From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Mindswipe came into being during the CoV Beta testing. The powerset combo I had been jonesing for since running into my first Aberrant boss in the sewers under Paragon was finally available for a player character. He's in the vein of classic Silver-Age supervillains: spandex, grand Machiavellian plans and a penchant for monologuing! His first appearance was in September 2005.
- Mr. Mud - Partner in crime since the early nineties, Mud and Mindswipe have worked together on and off until they began to co-lead the Rogues Gallery in 2006.
- Banshee Bride - Another member of the Rogues Gallery and a close associate, Mindswipe has worked with Banshee Bride to great effect on discovering the secrets of his power source.
- Nimrod - Initially fascinated with the effects the kinetic technology had on Nimrod's mental functions, Mindswipe has grown to trust this villain implicitly. While their philosophies and approach to crime varies widely, their problems with Paragon's heroes is all too similar.
Supergroup: Rogues Gallery
Cold and calculating, Mindswipe has a distant demeanor. As emotions are his stock-in-trade, he has a tendency to show very few of his own.
While he's acquired impressive magical abilities, he is still at his core the con-man from Kings Row on the lookout for his next grift - the stakes are just higher nowadays. His attitude and personality adapts to his current target or 'mark'. His astute eye for body-language and psychological motivations combined with his arcane sleights tend to make others see him in the most positive light - until he gets what he wants, or the mark sees through his ruse.
How Mindswipe came to be a criminal is a mystery. It is often theorized he was from a long line of con artists and grifters. Another story professes that he was a runaway who spent his childhood on the streets learning to lie and cheat. The man himself is so silent on the events that led to him becoming a cat burglar that really, no one can be sure how his life of crime came to be. Suffice to say that by the time the early nineties rolled around, he was already quite an accomplished burglar and was running routine breaking and entering jobs on a weekly and sometimes nightly basis.
By the time the fateful night that led to his transition into the supervillain known as Mindswipe rolled around, he had his routine tied down to be so watertight that there was never any chance that he would be caught. He knew a silent point of entry in almost every affluent household in Paragon City; he knew how to disable their security systems easily and most importantly he knew where the valuables were kept.
The only thing he hadn’t planned on when running another routine job in the fashionable area of the Kings Garment District, Kings Row, was that the inhabitants of the house he was silently entering had some very strong links to the occult. It was while he was piling priceless jewellery into a bag that he was beaten over the back of the head with something heavy; he had later thought to himself that what had hit him, quite ironically, was probably the jewellery box he had discarded to one side only moments before as he raided it’s contents.
He woke up rather irritably lying in sewer water; green, putrid and soaked to the skin. His first reaction was of course to recoil, before he remembered the blow he took to the head and decided he’d probably be best to survey his surroundings before making too much noise. A few yards in front of him, some guys in robes were carrying a couple through a hole in the wall and into some mystic cavern; he could only come to the conclusion that firstly, the couple they were transporting had been the owners of the house he was fleecing and that secondly they had done something to enrage the Circle of Thorns.
Not exactly being the kind of guy to stick around and find out, the man who would be Mindswipe clambered to his feet and made his exit in the only direction that was available to him: Away from his robed captors. He walked for miles through endless sewers looking for an exit or a ladder back to the outside world but found none. Eventually he came to the conclusion that this sewer had long fallen into disuse; all exits seemed to be blocked, and none of the pipes appeared to be pumping the stagnant, rancid water anymore. In fact by the time he came to a dead end at the end of the sewer, the only exit seemed to be through a small hole that led to an underground cavern.
He walked for miles and what seemed like days through the rocky tunnels that the sewer had led him too, hoping beyond hope that they would eventually bring him out on the beach in Talos Island; he’d even settle for winding up in Gemini Park, anything that would get him out of these damn tunnels and back to the city of his birth. He walked for a few more miles, a few more days, and just as he neared exhaustion he found the end of his journey.
As he placed his foot through the tiny hole that led into the giant cavern, the intense light momentarily blinded him, radiating from the crystals that jutted and spiked outwards from the dusty walls. What was strange however was that not only could he see these crystals as anyone could, he could feel them. He could sense their very presence all around him; and the noise, that deafening singing inside his head, the endless chorus of long lost power that would roar inside his mind from that moment until his final days.
The only exit from the cavern was a small hatch in the ceiling lined with arcane letters and gibberish he could no better understand than he could shake the shrill screaming of the crystals. He forced the hatch open and lifted his body into the room above with the last of his strength, where he collapsed from exhaustion and lay unconscious.
When he awoke, he was unsure of how long he had lain there. He could not even judge from the time of day; he had not seen sun nor moonlight since the night he had been dragged into the sewers by the circle, and there were certainly no windows in the room he lay in now; the light in the room was provided by torches that burned everlasting, seeming never to go out or even so much as flicker.
As he picked himself up to his feet, he surveyed his surroundings, all too aware that he could still hear the crystals below talking to him. His first instinct was simply to run until he realized there was nowhere to run too. Instead, he began to rifle through the hundreds of dusty, mystical books which lay strewn about the room he was in, which looked like what he would imagine a Satanic church would look like, covered in pagan looking tomes and statues. Maybe one of the books could tell him where he was or more importantly how to get out of this mess.
All of the books were predictably in some ancient language however, and there was very little he could do to try and understand letters he had never even seen before. He was close to giving up when he found a collection of notebooks cast in one corner next to a straw bed that looked as if it hadn’t been slept in for many years. The notebooks were dated as far back as 1955, and contained not only the notes of the man who had once been here, but translations of many of the books he had previously tried to read.
Over a period of weeks, he began to learn about where he was; it was a gathering place for practitioners of Madness magic, and was Orenbegan by origin, except it seemed as if no one had visited since this last pilgrim who had mysteriously stopped updating his notes in late 1958. He learned through the translations that the books themselves, which littered the room on hundreds of bookcases, taught the practice and use of Madness magic, from concealing oneself from others by blocking their perception to controlling minds and emotions. As soon as the man who would become Mindswipe had learned that he could use this ancient mumbo-jumbo to rob people without getting caught, he hit the books for the next few weeks.
When he had finally absorbed all he needed to know about the crystals, how to use them and how to stop them from using him, he entered the cave he had stumbled into a few weeks earlier, notebooks full of translations in his hands. He stood in the middle of the cave and, half believing that despite the hundreds of magical heroes that swarmed Paragon City none of this was going to work, muttered an incantation he had found in the pages and pages of notes that would supposedly give him full power over the Madness crystals.
For a second, there was silence, and then the screaming began. The roaring inside his head amplified a hundred thousand times over, splitting his mind in two as power and knowledge surged through every synapse in his feeble human brain. Suddenly he could hear the thoughts of everybody within a fifty-mile radius; their failed aspirations, broken dreams, deepest fears and aching sorrows. As he tried to control the rush of other people’s thoughts bombarding into his mind, pink energy forced itself forth through his eye sockets and began to stream endlessly from his pupils. Just as he heard the trivial thoughts of a child sitting on a sidewalk three blocks away, he blacked out and hit the floor.
He awoke to find himself lying in the cavern, a dull pink glow all around him. The screaming in his head had quieted to mutterings and whispers. He opened his eyes and looked around himself to see that the crystals on the walls were now a very dull purple, giving off very little light. What it took him a moment to notice was that the pink energy that had flown forth from his eye sockets during the transformation still raged from his iris. He had done it, he had absorbed the crystals’ power. He was a master of madness.
Gathering the mystic volumes and scribbled translations from the church above, he finally set about getting out. After days of searching for a way back to the outside world without taking the trek back to the sewers he had come from, he stumbled across a loose brick in the wall. He pulled it free, and many more until he had to start kicking them away from the cement. Eventually he had made a hole big enough to crawl through, and found himself standing in what seemed to be an abandoned warehouse.
His life as Mindswipe started that day, both in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. The abandoned Warehouse 13 remained his little secret until he began to gather criminals together to form the crime syndicate known as Rogues Gallery in 2005. For the duration of Mindswipe’s career between the discovery of his power source in 1992 and his incarceration in 2004, Warehouse 13 would remain his hidden HQ.
Since being transformed, Mindswipe has made a name for himself in Paragon City as an extremely intelligent and gifted criminal. He went back to his ways as a cat burglar for a start before he truly considered the potential of his powers and began to walk in and out of bank vaults completely unnoticed. Over time his plans became ever bigger, and today he is a known supervillain in the Rogue Isles, who has developed deep running rivalries with many heroes in Paragon City.
Mindswipe is still forced to return to Warehouse 13 and it's hidden occultist depths to renew his powers every few years, when the psychic energy leaping forth from his eyes begins to darken in color and he can hear the screaming call of the crystals inside his head.
The origins of Mindswipe's mental powers is a closely guarded secret. Even the most discrete probings from M.A.G.I. have resulted in entire safehouses reduced to shambling vegetative mobs. Some who do not know his origins have correctly theorized that his abilities are linked to the Circle of Thorns' Madness Mages, but the mages themselves have been less than forth coming on the subject.
The origin of Mindswipe's powers remain a secret to the authorities and even to the majority of his affiliates. Since coming into contact with Arachnos, he is secretive in this regard to the point of mania. When the mage Archus uncovered tomes that referenced the original crystal network and his attempts to recreate it, Mindwipe's vengeance was unbridled.
Mindswipe has shown various telepathic abilities. He can read minds, and project his thoughts into the minds of others. He has taken psionic control of the minds of both individuals and mass groups. His telepathic sedation seems to work in the same manner, inducing an almost catatonic sleep. By affecting a victim's mind he is able to cause pain, unconsciousness or complete paralysis. Mindswipe has shown limited telekinetic abilities, enabling him to manipulate and levitate subjects, however its effectiveness is somehow tied directly to the "sentience" of the target.
Mindswipe can project psionic force bolts which cause psychological (and to a lesser degrees physical) damage. The magnitude is tied directly to distance from the victim. Point-blank damage is his most devastating, but only after a subject is safely incapacitated. He has refined the bolts to deliver almost equal levels of damage from a distance, but only through intense concentration. While physically exhausting, he can sap added willpower from his victims, fueling his energy while stunting theirs.
An accomplished cat-burglar long before his foray into Superpowered crimes, Mindswipe has a natural degree of stealth and agility. His ability to conceal himself is actually not true invisibility, but rather an extension of his mental control of others. He simply mentally prompts individuals to ignore his presence while he goes about his nefarious plans. For exceptionally astute or focused individuals, the 'prompt' can fail. Running afoul of these types has led Mindswipe to a develop form of astral projection, allowing him to progress unimpeded.
An effect of his telekinetic abilities, he is able to levitate himself with a remarkable degree of control. From a static hover to a concentrated forward propulsion, he can fly at a maximum speed of 90 miles per hour.
Mindswipe was a criminal long before he was a supervillain, and still possesses many of the abilities he needed before gaining his superpowers in order to be successful in his criminal career.
Mindswipe is very agile and able to sneak in and out of secure areas easily and undetected, even without the help of his psychic powers to convince all in the vicinity that he simply isn't there. Although this ability has fallen into disuse after gaining his powers, he still needs to employ it occasionally, especially against other psychics.
Due to his years as a cat burglar, Mindswipe has learned to disarm many security systems, camera networks and technology employed to catch criminals both by heroic gadgeteers and law enforcement alike. He is also particularly talented at disarming bombs and traps, an ability that developed after he became a supervillain and began to run afoul of other crimelords and their deathtraps.
Mindswipe has very nimble fingers both for picking pockets and picking locks. He is extremely able when it comes to breaking into even the most tight premises and carries a lucky lock picking kit, which he has carried on his person since long before his days as Mindswipe.
In addition to his superpowers, Mindswipe carries a few items to aid him in his criminal activity should his vast mental powers prove not to be enough in times of trouble.
An arcane artifact forged and reforged over the centuries by Mu magicians, Mindswipe has been witnessed using this relic on occasion. How the wand came into his possession is unknown. Consultations with noted Mu mystics have ended abruptly at the mere mention of the villain's name.
A gun clearly of Crey design, Mindswipe has used this weapon against targets with a high resistance to his mental powers, especially in aiding his escape from such adversaries.
Mindswipe's powers are stronger according to how close he is to his power source: The vast cavern full of psychic crystals where he first gained his powers. He is forced to return to the cavern every few years to refresh his powers and regain the psychic energies which periodically recharge in the crystals. If fought at a time when his psychic power is low and he is in need of visiting the cavern, Mindswipe's powers may be lessened or non-existent. Mindswipe is somewhat trained in hand-to-hand combat, but without his powers he is highly vulnerable and it is likely he would fall extremely quickly before any superpowered threat.
- The Havok Brothers - Red-Havok and Blue-Havok have been a constant obstacle to Mindswipe's goals, and Mindswipe has become quite obsessed with the notion of turning them against each other using his mental powers. Ever since he has been trying to weaken their willpower and cause a family feud of epic proportions.
- The Frontline - A coalition of heroes set up by The Havok Brothers, this group have placed both Mindswipe and Mr. Mud on their most wanted list, and are currently doing everything they can to bring down not only the leaders of Rogues Gallery, but the entire roster.
To Contact This Character's Creator
- In-game: @Mindswipe
- Official Forums: Mindswipe
- CoHGuru Forums: Mindswipe