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Klarion face closeup (7 Soldiers) (DC Comics)

Klarion the witch boy


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

“He sees every cheap and tawdry dime store as a marvelous palace of delights, filled with glitter and treasure. I showed him television and he laughed and laughed, then became violently sick. To see him stare with wonder a the little colored traffic manikins or unwrap a Snickers bar… everything is new to him. Everything is holy.”
– Mister Melmoth about Klarion

“You’re not normal, Klarion.”
– Ebeneezer Badde

Context

There have been multiple characters named Klarion the witch boy at DC Comics. This profile is specifically about the version seen in Grant Morrison’s epic Seven Soldiers metaseries, which started in 2005.

Seven Soldiers was told in a somewhat puzzle-like fashion. Our profiles are way more straightforward, but you may still want to read several Seven Soldiers profiles to get a good sense of the story.


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Background

  • Real Name: Presumably Klarion Badde.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Ebeneezer Badde (biological father), Ezekiel (stepfather), Mordecai and Charity (adoptive grandparents), Beulah (adoptive sister).
  • Group Affiliation: Seven Soldiers.
  • Base Of Operations: Formerly Bleak Villa, Shackle Street, in Limbo Town.
  • Height: 5’1” Weight: 105 lbs.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Klarion’s sole superhuman ability is his link with his draaga-cat Teekl, who calls him brother. The pair can, telepathically communicate (communi-cat ?).

However, witch-people are said to have a talent for the occult. Especially when it comes to curses and other left-hand magics. For instance, it is *possible* that Klarion whispered the time and hour of his death to an enemy, shocking him. Though going by Occam’s Razor , this was simply intimidating flourish.

Klarion’s greatest asset is his mind, swift and sure. He will very quickly come with clever and competent plans.

The kid owns half of Croatoan, a powerful artefact. But he apparently couldn’t use it until he obtained the other half. What the full Croatoan can do is unrevealed.


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Additional context

Limbo town, part 1

Limbo Town lies within caverns deep, deep below Manhattan. The most likely explanation is that those caverns were initially populated by the settlers in Roanoke, Virginia, after they met with Mister Melmoth. Melmoth seduced them into accepting a new god called Croatoan. It was a pair of dice he had kept from his days as deposed King of the Sheeda.

The dice, originally one of the Seven Imperishable Treasures of Aurakles, were a powerful AI well able to perform “miracles”. This convinced the Puritans at Roanoke that Croatoan was a genuine God. All left with Melmoth, leaving behind a carving of the name of their new God. This would trigger centuries of hypotheses about the mysterious disappearance of an entire small town .

Melmoth’s plan was likely to hide those people away, under the earth. Thus, they could survive the Harrowing undetected then return to the surface and help Melmoth conquer the miserable ruins that would be left.

Melmoth apparently had his way with all or most of the women of Roanoke. As a result, the later generations would all evidence Sheeda blood (blueish skin and dark eyes). Since they were no longer modern humans they started calling themselves the witch-people.

Limbo town, part 2

Melmoth impregnated the witch-women after his blood had been replaced with the Water of Life. He obtained the Water by finding the Undry Cauldron at its crash site in Slaughter Swamp, north of Gotham.

This meant a small quantity of Water of Life in the blood of all his male descendants. As a consequence, they become undead monsters, or “grundies”, after death. Those creatures are not unlike much weaker forms of Solomon Grundy. Grundy also derived his powers from the Water of Life in Slaughter Swamp, which the witch-people called the “septic mire”.

Melmoth also appointed the Submissionaries, the three spiritual authorities of Limbo Town. These were to preserve and develop an arsenal of mystical measures, to fight off the Sheeda if they ever discovered the existence of Limbo Town. Unknown even to themselves, the Submissionaries were immortal androids.

Among the special measures developed by the witch-people are familiars. All Limbo Town people are bonded with a small animal (cat, frog, lizard, small owl, ferret…) with whom they share a symbiotic and telepathic link. Those familiars seem bred to sense and hunt Sheeda scouts. Those are called “draaga”. For instance Teekl is a draaga-cat.

The Submissionaries had a secret ritual to become a single creature, powerful and unkillable, called Horigal. They became Horigal when they thought it necessary to murder to preserve the social order of Limbo Town. Their fiery preaching was also good at triggering religious hysteria, Salem-style, among the Puritans of Limbo-Town. They called it the ’witch-fever‘.

Limbo town, part 3

Limbo Town strives to stay as unchanged as it can, frozen in a rigid Puritan social order. The witch-men and the witch-women have different initiation ceremonies, and are exposed to different secrets when they reach adulthood.The Submissionaries try their best to make sure that religious fervour is maintained intact, that nobody studies too much and that nobody researches technology.

Nevertheless, the situation is not really sustainable.

Due to the scarcity of resources, Limbo Town cannot feed itself. Therefore the Submissionaries developed witch-brands that can make grundies — the undead — into docile slaves without consciousness. Grundies work the mines of Limbo Town until they decompose too badly and become useless.

However, even with this labour, the best veins are getting exhausted. This means that the productivity of the mines is degrading, which means in turn a larger labour force is needed. Whereas in centuries past a man could rest in death for a hundred year before being branded, they are now branded almost immediately after having been buried to work in the mines.

Decades ago, it became necessary to trade precious metals for other resources with the surface. That meant a major threat for the obscurantist social stability of Limbo Town. The Puritans and the men from the surface meet at what is for Limbo Town High Market, in the subsecret parts of the New York City underground.

It is entirely possible, even likely, that Melmoth manipulated and “hid” further human societies to serve as reserves after Harrowings.

Klarion vs. Klarion

There is no known link between Klarion the witch-boy and his cat familiar Teekl (Kirby, 1973) and Klarion the witch-boy and his cat familiar Teekl (Morrison, 2005). Both characters exist in the DC universe without a relationship.

It is possible that the original Klarion and Teekl are described in the Book of Shadows that contains the laws and secrets of Limbo Town. From there these may have become allowed names for witch-boys and draaga-cats.

“Draaga” is also a word associated with a minor foe of Superman, but I doubt there is any link.


History

Klarion is a witch-boy from Limbo Town. His father, Ebeneezer Badde, was a rebel to the stifling social order of Limbo Town. Badde once sneaked through the Wicket Gate and fled past High Market, disappearing beyond in the subsecret sections of the New York City underground.

His son was placed in another family of Limbo Town, and was never told he had been adopted. Nevertheless, Klarion also felt uneasy with the existing social order and traditions. The kid wanted to flee the repressed horror that was Limbo Town. As he grew up, Klarion came to understand that political strife and tension within Limbo Town extended well beyond what was apparent.

One day, his witch familiar Teekl caught and killed a tiny Sheeda Knight. This discovery was the source of considerable consternation among the Submissionaries. They knew that Limbo Town would be eradicated if the Queen of Terror ever learned of its existence.

The Submissionaries also seized the occasion to repress the mounting discontent among the witch-men. Thus, to the dismay of Klarion and the anti-isolationists, they decided to close the Wicket Gate and hide.

The Submissionaries then merged into a secret composite creature Horigal. Horigal slaughtered a secret assembly of dissidents, then blamed the Sheeda and the sins of the dissidents for this. Things went out of hand, and most of the adult men of Limbo Town died under the claws of Horigal that day.

Past the Wicket Gate

Right after this massacre, Klarion gathered his courage and sneaked past the Wicket Gate. He ran straight into Horigal, but managed to escape. Klarion delayed the creature with a grundy until he stumbled into a tunnel.

Through a stroke of luck, Horigal was then hit by a subway train travelling at speed. The train was manned by the subway pirates of No-Beard, trying to reach the Foundation Stone of New York City before the men of All-Beard did.

The scene was witnessed by renegade witch-man Ebeneezer Badde, who helped Klarion with a shot from his Uzi. Klarion never realized Badde was his father, but Badde seemed to guess the truth.

After escaping from Leviathan, Badde took Klarion to show him the House of Croatoan, the God of Limbo Town. This is where witch-men are initiated into adulthood. The big secret of the House (which the Under-Pirates called the Foundation Stone of New York City) is that it was empty. While enormous chains were still evident, they held nothing. Croatoan is an absent God.

(Clues suggest that Oracle/Aurakles was imprisoned in the House of Croatoan for a time.)

In the empty House of a gone god, Klarion found a six-sided die. It had been taken away from the potently radioactive Foundation Stone at the center of the room by one of the Under-Pirate warlords. The under-Pirate had died of radiation poisoning far enough from the Stone that Klarion could pick it up safely.

Reasoning that since there was no god all was left to chance, Klarion kept the die as a symbol.

The subsecret world

Thanks to an encounter with a rat king and then Leviathan, Teekl learned that Badde was a slaver and a seller of captured children. Klarion and Teekl allied with Leviathan, creating an opening for a surprise attack. Badde had a change of heart just before selling away his son, but Klarion never realised it as Leviathan attacked right at that point.

Klarion was then taken by a Leviathan child to a subway station. From there he reached the surface and discovered, in astonishment, the sky and Manhattan. But the witch-boy almost immediately ran into Mister Melmoth.

Melmoth took him under his wings and made him discover New York. He had recognized the Sheeda blood — his blood — in Klarion’s face. This inspired Melmoth tomove in and retake control over Limbo Town. Promising him adventure, Melmoth made Klarion join his “young assistants”. That meant the small kid gang called the Deviants.

The surprisingly competent Deviants were tasked with stealing a giant-drill-like borer vehicle that had been used during WWII. It was held at the Hero Museum of New York City. Klarion had Teekl run reconnaissance. Using that intelligence the Deviants flawlessly stole the sapper vehicle. Klarion then drove it to Melmoth’s hideout within some Silencio clan property.

The leader of the Deviants, Billy Beezer, would hit age 16 at the end of the day. That was the age at which kids had to leave the Deviants and be promoted to the Red Team. Billy was nervous about it, leading him to behave aggressively against the new kid and nearly resulting in a fight.

Sensing something was wrong, Klarion sent Teekl to spy on Billy’s room to see what happened when a Deviant reached 16. The witch-boy then told the others the truth about the Red Team.

Klarion then left, but the far less fickle Teekl forced him to go back to Limbo Town. The draaga-cat wanted to warn the town that Melmoth, using the stolen sapper vehicle and Silencio soldatos, was coming.

Return to Limbo Town

That part did not go well. The witch-people grabbed Klarion and his cat to burn them at the stake. Klarion only survived as Melmoth and his men found Limbo Town and burst in with their special borer. His sister Beulah cut Klarion free, realising they all had been thralls to the witch-fever. She sent her brother to ring the bell recalling the grundies from the mines and fields.

Using mystical brands, the witch-women of Limbo Town had their dead men attack Melmoth’s team. Even with their submachineguns, they had difficulties fighting off the zombies. Thus, they took significant casualties. The ritual nine chimes also summoned the Submissionaries, but these were still heavily damaged from the impact with the train.

Submissionary Judah, desperate to protect the town and despite his hatred for Klarion, abjured him to become a Submissionary on the spot and go conjure Horigal while holding his draaga-cat. Cowed by the fierce and ravaged priest, Klarion obeyed. He sang the Horigal chant in the Submissionary’s sanctuary.

The spells merged him with his draaga, turning him into an unholy and deadly hybrid of witch-boy and hunter cat. As such he slaughtered the surviving troops and grievously wounded Melmoth, even tearing off and eating one of his arms.

The witch-women thus took control of the situation, burning the last survivors of the Silencio troops at the stake. They then used their witch-women secrets, which men were forbidden to learn, to separate Klarion and Teekl back again.

Return to the surface

Recovering, Klarion sent Leviathan to Limbo Town to forge an alliance. He then told the witch-women to hide the Town as the Harrowing was coming. But he refused to become Submissionary. Instead, Klarion left for the surface again to be a soldier in the coming war. Using the sapper machine, he bored back to the surface and emerged right in the middle of Broadway.

Nobody minded much, though, since Manhattan was being invaded by the Sheeda and had become a war zone.

Klarion and Teekl soon ran into Misty Kilgore. Kilgore’s magic die had detected Klarion’s lucky die, since they were both halves of Croatoan, the Fatherbox.

The willy Klarion distracted Misty and launched his cat at her halo of Sheeda insect-riding knights. Misty was so distracted by the cries and the ferocious, amazingly quick beast that she lost her die to Teekl. Meanwhile Klarion made good his escape on a giant Sheeda riding fly with both dice.

This left Misty in a panic. She had lost her weapon and could no longer confront the Sheeda queen. Klarion did not solely steal the die, though. He also stole Misty’s plan, having overheard that the dice were a weapon powerful enough to depose the Queen in the floating murder castle above Manhattan.

Castle hijacker

The witch-boy reached Castle Revolving in time to see Gloriana Tenebrae defeated by the Shining Knight and I, Spyder.

Brandishing the reunited pair of dice crackling with Fourth World energy, Klarion claimed the throne of the Sheeda. Using his witch-brand, the boy even forced Frankenstein to steer Castle Revolving back Sheeda-side.

What happened to Klarion next is uncertain. During the Infinity Crisis he was glimpsed in a crowd. Which may or may not mean anything.


Description

When he almost cursed Billy, Klarion’s eyes went entirely white with a pinkish hue, which was creepy.

Klarion tends to make many people uneasy and nervous. As with many historical witches, people will hold him responsible for their own fears and insecurities. However that is just an element of his adventures. It is never really *harmful* for him.

Unlike the other Limbo Towners, Klarion speaks modern English without thous and hasts. But his speech still has unusual patterns.


Personality

Klarion is a rebel, and a non-conformist. He has rejected both social order and gods. But that is because he’s ambitious, self-centered and ruthless, and thus hates being confined by narrow rules and roles.

It was said that Limbo Town was between Heaven and Earth and Hell, pertaining to all three and owned by none. That describes Klarion as well. He both has genuine child-like wonder at the marvels of the world, and a callous desire to rule and control and profit.

The child-like side of Klarion is fanciful and prone to saying fantastic things. He’s quite imaginative and is fascinated by the power of stories. However, he has a distressing to jump to conclusions and decide the story he’s making up is true.

For instance once he decided Badde was the evil traitor, he so liked this story that he did not listen to Badde anymore. Instead, Klarion sought a properly melodramatic vengeance to conclude the story he decided was happening around him.

Solipsistic

He doesn’t really care about the people around him. They’re just extras in his grand adventures.

Klarion also assumes he is the hero of his stories, and thus benefits from a level of plot immunity. He’s the explorer of higher, wonderful worlds. No matter how many strange things surround him, they are not really frightening since this an exploration novel.

However, since in his in mind everything must revolve around him, he tends to calmly expect evil and betrayal everywhere. Because that’s what heroes run into, and nothing that happens to him can be a simple coincidence. Thus, he tends to have Teekl scout and spy around a lot, which results in extremely efficient intelligence gathering.


Quotes

Klarion
“Ah, Teekl. Teekl, my cat. One day they will bury us too. And my children will dig me up to work for them until I crumble.”

“It seems so insane. Why are there such rules ? Why must we do what the Book of Shadows says ?”

“What sin ? I haven’t had a chance to commit any sin yet.”

“They *can’t* close the Wicket Gate ! This means I’ll never get to High Market let alone Blue Rafters. I’ll die in this dark, rainy hole !”

(Terrified by a passing subway train) “Ah. That engine of light and iron ! Angels of Croatoan !”

(After being shown that Croatoan is gone) “It seems obvious to me. If there is no witch-god, we can easily make our own gods out of hopes and dreams and the stories of unsung heroes like you ! I can write ! The adventures of Ebeneezer Badde in the world above…

“Ah, Teekl… there you are, making mischief.”

“And thus do I learn the meaning of betrayal.”

(Showing his dice) “And I’ll keep this reminder of Croatoan, who isn’t. All I can trust is change and chance.”

(Looking in rapture at the sky and the Manhattan buildings) “O, Heaven.” (rolling his die) “Adventure, Teekl ! What can we do next ?”

“I don’t want to be a leader. I’m only passing through. I’m an explorer.”

(Preparing to curse Billy, his eyes become really creepy) “Shall I tell you the hour and date of your death ?”

“Your beloved Melmoth is a liar, a devil and a betrayer, as I suspected. He wants us all for slaves… […] But look not to me for salvation. I’ll lead no gang, I’ll walk beneath blue rafters. Alone.”

“You are making a terrible mistake ! There is no witch-god !”

“Behold ! War has come to blue rafters ! How unlike the dreary thoroughfares of our Limbo Town below !” (watching FDNY firefighters  trying to contain a raging blaze amidst the chaos) “Men with water guns, see ! And air that moves and carries things all about the city ! See how the antic elements are put to work by the men of this higher world, Teekl ! Hahahahaha ! Bring me another adventure, o wind ! O wild and heavenly city ! A soldier’s life ! But which side shall I…” (a water-soaked copy of the Manhattan Guardian borne by the gale hits him in the face).

Teekl
(Telepathically) “My brother, Klarion. I came looking for you and found this rat. I fancied killing him and did. This has won me some reward.”

(Tracking two approaching guards) “One smells of cheese, brother, one of brine.”

“Brother Klarion. Evil will come to Limbo Town.” (forces Klarion to go back to warn the town about Melmoth’s arrival)

“Brother Klarion. This taste for adventure has led us astray before. And may again.”


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Klarion

Dex: 03 Str: 01 Bod: 02 Motivation: Thrill
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Runaway
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 014 HP: 015

Powers:
Eye of the cat: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:
Eye of the Cat only works on Teekl, and requires Klarion to stand still, concentrate and close his eyes. He can still talk to explain what Teekl sees, though.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Dodging): 05, Artist (Writing): 02, Charisma (Intimidation): 07, Occultist: 02, Thief (stealth): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma is Minor Marginal.

Advantages:
Pet (Teekl).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance (blueish skin, dark eyes), Exile (voluntary), MIA toward paranoia, Fatal Vulnerability (being separated from Teekl for more than a few weeks (days ?)), Misc.: Scapegoat (see below).

Equipment:
Witch-Brand [BODY 02, Hypnotism: 06, Limitations: Hypnotism only affects grundies. Not that grundies and similar creatures, such as Frankenstein, often have steep Attack Vulnerabilities against witch-brands].


Floating like a duck

Klarion looks different and creepy, and gives off weird vibes making some people uneasy and nervous. In his adventures this is not usually a huge problem. E.g. it never seemed to constitute a penalty for any roll he wanted to make, and some — like most Deviants — seem to like his creepiness. In game terms this can be modeled as mini-subplots.

Klarion and a PC or NPC can trigger a mini-subplot worth a 5 HPs reward for both. The other person will transfer his or her fears and insecurities over to Klarion. Much like medieval witches were sometimes blamed for unrelated societal ills, Klarion and his evil eye and underhanded ways become a convenient scapegoat for their problems.

Since Klarion tends to be a drifter this mini-subplot will usually not last long and revolve around tension, accusation and possibly physical threats and short scuffles. This tend only to happen with PCs and NPCs who have considerable anxieties about something they cannot control.


Teekl

The familiars in Limbo Town seem to be pretty dangerous, actually. Teekl was trained to hunt the smaller Sheeda troops (such as the spineriders), and is deadly in that function. It is as intelligent as any person, and communicates with Klarion in fully-formed telepathic speech.

Dex: 05 Str: -2 Bod: 01
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 01 Spi: 02
Init: 012

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 08, Claws: 01, Extended Hearing: 02, Shrinking: 05, Super-hearing: 04, Telepathy: 05, Ultra Vision: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent drops by half (to 04) if Tracking/Scenting something other than Klarion.
  • Shrinking is Always On and already figured.
  • Telepathy only w/ Klarion… and with beings with Telepathy, even if it has Limitations.

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes.

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 05, Martial artist (AV): 09, Thief (stealth): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Martial Artist can only be used against Sheeda smaller than itself (-3), though it can also use it at 7 APs against rats and mice (Teekl has not been trained for those, but has a lot of experience with them).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward killing flies and butterflies and the like, MIA toward killing rats and mice, Fatal Vulnerability (being separated from Klarion for more than a few weeks (days ?)).

Teekl comes across as a professional, more mature than his “brother” Klarion. He’s ready to die to defend Limbo Town from the Sheeda spies, as is his job. This makes him able to force Klarion to follow him. After all, Teekl just has to refuse to follow him for long enough for both of them to die.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Seven Soldiers metaseries (2005), especially Klarion 1-4.

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham.

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