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Magnir (D&D paladin)

Magnir the Grey

Profile #1


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

Context

Magnir the Grey is an example of a Dungeons & Dragons character – D&D being the father of tabletop role-playing games and a very important influence on the post-Tolkien tropes of heroic fantasy.

I played Magnir for some years among different groups and across different editions of the system, so I suppose he’s one of my signature characters.

He belongs to the character archetype that D&D calls a paladin – a holy warrior serving righteous causes. Paladins are subject to stringent ethics, but have some magic powers.

He also draws from some Nordic mythology and imagery, albeit some of the material is older than that used in Marvel’s Thor comics.


Background

  • Real Name: Magnir Borsson
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Morwaine of the Fire River (wife), Bor (father, deceased), Kenna Alansdottir (cousin)
  • Group Affiliation: Agent of Freyr ; operative of the Black Temple
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 6’4” Weight: 240 lbs
  • Eyes: Dark green (right) Hair: Dark grey (right half), grey (left half)


Powers & Abilities

Magnir is a huge, very broad-shouldered fighter with nigh-superhuman strength. He looks like the sort of man who could punch out a bear or lift an ox.

As a holy warrior and experienced adventurer, he masters many field skills from horse-riding to sword-fighting. He’s an adept military officer, a good singer in the style of his homeland, and has a lot of experience with the paranormal and unusual that he can draw from.

Bare-chested older paladin with a claymore before a mountain

Beyond his strength, his greatest assets might be his exceptional charisma and resolve. He’s a battle-hardened leader who inspires trust and courage, and has unwaveringly faced some truly awful things.

Borsson usually fights with a longbow and a claymore. The longbow is an elaborate composite affair in the Elven style with an enormous drawn weight, usually referred to as a “five-man” bow due to the strength it takes to use. The sword is a Sunblade, one of the powerful claymores forged and enchanted for elite servants of Freyr. It can shine with pure sunlight, making it a devastating weapon against many forms of undead and creatures of darkness.

As a paladin of Freyr, Magnir possesses some minor magical edges such as immunity to disease or healing by laying on hands. Our game stats present a streamlined version of the usual AD&D class capabilities.


History

Magnir Borsson hails from the large village of Akumae. His lineage was cursed, with every man born a giant whose size would kill the mother at childbirth. They are known as surly brutes who kidnap and sequester women from other villages, and Magnir was expected to be just one more bad seed.

However his father was killed in a vendetta, and he was more or less adopted by a cousin known as a tanner and storyteller. She raised him right, though many villagers maintained that apples don’t fall far from the tree.

Magnir the paladin as a youth, and his wife Morwaine of the Fire River

Magnir and Morwaine in their youth.

When the priesthood ran him through his coming of age ceremony, Magnir vanished in thin air as shining, ghostly women briefly appeared at the temple. Though this certainly wasn’t common, the priests knew what to expect.

The youth returned three days later with the signs of a Dawn Knight – such as interlocking tattoos of unicorns on his forearms that looked made of silver. He had been recruited as an agent by the god Freyr — a considerable honour for the community.

A band of Freyr’s people, the Elves, came to Akumae for Magnir and rode away with the 14-year old. They gave him an education in their ways, further pulling him away from his brutal and predatory roots. To this day his use of the longbow, his way to wield a sword, his way to ride a horse, the way he prepares his trail meals, etc. bear a clear Elven heritage.

Fall

This all came crashing down a few years later. By then unused to human meads, he became stinking, roaring drunk at a tavern. As it turned out, he was the worst kind of drunk. Two men died, a girl was raped, the tavern was thrashed.

When Magnir regained consciousness, the Elves were gone, the unicorn motifs were darkened and oxidized, and his paladinhood was lost.

White-haired man with an eye patch swings a big sword

Supplicated, the goddess Freyja agreed to a penitence – years of works to save those souls trapped by the necromancer Frader Martelmort. During this quest, the ex-paladin clashed with cultists of Hel and was subjected to their curse, with the left side of his body ageing and nearly dying.

He lost his left eye but narrowly survived the ordeal thanks to the intervention of an half-elf witch named Morwaine, of the Faemir people. Morwaine had scryed that she was fated to live with Magnir Borsson and had no choice in the matter, a situation she was less than pleased about. Magnir was also less than enthused.

The not-a-couple forged along to the gates of hell, experiencing many adventures over the years – including clashes with the Faemir who attempted to capture Morwaine to prevent her from living with a human. Eventually, using illusions and powerful alchemical fire, Morwaine distracted the hellhound Garm long enough for her husband to rush in and bail out with the damned souls, setting them free.

The deed done after a dozen years, Magnir regained his paladinhood. As they were galloping away from Garm, Morwaine and Magnir were grabbed by Valkyries who took them to another world, where Freyr needed one of his agents to act.

Defend

In this new place they found the faithful besieged by far more powerful forces of darkness, and resisting as they could. Borsson joined an army of knights, Lannann’s Griffins, who were the main defenders. The war against demons and the undead raged for years, but Magnir survived it all. As he rose in the ranks, Magnir became an associate of the Black Temple, a fortified military base run by priests of Freyr.

At the Temple he and Morwaine became friends of the Three, a reputed special operations unit made up of clerics of Freyr – Spherix, Heicure and Nestophidius. When Spherix was rendered comatose after being banished to some sort of hell, Magnir became the new third man.

The Three of the Black Temple were too successful for their own good : several evil gods declared open season on them, each to curse the Three once. The Three are currently banished on the demi-plane of Dread, and have yet to identify the god who condemned them to die there.

They are now trying to come back to the terrible war in which they fought, if only to save their loved ones.


Description

A hulking Man Of A Certain Age, still in superb condition and with an impressive musculature. Magnir is usually dressed in a way that evokes a loose mix of low Middle Ages Scottish and Icelandic clothing, though most of the time he’s wearing a field plate armour that in the real world comes centuries later. The armour has stylised turquoise unicorn motifs on the forearms, echoing Magnir’s Dawn Knight marks.

The left side of his body is visibly older – while most do not notice right away, once this has been pointed out it’s obvious. His left eye is covered with a black leather patch. The tartan on his clothing would correspond to the real-world East Kilbride motif – though it is the tartan of his village, not his family.


Personality

A grizzled veteran whose life has been spent fighting and being in the field. Magnir is a professional defender – fighting to protect the defenceless is his job and what he’s about.

Though he was originally brash, violent, undisciplined and something of a berserker, that was decades ago. He’s now methodical and sophisticated, fighting tactically and planning pragmatically – an accomplished soldier. He is the low-tech equivalent of veteran special forces non-com.

Though he’s a paladin, Magnir the Grey maintains an attitude of arm’s length professionalism. He defends people and fights evil without passion – over the decades it has become a job, and he simply performs it as best as he can. He has been through so many horrors and seen so many innocents die that everything has faded to a dull roar.

This works well – the old man remains analytical, detached and looking for the most efficient approaches in all circumstances. He can put his heart and fire into certain action, but this is usually done by drawing upon old memories. In “duty mode”, he’s technically-minded.

Hairy-chested older man swings a claymore

Magnir still can come across as a rambunctious barbarian – certainly not the monastic paladin type. However, this is mostly a nostalgia thing and he doesn’t really follow through.

He’ll drink a fair bit, but never actually get drunk since he’s still haunted by his fall many years ago. To most of his contemporaries what happened would be an amusing drunk anecdote and/or good for bragging rights. But to Magnir it’s a large piece of guilt that simply doesn’t go away.

Morwaine and Magnir are mismatched in just about every way – she’s a spooky, Chaotic Evil (well, mostly Chaotic) backwood witch with powerful curses and certainly not a nice person. Furthermore the slim, petite, barely ageing half-fay is now often assumed to be the daughter of the hulking older man. The two do not get along but are stuck with each other for cryptic reasons that are unclear even to Morwaine.

Due to the witch’s chaotic nature it is all quite unpredictable – any given day might range from refusing to talk to each other, to angry sex (albeit with a high level of caution since a pregnancy would be fatal if brought to term), to behaving like old friends with a strong hint of tenderness.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Magnir

Dex: 05 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility/Uphold Good
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Paladin
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 014 HP: 030

Powers:
Aura of fear: 05, Detect (Evil): 03, Regeneration: 01, Systemic antidote*: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers but Regeneration are Mystic-Linked
  • Aura of Fear only works against the undead, and is Minor Marginal
  • Regeneration is Form Function
  • Systemic Antidote only vs. diseases

Skills:
Animal handling (Horses): 04, Artist (Singing): 04, Charisma*: 06, Medicine (First Aid, Medical treatment) (ML): 06, Military science (Field command): 05, Occultist: 04, Weaponry (melee, missile): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:
Medicine is a Powered Skill, and Mystic-Linked. It can be performed without equipment and in any conditions, by laying hands.

Advantages
Expertise (Vanir-related theology), Familiarity (Wilderness survival, General Nordic theology, Leatherworking, Military equipment and protocols), Iron Nerves

Connections:
Black Temple (Low)

Drawbacks:
Age (Old), MPR (One-eyed), Languages (Common, Elvish), Public ID, Creepy Appearance (Slightly discoloured left side, silvery unicorn tats, eye patch)

Equipment:

  • FIELD PLATE ARMOR [BODY 06, Invulnerability: 04, Skin armor: 02, Limitation : Skin armor only vs slashing and piercing weapons ; Real Armour]
  • Sunblade claymore [BODY 10, EV 04 (06 w/STR), Claws: 08, Energy blast: 08, Flash: 01. Bonus : Flash is actually pure sunlight, with attendant effects on many undead (+1), all Powers are Mystic-Linked  ; Limitations : Claws is only usable against evil creatures, Energy blast has No Range (-1) and can only be used against creatures with a direct connection with the Negative Plane (-3), Flash can only be used once per day and lasts ten minutes, Claws and Energy Blast can be Combined]
  • Composite longbow with a five-man draw [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 01, Rec. STR: 04, R#02, Bow Advantage (EV is 05, Range is 08), Limitation : Low Penetration]

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Player Character in an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign circa 1990.

Helper(s): Peter Piispanen

Writeup completed on the 14th of December, 2013.

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