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Michael the Lost (Wasteland comics)

Michael the Lost


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • The Walking Dead meets 30 Days of Night meets Mad Max
  • ”The best, most overlooked book on the stands; full of drama, sex, politics, and religion. Grade A” – 13 Minutes.
  • Yeah, it’s post-apocalyptic: One hundred years after the Big Wet. Somewhere in America…

Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Other Aliases: Scavenger Man, Corpse Cleaner, Ruin-runner, Waste walker, Michael the Lost
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Abi, Marcus, Mary (possible relatives)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 6’2’‘ Weight: 210 lbs Age:Likely 80+ years
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Michael is a hardy man that ignores pain and fatigue. If hurt, he will continue until passing out from blood loss, because he’s convinced that he’ll heal up again over time, and it has been hinted that he has done so many times over.

His stamina is indeed great, and there have been hints that he doesn’t age at all, essentially making him an immortal. If he has visited the supposedly radioactive A-Ree-Yass-I area, then he has unusual resilience against radioactivity as well.

His wanderings over the years have granted him various survival skills. He seems to know his way around the continent well, and is knowledgeable about the various wasteland inhabitants and cultures. He is an adequate combatant, capable of holding his own against small groups of opponents.

He knows the old language of the world, called “the tongue”.

Michael the Lost using his telekinesis

The most astounding part is his superhuman abilities, which are so far poorly documented. He can do, at least, the following: he seems to heal up from essentially lethal wounds. He has rather powerful telekinetic abilities that can be used defensively or offensively.

He seems to possess certain telepathic abilities, and has an uncanny report with wild animals. Lastly, he can sense danger in the vicinity. Sometimes using his powers will result in a nose-bleed.


Additional context

Wasteland inhabitants and old world myths

Most wasteland inhabitants, like those in the former trading outpost named Providence, are freemen engaged in farming, trading, hunting and scavenging. Some are believers in the cross-chain (Christians), while most are Sunners (believers in the sun and the moon). Sunners are generally regarded as a cult, and by city standards, lazy people.

City inhabitants, like those of Newbegin and likely Wosh-Tun and Flad-si-dee, are freemen, artisians or slaves. Newbegin is commandered by Marcus, the Lord Founder (another superhuman) who has kept watch for over 80 years. There is also a ruling council with Primates.

There are some secretly superpowered people around, including Michael. These do not remember their own parents or their own age. Some hints have suggested that they might be relatives or at least part of an experiment.

There are caravans that travel from trade post to trade post with giant machines. One example is o sultan Ameer and his gang. Trade is an important part of the wastelands, and popular trade goods include boots, chain, clothes, old world hardware, meat and vegetable. Common currency is Newbegin cash.

The feared mutants named the sandpeople (or “sand-eaters”) are raiders in the deep deserts and hate men. They look exactly like you’d expect desert mutants in cowls to look like. Their leader is the Sand King.

Some of the hunter-gatherers in the deserts belong to the Dog Tribes, while others are free nomads. The Dog Tribes have interesting cultural traits and names like Alpha Rover, Shadow, Scorp Tail, Banner, Muzzle and Candy.

There are also old city ruins, called Precities. These are inhabited only by dwellers, who are monstrous mutants, and who come out to play at night. Although dangerous areas, precities are, of course, good sources of trade goods and advanced machinery.

Most locales that Michael visits are barren deserts and dustbowls without modern technology. The seas are poisonous, and subsistence farming with small amounts of livestock appears to be the norm.

Then lastly, there is the fabled land of A-Ree-Yass-I; it’s location is secret and the area, according to rumor, is radioactive – anyone that visits it is said to die within a month.

The tongue

Language is one of the most important and interesting parts of the Wasteland books. The English language has changed somewhat since our days. Be sure to use the era’s correct language for maximum role-playing effect and award the players for using it properly. Swearing, for example, is different.

Sample sentences include: “Doesn’t make a goat’s nut’s difference.” (no longer are cows the reference, but goats are used in all such expressions), “son of a goat” and “that sun-damned…”.

Use of the suffix -age has greatly increased in certain social circles and often replaces the -ing suffix (it seems to be the anti-language of caravaneers and slavers). It is possible to mock such people by ridiculously adding the suffix to existing words (producing, for example, Michael’s famous stabbage-quote).

The meaning should be clear in these sample sentences: “Quit yer fuckin’ hollerage!”, “Cease fireage!”, “Help me do some clearage.”, “Those women are worth serious coinage in Newbegin.”, “I want extended tradeage rights in Newbegin.”, “My offerage is much.” or “Looks like he’s got truthage.”

Sandpeople in the Wasteland

Then we have the sandpeople who speak an odd, hissing and shrieking variety of English. People tend to think that it’s a completely separate language from their own. Here is an example: “Fiiiiiitaan. Sandiiz naneefiiiiire takillll! Izzamooor sandiiz anna nastiiis! Kiiilnasstiiis!”. The story “Dawnrazor” in Wasteland #15, was entirely in sandpeople speak!

The Dog Tribes have a vocabulary severely affected by their cultural values. They have an interesting culture as hunter-gatherers and dog owners. Their speak is exemplified by the following: “Because he threw a dog-damned rock in my head!”, “You heard the theta, bitch (the female equivalent of the male ’dog‘). You’re my wife now! Now shut your yap and do as you’re told.”, “All right, pad out there and sniff them.”.

Of course, the boss is the alpha (or ’top dog‘), his closest men the betas. A loser is an omega. Despite this use, members of the Dog Tribes do not see themselves as animals – it’s merely a strong cultural trait.


History

The story is set in the Wastelands of Post-Apocalyptic America one hundred years after the Big Wet, an unspecified disaster that destroyed modern society and, it is assumed, changed the world’s coastlines.

Little is known about the protagonist Michael, which is not unusual for men in his line of work. Michael is a “Ruin Runner”, “Corpse Cleaner” or “Waste Walker”, depending on whom you ask. He’d tell you he’s none of those things; he’s a trader, a businessman. Most people would just call him a scavenger.

Michael travels the wasteland, finding and trading in whatever he can salvage. Even this long after the Big Wet, there’s still plenty of stuff out in the desert, remnants of the world before, much of it just lying around for the taking.

As a general rule, ruin runners are loners. They’re surly, antisocial – some would say misanthropic – and very, very selfish. All qualities needed to survive alone in the wasteland. These same qualities make ruin runners pretty unpopular with people who choose to live in towns, cities and communities. But those same people are normally unwilling to venture out into the desert themselves, so people like Michael are a necessary evil.

What sets Michael apart from the average ruin runner is his strange abilities, which even he can’t explain. That, and his fading memory. Michael doesn’t know his own last name, he can’t remember his parents, and he has no idea how old he is. Go back far enough and it all just becomes a blur.

It is known that Michael is very old, although he doesn’t look like it. His earliest memory is that he first awoke in a facility underground. He has since wandered as far as to the east coast and then again back to the west coast several times. He might be one of the great inofficial authorities of wasteland geography of his time.

Michael the Lost face closeup

Michael continues to offer his services to the highest bidder. He got his epithet of “the lost” from o sultan Ameer the caravan trader, who found him just wandering the deserts one day, and who then proceeded to hire him.

It is known that Michael visited the small trade city of Providence only forty five years after the Big Wet, and then again, recently-in-story, fifty five years later.

It seems that the sandpeople, a nomadic mutant race of the deserts, had tracked him to the trading post, which resulted in its destruction. The surviving inhabitants fled to the city of Newbegin, where they, being regarded as members of the Sunners cult, were enslaved.

Most of them regained their freedom after the sandpeople launched a major attack on the city. In Newbegin Michael became aware of two more superpowered beings, namely Marcus, the Lord Founder of Newbegin, and his sister Mary.

Just before the attack on Providence Michael found a talking machine in a Sand-Eaters’ camp. That set a chain of events in motion that will change him – and the world around him – forever. Given his own superhuman abilities Michael has always been curious about what the legendary A-Ree-Yass-I is about, and the machine appears to give a map to this mythic place.

After troubles in Newbegin, Michael has since left the city alongside Abi, who was the sheriff of Providence and who also is superpowered, to look for A-Ree-Yass-I. On their way there, since Michael claims to know where the legendary facilities are, they faced some problems with the Dog Tribes.

They have recently taken up their voyage again, alongside Gerr, a wanderer who is secretly the assassin of Marcus, the Lord Founder of Newbegin. Marcus, his sister Mary, Michael and Abi are currently the only known superpowered people in the wastelands.

Their origin, as of this writing, remains a mystery, but is sure to be revealed in the coming books.


Description

Michael is usually wearing a long coat, a broad hat, goggles, a bandanna and a walking staff. These clothing offers him good protection from the harsh climate of the deserts. He has long, dark hair, and eyes that seem to glow in the dark. It sometimes looks as if he has pointed ears.


Personality

Michael is a survivor of the wastelands. The eternal traveler and scavenger looking for his own past. He is a man of few words who keeps to himself. He is mostly looking out for number one, just wanting to make it one more day. He generally avoids cities since he finds them too loud.

Michael never smiles, isn’t very talkative, uses shortened sentences and never uses the first person pronoun “I”. He enjoys trading and gambling, even while he is usually regarded with suspicion.

His rough exterior and blunt manners have resulted in people often calling him ignorant, selfish, son of a goat and much worse. He is, in fact, often misunderstood, but he does little to correct the situation.

Michael the Lost disarms a man with a knife using a kick

Michael is curious about his own mysterious origins, and will follow up on leads that offer further clues to his own history. Thus, Abi, another superpowered being, became a rather interesting friend. Generally, always on the move, Michael has few friends.

However, quite naturally, they are both on the look for A-Ree-Yass-I to understand where they are coming from in a sort of alliance.

His professional friendship with o sultan Ameer, the caravan trader, seems to have been severely damaged by Michael sleeping with one of his wives (under quite special circumstances, it has to be said). Ameer will, however, provide services and help against payment. He quite likely has friends or ex-friends (as well as enemies) all over the continent.

Michael is a rather capable combatant and will fight when necessary. He will attempt to escape overwhelming forces, using his powers while doing so. Since showing his powers might be dangerous, he usually keeps them a secret. Michael will usually avoid doing outright immoral things.

Although reluctant to help out other people if he isn’t paid, he has been known to feel obliged to freely help out the really suffering innocents. For example, sensing that he might have been partly responsible for the destruction of Providence, he helped the surviving inhabitants to the closest city, Newbegin, by arranging a caravan for them.

One gets the feeling that he is as much an enigma to himself as to his surroundings.


Quotes

“Think you took a wrong turn, stranger. Nothing to see here.”

(laughing) “Hrrr. Hrrr. Hrrr.”

“Time for stabbage.”

“How about I compensate your mouth with my fist ?”

Shopkeeper: “Good afternoon, sir.”
Michael: “We’ll see.” (picks up a gun in the shop)
Sheriff: “Don’t even fuckin’ think about it.”
Michael: “Not loaded. Came to trade. Took it from a couple of sand-eaters yesterday. How much ?”
Shopkeeper: “We don’t have much call for guns around here…”
Sheriff: “Wait a second, doc, this is goatshit. There ain’t no sandies within a day’s walk of here.”
Michael: “Not anymore. Got other stuff, if gun’s no good.”

Michael: “Told you not to join the caravan. Figured you wouldn’t like it. Also told Sultan to keep it secret.”
Jake: “You bastard. You get half our fucking town killed, you lie about this caravan, you almost got Abi killed… and now you’re a fucking slaver ?”


DC Universe History

There is plenty of room in the world of Hex, Kamandi or the like for yet another wanderer. There are some interesting twists to Michael, such as his apparent immortality, that makes him useable in various time periods (i.e. World War III to the era of the Legion of Super-Heroes).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Michael

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Scavenger, Trader
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: Variable
Init: 014 HP: 040

Powers:
Invulnerability: 06, Mind Probe: 06, Regeneration: 02, Systemic Antidote: 03, Telekinesis: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
As a Stunt Power Michael can whip up a small, disorienting sandstorm (emulating that application of the Earth Control Power described on p.72 in Blood of Heroes, special Edition) using his Telekinesis.

Skills:
Accuracy (Telekinesis): 07, Animal Handling (Animal Friendship): 06, Charisma: 04, Martial Artist: 05, Military Science (Cartography, Danger Recognition): 07, Thief (Escape Artist): 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 05, Weaponry (Melee): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Animal Friendship, Escape Artist and Danger Recognition are Powered Subskills (-1)

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Desert wastelands), Expertise (Bartering), Familiarity (Gambling, Wasteland cultures and peoples), Languages (Common speak, “The Tongue”), Scholar (Wasteland survival), Slowed Aging

Connections:
O Sultan Ameer the Caravan Driver (likely Low), Abi (Low)

Drawbacks:
Misc. Drawback (He can’t read)

Equipment:

  • Knives (x2) [BODY 08, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 06 w/Martial Artist, 07 w/Telekinesis]
  • Binnox [BODY 01, Telescopic Vision 04, Note: this is regular binoculars]
  • Usually a firearms of some sort
  • Recorder [BODY 01, Recall 08, Notes: Recall is Audial only. The current message is in the old tongue and supposedly gives the coordinates to A-Ree-Yass-I. The recorder is solar-powered and will not run out of power.]
  • Sack of goods [BODY 1, variable contents useful for trading].

Hypotheticals

  • Michael is quite possibly immortal, which would give him the full Immortal Advantage.
  • During his many voyages Michael may have developed the full Omni-Connection Advantage.
  • Michael likely also has additional skills, powers and abilities not yet revealed in the books.


By Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: Wasteland comics #1-25 by Oni Press

Helper(s): thebigwet.com, Sébastien Andrivet, Darci

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