Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jaquaying the Vampire, Part III

(I'm creating a new vampire character for a game I'm about to join. I've decided to embrace a bit of randomness and use Jennell Jaquay's Central Casting: Heroes Now  to come up with the background. Part I covered the initial ideas, Part II the roles. )

Alright, now that I have the background rolls and random results, it's time for me to make this character into a real, life (er...undead) person. As with any random system, you need to be willing to keep, throw out, modify, and add to the results of the Central Casting series--this is a feature of the system, not a bug. First, let's go over some initial ideas I have about this character based on what I got.

Two things strike me about this character--first, that he's a collector. Second, that he's "Energetic." It's the second one that strikes me more than anything. He's not the kind of Vampire to sit around in Elysium plotting and scheming, he's someone who is going to be out there, taking care of business for himself. Secondly, the Collector trait. Sure, he's ridiculously wealthy, and so many items can be purchased at his whim.  But many other items are lost, stolen, undiscovered or otherwise so valuable that no amount of money can procure them--and that's where the energetic idea comes in. He's a scholar who wants ancient artifacts and is willing to go as far as he needs to in order to acquire them. It's like someone mixed up Indiana Jones and Diabolik!

Given that, I'll keep most of the background--noble Dutchman, raised by his grandfather in far off Indonesia. He discovered dark and forbidden secrets while over there. The book he's obsessed with I'll say is the personal journal of a Portuguese priest named Otávio António Helder Medeiros, who first came to those lands in an attempt to colonize them, but discovered ancient and blasphemous things while there. The book "Medeiros Codex" is a hodgepodge of Latin, Greek, Portuguese, and other languages, written in odd codes and bizarre symbols which my character is still trying to figure out.

As a robust scholar (remember, he's mastered an odd weapon for his time, served in the navy, and was raised in distant colonies by a self-proclaimed "adventurer"), a Brujah or Tremere seems the most appropriate. However, neither really interests me, and neither plays up the "monstrous" creature I initially wanted to play. Instead, and something on a whim, I'm going to stick with my gut and go Nosferatu.

Now, this helps me explain my sire--the final "random event" was a villain being unmasked, whom I thought was a friend. So, I'm going to say that my sire was part of my life from the moment my character arrived in Jakarta. Wearing many faces, she's always been there, probably associated with the Medeiros Codex. Supposedly, hidden within it's pages is the resting place of an Antediluvian, but none have ever been able to find this information. My character was embraced when my sire launched a final bid to seize control of Jakarta from the European vampires who were flocking to it. Her attempts failed, and my character was forced to flee the flames of the city before being put out for the sun.

Actually, no, that's nearly awesome enough. Ok, so my character was embraced to take over Jakarta. The plan worked, and my sire took over. Working together, my sire, my character, and, eh, let' say some Tremere guy thought they figured out where the Antediluvian was sleeping. In August, 1883 the three Kindred, numerous followers, and over two dozen ghouls carrying the finest weapons that man had yet made descended onto the site--a distant, quiet island called Krakatoa.

What they found there was like nothing they ever expected. It wasn't an Antediluvian--whatever it was could never be described as having once been human. It was power--not powerful, but raw, naked power itself. It had slept for a very, very long time and had no interest in being awoken. It's vague turning killed half the assembled army, drove many of the others mad, and launched an explosion so powerful that the world would not see its equal until 1945.

He, and the few battered survivors barely escaped with their lives. He eventually made his was back to the Netherlands, where his ancestral lands have served as his base of operations for the past century, and he obsessively sought any information he could about what that thing was, and what the truth of the Jyhad was really about.

So, ok, I have a bad ass, exploring, wealthy investigator into ancient mysteries and secrets. But, one other random even rarely got to me. He was married, and had children. Now, he also had numerous siblings, but he was the one who inherited the lands back home. It could just be the result of a divided inheritance, but what if he actually was the last surviving child? The rest all died of various tropical diseases--or so everyone thought. In truth, his sire was behind his "elevation"--a horror that still haunts my character with guilt. As such, he is equally obsessed with his surviving family in a way to somehow make up for the tragedies inflicted upon his brothers and sisters.

Stealing a page from Anne Rice, he has been overseeing his family for the past century. Always seeking to protect and advance them, and always appearing as Great Uncle "Jan" (or whatever, he changes his ID every decade or so, depending on which elderly relative has passed away recently and whose identity he can take over), and keeping the family safe. This family is a source of strength--contacts, information, access, wealth, and loyal servants, but also a critical weakness. Any threat to his mortal descendants is sure to provoke a ill-thought out response.

Finally, why is this character in London? The background of the game says that the previous ruling faction vanished mysteriously and a new Prince has taken over. I decide that my character had created a childe years ago. She was a young member of the family, and her husband was an abusive animal. One night his rage almost killed her, and my character was too late to stop him. She would have died, but my character ended up embracing her and kept him alive just along enough for him to be her first meal.

She truly loved her husband, though, and what my character did disgusted and enraged her. She never forgave him for siring her or making her murder the man she loved. But, she not only survived the transition, but positively thrived--she teamed up with a group of young Kindred and traveled Europe getting involved in all sorts of high-octane adventures. She was basically a typical table top Vampire PC. She made her way to London where, while not an "officer" of the court, she made her home and was one of the Sheriff's top enforcers. When she disappeared, my character was compelled to find out what happened, and why. After all, not only was she family, but, despite their differences, she was probably the most capable Kindred he had ever known--if something could take her out, it is a threat to everyone.

At this point, I'm pretty happy with the character. All I need now is to stat him up, enter the information on the website, and see if he's approved.

Oh, wait, he needs a name. A bit of the old Wikipedia leads me to Dutch nobility, and I go with Severin Van Hoensbroeck. He is "Severin" among the Kindred. He has three major mortal identities.

1) Constantine Van Hoensbroeek--the "Great Uncle" of the family, a retired financier who now keeps a tab on the family. In this identity he is served by Maarten Van Hoensbroeek--a ghouled "cousin" who handles most of the day-to-day work of keeping the Family together.

2) Laars Bakker--a plain looking average young man, who is his typical appearance and demeanor. He is assisted by Luca, a tough and street smart thug who helps him find various things that need to be found.

3) Sarah--a plain but innocent looking young woman, who is his typical appearance for hunting. A "helpless" young woman often brings the prey to him.

All right! Let's see if this character works!

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