Description: Theodore is very victorian, Girl Genius, steampunk gentleman. He wears a black victorian coat woven of the finest spider-silk at all times (even in deserts) with a top hat. He carries a monocle (more a magnifying glass on a chain, he doesn’t need it to see) and pocket-watch (which is always breaking). Of course, his arcane sensibilities clash with the sci-fi nature of the rest of him, always having pouches of spell components as well as tools sewn into the inside of his coat. He often has books with him on various topics including different takes on the necronomicon.
Theodore is an orphan who was adopted by a victorian noble couple. They were, in turn, killed by mi-go, and Theodore escaped with the help of an arcanist who became his first mentor. Said arcanist went insane and was put down after Theodore’s initial training. Delving deep into the underbelly of his hometown for secrets to use against the mi-go, he found an amulet that opened up other worlds.
Since then, Theodore has been expanding his magic and potential. Ideally he’d like to return and drive the mi-go from his homeland, but it’s a long road getting there.
Home Shadow: Yuggoth (Wait- what?)
(OOC: John asked for everyone to have connections and hopes. I found that stating a home shadow made that a lot easier. Even if you're from Amber, how and where you were raised help people see the theme of your character.)
Per Lovecraft: There are mighty cities on Yuggoth—great tiers of terraced towers built of black stone... The sun shines there no brighter than a star, but the beings need no light. They have other subtler senses, and put no windows in their great houses and temples... The black rivers of pitch that flow under those mysterious cyclopean bridges—things built by some elder race extinct and forgotten before the beings came to Yuggoth from the ultimate voids—ought to be enough to make any man a Dante or Poe if he can keep sane long enough to tell what he has seen...
Theodore is from Lastfell, one of the few human settlements that are beneath the Mi-Go’s notice, built in the shadow of one of the mi-go’s great towers. Powered by memories of their origins as well as the Tok’l-metal mined there, the inhabitants have built a moderate London-like city based on layer upon layer of stone and brick fired in great factories. Within the city itself, life is almost normal. Great trains run every which way (including up and down) as people live in perpetual twilight. Several inventors have made sun-lamps, sufficient to grow crops, and even some moderate amount of live-stock managed to survive whatever brought the humans there. It is a place of invention where magic is forbidden, but practiced in secret by those who wish to fight back or surrender to the eldritch horrors.
High Concept: Lastfell Arcanist
As stated, Lastfell is a place where steampunk invention meats chthulu ritual magic and sanity-fueled spells. Theo is a practitioner of these rituals and spells and grew up with steampunk contraptions.
- Cast Chthonic rituals or spells (warning, may cost sanity.)
- Perform Alchemy or other Victorian-era mysticism (seances, mesmerist shows and the like)
- Make a ‘contraption’ function
- Understand alternate victorian tech
- Be victorian-proper
- Hide some of his dark traits and spell casting focus.
- Be conservative
- Difficulty with anything too modern or too primitive (or not steam-powered)
- Summon lynch mob (OOC: That fits in a number of places for Theo.)
Trouble: Dark calls to Dark
Theodore has studied the dark spell casting of Chthonic lore. Worse, he came upon a cursed amulet that enhanced his powers. This marks him as more than a dabbler in dark arts. With knowledge that has shattered the minds of lesser men. Holy men see him as blasphemous, and dark things want to eat him for his power.
(OOC: There are many options for how the amulet works. The original idea was it was a magic or trump item tainted by another power. The specifics, in this case, are left to the ST. Plus, if I play Theo, I don’t want it publicly known yet. That being said, the amulet’s effects is one of Theo’s stunts, and he’s done that publicly.)
- Get something forbidden to talk to/respect him.
- Know something about an unspeakable or forbidden creature, place or item.
- Get attacked by anything dark, forbidden or evil.
- Be distrusted by ‘proper’ people.
- Be a harbinger of doom.
- Make effects of his magic darker (read: more evil), which causes all kinds of problems.
- Take a thematically darker Doom for spell casting.
Magic Isn’t an Exact Science
Despite attempting to expand his knowledge at the Collegitat and “a thousand other worlds”, Theodore has been unable to let go of his initial training. Theo’s abilities are not exactly reliable, subject to cross-shadow channeling and the alignment of stars in far-removed places. This makes it slightly less predictable. Sometimes it’s more powerful than expected; sometimes it fizzles; and sometimes it lunges sideways and breaks the veil.
(OOC: This is explicitly intended as a hook for other magic-wielding PCs or anyone with a Collegitat background.)
(OOC: My spell-checker HATES Collegitat as a word.)
- Improvise magic with the barest knowledge of what the local laws are.
- Make a not-quite valid interpretation of how something works, that somehow works.
- Have magic fail or succeed in a beneficial matter because of a hedge-exception.
- Call upon friends and mentors spread out among countless places.
- Have magic fizzle when it should work.
- Have magic succeed or fail in a bad matter because the grey line he was thinking of was somewhere else.
- Other more serious magic accidents.
- Bring up ‘bad-blood’ from administrators and mentors who faced the unreliable nature of his magic.
We’re all Mad Here (except when we aren’t)
Theo is tainted by his actions and knowledge. Despite this, the coal of his psyche has collapsed into a diamond. People can tell there’s something off about him, but, on the plus side, he’s not going to break further.
- Help him be a distraction.
- Get noticed by allies, enemies, and well, anyone.
- Pawn off a social mistake as a harmless quick.
- Avoid insanity.
- Do something crazy.
- As above, just when it’s not a good thing.
- Get into arguments (usually over magic).
- Have minor mental issues.
Pending PC connection
(OOC: for other player ties. By default, Theodore is an pulp archeologist who likes mysteries, but am willing to adjust. If nothing else, 'Hero of Lastfell' was my go-to thought.)
Power: 1 - Not particularly strong physically. And when he's controlling collateral damage, not that strong magically.
Focus: 2 - His mind has been through the wringer, but he's okay.
Craft: 3 - He grew up steampunk. You need a mechanics degree to do laundry.
Sneak: 4 - His chosen profession was illegal where he came from. And hiding from horrors from beyond is how he grew up.
Flair (Crazy): 5 - His magic is all about the show and the terror and he knows how to use it. He's not subtle, and most things he's good at made a LOT of noise, light (or shadow) and psychic taint. (OOC: And that's the same combination on my luggage!)
Quick: 0 - His magic and almost everything else about him needs preparation.
(OOC: While I did put the numbers down, I've focused on what I thought might be visible to others and his magic. I have, semi-intentionally, left out his ability to fight with a sword, for example.)
Refresh: 1 (3, -1 Pathfinder, -1 Stunt)
Dark Magic and Conjuration (-2, Free power): As stated, this is the spell-casting from Call of Chthulu, magnified by his amulet.
Pathfinder (-1): Theodore assumes he gets this from his amulet.
Because I Found a Strange Amulet, if I take a Doom to imbue my spells with its greater power, it lasts for the thread. (OOC: normally it’s one Doom per use. And this will likely take a darker doom from the above aspects.)
Because I’ve Seen Worse, I gain +2 to focus to resist things done to my sanity or mind. Oh, and I wouldn’t recommend looking through it.
Because Dark Powers Crave Destruction, I gain +2 to Flair when I attack with magic. (OOC: While this is kinda powerful, I'm sure if I am a jerk about this, I'll be seeing a lot of trouble compels. Also, this leaves the ST with +2 to create fallout from the above use.)
Because I am Self-Reliant, I get a +2 to Focus to create an advantage (or fight off a disadvantage) involving my personal prior (off-camera) preparations.