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Llan the Sorcerer hovering

Llan the Sorcerer


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

“Do you know what the end of the world will look like, Talisman ? It will resemble filth. It will resemble poison. It will be made of all man’s folly of his spilled greed. His pollution. Man is doing most of my work for me already. Before I returned, most of this planet was already being laid to waste. Man’s greed and carelessness outstrip even my own evil.”


Context

Llan is an extremely powerful, end-of-the-world-level mystical threat.

He first appeared in 1989, relatively late in the run of Alpha Flight. He then returned for an apocalyptic showdown in 1990.


Background

  • Real Name: Llan.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed (if applicable).
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Another dimension.
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Eyes: Red Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

Llan is an extremely powerful entity — mystically and physically. He could break both of Sasquatch’s arms within seconds with his bare hands, and did not seem to be trying hard. He could grow to a ridiculous height and crush Jeffries’ Box armor like a bug. Generally, he seemed to be orders of magnitude more powerful than the Great Beasts themselves.

He has used his magic to :

  • Blast and rebuild walls.
  • Erect zones of silence.
  • Move himself and others across dimensions.
  • Teleport stuff.
  • Probe minds.
  • Project eldritch bolts.
  • Become immaterial.
  • Throw people miles away with a thought.
  • Wrap himself in an invisible Magic Field.
  • Stretch or grow his body.
  • Make metal unresponsive to Jeffries’ power.
  • Communicate telepathically.
  • Project holograms.
  • Locate objects and beings.
  • Create visions.
  • Influence others.
  • Corrupt and pollute the environment on a nigh-continental scale.
  • Animate multiple superhumanly strong arms of stone out of a mountainside.
  • Keep intruding into Talisman’s psyche as she was projecting herself backward through time to see the previous Talisman’s struggle against Llan.
  • And so on, and so forth.

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Other abilities

He uses his powers simply by willing it, and does not need any special gestures or incantations. In DC Heroes RPG terms, he can use up to 24 APs of Sorcery without risk to himself.

Llan was careful to diminish his mystical signature through some form of Ritual, using his 21 APs of Occultist. On one hand, this was not enough to defeat the Awareness rituals Dr Strange uses to look out for mystical threats to Earth. On the other, this was enough to make omens very vague and very late.

The key factor preventing Llan from ravaging the Earth is the Talisman. The Talisman is a set of power and a destiny wielded by a specific First Nations person in Canada – one per generation. This person might always be of Tsuu T’ina  descent, or more cultures might be “eligible”. The Talisman has a special capability to counter Llan, but it’s *not* a sure thing.

In modern times, the Talisman role was borne by Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, the daughter of Shaman of Alpha Flight.


History

Llan is one of the most ancient of evils. He is said to be the most powerful. He is the architect of madness, the bringer of despair and he’s the opener of the way for all evil that lurks outside. Llan was also said that he is the next worse thing to the devil himself and Llan isn’t a demon or a god, something far worse.

Like other members of his ilk he seems to abide by certain rules. He cannot attack a foe until they have struck out at him or use his full power. He would be released from these rules if the Talisman was killed.

The Talisman holds, part 1

Ten thousand years ago he attempted to conquer Earth, but was defeated by the Talisman of that time period. The rules of engagement seem to dictate that he can only attempt to rule Earth after 10,000 years have elapsed from his last incursion. His plans for Earth seem to be to turn it into a polluted, rotting hell of which he is the ruler.

Llan the Sorcerer (Alpha Flight villain) (Marvel Comics) laughing hard

According to Talisman, the fact than Llan the Sorcerer was coming back, and the 10,000 year delay was within years of its end, is :

  • What explains how the Great Beasts became able to repeatedly access Earth.
  • What triggered the creation of Pestilence.
  • What helped the Dream Queen reach Earth and attract Laura Dean (and her sister) to Liveworld.

This pattern matched the previous arrival of Llan. Ghastly menaces had likewise threatened Talisman and a band of heroes, the Tribe of the Moon, as an omen of Llan’s arrival. Those included sharks from beyond time, Deviants, dimension giants and ice-devils.

The Talisman holds, part 2

20,000 years ago, Llan was defeated by the Talisman since he broke the rules by making people worship him. The Talisman defeated Llan, and used his transgression to place a curse on him. The curse forced him to take the form of the idol he was worshipped as when presented with a replica.

10,000 years later, the Talisman of that era used the curse from the previous Talisman. She forced Llan to shapechange into the form of a small statue of the idol. Although this did not seem to be much, the replica of the idol’s form Talisman held in her hand was actually a very powerful totem. She had drawn from the magic pouch that would be Shaman’s 10,000 years later.

This totem allowed Talisman to use her sympathetic magic to bind and make Llan powerless as a small idol. Said idol was then buried.

However, over the next 10,000 years, through natural erosion and ground movement, the statue worked its way to the surface.

Modern era

A young couple was staying in the vicinity. The man, an accountant at an insurance company named Dexter, almost tripped over the statue. He uncovered it fully, and Llan began to exert an nightmarish influence over him.

After eroding his sanity by constantly talking in his mind, he had Dexter murder his wife Carol. Dexter then slit Carol’s throat so her blood flowed into a pan holding the statue.

With this ritual done, Llan assumed a physical form by taking over Dexter’s body. Having regained a physical form, he decided to go after the current Talisman and her allies. He took all the Alpha members to an interdimensional  combat room and tried to have Talisman strike out against him. He did this by provoking fights with various Alphans.

When he had defeated most of the members and was on the point of killing Madison Jeffries, the inexperienced Talisman was forced to attack him. By doing this she had released him to attack the Earth. He left Alpha behind while he went off to the Earth dimension.

Delayed by a fake reality

In their attempts to return to Earth, Alpha found themselves traversing numerous dimensions. They followed Talisman, who could sense the gateways between these dimensions. They fought varied foes along the way, including robots. They eventually made their way to a world which they believed to be Earth. However there were some discrepancies.

On this Earth, superheroes had taken over most governments. These were in a coalition against countries run by supervillains. The normal citizens also seemed to be frightened of heroes. Alpha members were taken into custody by the heroes of this dimension, since they were not recognised. The Alpha Flight of this dimension ruled Canada with Guardian as Prime Minister.

Alpha eventually managed to escape with the aid of ex member Eugene “Puck” Judd appeared and told Alpha that they were actually on Liveworld. He added that during his time there he had learnt how to manipulate that dimension’s reality. Talisman and the rest of the team defeated their foes using this knowledge and then opened a gateway to Earth-616.

More manipulation

Just after Alpha Flight returned from their extra dimensional journey, they learned through TV news that a terrible tragedy has taken place in a suburb of Montréal. An entire neighbourhood had been slaughtered.

Law enforcement agencies denied them access to the scene. While the Alphans had been away the government have recruited a new team Gamma Flight. Alpha Flight was not allowed to operate.

This new Gamma Flight, led by Nemesis, arrived on the scene. But that unit was almost defeated by the animated corpses of the entire neighbourhood. Alpha Flight intervened despite the ban and defeated the necromancer – a demon occupying the corpse of a little girl. Llan taunted them via the demon, which he had summoned in the first place.

Llan then awakened the Master from the long coma he had been in since he had been defeated by Puck and the Sub-Mariner. This was purely to keep Alpha Flight busy. He also attempted to draw in a villain called Zeitgeist from South America, but this threat never materialised.

A spark

Llan’s ultimate goal was to open the Gateway of Night, located near the Eye of the World. This would allow evil hordes through. He hoped to do this by using the power that would emanate from a super hero battle. Therefore, Llan drew four American villains to Canada — Nekra, the Scorpion, the Asp and the Owl.

Talisman had Alpha Flight go after them, thus falling into Llan’s trap. As the fights erupted between manipulated villains and manipulated heroes, Gamma Flight arrived and tried to arrest everyone.

However, Witchfire of Gamma Flight cast a spell that interfered with the Sorcerer’s control. As a result, all the villains were rendered unconscious. Gamma Flight then proceeded to apprehend Alpha Flight. However, events had not been violent enough to release the energies Llan needed.

The Talisman strikes back

With most of Alpha Flight incarcerated, Talisman recruited three ex-members (Aurora, Persuasion and Laura Dean – plus Goblyn, which makes four). She requested that they go to Asgard to rescue another ex-member, Northstar, from a cult that worshipped Llan. When they arrived there they found themselves up against numerous foes. Yet they defeated these and returned to Earth with Northstar.

With the majority of Alpha Flight in prison, Talisman went to confront the Sorcerer. Llan told her about himself, the rules binding him and his encounter with the Talisman of a hundred centuries ago.

Meanwhile, in prison, Alpha Flight was confronted by monsters diguised as Canadian military members. When the monsters attacked, Madison Jeffries inadvertently killed them and they turned into charred human remains. Alpha Flight escaped, but were now fugitives, wanted for the mass murder of servicemen.

When they returned to their headquarters to meet up with the newly returned ex members, Gamma Flight turned up to arrest Alpha for the murders. A battle took place.

The Gateway of Night

The energies thus released finally allowed Llan to open the Gateway of Night. Talisman summoned both Flights to her in a desperate attempt to oppose the endless hordes “from every netherworld” pouring from the gate. They were soon joined by a company of Canadian paratroopers and a handful of ground-attack jet fighters attempting to delay the invasion.

For a time, Northstar joined with Aurora. They reactivated their old power to emit incredible light. The light repulsed the nether horde for a spell, and gave Aurora her powers back. But soon even those events proved insufficient.

Talisman was captured, but she sent Northstar and Aurora to enlist the help of Dr. Strange. As the battle raged and the human and superhuman Canadian troops fell, Talisman made a desperate attempt to open the Gates of Day, to release otherdimensional  armies that could destroy their opposite numbers.

The magical protections Llan had long since put around the Gate of Day foiled Talisman’s best effort. But the far more experienced Doctor Strange came in and helped her with her next attempt. When the armies from both gateways met, they cancelled each other out.

The Sorcerer realised that he was defeated. He was drawn back to the realm where he had been originally trapped.

It can be assumed that Llan is still trapped in his realm and will not be allowed an attempt to take over the Earth for another 10,000 years.


Description

The gray-blue costume was worn most of the time. The light blue one only appeared as he confronted Talisman at the Eye of the World.


Personality

Llan is, basically, the Devil. He lies all the time. He prefers to craft his lies to match whatever he knows his target thinks is wrong with the world. That makes people more likely to swallow his deceptions about himself. In fact, it is possible that much of the History section above… is a lie.

Llan’s problem is that he’s really, really bored. He itches to be free of the rules of engagement. Once he forced Talisman to attack him, Llan was determined to play games and take his time. He had been waiting to take the Earth as his for a very long time, but logically this meant sowing conflict, strife and anger to bring his age to man.

He’s not really sophisticated about it. He’ll just use his great power and knowledge to bring about relatively simple situations that test the patience and integrity of anyone. The goal is to make them lash out in a spiral of frustration, violence and conflict between friends, lovers and families.

Another problem is vanity and arrogance. He doesn’t spend Hero Points  against opponents. He also is unable to accept that Talisman can, and does, beat him. This might just be misogyny. Llan did consider Dr. Strange would be a serious problem, were the good Doctor aware of his return.

At first, it seemed the theme of pollution was only something he used to play up his soon-to-be host body’s environmental fears to accept him. However, pollution seems important to Llan. I would hazard the hypothesis that he was once an entity very similar to Gaia. Perhaps sapients  living on him managed to pollute the planet so badly they warped him into becoming the Sorcerer.


Quotes

“We shall do great things, Dexter Rayne. We shall change the world. I know everything… I see everything… the Earth is going to die in 20 years. Pollution is killing the oceans. The rain forests are being destroyed. The ozone layer is disappearing faster and faster… The end is fast approaching. Human beings are drowning in their own filth. But you can do something about it, Dexter. You can stop it from happening.”

“So you’re the new Talisman. My, my… you’re so young ! So fresh !”

“Ha ha ha — I like you ! I’ve always been moved by naïvete. But I must correct you, dear. I did not battle any gods. I merely slept…  waiting for the next conjunction of the planets. 10,000 years ago, the people of this mudball were savages, their numbers and perversities were too limited for my amusement. But now I’m impressed ! There’s such depravity here, such cruelty ! There’s so many souls to lead down the dark and twisted path !”

Heather Hudson ! I can see in your mind. I can see your deepest insecurities. You feel naked without your costume. You want to be Vindicator right now. Allow me.”

“Did you hear that ? She’s condemned you to die ! There’s no food or water here. I am the only one who can take you home. You will all die horrible deaths unless you fight me.”

“They gave the Talisman to a child this time. Your predecessor was much wiser. I almost respected her. But you were easy to provoke. Now I am free to make my moves. Now the Earth is open to me.”

“The heroes of your world will be my playthings. I will use them to do my dirty work.”

“That was pathetic ! There is no way they can reach him in time to save you and your friend. Or the Earth. No one can help you now, Talisman. Welcome to doomsday.”

“Do you know what the end of the world will look like, Talisman ? It will resemble filth. It will resemble poison. It will be made of all man’s folly of his spilled greed. His pollution. Man is doing most of my work for me already. Before I returned, most of this planet was already being laid to waste. Man’s greed and carelessness outstrip even my own evil. He’s filled the oceans with toxins, killing millions of sea creatures. And he hunts down what he doesn’t poison. He’s managed to destroy most of the rain forests in half a century.  He’s exterminating over 100 species of wildlife a day. I’m impressed ! Man already teeters on the edge of oblivion. This world will become a Twisted Realm even without my aid. My armies have come to push man over the brink. I’m going to keep you alive long enough to watch it happen.”


DC Universe History

In the past, there’s no reason to believe he doesn’t get to try to take down the DCU, too. His nemesis and gatekeeper would likely be Manitou Raven.

Perhaps Mordru’s machinations during the Magic War weakened the dimensional barriers. This would allow Llan to return 1,000 years after his last defeat instead of having to wait the usual 10,000 years.

Llan could have been one of the menaces that disrupted the galaxy during the 5 Year Gap and were opposed by the LSH of that time prior to its disbandment. Lord knows there were plenty of traumatic/demoralizing events in those five years. Llan should fit right in.

He would have been opposed by the White Witch – or even better, by Amethyst after he tried to replace her as the spirit of Gem World, conforming the theory that he’s a corrupted Gaia-analogue.

The Sorcerer also had certain Apokolipsian themes, and could be one of the Old Gods from the Third World.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Llan

Dex: 15 Str: 25 Bod: 20 Motivation: Power Nihilist
Int: 14 Wil: 21 Min: 23 Occupation: Magical entity
Inf: 18 Aur: 13 Spi: 25 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 048 HP: 090

Powers:
Awareness: 17, Magic sense: 25, Sorcery: 39

Bonuses and Limitations:
Llan cannot use Sorcery for either Power Reserve or Enchantment.

Skills:
Occultist: 21

Advantages:
Immortal.

Connections:
Demonic things (High), a cult of dark elves and trolls in Asgard (High).

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, Exile, Overconfidence, Misc: Must obey rules of engagement.

Ritual:
Hiding from the Sorcerer Supreme [Characteristics unknown, Obscure: 21, Limitation: Obscure only works vs. Awareness] and likely uncountable others.


Rules above all

The rules of engagement between Llan the Sorcerer and Earth are never explicitly detailed, but the following was observed:

  • Llan can only enter the Earth dimension every 10,000 years.
  • Llan cannot launch any large-scale plan on Earth, impacting more than ten people or so, until he has been attacked by the Talisman.
  • If Llan make others worship him, he will become abnormally vulnerable and the Talisman can defeat him in direct combat (the details are unknown).


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Alpha Flight comics.

Helper(s): Capita_Senyera, Vitruvian23, Roy Cowan, Ethan Roe. History section based on the one at Alphaflight.net .

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