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Polychrome Heroics Characters Part 1 - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Polychrome Heroics Characters Part 1

Since we're doing a mid-month fishbowl in Polychrome Heroics on March 18, I decided that it would be helpful to post what I have in the way of character sheets.  In this series, it's a lot faster and easier for me to write with established characters, because of how complex they can get.  Many of these are characters already appearing in poems, published or unpublished.  Others are ones I wanted to stat up for reasons of diversity, but haven't featured in a poem yet.  All of them are available for prompting.

Skip to Part 3, Part 4.


DAMASK

Origin: Maisie Walker is an ordinary college girl of mixed race attending Urbanburg University.  She gets caught up in a conflict between the supervillain Mindflare and the superhero Savoir Faire.  A savage mental attack slices Maisie's essence into pieces.  She ceases to exist; in her place are the headmates Keane, Mira, Clarity, Ham, Clement, and Maze.  This multiple system gains super-powers from Mindflare and eventually they become the superhero Damask.

Damask -- This is the name of the multiple system, and the collective superhero name, using the pronouns "they, their(s), them."  Their costume features a plain white theatrical mask and silk polychrome damask fabric, originally just a coat thrown over school clothes but it evolves over time.  Their weapons include knives of Damascus steel.  Individual headmates may activate their own abilities, plus those of Maze less effectively (at a downshift, and may use hers for damage absorption).  Maze cannot use the abilities of other headmates, and the rest of the headmates cannot initially use each other's abilities or combine abilities by cooperating with each other.  That stuff takes time to learn.

Keane -- Created to withstand and channel pain.  Energy powers: manipulate things like electricity or force beams, either natural or belonging to other soups.  Main intelligence: intrapersonal.  Male, heterosexual.  Black skin, short woolly black hair and gray eyes.  Stocky build, haunting expression.
Good (+2) Endurance
Poor (-2) System Scapegoat

Mira -- Created to hide the self and deceive Mindflare.  Illusion powers: manipulating light, cloaking with shadows, creating mirages, making phantom sounds, etc.  (These are not material, but they are external seemings rather than subjective mental experiences.  One Spin-Off Stunt is invisibility; frex, creating an illusion of an empty chair.)  Main intelligence: existential.  Female, lesbian.  Long straight white hair and ice-blue eyes, pinkish fair skin.  Voluptuous and alluring.
Good (+2) Crafts
Poor (-2) Timid

Clarity -- Created to understand and foil Mindflare's actions.  Mind powers: telepathy, empathy, truth sense, etc.  Main intelligence: interpersonal.  Neuter, sapiosexual.  Uses pronouns "zie" and "zir."  Short and slim with light blond hair in a buzz-cut, slightly tinted skin, and brown eyes.  Androgynous appearance.
Good (+2) Sociable
Poor (-2) Boundary Issues

Ham -- Created to fight back against the assault.  Telekinetic powers: lift or throw things, levitate, punch from a distance, etc.  Main intelligence: bodily-kinesthetic. Male, homosexual.  Tall with defined muscles, short curly black hair, brown eyes, and olive skin.  Handsome, smouldering good looks.
Good (+2) Martial Arts (including knives)
Poor (-2) Temperamental

Clement -- Created to repair the damage done by Mindflare.  Healing powers: regeneration, laying on hands, etc.  Main intelligence: spatial.  Male, homoromantic asexual.  Milk-pale skin with freckles, shoulder-length wavy hair of deep auburn, hazel eyes tending toward golden, soft padding over a sturdy frame.  Looks sweet but awkward.
Good (+2) First Aid
Poor (-2) Romantically Inept

Maze -- Created to deal with the aftermath of the attack and other social issues.  She is the "frontrunner" or public face, most frequently in control of the body.  No super-powers other than carrying the Vulnerability.  Main intelligence: linguistic. Female, hetero demisexual.  She has the same tinted skin that Maisie did, but inside Maze has green eyes and chin-length fluffy electrum-blond hair.  Maze really wants to wear colored contact lenses and cut the body's hair, but doesn't dare because that would make it harder to fool people about her identity.  As a compromise she often wears sunglasses and pins her hair in a roll.
 The natal persona was destroyed in the origin story.  Her name was Maisie.  The current Maze is not her, but has the ability to Fake Being Maisie as a Poor [-2] Spin-Off Stunt of the College Student quality.  Raising the effectiveness requires energy she doesn't always have to spare.  This in effect creates a double secret identity: Damask as the superhero tries to keep that crusade separate from their private life, while new Maze pretends to be old Maisie and hides the multiple system.
Good (+2) College Student (Theatre Major, Sociology Minor)
Good (+2) Wealth
Poor (-2) Double Secret Identity

Vulnerability: Good (+2) Shattered.  Damask's traumatic origin means that the headmates don't yet have much control over shifting front or sharing memories.  Someone may grab front based on their special interests.  Someone may be knocked away from front due to the circumstances or by an opponent.  The new headmate in front may have little or no idea what's going on.  At first, Damask can only use one headmate's abilities and experiences at a time (except for drawing on Maze's Qualities).

Motivation: Champion the vulnerable.

Lair: The Hall of Mirrors -- Originally, Maisie lives with four other college students in a square white house owned by her father.  After the incident, Damask creates a lair underneath the living quarters; the basement has a secret connection to what was once another underground space and now has no other access.
 Good (+2) Theatrical supplies.  Damask can use props and costumes to aid their superhero work.  However, the Fragile weakness may apply under stress conditions: such things aren't very sturdy. (Maze)
 Good (+2) Computer lab.  Damask can find out most information from here, study their own condition or opponents, make fake ID, etc. (Clarity)
 Good (+2) Workout space.  It's not much yet, just some mats on the floor, a heavy punching bag, and a weightlifting bench with a few free weights that a former tenant left behind.  But it's a place to exercise and practice. (Ham, Keane)
 Good (+2) Security.  The upper living space has things like locks and burglar alarms; the lower lair has a baffling array of mirrors, traps, and other impediments along with an excellent first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. (Mira, Clement)
 Poor (-2) Fragile.  Things wear out, fancy stuff breaks, college kids are hard on any house -- and Daddy cares about damages to the house.

Pre-origin: Maisie Walker is an ordinary college student of mixed race with long curly honey-blond hair, brown eyes, and naturally tan skin.  She looks pretty but not unusually so.  She is heterosexual, between boyfriends at the time.

Origin: The supervillain Mindflare wants a random innocent bystander to use as bait, so he kidnaps and tortures Maisie.  This sets a trap for the superhero Savoir Faire, who arrives too late to save the struggling Maisie.  Under the onslaught of telepathic assault, Maisie ceases to exist; her essence is sliced into multiple personalities which become Damask.  When Savoir Faire finally arrives and does battle with Mindflare, Damask absorbs some of the supervillain's powers.  So the multiple system was created through a severing attack from outside, rather than by dissociation from inside.  Each of the six new headmates winds up with different traits from the natal personality, and different super-powers (some similar to Mindflare's, others not), based on their respective efforts to thwart Mindflare.  Due to the nature of their origin, the headmates all manifest as approximately the same age, although other traits such as race and sex vary widely.  They have varying amounts of access to Maisie's old memories.

Introduced in "Cut to the Quick."


[To be continued in Part 2 ...]

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