More Black Crusade goodness this week with some background on Doug's character, Ingathiel.
Unlike Balthus, Ingathiel has no knowledge of his origins whatsoever. His memories become coherent aboard the Monarch of Wrath, a human reaver ship operating from the Rifts of Hecaton. Ingathiel had presumably been captured at some point in his past and the reaver captain made good use of his size and strength in boarding assaults and the gladiator pits. Not knowing any other life, Ingathiel accepted this for a number of years and probably would have continued to do so indefinitely.
During a journey through a turbulent warp storm, the Monarch of Wrath suffered a number of malfunctions resulting in a swarm of warp entities materialising on board. The Monarch was well crewed and well armoured, but the number of intrusions increased. When summoned to the fighting, Ingathiel found he was particularly resilient to the daemonic attacks. Indeed, he found he could dispatch the creatures with ease. Seeing the balance of battle swing in their favour, the crew redoubled their defence and began to clear the ship.
However, the crew, already terrified at the daemons attack, were shocked by Ingathiel's unnatural abilities. Matters were not helped when Ingathiel's eyes started glowing and energy patterns started playing across his skin. As the daemonic attack diminished, the captain decided to cut his losses and ordered his prized slave, who he presumably blamed for drawing daemons in the first place, killed.
This proved to be far harder to achieve than he imagined. Ingathiel, distraught at his masters betrayal, fought back furiously against the crew. As his rage grew, he discovered he could focus the strange blue fire surrounding him and throw it as a weapon. Although the crew were in full retreat, Ingathiel continued his assault, eventually forcing the bridge and slaughtering the captain and command staff.
Instead, after a few moments of silence, a crude mouth formed on the creature and it started babbling in a stange, unknown. As the creature spoke, images flashed into Ingathiel's mind; cities, ruins, stars and nebula and many others, all unknown to him. Suddenly, the sound and visions stopped and there was no sign of the creature, other than an odd electric stink. To his surprise, Ingathiel found he could recall perfectly every word the daemon had said, along with every image that had flashed into his mind. Before he could think on all that had happened, the ship shuddered violently in what was clearly a warp translation back to realspace.
The Monarch had materialised deep in the Screaming Vortex, next to the the massive space station Malignant Spire Ingathiel managed to easily sell the Monarch and found quick employment as a mercenary. Over the following years, Ingathiel found he had an instinctive knowledge of all forms of combat and tactics, almost as if it he knew these all along and was only just remembering them. Ingathiel also found his control of the elemental fire grew and he began to experiment with different manifestations. Psyker his companions called him and they showed him equal amounts of respect and fear.
Ingathiel primary motivation is to learn more of the creature he encountered aboard the Monarch and discover the meaning of the message he was given. Ingathiel is certain that he was chosen for a particular journey, the visions he saw and the creature's message have convinced him. Ingathiel's travels have taken him to many star systems and planets, he has spent years trawling through ancient books in hidden libraries on forgotten worlds, he has visited countless shrines and spoken with innumerable mystics in the Screaming Vortex gaining snippets of understanding here and there. The latest trail Ingathiel is following has brought him into contact with Balthus, whom he recognizes from one of his visions. Why this is so and where they head next is, as yet, unclear.
Creating the Character
Doug wanted a psyker character for Black Crusade, so chose the Sorcerer archetype. This gives Ingathiel the ability to use psychic powers and gives him a number of of associated skills. The psyniscience skill helps Ingathiel sense others using psychic powers, Scrutiny makes him skilled in assessing data and peoples moods or motivations, lastly Forbidden Lore (Daemons) gives him knowledge of Daemons, their nature and abilities that most people will be unaware of - very useful for conducting rituals etc.
Talents in Black Crusade are abilities or traits that a character can either do or not do (skills differ as a character can get better at them.) As a Psyker, Ingathiel is given Meditation that helps him recover from the fatigue caused by using psychic powers and combat, and he also has a certain amount of experience to spend on psychic powers themselves. It's worth noting that during character creation, characters will not be aligned to a particular Chaos god; it is only by gaining a certain mix of skills and talents that a character will become aligned. This is significant here as it means that Doug can't pick any God specific powers at the moment (golden oldies like Bolt of Change or Stream of Corruption.) With that in mind, Doug gave Ingathiel the Doombolt power (for combat) and kept the remaining XP points for later in the game.
When it came to Ingathiel's Passions, Doug picked choices based on the backstory he wanted. Ingathiel is seeking knowledge and is certain he is on a legendary quest, so he has the Foresight pride, increasing Perception, but lowering Fellowship. Psychologically damaged but his experiences on the Monarch of Wrath, Ingathiel is always on guard against treachery, so he has the Betrayal disgrace, giving him some starting Corruption, but making him very untrusting (and untrustworthy.) Lastly, Ingathiel has the Arcane motivation as he seeks to understand his visions, giving him yet more Corruption and increasing his Intelligence at the cost of a little Strength. After these adjustments, Ingathiel's stats are:
I mentioned in the last BC post that Corruption was the negative marker (too much and you "lose" the game,) but it's a little more complicated than that. Many skills, particularly psychic skills, need a higher Corruption to work and, in this case, that represents how under the sway of Chaos your character has become - how unholy he is. So gaining Corruption can be quite important; the balancing factor is, depending how you gain said Corruption through either success or failure at a task, you may well end up with glorious Chaos gifts (Darksoul, Magnificent Horns) or hideous mutations (Eye-stalks, Tentacles)
So Ingathiel is looking pretty healthy so far. He has average weapon and ballistic skills, as well as average Strength and Toughness. Although not very agile, he has a high Intelligence (useful for all those Lore tests he'll be making,) very high Willpower (essential for using psychic powers) and above average Perception and Fellowship. At this point, Ingathiel still has a plenty of XP to spend, but Doug wants to save that until some of the more powerful powers are available. Finally, after acquiring some Warp-Totems and a tasty looking Plasma pistol, Ingathiel is ready to go.
Hopefully you've enjoyed the back stories and the summary of how characters are created in Black Crusade. Next time, I'll put up a couple session reports from earlier in the year featuring the two characters.