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Fan Works / Re: Gideon’s OC Shenanigans
« on: December 03, 2019, 07:14:09 PM »
Presents Under the Tree
Another canon prompt.
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Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 06:01:29 PM »
Thorkild quirked an eyebrow at Caialyn’s reaction to his exchange with Uriah. ’Did we miss the part where he called me a blardargark?’ She was right, the Elder deserved some respect. But Thorkild didn’t have any love for the man. Thorkild could have brought his own dog to the meeting, the fact that Caia had brought hers just made the Norwegian aggravated. How did it feel, he wondered, to have your Grand Mage require you to be an Elder for her appointment to the position? Her clarification was almost amusing. It never failed to amaze him just how seriously people took the word “allies”.
”It speaks volumes about Canaan Primal. And how everyone responded to him, it doesn’t speak a word about me or about Grand Mage Mercer.” Thorkild said flatly. He crossed his fingers on the desk and leaned forward, pressing his right hand against the desk to give it nowhere to move. Mild curiosity played across his features. ”The fact that other Sanctuaries haven’t been monitoring Egypt as closely as General Sodom surprises me.” Caialyn’s arguments would have been valid if Thorkild was some kind of Cote staple. But he wasn’t, he was a stopgap to give Roland five seconds of breathing room. Something cold brushed past Thorkild’s face before he could respond to her terms, stopping him in his tracks. Papers on his desk fluttered slightly. His train of thought derailed as his eyes flicked around the room for a second. Uriah noticed it as well, but seemingly didn’t care. And Declan Aduain appeared on the ceiling behind Thorkild. His face was as impassive as ever behind the matrix of complicated tattoos. That one Uriah reacted to, suddenly on his feet with arms down by his sides.
”Elder Feilstrom is operating on information rendered outdated as of two hours ago.” The suddenly visible man deadpanned, his harsh accent and strange blend of influences painfully clear. ”I was coming to inform him that the agents in Egypt were removed at my discretion. I apologize for any misunderstanding.” The Blackshield was mimicking Thorkild’s mannerisms in a way that made the Norwegian’s skin crawl.
”Director Pauk. We weren’t expecting you.” Thorkild said through a stiff jaw.
”Who authorized this?” Uriah asked, still obviously on guard.
”I did. If you haven’t noticed, Elder Ravan, both Elder Feilstrom and Grand Mage Mercer are rather busy dealing with the fallout of Blackshield 19’s assault.” Declan dropped from the ceiling in a motion that could best be described as peeling himself off, landing on the stone floor without a sound. ”Hence why they were removed at my discretion.” Declan said slowly, a hand absently tracing at the jagged tattoo on his neck. Thorkild clapped a single time, and gestured with an open hand to Uriah and Caialyn.
”In that case, there’s nothing in Egypt of any relevance to the Cote. The border will be redrawn within twenty-four hours.” Thorkild shot Declan a stormy look. The fact that the Blackshield had let him go through the meeting for god knows how long before bringing that crucial piece of info made him grind his teeth. Uriah gave Declan an equally furious glare, more than likely for having been in the room for an unknown amount of time without being noticed. Declan seemed to not even care about the two of them, his focus was already back onto something Thorkild didn’t want to consider. ”And with anything resembling teeth having been swiftly removed from anything I could say.” Thorkild said with a sideways glance at Declan. Uriah agreed to the terms that Caialyn had laid out with a curt nod, still seeming to size up the very bored looking Declan. ”Grand Mage Mercer will be in contact with his approval.”

Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 03:41:50 PM »
Thorkild smiled without teeth and took a sip of his wine. He was starting to realize exactly why it was that people didn’t like dealing with the ivory coast. It seemed like the very walls tried to push people into becoming the darkest versions of themselves. Why had he agreed to come on as an Elder, again? The fact that Caia had never run an intelligence operation was clear. Foreign powers acknowledged the others operations in all kinds of capacities, as long as they weren’t spying on each other. Generally when an entire country changed hands, it was good for the new power in the region to be aware of previous operations. But the saying held true. Never ask for the price you want.

”It’s settled then, you leave the Cote operat-“
”That wasn’t what you asked.” Uriah growled, cutting Thorkild off from whatever he had planned on saying. Thorkild met his gaze with a gleam in his eye.
”It’s not what I wanted, either.” Thorkild’s response was soft, far less staccato than it had been in his previous exchanges with Uriah. ”Have you never sold a car?” Thorkild followed up in bewilderment, looking at the older mage with a bemused grin.
”No.” Uriah scoffed at the Norwegian with a look of contempt. The elemental was practically gnashing his teeth at the younger mage.
”Always set the price high. Get talked down to what you actually want.” Thorkild pushed his wine away and leaned back in his chair, absently scratching at his chin with a shaking hand.

”You’re a miserable blardargark, Thorkild Feilstrom.” Uriah sighed and leaned back as well, finally partaking in the port that Grand Mage Nephthys had summoned earlier. Now it was his turn to size up Thorkild. The Cleaver Elder didn’t seem like he’d be difficult to burn, long hair was a stupid choice for a fight. What was more aggravating is that he didn’t even pay attention to the millennia-old mage, he just went back to the matter at hand.

”Our intelligence director has confirmed all agents are still sound of mind, Grand Mage Nephthys. When that ceases to be, Director…” Thorkild stopped short of saying Aduain, a barely perceptible pause that he tried to mask with a yawn. ”Pauk, will ensure the agents are dealt with.” Intelligence director was a stretch. If anything, Declan was more of a freelance liquidator than any kind of spymaster. No matter how much he disliked the tattooed freak of nature, nobody was better at making sure their own people stayed on the straight and narrow than Blackshield 26. He couldn’t shake the ridiculous, gnawing sensation that he was being played. The Middle-East was trustworthy. Caialyn was trustworthy, but here was Thorkild acting like there were enemies at the gates. His absent scratching turned into an exhausted resting of his head against his shaking hand. ”I owe you both an apology.” Thorkild muttered. Uriah looked at him like a mercurial child, Thorkild figured he deserved that.
”You think so?” Uriah said, making the sheer obviousness of Thorkild’s statement painfully apparent. Thorkild didn’t acknowledge it before speaking again.
”My evaluation of Cote d’Ivoire when I agreed to come on as Elder was that they were an island. They- we. Lacked allies or interest in making alliances.” Thorkild removed his hand and scoffed at himself. ”I tried too hard to fill the shoes of Israel Sodom. Thank you for your offer, Grand Mage Mercer will approve anything that needs be approved within the hour to ensure a smooth transition.” Thorkild’s tone brightened slightly, but his posture remained more slumped than relaxed. 

Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 06:27:33 AM »
Thorkild scoffed. It wasn’t a noise he made very often, and judging by the harsh response that Uriah had, it wasn’t a noise that was made in the direction of Grand Mage Nephthys very often either. Maybe it was the language barrier, but the misunderstanding of supply and demand would’ve made Thorkild laugh if he had even slightly less composure.
Uriah glared. Thorkild met him with the kind of bored, impassive stare that sent chills up the ancient Elemental’s spine. The Middle-Eastern Elder had met a lot of killers. A lot that loved and a lot that hated. But he’d met very few men so completely desensitized to it.
Thorkild pretended to look deep in thought. Egypt? The plot of desert crawling with Faceless Ones worshippers that drove psionics insane? The biggest liability to Côte d’Ivoire in the event of another war? The fact that Canaan hadn’t shoved it into Caialyn’s hands years ago baffled Thorkild. Hell, Thorkild doubted Roland would even question why he signed the thing over on a whim. Help rebuilding was worth a lot more than Egypt. ”Take it, on one condition.” Thorkild held up his tremor-wracked hand with the index finger extended. Despite his best effort to keep the damn thing stable, he realized the essential tremor probably just made him look genuinely intoxicated. ”I know there are Côte intelligence agents in Egypt. Mostly plainclothes Cleavers. Where exactly, I’m not sure. It’d require Roland to tell me.” Thorkild swiftly took his hand down and tucked it under his desk. ”Those agents remain in Egypt until their assignments are completed, and are granted Ambassador status for the duration of those assignments as far as our Sanctuaries are concerned.” Thorkild’s tone and expression took on some of their more usual softness. It was with great relief that he realized he didn’t want to punch Uriah’s brain out the back of his skull.

Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 04:38:51 AM »
Thorkild listened intently as Caialyn laid out her terms. Normally there would have been more pleasant conversation, more time to read the other diplomat. But Thorkild’s patience was short these days, his willingness to chat before getting to whatever conversation needed to be had was essentially nonexistent. The way Uriah kept trying to keep the room in view was going to drive Thorkild fishing insane. His eyes bored into the other Elder before he finally sat down as Caia laid out just how vulnerable the Côte was at the moment. Uriah nodded in agreement. A reasonable gesture from a reasonable subordinate. To Thorkild it just made him wonder how Uriah’s weathered face would look with its teeth melted into his mouth. He did his best to keep the dark expression off his face as he looked back to Caialyn. He poured some of the highly tannic wine into a wide glass and held it to his nose as he spoke, visibly listening and making sure she knew he was engaged. He paid no mind to the scarring on her face, bringing the glass to his face with his own hand he downed everything in it at once.
 ”The vendettas are solved.” Thorkild said, practically smacking his lips as the wine hit his stomach and gesturing to the barren office with his quaking hand. ”Blackshield was the last stain on this Sanctuary’s reputation. And the last one of those freaks made his feelings known.” The harsh laugh that came out of his throat didn’t seem right compared to how he normally spoke. He ran a hand down his face and leaned back in his chair with a heavy sigh. ”But you’re right. This sanctuary and every single operation it was running is dead in the water. We’re spreading cleavers and agents thinner than we were during Middle Atlas, and we don’t have General Sodom to coordinate them.” His gaze settled on Uriah for a moment. ”But this sounds expensive.” He shook his head and held a hand in front of his face as though he could physically retract his choice of words. ”Correction. It sounds valuable.” He looked back to Caialyn with an expression that could only be described as exhausted. He poured more wine with his stable hand. ”What’s the exchange rate for help from a neutral party into currency Côte knows?”

Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 03:44:59 AM »
Thorkild regarded the pair as they entered with a curious expression. They both looked surprised by what they saw, the bare office and war-torn sanctuary tended to have that effect on people. The Norwegian had to bite back the statement that yes, it was just one man that had torn through Côte D’Ivoire like it was nothing. From what he’d heard of the walking nuclear bomb at Grand Mage Nephthys, it shouldn’t be an unusual sight. ”Roland is always coping well.” Thorkild said absently, looking through his desk drawers. ”His transition was surprisingly smooth. Most of the people that would have dissented are being carved into the wall of the foyer.” Thorkild grimaced at the brutality of his own words. Even if he was telling the truth, it seemed like a unpleasantly excrement-like thing to say to the leader of another Sanctuary. His eyes flicked back to the Grand mage as she spoke again, he actively fought the urge to react as she reached into her sheath and retrieved... a pen? Of course. She writes things. Thorkild didn’t respond as she started writing and materialized a bottle of port and a set of glasses. He gave an impressed nod and retrieved the bottle of wine he had been looking for, placing it on the table with a half smile. ”You read every room in the sanctuary right.” Thorkild sighed and popped the cork, he stopped short of actually taking a drink from the bottle.
Uriah’s eyes widened at the Elder in front of him, flicking between Thorkild and Caialyn for a moment. He had known plenty of elders that kept a bit of the sauce in their desk. However, he’d never met an elder barely a month into rebuilding a Sanctuary openly drinking on the job. You’re a unique man, Thorkild Feilstrom. Uriah stepped off to the side to keep the door and the Grand Mage in view at once.
Thorkild took a seat and gestured to the two large chairs opposite him. ”Please, sit. We should get down to business.”

Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 02:03:53 AM »
Uriah started at Thorkild’s reaction, and his thoughts went to the same place as Caia. So why keep the jacket? From the little the Fire-Tamer remembered of Elder Feilstrom, he was a very, very good Cleaver. And his accolades as Company Captain were ones that even a mage of Uriah’s status couldn’t scoff at. ”Of course, Grand Mage. I apologize, Elder.” The man said sincerely. Thorkild’s expression softened and Uriah returned his smile. As Thorkild took his hand from Caia’s grasp he shook Uriah’s. Despite the elder’s slim frame, Uriah was outright shocked at the grip strength he could feel behind the other Elder’s handshake. Apparently they just didn’t make Cleavers like they used to.
Thorkild swiveled back to Caialyn and bowed his head. ”I know the jacket gives off mixed signals.” He said softly, a hint of a chuckle behind his words. ”But the damn thing saved my life on more occasions than Roland, parting with it would be like leaving an old friend hanging in the closet.” Thorkild was surprised by how relaxed the two other officials were. Pleasantly surprised. It was nice to have people inside Coté without constantly looking over their shoulder for something awful. ”I would expect someone of your talents to prefer letter writing. I’ve grown fond of the art recently. Opening my email only ever brings grim tidings.” He turned on his heel and started walking toward one of the branching corridors, one leading to the office he’d taken over from Israel after her death. Cleaning the elder out of the walls had taken far longer than Thorkild had ever wanted. Just the thought of it practically sent shivers down his spine. ”Of course, my office isn’t far.” Thorkild hated walking between areas of the Sanctuary. Côte had never run on a large staff, preferring to keep their operations tight given the nature of so many projects. But it seemed to make the large hole in their skeleton crew even more noticeable, make the halls even more eerily silent. Uriah found himself searching for comments to make, even if only to lighten the mood, but the crushing emptiness of their surroundings meant it would have likely just prompted Thorkild to sigh. They arrived at an office without a door, the frame obviously damaged from where the Scourge of Scotland’s hands had ripped it from the hinges. Uriah gaped at it for a second before Thorkild stepped through the doorframe and disappeared. A sigil above the door flashed green for a moment, and the grey jacketed arm popped into existence for them to enter.

Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 01:06:24 AM »
The high pitched clink of a chisel and the rough grating of needle files had been a relaxing sounds for Thorkild Feilström of late. Despite the macabre epitaphs they carved and the gloomy message that the sound carried, it gave the Elder something to focus on when he didn’t have paperwork to do. He didn't know the names that he carved, not really. Sometimes he would catch a surname that he’d seen on an office, or recognize one from one of Roland’s tirades. And that was precisely why he’d agreed to take on the task of helping to carve all seventy-seven names into the marble wall. That and his crushing guilt at having been complicit in every single death. Lots of choices Thorkild had made in his were motivated by guilt. More than the Cleaver Elder liked to think about.
A voice caught the Norwegian’s attention from behind him, not a distinctly familiar one, but most people didn’t talk when they were in the foyer these days. Most of them just tried to block out all the new names. He turned slightly to look over his shoulder to see the meeting he really should have remembered he was having. The Middle Eastern Grand Mage and one of her Elders. The Grand Mage had a look about her that he couldn’t quite place. The Elder, Uriah Ravan, simply had a look of detached curiosity that Thorkild needed to fight very hard to not want to smack off his face. Thorkild blew the marble dust off the file, placed it on the ground, and stood up. He pulled the grey jacket over his shoulders and walked to meet the two officials with a warm smile. ”Grand Mage Nephthys, Elder Ravan.” Thorkild said, extending a hand to shake as he approached.
“Company Captain.” The Rubanesque elemental beside her replied. Muscle rippled across Thorkild’s face and neck for a moment as he ground his teeth at hearing that title.
”I much prefer Elder  these days, Uriah.” Thorkild’s words came out more measured than he’d hoped, but it was the best he could do to restrain himself from outright snapping at the older mage. He’d been an Elder in Africa for less than a month and he was already being harangued. llamain hell. His head swiveled back to Caialyn, cutting off any response that Elder Ravan could have been preparing. ”A pleasure to meet you.”

Approved Profiles / Re: Declan Aduain
« on: November 06, 2019, 03:13:35 AM »
Requested and unrequested Changes made!

Approved Profiles / Re: Declan Aduain
« on: October 03, 2019, 03:49:28 PM »
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- Additional Notes:

Approved Profiles / Re: Declan Aduain
« on: October 03, 2019, 03:48:56 PM »
Soul Bond
- Soul Mate:
- Bond Duration: The Bond between Declan and Siobhan formed very recently in a moment of extreme jubilation. Though having only existed for a few weeks in real-time, due to the way that the pair have spent their time (and a large amount of weed), the actual age of the Bond is somewhat hard to gauge.
- Bond Strength: Like all Bonds, the one between Declan and his soul mate is rather mercurial and can vary wildly in how powerful or weak it is. Since neither Declan nor Siobhan are psionics, they can’t actually see the soul bond, so they generally guess at what it’s doing.
- Bond Interactions: Soul Bonds grant a constant stream of information between the soul mates, what kind of information varies depending on the discipline and tree of magic that each soulmate has. In this case, both Declan and Siobhan are energetics. This grants them extreme awareness of each other’s surroundings and physical state. Body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, the amount of strain on individual muscles, the position of the other’s body, and sensations the other is experiencing are all things that can be perceived by Declan and Siobhan in equal measure. The power of these shared feelings varies wildly but gets stronger and more noticeable when in high-stress situations. This allows Declan and his soul mate to fight in perfect harmony while still being rather individualistic fighters, closer to lions than the wolves they have been likened to in the past.
- Shared Immersion Metamorphosis: Declan and Siobhan have never entered a Shared Immersion Reaction, however, they have seen what would happen if they did. Thanks to their Bond being far more mutually understood and accepted than other Soul Bonds, their Shared IM is far more dynamic than most. When one or both of them hit IM, it immediately pulls the other into their reaction, and they both show traits of the other’s discipline during this. Declan’s tattoos all glow, and his hands and forearms will develop a coating of ice that moves like a second skin while in IM. Their perception and awareness of each other will also experience an uptick, similar to how Psionics have their minds meld into one when they reach IM, with less danger of being fused permanently together.
Were either of them to have a near-death experience while in this state, it would pull them into yet another stage of Immersion Metamorphosis. Shared Empowered Immersion Metamorphosis is the most powerful and most dangerous thing that can happen between two Soul Bonded individuals, and this goes doubly so for Declan and Siobhan. In this state, the two of them would be perfectly aware of the other in real-time, their perception would experience an extreme buff, and they would speak their respective dialects of symbology fluently. At that point, rather than having to draw or carve symbols for any purpose they would be capable of simply speaking their effects into existence with very little of the traditional symbol dangers being present. While less obviously dangerous than for Psionics or Biosorcerers, Shared IM is still extremely dangerous. The risk is that Declan and Siobhan could have their perception and awareness permanently fused into a single mass of nigh-indecipherable sensations, feelings, and surroundings coming from both soul mates simultaneously. Essentially making it so they are completely incapable of functioning as individuals and requiring a constant Shared IM state to be able to tell what information belongs to Declan and what belongs to Siobhan. 

Goals, Motivation and History
- Major Goal: Declan’s overarching prerogative in life right now is to stay with Siobhan. While it seems like a short-sighted goal at best and a dangerous one at worst thanks to the fickle nature of a Soul Bond, Siobhan gives Declan the one thing that had been evading him for so long, a place he truly feels that he belongs. And, Declan will do everything in his emotionally stunted might to hold onto it for as long as possible. 
- Minor Goals: Find the greatest, most powerful weed in the multiverse.
- Motivation: Declan’s motivations and reasoning for his actions have no real consistency. For decades he did the things he had to do to make sure he stayed alive, when times were dark and the outlook seemed grim he didn't have something to cling to and let him pretend everything would be ok. He was following orders, he was helping the greater good, maybe his mother would finally be proud of him. Declan will cling to anything he can at that moment to take his mind off of the grim reality he finds himself in. Recently he has been motivated by the Soul Bond and a strong desire to reconnect with the other Infiltrators that he hasn't seen since the War ended, but both of those things can cause him equal amounts of stress as they do excitement.
- Bio:

CW: While rather tame compared to some things I’ve worked on, Declan’s bio is heavy on murder, violence against women and children, and mistreatment by parental figures. Details are sparse, but be warned.

This bio is also rather experimental. Think of each spoiler tag as an “episode” so to speak of Dec’s backstory, leaving room to add events/descriptions as needed.

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Approved Profiles / Declan Aduain
« on: October 03, 2019, 03:46:35 PM »
Name and Occupation
- Taken Name: Declan Aduain
- Pronunciation of the Name: Dec-lan Ah-doo-in
- Name Etymology: Declan took his name as a tongue-in-cheek joke for one of the first personas he adopted while undercover. Declan found the name fit better than his native Russian one when he took it on for a mission and kept it ever since. Declan is an Irish name meaning “man full of prayer” or “man full of goodness”. His surname is Gaelic for faceless.
- Given Name: Declan was generally referred to simply as “Avariya”. A Russian word for accident.
- Pronunciation of the Name: Ee-vah-reh-yuh
- Character Job: Formerly a spy working directly under Canaan Primal and Israel Sodom. Unemployed in the wake of the Côte d’Ivoire Sanctuary Massacre, currently writing a book on symbols. Inter-dimensional artifact hunter when the mood strikes.
- Qualifications: Blackshield Training, extensive espionage and infiltration experience during and following the war. He’s really not qualified to hunt otherworldly artifacts, but if he’s honest there isn’t really anyone else in the game right now.
- Titles: Subject Twenty Six (his Blackshield designation), Merizi (Amharic word for poison). Roughly eleven million versions of the title and nickname “Spider”.

Character Mentality
- Character Personality: Declan’s true personality is best described simply as “cold”. His training during the War removed a significant amount of his original personality up until recently. But almost no one knows what Declan is actually like as, by his estimation, only six people have seen him wearing his own face and talking with his own voice for more than a few moments within the last 50 years.
 While his emergence from deep cover slowly reminding him how to function normally, Declan has spent almost 300 of his 400 years of life pretending to be various different people. As such he’s actually less comfortable when actually being himself than when in a disguise of some kind. Without his facade and voice alteration symbols, Declan can be withdrawn and sullen. He struggles to relate to other people on a regular human level, finding their emotions and seemingly sudden outbursts to be overwhelming without the shield of being someone else to protect him. When wearing his own face, Declan can go through extreme mood changes of his own. Going from feelings of elation to a complete crash in minutes when he doesn’t have the anchor of a character to play or a mission to complete. His changes in mood are often associated with the people around him. He has extreme reactions to both praise and criticism, positive and negative. His temper is rather short, but he rarely directs it at anyone but himself. Even at the height of his rage, Declan is more inclined to harm himself in some respect than he is to lash out at anyone else.
  Declan is incredibly desensitized to violence of all kinds, a result of complex PTSD developed during the War and his actions therein. Many of his memories of the war, particularly from his time working with Blackshield, are repressed, and he will never discuss them for fear that his active dissociation from his actions will melt away and reveal the deep scars hidden beneath. Declan has no qualms about murder. The nature of his job during and after the War meant that every mission guaranteed he would kill at least one person, and after his twelfth mission it simply became his job. This emotional avoidance is yet another reason Declan is most comfortable when he isn’t himself. As long as Declan Aduain is hidden beneath someone else, he never has to answer for what he’s done. That being said, Declan very rarely experiences the horrific flashbacks that many others who fought in the African War have.
 Declan’s naturally detached and seemingly disinterested appearance gives him a very distinct and Laconic sense of humor. While he doesn’t often intend to be funny or to make light of a situation, his inclination to respond with very blunt and to-the-point observations can make it seem that he’s cracking a one-liner or delivering a roast. Depending on the company that Declan finds himself in, this can make him either naturally charismatic or very annoying. Both of which have drastic effects on how he proceeds in any given interaction.
 Due to his… rocky start in life and his capture toward the end of the War, Dec fears being abandoned in the extreme. As such he will often go out of his way to avoid forming close personal attachments out of fear they’ll leave one day. Declan is consciously aware that he uses disguise as a coping mechanism, and chooses not to acknowledge it as best he can. At his core, Declan is terrified of what might happen if he were to reveal to anyone what he truly is beneath the facade tattoos and Cleaver enhancements. He wants to be comfortable wearing his own face, but the idea of how people would react to him as Declan keeps him from ever truly being honest. Even something as simple as an employee at a coffee shop remembering his name can make him uncomfortable, because from that moment on he feels as though his cover is about to be blown, and the random mortal behind the counter will know what he really is, and they’ll leave.
 Declan has never really felt like he has a place in the world or in society. He’s never called a place “home”. Regardless of how well he blends in and no matter how much the people around might understand him, Declan always feels out of place and alone. 
 Declan is a social chameleon above all else. The chance of anyone actually learning how damaged Declan has been by his experiences and mental health is slim to none. Depending on the situation he finds himself in, whether disguised or not, Declan can be a completely different person from moment to moment. This is primarily a defense mechanism building off of his deep-seated fear of abandonment and his need to be affirmed and fit in and is a skill that his job and training only helped hone further. When he has a specific character to play or a role to fulfill, Declan is laser-focused and never deviates from the persona he’s taken on.
 As with most people that undergo a Soul Bond, it had a distinct effect on Declan from the moment it was formed. Declan and his interactions with the Soul Bond are complicated by his mental state. The idea of being so fundamentally connected to someone else, even if that person is someone he genuinely cares deeply for, is something that Declan doesn't always know how to deal with. Additionally, having lived with a gnawing sensation that he doesn't truly belong anywhere, the idea of a Soul Mate is simultaneously a wonderful realization and a horrifying burden. On one hand, Declan can say he genuinely belongs at Siobhan's side. After all, a Soul Bond happens for a reason, it isn't a one-sided endeavor. On the other, Declan is terrified by such a deep connection. His constant, nagging feeling that the people close to him will only be there for a fleeting moment means that the Soul Bond can actually amplify his fear of abandonment and his predisposition toward self-harm and self-criticism, with anything harm that comes to Siobhan oftentimes causing Declan to feel as though there was something he could have done to prevent it, or that he was the cause of it by some feat of mental gymnastics.
 - Character Likes:
+ Symbols: Declan’s first love and the thing that occupies his mind almost as often as where he wants to go next. Despite his best efforts at hiding them, Declan is an extremely emotional creature, and symbols provide an extremely diverse and fascinating way of expressing himself once the more advanced arts of Symbology come into play. The ability to seemingly never run out of things to learn is something Declan hasn’t found in any other kind of magic, and something that he tries to apply to everything else that he can.
+ Language: Building off his love for symbolism just as much as vice versa, Declan has a deep love and appreciation for words and languages of all kinds. On a regular basis, Declan will hear a word or a phrase that he’s never heard before and be utterly consumed by what it is based on nothing other than how it sounds. No matter how benign or uncouth the word might be. 
+ Disguise: While it is most definitely a coping mechanism, there is something to be said for the sheer amount of dedication that he has to the art of disguise and his love of the skill. Beyond using his symbols, Declan deeply enjoys coming up with ways to hide who he is beyond covering up his facial features and build. He can talk at length about ways to blend in and use simple tricks to hide who you are even without advanced abilities like his.
+ Approval/Praise: Just as much as Declan fears and reacts negatively to his own failures and feeling disapproved of, Declan is dependant on and revels in the approval of others. Small compliments or praises to his abilities can drastically change his mood for the better in almost any circumstance.
+ Beer: Much like with his other favorite things, Declan finds the craftsmanship that goes into brewing beer to be wonderfully fascinating. He doesn’t generally like to talk about the fact that he developed a taste for the beverage while undercover as a member of the Nazi Party, but it was when he encountered large amounts of beer for the first time.
- Character Dislikes:
- Being Exposed: Somewhat of a generic term, with the singular exception of being with Siobhan,  Declan doesn’t like to feel as though he isn’t hidden in any way shape or form. Wearing his own face, wearing clothes that he’s been seen in before or being honest about his past or his emotions, anything that could provide information on who he is and the things that he’s done are all things Declan will avoid with every fiber of his being.
- Disapproval/Failure: Above everything else, Declan’s feelings and choices are based on how other people react to him. While he can hide it for the sake of his cover if need be, when he fails to accomplish a task that he was assigned it affects him deeply, and if that failure is discovered and brought to his attention it can be crushing, no matter how small that failure may have been.
- Abandonment: One of Declan’s most mind consuming thoughts and fears is the idea that he will be left behind by people that he cares about. Of course, his cold mentality and general thought process can mean that being abandoned is his own fault, but to recognize that would require him to acknowledge who he is and what he’s done.
- The War: The War, in general, is a touchy subject for most mages. While Declan doesn’t particularly mind talking about the War in broad terms, when it gets into a discussion of Project Blackshield or specific actions that he was involved in the conversation can get a lot more difficult for him to take part in. Generally, when discussing such actions, Declan will refer to them as though he wasn’t there. This is most notable when he mentions the infiltrators where he will discuss the group as though he wasn’t a member
- Mental Traits: Declan suffers from severe Borderline Personality Disorder, which causes his seemingly random switches in emotional state and demeanor, as well as being the source of his extreme dependence on the approval of others. Due to his immense amount of time spent in deep cover over his extended life, Declan has developed symptoms similar to Dissociative Identity Disorder. Previous people he has impersonated or identities that he has created can manifest as completely separate entities within Declan’s mind. In many cases, he considers the Declan that was alive and operating during the War to be someone completely different than the Declan that lives today. He will refer to other identities, or to himself at other times in his life, in the third person as though he wasn’t actually the person in that moment. When it comes to the art forms that Declan enjoys and the skills that he hones, Declan is a staunch precisionist. Where other practitioners of symbology might decide to make small changes or creative freedom with particularly complex symbols to allow them greater freedom in their creation and manipulation, Declan is not about that life. He will beat his head against a brick wall determining the exact way to replicate a symbol properly until it works as intended, in all ways a perfect recreation of the original. This can make Declan seem extremely pedantic at times, obsessing over minor details and refusing to deviate from the method that he feels is correct. However, especially when it comes to the twin arts of symbology and language, it has less to do with any ingrained need to obsess over “rules” and instead speaks to his paranoid, copycat nature. While completely capable of creating his own symbols, accepting unique pronunciations of words, or accepting styles of combat that deviate from what he sees as optimal, Declan can be far too caught up in how people will react to his changes. Instead, Declan chooses to stick with his tried and true methods and avoid any uncomfortable conversations.

Species and Allegiance
- Species: Human
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
- Nationality: Declan was born a Russian, however, he doesn't identify with any particular country and holds citizenship in any country he can forge documents for.
- Alignment: True Neutral
- Allegiance: Himself.
- Reasoning: Declan has been an agent of the Sanctuaries for so long that all he really wants is to be left alone to do his own thing. Let the Faceless Ones in or hand Crayne Consolidated the nuclear launch codes for all Declan cares, just leave him out of it. 

- Allies:
- Enemies:
- Family: Declan’s only surviving relative is his brother, Gideon Macabre.
- Friends: The Infiltrators: Declan’s non-Blackshield squad during the War was a group of misfits that never planned on surviving as long as they did. Declan was the 6th member to join the band when the War was at its peak. Thanks to a previous working relationship with their fifth member, Dai Swordstorm, Declan was able to become an infiltrator without too much effort. For a group of misfits that Declan only joined to keep heat away from himself and his superiors following the Sigma Incident, they got on extremely well. Up to that point and for decades following, the Infiltrators were the only people that Declan would consider to be his friends. But Declan draws a distinct dividing line between himself and the other Infiltrators, to some extent he considers his five teammates to be the Infiltrators, while he just so happened to be present. But as much as he considers them all to be his friends and companions, even from afar, there are two in particular that Declan got along with best, two that had a somewhat strained relationship with Declan, and one that got along with everybody.
Axel Deadshot was a joker that was always looking for a good fight, and even if Declan was never completely honest about who and what he was, the Irish prick understood the battle lust that lived in him. Dai Swordstorm was a murderer. A Sanctuary assassin that made play he was some kind of soldier just doing his duty for the good of mages everywhere. He and Declan became fast friends and worked together constantly. They didn't talk much, but they really never had much to discuss.
Thorkild Feilstrom and Alison Nightfall both viewed Declan with a certain degree of suspicion and a small amount of disdain. While they acknowledged his place as one of them and would have his back just as readily as Declan would have theirs, his methods were not what they preferred, and his cold acceptance of savage violence unsettled Thorkild and disturbed Alison. Despite that, they forged a bond in the fires of the War that survives to the present day.
Roland Mercer gets along with everybody. He verges on almost too friendly, but Declan admired him for his courage and willingness to take high risks with massive rewards. More than a strained bond of friendship tested by the fires of battle, or a deep understanding of each other, Roland and Declan simply found each other to be enjoyable to be around.       
 Siobhan Donovan: Declan hasn’t ever been one to have friends, generally speaking. His job and the way he was raised never leant themselves to forming deep connections for anything other than an advantage over someone else. He’s broken this conditioning before with the Infiltrators, but never for very long before someone or something intervened. Siobhan is a different story. She’s not only Declan’s friend and his literal Soul Mate, but she understands him. And Declan likes to think he understands her in turn. Not only does Siobhan represent a deeply felt connection for Declan, but she makes him feel as though he belongs somewhere.
- Significant Other: None

Character Age and Gender
- True Age: 427
- Appearance Age: Mid-Thirties with his tattoos hidden. When his symbol tattoos are exposed it becomes almost impossible to tell how old Declan is.   
- Character Birthday: 7/7/1592
- Gender: Male

Character Appearance
- Skin Colour: Pale caucasian, slightly green-tinged.
- Height: 5’ 11”
- Weight: 95kg
- Hair Description: Declan shaves his head fairly regularly, if he were to let it grow for some odd reason it would be jet black and wavy.
- Eye Description: Declan has hazel eyes, with more brown in the center than green. In some lights, they look bluer than green and vice versa.
- Facial Details: Declan has a slim face, with sallow cheeks and deep-set eyes that gives his face something of a diamond shape. His forehead is average size and he has a pronounced chin and jawline. His actual facial features can be difficult to distinguish beneath the layer of tattoo ink that covers almost every inch of it. What can be made out is his slightly hooked nose and thin lips. When he speaks or moves his face it’s clear to see that there’s more muscle there than should be thanks to his Cleaver enhancement. When Declan uses the Façade only to hide his tattoos he looks very plain aside from the aforementioned strange musculature to his cheek and jaw. His eyebrows sit somewhat low over his eyes, making his expression tend to look permanently like a scowl, and his forehead looks slightly larger than it is while not covered in ink.
- Physical Appearance: Declan is rather lanky, with long arms and legs. He doesn’t look particularly beefy at first glance and is quite well proportioned for his height. Declan is deceptively thin for his weight, primarily due to the cleaver enhancements adding to and changing his muscle structure on a fundamental level. Very little of Declan is body fat, and the amount of muscle on his thin frame is somewhat uncanny valley to see. He has long, slender fingers that are generally calloused in several places from working with his various symbol tools. He has somewhat broad shoulders for his height, though not extreme enough that he would seem particularly intimidating at first glance. Declan doesn’t seem to fit into any well-defined build type and seems like he would be just as at home swapping hands as he would be running. As a Cleaver-trained individual, Declan moves with similar inhuman fluidity to a Vampire, just not on the same level. He has excellent posture as long as he isn’t undercover as someone that doesn’t, standing up straight with his shoulders back and head held high.
More noticeable than his height and build, however, is the fact that his entire body is covered in a series of intricately connected symbols. Some are carved, some are tattooed, but all of them combine to form a tapestry of complex lines and dots of various colors across every inch of his skin. From the complex series of mirrored black slashes across his cheeks to the intricately designed scrollwork that flows across his hands, and the series of symbols that dot his legs and form a confusing pattern across his midsection, Declan is a walking visualization of the maddening variety present in the art form he loves so much. The average person, on the off chance they were to see his body not covered by the façade, would find the tattoos and scarified designs to be extremely strange to behold, and probably dismiss them as distasteful at best as they don’t seem to form any kind of cohesive pattern or reasonable common thread.
- Attire: Declan doesn’t wear any particular clothes on a regular basis, preferring to dress for the situation and weather that he expects to encounter in any given situation. He does have color and style preferences, generally going for dark blues and blacks if he can. Declan will usually aim for a business-casual kind of style on most days, preferring slacks to shorts or jeans, and sticking to polo shirts or button-ups when he can. Generally, if he and Siobhan are planning to go on an excursion any farther than somewhere in their home dimension, Declan will throw several kinds of clothing into a large duffel bag. He likes to come prepared for extreme temperatures and conditions since they have encountered plenty of those on their travels. Declan can generally be found wearing boots or loafers of some kind depending on circumstances. He prefers boots on his travels for obvious reasons but prefers loafers in most other situations thanks to how comfortable they are.

Speech and Habits
- Character Voice: Declan has a flat, monotone voice that isn’t particularly high or low, though he does have impressive range even without the voice-altering symbols on his neck.
- Speech Traits: Declan’s accent is a bizarre chimera of the places he’s spent the most time and the people he’s been around the longest when not altering his voice with symbols. He has a clear mixture of Russian and Scottish accents from his early years, but also has been known to Palletalize words in unusual places thanks to his time spent in North Africa, and has very harsh “K” sounds from being around Israel Sodom for so long.
- Languages: Declan is fluent in English, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Amharic, and Farsi.
- Habits: Declan chews gum. Constantly. He buys it in bulk.
- Mannerisms: Declan often sits cross-legged on the ceilings of places where he’s in the company of mages. He finds it easier to relax when he knows most of the people around can’t reach him.

Weapons, Equipment and Artifacts
- Large Equipment: When off adventuring, Declan can often be seen carrying a large duffel bag that holds survival essentials for both Siobhan and himself. The exact contents can be seen in Small Equipment below. .
- Small Equipment: Mostly contained within his bag when he feels the need to carry it, the contents can sometimes be transferred to a smaller backpack if he isn’t planning to be gone for long, but the complete list is as follows. He will pick and choose if he knows where they’re headed, but in the event that he’s going in blind Declan will bring as much stuff as possible.
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- Weaponry: Declan rarely carries weapons on his person, and only owns one. A large knife roughly 8” long with a 4” handle. It has a recurved Atlarite blade and a wooden handle with the number “26” is just barely visible engraved on the handle. He does own several smaller knives, but he uses them primarily for carving symbols and not flesh, so he doesn’t consider them “weapons” in the traditional sense.
- Ammunition: None.
- Pocket Items: Wallet with some kind of forged ID papers depending on where he is, currency of some kind, a pen and scribe for drawing and carving symbols, a small notebook for notes and symbol memes, keys. Siobhan has mocked him repeatedly for his “Janitors Keys” as he has several keyrings that are all absolutely loaded with keys attached to a battered carabiner. Most of them he doesn’t remember what purpose they serve, but he keeps them nonetheless.
- Magical Equipment/Artifacts: None.
- Other: Declan owns several different kits of Symbol making tools that he has acquired over the years, each one containing more tools than the man himself can be bothered to actually catalog and check if they’re actually useful or simply something he grabbed because it might come in handy one day. Within his large collection are several sharp scribes, knives of various kinds, picks, pens with unique features like nibs that heat up to allow symbols to be engraved directly into more scratch-resistant materials, several kinds of ink and paintbrushes, chalk and china pens in various colors and of various ages, at least two tattoo guns and several small bottles of alchemically infused ink, as well as all manner of more traditional pens, inks, and paper. Unlike Siobhan, Declan doesn’t have any power tools in his repertoire and prefers to use more old school tools. Declan has a fairly extensive collection of forgers tools, and some of the few electronic devices that he owns are among these highly illegal items. He stores them primarily at a safe house in China that he was staying while undercover after the Sanctuary was destroyed.
While he doesn’t technically own them, there are several Blackshield facilities and safe houses dotted around Africa that only Declan is aware of thanks to the purge of anyone else that could unearth them through anything short of meme-level bad luck. He stores various things in these Blackshield sites, but generally will only stay there for as short a period of time as possible. All of the Blackshield sites are virtually derelict at this point, and Declan has personally seen to it in recent months that the information and records contained there are destroyed or kept in his hands. The fact that any Blackshield sites are still operational is one of the few secrets he’s kept from Siobhan in recent times, and as such he rarely visits any of them.

Magical and Physical Abilities
- Magic Type: Adept
- Specialization: Symbolism/Wall Walking
- Immersion Metamorphosis: Declan enters immersion metamorphosis for his symbolism if he uses more than two non-facade symbols at once, this state simply reveals the tattoos and carvings that cover his entire body as the symbols experience a surge of magic that disables the ones that conceal them. Wall-Walking has no immersion metamorphosis.
- Ability Specific Info: Wall Walking is an adept discipline that allows the user to magically alter their center of gravity. This grants the wielder the ability to literally walk up walls perpendicular to the ground and walk upside down on ceilings. Symbolism is the use of magical symbols in the form of tattoos, drawings, or carvings that can be used in offensive, defensive, and utility-oriented ways depending on the symbol, its method of creation, and its size.
- Magical Abilities: Declan’s discipline can be applied in more creative ways than simply walking on walls, like rooting himself in place and essentially becoming immovable or stepping onto and off of a fast-moving surface without any loss of balance. Declan has progressed in his abilities to the point that objects he is holding experience the same change in gravitational orientation. This is mainly so that he can drink upside down, and it's a neat party trick. He can also take people with him on Declan’s Wild Ride as long as he stays in physical contact with them at all times.
 Declan’s magic is primarily for utility, and the majority of his time dedicated to learning magic has been focused on symbolism, detailed below.

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- Physical Abilities: Having been run through the same training regimen as the other Blackshield candidates, Declan is slightly above the level of modern Cleavers in terms of his speed, strength, and agility. While not quite on the level of older Provectimancers or Vampires in terms of strength or reaction times, Declan has impressive stamina and is extremely coordinated. He can run long distances without tiring, has an extremely high pain tolerance due to “enhanced interrogation” training under Elder Sodom. Cleaver Training means that even when using the most unwieldy of weapons he is able to achieve extreme effectiveness.
- Strengths: Declan is a spy and infiltrator of extreme skill, his façade and Voces Multis tattoos are advanced enough that he can perfectly mimic another person if given the time to study them. Even when not directly imitating someone else, Declan is a social chameleon of great skill, able to blend in and pretend to feel at home pretty much anywhere as long as he’s wearing a face that isn’t his own. The intricate tapestry of symbols across his body makes Declan an extremely tricky opponent to deal with, seemingly able to whip something out for every situation. Declan is extremely hard to break mentally, with his training under Israel Sodom having pushed the limits of what he could endure enough that Declan is confident almost no one could get him to talk if he doesn’t want to.
While his advanced symbols and myriad of tricks certainly amplify his abilities as a spy, they aren’t the most powerful tool for that purpose. Declan’s true skill as a spy comes from his unwavering dedication to the character he plays. While more than capable of simply stealing a face and imitating someone he’s studied, Declan’s true power lies in creating fake people so believable that only the most paranoid vampire tattooists would bother questioning whether the person before them is real.
- Weaknesses: Of all the Blackshields, Declan is by far the most fragile. While his unusual tolerance to pain and hard to break mental state are advantages, they can also cause him to damage himself believing he’s in a better state than he is.
 Declan’s symbols, while powerful, become extremely draining when used for long periods or when used in tandem with each other. Thanks to this, if Declan uses too much magic he will begin to tap into the enhancements done to his blood. If this happens, his physical state will briefly experience a recovery before his blood cells and bone marrow start to rapidly decay. In the same vein, the high powers of his symbols come at extremely high costs. Some are avoidable with good timing, but for all of his most powerful abilities, the end result will be some form of bodily harm that can be completely debilitating. These drawbacks aren't things Declan can spin to his advantage either. Third-degree burns, torn muscles, shredded tendons, cluster headaches, and shattered bones are all weaknesses that could easily find Declan getting himself killed.
 Without Siobhan, Declan can be extremely awkward and difficult to interact with without prior experience when wearing his own face. Siobhan is something of a weakness for Declan. His normal way of living and fighting is extremely individualistic, expecting to be alone and unsupported for long periods. The Soul Bond changes this dynamic and, while Siobhan and Declan are skilled at fighting alongside each other, Declan can make choices and moves for Siobhan’s sake that will put him in extreme danger.
- Training: Trained under Elder Israel Sodom and Grand Mage Canaan Primal during the War, self-taught for the remainder of his life.


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Immersion Metamorphosis: No


Ximena payed Rico no mind as he flinched and took off down the hall, heading for his contact. Her focus was all on Monty. She held up her mechanical arm, to block any bullets. One smashed into her metal shoulder, the Russian teleported somewhere out of the room, leaving Ximena with just the merc and the supersonic cracks from the handgun. She winced under the repeated sonic hammerblows, the bone breaker’s eyes watered as her ears started ringing with a vicious tinnitus that would definitely need to be remedied. By the time she looked back towards Monty, he was right on top of her. She moved with all the speed her race was known for, and all the violence she was known for.
Ximena made the best use of her smaller size that she could. Dropping into a low, predatory crouch, Ximena surged forward to meet Monty’s attack, the wickedly curved talons on her right arm extended towards his stomach. While she was fast, the damage to her eardrums meant the Colombiana was no more balanced than the average human, leaving her hoping that she was able to move with enough unsettling speed to catch Monty unaware.


Ximena and her motley accompaniment of- ”What the llama are you doing?” Ximena said in a mixture of shocked indignation and impressed shouting. Her eyes were open comically wide at the mercenary, his hand wrapped around the Russian’s ankle and his gunshot wound seemingly miraculously healed. She snapped her attention to Rico for a split second. ”You, go kill whoever it was that’s been fixing those eyes of yours.” She spoke quickly and flatly, snapping out her words like a woman used to giving orders to less compliant individuals. She looked back to Monty and beckoned him with and outstretched, mechanical finger to come closer. ”Vamos a bailar, desgracado*.”

[*Let’s dance, goat.]

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