Xanatos Character in Tales of Justice | World Anvil


Rutger Davud Xanatos (a.k.a. David Xanatos)

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Xanatos is a fit man, possibly in his thirties or very well-aged forties. He has excellent poise and balance. He often has a discreet bodyguard during public appearances, but possesses the reflexes and awareness likely to be a competent fighter if he were attacked. He does not typically have more than two beverages at any event regardless of its length or activity, and those seldom contain alcohol or caffeine. He is not noticeably muscular within his well-tailored suits, any more than Mr. Luthor or Ms. Rollinson is noticeably muscular in their own excellent business attire.

Facial Features

Xanatos has wavy brown hair that he wears pulled back from his face, sometimes tied into a short ponytail behind his collar if he anticipates breezy conditions such as a helicopter's blades. He usually has an impeccably groomed short beard or goatee.
Part of the inspiration for his carefully shaped facial hair may be the old scar on his right cheek, which once ran from a fingerprint's distance below his eye down along his cheekbone almost to the hollow of his jaw joint. Xanatos has obviously put some work into reducing this scar via methods short of surgery. A dermabrasion or laser treatment has definitely been applied since Xanatos's earliest public photos as a nascent celebrity. His cosmetic assistance is remarkably good; sometimes even the most diligent tabloid photographer cannot get the scar to show in a picture!
Bobbi Meserole: "Darling, you simply must introduce me to your beautician, you have perfect skin even in this atrocious lighting!"
Xanatos, chuckling: "The truth is, my dear, that tonight I am my own twin."
Bobbi: "What?! David, my sweet, your twin? You are telling me that you are not David Xanatos, but someone else entirely?"
Xanatos, sipping his cocktail: "Oh, yes, of course. I would be the virtuous one, of course. Everyone knows the naughty twin has the scar."

Apparel & Accessories

Xanatos has always dressed himself in clothing meant to hold up to activity, whether that was the sturdiest pair of denim jeans he could afford and a well-mended secondhand shirt, or the bespoke tailoring he now enjoys as a successful businessman. He is unlikely to wear a tie or ascot unless he is in the most formal tuxedo. He is mildly fond of crimson or gold details in places such as a coat buckle or a hair clasp, but his clothing will mostly be gray or blue-gray.
Xanatos wears solid colors in most of his appearances. He has rarely been seen in a suit with vertical pinstriping. He never wears anything with a more noticeable pattern.
Unusually for a well-groomed gentleman, Xanatos does not have his suit coats made with a pocket for a handkerchief. Nor do his shirts have breast pockets. Xanatos requires absolute symmetry in his personal presentation -- he does not even wear a watch.
Perhaps this, too, is an old relic of his youth. Young Rutger Xanatos certainly preferred that no attention be drawn to his facial scar.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Rutger Davud "Rugg" Xanatos immigrated from southeastern Europe to the east coast of the United States as a late teenager, part of a group of young near-adult refugees from a battle between pirate warlords. His health benefited greatly from the stable resources of his adopted country; his mind benefited even more greatly from the widespread educational resources available to American youths.
Young Xanatos proved adroit at sensing the potential in his peers. He learned to draw out talent, to match one person's strength with another's weak spots, so that together the duo became far more effective than any separate work could have achieved.
During his twenties, Xanatos accepted the risks involved in international travel. He signed up for the Caducean Corps, a humanitarian volunteer organization (sadly now defunct) that sought to fill the gaps between Médecins Sans Frontières (medical staff and supplies where they are most needed) and Global Volunteers (community development programs he learned how to design and build reliable routes between populations, how to meet local leaders on their own terms and persuade them to the benefits of cooperation on a greater scale, how to identify and reallocate resources to best ultimate result.
Most critically, Xanatos honed his own talent for locating underserved Great Minds, and how to move them to a place where their capacity could become reality.
- exerpt from NatriMaurax: An Origin Story
Unfortunately for the narrative of the glossy corporate brochure, some of Xanatos' experiences during this time of humanitarian service had a traumatic impact on his mindset. He returned to his alma mater, Paragon City University in northeastern Rhode Island, in the mid-1990s with a frustrated -- some former acquaintances labeled it "incensed" -- attitude toward the state of the world.

Most people don't want to make the world any better. They just turn their brains off. They don't want to see so they don't have to think.

The smartest mind in the world can't fix that.

Maybe all I can do is to set up an opt-in soporific that keeps users and providers free from self-harm.

- Rutger Xanatos to reporter Oscar Locke, Dawn Sun Register, September 1998


Within two years, the name of Rutger Xanatos became known in certain shady societies. He was never listed as a member of the Thieves Society, but he has a solid rating among the Henchmen's Union as a Boss who keeps his contracts and pays in full. He may have been a Senior Facilitation Executive at Transcorp, but not under the names "Rutger" or "Xanatos". He has business interests in Boston, Gotham City, Likteneta, Metropolis, Perth, Triplet City, Vibora Bay, and Yumemi. He frequently employs residents of Blüdhaven, New Jersey, who want to recieve steady pay for steady work, with no pesky ethical or regulatory concerns involved; rumor has it that Xanatos owns two entire piers at the Blüdhaven Dockyards outright, from the smallest boat slip to the round-the-clock team of freight unloaders at the nearby top-of-the-line warehouse.
Rutger Xanatos grew his economic empire mostly in the dubiously legal gray area of Adult Entertainment. His business ventures were always impeccable about zoning permits and staff healthcare, always careful to stay a measurable distance inside local laws.
They may have been a colorful distraction. Detailed forensic accounting can find no impropriety … which is suspicious to some. What other video mill of this nature has ever documented such a consistent positive profit margin? Where, in fact, are the traditional fictitious deficits? If the legitimately paying audience were so large, would investigators not be able to locate more old (and perhaps even bootleg) copies of these out-of-print works?
In early fall of 2003, area witnesses insisted that a NYC skyscraper vanished for a short time. Even in an age of superhumans, that is a difficult story to tell: most citizens put that down to a chemically-based hallucination. However, several responsible government agencies investigated the site with extreme diligence. The report eventually published said that the building framework showed greater signs of physical stress than expected, but nothing that could be said to be "complete displacement": cracks yes, complete shearing from the foundation no.
Nevertheless, the city ordered the building closed until it could be repaired, reinforced, and made stronger overall.
Xanatos called on every business connection he could name to help him establish a new privately-owned "solutions creator" company with a technological background: NatriMaurax. Many of his existing resources found themselves converted into "Part of the Solution", as the company motto puts it. Video teams became documentary teams, or training video creators, or translation services; distribution networks converted into … erm … differently-targeted distribution networks. The original "adult entertainment" empire continues to exist, but much reduced in volume and in scope.
NatriMaurax seems to be competing with Transcorp. They are not themselves an advertisement agency, but they assist in connecting small regional agencies to distant corporations. They are not a host for business or industry trade shows; they assist industry leaders in developing new joint exhibitions to match prototype development with talent. They are not a broker of any sort … but they connect the right legal representation with the right mediator and the right interested parties on all sides of a potential collaboration.
NatriMaurax showcases Xanatos' lifelong fondness for balanced symmetry. They find people (and things) that deserve better situations. They find things (and people) that need solutions.
Xanatos began introducing himself with the Americanized version of his middle name. When asked about it, he chuckles; he says he saw a story with that name, voiced by the great Jonathan Frakes, and it reminded him to draw out the potential within himself just as he has always done for others.

Current Location
probably 45
Ajaccio, Corsica
Current Residence
NatriMaurax Building, Metropolis
he/him or they/them
dark brown
brown, wavy, brushed straight back from the face
170 lbs
Quotes & Catchphrases
  And even if I were, for some idiotic reason, interested in seven-year-old technology? It would not have been so far outside the personal entertainment, hospitality, and talent-boosting industries where I have excelled for twelve years.   They don't call it a "Xanatos Gambit" if I'm chomping down on a badly shaped poison pill, you know.  
- Company Chief Repudiates Takeover Allegations; Meil Ming, Dawn Sun Register
Known Languages
  • Corsu French
  • American English
  • scholarly Latin
  • basic Greek

Narrator's Afterword
Got all of the above? Feel like you gleaned a serviceable idea of this ethically mixed business baron?
I do love a hint of homage in my superhero worldbuilding. A few Easter Eggs. That sort of thing.
Buckle up, brave Readers, because there is so much more to know!
  Warning! Spoilers abound! Read only if you dare risk your chance of Hero Points!
All of the above is true! Absolutely, verifiably, with citations to independent sources, actually factually true. …
… and at the same time, none of it is true.
None at all.
Rutger Xanatos has never existed, except in the minds of the people who believe him into existence.
Long-time readers will remember another homage to storytellers whose work shaped our own development: the organization known as Cobra. Since the time when the more over-the-top bits of the International Pseudomilitary Force genre were excised, this particular org settled into a quieter, low-key presence here on Earth 1.
Part of that adjustment was that the psychic twins from Corsica came to our shores, where they made a single identity that they share. They counterfeited enough "past evidence" of their new character's backstory to convince anyone who might still hunt down COBRA leadership.
They set to work in laundering their allies' remaining stash of funds.
In fact, they put a majority of the laundered money to work -- that is where the profits in their "personal entertainment" industry originated, not in actual sales of the product, but in fictitious ones. They made sure to pay more taxes than the paperwork indicated. They took fewer "tax deductions" than their accountants and criminal advisors recommended. They were so infuriatingly "aboveboard" that they do not dare visit Atlantic City for even a connecting flight; Card Shark has a standing grudge against Rutger Xanatos for making the Cards' standard coverups look too obvious.
"Xanatos" has never committed a crime in Gotham City, not so much as a legally dubious chat.
But while Xanatos attends a high-society event, with all the best wealthy citizens as proof of his evening activities, one of the Paoli brothers might well be having the least legal of strategy discussions with a henchman crew in Blüdhaven or Metropolis or a similarly positioned city. Too far apart to throw doubt on the alibi, but plenty close enough to swap places before breakfast.
The brothers genuinely do want the world to be a better place for all. They do have something of a gift for spotting unrealized talent, or underused potential, and for deducing what that person would need in order to thrive.
They deserve their percentage along the way, that's all. And they know just how to get it.


Character Portrait image: Xanatos by Jarissa


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