Extraordinary Mortals

Extraordinary Mortals

Nicole Chavez
Detective Inspector Chavez

Type: Extraordinary Mortal
Affiliation: The Guardians of the Veil
Cabal: The Old Bills
Born: 1976

Virtue: Code of Behavior (The Law)
Vice: Stubborn
Long-Term Aspiration: To bring the rule of law to the supernatural world.

Background: Neva Chavez was born in Mexico City in 1976, to Diego and Marisol Chavez. Her father was a third generation policeman, and though no one could call Diego Chavez the most crusading of men, he was as honest as his salary allowed him to be. He took a few bribes, and ignored a few things, and tried to serve the people as best he could, as his own father and grandfather had back to the start of the Republic. But then Neva's birth changed that. What was the point of being a third-rate policeman in a land where all were corrupt and all was bleak, what sort of life would this give his daughter? So, Diego left. He had some contacts, his own and his fathers, and he had some money, and he had something even more valuable. A sister in Scotland.

With advantages like that, doors opened, and in 1978 the Chavez family moved to the United Kingdom, where they settled in London, where Diego worked as a waiter, then chef, then eventually a resteranteur. Diego Chavez, needless to say, was an entrepeneurial soul. Neva's name became Nicole for all practical purposes (it was legally changed on her 18th birthday), and they settled into something that was almost a middle class lifestyle. Summers were spent with her aunt in Scotland, reading the older woman's endless collections of books, on every imaginable subject.

Nicole went to high school and then to college, where she studied law and criminology and got herself involved in a few dubious escapades with student politics and over-enthusiastic parties. After a year off, she became a the fourth generation of her family to enter the police force, albeit as a British Bobby instead of a Mexican Federale. Joining the Metropolitan Police Service (the formal name of Scotland Yard) was a natural career, and she would rise through the ranks at a healthy clip. This surprised no one. She was smart as a whip, she was pretty and charming, and she was ambitious. She crossed over from uniforms to the Homicide desk early on, and then made Detective Sergeant in 2005, at the age of 29.

It was grim, gritty work. Chavez smiles a great deal, and she can flirt and tell jokes, but it did touch her. In some people, police work breeds greater empathy and compassion. But for Nicole Chavez, it led to a certain distance, a detachment from the greater herd of humanity. She came to see herself as someone apart, by virtue of her career and her talents, and sometimes, in her darkest dreams, as someone better. The bloody scenes affected her less when she thought this way.

Then came a routine case involving a Mr. Marcus Beverly and his sociopathic daughter. By the end of it, DS Nicole Chavez had fallen down the rabbit hole into the Hedge, into a world of magic and monsters and faerie tales. She'd met Ilkin and the Jack-of-Crows, been threatened by the Winter King Todd White, and helped shoot down a mad, monstrous Keeper in the heart of the Hedge. It was the most terrifying experience of Nicole Chavez's life.

Since that strange night, now more than a year in the past, Nicole has tried to order her life. She has friends, and has taken up a boyfriend in the form of the mage Vincent Jeffries, courtesy of some well-meaning prodding from Ilkin and Erin. She still finds the Fair Folk unnerving and frightful (with the exception of Erin, perhaps), but she brushes past that fear. Chavez has never been one to let fear rule her. And so, life continues, albeit rather more strangely than it had before.

In early 2012, Nicole was promoted to Detective Inspector, which means she now has the authority to conduct her own, large-scale investigations. Just how much the Guardians of the Veil had with this promotion is left to suspicious-minded individuals to decide.

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 5, Resolve 5
Physical Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3
Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 4

Mental Skills: Academics (Criminology, Law)
5, Computer
3, Investigation (Crime Scene; 9-Again)
6, Occult (Fae)
4, Politics
3, Science (Forensics)
Physical Skills: Athletics (Running) 4, Brawl 3, Drive 1, Larceny 3, Stealth 3, Weaponry 2
Social Skills: Empathy (9-Again) 4, Intimidation 3, Persuasion 2, Socialize 2, Streetwise 4, Subterfuge (Scrutinize; 9-Again) 5

Merits: Allies (Criminal) 3, Allies (Police) 5, Contacts 3, Indomitable 2, Language (Spanish; Native is English) 1, Professional Training (Detective; Empathy, Investigation, Subterfuge) 5, Resources 4, Status (
Where the Bodies are Buried; Disciplined; Pull; Tithe
Guardians of the Veil) 3, Striking Looks (Fair Cop) 1, Unseen Sense (Faerie) 2
Combat Merits: Fighting Style (Street Fighting) 1, Fighting Style (Grapple) 1, Fighting Style (Police Tactics) 1
Lair: Highgate Flat (Shared with Seventeen); Security 4, Warding 2

Willpower: 12/14 (-2 Tithe)
Innocence: 5

Initiative: 7; +4 Body Language
Defense: 5
Armor: 3/3B (Kevlar Vest + Aegis Talisman)
Mind Shield: 5 (Indomitable + Disciplined); Unbreakable
Magic Shield: 3 (Aegis Talisman)
Health: 8
Speed: 11

Arete: 5
Paragon Powers: Mental Prodigy, Unbreakable
Kits: Skill Kit (Investigation, Empathy, Subterfuge); Skill Kit (Streetwise, Athletics, Brawl); Relics
Skill Tricks: Investigation (Always Investigating; Incisive Mind), Empathy (Microexpression Reader; Body Language; Profiler), Subterfuge (Everyone Lies), Streetwise (Gang Ambassador; Word on the Street; Nose for Trouble), Brawl (Mechanical Compliance)
Relics: Aegis Talisman 5, One-Eyed Kings 1, Skeleton Key 1, Eye of Hubris 2

Attacks...........................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special
Grapple ..........……………………0B………………10………………Compliance Hold (+2 to Immobilize or Disarm)
Telescopic Baton......…………3L………………….8………………Concealable
Bear Mace………...................N/A..................7.............5 ammo, 1/10/20 range, -5 penalties

Sergei Valentinovich Zaitsev (Real Name), Sergei Morozov (Fae Name), Sergei Semyonovich Arsenyev (Legal Identity), Sergei the Rabbit, The Archer of the Lonely March

Type: Extraordinary Mortal (Frequently masquerades as a Darkling Mirrorskin)
Affiliation: Freehold of New Jerusalem, Harbingers
Court: Winter
Border Marcher
The Archer of the Lonely March is at home in the Hedge, and is immune to the mystical negative effects of the Thorns (such as losing Glamour, Innocence, etc). They still scratch like hell, though.
Archer of the Lonely March,
Subterfuge, So Sweet
They may be spies, hackers, or private investigators, but the lifeblood of the Mirror-Walkers is secret information. It can be hard to find, but when they find it, is it ever so sweet. Once per day, when a Mirror-Walker uncovers a secret (defined as anything someone has purposefully concealed), they gain (Wyrd) points of Glamour.
Born: 1968
Apparent Age: Precisely thirteen years younger than his actual age, and not aging for another year

Virtue: Loyal
Vice: Indecisive
Long-Term Aspiration: To atone for his crimes

Background: Sergei Valentinovich Zaitsev was born in Leningrad in 1968 as part of that specific Russian class known as the intelligentsiya. His family, though not rich (no one in the USSR was except for Party apparatchiks), had respectable professions in architecture and engineering, and Sergei Valentinovich had a fairly unexceptional early life, with a bare minimum of religious instruction from a grandmother who still followed the Russian Orthodox Church (which was strongly disapproved of by the Party and infested by the KGB). He did well in school, entered the Kalinin Polytechnical Institute at the close of the 1980s with a major in Electrical Engineering, and upon emerging from the university in 1990, was conscripted to join the Soviet Army.

Close to unique amongst old Soviet institutions, the army remained virtually unchanged, and Sergei stayed there past the two-year minimum conscription term. Quite simply, it was a relatively stable job when the entire economy was falling down around his ears. Sergei served as a military technician and an infantry dedicated marksman from 1990 to 1996, serving in the First Chechen War and fighting in the final Battle of Grozny. A battle which the now-Russian Army lost, which led to the end of the war, and which led to a general contraction of the army which in turn left Sergei and a lot of other soldiers out of work.

So, Sergei joined the Tambov Criminal Group, an organized crime collective in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). It was a straightforward choice for Sergei. The Russian economy was still a shambles, and joining the Mafiya was a way to wealth and power. Sergei certainly had saleable talents. He was a combat veteran who'd fought in some very nasty urban campaigns, he had a great deal of skill with technology and electronics, and serving in the notoriously corrupt Russian Army had worn away any qualms about becoming a criminal.

Sergei became one of the bratva, and a rather good one. He was a scrawny fish of a man, but he thought fast on his feet, and he was equally good at wiring surveillance gear, assembling bombs, or simply shooting someone with a Dragunov rifle. Most of what Sergei did was help enforce the protection rackets of the Tambov Gang, though at various points he'd dabbled in drug distribution, arms dealing, and human trafficking. Basically, he was an enforcer.

Then along came Oleg Chernenko, looking for new recruits. They called him the devil incarnate, but his men were all loyal to him, and he was offering good money and promises of secrets. Sergei signed on, and there followed a three-month crash course in the supernatural. Oleg was a firm believer in teaching via experience - the lessons culminated in the tracking and assassination of a petty mobster who's stomach opened up into a giant mouth. Sergei survived, others didn't. The 'devil incarnate' didn't seem so much like a joke, now.

Some years later, Sergei, along with southern Russian named Aleksander, were shipped out to London. The job was to feed people into a certain occult machine and tape the results via the security cameras - practically speaking, all the pair had to do was convince someone to touch the clockwork, and things would take care of themselves as soon as the victim was alone. The bodies were carefully taken away, no one was any wiser, and if they were, then no one could prove it. He met a pretty young woman when he was on the job, and talked to her. She was kind, and friendly, which was something he hadn't had a lot of in London. He wound up inviting her into the back, and after talking a little more, convinced her to touch the clockwork. He wasn't even sure why he did it, beyond the fact that his life and his morality had gone on autopilot a long time ago. If he'd had any regrets, they were too little, too late - he had no way to stop it, once he'd set the gears in motion.

A few days later, when he walked into the security room, he found a mannequin dolled up to look like the woman he'd killed, her skull sawed open, and blood splattered all over the walls to spell out "MURDERER". He did what any reasonable person in the situation would do, and ran away screaming. Then he called his boss.

The nightmare wouldn't end. The mannequin kept following him, appearing in glimpses in mirrors or in the corner of his eyes, then vanishing whenever he turned to look. Sergei quietly concluded that he was going mad. When the small, strange woman found him, with intimate knowledge of his crimes, he broke down entirely. The priests had been right, his sins had come back to haunt him. He knew ghosts and demons existed, but this was something far worse - an angel.

The angel, actually a changeling who'd been working in movie special effects, felt pity for the man after accidentally gaslighting him to insanity. She offered him a bargain to help get him away from Oleg and atone for his crimes. The rest, as they say, is history.

Currently, Sergei has reinvented himself as Sergei Semyonovich Arsenyev, a second-generation Russian immigrant and electrician. He lives in a small house in the suburbs, which are rather unassuming except for the cache of Soviet military gear in a false cabinet and the fact that hanging lights in the foyer contain a concussion grenade. Sergei goes to the local Orthodox church faithfully, and is a member in good standing of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). He is slightly crazy. He's also been, for all intents and purposes, adopted into the local Unseelie Court, most of whom figure him to be a Winter changeling. He works as a scout for them, mostly in the material world, but also in the Hedge.

Real Name: Sergei Zaitsev

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 5, Stamina 3
Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 4

Mental Skills: Academics 1, Computer 2, Crafts (Electronics, Medical) 3, Investigation 2, Medicine 2, Occult 1, Science (Occam’s Razor)
Physical Skills: Athletics
4, Brawl
3, Drive (Escape Pursuit)
4, Firearms (Rifles x2, Machine Pistols; 9-Again)
5+Prodigy+Killer Instinct+Pledge
9, Larceny
3, Stealth (9-Again; 8-Again with Mask)
5, Survival (Hedge x2)
Social Skills: Empathy
+2 to Make a Deal
Persuasion 1, Intimidation 2, Streetwise (Organized Crime; 9-Again) 1, Subterfuge (+3 to disguise with mask, +3 to disguise with lenses)

Alternate Identity (Sergei Semyonovich Arsenyev),
2+Freehold (3)
Allies (Medical; Tech at Guy’s Hospital) 5, Languages (English; Native is Russian) 1, Mantle (Winter) 3, Professional Training (Hitman; Firearms, Stealth, Streetwise) 5, Quick Draw (Machine Pistols) 1,
Resources 5, Status (Freehold) 3, Status (Harbingers) 3, True Dreams 2,
Combat Merits: Fighting Style (Marksmanship) 4, Shiv (Knife) 1
Supernatural Merits: Familiar (Beat) 6, Enhanced Item (
Armor increased to 4/6B
Erin-Made Flak Jacket) 3, Token (
Double stealth skill, at the cost of 1B and 1WP per hour
Dead Men's Boots) 3, Enhanced Item (
As CZ Skorpion, but +2L
Engraved Skorpion) 2, Enhanced Item (
As Dragunov, but +5L
Engraved Dragunov) 5, Enhanced Item (
As Knife, but +1L
Engraved Knife) 1, Token (
Gain the Darkling Seeming and Mirrorskin Kith blessing, receiving 9-again on Stealth and +3 to Subterfuge (Disguise) rolls
Deadman's Mask) 2, Token (
+3 to Disguise rolls
Lying Lenses) 3, Token (
Supernatural prosthetic finger, looks pretty
Moonlight Finger) 0
Lair: Suburban Bungalow; Security 3

Willpower: 12
Innocence: 6 (+2 to Breaking Point rolls)

Health: 8
Initiative: 9 (7 w/ CZ Skorpion, 4 w/ Dragunov)
Defense: 3 (4 base, -1 vest)
Armor: 4/6B (Erin-Made Flak Jacket)
Speed: 13

Arete: 5
Entitlement Powers: Border Marcher (Archer of the Lonely March); Subterfuge, So Sweet (Mirror-Walker)
Paragon Powers: Physical Prodigy
Kits: Skill Kit (Firearms, Stealth, Science), Divine Miracles
Skill Tricks: Firearms (Killer Instinct), Stealth (Find Cover), Science (Occam’s Razor)
Divine Miracles
The activation of Benedictions varies from ritual to ritual, but all have the following common modifiers:
–3 Ritualist’s Morality is 3 or less
-1 Ritual incorporates no overt shows of faith
+1 Ritualist is an ordained priest, monk or nun
+1 Ritualist’s Morality is 8 or higher
+2 Ritual incorporates the sacraments
+5 Ritual is performed on the appropriate saint’s feast day (see individual Benedictions)
: 5;
Satan’s servants are as subtle as they are powerful. Many are capable of warping a hunter’s mind, forcing her to betray her friends and allies. By invoking St. Epipodius, patron saint of the betrayed, a member of the Malleus Maleficarum can safeguard herself against such blasphemous arts. Through the power of faith, her soul remains pure and loyal.
Cost: 1 Willpower.
Action: Instant.
Dice Pool: None.
Effect: By spending a point of Willpower and uttering a prayer to St. Epipodius, the hunter gains a preternatural resistance to mental domination, be it by spell or possession or a more mysterious force. For the rest of the scene, she adds her Benediction rating to any Resistance Attribute rolled to contest any supernatural power that seeks to control her mind. This resistance does not apply against powers that merely affect her mind (such as a witch’s ability to conjure illusions or a demons ability to invoke terror), only those that would control her actions (such as demonic possession or a vampire’s dread gaze).
Epipodian Safeguard,
Those strong in the faith can expel demons from the bodies of the possessed and even force them to depart from a place, but even the righteous warriors of God must have their secret counsels, and it does no good to banish Satan’s spawn if they have already overheard your battle plans. By calling upon the blessings of the virgin martyr St. Agrippina, a hunter may create a safe space into which the creatures of the night cannot enter. Most cells of Malleus Maleficarum hunters have at least one member who knows this Benediction, and whose sacred duty it is to ensure that the group’s headquarters remains protected.

Cost: 1 Willpower.
Action: Extended; each roll represents one minute of chanting and prayer. The Benediction may be “rushed,” reducing the time per roll to one turn at the cost of incurring a -1 penalty on the roll. The hunter must roll a number of successes equal to the number of square yards the blessing’s protection encompasses.
Dice Pool: Resolve + Benediction.

Dramatic Failure: An improperly performed ritual either draws spirits and ghosts to the location or grants such beings a temporary +1 to their Power when they are in the area.
Failure: No progress is made toward blessing the area.
Success: The character makes progress toward blessing the area with St. Agrippina’s protection.
Exceptional Success: Not only is significant progress made toward completing the blessing, but the protected area’s Strength also gains a +1 bonus (Benediction + 1 for a general blessing, Benediction +2 for a blessing against a specific monster).

The Blessed Protection of St. Agrippina can be a general blessing that protects against all monsters, or it may be custom-tailored to affect only a single unholy blasphemy, but at greater potency. When creating a ward against a specific creature, the hunter does not need to know the name of the entity — an obvious designation, such as “the vampire who killed Maria Buchenwald” or “the demon that tempted me with wealth and power” is a sufficiently accurate description. Specific blessings protect against only that particular being, though. They have no effect on any other monster. Each blessing must be tied to some sort of physical marker, such as a fence or a line of holy water sprinkled across the floor. If anyone or anything disturbs or makes an opening in this physical marker, the blessing instantly ceases to function. A character cannot bless an area that is more than 21 yards on a side; he can protect a small house and most of its yard, a large house or most of a warehouse, but not an entire office building or city block. The Blessed Protection of St. Agrippina is generally stationary; the only way to move the effect is to move the entire structure the blessing protects. Thus, it is possible to ward a house or even a car, but not an individual person (wards must affect an area, and most people don’t move the ground under their feet when they walk).

The blessing has a Strength rating equal to its creator’s Benediction rating (or Benediction +1 for a blessing against one particular creature) that measures its ability to keep out Satan’s spawn. This score is subtracted from the Presence (or Power, for a ghost or spirit) of any affected monster that seeks to enter the area. If the entity’s Presence or Power would be reduced to zero, it cannot enter the blessed area. Otherwise, the creature can enter, but all of its Power Attributes (Strength, Intelligence and Presence) are reduced by the Strength of the blessing for the entire time the entity remains in the area. If any of these Attributes is reduced to 0, the monster cannot use any actions that rely on that Attribute. Monsters outside the blessed area that attempt to use supernatural powers to affect anyone or anything inside the blessed area are still subject to the blessing’s Strength. Monsters within the blessed area at the time of its casting (such as a vampire within its haven during the day) will endeavor to flee at any cost; inability to flee causes the monster to suffer the effects as noted above.

The Blessed Protection of St. Agrippina lasts for one full day if it is performed to ward off all supernatural entities, or for a week if its blessing works against a single creature. Multiple Blessed Protections of St. Agrippina do not stack; however, it is possible to lay a blessing against one particular entity and one against all monsters over the same area, or several separate blessings against different specific creatures. For example, a Malleus Maleficarum cell actively engaged in hunting down a particular cabal of witches might well maintain a separate ward against each member of the cabal, in addition to a general ward against all monsters, around its headquarters. An individual hunter may only have a single protection active at a time, thus, the example above requires the cooperation of the entire cell. Although a monster may convince a mortal to remove or damage the physical markers that keep a blessing in place, such entities are completely incapable of affecting these physical markers directly, even if they could normally move or destroy them. A spirit affected by a Blessed Protection of St. Agrippina cannot make the area into an anchor while the protection is in place. A ward does not undo the connection between an entity and its anchor if the rite is performed on such an object, however. The spirit or ghost’s Power is still reduced by the blessing, but it remains in proximity to its anchor. Such a being whose Power is reduced to zero is forced into a sort of hibernation while the blessing is active, becoming dormant and inaccessible.

Suggested Modifiers
-1 The area being blessed is devoted to some profane purpose (such as a strip club or crack house)
+1 The area being blessed is consecrated ground
+5 Benediction performed on June 23rd (Feast Day of St. Agrippina)
Blessed Protection of St. Agrippina,
The enemies of the faith are manifold, and while some may be fought with sword and gun and purifying flame, some exist against whom earthly weapons are no avail. Ghosts, demonic spirits and other insubstantial terrors cannot be fought by force of arms, but rather by the strength of faith. Truly devout hunters can invoke the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, infusing ordinary objects with the divine power of faith.

Cost: 1 Willpower (see below).
Action: Extended; each roll represents one turn of prayer.
Dice Pool: Morality + Benediction.

Dramatic Failure: The object to be sanctified is shattered by the wrath of God, and the hunter loses any Willpower cost associated with the ritual.
Failure: No progress is made toward completing the ritual.
Success: Progress is made toward completing the ritual.
Exceptional Success: In addition to major progress being made, the rating of the blessed item created by this ritual is increased by one dot.

This rite allows the hunter to create a blessed item (The World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 214). Before beginning the ritual, the hunter must decide on the dot rating he wishes to bestow on the blessed item he creates. Each dot requires three successes to create, and the maximum number of rolls is capped by the hunter’s Morality. If the hunter fails, he does not pay the Willpower cost except on a dramatic failure. Creating a blessed item with this rite costs a point of Willpower. The item remains blessed for the remainder of the scene. If the hunter desires, he may spend a Willpower dot to infuse the item with God’s blessing permanently.

Suggested Modifier
-2 The item being blessed is profane or blasphemous (a porn magazine, an image of Jesus sprayed with horse urine).
-1 The item being blessed is one of no particular religious significance (e.g., a baseball bat or comic book).
+0 The item being blessed is one of religious significance (a Bible, rosary, etc.).
+2 The blessed item is an actual relic of a saint, such as a bone or vial of blood.
+5 Benediction is enacted on May 24th (Feast Day of Mary, Help of Christians).
Sanctification of the Blessed Virgin,
The rites of exorcism exist in many forms across many of the world’s religions. The Catholic Church continues to train exorcists in the art, though they try to keep that fact quiet. The current form favored by the Church is detailed in the Roman Ritual and made famous by films like The Exorcist. The Malleus Maleficarum uses that form of the rite, but generally prefers this archaic, medieval formula attributed to St. Benedict. It claims that the rite has a greater power than that of the Roman Ritual, and in any case, it resonates with the order’s preference for the trappings of the medieval Church.

Cost: None
Action: Extended and contested; each roll represents five minutes of repeating the Vade Retro Satana; or contested (see below).
Dice Pool: Resolve + Composure + Benediction.

This Benediction serves the Malleus Maleficarum in the same way that the abjuration and exorcism actions (The World of Darkness Rulebook, pp. 213–214) serve other hunters. All the rules for those actions apply to the use of this Benediction, which may be a contested action (if used as an abjuration) or a contested and extended action (if used as an exorcism). In effect, knowledge of this Benediction enables the hunter to add his Benediction rating as a bonus to his abjuration and exorcism dice pools.

The text of the Vade Retro Satana, in Latin, is:
Crux sancta sit mihi lux
Non draco sit mihi dux
Vade retro satana
Nunquam suade mihi vana
Sunt mala quae libas
Ipse venena bibas

The prayer roughly translates to:
May the Holy Cross be my light
Let not the dragon lead me
Step back, Satan
Never tempt me with vain things
What you offer me is evil
Drink the poison yourself

Suggested Modifier
+5 Benediction is invoked on July 11th (feast day of St. Benedict).
Vade Retro Satana,
Grievous wounds are all too common in the hunt, and often the injured warrior cannot be taken to a hospital. The soldier-priests of the Hammer of Witches know that the power of faith to heal the wounded is a greater tool than the scalpels and drugs of the modern doctor, and so they call on St. Luke the Evangelist to restore life and vigor.

Cost: 1 Willpower.
Action: Extended; each roll represents one minute of prayer and laying-on of hands.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Benediction.

Dramatic Failure: The injured character’s wounds are visited upon the healer in the form of stigmata. The healer suffers one point of lethal damage as blood erupts from his palms, feet, side and brow.
Failure: No progress is made toward healing the injured character.
Success: The injured character’s wounds begin to close through the power of God.
Exceptional Success: In addition to tremendous progress being made, the Benediction downgrades one aggravated wound to lethal.

Successes rolled on the extended action go toward healing the characters. One success is required to heal a point of bashing damage, while two successes are required to heal a lethal wound. The healer need not declare a target number in advance, but the character may only make a number of rolls equal to his Morality. In order to use this Benediction, the healer must lay at least one hand on the injured party. Skin-to-skin contact is necessary. If physical contact is broken, all accumulated successes are lost and the character must begin again. A character may not use this ritual upon himself.

Suggested Modifier
+1 The injured character’s Virtue is Faith
+5 Benediction is performed on October 18th (feast day of St. Luke)
The Hands of St. Luke,
A good shepherd knows how to watch over his flock without disturbing it. Even the scent of a wolf can panic the sheep, and so the shepherd must move among the herd without being noticed. So, too, must the hunter keep his activities shrouded from the awareness of the people he protects, and even those who would aspire to protect him.

Cost: 1 Willpower.
Action: Reflexive.
Dice Pool: Wits + Benediction (but see below).

Dramatic Failure: Not only does the hunter fail to conceal himself, but he actively draws attention to his presence. People automatically notice him and try to engage him in conversation even when he tries to be unobtrusive, and even if he tries to hide, those looking for him get a +1 bonus on their rolls.
Failure: The hunter is unable to mask his presence from those looking for him.
Success: The eyes of ordinary mortals slide right off the hunter; people unconsciously acknowledge his presence but refuse to actually notice him, even if he’s armed to the teeth and engaged in an act of burglary. Any overtly hostile act, such as firing a gun or shouting a threat, breaks the illusion instantly, as does speaking anything other than prayer.
Exceptional Success: As a success, but if the hunter attacks an enemy while still under the effects of this Benediction, the effect does not end until after the attack (meaning the target loses his Defense).

The effects of this Benediction are automatic. As long as the hunter continuously murmurs prayers under his breath (meaning he cannot otherwise speak) and takes no hostile actions, ordinary mortals simply do not see him. Even suspicious but non-threatening acts, like hot-wiring a car or picking a lock on a door, do not break the effect. Supernatural creatures and mortals actively looking for trouble (such as a patrolling cop or a private guard) may make a Wits + Composure roll contested by the hunter’s Wits + Stealth + Benediction. This roll is reflexive for both parties. If the hunter rolls more successes, he remains undetected. If the observer rolls more successes, he pierces the veil and the effect is ended for all characters in the vicinity.

The hunter may spend a second point of Willpower at any time to expand the effect to include a number of willing allies up to his Benediction rating. These allies must be mortal.

Suggested Modifier
+5 Benediction is performed on October 24th (feast day of St. Raphael, patron saint of shepherds).
The Shepherd’s Blessing,
Lambs lying among lions—that is the promise of God’s Paradise and the power behind this Benediction. History is full of accounts and images of the Saints walking among wild beasts unharmed. Perhaps the most well known is that of Daniel in the lion’s den where playing a simple song caused the beasts to lie down, refusing to harm him. Blaise, Vitus, and many others have used some form of this hymn throughout history and it survives into these modern nights. Vampires and other creatures are sometimes said to have the soul of a beast lurking inside them, and this Benediction aims to soothe that savage spirit. It is highly doubtful this Benediction is the same song Daniel used; this hymn is no less effective, however. Hunters of the Malleus Maleficarum over the centuries have used it not only to calm animals in their presence but have also discovered that it can quite literally soothe the savage beast within vampires, werewolves and other raging beasts.

When sung, the Song of Daniel spreads an air of calm over the wildlife surrounding the practitioner. This may be used to approach a specific creature, or let her move through nature without disturbing the local fauna and draw unwanted attention to herself. Beyond that, this Benediction may be used against vampires or other creatures suffering frenzy or similar states (see p. 163) to bring clarity back to their mind and a small peace to their soul.

Cost: 1 Willpower against animals; 2 Willpower against creatures
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Charisma + Benediction – the highest Resolve score of potentially-affected creatures

Dramatic Failure: The target is enraged instead. Area animals view the invoker as a threat and respond with an immediate fight response. Smaller creatures, like rodents, are likely to break off and flee in short order, but larger creatures and predators will need to be repelled. Vampires or other similarly enraged creatures targeted with this Benediction are not calmed and the hunter becomes the sole focus of their supernatural rage.
Failure: The Benediction has no effect and animals will behave and respond normally to the hunter’s presence. Monsters remain in frenzy and will need to be turned away through other methods.
Success: The hymn takes hold of the heart of the beasts. Animals in the area are calmed and will let the hunter pass without thought of fight or flight. Vampires or other out-of-control creatures will find themselves subdued by a supernatural peace overcoming them (see “Frenzy,” p. 163). In addition, the hunter gains bonus dice (equal to successes) on any Animal Ken rolls (for animals) or Social rolls (involving cowed monsters). This Benediction’s area of effect is equal to twice the hunter’s Benediction score in yards. It lasts for one full scene.
Exceptional Success: For the remainder of the scene, any animals or creatures must expend one point of Willpower per turn of attack unless they are defending themselves.

Suggested Modifier
+5 Song of Daniel performed on February 3 (Feast Day of Blaise)
+1 Vampire in frenzy of fear
-1 The animal is a predator/target is a werewolf
-3 Vampire in fight frenzy
Song of Daniel,
The servants of Satan take many guises and hide behind veils of shadow and deception. Vampires’ images blur and shift, hiding their depredations from the eyes of the modern world. Witnesses to the ravages of werewolves and to the foul blasphemies of witches are afflicted with the demons of madness and soon forget what they saw. By calling upon St. Abel, the patron saint of the blind, the Malleus Maleficarum pierces the protections the Devil gives his servants and grants the hunters the gift of true sight.

Cost: 1 Willpower.
Action: Extended; each roll represents one turn of prayer and supplication.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Benediction.

Dramatic Failure: The hunter fails to entreat the saint with humility and righteousness in his heart; every character who would have received the benefits of the ritual is instead struck blind for the remainder of the scene (The World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 166).
Failure: No progress is made toward calling down the Benediction.
Success: The hunter makes progress toward invoking the saint’s power.
Exceptional Success: Extraordinary progress is made.

Successes on the extended action must be allocated amongst all the recipients of the ritual’s blessing. The number of blessed must be determined at the outset of the action, but the hunter need not specify the exact target number of successes. He may make a total number of rolls equal to his Morality, and must assign one success minimum to each intended target. For the remainder of the scene, the players of all those blessed may roll Resolve + (successes allocated). Success indicates that the hunters can see monsters for what they are: if he sees a vampire, he knows it is one of the spiteful dead. If he sees a werewolf, even in its human state, he senses the feral and protean nature of the thing. In addition, any normal monstrous masking effects fail (a vampire’s reflection or image appears crystal clear, the sight of a werewolf inspires no terror or amnesia, and the vulgar magic of a warlock is plain to his eyes). The effects do function even on recorded media; a hunter benefiting from the True Sight of St. Abel will see a vampire’s image clearly, even if that image is on a three-week-old video recording.

For those who have access to the more in-depth rules for monsters found in Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Forsaken, Mage: The Awakening, and other World of Darkness game lines, the True Sight of St. Abel pierces the vampiric Masquerade, werewolves’ Lunacy, and the Quiescence Curse of the mages. Finally, any creatures (ghosts, demons, spirits) existing in the non-corporeal state of Twilight become visible as gauzy shadows. That said, this ritual provides no benefi t against active powers of deception or stealth (such as the Lurker in Darkness Dread Power), only those innate traits that protect the monsters from discovery.

Example: Brother Justin has invoked the blessing of St. Abel in preparation for battle with a pair of shapeshifting hellhounds. The beasts are expecting his coming, and as he bursts into their lair, one has already taken the form of a hulking wolf the size of a horse. Brother Justin rolls his Resolve + 3 (the number of successes allocated to the Benediction) and rolls two successes. He is untouched by the moon-madness that comes from seeing such a demon in its true form, and moves to attack. Unfortunately, he has no idea the beast’s fellow has employed one of its demonic powers to render it hidden to mortal eyes, and is coming up behind him with a knife...
Suggested Modifier
+5 Benediction invoked on August 5th.
True Sight of St. Abel,
This Benediction invokes the “Shield of the Trinity,” or the Scutum Sancte Trinitatis. This Benediction is used by the righteous soldier of God to protect himself against all mortal damage that might end his crusade against the Devil’s army. It is, at present, a Benediction found among the Athanasians. Technically, it’s possible for any hunter in the Malleus Maleficarum to manifest and learn this Benediction, but the Athanasians make every effort to quietly recruit, exile or destroy those hunters that show the potential for it. To use this, the hunter must mark himself with the symbol of the Shield of the Trinity, a symbol marked by four nodes (linked by six lines).

Cost: 3 Willpower
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Resolve + Benediction

Dramatic Failure: The symbol burns, searing the soldier’s flesh with one point of aggravated damage.
Failure: God will not provide the defense necessary. Surely, He has His reasons?
Success: For each success gained on the roll, the hunter has one turn where he takes no damage from most bashing or lethal sources. However, the hunter still takes damage from fire, disease, drugs, and poison. In addition, aggravated damage still accumulates as normal.
Exceptional Success: Successes gained are their own reward (see Success, above).
Scutum Sancte Trinitatis

Type: Vow
[Sergei] - Lesser Forbiddance (-1, Do not commit murder, suicide, or assault - self-defense or defense of others excluded), Medial Forbiddance (-2, Do not talk about Heather's "condition" to anyone but Erin without Erin's express agreement), Lesser Endeavor (-1, Keep in touch with Erin weekly), Lesser Endeavor (-1, Go to church weekly);
[Sergei] - Adroitness: Science, Drive, Stealth (+3), Ensorcellment (+2)
Sanction: Animate Object (Nearest appropriate object animates to enforce the pledge terms, or if impossible to take the oathbreaker and return them to the betrayed partner) [-3]
Duration: Year and a Day (+3);
Oath of Redemption,
The Heart's Oath
My mind was broken, but you were my conscience. My soul is broken, but you make it whole. I know your sins, and I love you despite them. Your winter is over, let me be your spring.
I was lost in the darkness of the world, and you led me out. I was lost in the darkness of my mind, and you led me out. You know my sins, and love me despite them. You are my angel, and my nightmare is over, for you are my dawn.

Type: Oath, Courtly Emblem (Spring)
[All] - Alliance, Medial (-2), Forbiddance (-2, never betray their love by any deed)
[Sergei] - Adroitness: Empathy, Athletics, Subterfuge, Firearms (+4)
Sanction: Pishogue: Growth of the Ivy (Desire for the subject of the indiscretion into desire for the betrayed partner), Growth of the Ivy (Desire to hide the indiscretion into the desire to confess to the betrayed partner), Animate Object (Animate nearby object and command it to take the oathbreaker and return them to the betrayed partner) [-3]
Duration: Lifelong (+3)
[Exceptions] The pledge is not broken and the curse is not triggered if a clause is broken or unfulfilled for any of the following reasons:
-Avoiding certain death or death of the beloved.
-Attempting to save someone's life.
-Failure to assist beloved despite best efforts.
-The course of action that violated the pledge was mutually consented on by both parties.
-Either party is rendered physically or mentally incapable of fulfilling the pledge.
-Either party is forced to break the pledge by force, supernatural means or mind control.
-Either party was unaware their course of action or inaction would violate the pledge.
Heart's Oath

Attacks..............................Damage.........Dice Pool.........Special
Engraved Knife.........................2L………….....8.............
Engraved Dragunov SVD..............5L………….....27.................9-Again, 5 ammo, 20/400/8000 range
Engraved CZ Skorpion…….....4L.....................18...............9-Again, 30 ammo, 25/50/100 range, fully automatic
Smoke Grenade.........................-1....................8...............No damage, concealment (-3)

Aleksander Fyodorovich Melikhin (Real Name), Aleksander Zmeyevich (Fae Name), Alexander Volkov (Legal Identity), Director of Mirrors

Type: Extraordinary Mortal (Frequently masquerades as a Draconic Fairest)
Affiliation: Freehold of New Jerusalem, The Harbingers
Court: Summer
A Wilderness of Mirrors
Each lie the Director of the Mirrors tells makes the next one go down easier. Whenever a character fails to detect one of the Director's lies, they suffer a -2 penalty to any roll to determine true information about the Director (including but not limited to Wits+Empathy to determine the Director's emotions, Wits+Subterfuge to uncover their lies, supernatural powers such as Fleeting Spring 1: Cupid's Eye, etc). For each additional lie the Director pushes through, the penalty increases by -1, to a maximum of -5. Penalties go away at the rate of -1 per day.
The Director of the Mirrors,
Subterfuge, So Sweet
They may be spies, hackers, or private investigators, but the lifeblood of the Mirror-Walkers is secret information. It can be hard to find, but when they find it, is it ever so sweet. Once per day, when a Mirror-Walker uncovers a secret (defined as anything someone has purposefully concealed), they gain (Wyrd) points of Glamour.
Born: 1972 (looks seven years younger due to a spell)
Apparent Age: Precisely seven years younger than his actual age

Virtue: Loyal
Vice: Prideful
Long-Term Aspiration: To prod Erin along to sanity

Real Name: Aleksander Melikhin

Type: Mortal (Occasionally masquerades as a Draconic Fairest)

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 3, Stamina 5
Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 5

Mental Skills:Academics 1, Investigation (9-Again) 2, Medicine 1, Occult (Fae) 1, Politics 1
Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl (Knife)
4+Killer Instinct+Pledge+Mask
8, Firearms 2, Weaponry 1
Social Skills: Empathy (Oneiromancy, Analyzing; 9-Again)
7, Intimidate
3, Persuasion (+2 to Make a Deal)
4, Socialize
2, Streetwise
3, Subterfuge (Doubt x2; 9-Again)

Alternate Identity (Alexander Volkov) , Languages (English, Ukrainian; Native is Russian) 1, Mantle (Summer) 3, Professional Training (Detective; Empathy, Investigation, Subterfuge) 5, Resources
5, Status (Harbingers) 3, Status (Freehold) 4,
From Freehold
Allies: Medical 4, Striking Looks (Hercules) 2, True Friend (Lena Melikhin)
Tokens: Enhanced Item (
Knife increased to 2L, looks to be made of solid smoke
Shadowknife) 1, Enhanced Item (
Armor increased to 4/6B
Erin-Made Flak Jacket) 3, Token (
Gains the Flowering Fairest Kith Blessing, 9 again rule on dice pools including Persuasion, Socialize and Subterfuge
Deadman's Mask) 2
Combat Merits: Fighting Style (Street Fighting) 4, Cheap Shot 2, Shiv (Knives) 1, Quick-Draw (Knives) 1
Lair: Nice Islington Condo; Security 2

Willpower: 13
Innocence: 4 (+3 to Breaking Point rolls)

Initiative: 8
Defense: 3 (4 base, -1 Armor)
Armor: 6/8B (Flak Jacket + Tough as Nails)
Health: 12
Speed: 12

Arete: 5
Entitlement Powers: A Wilderness of Mirrors (The Director of the Mirrors); Subterfuge, So Sweet (Mirror-Walker)
Paragon Powers: Social Prodigy, Tough as Nails, Extra Health
Kits: Skill Kit (Empathy, Brawl, Subterfuge), Goeticism, Astral Projection
Skill Tricks: Brawl (Killer Instinct, Mechanical Compliance), Empathy (Hot Button, Microexpression Reader), Subterfuge (Doubt, Everyone Lies)
Astral Projection: The Astral Plane; The Hedge & Arcadia; The Mortal World
Goeticism: 5;
The Frog
This power does not actually counter or dispel the magic, it merely causes the hunter not to register to the spell. It likewise has no effect on spells cast directly on the Knight; only spells that would affect anyone in the spell’s area of effect. To use the Lie of the Heart, the Knight must be in a meditative state. The effect lasts until the end of the scene.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Wits + Goetic Gospels

Dramatic Failure: The hunter is overcome by the frog, which befuddles his mind. For the rest of the scene, he gains a single minor Derangement of the Storyteller’s choice.
Failure: The hunter is unable to manifest the Lie of the Heart and thus cloak himself from magic.
Success: The spirit of greed manifests from Sasha's mind and swallows up his magical signature. The spirit tricks active spells into not recognizing the hunter’s presence; any time Sasha would be affected by a spell that affects anyone in a given area (for example, trying to step through a warded door or into the area of a spell that curses any within its effect), compare that spell’s dot rating to the Sasha's Goetic Gospels rating. If the hunter’s Endowment rating is higher, the hunter does not suffer the effect.
Exceptional Success: As above, but treat the hunter’s Goetic Gospels rating as one dot higher when comparing it to spell levels.
Lie of the Heart,
The Stallion
Cost: 1 Willpower
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Stamina + Goetic Gospels

Dramatic Failure: Sasha actually renders it easier to target him with magic. For the rest of the scene, any spell that directly targets the hunter gains the 9-again rule.
Failure: Sasha is unable to summon the spirit to protect him.
Success: The stallion spirit manifests itself to protect the hunter; for the duration of the scene, he gains a number of points of Armor equal to his dots in the Goetic Gospels Endowment. This armor only functions against spells or attacks made with enchanted weapons.
Exceptional Success: Sasha’s power is so strong and sure that the armor persists until the end of the scene even if he loses his meditative state.
Crocodile Armor,
The Pig
The hunter must be able to see his target to use this power; a photograph or video will not do.
Cost: 1 Willpower, 1 point of lethal damage (optional)
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Wits + Goetic Gospels; subtract target’s Resolve

Dramatic Failure: The pig gluts itself on its creator, consuming one point of Willpower.
Failure: The Gluttonous Devourer fails to take form.
Success: The spirit coalesces and battens itself onto the target witch, where it remains for up to 24 hours. As long as it remains attached to its victim, the spirit prevents the supernatural from generating or receiving Fuel. The Devourer consumes one point of Fuel per success rolled on the activation of this power, at which point it vanishes. Should the hunter choose to augment this power by accepting one point of lethal damage, the supernatural finds even the act of attempting to generate Fuel physically and mentally exhausting; she loses one point of Willpower each time she attempts to generate Fuel.
Exceptional Success: In addition to being able to consume a prodigious amount of Fuel, the pig remains attached to its victim for one day per dot Sasha has in the Goetic Gospels Merit.
Gluttonous Devourer,
The Goat
The hunter must be able to see his target to use this power; a photograph or video will not do. To use this power, the hunter must be in a meditative state (Wits+Composure).
Cost: 1 Willpower, 1 point of lethal damage (optional)
Action: Contested
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Goetic Gospels versus Resolve + Supernatural Advantage

Dramatic Failure: The hunter is overcome by his own sloth; for the rest of the scene he must spend an additional point of Willpower to activate any Endowment. If he cannot spend this Willpower in the same turn as the Endowment or Tactic (for example, if the ability itself costs Willpower), he must spend it in the turn immediately prior.
Failure: The Servitor of Sloth dissipates and has no effect.
Success: The Servitor of Sloth burrows into the supernatural's soul, infecting the source of her power with a supernatural lethargy and general malaise. For the rest of the scene, whenever the victim spends a point of Fuel, she must also spend a point of Willpower. If she cannot spend this Willpower in the same turn as the Fuel (for example, if the spell she casts also costs Willpower), she must spend it in the turn immediately prior.
Should the hunter choose to augment this power accepting one point of lethal damage, the supernatural must succeed on a roll of Resolve + Composure as a reflexive action to be able to spend Fuel. This roll comes before the Willpower expenditure.
Exceptional Success: As above, but the effect lasts 24 hours.
Servitor of Sloth,
The Bear
This power may only be used on a given target once per scene. The hunter must be able to see his target. To use this power, the hunter must be in a meditative state.
Cost: 1 Willpower and 1 point of lethal damage
Action: Contested
Dice Pool: Presence + Goetic Gospels versus Stamina + Gnosis

Dramatic Failure: The hunter’s wrath backfires and turns on him. He suffers one point of lethal damage per point of remaining Willpower.
Failure: The supernatural receives more successes than the hunter, and the power fails to take effect.
Success: The hunter receives more successes, and the spirit of wrath seizes the Fuel that circulates through the supernatural’s body, turning it to a deadly poison. The supernatural suffers one point of lethal damage per point of Fuel she is currently storing, to a maximum amount of damage equal to the hunter’s dots in Goetic Gospels.
Exceptional Success: In addition to suffering damage, the supernatural loses one point of Fuel per dot that Sasha possesses in the Goetic Gospels Merit.
Poison Baubles,
The Bull
Sasha is able to reach out to a victim and rob them of sight, hearing, taste or any basic sense. In fact, in the case of knowledgeable thieves, even senses that are neither obvious nor mundane are fair game. The caster must be able to either clearly see the target or have a sympathetic connection to him in order to steal a sense.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy versus Resolve
Duration: One scene
Possible Modifiers: The sense is not one possessed by the caster (–2), the sense is supernatural in nature (–3)

Dramatic Failure: The power fails. Sensory overload causes the caster a –2 penalty on all perception-related rolls for the remainder of the scene.
Failure: The power fails.
Success: The caster achieves more successes than the victim does. Before the roll, the caster must select one targeted sense to steal from the victim. The victim loses the sense for the scene. The caster finds her perceptions heightened. When making any roll pertaining to that sense, the caster can substitute the victim’s traits for her own and may roll all rolls with that sense twice, taking the best of the two results. If the sense is supernatural in nature, the caster must use her traits to utilize the stolen sense. This power can steal a person’s Unseen Sense Merit for a scene. The caster must know that the victim has the Merit before the roll is attempted.
Exceptional Success: As above, except the stolen sense lasts a whole day.
Steal Sense,
The Dog
With this unique ability, Sasha is able to rob a supernatural being of the very talents that make them inherently what they are. Sasha does not need to be intimately familiar with what it is the supernatural in question is capable of, it takes merely an estimate of what they should be able to do to draw out the gift. Witnessing the power in use and an Intelligence + Occult roll will suffice. The caster must be able to either clearly see the target or have a sympathetic connection to her in order to steal a supernatural power.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult versus Resolve + Supernatural Advantage
Duration: One scene
Possible Modifiers: The caster is familiar with the power targeted (+2), the caster has never seen the power before (–2)

Dramatic Failure: The power fails; the victim is aware of the caster’s intentions and identity.
Failure: The power fails.
Success: The caster chooses one supernatural power possessed by the victim. For the remainder of the scene, the victim loses access to the power and the caster gains access to it. If the power requires an activation cost (Vitae, Essence, Mana, et cetera,) the caster must pay this cost in Willpower. At the Storyteller’s discretion, some powers may not be available to a body thief. Examples include powers that necessitate a dead body to function. As well, at the Storyteller’s discretion this Merit may allow the theft of an inherent ability, such as a werewolf’s regeneration. If there is a question as to what this power can or cannot work on, the default answer should be “no.”
Exceptional Success: As above, but the power is stolen for one full day.
Theft of the Sublime
Price of Freedom
Type: Vow
[Sasha] Medial Alliance (-2, Erin and Sergei); Lesser Forbiddance (-1, Do not commit murder, suicide, or assault - self-defense or defense of others excluded); Medial Endeavor (-2, spend an acceptable amount of time on mental maintenance - 30 minutes per day or 5-10 hours per week); Lesser Endeavor (-1, Keep in touch with Erin weekly); Greater Endeavor (-3, Perform 20 hours of community service per week) = Total of -9
Boons: Greater Blessing: True Friend (Lena Melikhin) (+3); Adroitness: Subterfuge, Persuasion, Brawl, Empathy (+4); Ensorcellment (+2)
Sanction: Pishogue (Eternal Spring 2: Freak rains drench oathbreaker and makes them miserable) (-1), Vulnerability (Glamour)
Duration: Year and a Day (+3)
[Exceptions] The pledge is not broken and the curse is not triggered if a clause is broken or unfulfilled for any of the following reasons:
-Following a direct order from Erin to violate a clause or previous order
-Refusal to significantly injure or kill another sentient being
-Retreat or surrender due to injury (taking wound penalties) or to otherwise avoid certain death
-Doing so would force Alek to directly inflict significant injury on himself
-Doing so would cause direct harm to someone Alek is pledged/ordered to protect
-Either party fails to accomplish an endeavor despite best efforts
-Either party is rendered physically or mentally incapable of fulfilling the pledge, either by external or internal conditions.
-Either party is forced to break the pledge by supernatural means or mind control.
-Alek has direct evidence that Erin is under mind control when giving orders.
-Alek was unaware his course of action or inaction would violate the pledge.
Erin may specifically waive any of Alek's Endeavors or Forbiddances.
Price of Freedom

Attacks...........................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special
Punch ………………………………0B………………….12/15…………….
When your character makes a successful unarmed attack, the opponent suffers a –1 to his next roll.
Knock the Wind Out;
Any time your successes on an attack roll exceed an opponent’s Stamina, you may choose to apply the Knocked Down Tilt. Additionally, any time your character is close enough to strike when an opponent attempts to get up from a prone position, she can reflexively cause 2B damage.
Kick while Down;
Whenever she makes a successful attack, you can spend a point of Willpower to cause two extra points of bashing damage.
One-Two Punch
Smoke Knife..........................2L.....................15/18..............
When your character makes a successful unarmed attack, the opponent suffers a –1 to his next roll.
Knock the Wind Out;
Any time your successes on an attack roll exceed an opponent’s Stamina, you may choose to apply the Knocked Down Tilt. Additionally, any time your character is close enough to strike when an opponent attempts to get up from a prone position, she can reflexively cause 2B damage.
Kick while Down;
Whenever she makes a successful attack, you can spend a point of Willpower to cause two extra points of bashing damage.
One-Two Punch
Grapple ………………………………0B………………..16/19…………
When your character makes a successful unarmed attack, the opponent suffers a –1 to his next roll.
Knock the Wind Out;
Any time your successes on an attack roll exceed an opponent’s Stamina, you may choose to apply the Knocked Down Tilt. Additionally, any time your character is close enough to strike when an opponent attempts to get up from a prone position, she can reflexively cause 2B damage.
Kick while Down;
Whenever she makes a successful attack, you can spend a point of Willpower to cause two extra points of bashing damage.
One-Two Punch
RSA Saiga 12K......................4L……………....9/12.............9-Again, 3 ammo, 20/40/80 range
CZ Skorpion.........................2L....................7/11............30 ammo, 25/50/100 range, fully automatic
Smoke Grenade....................-1....................5/8.............No damage, concealment (-3)

Curses................Cost...............Dice Pool......................Resisted/Opposed..............Effect
Cheap Shot...........None..............
9; 9-Again or 8-Again....... vs. Wits+Composure.....................Reflexive, Target Loses Defense, -2 for each subsequent use
Manipulation+Subterfuge+Hot Button
14; 9-Again or 8-Again....... -Resolve.....................Target takes (Successes) Penalty to all rolls for the Scene

Daniel Farrell

Type: Mortal (Sorcerer)
Profession: Bo's Apprentice

Virtue: Adventurous
Vice: Hasty

Background: Daniel Farrell wasn't born a bad kid. He grew up in the council estates of Camden, and for a while, he really thought he'd break out of it. Sure, he was a scruffy kid from the lowest classes of society (his mother ran a daycare of sorts, his father worked in construction), with an older brother in prison and a dad who was a drunk. Hey, he figured, he at least had a dad. That had to count for something?

It didn't. Daniel worked in school, but the system was always stacked against him. What point to education if there aren't any teachers who know enough to teach? When the school stank of burning weed, and the only thing when you got out was a minimum wage job or a stint in jail. And so he sort of lost hope. Daniel wasn't a martyr and he wasn't a crusader, and when society gave up on him, he gave up on society.

So he dropped out of school (too boring, not much use to it) and started working a succession of odd jobs. He worked as a construction worker with his dad, worked as a mechanic at a garage, served behind the counter of a convenience store (Chelty's Food-Mart). He wasn't a criminal, though he did sell a few drugs on the side, a few pills, a few cuts of powder, nothing serious. At least it paid better than anything else, and he partook a fair bit. Daniel styled his hair and started calling himself Spike, which was something that got him a little respect.

Then... everything changed. Spike only remembers bits and pieces of it. Sometimes it shows up in his nightmares. But he got sucked into a world where nothing made sense. Where magic was real and where people wanted Spike. Privately, Spike thought most of his employers were completely insane, but if they wanted to give him money and magic, that was an insanity Spike wholly approved of. First there was the poof of a mage with his even more poof of a dragon-friend. Then there was Bo. Who was weird, in a Mr. Miyagi sort of way, but Spike's weirdness-censors have been rapidly dying out. Whatever happens, it beats working at the convenience store.

Personality: No one will ever call Spike the brightest mind in the world, but he's determined to hold onto what he thinks is the best thing that's ever happened to him. Sure, the people are freakish and the situations dangerous, but Spike will let go of his apprenticeships when they pry them from his cold, dead fingers. Past that, he's really just an easy-going, not very ambitious youth, who never saw a future for himself but is coming to understand that maybe, just maybe, he won't have to be a second-class citizen all his life. Maybe there is a future for him, if Spike can grab it.

Note: Courtesy of Melissa, Spike is thoroughly clean and off drugs. Unfortunately, magic, even with best intentions, is a fundamentally blunt instrument for dealing with societal problems. As a result of Melissa's efforts, Spike has gained an Avoidance derangement geared towards drugs, and gets nervous around any kind of medications or narcotics, from cocaine to asprins.
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 4, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 5
Social Attributes: Presence 4, Manipulation 2, Composure 3

Mental Skills: Academics 1, Medicine 1, Occult 2
Physical Skills: Athletics (Running) 2, Brawl (Knives x2) 4, Larceny 2, Stealth 2, Survival 1, Weaponry (Knives) 2
Social Skills: Expression (Rites) 3, Persuasion 1, Socialize 1, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 3

Merits: Allies (Criminal) 1, Fast Reflexes 3, Parkour 2, Resources
2, Status (
Well-Paid, Influence (Criminal)
Tong) 1
Combat Merits: Fighting Style (Martial Arts) 1, Fighting Style (Street Fighting) 4, Quick-Draw (Knives) 1, Shiv (Knives) 1

Willpower: 8
Innocence: 5

Initiative: 9 (14 w/ Tiger's Skin)
Defense: 6 (9 w/ Tiger's Skin)
Armor: 2 (Tough as Nails)
Health: 10 (15 w/ Tiger's Skin)
Speed: 13

Arete: 2
Paragon Powers: Tough as Nails, Wire-Fu
Kits: Spiritualism
Spiritualism: 5; Rites: Skin of the Spirits,
Cost: None
Action: Instant

Failure: The spirit fails to respond.
Success: Spike gains +5 to all rolls involving jumping and only takes 1B damage from a fall, no matter how far he fell.
Exceptional Success: Spike gains the above benefits and may also move his full Speed as a reflexive action once per turn.

Hunter: Spirit Slayers p 156
Light as a Feather,
Cost: 1 Willpower
Action: Extended (TN 10, 5 minutes per roll)

Failure: The meditation fails to work.
Success: The meditation lasts for up to 7 hours. While the meditation is in effect, Spike can perform the following abilities:
Cure the Sick: Spike can make an extended Wits + Medicine roll, 15 minutes per roll. Minor illnesses like colds and flus have TN 5. More serious illnesses like cancer have TN 15. Supernatural diseases have TN 20.
Heal the Wounded: Extended Wits + Medicine roll, 10 minutes per roll. Successes can be allotted to heal damage. 1 success heals 1B, 2 successes heal 1L, 4 successes heal 4A.
Exceptional Success: No additional benefit.

Drawback: When healing the sick, Spike takes 1B (for minor illnesses), 1L (for serious illnesses), or 1A (for supernatural illnesses) for each extended action roll made.
(Spirit Slayers, p. 157)
Healing Meditation,
Cost: 1 Willpower
Action: Extended (10 successes required, 1 minute per roll)

Failure: The spirit fails to respond.
Success: Spike may select any one skill. The spirit accompanies Spike and, for 24 hours, Spike gains the rote action quality on all rolls using that skill. Spike suffers a -1 penalty to all rolls not associated with that spirit's purview.
Exceptional Success: Spike gains the above benefits and also does not suffer the -1 penalty.

Hunter: Spirit Slayers p 157
Spiritual Guidance,
Cost: 1 Willpower
Action: Instant

Failure: The spirit of the Tiger fails to respond.
Success: Spike gains +3 Defense, +5 Initiative and 5 temporary Health. He may re-roll all his attack rolls and take the better of the two results. This lasts for the remainder of the scene.
Exceptional Success: As above, plus all of Spike's rolls during combat gain the 9-again feature.

Drawback: Using this power more than once in a 12-hour period causes a -2 penalty to activate it. This penalty is cumulative for each use.

Hunter - Spirit Slayers, p. 160
Wearing the Tiger's Skin

Attacks....................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special
Knife..... ........……...……1L………………10…………...AP 1, Tiger's Skin,
Reduce Called Shot penalties by 1
Focused Strike,
When your character makes a successful unarmed attack, the opponent suffers a –1 to his next roll.
Knock the Wind Out;
Any time your successes on an attack roll exceed an opponent’s Stamina, you may choose to apply the Knocked Down Tilt. Additionally, any time your character is close enough to strike when an opponent attempts to get up from a prone position, she can reflexively cause 2B damage.
Kick while Down;
Whenever she makes a successful attack, you can spend a point of Willpower to cause two extra points of bashing damage.
One-Two Punch

Dr. Alfred Bodlington Dravot
PhD Biochemistry, PhD Botany, PhD Neuroscience, Daniel Dravot Chair of Biology at the Imperial College London Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Life Sciences

Type: Mortal
Profession: Globetrotting Biologist
Born: 1949

Virtue: Curious
Vice: Lazy

Background: Born in 1949 to Gregory and Ethel Dravot, Alfred largely wandered through life as a young man. His family was modestly wealthy, both courtesy of his father's successful legal practice and due to a trust-fund set up a half century before Alfred's birth by his great-grandfather, Daniel Dravot. This, combined with a certain degree of down-at-the-heels aristocratic pedigree ensured that Alfred would have an easy path in life. Thus, he wandered. He attended the Right Schools, became a practicing Harley Street brain surgeon, married Mildred Aberwaith, a nurse at his practice, and then in 1979 took a safari along with some friends to Kenya for a lark.

He adored it. Alfred had inherited from his great-grandfather a love for adventure and far-away places, and so at the age of 30 he changed his entire career path. From medical practice Alfred shifted into medical research, and he would spend the next thirty years of his life in a succession of exotic locales, interspersed by brief periods of teaching at the Imperial College in London arranged courtesy of his great-grandfather's academic endowments. It turned out that Alfred, perhaps finding some hitherto unknown family skill, was extremely good at it.

Dr. Alfred Dravot is now quite famous in scientific circles as a specialist in medical botany, though not universally loved or uncontroversial. He lacks the patience for the diligent, year-in-and-year-out research to make full use of his discoveries, but he has a small army of graduate students and dozens of colleagues at the Imperial College to do that for him. Dr. Dravot himself is more of an explorer and educator, with several books to his name and contacts in dozens of countries, and quite influential in academic circles.

Dr. Dravot also didn't exist until midway through 2008, but then he'd always existed. Space-Time could be strange that way.

Rank: 2
Mental 5; Physical 1; Social 3
Willpower: 1
Arete: 3
Notable Powers: Botany, Education, Exploration

Nikolai Igorovich Tychevski
Nicholas Tychevski

Type: Mortal
Profession: Shady Hotelier
Born: 1962

Virtue: Ambitious
Vice: Gluttonous

Background: Born in 1962, Tychevski came from modest roots in Rostov Veliky, an old city a hundred miles or so northeast of Moscow. His father worked at a dairy store, while his mother was a minor bureaucrat with the tourism bureau (in Soviet times such bureaus mostly catered to internal tourism from other parts of the country). Nicholas was an unexceptional youth, perhaps a little sneakier and more quick-witted than most. The change came when he was called up for his national service in 1980, and dispatched to an army camp far from civilization, in the Novaya Zemlya of the frozen north of the country.

It was there that Nicholas realized something. Like most of the army youths, he received a steady supply of food from home, especially nice cheeses. But where most of them ate their food or shared it with a few friends, Nicholas saw an opportunity for profit. So he started selling his care packages, surviving on army slop but raking in surprisingly impressive profits. Moreover, he managed to not get caught which said something about Tychevski's eye on the main chance.

Towards the end of his two year's service, Tychevski was running a flourishing little sideline and earning more than the lieutenant in charge of him. This, to the young Nicholas, seemed like a much better way of life than slaving away in some dead-end job. Thus, Nicholas Tychevski became a black marketeer and moved to Moscow. Originally freelance, he joined the Orekohvskaya Bratva (one of the gangs of the Russian Mafiya) after it was delicately explained to him that it was best for his continued health.

Russia was filled with such black marketeers, and Tychevski was little different from the rest of them, though perhaps a little sharper than most. In the late 80s he came to the attention of Oleg Chernenko, one of the more prominent criminal bosses in Moscow, and began to work for him on the side. Tychevski made deals, made connections, arranged for thefts of machinery or provided generous gifts to party apparatchiks, and dabbled in drugs on the side. He was a low-level crook, successful but lacking in the killer's instinct necessary to really succeed... until the Soviet Union fell.

Suddenly, everything was falling down around Tychevski's ears. But where others saw chaos and anarchy, Tychevski saw opportunity. He went to the mafiya bosses of his acquaintance, chief among them Chernenko, and took out loans, a great many loans. Then he started buying up buildings left and right in Moscow, for a price of pennies. By the time the dust settled, Tychevski found himself a real estate holder of no small stature. Knowing something about keeping people fed and happy, he started turning them into hotels.

Since then, Tychevski has become one of the classic 'New Russians', wealthy and connected, though he's been keeping his head down in the Putin era. He runs a chain of a dozen hotels throughout Moscow and the 'Golden Ring' of historic cities in the heartland of Russia, including his home town of Rostov Veliky. Though still indebted to the Mafiya bosses that gave him his startup funds (interest has a way of doing that), Tychevski has otherwise mostly abandoned direct criminal activity. He maintains connections with certain gentlemen who use his hotels for 'business', but Tychevski looks the other way, and in return his friends in the Organizatsiya and the FSB (the Russian security bureau) see fit to ease the path of life in front of him.

Rank: 2
Mental 3; Physical 2; Social 4
Willpower: 1
Arete: 3
Notable Powers: Businessman, Resources 6

Mönkhbat Borisovich Rostovtsev, Shishka

Type: Mortal
Born: 1979
Apparent Age: 24

Virtue: Trusting
Vice: Pessimistic & Shy

Background: Bat killed his first man when he was fifteen years old. It was a favor for the man that ran the nightclub behind which Bat slept, a man who always had nice clothing, pretty women, and real money – American dollars, not those rubles that lost half their value every six months. This other man had cheated him, and the man with the nightclub, he was not a forgiving man. So he gave Bat a knife, a photograph, and an address, and told the kid to get to it.

Bat spent a few days watching the house – no one really paid attention to street kids in 1990s Moscow – and then he broke inside, which turned out to be easier than he expected, and then hid in a closet till the owner was asleep. Then he crawled out and stabbed the man in the chest, which turned out to be a lot harder than he’d thought. There were ribs and things in the way, and the man woke up, and Bat panicked, and it was only a stroke of dumb luck that got the owner (who was much bigger and better fed than the 90-lb Bat) got a knife in his eye.

Bat grew up in the newly capitalist hell of post-Soviet Russia. He’d run away from home in 1991, when he was twelve years old. Not all of the kid’s scars came from life on the streets. He begged to survive, and when that didn’t work he stole things, and did things, and tried to keep from freezing in the Moscow winters. By the time of the murder, Bat had seen more corpses than he could care to count, frozen or overdosed or starved on the streets, and he himself hadn’t eaten in a day.

By the time Bat was twenty, he was an up-and-coming enforcer for the Solntsevskaya Bratva, working in the protection rackets, guarding shipments of drugs or people, and killing whoever the senior Vory v Zakone told him to. He wasn’t an ex-KGB or ex-Spetsnaz killer like some of the others, but he had a certain native talent for inflicting pain and terror, and an admirable lack of anything resembling scruples or morality. He didn’t necessarily enjoy killing people, but it beat starving, and it was his only saleable skill.

Then along in 1999 comes an arms dealer named Oleg Chernenko, Wormwood. He makes a deal with the Bratva, borrows a few of their prime thugs, and asks them to murder this young woman that lived in a house on the outskirts of Moscow. Bat was one of them, and he was tasked with watching for cops and keeping the getaway car ready, which meant that when an eight-foot-tall wolf monster covered in blood and gore burst out of the house, he was already behind the wheel. This time, Bat didn’t panic (he’d gotten better in the last five years), and instead he ran it over. Repeatedly. And then when it was still twitching, he shot it in the head with a full round of SMG ammo and set it on fire. Bat was very thorough.

This began an exciting and profitable career as one of Wormwood’s private thugs. Mostly, Bat guarded one or the other arms shipment, but every so often he and a few other Mafiosi would have to kill someone, and given the kinds of circles Chernenko moved in, those someones were only occasionally human. Men who moved too fast and ignored bullets, men who transformed into monstrous wolves, men who made the sky dark with flames or seemed to vanish into thin air, Bat met most of them, killed some of them, and managed to survive all of them. Then came a certain job in St. Petersburg, in February of 2003.

By the end of it, Bat had gotten a face-full of what amounted to a supernatural neurotoxin, which overloaded his mind and drove him mad. Wormwood was left with a lunatic for a hitman, and so he solved the problem in his trademark fashion. Wormwood summoned forth a Demon of Greed by the name of Zobel and placed it within Bat’s mind, though not before extracting a pact from the demon. Zobel would rebuild Bat’s psyche, taking over the vital tasks of the mind for itself where necessary, so that Bat could one day become functional. While that process happened, Bat was put into a small private hospice in Novosibirsk.

For years, nothing happened. The spiritual poison of the Black Ikon was powerful. Wormwood died, in due time, but the money kept flowing in, until one fine day something happened. It was as though a pall had been lifted from Bat’s mind, and he could see clearly again for the first time in years. The demon in his brain had him discharged from the hospital, and Bat was back in business. He had found God, as it were, in the form of Wormwood, and he was to serve as the chief acolyte of the dead man... until Wormwood's arch-nemesis intervened.

Erin Lamothe and the Harbingers knocked him out, exorcised him, and entangled him in a pledge. Nowadays Mönkhbat lives at the Cat's Cradle and has a small shrine to Wormwood in his room. He's still looking for an opportunity to bring Wormwood back, but he's also getting used to actually having some semblance of mental stability, since by fortunate coincidence Erin healed a fair amount of Mönkhbat's demon-induced brain-damage. Admittedly, this only moves him from 'gibberingly insane' to 'quietly insane,' but it's progress.

A combination of childhood abuse, drug addiction, and years of supernatural madness have left Bat’s psyche a shattered eggshell, carefully put back together with a great deal of demonic influence and fae magic. Even after his brain damage was healed, Bat has rapid mood swings where he cycles from total lethargy to hyper-manic energy in a matter of hours. He has auditory hallucinations and periodic fugue states, and his memory resembles a gun-riddled wreck. He’s cripplingly agoraphobic, and requires medication to sleep more than two hours at a time.

Most of the time, Bat is able to keep it together enough to function. He comes across as polite and rather shy, at one and the same time vastly uncomfortable around people, and yet insecure and desperate for validation or approval. He likes people, especially sane, normal people who had happy lives and who work in boring, mundane jobs, but he has no idea how to interact with them, and so they scare him. Violence, on the other hand, is something that Bat understands instinctually, and it is in the process of violence that Bat is at his most comfortable, coming off as relaxed, easy-going, and incredibly psychopathic.

Physically, Bat is a small, wiry half-Asian man in his mid-twenties, with unexceptional features and a small, horizontal scar across the bridge of his nose. Other scars litter his body – he’s missing half his left earlobe, his back is a nightmare of once-shredded skin, and he has three bullet scars in his abdomen and two in his left thigh. His upper body is also heavily tattooed, with black and red slash marks that form dragons, mountains, angels and suns – he’s basically split the difference, using the iconography of Russian Mafiya tattoos with the style of the Yakuza. Bat himself is actually half-Mongolian and half-Russian, with brown eyes and black hair he keeps shortly cropped. He usually wears jeans and sports-jackets, and he’s a compulsive smoker, rarely seen without a cigarette in his mouth.

He still has a certain residue of diabolic power, including the ability to manifest an unholy demonic form combining the worst attributes of a wolf, eagle, and ogre.
Type: Extraordinary Mortal

9Mental Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 4, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 4(6), Dexterity 4, Stamina 5
6Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 2, Composure 2

Mental Skills: Investigation 1, Medicine (First Aid) 1, Occult (Demons) 2
Physical Skills: Athletics (Running)
4, Brawl (Claws x2)
6, Drive
3, Firearms
2, Larceny
3, Stealth
Social Skills: Empathy 1, Expression 1, Intimidation 3, Persuasion 3, Socialize 1, Streetwise (Street Smarts) 3, Subterfuge 2

Merits: Fast Reflexes 3, Hardy 3, Language (English; Native is Russian) 1, Resources
Well-Paid 1
1, Status (
Well-Fed; Well-Paid; Support Group
Harbingers) 1,
Supernatural Merits: Unseen Sense (Demons) 2

Willpower: 8
Innocence: 3; +1 Support Group

Initiative: 9 (12 w/ Alternate Form)
Defense: 4
Health: 12; Regeneration
Speed: 13 (23 w/ Alternate Form)

Arete: 3
Paragon Powers: Physical Prodigy, Extra Health
Kits: Demonology, Alternate Form
Demonology: 2; Calling Forth the Pit, Infernal Visions, Sense of Unrighteousness,
Wits+Empathy+Castigations vs. Resolve+Arete
Gaze of the Penitent
Alternate Form:
Modifications: Claws & Fangs; Inhuman Strength; Serpent Reflexes
Propulsions: Wings
Processes: Corruption Aura; Regeneration

Attacks...........................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special
Claws................................... 2L............16…………….
Gaze of the Penitent................N/A..........9................vs Resolve+Arete; subject takes (10-Innocence) penalty on all rolls for (Successes) turns

Prof. Richard Sinclair

Type: Mortal
Profession: Professor of Comparative Myth and Religion
Born: 1963

Virtue: Courageous
Vice: Callous

Background: Richard Sinclair was born to a fishing family in the small town of Kirkwall, in the Orkney Islands. Mechanized fishing hadn't quite wrecked the Orkney fishing industry back then, and so most days after school Richard and his younger brother Adam (born three years after Richard) would spend the evening helping their father bring in the day's catch, and holidays were spent on the boat, fishing for lobster, salmon, crab, whatever came to hand.

Unlike his much more active and outgoing brother, Richard spent most of his free time reading, and he naturally came to read the many legends of the Orkney Islands, about the trow and the Nuckelavee and the selkies. A harmless hobby, and Richard never actually believed in them, but he found the strange stories that people came up with interesting. Being a smart young man, he went to the university, and soon enough was working towards a PhD in Comparative Religion at the University of Edinburgh. That was where he was when Adam brought his new fiancée to visit.

Something about the woman -- Effie Towrie, she said her name was -- struck Richard as off. She was a gorgeous and vibrant woman, and Adam was ludicrously happy, but something bothered Richard. Her eyes, so dark as to be nearly black, or else how she was always cold, and kept her coat close at hand in nearly any weather. But Richard decided he was imagining things, and truthfully, it never would have even occurred to him that Effie was a selkie. They were just a myth. He just didn't like her.

But Richard's softly-voiced objections were waved away, and so Adam and Effie were married in 1989, their daughter, Katherine, being born a year later. For a while, everything seemed to go well -- Adam took up the family fishing business, Effie started working in the local library, and Richard took up a junior professor's job in London. Then, three years later, in 1993, Effie vanished. Drowned, they said, though the body was never found. To this day, Richard is convinced that her 'death' broke his brother. Adam was never quite the same, though he put on a brave face for his daughter. But the light had gone out of him.

In 2002, twelve-year-old Katie vanished as well. This time, the authorities got involved, and for a while Adam was a ‘Person of Interest’ in the investigation, before it was dropped for lack of evidence. Richard took a sabbatical and spent some months there doing his own investigation, but other than rumors of a man and a woman, both with black eyes, having been in the area, he found nothing. To this day, the cause of death is listed as ‘unknown, probable drowning’.

Despite Richard's best efforts, Adam's health declined rapidly, and he died in 2003 in a fishing accident, swept overboard in a storm in which he neglected to take all the proper safety precautions. To this day, Richard suspects that if Adam hadn't been so depressed, hadn't essentially lost the will to live, he would still be alive.

By this point, Richard Sinclair, who was by now a Professor of Comparative Myth and Religion at the London School of Economics, was no longer denying the parallels to the Selkie myth. It couldn't be true, but it made sense. So when Katie walked into his office in the spring of 2008, Richard was less surprised than he expected to be.

Once several hours of not-entirely-happy explanations were out of the way, the purpose of her visit came into the open. Katie was hoping to come to London to study mechanical engineering, and she wanted to reconnect with her uncle. Against his better judgment, Richard agreed to stay in touch and keep an eye on her while she was in the city. It wasn't Katie's fault what happened to Adam – not that Richard was entirely free of resentment towards her, but he pushed it down.

So in the fall of 2008, Katie entered into the Imperial College, London (both it and the LSE were part of the University of London, focusing on the sciences and humanities respectively), and to Richard's disapproval if not his surprise, she didn't come alone. The selkies rented a large flat in the same building Richard lived in, and somehow Richard found himself playing parent-figure to a gang of wereseal adolescents and twenty-somethings.

Rather against his wishes, Prof. Richard Sinclair has found himself immersed into the supernatural world of London, following up on introductions that Katie procured from older selkies. Some of it was simply a matter of getting to know the people his adventurous wards were most likely to get in trouble with, some of it was renting out his services as a scholar of myth and religion as a hedge against that eventuality. In fact, Richard has rapidly become one of the most useful sources of occult knowledge in London -- plenty of supernatural creatures have a solid, hands-on experience with the occult, but few have actually studied it as an academic discipline the way Richard has. After all, he's a professional academic with the third-best university in the UK, and one of the top twenty globally. The Kogaion of London, Lujza Dvorzsak, has had cause to consult with Richard Sinclair, as has Todd White of the Unseelie Court. Despite that, Richard makes a point of not finding out any more about the supernatural world's hierarchy or organization than he has to -- he just does consultations from his office.

In person, Sinclair is a dark, sardonic individual with a distinctly misanthropic streak in him. He watched his brother's life ruined, and finding out that vampires and werewolves and the Gentry are real has done nothing to endear the universe to him. He's a hardened cynic and pessimist, always ready to impute low motives and poor outcomes to any course of events. People who are foolish, or naive, or idealistic, tend to evoke nothing but scorn from him, and since Richard is widely read and has an excellent turn of phrase, he can be blisteringly sarcastic in half a dozen languages. This makes him rather popular with the students, actually, so long as his attentions are turned elsewhere.

That said, Richard's bark is worse than his bite. He may be a deeply unpleasant (if entertaining) man, but he's also capable of putting his personal feelings aside and doing what's right. That's how he got saddled with his Selkie niece and her cousins, after all.

Richard is a tall, distinguished-looking man in his late forties. Once upon a time, he was muscular and well-built from working the fishing industry, but the sedentary life of an academic has rendered him lean and mean-looking, though he still takes frequent walks and sails to stay in shape. He's actually rather handsome, with grey eyes, a patrician face, a pronounced widow's peak, and dark brown hair that's gone white at the temples. He usually dressed in dark clothing, suits, dress shirts, and the like, with a range of dark cardigans being about as informal as he gets.

Rank: 2
Mental 6; Physical 1; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Arete: 3
Notable Powers: Professor of Comparative Myth and Religion; Professional Training (Academics, Investigation, Occult) 5

Rahila Katalkhel

Type: Mortal
Profession: Schoolgirl, Apprentice Pshur
Born: 1999

Virtue: Confident
Vice: Gluttonous

Background: Born in 1999 in the far-away village of Katala in Nuristan (a province in the mountainous Hindu Kush of Afghanistan), Rahila's earliest life was unexceptional. She was a vague, distracted child, but she sat and watched the goats with her older brothers and was beginning to help carry things about the house when the Utahs (priests) of the mountain came through. With charms and chants, they tested Rahila and found that her spirit, her soul, was different from others, more pliant and yielding. So it was decided that she would become a Pshur, a shaman who serves as the mouthpiece and body of the Undying Priests of Sanru.

Rahila left her home, and for the next three years she was cared for, as it were, by the village as a whole. She was isolated from the other village children, less by rules than by her own sense of a unique fate, and grew introspective and moody. She was possessed by the Undying Priests, and in time she would have learned to accept them fully into her soul (with likely catastrophic results for the growth of her own psyche). But instead, Aaron Blackbriar came to town one fine day, and a little later the demand for Pshurs had decreased dramatically.

Presently, Rahila lives in Britain, attending the Ashmead School for Gifted and Special Children, a boarding school in St. John's Wood that is secretly owned by Erin Lamothe.

Rahila is a serious, somber child, a tall Afghani girl with strikingly blue eyes and dark-brown hair. She's highly intelligent, and has a significant working knowledge of the occult for a twelve-year-old girl, though in everything else she's rather far behind her classmates. Dealing with periodic mortar attacks and having alien spirits pass through her brain does mean that Rahila's thoroughly unflappable. She's acculturated reasonably well, and is close friends with Sarah Andrews.

Rank: 1
Mental 3; Physical 1; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Arete: 1
Notable Powers: Spirit Vessel, Occult, Thoroughly Unflappable

Billy Grout
William Theodore Grout

Type: Soulless Mortal (Possibly Fetch-Spawn)
Profession: Schoolboy, Budding Hannibal Lecter
Born: 1998

Virtue: Pragmatic
Vice: Deceitful

Background: Dubbed Ashmead School for Gifted and Special Children's Student Most Likely to Appear on BBC One's Crimewatch, Billy Grout is a child without a soul. No one is entirely sure how this came about -- his parents, to the best of anyone's knowledge, are thoroughly normal, mundane middle-class people. His father worked in a bank, his mother was a florist, both as boring as could be. And yet, Billy was born with a certain vital spark missing, a yawning void where his soul ought to have been.

The British educational system is not really designed to deal with a child without a soul, and while his parents did their very best, controlling Billy was always beyond them. Societal rules and norms are something which Billy has an extraordinarily hard time grasping -- indeed, the concept of emotional connection is something that he's only recently come to comprehend on an intellectual level.

Since there is no diagnosis for 'soulless', Billy was promptly labeled with an Oppositional Defiant Disorder -- the juvenile version of Antisocial Personality Disorder, essentially. Casually malicious, incapable of accepting responsibility for his own mistakes, spiteful and with a disdain for mundane rules, the diagnosis was an easy one. Most people who know Billy are just glad that he hasn't manifested any violent tendencies yet.

In any case, Billy's long journey through Britain's juvenile psychiatric system at length brought him to the Ashmead School, where he has settled in and is probably happier than he has ever been before. He's got a 'friend' in the form of Freddy Buzzard, even if 'acolyte' would be a more accurate characterization (Billy finds it incredibly easy to manipulate the less-intelligent Freddy, mostly by feeding the latter's ego), and boarding school suits him well enough.

In person, Billy Grout is a short, quiet kid, pale-skinned and dark-haired, with extremely dark brown eyes. He is highly intelligent, thoroughly amoral, exceedingly manipulative, and in recent years, increasingly secretive. He still doesn't really get much of human society, but he's learned to fake it. Assuming he survives to adulthood, he's going to be a very good lawyer.

Of all of Erin's students, Billy is also the fastest to catch on with regards to the supernatural. He actually knows a few rudimentary spells already, though he doesn't quite comprehend them as such -- most notably an 'Open Locks, Whoever Knocks' spell that lets him wander around the Ashmead School whenever he likes, after lights out.

Rank: 2
Mental 5; Physical 3; Social 4
Willpower: 1
Arete: 3
Notable Powers: Soulless; Sneaky; Open Locks, Whoever Knocks; Sociopath


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