The Shadow Network
Dr. Jonathan Barkens "B"
Quote: “I hold this truth above all: ‘I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free.’”
Description: “B” is in his late 60s, a spry academic. He prefers casual clothing and has the air of someone who is comfortable with himself and his surroundings.
His nimbus manifests as the smell of old books and a strange warping effect that makes “B” seem to be out of phase with the world.
Dedicated Magical Tool: PDA with a brass cover inscribed with Atlantean runes
Real Name: Dr. Jonathan Barkens
Order: Free Council (formerly Guardians of the Veil)
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 5, Wits 2 (Enhanced to 5), Resolve 5
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2
Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 5
Mental Skills: Academics (Politics) 5*, Investigation 3, Politics 2, Science (Psychology) 4*
Physical Skills: Drive 1, Firearms 1, Larceny (Sleight of Hand) 2, Stealth 1
Social Skills: Empathy 3, Expression 2*, Persuasion 4, Socialize 2, Subterfuge 3
Merits: Contacts (Local College Administration, Professors), Encyclopedic Knowledge, High Speech, Inspiring, Languages (German, Latin, Mandarin), Library (Academics) 3, Patient, Professional Training (Professor: Academics, Expression, Science) 5, Sanctum (Shared) 4, Status (Free Council) 2
Base Paradox: 2 Dice
Spell Limit: 6/3
Spell Tolerance: 2/3 (-1 to spellcasting rolls)
Arcana: Fate 2, Mind 3, Prime 1, Space 1, Spirit 3
Rotes: Fate – The Perfect Moment (•), Shifting the Odds (••); Mind – Aura Perception (•), One Mind Two Thoughts (•), Misperception (••), MultiTasking (•••); Prime – Supernal Vision (•); Space – Spatial Map (•); Spirit – Spirit Tongue (•), Place of Power (••), Rouse Spirit (•••)
Mana/per turn: 12/3
Armor: 3 (“Misperception,” Mind ••)
Maintained Spells: 2 – Augment the Mind (Mind •••, Potency 6); Misperception (Mind ••, Potency 3); MultiTasking (Mind •••, Potency 15)
- Inspiring (5 Dice) allows “B” to grant the Inspired Condition to listeners once per chapter. Those affected may resolve the condition to gain an exceptional result on three successes rather than five, and gain a willpower point for doing so.
- Patient grants him an additional two rolls on any non-spellcasting extended action.
- Professional Training ••••• grants “B” 9-Again on all Academics, Science, and Expression rolls. Further, for any of the listed skills he may spend a willpower to turn a roll into a Rote Action, rerolling all failures.
- Both Misperception and Augment the Mind have durations of 2 weeks and “B” will not hesitate to dismiss either if it means clearing up Tolerance for further spellcasting. MultiTasking has a duration of three months and is among the last spells “B” will dismiss, as it takes him 13 hours to cast the extended spell.
Background: After being turned down for tenure, Professor Jonathan Barkens turned to reading as a source of solace. After devouring books by Bakunin, Diamond, Huxley, Orwell and Quinn, Barkens became convinced that a “conspiracy of the mind” prevented him from advancing in his career. While at his old college library (borrowing the book Viruses of the Mind by fellow academic Richard Dawkins), Barkens went up a staircase into a tower he’d never seen before. When he emerged, he had Awakened.
It turns out Jonathan was right — the college was being used by a Seer tetrarchy. A Guardian cabal rescued Barkens from the Seers’ grasp and, feeling indebted to the Guardians, Jonathan willingly participated in their hunt to find a lost Mysterium Athenaeum. The Guardian running the cabal willingly eliminated Sleepers to keep the Athenaeum secret. Horrified, Jonathan and two other cabal members, “C” and “A,” broke ranks to report the Guardian to the Consilium. Their complaints went unheeded.
When the Seers came after Jonathan, “C”, and “A,” Jonathan managed to rescue “C” and “A” from imminent death and then rallied the two other cabals to defeat the Seers. This made Jonathan the de facto founder of the new cabal and its Heart. “B” now finds himself with a unique opportunity with the Lantern. He plans to use it for all it is worth.
Storytelling Hints: Barkens is a thoughtful man and quite worldly. It’s easy to forget that, in the arcane world, he’s relatively new. His shadow name comes from the book Story of B, meaning “Blasphemer.” He is more than willing to blaspheme against the “traditional” Atlantean hierarchy, which he holds to be an outmoded and stale institution.
His continuous MultiTasking and Augment the Mind are a potent combination. He is as cunning and intelligent as it is possible for a normal human to be, even in those fields where he possesses little background knowledge, he is able to grasp complex topics as quickly as a trained professional. Enhancing this already prodigious genius is his ability to follow three lines of thought and study simultaneously. He is a one-man research team when he dedicates all of his attention to a single task.
The loss of his intelligence is considered one of the greatest blows to the Guardians of the Veil in recent history, and they will do almost anything to win back his loyalty.