From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
| Patriot: Eisregen|
Art by Spookeriffic
|Eye Color:||Steel Blue|
|Nationality:||Citizen of Nation; also a naturalized citizen of France|
|Place of Birth:||Unrevealed (Eastern Germany)|
|Base of Operations:||Nation|
|Energy Absorption (specifically heat, though he is able to drain other forms of energy to a lesser degree); Mutant Physiology|
|Highly experienced soldier/mercenary and survivalist|
|Carbon fibre knife, varying small arms|
|No additional information available.|
- Black milk of daybreak we drink it at nightfall
- we drink it at noon in the morning we drink it at night
- drink it and drink it
- we are digging a grave in the sky it is ample to lie there
- A man in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
- he writes when the night falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete
- he writes it and walks from the house the stars glitter he whistles his dogs up
- he whistles his Jews out and orders a grave to be dug in the earth
- he commands us strike up for the dance
- Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
- we drink in the mornings at noon we drink you at nightfall
- drink you and drink you
- A man in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
- he writes when the night falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete
- Your ashen hair Shulamith we are digging a grave in the sky it is ample to lie there
- He shouts stab deeper in earth you there and you others you sing and you play
- he grabs at the iron in his belt and swings it and blue are his eyes
- stab deeper your spades you there and you others play on for the dancing
- Black milk of daybreak we drink you at nightfall
- we drink you at noon in the mornings we drink you at nightfall
- drink you and drink you
- a man in the house your golden hair Margarete
- your ashen hair Shulamith he plays with the serpents
- He shouts play sweeter death's music death comes as a master from Germany
- he shouts stroke darker the strings and as smoke you shall climb to the sky
- then you'll have a grave in the clouds it is ample to lie there
- Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
- we drink you at noon death comes as a master from Germany
- we drink you at nightfall and morning we drink you and drink you
- a master from Germany death comes with eyes that are blue
- with a bullet of lead he will hit in the mark he will hit you
- a man in the house your golden hair Margarete
- he hunts us down with his dogs in the sky he gives us a grave
- he plays with the serpents and dreams death comes as a master from Germany
- your golden hair Margarete
- your ashen hair Shulamith.
-- Paul Celan, Fugue of Death
- "History proves that man is a beast of prey. The beast of prey conquers countries, founds great realms by the subjugation of other subjugators, forms states and organizes civilizations in order to enjoy his booty in peace... Attack and defence, suffering and struggle, victory and defeat, domination and servitude, all sealed with blood: this is the entire history of the human race..." -- Richard Wagner
Since coming to Nation, the iceman has seemed to thaw a little. He can be heard joking and sometimes even laughing. For lack of a better word, he seems happy when he allows himself to be. He seems to support Nation's cause entirely and allows himself little time for other pursuits (though apparently that did not stop him from getting married).
But the tiger does not change its stripes. When called to action, all that freezes over and coalesces into the core of the man. He walks into a room, analyzes the situation, finds the weak spot and exploits it. Often more with words than deeds these days, as is appropriate to his advanced age.
Eisregen used to hold no special place in Nation's Pantheon of leaders. He suspected that Agony was afraid of him and if that were true, it would be with good cause. The cool Prussian walks the walk and talks the talk in public, because he believes in Naiton's necessity. As a means, no an end. But in reality, Eisregen represents a pervasive counter-force to Nation's stated goal of mere segregation and peaceful coexistence with baseline humanity, making him quite ironically one of Nation's Trickster deities; the jackal willing to ensure his own survival without regard for the cost.
Recently however, the winds of change have since blown across Nation. With Auroral stepping down as the leader of Nation's forces, Eisregen was practically pushed into the spotlight as Nation's new General. It is a position he secretly dislikes, preferring to work through less direct means than overt assaults if only for the plausible deniability sabotage and assassination afford, but he has tried to take to it nonetheless. In the wake of Agony's apparent demise, he has been pushed further to the front as Nation's leadership is now down to four Archons, Battlebriar, Sin Sonic, Sychosis and him, with a fifth, Canvas, incapacitated.
While the younger man's methods tend to be subtler and more refined than Eisregen's, he and Battlebriar have so far always seen eye to eye. What exactly this new constellation will spell for Eisregen himself and his ultimate goals remains yet to be seen.
Eisregen is a Mutant equipped with the ability to absorb ambient and incoming energy (most notably heat). As a focussed effect, he can turn ambient moisture into projectiles of hyper-dense ice that are strong enough to piecrce advanced body armour or protective shields that can withstand prolonged small arms fire. Used over a wide area the effect however, his abilities are usually more impressive. By leeching the heat from an area in a progressive cascade he can whip up gusts of wind or create other weather phenomena. He has in the past created localized blizzards and hailstorms strong enough to ground entire bomber squadrons and large enough to hide an entire battalion of infantrymen inside, though the day-to-day applications of such maneuvers are questionable.
There may be more than that lurking beneath the surface. A recent blood analysis performed by Dr. Nihilus, Nation's resident physician has revealed an abnormally high count of white blood cells in Eisregen's blood with no directly available explanation for it. Also, his aging process has been greatly retarded. While he is almost ninety years old, his body is still in an extremely good condition, maybe that of a man in his late 30s or early 40s, with the exception of a slowly-developing degenerative skin condition that manifests as bruise-coloured scar tissue on his face, especially around the left eye.
The only profession Eisregen has ever formally learned is that of a soldier, but his advanced age has allowed him to develop a wide array of talents. Chiefly among these is probably his ability to size up people and situations quickly, and often with astounding accuracy (though he is by no means omniscient). At the end of the day, people are not all that different.
Decades of mercenary work have left him an expert with a variety of small arms and extensively schooled him in stealth and survival techniques. Coupled with his highly resilient Evolved biology, this means that Eisregen is capable of persevering in the wild infinitely and with minimal means. Moreover, he is adept at small group tactics and the logistics and execution of low intensity warfare.
When not in the field, he would also dabble in a wide field of interests, particularly social theory and philosophy from Sun Tzu to Locke and from Plato to Clausewitz, anthropology, zoology and genetics, chemistry and physics, especially thermodynamics. While he is by no means an expert in any of these fields, he usually understands enough of the basic concepts to form opinions on advanced concepts and engage in a basic discussion of those, albeit without himself being able to formulate advanced concepts.
The only piece of equipment carried at all times is a knife entirely made of an experimental carbon fibre, usually tucked inside his left boot. While not as tough as steel, the carbon knife possesses enough tensile strength to survive a brush with a bone in a fight and due to its unique molecular structure hones itself during use.
Beyond that it is a known fact that Eisregen has a small stash of small arms on Nation, including his grand-uncle's bayonet from the 1870/71 war, his father's Mauser C96 service pistol as well as the very Mauser K98k carbine he himself carried into World War 2. Unsurprisingly, he owns several more modern weapons as well, currently favouring a 9mm Heckler & Koch USP Tactical.
By his own admission, he also possesses a store of chemical warfare agents, including Agent Orange and presumably Mustard Gas.
Philosophy and Goals
- We live in a world occupied by Sapiens. They are nominally in charge of the planet, and they adapt it to their needs. They make a Sapiens world for Sapiens to live in. There is no malice in this: I would do the same, were I one of them.
- But I am not. And theirs cannot be my world, then. Because I am Evolved. Because I am a member of a species :that shares the same roots as Sapiens, but has different needs and wants. If we delve into Sapiens philosophy and attest that as sentient beings we have an inalienable right to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' then we must also note that for the Evolved, this might very well mean different things than for Sapiens.
- Can we therefore be expected to thrive inside a cage of rules made for beings who are similar but different? Do you expect a tiger to settle for the same accommodations as a housecat? No, and no again. Therefore it is imperative that we find a place where we can truly enjoy liberty and pursue our own happiness. All we claim for ourselves are those same inalienable rights and noone has a right to deny us that. Nation is that place.
- We are Sapiens' children, but it is time we moved out of the house and emancipated ourselves. It is time to establish our own estate and watch it prosper.
- We are the Evolved, and our numbers are Nation.
Eisregen is a throwback to the ideologies of the late 20th and early 21st century. Be it the British Martial Races Ideology, Eugenics or National Socialist racial dogma. Despite his assurances of being a simple man, he has read his Locke and his Rousseau... and laughed at most of what the latter had to say.
To him, man still is an animal, unable to escape Rousseau's definition of the natural state. Engaging into a social contract only creates a macro-entity that behaves just the same towards other social superstructures as individual primitive men behave towards one another. The existence of even the most enlightened and exalted being is a struggle for a share of the available resources to further the propagation of the own race, where necessary at the expense of any competition for the same resources.
Mutants, the Evolved in the parlance of Nation's leader Black Agony, are his people. As a proven warrior of his people, it is Eisregen's natural duty to make sure they have the resources necessary to propagate; and the competition for these resources is homo sapiens.
Unfortunately, baseline humanity outnumbers his Mutants like sardines outnumber sharks.
Fortunately, a single Mutant can often casually outweigh hundreds of baseline humans in a fair fight.
But these Mutants need to be ready and prepared. "Hard as steel, tough as leather and nimble as greyhounds" as it were. Where other, maybe greater, men think of building nations and erecting utopias, his mind is locked on a far more primitive struggle that he knows must ensue as both baseline humanity and Mutants proliferate and remain locked to the one world with finite room, and finite resources.
Despite often falling to dismissive terminology that considers humans little more than clever animals, he actually has no particular hatred of baseline humanity. He does not bear it any love either. They are simply that unfortunate 'other species' that happens to lust for the same things his people need. As long as they do not get in his way, they can share in the planet's bounty... for now. However, Eisregen finds it useful to already aim and condition his contemporaries to segregate themselves from homo sapiens. Mutant-human relations of any kind must not be relations based on equality; Mutants must not breed with baseline humans unless there is a provably high chance the child will be Evolved in spite of one parent's disability. The list of small goals to be enacted in this time of peace goes on, and taking a starkly polarizing stance at least illustrates his point.
For the far-flung future however, his plans for humanity are grim and gloomy. He sees baseline humanity as a potentially expedient workforce, in the same role slaves captured from Africa served in the history of the West. But he does not see the need for a whole six billion of them. After Mutants take charge, it will therefore be of utmost priority to institute a Darwinian Eugenics program for baseline humans that ensures that only the fittest workers and most promising breeders survive -- after all, Mutants can spring from mundane wombs.
Once human population of the planet has died back to a manageable billion or so, the human resources will need to be relocated and concentrated for maximum efficiency, in Resource and Breeding camps, under strict supervisions of Mutants of human trustees. Humans who have proven to carry the latent Mutant strain necessary to give birth to Evolved children will however be afforded a much wider berth than the simple cattle that the majority will be reduced to.
It is a really simple plan, and with his aging almost completely retarded at this point, he can likely afford to bide his time.
In all of these considerations, the thought of whether his actions and ideals are morally right or justifiable has never once crossed his mind. He is following a genetic imperative to survive and propagate that in his eyes is so primal as to overrule all more civilized considerations.
After nearly nine decades of existence, it becomes hard to separate the man and the myth. The few definite facts that are known is that he was born in Germany around the year 1920, making him one of the first documented Mutants in modern history. The Nazi Regime that seized power in Germany in the 1930s heralded Mutants as prime examples of the coming superman or Übermensch, and also saw them for the walking weapons they are. Eisregen was recruited by the elite Schutz-Staffel or simply SS forces and trained in a clandestine facility named Projekt Yggdrasil.
- Likely more myth than fact is the tale that his father returned from the Great War a broken man. Years in the trenches of Verdun had left him to see hundreds of young men die every day and that took its toll. Once a studied and proud engineer, Eisregen's father was forced into simpler, less demanding tasks because of depression. His mother, in true Prussian tradition, enacted a draconian regime when her husband's faculties failed. Both she and her eldest child sought and found work to supplement the household, and even the younger boy would earn extra money after school.
- One night, the boy who would become Eisregen found his father sitting by the kitchen table, crying and sobbing. Without a word, the child slipped off to the spare room his father now inhabited rather than lying with his wife, found his father's old service pistol in the nightstand and laid it on the kitchen table when he returned. His father looked at the boy with questioning reddened eyes. The boy then took his father's hand and lead it to the pistol, made it close its fingers around the grip and guided the muzzle to his father's temple. In the end, Eisregen had to pull the trigger himself.
Operating at first under the callsign Fenris, Eisregen operated along the eastern front throughout the entirety of the Second World War, often in tandem with another Mutant going by the callsign Tyrfing. His confirmed last mission for the Third Reich was Operation Eisregen, which was to act as a foil for the encroaching Red Army at the siege of Stalingrad. Eisregen's orders (as recovered from archives in Berlin) were to confound the enemy to ensure the escape of as many Wehrmacht soldiers as possible before lying low to harass the enemy with guerilla assaults from behin their own lines to slow the Soviets' push westward.
After this incident, Eisregen's trail goes regrettably cold. There is a trail of blood that leads westward into Siberia, a row of inexplicable killings, Soviet soldiers freezing to death in front of campfires or being autopsied and found to have their hearts literally sliced to ribbons but pristine skin. Stories of German soldiers who escaped from Soviet labour camps and were helped by a wordless traveller abound as well, but despite all suspicions, noone can recreate his path for most of the years directly following the war.
In 1953, he suddenly reappears on the map, and in the most unlikely place and the most unlikely circumstances imaginable. On November 19 1953, the valley of Ðiện Biên Phủ in Vietnam turned into a frozen wasteland over night. Two dozen men slipped into the 12 mile wide enclosure under cover of a freak blizzard and turned the local Việt Minh garrison into an abbatoir. The next day, 1800 French paratroopers landed to accomplish that very same task, but found nothing but stiff corpses, most of them with visible wounds, but enough intact bodies to make them wonder.
Unfortunately, none of the soldiers survive the fall of Ðiện Biên Phủ to Việt Minh half a year later. Recently declassified French government files relate that when general Navarre took over the French army's operations in the First Indochina War and asserted the hopeless position of the French forces in the region, French Prime Minister Joseph Laniel gave the order to use whatever deniable means necessary to achieve victory in the area.
The French Foreign Legion was at that time home to many former SS and Wehrmacht soldiers who'd taken advantage of the Legion's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on a soldier's origins. And the Legion in turn was happy to have a disposable amount of excellently trained and battle-proven soldiers to swell its ranks with (some sources say that following World War 2, a full 60% of all Legionnaires were of German origin). It is anybody's guess that a few of them still kept their old political allegiances and maintained contact with others who thought alike and that Eisregen's services were somehow gained via these connections.
The French files make no mention of the hows and whys however. They just indicate that he was nominally in the employ of the French Foreign Legion as a simulated Major (a rank comparable to a Sergeant Major in the US or UK armed forces) until 1964. Wounded in the fall of Ðiện Biên Phủ, he was eligible to apply for French citizenship under the statutes of the Legion, a process known as “Français par le sang versé” or ”French by spilled blood”, which was eventually granted.
After serving a full decade with the French Foreign Legion, the man known as Eisregen once again disappears into my and rumour. The Cuban Missile Crisis had brought the world at the edge of destruction two years prior, and the lingering Cold War climate gave rise to various international cartels who mostly dabbled in serious crimes, but often veiled their activities with a veneer of ideology.
For all appearances, Eisregen seamlessly entered this world in search of simple personal riches. Having been given a clean slate as a French citizen, he apparently shed his prior ideological leanings and worked as a mercenary for the highest bidder. Moreso than most of his contemporaries, he was a literal cold warrior of the time.
- ↑ Literally "Hart wie Kruppstahl, zäh wie Leder und flink wie die Windhunde"; the motto of the SS.
- ↑ The actual existence of Project Yggdrasil as a physical installation could never be confirmed. While files secured by the Allies after the fall of Berlin reference the project as if it were a place rather than a more general term, no amount of search turned up any location that would fit the requirements.
- ↑ Callsign Tyrfing has since been identified as Wolfgang Degenhardt. After the war ended, Degenhardt was apparently able to parlay his power into preferential treatment with the Soviet Union. He was active in the GDR until its collapse and had apparently been living on Cuba as a simple fisherman afterwards. Wolfgang Degenhardt aka. Tyrfing is presumed dead after single-handedly obliterating a Rikti attack ship in August 2007.
No ambiguities here. Eisregen is a straight-up Nazi (though the man is also canny enough not to necessarily advertise the fact in public). Only that his ideology has evolved away from an Aryan ideal and towards a Mutant ideal. Recognizing the weakness of the case made for Aryan supremacy based on centuries of migration and interbreeding and being a Mutant himself, it was all too logical a step not to take. The methods didn't change, the underlying ideology didn't change, only the nomenclature.
And he makes for a rather compelling character to play. Because the ideology is compelling. The idea of being special of privileged by birth is not a new one, but in no type of character does it show more obviously than the comic book trope of super-powered Mutants. Because being able to level a city block based on your birthright makes a very clear point about inherent power, moreso than belonging to a particular tribe or bloodline.
On more than one level, superhero comics can be dissected as parables on supremacy and even fascism. On the one hand you can have Superman as an immigrant from a faraway place who comes to earth in search of a new home and is met with both love and hate for it. On the other hand you can have Batman as the ultimate WASP embroiled in a constant war against the forces of aberancy.
But nowhere does this come out more clearly than in the various Mutant comics (as well as the Pen and Paper RPG Aberrant, which has been an excellent source of inspiration for the character of Eisregen). You have philosophies of peaceful coexistence clashing with ideologies that run the gamut from a desperate search for emancipation at any cost right down to supremacist or genocidal ideologies -- on both sides of the inked and coloured fence. You have your freemen, your House Mutants and your Field Mutants, and they couldn't agree less on what their future should be.
It's great source material because it ties both into historical and modern-day struggles. There's always going to be groups of people for whom the world is just not yet ready. Be they divided by lines of ethnicity, faith or any of a number of other arbitrary factors we use to define ourselves.
Which brings us full circle with the Nazis. Being German (born, bred, living here) I can hardly dodge the topic at any rate, and I knew people would make Nazi villains as soon as CoV came around (hell, they had been making them in CoH). So it was only natural to show people how it was done right.
But back to comic book Mutants. Moreso than the X-Men or the Disciples of Magneto, it was actually a small and short-lived comic from the very early 2000s that influenced my take on the Mutant cause. The comic, published by Marvel Comics and simply called The Brotherhood (after the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but not actually related to Magneto's team) depicted an IRA-like group of Mutant revolutionaries/terrorists and showcased their various exploits without moralizing.
As a firm believer in moral relativism, I could get behind that book. It was a refreshing take on the material, and somewhat realistic in tone. Especially the sliding scales between freedom fighters and terrorists, revolutionaries and petty criminals, vision and sheer lust for power do all at least get a cursory examination.
And that's really where the interesting stuff happens for me. If I can look at a guy in green and purple and immediately know he's 'irredeemably evil' because the plot demands it, then that's boring. If I hear a man talk in a seedy nightclub and can find at least some of his ideas reasonable, especially if I were a member a of his target audience, yet at the same time realize things aren't quite that simple... yet can't come up with an appropriate rebuttal that covers all bases? Then I have the base for dynamic motion.
That's it then. That's the spot that I'm aiming for with this character. You're welcome to dismiss him or consider him a foil for your story's protagonist, but you know that for some people, the arguments he makes will be compelling. Just like in the real world, people buy into ethnic or religious supremacy. Men like him exist because the world desires them to exist. Because the flames of extremism burn warmer than any others and some people are consumed by cold.
The man did not cause the disease, though he spreads it where he goes. The man exists because the disease is there and feeds him.
Revolution, not Evolution!