Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Unknown Soldier

Unknown Soldier (first appeared in Our Flag #1, 1941)

Unknown Soldier is a mysterious figure about whom little is known. He is presumed to be an American, but, in truth, no one even knows for certain whether he is one individual or a group of them who share the identity. Even reporter Thelma Gordon whose investigation into the Unknown Soldier led to a brief physical relationship with him, never learned his real name nor got any confirmation whether he is one or many. (In August 1943. the United States Secret Service and War Department  requested that Gordon stop all research into the Unknown Soldier. She complied, but abbreviated versions of her notes on the Unknown Soldier were included in her memoirs, My Life Between the Capes.)
   The public appearance of the Unknown Soldier was in April of 1941, during a massive Nazi bombing raid on the British Isles. At that time, he wore a blue uniform with no insignias or designs and a blue mask. A few months later, he appeared in the United States, wearing a brown uniform with five stars on the chest. His mask was yellow... and he wore tight shorts and black riding boots. (In her book, Gordon noted, "I can't say much for his fashion sense, but he filled those shorts nicely.")
                                                              Art by Art Saaf (left) and B. Currie (right) 

   Whether he was one or many, the Unknown Soldier fought on the side of the Allied Forces in World War 2,.He was generally found on the home front, battling Axis spies and agents, as well as exposing their hidden allies sympathizers in the halls of power who sought to weaken the democratic nations from within. He usually worked closely with both law enforcement and military officials, and he seemed to have the backing of at least the United States military -- hence the demand that Gordon stop her research into his identity and how he came to be who is he was (or they were).
   The Unknown Soldier appeared to have some degree of invulnerability, superhuman strength, and the ability to fly. He could also spin through the air fast enough to create a mini-tornado with himself as the eye of the storm. He also carried a specially-designed gun that fired explosive rounds instead of normal bullets.
   The Unknown Soldier fought Axis forces in Great Britain and all over the United States and Canada from 1941 until June of 1945--after which time he disappeared as suddenly as he had arrived on the scene. He remains unknown to this day, seventy years later. In fact, all records relating to Unknown Soldier are so highly classified that both the U.S. and British governments deny they even exist.

We're going to keep him mysterious, but whether he's one or many, he has the following traits, if viewed through the lense of our OGL d20 Superpowers system.

   * At minimum, he possesses the following Minor Power feats: Flight, Invulnerability, Speed, and Strength (which are all described in this post).
   * At minimum, he possesses the following talents: Resistance to Harm (from the Invulnerable tree) and Speed I, Speed II, and Speed III (from the Speed tree),

Additionally, the Unknown Soldier who wore the short-shorts and stars on his chest must possess this feat:

Shameless [General] 
You keep your cool in situations where most others would either be ashamed, embarrassed or painfully self-aware.
    Benefit: +2 bonus to Bluff and all Perform skill checks.
    Special: If the character has 5 or more ranks in Perform (acting), this feat grants a +2 synergy bonus to Diplomacy skill checks.

Special Note: L.L. Hundal contributed to this post. The Shameless feat is presented under the Open Game License, and it may be reproduced accordingly. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.

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