Character: Shadow of Preservation

Discussion & setup for another shot at an Amber game.

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Character: Shadow of Preservation

Post by ShadowOfPreservation »

Here's my mostly finalized character. I'm sure some tweaks, particularly to powers and stunts, are likely inevitable.

"In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World" - Henry David Thoreau

Shadow of Preservation

Physical Description:
- Wolf Pack: “Company we keep…roaming the land while you sleep.” – Metallica
The Shadow most often appears as a pack of wolves, with glowing yellow eyes and fur made of pure darkness that trails off leaving an after image when they move.
- Legendary Beast: “Unfettered will fare the Fenris Wolf and ravaged the realm of men…” - the Heimskringla saga
A singular massive wolf, rivaling an Elephant in size. Its fur is jet black but seems to have physical substance to it, unlike the wolves of his pack form.
- Humanoid: “…but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” – Matthew 7:15
A human or similar creature with exceptional physique and a wild, unkempt appearance. Other details are malleable, chosen to fit the need of the moment. Age, height, and other such descriptors may change but the form always has wild black hair and intense yellow-gold eyes.

High Concept: “Shadow of the Hinterlands”

Shadow of Preservation is a spirit creature, a literal force of nature, that has manifested as a collective consciousness that uses wolves as a means of physical manifestation in defense of the Hinterlands, the dense boreal forest located just beyond the Mistwyr. Through its role as guardian, Shadow is instinctually aware of the circle of life and any unnatural disruptive force that may pose a threat.

Each wolf that is part of the collective is at once both a part of the whole and the whole itself. Each wolf that is “split off” can act independently but it always connected to every other part of its being. This allows the pack to overwhelm an opponent when focused on a single target or spread out their awareness across an entire forest. It is possible for all 3 forms to coexist simultaneously.

Though a spirit with a nature completely alien to the races that dwell in and about the Hinterlands, Shadow has split off its essence numerous times and experienced life among a variety of mortal civilizations. In doing so, Shadow has developed at least a basic competency in just about every non-technological skill as well as a number of local languages. This breadth of experience means the spirit understands mortal hopes and fears with the expertise of a learned psychologist and sociologist.

- To be aware of any significant plots going on. (wolves are always watching from the shadows)
- To exert control over shadows. (as his spiritual power manifests creations of living shadow, Shadow has a great deal of control over shadows in the immediate vicinity of one of his shards.)
- To gain a “home field advantage” (in Temperate and Boreal Forest Terrain)
- To sense unnatural/corrupting influences in the area.
- To be recognized as a protector and ally by those able to see past the intimidating presence.
- To exude animal magnetism.
- To have knowledge and experience in any given topic or skill.
- To understand the motivations and concerns of others.

- To give off “bad vibes”/ give others the creeps (Shadow has an intimidating presence)
- To invoke a “fight or flight” response in the weak willed.
- To be seen as awkward/rude/unwelcome in polite society (not just raised by wolves…)
- To be a “fish out of water” (with knowledge of anything too “advanced”, see above)

Trouble: Something Wicked This Way Comes

A darkness probes at the borders of the Hinterlands. Thus far it has been rebuffed and incursions swiftly dealt with, but Shadow can sense it watching and waiting still. It is the sense of being watched, something barely glimpsed out of the corner of one’s eye.

- To make/gather unlikely allies. (the enemy of my enemy…)
- To notice anything suspicious.
- To know something about a creature of darkness (whether from personal experience or research into how to combat the threat to the Hinterlands)
- To be seen as burdening/endangering others with the Hinterlands’ problems.
- To be targeted by creatures of darkness/corruption.
- To see a particular circumstance as “none of my business” (you have your own Shadow and your own enemy to worry about)
- To be mistaken for the dark force that threatens the Hinterlands

Soul of an Artist: “Great art picks up where nature ends.” ~Marc Chagall

Experiencing life through the eyes of a mortal, despite its inherent immortality, awakened a deep understanding of life in Shadow, not just the way things ought to be but how they could be. With this realization grew a desire to see, understand, record, and interpret the beauty of the world.

- To create poetry on the fly.
- To create a work of art with some proficiency.
- To be underestimated.
- To be distracted/deceived by beauty.
- To be an art snob (only appreciates natural lines and curves, well-crafted prose, etc. “Slam poetry is an affront to the invention of language. I smell the taint of corruption in this mess you call modern art.”


Focus (Careful) +4 - Good senses and bringing a horde of defenses against any onslaught (even mentally)
Craft (Clever) +0 - Crafty, but not traditionally cleaver, like a Ranger or woodsman (Stunt or tag here)
Flair (Flashy) +1 - Several blatantly inhuman forms and shadow powers.
Power (Forceful) +4 - Combined, you can push farther than a person, spread out, you have multiple beings attacking at once.
Quick (Quick) +3 - Wolves are swift…
Sneaky (Sneaky) +3 - Wolves are silent…

Refresh: 1

Shadow Magic: (2 point) Control and manipulation of shadows.
Common applications:
Abjuration: Shadow warding, Globe of Shadows
Enchantment: Enhance items with a shadow effect.
Evocation: Shadow projectiles, create solid objects out of shadow.
Illusion: Cloak self, others, area in complete darkness.
Doppelganger Trick: mimic people the pack has devoured, some limitations apply.

- Because I’m no single entity, I can mitigate a consequence once per scene
- Because I’m a Force of Nature, when I take a doom to use my - Legendary Beast form, that form lasts for the rest of the scene instead of a single action.
- Because I’m a Scary Monster, I have a +2 to create an advantage when being intimidating in a wolf-like fashion (either literally as a wolf, or even just growling and baring teeth in human form).
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Re: Character: Shadow of Preservation

Post by Wyvern »

A note: This character is definitely on the high end of what I'm likely to allow, in terms of overt power; I wasn't expecting anyone to want to play an outright Creature of Power. On the other hand, it should still be reasonably balanced, as actually using that power requires either a high price, or being on the character's home turf.

And, for the record, extreme home turf advantages aren't a thing that's necessarily limited to Creatures of Power. Any PC could find a high magic shadow and take the time to master its local magic system (or a high tech shadow and just buys the necessary resources), and be just as scary. Of course, having such a place does require spending an aspect on it, be it directly (Corwin's "Sorcerer-King of Avalon") or indirectly (A character with ties to a shadow full of powerful fae might have "Austris' Favor", referring to a literal scarf gifted to them by the Lady of Burning Winds, but also defining that there exists such a shadow and something of what the character's place in it is...)
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Re: Character: Shadow of Preservation

Post by Joshua »

Rather than message about this over PM, or AIM, I figure, it might help people see some negotiation on here.

This character easily connects with Theodore.
  • Theo could have summoned a wolf to Lastfell during a particularly bad incident with the Mi-Go.
  • Theo's magic connects with dark powers and extradimensional entities. It may have contacted Shadow at some point inadvertently in a hostile way. Perhaps drawing off power for a spell effect. Theo likely would have shut that down when he found out... depending on how great the need.
  • The darkness could easily resemble any of a dozen chthonic entities, which Theodore has fought before, leading to a more typical superhero team-up.
  • Theo spent time exploring shadow. He could have run across many creatures of power. (This might be a light enough contact to not require an aspect. More a footnote in backgrounds.)
  • Shadow might assume Theodore is a servant of said darkness (In some respects, he probably is tangentially one.) With Theo's presence and magic use calling forth the darkness in a place normally protected. Even if Theo helped stop it, there could be strong enmity over such an act.
  • Or any combination of the above... if you're interested.
Let me know, or respond on here. Like I said, it might help to model a bit of this were others can see.
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Re: Character: Shadow of Preservation

Post by ShadowOfPreservation »

A combination seems to work best I think.

Shadow may have been searching for the darkness in the far corners of the Hinterlands and sensed something, perhaps Theo's call/summons. Being called to by a creature of darkness would have drawn Shadow's full attention.
I think that Shadow would recognize the scent of the dark magic about Theo as corruption and feel a natural desire to cleanse it but at the same time recognize it as a different scent (perhaps related but not a perfect match) than the darkness threatening his home. From there a conversation would likely ensue in which Shadow comes to an understanding of Theo's nature and how their goals are quite similar. Theo would be a valuable source of information regarding dark magic and Shadow would prove a valuable asset to Theo.
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