Campaign of the Month: May 2021
Baghdad on the Bayou
Templar Knight and Champion of God
- Templar Knight MC: “The Scissors of the Rock” (High Concept)
- Achy and breaky all over. (Turning to stone and back to flesh, does a number on the joints.) (Trouble)
- There is something about Penelope…
- My faith, leathers, and gremlin bell protect me.
- My parole officer, Bernie, is a saint. Literally.
- My guardian angel is my bike.1 (Guest Star: David Brown)
- Being a rock is sometimes a name, sometimes a role, but sometimes literal.
- Retired aspect: The Lord will provide, but BYOK. (Bring your own knife.) (Guest Star: Vic Noble)
- _Retired aspect: Being a newly-wed crime fighter is asking for trouble. _
- Retired aspect: A million miles of grit, grime, and grease.
- Retired aspect: On a highway to hell.
- Retired aspect: Proud alumnus of Louisiana State (Penitentiary.)
- Fantastic (+6): Weapons, Conviction
- Superb (+5): Intimidation, Driving
- Great (+4): Might, Endurance, Discipline
- Good (+3): Athletics, Alertness, Empathy
- Fair (+2): Craftsmanship, Athletics, Presence, Fists
- Average (+1): Survival, Lore, Contacts, Rapport
- All other skills are mediocre (+0)
- Holy Touch [-1] (Touch may satisfy catch, Cause 1 point of stress/Weapon:1/or compel creatures)
- Guide my hand [-1] (Use a fate point to substitute Conviction for any other roll; Use “fortuitous arrival” without spending fate points—if GM agrees)
- Righteousness [-2] (Spend a fate point to let Conviction complement all skills related to purpose for a scene; When you take a severe or extreme consequence, or allies take extreme consequences, concede, or are taken out, make a Conviction attack vs. all enemies in zone, defended by Discipline. Damage automatically satisfies catches.
Malchus, the Sword of Justice (Sword of the Cross) [-5]
- It is what it is: Weapon: 3 [-0]
- Unbreakable [-0]
- Discount [+2]
- Use a fate point to ignore catches, mundane armor, etc. [-3]
- Can only be used with true selfless purpose [-0]
- Holy weapon (similar to holy water/cross) [-1]
- True aim: +1 to weapon skill [-1]
- Can be used to block magical attacks [-1]
- Can cut through anything [-1] (Once per scene automatically destroy an inanimate object. Spend fate point to do it again in the same scene.)
- Catch: May only be used in the name of justice. e.g., To right some wrong, to execute holy justice, to protect those who can’t protect themselves, etc. [+1]
Donkey [-2] In addition to other characteristics already described below, as a Item of Power, Donkey possesses the following:
- Unbreakable [-0]
- It is what it is [-0]
- Aquatic [-1] (Njǫrd gave a special runestone to Gideon to attach to his motorcycle. When he drives Donkey into water, a small bubble appears around the bike (and it’s rider) allowing them to breathe, move, and fight as if on dry ground.)
- “Not-quite flight” (All-terrain) [-1] This divine buoyancy makes it possible for Donkey to navigate up and down stairs, through rubble, ice, loose sand, across the surface of water, up impossible inclines, etc. The rider reduces DRIVING difficulty checks by 2 for unusually terrain.
- Blessed Words (Use Conviction to place aspects on the scene)
- Biker (+1 to Drive when using motorcycles, +2 when using “Donkey”)
- Parry Everything (Use Weapons in place of Athletics to parry physical attacks, including Guns)
- Mounted Combat (WEAPON: +2 when making a Fists, or Weapons attack from his motorcycle) (This could potentially stack with any aspects created with Drive related maneuvers.)
- Wall of death (Attack multiple)
Total Refresh: 14 (out of 16)
- Physical (4) OOOO
- Mental (4) (Plus one extra mild mental consequence) OOOO
- Social (3) OOO
Other temporary aspects
- “Boon of Odin” (metal coin with the Monoc symbol, Temporary, Fragile Aspect with 1 free invoke)
- “Viking Wedding Ring” (Aspect: “The rings are magically connected”)
Description of Aspects
High Concept: Templar Knight MC: “ The Scissors of the Rock”
Gideon is a knighted member of the Templar Knights Motorcycle Club. He was titled “The Scissors of the Rock” because he carries Peter’s (the Rock) Sword, the fourth Sword of the Cross. Although there are not many members of the Templar Knights MC, and they are spread across the world, they have the tendency to show up where they are needed most. At this point, Gideon is acquainted with most of them. Malchus, the Sword of Justice, is a very old, long, machete-like blade—as much a tool as a weapon.
- Example Compels: Templar Knights’ primary code is to fight evil when they see it. God led them to that spot for that purpose. Additionally, the Templar Knights have a wide range of enemies, who usually attack unprovoked. As a Templar Knight, Gideon is sworn to protect Malchus… but of course, that isn’t always easy.
- Example Invokes: Invoke to have Malchus slice off body parts (an ear, for example). Gideon might also invoke this aspect to have another knight show up, or to perform any minor miracles to increase the faith of others. (Healing the wounded, walking on water, catching fish, etc.)
Trouble Aspect: Wedding planning and crime fighting don’t mix.
Since recovering Penelope from Hell, Gideon has actively sought to put his Champion of God life behind him. Bernie has placated him, promising him an “out” after the wedding (or at least a break), but in the meantime, everything seems to get in the way.
Aspect: There is something about Penelope…
Penelope has always been important to Gideon—but he can’t help wondering why she is so important to Bernie—-and Joseph Luna—-and Odin—-enough so that they seemed to move Heaven and Earth to help Gideon rescue her. Perhaps it was just a coincidence-. Perhaps they just wanted to ensure that Malchus was kept out of the hands of the Hell’s Angels. But every time Gideon looks at Penelope, he can help but wonder if she is somehow something more than he ever imagined.
Aspect: My faith, leathers, and gremlin bell protect me.
Gideon’s faith is his shield. But of course, Kevlar-reinforced motorcycle leathers don’t hurt (Armor: 2). In addition, he treasures the one thing he has to remember Penelope—the Gremlin bell she gave him to protect him on the road. Penelope was a devout, albeit superstitious Catholic, who always told Gideon he needed religion. (Gremlin bells dangle under your motorcycle capturing evil spirits before they get into your bike.)
- Example Compels: Taking time/resources to maintain leathers, gremlin bell might accidentally release evil spirits, if he is questioning his faith, this could be compelled to increase the likelihood of injury.
- Example Invokes: His faith might be invoked to protect him socially and mentally—his leathers physically. The gremlin bell might be invoked to improve a drive check.
Aspect: My parole officer, Bernie, is a saint. Literally.
On the road to Sturgis the first time, Bernie and Gideon ran into a pair of rough-looking characters looking to pick a fight (Bernie called them “ogres”) at a remote gas station. The ogres started it. Bernie finished it. Gideon barely had time to pull out his sword. Gideon saw a flurry of movement and a flash of light, and it was over.
Bernie is a valuable mentor and guide—the closest thing Gideon has had to a father (or really a parent at all.) Bernie plays the part of a parole officer well—and they have never discussed if he is anything more than a miraculously influential parole officer.
- Example Compels: Bernie shows up unexpectedly with an assignment, or just to “unpack” some mistakes he made recently.
- Example Invokes: Bernie might shows up just in time to provide some valuable insight/suggestions. Gideon might even remember some valuable wisdom that Bernie taught him when he needs it most—strengthening his conviction, discipline, or even presence.
Aspect: My guardian angel is my bike.1
God communicates to Gideon through the nudging of his bike. Gideon nicknamed his 1940 Indian Chief Chopper, “Donkey”1—after Balaam’s donkey in the Old Testament. Like Balaam’s donkey, Gideon’s bike with communicates with him—it will gently steer, fall over, fail to start, or even provide specific engine sounds for agreement and disagreement. He has been at this long enough that they almost have a language worked out. Of course, people think it is a little strange that Gideon talks to his bike—a lot.
Gideon became acquainted with David Brown at the Runcie’s Gas’n’Auto’n’Boat. David was getting his bike repaired, and Gideon was talking shop with Freddie. (Freddie is the only person Gideon feels comfortable letting look at his bike.) For all their differences, Gideon and David have a common taste in motorcycles. Suddenly Gideon’s bike started on its own. Knowing what that meant, Gideon immediately hopped on and drew his sword. He was ready when the WereGators climbed out of the sewers. Gideon, David, and Freddie fought side-by-side, until the WereGators escaped down a manhole. David mounted his bike and followed Gideon—who let his bike guide them to where the WereGators would emerge by the Mississippi River. There, in the mud, they finished the job.
- Example Compels: Gideon’s bike trying to send him a message—which keeps him from doing whatever he is trying to do. Or perhaps he attracting the mockery of other because he is talking to his bike again.
- Example Invokes: Gideon’s bike brings him to the action at just the right moment. Gideon’s bike helps to block an incoming attack protecting him or his allies. His bike will warn him of impending danger—giving him a bonus on initiative. His bike leads him through rough terrain, providing a bonus to a drive check.
Aspect: The Lord will provide, but BYOK. (Bring your own knife.)
Gideon doesn’t carry money, food, or even a toothbrush. The Lord always provides what he needs the moment he needs it most. Despite that, he has always had an affection for knives, and usually has at least half a dozen on him. (Weapon: 1) These are a variety of sizes and styles.
One night, as Gideon was looking for a decent meal and a place to hang his helmet, he happened upon the House of the Rising Sun. At first, he assumed this was the Lord’s way of providing for him. The staff were very accommodating and friendly. However, he remembered one of the stories another knight told him—and politely refused. The offers began to escalate in their extravagance and intensity. He attracted the attention of the house’s attendant, Noilly Prat. She was determined to break his will. The harder she pushed the more resolved Gideon became. After a few hours of this, Gideon excused himself—fortunately, he had a cold iron knife to help him make his “point.” Conveniently, a pizza place next door had decided to give a free pie to anyone who could eat the whole thing in a single sitting. And with the Lord’s help—that is exactly what Gideon did. Since that time, Noilly has repeatedly sought to capture Gideon’s free will. She dispatched Vic Noble, either to finish Gideon, or to let Gideon finish him—either way was a win for her. In the end, however, Gideon and Vic decided that some periodic half-hearted sparring allows Vic to maintain an “ongoing assignment” with the Cortège Gras, and in the meantime they maintain a friendly understanding.
- Example Compels: Gideon doesn’t have whatever common equipment he thought he might be carrying. He avoids metal detectors—since in addition to a sword, he has multiple knives. Noilly might show up again to prove that she can provide better than the Lord can.
- Example Invokes: Anytime Gideon needs a tool, a place to stay, a meal—it just shows up. Contented with what the Lord has given him, it could give him a bonus to resist carnal temptation of wealth, food, etc. Similarly, even after Gideon has been disarmed—be might just have a knife tucked into a place no one thought to search. One of his knifes happens to be cold iron, or inherited steel, or made from wood.
Donkey 1940 Indian Chief with Psalm 143:10 painted on the side: “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Donkey has the following aspects:
- Blessed by a saint
- Possessed by a guardian angel
- No worse for the wear
Trouble: A million miles of grit, grime, and grease
Gideon has traveled to Hell and back on his bike, not to mention the Nevernever, and other strange places he can’t even pronounce. Recently he ride his bike a mile underwater on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. He has made enemies of all kinds of beings and been knocked down, beaten across the brow, and covered in dirt, slime, blood, and worse more than once. And he looks it. Filthy, bruised, smelly—he has more urgent things to worry about than looking pretty.
- Example Compels: Disadvantages of social interactions, Enemies show up unexpectedly, Trouble seems drawn to Gideon, He has a knack for getting filthy, getting stopped by the police, thrown out of respectable establishments (even a few churches!)
- Example Invokes: Bonus to intimidate, bonus to survival/ride in other worlds, defense to physical/mental attacks.
Aspect: I’m on a Highway to Hell.
Gideon has discovered that his girlfriend, Penelope Leos, whom he thought died years ago in a gang war, maybe alive—or at least, in need. Someone has claimed (with supporting evidence) to have Penelope in their possession and has demanded Malchus in exchange for her life. (He strongly suspects The Hell’s Angels are at least involved.) Gideon plans to storm Hell through a portal in a New Orleans Slaughterhouse. He has no intention to surrender his sword, but is very willing to die in an effort to recover Penelope.
Aspect: Proud alumnus of Louisiana State (Penitentiary.)
Louisiana State Penitentiary (also known as Angola, Alcatraz of the South) regularly is ranked as one of the toughest, most brutal, and worst prisons in the country. Gideon’s time in prison has taught him important life lessons, as well as more than a few streetwise survival tips. Anyone who knows about his time there is all the more leery of him—Not to mention a few people skeptical that his “release” was legitimate.
- Example Compels: Certainly a disadvantage on job interviews, interactions with the justice system, knowledge of events during that time period
- Example Invokes: Enduring physical labor, criminal activity (hot wiring a car), making prison gear (shivs, moonshine, cigarettes, rope), rapport/empathy with other prisoners, surviving incarceration/solitary confinement
“Sunnyside” may sound nice, but Sunnyside, Houston, is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. Growing up with effectively no adult role-models, Gideon and his friends formed a gang, Motorcycles and Machetes (M&M)—both for their protection and to satisfy the need to belong to something. Throughout his teenage years, Gideon focused on two things—the gang and his bike. At 19, however, he met a girl (Penelope Leos), and they decided life couldn’t continue the way it was. They escaped to New Orleans to start fresh. Unfortunately, his enemies followed him there. In the carnage that followed, his girlfriend and several other people were dead, and Gideon ended up in Louisiana State Penitentiary with multiple life-sentences.
It took time to heal, both physically and mentally. To this day, Gideon regards his time in the Penitentiary as the first time in his life he could think, read, and reflect. He devoured books on philosophy and religion. Sleepless nights he spent pouring over the Bible. His eyes opened to the meaninglessness of his life up to that point. He resolved to live for something beyond himself, even knowing he would never leave prison.
A few weeks later, Gideon was selected by the guards to play “Convict Poker.” He and three other prisoners were seated at a card table in a small courtyard. Prison guards watching from above placed their bets. There were no cards on the table—these bets were on which prisoner would stay in their seat the longest—as a door slid open, and a rampaging bull entered the courtyard.
It was Gideon’s first truly sincere prayer. As calm washed over him, he closed his eyes. Twenty minutes later, as the prison doctors were patching up the other prisoners (one didn’t survive), the warden tapped his shoulder in disbelief. “You won Gideon—you can stand up now. Go back to your room. Double dinner tonight.”
It was the next day that Gideon met his new parole officer, Bernie. Gideon thought it was strange that he was allowed to visit his cell with no guard supervision. Bernie told him that he had arranged to have Gideon released under his supervision. Just a few hours later Gideon had picked up his old 1940 Indian Chief Chopper, still dangling the gremlin bell Penelope had given him. He met Bernie at a nearby Popeye’s Chicken to have what would be the strangest conversation of his life.
Bernie explained to Gideon about an exclusive motorcycle club calling themselves the Templar Knights. He gave Gideon a duffle bag full of surprisingly-heavy biker leathers. Finally, with reverence, Bernie offered him a long, ancient machete-looking sword—explaining that it was, unbelievably, the sword belonging to the apostle Peter, the fourth Sword of the Cross. Bernie (whom Gideon has since come to suspect is St. Bernard, the Patron Saint of the Templar Knights), traveled with Gideon to South Dakota, where they met a few other Templar Knights in the Badlands. They told amazing stories of wizards, vampires, and monsters—and helped Gideon understand a few brushes with the supernatural from his own childhood he had never previously understood. In a small ceremony with a few other knights, Bernie knighted Gideon, and gave him the title “Forfex petrae: Scissors of the Rock.” (The other knights thought that was pretty funny.)
Since that time, Gideon has learned to follow guidance from above. His motorcycle has often steered him to where he is most needed. Occasionally, when Gideon has found himself in a tight spot, another Templar Knight would happen by and offer help. Bernie has checked in a couple of times as well. Most of the time, Gideon finds himself alone. But whether driving the dark roads of the Louisiana backwoods or the hectic streets of New Orleans, he knows he has been spared for a higher purpose.