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|“||Look at you all. Watching me from behind the safety of your screens. Sheltered in your kingdoms of make-believe. Your pathetic. Every one of you, from the first man to the last child. You look down on me as if you have some self-imposed authority. As if your perfect yourselves. You see, I've come to understand this pathetic race I was bred into, all those years ago. You don't want to see reality for what it truly is - so you hide from it. Run from it. Cowering behind your bedsides. Pathetic. F***ING PATHETIC!! You only keep me in chains because you fear the fact that I see you all for what you truly are. So I'll lay this next part out very slowly. At roughly seven o'clock eastern time - that's two hours from now - eight federal buildings will implode on themselves, killing eight hundred people. My death is inevitable. But when the times, I will die knowing I took a generation to my grave with me.||„|
|~ Svarog's revealing his plan's to destroy the Atlantic City projects during a press conference.|
|“||You're not the only one. (Chauncey: What the hell?!) Oh, save it. Did you really think you were the first one to try something like this on me? (Chauncey: I...I trusted you. And you turned your back on me.) There's your first mistake. We're all human. Some of us are just more human than the rest. I should know. I used to be normal. Plain. So...so f***ing SIMPLE. Then gears start turning, an oil tank bursts open, and bam. Here we are. It's a small world, Chauncey, and I doubt you're new to this whole charade. This is my story. And in my story...heh. Life's funny, isn't it? One minute you're alive and the next...well, why don't you wait and see for yourself.||„|
|“||Welcome, Daniels. I hope you enjoy your visit, although I'm afraid it won't last very long. You see, I've been watching you. You don't know me, but I know EVERYTHING about you....||„|
|~ Svarog's first tape.|
Joszua Antony Orzechowski, known by his aliases The Svarog Killer, The Mad Arsonist, or simply known as Svarog, is a sadistic psychiatrist-turned-serial murderer and the main antagonist of the 2019 novel Plague written by Joshua Orr (JORR), as well as the leader of The Circus. He is portrayed as the unseen force driving the story forward before finally revealing himself near the book's closing chapters. He's also somehow linked to Daniel Brown's encounters with Marshall.
Once a slightly manipulative yet empathetic scholar, Svarog was driven to insanity after a horrific explosion at the ACE Oil Maintenance Facility, ultimately leading to him dawning his new persona and committing a series of high profile assassinations/kidnapping across the tri-state area. Although not officially confirmed by Josh, he is believed to make a second appearance in the book's sequel, Plague: The Lost Chapters. He is also the main focus of The Origin Stages.
He is voiced by the book's author Joshua Orr in the book's teaser trailer.
Joszua is a skinny Caucasian male with hazel/light brown eyes, brown hair, and an oval-shaped head. He wears a white crow-like mask, a brown fire-resistant undercoat, a black inflammable overcoat, and a belt with a series of weapons which includes: a series of knives handcrafted by Svarog, a small pouch which contains a series of syringes and pills, a silver box lighter (which is rigged to spray out a flammable fluid), and two mechanical staffs which can launch a series of flames.
Underneath his mask, Svarog is described as having a scarred face and wearing something resembling a black surgical mask covering his mouth. This is to help further filter the oxygen that comes in through his mask, as some of it still may be unclean.
Svarog's personality is extremely complicated, as it is difficult at times to tell whether he is being genuine, sarcastic, or deceitful. In general, Svarog is shown to be short-tempered, dishonest, cold-blooded, vengeful, selfish, intelligent, sly, unloving, manipulative, and impulsive. He is a master manipulator and takes pride in exploiting people of the lower class, such as Pierr, if it benefits him.
Svarog enjoys psychologically tormenting his victims and is known for his ability to give people the illusion of helpless, hopeless, and despair. Despite this, he is shown to have some moral values. He has an unconditional love for animals and is able to show empathy, though he chooses not to.
His personality is further explored in a collection of deleted chapters, stylized as federal police records, named "The Origin Stages." On top of Attention Deficit Disorder and an irrational interest with fire, Svarog shows both borderline and sociopathic tendencies. As previously mentioned, Svarog is manipulative, deceitful, and authoritarian, all of which are generally associated with Anti-social Personality Disorder. However, he also shows six out of the nine symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder including extreme mood swings, homicidal tendencies, distorted self-image, anti-social attitude, impulsive behavior, problems controlling anger, paranoia or anxiety, and difficulties trusting others. He sees his associates as tools and nothing more, leading to Chauncey betraying him and his effort to find Brown. During the final chapters of The Origin Stages, he confesses his hatred of society to Chauncey throughout their fight. He also expresses no remorse over ending the latter's life just minutes later.
A common within The Origin Stages is that Svarog's unstable personality is a result of his chronic social isolation. A report conducted by Chauncey reveals that Svarog spent the majority of his childhood at home, writing stories or drawing. His selfish nature slowly brought him to enjoy the pain of others, although he too has limitations.
Ego-wise, his personality begins to twist. He apparently thinks highly of himself, taking pleasure in exacting his dominance over Brown. But as the story progresses, he slowly realizes his own limits and begins self-antagonizing. His self-image becomes increasingly distorted to the point that even he doesn't know who he truly is or what he is capable of. The constant shift in personality is a key reason for his descent to insanity later on.
His most determining factor is his splintering personality. As he is being chased by Roston and Fred, he screams racial slurs at the second before being driven off the road and confronted. In his monologue against society, he claims that "there's good and there's bad, Chauncey. Do you know what's in between? No? Good." This type of black and white mindset is a major factor of splintering and one of the main nine symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Due to his ADD, Joszua is also somewhat hyperactive and has constant mood swings, which manage to take hold of him most times. His homicidal ways are somewhat linked to his frustration with living with multiple mental and personality disorders. It has also been noted that Joszua has constant twitching in his eyes and legs, the same way some birds do.
Powers and Abilities
- Intelligence: Svarog is extremely intelligent, and has a vast knowledge of psychiatry, weaponry, tactical combat, psychological torture methodology.
- Combat Skills: Svarog is an extremely capable fighter and was in many fights during the earlier years of his life. He is capable of fighting off NJP officers and more physically powerful opponents like Detective Brown. He is skilled at using various weapons to his advantage, especially knives and fire-based weaponry.
- Weapon Crafting: It is revealed that Svarog crafted his own knives, as well as all of his other weapons. He has crafted explosives, cross-ridged weapons to objects such as a fire staff or a box lighter, and knows how to clean, maintain, reload, and use higher level weapons such as a flamethrower.
- Engineering: Svarog designed many death traps/torture chambers and is portrayed as a skilled engineer. He has crossed pipes into rooms, rigged roller coasters with hot steam pipes, attached an electric chair to one of the teacup rides, and rigged the Haunted House attraction at Plague World to explode once Brown's time ran out. This is all funded by his counterfeited wealth, which gives him access to a variety of materials.
- Wealth: Joszua has a vast amount of money (about 2,500,000 dollars/euros according to Josh) that he has forged alongside his associates. All of his money goes towards buying him materials to make weapons and hire professional hit men.
- Pyroweaponry: Joszua has a vast understanding of fire and knows how to use it to his advantage. Most of his weapons include fire somehow, and Joszua prefers to give his victims, as he puts it, "a slow, painful death by incineration."
- Weaponry: Joszua's weapon arsenal is by far his most impressive accomplishment. In his possession are multiple knives of various shapes and sizes,
- Plague World: Joszua has complete control over Plague World, the "employees" (who are, in reality, hit-men and mercenaries hired by him), all rides and cameras, the PA system, and a rigged explosive hidden within the Haunted House.
- Pharmaceutical Knowledge: Svarog's psychiatrist job required him to prescribe medications to the patient, which allowed him to have an understanding of the medical field. He can name about 40-50 different prescriptions for one particular syndrome/disorder. This also gives Svarog access to a vast arsenal of prescription medicines, which he uses to drug Sammy in the diner.
- Biochemistry: As well as being skilled with the pharmaceutical field, Svarog also is somewhat skilled in biochemistry. He created his own special "Midnight" chloroform, which is able to knock somebody out for at least four hours, sometimes more depending on how strong it is. This, along with a series of other harmful substances, is what he injects into Daniel Brown shortly after the initial kidnapping.
- Arson: Svarog burned down one of his victims' house and also set fire to one of the banners during Daniel Brown's wedding. He also burned down Plague World while trying to destroy evidence of his crimes at the end of the book.
- Murder: Svarog has murdered many people to achieve his goals. He was responsible for killing Debra in the wedding fire, murdering Sheila via suffocation (although this was unintentional), starting a house fire that led to Keala's death, burned Tanner alive in his basement, and killing three teenagers using his slingshot death trap. He also killed Brown at the end of the novel.
- Counterfeiting: During his hideout in Seafall Heights, Svarog and The Circus began a massive counterfeit operation and made thousands of dollars worth of forged currency. He also put this money into circulation by giving it to his assassins.
- Assault: Svarog attacked Daniel Brown directly during the book's climax, although this ultimately led to his downfall. Svarog also knocked Daniel's niece unconscious while he was attempting to kidnap her, as well as attempting to attack her father.
- Kidnapping: Throughout the novel, Svarog kidnapped multiple people and put them into inhumane deathtraps. He first kidnaps Thomas from his West Virginian cottage using chloroform spray, before kidnapping Dugland, Daniel Brown, and multiple others.
- Attempted Murder: At the beginning of the book, Svarog poisons Sammy's drink and causes Sammy to collapse, although it is mentioned that Sammy was not killed. Svarog also attempts to murder Daniel Brown multiple times before finally achieving it at the end of the story.
- Torture Methodology: Svarog brutally tortured and/or murdered four of his nine victims. He also tortured Brown, attempting to severely burn his face with a lighter, nearly drowning him, indirectly leaving a series of scars on his back, and giving him second-degree burns across his body during their final fight.
- In an interview, Josh revealed that Svarog was a persona of himself.
- The said interview can be found here.
- Svarog is the name of the Slavic god of fire.
- As well as being called Svarog, Joszua was also given the name "The Mad Arsonist" by the media.
- It was hinted in an interview with Josh that Svarog will be returning in Plague: The Lost Chapters, hinting that he might actually be alive.
- According to Josh, Svarog may become more of a terrorist in the book's sequel.
- According to Josh, Svarog is a personification of the inner hatred people feel towards loss of control.
- Svarog's costume is based off of a Plague Doctor, skilled people who treated the dying during the black death, aka the Plague.
- In an interview, Josh revealed that Svarog was suffering from only ADD and pyromania despite him having borderline/sociopathic tendencies and only a mild interest in fire. However, as of July 6, 2019, Josh also explained that he is "renewing" the Plague storyline, meaning he would begin changing mild story elements (including Svarog's motivation and the book's ending), polishing off characters and their motivations, and releasing deleted chapters (which, unfortunately, are no longer accessible.)