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Nocturnals - Eve Horror Halloween Girl - Brereton comics - In a cemetery with Gunwitch

Halloween Girl


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

Context

Halloween Girl (Evening Horror) is the main character in Nocturnals. If you’re not familiar with these painted comics, you should first check our “base camp” Nocturnals article. It explains the things.


Background

  • Real Name: Evening “Eve” Horror.
  • Other Aliases: Halloween Girl, “Fruitbat”.
  • Marital Status: Single (minor).
  • Known Relatives: Dr. Nicodemus Horror (father), Abyss Horror (mother, reportedly deceased). Eve also calls Don Lupo Zampa (deceased) her uncle, though they’re not related by blood.
  • Group Affiliation: Nocturnals.
  • Base of Operations: The Tomb, Northern California.
  • Height: Depends on age. Weight: Depends on age.
  • Eyes: Dark brown with blue highlights. Hair: Black.


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Powers & Abilities

Eve is very much like any Human girl of her age, albeit an exceptionally bright one. There are tiny differences, though. The more meaningful one is that she has excellent, and presumably superhuman, low-light vision. She and her dad also have a highly developed sense of smell.

Her father is bullet-resistant, so Eve likely has superhuman durability for a person of her weight and age.

Halloween Girl s exceptionally difficult to scare or intimidate. And even when she is scared, she can keep it under control. Eve is also devoid of disgust when it comes to stuff like darkness, corpses, spiders, snakes, supernatural manifestations, giant sea monsters, haunted houses, etc.. In fact, she thinks this is all the coolest and really exciting.

To Eve, a zombie is about as scary as a labrador retriever.

A little light in the dark

Eve is a sort of safe harbour for ghosts. The main effects are :

  • She has a supernatural ability to perceive ghosts. Even those other ghosts cannot see.
  • She can freely communicate with almost all ghosts. If Eve can’t, this ghost isn’t sapient  or has a form of intelligence unfathomable to humans. Eve will usually talk aloud, but the communication can also be entirely telepathic (which seems faster).
  • Ghosts will not want to attack her. Even Pollyanna Shale’s wraith, back when she was a murderous rage monster, aborted her assault before it’d actually hit Eve.
  • Ghosts feel better around Eve, and want to be her friend.

Ghosts know many things, and they will freely share their secrets with Ms. Horror. Even when she’s not actively communicating with ghosts, her entourage will whisper to her. Thus, Eve often will inexplicably know stuff, such as the first name of people she’s talking to.

Ghosts will also defend her when necessary. This isn’t entirely reliable, though – manifestations are often taxing for the dead. And as she grew up, Eve found it more difficult to communicate with her spectral entourage. Thus, her ghosts may not spring into action right away, until it is clear it’s now or never.


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Toys R ded

Evening will usually “house” the ghosts who join her entourage within toys such as dolls, action figures and plushies. She can “prime” such objects so a ghost can haunt and animate them. These toys usually are humanoid, but not always (say, a plastic dinosaur).

Eve said that most ghosts don’t like being incorporeal. With her toys they can have a set physical existence, giving them solace.

Ms. Horror will frequently carry a half dozen dolls in her plastic pail – an Halloween lantern candy container. If she gets into a fight, she can get her dolls out of the bag and have them animate and grow into monsters.

Most of the toys have a morbid or monstrous theme. Say a Creature from the Black Lagoon doll, an “alienised” Barbie Doll, evil-looking robots, a doll resembling Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas, a boy with an onion-like head, an Ultraman (ウルトラマン) rip-off, an evil clown driving a cart, an equivalent of Popeye, a bride of Frankenstein (Lanchester version), etc..

Daughter’s little helpers

Notable toys include :

  • Shadow. A small wooden horse on a wheeled chassis. That was a popular design back when toys were made of wood. Shadow can turn into a large black horse, who can follow mystical pathways and is able to track specific persons like a bloodhound. Its nature is unrevealed. Maybe horses can be ghosts too.
  • Detective Hardesty. A dogged police detective, cursed to be a ghost until the murderer and wizard Rictus is permanently dead. Eve housed him in a sort of zombie monkey plush. The powerful Rictus was scared of Hardesty. It is unclear whether this ghost chose to stay with Eve or continue his quest.
  • Jammybottom. A weird, hand-made doll wearing pyjama trousers – hence the name Eve gave him. Jammybottom is a dead little witch boy with a complex origin. He can assume a larger, more-monstrous-than-his-baseline form, and devour other ghosts.
  • Elf. One of her favourite dolls when she was 7 or so. He looks like a little boy with an onion-shaped goblinoid head. As a kid Eve couldn’t pronounce his real name, so she just called him “elf”. Elf can turn into a troll-sized brute to defend Eve.
  • Posey. A monster doll that is halfway between the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and a sahuagin in AD&D. It can become about two metres tall, with claws and fangs.

Nocturnals - Eve Horror Halloween Girl - Brereton comics - 1994 toys

1994.

Unspecified toys also :

  1. Sent somebody trying to grab her flying, using either air control or telekinesis.
  2. Helped her sew a pair of hands onto a mutilated Gunwitch. This seemed to be done more quickly than Eve could have on her own. It also might have involved magic, since we don’t know whether physically attaching the hands is sufficient.
  3. Removed a small book from a vampire’s hands when he wasn’t paying attention.

There also are some instances of Eve unleashing ghosts in small ectoplasmic form to attack. A pair looked kinda like doll-sized sylphs, others like mostly shapeless spooks. However, such attacks never actually quite take place in-story.

A beacon in their darkness

As Eve grows up, she becomes more noticeable to ghosts and others with supernatural senses. This additional attention means that the area she lives in will see its paranormal activity increase.

However, growing up means being less spontaneous and intuitive. This makes communication with ghosts harder, and makes it more difficult for her spectral entourage to assist her.

Other assets

Unlike her dad, Eve isn’t heliophobic. Fear of daylight is a cultural property of their species, not a neurological one. Still, she has no experience with sunlight, and would likely have trouble seeing. It is also likely that her organism interprets increased blue light wavelengths as a signal for sleep, and that she’d quickly get sunburns.

Nocturnals - Eve Horror Halloween Girl - Brereton comics - With devil lantern

Eve is good with her hands, and with arts and crafts in general. She regularly paints, and practices various skills (such as sewing) needed to craft and repair dolls and toys. She likely creates and/or modifies parts of her wardrobe. And she knows how to operate some of her dad’s tech.

Halloween Girl once presented the revenant Rictus with a jack-in-the-box styled after Rictus’ harlequin costume. She had built it herself – though ghosts likely helped. She had no time to actually use it, but it seemed it was a trap for Rictus’ essence.

To her dismay, Eve is allergic to cats. So instead she has a pet snake named Lucifer, and large pet spiders.

Eve repeatedly displays an intuitive ability to assess whether a person is benign or not. When running into non-communicative wraiths, she apparently knew right away that Ms. Shale wasn’t a bad person, but that Justice Hemlock was. Likewise, Eve intuited that Nyx didn’t mean harm, while being pretty sure that Nyx’s brother Thorne had become a monster.


History

Evening Horror lost her mum when she was but a toddler. She knows very little about Abyss Horror, since the subject is clearly a painful one. Doc apparently never stopped grieving for her.

(Since their species is nocturnal and culturally heliophobic, “Evening” as a first name is presumably the equivalent of “Dawn” in English, “Aurora” and the like in Romance languages, etc.. Her father had nicknamed her “fruit bat”, which is likely the Black Planet equivalent of “little bird”.)

Eve was 3 when the Crim finally overran her people, winning the war for the Black Planet. However, her dad had just finalised his portal technology. He thus could evacuate his daughter to Earth at the last moment. Which, I guess, makes her a strange visitor, the last daughter of a doomed planet.

Little orphan Evie

Doc Horror managed to reach Earth too. But he had no idea where to find his daughter. As he began looking for her, Eve was found and entered the foster system. With her uncontrolled ghost powers, Eve terrified the foster families and ruined several households. Eventually, a couple tried to get rid of her since they thought her cursed.

Nocturnals - Eve Horror Halloween Girl - Brereton comics - With Gunwitch and spiders

This meant that the mob Doc Horror had allied with could find her, as the fosters wanted to fake a kidnapping. Don Lupo Zampa sent one of his granddaughters, and the young woman reunited the Horrors on Halloween. The Horrors had been separated for three months.

(There are two versions of this delay. Three months, and “less than a year” but still enough time for Eve to have been through “a dozen” foster home. We’ll assume that the second version was an exaggeration by the fosters, who didn’t want to explain that the problem was supernatural.)

Take me down to the Pacific City

Doc Horror soon determined that Eve had been altered by her dimensional  journey, giving her paranormal abilities. This contributed to his disengaging from his work with the Zampa mob, though the two remained close allies. Doc needed time to raise Evening, and study her abilities.

Though she was still a little girl, Eve was important in assembling the Nocturnals. She calmed down the wraith of Pollyanna Shale — who became a mother figure for her — and became the best friend of the revenant Gunwitch — who became her sitter and bodyguard. Eve also had access to unmatched intelligence, as ghosts told her many secrets.

Eve also frequently took part in Nocturnal missions. Though her father was of course reluctant to let her, it is obvious that she can defend herself. And her abilities are quite useful.

Growin’ up

In 2000, Eve joined a boarding school for atypical children. She goes there for two-weeks stretches. Doc’s primary goal here is to have her socialise with people her age. The school is run by a vampire scholar and teacher, Miss Nightshade.

Nocturnals - Eve Horror Halloween Girl - Brereton comics - Bat children in the forest

Other children include ghosts, bog monsters, mutants, wolf people, vampires, etc.. Eve also brought in a half-dozen mutates  – runaways altered by the Narn-K corporation’s remnants.

However, when she came back, she had trouble communicating with her toys. They had gotten timid whilst she was gone, and growing up made communication less intuitive. As a consequence, she didn’t get enough warning when the Nocturnals found themselves in a conflict with Skerrl necromancers.

However, Eve finally managed to communicate with the victims of the Skerrls. These were aquatic humanoids who had existed, and gone extinct, long before Humans ever existed. Between what these ghosts said, Doc’s deductions, and Starfish realising that these deads were her ancestors, the Nocturnals closed this difficult case.

Eve and the Gunwitch later cunningly destroyed two warring vampire camps. These had been preying upon the small Northern Californian town of Heliopolis for ages.

The sinister path

During the 2010s, Eve increasingly was haunted by strange maritime creatures, mixing crustacean and squid-like traits. She couldn’t communicate with these at all, and couldn’t tell whether these were hostile. They did not seem to be sapient  either. It took months for Eve to determine that the “jigglers”, as she called them, weren’t actually attacking her.

In 2017, Eve took part in the Nocturnals’ investigation of the strange legacy of Justice Xindel Hemlock. Since his mansion was reputed to be haunted, Halloween Girl insisted upon coming along so the others wouldn’t scare ghosts away. And she did meet a timid ghost boy, whom she took in as “Jammybottom”.

From there, Eve was instrumental in establishing a friendship with the witch children of the late Justice Hemlock, and in taking down their rogue member Thorne.


Soundtrack

Loreena McKennitt comes to mind, for the mix of mystical themes, the strange and neat mélange of traditional musics… and the charismatic soprano singing, which does occasionally sound ghostly.

And one of her 1994 songs (same year as the first Nocturnals TPB, see) is a beautiful fit. So, Bob’s yer uncle and Fanny’s yer haunt, so to speak.

 

Available for download on Amazon .


Description

In the earliest stories, Eve is about 7. By 2017, she seems to be about 14. Nocturnals seems to follow super-hero comic book conventions when it comes to ageing.

She’s near-Human. Differences include pointed ears, pointed fingers, and more pointed teeth (particularly the canines). Both Doc and Eve also have heavier shadows around their eyes. But this is more consistent with Eve, so she likely reinforces the effect using goth-style makeup.

Eve enjoys extravagantly dressing as a kid witch. Even as a teen, she dearly wishes it could be Halloween every single day. She’ll usually wear her pentagram pendant and striped stockings, and decorates her clothing with hand-made patches featuring Halloween pumpkins, skulls, etc..

Originally, the art for Eve was based on photo reference material done with one of Dan Brereton’s daughters (who also came up with the “Halloween Girl” name). This gives Eve’s facial expressions and body language an unusually lifelike quality in the art.


Personality

It of course evolves as Eve matures. But many elements are stable :

  • Eve sincerely loves monsters, scares, the undead, witches, ghosts, frightening stories, etc.. To her, it’s a/ all the greatest and b/ part of her normal life. If a haunted house is involved, Eve won’t rest until she gets to explore it.
  • She’s nigh-fearless. It is also important for her to make her parents proud by never displaying fear. This may be an artefact from having been born during the Crim Wars.
  • As a kid, this made her brash, and likely to get into trouble to prove that she wasn’t afraid. As a teen she’s still brash, but it’s more evident than she can handle trouble.
  • Part of Halloween Girl’s drive to show her bravery comes from her mother. One of the few things Evening knows about Abyss Horror is that she had great courage.
  • Maturing also made it clearer that Eve is superiorly intelligent. At the risk of obscure punning, she also displays considerable cunning . Even at age 13 or so, Eve could demonstrate a level of craftiness and deductive thinking not unlike a police detective on a realistic TV show.
  • More generally, she’s particularly active, curious, happy and engaged with the world.
  • She’s also quite sociable and with good people skills, despite the spooky kid image. Eve’s default mode is to be friends with everyone.
  • Evening is close to her father. She also loves her friends, whether it’s ghosts, the Nocturnals, or the other kids at the boarding school.
  • Halloween Girl is reliably benign. In particular, she’ll help other children in trouble. She is also forgiving – except when it comes to predatory vampires.
  • She also has no problem with insane people, dealing with them in an empathic manner and being just as friendly as with anybody else.
  • She hates it when people make disparaging remarks about still having children’s toys even though she’s a teenager.

Nocturnals - Eve Horror Halloween Girl - Brereton comics - Saying goodbye to toys

Other aspects

Eve’s favourite stories are the Wizard of Oz fantasy cycle. She’s also a big fan of the Heela the Savage Queen novels, which seem to be heroic fantasy schlock. Heela greatly resembles Red Sonja – but the 1970s Roy Thomas/Barry W. Smith reimagined one, not the 1930s Howard original.

As a teenager, she started reading aloud to her toys/ghosts before going to bed – storytime.

Eve is possessive of her father, and dislikes it when a newcomer draws Doc’s attention away from her.


Quotes

(1994) “It’s not polite to point guns at a kid. You’re not nice at all. In fact, you’re both very mean. Elf doesn’t like your guns either.”

(1994) Eve: “Dad, do you take your medicine to keep from hurting people ?”
Doc (startled): “*Who* told you that ?”
Eve: “Nobody, I mean just the toys did.”

(1997) “Hi ! I made the witch turn into a giant bat. Uh, you guys aren’t mad, are you ?”

(1997, after some tricks-or-treats-ing goes weird)
Starfish: “Eve, that old swamp witch was gonna cook and eat you. The thought makes my skin crawl.”
Eve: “I know, me too ! Isn’t Halloween the greatest ?”

(2000) “That lantern was a huge pain, dad, but he wasn’t homicidal. It was all the *other* people we met.”

“Hi, Miss Nightshade ! So, yeah, I rescued these kids from crazy scientists hiding in the woods. It sounds really made-up, doesn’t it ? But I swear it happened.”

“I’m not a witch. It doesn’t take a witch to tell a live guy from a dead guy.”

(2004) “How did you get here ? Don’t tell me you walked to Pacific City ? You’ve been stone cold dead for too long. Are you some kind of zombie ? Looks like your corpse finally ran out of gas.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Halloween Girl

Dex: 02 Str: 01 Bod: 03 Motivation: Uphold Good
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Student
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Wealth: 002
Init: 009 HP: 025

Powers:
Analytical Smell: 03, Awareness: 05, Speak with ghosts: 06, Telepathy: 02, Ultravision: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Analytical Smell has no Tracking component.
  • Telepathy cannot be used for combat, and is only useable Combined with Speak with ghosts.

Skills:
Animal handling (Horses): 03, Artist (Arts & crafts): 03, Charisma: 06, Occultism: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Charisma only works on ghosts.
  • Occultism might only be useable with the help of her ghosts.

Advantages:
Expertise (Ghosts lore), Familiarity (Horror and fantasy literature), Language (Akkadian weirding language), Pets (Ghosts).

Connections:
Nocturnals (High), ghosts (High), Headmistress Nightshade (Low), Nyx Hemlock (Low).

Bonuses and Limitations:
The Connection with Ghosts is Minimal Marginal.

Drawbacks:
Age (Young), Creepy Appearance (pointed ears, etc.), Misc.: Eve has no experience with daylight and has a nocturnal metabolism.
As a child, Eve had a MIA toward “ghost stuff”, and another MIA toward proving that she wasn’t afraid.

Equipment:
TOYS-IN-GENERAL [Mind probe: 04, Telekinesis: 04, Limitation: Mind probe is Minimal Marginal, Telekinesis is Minor Marginal].


Ghost whisperer

Speak with ghosts is like speak with animals – there’s not much more to say about it. The GM may require rolls against arbitrary OVs/RVs if the ghosts are particularly alien or irrational.

It also works with revenants and other corporeal ghosts. Which also means that Eve can tell whether an animated corpse has a soul, or is just a shell.

She has Telepathy that can be Combined With It for when the interaction takes place silently. Telepathy also provides some explanation for cases where the communication seems to take place faster than spoken language.

The Marginal mechanics model the instances in the story where Eve has trouble obtaining help from her toys (or foolishly ignores their advice). Since in the end, her toys will always help in the nick of time. So it’s not a dice roll, but role-playing. And when the toys’ help is genuinely needed, the Player pays the small fee.

The Connection does most of the intelligence aspect. It’s directly comparable to a Street or Underworld Connection, used for info gathering.

Her Charisma used for Persuasion or Interrogation helps her round out this info-gathering role. As to the Charisma (Intimidation), it is used to “block” hostile ghosts (usually wraiths) from attacking her.


Design notes

We don’t quite see any of her ghost bodyguards in action long enough. She has only attacked inept synthetics, or immobilised people who decided not to fight back.

I have the vague impression that she has a set budget no matter how many different toys are being produced. So a pack will be less individually powerful than just one big one.

As a stab in the dark, 450 points might work.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Nocturnals comics and RPG.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 6th of May, 2019.

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