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Giles Redferne (Richard Grant in Warlock movies) portrait

Giles Redferne


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

Context

Redferne appears in a 1989 supernatural/light horror movie, Warlock. It was fairly successful and well-considered for the genre, and two more Warlock horror movies would follow during the 1990s.

As a time-travelling veteran witchfinder, with strong magic and action skills, Redferne is an interesting character. And he can pop up practically anywhere and anywhen.


Background

  • Real Name: Giles Redferne.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Marion (wife, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile, often Boston.
  • Height: About 5’11” Weight: About 165 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Giles Redferne is a very experienced witch-hunter. He knows all the tricks and treats of witchery. He’s an expert in both witchcraft and general theology and is capable of casting a ritual  quickly or recognizing various occult signs immediately.

He has great knowledge of many rituals related to witchcraft and uses this to effectively stop even superior opponents. The magic he uses unconsciously appears to be natural things that everyone could learn how to do. Thus nobody is much puzzled about his doings.

Other assets

He has a quick intellect and overcomes great obstacles as pure routine.

Since he has had to physically fight many a witch, he’s masters every type of weapon. His armament is often improvised since he usually only carries a knife and a whip.

Redferne, despite his only slightly above average built, displayed extreme physical strength. He’s also tough enough to endure a prolonged fight. This witchfinder was only briefly stopped by an energy blast into the mouth.


History

In 1691 in Boston, there was a powerful witch named only the Warlock. He had committed great crimes against humanity and was considered the most evil man alive in that region. He had finally been captured by a famous witch-hunter, working for the church, named Giles Redferne.

The Warlock was being sentenced by the clergy. He had, among other things, killed Redferne’s dear wife. Since there was no doubt about his guilt he was sentenced to a death penalty.

During a last visit by Redferne, who let the Warlock know of his hatred to him and that he was glad when the Warlock was dead. The Warlock, staring at ease, simply responded that it was a long time until the next day. Much could happen before then (apparently despite the fact that he was chained).

When Redferne left the tower where the Warlock was kept, a sudden lightning storm broke out. Winds howled around the tower. Redferne, sensing what was going on, rushed back to the Warlock, just in time to see him vanish in a time vortex. As a last desperate measure he jumped along and disappeared too.

300 years later

In 1991, they both reappeared in Boston. It was revealed that the Warlock was truly a son of Satan himself. The father had charged the son with a mission to recover a powerful relic known as the Grand Grimoire. This artifact contained the true name of the Creator. Uttering it backwards would eradicate all of creation.

As his reward, the Warlock had obtained that Satan declare The Firstborn, which held great value for him.

The Grand Grimoire had been divided into three pieces. Priests had spread around the United States, to ensure that it couldn’t be used. Much like the Darkhold, it was indestructible.

Hark, a quest !

The Warlock’s first appearance was at one such location that contained the book. He killed the owner of the house. He also cursed a young woman named Kassandra to age 20 years each day until she died, after which he continued the hunt for more pages.

Redferne appeared near the area too. After much trouble with the local police and other misadventures, he allied with Kassandra. She could guide him in this new world. Furthermore, Kassandra’s curse could be negated using the armband that the Warlock had used when he put the curse upon her.

After several clashes, the Warlock successfully found the second part of the book in an old Amish family’s house.

The final part of the book was in Boston itself, buried in Redferne’s own future grave. Kassandra and Redferne were unable to stop the Warlock from gaining the final part. The Warlock put the book together.

Witches get stitches

He was just about to destroy all of creation, by speaking God’s true name in reverse. But Redferne managed to shove him over to the old part of the cemetery. It was consecrated and the Warlock, who couldn’t enter holy ground, began to burn. His destruction was sped up by using salt water against him.

Having finally defeated his nemesis, Redferne was automatically transported back to his own time. This left Kassandra behind, to their mutual regret. Kassandra, having learned much about witchery, took the book. She buried it in the Bonneville Salt Flats .


Description

Redferne is a slightly-above-average built man with black curly hair and brown eyes. He often carries a great fur covering his entire body, giving him a very primitive and medieval look. He probably carries leather boots behind the fur also.

On his back he has a backpack full of useful stuff such as: chemicals, a witch compass, a wind fork, a sacred hammer and some nails. In highest probability he has much more in that sack of use against witches.


Personality

Redferne is nowadays mostly centered on stopping witches and the Warlock (who killed his wife) in particular. He refuses to let anything stop him in his vendetta against the Warlock (he sometimes just rushes things and refuses to tell anyone what he’s doing).

Occasionally, Redferne keeps long-winded speeches of evil and that they must be stopped… much like a fanatical clergyman. He speaks with a charming classic British accent. Usually, people just stare at him in awe and confusion.

Since witches often fly, Redferne hates to fly. This is true regardless of means of flight – plane, broomstick etc.. Nothing is kosher.

Other traits

Apparently, he believed he is somehow immortal, since he had a really hard time accepting that he would one day die; which was confirmed when he found his own grave.

Above all else, Redferne is a very practical man who gets things done instead of just talking about them.

Although fantastically skilled in all weapons he rarely carries any with him. He relies on his skills alone and picks up what weapons he may find. In fact, he often says “Then let’s tarry not” meaning he wants to go immediately.

Redferne hunts witches since he failed to protect his own wife against the worst of them. This failure troubles him still.

Redferne also has a nice way with words and uses these to express his hatred for witches.


Quotes

Redferne, explaining his motives to a priest for finding the Grand Grimoire : “Our interest lies in stopping those who’d see all good falter. It lies in stopping the powers of misrule from coming of age. It lies in finding that damn’ed book and flaunting a vile beast of a man who shall not rest until God himself has been thrown down and all of creation has become Satan’s black, hell-besmeared farting hole !”
Kassandra: “You asked.”

(Threatening stubborn taxi driver) “Lest ye favor throttlings to the ears and face, bear west here !”


DC Universe History

Redferne could be a forefather to any of DC Mystical Community characters. Most fitting are characters that hunt demons/witches or that do natural magic. Examples are John Constantine (always involved with demons), Dr. Occult (doing faerie/natural magic) or Mister E (who hunts vampires).

Considering the time-traveling that Redferne does, he could have a tie-in with Baron Winters. Redferne could even be a child of Jason Blood, whom he sired with a woman named Redferne, during a stay in Boston in the 17th century.

Another possibility for a DCU use for Giles is in the guise of misguided menace. Giles is fanatical in his beliefs and should he find himself once more in our time he might make a relentless foe of someone like John Constantine or Zatanna.

And, of course, a team-up with Solomon Kane would be particularly cool.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Giles Redferne

Dex: 05 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 08 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Witch-hunter
Inf: 08 Aur: 08 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 021 HP: 065

Powers:
Magic Sense: 02

Skills:
Occultist: 09, Weaponry: 08

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Boston), Gift of Gab, Iron Nerves, Language (Latin), Magic Rank (Adept), Scholar (Theology, Witchcraft), Sharp Eye, Shtick (Make-do Equipment (Weaponry (Melee, Missile)), True Faith.

Connections:
17th and possibly 20th Century Boston Clergy (High).

Drawbacks:
Forced Exile (own time), MIA (Stopping the forces of witchery), Guilt, Misc. unfamiliar with the 20th century.

Equipment:

  • Backpack [BODY 03, STR 03] containing the following:
  • Ordinary Hammer and nails [BODY 04, EV 02].
  • Witch Compass [BODY 03, Note: Object is used as a Component in the Witch Sense Ritual].
  • Whip [BODY 04, EV 02, Stretching: 01, Limitation: Stretching does not allow fine manipulation (-2), Note: The whip is impregnated with salt; this makes witches exceptionally susceptible against it.].
  • Weathervane [BODY 06, EV 03 (06 w/STR), Range: 04].
  • C-Omnigadgets (x2) [BODY 01, 06 APs, Note: These might be nec. components, R#2].

Rituals:
Witch Voodoo (alias Nail the Witch)
Effect: Voodoo: 06 APs (Range 12 APs)
Casting Time: 0 APs
Necessary Components: Ordinary hammer, nails and an imprint of the witch’s body.
Notes: The Vooodoo can only attack a witch and attacks the spot on a witch’s body where the imprint is nailed.
Limitation: The effects of the ritual can be completely neutralized by the witch by pushing a thick piece of wood against the affected body area.

Ritual – Witch Sense
Effect: Life Sense: 12 APs
Casting Time: 05 APs
Necessary Components: Witch Compass, blood of subject witch and water if used blood has already dried up.
Notes: The compass will spin faster the nearer the witch is and can even point in the witch’s direction.
Limitation: There probably is an easy way to stop the Ritual.

Ritual – Holy Ground
Effect: Truesight 05 APs
Casting Time: 0 APs
Necessary Components: Metallic weathervane, witches blood.
Note: The ritual is immediately effective when the fork is put into the ground.
Limitation: Truesight can only be used to detect whether or not ground is sacred.

Redferne’s other rituals :
In addition, Redferne has to have several other Rituals at 6-10 APs, that relate to witchcraft or theology and that require very little necessary components (which he carries in his backpack). He has full expertise in all the Rituals that the Warlock uses, as well, and can negate their effect very efficiently. There are supposedly counter-rituals to counter-rituals as well.


Scholar (Witchcraft) v1.1

Cost: 25
By Dr. Peter S Piispanen.
Helper: VBTusky.

This scholar makes an evil character into an effective witch or a good character into an able witch-hunter. A character using witchcraft for rituals gains the power to do so using the energies of greater devils or the Devil himself.

The witch has, very often, sold his/her own soul or brewed and drunk a potion of organic concoctions (“doing the cauldron”), in exchange for this power. Also, sometimes witches are experts within the fields of alchemical magic and thus possessive of the Scholar (Alchemy) Advantage.

A character who purchases Scholar (Witchcraft) is given the chance to be an actual witch. This gives a number of automatic advantages and disadvantages ; they are automatically granted a Low-level connection to a greater devil or Satan himself, free of charge, that serves as the witch’s master (remember that these can be Invoked; See the list-created Marvel Magic Sourcebook).

Since they also are so adept at learning spells to the extent of being a power they gain a specialized advantage named Magic Background – Witch (which works exactly like Magic Background and is the only and easy way to denote a character being a witch).

Other effects

To the disadvantages belong a number of things:

  • The character can be affected by Rituals that affect witches (tracking in on their Magic Background – Witch).
  • The witch’s presence can be noticed, not only using Magic Sense, but also since horses start to sweat, fire turns into a clear blue and cream sours.
  • All witches have a fatal vulnerability (Range of Touch) and Partial Attack Vulnerability (-2 CS RV) to anything containing salt (including objects impregnated with salt; drinking salt water would be lethal).
  • Witches are unable to enter holy ground; on holy ground a witch actually catches fire and quickly burns up (the witch is attacked by an EV 08 which is immediately cross-referenced against his/her BODY for RAPs each phase on holy ground. In addition, no magical Powers or Rituals that would increase his / her RV (Density Increase, Skin Armor, Dispersal…) may be invoked there.

A character with this Scholar gain certain benefits when performing specialized pursuits. This grants a -2 CS to the OV/RV when casting a Ritual that mimics the listed powers below (this magic is considered black) : Invulnerability, Flight, Life Sense, Object Awareness, Sensory Block, Spirit Drain (with Aging Bonus), Telekinesis and Voodoo.

Other considerations

Good characters do not normally cast magic using witchcraft, since it is against their alignment to do so, but instead use the knowledge of the Limitations that each witch-spell has. Witch magic has almost always in-built limitations, which neutralizes or hinders the effect of the spell, and this is used by good witches, so called witch-hunters, against the witches themselves.

Characters with Scholar (Witchcraft) receives a standard +2 CS to their RV versus any Power or Ritually mimicked Power directed at him by a witch, if they are aware that they are being aware by witchery, to simulate this (good opportunities for cool role-playing here). The witchcraft in the Warlock was full of counter-spells and hexes… presumably even counter-hexes have counter-spells.

This could result in prolonged and very tricky combat situations.

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen.

Source of Character: Warlock I movie.

Helper(s): VBTusky, Sébastien Andrivet, Pufnstuff.

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