30 characters (sort of).

| November 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

OK, I want to preface this post with a brief apology as I KNOW that what follows comes fully under the heading of ‘cop out’ but despite the very real reasons behind any and all excuses I wanted to get up a semblance of 30 characters in 30 days. 

So, as I haven’t been able to draw, scan and upload 30 drawings of new characters – personal health issue, two work disasters and then, most unfortunately, the death of my aunt – I have so far uploaded ten and have another 5 sketched and I am going to post the following pen-portraits of ALL 30 characters, text only:

– – – – –  

1 – The Hobo 

A man with no memory of who he is at all.  The only thing that he recalls clearly is that he was locked up while faceless men experimented on him.  Then, one day, he realised that anything that he imagined came to life and used this ability to escape capture … and now he is busy dreaming up new, and powerful, characters to hopefully ensure that he is never captured again. 

2 – Angela, the Unbound Guardian Angel 

There are three things that you need to know about Guardian Angels: 

1 – they are real.  As in REALLY real.  You can see them, should they wish to be seen; you can touch them, should they wish to be touched; they can see you, whether you want them to or not; they can touch you, when they want, where they want, and as hard as they want to.

2- Guardian Angels are neither male nor female but, to the mortal that they are assigned, they are perceived as one or the other; all ‘male’ Guardian Angels are called Angelo and all ‘female’ Guardian Angels are called Angela.  We don’t know why this should be so; it just is.

3- they are second only to the Creator in terms of power.  Their calling in life is to protect, guide and succour the very special, very few, mortals that are destined to play an instrumental role in the Universe.  They WILL do whatever it takes to fulfil their role and, once linked to a mortal they are bound to them for all of eternity.  They live for only as long as their charge does and, when their time is up they are ‘unmade’; as Angels, unlike mortals, do not have a soul, this means that they are gone – destroyed – for ever. 

…at least that is the plan.  A plan that – since the dawn of time itself – has always worked.  Until now.  Until Angela, the Unbound Guardian Angel.  Until the day that she broke her bonds by breaking the neck of the mortal she was guarding and guiding – a mortal ‘destined’ to play an instrumental role in the upcoming war between Heaven and Hell. 

… a war that Angela has just started! 

3 – Remembrance 

The embodiment of the Unknown Soldier, a combination of all true and valorous warriors who fell in battle. 

4 – Bliss 

Richard Carmichael discovered that he had a brain tumor and, risking controversial and experimental surgery, not only managed to save his life but came out of it with powers that gave him the ability to empahtically control others – making them feel comfortable / happy around him.  He uses this power in his confidence tricks in order to make himself richer than his wildest dreams. 

5 – Sequoia 

Little Acorn was a Native American boy, after witnessing his parents killed during a massacre by another tribe, who continued to grow and grow and grow – finally reaching the size of a Giant Redwood -  after begging the spirits to have the strength to protect them.  While he was too late to save his family he is now big enough to ensure that his tribe never experiences the heartache again. 

6 – The Arachnaphobaphiliac

Parker Peterson was a janitor at the local museum when, during a science exhibit, a high school student was bitten by a radioactive spider. During the chaos that followed Parker himself was bitten by the same spider, in its dying moments. 

Unlike the first bitee, however, Parker didn’t gain any miraculous powers from the bite. Instead he lost his job, being blamed for the accident, as well as picking up (as hs theraist told him) the only known case of phobia and philia at the same time … simply put Parker Peterson is both deathly afraid of spiders (and most creepy crawlies, to be honest) and uncontrollably drawn to them! 

The only way that he can balance his irrational love/hate relationship is to don his costume – bee-keeper’s hat, ‘stomping’ boots, bug spray and zapper – and ptrol the streets as his alter-ego: The Arachnaphobaphiliac! 

7 – Ursa and Mina 

Mina Jeffries is eight years old and, to her, every day is an adventure. 

Now most eight year old children probably think the same thing but there is something that makes Mina’s views different … every day IS an adventure for her! 

You see her very best friend in the whole wide world is her teddy bear – a bear passed down from her grandmother – Ursa. And while it is true that most, if not all, eight year old children will have a teddy bear as a best friend there is yet again something that makes Mina’s bear different … Ursa, when Mina wants him too, becomes a real, living and breathing, bear! 

8 – Veritas 

Edward Campbell is a former attorney, scion to a large and successful family who have always been involved in the judicial system.  After a kidnapping plot went wrong, and he went into anaphylactic shock after the kidnappers injected him with a powerful truth serum, he woke from a three week coma to discover that he could tell if people were telling the truth simply by seeing or hearing them. 

… and with a simple touch he could force them to tell the truth. 

Using his new found abilities, and trust fund, Edward set up the Veritas Organisation – a business that can get information – about anything and anyone – no matter the cost. 

His abilities have enabled him to gather together a team of individuals to help him in his goal – people that he has helped (with his money AND abilities) despite their backgrounds as he knows that, despite their pasts, that he can trust them absolutely. 

9 – Goggle 

Bartholomew Bennett is one of a set of triplets – his brothers being Benjamin and Barnabus – born to the inventor and physicist, Bancroft Bennett III. 

Bancroft Bennett III was best known, infamously to be correct, for his theories on time travel; a line of research which made him the laughing stock among his peers. While it is true that he never managed to prove time travel waspossible himself his experiements had a lasting effect on his children – and the wife who died birthing them! 

Bartholomew -like his siblings – was born with a special ability relating to time: the ability to retain every piece of information that is available at that moment in time, no matter where on Earth it is. 

Unfortunately he isn’t always able to choose what to retain and what to forget so he appears to be confused at times, misdiagnosed as a high functioning autistic. 

Streams of information and data are constantly bombarding him, perceived as a blinding light. The only way that he can function normally is to ensure that his eyes are blinkered at all times – using a pair of goggles that his father made for him. These goggles not only ensure that his brain is not overloaded with information but also allow him to project his memories as holographic images … unfortunately they also keep him in a world of darkness, blind to everything around him when he isn’t actively needed to use his powers. 

A member of the Veritas Organisation, Bartholomew has taken the codename of Goggle and tries to make the world a brighter place. 

10 – Recall 

Benjamin Bennett is on of a set of triplets – brother to Bartholomew and Barnabus.  As with his brothers Benjamin’s special ability is related to time: he is a pyschometric, able to read the ‘memories’ and past of any inorganic object simply by touching it.   The longer the touch the deeper and stronger the memories.  

On top of this Benjamin also has eidetic memory – the ability to recall, with near perfection, anything that he has seen.  Unlike his brother Bartholomew (Goggle), Benjamin is able to ensure that his brain doesn’t become overloaded by compartmentalising his memories and regularly ‘cleaning’ his vault of memories to ensure that they don’t become too much to bear. 

… his powers do work on organic matter too but the more ‘active’ memory retained the more traumatic the experience for Benjamin.  Touching another human being, for example, overloads both him and the recipient and has been theorised as being potentially fatal to one or both.

Codenamed Recall he is also a member of the Veritas Organisation. 

11 – Fugue 

Barnabus Bennett, third of the triplets, is at one time the most powerful of the three and at the same time the weakest. 

His ability is to see the future – unfortunately he has no control over his ability at all and sees every future at every moment, with no sense of where or when things will happen.

Electrodes are hard-wired into his brain so that everything that his ‘mind’ sees is portrayed on a bank of screens that surrounds him – people monitor these screens 24 hours a day, every day of the week and are often able to link these glimpses of the future to actual events, people and or places. 

It is through Barnabus’s ability that the Veritas Organisation is able to stay ahead of the game as they – literally – can see what is coming. 

Barnabus’s ability has had a very sever side-effect, leaving his higher brain functions all but atrophied and he lives in a permanent vegetative state with his every physical function kept working by life-support machines.

The Veritas Organisation have ensured that every medical benefit possible has been provided for him and, as their best kept secret – known only to the brothers and a handful of others – have given him the codename Fugue. 

12 – Veil 

Valerie Owens is a middle-aged former thief who, after a brutal assault while in prison, discovered that she had the ability to make people ignore her very presence.  While not quite invisibility – in that machines, and in fact people, can see her, she can will herself to become inconsequential.  This ability is one that she has developed to such an extent that, through effort, she can actually mask the presence of a group of individuals. 

She works for the Veritas Organisation as Edward Campbell was instrumental in getting her released from prison and helping her overcome the trauma of her past. 

13 – Strongarm 

Betty Doyle is a near seven foot, 280lb, muscle bound freak of nature.  She has superstrength and partial invulnerability, a side effect of which is that she has little tactile sensation.  Even heavy impact barely registers on her skin. 

Abandoned and disowned by her parents at a young age Betty lived on the streets until coming to the attention of a local pimp who made her into a very successful ‘fetish’ prostitute.  Not being able to feel what she was being forced to endure made it easier for Betty at the start but, as time went on, she realised that the mental scars were as bad, if not worse, as the physical ones that she couldn’t feel. 

While breaking up a prostitution ring Edward Campbell came across Betty and rescued her from the ordeal, gaining her trust over time and helping her come to terms with what she had endured.  She now has much of her self-esteem back but has an admitted attitude problem, especially against most men with Edward being one of the few examples.  While he never asked her to she has vowed to devote the rest of her life to protecting him, and helping him to do the work of the Veritas Organisation, and has taken the name ‘Strongarm’. 

14 – Professor Alan Weir – codename: ‘Prof’. 

Part of the Veritas organisation. 

Power: Genius level IQ and biomechanical specialist.  Inventor of all of Veritas’ special equipment, including the clothes that Recall wears (which don’t invoke his tactile pyschometric powers). 

15 – Snapshot 

Karl Gray is a technical genius with a background in quantum physics and optics.  When his funding, from the Department of Defence was cut, he decided to take his research into a new area – that of crime. 

He created a set of equipment that he built into a reflective suit, which emitted light at different frequencies:  one that he built into a wrist device able to emit tightly controlled, by extremely powerful lasers, and a second that induced a ‘fugue’ state in anyone viewing it.  Basically it shut people down, in their place, and they woke with no recollection of the events or even of being stopped at all.  A side effect of the light emissions, as Karl soon found out, was that the longer he subjected a person to it the greater the chance of them having a seizure or even a haemorrhage. 

However the lure of greater riches outweighed the risk and Karl Gray – Snapshot – embarked on a full-fledged career of crime. 

16 – Demise 

He may look old and frial but looks are, as they say, deceptive – just like the man himself.  First of all he isn’t frial in the slightest and, in fact, is nigh on invulnerable and, should one be lucky enough to injure him, he has amazing powers of recuperation and heals from injuies that would topple most in a matter of moments.  

Secondly while he may look simply ‘old’ the truth is that he was ancient when New Orleans was a handful of hovels in the mud … because he is no man but, rather, a demon.  

The demon, Demise. 

Sent to Earth to prepare the way for his Master’s arrival Demise is playing the long game.  Fronting a well-respected, and successful, business he is biding his time while looking for mortals that he can corrupt, or sacrifice, to open the portal that will allow his Master to take corporal form himself. 

Demise is an accomplished practitioner of the black arts, and uses these to his every advantage.  

He summoned four elemental demons – Hellfire Brimstone, Styx and Stones –  collectively known as the ‘Reservoir Demons’ as, to mortal eyes, they simply look like black-suited humans but also because a vast amount of Demise’s power is held within them, to serve and protect him, who seek out the mortals that he needs.  He also has one further ‘trick’ up his sleeve … his innate ability to know the deepest, darkest fear of any mortal simply by looking into their eyes … and then projecting this fear into them so that they see nothing else, going first mad, then dying, from the terror that he instills.

If you meet him you will understand why his legend grew in the back streets, from the screams and prayers of the dying as they warned others not to look into them eyes … dem eyes … demise. 

17 – Hellfire.  

Fire demon, servant of Demise.  Fire based powers, can control any flame and use it as a weapon, superspeed, teleportation through fire.  

18 – Brimstone.

Air demon, servant of Demise.  No physical form at all as composed of sulfur and has the ability to pass through any solid matter that has any air gap.  Noxios body can knock unconscious, or kill, anyone.  Teleportation. 

19 – Styxx

Water demon, servant of Demise.  Water based powers, can control any liquid and use it as a weapon.  Ability to leech memories from anyone immersed within its form.  Mostly invulnerable to physical attacks as they simply flow through it. Teleportation through water. 

19 – Stones

Earth demon, servant of Demise.  Strength, invulnerability, regeneration from damage as rock like skin simply reattaches.  Teleportation through earth. 

20 – Wyldcard (Rachael Barry)

Powers: Creation of line of sight teleportation portals.  Secondary power: Uncontrolled probability power (good luck / bad luck scenario) – powers/legacy related to Demise who, unknown to Rachael, is the progenitor of all of her family’s substantial fortune (and misfortune) since a ‘deal with the devil’ six generations before her – making Rachael the seventh generation and payee for the bargain. 

21 – Tomahawk.  

Native American with powers of supersonic flight and controlled aura making her indestructible when flying.

22 – Slingshot.  

Powers: Unconscious gravity manipulation to allow super dexterity, kinetic type bouncing, leaping, landing, etc. 

23 –Inertia (Andrea Martin) 

Powers ability to control the level of resistance of movement … things either stick or slide when she wants them to. 

24 – Wildfire

Powers: Superspeed, flight, and kinetic manipulation causing extreme heat/fire/explosions. 

25 – Triage 

Stephen Quinn is a doctor who, after a fatal car accident, wakes up in his coffin to find that he is basically the reality behind the vampire myth.  He needs a certain energy to survive, which is most easily obtained through living blood but can be taken from any living organism – with effort. 

He is drawn into a World where others of his kind have been working in the shadows to control mankind, all to the end where Stpehen would come to be so that eh can fulfil the destiny they have laid out for him: to ‘heal’ the first ever ‘Vampire’ so that they can rule mankind forever. 

Powers: Ability to heal other people’s wounds, transfer wounds to someone else and reopen old/healed wounds. 

26 – KRISS (Christine ‘ Chris’ Lattimore) 

Powers: after falling into the vat of ink which contained the blood of the members of KISS, Kriss can now take on four different powersets based on the facepaint of KISS members:

Demon – winged flight, strength, fire-breathing.

Starchild – hard-light based powers, shaped like stars, shield, projectiles, etc. 

Cat – agility, claws. 

Spaceman – gravity control, phasing. 

27 – Half-Life 

15 year old Matthew Dawson was waiting at the Museum of Natural History where his father worked when it was broken into by a Roman legend inspired villain, named The Emperor, and his henchmen.  Hiding in one of the disused artefact rooms, Matthew took shelter behind a statue of Echidna – said to be the mother of all so-called monsters in Greek mythology. 

His tears fell on the statue, as he heard shots ring out and his father scream, and he quietly begged for help.  A cry that Echinda heard as, within his head, he heard her voice speak to him – as a stone bracelet that the statue wore flowed onto his own arm, becoming vibrant silver as it did – promising to aid him if, in the future, he became hers.  Without really knowing what he was promising, but wanting only to help his father, he said yes. 

Instantly he felt a change course through him and, with his newfound abilities, he managed to defeat the henchmen and the criminal but, as the police burst in, the real villains vanished leaving Matthew – in his new guise – alone to take the ‘blame’ for the attack on the museum and the assault to his own father. 

The police named the new ‘villain’ Half-Life as they saw him change forms, and now, as his father lies in a coma, he is deemed to be at the top of the city’s most wanted list. 

Powers: Greek bracelet allows him to assume the form of mythological creatures that are half-human and half-beast (harpy, centaur, naga, merman, etc).

28 – Adam Hunter, Demon Hunter 

On his 13th birthday Adam is given an old book as a present, from a tramp that he has never seen before.  As he tries to refuse the gift the man dies, falling at his feet and in the shock and confusion Adam takes the book home with him.  That night he discovered two things:  that the book is now ‘hanuted’ by the spirit of the old man who was one of the last of a line of fable Demon Hunters – protectors of mortals from any creatures from fairytale, legend or myth that breached the Veil between their world and ours, and that Adam himself is now the actual last in that line.

The book is an encyclopaedia of facts about the forces he may be facing, an atlas of the borders between reality and the world of myth and legend, a book of spells and – as Adam quickly begins to realise – a real pain in the backside as it holds the memories and consciousness of ever Demon Hunter, all of whom have a ‘take’ on what he is doing wrong (as they never thing that he is doing anything right). 

From the moment that he takes possession of the book, and without the guidance and training that usually is given to a Demon Hunter before they take up that title and mantle (unfortunately his predecessor thought that he was immortal and left it too late to pass on the knowledge and training that he should have), Adam comes under attack from the forces of darkness that would like nothing better than to remove the only thing standing between them and free reign over our World.


29- Snitch 

One of the first spells that Adam tries is one that will allow him to track/locate the ‘thing’ that attacked him during the night – unfortunately, not really knowing what he was doing, Adam actually summoned, and bound to himself, a small demon specialised in the art of surveillance.  Snitch, as Adam named him, is about the size of your thumb, with tiny wings, tiny claws and a massive foul mouth.

While he can, almost literally, get anywhere and find out anything about anyone, he doesn’t’/t actually like being bound to the Demon Hunter in the slightest and goes out of his way deliberately misinterpret every instruction given him. 

30 – The Doctor

Powers: none.  The Doctor – Gordon Potts – is actually ‘The Hobo’s’, real name Gareth Proctor, psychiatrist, who is treating him for severe paranoid schizophrenia,  delusions and a profound messiah complex.  Gareth has been confined to an asylum for most of his life, for his own safety and that of others.  Treatment doesn’t seem to be working, despite Gordon’s profound desire to help his poor patient, who spends his days in a padded cell, drawing pictures of fantastical people and creatures, in his own little world. 

– – – – - 

So, there you go, those are the characters that I intended to illustrate but, unfortunately, I only managed to get a third of them up here.  The 30th character was actually going to be a full colour picture, showing the doctor in front of the padded cell, with ‘the hobo’ (or the poor, insane, patient in reality) in the background painting his characters to that everything came full circle and, in effect, there wouldn’t have been 30 characters at all – just 2, the hobo and the doctor.  Great plans, and all that ;) 

Anyway, I completed what I set out to do which was have fun.  Really enjoyed every minute I could devote to this which simply wasn’t as many as I wanted.  That said I have also kick started the sketching lark again so that is another positive I will take from this and while I didn’t get the characters drawn in the 30 days I fully intend to finish the sketch pad of with all 30 characters over the next month or so. 

Next year I aim to get all 30 drawn :D 

Thanks for the fun guys, I have LOVED seeing all of your work and taking part in my own small way.

Category: 2010, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

I live in Northern Ireland though, for me, home is simply wherever my loved ones are: my wife, best-friend and soul mate, Carole, and our two wonderful little boys - Mackenzie (5) and Nathaniel (3). While I have a degree in art I'm really nothing more than an enthusiastic sketcher. Most of my creative energies are focused on writing - predominantly a short story author but have delved into novellas and am current researching/prepping my first novel. I founded, and edit, 'With Painted Words' - www.withpaintedwords.com - an online literary magazine that takes inspiration from monthly image prompts and 'The WiFiles' - www.thewifiles.com - a weekly speculative fiction 'zine. I'm also a co-host on the Folowing The Nerd - www.followingthenerd.com - radio show, and a contributor to their news/reviews website. I teach kung fu. I'm a school Governor, a Director for the Arts & Disability Forum of Ireland and a lobbyist/advocate for the Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership. ... and sometimes I sleep.

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