The Artful Dodgers
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Issue 14 "The Party Crasher"
|The Artful Dodgers|
|Website:||The Artful Dodgers|
|The Kids and Guardians|
|Antonio Nash||City Sponsor|
|Aeiren Neieao||Natural Tanker|
|Aidon Alchamilla||Natural Defender|
|Alexis Voss||Magic Controller|
|Amaranth Engel||Magic Controller|
|Annalyn Illessor||Natural Blaster|
|Ashwrath Magus||Magic Scrapper|
|Big Richie||Natural Scrapper|
|Bio Hobson||Science Tanker|
|Bradley Williams||Science Scrapper|
|Bronze Vigil||Magic Tanker|
|Cannonball Kid||Natural Tanker|
|Casval Regelis||Natural Scrapper|
|Cavity King||Magic Tanker|
|Clarity Jones||Natural Blaster|
|Couch-Potato Kid||Mutation Tanker|
|Crimson Muse||Mutation Controller|
|Cute Saint Dominique||Magic Tanker|
|Daniel Darke||Mutation Scrapper|
|Dustin Travers||Science Defender|
|Eindeloze Brand||Science Blaster|
|Emily Rogan||Natural Tanker|
|Fallen Stargazer||Technology Scrapper|
|Foxy Archier||Natural Defender|
|Freedom's Blaze||Mutation Controller|
|Hand of Zeal||Technology Blaster|
|Holo Lad||Technology Controller|
|Isabella Deitrick||Mutation Scrapper|
|Jack Travers||Natural Scrapper|
|Jeska Hartling||Natural Scrapper|
|Jessie Tell||Natural Scrapper|
|Jilly Corinth||Magic Scrapper|
|Johnny Blindside||Science Warshade|
|June Doe||Science Controller|
|Kassandra Vlakhos||Magic Controller|
|Kid Crey||Technology Scrapper|
|Kid Whip||Magic Scrapper|
|Kori Aino'Asherah||Natural Blaster|
|Le Masque||Magic Controller|
|Leah Caine||Magic Warshade|
|Maiden Thorn||Magic Controller|
|Martial Eidolon||Science Scrapper|
|Maxi Mizer||Technology Tanker|
|Mini Mizer||Technology Controller|
|Missy Marleau||Magic Tanker|
|MKU Montag||Technology Blaster|
|Moira Nyksea||Magic Scrapper|
|Mr. Enthusiastic||Mutation Controller|
|Penny Tuesday||Magic Controller|
|Phuong Mai||Natural Defender|
|Plague of Wasps||Science Defender|
|Prince Mania||Magic Scrapper|
|Princess Powerfull||Mutation Tanker|
|Probationary Martyr||Natural Defender|
|Put Together Boy||Technology Scrapper|
|Rafael Valderos||Mutation Defender|
|Shape Kid||Mutation Controller|
|Shard Gatherer||Science Controller|
|Silver Prince (Deceased)||Natural Blaster|
|Shimshon Knight||Natural Scrapper|
|Sonia Tasevski||Natural Controller|
|Sparrow Fletcher||Magic Defender|
|Terra Radiant||Mutant Controller|
|Wildfire Magni||Natural Blaster|
|Woe's Child||Magic Defender|
|Word Unspoken||Science Blaster|
|Wylde Hunt||Natural Defender|
Known as a "Home for Wayward Meta-Teens," The Artful Dodgers are a fictional supergroup of heroes playing on the Virtue Server of The MMORPG "City of Heroes." Founded by Quiet American in September of 2006, The Dodgers are a themed light role-play and story driven group dedicated to the concept of troubled teens who just happen to be super-powered heroes.
The first "Dodgers" were Juvie, Woe's Child, Casval Regelis, and Princess Powerfull. Since then the group has grown to include over 25 active players who have developed over 51 unique alts, each of which plays out their own rich backgrounds and involving story arcs while contributing to The Artful Dodgers' rich "Dodgerverse."
Due to the characters' various social problems and the diverse nature of the role-play possibilities inherent in the group's concept, internal squabbling and personal insecurities plague The Artful Dodgers. However their 'motto' "Learn to take care of yourself and each other, while taking care of Paragon," helps unite these brash individuals into a strong united front.
When at risk teens develop meta-powers, there are many pitfalls along their paths to true heroism. Local street gangs, illegal paramilitary groups, activist homeless organizations, and even Lord Recluse himself are out there, ready to exploit the unwary with phony offers of acceptance and protection.
However, sometimes the dangers these teens face don’t come from without, but instead comes from within. Whether though naive manipulations of magic, uncontrolled biological mutation, overconfidence in their own unproven abilities, reliance on unfounded technology, or experimentation with sciences beyond their understanding, these teens can find themselves needing a rescue from powers they could never conquer alone.
In this turbulent time in their young lives, some lucky few have found refuge among The Artful Dodgers. A group of young heroes-to-be who have joined together; sharing their troubles, learning about their powers, and finding the strength needed in order to overcome whatever pitfalls they may face.
The Comic Covers
The Artful Dodgers
Issue 1 ...another night on the town
Issue 2 The Invisible Underground
Issue 3 Punk out Penny
Issue 4 Bigger Zombies
Issue 5 Against the Vampires
Issue 6 A Night of Taunting
Issue 7 A Child of Woe
Issue 8 Owl's Shadow
Issue 9 Freedom's Blaze
Issue 10 Isle of Wolves
Issue 11 Calm Before the Storm
Issue 12 Till Death Do Us Part
Issue 13 D.O.A.
Issue 14 The Party Crasher
Issue 15 Fathim! Beheld!
Issue 16 Heart to Heart
Issue 17 Our Favorite Hazards Ahead!
Issue 18 Enjoying the Points of View
The Artful Dodgers Present
Issue 1 It's a Wonderful Meta-life!
The Golden Age
When Juvie applied with the City Representative to start up a supergroup outreach program for at-risk meta-teens, he had no idea how big a project he had started. The first few months of its creation saw a lot of change with teens joining weekly, bringing their own inner struggles while attracting the attention of both villains and heroes alike throughout Paragon. Meanwhile with this expansion of membership, the Dodger's slowly improve their base, "The Basement." Soon the teens begin to realize that they aren't just a bunch of delinquent kids, but a team of friends who learn to rely upon each other to solve tasks that they themselves could never have solved alone.
Quiet American playing, Juvie, along with his friend in real life, Woe's Child, founds "The Artful Dodgers" as an experiment in online role-playing and storytelling. Within days Casval Regelis, a strictly professional and deadly serious teen scrapper joins the team and together they defeat their first Arch-villain "Dr. Vahzilok." This success attracts the attention of other street kids seeking safety, as well as corporate donations in the form of refurbished equipment from such companies as Portal Corp and Crey Industries and within a few short weeks, The Artful Dodgers are a success!
A Woman's Touch
Taking a cue from DJ Zero, Juvie begins to distribute home-made fliers in places where meta-human street kids might find them. One of these fliers finds its way to a tanker named Princess Powerfull who joins the group and provides a strong center during fights, as well as providing a much needed woman's touch by role-playing a self-conscious female teenager hiding behind a ruff tom-boy attitude. Princess Powerfull's addition also gives other teen girls living on the street the sense that The Artful Dodgers could be a safe place for them to find shelter as well.
Then, striking at the very core of The Artful Dodger's mission, founding member Woe's Child runs away from his adopted home. It seemed that The Dodgers couldn't give Woe the help he needed, even with all the good intentions and moral support they offered. This causes Juvie to fall into a funk, and for the first time The Dodgers see his quick hot temper and broiling anger flare to the surface. Juvie almost disbands the group, feeling that if he couldn't help Woe's Child then what help can The Artful Dodgers give anyone? Casval Regelis and Princess Powerfull manage to change Juvie's mind and help redirect his energy back to The Dodgers' cause.
After an extensive street-sweeping campaign against gang warlords, coupled with a flurry of self-promotion, The Artful Dodgers experience an unprecedented expansion of the group, including a rogue "Clockwork" named Techworks, an ex-Skull named Khaotix, a notably unnoticed girl named Infliction End, and a punked-out preteen witch named Penny Tuesday. The Dodgers also catch the eye of Rikti War veteran Crimson Muse who gives them much needed assistance in both role-playing and Meta-gaming. As Juvie deals with the loss of Woe's Child by taking extended leaves to search for him, Crimson Muse takes over leadership on many missions in order to instruct and help the group grow into a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, within all the hubbub of training, learning, growing, and expanding, The Artful Dodgers gain the help of a quiet, shy, and painfully bashful Probationary Martyr who lends vital Defender support as well as role-play inspiration.
Penny Tuesday warns Juvie that her witchy Grandmother Stephenie Pebbles thinks this Halloween will be more than just trick-or-treats. Then, one day... the day never comes. The sun doesn't rise, witches, zombies, and werewolves begin to appear at random doors across the city while huge monsters roam the city casing mayhem and destruction wherever they step. Juvie calls The Artful Dodgers together to battle this menace, and, to everyone's surprise, Woe's Child answers the call!
Having been gone for almost three weeks, Woe's Child refuses to answer any questions about his trip and begins to display a sense of self-confidence that Woe had never exhibited before. At first all The Dodgers are taken aback by this new personality, an almost arrogant attitude so different then the quiet kid they all knew. Juvie, too overjoyed at having his friend back to make note of the difference, claimed that Woe had been so quiet and introverted before that maybe they just never knew who he really was. In time however, Woe's true motivations will lead The Artful Dodgers on the brink of destruction.
The Council Kidnappings
The Artful Dodger's learn that "The Council" are targeting street kids to kidnap and re-educate as part of their recruitments program. The Dodgers gather together to discover the source of this sudden recruitment serge and follow a trail that leads them all across Paragon City until finally ending at the doorstep of one of The Council's Arch-Villain, Vandal. After a long fight, The Artful Dodgers manage to free hundreds of brainwashed kids and strike a major blow against this organization's plans in Paragon City, while also earning the respect from one of Paragon's champions, "Citadel."
The Impossible Impostor
A rogue clockwork and one of The Dodgers more unique characters, Techworks discovers that he needs new parts to repair one of his vital systems. Unfortunately that part can only be found on The Clockwork King himself. Woe's Child tells Juvie that he wants to lead a mission to get that part. Little do The Artful Dodgers know that Woe's Child is secretly working with The Clockwork King in order to set a trap for Techworks.
Starting the mission with a clue provided by The King himself, Woe's Child begins to lead The Dodgers on a wild goose-chase across Paragon, while ignoring Techworks' warnings that the team is actually being lead away from The King. Soon tempers rise as Woe's Child gives conflicting orders hoping to splinter Juvie's hold as the Dodger's leader. As bad goes to worse, Woe's Child splits the Task-Force up, creating a team wipe. The argument that ensues between Juvie and Woe threatens to destroy the team, as Woe eggs Juvie on, keeping the argument going in order to distract the team from the planed approach of Babbage.
With the arrival of Babbage, The Dodgers call out to the city's heroes for reinforcements. A drag out fight ensues. Eventually Babbage falls foiling Woe's Child's secret plot, while providing the necessary thrust for Juvie to re-galvanizes the team. As they head toward the center of The Clockwork King's domain, Techworks warns that all isn't right and that The Clockwork King isn't broadcasting the correct signals.
When The Artful Dodges engage The Clockwork King, they discover him to be an impostor, a puppet, put there to fool The Artful Dodgers into thinking that they had defeated him. However, due to Techworks's warnings, The Dodgers know that The Clockwork King is still loose in the city, and so the kids remain on constant vigil for repercussions from the King.
Although Techworks was able to find the parts he needed on the Impostor King, and therefor the mission was a kind of success, Juvie wasn't happy so he asked Blue Steel to look into why everything went so wrong. Blue Steel told Juvie that 90% of the criminal investigations that go wrong are usually do to the first clue being false. This begins Juvie's distrust of Woe's Child.
Much Ado About Nothing
Casval Regelis surprisingly shows a softer side by introducing the group to his new girlfriend, Glassworks. With much poking and prodding, the new couple suggests that Juvie ask a girl named Tabatha out and soon there is much ado about nothing as dates are made and broken while hearts are lost and found. In the end, Juvie and Princess Powerfull realize that they have feelings for one another, setting off a series of events that brings about one of the longest lasting and most stable relationships in The Artful Dodgers.
The Artful Dodgers attract front page attention from a Paragon Times Investigative Reporter, Jim Shooter when they stop the semi-annual "Freakshow Olympics." When Shooter quotes Positron criticizing some of the supergroup member's more shady backgrounds and evident lack of experience, The Artful Dodger's receive a boost in street credibility among the teen community. Meanwhile, Jim Shooter begins an investigation into allegations that The Artful Dodgers may be harboring Rogue Isle sleeper agents.
A Touch of Magic
All through November, Azuria asks Juvie to do research into the gems and crystals that The Circle of Thorns' use for soul possession. During these investigations a magical presence becomes curious about Juvie's research, and begins to attempt to communicate to him. However, these attempts cause Juvie to become mildly ill whenever he is around a strong source of magic. To date, Juvie has been unable to identify or control this presence.
Jim Shooter of the Paragon Times covers Blue Steel's announcement of The Artful Dodgers inclusion in the Paragon Police Departments new "Heroes on Call" program. This public show of faith in The Dodgers helps boost funding to support the group's ever expanding roster of disenfranchised meta-teens.
Making Plans for Woe
Juvie shows his MAGI research into gem and crystal soul storing to Casval Regelis, who then informs Juvie that he believes Woe's Child has been possessed by a soul contained in such a gem. The Dodgers then travel to Striga Island to talk with local witch, Stephine Peebles who tells a tale of how Woe's Child did indeed become possessed by a warlock from the 16th century named Jacob Woe, and unless The Artful Dodgers discover a way of freeing Woe from possession, the witches in her coven would have to "deal" with Woe's Child on their own terms. With help from Princess Powerfull and Casval Regelis, Juvie hatches a plan to free Woe's Child of possession by using The Circle of Thorns' illegal soul stealing magic.
Casval's girlfriend, Glassworks becomes an official Artful Dodger when she seeks shelter with the group after the FBI and Longbow invade her home. It appears that her father's company had some illegal dealings with The Rogue Isles, and that her family has now become the target of a criminal investigation. Things get dangerous when evidence appears that The Knives of Artemis have attempted to break into the home. Casval vows to look into her father's situation and protect Glassworks from whoever is causing her family problems.
While heroes clash and epic plots unfold around her, a shy, awkward, overly naive yet incredibly brilliant young woman, Felicity "The Probationary Martyr" Primgaunt, diligently researches an essay for her Heroic Theory class. Following in her father's footsteps, (a prominent professor and field researcher of Heroic Theory, namely mythical heroic culture, its origin, and its resurgence in modern reality) Fel's chosen topic is on the multiple facets of the hero's identity and their effects on upon the heroic individual's Ego/Id relationship.
When asked about her studies, Fel's over-enthusiastic attempts to explain her theories passes over the heads of her peers, including her friends in The Artful Dodgers. The embarrassing blank stares she receives pushes her further into academic isolation. Soon, her friends lose track of her progress and choosing to leave her alone while she works on her paper. She finds occasional solace in the company of Casval Regelis, newcomer Rachel (alias: Infliction's End), and veteran hero & Artful Dodger advisor Crimson Muse.
Casval and Rachel begin to notice awkward shifts in Felicity's behavioral patterns and fighting techniques. They begin to see glimpses of a darker power the girl possesses, something that seems to drain and wither what it affects rather than heal and enhance. Felicity continually denies the use of this power and becomes increasingly upset every time it's used. Soon she begins to withdraw from the company of the Dodgers and hide away, claiming to work on "her paper for class" more and more.
Crimson Muse begins to notice an alarming shift in Fel's work. Strange alchemical antiques begin to replace the modern medical research equipment in The Basement, while notations about the hypothetical devision of self and its outward consequences, along with possible cures to this state of being, were found scattered around her workstation. All the signs pointed to the fact that Fel's research was becoming unsound.
Dodger in Hiding
Only a few days after her family comes under Federal Investigation, Glassworks and her family are whisked away and placed under a witness protection agency. Casval Regelis is left alone with only a short "Dear John" goodbye email, however he continues his investigation in the hopes of one day finding he evidence needed to free his ex girlfriend from hiding.
Probationary Martyr's studies in Heroic Theory, and her own experiments in the duality of personality leads her to discover that her "darker" powers are directly linked to the emotions, desires, and needs that she has been suppressing her entire life. When her "darker-self" began to express itself in a destructive dark energy, Felicity attempted to isolate those powers through a mixture of alchemy and pseudosciences. The result of those experiments is the freeing of her darkest desires and her transformation into Dark Felicity.
Over the next few weeks, Dark Felicity's almost 'evil' actions caused mayhem and strife in The Artful Dodgers, pitting friends against friends while challenging the very notions of "doing good" and "self sacrifice," that are the bases of being a hero. At one point Dark Felicity even quits the Artful Dodgers, moved in with a fallen angel turned Villain in Rogue Isle, and began to participate in selfish and self-destructive actions that put herself and those around her in danger. Luckily, the process that freed Dark Felicity was short lived, and soon Probationary Martyr was able to regain control of herself long enough to devise a way to control her inner desires and her dark energy through a specially designed tech-belt. Now with concentration, Felicity is able to meld her 'good' side and her 'evil' side into a whole personality.
A refugee from the shadow shard arrives in Paragon and finds sanctuary among The Artful Dodgers! Starlight-Girl is a fish out of water. She's confused, alone and homesick, and seemingly terrified of her own shadow. She fears The Rularuu, and sees danger around every corner. However, with her new friends' support, she begins to discover the strength in herself while discovering the new world that surrounds her.
Three Days in the Hole
Rumors of Juvie's illegal plan to free Woe's Child from possession have reached Blue Steel who immediately arrests Juvie on suspicion of breaking parole. For three days Blue Steel interrogates Juvie about his plans, threating him with prison unless he corporates. Juvie keeps to his convictions and refuses to give Blue Steel any information. Unable to find evidence to support his allegations, Blue Steel is forced to free Juvie, but not before telling Juvie that The Artful Dodgers is nothing but an experiment created to "gather all the rotten eggs into one basket, so they can be watched," and that his speech in the paper showing his support was just a public relations effort aimed to attract more troublemakers to the group.
The Guardianship of Antonio Nash
Long time supporter, Antonio Nash of G.I.F.T. convinces the City Representative to wrestle control over The Artful Dodgers from Blue Steel while introducing measures in city council to provide The Artful Dodgers with complete autonomy. Although Antonio succeeded in removing Blue Steel's influence, Positron and Councilmen Bernard Hicks refused The Artful Dodgers' independence based on their member's status as minors. After a fierce floor debate, Positron finally proposed a compromise where The Artful Dodgers would continue as an independent superhero organization as long as Antonio Nash would assume "guardianship responsibilities" over the group. This motion was passed with only one dissenting vote from Councilmen Bernard Hicks.
With the stress of Woe's Child's possession heavy on his thoughts, and after his Blue Steel's, interrogation proving to him to be a false friend, Juvie felt trapped in his life as a hero and wanted independence from "The System." However the one time he choses to express his independence causes the death of a young hero-to-be named "Bullet-time." She was unregistered meta-teen and Hellion girlfriend who, while attempting to protect a group of school children walking home through Hellion Turf, was made an example of by her Pyro Boyfriend. Juvie was meant to meet with her, and get her the help she needed, but his refusal to answer the call lead to her death forever implanting in him his responsibility to teens in need everywhere.
After Juvie's failed experience with Bullet Time, he begins a new relationship with Antonio and sparks a new passion for helping teens in trouble. His hunt turns up three teens becoming involved with the Skulls; Ankle (a mystic speedster), T-Bone (a Strongman Tanker) and Saw-Bones (A dark defender). Each one of these kids were joining the Skulls with the promise that their parents apartment buildings would be spared from gang violence. A Bone-daddy named Bones-man planed on breaking this promises after the three teens could no longer escape membership. Juvie managed to free the teens from the Skulls while bringing Bones-man to justice. In the process, the three teens decided to form their own superhero group, "The Kingsmen," and vowed to patrol the 15 blocks of the Gish that they had hoped to protect as gang members.
After keeping close tabs on the Artful Dodgers though a mystical scrying globe planted in their magic research room, Azuira had enough evidence to tell Antonio Nash that Juvie, Princess Powerfull, and Casval Regelis were working with a Mystic named Karsis in order to perform illegal Circle of Thorn magic. After the lesson Juvie learned through his failure with Bullet-Time, he new that he needed Antonio's trust. So when Antonio confronted Juvie with Azuria's accusations, Juvie told Tony everything; the possession of Woe's Child by Jacob Woe, the creation of the soul stealing sword, and the decision by The Artful Dodgers to free Woe's Child from possession, even if it might cause the boy's death, and their possible arrest. The last thing Juvie expected to hear was Antonio Nash's response, "How can I help?"
The Winter Gala
With Woe's Child away in Rogue Isle, Glassworks safe in a witness protection program, and Probationary Martyr's "Dark Force" seemingly under control, The Artful Dodgers experience a much needed rest from the day to day stress of heroing. They discover an invitation to a Winter Gala at DJ Zero's newly created Ski-lodge in Pocket D. Its a calm night where our heroes are able to regroup, recharge, and remember that they aren't just a group of heroes, but a group of friends as well.
The Silver Age
Who says nothing changes on New Years Day?
"Jack might be pretty if she didn't wander around looking angry all the time. With a semi-permanent scowl, however... she just looks mean."
These opening words of Jack Travers' bio speak volumes about the girl with the "guy's name" who saw the world in black and white, as wrong and right, and darkly unfair. A girl who caught up with the Dodgers on the steps of Atlas Park in January 4th 2007, and over the next few months, sent the Dodgers on a role-play roller coaster ride into the very heart of Rogue Isles on her quest to save herself and her lost brother Dustin Travers. Meanwhile, another new Dodger, a mysterious "gray boy" named Stripling seemed to appear out of nowhere and make his presence felt among this group of delinquents. A PPD investigation into his background only turned up a questionable missing child report that lead the Dodgers into the center ring of a nightmare circus. It wasn't long until these two story telling powerhouses joined forces to create the tangled dual-story, journal woven, and in-game role-play feasts that are Justifying Ends and Monochrome.
New and old Dodgers alike picked up on the energy from these story-journals and followed along by role-playing their parts while creating their own fresh identities. This new generation of troubled-teens-turned-heroes built upon the solid foundations developed in 2007 while exploring the darker, grayer more ambiguous concepts inherent in the troubles surrounding a group of at-risk teens. Topics such as; drug use, alcohol dependency, mental and physical abuse, teen rights under the law, as well as teen rights in a time of war. By January 2007, The Artful Dodgers had truly reached their Silver Age.
The Final Battle for a Woe Filled Soul
The Artful Dodgers watched and waited. They watched for any signs of Woe's Child's return from The Rogue Isles, and waited for the Circle of Thrones mystic, Karsis to finish enchanting a sword that would either kill Woe's Child or save him. It was a long hard month for the group as the wait allowed them the time to realize just how life-threating this mission was going to be. Juvie seemed to be hit the hardest by this burden when he stubbornly took full responsibility for his friends life.
The wait also gave Antonio Nash the time to help the Dodgers prepare for the coming battle. With Ms. Liberty's help, Longbow was able to plant a small transmitter onto Woe's Child's cape while Antonio Nash and Rick Davis at D.A.T.A. rigged one of the arena teleporters to home in on the transmitter's signal. As soon as Woe's Child was in the arena transporters range, The Dodgers would know about it and they could ambush him. The stage was set, the players in place, and now only the prop was needed; the soul binding sword from the Mystic Karsis.
Then, on January 26th they received two messages, the sword was done, and Woe's Child was on his way back to Paragon! The wait was over, however there was one small snag, Casval Regilis discovered that Red Caps from Croatoa, attracted by the elemental energy and iron threat of the sword had managed to steal the finished weapon from Karsis. Juvie and Casval immediately rushed to Selemenca to retrieve the sword! Princess Powerful wanted to follow, but Juvie refused. Once again wishing to shoulder the burden alone. However, Princess Powerfull refused to follows Juvie's order to stay behind, followed them to the cave. Lucky she did because the battle to retrieve the sword was a harder than expected. The Redcaps guarded the treasure in force and it took all of the trio's strength, power, and determination to battle though the cave and return with the sword.
In the light of the setting sun Casval hefted the sword and said, "Good work. Good sword. Gems in all the right places." Then he hefted it, felt the balance, and said "Give me a day and I'll be swinging this as easy as my Katana!" For the first time, it didn't sound like Casval was boasting. More like he wish he wasn't as good as he was with a sword. That although he knew it would be his job, he didn't want to be the one that swings the sword that might kill Woe. At that moment,Juvie finally learned that all this time the weight of responsibility was shared by all the Dodgers, and the burden was not his own to bare.
The next day, word came in that Woe's Child had indeed returned to Paragon and was finally within range of the Arena teleporters' signal. Juvie, Casval Regelis, Princess Powerfull, and Crimson Muse gathered in the Pocket D's Monkey Fight Club and activated the rigged teleporter sending them into an abandoned supergroup base deep in the heart of Faultline. Woe's Child had come to salvage an Item of Power from the destroyed base, but in the end he was forced to fight his friends to the bitter end.
The Evil Spirit, an ancient soul of a warlock named Jacob Woe, laughed as the teens charged him. With a flick of his finger he sent dark magic out and pushed the teens aside like so many action figures. He had grown strong in the Isles, and the teens doubted their ability to stop him, but as Princess Powerfull, Juvie, and Casval Regelis pressed on against the torrent of dark energy, Crimson Muse retreated and focused her mental telepathy hoping to distract Jacob Woe if only for an instant.
And an instant was all the teenagers needed! With Jacob Woe reeling to Crimson Muses' onslaught,Casval Regilis was able to swing the soulbound sword and rip the soul of Jacob Woe out of Woe's Child! Jacob was defeated, but the battle hadn't yet been won. The sword also caught Woe's Child's soul, and tangled the boys soul with the sword creating a deadly tug of war within the boy. A war that threatened his life more than any swinging blade could ever do. In a rush, the teenagers gathered the now tainted sword and the dying friend and teleported back to The Basement where Juvie had to recite an ancient Gaelic spell written by the Witches of Croatoa. A spell that would break Jacob Woe's hold upon their friend and bind the warlock to the sword, forever.
All The Artful Dodgers gathered for the event and watched speechless as Woe's Child's bloody and soul-torn body was laid out upon a couch within the specially sanctified walls of The Basement's magic room. As the only member at the time that possessed a touch of magic,it was up to Juvie to recite the spell. Although the spell was a success in mending Woe's Child, Juvie's inexperience with magic, and his fear for his friends life, accidentally allowed a small portion of Jacob Woe's soul to escape the sword's imprisonment. Where this small portion of Jacob Woe went, no one knows, however even with this accident, Woe's Child became free of possession, and in the end was saved.
Woe's Child took on a new life, and a new identity. Calling himself Woe's Keeper, he now carries the tainted soul-bound sword, vowing never again to allow the evil soul of Jacob Woe to possess again!
More to come.