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Andronicus, a character for Shadowrun (tm)a.k.a. Andros, real name Richard Carl Jäger VI
The general idea was to play a spell-slinging, charming, streetwise, southern gentleman that could also handle a gun reasonably well (the gun skills were dropped as the concept developed, mostly because I could not afford to pay for more important skills if I bought some firearms ability as well - oh well). I want him to be kind of a lusty, masculine concept, but not in the blind machismo sense. Rather I wanted to be one of those storybook types that has culture and education covering up strong masculine urges, more in the sense of Pan than say a hypersensitive ganger. While he enjoys conflict, he is quite likely to shrug off a comment by someone he considers below his attention. As for his lusty nature, it is intended to be more of "doing what comes naturally" as opposed to him being a sex-starved pervert. Of course, there's the accent.
Andronicus is a shaman. He does not have an animal totem as in the Tribal cultures of North America, but an idol form as in the European cultures. The idol is intended to be based on the many faces of Cernunnos and Herne the Hunter, which really ended up being something of a generic agrarian deity, creator/fertility and destroyer/hunter. Generally, an entity of the land that represents the fertility of life as well as reflecting the harsh circle of life. So, I felt that bonuses to Combat and Healing were appropriate. However, the Wild Huntsman is contained within this concept and, contrary to the lame disadvantage of acting wiggy as the Wild Huntsman idol from the Germany Sourcebook, I think it represents a more primal fury, so I think the disadvantage of wanting to relentlessly attack someone that wounded him, along the lines of the Bear and Wolf, but not the blind rage of an animal totem would be good (BTW, we play Wolf this way in our campaign as well). At least one image of Cernunnos represents him with the trappings of rulership and knowledge, so maybe a further constraint that a prospective shaman must have a Charisma of 4 and Intelligence of 4 seems reasonable. Finally, because of the whole circle of life, earthy feel of the totem, perhaps the disadvantage (and the only one) that an Eagle Shaman faces - double Essence loss due to cyberware. Cernunnos does not tolerate pollution of the body. For flavor, a shaman might also follow an ideal hunter's code with respect to killing of animals, waste of kills, preservation of the environment and hunting stock. This might include a special dislike for Toxic magic. The shaman will tend to be lusty. When faced with attractive members of the opposite sex, pursuit is a natural reaction. Combat, life and death situations, wounding, and more attractive potential mates will automatically snap the shaman out of this condition, but once the issue is resolved, pursuit is likely to continue. Generally, this will probably come off as flirtatiousness and, as is often the case, because of the Shaman's Charisma will be probably be viewed more as being charming than lecherous. Regardless, the shaman will generally be mildly lecherous but not deviant, as they are following that "natural" impulse.
This was of course too much for one totem, so I decided to focus on a subset as follows:
Environment: Land, that in which man is living in harmony with
his environment is preferred.
The totem name and concept was generalized to take it away from one specific deity concept and to allow more varied and fruitful role-playing. The name was changed from Cernunnos to Agros and the concept was generalized into the realm of life and death deities in line with more primitive agrarian deity concepts.
He wears an antique finish silver torc necklace about his neck that has a thick woven look to it with a central, rounded, oblong tiger eye stone in it (see Foci). He has a seemingly matching torc bracelet on his right wrist that has no stones in it (see Foci). Aside from this, his only other jewelry is a class ring from the CAS military academy. He tries to make sure any metallic components of his clothing complement his jewelry.
His mood is usually one of affability, and he tends to smile disarmingly and look people in the eye when he talks to them. This combined with his southern gentleman accent and mannerisms tends to put people at ease. His presence and bearing are almost tangible at times.
In his astral form he usually takes the form of a large, heavily muscled, tan complected, well endowed man with broad, smooth horns coming from his head. Depending on his mood he will have a loincloth or no clothes at all. In lieu of eyes, he has deep red, glowing embers, and his face is somewhat bestial in appearance, replete with fangs. However, his form still comes across as oddly aesthetic. Sufficiently good Astral Assensing might show traces of alcohol and secondhand smoke in his body. His mood will usually be friendly or amorous, depending on what he is doing. Overall, a sense that he is having the time of his life.
"Andros, what's your story? You never seem to reminisce much. What's the deal?"
The tall, darkly tanned Elf quickly runs his dazzlingly verdant eyes over the team, his mane of soft, brown hair shifting slightly, releasing a single lock to fall across his forehead, perfectly framing his sidelong, calculating, but amiable glance. It is almost as if the hair wire grooming itself in real time. His mental assessment of the worth of yourself and your fellows is almost tangible. As quickly as the sensation came, it fades away, and he appears to have come to a personally satisfactory conclusion. Then, in usual fashion, he eases back in his chair, casually holding a glass of synthetic bourbon. He would normally go for the real thing, but by now it is understood that he blends with the environment and this club is no place to be drinking real booze unless you want to draw unpleasant attention. He takes a small, easy sip and runs his gaze across everyone at the table one more time, as if double checking the team's integrity. Only seconds have passed, but this story has been eagerly anticipated and any further delay seems too great.
He inhales deeply and, as if in catharsis, exhales slow and long saying, finally, "Very well, it's high time my comrades in arms had a little more information to work with." He then looks upward for a short while, as if searching for some skyborne script of his life, and begins.
"My father, Richard Sr., is what some might call a captain of industry. He is but one in a long line of antebellum aristocrats descended from the German colonists that emigrated to the New World and settled down in the area that would later be dubbed Texas. Our family, the Jäger family, has a very proud and very old lineage. Unfortunately, the more interesting things occurred in ancient times, back when my forefathers gave those decadent little toga-wearing Romans a whipping to be remembered. Family artifacts can be traced back to vague references of magic among our ancestors.
"Unfortunately for the young, mischievous first-born son of Richard Senior, yours truly . . ." He pauses, bows his head and gestures with the glass towards himself, rattling the ice softly, and continues ". . . the only natural course of action was for me to carry on the family business. Now, as exciting as it may sound, being yet another cog, albeit a well-paid and comfortable cog, in the vast economical machine that is the diverse interests of Jägerhaus is not that much fun. I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, in a small mansion among many in a community of self-important wealthy people and corporate movers and shakers.
"In an effort to curtail my tendency to engage in activities unbecoming of my position, I was hustled off to military academy, following in the footsteps of all previous firstborn Jäger men. My Grandfather, Carl, from whom I gained my middle name, was part of the Texas Rangers when it was militarized back in 2000. Carl was also a key player in organizing the lawsuit that crushed Miroyama Electric in 2006 for gross violation of Texas Instruments' patents. He also pushed for the 2008 legislature that called for the creation of urban militia units in Texas and private security contracting for communities, the precursor that led to the corporate police officers we enjoy today." He smiles and laughs subtly with those last words. He finishes off his drink and quickly chews up an ice cube while flagging down a waitress for a refill.
"Of course, that rioting and such at United Oil's Dallas HQ helped speed things along, especially after they had to bring in the Texas Ranger Assault Teams to deal with it. Of course, old Richard Senior was not to be ignored. When Mexicans streamed into our beloved state and further strained an already weary nag of a welfare system, he was the one that drafted the 2012 corporate provisions for welfare and work farms. It wasn't great, but it was the best solution at the time.
"Of course, the years of Richard Sr.'s life were not all dull. Aside from being one of the first Elves, there was that excitement in 2014 when the First Cav out of Fort Hood tried to bushwhack old Howling Coyote and were soundly beaten back. Personally, I can't see why a human would take an animal as a totem, but that is a whole other can of worms, and I do not wish to digress this time. There was also that crash of the airplane carrying weapons and such in 2018. Richard Senior would have you believe that he was about to close a deal to open a storefront on what ended up being ground zero on that very day, but then he took the explosion as an omen not to. I suspect that is colorful embellishment, in all honesty. Fortunately for our family, it would appear that we can not "goblinize" into Orks and Trolls. One metahuman race is enough to contend with in any family, eh?" He chuckles and takes a fresh drink from the waitress that has arrived. His gaze lingers on her feminine attributes as she walks away and he says faintly "Deliciously nubile."
Reoriented by a sharp jab on the arm, he continues, "Of course, it was Texas' governor, that Melissa something-or-other, that had military units protecting the metas in 2021, rather than herding them together and burning them alive. Her later efforts in 2023 to establish rights for metas were admirable."
"I was born, in 2030, a rather unexciting year. My dear mother, Carla gave birth to twins. My younger sibling was named Alex Richard. The two of us grew up well and had little difficulty eating breathing past our silver spoons. We were still at the tender age of four when the Confederated States of America were formed in 2034." He smiles warmly.
"Unfortunately, as we grew up, Alex and I grew apart. He loved the family, the business and the history. Puberty was a shock for the both of us as we Awakened. We were the first to do so in our family. It was a tough transition, but good old Richard Senior just threw a lot of cred at some therapists and declared our problems solved. Alex managed to find it in himself to restrain his urges, to confine Cernunnos. I did not even try. I had always felt fractious before I Awakened, but now everything made so much sense and clarity came in leaps and bounds. This brings us back to my attending the Military Academy. You were beginning to wonder if I would ever finish that point, eh?" He smiles and sips his bourbon before continuing.
"Well the Academy was good to me. I got into shape, learned a little discipline, and . . . my but I do sound like a tired old trid ad, don't I?" He chuckles quietly and continues, "I graduated into the ranks of other pretentious "ring knockers" in 2052 and was faced with a dilemma about what course to take. It did not take long for Military Intelligence to recruit me. The Embassies had become very vulnerable security locations with the return of Magic and they continued to need Mages to help maintain security. It was somewhat enjoyable and allowed me to make a smooth transition into Ambassadorial work, otherwise known as spying. It was fun for a short while, but after four years I was tired of the chain of command and bureaucracy. In 2056, I received my honorable discharge and was called upon to serve the family, which I did. Richard Sr. needed someone reliable for some "hands on" work in Seattle. I jumped at the chance. I had visited there many times before with my family. I had a number of good friends there and I was fascinated by the sprawl of humanity.
"By 2057, I was back in Seattle and had my social network reestablished. The need for my assistance with the family business died away as it became clear I did not want to carry the baton. Alex gladly assumed the role and I slipped into the enviable role of playboy, ne'er do well son. I was tired of being kept, though, so I looked to the streets and my wealthy friends for gainful employment. Not interested in the stodgy prospects that most of my elitist acquaintances had to offer, I began working occasional jobs providing simple Magical security needs. Jobs were never scarce."
"I can not take credit for having some latent gift for existing among the streets of Seattle. Previous carousing in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex of Texas helped prepare me, and when it came time to immerse myself in the streets of Seattle I had a little help. An old friend of the family, Vincent Carroni, helped educate me on where to go and who to talk to. I met him back in 2040, when I was but ten years old. I was quite the smart ass at that time and in spite of that Vince quickly became like an uncle to me. He would amuse me with stories about street life which became more gritty and detailed as I grew older. His knowledge of the streets was surprisingly intimate. I had heard that Uncle Vince had connections to the Mafia and a shady past before going "legit." When I asked him he confirmed what I had heard but refused to give up any details. That was good enough for me.
"It was only natural that Vince help guide me in my new vocation. I realized that he still had an ear to the streets of Seattle, Magical and Mundane alike, and he introduced me to the right bouncers to get me into all the right clubs and set me up with some contacts and jobs. I was no sage of the streets, but all of the little tidbits of knowledge he had told me of were now more than mere trivia, they were words to live by.
"Vince eventually started sending some work my way from the Mafia. I was a little hesitant at first, but it wasn't much different from what I had been doing. They weren't a bunch of boozing psychos asking me to help them chop up the bodies in their trunk or anything . . . except for that one time . . . just kidding! Anyway, the jobs were straight forward and the money was good. I think Uncle Vince was good insurance against me getting stiffed by the boys. Then there was that last job I did before entering our happy little shadow community . . ."
"The job was a "simple" escort mission from Seattle to Denver. Everything was ridiculously easy until another aircraft docked with ours. A violent and brutal battle erupted as masked men in dark clothes tried to get our client and his briefcase into their plane. Always the gracious host, I offered them a party favor, a pair of grenades to keep the rest of their aircraft's crew entertained. As their vehicle tore lose from ours and plummeted to the ground, a melee ensued. One of them raced to the cockpit and I followed. I managed to take him out, but not before he cut me with a poisoned wakazashi. I was most perturbed. As if that was not enough, the passenger compartment rocked with an explosion and violently decompressed, the safety systems finally having reached their limits."
"I barred the cockpit door and strapped into the co-pilot's seat, braced for impact. The last image of that I remember is the snowy ground rushing up at me. When I awoke, my body was burning with fever, even as the elements threatened to cripple me with cold. I made my way out of the plane, securing some camping supplies from the cargo hold. Our client was still alive by some miracle, but wounded. I tended to our wounds with Magic, but I was unable to cure my raging fever or cleanse my body of the toxins in it. We began to move out, heading towards the nearest City, Denver.
"Apparently, the people that tried to hijack our craft had not yet begun to fight. Over the course of weeks, we had to evade dozens of roaming scouts and patrols. Luckily, by the time they caught up to us, I had recovered somewhat, but I was definitely in poor shape to be fighting. If I had not managed to isolate and individually kill the Magicians they sent via Astral Space, I would probably not be talking to you here today, and I know how sad that would make you. It was quite remarkable slugging it out with Mages and their Elemental minions in Astral Space. I can't be sure if that was more enjoyable than methodically hunting the thugs that had dared to hunt me. Strike at me and you strike at the very land itself . . . and you don't want to piss off the land." He smiles and finishes off his bourbon.
"Anyway, thanks to Cernunnos, my Magic, and the ability to improvise that the Academy had ingrained in me, we made it to Denver in one piece. Not in good shape, mind you, but alive and whole. The experience left me a changed man. I had not really had time to think about it at the time, but I loved everything about it - the danger, desperation, struggles, test of will, the whole kit and caboodle. I flew straight back to Seattle, rested for a few days, and jumped, or rather limped, back into the ring, perhaps a little early, but I am not the type to sit around and do nothing. I left word with Vince that I was interested in exploring Seattle's shadow community and the next time I heard from Vince, he tells me that he has a little job for me, a "Shadow Run" to use the common parlance. I dressed in some nice bulky clothing to help conceal the ravages of my little wilderness trek and headed out to my first real run . . ."
Starting ContactsArmorer, Nikki Talon - She focuses on firearms, especially security gear. She also likes to make up gadgets much like those Q manufactures for James Bond. Her similarity to Q ends there, though, as she is tougher, stronger, younger, and a lot better looking. Ex-military, special forces, Adept weapons sergeant and demolitions expert. A little hard-core, but good in bed, or so Richard says . . .
Magical Fixer & Talismonger, Simone Gray - She focuses on getting Magical people and info, but knows who to talk to for magical goods. Richard and Simone have sporadic, casual sexual relations at the moment. A sexually adventurous lady. She tends to conduct her business at the club Silverhat. Friend of Nikki Talon. Occasional sexual acquaintance, with and without Nikki. Has Adept bodyguard named Tokugawa.
Fixer (mundane), Maurice - a rather tactless Ork fixer that works out of Tacoma, Andros and Maurice have a healthy, professional respect for each other's capabilities. Maurice is a generalist Fixer, being competent with getting info, people, and equipment.
Security Consultant, Solomon "Solly" MacGuinness - Solly and Richard had worked together numerous times in the military. Solly was originally from Washington and returned home after his service ended. Now he works freelance as a small businessman. He works primarily as a consultant on security issues, contractor of bodyguards, and as a high-priced bodyguard, in that order of frequency. He is trying to distance himself from getting shot at, having had his fill working at embassies. Yet, he still loves playing the game. As such, he is working towards building up his business enough so that he can work full time consulting and supervising small to medium sized security needs. Solly had a good working relationship with Richard in the service.
[buddy/friend] Former Mafia Something Turned Businessman - "Uncle Vince" Vincent Carroni - an uncle of sorts to Richard, Vince has had some nondescript shady dealings in his past and continues to have connections with the Mafia. He is a legitimate, successful businessman in spite of this and very streetwise. Richard is still uncertain of how much sway Vince holds. Richard feels a strong sense of friendship towards Vince as he has been more supportive of Richard's choices in life than most. Richard has known Vince since 2040, when Richard was a mere ten years old. Vince was immediately familial to the wisecracking, arrogant child he met that day, and has continued to be a mentor to Richard.
A: Magic (Full Mage)
Generally, I wanted him to have max'd out mental attributes and Quickness, with low Strength and Body reflecting a recent, prolonged, spontaneous, survival test, trekking through the mountains. I would have liked his physical attributes to have been a little higher, but since Elves are rank C in cost, I would have to forego the 400 k¥ and that would make a very large difference and give me more attribute points (six more) than I need to start with.
Soapbox: I can not see why FASA decided to give Dwarves rank D when they are plussier (especially now that they have no more penalty to Quickness in SR. III), have a generally more useful form of vision, have an extra little resistance ability, and tend to suffer the least racial backlash of all the races, including humans. Whereas the Charisma bonus for Elves is somewhat less important and the Quickness 1 is not exactly a stunning edge. Compared to the Troll, the Elf is definitely getting the shaft. When SR. II became SR. III, the Troll lost a -2 penalty to Willpower and the Dwarf lost a -1 penalty to Quickness. The Elf and Ork did not change. I strongly feel the Elf should down with the Ork at Rank D if for no other reason than an Elf is less beneficial in general than a Dwarf and the Dwarf is ranked D. Actually, putting Dwarves at Rank C would be pretty reasonable in my book.
The concept was independent of the Elf choice. I would have been happy with Elf or Human, but the tie breaker was that the party had only one meta, a Troll, and the GM liked the idea of adding an Elf to the group.
RationalesRichard has always been able to talk most people into what he wants and has grown up around aggressive personalities (Intimidation). Although he liked the streets and mixing with "unsavory" types, he has grown up in a corporate atmosphere most of his life and the southern gentleman aesthetic he aspires to is really more appropriate and/or reflective of a corporate attitude/mindset (Corporate Etiquette). He is an excellent Sorcerer and Conjurer, but he is still working on perfecting his abilities with reading auras (Sorcery, Conjuring, Aura Reading). As for physical combat, he has previously managed to get by with his charms and magic. He has always intended to engage in more formal training in unarmed and armed combat, but he has never quite gotten around to it, and the sports he played in college are a distant memory. Besides, time was better spent seducing lovely ladies rather than being slapped around some sweaty monkey.
His innate understanding of the Magic that flows through and around him is thorough (Magic Background). The countless hours spent with Uncle Vince talking about the streets of Seattle were not lost on Richard, he soaked it all up, albeit the information pertains mostly to issues related to the underworld community of Seattle (Seattle Underworld). From his work in the military, with embassies, and his recent freelance efforts, Richard has become familiar with the methods of security work as well as many of the people that execute it (Security Procedures and Security Agencies). His southern gentleman aristocrat ways have made him knowledgeable of the trappings of such an existence, to include those odd little tidbits of knowledge that the wealthy tend to obsess about, e.g. viniculture, horses, mansions, etc. (Wealthy Lifestyle).
Richard has always been a good speaker, and his expensive education and military intelligence experience has left him something of a polyglot (English, Japanese, Sperethiel). His education was a well-rounded, classical one overall, and he continues to have a penchant for reading classical Greco-Roman works in the tongue of the scholars of that time (Ancient Greek).
See also his Foci. He started with a Force 5 Spell Sustaining Focus, bonded for Enhanced Reflexes, and a Force 3 Power Focus.
Finally, he ended up with:
His bedroom is just that. It is dominated by a large bed, surrounded by totems of fertility and life. Phallic symbols and fetishes vie for position here. A pair of longhorn horns adorn the headboard. The linens are simple cotton and the bedspread appears to be a large white animal skin, polar bear perhaps?
The living area has a large, flat screen trid on the wall. Along with a computer station and a top of the line stereo, they remind you that Andros does exist in the same time as you. Aside from that, the furniture speaks to a more rustic aesthetic. The sofa is made from a dark wood, perhaps mahogany. The cushions are a sturdy, hunter green material. The remaining furniture is similarly accoutered. The light fixtures are cold, wrought iron formed into an intertwining weave that reaches up to the ceiling, ending in torchieres.
The kitchen looks like something from a magazine on wealthy lifestyles. It has more gadgets and counter space than anyone would need. The refrigerator is well stocked, albeit mostly with snack foods and beverages. Is that real meat on that bottom shelf?!
His den is dedicated to exercise, having a number of effective looking gadgets in it. The most used apparatus appears to be a simple but aesthetic weight bench and some free weights. From the size of them, it would seem that he is not an unusually strong man, but maybe that's just the weight he uses for his deltoids . . .
His single bathroom is well equipped. The large, sunken bathtub would easily accommodate two . . . or more. The bidet next to the toilet gives it a slight international air.
Overall, his home does not have a fantastic amount of living space. The large, central lodge area eats up most of what floor space he has. However, the living space he does have is well equipped though. Quite luxurious in accouterments, but not in space.
There are rough hewn candles scattered about, apparently at random. Some incense holders, clearly Indian in origin, with various agrarian icons upon them, are similarly scattered. A small square appears to be a rough garden, it is currently occupied by tomatoes. There are no gardening tools visible. An animal skin of some sort sit before the garden and the idol, perhaps a pad for sitting or kneeling. It is barely two meters long.
The periphery consists of various wild and domestic varieties of bushes and tall grasses that blend into shorter grasses at the center. A spectrum of nature and man's relation with it. A tiny spectrum in this microcosm.
From the center, the skylight is more visible. It appears to be very sturdy and the slot off to the side no doubt allows further reinforcement. The vague light coming through it makes it uncertain if the sunlight is direct, indirect, or artificial. Andros alerts you that he has poured your drink and beckons you back into the apartment with an infectious smile.
It's a cloudy dawn as Andronicus steps into his medicine lodge, shedding his robe, his only clothing, as he does. His body is still quite lean and he looks dissatisfied with his overall musculature. He shrugs off his self-critique and moves into the heart of his lodge. He kneels down on an animal skin rug, at it's very edge. He dims the lighting coming from his home, lights a few rough hewn scented candles, downs a small bit of some substance and turns on his stereo which emanates an odd, eclectic or new age chant. Is it that old band Dead Can Dance? Perhaps.More quasi-fiction flavor is delivered on the magic foci page in describing his bonding of his Focus.
He continues to work towards establishing a solid network of contacts in Seattle. If nothing else, a reliable social crowd of Magicians will be a good start.
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