The Shadow Network
Arnold Walker "Mayfly"
Quote: “It could be tomorrow for me. It’s tonight for you.”
Description: Mayfly is a quiet man in his late 50s. He dresses in casual clothes and, unlike many Moros, refuses to dress in any fashion reminiscent of mourning. What little remains of his hair is gray and wisp thin, and the left side of his face still droops a bit from the stroke. He almost always wears a jacket and complains of the cold, but in truth, he uses the pockets to carry various powders and poisons.
His nimbus causes an unsettling numbness in hands and feet, tingling and dull. Sometimes this harmless but frightening effect lasts long after the spell is through.
Dedicated Magical Tool: Small hand mirror framed in platinum
Real Name: Arnold Walker
Order: Guardians of the Veil
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 3, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2
Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 3, Composure 3
Mental Skills: Academics 3, Computer 1, Crafts 2, Medicine (Poison * ) 2, Occult (Afterlife * ) 2, Science (Chemistry * ) 3
Physical Skills: Drive 2, Firearms 1, Larceny 3, Stealth 3
Social Skills: Empathy 2, Intimidation 2, Persuasion 2
Merits: Destiny 2 – Bane: Insects; Status 3 – Guardians of the Veil; Resources 3
Wisdom: 4 (Depression, 5)
Arcana: Death 2, Life 3, Matter 3
Rotes: Death – Corpse Mask (2), Suppress Own Life (3); Life – Sense Life (1), Body Control (2), Self-Healing (2); Matter – Transmute Water (2), Unseen Aegis (2), Evidence Shroud (2)
Mana/per turn: 11/2
Armor: 3 (“Unseen Aegis,” Matter 2)
Evidence Shroud Life 2 + Matter 2
The mage erases all forensic evidence of any activities already undertaken during the current scene. This includes hairs, body fluids, fingerprints as well as inorganic evidence such as footprints and fibers. The mage leaves an unusably blurry or distorted image on security camera videotapes or other recorded media. If the willworker’s activity is the destruction of existing evidence — for example, the cleanup of blood and tissues from a murder scene — the spell ensures that all incriminating materials are completely removed.
Duration: Prolonged (one scene)
If Sleepers are present, the spontaneous disappearance of bloodstains and other obvious evidence can strain credulity and provoke Disbelief. The willworker can prevent this by making a show of cleaning up the evidence by mundane means immediately before casting this spell. This can be cast as a Life-only spell, in which case only organic evidence is eliminated, or as a Matter-only spell, wherein only inorganic evidence vanishes.
Adamantine Arrow Rote: Mop Up
Dice Pool: Wits + Investigation + Life or Matter Corpses, notorious for exuding an assortment of messy and aggressively sticky excretions, conspire to incriminate those responsible for the bodies’ deaths. Assassins of the Adamantine Arrow counter their victims’ tendency to leave behind inconvenient residues with this widely useful rote. Despite its name, the rote’s general applicability to infiltration and burglary missions should not be overlooked.
Background: Arnold William Walker never considered himself an evil or cruel man. He was Christian, and devout enough. He gave to charities, married a nice girl he met in college, fathered a couple of kids, and one night was sitting in his den when they thought occurred to him, I am just waiting to die now.
The fact that he suffered a massive stroke a split second later might be coincidence or a sick cosmic joke. His kids out with their friends and his wife already asleep, no one could help him. He lay on the floor struggling to stand for a few moments before his body gave up. His soul, however, had other ideas. Winging its way to the Supernal Realm of Stygia, Arnold saw souls flying around him in a mad whirl of chaos. He flew to the top of the Watchtower of the Lead Coin and inscribed his name there with his favorite gold pen, and awoke in his den, hands cold, left side of his body numb, but alive.
Arnold did not leave his family as he began his journey down the Path of Doom, even though the cabal that found him advised it. He was initiated into the Guardians of the Veil because he was so good at remaining unnoticed, but finding something that fit Arnold’s talents was difficult. Strangely, though, they discovered that he had a knack for murder.
The image of the swirling souls had never left Arnold, and after his Awakening, he had become aware of the fleeting nature of human life. The only difference between the mayfly that lives a few hours and the human who lives a few decades is a matter of scale. Arnold took the name “Mayfly,” and went on to become one of the Guardians’ finest and most subtle assassins.
Storytelling Hints: It isn’t that human life doesn’t matter to Mayfly, it’s just that if someone dies today as opposed to 40 years from now, the world doesn’t change enough on a grand scale to merit much upheaval.
Mayfly is well aware, however, that an individual’s death makes quite a difference to those nearest her. The fact that he still has living family (his wife passed on in her sleep a few years after his Awakening, but his children are grown now, and starting their own families) and yet makes a career out of ending lives, gnaws at him when he stops to think about it. He often resolves these doubts, however, with the notion that he will be held account- able for his actions when his own life ends, and cannot be fully taken to task before that time.