- Trial of Baron Blade comic issue: "Doomsday Device" plot just prior to start of SotM card game events. Team shows up to fight him, capture him, and takes him to court. He takes the stand claiming to be the victim: assaulted by these "heroes", had his equipment (for which he had all the proper permits and which he has schematics showing they were benign) destroyed, etc. The whole plot was to discredit the Freedom Five just before his Terralunar Impulsion Beam plot. It's a fun story that Christopher and Adam came up with that doesn't really fit in as an "event" to play in the game, but they've got the whole script and whatnot written out.
After the second world war, Europe was split into two. Western Europe remained a confederacy of sovereign nations, but Eastern Europe became a part of the superpower that was the Soviet Union. As the tensions between communist and capitalist nations grew, the world eventually found itself in a new kind of conflict: an arms race that would come to be referred to as the Cold War.
The primary conflict was between two rival powers: the U.S.S.R. and the United States of America. The U.S. had a unique advantage in the form of a remarkable uptick in superhuman individuals. Without such a genetic blessing on their side, the Soviets were forced to use technological advancement to keep up. The best minds were conscripted into the weapons development program. The most prominent among them was Fyodor Ramonat.
A Lithuanian super scientist, Ramonat was placed in direct command of a weapons research and development plant outside of a town near the Latvian border called Mordengrad. His research would eventually gain the attention of the U.S. military, and when Fyodor’s team completed the creation of their crown jewel, an orbital shrink ray that could reduce any target on the planet to one percent of its former size, and were preparing to use it, it was time for the Americans to take action.
Unwilling to create an international incident, the U.S. sent in a team of its top superhumans, led by that generation's Legacy. The ensuing battle proved devastating for both sides. Most of the heroes sent to fight were gunned down by the legions of mechanically enhanced Soviet soldiers at Ramonat’s disposal, and Legacy himself was nearly bested by Ramonat’s remote-controlled walking tank. However, Legacy managed to find Ramonat in his command center and stop him. Weakened by the fighting, the factory collapsed in on itself, and Legacy was the only one seen escaping from the burning wreckage.
Mordengrad ended up paying the price for the destruction of the weapons plant. With no need for its workers, the Soviet command made the decision to redistribute supplies and rations to more strategic population centers. Its citizens were forced to wait for hours in the breadlines, often coming home empty-handed. Among those with tattered lives were the remnants of the Ramonat family. Fyodor's widow, Edita, died from a combination of the awful living conditions and a broken heart, leaving young Ivan Ramonat to fend for himself at the age of 13. Many of those Ivan grew up with and around starved; only the most ruthless or the most clever survived.
Ivan fell firmly within the latter category. Like his father, he was brilliant. Instead of focusing on trying to scrounge for food himself, his goal became to gain a following to do the dirty work for him. His plan was to re-open the plant, and those to whom he explained his plan were ready to do anything that might restore the town’s favor. He amassed a large following of men who acted both as body guards and servants.
Over the years, Ivan gradually became the unofficial ruler of the Mordengrad. Hardened by necessity, he reigned with an iron fist. Its people were either with him or against him: there was no in-between. And those who were against him either were persuaded otherwise or were dealt with personally.
Rumor quickly spread once Ivan and his men managed to restore production at the plant, and when the Soviet generals arrived to investigate, production had far surpassed that of when Ivan’s father was in charge. The generals obviously had questions about who the mystery person was and how he had managed such a feat, and when he met with them, Ivan finally executed his plan.
The man they spoke to was no longer the son of Fyodor Ramonat; he was Baron Blade. More importantly, he revealed to the generals that the plant and the weapons within were all his. And when they objected, he led them to the window, showing them the now empty courtyard where their troops once had been. The soldiers had been vaporized, he explained, as would be the Soviet generals and anyone else who stood in his way.
Ivan, now known as Baron Blade, held no actual animosity towards the Soviets. As a self-appointed ruler himself, he understood the need for tough decisions, but he would never again allow himself to be subject to the whims of another. The Parsons family, however, were a different story. The Legacy line were directly responsible for the destruction of the plant and the death of Fyodor. The Soviets were driven from the surrounding lands out of necessity, but the Parsons would have to pay.
As the Soviet Union fell, Baron Blade’s legions grew in size. His nefarious plans grew ever more cunning as well. Blade eventually succeeded in avenging his father by killing the Legacy that defeated his father, but not before the powers of the younger Paul Parsons began to manifest themselves. Unlike his father before him, the next Legacy would prove a much greater nemesis: his new power took the form of impenetrable skin. Numerous attempts to destroy this new Legacy were continually thwarted until he unleashed his greatest plan yet. Instead of trying to fight Legacy himself, Blade would destroy the very world around him, leaving no quarter for the hero and Blade as the ruler of the meager remnants. Knowing what he had to do, he set about building his TerraLunar Impulsion Beam, a device which would pull the moon into the Earth
- He's the "primary antagonist" of the setting, "pretty central to all of the events". Not the scariest or most dangerous, but is iconic and persistent. He was the first villain Christopher and Adam created and his appearance is pretty much the same in the game as in the first drawing.
- His father, Fyodor Ramonat, made weapons and whatnot for the Soviets in the Cold War (in response to USA's access to superheroes). Villains Iron Curtain and Proletariat were also part of this "arms race" (and is why Baron Blade knew about Proletariat when putting together the Vengeful Five). Armies of robots, walking tanks, war Zeppelins, shrink rays - Grandpa Legacy and some compatriots went in to stop Fyodor's creations from being used (as per Blade's bio in the game materials).
- Orphaned teenager in Mordengrad, he's charismatic and smarter than everybody else and builds a following. By his late teens he's essentially the ruler of Mordengrad. A Soviet general comes to see why they aren't putting out the weapons they're supposed to. Ivan talks back (very arrogantly) and the general's order to his men to shut him up is what resulted in Ivan's facial scar (from a bayonet the soldier struck him with) and the general gives the town a year to get things up to snuff.
- The factory outputs lots of good "super science" stuff that he comes up with (far beyond his father's work). The general comes back, is greeted well, is impressed by the turn-around, is shown to the leader of the town who reveals himself now as Baron Blade. The general and his men get atomized and Mordengrad is claimed as Blade's own territory.
- First main appearance in the comics (minions and whatnot show up earlier) was his conflict with Grandpa Legacy, killing him in revenge for his own father's death (see incap sides of Grandpa Legacy's hero character cards). He still needs to end the Legacy line entirely for his full revenge, however.
- The most brilliant/useful thing he ever came up with was the Regression Serum - simply being uncorked near Legacy will greatly weaken him (see Freedom Four Annual #1 - although in the comic Legacy starts to feel the effects even before it's uncorked). This was Blade's first appearance as a Supervillain with "world altering" plans rather than personal stuff (seen in kind of a "propaganda comics" kind of thing - you know, eastern European scientist fighting the great American hero and getting trounced occasionally).
- The FFA#1 plot (drilling into the earth's core) kind of set the stage for Baron Blade's modus operandi of "really brilliant inventions that are a bad idea".
- Terralunar Impulsion Beam is set up in the Ruins of Atlantis. He's hoping that after the Pyrrhic victory of crashing the moon into the earth that he'll be ok down there and can then rule what's left, although that's less important than killing Legacy in the process. The machine itself is in a big domed room which collapses around Blade when he loses the fight. This is supposed to be a direct call-back to his father's death in the factory that collapsed in Mordengrad - that is, until he emerges in his battle suit (its first appearance - although it appears in many forms later, not always worn by him). When he loses that fight the suit explodes (causing his burn scars seen in Mad Bomber variant), taking out a wall, and the rush of water pulls him outside. The heroes assume him dead at this point.
Variant: Variant for Baron Blade Villain, Originally teased in the Rook City Kickstarter, and revealed in the Infernal Relics kickstarter as the $47K stretch reward
- First Appearance: Freedom Five #258
After the destruction of his TerraLunar Impulsion Beam at the hands of his nemesis Legacy, Baron Blade narrowly made his escape from the Freedom Five. Now, he has returned, but without the devices and minions he usually employs to distract the heroes. This time, the Baron has hidden bombs throughout the city of Megalopolis and is threatening to blow the entire city sky high if the heroes do not disarm the bombs in time.
The Mad Baron has sent video footage of his bombs to the Freedom Five headquarters, giving them the clues they need to find and dispose of the explosives. What maniacal plan does this madman have up his sleeves, and when he reveals them, will the heroes be able to save the city, or will they be caught in Baron Blade's twisted trap?
- He washes up on the same shore near Megalopolis that Legacy had washed up on in FFA#1. He sneaks into the city, hiding in the sewers and warehouses. Keeps under the radar rather than building a following. He hides a bunch of bombs around the city, builds his hand-held death ray, and another secret. The rationale of sending the video footage saying that he's set the bombs is to make the public aware that the heroes can't keep them safe even in their home city. The Freedom Five is busy, so instead they get Fanatic and other heroes who happen to be around to go fight him instead.
- It really frustrated him that the Freedom Five, who he's specifically baiting, ignore him. At the end of the fight he winds up going to Freedom Five HQ himself (not yet Freedom Tower, rather a stone building near the coast). His intention is to kill Legacy with the death ray while the other heroes are dealing with the bombs, but Absolute Zero dives in the way and takes the shot - one of the first times that AZ displays the selfless "hero" quality.
- Death ray operates by using the inherent movement of organic molecules to ignite said organic material. The suit took the brunt of the hit, but since AZ's body doesn't have any molecular movement (being at absolute zero) that it didn't really do anything to his body like it could have with Legacy. Blade is captured and put in prison for the first time (solitary confinement, maximum security, robotic guards to avoid his ability to trick them - although putting robots around Baron Blade is probably stupider than putting people around him). He fully expected that he'd wind up captured when he went to FF HQ.
- Had hidden a ceramic/undetectable gadget under his skin, so that he could communicate with the company that he'd set up while still on the outside. That company? Revocorp! See, if you get rid of the "orp" at the end, it's "cover" backwards as it's just a cover for his other machinations.
- He set up Revocorp to reverse engineer the regression serum (to give himself or others powers rather than taking them away from others). 100% failure/fatality rate until the single successful test case, who then also escaped (Setback).
- To break out (probably the most impressive feat of anything he's done) he uses the robots there to guard him to create a robot duplicate of himself and fashion a robot disguise for himself while ostensibly on lockdown in a maximum security prison and just walks out. He then goes to Revocorp to oversee tests himself. Still failures, but he gets impatient and just cranks everything to 11 and undergoes the procedure himself. The robot left in the cell is eventually discovered and destroyed by Mr. Fixer (see Argent Adept's card Inspiring Supertonic).
- Powers gained: super strength, resilience, self-healing. No flight, requires frequent injections to maintain it or his body starts breaking down (and the injections are very taxing). Now we're up to Vengeance. From an art standpoint, his costume is supposed to be a perversion of Legacy's (minus the cape). Setback's is also meant to be derivative of Legacy's outfit. Fright Train is also part of the Regression Serum project and there are elements to his look that also tie into the theme. Blade's look at this point looks more like a superhero rather than his tech/scientist look that he had previously (lab coat, etc.).
Baron Blade has suffered greatly at the hands of the so-called “heroes” of the Multiverse. His brilliance has always been met with unnecessary physical force. The Freedom Four blew up his amphibious robot, which was specially designed to drill into the core of the earth and harness the power there to power the Baron’s inventions. The Freedom Five attacked his TerraLunar Impulsion Beam Platform, destroying his invaluable and nigh-irreplaceable inventions, leaving him to burn in the wreckage. When he decided to bring the fight to the heroes himself with a combined bombing and death ray plot, the Freedom Five largely ignored him as other heroes dismantled his bombs and physically assaulted him. It was far too much for a scientific genius to stand!
So, the accomplished inventor went into hiding. He began carefully reverse engineering his most dastardly invention: the regression serum, the very mixture he developed to deny Legacy the strength of his own genetic line. His tests, however, were disappointing. He went through hundreds of test subjects with a 0% survival rate. Baron Blade was getting desperate, until he received reports from one of his testing facilities that one plucky test subject had not only survived the test, but had actually developed rudimentary physical powers as a result! This was a great breakthrough, but it came with a notable setback. The subject had escaped the testing facility.
After a frustrating lack of luck in reappropriating the subject, Baron Blade continued experimenting, based on the success of the recent testing, and finally, desperate for results, tested the most promising version of the progression serum on himself! The injections almost incapacitated him, but he recovered quickly and found that he was, in fact, stronger than ever! His strength and speed quickly advanced to superhuman levels, but without regular injections of the serum, using his new power would drain him, leaving him entirely exhausted. Still, his success bolstered his resolve. It was now time for vengeance.
Baron Blade went about gathering villains to him from across the Multiverse. He built an elite team to rival that of the Freedom Five, making himself the leader of the newly formed Vengeful Five, and gave each of his new accomplices command of the other villainous riffraff that heard the Baron’s call.
Now, stronger than ever, Baron Blade and his team are ready to take on the Freedom Five and take the Multiverse back for themselves! Vengeance is upon us!
- Vengeful Five plotlines involve the destruction of the original FF Headquarters and another fight in the new Freedom Tower. The Vengeful Five is around for a while before the "big" event where Blade starts pulling in more members of heroes' rogues galleries and is also when Blade builds Omni-blade (officially Omnitron III) out of the parts that Revocorp had.
- As part of the "Vengeance War", Legacy and Blade wind up fighting in the Realm of Discord and enter a Positive Energy Field where they can't actually hurt one another. They eventually just have a conversation there and Blade's various scars heal. His body stabilizes - the serum has left him a bit more buff than he had been, but it's otherwise out of his system. The conversation doesn't resolve very much between them, but probably plants the seeds that allow Luminary to become a thing later as he recognizes the futility of their recurring fight.
- Blade disappears from the public eye after the Vengeance War. Revocorp continues doing stuff, but it's not really under his direction. He largely already got what he wanted from them in terms of the serum. More Revocorp info in a podcast about them specifically.
Ivan Grigori Ramonat is more commonly known as the villainous mad scientist Baron Blade. He has faced the many heroes of the Multiverse in countless conflicts, each time with a new doomsday plot that is as dangerous to the Baron as those around him.
However, with OblivAeon's assault on this reality, the mad Baron must put aside his long-standing enmity with the heroes, especially the Parsons family.
Baron Blade has learned much from his conflicts with the heroes, and his inventions have never been better! As Luminary, he stands alongside many powerful heroes and shows them the true might of his brilliance!
- That's pretty much it for "Baron Blade's" plot in the SotM card game, but Ivan comes back during OblivAeon with the reaction of "You don't get to kill Legacy; only I get to kill Legacy," although that's "probably not his primary motivation.
Variant: Originally revealed during the OblivAeon Kickstarter as the $175k stretch reward.
In an alternate dimension, there never was a Baron Blade. Instead, young Ivana Ramonat was the hero of her people!
Luminary was a brilliant inventor who fought against the villainous scourge: Legacy of Destruction. When NightMist became a gate between realities, Luminary was one of the heroes to answer the call and join the fight against OblivAeon!
This information is from the Miststorm Universe, one of two branching timelines. Products in this timeline are: Sentinel Tactics (and expansions). Prime War (and expansions)
- Tactics timeline: back to his old tricks. Less of a giant threat - no longer has the same "world destruction", pure vengeance kind of goals. More just likes to be a thorn in the side of the heroes.
This information is from the Sentinel Comics Universe, one of two branching universes. Products in this timeline are: Sentinel Comics RPG.
- RPG timeline: (apparently the best costume design that Adam's ever done) he sees the card game events as his path to Supervillain-hood and he has now "arrived". Much more of a presence in the world than in Tactics. You'll see his hand present in many more events even if he's not personally involved.