"To be determined."
--Somebody to Someone in "Episode"The Hegemon is an agent of The Pale, and an immensely powerful Paradox currently residing in Tempus Derelicta. His part to play has resulted in pivotal events occurring throughout the continuity of KingdomFall, with the mysterious Decider carrying out his agenda well beyond the reach of the Heroes. His peerless ambition and vast cunning has led the Hegemon to pursue the Truth and unravel the secrets entangling the fate of the world, his deeper motives remain a mystery however.
Little to nothing is known about the Hegemon prior to his inclusion for the realm's survival. He is believed to have been born and lived in Aurelis, this however is still speculation at best. Among both his allies and enemies there are those who believe he was sent by Outsiders as a catalyst to the KIngdomFall, others still hold that he is The Long Night made flesh, a vessel of ruin biding his time before swallowing the world in chaos.
Whatever his origins, the Hegemon is believed to have grown up with some measure of nobility, acquiring an education and training beyond the scope of most adventurers. His early years were likely spent immersed in rigorous studies to provide him with the skills and knowledge he currently possesses, granting him among other things, a keen understanding of politics and violence both.
At some point during his early life he entered into the service of The Pale, casting aside whatever family name he had to him prior to this decision, and adopting the surname 'Pale', as all members of the family are inclined to do. During his years as a Pale agent, Pontius would forgo his remaining given name, adopting the title of Hegemon in all his dealings. By the events of KingdomFall, the Hegemon had successfully risen to the status of a high caliber agent in the fold, demonstrating abilities limited only to GodLess's most able associates. His immersion into the twisted spiral of the kingdom began as a mere investigation, venturing to the port town of Coldridge to uncover the suspicious dealings happening within. This small task rapidly thrust him into the fray, prompting the Hegemon to embark on a quest that would ever change the shape of history.
The Hegemon acts as a supreme pragmatist, his every action a calculated decision, his every plan a contingency to ultimately fall into place, even in failure. The Hegemon has thus far displayed a shrewd nature and a deft hand in all his encounters, forging alliances where it suited him and destroying his enemies when it was necessary. He is not without low cunning most of all, having a firm grasp on the limitations of servitude. The Hegemon willingly forged an alliance with the Nameless Stranger, despite knowing that this would potentially go against the best interests of the Pale. Throughout his travels he has used secrets and knowledge as a higher form of currency than the vast sums of gold he manipulates more casually, guarding none more closely than his own.
Despite his self serving nature, the Hegemon has still acted in the best interests of the realm. Willingly embarking on several dangerous expeditions alongside Isaac in order to purge the vast quantities of Phazon corrupting the realm, but where bravery is less of a foreign concept, the prospects of honor and the Hegemon make for unusual bedfellows. The Hegemon has, on multiple occasions insist that he engage in single combat with his adversaries, forgoing his supernatural entourage in the interest of establishing his outright supremacy. Nearly as numerous though are the instances in which the Hegemon has dismissed notions of fair play, relying on sneak attacks and concealed weaponry. His unpredictable nature aptly suits the mysterious nobleman's equally shrouded plots.
The cornerstone of his persona could very well be described as his charm, the Hegemon is a man of verbosity above all else. A silver tongue befitting his guile and persuasive disposition that has proven to be the only thing more dangerous than the man's temperament for destruction. While he may be charming on all accounts, the Hegemon has previously exhibited a flare not common among adventurers, and a wildly unstable personality at times. His deathly serious demeanor can instantly give way to bouts of silly or whimsical thoughts and actions, this harlequin's mindset very easily calls into question the Hegemon's sanity. Often leaving those around him to contemplate if he really is a tactician or a madman.
Perhaps the most contrasting aspect of all is his generally amoral view in the trying times encompassing the realm. The Hegemon has often and eagerly dismissed any notion of indiscretion from the view of polite society, from cannibalizing his fallen enemies to eagerly practicing black arts. The Hegemon is not a man burdened by the judgement of others or any false notions of unsavory practice. While most might mistakenly brand him as a villain, the Hegemon can be described as a neutral party more than anything, disregarding anything and anyone that does not hamper his quest for power and knowledge. And only indulging in violence to defend himself or further his ambitions. He has proven himself to be a vastly different player in the game of survival, possessing very different perspectives from the Heroes and their battle for justice.
The Hegemon first appeared in Coldridge when he attempted to garner more information regarding suspicious activity by the local nobility. His first appearance had the Nobleman clad in a resplendent suit of armor, comprised of exquisitely forged plating that inspired fear and awe in the hearts of commoners who might have a brush with this character. Apart from an expensive riding cloak, the Hegemon wore his armor with impunity in the view of everyday citizens. As a person of nobility he displayed a diligence in his grooming habits, possessing an immaculate visage most emphasized by his imposing, aquiline nose and a pair of deep set eyes that most often expressed a casual bemusement. His hair remained short and well kept throughout his travels in Coldridge.
Upon encountering his first brush with Phazon, the Hegemon underwent a drastic transformation both inside and out. His previously green eyes became an intense shade of blue, reminiscent of Prime Sources. His skin adopted a much paler complexion as well. The Nobleman would voluntarily alter his body in much more extreme capacities later however, having his teeth replaced with adamantium dentures, modeled into very exaggerated fangs and easily capable of tearing and ripping through most substances. His eyes were similarly altered with magical procedures, becoming green in one eye and black in the other. He retained his sharp, defined eyebrows and often displayed more intense emotions with his mouth due to the unnatural size of his new teeth.
When he struck his bargain with the Nameless Man for exposure to Dark Matter, The Hegemon once again experienced a transformation. His green eye transforming into a yellow pupil bearing similarities to a feline or a serpent, his hair remained its deep black coloration, sticking straight up in a shocked patch on his head. The right side of the Hegemon's face seemed to be persistently clouded with curious black patches of shadow and his tongue elongated somewhat with a sickly purple tinge to the appendage. Throughout both of his transformations he garbed himself in a much more extravagant riding cloak, appearing to be a wild plume of peacock feathers enveloping his back and arms. The Hegemon also had several magical filling inserted into his modified teeth, activating the magical trinkets by simply clicking his top and bottom jaw together.
The Hegemon has in more dire straights, utilized his ability to become a Pale Wraith. Under the influence of this transformation The Hegemon gains an additional two feet of height, his limbs becoming long and thin with his entire physical body shrouded in intense fields of energy that distort visible light and crackle violently with discharges of electricity. This form conceals his face with a magical image resembling the tragedy mask, his metal fangs turned into a remorseful grimace, depending on whether he is channeling Phazon or Dark Matter the eyes of the mask will turn the color associated with their respective energy source. Beneath his armor and riding cloak, the Hegemon always keep his razor sharp dagger accessible. A vicious blade fashioned in the style of a Bowie Knife with the face of acclaimed musician David Bowie forged into the pommel.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Nobleman-The Hegemon is an acting Nobleman from the Pale, the product of a childhood bolstered with gold and privilege. His upbringing with spent not only training as a combatant and scholar, but also mastering the black arts associated with The Pale as a great house of the realm. As the Nobleman of his respective house, The Hegemon has access to a menagerie of powers and tools he might utilize to win over his enemies, in battle or in the royal court.
- Henchmen-The Hegemon commands a following of servants from beyond the realms of men. His Henchmen are various and terrible, each one a capable killer in their own right. These entities exist in the space between the material world and parts unknown, entering the world and continuing their immortal service by the grace of the Nobleman's black arts. They are sworn to the defense of their Nobleman no matter the route his journey may lead him, given their nature as immortal devils they are less inclined to regard their own safety, able to reanimate into the service of their Nobleman after a sufficient length of time. While primarily acting as supplementary forces in battle, Henchmen are also able to fill various roles outside of their Nobleman's expertise, performing as advisers, tacticians, various subject matter experts and other quintessential roles necessary both in and out of combat. These Henchmen were plucked from various periods in the Great History, retaining their physical form they possessed in life, and The Hegemon commands a considerable host of them.
- Old Money-While not necessarily a product of black arts, the Nobleman is equipped with a vast wealth provided by his house. This gold permits him to access channels not normally open to simple mercenaries or adventurers, the wisest Nobleman will be ready to devote his exceptional resources to whichever cause or endeavor will best serve his house in the future.
- Leadership-The Hegemon command servants from beyond the mortal plane and legions of ordinary men alike, his uncanny charm and charisma inspire glory and courage in the hearts of mere soldiers. In battle he is able to deploy legions with the skill of a general, having a considerable force of hardened killers prepared to fight and die in the service of his own ends as well as the Pale.
- Rally Cry-The Hegemon's silver tongue is dipped in the energy of the black arts, allowing him to muster his forces in the most trying hour. When ordinary armies would have succumbed to despair against impossible odds, the Hegemon is able to rally his fleeting warriors once more, providing them the strength to fight against even the most overwhelming opposition without fear or wavering conviction.
Paradox-The Hegemon has been found to be a Paradox in the timeline, his anomalous nature differs vastly from isaac however. The Hegemon exhibits the ability to exist in multiple iterations of himself, all encompassed within a single form. This power thus far granted him his ability to absorb Phazon with no ill effect, it would not be until his successive encounter with the Nameless Man that he was able to form a Dark Matter iteration as well, a curious and singular instance in which the two could exist separate from one another in a person. It is unknown at this point in KingdomFall what the extent and limitations of this Paradox are, if any. This is the only known instance of anyone harnessing more than one source of power.
Furious World(Gekido no sekai)-The Hegemon uncovered this ability during the inception of the Crete Incident, injecting himself with a syringe of Phazon based matter touted as a cure by Baron Von Schtuplick. Exposure to this pure, mutagenic agent awakened the first stage of his Paradox, granting the Hegemon a body that perfectly resonated with the Phazon reproducing inside of it, much in the way a Prime Source would. Under the influence of Phazon, the Hegemon has proven capable of intense feats centered around the manipulation of this radioactive material, primarily in the instance of transforming his body and projecting powerful bursts of purely destructive Phazon. In this iteration his body is not just immune to Phazon, but actively imbibes itself with the dangerous substance, granting him improved physical health and superhuman faculties.
- Furious World: Berserker Arch(Gekido no sekai:Basakaachi)-The Hegemon concentrates the Phazon within him, channeling immense energy through gripped weaponry to extend their reach and enhance their cutting edge. This power produces a blue blue of energy which extends from the tip of the true weapon it is arced through, demonstrating the capability to slice through tempered metals and flesh with ease. The ability can also be triggered mid slash to fool the enemy and land a lethal strike, as demonstrated by the Hegemon on multiple occasions. Using this power inflicted internal damage to the Hegemon as a result of the intense nuclear reactions occurring within his body.
- Furious World: Malignant Fury(Gekido no sekai:Akusei fu~yuri)-The Hegemon focuses his intense radioactive energy, undergoing drastic physical changes in response to trauma. This ability transforms the normally composed Hegemon into a hellish powerhouse, augmenting his physical capabilities while driving the Nobleman into a deranged rage state. His body hardens against physical attacks based on the extent of the wounds incurred, eventually leaving the Hegemon a mindless juggernaut beyond the scope of reason until he can escape from combat or incapacitate his enemies.
- Furious World: Awakening(Gekido no sekai: Mezame)-The Hegemon releases an intense surge of Phazon, producing a massive explosion originating from his body, the resulting energy seemingly envelopes an area of decent size, vaporizing any living matter within the dimensions of the explosion. The resultant matter is then reconstituted as energy into a seemingly random host. The end result being the production of a Prime Source, The Hegemon was responsible for the disappearance of an entire Graves Encampment using this ability, unwittingly creating Eve in the process. The explosion used to collect the energy seems to have no effect on inanimate objects or non living matter, despite it's intense force. It is unknown if such an ability requires a minimum number of living beings to 'trade' for the Prime Source, the only explosion in question consuming over 500 deceased members of the Graves Dynasty.
- Furious World: Heavenly Body(Gekido no sekai: Tentai)-The Hegemon utilizes the vastly altered physiology granted to him through his Phazon iteration, gaining the ability to morph his body into a variety of different forms. He has in prior instances transformed his individual limbs to resemble the monstrous Wendigos of the South, gaining the beastly cryptid's speed and freedom of movement over heavily wooded terrain. Another preferred form in his arsenal is that of a gargantuan winged avian, appearing to resemble a patchwork crow comprised of equal parts flesh and stone like chitin. This power sheds further light on the Hegemon's unusually dense mass for having the dimensions of a normal man, it is suspected he is only able to transform into a shape that would be feasible with the sum total of his true volume.
Dark World(Yami no sekai)-The Hegemon discovered the second phase of his paradox following the expedition beneath Ground Zero, coming into contact with the Nameless Man and producing an iteration exposed to Dark Matter. In this form he seemingly produces the malicious material from inside his body, in a fashion similar to a Prime Source, he is not however, a Dark Arbiter in the traditional sense, as he lacks an Outsider assimilated to his being. Regardless the Hegemon has displayed considerable strength in this form, in addition to an immunity against Phazon despite no longer producing it within himself. The upper limits of this power have yet to be observed however.
- Wingover-The Hegemon unlocked a curious anomaly with the inception of his Dark World, gaining the ability to control and direct a monstrous Outsider as his Wingover. This sentry manifests as a gaunt upper torso with humanoid composition, it's head bearing the semblance of a true Wendigo, with a fanged snout and deeply recessed eyes of a bloodshot yellow. The Wingover additionally possesses a pair of jagged antlers adorned with tangles of foliage. This protector seemingly lacks any powers over speech, only vocalizing hoarse cries of rage in battle. Despite this it displays a keen instinct in combat and the capability to discern between friend and foe. When called upon in battle the Wingover will manifest from a tangle of thorns through the Hegemon's upper back.