Tales From Paragon City #4

The Dark Scandal Surrounding Wyvern Is Exposed!

For years, the privately-funded army called Wyvern has protected millionaires and billionaires and their family members from threats around the world. But they have also been waging a private war against the criminal empire known as Arachnos and their vice-grip hold of the Rogue Isles.

In 2005, this private war becomes public as Wyvern enacts a private blockade around the Isles in response to Arachnos trying to take over Paragon City earlier that year. What happens next has implications not only for Wyvern but also to a certain family whose name would become synonymous with disaster.

Special guest appearance by Sin Stalker of the "Justice Knights" series and also includes a follow-up story featuring a certain YouTube character.

For more about the "Tales from Paragon City" series, please visit it's NEW home at Battlerock Comics


A Special Holiday Present

As this is the Holiday Season, a season of giving... there is one last gift that I can give on Christmas Eve, and that is the news of one more City of Heroes comic release...

"Tales From Paragon City" #4 will have one last issue published on New Year's Eve that will feature a certain YouTube personality.

If the cover and start of the story should look a little familiar, it's because the first half of the story was originally published in the "City of Comic Creators Compendium".  But with the closing of City of Heroes MMO, the second half was never able to be told... until now.

The story will also include a special appearance by Sin Stalker of JKComics.com, as well as one more character that was promised but never could be seen in this series until now.  Better late than never, right?

"Tales From Paragon City" #4 will be online on 12/31.

Battlerock Comics Announced

Get Brutal Productions

Get Brutal Productions Announces Creation of Battlerock Comics

Georgia - December 24, 2012 - Get Brutal Productions, a one-man production company designed to highlight various multimedia services, has announced the creation of a subsidiary production group specifically designed for fan-made comic books.

Battlerock Comics will service as an online center for all comics published by Get Brutal Productions.   This will encompass both the comics previously published by writer/creator David 2 and the new comics that will be released in 2013.

Writer/Creator David 2 began work with online comics in 2009 with “Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight”, a regular fan-made not-for-profit series that used characters created in the “City of Heroes” Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game owned by NCSoft.  Eventually three regular series were created using characters in the “City of Heroes” game, including “Spotlight”, “Tales from Paragon City”, and “The Guardian Powers”.  David 2 also worked with other fan-made comic artists on several projects, including creating stories and cover designs to the “City of Comic Creators Compendium” series, and a comical “video-comic” series on YouTube called “Ask Captain Catastrophe”.

The first series under the Battlerock Comics title will be “Future’s Guardian”, another regular fan-made not-for-profit series that uses characters in the “Champions Online” MMORPG as provided by Perfect World Entertainment.  The series follows from an earlier series published online in 2011 called “The Lost Adventures of Galatea Future”, which will end with its fourth issue to transition the characters over to the new series.

David 2 points out that online comic series provide a way for fans of comic books to appreciate the world of online multiplayer gaming and even encourages readers to participate.

“Fan-made comics give the MMO providers something they otherwise would never have,” he said, “and that is free advertising for their game.  Traditionally they would have to work with established comic book publishers like Dark Horse or Image Comics, and their representations would barely match the detail in the MMO itself.  With fan-made comics, readers see the issue, they see the images from the game, the detail of the characters in that game, they realize that this is an environment that they can interact in themselves, and they see all of the references to the game itself, namely where they can find it.”

Battlerock Comics can be found at http://battlerockcomics.wordpress.com


Good Night Paragon City!

December 1st marks the end of City of Heroes MMO.

For Colonel John Battlerock, aka Battlerock X, the character for whom this blog site was created, his final battle on this day was against the Rikti, the very monsters that nearly deprived him of his life ten years ago. A fitting way to end his story, overcoming his greatest threat and still standing.

Thank you to those of you who have enjoyed the entries, articles, images, videos, and reviews. This will not be the last entry, there will be more to come, but for now it is time for this old soldier to stand down and go home.


Tactical File: Rikti Incursions

Rikti Conscript
Rikti Sword, Rikti Energy Rifle

Found In:
Rikti War Zone

Founders Falls

Peregrine Island

Crey's Folly

Monster Island

In 2002, we were shocked to discover multiple discs appearing everywhere. These discs, we soon discovered, were actually dimensional portals, and what came through them devastated the world.

The Rikti: mysterious race from another world in another dimension with knowledge and technology that clearly surpassed our own

Millions were killed in the first day. Whole cities ravaged. Paragon City itself was fragmented and divided by huge War Walls that remain even to this day.

But for the first time in our history, the whole world joined forces to confront this threat. The sacrifices made were both shocking and heroic. The world was saved, but the price was high, especially for our champions.

Five years later, the skies darkened again. The Rikti were back.

This time, though, we were prepared. The United Nations defense force known as Vanguard had been preparing for the Rikti’s return and they made sure that they would not be allowed to put down any stakes on Earth ever again.

But just because we fought off the second invasion doesn’t mean that the threat is over with.

There is still a mothership on Earth. Even though it was crashed in 2002 and is surrounded by Vanguard forces, it is still active and providing support and intelligence for the Rikti forces still on the ground.

Plus there is a second Rikti mothership. It is connected somehow to the downed mothership inside the Rikti War Zone. Every so often it makes its approach to try to catch us off-guard.

This threat, by the way, is not just limited to Paragon City. The Rogue Isles are also a Rikti target, although the reasons why still remain unanswered.

Although you cannot see this second mothership, its presence is certainly felt when it approaches Earth’s atmosphere. In places where the mothership hovers over, the skies turn a sickly brown-and-green color. The presence of the mothership is also powerful enough to de-power the War Walls in Paragon City (not a surprise since they were built using Rikti technology), which allows for smaller ships to come in.

Fortunately the size of the arriving mothership is massive enough for Vanguard to give people up to five minutes warning to prepare and to head for shelter. Vanguard actually has anywhere up to twenty minutes warning time; however, the specific destination cannot be determined until about five minutes before arrival, so they will hold off on issuing specific alerts until that time.

The mothership cannot come as close to Earth as they did in 2002. Vanguard defense forces make sure of that. But that mothership can still send down ships and troops while they are overhead.

Your typical Rikti incursion has two stages to it.

The first stage is an air assault. This is where Rikti Drop Ships will bomb the area. They will fly in a straight pattern, one after another, and drop bombs on the area. It’s best to stay out of their way, though. The Drop Ships are more powerful than any single hero. In fact it usually takes a lot of heroes to bring down a single ship. Plus they fire energy bursts if you get too close to them. And, yes, it also means they will fire on you even if you are just standing still, so be very careful where you stand in certain city quadrants.

Be on the lookout for unexploded bombs or UEBs. UEBs are not duds! They are strategically dropped to cause serious morale damage when people come out to either look at the bomb or else try to diffuse it. The Paragon News Network lost a reporter and cameraman in the middle of a live broadcast when they assumed that a nearby UEB was a dud. Look for a warning light in the center of an UEB to determine its status. If it is green or yellow then you may have a chance to disable it before it explodes. But if it is red, then get as far away from it as you can, and keep others away from it as well.

The second stage is the ground assault. The Drop Ships will still continue to bomb the area, only now the mothership will start teleporting in troops to take on any life forces that they detect. These ground forces will consist of Rikti troopers, Rikti monkeys, and the occasional automated Rikti Probes.

The secret behind the deployment is that the longer you are in exposed areas, and the more people that are in that area, the more troops that will be teleported in. Eventually they will start deploying heavier weapons to try to overwhelm that resistance.

The trick to dealing with the Rikti is three-fold.

First, if you don’t want to fight, then stay out of sight! Head to a nearby store or police station or even an overpass and then wait it out. If the Rikti mothership cannot spot you from low orbit, then it will not consider you a threat and it will not send out troops to get you.

Second, avoid the Drop Ships entirely. You need extremely large numbers to hurt them and it doesn’t help you when you do take them down. You don’t even get a badge for your efforts, so don’t waste your time on those ships. Once you know what their bombing patterns are, then stay away from them when possible. Even if you’re on the ground and are not attacking the Drop Ships, they will attack you if you are within range of their weapons.

Third, the magic word to dealing with the Rikti is TEAMWORK! If you’re not already in a team, then get on one as soon as you can. And once you are in a team, then you need to stay together. Make sure everyone is together, even if you’re working in a League. Healers need to heal, and focus on nothing but healing. Everyone else just needs to stick around and do what they do best. The best part of working with a team is that every victory in that team is shared, so you get credit for every Rikti killed in your team, but that only applies when you are in the same vicinity as your team.

There are key areas where heroes (and I’m told villains as well) assemble to deal with Rikti incursions as groups. For instance, in Atlas Park, the key area is around Ms. Liberty. In Kings Row, it’s at the bottom of the stairs to the police headquarters. On Talos Island, it’s atop the giant rock in front of the train station. Once the skies start to turn, these are the places that you need to head to in order to find teams and take on the Rikti in overwhelming numbers.

There are two more helpful tips for dealing with incursions.

First, in Paragon City, the War Walls are a great indication as to when the Rikti are about to retreat. When the Rikti are ready to attack, their approach de-powers the War Walls. Likewise, when they are in the process of retreating, the first thing that happens is that the War Walls power back up. When you see the energy field of the War Walls come back on, then you know that the Rikti are in retreat.

Second, thanks to an arrangement made with Vanguard, you are immune from any kind of medical debt should you be killed during a Rikti incursion. This is important for higher-level operatives because medical debt can be very expensive if you are killed repeatedly and need to be recovered through the medical teleporters. So don’t hold back when you’re battling the Rikti. Give them everything you have, and both your team and the support services of Vanguard will do the same.

The Rikti can appear to be an overwhelming force, but they are not invincible, and they do not have infinite resources. Every incursion that we beat back costs them far more than they will ever admit to. Their failures cost them those vital resources, which is why their incursions are for a limited period of time.

But, unlike the Rikti, we have far more to lose if we fail.

Remember, this is our home world, not theirs.


Vanguard Warning: Rikti Incursion Soon!

The following transmission was intercepted from the Rikti:

Humanity: doomed.
We: conquer.

Heroes: demoralized.
Villains: eliminated.

Preparations: commencing.

Invasion: imminent.

Vanguard agents estimate that the incursion will occur starting around 9am EDT on Friday, August 3rd and lasting until 9am EDT on Monday, August 6th.

Tactical files on dealing with Rikti Incursions will be forthcoming.


Tactical File: Midnight Squad Induction

Montague Castanella

Group: Midnight Squad
Rank: Leader

Power: Ability to sense changes in time.

Can be seen in:
Steel Canyon

The Midnight Squad: the super-secret organization that has been around since the Golden Era of Heroes.

While most hero groups are concerned about making sure the newspaper gets their names right or which group is “top ranked”, the Midnight Squad is concerned about the threats that aren’t made public. They deal with the enemies that are quite literally the things that nightmares come from!

Most of the time, members of the Midnight Squad observe. They take notes. They collect information and then they covertly pass that information on to certain groups. They’re superb intelligence-collectors, especially when it comes to the arcane arts.

In the early days of the First Rikti Invasion of 2002, the Midnight Squad found out that the Rikti were vulnerable to magic. That knowledge cost them dearly as their headquarters became ground zero for a fusion bomb that obliterated much of Baumton. The Midnight Squad headquarters itself was completely destroyed, killing almost every member of that organization.

In 2008, Professor Montague Castanella began to quietly recruit certain heroes with a security level of 10 or higher. Simultaneously, Ashley McKnight would reach out to villains in the Rogue Isles with a threat level of 14 or higher. Both groups would begin recruiting for the Midnight Squad again.

The induction process is different between heroes and villains, so this file will only focus on the hero-side of joining the Midnight Squad. There are several reasons why you would want to ally yourself with the Midnighters, with the best reason being it gives you access to ancient Rome.

Bear in mind that this tactical file is designed for a single-person completion. You can also involve a team in the operation, but understand that some of what you do involves single-player activity. On the plus side, completion as a team will mean that the whole team will become Midnighters. So make sure that the team members stay through to the very end.

For heroes, you get an automatic summons from Professor Castanella when you reach security level 10. (Don’t ask how he knows these things. That just shows you how good the Midnight Squad is!) You will meet him in the library of the Steel Canyon University and will give you several challenges.

First up, you have to rescue Percy Winkley. Percy is a curious young man who always manages to find himself in trouble. At least, though, he helps. That’s an improvement over the stereotypical cub reporter with bright red hair. You’ll end up taking a trip down to a portion of Oranbega, and you will have to deal with both the Lost and the Circle of Thorns. The Lost are there for the same reason that Percy is, and they’re looking for the same thing that the Circle have in their possession. Your results will vary, but be thorough in your search. He could be right around the corner, or he could be all the way at the other end of Oranbega. Once you find him and rescue him from the Circle, he’ll give you something important.

Returning to the university, Castanella will give you your second mission. Don’t worry; once you complete this mission you won’t have to go back to the campus every time.

The next mission will be a little reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the Lost somehow manage to get their hands on Rikti weapons, and some of the more “mutated” members don’t look that human. You’ll find out more about their connection by visiting an abandoned office that somehow has an underground passage to a Rikti stronghold. There you’ll encounter Ci’dion, the Rikti Chief that bombed Baumton. Feel free to go all-Praetorain on him. If you’re working alone, concentrate on hitting Ci’dion, then work on his Lost buddies. Not far from his location you’ll find four Rikti consoles. Get the storage crystals from those four consoles and your mission will be complete. If you’re working as a team, concentrate on clearing the area of Lost and Ci’dion before you go for the consoles. Those data streams are good places for the Lost to hide behind and attack.

The information you collect next will be helpful. Now that you’ve kicked some Rikti butt, it’s time to rescue a Rikti defector. I know the concept is strange, but there are some Rikti that don’t subscribe to the war-mindset and want to defect. The Rikti’s name is Argot’BurWot, and the folks at Vanguard consider him to be a valuable asset in the war. “Ours is not to wonder why…” etcetera, etcetera, and so on.

It means another trip down into another abandoned office building atop another Rikti stronghold guarded by the Lost. They really keep the same design, so the path you took previously to find the stronghold will take you there this time as well. You’ll also get a rematch with Ci’dion, only this time it’s one-on-one. Remind him who kicked his butt the first time around. Argot will be guarded by a few Lost minions, but once you rescue him he’ll be pretty grateful for you being there.

Once that’s done, it’s time to worry about the Circle again. This time you’ll be sent in to help out Lady Jane, the leader of Europe’s premiere supergroup, the Dawn Patrol. She’s been on a quest for something so secretive and so important that she can’t trust anyone in her own group to do it, and it has something to do with Hero 1.

Yes, this is a cave mission, but don’t panic too much. This will be one of those “good” cave missions. And before you go in there, make sure you’re stocked up with plenty of health and stamina inspirations.

You’ll find that Lady Jane has been captured by a Madness Mage and some of his Circle cronies. If you’re doing this by yourself, then concentrate on the Madness Mage and hit him with everything you have to keep him disoriented and knocked down, or else he will disable you quickly. Once you rescue Lady Jane, she’ll follow your lead. She’s got two guns and plenty of bullets so she won’t be a wallflower, but she’s also not expendable. You have to protect her or else this mission is a bust. She’ll point you to where you need to go, but don’t take your time getting there, because once you rescue her, the Circle will send in waves of reinforcements to stop you. You have to let her reach the target. Once she’s there, she’ll give you an important item for the rest of your quest.

This next part is geared more towards a single operative than for a team. The Vanguard are calling you and it seems Argot’BurWot has something vital to share with you. He’s at the Atlas Park branch of Vanguard, directly south of Atlas Plaza and City Hall. From where Ms. Liberty faces, it’s the building to the immediate left. You won’t miss it when you see the Vanguard sentry by the door. Walking inside, stay along the left and go through the two double-doors and you’ll see the Rikti ally to your right.

Your next stop will be City Hall to relay your information to Azuria. If you’re new to Paragon City then you probably haven’t visited the FBSA offices yet, so go inside City Hall and take a right. Down the stairs will be the FBSA offices. Azuria will be in the one marked MAGI or “Mystical Arcane Guild of Investigation”. She’ll know what to do with Argot’s information and she’ll give you another important item.

Normally at this point you should go back to the University, check-in with the Professor, and then use the invention tables to come up with the next vital item. However, you can check-in with him remotely and he’ll send you the final pieces for your invention, so all you need to do is get an invention table. If you’re in a supergroup and you have one in your base, you can use that. But if you don’t have access to a supergroup base, you can use the tables at Vanguard Headquarters. Go back to the Vanguard office in Atlas Park and take the portal to the Rikti War Zone. There you’ll be in the Vanguard HQ. Down the stairs and turn right and you’ll find your invention tables.

I won’t leave you in suspense here; the item you’re crafting is a prototype cure for the Lost. Once you have it, give Castanella a call. He’ll have you try it out next.

There are several places in Paragon City to try out the cure on the Lost. I’m sure Kings Row will quickly come to mind, as will Skyway City, Faultline, and Perez Park. But the best place to try it out has to be the Hollows. Exit out to Atlas Park, then from the Vanguard building, head east to the Hollows zone. Once in the Hollows, head to the far left hill past the police barricade. You’ll find that hilltop teaming with Lost minions. Hit them with the Cure and watch them turn back to humans. You’ll have to cure at least twenty of them for the mission to be a success. Fair warning: DO NOT try to use the cure on anyone other than the Lost! You have a limited number of charges and you do not want to waste them on stupid things.

Once that’s done, you’re almost finished. The final step requires you to head back to the university in Steel Canyon. There’s a college student that you’ll be asked to speak with and give him the right Latin phrase. Castinella will give you the right phrase, so you just have to relay it to the student. Do it right and you’ll be granted access to the Midnight Club! Once in, talk to the guy at the front desk, and then call up the professor so he can formally welcome you to the Midnight Squad!

Be sure to take a look around the Midnight Club while you’re there. You’ll find a special shop, a few hidden secrets, short-cuts to Croatoa and Founders Falls, and a very special Pillar of Ice and Flame. Where that Pillar takes you, though, is the subject of another tactical file.


Battlerock X: Journal Entry 20120428

An intelligence report that was intercepted confirmed my fears of something bad coming soon.


Bad enough that we are still recovering from the destruction of Galaxy City. Bad enough that we are still mourning the deaths of Statesman, Miss Liberty, and Sister Psyche. Bad enough that we are still facing threats from the Praetorian Universe. Now Nemesis has to stick his ancient rusted armor back up.

My memory is still a bit foggy of those pre-Rikti days, but I seem to recall that Nemesis has always been more talk than threat. He relies on automation, creating tin soldiers instead of recruiting people to carry out his delusional fantasy of world domination. He lives on manipulation and misdirection. Just when you think you have him, you discover it’s just another one of his replicas.

Still, after all that has happened, we should take even his threats seriously.

I pulled out my old outfit from my so-called “hero” days. It’s time to stop hiding. The tights still fit, but it took a bit to remember working with the metal skulls on my shoulder.

The Tenth-Generation Battlerock Warrior is no longer hiding. Battlerock X and the rest of Paragon City are ready for whatever Nemesis can come up with.

(A special 8th Anniversary tribute to NCSoft, Paragon Studios, and City of Heroes Freedom.)


An Old Enemy Returns...

Fallen Thunder

April 28th, 2012
Atlantic Ocean
Approx. 39.76 Latitude, -70.70 Longitude, 700 feet below the surface

Aboard the Prussian Prince submarine

The steady ping of the brass plating of the Prussian Prince expanding as it gradually ascended from the depths 5 miles from the brightly glowing lights of Talos Island was like a metronome.


Each sound signified another 33 feet...he calculated the depth of the submersible vehicle by marking the passing of the metallic report. Where other's would have synapses firing, silently relaying commands to his body to properly adjust the dials and valves controlling the ballast levels, there was instead the steady whirring and clicking of gears and the steady hiss of steam powering his every move.


660 feet

Small crystals of ice delicately broke away from his body, blanketing his chair with a thin layer of frost. The chill of the air would have made his breath visible...that is, if he still drew breath. It had been many years since Gerhardt Eisenstadt had last drawn air, having made such human concerns unnecessary well over a century ago. Whatever remained of his flesh had long since decayed, replaced by the more reliable and stronger Clockwork bodies of his own design and construction. These bodies were the purest incarnation of his genius...his brilliance...the same genius that struck fear in the hearts of all who heard his name. No longer Gerhardt Eisenstadt; He was now Lord Nemesis, and his infamy spanned generations!

The story of his conquest to bring the whole of the United States of America under heel was still told in hushed tones by those who survived the national nightmare. Washington D.C., and most of the U.S., had been his, held in the palm of his enormous brass hand. The populace had been no match for his clockwork army and with their vaunted superheroes spread across the globe fighting the Second World War in Europe and Asia, they were powerless to stop him.

Until Marcus Cole.

Always Marcus Cole.


396 feet

Every time Lord Nemesis was on the cusp of global domination, on the verge of his final victory, ready to take his rightful place, Marcus Cole... no... Statesman would foil his grand design.

There were others over the years, so many others, but it always came back to Statesman. The man was un-killable, not for a lack of trying.

Of course, this made the notion that one as simple as Darrin Wade could succeed where he had failed...inconceivable. The theft of Rularuu's powers was simply adding insult to injury.

It had been tempting to join the Heroes and "Villains" (there was, after all, only one true villain) in their fight against "Rula-Wade". The very presumption that a fool such as Wade had the right to rob Lord Nemesis of his victory...well... This was his victory. He was to be the one to extract the life essence from the broken and battered body of Statesman. Victory was to be his, the plot was written, it was put in motion, it was all to happen...exactly...as...he...planned.

Wade was lucky. This was the only plausible explanation. He had obviously used his obscurity and lack of being an actual threat to accomplish the improbable.

Of course this occurrence was not entirely unforeseen by Nemesis. Even something as unpredictable as Wade dispatching Statesman could not fully escape his genius plans. His robotic feet clanged across the iron floor of the Prince as he walked over to the antique filing cabinet. He delicately slid the door open, flipping through the manila folders until he came across the one he was looking for: Operation Fallen Thunder

The outer folder was dusty, the paper starting to soften and fray from the passing of time. Hand typed on a Smith-Corona typewriter decades before, the plan was simple when compared to his recent, more elaborate plots. He thumbed through the pages...yes...there it was. He would capitalize on Cole's death (any fool would), but on a far more massive, and final, scale: He would attack all of Paragon City, spreading their defenses so thin that even the combined might of the city's Heroes would be unable to stop his automaton army. Finally, he would avenge the humiliation he suffered in Washington D.C. so many years ago.

Yes, Fallen Thunder would be the lynch-pin, a catalyst for other similar plots in the unlikely event it didn't succeed.

Gears whirred and steam hissed as his mind calculated the probabilities of success, taking into account a single possible outlying factor: Tyrant was not a consideration when the plan was originally conceived. While still a threat, calculations showed that he would soon be irrelevant. The erstwhile ruler of Praetorian Earth was quickly losing his grasp on power due to the multiple incursions of immensely powerful Incarnates (Note: Investigate probability of conquering an alternate dimension.)

What was not immediately clear was the alternate Cole's end game. His notes observed a 5.7% chance of complete surrender and a 6.33% chance of simply detonating a weapon of mass destruction over his own city. There was a significantly higher likelihood of him fighting to the death, less so the chance he would abandon his seat of power. No matter. All of these possible outcomes meshed well with his simple, yet masterful plot.

Lord Nemesis reached over to the brass intercom bell.


132 feet

"Surface" he said. "Operation Fallen Thunder will commence immediately...under my direct supervision."