Thursday, January 11, 2024

New Salem Character #11: Sèvitè

Sèvitè (No real name known)

Pyramid Tier: 3    Experience level: 7

Affect/Gimmick: Almost skeletally wiry, intense "Voodoo Priest" (Yes, he's an actual Vodou practitioner, but for the rubes he plays it up) with a skull topped staff and a skull painted on his face. 

Gang?: No. He has extensive ties to the actual New Salem Vodou community but they will at most shelter him (they aren't criminals), 

Status: Sèvitè is the functional leader of the Havana Mob in New Salem, and has direct oversight of Calypso. In theory he is a peer to the Bahamian Sawshark, but the Shark defers to him in all things. The Syndicate has a deep respect for his organizational and magical power (the Triumverate have all accepted the Mark of the Loa).  

Powers: 4

  1. Willpower: Type A, a general use force of will, interpreted as broadly as possible. He can perform things that are nearly miraculous as long as they don't actually violate physics. 
  2. Heightened Attack: A subset of his Willpower, this is modified so that he gets twice the normal benefits from training (Hence his very high characteristics.)
  3. Transformation B - Weaker Form: he can change into a corvid of indeterminate type. Maybe it's a raven? maybe it's a really big crow. In any event, movement only to change and he uses the stats for an eagle (see section 8.5)when transformed. Damage he has taken above 3 HP is ignored in corvid form, but doesn't heal. Damage taken as a corvid is carried 1:1 back to human form. 
  4. Special Requirement: Cannot use Transformation if he is observed. Since it is patently impossible for someone to turn into a bird, the narrative will never show him doing it. There always has to be question as to whether the bird is him or not. People assume he is a master escape artist/stage illusionist. 
  5. Revivification: Rather than using the power on the dead, Sevite uses it to prep the living with the Mark of the Loa. This can be done once a week, takes 9 turns (1.5 minutes) and costs him 25 Power. If a marked person is killed, they have a 70% chance to return from the dead 3 days later unless the body is completely destroyed. 
Weight: 120          Basic Hits: 3      Agi Mod: +2
S: 18     E: 14        HP: 13 
A: 16      I: 17         Pow: 65
C: 17                      Move: 48"
Accuracy: +2
Damage Mod: +2
Reactions Mod: +2
Carrying Cap: 244    HTH: 1d6
Inventions: His gris-gris stick - a 4' long staff with a skull on the end - does have a minor enchantment making it as strong as super-alloy (Structural Rating 14, +3 to hit, +1d6 damage per Big Club); it also lets him ignore Non-Corporeality defense, should that ever come up [this counts as 2 inventions for him]. His phosphorescent body paint is controlled from his force of will, and lets his skull face (and sometimes painted skeleton bones) glow or not as he sees fit. 

Background/Origin: Whatever birth name Sèvitè had has been wiped out of the records, and certainly never followed him to the United States when he came to New Salem with the Havana Mob. He's clearly a skilled practitioner of Vodou, and has arranged a pact with Baron Cimetière that lets him barter in advance for passage back from the dead. The Baron usually honors this when the time comes, but not always. This one enormous power makes him scary and indispensable for anyone in a dangerous line of work. 

He also has a keen understanding of contracts and negotiations, planning, wheeling, dealing, and getting people to see compromises. This has made him a powerful intermediary for factional battles in the Syndicate, and lets him keep the Havana Mob's relatively new place it in secure. 

As noted above he's an important member of the New Salem Vodou community, but just as a religious practitioner. That's not a criminal enterprise for him, any more than the Italian Mafia members all being good Catholic boys makes the church part of the Mob. (Church corruption falls in the other conspyramid!)

Game Mechanics Notes: We all know it's nuts that the ability to raise the dead is just sitting in the standard Villains & Vigilantes power list as a "one use per week" ability? Right? I think I've only seen this used as writ once (Lifeguard in Most Wanted Volume 3), and otherwise people mod the hell out of it as Immortality, Healing, etc. I wanted to keep it relatively close to the baseline power here, but to not have Sèvitè have to dig up corpses. There's playing into genre tropes for Vodou masters and then there's going too far. 

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