5712 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Lupercal


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

“Well, excuse me, copper, Mr. Crimestopper, what is wrong with what we’re doing ? We just like to dance in our goatskin pants around this ancient ruin.”
— City of Crime


Context

This character is an original creation. We often call these “homemades” or “homebrewed” – think home cooking or craft beer.

Many of these characters were created to take part in tabletop role-playing game sessions. Others were invented as a creative writing exercise, often as part of a community event.

This specific character was part of our Spring of 2015 Random Magical Character Creation event.


Background

  • Real Name: Edward “Eddie” Jacob Blaskowitz
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Jacob and Martina Blaskowitz (parents, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 160 lbs
  • Eyes: Gray Hair: Brown, graying
  • Other Distinguishing Features: Wild mane of receding hair


Powers & Abilities

Even before discovering the relics that shaped his current modus operandi, Eddie was well-known in entertainment circles as a fearless stunt driver who could take incredible amounts of physical abuse. Though he’s generally a straightforward, simple man, Blaskowitz is very observant, strong-willed, and blessed with a rough charm.

Eddie has come into the possession of two mystic relics that are apparent remnants of the ancient Lupercalia festival. The first is a set of goatskin leather armor that allows the wearer to assume the form of a she-wolf, accompanied with brilliant flashes of light.

The second is a shaggy goatskin leather thong — a februa from the Lupercalia festival — with a small buckle attached so that it can be worn as a loose collar of sorts. This collar allows whoever is wearing it to soak up tremendous amounts of physical damage, channeling it into increased strength of presence and body.

Each of the relics requires periodic rejuvenation.

The goatskin leathers must have two one-inch oval-cut black opals inserted into the “eyes” of the she-wolf’s-head embossed on the jacket before its powers can be used. Once inserted, the opals bond with the armor and dissipate over the course of the next 29 and a half days — one lunar cycle. Once the opals have faded away, the leathers’ abilities become dormant until new ones are put in.

Since Eddie doesn’t use the leathers’ powers very often and black opals of the necessary size are expensive (usually in the $3,000 to $4,000 range), he usually keeps two or three pairs of opals in an inside pocket in the leather jacket and pops a couple into place when he needs to activate the leathers’ abilities. The rest of the time he’ll have a couple of cheap gemstones or plastic replicas in place instead.

The februa collar is recharged by the sacrifice of the ectoplasmic ghost-dog that emerges from the Lupercal during the dates of the Lupercalia. This need not be done in a ritualistic fashion — Eddie did it the first time by the simple expedient of shoving a shotgun barrel in its mouth and pulling the trigger.

Eddie usually tools around on a beat-up old touring motorcycle with a full set of saddlebags. He won’t put too much time or effort into maintaining it, instead doing minimal maintenance until it wears out or gets trashed in a stunt or accident and then replacing it with another cheap used bike.

Though he makes quite a bit of money these days between his specialized stuntwork, acting jobs, and endorsement deals he has very little of it at hand (hence his low Wealth score). Most of it gets donated to various charities (vetted by his agent/manager Veronica Stenson) or put away for retirement savings (again on Veronica’s advice).

He keeps a decent stash of black opals by insisting that anyone paying him to use his transformation abilities for entertainment purposes supply not only the pair that he’ll need to activate his powers for the gig but also some extra pairs for his personal use.

This varies by contractor, with a low-budget indie film only being asked for one extra pair of opals while a big-budget Hollywood flick or commercial for a major endorsement contract might be asked to provide up to a dozen extra opals.


History

From the time he first learned to ride a bicycle, Eddie developed an almost-obsessive delight with stunt-riding. Even numerous accidents failed to dissuade him thanks to his natural durability and quick healing.

After high school he made a living of sorts doing odd jobs and stunt shows in local events until family friend Veronica Stenson, an up-and-coming talent agent, suggested he try stunt work professionally.

Eddie distinguished himself personally as well as on the job, his simple, amiable nature making him a natural fixture at the wilder parties and social events that accompanied entertainment work. He was even able to return the favor to Veronica, sending promising people he met to her for professional representation.

The Lupercalia

Lupercus, known in Greek mythology as Pan, was the Roman god of shepards. His annual festival, the Lupercalia (“Wolf Festival”), took place from February 13th (the ides of that month) to February 15th, the anniversary of the founding of his temple. Lupercal’s priests, the Luperci, held the event near the cave of Lupercal on the Palatine Hill.

In addition to being a general celebration of renewed life with the arrival of springtime, the Lupercalia honored Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled the infant twins Romulus and Remus who would grow up to found Rome.

The Luperci sacrificed two goats and a dog, then dressed in goatskins and went about striking people with februa – thongs made from the skins of the sacrificial animals. It was believed that women struck by februa would be more fertile and suffer less pain during childbirth.

The festival was finally outlawed by Pope Gelasius I near the end of the Vth Century. The Lupercal’s location was lost to history until 2007, when a cavern believed to be the Lupercal was discovered near the ruins of the palace of Augustus.

“That was a hell of a party !”

While in Italy for the filming of a B-movie swords-and-sandals flick, Eddie eagerly attended a recreation of the Lupercalia at the rediscovered site of the Lupercal. While stumbling about the site with a serious buzz going, Eddie came upon a hitherto-undiscovered small casket containing an ancient set of goatskin leathers, a shaggy goatskin collar, and a small scroll.

Delighted by his find, he put the items on moments before the revelries were interrupted when a demonic dog descended upon the partying throng.

Eddie grabbed a shotgun from one of the security staff who’d been disabled by the dog. With desperate perseverance and a lot of luck he managed to feed the diabolic cur a buckshot sammich. The moment he did so, he felt an odd surge of vitality that seemed to originate with the collar.

Afterwards he presented the items he had found to the Lupercalia Society, the group of historians, theologians, and artists who had organized the festival recreation. Translating the scroll, they told Eddie of the abilities the items possessed.

They ultimately concluded that he was the rightful heir and had not simply found the relics but had been destined to acquire them for some as yet unknown reason.

A Wild Wild Life

With the collar’s protective trait, Eddie was able to engage in even more insane stunts and ridiculous party gags. His ability to shape shift has made him a popular guest-star in various horror or supernatural-themed movies and TV shows.

Eddie’s also volunteered his services for charitable or humanitarian functions when possible, such as using the enhanced senses of his wolf form to help find lost or missing people. These exploits have expanded his fame to international heights.

Lupercal’s also intervened during several social events when one kind of threat or another has reared its ugly head. Oddly enough, at three separate soirées that were besieged by superhuman monstrosities, he’s spotted the same man: a blandly handsome server or bartender who seemed to be not only unthreatened by the creatures in question but actively cooperating with them somehow.

The last time Eddie even tried pursuing him but the man escaped through a door that Eddie could not force open again despite the enhanced strength he had at the moment as collateral from the battle. He’s kept an eye out for that man at every event he’s gone to since then.

Lupercal has become a bit of a mascot in some LGBT circles because of his ability to transform into a female wolf. He’s happy to encourage acceptance but otherwise stays quiet on the issue — in his mind the physical change from human to wolf is so profound compared to the gender switch that he doesn’t feel like he can speak to the experience of sex-change with any kind of authority.

Likewise, he’s agreeable to endorse various wildlife and environmental conservation causes but demurs on providing more substantial narratives about a wolf’s perceptions of the world because his shapeshifting still just makes him “a dude in wolf’s clothing, if you feel me.”

Eddie’s high living and support of progressive causes has sometimes attracted attention from various authorities, which has only added to his legend. The most infamous event arising out of this was when he was publicly attacked by a group of undercover cops disguised as members of a protest, seeking to simultaneously silence Lupercal as one of the protestor’s celebrity spokespeople and tarnish the cause’s reputation.

The resulting fracas, in which Eddie handily clouted the lot of them single-handedly and made an extravagant exit before the cops could descend on him en masse, was caught on camera and became a big hit on international news.


Description

Eddie has a blocky build with wide shoulders and a square head, which makes his wiry build look more muscular than it is in his usual loose fitting clothes. Said attire is a long-sleeved pullover shirt, dark blue or black jeans, motorcycle boots, and a pair of cheap mirrorshades if the sun is out.

He is balding on top with a fringe of long wild hair that falls an inch or two below his shoulders or sticks out like a troll doll’s hair depending on the climate and the types of activities Eddie’s been engaging in on a given day. This and his baby face make what might be an otherwise intimidating appearance look goofily charming instead.

His mystic leather armor is a set of well-crafted hand-stitched pants and a long-sleeve jacket, dark brown and very supple except for the stiffened torso of the jacket. Despite its age and the abuses it has suffered while being worn by Eddie the leathers appear brand new.

There is an 6-inch-wide embossed she-wolf’s head on the jacket above the left breast. The eyes of the wolf’s head are rimmed depressions in which two oval-cut gems can be inserted.

When the leathers emit the brilliant flashes of light accompanying the changes to and from wolf form, onlookers perceive it as if someone had projected a blindingly intense image of the full moon right into their retinas.

The februa collar hangs loosely around Eddie’s neck, looking almost like a thick shaggy ascot.

Though he goes through his motorcycles quite frequently, they all tend to look very similar: battered decade-old basic-model touring motorcycles in black or gray with Eddie’s road-worn black saddlebags hitched on them.

The saddlebags have the same embossed wolf’s-head on them that his leathers do, albeit with decorative chrome studs for eyes instead of gems.


Personality

Though Eddie’s a tough guy in the most basic sense, easily able to weather physically and psychologically stressful situations, he’s not an aggressive or pushy man. He loves to have a loud fun time but won’t subject anyone who isn’t a willing participant to his revelries.

If it looks like violence is about to break out nearby, he’ll try to defuse the tensions by encouraging people to let it go and get back to the party or even offering himself up as a distraction if someone’s particularly belligerent since he knows he can take a few hits. He will fight back if the aggressor seems intent on seriously injuring someone, but only enough to subdue them.

Eddie’s amiability allows him to mingle in many situations, even when it seems like he’d normally clash with the atmosphere. He’s received as a charming eccentric in upper crust or academic settings, for example. He’s very flexible and accepting of all types of people, so long as they’re not cruel or dismissive toward others.

If a particular party seems boring – which happens a lot to Eddie at the higher society functions – he’s been known to sneak out after lifting some of the booze or other party favors and look for a good time elsewhere using his pirated booty as the price of admission.

Fortunately for Eddie, these occasional incidents of theft are seen as part of his roguish persona rather than criminal acts, especially since they make good stories for the host to tell while not-so-subtley dropping Lupercal’s name.

Even though he’s legendary for being a party animal he tends to stay away from recreational substances. He likes being clear-headed enough to appreciate and remember the people he’s meeting and his work as a stunt driver has a harsh tendency toward natural selection of people whose habits affect their reflexes, perception, or judgement.

Consequently, Eddie usually has no more than one or two drinks at a party (his getting buzzed at the Lupercalia was a rarity) or a few tokes on a joint and doesn’t touch anything stronger. This allows him to more easily play peacekeeper as noted above and act as a designated driver, which he enjoys for the one-on-one time chatting with fellow partygoers.

The Lupercalia artifacts have changed his life, but only by a matter of degree. The invulnerability afforded by the februa collar has only enhanced the already-formidable physical durability that aided his lifestyle.

While some people are fascinated by the leathers’ ability to change him into a wolf, Eddie only sees it as a novelty and not an entirely pleasant one as the “rich sensory landscape” of his enhanced olfactory abilities in wolf form is a mixed blessing most of the time. Consequently he only uses that ability when he has a specific reason to do so.

With his newfound fame, Eddie has become a role model and upon realizing this has done his best to be a particularly conscientious citizen. Eddie is careful about the charities he supports and the endorsements he agrees to.

He relies on Veronica to direct him to charities that are doing a good job of supporting their causes and avoiding endorsement deals with companies that have poor-quality products or other problematic issues. Eddie also won’t act as a product shill for anything he doesn’t actually use personally.


Quotes

Dr. Novello: “While I appreciate the classicism in your nom de guerre, I’m curious why you didn’t choose ’Lupercus’ or ’Luperci‘ instead.”
Eddie: “Eh, ’Lupercal‘ sounded cooler.”

(While being chased by a superhuman homicidal maniac wielding a machete) “I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re kinda actin’ like an asshole right now !”

(After publicly thrashing the undercover cops who attacked him and as riot police close in, Eddie grabs the microphone from a nearby reporter) “Well, folks, it looks like my work here is done and my planet needs me. So long, good citizens !” (Eddie drops the mike and gives a jaunty salute to the camera) “Lupercal, OUT !” (Uses the dazzling flash from his transformation to quickly slip away unseen in wolf form, making it look as if he simply disappeared)


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

Eddie “Lupercal” Blaskowitz

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 06 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 02 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Stuntman/Entertainer
Inf: 02 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 007 HP: 000

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 06

Advantages
Confidant (Veronica Stenson, talent agent and Eddie’s manager), Familiarity (Carousing, Stuntwork), Popularity

Connections:
Entertainment Industry (Low), The Lupercalia Society (High)

Drawbacks:
CIA (Being a Party Animal)

Equipment:

  • GOATSKIN LEATHERS [BODY 04, Flash (ML): 04, Shape Change (ML): 05, Skin Armor: 01, Bonuses & Limitations : Flash automatically triggers in conjunction with activating or deactivating Shape change or attaching new black opals to the leathers and can only be used in this fashion (-2FC total), Shape Change only allows the wearer to take the form of a she-wolf with the APs of Shape Change distributed to raise each sensory Power by 1 AP (-3FC), Drawback: Miscellaneous – the leathers must absorb 2 oval-shaped black opals worth a total of 7 APs of Wealth before their Powers can be used, after which they work for the next lunar cycle (29.5 days)]
  • FEBRUA COLLAR [BODY 08 SPIRIT 08, Damage Absorption(ML): 08, Bonuses & Limitation: RAPs from Damage Absorption add to STR and AURA (+0FC), Drawback: Miscellaneous – Maintaining the Damage Absorption Power requires a person killing a mystically-empowered goat or dog near the Palantine Hill on February 13th through the 15th while wearing the collar; failure to complete this sacrifice in the allotted time causes Damage Absorption to stop working until the sacrifice can be performed during that time in a later year]
  • Touring Motorcycle [STR 04 BODY 05, Running: 06, R#: 03]

Design notes

Once again the randomly-rolled character fell right into place once I found the necessary theme. The only changes/additions made to the stats were to add some thematic Limitations to the Artifacts’ Powers, tack on a couple of Familiarities and Connections to fit the character.


By Roy Cowan

Source of Character: Original

Helper(s): Dr. Peter Piispanen, Wiki entry on the Lupercalia, and this dice roll simulator

Writeup completed on the 25th of April, 2015.

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.