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Starfish (Nocturnals comics) (Brereton art)

Starfish

(Nocturnals)


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

Context

Starfish is one of the Nocturnals.

If you’re not familiar with these painted comics, you should first check our “base camp” Nocturnals team profile. It explains the things.


Background

  • Real Name: Starfish.
  • Other Aliases: “Tree frog”, “tadpole”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Nocturnals.
  • Base of Operations: The Tomb, Northern California.
  • Height: 5’4″ Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Light blue. Hair: Red.


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Powers & Abilities

Starfish is fully amphibious. She can stay in the air or in water as long as needed, and seems able to withstand high pressure levels. She can see underwater, and isn’t hindered by low-light conditions on the surface.

Her strength seems higher than that of an equivalent human, and she likely has high resilience to cold. Her sense of hearing seems to have a slightly wider frequencies range than Humans’. She also appears to have a highly developed sense of smell.

However, she needs to keep her skin humid or face immediate health problems. This also rules out exposure to harsh sunlight. Still, Starfish seems okay with short exposures on rainy days. More than that would lead to bad sunstrokes and rapid dehydration.

Starfish is an adept brawler and gunfighter. She usually fights pulps -style, with paired .45 semi-auto pistols. As a Nocturnal, she has access to speciality ammo, such as silver-tipped bullets.

Other aspects

She has significant experience with the paranormal, and a high resilience toward fear and intimidation. Starfish is also familiar with crime and the streets, likely from exposure to the Raccoon. Her intelligence levels are pretty high.

Starfish has apparently a special status with undersea leviathans. The specifics are undetailed – a description as “queen of the leviathans” is likely an exaggeration. Perhaps she’s seen as an ambassador from an allied power.

Starfish seems to have a small level of racial memory, but she found this frustratingly unusable. It is possible that she has since gained better understanding of these lost traditions of her extinct people.


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History

Starfish is the last specimen of an ancient amphibian-like, humanoid species. These considerably preceded Humans, but went extinct – perhaps millions of years ago.

This sophisticated culture remains largely undocumented. But they had close ties with the leviathans, gigantic creatures slumbering deep on the ocean floor.

Though her origin sequence is unexplained in the comics, the Nocturnals RPG has more explanations. In short – Doc Horror found a strange amphibian egg deep in an Alaskan peat bog. It had been there for untold ages. Faint signs of life being evident, Doc designed an incubator. After hatching, Starfish grew to adult size in about two years.

Starfish joined the team as fearless, heat-packin’ muscle. She was a core member back when the Nocturnals took on Pacific City gangs, and during their 1990s forays against paranormal menaces.

The Dark Forever

However, Starfish was haunted by being the last of her kind. She constantly wondered whether there were other survivors, and where to find more information about her species.

In 2000 she took a sabbatical year, along with Nocturnals ally Komodo. She travelled the world looking for clues, but found little.

Starfish (Nocturnals comics) (Brereton art) and Raccoon with pistols

Shortly before her return, Doc Horror discovered that an ancient city of Starfish’s ancestors had been right under their feet all along. The Nocturnals slew the Skerrl necromancers who had taken over the undersea complex. Then the team processed the souls that the Skerrl had been stealing to maintain their vitality.

The ancient amphibian ghosts, normally intangible and invisible, managed to manifest to Starfish. Though she couldn’t understand the language, she pieced enough together and was given a sacred pendant.

When the Skerrls summoned a gigantic sea monster to rampage across California, Starfish realised that her kind had a long alliance with such leviathans. The creature recognised her pendant, and they made peaceful mental contact. Happy to see that an amphibian still remained in the world, the leviathan returned to its slumber.

(The story all but states that Doc discovering Starfish’s egg, then having an urge to explore what’s underneath the Tomb, Starfish having an urge to return to P-City, etc. had been a long-term plan of the ancient amphibians. It was all to break the Skerrl necromancers. However, it had to take place just as they tried to summon the leviathan for maximum effect.)

The further adventures

Since (partially) discovering her origins, Starfish has drifted away from the Nocturnals a bit. She spends most of her time exploring the oceans. She also located, and made contact with, a number of other leviathans. Over time, the Raccoon aligned more closely with the Nocturnals, filling Starfish’s general niche.

During a 2017 visit from Starfish, Raccoon tried to recruit her to help handle shadier elements within the P-City mobs. She refused, but investigated when the Raccoon went missing. Though they were both badly wounded, they helped each other escape and link up with the rest of the Nocturnals.

Starfish returned to her merry maritime meanderings. But one assumes that she regularly comes back to port.


Soundtrack

(Dolphin noises).

 

Available for download on Amazon .


Description

Starfish has chartreuse skin and a number of amphibian features, such as webbed hands, a salamander-like skin or erectile fins along her arms and thighs. Her upper lip is prolonged by what seem to be barbels, like some species of catfish.

She’s the smallest adult Nocturnal.

There are dark orange marks on her skin, not unlike giant freckles. The yellowish-green skin and orange patterns do evoke a red-eyed tree frog. Two such birthmarks, one on each shoulder, are in the shape of an oddly regular stylised star. These might be tattoos done intra ovum.

The five-pointed star was an important symbol among the lost amphibian civilisation. Even before she knew that, Starfish found this icon a pleasing one. A lot of her accessories and clothes bear such stars.

The frog and princess

Starfish keeps a slew of decorative shells and (presumably taxidermied) starfishes in her hair. Since she doesn’t seem the type to attach them every morning, these may have been permanently worked in. As she sleeps floating underwater, it’s logistically feasible.

Starfish (Nocturnals comics) (Brereton art) swimming underwater

Most of Starfish’s clothing needs to be water-resistant. She thus usually sports a zipper one-piece wetsuit. Alternatively, she’ll wear windsurfing trousers and shirts. Her favourite is a black and white belly shirt with a large star logo on the front. She also has a big, novelty yellow belt with a large star logo on the buckle.

During the 1990s, she was fond of adding a few cowgirl accessories, such as big leather boots, a hat, an Old West-style guns belt, etc.. By the 2000s and 2010s she had shifted to a more urban style, with a hoodie. This may be in part so she can cram her surface clothes into her waterproof backpack.


Personality

Starfish is a brash, in-your-face brawler and womanphibian of action. She’s far more assertive than patient.

She also has a grumpy, curt vibe, and is more emotional than the bulk of the team. As far as she’s concerned, fists and guns are fine solutions to most problems.

Star also has depressive tendencies, and is haunted by knowing that she’s the sole living specimen of her entire species. This gnaws at her constantly. One gets the impression that she has some level of racial memory, but it is vague and inchoate. Thus, it mostly serves to make her constantly feel that she’s missing something about herself.

Left to herself, Starfish would be a brooding loner. Her Nocturnal friends are thus quite important to her. Polychrome in particular looks after her, and the team keeps Starfish socialised and engaged. When they are successful, Starfish can be quite bubbly, funny and sociable.

Despite her hardboiled, hard-charging style, Starfish is actually pretty young. She occasionally employs expression and thought patterns that are more those of a girl in her late teens.

Relationships

After the The Dark Forever events, Starfish gained a measure of peace. However, it also means that she primarily operates on her own, roving deep under the waves, rather than as a Nocturnal. She regularly return to her friends, but not for long spans.

Starfish (Nocturnals comics) (Brereton art) star pendant answers

Social dynamics among the Nocturnal are mostly familial. In particular, Starfish acts as a big sister to Eve, and often treats Firelion as a big brother. She explicitly considers the team her family.

The Raccoon is sweet on Starfish, but she isn’t really interested. Over time, they nevertheless became friends, and there’s an implication that they occasionally have sex. But at the same time, there’s a clear tension as the Raccoon would like more of a relationship, and Starship tells him to beat it.


Quotes

“So they found a creepy-crawly clinging to Tony’s body… what the Hell’s that got to do with us ? Since when did we become the hygiene police ?”

Doc Horror: “Eve and I are hardly human. How many Humans do you know who loathe daylight as much as any of us do ?”
Starfish: “Doc… I don’t know *any* Humans.”

(Facing a pack of zombies) “My, we’re an attractive group… so anxious to mingle. Well, I’m not a mingler. And I hate crowds. So back off. Now.” (flicks off the safety of her .45).

Raccoon: “Uh. He’s definitely not Human.”
Starfish: “Good. ’cuz I’m gonna shoot it.”

(Besieged by zombies) “When I shoot you six times, you stay down, freak !” (To Raccoon) “Face it. We’re trapped in a bad video game.”

“Kiss my chartreuse ass !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Starfish

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Adventurer
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Wealth: 003
Init: 012 HP: 030

Powers:
Analytical smell/Tracking scent: 02, Cold immunity: 02, Extended hearing: 02, Super-hearing: 01, Swimming: 05, Ultra-vision: 06, Water freedom: 05

Skills:
Weaponry (Firearms): 05

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Schtick (Paired pistols).

Connections:
Nocturnals (High), Komodo (Low), Leviathans (Low), Raccoon (High).

Drawbacks:
Vulnerability (Not being humid).

Equipment:

  • Death-dealing .45 pistol (x2) [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 08, R#03]. Originally she instead had a Colt .45 M1911 variant and an unspecified Beretta. My guess would a series 80 Cheetah in .380 ACP.
  • Starfish has a waterproofed backpack, which can withstand long immersions in seawater. Some panels also give the impression that her handgun holsters are water-resistant. But the holsters only offer partial coverage, for wading rather than diving.
  • Starfish’s stone pendant is recognised by sea leviathans. It also allows her to communicate telepathically with them, albeit with a Range of Touch.
  • She uses a moisturising gel (likely brewed by Doc Horror) for comfort when on the surface.

Design notes

The Cold Immunity isn’t demonstrated, but seems inevitable given the depths she reaches. Yes, that’s weird for an amphibian, but look – she’s got hair and breasts. She’s clearly referenced to as “amphibian” as a shorthand, not as an authoritative zoological classification.

What happens if Starfish cannot maintain skin humidity is unrevealed in the comics. Hence the vague “Vulnerability”. We could assume it’s similar to Aquaman or Namor… but we don’t know. Even the quick mentions in this entry about sunstroke and dehydration and moisturising gels are from the Nocturnals RPG.

Her Swimming APs are derived from her old M&M stats, since there’s little data otherwise.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Nocturnals comics and RPG.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 9th of May, 2019.

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