From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The Vanquishers operate out of the top floors of the Vanquisher Tower, a state-of-the-art skyscraper equipped with a teleportation hub that gives them instant access to critical locations all over the world, as well as several advanced scientific laboratories that give the group the expertise needed to tackle the wide variety of threats they face.
Ace | Blindsider | Interface | Limbo | Occultist | Osiris | Signal | Spyhunter
Released June 2019
ULTRA-RARE AND EXCLUSIVE PRINT! Learn where it all began for the Vanquishers in their dramatic debut. After Ace, a former sidekick-for-life, gains remarkable superpowers through a serum devised by the United Nations, he is forced to step into the role of a full-fledged hero. Seeking to prove himself, he accepts a mission from retired great Greenthumb to save some anti-Crey activists from a Devouring Earth Titan, which they awakened out of a misguided belief that it would protect the environment. Delving into the underground Hive will be a tough job, so Ace brings along the best he can find: Occultist, master arcanist, Osiris, the amnesiac vessel for a mysterious divine power, Limbo, recently deceased then undeceased, and Interface, the primary unit in a network of peacekeeping drones remotely piloted by an enigmatic engineer. Together, can they stand against a Titan and vanquish it for good? Or will this team be the ones getting vanquished? Find out in “A New Team”!
In this installment:
- Greenthumb asks Ace to free environmental activists from a Devouring Earth lair, knowing full well that most mainstream heroes, who are firmly in the pocket of Crey, will refuse to take on the dangerous mission.
- Ace travels far and wide recruiting allies to help with the rescue mission.
- The gathered team enters the labyrinthian Hive on the outskirts of the city and descends its tunnels. They vanquish the Crystal Titan and save the activists before they are turned into mindless Devouring Earth creatures.
- Spurred by their success, the group decides to continue on as the Vanquishers.
Released June 2019
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! After their explosive first adventure, the Vanquishers receive resounding praise from the public. Unfortunately, their quick rise angers Ace’s older brother, the elitist Incrediman who inherited the massive legacy of their superhero father and doesn’t like seeing Ace doing well on his own. The group eventually gets contacted once again by their ally Greenthumb, who has been working with the extraterrestrial environmentalist known as Captain Sunlight to stop a sinister plot that has been developing in the aftermath of their Titan-vanquishing adventure. It turns out that Crey Industries was researching the underground Hive in an attempt to gain access to Hamidon’s DNA -- they want to clone, control, and weaponize Hamidon himself, which could destroy the planet! The Vanquishers are tasked with destroying these cloned specimens, but with the entire world at stake, can they shut down Crey’s operation before the devastating force of Hamidon is unleashed? Find out in “Hami-Don’t Play That”!
In this installment:
- Ace’s brother, Incrediman, arrests Greenthumb after finding him hiding the anti-Crey activists who are now wanted for awakening the Crystal Titan.
- After finding Captain Sunlight at the activists’ former refuge, the Greenhouse, the Vanquishers team up with the mysterious alien to uncover the true extent of Crey’s Devouring Earth experimentation.
- The Vanquishers travel to Rio, Brazil to destroy Crey’s Hamidon clones and shut down the company’s rogue research lab.
Released July 2019
After intercepting a shipment of rare chemicals that was hijacked by a group of Skulls, Ace confirms something sinister: someone is experimenting with the very same super serum formula that courses through his veins! He and the Vanquishers team up with the mysterious vigilante known as Blindsider, who was already working the case against the Skulls’ drug chemists on his own. Together, they discover an insidious scheme to recreate Ace’s super serum by a cell of neo-5th Column soldiers in Olympia, Washington, recently revitalized by a mysterious benefactor. It’s not long before the insurgents unleash the Ubermensch, their first successful super soldier with Ace’s serum (affectionately nicknamed Baby Ace by the team). It’s up to the Vanquishers to take him down and prevent a hostile takeover of the state government! Can they do it before Baby Ace destroys the peaceful city of Olympia? And will the mysterious figure providing funding for the 5th Column cell reveal himself? Find out for yourself in “Five Columns and a Baby Ace”!
In this installment:
- While tracking the activity of a new 5th Column cell, the Vanquishers meet the stoic vigilante Blindsider, who is waging a one-man war on the drug trade.
- Together, the group takes on 5th Column chemists seeking to recreate the super serum that gave Ace his powers, which is revealed to have been originally devised using partial properties from samples of Titan Girl’s blood.
- After stopping the neo-5th Column’s uprising and defeating their ‘Baby Ace,’ the Vanquishers encounter the Machiavellian monkey known as Guerilla, who reveals himself to be the secret source who backed the super serum experimentation they just put a stop to. He swears to get revenge for the Vanquishers’ interference.
Released August 2019
IT’S A CROSSOVER SPECTACULAR! Following an investigation started by Occultist’s apprentice Spell-Slinger and his allies in the Neverenders, Ace’s family falls into turmoil when the conspiracy blogger known as Mystery publishes an article incriminating Ace’s father, the world-famous hero Incrediman, in a massive scandal surrounding his involvement in the earthquake incident that destroyed Overbrook. Ace’s older brother, the current Incrediman, is sent by their father after Mystery in retaliation, so the Vanquishers place him under the protection of Blindsider while he completes the full exposé. The situation escalates when the Incredimen finally track down Mystery’s hideout, pitting the team against Ace’s brother in a destructive battle in the pumpkin farms of Croatoa. Buckle up folks, this one’s a barn-burner! See for yourself in “Incredispiracy”!
In this installment:
- Occultist’s apprentice, Spell-Slinger, and his friends dig up a series of secret VHS tapes that reveal the original Incrediman, Ace’s father, lied about the true cause of the earthquake that leveled Overbrook in the 90s.
- Occultist stashes the conspiracy theorist Mystery in Croatoa while he completes his article to expose the scandal. Blindsider acts as his personal bodyguard.
- The current Incrediman recruits another hero stooly to assist him in silencing Mystery, so the Vanquishers mobilize to stop their attack.
- The group succeeds in protecting Mystery and allowing him to finish his work, although the final confrontation with Incrediman causes significant damage to Croatoan farmland.
Released August 2019
BLAST FROM THE PAST! Time is not on the Vanquishers’ side when the gang butts heads with Flashback, a reckless, decade-hopping swindler. After foiling a robbery of his that involved a clan of Norse plunderers running amok in modern day, the group chases Flashback through a temporal rift to the Viking Age, where a local Norseman mistakes them for champions of the gods. The fun doesn’t stop there though -- once Flashback gives the crew the slip in Scandinavia, Occultist and Ace need to find a way to cure the rest of the group of ‘time-sickness,’ the threat of spontaneous rapid-aging caused by improper time travel. All the while, Flashback’s trail of temporal mischief continues to carve through the Old West -- and even the 1950s! After the chronological commotion attracts the attention of a pair of cosmic bounty hunters, it appears that time may just be up for our heroes! It’s all here in “Flashback Backlash”!!
In this installment:
- The Vanquishers go up against Flashback during the Viking Age after he convinces a rogue clan to work for him.
- Occultist and Ace warp to the ancient Mayan civilization in order to use a time crystal, the source of Flashback’s power, to cure ‘time-sickness’, which members of the team unwittingly became afflicted with during their trip to the Viking Age.
- Time-traveling, cosmic bounty hunters Gunfight and Knifefight arrive in the present day, revealing themselves to be hunting Flashback as well.
- After upgrading his apparatus with gold, Flashback travels to the 1950s to create a splinter timeline where he becomes Ace’s grandfather. The Vanquishers stop his petty revenge plot and hand him over to Gunfight and Knifefight.
- Flashback is imprisoned by the ‘Menders Time Police,’ overseen by the gruff chief, Mender Marty Brass.
Released September 2019
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Chaos hits Paragon City when strange solar flares start disrupting electrical signals across the Eastern Seaboard. Interface determines that the solar flares are actually some kind of message being transmitted across space through the sun itself! Deciphering them reveals a warning -- and a set of coordinates which leads the Vanquishers to their first contact with scouts from the cybernetic alien hive-mind known as the Schism. They also encounter the cosmic heroine Signal, recently returned to Earth after spending the last eight years off-world. She reveals herself as the source of the messages from space -- and says the full power of the Schism is still coming… but are the Vanquishers ready? See for yourself in "It Came from Outer Space"!
In this installment:
- Solar flares caused by Signal lead to several electronic devices malfunctioning on Earth. The event is nicknamed Sunpocalypse.
- Interface, whose technology is electromagnetically shielded from the effects of the flares, decodes the stellar events are actually a message from Signal about an impending arrival of extraterrestrials.
- Acting on the information gleaned from the sun itself, the Vanquishers meet up with Signal and intercept scouts from the Schism, preventing them from getting a foothold on Earth.
- Signal agrees to stay on Earth and help prepare the planet for the inevitable full-scale invasion.
Released October 2019
Life. Death. There’s a careful balance to maintain between the two. When Osiris returns to the Duat, the underworld realm of the afterlife which he rules over, that careful balance is thrown completely out of whack. Limbo begins to notice that certain souls are remaining trapped on the material plane, unable to cross over due to Osiris ‘blocking’ them access to the afterlife. Occultist devises a ritual to temporarily kill the Vanquishers and tether their souls to Limbo, so that they may pierce the veil of death and find Osiris. But once in the lifeless beyond, they discover reaching their friend will be more complicated than they expected. Will the Vanquishers wind up trapped among the vanquished? Find out in “A Damn Good Day to Die”!
In this installment:
- Osiris returns to his realm of the afterlife, the Duat, and starts denying entry to spirits who cannot best him in combat. These souls come back to life due to Osiris deeming them unworthy of death, causing widespread chaos.
- Occultist creates a way for the Vanquishers to temporarily die and reach the afterlife by tethering their souls to Limbo in order to retrieve Osiris from the Duat and restore the balance between life and death.
- Long Gone and Cut Throat, two spirits who have roamed the Duat for eons, act as guides for the newly-deceased. Each of the Vanquishers must trade a worthy accomplishment for one of their ‘death tokens,’ which grants passage through the Soul Hole and an audience with Osiris.
- Osiris is unwilling to return to the mortal plane at first, and even winds up fighting Ace one-on-one. Eventually, he realizes the error of his brash ways and apologizes to his allies, moved by their words and Ace’s unbreakable spirit.
Released November 2019
SOMETHING SMELLS AN AWFUL LOT LIKE MONKEY BUSINESS! The simian supervillain Guerilla has returned with big plans! It all starts when Ace, Blindsider, and Osiris intervene during a heist of genetic splicing agents by notorious master-mercenary Deadlock. After a bombastic submarine escape, Deadlock delivers the goods to his employer, Guerilla, who gets to work creating his greatest soldiers yet: the Vanquishapes! At a morgue, the real Vanquishers discover one of the ‘failures’ from the project, a chimpanzee named Bongo who was spliced with Limbo’s DNA. After an autopsy and an interrogation (enabled by Occultist’s necromancy), Bongo reveals that Guerilla has already acquired most of the Vanquishers’ genetic material. As a result, his family of super-monkey hybrids is poised to strike. Can this ape uprising be prevented, or will America be crushed under Guerilla’s hairy fist? All will be revealed in this totally bananas edition, “Ape Escape”!
In this installment:
- Ace, Blindsider, and Osiris battle Deadlock and one of Guerilla’s henchmen, a Monkeywrencher, during a chemical heist. Blindsider plants a tracker on Deadlock’s submarine when he retreats.
- Occultist uses necromancy so that the group can speak with the body of Bongo, a chimpanzee spliced with Limbo’s DNA. Bongo warns of Guerilla’s plan to create an army of hybrid Vanquishapes.
- Blindsider traces Deadlock’s submarine to an island lab full of ape hybrids and shuts it down with help from the other Vanquishers.
- The Vanquishers also prevent Guerilla from using his hybrid army to stage a coup on Paragon City.
Released December 2019
YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE! An idyllic property in the New England mountains hides a dark secret, and Limbo and Occultist are on the case to suss out just what is ‘supernaturally’ afoot. The site is soon to be reopened as Camp Hardwood, a fitness retreat for overweight teens, but a host of lingering spirits could put the future campers at risk. Limbo and Occultist get the Vanquishers to help quiet the paranormal activity, but when the camp’s resident Slasher reveals himself, things turn into a twisted, bloody nightmare straight out of the 1980s! It’s a scream the whole way through. Read on, if you dare, in “The Thirteenth Friday"!
In this installment:
- Limbo and Occultist bring the Vanquishers to the haunted woodlands that will serve as the future site of Camp Hardwood.
- The Slasher beheads Limbo and kills Occultist, Blindsider, Signal, and two camp counselors named Brad and Veronica in a terrifying murder spree.
- Osiris lives until sunrise, reverting Slasher’s curse and bringing all his friends back to life.
- Occultist seals off Camp Hardwood under an impenetrable magical force field so that no soul may ever return to it and encounter the Slasher ever again (until the sequel).
Released January 2020
WHODUNNIT? A lot has changed about Earth during the eight years Signal spent in space, but the most peculiar seems to be what happened to the satellite R&D company she worked for: Nyxia, Inc. Occultist and Limbo help her start an investigation into the firm’s mysterious shut-down, as well as the apparent ‘accidental’ deaths of several of her old friends and co-workers -- people Signal swore she was still in contact with while off-planet. Things quickly unravel into a conspiracy that draws in more of the Vanquishers, and soon, they are pitted against their old rival Deadlock, who carried out the infamous ‘Nyxia Job’ assassinations years prior. As the group digs further into Deadlock’s past business, they find themselves playing a dangerous spy game that only an unlikely ally can help them win. Will the Vanquishers ever be able to crack “The Nyxia Case”?
In this installment:
- Signal, with help from the other Vanquishers, discovers there was a conspiracy to misinform her and keep her isolated in space.
- Occultist uses necromancy to reanimate the brain of one of Signal’s dead co-workers, and probes his memories to discover he was assassinated.
- After interrogating Andrew Rider, a corrupt real estate mogul with ties to contract killing, Deadlock is revealed to have been hired to complete the Nyxia assassinations, likely on behalf of the department head Melody Frost.
- After Blindsider takes it upon himself to kill Rider by throwing him out a window, his relationship with some of the other Vanquishers is strained. He attempts to take on Deadlock alone but is shot and nearly succumbs to a poison payload before the Vanquishers cure him.
- The Vanquishers try to corner Deadlock by discretely following his trail to the black market he bought poison from, but wind up battling his new allies: a paramilitary shadow organization known as F.O.R.C.E.
- An undercover member of F.O.R.C.E., Spyhunter, tips off the Vanquishers about Deadlock's work for F.O.R.C.E., and then escapes with them once their cover is blown by enemy agents Duplass, Rochester, and Zalen. Afterwards, Spyhunter officially joins the team.
Released February 2020
The past doesn’t stay buried for long. Turns out bodies don’t either. Glenn Garrett, a man who accidentally died during a past confrontation with Limbo, vows revenge from the ghostly afterlife. Now a disembodied spirit, Glenn possesses corpses to use as Stand-Ins -- and after subtly helping influence the untimely demise of Dr. Wesley Carp, Limbo’s therapist, Glenn uses the body to get close to his target. Wielding an unearthly, bone-chilling cold from beyond the veil of death itself, Stand-In intends to freeze and shatter the last remaining tether connecting Limbo’s soul to his body -- and then take the body for himself. With a garage full of empty corpses at his disposal, he just might be able to pull it off! Find out as things come to a chilling conclusion in “Cold Storage”!
In this installment:
- Limbo and Ace fend off a surprise attack by Stand-In when he takes over the body of Limbo’s new therapist.
- Spyhunter looks into Glenn Garrett and discovers his wife has moved on with his brother, Gary Garrett, and his son now treats Gary as his new father, all of which contributed to Glenn’s mental breakdown.
- Using the body of a car crash victim, Stand-In corners Limbo in a convenience store, but is once again thwarted by Signal and Osiris.
- After using missing persons and grave robbery reports to triangulate a likely location, the Vanquishers bust into Stand-In’s converted meat freezing warehouse, the Body Garage, and confiscate his collection of corpses.
- Osiris drags Stand-In’s ghost to the Duat, but the vengeful revenant swears it will not be the last he is heard from.
Released March 2020
THEY ARE STILL AMONG US! Frustrated by the government’s efforts to cover up the looming Schism threat, Signal and the Vanquishers take it upon themselves to make sure people all over the world know the truth. All the while, alien-worshipping fanatics Airwave and Fuse have set out to do the same thing -- but they’re not looking to warn people; they’re looking to bring the Schism back! The two factions collide at a fundraiser for space research where Signal is set to give a keynote speech. Will mankind be ready to face its ultimate enemy? Or will it bow to all-powerful alien overlords. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: nothing will ever be the same after “The Truth is Out There”!
In this installment:
- UFO hunter Airwave encounters Fuse, a human transformed into a biomechanical being by Schism technology, and the two team up to bring their extraterrestrial ‘saviors’ to Earth.
- Signal is ambushed by Airwave and Fuse in a trap at a power substation, but defeats the two easily.
- Vance DeWolf, a former classmate of Signal’s at Stanford, invites her to attend his fundraiser for people in the space industry and give a speech. Signal uses the platform to reveal what really occurred during the Schism’s scouting missions, as well as the nature of a series of deep space Schism communications Airwave intercepted and leaked online.
- Airwave and Fuse attack the fundraiser in an attempt to kidnap space engineers that could build them a device capable of contacting the Schism. Signal and the Vanquishers defeat them and rescue the party guests, but the two escape in their RV.
- Interface obtains the event’s security footage from an injured Vance DeWolf and notes Airwave’s hacking capability is what gave him and Fuse access to the party. They then launch an investigation into the supervillain through the dark web, eager to find and put a stop to him.
Released April 2020
WHO YOU GONNA CALL? After being imprisoned in the Duat at the end of “Cold Storage,” Stand-In returns to haunt his arch-nemesis Limbo and the Vanquishers once more. Almost immediately, the revenant begins inciting a revolution in the afterlife, transforming several of the Duat’s denizens into vengeful spirits and undead. The goal? To overthrow Osiris and invade the land of the living. With the help of his right-hand-ghost, Deadish, and a summoned enforcer, Slasher, Stand-In’s grass roots campaign is poised to change the face of post-mortem politics… permanently. Only the Vanquishers can stop him from unleashing all-out “Soulmageddon”!
In this installment:
- Stand-In recruits the lonely spirit Deadish to help him encourage dissent in the Duat. The two use poltergeists infecting modern technology to wage internet-based meme warfare against Osiris and Limbo.
- Osiris puts his trusted ghostly companions, Long Gone and Cut Throat, in charge of quelling the revolt.
- Seeking someone to eliminate those who remain loyal to Osiris, Stand-In enacts a ritual on the Duat’s Soul Hole to summon forth ‘the perfect killer.’ He winds up ripping Slasher out of Camp Hardwood and into the afterlife.
- Slasher absorbs Long Gone and Cut Throat into his machete. With them out of the way, Stand-In and his rebels create a rift between the Duat and the material plane, invading it.
- Osiris and the Vanquishers plug the leak between worlds, stop the rampaging spirits as they cause chaos, and prevent Stand-In from accomplishing his true goal: getting revenge on his former family that moved on from him.
- Using magi-tech ghostbusting guns designed by Interface and Occultist, the Vanquishers trap Stand-In and Slasher in gem prisons.
- Seeking a permanent solution to the two evil spirits, Osiris travels to the ancient realm of his pantheon for the first time since his reincarnation. The gods Nefertem, Resheph, Tatenem, and Nekhbet agree to imprison Stand-In and Slasher in exchange for the new Osiris’ loyalty should the gods ever need help defending themselves against another pantheon. Osiris begrudgingly accepts, signing up the other Vanquishers in the process as well.
Released May 2020
LIVE from… wherever he feels like performing, it’s DJ Wild Streak! Called the ‘one true party animal’ by Rolling Stone, Wild Streak is part-man and part-beast -- a mutant musician on a mission to make the world let loose and ‘go wild’ with the sound of his music. His fans are everywhere, even among the members of the Vanquishers themselves. After Ace encounters a pack of tigers that were illegally experimented on, he leaves them in the care of what he believes is a capable sanctuary, but Wild Streak, an outspoken animal rights activist, reveals the truth behind the operation: it is a diabolical front for none other than Guerilla. Uniting for the ultimate collab, the Vanquishers and Wild Streak set out to save the imprisoned super-tigers. In the process, however, it becomes clear Wild Streak wants to add the fearsome felines to his own pack. Standing in his way may put the Vanquishers on the wrong end of one of his freestyles. Can this beef get squashed? Find out in “Tiger Tyranny”!
In this installment:
- Ace liberates a group of tigers, all of which were enhanced with variations of super serum, and helps relocate them to the G-Reala Sanctuary. It is supposedly the only animal sanctuary in the US that looks after superpowered animals.
- A few days later, the infamous musician Wild Streak calls out Ace on social media for helping to support animal abuse, claiming that the sanctuary was actually a front for more cruel experimentation. Using his power of celebrity, Wild Streak pressures Ace and the Vanquishers to assist him in helping the tigers escape custody once more.
- Upon investigating the sanctuary, the Vanquishers discover that it is run by none other than the nefarious Guerilla, who sought to reverse-engineer the experimentation done to the tigers for his own purposes. Wild Streak and the Vanquishers manage to arrest Guerilla and shut down the facility.
- Wild Streak invites the Vanquishers to a party he’s performing at in celebration of their victory. However, when they arrive, the team is ambushed by a pack of wild animals (which includes the tigers they rescued) under the command of Wild Streak himself. During the assault, Wild Streak declares that, despite their help freeing the tigers, he can’t forgive Ace’s negligence of relocating them to the fake sanctuary in the first place.
- Wild Streak spends a brief stint in jail for starting the fight before being bailed out by his record label’s legal team. He releases a freestyle diss track trashing the Vanquishers shortly after.
Released May 2020
TIME IS RUNNING OUT! The Occultist is missing, and the rogue spy organization F.O.R.C.E. has seized the opportunity to start hunting down magical creatures on Earth. Spearheaded by an enigmatic, anti-magic killer known only by his callsign: The Pro, their methods are brutal, calculating, and efficient. With the entire supernatural world in jeopardy, the Vanquishers call upon all their allies, including the Occultist’s apprentice, Spell-Slinger, and his friends, to help find the master of magic and put a stop to Pro’s purge for good. A journey through mystic realms and distant dimensions awaits! But will they be able to get their friend back before he’s gone for good? And can the overwhelming F.O.R.C.E. they face really be vanquished? Who can say! The real question you have to ask yourself is… “Do You Believe in Magic?”
In this installment:
- Pro, leader of the spy network F.O.R.C.E., plans a ‘purge’ on magical creatures (AKA cryptids) residing on Earth. After forming a strike team with an up-and-comer going by Semi-Pro and the gun-for-hire Deadlock, Pro raids an arcane library belonging to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, seeking knowledge on potential targets as well as information on the only individual capable of standing in their way: Occultist.
- Pro ambushes Occultist in an underground city of supernatural mole people, discovered after one of their kind became the supervillain Underminer and was arrested by the Vanquishers for taking jobs on the villainous craigslist-esque app Blackbook. Using a new understanding of mage tactics he gained from the library raid, Pro targets one of Occultist’s spell crystals, shooting it out of his hand. The resulting magical explosion appears to vaporize Occultist, leading Pro and the rest of F.O.R.C.E. to presume him dead. They begin their systematic attacks on cryptid nests and magical sects around the globe.
- Using special intel acquired by Phoebe, the hyper-advanced AI helping run the team’s long-time ally Titan Industries, the Vanquishers are able to accurately predict F.O.R.C.E.’s planned assaults. Rescue missions led by Signal help minimize cryptid casualties and save many lives, including Bigfoot’s.
- Meanwhile, the Vanquishers join forces with Spell-Slinger and his friends Blister and Squall to learn more about Occultist’s disappearance. It is discovered he is trapped in an endless planeshift spell that is rapidly warping him through dimensions. Eventually the spell will run out of energy and erase him from reality entirely.
- Vestige, a powerful seer of possible futures, provides the Vanquishers and their allies with a possible (albeit very unlikely) set of steps to take in order to stop Occultist’s spell and save him.
- Ace, Osiris, Limbo, Spell-Slinger, and Blister uncover Occultist’s secret magical vault in the Andes Mountain. Working with a frozen-in-time spelunker named Alabama Hofstetter, the group defeats Occultist’s golems and uncovers a copy of his master spellbook.
- Waypoint sends Limbo and Interface to The Unholy Tribunal of Maledicted Souls and Eldritch Horrors to use their quantum magic computer to discern a pattern in the Occultist’s planeshift spell. They manage to ingratiate themselves to the dimension’s soul-eating residents by giving them better internet streaming services.
- Using knowledge from his master spellbook, Spell-Slinger and Blister create an anti-spell to stop Occultist’s wormhole ride in its tracks. They deploy the ritual in a barren dimension destroyed by an arcane calamity determined to be in the proper planeshift trajectory by Limbo and Interface.
- As the Vanquishers mobilize to save Occultist, F.O.R.C.E. begins a massive attack on Croatoa. Blindsider and the young hero Smelter do their best to hold them off.
- Meanwhile, the other Vanquishers are forced to face the combined might of several dark mages, spoken for by the all-seeing Scry. Seeking to prevent Occultist’s return, they institute Mage Madness and intercept the heroes in the barren dimension. The Vanquishers battle through hordes of wannabe sorcerer usurpers and succeed in activating the anti-spell.
- Occultist is saved from certain doom, but the resulting arcane energy of the anti-spell triggers an uncontrolled wild magic surge in the dimension. Thinking quickly, Occultist wards the group as Signal redirects the surge back through Waypoint’s gateway. The magic is dumped right onto Croatoa, decimating F.O.R.C.E. and healing the damage they did to the mystic forest.
Released June 2020
AMERICA’S MOST WANTED! Ace becomes a target for the American government after the conniving Senator McConnish sets his sights on the super serum coursing through his veins and claims it as ‘US property.’ Seeking to spearhead the American Superpower Initiative, also known as ASP, McConnish wants the Vanquishers, and anyone else like them, out of the picture -- replaced instead by heroes loyal to the red, white, and blue above all else. When Ace won’t kowtow to the power-hungry politician’s demands, he sparks a manhunt -- not just for him, but for the progenitor of his super serum: Titan Girl. With their country working against them, can the Vanquishers and their allies prove ASP’s methods and machinations unlawful? It’s a dark day for democracy in “Ace in the Hole”!
In this installment:
- Senator Ritch McConnish' enlists the help of a pardoned rogue scientist, Dr. Nefario, to create the American Superpower Initiative (ASP), which seeks to produce super soldiers for the US military.
- Ace is ordered to turn himself over to the US government so that the super serum in his blood may be used for ASP. Following Titan Girl’s advice, he refuses and goes into hiding onboard Titan Industries’ secure space station, the Bellatrix.
- A warrant for Ace’s arrest is issued and FBI Agent Nemar Eldoon, nicknamed the Locator, begins harassing the Vanquishers for information on Ace’s whereabouts. He and his men toss Vanquisher Tower and take custody of their captured F.O.R.C.E. commander, Hondo, during an interrogation.
- Not wanting his friends implicated further, Ace cuts off all methods of contact and uses an artifact onboard the Bellatrix to hide himself from magical scrying. He goes off the grid and activates a defense mechanism on the station that teleports it across the galaxy, hiding his tracks.
- Graff, an operative with Titan Industries, helps the Vanquishers gain access to the Bellatrix once Signal finds it in an event horizon. Once onboard, the group discovers from the AI Phoebe that Ace was beginning to discover evidence of McConnish and ASP’s corruption.
- Meanwhile, Locator expands his task force to catch Ace by recruiting his mark’s brother, Incrediman, and the shadow operative Amnesty.
- Ace creates a Blackbook persona called Villain-X and hires a group of supercriminals to break into a Department of Defense compound in Maryland. The team, known in the Etoile Isles as The Hazards, steals files on ASP from the facility’s secure servers, including a list of other superhumans Dr. Nefario requested be captured for experimentation.
- After being forwarded the black site information, Titan Girl uses Phoebe to artificially tilt social media’s bias with anti-ASP rhetoric.
- Incrediman and Amnesty corner Ace at his hideout and succeed in arresting him, sending him to an extrajudicial black site called Freedom’s Bastion.
- As Amnesty begins going after other targets on Nefario’s list, including Blister, Chromeheart, Limbo, Smelter, and Spell-Slinger, the attention-seeking hero Fritz consistently prevents him from engaging. He’s pretty upset he wasn’t included on the list.
- After seeing McConnish’s men mistreat Ace at Freedom’s Bastion, Incrediman has Spyhunter set up a secret meeting between him and the Vanquishers so that he may act as a whistleblower and inform them of everything he knows -- including where Ace is being held. After everything he’s discovered, Incrediman still can’t bring himself to resign from his position on Locator’s task force.
- As ASP’s influence grows, Incrediman and Amnesty are sent to arrest Titan Girl, but instead wind up encountering her near-identical cousin, Amperican, who began taking her place in public. During the ensuing fight, Amnesty retreats and Incrediman is finally swayed to do the right thing. He warns Amperican that Locator wants to use Ace’s capture as bait for Titan Girl and then goes AWOL from his duty, cutting ties with ASP.
- With a limited time before Titan Girl attacks Freedom’s Bastion herself, the Vanquishers use the cover of a prison riot to infiltrate the black site disguised as mercenaries. They extract Ace, but soon learn McConnish is en route to see Dr. Nefario’s work firsthand.
- The Vanquishers defeat Nefario’s super soldiers, find evidence of his many government-sanctioned crimes, and go up against ASP’s knock-off Vanquishers: American Ace, Arcanist, Blindside, HUD, Purgatory, Space Race, Zeus, and their leader -- none other than Locator.
- ASP is left in ruins and thanks to further digging by Titan Girl and Graff, McConnish’s paper trails are plain for the public to see. Ace arrests the corrupt senator and all his amassed political power becomes as non-existent as his chin.
Released July 2020
THE SUMMIT AWAITS! Seeking to prove his mettle against the mighty Shiva the Destroyer of Hindu legend, Osiris signs the Vanquishers and their allies up for the expedition of a lifetime. Shiva’s blessing will only be awarded to the group if they can succeed in climbing Tibet’s fabled Mount Kailash. Atop its peak is a secret village of exiled mutants, headed by the Crag, a bullish mountain man who doesn’t believe Osiris and the others are ‘worthy’ of the task ahead of them. Even if they overcome the elements themselves, the tallest mountain they have to conquer will be in their own minds! Prepare to embark on “Expedition Kailash”!
In this installment:
- While running an errand for Occultist, Osiris encounters the Crag. Assuming Osiris is leader of the Vanquishers, he challenges the group to prove themselves as worthy ‘Protectors of the World’ in the god Shiva’s eyes by climbing Mount Kailash in Tibet.
- As Spyhunter remains to monitor the city, the Vanquishers begin their spiritual journey, bringing along their allies Spell-Slinger, Blister, and Chromeheart for the ascent.
- Upon reaching higher altitudes, Occultist deduces the group is partially entering the astral plane, discovering that Mount Kailash is a gateway between two planes of existence.
- Close to the summit, an unexpected avalanche separates the group. Alarmed by this, Spyhunter parachutes in to try and help.
- At the top of Mount Kailash, the group finds the Crag’s secret village of exiled mutants, Gaanv Kailash, and learns their final task will be to ingest or stare at a powerful hallucinogenic mushroom in order to ‘commune’ with Shiva.
- Each of the mountaineers experiences an intense drug-induced vision and gleans insight from it, some of which shakes them to their core.
- Returning from their visions, Crag celebrates the group’s success and declares they have received Shiva’s blessing. A grand party commences, but not everyone is in a very ‘party’ mood.
Released August 2020
THE SCHISM STRIKES BACK! After amassing an internet following of xenophilic fanatics, Airwave and Fuse make another move to try and entice their favorite extraterrestrials, the Schism, back to Earth. Upon making deep space contact with the species through some clandestine communication upgrades, the two promise to deliver a captured Signal to their overlords as a prize. But how exactly do they plan to bring her in? A massive bounty, funded by Airwave’s private bitcoin account, goes live on the criminal app Blackbook during an event they call Schismcon. Signal and the Vanquishers must withstand an onslaught of villains, assassins, and opportunists eager for a payday -- or doom the entire Earth to alien invasion if they fall! See what happens when someone gives “The Gift of Disruption”!
In this installment:
- An anonymous individual helps Airwave and Fuse find and acquire stored technology from the shuttered Nyxia Inc. that allows them to form a distant communications link with the Schism. Seeking a way to bring them to Earth, they send a message promising to deliver Signal (referred to as the Disruptor by them) in order to show their loyalty.
- Meanwhile, the Vanquishers catch wind of Airwave and Fuse’s activities as they start dumping fragmented transmissions from the Schism online in order to create a movement of fellow ‘disciples.’
- The Vanquishers and their allies gain access to a dark web forum for Schism fans run by Airwave and Fuse and begin to infiltrate it undercover, seeking invites to something called Schismcon. Spell-Slinger, using his unique skill for internet trolling, manages to become a part of the elusive guest list with the technical support of Warpdrive and Fritz.
- Ace, Occultist, Spell-Slinger, Blister, and Fritz travel to a corn factory in Idaho to attend Schismcon with one of Occultist’s paranormal contacts, an unhinged and irrational detective called the Stranger. At the event, Airwave and Fuse declare a $1.5 million dollar reward to bring them Signal alive (as well as additional cash for killing any of the Vanquishers in the process). The announcement unleashes all-out chaos in the criminal underworld.
- Returning to the city, Signal, the Vanquishers, and their allies are attacked by nearly every criminal faction in existence at all hours of the day. Interface’s drone network suffers major hits, Occultist’s Sanctum is under constant siege, and Limbo… is pretty much left alone due to being unkillable - though he makes sure to take the opportunity to train his powers with his demonic companion Haros before the coming battles.
- Though Signal starts off by not taking the bounty seriously, rushing headfirst into danger and behaving like she has a death-wish, her attitude begins to change when she drags Blister with her on an outing that turns out to be a trap laid by Deadlock. The resulting attack nearly gets them both killed as Deadlock makes use of a strange disintegration weapon held by F.O.R.C.E. called the Broad Haven.
- After recovering from the lingering effects of the Broad Haven, Signal takes the Vanquishers to a series of now-barren worlds that she previously fought the Schism on. The sobering sights show how grave the threat truly is -- and why Signal has struggled with hopelessness for so long.
- Blackbook rallies around Deadlock as he is the only individual who has come close to capturing Signal. Serving as a ‘general,’ he draws up a new final unified assault plan. Interface, deploying a new robot model called Nemesis Beta, blends in with the newly formed ‘criminal army’ to help feed the Vanquishers information on their tactics.
- Signal opts to remain in Vanquisher Tower to serve as bait, suggesting the group leak false information that the sewer system is a weak point and she is still critically injured. Occultist casts magical illusions and runes to prepare the pipeways under the building, hoping to have them serve as a ‘funnel’ for the group’s foes.
- The Vanquishers repel the combined might of their many villainous enemies, led by Deadlock, The Pro, and Guerilla. Included in the ensemble is Wild Streak, Underminer, Maximal, Blindsider’s new foes the Rejects, Polarize, Fowl Mouth, and many, many more. After the Vanquishers firmly gain the upper-hand, Spyhunter hits a master flushway control that unleashes a torrent of sewage onto everyone, washing the assembled masses all across the city.
- Unfortunately, the Vanquishers are also caught in the sewage overflow and they wind up in an industrial portion of the city near where Airwave and Fuse’s RV is parked. They confront the two and end the bounty -- but not before a small Schism spaceship arrives in the atmosphere and deploys three scouting pods. The group once again clashes with Schism ground forces head-on and manages to keep them off-planet.
- A few days later, the Schism ship is discovered to have been intercepted, boarded, and captured by Titan Industries. It is taken to be held within a retrofitted nuclear silo base in Kazakhstan. The Vanquishers travel there to investigate the mysterious ship, discovering in the process that Signal has the unique ability to activate and interact with its onboard technology. After a small output of energy generated from her powers overloads the ship systems, it finally becomes clear just why she is known as the Disruptor.
Released September 2020
Just how much do the Vanquishers really know about their longtime ally Interface? The enigmatic engineer behind the network of highly-advanced remote drones has remained shrouded in mystery -- until now! After a smooth-talking politician, Duncan Lax, ropes the group into a community service project, Interface’s robots are deployed on a massive scale to assist with various efforts in the struggling neighborhood of Skyway City. Things start off promising, but when Interface’s pilot goes silent, the machines begin exercising control and authority beyond what they should be capable of. The only individual with any answers as to why this is happening is the Creator themself. Looks like it’s finally time they and the Vanquishers came “Face to Face”!
In this installment:
- A city councilman, Duncan Lax, and his campaign analytics staffer, Barry Simpson, desperately try to get in contact with the Vanquishers, hoping they’ll join their proposed community service partnership. Primarily, Lax wants Interface to sign on due to the amount of resources at the Creator’s disposal. The group agrees, but makes it clear they don’t want to be used for political gain.
- The project begins in Lax’s district of Skyway City. Interface’s drone network repairs damage and fallout from super-battles while also supplementing municipal services and assisting civilians. Signal becomes a frequent volunteer with animal shelters. Ace and his teen Ace Scouts do everything from clean-up litter to escorting senior citizens to doctors’ appointments. The project is massively popular and successful.
- Due to the large amount of work being undertaken by the Interface drones, the Creator goes quiet and quits responding to the Vanquishers’ attempts at contact. The team tries to ask Duncan Lax to reach out to Interface on their behalf, but it seems the city councilman is now more interested in using his newfound political clout to make a run for the Mayor’s office.
- Occultist brings together the Odd Squad, which consists of Mystery, Stranger, Blister, and the supernatural tracker Sighted. The four head into city hall to dig up what they can on Duncan Lax, and in the process, they discover he has been covering up complaints about the Interface drones and authoritarian tactics they seem to be applying to the populace.
- Elsewhere, Signal antagonizes one of Interface’s drones, leading the network to view her as a hostile threat and chase her into space. The team fears their former friend has turned on them completely.
- The Creator comes to Occultist’s Sanctum and reveals their true identity to the team: an older woman named Ruth. She explains that after the Rikti Invasion, she sought to create new defensive technologies: power armor, the drone network, and finally… Alliance, an AI capable of controlling her creations and keeping the planet safe. Alliance turned on Ruth in her lab and seized control of the drones in Skyway, desperate to ‘prove itself’ to Ruth.
- With Ruth suiting up in one of her older power armors, the Vanquishers head to her farm in the Midwest to shut down Alliance. After battling through waves of previous models of drones, they reach a simulation chamber under her home.
- Alliance uses the holo-chamber to try and impede the Vanquishers by building false worlds and realities from Ruth’s memories. Eventually, its computing power cannot keep up and the team is able to reach the AI itself.
- Ruth consoles Alliance, which fears it is a failure, and treats it like a child before downloading it out of her system and into an external drive.
- The Skyway Project is discontinued after Ruth reasserts control of her drones and pulls them out of the city. The exposure of the robots’ behavior hurts Lax’s political chances, but his campaign for Mayor of Paragon City has only just begun.
Released December 2020
DADDY’S HOME! Jackson Thyme, the original Incrediman, comes out of retirement, forcing Ace to confront his estranged father. By teaming up with the two-faced mayoral candidate Duncan Lax, Jackson aims to remake the city under his control, claiming he will put ‘Paragon First.’ The Vanquishers, Neverenders, and their allies know the true scope of Incrediman’s corruption, but standing against him causes a rift to form in the public -- one that brings supers everywhere to the brink of civil war. Factions are formed! Lines are drawn! But at the root of it all, it’s a family affair. Everything has led up to this: the “End of an Era”!
In this installment:
- Duncan Lax cuts an endorsement deal with Jackson Thyme AKA Incrediman, and the legacy hero comes out of retirement to openly support the embattled candidate, surging his popularity.
- The Neverenders, who were integral in exposing Jackson for lying about the events that led up to the Faultline earthquake, once again join forces with the Vanquishers to try to block Incrediman’s power grab. Unfortunately, the incumbent mayor, Patrice, is controversial for relying on costume contests instead of governance.
- Limbo and his fledgling Undead Rights Movement (URN) attempt to drum up support for a third party challenger: the ghost of Harambe the gorilla. The ploy fails and Lax ultimately defeats Patrice.
- Incrediman immediately pressures Lax to pass Paragon First, a series of authoritarian laws that are intended to ‘punish’ unregulated supers -- similar to legislation he secretly supported during ASP.
- Titan Girl digs up dirt on Incrediman to discredit him, searching for physical evidence of his dubious corporate ties and illicit connections that she can release to the public.
- In a bid to make himself the only recognized protector of the city, Incrediman creates Incrediforce, a hero team comprised of loyal stoolies, and has Duncan Lax declare all groups that refuse to cooperate with them as unapproved entities.
- To help support Incrediman’s efforts, Incrediforce member Amnesty is named official liaison to the Paragon Police Department, helping the police and Incrediforce to work together on handling issues around the city - and ensuring that the police refuse to cooperate with noncompliant groups like the Vanquishers.
- A crowd of supporters shows up to Vanquisher Tower to protest Lax’s call to blacklist them, but Incrediforce deploys mechanized policing technology, or Incredibots, to ‘disperse’ the unlawful demonstration.
- Elsewhere, Fritz of the Neverenders tangles with Au Revoir and Beeline of the Hazards, who stole flawed prototype artificial intelligence from his company, the Fritz Foundation. After being stabbed and left for dead by Au Revoir, the buggy AI, now called Error, captures Fritz and forces him to build a mechanical body to house it. Spyhunter helps the Neverenders when they eventually find the defunct building in the Isles where Fritz is being held, but Error escapes the ensuing conflict with a new form intact.
- Information about Fritz’s rogue AI leaks within his company, leading him to believe that his friends ratted him out. Cutting ties with them, he joins Incrediforce once he is told by Incrediman they’ll help keep the incident quiet. He is immediately assigned work on the secretive Project Abseel, a means to unnaturally neutralize superhuman abilities.
- Spell-Slinger, Blister, Chromeheart, and Smelter search for more information on how Incrediman got to Fritz by sneaking into his corporation’s offices. There they find correspondence that shows his COO Edward Zappinski had discovered the AI affair and subtly used it to push Fritz out of the picture -- as well as line up several lucrative business dealings with Incrediforce.
- Ace’s brother, Nick O. Thyme, goes MIA after their father’s reappearance. Searching his penthouse with Spyhunter, Mystery, and Stranger, Ace learns from the loyal Incredibutler that Nick abandoned his Incrediman Jr. supersuit and has fled into hiding. Occultist uses the costume to scry for Nick’s location, and he is discovered to be ‘living a normal life’ working at a gas station (despite not knowing how to pump gas). Ace tries to convince his brother to help fight against his father, but the pleas seem to fall on deaf ears.
- Meanwhile, Titan Girl pinpoints the location of a ‘kompromat’ data storage facility in Eastern Europe, believing it houses materials that will reveal Jackson has colluded with Russian oligarchs and organized crime in order to fund his activities in the US. Unfortunately, the site is under the supervision of Deadlock and Pro, who have Semi-Pro acting as a spy within Incrediforce and are angling to profit off of the growing turmoil in the city.
- Titan Girl dispatches Amperican, posing as a double agent, to gain Deadlock’s favor by promising him the identity of a superior who framed him for arms smuggling during his time in the US military. Working with Amperican’s intel, Deadlock plots a trap for Titan Girl and her operatives at the Russians’ secure server farm, only to have the tables turned on him during the op. His mercenary company is wiped out and the incriminating files there documenting all of Incrediman’s misdeeds are stolen.
- Back in the city, Incrediforce’s campaign to crush disobedience launches in totality. The Vanquishers can’t sit back any longer and move to destroy the many facilities assembling the Incredibots and other police technology. This gets them labeled as criminals and a large scale manhunt is issued for their arrest.
- Using the kompromat on Jackson Thyme, the comprehensive Incrediman Papers are released, exposing every last piece of dirt on the hero and severing him from all support except for his most die-hard (and dangerous) loyalists. Duncan Lax moves to repeal Paragon First and abandon Incrediman, eliminating all legal avenues for the Incrediforce regime to assert power. Left with nothing, Jackson confronts Lax at City Hall and violently lashes out, taking him hostage and staging a coup on Paragon.
- Sequestering in Incrediforce’s HQ, the Increditower, Jackson orders his followers to take to the streets, embroiling the city in full scale civil war. The Vanquishers return from hiding to assist the feds in taking control back.
- After finally finding a way to reach Fritz, Spell-Slinger, Smelter, and Blister confront him with the truth: that they didn’t sell him out, Zappinski did -- all to get him right where he is now. A fight ensues, but some time later Fritz sees the light and eventually gives the only working Abseel power nullifier to Ace, destroying all remaining research for the project.
- As Incredigoons everywhere are pushed back, a final bomb plot is issued to bring the city to its knees. The Vanquishers, Neverenders, and all their allies mobilize to end the Incredicoup, with Ace’s brother, now regretfully calling himself Power Fister, finally agreeing to join a joint team of Vanquishers and Neverenders who are poised to storm Increditower.
- The group squares off in a titanic final clash with Incrediforce, battling familiar foes like Amnesty and Semi-Pro, along with the ‘heroes’ Regent, Blue Stripe, Pharmatron, Multiman, Power Boost, Erode, Canceller, and of course, Incrediman himself.
- Finally cornered on the roof of the building, Incrediman unleashes every last bit of his power at his disposal in a last ditch attempt for revenge on those who stand against him, especially his sons. Osiris uses all of his divine might to see Jackson judged by the goddess Ma’at for his many crimes. In a final act before being overpowered, Jackson attempts to blast Ace with a laser and kill him, but Spell-Slinger takes the opportunity to use an illusory spell to place himself in harm’s way instead. Ace and his brother finally defeat their father and use the Abseel power nullifier to ensure he cannot use his abilities to escape custody.
- Incrediman is defeated and the city is saved -- but at the cost of Slinger’s life. Limbo and Osiris depart to the realm of the afterlife in search of the apprentice’s soul, unsure of what they’ll find. Still, both know returning from beyond the veil of death is almost assuredly an impossible task.
- Following the fall of Incrediforce, the PPD’s chief of police overseeing the insurrection resigns. Outsider Aiden Ray, a decorated military veteran, is appointed to fill his position.
Released January 2021
WINNER TAKE ALL! In the wake of the Incrediwar, the Vanquishers and their allies are dealing with the loss of Spell-Slinger, leader of the Neverenders and Occultist’s arcane apprentice. Slinger, who was killed in the final clash with Incrediman, kept a personal journal in his living manor, Manny, and reading it reveals there may be a second chance to save him. The Hellgames, a bloodsport tournament held in the lower planes, has put Slinger’s soul on the line as the grand prize. As factions descend from various realms to compete, Osiris uses his godhood to sponsor a new team of champions. With Occultist as coach, can this rag-tag squad of Vanquishers and other heroes pull off the perfect season to rescue their friend? Or will the cruel sting of defeat crush their hopes? Gear up sports fans, let’s “Go to Hell”!
In this installment:
- Chromeheart finds a journal detailing a secret pact Spell-Slinger made with an infernal demon to save himself from death. After reading his notes, Occultist explains the group will have to compete in and win the Hellgames, a tournament held in the lower planes, in order to reacquire Slinger’s soul.
- While scouring the various domains of the afterlife for any sign of Slinger, Osiris and Limbo find themselves in a hellish bureaucracy run by the High Demon Ju-eh Zen. After waiting in line way too long, the two are shown Slinger’s soul which is being kept in suspended animation until someone wins it in the Hellgames. Occultist is summoned to act as the ceremonial ‘Soul Holder’ in the meantime.
- Osiris creates the Champions of Everything, Everything Beyond That, and Even Further with Unyielding Power, Strength, and Determination, a team he will sponsor for the Hellgames. Since Occultist previously won the Hellgames after betraying a society of mages he pretended to work with called the Sage’s Circle, he cannot return as a participant -- so instead he takes over the role of team coach.
- Ace, Limbo, Interface, Blister, Chromeheart, Smelter, Squall, and even Fritz are all added to the Champions’ roster. Due to a clerical error, Signal is declared deceased by Hell’s bureaucracy because of the 8 years she spent off in space. The Champions must find a replacement and eventually recruit a young hero named Daystrider.
- Prospero, a high-ranking member of the Sage’s Circle, learns of Occultist’s involvement with the Champions and swears vengeance on him. Vestige infiltrates the group to sabotage them from within by getting all the members drunk.
- Daystrider defeats the Dundas Blackfly, an insectoid representative of the Cryptid Cartel, by cutting off the creature’s genitalia. The Champions start off 1-0.
- Squall overcomes the sumo shinigami Kagu from the Kami Kingdom. The Champions advance to a 2-0 record.
- The ghostly pirate crew of the Dutchman’s Armada sends Sergey, the sharkhemoth, to fight Ace. After a few close calls, Sergey is brought down with a punch to the nose and the Champions become 3-0.
- The Forgotten Empire of dimensionally displaced travelers nominate the mystic Sandsworn to face Smelter. Bitter after her eventual defeat, Sandsworn lashes out and nearly kills Smelter before fleeing. The Champions are just barely able to maintain a 4-0 record.
- Interface battles Necromaster, a magical lord of death from the Sage’s Circle, and completely humiliates him, leading Prospero to grow more and more desperate. With Interface’s win, the group is 5-0 and tied for the lead in the Hellgames.
- Next up, Blister must beat Andraste from the anti-magic zealots who call themselves the Order of Equality. After a very evenly matched bout, Blister ekes out the victory, making the Champions reach 6-0.
- In a struggle for his own redemption, Fritz goes up against Ravana of the Reincarnation Ring, a faction of followers from Shiva’s pantheon. Another victory brings the Champions to 7-0, but their lead over the other teams is still narrow.
- Chromeheart is nearly annihilated by the demonic Lucy, her opponent from the Infernal Alliance. The silver-tongued devil (literally) tries to tempt her into betraying her team, but ultimately it is not enough to turn her against the others and the Champions claim another win, improving to 8-0.
- Haros neglects to inform Limbo, his companion, that he actually signed on to compete in the Hellgames under Nyx and Hades as part of the Chthonic Division, the only other undefeated team rivaling the Champions. Assured that he’d be released from servitude by the Greek deities if he delivered them the prized soul, Haros seems committed to continuing their win streak at first -- but he shockingly throws his match, tanking the team and incurring the wrath of Tisiphone and Allecto, two of the Furies. He manages to fight them off, disqualifying the Chthonic Division from the Hellgames for infighting. Haros then returns to Limbo’s side.
- Vindictive, Prospero ambushes Occultist with the entirety of the Sage’s Circle, trying to steal the prized soul. Vestige arrives to back up Occultist and together they wipe out all of the casters in a massive magical brawl. Prospero escapes to rebuild his influence.
- In a thoroughly mind-bending finish, Limbo beats Fingers of the eldritch Old Ones by awakening the spirit of the Hellgames, turning the arena itself into a bloodthirsty monster. The Champions complete the infernal contract with a perfect 9-0 record and leave the Hellgames in complete shambles as they depart.
- Finally, Slinger’s friends travel to New Zealand and find a portal to another world where he had stashed a magical duplication of his body. Limbo transposes his soul into its new vessel and Spell-Slinger is returned to life.
Released February 2021
Everyone’s got something to hide. A popular new app called Bombshell provides users the opportunity to anonymously dish about their innermost secrets. Buried in the code, however, is a data-stealing program called Hijack that threatens to plunge society into chaos by leaking the revelations people shared. With some of the world’s most sensitive information now compromised, the Vanquishers have to track down the hackers responsible for the app’s creation. But the trail won’t be easy to follow -- and in the meantime, who will be exposed next? Will civilization survive when there are “No More Secrets” left to keep?
In this installment:
- The pre-launch viral marketing for a mysterious new project by a company called panda.monium starts going viral when the infamous online hacker group called the Chaos Agents endorses it by placing a panda mascot in countries all around the world that grants access to the program's beta upon being found.
- The panda.monium project -- revealed to be an app called Bombshell -- finally releases to the public. Bombshell allows people to share secrets anonymously to everyone in your area. It acquires millions of downloads worldwide in just a matter of hours.
- Though some people raise reservations about security concerns with the app, Bombshell becomes widely used by everyone from government officials to celebrities. Even some of the Vanquishers like Ace, Limbo, and Signal post on it.
- A week later, Bombshell is revealed to be a trojan horse for Hijack, which assumes control of the devices it is installed on and begins compiling data, decrypting confessions, and exposing users worldwide.
- Spyhunter investigates the head office of panda.monium and discovers it was a front company and the supposed founders have all been eliminated by some kind of pink goo. Using security camera footage from the street, he finds they were visited by an assassin riding a unique motorcycle.
- Searching for other sightings of the motorcycle leads Spyhunter to another crime scene with more bodies melted by pink goo. He also notes that all of the computers and security footage there have been magnetically wiped. He and the Vanquishers find out it was a cell of freelance coders that were hired to complete a portion of Hijack. Among the casualties is Lance Davidson, a corrupt city official who had his crimes exposed by the leak.
- Spyhunter and Limbo pay a visit to Lance Davidson’s house, quickly learning he was facilitating a drug smuggling operation for someone known as the ‘Gardener.’ Using a piece of Davidson’s very personal S&M gear, Limbo is able to locate the deceased bureaucrat’s soul and pull it back from the afterlife for an interrogation. Davidson reveals that he was trying to find hackers who could help clean up his leaked online data when they were attacked by a slime-wielding assassin and another accomplice who was capable of magnetism.
- Meanwhile, a series of Bombshells about Duncan Lax reveals his associate, Barry Simpson, received help from a shadow company called Imminence Technologies to get him elected. The Vanquishers head to the Imminence compound in upstate New York to see if the company could be connected to the Hijack leaks due to its shady connections. Once there they meet Werner Van Buren, now referred to as the Determinant, a frozen food magnate from the 1950s who cryogenically preserved his own brain and implanted it into an atomic-powered robot body.
- Determinant denies any involvement with Hijack and explains that his political meddling serves to elect terrible candidates he believes will bring about an apocalyptic event on Earth. In order to build utopia, the madman claims the slate first must be wiped clean. Despite his deranged philosophy, the Vanquishers have no recourse to stop him since his election ploys aren’t illegal. They’re quick to inform him that if he steps over the line, they’ll be coming for him, however.
- Ace gets Warpdrive of Titan Industries to score him an invite to a dark web hacker community, Road2Hell. Ace befriends a user named ‘techdiva’ and is told that Bombshell’s creators hired people from the forum, including someone exceptionally skilled with the callsign Mad Hatter.
- Road2Hell members help Ace try to hack Imminence Technologies and task him with planting a proxy device at Determinant’s estate. Returning to the compound gets Ace captured by guard dogs. Luckily, Ace is able to leave the proxy device and escape after Determinant locks him in a guest room.
- The Imminence hack gathers enough info to publicize their dealings and keep them out of politics. It also shows the corporation has done business with Deadlock and gives possible clues to his safe house locations. A righteous and vindictive Ace decides to go solo and confront his frequent foe, eventually cornering him in a ruined Greek church. Deadlock manages to get away during the grudge match, badly injuring Ace on the way out.
- Using a self-defense class taught by Blindsider as cover, the other Vanquishers try to gather more intel from the street on the hacker-for-hire group that was crossed off by the pink goo assassin. While there they meet a promising markswoman, Accurate, get into an altercation with a superpowered bully, Tough Guy, and finally get a lead from a realtor, Rita, about the coder who rented office space for his crew.
- On Rita’s word, the Vanquishers travel to another property rented to the coder, Gill Gunderson, and find evidence that suggests the Chaos Agents were the ones hiring people and orchestrating the creation of Bombshell and Hijack, apparently to try and crash reality, which they believe is a Matrix-style simulation.
- Back on Road2Hell, Ace is asked by techdiva to meet up as she fears for her life since she helped work on Hijack too. Unfortunately it is too late and Ace finds techdiva, real name Diane, eliminated by the same pink goo. Reading notes she brought with her makes it clear: Mad Hatter plays a key role in the Chaos Agents’ efforts and finding her is the only way to find where they’re hiding.
- As the Hijack leaks continue, people who never even posted on Bombshell start having personal details posted online, including Occultist, Titan Girl, and Graff. Mistrust and discontent fills the streets, and the calamity the Chaos Agents sought to cultivate appears to be fast approaching.
- Ace is able to make contact with Mad Hatter via covert internet messages and Interface traces her IP to her current location: a shut-down Dave & Busters. The Vanquishers prepare to head in, but Signal warns the area is in a bizarre, completely unstable quantum field. Occultist creates the spell-emanating Quantum Crown to shield the team from the effects of subatomic manipulation.
- After attacking the hideout and bringing down some of the Chaos Agents, all the high-tech quantum computing equipment on site is taken offline, ending Hijack’s mass decryption scheme for good. In a nearby closet, the group finds an imprisoned Mad Hatter, bound with sports equipment, and learns she has the devastating potential to manipulate quantum fields with her hands.
- Mad Hatter is detained in an underwater facility owned by Titan Industries. Though she is initially wary of the Vanquishers, Spyhunter is first able to get through to her by promising to keep her out of prison. The young hacker, real identity Everett James, explains the Chaos Agents might not have been the ones calling the shots. In the wake of Hijack, digital security softwares like Datalock, LifeSecure, and Vault have skyrocketed in popularity due to the increased awareness of cyber-attack risk. Everett concedes that when helping with the plan, those software users were to be excluded from exposure -- as well as any individual marked with a ‘shield.’
- In the midst of all this fallout, three primary investors of Vault toast their new riches. Devon McCabe (AKA Empyre), the CEO of the corporation Aegis, Inc., and her two henchmen, Alexei Ozgoff (AKA Ooze) and Marcello Magnotta (AKA Magnet), are revealed to be the trio behind the whole scheme. Not for chaos -- but for profit.