The Shadow Network
David Barrow "Kalvis"
Quote: “If this demon is as dangerous as you say, wouldn’t you prefer a magic chainsaw?”
Description: Davian Barrow is a tall, lean man with coffee-hued skin and close-cropped, graying hair. Despite his limp, he keeps the upright bearing of his youthful tour of duty in the army. When not in his engineer’s coveralls, he dresses in charcoal-gray suits with creases that look sharp enough to split rocks. He keeps a wallet of tools inside the jacket, though. He forged his own cane from titanium and magically enhanced it as a journeyman project.
Kalvis’ nimbus initially manifests as heat shimmers around his body and a smell of smoke and hot metal. If his nimbus manifests longer than a few turns, sparks start flying around his body.
Dedicated Magical Tool: A large screwdriver Kalvis forged himself, used as a wand.
Real Name: David Barrow
Order: Free Council
Legacy: Forge Masters
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 3, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2
Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 2, Composure 4
Mental Skills: Academics 3, Computer 3 * (Programming * ), Crafts 4 * (Metalwork * ), Investigation 2, Occult 1, Science 4 * (Engineering, Metallurgy * )
Physical Skills: Brawl 2, Drive 1, Firearms 2, Weaponry 3
Social Skills: Expression 1, Persuasion 2 (Haggling * ), Subterfuge 2
Merits: Contacts – Local Engineers, Metal Suppliers; High Speech; Mentor 3; Professional Training 3 (Engineer – Computer, Crafts, Science); Resources 4; Sanctum 2; Status 4 – Corporation; Status 2 – Free council
Flaws: Lame (Reduced speed by 3)
Arcana: Forces 3, Matter 5, Prime 3, Space 1
Rotes: Forces – Influence Heat (1), Influence Electricity (2), Control Fire (3); Matter – Dark Matter (1), Steel Windows (2), Unseen Aegis (2), Repair Object (3), Reconfigure Object (4); Prime – Analyze Enchanted Item (1), Counterspell (2), Imbue Item (3); Space – Finder (1)
Legacy Attainment: 1st – The Master’s Hand, 2nd – Primal Tempering
Mana/per turn: 13/4
Armor: 5 (“Unseen Aegis,” Matter 2)
Magic Shield: 3 (Prime 2)
- Kalvis carries a cane of solid titanium. Without any magic, the cane has Durability 3, Size 2, Structure 5. The cane has a +3 enchanted equipment bonus; Kalvis can magically augment it further with his Attainments or spells such as Armor Piercing. Just saying it’s titanium is usually enough to cover up improbable, though not vulgar, displays of strength or damage.
- Kalvis’ mentor is a reclusive master of the Matter arcanum named John Henry who works and lives in an isolated patch of the Rockies. Having mastered the legacy’s second attainment, he still has much to teach Kalvis, who flies out to meet him for a week in every season. Were something to happen to Kalvis that would prevent him from making a meeting, it is likely that his teacher would seek him out.
1st Attainment – The Master’s Hand
Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Prime 2, Matter 2, Craft 3
The knowing hand of a master craftsman can work away slight imperfections in a tool, improving its performance. A knife becomes sharper, a gun better balanced, a car handles better; even a hairpin can become a better lockpick, or a metal flute gains a sweeter tone. Whatever the Forge Master works upon gains the “9 again” quality, as if he had used the Matter 2 “Alter Accuracy” spell (see Mage: The Awakening, p. 196). The mage’s Prime dots determine the maximum number of rolls within the next day for which the item can gain this effect.
The improvement to function becomes most obvious, per- haps, with weapons. Any task gains a greater chance of success, however, if performed with tools improved by The Master’s Hand. For instance, a car given a magical tuneup performs better in a chase or other challenging conditions (“9 again” on Dexterity + Drive), improvised tools let an amateur pick locks like an experienced burglar (Dexterity + Larceny) and a musician gives a better performance on the cleaned and slightly modified flute (Manipulation + Expression). Obviously, any repair attempt becomes more likely to succeed using augmented tools, so a sensible Powersmith carefully burnishes and tests his tools before important mechanical tasks.
In addition, a Forge Master automatically sees the enchantments on enhanced items, imbued items and artifacts, as if he used the Prime 1 “Analyze Enchanted Item” spell (see Mage: The Awakening, pp. 219-220), but rolling Intelligence + Occult + Prime. That a made object bears enchantment is as obvious as its color; analyzing the enchantment still requires the dice roll. This mystical sense does not detect magic not associated with objects shaped by intelligence; for example, this sense won’t register an active Hallow. To sense other magical auras, a Forge Master needs to use normal spells or rotes.
2nd Attainment – Primal Tempering
Prerequisites: Gnosis 5, Prime 3, Craft 4
As a Powersmith gains in mastery, he can strengthen the power of will and purpose in any man-made object to make it realer than real: it becomes metaphysically potent enough to affect Twilight and Shadow entities such as ghosts and spirits. This acts like the Prime 3 “Ephemeral Enchantment” spell (see Mage: The Awakening, p. 225), except no roll is required. The
mage’s dots in Prime serve as the number of successes. Primal Tempering lasts a scene if performed as an instant action, or a full day if the Forge Master works on the object for a full scene. Only one object receives the subtle enchantment, so if a Forge Master wanted to enchant extra ammunition for a gun, he would need to spend an additional scene or action using Primal Tempering on each magazine. A suit of armor counts as one entity because one person wears the various pieces, but a suit of armor and a shield would nevertheless require separate enchantments.
A Forge Master with Prime 5 can endow an object with the power to inflict aggravated damage. This still requires a user who can supply the item with Mana, however, or the Power- smith can grant the item its own Mana reserve.
The metaphysical density given by Primal Tempering extends to more than attack and defense. The object becomes as real and solid to incorporeal entities as it is in the material world. Not only does Primally Tempered armor blocks a spirit’s attacks, but an entity in Twilight could push the keys of a Primally Tempered typewriter to type a message, or the entity might find a Primally Tempered steel box as hard to escape as a mortal would. The Storyteller should judge such cases based on the purpose of the object: a spirit could type on the typewriter but not pick it up to batter a material foe, because a typewriter exists to write, not to be used as a bludgeon
- and that reason for existence is what Primal Tempering strengthens so it extends into spiritual realms. ing, pp. 225-226), though the Attainment’s benefit does not substitute for the rote or spell. For a Forge Master with this Attainment, enchanting a magic item always counts as covert magic, even if the spells stored in the item are vulgar. Using the item can still cause Paradoxes.
This Attainment also grants a small benefit to the “Imbue Item” spell or “Forge of Power” rote (see Mage: The Awaken
Optional Arcanum: Matter 3
While granting an object Primal Tempering, a Forge Master with Matter 3 can also increase the object’s Durability by as many points as his rank in Matter, much as if he used Alter Integrity (see Mage: The Awakening, p. 198). Similar to the basic Primal Tempering, this requires the mage to work on the object in some mundane way.
Background: Davian Barrow Awakened on the operating table after a drunk driver crashed into his car. In his dream, he tried to reach a dull-gleaming tower across a dark, rocky landscape. A black-skinned dwarf offered to replace his crushed leg with a new leg of iron. Barrow, however, didn’t like the dwarf’s smile, and anyway, he was an aeronautical engineer. He called his supplier on his cell phone (it was a dream, after all) and ordered sheet magnesium and aluminum tubing. He built wings using the dwarf’s tools and flew to the Watchtower of the Lead Coin. The Free Council found him soon after Barrow left the hospital and told him he was a mage of the Moros Path. Barrow’s recruiter suggested he consider joining the Forge Masters.
Barrow resisted the suggestion for two years, but his future tutor drew him in by consulting him about metallurgy. For his shadow name, Barrow’s mentor wanted to give him the name of an African smith-god. Barrow thought that was racial stereotyping. His ancestors lived in Jamaica for 300 years and his parents left there before he was born; what was Africa to him? He chose the name of an obscure Baltic god who had forged spurs for the gods to use on their celestial horses. Kalvis required more than a decade of work and training, however, before his teacher was satisfied Kalvis knew traditional smith-craft as well as high-tech metalworking.
Since becoming a true Forge Master, Kalvis has become one of the Legacy’s more vocal advocates for modernity. As Davian Barrow, he works as chief engineer for a plant that makes air- craft parts, where his magic subtly boosts the efficiency of the machines. As a mage, he crafts high-tech magic weapons and armor for Adamantine Arrow colleagues, such as assault rifles temporarily empowered with Primal Tempering. His crippled leg prevents him from taking the field himself, though Kalvis recently killed a demon by running it over with a Primally Tempered SUV. In his spare time, Kalvis experiments with “impossible” metal alloys created using Matter. If he can find something useful, he might start his own business.
Storytelling Hints: If anyone presumes Kalvis will act a certain way because he’s black, an engineer, a mage or even a Forge Master, Kalvis tries to do something different. He hates being stereotyped; that he embodies a mythic archetype annoys him no end, but every attempt to heal his lameness by magic has failed. Nevertheless, other mages think Barrow is very much an engineer: he prefers magically enhanced technology to straight spellcasting, and offering a technical challenge is the surest way to draw him into a project. (Payment in perfected metals helps, too.)
Kalvis prefers direct solutions to negotiation or trickery. He is always blunt and honest in his dealings. Barrow thinks people shmooze and equivocate because they’re trying to pull a fast one or they aren’t sure they can do the job. If Kalvis thinks a task is beyond his abilities, he says so – but he has great confidence in his own ingenuity.
Kalvis spent nearly a decade working as a member of the Supernal Engineers cabal before they were dissolved less than a year ago. Officially the cause for the disillusion was a falling out between the two members, Builder and Kalvis, but that is merely what they have been caused to remember. In reality, their memories have been altered following a voluntary deal the cabal made to assist the Suits and Masks in the construction and concealment of a powerful sanctum. The question that they no longer remember even to ask, is to wonder what deal was so valuable to both of them that they would agree to helping the hated Guardians and the disillusionment not only of their cabal, but also their friendship afterwards.