From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Good coffee, though|
|Player: @Talen Lee|
|Security Level:||Full Clearance|
|Real Name:||Cutter Redding Gallows|
|Nationality:||Etoile Island Native|
|Occupation:||Special Assistant: Collaborative|
|Place of Birth:||Grandville|
|Base of Operations:||Grandville, Outposted to Mercy|
|Known Relatives:||Mother, Father, Sister|
|Stealth and assassination experience|
|Standard Arachnos equipment outfit|
|No additional information available.|
Imagine for a moment that you're an enormously gifted young man, with a talent that everyone can laud around you. Imagine that your family recognise it, but can't afford to give you the education and the opportunities to leverage this skill. Then imagine that one day, you're given an amazing chance, a scholarship or an exultation, a way to use your gift, and never having to worry about your lack of money - heck, they'll pay your family!
Sounds good, until you realise this mysterious benefactor is Arachnos, and part of your family getting paid enough to live and a house that's not in the gutter is your joining an inefficient, cludgy job with a high employee attrition rate, and they only want you as a warm body, your gift meaningless compared to your merits as a pencil-pushing order-barking bit of cannon fodder, shackled to a walking, whirling wall of knives and madness that really would like nothing more than an opportunity to flense you.
It'd make you bitter, right?
First and foremost, Gallows is an employee of Arachnos, a member of the army-slash-police front fascist organisation. From the inside, however, he ventures that the common opinion of Arachnos as an eternally powerful, brooding organisation of super-science and megalethal armed forces is nothing more than propoganda. Everyone in the organisation who rises to any decent position is in some way quite twisted and insane. He points to Lord Recluse's eternally looping announcement over the Grandville speaker system as an example: the man openly refers to his opponents as 'heroes'.
More pertinently there is Gallows' relationship with the ambulatory evil known as Steel Oni. The dread magical artifact has been nothing but a pain in the ass to Gallows, but due to the seals that bind the pair of them, neither can do anything about it. Gallows is the only truly safe individual around the Oni - provided he doesn't do anything to break the seals, like take a foolhardy swing at the near-unkillable suit of armour. The Oni needs Gallows alive or the magic that fuels him will be cut off, by the terms of his contract with Arachnos. In essence, the pair hate one another, and are stuck with one another.
And this being the Isles, it wouldn't be complete without a little bit of personal corruption and abuse of power. Gallows takes contract kickbacks from the organisation known as Riot Gear, using his position as an Arachnos agent to get them information they'll pay highly for but won't interface with his life any. He compares this to stealing post-it notes in an office environment.
What's there to say that hasn't been said already? After being brought into Arachnos, Gallows at some point committed some kind of social crime amongst the beaurocracy, and as a net effect was denied further advancement - effectively murdering him as a member of Arachnos. He retaliated by worming his way into the structure and resisting every clandestine effort of his superiors to get him killed. As long as he maintains that state - and performs the occasional covert operation, keeping the Steel Oni in line, - he's quite valuable, and as such, all the various members of the Arachnos hierarchy that want him dead can't actually allocate the resources to get rid of him.
A permanent Later Action Item in a world full of FYI, TPSes, and Urgents, Gallows survives and thrives in a life he hates, for the sake of his parents' livelihood. What makes this all the more contradictory is that he doesn't seem to like his parents, referring to his mother as a 'Mean Bitch' and his father as a 'Dock-Alley Whore.' It's not certain what his opinion of his sister is.
Employee Strengths And Weaknesses
Technically none. As a member of Arachnos, most of his powers have been granted through the use of devices and training, including his firearms skill and stealth training. As the Steel Oni's handler, he's technically considered part of a two-man unit designed to be deployed into dangerous environs, and mostly there to take care of the Oni in case it gets out of control.
As a Bane Spider prospective trainee, Gallows is also slightly psychically active. Contacting him psychically through established channels (trying to converse) is very easy over a long range, while attempting to attack his mind or influence his behaviour is almost impossible. This might be connected to his slightly dysfunctional personality.
Training and Experience
Of course, Gallows is trained with a variety of Wolf Spider combat techniques and devices; he's authorized for the use of stealth tech, firearms and other ordinance. He's got a mace, currently on order until his Bane Spider clearance goes through, which, by observation, isn't going to be any time soon, the device making its way through the inner workings of the beaurocracy.
On the other hand, Gallows has a truly ridiculous gift to counterforensics. Arachnos have three different sets of fingerprints on file for him and in any of the areas where he's been deployed, he's never left behind any DNA samples, not even errant hairs.
- Arachnos issue rifle
- Arachnos issue armour
- Bane Spider Prospective psychic expander
- Bane Spider training manual
- Bane Spider Mace
- Bane Spider Armour
- Grandville-issue 'Raider' jetpack
- Steel Oni
- Rogue Isles Transit authorisation
Areas For Employee Growth
Gallows' acidic temper and uncooperative nature mean that getting support from Arachnos is functionally impossible. Most other Arachnos agents in a deniable position will take the chance to shoot at him. He's also just another Arachnos soldier in the works - and the constant tugging of his work commitments to pull him towards anything but the areas he excels at frustrates him.
Gallows' place in any individual story is generally as an impediment. While he's a villain, he wouldn't really oppose heroes in general except when his work assigned him to do it. As a remarkable VEAT, and with his unique position within Arachnos, it's unlikely that he'd personally be called upon to do any of the bank-heisting fuss that the typical Arachnos mooks are called upon to do, and most any other Arachnos operative who deals with him is going to want to shoot him, soon enough.
If your story has needs for a petty beaurocrat who you can't actually remove, but who isn't actually providing a tangible opposition, consider calling on Gallows. The thing is, from Arachnos' perspective, Gallows is a bit of a surprise-badass - there's a genuine bit of surprise to be had when you finally provoke him into combat and find that he's quite capable in combat, and lacks any of the normal comic-book compunctions against playing dirty and then running the hell away.
Gallows is a very obvious homage to Red Vs Blue, as well as containing elements of Fallout 3's Brotherhood of Steel. There's also an element of Scott Adams' Wally to him. Bane Spiders, as outlined in Westin Phipps' arc, are actually all members of a telepathic collective, a hive mind that destroys individuality, which means any signs of individuals you deal with amongst their numbers are either aberrations, or an example of inconsistant writing. It's not the first time the CoXverse lore contradicts the game in action, so I figured I'd run with it.
When you take this incongruity in stride, however, it actually opens up roleplay opportunities. Suddenly, the Bane Spider network is like a vast, slightly incompetent organisation, with people who can fall between the cracks. Yes, everyone's connected, but they're connected in the same way an office intranet is. Some people can't contact other people, some other people can't print, it's heavily beaurocratic and because of the constant string of periodic deaths, you're going to find the organisation lanced through with incompetents and bad management. In essence, it's an organisation with a very steep learning curve and a very high attrition rate.
This means that the people who remain and survive have to do so by either some great confluence of luck, or enormous amounts of skill. Gallows came to mind in this case, then, as a man who had a great amount of skill, but that skill was mostly in engendering his own survival. He wasn't the best or the brightest as an icon to others, but, in the Social Darwinist design of Arachnos, he was the best and brightest at keeping himself alive.
I found this entire idea funny as hell, and it gave me the image of this coffee-swilling, perpetually cranky Bane Spider, who, in the evokes the words of Church from Red Vs Blue: Tucker, there's a fine line between not listening, and not caring. I like to think I walk that line every day.
At the same time, he's got to be basically competent at something, if I wanted to actually level him up and get one of each archetype to level 50. This is where the Peter Principle comes into play. The idea that Gallows was good at something - very good at it - was a pleasant compensator for his actual incompetence in his role. He's an infiltrator and assassin who's been called upon by Arachnos to instead perform administrative tasks. Of course, to continue the theme of beaurocracy gone mad, this is all a retaliation from higher-ups in the administration for some offence he's committed. What'd he do, specifically? Hard to say. Maybe he just got noticed.
In the end, the headless, stumbling nature of Arachnos is one of the undercurrent themes in Gallows' life: A man who would be a brilliant leader in another life put into a life where he wears a suit and generally has to try to find new ways to fly. So... shackled to his menial duty, which is itself an assignment designed to kill him, Gallows trudges through the days and finds his satisfaction wherever he can... even if that's mostly in being unhelpful, rude, and bitter to anyone whose misfortune it is to need his help.
- Gallows has "em hates" bound to his c key.
- Gallows was originally named Six-Eyes, but rerolled and renamed by inspiration from Fallout 3's Gallows.