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, where she earned the gold medal.
- Real Name: Arabella Sydney “Belle” Taine.
- Known Relatives: Charles Taine (father), Hope Taine née Kelling (birth mother, deceased), Stephanie Taine née Pulaski (stepmother), Geoffrey John Taine (half-brother), Katherine “Kate” Pulaski (aunt), Phillip Kelling (maternal grandfather, deceased), Murielle Kelling (maternal grandmother, deceased).
- Group Affiliation: None.
- Base Of Operations: Farview, New York.
- Height: 5’9” (1.75m). Weight: 128 lbs. (58 Kg.).
- Eyes: Green. Hair: Ginger.
- Other Distinguishing Features: Freckles cover the bridge of Belle’s nose and both cheeks. Her mask conceals this distinguishing feature almost entirely.
Powers & Abilities
The Bonfire Clasp grants Belle Taine a number of supernatural powers. She can:
- Fly, reaching speeds of over 100mph (160 km/h).
- Fire jets of magical flame from her hands.
- Produce billowing clouds of vision-obscuring smoke.
- Grant her incredible luck. Although this ability is unpredictable and Belle has learned not to rely on it.
Belle is a physically fit young woman who enjoys gymnastics and dance.
She is also a gifted singer and actress although she lacks the confidence to pursue a career in either of these fields. Instead, she is studying history with an eye toward teaching.
In an effort to learn the identity of the Sad Girl and the story behind The Bonfire Clasp, she has begun studying the occult. In the process, she has become quite knowledgeable about the legends of the British Isles.
History (part 1)
My origin story! How cool is this? Well, bear with me because the beginning is a little confusing and vague and filled with capital D drama.
To start with, Stephanie Taine isn’t my mother. God, that sounds really harsh when I say it that way. That’s not how I want it to sound. She’s my stepmother but she raised me so she’s mom, if you know what I mean. It’s just, she didn’t give birth to me.
My mother — my biological mother Hope — died when I was 18 months old. My dad said she’d been sick almost from the day I was born. It was some kind cancer and, I’m told, she wasted away very quickly. I’m glad I was only a baby and didn’t have to see that.
Instead, I have pictures of her looking young and healthy and happy. Sometimes I stare at the pictures and concentrate and I think I can remember her.
But, I don’t remember her. Not really.
So, it was just me and my dad for a few years. Then dad met Stephanie. They fell in love and got married. A year later my half-brother Geoffrey was born.
Shortly after his birth, my mom got sick. It was the same sort of sickness that took my birth mother. My dad was a wreck. In order to devote all his energies to caring for mom he sent Geoffrey and me away.
Geoffrey went to my mom’s sister, Aunt Kate. I was sent across the Atlantic Ocean to England to stay with my birth mother’s parents Grandmum and Granddad Kelling.
Mom told me years later that Aunt Kate had offered to take us both but my grandparents insisted I be sent to them. I wonder if they knew something incredible was going to happen to me if I spent that summer in England.
The Sad Girl
My grandparents lived in a small town named Shrewsbury in Cumbria. Not far from their house was Shrewsbury Park, a little playground with a swing set, a slide, and a couple of benches where parents could sit and not pay attention to their kids.
On my first visit to Shrewsbury Park I met the sad girl. She never told me her name so that’s what I called her, The Sad Girl.
I remember it was a beautiful spring day and I had my bright pink Barbie carrycase with me — I would not go anywhere without it.
My granddad pointed me toward the swing set where a group of children were playing and gave me a slight nudge. Then he sat down on one of the benches with a newspaper.
As, I walked nervously toward the swings, clutching the handle of my Barbie carrycase tightly, I noticed a little girl, maybe only a year older than me, in the far corner of the park sitting by herself.
She was staring intently at the group of children by the swings. The expression on her beautiful face was one of deep, profound sadness. Such sadness, in fact, that my heart hurt and I knew I had to do something. I changed course and headed for the sad girl.
When she saw me approaching there was this almost imperceptible improvement in her mood. I told her my name and asked her what hers was. She said she couldn’t tell me; it was not permitted. I asked her where her Barbies were. Dolls weren’t permitted either, she replied.
I remember thinking that England is kind of dumb if those are some of the rules.
Sharing is caring
I opened my carrycase and took out my favorite Barbie, Barbie Ann I called her. All my Barbies were named Barbie something, like Barbie Ann, Barbie Sue, or Barbie June. I even called my one Ken doll Barbie Ken!
I handed Barbie Ann to the sad girl to play with. We played for hours. At first, she didn’t really know how to play Barbies right but she was a quick study.
When it was time to go, she asked if I would be coming to the park the next day. I said that I’d ask my granddad to bring me. And he did.
And that’s how I spent almost every day that summer, in Shrewsbury Park playing Barbies with the sad girl. When I was there I didn’t worry about my sick mom, or my poor dad, or my new baby brother. All of that vanished when I was with her.
Our Barbies had amazing adventures in that little corner of the park. They went on epic quests that the sad girl would narrate in this almost grown-up voice. It sounds horrible, considering what was going on with mom and dad at home, but, for me, that summer was magical.
Sometime near the end of August, my grandparents got a call that my mom was feeling better and I could come home. I was happy that mom was better but I was sad that I was leaving my friend. I worried about her. I was the only child who ever played with her. What would happen once I left?
On my last day at Shrewsbury Park playing with the sad girl, I offered her one of my Barbies, any one she wanted, as a gift. She repeated to me what she had told me the day we first met: “Dolls are not permitted in the household.” I told her that a gift is different. They have to let you keep a gift or you’re being rude.
I gave her Barbie Ann even though she was my favorite. She smiled. Then she put her hand on my chest and said, “Always be this person.” And then I said goodbye to my friend.
Seems somewhat indispensable, I say. The Alan Stivell influence was still readily audible.
History (part 2)
When I returned home to Farview, things had changed.
My mom was well but my dad was gone. Mom explained that the stress of her illness had been too much for him and he’d disappeared at the end of July.
At the time I was hurt and confused but now I just hate the jerk. She was still sick at the end of July! How can you leave your little girl, your baby boy, and your sick wife like that?
My mom once asked me if I ever thought about trying to find him. ”Maybe,” I told her. ”When I get my pistol permit.”
Mom adopted me and became, well, mom. Our family unit wasn’t exactly normal but I grew up doing all the normal things little girls do. I took gymnastic lessons and dance classes. I sang at the top of my lungs into my hairbrush and fought with my little brother. And year by year the memory of Shrewsbury Park faded more and more.
When I was about 13 years old, I was talking to Granddad Kelling on the phone and he mentioned the summer I stayed there and my little imaginary playmate. It took me a moment to realize he was talking about the sad girl. I wanted to tell him that no, she was real. But too much time had passed and I couldn’t be sure.
By the time of my 18th birthday, I’m sure I’d completely forgotten about the sad girl. Mom, Geoffrey, and I had gone out for Japanese food for my birthday dinner and when we returned home I went into my room to go on the computer and spend the Amazon gift card that Geoffrey had given me.
I was surprised to discover a small oaken box with beautiful carvings over every inch of it lying on my bed. A pale purple ribbon tied the box closed.
I looked around to see where the box had come from but found none of my friends lurking in the closet or under the bed. I untied the ribbon and opened the box. Inside was… pause for dramatic effect… Barbie Ann!
Instantly, all my memories of the sad girl came rushing back to me. I picked up the doll and underneath her in the box was a little card on some strange satiny paper. The ornate script on its face read: Come outside. I am not permitted to enter.
I ran down the stairs and out into the backyard, still clutching Barbie Ann. And there, in the middle of my backyard was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She wore a beautiful white and green dress that seemed to glow. She was older now but I recognized her instantly as the sad girl.
Three other figures accompanied her. Two men in silver armor like something out of The Lord of the Rings flanked her on either side but a pace or two back. A third, older man wearing dark robes and a silly Ren-Faire hat stood to her right.
In front of her on the lawn was a large oaken chest. It looked like a scaled up version of the box that I’d found on my bed.
“It’s you!” I almost shouted.
“It is I,” she replied smiling. ”But, more importantly, it is you, Arabelle Sydney Taine.”
A Gift Freely Given
Then she looked around at her companions and said in a very formal voice, “this is a gift freely given.” For reasons I didn’t understand at the time, she really stressed the word freely. ”It is a gift of my heart to my friend.” She signaled to the robed man and he stepped over to the chest and removed the lid.
The chest was filled with all sorts of items — daggers in bejeweled scabbards, golden crowns and silver tiaras, what looked like a glove made of shiny black stone, and tons and tons of jewelry. There were rings and necklaces and broaches, each one absolutely stunning.
“Take one,” she said, repeating what I had said to her back when we were kids and I wanted to give her one of my Barbies. ”To keep.”
I couldn’t believe any of this was happening. I’m sure I must have looked like some kind of idiot, eyes wide and mouth hanging open. But she nodded and gestured for me to choose my gift. I looked at all the pretty things in the chest and my eye was drawn to a brown leather strap with a plain silver disc on it. I soon realized it was a choker.
For some reason, it seemed like it was placed there for me. The other items in the chest were beautiful, yes. But they were just too flashy and I’m too plain.
She saw me looking at the choker and a soft laugh like the sound of wind in the trees escaped her lips. ”Of course,” she said. ”Appropriate in every way.”
She reached into the chest and retrieved the choker. ”This is The Bonfire Clasp,” she said as she put it on me. ”It is my favorite, too.”
“Thank you,” I stammered.
The robed man replaced the lid on the chest and the two armored men stepped forward and grabbed the handles on its sides.
“Wait,” I said. ”You’re not going are you? I don’t even know your name.”
For a brief moment, the sadness of the little girl in Shrewsbury Park flashed across her face. ”That is not permitted,” she said. Then there was this unbearably bright light that seemed to come out of her and I had to look away. When I looked back, she and her companions were gone.
Ever since that night I’ve been reading everything I can find about magic and the supernatural in the British Isles. I’m fairly certain that the sad girl is a Celtic deity or semi-deity or something.
I’m thinking she might be a granddaughter of Queen Maeve, although I’m not sure who her parents are. A lot of the stories contradict one another and they reuse names a lot so it’s hard to really know.
When I’m not researching magical Britain, I’m a full-time student at CW Post College and a part-time waitress at Top Forty Burger, a 1950s themed restaurant. I’m still living at home with mom and the squirt. It’s cozy, centrally-located, and just what I can afford. In other words, free.
Oh, and I’m a super-hero.
The Bonfire Clasp
Not long after the sad girl showed up all grown and glow-y in my backyard, I discovered that The Bonfire Clasp grants me magical powers. Really!! I can fly and shoot fire and do cool stuff like that. So, I made myself a costume and started flying around the city looking to help people.
Most of the time that means fighting villains, which can be scary. Can’t I just get kittens down from trees? Apparently not, because I’ve already amassed my own little roster of bad guys.
There’s The Wizard Black as Coal, this gentleman sorcerer who’s out to rule the world or something. He’s kind of freaky because he knows who I really am. I’m not sure how he found out or why he hasn’t used it against me yet but I know it’s only a matter of time before he does.
There’s Fungantua, an 18 foot tall man / mushroom hybrid that’s just the prettiest blue you’ve ever seen.
Then you have the Astonishing Blood Armadillo, who’s more of a pathetic anti-hero than a real villain. His buddy Baffleshkit the Nine-Banded is okay, though. He’s sort of the opposite of Fungantua. Fungi looks all goofy but is really dangerous. Baffleshkit looks really scary but is kind of a cool guy. For a demon, anyway.
That’s about it
My 13-year-old brother Geoffrey knows my secret, that I fly around and fight bad guys. He can be a real pain but he’s helps me cover my tracks sometimes, too, so I can’t really get too mad at him. But, let me tell you, I’ll be glad when puberty is over. The squirt is a complete perv.
And that’s pretty much the story so far. Thanks for asking.
Mr. Rip and Mr. Mangle?
No… I don’t want to talk about them…
The Story Not Told
What Belle doesn’t know about her life
- Belle’s father, Charles Taine is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison having been convicted of the murder of Hope Taine and the attempted murder of Stephanie Taine.
The authorities also suspect him of the murders of women and children stretching back 30 years which doesn’t seem possible given his age. They aren’t completely sure what type of toxin he used to kill Hope and nearly Kill Stephanie but they agree it was some kind of organic poison.
Stephanie is relieved that Belle has no desire to track down her father. She knows that eventually her daughter will need to be told the true story of her father’s absence. But for now she’s happy to continue the lie.
- The Bonfire Clasp has many other powers that Belle has not yet been made aware of.
- Belle is on the right track with her investigation of the Queen Maeve connection. The sad girl is Delyth, the daughter of Fergus the Silent, one of Maeve’s sons.
- The Wizard Black as Coal is, in reality, Professor Colin Mills, Belle’s Medieval History teacher at CW Post College. He knows Belle’s secret identity but his code as a gentleman sorcerer forbids him from using that knowledge against her. He will threaten to use it, yes. Psychological warfare is perfectly acceptable. But actually harming her loved ones or revealing her secret is beneath him.
Arabellle Taine is an attractive young woman with a lean athletic frame, striking green eyes, and long, curly, ginger hair.
In her guise as Belle Taine, she wears a wide-necked blouse with flowing sleeves and a pair of tight leggings, both garments colored green.
Her short wrist-length gloves and knee high leather boots are brown leather which she chose to match the color of The Bonfire Clasp. Around her waist she wears a cobalt blue sash belt adorned at her left hip by a large silver brooch sporting an image of a sun and a crescent moon. On her face she wears a cobalt blue domino mask held in place by spirit gum.
Around her neck, Belle Taine wears the source of her powers, The Bonfire Clasp. The Clasp is a thick, brown leather choker with a silver disc at the throat. When Belle accesses various powers, glowing pictograms appear on the disc — a red flame for Flame Project, a purple cloud for Fog, a yellow feather for Flight, and a white, seven-pointed star for Dumb Luck.
When in civilian attire, Belle prefers simple, comfortable clothing in muted colors. Blue jeans, t-shirts(sweatshirts in the winter), and sneakers are her primary mode of dress.
At Top Forty Burger, her uniform is a fuzzy, powder blue sweater, a pink poodle skirt, white bobby socks, and black and white saddle shoes.
While working, she is required to keep her hair up in a ponytail, a look that she has begun wearing off the job as well in the hopes that this further distances her from her Belle Taine appearance.
Belle Taine is a kind, good-natured young woman who always tries to do the right thing. She loves her powers not for the adventure they bring but for the good they can do. She enjoys making quips during battle, using humor to silence her fears. When she is very frightened or sad she will often sing to herself to keep her mind off whatever is troubling her.
Belle loves her family very much. While she is thankful for the unconditional love and support that her mother gives her, Belle sometimes feels she can be a bit overprotective. She has a sometimes supportive sometimes adversarial relationship with her younger brother Geoffrey, who she calls squirt. He is aware of her heroic identity and is equal parts helpful confidant and bane of her existence. Such are little brothers!
At times, Belle can be insecure. Despite being a gifted singer, dancer, and actress she won’t pursue a career in the arts because she doesn’t believe she’s talented enough. She’s currently taking a theater class in college but her major is history, a field that she finds interesting but that doesn’t really excite her in the same way that performing does. When questioned on the matter Belle says she’s just being practical.
Confidant: Geoffrey John Taine
- Known Relatives: Charles Taine (father), Stephanie Taine née Pulaski (mother), Arabelle Sydney “Belle” Taine (half-sister), Katherine “Kate” Pulaski (aunt).
- Group Affiliation: None.
- Base Of Operations: Farview, New York.
- Height: 4’7” (1.40m). Weight: 77 lbs. (35 Kg).
- Eyes: Hazel Hair: Blond
Geoffrey John Taine is a 13-year-old boy who is slightly small for his age. His blond hair is kept short (otherwise it becomes an unmanageable tangle) and his expressive hazel eyes peer from behind big round glasses.
He wears t-shirts emblazoned with the images of TV and Movie characters and super-heroes both fictional (Captain America) and real (The Crimson Owl). Blue jeans and sneakers complete his wardrobe.
Geoffrey is obsessed with two things, math and girls, not necessarily in that order. He is very advanced in his math and science classes but lacks interest in any other school subject.
Since hitting puberty, Geoffrey has become a walking hormone, falling instantly in lust with almost every woman he meets. His behavior in this regard is a constant embarrassment to both his mother and his older sister, Belle.
In many ways Geoffrey is a typical younger brother. He can be argumentative, spiteful, and even cruel to his older sister but at his heart he is a good person and when the chips are down he’ll always come through for her.
Although he would never admit it, he is very proud of his sister and secretly dreams of joining her as her sidekick someday. If only trigonometry were a super power.
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
Belle Taine and the town of Farview could easily fit into the DC Universe.
[Shrewsbury Park, Cumbria, England. May, 2002]
Arabelle Taine (Age 6): “Don’t you have any Barbies?”
The Sad Girl: “No. Dolls are not permitted in the household.”
Arabelle Taine: “That’s dumb.”
[Arabelle opens her bright pink Barbie carrycase. She looks at the Barbie dolls inside and finds the one she wants — a Barbie in a sky blue dress with a long ponytail. She hands it to the sad girl.]
Arabelle Taine: “Here. You can play with Barbie Ann. She’s my favorite. She’s got a button on her back that makes her hair grow.”
[The two girls play for hours.]
[Shrewsbury Park, Cumbria, England. Late August, 2002]
Arabelle Taine (opening her Barbie carrycase): “Take one. To keep.”
[The sad girl looks at the Barbie dolls in the case, trying to make her decision. Her gaze falls repeatedly on one doll in particular. Arabelle notices this and instantly feels a pang of regret. After a moment, she reaches into the case and takes out the doll.]
Arabelle Taine (handing the doll to the sad girl): “Take Barbie Ann. I know she’s your favorite, too.”
The Sad Girl: “Thank you.”
[The sad girl smiles and hugs the doll tightly. Then she takes her right hand and places it on Arabelle’s chest over her heart.]
The Sad Girl: “Always be this person, Arabelle Sydney Taine.”
The Wizard Black As Coal (hurling a bolt of eldritch energy that Belle Taine easily dodges): “Wait… Your real name is Arabelle?”
Belle Taine (blasting The Wizard Black as Coal with a jet of flame that dissipates harmlessly when it strikes the sorcerer’s force field): “Yep.”
The Wizard Black As Coal (hurling another bolt of eldritch energy that, once again, Belle Taine deftly sidesteps): “Arabelle? So, Belle for short? Belle Taine? Your name really is Belle Taine?”
Belle Taine (blasting The Wizard Black as Coal with another stream of flame to the same lack of effect): “Um… Yes. Why? Does this butt-kicking require ID?”
[The Wizard Black as Coal disengages his attack. He folds his arms across his chest and gives Belle Taine a sour look.]
Belle Taine (confused): “What?!?!?”
The Wizard Black As Coal: “A girl named Belle Taine granted the powers of smoke and flame… the powers of the bonfire ? That is ridiculously implausible.”
Belle Taine (strafing The Wizard Black as Coal with blasts of fire): “Ridiculously implausible is how I roll, Coal !”
Fungantua: “FUNGANTUA SMOOSH LITTLE MATCHSTICK GIRL!!!”
Belle Taine (flying just out of Fungantua’s reach): “You’ve gotta catch me first, Portobello-brain!”
Fungantua: “FUNGANTUA WILL CATCH YOU!!! FUNGANTUA WILL SMOOSH YOU!!!”
Belle Taine (barely dodging one of Fungantua’s monstrous blue hands): “Shiitake, that was close!”
Geoffrey Taine (excitedly): “So, you’re like a super-hero!”
Belle Taine: “Keep it down for Pete’s sake. Mom will hear you.”
Geoffrey Taine (in an awed whisper): “You are… you’re a super-hero.”
Belle Taine (embarrassed by the idea): “Not really. I just try to help people when I can.”
Geoffrey Taine (getting loud again as he points to the television screen displaying footage of Belle Taine’s battle with Fungantua): “Not really?!?! You fought a giant blue mushroom guy this morning!!!”
Belle Taine (signaling for Geoffrey to lower his voice again with a finger to her lips): “Fungantua tried to eat a school bus. The people were fourth graders on a field trip. The help they needed was not getting eaten. I was nearby. I stand by my statement.”
Geoffrey Taine: “So, mom doesn’t know yet?”
Belle Taine: “Are you new to this conversation? I just told you to be quiet so mom wouldn’t hear.”
[Geoffrey flashes an evil grin.]
Belle Taine: “No, no, no, no. You can’t tell her, squirt! She’ll have a coronary! If it was up to her I’d still have training wheels on my bike!”
Geoffrey Taine: “Don’t worry, freckles. I won’t tell… on two conditions.”
Belle Taine: “’And they are?’ she asked fearing the answer.”
Geoffrey Taine: “First, you’ve got to help me with my History paper. I’m flunking Mr. Poulos’ class and if my paper on the Second Battle of Fort Sumter isn’t ’A plus brilliant‘ I’ll be in summer school for sure.”
Belle Taine: “And…?”
Geoffrey Taine: “Let me see your boobs….”
Belle Taine: “Are you insane! You’re my brother!”
Geoffrey Taine (correcting her): “Half-brother…”
Belle Taine: “Get lost, perv!”
Geoffrey Taine: “Okay, one boob. Let me see one boob. The right one… no, wait, the left one. Help me write my History paper and let me look at your left boob for, um … ’5 Mississippis’ and I’ll take your secret to my grave”
Belle Taine: “I repeat, you’re my brother, you little reprobate!”
Geoffrey Taine: “And you’re my sister. But a boob’s a boob.”
Belle Taine: “How’s this for a counter offer? I help you with your paper and we forget everything you said after ’summer school’.”
Geoffrey Taine (in a singsong lilt): “I’ll tell mom… !”
Belle Taine: “No, you won’t. You’ll take my offer and you’ll like it.”
Geoffrey Taine: “Oh, really. Why?”
[Belle grabs Geoffrey by the shoulders and spins him around so he is once more facing the television set. The footage of Belle’s bout with Fungantua shows the tide of battle turning in the young heroine’s favor. She leans in close behind him and whispers in his right ear.]
Belle Taine: “Because you’re a lot shorter than Fungantua, squirt.”
[Belle turns and leaves the room having made her point.]
Geoffrey Taine (dejectedly, to no one in particular): “It’s not like I asked to touch them.”
[Belle Taine flies low over a scene of utter carnage. Bodies, and pieces of bodies, lie strewn about the wide city street. She lands.]
Belle Taine (shaken): “Oh my God. The people… all the poor people…”
[Belle sees two very handsome men in expensive business suits in the midst of the massacre. They are smiling pleasantly despite being splattered with blood. They notice Belle, glance at one another, and then begin walking toward the young heroine. As they approach her they hear a moan from one of the bodies they pass. They stop as one and turn their heads toward the source of the moan — a badly injured young woman whose right leg is trapped beneath an overturned car. The taller of the two men walks over to the woman, crouches down next to her, and punches her in the back of the neck with such force that her head is detached from her body. Then he stands up, rejoins the shorter man, and holds out his viscera-coated fist to his companion. The shorter man sniffs the fist like one might enjoy the aroma of a fine wine. For several seconds, Belle cannot react. Then she screams in horror.]
Belle Taine (tears streaming down her cheeks): “Who are you?!?!? Why are you doing this?!?!?”
Mr. Mangle (smiling as he gestures toward the shorter man): “He is Mr. Rip…”
Mr. Rip (smiling as he gestures toward the taller man): “… and he is Mr. Mangle.”
Mr. Rip and Mr. Mangle (in unison): “We kill people.”
[Overcome by fear, Belle launches herself skyward and flees the scene. She is ten miles away before she stops, hovering in the air, her body racked by deep, ragged sobs. The fear in her head is shouting at her, “Keep flying!” it pleads. ”There’s nothing you can do! You can’t fight those monsters! You’ll die”! But the anger hisses, “burn the bastards alive.” The anger wins. Still sobbing, Belle turns around and speeds back to the bloodbath. Her voice cracking, she begins singing to herself.]
Belle Taine: “’…And I find it kind of funny. I find it kind of sad. The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had…’”
[Belle Taine battles Mr. Rip and Mr. Mangle amid the blood and bodies. Belle is losing badly. Just as Rip and Mangle are closing in for the kill, all three combatants notice a stoop-shouldered old woman wandering toward the scene. Rip and Mangle freeze in place and stare at the newcomer, their ever-present smiles evaporating. Belle flies to intercept the old woman in an effort to protect her.]
Belle Taine: “Ma’am! Ma’am! You have to leave here. These men are very dangerous. I can’t… (Belle clutches her left arm, still bleeding from Mr. Rip’s last attack.)… I don’t think I can beat them…”
[The old woman raises a finger to shush Belle then reaches into her battered tote bag from which she produces a dark green balloon. The balloon is filled with liquid and covered in strange symbols written in gold magic marker. At the sight of the balloon, Rip and Mangle glance at each other then run off in opposite directions. The old woman hands the balloon to Belle who is surprised by its weight.]
Old Woman: “Take this and throw it at Mr. Rip. It should slow him down a bit.”
Belle Taine (confused): “I don’t understand. Who are you? What’s in this thing?”
Old Woman (reaching into her tote bag to retrieve another balloon identical to the first): “Time enough for that later, dear. Go get Mr. Rip. And don’t miss. I’ve only brought the two.”
[The old woman closes her eyes, a serene smile on her face. Suddenly her skin erupts in mottled orange growths.]
Grandma Pumpkin (opening her eyes and scanning her surroundings): “Now, where did Mr. Mangle run off to?”
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
A Randomly Generated Character
|Dex: 05||Str: 02||Bod: 04|
|Int: 06||Wil: 04||Min: 05|
|Inf: 05||Aur: 04||Spi: 04|
|Init: 018||HP: 000|
Acrobatics: 07, Artist (Actor, Dancer, Musician/Singer): 04, Occultist: 04
Confident (Geoffrey Taine), Familiarity (Legends and lore of the British Isles, European History, pop music), Lightning Reflexes.
Upholding the Good.
Full Time College Student / Part Time Waitress.
THE BONFIRE CLASP [BODY 05, Dumb Luck: 05, Flame Project (ML): 05, Flight (ML): 07, Fog (ML): 05, Bonuses & Limitations: All Powers are Mystical Linked ; Fog represents thick black smoke and is Elementally linked to Flame Project].
Confidant: Geoffrey John Taine
|Dex: 02||Str: 01||Bod: 02|
|Int: 03||Wil: 02||Min: 02|
|Inf: 02||Aur: 02||Spi: 02|
|Init: 007||HP: 000|
Gadgetry: 02, Scientist: 02
Expertise (Mathematics), Sharp Eye.
Age (Young), SIA toward mathematics, SIA toward pretty women, MPR: near-sighted (must wear glasses to see.)
Responsibility of Power / Mercenary.
Full Time High School Student.
Random rolls for this character
Type of character: Magical Item User
Magic Origins: Personal and Universal
Number of Items: 1
Number of Powers: 4
Magical School: Pantheon Magic (Celtic / Gaelic)
After unsuccessfully trying to force the rolls to fit a concept I’d already fallen in love with, I started anew and let the dice lead the way. I think the whole thing holds together well. I would have preferred rolling Faerie as my Magical School but I can’t really complain. The Pantheon angle works just as well.
Belle’s attributes really need to be higher if she’s going to be a super-hero but for a relatively new adventurer, they’ll do. I think I was fortunate in that there aren’t really any extremes in my rolls, at least not when it comes to AP levels. Sure, an 8 or 9 in something would have been nice but, apart from the Str, there are no 2s or 3s, either.
I rolled up collar / necklace for my magical item and decided that a choker was in the same spirit as those other items. I couldn’t see the connection between Flame Project and Fog until I thought of the smoke angle.
That led me to the Beltane bonfires idea. Beltane. Belle Taine. How could I not make that horrible pun? I would have liked more useful Skills than Artist but that Acrobatics stat is sweet. When you’ve got such low physical stats it’s good to be able to dodge.
I figure Belle’s been fighting crime for a little over a year as of this writing. Why are her stats still so low and why doesn’t she have any Hero Points after a year’s worth of super-heroing? That battle with Mr. Rip and Mr. Mangle really set her back a bit.
In addition to burning through all her accumulated Hero Points just to stay alive that day, she was physically and emotionally unable to adventure for months following that horrible battle.
I should note that Fairview, New York, Belle’s suburban town on Long Island is completely fictitious. Shrewsbury, Cumbria is similarly fictitious. I’m just an American trying to conjure up an English-sounding place name. Be thankful I didn’t go for Huddlesby-on-Marsh, or something.
Top Forty Burger where Belle works is made up, as well, but CW Post University is real. Finally, while Maeve and her sons like Fergus aka Maine Tai (The Silent) are figures from Celtic and Gaelic myth, Delyth, The Sad Girl is my own creation.
In this version 1.1, I fixed some typos (thanks, Darci), rewrote a few things for clarity, and formatted it correctly (hopefully). I also took out the bit about Geoffrey stealing Belle’s underwear. I originally included it on the Story Not Told list because I thought it was funny, this silly thing at the end of a list of really heavy / important stuff. Rereading it, I think it makes Geoffrey much creepier than he should be. Geoffrey’s preoccupation with the opposite sex should be funny not threatening.
The only thing missing is a DC Universe Section which I still like to see in write-ups if only for nostalgia. I’m working it out but the most likely DC connection is probably Timothy Hunter and I never read the ongoing Books of Magic series. Darci sent me a link with great info on the Celtic gods in the Marvel Universe that I intend to use in Belle Taine v1.2.
An MU connection might be cool. I get the feeling that Belle would really look up to Spider-man and pattern her quippery (look, new word!) on Spidey’s own brand of villain mockery. In DC she’d probably gravitate toward Superman, the ultimate ’good for good’s sake’ hero.
My wish list for this character:
- Increased Attributes (across the board but Dex, Bod, and Spi, in particular.)
- Increased APs in Flame Project and Fog.
- A whole bunch of Powers for The Bonfire Clasp — Spirit Travel, Invisibility, Flame Control, Flame Immunity, Chameleon, Damage Transference, and Poison Touch Elementally Linked to Fog to represent choking smoke.
- I’d also like the clasp to be a nearly indestructible magical artifact with a Bod in the 15 to 20 AP range.
- And I want to give the clasp a special advantage I’d call A Gift Freely Given. Basically anyone who successfully identifies the item using the Occultist Skill would get the information that this was a gift from a member of the Celtic / Gaelic Pantheon and trying to steal or destroy it would not be looked on favorably by Queen Maeve and her sons. Most Occultists would not want to chance such a provocation.
- The Charisma Skill and an increase in her Occultist Skill would be nice.
- The Attractive Advantage and maybe insta-Change.
- Connections – The Court of Queen Maeve (Low), Grandma Pumpkin (High)
Source of Character: Homemade — Early Summer Character Contest 2015 using the System for Magic DC Character Creation.
Helper(s): Dr. Peter S. Piispanen for giving us the system for Magic DC. Darci for help in spotting typos. Sébastien Andrivet for formatting clarifications. triad4evr.