“I really don’t follow how your faith believes its perfectly acceptable to doom 4,000 years plus of sentient beings, on a pre-set path of no escape from sin, just so their descendants can be offered the ‘chance of salvation’ when the god murders its own son.” ~vikaTae
“Don’t be an ass or a pussy, ’lest you get screwed by life. Being a mouth or a hand is somewhat safer, and an eye socket is pretty much sacred in this regard, so always keep a look out.” ~BCLEGENDS
Featuring @BCTheEntity as Varangyrian, @TheRedWatcher as Mertavodah, and @ShadowSunRisen as Egil, plus assorted NPC dukes and duchesses of the Frostmark and Mistlands The hall was filled with the sounds of dukes and duchesses chatting with one another as Velikynaz Varangyrian Vyapult VII took his position at the table, quieting the discussion down immediately. It was a pleasant enough scene - more or less a dining hall in one of the Mistland’s cities, not quite so bold as his own keep, but sufficient for this purpose nonetheless.
‘Greetings, my fellow Northfolk. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you why we’re here,’ he began, choosing to start proceedings frankly, and with little fanfare. ‘Protection, alliance. Support, most importantly. Ours are not grand regions like the Arbormark or Stormlands, and we are not flush with resources despite our best efforts. Though I and my fellow Knyaz are who lead the Frostmark and Mistlands respectively, the war that looms affects us all, down to the most diligent of layfolk. Best, then, to lay differences aside before the situation grows dire.’
The hall of ancestors from the Engelhardt family was a morbid setting for a meeting, but served its function well. It was a long house of rich wood textures and solemn engraved images to represent them. Most apparent of them was a tall figure stretched up to the ceiling, dwarfing all the others in height. A figure of a bearded man with a sword in one hand and a dove perched on his other, a crown annoyed by a priestly figure. The first convert to the Twin Faiths, and the Saint of the Mistlands.
Egil sat underneath the tall figure, hearing the movement and chatter and focused intently on Vyapult’s words. It was an auspicious day, a day of a proposed grand alliance in the face of war. The setting felt strangely fitting to the young duke.
“I agree wholeheartedly, and your words ring true. We must cooperate so no violence transpires in our realms without our say. Although, I wonder what terms each of you may bring. I know no alliance comes without strings attached.”
Egil stood up from his seat and wished to cut to the chase. With war looming so soon, there wasn’t time to waste in his mind.
All this talk seemed like war talk. Or perhaps that is his interpretation of the Marble People. They talk all gravely and dire. Their what they call politics - seemed in comparison - so bloody. True the Frozen Tears had their territorial dispute though they were often settled through the community and rarely ever ended up so brutal. Though Merta is also aware that this has something to do with the Marble People and their Kings. He never understood the relevance. It’s why he came to understand it in better detail. To better know how to prepare his people and relay the Marble People’s perspective.
Though it was hard to do so, when he spent an unnecessary amount of time having to focus on what they were saying. Why were these places so busy with noise? Varan is easy to understand, he has spoken to him a number of times and it was easy to follow. Egil - is it? It took considerable focus to determine his response.
“My people,” Merta begins, “We do not often deal with things like war. While our people hunt and use the land like a sleeping beast lying in wait. We have traditions against violence. Not that we are - what’s the marble people word ah -pah-si-fist. I do agree that it is necessary that we assure the safety of those who live here. That is something I do understand. If there is to be an alliance, then I need the good faith of both Varan and yourself - though I understand Varan’s position, my people are recognized as people. Not every Marble People sees this. We’re treated like com-mah-dities, is that the word? Accessories to the silver in the mines as if we eek out of stone like ore.”
Varan nodded as Merta spoke, certainly in agreement, even if some dukes made minor complaints on the matter. In a way, the positions of the Archduchies compared to other regions were not too dissimilar from that of the Silver City - though much less extreme regardless of the angle taken, for land potency alone if nothing more.
‘I couldn’t agree with you more, Duke Mertavodah,’ he proceeded. ‘War is not ideal, even for many of the Archdukes, and for the Duchies of our nations even less so. But, two vying candidates for the position of monarch is something that has instilled tension into Adanion’s people; refusal to choose a quarter will simply mean it is chosen for us. Certainly, there will be no desire on my end to see any Duchy’s people diminished, least of all yours. And,’ he made clear, ‘I will expand on this as a portion of my own terms: that the same courtesy be extended from all, to all, within the context of this treaty. If we are allied, then I believe we must be clear on our allegiances, rather than ranking amongst ourselves by perceived traits.’
Egil would appreciate the two speaking with careful eyes and a blank face that hid his true emotions. Internally his mind was awash with tons of questions and concerns, assessing risks and wondering if this was worth all the trouble. In many ways he felt his hand was forced by circumstance but he yearned to believe there were still individual actions he could do to change the course of history. Something he simultaneously thought was foolishly idealistic and needed in this moment.
“Clarity will be needed not just for the other lords, but ourselves as well. This alliance will combine our levies and we’ll have to divulge any secrets we may have to work best together. This will also mean you may have to risk people and resources for the defense of another realm that’s not your own.”
“We’ll also be attacked for this. Not directly, at least not immediately. The southern duchies will retaliate with tariffs, merchants denied or other services denied. There is no doubt in my mind that when this alliance leaks out, and it will, that we will be targeted. War may become inevitable very quickly, even though no one here wishes for it.”
Egil clears his throat, he looks among the guards posted downstairs and sees Marya among them. A source of strength.
“So I apologize if it seemed this was motivated to take advantage of resources” He would gesture to Merta; “Or to put people at risk.” He’d then gesture to Vyapult. “But there will be a retaliation upon us the second this is agreed upon, and I want to make sure everyone here knows and understands this and is willing to weather the coming storm.”
When he went on this journey he knew that he would be submerged into the politics of the Marble People. He decided to go on this path in order to guarantee his people’s security in the new Marble People future. Because he knows they will continue to expand, he feels the pressure of their power, the pressure of their expansion and the worry of their leaders. His people feel like they are simply attached like a tumor. That one day, someone will cut them off. He also worries about accepting and becoming more involved in the Marble People’s politics. The Echoes in his past have dealt with the Marble People by keeping themselves isolated, and distant. That will not protect them in the end. But Merta wonders if this is the right path. When will this alliance falter, as they all do? Because the Marble People’s words are often like the tides. First they bring bounty, then they retreat. Perhaps it is distrust, but then again the people he has seen haven’t shown themselves to be trustworthy. He tries not to generalize. Yet. He is uncertain.
What do the spirits say? What does the Mountain Father and Mother say, what does the Forest Father say? Is this protection? Is this security? Is the path that he has begun to walk is the right way? As an Echo he is a guide to his people.
“My worry is not about the resources, things are things, the Marble People seem obsessed with land and power, they do not seem to see people as people, my concern is that my people are and will be seen as accessories or objects in the end. We have no long lasting power in your court, we’re an aside, an attachment. An attachment. What my concern is that again,” Merta pauses, “And I mean this not in disrespect to Varan.” he nods politely towards him, “Is that my people will not be seen as separate entities. Currently we are in a position of vassal to House Vyapult. We’re in an awkward position making alliances. People will see this as a grab of power on my part. Though I admit honestly and selfishly, with full trust that I wish my people were not seen as merely eyesores. This is the position I am placed in when making these decisions. It’s not just war that is at sake. Or who brandishes their sword. But I am thinking of the long term consequences. I want no part in your power. My people want no part in the Marble People’s Kingdom. But the more they expand. The more their power exerts pressure. I wonder what our role is in it. If you understand these things, then I will accept what you have to say.”
‘Of course.’ Of course he understood; he’d been involved with Merta and the People of the Silver City for who knew how many years now. He recognised their plight - and he knew he wasn’t one to talk, he was an archduke in quite a stable position, especially with the Mad King’s demise. But damn it all. ‘I reiterate my insistence. All must see each other as equal - as people, no matter the culture. Rest assured, I will personally speak with those who refuse these terms…
‘And on that note,’ he continued firmly, ‘we must as well make a decision on who we support collectively. In this, I am perhaps foolish to propose that the choice be allowed at all; but, I allow it in understanding that we all gain more from Sharles’ reign than Anyamara’s, and that all recognise this idea. Anyamara’s supporters, in many ways, feel impelled to do so by the money they are offered. Rest assured, if we are truly seen as lesser for our limited export, then she will not provide equivalent due for our support as to the richer regions of the South, and in the meantime will only lessen the standing of the common people all over, those who cannot afford the lessening, least of all in the Frostmark and Mistlands. Under Sharles, I dare say we shall all be brought upward - and, to be sure, it will be those who have most to lose under the Bastard Maiden who will have most to gain under the alternative.’
Egil again retreated into himself to process Merta’s speech. It was a new perspective that he did not immediately understand. He’d think back on the strange feather he was offered as a gift, one that appeared important to the Echo but to himself had no value. A collective alliance would be complicated in many more ways than originally thought.
“For all intents and purposes, Lord Merta. In this alliance we are one people by just how our soon to emerge enemies shall perceive us. Although this process won’t be painless or without misunderstanding, if you allow patience I think it will protect us all from the ‘marble kingdoms’ as you call them. Although I share a lot of their traditions, the people of the Illemani river are still yet their own and there was a proud culture and religion here before any southerner set foot in these woods. As Vyapult has noted too, our support of Sharles will bind us together through the ugliness of politics. Another Mad King is something I simply cannot tolerate.”
“I hope that is convincing to you both that you will not be taken advantage of or seen as lowly pieces on a chess board. There will be a need for much sympathy between us here, but I am confident we will come out stronger on the other side. Our first step should be the security of the border and to deny any army professing loyalty to Anyamara passage through our lands. The people will come first, that I can easily agree to and their security will be seen to.”
It had not been a question whether Merta supported Sharles or Anyamara. The question was more or less him stepping forth in this world or not and beginning to make plays on a chessboard, “I only saw one option in your politics, which is Sharles. So the three of us are in agreement there.”
‘Our borders can be secured readily if need be,’ Varan cited. ‘A region loyal to Anyamara will likely make themselves known one way or another; until they do, we can retain our trade routes with them, and benefit for as long as possible.
‘But what say the rest of you?’ Varangyrian asked the other assorted nobles. ‘All in favour of Sharles as King, raise your hand and call “aye”.’ A chorus of “aye!”s rang out; though some resolutely kept their hands down and their mouths shut, there was a clear majority in favour.
‘Then it’s agreed,’ he concluded. ‘Unless or until extreme circumstances deem it necessary to state otherwise, the duchies of the Northern Treaty recognise Sharles of Bremerant as the rightful heir to the throne.’ A small chorus of cheers followed after this. And he wouldn’t admit here that it’d be so in word more so than thought for him, not until the man had proven his worth.
Although more details needed to be ironed out, for the moment the alliance was set in place. Joining in with the other lords, Egil threw his support behind Sharles as well.
“So it is decided. We’ll work out more later, but for now this alliance will be for Sharles as the rightful heir to the throne.”
They'd done it. They'd met back up with the others. But no sooner had they succeeded there, than the worst came to pass: not one, not two, but three of those "Warlord" people had come out. And one was new, even... great.
She was tired. Tired of all of this. Which was why she didn't even question this new Spindle person's idea, or the idea that maybe jumping off a cliff was a bad idea, or that it'd probably aggravate her ankle even further. She simply followed after her as fast as she could, a modest hobble rather than a sprint by now, and when she came to the cliff's edge... hesitated.
She'd die. She'd die if she fell down there.
But everyone else was doing it. God, that brought back that old idiom about everyone's friends jumping off a bridge, didn't it?
Fuck it. She closed her eyes, screwed up her face, and tossed herself off the edge as best she could, folding her body together. She didn't want to tense up for the impact...
Age: 42 Appearance: Giovanni is in his middle age, and it shows largely in his facial features and hair - he has the figure of somebody holding on to strength, but the wrinkles in his face, the weariness of once-bright blue eyes, and the salting of otherwise-dark brown hair shows that strength is waning. Outfit-wise, he tends to stick to the uniform offered by PZPRS, a fairly dark-toned modification of military uniform with no identifying markers beyond PZPRS’s symbol on the inside of one chest pocket.
Personality: He is, for want of better phrasing, a perfect military man. Loyal to whoever has his service, which for a great long time has been the US Army and the USA as a whole, and is currently the Paranatural Zoology and Physics Research Syndicate, he’s seen the best and worst of the world through the lens of a veteran, and it has shaped him accordingly, his responses to most events pretty well engineered to those of a soldier, and more precisely a sergeant of several decades.
Background: Born to an impoverished family of Italian descent, Giovanni followed the path of a great many college students and joined the military at a young age. In theory part of a reserve unit, it was only a few years after that when a certain nation-shaking event changed things for him forever: deployed to the Middle East, Giovanni spent countless years fighting in the name of the United States of America, against foes who he saw as the bane of world safety, with for the most part not enough time spent back home to even realise the folly of his hatred of people who he didn’t even quite understand were of different cultures... until he was injured at the age of forty, and sent home to rest and recover until he could return to the front line. With nothing else to do, he did his research, realised the truth, and as soon as he could stand requested he be sent home with an honourable discharge. Returning home physically was one thing. Mentally was quite another - in the end, the fighting had left its scars, as it does on most veterans, and he struggled immensely to find work with any civilian faculty. Eventually, he hit a low point; and it was there that an agent of a group he’d never heard of before approached him, asking him to visit them and see if he had what it took to be an employee of theirs. He agreed begrudgingly - it couldn’t be worse than the mental demons he had going already. Little did he know that the entity he’d be put up against, as head of a squadron of prospective hires, would try to insert its own; a quirk of its paranaturality kept those who suffered PTSD from being too badly affected, and of a group of ten potential victims of intense madness, only he and two others stood tall enough to fend it off and capture it for the company - or rather, for the Syndicate. A permanent position was offered to him, and he took it, finding a new purpose as a Hard Cover Agent.
Specialty: Leader/Coordinator Gear: Bullet-resistant vest, to avoid being shot. M4 carbine, for effective military-grade firepower in confined spaces. M9 pistol, for close-quarters firing. KA-BAR US army knife, for CQC. Group radio, to communicate with and relay orders to fellow squad members relatively silently and/or from a distance.
@Dark Light I should make a firm point, first off, that the family surname is not Varangyrian. That would be Varangyrian VII's given name. If anything, he'd be Karl Vyapult, or Karl of House Vyapult if the general setup for noble houses is that you get the house as a family name when you inherit the house in full. Secondly, it should probably be made a point of that he'd share the vulnerability Varan has of being of mixed blood, namely from their grandfather Varangyrian VI's partner. That might be important to delve into somewhat.
To wit, if you want to discuss this further, it may be a good call to head into the Discord for this RP, so that we can communicate more swiftly on the pertinent matters in future.
While that position sounds interesting I’m kinda feeling like playing someone’s younger brother or cousin. You know, just tagging onto another players house (can work out exact reasons later) and being less important but still of a noble family.
Archduke Varangyrian has a younger brother Karl. If you're interested. I can edit them to be a younger or older brother or sister too, whatever wants changing. And for reference as to the current lineage of Great House Vyapult:
Vyapult Line (starting from Varan I's designation as High Lord of the Frostmark) 1. Varangyrian Vyapult I x Duchess Mariya of D'yavoles 2. Varangyrian Vyapult II x Duchess Eleonora | Duke Dzhek, the Treefarmer x Lady Alison of Arbormark 3. Alekzandr Vyapult I x Duchess Ruthenia | Duchess Anastasia of Azkuzia 4. Varangyrian Vyapult III, the Cruel x Duchess Miriam of Stormlands 5. Erik the Hunter (formerly the Outcast) | Alekzandr Vyapult II x Duchess Arianne of Wildwood 6. Duke Garl't x Countess Alina | Varangyrian Vyapult IV, the Suzerain x Duchess Vyatik, the Wanderer | Duchess Aleksandryr, the Lawbinder 7. Count Varangyrian of Mirkuzi x Lady Dzhezika of Severoreka | Duke Varangyrian x Duchess Lilianna of the Crownmark | Varangyrian Vyapult V x Warden Markus of Westmarch 8. Varangyrian Vyapult VI (recently the Barbarian) x Dikynima | Duchess Novgoriz x Duke Izboryk 9. Duke Dyr of Bastion | Duke Dvini x Duchess Miriyam of D'yavoles | Duke Varangyrian of Eastfrost x Duchess Ayla of D'yavoles | Theophania Vyapult I x Warden Jacques 10. Varangyrian Vyapult VII | Duke Karl, the Guildmaster x Duchess Natalie of Mistlands
Known Aliases: "Spiders Man", The Grand Arachnid, Spider Insider
Under normal circumstances, Brock looks relatively mundane, albeit off in a sense that isn't immediately obvious. Black hair down to his neck, light skin, and pale blue eyes all add to a fairly tall frame that might be considered attractive, and at first glance he could be taken as a "muscular hunk" of sorts. This image fails once one realises much of that size is affected: that his neck is quite narrow, his cheeks are hollow, and come to think of it, his skin looks concerningly shiny, like it has a layer of gloss over the top...
This look comes into view as Brock's Araneaepathy is utilised, invoking physical effects on his appearance. His hair stands partly on end as if charged with static, whilst eerie blue-green light emits from it and his irises, blotting out other colours in both whilst making clear his slender frame and chitinous shell to an observer. Finally, he moves very differently than when he is not using the power, as if he were less human and more spider-esque.
Dr. Cartman: Beginning interview log with patient Brock Robert Jameson, session one. Brock, hello. Subject appears distracted initially, before refocusing on Dr. Cartman. Subject: Ah, we're starting? Hi, hello, yes. Er, can you turn down the light please? It's really bright in here, it's hurting my eyes. Dr. Cartman: Tell me, what do you believe brings you here? Subject: Oh, no, okay, that's fine. To the... the interview room, or the jail? Dr. Cartman: To the asylum, Brock. Subject: Okay, because you didn't make that very clear, see. You were just like, "what brings you here?", right, and I didn't know how specific you were being, and so I didn't have an answer for that until you cleared it up. Like, um- like, how when spiders make a web, and it's not necessarily clear what its shape is without closer examination? Actually, that's pretty neat, see, because most spiders don't actually make spiral webs like orb-weavers, because- Dr. Cartman: Mister Jameson, the question? Subject: Mm? Oh, er- why am I at the prison, right. Yeah, I'll get to that, but my point- because they were the starting point, like the first type of web, but then you got tangle webs, funnel webs, sheet webs, all kinds, just thrown together with no specific- oh right, the question! I got carried away, sorry. I like spiders, spiders are neat. During explanation of web types, subject displays increasingly dynamic gesticulation of arms. Dr. Cartman: I see. So why are you at the asylum? Subject: So why am I here, probably because I have fangs and can control spiders. I mean, I can't put them out right now, I can't do those things, but yeah, that.
Initial questioning suggests understanding of human concepts, but an intense hyperfocus on the subject of spiders. There is likely kinship involved with these, and a degree of single-mindedness that suggests araneaepathy may be two-directional. Further study required. - Dr. Cartman
Dr. Cartman: Now, Brock, would you mind describing your araneaepathy's effects, both upon you and the spiders you control? Subject: Oh, you're calling it that? That's pretty cool, but I mean, I never really thought about it too hard. I guess if I had spiders to show it off to, it'd be neat, so you could see for yourself. Do you have any? Dr. Cartman: We will not allow you to engage in live testing at this time, no. Subject: Damn. It's too quiet, I liked- I liked being able to sense them. It was so neat, like having a bunch of extra eyes, right? Their vision varies depending on species, you know, so a different type of spider, right, might have poor vision and rely on sensing web vibrations, but another might have really good eyesight, and the directionality could vary too, like with jumping spiders. They can see forward well, you know? They need that so they can lock on to what they're hunting. Ogre spiders are actually, they have even stronger vision, because they develop this light-reflective membrane, which is so sensitive it burns away in daylight. Er, speaking of, speaking of that, the light's are still- Dr. Cartman: When you say you "sense" them- Subject: -really bright in my- uh, I mean, what? Sense? Well, I sense them, yeah. They're uh, it's not really telepathy, they don't have big brains, really it's more like a dense nerve tangle. Portia spiders, they're basically the smartest spiders in the world, and can plan ahead when hunting to crazy lengths, but they only have about six hundred neurons total. It's very very slow thinking ahead, but it's smart thinking, and it has to be so they can hunt other spiders without getting eaten themselves. So yeah, it's not really detecting their thoughts, more like I can see their nervous patterns in my mind, right? And I can put my own instructions into those, like a- like a, what the hell are those tiny little robot pets called, the dumb ones on the screens everybody liked in the early two thou- T███████i! Those ones. Like reprogramming one of them, except it's a living being, so I don't want them getting hurt. Vivid gesticulation proceeds throughout subject's diatribe.
Subject shows heightened empathy for spiders, and describes conceptualisation of their psychology within his own brain rather than merely access to their thoughts. This likely confirms two-directional araneaepathy, implying that fixation and knowledge comes from imprinting of neurological patterns into the subject's own grey matter. Additionally, for future reports, assume gesticulation from subject when discussing spiders unless otherwise stated. - Dr. Cartman
Dr. Cartman: Where did you first encounter your abilities, Brock? Subject: Well, I mean. I woke up with them one day, probably... uh, probably a few years ago now, halfway through puberty? I- I think I've been in here a while, so yeah. Subject displays irritation during this explanation, blinking profusely. Subject: L-look, I'm being nice about it, but you really have to turn the lights down, it's seriously actually painful here, and I mean, it's bad in the rest of the prison, but this is too much. Dr. Cartman: We can't turn down the brightness of the lights- Subject: Well then turn them off, please! I don't- look, seriously, today's sucked, I just- Subject stands from chair, followed swiftly by Dr. Cartman. Dr. Cartman: Brock, take your seat, please! Subject: -I don't want to be in here, I don't like it in here, take me out of this room! Dr. Cartman: Sit the hell down! Subject moves toward Dr. Cartman. Later described as an aggressive movement. Subject: Let me GO! I WANT TO- Subject's hair glows blue-green briefly, an indicator of attempted use of araneaepathy, before shock collar activates for one second. Subject grunts and stumbles to floor. Subject: No, STOP DOING THAT! I DON'T WANT THIS! Subject's hair glows again, followed by another shock. Subject continues to yell aggressively, wildly flailing limbs. Subject receives five more shocks in next minute until they fall quiet, breathing heavily in fetal position. Dr. Cartman: Patient is being uncooperative. Bring him back to his cell. Two guards enter, lifting subject off the ground as Dr. Cartman ends the interview log. Later examination of interview room would reveal several fragments of fang material.
Subject tends toward aggression when not given what he wants, suggesting a lack of short-term patience and/or issues with control of temper. Additionally, anger seems to enhance connection to abilities, triggering instinctive use of araneaepathy despite risk of shock; alternatively, use of powers may remain conscious, suggesting lack of risk assessment in subject. Confined space likely to have been taken as a prime opportunity to attack, as perceived prey was caught in a situation they could not easily escape from, akin to a spider stalking a fly trapped in its web. - Dr. Cartman
Subject: I don't like the food here, it's gross. Unprompted statement. Prior topic was chitin. Dr. Cartman: Would you prefer meat? Subject: Er, yeah. Something I can, like, sink my teeth into, at least. Dr. Cartman: Insects? Subject: What? Well, not- I mean, honestly, it's probably better than the gruel in here, so yeah. I have done that before. Dr. Cartman: Eating insects? Subject nods. Subject: Uh-huh, when I wasn't stuck in this place. They crunch. Like, people are all grossed out by them, but they're efficient protein. They taste fine, I'm fine with them. Well, you know though, spiders don't actually crunch them up, fun fact, they're just like uh, they- they inject digestive enzymes through their carapaces, that dissolves their insides, and that's what they actually eat, because their digestive tracts aren't wide enough to eat anything solid. Dr. Cartman: I see. Do you use your fangs to do that? Subject: To- eat the insects? Dr. Cartman: To inject digestive enzymes into your food. Subject: Uhhhhhh... Subject considers notion for extended period. Subject: I don't think they're connected to my stomach? It might be cool to try, but then I'm basically just puking into a bowl of gruel, which is already gross enough. Unless you mean the saliva enzymes, because those work just fine in my mouth.
Subject displays preference for entomophagy and disgruntlement with standard inmate meals. Very likely that prolonged connection with spider psyches has altered subject's understanding of food substances. Additionally, subject has suggested that they would prefer to eat in a more spider-like fashion, i.e. injection of enzymes and subsequent consumption of fluid, and are capable of doing so with at least the enzymes naturally found in human saliva. - Dr. Cartman
Dr. Cartman: Beginning interview log with patient Brock Robert Jameson, session twelve. Hello again, Brock. How are you feeling? Subject appears listless, speaking with distinct monotone. Subject: Tired. Sick of all this. I want to go home. Like, I know I was saying about this being a prison, like months ago now, but it's actually shit in here. Why do you have us in here? Dr. Cartman: For your protection, and for the protection of others who you might hurt. Subject: Bullshit! What's the testing for then? I know it's not to be some kind of X-██n or some shit. I- you know I have a tarantula right? Pet tarantula, I called him Peter? Dr. Cartman: Why did you name him Peter? You didn't need to. Subject: Because I love him! Well I did anyway, he was only five, but he's probably starved by now unless mum and dad bothered to look after him. Twenty-something years of perfectly good spider life, murdered by Thornwood. Dr. Cartman: Well, he was only a spider. You can always get another one. At this stage, subject affixes Dr. Cartman with a glare, later described as "predatory" by Dr. Cartman. Subject: Only a spider? Pardon you? Dr. Cartman: Well... it's an arachnid, Brock- Subject: Would you say that about your pet, Doctor? Dr. Cartman displays irritation briefly. Dr. Cartman: I- ...look, my pets are not your concern. I keep Marshall well-fed- Subject: Oh, why did you name him Marshall? He's only a dog! Dr. Cartman displays shock. Dr. Cartman: Wh- what? How did you know that? Subject: Oh, you didn't know? It's my spidey-sense, Doc, I've had it the whole time. I can smell your fear, you fat bastard. Dr. Cartman: Hey! I'm not fat- Subject speaks simultaneous to Dr. Cartman. Subject: "I'm just big-boned!" See? I know what you're thinking before you do! Dr. Cartman: What- what is wrong with you? Subject rises, close to shouting as he approaches Dr. Cartman. Subject: What's wrong with you?! You people can't keep us here forever, you know! In fact, I know you know, otherwise you wouldn't be so scared of a skinny guy who can't even use his abilities, you asshole! Dr. Cartman: Sh-shit! E-end the interview- oh shit, drop him! Shock collar is activated for five seconds, sending subject to the ground twitching. Subject is escorted back to cell as interview is ended. Later analysis of interview indicates cold reading techniques displayed by subject, rather than claimed extrasensory capabilities.
I've come to a final conclusion. Brock Jameson is a highly disturbed individual, with blatant delusions of being a spider and possessing great mind-reading abilities despite all evidence to the contrary, as well as viewing humans as insect-like prey. Additionally, he displays heightened aggression under duress, generally disordered thought processes, and paranoia toward staff, as well as social withdrawal and limited emotional expressiveness beyond subject of spiders, which he ultimately considers to be more capable of companionship than dogs, and likely moreso than humans too. Simply put, the subject is a dangerous madman, whose powers have afflicted serious psychosis after lengthy exposure to the neurological patterns of who knows how many spiders. In conjunction with displayed mobile abnormalities, which have been catalogued as present under normal circumstances and exacerbated during testing of araneaepathy, I shall be filing for an official diagnosis of undifferentiated schizophrenia in the subject, with signs present from the paranoid, hebephrenic, and catatonic types. Further interviews will not be required. - Dr. Cartman
Background: Brock is not known to have a particularly unusual childhood. Background checks suggest significant levels of bullying from ages 6 and onward, but no incidents of note before age 16. Powers seemingly manifested at this age - accounts suggest araneaepathy presented immediately upon rising on the day of 11/22/20██, whilst upper canines were discovered to have fallen out of the subject's mouth in the same night before been replaced with retractable fangs within a week, and chitinous exoskeleton formed over the next several months as a natural consequence of growing in. Social exclusion was heightened as these features were discovered by peers, and reports of criminal activities such as petty theft under the alias "The Grand Arachnid" reached Project Borehold not long after. Initial attempt to capture target at age 17 utilised two Project Borehole soldiers, but the attempt was hampered by unexpected self-defense in the form of a much greater quantity of spiders than anticipated. Both soldiers hospitalised, one death caused by combination of crushing and envenomation. Brock promptly fled the state, by his own word hitch-hiking to New York; further reports suggest extended period of homelessness and self-education spent primarily in a mixture of abandoned warehouses and internet cafes. Second attempt to capture target made at age 25, after reports made of his presence at a local zoo in the spider exhibit, apparently as part of his job. Additional reports suggested vigilante activity in the area under the alias "Spider Insider". Five Project Bore hole soldiers were sent to apprehend Brock. Again, all soldiers sent to capture were hospitalised by target's powers through crushing and envenomation; one soldier paralysed through injection of neurotoxin by subject into left shoulder, recovery timeframe of seven months. Brock did not leave his job at this point, and the reasons for this are unknown. Third attempt to capture target at age 26 successful. In excess of 35 soldiers sent to apprehend, ten of which were equipped with flamethrowers to ensure no repeat of prior capture attempts. Brock resisted at first, but upon realising the presence of flamethrowers, quickly relented and allowed himself to be captured; he is quoted as having said at the time "Please, don't hurt them." Unknown if referring to civilians or exhibited spiders.
Skills, Talents and Learning: Knowledge of Spiders - Brock is a veritable encyclopedia on the subject of spiders. There are very few things he cannot relay on the topic, and he is very capable of explaining in great detail just how they work, which additionally functions to help him best utilise his inherent abilities. Cold Reading - Brock has depicted in multiple instances the ability to acquire information from individuals via cold reading techniques, using vague assertions and inferences to pry into highly-personal aspects of people's lives. Generally, he does not make active use of this, instead gathering more information than he lets on via aforementioned inference; when directly utilised, it is often played up to induce feelings of unease or fear in subjects. Memorisation - Brock has an exceptionally good memory, though it is not "photographic" in the sense that he can glance at something and precisely recall the image later on. Rather, he retains a great deal of the raw information and emotion around something, enough to recall exact spiders from previous connections to them if he needs to based on their particular neural patterns, "personalities" if you will. To wit, this extends to personal information about individuals and locations as well, letting him store a great deal of information from those he has cold-read and about areas he has examined.
Power(s) and Capabilities: Araneaepathy - Brock has the power to, in essence, communicate on a base instinctual level with spiders of all types, out to a range of around 800 feet (roughly 250 meters), or much higher when under stress. Supposedly, spiders have a lot to say if one simply listens to them; in practice, this grants him the ability to "command" spiders en masse, manipulating them to act as he wills it and to an extent compelling them to act with greater efficiency and potency than they otherwise would. This of course has a great many benefits, ranging between scouting via proxy, production of a great amount of silk for entanglement or defense purposes, envenomation of enemies- often much more extremely than a typical spider bite would provide, given he can command them to bite repeatedly or inject much more venom than they normally would- or simply crush and suffocate foes under a tide of chitin and fangs if enough spiders are in range. Spider-like - Brock himself is very visibly spider-like in form, albeit not to an absolute extent. His physical body is more or less human, but possesses some very particular alterations. Most obviously, he has grown a shell of transparent chitin around himself, apparently seeping out of the pores of his skin before hardening beneath existing chitin, which acts as protection from physical harm as well as some non-typical attack methods. He also bears retractable fangs where his upper canines would be, and can extend them out of his gums beyond his other teeth to bite and inject venom into opponents; he seems capable of altering the composition of this venom greatly, often incorporating a mixture of highly-destructive compounds that he himself is not affected by, and the fangs themselves are a tough mixture of chitin and enamel, regrowing lost matter as the rest of his body would if any part of them breaks off. Finally, whilst only modest in comparison, Brock is capable of essentially pressurising the fluids in his muscles and circulatory system in a manner akin to a jumping spider, granting him much greater burst speed and striking force than one might imagine based on his appearance, though not providing any particularly-superhuman capabilities.
Power Limits: Despite his nickname, Brock's power to command spiders only extends that far, specifically to the biological order Araneae, and not the wider class Arachnida or non-ranked supra-ordinal clade Tetrapulmonata, thus excluding for instance scorpions, mites, and ticks from his control. Additionally, whilst he can to an extent enhance the spiders as they act, they are ultimately still restricted by their biology, rendering them ineffective against heavily-defended targets and vulnerable to extreme wide-area conditions such as flooding or intense heat or cold.
Known Vulnerabilities: His fangs being retractable means that they can be physically blocked from extending out, thus preventing their use in a fight, and whilst they are quite tough, they are also still just teeth. In addition, whilst his chitinous exterior offers much greater protection from slashing attacks, it is akin to plate armour in that it offers limited protection from heavy blunt strikes; is fairly readily pierced through with enough force, as in nature; is vulnerable to extreme heat or cold, heating or cooling to the point of cracking and breaking away when stressed like this; and most pertinently does not "heal" as quickly as the flesh underneath, leaving an exposed weak point for an extended period when damaged.
Motives: Brock's motivations do not appear to be grand in scope. Whilst he displays great anger toward the Thornwood Asylum and Project Borehole, he also seems to be of a mind that "taking it down" is nearly impossible for institutional reasons. Consequently, his primary goal upon escape seems to be best utilisation of his abilities and knowledge for personal and communal benefit, perhaps seeking another job similar to his work prior to acquisition.
Recommended Containment Procedures: In addition to standard containment procedures, Brock is fitted with specialised steel braces that cover the points of his upper canines, preventing him from utilising them in a fight. Additionally, an electric shock collar is fitted that consistently monitors his brain activity; if it reads an increase in certain brainwaves, indicating use of his Araneaepathy, it will administer a 2500-volt shock to his neck, disrupting concentration on the effect. Additional attempts within five minutes after the previous shock will lead to shocks of increasing voltage until he ceases attempts to utilise the effect. Finally, as a precautionary measure, all known populations of spiders within the asylum grounds have been eliminated, and further discovered populations are to be killed in turn.
Notes: Yes, he's a fan of Spider-Man. The irony is not lost on him.
Hello, I am me from the internet. I migrated here from Kongregate's Forum Games Forum, so feel free to look for me there if you wish to follow a career in internet stalking people. (ಠ_ಠ) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
[url=https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/173815-static-tabs-do-not-take-up-internet-bctheentitys-character-links/ooc]A link to some of my past characters, which I need because static tabs do not take up internet.[/url]
[center][u]Infamous Quotes From People Who Exist[/u][/center]
“I really don’t follow how your faith believes its perfectly acceptable to doom 4,000 years plus of sentient beings, on a pre-set path of no escape from sin, just so their descendants can be offered the ‘chance of salvation’ when the god murders its own son.”
“Don’t be an ass or a pussy, ’lest you get screwed by life. Being a mouth or a hand is somewhat safer, and an eye socket is pretty much sacred in this regard, so always keep a look out.”
<div style="white-space:pre-wrap;">Hello, I am me from the internet. I migrated here from Kongregate's Forum Games Forum, so feel free to look for me there if you wish to follow a career in internet stalking people. (ಠ_ಠ) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)<br><br><a href="https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/173815-static-tabs-do-not-take-up-internet-bctheentitys-character-links/ooc">A link to some of my past characters, which I need because static tabs do not take up internet.</a><br><br><div class="bb-center"><span class="bb-u">Infamous Quotes From People Who Exist</span></div><br>“I really don’t follow how your faith believes its perfectly acceptable to doom 4,000 years plus of sentient beings, on a pre-set path of no escape from sin, just so their descendants can be offered the ‘chance of salvation’ when the god murders its own son.”<br>~vikaTae<br><br>“Don’t be an ass or a pussy, ’lest you get screwed by life. Being a mouth or a hand is somewhat safer, and an eye socket is pretty much sacred in this regard, so always keep a look out.”<br>~BCLEGENDS</div>