From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
John Givens is one of many who put an obsessive desire to understand the preternatural forces of this world to sinister use. Sacrificing bits and pieces of his own soul and forgetting his very name to ensure a powerbase beyond contest, Givens became Malefikus—a ruthless, supervillain sorcerer.
John Givens' brand of magic has always been frowned upon by most occult circles; the twisted forces he commands led him to become Malefikus, a feared supervillain sorcerer, but there are whispers in the criminal underground that claim that the magician is walking the path of redemption.
introvert-solitary, introspective, inner-directed, self-contained, but doesn't hate crowds;
sensation (hedonistic, pleasure seeker, that dramatizes the beauty of nature)and thinking (analytical, logical 'professor' type character type),
fears? losing his power, addiction overcoming him, death, losing himself to the demon or "It-Within"
internal conflicts? guilt for lost sister; anger towards demons, himself, family;
positive traits? intelligent, resourceful, funny, flighty/flamboyant approach to life marked by a general appreciation of life, ambitious, individualist, self-contained, self-affirming.
flaws? impulsive,antisocial, addicted to magic, sensational addiction, pyromania, egocentricity, depression
depression? why? how does it manifest? It is not all-consuming, so may exhibit traits of manic-depression.
Jay is: hedonistic, egotistical, reclusive, guilt-ridden, rage/hate-filled, self-loathing, inquisitive, arrogant, intelligent, flamboyant
Disorders? narcissistic personality disorder (crave power, inflated sense of self-importance, feelings of grandiosity, lack sensitivity and empathy for others, arrogant, hypersensitivity to criticisms) and aspects of borderline personality disorder (difficulty establishing relationships, impulsive behavior, distorted thoughts and perceptions, inappropriate anger to the point of physical violence, background of familial abuse of a physical/emotional/sexual nature, fear of abandonment). depression. Antisocial personality disorder (poor impulse control,sexually promiscuous, physically aggressive, trouble with the law/authority thrill seeker, no empathy or compassion to those they hurt, disregard for the rights of others.)
Why is Jay any of these things as opposed to their opposites? How do these traits play into the character's actions?
Jay is bisexual with a preference for men that nearly eclipses his taste in women. He has had many sexual partners but objectifies his partners to the point he cares nothing for them other than as a vehicle of physical sensation.
He isn't picky which species he has his affairs with as long as it's humanoid and has conjured Fay and Incubae/Succubae to a ritual circle for this purpose.
Many of the bones that make up the belt he wears are demons of lust. There are rumors even of a succubus feeling the drain associated with her brand of sexual attack being used on her when she was with him.
Malefikus' personal philosophy is a form of hedonistic egoism. His every act is motivated by self-improvement and appreciation of sensation or pleasure. Everything that Malefikus does can ultimately be rooted in this philosophy to some degree. Jay is sexually promiscuous and engages in substance abuse, but never to the point that it risks his life. Jay's egoism supports his lack of empathy for others and condones his lack of interest when it comes to helping others unless it suits him to do so.
Malefikus' political philosophy combines social darwinist theory with anarchist (non)politics. It is Malefikus' opinion that anarchy breeds gangs because humans are social animals and when the gangs get big enough we start to call them 'governments'. Malefikus believes the world is just like a gang riddled city with the various mobs and their turf and that we're no better with our civilization and its government than anarchy with its gangs and we might as well get rid the big problems the 'big gangs' produce.
His tenure as a being one with the time stream brought Malefikus to the conclusion that freedom is an illusion brought on by wishful thinking and an inability for human beings to see the strings that guide them. Malefikus believes that every action is determined by a combination of genes and the environment one was raised in and interacts with on a daily basis. It is because of his determinist philosophy that Malefikus takes talk of destiny seriously. He has presented many papers on precognitives and determinism to the Midnighter's Club for publishing, but none have made it to the public because of his reputation as a villain. It is his belief that precognitives are beings plugged into a massive source of collected knowledge (be it a psychic pool or the astral plane) that doesn't show them a universal future, but rather, likely futures based on the knowledge they are connected to. They are compared to people looking out of a top story window of a skyscraper compared to the rest of humanity who are walking on the ground level street. Jay theorizes that the many-worlds theory can stand its ground in the face of determism and adds that precognitives that predict futures that never come to pass may have seen the future of one of those worlds.
Determinist philosophy naturally lead Malefikus to ponder the value of things he had no choice to value and eventually settled the internal debate on adopting the philosophy of nihilism. Malefikus believes there is no objective or universal value to anything and that the universe is purposeless and absent of any meaning. Rather than depressing him, Malefikus found that this change freed him from 'useless notions.' On the topic religion Malefikus, as a magician, has encountered many gods and things that claim to be gods, but theorizes that these beings do not precede the universe and do not warrant worship. Jay believes that these creatures are just like fay and demons in that they are creatures of magic, albeit extremely powerful ones; despite their power, Jay refuses to worship them as he believes nothing deserves worship but your self. He is an outspoken antitheist as he believes religion is inherently harmful to society and the individuals that comprise it.
Malefikus' foremost motivation is the to acquire power as a means to various ends. First of these is his need to feed his bodies insatiable appetite for magical energy and thus prolong his endangered life. Beyond this basic need is Malefikus' lust for vengeance against the Demon that stole his sister away. He hopes that with enough power he can find the Demon, destroy him, and save Luanne's soul. His desire to find and kill the Demon is his primary goal. Malefikus also hopes to find a wellspring of power that gives him enough strength to weaken and imprison "It-Within", the creature that fuels his negative energy related magic. Once the Demon is destroyed and "It-Within" is contained, Jay claims he will put his powers to "proper use", but those motivations remain unclear.
When Malefikus isn't hunting down the Demon or trying to find sources of significant power, he's putting his skills to use in obtaining accumulating a vast fortune with which he can sate his insatiable appetite for debauchery or finance his various schemes. Wealth was Jay's principle motive for learning magic to begin with and considers it a measurable gauge of his power and influence as well as an indication of his position. He considers it important for that reason.
Malefikus' neglectful parents left a desperate need for approval that eventually developed into delusions of grandeur for which he is constantly reeking recognition and prestige. Malefikus' childhood insecurities have manifested in adulthood in a love of the theatrical.
Jay's powers are mostly a result of his years of dedicated study into the arcane arts, but there are some abilities inherent to his being.
Malefikus' is totally human, but has modified himself to compete with the metahumans of the Rogue Isles.
Physically, Jay is below peak fitness but still strong enough to put a few people in the hospital before he goes down. He can bench a little under twice his body weight and sprint for, it seems, as long as he needs to. He would be a tough opponent to beat without his dark magic.
Light Combat Training
Earlier in his career, Jay rushed in with brute force and magical backing and made little work out of his enemies, but as he advanced in the Etoile Isles, he realized that raw power alone wouldn't be enough. He trained with Arachnos under Marshall Brass of Cap Au Diable (suggested pay for services rendered) until he could both dodge and deliver a series of strikes.
Tattooed across Jay's chest and down his back are powerful wards of mysterious, antediluvian origin. It protects him from spirits, demons, and curses. The wards are old and keep his own powers in check. He has it touched up every week by the Facemaker as one stray cut during a battle and he may find himself exposed to the powers he had been previously defended from.
A blood transfusion with a powerful demon gave him superior connection to the dark powers, filled him with a regenerating supply of energy for his powers to feed on, and protects him from any creatures that may attempt to feed upon his blood. The mixture of negative energy and demonic blood has created a foul substance most vampires would find either positively revolting or addictive. The smell is terrible to those capable of detecting such things. This demonic supplement to his blood has made him immune to most blood diseases and cancer.
Fiendishly seeking out magic's many avenues of power, Malefikus has established himself as an adept sorcerer in the Isles, and his jack-of-all trades approach to magic has made him a veritable spring of knowledge; however, his divided interests have also kept him from become as powerful as he's capable of being. Malefikus has been referred to as an 'urban sorcerer'. A title he has happily embraced.
Negative Energy Manipulation
Malefikus's primary form of attack and defense, the sorcerer draws dark power directly from the Netherworld to waste his enemies away and bolster his already significant strength. Preferring to feel the unholy magic in his hands and deliver it upon his foes with all the anger he can bear, Jay becomes the conduit from which the energy emerges. The 'Negative' energy is better described as a tangible absence of energy that feeds on the energy around it to fill the void it represents. Attacks from this kind of energy saps the life from the victim.
This form of black magic is the one school of sorcery in which Malefikus is a recognized authority. His skill with the Netherworld's energy is considered extremely dangerous by magical authorities such as the Midnight Squad.
Jay may have spent more time in different planes of reality than in his own world due to his natural ability to travel to other planes. He makes frequent trips to the Astral Plane to expose himself to schools of thought long lost to his own world. His mastery of astral projection has made it possible to go from his own world to another plane as simple as falling asleep.
Malefikus' frequent trips into the Netherrealm has made communication with the forces in that plane easier than it would be otherwise. Malefikus has little interest in reanimation and believes the only boons necromancy provides are the conversations one could have with long-dead magicians.
The world Jay occupies is full of great supernatural horror and threats few super-humans could subdue. Malefikus dedicated years of study into the art of Ward-crafting to protect himself from demonic hordes and otherworldly assailants and is rarely unprotected from some sort of otherworldly horror. His body is covered in tattoos of the strongest wards he could discover to hold the many legions of Hell at bay.
He has been known to share his knowledge of Ward-crafting with those willing to pay for it.
Jay's studies into wards naturally led him to research the norse art of Rune Magic to further empower himself and imbue ordinary objects with magical power. Jay mostly uses rune magic to enhance his own ability to draw negative energy from the Netherworld to use offensively. Jay also owns a pair of white gloves imbued with holy sigils for any conflict with demons.
Malefikus learned to tap into the wild nature of the world from his time in the First Ward. His proximity to the Praetorian Devouring Earth and his time working with Blind Makwa exposed him to the raw strength of natural magic and the abilities it could present to those with the will to master it. Jay chose to explore the power of natural magic on the astral plane and eventually encountered a trickster entity that helped him tap into the power of his inner spirit. Jay's lack of mastery over the subject has made the normally refined art of natural magic manifest as an animalistic force that overcomes him when threatened. The raw power makes him faster, stronger and capable of leaping long distances.
The trickster entity that Jay communed with in the Astral plane took the shape of a coyote, but made no claims to be the Coyote of Native American legend. Regardless, the entities tutelage encouraged Jay to develop a bond with the animal. This bond led the coyote entity to teach him the wild art of shifting. When Malefikus needs out of a situation or needs to get somewhere quick, Jay will shift into the shape of a coyote and run, jump, and swim with all the speed afforded him on the spiritual plane.
Sometimes it's unclear if Malefikus is an adept liar or a just a skilled hypnotist. While his hypnotic abilities aren't great enough to subdue a crowd of aggressors or sufficiently sway the mental state of a skilled metahuman, he's been able to eliminate the threat a witness could pose by simply removing all desire for them to testify against him. Because Malefikus has become skilled enough to properly understand and utilize the powers of magical hypnosis, he is himself immune to its power.
Despite having a fierce distaste for the legions of Hell, Malefikus has often called a demon to his doorstep for information with incredibly potent summoning rituals and fantastic wards to protect him from their wrath. He possesses the willpower to bind them to his will, but will never do so, for to control a demon is to let them into your mind. Malefikus rarely frees a bound demon once he summons it; the creature is always slain or banished back to the deepest trenches of the Netherworld. He has greater success with summoning weaker demons; his attempts at controlling more powerful demons leaves much to be desired.
Possibly the greatest advantage Malefikus has in the magical world, Jay's birth name has been forgotten by all but him and all records of it removed. Incredibly powerful curses protect it from anyone foolish enough to dare try and unearth it. Jay has protected his name with an almost religious zeal and the reason why may have ties to his demonic blood.
Malefikus' birth name is the only way to call his true name forward from the aether and that would allow the one doing so to bind him to their service. His birth name exists in one very well-protected source that he has been demonstrably unwilling to erase from the world, for doing so, according to ancient Egyptian beliefs, will erase his ka and Jay is unwilling to lose the magical connections a soul provides.
Malefikus is the magical name Jay selected. It protects his identity and is used to command the forces of magic.
As a vendor of magical knowledge, Jay possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the occult. He has thoroughly researched and experimented with the Fay, demons, spirits, elementals, and even the Rularuu. Jay has also visited these creatures on their home planes, communicated with dead sorcerers, and learned secrets on the astral plane. This amount of knowledge has made him a boon to any team hoping to meet the supernatural in combat or just explain a valuable resource.
Jay's time in the Etoile Isles wouldn't be quite as successful if he didn't have the manipulative abilities he honed on the streets of England. Jay is an expert liar and con-man and he has put gang lords against each other for as little as the need for a distraction. This sociopathic behavior has kept him a step ahead in the Isles.
His manipulative skills, and survival instincts have given Malefikus an advantage many of his competitors lack. Jay doesn't stay in a place for long without establishing a web of contacts in the underworld. Jay spent a long time in the streets of England and that time taught him how to survive.
Jay's willpower is strong enough that high level psychics are forced from his mind. His mind is also stronger than his body as he is able to shrug off debilitating injuries until he can get help for them at a hospital. Jay is very driven to achieve his goals and few things can impede him. Jay describes his ability to ignore grievous injury as "storing the sensation" and he does this whenever the pain of his violent encounters becomes a distraction.
Jay's demonic blood has afflicted him with the same disadvantages that plague a demon of high standing in the infernal hierarchy. These disadvantages include a weakness to holy or divine magic, being effectively impeded by certain magical wards created for the specific purpose of keeping demonic forces at bay, being forced to honor deals made, and, some believe, being forced to comply to the demands of anyone that knows his true name. This theory is supported by Jay's strong desire to insure his name is never discovered. The demonic ichor also reacts badly with his human blood and can incapacitate him for up to two weeks while his body tries to reject both types of blood.
Much of Malefikus' activities involve acquiring items of magical power or knowledge. This behavior is so prolific it almost disproves the belief that he is simply enthusiastic. Many magicians believe that his jack-of-all-trades approach to magic may not be a matter of personal preference, but a need to fuel his addiction to the sensation of magical awakening and fuel the forces that empower him. Jay's usage of negative energy may explain this phenomenon, as he has explained that the type he uses is more of a tangible absence of energy that feeds on the energy that surounds him. Jay needs to constantly abate this energy with magic to keep it from sapping what it needs out of him.
Malefikus' human body puts him at a huge disadvantage. He cannot take a bullet with a shrug or dent a knife with his fists because Jay is wholly human. If Jay is shot or stabbed he will die if not treated immediately. His human physiology also limits what amounts or types of magic his body can handle. This is a weakness Jay has tried to overcome by demonic blood transfusion, magical manipulation of his bodily structure, or enforced will.
Jay's recklessness in the beginning of his magical career has cost him his security and has forced him to play host to a Netherrealm entity which gives him a limitless supply of negative energy to manipulate to his causes, but this level of exposure has endangered his life and created a link between himself and the creature that threatens to overcome him when it doesn't threaten his physical being.
Split Chronal Consciousness
Inspired by Diviner Maros' to pursue his interest in time travel and magic associated with it, Malefikus found himself split into several points in the time stream. While advantages can be found for this condition, it has mostly served as a weakness in the greater scheme of Malefikus' plans by limiting his ability to act in the present. It has also served to limit his ability to optimistically move to certain ends as he has already seen their failure in future times.
- Mature Roleplay. There's foul language, sexual themes, drug use and just a general darkness to the character.
- Erotic Roleplay isn't going to happen the way you might want it to. There will be a fade to black to express the passage of time.
- Telepaths and mind readers should feel free to send a tell for surface thoughts. You may get one or two, but you won't be able to dive very deeply into his mind.
- Aura readers will feel a presence within him, but will, for the most part, see him as a human.
- To those capable of detecting a demonic presence, it's there, but very, very faint. Only in his blood, in fact.
- Has an extreme distaste for demonic, infernal, or hellish creatures. This hatred is profound and can easily be described as a form of supernatural bigotry. He may still talk to one, but he won’t like it.
- No, you don't know his name. It is impossible to know his name. There's so much between you and his name it's ridiculous.
- Can 'smell' magic. Send a tell if you want to be noticed this way.
- A lot of the character's story never touches RP; the character has become the ultimate side character, so if you need a magician for your Roleplay, I'm your guy.