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I've seen things that would make a normal man curl up into the fetal position and rip his eyes out. I've walked on the backs of giants and drunk from the rivers of Avalon. The simple man you see before you is only a single facet of my being.
~ Darrin Wade

Darrin Wade is a black-magic black marketeer in the Rogue Isles of the M.M.O. City of Villains. Initially just one of many contacts in the Isles - Wade distinguishes himself as one of the most significant villains in the series late in the game.

Background

Darrin Wade was once a member of the secret society known as The Midnight Squad. The Midnight Squad are a group of occultists and magicians who have been around since the 1930s. The group was found by a, then new-age, wizard who went by the name of Dream Doctor. Dream Doctor founded the group to combat the evil cultists known as the Circle of Thorns. Because its first members were all apprentices or constituents of Dream Doctor the Midnight Squad spent years relying on magic to fight the Circle. The Circle of Thorns would become a much more publicly acknowledged group after being exposed during the alien invasion known as The Rikti War and with their secret cult made public the Circle of Thorns became foe of many superheroes, allowing the Midnight Club to focus on magic as a whole with their old enemy being fought on all fronts. Since the Midnight Squad keeps its existence secret from the public its members also hide away forbidden knowledge. The Midnight Squad protect and study eldritch tomes, artifacts of doom and ancient golems with the end goal of understanding how they work without letting them be used irresponsibly.

The Midnight Squad accept both the good and the evil magi, as long as they are both learned and responsible and as such nearly all members take their duties very seriously. The only exception shown to the club's sterling membership is that of Darrin Wade. Darrin Wade began doing research on ancient evils until he became obsessed with them. Darrin's experiments soon raised enough red-flags in the Midnight Squad and he was given a couple of warnings - when Darrin's experiments continued he was forced to go on leave, he was still a member but with his credibility eroded he was no longer allowed into the Midnight Club - The Midnight Squad's inter-dimensional library. Wade continued his research, but without his former resources it was slowed to a crawl. Darrin knew enough about the hunting process for ancient artifacts and spells from his time in the Club to begin secretly competing with full-fledged members of the Midnight Squad and collecting various items of black-magic for himself. Most of what Darrin acquired was of little use to him but what he could not use he managed to sell on the black-magic-black-market in order to sponsor his continued research.

Midnight Draws Near

Darrin can be found just outside the Black Heart Hospital in the Port Recluse of Sharkhead Isle. He sells his secrets and his various magical trinkets to villains who come looking for magical origin training, eventually this may include the player villains themselves. When encountered Darrin tells the Villain of his predicament, that he is on the Midnight Squad's black-list. His first task is to find and clear out a detachment of Midnight Squad members deployed to uncover some more artifacts. Wade does not want the competition and requests his former teammates be dealt with, he does not care how much force needs to be used as long as their retrieval mission is at the very least slowed down. With the success of the mission, Wade will warm up to the Villain and trusts them for more work.

Darrin tells the Villain that his friend, Starr, was recently murdered. Darrin says not to worry about avenging his death and that he will do that, but he will need a lock of Starr's hair to scry for his killers. The problem is Starr was a member of Arachnos and as such his possessions, body included, are under lock-and-key. Upon the hairs' recovery Darrin trusts the Villain enough to offer them the follow-up job of saving him the second spell by going to kill Starr's killers for him once he discovers their true identities. This time Darrin sends the Villain to the mutated hobos known as The Lost. The Lost are humans mutated and mentally enslaved by the alien invaders known as The Rikti. While wiping out the sect of Lost the Villain will happen upon two members of the Midnight Squad being held captive by the Lost, Kadabra Kill and Sigil, a husband and wife team of magicians who have spent their magical careers searching for a way to remove a curse on Sigil. Neither Kadabra Kill nor Sigil are willing to be used as leverage by the Lost let alone the Villain or Wade and so each attempts to fight off all threats.

Reporting back to Wade will provoke intrigue as Wade sees his former members have become more involved in outside affairs than he thought. Darrin decides that he should resolve his business with his old teammates and so sends the Villain on a mission to kidnap Alistair McKnight, another member of the Club. Alistair had recently been kidnapped by the occulted gangsters known as the Tsoo, therefore they could "rescue" him while holding him hostage at the same time, no one would trouble him over Alistair's disappearance and as long as he eventually let him go Darrin would look like he was just doing his duty for a former fellow member. Once Alistair is free, Darrin puts him in a safehouse but uses the opportunity to get another hair sample from Alistair and uses it to create another spell. Darrin uses an advanced illusion to make the Villain look like Alistair McKnight and sends him/her/it into the Midnight Club to preform a heist. The Villain steals several of the Midnight Squad's most treasured artifacts and replace them with forgeries. The Villain will have the option to remain in disguise the whole time and wait for breaks in security to quickly swap out the real items but if caught making the switch, or the Villain just wants to be direct and fight their way around, the various members will turn hostile and fight the Villain off. Regardless of method, once the mission is complete Darrin pays well for the artifacts, let's them keep the spell to transform into Alistair McKnight (not useful for any further missions but just a vanity glamor) and gives them a foothold for joining the Midnight Club as true members.

Darrin also casually admits what his research was mounting to in the first place. Darrin was a cultist to Rularuu, a cosmic horror that had been trying to break into the dimension for years. With the artifacts and spells in his possession Darrin says he is very close to unleashing Rularuu and he will gladly remember how the Villain helped him someday when his rituals are complete and Rularuu is unleashed upon the world. Darrin's final comments are played off as meta humor for the player, showing even friendly benign people in the Rogue Isles probably want to destroy the world or free space gods and apart from being a great event it is just the status quo.

Who Will Die

The Who Will Die arc was an event for the City of Heroes/Villains community by the development team that promised one of the game's signature heroes would be killed and for good, with no revival or future retcon. The premise was with the introduction of new contacts every few days a new story in the chain of events leading to the death of a main character would be explored. Each story features the life of one of the Freedom Phalanx in the balance. Heroes would receive contacts who wanted to save various members of the Freedom Phalanx in danger and villains would be contacted by various go-betweens for the organizer of the scheme.

Episode 1

The first mission is a standalone to trap the hero, Synapse with a magical obelisk that could absorb the powers of anyone who touched it.

For Heroes a member of The Lost named Theoden who is aware of the obelisk and warns the hero if the Lost start resorting to magic, it is bad for everyone long term, to say nothing of what could be done with the obelisk itself. Theoden wants to prevent his former cohorts from doing anything irresponsible with it after plundering an ancient wizard's lair.

For villains the ghost of an ancient wizard Alastor, whose lair the Lost had pillaged to acquire the obelisk is enraged that his life's work is about to be used by simple-minded cretins. Alastor wants the obelisk retrieved and the Lost destroyed - in gratitude for exacting his vengeance Alastor is happy to allow the villain to use the obelisk and instructs them on how to use it if they will do him the pleasure of avenging his death and keeping his prized work out of the hands of the unworthy.

The mission ends with Synapse being briefly exposed to the obelisk but able to get away, though his powers are greatly weakened. The final outro of the mission shows a dialog between two shadow-obscured parties. The first party is upset that the obelisk was a failure but is glad it worked as a test run. The second is in service to the first and reveals they were involved in getting the Lost to steal the obelisk in the first place. The first party also states he/she has a second obelisk and will save it for what is to come now that they know it works. Both parties seem wary of the players. The Hero Players are seen as possible wild-cards, the Villain Players are seen as possible assets. Neither party's face is shown and they are only identified as "???" and "???".

Episode 2

For the second mission the players are introduced to the Ralu-Shin a group of cultists who worship Rularuu. The Ralu-Shin are planning a raid on the Midnight Club to steal various magical artifacts - any of which could be disastrous on its own but world-ending if Rularuu worshipers use them to free their patron.

Heroes are contacted by Michael Binocolo, a member of the Luddites - a militant gang of Rogue Isle citizens who believe technology is evil and instead rely on medieval crafting to get by day to day. Michael introduces the concept of the Ralu-Shin and tells them of what he has heard from sharing similar circles with the Ralu-Shin. Naturally Michael is as concerned as anyone would be and came to get help from the heroes of Paragon.

Villains are contacted by Vladimir Zolner, an ex-Spetsnaz member who focused on counterterrorism. Zolner introduces the concept of the Ralu-Shin to the Villain and wants to stop them, he makes no moral judgment on what the Villain may want to do once in the Midnight Club and their business is their own, but above all the Ralu-Shin cannot get away with their plans or it is bad for the world at large.

One of the main artifacts the Ralu-Shin are out to steal is the skull of Tommy Aracanus, father of the super-heroine, Numina. Though the Ralu-Shin are stopped, the artifacts are all relocated to lockup in a Paragon Vault. For the Hero they go there to secure them. Stragglers from the Ralu-Shin are there and can be stopped. For the Villain they go there to steal the skull and leave before the Ralu-Shin show up, then using the Skull of Tommy Arcanus as a hostage, Numina gives the villain a healing artifact in exchange for her father's skull and attached spirit.

Both parties again discuss the situation. The supplicant is upset the Ralu-Shin failed. The organizer states it would have been for naught anyway, as the obelisk cannot affect ghosts. The information gathered by the Ralu-Shin have proven most useful to the organizer's plans and both parties agree that at least they have enough magical artifacts to go into their main scheme.

Episode 3

The third mission in the chain has to do with the life of Alexis Duncan-Cole, formerly the super-heroine Miss Liberty, in the balance.  Alexis is daughter of the head of the Freedom Phalanx, Statesman - the signature main hero of the game.

Heroes are contacted by Agent Kwahu a spec-ops member of the Longbow, a costumed but non-powered supervillain fighting peacekeeping force. Alexis Duncan-Cole has hung up her mask and passed it on to her daughter Megan, but still does her part without powers as a negotiator and mediator. While attempting to sort out a peace-treaty between the Rogue Arachnos of Warburg for the release of stolen nuclear warheads, she was kidnapped. Kwahu wants the Hero's help to save her.

Villains are contacted by Fortunata Gossamer, right-hand of Marshal Blitz a member of Arachnos who broke his chain of command, went rogue and tried to steal Arachnos nukes. Alexis has been kidnapped and Gossamer wants her brought in, but as a hostage. Gossamer has a contact who Marshall Blitz is negotiating with. He has offered him and his Rogue Arachnos much power for Alexis Duncan and the Villain is chosen to join the endeavor if they can recover Alexis first.

For the Hero they are too late to save Alexis before the villain arrived to steal her and must deal with the first kidnappers. They then rush off to a Rogue Arachnos base to catch Blitz. Manticore - another member of the Phalanx is there to report Alexis was killed by the time they got there. And says he will go console Statesman on his daughter's death. Villains arrive in time to steal away Alexis first and bring her to Blitz's meeting spot. There they meet Blitz's partners, a man in plain cloths named "Jean" - the supplicant from the previous dialogue. With him is the organizer, revealed as Darrin Wade. Though the villain initially believed it was a hostage situation Darrin reveals in fact Alexis needs to be ritually sacrificed both for the ritual itself and to weaken Manticore's self-confidence and relationship with the rest of his team. The villain may choose to either cooperate fully and kill her, or refuse. Darrin is either pleased the villain takes orders so well or understands the poor form of killing an unarmed peaceable citizen and so does it himself, claiming there is too much at-stake to let poor form get in the way. Jean creates an illusion of Alexis still alive to lure in Manticore before revealing he is too late. Additionally it is revealed that "Jean" is actually the villain-turned-hero-turned-villain-turned-hero, apparently turned villain again, Jean-Pierre Lourdin (also known as Malaise). Malaise was a supervillain with multiple personality disorder who was arrested but psychically stabilized with the help of psychic heroine, Sister Psyche' - Manticore's wife and core member of the Freedom Phalanx. Though the Villain character and Darrin are able to get away, Malaise and Marshal Blitz are caught.

The final outro is with Jean in jail with Sister Psyche'. Psyche' is trying to reach out to him Malaise. Jean is resentful of Psyche' and despised her for imprisoning his mind with the concept of sanity, believing his villainous self is his true self. Apart from repenting Jean says the plan is not yet done and soon Sister Psyche's will be the one to die.

Episode 4

In episode four, Darrin (and the Villain players) contact famed singer Johnny Sonata, a man who made a devil's bargain for a supernaturally superb voice. Sonata is used to unleash a song called the Dirge of Chaos, which induces uncontrollable violence in everyone who hears it. Sister Psyche soon realizes she is the only one who can counteract the chaos but in the process weakens herself.

Heroes are contacted by Dakota Berg an agent with the FBSA (Federal Bureau for Super-powered Affairs). Berg wants the Hero to go in and interrogate Malaise. Malaise soon reveals he has continued to serve in Darrin's plans even in lockup and with the time wasted on him Darrin has already undertaken the next phase of the scheme and soon a song begins to play over the speakers - the Dirge of Chaos. The song induces violence in everyone who hears it and the voice is recognizable as Johnny Sonata of the Rogue Isles, traditionally a nonviolent entertainer who specialized in high class party events for villains. The heroes go to find Johnny was roughed up and is more than happy to turn on Wade. Johnny tells the character the song is some old magical tune Darrin forced him to sing into a recorder which causes violence. Darrin plans to play this Dirge of Chaos across the city but Johnny does not know why except to say it naturally will not be good. Johnny adds that Wade is not only going to try to kill one or two Freedom Phalanx members but all of them, and not for any personal reason, they are all just pawns in some greater quest for power. Returning to Sister Psyche' she is curled up in the fetal position after having absorbed the psychic malice from the minds of all those exposed to the Dirge.

Villains are contacted by Tyrka, a member of the Circle of Thorns who is working with Darrin. With instructions from Wade, Tyrka has the villain go to the Golden Giza casino and lounge to rough-up Johnny Sonata to get him to record the Dirge of Chaos. The song induces insanity in the local casino customers and Johnny is left with a massive riot on his hands to deal with. The Villain then plays the song over a Paragon warning system to reach as many ears as possible. Manticore arrives to stop it with the Paragon Police Department. The Villain, savvy enough to know not to just leave a hero alive and well while their master plan is underway, decides instead of running, to fight Manticore and his men. With Manticore injured the Villain gets away for the last phase of Darrin's scheme, the sabotage of Sister Psyche's powers. Malaise projects himself and the Villain into Sister Psyche's mind - normally an impregnable fortress but after absorbing the malice from the Dirge of Chaos Malaise is able to pierced. Malaise makes Sister Psyche' think she is the one in lockup and being treated for dementia, projecting the guise of a doctor around the villain to psychologically toy with her. By the end Sister Psyche' is curled up in the fetal position.

Malaise once in Psyche's mind is trying to unleash the mental Aurora Borealis. Aurora Borealis is Sister Psyche's sidekick. In her youth, Aurora volunteered to be possessed by Psyche' when she was gravely injured. Aurora became a surrogate body for Psyche' while she recovered. Though years later Sister Psyche' would recover, leave Aurora and take her on as an apprentice, the time spent as Aurora permanently warped a part of Psyche's mind, creating a mental Aurora Borealis, who Sister Psyche' locked away in her subconscious behind mental barriers to keep from manifesting as an alternate personality. Malaise intends to unleash the mental Aurora Borealis and Destroy Sister Psyche's mind, creating a new Sister Psyche' one who owes both him and Darrin Wade a favor. Unable to stop him any other way, Sister Psyche' is forced to tear his mind apart in self-defense, killing him. Without Malaise the mental Aurora Borealis is not strong enough to take over Sister Psyche' and is repressed back to her subconscious, though no longer restrained. Malaise is left dead, the city is recovering from brief but mass riots, Manticore is recovering from severe injuries and Sister Psyche' is mentally unstable. The Freedom Phalanx decide they can no longer under-estimate Wade. Apprehending Wade is now their top priority and all the remaining members are prepared to use lethal force unless Darrin and the Villain start fully cooperating - an unlikely outcome. Statesman is still in morning for Alexis but they reveal he is about to fly off to take on Wade directly

The outro shows a conversation weeks prior between Darrin Wade and Malaise. Darrin tells Malaise he may well die once their plan is in motion. Malaise is happy to give his life for a work of art and he sees the new Sister Psyche' as a masterpiece.

Episode 5

Episode five of the Who Will Die Arc is the defining episode. Heroes are pursuing Darrin Wade and Villains get wind of his endgame. Both sides soon discover Darrin Wade is one of the Ralu-Shin and a true believer who intends to become an avatar of the mad god. Darrin's plans are fully revealed and all following episodes are about reaching the climax of those plans.

Heroes are contacted by the super-heroine Glacia, a member of Omega team, the final response team to the Rikti invasion. Glacia has been asked to be the go between for the Hero and Back-Alley Brawler - semi-retired and much feared member of the Freedom Phalanx. Brawler is going to the Rouge Isles to get information on where Darrin is hiding. Back-Alley-Brawler goes with the Hero and the Vindicators, a team of the Freedom-Phalanx's sidekicks, to the Blackbeard Bar. The Blackbeard Bar is the watering hole of many villains in the Isles and is owned by Captain Mako. Brawler tells Mako they are there for information on the Ralu-Shin and Darrin Wade and even Arachnos, and by extension Mako, are in danger if the Ralu-Shin go unattended. Mako concedes the Ralu-Shin need to be wiped out but he has no intention of working with Brawler and has his patrons attack. Once the fight is resolved, Back-Alley-Brawler, The Hero and the Vindicators find Darrin has a lair in the Port Oaks sewers. Heroes encounter several high-end Arachnos mercenaries chasing them down in the tunnels on behalf of Mako. Once dealt with they find Darrin's lair and discover his involvement with the Ralu-Shin. Darrin intends to summon Rularuu to earth. Though the barriers to his prison of the the Shadow Shard are sealed tight despite Rularuu's best efforts, Darrin has found a spell to allow Rularuu an alternate way in, by taking him into his body and becoming Rularuu's avatar. He is going to enact a plan to kill Statesman in the ruins of Cimerora, the former capital of an ancient Greek empire.

Villains are contacted by the gangster, Leo Poggiani of the Mooks - a rival gang to The Family. Mooks, and thus Leo too, are small fish in the grand-food-chain of the Rogue Isles but they control the Port Oaks territory with impunity. Leo contacts the Villain to do him/her/it some favors as a sign of respect, with the hope they remember him someday when they rule the world. Leo alerts the villain that Back-Alley Brawler of the Freedom Phalanx has been tearing up Port Oaks looking for them and Wade. After Back-Alley Brawler is dealt with, Leo further informs the Villain that Darrin lives in Port Oaks and he knows where, Leo is more than happy to direct the Villain to Darrin's place to prove himself a valuable ally. In the tunnels to Darrin's lair, the Villain encounters the Arachnos mercenaries, also out for them for colluding with Wade. Dealing with the elite crew, finally clears the path to Darrin Wade's residence. The Villain finds Darrin is a diehard member of the Ralu-Shin, though one who seems to be working for power and not faith like his fellow cultists. The Villain discovers Darrin's plans to not only become a vessel for Rularuu, but kill Statesman. Darrin is going to enact his ritual on the ancient island of Cimerora.

Heroes and Villains arrive just in time to see Statesman confronting Darrin. However, Darrin had already set a ritual with what he stole from the Midnight Club and the traces of Incarnate energy he acquired from Alexis. Statesman walks right into the trap. Statesman's Incarnate Powers are completely drained. But, with Statesman being over one hundred years old, his powers were the only thing keeping him alive and he falls to his knees. While Darrin laughs that the great Statesman was finally killed by a no-name like him Statesman's last thoughts are of his wife, his daughter, his granddaughter and his old friend Stefan. Statesman is proud of his daughter and granddaughter, regrets he will never see Lord Recluse repent his evil ways and just be his friend Stefan again, he can see his wife reaching out to him from beyond the grave.

Statesman is dead.

Both the Hero and Villain confront Darrin. Heroes fight Wade but he uses the powers he has absorbed to get away. Villains have a chance to talk to him but things quickly turn hostile. Darrin admits he intends to absorb the Villain's power and life force as well, saying it would be the highest honor he could bestow to allow the Villain to be one with a living god. The Villain may take a few different stances on this, 1 - Darrin intends to sacrifice them and thus he must be killed first, 2 - Darrin is insane and his plans to not merely destroy the Freedom Phalanx but summon a space god make him too dangerous to work with anymore, 3 - Darrin Wade was stupid enough to kill Statesman, something that will make him the target of both The Freedom Phalanx AND Arachnos and no god is worth Lord Recluse with a grudge. Regardless of the Villain's priorities things turn violent and Darrin turns on the Villain. Darrin tells both Heroes and Villains his plan was always bigger than the Freedom Phalanx and they and the Ralu-Shin were just means to an end to become one with Rularuu. After the fight Darrin teleports away with his new Incarnate fueled magic, saying Sister Psyche' is next. Heroes may go up to Statesman and attempt to revive him, but with the Incarnate energy completely drained from Statesman, his body is nothing but an empty shell and his soul has departed completely.

The Hero is left to deliver the heavy news to the Freedom Phalanx and the Villain is left afraid for their life if Arachnos finds out the man who killed Statesman once called them ally.

Episode 6

Episode six of Who Will Die follows up on Sister Psyche's splintering mind and places Manticore in a precarious situation.

Heroes are contacted by Specialist Greer, a detective in the PPD (Paragon Police Department) licensed for mech-piloting to deal with super-powered threats. Manticore is desperately looking for a way to help his now mentally unstable wife and Greer had decided to contact the Hero on their behalf. Greer just got word that Vanessa DeVore, ringmaster of the Carnival of Shadows has been kidnapped by the Malta Operatives. The Carnival of Shadows are a cabal of Vanessa's own making, normal civilians mentally enslaved to the masks they wear, which are all conduits to Vanessa, allowing her to command an army of psychic thralls as a garish troop of flamboyant clowns and magicians. The Malta are a mercenary troop with a lot of hangups about meta-humans making military power less relied upon. While both factions are traditionally enemies of the Freedom Phalanx, Vanessa will have the psychic and magical training needed to stabilize Sister Psyche's mind and with the Malta on her, she will know better than to sabotage Psyche' any further. The Hero goes to rescue Vanessa from the Malta. Vanessa says the Carnival handle such affairs by putting on their masks and then smothering their former identities into submission, but as Sister Psyche' probably will not put on one of the masks, and her powers are too strong anyway, the best way is with a ritual the Circle of Thorns know. Vanessa gives the Hero the details and points out where they can find a prepared ritual site to commandeer from the Circle of Thorns. The Hero will have the option to either let Vanessa go as thanks or bring her in for her many crimes. Either way after the encounter the Hero returns to Greer who passes along the information to Manticore. Greer wants one of their contacts, Arkanist a - former Circle of Thorn's member who decided the cult was more trouble than it was worth, curse of no - to look over the ritual site to make sure Vanessa's ritual is 100% safe. After retrieving Arkanist for the rite, Greer makes arrangements for Manticore, Sister Psyche' and the newly trained psychic, Penelope Yin to fight through one of the Circle of Thorn's temples to get to the site.

Villains are contacted by Protector Z-958, one of Crey Industries's biologically engineered "superheroes". Like all the Protectors, Protector Z-958 is less a hero than one of Crey's super-powered thugs, whose main purpose is to do heroic looking deeds for the sake of the company's P.R.. Crey has a tempered relationship with Arachnos and so they are permitted to operate in the Rogue Isles to conduct research and money-moving that would not be legal on US soil, provided they continue to pay Arachnos a percentage and do not interfere with Arachnos affairs. Since there is practically no need for P.R. while operating in the Rogue Isles, Protector Z-958's presence is extremely out-of-place, but it is quickly revealed why - Protector Z-958 is not Protector Z-958. Protector Z-958 reaches out to the Villain, or rather Aurora Borealis' mental double reaches out to the Villain. Protector Z-958 is being used as a psychic mouthpiece for the mental Aurora Borealis. Mental Aurora needs help and though the mental double of a crime-fighter, she is willing to do anything to not be locked away inside Sister Psyche again. The Villain must also go to Vanessa DeVore, freed from the Malta. Vanessa tells the Villain of the favor exchange she made with the Freedom Phalanx and of the ritual. The Villain goes to locate Arkanist for follow-up info on where to find the ritual site being used and then heads to it.

However, Tyrka makes an appearance, to fight the Hero though the Hero had not met her in the previous episodes, she announces she is there on behalf of Wade to disrupt the ritual. Manticore stays behind to keep Sister Psyche' safe while the Hero goes to prevent Tyrka from reaching either. Even when Tyrka is defeated something is wrong. There is interference from somewhere turning Sister Psyche's powers on everyone within her range, which thanks to the ritual, is all of Paragon City. Sister Psyche's says her powers are about to tear apart the minds of everyone in Paragon city, something even the Hero and Manticore cannot stop at its current stage. With their death seconds away Sister Psyche's tells Manticore to kill her to prevent her powers from going off. Manticore initially refuses but with the lives of everyone on the line Sister Psyche' begs for Manticore not to let that happen.

And so Manticore shoots his wife, killing Sister Psyche'.

After the ritual the Villain receives a telepathic message from the mental Aurora Borealis she had been tossed out of Sister Psyche's mind just before Manticore killed her and been caught in one of the Circle of Thorns' many soul-prison crystals. The Villain goes to retrieve her. Aurora tells the Villain that Sister Psyche' had never wanted her to suffer and was just trying to keep her to the side so she could think clearly, but with her death seconds away, Sister Psyche' pushed the mental Aurora out of her mind to spare her Psyche's fate as an apology for having to repress her for years. Tyrka interrupts though, now recovered to attempt to capture the crystal first for Darrin Wade. Aurora tells the Villain if they use the crystal on Tyrka once she is weak, it will allow Aurora to take over her body. As instructed the Villain fights Tyrka until she is knocked out and the mental Auroa Borealis has a new body. Aurora is sorry Sister Psyche' is dead but grateful to both her and the Villain for her freedom. Aurora tells the Villain they have her eternal gratitude and will help them in nearly any future affairs they wish of her, but for the moment she has much to do to acclimate herself again to the world.

After it is revealed what caused psychic backlash. Darrin had placed an artifact underneath the ritual site, set to go off when the ritual was at its peak, leaving only one thing to be done to save the people of Paragon - something Wade knew both Sister Psyche' and Manticore would do for the greater good. When Manticore killed Sister Psyche' her powers were absorbed through the artifact back to the obelisk which Darrin absorbed - granting Darrin both the Incarnate power of Statesman and the newly acquired psychic powers of Sister Psyche'. Both the Hero and Villain have nothing but contempt for Darrin Wade after witnessing this latest feat. With his new superpowers and arcane knowledge Darrin will easily summon Rularuu and thus must be stopped once and for all.

Episode 7

Episode seven is the finale to the arc. Statesman's friends and foes team up to both save the planet from Rularuu and avenge the death of their years-long savior/target.

The organizer of the final Strike-Force against Darrin Wade is Infernia, Glacia's sister and another member of the Omega Team who fought the Rikiti invaders. Because Infernia is located in the Vanguard, a security area that recruits both heroes and villains to fight off the Rikti, both heroes and villains are contacted by Infernia.

The first stop is investigating the site of Statesman's death. Arachnos sent two of their four Patrons - Lord Recluse's right-hands, to investigate, Ghost Widow and Scirocco. While Ghost Widow is acting as security Scirocco is preforming the examination. Both reveal they have no intent to fight and their top priority is finding Darrin Wade. Scirocco has determined that Darrin has vanished to the Shadow Shard, to commune with Rularuu. Upon receiving the information the player goes to report back to the Vangaurd and use one of its inter-dimensional portals to travel to the Shadow Shard itself, a massive colored void with a few stray bits of gnarled land and structures floating throughout it. Rularuu has many different aspects while trapped in the Shadow Shard and cannot focus them as one being. A previously established friendly aspect of Rularuu is Faathim the Kind who the Vanguard arrange a meeting with to find out where Darrin is. Ruladak the Strong, the brutish aspect of Rularuu ambushes Faathim and with him the players. After protecting him, Faathim helps by revealing Darrin arrived to make a pilgrimage to focus each of Rularuu's aspects through him before leaving for Earth while the powers gestated within him. Wade has a small unnamed island he had gone to gather his strength.

The Vanguard make transport to the island both members of the Freedom Phalanx and Arachnos are there to help. Both Penelope Yin and Numina are there to act as psychic and magical protection. Lord Recluse brings Mako with him to quickly scavenge the waters once they arrive, though Statesman's granddaughter Ms. Liberty is firmly in-charge of the operation. The Island has a massive barrier around it and is levitating into the stratosphere. Darrin sends hoards of Rularuu minions to destroy the ship. The Player will hold out while Mako diverts the Rularuu minions from joining Darrin as his island ascends and the Vanguard unleashes the full firepower on Darrin's field before it can make escape velocity but no amount of firepower seems to dent it. The Vangaurd say they would need the power to level a country just to break open the shield ... as it turns out this is something Lord Recluse has had for years. The Island of Warburg is a contested former Arachnos nuclear base. Though the nuclear base is held by Marshall Blitz's rogue Arachnos faction, they do not have the codes to launch any of the nukes and heroes and villains fought in the area as a PvP zone for control of the base. However, with his rival dead and the time for pretense over, Lord Recluse reveals he has actually had the codes all along, the conflict was just used to weed out and destroy enemies and rivals of Arachnos with the nukes acting as a high-stakes lure. Lord Recluse calls in his fourth Patron, Black Scorpion to go with the Player to Warburg and launch the nuclear warheads at Darrin's island. After protecting Black Scorpion's position the Arachnos warhead launches and obliterates the shield, but Darrin is no longer on earth with his island fully risen. The final phase of the mission is to go into space to fight Rula-Wade in his new orbiting lookout.

Numina and Penelope both try to hold back Rula-Wade's power while the Four Patrons fight off Rularuu's hoards and the Player and Lord Recluse break the artifacts Wade is using to keep himself in sync with Rularuu. By the time the artifacts are destroyed Rula-Wade overpowers Numina, Penelope and the Arachnos Patrons. Leaving only the players and Lord Recluse. Lord Recluse is adamant that Darrin pay for killing his decades old be-hated archenemy. As the fight goes on Rula-Wade becomes more and more mentally unstable as Darrin loses more and more of his individuality to Rularuu. The more damage he takes the more of Statesman and Sister Psyche's powers are used up negating the harm, until finally Rula-Wade cannot maintain his physical form anymore. Rula-Wade's final words are that of befuddlement that he is defeated and regret that he will not be able to understand and control the universe. Rula-Wade bursts apart in a blaze of white light and the day is won. When returning to earth, Infernia tells the player that Darrin was blasted out of the mass that was Rula-Wade and back into his normal body, though with no powers. The Vanguard will be holding Darrin indefinitely to question him and though he will face various forms of punishment, the truth is they will be doing him a favor compared to what Lord Recluse would do to him if he ever found out Darrin was still in one piece.

Infernia sends out the players to a press-conference to answer any questions about the situation. Whether hero or villain the player is given the option to cooperate fully with the press, refuse to take questions or ravage the press conference as a meaningless pretense. If the player attacks they will need to fight off the Vanguard security to escape and Infernia is mortified at assuring the Vanguard they were trustworthy. Even if the players cooperate fully, Manticore shows up to attack, with his wife dead he is willing to take on anyone and everyone who might have lead to events as they unfolded. Though Manticore is spared he remains beaten and brokenhearted.

The various contacts have their fates concluded after aiding in the affair. Theoden agrees to help the police full-time after the Lost abandoned him, meanwhile Alastor continues his research in undeath. Michael Binocolo becomes the Luddite's representative in a formal alliance between them and the Midnight Squad while Vladimir Zolner begins spying on Dmitry Krylov, an ex-KGB scientist working with Arachnos. Agent Kwahu receives a commendation and Marshall Blitz manages to escape captivity, leaving Gossamer frantically looking for her commander. Dakota Berg is briefly the hero of the hour, before getting drunk at a celebration and losing his credit inside a day. The mental Aurora Borealis remains in control of Tyrka's body, though unseen she remains as a telepathic contact with the Villain. Glacia is honorably dismissed from her duties to go back patrolling Paragon city as a private super-heroine again and Leo Poggiani takes over the Blackbeard bar, a position he uses to have his patrons regularly patrol for stray heroes. Specialist Greer is brought in as a formal superhero from the PPD but Protector Z-958 is left with several odd behavior tics from the mental Aurora's time in its brain, with Crey keeping him in for study. Penelope Yin is welcomed as a full-fledged member of the Freedom Phlanax. Positron is made the new head of the Freedom Phalanax and Ms. Liberty renews her grandfather's old goals of finding a way to redeem Lord Recluse...her quest will eventually manifest with a radical quest to reunite Lord Recluse with his deceased lover, Red Widow.

Darrin Wade - interogation

Lady Grey stands over Darrin Wade.

The outro shows one final scene of Darrin's fate. Lady Grey had Darrin in a high security area, just barely able to grunt as she grills him for information about what he truly knows about full nature of Rularuu.

Galley

Triva

  • Following Statesman and Sister Psyche's deaths each character is replaced with Positron and Penelope Yin as contacts for Players who had completed the story arc.
  • Darrin Wade was scheduled to be an important informant in future story arcs. However, due to NC Soft shutting down City of Heroes/Villains that same year his future worth to the Vanguard is never explored.
  • Ghost Widow and Scirocco are more affraid of what Lord Recluse will do to the world at large with Statesman dead than anything Rula-Wade would have done to them.
  • Darrin became notrious for the player-community of City of Villains as the single stupidest character in the Rogue Isles for being dumb enough to kill-poach from Lord Recluse.
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