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Jos Terhune / Belphegor

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Dated Entries

Semi-Compressed Timeline

July 3rd, 2008 (arrival in Freedom)

August 18th, 2008 (Jos hears of the Armor of God, and ponders a diabolical counterpart)

September 13th, 2008 (Jos meets Sirius Vulpes while out jogging, meets Ember & Icarus at The Arena, and then murders a family in Riverside so he can buy their house)

September 20th, 2008 (Jos meets up with Sirius again)

September 28th, 2008 (Jos meets Lady Iniquity and Ansel "Flying Dutchman" Kaars and his Goodfellas)

November 1st, 2008 (Jos wonders if he's gone too far)

November 9th, 2008 (Jos hears of a new supervillain in the Caribbean, who may be a Canadian anthropologist who was searching for Atlantean artifacts)

April 30th, 2009 (Jos returns from Hell)

May 1st, 2009 (Jos learns of the Massive Explosion in Riverside)

May 10th, 2009 (Jos meets with Sirius' mother, and makes a deal with her)


Artificing Cheat-Sheet, v1

Map of Jos's Home/Shoppe, Curious Things

The Questionnaire

TV Tropes: Belphegor

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  • 1 month later...

[[ Written in Dutch, with completely normal ink in a completely normal leather-bound journal ]]

July 23rd, 2008

I've finally made it to America! To Freedom City, no less! I've been thinking of coming here for some time, ever since graduating from the University of Groningen. I'd wanted to go to Chicago and New York and Raleigh, see their museums... their art... but, I predict I'll be very busy in Freedom City for quite some time.

Though I almost didn't make it! There was, of course, a screaming babe on the plane, and I was stuck next to some prattling fool who kept going on and on about his lost love and his descent into alcoholism. I was, fortunately, able to keep my temper in check -- killing him would have given me some satisfaction, yes, but it would be fleeting. There'd be more screaming, an air marshal would pull a gun, I'd wind up slaughtering everyone... and then likely have to bail and wing my way here under my own power. However, I did see that the man got off the plane here, and got a taxi into town. If our paths cross again, things will go very differently. What direction they go will depend on my mood at the time, of course -- maybe I'll tempt him into being a patsy for some scheme, or maybe I'll just tear his head off.

Speaking of schemes, there's so much here catching my eye! The Hunter Museum of Natural History, near FCU Campus and Liberty Park, is filled with archaeological wonders. I doubt any on display would be magical -- I've heard they get Eldrich to looks over all items and make sure they're "Safe for the public," but there could be some un-examined ones in the storage rooms, waiting to be seen. Of course, even the non-mystical ones are treasures in and of themselves, and would certainly look better in my home than in a cold museum. Ditto for the Kirby Museum of Fine Arts, also near Liberty Park. I hear there's some great restaurants, too.

I'll need to set up one soon, along with an antique shop out of which I can do business (both legitimate and covert). This small apartment is good enough for a start, but I need something more, something I can make my own. Perhaps something along Riverside -- easy access to docks and shipments, and I hear that's where most of the artists hang out, the sort willing to do most anything for a shot of fame, or some drug, or a meal. I'll need some concealments, though, something to block Eldrich's senses (at least his passive ones) so he's not tipped off to my presence. Just one more reason to get in touch with the local mystics, though.

In the meantime, though, I need some quick cash, but something low-key. Much as I may hate lowering myself to such a position, my other form's strength and appearance would make me an imposing bouncer, especially at some of the more 'extreme' clubs. Later I can work on getting something more 'respectable,' something with ready access to... precious things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

August 18th, 2008

While flipping through the television channels last night, I stumbled upon a cartoon -- a modern homage/parody of some earlier cartoon which was itself based on pulp adventure stories and radio programmes -- where a character was donning the "Armor of God." Doing a quick internet search revealed the source of this suit:

Ephesians 6:10-20

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Now, these are probably mere allegory and metaphor... but what if they're not? What is there really was some divinely-empowered suit of armor, and it's still out there? And if the text isn't referring to an actual suit, is it impossible to believe that some pious smith may have taken it upon himself to craft a similar suit and sword? If so, such a find would be incredibly valuable.

And if there is such a suit, there would surely be a Satanic counterpart, right? Most Satanists tend to be a rather uncreative bunch, just inverting and flipping Abrahamic icons and prayers around. Is there a Belt of Lies, a Breastplate of Wrongness/Corruption, a Shield of Faithlessness, a Helmet of Damnation, a Sword (Trident!) of the Adversary/Blasphemy? Such items would also be terrifically valuable, to the right buyer.

As I said, it's entirely possible -- probable, even -- that the Armor of God is not and never was a real, tangible item. But, on the off chance that it is, I'll put out a few feelers. At the very least, I may be able to get some leads on other artifacts, both ones for sale from collections and ones recently discovered.

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September 13th, 2008

[ A few drops of reddish-brown liquid mar this page. ]

Tonight was a good night. While out jogging, searching for someplace to establish my shoppe, I saw a red glow. Investigating, I found it was coming from something held by a young man, early 20s or so. By the time I got to him the glow was gone, so I did not get to see. I struck up a conversation, he told me his name was Sirius Vulpes, fro Ireland. I steered the conversation towards antiques and art items, he expressed an appreciation for them. He also indicated he had one of his own, though one with ancient Gaelic writing he could not translate, and asked for my help in deciphering it. We arranged to meet for lunch tomorrow to discuss plans -- if I can use him to help acquire more items, great, and if I can get him to help with the grunt work in setting up my shoppe, even better!

After our brief conversation, I came back here, 'changed,' and headed out to find the source of that bizarre feeling I've had a the back of my mind since getting here, something calling me to somewhere off-shore. I found an abandoned oil rig, and a man dressed as a 17th Century French Satanist. The guy said his name was Legend, and he was the caretaker for "the Arena," a neutral territory for all the city's villains. An intriguing idea, certainly, though I'll need to ask around and verify.

Soon after he finished (barely) explaining things, he disappeared, and I saw another arrival: some sort of fox-man with some minor flame powers. I asked if he was kitsune (like the ones I've seen on certain pieces of Japanese art), he seemed to have no idea what one was. In fact, he said little that proved or disproved anything! Damnably annoying, that. He did say he was a hunters, though, of "people, items, and artifacts," so I'll have to keep an eye on him. Unfortunately, I neglected to get the pup's name.

We were soon joined by another man, called himself Icarus. His fully-covering armor (I never did see his face) looked vaguely like that of the hero Daedalus, which would make some sense given that Icarus was the son of Daedalus. I asked if he was some anti-technology Luddite who was horribly burned in some industrial accident, taking the name to spite the Greek inventor, but he said it was just a name. He did also say he "does whatever he needs to do" -- probably self-rationalizing code for "whatever I want to do." At any rate, he certainly bears watching, if for no other reason than that he seemed powerful.

I soon left, and made my way back over my jogging route to the building I've had my eye on. And made the first of the 'arrangements' needed for my new venture. Discovered a new ability, too, one which could prove incredibly useful for some future plans, though one I'm not sure I'd want to use very often -- I'm comfortable in these two skins, I don't want to add a third.

Family Slain!

Riverside - A gruesome scene greeted police officers responding to a 911 call for assistance for a mugging victim. A teenager, his mother, and his grandfather were found brutally mutilated, their bodies placed in a sitting pose on a couch in front of a television playing nothing but static.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the killings, Sheriff's spokeswoman Grace Morales said.

The coroner's office identified the victims as 61-year-old Maury George Dickson; his 39-year-old daughter, Joan 'Jett' Mary Dickson; and her 16-year-old son, Richard Timothy Dickson.

Neighbors say the family seemed close, that they were never heard arguing and that they would often pile into a minivan to run errands together. But Robin's classmates reported him to be shy and withdrawn, and his teachers reported a recent slump in his grades.

The investigation is ongoing.

Still lots more to do: arrange to buy the property, get a business license, get my collections from Groningen, set up connections & contacts here to facilitate the flow of items, et cetera.

In the morning I'll make a few calls to the few dealers and professors in the Netherlands whom I've managed to stay in good standing with -- they're six hours ahead, so if I start my calls at 8:00am here it would be 2:00pm there -- to try and put in some good words for me with the local dealers and professors here. Same goes for my under-the-table contacts.

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  • 2 months later...

September 20th, 2008

The meeting with Vulpes went well. There was some initial mistrust -- fully expected, of course -- but we did eventually come to an arrangement, where he will procure a ring for me for one of my buyers (Laura Bulwer-Lytton, a woman in England). A woman in Freedom City has it, but I had yet to approach her with an offer. We'll see how Mr. Vulpes does.

There is one thing that disturbs me, though: while trying to dig up some info on this kid, I learned that "Vulpes" is the Latin word for "fox". Now, this could simply mean he, like any other rogue, wants some anonymity in his work, but the existence of the pup from the Arena makes me wary about both of them. Are they connected? If it were just that, I might write it off, but there's also the matter of the book. Oh, that book... powerfully enchanted, seemingly infinite in page number and indestructible (with a nasty capacity to lash out at an assailant with fire and flame). It has a fox on the cover. I'm certain there's some connection between this kid and the pup, I just need to find out what it is. Maybe the kid, or one of his ancestors, stole the book from the pup, and it's trying to get it back?

Oh, one other thing, more a disappointment: the cafe we met at. Horrific coffee, and the panini was only average. Maybe I'll burn it down one evening. The waitress was cute, though.

Vulpes and I will meet back in one week, at a local Irish-American pub-bar. Everything I've read indicates that they've got good fish & chips, so at least that part of the evening could be enjoyable. In the meantime, I'll have to continue contacting folks to see if anyone can translate the images in these photos of the book -- images which look more like burn marks on the film itself, strangely enough -- as well as start moving to acquire possession of that building I've prepared. That part will probably take a month, but it'll give me time to get transportation of things set up.

~~~ Some Days Later ~~~

Local librarian mugged by metahuman!

Local Librarian Jenny Darling was mugged the other morning while on her way to work. She reported to cops that her assailant leaped out of the shadows as if he had been waiting for her. Than he had dragged her into the shadows were she was sure he was going to rape her. She reports the Metahuman had glowing red hands as if they were on fire.

Thankfully for Jenny she is shaken but unharmed. The mugger apparently only stole a ring, a family heirloom.

The Police chief had no comment on the matter other than they were investigating it.

Was this the kid? If so, fiery hands? Like the pup? Some power he stole from the pup, something he managed to learn from the book?

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  • 1 month later...

Note: the dual answers are not to indicate some sort of "split personality" -- Terhune's demonic side only amplifies what was already there, it hasn't truly added anything (yet), including knowledge of Heaven or Hell; most of what he "knows" comes from works such as Dante's Inferno and Paradise Lost. Rather, they are how he would answer if asked as Jos or if asked as Belphegor (and keeping in mind that Belphegor talks a big game).


Give a two or three word description of yourself. (Describe your character's concept.)

Dealer in Antiquities / Artisan of Hell

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plume?

Jo, Josh / Bel, Bella (I hate that one)

What is your full birth name?

Jos Niekolaas Terhune / Unpronounceable by human tongues

Where do you live?

A two-story building in Riverside which serves as both my home and my place of business.

Why do you live there?

It is incredibly convenient for me: it is near the docks and a few other antique & collectibles dealers, is filled with young (and needy) students & artists, and has some surprisingly good restaurants and bistros.

What do you perceive as your greatest strength?

My knowledge, my web of 'underworld' contacts, and my reputation for honest dealings & confidentiality / My command of demonic energies and my impressive physical might.

What do you perceive as your greatest weakness?

I am a thinker and a deal-maker, not a fighter / That I can only express my power in my full demonic form and that the power I can express is but a fraction of what I once had).

Physical Traits

How old are you? (Chronological age as well as age category.)

34 (DoB April 16, 1974), just shy of being "middle aged" / I am ageless.

What is your sex?


What is your race?

Human of Dutch descent (with some demon in him) / Demon (with some human in him)

How tall are you?

6 foot 1 inch (the Dutch are a tall people!) / 6 foot 3 inches

How much do you weigh?

165 pounds / 200 pounds (packed with demonic muscle!)

What is your general body type, frame, bone structure, and poise?

Mesomorphic, slender but fit, ether stands or sits perfectly still or hovers around others / Mesomorphic, big boned, almost always moving and shifting about.

What is your skin colour?

Very white / Dark Red

What is your hair colour?

Brown / Not Applicable

What is your hair style?

Short, neat, no-nonsense / Not Applicable

Do you have any facial hair?

No, but I have toyed with growing a goatee / No

What is your eye colour?

Green, somewhere between jade and emerald / Orange

How attractive are you?

I am no model, but I am no freak, either. Plain, really, almost forgettable, which can be useful in my line of work. / I am a vision of Hellish Elegance!

What is your most distinguishing feature?

None I was born with... / Where do I start? The scales? The wings? The tail? The horns?

Do you have any scars, tattoos, or birthmarks?

A faint scar on my chest, over my heart.

What is your handedness (left/right/ambidextrous)?

Sinister, which is to say, left-handed.

Do you resemble some currently known person?

I have been told I have a passing resemblance to Johannes Heesters, but I think I would need some plastic surgery to pull that off. / Oddly enough, someone once said I look and sound like a demonic Rutger Hauer. 'Course, he was delirious with blood loss at the time, and I had torn out one of his eyes, so he probably wasn't seeing clearly.

What kind of clothing do you wear?

Nothing overly-fancy or expensive (I do not want my clients to think I make too much, at least not usually), or constricting. Slacks, a simple shirt, sometimes a jacket. Yes, I do own some clogs, two pairs, one of willow and one of poplar, but I rarely wear them outside. / Scarlet trunks, and that's about it.

Do you wear makeup?

No, at least no regularly. There have been occasions where I have needed to don a disguise, and in some of those cases I have. / No.

What sort of vocal tone do you have?

A fairly common one, not too high, not too deep. I try to sound warm, at least to new customers, but at times -- like when making some deals -- I can go very cold. / A resonant bass voice.


Where is your homeland?

The Netherlands. / Hell.

Are you aware of its history?

Very much so, yes. / Of course!

Are you patriotic or a social outcast?

Neither, I would say. I have no overwhelming, zealous love of my country, but I do not despise it. It is no better or worse than most other countries out there. / I could be called a patriot, I suppose.

What are your opinion of home?

It is a nice place. / It's Hell.

Where is your home town?

Groningen, the largest city in the north of the Netherlands (in terms of population, at least). / One of the Circles of Hell.

Are your real reasons for becoming an adventurer different from what you tell others?

Of course! When I started out, I did not want to work in the black market, I wanted to work on real archaeological sites! Sadly, those are hard to come by, but hunger is not. / Given my appearance, it's a bit hard to hide what I do. Besides, the worst thing a devil can do is tell the truth.

How far would you go to keep such secrets from being revealed? What would you do if the truth became known?

Deal with those who found out (either by paying them off, or killing them), move, assume a new identity, and try to start over.

What do you fear would occur if the truth became known?

Someone would probably try to exorcise me. Or banish me to Hell, thinking I am "just" a demon.

Do you have any particularly high or low ability scores?

A slightly above-average intellect and awareness, otherwise no. / Great strength and endurance, good agility/dexterity, and a commanding presence.

How have these scores affected your life so far?

I do have two degrees, so my slightly-above-average mental abilities were of some help there / Oh, yes... what fun I had in Marrakesh... crushing and ripping and tearing... Of course, I was stronger then; the rituals which bound me to a more controllable form also weakened me. I'm still a match for most non-superpowered mortals, though.

What about your race, growing up were you in the majority or a minority?


Did this impact your outlook in any way?


How do you feel about other races?

I have no prejudices one way or the other. As long as their money or merchandise is good (and they do not ask too any uncomfortable questions), I am fine. / All are equally weak and corruptible.

Were there any traumatic experiences in your early years (death of a family member, abandonment, orphaned at an early age)?

Not really, no. / Demons don't have 'childhoods'.

Briefly describe a defining moment in your childhood and how it influenced your life.

My father was very much a history buff, and was especially focused on the Dutch Revolt and the colonies of the Dutch East India Company. He had meant to pass to me a pride in our country, but instead nurtured a fascination with history in general & in business and trade. / My first memory is from millennia ago, when Lucifer bade me go to to find out if there really was such a thing on Earth as married happiness; rumor of such had reached the demons but they knew that people were not designed to live in harmony. My experiences in the world soon convinced me that the rumor was groundless. Since then, I have dedicated myself to the Sin of Sloth, to apathy and depression, to dissatisfaction and discontent, to restlessness and instability, as well as the more "recent" concept of sloth as simple laziness. Which is not to say I don't enjoy all the other Sins; Lust and Gluttony are some favorites.

What stupid things did you do when you were younger?

Nothing particularly comes to mind. / I allowed myself to be tricked into letting a corrupt French nobleman named Malloup bind me into an ornate bone-handled dagger some nine centuries ago.

Which toys from your childhood have you kept?

My mother threw out most of my toys (or sold them for booze or cigarette money), but I did manage to hold on to a few. A book collecting many of the tales collected by the Brothers Grimm (in Dutch, of course, not the original German); a book on gnomes; a small music box (played Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch National Anthem, but does not currently work); and a few others minor odds and ends. / Demons don't have childhoods. And even if I did have any mementos of earlier activities, they're all back in Hell.

Why? What do they mean to you? If you didn't keep any, why not? What did you do to them all?

Two reasons. One, to remind me of simpler times, an escape from the hustle and bustle of my current life, to remind me of who I was and thus who I am. Two, in the hopes that they will greatly appreciate in value and earn me some good money (not that I would ever sell the originals, mind you, just forgeries of them).

Do you have any deep, dark secrets in the past that may come back to haunt you?

Many, though not all are mine alone: I have worked in the black market for some years, so I know a thing or two about several people. All the more reason for me to keep one ear to the ground, so I can hear when they come back to me. / All of my past is deep and dark!

Are you who you claim to be?

Yes and no. My reputation for honest dealings & confidentiality -- important to maintain because of (not despite) whom I deal with -- requires me to be forthright about certain things. With others, I have a bit of 'wiggle room'.

Do you have any sort of criminal record?

None on record, and I plan to keep I that way. / None on any mortal records, but there are plenty who know what I have done. But what are they gonna do, send me back home?

How do you view the heroes/legends of your country?

A fascinating study, especially in the way the Gallo-Roman and Germanic tales interweave with our own. / You call it "mythology," I call it "reality."


Who were your parents?

Lodewyk and Kaatje Terhune. / God made me, before The Fall.

Were you raised by them? If not, then why didn't they and who did raise you?

Yes, I was. / He did at first, but then Luficer took me under his wing.

What was their standing in the community?

Not much of one. My mother cleaned houses, my father worked as an electrician. / Much of Western culture is influenced by the texts that describe the standing of my "parents."

Did your family stay in one area or move around a lot?

One area, though my father often took trips to Amsterdam in the Spring and Autumn. / We get around.

How did you get along with your parents?

So-so. Mother was often quite angry at life, at how unfair she felt it was (as she expected everything to be handed to her on a silver platter), but my father and I got along very well. / I cannot say for certain how one feels (as that is the main consequence of The Fall), but I think my other "parent" is... satisfied with my works.

How would your parents describe you? Answer this in the voice of your mother, then in your father's.

"He was lazy and ungrateful as a child, and he still is!"

"He has done good for himself, made a decent living."

Do you have any siblings? If so how many and what were their names? How did you get along with each of your siblings?

None. / A great many, but naming them all would take years. Sometimes we'd fight, sometimes we'd work together.

What was your birth position in the family?

Only child, apple of my father's eye. / We all sorta lost count.

List all current knowledge of family locations, spouses, children, birth dates, schooling, and any important incidents that only you and they might remember.

Several aunts (Eleonara, Henritette, Johanna, and Pheabea) and uncles (Anthonious, Dionijs, Mattias and Petrus) from my father's side, and a number of cousins. All live in or very close to my home town of Groningen. / Start with Binsfeld's classification of demons, then go to the Testament of Solomon.

Do you stay in touch with them or have you become estranged?

I send cards on holidays and birthdays, and at the yearly family get-together, but that is about it. / I keep in touch when I can.

Do you love or hate one member of the family in particular?

None in particular.

Is any member of the family special to you in any way (perhaps, as a confidant, mentor, or arch-rival)?

At times it seems my mother was my arch-rival. / Lucifer was my mentor.

Are there any black (or white) sheep in the family (including you)?

Yes. / All my family are black sheep!

If so, who are they and how did they "gain" the position?

One of my cousins, Petrus (Mattias's son) is a drug dealer, dealing mostly in narcotics from a pawn shop. He is the most serious offender (aside form myself), though almost all my cousins and uncles have had a few problems with alcohol (drunk driving, disorderly conduct, etc.) / We Rebelled, then Fell.

Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor?

None that I have yet to discover, though I hope to find one someday through some genealogical searches. / My entire "race" is infamous!

If so, what did this person do to become famous or infamous?

Not Applicable / We Rebelled, then Fell.

Do you try to live up to the reputation of your ancestor, try to live it down, or ignore it?

Not Applicable / Live down to it, which is to say, embrace and nurture it, both in myself and in others.

Do you ever want to have a family of your own someday?

I have not really thought about it. Children + Antiques = Trouble. / I've toyed with the idea of siring a few hellions of my own.

Would anything change your mind on this issue and if so, what?

Since I have not given it much thought, I cannot really say. / Orders from Below.

What type of person would be your ideal mate?

An attractive, intelligent, cultured woman with an appreciation for history. / There is no such thing as an "ideal mate," only "mates of opportunity."


Do you have any close friends? If so, who and what are they like?

I do not think there is anyone I could really call "friend," at least not now. (In elementary school, maybe, a kid named Stoffel Bleeker.) Most all my relationships now are purely business. / Demons don't really do the "friend" thing.

What is the history of their relationship(s) with you?

Stoffel and I watched the same kid's shows and enjoyed history class, so we got along fairly well. But I have not heard from him since we graduated high school, well over a decade ago.

Do you currently have a best friend whom you would protect with your reputation or your life?


If so, who are they and what caused you to feel so close to them? What would have to happen for you to end this relationship?


Do you have any bitter enemies?

None I am aware of, and I do try to keep an ear out for such things. Having bitter enemies can be bad for business, you know. / Yes.

If so, who are they, what are they like, and what is the history of their feud with you?

If I had any, it would likely be because of the bad end they got from a business deal. / Angels, nuns, priests...

Have you defeated them before?

Not applicable / I've corrupted a few dozen in my times.

How might these enemies seek to discomfit you in the future?

Blackmail, rob, or kill me. / They'd probably try to either bind or banish me.

Which person(s) or group(s) are you most loyal to?

The side with the most money & treasures. If it came down to one or the other, the side with the most treasures. / The Forces of Hell, after a fashion.

Who is your most trusted ally?

To a degree I trust my fences and fellow dealers, but only as far as I can verify their actions. / I don't really have one. Which is not to say that I've not gotten others to trust me...

Who do you trust, in general?

Myself. / Myself, and in human weakness.

Who do you despise and why?

No one, really: such emotions can be bad for business. / No one in particular; I despise everyone more or less equally.

Name seven things you hate in others.

Hrrmmm... people who think they are better than me, people who prevent me from acquiring treasures, women who turn me down, people who prevent me from getting the foods I want, people who annoy or irritate me, people who say my education/profession is worthless, and people who try to stab me in the back. / Charity, Chastity, Diligence, Humility, Kindness, Patience, and Temperance. Especially diligence.

Is your image consistent?

Fairly. Bad for business if I change my operations too much. / I can change my appearance when the situation (or my desire) warrants. But as for my "image" of "I'm a demon," that's fairly consistent, assuming you know what to look for ("if it seems too good to be true, it probably is").

Do you deliberately present yourself differently in different situations, and how?

To an extent: I have to hold some cards close to my chest. Easier to make deals if the buyer does not exactly and fully know everything they are getting. / Of course: demons lie.

What would you die for?

I know death is inevitable, but if I had a choice, I would hope that my death could be tied to some new archaeological or artistic discovery. Ideally, one that would be named after me. / Nothing, my own existence is quite precious.

What is the worst thing someone has done to you?

My mother beat me a lot while in drunken rages, and in high school a few girls I thought were interested in me intentionally humiliated me. / Being exiled from Heaven. Being bound into a dagger for 900 years, without having any sensation save my own memories, comes a distance second.

What is your general reaction to an attractive member of the opposite sex who lets you know they are available?

Approach cautiously, expect at best get a few one-night stands. / I typically ravish them before bothering to find out if they're "available" or not.

How do you get along with others of the same "adventuring class"?

I get along with other archaeologists and art historians fairly well, at least until they learn of my black market ties. I get along with my fences well; it rarely hurts to be pleasant to the people you deal with on a frequent basis. / Depends on the demon or cultist in question. Most cultists give me some reverence.

Have you lost any loves?

Not really, no: looking back, it was clear that none of the girls I ever dated really loved me, it was at best an infatuation. / The love of God.

How did you handle the situation (short & long term)?

I got over it. / I never got over it. We never got over it: we can't. That's why demons are so nasty, because we knew His love, and now see that He loves you mud-monkeys better than us.

Who would miss you should you go missing?

My family, my fences, and the people I have some in-process deals with. / No one I can think of.

How close are you to your "adventuring companions"?

There is only one so far, Sirius Vulpes. We have gotten along okay so far, but it is still early in the relationship. / I've not heard from any other demons since re-manifesting, but I'm sure they're around. I've even heard tell of some operating here in Freedom City, but haven't found anything definite.

What do they not know about you?

That I am a "half-demon." / That I'm free of that dagger; if they did know I'm sure there would've been a "welcome back" celebration of some sort.

Are you a member of any house, guild, organization, or church? What is your level of involvement?

I recently joined the "League of Freedom City Merchants," but that is it. / Hell, and it takes up my entire life.

Personality & Beliefs

Do you, or did you, have any role models?

The guys behind the show Tussen Kunst & Kitsch (a Dutch version of Antiques Roadshow). So many people jus bring their stuff in to them, with fairly little work! / Asmodeus, Beelsebub, Lucifer, Mammon, and a few others.

Do you have any heroes or idols, either contemporary or from legend?

Most everyone involved in the Duch Golden Age. / Hell is full of idols.

Did you ever become disillusioned with former heroes or idols? If so, why and what were the circumstances?


When did you decide to become an adventurer?

One three-day weekend in Marrakesh, the most exhilarating three days of my life. / Millennia ago, when Lucifer first sent me up here.

Why have you chosen to risk your life as a career?

I would not say I risk my life, per se... but, the pay is good. / Anything worth doing is worth doing with all your being. Something most people tend to forget...

What do you expect to get out of being an adventurer? What, if anything, would make you stop adventuring?

Comfort, fame (well, infamy, more likely), money, treasure. I doubt anything could make me stop; even if imprisoned for life, I would find ways to make deals. / Infamy and notoriety, and several souls yoked to me via Faustian bargains. Nothing would make me stop.

Do you have any dreams or ambitions? If not, why?

To "make it big," either legitimately or not. / I'm not ambitious enough to want to reign in Hell, but I would definitely like a higher position. Which will be easier to do once I restore my full powers.

What are your short term goals (what would you like to be doing within a year)?

Become an established merchant in Freedom City (if not the entire state), and increase my web of contacts. / To st up a cult or three and to have corrupted no less than five souls.

What are your long term goals (what would you like to be doing twenty years from now)?

To be one of the top archaeological & art dealers o the continent, and to have a a mansion with several rooms filed with art treasures. / To have majority control over all sinful activity in the city, and to have not only my own power restored but to add new abilties (most likely through magical items).

If these goals seem at odds with each other, or with your dreams, how do you reconcile the differences?

They are not.

Do you have any great rational or irrational fears or phobias? If so, what are the origins of, or reasons behind them?

No irrational fears, but I do have a very rational fear/concern about being found out. / Being banished (because I can do a lot more here than I can elsewhere) or bound (been there, hated that).

How do you react when this fear manifests itself?

I try not to, try to remain calm and collected, since showing fear is the surest way that a nosy do-gooder will know that something is up. / I rage.

What are your attitudes regarding material wealth?

"Money makes the world go 'round" / "Love of money is the root of all evil."

Are you miserly with your share of the wealth, or do you spend it freely?

It depends. I like having fine things for myself (fine food, fine women), but I do not give to any charities. Well, maybe to some museums: history is important. But, I am Dutch, and so was raised to be fairly thrifty, and some of those habits are hard to kick. / I keep little for myself (I have few material needs), but use what I have to ensnare others.

Do you see wealth as a mark of success, or just as a means to an end?

Yes; both. / It's just a means to an end.

How do you generally treat others?

Fairly indifferently, neutral, unless I think that "chumming it up" will help me make a sale. / In whatever way I think will get them to do what I want.

Do you trust easily (perhaps too easily) or not?


Are you introverted (shy and withdrawn) or extroverted (outgoing)?

As a child, and even up to my first few years in college, I was fairly shy and introverted, always with my nose in a book. Now, though, I like to cut loose and enjoy myself. Besides, introverts make poor salesmen. / Very outgoing, always have been.

Are you a humble soul or blusteringly proud?

"It is not bragging if it is true." Well, really, it depends on whom I am with, which 'front' I think my client will react more favorably towards.

What habits do you find most annoying in friends?

Betrayal. / I don't have any friends.

What are your most annoying habits?

I do not have any. Well, I suppose I can get a bit obsessed with things. / What about me wouldn't be called a "bad habit" by others?

Is there any race, creed, alignment, religion, class, profession, political viewpoint, or the like against which you are strongly prejudiced, and why?

Any that prevent me from doing my business as I wish.

What is your favourite food?

Oh, there are so many! Fish (especially herring and eel) and shrimp, chicken and beef, fresh breads, cheeses of all sorts (especially Gouda, Edam, and Leyden), potatoes and cabbage, and a multitude of deserts (see below). / Babies. Heh, nah, my favorite foods are the ones that are taken from another, or better yet from several. I once ate an entire goose in front of a poor English family -- it was to last them for several days -- and their anguish made it all the sweeter.

What is your favourite drink?

Alcoholic, gin and brandy, especially Jenever (the "national gin" of Holland). Non-alcoholic, I love a good hot chocolate, or a nice cafe aut lait. / The Tears of Unfathomable Sadness.

What is your favourite treat (desert)?

Cakes and sweets, and chocolates of all kinds. / A willing -- or at least compliant -- attractive woman or three. That, and candy stolen from babies.

Do you favour a particular cuisine?

I have an equal love for both the foods of my native Netherlands, and the more gourmet foods of France. / Anything that I know would discomfort another if I eat it.

Do you savor the tastes when eating or "wolf down" your food?

If you do not savor the taste, what is the point?

Do you like food mild or heavily spiced?

I used to prefer fairly mild foods, but lately I have developed a fondness for spicier fare. / The hotter, the better.

Are there any specific foodstuffs that you find disgusting or refuse to eat?

Durian. / Communion Wafers.

What are your favourite colour(s)?

Greens, metallic colors (gold, silver). / Red and Black.

Is there any colour that you dislike?

Not really.

Do you have a favourite (or hated) song, type of music, or instrument?

I sometimes have some classical or "easy listening" music on in the background as I work; the customers seem to enjoy the Dutch music I play. Lately, though, I have also developed a fondness for blues, rock and roll (especially the Rolling Stones), and "death metal". / I do like the fiddle. And most blues and rock & roll (they are the Devil's music, after all).

If you have a favourite scent, what is it?

The smell of money. / The smell of burning.

What is your favourite type of animal?

I do not really have one. Lions, I guess (national animal of the Netherlands, saw frequent mention of them in art and history texts). / Bats: they're like little man-faced demons.

Are you allergic to any kinds of animals?

Thankfully, no.

Is there anything that enrages you?

Lots of things. People who think they hold some sort of moral high ground, or who who cheat me, or are slow to react to my requests, or who refuse me access to things I want, or... well, it suffices to say a lot of things tick me off. / Goody-Goodies.

Is there anything which embarrasses you?

I do not get embarrassed, I get even.

Do you enjoy "roughing it", or do you prefer your creature comforts?

I believe a slogan on a t-shirt I saw recently sums up my opinion quite well: "I am not camping unless there is cable."

Do you have a patron deity?

My family is Roman Catholic (at least on paper), and I was "raised" as one. And given my... condition, I certainly believe in some of that stuff more strongly than I once did. But I doubt He would answer any of my prayers, if I ever offered any up. / He doesn't listen anymore, or if He does He's not answering back. But Lucifer listens.

Are you devout or impious?

Fairly impious. / Impious towards Him, but devout to Hell.

Do you actively worship and proselytize or do you simply pay lip service?

Lip service, though I suppose my actions are a form of proselytization. / Active worship of the Lords of Hell (and I am a thing some others worship!), though since freed I seem to have some trouble remembering all the details and proper rituals.

What lengths would you go to defend your faith?

Not many. / "Faith" is not quite the right word, since that word implies a lack of concrete material evidence of what you believe in. I know what I believe in, I have seen it with my own eyes.

Was your faith influenced or molded by anyone special?

Apathy, mostly: I stopped caring about going to services. / Lucifer.

Do you belong to a dominant church, or an independent church, cult, or sect (and is the group accepted, frowned upon, or considered heretics)?

I still write "Roman Catholic" on forms, and it is the single largest religion of the Netherlands. / Most would frown upon me.

Will you kill?

If need be, yes. / Yes.

When did you decide (or learn) that you would?

When I realized I was deep in the black market, and that someday some people may come to try and kill me. / When I joined the Rebellion.

When do you consider it okay to kill (under what circumstances)?

Whenever my own life is in danger. / Whenever I find it necessary. Or entertaining.

When do you consider it wrong to kill (under what circumstances)?

If doing so will cause me a larger amount of grief down the road. / I don't.

What would you do if someone else attempted to (or successfully did) kill under your "wrong" circumstances, what would be your reaction?

Nothing at the moment, since the person is likely some sort of psychotic who would kill me as soon as listen to any objections. Later I might leak word to some interested parties. / I might reward them. Or kill them myself.

What if it were your enemy?


What if it were your friend?

Not Applicable.

What if the opponent were not in control of their own actions (under duress, charmed, dominated, possessed)?

Meh. / Meh. I'd try and find out who or what was controlling them, and seek them out. If nothing else, out of sheer curiosity.

What would you do if something were stolen from you?

I would call in every favor I would need to get it back. I probably would not call the cops, unless I though doing so would lead to faster results. / Track them down, offer them a deal, and maybe kill them anyway.

What would you do if you were badly insulted publicly?

I would try to ignore it, but I will admit that if it was bad enough I may well lose it and try to punch the guy. But I would try not to go full-demon in public, since I am trying to maintain that as a secret. / Ty and think of an equal insult to shoot back. And make a note of them to 'haunt' them for a while.

What would you do if a good friend or relative were killed by means other than natural death?

I am not sure. I would probably try and use some of my contacts and connections to try and find out some more info, and see if I can learn what happened and why. / Ditto. If it was magical in nature, I might try and track them down and see what's what.

What is the one task you would absolutely refuse to do?

Give to charity. / Nothing comes to mind.

What do you consider to be the worst crime someone could commit and why?

I cannot think of a "worst" crime, so I will just go with the main two most folks cite and say murder and rape. / Denying one's own desires and nature.

How do you feel about government (rulers) in general? Why do you feel that way?

Anarchy is no way for a society to function Liberal Democracy is good; it has been good for my homeland. I cannot say I am too fond of Communism, since a lot of fine art has been destroyed by Communists. / Mortals need to know their place. Fascism is a fine model, as long as the leaders are powerful enough. Plus, there are more downtrodden masses under fascism, and they're so easy to tempt.

Do you support the current government of your homeland?

Yes. / It not like there's any alternative.

If so, how far are you willing to go to defend the government? If not, do you actively oppose it?

Well, I am not in any shape to serve in the military, but I could and would work on restoring items of Dutch culture. Artwork and such. / In a way, everything I do is a defense of my "homeland's" "government." Tempting mortals sends in new "citizens," which are also a form of currency.

What form of government do you believe is the best (democracy, monarchy, anarchy, aristocratic rule, oligarchy, matriarchy) and why?

Hard to say. Anarchy is definitely on the bottom of the list. Most of the "-archies" have had great impact on art and culture. Aristocracies and Monarchies have probably had the most archaeological & artistic impact. / Fascism, and I already explained why (people are weak, they need to be ruled). Aristocracies and Monarchies come close, for similar reasons.

Do you have any unusual habits or dominant personality traits that are evident to others?

Pride and Greed, though I try to not let them show to any greater extent than would be expected for a merchant. / Pride, definitely, and Avarice and Gluttony. And Wrath and Lust.

If so, describe them and how you acquired them, as well as when they might be more noticeable and what causes them.

They manifest most prominently when I have a chance to show off something of mine (either an art treasure or some knowledge I possess), or when I see something I really, really want. / I'm a Demon, that's why. And they're pretty much always noticeable.

Do you have any unusual or nervous mannerisms, such as when talking, thinking, afraid, under stress, or when embarrassed?


What is your most treasured possession?

Wow... that is a toughie. I guess I would say... my address book, since it contains info on many of my contacts and fences. / I don't really own any "treasured possessions"... yet.

If your life were to end in 24 hours, what 5 things would you do in those remaining hours?

Since it is highly unlikely I could unearth any massive archaeological find if given only 24 hours... I would spend some time trying to find a way out, but, if no way seems likely, I would engage in all manner of bacchanals. / Well, it depends: am just going to be killed by some assassin? Then I'd probably re-manifest in Hell, and I'd work on some way to get back here. Or is it someone who knows how to truly kill a demon? In that case, I'd work on either corrupting or killing them first. If it's something I cannot control in any way... I'd visit some cults and have some parties, by which I mean [censored].

Career & Training

Where and how were you educated?

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the University of Groningen, for my academic lessons; assorted basements and back alleys for my non-academic (i.e., black market) lessons. / Heaven, later Hell. My lessons were "taught" either by Divine Inspiration, or by Hellish Experience.

Who trained you in your adventuring class(es)?

The faculty of the Art History and Archaeology departments at the University of Groningen (academic), and assorted fences and "less-than-reputable" dealers (non-academic) / He Who Is I Am, later Lucifer and assorted Fallen Angels/Demons (in which we all learned about our new condition).

What was your relationship with your teacher(s)/mentor(s)?

Fair-to-good. I was no "teacher's pet," but the professors did not dread seeing me in class; I truly enjoyed my classes, and they picked up on that. As for the non-academic lessons, I enjoyed those far less, and my "teachers" could sense that, too, but most did not care about my personal feelings as long as I could do the necessary work. / The first ended... poorly. The latter ones weren't much better, as there was much rivalry between all levels.

Is this person or institution still in existence?

The University of Groningen (founded 1614) is the second oldest (and third largest) university in the Netherlands. It has survived this long, I do not see it falling anytime soon. / Yes, despite what folks like Forrest Church and Carlton Pearson say.

Were you a prize student or did you just barely pass?

In University, neither: I did well, but won no outstanding awards. In non-University, I barely got by, though lately I find I have developed a knack for some of the lessons. / A prize student, of course!

Look at your skills. How did you acquire them (especially the unusual ones)?

Schools, the University and the "School of Life" / Divine Inspiration and/or Hellish Experience.

Have you ever done anything else for a living?

No. / Yes, but that was a very long time ago.

How do you function in combat (maneuvers, weaknesses)?

I am a thinker and a merchant, not a fighter. / Weaknesses? Bah! My maneuvers depend largely on my mood: if I wish to end it swiftly, I go all-out, but sometimes I like to toy with an opponent.

Have you ever received any awards or honours?

No, aside from my two degrees. / I've lead several cults.

Is there anything that you don't currently know how to do that you wish you could?

Yes. I try to keep abreast of the artistic and archaeological world, to increase my knowledge of those. I'm also trying to learn some about magic; if I can find some real magical trinkets to sell in my store, that'd be a huge boon. / There are... gaps in my memories that I would like filled; being bound to a dagger for so long really messed me up. And learning about what all happened amongst the mortals while I was imprisoned. And to play the fiddle.

Are you envious of others who can do such things in a good-natured way or are you sullen and morose about it?

Depression is just lazy, unenthusiastic anger. I am very enthusiastic about the things I wish to learn of.

Lifestyle & Hobbies

When not adventuring, what is your normal daily routine?

It varies, depending on what is going on in the shoppe (both in the front and in the back). Some light exercises and shower in morning, light breakfast & lunch, jogging in the evening. / I don't really have much of one, it depends on whatever "appointments" I have.

How do you feel and react when this routine is interrupted for some reason?

Slightly irritated, but I keep my schedule flexible because I know it gets interrupted. / My schedule, such as it is, is only interrupted if someone's out to get me, which usually irritates me a great deal.

What are your hobbies when you are not adventuring or training?

Reading archaeological and artistic journals (I do not subscribe to any, in part because I am somewhat mobile, I read the copies at the local libraries), finding new restaurants to eat at, watch television (mostly cooking shows and Antiques Roadshow), going out and about to meet people who may be in need of something. / Going out and about to meet people who may be in need of something.

What do you do for relaxation? What things do you do for enjoyment? What interests do you have?

See above.

How do you normally dress when not in your adventuring gear?

Loose clothing, nothing too constricting. Yes, I do own some clogs, two pairs, one of willow and one of poplar, but I rarely wear them outside. / I don't!

What do you normally wear in bed at home?

Red satin pyjamas. I am saving for some silk ones, though. I do have some flannel ones if it gets too cold, but I prefer to be warmed by the body heat of a female companion. / Nothing!

What do you normally wear in bed while adventuring?

When I am out on some mission/expedition, I usually just sleep in my daytime clothes. / I try not to sleep while out on missions.

Do you wear any identifiable jewelry?

No, though I am sure there are some rings out there that would look good on m hands. / No.

Where do you normally put your weapons, magic items, or other valuables when you are sleeping?

Locked display cases, though the really valuable stuff is in locked boxes kept in my bedroom. / All my stuff is in Hell, or scattered somewhere on this world.

What morning or evening routines do you normally have?

Was this not already covered earlier?

Do these change when you are adventuring?

Not really: as I said, I do not have much of a routine per se, so there is not much to change.

Travel: how do you get around locally?

Taxi or walking. / Flying under my own power. I know I used to be able to teleport vast distances, but I no longer seem able to do so, which is most vexing.

Do you have a Last Will and Testament?


What does it say?

Not Applicable.


What would you like to be remembered for after your death?

For discovering some truly world-shaking artifact that turned the archaeological community on its head. / For corrupting a well-respected hero, or finding some way to make lots of people suffer for a prolonged time.

What kind of threat do you present to the public?

Unless some true magical artifact slips by my eye and into the hands of some untrained dabbler, not much. / A fairly great one.

If your features were to be destroyed beyond recognition, is there any other way of identifying your body?

I do not know... my driver's license, maybe? / Bah! Like that could ever happen!

As a player, if you could, what advice would you give your character? Speak as if he/she were sitting right here in front of you. Use proper tone so they might heed your advice...

......... ACK!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The exterior of Curious Things, Jos Terhune's antiques shoppe/home, looks like this (image is apparently too big to directly link).

The interior looks like so (click here if images don't show):

Ground Floor. Dining room, living room and carport are filled with shelves and display cases. Dining room also contains check-out counter, and monitors for the security camera feeds (cameras in upper corners of all rooms). All display cases are locked (DC 20 to pick). Wall with door has been installed between hallway and kitchen, and eating nook is used for receiving deliveries. Velvet rope bars entry upstairs to Jos's living area.

Second Floor. MBR is Jos's bedroom, with upper right section used as a workshop for appraising artwork and crafting art forgeries. BR 2 and BR 3 are studies; BR 3 is primarily for business/financial records, BR 2 is for more personal items (including his own art & archeology libraries, and the beginnings of an arcane one).

Not shown: Basement. Contains more storage space, most of his art forging equipment (both tools and raw materials), and space which he plans to convert to a mystical "test range" where he can practice with some of his powers.

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A Timeline of Terror

July 22nd, 2008: Marrakesh suffers its third day and night of fire and blood before superheroes came to put a stop to Jos's demonic rampage. Fortunately for Terhune, a nameless demonologist found him first, calmed him down, and bound the raging, uncontrolled demonic energies that coursed through his body. They make swift plans to get him moved to America.

July 23rd, 2008: Jos Terhune arrives in America. He rents out a loft in Riverside as he makes plans for more permanent residence. He soon settles on buying a house that's on the edge of a commercial & residential district borders. He finds a few that are appealing (some of which are still inhabited), and starts making discrete inquiries about purchasing them and any re-zoning or licensing which would be required.

September 4th, 2008: Jos Terhune and Sirius Vulpes meet and begin an uneasy partnership. (Fire and Brimstone)

Sep 6th, 2008: Belphegor makes his presence known in the Arena. He is met by Ember Paw and Icarus. (The Arena: Brimstone & Fire)

Sep 9th, 2008: Belphegor tries to assist Capricia Chill & Ghost rob the Golden Calf, but things go about as wrong as possible: the demon and Ghost wind up geased to Madame Tarot & owing a favor to Big Al Driogano. (Stepping Up to the Golden Calf)

Sept 13th, 2008: Still steaming mad at his defeat during the Golden Calf job, Belphegor slaughters a family of three in Riverside. Thinking it was a completely random locale, he soon realizes that it was in fact one of the places he'd been trying to purchase for his company.

Sep 14th, 2008: Avenger, Scarab II and Slamdance get wind of and investigate the Triple Murder in Riverside.

Sep 22nd, 2008: Jos Terhune completes the necessary business transactions and moves in to the house in Riverside.

Sep 29th, 2008: Jos Terhune's shipment from the Netherlands arrives at Pier 18. (Delivery at Pier 18)

Oct 14th, 2008: The enigmatic Maximus Grey arranges (by proxy) for a meeting of several of Freedom's newest supervllains -- Belphegor, Ember Paw, Exile, Ironhide, Malice and Ronin -- and reveals a rather audacious plan. Nothing ever comes of the plan, though. (Recruitment)

Oct 31st, 2008: Belphegor destroys the life of a man who had mildly annoyed Jos Terhune. (Better the Devil You Know)

Nov 10th, 2008: Jos Terhune's shoppe, Curious Things, has its grand opening.

Nov 26th, 2009: The Exile calls Belphegor to him, and offers a deal of his own. Specifically, the former Dark Lord wants to acquire a set of potent mystical scrolls, but his sources tell him that reaching them would require the services of Hell's Artisan. (Calling Collect)

Jan 5th, 2009: Belphegor goes to the Arena to train. (Power Check - Belphegor)

Jan 21st - ?, 2009: Belphegor and Ghost repay their debt to Big Al Driogano & Madame Tarot. (Collecting a Debt, later On Holy Ground, later ???)

Feb 1st, 2009: Avenger, Dark Star, and Scarab II investigate the theft of two artifacts from FCU, artifacts which had been donated by Fletcher Beaumont. Jos Terhune also does some investigation of the event. (The Break-In, later Arrowhawk, Divine and Hellbound join in in Low Places)

Belphegor hooks up with an Evil Cult, but things go very wrong for him: he is cast into a portal leading to a hell dimension, specifically the home of the Necro-King.

Apr 30th, 2009: Belphegor returns to the mortal realm/Earth Prime. Though only two months passed in this dimension, twenty years passed for Belphegor while in that hell-dimension.

May 4th, 2009: Jos Terhune resumes work at his shoppe, Curious Things. Those who ask about his absence are told he had taken an unexpected trip home. Soon after, he meets up with some new contacts Sirius Vulpes had made while he had been running the shoppe. (Fire and Brimstone)

May 15th, 2009: Darian "Quark" Cale happens upon a nice little shoppe in Riverside, run by a man he's helped before: Jos Terhune. Each has something the other wants.... (An Amazing Bargain... but for Whom?)

late June 2009: The magical musical meddlings of the Maestro and Medea compel Jos Terhune to offer Adam Mears, Tom Wells, and Danny Levinson (better known as Fox, Vulture, and Shark) a Hell of a deal. Will they Sell Their Souls?

July 2009: Jos Terhune is approached by [?] with an offer to teach at the Evanier Preparatory School, really the Shadow Academy. He accepts.

September 2009: Jos Terhune begins teaching art history & archaeology at the Evanier Preparatory School, and beguilement/manipulation/seduction, combat, forgery, and magic (basic) at the Shadow Academy.

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Nov 9th, 2008

Read an interesting article in today's paper. Seems there's an archaeological dig going on in the Caribbean. A rather obsessed Canadian anthropologist, Gilles Duceppe, has been working there for the past three years, convinced that there are Antlantean artifacts to be found in the islands. Emissary has publicly said that it would be unlikely to find such items there, that at best all anyone would find is trash from vacationing "teenagers"... but something tells me there's more going on than the Silver-Skinned Diplomat is letting on.

My art history and archaeology texts seem to imply that it is not impossible for there to have been an Atlantean outpost on the Caribbean Islands, or that Atlanteans fleeing the Great Cataclysm that sunk their isle may have fled to those islands. It could be that there's nothing but Atlantean detritus there, cast-off junk form "tourists" who came up to see their primitive, air-breathing cousins... or it could be caches of magical or technological items, stored for safekeeping millennia ago.

What will Duceppe find? More importantly, what will he do with what he finds? The man is obsessed, driven like one who is trying to prove himself to the world. That Atlantis was and is real is no secret, it was revealed to the public back in the 1940s (though specifics, such as its exact location, number of inhabitants, and so on, are not public knowledge). So what is he trying to prove? Is he trying to pinpoint where exactly Atlantis is? No, it is much more personal, I think: a few calls to the University of Toronto's Anthropology Department revealed that he's strictly a mediocre professor, whose students were uninspired and who never came up with any really great insights into the development of human society. This Atlantis project consumed, him, though, so much so that the University kicked him out.

He's not doing this for scholarly interests. He's doing it for two reasons: he has a major inferiority complex, and he wants to become famous. But infamy would sit him just as well. If he finds anything, any items of real power, he's going to become a supervillain.

I'll have to keep an eye on him.

National Bank of Anguilla Robbed by New Supervillain

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The Valley, Anguilla, W.I. - Early this morning the National Bank of Anguilla was robbed by a new supervillain, calling himself The Arcanist. The Arcanist appeared to be a sorcerer of some kind, appearing and disappearing at will, becoming as intangible as a ghost, flying, unleashing energy blasts, draining the strength and energy from others, manipulating objects from afar, and more. He made away with an as-yet-calculated amount of money, though estimates put it in the tens of thousands. Eyewitness describe him as a tall, thin, middle-aged with a French accent, wearing a loose-fitting tunic, white-colored with red trim, a long flowing grey cloak, tight black leggings with red stripes over black boots, and a collection of pouches on his belt. He carried a golden staff carved to look like gnarled wood, which seemed to be a focus for many of his powers.

Device 7 (Ghost Cloak, 35 points, Hard to Lose) [7x4 = 28pp]

Device 7 (Staff of Miskelados, 35 points, Easy to Lose) [7x4 = 28pp]

Device 6 (Amulet of Delphi, 30 points, Hard to Lose) [6x4 = 24pp]

Amulet of Delphi [4+22+4 = 30 points]

Enhanced Fortitude Save 4 [4]

Force Field 12 (Extra: Impervious 10) [22]

Mind Shield 4 [4]

Ghost Cloak [9+20+6 = 35 points]

Concealment 4 (all visual senses; PF: Close Range) [9]

Insubstantial 4 (incorporeal, affected by magic) [20]

Teleport 1 (100 ft.; PFs: Change Direction, Change Velocity, Progression 1/200 lbs., Turnabout) [6]

Staff of Miskelados [32 points]

Magic 12 (PFs: 8 Alternate Powers/Spells) [24+8=32]

BE: Blast 12 ("bolt of power")

AP: Blast 8 (Extra: Penetrating) ("bolt of lightning")

AP: Dazzle 8 (auditory and visual) ("invoked iridescence")

AP: Drain Strength 12 (Extra: Ranged; PF: Slow Fade 4/1pp per hour) ("withering weakness")

AP: Fatigue 8 (Extra: Ranged) ("spell of somnolence")

AP: Flight 12 (50,000 mph) ("wind of the zephyr")

AP: Illusion 5 (all senses; PFs: Progression 3/50-ft. radius) ("invoked imaginings")

AP: Mind Control 8 (Extra: Conscious) ("mind shackles")

AP: Telekinesis 8 (Str 40, Hvy Load 3 tons; Extra: Range/Perception) ("wizard hand")

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November 1st, 2008

I wonder: do I go too far?

Last night I... did something which a few years ago I would barely dream of. Looking back on the past three months or so of my life, I can see a definite change in myself, and not just the obvious things. The question is, are these new feelings solely a side-effect of my increased power, or is the very nature of that power changing me? Does power corrupt, or is corruption a path to power? Part of me envies Faust -- at least he was able to choose what he got!

Then again... so what?! Those who have the power make the rules, and I've got plenty of power! And I enjoy it, unlike oh so many 'heroes' who whine and moan about their burdens, their responsibilities. I may not have chosen this, but I'm going to make damn sure I enjoy every second of it, and take as much advantage of it as can! None of this "suppression," none of this "guilt" -- if I hold off on tearing someone's head from their shoulders, it's only because I'm plotting a more fitting torment, not because I see some inherent wrongness in killing them!

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  • 2 months later...

September 28th, 2008

Finally met up with Ansel "Flying Dutchman" Kaars tonight. A part of me had missed him. And I was evidently not as prepared for the new Kaars as I thought I would be, despite all the things I've seen these past few months.

I first met Kaars several years ago; he and his men had some objects d'art they wanted appraised, and knew I asked no questions. Only about a quarter were the real deal, the rest were forgeries, and to my eye obvious ones at that. I was still somewhat new to the "black market," and hesitated to tell Kaars the truth -- he was a big, imposing man, even then, and his love of (no, obsession with) mobster movies made him even more imposing. I had no idea how he'd react, though was sure it would be painful to me if I told him that most of his goods were worthless knock-offs. In the end, my professional honesty -- yes, I do still have that -- won out, and I told him... and he burst out laughing! Seems the items had been left to him by a rival racketeer on his death bed, which he thought was fishy. So he decided to get them appraised, to see what they were really worth. I had saved him from a huge embarrassment!

Ever since that night he became one of my steady patrons, sending all art objects he and his associates acquired through me for appraisal. I was able to put him in touch with some reliable jewel appraisers and fences, too, and those connections -- along with his bold actions -- really helped him and his little criminal organiation. But his ambitions were too great for the Netherlands, so he came to the Americas in early 2005. We occasionally kept in touch, an odd letter now and again, but then I lost all trace of him about a year ago. I'd heard rumors -- a big shoot-out between either his men and a local mob, or his men and the cops -- but never heard anything solid.

Not long after I arrived in Freedom, I received a letter, slid under the door of the apartment I was staying in. The handwriting looked almost like Kaars', but not exactly, there were some definite differences. The letter welcomed me to Freedom, and contained a phone number. I'd meant to call him soon after, but various plans of mine started taking off and the letter was filed in the back of my mind.

Tonight I called him, and we met. He was a very changed man.

Seems the rumors had been correct, he and about 30 of his men had been involved in a nasty shoot out with the police, here in Freedom City. Fortunately for them they had made connections with an underground cybernetics hospital. About a third of his men died either on the table or before even reaching it, but six months later the rest were all sporting gleaming new cybernetic enhancements. Now they've returned to the streets and are working to rebuild their territory; what they lack in numbers and finesse they more than make up for in brute strength, brutality and bionic augmentation. (Kaars has an automatic rifle concealed in his right forearm, and his chest can open to reveal a mini-missile launcher!)

And if anything, Kaars' obsession with the classic mobster stereotype has not only gotten worse, it's been ingrained into all his men. They're all tough-talking, foul-mouthed men in fedoras, sharp pinstripe suits, and shiny shoes; most even carry Tommy guns, though some of those are multi-purpose assault weapons disguised as Tommy guns.

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  • 3 weeks later...

April 30th, 2008

I'm back.

I don't exactly know how -- Hell Lords know I tried to get out numerous times -- but this time, it worked.

There aren't words for what I experienced; I have tried, but everything I've thought to say pales in comparison to the actual experiences. I'm still in a bit of shock that I'm back here now -- and more in shock to see the date. It would seem only two months passed here while I was away.

For me, it was twenty years!

But the years were beneficial to me. I'm far stronger and tougher and faster now than I was before, but more importantly, I learned a lot while away. I know better ways, subtler ways to get the things I want. It will take some time to set things up -- I have to establish more contacts, more connections, and make some new faces, and I do not want the ones who put me in that place knowing I am back -- but it will pay off spectacularly.

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  • 1 month later...

May 1st, 2009

Going through the newspapers which accumulated in my absence, it appears that my little corner of Freedom was rocked by a rather large explosion, about a month ago. Seems that someone living here was really a Superhuman-hating tech-head with several tonnes of ammo, and an impressive battlesuit with which to unleash it.

What a fall that must have been! I'd imagine that any secret identity masquerade he'd tried to maintain is shattered now, and that all his assets and properties would be seized. All he may have left is whatever parts of his suit he managed to get on when the blast went off. And I'm sure its condition has slowly deteriorated: he could probably make minor repairs with stolen equipment, or break into one of the high-tech places after hours to use their bigger gear, but there'd only be so much he could do without dedicated resources and large amounts of time.

Perhaps this individual is one I can "help." The question is, how? I can think of at least two options. One it to set up some time for him in a proper repair bay (Kaars should know someone, or know someone who knows someone). The other... involves some of the demons I've met, as well as a dagger very much like the one I encountered in Marrakesh (or something similar). I'll have to research all this further.

Ahhh, but wait: some of my new abilities are not yet fully tested, and I would not want to lose such a prize due to some miscalculation on my part. No, he shall not be my first. There will be others.

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Belphegor & Artificing (as of 8/11/2009)

Craft (artistic) +7

Craft (structural) +4

Knowledge (arcane lore) +11

No Quickness, no Skill Mastery

Design up to 21pp inventions (if Taking 20, though that takes 20x the time). Requires 1 hour per pp. Can halve design time by taking -5 on the Knowledge check.

* Take 1, can design a 2pp item in 2 hours.

* Take 10, can design an 11pp item in 11 hours, or a 6pp item in 3 hours.

* Take 20, can design a 21pp item in 420 hours, or a 16pp item in 160 hours.

Construct up to 17pp or 14pp inventions (artistic or structural), if rolling a natural 20 (cannot Take 20, but can Take 10). Takes 4 hours per pp to construct. Since you cannot Take 20 on this check, Quickness does not apply, but can halve time by taking a -5 on the Craft check.

* Take 10, can build a 7pp (artistic) item in 28 hours, or a 4pp (structural) item in 16 hours.

* If he can get a 20 on the roll, he can construct a 17pp (artistic) item in 68 hours, or a 14pp (structural) item in 56 hours. Or a 12pp (artistic) item in 24 hours, or a 9pp (structural) item in 18 hours.

When he absolutely, positively needs something now(-ish), that's when Jury Rigging/Kit Bashing comes in... but he's not so great at it.

* If he can roll a 10, he can kit-bash a 2pp (artistic) item in 2 rounds.

Perhaps he should take up that job at the Shadow Academy's Arts & Crafts Department....

Artificing Groups

Multiple artificers may cooperate to create a single item. Use the aiding another guidelines (M&M, page 10) for this: designate one artificer as the lead character. The assistants each make skill checks against DC 10, with success granting the lead character a +2 bonus. Every full 10 points by which an assistant exceeds the DC provides an additional +1 bonus.

The GM may limit the number of assistants as desired, but a maximum of one per every 5 points of skill bonus (not rank) possessed by the lead character, rounded to the nearest whole number, is a good rule of thumb. So, a lead artificer with Knowledge (arcane lore) +12 could have two assistants (12 divided by 5 and rounded down to 2).

Under this, Bel could have (11/5) 2 persons help on Knowledge (arcane lore) checks, (7/5) 1 person help on Craft (artistic) checks, but (4/5) 0 helpers on Craft (structural) checks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

May 10th, 2009 (Monday, evening)

Just got done meeting with Sirius' mother, Gwen, as well as a new antiques supplier, a Mr. William. She's a feisty one, and William seemed rather... non-sociable, but he seemed more comfortable around things than people.

We made a deal, part of which is that I get to keep Sirius on as an employee (and, presumably, the Fox-Pup that serves him). They've also given me use of a most interesting item, which can be used to order assorted mystical items from their family workshops; they can 'age' the items to make them look like true antiques, though any mystical examination would reveal them to be the newly minted pieces they are. Though it's not like that is much of a drawback. My price in this: I keep my eyes and ears open for them, report anything unusual I pick up on.

Something Gwen did mention in passing I will definitely keep an eye out for: red birds. She said not to trust them, which makes me very curious.

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  • 2 weeks later...

TV Tropes for Belphegor include:

Be Careful What You Wish For (going hand in hand with Deal with the Devil, below)

Big Bad (what he sees himself as/as becoming)

Big Eater and Extreme Omnivore (being immune to cold, disease, heat and poison means he can eat anything that's even remotely considered food, straight from the oven or the freezer. Of course, he prefers food taken from others.)

Cannot Enter a Church and Crosses & Holy Water (averted and later played straight. Before his trip to Hell/upgrade, he was human enough that holy objects/places/water didn't bother him at all. Since his 'upgrade,' though, he's more demon than man, and those things do harm him)

Deal with the Devil (what he offers)

Demon Lords and Archdevils (what he wants to be)

Despair Event Horizon (he enjoys pushing people over this, sometimes leading to Death by Despair)

Evil is Sexy (sorta; some of the "identities" he's set up are firmly this, but his primary one is definitely not)

A Glass of Chianti (semi-averted; Jos prefers brandy)

Half Human Hybrid (kinda; his parents were fully human, but the incident in Marrakesh fused a demon to him, effectively turning him into a half-demon hybrid)

Hellfire (his primary weapon)

Magnificent Bastard (what he's working on becoming; he's still somewhat new to it)

Man of Wealth and Taste (usually averted; as Jos, he dresses like a college English professor or New England book store owner, comfy sweaters and earth tones, not in sharp suits. However, see Evil is Sexy, above)

Moral Event Horizon (he crossed it before being sent to a Hell-Dimension when he killed a family in order to buy their house on the cheap, and while he was in that Hell-Dimension, he forgot what the line even looks like, save in terms of knowing how to push others over it)

Seven Deadly Sins (particularly Pride, Greed, Wrath, Lust, and Gluttony)

Voluntary Shapeshifting (a la Mystique)

Wicked Cultured (he has degrees in archaeology and art history, and is a professional art appraiser; he also loves fine food)

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