The Gladiator's relationship with his wealthy family was decent, to say the least.
His parents raised him in the lap of luxury at the family estate, a magnificent mansion in Edgewater. From a very young age, they taught him that he was special: Firstly as a mutant, and secondly as Black, whose family name alone commanded respect due to the considerable influence in the government. As such, his father, Harold taught his son about the prudence of maintaining an appearance of respectability to preserve their status of prominence among their kind, as well as the importance of retaining the goodwill of the ruling class from which the family could benefit. Taught to take great pride in his heritage, the Gladiator was encouraged to mainly associate himself with the mutant children of other wealthy families who shared their cast-iron belief in the inherent superiority of powers.
Roger's mother also refused to send Roger abroad to Lazar Institute, as Harold originally wanted, insisting he stay closer to home by attending Superhero School, despite Harold's desire to keep Roger away from the influence of Fobble-borns in Superhero School and also because Lazar Institute was known to teach the Darkness rather than just the defenses which was why Harold Black had wanted Roger a place in that school, but, finally fulfilling his wife's wish for him to study somewhere not too far from home.
Annabeth Black Edit
- "I hate to execute one so valuable to the NoHeads, but I haven't a choice. However, I would have you perform the same service as Clipso here."
- ―The Gladiator to Annabeth[src]
Annabeth Black was the second cousin of the Gladiator. To say the least, their relationship was neutral. While the Gladiator appreciated her strength and beauty, he also despised her undying loyalty to Mr. Stupid NoHead. Although the Gladiator himself never visited her, he did appear to the latter in two visions. In one of them he saw her current state, and one he saw her as a child. This vision interacted with Annabeth under the name “Anna” and noted the coincidences about their similarities. This vision eventually vanished while both mutants were fighting a dragon that Anna inadvertently lured to them when trying to use a sabotaged astrobot to allow a flare to be released signalling where Anna and he were, although the Gladiator was certain that “Anna” was not a dream but the existence of one of his relatives.
In the aftermath of Abalan’s death, the Gladiator brought the body of his former apprentice to Florida, where he created many clones of the late mutant, not knowing he had loved Annabeth like a sister. Finally, one clone in particular showed a great deal of promise, though he felt a strong emotional attachment to Annabeth and Laleh Clipso and Annabeth. In order to see if the clone was truly strong enough to overcome his template’s emotions, the Gladiator provided the clone with a challenge to destroy NoHead Trenists that had taken on the holographic appearance of police officers. Although the clone easily destroyed the officers, he was suddenly dumbfounded by the robot that had taken on the image of Annabeth. When the Gladiator commanded the clone to strike her down and demanded that he hate that which Abalan loved, the clone struggled to obey, but ultimately refused, fleeing the country.
Since the clone had inherited his template’s emotional attachment to Annabeth, the Gladiator anticipated that the clone would never be able to resist returning to Florida to save Annabeth Black. This goes to show how irrelevant he considered Annabeth, which is further shown by his admitting this to X2. In spite of his reluctance, fueled by both her importance to the NoHeads and the obligation he had always felt to anyone in his family, he had Annabeth captured as a prisoner by Xydarone. He held her shackled in a tower while he dealt with X1. When X1 returned, the Gladiator put aside any sense of fondness or debt towards Annabeth and strangled her, elevating her in the air. This caused Annabeth to realize that he was willing to kill his own family members to reach his ends, and she tried to kill him herself, leaving a gash on his breast. In retaliation, the Gladiator blasted Annabeth out of the tower, knocking her unconscious. He even went so far as to say that the life of his second cousin was meaningless, whether or not he meant his words is unclear.
In spite of what transpired in Florida, out of all the evildoers who died in the Second NoHead War, Annabeth's death hit the Gladiator the hardest. As a spirit, Annabeth returned to support the Gladiator in fully corporeal form as he organized the Knights of Plague. She also supported his desire for lore that was arcane and ancient.
Knights of Plague Edit
The Gladiator met Becca Smith by unknown means, and was deeply interested in her due to her embodiment as a focal point of both light and darkness (which was unusual for a Knight of Plague or any Dark side master to be attracted to). He eventually turned her to the dark side, and anointed her as the Master of his military force. Becca served him loyally until death. However, as said by Andromeda, he does not truly care about Becca; the Gladiator is only using her for her power.
From the very beginning, George followed the Gladiator, fighting as the upper echelon of his army. The Gladiator was very impressed with George’s skills, even to the extent of making him third-in-command of the Knights of Plague. However, even from George, the Gladiator did not take kindly to failure or disloyalty. Despite George claiming to be close to the Gladiator, the Dark Lord saw him as little more than a dispensable servant. Notably, he was one of the few Knights of Plague in whom the Gladiator appeared to place any amount of genuine trust.
The Gladiator had a special relationship with Nagatha, as she was his pet and accomplishment. The Gladiator had strong feelings for Nagatha that he had for no one else; she was the only person he had ever cared about. He was able to understand her hissing, he was also able to communicate with her silently and across great distances. This was due to the fact that he had reincarnated her.
The Gladiator was also able to possess Nagatha. The Gladiator sent her on several missions, such as infiltrating the MBH in 2041. He allowed her to consume the corpses of those he killed as a reward, like that of Alicia, though this method also served as a way for him to dispose of bodies. Unlike many of his subordinates, the Gladiator did not punish Nagatha for failures. The Gladiator was enraged when Nagatha was destroyed by Andromeda, and he attempted to kill her in retaliation. Nagatha was the first of the group to be destroyed.
Monroe was one of the Gladiator's most trusted and high-ranking Knights of Plague, serving him loyally for nearly four decades. In 2041, the Gladiator entrusted Monroe with the task of capturing Alicia, who had become a threat, though Monroe failed to do so. After this, the Gladiator treated him with disdain, taking over his sword. Monroe was desperate to regain his master’s favor, but the opportunity for this that came with the Battle of Transylvania in 2042 led to his capture, as well as that of the Gladiator. It is unknown how he felt about the Gladiator after that.
- "You were cast from the mold of a dead man. You have inherited his skills, but also his weaknesses."
- ―The Gladiator[src]
The Gladiator created X2 from Dark mutant Abalan in the state of Florida in around 2017, as part of the Gladiator’s endeavor to create a perfect and obedient substitute to take Abalan’s place. Their relationship was a good one and the Gladiator deeply trusted X2 as he was the only success in a long line. Upon his awakening, the Gladiator patiently trained him and X2 felt comfortable around his maker. Still, he refused to answer most of X2's questions. Shortly before the Assault on Florida, the Gladiator showed X2 around the facility to show the latter what a success he was. Satisfied, the Glafiator replied that he was almost ready for his final test. It is unknown why X2 did not interfere when the Dark Lord was captured by the police, but he spent years looking for him.
Rudolph became a Knight of Plague and served the Gladiator around the Third NoHead War. Because of fortunate timing, Rudolph was never imprisoned into Beta Prison. Despite this, the Gladiator still trusted him, and praised him for being able to subdue Fredrick Powell. The Gladiator has shown great faith in him despite the past lack of faith and his late start. This contrasts how Monroe was treated, whose past failures had led to a loss of faith and respect amongst the ranks of Knights of Plague.
Ramona Meyer Edit
- "I met him after my rejection to Superhero School. A foolish young woman I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about right and wrong. My master showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil. There is only power... Since then, I have longed to finish what he started, yet only now have I made a breakthrough. I have played my part so well..."
- ―Ramona's loyalty to the Gladiator[src]
Ramona Meyer first met the Gladiator in the 2010s, loyally submitting herself into servitude. After the Dark Lord's arrest, Ramona planned to finish what he started by killing Master Intelligence and ruling the world.
Augustus Salt Edit
Following the demise of Annabeth Black, Augustus joined up with the Gladiator for greater access to enemies of his kin. The Gladiator viewed Salt as a valuable asset in threatening to send him into battle against those who did not submit to his will, though he did not hold the cyborg in the same regard as most Knights. Regardless, the cyborg did resent the fact that he was not being treated with the same level of respect as the Gladiator's inner circle, many whom regarded him with disgust.
Elise Mentum served the Gladiator as a housemaid for several years. However, she would never learn the Gladiator was evil, or who the Knights of Plague truly were.
Roger Black first met Harriet Swenson when he worked at a grocery store. As a polite, handsome, and clever young man with a great capacity to charm and a powerful gift of persuasion, he became friendly with Harriet, flattering her and making her feel pretty. He convinced her to show him two of her greatest treasures — Swenson Quarters itself — which he planned to steal back from the Swenson bloodline. He killed Harriet immediately, and took the two mansion as his new home. He was never suspected in her murder, as he framed Swenson's butler by modifying the man's memory. Prior to her death, Harriet realized too late of Roger's greed for the house, which led her affections to falter somewhat.
Ruby Wright Edit
- "There's no Superhero School without you, Ruby."
Ruby Wright was one of Roger's first friends, if not the first. In effect, she recruited Roger to join his kind — the mutants.
Both orphaned outsiders, Roger and Ruby shared a bond that Roger never failed to honor. He constantly defended the half-goblin against name-calling and mockery, and despite his disapproval, helped Ruby protect various pets of hers. Discovering Ruby's ancestry as a half-goblin did nothing to deter their friendship; Roger showed no concern to begin with, and was in fact furious at Melissa Vance for revealing it via media, which had caused much unwanted prejudice.
While Xydarone knew of the Gladiator because of the latter's exploits, the Gladiator first learned about Xydarone when browsing the Internet, trying to find a bounty hunter who could help him. Confident in Xydarone's skills, the Dark Lord assigned the bounty hunter with a dangerous mission and a substantial reward upon the job's completion. Xydarone, desperately requiring new funds to shore up her depleted bank accounts, took her ship to California along with Xorn, where they were ordered to begin their mission. Before Xydarone could collect on her payment for capturing Annabeth and Clipso, the Gladiator commanded her to remain in Tallahassee until X1 was neutralized. Xydarone became frustrated and demanded her reward right away, but the Gladiator forced Xydarone to grudgingly remain at the Dark mutant's side. Xydarone still respected the Gladiator, however, and waited for more work, though she never recieved any. only managed to survive the encounter by launching a rocket from her jetpack into the clone's head, thus killing it.
Master Intelligence Edit
The Gladiator was one of Master Intelligence's worst enemies and a serious threat to his life. When he first met Intelligence in 2035, he pretended to be polite to him. However, after two encounters Master Intelligence became determined to eliminate him. Intelligence won in the end, imprisoning the Gladiator in his own prison Negagard.
The Gladiator has been Andromeda's enemy ever since he took an interest in Andromeda's mother Becca. Apparently, he had no regard for her life, as he ordered Andromeda's demise to complete a trial for Becca.
- "I understand you now. You killed my father and kidnapped me from Mars, not just to be your apprentice, but to be a son to you. Was that how your father treated you?"
- ―Abalan to the Gladiator[src]
For much of his life as a NoHead, Abalan lived in fear and terror of the Gladiator. Having experienced nothing but the Gladiator’s cruel treatment, Abalan thought of it as only natural, especially for the development of a NoHead; learn, or die was what he took from it. He invested a great deal of trust and loyalty in the Dark Lord, coming to fear failing his Master more than death. He was left deeply shocked by the Gladiator’s betrayal of him, and only reluctantly agreed to reenter his service. Left distrustful of his Master, and developing compassion for his allies, Abalan began to genuinely consider betraying him in turn by using the police to take revenge and then take over the world for himself. However, Abalan still believed that the Gladiator’s mission for him was genuine, and pragmatically judged that the Gladiator wouldn’t risk losing another chance to assassinate Mr. Stupid NoHead.
He was left shocked and enraged when the Gladiator betrayed him again, this time actively seeking to kill him. However, as Abalan fought the Gladiator, he incorrectly assumed that his Master was a product of the same manipulations and abuse as he himself was, thus causing Abalan to pity the Gladiator rather than continuing to hate him. Thus, Abalan resolved to end the NoHead’s life as an act of mercy, “freeing” him from an even greater source of torment — Mr. Stupid NoHead.
The Gladiator created X1 amid his attempts to clone Abalan in order to continue his plans of world domination. Due to the inherent difficulty in cloning mutants, many of the initial clones were deformed and aberrant monstrosities. However, this one stood out in a long line for his power. However, when X1 realized he was more concerned about the safety of the only two individuals who had shown his template nothing but kindness, his lack of trust and loyalty drove him to rebel against him and find the two women. When the Gladiator captured them both before X1 could reach his goal, the clone felt nothing but hatred and fear for his maker and returned to kill him.
Patrick Smith has been the Gladiator's enemy ever since he first attempted to seduce the former's wife, Becca. Still, they had little contact and it is unknown if they ever saw each other face to face.
Mr. Stupid NoHead Edit
It is unknown when they met, but the Gladiator held Mr. Stupid NoHead in high esteem. He held NoHead in such high esteem that the Gladiator later unofficially joined the NoHeads. However, NoHead only valued him for his power and finally attempted to cast him aside with the coming of Abalan. Despite leaving the NoHeads, he only did so because he thought he was better working alone. In the end, the Gladiator held NoHead in such high esteem that he later created the Knights of Plague to bring about the reacendesy of the NoHeads to world dominance.
More About the GladiatorEdit
Roger Black, known to all as the Gladiator, is the leader of the Knights of Plague and Becca Smith's master. The Gladiator founded the Knights of Plague and based its practices off of ancient NoHead teachings. He trained several previous apprentices, with his most prized pupil being Becca Smith, mother of Alyssa Smith. The Gladiator was critical in the seduction of Becca to the dark side, and when her turn was complete, the Gladiator christened her as the commander of the Knights of Plague.
Notes and References Edit
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