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GIGN operative with a shiny gun

Le Bedeau (the Sexton)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

A number of American listmembers having occasional need of European supers and feeling that the “official” characters in the MU and DCU such as Le Peregrine (sic) are somewhat campy, I took the liberty of creating a few French supers from an French point of view.

These guys tend to have complex tactics and abilities, and are probably best used one or two at a time.


Background

  • Real Name: Major Didier Delatour
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Barbara Antonioni-Delatour (wife), Hortense Delatour (mother, deceased), Gérard Delatour (father, deceased), Isabelle Saint-Thorens (niece)
  • Group Affiliation: ESIGN officer
  • Base Of Operations: Mont-de-Marsan
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 215 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Grey-black, balding


Powers and Abilities

Major Delatour is a veteran from the French military, the GIGN and now ESIGN. He’s a highly trained and very experienced soldier and tactical operator, with law enforcement training. Like most superhuman members of ESIGN he’s an assault and close-quarter battle specialist.

Delatour was born with a strange maze of scars all over his right hand, wrist and lower forearm. A faint blue-white light sometimes shines through these scars. By concentrating on the light Le Bedeau can make contact with the spirits of the dead – or rather the spirits of the dead can make contact with him.

Those spirits interested in establishing contact with Delatour are normally the spirits of French soldiers (from the days of the Gauls up to the present), are often Catholic, and all feel that they didn’t die well enough. The spirits contacting Delatour want to serve their country again until both they and Le Bedeau feel that they have done enough to pass on.

Le Bedeau is currently working on “processing” the unsatisfied dead from La Grande Armée, having always admired Napoléon. Many of the spirits asking him for another chance to serve are hapless soldiers who died of disease, exhaustion, malnutrition, etc. during Napoleonic campaigns and particularly the ill-fated invasion of Russia.

In the spirit of fairness, Le Bedeau rotates through this population to give each man his shot at lightening his debt toward the nation.

Blood for soil

When Le Bedeau requires the service of a spirit, the dead soldier animates the soil at Delatour’s feet, transmogrifying it into a meld of French soil and the soil the soldier died on – usually Russian permafrost given Delatour’s current allies. The soil rises to engulf Major Delatour, encasing him much like a suit of power armour and granting enormous strength to his movements.

Looking much like an earth elemental from an heroic fantasy world, Le Bedeau can engage practically any superhumanly strong person in hand-to-hand combat. The entire “terramorphed” form of the Bedeau can seep through rock and soil, and is practically immune to most forms of assault.

Each soldier reinforcing Le Bedeau with two soils also has a point d‘honneur (“matter of honour”) – something he’s particularly proud of, or something he’s particularly concerned about.

This can be a sizeable advantage – such as soldier whose point d‘honneur is his physical strength, making the Sexton’s terramorphed form even stronger than usual – or it can be anecdotal, such as soldier priding himself on being able to identity dozens of species of birds from the Bordeaux area by their song.

Depending on the situation, Le Bedeau will enter a tactical situation as a human or a terramorph.


History

Didier Delatour hails from a very conservative family, valuing traditional values such as military service, Catholicism and old-school respectability. The Delatours have long been a part of the French extreme right-wing networks amidst the military, the police, the business world, senior civil servants and the clergy — for instance most Delatour men served with the SAC during the 1960s, and many of them had also been part of the nationalist Resistance networks during the war.

Though his mindset was clearly that of a Delatour, Didier was something of a maverick and preferred to make his own way in life – though he did enjoy his military service, serving as an aide to an influential general. Trying his hand at business, he became involved in a particularly shady and complicated business between Việt Nam and France, involving arms trafficking.

His deals made him a lot of money, but the Revenue Service sensed that something was afoot and started investigating. To dodge the IRS, Delatour left for Việt Nam, but later had to leave in a hurry when other aspects of his arrangements became known to the Vietnamese government.

Delatour lived in Netherlands for a while, but felt homesick. The Delatour clan helped him hammer a deal with the French Ministry of Finance, but his relatives insisted that in exchange he take a proper tour with the military to erase his moral debt toward the country. After several arguments that nearly ended in physical violence — since the relatives in question were also heavily cheating the taxman — Didier took the deal.

You’ll take my life but I’ll take yours too, you’ll fire your musket but I’ll run you through

While deployed in Lebanon, Caporal Delatour was grievously wounded by sniper fire and spent several days in a coma. During that coma the scars that had always been present on his hand and wrist started glowing, and after he recovered he became able to receive communications from dead French soldiers from history.

hipped to the Val-de-Grâce military hospital in Paris to finish recovering, Delatour was examined by military doctors who helped him determine how his power worked, and to use it to recover more quickly.

Delatour joined ESIGN, very much liking the idea of being part of the martial elite of the nation. He performed well during training, and in his superhuman form was the strongest and toughest asset until Sophie Robais joined ; for several years he was the heavy hitter of the unit. Between his familial contacts and excellent abilities and results, he rose steadily in rank and would make Major in 2004.

Knowing many officers of what he insists on calling le Deuxième Bureau (though the French intelligence services have stopped bearing that name in 1940), Le Bedeau was heavily involved in intelligence and counter-intelligence, doing work that was discreet even by the standards of ESIGN.

His strong dislike of Robais — caused in good part by her might upstaging his — receded to some extent over the years, but never really went away.


Catholicism in France

Historically, France was fiercely Catholic, and the country was often called la fille ainée de l‘Église (“the (Roman Catholic) Church’s senior daughter”). Discontent about the wealth and privileges of much of the clergy slowly rose, but the tight alliance between the clergy and nobility suppressed the growing revolt. The Reformation was never allowed to take hold, including through carnage such as the massacre during the 1572 Saint-Barthélemy.

The accumulated resentment against the social order kept erupting in bloody violence and eventually swept through the country during the French Revolution in 1789. In some cases, such as the events in Vendée, this led to outright civil war and massacres. The enormous holdings of the Church in France were violently nationalised, and the priests now answered to the State rather than the Pope.

Though there were numerous attempts at reaction (the Restauration, the Concordat passed under Napoléon Bonaparte, etc.) the French Republics have been fiercely secular, culminating with the 1905 Separation Of Church And State legislation. While France remained culturally Catholic, this was now a matter of personal spirituality.

A complex series of causes (including the national trauma inflicted during the WWII occupation and Vichy regime), resulted in a steadily decreasing importance of religion in both public and private life. This became evident in the 1970s, when religiosity went in free fall as older generations passed away.

Though the various French cultures clearly remained marked by Christianity (specifically Catholicism), religious practice is one of the lowest in the world. With most devout Catholics now being in their 60s and 70s, this drop is expected to continue. The country’s second religion, Islam, is much like Catholicism more a matter of culture and personal spirituality – and even then its cultural impact is relevant for about 10% of the population.

The proudly Catholic Delatour is thus at once traditional and unusual, his faith generally viewed as respectable but old-fashioned – albeit less so in the socially conservative, traditionalist environment of the Gendarmerie.

His code name, “Le Bedeau”, is a type of laity – the loose equivalent of a sexton. Delatour chose it since most people could barely remember what the term means (beyond vague association with the Catholic Church) and it carries numerous connotations of an old France that doesn’t exist anymore.

”Le Bedeau” also conveys sarcasm since, back when they were still a presence, they were viewed with derision and a certain rancour. Back then the phrase gras comme un bedeau (“fat like a sexton”) was in common use given their reputation for living a comfortable, lazy lifestyle by filching from the donations of the faithful.


Description

Delatour is in his early 40s. He often wears suits that are a little loose – while most assume that it’s because he’s a tad overweight, Delatour’s goal is actually to conceal that he’s in excellent shape.

The terramorphic forms will attempt to reconstitute something like their uniform using nearby material and what they can get from the soil as the form builds itself around Delatour. Since part of the soil is mystically drawn from far-away battlefields of the past, one such common material are human bones and, in many cases, horse bones.

The terramorphic bodies thus often look ghastly, like an earth elemental with various bits of a giant undead monster thrown in.

The terramorphic form usually tries to approximate a French flag – in most cases the tricolour (which has been in use since 1790, with few exceptions) or the much older white-fleur-de-lys-over-a-field-of-royal-blue flag. Some also have a crude replica of their weapon, such as a calcified musket.


Personality

Delatour has a remarkable ability to look serious, professional and manly – he just has that sort of confidence and rectitude in his behaviour that conveys the impression that he’s an insider, a man you can trust, an old-school pro, the real McCoy, the guy with the plan, the grizzled veteran, the 1950s TV dad, and that if he’s on the job everything’s going to be swell and the hard choices that need to be made will be made with no hesitation.

Didier is, indeed, competent, intelligent and hard-working – the impression he projects is not a pose. But whenever possible he prefers to relax, act like a clown and appear as a colourful character with a strong style comparable to an exaggerated version of old-school, “virile but classy” 1950s/1960s actors in French movies – like Lino Ventura or Eddie Constantine.

Though he’s – at least by French standards – very conservative and perhaps even reactionary, Didier doesn’t have a racist, xenophobic or homophobic bone in his body. He will occasionally deliver racist clichés in a theatral, over-the-top way for humorous effect, but it is clear that what he’s mocking are tired, bigoted platitudes.

He grew up surrounded by such phrases, and shared these opinions during his childhood and adolescence, but it is obvious that he now consider such stances worthy of ridicule. This evolution of his values has estranged him from several Delatour relatives, but Didier delivering dated xenophobic platitudes in a sarcastic manner has long become an established part of his style.

Delatour is prone to falling in love with nonsensical memes such as lolcats, and making them a part of his everyday conversation until they become well-known schticks of his. For instance, ever since seeing his young niece texting a friend in the late 1990s, he has grown fond of saying “lol” out loud to express even very mild amusement.

Another typical example was born when his code-name was translated as “Sexton” during an international operation — the “Bedeau Dance”, which consists of repeating “oh sexton sexton” to the approximative tune of Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb while grabbing his crotch and gyrating his hips clockwise then anticlockwise.

Delatour is an action movie fan — particularly very bad, campy action movies — with a huge collection of DVDs. In particular he professes an undying admiration of Jean-Claude van Damme and will often offer to make impressions of the kitsch Belgian former star, including improbable “Jean-Claude action poses”.

His frequent contacts with the dead are uneasy – in part because the rules about how to save these souls aren’t known to either him or the dead, and Didier feels guilty since he cannot be certain he’s saving as many souls as possible.

This has increased after some dead, foreign, francophile soldiers who learned to speak French (often from areas corresponding to modern-day Belgium or the Western and Southern parts of Germany, but some also hail from Northern Italy) started pleading with him to have their turn.

Delatour applies a “French soldiers first” policy since he has to make a choice, but feels bad about it and does lose sleep thinking about how to best prioritise who will get another chance to serve and pass on. He has been working with Dr. Moreau-Levy to determine whether there is a way for him to give his power to another after his death, so a successor will be able to carry on with his mission of honour and salvation.


Quotes

“GSG9, mouais. Faudrait peut-être rappeler à ces braves gens qui c‘est qu’a perdu la guerre…”
(Trans.): “GSG9, riiiiiight. Should I mention to these fine folks who lost the war, again ?”

“Tout est bon ici, j’ai plein de grenades qui font pleurer. Prêt à l’action, et je tiens à le dire – sexuellement, je suis grave prêt.”
(Trans.): “Confirming readiness, I have plenty of crybaby grenades. Ready to go in, and I’d like all points to know that right now, I’m a sexual tyrannosaurus”

“Attend mon poussin, je vais t‘en coller une tu vas croire que c‘est Jean-Claude.”
(Trans.) “Wait a sec cutie-pie, I’m gonna slug you so hard you’ll think it was Jean-Claude [van Damme].”

“lol.”

(Breaks into a terrible rendition of Annie Cordy’s Mon CRS while wiggling his rear end)


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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The Sexton

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Patriot
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Gendarme
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 020 HP: 060

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Charisma (Intimidation)*: 06, Martial artist: 05, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science: 05, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 05

Advantages:
Alter-Ego, Connoisseur, Credentials (French Gendarmerie, Medium ; French military, Low), Expertise (Counter-intelligence, Special operations, French military traditions through the ages), Familiarity (Action movies, Catholic liturgy and theology), Iron Nerves, Language (English, scattered bits of German and Spanish), Rank (Equiv. Lieutenant)

Connections:
ESIGN (Gendarmerie superhuman squad, High)

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated

Equipment:

  • MOTOROLA MX-330 TACTICAL RADIO [BODY 04, Radio communications: 06 – a small, black mike-and-earring piece of equipment]
  • TACTICAL VEST AND VISORED HELMET [BODY 04, Flame immunity: 02, Invulnerability: 05, Shade: 01, Skin Armor: 02, Limitations: Invulnerability and Skin armor are only effective vs attacks by slashing and piercing weapons (-2FC each), Invulnerability cannot be used to counter *continuing* loss of Current BODY due to Killing Damage (-1FC), Partial Coverage (Can bypass Powers with a +3CS OV Trick Shot); Real Armour] plus optional GAS MASK [BODY 03, Sealed systems (respiratory): 05]
  • Manhurin MR73 .357 magnum revolver (x2) [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 06, R#02, Recommended STR: 03, Drawback: Long reload time]
  • SIG551 SWAT Assault Carbine [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 08, Telescopic vision: 02, R#02, Advantage : Autofire]
  • Flash-bang grenades (x2) [BODY 03, EV 02 (Area of effect 1 AP), Flash: 07 (Area of effect 2 APs), Sensory block (earring): 09, Note : all Powers are Combined, Grenade drawback, R#03]
  • Tear gas grenade (x4) [BODY 03, Fog: 03, Chemical attack: 04, Grenade drawback, Bonus : Chemical attack and Fog are Combined (Chemical attack is active thorough the Fog), R#03]

Earth’s cry, Heaven’s smile

The terramorphic forms of Delatour have on average the following stats :

Dex: 05 Str: 16 Bod: 13 Motivation: Patriot
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 08 Occupation: Gendarme
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 09 Resources {or Wealth}: N..A.
Init: 013 HP: 060

Powers:
Cold immunity: 03, Dispersal: 08, Self-Link (Earth animation): 17, Flame immunity: 03, Growth: 02, Regeneration: 03, Sealed systems: 10, Systemic antidote: 04, X-Ray vision: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Dispersal only to pass through soil, stone, concrete and the like
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In
  • X-Ray vision only to see through soil, stone, concrete and the like

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation): 08

Advantages:
No Vital Areas

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance

Furthermore, each terramorphic form has between 2 and 5 APs in its point d‘honneur – see below. Each specific terramorphic form is considered a distinct Alter-Ego – technically, Delatour has hundreds of thousands of Alter-Egos.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Homemade

Helper(s): Darci

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