Our GM was sick last night, so the Good Shepherds took the week off. I figured I would take the time to go into a little detail about my characters, both just in case you were interested and to give me an opportunity to flesh them out a bit more to help me when I bring them to the table. Some of this stuff will be new to those just following the Aps, some of it will be even new to my group, and some of it I’ll have come up with during the writing of this. Witchcraft hasn’t actually hit the table yet, and I’ve noticed (at least for me) the execution always drifts a bit from my character concept, so putting it down here should in interesting for comparison later on.
Sergeant Holtz Farros “Sarge”
Vice: Obligation: Family. Holtz has a wife (who is also his “Friend” contact listed on his sheet, Grace, the extortionist), and kids back home. He likes to spend his downtime at home, and making sure they are taken care of. I’m also pretty hesitant to spend any coin on extra downtime actions (although I have done so once), because I think his preference would be to stash them away.
Look: Sarge is a large, burly man, standing about 6’6″ (About 2 meters for the rest of the world), who still keeps his old military haircut out of force of habit. He has more than his share of battle-scars from his time in the war, as well as a tattoo of his regiment’s emblem on his right shoulder, a stylized 8 over a crossed rifle and battle-axe, on a background of the Imperial Flag.
Holtz grew up in Doskvol, as a child of a poorer family in Coalridge he learned to keep an eye out for trouble and steer clear (Survey as heritage skill). He and his wife, Grace, got married young and now have three children, Elizabeth, Nicola, and Charlotte. When the Unity War broke out, Holtz enlisted as a means to provide for his family, even though it meant him missing Charlotte’s birth. While Holtz survived the war and made it to the rank of Sergeant, he saw a lot of good friends not get so lucky. Notably, his former friend (and current enemy), Mercy, lost his brother and an eye when Holtz led the squad into an ambush. While the hardly the only mistake Sergeant Farros made during his service, he still did have talent for command (background skill), although he attributes his survival and success to “dumb luck”.
After the war ended, Holtz, and many of the other soldiers were sent home to an economy that wasn’t prepared to take on this many vets. To complicate matters, Doskvol was experiencing a refugee crisis, leading to an even greater influx of new labor into the market. Many were convinced that these refugees were spies or saboteurs, until eventually the entire city was locked down. This lockdown (which is still ongoing at this point in the game) led to the creation of the Shepherds, with Sarge, not able to find honest work, brought in as the muscle. Sarge was a bit wary of working with a Soklander at first, but since the founding of the crew, he has come to regard Echoes as a friend.
Holtz’s first priority is his family, followed by his friends (both in the Shepherds and his war buddies), he looks out for them, and tries not to let the rest of the stuff get to him. He does, however, have a soft spot for the common people of Doskvol, particularly those in his native Coalridge. Violence happens to be what he is best at, but it is not his first choice (at least when he is not on Rage Essence), but he is more than willing to finish what someone else starts. Once the Foghounds went after Echoes, he was more than fine with cracking heads until they got the message. We’ve briefly discussed about what things were like during the war, and decided that the war happens out in the deadlands, and that there is no practical way to cremate all the bodies in a war zone, so as the fighting drags on the areas just gets thick with spirits. As a result, Holtz has seen enough ghosts to last several lifetimes and is rather paranoid about dealing with them (particularly because he has no skills to do so).
His fine two-handed weapon is a military issue two-headed battle-axe, much better quality than what an average street-thug could get their hands on, and Holtz takes pretty good care of it. His fine scary weapon or tool is a “Unity Saber”, a military award for “distinguished service in combat during the Unity War”, which in the Empire is code for “Killed a lot of Soklanders”. The Unity Saber is mostly ceremonial, but it functions as a weapon, and most people recognize it as a sign that Holtz is not to be trifled with (which is his starting ability). He hasn’t over indulged (yet), mostly due to getting pitifully LOW vice rolls, but I’ll likely elect for him to become lost most of the time, he’d love to help out with this gang war, but his kid has a thing.
Mechanically, I am looking to raise his attributes a little, since right now he has a 1 in Insight and Resolve. Sadly, those are the two attributes we do NOT have training facilities in for our crew, so getting those to go up will be a bit of a pain. He’s pretty close to leveling up his playbook, and I am really liking the slide’s “Like looking in a mirror” as a veteran advance, to help him be more involved in the social stuff. I also like Leader for him, but, since we have no cohorts, it is hard to justify right now.
Specialist Sola Gratia “Witchcraft”
Vice:Weird: Hunting Spirits. Sola relieves stress working as a Spirit Warden, capturing and destroying stray spirits. It is a never-ending task, but the more she destroys, the easier she is able to sleep.
Look: Sola is a pale, waifish sort. She keeps her long, platinum-blonde hair in a sloppy up-do, and tends to wear clothing for comfort or maneuverability over fashion. She often wears a set of poorly fitted magnification glasses for reading the tiny print that is often found in occult tomes, although her distance vision is fine.
Sola is the fourth out of six children in the Gratia family, an upper merchant class family that makes their home in Charterhall and manages a respectable sized collection of banks. While her family wanted her to get an education suited to a young lady of her standing, Sola was not interested in such things. Much of her youth was spent sneaking away and exploring the rest of the city (prowl as her heritage skill). It was during these explorations that she encountered an older woman, versed in the occult. This woman, Quellyn (her friend on her sheet), saw much of herself in the young Sola, and took her under her wing in the ways of the arcane arts. Sola’s family did not approve of such dabbling, which was further exasperated by the fact that her area of interest tended towards the more destructive variety (tempest as her starting ability). Fights over the issue, often punctuated by electric powered destruction, became an increasingly regular occurrence.
When the Unity War broke out, the Imperial Army had a need of whisperers to help keep their forces safe in the deadlands. Sola, wanting to test her abilities, and get away from her family, signed up and shipped out without a word to anyone save her mentor. Sola resisted the discipline structure of the military, but the Drill Instructors of the imperial army have dealt with more than their share of rebellious youth, and, unlike her parents, encouraged the development of her abilities and gave her outlets for them. Sola graduated from basic with not only an improved sense of discipline, but also the ability to handle herself in a fight (skirmish as her background skill).
Sola was assigned to the 8th, and eventually came to serve under Sarge as his number 2. She earned the nickname of “Witchcraft” as a token of respect for her magical abilities. As the Squadron’s Whisperer, she served as a sort of mobile artillery. At was alos often her duty to deal with the endless amount of restless spirits in the deadlands, often only being able to sleep once their camp was properly warded and the spirits dealt with.
After the war, Sola worked with her mentor, and did odd jobs as a Whisperer to make ends meet. However, while she could make use of them for her work, Sola never quite got over seeing spirits as the enemy, and she found herself spending coin and time on a vigilante campaign of destroying as many of them as she could. Her actions caught the attention of the spirit wardens, who recruited her, both to make use of her battle-tested skills, and to keep her under control. During her time in the Spirit Wardens, she quickly became a voice that lobbied for them to move to destroy Lord Scurlock once and for all, something that has gotten her the unfortunate personal attention of the Vampire.
Sarge has asked his former XO to step in and aid the Shepherds while he recovers from a gunshot sustained in a fight with the Foghounds. Sola is more than willing to help her friend and former CO out, especially if it means making a little extra coin on the side.
Mechanically: Sola is a bit more of a dabbler than Sarge is, while sarge has 3 2 dot abilities (Wreck, Skirmish, and Command), and only one single dot (Survey), I spread things around a bit more for Sola, to give her a higher attribute rating (straight 2s). I’ve yet to get a chance to see which I like better, but this does mean she’ll be making better vice rolls (2 dice to Sarge’s 1), which should help with recovery since Tempest means she’ll take a lot of stress. I want to get Battleborn as a veteran advance for her, and maybe up her skirmish a bit to represent the skills her time in the military have given her, but I also want to invest more in the cool occult stuff since that seems like the fun part of playing a Whisperer!
Anyway, that’s the two of them, feel free to ask me any questions you got as it’ll be good character development exercise for me!
The Good Shepherds should resume next week!