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Mascara (DC Heroes RPG) with 3-faced mask

Mascara


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

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 a RPG campaign run by writeups.org contributor Kal El, set in Barcelona.


Background

  • Real Name: Mari Nieves Gàlvez Martìnez
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Francisco Gàlvez (father), Maria Martnez (mother), Inmaculada Gàlvez (sister), Marcos Muñoz (husband), &Agravelex Muñoz (son), Maria Gàlvez (aunt), Miguel Gàlvez (uncle), Jose Luis Gàlvez (uncle), Àngel Muñoz (father in law), Juana Vera (mother in law), Daniel Muñoz (brother in law), Iñaki del Barrio (brother in law)
  • Group Affiliation: Supernova
  • Base Of Operations: Barcelona, Spain (though she lives and works 20 miles away, in the town of Canovelles)
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 175lbs
  • Eyes: Honey Hair: Jet black Age: 34


Powers and Abilities

Màscara’s masks provide her with a different superpower depending on which she wears. With the Mask of Icarus she can fly just under the speed of sound; what she calls the Mask of the Dreamer allows her to draw or paint a moment of the close future. The Mask of Hyde awakes her dark side, resolute, durable and superstrong, but also wild and without remorse. The Mask of Prometheus makes her almost indestructible, capable of healing most wounds in seconds, while the Mask of Chronos allows her to stop time while up to an hour happens to her.

All of them fail after some time of continued use and take some more (from 15 minutes -Icarus’- to 1 day -Dreamer’s-) to regain their whole charge. She also has a host of lesser masks with varied powers – three of them are always hidden in her jacket.

Mari Nieves is a professional electronics engineer and technician (currently she works in the field of industrial saw’s PLCs) with many hidden talents: she has amazing reflexes, fluently speaks six languages, boasts a polyfacetic artistic mind (she almost became a professional singer), knows a surprising share of legal matters, knows how to undo sailor knots and defeating simple locks, drives cars and vans at an almost professional rate and shoots with remarkable natural accuracy. But above all she is a beloved and loving wife and a caring mother.

On the down side, though intelligent, she is quite oblivious to her surroundings, usually concentrating on just one aspect of them, and carries some backaches and a bad knee which reappear whenever she overexerts herself (rolling under 11 while Pushing or on any roll of two, on physical actions) and which, being previous to her founding of the Mask of Prometheus, seem to beyond the gadget’s healing powers.


History

Mari Nieves used to travel a lot: following her parents and grandparents (and one day her husband) she crossed Spain, studying English and with the chorus she visited Europe; on her first job she had traveled half the world from one Machine Tool Fair to the other, and after getting married she had traveled the other half fixing industrial saws. Little she knew adventure was really awaiting her at home… right on the mail.

On the day of her 29th birthday she received a gift from an anonymous sender from Madras, India. It was a feathered, beaked mask, native-american after a first look (maybe some pun on the “Indian” origin of its sender), and she would have thought it a mistake (she knew only two people on India, one Chandra and one Rakhid, and none would have kept track of her changes in job and address since the time he met them), hadn’t her name been clearly written on the well protected envelope.

Amused (it was a pretty, if somewhat flamboyant piece of art) she put the mask over her face: when the leather touched her skin, Mari had the sudden sensation… no, *knowledge*: that she could fly. A part of her still complained that would have been a thought more in line with his dreamy husband (a fan of the American superheroes, specially Superman), not her, but she didn’t pay much attention to it: she went to the flat’s patio, ensured nobody looked through any window, jumped… and soared. It was impossible, it was incredible, it was fantastic… but not a surprise: since she had put the mask over her face it was exactly what she had expected to happen.

She didn’t told anything to her husband Marcos that night, nor any following night: she knew him, he was a good, honest man, but that one (or any) of them could fly would put too many ideas on his mind and she wasn’t disposed to allow he or herself were hurt or killed doing the hero thing just because they could fly. Also, one day he jokingly put the mask on, it didn’t seem to affect him as it had done with her. Maybe the mask worked only to her? If it was a magical mask (and there wasn’t anything scientific in flying just by wearing a feathered mask) maybe it was now somehow attuned to her person…

On her 30th birthday she received a new mystery package, this time containing a wooden mask from New Zealand (she recognized it easily: she had been sent there for one week that same year), plus a nondescript mask, similar to that Green Lantern’s who turned evil, but white. It turned her highly resistant to injuries and pain (she had always healed fast, but this was crazy). The white mask took her more time to understand: it allowed her to mimic most any power she could think of, but for 5 minutes, most, and then it became inert for days. Further masks came the following years, always on her birthday, and never could Mari Nieves discover its origin.

She tried tracking her few Indian contacts: Chandra Suresh was missing since 1999: curiously she found a taxi driver by that name had been found dead in New York on 2000… But it seemed unrelated as the first mask had been sent 2 years later. Rakhid kept working on the same job but he denied having sent any present to her.

On summer 04 happy news arrived: Mari was pregnant. Just before Christmas terrible news struck: a malignant jobmate had took all the credit for several dangerous operations Mari Nieves had solved alone, and now the german chiefs were reducing personnel she was first of the list: under the influence of her newest mask (since then to be called “Hyde’s”) she tried to get the guy to confess the truth, and when he laughed at her face and tried to physically intimidate her, she answered savagely and beat him to death.

Later she would like to think “She” (who thrived to have a name) had done it to save her still unborn child… but although no remorse ever touched her for her dark side’s acts (including leaving the corpse chopped bits high into the Pyrenees so the wolves ate them) she knew “She” had enjoyed every second out.

Yet she felt the need for some redemption: the key was 2005’s mask, which allowed her to paint events yet to come, and the first appearance of the Patrulla Barna: at last, Spanish superheroes. Things were changing: maybe it was time for her to change, too. She was now a mother (when Marcos or her family were not looking, the Mask of Prometheus allowed for a fast and healthy delivery and recovery) and it could be time to help making the world a better place. When she drawn herself clad in a black leather trenchcoat and rescuing a falling hang glider pilot, she know destiny had caught her.

“Well”, she sighed in relief: “at least it’s not blue spandex or a golden bikini…”. Soon, other low-profile heroes (some under suspicion) arised and it felt most natural to join them to make good and enforce justice together: Supernova was born.


Secret origins

After Mark Shaw killed Dumas in 1990 and the defeat of the rest of his kind, the last Manhunter android on Earth (who had been impersonating the former first lady Nancy Reagan) moved to India: in Madras he made contact with a geneticist, Prof. Chandra Suresh, and found his work most enlightening: one year before the Dominion did, he discovered the metagene.

This made him believe the Millenium in 1990 had been a clever mislead orchestrated by Nadia and Herupa Hando Hu, and that the real Chosen Ones were yet to appear: he started tracking them through Suresh’s work and in a decade got blood samples from a handful of people the indian scientist hadn’t even started to realize were the key to evolution. That way he could advance him and met a Spanish girl who had a seemingly minor power: an enhanced reaction time.

In fact, her altered nervous system told Dumas III she would be the perfect carrier of his vengeance over the Guardians. It would allow her to access the combined metagenetic talents of the Chosen Ones which would, in time, make her more powerful than them. But the human should never believe she was her own power source, that could make her too confident and some day she could believe she needed no more her masters- in fact early tests on a gifted subject (a clock repairer) showed that internalizing the powers of the Chosen Ones could even make the subject highly resilient to mental control or influence.

Thus she would have a totem, an item of power (many of them, in fact) which would be always, on dire moments (repair, control, upgrading, further masks) on their master’s hands. The woman would be a heroine, later their pawn, one day their queen and finally the object of their ultimate checkmate on the Guardians.


Description

Mari Nieves is a short, tough, somewhat big boned woman in her mid 30’s, with curves in all the right places and some she find right out of place. She is no proud of her figure, but she knows she has a knack for art and science and likes to be appreciated for it.

On her super life Màscara wears comfortable dark jeans, a heavy metal t-shirt, camp boots and a black leather long trenchcoat, her jet black hair in a ponytail, her face always covered by one mask or another. While fulfilling her worker, mom and wife roles she dresses more accordingly to her age, favoring brown, black-and-red or green-and-blue shirts and blouses, white pullovers and dark blue jeans or black trousers over any kind of dresses (which, on the other hand, she loves to wear on parties and social events).

Mari is currently 2 months pregnant of her second children.


Personality

Nieves is thoughtful and intelligent, calmed down, seemingly down to earth although she enjoys developing rich fantasy (and quite somber) inner world: Conan, Elric, Verne, Tolkien, japanese manga Inuyasha, Hesse, Nietzsche those are the readings she most enjoys. Also Opera, choral music and heavy metal.

On the other hand, when her patience is over she can act with sudden bursts of violence, either verbal or, in the extreme, physical. What is to be done must be done, and if nobody does it she will (her Hyde aspect is a magnification of all this). She believes in earned respect and distrusts those undeservedly in power. On the same line she dislikes most things north-american.

During the “Malleus Maleficarum” crossover arc with the Patrulla Barna she came to good terms with Ariadna, whose personality and raw attack power seemed to mix well with her own personality and versatility; also, she always suspected there was some heavy secret hiding under the wise, quiet persona of the girl in white, much as her own personal dark makings, which helped to establish the bond.


Quotes

“Roc ! Talk to the police and take all civilians away. Ulises ! Scan the last ones to leave : maybe one is the terrorist. Barret ! Take the lift and search for explosives. I’ll wait right out the middle of the tower to fly over the sea and throw them high and far. We have less than two minutes: now !”

“I knew I had to buy some Crayolas” (after drawing a future explosion and not knowing if it’ll be day or night as she had only a red pen)

(First comment on meeting Bombolla) “Would you mind signing me an autograph ?”

“Bombolla: “Did you know half of your team are wanted by the police ?”
Màscara: “Yes, but they are innocent.”
Bombolla: “All criminals say that.”
Màscara: “Oh, but they are. Believe me: I *know* about doing bad things and they are bona fide goodies.”

(Mask of Hyde on and brawling with two gun totting, armor clad vigilantes) “Dodge all you want. A single hit is all I need to score to show you to shoot in the middle of my town. Try shooting without arms : I’ll eat popcorn while you do”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Màscara

A 450+50 Point Character

Dex: 02 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Electronic engineer
Inf: 02 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 018 HP: 045

Powers:
Enhanced Initiative: 10

Skills:
Artist (Musician): 05, Artist (Dancer, Painter, Sculptor, Writer): 03, Detective (Law): 02, Gadgetry (Build): 03, Scientist (Analysis): 04, Thief (Escape Artist, Locks and safes): 03, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages:
Ambidextrous, Expansive Headquarters (The Dragon Cave), Gadgets(Masks of Chronos, Icarus, Hyde, Prometheus and the Dreamer), Languages (Catalan, French, German, English, Euskera, Spanish), Leadership

Connections:
Supernova (High)

Drawbacks:
Dark Secret (murders under the influence of the Mask of Hyde), Dependant (son), SIA (continued use of the Mask of the Dreamer), Oblivious, MPR (weak knee and back), Secret Identity

Equipment:

  • Mask of Chronos [BODY 03, Time Stop: 10. Bonuses: APs not diminished by distance, Range +15 (FC +3)]. An ancient Noh mask
  • Mask of Icarus [BODY 03, Flight: 08, Limitations: Flight has MPB (-1)]. A native american hawk totem mask
  • Mask of Hyde [/STR/ 08 /BODY/ 05 /SPIRIT/ 06, Serious Rage, R#3]. A thai demon mask
  • Mask of Prometheus [BODY 03, Invulnerability: 06, Mind over Matter: 05, Regeneration: 09, Stabilization, Limitations: Invulnerability and Mind over Matter are Contingent on Regeneration (- 1); Regeneration affects Physical Damage only (-2), has MPB (-1) and can’t work if something obstructs the wound (-1)]. A wooden maori protector mask (tiki).
  • Mask of the Dreamer [BODY 03, Precognition: 15]. A finely crafted Venetian mask.
  • 6 AP C Omni-masks (x3)

In addition to her normal Resources, Màscara has 26 Wealth checks in savings.

By Mari Nieves Gàlvez and KalEl el Vigilante

Source of Character: Patrulla Barna homemade setting in the DCU, inspired by many “Heroes” characters, Secret Origin inspired by Manhunter vol.1 #3-4 and DC’s Millenium event

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