Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Painted Man

The Dark Continent has many dark legends, and though those of the Witch-king of Gerem Faït are not amongst the more widely known, they have few rivals in terms of fear, horror, and undying evil.

In the days when the Erian civilizations were still young, there lived a mighty wizard in a now forgotten kingdom. His hunger for power led him to delve deeper and deeper into mysteries man was never meant to know, and as his quest lead him further down his dark path, he also became obsessed with immortality. Through nigromantic rituals and deals with old and best forgotten entities, he managed to cheat Dìs of his due.

Over the ages, the Arch-nefandus appears under different names, but his True-name is hidden as well as his soul. Today he is known under the moniker of The Painted Man. His True-name, so cleverly hidden from mortals, has been found and claimed by the Queen of Stars; the Witch-king of Gerem Faït has become name-bound into her service. Rather than pursuing his own goals, he serves as Caracalla's tutor and body-guard, both tasks to witch he his well qualified.

These are the few facts that have been gathered about this dark magician:
  • The tattoos covering his body are of a nefandic nature, circumventing the bonds on Arcane magic.
  • The tattooed body is not his own, rather, he simply uses it as a vessel to travel the material world.
  • His soul is anchored to his heart. His heart is sown into the body of a child. The child his hidden in his Sanctum.
  • Killing the body will only send his soul back to his heart.
  • His Sanctum is indeed the ancient elvish fortress of Gerem Faït -- a place so warped by evil that it now resides in the Abyss.
  • Gerem Faït is guarded by thirteen Guldamoths -- powerful entities of the Abyss.

Storyteller's note: I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This antagonist is in no small way inspired by Peter V. Brett's Demon Trilogy. That out of the way, now to a word or two about this particular NPC. 

aI've wilfully kept any hard facts about him obfuscated and vague. I've wanted him to be hidden in mystery, legend, and cloaked in the fear he induces. I'll say that's worked, as the mere mentioning of his name has caused my players to set out on hazardous adventures so as to keep them too busy to face him. They've met him a few times, and though what they've seen of his powers have been purely passive, they harbour a great... er... respect for this particular villain.

See also:
Nefandi -- WoD-Wiki

The Painted Man
Virtue: Faith
Vice: Pride
Legacy: Nefandi

Intelligence 6, Wits 5, Resolve 6
Strength 5, Dexterity 8, Stamina 8
Presence 5, Manipulation 4, Composure 6

Mental: Academics 5, Crafts (tattoo) 4, Investigation 4, Occult (rituals) 6, Politics (terror) 5
Physical: Athletics 4, Brawl 4, Ride 4, Weaponry 4
Social: Empathy (understand fear) 5, Expression 3, Intimidation (destroy hope) 6, Subterfuge 6, Survival 5

Artifact (Symbol of Negation) 7 -- Sum. p 215
Hallow 5
Hallow 3
Library 5
Meditative Mind 1
Status (Court of Stars) 4
Void Scourged 2

Deep Speech (Abyssal) 5
Abyssal Glyphs 5
Source (Abyss) 5

Health 13
Willpower 10
Corruption 6
Gnosis 6

Size 5
Defence 5
Armour 5 (Arcane)
Initiative Modifier 14
Speed 18

Abyss 5*
Death 4
Fate 3
Life 4
Mind 4
Prime 5
Space 5
Spirit 5
Time 3

Eyes of Sleep -- Nefandi counts as sleeper to calculate Paradox.
Sail the Starless Ocean -- creates portal to the Abyss, dice pool 16, cost 1 (+1 WP for reflexive action).

Maintained Spells
Suppress Aura -- potency 8 (Death, M: tA p. 137)
Occlude Destiny -- potency 8 (Fate, M: tA p. 156)
Supreme Honing -- potency 8 (Life, M: tA p. 190)
Memory Hole -- potency 8 (Mind, M: tA p. 208)

Abyssal Glyphs*
Fortify the Corruptible Flesh, special
Mental Shield, strength 4
Magic Shield, strength 5 (12 Mana infused)
Undetectable, potency 15
Aegis of the Void, dice pool 12 (12 Mana infused)

Dead Zone (Prime 5, M: tA p. 230)
Dice pool 17
Cuts off the flow of Mana to an area.

Supernal Dispellation (Prime 4, M: tA p. 229)
Dice pool 17
Contested: successes vs. spell potency
Dispel any spell regardless of Arcana.

Worlds Collide (Space 5, M: tA p. 244)
Dice pool 15
Contested: successes vs. Stamina + Gnosis
Cost: 1
Aggravated damage.

Control Gauntlet (Spirit 5, M: tA p. 254)
Dice pool 15
Increase or decrease Gauntlet strength.

Superlative Luck (Fate 3, M: tA p. 156)
Dice pool 15
Cost: 1
8-again for one scene.

Psychic Sword (Mind 4, M: tA p. 216)
Dice pool 15
Contested: successes - Resolve
Inflicts Lethal damage.

Shadow of the Road (Abyss 3)
Dice pool 17
Contested: successes vs. Composure + Gnosis
Target subtracts Abyss rating from next spell.

Consume the Fallen World (Abyss 4)
Dice pool 16
Duration: successes
Opens rift to the Abyss, black shit spews forth. Deals Abyss rating as Lethal damage each round. If targeted, resist w/ Defence.

Entry to the Tartarian Sea (Abyss 4)
Dice pool 16
Creates fixed location portal to the Abyss. If targeted, resist w/ Defence.
(Spell prepared w/ Time 2 trigger -- see M: tA p. 260)

Aegis of the Void (Abyss 2)
Dice pool 16
Cost: 1
If successes beats potency of targeted spell, redirect spell towards target of choice.

Hide the Overt Hand (Abyss 2)
Dice pool 17
Cost: 1
Duration: scene
Turns (number of successes) Vulgar spells into Covert.

Immerse the Fallen World (Abyss 5 + Space 5 + Prime 4 + Spirit 4, own spell)
Dice pool 17
Cost 3
Duration: concentration/special
Transports area w/Gauntlet & Shadow to the Abyss. Targets inside may resist w/ Composure + Gnosis.


Stats as Wraith:
Virtue: Faith
Vice: Pride

Power 7, Finesse 6, Resistance 7

Willpower 10

Initiative Modifier 13
Defense 7
Speed 23 (species factor 10)
Size 5

Corpus 12
Essence 15

Numina: Compulsion, Ghost Speech, Possession, Terrify, Tenebral Whip, Gauntlet Breach, Sunder the Ritual (all dice pools = 13)

[Picture source: Ghost2]


  1. I can understand your players. Just from reading the description, I know that I would go to great length to avoid crossing paths with him.

  2. he's not anyone nice =/