Archive for the Writing Category

The Vanagard Stories

Posted in Fate of the Norns, Norse Mythology, Roleplaying Games, Satire, Vanagard, Writing with tags , , , , on September 7, 2017 by Chall

As I mentioned before, a long time ago, I was a storyteller in Jungle Cat World in Orono. It was an experience that changed my life, I loved it. I want it back, hence I’m telling  Vangard Stories on the internets.

Of course, these tie into the game, which you can back here. Their purpose is threefold:

  1. To promote the game
  2. To provide lore and ideas for running the game
  3. To share a story that’s been rattling around in my head for a while

It’s a fun thing to write. I have an opportunity to fill in the myths in my own way.  I’ll tell the story of when Odin and Loki met Freya, how Frey got his magic sword, why Nord has such fine feet and how Freya gained her field of Folkvangr. None of what I’m telling is authentic buuut it’s based heavily on the myths. It’s my way of filling in the gaps. It’s a worthwhile project that I will see to completion.

There will be 12 stories that can be listened together or individually. I’ve completed three and am well on my way to the fourth.

I plan on releasing these in written format; if we make our stretch goal.

You don’t need these stories to play Vanagard. We won’t arrest you for straying from the myth and the lore, in fact, we’re hoping you do. The stories you tell with our game are yours, you can add as many Norse and non-Norse elements as you’d like. Still, if you enjoy the mythology and the set up of the game, I fully believe listening to these will enhance your experience.

You can find my stories on:

So please take a look and, if you like them, feel free to back our Kickstarter.

 

 

Vanagard: The Vanir

Posted in Fate of the Norns, Publishing, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Vanagard, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on August 29, 2017 by Chall

Stanza 23 – Voluspo – Poetic Edda

On the host his spear | did Othin hurl,
Then in the world | did war first come;
The wall that girdled | the gods was broken,
And the field by the warlike | Wanes was trodden.

This above snippet recalls a time when walls of Asgard fell and the Aesir faced an elemental, unrelenting force… ages before Ragnarok. The Giants had nothing to do with this. These mighty ones, these warriors strong enough to face the Aesir, were the Wanes, also known as the Vanir, also known as the old gods. I can picture it: Ancient Njord striding forward, an entire ocean roaring behind him. Golden haired Frey throwing his sword and it spinning like a buzzsaw seeking blood. Beautiful and terrifying Freya, charging in her chariot, drawn by giant cats, with an army of specters riding close behind. Standing on the wall Odin, young and full of strength; he will survive the crumbling walls to wreak havoc on the foe. At his side his blood brother Loki, a cruel smile on his face, ready to assume a thousand forms each more deadly than the last and teach these invading old ones new tricks.

War

I invite thee to bring it!

With all our shining stars, cinematic wizardry, and legions of writers, I fear we may never see such a scene played out on our screens. This is because we’ve forgotten the Vanir.

I hope to counter this with Vanagard.

Not much is known about the Vanir. By the time Snorri Sturluson wrote the Eddas, Christianity was firmly entrenched and before that worship of the Aesir (we’re talking about Odin, Thor, Frigg, and the like) was prominent. The Vanir came before the Aesir and with two whole theologies between us and them, most of their myths have been lost.

In Vanagard do my best to feature elements we have. The Vanir keep their dominion over nature, how they act in my stories is based off how they act in the Eddas, their look and feel are pulled from authentic sources. However, there are still gaps which need to be filled to make a cohesive game world.

I’d be lying if I claimed this isn’t a golden opportunity, I relish making connections and adapting old ideas to new themes.  The Van-Folk, Phantom Wood, and even some of the set up of the young cosmos are my own creations. Also, enjoying Vanagard does not require a doctorate in Norse mythology, I don’t hold players to strict interpretations of the Eddas. In Vanagard, folks should feel free to draw up their own myths. This is a narrative game aimed at kids, kids WILL make up their own stories, nothing can stop it and that’s a good thing.

However, as mentioned above, there will be many kernels of the actual mythology in the game. My hope is to draw attention to the Vanir and so encourage folks to research on their own. Furthermore, my own stories will veer closer to the myth as they progress, I’d tell more but…spoilers.

Bill.jpg

Besides, others take greater liberties with Norse source material.

 

No matter my mixture of fantasy and myth, my end goal with Vanagard is to promote the Vanir. They play a significant part of the Norse mythology. Back in the day, even with the Aesir in prominence, Nord, Frey, and Freya were well-loved Deities. Vikings prayed to Nord for safe voyages across the sea. The Sweedish Ynglin dynasty is said to have been descended from Frey. Couples prayed to Freya for children and half of the glorious dead went to her. By all rights, they should be more prominent in modern interpretations of Norse myth and it’s a crying shame they are not.

Why? My guess is our need to simplify. We think in terms of gods and demons, two sides, no more. In this regard,  the Vanir are rolled into the background of the Aesir, a mere footnote in the larger struggle against the Jotun. Odin is portrayed as a just sky god. Surtr is set to remind us of an arch villain who lives in a lake of fire. It’s narrative shorthand that’s easy to grasp. I don’t think this does us any good. It’s worthwhile to push out of this limiting paradigm and see the myths as something more.

Not Odin

Not Odin

 

Not Surt

Not Surt

 

The Vanir story is incredibly important for our time. Remeber the war mentioned above? How the Vanir and the Aesir clashed with the full intent on killing each other? Want to know how this Viking story ends?

They make peace.

Both sides, foreseeing mutual annihilation, called a halt to the war and forged alliance. They exchange hostages but the Vanir hostages sent to Asgard were inducted and became high ranking members of Aesir society. The big three back in the day wasn’t Odin, Thor, and Heimdall; it was Odin, Thor and Frey. Odin learned how to gather the honored dead from Freyaand she got the first pick. Both sides found peace, united and became stronger for it.

In our modern climate of fearing the foreign this story, about uniting people of vastly different races and backgrounds, is exactly what we need.

While Vanagard doesn’t cover the Aesir-Vanir war, not yet at least, it is all about this theme. The Van-Folk aren’t conquerors, they are explorers and diplomats. Many Stories I’ve run involve finding and returning stolen things, smoothing over conflicts, and learning about different peoples. If you check out the stories I’ve written, available on both YouTube and Google Play, you’ll see what I mean.

We’re about halfway through the Kickstarter, if you’re interested why not check it out? I’m certain you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Dragon Trinity Crash – New Adventure Book, Will Be Working On Stand Alone Setting Book

Posted in Adventure Book, Anime, Dragon Trinity Crash, RPG, Satire, Writing with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2016 by Chall

Before I started writing Seith and Sword , and in between bits of Vanagard, I was plucking away at my 2nd Dragon Trinity Crash adventure book. Well, it turns out that I’ve had enough time to not only finish it; but also update the first one.

Therefore I proudly represent:

Dragon Trinity Crash Adventure Book 1: Call of Cakethulu

 

 

And proudly present:

Dragon Trinity Crash Adventure Book 2: Hamerkop Halfling Blues

 

 

 

As before the covers were drawn by the ever talented Gnaw.

Furthermore, I’ve talked it over with Olivia Hill and have decided to write out Dragon Trinity Crash as a stand-alone Fate supplement. Yes, it will still come out with the ADX Anthology, Olivia assures me that this will be released, however, I’d like to give DTC the attention it deserves, in that regard I’ll make my own book.

This book will be a pay what you want release, that way, those who bought the anthology will be able to acquire the PDF without paying anything more. It’ll have a healthy dash of setting information, the full rules, and plenty of sample aspects, stunts and spells. I hope to purchase more art from gNaw, and will put in as much as my wallet and bills will allow.

What’s the timeframe? I don’t know. I’ll be working on this in conjunction with Vanagard, however, Vanagard will get priority. That being said, I’ve impressed myself with the level of work I’ve been able to get done recently so this may get done soon.

I will keep you all informed.

What I’ve Been Up To Recently: Vanagard

Posted in RPG, Vanagard, Writing with tags , , , , on September 18, 2016 by Chall

So I went dark for a little while but, there’s a good reason for that. After completing Seith and Sword Andrew approached me about writing a sister game for Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok . That’s what I’ve been working on. Here’s a rundown:

Vanagard
This is a story about beginnings. Yggdrasil, the World Tree, is young, vibrant, and grows between eight worlds. The ninth, our world of Midgard, doesn’t exist. There is no Thor or Jormungand. Odin is a young man who just befriended the mischievous Loki. The future is bright and stretches forth with endless possibility.

This story takes place in Vanagard, world of wild beauty. It is a bright land of deep forests, golden fields, and rolling oceans. Here nature is at times gentle, and at others deadly. Fruit hangs heavy on tree and vine; crops and game are ever abundant. Yet Vanagard wolves are fierce; many lions, bears, and beasts fill the woods, and dragons sleep in secret caves.

Despite nature’s hold, small pockets of civilization can be found. The Vanir rule here, wise beings of mysterious power, who live with the land rather than dominating it. Alfar and Svart Alfar, Light and Dark Elves, also reside here; immigrants from their chaotic worlds of Alfgard and Svartalheim. Also to be found are Troll wanderers and Dvergar (dwarven), merchants. The few cities in this realm are filled with lively color and diversity.

In this game, you play Van-Folk, the familiars of the Goddess Freya. Freya is the daughter of Njord, God of Oceans, and twin sister to handsome Frey, God of Harvest. She is a powerful witch who holds sway over beginnings and endings. As mistress of life magic, verwandlung, she chooses those who may have children. As mistress of death magic, seith, she also chooses where the souls of the dead rest. At times she is radiant and benevolent, moving hearts to adore her. At other times … let’s just say she can be terrifying.

 

freya_by_johannes_gehrts

Seriously don’t toy with Freya, she will mess you up.

 

The Van-Folk are her people, born out of her dreams and will. She gifts them as babes to the elder Van-Folk who raise them deep within her domain of Phantom Wood. They grow into beings who are half-people, half-beast. They live like normal folk; in halls, wearing clothes, feasting with fun, family, and music. However, at will they can assume their full animal natures; small, keen and quick. They can speak to other animals as easily as we speak to each other. They can even see and talk to the dead. Freya mostly leaves them to their own lives but, when needed, she calls upon her children to be her eyes, ears, and voice. The Van-Folk are happy to serve, for Freya is their protector, queen, and mother. Though they seem strange to the other denizens of Vanagard, the Van-Folk are given respect, for to cross them is to cross the beautiful and frightful power behind Phantom Wood.

What’s This Game About?
Vanagard is a story game suitable for both family and friends. The players tell a story, drawing upon runes and cards for inspiration. Each story takes ten minutes to half an hour to tell, a single session can have up to five stories. At the end of the game, the characters are tucked away, waiting for the next session of Vanagard to go on more adventures.

Vanagard has come about due to another game, Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok; a table top RPG of epic, Viking mayhem. Fans of FoTN wanted something they could share with their families. Vanagard touches on many of the themes of FoTN: it uses a similar mechanic, it’s set in a world of Norse mythology, and the art and feel are crafted to make it a worthy sister game.

Vanagard is about the following:
Beginnings: Unlike Ragnarok, Vanagard is focused on the beginning of the cosmos, not the end. Fate has yet to be woven. While you play there will be plenty of opportunities to explore the origins of Norse myth: How did Freya tame the boar Hildisvini? Why does Njord have such fine feet? What happened with the Vanir first met the Jotun? What happened when they first met the Aesir? On the other hand, you could make up new origins. The Van-Folk could switch things around and thus craft their own version of the Eddas. In this way, you should be able to enjoy this game whether you’re well versed in Norse mythology or not.

 

 

bear

One ill-fated Vanagard game lead to a cosmos ruled under the iron paw of Professor Bear.

Exploration: You’ll never quite know where a Vanagard game will take you. When the Van-Folk strike out they’ll encounter random places, people, and obstacles. They’ll always be seeking something new, mapping the eight worlds as they go. Who knows, perhaps they’ll even witness the creation of our Midgard?

 

Unity: The Van-Folk, created as they are through Freya’s magic, are all family. They work together in bands because they often encounter challenges they cannot face alone. Yes, at times they compete, bicker and fight, but in the end, they’ll all pull for each other. Vanagard is light on player vs player and heavy on co-operation.

The final form of Vanagard has yet to be drafted, however, we’re close. I see it as a thin booklet game that comes with all the cards you need to play. If you need to expand, doing so will be as simple as investing index cards, and, further down the line some new Vanagard decks we build them.

While primarily a DMless story game, I plan to have a full out RPG element to Vanagard, the idea being that you can run the quick story games one night and roll out into full RPG mode when you want to cover a particularly important adventure. In play testing this transition as worked out smoothly.

Expect Vanagard to be kickstarted after Pendlehaven gets the Illuminated Edda and Lords of the Ash more or less complete; as it stands those two projects are Andrew’s number one priority.

That being said, you can avail yourself of Vanagard news and notes here on the FoTN Forums. You can also listen to some Vanagard stories on my new YouTube Channel.

So check these out if you’re interested.

I’ll be sure to update the Vanagard Forum and here as more material is released.

Seith and Sword Is Funded – I’ll Be Incognito For A Bit

Posted in Fate of the Norns, Roleplaying Games, Writing with tags , , , , on March 23, 2015 by Chall

So, good news,

Seith and Sword is fully funded.

A big thanks to my backers, my friends and family. I am very excited to write this novel for this particular game setting. Fate of the Norns is the truest rpg to the Eddas that I’ve encountered. Furthermore, as I discovered while writing the kickstarter blogs, their take on Norse Mythology is pretty much my own. I’ve got the novel all planned out and the rough draft is already a quarter of the way done. I’m so looking forward to getting this novel to my backers. They won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be very busy. While my daily word count is manageable I want to blow away my deadlines. The earlier I finish the more time I’ll have to refine. I’m putting my all into Seith and Sword, and as such, until it’s done, I’ll have less time for blogging. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, this is why.

When Sieth and Sword is complete, you will hear about it, trust me.

"The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani" by John Charles Dollman - Guerber, H. A. (Hélène Adeline) (1909). Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas.

I hope to have Seith and Sword done well before Ragnarok.

Dragon Trinity Crash Solo Adventure Book 1 – Call of Cakethulu

Posted in Adventure Book, Dragon Trinity Crash, Fate, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Writing with tags , , , , on June 18, 2014 by Chall

So I’ve been busy.

Work on The Childe Hell progresses. I’ve outlined 43 chapters and have finished the first draft for  up to Chapter 4. It’s going slowly but steady.

While working on said novel I’ve also put together a solo adventure book; Dragon Trinity Crash: Call of Cakethulu. This is a labour of love and as such I’m providing it for free, you can find it here: DTC Book 1 Call of Cakethulu . However, in order to play, you’ll need to be familiar with Fate Accelerated. If you don’t have it you can get it easily enough via Evil Hat for a song, err well actually for pay what you’d like but you get the gist.

This book took me a month or three to write up and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. So much so that I commissioned a cover for it from the spectactuar gNaw.  I think I’ll make more of them, so keep an eye on this blog for more DTC goodness.

In the meantime work on the ADX Anthology continues , once it’s finished you’ll be able to see a full Fate Core hack there.

 

 

 

December Update: Dark Crystal Author Quest and NaNo The Childe Hel

Posted in Adventure Book, Anime, Dark Crystal, Dragon Trinity Crash, Fantasy, Fiction, Knights of the Hidden Sun, National Novel Writing Month, Publishing, Roleplaying Games, RPG, The Childe Hel with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2013 by Chall

Sorry for the delay in posts, I’ve been incredibly busy.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Dark Crystal Author’s Quest

I found out about this in late September, so I thought I’d give it a shot. September was spent drawing up a plan for a full Dark Crystal novel. Then, in November, new information came up on the Dark Crystal Online Encyclopedia that blew a huge hole in my plans. Undaunted, (well actually VERY daunted) I picked apart my previous ideas for something that would fit. I have to admit, the rewritten plan is much better than my original so I went with that.

I spent most of October writing my submission. I can’t go over the details of it but what I will say is I’m proud of what I’ve wrought, it’s perhaps one of the best things I’ve ever written. If I get picked as one of the final five I’ll be over the moon. If not I’ll look into sharing what I wrote as fan fiction and move on.

Pick Chris's novel, please? Make peace?

Pick Chris’s novel, please? Make peace?

Speaking of which.

National Novel Writing Month

I completed this. I’ve always wanted to try NaNo so I pledged 2013 to it. I’m glad I did.

Some authors may scoff but I found this hard. I work full time 5 days a week, so to write 1667 words a day is roughly an hour and a half overtime every day with no days off. Furthermore I’m used to working form a detailed plan. All my recent projects are all fully mapped out on Xmind before I ever commit the first word to word processor. My Dark Crystal submission followed this path but I couldn’t do it for my NaNo novel. Why? Author’s Quest took my October so, when November came around I had minimal planning for NaNo. I had to write words, immediately, on the fly. Yikes!

I did it though and it was worth while. I used a very general idea as my guide and just wrote free from for 30 days. At one point I got stuck with doubt and confusion but I powered through that and eventually reached 50’058 words.

The key was to always stay a little ahead. I clocked around 1800 words a day. This meant, on the rare occasion where I was pulled forcefully away form my writing desk, I never fell behind because my ‘word credit’ was still good. On the other hand, if I had let myself fall behind, it would have been far harder to catch up. So the lesson is; if you need to do x words a day aim for x+.

I have to admit, this method has been rewarding. My characters and plot have developed in ways I could have never imagined. Oh, I’ll still plan the snot out of my 2nd draft buuut I’ll have a wonderful 1st draft to work from.

I’m actually not done my novel but that’s okay. NaNo has given me a sense of how far I can push myself when I really need to. I’m going to complete it. Furthermore, I’ve pledged myself at least 1000 words a day knowing that 30’000 compared to 50’000 is easy.

What I will be up to?

The Childe Hel

My NaNo novel is about the Norse Goddess Hel. Not much is written about her. All that is known is:

  • Odin threw her into the underworld to gain dominion over it.
  • She’s a badass, everyone’s scared of her.
  • When Baldur goes to her domain it’s she who dictates to the Aesir the strict conditions for his return. The conditions are not met so Baulder says.

However, there’s no story, that I could find, on how she comes to power in the underword. When she’s tossed down there she’s a little kid. Therefore, I thought that a neat story would be how she fairs. This novel is about her growing up in the underworld.

When you were a kid you got Santa. I got the frozen wastes of Nifilheim.

When you were a kid you got Santa. I got the frozen wastes of Nifilheim.

It’s going to be a dark high fantasy about loyalty, family, love and war. At 50’058 words it’s about a third of the way through. Over this next month or three I’m going to finish the first daft and hammer out a solid second draft. Expect updates on it unless…

My Dark Crystal Novel (pretty please)

If I win Author’s Quest then my Dark Crystal novel will be my #1 priority period. If that happens you’ll here about it, trust me. 🙂

I’ll be orbiting the moon with delight.

ADX Anthology: Dragon Trinity Crash

David’s got my final draft of this. I’m waiting for him to release it to the backers before I share all the freebies I wrote about it. If you’re a fan of Slayers and/or Fate you’ll love this.

Space Pirate Alice Black: Blood Tribute

I’ve been pestering Jenny Xenotropos whose doing the art and layout. Truth is she’s super busy with commissions and Christmas stuff. She plans to get back on SPAB in January. Once she’s done I’ll be self publishing this on LuLu and/or RPG Drive Thru. More on this as it happens.

Knights of the Hidden Sun

Still shelved I’m afraid. So many new things have come up that I haven’t had a chance to take what Malcolm left me and finish the final draft. That being said…

I will finish this. My plan is, once I’ve written the 2nd draft of The Childe Hel, Hidden Sun will get the lion’s share of my attention. That is unless I win Author’s Quest. I don’t think anyone will blame me for choosing the next Dark Crystal novel over it. Regardless, I will finish Hidden Sun, one way or another, eventually.

And thaaat’s me.

I’ll update again sometime in January.

True North – The Angel of Montreal

Posted in Cortex Plus, Fiction, Publishing, Roleplaying Games, RPG, True North, Writing with tags , , , on August 14, 2013 by Chall
Unlike 'The Stone Angel', by Margret Laurence, this Angel did not traumatize 12 year old Chris.

Unlike the one by Margret Laurence, this stone angel did not traumatize 12 year old Chris.

True story, this character evolved from another one called Night.

Night starred in a short story I wrote for Guardian of Order’s  Path of the Just, I’ll admit it,  The Archer’s Skull, is IMO, one of my best short stories ever. I was graced with a reply with advice on how to make the story fit better with the anthology. It was professional and awesome, and though, ultimately, my story didn’t get picked,  I was honored to receive to feedback, from the likes of Jesse Scoble and James Lowder. They are true professionals.

The core of Night was a kindhearted young woman, who came to life in my imagination. Night, in turn, changed into The Angel of Montreal. Clara’s origin and powers are different but her kindhearted spirit remains the same.

This kindness is key. Clara, is a half-angel, a Nephilim. What’s interesting is that it’s her human half that’s kind. Angels, the way I see them, are like C.S. Lewis’ Asland; good but not safe. In my stories Angels are  powerful, beautiful, alien beings. They’re terrifying, able to bring both blessings and doom. Clara has that in her, but it’s guided by her kind, human heart.

And this is cool.

Too many heroes these days are jerks, we need more compassion.

Name: The Angel of Montreal – Clara

Affiliations: Solo: D6 Buddy: D8 Team: D10

Distinctions 

  • Terrifying Beauty
  • Daughter of Heaven
  • Kind, Trusting, Heart

Power Sets

Nephilim

  • Superhuman Durability: D10
  • Subsonic Flight: D8
  • Mystic Sense: D6
  • Godlike Stamina: D12
  • Superhuman Strength: D10

SFX

  • Healing Touch: Add Endurance die to help others to recover physical stress. Or spend 1PP to automatically remove your target’s physical stress or step back his/her physical trauma.
  • Purge Illness: Spend 1 PP or suffer d4 Mental Trauma to completely remove any disease or poison related condition from 1 target.

Limits

  • Growing Dread:If you succeed with an extraordinary success while using your Nephilim power set, the Watcher can grant 1PP to activate Growing Dread. While Growing Dread is active all 1’s and 2’s, in die pools with the Nephilim power set, act as opportunities. You must accept at least a D6 emotional stress to turn off Growing Dread; you are horrified by your ‘shock and awe’ aspect.
  • Vulnerability, Magic Wards: If you cross a ward against magic suffer a D6 psychical stress. Keep doing so every panel you’re in the warded area. Powers that are designed to shut down magic power sets instead do physical damage to you. Receive 1PP whenever you suffer damage in this fashion.

Specialties
Acrobatic: D10 Combat: D8 Mystic: D8 Psych: D10

Background

  • Childhood: Clara’s father was archmage, based in Montreal, powerful enough to summon a high rank Angel. They fell in love and Clara was the result. Clara’s mother disappeared soon after her birth. Clara lived a loved, sheltered childhood; her father refused to let Clara out of his sight.
  • Day Job: Clara’s independently wealthy, as such can devote all her time to being a hero.
  • Origin: Clara’s father was killed by his own mystic machinations. He left everything to her, but she was ill prepared for the world.
  • As a Hero: Clara had no independent hero career before True North.
  • True North: One of True North’s first missions was to stop a mystic cult from kidnapping a wealthy heiress. This turned out to be Clara, the cultists wanted to bind her to power their own magics. Rather than drop her off at a meta lab True North took her in. Since then she’s been a key player on numerous missions and  become their most famous member, renowned world wide for facing down terrible evil and healing terminally ill children. She’s had offers to join prestigious American and British super teams, but she’s always refused. She knows her true home.

Personality

  • Incredibly sweet and also incredibly naive.
  • She’s terrified of her own power, afraid that she’ll accidentally kill someone.
  • She has a true, good heart. She works tirelessly as a hero of True North and also as the bearer of hope to impoverished, sick or injured kids.
  • In relation to Hallow: He pulled the necessary strings to ensure Clara remains a free and not a guinea pig in some lab. Clare, respects him greatly.
  • In relation to Grave Walker: Michelle’s like a big sister, a shoulder to lean on and a kind ear.
  • In relation to Nanuk: Clara is a little frightened of Nanuk. However, this fear is balanced with a deep respect.
  • In relation to Trickster: Clara knows he’s bad news but he’s so charming she can’t help but be his friend.

Appearance

  • Clara has a statuesque beauty.
  • Her eyes glow with a silvery light. When she files she’s wreathed in a winged, silvery aura.
  • Her long hair is platinum blonde.
  • She’s the only member of True North with a ‘super suit’. She wears a blue and grey catsuit, reminiscent of the sky, with tall, blue, flat heeled boots. Thanks to her supernatural toughness, she’s as safe in this outfit as she would be in anything else
  • In civvies, Clara dresses in an elegant, expensive, fashion.

True North – Grave Walker

Posted in Cortex Plus, Fiction, Roleplaying Games, RPG, True North, Writing with tags , , , , on August 14, 2013 by Chall
A commission by Heather Bruton, her work is in In Nomine. I gots connectionz.

A commission by Heather Bruton, her work is in In Nomine. I gots connectionz.

Grave Walker’s been with me for a while.

I drafted a short story called the King of Nines, which was about tracking down a haunted gun. Later, I wrote another short story, a prequel, about her dad struggling with a blood curse. The third story, involved a child murderer who hoped to resurrect his son by sacrificing other children to various death gods.

I like these stories but the publishers I sent them to didn’t so they got rejected.

Oh well.

Perhaps I like the character too much? Perhaps she broaches on Mary Sue territory? I hope not. I leave you, the readers, to judge.

Grave Walker’s origin is inspired by the Grim’s fairy tale, Godfather Death. I chose Anubis specificaly because, A) he’s cool and B) he gets slagged in most modern stories. He is not an ‘evil god’ by any means, despite what the 80s would tell you. Heck, he was instrumental in resurrecting Osiris.

In my universe he’s a powerful, patient and awesome deity.

Name: Grave Walker – Michelle Graves

Affiliations: Solo: D10 Buddy: D6 Team: D8

Distinctions

  • Godfather Death
  • Urban Amazon
  • Compassionate Pyshcopomp

Power Sets

Anubis’ Goddaughter

  • Attack (Staff, Eternal Rest): D6
  • Invisibility: D8
  • Mystic Resistance: D10
  • Mystic Sense: D6
  • Sorcery (Pyshcopomp) Adept: D8
  • Teleport: D10

SFX

  • Area Teleport: When you teleport between graveyards, everyone who is travelling with you follows.
  • Afflict Terror: Use Sorcery to inflict a ‘terrified’ complication on a living target. Add a D6 and step up your effect die.
  • Undeadbane: Step up Eternal Rest twice when attacking undead.
  • Magic Weapon: Eternal Rest will hurt incorporeal targets, undead or no.

Limits

  • Limited Teleport: You can only teleport between graveyards.
  • Conscious Activation: When mentally stressed our or unconscious shut down Anubis’ Goddaughter. Recover power when stress is recovered or you wake up. If you suffer mental trauma, shut down power until you recover from said trauma. Gain 1 PP when Anubis’ Goddaughter is shut down in this way.

Specialties
Acrobatic: D8 Business: D8 Combat: D8 Mystic: D8 Psych: D8

Background

  • Childhood: Michelle grew up in Victoria BC. Her father was killed by a blood curse before she was born. She was raised by her mother. She had an odd childhood, with her godfather and various ghosts visiting her often.
  • Day Job: Michelle works in Toronto as a very successful undertaker.
  • Origin: Michelle’s father, William, was inflicted by a blood curse after disturbing an Egyptian artifact. It would have killed his daughter as well but he managed to save her by giving her to Anubis as a goddaughter. Anubis has been a constant presence in Michelle’s life and bestowed upon her some of his ancient rites.
  • As a Hero: Michelle never planned on being a hero but a number of child murders, that ended up on her table, forced her hand. She avoided the limelight, ‘this is serious business’, and became an urban legend. Given the nature of her magic the underworld feared her.
  • True North: Michelle was one of the experts brought in to diagnose Hallow’s condition. They became fast friends. He insisted she join True North as his second in command. Michelle accepted reluctantly. Now that Grave Walker is a public figure she’s been able to do more good but this has also complicated Michelle’s life significantly.

Personality

  • She has a calm, adventurous personality.
  • Outside of work she practices parkour and various marshal arts.
  • She’s a good listener and wise counselor.
  • In relation to Hallow: She was brought in to diagnose his condition. They became fast friends. When True North was founded she was asked to join and found she couldn’t refuse.
  • In relation to the Angel of Montreal: The nicest person Michelle knows, who can snap a Buick in half. Despite her raw power Clara’s the little sister Michelle never had.
  • In relation to Nanuk: Nanuk is a powerful spirit being, Michelle treats him with the same caution that she treats all powerful spirit beings.
  • In relation to Trickster: He’s funny and dangerous, a bad combo. In spite of her better judgement Michelle likes him.

Appearance

  • A tall, African Canadian woman with an amazonian build.
  • Long black hair, usually bound in a pony tail or flowing loose behind her.
  • Dresses in a simple black tux for work. In other cases she dresses athletically.
  • Costume is black tactical armor and an Anubis mask.

Note: If you’d like to see more of Heather Bruton’s work, go here.

True North – Grave Walker

Posted in Cortex Plus, Writing with tags , , , , on July 11, 2013 by Chall
Actually not a force for evil. The 80s lies, it always lies.

Actually not a force for evil. The 80s lies, it always lies.

Another True North character. She’s been with me for years in various incarnations, so much so I’ve written three short stories about her, buuut none of em ever got published.

Their loss. 😛

Even so, I’m not going to quit, when I have time expect a novel or two. . . err, after Knights of the Hidden Sun and my NNWM project.

Name: Grave Walker – Michelle Graves

 

Affiliations: Solo: D10 Buddy: D6 Team: D8

Distinctions Either D4 (for 1 PP) or D8

  • Godfather Death
  • Oh No, They’re Not Getting Away With That
  • Compassionate Pyshcopomp

Power Sets

Anubis’ Goddaughter

  • Sense Ghosts: D8
  • Commune with Ghosts: D8
  • Graveyard Teleport: D10
  • Summon Ghosts: D8
  • Banish Ghosts: D10
  • Create Charm: D8

SFX

  • Area Attack: Banish Ghost can effect multiple targets. Add 1D6 and keep 1 extra die per target.
  • Jackal Guardian: Use Summon Ghosts to create a D10 Jackal helper that lasts for the entire scene. However, add a D8 to the doom pool for doing so.
  • Group Teleport: When walking through graveyards Michelle can teleport herself, and anyone with her, to any other graveyard in the world.

Limits

  • Granted Power: If Michelle’s connection to Anubis is cut off give her a plot point and shut down this power set. The connection must be restored, and she must use an opportunity to reactivate it.
  • Duty To The Dead: Michelle gets 1 PP every time her duty to her godfather complicates things.
  • Haunted: Michelle gets 1 PP whenever a ghost asks for her help at an inopportune time.

Crafted Items

  • Dark Staff: D8
  • Anubis Armour: D8
  • Jackal Mask
    • Dark Vision: D6
    • Enhanced Hearing: D8
  • Sarcophagus of Rejuvenation: D10

SFX

  • Undead Bane: Step up Dark Staff when it’s used to attack undead, even incorporeal ones.
  • Terrifying Visage: Step up Anubis Armour when making a terror based emotional attack. However a die is added to the doom pool for doing so.

Limits

  • Equipment: Everything in this power set can be stolen or broken (though they can be recrafted/fixed in the next adventure). Also, Sarcophagus of Rejuvenation is huge, not portable, and requires the patient to lay in it for 8 hours.

Specialties

Combat: D8 Menace: D10 Mystic: D8 Psych: D8

Background

  • Michelle’s father was a magician who warded off a curse that would kill her by giving her to Anubis as a goddaughter. She was a toddler at the time.
    • Anubis accepted this loophole given Michelle’s father could have reflected the curse onto innocents but chose not to.
    • He failed to remove the curse from himself and perished.
  • Michelle had a ‘normal’ childhood, in Regina, with the occasional visit from her terrifying godfather and ghosts.
  • Michelle used her connection to Anubis to become a wealthy undertaker.
  • She never got used to working on children, no one does.
  • A string of child murders that ended on her table spurred her to become a hero.
  • Anubis has bestowed magic to Michelle, in exchange for the occasional side job of putting the living-dead to rest.

Personality

  • Confident to the point of audacity.
  • Frank in conversation unless she’s dealing with someone whose hurt or in mourning.
  • Despises child abusers.
  • Respectful of her godfather.
  • Distrustful of authority, though will follow David’s lead because he’s a good friend.

Appearance

  • African Canadian.
  • Built like an amazon.
  • Long, black braided hair, brown eyes.
  • Dresses classy when out of costume.
  • In costume she’s dressed in leather and Kevlar amour, with a featureless jackal mask. Armed a long, dark staff.