Patreon Villain – The Erlking

The man known to the public as the Erlking is by most believed to be a good and kind business man who gives money to charities and helps those who have less or are in a difficult spot. It’s not entirely untrue. He does all those things, but it’s all a front for his real business. As he would put it, you can’t make money by being kind.

The Erlking (image made with HeroMachine)

Ian MacGreene grew up in a short way from Dublin and for the most part of his life he helped his parents around the farm. It wasn’t big and they didn’t have much, but Ian’s dad always had an eye out for “opportunities”. “Gambling” is the term his mother used in private. Ian’s dad sometimes won and would drink to celebrate. He’d also lose and would drink to feel better. The only real difference is that he would hit harder when he’d lose. After one striking loss, he returned home with threats and his belt at the ready. Ian tried protecting his mother but his father was stronger. That’s when the men came, who Ian’s dad owed money to. He seemed to have stolen money from them, because they weren’t very happy. They let him bleed on the ground for a good while after the beating, before they shot him in the head and left Ian and his mother with the body. After his mother hit the corpse some more with her frying pan, Ian realized who it was who had the real power.

The gang’s boss took the farm into Ian’s dad’s debts but Ian convinced him to let him and his mother live there. Instead, Ian would care for the farm and work for the gang in between. Within the year, he had proven to be a resourceful and valuable asset. Later, he became a valued enforcer. But when his boss wanted to sell the farm, Ian refused and begged to let him and his mother stay there. The boss did not take kindly to this begging, beat up his mother and burned down the farmhouse.

Ian sought retaliation, and the gang found out why Ian had been such a good farmer. Ian had powers, the ability to command the plants to do his bidding. Before fighting the gang and his former boss, he had never used his powers as much. It took a lot out of him, lashing out like that, but the gang’s hideout, and much of the gang, was decimated. The overuse of his power left a mark and turned the skin on his left arm wooden.

Ian left Ireland with his mother and came to New Camelot City in America, where he started his business. His business blossomed and he branched out (pardon the phrase), turning his small business into greater power. He changed his name to Ian Greene, and his club, The Green, became one of the most exclusive clubs in the city. His street name is the Erlking, earned because of his wooden left hand, and he still owns the pub that started his empire, the Bloom Keg.

Concept

The Erlking is one of the major crime bosses in New Camelot City. Although he is perhaps not the most powerful of supervillains, he is a decisive threat by himself and can beat up any mere thug thrown his way. The Erlking’s real power is in his organization and his public persona. With his connections, the Erlking can recruit superpowered crooks to his service.

The Erlking’s real business is in weapons. Although his underlings have on occasion suggested he should deal in illegal drugs (what with his powers to enhance plant growth), the Erlking views recreational drugs as a pest that preys on the weak, while his weapons empower the strong.

In public, Ian Greene is kind and a gentleman. While working his darker business, the Erlking is direct and ruthless, but keeps to the shadows. He rarely does his business in person, but when he does it is often a personal and brutal affair.

Complications

Should the heroes ever figure out the Erlking’s weaknesses, they can use them against him.

FAMILY FIRST: To Ian Greene, family is worth more than gold, as is loyalty. He will not betray his own men and cares for them as they are expected to show him the same loyalty. But his real, actual family, his blood and his kin, is his real weakness. Ian has a daughter and a grandaughter, and as much as he loves the former, the latter is the light of his life. Should anything happen to them, the Erlking will see New Camelot City burn to the ground to seek his vengeance.

IT IS A PLANT’S LIFE: Family is his emotional weakness, but his physical weakness are the same things as can harm plants specifically. The Erlking is resiliant against most diseases and poisons, but chemicals such as defoliants hurt him as chloroform (see “Poison” page 186 of the Hero’s Handbook). Especially potent defoliants can cause him greater harm.

Capers

A BIGGER GUN: A new weapon hits the street; an experimental gun or bullet that is making the streets more dangerous than before, especially for the police. The heroes seem capable of handling this threat, but they need to take care of it at the source. The Erlking is smuggling the weapon into the city, and there’s a new shipment tonight.

LETS MAKE WAR: The Erlking’s grandaughter is kidnapped and the clues lead to another crime lord in the city (such as Papa Zombie, who’ll be the subject of a later post). The streets of New Camelot City become a warzone as the two gangs wage war and gather other gangs into alliances. But the heroes notice that something’s not right, and through further investigation they figure out that someone is orchestrating this war. But who, and why?

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