Moros; Mysterium (Neokoros); Wraith of Epochs; The Five-Fold Vigil (Edgetender)
Christian Wells; Charity/Lust; Penitent Medium
- Attributes: Intelligence 3, Wits 2, Resolve 3; Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2; Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 4
- Abilities: Academics 1, Investigation 2, Medicine 1, Occult 3 (Awakened Magic), Science 2 (Chemistry); Athletics 1, Drive 1, Firearms 1, Stealth 1; Animal Ken 1, Empathy 3 (Motives), Expression 1, Persuasion 3, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 1
- Merits: Artifact 4 (Autumn Leaf Pendant - "Sniffing the Winds of Fate"), Supernal Tolerance 2, High Speech 1, Dream 1, Status (Mysterium) 1
- Advantages: Health 7, Willpower 7, Morality 5 (No Derangements), Size 5, Speed 9, Defense 2 (Armor +3), Initiative +6
- Magic: Gnosis 3; Death 3, Fate 1, Matter 2, Time 2
- Aura of Gloom: "Grim Sight", Death •, Wits + Occult + Death
- Clamor of the Departed: "Speaking with the Dead", Death •, Wits + Occult + Death
- Shield of Bones: "Entropic Guard", Death ••, Wits + Occult + Death
- Light's Nemesis: "Animate Shadows", Death ••, Wits + Occult + Death
- Legacy: None; 1st — N/A, 2nd — N/A, 3rd — N/A
- Nimbus: Mages feel a cold wind blow by, carrying unintelligible whispers of the secret ending which awaits them in the lands of the dead. Accompanying this is a mixed sense of dread and hope, peace and fear. Mortals perceive only an unseasonably cold (or warm, in winter time) breeze blowing out of the east.
- Possessions: X
- Magical Items: X
- Magical Tools: X
- Weapons: X
- Other Notes: X
1. Describe your character’s physical appearance. (If you can, please include a photo.)
2. Describe what it looks like when your character’s Nimbus manifests to those with Mage Sight. What does it look like when it bleeds over into mortal perceptions? (The Nimbus can be quite impressive to Mage Sight, but is always subtle to mortal perceptions.)
Mages feel a cold wind blow by, carrying unintelligible whispers of the secret ending which await them in the lands of the dead. Accompanying this is a mixed sense of dread and hope, peace and fear. Mortals perceive only an unseasonably cold (or warm, in winter time) breeze blowing out of the east.
3. Describe your character’s preferred Magical Tool, either a Path Tool or an Order Tool. If your character uses any Arcana Tools, describe those as well. Is there a background or back story to this item?
Autumn carries with him a small bowl made from a skull. He crafted this tool from the remains of the first person whose ghost he helped lay to rest -- his sister.
4. When your character’s Unseen Senses trigger, what kind of sensation does your character experience? (This tends to be individual from mage to mage; some examples include a slight headache, a raising of the hairs on the back of the neck, goosebumps, a sudden change in temperature sensation, etc.)
The hairs on the back of Autumn's neck rise and quiver as though they were harp strings being played by invisible fingers.
5. Describe how your character most often interacts with her Virtue.
While Autumn actively works to help ghosts find their peaceful rest, he is not without compassion for those still among the living. Now and then, when the spirit moves him, Autumn will take a keen interest in some project either for the betterment of the community in general or to help one person in specific. Sometimes his efforts on behalf of a specific person can indicate that his feelings for him/her are growing beyond mere friendship.
6. Describe how your character most often interacts with his Vice.
Autumn is prone to lingering on those he has lost. In his mourning, he shuts out the world around him. He is private with his grief and will attempt to isolate himself during these times. As he has grown in proficiency with the Ars Mysteriorum (sp?), he has occasionally taken to walking in Twilight during these moods, brooding on the eternal principles of loss and inevitability.
7. Describe your character’s Mentor, from her perspective. This is the person (not necessarily of the same Path) who brought you into the Order, and taught you the Order’s magical Praxis.
Finder, Autumn's mentor, was like an aunt to him. In the wake of his family's passing and his own resurrection, Finder took him into her home and treated him with warmth and compassion. One part grief counselor, one part personal tutor, one part spiritual advisor. She meant the world to him and provided him an island of safety and stability in the wake of his personal tragedy. Where his grief might have become rage, she channeled it into productivity; where it might have become self-loathing, she transformed it into service. Autumn was quite distraught when the Helots suddenly packed he and his cabal-mates off to Astoria. In many ways, it is like he is leaving home for the second time, and newly finding his way in the world without the support of his mother figure.
8. Choose the Mage Sight your character uses most often. Describe to me how your character interprets the occult information granted by that spell; for instance, some mages perceive various Mage Sights as strains of music, strange smells, memory flashbacks from their own lives relevant to the information gained, physical sensations or other similar sensory input. Each form of Mage Sight usually has its own set of sensory symbols, often in line with aspects of the character’s personality, occult praxis or background.
Autumn is most prone to viewing the world through Grim Sight. I think in his case, the sensory data that he perceives is likely most tied to his past and or the mementos of other people. I want to discuss his background a bit more with you (Joe) before I settle on this, though.
9. Choose a song that you think would be your character's theme song.
Given & Denied by Poets of the Fall
10. Does your character have any family?
No. They have all passed on.
11. Your character has, at some point in his life, had something to do with the Hotel Regina. It has been out of business since the 1940s, so you won’t have visited it while it was in business. Your character doesn’t even have to had any kind of major interaction at the location — you simply have to have a moment in your character’s history where the Hotel Regina played some role, even if it was just as a backdrop. Perhaps an uncle was a photographer that loved buildings from the Thirties, or your mother had a framed print of the building in the living room over the hearth. Tell me what the Hotel means to your character.
The first time that Christian met with his dealer about distributing drugs himself, their conversation was interrupted by a lengthy phone call. During that time, Christian flipped idily through a table book on classic architecture which the dealer kept around to seem more intelligent than he was. One of the pages that he looked at featured the architecture of the Hotel Regina.
The following questions can be answered as part of further development for the character once play begins. No more than two questions may be answered in between game sessions, and for every two questions answered the PC gains +1 point of Development Experience.
- Where did your character grow up? Briefly describe his childhood and adolescence.
- What part(s) of the character's childhood most influenced the person he/she is today? Describe an important lesson your character learned as a child.
- When the character was a child, what did he/she want to be when grown up?
- An astronaut
- What was your character's first, or most memorable, love affair? It can be anything from a pre-teen crush to a memorable love affair. Be sure to describe the object of your character's affection, along with the changes that your character went through in terms of feelings and thoughts about that person. Did it start out as maddening hatred? Instant love? Who fell for whom first? Was love a surprise? Assuming it has, how did it all end? How do all involved (your character, your lover, rivals, observers, etc.) feel about it now?
- Assume your character is seeking companionship, and has the opportunity to write a detailed personal ad for an internet dating service (and was willing to do so, without fear of security risks or anything like that). Write the ad. Where would be the character's idea of a good place to take a date?
- What is your character’s most precious pre-Awakening memory?
- What is your character’s most traumatic or grief-inducing pre-Awakening memory?
- Autumn's worst memory was finding out that his parents and sister were gone and that his former associates had them. That was when the walls of the mortal life began to crumble.
Personality & Habits
- Name five things your character likes to do that have absolutely nothing to do with being a mage.
- Read history, Have lunch alone outside, Listen to soft jazz, Play Hearts, Hang out with friends at a coffee shop
- Is the character sentimental about anything? If so, what? If not, why not?
- What's your idea of getting "dressed up?"
- Working as a caretaker at a graveyard, Autumn owns a single black & white suit, which he wears on the rare occasion he wants to dress up for reasons other than work.
- Does the character have any catch phrases, nervous tics, or personal habits that would identify him/her?
- Does your character believe in true love? Elaborate.
- Describe three public places that your character enjoys spending time at.
- Describe your personal bedroom space. What might someone poking about find, both in terms of actual things and in terms of what the space says about you?
- What moves your characters to anger or violence?
- Flagrant disrespect for the dead. Reckless waste of life. Anyone threatening any fragile stability that Autumn manages to build around himself.
- What moves your character to tears?
- Occasional moments of reflection/clarity during which Autumn can see with gratitude the blessings in his continued life. Conversely, sometimes Autumn weeps quietly while performing ritual magic, staring into the bowl he carved out of his sister's skull.
- What makes your character very happy?
- Exciting and dangerous distractions (though he would never admit this). Spending time with people whom he believes genuinely care about him. Education and learning.
- What makes your character depressed or hopeless?
- Reminders of his loneliness. Dwelling on his failures. Thinking of the pain and terror that his family suffered at the hands of their captors and the fire that consumed them.
- What sorts of situations make the character feel awkward or ill-at-ease?
- Overly social or gregarious people make Autumn quite uncomfortable -- he doesn't understand how to interact at a surface level anymore. Small talk is anathema to him. He is also nervous around fire. Candles are an acceptable evil of ritual magic, but he always has a flask of water ready in his messenger bag to douse them should one fall over. He has not been faced with a conflagration like that which consumed his family, but it is likely that when faced with one, he would freeze in terror.
- What's the best way to persuade the character to do something?
- Choose five adjectives to describe the character.
- Brooding, insightful, observant, compassionate, intelligent.
- Give me some reasons why someone might reasonably dislike your character on first impression. Why might someone come to hate them in the long term?
- How would your character react if he or she was publicly humiliated by a total stranger? What if it was a private humiliation? What if it was a friend and not a stranger?
- If your character could have one object for himself or herself (and not to turn around and sell), regardless of price, what would it be?
- What kind of music does your character like? Does he or she like different kinds of music in different circumstances?
- What is the character's favorite food?
- What's your character's favorite color? Any particular reason?
- What is your character's routine when he or she is not tending to Awakened business/crises?
- Assuming they could speak, what would each of your character's parents (separately) say about him/her?
- Who are you important to? Why?
- In a very real sense, Autumn is alone. When he moved west, he kept touch with only a few of his friends. As he became involved with the criminal underworld of the Pacific northwest, he lost contact with all of them. Upon getting into trouble with his new criminal companions, everyone that he had begun to socialize with cut ties with him. When retribution from his criminal contacts arrived, he lost his entire family. In the wake of his Awakening, he grew quite close to Rubedo, but aside from her, he became very private. In some sense, Autumn has become fearful of caring about people. Everyone he grows attached to goes away.
- Assume your character is plagued with a recurring nightmare that awakens him or her in a cold sweat every time. Describe the dream. (This will not necessarily be the case, though many people do have frightening, recurring dreams.)
- Autumn is searching through a burning warehouse, looking for his family. He can hear them screaming, choking, calling his name and accusing him of killing them. The smoke clouds his vision and burns as it sears his lungs. Finally, he finds them, their bodies blackened and charred, the skin cripsing off their seared bones. And yet, despite having passed on, they continue to accuse him with anguished cries. At this point, he awakens, tangled in his sheets and weeping at his failures.
- What aspect of him/herself is the character most uncomfortable with? What aspect of him/herself is the character most satisfied with?
- Autumn is most uncomfortable with what his magics make him capable of... and what he did to some of his old drug contacts in the wake of his family's murder. He is most satisfied with his work -- helping the echoes of the dead let go of their death helps him forgive himself for all of his failure.
- Is the character an introvert or an extrovert? How does the character behave in group settings? How does the character behave around someone in whom he/she is interested romantically?
Awakening & Beyond
- Describe your character’s Awakening.
- How has the Awakening changed your character, other than the obvious kewl powerz?
- Why did your character choose the Shadow Name s/he did?
- Because, upon returning from Stygia, he was holding an autumn leaf.
- Name and describe three non-supernatural individuals that your character interacts with on a regular basis (such as a neighbor, best friend, co-worker, and the like). If you have any Contacts or Allies, these can be part of those Merits.
Christian was born to John and Mary Wells, younger brother of Samantha Wells. He was born in Franconia, New Hampshire to a sleepy, boring childhood. Chris had big dreams and couldn’t wait to escape what he saw as a small-town prison.
When he turned fourteen, he got his wish. Having gone to seminary late in life, his mother graduated while he was a young teen and was positioned with a congregation in Portland, OR. The whole family left the northeast to move west.
At first, everything went well, but Chris’s first real friend in the northwest, Josh, was a bad influence. Together, they experimented with progressively harder illicit substances, stopping short of serious drugs like heroine. As this trend continued, he grew distant from his family.
After being in the northwest for a couple of years, Chris and Josh’s drug-dealer, Sean, offered them an opportunity to make some cash – he was scheduled to run some drugs to a contact in Vancouver. Ferrying drugs across the border was too heavy for Josh’s tastes, but Chris was game and the run was successful and timely. The money that Chris made from the job was well beyond anything he’d ever made previously. Chris took on more jobs and ultimately came up with a more efficient system of moving the product, which he proposed to Sean. It was through this that he came to the attention of Roger Jones, an organizing figure in the Portland criminal underground. Seeing potential in the boy, Mr. Jones took Chris under his wing, convinced him to drop out of high school with a GED, and cut off contact with his family.
For the next three years, Chris was raking in the money, living in a pricey apartment and driving a luxury automobile. Despite his new status and relative wealth, Chris stayed in contact with Josh and seceded Sean as his friend’s primary dealer. The two of them would often spend the weekends in the mountains, high on samples of whatever choice product Chris had most recently acquired. For Chris, though, the money and the success was far more intoxicating than the drugs and he continued to impress Mr. Jones with his intellect and ambition.
Josh, on the other hand, was in the grip of a downward spiral, though Chris couldn’t see it. He’d begun to let his responsibilities slip in favor of his desire for the next high. He stole a few minor trinkets from Chris’s apartment to pay for more drugs, but Chris’s eyes were firmly set on his ambitions and he simply didn’t notice what was happening to his best friend.
The breaking point came when Chris was in possession of a large, valuable shipment of marijuana that he was storing for Mr. Jones during a police crackdown. Josh had come over to hang out and, while Chris was out getting some pizza, Josh took a large portion of the shipment and left.
Chris tried to confront Josh about this, but at first, Josh wouldn’t return his calls and wasn’t home. Finally, Chris tracked him down only to find out that Josh had sold the drugs for a fraction of their actual value in order to fund his harder habits. Chris was furious, and panicked, but didn’t actually have it in him to take violent action against his friend. So, in a moment of irrationality, terrified of what Mr. Jones’s reaction would be, he went into hiding.
This lasted for a week before he got a call from the last person he expected – his mother. Or rather, from Mr. Jones on his mother’s phone. Mr. Jones told him that it was time to make amends. He gave Chris the address of a warehouse where his family was being held and assured him that no harm would come to anyone as long as he showed up and talked things out like a man.
Terrified, Chris went to the location and did find his family, but there was no one else there. As he struggled to free them, the warehouse erupted into an inferno. He did his best to try to free his parents and his sister, but it was no good and, as his father and then his mother passed away from smoke inhalation, it all became too much. Chris’s soul ascended to Stygia and took the deceased souls of his parents with him.
There, he shepherded his parents through a grim landscape towards the great tower in the distance. Along the way, his failures weighed heavier and heavier upon his shoulders until it was like he was breathing despair. He would have faltered, if not for a blaze of color glimpsed in that dark land. Steeled to trudge a little further by this uplifting sight, Chris discovered an autumnal grove. A single red-orange leaf fell into his upturned hands as he lingered there, crying in the stillness and beauty. He parted with the souls of his parents in that place of quiet wonder and, with the leaf in his pocket, continued his pilgrimage to the Watchtower of the Leaden Coin. There, he inscribed his name and laid claim to the birthright of magic.
Returning to burning chaos of the fallen world, Chris saw his sister’s shade screaming in agony and writhing next to her cindered corpse. Bathed in this vision of horror, Chris’s mind focused on one simple need: revenge. He whispered to his sister’s ghost and, as he did so, she stilled and looked at him, her expression gone blank.
Off to one side, a ceiling beam, crashed down, smashing through the floor beneath, wreathed in flames. Another whisper in a peculiar tongue that thickened in his throat with purpose and the fires immediately surrounding him were snuffed out in a puff of smoke. Seeing that his rebirth would not last long if he did not move, Chris made his way through the blaze, the fires parting before him as he approached. His sister’s ghost followed after.
He made his way through the darkened streets of Portland, his clothes seared and torn. As he passed through the city, more shades came to his call and followed behind him, a small sepulchral legion. He made his way on foot, travelling miles through the night black landscape until he came to Josh’s house. He let himself in and made his way upstairs to where his former best friend was sleeping. There, he stared at the sleeper for a long moment before his ghostly companions suddenly cried out as one. Whipped into a sudden frenzy, the ghosts set upon Josh with claws of fury. He awoke to rending and dismemberment and his screams were drowned in an echoing storm of ephemeral wailing.
For the next week, Chris lived on the streets, barely attending to his bodily needs, a vessel for grief and hate. Each day he grew more disheveled and the foul reek of his unchanged, soot-stained clothes grew stronger. Each night, he visited the home of a former associate and sacrificed them to his loathing in ever more horrifying sacraments of retribution. One week after Josh was pulled apart by unseen talons, Chris visited Mr. Jones.
By that point, word had gotten around that Chris’s former contacts were dying and his one-time mentor was ready with a small army of personal security. But his bodyguards’ thugs could find nothing to shoot and their hearts quickly burst in the clenching fists of Chris’s ephemeral hit squad. Roger Jones, though, he did not kill. Instead, he ripped a hole into twilight in the doorway of Mr. Jones’s bathroom and his departed associates frog-marched the man who killed his family into that shadowy otherness, blubbering and stinking of terrified urination. Chris sealed the opening behind Mr. Jones as the ghosts continued to hold him, drinking in the crime lord’s shrieking. When it was done, he left him there to whatever fate awaited him in that voiceless, haunted closeness.
News of the murders and their magical means came to the attention of Consilium of the Rose shortly thereafter and, following the treads of fate and trail of resonance, a posse of the local magi found Chris the following sunset, weeping quietly amidst the ashes of the incinerated warehouse. As he rocked and cried, he clutched two items to his chest: his sister’s skull and a small autumnal leaf of no earthly shape; while, off to one side, Samantha’s shade looked on in silent witness. When they told Chris to accompany them, he did so without the need for magical compulsion, and the ghost followed after, as obliging as her brother.
Albedo, of the Magnum Opus, was among those that found Chris. After he was secured, she called in Rubedo to interview the young man to determine whether he was redeemable or if he was better put down. After interviewing Chris, she informed the other members of the Consilium that the young mage had suffered a terrible trauma, but was capable of rehabilitation, and that she would take responsibility for his training. She also bestowed upon him his shadow name, Autumn, in honor of the leaf he bore back from the higher realms.
Autumn’s first act in the tutelage of Rubedo and the Magnum Opus was to send on Samantha’s shade. From her skull, he fashioned a small bowl that he still uses to work his magic. In the two years that he lived with Rubedo, he benefited immensely from her instruction, her wisdom, and her understanding. She was like an aunt to him; one part grief counselor, one part personal tutor, one part spiritual advisor. She meant the world to him and provided him an island of safety and stability in the wake of his considerable tragedies. Where his grief might have become rage, she channeled it into productivity; where it might have become self-loathing; she transformed it into service. As he began to heal, he nicknamed her “Finder,” saying that she had found the way to his humanity through the maze of his depression.
One year before she asked him to leave, Rubedo welcomed him as an initiate of the Mysterium. He took to his order with focus and ambition, making a decent reputation for himself in the Consilium of the Rose, even at his low rank.
Autumn was quite distraught when he and the other members of the newly-formed Five-Fold Vigil were packed off to Astoria. In many ways it was like he was leaving home and entering manhood for a second time. Bereft of his Finder, he would have to seek his own path without the support of his surrogate mother figure, with no one to help him but the strange companions he found himself bound to.