“Hunger is the best seasoning” ~ Ken Follett
Catriona “Wraith” Moore
It's a rather terrifying truth that many of the worlds connected via the Rifts are considerably more scary, messed-up, and dangerous than Earth itself. So to some of the denizens of these other realms, Earth is a tempting source of resources for use in their own struggles.
Catriona Moore was acquired as one such resource. That she remembers very little of her time in her captors' laboratory is probably a blessing; that she can remember little more of her life before she was taken is a source of profound regret.
She's literate, educated, and recalls fragments both profound and petty from the laboratory and her 'other' life. She's fairly sure that she was human, and from Earth. She's not sure when or where she is from, though English appears to be her native language and she's not yet found anywhere that the locals sound quite like her. And she's quite certain that the experiments she was subjected to were intended to bestow upon her some of the traits deemed 'desirable' in the more ornery critters her captors had acquired.
Whether she was psychic before she was captured, she's not sure – but it seemed to be a key element in what eventually made her a success, while other captives failed. Usually fatally. Whatever she was melded with had a good shot at killing her, before her mental talents helped her to gain a measure of control over her newly-altered body.
It was during field tests that Catriona learned to master most of the powers she now wields, and came to understand how profoundly she'd been changed. She had new hungers to contend with: met by 'supplements' in the laboratory, out in the field she tended to acquire them from fallen foes. She could command her body to melt into an immaterial presence, and reform it. She could run faster than she had ever dreamed was possible, disappear in plain sight, and perform athletic feats hitherto far beyond her.
It was on her last field test that she learned that her captors were in fact quite capable of misjudging odds, and that she was not merely tougher than before, but preternaturally so: a shot to the head resulted in her being left for dead on the battlefield. To her surprise, she recovered – albeit with a lingering scar – and discovered that her body was freeing itself of the control serums her captors had used. Her memory did not return, but her free will did.
And with full consciousness came the appreciation of what she now is: a predator, in a world filled with people who smell all too much like prey. Certainly not a vampire per se, but in darker moments she worries that she is perhaps something akin to some ghost stories - a spirit able to maintain material form by drinking blood, enjoying the fruits of life as best it can while it lingers unnaturally beyond its time.
Since her accidental escape, she has sought to put her new skills to good use, while doing her best to avoid being taken for (or becoming) one of the worse kinds of horror in Rifts Earth. Now, she's wandered her way down to the shores of the Chesapeake Sea, hoping that her rather grim reputation has not reached too many ears. And maybe that she'll find some clue to where her home might have been, or could be in future.
Dhampir Psychic Scout
Mostly alive, but closer to dead than is healthy for any mortal creature. But who better to find and identify danger than someone who's already come back from at least one shot through the head and can turn into a ghost?
Invoke: To find danger, or to survive having done so (albeit not necessarily in one piece). To use her psychic abilities, which are so much a part of her.
Compel: To be found by danger. To struggle with her need for unconventional sustenance.
Intimidating both in person and by reputation, Catriona may not literally be an horrific monster... but quite a few people respond as if she is.
Invoke: To deter or scare people.
Compel: When people look askance at the pallid oddity, or follow up tales about her.
Catriona's an escaped prototype combatant, enhanced and trained by dimension-hopping slavers, whose former captors think she's dead. The odds of running into anyone who's dealt with something quite like her are low.
Invoke: To surprise opponents in combat or in situations where tactical or strategic maneuvers are relevant; to turn her abilities to non-standard ends.
Compel: To increase the difficulty of others trying to work out how to work with her in a team or to help her, especially medically.
Whimsical in the Brainpan
As sane as the next memory-ravaged wanderer who's not even sure she's on the right continent or in the right time, Catriona's mind doesn't always work in standard ways. Frankly, she often wishes it did.
Invoke: To resist attempts to manipulate or control her, socially or paranormally. To come up with unconventional ideas that just might work.
Compel: To hinder recall of details of her past; to come up with ideas (or ways of phrasing them) that no one else will agree with.
Minor Gateway: Dimensional Being (2)
Not everything that comes through the rifts is a powerhouse ready to punch the first combat robot it sees. In fact not everything strange and different is even from the rifts. Science twists the forms of animals and gifts them with sapience, trans-dimensional slavers make ‘modifications’ to their stock to increase their value and yes the rifts do dump quite a wide variety of oddities onto the land. Some of these creatures are more powerful than human beings. Some of them are simply different. “Wraith” is one such being: she may acquire Extras from the Dimensional Being list and gains 3 racial quirks, representing the changes wrought upon her – specifically, the fact that her body is now in large part a manifestation of her will.
Racial Quirk: Strength from Determination (Free)
Use Will instead of Physique on any overcome rolls representing feats of strength.
Feeding Requirement (0)
Regular food does not provide all the nourishment Catriona's altered nature now requires: instead, she must supplement it with living matter. The more alive and the more sapient the source, the better for her (and the more enjoyable it is to consume): blood and similarly vital essences are the simplest option, though flesh is another (and even less subtle) possibility. The victim being dead is not an insurmountable problem, so long as cell-death has not taken hold in what she consumes – but living (and sapient) sources are preferable.
Racial Quirk: Alien Agility (Free)
Nimble doesn’t even begin to cover it. You may ignore any barriers to movement between zones that are not in some way solid and extensive (walls, force fields and similar).
Racial Quirk: Supernatural Speed (Free)
Where’d it go? Was it ever really here to begin with? You may move two zones if unimpeded instead of the usual one and still take an action. For these purposes ‘unimpeded’ also includes any obstacles that you could ignore per ‘Alien Agility’.
Inhuman Senses (1)
Catriona receives a +2 to Notice and Investigation checks employing sight or scent. She also ignores all darkness-related penalties to such checks, seeing perfectly even in full darkness. Her sense of smell is particularly attuned to potential prey, including at least some assessment of species and freshness. Conversely, she is more prone than most to sensory overload of either a visual or olfactory nature, and often finds the smell of people as prey to be a hindrance in social interactions. +1 to difficulty of all overcome rolls to defeat aspects such as 'Sensory Overload' that apply to sight or smell.
Greater Physicality (2)
You gain armor 5, an extra mild physical consequence slot, an extra moderate physical consequence slot, the normal physical stress track is replaced with the following: 2x 1, 2x 2, 2x 3, 2x 4, 1x 5, 1x 6. Your fight attacks are weapon 2 due to natural weapons or great strength. Your physique cap is increased to 6 and you gain +2 on overcome actions using raw strength.
Major Gateway: Generalist Psychic (1)
Yours is the power of the mind. Whether you can see into the astral realm, hear the thoughts of others or make your will manifest as physical force, you have a gift that sets you apart and elevates you to the levels few on Rifts Earth ever reach. You may use Will to activate psychic disciplines and gain an exotic stress track appropriate to your Will rating.
Mental Medicine (0)
The body can recover from a lot on its own, but some things require intervention. Mental Medicine is less the art of encouraging the body to heal itself and more the art of manipulating it back to wholeness. Like those psychics trained in bio-feedback, the ability to deaden pain and put patients to sleep is invaluable. From there the paths diverge though. Mental Medics listen to the body tell them what’s wrong, gaining a very complete picutre of injury and illness – even when neither are obvious. From there they learn to set bones, repair arteries, mend flesh and even excise infection and necrosis with the skill of any surgeon. They also learn to purge illness and for those of a metaphysical nature who are faltering, even restore some mental and arcane energies that are faltering by sacrificing some of their own.
Psi Ghost (0)
A rare and unusual ability, Psi Ghosts can cause their bodies to become insubstantial and pass through physical barriers. Walls, laser fences and the like are no obstacle. Detection means that rely on a physical body crossing them – trip wires, pressure plates and similar – do nothing. The psi ghost can be seen, and any arcane or psychic barriers still prove formidable but otherwise they go where they will.
Sometimes the best defense is not being noticed. Just as there are abilities to perceive things about people – sense their presence, read their auras – there are abilities that deceive and deaden those senses. To that end psychics who study more subtle applications of their power can mask their own mental strength and abilities – making themselves appear normal or at least less powerful than they actually are. They can deaden the physical senses of those around them, allowing them to slip by unnoticed by suddenly the less observant. They can alter their auras to hide their nature and their mental and emotional states. To aid in knowing when they are being sought, they learn to sense the presence of other powerful minds and as a last resort they learn to shield their mental energies from being siphoned away just like their more defensively minded brethren.
Extra Sensory Perception (1)
The mind sees what the eyes do not, and to be honest there’s a lot that even Catriona’s eyes miss – so she has learned to build upon her existing ‘unconventional’ perceptions. Like others versed in the arts of ESP, she can activate this ability to sense the presence of psychics, of magic, of supernatural evil, and of tears in the fabric of reality. With it, she can sense the passage of time down to the nanosecond, and can see auras and creatures that have been made invisible by mystical or psychic means. She can also choose to shift her body into a more diffuse version of her ‘Wraith’ form, allowing her full spectrum of senses to operate in every direction at once.
Athletics: Dazing Counter (1)
When you succeed with style on a defend action against an opponent's Fight roll, you automatically counter with some sort of nerve punch or stunning blow. You get to attach the Dazed situation aspect to your opponent with a free invoke, instead of just a boost.
Notice: Danger Sense (1)
You have an almost preternatural capacity for detecting danger. Your Notice skill works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to harm you.
Stealth: Ninja Vanish (1)
Once per scene, you can vanish while in plain sight by spending a fate point, using a smoke pellet or other mysterious technique. This places the Vanished boost on you. While you’re vanished, no one can attack or create an advantage on you until after they’ve succeeded at an overcome roll with Notice to suss out where you went (basically meaning they have to give up an exchange to try). This aspect goes away as soon as you invoke it, or someone makes that overcome roll.
Wraith returns to Vesper after an extended assignment and finds out about the Rat King ...
Maddy and Wraith head into the Wastes to infiltrate Cannibals and rescue a captive.
A conglomeration of events ends in a discussion about the Magic Zone
Catching up on the events in Tharben, there's a visit from some rather continental looking guests - who just appear.
An invitation to one of the more uppercrust places has people wondering what's happening.
Answering Ghost's request, a band of adventurers head into Richmond to save Professor Ingerhast and others
Investigating a trail related to the recently stolen souls near the town of Greywall yields more questions than answers, and hints of something more sinister at work.
Maddy encounters Wraith in Greywall and they exchange notes on the strange happenings.
A starship crashes on the coast just South of Vesper; Ted, Meg and Cat rush to investigate and try to save any survivors...
When an Estate Manager from a Noble House and a Guild House Factor turn up in a Dogwood Tavern, you can be sure they mean business.
After a fight in the streets is put down, a group of adventurers catch up.
Wraith returns to Dogwood to find Natsuki and provide an update. Maddy goes looking work at Guild House Trent
Keen to explore the area in which she now finds herself, Terrilyn ventures up into the Appalachians. There, she finds an opportunity to put her anti-paranormal inclinations to good use, rescuing someone who bit off a challenge rather larger than was wise.
With the location of the prisoners identified, Catriona calls together her contacts to mount a rescue.
A Horune Pirate Ship has run aground and people need saving
Attempting to learn a little more about quite what it is that they've got involved with, Slaine accompanies Catriona in search of information on the mysterious Mr Croup and Miss Vandemar.
A Preacher, a Wolfen and a Wraith walk into a park...
Catriona receives a lovely hand-drawn message inviting her to a nocturnal meeting in a characterful part of town. There, she and Slaine meet an absolutely delightful couple, and discuss ocean cruises.
Courtesy of the Dragon-Cat Ghost, Catriona and Slaine receive an offer of employment: to find out how pirates are being so successful in targeting Falstead Expeditions.
It's time to get Catriona settled into Grans and swap some more stories
Artie and Wraith cross into Vesper and meet up with some local colour