The publically accepted history of “superbeings” dictates that the first non-baseline humans were the results of experiments conducted in the early 1900s. The man codenamed Majestic, deployed in the Great War, is considered by many to be the first superhuman. This is incorrect on two counts, first count being that Majestic is not human, and the second count being there is evidence of naturally born superbeings since at least the 1500s and there is no reason to believe that they have not existed since the dawn of humans.
Exact estimates vary, but the distribution of the biologic profile that allows for the potential of NBH enhancement by scientific methods is believed to be approximately one person in every eight million. The subject of natural NBHs has not been widely studied yet but it is unequivocal that they are far more rare, possibly in the range of one in a hundred million or more.
Armend Lusha, the mysterious Mr. X of the infamous Madripoor fighting tournament, is one of these uncommon naturally occurring NBHs. Born in Tirana in 1940 to a wealthy family, Armend’s parents were killed by Black Cross anarchists during the riots in 1948. Armand was shuttled from Budapest to Vienna to Madrid where he gained international fame of a sort when he was featured in a Life magazine article as “the world’s richest refugee”.
Shortly after this publicity, Armend was adopted and brought to the US where his new parents renamed him Drexler Walsh. In doing so, the Walsh family took control of the remaining assets of the Lushas, most importantly tobacco, oil, and mining concerns — increasing their already substantial holdings in shipping and real estate. This made the Walsh family a major player in European markets overnight.
Their interest in raising Armend was significantly overshadowed by their interest in acquiring the resources and contacts that made up his inheritance.
When Armend began killing his pets, it’s questionable if his adopted parents even knew. If they were informed, they certainly couldn’t be bothered to care. Armend’s telepathic abilities had awakened during the murder of his biological parents, connecting him to them at the moment of their death. Through his psychic connection, he experienced the sensation of dying.
By his own admission, Armend has been obsessed with death since that moment. Finding animals to be a poor substitute for the “real thing,” Armend committed several murders in his youth, intent on recreating the exhilaration of telepathically connecting with another person at the instant of their death. He pushed a maid down the stairs. He poisoned a nanny. He caused a family friend to be run over by a car.
Armend is an addict and his drug of choice is murder. On his 18th birthday, he killed his adoptive parents and over the next several years, one by one murdered his adoptive brothers and sisters as well. Taking control of his family’s considerable wealth, he turned his attentions to funding and participating in violent anti-anarchist groups and government actions against anarchists. Whether he truly desired any manner of revenge for the death of his biological parents or if this was merely a smokescreen to indulge his dark desires is unknown.
Armend was in Italy “hunting” with a group of anti-anarchist soldiers of fortune when they were ambushed by the quarry they had been seeking in the mountains. In contrast to his previous murders, which he had executed with no physical risk to himself, Armend found himself in a life or death struggle with a knife wielding assailant. Armend was the victor and ended his attacker by strangulation.
The thrill of killing an opponent in hand-to-hand combat provided Armend with a feeling of euphoria that eclipsed anything he had felt to date. Abandoning his “childish” methods of murder free of personal danger, Armend used his fortune to travel the world and study with the best fighters he could hire. After learning all he could from them, Armend would kill them. Maintaining a public image of a philanthropic sportsman with an interest in cultural studies, Armend circled the globe fighting and killing martial artists and streetfighters and brawlers of all sorts.
He gathered an inner circle of followers that he calls his “new murder avant-garde” including at least one other NBH. Armend’s goal is to be the greatest melee fighter the world has ever seen which, of course, means killing all of the world’s best fighters. Finding the secrecy of his efforts annoying, Armend traveled to the only place that would indulge this blatant bloodlust, Madripoor, where if you have enough money, anything can be yours. With the help and backing of several local businessmen and criminal groups, Armend held the first Madripoor bloodsport in 1968. Although not exclusively for NBHs, the participants typically are, since a normal human usually is no match for the elite of the enhanced killer world.
For those who know of it, the tournament is often misunderstood to be a mandatory fight to the death. While deaths are common (Armend has killed everyone he’s faced in the first four tournaments, for instance) it isn’t strictly necessary to be the victor.