Post by HungryHunter on Jun 5, 2020 6:47:27 GMT
Birthday: September 18
Alignment: Neutral Good
Group Affiliation: None
Occupation: City Hall Archival Assistant
Location: Havelton, Michigan
Origin of Power: Magic
Favorite food: Chilli dogs
Hobbies: Sightseeing historical landmarks, soccer
Havelton is a town of the Old Northwest, beginning its life as a British fort on the shores of Lake Huron, later expanding into a trading post, then a town. Some consider it part of the Rust Belt, but few agree with this descriptor. Havelton bounced back almost immediately from the loss of factory jobs, adapting to tech nearly as quickly as Silicon Valley. This economic success has driven amazingly swift growth, with people from all over the Midwest migrating in for the jobs. The city has swelled to meet them, but in this it is unusual. Havelton has no suburbs. Apartments spring up like bamboo shoots to meet the needs of the incoming population. Local businesses are also bizarrely resilient to national chains. Visitors to Havelton will notice a lack of McDonalds, Walmart, and other mainstays of most American cities. Entering Havelton feels like stepping into an alternate universe to many outsiders, and some people report it as “unnerving”, but the locals think it’s all part of what makes their city special.
Gregory is a Havelton native, born and raised. His family had lived there for generations, dating back to before the Civil War. It was his family’s bond with the town and their extensive family records that first got him interested in history. At first, it was local history, but his focus soon expanded to the entire world, and his city became a mere backdrop, the place where his friends and family lived.
Things changed when he enrolled in college. He had decided right away he wanted to be a history major, and when an assignment asked him to research his own family history, he thought it an easy project. However, looking back at those old photo albums and journals, he noticed things that had slid past his mind as a child. It had eluded him, in part because it did not follow his family name. Each generation, the firstborn was surrounded by a confluence of strange events. Always important, always notable, men and women alike, even long before the Civil War. The first, the first pastor in Havelton, beloved but regarded by many as heretical, with a ravenous desire to “tame the land”, known for entering Native American territories to convert them and bring them into “civilization”. His eldest son, who led an all-black regiment in the Civil War and afterwards was elected mayor. His eldest daughter, a woman who rallied suffragists in the entire region and spread a doctrine much like her grandfather. She was also an industrialist, owner of nearly half of the factories in the entire city.
It grew stranger the more he looked. Their lives were not just grandiose, they were short. None of these firstborns ever died as children, even when they lost as many as 7 siblings, but none of them made it to 40 either. The priest was beaten to death at 29 in Native territory. His killers claimed his skin was as hard as stone and that he was a devil. Their knuckles were apparently skinned to the bone. They were all hanged. The mayor was assassinated, shot in the middle of a speech on annexing portions of the countryside to accommodate the increased population. While police caught the shooter and the crowd panicked, he continued his speech. When it was done, he dropped dead. The suffragist was the strangest. Neighbors claimed that one misty October morning, she stepped out of her lakefront manor and walked out into the lake. She simply kept walking until she was submerged and didn’t come up. With no evidence of foul play, it was marked down as a suicide.
The pattern continued down the line, every first child powerful and important until they dropped dead. Gregory couldn’t explain it. His own father fit the pattern, the head surgeon at the Havelton Regional Hospital, famous for his talents and his donations of local charities of many stripes. He would have forgotten about it, gone on his way. He did, after he finished his project and moved on to other things. Then, the day before his 40th birthday, his father disappeared.
Gregory was shattered. There were never any leads. Never a sign of where he went. A missing persons report was filed, posters were stapled up, but it seemed that in weeks, the world had forgotten about a surgeon and family man simply vanishing. After a period of complete emotional shut down, he found himself drawn once more to his family history. It was like something was whispering to him, drawing him forwards. He began to do more in-depth research, visiting historical locations, seeing places his family had shaped. It was at the church he found it. The original had been burned down in the 1970s, replaced with almost unusual speed with a brutalist concrete structure, imposing and grim. It was empty there, silent, but he heard voices, directing him to the pulpit. There he found a book. An old bible, scribbles on the margins, strange notes, explanations, and instructions. Gregory only half-understood it, even after copying them all down into a more readable notebook. It was the bible of his ancestor, explaining his views. The god of the bible had chosen Havelton, in his opinion, to be the shining city on a hill, a new chosen land. More details than that were impossible to discern. The further he read, the more incoherent it grew, endless ranting about the lake and getting lost on streets he knew. On the last page, however, there were instructions.
For the blood of my blood:
- Take the first road at sundown.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer at the lake’s edge. (The included scripture was not the Lord’s Prayer, but rather a strange collection of chants)
- Bathe in the waters of the lake in the light of the full moon to purify yourself.
- You will understand.
Lost for other options and compelled by the strangeness, Gregory undertook the ritual. In the light of the moon, naked in ice cold water, something touched his mind. It spoke in no words, but he felt its intentions. The city itself. In exchange for power, for reaching his maximum potential, he would help it to grow. He learned here of magic, and the city took his awe as agreement. When he emerged from the waters, he held the power of the city in his hands.
Gregory is in most regards an average-looking young African-American man. He usually goes clean-shaven, rather proud of his square jaw and not fond of the way his blue hair looks on his face. He is leanly muscular, more now that he has begun to work out in anticipation of trouble, with long and wiry arms. When using his powers, his skin takes on a grey pall and his hair and eyes turn the color off ash.
Slow and steady, Gregory is a meticulous scholar. He is prone to stopping and studying little details, to the point of missing everything else, and he is slow to speak and act. He prefers to work at his own pace, taking his time to research every angle before he acts. As such, he is a long-term planner more than a spontaneous actor, and he is often awkward in unexpected situations. He is deeply conflicted about his relationship with the city, researching more about its nature and history and discovering more about his own city-based magic in the process. He has yet to understand what he is dealing with and if it is even his enemy, and he refuses to act on insufficient information.
Concrete champion- Gregory, when using his powers, becomes one with the stone of the city. His skin becomes as tough as concrete, allowing him to take attacks that would be lethal to regular humans, and as a bonus, he can produce liquid concrete that rapidly hardens to trap those caught in it. He can also control the cement and concrete already in a city.
Urban climber- Gregory can stick to the exteriors of most modern buildings, climbing effortlessly on concrete and glass surfaces. However, like his other powers, this often fails him outside of the city. While he can climb to a lesser extent on stone, he does not have any prowess climbing other natural materials. Trees and wooden buildings are entirely out of his purview.
Almost-wild Followers- Gregory has a special relationship with animals that frequent cities. Rats, squirrels, cockroaches, pigeons, and other animals that thrive in urban environments are susceptible to his will. They willingly congregate near him and follow simple commands he gives them.
Bleak Escape- There are forgotten parts in every city, places that people simply don’t notice or actively ignore. By entering an abandoned building, slipping under a manhole cover, or walking through a dark alley, Gregory can enter a realm he calls the Labyrinth. Through this, he can effectively teleport, emerging in any large city in the world. However, he dislikes using this power, and its risks are great. The Labyrinth is a dark, confusing place. He has little control over where he actually ends up, and even when he does exit in the right city, there’s no guarantee he will be anywhere near where he wanted to be. Worse, he swears that he is not alone in the Labyrinth, and that every time he enters, he is attracting the attentions of something he would rather not know he exists.