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?"

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sgt. William Donnelly

Concept: Old School Desk Sergeant

AKA: The fellas around the station refer to Sgt. Donnelly as “The Old Man” But there are only a few who say it without any sort of respect. Usually, that falls away over time.

Desc: Middling tall. Rock solid except for his waist which has a pooch that resists all efforts to remove it. Receding hairline of course, but still black as a raven’s feather.  He’s got that patch of broken capillaries across the bridge of his nose. His tolerance for alcohol is near superhuman now. He’s got knuckles that bespeak a few fights in his day.  He still has Tats from his days as a Marine.

History: Bill Donnelly has been doing this for a long time. He’s old school. The sort of cop that other cops end up looking up to and respecting, even if they didn’t like him much when they first started out.
    There’s a reason for that. Bill Donnelly is a big believer in that whole concept of the “Thin Blue Line” He supports his men. Talks to them when they need talking to. Buys them drinks. Buys them coffee when they’ve had too many drinks. Listens patiently.
Often, Bill is the first person that a member of the public encounters or can even talk to if they have a complaint. At least 95% of the time, those complaint reports end up “getting lost”
But the other 5%.   Ah. That’s when it gets complicated.
   You see there are some things you can do that will cross the line. There ARE sins that one can commit that disgrace one’s brothers and sisters and the Badge.  Bill doesn’t exactly consider himself the best Catholic, Too much drinking and fighting he thinks...  But there have been occasions when Bill has taken it upon himself to throw a beating to an officer that he felt desperately needed it or deserved it.  Sometimes this means an attitude adjustment. On at least a couple of occasions, it’s meant an officer leaving the force. Sometimes on a hospital gurney...

Attitude: “Look kid. You earned that badge. And that’s yours by right. and I’m sure you’ve done what you can to make this town a better place. But I looked into what the little girl said... You get to keep your badge. But your KNEES are another story ya mother-scratcher.”

Skills:  Physically, Bill is closing in on 60 but he’s got more energy than any 4 of the 20-year-olds in the department. He teaches courses in Boxing and Wrestling at the local “Y” and is a good teacher in this regard. He’s got an economy of movement that you tend to see in combatants in their later years and he’s surprisingly fast.  He’s never been the best shot, a problem that plagued his confidence on the streets. But he can work a shotgun just fine. He’s likely to have Brawling Dodge, Disarm, and dots in Boxing and Wrestling fighting styles.
Socially, He’s fine. He has friends in the department, and friends outside the department too. He’s a seasoned bureaucratic bad-ass and is utterly terrifying as an Interrogator. He’s even got a dot or two of Animal Ken from when he was on the Equine patrol.
Mentally: He’s about average. High school education. Some dots of Streetwise and Investigate, of course.  He’ll have a few dots of Politics, simply because while he has no ambition to rise higher than he has within the department, He also wants to be left alone to do his darn job.

Gear: Bill is NEVER without a firearm and a snap baton. Often, he’ll also have a holdout piece on his person and a shotgun for those occasional forays into the field. His home and his vehicle will also have back-ups. Bill had a bad experience once with being unarmed, and he swore, never again.  He’s got a smartphone but he only ever uses it to keep up with Facebook. 

Home: Bill lives alone. He’s got a nice little apartment. He’s almost never home though. Usually only to sleep.
His time off is usually split between the courses he teaches at the “Y” and the homes of his brothers and sisters.Mostly looking after his Nieces and Nephews...and THEIR kids.  He’s also active in his church. Going back to the apartment is a grim reminder of all the relationships that just didn’t have the staying power over the years. When he finally does retire though, he’s thinking he’d have to get himself a dog.

Circle: Bill’s circle is pretty broad. He’s liable to have allies and contacts all over the map. Also, in terms of the department, he knows where at least a few of the bodies are buried. There are at least a couple of things that will slot into proper hands if Bill should meet with an untimely end.

Story Uses:
“That reminds me of a story” 
Bill Donnelly is one of those sorts of guys who would make a good mentor. He’s tough-minded and usually fair. He’s willing to teach what he knows and takes pride in teaching thoroughly.  His teaching methods may be rough but they are never needlessly cruel.  Perhaps your PC is a member of law enforcement or maybe one of his “Y” students.  His stories are always told with a purpose in mind and they are by turns, horrifying and laugh out loud funny.

“I’m sorry ma’am. But that officer has been here all night doing paperwork”  
If there is a flaw in Bill’s character, it is that he is ALWAYS going to give his fellow officers the benefit of the doubt, and even so, might turn a blind eye to certain activities that he KNOWS are wrong. Like, being on the take...Cops have a hard job and the pay certainly sucks, so why shouldn’t the boys have the occasional nice thing? Right? Naturally, there are few things that cannot ever be countenanced, But if it all comes down to your word against the word of one of his boys or girls...Well. Sucks to be you.

"Yeah. I may have seen something like this before"
In terms of options, Donnelly might be a secret ghoul or a secret wolf-blooded.  In any case, He's seen some freaky shit in his day and isn't likely to discount a wild tale from a fellow officer out of hand. He may also be part of The Union or at least very friendly to their cause.

Lt. Lorraine Janofski "One of the best. I'm glad she's doing well."
Thomas Jones Rutherford "Oh yeah. The writer guy. I've talked with him a time or two. Very generous fella. I'd think by now he'd know the cop biz like the back of his hand.
Officer Karl Richter "You watch, that kid is going to be Captain someday."
Bartholomew Reines "I'd like to meet and get my hands on this fella someday. Every single student of his that I've ever had, I've had to re-train. He's a menace.
Reverend Dr. Miranda Goines "Hey Miranda, how's the family? You know the drill, right?"
Christine Horowitz  "I don't care for this young lady and her accusations against my boys. I'd tell you more but I'm afraid I'd have to feed the swear jar."
Rory O'Halloran "We're probably related. Best Irish cuisine I ever tasted. Good guy to talk to as well."
Miss Virgie Hawkins "Mike Hawkins was a lucky man. I was a groomsman at his wedding. and I think nearly every time I go into Hanlon's that I miss her face and her great advice. I don't think I would have gotten to where I am today without it.  I understand from her son that she's gone into the ghost hunting business. Ordinarily, I'd probably side with him...except...I've seen a thing or two. Man...If these walls could talk.
Officer Wesley Ullman "It's just a matter of time with this kid. The only question is, "Is he going to take anybody with him?"

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Santos Martinez

Concept: The King Inside

AKA:  “Little S”  “Ghost Eyes”  “El salvaje”

Desc: On the short side, but muscular and wiry. His boys have seen him climb up in the pockets of bigger dudes and beat the living shit out of them from sheer ferocity. Keeps his hair short, and his face shaved because his Mamacita likes it like that. Strong intelligence in his eyes. 

History: When Santos was little. His Abuella told him, “Santos, you must be strong and you must keep your eyes open and pay attention. Everyone is going to try to make life rough on you. But you must not let them...”
Santos never forgot what his Abuella told him. She sat on the side of his bed and brushed the hair out of his eyes and wept for him knowing that he would face many struggles in his life.
    When he got up for school the next day...They told him that his Abuella had passed away in the night.
And he had known...that it was not a dream.

Santos was never going to be a good student. He couldn’t see very well and he fell behind in reading.  But he was a good listener and many time could manage to pick things up that way.  He also had come from a large family. 2 brothers and 3 sisters. So his social intelligence was off the charts. He got good at reading people. And when he got picked on for his size. He never bothered with trying to tell the teacher. He would wait, be patient, and then, at some point find one of the people who’d picked on him and jump the guy from behind with a sock full of pennies.  After a while, other kids stopped picking on him.  One of his uncles, one of the dead ones taught him that.

The gang guys came around looking for fresh meat. Santos joined because he needed money and he wanted respect. He got both. Mainly because he had something the other new recruits lacked.  He was tough already, and he knew things. He knew things that he had no business knowing. And anytime he failed, or screwed up, or caught a beating he didn’t deserve. He used it as a means to learn and toughen up more rather than cry about how unfair it all was. 

He rose through the ranks. He was smart. Maybe not book smart. But certainly street smart. And while he still wasn’t a strong reader, he could do math like he could breathe it.  His only strange habit was that he would still go to church on Sunday.  He could be seen making offerings and lighting candles and visiting graves. No one seemed to know why and when he occasionally got asked about it, all he would say was. “Hey. It’s not for me you understand. It’s for my mother.”

But it wasn’t.  Santos is a fairly strong medium. He has no trouble bartering with ghosts for things they want to be done in the real world in exchange for useful information. Sometimes it’s simple. “Light a candle for me at mass”  Sometimes it’s not simple. “Talk to my woman and tell her to move on with her life.”  Sometimes it’s lucrative. “Tell my son where I stashed the money so he can get out.”   Santos might take SLICE, you understand, But he’d never cheat the dead because they ain’t got nothing to do but make you miserable if you do.

Santos pays attention. Some months ago, he got popped and went for a middling long jolt on the inside. But even inside, he’s got more pull on the streets than most. Between his weekly phone calls to his woman, messages he can pass through guards he’s intimidated or bought off, and the occasional bit of haunting, He gets the job done. And lately, he’s been finding that sometimes it’s SAFER to be inside. Being up at Clearwater Correctional Institute for Men is no picnic certainly. But there are times when it’s goddamn peaceful compared to being out on the streets.

Still. Santos is working the angles and hopes to manage an early release. He’s kept his set together by dint of solid planning, having REALLY good people radar and putting his homeboys into roles that play to their strengths, and again, the occasional bit of haunting. Most of his boys think he’s into the Santeria shit hardcore. He’s not, although he does lean into the expectation if it’s useful and probably wouldn’t mind learning more if he could find someone who could teach him.

Attitude: “it’s good to know things, Esse. And when you fishing blind...It’s even better to act like you know more than you do.

Skills: On the physical side, He’s tight. Better with a knife than with a gun. Pretty decent with his fists, likely to have dots of Boxing and probably brawling dodge and stuff like that.
On the social side, he holds very few people dear and is distrustful of anyone who isn’t from his hood or isn’t actually deceased. It’s not that can’t be social mind you. He’s actually quite adept when he wants to be. He just has trust issues. As I mentioned, He’s good at reading people and it’s saved his life more than once in the yard.
Mentally, He’s a product of street education. Long on streetwise, heavy on tactics and organization. But short on actual academics.  He can certainly read, but most of the time he tends to think of it as a waste of time. His one literary vice is military manuals. He tends to pick them up at flea markets. Lately, his woman has been sending them to him.
As far it goes, He’s got Unseen Sense (Ghosts) AND the Medium merit, or he might, if you want him to have a bit more juice, have something like the “Voodoun” template from Second Sight (Obviously, It’ll be more like Santeria, but the powers are probably very close to one another.)  He may even be a Sin Eater in some way.

Gear: As a habitual offender in for a fairly long bit, Santos doesn’t really have a lot in the way of gear. But unlike a lot of dudes, Santos only ever really keeps a pad of paper and a pen in his cell with him. He’s very very self-contained.

Home: Block D. Cell 14.  Although, back home, He and his girl had a nice place. Lita needed a bit more room than Santos ever would. Lita’s garden was the pride of the neighborhood.

Circle: His boys. His girl. His family. His Dead People.

Story Uses:
“Yeah...I heard all about you. Although I AM surprised you came all this way to see me.”
It’s possible, that from inside, Santos might be issuing orders that are causing you and your fellows PC’s some problems. Nothing to do with YOU necessarily, just muscling some other dudes, and maybe there are problems with other people getting caught in the crossfire. Hey, homes, it’s just business, you know?

“”Some friends of mine put the word out. I just wanted to see who would come calling.”
It may be, with his other “career”, that Santos hears about things going on in the old neighborhood. You never know, he might seek the PC’s out in order to professionally befriend them.

Carlos Villalobos "I met this guy once. Never seen somebody shoot so fast. Glad I was his back-up that day instead of being downrange of him.
William Lee Travis  "Yeah. I don't mess with that guy. If you're smart, you won't either.
Jack Marston "Man. I don't blame that guy. He was just doing his job. That don't make us friends though."
Rika Martinez Santos's cousin is Rika's pop. Maybe weird shit just runs in the Martinez family.
Clavo Hernandez "Days gonna come when I'm going to get out of here, and when that happens, I'm going to drop off the radar.  My man's already seen to it."

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Stefan Janofski

Concept: Dead Cop

AKA: Stefan used to be referred to by his siblings as “Choirboy” because (A) he WAS in the choir, and (B) he was the only one of the Janofski kids to embrace the Catholic Faith.

Desc: In life, Stefan Janofski was a real specimen. 6’5” blond and blue-eyed. Strong-jawed and broadly framed.  He was the kind of fellow in the Police academy that they call, “A Gazelle”   Many times when a person dies there are marks left on them, like some residual stain on them. Stefan doesn’t have that except that his skin is darker than it was in life. As if it were charred.

History: Like his dad before him, Stefan ALWAYS wanted to be a cop. He wanted to be like his father because his father was a superhero in his eyes. Don Janofski would just shake his head and smile and say, “Kid. Be better than me.  Be BIGGER than me.”

Don died in the line of duty, and even as the Janofski kids stood around the casket, each made their own promises about being cops. Not all of them came true.

On his birthday, Stefan applied to the academy. He breezed through the physical part as everyone knew he would. But he struggled with the classwork as everyone who knew him knew he would. Stefan’s never been a strong reader. But he’s never been one to quit either. So he did everything he could. He got a tutor. He listened to his sister’s advice. Did subliminal videos on Youtube to help with memory retention.  You name it. He did it. and it worked.  He came through with flying colors...Well ok, he did alright.  

Unlike his sibs, Stefan LOVED being a street cop. The test for Detective had him totally intimidated anyway. He was a likable guy though, could play the political game and made a number of friends in the department pretty fast.  He was brave. He was mostly honest. and he had the decorations to prove it.

But he never took a nickel that wasn’t his. He didn’t begrudge anyone else doing it. It wasn’t his way to question that. He understood that times were hard and that cops have rough lives. He never so much as gave any of his friends a sour look.  He just never took any for himself.

And it made them nervous. Never so much as a peep to his family, as near as anyone could tell. Maybe even saved their lives as there was a LOT of money involved. But one night as he started up his personal ride, it exploded killing him instantly.

So, Stefan’s been off the count for a while now. He keeps an eye on his old friends because he suspects a number of them. He keeps an eye on his younger brother and sister and deals with the occasional swells of Pride/Jealousy that goes along with that. And he keeps a paternal eye on the rest of the department as best he can...
But he still itches to know who pulled the trigger and who gave the order. Maybe Heaven still is there for a good Catholic boy if he can just figure out how to solve his own murder...from beyond his own grave.

Attitude:  “C’mon Grieder. You’re the smartest cop I know. Surely you can see these cops are dirty as fuck. Jesus, I wish I could talk to you direct.

Skills: Physically, he’s something of a beast and fairly well trained in various forms of combat arts. Unless you’re on THIS side of the divide, that’s unlikely to come up.
Socially, He’s pretty strong. Always likable and easy to talk to, He’s been working on becoming a better and keener student of human psychology and watching over his little brother’s shoulder. His sister’s too if he’s honest with himself.
Mentally, Well... He’s NOT stupid. He DOES have some low-grade learning disabilities. But does LISTEN better than he reads. It’s not out of line for him to have a couple of dots in Occult (Spec: Catholicism) and investigation picked up from work on the streets. 
On the Ghostly side of things he’s got the following Numina:
Drain: Which he’s used more than once to chill out a suspect or two 
Emotional Aura: Which he’s ALSO used more than once to chill someone out. He’s also been working over some of his former friends with guilt and the occasional bout of Pre-psychotic rage.
Implant Mission: Which he’s used on at least a few people to get them to look into his own murder. (There really isn’t much in the way of evidence.) But he’s also used it like, “Dude’s I don’t know why, But we need to find Waldauer right fucking now!”
Sign: He’s just learned this one, He’s trying to figure out a way to use it subtly. If someone twigs to the fact that there are ghosts in the precinct house it could be bad.

Gear: Ghost. No gear really.

Home: Stefan is lucky insofar as he has a LOT of Anchors. Both of his Sibs, His “Friends”, His old car and it’s various constituent parts. and the precinct house.  As such, he gets around a bit more than many ghosts do. Sometimes, he posts up on the roof of the Precinct House. It’s peaceful...if there isn’t an argument with Murphy.

Circle: Stefan knows a few ghosts. He’s had a conversation or two with a mage but getting those people to do anything is like trying to nail Jello to a tree.  He’s seen a Beast or two.
And he’s heard of Sin Eaters but he’s yet to run into one. He’s not sure he wants to.

Story Uses:
“C’mon kid use your head. It doesn’t have to be like this.”
As I said, he takes a certain proprietorial attitude towards his fellow officers. Your first encounter with him might be something like him having to talk down some kid with PTSD and reflexes that are too fast for his own good.

“Look, I don’t have much time and I know you can hear me...”
Stefan can rest if his murder is solved.  He’s been on the prod to do just that but the cover-up was pretty good and it’s a cold case by now. His brother and sister obviously still work it a bit. But if he got a new player on the board with abilities that his siblings DON’T have, it might get it rolling again.

Officer Karl Richter "This guy. He should NOT have walked away from that. What the fuck?"
Detective Nell Wesley  "Nell's Ok. She's going to get killed...but she's ok.
Detective Marty Bennetti "Pretty sure THIS fucker had something to do with me being deceased. Can't BELIEVE he's a dick now."
Detective Dana Crowley "I'm fairly sure that if I can get evidence into her hands... She'll make sure that it gets dealt with."
Chris Murphy "My debate partner. I get why he's angry. I do. Sometimes though...He can be a bit hard to take."
Miss Virgie Hawkins "I think she can sense me, but I don't think she can actually hear or see me. Kills me, because I could really use her advice right now."
Officer Wesley Ullman "Sooner or later, this man is going to kill someone"
Detective Bob Greider  "You know, for a while there I thought Bob could figure all of this out, so I bothered him some. It's not really in his hands though. Still...I do enjoy watching the man work his magic."