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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Polychrome Heroics Characters Part 4

This is a list of character descriptions for the series Polychrome Heroics.  Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Nightshade (Jeanne Waller) -- She is tall and willowy. She has straight black hair, brown eyes, and dark chocolate skin. Her hometown is Eastbord but she has been all over, most recently Bluehill; she is twenty-five years old. She serves as the female vocalist for Dr. Laser and the Nocturnal Emissions, and also plays electric violin. She has a black Bridge Lyra 5-string violin.
Origin: Her parents abandoned her when her powers manifested at puberty. She spent a few years in foster homes, then ran away. A former supervillain, she was injured in a fight and met Dr. Laser in rehab when he was asked to make a visor to protect her light-sensitive eyes.
Uniform: Pure black dexflan, even the sprinkle of rhinestones. Her swag t-shirt is black with black glitter dots.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Fast, Expert (+4) Hand-to-Hand Combat, Good (+2) Musician, Good (+2) Snarky, Good (+2) Streetwise, Good (+2) Thief
Poor (-2) The Show Must Go On! Even if someone has the flu. Even if there's an ice storm outside and three people inside for an audience. Even if there's a bomb threat ...
Powers: Average (0) Shadow Powers
Vulnerability: Biologically nocturnal, Nightshade suffers a Downshift if forced to be awake during daylight hours, and two if she goes out in daylight. Very bright light indoors, such as spotlights, causes one Downshift. Her visor gives her one Upshift to buffer the light-based effects (but not the daytime waking).
Vulnerability: Fork Magnet. The entire band consists of soups and they are becoming well known, although not really "big name" performers yet. This attracts negative attention from people who hate soups. Their shows have been picketed more than once, and individual members have been harassed.
Motivation: To make something better of herself.

Introduced in "Dr. Laser and the Nocturnal Emissions."

Passeroto (Custanti Poma) -- He has light olive skin, brown eyes, and curly black hair. His ears stick out a little. At eighteen, his shoulders and arms are still narrow, but his legs have already filled out thick and sturdy. He comes from one of the core families of the Marionettes in Sicily.
Passeroto (which means "sparrow" in Italian) is the Puppetmaster's newest button man. His nickname comes from being quick, clever, and attentive like a bird watching for an opportunity to dart in and snatch food.
Origin: His empathy is growing in gradually as he matures. Both of his parents are soups, so he comes by it naturally.
Uniform: Fashionable clothes for a young man of Italy.
Qualities: Good (+2) Button Man, Good (+2) Diffident, Good (+2) Marathon Runner, Good (+2) Memory, Good (+2) Trustworthy
Poor (-2) Self-Conscious
Powers: Average (0) Empathy
Motivation: To be of service.

Introduced in "Contracts and Bargains."

Patches (Montgomery Hammond) -- He has milk chocolate skin, brown eyes, and short nappy brown hair. He speaks English, French, and Arabic. He is nonmonogamous, preferring to have fun without commitment. He has also fathered four children for ladies who wanted a baby without the hassle of either a husband or a sperm bank. His impoverished background makes it difficult for him to handle money fluently, so he usually leaves that to Rampart. Hammond was a Navy corpsman trained as a Marine field medic. His nickname came not from his superpower -- although it matches perfectly -- but from the state of his clothes when he first enlisted.
Currently he works with two other soups, Buraq (a teleporter) and Rampart (an invulnerable soldier). They're a punch team, meant to cut through any obstacles or hazards to reach a designated casualty. They are unusual in working for anyone who needs them and can afford them -- ordinary, superhero, or supervillain -- and almost everyone respects their medical neutrality. They don't charge anywhere near what they're worth, and most of that goes into operating expenses, although it still isn't cheap.
Origin: Originally serving in the Navy as a corpsman, Hammond was on deck when a fuel container exploded, injuring several sailors. His Healing talent manifested, allowing him to save them. After that, he sought training as a Marine field medic.
Later in Iraq, Hammond was working under heavy fire when he found an American soldier trapped under rubble, unconscious but with no visible injures. He managed to free the soldier, but then heard moans that led him to an Iraqi soldier who was seriously wounded. There was no path out of the hot zone, but the Iraqi man said he could get them out. Hammond refused to leave his first casualty behind, and the Iraqi said that he could carry two; he was able to teleport them all to a field hospital. The three of them later formed a team.
Uniform: He still wears a surplus Marine uniform in the field, minus the old insignia and with a lot of red cross markings to indicate him as a field medic.
Qualities: Master (+6) Marine, Expert (+4) Tough, Good (+2) Comic Book Fan, Good (+2) Deduction, Good (+2) Fearless, Good (+2) Ladies' Man, Good (+2) Partners with Buraq and Rampart, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Impoverished Background
Powers: Expert (+4) Healing
Motivation: To patch up whatever he can.

Plucky Girl -- Carlanda Hill is a junior high student who dresses up to protect victims of bullying.  She has brown eyes and straight black hair in two pigtails.  She is a rival of Bully Boy.  Carlanda has started practicing transformation with dollhouses, doing things like changing staircases to ramps, in hopes that someday she could do that with full-size buildings.
Origin: Carlanda was born this way and her powers are growing in slowly.
Uniform: Sparkly pink unitard with a purple cheerleader skirt and a purple scarf mask.  An iron-on fairy is blazoned across her chest.
Qualities: Good (+2) Accessible Dollhouses, Good (+2) Activist, Good (+2) Gymnast, Good (+2) Student
Poor (-2) Smart Mouth
Powers: Good (+2) Transform Objects, Average (0) Nose for Trouble, Average (0) Tough
Motivation: Stick up for people who can't stick up for themselves.

Introduced in "Pulling Pigtails."

Poof (Rosita) -- She has straight black hair and her skin holds a faint hint of golden-brown. Her eyes are still baby blue but will probably turn brown. Because of her teleporting, nobody knows her family or her birth name right now. She looks Hispanic so Danso called her Rosita. She loves to be tickled, and has already learned to associate that as a reward if she stays quiet during a diaper change.
Origin: She was born with her powers. She teleported away from her parents and wound up with Danso and later the Muffler too.
Uniform: Baby clothes. She already shows a clear fondness for pink.
Qualities: Good (+2) Adorable, Good (+2) Cuddly, Good (+2) Smart
Poor (-2) Unknown Family
Powers: Average (0) Teleportation, Average (0) Danger-Sense
Limitation: Her use of powers is instinctive at this stage, not under conscious control. She tends to teleport when startled, frightened, or lonely.
Motivation: To be loved.

Introduced in "The Ones Who Would Do Anything."

The Puppetmaster (Giuseppe Mondadori) -- Giuseppe is Italian, short and thin. He has wrinkled olive skin and brown eyes. His curly hair was black in his youth, now faded to silver. He looks and acts like a cheerful grandfather. He can make a puppet out of anything, even a handkerchief. He loves children and genuinely enjoys entertaining them. He'll empty his pockets for street children. His strength lies in subtlety and obscurity; the Puppetmaster manipulates world politics and the world of organized crime, not with raw power, but with superior planning and influence. He uses mind control to make people his in the beginning, but he keeps them with considerate handling.
Origin: Giuseppe was a street child, selected and trained as an apprentice of the former Puppetmaster.
Uniform: Street clothes, usually trousers and a button-up shirt with a hat. The Puppetmaster dresses so that he almost blends in, just a little formal or quirky, as performers often do. He always has some kind of puppet with him, from elaborate marionettes to simple glove puppets, and does most of his real work while giving a show.
Qualities: Master (+6) Puppeteer, Good (+2) Gentle, Good (+2) Organized Crime, Good (+2) Politics, Good (+2) Wealth
Poor (-2) Control Freak
Powers: Master (+6) Minions: The Marionettes have 3 named captains: Giuditta (trickster), Pulcinella (trickster), and Pinocchio (counterintelligence). They have an Expert superpower, an Expert profession, three Good qualities, and Poor (-2) Trusting Each Other. There are 10 named lieutenants: Gigio (sneak), Facanapa (trickster), Gerolamo (trickster), Orlando (fighter), Rinaldo (fighter), Alcina (sorceress), Tancredi (fighter), Agricane (Japanese businessman), Ruggiero (fighter), and Argante (warrior). They have a Good superpower, two other Good qualities, and Poor (-2) Fanatically Devoted to Leader. Other minions typically have a Good profession, one other Good quality, and Poor (-2) Thinking for Themselves. The strings go everywhere; the Puppetmaster has thousands of people working for him who don't even know he exists. Agricane was a gift to the Puppetmaster from Shigeru Fukui at Lucky Frog.
Good (+2) Mind Control
Vulnerability: The Puppetmaster works only through intermediaries, never getting his own hands dirty. He keeps his identity a closely guarded secret. People are always trying to find out who he really is -- but the few who do, often don't believe it when they see it, and they never live long enough to do much about it.
Motivation: Control is strength.

Introduced in "Pulling the Strings."

Rampart (Titus Truello) -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short dark hair. He speaks Arabic, Dari (Persian), English, Esperanto, French, German, Japanese, Pashto, and Turkish. He has a large family back in the states and keeps in casual contact with them.
Rampart is the one who networks to find jobs and negotiate payment. In the field, he also leads the strategic planning. He and Buraq are responsible for getting Patches to the casualty, and then they provide support for his greater medical experience. A persistent challenge is that Rampart is Invulnerable but his clothing is not. He dislikes dexflan and capery, preferring conventional materials, and like his partners he prefers a version of his old military uniform. So he winds up showing a lot of skin sometimes, to the periodic amusement of people who admire fit male bodies.
Origin: While serving in Iraq, Truello got trapped under a pile of rubble, which activated his superpower. He was rescued by Patches and Buraq. The stress of the manifestation kept him unconscious for hours, although he recovered just fine. Afterward he formed a team with the other two soups so they could rescue other people.
Uniform: In the field, he still dresses in surplus fatigues, minus the old insignia and with a red cross armband to mark his first aid skill -- and he goes through them like kleenex. Otherwise he wears street clothes, but still favors the drab earth tones like tan, brown, and olive green.
Qualities: Expert (+4) First Aid, Expert (+4) Soldier, Good (+2) Endurance, Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Languages, Good (+2) Loyalty, Good (+2) Making Contacts, Good (+2) Negotiation, Good (+2) Partners with Patches and Buraq, Good (+2) Strategy, Good (+2) Video Gamer
Poor (-2) Can't Keep His Clothes On
Powers: Good (+2) Invulnerability
Motivation: To stick by his partners.
Quote: "Would you look at this? Guy came at me with a sword, trying to cut my leg off! Dammit, I just got this uniform yesterday."

Rayblaze (Ray Cooper) -- He has naturally tan skin, brown hair, and brown eyes. He belongs to the six-part superhero team the Spectrum. He is killed in action by the Undertaker.
Origin: A welding accident at his factory job made him able to generate a heat ray of his own.
Uniform: Silver dexflan jumpsuit with a red capery cape.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Fast, Expert (+4) Ladies' Man, Good (+2) Welder
Poor (-2) Patience
Powers: Expert (+4) Heat Ray
Motivation: Burn the candle at both ends.

Introduced in "Enter the Dark Horse."

The Rescuer -- Joshua Young is a mixed-race man with shoulder-length wavy black hair, brown almond-shaped eyes, a wide flat nose, and tinted skin.  He has a scar on his right shoulderblade from a childhood friend, Firebell, whose powers came in too early to control.  Joshua works at a variety of nonprofits including women's shelters, teen centers, and home improvement organizations.  He likes comic books and still reads young adult fiction.  He enjoys spicy food; his favorite color is golden yellow.  Most people find him easygoing and likeable, but he can be quite fierce in taking down abusers.
Origin: Joshua was taken from an abusive home and grew up in foster care, where he was sexually molested.  He moved around a lot, switching schools so often that he didn't learn as much as other students.  He vowed to become a protector instead of a predator, and underwent intense training as a supernary.
Uniform: Street clothes.  He dresses for practicality, comfort, and camouflage.
Qualities: Master (+6) Survivor Support, Expert (+4) Coping Skills, Expert (+4) Martial Arts, Good (+2) Compassion, Good (+2) Friends Who Help People, Good (+2) Guitarist, Good (+2) Handyman, Good (+2) Gaming the System, Good (+2) Spy Skills, Good (+2) Tough, Good (+2) Trustworthy
Poor (-2) Patchy Education
Powers: No superpowers.
Motivation: To stop abuse, both interrupting individual cases and educating people about how to reduce it on a wider scale.

Introduced in "A Seasoned Fighter."

Roger Morrison -- He has fair skin with freckles and copious body hair. His eyes are brown. On his head, the hair is cropped short, an auburn so dark that it looks almost brown; but his beard and body hair are a much brighter chestnut red. He has a soft beer belly and padding over respectable muscles. He is 6'3" and 256 pounds, but looks petite compared to his enormous boyfriend, Hefty.
Roger works as a cook at the Cow Heaven steakhouse. He has a strong sense of civic pride and duty. He cares deeply about friends and family. He enjoys a variety of board and miniature games, but his favorites are those that rely on making and breaking alliances in combat or politics.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Grill Cook, Good (+2) Affectionate, Good (+2) Bear Pride Activist, Good (+2) Citizen Responder, Good (+2) Cornhusker, Good (+2) Strength, Good (+2) Wargamer
Poor (-2) Moody

Introduced in "A Show of Faith."

Saraphina Dreux -- She has dark brown skin, brown eyes, and long nappy black hair. Her age is estimated between 18-30 months, probably about 2 years. She has a vocabulary of several dozen words and can use some two-word phrases. Her heritage is Haitian and she speaks Haitian Creole, a French-based language with West African influences. However, she came to America in a boat of Cuban make labeled in Spanish, which added to the confusion. She likes to follow people and copy whatever they are doing or saying.
Saraphina has Soul Powers which so far include Soulgazing, Soul Healing, Soul Resonance, and Soul Shield. Other powers are likely to develop over time. Her abilities to date seem focused on defensive and restorative applications rather than offensive ones.
Origin: She was born with her superpowers, which have been growing for sake of survival. Already she has lost all her siblings, both parents, plus some other relatives. This has given her a worrying sense that people often go away and don't come back, which makes her try to create attachments to people she likes.
Uniform: Toddler clothes.
Qualities: Good (+2) Connection with Arlene Verdereau, Good (+2) Connection with William Jamesley, Good (+2) Durable, Good (+2) Mimic
Poor (-2) Anxious Attachment
Powers: Good (+2) Soul Powers
Motivation: Survival.

Introduced in "To Save Those in Peril Upon It."

Savoir Faire (Savvy) -- Renaud Cœur is a handsome Frenchman with fair skin, shoulder-length straight brown hair, and blue eyes.  He is a professional dancer with a lean fit body, not very tall.  His soup friends often call him Savvy.
Origin: Act of derring-do: When a theatre caught fire during a performance, Renaud leaped into action to save members of the audience, swinging on ropes and jumping over flames. The ghost of the theatre's founder then appeared to him and bestowed superpowers.
Uniform: All black, close-fitting clothes with a dapper black coat; floppy black hat with a blue, a white, and a red ostrich plume pinned on by a gold fleur-de-lys.  Standard weapons are rapier, dagger, and pistol.  Savvy paints his face with stylized makeup instead of wearing a mask.
Qualities: Master (+6) Dancer, Expert (+4) Jack-of-All-Trades, Good (+2) Confidence, Good (+2) Romance.
Poor (-2) Oh, Him Again (people are often dazzled by him at first, but the more they know him, the less they like him)
Powers: Good (+2) Swashbuckling, Good (+2) Wits, Average (0) Agility, Average (0) Speed.
Vulnerability: Average (0) Sacre Bleu, Can't You See I'm French?! (avid Francophone, avid countryman; but the French flag's colors are the same as America's so that confuses people, which really pisses him off)
Motivation: Rush in to save the day.

Introduced in "Cut to the Quick."

The Sculptress -- Tierra Smith is a poor black lesbian from a working-class background, currently homeless. She is short and fat with nappy black hair and brown eyes. Her superpower allows her to make permanent changes to someone else's body, aligning it with their inner self-image. The Sculptress can make fat people thin, dark skin light, male sex female -- or the reverse, or just about anything else. She can reshape faces and other body features. She is wanted for vagrancy, practicing medicine without a license, aiding and abetting criminals, and various other charges. However, people rarely pay attention to her because poor black women are all but invisible.
Origin: Tierra barely survived a beating; she couldn't even tell if the hooligans beat her up for being poor, black, homosexual, homeless, fat, female, or just there. She came out of the coma with a superpower -- but in a twist of bitter irony, it can only affect other people, not herself.
Uniform: Street clothes, literally, whatever she can find to wear while living on the street, so usually layers of mismatched rags.
Qualities: Expert Poorskillz, Good Friends on the Street, Good Hide and Sneak, Good Tough
Poor Fugitive
Powers: Master Transformation, Good Mind Reading
Motivation: Stick it to The Man by setting others free.

Introduced in "Throwing Souls Like So Much Clay."

Señora Cocoa -- Valeria Salazar is a Mexican superhera.  Her face is a wide oval.  She has light brown skin and brown eyes.  Her hair is long and wavy, dark brown.  She has a large, plush body and carries it well.
Origin: Valeria always had a taste for fine chocolate, and worked on a farm that made fair-trade gourmet chocolate.  One day she was taste-testing a fancy new ingredient, which unexpectedly gave her superpowers.
Uniform: Brown flamenco dress with gold accents.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Chocolatier, Good (+2) Extended Family, Good (+2) Farmer, Good (+2) Flamenco Dancer
Poor (-2) Hates Megacorps
Powers: Expert (+4) Chocolate Powers (Signature Stunts: Bestow Happiness, Lift Depression, Relieve Female Complaints, Soothe Cravings; Spin-Off Stunt: Repair Relationship), Good (+2) Empathy
Motivation: To make people happy.

Introduced in "Simple as a Glass of Chocolate."

Sheila Monahan -- She has gray eyes, bright brown hair with red highlights, and fair skin with brown freckles.  She is average height and a little soft around the edges.  Sheila suffered from retinitis pigmentosa for years, making do with a support network.  Then Sheila found her way to the Sculptress and got her vision back -- but it cost her all of her disabled friends, and she was unhappy with the results.  She wound up working for the Sculptress to help other people understand the ramifications of their choices.
Qualities: Good (+2) Coping Skills, Good (+2) Helpful, Good (+2) Making Friends, Good (+2) Retail Clerk
Poor (-2) Bridging Ability Gaps

Introduced in "Worse Than the Disease."

Shigeru Fukui -- He is a Japanese supervillain who works openly under his legal name.  He is the CEO of the finance corporation Kaeru or Lucky Frog.  His personal superpower is minor.  It's the rest of his qualities (and his super-vidwatch) that make him a force to be reckoned with.  Mr. Fukui is middle-aged with golden skin, brown eyes, and short black hair beginning to turn gray.
Origin: He grew into his charisma naturally, and received his Super-Wristvid as a gift from another soup.
Uniform: Typically a Japanese business suit, occasionally kimono.
Qualities: Master (+6) Businessman, Expert (+4) Good Shape for His Age, Expert (+4) Computer Wizard, Good (+2) Blackmail, Good (+2) Calligrapher, Good (+2) Gunplay
Poor (-2) Stuffy
Powers: Good (+2) Charisma
Good (+2) Super-Wristvid: Good (+2) Invisibility, Good (+2) Invulnerability, Good (+2) News from the Future, Good (+2) Telepathic Link
Vulnerability: Keiretsu (company family or corporate loyalty).  Mr. Fukui has intense loyalty to Lucky Frog.  He will not go against its interests or partners.  He treats threats to his company or employees as threats to family.  He views traitors with extreme hostility.
Motivation: Make Lucky Frog the most powerful company in the world.

Shuffleboard (Yuuko Parker) -- Of Japanese-American heritage, Yuuko has golden skin and tilted brown eyes. Her straight brown hair hangs to her shoulders. She is short and slender, with almost no curves. Yuuko has strong synaesthesia, which can make ordinary tasks confusing and everyday metaphors incomprehensible for her. Her willpower has developed from constant practice on concentration and dealing with insensitive people. Yuuko is a supervillain henchwoman with telempathic shielding. Her own telempathy is decent, but her real strength lies in her ability to combine mental powers with synaesthesia and project a psychic shield over herself and other people. The effect is so disorienting that few mind readers can get through it. Yuuko is paid well for her work, and sends half the money to support her sister Chiyo, who was born without arms.
Origin: Yuuko's Japanese ancestors were nijū hibakusha. They survived the bombing of Hiroshima, fled to Nagasaki, and survived that bombing also. But ever since then, the family has spawned some superpowered people in each generation, and not dealt with it well. The powers tend toward ephemeral: telepathy, empathy, luck control, illusion, etc. Disabilities also appear, from physical birth defects to mental issues.
Qualities: Master (+6) Iron Will, Good (+2) Limber, Good (+2) Pretty
Poor (-2) Easily Confused
Powers: Expert (+4) Shuttlethinking, Good (+2) Telempathy
Vulnerability: Yuuko is very protective of her sister Chiyo, worries about her, and reacts dramatically if she is threatened.

(The following character comes primarily from an Anonymous audience member.)
Sintonizao (Shirley Macalister) -- Shirley is short and plump. Her brown hair falls just below her shoulders. She has green eyes and ruddy skin. She wears thick glasses. Knock said glasses off and she's got a problem. Shirley comes either from the northern Midwestern U.S. or the Canadian parkland; she doesn't like to expressly say which. Her accent when speaking English can weight either way. She's Scotts Irish but bilingual in English and Portuguese, and she knows snippets of a few other languages as well; she loves code-switching and obscure references. "Anybody makes a Shirley McLain reference gets a poke in the eye."-- Sintonizao, jokingly, on her real name.
She is panromantic asexual, somewhat kinky, and proud of it. Her superpowers and personality make her very much a square peg, but Shirley is slowly coming to terms with that too. She generally likes people, which shows in her knack for conversation. She is flippant and lighthearted in speech. Her high nerd quotient is sometimes connected to the gab thing, sometimes not. This helps her notice things that other people overlook. Shirley is exuberant, gregarious, and eccentric; a magpie distracted by shiny things. She has one l-o-n-g memory, and holds grudges. She urgently wants people to like her, but she can miss social cues and conventional references, sometimes causing tension. Her dayjob lies in commercial radio; she also does communication work for SPOON, especially relaying emergency messages.
Origin: Her powers started manifesting at an early age, roughly three or four. The perfect pitch came down from her mother's side, the synaesthesia may or may not have done the same, and apparently the genetics were just right. Bingo, a soup in the family. They've gotten progressively stronger with time, and Shirley has grown pretty creative with them. She mainly used them as unique parlor tricks at first: showing people the colors of their names, projecting along with songs, etc. The memory and intent aspects of her powers really started to strengthen when she was in her late teens.
Sintonizao first took on her codename late in college, while working at the campus radio station. It means "tuned in" or "tuning in," and it's apt. To her, musical notes and musical keys have colors, as do letters, numbers, and words. Her powers actively link her synaesthesia, her memories of concepts and ideas, and direct thought, then translate it all into energy she can use in very specific ways. If she thinks the word 'shields,' for instance, connected with the concept or memory of shielding and the color she associates with the word -- then she has a forcefield-type shield directed wherever she (or somebody else) needs one. This may sound like a lot of deliberate mental work, but it's almost instantaneous to her. She has also learned to create highly specialized energy beams powered by intent.
Uniform: This includes a silver mask decorated with musical notes in shades of blue from turquoise to midnight. The matching capery duster also has an embroidered border of staff lines and notes. Usually its colors are blue-lake for the fabric and silver for the embroidery, but capery responds to superpowers. With that amplifier effect, it can perform as chameleon camouflage, provide sound effects, cover scent, and do other synaesthetic tricks. A drawback is that if Sintonizao's power goes out of control, the capery reflects that by going haywire in color and effects. Out of uniform, Shirley looks like somebody's version of a library lady.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Gift of Gab, Good (+2) Bilingual in English and Portuguese, Good (+2) Multi-variety Synaesthesia, Good (+2) Nerd Is the Word for a Word Nerd, Good (+2) Support Network
Poor (-2) A Twitchy Elephant Never Forgets
Powers: Expert (+4) Synaesthetic Energy Manipulation (Signature Stunts: Shielding, Messages Coded to Recipient, Intentional Energy Beam; Spin-Off Stunt: Capery Display), Average (0) Pattern Recognition, Average (0) Perfect Pitch
Limitation: Prolonged use of her powers can leave her giddy, prone to unintentional discharges of energy in some form or other. Alternatively, it can drop her like a rock, similar to sub drop plus nightmare elements. In a worst-case scenario, the backlash knocks her out entirely; this has only happened once.
Motivation: To speak up fairly for those who can't. Everybody deserves to have a signal.

Introduced in "An Unexpected Connection."

Socket -- She is a high school graduate with an excellent trade school education as a mechanic.  Fortressa enticed her out of a dead-end job at a lube joint to come lead the Pit Group maintaining Fortressa's power-armor.  Socket is short and curvy with electric blue hair and gray eyes.  She is a lesbian with a strong competence kink on mechanical matters, and she soon fell in love with Fortressa.  Given that Fortressa has sworn off love, Socket remains silent about this, merely staying close at hand to do whatever Fortressa needs to make her happier.
Qualities: Master (+6) Gizmologist, Good (+2) Loyal
Poor (-2) Crush on Fortressa

Introduced in "Pulling Pigtails."

Sophie Bergstrom -- She has pale skin, dark blue eyes, and long straight blonde hair. She lives in Onion City. She is six years old, in the same class as Lakia Collins. She is friends with Emma Matthews, and it's easy for Emma to talk Sophie into doing things that aren't really a good idea.
Qualities: Good (+2) Cute, Good (+2) Reader
Poor (-2) Easily Led Astray

Introduced in "House of Cards."

The Sponge -- Lenis Cummins is a supervillain who is not a leader but rather a very popular henchman.  He makes the rounds of more powerful supervillains in need of support, and they like him because he wants  to get into trouble with superheroes.  It makes him excellent as cannon fodder or a diversion.  He uses his irritating personality to goad superheroes into attacking him.
Origin: Lenis started out as a petty crook, and realized that he enjoyed getting whomped by superpowers.  He sought it out more and more, then gradually developed the ability to control such energies himself.  It is unclear whether this was innate, or acquired from other soup.
Uniform: He's scrawny, so he wears a bright yellow uniform with a lot of padding to make himself easier to see.  Parts of it are just dexflan and foam, but other parts are kevlar and other armor.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Henchman, Good (+2) Armor, Good (+2) Connections in the Underground, Good (+2) Football Fan
Poor (-2) Annoying Little Shit
Powers: Good (+2) Power Manipulation
Power Manipulation allows the Sponge to steal powers that are used on him, and to absorb energy which can then fuel any of those stolen powers instead of taking damage.
Vulnerability: Energy Intoxication.  Stealing powers, using them, and absorbing energy all feel good to the Sponge, like getting drunk or stoned.  So the longer a scene runs and the more he hits he takes or makes, the more intoxicated he gets, and the more it impairs his functionality.  Fights usually end when he gets too blasted to shoot straight or avoid capture.  The effects wear off slowly, like alcohol, and he's usually hungover the next day (all abilities downshifted).
Motivation: Provoke superheroes into using their powers on him, because he's addicted to that.

Introduced in "An Unexpected Connection."

Soundwave (Bryan Callahan) -- He has curly auburn hair, blue eyes, and heavily freckled skin. He is average height and weight. His hometown is Bluehill and he is eighteen years old. He enjoys listening to thrash metal as well as softer rock. He is the drummer and composer for Dr. Laser and the Nocturnal Emissions. He plays a gray metal PDP Double Drive 8-Piece acoustic drum kit plus a Roland SPD-30 Octapad.
Origin: While drunk, he and some friends got musical tattoos with a flashy new silver ink. Everyone else had horrible skin reactions, but he got superpowers instead. The Rescuer asked Dr. Laser to take Soundwave.
Uniform: All black dexflan with horizontal wavy lines of white rhinestones, and black boots. His swag t-shirt is black with white glitter waves.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Mover, Good (+2) Couchsurfing, Good (+2) Go with the Flow, Good (+2) Musician, Good (+2) Strong
Poor (-2) The Show Must Go On! Even if someone has the flu. Even if there's an ice storm outside and three people inside for an audience. Even if there's a bomb threat ...
Powers: Average (0) Sonic Powers
Vulnerability: Fork Magnet. The entire band consists of soups and they are becoming well known, although not really "big name" performers yet. This attracts negative attention from people who hate soups. Their shows have been picketed more than once, and individual members have been harassed.
Motivation: To be heard and understood.

Introduced in "Dr. Laser and the Nocturnal Emissions."

Stalwart Stan -- Stanley Wood is a high school student with a gallant personality, although some people think he's too good to be true.  He has a sculptured body with light brown hair and hazel eyes.  His naturally tan skin darkens further under the sun.  Stan goes from one part-time job to another, because he wants to be industrious but he keeps losing his current job for hero-related reasons.  Although devoted to his girlfriend Angelica Young, Stan is actually bisexual; he just doesn't know that yet.  At school he rotates among several different sports.  He has awkwardly mixed feelings about Antimatter.  His scouting friends include Tycho "Tyke" Norris and Maurice Stevenson.
Origin: His scouting troop went camping in the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest. They got lost in the woods during terrible weather, everyone afraid they might die.   Stan found a weird fetish that gave him superpowers, enabling him to call for help and save the day.  He earned the Honor Medal for saving lives at considerable risk to himself.
Uniform: Tan shirt and trousers reminiscent of a boy scout uniform but without insignia, plus a matching safari hat with a clingy mask obscuring the top half of his face.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Such a Boy Scout, Good (+2) Athletic, Good (+2) Handsome
Poor (-2) Girls Won't Leave Him Alone
Powers: Good (+2) Invulnerability, Average (0) Communicator, Average (0) Super-Strength
Limitation: All powers require the fetish to use; Stanley wears it around his neck.
Motivation: Be prepared to help those in need.

Introduced in "Pulling Pigtails."

Subwoofer -- A minor supervillain, Caleb Hartwin used to work as a DJ until somebody shot him with a super-gizmo bullet aimed at a superhero who dodged.  It forced a partial transformation on him, leaving him looking like an anthropomorphic Saint Bernard.  Now he has a hard time getting work.  He blames other soups for what happened to him, and is hostile to anyone with powers.
Origin: Accident with super-gizmology.
Uniform: Subwoofer wears street clothes, never a costume.
Qualities: Expert (+4) DJ, Good (+2) Bohemian Friends, Good (+2) Dog Traits
Poor (-2) Hates Soups
Powers: Good (+2) Sonic Blast
Motivation: Make life harder for everyone with superpowers.

Introduced in "Lost in the Fog."

Superball -- Ned Wilson is a short, compact superhero from Australia.  He used to be a professional gymnast, and has since retired to become an unofficial culture hero.  He has an elastic body that can bounce.  It also makes him harder to injure.
Origin: He gained his powers when a rubbery substance that was supposed to be "better than that old-fashioned chalk" bonded with his skin.
Uniform: A spandex tumbling unitard, in rainbow swirls.  He has a bundle of them in different color combinations -- some really loud -- that he bought on sale.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Gymnast, Good (+2) Outback Poet, Good (+2) Plenty of Friends in the Pub, Good (+2) Wide Temperature Tolerance
Poor (-2) Can't Walk Away from a Fight
Powers: Good (+2) Bouncy
Motivation: Never stay down.
Model: Blaine Wilson, gymnastics, 5'4" 135 lbs.

Thingamabob -- Roberta Steele is a mechanic and a super-gizmologist.  She went by the nickname Bobbie as a little girl, and now prefers Bob.  She has always been a tomboy, enjoying a variety of sports and crafts.  Bob has copper skin, straight black hair in a short braid, and black eyes.  Her body is wiry rather than curvy, although she looks nice on the rare occasions when she bothers to dress up.  She knows a lot of soups, both heroes and villains, and often gets caught up in their intrigues.  Bob has made gizmos for many people, sometimes for money, other times as thanks for rescuing her, obtaining hard-to-find materials, or doing different favors for her.  Her super-gizmos tend to be complex mechanical devices that use parts of science most people haven't figured out yet.
Origin: Bob comes from a family of mechanics who occasionally sprout a gizmologist or super-gizmologist.  When she started showing exceptional talent as a tween, she was apprenticed to her uncle Mack.  She worked in his garage until she graduated high school and set up shop on her own.
Uniform: Blue-collar clothes, usually a denim shirt and jeans, overalls, steel-toed boots, and a tool belt.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Athletic, Expert (+4) Intelligence, Good (+2) One of the Guys
Poor (-2) Trouble Magnet
Powers: Master (+6) Super-gizmology
Motivation: For science!  If you can imagine it, I can make it.  (Whether or not it's a good idea.)

Thumper (Harlan Lott) -- Harlan is short and thick. He has fair skin, brown eyes, and salt-and-pepper hair. He works as a henchman for supervillains. Harlan adheres to Thumper's Rule: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." He's actually a nice guy, just happens to have talents that lend themselves well to breaking heads. He's a mercenary because that kind of work pays well and he needs to put beans on the table.
Origin: Harlan's mother was an innocent bystander caught in a superpowered firefight while pregnant with him, and hit several times by assorted powers. He was born with superpowers as a result, which made life awkward for his family.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Polite, Expert (+4) Tough, Good (+2) Fighter, Good (+2) Wealth
Powers: Good (+2) Force Bolt, Good (+2) Super-Strength
Motivation: Money.

Thunderfist (Thyra Lindenberg) -- She has shoulder-length blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. She's tall and very muscular, built like a Viking warrior. She belongs to the six-part superhero team the Spectrum. She is killed in action by the Undertaker.
Origin: She inherited a family gauntlet that grants superpowers to a worthy bearer.
Uniform: Silver dexflan jumpsuit with a blue capery cape.
Qualities: Master (+6) Tough, Good (+2) Bragging, Good (+2) Leader
Powers: Good (+2) Regeneration, Good (+2) Super-Strength
Motivation: Uphold the family honor.

Introduced in "Enter the Dark Horse."

Ticker (Alroy Collins) -- He has fair skin with freckles, amber eyes, and short wavy red hair. He is tall and slim. He has numerous tattoos, including a melted clock over the back of his left hand, inspired by his Time Control gift. Ticker belongs to the branch of the IRA that is more-or-less precise in its use of terrorism to protest British dominion and bring justice where the courts won't. He is an ally of the Marionettes.
Origin: When Alroy was seventeen, his mother fell ill suddenly and was dying. There was no way to save her, and the family was scattered far and wide. His superpower manifested, buying enough time for the family to gather and say goodbye. Which was great until he passed out on the floor from overexertion, making everyone think they were about to lose another relative. They've never really relied on him knowing his own limits since then.
Uniform: Street clothes.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Revolutionary, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Drinking Buddies, Good (+2) Spirited, Good (+2) Storyteller
Poor (-2) Nervous
Powers: Expert (+4) Time Control
Motivation: Irish freedom and reunification.

Introduced with "In Dublin's Fair City."

The Trashman (Juan Carlos Garcia) -- He has warm-toned skin, brown eyes, and short, wavy dark hair. His build is slim and wiry, with a substantial amount of body hair. He looks completely ordinary and forgettable. He is fully bilingual in English and Spanish, able to mimic diverse class and regional accents in both. He has subsequently learned moderate amounts of Farsi, French, German, Japanese, and Russian for professional reasons.
His telempathy is limited but extraordinarily useful in his line of work; it makes people overlook him, assume that he has a right to be there, and see what they expect to see. It's very subtle and therefore almost impossible to block. It's like the mental equivalent of inserting a tape loop into a security camera. It also helps him notice people approaching before they can spot him. The Trashman is a skilled and respected assassin. He'd be considerably richer if not for his habit of taking low bids to hit bigots.
Origin: As a boy, he served as a lookout for drugrunners. His talent grew in slowly as he stretched himself to observe and to remain unobtrusive.
Uniform: Menial service garb. He wears the uniform of a janitor, trash collector, delivery boy, or whatever else will go unnoticed.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Assassin, Expert (+4) Menial Labor, Expert (+4) Smarter Than He Looks, Expert (+4) Weapons, Good (+2) Birdwatcher, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Languages, Good (+2) Unarmed Combat, Good (+2) Underworld Contacts, Good (+2) Wealth
Powers: Average (0) Telempathy
Motivation: Primarily money, but he also favors targets who are hostile to soups or people of color.

Tumbler (Leanna Nolan) -- She has tawny skin, amber eyes, and long straight red hair. Her body is slim and strong, with small breasts and narrow hips. Leanna has been a gymnast since her toddler years. After her superpowers manifested, she came to work for the Onion City SPOON base, with the understanding that if anyone ever identifies her assailant, SPOON will help bring them to justice. As a teleporter, she excels at reaching people even in the midst of a fight and pulling them to safety. She is friends with Leapfrog down in Easy City.
Origin: During her last Olympic tour, someone tried to poison her with an unknown substance. She completed her routine and then dropped to the mat with convulsions. After spending several weeks in the hospital, she developed superpowers.
Uniform: Navy blue shirt and pants with the SPOON logo embroidered in silver on the chest pocket..
Qualities: Master (+6) Gymnast, Good (+2) Organized, Good (+2) Patriot
Powers: Expert (+4) Teleporting, Good (+2) Super-Speed
Motivation: To discover the truth.

Introduced in "Clipped."

The Undertaker (Judd) -- He is a big black Friesian stallion. He can speak English, but poorly; his voice is rough and difficult to understand. His favorite song is Michael Longcor's "Tribes of the Draft." Unlike most supervillains, he not only doesn't hide his identity, he actively advertises it. Even the undersoles of his shoes are stamped with his emblem, a horseshoe surrounding a spade.
As a horse, he has a good-sized brain; his Super-Intellect makes him as smart as a clever human. His Super-Strength is considerably more than a human's, plus his body is designed for draft work so the physics of certain motions (pulling, pushing, kicking, trampling, etc.) will be far more effective.
Origin: He used to work as a draft horse for a mad science facility, hauling the kind of super-gizmos and exotic chemicals that weren't compatible with conventional engines. One day a superhero team hit the facility, wrecked the cart he was hauling, and killed his beloved driver. None of the other horses in harness survived the chemical spill, but it gave him superpowers and he managed to phase himself to safety.
Uniform: Black leather tack with silver fittings, with his name on it.
Qualities: Master (+6) Draft & Dressage Skills, Expert (+4) Tough, Expert (+4) Endurance, Good (+2) Friends with Dr. Infanta, Good (+2) Patience
Poor (-2) Savage Temper
Powers: Average (0) Death Touch, Average (0) Immortality, Average (0) Phase, Average (0) Super-Intellect, Average (0) Super-Strength
Poor (-2) Human Speech
Motivation: Revenge. He targets mad scientists primarily, superheroes secondarily, and makes occasional detours for people who abuse animals.

Introduced in "Enter the Dark Horse."

Valor's Widow -- Deirdre Braden has milk-pale skin and wavy auburn hair.  Her eyes have changed from hazel to glas, sea-color lit with sorrow.  She has a slender, delicate build.  Superheroes and supervillains alike respect her and stand aside for her.  They are coming to her more and more often for help resolving disputes or other problems.  Deirdre lives in San Jose.
Origin: Deirdre was the wife of Captain Valor.  When Haxxor planted a bomb in San Jose and took over Captain Valor's gizmotronic armor, Deidre activated a failsafe and destroyed the armor, killing both Captain Valor and Haxxor.  The sacrifice changed her from an ordinary woman to a supernary hera.
Uniform: Deidre dresses all in black, in sober styles.  Sometimes she wears a black veil too.
Qualities: Master (+6) Aura of Valor, Master (+6) Loyalty to Honor, Expert (+4) Love of Captain Valor, Expert (+4) Historian, Expert (+4) Mediation, Good (+2) Compassionate, Good (+2) Contacts Among Soups, Good (+2) Forethought, Good (+2) Graceful, Good (+2) Leader
Poor (-2) Broken Heart
Motivation: To keep the peace and uphold the memory of Captain Valor.

Introduced in "Valor's Widow."

Vanessa Byrne -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and long straight brown hair usually worn in a ponytail over her right shoulder. She likes to dress in bold color combinations, often black and white accented with red or blue. Vanessa is friends with Stephanie Wood, and they met during tap dancing class.
Qualities: Good (+2) Math, Good (+2) Punctual, Good (+2) Tap Dancer, Good (+2) Teamwork
Poor (-2) Drawing

Introduced in "Diced."

The Vanguardian (Dietrich Ostermann) -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short brown hair. His voice is loud and deep. He's starting to get a little paunchy in middle age. Dietrich has a string of marriages, all of which ended in divorce after a few years, each with one or two children. None of those family fragments get along with each other.
The Vanguardian is one of those poorly adjusted touch-dominant people who makes everyone think, "What an asshole." As a boss he is professionally demanding and verbally abusive.  Behind his back, people call him the "Vain-guardian."  Despite his obnoxious behavior, however, he provides his employees with the best equipment. The Vanguardian excels at tracking down secret labs belonging to supervillains, or other zetetic problems, and putting an end to them. He prefers infiltration and hacking to physical violence, so his casualty count is famously low. His predictions about developments in new technology, and how that could affect society, are accurate more often than not.
Origin: His superpowers grew in gradually.
Uniform: Business suit in the office, lab wear in the science department.
Qualities: Master (+6) Organized, Expert (+4) Investigator, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Generous with Equipment, Good (+2) Stamina
Poor (-2) Boss from Hell
Powers: Good (+2) Minions, Good (+2) Super-Gizmology.
The Avant-Garde have nine named managers and hundreds of nameless workers. The managers typically have an Average superpower, Expert Manager, Good Zetetics, and another Good quality; plus Poor (-2) Disgruntled Employee. Each has a super-gizmotronic computer tablet and sunglasses, plus one other personalized super-gizmo.
Motivation: Make people stop playing with the goddamn matches before they burn the goddamn building down.

Introduced in "Contracts and Bargains."

Whipcrack (Lakia Collins) -- She has tightly curled brown hair, brown eyes, and tan skin. Her parents are drug addicts, which led to her placement in foster care. She is six years old when she meets Danso. Lakia looks up to Hadyn.
Origin: A boy in her foster home had the Power Bestowal gift; he gave her a tail that can generate a neural strike. She ran away before anything worse could happen.
Uniform: Street clothes. She dislikes girl clothes, preferring to dress as a boy.
Qualities: Good (+2) Fast Learner, Good (+2) Fierce, Good (+2) Tomboy
Poor (-2) Self-Destructive
Powers: Average (0) Nerve Blast, Average (0) Prehensile Tail
Motivation: Survival.

Introduced in "The Ones Who Would Do Anything."

The Wilderneer -- Vitaly Balaban is a Russian wilderness guide catering to tourists interested in outdoor sports and adventure.  He is tall and fit, with a muscular chest but more wiry arms and legs.  He has fair skin, light brown hair, and green eyes.  Sometimes the local authorities call him in for search and rescue work if someone gets lost out in the wilderness.  He is adept at running, jumping, throwing things, climbing, and otherwise moving through rough terrain.
Origin: Vitaly's abilities grew in naturally over time.  He always had unusual endurance, which has expanded with age and experience.  The super-speed manifested at the beginning of puberty and the super-strength toward the end; it is likely they will continue to improve.
Uniform: Outdoor gear suited to the environment, usually tough practical clothes with an assortment of small tools attached.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Woodscraft, Good (+2) Cook, Good (+2) People Skills, Good (+2) Sports Knowledge
Poor (-2) Uncomfortable in Cities
Powers: Expert (+4) Endurance, Average (0) Super-speed, Average (0) Super-strength
Motivation: Man against the wild.  He challenges people to push themselves as far as they can, and helps them get there.
Model: Dan O'Brian, decathlon, 6'2" 165 lbs

Windmill / Windmolen (Lammert Aaldenberg) -- He has a homely appearance with a dumpy body and square face. He has messy light brown hair, blue eyes, and ruddy skin. He is a Dutch super-gizmologist who specializes in urban planning and architecture. He has always enjoyed wisselvak, the craft of changemaking which is Dutch for gizmology and super-gizmology; he still builds veranderingen or self-mobile toys.
Several times Lammert has been kidnapped or threatened in an attempt to make him build things for supervillains or shadowy organizations, but he has always refused -- and usually foiled their plans in the process. He moves from Holland to the Maldives to build wave baffles and floating cities for them. He has been afraid of drowning ever since he was swept out to sea as a toddler and had to be rescued, but he refuses to let that limit him.
Origin: Lammert grew up studying historic scientists and alchemists, poring over their notes. This pushed the development of his mind until gizmology shifted into super-gizmology. The wind powers emerged later with no obvious source.
Uniform: Tan shirt and matching pants or shorts, work boots, and hard hat. His company has a blue windmill logo that appears on his shirt pocket.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Intelligence, Good (+2) Civil Engineering, Good (+2) Never Gives Up, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Afraid of Drowning
Powers: Expert (+4) Super-Gizmology, Good (+2) Wind Powers
Motivation: To hold back the sea.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman.dreamwidth.org Date: February 20th, 2017 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
So Judd likes Michael Longcor. Good taste, that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 20th, 2017 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)


... and Backdraft likes Leslie Fish, his theme music is her Firestorm album. :D
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