Jump to content

Gloaming (PL10) - Elegy

Recommended Posts

Player Name: Elegy

Character Name: Gloaming

Power Level: 10 (150/157PP)

Trade-Offs: None

Unspent Power Points: 7

Progress To Bronze Status: 7/30


In Brief: A young mage, displaced by death and time, commanding a power between Light and Shadow.


Alternate Identity: Seth Syme

Identity: Public (But Not Widely Known)

Birthplace: Freedom City

Occupation: Sorcerer

Affiliations: Presently None

Family: Long Deceased



Age: 339 (DoB: April 22, 1674)

Physical Age: 20

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 163 lbs

Eyes: Glowing Orange (Originally Blue)

Hair: Brown


Though rather tall in his day, Seth is of average height and build in the present. Indeed, he would hardly stand out in a crowd, neither muscular nor flabby, graceful nor clumsy, handsome nor ugly, if not for his stranger features. Deep orange light burns in his eyes, glowing through the cloth patch that covers the ragged socket on the right as well as from the healthy orb on the left, the eerie luminescence of his mage sight. His chosen attire turns heads just as surely.


Spandex and battlesuits are familiar heroic attire in Freedom City, but the doublet and overcoat fell out of fashion long ago and never looked back. To Seth, however, the garments are familiar and somehow comforting. Made of sturdy leather, cotton, and canvas connected with crisscrossing straps and buckles, they allow Seth considerable freedom of movement while also holding up well in battle. To others, however, they can seem alien and off-putting.


Few get close enough to him to observe any of his more hidden characteristics: the rope burn scars around his neck, half concealed by his collar; the brass bracelet, engraved with twining runes that clings to his left forearm; the constant but subtle movements of his hands and lips; the fact that, beneath it all, he is still very young, and that vengefulness, regret, and determination burn beneath the fire in his one good eye.




Power Descriptions:

Gloaming's base of operations is the old Syme family mansion, Havenglen House, once again inhabited by a scion of the family after centuries of abandonment. Seth not only reconstructed the building but also placed powerful wards on it: intruders who get past arcane-locked doors are faced with magic missiles, ghostly chains, a crushing sense of fear or despair, and the wrath of the ghostly caretakers. The house, even larger on the inside than the sprawling manor would suggest, also contains an excellent library and workroom.


Seth wears a thick brass bracelet worked with runes on his left forearm, rumored to be a creation of the Dwarves of old. The magics woven into it provide some measure of protection to his mind and body, complementing skills honed in combat. The Soul Guard turns away attacks on his will, a constant threat to any mage, while runes of warding slow and soften deadly blows. The bracelet also sustains him in even the most hostile of environments.


Far more obvious is the constant glow of Seth's "Second Sight", flickering pools of deep orange that sit atop his eyes. This allows him to "see" magic itself, its concentrations and manifestations, so that demons and sorcerers cannot possibly hide from him. The association with his eyes is only a mental crutch, a way of conceptualizing a sense he was not born with. Yet with magic the figurative can have literal implications; the symbolic act of covering his sight (with, say, a blindfold) negates his Second Sight as well.


Yet the greatest power Seth wields, the Dusk sorcery that lies between purifying, healing Light and corrupting, violating Dark, is also the least apparent, at least when he is at rest. In time of need, however, this cosmic power comes roaring to his side, an unbound and unaligned force to be shaped to his will. With it he can open portals across vast distances, speak and learn mind to mind, lift and move great weights with a gesture, and strike down his foes in body and soul.


And each manifestation is accompanied by the tremulous orange light of Dusk...



The struggle between Light and Dark, they say, is timeless, a battle between countless entities of unknowable power that has raged since long before even the Lemurians of old first brought forth fire to warm their cold blood. Master Mages and Dark Lords, holy bastions and Netherworlds, angels and demons; it would seem that all of creation is at war for eternity. Yet there exist those entities who remain aloof, pursuing their own ends.


Aloof, but not inactive. And their power, too, is great.


In the Year of Our Lord 1674, the census would show, a branch of the prosperous Syme family (one of the First Families of Virginia) would relocate north. The head of the household, wealthy tobacco merchant Samuel Syme, worried about the effects of Jamestown's miserable climate on his wife Klara, who was then heavy with child. He had spent several years preparing a new home for his future family by building a roomy estate, Havenglen House, on the outskirts of Freedom.


Samuel's carefully-judged timing proved worthy; not only was his son Seth born hale and healthy, with Klara surviving her labor, but Jamestown was put to the torch by Bacon's Rebellion only two years hence. Comfortably semi-retired, with his modest sized but lucrative trading company run largely through intermediaries, Samuel set out to raise his family. Six more children followed Seth, filling Havenglen's halls with laughter and the patter of feet.


Samuel and Klara gave to each child all the time and love they could muster, doing their best to raise good Christians and foster clever, productive minds. On the last of these, however, Seth continued to frustrate them. The boy was bright, but far more a dreamer than a doer. It soon became obvious that a younger sibling should take over the family business, for Seth had no head for it. To him they offered two paths: a scholar or a priest.


Seth was not interested in the priesthood, but even if he had been the choice would have been clear. His love for books, for knowing, was a voracious, consuming love that caused no small amount of expense; books were difficult to come by in the colonies, especially on the sorts of esoteric subjects Seth preferred. For Seth, despite wanting for nothing that he needed, was discontent with the world. He wanted excitement, knowledge, and (most of all) control of his destiny.


There was some talk of sending him to England for schooling, but little came of it. Instead he joined a small circle of young scholars meeting in taverns and private houses alike. They discussed history, philosophy, theology, and myth, spending what money they could scrape together on new books (and the occasional curio) from the Continent. Most of them were only dabblers, laughing at the idea that any of what they discussed could be real.


Most, but not all of them. Because that was where he met her.


Emmaline Eyre wasn't much like the others. She was wild, with an infectious energy that sent lightning racing through Seth's veins whenever she touched him. And she believed, wholeheartedly, that there was truth in the old stories. More than that, she believed there were instructions. She bore the mockery of the others with fierce pride, and a combination of attraction, admiration, and fascination left Seth falling head over heels for her.


It only intensified when she showed him that she was right. She cast a spell before his very eyes, and when the panic subsided the hunger for knowledge rumbled again. Bit by bit, morsel by morsel, she taught him, and as they drew closer he withdrew from all else. With her guidance he opened his mind and felt, for the first time, as magic flowed across his perception like the wind, sometimes gentle and sometimes fierce. All he had to do to ride it was to craft a sail.


But that proved more difficult. Seth was not a man of incredible willpower, guile, or force of personality; he could not simply demand control and expect it to come into being, Emmaline gently explained. He needed to channel the might of an entity that could do so, and there was a cost to such things. But Seth was eighteen years old and full of confidence, and when he touched magic, however briefly, he knew in his heart that he had found his true calling. Almost any cost was worth that.


And so, like Odin before him, he gave an eye to gain wisdom.


Cosmic power raced to his side the moment the ritual was complete, cutting through the pain with a joy both savage and free. His first efforts were shaky, some uncertain, some overconfident; magic is energy, ever moving and impossible to contain, and it twisted away from him like a serpent when he handled it incorrectly. But with Emmaline as his guide he made steady progress, and in the span of a year he was capable of feats beyond his wildest dreams.


The power, Emmaline explained, was called Dusk Magic. Conflict older than Earth itself had left the energies of Light and Shadow strewn across the world, and where they had mingled they had gradually became something else entirely. The result was a force that was inherently neither good nor evil, with equal potential to devour light with darkness or dispel darkness with light. The two young mages, however, had no interest in either possibility. Magic was simply their tool, and their joy.


It was not to last, for their careless use of their powers drew the attention of the Reverend Elijah Prophet. The priest's witch hunt, which had seen the deaths of many innocents on the merest suspicion of sorcery, could hardly miss such blatant use of arcane powers, and when he came to Freedom in 1694 a mob soon followed to beat down Seth's door. The young man was terrified. He and Emmaline, for all their power, could not stand before Prophet, and if he resisted his family might be hurt, too.


As the wood of the door, held by his magics, began to buckle and warp beneath the mob's blows, Emmaline hit upon a plan. They would bind their spirits to objects, Seth to the ancient Dwarven shield bracelet she had given him and she to an enchanted porcelain mask, and when the mob arrived there would be no sorcerers to find. Seth began the ritual she provided, working his magic as swiftly and skillfully as he could, and soon his beloved was sealed safely away.


But the door burst inward before he could repeat the process for himself. Seized by Prophet and his men, Seth was bound and taken to the courthouse. Of the twelve people hanged in Freedom for witchcraft, he was the only one who pleaded guilty; there was no use denying it. He looked prosecutor Lucius Cabot square in the eye and told him, one hand on the Bible, that he had never hurt anyone with his power, and that it was not an evil force. That answer availed him nothing.


Seth swung beside the others the next morning, and that might have been the end.


When he awoke, he found himself in the void. Around him was an endless expanse of nothing. He could not feel nor see nor hear nor smell, only wait, alone with his thoughts. He waited for more than three hundred years, and would surely have gone mad if he had been allowed to do so. But that would have been a reprieve, a way of coping with his punishment, and it was not permitted to him. He could only think that he was in Hell, alone in the absence of God. But he was not entirely correct.


After what truly seemed an eternity, Seth found that he was not alone. A being had materialized before him, a creature formed of the same deep orange energy as his magic. It explained that it was the Twilight Angel, born of the mingling of energies caused by the conflict between Abbridon the Light of Righteousness and Kar'Kradas the Whisperer in Shadows. Seth, it claimed, had been deceived. All his learning of magic had been the scheme of another.


Emmaline, the Twilight Angel claimed, was not who Seth believed her to be. It was no accident that the beautiful young woman had chosen relatively homely Seth Syme, dreamer and provider of nothing, out of the group of young scholars. The ritual that had cost Seth an eye was a shortcut, not standard procedure. She had sworn her soul to the Twilight Angel in exchange for power, but when the time had come to collect Seth had sealed her away where she could not be reached, shunting the debt onto himself.


Indeed, Emmaline was not even human, but something far older and stranger. The girl he'd loved had been nothing more than an illusion, a carefully-constructed facade behind which a malicious intelligence lurked. Once Seth would have simply refused to believe, but centuries of punishment had broken him of stubbornness, and the revelation broke him all the more. He could not deny that every piece of it made sense; years of his life has been masterfully played away.


But the Twilight Angel made him a bargain: find the mask he had used the binding ritual on and destroy it, releasing the soul within to its rightful custody, and Seth's soul would be freed. There was no true choice; Seth knew not what it was to die with his soul unclaimed, but to live again and take the chance must be better than a bleak eternity of bitter loneliness. And so the Angel filled him with the knowledge he would need, both of the arcane and of the modern world, and raised him to life.


Seth clawed his way out of a rotted coffin and an unmarked grave with a fire in his heart. Now he knew what it felt like to be hurt, to be used, and he swore that he would evermore use his power (now greater than ever) to prevent others from suffering such hurts and manipulations. Though Freedom has changed in ways that, had the Twilight Angel not warned him, he could not have imagined, he still works to protect its people from threats mundane and magical. To do so, he took on the name of Gloaming, Mage of the Cosmic Dusk.


And ever he pursues rumors of an enchanted porcelain mask...


Personality & Motivation:

Since his return, Seth is a man with a mission. He is swift, decisive, and to-the-point without being rash, willing to adapt on the fly or power on through as the situation demands. His self-appointed task is deeply important to him, but he is careful to ensure that it does not become his only reason to be; having lost his life once, he appreciates every new experience all the more deeply, and enjoys the company of others thoroughly while he has the time with them.


Betrayal, death, and torment have left their mark, however. Seth makes sure that he pursues every task with his whole heart and mind because he knows that, if he stops to contemplate too much, bitterness and hurt will worm their way to the surface of his mind. He is polite and respectful of everyone he meets, but finds it difficult to get close to anyone even when some large part of him wants to. His rejuvenated body is yet young; the age of his mind is more difficult to define.


Powers & Tactics:

Seth is not intrinsically a violent person, but he recognizes that violence is sometimes the only way to keep a situation from getting any worse. Armed with new knowledge from the Twilight Angel that far surpasses the simple cantrips he once cast, he is well-equipped to deal with any foe. Whether restraining or crushing with telekinesis or blasting away at mind or body, he is exceptionally deadly to just about any foe at range.  All-comprehending telepathy and the ability to open portals provide him with excellent utility as well.






Changed World: The Twilight Angel gave Seth enough information about the modern world to cope with it, but the sweeping changes from his own time to now still take his breath away at times. He was always open-minded for his time, but logic that seems simple by modern standards sometimes escapes him. Knowing that his whole family died long, long ago, and seeing the ruins or tourist traps that have become of places he knows, also tends to fill him with melancholy.


Conditional Release: Seth's soul is free, but the Twilight Angel retains its hold on him until he shatters the enchanted mask. This is understandably a priority for Seth; if the Angel feels it wasn't a good investment, it may send servants to cut losses and collect. This looming possibility colors Seth's interactions; he would very much like to use his magic for solely selfless reasons, but if he doesn't look like he's making progress he may lose the chance to use his magic at all.


Different Inside: Three hundred years of semi-Hell have not left as much of a mark as you might think on Seth; the Twilight Angel wanted him to be an effective agent, after all. It's as though he died one day and woke up centuries later the next, but fragments of the half-remembered nightmare still bounce around in his head. He has horrifying dreams and flashbacks from time to time, leaving him sleepless or momentarily paralyzed. If he was asked what he feared most, he would answer "eternity".


Hatred and Hurt: Seth truly and honestly loved Emmaline; after all, she was created from his own subconscious desires. It would have broken him utterly to think that she betrayed him; to know that she was just an illusion instead fills him with deep hatred for the being that used him through her image, one that sometimes overpowers his good sense. And then there's Lucius Cabot, who saw Seth hanged; Cabot probably doesn't remember Seth after many lifetimes of misdeeds, but Seth sure remembers him.


It's Called Second Sight!: Most mages train for decades before they are considered ready to face the world; Seth, for all his power, has only been slinging spells for two years, empowered by shortcuts few would dare or even want to take. As a result, his mind remains more limited than his true ability, forcing him to rationalize magic or go insane. He still thinks of his ability to detect magic, for example, as "second sight", meaning that the symbolic act of covering his eyes blinds that actually non-visual sense.


Where'd That Come From?!: Havenglen House disappeared from its place on Lantern Hill the day that Seth was hanged, leaving only a hole in the ground; it was spirited away into the void by the Twilight Angel to keep safe as a future asset. The land on which it stood has resisted all attempts at replacement construction, justified with the sort of haunting stories that arise frequently in Freedom's oldest district. The house reappeared when Seth was reborn, but he doesn't actually own the land, and his new neighbors aren't exactly thrilled.


Abilities: 0 + 2 + 4 + 4 + 2 + 2 = 14PP

Strength: 10 (+0)

Dexterity: 12 (+1)

Constitution: 14 (+2)

Intelligence: 14 (+2)

Wisdom: 12 (+1)

Charisma: 12 (+1)



Combat: 12 + 10 = 22PP

Initiative: +9 (+1 Dex, +8 [improved Initiative])

Attack: +5 Melee (+9 Magic), +2 Ranged (+10 Magic)

Grapple: +5, +20 Telekinesis

Defense: +10 (+6 Base, +4 Dodge Focus), +3 Flat-Footed

Knockback: -5, -2 Flat-Footed



Saving Throws: 7 + 8 + 8 = 23PP

Toughness: +10 (+2 Con, +6 [Defensive Roll], +2 [Protection]), +4 Flat-Footed

Fortitude: +9 (+2 Con, +7)

Reflex: +9 (+1 Dex, +8)

Will: +9 (+1 Wis, +8), +12 vs Mental Effects (+3 [Mind Shield])



Skills: 80R = 20PP

Concentration 11 (+12)

Craft (Artistic) 13 (+15)Skill Mastery

Diplomacy 11 (+12)Skill Mastery

Knowledge (Arcane Lore) 13 (+15)Skill Mastery

Knowledge (Theology and Philosophy) 10 (+12)

Notice 11 (+12)Skill Mastery

Sense Motive 11 (+12)



Feats: 19PP

Attack Focus (Ranged) 1

Attack Specialization (Magic) 2

Defensive Roll 3

Dodge Focus 4

Equipment 4


Improved Initiative 2


Skill Mastery (Craft [Artistic], Diplomacy, Knowledge [Arcane Lore], Notice)


Equipment 4PP = 20EP


Headquarters: Havenglen House [20EP]

Size: Huge (Inside) [3EP]

Toughness: 10 (Reinforced) [1EP]


Defense System 3 (Blast 9 [Feats: Affects Insubstantial 2], Emotion Control 10, Snare 9 [Feats: Affects Insubstantial 2]) [3EP]

Dual Size (Large Outside) [1EP]

Fire Prevention System (Mystic Rain) [1EP]

Library [1EP]

Living Space [1EP]

Personnel (Unseen Servants) [1EP]

Power (Scrying Pool: ESP [Visual and Auditory] 6; Feats: Dimensional, Subtle; 20PP) [1EP]

Power System (Magical) [1EP]

Security System 3 (DC30) [3EP]

Self-Repairing 2 [2EP]

Workshop (Ritual Room) [1EP]


Powers: 12 + 37 + 7 = 56PP


Device 3 (Magic; Extra Effort applies to wielder; 15PP Container; Flaws: Hard-To-Lose) [12PP] (Shield Bracelet)


Immunity 10 (Life Support, Hunger and Thirst) [10PP] (Everlasting Sustenance)


Mind Shield 3 [3PP] (Soul Guard)


Protection 2 [2PP] (Runes of Warding)


Magic 16.5 (33 Point Array, Feats: Alternate Power 4) [37PP] (Cosmic Sorcery)


Blast 10 (Extras: Alternate Save [Fortitude]; Feats: Accurate 2, Split Attack) {33/33} (Disrupt Body)


Blast 10 (Extras: Alternate Save [Will]; Feats: Accurate 2, Split Attack) {33/33} (Disorder Spirit)


Telekinesis 10 (Strength 50; Extras: Damaging; Feats: Accurate 2, Precise) {33/33} (Fundamental Force)


Telepathy 6 (Extras: Linked; Feats: Subtle) and Comprehend 1 (Always Understood; Sustained Duration; Extras: Linked) and Enhanced Charisma 18 (Extras: Linked) {33/33} (Clarity Charm)


Teleport 6 (600ft or 20 Miles; Extras: Accurate, Portal; Feats: Change Direction, Change Velocity, Progression [Portal Size] [10ft by 10ft]) {33/33} (Arcane Gateway)


Super-Senses 8 (Detect Magic 3 [Mental]: Accurate, Acute, Extended [100ft Increments], Ranged; Drawbacks: Noticeable) [7PP] (Second Sight)


Drawbacks: (-3) + (-1) = -4PP


Disability (One Eye [-4 to Ranged attacks]; Frequency: Common; Intensity: Moderate) [-3PP]


Power Loss: (Magic [if unable to gesture]; Frequency: Uncommon; Intensity: Minor) [-1PP]


DC Block


ATTACK         RANGE     SAVE                         EFFECT

Blast 1           Ranged     DC25 Fortitude          Damage (Magical)

Blast 2           Ranged     DC25 Will                  Damage (Magical)

Confuse         Ranged     DC20 Will                  Confusion (Magical)

Snare             Ranged     DC20 Reflex             Snared (Magical)

Telekinesis     Ranged     DC25 Toughness      Damage (Physical)

Unarmed        Touch       DC15 Toughness      Damage (Physical)


Totals: Abilities (14) + Combat (22) + Saving Throws (23) + Skills (20) + Feats (19) + Powers (56) - Drawbacks (4) = 150/157 Power Points

Edited by Fox
+1pp for July 2013
Link to comment

I'm not going to lie, someone who actually has bothered to do their research on 17th century American colonial history is all right with me. (The fact that they moved north to what was then the New Netherlands as soon as it was conquered by the British is also all right with me, aw yeah) 

One thing you should do for the backstory is specify that the house is occupied by someone from its ancestral line for the first time in centuries, not that it's sat abandoned for that long - a house built in the scattered communities that became Freedom City a century later would be prime real estate - someone would have come by and knocked it down in the meantime and put a minimall there. Or a slaughterhouse, depending on what the neighborhood looks like these days. 


Or MAYBE the house went with him into the other dimension - and that's why it's weird! A 17th century house just popping into, say, a vacant lot would be a cool image, and a fun source of complications. 


Mechanics are mostly fine. You do not actually need Comprehend Languages to go with Mind Reading (which is one of the two base powers of Telepathy), as by default you can read the mind of anyone with a language. His Telepathy is powerful - do you need him able to talk to people anywhere in the world? 

Link to comment

Thanks, AA! I do my best to run down background facts.


You bring up a good point about Havenglen House. I like your suggestion! I've added a complication about the mansion's sudden reappearance.


I misread the suggestion about Comprehend and Telepathy in the core rulebook; he only needs one rank of Comprehend (to allow anyone to understand his projected thoughts). I put Telepathy at rank 10 mostly for the Mind Reading power check boost and didn't even think about the range. The former is unnecessary and the latter is, as you pointed out, ridiculous. I've taken Telepathy down to rank 6 (range equal to his teleport range and Havenglen House's scrying range) and eliminated all but one Comprehend rank, filling the difference with Subtle 2 and increased Boost.

Edited by Elegy
Link to comment

I'll jump in and say that communication is two way by default in our house rules, so you could have the one way limitation on that.

Also I missed boost in an array. For obvious reasons having a boost in an array is wonky. You can boost then flip to an AP and retain all the benefits.

Sorry for missing that.

Link to comment

I would just go ahead and make it Enhanced Charisma in the Array, Elegy. Not only is Boost problematic in an array, it's problematic in general. Much easier to just have a set number you can use. 


The limited area on your Mind Reading works fine for me, as it allows for more drama when you _need_ to go in a larger area, and so do some stuntin'. 

Link to comment
  • 4 months later...
  • Create New...