From skaldsong companion
Virtuoso of Ill Omen
Black Bough
Region : Vakdrimen (Uhrwerkstadt Forest)
Status: Alive
Active: 2018-2019

Powers and Abilities

Aura Havelock emanates a mien of dread and foreboding, rattling the morale of anyone in his presence. The effect is more insidious than that, though - anyone in Havelock's presence is stricken by a blighted fate. A dodged sword that should have missed lands a cruel blow; a minor ailment intensifies to a debilitating sickness as Doom is made manifest. Success is minimalised, and failure is exaggerated while in the presence of Havelock.

Method: Havelock tampers with other rolls, rather than creating them himself for this effect, so the specifics of this will depend on the rp in question. Anyone in the same real room as Havelock is subject to this effect unless he decides otherwise.

The Mark of ill omen Havelock uses supernatural power to brand a person with the mark of ill omen, a stain on their being that is all but invisible but to the most perceptive or powerful of people - it is unlikely anyone below the standing of a maestro can detect the mark. Once marked, the target is stricken by ill omen where ever they go - animals will shy away from, or attack them; people will inherently distrust the marked person as well, refusing them shelter or sustenance. Any act taken as suspicious or dangerous will be perceived significantly worse, and the marked may be chased from civilised places as a product - there is no rest while so marked.

Method: This is a story-based ability, so generally it will be decided out of character if someone wants their character to be subjected to such a potentially long-term effect. Havelock's attention falls most prominently on people who are already examples of remarkable good or bad fortune/omens, and it's these people who typically receive the mark.

Life as a Maestro

Havelock is originally from Vakdrimen, and supervised a guild named the Black Bough. Hunters, trackers, trainers of beasts great and small - all of these professions worked under his careful attention. Havelock was a shrewd man, and not necessarily heart-warming or friendly, but he was respected, and fair in his judgement. He was widely known as an excellent huntsman and trainer of animals, chief among his achievements being a large canine he named Bharzas, a beast of a mysterious breed with a remarkable intellect - some say Bharzas was the last of some great wolf-like breed that died out a long time ago.

Virtuoso, pre-monarchy

The following information, scarce as it is, is what history has to say about Havelock and the fall of the populace was under his influence: Life carried on as normal for a time, and while other places may have had more immediate or fantastically debuted problems, Havelock and his people seemed largely unaffected. Eventually though, the people became xenophobic and hostile, and over time, visitors and traders started to avoid stopping there. In time, this reluctance turned to aversion, as the people became violent, maddened, and the forests that surrounded Havelock's seat of power became saturated with fell creatures of unnatural cunning and malice, the place considered cursed, an ill omen to travel towards, or even near. Few have visited since the arrival of the Virtuoso's, so whether there is anything worth seeing now, or if the people even still live, is an unknown. Few are willing to risk the attention of the hounds and riders that lurk in spectral mist beyond the dense trees, and only the brave know that the riders patrol at all, for they do not go beyond the boundaries of their territory except during the event commonly known as the Hounding.

The following information should be treated as information for the curious, from an out of character context. Those wishing to know about Havelock and the fate of him and his people should contact the staff. There was no great cataclysm as Havelock became a virtuoso, no terrible tearing of society, pulled up by its roots and destroyed. The change was slower, more insidious and creeping than that, signs of ill omen stealthily appearing in the lives of people until it was too late to push them back. Crops failed; animals turned on their owners and became feral and demented as a sickly red moon hung in the sky, its shape akin to a half-lidded eye as the malignant light glinted on the populace at night. As the signs worsened, so too did the people, neighbor turning against neighbor as the paranoid and the maddened alike crumpled and they killed each other in the streets, outsiders burned on pyres, or ran down by dogs and men astride crazed horses. These mounted men and their hounds, once the subjects of Havelock the Maestro, finally lost their minds and souls and became the agents of Havelock the virtuoso, racing forth from the darkest places of the world at the turning from autumn to winter, riding down whichever poor soul is unfortunate enough to be out at night, and semblance of the people they had been now vanished, ravenous specters and little more.