THE UNDERGROUND | adepts | avatars | rituals | artifacts | dukes | cabals | rumors | unexplained | unnatural | misc | scenarios | mods | fiction | THE OVERGROUND | news | forum | submit! | search | links | downloads | ua-ml | NEWEST SUBMISSIONS | Thin Black Line | Dance of the Red Spiral Part 2: Collateral Damage | Shrekomancy | Ablutomancy |
One of the last of his generation of the Occult Underground
Troy Scarsdale is a tired, old biker propheteer of the occult underground.
Chipple is not much to look at from decades of exposure to a rough life he has thick ropy skin the colour of a deep tan hanging off his thin, bony torso. His thin white hair curls down to his shoulders. He keeps his lined face meticulously shaved.
He sometimes wears a pony tail or has his hair braided like an “Injun” as he says. Often he wears a sweatband around his forehead during the summer. His eyes are a faded blue, his eyesight is still good. He has a phlegm-filled voice and he is constantly clearing his throat. He smokes about a pack of lung-buster cigarettes every day. His favourite are American Spirit but anything that isn’t “light” will do.
Chipple’s arms, chest and back have the bluish splotches of faded tattoos. They’re mostly old wives, friends, various biker chapter affiliations, and some dagger-serpent-girl-and-fire images.
Chipple is emotionally crusty and refers to everything in pejoratives and epithets. He isn’t mean-minded but he’s too old and worn in to change. If you’re a biker and don’t talk down to him like he’s some second class citizen, he’ll be on the level. He speaks slowly and softly.
He hangs out in a back room of an out-of-the-way and unnamed bike service shop belonging to Vic Stallon; if you have to ask where, you don’t belong there. Chipple and Vic’s dad used to ride together before complications from emphysema brought Clark Stallon down.
Vic Stallon and his work crew do expensive custom jobs on all bikes. They’re good but slow and customers range from cream-faced rich boys, fake alternative Hollywood B-lists, to leather skinned grizzlies.
Off to the side and behind the workshop-attached house is Chipple’s tiny one-bedroom pad. The old darkroom has blacked-out windows and a double door. There is a large blanket that rolls down the door to block any light coming under the frame.
In the centre of this little room where Chipple and his “crew” hang out is a green felt cloth table with two chairs on opposite sides of the table. Chipple sits in the one facing the door. There is a naked high-watt bulb hanging from the ceiling. The bulb is attached to an extendable coil that can be easily adjusted for height. The light switch has been tacked to the table near Chipple’s left hand.
This is for Chipple’s benefit. He’s a sixty-year old biker that has had one too many wipe outs and bad knife fights. His right arm moves awkwardly and he walks with a cane and limp. He can’t ride a bike anymore because his bad leg can’t kick the gears quickly enough once his right hand actually manages to pull in the clutch.
The felt cloth was scavenged from an old pool table, as the legend says, which was from one of the old California illegal casinos bust by the police. Chipple put the blank felt on the table because he says he has enough trouble controlling his crew without giving them a playing field with defined borders and all that horseshit.
Sitting on the table, in front of Chipple is his crew, a sealed deck of Bicycle cards.
When you enter, Chipple asks you sit down and to show him the hundred dollar bill. He asks you for your question. When you give the question, Biting with his yellow teeth and left hand, Chipple opens the pack and casually spills the deck, dumping the cards all across the table.
He tells you to: “keep very fucking still and keep very fucking quiet and keep your hands off the fucking table until the light is back on,” and turns off the light. The room becomes pitch black and the Wicked Card Trick happens.
There’s a shuffling, whipping sound like a stack of papers sliding off a counter. Sometimes something will flutter past the questioner’s ears or flick his face.
There’s a whispering, probably from Chipple.
Then Chipple turns the light back on and the only change is that the cards are stacked in a pile.
Just keep in mind that the lights are off for about ten seconds and Chipple can’t work his right arm and hand very well, and it’s painful for him to bend at the waist from having broken his pelvis, twice.
Chipple then tells you the answer to the question which might be too accurate an idea of who is doing what to whom.
If asked about how he got the answer, Chipple says his crew told him. If asked, he’ll point to the deck of cards. He’ll say all cards come alive at night when no one’s looking.
The payment for the auger is not only the single $100 bill but also taking the deck of cards. The only piece of advice he gives about looking after the deck is watch out for the two dandies, they’re troublemakers.
The bought cards never, ever come alive again not unless Chipple wants to them to.
Chipple always keeps a few cartons of decks in his cupboard with his cigarettes.
If you are a Bodybag and you know Chipple well enough that to call him Troy will get a few thick chuckles, he might tell the story of how he reaped three major charges, consecutively in one afternoon. One bought him his Luck skill which smoothes out the spikes of statistics, and another one bought him his chance to escape his date with death by fleeing into the Statosphere and exiting in Arizona back with a head full of enough soggy memories to put together his Card Trick spell.
He has never told anyone of how his third major charge went away. Maybe it just drained away, trickling down into minor charges.
Obsession – the murky spot where absolute skill and extreme chance overlap. Where does competence and luck meet? Do they meet?
Rage Stimulus: Being disrespected pisses Chipple off no end. He can handle a lot of guff, but when the invisible line is crossed, he loses it. He doesn’t show it physically, but his eyes glisten. He can usually be calmed down by a sincere apology.
Fear Stimulus: (Isolation) Chipple has squandered his life. He has two illegitimate children but he has had no contact with them. What they know makes Chipple the object of his children’s revulsion. He’s a grandfather now, possible a great-grandfather and, now when he feels the need of family support, it’s never going to be there.
Noble Stimulus: Taking the bikes for a ride. People taking care of their bikes and enjoying them, fills him with hot memories of his own days being carefree and on the road. It doesn’t matter who or what bike as long as they revel in riding.
Body 30 (Beaten down by his own hand)
Speed 20 (Creaky, stiff and badly oiled)
Mind 60 (A mind that’s outshining its body)
General Education: 60%
Chipple’s education was haphazard at best, but his quest for understanding chance has led him to slog through a library of books on probability and gambling, game theory and complexity theory.
Smell the Shit a Mile Off: 45%
Just from being around so long, Chipple has read and learned how to read people like flyers. He can also recognise adepts and avatars by listening to them or watching them walk.
Soul 70 (The sparkle behind the dry eyes)
Wicked Card Trick: 70%
Fossilised Entropomancy: 70%
Gruff Charm: 45%
The only risks Chipple takes now is flinging his earnings with the boys during the dice matches they have periodically. Chipple never plays cards for money. If a deck of cards is pulled, Chipple departs immediately. He won’t pull magick until he’s had a full sleep and he only charges up in small doses. If he meets an entropomancer, he jokes that going to sleep at night is the best game of Russian Roulette he plays every day.
He can teach the school to newbies (and a few seniors, too). He knows half of the formulae spells and about a handful of unique one’s he’s devised or picked up. Chipple was never one to trust magick, even though he’s popped off too many spells in his day. But he’s too far worn down for random spells all his trickery is from old recipes. Chipple’s Wicked Card Trick is one of his unique spells and he will not teach it reasoning it cost too damn much too just give it away
Chipple pulled this skill as a product of his experimenting with magick and his obsession, Chipple formed a complicated idea of how luck and skill interrelate – or are the same thing. He has notebooks that will display a fine mind trying to stab down his fluttering thoughts onto paper. His topics run a gamut of professional studies. If they should ever be unearthed they would reveal a treasure of knowledge.
When Chipple gets a failed roll, (when someone or something could severely injure him), he can roll his luck and if it’s successful, shift the other roll up to +10% or down by –10%. He cannot end up or cause a matched pair or a critical. In fact, if Chipple ever does roll a matched pair or critical (success of failure), he must roll his luck and move the result up or down away from the better result.
It is believed that Chipple has taught this skill to only two people Clark Stallon and some tarot-flicking chick he took up with for three years back in the early seventies doing work for one the last great carnies.
This is what Chipple uses to get by with folk. He comes off as a cantankerous, but easy-going old biker that has seen more in one year than you ever will in your lifetime.
Violence 2 5
Unnatural 1 3
Helplessness 2 2
Isolation 4 1
Self 0 3
Behind the mask…
Chipple lives in the house of the shop’s owner. Chipple is Vic’s adopted father. There is nothing greater for Vic, than getting a few bottles of Jim Beam, some beers, his mates and getting them to sit around a log fire and let Chipple spin his memories into stories.
Despite his friendships and Vic’s hidden love for him, Chipple is very scared, scared to end up a lost old man, in a city that has become alien to him.
Notes about Chipple’s card trick…
If the questioner does whatever Chipple tells him not to do, he is attacked by the swarming deck of cards that are somehow cards that give little razorblade paper cuts and bites. As soon as there’s light all movement has already ceased, the cards are strewn about the entire room. Chipple is pissed off by this stage and demands the payment without giving an answer. Remember: there’s always a heavy biker thug in earshot. If he runs, a dozen are sure to follow.
Paper Razor 52% (initiative and combat and wounds)
The cards cannot fail initiative.
The cards attack as many times as there are tens in the Initiative roll. Each card attacks and does hand-to-hand damage +3 per hit.
What you hear…
Way back in the day, Chipple was bad news with his cheap mojo and bad whiskey. He was one of the members of the early Rose Gypsies before they earned credibility in the Occult Underground. He caught the wrong end of the revenge stick, got the charges of his life, and ended up in the hospital wing of Renunciation. He quit biking and bad people after that, settling in Los Angeles. He’s been living with the Stallon family ever since.
I love chipple! Going to use this guy in a biker game im doing, if the players need an augur
ervae | profile | Jul 17, 06 | 1:43 pm