5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Dealan-De

(Butterfly)


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

Who am I ? I don’t know, um, I’m Dealan-De ! Which you probably won’t say right, actually, so you should just know that I have an ancient power and I’m here to save you … and the kids in the hospital call me Butterfly Girl, which I guess works, kinda.


Context

This character is an original creation, created as part of the Halloween 2016 Random Magical Character Creation event. These characters are strictly randomly generated, with a few tweaks permitted, using the Random Magical Character Creation system.

This character in particular was left entirely as rolled and not changed. The story was built around the results.

This character was the co-winner (with the Ruby Dragon) of the silver and bronze prizes for the context. There was a tie, you see. 🙂


Background

  • Real Name: Elaine Chloe Dowie – goes by “Chloe”.
  • Other Aliases: Butterfly Girl, The Faerie of Zion.
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: John Dowie (adopted father), Jennifer Dowie (adopted mother).
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base of Operations: Zion, IL
  • Birthdate: October 17, 2001
  • Height: 5’1″ Weight: 105 lbs
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Red


Powers & Abilities

On her own, Chloe is an intelligent and extremely willful person. Indomitable truly describes her strength of mind. Additionally, she has the kind of charm and presence that can get her noticed across a large region. Her parents consider both her strength of will and her natural influence curses that will cause her to run her own way and rely on her own wiles rather than the wisdom of her elders and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Chloe is the heir of an ancient Faerie magic from the world of the Tuatha de Danann. This spirit passes to successive heirs through its mystical process and each new host develops slightly different characteristics.

Body control

In Chloe’s case, the magic has affected her physically. She is significantly stronger and tougher than other girls of her age. Her strength rivals that of professional weightlifters and her toughness already matches peak human performance. It is likely that her exceptional beauty is also a gift of the magic.

To a lesser degree than her mature predecessors, Chloe has a natural affinity for energy and some influence of the order of nature itself. This provides her molecular control over the substance of things.

She has such a degree of control of the elements of her body that she can change them at will, assuming whatever humanoid form or face she can imagine and can change her clothing in the same way.

Molecular mimicry

She can go so far as to change the molecular makeup of her body, mimicking other materials and elements with which she comes in contact. As she is so new to the control of her powers, she has not yet mastered the ability to harden her skin in this way, so while she can take on the appearance of metals or other dense materials, doing so does not yet offer her additional protection against physical blows.

Additionally, when in such forms, her strength is generally lower than the exceptional strength she exhibits normally. At this point, she far prefers to mimic gasses and liquids.

Her affinity with and influence over the materials of nature allow her to alter the molecular makeup of materials other than the ones of her own body as well. She can change small volumes of one element or compound within 100 yards into any other element or compound with some concentration. This has proven to be far easier to change gasses and liquids, but she has had some success making gold from wood.

Her body reacts instantly when in contact with energy of any form, allowing her to absorb it without being harmed. Like with all her other abilities, her ability to absorb energy is in its infancy and it only affects small volumes.

The tome

During the event that sparked her powers to life, Chloe was given a black tome. This tome appears to serve as a focus for her development, not as an instrument of her power. It unlocks knowledge that is nascent within her. 

Use of the tome has unlocked an instinctual understanding of the occult and the nature of her own magic. Still in its development, she is particularly knowledgeable about faerie magic and magic that affects the molecular world. She develops new knowledge and skill constantly while reviewing her tome and practicing her skills.

The guardian spirit has spent generations building valuable, knowledgeable connections. The tome seems to have an endless reference to such connections and it is not clear whether it is just unlocking knowledge already present in Chloe or if it is itself a source of these connections. In any case, when needed, Chloe appears to be able to reach out for help from a highly diverse group of people.


History

Chloe was adopted by her parents when she was very young. In fact, she remembers nothing prior to her adoption and didn’t even know about it until she overheard her parents, in a fit of frustration over the child’s most recent rebellious action. She was 13 and she was stunned.

Looking back, it should have been obvious. She looked so little like either of her parents, her thick, curly red hair, green eyes, and exceptionally fair skin never matched their dark hair and ruddy complexion. When she inquired about her real parents, all she learned was that her biological mother was unwed and that’s all the Dowies needed to know.

The Dowies were fundamentalists, Pentecostals by denomination. It came to them naturally, Chloe’s father, John, was a descendant of John Alexander Dowie who was a faith healer from Scotland, one of the inspirations of the Pentecostal movement, and the founder of Zion, Illinois.

They were very protective of their young daughter, obsessively some have said. Chloe had always been an independent spirit, with little regard to rules that were designed to contain her. She was a good kid otherwise, she just had a mischievous streak that she couldn’t contain. She especially wanted to roam, wanted to observe the world, and she couldn’t suppress it.

Her parents, however, saw every disobedience as significant defiance and met each offense with tighter controls. They had already pulled her out of public school. When private schooling also failed to shelter her sufficiently, they moved to home-schooling. Now, she was only allowed to interact with her neighborhood friends at her house, or at church.

Eustace McCoy

Eustace McCoy was the old woman who lived in the creepy old house at the end of Ezekiel Avenue. She hadn’t been terribly popular at church, which Chloe had always thought was interesting since she never came. Still, the ‘rents had always talked about her in negative tones. The kids had been less coy. They had called her a witch.

This had been consistent with Chloe’s view of the world, since the only time she really ever saw the recluse had been on Halloween, when her house had matched the holiday, covered in webs, vines, and spooky lighting. But that porch light had always been on and the desire for candy and fear had always taken kids to her door. She gave the best candy–exotic European chocolate.

It was the decor that had made her house a famous stop during trick-or-treating. Kids had to come into the foyer for their treat, where they encountered creepy moving shadows, flashing lights, and sudden, terrifying sounds. The effects were freshly arranged annually to keep the children off-balance.

They would scream or whimper, and old Eustace would offer a disarming, bright smile, kind words, and delicious chocolate to make the fright disappear. Then, she would remind them that they wore the masks to fool the real monsters that roamed that night and sent them off to the next, tamer home.

Sadly, it had been a couple of years since Chloe experienced the wonder of Ms. McCoy’s house on Halloween. Her parents strongly forbade participating in any pagan practices. She had managed to do it anyway, conniving new methods of getting out with her friends and going house to house.

She was always willing to take the punishment the next day, even giving all the candy away, just to see the diversity of the neighborhood in a way she was never able to do any other day. But the last couple of years, she had failed to escape the church’s fall festival.

Volunteer

Ms. McCoy had fallen ill. Chloe’s parents and the other church leaders had decided it was a perfect opening–provide service to the heathen and witnessing the grace of the Lord at the same time. The trouble was that no one wanted their children to go to her house–and no child was of the mind to argue.

Except for Chloe, of course, who longed for any freedom from the prison she called home. So she volunteered and was chosen to perform these works of mercy. She had insisted that it was a calling. Her parents hadn’t believed her, hadn’t liked the idea one bit, but they weren’t in a position to deny it because they had been outplayed, again, by this free spirit that was their daughter.

That’s how Chloe came to be friends with Ms. McCoy, the old lady in the creepy house at the end of Ezekiel Avenue. She learned that Ms. McCoy was distinctly not Pentecostal, but she didn’t care. She loved listening to her tales of the old country, told in a thick accent that lulled Chloe into the fantasy. Tochmarc Etaine was the girl’s favorite, a story of butterflies and wondrous power.

Chloe’s work wasn’t easy, but she barely noticed. The old lady’s house became a place of freedom. Often, the teenager would rush through her daily curriculum, or even work ahead so she could get to Ms. McCoy earlier. On her returns, which became progressively later, her parents would quiz her on her conversations and provide counsel on how their daughter might have witnessed more directly.

She would tell them what they wanted to hear, and would always make sure they knew she talked about Jesus with her old friend. It was true. She would talk about him, and then Ms. McCoy would talk about ancient faerie spirits. It was an exchange of sorts, each exploring the others’ knowledge.

Her 14th Halloween

On her 14th Halloween, Chloe pretended she was sick. It had been years since she had tried this tactic and she had been saving it up. Her parents went on to the church to volunteer at the fall festival, leaving Chloe sick in bed. Once they were safely gone, Chloe met her friends on her back porch.

She didn’t have a costume, but her friend had brought a younger brother’s leftover costume from last year. It had a terrifying mask of red and black patterns with five horns and yellow eyes, a long black cloak made of extremely thin material, and some sort of short silver staff. She didn’t care much what the costume represented visually. To her, it represented a night free of restrictions.

Her friends indicated it was from some movie that she had never been allowed to see. They had teased her gently in the way they typically did for her ignorance of things in pop culture, but she didn’t mind. She teased herself. Ultimately, the costume masked her identity, which meant she just might avoid her parents finding out.

Chloe had a blissful time. So many people passed her on the streets and so many homes opened their doors to her. Her senses had changed in the last two years, just like so many other things of her body. She was more aware, keenly mindful of being watched, hyper-self-conscious, but also emotionally affected by her observations.

She didn’t remember seeing the world this way before and she felt flushed and alive in a very different way than she felt in the shelter of her family’s company.

It was toward the middle of the group’s second hour that they made it to the creepy house at the end of Ezekiel Avenue. As with all past Halloweens, the door was open and the porch was lit with a smoky light. The entryway was covered in cotton webs and spiders. An occasional muffled scream escaped into the night.

The kids opened the rod iron gate and made their way across the dark front yard onto the rickety porch. It didn’t matter how many times Chloe had followed this very route, tonight it was different. When she was younger, she must have been unaware of the little decorations that made the scene so real, but now, in her teens, she couldn’t escape the chills and natural fear that the place conjured.

Deep inside the foyer, through the fog and flickering light, over the dark wood floor, on an ornate old hall table sat the crystal candy dish, beside the old padded chair where Ms. McCoy should have been sitting, regally, in a gown chosen for the evening. But she wasn’t there.

This puzzled Chloe more than the other children who made their way through the webs, fog, whispers, and howls to the candy dish they’d seen the years before. Chloe trailed cautiously behind, certain that Ms. McCoy was planning an epic scare or something wasn’t right.

Corpse

The leader of the pack had made it halfway into the foyer, just far enough to see into the parlor when she jumped and squealed in terror. The effect was contagious and the screams and terror spread through their ranks even as they gathered together to see the cause. On the floor in the parlor, near the hall, lie Ms. McCoy in a pool of blood.

Her dress was in tatters, revealing terrible gouges in her sides. The kids were breathing heavily now, trying to calm down from the fright, when Ms. McCoy’s eyes and mouth snapped open and she raised a bony finger pointing to the candy dish. They all laughed nervously at the scene, amazed at the show she had put on this year and snatched up the allowance of candy.

They chattered their compliments amongst each other and to the old woman lying on the floor who was staring into Chloe’s eyes.

Chloe wasn’t ok. This was either over the top or something was very wrong. While her friends gathered up the candy and left the home, Chloe stood staring at Ms. McCoy. The teenager’s mouth hung agape behind her demonic mask and was dry. In the parlor, vicious shadows curled and danced.

She glanced over her shoulder at her friends who were halfway across the yard by now, having not even noticed Chloe’s absence. Her head on the floor, Ms. McCoy continued to stare, unblinking, beyond the yellow eyes of the mask into Chloe’s soul. Something was wrong.

Chloe brandished the only weapon she had, the plastic staff and stepped into the parlor. As the lights behind her faded, she adjusted to the darkness in the room and saw a dozen little creatures, the size of small children.

At first, she was sure they were kids in costume, but the sharp teeth in their open mouths and the dangerous claws at the end of their fingers just seemed too realistic. They settled down in their fervor and started advancing on Chloe and the fallen Ms. McCoy, crouched now, on all fours.

Chloe was frozen. She didn’t know what to do or even if what she was seeing was real. The teeth and claws were closing in and her plastic toy seemed an unlikely defense, more likely to incite action from the creatures than to harm them. She was desperate, for her own sake and for her old friend lying on the floor, but she couldn’t act, couldn’t run, couldn’t strike.

The fear boiled inside her but beneath it was determination and faith–not the faith of her parents, or even the faith of Ms. McCoy, but something altogether different. In it, she found the strength to stare at the creatures from behind her mask and the strength to scream at them.

Panic

“Leave! Just leave this house !”. She had never wanted anything so badly. And to her surprise, the creatures stopped, backed off, and showed their own fear and hesitation. ”I said LEAVE !”

And they did–into shadows, out the front door, and beyond sight, scurrying like vermin away from a predator.

Chloe stood there for a while. She was still shaking from the fear and the anger when she felt Ms. McCoy grasp her ankle.

“Chloe, I’m so sorry, child,” Ms. McCoy was muttering. ”Come down to me… please.”

Chloe did so, kneeling in what she now realized was a very real pool of blood.

“I am so sorry. This cannot wait for the proper time,” the old lady was using up all her strength to talk. She didn’t even fight her natural accent. Chloe wanted to stop her, wanted to tell her to save her strength, wanted to call the police. Instead she was captured by her friend’s intensity. She knew she had to hear this out. ”’Twas my folly, I invited them, not noticing.”

Ms. McCoy’s blood-soaked, bony hand reached up to the young girl’s face. Her skin was cold.

“Ye’re special. Ye’re next and we don’t have any time to prepare ye.” Her voice was barely a whisper, but Chloe could hear it full well. The dying woman’s salty breath was also cold, chilling the skin about Chloe’s face. In contrast, Chloe’s face was hot and full of tears. This precious woman was dying, this precious woman who had been her best friend over the last couple of months. And she was in so much pain.

“Ye’re to inherit the power of the Deanan-De,” she paused and Chloe reacted. ”Yes, the very one of the stories. Tis why ye’re here, why ye came to this town.”

The teenager couldn’t comprehend any of this and the dying lady seemed to understand that as well. ”It’ll be just fine. A challenge for sure, but ye’re up for it and I’ve prepared some help.” She slowly pointed to the candy dish and Chloe was more confused. ”Not the dish, child, the book it rests on. It will help you learn your way and find people who can help. Take it. Hide it. Use it.”

With that, she pulled her lips up to Chloe’s, gently kissed her, and died. Chloe cried.

Becoming

In the chaos to follow, Chloe had only one goal, to protect the book. She didn’t feel any different in any other way. A shock fell over the community from the grisly murder. It was heavy enough that Chloe’s parents didn’t even punish her for her misdeeds.

The months that followed were heavy and bleak as everyone talked about how they were connected to the dead woman or were close to the house and narrowly missed being a victim of the violence. It was the way of the neighborhood to explain things away in thin platitudes. Chloe didn’t believe any of it.

In the settling of Ms. McCoy’s estate, it was discovered that the creepy house at the end of Ezekiel Avenue had been left to one Chloe Dowie. Being a minor, her parents slowly began the process of establishing guardianship. They provided Chloe no access to the home or anything else that would connect her with her old friend.

That was fine with Chloe. She couldn’t bring herself to even pass by the site of the tragedy. Doing so left her with the taste and smell of blood. She only had the book, which she read whenever she could.

Gradually, she noticed she was becoming stronger and tougher and that she could affect small changes in her appearance. She began to feel materials differently and she found she could change them or even change the makeup of her own body. It was this last power that provided her the ability to escape her house easily.

She chose to do just that, mostly at night. She fancied herself the Faerie of Zion and would explore the neighborhood and eventually the city, using her powers to disguise herself as a lithe adult, clothed like an elf maiden of legends.

At first she would just wander Shiloh Park or the local nature reserve, subtly staying beyond observation. Then she realized she could help people. She could scour the city for lost pets or find food for the hungry. She would get bolder over time, visiting children in the cancer ward at Midwestern, in a much younger disguise, giving them something to lift their spirits and quietly praying for them.

She never told them a name, but the kids started rumors of the butterfly girl bringing hope and health.

Continuing to get more and more daring, feeling an innate desire to protect the people of her community, and a need to use her power for something more, her most recent exploit was the tracking down of a missing boy, who she found kidnapped. It was the greatest test of her strength yet as it required that she outwit the kidnappers.

In the end, she had to physically best a large man to free the boy and get him home.

It’s been roughly a year since that Halloween night and steadily, the reputation of the girl who calls herself Dealan-De, the Faerie of Zion, the Butterfly Girl has spread. She knows that as she continues, she will stretch her capabilities and have to reach out for help. She knows that there are dark powers who hunger for her power, like the ones who killed dear Ms. McCoy.

The book tells her these things, but what the book says, she also knows in her heart. It’s like her parents always say, the Holy Spirit testifies in you when you know something is true and right. And Chloe has finally found her true and right path.


The Ancient Origin

In ancient Gaelic, the butterfly is called the Dealan-De. Dealan is the word for lightning, the source of energy. The power of the Dealan-De is a protective spirit, sent into the world to protect the chosen ones of the gods.

The power of the Dealan-De is best captured in the ancient irish tale, Tochmarc Etaine where a Tuatha de Danann man, Midir, was taken by a beautiful girl, Etaine. Etaine was beautiful beyond reason and Midir became enamored of her. The tale holds that Midir’s wife, Fuamnach, became jealous and turned Etaine into a pool of water, then into a butterfly, and then cast her away in a storm for seven years.

She was eventually given some respite until the wife discovered her and cast her into a wind for another seven years. Finally, Etaine lit upon a lady’s chalice and was consumed with the lady’s wine. The lady then gave birth to Etaine in a new form, who would later be united with Midir.

As with many tales passed down along the generations, key elements are twisted and lost. In truth, Etaine was the incarnation of passion, a spirit of the Dealan-De, sent to Midir to protect and guide him. But Midir became obsessed with Etaine’s unmatchable beauty and became jealous of all others, thus becoming the spirit of jealousy, Fuamnach, which seeks to imprison and restrict the spirits meant to be free.

In his desire to contain her, he imprisoned her human form so that only his eyes could see her. The spirit of Deanan-De could not be thus contained, and it first tried to escape by changing into water. When Midir saw that he could contain her beauty in a bottle, the spirit took flight in the form of a butterfly.

Midir’s obsession with Etaine was so strong that it bound even the spirit to his presence until the gods cast it adrift for 7 and 7 years with only 7 and 7 weeks of rest, until it could be born again, another avatar of the power.

It has continued this way for generations of long-lived women who have inherited the power of Dealan-De. They are drawn to each other so that when the spirit can be made manifest in the 14th day of the 14th year of life of the new heir, the new Dealan-De can be taught by her predecessor.


Description

Chloe is a stunning 14 year old girl. She has long, curly red hair and unblemished, alabaster skin. Her green eyes shine from naturally thick eyelashes and carry a heavy presence. She shows every emotion on her face, deeply and beautifully, without guile. This hasn’t meant she can’t lie, it just means she cannot cover her reactions well.

She has the kind of face that people are deeply affected by, but also want to protect. In her personal life, she wears her hair long over loose blouses and long dresses, as is the custom of her church. She prefers to follow normal teenage fashion if she has her own choice, which she usually doesn’t because he parents would never allow such clothes to be in her house.

Now, with her powers, it matters little what her parents allow. When she has a bit of freedom, she’s likely to be seen wearing tighter jeans and tighter shirts, like she sees among the neighborhood girls.

When she prowls about at night as Dealan-De, she allows her hair to be huge, like a fiery halo about her head, dancing as if in a strong and unpredictable wind. She changes her face and her body to be more adult, like she imagines she might look like, with more pronounced facial features. She wears a lavish green tunic and pants combination that she’s seen on elves and faeries in books at the library.

Sadly, her tome has no advice on fashion.


Personality

Chloe is typically an energetic and lively girl when she has the opportunity to be free and to explore. Otherwise, she is sullen and quiet. While her physical beauty and personality often attract the attention of others, she doesn’t engage them, doesn’t show deep curiosity for their struggles or desires.

She generally comes across as either aloof or dull, unless she truly desires to use her charm to effect her desires. She doesn’t choose this option unless she is operating as a hero, and not as merely Chloe.

As a hero, she is slowly becoming comfortable being seen, demanding attention, and offering herself up as a role model. It’s still a skin that she doesn’t wear comfortably, so she awkwardly offers platitudes that she immediately regrets.

Her life is out of balance, however, with her getting little sleep and little rest. This means she has less patience with the mundanity of every day, homeschooled life. She has become quite cranky. She is able to hide the physical impact of exhaustion, but the mental ones are leaking through and beginning to worry her parents.

They overlook it some, because she hasn’t pressed them for freedom, or been caught bending their rules since the horrible event a year ago.


Quotes

Captured Police Officer, handcuffed to a chair as Chloe, as Dealan-De, materializes from a gaseous form in front of him: “what the–oh, no. Lady, you need to get out of here–wait, unless you can turn me into air too.”
Chloe: “I-uh-don’t think I can do that. And I don’t know what would happen to you if I tried.”
Cop: “Then, you should get out of here before those thugs get back and take you, too, lady.”
Chloe: “No. I came to free you.”
Cop: “What !? How ?”
Chloe: “Well…” She reaches down to touch the chains of the handcuffs and they abruptly change to water. She stands back and smiles proudly.
Cop: “Whoa ! Okay, then. Now what ?” He gets up.
Chloe: “Sheesh, I don’t know. Was kinda hoping you’d have an idea. I’m new to this.”
Cop: “Great.”

Parent of Rescued Boy: “Thank you ! Thank you !”
Chloe: “You’re welcome, of course.”
Parent: “Who are you ?”
Chloe: “Why does everyone ask that ? Is it really important ? I rescued the boy, isn’t that what matters ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Dealan-De

A 673 points Character

Dex: 02 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Teenage Forced Recluse
Inf: 07 Aur: 02 Spi: 06 Wealth: 004
Init: 014 HP: 005

Powers:
Chameleon: 05, Transmutation: 05, Molecular Chameleon: 04, Energy Absorption: 04

Skills:
Occultist: 03

Advantages:
Magic Background, Scholar (Faerie Magic, Molecular Magic), Attractive, Omni-Connection, Familiarity (Pentecostalism, Bible).

Connections:
Many and sundry

Drawbacks:
Age (Young), MIA toward personal freedom and bucking her parents’ restrictions.


Design notes

For the random contest, I took the first set of rolls and left them where they were and tried to create a character that inspired me from what the stats and powers said.

The only options I had were a DM’s Choice roll for one of the powers (which I filled with transmutation) and a choice of schools for a second school (which I filled, initially, with nature magic, but moved it to have a more molecular bent to match her powers).


Future Growth

As she’s young and new to her powers, she is just beginning to realize her strength. Her powers, especially her Molecular Chameleon, would grow tremendously with experience, as would Transmutation. Obviously, as she comes to age or overcomes her fear of the place, she would inherit the old house, a sanctuary. It would serve as a HQ for her in the future.

I would write her as if she had Traumatic Flashbacks of the events of that fateful Halloween, which would keep her from enjoying her HQ until she overcame it.

By Tyler Roark

Source of Character: Magical character creation contest, Halloween 2016

Writeup completed on the 5th of November, 2016.

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