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Eric Ravensmith aka the Warlord

Warlord

(Eric Ravensmith)


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

Context

The Warlord series of novels are 1980s men’s adventures schlock, set in a post-apocalyptic setting.

If you’re looking for formulaic, fast-moving sex and violence, it’s not a bad pick.


Background

  • Real Name: Professor Eric Ravensmith.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Tim (son), Jennifer (daughter, deceased), Annie (wife, deceased), Maggie (mother, deceased), Big Bill Tenderwolf (foster father, deceased), Trevor Graumann (foster uncle).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Island of New California.
  • Height: 5’9″?  Weight: 80 kgs. Age: 35
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

Professor Eric Ravensmith is a powerful man both mentally and physically. He has an extensive background in both the military special forces in Việt Nam and the academic world of California.

Ravensmith is an expert hand-to-hand combatant, weapon master and marksman, demolition specialist, interrogator, tracker and escape artist (he will bend limbs out from their joints in order to do that effectively). Most of this comes from his training by Fallows during his ’Nam days.

He’s particularly nimble and strong, often combining acrobatics and martial arts in combat. Eric is unusually cool during combat and has extreme reflexes.

His training at the hands of Big Bill Tenderwolf gave him a superior endurance and made him an expert at plants, drugs and herbal lore as well teaching him to use the art of stealth or crossbow shooting.

As a professor of history, Ravensmith also has an impressive education. He’s an expert in many fields including history, psychology and zoology. He’s fluent in American Sign Language, French, Latin, Russian, Spanish, an unspecified Chinese, and Vietnamese.


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History

Eric Ravensmith used to be an elite soldier within an American group named the Nightshift (believed to be an urban legend only) in Việt Nam. His commander was the psychopathic and evil Colonel Dirk Fallows. Fallows was running illegal operations for profit, and ordered several atrocities during the war.

Fallows, expert at brain-washing, tactics, organization, combat (both armed and unarmed), military skills, training etc. had instilled an almost deified view of himself in all his men, except Ravensmith, who was too independent. Ravensmith accused Fallows for war crimes, and Fallows, along several Nightshift members, were sentenced to hard time in prison.

Back stateside

Ravensmith returne to California after the war. He eventually got a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Tim, with his wife Annie. Ravensmith continued his education and became a professor of history at the local university.

When Fallows was released from prison after approx 15 years, he immediately got the old Nightshift gang together for new profitable operations. Among his agenda was revenge on Eric, who had robbed him of so many years, and he sent assassins after him and his family.

Ravensmith, still quite acute, defeated the assassins and turned them in, severely beaten. Eric interrogated one of them hard and got their connection to his old foe Fallows. The assailants were imprisoned and things looked better for a while…until the earthquakes started.

The Big One

After some major earthquakes in the area of California, the Big One  came. The powerful earthquake separated the state of California from the rest of the mainland.

Tanks in Long Beach, containing secret American military storages of forbidden weapons were damaged and released toxins and microbial pathogens around the newly formed island. The gas formed a yellow bubble around the entire island, isolating all inhabitants within its deadly boundaries.

The rest of the world, fearing the powerful effects of the gas, isolated the entire coastline as a large defense perimeter. The government sent tracts from the sky telling the inhabitants that they would do everything they could to take away the bubble and that they would send any help possible from the air.

That was, however, a political lie. Californians, now considered toxic beings, would be shot at sight. And help would cost too much for the government to allow it. The result was that the entire state of the former California and all its inhabitants (that is, those that survived the quakes) were considered exiles from their own country and civilization.

Survivors

Living standards fell horribly fast on the island. Ravensmith, along others, took control of the university area. The world grew terribly savage and people became increasingly barbaric in order to survive. Fallows, also on the island, gathered whatever weapons etc. that he could find and lead his old gang in order to survive again.

Fallows, learning of Ravensmith’s existence in the university area placed a spy within its ruling council (cities quickly grew into old city-state like organizations). While investigating a trading deal in the so-called Dead Zone Fallows, who had planned the fake deal, struck the University area. He killed Eric’s daughter and kidnapped his son and wife.

Eric burned his daughter’s body, and went on to hunt down Fallows and his family. He was accompanied by a crew – Rydell Grimme, Molly Sing, Tag Hallahan, Season Deely, Philip Marcus and Tracy Ammes (who’d been a student of Ravensmiths’). The team followed the tracks, or rather, Eric did, until they reached the old city of Cottonwood, now called Savvytown.

Savvytown

Savvytown was a local trading community being led by Salvadore “Savvy” Pascalli. Savvy apparently had knowledge about Fallows, who had recently passed by, and wanted to trade that information with Eric. The two couldn’t agree and Savvy’s closest associate, Flex, tried to kill Eric, failing to do so, and was killed himself.

Eric’s company wanted to free slaves within the community and thus basically started a smaller civil war within the community. Fallows, who was still on the premises himself, along his brutal bodyguard Indigo Cruz, managed to catch Eric by surprise and knocked him unconscious.

Realizing that Cruz would soon betray him, he pitted the two of them against each other in a fight to the death, leaving the city behind him. Cruz and Savvy were both killed and the rebellion succeeded. Eric’s company decided to council the now free city.

The surviving Tracy, Season, Rydell and Molly remained in the town, and renamed it Gotham. Ravensmith went on, in Tracy’s company (since she followed him anyway) on the hunt for his son (The Warlord).

Subsequent adventures

Later, Tracy was supposedly killed when Ravensmith caught up with Fallows and his lost son, Tim. Eric was forced to flee with his son, but again was separated when Fallows shot Tim in the leg (book with unknown title).

Later still, Ravensmith was completely lost as to the whereabouts to Fallows. He heard about the whereabouts of one of Fallows’ old men, named Dodd, and decided to track him down in order to interrogate him. When found, Dodd was playing a game of cards with some thugs in the country. Ravensmith was spotted and beaten unconscious and bound to a tree.

Dodd continued the card game and when the others found out, through Eric’s hearsay, that Dodd was cheating, combat started. Dodd killed all but one of the players and took all their belongings, that he had won, along a slave-girl named D.B.

Eric managed to escape during the combat and tracked down Dodd some days later. Dodd had left D.B. behind him in order to slow down Ravensmith. Ravensmith, taking pity on the young girl, took company with her and continued to track Dodd.

After Dodd

A long hunt began with elite soldier Dodd always escaping. Dodd passed the completely submerged Los Angeles, found signs of plague and went on to partly submerged San Francisco in order to find an antidote.

The surface parts of San Francisco were now a city-state ruled by an escaped convict and hitman, from San Quentin, named Thor. The thuggish city had been renamed into Valhall, and had a local hospital, market, etc.. Eric entered the city selling the plant ’Jimsonweed‘ as a drug to be smoked, and went on to the hospital to get the antidote.

There he met the only doctor of the facilities, Dr. Fishbine. Eric put on a doctor’s coat in order to investigate the premises better. While he happened upon a weakened down Dodd, he was attacked, beaten unconscious and taken to the island of Alcatraz.

Alcatraz was ruled by escapees from the mainland, and much political power play ensued there when Eric arrived there. The kidnappers, wanting an antidote to the plague, had believed Eric to be the doctor. Meeting local rulers, they tried to charge Eric with some missions, but Eric refused. He had to continue looking for his son.

Back from Alcatraz

He went back to the city in order to find Dodd, but was captured. Thor forced Ravensmith and Dodd to participate in a deadly tournament called the Deathhug. A wounded Eric managed to kill Dodd, and was sent to the hospital before interrogation by Thor.

Eric, thinking of the mission he had declined, talked to Fishbine about the situation. Dr. Fishbine was more interested in helping the citizens of Alcatraz, than those of Valhall, and Eric, D.B. and Fishbine sneaked out of the city soon thereafter.

Thor, who had long planned an invasion of Alcatraz, attacked soon thereafter. Using guerrilla tactics, Eric and Alcatraz‘ inhabitants defeated the invading forces. Ravensmith himself killed Thor onboard. The former escapees on Alcatraz‘ thereafter took control of Valhall, again planning to rename the city. Eric and D.B. went on to track down Fallows (Prisonland).

I’m still stalking

After a while, they happened upon a graveyard and were attacked by grave robbers and cannibals. Being defeated, the leader of the horde, named Deena, prepared Eric and D.B. for some really… depraved acts. However, they successfully fled, and happened upon a zoo, which would be a good place to find some food.

There they were captured by the sole human there, Dr. Wendy Chen. Soon befriending her, Eric and D.B. remained at the zoo for a while.

Then Eric finally tracked down Fallows, who was planning to leave the island with Tim by buying a ticket, using stolen gold, onboard a Russian submarine. When Eric found an intensively trained, 13 years old Tim, he refused to follow Eric due to intense brainwashing by Fallows. Eric had long discussions with Tim, but Tim was only convinced to follow the more powerful Fallows.

In the final showdown, Eric fought Fallows along a burning car wreck, while Tim was aiming at them both with a gun. Tim decided that he didn’t need anyone, and that he could start a gang of his own with his newfound skills, and left the combatants. Eric, in a fit of rage, impaled Fallows on a metal piece of the burning car.

Meanwhile, D.B. had managed to destroy the naval base, after the Russians had left, in order to destroy the neutron bomb she had heard was kept there. With Fallows finally dead, Eric went back to the zoo to live with D.B. and Dr. Chen a while. Then he would go on, with D.B., to continue his search for his changed son, Tim. (Terminal Island).


Description

Ravensmith, alias the Warlord, is a dexterous man of average height with very well-defined, slender muscles. He wears whatever clothing he might find, and at all times carries a powerful crossbow and at least one firearm. He appears relaxed, but can very quickly go into fast action.

The most distinguishing part of his looks is the scar in his face, going from the left ear up to the left chin, and ending with a rose-formed imprint. The scar, which has a rigged edge, gives the impression of being painful, which it isn’t. There’s a resemblance to a rose on the left chin, and it has become a way, combined with his intelligent speech and built, of recognizing the man called the Warlord.


Personality

Eric Ravensmith has two main sides in his personality. The kind, just family man and the soldier who’s a killing machine.

During his days in ’Nam, he was an unfeeling killing machine and he easily slips into this mode again in the hostile world he’s now living in. After ’Nam, he was a kind family father, husband and teacher. But when the earthquakes came and his wife and daughter were killed by his old friend Fallows, he surprisingly quickly reverted to old, lethal form.

Amorality

He now walks a fine line between good and evil, often being pushed into committing morally dubious acts. He doesn’t allow himself to feel grief for anything, and instead focuses all energy into his quest, which is his first and foremost goal: to retrieve his kidnapped son.

He will often refuse to perform good or bad deeds, since that would be a waste of time and he has to go looking for his son instead. In fact, he once left an escaped slave in the hands of her would-be owners with no regrets, but later helped organizing her freedom with some friends, although he still didn’t actively participate.

Very possibly, the only thing that stops him turning into an unfeeling machine is the cheerful D.B., a young woman he has for company. He often acts as if he was her father, protecting her, taking care of her, etc. and although they sleep together, he refuses to have sex with her.

Although he now is very vicious in combat situations, he’s very careful to retain a civilized man with moral values. He would definitely never do anything to hurt her.

Eric also doubts his personal motives occasionally; and wonders why he’s really hunting his son. If he’s looking for him since he wants revenge on his kidnapper, Fallows, due to the fact that he wants his son to feel safe again, or due to the fact that becoming a family with his son again is the only thing that might stop him from becoming a savage.

Other traits

Fallows is the most hated being in Eric’s existence and he’s constantly haunted by his memory. Meanwhile he is impressed by Fallow’s skills and determination. He had really imagined up a picture of Fallows being more powerful than he actually is, and was surprised when he actually died and stayed dead.

Ravensmith also has a nimble, and fast intellect. He is a master of improvisation and will cheat in order to survive. In DC Heroes RPG terms, he often uses the Bluff Manoeuvre.

He has a developed sense of cynical humor and can even get laughs out of his enemies. He often thinks of the words of Big Bill Tenderwolf, laughs while doing so, and then uses various tricks he learnt from him. Now, a celebrity, he occasionally uses that for his advantage.

Also, extremely educated and bright, he’s capable of surprising people with his knowledge, and can keep long discussions ongoing. His kind, but strong way and wits often attract the attention of women. Although he knows the outside world is undamaged and whole, he has given up all hopes of ever returning there again.


DC Universe History

Ravensmith will develop up to the level given in this write-up only in hostile environments and possibly can only be used in such environments. Since he really fits for the apocalyptic role, he’s best inserted, with no apparent ties to DC characters, into the world of Kamandi, the Dead Earth world, the Endworld or an apocalyptic campaign of your own.

Since he isn’t as powerful as Blade, from the Endworld-series, or The Traveler, both from apocalyptic settings, he could be used in lighter pre-apocalyptic campaigns by removing some of the ’grit‘ of the character.

Since he was at ’Nam, he could have teamed up with your favorite Việt Nam vet character (such as Rambo :-p).


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Eric Ravensmith aka the Warlord

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Wanderer, Ex-teacher, Ex-spec ops
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 023 HP: 045

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 06, Charisma*: 06, Gadgetry (Weaponsmith): 04, Martial Artist*: 06, Medicine (Drugs)*: 07, Medicine (First Aid): 04, Military Science: 08, Thief (Escape Artist)*: 06, Thief (Stealth): 07, Weaponry (Heavy, Exotic)*: 06, Weaponry (Firearms, Melee, Missile): 07

Advantages:
Buddy (D.B.), Double Jointed, Intensive Training, Iron Nerves, Languages (American sign language (AMESLAN), Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese and probably French, Latin and Spanish), Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Popularity, Rank (formerly had an unrevealed military rank), Scholar (History), Scholar (Plants), Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Gotham (High), Nightshift (Low), Old Valhall & Alcatraz (High), The University (High).

Drawbacks:
Archenemy (Dirk Fallows), SIA (Retrieving his son), Creepy Appearance (Rose-formed facial scar), Forced Exile (New California), Married (earlier only), MIH (Dirk Fallows).

Equipment:
Barnett Commando Crossbow [BODY 05, EV: 04, Ammo:01, Range: 05, R#2].


D.B.

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Wanderer, Ex-slave
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 011 HP: 015

Skills:
Artist (Singer): 03, Charisma: 04, Thief (Stealth): 04, Weaponry: 04

Advantages:
Buddy (Eric Ravensmith), Language (American sign-language (AMESLAN)), Scholar (Song Lyrics).

Drawbacks:
Forced Exile (New California).

Equipment:

  • Slingshot [BODY 03, EV 02, Range: 03].
  • Bolas.

By Peter S Piispanen aka The Angel.

Source of Character: The Warlord Books by Jason Frost.

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