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Who knows what ridiculous witticisms lurk in the hearts of men?
For the most part, certain large cities draw magick like ducks to old people with bread. There are many, many reasons why this is, and they range from ley lines to magickal supply and demand to the influence of the Statosphere. Chicago, for example, is a flurry of occult activity, and some sort of nexus point for a lot of magickal stuff in North America; there's always something going on, and it's almost always big.
Not so with Wichita, Kansas.
There's maybe four dukes worth worrying about in the entire city, and at present, only one of them matters: The Bandaged Man.
I. Street Awareness
As per his nickname, the Bandaged Man appears wrapped in medical gauze and other materials used in the treating of skin injuries. On top of this, he wears various types of clothing, ranging from army camo to the classic vigilante leather and trenchcoat look, to various civil service uniforms and even a suit and tie.
He is mostly known for vigilante justice, out on the streets and in the back alley, as well as some memorable moments in the corporate environments as well. He is known almost as well for his bizzare behavior.
He once defeated eight people (armed with guns) using only kitchen utensils, spray-painted a giant 'Kilroy Was Here' motif on the top of the Century II Expo Hall, and forced a medevac helicopter to land on Canal Road for no reason. Not on the freeway, either; in the actual Canal.
His identifying characteristics, aside from the bandages, change from encounter to encounter. On the occasions when he has visible hair, it is usually a different color than the last time he was encountered. Eyes as well. Voice qualities such as timbre and tonality change also, and the dialect varies from Russian to Southern to Canadian, and more. On a few rare occasions, the Bandaged Man actually appears to be a Bandaged Woman. Some suspect there are two Bandaged Ones running around Wichita, while others make Transgender jokes of some sort.
Nobody is exactly sure what to make of him. He doesn't use guns (as far as anyone knows), he can take it as well as he dishes it out, and he always has something inane to say when the situation calls for it.
II. Global Awareness
At least, that's what the people who beleive in him know. (Most don't.) The Occult Underground has a few facts to add to the knowledge the mundanes have already collected.
1) It's conjectured that the Bandaged Man was hideously disfigured, and that's the reason that he wears his signature bandages. Some punk with aura sight got a good look at the Bandaged Man and saw the flame of an adept magician. It's suspected among the Underground that the Bandaged Man is an Epideromancer who went after a major charge by causing large scale, permament skin damage.
2) The Bandaged Man/Woman situation was originally taken as evidence of a Mystic Hermaphrodite, and some theorized that the Bandaged Man was trying to follow in the Freak's footsteps. Accordingly, everyone ducked for cover. After further analysis, it's become clear that it isn't a case of the Mystic Hermaphrodite; the Bandaged Man is too dedicated to his method, and this dedication wouldn't work well with the MH. Also, Bandaged Man appears far more often than Bandaged Woman.
3) The Bandaged Man has brushed up against the Occult Underground a few times, and only one of those times was particularly memorable and messy. The details vary from witness to witness, but it's clear that the Bandaged Man HATES Dipsomancers, and alcohol in most if not all of its forms. Strangely enough, illegal drugs don't get any abnormal reaction.
4) The Bandaged Man has occasionally asked around occult meeting places if a woman named Sarah Tanner has shown up asking about him. She is speculated to be some sort of contact, someone he wants to avoid, or perhaps an associate.
5) There is some bad blood between The Bandaged Man and the Sleepers, but mostly they leave each other alone.
III. Comic Awareness
Of course, the truth will always be stranger.
The Bandaged Man is not disfigured physically, save for those self inflicted wounds Fleshworkers accumulate as a matter of course. Beneath the bandages, his appearance is that of a fairly handsome young man most of the time. His fingerprints and retinal patterns are not on file anywhere, being custom made mutations.
Nobody knows what his real name is, or his history, but a few know about his habit of incorporating non-living objects into his body. His entire right arm is mechanical up to the shoulder, but he seems to have grown skin over the surface, so he can feel through it. This is a result of a large fight in one of the local aerospace factories owned by Boeing which inadvertantly killed three, injured seventeen, and reduced his arm to bits too small to collect and regenerate. It's anyone's guess why he opted for the mechanical replacement instead of simply regrowing the arm.
His goal seems to be simple; clean up the streets of Wichita with fists, feet, finesse, and funny statements that are totally out of context.
IV. Game Master Knowledge
The Bandaged Man's real identity is James L. Brown. He grew up a Wichita native and has spent his entire life within the city. He stumbled onto Epideromancy totally by accident, as a coping mechanism.
From the ages of five to eight, James' father abused him sexually and physically, usually while drunk out of his mind. (For a drunk guy, Mr. Brown was pretty careful, and so his wife never discovered what he had been doing to their son.) After the age of nine, it was all physical abuse until James snapped and made a connection that allowed him to use Epideromancy. His father's death was blamed on mistakenly drinking a very caustic cleaning product while too drunk to read the label. What else could it be? Organs don't dissolve by themselves.
Without his father's influence, James was able to accomplish a bit more in his life, but he came away with permanent scarring on the inside, Epideromancy having repaired the external ones. For one, James hates liquor and booze to an irrational extreme. Another problem is his aversion to being touched; part of what makes Epideromancy logical to his mind is that physical contact from other people has always resulted in unpleasant results. The complimentary idea that his own influence on his body would produce benefitial results is part of his personal viewpoint, though he does not taboo when engaged in skin-to-skin contact.
It just freaks him out. A lot.
At the age of Seventeen James' self mutilation was discovered by his mother. He was taken, naturally, to a hospital. Crazy and traumatized as he was, James was still smart enough to keep his mouth shut about anything; he suspects that working out the issues about his father's acts might rob him of his abilities. He was able to make a daring escape and stage his suicide in one fell swoop. After three years of what was largely practice in honing his magickal talents and perfecting skills, James came back and made himself known as the Bandaged Man.
In addition to the mechanical right arm (constructed of bicycle parts, hand tools, and bailing wire for the most part), The Bandaged Man has incorporated the following into his body: One Radio, One Swiss Army Knife, One Derringer Pistol, and one complete set of Tarot cards. All are hidden inside the lower torso, and can be removed fairly easily.
James met the Sleepers two years before showing up as The Bandaged Man. Apparently, they explained that they wanted to keep magick out of the public eye, and wanted him to join up to help out, promising to send him after bastards just as bad or worse than his father. Still seething with anger and shame over what had happened, he practically jumped at the opportunity. He was single-handedly responsible for a magickal cabal being crushed in Lincoln Nebraska when they tried to publish some sensitive materials, and that's the last known connection between James and the Sleepers. Not many people know more than that, and neither side is talking.
As the Bandaged Man, he doesn't use Epideromancy on his opponents in battle. What he does do is use it to make himself stronger and faster, and to last longer in a fight. Whether this is some sort of respect for the Sleeper policy of sub-rosa magick, or personal choice, nobody knows.
The turning female, however, is no great secret. Bandaged Man states that he was bored and wanted to see how the other half lived. Some suspect ulterior motives; the Bandaged Man has said and done nothing to counter those suspicions.
Name: The Bandaged Man
Personality: Straightforward but mischievous.
Rage Passion: Alcohol. He can't stand the site of it, the smell of it, and least of all the people who drink it.
Fear Passion: (Isolation) Physical Intimacy. Just thinking about touching another human without some sort of protective barrier gives him the heebie jeebies, so the idea that he could trust someone enough to let them touch him is both laughable and frightening. Any attempt to reach out to him will make him freak out.
Noble Passion: He wants to make a difference in the world that is positive instead of stabilizing. Helping the downtrodden like him instead of making sure they don't talk to anyone and leaving them to fend for themselves.
Obssession: The symbolism and science of controlling subconscious body systems with conscious will.
Wound Points: 83
Body 85 (Reinforced)
General Athletics 30%, Hit The Weak Spots 45%, Swimming 35%
Speed 70 (Twitchy)
Dodge 40%, Drive 25%, Initiative 30%, Sneak Up On People 35%, Firearms 15%
Mind 65 (Smarter Than Most)
General Education 15%, Notice 35%, Conceal 30%, Human Anatomy 40%
Soul 65 (Scarred)
Charm 20%, Lie 30%, Magick: Epideromancy 50%, Warped Sense of Humor 30%
Violence: 5 Hardened, 0 Failed
Unnatural: 3 Hardened, 3 Failed
Helplessness: 1 Hardened, 5 Failed
Isolation: 1 Hardened, 4 Failed
Self: 3 Hardened, 2 Failed
Possessions: Despite his no guns fighting style, he does have a double-barreled, 20 gauge, break open, sawed off shotgun of indeterminate manufacture. He has a small 'lair' in a sewage overflow containment area he's seperated from the rest of the sewers; it's filled with old furniture, a few occult and medical texts, and roughly four thousand dollars in fives and tens, being saved in case of emergency. He is considering getting a laptop, but doesn't know of a way to get Internet Access without letting somebody know where his base is. One corner of the lair is the junk pile, filled with old appliances, kitchen utensils, and car parts. Next to it is the coat rack, with all of Bandaged Man's clothing.
Quotes: The following have been allegedly heard and attributed to the Bandaged Man, in and out of combat. They are included for the sake of completeness.
“Because fat people are harder to kidnap.”
"I can feel my pupils dilating!!"
"So in other words, it's exactly like Yahtzee, but without dice."
"Let's beat this dead horse into an entirely new shape."
"Gut him like a fish! Then season him with butter and pepper and roll him in bread crumbs!"
"This is Magick 8-Ball, I read you, over."
"Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you smoking pot tonight?"
"If this is your first night... you have to floss."
"SWEET! Peanut M&Ms!"
"I AM THE BOSS OF YOU!"
"Didn't I meet you somewhere before? Tunguska, 1909?"
"If your friends don't dance, they're no friends of mine!"
"Ninjas... again with the ninjas..."
"Nothing wrong with the wedding, I'm just here to shoot the best man."
"Gravity Blows. According to the Cassimir Effect, anyway."
"Can I get a 'Nice Shootin, Pardner!' over here please?!"
And people wonder why I wrote the Superhero Archetype ...
I stand in awe of this misfit post-modern-neo-anti-hero/vigilante.
Mr Unlucky | profile | Apr 12, 05 | 9:38 am
I please to aim, or something to that effect.
I'm flattered and honored. I especially like your quotes- heroic banter at its finest.
Very cool. I especially like the fear stimuli, although I think I'd make his taboo actually be physical skin to skin contact.
So... would I be right in thinking that this guy was a PC at some point? 'Cause that sounds a lot like the sort of thing PCs would do, to me.
Regis2001 | profile | May 19, 05 | 2:47 am
The Bandaged Man is sheer awesome, and I have had to promise my players he'll appear in a game.