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Casca the Eternal Mercenary

Casca the Eternal mercenary


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Eternal Mercenary series started in 1979, and may continue forever because irony (41 volumes as of late 2014). It depicts the further adventure of the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus Christ’s side, as he was cursed with eternal life.

It’s definitely late 1970s pulp  schlock, with a sizeable “men’s adventures”  vibe. But within the, err, rigid limits of the genre it’s well-considered.


Background

  • Real Name: Casca Rufio Longinus
  • Other Aliases: Quetza (in God of Death), Karl Langer (in Panzer Soldier), Casey Romain (in The Eternal Mercenary), Carlos Romano (in The African Mercenary), He Who Has To Wait
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Tontine (uncle, deceased), Lida (wife, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Various military organizations throughout history
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 5’8” Age: 2030+ years
  • Eyes: Gray-Blue Hair: Auburn


Powers and Abilities

Casca, the immortal mercenary, has lived a life of combat and war for two millennia. He has served as both private and general and has learnt and taught military tactics, leadership and demolition. He is also a very capable marksman, swordsman and martial artist.

Casca has a real gift for languages. He can teach himself new languages in unusually short time. He knows and remembers over a dozen languages, some of which are now extinct. As a soldier he has also learnt some basic first aid, as well as riding and animal care. In more modern times, he added driving cars and boats.

His most remarkable abilities are those gained from his immortality curse. He heals any damage very fast, his blood is highly poisonous and his immune system is hyperactive. Although he is meant to stay the same throughout the millennia, he still can gain the benefits of training and working out. Thus, in modern times he has a superior physique and muscularity.

His superhuman abilities grant him great endurance as well, but it also makes him sterile.

Casca is the worst type of enemy you could ever encounter. He cannot be permanently killed, but will always, sooner or later, be resurrected to new life.


History

Casca Rufio Longinus is the man who cannot die. He is the Roman legionary who thrust his spear into the side of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, when he was dying on the cross when crucified (as told in the Bible).

For this evil deed he received a punishment worse than death. Jesus Christ cursed him with his dying breath to live an eternal life and to suffer the wars of the world and all the horrors associated with them. Casca would later realise he become immortal when he accidentally got some of Jesus’ blood in his mouth.

Casca wandered throughout the centuries and over the continents. He experienced the historical battles and met the greatest warlords, as anything from private to general. Again and again he had to endure the horrors of war in search for inner peace. In his head constantly echoed the words of Jesus Christ; “Until we meet again…”.

The history of Casca’s world has occurred as in the real world, except in a number of cases stated in the books, and as discussed below. Some dates and years will be way off, but that is how it is consistently told in the books of Casca’s life.

0 A.D.

Casca Rufio Longinus was born around the same time as Jesus Christ.

30 A.D.

Historical date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Casca condemned to a life of endless martial wandering by the dying Messiah.

30 A.D.- 226 A.D.

Casca is a legionary, gets cursed by the Messiah and gets condemned to the life of a slave after having killed his superior officer over a quarrel about a woman. He starts as a galley slave and then becomes a mine laborer for 60 years. He was then rewarded for saving the life of a higher civil servant by being sold to a gladiator school in Rome, where he could fight to regain his freedom.

He finally wins the ’tree sword‘ in the arena against a huge Nubian gladiator and therefore gains his freedom. He becomes slowly aware of the fact that he does not age and cannot be killed or seriously wounded, thanks to the curse of the dying Christ (Casca: The Eternal Mercenary).

226 A.D.

Casca is present as a Roman Legionnaire at the battle of Ctesiphon where Rome defeats the King of Parthia’s forces.

226-252 A.D.

Casca befriends the gigantic Viking warrior Glam and shares a bittersweet love with Lida, Viking princess (Casca: The Barbarian).

252 A.D.

Distraught after Lida’s death, Casca journeys to present day Mexico with Viking seafarers and encounters the bloodthirsty Aztec priests who cut out his heart as a sacrifice to their gods.

Casca reclaims his still beating heart from the hands of the priest and is declared a god by the terrified onlookers. ”It takes a god to kill a god and my time has not yet come. I am Casca! The Quetza! I AM GOD!!” (Casca: God of Death)

304 A.D.

In 2nd century China, Casca first encounters the fanatical disciples of the Brotherhood of The Lamb who amputate his hand. Casca manages to have the hand sewn back on by one of his traveling companions. He is also buried alive by a vindictive Chinese ruler and is freed by an earthquake (Casca: The Warlord).

309 A.D. – 379 A.D.

Casca serves as a general in the army of a Persian caliph and is burned at the stake when he becomes too popular with the troops (Casca: The Persian).

Ending date of 453 A.D.

Casca rejoins the Roman Legions in order to conquer the armies of Attila The Hun. Casca survives a bout with the Black Plague (Casca: The Damned).

Beginning date of 485 A.D.

The Brotherhood of The Lamb pursues Casca to North Africa, killing his newest love in the process. Casca avenges himself by crucifying the Brotherhood’s current leader (Casca: The Sentinel).

1090 A.D.

Casca is drafted into service by the Old Man of The Mountain to serve in his fanatical sect, the Assassins (Casca: The Assassin).

1156-1185

Set during the period of the Gempei wars of Feudal Japanese history. Casca fights in the battles between the Minamoto and Taira clans which resulted in the Shogunate system which ruled Japan for almost the next 700 years (Casca: The Samurai).

1180-1206

Casca meets a young peasant boy named Temujin and trains him in the military arts. Temujin became known to history as Genghis Khan (Casca: The Mongol).

1485-1521

Casca is imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition after claiming to have been present at the crucifixion. He escapes after a long imprisonment and sails for South America with the expedition led by Hernando Cortes. Casca is present as Emperor Montezuma is killed and Mexico City is looted by the Conquistadors (Casca: The Conquistador).

1718

Casca sails the high seas with Blackbeard and other dread buccaneer chieftains (Casca: The Pirate).

Beginning date of 1866

Casca is marooned on a South Seas island inhabited by warring cannibal tribes. He fights his way to the chieftainship of one of these groups using his knowledge of modern firearms and tactics (Casca: The Warrior).

1899-1900

Casca is caught between the British Army and Chinese nationalists when the Boxer Rebellion breaks out in Peking (Casca: The Cursed).

1914-1918

Casca fights with British forces in World War I. He is captured by the Germans and meets Manfred Von Richthofen and another German air ace, Max Immelmann (Casca: The Trench Soldier).

1943-1945

Casca is a German Tank Corps sergeant on the Russian Front. The epic tank battle at Kursk is described. After learning of the Nazi’s “Final Solution” from a Jewish resistance fighter, Casca travels to Russian besieged Berlin to confront Hitler.

When the Fuhrer is unrepentant to the Jews’ suffering, the enraged and saddened Casca shoots him to death and fights his way past the Russian forces to leave Berlin and the war behind him (Casca: Panzer Soldier).

1945-1954

After leaving Berlin, Casca enlists in the French Foreign Legion and travels to Indochina. He fights in the battle of Điện Biên Phủ which ends with the defeat of the French forces by North Vietnamese general Giáp (Casca: The Legionnaire).

Ca. 1955

Casca accepts a contract to rescue the daughter of a munitions manufacturer held captive by a Berber tribal chieftain (Casca: Desert Mercenary).

1967

Casca fights for Israel during the Six Day War (Casca: Soldier of Gideon).

1970

Casca fights in Việt Nam as a U.S. serviceman and leads a Việt Cộng patrol to a horrifying death in a swamp filled with gigantic estuaries crocodiles. Sadler based this book on actual events that occurred in the Pacific theater during World War Two.

On the island of Ramree, a group of one thousand Japanese infantrymen was reduced to a group of twenty survivors after encountering the nightmarish reptiles (Casca: The Phoenix).

1970s

Another rescue mission for Casca. This time he must smuggle a Chinese family to safety while being pursued by both the Việt Cộng and Chinese gangsters (Casca: Soldier of Fortune).

1980s

Casca and his forces accept a contract to overthrow tyrannical dictator Matthew Dzhombe, who is clearly modeled on Idi Amin, Ugandan leader (Casca: The African Mercenary).

More

Future stories about Casca’s life would probably have included accounts as a soldier during the Gulf War and in Yugoslavia.

The Brotherhood of the Lamb, who wish to punish Casca by killing him for the death of the Messiah, reappear century after century. Although occasionally thought destroyed, the organization has always managed to come back, just like Casca himself, and are certain to trouble him again in the future.


Description

Casca looks as if he were a male of 30-40 years age. He has a powerful physique and a muscular body covered by scars, some bleached into nothingness and some still clearly visible. He has so many scars, in fact, that it is impossible to see how any man could have survived whatever it is that he has survived.

Casca has a straight nose, dark eyebrows, brown hair (rather typical Roman looks) and is of modern average height. Casca was portrayed on the cover of the books by photos of his author Barry Sadler, who himself was a fairly well trained mercenary.

Casca usually wears military garments or fatigues. His body language, stances, speech etc. immediately and easily reveal him to be a soldier.

His incredibly high age is only visible in his eyes, which somewhat show his years, and through which he has sometimes managed to tell his life’s story.


Personality

Casca is, for an immortal, a surprisingly plain individual. He is essentially a loner, which is probably a consequence of him having lost everything he has held dear. He groans when he has no comments to make. Although preferring to keep a low profile, he will not take any shit from anyone. He prides himself in having great discipline and knowing the arts of war.

He seems to be drawn to the trouble spots of the world and will always enlist as a soldier in any greater war. He enjoys the glory of victory and the thrill of combat. He will fight for the weak and poor and protect the innocent. Against enemies, he will bring great death and vengeance. Those who know of him, usually fear him.

He very rarely allows himself to love anyone, since he fears the pain of inevitably losing them later on.

Most people find him a strange man, who certainly knows more than he lets on and is more than meets the eye. He has a scar in his face as well, which seems to give him a nasty grin, resulting in people staying away from him.

Other traits

Casca has known many people throughout the ages. They have been either military men (Blackbeard, Manfred von Richthofen, Max Immelmann, Genghis Khan) or men of unusual occupations, such as high priests (Tezmec), philosophers (Machiavelli, Shiu Lao Tze) and chieftains (Olaf).

In modern times his best friend has been a Jewish doctor, Major Julius Goldman, to whom he has confided his entire life’s history and whom he regularly visits.

He regularly changes his name, so that nobody could realize the truth about him and in order to shake off his old nemesis, the Brotherhood of the Lamb. Although he wants to die, he refuses to give the Brotherhood that pleasure.

The new name always bears a resemblance to Casca Longinus, which would hint at a nostalgic streak. He very often dreams of the past and tends to remember lost loves and great battles.

His usual rationale for entering combat is that is might be his final battle that time around. Although he would not admit that to himself, the only reason he fights is that he finds great thrill, honor and adventure in it. In his spare time he tends to visit old battle grounds and museums of great peoples and cultures of which he has been a part.

Although he would never pray, he officially is a Protestant and has no choice but to put his faith in the Christian God to deliver him to his final death.


Quotes

Jesus Christ : (to Casca) “Soldier, you are content with what you are. Then that you shall remain until we meet again. As I go now to my Father, you must one day come to me.”

“I’ve fought in many places, and seen war’s thousand faces.”

“All the sounds of long ago will be forever in my head, mingled with the wounded’s cries, and the silence of the dead.”


DC Universe History

War on Earth

Casca should be something of a mystery to anyone who meets him in the past, modern times or the future. He could be a part of any adventure occurring between the death of the Messiah and the modern era, including the American Civil War, the Korean War, the Việt Nam War, World War I and World War II, and far beyond.

He would have fought alongside the likes of the Viking Prince, The Silent Knight, Sgt. Rock and the Unknown Soldier, and participated in all the wars exactly as per the books, thus mostly staying away from the metropolitan areas populated by super-heroes.

He will have partaken in missions first with Task Force X and then with (Kanigher and Andru’s) Suicide Squad in the 1950s and 1960s only to later join forces with (Morrison, Jones and Bennett’s) the Great Ten of China instead.

The apocalypse wars

Casca will have fought intelligent animals as the last human soldier on the planet, alongside Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth, after World War III during the first half of the 21st century has devastated the planet.

He then saw humanity slowly rebuild itself from barbarism and savagery while alternatively fighting and joining uncivilized, post-apocalyptic gangs alongside (Texeira and Janson’s) time-traveling western bounty hunter Jonah Hex.

As humanity finally has chaotic retreats of dome-like futuristic city-states he will join forces in fighting mutants, legions of highwaymen, and remnants of the armed forces in the radioactive wastes along the likes of (Avenell and Romero’s) Axa the Post-Apocalyptic warrioress, in 2080 A.D., and then (Brosnan and Hopgood’s) Tanner aka Night Zero, in 2108 A.D.

Later still, he will have fought as a Judge of the fascistic (Wagner, Ezquerra and Mills’) Justice Department in Mega City One (the rebuilt former New York City) during the Apocalypse War (World War IV) against the restored Soviet Union, only to later be expelled on account of being considered an illegal mutant due to his superhuman abilities and cast out into the radioactive Cursed Earth.

Later still

Casca still wandered the planet as humanity built itself up again and ruined itself time and again in World Wars V (Dysart and Swierczynski’s The Harbinger War), where metahumans clone warriors were employed.

Casca fought for the tyrant Ghengkis VII in 2146 A.D. in a war where the man who would later be known as (Binder and Sherman’s) the Space Cabbie participated on the opposing side as a fighter pilot. Indeed, after the war, Casca would get his first experiences of space in Space Cabbie’s Space cab #7433.

Later, in World War VI, Casca joins up with all manners of coalitions, in wars deploying ever-increasing lethal weapons, arsenals and technologies. For a while Casca used the astonishing Atomic Axe, which would later become the weapon of the Persuader of the Fatal Five in the 30th century.

In one battle at the end of the war Casca became so utterly atomized that it took him five years to reform to a living, breathing human being again, at which point the war was already over. Most of his exploits from the earlier time periods (23rd to 27th centuries) remain undocumented, although it is known that he met (Nowlan’s) Buck Rogers in the 25th century.

Camelot 3000

World War VII, in the 28th century, was the last formal world war of the planet, the roots of which amazingly originated in the time of (Barr, Bolland and Austin’s) King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. An reincarnated Morgana le Fay led an alien invasion from an undiscovered planet beyond Pluto against the prosperous nations of Earth, most notably in America and Europe.

The alien armada gained some Earth allies in the Soviet Union, South Africa and China. As per the legends, King Arthur Pendragon returned at England’s greatest hour of need. He assembled a force consisting of Arthur’s old mentor Merlin, the son of the devil, and a few reincarnated Knights of the Round Table, leading the defense against the collected alien forces.

Casca got embroiled with Arthur and the Knights in their wartime quest to find the relic known as the Holy Grail, the very object Casca had personally seen been used by Joseph of Arimathea to collect the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Casca hoped that the artifact could remove his curse of eternal life.

In the end, the aliens were utterly defeated after the Grail had been found and used against Morgana le Fey, but it sadly again got lost before Casca had the chance to drink from it himself.

The XXXth century

Casca will still live the life of a soldier even during the time of (Binder and Plastino’s) the Legion of Superheroes in the 30th century. He fought in campaigns during visits to a few of Earth’s unstable colonies in outer space, including Rimbor, Minsk and Braal (yes, the Legion knows of him). He only rarely returned to Earth for nostalgic reasons.

Then came the dark day in the 31st century when (Levitz and Sherman’s) Jaxon Rugarth aka the Infinite Man picked Casca up as an anomaly. He summoned him into his mind-controlled armies from a myriad time eras and worlds to fight on his behalf against the Legion of Super-Heroes with the entire Earth as the battlefield.

While some later historians have called the event World War VIII, this is not really accurate as it was an alien invasion against a unified Earth. The war resulted in greater than ever human casualties, and the complete eradication of some of the civilizations with which Casca had had close historical ties over the millennia.

Eventually, mankind could declare a Pyrrhic victory through the actions of the Legion of Superheroes who stopped the Infinite Man using the omnipotent Miracle Machine.

Interplanetary and intergalactic wars

Having very little left on Earth, and finding a new, adventurous and more interesting life among the ever-growing space civilizations, Casca then permanently relocated to fighting interstellar and intergalactic wars in the larger wave of human colonization, alongside the likes of (Raymond’s) Flash Gordon and (Finley-Day and Gibbons’) the Rogue Trooper on Nu-Earth.

Casca was undoubtedly still alive in the inconceivably distant future of the 853rd century during (Morrison and Semeiks’) the DC One Million era (likely being horribly scarred at that point).

At that his immortality, now boosted due to adaptive regeneration towards new types of damage, a few scientific experimentations gone awry and the occasional misdirected magic ritual, is no longer a necessary secret as superpowers through power totems are commonplace among the populace.

Time travel

On one occasion he even managed to travel back in time using (Miller and Moreira’s) Rip Hunter’s time bubble to the crucifixion on Golgatha, with the goal of stopping himself from stabbing the Messiah, thus stopping his eternal damnation before it could even begin.

However, with uncharacteristic wisdom and sense of responsibility, he dared not change the past. That would have completely changed this future where humanity had grown into the greatest civilization in the entire universe. Casca had been personally far too involved in the outcome of many important historical events and affairs of mankind that had made all of that possible.

And further beyond

Earlier, Casca would have worked for the Neanderthal immortal called (Bester and Nodell’s) Vandal Savage, who of course founded the Brotherhood of the Lamb a very very long time ago in the first place among a myriad of other organizations, such as the Illuminati, formed over many millennia.

He would also have met both (Abnett, Lanning and Guice’s) the Resurrection Man and (Sparling’s?) the Immortal Man numerous times, but would have found very little in common with either of them despite them all being immortals. Still, he likely meets them now and then over the millennia, sometimes as friends in a pub, other times as enemies on the battlefield.

The DC Universe Casca would be a forefather of Roman heroes such as (Kesel’s) the Alpha Centurion, through a child that he would have unknowingly sired right before becoming immortal and sterile. Members of that surviving family line will be a great joy for him in his neverending existence when he founds out about their existence in the extensive historical databanks of the Brotherhood of the Lamb.

And sometimes in that far, far future Casca, finally more at peace with himself, will meet the returned Jesus Christ. He will get the chance to end his overly long existence as he shares his experiences and discusses the matter over long weeks with the Messiah over a goblet of wine with a new gathering of disciples.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Casca Rufio Longinus

Dex: 06 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 04 Wil: 07 Min: 09 Occupation: Eternal Mercenary
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 018 HP: 065

Powers:
Poison Touch (ML): 08, Regeneration (ML): 06, Suspension (ML): 30, Systemic Antidote (ML): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Regeneration also works after his physical death, essentially making him indestructible (+3)
  • Invulnerability never heals scars fully
  • Poison Touch is his own blood and can only be used on those who ingest it, such as predators and such attempting to eat his body (-2)
  • Suspension is Uncontrollable and is automatically activated when Casca’s current BODY drops to 0 or below due to damage from lack of air or nourishment (-2)
  • All Powers are completely useless against damage inflicted by the artifact known as the Holy Spear (this is the same spear that Casca used for stabbing the crucified Jesus Christ with) (-0)

Skills:
Animal Handling (Riding): 07, Charisma (Intimidation): 07, Martial Arts: 07, Medicine (First Aid): 05, Military Science: 09, Thief (Stealth): 05, Weaponry: 08, Vehicles (Land, Sea): 05

Advantages:
Immortal, Iron Nerves, Languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Mongol, Norwegian, Persian, Spanish, Teotec, Yiddish), Leadership, Local Hero (within Teotec Empire), Rank (variable), Scholar (History, Survival, Warfare), Stability

Connections:
Mercenary Organizations (High)

Drawbacks:
Dark Secret (Being the Immortal One), Hunted (The Brotherhood of the Lamb)

Equipment:
Casca carries and uses common mercenary or soldier weaponry depending on the era he lives in. For example:

  • Classic Roman Era : Gladius Iberius Short Sword [BODY 08, EV 03 (06 w/STR; 08 w/ Martial Arts)]
  • Việt Nam era : M16A1 assault rifle [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 08, R#04, Advantage: Autofire]

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: Casca books by Barry Sadler (and now by Tony Roberts)

Helper(s): http://www.pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Casca.htm  (placeholder History Section), David Johnston, Jason Brezina, Sébastien Andrivet — and author Tony Roberts for approving the DC Universe History section.

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