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Old 03-24-2008, 08:11 AM   #1
William
 
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Default The Insidious Dr. Fang

The canon light is neither on nor off. Any "canon light" is nothing more than a matter of your perceptions, perceptions which are so much putty in my hands...

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The Insidious Dr. Fang is an incompletely understood entity. The Host's best guess is that he is an Ethereal spirit formed from popular fiction concerning the "Yellow Menace," possibly the James Bond "Dr. No" character. However, reports concerning Dr. Fang's abilities are dubious, since his reliably known abilities definitely include heavy memory alterations.

Known or estimated attributes:

Forces: Ethereal, 6; Celestial, some; may or may not have Corporeal Forces
Elements: Information, Senses, Emotion are all good possibilities
Affinities: Psionics (primal), strong affinity for Deception, probably various Emotions, possibly Glamour

Primal spirit of psionics: This is an estimated ability, since psionics as a strand or affinity is relatively new and few primal spirits -- if any -- are known. Dr. Fang appears to be able to substitute his Ethereal Forces for the Essence spent in calculations of the effects of a sotto voce Song with which the Affinity is affiliated. This allows him to use several Songs sotto voce at range, or that normally have no effect sotto voce. It would be a horribly powerful ability if it were not that it seems to be necessarily intertwined with his Dread, described below. Beings that receive this or a similar ability as an Attunement appear to express a Dread, Discord, or pseudo-Discord of level equal to recipient's Ethereal Forces.

Dread/6: expending Essence. Dr. Fang has not been reliably reported to have ever expended Essence on a *non*-sotto voce performance of a Song... or any other ability. (That doesn't mean he *hasn't* -- encountering one's Dread is survivable, merely intensely unpleasant for Ethereals.) While he may have a Vessel cache, this dread would explain an inability to use it, and hence his intense interest in the alchemical and sorcerous creation of constructs, which can be used to produce temporary Vessels for Ethereals. Dr. Fang does not appear to know the Ethereal Song of Exchange.

Songs: Almost any Ethereal Song that can be performed sotto voce has been unreliably reported to have been used by Dr. Fang. Reliable reports of regular usage are known for Ethereal Tongues, Empathy, Spirit Speech, and Opening. A few that normally cannot be, such as Ethereal Entropy, have also been reported, suggesting the affinity described above. All listed Songs are Ethereal and affiliated with Dr. Fang's "Psionics" affinity, unless otherwise noted: Attraction, Dreams, Empathy (all), Entropy, Forbidding, Harmony, Healing, Nemesis, Opening, Shields, Tongues, Spirit Speech (all). The levels are uncertain, since Dr. Fang almost always employs his Meditation skill to enhance the target numbers before using a Song.

Skills: Chinese (several modern dialects)/native, Proto-Sino-Tibetan/3**, English/1 (thick accent), Alchemy/?, Enchantment/?, Meditation/6, Knowledge(Chinese history and culture, including the history of the War in China)/6, Knowledge(Biology)/5, Knowledge(Chemistry)/5, Medicine/3, and several versions of the "persuasion" skills. Dr. Fang has not been reported to have gotten his hands dirty in personal combat.

** Dr. Fang's verbal facility with this language, which had mutated into nonexistence by 500 BCE, is at odds with the theory that he is a young pop culture spirit. He may have absorbed it from a race-image strand or learned it from an old ethereal or celestial, though why he would bother is unclear.

Equipment: Dr. Fang has been seen employing talismans on occasion as knowledge repositories for this or that odd specialty in which he is not an expert. However, he seems to regard Song relics as crutches for beings with lesser mental powers.

Dr. Fang is Master of a Domain which manifests as a (cinematographically) traditional volcanic-island compound, in which spirits research various lines of inquiry into the nature of reality. The Domain is not an automatic translator, and the primary language spoken is Mandarin Chinese. It is Hidden, but can be found by a determined seeker in the vicinity of the Topaz Gates. It suffers some temporal bleed-off from that landmark, its time rate altering unpredictably and sometimes blinking it forward in time, causing it to seem to vanish completely from an outside point of view. Dr. Fang seems to be fully aware of impending alterations in the local time flow. It has the Intrusive Domain Feature, and can grant residents a limited version of Dr. Fang's Primal Affinity as an Attunement -- the recipient must be a virtuoso with the Song to begin with, and can take a virtuoso's penalty to target number to increase the effective Essence of a sotto voce effect from 0. However, only if they accept Dread or Discord at a level equal to their Ethereal Forces will Dr. Fang seal the ability. He appears to regard the concept of "Essence" as a misunderstanding of the true nature of the cosmos, and will not give power to anyone who has not bought in to the same worldview he has.

Through intermediaries, The Insidious Dr. Fang appears to have control of a number of compounds in remote Asian wildernesses and privately owned islands in the South Pacific. Some are labs which make legitimate money in pharmaceutical and materials research. Several are private estates where prying eyes can be kept away and he might be able to manifest briefly. With some delay to contact his agents to move funds, he is effectively quite rich. The labs employ a number of alchemists and mundane scientists, some of whom are not even aware of their ultimate employer, in researching the creation of construct Vessels for the use of Ethereals. He would like to be able to reliably produce such Vessels -- for which numerous Ethereals would pay him handsome sums -- and upgrade the known abilities of such Vessels, especially allowing them to last longer. His people experiment with weird chimeric designs both for the convenience of the odder sorts of Ethereals and in attempts to pack more features in to human-appearing Vessels. They also research streamlining the construction process. He is known to bid well for Primordial Clay whenever sellers make a useful quantity available for purchase. A second priority in the research labs is the study of manna (produced by Corporeal Succor) for its nutritive and medical properties, with an eye toward figuring out how to preserve the notoriously decay-prone material.

Naturally, the Host has no intention of allowing Vessel factories for Ethereals on the corporeal plane, so there have been a number of raids on island fastnesses, resulting in the freeing of experimental animals, the killing of vicious chimeras, wholesale herbiciding of bizarre crops, and safely isolated dramatic explosions of vats of arcane chemical concoctions. Dr. Fang doesn't even appear to mind, as long as he still has operations elsewhere; he blusters, but the entire affair seems to be quite satisfying to his Image.

Interestingly, it's angels of Creation that command and staff most of these raids. Something about the chimeras seems... off... to Eliites. Primordial Clay is also a substance that seems to fall under Creation's responsibility, and several quantities have been safely recovered from these labs. Those labs and compounds that have it seem to be using it in some unusual ways, too, not least of which is a reference to the collection process: "The prices are exorbitant," a typical note would indicate, "but the stuff appears frequently enough in the local auxiliary dimensions that our operations should be able to harvest Primordial Clay profitably for export." Auxiliary dimensions could refer to Limbo, one of the few known if irregular sources of Primordial Clay. Awkward wording, but the humans can hardly be expected to understand the matter fully. But export to where? The Marches? Tribute to Hell? A popular theory is that Dr. Fang has an orbital platform somewhere -- reliably preserved manna would make supplying humans on such a station much easier. This would not at all be out of character but is fairly wild speculation. Still, the connotations don't seem quite right. It could all be misdirection, of course; Dr. Fang is very good at that. But... hmm.
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