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King Peacock (Top Ten comics)

King Peacock


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

Context

Top Ten was a 1999-2001 series by Alan Moore and Gene Ha. It was successful enough to get a few spin-off limited series – mostly on strength of its quality, and Moore’s name.

It takes place in a strange mega-city where almost everyone has some super-hero-like powers or assets, and the culture comes from living in a comic book world. Most stories follow police detectives working this difficult beat, the titular Top Ten precinct. They use a TV-style police procedural format.


Background

  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Mareka (wife), Ruth (daughter), David (son).
  • Group Affiliation: Top Ten police.
  • Base Of Operations: Top Ten police station, Neopolis.
  • Height: 6’6” Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black (mostly shaven and dyed yellow).


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The Yazidi syncretism

The Yazidi religion  is a syncretism of Zoroastrian, Manichaean, Jewish, Nestorian Christian and Islamic elements. The Yazidi themselves are thought to be descended from supporters of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid 1.

They themselves believe that they are created quite separately from the rest of mankind, not even being descended from Adam. They have kept themselves strictly segregated from the people among whom they live.

Although scattered and probably numbering fewer than 100,000, (some say as low as 50K) they have a well-organized society, with a chief shaykh as the supreme religious head and an amir, or prince, as the secular head.

Mythological figures

The chief divine figure of the Yazidi is Malak Taus (“Peacock Angel”), worshipped in the form of a peacock. He rules the universe with six other angels, but all seven are subordinate to the supreme God, who has had no direct interest in the universe since he created it.

The seven angels are worshipped by the Yazidi in the form of seven bronze or iron peacock figures called sanjaq, the largest of which weighs nearly 700 pounds.

Yazidi are anti-dualists. They deny the existence of evil and therefore also reject sin, the Devil, and Hell. The breaking of divine laws is expiated by way of metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, which allows for progressive purification of the spirit.


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The Yazidi relate that when the devil (which they call “Melek Taus” or “Malik Taus” or, alternatively, “good devil”. The usual, such as “prince of darkness”, Satan, Shaitan, or “lord of the evening” is also OK) repented of his sin of pride before God, he was forgiven. He then returned to his position as chief of the angels.

This myth has earned the Yazidi an undeserved reputation as devil worshippers, since for them God has basically handled the controls of the universe to the Devil.

Shaykh Adi, the chief Yazidi saint,

Other historical elements

The Yazidi religious centre and object of the annual pilgrimage is the tomb of Shaykh ’Adi. This saint was a 11th century Muslim mystic, believed to have achieved divinity through metempsychosis. It is located at a former Christian monastery in the town of Ash-Shaykh ’Adi, north of Mosul.

Two short books written in Arabic, Kitab al-jilwah (’Book of Revelation’) and Mashaf rash (’Black Writing‘), form the sacred scriptures of the Yazidi. An Arabic hymn praise of Shaykh ’Adi is also held in great esteem.

Many Yazidis consider themselves to be ethnically Kurdish, although some would define themselves as both religiously and ethnically distinct from Muslim Kurds. However, the Baath Government arbitrarily classified the Yazidis as Arabs. Yazidis predominately reside in the north of Iraq.

There is evidence that the Baath government in the past compelled Yazidis to join in domestic military action against Muslim Kurds. The Baath Government also targeted the Yazidis in the past – but the Baath decades seem to have been relatively quiet for most Yazidi, since the secular regime stopped persecutions they suffered from due to their worship of the Devil.

However, once the Baath regime was brought down by the US invasion, persecution resumed. This became particularly awful with the rise of the Islamic State in the region.

Small populations of refugees Yazidi exist outside of their historic places in Iraq in Syria. These are mostly found in Germany (the biggest community outside of Middle-East), the UK and the US.


Neopolis

Neopolis is a town in Florida, on the same Earth as Tom Strong. It was created when it was noticed after WWII that science heroes tended to somehow greatly increase the number of fellow science heroes, science villains, monsters, supernatural things, etc. where they were operating.

Thus, Neopolis was a place where all the weirdness could live without bothering other people.

It was built on plans drawn mostly by captured Nazi super-scientists and assorted mad scientist-type villains. Although the architecture is extremely varied (as are the vehicles, people, businesses, etc), some elements are still reminiscent of National Socialist architecture.

Neopolis is a pretty big city. It’s not unlike Manhattan or Gotham. But since many things and people can fly, Neopolis is much taller and built to accommodate three-dimensional traffic.

Everyone has one or more super-powers or one or several piece of unique and advanced equipment in Neopolis, and most everyone has picked a science hero name for themselves.

When aliens, gods, robots, giant monsters, etc. visit they tend to come to Neopolis, following the law of sympathy.

The general tech level seems on par with Judge Dredd’s Mega-City one, with numerous aberrations.

Transdimensional activity

Likewise, when contact was made with parallel realities, it occurred in Neopolis. The city is part of a system of at least 134 parallels, which are interconnected by a system of paying public transport. It resembles a train station.

Each parallel is quite different, but all seem fantastic.

  • One was a Classical place with lots of Satyrs, Fauns, Centaurs, etc. and the equivalent of New York City all in modernized Classical architecture. It is called Nova Roma and seems to be the hub of the administrative systems and public transit system.
  • One was a somewhat absurd generic fantasy place.>/li>
  • One (“Turingville”) is populated by highly advanced robotic AIs.
  • One is a Steampunk  Victorian parallel.
  • One is populated by mechanosaurs.

The parallels seem to work much like Torg’s cosms . They have varying tech axiom levels (for instance electricity cannot work in Smax’s native dimension), social axiom levels, etc. as well as a set of narrative rules. Neopolis’ axioms and rules are super-hero ones, and thus fit nicely with the normal DC Heroes RPG rules and Genre Rules.

Similar reality and narrative rules have been discovered by Tom Strong when he investigated parallels on his own.

Discipline and punish

The Precinct Ten police station (aka “Top Ten”) is part of a centralized, multiversal police force, which issues them their budgets and policies and to whom they report. The H.Q. of that police force seems to be Nova Roma, aka Grand Central.

Although it covers an entire town, Top Ten is considered to just be a precinct station in terms of staffing , organization, ranks, etc.. This system was adopted in the mid-1980s after more than 25 years of failure at policing the highly chaotic town. The cops from other Earths had the experience that the Earthlings were missing.

One of the main points of the multiversal system is to view Neopolis as a single place extending not only in four physical dimensions, but also vibrating along the fifth. Most realities have their own equivalent of Neopolis. That is how each version of Neopolis ends up being considered a precinct in a greater whole, a virtual, transdimensional city.

Of course, the heavy traffic across the various versions of Neopolis has both made them all even weirder, but has also given them a common identity and subtle commonalities in culture.


Powers and Abilities

King Peacock is a badass martial artist, in formidable physical shape. He also is an excellent athlete, really tall and muscular.

Furthermore he’s an unusually competent detective, a smart and very stable man, and has a rich and satisfying religious life.

The Devil’s workshop

He talks directly to the Devil – who according to his faith now oversees the Creation since he came back to the fold some time after the Fall. The good devil is everything, he is all matter. And since Corbeau can talk to Melek Taus, he can talk to all matter. This ability makes him an unique detective (in DCH terms Postcognition, Speak with matter).

When force is required, King Peacock asks matter how to destroy it. This allows him to strike at the weak points of objects. This ability is impressive. He could :

  • Explode several tons of solid stone with a single hand thrust.
  • Punch through the metal armour of a combat droid to rip out its computer core.
  • Or cleave through the ankle of a 200‘ tall animated, solid stone statue with a well-placed elbow smash.

If he wants to be careful in the application of force, he will discuss with the devil inside all matter for a few Phases. But if he needs to break stuff right now, he will.


History

Detective Corbeau works partnered with Detective Syn Jackson at the Top Ten precinct.

Since he and his wife seem of African (not Khurdish) descent, and he has a French name, his family presumably has an interesting history. Unless the Yazidi faith in his world takes converts (I don’t think they do in the real world).


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Corbeau is a smart, articulate, very polite intellectual. He is calm, a bit formal, and very confidant without seeming arrogant.

He doesn’t talk much about his faith (and of course doesn’t proselitize), but is very open with religious references and often praises Melek Taus.

His marriage seems to be an happy one, and he obviously loves his kids. The whole family is fervently Yazidi. Although he’s respectful and loving toward his wife, they follow customs that seem antiquated at best – for instance his wife and children must walk several steps behind him when they are in public.

King Peacock doesn’t like violence. When he was caught in lethal arena combat on Grand Central, he kept politely requesting to be removed from the fights as there was an error and he didn’t intend to fight anyone, especially not cops and certainly not to the death.

Once forced into combat and despite his reluctance, he dispatched his opponents with staggering ease, finding the whole thing ridiculous and offensive.

Moore apparently bases some of Corbeau’s outlook on early explorer reports of the Yazidi, who found them to be “of great morality, property and rectitude”.


Quotes

“Powers ? No, I don’t have powers. But I talk to Satan.”


DC Universe History

DC’s closest equivalent to Neopolis might be Superbia, the high-tech city built by the Ultramarines and hovering high above the ruins of Monte Video. The opening of relations with other realities might explain why things have been very quiet there.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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King Peacock

Dex: 07 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Police officer
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 021 HP: 035

Powers:
Postcognition: 15, Sharpness (Martial artist): 12, Speak with matter: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:
Sharpness is ineffective against living matter (-2).

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Detective: 05, Martial artist*: 07, Vehicles (land): 04

Advantages:
Credentials (Neopolis Police, Medium), Expertise (Yazidi faith and customs), Iron Nerves, Language (Yazidi Khurdish).

Connections:
Neopolis “Top Ten” police precinct (High), Syn Jackson (High).

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.


Design Notes

Like most Top Ten characters, Corbeau is hard to gauge due to lack of comparison points.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: “Top Ten” series by Alan Moore.

Helper(s): Yazidi info mostly from the Britannica.

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