| Art by Terry Huddleston, 2007
| Character Build 1
| Primary Set:
| Secondary Set:
|| War mace
| Character Build 2
| Primary Set:
|| Gravity Control
| Secondary Set:
|| Force Fields
| Biographical Info
| Full Name:
|| Alastair Victor Cromwell
| Known Aliases:
|| The Old Man, Grandfather Justice,
|| Adventurer, Diplomat, Philanthropist
|| Bachelor's degree in History, Master's degree in Criminal Law
| Legal Status:
|| Convicted Felon (Now Pardoned)
| Marital Status:
|| Single Widower
| Known Relatives:
|| Eleanor Pearl Cromwell (wife, deceased), Robert Cromwell (father, deceased), Mary Cromwell (mother, deceased), Jason Cromwell (great, great nephew), Various other extended members of the Cromwell family.
| Place of Birth:
|| Paragon City, RI
| Base of Operations:
|| Founder's Falls, RI
| Group Affiliations:
| Physical Characteristics
|| European Caucasian
| Eye Color:
| Hair Color:
|| Light Grey (Formerly Black)
Born a century ago & preserved by the potent magics of the Pearl of Gilgamesh, Alastair Victor Cromwell has already outlived his beloved wife and scores of other heroes & villains.
Decades after he began, he continues to take up the mighty Sceptre of Kings to mete out justice & safeguard the helpless as Lord of an Empire of Ideals: The Imperial!
"I've lived to see some amazing things Elly. Another century come to past, but I've had to see my friends and loved ones die off through the years… You'll be gone like all the others. I'll have to stay. I'll die eventually, that I'm sure. I have no illusions of immortality, but I will await your death long before death finds me. In truth, I wish for it already."
In the second decade of the eighteen century, the primogenitor of the American branch of the Cromwell family moved from England to its colonies in the New World. John Cromwell, along with his wife and children, settle in the area that would become Paragon City, Rhode Island. In addition to his commission from the crown, Mr. Cromwell also carried a darker family secret: an intimate and capable knowledge of the arcane arts.
More than a hundred years later, Arnold Cromwell built a comfortable lifestyle for himself in the area of port trade and commerce, thanks in no small part to the practical and persuasive application of his well-honed magical powers and ruthless business practices. In turn, his grandson Theodore Cromwell wisely and famously invests a large portion of his family’s wealth into the railroad industry. Within twenty years, the Cromwell fortune triples, making the family amongst the richest in the entire world and well known as quintessential “robber barons” alongside such families as the Morgans and Rockefellers.
In the fall of 1909, Alastair Victor Cromwell is born the second child and firstborn son to Rudolph and Helen Cromwell. two years after the birth of their first daughter Mary. Eventually, one more daughter – Jocelyn Mary - and son – Joseph Theodore – are born several years later. Jocelyn dies as a child in the 1919 influenza pandemic.
On his tenth birthday, Alastair is introduced to the “family secret” and begins learning the ways of magic for himself in order to make an easier life for himself by manipulating the attitudes of his teachers and schoolmates. A few short years later, young Alastair reads A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court for school. He becomes fascinated with the legends of Camelot and the Round Table and begins to read everything he can about the subject.
Versed in Arthurian legend and the ideals of chivalry and equality of men, Alastair enrolls at Princeton to pursue a degree in both literature and law. As he continues to learn, he grows increasingly disillusioned with his family’s practice of magic for selfish gain and the exploitation of the world around them.
Several years into his college education, the stock market crashes and the United States enters into the Great Depression. The Cromwells, however, are bolstered by their vast array of financial holdings in industries, sectors, and nations across the world. Sickened by the morose suffering of those around him, Alastair is moved by compassion. On a brisk January morning, he gives his expensive winter coat, Swiss pocket watch, and all the money in his pocket (some $50) to an elderly man on the street asking for charity. Unbeknownst to his family, Alastair diverts some of his personal funds to create a soup kitchen in Atlas Park.
To be continued...
The Imperial featured in Vanity Fair
The Imperial has been a costumed crimefighter for more than seven decades now and made his public debut towards the end of the Great Depression, fighting alongside an early version of the Freedom Phalanx. It was during World War II that The Imperial - armed with his now famous and ubiquitous weapon, the “Sceptre of Kings” – first came to public prominence. The front page newspaper picture of the hero stopping a V2 rocket from destroying a London orphanage catapulted him to fame among the Allies.
Since those early years, he has become somewhat of a reluctant cultural icon. Many of today’s heroes, general public, and even a number of wanted criminals were members of his Junior Justice Club as children. Although he is notoriously reclusive and camera shy (much to the chagrin of the paparazzi and celebrity gossip culture), he will frequently make brief appearances at various charitable fundraisers and high society events. From time to time, he grants interviews to various magazines, although these tend to be few and far in between.
Recently, he has been spending a large amount of his time in the world of socio-political activism with his Cromwell Institute for Peace and Justice, speaking to various governmental agencies on behalf of the needs of education and law enforcement.
"Recent Events" are considered to begin with the second Rikti invasion of 2007.
- After spending a number of years on sabbatical from costumed heroics, The Imperial is impressed with the work of The Havok Brothers and their UN-sanctioned team,The Frontline. He comes out of retirement to offer his help in stemming the rising tide of organized crime emanating from the Rogue Isles. At his presentation to the Frontline's membership, Alastair is happy to find Graphite, one of his protégés, as a fellow member.
- Almost immediately, The Imperial is promoted to a place of leadership within the team and asked to investigate the nature of Utsu Koto Taka's supposed work for the Council. It soon becomes apparent the young woman was operating under cover as a front organized by The Nitedevil. In the midst of this, Johnny Turbo goes rogue as well, and an extraction mission takes place in Warburg. In the course of the skirmish, The Imperial crosses paths with his old nemesis, Mindswipe, and a newcomer looking to make a name for himself, the blue collar behemoth, Boston Rage.
- The fallout from the Utsu Koto Taka incident results in the the disbandment of The Frontline. After a brief time of respite spent collecting his thoughts and planning his next move, Alastair makes contact with the All Star Sentinels of America and joins their ranks. Therein, he is introduced to several other like-minded organizations and makes new contacts with fellow crimefighters and rekindles old friendships with others, such as Lady America.
- However, Alastair's affiliation with the Sentinels proves to be as ephemeral as the other formal memberships he had held in other teams and heroing leagues throughout his long career. The Imperial soon returns to life as an independently operating hero, though he is far from solo. Drawing from his years of relationships, he frequently can be found across the world, lending a hand to crimefighting just as often as he devotes himselves to causes of a more socio-political nature through the Cromwell Institute.
"...One day you catch yourself wishing the person you loved had never existed, so you'd be spared your pain. I wasn't always here in the mountains. Once I had a wife, my great love. She was taken from me. Like you, I learned that there are those without decency that must be fought without hesitation, without pity. Your anger gives you great power, but if you let it, it can destroy you, as it almost did me."
Alastair can best be summarized as a world-weary old man who is continuing to fight the good fight. That sense of duty has created a pair of conflicting lives he feels he must lead: one public, and one private.
Publicly, the character of The Imperial is beloved by generations of common citizens, fellow costumed heroes, and lawbreakers alike as a larger than life figure who has kept his morals, stood his ground, and worked effortlessly for the good of the globe for decades. Yet, he refuses to don the pomp and circumstance of celebrity that would be pushed upon him, instead often preferring to retire quietly to his home and avoid the limelight. After his many years of service, when the people of the city call him Grandfather Justice, it is with a warmth that usually reserved for member’s of one’s own family.
In private, Alastair Victor Cromwell knows he is ultimately waging a war he cannot win. While he will never stop fighting for the betterment of the human condition, he and those like him are becoming quaint relics of the past more and more as the years pass. Prone to melancholic mood swings that he keeps carefully hidden from all but his most intimate friends, Alastair often wishes for the peaceful death of old age. To release his mystic hold on the potent Pearl of Gilgamesh and slip quietly into the night - to once again be reunited with his beloved Eleanor - would be all too easy. But it is at times like those when the cries of the helpless and the voice of his departed wife rings in his ear, and causes him to rise once again to fight for those who cannot defend themselves.
Goals & Motivations
His long life has given him ample time to reflect upon what greater purpose and role his life may serve. While the painful truths of his pessimism and his past may haunt him from time to time, he still clings tenuously to an idealist’s hope that, in fact, some greater good than his own fame may come of his life.
Hobbies & Interests
To say that Cromwell’s life is busy would be an understatement. If fighting crime and working as metahuman aid to disaster relief around the world wasn’t enough, he also keeps his plate extremely full in his work as a public figure in socio-political advocacy. Primarily, this is done in conjunction with the Cromwell Institute for Peace and Justice, as Alastair speaks to various political committees, conferences, and elected officials on the causes of social justice, education, and law enforcement.
Apart such public work (which is increasingly taking time away from the day-to-day work of local crime fighting), he leads a remarkably quiet life. Cromwell is quite the homebody, preferring to spend his days quietly at home at the Cromwell Estate, or one of his other residences in Argentina’s Patagonia or the Spanish Riviera.
If he really needs to relax, he’ll go fishing.
- Like many of the extremely wealthy, Cromwell employs a personal chef. A self-disclosed “foodie” who enjoys a great variety of cuisine, he has a soft spot in his heart for Lebanese and Middle Eastern faire.
- Cromwell loves the circus, and in particular enjoys the classic portrayal of hobo clowns. At one charity event, a substantial amount of money was raised to see Cromwell don the makeup and clothing of a clown for children.
- Alastair occasionally entertains bouts of infatuation with The Lady Grey.
- He recently got the name of his deceased wife Eleanor tattooed in cursive script on his left shoulder deltoid. This is his first tattoo, and will likely remain his only.
- Cromwell is an ardent supporter of NASA.
- Despite his well known burgundy and gold color scheme, Alastair personally prefers a monochromatic color scheme of grays and neutrals in his house.
- Cromwell in particular enjoys the artistic works of the Pre-Raphaelites and broader Romantics, and finds the more abstract art from the 20th century to be absolutely atrocious.
- After his experience in the continent in the 1950s & 1960s, Alastair has had an active role in helping establish several Fair Trade networks in Eastern African nations such as Ethiopia and Kenya.
Myers-Briggs Type: INFP
(The following summary is taken from the Personality Page.)
"INFPs...are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves. ... Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.
"Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people... INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people's conflicts, because they intuitively understand people's perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them. INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause..."
Powers and Abilities
Art by Juggertha & Gollum, 2007
"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."
Magical Force Field: The Imperial constantly generates immensely powerful magical energies around his body within a few millimeters from his skin. This acts as a forcefield which renders him nigh-invulnerable to most types of physical harm. He can withstand the crushing vacuum of space, easily endure great extremes in temperature, and remain impervious to radiation. He is unbothered by the friction associated with atmospheric re-entry.
- Field Extension: The Imperial can extend the limits of the force field to several feet beyond himself, further protecting any living or inert matter within its confines.
- Self-Sufficiency: The Imperial does not need to eat, drink, or breathe. The magical energies cocooning him provide his body with the sustinence it requires to survive.
Sorcery: Like most members of the Cromwell family from the past, The Imperial is adept in the mystical arts, but the demands of crimefighting (as well as his own predisposition to the Arthurian mythos) limited his repertoire of traditional spells. Still, he is capable of certain, mostly minor, sorcerous abilities.
- Telekenisis: The Imperial can use his sorcery to levitate and manipulate living beings and inanimate objects up to approximately one ton.
- Flight: Related to his telekinetic powers, The Imperial can maneuver precisely in any direction, as well as just hover. He is capable of flight in a planet's atmosphere and has limited ability to fly in outer space.
- Astral and Magical Perception: While he is unable to project himself onto astral or physical planes, The Imperial is able to see the astral forms of others. In addition, he can recognize magical energies in use around him.
Martial Artist: The Imperial is highly adept in many forms of hand-to-hand combat, in particular various weapon forms as well as various grappling based martial arts such as judo and aikido.
Multilingual: Cromwell is somewhat of a linguist, being fluent in Persian, Italian, and French in addition to his native English as well as being able to read Latin and Classical Greek.
Under regular conditions, The Imperial can press fifty tons. Under extreme duress, the Sceptre of Kings can empower him to lift in excess of one hundred tons.
Psionic Powers: The Imperial is particularly vulnerable to psionic effects. While he is no more affected than a normal human would be, this is a significantly exploitable weakness in comparison to his incredible physical resilience.
Dependency upon the Pearl of Gilgamesh: It is theorized that if The Imperial was separated from the Pearl of Gilgamesh for a significant period of time and/or the Pearl was destroyed, that he would be left extremely depowered or even killed. As the Pearl's powers are directly responsible for his extended life thus far, this is a very probable theory, although it has been untested thus far.
Sceptre of Kings: A mystically empowered and ornately styled medieval mace, it has been the primary tool of The Imperial's arsenal since the beginning of his crime fighting career and has become synonymous with his values. Primarily, the weapon radiates an aura of authority that allows the wielder to calm or rally large crowds. In addition, in times of dire need, the Sceptre infuses its wielder with great power, but leaves him severely exhausted after such displays of strength.
- Aura of Authority: The Sceptre radiates an aura of authority that allows the wielder to calm or rally large crowds.
- Strength Augmentation: In times of dire need, the Sceptre infuses its wielder with great strength, but leaves him severely exhausted after such displays of strength.
- Precognition: On rare occasions that are not controlled by its wielder, the weapon grants visions of the near future that are never more than a week into the future.
Pearl of Gilgamesh: This spectacularly iridescent and large pearl was hidden in a secret tomb underneath several millenniums worth of dirt and sand until Cromwell discovered its location in 1942. An esoteric ritual unlocked its powers, namely that of the durability and health of the ancient demigod Gilgamesh, and granted it to The Imperial. It remains to be seen if he has become fully immortal or just experiences a very extended lifespan by slowing the effects of the aging process.
- Suspended Aging: The Imperial is immune to the effects of aging and has not aged since discovering the Pearl. Despite being almost a hundred years old, he possesses the appearance and vitality of a man in his physical prime (The graying of his hair from jet black to light gray is a curious anomaly).
- Regenerative Healing Factor: It is possible to injure The Imperial, but he is capable of recovering from injuries with superhuman speed and efficiency. However, he is unable to regenerate missing limbs or organs and would require magical assistance to do so.
- Physiological Immunity and Stamina: The Imperial is immune to all known Earth-based diseases and infections as well as highly resistant to the fatigue toxins generated by his muscles during physical activity. He can sustain himself a peak capacity for several days, although he is not exempt from the need to sleep. He is highly resistant to most drugs and toxins but can be affected if exposed to great quantities.
Saint George's Golden Paldrons: The Imperial’s distinctive chest, neck, and shoulder armor is rumored to have belonged to the same Saint George who slew the dragon.
While The Imperial is capable of flight at speed's that allow him to escape the Earth's orbit and atmosphere, he prefers to be chauffeured from one of his fleet of luxury vehicles when he is not on official business as The Imperial.
Friends & Fellow Crimefighters
Graphite: Alastair has taken the vigilante known as Graphite under his wing and has begun acting as a heroing mentor to him.
King of Spades: After meeting the charismatic businessman Alex Zafiro an an art benefit, The Imperial thwarted an attack by the Circle of Thorns with Mr. Zafiro's help. Since then, Zafiro has christened himself the King of Spades, and Alastair has acted as a heroing mentor to him.
Luficia: Alastair met the young heroine at a social function some time back. Since then, he has taken Emily under his wing and has a strong paternal interest in her wellbeing. After her adoption of the orphaned boy Jeremiah, his concern has extended to the boy as well.
Friends, Part II
Xanatos: Alastair and Xanatos have been war buddies, close allies, and good friends since the opening days of World War II. The Imperial has distinction in Xanatos’ life as being one of the few heroes ever to have bested him in combat (in an attempt to free Xanatos from the mind control of the evil space conquerer Galarius in 1960) as well as being a constant source of counsel, insight, and friendship.
Yin: The Imperial has been a close ally and confidant of X’hanti Kh’anti (“Yin”) for several decades, and together are known to be quite a stalwart pair when in combat.With The Imperial providing an unfathomable source of super strength and invulnerability, along with his magisterial Sceptre of Kings, and Yin bringing the utter, catastrophic control over meteorological phenomenon, their chemistry when together is flawless. Their sagaciousness and prowess demonstrated when in combat together has complicated and nullified the corporation’s operating procedures multiple times in the past.
Antagonists & Rivals
Boston Rage: While on a mission alongside The Frontline, this blue collar behemoth called out and traded blows with The Imperial. Alastair certainly has a respect of the man's physical capacities, but is more worried about the potential damage Rage could cause if guided by a more diabolical hand. As it is, Rage seems bent on establishing some sort of rivalry with the elder satesman by means of petty insults and trash talk.
Mindswipe: The Imperial has tangled with the purple clad mentalist on numerous occasions and finds Mindswipe to be one of the few villains capable to dealing with in reason. Well, reason on occasion.
The Nitedevil: Alastair's work with the vigilante during his tenure with The Frontline left The Imperial with a very distinct distaste for The Nitedevil's standoffish, secretive personality and John Rambo style tactics.
The Imperial has been fortunate to have a couple of really great fiction pieces written featuring the character. You may view them here:
- Alumette's Triology of Vignettes:
- "The Library"
- "Angola Storm"
- "Queen of Peace"