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Terdu the Sorcerer (Captain America enemy) (Timely comics) and Bucky

Terdu the sorcerer and the Masters of Evil


Context

This bloke appeared in a 1944 Captain America comics, making him an early-ish Marvel villain. Assuming that the Golden Age  Timely Comics material is more or less in continuity as usual.

He’s mostly notable for deploying the first version of a team called the Masters of Evil. The name would be reused for multiple, major villainous congregations, who chiefly fought the Avengers.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Leader of the Masters of Evil.
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: Unrevealed Hair: Unrevealed


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Powers and Abilities

Terdu boasts of being a sorcerer. But in DC Heroes RPG terms he seems to be more of an Occultist .

Masters of Evil

This version is composed of persons who are supposedly the greatest criminals of history as seen from the 1940s US :

They are conjured from a massive witch’s cauldron. Since they are revenants of dubious authenticity, they also evoke the later Legion of the Unliving super-teams.

In the context of the Marvel Universe and given how they fought, those guys are likely minor demonic servants, shapechangers who would take the form expected by Terdu. My best guess would be small tribe of shape-changing Dykorrs.

The cops could not bring them down with gunfire (and assumed they were missing them). Even Cap and Bucky did not manage to knock them unconscious. The “criminals” could be knocked to the ground but would not stay down.


History

Terdu first appeared when crime ring leader “Terrible Tom” Garrett (whose super-power is that his name can be spelled with either one or two ’r‘, even on the same page) fled from Captain America and Bucky while they were taking out his men with righteous fists of justice.

In a panic, Garrett stole a car. He drove away at random until he was out of gas. He continued on foot but, as the rain came, had to seek shelter in a nearby, spooky, isolated house.

As always, the place was inhabited by an evil sorcerer – Terdu. Terdu offered his support to the disbelieving Garrett. He conjured up criminals from the past to launch an unstoppable crime wave which killed (or maybe wounded) several cops and reeled Captain America and Bucky in.

The “men of evil” defeated Cap and Bucky and brought them to Terdu’s place. However, Terdu would not let Garrett just plug the two heroes while they recovered. Depriving the gangster of his gun, he insisted that he confront personally the two champions of America. A sympathetic Captain Kidd gave Garrett his cutlass, but of course that helped very little.

Seeing Garrett’s defeat, Terdu went ballistic. He proclaimed that he had lost his faith in Garrett and, for some reason, in the criminals of the past, whom he sent back to the grave.

He then charged Cap from behind, but accidentally fell into his own cauldron, disappearing into the reportedly all-consuming mixture.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

Terdu, as he puts it, “glories in evil”. He think it’s cool to help loosely defined “forces of evil” (such as gangsters, Communists, people who talk at the theatre, night elf hunters with a pet named “cat”, etc.) against their opposition. But only as long as those people are strong !

If they start acting like wusses, he will ditch them and retract his support in a New York minute. Then, they will have to prove themselves without his support.

Likewise, he really hates people opposing “evil”. He is likely to go postal on them, exhibiting all the tactical acumen of a drunken badger wearing a propeller beanie when he does.


Quotes

“I’ll tell you who I am ! My name is Terdu ! I am a sorcerer and I can do things no mortal man would attempt ! Come !”

“I know of criminals who would not fear Captain America ! But they do not live in the present ! […] [However] they can be brought back ! Behold, Garrett, the great criminals of history !”

“Welcome, men of evil !”


DC Universe History

He would *totally* be a pre-Crisis Captain Marvel villain, and a member of the Monster Society.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Terdu

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Upholding Evil
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Evil sorcerer
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 012 HP: 015

Skills:
Occultism (Build artefacts, Identify Artefacts, Occult knowledge, Rituals): 06

Advantages:
Pets (the Masters of Evil).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, MIA toward Upholding his concept of “evil”, MIH of “champions of good”.

Equipment:
CAULDRON (see below). He also had a vial whose fumes helped revive unconscious people.

Rituals:
Other magic powers displayed by Terdu included some Ritual giving him Interface with his house. Since it was so low-tech, it chiefly meant unlocking and locking doors with his mind.

He also demonstrated what I think was a low-level Mind Probe that he could only use on sleeping people. This allowed him to know whom Garrett was and what had happened.


The Masters of Evil

These are conjured from a massive WITCH’s CAULDRON [BODY 09 (Hardened Defences) – the CAULDRON was reportedly full of corrosive chemicals with Acid (No Range, is its own AV) at 09 APs or so].

Tentative statistics for the Masters of Evil:

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Demonic
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 06 Occupation: Demon
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 013 HP: 025

Powers:
Chameleon: 04, Invulnerability: 08, Regeneration: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Chameleon can only be used upon arriving in a different dimension .

Skills:
Weaponry: 06

Advantages:
Life Support (Full).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
SIH of the forces of good, Misc.: The Masters of Evil can only use their Hero Points for Last Ditch Defence and Desperation Recovery.

Equipment:
One role-appropriate weapon with an EV of 04 (a M1911A1 Colt for the 1920s gangsters, a cutlass for Captain Kidd, .45 Colt revolvers for the James brothers, a butcher’s knife for Jack the Ripper, etc.). Some (like the James boys) can even manifest horses.


Design Notes

Give his low screen time and the nature of his appearance, many of the stats are speculative.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: All-Select Comics #7 (1944).

Helper(s): Chaplain Chris.

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