5678 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Cassandra Craft (7 Soldiers character) (DC Comics) with her cat

Cassandra Craft


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

“This is the place for magical weaponry, spells, potions and armor. Cassandra Craft knows everything there is to know about magical artifacts and the shadowy bohemian underground that trades and uses ’em. If anyone can help me with this, she’s the one I trust most in San Fran right now. You’ll love her. You know how there are some people you can just trust with your life.”
– Zatanna about Cassandra Craft


Context

Cassandra Craft first appeared in 1972, as supporting cast for the Phantom Stranger. She also had a minor comeback during the 1980s to continue her story.

An unexpected but character-redefining comeback took place in 2005, in Grant Morrison’s fantastic Seven Soldiers metaseries. Cassandra had become the owner of a magical artefacts shop.


Background

  • Real Name: Cassandra Craft
  • Marital Status: Presumed single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Her shop
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 115 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue-gray Hair: Blonde (now practically white)


Powers and Abilities

Despite being a supporting cast character, Cassandra Craft has many unusual capabilities. Let’s review them.

Senses

Ms. Craft is blind. However, there are hints that her sense of smell, her ability to place objects and people by sound, and her ability to sense motion are abnormally developed to compensate. The hints seem solid enough for inclusion on our game stats.

She clearly remains handicapped, but she can compensate to an extent and has a clear edge over sighted people when in darkness. Cassandra also seems very good at assessing emotions via voice inflexions, and general empathic prowess.

This may help explain her sheer likeability. Ms. Craft is unusually charming and attaching.

She is also a skilled forger, despite being blind. This might only be feasible with her cat (see below).

By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth !

Cassandra has an affinity for the supernatural. She can enter trances to have accurate, prophetic visions. She further has ill-defined clairvoyance, allowing her to perceive mystical forces, the near future and the like.

She is also extensively self-taught in occult lore and history. Thus, Craft has become a professional dealer in magical and magically significant artefacts – she runs a magic shop. She clearly has reliable ways to assess how authentic, powerful and significant purported magical items are.

Not everything in her shop is genuine, though. A good chunk of her inventory is meant to be sold to ordinary shoppers for curios. A non-trivial part of these are fakes to, uh, allow the credulous to support her business.

She once exhibited a series of overt mystical powers (eldritch  bolts, mystical sight, mystical restraints…)… These were never seen again, nor explained. I have assumed those powers had been granted to Craft by the Dark Circle for a, err, for a spell.

A look back into the Bast, part 1

In her 2000s appearances, Ms. Craft was accompanied by a pet black cat. This seems to be a magical familiar – for instance it occasionally talks, albeit in Ancient Egyptian. Cassandra called her cat Prowley, which *I* thought was funny 

When Cassandra holds Prowley in her arms, she can see through its eyes. She cannot see normally, but she can access Prowley’s “magic vision”, where the outline of magically significant objects and people glows.

This likely is her key edge in procuring real artefacts for resale. It is also convenient to navigate her shop, where a good part of the stock will glow.

Below is an example of what Cass can see through Prowley. The outline of everything magical, including Zatanna, can be clearly seen. The powerful Merlin sprite (centre) appears as a bright ball of light.

To Zatanna’s right glows the Cabinet of Ali Ka-Zoom. This is not a particularly powerful artefact, so why it shines so hard is not clear. But at that point Cass is paying particular attention to it since it’s the best way to get rid of Merlin, so perhaps she can focus her “magic vision” on specific items or persons.

Cassandra Craft's shop and Zatanna as seen by Prowley

A look back into the Bast, part 2

Since Cassandra is a good forger despite being blind, it is reasonable to assume to she can achieve other sorts of paranormal sight with Prowley’s help. Maybe those take time and a lot of concentration to achieve, and only work on still objects at a very close range. Or maybe she uses different magics altogether.

Prowley-vision is considered to be Magic sense: 02 in DC Heroes.

How intelligent the cat is is unclear. It didn’t seem fluent in English, but presumably has at least as much ability to infer meaning from tone and body language (and then ignoring it) as any house cat.

Most talking magical black cat familiars have further abilities in comic books, so feel free to elaborate. However, note that Prowley did not intervene in the fight between Zatanna and the Merlin sprite.

Cassandra implied it could frolic in other’s people dreams and interact with those dreams. Thus, Prowley might be a creature from the Dreaming. It might even be the imago/archetype for witches’ familiar, who left the Dreaming during the Lord Shaper’s captivity.

The little shop

Zatanna mentioned that the shop never closed. Which is odd, since Craft’s job usually implies spending a lot of time at auctions, sales and the like. But we have no further data about that.

It is unclear what prevents the shop from just being robbed blind by demons or cultists or something. No special security was apparent against the Merlin sprite. It may be that the protection is social – powerful people like Zatanna would hunt down those preying upon Cassandra Craft and do unpleasant things to them. Most potential robbers may also know she has unique connections with the Phantom Stranger, in itself a powerful deterrent.

Of course, there might have been mystical protections Merlin completely ignored, being so powerful. Cass considered herself safer after she closed the door, which looked like it couldn’t have held back a determined five-year old with a stick. So the door might have been magically warded.


History

Cassandra was born blind. This may have been the ironic cost of her inborn gift of clairvoyance.

Completely strangers

In 1972, she happened upon the unconscious form of the Phantom Stranger in the Manhattan subway. She took him to her apartment to nurse him back to health. Unknown to the Stranger, his old enemy Tannarak was resurrecting the mythical Phoenix. The slow rebirth of this creature was draining away the very lifeforce of the Stranger – hence his unconsciousness.

Eager to help the mysterious Stranger, Cassandra used her “spook-power” to locate the source of the force weakening him. She then accompanied him to Egypt to guide him to the spot. Ms. Craft took him right to Tannarak’s archaeological expedition.

They both were captured. Then, Cassandra was briefly mesmerized into joining the evil magician’s followers. But even in his weakened state, the Stranger prevailed and the Phoenix was destroyed.

Although they kissed, the Stranger chose to walk away alone. He left Cassandra and the other former followers to return to Cairo and their various home countries.

By the circle dark

Months later, Cassandra was captured by Morgg, from an evil cult called the Dark Circle (no apparent relation with the XXXIst century organisation). She was used as a bait and then a hostage to capture and ensure the cooperation of the Phantom Stranger.

Cassandra Craft senses the shapeless thing

The Circle sent the Stranger into a small dimension… then sent in Cassandra, armed with weird mystical powers, to kill him. The idea was that he would not dare harm her.

Indeed, the Stranger could not attack Craft. But he faked his own death, shocking Cassandra and releasing her from the control of the Dark Circle. They then escaped together. After a confrontation with the Dark Circle, the Phantom Stranger started walking away alone as usual. But Cassandra convinced him to take her with him so they could fight the Dark Circle together.

I miss the kiss of Summer in Paris

Cassandra’s clairvoyance took them to Paris to do just that. The Dark Circle had just started a campaign of terrorism, with agents passing themselves for such classic Parisian characters as Quasimodo or the Phantom of the Opera to terrify the crowds. That was intended to clear the streets so they could steal something called the Pillar of Souls.

Of course, they kidnapped Cassandra while the Stranger was elsewhere because, hey, union rules.

The Stranger’s foe Tannarak was working for the Circle. However, he decided to switch sides after the Stranger showed him how his clients would betray and kill him at the drop of a pin.

CC, CC, CC, por que é que todo mundo / Olha tanto pra você ?

The clairvoyant Cassandra tracked the Circle to Rio de Janeiro. As it turned out, it was headed by Tala, another nemesis of the Stranger. During the fight and to Cassandra’s dismay, Tala, Tannarak and the Stranger all seemingly perished.

Cassandra Craft (DC Comics) with a magic crossbow.

It was of course a trick. The Stranger had walked away as always. But he decided not to let Cassandra know he was still alive. That likely was because he could not handle a relationship with a mortal.

Cassandra Craft then became a teacher at the Sanders School for the Blind. She helped recently blinded people learn Braille  and other techniques.

Demons vs. dead men

However, Ms. Craft’s mystical nature made her a target for Nathan Seine. Seine was a madman and an occultist who was scheming to become a nether god to resurrect his wife.

Seine conjured a demon that could drain mystical potential and bring it back to him. In this way he could accumulate power and transcend mortality. Cassandra was to be the demon’s second victim. However, the Phantom Stranger and Deadman destroyed it. During the conflict, Ms. Craft confusedly sensed that the Stranger was around.

Seine soldiered on, kidnapped Cassandra (no, really) and conjured the demon anew. The Stranger was left with no choice but to use his full power on Seine, who had become a nether god as planned. Seine was depowered then eaten by his demons, and the Stranger walked away with Cassandra.

In black and white

In the early 1980s, Craft worked as a medium. She was hired for a seance to summon the spirit of deceased mystic Roland Randall. This was conducted in the presence of reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane. However the seance went wrong, and seemingly summoned the Hammer Films version of Dracula  and Frankenstein’s Monster .

Both movie icons tried to kill Cassandra so nobody could ever send them back. They were but barely held at bay by Superman. Dracula then decided they would attack Superman himself so he could drain Kryptonian blood and become invincible.

Cassandra Craft, Misty Kilgore and Prowley

Superman fought the monsters again. He held his own until the Phantom Stranger came and sent the monsters back to the realm of nightmares, where they belonged. He disappeared before Cassandra could clearly sense him. But she still intuited his presence, which she likened to the shine of the rising sun.

The Stranger started an actual relationship with her not long afterwards. However, he occasionally disappeared for months if not years without any explanation.

Retail peculiar

Cassandra Craft was not seen in comic books for years. During that time she moved to San Francisco. She started a shop whose main business was the sale of actual, genuine mystical artefacts. She became a renowned expert in the trade. She also had a side trade in fakes and “working fakes”, which she found amusing.

Thanks to her friendliness, and because most people knew she was connected with the Phantom Stranger, Cassandra swiftly became an important part of the West Coast mystical community. She also attracted shoppers from beyond the coast… sometimes *well* beyond.

In 2005, Zatanna accidentally conjured the Merlin sprite (aka Gwydion, aka the Shapeless One, one of the Imperishable Treasures of Aurakles). The Bay Area mystical community, including Cassandra, became very nervous. During the conjuration Ibis and his wife had been seemingly incinerated, which came as a shock for everyone.

Having temporarily lost her power, Zatanna drove to Cassandra’s shop to arm herself as Merlin pursued her. With the help of Cassandra’s inventory and the magic of her new apprentice, Misty Kilgore, Zatanna did capture Merlin.

As Zee and Misty were about to leave, the Phantom Stranger walked in. He was bringing foodstuffs from the corner deli, as Cass had asked him to two years before. Of course, he also uttered vague, dire but poetic warnings about the crisis to come.

Flashpoint

A character named Cassandra Craft appeared in the New 52 DC Comics continuity later on, but she seems to be a completely different person. Her main ability seems to be the power of leaving the top half of her blouse perpetually unbuttoned.


Description

Cassandra moves with confidence. Thus, a casual observer is unlikely to notice she’s blind.

In her original appearances she wore distinctively early 1970s clothing. But Cass later appeared in something considerably more sober and modern.


Personality

Cass is a generally cheerful and positive person, though she hates being pitied for her blindness. She’s unusually humane — the sort who will rescue unconscious strangers in the night in a Manhattan subway station.

But asides from being a fair damsel in frequent distress and being really nice and sweet, she did not have a detailed personality in her original appearances.

She fell in love with the Stranger very quickly, was intuitively certain that he reciprocated her feelings (he, indeed, did) and kept calling him ’darling‘. The old spook seemed to like that. Very little actually *happened* to start this “relationship”, making things a bit weird.

Cassandra always referred to him as “my friend”, since the Stranger does not have a name.

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

In her modern appearances, Cass was less of a blank slate. She had that slightly spacey, free-spirited San Francisco manner. Her sense of repartee seemed straight from Seinfeld . She has that ex-hippie vibe that is not uncommon in the area, and references pop-mystical stuff from the 1960s, from astrology to crystals to chakras.

Her speech has a slightly unnerving pattern. An astute observer will eventually realize this is because Cass often comments about things that :

  1. She cannot see.
  2. Happen a few seconds *after* she mentioned them.

She seemed quite playful during her modern appearance. Especially if one keeps in mind she was scared about the Merlin entity when Zatanna came to her shop.

In particular, she had a thing for proving herself smarter and, well, craftier than most people. But this is done in a playful, roguish way. She thought that being able to fool even experts with her forgeries was really funny, and viewed it as an art form as well as a game.

Craft is unusually friendly and accepting, and loves chatting and interacting with just about everyone. She is also very frank and direct with her friends. This is exemplified by her unhesitatingly berating Zatanna about having a sidekick since she couldn’t even run her own life right.


Quotes

Cassandra Craft (1970s)

(Cheerfully) “I’ve always seemed to have a feeling for the supernatural !”

“I can sense things — strange, dark things that nobody has a right to know ! Hold my hands tightly — and maybe I’ll see the demon on your back !”

“I can hear the sounds of digging around me ? Just where did my little spook-power lead us ?”

“Then lead on, dear Stranger… I’d gladly follow you — anywhere !”

(To the Stranger) “Don’t worry darling ! Maybe I can’t see that brute — but I can hear him coming a mile away… and I’m not quite as defenseless as I seem !” (Gives a solid kick in the knee of a surprised henchman)

Stranger: “But the effort… the strain —! Each time you attempt [clairvoyance], you tear your emotions apart !”
Cass: “It comes with the territory, sweetheart — now hush ! If Tannarak will kindly take my other hand — this little lady has a seance to begin !”

“I have ’seen’ once more, darling ! I know where we must go ! There were riders… four ghostly riders upon glowing steeds — galloping through the sky above a green mountain… And there was a statue on that mountain… the statue of a great redeemer — and below it, a bright carnival —!”

“NO ! I may be blind and a young woman, but I’m not helpless — and I’m not a fool ! After 24 years, I’ve done lots more complicated things than walking down a street !”

Cass: “I may be blind, but the soul has eyes of its own. Eyes that can see an inner strength in you… a nobility, burning like a great golden fire !”
Clark Kent: “I-in me…? B-but just c-coming here was the bravest thing I’ve done in weeks !”

Cassandra Craft (2000s)

Cass: “The name Gwydion  is an early form of Merlin. I checked. It refers to a royal were-dragon from Celtic mythology. Or it might just be something a minor demon’s decided to call itself. In fact, it could be anything.”
Zatanna: “I knew you’d be helpful. Narrow it down a little, Cass.”
Cass: “That’s the point. You can’t narrow the Shapeless One down. He can be anything. This is way too nerve-wracking, Zee.”

“His name’s Prowley. I think he likes you, too. But if he turns up and pees all over your dreams, send him right back home.”

“A sidekick ? You can barely run your own life, Zee.”

“I sold a few more Dyna-Mite rings and an imitation Ruby of Life last month. I know I shouldn’t, but when you can fool the experts, it’s more artistic than illegal, isn’t it ?”

Cass: “Your apprentice glides silently around the room in a way that makes my chakras incredibly nervous.”
Misty: “That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
Zee: “She’s learning to be a superhero.”

Zatanna (grabbing a signed copy of Hex Appeal): “Hey ! Did you forge my signature on here ?”
Cassandra: “You asked for proof that even a blind person could forge your signature, Zee.”
Zatanna: “Well, you learn to simplify when there are people waiting in line…”

“Don’t wreck my store, Zatanna. That’s all. If you can save the world without breaking anything, I’d be grateful.” (Picks up her cat)

“She’s an air sign and you also have to remember she was combat-trained by the Justice League.”

“Neat trick. Now wait for the next one. She’ll say it was for the good of all humanity and leave without paying for the damage. Showbiz.”


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Cassandra Craft

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Have a nice life
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Shopkeeper
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 028 HP: 010

Powers:
Analytical smell/Tracking scent: 02, Detect (Motion): 02, Directional hearing: 01, Empathy: 01, Enhanced Initiative: 15, Sharpness (Occultist (Premonition)): 12, Telepathy: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Analytical smell/Tracking scent, Detect, Directional hearing and Empathy are Skilled Powers
  • Telepathy is a Minor Marginal Power, and can only be used to emit a cry for help, and can only be used to contact the Phantom Stranger

Skills:
Charisma (Persuasion): 06, Occultist (Identify artefact, Knowledge, Premonition): 08, Scientist (research): 07, Thief (Forgery): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Occultist (Premonition) costs Cass but 10 HPs to perform – her Price of Magic for this ability being her blindness. The GM can also give her hunches for no HPs if that advances his story and/or avoids boring complications (such as getting the PCs back together after they lost sight of each other)
  • Occultist (Premonition) has Sharpness since it seems able to largely ignore Obscure and other mystical wards
  • Scientist (Research) only for occult matters

Advantages:
Expertise (artefacts lore), Pet (Prowley), Schtick (Damsel in Distress)

Connections:
Phantom Stranger (High, but he’s rather difficult to reach), Zatanna (High), Mystic Community (Low)

Drawbacks:
SPR (Blind), Creepy Appearance (although that wasn’t the case initially, her eyes now lack pupils)

Equipment:
Cassandra now has a shop full of mystical artefacts from all over the world, and many of those are quite potent and/or dangerous. She will, of course, use them to defend herself if necessary.

William Tell’s quarrel

[BODY 03 INT 03 WIL 03, Magic blast: 08, Projectile weapon: 04, Limitation: Magic Blast has No Range but can be Combined with Projectile Weapon, Drawback: Must be fired from a crossbow to employ any of its Powers].

While it is probably not the most powerful weapon in the shop, this crossbow bolt is particularly useful for Cassandra. It is sentient, can see, and is able to talk (and even knows English, though it presumable has a Swiss accent).

Thus, when Zatanna and Misty entered the shop and Cass pointed her crossbow in their general direction, the quarrel told her not to release it, for that would hurt friends (it presumably was familiar with Zatanna from a previous visit to the shop).

The quarrel might be able to steer itself to some extent (AV or even DEX) and may have paranormal senses (why did it assume neither Zatanna nor Misty were dangerous while it knew some shapeshifting menace was around ?), perhaps centring around determining whether a target is innocent or not. It also glows like a lightsabre.

Ali Ka-Zoom’s cabinet

For a while she had the Magical Cabinet of Ali Ka-Zoom in her inventory (see the Ali Ka-Zoom writeup for stats and lore). Zatanna mentions Cass bought it for 20 grand. Given the nature of the business Cas probably expected to sell it for 50 (11 APs of Wealth).

Medallion

The medallion Cassandra wears is never clearly illustrated, but it resembles the medallion of the Phantom Stranger. It looked to be made of silver instead of gold, which is not illogical when worn by a woman (silver -> moon -> female, whereas gold -> sun -> male), and when the Phantom Stranger walked in he was not wearing his medallion.

It is quite possible he gave it to her for protection, or just out of affection.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Cassandra Craft — Averaged PL2

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 00 00 -5 01 03 01 02

Powers

Compensating for blindness ● 3 points ● Descriptor: Skill
Senses 3 (Acute smell, Accurate hearing)

Clairvoyance ● 13 points ● Descriptor: Mystical
– Subtle precognition — Enhanced Advantage (Improved Initiative 3, Close Attack 1)
– Unsubtle precognition — Senses 8 (Penetrating Precognition)
– Empathic link — Senses 1 (Communication Link limited to a cry for help to the Phantom Stranger)

Devices

Craft can use the artefacts in her shop to defend herself if she needs, though only one was seen in action. She also wears a medallion that likely has mystical significance or even power, since it seems to be a variant over the Phantom Stranger’s.

The one artefact that was seen :

William Tell’s quarrel ● 5 points (Easily removable: requires a crossbow) ● Descriptor: Magic, crossbow bolt
– Can see, think, talk — Feature 2
– Magical projectile — Ranged ballistic Damage 3, Linked with Ranged magic Damage 7 (Limited 2 – 1 shot)

Combat Advantages

Close attack 1, Improved Initiative 3

Other Advantages

Connected, Well-informed (both Limited 1 to the mystical community), Minion 2 (Prowley)

Skills

Deception 5 (+7), Expertise (Occult lore) 9 (+12), Expertise (Forgery) 9 (+12), Insight 8 (+10), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 4 (+6)

Offense

Initiative +12
Unarmed +2, Close, Damage 0
Magic crossbow bolt +6, Close, Damage 7

Defence

Dodge 02 Fortitude 00
Parry 03 Toughness 00
Will 03

Complications

  • Handicap Cassandra is blind from birth.
  • Damsel in distress In vintage stories Ms. Craft always, always gets kidnapped by everyone and their familiar.
  • Kind and generous Cassandra will normally help people, even complete… strangers.
  • Appearance Craft’s eyes are unusual-looking, but this is normally trivial to conceal if she wishes so.

Prowley

STR -4 STA -2 AGL 3 DEX -2 FGT 02 INT -2 AWE 01 PRE -1
Powers: Shrinking 8 (Permanent, Innate), Senses 4 (Low-light vision, Ranged Detect Magic, Communication Link (conveying his Detect to Cass))
Advantages: Benefit 1 (Athletics are based on Agility), Language (Ancient Egyptian)
Skills: Acrobatics 3 (+6), Athletics 3 (+6), Perception 4 (+5), Stealth 2 (+13)
Offense: Init +3, Claws +2 (Close, Damage +4)
Defenses: Dodge 7, Parry 6, Fortitude 0, Toughness -2, Will 1

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 1, Dodge/Toughness PL 1, Parry/Toughness PL 2, Fort/Will PL 2
  • Points total 54 Abilities 4, Defences 6, Skills 20, Powers 16, Devices 5, Advantages 3. Equiv. PL 4.

Notes

William Tell’s quarrel isn’t counted in her PLs since she presumably has but one.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: DC Universe

Helper(s): Roy Cowan

Subscribe to our newsletter!