NPCs of Note G-M
Steve Williams didn't start off wanting to turn into a giant floating eyeball. If someone had asked about his preferences with regards to spontaneous self-transformation, his response would have been something on the order of, "Chuck Norris. A tall Chuck Norris".
The art of post-Change forensic psychology teaches that past actions are indicators of future form; although this maxim is debated almost as much as the Change itself. In Steve's case, however, there is strong evidence to support the accuracy of the theory.
Steve spent most of his life in politics. He started out running for the local school board, and served two terms before moving to the Montrose City Council. He spent three terms as councilman before running for Mayor. He and his wife had parted amiably a few years earlier, and she did not mind their children appearing in his television ads during the campaign. His longtime lover, his secretary Miranda, was still on good terms with Steve's ex-wife, and between them they agreed that Steve's personal life would remain out of the spotlight.
Once in office, Steve proved to be a very capable leader and an efficient administrator. The management of several city services were astounded to find out that Steve had an immediate and comprehensive grasp of the logistical realities of running a city. He believed that the city needed to improve its basic infrastructure substantially before it started spending money on attracting more tourists - a stark contrast to the shortsightedness of some previous administrations.
The infrastructure improvements went through and almost immediately began paying off. Tourists liked the improved roads and more visible public safety equipment. The increased flow of tourist dollars made shopkeepers and hotel owners happy, and provided many new jobs for the local community.
His success was rooted in his enjoyment of war games, such as Panzer Blitz and Drang Nach Osten. In these games, victory was often based more on supply line efficiency than military acumen. He also excelled at "god-games" like SimCity, Civilization, and Ecophage. SimCity teaches the basics of urban planning and the importance of utilities and other infrastructure to civic growth. Civilization was much the same, but on a national scale. Dancing Mongoose Studio's Ecophage took the "god-game" to a new level, as players tried to balance national development, economic strength, and environmental preservation on a global scale. Steve played them every chance he could get, to the point of creating custom scenarios for the city and the surrounding region in SimCity and Ecophage. Since it was unlikely that most people would understand why he was using games as development simulators, he kept his hobbies out of the public's eye.
When the Change hit, he was astonished to find that Ecophage had done an automatic update to incorporate magic as an environmental variable. The scenario creator already included conditions like "Global Thermonuclear War", "Meteor Strike", and "General Social Collapse", so it took little effort for Steve to duplicate the events of the Change. Once his scenario was set up, he was astounded to find that it tended to accurately predict the general pattern of events. Some of the predictions it made about the surrounding area frightened him greatly.
He spent over 30 hours running simulations, going without food or sleep. Eventually, he was able to formulate a plan that resulted in success in the majority of his scenarios. Exhausted, he called his friends and advisors, briefed them on the plan, and collapsed into bed.
It was his last night as a human.
The next day, the pain of the Change hit him during a briefing. He communicated his last orders and asked Miranda to help him to his office. She watched as he metamorphosised into a beholder over the course of the next several hours. She kept his family, the chief of police, and his closest advisors informed about his situation. They agreed to wait for the process to finish, and to see if their friend was all right before taking any drastic action.
As it turned out, Steve was fine, or at least as fine as you can get when you are a giant floating eyeball. He found that his thought processes were a lot clearer, and that he was much more objective than he had been. He quickly discovered the powers his different eyeballs had and learned how to cloak his new form in a semblance of humanity. Miranda began referring to him as 'His Honor' rather than as 'Mayor Williams'; it soon became corrupted to 'Hizzoner'.
The general populace doesn't know about his transformation, and he wants to keep it that way until people become more comfortable with the strange and unusual. Miranda is staying by his side - she loves him deeply, even if he isn't human any more.
His ex-wife and their children survived the Change, and have since moved to Durango and become citizens of the Kingdom..
Isadore's parents thought they were doing her a favor when they named her Jenette Isabella Thatcher. They took the name from a French Christmas carol, thinking it would be good for her self-esteem to have people "singing her praises" every holiday season.
She hated it.
Her parents were good people, though they suffered from too much education and not enough real-world experience. They were lifetime academics, both having gone straight to college from high school and thence through graduate and postgraduate studies. They met attending UC Berkeley, he studying medieval history, she majoring in education and Renaissance music. They managed to secure positions at Berkeley during their postgraduate work, eventually becoming full professors. Neither of them had ever set foot into the private sector. Jenette Isabella went to liberal private schools, where art, music, and literature were emphasized over math and the sciences. Her parents were shocked and horrified when 18-year-old "Izzy" scrawled an obscene imperative in Latin on her Berkeley admission paperwork and announced that she had been accepted at MIT, and that she was flying out that evening on a ticket purchased on a Gold card.
The revelation that she had a credit card (much less a Gold card) would normally have resulted in an impassioned rant from her devoutly Socialist father, but it got lost in the greater furor over her decision to "willingly become a slave of the military-industrial complex". She did not speak to her parents for the next six years.
With a Masters in biochemistry under her belt, she enrolled in Caltech to finish her postgraduate work. She called her parents to give them her new address and phone number in Pasadena, and agreed to meet them for lunch. She told them she was going into biophysics with an emphasis on neural networks. They looked blank. She sighed, and explained that it was the study of how the brain worked. They looked relieved, since it seemed to be an area that the military could not develop a weapon system from.
Her faculty advisor secured a position for her with a small cybernetics firm in 1994. They were working on a means to bypass injured nerves with implanted circuitry, mostly in spinal cord injury cases. A wealthy celebrity who had been paralyzed in a motorcycle accident funded the firm. She saw the implants as her best hope to regain the use of her body and was willing to spend her millions to develop that hope.
Izzy found the work exhilarating. On occasion, the celebrity and her friends visited the firm as a fundraising event, allowing the researchers to meet a number of the glitterati of the movie and television industry.
Once her Ph.D. was complete, she moved into a senior researcher position. When the company was bought by a biotech in Boulder, she was one of the few employees invited to move to Colorado. The celebrity had moved her attentions on to another biotech, one that was working on regeneration of nerve tissue and cloning of human organs.
Izzy's new employer was very different. They were very focused, a stark contrast to the freeform attitude of her old firm. They still had fun, and the number of dogs in the non-cleanroom areas of the company was nice. She became very adept at Hallway Hackysack, the preferred break activity. That ended in 2003, when she discovered that the neural interface circuit she had helped develop was a flight and weapons control system for an Air Force black project (the Azrael, although she doesn't know it). She had believed it was intended for civilian medical use, restoring sight and limb function. She immediately tendered her resignation.
Six months later, broke, blacklisted, her parents on the verge of being dismissed from their positions, she returned to her former employer, intent on having it out with her former boss. She was offered her old position back, with a few minor changes. The company indicated that they were interested in developing medical applications for the non-classified portions of the technology; she would be reinstated, given a raise and a better office, and put to work on the medical side of R&D. She accepted.
Despite having grown up hating all things medieval, she was drawn into the SCA while attending MIT. She discovered that she was not only very good at cooking and sewing, she loved to do both. By the time she returned to Pasadena, she was ready to begin serving as Baronial Hospitaller, a position she took up again for Caer Galen when she moved to Boulder.
She changed her name to Jean Thatcher in 1999, though friends still call her Izzy. She took the Society name of Isadore the Nimble-Fingered after a long night of binge reveling at Pennsic '98; anyone telling the Dark Horde's version of how she got that name risks her wrath.
She is delighted at her transformation into a halfling. She almost never talks about her old life, both out of respect for her security oath and because she truly does not want to talk about it. She wonders what became of her parents in the Change, but isn't worried about it. They lived in a world apart from everyday reality to begin with; they are probably doing very well indeed.
Jennifer is (for lack of a kinder term) Olivia's body slave. She doesn't talk much about her life before the Change, but she has said that she spent some time as a "Prize of War" passed around among various members of the Horde. Most of the Horde would be upset at this idea (as would the vast majority of non-Horde members of the SCA), but there were a few who enjoyed the idea greatly.
Jennifer is from West, though she declines to get more specific than that. She has grown comfortable with her position and has declined several offers of aid or assistance in getting away from "that sociopath" Olivia. Jennifer always declines politely, stating that she is happy where she is. Not many believe her.
Jennifer enjoys the beautiful things Olivia brings her, and delights in the disapproving looks she gets when she runs errands or fetches meals. Her mock slavery makes her feel safe and secure, so she endures well-meaning offers of help. In truth, she could benefit from some intense therapy; but, as none is available, she has built an environment that may finally allow her to find some peace.
Jesse "The Mind" Ventura became the 44th President of the United States after a hard-fought campaign against incumbent President George Bush Jr. The near-collapse of the Reform party and its subsequent splintering at the hands of Pat Buchanen in the 2000 Presidential campaign was hailed by many Beltway pundits as the end of the third-party candidate. They were quite mistaken.
Even splintered, the Reform party was resilient. The Reform faithful went on a massive recruiting drive, hoping to infuse the party with enough people who were interested in reforming the tax and campaign finance systems to oust Buchanen's supporters and move the party's platform away from Buchanen's conservative extremism. They were moderately successful, but had no real leadership to speak of. They needed a symbol, a charismatic leader to rally around.
Although Jesse Ventura had said several times he did not want to become President, he was the best choice available. He had kept his promise to complete his term as Governor of Minnesota and not seek re-election, and was enjoying his semi-retirement when the Reform faithful came to ask him to be their candidate. He refused repeatedly.
While their appeals could not change his mind, the condescension of the media could. Pat Buchanen himself threw down the gauntlet during an appearance in "Larry King Live", when he dismissed Ventura as "a freak show in search of a carnival". He went on to state that he was grateful for the interest in Ventura as a candidate, since "it pulls the lunatic fringe into putting their energy into a lost cause and keeps them from distracting the public with their antics". The media outlets picked up the sound bite and repeated it incessantly.
If Jesse Ventura has a button that can be pushed, it's being told he can't do something. Coupled with the recognition that a legitimate need for a third-party candidate existed, he decided to rejoin the Reform party and announced his candidacy.
The party faithful had their rallying point. Buchanen and his supporters were driven out of the party. Jesse began an aggressive grassroots campaign, similar to the one he waged to win the Governorship. He challenged the other candidates to a marathon series of debates. They largely declined. Speaking without notes, Ventura appeared at many of the proposed debates alone, entertaining questions from the audience in an open forum. He also refrained from using notes during the few debates the other candidates did show up to.
Whether it was (as one pundit suggested) the novelty factor around Ventura's candidacy, or his platform, or his personal charisma, he carried the day. The pundits that had said he couldn't win immediately began saying he would not be able to do anything of consequence. Once again, they were wrong.
President Ventura's landmark campaign finance reform bill was up for passage; he had abandoned the thought of working with Congress (most of whom would oppose him just on general principle) and turned to the people. A skillfully-managed popular movement had begun demanding that their elected representatives pass some type of reform legislation. The corporations whose "soft money" contributions actually ran the elective and legislative process were finding their giving records being opened on national television. Attorney General Daphne Manchester was appointing independent counsels to look into whether several members of Congress had voting records that favored corporations that were heavy donors over the interests of their constituents. This was found to often be the case, and Manchester was preparing to seek bribery charges where appropriate.
Some of President Ventura's staffers initially suggested that the NSA & the CDC had arranged the Essex Phenomenon as a means of seizing power under FEMA's power to suspend the Constitution during a national State of Emergency; others thought it was merely a distraction, trying to draw attention away from the independent counsel investigations. The truth will probably never be known. FEMA did attempt to use its State of Emergency powers at least once during the Change. It failed, but it laid the foundation for the NSA/CDC to claim that Presidential power had been transferred to them "for the duration of the emergency". This claim split the Armed Forces and touched off a period of vicious civil war.
The President and the Joint Chiefs fled Washington ahead of an angry mob. They settled at NORAD, inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs. President Ventura felt that the best hope for the country was for the government to appear strong and undisturbed. A strong center was needed, he decided, in order to hold the country together. Just when he thought he had it coming together, he turned into a dwarf on national television.
Had he gone on the offensive, acting dynamically to oppose the NSA/CDC conspiracy, things might well have been different. Jesse Ventura had always seen something "Klingon" inside himself, an eagerness for challenge, and a drive to test himself and make people who slighted his character, honor, or capabilities eat their words. Had he acted, he might very well have become Klingon. By pulling back, he began to think in terms of a strong, solidly defensible position - a dwarven concept. At that point, the Change began in him.
President Ventura has not disclosed anything about how his family is faring after the Change. They did make it to NORAD with him, but no one is talking about how they have been since then.
Justine Harrison was born and raised in Colorado Springs, a short distance from the headquarters of Focus on the Family. From an early age she knew she was different from the other girls in her neighborhood, though she didn't know what that difference was until she was halfway through junior high. She and a few of her friends were hiding in a basement family room, practicing kissing and giggling a lot. Justine had kissed a few of the boys she went to school with and hadn't cared for it much. The first time she kissed her friend Misty Gallagher, though, it rocked her world.
A brief talk to the school nurse later, Justine was thoroughly confused. She didn't know exactly what "lesbian" meant, but she did know it was not something her police officer father would want her to be. Her mother was a therapist in a battered women's shelter, but she was also a staunch conservative when it came to such things. The school nurse convinced her that being quiet and not letting people find out she liked girls would be a wise choice.
Colorado Springs in the early '90s was deeply conservative. The 'family values' industry had a firm grip on the area, making it difficult for gay and lesbian residents to be open about their lifestyle. She had a few fights and endured a few taunts during high school. She and a gay male friend started "going out" as a mutual cover; most of the time it worked.
Justine was never small or delicate as she was growing up. She was always a solidly built tomboy with a taste for Western dress (though she never actually listened to Western music), heavy on the blue jeans and flannel. With a little judicious accessorizing, she turned "baby bulldyke" into "rodeo groupie/stockman wannabe". She took shop and studied auto mechanics rather than home economics, telling people that she intended to have a career rather than be a housewife. She was well on her way to a life as an OTR trucker or heavy equipment operator when her ersatz boyfriend was severely beaten outside a movie theater. His attackers claimed he has solicited them for sex and they were defending themselves out of fear of being infected with AIDS.
Justine met him at the hospital and sat with him as long as she could. His family did not know he was gay before then, and their relentless questions about his relationship with Justine were unremittingly hostile. Eventually, one of the nurses rescued Justine and took her to the chapel to recover her composure. The nurse talked to her about her life and her plans for the future. When Justine said she was probably just going to become a trucker, the nurse took her on a tour of the ER and the trauma center. If she went into medicine, the nurse pointed out, she could do a lot to help other gays and lesbians who were victims of violence. Justine had never considered medicine until then, and she found the idea a lot more appealing than becoming a trucker (not that there's anything wrong with that!).
Her parents were happy that she was looking at a "real career" rather than a life as a blue-collar worker. Her grades improved, and she began applying for college. Her parents thought nothing of her decision to attend nursing school in Denver. She neglected to mention that Denver's gay and lesbian community was much more open and accepted. A quick trip to the local women's bookstore led to a room in a Victorian house occupied by three other gay medical students and her first real relationship.
In 2000, she graduated with her Bachelors and a job in the ER at Denver General, one of the most active trauma units in the region. When she wasn't elbow-deep in drug overdoses and gun shot wounds, she worked on her Masters and volunteered at the local gay & lesbian resource center.
Justine finally came out to her parents in 2001, during a "real" New Millennium Eve party. Her decision had more to do with amount of tequila in the eggnog than anything else, but her parents were surprisingly accepting.
She joined the Society in 2003, mostly because she was dating a member. The clothes and the heavy weapons kept her involved after her girlfriend dumped her for a madrigal singer with a bad case of henna hair and a perpetual squint. She quickly became a fixture on the battlefield and in the chirurgeon's tent. She has been single for some time, and hates cats.
Chief Leonardo Mitchell, Overlord of the Venetian LG drow male Fighter
He enlisted in the Navy the day he turned 18, but didn't tell anybody until he actually shipped out. His ambition was to become a SEAL. Growing up, he had looked at then-Governor Jesse Ventura, a SEAL himself, as a role model. He was fascinated with the history of the SEALS and their role in the Vietnam war. In his mind, nothing else was acceptable.
Basic was easier than he thought it would be; 'A' school was somewhat tougher. His application to SEAL training was accepted, and he reported to Coranado with a spring in his step.
He lost it in the first eight hours, but he kept going. He survived Hell Week and endured the grueling regimen of SEAL training by holding on to a single image - the look on his father's face just before he said, "At least you tried". It burned in him, and kept him warm in the dark, icy waters.
He graduated and sent his family photos of himself in Class 'A's, then immersed himself in duty. He never spoke with his family, other than sending them holiday cards and an occasional photo to let them know he was still alive. He never talked about where he was or what he was doing, since much of his duty was classified, but he did want them to know he had survived another firefight they would never hear about. Olivia never realized what the photos were saying; she saw them as something on the order of vacation postcards.
Leo was on leave in Subic Bay when the Change hit. He and his unit fought their way out of Manila Saturday afternoon, battling frenzied mobs, wasters, monsters from Filipino legend, and the spirits of the soldiers who fought and died over the islands since the coming of White Men. They lost five getting out of the city, but they had the bodies with them when they made it to the base.
The surviving military forces evacuated the base and set sail for San Diego. They had no orders, but San Diego was home. The fleet was joined by several civilian and commercial craft, as well as two Russian Typhoons and a Japanese whaler. The Typhoons and the whaler had encountered a 600'-long, radioactive life form in deep water off the coast of Japan; all three ships had decided to run for their lives and were quite happy never to sail those waters again.
When the fleet arrived at San Diego, the war with the Ka Corporation was just beginning. The base CO assumed command of the assembled forces, and led them in battle for the Los Angeles basin.
He assumed that Olivia and Cordelia were both dead and focused on killing the enemy. As far as he was concerned, the men and women of his new unit were his family now. When he finally heard from Olivia, over a year into the Change, he was ecstatic.
Letters from home are priceless in San Diego. When one comes in, the recipient is asked to remove any personal content from it and then to post it for everyone to read. Olivia's letters were something special, though - they contained news of the world, lists of survivors in the Kingdom, and the first indication that the President was still alive.
Leo is back at war with renewed purpose. He's fighting to stay alive long enough to see his sisters once more. He has a family again; the last thing he wants right now is to lose one of his sisters.
Update: Leo was reunited with his sisters in Las Vegas, where he met and fell in love with Jazz. He resigned his commission when he and Jazz got married. Recently, after Lucifer's death, he fought for and won the Venetian demesne, giving him responsability for the defense of the city of Las Vegas.
Although he and Jazz were quite happy together, the difference in their expected lifespan was the subject of much commentary by other people. In November of 2007, Jazz propsed that he undergo a deliberate Change, and he agreed. With the help of Olivia's partner Annike and the temple of the Dark Maiden, the change was successful. Leo is now a drow Alpha male, and he is looking forward to many happy years together with Jazz.
Olivia is already pestering them for a niece or nephew that she can spoil rotten.
To see Leo's portrait as a human, click here.
He had a position of some small power in Las Vegas prior to leaving, and is still on excellent terms with the Overlord of the Harrah's and Caesar himself. He is an ocelot, and so does not have enough power to claim a major casino. He is also proud and ambitious, even by Overlord standards.
Shortly after the Change, while Caesar was setting up the political and legal infrastructure in Las Vegas, Lucifer discovered a copy of Milton's Paradise Lost. He felt a great kinship with the character of Lucifer, especially with the sentiment that "'tis better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven". Having no place in Las Vegas, he set out to find an empire he could call his own. He settled in the MFZ and soon became one of Hizzoner's advisors.
Lucifer is amiable, if a bit mischievous, and he loves to mess with people. He is a primary source for information and intelligence. His prices are steep, but his intel is usually very reliable. Getting him to admit he knows something can be a task, "for I be a cat, and no cat ever gave anyone, anywhere, a straight answer".
Update: Lucifer returned to Las Vegas at Caesar's request, to become Overlord of the Venetian. He was killed in late 2007 in an attack on the Stratosphere.
Maisara al-Zahra' bint Sulaiman is a Las Vegas native. Her parents, Sulaiman and Jariya, moved to Vegas after fleeing Iran in the fall of the Shah. Sulaiman was an exceptional chef, fond of blending traditional Persian, modern Moroccan, and classic French cuisines. He attracted the attention of the Sultan of Brunei, who maintained a residence in Vegas, and in 2003 he and Jariya moved to Brunei to work in the Sultan's kitchens.
Maisara chose to remain behind. She was pursuing an ecommerce degree at UNLV and working as a casino hostess at the Bellagio in the evenings. Maisara had always been a charismatic, outgoing young woman with a knack for making people feel comfortable around her. Her people skills earned her a generous amount of tips, including (on one occasion) a new car. She had her fathers culinary skills, but saw cooking as a hobby, not a profession.
Maisara was off the night the Overlords took the town. She watched it on the news with her roommate, both too scared to leave their apartment. She was actually not a very devout Muslim, but that night she prayed fervently to be permitted to survive what was to come. She woke up green.
Maisara was and is a die-hard Star Trek fan. She knew instantly what she had become. She experimented briefly with her pheromones and was amazed at what she could do. She weighed her options carefully, then went to work as though nothing unusual were going on.
The Overlord of the Bellagio liked her immediately, and promoted her to his guest services staff. Maisara became very popular, and eventually came to accept her job duties, if not actually like them. Again, she considered her options and decided that her life could be much worse.
Then Bellagio died in Thunderdome, killed by Dallas. She was prepared for the new Overlord to be a bloodthirsty killer, not a quiet, funny, deeply compassionate man. She got to know Jim Finney, Dallas' sane side, and found herself falling in love with him. He liked her too, she saw, and not just because of the pheromones.
Today, she is his unacknowledged consort and a close advisor. She helps Jim find balance with Dallas, and keeps Dallas calm and contained. They haven't set a date yet, but their close friends suspect it will be soon.
Malcolm Stewart is a 14-year veteran of the Denver Police Department. He qualified for the S.W.A.T. team in 1998 and shortly thereafter moved from street patrol to the gang unit. Before the Change, he was in the final semester of his Criminal Justice Administration Masters program and was due to test for Detective in the next few months.
Malcolm joined the SCA in 1990 after responding to a panicked citizen's call of a knife fight in Washington Park. On arrival, he and his partner discovered the local barony holding a war practice. He asked a few questions and determined that there was no threat to the public's safety. When he left, he had a copy of Fortress, Caerthe's newsletter, and a membership application.
As Martin the Warder, he took up heavy weapons eagerly. His riot control technique improved markedly in training exercises. He became noted on the field for having a very aggressive demeanor and a truly intimidating battle cry (although he was reprimanded a few times when he got his voice commands and battle cries mixed up; "Police officer! Let me see your hands!" is not normally heard on the tourney field). He was knighted in 1996 and competed twice for the Crown, both times unsuccessfully.
The Crown made him a Walker of the Way in 1999 for his part in the shootings at Columbine High School. Along with a number of other S.W.A.T. officers, he took part in the nerve-wracking process of searching the school room by room for victims and, later, locating and marking explosive devices. Although such service awards are not normally granted for activities outside of the Society, an exception was made by acclaim of the populace.
His first marriage ended in 1998, a casualty of his career. He has had a few romances since then, but nothing lasting. His social life for the last few years has almost entirely consisted of Society events, wars, and his kendo practices.
Malcolm became King of the New Outlands by passing the Kingblade's trial of fitness. The Kingblade is the first known magic weapon to be created since the Change. It was forged by Michael and consecrated when the entire party was slain by blood spirits. Their spirits were carried by a thunderbird into the spirit world, where they beseeched a blessing for the blade, to enable it to bind the king and the land to one another and to be able to show who was fit or unfit to rule. The blessing was granted and the party returned to the land of the living.
The Kingblade was ready to choose a wielder; all interested parties were invited to try to take up the blade. There was a catch, though: if an unworthy person who wished to rule took up the blade, it would slay them. Morag declared that he had no wish to rule; therefore, he would carry the blade until a fit ruler was found.
On the day of the challenge, only a handful of candidates appeared. One of them, a pompous would-be aristocrat named Duke Philo the Munificent, declared that he would draw first. He ignored the party's warnings about the test and grabbed the blade from Morag. Blue flame erupted around him "like a megawatt bug zapper" and he died a burnt-out husk. Most of the other candidates withdrew. The party prodded Malcolm to draw the blade, and he finally agreed.
He told himself that somebody had to be king; and that if he was not the kind of person the sword would consider worthy, that he didn't want to go on anyway. He had been here before, facing death, and come through. Now, as then, he pushed the fear aside and focused on the job at hand. Accepting the thought that his duty could cost his life, he reached for the blade.
This time the fire anointed him. It took a few minutes for him to adjust to the mantle of the Sacred King and the feel of the land around him, the lives of the people, their hope and fear, and the delicate balance of the populace and the environment. He nearly fainted when he really understood what being King meant. He accepted the fealty of the populace, appointed his officers, and got to work.
Malcolm's well-being is tied to the health of the land. When the Kingdom expands, he feels it. He is not aware of people digging or construction or such things; but he feels the presence of those who would harm the Kingdom, or the overall health and morale of his subjects. His faith in law and justice has shaped the Kingblade, granting it the power to reveal falsehood and injustice when he draws it.
Although he has had a few lovers since the Change, he is still not seeing anyone seriously. Any number of women (and a few men) would willingly become his consort. Malcolm lets them down gently. The time is not right to take a Queen, he feels. His career destroyed one marriage; he does not wish to see it happen again. The blade told him a secret, which he keeps wrapped in his heart and tells no one:
If he wishes to marry, his love must stand for trial by the blade as well.
Mitchell Rodriguez - CG Orog (Orc/Ogre hybrid) male Fighter 14
-NG Klingon male Cleric 14 (Khaless)
Theme Song: Irodori by Kodo
Morag is the senior War Priest of Khaless. His hair and beard have grayed, but he is still powerfully built. He is the most powerful cleric of the Kingdom and functions as a senior advisor to King Malcolm.
Dennis Matthews had just turned 32 when the first troops were sent to Vietnam. He was a Captain in the Army, attached to a Combat Engineers unit. Anxious for promotion and single, he asked to be assigned to southeast Asia. His request was granted. When the war ended, he was a Major, an alcoholic, and a deeply depressed opium addict. He stayed in the Army, but was quickly and quietly ordered into a rehab program by his CO.
Star Trek saved him. In it, he found a measure of absolution. The idea of using force when needed, the thought that there were things worth fighting for, even killing or dying for, comforted him. He watched reruns religiously in rehab. He sought out like-minded fans in VA support groups, at his jobs, and eventually in AA. By 1980, he had been sober for better than six years when he attended his first convention. A young lady he met there introduced him to ceremonial magic and Pagan religions. Their relationship did not last, but his religious studies did.
He became a Mason, a Templar, and a Rosicrucian. He also dabbled with the Golden Dawn and Temple of Set, but left those groups quickly. He considered himself nominally an Odin worshipper until the mid-1990's, when he saw a Klingon Wicca ritual at a Pagan festival. He was accepted as a student and initiated at the same festival the next year. He began studying the Klingon language in earnest.
He helped found a volunteer public service group for Klingon fans. Many of the people he met through language study groups wanted to create a positive, visible public presence for Klingon fandom. Doing service work and charity fundraisers accomplished this goal nicely. His experience in the martial arts and with actual hand-to-hand combat enabled him to choreograph very realistic betleH battles for the fundraising events and other public appearances. The news media would be drawn in by the flashing steel and costumes, giving the spokesperson an opportunity to talk about the group and the cause being supported.
He and most of the service group were on a private language retreat near the Four Corners region when the Change hit. His ceremonial magic background enabled him to gather and shape the raw energies easily. The group as a whole decided to take their destiny into their own hands. If they were at risk of becoming something other than human, then they would decide their own fate (a Klingon attitude in and of itself). They planned the Rite of Ascension and summoned as much magic as they could.
It was agonizing. Several did not survive. Those who did found themselves changed, Klingon. From their new perspective, they snorted at the presumption they had showed as humans. It was a Rite of Ascension. It's SUPPOSED to be agonizing!
The newly transformed group began to stage guerilla assaults on NSA troops that came into their vicinity. They moved quickly and often to avoid detection. When they encountered the PCs, the group made the decision to settle into the Kingdom and create a home for themselves. Morag found himself a trusted senior advisor to the Kingdom's leadership. He also found a growing group of people looking to him for spiritual leadership.
Morag subscribes to the belief that the gods were killed ages ago by warriors who became tired of their incessant, whining demands. He himself worships no one. He attributes his spell access to the strength of the teachings of Khaless. When asked about how a Khaless, a mortal man, could grant the power to heal, he replied, "Yes, Khaless was just a man. But with a man like that, who needs gods?"