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Viltrumite (Invincible Comics)

Generic Viltrumite


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

Context

Viltrumites are a near-Human alien species in the popular super-hero comic book Invincible.

Essentially, “what if Superman’s species were:

  1. Still alive.
  2. As powerful as he is.
  3. Warlike conquerors with a steroids rage problem.
  4. Mustachoied if male.”

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Overview

The Viltrumites originate from a lush and beautiful world which they named Viltrum. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, before they set off to conquer the stars, a growing portion of their society reached the conclusion that their god-like physical power and near-immortality gave them not only the right, but the duty to govern over the lesser beings that surrounded them.

When their opponents rebuked their ideals, those Viltrumites that valued strength embarked on a horrific task. They expunged all Viltrumites that they perceived to be weak or unfit in a planet-wide civil war. Years later, the population was decimated. The once beautiful planet of Viltrum stood in ruins after the events of the war that would eventually be remembered as “The Purging”.

The survivors adopted a brutal doctrine of eugenics. They created several selective breeding programs in order to ensure that only the strongest of their kind would survive and continue to prosper on Viltrum. From the ruins of “The Purging” rose a new race; a race of brutal conquerors made up of the strongest and most cunning survivors of the great war.

The Viltrumite Empire was born.

With their affairs at home in order, the Viltrumites turned their attention to their neighbours on the planets that surrounded their own. Led by the strongest of their number, Argall, the Viltrumites created the organization responsible for the galactic expansion of the Empire.

Conquerors

This World Conquering Committee chose its planets seemingly at random at first, but soon a pattern could be discerned and was always the same: planets capable of space travel were targeted for assimilation and were offered a chance to willingly submit to Viltrumite rule. Those that refused were destroyed by an army of flying super-men.


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After thousands of years, the Viltrumite Empire encompassed dozens of planets. As a people, they were feared and reviled throughout the known galaxy. Their absolute domination of the galaxy seemed inevitable until a single Viltrumite rebelled against his people.

Thaedus, who’s conscience would not allow him to stand by and watch his people subjugate and oppress their neighbours, secretly assembled a coalition to oppose their Viltrumite masters.

The Coalition tried for many years to stop the Viltrumite wave, but was met with failure after failure. Eventually its scientists synthesized a deadly virus from Thaedus’ blood that proved to be fatal to other Viltrumites. The virus, renamed the Scourge, was released in secret on Viltrum.

The previously unstoppable super-men began to perish in droves, due to either the sickness that was brought on by the virus or at the hands of physical violence that that they could not withstand in their weakened condition. Worse still, though the exact circumstances and reasons are unknown, Argall was assassinated near or during the time that the Scourge Virus was ravaging Viltrumite.

Scourged

In less than a single year, 99.9% of the Viltrumite race fell victim to the virus. The Viltrumites that survived the Scourge became immune to the deadly virus, and slowly regained their awesome strength. One of the survivors, Thragg, seized control and thinking quickly concocted a cunning plan that would allow them to retain control of their empire.

He forced the surviving Viltrumites to conceal their actual numbers and cut the planet Viltrum off from any outside visitors. He then hid the remains of every Viltrumite that fell to the Scourge on and around the planet, transforming it into the largest mass grave ever seen in the galaxy.

Viltrumites attacking an alien planet

The surviving Viltrumites then set about spreading rumours. Those said that the rapid expansion of the empire had stretched their supply lines far too thin. Those said that the empire no longer had the ability to dispatch an army of super-men to each planet they wanted to conquer.

Instead Viltrumites went to the most war-like of the Empire’s conquered planets. They conscripted their military forces as the new ground troops for the Viltrumite’s continued expansion and stranglehold on the empire.

But even with these measure in place, Thragg and the remains of the World Conquering Committee realized that it was only a matter of time before the galaxy realized that the Empire’s power was only an illusion.

A new hope

With that realization, the remaining Viltrumites hatched a single desperate plan. Thragg, along with his advisors, hand-picked the most potent soldiers from the remaining Viltrumites. He dispatched them to planets whose native population had the most potential to provide viable Viltrumite offspring, in the hopes of bolstering their numbers once more.

Their search lasted for decades, and the results of it were disappointing until the Viltrumite Nolan found a small blue planet called Earth.

Nolan’s exploits on the planet Earth were well documented in the Empire. When it came to their attention that he had abandoned his post, an assault team of Viltrumites was sent to confront him and discover why.

The Viltrumite assault team confronted Nolan on a planet inhabited by a race of insect-like bipeds. To their collective shock, they discovered that Nolan had produced not one, but two sons during his absence from the empire.

Moreover the eldest son, who was the resulting combination of human and Viltrumite DNA, was every bit as powerful and capable as a pure-blooded Viltrumite. Nolan and his son Mark, aka Invincible, put up a valiant fight against the Viltrumite assault team but were eventually defeated. Nolan was taken into custody, and Mark was given his post on Earth.

Invincible

With Nolan’s apparent defection, Thragg realized that he had little time to act before rumors started about the cohesiveness of the Empire. He sent word to his scattered people and bade them to return home.

At the same time he sent one of his more capable warriors, Anissa, to the Earth to persuade Invincible to convert to their side. Despite her eloquent and logic argument for their side, Invincible turned down their offer of allegiance to the Empire.

Upon Invincible’s refusal, Thragg decided to take stronger measures. He sent his most powerful agent, Conquest, to Earth.

It was during this time, that Nolan escaped from the Viltrumite prison where he was being held. Thragg knew that Nolan had no allies but the Coalition to turn to, and therefore the Coalition would soon discover that the Empire’s strength was an illusion.

He greatly accelerated his plans, and ordered his remaining forces to engage the Coalition of Planets’ forces directly. Despite the vigour that his conscripted armies fought with, they slowly lost ground to the allied Coalition forces.

Against the Coalition

Even worse, Conquest met his first real defeat at Invincible’s hands on Earth. He returned in defeat and begging for mercy from Thragg and his peers. Instead of executing Conquest for his failure, Grand Regent Thragg ordered him to act on information that was fed to the Viltrumites by a traitor within the Coalition forces.

The Viltrumites had discovered that the recently liberated Nolan had returned to Earth to recruit his sons for the Coalition’s war effort. Thragg instructed Conquest to intercept and destroy the Coalition ship that was ferrying the Grayson family (including Nolan and his two son’s Mark and Oliver) back to Coalition space.

Conquest, along with a pair of Viltrumite warriors, intercepted the starship as planned but by the conclusion of the battle both Conquest and the Graysons went inexplicably missing.

Working under the assumption that both Conquest and the Graysons had all perished during the confrontation, the Viltrumites committed the majority of their forces to an all out attack on the Coalition’s home-world of Talescria. The Viltrumite forces attacked en masse, with no less than 10 of the remaining Viltrumites present.

The Viltrumites wrought havoc on the population of Talescria. Their victory seemed assured until the Graysons suddenly appeared over the skies of Talescria and attacked the Viltrumite forces. Despite their numbers, the Viltrumites found themselves beaten back by the beleaguered Coalitions forces that had rallied behind the devastatingly powerful Grayson family.

Rather than risk capture or worse, the remaining Viltrumites retreated into the cold embrace of space. With the Coalition’s seeming impending victory in the war and left with little choice, the Viltrumites retreated to the one safe haven they had left, the planet Viltrum itself.

Attempt at a final assault

Unfortunately for the retreating Viltrumites, Thaedus had the same idea. Thaedus gathered the most powerful members of the Coalition (the Graysons, Allen the Alien, the earth-born hero TechJacket, the Space Racer and the being only known as Battle Beast) in order to prepare an ambush for the retreating Viltrumites on the planet of their birth.

It was only happenstance that allowed the gathered Viltrumite forces to reach Viltrum before the Coalition strike team.

As the most powerful members of the Coalition arrived in Viltrum’s orbit, Thragg unleashed the entirety of the surviving Viltrumites against them. The battle was as brutal as it was fast, and it resulted in several casualties. The surviving Viltrumites numbered in the low 30s and the planet of Viltrum itself was destroyed.

Thragg himself beheaded Thaedus for his treachery and maimed the Grayson family. He eviscerated Nolan, crippled Oliver, beat Invincible unconscious and left all three for dead in darkness of space. It was only Thragg’s intense desire to preserve the Viltrumite race that made him hesitate to murder the treacherous Grayson family.

Instead, he and his remaining people abandoned the Empire, and travelled to Earth.

Earthlings

Thragg waited patiently for the Graysons to return to Earth. Two weeks later, his patience was rewarded by Invincible’s presence. Thragg left his place of hiding, and confronted Invincible in the skies. He negotiated a peace treaty between the now-hidden Viltrumite people on Earth and the Coalition forces.

It was a simple treaty. The Viltrumites would surrender their claim on the Empire and its resources, and halt all hostilities. In return they would remain on Earth and rebuild their people. If the Coalition refused, they would raze Earth unto dust. Left with little choice, Invincible agreed to Thragg’s terms on behalf of the Coalition.

Despite all of the turmoil and chaos that had befallen them, the Viltrumites had endured. They had been given a second chance and a second home. Given time, their numbers would grow and swell. And when they had reached critical mass; their Empire would be reborn.


Characteristics

Representatives

Known Members: Anissa, Conquest, Invincible (Mark Grayson), General Kregg, Lucan, Omni-Man (Nolan Grayson), Thaedus, Grand Regent Thragg, Thula, Young Omni-man (Oliver Grayson)

Physical Characteristics

Average Height: 6’2”.
Average Weight: 240 lbs.
Average Eyes: Brown.
Average Hair: Black.

In general, Viltrumites have been depicted as caucasian or african american men and women with massively muscled physiques. Outside of their unusual amount of muscle, they are in all other ways identical in appearance to human men and women.

They all dress in a white and grey body stocking like garment. Their pelvic region is normally covered by a simple loin cloth and they wear sturdy white boots.

Though it hasn’t been confirmed, “Ranked” Viltrumites wear a circular symbol with three vertical lines in the centre of their chests or on the shoulders of their uniform.

All Viltrumite males have thick moustaches. This seems to be a cultural norm.

Cultural Traits

As a people, Viltrumites value strength above all other attributes. This is such an ingrained part of their culture that it helps to define their rank in life. Due to this fact, they are inclined to seek out and confront powerful foes in battle. The goal of the battle isn’t to merely defeat their foes, the goal is generally to face them at their peak and maim/destroy them.

Foes regarded to be lesser beings will simply be eliminated without pause or comment (outside of name calling). Generally, Viltrumites immediately enter Killing Combat once a confrontation occurs and won’t burn Hero Points  on defensive actions. Instead, most Viltrumites spend HPs on pure offence.

They are an arrogant and cruel race, capable of going to any length to achieve their goal. When 3 Viltrumites realized that they would be facing Nolan, they slaughtered the native population of the world simply because they knew it would frustrate him.

Curiously, perhaps due to their combative nature, Viltrumite executions of their prisoners are often delayed as they consider it unworthy to kill someone in poor condition.

Finally, Viltrumites are relatively emotionless beings. Concepts such as family, romantic love, fear, etc. are all foreign to them and can cause confusion. For them, mating is simply a means to strengthen their race and the empire. The only emotion that they seem to display openly is rage, and an unnatural bloodlust born out of their love of battle.


Quotes

“Prepare for BATTLE, young Viltrumite. I’m here to give your life GLORY — or an ENDING. I am anxious to see which it will be.”

“I can assume that since Lucan is nowhere to be found — you’ve killed him. GOOD. I always knew he was weak. Soon, I’ll know you were weak, too.”

“You know — some of us Viltrumites actually prefer to dismember our victims. They think it leaves a better message. When it gets down to it, I think they just like making a mess. Me ? I prefer to avoid a mess. I like to see the look in a victims eyes the second they die — I want to experience the moment their body goes limp and their life ends. You can’t do that if their eyes are already lying on the ground at their feet.”

“By all accounts, you have proven yourself a worthy member of the Viltrumite empire. You are to be the temporarily designated Viltrumite agent of Earth. You will take your father’s place and prepare for our eventual takeover of that planet. We are aware that your retaliation against us was due to your father. You will have one hundred years to put things in order. If you do not complete this task, you will be detained and executed upon our arrival.”


Powers and Abilities

Due to the extreme manner in which their DNA aggressively self-repairs and adapts to environmental stimulus, all Viltrumite possess a range of attributes that make them one of the most dangerous species alive.

The individual atoms of the average Viltrumite will perform their functions in extreme conditions or in opposition to extreme force.

Every atom that composes a Viltrumite body forms unique and permanently stronger bonds with each other, granting them a high degree of resiliency to harm while retaining the pliancy and warmth of normal human flesh.

Their resilience extends itself to extremes in temperature. The average Viltrumite can withstand temperature extremes from near absolute zero to temperatures nearing those of the surface of a star.

Strength

Moreover, the chemical bonds involved in their muscular contraction are many thousand times stronger than those found in homo sapiens. This allows them to exert greater and greater amounts of force until almost any given task is performed.

Using the “Marvel Handbook” classification of strength, every adult Viltrumite possesses “Class 100” strength allowing them to lift many times in excess of 100 tons.

All of the essential chemical processes in a Viltrumite’s system are similarly enhanced, including those that are responsible for resisting disease and fatigue, and those that are responsible for growth and repair. This combination (along with their already high degree of durability) effectively renders the average Viltrumite immune to disease, fatigue and aging.

Their system is so efficient, that even the process by which they use oxygen is enhanced allowing them to hold a single breath for up to two weeks.

In the rare case where a Viltrumite suffers injury, they are able to fully heal without scarring from the injury with a rapidity that humans simply could not replicate. In fact, Viltrumites are capable of recovering from fatal wounds (including evisceration) within months.

Finally, every Viltrumite possesses copious amounts of superhuman speed and the gift of unaided flight. With little effort, they can maintain flight speeds of 800,000 km per hour for days (although, they usually limit themselves to much slower speeds which in a planetary atmosphere).

Weaknesses

The Viltrumites have only a single documented weaknesses: the Scourge Virus. The Scourge is a weaponized virus that bonds with Viltrumite DNA and replicates itself at a rate that is comparable to an exceptionally potent cancer within Humans. An exposed Viltrumite has a mere 1% survival rate for each new strain of the disease.

Even those Viltrumites who are fortunate enough to be resistant to the virus suffer greatly from its effects. While their bodies fight off the disease, their normally super-human strength and resistance to harm is diminished greatly. Any injury the infected individual incurs while under the effects of the virus (from loss of a limb to the loss of an eye) become permanent, even when they return to full health.

The actual length of time of the effect is unknown at this time. But it appears that once exposed to the virus, the survivors become immune to its effects.


DC Universe History

Thragg and the Viltrumites would make an excellent foil to the Superman family. During the original Invasion series, instead of the Dominators recruiting the Daxamites to invade the planet earth, perhaps they stumbled upon the planet of Viltrum.

The Vartox Alternative, part 1

The DCH community counting several Vartox fans among its ranks, azraelfl ended up proposing the following:

If using Vartox as a renegade, hybrid, Viltrumite, I would suggest moving the Viltrumite Empire, and the Coalition of Planets to Vartox’s home galaxy, the “Sombrero Hat Galaxy”, which is situated 73 APs from Earth. Overall the history of the empire would then be unchanged since DC never really fleshed out the region of space much.

While it is possible that Vartox could be the son of Thaddeus I would instead go with his parent (male of female) being sent to his original homeworld of Valeron by the empire for the usual purpose, ie conquest and breeding, and eventually either going rogue or being defeated by their child Vartox, who has much greater power, and either died or fled.

Since Vartox’s first encounters with Superman were before the destruction of Valeron IIRC he had probably not learned the truth yet (so as not to spoil the suprise for Superman). Valeron would then have been destroyed by the empire although Vartox lived (if the parent went rouge they were killed).

He would have then either joined forces with the consortium or (as he did in pre-Crisis times) taken residence on a planet with a non-oxygen atmosphere, reasoning that it would be less of a target to the Viltrumites since they do have to breathe (oxygen) now and then.

The Vartox Alternative, part 2

For the sake of Invincible’s timeline I would place the destruction of Valeron in ’76 to ’78 (if you ignore the “10 year timeline” of DC).

Nolan would have been sent to Earth in 79 to 81 after reports (by some of Vartox’s enemies, possibly a surviving, still loyal, parent) of the presence of beings with powers exceeding those of Viltrumites. After all his job back then was to investigate dangers to the empire.

In this case he would be under orders to act undercover, as if on a standard long term conquest mission, rather than simply annihilating the threat.

Arriving on Earth, Nolan would have proceeded in much the same manner as in the original material, possibly shaving his mustache in case of further visits to the planet by Vartox. He would have become Omniman and worked as an associate to the JLI/A. After a few years he would have married and had a son.

Events proceed apace then in ’94 Doomsday appears and kills Superman, and severely injures several other heroes.

Nolan may have thought the time right to elimate the rest of the threats but was held back by the appearence of Superboy, Steel, The Cyborg,&The Eradicator. Eventually Superman returned and so forth.

The Vartox Alternative, part 3

The presence of a clone of Superman would give the empire a new reason for interest in the planet. Such cloning technology would provide a means to replenish their numbers in a much shorter time, either by:

  • Taking DNA samples from the perfectly preserved corpses orbiting their homeworld and editing in immunity to the Scourge virus from the DNA of survivors.
  • Or taking DNA samples of all living Viltrumites and randomly combining the chromasomes for maximum genetic diversity (50 could become hundreds in short order).

Eventually in ’03 Nolan would have tried to eliminate various threats to Viltrum. I think one could have him be responsible for the deaths of Blue Beetle II, Superboy, Wonder Woman I or III (Hippolyta, or Artemis), Flash IV (Bart), Tempest (Garth), Jade I,&Jemm Son of Saturn.

These characters would have been filling in for the primary JLA during the “Obsidian Age” events. Also all of these characters, except Jemm, died in various (bad) stories around this time, so having Nolan kill them is a bit more elegant.

Events would play out much the same way as they did in Invincible, with Mark basically taking on Connor’s spot with the Teen Titans and eventually finding out the truth about his father etc.


Marvel Universe History

It’s still possible in a combined universe campaign that the Strontians were at some point hybridized by the Viltrumites. Nolan’s child with his wife on Mantis-World was a humanoid with purple skin and black hair just like those of the typical Strontian.

Given that Strontians’ powers are dependent on psychological factors, the first hybrids’ powers may not have been obvious, causing the Viltrumites to abandon Strontia as a potential breeding ground. Encountering Gladiator and his people in the current day might cause the Viltrumites to reconsider, but conquering Strontia would be a much more difficult task.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Generic Viltrumite Warrior

Dex: 07 Str: 20 Bod: 16 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 06 Wil: 09 Min: 08 Occupation: Soldier
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 002 (010 w/ Viltrumite Empire)
Init: 037 HP: 050

Powers:
Cold Immunity: 06, Flame Immunity: 06, Flight: 36, Mind Over Matter: 12, Regeneration: 02, Sealed Systems: 15, Superspeed: 15, Systemic Antidote: 04

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation): 08, Martial Artist: 07, Vehicles (Space Craft): 06

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Milky Way Galaxy), Familiarity (Viltrumite Technology), Lightning Reflexes, Near-Immortal (Potential Lifespan – 3000 years), Stabilization.

Connections:
Other Viltrumites (High).

Drawbacks:
Exile (Viltrumite Empire, Involuntary), Fatal Vulnerability (Scourge Virus), Loss Vulnerability (All powers and physical attributes reduced to ½ APs after exposure to the Scourge Virus), SIA (Battle), SPI (Intermittent Explosive Disorder).

Equipment:
TELEPATHIC EARPLUG [BODY 03, Telepathy: 06, R#: 2 ; Limitations: Telepathy is for communication only – no mental battles].


Design notes

Based STR, DEX and Superspeed on the fact that both Allen and Thragg’s STR are set at 25, making them as powerful as Superman but no more.


Intermittent Explosive Disorder

All Viltrumites, suffer from an acute form of IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder). This behavioural disorder can be characterized by extreme expressions of anger, often to the point of uncontrollable rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand.

The average Viltrumite simply isn’t equipped to handle frustration or opposition; any sort of stress (from failed character interaction to combat) can trigger a violent episode. In game this is simulated by making a Serious Rage Role whenever a Viltrumite begins to feel negative emotions (frustration, anger, fear) with failure resulting in immediate devastating physical violence.


War of the Gods

Battles between beings such as the Viltrumites result in a lot more collateral damage than typical superhero fights. To simulate these devastating battles, a modification of the Knockback rules is necessary. When a character is Knocked Back into an inanimate obstacle such as a building, the obstacle is attacked with an AV/EV equal to the EV of the original attack, not the distance of the Knockback.

By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Image Comic Book Series – Invincible, created by Robert Kirkman & Cory Walker.

Helper(s): WORG Write-ups (Omni-Man, Invincible, Conquest); Roy Cowan; Peter Piispanen; azraelfl.

Writeup Updated Feb 1st, 2012.

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