The Shadow Network
Sandhya Helekar "Marut"
Quote: “I’m here to teach you.”
Description: Normally encountered by other Mages when he is acting on the orders of his cabal, Marut wears a hideous mask of a Hindu demon carved from a dark mahogany. Its high forehead and long chin make his head appear to be distended, with bulging eyes and a snarling fanged grimace full of long, canine fangs. Two rows of serrated horns run up the sides of the head, beginning where his eyebrows should be.
When not masked as a member of the cabal, Marut’s broad shoulders, rippling muscles and sharp jaw line are handsome; his pockmarked skin and scarred hands (old defensive wounds from the knife attack) are not. He dresses in loose casual clothing, affecting an understated rave or B-Boy style. Marut hates the cold; he dresses in a heavy parka and long scarf during the winter. Wearing these, he tends to slouch into his stride. He habitually wears a red cord necklace and a set of headphones around his neck. Marut conceals an iPod, a fighting knife and a light autoloading pistol on his person at all times. At home or during a training session, he is likely to have a number of exotic, archaic Indian weapons close at hand. Marut specializes in the gada (a huge, two-handed mace) and trident.
His nimbus takes the form of an iron sheen that seems to cover his body, a cold blue halo and the smell of ozone. Cold, white lighting flashes in his eyes, and his normally shaven head seems to wear a tattooed crown of concentric wheels.
Dedicated Magical Tool: Red beaded necklace
Real Name: Sandhya Helekar
Order: Guardians of the Veil
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 3, Wits 2, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3
Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 3
Mental Skills: Academics 1, Computer 1, Investigation 2, Medicine 2, Occult 3 (Hindu Mythology)
Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl 4 (Defense, Martial Arts), Drive 1, Firearms 2, Larceny 1, Stealth 3, Weaponry 3
Social Skills: Empathy 3, Intimidation 2 Streetwise 1 (Club Scene), Subterfuge 1
Merits: Fighting Style – Martial Arts 2; High Speech; Holistic Awareness; Languages – Hindi, Sanskrit; Defensive Combat – Brawl; Status 1 – Guardians of the Veil
Arcana: Death 4, Fate 3, Life 2, Matter 3
Rotes: Death – Grim Sight (•), Ghost Summons (••); Fate – Quantum Flux (•), Fortune’s Protection (••); Life – Cleanse the Body (•), Body Control (••); Matter – Alter Conductivity (•)
Mana/per turn: 12/3
Background: Aside from wrestling and track and field, Sandhya Helekar wasn’t interested in school. He just wanted to alternate between workouts and dancing. Eventually, his lackluster school attendance cost him his athletic pursuits. After he dropped out of school and started spending his nights in the New York club scene, his parents issued an ultimatum: live with his uncle in Goa or live on his own, without a dime of family money. He went to Goa.
It took two weeks in Goa for him to get out of his uncle’s reach and into the expatriate drug and trance music scene. Ironically, he was welcomed because of his clean living. In exchange for perks at the club, he took care of frequently wasted, impulsive patrons. Over the next year, the gig evolved into a paying job as a bouncer. The money kept his family at bay and gave him a chance to immerse himself in music and partying. He knew the club kept afloat on heroin and crystal meth deals, but he chose to ignore it.
It all came crashing down on New Year’s Eve four years ago. That night, 18 friends and patrons died from what the police would call a combination of overdoses and poisoning. His bosses decided not to take any chances. Sandhya was the only one who knew enough about the club to threaten them, but didn’t have enough local ties to be trusted. A day later, he stumbled upon a man trying to break into his uncle’s house. Sandhya wrestled the man to the ground, but took a knife in his belly.
While his body lay on a stretcher, his soul drifted through what his teachers would later call lokhadhatu, the hierarchy of worlds. His soul battled warring demons and floated among the gods as he ascended towards a three-sided light. Then there was darkness and the feel of metal at his fingertips, and a stroke of lightning as he was reborn in a body of iron.
He Awakened in hospital, his uncle by his side. The doctors discovered that his wound wasn’t as severe as when he’d been first examined. He went with his uncle, who explained his purpose. Together, they burned down his uncle’s house and went to the countryside. Living as an ascetic, Marut learned the ways of the Guardians of the Veil. He specialized in physical discipline, mastering Hatha Yoga and the Kalaripiyattu martial art. Two years ago, his uncle arranged for him to return to the United States. The Guardians apparently have plans for him. Marut doesn’t know what they are, but his travels have taught him that, in certain company, he could be mistaken for a member of the Adamantine Arrows. Is he being groomed to spy on them or kill one of them? Marut doesn’t know. At age 22, he merely waits for orders, making his living as a martial arts teacher as he travels from city to city.
Storytelling Hints: Player characters who want to learn fighting skills might meet Marut, since he frequently trades lessons for small favors. As far as American mages are concerned, he’s a young, trendy mage who can teach self-defense skills.
What are the Guardians preparing Marut for? Will he be a spy? An assassin? Marut’s physical skills are impressive for someone so young, but he has little practical experience. He suspects that the Guardians believe he’s nothing more than dumb muscle. As he uses his magics to find and erase the destructive influences in peoples’ lives, he’s beginning to think he might go his own way. If he discovered that his uncle was behind the poisoning of his 18 friends, he might just rebel completely.