CO-CREATED WITH CHRIS RICE
"A new Chessmaster has already emerged. The last one fell into our trap and General Hippo slew her. But she passed the King Piece on before we could capture it. He has remarkable control of the castings. There also appears to be a connection with the Queen Casting and the last Chessmaster. This is unexpected. We must bring more force to bear against him before he unlocks any more of the chessmaster's true potential."
-The Shadow Sun, Possessor of the Black Rook
Eric Page (born Erinayo Yegengo) was adopted by a family in Union City from the war-torn nation of Kiboko when General Hippo initiated a civil war there. A quiet boy, Eric found solace and expression in reading and in playing chess in his new home. It was through this past time that he met his first girlfriend, Elizabeth Heller. She was bright, confident, and sweet and she loved the bookish chess player. In her he found confidence and happiness and in him she found a refuge from a part of her life about which he had no idea. That all changed when he started to notice her unexplained absences and bruises on her body. Too timid to confront her, Eric followed Elizabeth but lost her when a super-powered battle erupted. Chessmaster, a newer hero in Union City was fighting a gang of men in feathered jackets and carved masks led by a huge man wearing the pelt of a Hippo as a cape and hood; the Oxpecker Militia and their leader, General Hippo. She summoned glowing chess pieces, Castings, each three to five feet tall and made of luminous white energy. But General Hippo mortally wounded Chessmaster and he took a chess piece from around her neck and fled with his men. Eric went to try and help the dying hero but discovered, to his horror, Elizabeth. She told him that she had tricked General Hippo and passed Eric the real King Piece. With her dying breath she made Eric swear to take up the mantle as the new Chessmaster.
Chessmaster is quiet, pensive, and unsure of himself despite his incredible power. He is burdened with the loss of Elizabeth and the knowledge he has gained that he is one in a long line of Chessmasters, all of whom died tragically. He also feels overburdened by the task of confronting both the villain from his childhood and the man who killed his love. This can make him melancholy and nervy. He is analytical and strategic, opting to more subtly influence the battlefield with his Castings rather than to more directly batter his opponents with them. When the situation is dire he can summon the Queen, embodied as Elizabeth, as a radiant Casting with more strength than all the other Castings combined. This is emotionally perilous for him though.
Introduction: “The Chessmaster is here. Let’s begin the opening.”
Exclamations: Check!” - “Mate in five!” - “You have taken a piece, not won the game!”
On his legacy: “Sacrifice is necessary to win in Chess. Elizabeth was a sacrifice in a much longer game. But I carry her with me wherever I go. She was the hero. I’m just trying to make sure she didn’t die in vain...”
On his outfit: “The King Piece summons the costume just like it summons the Castings. I don’t really have much of a say in how I look.”
On using Weapons: “Weapons? The Castings are powerful weapons. They can fight if I summon them to. Elizabeth was the real fighter. When things look bleak, she’s the one who finishes the fight. Even now.”