The Shadow Network
Peter Garr "Maelcon"
The harsh teacher
Quote: “We flinch at nature, inventing plans and laws. There are no plans, no laws and no justice. Life is birth and death, the cycle of predator and prey and absolutely nothing more. Are you willing to be the victim, or will you grasp enough power to defend yourself?”
Description: Maelcon is lean and muscled despite his age, his hair long and ragged and his beard flecked with grey. He speaks with an Irish Republic accent and doesn’t so much walk as lope. His teeth are yellowing and broken in places, but seem sharp. He’s often filthy, dressed in army surplus and scavenges for food when in a town. When traveling, he hunts.
His nimbus manifests as a subvocal noise, sometimes like a growl, sometimes like teeth scraping on bone.
Dedicated Magical Tool: Bear-claw necklace
Real Name: Peter Garr
Legacy: Orphans of Proteus
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 3, Wits 5, Resolve 5
Physical Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5
Social Attributes: Presence 4, Manipulation 3, Composure 3
Mental Skills: Crafts 3 (traps), Investigation 2, Occult 3
Physical Skills: Athletics 4, Brawl 4 (claws), Drive 2, Firearms 2, Larceny 2, Stealth 3, Survival 5 (woods), Weaponry 4 (knives)
Social Skills: Animal Ken 5 (predators), Expression 1, Intimidation 4, Persuasion 2, Streetwise 3, Subterfuge 3
Merits: High Speech; Status 3 – Werewolf Pack; Danger Sense; Fast Reflexes 2; Fighting Style – Tooth and Claw 5 (Werewolf – The Rage, p.103); Fleet of Foot 2; Iron Stomach; Contacts – Adamantine Arrow Cabals, Werewolves, Spirits.
Wisdom: 4 (Narcissism)
Arcana: Death 1, Life 5, Matter 3, Mind 3, Space 3, Spirit 4, Prime 2
Rotes: Death – Grim Sight (•) Life – Cleanse the Body (•), Sense Life (•), Control Base Life (••), Organic Resilience (••), Self Healing (••), Self Purging (••), Control Median Life (•••), Honing the Form (•••), Transform Median Life (•••), Transform Self (•••), Two Faces (•••), Animal Minion (••••), Enfeeblement (••••), Life Force Assault (••••), Shapechanging (••••), Supreme Honing (••••), Greater Shapechanging (•••••) Mind – Aura Perception (•), Emotional Urging (••), Provoke Wrath (•••) Space – Scry (••), Duplicate Sympathy (•••), New Threads (•••) Spirit – Ephemeral Shield (••), Peer Across the Gauntlet (••), Control Spirit (•••), Harm Spirit (•••), Spirit Road (•••)
Legacy Attainments: 1st – Snake Skin; 2nd – Beast Gift
Mana/per turn: 14/5
1st Attainment: Snake Skin
Pre-Requisites: Gnosis 3, Life 2 (primary), Mind 1, Animal Ken 2 or Survival 2
The mage gains the ability to regenerate wounds to her body, similar to the Life 2 Self-Healing spell, by sloughing off her damaged skin and replacing it with a freshly grown one. An instant action is required and Stamina + Athletics + Life is rolled. Each success heals one bashing or lethal point of damage. This action can be made reflexive in turn by spending one Willpower point.
The user can also communicate with animals in their own language of behaviors, growls, grunts, cues, and/or markings. A Presence + Animal Ken roll and instant action is required to communicate simple concepts. She can communicate only the kind of information that another animal of that type could convey to one of its fellow species.
2nd Attainment: Beast Gift
Pre-Requisites: Gnosis 5, Life 3
The mage can transform a portion of her body with a single, specific animal or plant feature, such as bear claws, cat eyes, or tree-bark skin, similar to the Life 3 Transform Self spell. Doing so requires an instant action, during which she can move up to her Speed, but no roll is needed. She must choose her unique feature upon gaining this attainment, and cannot change it thereafter. The shift lasts for up to one hour per activation. Any natural weapon (claws, fangs) she gains adds two dice to attack rolls (and damage is lethal), while a protective feature (fur, tree bark) provides two armor points.
The character can also now heal aggravated wounds using Snake Skin (above), but it also requires the expenditure of one Mana.
Optional Arcanum: Matter 3
If the mage also knows Matter 3, her unique transformative feature could be mineral rather than organic. She might shift her fists or feet into stone, or cover her epidermis with a layer of thin, flexible shale “scales.” Stone fists or feet add four dice to punches or kicks, but the damage is bashing instead of lethal. Stone skin provides three points of armor.
Background: Maelcon likes to say that he’s an Irish Gypsy, son of a rape by a townie, or an escapee from the violent inner city. In the 1990s, he was fond of implying links to the “struggle”, letting his audience imagine him as a Loyalist warrior. None are true. Peter Garr grew up on a farm in Cork, and the worst acts of violence he saw were the fistfights inherent to small boys. His brother, though, was the hard man; right up until he died in a knife-fight. Maelcon Awoke, blood on his hands, when he took revenge.
Decades later, Maelcon is a wandering teacher and former member of the Adamantine Arrow. A devoted member of the Sodiality of Tore legacy, he teaches the lesson he learned in his childhood — civilization and comfort are ephemeral lies, torn away in moments of brutality. The only thing to do is be brutal, take power where you can and live without illusions of civility. He travels the American Midwest with a pack of werewolves that he has disguised himself among, successfully, for the past few decades. His mastery of the arcana of Life makes the shapechanging inherent to the species similarly easy for him, and he is regarded by his packmates as a dreadfully powerful Shaman. They have learned not to question the long, sometimes years-long absences he takes when he discovers a new mage that he intends to teach, disguising the practice as a sadistic hunt.
His brutal methods have earned him the dislike and even hatred of no few number of mages, including some among his own order. As a result, he rarely visits cities, knowing that each time he does he risks being discovered and attacked by an old enemy.
Storytelling Hints: Maelcon isn’t a werewolf, but would probably be just as at home among the shapeshifters as he is with his own kind. He often takes animal form while journeying between towns, and likes to lose himself in the wilderness. The Shadow has a particular delight for him — he understands the alien mindset of Spirits on a fundamental level.
The other Adamantine Arrow regard him as a mad hermit, a holy man of the brutality of the Primal Wilds. In person, Maelcon is as filthy in personality as he is in body. Deliberately offensive; he attempts (and succeeds) to provoke hostility in his audience. He has an animal confidence and a sadist’s enjoyment of combat, crippling rather than killing, and enjoying the use of his powers to humiliate and terrify the opposition.
When breaking in a new candidate for either apprenticeship or a werewolf pack, he works shapechanged as much as possible, hiding his involvement in the litany of disasters he inflicts. After they’ve hit rock bottom, he introduces himself with a display of power and offers to teach them how to survive, if they’ll follow his instructions. He is not a gentle teacher — his students suffer more pain under him, shapechanged into prey creatures and left to fend for themselves until the magic wears off, thrown into the Shadow, torn by wounds as Maelcon demonstrates Fraying and Unraveling practices and left without the use of their senses until they learn to cast Mage Sight spells. When they fight back, they’re ready, and he drops them off with the next Concilium he finds. If they break free and then demand he give them more power, he keeps them on as true apprentices for a while, regarding them as his real success stories.