The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [On the Trail of the Pumpkin King]

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Prince Dagon, Carter Saxon]

Post by Yojimbo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:20 am

Carter Saxon
Three years ago, agent of the crown Carter Saxon had followed the German industrialist Doctor Helmut Faustus from his ancestral castle in West Germany to Egypt. Faustus, in search of ancient technology, was hoping to plunder the secrets of the pharaohs. Saxon was on hand to observe and report, interfering only if absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, action proved necessary. Faustus’ minions got wind of Saxon’s presence, and murdered Saxon’s contact, just as Faustus uncovered a scarab shaped device in the sands of the Valley of Kings. Incensed at the death of his ally, Saxon infiltrated Faustus’ desert camp but he was discovered and locked up. Torture and a cruel death seemed inevitable, but Faustus’ niece Ingrid, attracted to the dashing secret agent, freed him. Before escaping into the desert, Saxon slipped into Faustus’ tent and stole the scarab device.

For some reason, the scarab then activated, attaching itself to Saxon and bonding to his nervous system. A flood of information in an alien language exploded in Carter’s mind. The scarab was extraterrestrial in origin, a powerful alien technology that fell to Earth thousands of years ago. Semi-sapient, the scarab morphed into its current shape in order to mimic ancient Egyptian jewelry, but was now stuck in that form. Saxon used his newfound abilities to smash Faustus’ expedition, but the twisted doctor escaped. With Ingrid, Saxon returned to England to report to his superiors.

The scarab cannot be removed from Saxon without killing him, nor can the alien technology be adequately analyzed while it is bonded to a bearer. Still, loyal to the crown, Saxon has become one of Victoria’s most powerful and dangerous agents.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 18 (+4) CON: 18 (+4) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 14 (+2) CHR: 18 (+4)
Skills: Bluff 8 (+12)
Disguise 4 (+8)
Drive 4 (+8)
Escape Artist 4 (+8)
Gather Information 4 (+8)
Knowledge: Civics 8 (+9)
Knowledge: Current Events 8 (+9)
Notice 8 (+10)
Sense Motive 8 (+10)
Stealth 8 (+12)
Feats: Connected
Contacts
Eidetic Memory
Jack-of-All-Trades
Stunning Attack
Well-Informed
Powers: “Gold Scarab” Container, Passive 9
Comprehend 3 [Read, Speak, Understand All Languages]
Force Constructs 10 [Max Size: 100 cu. ft., Movable (Radius 50 ft., STR 50, Force 12.8 tons), Progression (Object Size) 1, Stationary]
  • AP: Blast 10
Force Field 6

Combat: Attack +10 [Blast DC 25, Unarmed DC 17], Defense +10, Init +8
Saves: Toughness +4/10, Fortitude +6, Reflex +7, Will +5
Description: Handsome, with a winning smile and sparkling green eyes, Carter Saxon is fine featured, dark haired, and always impeccably dressed. Embedded within his chest is a golden scarab, the carapace visible in his breastbone, the legs sinking into his breast. Monofilaments extend out of the scarab and throughout Carter’s body. He can now speak and understand any language on Earth (and some from beyond, but he hasn’t discovered that yet). He can encase himself in a shimmering field of golden light which deflects attacks, or generate a destructive ray from his hands in the same color. The scarab also allows Carter to create more complex fields of force, in a variety of basic geometric shapes. He can manipulate these shapes, using them like giant hands to grasp things, as platforms to fly upon, as walls to buttress buildings, or as huge battering rams to knock down impenetrable doors.

Under the Hood
I had a different version of Carter originally. He was still a James Bond expy, he still acquired the Golden Scarab, but it gave him a host of Alternate Forms to access instead, each one weirder and less humanoid than the last. It didn't really make a lot of thematic sense, nor did it really fit into the overall aesthetic of the Stranger's Club or Fantastic Victoriana as a whole. But I liked the basic idea of him (and I wanted to keep Helmut Faustus as a bad guy), so after I'd decided I was going to go beyond the "core" Avengers as I fleshed out the Stranger's Club, I thought Quasar's mini-Green Lantern power set would make a fine fit for Carter.

Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:43 am

Imani Chembechembe
When John Albion and Sir Edward Whitesun, both of the Stranger’s Club, took a trip to Casablanca in Morocco in order to follow up on some clues related to the origins of the Clockwork Man, they ran afoul of an old sorcerer and the Ifrit he had enslaved. Against that wizard the Englishmen were assisted by a young woman named Imani Chembechembe, herself an accomplished wizard whose elemental gifts were fueled by familial connections to the court of Djinn.

Imani Chembechembe is a Bedu mystic, originating from a tribe who intermarried with Djinn a thousand years ago and remained strongly tied to them ever since. Imani is distinct among her people both for her sex and for her facility with magic, and has eschewed a traditional life as a wife and mother and nomad for the more demanding, grueling, and dangerous profession of desert guardian. She helped the English against a common foe and the two grateful men offered her membership in their exclusive English club as thanks. Imani accepted more out of a feelings of obligation and fellowship than any belief that she would ever visit London.

Recently, her tribal leaders have charged Imani with looking into the activities of an Ottoman Empire agent known as the Djinn. Abdul Mahmoud is now operating in England, so Imani has traveled to the dreary north Atlantic island in pursuit of him. Allah has provided in already giving her allies and a base of operations among the Stranger’s Club.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 10 (-) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 16 (+3)
Skills: Concentration 8 (+11)
Craft: Mystical 4 (+5)
Diplomacy 4 (+7)
Handle Animal 4 (+7)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 8 (+9)
Knowledge: History 4 (+5)
Language [Arabic, English, French, Ignan]
Medicine 4 (+7)
Notice 4 (+7)
Survival 4 (+7)
Feats: Attractive 1
Beautiful Voice 1 [Diplomacy]
Endurance 1
Low-light Vision
Precise Shot 1
Powers: Air Control 12
  • AP: Create Object 10 [Variable Descriptor (Elemental)]
  • AP: Earth Control 12
  • AP: Fire Control 12
  • AP: Nullify 12 [All Elemental Powers]
  • AP: Water Control 12
Blast 12 [Variable Descriptor (Elemental)]
Force Field 10
Immunity 10 [Common Descriptor (Elemental)
Combat: Attack +8 [Blast DC 27, Nullify DC 22, Unarmed DC 15], Defense +10, Init +1
Saves: Toughness +2/+12, Fortitude +5, Reflex +4, Will +8
Description: Short and plump, clad in winding robes, Imani is a pretty, dark woman with long black hair she usually keeps under a wrap and brilliant eyes that change color with her mood, sometimes blue, sometimes red, sometimes brown. She wears silver jewelry, mostly rings on her long and expressive fingers and charms hanging from her throat. Hers is the mastery of the elemental forces of the Earth. She can call upon the spirits of the air, earth, fire, or water in order to shape any of those elements as she wishes. She can cause any of the four elements to spark to life in various shapes, or end any elemental effects from a foreign source through sheer force of will. Imani can also unleash destructive blasts in the form of sheets of flame, conjured boulders, hurricane force winds, or pressurized water. Her magic protects her from any hostile elemental forces and she is further protected via a swirling energy field that manifests elemental protections as necessary. Earthen shields, flames, pools of water, or swirling winds spontaneously manifest around her as proof against attack.

Under the Hood
Crystal is not a character I normally think of when the Avengers come up - I've never even read any of the "jacket era" Avengers comics - but she was fun to use in the LEGO Avengers video game, where she has a focused heat beam but her standard blasts change between rocks, fire, or water. Also, she can fly because of air control. It makes for a fun set of powers at any rate. Running around in mid-19th century London also means that more than the usual "earth" and "air" manipulation is available to her. There's way more open flame going on at that time than there is in the 21st century, and the Thames winds right through the city.

Also, I've been reading (and really enjoying) the <i>Ms. Marvel</i> trades lately, and the idea of a kickass lady Muslim hero appeals to me. The whole D&D classification of genies as elemental beings also functioned as a way to justify Imani's elemental powers, too. Genies from actual folklore don't work that way, but this is a game and I can do what I want.

Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:44 am

The Underground
While the subterranean rail lines that burrow beneath London are referred to as the Underground, the name has a more traditional meaning that predates the introduction of steam power to the England. In ancient days, the Underground referred to the neighborhoods of Faerie, wizards, and will-workers that existed within the city’s environs. Over the years, that population has largely migrated into the Dark Quarter, but the inhabitants are still referred to as “the Underground.” Some of them do live below street level, but most of the inhabitants of the Dark Quarter are physically indistinguishable from the rest of London proper.

Yojimbo
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The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:50 am

Miss Fortune, Jane Gray
Young Jane Gray was born a street rat, and she grew up fighting for survival in the back alleys of London. Somehow, she always seemed to get by, even in the worst of times. When she became a teenager and the boys and the men began to notice her, she knew she had to fine some way to get off the streets and avoid becoming someone’s plaything. Her luck continued, though – while hiding out in the Dark Quarter, an old witch named Nelly Reid noticed Jane unconsciously using her luck magic. Nelly took young Jane in and schooled her in the use of her natural magical gifts, but couldn’t get Jane to study hard enough and learn real magic. When Nelly died of the black lung, Jane found herself back out on the streets again. But this time she was a grown woman, capable, smart, and tough as nails. Now she works the Underground as a pick pocket, confidence woman, and gambler, using her charm and ability to manipulate probabilities to great advantage. Sometimes people from the old neighborhood look to Jane for help. She remembers what Nelly did for her, and tries to do right by those in need.

Jane has come into the employ of Ambrose Blackwood as a governess for Blackwood’s young ward.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 10 (-) DEX: 16 (+3) CON: 10 (-) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 16 (+3)
Skills: Bluff 4 (+7)
Concentration 8 (+11)
Disable Device 4 (+6)
Escape Artist 4 (+7)
Gather Information 2 (+6)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 4 (+6)
Knowledge: Streetwise 4 (+6)
Notice 4 (+7)
Sense Motive 2 (+5)
Sleight of Hand 4 (+7)
Stealth 8 (+11)
Feats: Attractive 1
Improvised Tools
Luck 5
Equipment 2 [Flash Goggles/Nightvision Goggles, Gas Mask, Handcuffs; Light Pistol]
Powers: Confuse 10 [Shapeable Area, Selective Attack]
  • AP: Fatigue 10 [Alternate Save (Will), Range 2: Perception]
  • AP: Nauseate 10 [Alternate Save (Will), Range 2: Perception]
Force Field 10
Luck Control 3 [Force a Re-Roll, Negate GM Fiat, Spend Hero Point for Another]
Combat: Attack +6 [Confuse DC 20, Fatigue DC 20, Nauseate DC 20], Defense +10, Init +3
Saves: Toughness +0/+10, Fortitude +6, Reflex +6, Will +8
Description: A stunning young woman in her early 20s, with long auburn hair and brilliant blue eyes. Jane likes to dress fancily, and red is her favorite color, so she is usually found wearing a red dress and layers of silk and lace in maroon, crimson, pink, and other shades of red. She wears a top hat and carries a parasol, also both red, and keeps a small revolver on her person at all times. She has a natural talent for manipulating chance, and ability she has focused and developed over the years. She can also use her ability to make large groups of people suddenly, and improbably, begin acting randomly, or feel sudden exhaustion, or become strangely seasick even though they are on dry ground.

Under the Hood
I couldn't keep all the Avengers expies in the Stranger's Club. Finn and Threnody were originally part of the Underground, where I had shunted all the magic users and the like, but as the setting evolved that became less of a tenable restriction. Still, I had early on established my "Scarlet Witch" as a member of London's magical underclass, so that is where she has remained. She did join the game's supporting cast rather directly when she became the governess to Blackwood's ward - more on them both later.

Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:55 am

Jack Nimble
Jack grew up in a circus, working as a tumbler and acrobat. His specialty was doing the high jump over bonfires, lions, beds of nails, and other such hazardous obstacles. He was always quick, even as a youth, and he only got faster as he grew up. Maybe too fast. The crowds began to notice, and talk got around, and eventually during one performance the Brotherhood of Steam showed up and tried to grab Jack. Naturally he ran, and he was clear across the county before he slowed down. There was no going back after that, and Jack slowly drifted south and east, using his speed and agility to steal what he needed to survive. Eventually he reached London, and found a home of sorts in the Underground. His speed has increased with age and experience, and Jack can now run up walls or across the Thames itself. He would be even more cocky and insufferable if the powers didn’t terrify him – he’d rather a normal life. But he’ll deal with the one he’s got, until he earns enough to settle down, escape the life of crime and skullduggery and become a respectable man who doesn’t run.

What Jack doesn’t know is that he’s part faerie, and the speed he possesses is magical in nature. One of his parents (he never knew either) was a quickling.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 22 (+6) CON: 18 (+4) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 14 (+2) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+10)
Climb 4 (+6)
Escape Artist 4 (+10)
Knowledge: Streetwise 4 (+5)
Notice 4 (+6)
Search 4 (+5)
Sense Motive 4 (+6)
Sleight of Hand 4 (+10)
Stealth 8 (+14)
Feats: Ambidexterity
Defensive Roll 4
Move-By Action
Quick Draw 1
Equipment 3 [Caltrops, Gas Mask, Multi-Tool, Nightvision Goggles; Knife x2, Shuriken]
Powers: Super-Speed 8
Quickness 8 [500x speed]
Speed 8 [2500 mph, 22,000 ft./rnd]
Rapid Attack
Rapid Fire
Special Alternate Power: Leaping 6 [Running Jump: 1200 ft., Standing Jump: 600 ft., High Jump 300 ft.]
Wall Run
Water Run
Combat: Attack +12 [Unarmed DC 17, Knife DC 18, Rapid Fire DC 23], Defense +12, Init +38
Saves: Toughness +4/+8, Fortitude +4, Reflex +10, Will +6
Description: Short, thin featured, and leanly muscled, Jack doesn’t look too impressive. He dresses shabbily, wearing patched pants, threadbare jackets, and worn shirts. Most of the money he steals goes into his private stash, for when he retires. He has purchased a pair of very sharp, pearl handled knives which he uses to devastating effect, and also keeps a large variety of sharp and bladed instruments about his person, which he can hurl at superhuman speeds. Jack is a blur when he wants to be, and he can be anywhere in England in less than an hour.

Under the Hood
Nimble is one of the oldest characters I built for Fantastic Victoriana, largely because once I leaned into the premise of Steampunk Avengers I statted up the first two classic Avengers teams pretty quickly, but he never once appeared within the game. You would think a thief with super speed would come in handy as a contact or agent for a consulting detective, but I never found a moment to use him.

Hoid
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Location: The Forever Tree

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Hoid » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:04 am

I am enjoying this thread immensely.

A query, though: is there any interdimensional crossover going on, in any of these universes?

Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Hoid wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:04 am
I am enjoying this thread immensely.
Thanks! It's hard to tell. I can see people are reading it, but its not generating much in reactions.
A query, though: is there any interdimensional crossover going on, in any of these universes?
Yes. There are a couple of multi-dimensional things that crossover and link the universes (most of them). The Pryderians mentioned back in the Covenant are one of them (there's a Pryderian in Fantastic Victoriana that I will get to eventually), the Mabnotyri (sort of Eternals), and the Va'antaarans (Venusian shapeshifters, whose doomsday weapons created the environmental hell on Venus and scattered its people across the multiverse). Thing of it is, I've barely touched on any of these because the linkage-stuff doesn't play too largely in the settings I've been publishing so far.

Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Murder in the Underground]

Post by Yojimbo » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:04 am

Murder in the Underground

Ambrose Blackwood is sitting in his office contemplating infinity or something when there is a knock at his door. An attractive young woman in red enters the office. She has auburn hair, blue eyes, a pair of goggles around her neck, and a gray top hat with a red ribbon. She is carrying a small purse and wearing red gloves. DC 15 Notice Check alerts you to the fact that, while the clothes are well made and richly colored, they are a little worn and threadbare in places.

“Good morning, Mr. Blackwood. Black Agnes told me you were a man worth talking to about certain subjects. May I sit down?”

The young woman removes her hat and balances it on her knee as she settles down and crosses her legs under her skirts. “Thank you, Mr. Blackwood. My name is Jane Grey, and as you might expect, I’m from the Underground. Have you heard about what’s been going on? You haven’t heard about the murders?” She produces a cigarette and lights it as she speaks. You notice that her hand shakes ever so slightly as she lights up.

“It started a week ago. The papers say you were busy with that strange pyramid that rose from the Thames, so I’m not surprised you haven’t heard about it.” As she talks, her hands move, sending trails of smoke spiraling through the air. “On Wednesday the 21st, Adrian Temple was found murdered in his room at 416 Grove End Rd. The landlady, Mrs. Crawford, found his remains. She hasn’t spoken a word since. Her daughter-in-law has taken her in, and the woman appears to be quite mad.

“I only know third hand what she saw, but it sounds horrible and I’ve no trouble understanding poor Mrs. Crawford’s fate. Mr. Temple was torn apart, his chest broken open and his. . . organs thrown around the room. The only thing missing was his, well, his heart. Mr. Temple’s gruesome death was deemed an aberration, his killer probably a troll, elf, or other malicious faerie. Scotland Yard has better things to do than investigate death’s in the Dark Quarter.

“And perhaps we would all wish Mr. Temple’s death to be an isolated incident, horrible as it was, but there have been more. Two more to be precise.

“Salome Da Costa was found similarly in her apartments in Aberdeen Place, also torn apart, also missing her heart. This was two days after Mr. Temple’s murder. Three nights after Mrs. Da Costa was found, a body later identified as Robert Easterly was found in an alley off of Salisbury St. His heart was missing as well. Mr. Easterly’s body is the only one I have seen personally, and if the others were as terrible, then those three people all died in the greatest of agony.

“As I said, Scotland Yard is unconcerned. These murders occurred in the Dark Quarter, and so long as they stay there, the authorities are content to let the killer or killers run loose. Meanwhile, innocent people are dying, and I fear that Mr. Easterly will not be the last. Will you help us, Mr. Blackwood? We are not wealthy in the Quarter, and I do not know what you charge, but surely we can come to some kind of agreement? Evil like this should not be allowed to continue.”

The Apartments of Mr. Temple

Adrian Temple lived in a three room apartment at 416 Grove End Rd., managed by Mrs. Abigail Crawford. Temple lived there for twenty years, and the Crawfords have been his landlords the entire time; Mr. Crawford passed six years ago, after which Mrs. Crawford took over the business. Temple’s apartment consists of one large main sitting area, a small bedroom, and a bathroom. It is lightly decorated, with old furniture, rugs, and little bits of art and keepsakes. Temple was a musician, a violin player, and his two violins (one for practice, one for performances) were well cared for, and kept in a large trunk in the sitting area. One corner of the main room was obviously where he practiced, with music stand, music books, and a few handbills from shows.

The bedroom is where the body was discovered, but it has been picked clean. The body and parts removed, the wallpaper stripped, the floors scrubbed, the sheets burned. While the end was violent, it was also several days ago, and there are forces at work trying to keep things hidden. So:

DC 35 Notice/Search with Postcognition will reveal: Adrian Temple, a middle aged man with unkempt hair and beard sleeping peacefully on the night of the 21st. The room is dark, but light from the gaslamps outside create a dim radiance as they pass through the curtains of the room’s windows. Suddenly a dark, man-like shape appears in the room, features indistinct, impossible to see. At first you think it’s just because of the darkness, but then the figures steps into a shaft of light from the window, and all you see is a blank space standing in the room. The figures quickly steps out of the light towards the bed. Temple’s eyes open, and he is more alert than someone should be, but he is still too slow. The blank figure clamps a hand over his mouth, and Temple’s eyes bug out as he is wracked with pain. What follows is horrible – the blank figure literally rips Temple apart, and though Temple is apparently awake and aware, he makes no sound above a whimper, and the blank figure makes no sound at all. Blood and body parts fly; the chest is cracked open, organs unceremoniously dumped on the floor or the bed. A blank hand closes around the still beating heart and rips it free. The blank figure steps away from the body and then turns. A chill runs down your back as its featureless face seems to look at you even though you are not really there, and then the blank figure and the heart are gone, leaving only the corpse.

DC 30 Notice/Search with Postcognition will reveal: The murder in all its gory detail, but the killer appears entirely invisible. If the killer does “notice” Blackwood, Blackwood makes no notice of it.

Any roll below a 30 fails to provide any information at all.

If Samariach is there, he will smell a familiar scent which he cannot place.

DC 25 Search of the Sitting Room reveals: There are several large bookcases against the far wall of the sitting room. Mostly music books, some volumes on arcane and the occult. Hidden within a hollowed out copy of Don Quixote is a small black leather volume embossed with this image in silver on the cover (see handout).

The book, folio really, has 32 vellum pages, and consists of closely written text in an unknown language. There are several diagrams and symbols as well, all similar circles and pyramids. Probably some kind of spell book; a DC 35 Arcane Lore check reveals: the symbol on the cover is the Seal of Metatron.

Metatron is an angel. He is supposed to be the scribe of God.

If Mrs. Crawford is questioned, the characters will find her unresponsive and borderline catatonic. Her family does not welcome the attention, and would like her to be left alone. They know nothing about Mr. Temple other than he always paid his rent on time and played the violin.

The House of the Jewess

Salome Da Costa lived at 122A Aberdeen Place. It is a ramshackle tenement building, with three other apartments (122B, C, and D). Salome had the first floor, left hand side apartment, a nicely furnished two bedroom home. Mrs. Da Costa made a decent living as a fortune teller and hedge wizard, and she could afford some nice things for herself and her family. There is lace on the end tables in her drawing room, for example, and the house is clean and well kept. The wall above the couch in the drawing room has a number of miniatures of Mrs. Da Costa and her family. Her husband is long dead, but her youngest son, Moses, and his wife Rebecca lived with her, using the second bedroom.

They saw and heard nothing on the night of the murder, Friday the 23rd, and Moses in particular is inconsolable. Rebecca is more practical, and you get the sense that she and the mother-in-law didn’t have the best relationship in the world. Still, the brutality of the murder has affected her, and she wants to get out of the Dark Quarter for good, like Moses’ brother Jacob. Moses is conflicted about leaving. Jews aren’t popular in London, but at least in the Quarter they get a fair shake. Salome Da Costa was also a respected member of the community, and many have come by to offer condolences.

Much like Temple’s apartment, Mrs. Da Costa’s rooms have been scrubbed clean, and her body is long gone.

Postcognition check reveals the same basic scenario, with the same DCs. Blank or invisible killer; brutal and strangely soundless murder; removal of the heart. Salome kept her occult books and kabbalistic writings in her bedroom, away from prying eyes. A DC 15 Search check will reveal a black leather bound folio with a familiar image on it in silver. Moses, who watches the characters search his late mother’s bedroom, will inform them that he discovered that book stuffed between the mattress of his mother’s bed, and left it with her other things after he cleaned the room.

Samariach will note the same scent (DC 25 Notice check to identify it as the same scent); still familiar and still elusive.

While Moses and Rebecca were oblivious to Salome’s murder, there is someone who sensed something. The neighbors in 122B are not at home, and 122D saw and heard nothing, but in 122C they meet Bixby, a wizened gnomish man with a bald head and wisps of white hair around the crown. His sightless eyes focus on nothing in particular, and he plays nervously with a pipe the entire time he talks to you.

He was home and awake on the night of the 23rd. His joints ache and he doesn’t sleep much, though he often lies in bed alone in the dark. He remembers around sometime after midnight, a bone-chilling cold washing over him, coming up from the floor (his bedroom is directly over Salome’s) and he heard shuffling and some kind of struggle. He felt a Presence somewhere beneath him; his heart constricted and his breath grew short. He only felt it for about five or ten minutes, but even after it left, he didn’t dare move from his bed until he felt the morning sun on his face.

Salisbury Street Alley

Robert Easterly’s body lay in the back of an alley off Salisbury Street, between a public house and a pawn shop. It’s a dirty, ragged expanse of roughly paved road, ending in a wooden fence about fifty feet along its length. Garbage bins, odd fragments of machinery, and parts of a broken wagon decorate the alley. The walls of the buildings are covered in broadsheets, posters, and graffiti.

Where Easterly’s body was discovered, there is a circular scorched mark on the ground. Jane says Easterly was found face down in the circle, in a pool of his own blood. His heart, like the others was missing.

DC 30 Search Check will indicate that there is a deeper pattern to the scorched circle, as if something had been etched into the cobbles and then burned away. DC 25 Arcane Lore check suggests that some kind of protective ward was drawn on the ground; DC 20 Intelligence Check suggests checking the black book with the Seal of Metatron on it. Careful observation (DC 25 Search/Arcane Lore check) will enable the characters to find the pattern among the spells in the book. Unfortunately, they still cannot decipher the language.

DC 30 Notice/Search with Precognition: Easterly staggers out of the pub, a waft of smoke coming from the cigarette clenched between his teeth. He bobs briefly at the mouth of the alley, then turns, cocking his head, as if someone called to him? Easterly examines the alley for a moment, then proceeds into it. He stops suddenly at the very spot where the scorched circle now lies. Out of the shadows by the fence steps the Blank Man. There seems to be a conversation, although you only hear Easterly’s responses. Though his face is florid with drink, Easterly no longer seems affected by the alcohol, and instead stands stable and bandies words with the Blank Man. It looks like he’s playing with something in his pocket, and he shortly produces it; you’re expecting a wand, but it turns out to be a piece of chalk. Quickly and economically, still talking, Easterly sketches out a protective circle on the ground at his feet, wrapping it around him. Then he stands and regards the Blank Man. You have only caught snippets of Easterly’s talk; he seems to be either mumbling or slurring his words, or else talking in some strange patois that you cannot understand. Here and there are English phrases.
“So the Grigori sent you.”
“I am not so unprepared.”
“The Society will not be cowed.”
“Begone cur!”
And so on.

The Blank Man’s responses, if any, do not register at all. If you strain (ie get a really good roll) you can ear something like a faint buzzing in the gaps between Easterly’s speech, but that is all. Shortly after Easterly draws the ward, the Blank Man steps forward quickly, breaking the pattern without pause. Easterly is momentarily surprised and terrified – only momentarily, because he’s dead in the blink of an eye, his heart ripped free from its bony prison. As Easterly collapses, the ward bursts into flame around him, burning itself but nothing else. When the flames die, the Blank Man is gone, and Easterly is left alone in a widening pool of his own blood.

The Clues:

The Book
Metatron & The Seal of Metatron
“The Society”
“The Grigori”

The Book
Showing the book around the Dark Quarter leads to a lot of blank stares, shaking heads, and even an uncertain laugh or two. Eventually, after a few hours, you find a bookshop owned by a fussy, elderly gentleman with a touch of the Fae in his features (a long crooked nose, large bat-like ears) who evinces interest in the book.

He is willing to buy it off of you, and will pay up to 15 pounds for it. He sells oddities and rare publications, he says. A DC 15 Sense Motive suggests he is familiar with the book. It won’t take much to get him to talk, either in cash or a veiled or open threat. The bookseller has only seen the folio once before in his life; then it sort of fell into his lap, and he sold it for a quite decent sum to a man in a purple suit who paid in gold.

DC 20 Gather Information check suggests that the man in the purple suit was a fellow named Abel Valentine, a reclusive wizard in the Quarter with distinctive fashion habits and an unknown source of income.

Another DC 20 Gather Information check will yield Valentine’s address, on Marlborough Place. It’s a fairly well-to-do brownstone, solidly middle-class, but no servant comes to the door, whether you knock or ring the bell. DC 25 Notice check spots some movement in the second floor window; somebody is definitely home. DC 20 Disable Device check will get through the (relatively) cheap lock and into the house.

Upstairs, Abel Valentine is hurriedly packing. He is startled by any intruders, and will produce a revolver to try and scare them away. He is a tall, overweight, balding man in what appears to be a violet velvet suit, with a green cravat and a floppy purple hat. His valise bulges with clothes and other accoutrements, and he is obviously in a hurry.

He has no time for Blackwood and his friends. Abel has a ship to catch. DC 20 Sense Motive check suggests Abel is frightened about something; he has the look of someone fleeing. But he’s also cagey, with a pretty good Sense Motive himself (+10), and a solid Will Save (+10) in case anyone wants to intimidate or force him to cooperate. He will respond better to Diplomacy or kindness. Still brusque, he will admit that he “fears for his life,” and is seeking calmer shores. As he heads out the door, he does suggest that Blackwood find “Solomon” – the only name that Abel knows (or is willing to share).

Of course, no one on the street knows who “Solomon” might be. There’s a good many Jews in the Dark Quarter, and Sols are a penny a pound in these parts.

Metatron & the Seal of Metatron
Samarioch will know a few things about Metatron already, and can freely share what he knows with his allies.

Metatron’s story begins with Enoch, the son of Jared, and was the great grandfather of Noah and father of Methuselah. Enoch, it is said, never experienced death. In life, he walked with God, and afterwards he “was not,” for God took him. Indeed, he was subsumed into heaven:

This Enoch, whose flesh was turned to flame, his veins to fire, his eye-lashes to flashes of lightning, his eye-balls to flaming torches, and whom God placed on a throne next to the throne of glory, received after this heavenly transformation the name Metatron.

The angel Metatron is the scribe of God, and it is said that he alone is blessed to be able to sit within the presence of God, because of his heavenly duties. Metatron gives daily instructions to the angels Gabriel and Sammael, and it was Metatron who led the people of Israel through the desert after their Exodus from Egypt.

As for the Seal, unless Samarioch is conversant with kabbalistic magic, he and Blackwood will have to do some research.

DC 20 Arcane Lore check will suggest to Blackwood that the Seal is some kind of Ward, probably meant to keep out extraplanar beings. Angels or demons, though?

“The Society”
Jane says that there’s going to be a funeral for Easterly on the following day. If he was part of some secret society, the other members might show up to see him off.

St. John’s Wood Church Burial Ground 8:00 AM. A hearse carries the remnants of Robert Easterly into the grounds, led by a procession of friends and family and notable folks from the neighborhood. Interesting that Easterly is getting a Christian burial, given his acquaintance with Jewish magic. But anyway, the usual assortment of folks are there. Black Agnes, of course, and the man known only as the Friar, in his brown cassock and tonsure, as well as the unofficial “mayor” of the Dark Quarter, Patrick O’Neill and his silver hand, and his mysterious wife Maeve, who always goes veiled. There’s a Red Wizard, his scarlet coat and peaked hat vibrant and almost offensive amidst all the black clothes of the other mourners. Mates from the pub, ordinary folks from the neighborhood, with felt caps and calloused hands. Father William Tomlinson, a middle aged man with a neatly trimmed beard, presides over the ceremony.

It is advised that the characters wait until the ceremony is over to begin talking to people, as if they do not show patience or deference, they will not really cooperate. With Jane Grey and Black Agnes to stand for them, though, they will get grudging compliance. People will become slightly warmer when they realize the characters are trying to solve the murder. But no one seems to recognize the book, know about the seal, the society, or the Grigori.

DC 20 Notice check will catch the sight of a long bearded man with a short-brimmed hat rapidly retreating from the cemetery.

This is “Solomon,” actually Rabbi Solomon Judah ben Nachman, a member of the Society of Enoch. He is evasive with Blackwood, but does not hide his name or his profession. He was at the funeral to pay his respects to a fellow scholar, that is all. Like Abel, Solomon is inclined towards maintaining the society’s secrecy, but since he has elected to stay in London, he’s also a little more concerned with the situation. It won’t take much convincing for him to talk, but it will take at least a token effort from Blackwood or Samarioch to loosen Sol’s lips.

According to Solomon, the Society of Enoch arose in the Middle Ages. A bunch of Nephilim got together around 1200 AD and started looking for ways to reawaken their great-great grandsires. While the Watchers had been imprisoned within the Earth, they were supposed to be freed on Judgement Day – the Nephilim wanted to sidestep that process and harness the angelic power of the Watchers for themselves, loose them onto the Earth once more and see what happens. The Society of Enoch banded together to keep the Nephilim from doing that, and they succeeded. But the Nephilim have the blood of angels in their veins, while the Society is made up of just men, and there’s only so much the Society can do. In recent centuries, the Society has been able only to monitor and keep watch on the Nephilim (who call themselves Grigori after their ancestors) and little else.

Part of the Society’s success has been a paranoid sense of secrecy. Only a bare handful are indoctrinated into the society around the world, and members do not meet regularly or all together, nor do they confront the Nephilim directly. Always from the shadows do they act. But now three of their number have been cut down, brutally and quickly, and Solomon guesses that the Grigori are behind it. Who else could it be? Solomon and two other Society members remain in England; Abel Valentine has left for America. Solomon fears for his life and the lives of his friends, but he is uncertain what to do next. Decades of secret operations have left him suspicious and slow to act.

He knows of three Grigori active in London, but they are much too powerful for the shattered Society to deal with.

“The Grigori”
It takes a few hours to run this one down. Not many people on the street, even amongst the occultists and wizards of the Dark Quarter, are familiar with the phrase. It refers to no known individual or group. It sounds Italian, but something tells you that it isn’t. Latin, perhaps?

While discussing the conundrum over lunch beside a street vendor’s cart, the middle-aged proprietor interrupts. “There’s something about that word that sounds familiar,” he says. “Say it again.”

“Grigori. Yeah, something from Temple when I was a kid. Something to do with angels or giants or something. You know who you should talk to? My cousin Herschel teaches at the Academy. He’d know everything you’d ever want to learn about that stuff.”

The Academy is located where St. John’s Wood College is in the real world, just off Finchley Road, across the railroad tracks in the north of the Quarter. Professor Herschel Blumfield is initially reluctant to talk to you, until you mention his cousin Jacob. After a bit of discussion, he’s willing to share what he knows.

In his office, a small, cramped room filled with books, papers, cabinets, and magical ephemera and paraphernalia, he produces a large tome and drops it on his desk. Opening it backwards, as it is in Hebrew, he proceeds to explain who the Grigori are, at least according to legend.

The book is a copy of the Book of Enoch, and it details the legend of the “Watchers.” They were originally angels dispatched to Earth to look over humanity. But one of the leaders of the Watchers, Samyaza, convinced them all to abandon their passive role out of lust for human women. They instructed humanity in all sorts of arts and technologies, and procreated with them, producing a race of giants called the Nephilim. The great flood purged the Nephilim from the Earth, although other texts say they’re still around, while the Watchers were said to be imprisoned within the Earth until Judgement Day. “The Grigori” is the Latin name provided the Watchers by Medieval scholars. Most orthodox religious leaders, Jew, Muslim, and Christian alike, view these sorts of texts as apocrypha, Herschel is quick to add.

Now that Samarioch’s memory is jogged, he can confirm that the story is more or less true as he remembers it. There were about 200 Watchers, among them Samyaza, Arakiel, Azazel, Baraqel, and Shamsiel, once a guardian of Eden.

Now, what any of this has to do with the murders is anyone’s guess.

The Grigori

The three Grigori/Nephilim active in London are Lord Baltimore and his children William and Mary.

Lord Baltimore’s home is near Highbury Park in Hornsey. It’s a fairly large home, with its own carriagehouse, grounds, and servants quarters. Surrounded by a stone wall surmounted by iron spikes, it is also guarded by a pack of large black dogs that have the run of the grounds after nightfall.

There is a 50% chance that Lord Baltimore is home when the characters visit his estate – otherwise he and his children are out at a party, visiting the theater, or otherwise participating in some sort of society event.

The Tetragrammaton is locked in the safe in Lord Baltimore’s study (DC 25 Disable Device check to unlock). It’s a pyramidal device, inscribed with Hebrew letters, and etched with the Seal of Metatron and other magical signs from the folio. Of course, part of Sammael’s binding requires him to defend the Tetragrammaton from tampering, so the characters will have to get through him before they even reach the safe. In fact, he materializes within the study a round after the characters enter it, stepping through a wall in his mortal guise and unveiling his full mien almost immediately.

The study is on the first floor in the back of the house. Even at night when the family is out, the building is well lit, and servants are working. Cleaning, mostly at this hour, but they all fear the Baltimore family, and none shirk work that needs doing. The house is large, well appointed, and filled with objects of wealth and taste. A staff of about twelve people (including dog handler, groom/carriage driver, butler, chef, and several maids) work in the house.

Lord Baltimore
Baltimore is a six hundred year old Nephilim wizard who has wormed his way into the ranks of the English aristocracy. He serves his angel ancestors with cunning and distinction, always working towards the Grigori goal of freeing them from their prison. Most recently, he acquired the Tetragrammaton, a powerful artifact, and used it to bind Sammael, the Angel of Death, to his service. Baltimore sent Sammael out to hunt down and exterminate the Society of Enoch, and to collect any information they might have that could prove useful to the Grigori’s ultimate goal.
PL: 12
Abilities: STR: 18 (+4) DEX: 16 (+3) CON: 18 (+4) INT: 18 (+4) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Bluff 8 (+10)
Concentration 12 (+15)
Diplomacy 8 (+10)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 12 (+16)
Knowledge: Nobility & Royalty 4 (+8)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 8 (+12)
Languages 2 [Celestial, Infernal]
Notice 4 (+7)
Search 4 (+8)
Sense Motive 4 (+7)
Feats: Accurate Attack
Eidetic Memory
Evasion 2
Fearless
Improved Initiative 2
Improvised Tools
Ritualist
Powers: Force Field 10 [Impervious]
Immunity 3 [Aging, Disease, Poison]
Magic 12 [Fog of Forgetfulness]
  • AP: Blast 12
  • AP: Dazzle 12 [Visual]
  • AP: ESP 6 [All Senses; 20 miles]
  • AP: Magnetic Control 12
  • AP: Snare 12
Combat: Attack +12 [Blast +12, Snare +12], Defense +10, Init +11
Saves: Toughness +4/+14, Fortitude +9, Reflex +9, Will +9
Description: The very image of the prosperous country squire, living large in the city. Thick around the middle, and balding, he wears pince nez glasses and huge muttonchops. He dresses richly and extravagantly, and likes to check his gold watch, hanging from the fob on his waistcoat. Of course, as a Nephilim, the blood of angels courses through his veins, making him healthier, stronger, and more vital than a normal human, and protecting him from the ravages of age, disease, and toxins. As a wizard, Baltimore is adept with a few minor spells, but prefers to rely upon rituals and artifacts to get any real work done. He doesn’t relish combat, preferring to leave that to servants or his children, but he has a terrible temper, and a complete disregard for lesser beings.

William Baltimore
William is Lord Baltimore’s oldest child, a vain and petty boy with unusual appetites, who generally spends his time frittering away his father’s fortune in the pursuit of wine, women, or gambling. He hates his father almost as much as he hates himself, but hasn’t the strength of will or fortitude to forge his own path. He remains loyal as much out of fear as a complete lack of imagination and dependence on his father’s money.
PL: 13
Abilities: STR: 14/34 (+2/+12) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 14/34 (+2/+12) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 12 (+1)
Skills: Bluff 4 (+5)
Gamble 4 (+7)
Intimidate 8 (+9)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 4 (+5)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 4 (+5)
Notice 4 (+7)
Sense Motive 4 (+7)
Stealth 8 (+9)
Survival 4 (+7)
Feats: All-Out Attack
Fearless
Hardy
Improved Grab
Improved Grapple
Improved Initiative 2
Improved Pin
Power Attack
Withstand Damage
Powers: Enhanced CON 20
Enhanced STR 20
Impervious Toughness 12
Protection 4
Super-Strength 6 [Heavy Load 89.6 tons; Bracing, Countering Punch]
Combat: Attack +10 [Unarmed +12], Defense +10, Init +9
Saves: Toughness +16, Fortitude +12, Reflex +6, Will +8
Drawbacks: Normal Identity [Uncommon, Major]
Description: A handsome if forgettable young aristocrat, always well dressed, always well-mannered (unless he’s been drinking). When he says the word “Nephilim” he transforms into a massive muscled, gray skinned creature with white hair and eyes. In this form, he is virtually indestructible, and one of the strongest beings on the planet.

Mary Baltimore
Mary Baltimore is Lord Baltimore’s youngest child, a shrill, cruel, and domineering creature who treats servants like slaves and spends her father’s money too freely. Although available, from a wealthy family, and of marriageable age, Mary does not have any suitors currently, although her father is always on the look-out for someone desperate enough to take her off his hands.
PL:
12
Abilities: STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 16 (+3) CON: 18 (+4) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 20 (+5) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Bluff 8 (+10)
Concentration 8 (+13)
Intimidate 8 (+10)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 12 (+13)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 12 (+13)
Language 2 [Celestial, Infernal]
Notice 8 (+9)
Sense Motive 8 (+13)
Stealth 8 (+11)
Feats: Defensive Attack
Defensive Strike
Fearless
Fearsome Presence 2
Improved Critical 1 [Strike]
Improved Initiative 2
Power Attack
Startle
Powers: Device 3: Nephilim Trident [Easy to Lose]
Strike 8 [Mighty, Affects Insubstantial 2, Thrown 2 (Range: 100 ft., incr 20 ft., Extended Reach, Incurable]

Hellfire Control 12
Protection 10
Super-Senses 2 [Awareness: Mystic, Awareness: Infernal]
Combat: Attack +12 [Strike +12, Hellfire Blast +12], Defense +10, Init +11
Saves: Toughness +14, Fortitude +8, Reflex +9, Will +11
Drawbacks: Normal Identity [Uncommon, Major]
Description: Mary dresses conservatively, even for a Victorian woman, and her features are usually pulled into a pinched, dissatisfied look, as if the world is continually failing her. When she speaks the word “Nephilim” she transforms into her true form, that of an alluring woman with gray skin, white hair and eyes, clad in black leather. Large white horns erupt from her head, and she holds in her hand a trident forged from abyssal steel, coal black in color and cold to the touch. While she prefers to attack with the trident, she can also unleash a burst of black flame from her hands.

Sammael, The Angel of Death
The archangel Sammael is the Angel of Death, and like his brother Samarioch, occupies a place between the Heavenly Host and the Demons of the Pit, exhibiting a less absolute morality than most angels. As the appointed Angel of Death, however, he’s generally regarded with fear, and considered more than a little evil. The Grigori known as Lord Baltimore has managed, through the use of the Tetragrammaton, to bind Sammael to his service by a period of 99 days. At the end of that, Sammael must leave the Earthly plane, and hopefully Lord Baltimore has a plan to stave off the angel’s wrath, because Sammael is not known for forgiveness or understanding.

Of course, should Blackwood and friends destroy the Tetragrammaton, Sammael will be free before the 99 days are up. He won’t thank them, however, and will be just as happy to kill them all – he doesn’t like being beholden to anyone. He won’t kill Samarioch, but he will beat him into unconsciousness (non-lethal attacks against his brother).
PL: 13
Abilities: STR: 20 (+5) DEX: 18 (+4) CON: 20 (+5) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 18 (+4) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Bluff 4 (+6)
Concentration 4 (+8)
Handle Animal 4 (+6)
Intimidate 8 (+10)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 12 (+14)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 12 (+14)
Notice 4 (+8)
Search 4 (+6)
Sense Motive 4 (+8)
Stealth 8 (+12)
Feats: Accurate Attack
All-Out Attack
Defensive Attack
Defensive Strike
Diehard
Eagle Eyes
Fearless
Follow-Up Strike
Hide in Plain Sight
Improved Critical 1 [Strike]
Improved Initiative 2
Move-By Action
Power Attack
Ritualist
Takedown Attack 2
Uncanny Dodge 2 [Visual]
Powers: Comprehend 3 [Read, Speak, Understand All Languages]
Concealment 2 [Postcognition, Precognition]
Flight 4 [100 mph, 880 ft./rnd]
Immunity 45 [Dazzle Effects, Emotion Effects, Fortitude Saves, Interaction Skills]
Magic 12 [Mystic Blast]
  • AP: Confuse 8 [Area Burst; 40 ft. area]
  • AP: Death Touch 12
  • AP: Emotion Control 12
  • AP: ESP 6 [All Senses; Range: 20 miles]
  • AP: Insubstantial 4 [Incorporeal]
  • AP: Nullify 8 [All Powers]
  • AP: Obscure 6 [All Sense Types; Range: 60 ft., Radius: 250 ft.]
  • AP: Super-Movement 10 [Dimension 3 (Any), Permeate 3 (Full Speed), Temporal Move (Any), Trackless]
  • AP: Teleport 12 [1200 ft./20 million miles]
Morph 3 [Humanoids]
Protection 10 [Impervious]
Strike 7 [Mighty, Affects Insubstantial 2, Affects Incorporeal]
Super-Senses 17 [Awareness: Magic (Accurate, Extended), Low-Light Vision, Postcognition, Precognition, Scent, See Invisible]
Combat: Attack +12 [Blast +12, Strike +12, Death Touch +12], Defense +10, Init +12
Saves: Toughness +15, Fortitude Immune, Reflex +9, Will +12
Description: The Angel of Death masks himself in a mortal frame, appearing as a British man with soft features and a medium height and build, dressed in a black suit and a black bowler. When he wishes to unveil his full power, he appears as a massively muscled humanoid with coal black skin and long white hair tied up into several braids. His eyes burn a cold black and he appears naked save for a white loincloth. Enormous black wings erupt from his back, and small ones decorate his temples and ankles. As an angel, he possesses few fleshly weaknesses, a repertoire of superhuman senses, the ability to understand any language, and the ability to transform into any human like shape he can imagine. As the Angel of Death, he possesses formidable magical powers, which allow him to unleash a blast of divine power, or create a wide variety of other effects. The most devastating is the ability to kill with a touch. As a connoisseur of death, however, Sammael prefers to kill with his bare hands, literally tearing his targets apart. He cannot be killed, merely banished from the Earthly plane for a time. He’s never lost a fight, though.

MacynSnow
Posts: 3048
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:56 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Murder in the Underground]

Post by MacynSnow » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:41 am

I like this Story/game series.I might just "creatively borrow" this for a game i'm thinking of running(if it's cool with you)...

Yojimbo
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Murder in the Underground]

Post by Yojimbo » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:06 pm

MacynSnow wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:41 am
I like this Story/game series.I might just "creatively borrow" this for a game i'm thinking of running(if it's cool with you)...
Thanks! Feel free to make use of it if you'd like, that's pretty much why it's here.

Jabroniville
Posts: 8810
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:43 am

Yojimbo wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:13 pm
Hoid wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:04 am
I am enjoying this thread immensely.
Thanks! It's hard to tell. I can see people are reading it, but its not generating much in reactions.
The curse of OC-themed threads, I'm afraid. People don't comment as much- I've had more than a couple voice their frustrations to me over it. I've read the occasional bio on here, and found them pretty interesting- you put in a lot of work :). I just wish I had more time to read through it all- I fear I often click the topic to make sure I have nothing "Unread", which is why you're registering so many views, lol!

Yojimbo
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:41 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:43 am
The curse of OC-themed threads, I'm afraid. People don't comment as much- I've had more than a couple voice their frustrations to me over it.
I wouldn't say I'm frustrated. I knew what I was getting into - 2nd edition, original characters, no art - I just don't know if anyone besides two or three people (including myself) finds this at all worthwhile.
I've read the occasional bio on here, and found them pretty interesting- you put in a lot of work :). I just wish I had more time to read through it all- I fear I often click the topic to make sure I have nothing "Unread", which is why you're registering so many views, lol!
Okay, that does bother me. :)

Yojimbo
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Beorhtric Warwick, Caliban]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:45 pm

Beorhtric Warwick
Born of an ancient noble family in the north of England, Beorhtric inherited a cumbersome Anglo-Saxon name as well as an enormous ancestral fortune. Berry came into his fortune at an early, undisciplined age, and he spent his youth and his money on toys, gambling, women, and drink. He bought horses and fast cars and drank himself to sleep every night. He also bought himself a German alchemist and wonder-worker, because that seemed like the thing to do at the time, and ensconced Doctor Schmidt in the Warwick family mansion, furnishing the mad German with anything his twisted heart desired.

And then, late one night on a country road, an inebriated Berry driving a new-fangled automobile narrowly avoided crashing into a carriage, but slammed into a huge tree instead. He was killed almost instantly. But Schmidt recovered his patron’s body, and using his arcane knowledge, managed to resurrect the young man, transforming him into a zombie-like form suffused with primordial ichor. He made some improvements as well, including binding Beorhtric to Schmidt’s will. Now he not only signs the checks but crushes anyone who crosses Schmidt with his bare hands.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 34 (+12) DEX: 10 (-) CON: 34 (+12) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 14 (+2) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Drive 4
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 4 (+6)
Notice 4 (+6)
Ride 4
Sense Motive 4 (+6)
Survival 4 (+6)
Feats: All-Out Attack
Benefit 1 [Wealth]
Diehard
Improved Initiative 1
Interpose
Luck 1
Power Attack
Powers: Immortality
Immunity 7 [Environmental Conditions (All), Suffocation (All)]
Impervious Toughness 12
Leaping 2 [Running Jump: 110 ft., Standing Jump: 55 ft., High Jump: 27 ft.]
Speed 1 [10 mph, 88 ft./rnd]
Super-Strength 5 [Heavy Load: 44.8 tons]
Combat: Attack +8 [Unarmed DC 27], Defense +8, Init +4
Saves: Toughness +12, Fortitude +12, Reflex +6, Will +8
Description: Before his transformation, Beorhtric was a brutally handsome man with dark hair, flashing blue eyes, and a devilish smile. Some of the spark went out of him with his death and arcane rebirth, and he is more morose and grim. His eyes have turned fully black, filled with the ichor that courses through his powerful frame, and he generally hides them behind tinted spectacles. His skin has taken on a waxy pallor, but his muscles have swelled with hidden power, allowing him to lift tremendous weights or strike with the crushing power of an out of control locomotive. He can run as fast as a cart or leap incredible distances, and he ignores all environmental dangers or even the need to breathe any more. He is functionally immortal, no longer being hindered by chemicals or disease and even if killed, rises again in a week’s time. Yet he is incredibly hard to hurt, as his ichor-charged flesh is stronger than steel.

Under the Hood
I mean, Wonder Man is basically a Frankenstein Monster anyway, right?

Warwick is not a member of the Stranger's Club. He's just another Londoner with a mysterious secret, who may at some point run afoul of the Blackwood Detective Agency, probably while doing some dastardly deed for Schmidt. More likely, he will never appear at all.

Yojimbo
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Beorhtric Warwick, Caliban]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:51 pm

Caliban
The creature known as Caliban is the lab assistant of Helmut Schmidt. He doesn’t know any of the doctor’s true history, just as Schmidt does not suspect the truth about Caliban. All Schmidt and Warwick know is that the misshapen Caliban was working in an apothecary’s shop in London when Schmidt first met him. Impressed by Caliban’s chemical knowledge, and needing an assistant (and accomplice), Schmidt hired Caliban away from his current job. They have been together ever since and Caliban has shown no compunction about assisting the doctor with his nefarious experiences.

Caliban is actually a Morlock, an evolutionary offshoot of humanity from the far-future. He was caught in a seemingly naturally occurring time vortex and unceremoniously dumped into the countryside of mid-19th century England. It took him a while to adjust, not least of all because of his strange and occasionally frightening appearance, but he was eventually able to understand the local patois and secure himself some kind of employment at a chemist’s. He has no way to get back to the tunnels and machines of his home, but he has found a way to fit in among these primitive humans. Not as tractable as the Eloi, many of them instead remind Caliban of his own family and friends among the Morlocks. He supposes that he could have suffered a worse fate. At least he is alive, has his freedom, and a strange, burgeoning friendship with the resurrected nobleman who signs his checks.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 30 (+10) DEX: 22 (+6) CON: 30 (+10) INT: 18 (+4) WIS: 18 (+4) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+10)
Craft: Chemical 8 (+12)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 8 (+12)
Knowledge: Earth Sciences 8 (+12)
Knowledge: Life Sciences 8 (+12)
Knowledge: Physical Sciences 8 (+12)
Medicine 4 (+8)
Notice 4 (+8)
Search 4 (+8)
Stealth 4 (+10)
Feats: Artificer
Genius 1
Inventor
Monkey Climber
Taunt
Powers: Leaping 1 [Running Jump: 40 ft., Standing Jump: 20 ft., High Jump: 10 ft.]
“Prehensile Feat” Additional Limbs 1 [Improved Grapple]
Super-Senses 1 [Darkvision]
Super-Movement 3 [Slow Fall, Sure-Footed (25% penalty reduction), Wall-Crawling 1 (half speed)]
Super-Strength 1 [Heavy Load: 3.2k lbs]
Combat: Attack +10 [Unarmed DC 25], Defense +10, Init +6
Saves: Toughness +10, Fortitude +10, Reflex +10, Will +8
Description: Caliban is a squat, barrel chested humanoid with ape-like features, enormous black eyes, and fine pale hair covering most of his body. He wears ragged black clothes, suit without a tie or hat, but no shoes. Caliban’s feet are as dexterous as his hands, with an opposable toe like a thumb. He can climb with amazing speed, and moves through even difficult terrain with surprising ease. Caliban is superhumanly strong, allowing him to lift a carriage on his own or to leap prodigious distances. His eyes can penetrate even the deepest darkness. Despite his brutish appearance and savage powers, Caliban is at heart a scientist and engineer, most at home mixing chemicals or poring over the scientific works of a bygone age.

Under the Hood
So I wanted to give my Wonder Man a Beast to hang with, but after I built him, I had no idea what he actually was or why he could do what he could do. Was he a mutant, like Beast? An alchemical mistake, like many other characters in Fantastic Victoriana? His background and description were left blank for an awfully long time, until recently when it occurred to me to use another one of H.G. Wells' stories: Caliban would make a perfect Morlock from The Time Machine. How did he end up in the present... er, the 19th century? Who knows. The important thing is that he's here, he's not all that nice a guy (probably still has a craving for the long pork), but somehow he's not as bad as Schmidt. Caliban could be the key to turning Warwick back into a decent member of Victorian society.

Jabroniville
Posts: 8810
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Imani Chembechembe, Miss Fortune, Jack Nimble]

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:54 am

Yojimbo wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:41 pm
Jabroniville wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:43 am
The curse of OC-themed threads, I'm afraid. People don't comment as much- I've had more than a couple voice their frustrations to me over it.
I wouldn't say I'm frustrated. I knew what I was getting into - 2nd edition, original characters, no art - I just don't know if anyone besides two or three people (including myself) finds this at all worthwhile.
I've read the occasional bio on here, and found them pretty interesting- you put in a lot of work :). I just wish I had more time to read through it all- I fear I often click the topic to make sure I have nothing "Unread", which is why you're registering so many views, lol!
Okay, that does bother me. :)
Terribly sorry :). I'm just super-anal-retentive and don't like to see "unread" topic in Character Sheets. I'll make more of a concentrated effort to read everything. I can see you've put in a lot of work here!

I never pay attention to the "views" statistic for threads, anyhow- way too many lurkers. I get a lot of random people who comment only once or twice in my thread, but they all apparently view it sometimes.

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