Friday, April 13, 2018

The Clean-up Crew

Concept: Group of Predatory Ghouls/Hunters

AKA: The names of the Officers are of course eminently changeable for story purposes but their original names are becoming almost a moot point. When the group was constituted, the decision was made to use Code Names in the field. The Group has taken the following names. Hunter, Miller, Brewer, Fisher, Cooper, and Smith. Strangely, those code names have begun to sink into their subconscious minds. Miller keeps accidentally trying to sign her name as “Miller” on Official forms. Brewer has taken up craft brewing in his spare time, and Smith has taken up the post of being the weaponsmith for the group.

Desc:  Each of them is fit, strong, and in the peak of health. Each of them has a strange and slightly off-putting intensity. They tend in conversation to a certain monotone and a lack of blinking. Which is handy during interrogations. Miller is a woman. Cooper is a very tall black man. 

History:  It started out simply. Kindred occasionally decide that they want to bring someone into the fold and put them on the payroll.  Different kindred have different ways of going about such projects. Some stake out places where they think they can find such individuals. Others go the route of setting up some kind of computer program to search for a particular profile.  This particular project was very hush-hush. The young man who created it was promised a number of things. All he really got from it was an early retirement and his corpse dumped in the reservoir.
     The reason why it was kept so quiet is that the Ventrue in question was somewhat paranoid and he was looking for a dedicated cadre of hunters for his own purposes. He wanted police because they would have power, access, and wouldn’t be as accountable as some other citizen.  He found people with the right temperament and skills and over the course of 8 months recruited them. Turned them into an effective vampire killing force and began to clear away some “problem” kindred from the local landscape. Also, they ended up being very handy for dealing with the occasional odd Draugr.
    And you know they probably would have been fine. The Master was even thinking very seriously about embracing Hunter.  But things have a way of going south in the world of the undead.
   One night when they were out dealing with one of the Master’s “Problem Kindred” they all caught a sinking feeling and something like a bond breaking. It nearly got them all killed. It definitely got Tinker killed.

That night, they learned that the master had met his end.  They never got a straight answer about exactly why he was killed. There were political reasons of course, but also it seems that the master may have been mentally ill in some way. Not that the team would have known. 

They circled the wagons. They emptied the account that the master had set up for them as a discretionary fund. They bought a place. A grungy old Motel up in the hills. The place has been shut for years. In order to stay off the grid. They created a working well and bought multiple generators.  They no longer had the Master to take from and be strengthened. So they decided that those who had the power and strength they needed would give it to them. Whether they wanted to or not.

They’ve almost got it down to a science now.  If they can get the bag on a kindred target, They bring them up to the Motel. and over the course of days, they’ll drain them dry.  Cooper’s even working on a means to preserve blood in some specially prepared casks. (It’s only working intermittently. They still haven’t exactly hammered it out.)  Some they interrogate. Others, like Draugr, they don’t bother with. 
And they’ll keep going...for as long as they can. They don’t know what else to do.

Attitude:   “We have a powerful need.”

Skills: Physically, Each is in great shape. Fisher brought his weights and his Bowflex up to the Motel and they all use the thing. Each will have a spread of dots in combat based skills and merits. Each will have Police Tactics and some martial art FS dots of some sort.
Socially, Each of the officers has become weird, intense, and monosyllabic. This has done a bit of damage to their social lives.  Each of the officers was chosen for their lack of familial entanglements so that at least is not a problem. The only thing that has been enhanced by their “Change” is they have become more manipulative and more intimidating.
Mentally, Each of them has dots of Investigation of course. Hunter has dots of streetwise and Survival (Bit of a camping nut) Smith is becoming the weapon maker and quartermaster of the group. So he’s got some crafts out of the yang.  Miller’s the Wheelman and has craft’s as well as dots of Drive.  Miller’s the computer nerd and has built a Faraday cage for her rig in one of the Motel’s rooms. Cooper is the combat point man and he’s pretty good with a Bow and Arrow. Fisher is their jack-leg medic.
They’ve stopped talking to one another altogether. They’ve developed some weird short-range telepathy with one another. They all possess Unseen Sense: Vampires.

Gear: Naturally they all possess regular duty arms and equipment. Smith has gotten good at picking up useful firearms, He’s been training with a top of the line Dragunov sniper rifle they took off some arms dealers. Miller managed to score some military grade net-guns off of some airport security cops in Munich.  Hunter has installed a Lathe and carpentry workshop in one of the rooms and hand turns the stakes they make.

Home: While each of them has their own places. (Brewer and Fisher were room-mates) They spend and more time at the run down Motel. They park their vehicles in back which makes them invisible from the road. The asphalt parking lot is showing more wear every year and there are multiple places where the grass has simply said, “Fuck this shit” and broken through the asphalt. The place is painted white and has become pitted and decrepit. The name of the place is the “NOE MOTEL” and they keep the exterior of the place looking like no one’s been there in decades.  The place sits at the top of a middling-sized hill which has been peppered and salted with booby traps, Pits with pungie spikes and dead-falls.   There’s one road in and if you use that road, you’ll get there without setting anything off, but they’ve set up alarms on that road so unless you’re able to fly, your ability to get there without them being warned is very small. On more than one occasion, Cooper has been sent to the roof to discourage interlopers with his bow. He’s not good enough yet to routinely hit a target with an arrow that has a lit stick of dynamite tied to it...But that day will come

Circle: They probably know all the cops from Painted Corners and a few of the criminals as well. They occasionally go out as a team and attack mortal criminals mainly for purposes of keeping themselves in cash and weapons. Hunter has schooled them in SWAT tactics and they are efficient and precise like a scalpel. The Criminals don’t normally stand a chance unless they’ve got supernatural juice of their own.  The criminals, they go after at night.  The Vampires, they come for in the daylight.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Walter Blevins

Concept: occult assassin

AKA: Goes by the handle “Iscariot” For those who don’t know, Iscariot translates out to mean ‘Dagger man”

Desc: Pushing fifty and jowly like a bank manager. Iron gray hair and the sort of disposition and demeanor of a chronic Constipation sufferer. Looks somehow like he hasn’t taken a shit in a month. Low and edge filled voice with a dash of silken menace thrown in. Big hammy hands

History: one does not set out to become an occult assassin. One merely gets involved in the occult and discovers that they have certain aptitudes and either goes into business for themselves or get co-opted by the group they belong to into dealing with external threats. In Walter's case, it was the former. Walter had certain talents and realizing that he had the aptitude went Pro-Am. Much of his work involves summoning horrifying creatures from the darkest corners of the spirit world and making deals with them to off the target or summoning and binding a horrifying creature into some warding circle and the tricking the target into breaking the circle. It’s only very rarely that Walter has to actually get his hands dirty and he doesn’t really have the temperament for that. Walter makes a comfortable living and doesn’t have to deal very often with the problematic life of the professional assassin, As in, once he’s assassinated someone, the client then tries to get rid of the assassin. Since Walter mostly uses demons and other less savory creatures as cut-outs, there is so much less to trace back to the client. besides, the things that Walter can do make his clients afraid of going against him.

Attitude:  “No thank you. I’ve seen that contract before and I have no interest in it. I, however, have taken the liberty of drawing up another contract of my own design and I think you’ll find that it will satisfy all of the parties involved. So, Can we begin talking about the target?”

Skills: Physically, Walter is relatively strong in the way that a bulky man with a lot of fat can be from having to haul his own carcass around. But he doesn’t have a lot of wind and isn’t the most dextrous person. Socially. He’s a closed book and not interested in personal relationships for the most part. He has a few friends in the occult circles but he’s not terribly friendly or outgoing and distrusts extroverts on principle. Mentally, he's dangerous. he is knowledgeable about poisons and venomous animals of all sorts. He has undertaken a certain amount of law school and still works as a paralegal because black magic work ebbs and flows. he has also taught himself how to read and speak Latin in his spare time.

Gear: keeps a doctor bag with necessary tools for summoning and banishing and if need be exorcising a spirit from a person place or thing.  Has a few demons that have been bound into throwable articles for a quick escape should he require it.

Home: a smallish house in a relatively peaceful upscale neighborhood. Floor to ceiling with bookshelves. Also home to an extremely vicious cat named “Warren”

Circle: Occultists and that’s about it.

Story Uses:
“It’s not personal you understand. Although I’ll understand if you take it personally.”
Walter is a killer. Or rather he’s the sort of person who gives marching orders to the actual killers. So if you’re attacked in your home by a colour out of space. Or something equally horrific, it’s likely to be Walter on the other end of that attack. Some people only know him as a talent summoner. Others are aware of the darker nature of his work and steer clear of him accordingly.
Speaking of potential options. Walter may have a hedge magic template or may, in fact, be a full magus. If he is a full magus, He is unlikely to be involved with the pentacle magi at all. Exarchs, however, may welcome him to their bosom.

he is no longer welcome in Merl's. There was a misunderstanding. Someone got hurt. It was all very sordid. Now no one can stand to be in the kitchen. Walter didn't have to be told not to come around anymore. He does miss the gossip though.
Blaise Newark  "Are you kidding me? he's my best guy. and he almost never misses."
Ralston Van Doren "Walter's good for removing problems that can't be dealt with more personally."
Special Agent Owen Maccready "I am sure I have seen these markings and this handwriting before."
The Vermillion House "My home away from home."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Judge Stephen Warren

Concept: Your Juridical nightmare (Part 2)

AKA: Not the sort of guy to attract nicknames.

Desc: White Anglo Saxon Protestant, and to such a degree that he resembles an X-Men Villain. Snow white hair that would fill Mike Pence with a gnawing envy. Skinny and pale. Bright blue eyes. Favors dark suits when not in his actual robes. Looks weirdly uncomfortable in casual wear. 

History: it is an unfortunate fact of life that people who are truly what you might call a “Villian” are always convinced that they are good and decent people and that they are doing the right thing. Whereas good and decent people are never really sure.  It’s like the Dunning-Kruger effect of morality. Steve Warren grew up VERY conservative. He was born into a monied and a politically oriented family. So he was groomed from an early age with certain attitudes and philosophies.
And those attitudes and philosophies managed to survive contact with other people at law school.
Look. It’s not as if Stephen is some kind of monster. He’s not. But he IS a racist, a sexist, And he considers any person with a religion that isn’t extremely protestant to be kidding themselves, and also tends to take their belief as a personal affront. (God help you if you walk into his court and profess a belief in the Church of the Subgenus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He’ll throw you up under the jail if he can.) Worse, He is routinely put into the position of holding the lives and livelihoods of people in his hands. His attitude towards the “peasantry” is well known and certain lawyers play up to it.
Stephen is a circuit court judge. Which means, that many times he is called on to provide judging for cases that happen in PC town and the surrounding counties which don’t have their own district courts. 

Attitude: “ The wheels of society can only turn when people understand the concept of right and wrong. YOU, Clearly have poor judgment when it comes to this most basic understanding. And you should feel bad about yourself. I’m remanding you to the Clearwater Penitentiary for a period of not less than six months and may GOD have mercy on your soul.

Skills: Physically, he’s not much. he’s got decent stamina because he’s shtupping a college girl and it’s put some actual muscle on his core and lower back. Socially, He’s pretty potent, especially with a certain segment of rich white people. He also is as intimidating as fuck when he’s working. Intellectually, He doesn’t seem to recognize that things are going to catch up to him and that maybe Karma is working on something special for him. He’s never been the brightest student. (He’s never had to be. His father bought the law school a building) and when it comes to women younger than his wife, he can’t seem to keep his hands off of them. He has fantasies about visiting someone charged with contempt of his court and then ruthlessly dominating them in their cell. SO, If you’re a woman and stuck in such a situation, where you are clearly ASKING FOR IT. He’s going to be licking his lips and seeing if it’s going to be possible.

Gear: Has a small pistol which he possesses a concealed carry permit for. Also has a smartphone

Home: Has a palatial McMansion out there in the rich suburbs. His wife Deirdre, spends much of her time and effort making certain that the place is neat as a pin and is a showplace on ten minutes notice. As a means of relaxing after ordering the domestics around all day, Deirdre enjoys being vigorously rogered by the Pool Boy and the Chauffer. Sometimes, both at once.
Deirdre is a sharp-voiced harridan and is easily as loathsome as Stephen is. She is a wheel in Reverend Mike’s church and her strident attitudes are easily as horrifying as Stephens

Circle: As you would imagine, Stephen and his wife surround themselves with like-minded, lily-white rich people and it should be no surprise that they hold membership in the Vermillion House.
Judge Warren also donates to white supremacist causes, although, he is smart enough at least to be sneaky about it and insulate himself somewhat.  Being a circuit court judge is an elected position and so far, it’s still not easy to get elected if you belong to the KKK. Boy, DIdn’t used to the be the case though. My grandfather told me stories...

Story Uses:”Look me in the eye when I’m talking to you!”
Obviously, Judge Warren is likely to be your personal nightmare if you end up in front of him. Especially if you happen to be a Woman or a POC. Or Poor. He will fuck up your life, and then go home and sleep in his enormous house...and not lose a wink of sleep over you. Once they drag you out, he will forget your face and your name.

“Don’t worry about any of that. I’ll take care of it.”
Naturally, all the things that make Stephen kind of loathsome, are the same sort of things that make him a useful tool. So, naturally, You’re going to want to put him in your pocket. There’s just one problem. The Vermillion House considers him an asset that ought to be protected. He possesses a ring that was gifted to him by one of their number. As long as he wears it, he possesses the merit(s) Unseen senses, and Indomitable. Not insurmountable, surely, but will make things interesting.

The Vermillion House (Considers him worth cultivating. He's a natural stopping point for any kind of scandal that might affect them. and he won't see a single ethical problem with it.)
The Caboose (A regular, as you might imagine. has a taste for girls into nose candy.)
Officer Honus Brightwater "he's a fine upstanding young man. Our community is lucky to have him."
Holmes, Gillis, Baker, Savage, North, and Dean "They're always fun to watch. Roderick and I went to law school together. No idea why he pals around with that... Cullen Gillis.Also: That Ilyana Baker? Quite possibly the best fuck of my life..."
Reverend Mike Plumber "Mike's a good man. Just one of the boys. He's great at barbecue. Also, keeps the peasants in line. It really is true, Religion is the opiate of the masses.  Mike is our Pfizer."
Robert Nathan Herbert "Don't worry about a thing Robert. I'll see to it, that none of your boys have a problem."
Christine Horowitz "Yeah. Someday. I'm going to stick my dick in that and reeducate that little bitch. Then I'm going to get her disbarred."
Reverend Dr. Miranda Goines  "This one...Ugh. Too bad she's smart enough and rich enough to be able to afford a really decent lawyer. I'd LOVE to throw the book at her."
Judge Mattarazzo  "John. You really need to stop acting as if your shit doesn't stink."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

John Freeland

Concept: Neo-Nazi, Wolf-Blooded, Psychopath, all around fun guy...

AKA: Although John is his first name. His original last name is Stinnett. He has had his last name legally changed to “Freeland”   

Desc: A blocky frame loaded with muscle. Plentiful ink mostly with a racialist themes obviously. Ice blue eyes and head shaved. He has 4 straight scar marks on his left arm.

History: For as long as John Freeland can remember, He’s had a rotten temper. It wasn’t helped by the fact that his dishrag mother lived in terror of his absentee father. And it never helped that he got that nasty temper FROM that absentee father. Who would occasionally turn up and hear about fights at school and then beat the living shit out of his wayward son. It got worse and worse as John grew up and filled out. Then, one afternoon, out in the garage, it all came to a head. And that afternoon, John Stinnett Sr. ended up meeting his maker with a large silver knife in his throat.
    Later that day, after the body had been disposed of, John joined the army.  He learned a lot, but also spent some time in the stockade. Never did get that nasty temper completely under control.
   After he mustered out, he found himself at loose ends. He did some dodgy things. Got shot once or twice, but never died from it, although he probably should have. But eventually, He got caught. He got sentenced, and then he got sent to the pen.
     Normally, this would be the end of the story but for two factors. 1) John was sent down for assault, A fairly short jolt. and 2) While he was inside, he decided to crew up with the Aryan Brotherhood.
    I won’t say they “Changed his life for the better”. But they gave him direction, purpose, and an outlet for his seemingly boundless rage. Which is more than anyone else had ever given him.
   John has given his whole life for the cause and the "14 words" are tattooed on his soul. In this, he’s no more than an ordinary person whose devotion to something greater than himself has become total. But John is not ordinary. Not by a long chalk.
     John Freeland is wolf-blooded. Not only that, but he loathes the People that he comes from. While he is allergic to the touch of Silver, it doesn’t stop him from using a silver weapon or two in case he runs across someone like his father. Each time he has, he marks his arm with that same silver knife he slew his father with.
   He has risen in the ranks. His devotion, his raw presence, and his Wolf-Blood gifts have given him an edge that has enabled him to achieve a level of command in racialist circles. Because of his criminal record and the fact that he routinely violates the conditions of his parole, he moves around constantly. He makes connections among doomsday preppers, sovereign state enthusiasts, and the KKK. He has the sort of Alpha wolf vibe that those sort of people respond to instinctively.  While he is not the loose cannon that he used to be and doesn’t kill unless he needs to, he will do so without hesitation or a moments loss of sleep.

Attitude: “There was only one man walking this world that ever made me afraid. He’s dead now.”

Skills: Mentally, He’s about average. He’s not exactly dumb, but his education is very lacking and he’s never been a strong reader. He had a lot of trouble getting through some of the AB literature and that was stuff he was keenly motivated to read and know.
Socially, He’s not a practiced liar and has never been exactly “Cool”, But he does have a sort of ineffable presence that people respond to. Socially, he’s got a decent pile of dots for dealing with people and much of depends on that presence.  He’s very convincing when he wants to be. He’s almost a racist warrior-poet. If you can wrap your head around that shit.
Physically, he’s a beast. Strong, Fast, hardy as fuck. a trained combatant with fists, hand weapons, and guns. He likes the large stuff.  So the Heavy Weapons fighting style isn’t out of line for him.
You can certainly load him up with most of the useful physical merits and fighting merits and it won’t necessarily be too much.  Although he doesn’t really have the patience to truly master anything. He might still have 2-3 dots in 3-4 styles and that makes him deadly and flexible.
On the mystical side:  His Wolf-blood tells are: A wolf’s meat and Anger Issues. He also possesses the Tribe Merit: Hikaon-Urs Blood (Enabling him to see in the dark) and The Auspice Merit: Full Moon Birth. (He’s always had a way with tactics and command.)

Gear: He’s got a smartphone, A cobra GT which has been heavily modified to the point where it will LOSE any cop car on the street right now. It’s also lightly armored. He has a small arsenal in the trunk and a go bag. He pays cash for everything. He is adept at short range stick up jobs and doesn’t worry even when some punk cashier shoots him. Although, that person is liable to get himself stomped.

Home: As mentioned, He tends to move around a lot.  In nearly every area he goes. He’ll set up housekeeping with some woman that he meets in the group he’s currently working with. (He doesn’t care if they're married. That’s HER problem.)  He’s only interested in having someone around that he can fuck and then won’t bother him, so most of the women he gravitates to are easy on the eye and particularly spineless and low maintenance. At last count, he’s got about a half-dozen women in various places.  If they get pregnant, he drops them like a hot rock.

Circle: John is never going to be one of those old and really smart racist types that actually write the policies and philosophies of the movement. And he’s fine with that.  Those men are past their prime and aren’t the vital lifeblood of the racialist movement. But he’s finding that he’s becoming a known face among the various types of fringe groups and they, for their part think of him as a Legend in the making.  Like the “Bill Brasky” of racist fuckheads. Or something like that.

Story Uses:
“Son. This just ain’t your night.”
In case it’s not clear. This “man” is never going to be anything other than an antagonist and, incidentally, inimical to all life that isn’t straight, white, and “Christian”  He’s had a rough life, to be sure, but so have a lot of people and it didn’t turn them into racists, so... If your character is ALSO scum of this sort, then he might make a good ally or puppet.  But having any kind of interaction with him that doesn’t involve a beating you’re throwing him, ought to make you want a shower.
Just saying.

“Oh yeah. Well since the last time we tangled...I taught my doggy a new trick.
Occasionally, Wolf-Blooded undergo the First Change. It happens. Sometimes it comes on slow. Other times, hard, fast and traumatic. About a year ago, John had a talk with a fellow living in a compound about a state and a half away from here.  That man was Pure.  John didn’t know it at the time but over the course of the evening and MANY drinks. They talked about all sorts of things.  including John’s father.   While the Pure thinks it best to keep John at arm's length for the present, that would certainly change if John were to wolf out permanently. So that Pure set a little spirit to keep an eye on John and run back to daddy on the hop if John should go Gauru. The Pure has a way of laying that “We’re not like the others” speech on new wolves. And it works...It totally works.

* John Freeland is actually the antagonist of a story I wrote about my current Werewolf: the Forsaken character. If you like, you can read that story here.
Klaus Dietrich " Mr. Barrington had me around to his estate once. I have to admit. He impressed the socks offa me.  If he asked me to do something. I would not hesitate and I would not fail.
Homer Conway  "Homer's gone softer than "Whiskey Dick". But I have to admit. Most of the ordinance in my trunk came from him and at decent prices. So...
Robert Nathan Herbert "I hope that if I get to be Bob's age, that I am half as cool as he is. He's a good soldier and a good Christian."

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Shiri McSwain

Concept: Retired Goddess

AKA: Hundreds of names down through the years, occasionally being confused with Catholic Saints, Orishas, Totems and so on. She kind of insists of “Shiri” now.  Says that it keeps HER from getting confused.

Desc: An older woman in her late 40’s but still vibrant and active. Walks a lot,. Does the hot yoga. Beautiful smile and laugh lines. More like crinkles. Everything on her is still high and perky. Brown eyes still from her first form. For some, it’s the only way to recognize her from the old days. She still likes to keep her hair long and curly.  Besides, her hubby likes it that way. Has a tattoo on her left arm which reads “Aperi cor tuum, et non sequitur sapientia”  (Trans: Open your heart and wisdom will follow) She got it when she was young but never got tired of it. Not everyone notices this, but Shiri doesn’t ever really get cold. Her husband HAS noticed that she’s nice and toasty at all times, but if he’s got a problem with that, he’s never said as much.

History: Not to put too fine a point on it. But Shiri used to be a goddess. A hearth goddess to be exact. A tender of the flame of knowledge and wisdom and she’s held that position since she was formed until the present day.
   Oh sure, worshippers aren’t exactly thick on the ground. But a long time ago, Shiri got the idea to spread her influence into any pantheon that didn’t raise a stink, and also to cut WAY back on what she needed in order to do her work. I mean, it’s not like she’s a war god or anything. Not too many people go seeking knowledge or enlightenment anymore. or even EVER.

In truth, she’s never really sought worshippers. Her people come to her. And when they do she cherishes them. They don’t always prosper, but they always come away from the ups and downs of life with more wisdom than they expected.
Or at least they did.

Over the centuries, the need for gods and goddesses has diminished, although SOME gods and goddess haven’t taken it as such and are as much of a pain in the ass as you’d imagine.  Shiri gave up all that Pantheon politics bullshit long ago and took physical form.  Lots of Gods and Goddesses end up getting caught up in the inevitable push broom of the war between heaven and hell...and as the saying goes, You go where the work is.

But Shiri got out of all that. She went native and although she shakes it up every 50 years or so, She likes her lives for the most part.
Take this life, for example, She has a job doing what she loves. She’s the head librarian of the main branch of the Public Library. That big one over on McFarland Avenue. She married an economist (Robert Mcswain) who is slowly becoming a semi-famous economist. (It helps that he’s an excellent and funny writer and can make economics engaging and fun.)
   And she’s even involved in mortal politics a little this time around. She attached herself to a progressive candidate after hearing him speak and then having an INTERESTING conversation with him about how Libraries across the nation are under attack.  It’s a concept near and dear to her heart, after all, she invented them.

Oh sure, It’s not like she doesn’t have supernatural stuff going in her life occasionally. Her best friend in the city was mummified according to ancient Chinese rites and is still creeping around. Shiri is as Pansexual (and Sapiosexual) as they come. But even her husband doesn’t seem to mind when they take each other to bed.  Occasionally, Family and less desirable sorts, seek her out for aid with this or that problem.  Occasionally, she’ll feel a new worshipper asking for her in the old ways, and she gets curious and seeks them out.  Occasionally, some Beast or some Vampire will wander into her domain and wish they hadn’t...Because her fire won’t burn books or knowledge...But it’ll fuck up a vampire’s night just fine.

But Shiri doesn’t go looking for a fight. And if she can manage it, any conflict coming towards her will fall apart or lose energy before it gets to her. And if that doesn’t work...FIRE. Probably in your face.

She loves Robert. And she’ll age with him up to a point...But at some point, they’ll part. Both know it, and they do what they can to love another until they do. Shiri has seen the alternative. Knows many people who’ve learned ALL the wrong lessons from Immortality. No one can live without love. Not one lifetime. Not a dozen.

Attitude:  ‘Child...I have been at this quite a while. I took a long time to amass this knowledge. You can at least be patient enough to let me unravel it for you.”

Skills: Let’s focus on the mortal shell first. She’s in fine shape for a woman of her age. Heals about as fast as a Werewolf and is capable of some limited shapeshifting. It’s not fast at all so it’s not terribly useful as a means to disguise oneself on the fly, but just fine for assuming a whole other life if she desires. She’s even been a man a time or two.  She has learned a few combat skills, but truly, she feels as if she “loses” anytime she is forced to resort to them. She still practices her Aikido at the “Y”
Her Mental and Social portfolio might be unscalable in this game system. The sheer amount of her experience alone could fill a library. if she has a problem at all it is that she might not be up on more modern methods.  She knows science and medicine but is more likely to hew to Newtonian physics rather than the Einstein model and be more capable of knocking something out with a well-made poultice than advanced thoracic surgery.

On the spiritual end of things, Shiri is the same as a class 4 spirit, except permanently embodied. Which is not to say that the physical shell can’t be killed. It can. But eventually, She’ll be able to reform herself physically and continue as she was. (Unless she decides to give it up and go off by herself for while.)
She possesses the following Bans: 
1) She cannot destroy any repository of learning. Her fire cannot burn books, scrolls, or any other medium that carries knowledge. Even DARK knowledge.  She might be able to burn down Fox News, but she hasn’t tried.
2) She cannot refuse anyone who formally requests her counsel (Note: Sharing her wisdom is NOT the same as sharing knowledge or data. She cannot be compelled in THAT fashion)
3) If she is summoned to a hearth using the old rites, she must come. This has been used against her in the past and she generally turns up nowadays loaded for bear until she determines the summoners intent.
4) If anyone burns a book in her presence, she must withdraw. If she sees you again...Well. I wouldn’t want to be you.
5) If she is submerged in running water she will drown like any other human. (This is actually a bane for her. She can’t even swim.)

However, on the plus side she’s got the following Advantages:
5 dots of Influence (Wisdom) 5 Dots of Influence(Fire)
Numina: Aggressive Meme, Blast, Implant Mission, Fate Sense, Innocuous, Omen Trance, Firestarter And Emotional Aura.  

Gear: It should be mentioned, that Shiri uses Omen Trance once a week at least to keep her stock portfolio nice and healthy. In fact, She has an entire investment group that she owns. No one who works there has ever met her. Money isn’t her driving motivator, but there IS a certain amount of Buddhistic calm that comes from money in the bank. Also, when the library is suffering from budgetary shortfalls. Miraculously, an “Anonymous donor” appears.

Home: They live in a lovely little brownstone that is walking distance from both of their jobs. The place is largely furnished in bookshelves as you might imagine. But the funny thing is, most of the books belong to Robert. The dining room has been converted to an office space where they have matching Mac’s facing one another.  Robert, an inveterate Trekker, has dubbed this area “The Bridge” and Shiri is almost able to stifle the rolling of her eyes. There is a hidden armory in the garage which features automatic weapons and a number of esoteric magic weapons as well.
As I mentioned, sometimes Family drops by and they aren’t always pleasant.
They have a guest bedroom which can, in a pinch, double as an operating theater.

Circle: Shiri is beloved by many. Her Library and home are oases of calm and peace for the most part. She knows the neighbors on her block and her banana nut bread is widely touted as being the absolute best. In addition, she is a known name among the people who live on the street. It’s widely known that if you have a library card, and you don’t cause trouble on the premises, that you can head into the main branch downtown and stay all day if you want. Shiri made that policy, and while some of the librarians under her grumble about it, they don’t question her. She’s been right about nearly everything else.

Story Uses:
“ Why would anyone come after me? I’m nobody really.”
Occasionally, even wise ex-goddesses need a bit of protection. Sometimes, Antagonists conceive of the idea that maybe Shiri might attempt to stop them, and decide to whack her first. Other times, it may be that her semi-famous economist husband is upsetting the “accepted wisdom” applecart and things get politically dicey. (Someone tried to run Robert off the road one night.  He didn’t get very far.)  it may be that some friend of hers or family member gets word that someone is coming for her and calls in some markers. However it happens, The PC’s end up babysitting a librarian/goddess.

“Come on in. I’ll put the kettle on and we’ll see if I can help.”
As full-on goddesses go. Shiri is pretty cool. Not overbearing at all. Likes most people and wants to see them prosper. and only gets hateful if you’re a book-burning Nazi fuck, or you hurt Robert at all.  She might make a good mentor if you can convince her that you’re worth it for the long-term. Be prepared to swear some kind of oath if that’s your plan.

Merl's  "Love that place. I think they keep the fireplace lit just for me unless it's summer of course. I don't drink a lot. But every once in a while...And they always treat me like family.
Thomas Jones Rutherford "Thomas is not wrong. The morality of Gods is different from yours. But just as I say that he is not wrong. He isn't right either.  *She shrugs* He doesn't know that I know though. It's probably just as well.
Judge Mattarazzo  "Paul is a peach. He's in the library at least once a week reading international newspapers. Love him. I once caught him instructing one of my new hires in some of the finer arcana of the Dewey Decimal system. He knows this place like the back of his hand.
Tim Deacon & Charlie " Both of these men have been dealt a bad hand by life. Both of them have gifts that most mortals would fear and misunderstand. I only wish I could do more to help them than I already do."
Reverend Dr. Miranda Goines "Every once in while she comes in looking for reference materials that aren't available in the university library (Sometimes it's older city historical documents, The university collection is paltry on that score.) I like her. She has spirit. She reminds me of myself in younger days, before Alexandria..."
Collette Reeves In here every once in a while, making her way through the special collections. Always know what to ask for. She's nice. I like her.  But she does make me wish I was a younger woman or man. Unf.
Rika Martinez "I don't even know if he remembers, But Master Dorje and I met while I was traveling a couple of lives ago. Nice man. Fiercely protective of his scrolls as I remember. Now I see him looking out at me through a young girl's eyes and recognizing me...and I think SHE suspects something as well. The things she checks out are certainly an eclectic mix. It will be interesting to see what form the approach will take.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Shawna Bishop

Concept: Dead Hooker

AKA: On the Street, she used to be known as “Desiree”

Desc: She’s still high and perky like she was in life. Still able to pull off those ridiculous heels. But that little black dress of hers is torn and ragged. and no matter what she tries, she can’t get rid of the make-up fucked up all over her face from the night she begged for her life. It makes her look horrifying to anyone who can actually see her in Twilight.
She has track marks all over her Corpus.

History: When you’re writing about someone who’s met a bad end as the result of fucking strangers for money, it’s so very EASY to get down and wallow in the prurient details of it. I mean, You can see how a person might make an actual decision like, “Hmm. I have a really nice body and a decent computer and not much in the way of marketable skills, why don’t I make my living from rubbing it out on the Internet?”  And, of course, this is a far cry from someone who is saying to themselves, “I have no choice really but to sell my ass on the street.”
   So, I’m going to elide some of the details here rather than lean into the “shocking nature” of it all. Suffice it to say, Dad wasn’t around. Mom wasn’t all that great. Shawna met a guy who came on like a boyfriend, gave her a taste of Heroin, and then the next you know, you’re downtown and climbing into the cars of strange men. There is a certain swiftness to how it all unfolded that caught Shawna by surprise and by the time any sort of pride reared its head, it was already too late.
Tino was the guy’s name. But by the time Tino met HIS bad end, Shawna was sadly dead inside already. She took to the streets herself because by this point she had to have the Horse to keep going at all. The other girls went into business for themselves, but because Shawna couldn’t get clean and stay that way, they didn’t want her along.
and then, of course, She met Lewis Flowers. Lewis enticed her into his car one cold winter night and then he stuck her with some needle full of curare derivative. By the time they made it to his apartment, she couldn’t move or scream. He took his own sweet time cutting her, inch by bloody inch out of this life.  Shawna is philosophical about this to some degree. It wasn’t much of a life to lose.

Now she roams the streets. She’s got enough anchors that she can move around quite a bit. Sometimes, she doesn’t mind using her Emotional Aura and her Rapture Numina to give a girl a break, or even make a some deserving John have a good night. But that’s not often. Her better nature doesn’t really come out all that much. She’s much more likely to use Dement or Drain to fuck up somebody’s night. She’s begged a couple of the other ghost she knows, but not many of them can materialize and they aren’t necessarily inclined to share. Frankly, Shawna makes even the other ghosts nervous. Shawna’s fairly sure that if she can just get her own murder solved, she can move on.
Maybe that’s even true, unlike so many of the things she’s told herself.

Attitude: “See me you fucking bag of puke. See me!”

Skills: In addition to the aforementioned Numina above. Shawna is no great shakes mentally and socially she has some barriers to overcome with anyone, other ghosts included, who can see her. She does have a friend or two among the dead and her Rapture and Dement Numina are rare enough around these parts that she parleys them into small favors. Physically, she’s more likely to run than to stand and fight. And she can't exactly run very fast, if someone can see her and they are particularly observant, they can notice that those ridiculous heels of her are actually chained to her with tiny slender chains. She couldn’t take them off even if she wanted to.

Gear: it might not be a bad idea to talk about her anchors here. Her elderly mother is one. The little razor sharp shiv that was in her purse is another. It sits in an evidence box in the local precinct. (They did find her body before Lewis got more clever about hiding them.) She was in love with one of the other girls in Tino’s stable. A girl named Syrita. Syria has a locket with a picture of Shawna inside, taken during slightly happier times. Each misses the other. If she’s been keeping an eye on Syrita, she’s much more likely to be in a positive mood, although Syrita went with those other girls to start her own business and that unfortunately also makes Shawna super jealous.  
And of course, there’s always Lewis.

Home: She haunts the apartment complex where Lewis hangs his hat. She can’t attack him directly. He’s got some kind of barrier around him and Dement doesn’t actually work on people who already insane. But she can watch his comings and goings and stalk him from a distance.  Other than Lewis, she doesn’t really have any feeling towards anybody else in the complex except for the couple who do nothing but fight. He’s never raised a hand to her, but if he ever does...It’s going to be ON.

Circle: Shawna has trouble making friends on the Twilight side. She’s a bit horrifying to look at, not that that isn’t somewhat common among the dead, but she’s also paranoid and cynical which makes it hard to trust. She might have a couple of friends on this side of the veil but that’s about it.

Story Uses: “Oh you want to play, do you?  See how you do when I turn you inside out.”
Shawna, as hauntings go, is somewhat subtle. She can’t materialize yet and most of her abilities don’t really resemble anything like a haunting.  It might take a while for someone to get onto her unless they have senses that can pick her up. Shawna has heard that there is this group called “Sin Eaters” that can do this. But she is terrified of actually meeting one. Apparently, they can reach across and harm ghosts, even going so far as to COME across and attack ghosts HERE.  So, she keeps a low profile on the Haunting scene unless someone calls in a favor from her and she has to Dement someone in an overt manner.

“C’mon Bela. I need you to notice. He’s going to do it again until someone stops him.”
Naturally, all of that subtlety is going out the window once Shawna figures out a Numina like Sign or Materialize or anything like that. Trying to stick a spoke in Lewis’s wheels is her top priority and she doesn’t give a FUCK if all the sin eaters come after her for it.

Stefan Janofski Her relationship with Stefan is complicated. There are times when she'll go to him looking only for a little comfort in his arms. He, for his part, DOES have feelings for her. But then her paranoia and cynicism rear their ugly heads and she'll stay away for weeks at a time. After all, how could anybody really love a "Filthy whore"?
Detective Marty Bennetti "If there was anybody I'd want to get an eyeful of me, it's THIS asshole.
The Witness Lowell and I have traded favors a time or two. I always like when I'm able to visit. If there's anything I miss about being dead, it's the music.
Grace Cook  Cookie is lonely like I am. If I had a best girlfriend like her before I met Tino...I never would have gone near him I think. She's tried to teach me how to Materialize but for some reason, it doesn't work and neither of us knows why.
Bryson Import/Export  "There WILL be a reckoning for you Esme. I'm gonna fuck you up.
Detective Bela Janofski "I have so much hope that I can eventually talk to him directly one day. But when that day comes, will I be just another dead whore to him?"

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dr. Laney Reese

Concept: ER trauma Doctor

AKA: The name on her birth certificate is actually “Lani” but she’s always gone by Laney.

Desc: 5’1” Bright eyes full of life or caffeination. Long dark hair that she normally keeps ponytailed when she’s on the clock. A cute nose that is not factory issue. She was kicked by a horse once when she was relatively little and now she has a nose that is, as she puts it. “Bionic”  Lean and relatively muscular. Hit’s that gym and still rides horses when she can. Her mother is a Phillipina and she shares some of her coloring. Heels, but only when she’s trying to impress.

History: Laney is the eldest of four siblings.  Her parents have some money. Her father is a chemical engineer and has 3 patented processes under his belt. Her Mom sells Mary Kay and is apparently scary good at it. They aren’t SUPER rich. Laney wouldn’t have gotten into the med school she wanted without her scholarship. But they were certainly upper middle class and there was the opportunity to ride and be around horses when she was young.
   Getting clocked in the face-meats was oddly what led to her being a doctor. The care she received when it took place made an impression on her and while she knows an impressive amount of jack-leg chemistry and mechanical engineering, she wanted to be a doctor.
   Dad was a little disappointed. but only a little. And so, when the time came, he sent his baby girl off to medical school. The plan was, to go into pharmacological research. But in med school, there is a certain amount of base cross training.  One rotation working in the ER, and that was all it took really. Laney couldn’t get enough of the energy of working in the ER. Pharmacology is nice and all, but Trauma surgeons were in serious demand and Laney wanted it.  Laney is smart and moreover, willing to work hard to get what she wants out of life.
   If there is a dark patch in Laney’s it is two-fold. Working in the ER even now is willing to eat up every single minute of her waking life if she lets it.  There isn’t much time for cooking or line dancing, or getting out and simply riding like she likes to do...To say nothing of how difficult it is to meet or date someone outside of the medical field.
   The other bit is that working in the ER can have a deleterious effect on your sanity. First, your sense of humor starts to turn gallows black. The hours can break a person, or cause them to make an error in judgment that can end a career or a life. or both... and last, but certainly not least. Sometimes, in the ER, you might SEE some shit. Shit, you cannot easily explain. Not to yourself. Not to anyone else. I mean, surely that dude didn’t really have fangs, right? Some dental appliance maybe? Right?

Attitude: “Ok. Stay close to me, keep an eye on the back of my neck so you’ll know which way I’m about to pivot. If you feel like you’re going to hurl, don’t try to tough it out and then do something stupid because you can’t focus. Puke right over there and come back here as soon as you’re re-composed. I need 4 hands. I need you to be two of them.”

Skills: Intellectually, she’s pretty strong. More Resolve than anything else. She might get caught flat-footed on occasion, but she recovers quick.  Decent dots in academics with specializations in chemistry, organic chemistry, and mechanical engineering. She’s got a dot or two in crafts as well. and works on her own car right to the point where her toolkit comes up short. At which point she heads over to her parent's house and her dad’s garage. Strong dots of Medicine too with a spec in Trauma medicine. and while she decries the necessity, she’s picked up a dot of politics. She might even have something like Meditative Mind to block out stimulus while she’s working. Encyclopedic Memory might be another good one for her.
   Socially, she stronger in term of presence, she’s never going to be all that good as a manipulator. She just doesn’t have the wiring for it. Her composure is about middling. she doesn’t tend to freeze or flip but it’s still possible. She’d love it if she had a bit more ice water in her veins.  Still, she’s charming and relatively affable. People like her when they get to know her and she’s easy on the eye. If she was able to get out of the hospital more, she'd have a much wider circle of friends.
Physically, She’s not a combatant really. She has been pondering taking martial arts for a long time because of her size, but she never seems to have the time. If it wasn’t for the microscopically small gym on the hospital grounds, she’d be a lump. But as it is, between that, her Fitbit, and some yoga she’s picked up. She fairly decent on the endurance side of things and her hands are as steady as a rock.

Gear: She has a beat-up (looking) z28. That she and her father have kept running like a top all these years. It’ll go pretty damn fast. She keeps a doctor bag in the trunk as long as it’s not too hot. She also keeps a stun gun in her purse. She’s had to ever since the security guard who escorts nurses and lady doctors to their cars started propositioning her. Fortunately, that prick got fired before she had to light him up.

Home: Laney shares a NICE two bedroom apartment with a girlfriend from school. Since Frieda went into Ob/Gyn, naturally she has more time off, but weirder hours. Every once in a great while they get an afternoon off together and lay out by the complex pool. It’s something of a meat market...And sometimes...There’s nothing wrong with that...exactly.

Circle: Laney knows a few dozen medical professionals and a few cops. Her social circle is, by a necessity somewhat curtailed, which is a bit of a shame as she’s an open extrovert.  She’s less active in her church than she used to be, (Taking after her mom, she’s pretty Catholic) but she still makes it for the big holidays. That totally counts. Right?

Story Uses:
“Can you understand me? Blink once for yes, twice for no and 3 times for “I don’t know”.
It is possible that you could end up waking up with Laney looking down over trying to shine a light in your eye. How the two of you proceed from there is largely down to whether or not she’s realized your pulse is not normal or non-existent. Laney, for her part, is liable to be more curious than terrified.

“And who exactly GAVE you my number?”
Most supernatural people and indeed a number of criminal professionals find the concept of going to the Hospital for ANYTHING to be anathema. but every once in a while there are problems that supernatural healing can’t get, or your discount back-alley sawbones can’t do a thing for.  In such case, You go or you try to get Laney to come to you. Which is a bit of crapshoot unless she OWES for something.

August Ulascewitz "Treated him for a snakebite once. He flirted...which was awkward."
Officer Karl Richter "Pulled two bullets out of him. See him around every once in awhile. I wouldn't mind taking a bite of that. But he's married, and I met her and she was nice... Damnit."
Detective Marty Bennetti "No idea how that man is still alive. You should have seen the knife scar on him. Funny guy though. I remember that.
Chris Murphy "I saw him when they brought him in DOA. It's all bullshit. What they said in the papers? Bullshit!
Meredith Shaw Yes. I know her. Everybody who rides knows everyone else who rides. No. I don't like her much.
Dr. Ronnette Franklin "You didn't hear this from me. But I know Ronnie's still practicing. and on occasion, I kick her some work whenever I can. Everyone who works those insane hours in their residency uses SOMETHING to stay up and awake. Her only sin was getting caught and being black. Which is bullshit. Tell a friend. You heard it here first."
Doris Badenov  "I think he tried to kill himself. He came in here bleeding from an ugly throat wound and right up to the edge of alcohol poisoning.  We patched him up and pumped his stomach...and he came to the next day. He seemed surprised and a bit pissed. I have no idea what's going on in that man's life. But I worried when he walked out A.M.A.
Norman Cayce "Occasionally, we get some overlap with the County coroner's office. As like as not they send Norman. He's good people but I think he needs more sunlight and maybe work a bit less. Hello Kettle. By the way, did you know you were black?"