Familia Tenebrae Amor/NPCs
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
IMPORTANT NPCs in the FTA RP environment
Information on important recurring NPCs in the Familia Tenebrae Amor microverse.
Taken from all walks of life, from the lowest dregs to an Arbiter, several executive veeps in Crey(read: figureheads with no real power and fall guys for Von Dorn) and a couple of Circle mages, Marci's Boys(and girls; about a third are women) are a force unlike any other "army" in the modern world. The two things they all share are a willing choice to serve, and an addiction to Marci's blood.
Marci's blood is unique; in its raw form, it contains hyperconcentrations of the deadliest and most addictive substances known to man, and quite a few that aren't. Five drops of the raw blood will kill a full-grown blue whale in about two minutes (she tested it). But when thinned, controlled, and stripped of its toxic components, the blood becomes an incredibly powerful drug. The primary effects are a rush of pleasure, a slight deadening of tactile sensation, and a sharpening of the other senses. Long-term side-effects seem to include increased muscle fiber production, bone density increases, a broadening of nerve ganglia leading to much faster reflexes, and a slight regression of intellect - perhaps 1 or 2 IQ points. The blood also serves as a mental link to Marci, and to all others who have the blood in their system; the constant light mental hum of over a thousand other minds gives a sense of belonging that may be the most addictive thing about the drug. Absence of the drug causes violent withdrawal symptoms, progressing from shakes and nausea to coma and death. Only Marci is capable of manufacturing a safe counteragent to the drug; this fact is known to the Boys, as well as the fact that if she is asked for it, it will be given, no strings attached. Despite this, there have only been two who have chosen freedom from Marci via the removal of the drug.
There is a tier and rank system within the Boys, as well as a branch of covert operatives still living in the "real world". Those who stay in the "real world" are known as Lookouts or Eyes, and they number among them at least one Arachnos Arbiter. Lookouts make up the greater portion of the Boys, close to 70%. All are at least proficient with some form of firearm, and are willing to kill if need be. Those who come to join Marci directly are termed Shipcrew(used to be Warreners), and they are much more skilled with firearms and melee weapons. Horse was originally the drill seargeant; this role was taken over by Blunt recently, as Horse's firearms skill has regrettably deteriorated due to lack of practice. Hey, it's HARD to find a non-crew gun that you can use when you're that big!
When a Boy comes shipside, a small ritual takes place, where he surrenders his name, and takes a temporary one - usually something related in some way to drug culture, music, or a skill they posess. After a long term of service, Marci will personally rename them, granting one of the 20 names she used for her original Boys. Exceptional service, daring, and in most cases, personal sacrifice, will be honored by a retiring of the name - no Boy ever wears it again, and it is inscribed, along with the Boy's original name, on a wall of honor, along with the deed that earned the honor. This has been in all but one case posthumous; Horse is the only living Boy to have had his first name retired. When the list of 20 is reduced by retiring, Marci will add a new name to the 20 at her discretion; at the moment, the "20 list" is actually only 17. These are her most common battle companions, having gained her trust.
Three seconds listening to Line- whether or not you can understand him through the thick NY accent- makes it obvious where his nickname comes from. Quick-talking, with blindingly fast hands, this stocky, outgoing low-end thug buzzes like his former drug of choice. He's clean, now, but is still an appalling adrenaline junkie- fast driving, fast flight, and insane stunts of bravura are his stock in trade. He'll gamble on anything, and take ungodly risks for fun, or to help a buddy.
At the same time, he's sort of world-weary; unlike some of the crew, he's not a natural or easy killer, even though he's a quick-draw specialist and a crack shot. He'd actually rather throw HIMSELF at a target and trust in luck than draw his guns...
(Line will very likely be embodied whenever the devs get around to giving us Dual Pistols- probably with the Going Rogue expansion)
"If Maxie's so fucking SMART, why is Maxie so fucking DEAD?"- Jack Nicholson in Prizzi's Honor
How to explain- or even DESCRIBE- Max? Ghola, revenant, plaything? Macabre joke? A reminder, and object lesson- a valued shipmate?
Max, in his previous life, was an intimate of Marcia Weston's- in fact it was his betrayal that led her into the downward spiral that culminated in her suicide. After her rebirth, she looked up her old boyfriend, and told him EXACTLY what she thought of his behavior. In Technicolor.
Fast forward some time: Witcharc, wishing to give Marci a present, pays a great price (exactly HOW great would not be seen for some time) to a powerful force of darkness, to return Max to a sort of psuedo-life; this more-or-less immortal effigy she passes on to Marci for her amusement.
Needless to say, since Marci was, at that time, nuttier than a fruitcake and just slightly less violent than a fuel-air device, the reunion was VERY unpleasant. For Max. And continued to be so for some time.
All things change, as do all beings. Witch mellowed, and became more human. Marcia reawoke, and tempered her sister's more...erratic...behavior. And, to everyone's surprise, Max repented, and even came to form a tight bond with Horse, Marci's massive major domo. He now acts as a sort of sub-lieutenant for the boys, and has assigned himself to M's bodyguard. Still a bit of an ass, he is nonetheless part of the family, and is always ready with a wisecrack- or a blast from the heavy shotgun he never travels without, when appropriate.
Rock and Spike
Probably the oddest of the odd couples/triads/whatever on board. Tall and skinny, with a ponytail of slowly-greying blonde, Spike looks and sounds like an aging surfer. A former combat medic who never talks about his past, he has the perfect bedside manner; his voice is even, soothing, totally mellow. Frightened children and injured animals alike respond to his slightly-hypnotic tones, calming and letting him do his work, which he does quickly and expertly with a slightly sad, distant grin. Friendly, but not outgoing especially, Spike seldom fights- but is always there to clean up after.
Wherever Spike is, Rock is somewhere close, almost his buddy's antithesis. Squat and massive, built like a somewhat-smaller Horse, the nearly-silent ex-prizefighter is Spike's constant shadow. He can- or at least does- barely speak; too much damage to the vocal cords maybe, or maybe he just doesn't talk unless he really has something to say. Noone knows him all that well, including his companion. Despite his size and violent past, Rock has unshakably steady hands and a gentle touch, and often helps 'Doc' with his rounds.
Exactly what the relationship is between them is vague. They're not sleeping together- the very suggestion of the idea flusters and embarasses each of them They're not sleeping with anyone else, though, as far as either Callie or Marci know. They're just sorta...together. All the time. They seem to be able to communicate without words OR the Bloodweb a lot of the time- a simple look or gesture is often enough, like twins.
A few crewmembers have taken to calling them 'Felix and Oscar'-but always with a friendly grin.
For the most part, Shivans tend to merely be a major annoyance. The alien blobs generally ooze around making a mess and digesting or disintegrating anything that does not look like lime jello with bones.
Not long after Tiamat started working for an Arachnos agent in Cap Au Diable, she stumbled across an unusually intelligent Shivan blob in an abandoned laboratory. After a minor struggle and an abortive attempt at digesting her, the Shivan began attempting some... less hostile interactions.
The end result was that Tia returned home with a new friend. Some people might mistakenly consider Shivey a pet, but to the feline the big gooey monster is more of a _very_ close friend.
Shivey generally sends out a portion of itself hiding somewhere in Tia's clothing, sometimes even lining the entire inside of her clothes (which is not a large amount of space). Though it generally is content to keep her warm and keep an eye on her activities, the creature does occasionally step in to help when the situation deteriorates to the point that the solids can no longer handle things.
Shivey also serves as a sort of internal defense mechanism, taking out vermin and (should there ever be any) intruders. While everyone assumes that he is splitting to reach multiple locations, the ominous truth is that the creature has grown since coming aboard and when resting and whole floods an entire sub hull section from prow to stern. The sheer size and strength is shocking, but remains unknown to all but a handful of family members including the only other non-solid being on the ship: Nieve.
You needa what? You're kidding. Yeah, yeah, I can get you one...but it'll cost you.
The Finn is a weaselly, gopher-faced little git who keeps a clearinghouse of data, junk, trinkets, curios, mountains of old magazines, impossible gadgets, mystic artifacts of obscene power, internal Arachnos computer files (including Ghost Widow's phonecam pics), and various other things Man Was Not Meant To Know...and they're all for sale though the prices range from insane to ludicrous. The shopfront's location is somewhat unclear; some folks claim it's in St. martial, others claim it's in Port Oakes, and one notable loony claimed it was on the tip of the Devil's Horns once. Interestingly, they're all correct.
The Finn is more than he seems - he's an extraplanar being of immense power, but with equal limitations. His goals are unknown, his sources are unknown, his methods barmy but undeniably effective...the only certainty is that he's always got what you need, and he'll be smoking stinking handrolled cigarettes in enough quantity to make the air grey.
all thanks to William Gibson for the indelible base character
Over time, most people pick up friends and acquaintances. Tiamat picks up pets and servants.
Red is a Former Longbow agent. Captured alive by Vicki and Marci during a raid, Red was broken and turned into a pet. She was one of three such given to Tiamat as pets.
Red was sent for a time to Paragon City as a spy, but due to complications in the Rogue Isles she was recalled.
(Red was on assignment in Paragon when the above sketch was drawn, and therefore is not pictured)
Twin blondes who once served in Longbow ranks. Both were captured and broken along with Red, and were given to Tiamat as pets.
The twins seem to have a special place in Tiamat's heart and she treats them quite well (some might even say she spoils them a little considering their position).
Faliel is a Succubus, summoned to the service of the Circle of Thorns. The mage she served treated her very badly and when the mage coven was decimated she and Belarithin found themselves spared by the metahuman that had destroyed their master. Rather then return and face punishment for failure in Hell, they chose to bind themselves to the service of Tiamat.
This demon is suprisingly mild for her kind. Other then her horns and wings she could _almost_ pass as a human with a bright tan and long reddish brown hair. She is partial to one-piece outfits when she must wear any clothing.
Belarithin is much more rough and tumble then her counterpart, Faliel. Her skin is a brilliant red and her hair is a darker shade of the same. She tends to prefer tight leather if she is forced to wear anything.
(Bel and Fal have been embodied, and will be transferred to the front page when I get to it)
(Some outsiders might be shocked and think of Tia as a slaver. But having seen how well she treats her girls, and how apallingly they misbehave, it's quite clear that, like most good servants, they are truly her masters :) -Witcharc )
Longbow Warden Tibor Kravenschko (he shortened it to "Kraven" when he came stateside) has not actually appeared yet in an FTA RP, but his shadow hangs over nearly everything. He is the Warden who ultimately captured Witcharc and sent her to the Zig.
A 40+ year veteran, Kraven is an odd mix of hard-headed military professional and mystic. He started out as a street kid, walking into a Longbow office from the hell of an "intervention" in one of the turbulent E. European republics. The recruiting officer nearly threw him out, but was so impressed by young Tibor's calm demeanor and powers of observation that he broke the rules, and signed him into a training cadre a year early. The decision was well-made; Kraven worked his way up the ranks quickly, becoming a squad leader at age 20.
Now in his early sixties, he is still strong and fit, though slower in body than most of the operatives who serve under him. He is rated Expert or above with any standard weapon (but not heavy or support weapons) and is skilled in hand-to-hand combat. He is an inveterate reader of both history and occultism, and a better-than-average tactician and strategist. The training regime he has designed for his troops- and participates in- is widely considered one of the most comprehensive and brutal in the world.
But the real reason he is still in service- and alive- is his uncanny and erratic ability in times of stress to see slightly outside the timeflow, to either reconstruct events after the fact or, more useful, instantly know exactly the RIGHT thing to do in a sticky situation. This ability has never actually been classified or measured- but it works. He has only ever failed once in a mission, and that was when he was young, green, and not in overall command.
Kraven is a widower, and has a daughter, Leslie, also a Longbow officer. Leslie played a very minor role for a while as a prisoner and test subject of Marci and Witch before they moved out of the Warrens; for reasons Kraven only vaguely understands, and that Leslie refuses to discuss, she was released unharmed. (see also The Warden's Tale)