Everything is explained in our main Grim Dawn character profile, which has multiple sections presenting the world.
Everything in this entry, except for the world and storyline, is made-up. It’s the role-player reflex of “okay, who is this character, why does she have these skills, how are these powers and weapons working in-universe, etc.” when playing a CRPG .
- Real Name: Svetlana NLN.
- Other Aliases: Enlisted as “Svetlana Malmouth” as an arbitrary last name for military administration purposes.
- Marital Status: Single.
- Known Relatives: Marjorie (mother, presumed deceased), Andrej (father, deceased).
- Group Affiliation: Associate of the Black Legion and Kymon’s Chosen.
- Base of Operations: Homestead, in the Southern Erulan Empire.
- Height: 5’5″ Weight: 115 lbs.
- Eyes: Brown Hair: Blonde (shaved).
Powers & Abilities
Svet isn’t a bad hairdresser. She isn’t going to win competitions, but it’s serviceable work.
She’s also an experienced hitwoman and infantry soldier, with a de facto MOS in long-range recon. She’s good in the field, likes to kill, deals exceptionally well with stress and harsh conditions, and is something of an expert at firearms maintenance.
Svet handles her gun with a rare level of speed and precision. She also has a dangerous amount of wiry strength – concentrated in her hands. Which is also good for scalp massages, I guess.
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
Like many elite fighters, Svet knows combat magic techniques. Her key one is her circle of power, which is similar to magical seals used by the Inquisitors of Luminari.
By reciting an incantation and punching or stomping the ground, Svet can cause magical flames to erupt. These form a burning disc on the ground. As long as she stands in her circle of power, Svet :
- Is protected from harm, though it has clear limits.
- Sees her wounds heal, her fatigue recede and her resolve renew. Svet boasts that “it even cures the shits”. Though how appreciable this is may be lost on people who haven’t spent weeks in the field on military rations.
- Bolsters her attacks with cleansing fire, and burns those attempting to close in.
Desolator, part 1
Another major asset is her unique shotgun, fondly called the Desolator. This prototype monstrosity weighs more than ten pounds. Mechanical features include :
- A 23.8mm calibre barrel. It is repurposed from a vehicular light autocannon.
- A unique spring-assisted slide action. The pump has to be pulled back but a short way to chamber a round. With Svet’s speed and strong hands, the Desolator fires as quickly as a mid-calibre semi-auto pistol.
- An array of three tubes holding ammunition. Once a tube is empty, working the pump all the way back will rotate the next tube into position. Though this contributes to the gun being huge, that gives the operator 24+1 rounds.
- An oddly modern selector that can be set to “Safe”, “Fire”, and “Reload”. With the latter, pulling the pump all the way back disengages the tubes array. A fresh array of three loaded tubes can then be slid in, locked in, then readied by pushing the pump back into its forward position.
- A heat shield and a bayonet lug.
Desolator, part 2
Magical features include:
- A series of steel spikes about the barrel, precisely set at a 23.8° angle upward. Each pair of spikes (one on each side) empowers this section of the barrel with a magical effect. Each spike has a small pennant with a rune hanging from it.
As a round is shot through the barrel, it gets enchanted by each section in turn. It thus picks up elemental charges – primarily fire, but also some shocking lightning and freezing cold. Her shots can thus stun and delay what they don’t kill right away.
- Another series of steel spikes, set a 8.23° angle downward. What these do is accelerate the round. The projectile thus picks up speed with each set of spikes, not unlike with a magnetic railgun . These also reinforce the shotgun as a whole. Without these spikes, the Desolator would need a barrel of several metres to work.
The rounds are handmade using paper. One characteristic of the Desolator is that the paper must be soaked in human grease for the enchantments to work fully. Pig grease can be substituted, but the enchantments will be markedly weaker.
The shot needs to be cast using a variety of metals, and the payload includes a number alchemical powders. Without the backing of a large military organisation, rounding up the long list of components would be arduous.
Like most elite soldiers, Svet is clad in full, enchanted body armour. Hers is recon brigandine. It provides as much protection as solid steel. Yet it is closer to chainmail in terms of encumbrance and to an armour jack in terms of weight.
To operate the Desolator, she has a custom harness that ties the gun to her breastplate. The shotgun can be carried held against her torso, the body armour having protrusions to rest the gun’s weight on. There are also straps that attach to the shotgun so her back and shoulders will bear most of the weight.
This harness also includes a custom-made steel shoulder plate, backed by a one-pound industrial steel spring. Without it, the Desolator would likely break her clavicle. Especially given how fast she shoots.
*On top* of this rig, Svet has belts and bandoliers loaded with grenades. There are two main types :
- Flashbangs to daze and shock the enemy.
- A sort of Molotov cocktail that includes thermite, phosphorus and a kind of napalm. These are meant to deal with armoured vehicles, but they help with giant monsters.
Her full kit also includes a trench knife, a large-bore revolver, extra tubes arrays for the Desolator, extra pairs of socks, booze, cigarettes and other essentials.
One of Calvin Russell’s classics fits.
Svetlana comes from the Malmouth underclass. However, she had an enviable position as her mother held a hairdressing license. Thus, Svet escaped working in the manufactures, the mines or the fields. She could work as her mother’s associate, had a hairdressing guild membership, and would inherit the licence.
However, her execrable temper led her to murder her boyfriend at age 17. She thought he was cheating on her and strangled him. Though Svet would have been put to death, the guild intercessed – doing the hair of rich people meant influence. The death sentence was commuted to a seven-year contract with the Black Legion, an elite military unit staffed with condemned criminals.
Svet genuinely enjoyed being a legionnaire, and proved skilled at it. However, the Legion was a target as Aetherial infiltrators in position of influence prepared for the Grim Dawn.
And the damage done
The Legion recon unit in Malmouth was sent past the Ugdenbog, near the heart of the Ravager influence in the area. A clan of immortal, thoroughly mutated cannibals ruled this region. Furthermore, the unit was blatantly underequipped and at least half the ammunition issued was defective.
In this horror movie, Svet ended in the role of the Final Girl . Though she survived, she had no choice to desert. The unit had clearly been sent to die. And if she lived to tell there would be even more reason to eliminate her.
She ended up in Old Arkovia after hearing about a secretive, outlaw cult. Kymon’s Chosen took her in.
The Chosen were interested in a Black Legion hardened vet, especially one with fire magic. However, Svet couldn’t fight anymore. Her nerves were shot, and being in deadly danger now made her sick.
Therefore, she opened a barber shop and hairdressing salon. The Cult’s compound was at that point a large one, with enough people to make a salon viable. Even hidden in Old Arkovia, this sheer size would eventually force the Cult to move for security reasons.
Now I’m a believer
Svet found her place with the Chosen, and enjoyed her job. But Father Kymon was still looking for ways to use her other skills set. She started doubling as a firearms instructor. This worked out great once she became able to stomach the stress from gunshot sounds.
Kymon also sent her on several sanctioning missions. Though she couldn’t fight, she could perform hits – she’d be sick afterwards, but her target would be dead. Though reluctant, Svet was swayed by Father Kymon’s charisma and her developing faith. She used a pair of subcompact, high-calibre, four-shot revolvers with magical fire enhancements.
Thus, she continued as a combination of beautician, torpedo and military instructor.
Kymon eventually conducted a ritual, where Svet was possessed for several months by a fire wraith. Though she kept no memory of it, the experience rewired her brain. Her PTSD was gone and her potential for fire magic was decupled. But she now felt permanently numb, distant and a bit dizzy.
Furthermore, the Grim Dawn occurred during this possession. As a fire possessee, Svet was an important asset in the Chosen’s early fights against Aetherials and other threats.
When Kymon’s Chosen struck a tentative alliance with Black Legion survivors in Homestead, Svet was the obvious choice to act as a liaison. She was detached to Homestead, and she and her team would integrate with Legion units.
This is how Svet came to work with Mardirossian, aka the Devil’s Executioner. They did several missions paired together. Though neither were stable or easy persons, they discovered that they could trust each other in the field. That was an invaluable quality in a post-apocalyptic world.
But most of the time Svet worked solo or with a joint Chosen/Legion unit. She fought at the Necropolis and in Malmouth.
Joined a cult. Kept the haircut.
When Mardirossian told her the truth about Father Kymon, Svet left the Chosen in dismay. Though most Chosen would have denied the truth if told, Svet feared betrayal ever since her unit had been sent to its death by Aetherials.
This also helped her reframe how Kymon had arguably used her to improve her worth as a weapon.
As a result, she now works under Inquisitor Creed’s authority. Essentially, she’s back with the Legion.
Svet has a number of tattoos of so-so quality, in faded dark blue.
- Small tear under the left eye.
- Abstract wave motifs around her midriff.
- Left forearm in blackletter, “Bellatrix Canina” (which was meant to mean “bitch soldier”. Can’t win them all.).
- Right forearm in blackletter, “Semper Fidelis”.
- Right shoulder blade, rose with bloody thorns.
- Around left thigh, coils of barbed wire.
- Above the pubes, a winged erect penis pointing downward like an arrow.
Though her head is kept regulation-shaved due to lice, she has a number of wigs to wear off-duty. These are of excellent quality and entirely natural-looking. It’s exclusive hairdressing guild craft.
Out of uniform, she favours woolen hats in loud colours, and long woolen white skirts.
Svet is a crude, disillusioned, brash, trashy, bitter soldier’s soldier.
She can easily be tiresome and aggressive. But with her comrades-in-arms she is much friendlier and remarkably loyal. Trust is critical to her.
Like many Black Legion members she is proud of how much abuse she can endure, in an “embrace the suck” sort of way.
She has much respect for the Devil’s Executioner, and a crush on Inquisitor Creed.
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 03||Str: 03||Bod: 04||Motivation: Soldier.|
|Int: 03||Wil: 02||Min: 04||Occupation: Commando|
|Inf: 03||Aur: 03||Spi: 05||Wealth: 003|
|Init: 011||HP: 025|
Cold immunity: 02, Damage capacity: 04, Flame being: 04, Regeneration: 05, Flame immunity: 02, Force field: 01, Magic field: 02, Systemic antidote: 02
Bonuses and Limitations:
- All Powers are Contingent Upon Flame Being.
- All Powers are activated together using a Dice Action – they can’t be used otherwise.
- The activated Powers are stationary, but all have a selective zero-APs Area of Effect.
- Damage capacity has Instant Recovery.
- Flame Being carries no vulnerability to cold-based attacks.
- Magic Field cannot stack against attacks where other RV-boosting Powers are used.
Acrobatics (Dodging)*: 03, Artist (Hairdressing): 04, Military science (Danger rec, demolitions): 05, Thief (stealth): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 06
Expertise (Military equipment and protocols), Familiarity (Kymon’s Chosen theology), Rank (rough equivalent of a Chief), Schtick (Lightning reload, Strangler’s hands).
Black Legion (Low – derived from Rank).
Minor Rage, SID of those she doesn’t think she can trust, MPR (somewhat hard of hearing).
- MAGICALLY ENHANCED BRIGANDINE w/HOOD [BODY 05, Blunting: 03, Damage capacity: 05, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing RV): 02 (cap is 09), Enhance (Laser, cold, ballistic, heat/flame, acid RV): 01 (cap is 08), Enhance (RV against Critical, Devastation and doubles): 03 (cap is 08), Enhance (Unarmed RV): 03 (cap is 10), Stealth penalty 1/1, Bonuses & Limitations: Damage capacity has the Instant Recovery Bonus, Drawback: Audial Perception rolls have +1CS to their OV/RV.]
- The Desolator [BODY 04, Shotgun Blast (Range: 03): 07, Flame project: 07, Stagger: 07, Ammo: 05, R#03, Recommended STR: 03, Bonus: All three Powers are Combined and share the same Range, Bonus: Autofire, Drawback: Long Reload, Drawback: Abnormal weight and recoil.]
- Flashbangs [BODY 01, EV 02 (Area of effect 1 AP), Flash: 05 (Area of effect 2 APs), Sensory block (Audial): 07, Note : all Powers are Combined, Grenade drawback, R#03].
- Blackwater cocktail grenades [BODY 01, Flame project (Area of Effect 2): 07, Bonus: Continuing Damage, Grenade Drawback].
This loosely corresponds to a 2H fire “inquisitor terminator” purifier build . Though the actually played character had to do with a Mythical Flame Keeper full set instead.
Obvs, the powers have been simplified and unified. So her circle of power represents aspects of the Seal, Aura of Censure, Word of Renewal, etc.
Source of Character: Inspired by a Grim Dawn video game Player Character.
Writeup completed on the 6th of May, 2018.