Friday, January 26, 2024

New Salem Character #26: Val-Lor

Val-Lor (Alexander "Xander" Jessup)

Pyramid Tier: 0    Experience level: 2

Affect/Gimmick: Portal Fantasy "hero" who is actually a vain, petty, rogue who stole others ideas and leaving chaos in his wake. 

Gang?: No, He keeps claiming that he has led armies in other realms, but there's no evidence of that.  

Status: An unknown at the time of his first appearance. Any experience he has had has been in another realm of existence. 

Powers: 3

  1. Dimensional Travel C: He can travel to worlds that are explicitly not places in Earth's timeline. His chance to enter a desired world for the first time is I%, and locating one he has been to before is I*4% (so 10% and 40%)... if he knows what dimension he's in; otherwise it's 0%. He can increase these odds by +1% per point of power expended. As it stands Xander only knows Thracia (Greek-Myth Themed Magic Kingdom), Earth (well, the Earth New Salem is on) and The Poltergeist Plane (a foggy limbo 'next to' Earth that people can, with a d20 Save vs. I, peer into Earth at the corresponding location, but failure draws attention of angry 'ghosts'). Xander will often spend all but a couple of his remaining power to get to a 90% chance of arriving exhausted but where he wants. 
  2. Pet: Fury, an enormous griffin. Use stats for Siberian Tiger from rulebook, but give 440" flight speed, decrease initiative interval to 5 (so on a roll of 10 it goes of 20, 15, 10, and 5), and it has magically based invulnerability of 11 points per round and it takes 0 damage from conventional ranged attacks such as bullets and arrows - you have to fight it up close or with powers. Not normally around, it dimensionally shifts in whenever Val-Lor is being engaged in combat. It can also dimensional travel, but see below. 
  3. Reduced Endurance: -11 This is the result of the massive damage Xander took while stealing Heartpiercer; without the sword, his Endurance score stops to 0, and he will be near death and in constant pain. 
  4. Transformation A Item: "Skillful Heartpiercer" is a magic sword stolen from a dark tower in Thracia. When Xander drew it it, it made him Valor, with the form of a barbarian hero but not the heart. Sheathing the sword won't change him back, nor will having it taking away - he has to voluntarily set it down, changing back to his mortal form. The sword itself is +2 to hit, +1d6 damage, as per normal swords.
    1. Body Power - Mighty-Thewed: This increases all of his physical characteristics by *1.5, and if he trains in them they increase by 2 points but only in Val-Lor form. (He has trained once in Strength, his stats are all 10 otherwise).  
    2. Magic Spells Item - Heartpiercer is capable of magical spells, which the voice in his mind calls 'Runes', and has revealed three of them to Val-Lor
      1. Rune of Life Transference: at the end of any turn in which Heartpiercer draws blood, Valor recovers as per Regeneration. 
      2. Rune of Eternal Vitality: As long as Val-Lor draws blood at least once a day, this rune suppresses his Reduced Endurance weakness. 
      3. Rune of Heartpiercing: He can spend 5 Power points to get a +10 on both rolls for a special attack with the sword.  
    3. Prejudice, modified: Fury is trying to kill Xander, for his theft of Heartpeircer from Griffin Mountain. It's just that Fury needs to be the one that kills him, and will dispatch anyone else threatening Xander so that it can spend time savoring the kill. Fury will always find him by the stench of his fear when he is threatened, but otherwise it has a 10% chance per day of locating where Xander is hiding in the multi-verse and following him. 
Weight: 240                Basic Hits: 5    Agi Mod: +0
S: 17          E: 15        HP: 21
A: 15          I:  10        Pow:  57
C: 10                          Move: 47
Accuracy: +2 (+4 with sword, +14 with the Heartpiercing rune)
Damage Mod: +1
Reactions Mod: +0
Carrying Cap: 770    HTH: 1d8
Inventions: His inventions all roll into his Magic Spells item 

Background/Origin: This story really starts with The Thracian, a super-hero from another age who gained her skills and expertise from discerning the secrets of dimensional travel, how to navigate the mazes between worlds, and bringing those back to our Earth to fight for truth and equality. While her identity was never known, journalist Xander Jessup did manage to locate her and, while she lay in a coma, rifle through enough of her papers to learn the secret of "maze connecting" and jump to Thracia. 

There, Like a Lawrence Watt-Evans protagonist, he learned that he was really, deeply unsuited for this, but he refused to leave for home empty handed and braved the great Griffin Mountain to steal the magic sword held there. Fury ripped him to pieces, but just before his death Xander was able to reach Heartpiercer and pull it from the altar. The sword slipped haphazardly out of his sheath, the trapped entity inside decided that was good enough, and used its runes to make Xander into Val-Lor. The mighty thewed barbarian lived long enough to initiate a dimensional shift, and spent months working through the Poltergeist Plane alternating between trying to find a way home and thinking he was dead.  

Finally returning to Earth, he is using his access to the Poltergeist Plane to steal unfinished works or inventions to sell under his own name, but he can't settle down because Fury is constantly after him. When he arrives in New Salem he'll be looking for buyers for something he recently sold, attracting attention, and then dragging chaos in his wake when Fury comes after him. He's not so much a super-antagonist as a thief with a 800 lb chaos monster indiscriminately tossing bodies around. 

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