The nature of RPGs means that we don't usually need to know *how* a villain gained his powers (unless you're playing four-color comicbook Superheroes, where it's fun background fluff), we just need to know what powers he has, how well he can use them, and what those powers can do.
In the RQ days, that meant detailing the spells available and sometimes assigning a percentage chance; in HW/HQ you don't even need to do that, just write down "Flame Eyes 12w3". What quest the villain went on to gain "Flame Eyes" is immaterial, especially if the villain is destined to be a one-shot wonder.
Even if he's a long-running villain, what horrid rites and quests he goes on doesn't need to be detailed unless the heroes are going to try to interrupt it *from the inside*. Usually, though, the heroes are going to be doing their own heroquest in opposition, so the stations they see and the opponents they face will be what their own myths tell them, not what the villain's myths tell *him*.
He was born with the gift of laughter and the sense that the world was mad R. Sabatini, Scaramouche
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