Baron Mordo

Current Status: Unknown


Baron Mordo
Solo d8 Buddy d6 Team d4
Distinctions: Master Conjurer, Treacherous Ally, Jealous of Strange
Power Set: That ’ol Black Magic
-Sorcery d10
-Mystic Blast d8
SFX: Afflict, Area Attack
Limit: Conscious Activation
-Mystic Expert d8


Born in 1921, Karl Mordo was the son of Nikolai Mordo, a Transylvanian nobleman (or boyar) who was made “Baron” when his lands fell under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before the World War I. Bitter over the Empire’s defeat after the war, its generals and politicians, and the encroachments of modern technology, Nikolai sought to restore Transylvania to its past glories via black magic. He was tutored in the mystic arts by his then-mistress, Miarka, Witch-Queen of the Gypsies. Miarka bore Nikolai an illegitimate daughter, Lilia. German mystic Viscount Krowler needed a grandson to further his ends, and arranged the marriage of his daughter, Sara, to Nikolai. That union produced a son, christened Karl Amadeus in 1921. When Nikolai’s plans to recreate a new Carpathian kingdom through sorcerous means came close to fruition, Viscount Krowler ordered his daughter to kill Nikolai, which she did gleefully, catching him unaware and channeling her father’s power. Sara took her son, left Varf Mandra and lived at her father’s castle, where young Karl Amadeus was tutored by Viscount Krowler. However, one day, the teenage boy overheard a conversation about Nikolai’s murder; he swore vengeance, vowing that, as the second Baron Mordo, he would achieve his father’s hopes and more.
As Krowler taught Mordo rudimentary black magic, he also fostered Adolf Hitler’s rise to power by introducing him to a coterie of rich industrialists and dark mystics. Finally, in 1939, Krowler sent the eighteen-year-old Mordo to Tibet to become the disciple of the Ancient One, Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. Krowler had secretly placed his Spell of Transference on Mordo so that all magic he learned would become Krowler’s as well. The Ancient One sensed Mordo’s great potential both for mystic power and evil, and he accepted the youth as much to restrain his ambitions as to instruct him. He knew that his true successor was destined to be Steven Strange, then only a boy. Jealous that Strange was destined to supplant him, Mordo tormented the boy with demons throughout his youth. Meanwhile, Krowler’s link with Mordo enabled him to learn of the powerful extra-dimensional sorcerer-tyrant Dormammu, as well as how to summon him.

In 1943, Krowler allied himself with Sir Anthony Baskerville. He secretly relocated to Castle Baskerville in Cornwall with a German squadron, using the future’s Karl Mordo to bring the sorceress Clea to 1943 and capture Doctor Strange. Krowler and Baskerville plotted to use the terror and hatred generated at the peak of the Blitz, as well as the sacrifice of Clea, to cause the materialization of Dormammu on Earth. Krowler asked Dormammu to release his grandson, but the Dread One instead turned Future-Mordo into a ball of energy, which he gave to Baskerville. Dormammu then took over Krowler’s body. Baskerville later arranged for Future-Mordo to take over the body of Morgana Blessing, who had also traveled back to 1943, and was staying with Lady Pamela Hawley. This attracted the attention of Pam’s lover, Sergeant Nick Fury, who led his Howling Commandos to attack Castle Baskerville. Eventually, the power of love which bound Strange to Clea, Morgana to Strange, and Fury to Pamela, was enough to counteract the hate generated by the London Blitz. Morgana rejected Future-Mordo’s hatred and simultaneously blasted Dormammu in the body of Krowler and enabled Doctor Strange (whose astral form had escaped Krowler’s initial attack) to blast through Dormammu’s snares and strike at Krowler as well. Dormammu was banished; Krowler’s mind was annihilated.

After Krowler returned to Germany, Sara Mordo cared for her invalid father. Young Karl Mordo, who had proven himself a sorcerous prodigy to the Ancient One, retained his interest in destructive magic and secretly spied on his mother and grandfather. Seeing an opportunity at last to fulfill his oath, he traveled to Castle Krowler, captured his mother and grandfather, and sacrificed both their lives to the Dread Dormammu, thereby sealing his alliance with the Dark Lord. Feeling Mordo was beyond redemption, the Ancient One feared that his own power might be insufficient to defeat him, but could do nothing without forcing his pupil’s hand.
Twenty years later, Stephen Strange, now an arrogant and dissolute surgeon seeking a cure for his injured hands, arrived at the Ancient One’s sanctum. Perturbed at the arrival of his fated rival, Mordo launched a secret mystic attack against the Ancient One, weakening him significantly. However, upon discovery of Mordo’s treachery, Strange offered the Ancient One his own services as a disciple, thereby setting into motion the very destiny Mordo had sought to forestall. Mordo remained as Strange’s fellow student for a few years but eventually departed, hoping to amass additional power to overcome and slay both men.

Returning to Transylvania, Mordo became master of his home village, sacrificing many residents in his quest for greater power. After some years, he learned of Il Libro di Cagliostro (the Book of Cagliostro), a tome of great mystic knowledge, including methods of time travel. It was written by a great sorcerer of two centuries past. The book was held by the witch-queen Lilia, who was the daughter of Nikolai Mordo and Miarka’s daughter, while Miarka was rumored to have been the daughter of Cagliostro himself. Fully aware of his relation to Lilia, Mordo seduced her to gain the tome, then attacked her and left her for dead, unaware that she was pregnant with his daughter. Mordo was unable to wait until he had mastered his new tome, and began his campaign to slay both the Ancient One and Strange. Mordo and Strange became archenemies, although most of their early battles are unrecorded.

Mordo’s feud with Strange endured into the modern era, when he subjected both Strange and the Ancient One to multiple attacks, beginning with an attempt to poison the Ancient One. Soon afterward, he impersonated Strange’s deceased ally Clive Bentley and trapped his enemy in a paralytic vapor, only to be foiled by the timely interruption of Bentley’s daughter Victoria. Weeks later, he teleported Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum into another dimension in hope of robbing the Ancient One of his successor’s protection.. He fared no better in abducting Strange’s physical form, as the Master of the Mystic Arts was able to outthink Mordo as well as outfight him. Finally, he sent his followers after Strange en masse and captured the Ancient One during this distraction, only to be repelled once more by the power of Strange’s amulet, the Eye of Agamotto; its “light of righteousness” drove Mordo away.

When the dread Dormammu sought his own vengeance on Strange, he recruited Mordo as a pawn. Enhanced by his patron, Mordo stormed the Ancient One’s sanctum and would have killed the aged mystic if Strange, no match for Mordo’s augmented might, had not hurried his mentor to safety. As Strange searched the world for the means to defeat his enemy, Mordo, having recruited sorcerers from around the world to do his bidding, hounded him in Hong Kong, England, and elsewhere. After a long battle of wits, Mordo captured the Ancient One and lured Strange to Dormammu’s domain, the Dark Dimension. As Dormammu vented his rage upon Strange, Mordo struck his enemy from behind, enraging the dreaded one’s sense of alien honor. Unwilling to suffer his lackey any further, Dormammu banished Mordo to another dimension, only to meet defeat himself when his pride dictated he once more battle Strange.
Mordo eventually made his way back to the Earth dimension, his power sorely drained. When two criminals chanced to abscond with the mystic Lantern of Lantarr, Mordo used them as pawns to abduct sacrificial victims in hope of regaining Dormammu’s favor. However, both Strange and the heroic Spider-Man intervened, rescuing Mordo’s captives. Dormammu, thoroughly unimpressed, returned him to extra-dimensional banishment. When Strange rescued more of Dormammu’s victims some time later, he inadvertently released Mordo as well. Neither expecting nor receiving gratitude, Strange left his enemy in the custody of the Ancient One, but Mordo escaped, only to be flung back into exile after leaving his former mentor’s protection.

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