The villainess Serpent Princess and the superhero Sky Arrow appear in “Me and Karish-Nephet the Defiler,” a short story you can read in Better Angels and, with some clicking, online: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4. Here’s what they’d look like in the game.
The tragic history of Margaret Silverberg is recounted in Better Angels: A grad student with relationship problems and self-esteem issues, she got demon-infused, went a little too far with her powers and is now on the run.
Her demon, Karish-Nephet the Defiler, is one of the ‘big’ demons described in the optional rule on page 70. So not only are her Aspects under Karish-Nephet’s control, he’s saying ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to her powers as well. With the guilt she feels over the… unpleasantness… with her ex-boyfriend and old mentor, she’s ever more vulnerable to her demon’s urges.
CUNNING 2, PATIENT 2
Greed 2, Generosity 2
Espionage 3, Knowledge 3
SLY 2, OPEN 1
Cruelty 3, Courage 0
Cowardice 2, Endurance 0
DEVIOUS 4, INSIGHTFUL 3
Corruption 1, Nurture 2
Deceit 3, Honesty 0
POWERS: Body Control, Impossible Beauty, Mind Reading*
ASPECTS: Carapace (in the form of an eight-foot-tall snake-woman) and Horned (in this case, poison fangs, but Margaret isn’t terribly comfortable biting people).
PRIMARY SINFUL STRATEGY: Devious
* Mind Reading is pretty much ‘Telepathy’ from the example on page 81. She can roll Cunning Espionage and, with a set, she gets some idea of what’s on the target’s mind. They can resist with Cunning Knowledge, but only if that’s their declared action or part of a multiple action. It’s only good for practical thoughts and plans. She can’t use this to dig out memories or repressed desires, just ‘what’s on their mind right now.’
Sky Arrow is a demon-infested youth named Scott Fletcher. He goofed off a little in high school, assuming that he’d get into college like his smart older sister and athletic older brother but… his parents’ real estate investments crashed just as he graduated and nobody was really looking for another mediocre student with so-so test scores.
He moved out after getting a promotion at his fast food job, landing some piece work that fit his schedule, and finding an introverted room mate. He settled into a grind of toil, broken up by exhaustion and tedium, until he woke up to a mid-life crisis at the age of 23.
That day, he abandoned his job, took all his money, and drove fourteen hours to Miami, with no particular agenda other than “stop being bored.”
He’s missing about 48 hours in there, but when he woke up he was naked except for beard stubble, a green and yellow cape, and a patchy layer of vomit. His money was gone, as was his ID, as was his car, but on a hunch he leapt into the sky… and flew.
Specifically, he flew back home and got a change of clothes.
Scott is now enrolled in college (thanks to his parents’ economic recovery and a Master Die added during his interview) but happily fighting crime on the weekends and evenings. He has no idea that his powers are diabolical in nature. He simply thinks that life is complicated and that choices aren’t always easy or obvious.
At some point, his demon is going to start talking to him and explain about how Cloven Hooves work, but right now it’s letting him enjoy his freedom and power. It’s waiting until he’s does something he can’t take back.
CUNNING 3, PATIENT 1
Greed 1, Generosity 1
Espionage 3, Knowledge 1
SLY 2, OPEN 2
Cruelty 3, Courage 1
Cowardice 1, Endurance 3
DEVIOUS 1, INSIGHTFUL 1
Corruption 2, Nurture 1
Deceit 2, Honesty 3
POWERS: Ineffable Defense, That Hideous Strength
ASPECTS: Cloven Hooves, Wings
PRIMARY SINFUL STRATEGY: Cunning
Written by Greg Stolze, © 2013; illustrated by Kurt Komoda, © 2013