's just not my scene. I'm completely about drama, suspense, and heroic action; no time or interest for M/ERP and cyborz.
- I am a VirtueVerse junkie. I'll read, watch, and reread any page that captures my interest. However, as great as this site is, I have found that it seriously increases the risks, conscious or otherwise, of engaging in meta-gaming. When you know everything about a character that said character's creator has posted on VirtueVerse, and you're a fan as a result, its all too easy to get carried away when you see them in Pocket D and get star-struck. Granted, this is really not too much of a problem for me, since I'm not only shy but downright reclusive, but recently I've decided to be as careful as possible to avoid meta-gaming under any circumstances. Although Templar's 'official' mission involves gathering info, I will refrain from bringing that OOC knowledge into the game, unless a genuine role-playing justification can be found for it, as needed by a particular scenario. IC, this is done under the premise of sifting through various databanks. There are a lot of in-game sources for diligent data-mining; IMHO, it stands to reason that the PPD, Vanguard, Crey, the Freedom Phalanx, individual heroes and villains, and others have files on most of the heroes and villains in Paragon and the Rogue Isles. At the very least, most heroes have been inside enough Crey, Arachnos, and Council bases to hack their share of computer consoles for bits of info. Generally, the more Veteran's Badges and notoriety you have, the more likely it is that I (Templar) will probably know about you. None of it will be specific; if I happen to know your name when we meet, its because you were mentioned in somebody's computer and Templar programmed his visor to match a description and a name with a visual record. I respect everyone's right to play their character whichever way they choose; the last thing I want to do is interfere with that. Just keep in mind that Templar can be a particularly devious bastard when he wants to be, and he almost always knows more than he lets on...
- Templar is my young, energetic, philosophical hero. In many ways he is a modern-day Western warrior-monk; physically, mentally, and emotionally attuned and completely dedicated to both his task and his art - that art being the art of the sword. While I role-play him as perhaps one of the best swordsmen on the planet, I don't make a big overstated deal of it. There's no need to strut around boasting and showing off fancy sword moves, because Simon's not that kind of guy, and his skill speaks for itself when he does make use of it. I have much the same philosophy when it comes to belief systems, as well. I believe what I believe, Templar believes what he believes, and each other player/character believes what they believe. If he feels strongly enough about something I hear someone say, then he'll express it, but generally, he won't give people a hard time if he disagrees with them. If a person's beliefs are a potential threat to someone else, however, or they are determined to enforce those beliefs on others unwarranted, then Templar will have a problem with it and will more than likely take action to deal with it. Templar usually does his best not to judge people, either; there are heroes (and anti-heroes) of all kinds in Paragon City, and they can be touchy-feely care-bears or totally arrogant, selfish jerks - or anything in between. Temp is smart enough to realize that with (almost) everybody, there are reasons why they are the way they are. As such, he does his best to interact with people as they are and not take the things they say or do personally.
- Templar is often very Jedi-like - calm, collected, and focused. On the other hand, he is also capable of great emotion, usually when excited or angered. Typically, it is not easy to provoke him or crack his shell of stoicism. Those who do succeed are either exposed to his dry, self-deprecating humor, sharp wit, and mild cynicism - or his dangerously focused rage. He is not the sort to fly off the handle and lose control when angry; instead, that anger tends to hone him into an even more potent fighting machine. Templar has a tendency to play devil's advocate and point out the flaws and potential pitfalls of a situation or plan, but once events are set into motion he does his job as efficiently as possible. I'm not going to claim that I never make mistakes in combat, but if I'm in a well-led group and the plan has been made clear, then there shouldn't be any problems on my end.
- ↑ Latin; homo sapiens = smart or wise man; adaugeo = augmented, improved; so homo sapiens adaugeo = augmented smart man. Meant to refer to a human being possessing any level of 'artificial' genetic or cybernetic augmentation that differentiates them from the human norm, i.e. genetic engineering (gene splicing, gene therapy, etc.) and cybernetics (artificial limbs, implanted computer chips, neural implants, etc.) This includes science-based heroes and 'created' mutants - it does not include naturally-evolved mutants, heroes who require an outside substance or device to 'trigger' their powers temporarily, or those whose technological enhancements are not cybernetic in nature (i.e. power armor or gadgets).
- ↑ This picture was done courtesy of HeroCreator and some creative use of a basic Paint program. I wanted something to stick in this spot; nothing causes lazy-eye worse than line upon line of dry text on a page. To that end, I'm always looking for anything to break up the monotony on my pages. Screenshots are all well and good, but what I really crave is actual artwork. Now, I don't have the time or focus to come up with anything good on my own, particularly not for a hard-to-draw, power-armored hero like Templar...so if anybody actually reads this, is any good with drawing tools, and is looking for practice (or commissions - I'm more than willing to pay for good work) I'm definitely in the market for some character art.