VIPER is the name of a snake-based terrorist group determined to rule the world (of course) in the world of Champions Online MMO.
VIPER is short for Venomous Imperial Party of the Eternal Reptile. It is a group whose origins can be traced back to the time before Atlantis.
The original incarnation of the group known today as VIPER is an ancient West African relgious tribe that worshiped the snake-god Nama. It was said that Nama bestowed great power to their priests and holy warriors. Power that transcended both body and soul, and could even allow the priests to persecute non-believers in their dreams. Their sudden disappearance remains a mystery even today.
In the middle of the 19th Century, a group of explorers discovered the remains of the Nama temple and were taken in by the power it offered. They created a group known as the Unholy Order of the Grand Reptile to share their finances and findings. Many expeditions were financed with the hopes of taking the power for their own purposes. Unfortunately some of those expeditions disappeared after reporting strange nightmares. The fear of global war forced the Unholy Order to pull back from their expeditions.
Post-World War II
In the aftermath of World War II, many of the descendants of the Unholy Order united, some claiming to do so under the direction of Nama. The "Founding Thirty" pledged their loyalty to Nama, and in doing so were suppoedly given power and knowledge to further serve the snake-god. They were given the sign of the serpent, and thus they became known as VIPER.
Today, VIPER serves a dual role in the world. To the outside world, VIPER is a terrorist organization, occasionally lending their services to mercenary causes. But within the organization, VIPER acts on behest of Nama to take over all countires and replace all religions.
(Please see their Champions Online Wiki entry for more information.)
VIPER were first seen in "The Lost Adventures of Galatea Future" #3.