6051 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies


Context

This is a sample character for the first, 1999 Everquest video game.

We suggest that you first read our original character sample for the ranger Gitane for context, unless you’re highly familiar with the game.


Background

  • Real Name: The Gavel and the Law; the Judgement and the Ritual.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Megan McDowell (adoptive mother), Rose McDowell (adoptive sister), Tundra Jack (“uncle”) .
  • Group Affiliation: The Northfolk.
  • Base of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’9″ Weight: 235 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Red
  • Other distinguishing features: Woad.


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Within the realm of the septentrion

The Northfolk live, to nobody’s shock, in the far North of the continent of Antonica. Most of their turf is composed of the Everfrost Peaks, and to the North of that the Frigid Plains.

From the names one expects cold climes. But it’s far worse than that. Yes, the Northfolk have looks and tradition that can evoke fantasy Scotland or fantasy Nordics. Yet the land is not comparable to, say, Finland – but to the Arctic.

One cannot simply drink in the Frigid Plains. The water would flash-freeze. And the bottle probably exploded a long time ago anyway.

Meet the locals

The Northfolk are highly adapted to their environment, and jealously consider it theirs. Though travellers are welcome and hospitality is important, the few attempts at invasion took place were met with formidable force.

The land is said to reflect the souls of the people, and vice-versa. The two are inseparable.

Or at least that’s what traditionalists keep saying. The small Northfolks settlements South of the Everfrost Peaks — primarily in the Plains of Karana — don’t seem to be doing badly.

The central peaks of the Everfrost mountains are impassable. The only route is a long tunnel, and it’s adjacent to the gnoll hordes of Blackburrow. Crossing the tunnel as armed gnolls greedily watch from the shadows is best left to swift, well-armed, intimidating parties.

South of the Everfrost Peaks, Northfolks are usually referred to as “Barbarians”. This is unintentionally ironic. Though it has many shortcomings, Northfolk culture is a noble, honest and just one. It thus seems more civilised than many cultures South of them.


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…and justice for all

The Northfolk worship but one god – the Tribunal. But this doesn’t mean that they are monotheistic. For instance, they obviously acknowledge their creators, the divine Marr siblings. Yet the one structured faith is about the Tribunal.

Though the Barbarians are faux-Vikings and the Tribunal’s symbol is his hammer, he has little to do with Thor. The Tribunal is a god of justice. We would nowadays call him the god of the rule of law . The Tribunal is about fair, proper rules that apply to everybody and are impartially enforced.

The Northfolk wisely consider that this is the very foundation of civilisation. Before they established a relationship with the Tribunal, Barbarian tribes knew abuses from tyrants and unbridled ambition. The Tribunal’s support made it possible to have an egalitarian, just method of conflict resolution and prevention. It made everything so much better.

The shamans of the Northfolks thus also function as priests of the Tribunal, as judges, and as lawyers.


Soundtrack

Let’s go with an obvious choice. Especially since I already played the Kari Rueslåtten card in the Sif character profile.

Available for download on Amazon .


Powers & Abilities

Ritual is a towering wall of muscle with extensive melee combat training. She masters several Barbarian combat styles, but focuses on a spear-and-shield one.

She’s heavily armed. Her plate mail is made of rubicite, a rare magical metal with regenerative properties. And her weapons are two spirit artefacts – the Shield of Falsehood and the Spear of Fate.

Vision thing

Ritual walks in two worlds, sees in two worlds, speaks in two worlds. Well, at least two.

Ritual travels through more and deeper layers than normal shamans. She’s routinely carrying out inscrutable conversations with persons who aren’t there, handling objects that do not exist or overcoming environments that nobody else can see, touch or feel.

She might seem completely insane. Yet other shamans can confirm that most of the stuff she’s interacting with exists in some layer of the spirit world.

Her magic doesn’t seem to be so much spells as somehow “dragging up” and “pushing down” layers of the spirit world to interface with reality. Or realities.

Slow down and dance with me, yeah

The most important shaman spells :

  • Lowering the opposition’s resistance toward magic (the “malaise” spells).
  • For long fights, afflicting the target(s) with magical poisoning and/or diseases. This is occasionally combined with spells rooting the target in place (the “root and rot” strategy).
  • Buffing  and healing. The most popular buff is, historically, spells allowing people to travel and run faster (the “SoW pls” strategy).
  • Various utility spells, including the summoning of a spirit wolf ally.
  • Slowing the opposition.

Slowing isn’t a drastic effect. It doesn’t divide the target’s speed by much. But it is a key element that, when combined with exacting tactics and combined spells from the right specialists, moves a fight from “suicidal” to “doable”.

And with less demanding fights, a shaman’s spells often are the difference between “we need to rest and heal” and “thank u, next”.

Drawbacks

Ritual’s sense of touch seems to be atrophied. Perhaps her other, multidimensional senses occupy all the “bandwidth” available.

In the “plus” column that helps with her pain tolerance, but on the minus side that drains sex of most of its interest.


History

Tundra Jack  is one of the most colourful figures of the Frigid Plains. This isn’t difficult – very few people live there.

He famously roams the plains with his enormous polar bear partner, Iceberg . He prospects for valuable ores, and has been looking to strike it rich for years.

Though he might seem zany, Tundra Jack is a competent man.

  • He can survive the Frigid Plains and the monsters there.
  • He was trained in mining by the dwarves of Kaladim.
  • Taming the killer giant bear that once terrorised Halas can’t have been easy. Jack says he was taught the trick by the elves of the Faydark.

But even Tundra Jack couldn’t believe it when he found a baby in the subzero plains of the North.

Lost and found

The baby girl was protected from the deadly winds by three female polar bears. These may also have been feeding her.

Everfrost Everquest 1 community map

The traditional, player-community-made map to Everfrost. With Halas in the Northwest and Blackburrow in the Southwest.

Thanks to Iceberg’s presence and Jack’s talents, they reluctantly let the Northman in. He improvised a baby carrier using blankets and Iceberg’s collar. Jack and his bear then made a beeline for Halas, as the pair lacked baby supplies.

Though Jack was an eccentric, his fellow Northmen liked him well enough. They had even come to accept that his tall tales were probably true. Thus, they didn’t really doubt his newest story.

Megan McDowell volunteered to adopt the baby. That was even though she already had to raise baby Rose alone since her man’s early death.

The Gavel and the Law

Pious as always, Megan took the baby to the Halls of the Tribunal for the shamans to bless and record her. Back then, you may remember, it was Old Don Felligan the eldest. He was near the end, though, and hadn’t had his mind whole for some years by then.

When good Megan came in, Old Don was being fed soup by his grandson Jinkus , back then a wee boy. They say Old Don stood right up all of a sudden, bowling the soup and little Jinkus over. His blind eyes gazing at the baby, he pointed straight at her.

In a stentorian voice he hadn’t had for years, Old Don proclaimed – “She is the Gavel and the Law. She is the Judgement and the Ritual”. Then he sat down and he was old, senile and blind again.

The Judgement and the Ritual

The Shamans of Justice had little doubt that the Tribunal had spoken. They’d often helped Megan make ends meet since her Kevan’s early death. Now they made extra sure that she had enough to raise her new baby.

The registrar dutifully recorded the girl’s name as “The Gavel and the Law, the Judgement and the Ritual”. But understandably, good Megan just called her “Ritual”.

As far as the Shamans of Justice could determine, the baby was mostly Northwife, but also part spirit. Scrying and consulting with senior spirits established that she had been conceived and born on another plane. A fair bit of work had gone into ensuring her dual nature.

Being a sharp bunch, the Shamans of the North soon noticed that many spirits knew more than they were willing to tell.

The Tribunal’s words through Old Don remained the more solid clue. It was generally agreed that Ritual would grow up to serve the cause of Justice in a special capacity. And that her part-spirit nature was a means to that end.

Heyokah

Ritual’s dual nature made her Heyokah. Meaning she had the potential to interact more fully with the spirits.

The Heyokah had apparently been a formal, teachable tradition centuries before. But this had been lost in the fall of the Combine Empire. Though mortal Heyokah still occurred, they weren’t necessarily benign, sane, or with a full understanding of their power.

Even with her dual nature, Ritual had to undergo lengthy spirit tests – of trust, patience, wisdom and might. Overcoming these confirmed her as Heyokah.

Mantles

Eventually, the spirits deployed her to destroy “mantles”. These were a sort of spiritual fallout caused by faith-related magical disasters. Mantles prevented the spirits from entering afflicted areas.

Halas Everquest 1 map Myrist

A view of the in-game Halas, from the Myrist maps compilation. Maps were a critical resource in EQ1.

The most notable such investigation took place in Kunark’s jungles, among ruins now called the City of Mists.

Dealing with ghosts, the undead and fallen elementals allowed to gain a sense of what had happened to the reptilian people of Torsis, and how their culture had gone extinct.

The spear of fate

Ritual also walked in the footsteps of Thalger. He had been the first Human Heyokah. Thalger had died centuries before to destroy the most dangerous mantle, which had been created from scratch by the lich Miragul.

The mighty Miragul is a major figure in the history of Norrath. His iconoclastic study of necromancy resulted in the catastrophic Erudian civil war, as Miragul and his followers rejected the traditional schools.

Surviving the conflict, Miragul would eventually turn himself into a lich. He evaded even the powerful orders of paladins that existed back then.

His experimental labs hidden under the Frigid Plains saw the creation of innumerable abominations. And the spiritual mantle he created would likely have destroyed the ancient Northmen had Thalger not struck it exactly right.

In the end, Ritual recovered Thalger’s Spear of Fate. This relic, and having another Heyokah capable of wielding it, were a countermeasure were a new large mantle to appear.


Description

Ritual is built like a brick shithouse. A brick shithouse that goes to the gym every day. A brick shithouse that moonlights as an offensive tackle with a major NFL team.

Her height is a bit above average for a Barbarian woman. Meaning she’s a head shorter… than André the Giant.

She sports an impressive and well-defined musculature. That nevertheless cohabits with hefty curves, because this is a video game so we don’t have a choice.

Her hair is cut in a sort of spiky, shaggy pixie cut that involves a beeswax-based concoction to condition her (naturally curly) hair into a vaguely stalactites-like array. Northfolks like doing their hair, and Halas thus has a full-time hairdresser with a lot of experiences with waxes.


Personality

Ritual is more a weapon than a person.

Furthermore, there are many things around her that only she can perceive. One way of playing her is to imagine that you’re hanging around with a person who’s also on the phone, and also paying some attention to two TVs that are on but that you cannot see or hear. That person doesn’t have a choice.

Ritual is serious and unusually focused. She has little to no sense of humour. She has implied that when her main mission is over, she will be able to… Well, it’s not clear. Retire, or ascend, or die, or leave, or descend. She doesn’t want to discuss it, but she’s looking forward to it.


DC Universe History

Having her exist during the (original) time of Arion of Atlantis might be the easiest. But the role of the Tribunal doesn’t square well with the Lords of Order/Chaos.

Howbeit she could exist in a distant post-apoc future, with her spear and shield holding the essence of Hawk and Dove, respectively. And the spirits she interacts with might be the ghosts of the JSA, back when they were fighting in the experimental Ragnarok.


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Ritual

Dex: 05 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Adventurer
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 08 Wealth: 005
Init: 015 HP: 035

Powers:
Air walking: 01, Enchantment: 01, Glue: 06, Growth: 01, Ice production: 06, Poison touch: 08, Regeneration: 06, Sharpness (see below): 02, Slow (EQ): 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Enchantment is Partywide.
  • Enchantment can also increase land speed. Whether standard Enchantment can do that is debatable, so I’m specifying for clarity’s sake. SoW plz.
  • Growth is Always On, Form Function, and Already Factored In.
  • Ice production is only usable for cold-based attacks.
  • Poison touch has a 2 APs Range.
  • Regeneration is Partywide.
  • Sharpness isn’t attached to another Power. With a Dice Action (but no roll) it can be placed on a target for 10 Phases. The Sharpness “token” will then combine with any hostile spell cast on this target.

Skills:
Gadgetry: 04, Medicine: 06, Occultism: 08, Weaponry (Melee): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Gadgetry is limited to alchemy and herbalism.
  • Medicine is performed using magic. It requires no equipment, no controlled environment, etc..
  • Occultism is limited to spirits knowledge and magic.

Advantages:
Expertise (Cold weather survival), Language (Barbarian), Pet (Spirit wolf).

Connections:
Northfolk (Low), Silent Minority guild (Low), Shamans of all species (Low).

Drawbacks:
Among Southerners, Ritual has Creepy Appearance since she’s rather easy to spot.

Rituals:
Spells that aren’t cast as often would be modelled as Rituals. Which in the case of this specific character might be confusing. Invisibility, ultravision, summoning weight-reducing bags, summoning food and water, appeasing animals, suppressing the need for breathing, these sorts of things.

Equipment:

  • RUBICITE PLATE MAIL [BODY 06, Blunting: 03, Damage capacity: 05, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing RV): 02 (cap is 10), Enhance (Laser, cold, ballistic, heat/flame, Acid RV): 01 (cap is 09), Regeneration: 03, Stealth penalty 3/4, Bonuses & Limitations:
    • Damage capacity has the Instant Recovery Bonus.
    • Damage capacity is Slashing and Piercing only.
  • Shield of Falsehood [BODY (Hardened Defenses) 08, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 05), Recommended STR 04, Descriptor: Bludgeon, Note: OV/RV bonus when using the Block Manoeuvre is 3 APs, Note: the OV bonus for the Shield Cover Manoeuvre is 3 APs].
  • Spear of Fate [BODY 09, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 09), Poison touch: 05, Sharpness (Poison touch): 04, Descriptor: Bludgeoning, Piercing ; Limitation: Bludgeoning has Limited penetration].
    If the spearwielder’s opposition is within a four feet range, the spearwielder gets a -1 to the final roll of their melee attacks while the opposition gets a +1 to the final roll of their melee attacks. If the range is greater, these are reversed.

Pet

This spirit wolf doesn’t seem to have a name. Ritual just whistles rather than talk to him. Assuming it’s a male. Who knows.

DEX 04 STR 03 BOD 04

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 07, Claws: 04, Cold Immunity: 02, Directional Hearing: 04, Extended Hearing: 03, Invulnerability: 08, Running: 05, Super Hearing: 03, Ultra Vision: 03

Bonuses & Limitations:
Invulnerability can only roll once every 10 minutes.

Skills:
Thief (Stealth): 07


Power level

For this profile, I am assuming that the character is unusually powerful. And was *the* one to do the epic weapon quest, back when that was a Very Serious Business and no small achievement.

Though on DCH scale, that just means a highballed AP here and there. And decent Hero Points.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Inspired by an Everquest Player Character.

Helper(s): Ethan Roe.

Writeup completed on the 23rd of June, 2019.

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