|"You and your kind do not belong among the living. You are nothing but visitors from the past, shadows from the world of darkness!"|
In a world consumed by shadow and ravaged by monstrous beings, one name alone is feared by Good and Evil alike: D. Where Nobility threaten humanity's survival, the infamous hunter-for-hire is quick to respond — provided his remarkable fee can be paid. Armed only by a long curving sword and a mysterious blue pendant, D's incredible skill comes augmented by supernatural physical traits, for he bears the same blood, and thereby the same strengths, of those Nobles he hunts. As much a boon as it is a curse, it is his dual-blooded dhampir nature which denies D the comforts of home and kin, as human and vampire fear him in equal measure. His lonely existence is gladly sustained that he might live to fulfill his purpose and forever rid his world of the Nobility's tyranny. Beneath his brooding stoicism lies a compassionate and dedicated soul.
DUAL NATURES: Like any other dhampir, D is graced by physical strength, agility, and speed that far exceed any human's capabilities; he is comparable to a true vampire. He is ageless, and difficult to kill, for his body regenerates minor wounds within moments. More serious injury heals when he is buried in the ground. D can survive incredible falls without harm. He can exert his will over some monstrous beings, and either command the creatures outright or instill a helpless fear. Unlike true vampires, D is able to travel by day. He can traverse running water, too, and is not weak to most holy symbols. Though he does not blend well into human society, he is compassionate toward its plight, and will defend human life even where he is endangered by doing so. (Consent may be required for some effects.)
SACRED POWER: The potential hidden inside D as a result of his rare lineage is what makes him far more formidable than almost any other dhampir or Noble in his world. To reveal his full power, D must also reveal his vampiric nature. His physical appearance changes: his pallor becomes more deathly, his eyes glow a bloody red, his fingernails become sharp claws, and his fangs grow more pronounced. His strength and speed are heightened. He develops telekinetic powers, and by will alone he can smash through basic spells. In this state, he becomes more vulnerable where his Noble weaknesses are concerned. (Consent may be required for some effects.) (PL 34 -> 36)
MYSTERIOUS BLUE PENDANT: The pendant worn by D can automatically disable locks, traps, illusions, and other low-level magical and physical defenses that protect a Noble's domain. The pendant's usefulness typically only functions within D's world, but may have an effect on similar technologies and spells existing elsewhere. (Consent may be required for some effects.)
THE COUNTENANCED CARBUNCLE: Inside D's left hand resides a parasitic creature of unknown origin. The carbuncle appears as a small wizened face protruding from D's palm, complete with eyeless sockets, nose, and wide mouth. He has no known name, but he possesses a stubborn and sometimes snarky personality. The carbuncle's abrasive nature fortunately comes paired with a variety of useful, mystical powers. Many of D's more supernatural talents can be attributed to the carbuncle, such as D's spell negation, his uncanny recognition of deliberate mistruths, or his apparent gift for resurrection. Other more minor powers are demonstrated at need. (See +info D/Carbuncle1.)
VETERAN HUNTER: Centuries have passed since the day D began to hunt Nobles. He knows the lay of his native lands, and how to surmount the frontier's common dangers. He possesses an innate sense of direction that has been honed by his many long travels. He is familiar with most threats and technology devised by the Nobility. He can ride any model of cyborg horse, and is educated in their basic repair.
The Countenanced Carbuncle - Powers
Consent is required for most of these powers to have any effect. Their utility may be limited by scenario or world restrictions, and may sometimes not work at all. Nothing but the Carbuncle's sapience is a passive power: everything must be willfully engaged.
SAPIENCE - The Countenanced Carbuncle is a fully sapient creature possessing his own free will and abrasive personality. In his interactions with D, he is often demanding, deriding, or contemptuous, although these traits mysteriously vanish when the heat is on (or when D threatens to remove him). In more peaceful or somber moments, the Carbuncle is rather grandfatherly toward D, offering an old man's advice of the world whether it is wanted or not. His cunning intelligence has guided D through more than one hunt.
LIFE-FORCE GENERATOR - By consuming at least two of the four core elements — earth, water, fire, and air — the carbuncle can generate enough life energy to restore D from true death. The power does not extend to others except in more limited fashion where the carbuncle may rouse someone from unconsciousness or counter a poison's effects. Using this power is extremely draining. The carbuncle cannot generate life-force more than once daily, and cannot save D from death more than once per moon.
TRUTHSEEKER - The carbuncle can identify whenever someone is lying. While he may recognize mistruths, he cannot then force someone to speak the truth against their will — usually D handles that part.
CHEMICAL ANALYSIS - If he eats it, the Carbuncle can identify it. Poisons and other chemicals can be broken down into their base components and separately named. He can even nail down a wine's age better than any sommelier! It is safe to assume that anything eaten is destroyed in the process.
SPELL EATER - Basic magic can be consumed and dispelled by the carbuncle. He absorbs the spell into himself by taking an impossibly huge breath that manages to consume most magics that he consciously targets. More advanced magic can be similarly countered, but at greater expense of energy. There is no limit to how often this trick may be performed, save that the carbuncle may grow tired.
INDEPENDENT ACTION - Severing D's left arm does not kill the carbuncle — it just sets him free to embark upon his own little side-quests. He's fully capable of using D's fingers for locomotion and crawling around wherever he needs to go.
LIFESENSE - The carbuncle can detect nearby sources of life energy, even when the source may not be directly visible. He's also able to identify gender and can make an estimate of age. Targets don't need to be very close for this power to work, but they can't be very far away, either, with the power's effectiveness diminishing after twenty yards. Even the undead can be sensed, but the carbuncle can be confused by someone adept at stealth.
FORCED SLEEP - The carbuncle's bite can place someone in a deep sleep. This is a magical effect and does not work well against magical or magically-resistant creatures. The strong-willed can resist this effect, too. The sleep could last for up to eight hours, but can be disrupted if there is sufficient yelling.
TRACKING - The carbuncle can read and analyze tracks better than D. He can identify how many people or creatures created the tracks, and how long ago the tracks were made.
PROTECTIVE CHARM - A vampire's victim can be protected from further attacks by the carbuncle's charm. The charm is placed over the victim's bite marks. Whenever a vampire's breath touches the charm, it manifests as a brightly glowing crucifix shining through the victim's skin. All but the oldest and most powerful vampires are repelled by the crucifix.
OSTRACIZED BY SOCIETY: As a dhampir, D can find few safe havens among humanity. Even those who hire him are often afraid of him. His pale skin, slightly pointed ears, enhanced canine teeth, and otherwise unnatural appearance and demeanor make it difficult for him to fit in among a human crowd. No one trusts him, fearing his Noble nature, and yet no vampires trust D because of his humanity. Such isolation forces D to live a lonely, nomadic life where even basic resources can be hard to come by. He cannot stay within human settlements for long without violence breaking out. He does not often make friends.
VAMPIRISM: D is in many ways more vampire than human. He must constantly struggle against the insatiable hunger for human blood. At its worst, the battle may cause his physical appearance to become more vampiric. In addition, relics and special weapons targeted toward vampires will harm D, though most holy symbols do not. Divine prayer and power will have more effectiveness upon D than they would a human being. A stake through the heart will instantly result in his death (recovery from which requires the carbuncle's intervention). Garlic repels him and, if ingested, can act as a potent poisonous agent. Standing in the rain will reduce D's body temperature, inhibit his movements, and slow his metabolism.
SUNLIGHT SYNDROME: A tenacious form of fatigue unique to dhampirs, its symptoms build over long-term exposure to sunlight but manifest unpredictably. During one of the syndrome's intermittent attacks, severe exhaustion sets in so rapidly that D is rendered helpless. The only way to alleviate sunlight syndrome is for D to bury himself in clean earth until the fatigue poisons are leeched from his body. Recovery can take several days, during which time he is vulnerable to his enemies.