|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
King Orin (a.k.a., Arthur Curry) is a founding member of the Justice League. A recluse per the human definition, Orin doesn't prefer to have many dealings with humans beyond what is necessary as a member of the JL, when he is an active member, or as ambassador to his people. He has no 'secret identity' - but rather is simply the rightful King of Atlantis.
A founding member of the team, Aquaman is loyal to their cause. Unquestionable is his willingness to put his life at risk for his teammates. However, Aquaman puts Atlantis and its people above all. Orin will leave without hesitation no matter the situation if Atlantis is in danger.
In the Beginning
Orin's story begins tens of thousands of years in the past.
The first Atlanteans became a society of great power, knowledge and wisdom upon their own continent on the planet Earth, millennia ago. They built cities, empires, space-faring vessels - they touched the stars and were enlightened. They were also not without enemies. Among the earliest (and most powerful) of these was Kordax. Kordax was a tyrant whose actions gave rise to a "curse" - that anyone born with hair like his (blond, a rare thing among Atlanteans), would fall to the same evil. The Curse of Kordax would come to affect the life of a certain blond Atlantean king, born thousands of years later.
By the time he breathed his first, his race had dwelt beneath the waves for thousands of generations. Atlantis, the continent, was no more; Atlantis the deep-dwelling kingdom, endured. But for young Orin, he knew nothing of his incredible heritage at first - nothing of his mother, Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis, or his father, Atlan, an ancient and powerful Atlantean wizard. He only knew of his affinity for the water, taught to him by the dolphins that played on Mercy Reef.
The reef where Orin, an infant, had been left to die.
He was found by a human, Tom Curry, who raised Orin in his lighthouse on the surface, near the ocean. The boy learned to live as a human (if not being human himself), named Arthur Curry, before embracing his true nature later on. Orin's mother, Atlanna, soon repented of having to leave her infant son on the reef, and came to visit him. She and Tom fell in love, and raised Orin (whom Tom had named Arthur) together - until Atlanna disappeared, when Orin was only 10.
Then his father, Tom Curry, passed away. Tom had perished of a heart attack - but the attack had been caused by a violent intrusion into his home, an intrusion by none other than Black Manta. In a letter written to his son (should he himself ever perish), Tom bid Orin go seek out his mother, Atlanna - to give her a simple message of his unending love for her. This, along with grief - and anger at the lack of understanding from his human neighbours - inspired the young Orin/Arthur to go seeking the fabled, sunken kingdom of Atlantis.
He found it.
And he was instantly jailed.
King Arthur, and the Heroes of the Justice League
Orin's quest for his mother's home and her people led Orin to a number of individuals - some good, some bad, some... in between - that greatly influenced his development into the man he would later become. It started with Vulko - a fellow Atlantean and former advisor to Orin's mother. It was Vulko who taught Orin how to speak Atlantean, and how to fine-tune his emerging powers. He also told Orin of Atlanna's fate - forced to marry a despot named Nereus. If ever the Seven Seas were in need of a "one, true king", now was the time.
But the "one, true king"... wasn't ready.
Initially, Orin made no push for the throne. He and Vulko escaped, and for a while Orin travelled and explored, both under the sea and on the surface. He even aided a few heroes of the Justice League. When he learned that Black Manta may have been responsible for the Tom Curry's fatal heart-attack, Orin went into a rage and sought revenge. He came upon Manta's boat and attacked the man he believed to be Black Manta. He was wrong. Orin had, in fact, killed Black Manta's own father by mistake - and Manta arrived on the scene just in time to witness the act. Thus the cycle of revenge for the two arch-enemies was created.
Terrible rages were constant problem for Orin - still only a young man in his early 20s. After his mother took ill and died, the young prince went berserk and summoned a veritable fleet of sea-creatures and Atlanteans alike to attack Poseidonis (capital city of Atlantis), and claim the throne - his rightful throne - for himself.
It was not... entirely a smooth transition.
Many of the Atlanteans shied away from Orin at first - on account of his blond hair, and its signifying of the "Curse of Kordax". Orm - once captain of the guard - took to calling himself the Ocean Master, and fought AGAINST Orin, on the side of Nereus. Still, this did not prevent Orin from achieving his goal. He defeated Nereus, and exiled Orm.
Vulko crowned Orin as "King Orin II" (whoever the Orin the First was...). Thus, with a crown on his head, a trident in his hand and a fire in his heart, King Orin II (often called King Arthur) set about defending and protecting the Seven Seas, as well as serving the whole world as a superhero - performing feats no one else in the ocean could match...
Until he met Mera.
Mera. A woman as strong, as wild, as beautiful as the Sea herself - and as tempestuous and unpredictable - hailed from another dimension within the ocean. Although she was coy when it came to disclosing her reasons for leaving her home dimension, she and Orin fell madly in love and soon married. Mera became Orin's rock, his inspiration, his moral compass - his queen.
And Atlantis began to flourish.
The Mad King, and the Labyrinth
During the next few years or so, Aquaman - Monarch of the Seas - found himself beset with foes from above the seas as well as below. The war with Cerdia was among the first of many such conflicts. It did not surprise anyone to learn that Orm the Ocean Master was responsible for it in the first place. It DID however surprise them all to learn that Orm was also a son of the wizard, Atlan - and thus, Orin's half brother. The war left the cities of Poseidonis and Tritonis devastated, and it nearly cost Orin some of his family (such as Garth - A.K.A. Aqualad, and later Tempest - whom he had taken under his wing).
With the arrival of the cosmic entity known as "Imperiex", Orin united with members of the Justice League (and even some of their enemies) to defeat it, but Atlantis vanished - leaving only a great rift in the sea. It took the combined efforts of heroes all across the globe - and Orin channelling the full power of the seas in 'Water Wraith' form - to bring Atlantis back, and sink the civilisation once again. Again, he played an instrumental role (along with other Leaguers) in the San Diego crisis - which resulted in a "new" city, a submerged city that became known as "Sub Diego".
Orin alternated his activities between ruling the Seven Seas as King, and protecting the Earth as one of the Justice League. Often, circumstances forced him to act alone - or at the very least, apart from the League. Mera joined him on many of his adventures, and so did Aqualad and some others.
Atlantis prospered. "Aquaman" became a household name, a regular among other superheroes.
There was joy above and below the sea-level.
Mera gave birth to a son - hers and Orin's firstborn and heir to the throne. Almost straight away enemies of the royal family began making attempts to kidnap or harm the baby, and Orin found himself increasingly torn between protecting his family, ruling his kingdom, and protecting the Earth. Eventually, Arthur Jnr was kidnapped.
By none other than Black Manta.
Manta forced Orin to fight Aqualad/Tempest for his son's life (kill Aqualad, save Aquababy), but it was a trick: Orin's son died, and Manta escaped. Orin flew into a rage - as did Mera, and each vowed to bring Manta to justice: by murder. Their marriage almost completely fell apart, and both king and queen went their separate ways for a time, to each find their own path out of the slough of despair in which they now found themselves.
Atlantis began to suffer. Orin could not bear the reminders of what he had lost - but more yet would be required of him, when the Darkness came for him, and...
A 'blackness' descended upon Atlantis, prompting Orin to try and warn his people of their peril. As he bravely neared the darkness, tendrils of writhing night reached out from it and wrapped around his arms, legs and neck like the tentacles of a monstrous octopus. The tendrils dragged him ever inward, ever downward, until he found that he was in an entirely different universe.
A different universe with a different Atlantis.
Orin came face to face with a "counterpart king" - Namor the Sub-Mariner - and the two of them did battle, the one with the other, until they both finally realised that they were not each other’s enemy. Beings known as "Time Trapper" and "Kang the Conqueror" had brought them, and hundreds upon hundreds of other heroes into this otherworld, this "Labyrinth", for their own nefarious purposes.
Orin and Namor joined forces against foes both foreign and familiar, until they succeeded in breaking free...
And the world was never the same again.
Recovering from the losses he had suffered, and the repeated instances in which Black Manta had escaped from him (and from Mera), was difficult for Orin. He felt less of the king - less of the MAN - he had been in the past, and it showed. Nightmares plagued him in place of dreams, nightmares of his infant son - crying nearby and yet always out of reach - nightmares of his arch nemesis - there in his arms and yet never quite dying.
Revenge... ever denied him.
Into this mire of pain and torment filtered rumours of lung-men (Atlantean slang for land-dwellers) venturing deep into the oceans in search of artefacts - ancient, powerful Atlantean technology dating back to the very dawn of their civilisation, artefacts built by Atlantis' first king, the Dead King. Orin sent scouts to investigate, and none of them returned. Fissures deep in the floor of the sea opened up, releasing unheard-of terrors (like the Trench) upon both the Atlanteans and the surface, spreading Orin’s forces thin.
Orin, in search of… something - anything - to lift him out of his despair - left the kingdom in the hands of his trusted advisors, and went in search of these artefacts himself. His lone adventure brought him into contact with the terrorist duo codenamed Scylla and Charybdis - both of them seeking the same Atlantean relics. In the resulting battle, Charybdis BIT off Orin's left hand, leaving it a bloodied stump, and then fled the scene with relics in tow...
But not before revealing that they were not working alone. There was another - their employer - who sought these items of power (among them, the "Chalice of the Dead King" - otherwise known as the Holy Grail). Orin soldiered on, tending his wounds as best he could (he affixed a harpoon to the stump of his left hand), trying to find this employer and stop him from doing further damage with these relics to the people of Atlantis.
His efforts took him further and further away from his kingdom.
Which was the plan all along. The source of Orin's new troubles finally revealed himself when the king tried to return to his people - it was Orm, his half-brother. Orm the Ocean Master had returned. Too much time had transpired in Orin's absence and Orm had amassed an army against him - a plan that had been in the works for some time.
It came to war - Orin vs Atlantis - and in that war he was beaten, tried for treason, and sentenced to death: by desiccation. They took Orin to the surface on a lonely shore, out of sight of the water that could - would - be his salvation, if he could but reach it, and chained him to the rocks.
They left him for dead.
Waterbearer, and the One True King
In truth, Orin very nearly died. In fact, he came so close to death that he "left something" of himself - of his soul, some of his memories - on that rock, even after he managed to escape against all odds. With the last of his will, Orin dragged himself in what he thought was the direction of the sea.
He did find a sea - a hidden sea, the Secret Sea - but not the one he thought. Tossing aside his harpoon, he clawed with elbows and hand the last few feet into the cool waters of the secluded lake, and found that its mere touch was enough to revitalise him. It was then that the Lady of the Lake appeared to him out of the water, and told him that he needed to return to the world - but as more than just Orin, more than Aquaman, more even than King of Atlantis - he needed to return as the Waterbearer, just as another "Arthur" had done so for the Lady, aeons before.
The Lady thanked Orin for keeping the Grail (which he never actually saw with his own eyes) from the clutches of Orm the Ocean Master, and then restored Orin's missing hand - with a hand of water taken from the Lake. She told him of its meaning, its powers, and its price: to never be raised in the name of vengeance, hatred or evil. If Orin should ever abuse the power of the Waterbearer, an evil unlike any other - The Thirst - would descend upon the Secret Sea, and afterward, the oceans themselves.
Battered, broken, but unbowed, Orin - the Once and Future King of Atlantis - rose from the waters and returned to civilisation upon the surface of the Earth. It would take time to restore himself to the throne of his people - time and allies - but he would manage it.
Or die trying.
Kingly: The sea is his home and his domain. No matter what may befall him or others, in all situations, Orin thinks like a king. He still bears the burden of responsibility, and he is no stranger to making "impossible choices" (those with no clear "good" or "right" choice). He is as strong in spirit as he is in body. He could never be accused of "weakness", although he often finds his heart at war with his head.
Honorable: Orin is honest, forthright, sincere. He is a man of the law. While he is not quite someone who "wears his heart on his sleeve", one can trust him to speak the truth (even if some of his emotions are concealed, what he reveals is never false). He is a plain-spoken man who has learned how to be a diplomat. He is chivalrous - a knight in shining armour. With a trident.
Protective: Orin is -extremely- protective of his friends and allies and will defend them fiercely until his last bitter breath. The same could be said of his defensive nature when Atlantis becomes involved. In the case of Atlantis, no matter the situation, he will rush to defend it if the city and it's people are in danger. In the case of his friends? He would move heaven and hell to aid them, considering his friends to be his brothers in arms, regardless if his loyalty is returned.
Pride: The greatest of sins that have thrown kings from their thrones and have laid the very best of humanity (and beyond) low. Orin is his own 'worst critic'. He has made mistakes, and he knows it - however, he is not so hard on himself that one could say he has low self-esteem. He knows his own heart. He would like to say the pride that he has is the good kind, the kingly kind - and it is... just not always.
Passionate: Orin's first and greatest passion is his family, and second to that, the sea. In many ways, the League has become something of an ersatz extended family (which would probably make Batman the 'black sheep' - that strange relative who visits on special occasions). The sea will always be his home, no matter what. When Arthur feels, he feels strongly, and will not hesitate to show exactly what he's feeling, for better or for worse....though in delicate situations, he can keep a lid on it.
First Player's Logs
- 2012-06-10 - Heroes Crisis: Final Battle, Round 2 - The Crisis comes to a head as a collection of two universe's heroes face off against Time Trapper and the Labyrinth itself!
Second Player's Logs
- 2013-12-23 - Underwater Encounters - Exploring some wrecks for some Salvage so he can get a few extra dollars, Cyberdragon Encounters Aquaman, and the two have a chat.
Third Player's Logs
- 2014-01-02 - All That and a Side of Fish n Chips - Aquaman visits Kara at her waitressing job to get her to help on an undercover heroing mission. Aquaman is Popular at Jim's Diner.
- 2014-01-05 - A Cold Night for Crime - Some Gotham muggers have a very bad night when they try to rob the wrong superheroes.
- 2014-01-19 - SDR: Welcome to Atlantis. Enjoy Your Stay. - Prisoners! Or... not. The SHIELD Wondertwins meet Aquaman. So much better than Namor.
- 2014-01-22 - SDR: Back to 'Normal' - Aquaman and Mera spend some quiet time and Arthur … monologues.
- 2014-01-24 - Meetings and Conflicts in the Florida Keys - John has a run in with Aquaman and Dilana. Cyber has a more direct run in much to his displeasure with Aquaman.
- 2014-01-26 - Fish Fry at Red Robin - Yum! - Following Black Manta's trail leads Batm … Aquaman and Red Robin to one of the Dark Knight's most denied foes.
- 2014-01-26 - War On Black Manta: Casualties - Aquaman and Kara infiltrate an underground meta-human fighting ring operatoed by Black Manta with unexpected results.
- 2014-01-29- War on Black Manta: Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears the Crown - Arthur's pity party is crashed by the Queen of the Seas!
- 2014-01-31 - Malibu Arthur - Arthur buys a West Coast house and meets Wonder man and Beast to talk TV
- 2014-02-03 - War on Black Manta: Unintended Tresspassing - Pushing his Limits to see how far Cyber could dive into the ocean inadvertently coming to the doorstep of King Orin's Atlantis and lands himself in the middle of a preparing invasion.
- 2014-02-05 The War on Manta: Fallen Idols - Aquaman has angry words for Cyberdragon, but who is right?
- 2014-02-05 - War On Manta: Death in New Venice - Aquaman and his friends vs. Black Manta with New Venice in the middle.
- 2014-02-18 - Heavy Hearts - Aquaman pays a call on Beast to ask a favor
- 2014-03-03 - Fish and Chips - Deaing with a shipwreck, Aquaman and Supergirl go for lunch.
- 2014-07-02 - God(desses) and Men - Arthur meets Lady Sif and deals with a big baby (a really big baby!) Plus the return of Gaga the dolphin!
Fourth Player's Logs