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In Brief: Orphaned Latina Necromancer Character: Santa Muerte Power Level: 12 (Built as PL10) Tradeoffs: None (At PL10: -2 Attack / +2 Damage, -2 Defense / +2 Toughness) Power Points: 180/180 Unspent Points: 0 Alternate Identity: Ximena Romero Identity: Public Legal Status: USA citizen with no criminal record Birthplace: Emerald City, Oregon, USA Base of Operations: Emerald City, Oregon, USA Residence: The penthouse loft of the 23 B Apartments on University Hill Occupation: Witch Affiliations: Mictlan Books & Curiosities (Owner), 23 B Apartments (Owner), Atzi Ramirez (Employee, Confidant), Detective Briana Rowell, E.C.P.D., Homicide (Contact), Vivienne (Mentor, Deceased) Family: Mother (Deceased), Father (Deceased), Younger Sister (Deceased), Younger Brother (Deceased), several estranged living grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins DESCRIPTION Age: 25 (Date of Birth: 1995) Apparent Age: 25 Gender: Female Ethnicity: Mesoamerican Latina Height: 5'5" Weight: 115 lbs. Hair: White (Formerly Black) Eyes: Brown (Green while using magic) Ximena stands at slightly above-average height, with a slight frame. Her skin is on the darker end of the Latina spectrum, owing to her indigenous Mesoamerican heritage, contrasted starkly by her completely white hair. As a lifelong self-described "Goth", her clothing consists almost entirely of elaborate and vaguely Medieval or Victorian inspired dresses, mostly in black but sometimes accented with purple, blue, or red, incorporating plenty of velvet, satin, lace, and fishnet, frequently accompanied by corsets or waist-cinchers, with lots of silver jewelry. To change into Santa Muerte, she simply retrieves the enchanted cloak and mask from her dimensional pocket, and with a word and a wave of her hand, they float onto her body as if she were being dressed by an unseen servant, while her makeup expands from her usual dark eyeshadow and lipstick into a full Dia de Los Muertos style skull-face. Her cloak is bright red, while her mask is bone-white, carved into the shape of a human skull, with a black Viridian Stone set into the forehead, directly above her pineal gland. When Ximena casts spells, her eyes turn bright green, and often both her eyes and hands will be completely enveloped in green hellfire. Her spells require elaborate hand gestures and spoken words to function. The gestures range from simply pointing at the target, to drawing elaborate shapes in the air, such as an hourglass, which then take on a three-dimensional spectral green form that she can interact with, such as turning the hourglass over, or breaking it in half to rapidly spill the sands out. Often a spectral sickle appears in her hand, which she uses to cut glowing puppet strings attached to a group of another necromancer's undead minions, breaking his control over them, or to cut a bloody hole in the fabric of space itself for when she teleports or accesses her dimensional pocket. The spoken invocations of her spells consist mostly of sentences or phrases in Atlantean or Lemurian. The spells she's tweaked or created herself often include Latin, Maya, or Nahuatl as well. HISTORY On Ximena Romero's twelfth birthday, her father came home from work, murdered his entire family, and then rampaged through his neighborhood until he was shot down by the police. At least, that's what most people believe. A few know better. Ximena's father was a junior accountant at a firm which, unbeknownst to him, included among its clientele a number of front companies for some of the organized crime syndicates who belonged to the confederacy known only to themselves as "The Chamber". One front company in particular was involved in the purchase and development of some valuable Riverfront property. Late in the day on Ximena's twelfth birthday, one of the senior accountants accidentally forwarded an email to Ximena's father. That email included a spreadsheet with a list of names and figures. The names were Emerald City government officials, mostly members of the zoning board but also a City Council member. The figures were bribes. The contents of that email could have scuttled the entire real estate deal, and landed every person on the list and everyone copied on the email in prison. Before Ximena's father got home, The Chamber had already given the order that he was to be silenced, in such a way as to destroy any credibility he might have beyond the grave. They sent The Terror. It found and possessed Ximena's father before she had the chance to blow out the candles on her cake, but not before he was able to give her his last present, a silver medallion with a strange black stone set into it that perfectly matched the gothic turn her fashion tastes had recently taken. Using her father as a puppet, The Terror butchered Ximena's entire family. When she tried to defend her siblings, it stabbed her repeatedly. She would have succumbed to her wounds if the black Viridian Stone she was unknowingly wearing around her neck hadn't prevented her soul from leaving her body long enough for her to get medical attention. None of The Terror's other victims that night were so lucky. The experience turned Ximena's hair completely white. In the aftermath, the senior accountant managed to gain access to Ximena's father's email account. The damning message was unread. In his haste to get home in time for his eldest daughter's birthday dinner, he had ignored the buzzing of his Blackberry. Once word was received that one of the children had survived, it was decided that it was unnecessary to finish her off, and, more importantly, that it would attract too much attention if a second attempt was made on her life. The land deal proceeded without further complication. Ximena had a large extended family, who took her in, at first. But her good Catholic aunts, uncles, and grandparents quickly started passing her around like a hot potato, each one growing weary of her trauma-induced emotional unavailability, the goth music and fashion "phase" she refused to grow out of, the bisexuality she refused to conceal or repress, and, most of all, her newfound obsession with the occult. She knew that her father wasn't on drugs and hadn't just snapped like everyone claimed. She knew what she saw, and she had to learn how to keep it from ever happening again. Her guardians kept throwing away her books on witchcraft, and she kept shoplifting new ones. Her guardians grounded her, and she snuck out anyway. Eventually they dumped her into the foster care system, from which she quickly slipped away. She wandered, working under the table at odd jobs while chasing any scrap of information she could on magic and the supernatural. She fell in and out with multiple cults and charlatans before she finally found her mentor, the sorceress Vivienne. Vivienne claimed to be twice Ximena's age, though she didn't look it. Impressed with Ximena's potential and persistence, she took her on as an apprentice. The two quickly became more than teacher and student, first friends, then lovers. Vivienne taught her how to harness hellfire, to bind and banish demons, to raise the dead and to put them down again. In addition to the necromantic arts, Ximena learned history, philosophy, languages. Ximena was a voracious student, taking full advantage of her first access to formal education in years. She learned the true nature of the Viridian Stone in her possession, and she built an enchanted mask to house it. She also became friends with Atzi Ramirez, the middle-aged mortal servant who handled Vivienne's legal and financial affairs in the mundane world. Several years passed. Then, one day, Vivienne turned on Ximena. She learned that Vivienne was even older than she claimed, and that her life and her youthful appearance was sustained by draining the life energy of younger women like Ximena, women Vivienne would take her pleasure and amusement from for a few years, until she grew bored of them and they started to age, losing the only true value she saw in them. Ximena was just the latest in a long line, and the power and strength of will she had developed under Vivienne's tutalage only meant that her soul would sustain and empower Vivienne for longer once she consumed it. Vivienne's doom was in underestimating her latest student. Ximena managed to turn the tables on Vivienne, long enough to break Vivienne's hold over her undead creatures who staffed and protected her estate. Instead of seizing control of them, Ximena set them free, and once free, they set upon Vivienne with a vengeance, consuming her body and soul. Once they were finished with Vivienne, Ximena sent the creatures to their final rewards, some willingly, some not. Then she looted Vivienne's estate of its more benign resources and burned the rest down. She has yet to face any reprisal for Vivienne's death, since most of Vivienne's few friendly acquaintances in the magical community "Knew her well enough not to mourn her passing." After disposing of Vivienne's legacy, Ximena decided it was time to return to her home. If she could overcome a seasoned necromancer like Vivienne, then she could deal with the entity that had murdered her family, and any others like it. Atzi, finding herself homeless, unemployed, and free of the mind-controlling spells that she hadn't even known that Vivienne had cast upon her, followed Ximena to Emerald City. With Atzi's help, and the financial resources Ximena had "inherited" from her treacherous mentor, she was able to purchase two properties, a small apartment building, X, where she and Atzi both took up residence, and a storefront where she established Mictlan Books & Curiosities (and installed a magical workspace in the basement). She put Atzi in charge of running both businesses. The store acts as a base from which Atzi is able to act as a broker, putting clients (some paying, some not) who require magical assistance in touch with Ximena, who performs services ranging from brewing potions or crafting charms to investigations and exorcisms. In her own time, Ximena searches the city for lost souls to put to rest, and demons and malevolent spirits to banish from the material realm, hoping to find one in particular. She's foiled several secular crimes along the way, and one police detective, Briana Rowell, has started consulting with her after she helped Rowell close a cold murder case. PERSONALITY & MOTIVATION Ximena's demeanor is usually calm, aloof, and laconic. When she indulges in humor, it tends to be dry sarcasm. When she looks at someone, she seems to be looking through them. She carries heavy emotional burdens she is loathe to unleash upon others, and she is just as reluctant to take on the emotional burdens of others. She's had to be self-reliant for most of her life, and she's been betrayed and abandoned multiple times, so she is slow to trust anyone. But she genuinely wants to help people. The supernatural invaded her life and destroyed it. She has dedicated her life to making sure that doesn't happen to anyone else. Despite her youth, she has existed at the fringes of mainstream modern society for long enough that she doesn't feel comfortable in it. She pays for everything in cash, she keeps hard copies of everything, and she doesn't own a computer or a cell phone. POWERS & TACTICS As a necromancer, Ximena's magic focuses on the power of life and death itself, especially the latter. She can inflict weakening curses upon her foes, launch bolts of hellfire at them, and show them enough of what horror awaits them in the afterlife to break their spirits under the weight of it. Alternately, she can use that same knowledge of the worlds beyond death to provide peace to her allies, invigorating them. She knows how to raise the dead, turning them into the Undead, how to summon, bind, and interrogate ghosts and demons, and how to sever such a creature's connection to the powers that sustain it, obliterating them. Through sheer force of will, she can seize control of the demons or undead creatures created or commanded by another sorcerer. She can perform exorcisms, which break the hold supernatural creatures have over a mortal's fragile mind, and banish those creatures from the material world back to whatever dimension spawned them. She can transport herself and others to the various dimensions of the dead, and she knows their geography well enough to exploit the different physics in those dimensions to emerge back in the material world a vast distance away from her starting point in mere moments. Because of her mask (see below), she can walk those paths freely, the dead mistaking her for one of their own. When she brings along a living passenger, the journey becomes far more dangerous. Her affinity for death has allowed her to sense it as second nature. She can tell when someone has died in a given place, whether it was one person or many, and whether they died slowly or quickly, peacefully or violently. She sometimes receives precognitive visions warning of an impending death, being able to sense the psychopomps looming close by the doomed. She also knows a handful of minor non-necromantic utility spells. She can create and access a pocket dimension, where she stores her most valuable possessions. She can use part of a person, such as a drop of their blood or a strand of their hair, to prepare a compass which will point in their direction. She can create a ghostly hand which can lift, manipulate, and even destroy objects at a distance. She can transmute small objects, rearranging their atoms like a child's building blocks to transform one thing into another. Her enchanted cloak harnesses raw ectoplasm, the substance of ghosts, which is often left behind when they move on to their final reward, or are forced to by an exorcism. The cloak repurposes this energy as a shield, protecting her from harm. When an attack would strike her, swirling green mist appears a few inches in front of her and blocks it. Sometimes the vague outlines of a face appear in the mist, either an echo of the departed spirits whose ectoplasm the cloak harnessed, or a grateful spirit returning to intercede on her behalf directly. The cloak uses this same energy to form currents or wings which lift her off the ground, allowing her to float in the air, and sometimes, as with her defenses, it is grateful spirits who bear her into the heavens. Her mask harnesses the energy of the black Viridian Stone to open her "third eye", allowing her to see in total darkness, to see supernatural creatures for what they truly are, to see magical auras, and to speak with the spirits of the dead as if she were one of them. The mask hides her life signs, making her appear to both living and dead alike as one of the latter. Aside from her magic, Ximena has the sort of genius-level intellect that comes along a few times in a generation, and a tremendous strength of will and and force of personality. If she hadn't decided to become one of the world's greatest witches, she could have become the next Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, or Susan B. Anthony. Her intensive tutelage under Vivienne left her with the equivalent of a doctorate in several fields of mundane academic study. She speaks over half a dozen languages. Her enchantments adhere best to objects of the finest quality, and she has risen to the challenge, becoming a world-class craftswoman of a dozen different disciplines, from seamstress to metalworker. However, she has focused on her studies to the point of neglecting her body. While she is exceptionally healthy, her physical prowess is below average for a woman of her age. She is almost useless in a fistfight. COMPLICATIONS Enemies: Ximena has banished many demons and malevolent spirits from the world of the living. Some of them hold grudges. And someone might have cared about Vivienne enough to avenge her death after all. The GM can give her a Hero Point when one of them shows up to make an already bad situation even worse. Fame (Local): Ximena's identity as "Santa Muerte" exists in a grey area. She doesn't hide it, but she doesn't advertise it either. Not everyone she's helped recognizes her, but some do, and word is spreading. The GM can give her a Hero Point when being recognized makes her life less convenient in some way. Hyperspace Is A Scary Place: When Ximena uses her Teleport power, she crosses over into one of the Underworld dimensions. The GM can give her a Hero Point if something follows her back into the material world. Alternately, if she brings along a passenger, especially if that passenger's nature as a living creature is not concealed as hers is behind her mask, or if the passenger disregards her instructions ("Don't open your eyes, don't listen to the voices, don't let go of me"), then that passenger may come back possessed, if they come back at all. If her passenger is possessed or trapped on the other side, the GM may give a Hero Point to her, her passenger, or both. Nightmares: Ximena has seen many disturbing things, and she regularly relives them in her dreams. Precognitive visions of death also frequently come to her while she is asleep. The GM can give her a Hero Point and declare that she is Fatigued due to lack of restful sleep. Prejudice: Ximena is female, Latina, bisexual, and a goth. The GM can give her a Hero Point when another character's ignorance of and/or prejudice against one or more aspects of her identity creates a setback for her. Reputation ("Burn the witch!"): Many members of mainstream religions consider Ximena to be a blasphemer and her namesake to be heresy. Most other wizards consider her form of magic to be taboo, and, to be fair, most of those who practice it do so in a far more malevolent fashion than she does. Anyone who can perceive magical auras in detail and knows what to look for can see the mark her use of necromancy (however benign it has been) has left on her soul. The GM can give her a Hero Point if another character's attitude toward her powers creates a setback for her. Responsibility (Business): Even though Atzi handles the day-to-day operations, ultimately, as a landlord and a store owner, Ximena has an obligation to her tenants, her employees, and her customers. And Atzi herself may sometimes require aid. The GM can give Ximena a Hero Point when she faces a setback on account of those obligations. Responsibility (Family): Ximena has a large extended family. Even though she is estranged from them, if any of them found her and asked for her aid, she would feel obligated to provide it. The GM can give her a Hero Point and declare that a family member needs her help at the worst possible time. ABILITIES 44PP ([-2] + 0 + 8 + 14 + 12 + 12) Strength: 08 (-1) (Heavy Load: 80 lbs.) Dexterity: 10 (+0) Constitution: 18 (+4) Intelligence: 24 (+7) Wisdom: 22 (+6) Charisma: 22 (+6) COMBAT 14PP (8 + 6) Initiative: +0 (+0 Dex) Attack: +4, +8 Hellfire Blast Grapple: +3 (+4 Melee Attack, -1 Str) Defense: +8/+4 (+7/+3 Base, +1 Dodge Focus), +4/+2 Flat-Footed Knockback Resistance: 6/2 SAVING THROWS 14PP (1 + 4 + 9) Toughness: +12/+4 (+4 Con, +8 Protection) Fortitude: +5 (+4 Con, +1PP) Reflex: +8/+4 (+0 Dex, +4 Enhanced, +4PP) Will: +15 (+6 Wis, +9PP) SKILLS 22PP (88R) Concentration 6 (+12) Craft (Artistic) 13 (+20) Diplomacy 9 (+15) Intimidation 9 (+15) Knowledge (Arcane) 13 (+20) Knowledge (Cosmology) 3 (+10) Knowledge (History) 3 (+10) Knowledge (Life Sciences) 3 (+10) Knowledge (Streetwise) 3 (+10) Knowledge (Theology & Philosophy) 3 (+10) Languages 6 (Atlantean, English [Native], Latin, Lemurian, Mayan, Nahuatl, Spanish) Medicine 1 (+7) Notice 4 (+10) Search 3 (+10) Sense Motive 9 (+15) FEATS 8PP Artificer Benefit (Wealth 1) Dodge Focus Equipment 1 (5EP) Luck 3 Ritualist Enhanced: Quick Change EQUIPMENT 5EP (1PP) Mictlan Books & Curiosities (PL10 Headquarters) [5EP] Size: Small [0EP] Toughness: 5 [0EP] Features: [5EP] Cover FacilityAoF Library Security System (DC20) PersonnelBoM Workshop (Magic) AoF = Agents of Freedom BoM = Book of Magic POWERS 78PP Devices 8 (40PP Container [Passive, Permanent]; Flaws: Hard-To-Lose) [32PP] (Descriptors: Enchanted Cloak, Enchanted Mask, Magic, Necromancy) Cloak: Enhanced Defense 4 [8PP] (Additional Descriptors: Defense of Grateful Spirits, Ectoplasmic Shield) Enhanced Reflex 4 [4PP] (Additional Descriptors: Defense of Grateful Spirits, Ectoplasmic Shield) Flight 1 (10MPH, 100ft per Move Action) [2PP] (Additional Descriptors: Buoyed by Grateful Spirits, Ectoplasmic Wings) Protection 8 [8PP] (Additional Descriptors: Defense of Grateful Spirits, Ectoplasmic Shield) Mask: Comprehend 1 (Spirits) [2PP] Features 2 (Deathly Mien*, Undead Presence*) [2PP] *Power Profiles, "Death Powers" Super-Senses 6 (Counters Concealment [Visual senses]; Counters Illusion [Visual senses]; Counters Obscure [Visual senses; “Darkness” descriptors]) [6PP] (Additional Descriptors: Divination Magic, True Sight) Super-Senses 8 (Magic and Supernatural Awareness; Descriptor requency: Very Common; Sense Type: Visual, Default: Accurate, Acute, Ranged; Extras: Penetrates Concealment, Tracking) [8PP] (Additional Descriptors: Divination Magic, True Sight) Enhanced Feats 1 (Quick Change) [1PP] (Descriptors: Dressing Spell, Magic, Telekinesis) Magic 16 (32PP Array; Feats: Alternate Power 7; Drawbacks: Power Loss 2 [When unable to speak and gesture; Frequency: Common]) [37PP] Base Power: [5 + 5 + 11 + 11 = 32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Utility Spells) Dimensional Pocket 1 (Extras: Duration 3 [Continuous, Lasting]; Flaws: Requires Grapple; Feats: Progression [Cargo] 1 [250 lbs.]) [5PP] (Additional Descriptors: Dimensional Magic) Move Object 1 (Lifting Strength: 5, Heavy Load: 50 lbs.; Extras: Damaging, Range [Perception]; Feats: Precise) [5PP] (Additional Descriptors: Spectral Hand, Telekinesis) Telelocation 10 (Range: 200,000 miles; Extras: Duration [Sustained, Lasting]; Flaws: Limited [Only learns the target's direction relative to her, not their exact location], Medium [Requires a piece of the target, or an object heavily infused with the target's resonance]; Feats: Dimensional 2 [Afterlives, Death Dimensions, Underworlds], Rapid 9 [x1,000,000,000; Take 20 to Search maximum area in less than a second as a Free Action]; Drawbacks: Action 3 [20 minutes], Noticeable, Power Loss [When deprived of specially prepared compass; Frequency: Uncommon]) [11PP] (Additional Descriptors: Divination Magic, Finding Spell, Ritual Magic) Transform 1 (Any inanimate object into any other inanimate object; Extras: Duration [Continuous, Lasting], Range [Perception]; Feats: Progression [Mass] 3 [10 lbs.], Subtle) [11PP] (Additional Descriptors: Transmutation Magic) Alternate Power: [32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Hellfire Blast, Necromancy) Blast 12 (Range: 10 120ft Increments, 1,200ft Max; Feats: Accurate 2 [+4 Attack], Affects Insubstantial 2 [Full effect], Improved Critical 2 [18-20], Incurable, Precise) [32PP] Alternate Power: [32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Curse of Withering, Necromancy) Drain 10 (All Abilities at once; Extras: Range 2 [Perception]; Flaws: Action [Full], Limited [Physical Abilities: Str, Dex, Con]; Feats: Incurable, Reversible, Slow Fade [1 minute]; Drawbacks: Full Power) [32PP] Alternate Power: [22 + 10 = 32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Exorcism, Necromancy, Rebuke Infernal, Rebuke Undead) Drain Toughness 10 (Extras: Affects Objects, Linked [Damage], Range 2 [Perception]; Flaws: Action [Full], Limited [Demons/Devils and the Undead]; Feats: Affects Insubstantial 2 [Full effect], Incurable; Drawbacks: Full Power) [22PP] Damage 10 (Extras: Linked [Drain], Range 2 [Perception]; Flaws: Action [Full], Limited [Demons/Devils and the Undead]) [10PP] Alternate Power: [32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Glimpse of The Abyss, Necromancy, Peace of The Grave) Emotion Control 10 (Extras: Area [Type: General; Shape: Burst], Selective; Flaws: Action [Full]; Feats: Progression [Area Size] 1 [100ft radius], Reversible) [32PP] Alternate Power: [32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Command Infernal, Command Undead, Necromancy) Mind Control 10 (Extras: Area [Type: General; Shape: Burst], Conscious; Flaws: Limited [Demons/Devils and the Undead]; Feats: Mental Link, Progression [Area Size] 1 [100ft radius]) [32PP] Alternate Power: [32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Banishment, Exorcism, Necromancy) Nullify 10 (All Supernatural Emotion Control, Mind Control, and Summon effects at once; Extras: Area [Type: General; Shape: Burst], Range [Perception]; Flaws: Action [Full]; Feats: Progression [Area Size] 2 [250ft radius]) [32PP] Alternate Power: [5 + 27 = 32PP] (Additional Descriptors: Necromancy, Paths of The Underworld) Super-Movement 2 (Dimensional Movement 2 [Afterlives, Death Dimensions, Underworlds]; Extras: Linked [Teleport]; Feats: Progression [Cargo] 1 [250 lbs.]) [5PP] Teleport 9 (900ft per Move Action, 20,000 miles per Full Action; Extras: Accurate, Linked [Super-Movement]) [27PP] Super-Senses 6 (Death Awareness; Descriptor Frequency: Very Common; Sense Type: Mental, Default: None; Extras: Acute, Radius, Ranged) [6PP] (Descriptors: Magic, Necromancy) Super-Senses 4 (Postcognition; Extras: Simultaneous, Special [Substitute interaction skills for Notice and Search, +0]; Drawbacks: Action 6 [20 minutes], Noticeable) [1PP] (Descriptors: Demon Summoning, Magic, Necromancy, Ritual Magic, Spirit Conjuring) Super-Senses 4 (Precognition; Flaws: Limited [Death], Uncontrolled) [1PP] (Descriptors: Magic, Necromancy) Abilities (44) + Combat (14) + Saving Throws (14) + Skills (22) + Feats (8) + Powers (78) = 180/180 Power Points ATTACK RANGE SAVE EFFECT Unarmed Touch DC14 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Physical) Curse of Withering Perception DC20 Fortitude (Staged) Drain Str/Dex/Con Dimensional Pocket* Touch/Grapple DC11 Reflex Trapped Emotion Control Perception/Area DC20 Will (Staged) Calm: Counters all Emotion Control conditions Despair: Shaken/Helpless Fear: Shaken/Frightened/Panicked Hate: Attitude = Hostile Hope: Counters Despair and Fear conditions Love: Attitude = Friendly/Helpful/Fanatical Exorcism Perception/Area Will or Power vs +10 Nullify* Finding Spell Extended DC20 Will Telelocation Hellfire Blast Ranged DC27 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Energy) Mind Control** Perception/Area Will vs +10 Controlled Rebuke** Perception DC20 Fortitude (Staged) Drain Toughness DC25 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Energy) Spectral Hand* Perception Grapple vs +2 Pinned/Bound DC16 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Energy) Transmutation* Perception DC11 Reflex Transformed *Utility power, not generally used as an attack, but technically capable of being used as such. **Limited to Demons/Devils and the Undead.