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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 created for the 2015 DC Heroes list Halloween contest.


Background

  • Real Name: Jamal Watts Jr.
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Jamal Watts Sr. (Father, deceased), Ena Watts (Mother, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Height: 7‘2” Weight: 478 lbs
  • Eyes: Golden Hair: None


Powers & Abilities

The Obsidian Dragon possesses a number of superhuman powers and attributes derived from his supernaturally mutated form. The mystical energy that fuels his unnatural body grants him supernatural strength (Class 1) and boundless endurance. His leathery skin is also more durable than human flesh (though not superhumanly so).

While he cannot truly fly, the Obsidian Dragon’s supernatural form can glide through the air at speeds of up to 16mph over long distances.

Like the dragons of myth, The Obsidian Dragon can exhale gouts of intense flame from his mouth at distant targets. The maximum temperature his flames can attain is currently unknown. But he has used his flames to shatter brick and melt solid steel.

In addition to the abilities possessed by his supernatural body, Jamal himself is a student of the occult. He has mastered the art of astral projection – the mental ability to separate his soul from his physical self. When free of its physical cage, his soul can move about the world unbound by physical laws.

Aside from this ritual , Jamal has limited magical abilities. He can cast simple cantrips  and the like, but in reality he is little more than a novice practitioner.


History

Jamal Watts bounced from foster home to foster home after his parents were killed in a automobile accident. He practically grew up on the streets, and was recruited by the Queen Street Wolves by the tender age of 12.

For the next 4 years he ran with the Wolves, first as a delivery boy and finally as an enforcer. His experiences with the Wolves had left him angry and bitter. He was well down the path of a career criminal when he met the man that would put him on a different path.

On that particular night Jamal, having been detained by the police over an alleged assault, found himself sharing a holding cell with Simon Archer. Archer was a sorcerer, who occasionally helped the police on “unexplainable” cases. By chance, that very night he had overstepped his bounds and the staff sergeant decided to teach him a lesson by allowing him to spend the night in holding.

What Simon says

The instant Simon entered the cell, his mystical senses started screaming. The mammoth young man had vast untapped magical potential that Simon could see he was wasting. Curiosity overwhelmed the sorcerer and uncharacteristically, he engaged the young man in conversation.

The two spent the night sharing stories of their past and aspirations for the future. Simon, who felt a sense of compassion towards the boy after hearing his story, gave Jamal a choice. He offered to take him on as an apprentice.

Ever suspicious,Jamal balked at Simon’s offer. He just couldn’t believe that anyone would give him anything out of the goodness of their heart. When Jamal reacted as he did, Simon went on to mention that while he was learning that he could be Simon’s “valet/muscle” of sorts and that he would get paid handsomely.

This allowed Jamal to rationalize Simon’s offer; especially since he couldn’t pass up the money. He accepted Simon’s terms and upon his release from prison went to work for the wizard. For the next year, Jamal played Kato to Simon’s Green Hornet.

The two shared several adventures. The combination of Simon’s magical prowess and Jamal’s raw muscle proved to be an effective solution to every problem they faced.

Enters the obsidian dragon

Through it all, Jamal had never been happier. It didn’t take long for the two men’s relationship to transform from mere partners to true friends. Simon took a true interest in educating Jamal. He taught him everything from math & English to how to tap into ambient mystical energy in his own soul and the vast universe around him.

Jamal, in turn, took to Simon’s teaching like a fish to water. He earned his G.E.D.  and quickly learned how to cast rudimentary spells.

Tragically, the men’s partnership would come to a crashing halt. This happened after Simon acquired a mystical statue called the Obsidian Dragon at the conclusion of one of their cases.

Simon had brought the statue into his home. He had been studying it intensely one night when his home came under assault by a group of assassins. Taken by surprise (the assassins had somehow managed to slip through Simon’s wards), Jamal and Simon found themselves unable to fend them off.

Fearing the worst, Simon ordered Jamal to escape with the statue. But Jamal stubbornly refused to abandon his friend. Even as the two argued, Simon was stabbed through the back by one of their assailants. In horror, Jamal watched the man who had become a father to him fall limply to the floor.

Enraged Jamal hurled himself at the men, and even as he did he heard a single arcane word leave Simon’s dying lips.

With the spell cast, the statue (a pair of intertwined obsidian dragons) came to life. It moved with serpentine grace and writhed up Jamal’s arms. The dragon’s separated and quickly buried themselves deep into Jamal’s torso. Time seemed to halt for a single heart beat.

The assassins froze in their tracks even as Jamal screamed and was suddenly engulfed by midnight black mystical flames.

Turned

When the flames died down, Jamal stood transformed. He had become a creature that resembled the statue itself. As the moment passed, and Jamal unleashed a roar that shook Simon’s home to the foundation and charged into battle. His monstrous form proved to be too much for the masked men, and soon their corpses lay strewn about Simon’s formerly stately home.

As the excitement of his victory faded, Jamal rushed to Simon’s side. Unfortunately, he was too late to say goodbye to his friend. Simon had passed quietly and in pain. Left with little choice, Jamal called Simon’s contact at the police, Julia Salinger, and told her what happened.

It took nearly a year for Jamal to be cleared of any wrong doing. During that time, he rarely left Simon’s home; he had no need. Simon had seen to it that he would be provided for. He had willed his entire fortune to him in the form of a trust (that Julia administered on his behalf) and left him all of his physical assets.

With his physical needs met, Jamal spent virtually every hour pouring over Simon’s notes and tomes. He kept making attempts to reverse the spell that made him into the monster he was. Each and every attempt he made proved to be a failure.

Embittered, he had nearly given up on life when Julia finally approached him with more than an offer. She gave him a purpose … something to focus on.

Julia’s offer

She offered him Simon’s old position with the Toronto Police Service . He would help the police solve crimes that were supposedly unsolvable. And if the need arrived he would deal with the things that they couldn’t rationally explain.

In return, the TPS would help him find the ones who were responsible for Simon’s death. And when they did, Jamal would show those individuals the one truth he had come to accept; everything burns.


Description

As the Obsidian Dragon, Jamal has rugged, scaly, obsidian black skin that covers the entire surface of his massive body. He is unusually muscular, though he still moves with the grace of a natural athlete. His golden eyes have slit pupils, and glow with an inner fire of their own. His canines are unusually large and pronounced and the tip of his tongue is forked.

His body is completely hairless, save two long wispy strands of (seemingly) hair that hang from above his mouth and another pair that sit prominently where his eyebrows had been. A small dorsal fin-like structure runs from his forehead all the way to the small of his back, and the ends of his thick powerful fingers are tipped with razor sharp talons.

When breathing fire, the dragon statues that have taken up residence on either side of his throat can be seen glowing with a fiery light just under the surface of his skin.

Though he has no need to, Jamal still wears suits when he ventures out of his home. He tends to favour white jackets, ties and slacks, with dark shirts underneath.

Through a freak incident, Jamal has discovered that when he employs astral projection, his spirit’s appearance is that of his true form. He again appears as a large black youth with close cropped hair and haunted eyes.


Personality

Like Ben Grimm before him, Jamal is a depressed and sometimes volatile individual. This is a result of his freakish state and the loss of the only person he felt truly cared about him. He is angry at the world and only grudgingly plays the role of hero. He mostly does so to force Julia to keep up her end of their bargain.

He also uses his adventures as a release that helps him to alleviate his frustration at his inability to cure himself.

Jamal’s mood swings are unpredictable. He can be moved from stillness to lethal violence in a matter of seconds. If provoked in any way, he will most likely attack.

Jamal has taken a particular interest in street kids in the downtown core of Toronto. In the little time that he has remaining outside of his police work and his search for a cure, he spends doing what he can to prevent them from following the same path that he did.


Quotes

Simon: “Well son, do you accept?”
Jamal: “I ain’t your son, but I’ll bite … I’m in.”
Simon: “Fantastic, I’ll have the constabulary draw up our release.”
Jamal: “… Oh, and I ain’t wearing a suit or nothin’ like that. I may be playing Kato to your Hornet, but I ain’t wearing no monkey suit for anyone.”
Simon: “Now that’s a shame lad; no suit, no tie, no deal.”
Jamal: “… you suck.”

(After casting his first spell)
Jamal: “Holy S#!t, it worked!”
Simon: “Good lad, now do it again.”

“Burn.”

Julia: “You can’t hide in here forever, Jamal. Eventually, you’re going to have to face the world.”
Jamal: “The hell I can’t.”
Julia: “… Jamal, Simon wanted more than this for you. He wanted you to live.”
Jamal: “ Well Simon ain’t around anymore, is he Jules ? He did this to me… and now I’m stuck.”
Julia: “You know, there are lots of people out there that can use the help that only you can give.”
Jamal: “Like Simon did…”
Julia: “Yeah… like Simon did… It’s not like you have a busy social schedule to maintain.”
Jamal: “Screw you… Okay, I’m in. But you’re going to have to do something for me in return.”
Julia: “What’s that ?”
Jamal: “You’re help me find the one responsible for Simon’s death.”
Julia: “And when I do ?”
Jamal: “Then he’s gonna burn.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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The Obsidian Dragon

Dex: 06 Str: 07 Bod: 06 Motivation: Anti-Heroic Unwanted Power
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Special Consultant to the TPS
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 014 HP: 000

Powers:
Flame Blast (ML): 10, Gliding (ML): 04, Spirit Travel (ML): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Flame Blast is actually a flaming breath (+0 APs)

Skills:
Occultist: 02, Weaponry (Firearms): 04

Advantages
Rich Family

Connections:
Julia Salinger (High)

Genre:
Mock Real

Drawbacks:
Hunted (Obsidian Order), Serious Rage, Strange Appearance (Hulking, Reptilian Appearance)

Equipment:
None

By Bryan Gittens

Source of Character: Original – DC Heroes Mailing List Halloween Contest 2015.

Helper(s): Dr. Peter S. Piispanen for the Magic DC Character Creation System, Darci.

Writeup updated on the 22nd of November, 2015.

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