Characters in Blackbird Dreaming

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Characters in Blackbird Dreaming


Contents

SPOILER WARNING

If you have not read fully through the Blackbird Dreaming story, these character files may contain major plot spoilers. Proceed with caution, reader!

Cast

Player characters go here. Character names in italics means those characters are no longer with us. Character names in bold mean they are now NPCs.

Evan Douglas

played by Zenaida - A brilliant Electrical Engineer and hobby motorcyclist in the right place at the wrong time.
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Evan Douglas never had much of a talent for lying, although he learned to keep quiet when it suited his interest, so he just came right up to his father one day and announced he was quitting high school. His father David, a long-time right-winger, complete with gun collection and NRA membership, recognized his son's intelligence despite Evan's inability to pay attention to anything that wasn't immediately interesting to him. David wasn't too keen on the liberals running the high school, so he started training his son as an apprentice electrician.

Evan worked as an electrician for his father's company for eight years before finally deciding to go to college. While in school at Berkeley, he grew a beard and became interested in robotics. He spent all his free time tinkering with electronics, making use of the basement full of electronics junk his father had collected over years in the business and building his own collection in his small studio apartment just North of campus. He excelled in school, but took five years to finish due to taking a minimal class load so he could spend more time tinkering. He joined IEEE, and published a few papers through the organization related to his extra-curricular activities. He won the NATCAR autonomous racing competition his third year, and graduated with honors.

While in school he got introduced to motorcycles by some friends from the IEEE student group. He bought himself an aging BMW touring bike as a graduation present, and started riding it cross-country. During a lunch break, he heard an air-raid siren and an announcement over the radio playing in the diner warning everyone to seek shelter. He'd noticed an old-style fallout shelter while riding into town, and headed back for it, more curious than worried.

Brandon Gray

played by prussian advisor - A medical nurse among the staff at the Battle Creek Medical Center when stage 2 cerebrosus struck.
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I tried to stay, to do my part. But in the end, like I always do, I ran. Ran and hid.

Oh, I had been steadfast in the early days, before the scope of what was happening has truly sunk in. The hospital was soon swamped with patients, stabbing victims, shooting victims, burn victims from the sudden waves of arson and from the potent acid raid. All were treatable, of course, so I volunteered for extra shifts, and at night, always the same terrifying nightmares: endless fields, stretching off to the horizon, blanketed with dead blackbirds. I don't deserve any praise for this--the alternative was to sit at home, and watch the newscasters as they describe, half with glee and half with horror, the process of the world coming apart. When the first of the small rural towns in the South simply emptied overnight, it was just a curiosity, a modern-day Roanoke. UFO "experts" and other Coast to Coast AM types came on and everyone took their hand at speculation. When the tenth town disappeared over the next two months, the tone changed. The panic grew. It wasn't like the fears of nuclear war, where people had convinced themselves that if they didn't live in or near a large city, they were fairly safe. No one was safe. It seemed like the whole world was trying to wipe out the human race.

But I stayed on, stayed at my post. Then the cerebrosis struck. I don't know if it started here, or just arrived from outside the state--the news coverage was already sketchy and unreliable by this point--but one day it was unheard of, and the next day the beds, the halls, even the floors were clogged with patients. It didn't seem to be air- or even blood-borne, but how did it spread so fast? Why did I never catch it? It certainly wasn't due to lack of exposure, not for that first month of the cerebrosis pandemic at least.

Victims of cerebrosis typically presented with weeping sores and horribly swollen eyes. Eventually the illness would progress to the second stage, massive bleeding, both internally and through the pores of the skin and most orifices, caused by sudden, catastrophic thinning of the blood. Most died at this point, from the resultant aneurysms or massive shock from blood loss combined with renal failure. But some made it even further.

My last patient was a former friend, a family man whose family was dead. I can't even remember his name or what he originally looked like--the disease had done such damage to his body that he was nearly unrecognizable. He was in advanced second-stage cerebrosis when I came across him in the hospital, smeared head-to-toe with his own infected blood. His eyes had become so swollen that they strained out of his sockets. He recognized me, somehow--he couldn't have seen me, or anything, with his eyes like they were--and called out to me by name. He was crippled and driven nearly insane by the pain. Finally, he simply reached up and plucked one of his swollen eyes from his head, seemingly without any pain. I just stood there, useless and transfixed. As he moved the eye, for just a fraction of a second, I thought I saw something squirm back into the socket, as if startled by the sudden light.

I snapped. I began screaming, and my patient began screaming. I was in a blind panic, running around the hospital in stark terror, just trying to get away, get out. I left him there, screaming in terror, his swollen eye in his hand, and fled.

I made my way to Marcus Chesterfield's house. I had been considering seeking refuge in his vaunted bunker, which he had spoken about to no end before. He was still in the process of building it when I, along with several others, were treating his sister's cystic fibrosis. This was at the same time as his prosecution for his involvement with the militia movement--money was tight. We had hit it off well, and he promised to pay me when he could, and in further gratitude, he promised me a spot in his bunker should the "shit hit the fan."

To think, I actually sort of pitied him then, for the "delusions" that seemed to be bringing his life down around his ears. He had disappeared by the time I arrived at his house, as had his sister. I had never really checked up on either of them once things had started to go south; one more friend who I had abandoned through my carelessness. I was not the only person with the same idea, though. A neighbor of Marcus', a man named Mike O'Neill, was already there. Over time, a handful of others filtered in, but none of them were people I recognized. Miraculously, none showed any physical signs of infection or even exposure to cerebrosis.

We have made the decision to seal the door to the bunker. This bunker was meant to house more than two dozen people for several months, which probably translates to enough supplies to support us for perhaps a year or even more. Hopefully the situation will have resolved itself by then. But my nightmares still persist, and I fear we are only delaying the inevitable.

In the meantime, however, I will make sure that the rest of the people here remain safe and in good health. I will not let them down.

Jacob Benson

played by Tindjin - A former marine honorably discharged for medical reasons, whose life took a turn for the worse.
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Jacob grew up on a small farm at the base of the Rocky Mountains to a lower middle class family. He spent most of his time with friends hunting and exploring the hills outside of town. When he turned 18 he joined the Marine Corps rather than find a burger flipping job or try communitee college. He did well with training, adapting well to the military and was awarded his Blues upon graduation and promotion to Private First Class. Jacob was assigned to the motorpool as a light vehicle mechanic. He served 4 years and had just re-enlisted planning on making the Marines his career. During nighttime training excercise he was called out to take a look at a Humvee that had engine troubles. While working on the truck he had his left hand down near the fan belt trying to tighten the alternator bracket when the engine turned over. When he woke up a few hours later he learned that his pinky and ring finger on his left hand had been severed and crushed so badly there was no way to repair or reattach them. He later found out it was an impatient officer who didn't check to see if anyone was under the hood before trying to start the Humvee.

Jacob was honorably discharged due to medical reasons and that was the start of his downfall. Jacob spent a few years drinking and doing drugs completely oblivious to the world. He blamed everyone else for any problem he had and used the haze of drugs and alcohol for the frequent severe pain in his hand. For three years Jacob lived on the streets, usually finding his food at soup kitchens or the homes he broke into. He would mug people and worse if he needed a fix or another bottle. About the time that Jacob turned 25 he was arrested and spent 6 months in jail where he was forced to sober up. He realized what a mess he had made of his life and swore off drugs and alcohol completely. Sober now he found the pain in his hand came less often but when it did it was still severe. Over the next two years Jacob spent his time traveling from one city to another, usually hiking direct routes through national forests or private property. During one of his hikes he found a mangy mutt that looked like a mix of a Rotweiller and Boxer. He nursed the animal back to health and named him Sir Reginald. Him and Reggy were starting to hear of odd things happening around the world in their travels and noticed people were getting scared because no one could explain it.

Raymond Tailor

played by Mr. Horyd - A fairly successful horror novelist with a penchant for narrating his disturbing dreams.
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For years, Raymond would go to work each day, helping whatever client had hired his firm to keep track of their numbers, and more often than not, helping them hide any 'unusual' business practices.

Every night, he would dread going to sleep, because he would almost certainly be plagued by visions of unspeakable horror. He was often told how tired he looked, or that he should take a vacation. One therapist, only one person out of countless people he sought to help end this torment, suggested that he start writing a journal.

Of course, that didn't help abate the dreams at all. In fact, it helped him remember them all the better. They were strange dreams, and he enjoyed reading over and reliving them just as much as he hand enjoyed experiencing them again the first time. By chance, one of his few friends asked how well he had been coping with the rough nights, and Raymond threw one of several dozen notebooks at him in disgust. "Read it for yourself," he had muttered. He was rather shocked when, a few days later, his friend returned, declaring it one of the most disturbing collections of stories he had ever seen, and asking to read more.

He found his way to a local publisher, and after some glowing responses and constructive criticisms from the editors their, he compiled a dozen or so of his worst nightmares into book which sold quite well among the horror crowd. Things went pretty well for Raymond afte that- he co-wrote several movie scripts, and put out a book every few months, which allowed him to quit his job as an accountant and spend the first few hours of each day recovering, before spending a few hours writing the whole mess down.

He didn't think anything was too unusual when, for perhaps the twentieth time in as many months, he dreamed of an ocean of blood. Several weeks later, he began to realize that he was seeing more than just his own nightmares. He believed he was recording the horrible dreams of the Earth itself...

John Markson

played by Wutasumi - A librarian from a farming family, marooned into the shelter with fate's cast of the die.
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John Markson grew up in a rural area of America, and was the son of two prominent people in town. It was a small town, and JM learned how to fire a gun there, as well as skin and cook animals. However, John was always a bit odd, spending much of his time in the library and drawing. His parents were nonsupporting, and spent much time trying to get him more involved in family affairs, and sports and other activities of their choosing. Eventually, they got in a heated argument which ended with John getting disowned. He moved to a more urban area, and quickly got a job at the library there, finally content. One day, a friend of his ran up to him, started yelling for him to run to a bomb shelter, and then ran off, probably to tell others of whatever he knew.

John knew his friend to be a bit odd lately, looking into various things that made no real sense to him, but he saw genuine fear in his friend's eyes, and took no more time then it took to get a couple novels he couldn't live without before going.

He hasn't seen his friend since.

Mike O'Neill

played by Captain Rehab - A union construction worker and acquaintance of Marcus Chesterfield; helped build the shelter.
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Mike O'Neill barely knew his father while he was growing up. The old man worked two shifts each day just to keep them out of the gutter, and never uttered a word of complaint. He died from a heart attack when Mike was 16.

Mike left school after burying his dad and began working in the construction industry to support his mother and sister. Seeing what his father went through and because of his own sense of social justice, Mike was inevitably drawn to the union movement. After several years working for various construction companies, he was offered a job with the Laborer's Union as a local organizer, which he took.

His mother has since passed on and his sister married and moved away. Mike lived next door to Marcus Chesterfield, and even helped out with a few things in the construction of the bunker. He never really bought into Marcus' way of thinking, but this was the first place he went to when the shit hit the fan.

Joe "Hobbs" Hobbson

played by DocBubonic character sheet

Former Michigan Militia/Gun store Owner

Hobbs was Michigan born and raised. He used to have a wife named Mary and a daughter named Jessica. He owned a gun shop in Mio, Michigan. In the years leading up to the cerebrosus epidemic, he went through some personal trouble. Alcoholism and his anti-government paranoia led to a divorce and later on he lost all visitation rights with his daughter. Before the worst of the cerebrosus epidemic and other problems facing the world occurred he hid with a group of other survivors.

Born in the Mecosta County Medical Center, he lived in Big Rapids from the time he was born till the end of high school. Studious isn't a word to describe Hobbs. He didn't care for school that much and decided not to go to college. For those who weren't going to college, the two options were working on farms or going into the military. He joined the army and spent eight years in the service. His original MOS was infantry, but along the way he trained to be a small arms repairer. He became something of a jack of all trades in his unit. He trained to be a small arms repairer, but he happened to know how to fix cars and machines from the time he spent on his family farm in Big Rapids.

After his initial eight years in the army, he decided not to reenlist. A lot of changes were occurring in the military due to President Clinton and the ending of the Cold War. At first the changes weren't bad, but he thought they were only the beginning. He thought the changes were making the military soft, weak against any potential enemies. The Government weakened it with its political correctness and so called "progress". He decided that if that's the way the Government wanted to take its military, then he didn't want to be a part of it.

He didn't have much money or skills after leaving the military, but he had an idea about what he wanted to do. He loved hunting and the outdoors. He knew he couldn't get paid for that, so he decided to start a business about it. He got a loan and opened up a gun shop. He picked an area where his family often went hunting, Mio, Michigan. Besides selling guns and outdoor equipment he could also do gun repair.

A year after starting his gun shop, he met Mary. They were introduced by mutual friends. At first Mary didn't care for Hobbs, but ended up going on a date with him as a favor for a friend. When they were on their date, Mary happened to see Hobbs in a different light. Normally he came across as a tough guy who never showed his emotions. She became surprised during the date when he showed his gentler side. A year later they married. Then they had daughter shortly after that.

As the years went on, Hobbs became increasingly angry with the way the government acted. He felt like it was infringing on people's rights. The government seemed to act against the wishes of the citizenry. Hobbs joined the Michigan militia because they were preparing to defend against the government. The area had a strong group of militia men and they welcomed Hobbs into their group. It didn't hurt that many of them were his customers. In short time Hobbs became a commander of his group.

His affiliation with the Michigan Militia caused problems at home. His wife didn't care for his anti-government leanings or his involvement with the Michigan Militia. They argued a lot, and neither would relent. Hobbs started drinking. It wasn't long after that his wife then left him. She divorced him and took their daughter. Hobbs considered fighting for partial custody, but he decided he wouldn't win. He ended up cutting off contact from her.

When the first warning signs that something bad was about to happen, Hobbs made plans to survive. He thought if there was an apocalypse, then he could start his life over and be happy again. He didn't realize how horrible this idea was until everything went to hell.

A small group of Militia men and their families built a shelter out in the middle of the wilderness near the Grayling military reservation. They stocked it up and when everything hit.

Before going to the shelter, he made several attempts to contact his ex-wife. She talked to him once and no amount of convincing on his part could get her to believe his dire predictions about society collapsing. She heard him talk about such things before when they were married. She tolerated it while married, now divorced she hated it. They argued about things and she hung up on him. That was the last time they talked.

Not long after he joined the others at the shelter.

Six months in, they had a problem. Something attacked the shelter. Several people were killed and the rest had to leave. They happened to have hid a vehicle in a underground garage, so they had a means of transportation.

In the limited communications they had in their bunker, they heard of other militia members heading to Detroit. Realizing they didn't have many other choices, they too went to Detroit.

The trip down to Detroit was filled with dangers. bandits, acid rain, and cerebrosus victims. Slowly their numbers dwindled. Hobbs became a different man. He showed less and less emotions as they made their way down state. He took care of the group, but when people died he showed little emotion over it.

Hobbs and one other person out of the twelve who sought shelter upstate survived. The car they were driving was one they found in some person's garage. Its tires were bald, the vehicle had numerous bullet holes in it and there was something wrong with the engine. It finally died a few miles outside of Detroit. They began to walk. Fortunately for them they were spotted by a helicopter from the Detroit survivors before they made it to the Detroit suburbs and the dangers there.

Boris Verne

played by Milky Moor -
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When the world ended, Boris Verne had been planning on going to a job interview. These days he can't quite remember what the job was. He still wears that same black suit, however the tie is long since gone. Before the apocalypse Verne had always been a slightly paranoid and 'strange' individual, but confrontations with 'zombies' turned it into full-blown delusions and something akin to a 'voice' in his head that'd guide him - but it also had the habit of being completely wrong.

Remarkably enough, since the end of the world, Boris hasn't killed anyone, and he doesn't want to start any time soon. When he was found by a pack of survivors, Boris found his skills being used as a negotiator and diplomat - despite his sometimes paranoid fantasies - and was trained with a pistol for 'just in case'. Friendly and helpful - if not a little strange - Boris fit in well, but was always regarded with a suspicious eye - what if one day he went nuts and killed someone? That never happened, but they'd undoubtedly get rid of him eventually.

Boris found his way to the small group of survivors, but his paranoia, cowardice and general self-serving nature would prove to be his downfall. When combined with dreams of the Pale Man - as well the albino's constant communications - Boris' psychological wellbeing rapidly spiralled downwards. His distrust of the blackbirds - promoted by the Pale Man - would lead Boris into opposition with Jennifer. Eventually, Boris ended up attempting to make a deal with the Pale Man - to give him the watch in exchange for salvation. During the exchange, however, Boris had a change of heart and turned on the Pale Man. Despite this, Boris was caught in the crossfire between the Pale Man and a gang of 'Vulture' bandits and killed.

Jennifer Srinivasan

played by Oracle character sheet -
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Jennifer, before (l) and after (r) attunement of the drache suit

A midwestern pharmacist and mother of a small child residing in Indiana, her family was camping in Michigan when cerebrosus first hit. Her husband and child went home ahead of her while she stopped to care for her ailing father, and was cut off when things took a drastic turn for the worst. Holing up her father's Y2K survivalist shelter, her last contact with her husband and child revealed them holing up at their home in the suburbs of West Lafayette. She left the shelter when her father went outside to check on the situation and was killed by a cerebrosus victim, eventually meeting up with the group at Harlan Hospital in Toledo(?) OH.

The group headed southwest towards Defiance, meeting up with Wayne, Sam and Matt, and finally ended up at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, finding it abandoned even though it inexplicably had both electricity and fresh water. Strange dreams began to plague her as well, and she received a compass and a whistle from the scarred-faced one-eyed being that they called The Old Man.

Discovered Sarah Frost, who later proved to be the rogue valkyrie known as Gerhilde, at the base sealed in an isolation tube in a CDC tent, with Scott. Later a secret tunnel system with a tram was discovered beneath the infamous Hangar 18, and after a harrowing rescue of the young boy named Matt they had unoffically adopted in Defiance after his father's unfortunate death, indirectly at their hands, they decided to risk traveling towards one of the gateways that a being she called Puck, also met in a dream, indicated might be the key to reversing the current devastation of their world. Frost gifted her drache skin suit to Jennifer, who attuned it to herself, the act of which seems to grant powers to the woman.

At their second stop on the tram they met, and captured another valkyrie, Valda, who proved to be Jennifer's birth mother. Wayne, a special forces combat chopper pilot in Vietnam, had been her husband before she realized that both husband and baby were in danger from Odin, her uncaring father who disapproved of mortal entanglements. She had Munin, one of his pets, remove her memory of them both and put the girl up for adoption. Jennifer fully conquered the skin suit just before this revelation and became much like a valkyrie herself in appearance and ability (and also, unfortunately, in temperament). She seems to have inherited some of her mother's healing gifts, an ability she had previously attributed to the suit.

After several discussions, Frost's need for a lab in which to attempt to formulate a vaccine for cerebrosus led them to a hidden underground military base in the mountains of West Virginia. Somehow still having power, and with Frost's ability to purify water by her presence, the base has proven to be a comparatively luxurious base of operations, though much of it remains unexplored.

She met up with the spider being that called himself Anansi on Valda's recommendation, who made for her a connection with the Japanese fox-trickster spirit Inari. Making a deal much like that she had made with Puck (who she discovered was no less than the Coyote of Native American myth and legend) she seeks to recover her world from the forces that would destroy it and reunite her family.

Her birth mother, Valda, originally named her Ranka. It’s short for Ragnhildr. This was the name Maya knew her by, somehow. Possibly the name the spirits know her by.

Scott Elinger

played by Vylan Antagonist
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I was awful young to be made sheriff, but Crawford County wasn't exactly a big city kind of place. Grayling is one of those towns where everybody knows everybody, and most everyone I knew liked me, which was fine, because the feeling was mutual. Most folk that weren't much into fishing or hunting lit out once they graduated school, but I liked the place enough to stick around, even though my counselor thought I could have done alright at MSU if I'd been so inclined. Truth was, I wasn't. I liked the small town life, I liked the quiet buzz around hunting season when the pickups started rolling in full of hunters hoping to catch themselves a glimpse of a white-tail. I liked the ambling Au Sable river running through town, and the wood-paneled station-wagons capped with bright-colored canoes. Weather was often cold, but the people were warm, good folks, welcoming.

Worst trouble was always from out of towners getting a bit liquored up, or guardsman off-base from Camp Grayling, looking to start a ruckus. But most folks settle down if you understand them well enough and know how to talk to them. Big city sheriffs probably need to unholster their pistol a lot more than me, but that was how I liked it.

When Jake (he was one of my deputies) came in telling me about some sinkhole up near Lake Margrethe near swallowing a car, it wasn't real peculiar. Michigan's always had more than it's share, and I was just glad no one had fallen in. Still, a new one is always strange enough to rate my personal attention. It was exactly as the tourists said, about 4 foot across and deep as I could see when I shined my light down in it.

Well, karst country being what it is, we knew the drill- Fence it off, keep mindful of groundwater contamination, and let the county seat know what we'd found. We hauled the car up and out with a tow truck, staked and taped off the hole, and made accommodations for the family at the Super 8.

When Jake didn't show the next day, I called his missus. Turns out he was laid up pretty bad. Ed from the '8 called a little after, said the tourists seemed in a bad way too and he was real concerned about the rest of his guests. Apart from a headache, I was okay, so I drove on out to Jake's first to check up. I went over the previous day with him, and truthfully, there wasn't much to tell. He'd talked to the tourists about their sinkhole and taken some notes while he was in their kitchen. Didn't think much of it then, but he'd had himself a cup of water they'd offered him from the tap.

He looked bad, his hands especially, almost like he was getting frostbite. It was enough that I took him into the hospital, over his objections of course. Ended up having the tourists brought in too, then took a drive over to the lakehouse to dig around a bit. That's where it got real bad real fast. There were a bunch of National Guard trucks parked around, and they had a bunch of those plastic tents up all over the place. I could see a couple guys in NBC suits moving around in the tunnels behind the guard that stopped me from going in. He got my name, but said he couldn't let me past. Another man came out, spectacled and wearing a lab coat, toting a clipboard. He asked me a couple questions about Jake and the tourists, but it sounded like he already knew all the answers.

The whole experience made me nervous enough I decided to go back to check on the patients. Only they were gone. The nurses said they'd been moved out to Camp Grayling, and Dr. Agupta got taken on out with them. They said they'd been asking after me too.

It was 2 weeks straight that I kept trying to get in to see them or hear word from them. Jake's wife was tearful, but I couldn't give her answers I didn't have. Finally a couple of men came out to see me, flanked by MPs. They brought me onto base and told me plan as day that it was a matter of national security that I stop my inquiries.

A sinkhole. National security. I blew my lid. Unless it was Russians digging tunnels that caused the collapse, they and I both knew darn well it was no more than some erosion or a limestone cave ceiling collapse that caused that hole, and whatever got into the water as a result made them sick, sure, but there was no call for any of this secrecy unless they'd been up to something that the public needed to know about.

They listened quietly, then had me taken off base. Word came down not much later that I'd been removed from my office.

Now, it's true I didn't have many investigations under my belt, but a thing like that, it's like an ulcer in your mouth, and me, I need to keep prodding at it. I couldn't beg nor borrow a job in the county from that point on, so I ended up moving around, ending up in Ohio until I finally could land a security gig. Mostly, I read, occasionally keeping in touch with Jake's wife as she got more and more resigned and withdrawn.

Books that I wanted from the library started disappearing, supposedly not getting returned, but I found enough at bookstores to keep my research going. I learned all about St. Anthony's Fire, Kykeon, and ergotism, and the way that dry gangrene can set in real fierce around vascularized distal structures like the hands and toes. Meanwhile, I started noticing certain cars always hanging around the neighborhood, but not seeming to belong to any neighbors. I'm not one for paranoia, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit it all made me scared.

I bought a bit of land, cash only, had one of those 50s fallout shelters in it. Thing was cramped and full of spiders, but when I could, I worked on cleaning it out. Entrance hatch was powerful narrow, a tunnel I had to climb down each time. Made me a bit claustrophobic, but it was what it was. Piece by piece, I brought down a few things, even a bike I hooked up and cued up to generate current like at the museum. Then the other sinkholes started opening up, the drought hit like judgement day, and I knew I had to light out as quick as I could.

I took the last of the books I'd gathered and all my last minute supplies, then I hunkered down in that shelter as long as I could stand it.

Sometimes I had light. I ran the generator real sparingly, and the current I could get from peddling weren't much at all. Really, I rode that contraption more to keep myself busy than anything else, a bit of routine to help keep me sane. That tunnel hatch was always there, taunting me. I worried about something blocking it from up top, or it caving in, or the whole shelter dropping into one of those sinkholes. Huddled down there, in the dark, just waiting, you have only your own thoughts to keep you company, and let me tell you, they are cold company indeed. There was a shaft dug down for waste and lavatory use, but I hadn't put it in myself. I know how it sounds, but sometimes, I could swear I heard things from inside it, to the point where I was almost too afraid to go near it and I'd hold back from using it as long as I could, as though something wound come flopping out of it right when I was straddling it. I'd shiver under the covers, in the dark, just thinking about it, a hole down into who knows what.

It's kinda scary how much a man actually eats and drinks. Stores that looked like they'd last forever started to get lean. There were days I was so overwhelmed by everything that I did nothing but lay in bed, hoping I'd just fade away into nothingness. Other days, I'd get real mad at myself and all my wasted time, and I'd get real industrious, studying up on my books, working out, and reading up until I got so exhausted I could barely move. I'm sure there were plenty of stretches of time I wasn't right in the head. And always, that hatch was there. I wondered what was beyond it, even as I was afraid. Only my wind-up watch helped me keep track of the days. When it broke, so did I. I hustled over to that hatch, feeling the weight of it around me as I climbed the pitted rungs, then unscrewed it and hefted it with teeth-pulled-back desperation.

I fell outside, onto the ground, sobbing-like, born again from that subterranean womb into a world birthed of nightmares. The tribulation had come out of the pages of Revelation and into reality. It made no sense, but there wasn't anything else. Somewhere, there had to be answers, answers to what happened to Jake, the sinkholes, the Cerebrosus, the red tide, all of it. All that was left was to find them before the book could be closed.

Daniel Campbell

played by Centurion
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Things had been looking good for Daniel Campbell: he graduated from a top university, had found a position in a respectable lab, and accumulated multiple credits and citations in prestigious journals by age 25. But when the cerebrosus outbreaks started spreading, his lab was "conscripted" along with every lab on the other 10 floors of the building: all non-disease related research was put on indefinite hold, all animals and materials repurposed to study the infection, and CDC "supervisors" assigned to constantly look over their shoulders. Armed soldiers appeared at the lab shortly after the reports of widespread violence, with orders from CDC headquarters that all scientists were to live in the lab (for their protection, of course) and work all waking hours until a vaccine was synthesized. Information from the outside was restricted, and all communication out of the lab was forbidden. Barriers were set up in the bridges connecting the lab building to the adjoining hospital, and all entrances and exits were secured. The soldiers patrolled the labs and perimeter, as much to keep the scientists in as everyone else out. Day and night, Dan and his colleagues worked relentlessly, but to little avail: the CDC supervisors confiscated all their data, and refused to let anyone without security clearance analyze results; everything was sent to CDC labs, where higher ups would supposedly take care of all the thinking.

Dan's workaholic tendencies eventually proved to be his salvation: a few months after the CDC locked down the lab, Dan had been pulling an unsanctioned late night shift in the animal facility, trying to maintain the mice lines from his pre-cerebrosus research. Upon exiting the clean rooms, he was surprised to find that everyone had disappeared. From the mess around the lab and living areas, it looked like the soldiers had evacuated everyone in the middle of the night. Along with the researchers, they confiscated all the data: every computer had its hard drive ripped out, most of the laptops were gone, and every scrap of paper with as much as a letterhead on it had been removed or shredded. Touring the other floors of the building, Dan was greeted with similar sights in all the other labs, in addition to finding that the soldiers had reinforced the barriers and destroyed several staircases and bridges- in effect, preventing anyone from getting into or out of the lab except by crossing through several security doors and barricades in the lone undestroyed connecting bridge. Luckily for Dan, he was able to find a security card left behind by one of the CDC supervisors, allowing him to exit and enter his now very secure and very lonely lab at his leisure. After seeing what was left of the outside world though, Dan decided he’d be better off hunkering down, and trying to keep a low profile until some semblance of order returned.

By the point Daniel found himself all alone, the internet had collapsed and radio transmissions were as infrequent as they were useless. But from the screams and gunshots at night, he figured leaving the secured building as infrequently as possible would increase his chances of survival. By some miracle, the power, water, and gas lines to the labs were never cut, allowing Dan to distill as much water as he needed, and continue researching for as long as necessary reagents held out. Food, however, was a much more bleak situation: the soldiers hadn’t left much behind, and very little was to be found among the labs. By sheer luck, Dan found a barbecue cook book in the floor library, leading his mind back to the animal facility. A jury rigged grill made out of Bunsen burners, and a generous supply of research-grade salt and spices allowed him to stretch the lab pigs, goats, and rabbits for a several months, but eventually this food supply gave out. Careful cataloging of the contents lists of every chemical locker, cold room, and freezer led Dan to a dismal conclusion: either leave his secure “home”, or live off of animal feed pellets, frozen tissue samples, and chemically synthesized nutrients. After a near death encounter with several Stage-II Cerebrosus victims, and several…things…which could only be described as monsters while trying to scavenge for food in the surrounding neighborhoods, Dan chose the second option. His calculations showed that this new food supply, without dipping into human tissue stocks, would last until early July. After that, a he would have to leave the lab, or find a new source of food.

Until that time, he resolved to keep himself as occupied as possible with researching Cerebrosus; looking through a microscope kept his mind off the outside world, and prevented him from having to think about what happened to his friends and family.

Alexandra Gibson

played by NoControl character sheet

Alex hid in the Appalachians for a year when Cerebrosus first spread.

Raised by her grandmother in Modesto, Alex had a strange childhood. Her mother separated from her father when she was a toddler, unable to deal with life as a military spouse. There were whispers that it was due to a drug addiction or another man, but people talk, and her grandmother told her to pay them no mind. Her father flew for the navy, and had the bad luck to be one of the men killed during the first gulf war. Despite this, Alex had a good childhood and did well in school. Earning a scholarship, she received a Bachelors, and later a Masters degree in zoology. After an internship studying coyotes in the Mojave, she settled in a job with the National Park Service in the Appalachians.

Alexandra was holed up in the mountains of West Virginia when Cerebrosus struck. Rather than risking an infected populous and a civilization in disarray, she holed up in an old fire observation tower. Moving from cabin to cabin, and making trips into the outskirts of nearby towns, she survived well by herself. The loneliness wore on her a bit, but she managed to hold it together until her supplies started to run out. The day came when she had two weeks worth of food and water left, and no cabins to loot. This, combined with strange noises in the night, convinced her to move on.

She had three days left of food when Daniel appeared. The old CDC based seemed like a good place to load up on medications. If she hadn't stopped to look for antibiotics, she would have passed him by. The man had been fairly shell shocked, but eventually agreed to come along with her. Alex had seen those gangs, two people could fend of them and the eyeless people better than one. He was even a biologist, like her. His specialty was more micro than macro, but it formed a quick bond between the two. A strange shared dream that neither of them could quite remember sent the duo off to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. While neither of them put much stock in the supernatural, they agreed it was their best bet for food and medical supplies. At that point putting stock in dreams seemed delusional.

On the way in, the rusted pickup she had been driving from Virginia attracted the attention of a few Cerebrosus victims. After meeting with the new people at the base, she volunteered to help Hobbs lure them away from the base. After all, it was her truck that had brought them there. The plan quickly went to hell when a "redhead" variant of a Cerobrosus victim tore her arm out of it's socket, causing her to crash the car. Terrified, Alex and Hobbs scrambled away from the crash site and hid in a parking garage. There they saw clowns hunting and eating birds. Daniel and Sam rescued Alex, but not before a clown nearly took her head off with hedge clippers and Daniel was infected with Cerebrosus. It would have killed her, but a lucky shot from a then-unknown gun saved her. In the ensuing chaos, she managed to grab hold of a bird that the clowns had wounded. Sam managed to stop her bleeding and loaded Alex into the bed of the pick up with Daniel.

On the way back to base, the pick up truck finally gave out, and skidded to a stop on the side of the road. Amazingly, two men pulled up in a van and loaded everyone in. Half dead from her wounds, she met Chris and Martin. Alex probably would have died in the base, but Jennifer somehow healed her wounds enough to let her recover. This incident solidified the growing fear that the supernatural was real and extremely dangerous. Along with the rest of the group, she loaded up the train and headed for the supposed gateway.

After an encounter with a "mother" they stopped the tram at another base. During this stop, Daniel was attacked and died in front of her. Miserable and sick with grief, she went to sleep on the tram. During her nap, she appeared in a forest and was joined by her college professor, who she assumed was dead. Her told her that she would need to master her fear and avoid being prey. Fenrir appeared within this forest and charged her. For some unknown reason, the wolf turned and left her alone. This incident bolstered her confidence, which had been badly shaken in the encounter with the clown and it's aftermath.

Upon arrival at the secret base, she released the bird that had been rescued from the clowns. Over a few beers, the night that they arrived, Alex struck up a relationship with Hobbs. Formerly the two had argued about nearly everything, but her encounter with Fenrir left her changed, and even kinder. Currently she is trying to keep herself together and help the others as much as she can. Her dream is that when the world is fixed, her and Hobbs can find a farm near the woods and live in peace.

Richard "Rick" Langley

played by Rhyos
Verily shall I teach you the wonders of 'Boom. Headshot.'

Before the outbreak, Rick Langley was a middle-management type at WECC, the electric reliability coordinator for the West Coast. Not that he understood what they did worth a damn, he was simply one of their IT guys. He worked hard, and the company took care of him. As the company was decentralized, he ended up flying from user to user as they had trouble. It was a good life, and his personality reflected it. Travel, toys, expense accounts, decent pay - it took him a long time for things to finally start going right for him.

Which is exactly why things had to start going bad. With every flight to California or Washington, he ended up hearing about this weird red tide. After a few weeks, he was able to see it. The security notices he received suddenly went from priveleged to unclassified, filled with bits of information about how the Cerebrosus outbreaks were contained and under control. Touching down back home in Ohio and seeing a cop shoot someone dead after ripping out their own eyes led him to believe that the reports of safety were slightly exaggerated. It was time for a stop at Chris's.

Chris was a good friend of Rick's. A bit crazy in the survivalist sense, but by God it sure came in handy. His shelter had rations to feed 5 for a year, a gas and bicycle-powered generator, 5 bug-out bags, and a smattering of novels. Of course, one of his friends had to have a big mouth. 10 people in a cramped space led to less food for all, and more complaints from all. While everyone else did their best to talk about the situation fixing itself, Rick prepared himself for the worst. A workout regime became religion for him, and the lack of food intake steeled his stomach to cope with the future.

Some couldn't take it and left, some took the isolation too harshly and offed themselves. Chris just had to play hero and try to find more supplies. His screams were added to the nightly chorus. Within 6 months, Rick was the only one who stayed put. 6 months of solitude, workouts, and reading. Solitude does some strange things to people. The slightly overweight workaholic of a year ago was gone, replaced with a toned, hardened man fearful of the unknown. He had made a few ventures outside, but rarely out of a few hours' walk from the hatch. The area had already been picked bare, and some of Chris's friends were all too eager to try to do the same to him. What sealed the deal for Rick was having to shoot one of his best friends. In the rush of adrenaline, he could not even register the walking corpse of Chris mouthing the word "Sorry."

Committed to leaving and starting anew, Rick returned for the last time to the shelter he called home. As he finished the last of his rations, he double-checked the bug-out bag, packed up his laptop, and scrawled a message on the concrete wall.

"To anyone who may find this: Know that the world as we know it has ended. It rests on you, reader, to set things right as I have sworn to do. Rebuild. Regrow. Live."

He made sure to turn out the lights before he left and began singing, as he always did when nervous. The world had become a frightening place.

Grigori "Greg" Dolgonosov

played by Mukaikubo character sheet

Greg was born to a pair of Soviet defectors mere days after they arrived in the United States in the 80s. He doesn't know why, really, though he picked up hints of some kind of political dispute, maybe his parents were Party functionaries that got on the wrong side of a Politburo argument. He never really pursued the question when it was extremely clear the Dolgonosov family minus Greg didn't much want to talk about the old country. He doesn't- and never will now- know if he had cousins or extended family in Russia. Either way, he was raised by his parents an only child in Kentucky, raised with the virtues of duty and honor and (as a late addition) patriotism strongly ground into him. With that, it was pretty easy to choose a military career, and he went to the University of Kentucky and got his degree through the ROTC program and mustered into the US Army. At one point in his college, to make money he would do a bar bet that involved setting his hand on fire, or seeming to, for cash. One time something went wrong, and he actually burned his hand badly, but managed to keep from crying out long enough to win the bet anyway before going to the hospital.

In his years in the military, he made a small name for himself as a daring and competent infantry officer if not the most genius tactical mind leading a platoon. Still, mediocrity in the technical skills combined with almost reckless courage got him one purple heart for a minor wound and a bronze star for heroism, as well as promotion to first lieutenant at the end of his first tour in Iraq. His second was much of the same, but came to a screeching halt not long before martial law was declared due to the Cerebrosus outbreak. While riding in a military convoy, an IED went off by the side of the road and shrapnel killed him. At least, shrapnel would have killed him had an unknown valkyrie not prevented him from dying, as if he had died there and then he would have gone to Anubis and that did not suit someone's plan. Instead, he 'just' lost an eye and got sent back to the US, where he was medically discharged and about to join the CIA when Martial law was declared and he trekked westward to Kentucky anyway. There, he found his parents house demolished, and them dead; instead he fled northwards to Louisville.

There he joined up with an ad hoc military unit that for months pacified and cleared the city, with ample supplies and ammo to kill Cerebrosus zombies. Eventually, though, the commander went insane; forewarned by Odin or one of his agents, Greg fled the city with his squad hours before the ammo dump exploded, leveling a large chunk of the city. In dreams, Odin- or again that same agent- told him to head east, giving him broad directions and telling him he had to protect some unspecified female. As they went, his squad died one by one until only he was left. Late in his walk, he found two other survivors; Jin, another army vet, and Kim, Jin's sister, holed up in a store in a town that had been evacuated. After fighting off a small wave attack of the 'piggies' (Plague victims), they fled the city heading north to a military base. Once there, they found a Special Ops team led by Valda fighting a large number of clowns. While attempting to help, the spec ops team killed the clown and Jin and Kim both, and Greg fled through the base underground where he met the rest of the PCs.

After initial confusion and suspicion that Greg was in fact Odin or one of his agents due to only having one eye, he helped the team recover Frost, who was fighting with Valda. Immediately after that, he killed Daniel to stop him from going fully plague victim, and then left with everyone else on the tram. He began helping to interrogate Valda, not having much success. When that failed, he took aside Jennifer and after some discussion about broader goals stated his willingness to work with anyone who had roughly his aims. Coyote heard this, and passed it onto Anansi; as a result, when Greg went to sleep, Fenris apparently attacked Greg (although Fenris was not the color as he would be were he hunting) only for Greg to be pulled away by Anansi at the last moment. To the shaken man he offered to broker Greg's willingness to be 'used'; in response, he woke up, told Jennifer, got the watch and went back to sleep. There, after discussing his own history with Anansi, he was connected with Anubis. Anubis signalled his willingness to have Greg work for him in the broad goal of making the world like it used to be, and gave him a jade scarab necklace as a symbol of this.

After waking up, Greg saw a dead soldier, who faded away quickly. After more discussion with various other people aboard the tram, and another abortive attempt to interrogate Valda, the tram pulled into the new base in Salem. After helping secure the area, he helped with the Jennifer-Valda fight and took her stuff for safekeeping. After spending the day on watch and securing the area, the next major incident was Rick's encounter with the Lady. Taking him away from the base via tram, for safety's sake, he found out Rick could not or would not remove the ring. When they returned, and Rick was attacked, it was Greg's bow which displayed Anubis's necklace that saved Rick. Shortly thereafter, in a dream, Rick and Greg met Kebe, Anubis's daughter, and had Rick's fealty to Anubis confirmed. Kebe wanted to come back 'in place' of Greg, but Jennifer woke him up to take watch before anything bad could happen.

On watch, Greg formulated a theory that broadly stated is that many of the tricksters (Inari, Coyote, Anansi, possibly even Loki) were working together with the broadly similar aim of making the world back the way it was, and possibly in addition to Anubis as the god most able to join the "big four" with a desire near theirs, and one of the parts of this plan was to get him- a neighbor- into Anubis's service. Also on this watch, Greg met Inari, and they hit it off friendly pretty early and Inari began investigating Greg's 'traces'. Inari would continue to occasionally show up in Greg's head for talks about him and his traces for the remainder of the thread to date, and as of yet the heavy implication is that Greg is extremely happy having her in his head and how she makes him feel there.

The next day, after an uneventful rest, the important events so far are revealing the remainder of his history to the group, first. Second was going out to spot for Martin while he shot the dogs pursuing Allison, and soon thereafter escorted Allison and Hugin down into the base. After that, he accompanied Jennifer, Allison, and Spot out to the tram repair station, where he helped fight off Nightmare creatures and get everyone back upstairs more or less safely.

Allison Winters

played by Ambivalent character sheet & background-
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Allison Winters, winner of the 2004 Screen Actors' Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.

A B-list film and television actress and former tabloid fixture, she was filming on site in Morocco during the initial outbreak of cerebrosus. When the situation escalated, her return flight was grounded at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. In spite of efforts by officials to seal off people at the airport, Allison slipped through the porous quarantine along with a fellow actor Howard Reese and eventually hitch-hiked with a small group of national guardsmen in search of higher-ranking command. The group joined up with proper military and other survivors into an increasingly larger convoy bound for Memphis. The large assembly of refugees was attacked by ‘boogie men’ while taking shelter at a high school in Roanoke, Virginia.

During the confusion, Allison fled along with two soldiers, Kenneth Lowe and James Smitt to the small, neighboring town of Grandin Court. For several months, the trio lived in relative safety on the top floor of a Holiday Inn, stockpiling supplies foraged from around the town. After a time, a malaise settled in and Smitt shot himself, while Lowe was fatally wounded during a struggle. The actress accepted her likely death, but vowed to move on, even with no real destination, rather than waste away.

That is likely what would have happened, if not for finding her herself inside a vivid dream of a dingy motel room, branded with a bizarre set of markings along her right arm, and faced with a monster that could only be from a nightmare. Fleeing through strange gate, she went on to encounter Coyote (sometimes called Puck) and briefly meeting Jennifer Srinivasan. She woke up, but not before accidentally leashing and seemingly kidnapping the Coyote spirit, apparently through use of the markings on her body.

The Coyote explained much of the world’s situation and gave her a destination: Salem, West Virginia. En route, she was approached by a sharply-dressed dark-haired young man, looking for a ‘lost child.’ The man revealed himself to be Hugin, the mythical raven companion of the Norse God Odin, and seemed ready to attack her. Like with Coyote, he too seemed caught off guard and leashed by whatever force Allison had been entangled with. The subservient raven hastily adapted to his new position and helped escort her to Salem, though the two were harried by less scrupulous survivors, as well as nightmarish dogs apparently in employ of the Nightmare King. Through use of another strange portal, as in her dream before, Allison, Hugin, and Coyote joined the party of survivors in the mountain bunker overlooking the town of Salem.

Working with the party of survivors, it remains unclear, even to Allison, just precisely what her goals are, though she ostensibly shares the altruistic, if not vague, notion of ‘make the world better.’ Even more unclear is the nature of whatever force it is she seems to wield from her right hand, and the capabilities of that force, though it seems innate to the woman herself. She’s demonstrated a range of abilities, all seeming tied to (sometimes invasively) affecting spirits or their essences.

Jack Caulfield

played by Joe Anglican character sheet

Jack Caulfield was a Wall Street trader before the events of Blackbird Dreaming.

John Wilson "Jack" Caulfield was born in New York City in the late 1970s and never truly called another place home. His mother, Emma Caulfield, was an off-Broadway actress who always found steady work in supporting roles but never made it big. He never met his father, a British stage actor named William Ainsel who managed to cheat on Emma while she was in her second trimester. Luckily for Emma they'd never done the paperwork on the ill-fated marriage.

Jack's mother lived frugally and refused help from her well-to-do parents, except when it came to Jack. As a result he grew up a child of privilege from a classy but decidedly middle-class part of town. The best schools were open to him, and the young Jack excelled, with a quick mind for mathematics and a love of problem solving. Many teachers and friends through his high-school (Choate) and undergraduate (Harvard) years encouraged Jack to consider becoming a researcher or an academic. His desire for outward and visible success was too strong for that. He made a number of friends while endlessly playing poker at Harvard, and they made the connections necessary to land him a job at the hugely prestigious Wall Street firm that would make his career.

Success almost always came easily for Jack, because he was willing to ignore the advice of others and trust his instincts. He also excelled at taking good risks and avoid bad ones. At the mercantile exchange he learned the art of the open outcry market: fierce aggression, solid bluffing, ubiquitous obscenity.

Soon enough his market saavy was raising eyebrows and raising his bonuses. He had just become one of the youngest traders to earn a corner office when the events of September 11 took it away from him and killed a large number of co-workers and competitors.

In the aftermath of that tragedy, Jack began to dedicate himself to understanding how tragedy happens and how to see it coming. The thought of not being prepared for everything consumed him. It became like a second job to him, and he was already a workaholic who kept very long hours. Before 9/11 romantic relationships had never lasted long at all, and were usually just about sex and partying. After 9/11 they became almost unheard of.

So when Jack Caulfield saw the apocalypse on the horizon it was not due to paranoia, but an instinctive talent for putting together the pieces and an immense bankroll to fund his preparations. He could never quite explain why he was so certain of the future, especially because he was not clear on details: only the inevitability of social collapse. He spent a lot of his money and some of his now deceased grandparents' building up stockpiles of supplies in various secure locations up and down the East Coast. He hired mercenaries to be ready to assist him in holing up in a defensible position. He became skilled with the pistol. Depending on how bad things got, he had plans to ride out the storm and emerge safe on the other side.

He had always planned to take his mother with him, but she succumbed to a sudden illness before events came to a head.

The plan he eventually used was nearly the worst-case scenario. He and his team went to the historic Fort Ticonderoga by boat the day that New York City was assaulted by terrors. They razed the approaches and reinforced the battlements with modern materials and modern weaponry. For months they held out against gangs and infected alike, only taking in those who had significant supplies to contribute.

But Jack hadn't planned for an irreversible apocalypse, just a transition of a few years until a new order stabilized. He couldn't have known that unthinkable forces would stalk the land and upend every calculation of risk and return he'd ever made. It was impossible to be prepared enough.

After a series of calamitous events, Jack found himself on the mercenaries' ocean-going speedboat, fleeing down the Hudson and out to sea. The last of fuel his took him to a deep inlet somewhere in Virginia, not far from one of his other supply caches. His first night on shore, he made a disturbing discovery about his circumstances. Cornered by Cerebrosus victims, he found himself fighting for his life.

Eugene Jackson

Eugene.jpg

played by King Hotpants

Eugene was a photojournalist with the Washington Post before Cerebrosus hit. He had previously worked for the Associated Press, covering the crisis in Somalia and the war in Afghanistan, and has published several books and photo essays. His work landed him among the finalists for the Pulitzer prize several years ago.

During the run-up to the crisis, Eugene's work as a staff photographer took him all over the greater Washington, DC area. He saw firsthand how bad things were getting and retreated to the mountains, where he stayed with his uncle for several months. His uncle contracted the infection somehow and became very sick. After his death, Eugene struck out on his own, hoping to find more people. He encountered Brian Carmichael and Harry Lee at a gas station along a state highway in Virginia, where they found a working vehicle and later met up with Anne, a mysterious woman with ambiguous ties to the military. The quartet decided to push towards Salem and are currently holed up in Roanoke.

Brian Carmichael

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played by Gus Hobbleton

It was the birds that steered him in the right direction. Where ever he looked and saw the plague victims, he saw the birds too. Sometimes they even fought, the birds diving at the people, the people fighting back ineffectually. Sometimes he thought he saw the people pointing at the birds as they sat watching, but he knew he must be imagining it. Once he even saw a group of people riding in the distance in jeeps and on motorbikes. Their vehicles were painted with some sort of bird, and they were brandishing guns. Brian almost ran out, eager for any sort of human contact. Almost.

So he went where the birds directed him. South along the mountain. He didn't have a map, and he was a terrible judge of distances. He figured he was still in Virginia, most likely. Following the back roads, he eventually found a welcome sight: a gas station. There could be food, water, hell maybe even just a map. Something, anything. Shelter, even. The rains would come again. He checked one last time to make sure the coast was clear, and finally left the treeline and picked up his pace. He had to take the risk.

Doctor Harold Lee

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played by mentalcontempt

Stepping through the threshold, Harry has a momentary mental image of the door slamming shut behind him, the trap sprung - but it fades away when Eugene nods and greets him amiably, beckoning him inside. Harry steps forward, extending a hand and a smile. "Harry Lee. Really good to meet you, Eugene." He nods. "Yeah, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. Been on my own for awhile, wasn't expecting to find anyone today - let alone two." He shakes his head. "Crazy. Not that I'm complaining, either." Eyes flicking briefly to the left and right, he takes in the interior - the remnants of smashed snack food, a toppled cash register, a freezer unit that had long since passed on. It was becoming an all-too-familiar scene, as he moved from place to place, sifting through leftovers, trying to find something that the original looters had missed.

At the mention of teaming up to examine the rest of the place, his mood sobers slightly, but he nods. Place seemed abandoned, but checking it out wasn't a bad idea. Anything that could be scavenged was probably long gone, but it was worth a shot. "Yeah, that's fine." His own rifle was slung across his back, once more. His hand comes to rest lightly on the butt of the Glock. The chunky black gun, with its squared-off barrel and weird plastic grip, might have belonged to a cop, once. He wasn't sure how the gang had come across it - didn't want to know, really. He'd grabbed it, along with the rifle, when he slipped away.

Rose Malkin

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Mockingbird. Has mimic powers.







Played by ZeroSuitRidley, who still didn't feel like doing a wiki page today.

Survivors

NPCs go here.

Rebecca "Becky" Jenkins

Becky was twenty seven. She lived in Canton and worked as an administrative assistant before everything fell apart. Like other survivors she spent time in a bomb shelter. She lived in a shelter for the first half of the year with her boyfriend, boss, and his family.

Later on Becky and her boyfriend Rick moved from shelter to shelter attempting to survive. At some point her boyfriend died and eaten by something. She joined the group after being rescued from a trap set by the 'Butcher Brothers.'

Becky became infected and turned on the group, killing Raymond before Hobbs put her down on the bus at the air force base.

Lucy York

Joined the group when they left the Militia compound in Detroit. Little else is known about her. She was attacked at Harlan Hospital by one of the floaters and died of her wounds.

Richard Dubord

Peacekeeper from Detroit, driver for one of the two buses to attempt an exodus with survivors.

Matt Adams

BD Matt.jpg

Everything had been alright since Dad became friends with Mr. Phillips. It was good to have others around, and Dad said he could trust these men, because they were police men and stuff. Matt knew he meant before--back when things were normal. But he'd also seen what men could do now, and it was a lot worse than the scary movies he used to sneak into. Dawn of The Dead had given him terrible nightmares, and they'd come back now, only now the zombies were his neighbors and his teachers, his best friend's mom who always gave him a shoulder to lean on when he was sad. They were all missing their eyes, and they were all trying to hurt him. None of that compared though. Mom was the worst, and thinking about it again made him want to cry and scream all over again. She had gotten sick, real sick, like the people on the news. There wasn't any room left at the hospital, and Dad kept trying really hard to make her better. Mom got sicker, and Matt heard her crying, louder and louder, until she started laughing and saying that she could see.

Then Dad had to kill Mom, and Matt had been sad ever since.

For a while, things had finally become numb. After you see enough terrible things, they start to lose their impact--and Dad always kept him safe. Dad was in Vietnam, and he knew how to fight; Matt wasn't worried. Together they had drifted for what seemed like forever, scrounging for food and supplies, hiding from monsters in the night, and always having to find another town.

When Dad found a lot of men the first time, they were bad men who tried to take Matt away from him. Dad killed them too, so Matt wasn't worried anymore, especially when he found new friends. "We've got to wipe out these gangs." Matt had heard the man say. They told Dad he could just take Matt west, where they would be safe; Dad volunteered to help though, just one more time. There were bad men like the ones who had tried to take him away, but when they went to where they were, someone had already killed them all. Dad and his friends found a bus with people on it, and got attacked--and a lot of Dad's new friends died.

Matt was so tired, but it would only be a little longer before he could sleep again. When they all got back, though, the weird guy with all the mushrooms had locked them all out of their safe place. The men were all arguing, and Dad kept yelling for him to open the door. Matt watched Dad's friend with the motorcycle come back (and he liked him, because he showed him neat tricks with a deck of bicycle cards), to tell the men something. There was another bus, just like the one that killed their friends. Matt heard the men yelling to go kill it, but Dad kept telling them to relax, to at least try to talk--and finally, his friends agreed.

Wayne Marshall

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A Vietnam war vet who served as a helicopter pilot with the the 5th Special Forces Group, Airborne. While on a top secret mission in Cambodia he encountered mercenary for hire Vivian Dalca. The two fell in love and Wayne arranged for her relocation in America after the war ended and U.S. Forces pulled out. Vivian and Wayne relocated in Nebraska, married and had a daughter. Without warning, Vivian left Wayne, taking their daughter. Bitter and betrayed, Wayne descended into drink and wandered aimlessly, finally ending up in Defiance, OH at a radio station. This is where the group discovered him after their first disastrous encounter with the being they know only as the Pale Man, who killed the group of survivors of which Wayne, Matt, and Matt's father had been members. Wayne had stayed behind the reinforced and booby-trapped barricade that housed the downtown area and thus been spared the Pale Man's rampage. He agreed to go with the group after it became apparent the Pale Man was going to attempt to take the watch from them.

Wayne, moved by Jennifer's devotion to finding her own family, finally asked her help in discovering the whereabouts of his own baby girl. Frost had just completed her analysis of Jennifer's DNA and discovered that she was indeed the valkyrie Valda's daughter. Valda had gone by the name Vivian during the Vietnam conflict and had been married to Wayne, leaving him and allowing Coyote and Munin to hide her daughter and wipe all memories of the baby in an effort to protect them both from the wrath of her father, Odin, whom the group only knew as the Old Man or the One-Eyed Man. Wayne was Jennifer's father. Shortly thereafter she reunited Wayne and Valda, who was being held captive by the group after a fight with Frost at a warehouse connected by a secret underground tramway to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where the group had fled after Defiance.

Samantha Mahoney

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Sam had been a moll, a mobster's girlfriend in Michigan before the epidemic hit. Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, she was a bad girl and liked it that way. Not exactly the shy, retiring flower type, she found her temper and violent edge stood her in good stead when the world ended. The group first encountered her on a motorcycle, wielding a chainsaw against cerebrosus victims in Defiance, OH. Part of the group that had been killed by the Pale Man there, she along with Wayne and Matt joined up with the group to head for the Air Force Base. A capable mechanic and motorcyclist, she and Evan hit it off almost immediately, though Evan seemed oblivious to her rather obvious advances. She soon moved on to Scott, who was a bit more receptive. After his death the woman settled for the fit computer nerd Rick. She seems to have an almost pathological need for a man in her life.

Sam has slowly been growing more erratic since Scott's death and has recently clashed with Karen over rather innocuous subjects. She seems restless hidden within the mountain.

Sam was discovered to have the potential to become an einherjar. Shortly afterwards she was offered the position and accepted. She is now one of Jennifer's einherjar.

Martin Amsel

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“We used to have Martin. Dude was an ace fucking shooter, he was a marine and shit. He didn’t like a lot of the shit some of the guys had gotten into though, and he took off. Larry and the guys wanted to ice his ass, but th’ boss said no dice.” He shrugs. “Martin was the only one worth a shit with a rifle at range." - Chris

"I found fuckin' Martin though, and fucking dude reads me the fucking riot act, tells me dudes are getting their shit kicked in." Broken glass crunches under boots as Chris maneuvers to fold up cots. "Fuckin' Martin. Thought he was long gone. Dude is like, fuckin' Rutger Hauer or some shit." -Chris

Stepping down and out from the driver’s seat then is a tall man with short-cropped blond hair and green eyes; he’d be considered handsome apart from a long scar down the right side of his face. The man is dressed in urban camouflage with riot gear pads and a vest—of more note however is the large scoped semi-automatic rifle he slings from beside the driver seat over his shoulder. Stepping around as the others arrive, he begins to offer a handshake and a smile to each. “Martin Amsel.” A slight German accent.

Martin was a member of Grenzschutzgruppe 9, or GSG-9, the most elite anti-terrorist and special operations/hostage rescue group of the German Federal Police force and arguably, the world. Martin was visiting his sister in America when the pandemic came to a head. He joined up with some cops and prisoners, but eventually the cops got killed off by monsters and the prisoners reverted to their old habits and started calling themselves the Vultures. Martin left them, perferring to go it alone. While he was with the Vultures he met Chris, who chose to take his chances with the gang. After the gang was destroyed by the Pale Man, Chris found Martin, and the pair rescued Alex, Daniel, Sam and Hobbs when they had their first run-in with the redcaps and a new breed of cerebrosus victim; a more advanced form, one of the dreaded 'redheads' outside of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH.

Martin has proven to be an invaluable member of the group, his hand-to-hand and sniper skills are unsurpassed. He helped save Wayne and Jennifer from a mother while in the tunnels fleeing the air force base. He went toe-to-toe with the same vulture creature that Jennifer killed and lived to tell about it, and his dead aim helped save Allison from a rather gruesome death at the jaws of the demon dogs the Nightmare King had sent out. He currently favors sitting watch atop the mountain hideaway where they currently reside, and hopes to reunite with his sister. It was discovered that Jennifer had inadvertently made him an einherjar when she healed his grievous chest wound on the tram after the mother attack. He is her first einherjar and her right hand. He speaks relatively fluent English, German, and a bit of Russian.

He loves Chevy Chase movies.

Karen Quigley

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A prisoner of the road gang calling themselves the Vultures, Karen was an employee at a nuclear plant in Madison and a happily married mother of two teenage boys before the Fall. She was separated from her husband, Jonathan, also a nuclear engineer, and her two sons and put into a refugee camp after the government assured her he had skills vital to the U.S. Government. Finally order at the camp dissolved completely and a convoy set out for Memphis. Karen joined a group that split off, headed for Wright-Patterson in search of her husband and sons. The convoy was captured by Vultures, where her head was shaved and she was subjected to torture, rape and unspeakable degradation that to this day she either cannot or refuses to remember.

She was discovered, unconscious, in one of the vehicles the Vultures used to attack the survivors holed up at Wright-Patterson after the gang was pointed in that direction by the Pale Man. Hobbs removed her and she has been with the group ever since, acting as a surrogate mother for Chris and Matt as well as being a very helpful addition by cooking, cleaning and generally being happy to help. Her residual subservience from being a prisoner seems to finally be fading as she directly confronted Sam during a heated exchange at one meeting. She has become more apparently religious in her time with the group.

Chris

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A skinny guy with tattoos wearing fatigue pants, a kevlar helmet and a ballistic vest rounds the corner--holding a transparent police riot shield in front of him for protection, and what looks like an Uzi in his other hand. The guy advances a third of the way down the hall and stops, staring the two of you down; Jennifer guesses he couldn't be more than seventeen or eighteen. "Who the fuck are you bitches? You don't look fucking military to me." - Chris

The sole survivor of a gang that called themselves the Vultures. Jennifer and Frost discovered him while exploring the gang's base of operations after they had been wiped out by the Pale Man. He grew up in Toledo. Chris had been left behind to guard the old hospital that served as their base after the Pale Man 'hired' them. The gang had thought he was 'hardcore' thanks to the teenager's full sleeve tattoos and he was too afraid of them to object. When they discovered the truth he was treated as lowest man on the totem pole. Now he is with the group of survivors and his relative youth is becoming more apparent, though he longs to be treated like an adult he is still very much a teenager. Hobbs recently taught him how to properly handle and care for a firearm, though as of yet he has not actively participated in any firefight.

He and Matt have grown close, and Karen increasingly acts like a mother to the two boys. Both boys have had dreams of a black eyed woman who claims she 'hides children.' She offered to hide Matt, and told Chris that she had hidden his sister Katie, but that he was on his own, being too old to qualify as a child for her protection. Who, or what, this woman is and what she's really doing with children has yet to be discovered, but both boys fear her.

Kumar Srinivasan

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Jennifer's husband. Coyote and Munin discovered him and, with Jennifer and Allison's help, brought him across from their world to his. After taking refuge with his family with the Army, he had separated from his daughter, leaving her in the care of his parents when it became too dangerous to remain with them, for reasons that are as-of yet unknown. He decided to head to Michigan to find his wife. Suffering from malnutrition and dehydration as well as several wounds, he currently believes his reunification with his wife in the hidden fallout shelter under the mountains of W. Virginia to be yet another strange dream. That his wife has been discovered to be half-Valkyrie, her birth parents are present and not exactly approving of him, and she apparently has a mythological creature for a pet, not to mention the revelation that he had been rescued and transported hundreds of miles by two supposedly-mythological trickster spirits has not helped to disprove this theory. Jennifer has healed him as best she can of his current injuries.

Kumar and Jennifer met at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, where both were enrolled in the premed program. His parents had pressured him into the major, his one true love was computer science. At Jennifer's insistence he finally changed his major and informed his parents, who promptly cut him off to show their displeasure; his father had been one of the premier heart surgeons in Cleveland and had hoped his son would follow in his footsteps. They later reconciled and were pleased that it appeared he could make good money as a programmer.

After a long friendship Jennifer and Kumar finally started dating their senior year, and married in 1997, settling in West Lafayette, Indiana, where Jennifer attended Pharmacy school. Before the Fall, Kumar's parents split their time between staying at Kumar's home in the suburbs of W. Lafayette and their opulent home in Cleveland, Ohio, where his younger brother, Srinivas, lives with his wife. His mother's name is Lakshmi. She would be able to wring chickens, milk, food, ammo and probably designer clothes out of these guys for just the water. She had never seen such a hard bargainer. The woman was heartless and had a love of haggling that rivaled that of her love of creature comfort.

They have one daughter, Sophia Lakshmi, born November 12 2004. Her fate and current whereabouts, as well as that of Kumar's parents, is unknown.

Other Persons of Note

More NPCs go here.

Dr. Robert Fitch

"Robert was hot for trying to find the sort of fairytale trinkets and little miracles that belong in mythology. You know, Longinus and Hitler, all that. He rambled about artifacts and the like, mostly I thought the stress was really getting to him." -Frost

Uncle of Nora Fitch, arguably patient zero of the second outbreak and conduit for the Nightmare King. Robert Fitch is believed to have been tricked or otherwise coopted by the Pale Man into bringing the disease into this world.

A doctor with the CDC in the midwest region, it was Dr. Fitch's desk at Harlan Hospital in Indiana that Boris found with details of the first cerebrosus outbreak, and how it was contained. Around the time of the second outbreak he had been working prominently with FEMA's relief efforts, having previously been under the spotlight as a leading vaccination and communicable disease expert. He was in the running for a Nobel prize for his successfully synthesized protein which significantly reduced the risk for heart problems from more than thirty illnesses and diseases prone to exaggerating such conditions. He had also developed a preliminary vaccine for the disease cerebrosus shortly before the group went into lockdown at the beginning of the outbreak.

His demeanor apparently changed according to emails found at Wright-Patterson AFB by Scott, as he was threatening slow death if his friend 'didn't get the producted he wanted in a timely fashion.' Friend is suspected to be the Pale Man.

Dr. Fitch's whereabouts are currently unknown. Suspected to be at the Mount Weather base.

Dr. Prabhakar Agupta

“I don’t know where Robert is, he was not long with us after things started to fall apart. He hardly seemed interested in curing cerebrosus anymore, but frankly I can’t really blame him at that point. I don’t think he or his friend ever really wanted to in the first place—and don’t bother asking me what the guy looked like, because I never met him. None of us did, face to face. You want real answers there, you find Dr. Agupta, he was chum enough to be in the ‘old boy’s club.’” -Sarah Frost

One of the lead researchers on Cerebrosus. He was also involved with research concerning subterranean troubles. It was under his watch when one of the C.D.C. teams vivisected Nora. Prabhakar spent a lot of time researching the caverns of Lechuguilla, a cave system down in Mexico, one of the largest known in the world, as they were one of the bizarre examples of underground weathering of limestone through sulfuric acid flows rather than water like most systems.

A tea-skinned man peers with gray eyes, lips pursed tightly; he is older, dark hair parted to the side as slim-rimmed glasses rest at the bridge of his nose--a small scar on the right side of his jaw. (Agupta from Frost's memories that Jennifer plumed while she was in a coma).

He was also suspected to be located at the Mount Weather base.

Dr. Sarah Frost

aka Gerhilde
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Another Valkyrie, this one left Odin's 'employ' after her husband died due to an attempt on Hitler's life during World War II. Heartbroken, and suspecting the Old Man to be behind the untimely deaths of his daughter's loved ones, she went AWOL after a fashion. A biologist, she was on the CDC team that had investigated the first cerebrosus outbreak in 1992 just outside of Grayling, Michigan, and was again on one of the forward teams during the latest outbreak.

Scott discovered her, in an NBC suit and seemingly dead, in a containment vessel in a mobile lab at Air Force Base, where she'd been abandoned by her team. Originally playing the role of Sarah Frost, she was discovered to be a valkyrie when her glowing eyes revealed her identity during exploration of the secret tunnels under the base. She has been spending most of her time working on a vaccine for cerebrosus, sequestered in a lab in the secret military undermountain base which the group have recently taken to calling 'Witch Mountain,' due to their need to return to it after having been driven out and the presence of so many people of particular powers currently residing within.

She was attacked by what Valda suspects to be a revenant during the recent altercation that drove the group from the base, and stayed in a coma for several days. After the base was retaken she awoke and stayed behind with the survivors at Witch Mountain as it was surmised if the assault team failed, the survivors and non-combatants would need clean water which her presence would provide.

She is still researching a cure for cerebrosus.

Adrian Byrd

Leader of the Peacekeepers at the Detroit Renaissance center. Presumed dead.

Vivian Marshall née Dalca (Valda) aka Major Veronica Anca Dalca

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"Valda is something of a chaplain--the wounded heal more rapidly in her presence." - Frost (3HP per night)

Her tattoos: A sprawling spread of Nordic markings across her shoulder blades, and a special forces emblem at one arm. Numerous scars are also found across Valda's exposed flesh, the most notable across her stomach (a c-section scar).

Vivian, or Valda as her true valkyrie name was revealed, was discovered as part of a strike team that attacked a warehouse on a military base en route to the East Coast gate to which the group was heading. The group stopped at the warehouse while following directions from the compass, which stated that there was a laboratory there fit for Frost's needs to effect a possible vaccine for cerebrosus. While attempting to access the laboratory Frost and Valda ended up in a vicious swordfight which only ended when Greg, Jennifer, Hobbs, and Martin intervened and helped capture her. For some reason Valda had brought along a straitjacket made to hold a valkyrie, this was used to subdue her in turn. After Jennifer, flush with the power of a newly-attuned skinsuit, attacked Valda on the train shortly after their stop in the West Virginia mountain base, Rick's ring flared and took from the valkyrie all her strength, rendering her as weak as Jennifer had been before conquering the suit. Upon strip-searching the woman a c-section scar was discovered, and Valda confessed to having had a daughter that she did not know the whereabouts to as Munin had erased all memories shortly after the girl's birth.

As recorded elsewhere, Jennifer turned out to be the missing daughter, hidden away by Munin and Coyote while all memory of her and her husband were wiped from Valda's mind by Munin at her request, after which she returned to loyal service to Odin. Her capture and the revelation of her daughter and husband (one Wayne Marshall) being part of the group were enough to switch her loyalties to them, and she now works with Wayne alongside the group to forward their goals and keep them safe. She worries constantly about losing her daughter again.

Victor 'Vic' Montgomery

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A pale, young looking man with slicked-back black hair and sunglasses; he's wearing a gray tee-shirt tucked into black cargo pants with a thick black vest unzipped over it packed with ammunition. Built thick. He crosses his arms, a long tattoo wrapped about his right forearm up his bicep.

A government agent of unknown ability, affiliation or purpose, Vic claims to have been activated shortly after 'the world went to hell.' His purpose has been to gather up 'assets,' people of extraordinary ability to try and combat what has happened to the world and bring the perpetrators to justice. He is interested in the whereabouts of Drs. Fisk and Agupta, and has tentatively agreed to work with the group so long as their goals remain the same.

He first surfaced in a little town in Virginia called Port Royale, hunting down the scarecrow thing that the group later helped dispatch.

Lucas 'Luke' Quincey

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Luke is 'special,' some kind of lovely or neighbor, who has worked with Vic in the past. Charming, charismatic, friendly and deadly with the silver throwing blades he carries, he heals very rapidly and is quite strong. Upon helping him heal after he took a blow meant for her while exploring the rest of the cells in the basement, Jennifer discovered an empty place within him much like the one she found in Martin when he was near death, a sign of a potential einherjar.


A black man in rose-colored glasses. He's bald and clean-shaven with a lean figure with tattoo work along the back of his neck scarcely visible in this lightning; the man is decked in black cargo pants tucked into combat boots, fingerless leather gloves, and a sleeveless muscle shirt beneath a heavy vest. The vest itself, along with a band about his waist and straps along his pant legs are slotted with compartments for knives--three of which Jennifer observes are missing. A thin silver chain is worn about his neck, though most is tucked underneath his shirt and out of sight.


'Dieter'

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A taller (than Vic), blond man in sunglasses wearing a black silk dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his biceps tucked into dress slacks. He's got black leather gloves on A huge, strong blond man of indeterminate origin. Jennifer and Allison both felt his 'flavor' to be prickly in the extreme. He is strong enough to literally punch holes through people, and is not human. He seems very familiar to Jennifer but she cannot place him. Trying to ascertain how she knew him resulted in a vision in which she saw him in the service of some possibly Nazi doctor during the Night of Broken Glass, being ordered to the frontline to fight something. He hefted a mounted machine gun as if it were nothing and marched off obediently. He was some kind of experiment in ubermensch by the Reich, according to Vic.

Not mine. Met a slayer in Europe before, in the war." - Dieter, informing Hobbs of his van Hellsing heritage, when Hobbs asked him if Deiter's family had the same heritage.

He doesn't speak much.


'Fiona'

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She's exceptionally fair-skinned, with short platinum blond hair and pale green eye. A worn but expensive looking black leather jacket drapes heavily from her shoulders while around her neck hangs a necklace of what appear to be shark teeth. She wears as well black lipstick, a white silk blouse mostly unbuttoned tucked into a black pleated skirt and polished leather shoes. She has a somewhat thick Irish accent. 'Mischievous, like as sisters, though really not. Mor-Ríoghain, Badb'- Magpie. Is Fiona this Mor-Ríoghain?

Vic claims she has some kind of protective ability that has come in handy on several occasions. She's new to his team, he admits.

She and Allison have some instant mutual dislike, possibly because their abilities are similar in some fashion.

Fiona and Harry have become romantically involved.


'CJ'

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C.J. stands for Chen Ji. Vic et all found him in a sporting goods store in a mall three weeks prior to when we met them in Salem. He has no powers evident, though does have that empty space within that marks a potential einherjar. Luke liked him so they let him tag along.

C.J. freaked out when he learned the extent of the problems with the world, who caused it, and how bad things really are, as well as the whole spirit world existing. He really was new to this. He was initially attracted to Greg until he realized the woman was a shapeshifter and not originally a woman.




'Anne'

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"I was with the army, but it was a while ago." She murmurs, lowering her binoculars and looking to the man. "Deployed in Desert Storm; did communications work mostly. Was supposed to avoid too much in the way of active combat." She smirks, briefly, and repositions before looking towards further downtown with her binoculars. "After returning I did things here and there. Ended up working with a private contractor for a while." Her brow knits for a moment. "Met someone I thought I loved and planned to get out of it all. Settle down somewhere, get a house and a dog and all that." A brief pause as she lowers the binoculars to glance to the crow still perched nearby. "Didn't want kids, but he sure did. Came time to put up or shut up I suppose--he wanted to get married and have a housewife." Her lips purse. "Rich family. Not what I wanted though." She looks to Brian again. "Looking back, not really sure what I wanted. Doesn't matter now." Returning her gaze to the binoculars, Anne sighs. "Parted our ways when I got an in with a security group through one of my old contacts, and didn't look back."


Anne and Brian hooked up and left Witch Mountain to try their luck outside, Anne not fancying being entombed alive in the underground base.

Megan

Girl Jack ran into and brought back to the base; she broke her leg in a bear trap at the farm in Port Royal during the scarecrow attack.

Denizens of Salem, VA

Gary

a lean man with tattooed arms and a short-stocked rifle. brought them a cooler courtesy of Earl and took them to visit Jared after his surgery.

Lizzie

a skinny woman with a mohawk. With Jake when Allison found him and patched him up.

Darryl

a man Gwen's height with short-cropped black hair and a frame which looks to have been muscular before months of nutritional decline.

Brad

A tall lean fellow, arms sleeved in tattoos which trail out of sight beneath a black t-shirt

Jake

a young looking guy—just shy of twenty, maybe—with a shaved head and a pair of aviator goggles slid to rest on his forehead Guy Allison sewed up on her first trip through Salem.

Dr. Frank 'Frankie' Frankenstein

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A young clean-shaven man with blond hair and a lean frame wearing glasses; the man is dressed in a plain gray t-shirt tucked into a pair of dark slacks and running shoes, a Citizen watch on his wrist. With no observed weapon he rests his hands on the back of a leather chair--a silver band glimpsed about his right ring finger--eyes going to each of the women in turn with an otherwise neutral expression. Earl: "Frank's got his head in the clouds and doesn't see shit about what's going on beneath it far as I'm concerned. He's smart but he's got no common fucking sense."

He wears a ring that is an artifact of some kind, possibly with the ability to protect him from scrying or mental assault/probing, as Hugin couldn't read him.


Both Allison and Gwen feel a poignant tingling with their respective senses--one rather unlike those which either woman has experienced previously; both as well find their senses seem to dull when directed expressly towards the man.

Earl

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The man's a good six foot four and muscularly built with the kind of mustache Jennifer'd imagine was standard issue to a state trooper, holding what looks to be one of the larger shotguns she's ever laid eyes on. He's got a pair of overlapping ammo belts filled mostly out with shells and is wearing a Kevlar helmet and vest to match, knee and elbow pads--flexing a meaty grip with fingerless gloves as his nose wrinkles. He has a buzz cut. Honest to a fault. Speaks his mind.






Pings Jennifer's radar as a potential einherjar.

Sutter

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The woman's got a vest, mirrored shades, dirty blond hair drawn back into a tight ponytail sticking out from underneath an American flag bandanna; a bullet belt is slung at an angle on her hips, with a pair of holstered revolvers at her flanks.





She is Earl's apparent second in command; Jennifer suspects she's got a crush on him or there's some kind of relationship there.

Kyle

A wiry male in a thick flak vest and protective goggles, was driving the truck Earl and Sutter were in on patrol.

Duke

Kyle's dog, a German shepherd. He wears a spiked collar.

George

on guard at the hospital doors when first water trade was made

Larry

on guard at the hospital doors when first water trade was made

Mike

lanky fellow, helped unload first batch of water

Sid

A thin man wearing a panama hat, silk shirt and sunglasses - the sheath to a large knife spied hooked to the back of the man's hip at his belt. Leader of the 'Redhawks' faction of the Salemites. May be the Sidney Corwin off The List found in the general's hidden office safe.

Drew

a young thin man with a buzz-cut and arms sleeved in tattoos

Kahoru Yamanaka

A slender Japanese woman with a bob cut and a small beauty mark by her left eye; she wears glasses and is dressed in a white blouse with folded sleeves and black slacks standing in kitten-heeled shoes. A slim notebook computer sits tucked beneath the woman's arm. Ms. Yamanaka's name was found on the list in the general's office; she pings Jennifer's 'dragondar.' Earl: Hangs around with Clive like his personal nurse or something. Latest news: She is a dragon. Something turned her human or at least made her look human.

Kahoru died in the assault on Mount Weather. She died defending Harry from a mother after he went alone at Jennifer's behest to try and find Valda, who tracks had told them went off alone down one of the corridors, leading the mother away from the rest of the advance team. Harry survived and managed to kill the mother and rescue Valda.

Hobbs was also asked to go, but refused.

Clive

A aged balding fellow who looks to have once carried more weight, a liver spot at his brow past grayed hair; he stands with hands stuffed into the pockets of slate gray slacks wearing a short-sleeved button-up shirt with slim black stripes--hazel eyes. Earl: "Clive's been here... couple weeks now, maybe a month or two even. Said he'd had a dream about helping people; that got Frank excited. Sid hates the guy and doesn't hide it, but Clive's the one who got the greenhouses working. Probably kept fucking scurvy away."

Sandalio Aguilar

A lean Hispanic man with short-cropped hair and a trimmed goatee; the man stands adorned in baggy BDU pants and combat boots with a black muscle tee--the shape of dog tags scarcely discernible beneath the taut fabric. The man wears a red beret with a star pinned through it while a sidearm hangs from a shoulder holster beneath his arm. 'Leo' is Frank's right-hand man, enforcer, and general second in command. He keeps the gangers in line, even Sid's afraid of him. Earl has a grudging respect: "That's a man who means business and I believe it. Doesn't say much, doesn't need to. Private word with a hooligan and they look like they shit themselves." Earl snorts. "After Clive got here, the guy just showed up one day, had a word with Frank and next thing you know he's Mr. Security." Also pings as a potential einherjar on Jennifer's valkdar.

Sean

A thick, younger, shorter man with a light densely freckled complexion and fiery orange hair--his head buzzed quite short; a pair of thick goggles rest above his brow with a rubber strap, the remnants of smeared oil still lingering at his cheeks and the bridge of his nose as he peers at the group with bright green eyes. This man wears a mesh tactical vest over a dark t-shirt with partially covered text which reads something about 'If you see me running'. A heavy tool belt droops at the man's waist, sagged with the weight of a slung pair of bolt-cutters--while the red of a fireman's axe is glimpsed hanging at his back from a makeshift sling alongside a duffel bag behind him; a pair of heavy work gloves sticks free from the pocket of his cargo pants, the man standing in a pair of steel-toed Wolverine work boots. The man looks as wired as high-tension cable; brow seemingly locked in a perpetual furrow. "Sean does a lot of shit around here. Mechanical, electrical, locksmith. If shit's wrong I'll make it goddamn right."

Nelson

A lean, fit man of average height with a hawkish nose, a light tan and dark hair--sporting a mustache and goatee seemingly straight from Frank Zappa; the man wears a black cowboy hat with boots to match, mirrored aviator sunglasses and dark jeans coupled with a ballistic vest. Arms bared, a tattoo is visible on the man's right bicep of a bald eagle clutching an anchor.

An angled belt hangs partway at the man's waist ringed intermittently with revolver rounds--the weapon itself hung in a holster at his hip, recognized by Hobbs as a Colt Single-Action Army; opposite the sidearm is sheathed a long bowie knife. "Nelson." Aguilar notes; Nelson tips his hat to the women present and smiles before thrusting a calloused hand out and speaking with a drawl. "Been itchin' to meet y'all, Earl told me about ya; just got back this mornin' from th' farm." His smile broadens to a tight grin. "Earl says you're good, tough folk. I've been on a few of our runs into Roanoke 'fore you showed up--figure I can help and stretch my legs." Aguilar remains stone-faced, only nodding once more when the man has finished speaking. "Good shot. Quick shot." Nelson's grin merely widens.

Nelson also pinged on the valkdar.

Jessie

A short, young woman with a rich tan and strawberry-blond hair drawn back into a ponytail. The woman wears an outback hat with a folded brim and a pair of yellow-lens shooting glasses draped about her neck over a black tank-top and bandoleer threaded with long rifle rounds; a backpack hangs heavily behind her to one side, a long scoped rifle with a lengthy suppressor slung from her right shoulder--which Hobbs recognizes as an SR-25 Semi-Automatic. Fitted with elbow and knee-pads, she stands in a pair of high khaki shorts and brown hiking boots with plainly muscular legs; tucked into a holster at her waist is a Browning M1911 with seemingly several attachments and a sheathed KA-BAR knife with a bayonet loop not far from it.

Aguilar: Jessie is reliable cover (a sniper). She also pinged the valkdar.

Gary

A lean and lanky man with brown hair tied back in a ponytail.

Jared

AKA 'Coma guy;' rescued from the farm in Port Royal, brought briefly to the base, then returned to Frank for surgery to try and help him wake up. He hasn't yet but is still alive and doing better. He was apparently targeted by Sid's group because Earl thought he'd have made a good 'deputy.' (Earl wants to instill some real law and order again, he was a cop, Wants the Roanoke PD and its riot stuff and prison facilities)

Port Royal farmers

Tommy

Bald, fit, used to be a bouncer. "We normally run errands and patrols out to nearby towns, scrounge for supplies and meet for trading half-way with some folks."

Sherri

somewhat stocky in cargo shorts and a t-shirt and looks to be in her late twenties. Brown hair tied back--though most of it has come loose now to trail around her face.

Girlfriend of Jason.

Bill

Dead guy in the ditch, got his chest caved in by Dieter.

Jason

Sherri's boyfriend, got shot three times and had his arm and leg broken by Dieter during the big misunderstanding/ambush by Sid's guys.

Katie

The faceless, brain-sucked girl they found in the bedroom of the farmhouse.

Hank

A lanky fellow with a shaved head and glasses.

Guy on the porch with a bandana

One of Sid's guys. Jennifer healed his collapsed lung.

Those on the 'other side' in the fortress

William/Arthur

Jennifer's gaze is met by icy blue eyes, white bushy brows rising slightly for a moment before furrowing tightly together; the man squints, peering at the small porthole on the cell door--a long wispy beard like spider-silk drawing partway over the arm of his chair. With a hawkish nose and high cheekbones the man looks to the pair, his features wizened with age; after a long and quiet moment he clears his throat before calling back--with an accent lost somewhere among the British Isles neither can quite place. Beneath the heavy fur old gray garments hang from the man's gaunt form, bony fingers clutching tight at the edges of the pelt to draw it closer about his body.

William was locked up in a dungeon beneath the abbey of the castle on the other side that Coyote led the group to to act as a base there. Well, maybe not beneath the abbey -- doors work funny there in some places -- but definitely somewhere. A 'pocket without opening or seams.' By his reckoning, it had been thirty years or more since he'd been imprisoned. Why?

"Some time ago I joined others in a number of creative ventures--during the culmination of which our ideologies and intentions ceased to coincide. Stitch-work on pockets and realms, if you are familiar--making changes to provide purpose to places." Smiling thinly the man shakes his head, closing his eyes. "You might say we were architects after a fashion--we'd made rather marvelous structures together, forged creation where none had laid. In time our work attracted considerable attention from spirits, as it were."

With a slow sigh the man's shoulders droop then as he continues. "My compatriots were perhaps enticed by such spirits in time, if not by their own ambitions; they saw powerful potential in our works and I became an obstacle. By the nature of my involvement, however, our differences made me something of a liability to the others--and so I was tucked away, though in hindsight perhaps it was a courtesy." He reaches to knuckle briefly against his eyes before straightening and looking to the pair again. "My name is William, for all that it matters now. I've been called Arthur as well--though I am no ancient king." - William/Arthur

Yes, I know of them. When they became active years ago; dreamers constructing elaborate realms draw much interest.” Hands still folded before her, Joy remains level in her tone. “He and she were displaced. - Joy, who knew of him and Elizabeth

The woman was interred in Hades at one point.” Her head tilts then. “It is not always wise to awaken a dreamer.” Eyes going to Alex, Joy leans forward against her arms. “Some live only through their dreams.” - Joy

An image is glimpsed--a tall white building with dark windows, six stories tall--a helicopter on its roof, a vacant and overgrown lot surrounding its base amidst cracked concrete and a perimeter surrounded by rusted chain-link fencing. (This is where Arthur's body is being held. Gene saw it in his mind when he concentrated on the car he planted on the man).


a towering figure beneath a heavy fur cloak trudging ahead of other (14 in number, counting the giant) much smaller beings. Beneath the cloak Alexandra spies thick leathers over which a dark beard drapes protruding from the bottom of a broad helmet--face hidden from sight; a pair of immense horns stretch to either side of the adornment, the tip to right broken off.

Ja'Ka

A lean cloaked figure. A hood obscures the head of the figure, leather gloves cover the hands. Once the hood is down the face is revealed: Ja'Ka is found somewhat shorter than the freki--of lean build and angular features; she appears young, with bronze hair tightly braided and a smooth complexion similarly tinged. Eyes a striking cobalt blue with an almost metallic tint. Mab put her into pointy-eared humanoid form. Jennifer put her back into dragon form. The same Mab who sent hags to steal children. The same Mab we need to parlay with to get Thor's gear to kill Jormungandr. Mab's holdings are not insubstantial. Munin is heard to Alexandra's own echoed words. Her motivations are difficult to discern in most things.

These 14 are just the smartest of the lot stymied by Coyote. Many more are below. We have an army on the other side.

each is found garbed in layered leathers, ringed mail or similar armor and attire while cloaked and hooded beneath heavy furs. Men and women, for all that they are glimpsed with hoods drawn low--adorned with blade, bow and other assorted visible armament. They all look 'hardened' to a man.

Gunnar

Thick facial hair, ring mail. Gruff tone. Gray eyes. Wolfish grin. This was one of Ingridr's einherjar, he is noone's now, by choice, out of respect for her memory. The bond runs deep. Jennifer had to break the news of her death to him; last he knew she had gone into hiding, tried to retire as it were. The Pale Man found her.

Steingrim

A towering figure beneath a heavy fur cloak.

Gunnar's 'brother.' A freakin' GIANT. Also one of Ingridr's einherjar. There were three others there as well, that were hers.

Zuri

A cloaked figure emerges from the glass doorway, stepping slowly into the abbey as a pair of men recognizable from the earlier gathering follow from behind. Shrugging back her cloak and drawing its hood in kind, the newcomer is revealed to be a dark-skinned woman with amber eyes and hair tied back, adorned in black attire; a small satchel hangs tethered at her hip, the looped coils of a whip secured beside it while peeking free from behind a hilt is glimpsed at the small of her back; with a closer vantage Jennifer now discerns a fine mesh of silver threads interwoven with the black fabric of the woman’s garb--a faintly spicy aroma reaching the freki in this proximity.

“Exactly what I said--I’ve been spending more time here” she gestures loosely “than there.” She shrugs. “Nobody does--but that’s usually not an issue and there’s ways to deal with it when it is.” She smirks. “I know a clever trick or two; I can be very scarce when I want to be.” A brow is arched. “Really. Literally. I’m not taking the piss. I can go through the shadows, the shade, places that most people can't and a lot of spirits won’t.” Zuri sighs. “It’s a right bitch to explain how I do it, I just can. Most of the time there’s not a lot to it--but sometimes there’s all kinds of things or places to find.”

Both sides, luv; it's hard to explain, but I can find...connections in the shadows. It feels very familiar when I'm actually doing it, but putting it into words is bloody hard." Her lips draw to a thin line. "I hide myself before I sleep and I don't seem to have any problems staying here as long as I want."

I've met einherjar, oni, brownies, tengu and all sorts of things." - Zuri

Zuri also has an einherjar niche? Zuri shakes her head; as Jennifer's palms press once more she tends to taut strands--fingertips brushing against the faint presence of a niche beneath the surface of the woman as she pores and explores anew.

The Mount Weather NPCs

Edward Adams

A slim technician in the shredded remnants of lab attire seems to have been nearly disemboweled in the course of recovering a radio from a slain sentry and brandishing a fire extinguisher. A casualty of the assault on Mount Weather, Edward became Jennifer's third einherjar.

Hank

A tall, barrel-chested man with a bald pate and burns along the left side of his body and face; she can sense glimpses of shrapnel, splintered bone and torn muscle tissue flared with internal injuries, while fleeting tugs at the recesses of her mind leave her with images of the man wrestling down a floating entity as other men and women flee behind him. Hank was another casualty of the Mount Weather battle for the gate. Jennifer's fourth einherjar. He likes whiskey and seemed rather blase about the whole coming back from the dead thing... perhaps this wasn't his first time?

Dean

Dean 1.jpg

A camouflage-clad man with crew-cut white-hair and a minigun. Leader of the 'dawn team' at the Mount Weather base. Dean is, according to one corporal, their most experienced 'talent' onsite and has attended to matters of 'Security' for nearly thirty years. Both Vic and Valda had at least heard of him, Vic confirming his longevity and that he would trust him, but not necessarily whoever is giving him orders, and Valda saying she'd hoped to avoid 'getting mired with this lot.' She knew Dean back in the day, worked with him when he was a sergeant in Cambodia and she was there to close a gate. Valda also suspects his superiors have their heads up their asses.

Dawn Team

Other members of the Dawn Team: Burkhart, Jameson, Harris and Payton are on deck. Fitzsimmons, Hammerson, Carlyle. Full team. Unclear who is who from just last names but descriptions are available:

a lithe dark-skinned woman among the camouflaged figures thrusts a palm towards a pair of wax-folk, their flush receding and running as blackened skeletons and sizzling innards are exposed;

Names of the traitors from Dean's special forces: Macan, Ursula, Vladimir--they all packed plenty of silver and cold iron." Gretchen offers, crossing her arms as she watches Jennifer and Jiang; her eyes go to the crater set into the wall, jaw tightening briefly. "Bernard, I'd guess (took that hit). Macan also has flame making powers.

James 'Jim' Burkhart

A camouflaged man with a streak of white in his hair kips up and kicks off of a high edge of the dome, pursued by a second mother's lashing tendrils. He darts through the air, cocking his head as their (Alex) eyes meet before flashing a grin--landing astride the emerging front of a second centipede near to Hobbs' flank (can he fly? Or just jump around?)

He smokes. Offers one to Eugene after conveniently forgetting to listen to the debrief in his ear radio by taking it out.

Gretchen Hammerson

One of Dean's dream team.

A pale, muscular woman of towering stature with a mow-hawk. Darkly-stained camouflage fringes a bloody tear about her right calf, shirt now cinched by its arms about her waist and baring the black tank-top and dog-tags she wears beneath. Dried blood has smeared beneath her nose and about the side of her jaw.

a broadly built man with close-cropped red hair and mutton chops

an olive-skinned woman with dark hair half-held in a loosened bun. Like the rest of their counterparts, the three bear camouflaged attire and small patches on their uniform sleeves--depicting what appears to be a red cross emblazoned over a white shield.

a tanned bearded man in a uniform that Valda einied. Uniform like the others, unknown if he was a dawn teamer or not.

Two others were downed by Nora during the fight. Unknown if they're alive or not.

According to Valda at least two of them can 'see what we're about' when we're einherjaring guys.

Shannon and Cynthia

A woman garbed in black with raven hair drawn into a bun behind her--somewhat unkempt now in similar regard to the torn ballistic vest she wears; the woman turns as she moves, firing off another pair of rounds off and out of sight from a short-barreled sidearm--before a second woman runs past the first, long white lab coat spattered with blood and blackened fluids. The second woman is near the spitting image of the first, though her hair is kept in a bob cut instead--and Allison spies the faintest hint of a black tattoo at the side of her neck that sets her stomach to knot in a flutter.

Twin sisters that can block powers/unblock them (cindy unblocks) Shannon wears black (tactical), Cyndy white (she's some kind of doctor or scientist). Cythnia can manage three individual releases from a general powers block. Found them on our way to the gate in Mount Weather. They assisted. Shannon was wounded and fell over a guardrail during the battle, not sure of her whereabouts or status.

Dr. Rebecca Spears

A young, heavily freckled red-headed woman in a long archetypical white lab coat.

found by Harry, psych management, white lab coat. She stayed in the guard room with Jackson and Hightower while we assaulted the gate. Don’t trust her at all.

Jackson

A markedly younger man who would appear veritably fresh from boot camp.

Private hiding in a closet at the Mount Weather base with Hightower, who was wounded when there was an internal mutiny/coup of sorts by some of the Eastern European talent (five, maybe six guys on a tear). He's the one that first told us about Dean and the dawn team, and that they have the authority to nuke the site rather than let the gate fall into enemy hands.

Hightower

A stoutly built and square-jawed man with dark hair shaved to a close-cropped mowhawk sits, a gloved and bloody hand clutched above his abdomen--looking fairly pale.

Still has a silver bullet in him, but Jennifer stabilized him. Found them in a broom closet right before the gate room. He was less talkative than Pvt. Jackson.

'Zee'

Sniper woman who had us covered by Dean until he called her to back off.

Sue

A woman in uniform near a gathering with stretchers, graying hair kept in a bun. Medical coordinator for the aftermath of battle of Mount Weather.

Jonathan

Injured soldier or something from Mount Weather battle. Sue was transfusing him.

Kaylee

Someone Edward was familiar with; was hurt in the battle.

Alec

Died in the battle. Someone Edward was familiar with.

Director Stevens

A gray-haired man in crisp business attire. He technically outranks Dean at the Mount Weather facility, was private military - contractor - before The Fall. He oversees the field operations.

Hector

Solider from Mt. Weather who first found Rose. Has worked with Agupta.

Navarro

A slim middle-aged woman with short-cropped black hair sat in BDUs with her sleeves rolled up, a small clip denoting 'Navarro' at her breast pocket. Soldier who first processed Rose.

Jay

Some random soldier on critter crew at the Mt. Weather base.

Mount Weather Croatian Traitor Team

Macan

A man in black with a scarred, shaved head runs--grinning widely as he loosed a muffled cackle in passing; dangling from his hip, a tangled mess of chained dog tags rattles and bounces as he runs.

Ursula

Vladimir

Bernard

Tank type, can take hits, break bricks over his head.