From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|"This city, this world is under my protection. I'll give you one chance to walk away..."|
|Player: @Undying Enmity|
|Real Name:||Thomas Cann|
|Known Aliases:||None on file|
|Hair Color:||Dark brown|
|Occupation:||Director of the Dawnfire Vanguard|
|Place of Birth:||Burlington, VT|
|Base of Operations:||Paragon City, RI|
|Known Relatives:||None living|
|Modified Arachnos weaponry; soulspark channeling adapted from Mu techniques|
|Incarnate infusions allow him to self-heal, and go without sleep or sustenance for any length of time.|
|Arachnos crab spider armor, prototype Mk.II Crab Pack|
|Has slightly discolored patches of skin from violent burns.|
Thomas Cann has not led a pleasant life. His mother, Isolde Cann (for whom the Isolde Cann papers are named, detailing the fact that mutants are in fact never human and a DNA shift never occurs) was hired to work for Arachnos scientists for a surprisingly legal project researching mutants, which led to the publishing of her famous thesis. His father Martin, a professional chef, had reservations regarding the legality and morality of Arachnos' research. He and Isolde had many furious fights, culminating in Martin's exit from the Rogue Isles. He retreated to Romania, where he lived until his town was attacked in the Rikti invasion of 2002. Martin is presumed dead.
Isolde herself, distraught over Martin's departure, quit Arachnos and made to leave the Isles. Unfortunately, she and Thomas were accosted by a gang of Snakes. Isolde was killed and Thomas moved into her apartment in Mercy, trying desperately to continue her work.
The Early Years & The Uprising
Thomas worked as hard as he could to continue his mother's work, but while his understanding of scientific theory was sound, math was never his strong suit and the actual practice failed him. He took up a position tending bar (illegally, as he wasn't yet 21) at a naval-themed pub that has changed names so many times even Thomas can't remember what it was first called. There he befriended the manager, Ben Dorch, whom he viewed as a father figure. Life was decent, if harsh, until the Infected organized a full uprising. As the Infected built into a full-blown army, even recruiting Snakes, Skulls and Hellions into their ranks, Arachnos responded by conscripting every able-bodied person in Mercy who had ever had ties to the organization. Thomas was beaten and dragged off to boot camp, where he was abused, harshly trained, and fitted with heavy Spider armor. After barely a month of training, Thomas was sent into battle as cannon fodder, pushed to the front lines to distract the Infected leader. As luck would have it, Thomas managed to hold his own in combat, putting down Infected and trying his best to be a hero even in such a vile organization. His crusade brought him straight to Alain, the Infected leader. Alain leapt onto Thomas, his razor-sharp claws shearing the new Spider from his armor like a can opener. Instead of simply killing Thomas, though, Alain wanted to make an example of him. He doused the youth in gasoline and set him aflame with a starter pistol taken from an aristocrat's corpse, laughing as he watched Thomas burn. Alain knelt beside the screaming man, and proceeded to pluck Thomas' eye from his skull. Through the haze of pain, Thomas tapped into some greater pool of resolve, taking his gun back into his hand. As Alain gloated and made overtures, Thomas got his rifle between them and shoved the barrel into Alain's mouth. He didn't release the trigger until the hammer had clicked on an empty chamber nearly fifty times. Thomas was brought back to Fort Darwin on a stretcher, but hailed as a hero. With Alain slain so publicly, the Infected had lost much of their fighting spirit. The uprising had been put down, and it was all thanks to Thomas Cann, now rechristened Operative.
A Spider's Life
Though he did not like it, Thomas continued to work for Arachnos, doing his best to keep peace and be a hero to the people. He would be killed if he fled, and since Arachnos monitored all avenues out of the Isles, he wouldn't have anywhere to run. Several years passed, as Thomas ascended through the ranks of Arachnos, gaining the codename of Anarch and being moved to Agent status, a freelance operative to be sent from Isle to Isle as the situation warranted. Additionally, he was found to have latent psychic abilities. While not significant enough to qualify for the Widow program, they were enough to qualify him as the test subject for a new type of Crab Pack. The pack was fitted directly into his spine, allowing him to control his new Arms telepathically with as much fluidity as his natural arms. Finally, in putting down a civil war between Arachnos cells, Thomas stumbled upon his way out: Project Destiny. While the details were mostly classified and his understanding of it was sketchy at best, Anarch understood that it would allow a Spider to operate as a Villain, able to move freely through the Isles at his own whims and even travel to Paragon City for missions. The beginnings of a plan forming in his mind, Anarch snuck into Fort Darwin's central computer hub and planted a virus into the main terminal. He was now listed as a Destined One. Freelancing immediately had its benefits, as Anarch met the duo of Otaga and Eldgrim; the former an Arachnos Widow ascended to the form and powers of a demoness, the latter a demon bound to her service who helped her to unlock her true form. Consolidating their power, Anarch joined the Stormlords and assisted Otaga and Eldgrim in many operations, taking special pleasure in demolishing one villainous group at the behest of another. Within the span of one week, Anarch's power had somehow increased massively, his Threat Level rising from below 10 to 47 in only three days. As his power still grew and he learned more about the inner workings of Arachnos, Anarch implemented his plan: he would gain the trust, or at least the respect, of Recluse himself, and then escape the Isles, never to return.
Accepting the patronage of Black Scorpion while secretly researching and modifying the Mu techniques kept hidden away by Scirocco, Anarch continued his deception by playing Scorpion and Ghost Widow against one another, even defeating Black Scorpion in combat twice. All the while he continued to annihilate threats to the innocent populace of the Rogue Isles. His conquests included Crey, Nemesis' armies, and even an entire Longbow battalion entrusted with the execution of Ghost Widow. By exchanging secrets between Ghost Widow and Black Scorpion, Anarch finally came to a realization: Project Destiny was not centered around the villains themselves, but around Recluse. Calling in favors to get Grandville's main dimensional teleporter to direct him to the future, Anarch discovered the truth: he and the other Destined Ones were to be sacrificial lambs for Recluse's ultimate rise to power and dominion over the earth. Anarch would not take this lightly; while he might not be able to fight off Recluse, all four of his lieutenants, and all four of THEIR lieutenants all at once, he could gather a team in secret to enter an alternate timeline and do what was thought impossible: kill Lord Recluse. The battle was furious, but Anarch himself scored the final blow on his former master, prying the mask from his head as a souvenir. He then marched up to the Recluse of the present and showed him not only the bloodstained trophy, but actual video of the alternate Recluse's final moments and his defeat at Anarch's hands. It was a gamble that Recluse wouldn't just order his execution, but perhaps the brutality displayed in the video stayed his hand. Recluse allowed Thomas to leave, admitting grudging respect for the Spider.
Ascension and Redemption
Anarch's first action was to teleport directly to Ouroboros, to speak with a strange man named Ramiel. It turned out he had a message for Anarch...from Anarch. The Spider was to become an Incarnate, possibly the most powerful in existence if the events recorded in Ouroboros were to occur. Like a man possessed, Anarch surged through every trial and opposition placed before him as he sought out the power of the Well, but he was met with a rather disturbing reality: the Well of Furies was sentient, and had its own agenda. It spoke to him in a voice that would suit Satan of Paradise Lost, and offered him endless power in exchange for unquestioning servitude. After so many years under the thumb of a dictator, Anarch's reply was not surprising. He moved to subvert the Well and siphon its power on his own terms, and managed just that. It was around this time that Anarch became aware of Cimerora, a Roman village outside of normal time and space. As he worked to establish himself as a hero in Paragon City, Anarch frequently visited Cimerora to help out against the military dictator Romulus Augustus. It was here that he met Solaira, and everything changed. Solaira was a Peacebringer, and exactly what Anarch had been needing. With her companionship in Paragon City, he was able to leverage for a position in Statesman's task force, and once again battled Recluse, this time in the present. Again he scored the finishing blow against Recluse, but this version had the presence of mind to have equipped an automatic MediPorter, and escaped. With such a victory under his belt, Anarch received his Hero license with backing from Statesman himself, and was later inducted into the Dawnfire Vanguard.
The Praetorian Threat
After taking note of the advantages provided by expanding his scanner to include The Cape Radio, Anarch was soon alerted to new events while helping the Lady Grey deal with a Rikti resurgence: Praetoria was staging its first full-scale assault on Primal Earth. Using The Cape as an express method to find allies, Anarch joined up with a resistance group to beat back an assault on Steel Canyon. While sometimes-ally Split-Impact, rendered powerless by the Well's actions, directed the evacuation, Anarch directed the assault team through a fierce siege of War Walkers and deeper into Steel Canyon to face off against an empowered Battle Maiden. Anarch's psychic abilities allowed him to see that she was literally bathing in the Well's power, droplets of Olympic might resting on her skin like dew. Surviving even a blow from her halberd which was supposed to fell any warrior with a single stroke, Anarch pinned her down and used his soul lightning in conjunction with an actual lightning bolt to "evaporate" the Well's waters from her body. Stymied but not deterred, the Praetorians resumed their attack on Primal Earth, this time in the Rogue Isles. Anarch led the charge against Praetoria once again, taking on Neuron, Bobcat and a legion of Goliath War Walkers. The Praetorian siege of the Isles and their subsequent plot to invade all of Primal Earth was ended in a half-hour.
Since this incident, Anarch has donated all of his money to the Steel Canyon reconstruction fund, living out of the Dawnfire Vanguard headquarters. He has petitioned Solaira to include Praetoria as one of their Vanguard's designated foes after such cataclysmic incidents, but first their group needs more members to be able to stand united against such a threat. As Solaira has since become less involved with the Dawnfire, Anarch has taken up its operation, assuming the position of Director and rallying a new generation of heroes to stand against the new threats.
For the most part, Thomas is a laid-back and kindhearted individual. He enjoys a good glass of scotch and a well-written book. Obviously, Anarch has a serious side honed to a razor edge by his time in Arachnos. He is usually subdued in combat, working to restrain enemies instead of kill; however, when his ire is roused, he is a nightmarishly brutal opponent who leaves naught but devastation in his wake. Despite his hard life and general cynical disillusionment, Thomas is secretly a great romantic at heart, and believes wholeheartedly in the concept of true love.
- Soul Lightning: Heavily modified from Mu sorcery, the powers to which Anarch refers as Soul Lightning are confusing at best, but their power is beyond debate. Apparently, he can even touch his enemies' souls, pulling the fighting spirit from an opponent and infusing it into himself.
- Mk. II Ghost Crab Pack: The only one of its kind (Anarch personally reduced the laboratory to rubble), the Ghost Crab pack is built directly into Agent Anarch's spinal column. It is more prehensile than normal Crab Spider backpacks, and he controls the Arms as easily as his own natural limbs.
- Arachnos Combat Training: While the organization was nightmarish and spirit-breaking, Arachnos offered exceptional training to those who could survive with their faculties intact. Anarch retains this brutal training, making him a deadly opponent. He's not above exercising capital punishment if it will save lives.
- Spiders: Another souvenir from his time in Arachnos is a small platoon of robotic spiders at Anarch's beck and call. Specially calibrated to be controlled exclusively by Anarch's telepathy, the arachnobots and spiderlings are self-maintaining, restoring themselves at the Dawnfire Vanguard workshop.
- Telepathy: While not powerful enough to qualify for the Widow program, and certainly not feasible to use offensively, Anarch's powers of telepathy and empathy make it simple for him to reach his mind across vast distances and send messages to others. He can also transmit his emotions to those nearby. Anarch can read others' surface thoughts and, with effort, can delve into their minds. By concentrating, he can also sometimes read their emotions, but it usually comes out as a jumbled mess.
- Attitude Projection: Another distinct aspect of Anarch's telepathy is his ability to focus and project specific mental aspects, such as clarity or fury, to all nearby allies. This makes his allies better at what they do, and of course Anarch has figured out a way to make this projection recursive, influencing himself as well.
- Flight: Anarch can make titanic leaps through the skies of Paragon, but he is incapable of true flight, making it more difficult for him to scale some heights or maneuver past certain obstacles. He can leap more than a mile in a single bound, though, so these issues rarely come up.
- Humanity: Although he is an Incarnate, Anarch's base physiology is still human, and he has not yet reached the point where he can transcend that. He still bleeds if shot or cut, and while he no longer truly needs food, water or sleep, he is still fully mortal.
- Solaira: This powerful Peacebringer was Anarch's first true friend in Paragon City, and the two have been nigh inseparable since their first battle against the Nictus in Cimerora. Thomas regards her as his best friend and closest confidant, and can't imagine a world without her presence.
- Malign Otaga: Thomas' sister in all but blood, Malign is a newly-minted Incarnate with whom he traveled during his time in the Isles. She frequently crosses over to Paragon City to help out her adopted brother, and while she feels she can never give up the villainous life, Anarch still insists that she has one of the kindest, purest hearts he's ever seen.
- Eldgrim the Grey: Malign's devoted companion, Eldgrim is an engine of destruction who pairs immense power with an almost suicidal tendency to leap headlong into danger. Anarch considers him a friend from afar, but prefers to stand a good distance away from him, as Eldgrim has a tendency to attract projectiles.
- MoonIight Sonata: A General in the Dawnfire Vanguard, Gwendolynn de Danaan is a mystical being from another dimension sent to Primal Earth to help maintain peace and order in the world. Thomas counts her as one of his closest friends, and another adopted sibling.
- Arachnos: Obviously, Thomas would bear a grudge against the spiders for how much of his life they ruined, but the rivalry goes deeper than that. Having publicly humiliated Black Scorpion, shown up Ghost Widow, cowed Dr. Aeon like a cut-rate toady, and even killed a future version of Lord Recluse, Anarch is the focus of nearly the entire organization's collective malice.
- The Council: "The Bagheads," as Anarch prefers to call them, are generally beneath his notice. He views them as 5th Column knockoffs, and if it wasn't for Solaira's crusade against their Nictus connection, he'd be more than happy to leave the two fascist groups to wage civil war amongst themselves. As it is, he regards them as a nuisance and they regard him as one of their greatest foes.
- Praetorian Government: After the atrocities wrought upon Primal Earth by Emperor Cole's insane machinations, Anarch has but one goal: he will see them burn. He will see them scattered before him. He will stand triumphant above Cole's body and hoist the flag of freedom for all dimensions above the broken corpses of the Praetors.
- The Unholy Kingdom: A dangerous cult of demonologists and other madmen, the Unholy Kingdom was Anarch's first undercover assignment. After learning much of their ways, he quickly jumped ship and turned over all of his accumulated information to Arachnos. Anarch still despises them for their deranged rituals, and he figures they haven't decided to forgive and forget his betrayal.
Words from Agent Anarch
"I can tell you right now, life never turns out as you expect it will. I can also tell you, though, that you must never give up on your dreams. I'm living proof that even with every possible barricade in your path, you can still come out on top and be the person you truly want to be. So go out there and be who you want to be; nobody can stop you but you." —Excerpt from Anarch's speech at the opening of HeroCon 2011
This section is where others can share their impressions, opinions, rumors, grudges and accolades regarding this redeemed Spider.
Okay, okay. I'll admit I was slightly skeptical at first when he told me he was planning to betray Arachnos and become one of the good guys. But he seemed sincere enough that I was willing to take a gamble on him. Glad it was a gamble that didn't come back to bite me in the ass. If anything, he proved himself to become one of the greatest heroes I've ever had the honor of knowing. ~Solaira
- Main Theme: Citizen/Soldier by 3 Doors Down
- Secondary Theme: Street Fighter (War) by Sick Puppies
- Against Arachnos: Dignity by Bullet for my Valentine
- Against an Incarnate: Time of Dying by Three Days Grace
- Against Praetoria: Our Solemn Hour by Within Temptation
- With Solaira: Change The World by Eric Clapton