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Si vis pacem, para bellum.
~ Midnight Club passphrase

The Midnight Squad are members of the Midnight Club, a cabal of magical researchers in the M.M.O. City of Heroes/City of Villains.

Founding

Dream Doctor

Dream Doctor, founder of the Midnight Squad.

The Midnight club were founded in 1933 as the brain-child of a man called Dream Doctor. For over fifty years the Circle of Thorns cult had existed, originally a small social club for occultists, over the years they had been removed from the public eye. When they relocated to Paragon Rhode Island, a string of disappearances started happening. The magician/detective Dream Doctor had become involved when a rash of missing children began. Dream doctor traced the disappearances to the Circle of Thorn. The children were recovered, and the Circle of Thorns exposed to the papers but they managed to evade capture. Further investigation indicated many disappearances prior to Dream Doctor's involvement were also linked to the Circle.

Dream Doctor began to focus on uncovering the secrets of the Circle of Thorns and stopping them when encountered. Dream Doctor reached out to fellow mystic, Pontice Doub and the two set-up a special club to counter the Circle of Thorns. The club was titled the Midnight Club, it's members the Midnight Squad and it sold itself similar to the Circle of Thorns in it's early days, as a Crowleyesque social club for those with a fascination for the occult. In truth all it's members were either learned mystics, or apprentices to become as such. Pontice kept the club functioning while Dream Doctor took to the streets to track down the Circle of Thorns. The Circle of Thorns would go silent by the 40s and Dream Doctor refocused his elite magician unit, titled The Sand Kings,  to sabotaging super-weapons being employed by the Nazis.

After World War II Dream Doctor took a leave of absence but when he returned he continued to do research combating evil mystics and taught up and coming Midnighters. In 1968 the extra-dimensional space overlord, Rularuu, arrived on Earth to enslave it's inhabitants and absorb the planet's life-force. Dream Doctor used a special weapon called the dagger of Jocas to seal Rularuu in the pocket-dimension known as The Shadow Shard; However the dagger was supposed to destroy Rularuu, not imprison him. The Midnighter, Montague Castanella informed Dream Doctor the dagger of Jocas had been altered by time-travel. With no explanation why or how, Dream Doctor vanished into what he called "The Dream Space" a state of being that exists parallel to normal time, to evade the grasp of whatever had influence over his fate, re-charge the dagger of Jocas and continue his research on how to destroy Rularuu for good.

Secret Club

Without Dream Doctor to guide them formally, the Midnight Club closed it's doors to the public and began expunging records of it. As the Club itself was extra-dimensional, it was easy to remove all physical evidence. Plain clothed magi would make routine examinations of the City, but with the explosion of mete-humans in the 60s (following the beginning of nuclear testing) The Midnight Squad realized they were no longer needed and only checked in to make sure there were no further inter-dimensional threats or Circle of Thorns. By the 1990s the Circle of Thorns were seemingly completely gone and the Midnight Club decreased it's activities to focus on their studies. By 2004 the Rikti War began. The Rikti were an alien invasion force which appeared to invade by mass portals in the sky that opened to reveal massive war-ships. The Rikti War was Earth's first outright global threat. The Invaders dug bunkers bellow Paragon City to lay siege and the Midnight Squad members renewed their involvement to assist in secret as war advisors to counter the invasion. The first major victory against the Rikti came about when they were driven out of their bunkers by something deeper, an entire underground city. The City was Oranbega, fabled sunken city of The Circle of Thorns. The City was hosted the Circle of Thorns who had been continuing their rites and research underground, the Rikti had no concept of magic in their world hence with no defense against the strange forced called "magic", the Rikti fled, giving Earth the first chance to collect itself to counter the invasion, which eventually it would win. But the reveal of Oranbega had ignited a revival of agency in the Midnight Club.

Recruitment

Midnight Squad

Montague Castanella, Percy Winkley (right) Ashley McKnight (left)

Members of the Squad decided to start stepping up recruitment. Montague Castanella, Ashely Mcknight and young Percy Winkley all began looking for recruits at their local universities. Anyone with a passion for knowledge, a talent for magic and a trustworthy nature were approached to see if they were willing to become new members. Montague has been the de-facto leader since Dream Doctor left and Doub died, so he is the main examiner of heroes to see if they are worthy. Montague has been asked to look into the back-ground of the mutated vagrants titled "The Lost". Researching their origins will reveal they are in-fact being mutated by the Rikti, into Rikti. The Lost's commonly witnessed mutated beggar state is a transitional one between human and Rikti - The Lost will eventually become full Rikti but until then exist as deformed thralls, though ones armed with alien technology. Upon discovering the true nature of The Lost Montague has a wand crafted to cure them. Helping Montague construct the wand and then using it to restore humanity to The Lost will prove to Montague that the heroes are worthy and he will give them a simple Latin pass phrase to give to another member, speaking it correctly will have the seemingly random Latin student step aside and welcome the Hero to The Midnight Squad as a full member. The Midnight Squad are not defined by morality, all a potential member needs is an interest in keeping the world from being destroyed and a thirst for knowledge and so barring sworn foes like The Circle of Thorns or Rularuu, even villains may be welcomed members of the Midnight Squad. Ashley McKnight is an initiate with a fascination for darkness who is working in the Rogue Isles to try to find out the true nature of the Rikti and the sources of super-powers. Villains willing to take time out in-between robbing banks or stealing priceless artifacts and help research the alien threat will likewise be proven competent and dedicated enough to be welcomed to the Midnight Club as well. Though the entire club is kept hushed, their research proves to be invaluable in holding back world threats and time alterations.
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