Well I don’t know what happened to these images when I was reloading my back catalog of stuff, but I found some more images this evening of my RPG character Lion Heart from back in August 2004. I decided it would be a good time to pull together some details so you can see where my mind was at creatively back then. At this point I had fleshed out his backstory quite considerably from his first appearance. I have rejigged it a little here, to get some of the continuity errors sorted 😉
Name: Cameron ‘Cam’ Angus
Code Name: LionHeart
Occupation: Adventurer/Martial Arts Instructor
Height: 5′ 9″
Eyes: Blue. Glowing Blue/White when using powers at high levels
Appearance: Athletic, Toned. Naturally tanned from time spent outside. Cameron has a long lightning like scar running down his arm from where he was struck. The scar glows when he is using his powers in extreme circumstances.
Cam started learning judo and karate when he was still a small child althought it was never just so he could beat people up. He took naturally to the whole culture of the east, the personal discipline, and spent most of his childhood and much of his teenage years learning various different forms of martial arts as well as studying the thinking behind them. As soon as he was old enough he applied for a scholarship to study Far Eastern Philosophies. He then spent six months in Japan, three in China, and another three skipping about in south east Asia, Vietnam, Thailand. It was during these travels that he learned about eastern medicine and herbal remedies and how with concentration you could move your body beyond pain.
[Ed. Note: The initial part of this story takes place in the same timeframe as Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 #126 – #128 (Autumn 1979) Written by Chris Claremont, Drawn by John Byrne, for those looking to get some context]
Cameron had been staying in Stirling for a few days before heading further north and decided to pay a visit to the Wallace Monument. As he was looking up at the monument, a freak storm appeared out of nowhere from the east. As it approached the monument there was a huge release of energy, which travelled down the tower, and into Cameron, knocking him unconscious. A few days later, as he recovered in hospital, he read in the newspaper about a battle between the X-Men and an unnamed being which ended up on Edinburgh Castle. The battle had ended with a huge release of energy. Cameron wondered if this was related to his accident.
Following his recovery he decided to continue his trip north to visit his cousin Angus Mackie, his wife Elisabeth and son Gus, up near the Dounreay Nuclear Facility. He had spent many happy times with the family in the past and despite the age gap had always found Gus to be excellent company. Besides, he mused, it would give him a chance to see how Gus had gotten on with the swords he had given him, and talk to him about the other issue.
[Flash back – several years before]
It had been the day after Gus’s thirteenth birthday, and Cam had driven him to the clifftop on his old Norton motorcycle. As Gus settled down, resting his back against a large rock, Cameron had reached over the bike, pulling a long clothbound package into view. As he began to unwrap the cloth, Gus saw it was a samurai sword, just like he had seen in the movies.
“Ah’m pitting a lot o’ trust in ye by giving ye this sword Gus. It wis the sword ah first used when ah wis learning. It’s nae a toy. This katana should become part o’ ye, an extension o’ yer airm. Ye should know each pairt o’ it as well as ye do the fingers o’ yer hand. Ye should treat it with the same respect that ye treat yerself.”
Cameron sat cross legged in front of Gus and spread out the cloth on the ground between them. Removing the sword from it’s scabard, he placed it gently on the cloth halfway between them and bowed his head towards Gus. Raising his head after a moment, Cam sat back with the his hands resting on his knees, palms outwards. Gus looked at him in confusion for a few moments, trying to remember some of the things Cam had told him about his training. Gus then bowed his own head, not truly sure what he was doing, but he knew it felt like the right thing to do. He reached forward, slowly picking up the sword by it’s handle, resting the blade carefully on the palm of his other hand. He sat back, holding the sword across his knees in a mirror of Cam’s position.
Cameron looked at him seriously for a second, then smiled broadly. “Ach, there’s hope fer ye yet.” Gus looked at the sword carefully. “Ah thought ye said this was an auld sword?” He said slightly dubiously. “It looks brand new.” Cam raised an eyebrow. “That’s because ah treated it with respect Gus.”
[Flashback – six months previously]
It had been shortly after his fifteenth birthday that Gus had shown there was more about him than an ordinary teenager. While watching the Aurora Borealis with his friends on the hilltop overlooking his little village, his skin began to pulse in time with the colors caressing the night sky above. He was so shocked at this that he let off a small electromagnetic pulse that unfortunately rendered all of his friends watches and phones useless, as well as his older friend Jack’s pride and joy, his old Ford Escort.
Over the next few month’s Gus did everything he could to make it up to Jack, and eventually the two of them managed to get the car back up and running. He found most of his other abilities by accident also, the ability to cloak himself from sight he found especially useful for hiding from the bullies at the High School he attended in the neighbouring town. In the months after Gus had begun to exhibit these rather unusual traits his parents, while not particularly worried at present, had been on at Cam that it might be good for him to talk to Gus about it.
After the scenic drive north, Cam had arrived again at the Mackie’s home. The visit allowed Cam to relax and become reacquainted with the what was left of his family. Returning to that same spot where he had presented Gus with the sword over two years before, the two young men sat back on the clifftop watching the waters of the North Sea break against the rocks below them. Discussion soon turned to Cam’s accident once more and then on to Gus’s own special abilities.
After a brief display of what the youth could do, Cam sat back in silence lost in thought. When he finally spoke his voice had a deadly serious tone as he looked over at his cousin. “Ah hope ye dinnae plan on playin’ tricks on school bullies for the rest o’ yer life. Ye have a real gift there Gus. Ah would hate tae see ye waste it.” Gus had laughed and explained about a letter he had recieved concerning attending a special school for similarly talented youngsters. “Xavier’s? Ah’ve heard some guid things aboot that place.” Cam had said simply, knowing it was ultimately Gus’s decision. “If ye dae decide tae go, let me know. Ah would definitely come over and visit ye.”
As he was riding his motorcycle back to Glasgow following the same trip north, the whole machine began to glow, as if lit by some internal source. Screeching to a halt at the roadside, Cam leapt off the bike, fearing it was about to explode. As he let go of the machine the glow subsided, leaving the motorcycle untouched and looking perfectly normal. He reached out to the bike once more and touching the handle bars, he found by experimenting that he could cause any metal part of the bike glow and by concentrating he could vary the intensity of the light.
Although a little surprised by the strange events of the night, Cam determined to return to the normal routine of his life until he decided how to handle it. A few months later, he was jumped by a mugger while walking home through Glasgow one evening. As he struggled with the man Cam caught his assailant by the wrist, his hand over the man’s metal watch. It was difficult to tell who was more surprised by what happened next. As they struggled Cam caused the watch to light up, and as it reached an almost white peak, there was a flash and a crack like lightning and the mugger fell dazed on the ground. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour and knowing the police would ask questions he wasn’t ready or willing to answer, Cameron ran into the night, catching the Subway home.
Thinking it would be best if he got some space to try and make sense of his powers, Cam rented a cottage out near the west coast on a clifftop overlooking the Atlantic. Deciding to test what else he could do with his newfound abilities Cam began to practice, soon becoming proficient at generating streams of plasma-energy using a metal rod to channel the field in the direction he desired. By using a hollow tube he found he could create plasma ‘pulses’ like bullets. His mind went back to Gus, now residing in America and training to put his powers to good use.
[2 Months Later]
Returning to Glasgow he returned to his first love of teaching martial arts while he decided what his best course of action would be. He had only been working for a few weeks when he was offered a job by an old friend in London, and having nothing much keeping him in Scotland, decided to take it. It wasn’t the only change he made to his life. In london he carried on as an Instructor during the day, but at night prowled the darkness, dispensing justice on hapless muggers and criminals who crossed his path. As time passed he secretly created a costume, threaded with metal for greater strength and to protect him from stab wounds. The sword and guns he also now carried (but only used to frighten) had been a gift from the parents of one of his students, T’Kana.
Her father had been the temporary Wakandan ambassador to London for several months, and worried about his daughter’s safety in a strange land had arranged for Cameron to give her private lessons. One day while teaching T’Kana some relaxation techniques in the Embassy Courtyard, it was sprayed with automatic weapons fire. Almost instintively, Cameron had shielded T’Kana with his body. They were either very lucky or somehow his powers had kicked in and affected the bullets, but both of them escaped unscathed. The Wakandan goverment attributed the attack to a terrorist cell who had already threatened Wakandan interests abroad. T’Kana and her family were visibly shaken by the whole event, and requested that they return to Wakanda.
Shortly before the family were due to return home, they invited Cameron to join them for dinner at the Embassy. It was a lovely evening, during which they had presented him with two very special gifts in gratitude. Aware of his interest in weapons in general and swords in particular the Ambassador had arranged for a set of replica guns to be fashioned purely for display purposes really as they had no firing mechanism, and also a very special sword to be forged in honour of the service he had done them. The sword and guns were crafted from an alloy of a unique metal, explained the ambassador, that was only found in their homeland. Apparently the Chief of Wakanda himself had authorised the use of the metal.
Cameron had been almost dumbfounded by their generosity, and at first tried to refuse the gifts, saying he had done what anyone would do. The ambassador however would not take no for an answer, and so Cameron accepted his gifts and baid them farewell. Cameron subsequently found when using the sword and the guns that channeling his plasma seemed easier. He also observed that the metal of which they were made appeared to absorb and magnify his plasma energy.
[Several Months Later]
He had been following his usual routine down in London for a few months now. Working as a martial arts instructor to a bunch of spoiled rich kids (mostly) at a swanky Canary Wharf gym, teaching self defense during the day, hunting the streets and alleyways by night. During that time he had graduated from muggers and drug dealers, and had become embroiled in an investigation into some rumours of a gothic cult operating in the area. That in itself would normally not have come to his attention. What caused his concern was that one of his students, Rebecca (the step-daughter of some big shot in the government) had changed since apparently visiting the headquarters of a private group with some friends.
She had become distant from the rest of the class and seemed more interested in lethal forms of martial arts than in simple self defense. One evening after class, he followed her through the streets of London, watching as she entered a large house a couple of miles away from the gym. There were a lot of kids hanging about,from a distance the usual white makeup faux goths you saw everywhere. Cameron crossed the street, walking casually past the house and the assembled teenagers. They eyed him suspiciously as he passed, almost hungrily, but he was sure he was imagining it.
The house itself was large, and dark stoned, set back from the road a little with broad steps leading up to the main door. There were cameras looking down on the stairs and the pavement. Carrying on past, Cameron rounded a corner and ducked out of sight into an alleyway. He quickly donned his costume, wishing he had packed his sword into it’s hidden pocket in his holdall, and stowed his belongings in a corner behind a dumpster which didn’t look like it had moved since the turn of the century. Charging up his suit, he raised himself into the air easily and onto the roof of the building and made his way over to the far side from where he could watch the house more easily.
As he settled down to observe the comings and goings, a large black sedan drew up in front of the house. Several large men got out, scanning the road and buildings, before motioning to final occupant of the car. The man was tall, thin and greying, but even from the distant rooftop Cameron could perceive the aura of power around him. He walked purposefully up the stairs to the house, where the door opened to admit him. There was something familiar about the man. Cameron was sure he had met him somewhere before.
Nothing much happened over the next couple of hours, some of the teenagers moved off into the darkness, only to return sometime later, whooping and joking. Knocking at the door they handed over a long bound package to the man who opened it. He gave them a small parcel in return and they ran off into the night arguing about who should hold it. Another hour had almost passed and Cam was begining to get stiff from sitting up on the frosty roof. He shifted uneasily, trying to find a position of comfort on the cold stone. His quest for a warm bit of stone was interrupted by the house door being opened below.
As he watched a small struggling figure was dragged out into the car, followed by the Thin Man and the remainder of this goons, one of whom carried the long package. Just before getting into the car himself, the man paused, as though something had attracted his attention. He looked up at the building opposite, the one upon which Cameron sat, and smiled evilly, moonlight glinting of his grinning teeth. He got into the car and it drove off slowly along the street.
Cameron followed it, leaping across the rooftops where he could, flying where the gaps were too large to jump. The car had picked up a little speed, but not so much as to attract police attention. It was moving away from the Wharf, out into the darkness of the city. As Cam followed he tried to place the Thin Man. It was really beginning to annoy him, when the car drew into a empty car park. Landing silently on a low building at the far end of the lot, Cameron settled down once more.
The car door opened and the Thin Man and his associates exited, dragging the still struggling figure, who they threw harshly to the ground. In the dim light from the distant street lamps, Cameron could make out that it was a girl. Young. Feisty. She struggled to her feet only to be pushed down once more and held on her knees. The Thin Man watched the whole scene, obviously enjoying the girl’s struggles. He leant forward and appeared to say something to her, at which she struggled with renewed vigour, before one of the goons slapped her hard across the face.
The Thin Man held out his hand to the goon carrying the package, who immediately began to open it. As the thug handed the package content over to the Thin Man, Cameron’s heart sank. The blue/white light glinting off the blade was unmistakable. That was his sword. They were going to kill the girl. He began to charge his suit. The next few minutes appeared to happen in slow motion to Cameron. Motioning the men back, the Thin Man raised the sword high above his head. The girl struggled to her feet, stumbling in her haste, almost falling again. The sword began to descend as she turned toward where Cameron was now leaping from the roof of the building, his plasma field taking, driving him forward. He saw the sparks of his sword striking the concrete of the parking lot, before he heard the halting scream. The Thin Man grinned in his direction and dropped the sword, it clattered noisily in the now silent lot.
The goons ushered him into the car which sped off into the darkness. Cameron landed, skidding to a halt next to his bloodied sword, he looked down at it glistening wet in the sickly lamp light. Forcing his gaze away from the blade, he turned to the girl’s body lying on it’s front next to it. The head lay at an awkward angle to the body, almost staring straight up at Cameron. Rebecca’s eyes stared up at him, beginning to flash blue and red. Cameron was struggling to comprehend what was happening when he was startled back to his situation by the sirens of the Police cars screeching towards him.
It wouldn’t look good he thought. I’m her martial arts tutor, here I am standing over her almost headless body with a bloody sword at my feet, wearing a halloween costume. They must have called the police. They must know who I am. They.. Who were they? Deciding now wasn’t the time to contemplate that, Cameron grabbed his sword and leapt skywards, disappearing into the darkness as the first police car skidded to a halt in the pool of blood below. “Ah’m sorry Rebecca.” he whispered into the bleak night sky.
The next few weeks had been a blur of hiding from the Police interspersed with run ins with the Thin Man (as he called the apparent leader) and the Faction (as he learned they were called), after each of which he came off worse than he had begun. It was following the last of these run-ins that he had been found, alone, tired and battle weary by a team of other metahumans. Figuring that they might be able to help him eventually clear his name and fix the Faction for good, Cameron decided to pitch in with them.
And he soon found himself wandering the empty halls of their HQ, an abandoned prison on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. Ah well he thought at least the scenery outside is worth the trip. He spent a short time with the team, during which he discovered he had the ability to see through artificially created illusions such as cloaks and holograms although he cannot see through biologically created illusions such as those created by Mastermind. After some subsequent digging for information between missions he concluded that this ability was probably related to his other powers and had their origin in Proteus, the reality changing mutant who he now knew was the one who had battled the X-Men in Edinburgh.
This mutant who had been apparently destroyed when Collosus punched through him and converted him to pure energy which eventually hit Cam, altering him in the process. As Cam learned more about the destruction of Proteus he surmised that this might account for why he found it easier to generate electrical plasma through metals than without them (although with practice he is finding it easier to generate energy without external aids).
On a subsequent mission, following an attack in which Cameron was seriously injured he felt as though someone or something else was in his head. Attributing it to the pain of his injuries, he wished for the intrusion and the injuries to disappear. And they did. Unsure of what this meant he buried the thoughts in his mind, unwilling to contemplate that he might be hosting something other than the ability to generate energy. Some time after this discovery Cam decided to leave the team he had been with, feeling the need to help his friend AJ more than the desire to stay where he was.
[For Continuity here is where the Marvel Boards/Valiant story ended]
While spending time on the road with Firefly, Cam learned more of the magikal influence behind his powers. After a year together, they went their separate ways for a while. Following his trip beyond the Veil, into another realm, Cameron continued to practice some of the new skills he had learned and headed back to London to clear his name with the police and then onto to New York to check on his cousin Gus, promising AJ he’d come back soon.
[For Continuity here is where Comics Uncovered/Guardians of Twilight begins]
Abilities: Cam has the ability to generate highly charged technomagikal plasma (using metallic objects as a conduit makes it easier). Skilled Marksman and Swordsman. Exceptional Athlete and Martial Artist. Using metal threads laced through his uniform to channel technomagikal energies and create a frictionless field can achieve flight capability at up to 200MPH for approx 2 hours. Able to see through artificially created illusions. His powers appear to stem from a magikal intervention which altered the energies released in the destruction of Proteus. Since his trip beyond the Veil, Cam has learned how to create technomagikal artifacts and weapons, and small portals allowing him to transport objects a short distance. He is unwilling to use this ability on other people as it would reveal the existance of the Other Realm (if briefly) to the person being transported.
Chromium Steel/Vibranium Sword
Chromium Steel/Vibranium Guns (Contain no shells. Used as focus to create and channel plasma projectiles)
2 Three Quarter Length Katanas
Triumph Daytona 955i Motorcycle. Aluminum Silver Fairing. Liquid-cooled. Double Overhead Cam. Inline 3-Cylinder engine.
Uniform (when not dressed casually):
One piece suit. The main body of the one piece is sky blue, but the shoulders and chest were incised by a darker royal blue vee with matched gloves, boots and mask/bandana. On the chest is a large iconic Lion’s head. The entire uniform is laced with metal fibres using strong yet flexible metal which was bullet and blade proof. In addition to the one pice he has a deep blue/black long flowing topcoat. The coat provides concealment for his uniform and his sword and also allows him to carry some extra items namely the two 3/4 length katanas. These aree contained in special long pockets in the inside lining of the coat. It is also threaded with metal, providing an extra layer of protection from attack, as is the bandana. When not in uniform Cam’s only affectation is a penchant for loud shirts and a few white gold rings.
Well if you have trudged your way through that lot, here is an extra reward:
A more detailed look at Cam (start and end frames from the animation), seen here in his Post Valiant days, when we had moved the game over to comicsuncovered.com and it became Guardians of Twilight. At this point in his career he had discovered more about his powers, which he discovered were Technomagikal, and now allow him to create artifacts and weapons. I did this image in PSP (probably V8 or 9) in the style of X-Men Evolution cartoon that was popular at the time.
Also if I can find them I will post up some of the signatures I made for the character, I think they were mildly amusing. Although you maybe had to be there.
If this has peeked your interest you can still read about the rest of the Castaways of Twilight Cove here and there adventures here