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  1. Ah, summer. Moira loved the warmth of the sun. Apollo's gaze upon her was delightful. But for every good, thing that she had, a little rain must fall. Not rain in the physical since. A giant divine-mechanical bull was giving her the chase. Not that she was running from it or it was running from her. They collided head on in the West End. Eris and Hephaestus had stepped up their antagony. This being the most blatant of it. As they clashed, it was clear more than brute strength was needed. "Would any of you great gods want to lend a hand? Apollo, your heat? Ares, you great fury? Dionysus, your zeal? Aphrodite, your..." -Alright, one crazy trip comin up!- It was Dionysus answering the call. Something sparked in her. A dark explosion, disintegrating the bull, but that wasn't the last of it. She felt a bit overloaded like there was something extra on it...
  2. Sandman XI

    They Live

    GM Maybelle McQueen, Queenie It had been a long trying night. The Moore family reunion was one of the most trying ones. Sure, the guy who made Freedom City hell in the late 80s and early 90s, but he had a family. And money. So, a labor of love of your job was. Franklin was all talk surrounded by people. He knew of Queenie's heroics. If you weren't one of the best chefs in town for impromptu large gatherings he would have went elsewhere. After the restaurant was clean and the employees gone, you took to the sky. It was clear and refreshing. When you got home, there was a light on in the kitchen. As you called out, you heard a voice you hadn't heard in a long time. "Yeah honey," your deceased husband said, sitting at the kitchen table in the work clothes you saw him last in, "don't worry about... where am I?" Lynn Epstein, Grimalkin You were alone, looking through orders, just before the store opened. Lady Liberty merchandise was flying off the shelf ever since that biopic was made. In a world full of superheroes, people had their favorites. You got a text from Gretchen, as you were just about done and the doors were open. "Who's this?" Followed by a face that you knew Instantly. It was Ren. Nanowire. Alive. "I walked in our home to find him. Said he wanted to see you. Know where you were." A quick message followed, "Is there something you want to tell me?" Robert Spalding, Vita Nexus "Son," you heard you father for the first time in a long time. It was a questioning. he saw you using your powers to dispatch a bunch of hooligans trying to rob a parts store late at night. He seemed to come from absolutely out of nowhere. "You, you have it? That explains a lot now that I think about it." Your father smiled, healthy as the day is long. A quick scan revealed that it was a person, and it was alive. But something did not match up with 'being alive'. Mechanical wasn't the term for it, but He was running on human interaction. But for all intents and purposes, this was your father. Dr Dmitri Ivanovich Peshov, Comrade Frost "Champion," you heard Hel's voice from beyond. "Do not be alarmed, I'm here to deliver to you a task. People from the realm of the dead are coming up missing. I want you to investigate. Find out who's taking them." And that's the command you were given. No other words were spoken. Your investigation lead you to many different people with seemingly returned friends and family. Though they knew nothing of being dead.Just remembering their last healthy moment before dying and showing up in their family's home. Leilani Keli'i, Volcanic Unfortunately not all people coming back were nice and/or good people. Villains, yes. But abusive and alcoholic relatives also. Some ran for cover, others had their past to deal with. Still, there were protectors looking to do good in the world. Alive or dead they weren't going to get a free walk. Still, you heard the pleas that the dead had come back to life. That something was very very wrong.
  3. Trinity Hospital June 28, 2017 "Another one?" Ellie Espadas asked, watching as a weakly groaning man in multiple layers of worn clothing was wheeled past on a stretcher. Behind the check-in desk Joanne simply hummed an affirmation, focusing on the data she was entering. Ellie couldn't blame her for her laissez-faire attitude. This had to make at least a dozen similar cases over the past few days: people left weak and drifting in and out of consciousness. If this case matched the others after a night's sleep with an IV he'd be up and about with full-body aches and hangover-like symptoms for his troubles that would gradually subside over the course of the day. The prevailing assumption among the staff was that a new recreational drug was to blame, though so far none of the blood work had shown any evidence to support the theory. It didn't help that several of the sufferers had turned out to have warrants out ranging from petty theft to assault; one of them had reportedly collapsed in the middle of an attempted mugging. With the look of a man getting off of a double shift, Hernandez wandered over to join the so-far one-sided conversation, fingers laced behind his bald head. "Picked that one up outside a convenience store. Owner found him in a heap while he was taking out the trash, said something about it being dark or seeing a big shadow? I dunno, guy's English wasn't great in the first place and he was shook over the whole thing, yeah?" The big man rubbed his face and leaned heavily against the wall. "Had a baseball bat next to him so I'm guessing armed robbery. Braugher's all 'don't assume' but what, he's a Comets fan? C'mon." It was Ellie's turn to make a vague murmur in reply, eyes narrowing slightly as she watched the supposed robber disappear behind a pair of double doors. A junkie collapsing in the middle of trying to get money for another hit was a tidy enough story but the patients she'd seen didn't seem like they were going through withdrawal, they seemed... drained. There were stranger things than designer drugs in Freedom City. "Where was that convenience store, again...?" "Hm? Oh, y'know, the one a block down from St. Sebastians, on the corner with the yellow sign. I hear they found a few more like that over in Greenbank, too. Who knows how many that makes now." Hernandez realized a little belatedly that he was talking largely to himself and a still disinterested Joanne as Ellie had already begun to stride purposefully toward the door.
  4. VITA NEXUS Power Level: 10 (150/151PP) Unspent Power Points: 1 Trade-Offs: +3 Attack / -3 Damage (Drain), -1 Attack / +1 Damage (Stun, Blast), -3 Defense / +3 Toughness In Brief: Bearer of a medieval bloodline curse that causes the afflicted to become the eye of a vacuum of mental, spiritual and physical energy. Vita Nexus is the latest afflicted and possibly the one most motivated to find a solution. Catchphrase: None per se, though most of his actions are accompanied by latin chanting or incantations. Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV-QrEAnF-E. Alternate Identity: Robert Spalding (Public) Birthplace: Eugene, OR, USA. Residence: Freedom City, USA Base of Operations: Out of his own house and car. Very street level, our Vita Nexus is currently. Occupation: Robert works in a small library in Parkside - it's a pleasant enough place, though Vita's presence tends to coincide with the quiet times. Affiliations: At the moment, Vita's social circle is extremely small. He keeps in contact with his family, who live out in Hanover, but he's been something of a recluse since moving out three years ago. The closest thing he has to a friend is Gregor Kisliak, his boss and proprietor of Kisliak's Oddities, a small and eclectic library in Parkside. Family: Vita's mother and younger sister both live in Hanover (The suburb, not the European region.). He has extended family, but their whereabouts are unknown to him and could be anywhere from Egypt to England. Description: Age: 24 (DoB: 24/2/1993) Gender: Male Ethnicity: Caucasian Height: 5' 10" / 175 cm. Weight: 142 lb / 63 Kg. Eyes: Black, without iris or sclera. Hair: Black When on "the beat", Vita Nexus prefers to wear a solid trenchcoat as his main fashion statement, along with sturdy boots and khakis. His hair is long and tied into a loose ponytail and he is almost never without a thick notebook and analog writing instrument. He only uses a phone to call others, fearing shorting it out with his power by draining it's charge unnecessarily. History: To describe the story of Vita Nexus, one first needs to delve deep into the history of the Dark Ages, to an unrecorded village in a backwater duchy somewhere in modern-day Italy, where a local baron dabbles in the dark arts. He had long since graduated from petty thaumaturgy, experimented in alchemy and conjuring as a fun hobby and had summoned tens of demons and devils to barter for secrets and forbidden lore. But he found himself stymied at every step by a lack of potential - he had the skill, but the raw power to be able to experiment as he wanted escaped him. So he focused his attention on this endeavour, and soon hit upon a solution. It would cause suffering, but he wouldn't have to be the one to suffer, so it was a price he gladly paid. The details of the ceremony have long been lost to time, but the result was what he wanted - a conduit of powers that only he could tap that would last forever, all anchored to one of his peasant farmers. The farmer was spirited away from the village for the sole purpose of becoming victim to this arcane curse and, once his part was played, was spirited back. All that is known is that the ceremony took place over the course of a single night, and marked the villager - and his kin - forever. That villager soon found his life turned upside down. He was marked with eyes of pitch black and skin like that of those dead, cold and pale. People who once greeted him with smiles and cheer now had no warmth for him - only cold sneers and suspicious minds. Crops failed, animals sickened and all of this fell on this unnamed peasant's shoulders. It did not take long before he was asked - upon threat of force - to leave. So began a period of restless travel for him and his family, not staying i one place for more than a few months. Heartbreak followed in his wake, and soon after he passed on. As the life slipped out of his body, though, the true pain of the curse was made manifest as his eldest daughter, then thirteen, complained of a chill passing through her body. It took an hour for the curse to fully take hold, after which she bore the same marks as her father - cold, pale skin, eyes the color of a moonless night and the pain of ages on her face as she took the burden upon herself. And so time passed. The family continued to travel, continued to hide their nature and try and manage as best they could. When powerful, strong-willed inheritors came along great strides were made and eventually a peculiar mixture of magical tricks, meditative techniques and even martial exercises began to be passed down the family. It was no cure, but it aided their plight by allowing them the capacity to direct and channel the siphoning force away from those most at risk and focus it instead towards better targets - even themselves, should they need to. This, combined with a population and technology boom simply unimaginable to the original warlock noble who cursed the family so long ago, caused the curse's impact to lessen. Outright hatred faded, though the family still suffered mistrust and found no familiar home anywhere, even in the New World. Life could continue and even thrive if an Adficio sufferer lived nearby, though conditions remained difficult for those already infirm or susceptible. It is into this world that Robert Spalding was born. His childhood was as good as it could be for that of his bloodline, especially the eldest born. His grandmother, Ruby Spalding, held out against the curse for an admirable length of time, reaching the ripe old age of seventy before passing. He was home schooled in both traditional academics and the Adficio Supprimere, the arts that allowed control and direction of the Vita Adficio, and at both he proved a capable student, inquisitive and dedicated at both the study and the arts. He was well on his way to full control of the arts when his grandmother passed, bestowing the Adficio upon his father when he was 14. He was not made of the same stuff as his mother, though, and rapidly fell ill. Robert watched his father go from a healthy, happy man to one on his deathbed within two years, and the fall etched itself into his mind. As Anthony Spalding faded out of this world and Robert felt the chill run through his body, he made an oath. "I will not allow the Vita Adficio to claim me, or any other. If there is a way, I will put an end to this curse, once and for all." The identity of Vita Nexus, the Meeting Point of Life, came soon after. He moved out of home when he was first able, at the age of 21 and set himself up with a job in a small, run down private library owned by a spry old man in Parkside named Gregor Kisliak and started living two lives. By day, Robert Spalding was a recluse and keeper of order in Kisliak's Oddities and peruser of as many musty old tomes as he could. By night, though, when the shadows are deep and people of ill intent begin to stir, Vita Nexus hit the streets, feeling out the terror of victims and the malice of assailants and bringing them to the justice they deserve. He knows the reputation of Freedom City as one of the hubs of metahuman activity on the East Coast and believes that, should he catch the right person's attention, he might find a way to the release he seeks... Personality & Motivation: For all the doom and gloom the curse inflicts upon him and those around him, Vita Nexus is a surprisingly optimistic sort. That's not to say he's a ray of sunshine, but he's often quietly confident and sure that his powers and foresight will see him through whatever troubles might come his way. His motives are surprisingly simple - find a way to remove the Adficio curse from his family and, while he searches, use his unusual talents to help make the world a better place. Powers & Tactics: Vita Nexus relies on the side-effects of the Adficio to both protect him from harm and prosecute his battles - in defense, the Adficio draws the speed and severity of incoming projectiles away before impact, turning lethal blows into uncomfortably hard impacts and making even light weapons feel sluggishly heavy. In attack, the Adficio can incapacitate a foe by drawing away their very vitality and suppressing mental activity to the point of unconsciousness. Such assault is eminently recoverable and, excepting outside influence, controlled to the point of posing no real risk of death. His strategies would be bull-headed were it not for his capacity to protect himself from harm using the Adficio, directly provoking responses from aggressive targets before subduing them. Power Descriptions: Vita's powers are often associated with darkness, cold and the requirement of great effort to overcome. His Stun power manifests as people becoming muddle-headed and easily confused until they eventually slip into unconsciousness, his conjured Darkness is always unpleasantly (but not dangerously) cold and his Drain ability often causes a dimming of light in the immediate area as well as chills and numbness. As a result, Vita's skin and immediate environs are always cold, clammy and just a little bit darker than what one would expect. Touching or striking him, in particular, can feel like moving through treacle. Complications: Always Looking For an End to the Curse: Though Vita Nexus shoulders the burden of the Adficio admirably, there is no hiding the fact that it shortens his lifespan and severely impacts his quality of life as well as that of a significant proportion of his family. As such, sources of arcane lore and knowledge are the single most precious treasures for Vita, and he will go out of his way to discover them if there is reason to believe they exist. No Love For The Adficio: Part of the Vita Adficio's side effects is a decay of the bonds between people, especially involving the person at the heart of it all. The end result of this is a general mistrust, suspicion and sometimes outright paranoia towards Vita. This is not nearly as pronounced with empowered people, since their souls are much more extensive than most. Walking Magical Dynamo: The Vita Adficio has been quietly and efficiently siphoning energy away from the world for between 5 to 9 centuries, with no outlet for the power harvested. That makes whoever is "blessed" with the Adficio a walking battery of magical potential possibly unmatched in the world, and the life of the person very, very inconsequential. Abilities: 2 + 4 + 6 + 8 + 10 + 4 = 34PP Strength: 12 (+1) Dexterity: 14 (+2) Constitution: 16 (+3) Intelligence: 18 (+4) Wisdom: 20 (+5) Charisma: 14 (+2) Combat: 10 + 8 = 18PP Initiative: +6 Attack: +13 Drain, +9 Stun, +9 Blast, +5 Base Defense: +7 (+4 Base, +3 Dodge Focus), +2 Flat-Footed Grapple: +6 Knockback: -11 Saving Throws: 3 + 6 + 8 = 17PP Toughness: +13 (+3 Con, +5 Force Field, +3 Protection, +2 Defensive Roll) Fortitude: +11 (+3 Con, +3, +5 Enhanced Trait) Reflex: +8 (+2 Dex, +6) Will: +13 (+5 Wis, +8) Skills: 68R = 17PP Bluff 8 (+10) Skill Mastery Concentration 8 (+13) Second Chance Craft (Artistic) 4 (+8) Drive 4 (+6) Investigate 6 (+10) Knowledge (Arcane) 8 (+12) Skill Mastery Languages 3 (English [Native], French, Latin, Spanish) Medicine 4 (+9) Skill Mastery Notice 4 (+9) Perform (Singing) 4 (+6) Search 5 (+9) Sense Motive 4 (+9) Stealth 6 (+8) Skill Mastery Feats: 18PP Attack Specialization 3 (Drain) Defensive Roll Dodge Focus 3 [Enhanced Trait] Equipment 3 Fast Trick Improved Initiative Interpose Luck 2 Precise Shot Power Attack Ritualist Second Chance 1 (Concentration for Powers) Skill Mastery 1 (Bluff, Knowledge [Arcane], Medicine, Stealth) Trance Equipment: 3PP = 15EP Mid-Size Car [7EP] Binoculars [1EP] Flashlight [1EP] Basic Medkit [1EP] Multi-Tool [1EP] Night Vision Goggles [1EP] 3X Handcuffs [3EP] Powers: 3 + 8 + 4 + 5 + 31 = 51PP All powers are Magic and Entropy in addition to any noted typings unless otherwise noted. Nullify 10 (Permotius Adficio, Targets one Emotion Control power; Extras: Area [General, Shapable], Flaws: Distracting, Range [Touch], Drawbacks: Power Loss [Unable to Speak/Gesture, -2]) [3PP] Force Field 8 (Adficio Tutamen; Extras: Linked [Enhanced Trait 8]) [8PP] + Enhanced Trait 8 (Adficio Immunitas; Fortitude +5, Extras: Linked [Force Field 8], Flaws: Duration [Sustained] Feats: Dodge Focus 3) [4PP] Immovable 5 (Motus Adficio) [5PP] Magic Array 12 (24PP Array; Feats: Alternate Power 5, Dynamic 2) [31PP] Base Power: Drain 7 (Focus Adficio, Ability Scores; Extras: Area [Targeted, Shapeable], Feats: Extended Reach 3) {24/24} Alternate Power: Stun 11 (Adficio Mensis; Extras: Alternate Save [Will, +0], Flaws: Action [Full], Feats: Accurate 2, Extended Reach 5, Sedation, Subtle 1, Drawbacks: Power Loss [Unable to Speak/Gesture, -2]) {19/24} Dynamic Alternate Power: Environmental Control 11 (Calor Adficio; Intense Cold, Distraction [DC 5]; Feats: Indirect 2, Drawbacks: Power Loss [Unable to Speak/Gesture, -2]) {22/24} Dynamic Alternate Power: Obscure 11 (Lux Adficio; Auditory, Normal Vision, Drawbacks: Power Loss [Unable to Speak/Gesture, -2]) {20/24} Alternate Power: Super Senses 13 (Adficio Profero; Mental, Living Awareness [3PP], Magic Awareness [3PP], Electromagnetic Awareness [3PP], Emotion Awareness [2PP], Feats: Extended Range 1, Acute, Drawbacks: Power Loss [Unable to Speak/Gesture, -2]) {11/24} Alternate Power: Blast 11 (Vigor Adficio; Feats: Accurate 2, Drawbacks: Power Loss [Unable to Speak/Gesture, -2]) {22/24} Drawbacks: (-2) + (-3) = -5PP Vulnerability (Cold; Frequency: Common; Intensity: Minor [+1]) [-2PP] Weakness (Cold Environs: Common; Intensity: Moderate (-1 Checks, Attack and Defense) [-3PP] DC Block ATTACK RANGE SAVE EFFECT Unarmed Touch DC 16 Toughness Damage Focus Adficio Touch (20 ft.) DC 17 Fortitude Drain 1 Ability score Adficio Mensis Touch (30 ft.) DC 21 Will Stun Vigor Adficio Ranged (110 ft.) DC 26 Toughness Damage Totals: Abilities (34) + Combat (18) + Saving Throws (17) + Skills (17) + Feats (18) + Powers (51) - Drawbacks (-5) = 150/151 Power Points
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