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The Doctor of the Authority (Wildstorm Comics) using his powers

Doctor

(Jeroen Thornedike)


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

Context

The Doctor is the most powerful magician the world has ever known ! He’s a world shaman who joined The Authority, a super-hero group in the Wildstorm Universe (Image Comics).

The Doctor appeared in 1999 as The Authority thunderously launched, as written by Warren Ellis. The series (and its precursor issues, the landmark Ellis run on Stormwatch) was highly influential and successful.


Background

  • Real Name: Jeroen Thornedike.
  • Other Aliases: The Shaman.
  • Marital Status: Divorced.
  • Known Relatives: Lola Velez (ex-wife).
  • Group Affiliation: The Authority.
  • Base Of Operations: The Carrier and the World.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 160 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Orange


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Powers and Abilities

The Doctor is the most powerful magician the world has ever known. Thus, he is one of the most powerful beings on the planet. His Shaman abilities (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Sorcery) and knowledge (WILL, Occultist) are inherited from every Shaman who came before him.

He can communicate with and visit the Garden of Ancestral Memory at any time (more on that later). However, this requires that his senses are focused away from the world for a moment. As the Doctor he has got millennia of dealing with threats to his village encoded in him.

He has the power to alter reality and the potential to do practically anything on a planetary scale. He is only limited by his own imagination. He has but to draw a detailed picture in his mind in poetic terms of what he wants and it will happen.

In practice

He has 15 extra senses (Acuity) that give him a sense of complete enlightenment. At least one of these senses allows him to connect to the planet and its people. Another one has to do with an altered perception of how time flows, thus allowing for its fine manipulation. Naturally, he knows all the languages of the world (Comprehend Languages through Acuity).

The Doctor (Jeroen Thornedike) face closeup

However, he does limit his magic to some degree. Since all his powers are derived from the Earth, very powerful acts could be harmful to the planet. An example is when he brought the theoretically immortal Jenny Sparks back to life at the cost of one year of the planet’s life.


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The Doctor is well-knows as a master of change. He can:

  • Manipulating animate and inanimate matter with equal ease (Transmutation).
  • Heal (Damage Transference).
  • Find individuals or life (Detect, Life Sense).
  • Scale factor (Growth, Shrinking).
  • Use telekinesis (Telekinesis).
  • Be protected by life support (Sealed Systems, Water Freedom).
  • Manipulate time (Time Travel, Time Stop).

The Garden of Ancestral Memory, part 1

All the souls of the previous doctors reside in the Garden of Ancestral Memory. This is where all Doctors must go after they have died.

The Garden has existed since times immemorial. It is an extra-dimensional plane (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Travel Value: 04) that contains all the experience of the previous Doctors. It is further made of remnants of every birth, every death and every life since the dawn of humanity.

There are also every dream, every idea, every triumph, every failure, every murder, every mutilation, every kiss, every caress and all the hate and love of mankind. The Doctor sometimes receives telepathic messages from them while in the Earth dimension. He can mentally or physically visit them whenever he wants to.

His constant connection to this plane is partly the reason for his tactical and sensory knowledge as well as his wisdom (WILL, Supernatural Bonus to Acuity, Occultist, Scholar).

The Garden of Ancestral Memory, part 2

The sum total of knowledge of all previous doctors is available for guidance (Connection). However the Doctor does not always take their advice, instead opting to carry out his own unusual and daring plans that actually somehow work out. His most common contact in the Garden is his predecessor, who was a member of the Changers, although all are present at every visitation.

Other well-known previous doctors present in the Garden appear to be Jesus Christ, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Under certain critical circumstances the previous Doctors can also mentally call him to the Garden to give him immediate guidance.

When the Doctor does something unusual, outrageous or risky they will usually be dissatisfied and give him the cold shoulder until he regains their trust by proving himself. While in mental contact only he will appear to an outsider on the Earth plane as if he just stood inactive until his consciousness returns.

Furthermore, although it’s very unusual, the Doctor can opt to transfer his powers to other suitable candidates, such as future or previous Doctors, permanently or temporarily. Temporal transference with a set of conditions is most likely. The souls of the Garden appear as incorporeal figureheads with a few notable exceptions who appear in human form.

Despite appearing to be a mental plane, it has an actual physical presence.

The Garden remains a great source of information and tactics for any Doctor.

Renegade Doctors

The Renegade Doctor was an evil man, and his actual predecessor from the 1960s, who had once had all the powers of The Doctor. For crimes against humanity, he was stripped of his powers and sent to a prison at the beginning of time. He could only be caught because after killing untold numbers of people one night, he decided to drink bottles of Dom Pérignon.

From prison, he was somehow able to set in motion events that threatened the present day. He told The Authority that he would only fix things if the powers of The Doctor were returned to him for one hour. Jeroen, to save the world, gave his powers away. The Renegade Doctor fixed the problems but attacked the Authority. He was easily beating them all and was doing feats than Jeroen had never shown himself capable of doing.

He was only stopped when the full powers of The Doctor finally hit him. When a mental link to everyone on the planet was restored, he was overcome by regret, and lost his focus and was weakened. Apollo took the opportunity to promptly end the threat of the Renegade Doctor, and the Doctor regained his powers.

There was also the Surgeon, of the erzats Authority, who stole the Doctor’s powers. He then opened the Garden to building contractors and fast-food multinationals. That insane project ended when the Midnighter stopped him, and the Doctor again regained his powers.


History

Jeroen Thornedike, a Dutch heroin addict, was destined to become the Doctor and a member of The Authority. He was a multimedia millionaire by 12, a dot-com billionaire by 20, and staring into space in a psychiatric home by the age of 21.

He eventually gave away all his money and tried to have an ordinary life. That lasted until the original Doctor died and Jeroen inherited his abilities. Jeroen refused to accept the responsibility. Instead spent his days shooting heroin , watching pornographic videos of horses having sex with women  and playing Sonic the Hedgehog .

Jeroen was first contacted to join The Authority by Sparks and Swift, but refused to join and teleported them away. After contacting him a second time, Sparks shot herself in the head, forcing Jeroen to use his powers to revive her. He joined the Authority soon afterwards.

A higher authority

He was first seen in action turning a group of enemies into birds. Jeroen was in control of power unthinkable to the rest of the team, could move outside of three dimensional space and was in complete control of all types of energy and matter. Still, he suffered from his old problems and frequently turned to drugs and alcohol to get him through the day.

Naturally, when he joined The Authority, he wasn’t the first Doctor to “walk with a pantheon”. Other “Doctors” before him had joined groups and used their powers as he did. But he was the first to operate on a fully global scale publicly.

At first the doctor was still accustoming to his powers. Using them on a large scale wiped him out, first creating a feeling of euphoria before crashing his system and rendering him unconscious. This effect was only short term though. He quickly adjusted to the amount of power he then had in his system.

Later, Jeroen displayed more power than anyone thought he had before, holding the entire country of Italy – the opressors’ stronghold on a parallel Earth – in place from space while the rest of the world revolved around it. This effectively destroyed the country, while the population was thrown from ’Earth‘ into space, and the rest of the world got a chance to recover.

Jeroen was one of the few people alive that actually recognised the death of Jenny Sparks for what it was, and while the rest of the team were mourning for her he actually confronted Jack Hawksmoor at Jenny’s grave and told him about Jenny Quantum. Jeroen was more caring than most people realized, although this side of him was often hidden by the drug abuse.

Rebel Earth, part 1

Later (’Earth Inferno’ story arc), Jeroen had overdosed on heroin just as he was needed the most. The Earth itself started a “war” against humanity.

Claiming the Earth to be sapient , a previous, renegade Doctor explained that, after spores from the Moon had fallen to the Earth and begun terraforming the planet back to its original habitat (’Outer Dark‘ story arc), the Earth had blamed humanity for this and declared war on them.

Warming up for battle the Earth caused electromagnetic storms and flash floods over major cities, effectively killing one hundredth of the world’s population in two strikes. This would have continued with the Earth reversing its magnetic poles and killing every human on the planet.

Realizing the Doctor was the only one who could possibly negotiate a peace treaty with Earth, the Midnighter transferred some of his blood into the unconscious Doctor. He reasoned that his blood should unblock the opiate receptors in the Doctor’s brain.

Rebel Earth, part 2

However, only the Renegade Doctor could save the Earth at this point of time. He demanded the Doctor’s powers for an hour to broker a cease of hostilities between the Earth and the human race.

Reluctantly, the Authority agreed. After evacuating the entire human race from the planet into neighbouring dimensions, the weak, but conscious Doctor transfered his powers to the Renegade Doctor. He first used the powers to broker the peace and then promptly proceeded to fight the Authority on a previously unforeseen level.

The Renegade Doctor was capable of:

  • Four dimensional travel.
  • Existence in a vacuum.
  • Neutralizing any Authority member’s powers.
  • Reforming his entire body after it had been blown apart.

The Renegade Doctor was nevertheless defeated – not by the Authority but his own conscience. As his powers continued to expand and he suddenly empathized with every living soul on Earth. Being completely enlightened for the first time in his life, the Renegade Doctor finally felt the pain and suffering he had caused. He fell to his knee, at which point Apollo took the opportunity to kill him.

The powers were transferred back to Jeroen.

More doctors

Later (’Transfer of Power‘), Jeroen was replaced by The Surgeon. He was a French alchemist who was given control over the Doctor’s powers. The Surgeon was never accepted by the collective consciousness of the previous Doctors’, because he brought in contractors to the area where the former Doctors met.

Said invaders bulldozed ancient shrines and shot at and or killed the entities found there. The Surgeon even supervised “Religimon,” an entity designed to be a new corporate religion. The Surgeon died when The Midnighter shot him in the head. Jeroen instantly recovered his powers.

In the end, Jeroen was killed by a drug overdose administered by Rose Tattoo on orders from Henry Bendix, who then proceeded to capture his soul. The Doctor’s powers were immediately transferred to the new doctor, Habib Ben Hassan, who was also captured by Bendix.

Jeroen’s soul was later freed by Jenny Quantum and he now resides in the Ancestral Garden of Memories with the other previous Doctors.


Description

The Doctor is a Dutch male wearing odd but cool regalia in various colors. He is usually seen levitating while wearing his trademark red glasses.

His aura, sometimes visible, is uncanny and unearthly and people are often freaked out by this, including his teammates.


Personality

The Doctor is the most powerful magician the world has ever known, but he is full of human frailty and pain. Although capable of nearly any feat, he is only at total peace when concentrating during which he nearly appears to reach a state of Nirvana.

His previous problems still haunt his life on regular basis and he often spaces out on drugs. He has on occasion missed distress calls due to having taken an overdose.

Despite his enormous might, the Doctor is a known coward. He will turn hesitant (in DC Heroes terms, Uncertainty) at the most inopportune of times. He’ll also lose to inferior foes, who take every opportunity to threaten and ridicule him. However, in the end, he will face up to the danger, and save the day.

Jeroen is now sometimes at complete peace, while other times suffering from human weakness. He turns to alcohol and sex for relaxation and recreation. He’s had sexual relations with at least one of the female members of the team (the Engineer), and possibly more. His weaknesses eventually led to his untimely death.

Other traits

His heart is definitely in the right place. He is both more wise and caring than people think. He has often had to act as the consciousness of the Authority. His relationship with the Earth is more than just the planet supplying him with power. He can feel how it feels and has a deep connection with it that is spiritual, emotional, mental and possibly physical.

When Jeroen first became Doctor he complained to the previous Doctors that he had a pain in his heart. One of them told him, “The world now turns where your heart used to sit. A certain amount of pain is to be expected.”

Seeing the opportunity for enlightenment on a planetary scale, he took over a major cult in his own name, establishing the Church of the Shaman. As the figurehead of this cult, he lectures, informs and teaches great philosophies of the ages. Sadly, he felt that the Church had to be disbanded to prevent further loss of life after a global terrorist group had targeted its members.

As the shaman of the world, he has no personal or material belongings.


Quotes

“All magic is, is change. I move things from here to there. Change this thought to that thought, step behind the scenes and rearrange the set. Remix reality.”

“You know me as the Doctor, a founding member of the Authority, the international rescue and defense organization that has done more for this world than every government throughout history combined. More than that, I am a shaman of the human race, its spiritual guide and protector. The racial memories of your ancestors, their entire lives from birth to death flows through me. The totality of that experience is far greater than any so-called god. So, from now on, disregard everything you’ve been taught by the political and religious institutions that shape society. I’m going to show you a whole new way of looking at the world…”

“I’m not ready for this.”

“I… I just created a new universe…”

“Swift, this is a woman who employs a team of make-up artists to work exclusively on her ass ! In less than two months of marriage, she put me through more shit than Seth, Reality Incorporated, and my psycho 1960s predecessor all rolled into one ! I’ve got the finest, noblest legal minds from human history in my racial memory —- not to mention the twisted, scheming, machiavellian brains of every con man, charlatan, and corrupt political scumbag that ever lived ! I’m going to give her the least amicable divorce in the world !” [the divorce doesn’t happen]

“Ch-ch-changes !” [saves Amsterdam] “Just couldn’t stand the thought of all that good hash going up in smoke and nobody being around to enjoy it.”

“That’s because your senses have finally caught up with what it means to be completely enlightened for the first time in your life, doctor. I was the ultimate shaman, remember ? The sum of every doctor who had ever come before me ; including you. Kind of hard to stay mad at the world when you empathize with every living creature in existence, isn’t it ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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The Doctor

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 19 Min: 05 Occupation: Shaman of the Earth
Inf: 09 Aur: 14 Spi: 13 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 019 HP: 080

Powers:
Acuity: 15, Dimension Travel: 06, Flight: 06, Sorcery: 28, Transmutation: 20

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Mystic Linked.
  • Acuity has the Supernatural Bonus (+1).
  • Transmtation can also change organic matter (+1).
  • All Powers are Useable by Others (special, see below).
  • All Powers are Derived from Sorcery (-1).
  • Initially, using Transmutation gave Mystical Bashing Damage as per the Sorcery rules, but that Limitation has since been lost.

Skills:
Occultist: 10

Advantages:
Headquarters (Expansive, the Carrier), Language (Dutch), Scholar (Computers, New Age Philosophy).

Connections:
The Authority (High), The Church of the Shaman (High), the Garden of Ancestral Memory (High).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity, SIA (Drug dependency), Uncertainty.

Equipment:
Cool red glasses [BODY 01, Cling: 00, Shade: 04].

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen.

Source of Character: The Authority v1-v5, Authority one-shots and miniseries.

Helper(s): wikipedia.org, Comicvine.com .

Writeup completed on the 2nd of February, 2010.

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