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Runner of the Elders of the Universe (Marvel Comics)

Runner

(Elders of the Universe)


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

Context

In the Marvel Universe, the Elders of the Universe are a loose collection of beings who:

  1. Belong to one of the earliest species in the universe to have achieved sapience  (the Elders all seem to be from different species among that set)
  2. Are kept alive since time immemorial by an all-consuming obsession (each Elder having a different obsession)
  3. Have been able to tap into cosmic energies to gain super-powers (starting with their longevity)

The Runner’s thing is speed. He first appeared in comics in 1985.


Background

  • Other Aliases: Golden Man, Silver Surfer (occasionally mistaken for), Racer (occasionally misnamed as)
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Elders of the Universe
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile throughout the Universe
  • Height: 6’2″ Weight: 220 lbs
  • Eyes: Gold Hair: Gold Skin: Gold


Powers and Abilities

The Runner has devoted his 5 billion years of life to:

  • exploring the cosmos
  • staging tests of speed with the fastest beings on whatever planets he chooses to visit
  • generally just having fun

Runner is capable of firing intense energy blasts at his opponents, and is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant.

Runner has a very unusual ability. Anyone in his vicinity can’t help but like him (even if he’s trying to kill them !). He may not be able to control his empathic projection of joy and love, and it’s doubtful he would even try. But he often persuades people into agreeing to do stupid things.

His speed can take almost any enemy by surprise. His power to radiate joy often overwhelms his intended victims, making them unwilling to fight him, even in self-defense.

The Runner is usually a peaceful individual, with a childish, irresponsible demeanor and a friendly, joyful personality.

The Runner running in outer space

As an Elder of the Universe, Runner was immortal as long as he was occupied by his obsession. However, due to the Grandmaster tricking Death into barring all Elder’s from her realm, he now cannot die by any means. Despite his great age, Runner appears to be very young, physically at the prime of his life.

The Space Gem, which the Runner used for a while, increased his already formidable cosmic powers to surpass all former limits. He could move around faster than any humanoid senses could detect – human, cosmic or otherwise. He could travel to any point in the universe instantaneously. His powers returned to their former impressive levels once Thanos stole his gem.

Regardless, with or without the Space Gem the Runner is one of the fastest beings in the entire universe. In fact, nobody outruns the Runner.


History

The Runner is one of the Elders of the Universe, sole survivors of long-dead races who have staved off death over the millennia by an obsessive focus on a single goal or concept. The Runner’s obsession is speed, specifically foot speed though his powers allow him to “run” through the sky.

The Runner organized a series of marathons across the galaxy to determine the fastest being alive. The earlier marathons took place on individual planets, with the fastest person on each world being invited to compete in the eventual Galactic Marathon.

The winner of the marathon held on Earth was an amnesiac extra-dimensional being dubbed “Buried Alien” after a fragmentary memory of his name.

(“Buried Alien” was a tribute to Barry Allen a.k.a. the Flash, who had presumably shifted dimensions after his apparently lethal race across time in space during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.)

The fastest seven runners from these planetary marathons were then called together for the Galactic Marathon. The Runner came in second place to the Eternal known as Makkari. The race results were nullified when the judges discovered that one of the racers had cheated.

The Runner was eager for a rematch in the repeat of the race only to be frustrated when Makkari declined, personally satisfied with his previous victory.

Among the Elders

The Runner has sought power over and above that specifically pertaining to his focus. He conspired with numerous other Elders to end the current universe. They would then create a new one in which the Elders would enjoy even greater abilities.

This pitted them against Galactus and the Silver Surfer. When their plan went awry the Runner joined those same entities in battling the In-Betweener to stop the universal revision.

When that battle was over, the Runner fled the scene with 4 other Elders. All 5 retained possession of one of the Infinity Gems they had used in their plot. With the Space Gem, the Runner was able to achieve even greater speeds than before.

The Space Gem was taken from him by Thanos, who used the Time Gem to age the Runner into helpless senescence and then reversed him into a similarly enfeebled state of infancy.

Thanos traded the infant Runner to the Collector for the Reality Gem. The Collector’s delight at his new prize was short-lived as the Runner soon reverted to his normal age. The Runner viciously pummeled his fellow Elder for treating him as a possession.


Description

The Runner is a golden skinned, slim humanoid with golden hair and golden eyes, wearing only a golden toga. Some people have confused him with the Silver Surfer, due to his shiny, metallic skin. But really he resembles Glorian more, though the two have never met.


Personality

The Runner lives to see all there is in the universe. He derives his greatest joy in the simple act of running through the universe. Presumably, he does not wish to die until he has seen the entire universe – a task close enough to impossible. Which means that he will not lose the will to live for billions of years. His freedom does not allow time for memories or regret.

The Runner has got a sense of humor. He is a childish, irresponsible and usually a nice guy. He will, however, agree to schemes that he is normally against just because he is incredibly bored. Although he usually considers the other Elders of the Universe to be his brothers, he is not too fond of the Collector and the Grandmaster after their recent dealings.


Quotes

“I was always fast, but I never really knew what speed was until I got this little purple darling (the Space Gem). Now I sometimes arrive at where I’m going before I even realize I’ve started running. Now that’s fast ! Faster than light. I’m the speediest damn thing in the whole universe.”

“You can either tell me why you’re so hot to get your hands on all those soul gems, or I can beat you to death at super speed.” (Threatening Thanos)

“I hear tell your world has a handful of pretty fast movers. Any idea where I can find them ?”


DC Universe History

The Runner would be a Silver Age  cosmic character looking for fun on Earth. He would have been opposed by the Flash (Barry Allen) and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan). Most likely, he would be revived to face of against the current Flash (Wally West) to show who the fastest man alive is.

It is also likely that Wally West would have been recruited to another Galactic Race, instead of “Buried Alien”.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Runner

Dex: 15 Str: 16 Bod: 15 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 10 Occupation: Adventurer, Free Spirit
Inf: 09 Aur: 20 Spi: 10 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 062 HP: 090

Powers:
Cold Immunity: 07, Continuum Control: 16, Flame Immunity: 07, Flight: 45, Invulnerability: 25, Sealed Systems: 30, Superspeed: 29, Systemic Antidote: 20

Bonuses and Limitations:
All powers are Elementally linked to Continuum Control (-1)

Skills:
Acrobatics: 07, Charisma (Persuasion): 15

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (The Universe), Expertise (Famous runners across the universe), Immortal, Life Support (Does not need to Eat, Drink or Sleep), Lightning Reflexes

Connections:
Elders of the Universe (Low), Cosmic Beings Community (Low), Moondragon (Low), various famous and legendary runners across the Universe (Low)

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance (Golden skin and features), SIA (Exploration), Fatal and Loss Vulnerability (All Powers, Physical Attributes and the Immortal and Life Support Advantages; Being trapped on a planet or a place i.e not being completely free to roam the spaceways (loosing his ’freedom‘); Permanent Effect)

Equipment:
The Space Gem [BODY 35 SPIRIT 35 MIND 35, Cling: 05, Power Reserve (any movement Power; Flight or Superspeed in the Runner’s case): 15, Dimension Travel: 08, Teleportation: 80, Bonus: Hardened Defenses (+1), Limitation: Cling is only used for attaching the Gem to the owner (-1), Notes: The Runner is not aware of the full abilities of the Gem, and thus uses it on an subconscious level (paying 5 HPs for each use if the GM wishes to make it an effort). This gem is one of the six infinity gems that later would form the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet. The other Gems are the Reality Gem, the Mind Gem, the Time Gem, the Soul Gem and the Power Gem.]


Connection: The Cosmic Beings Community

Cost: 150/100 (High/Low)

This advantage works exactly like ordinary Connections and essentially makes the character himself into a so-called Cosmic Being. It is very common that a character with this Advantage possesses incredibly high mystical stats. Cosmic beings are beings of incredible, celestial power or beings that personify various aspects of the Universe, such as life, death, time etc. The members of Marvel’s Cosmic Beings Community can be summarized as follows:

Higher-level Cosmic Beings (these have a High-level connection themselves):

  • Mistress Death (Embodiment of death)
  • Eternity (Embodiment of all there is)
  • Infinity (Sister of Eternity)
  • Galactus (The Devourer of Worlds)
  • Kronos (Titan God of Time)
  • Watcher (Watcher dedicated to studying our space sector)
  • Lord Chaos and Master Order (Galactic Balance)
  • Living Tribunal (Cosmic Judge of all realities)
  • Stranger (Mysterious stranger)
  • Mistress Love and Sire Hate (Embodiments of Love and Hate)
  • Celestials (Ancient god-like race)

Middle-level Cosmic Beings (these have a Low-level connection themselves):

  • Adam Warlock (current wearer of the Infinity Gems)
  • Eon (ancient entity)
  • Mephisto (The Devil)
  • Silver Surfer (former herald of Galactus)
  • Thanos (Demi-God of Death)
  • Elders of the Universe (lone survivors of the Universe’s first races)
  • Certain Entities used for invocations

Lower-level Cosmic Beings (these have no level of connection themselves, but will be contacts):

  • Various Pantheon Leaders (incl. Odin, Zeus, Manitou, Svarog,
  • Tezcatlipoca, Itzamna, Osiris and Nuada)
  • Most Sorcerer Supremes (such as Dr. Strange)
  • Most Entities used for invocations

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): Eric Langendorff, Danielle Mendus, KalEl el Vigilante, Gareth Lewis. History by Roy Cowan

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