About Jericho Kane
Gettysburg. The war was supposed to end there. All the pieces were in place. The Union had everything they needed to finally drive the Rebels to their knees. General Grant had made the whole war into a battle of endurance, one long slog designed to stretch the resources and nerves of every soldier to their breaking point. He was banking on the Union simply having more money and more men to throw at the problem. He wanted to force the cost of the war up so high that no sane person would be willing to pay it.
It was a good strategy, and it could have worked. Unfortunately, Grant, for all his steel and will, was still sane. There were some costs even he wasn't willing to pay.
The Reckonners were more than willing. They took Grant's strategy and showed him how much further it could go.
Lieutenant Kane was a Union Army Chaplain serving with the 5th US Artillery under the command of Colonel Hunt. He was there when all hell broke loose.
To this day, he isn't quite sure how he survived. It's all a blur of fear and death, and in the center of it all an unkillable Confederate officer surrounded by an ever-growing army of the dead slaughtering every living man he came across. Kane fought back as best he could with saber and bullets and an endless litany of prayer on his lips. He wasn't a hero. He couldn't save anyone. He just survived. Me made it out of the fight with a half dozen cuts and scrapes, two broken fingers, a ghostly curse, and a bullet lodged in the bible he always kept in his uniform's breast pocket.
It was the end times. Gettysburg didn't end the war, but for a while, it stalled it.
The battle was a full rout for both sides. There were no bodies to bury. The wounded that managed to flee with the rest seemed to catch infection faster than they should. It was left to Chaplain Kane to sever the heads and burn the bodies before they could rise again. When he wasn't fast enough, he had to butcher the men he'd just given last rights to. They stayed with him even after he'd put them down. Dozens of them, whispering, pleading, frustrated and pained. They opened and closed doors, put out candles, scattered papers, begged him to end their suffering, or howled at him for not being able to save them. It wasn't enough that the memories of Gettysburg haunted his mind. It haunted his soul as well.
Kane went straight to the Mother Church in Galveston, Texas, the seat of the United States' highest ranking Bishop, to report what he'd seen. The church was skeptical. There was much news, but it was chaotic, fanciful, full of blasphemies and impossibilities. Kane was their first proof. The spirits that haunted him caused havoc in the church. He was confined to the monastic cells beneath in the cellars. Exorcisms were performed. Prayer, fasting, flagellation, tortures of the body and soul heaped upon him to drive the haunting spirits out. Nothing worked. It was Kane himself who continued the abuses long after the other priests wanted to give up. He demanded they continue, sought out the most painful and dangerous purification rites, pushed them further and further until the Bishop realized Brother Kane wanted to die.
It was a turning point. Kane's spiritual rehabilitation. He was the only surviving priest with a firsthand account of Gettysburg. They needed him. The worked with him, slowly convincing him to accept his condition as a trial from God to help them understand the new state of the world. Kane had a solemn duty to seek knowledge of what had happened to him, why, and to bring that knowledge back to the Church.
That was how he met Professor Lorrimer...
I'd like 5+ points that capture the concept and story of the character:
1) "You remind me of the story of Jericho, priest. You have it backwards though." the Professor said. "You think you are like the Israelites marching and praying and blowing horns so God will hand you victory over the blasphemous heathens. That is not you, though. You are more like the walls. To proud to open up. Sealed in. Brought low by powers you don't understand, and in the end, serving only as a warning to others. If you're looking to get yourself killed, I will not stop you. Just do it somewhere else. This town has too many ghosts as it is. We do not need yours too."
2) An invisible force unscrewed the top of Kane's flask and slid it towards him. "Thanks." he muttered to nothing, then took a drink.
3) "A priest?" the painted lady said, sliding her hand up his chest and toying with his collar. "Doesn't that mean you shouldn't be in a place like this? Chastity and brothels don't mix well." The priest gave a small shake of his head. "Celibacy." he said. "What's the difference?" the woman asked with an arched eyebrow. "Means I cannot marry." the priest clarified. "But what about..." the whore's lingering question hung in the air between them. "That just means another Sunday in Confession, not a broken vow." the priest said. "Well, I wouldn't want to lead you into sin." she smiled. It was the priest's turn to raise an eyebrow. "What makes you think you'd be the one leading?"
4) "What about 'thou shall not kill?" the drunk asked. The priest sipped his whisky. "Old testament. Jesus wiped the slate clean. Made everything simpler. You believe, you try to be a good person, you get into heaven. That's it." The drunk gestured with his glass. "Killing people ain't exactly bein' a good person." the priest shrugged. "I said try."
5) The priest slipped into the confession booth of the run down church. A few moments later the panel slid open. "Forgive me, Father for I have sinned. It's been... two hours since my last confession." A long-suffering sigh came from the other side...
6) "Save any souls today, Jericho?" the professor asked overly-politely. "You're never gonna get tired of that, are you?" Kane rolled his eyes. "Not until you give me a reason to. I think it reminds you of who you were when we met. It is good to stay humble, after all." Lorrimer smiled, handing the priest a glass.
1) The End Times are upon us. We have to save as many people as we can. To do that, we have to learn more about what is happening. These Reckoners have to be stopped. Something out there can do it. We just have to find out what.
2) The Church is the only defense against the coming darkness. We must bring more into the fold. The Lord needs an army.
Two secrets, one the PC keeps to himself, and one kept from the PC:
1) Kane likes what he has become. In spite of the curse, and the damnation of the world, being a warrior blessed by God gives him a sense of pride. It is the one sin he has not been able to confess.
2) The Church has reported everything about Father Kane to Rome. The Vatican is sending a team of Inquisitors to Texas, just in case Kane somehow strays from the path of righteousness. Some of the ranking priests think Kane should be killed as a precaution.
3-5 people that are tied to your PC by blood, love, rivalry, honor, etc:
1) Father Grimburrow, the priest in Ranvargo. Kane spent quite a while there learning from the Professor, staying in Grimburrow's church. The two respect each other a great deal. If Kane has anyone he can call a true friend, it's Father Grim.
2) Professor Lorrimer. The two have spent many a night discussing theology and occultism over a bottle of whisky in the professor's study. Though they do not often agree, they both consider each other a friend.
3) Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis, of Galveston Cathedral, Texas. The highest ranking Bishop in the United States during the Civil War. He has taken a direct hand in observing and guiding Father Kane. He reports to the other Archdioceses and to Rome. As tensions in the word build, Bishop Dubuis hopes that Kane will be able to bring information to the church that will allow them to form an effective resistance.
4) Colonel Henry Jackson Hunt. During his time with the 5th Artillery, Father Kane was Colonol Hunt's Chaplin. Hunt was not a terribly religious man, but enjoyed taking Confession because it was the only time he got some peace and quiet, and where he knew he could speak without his words being spread to unwanted ears. Father Kane became Hunt's means to vent his frustrations, fears and sorrows. Kane has not seen Colonel Hunt since Gettysburg.
5) Stone. Not a day goes by that the Harrowed Gunslinger doesn't flash through Kane's mind. The bullet that lodged in his bible was melted down into a cross that Kane now wears beneath his shirt. Stone doesn't know Kane exists, but if they ever met, Stone would remember him. Stone never forgets the faces of the people he shoots.
Three key memories that define your character:
1) "He looked at me. The Rebel officer. He wouldn't die. He was calm, deliberate and never stopped firing. Everywhere he aimed, men fell. Greys, blues, didn't matter. he shot them all. He looked my way and he spoke. I heard him. Over the screams, and the gunfire, and the hoofbeats, I heard his voice. Dry, like sandpaper on wood. "Come and see," he said. And then he shot me."
2) "How the hell'd you do that?" the young man asked, looking down at the new, pink skin where a knife wound had just been. The priest just stared. He'd always been devout. It was a prayer to ask for the Lord to look over the kid and help mend his wounds, the same one he always gave when he tended to the wounded. Never in his life had he thought the Lord would answer so... directly.
3) He lay in the cloister, nothing but stone on all sides, the whispers of spirits all around him. He couldn't move. He'd flogged himself near to death trying to beat the possessing spirits out, and his muscles were just knotted bruises now. The litany of prayer on his cracked lips was little more than reflexive mutterings. There was nothing here but madness. He could feel himself slipping. Dying. He was ready. His eyes closed. The pain faded. He smiled. White light opened before him and a blinding figure haloed in light spoke in a voice full of sadness and love. "Your work is not done."
A fear or paranoia that causes your character to shiver, cower, or panic:
1) Now that God answers Kane's prayers, there is nothing he fears more than losing that.
The Dawnrunner Massacre:
"I've got you professor!" Kane said, trying to keep the older man's focus. "You ain't dying on me, not here. Eyes open!"
They thought they'd been prepared. They were wrong. How do a hundred men get bushwhacked like that? The horde of walking corpses that poured out of the mineshafts scattered them all. Then the fog rose from nowhere and made it impossible to regroup. It was chaos. Kane took two shots as he bolted from cover to a new position and was out of bullets. His eyes flicked around, stopping on the corpse of one of their posse. "Would you kindly?" he muttered to no one as he repositioned the Professor on his shoulder. The dead man's gun slid along the ground to his hand with a whisper from the spirits that haunted him. "Thank you." he said, checking the chamber. It was full. Poor bastard had died before getting a shot off.
There was a continuous thunder of gunfire coming from the quarryhouse at the bottom of the crater. "How many guns does that skinny sonofab~@+@ have?" Kane growled, hefting the professor again. He groaned. That was good. It meant he was conscious. "You got any tricks up your sleeve, Lorrimer?" Father Kane asked. The old scholar pointed a shaky hand to one of the mineshafts that dotted the crater. Kane didn't bother asking questions. He just bolted into the dark.
He fought his way through the winding dark, the holy light from his cross and Lorrimer's lantern showing them the way forward. After a while he ran out of bullets and had to cut the undead down with his saber. The Lord was with him and he knew no fear. Then the Professor spoke. "Jericho..." he said, gesturing weakly. Coming from one of the tunnels were a pair of glowing red hands in the dark adn the sounds faint chuckling laughter. Kane knew better than to take on one of the Mistwalker's posse alone but they didn't have a choice. He backed away from the advancing Reckoner trying to keep himself between the professor and the man with the burning hands. He thought he was going to die. To this day, Kane is convinced it was divine providence that inspired the professor to smash his lantern on a mine cart.
Nothing burns like Ghost Rock.
Kane managed to shove the burning minecart forward and drag the Professor around a bend before the cart exploded, caving in the tunnel and half-way burying them. It was dawn by the time they managed to drag themselves free.
Of the hundred who'd ridden out with them, only a handful had survived. The Professor wasn't the same after that.
Kane's family immigrated to the United States from England, fleeing religious persecution by Protestants. They first went to Rome, then the church aided them in finding a home where Catholicism was tolerated in the New World. They settled in the Dutch colony of Maryland in the 1650s and were among the founding scholars of King William's School, Annapolis in the 1690s. They fought with the Revolution in 1776, and once the war was one, they returned to Annapolis to re-christen King William's School as St. John's College in 1784.
His father had died of Consumption when he was a child, so Kane was left to be raised by his grandfather and his mother. Kane's grandfather, though he sided with the revolutionaries, went to his grave regretting that independence meant the continuation of the institution of slavery. The British had outlawed slavery decades earlier, and Kane grew up hearing about how that was the one thing the Loyalists had right. In his years as a teenager, Kane was a staunch abolitionist. When John Brown led his ill-fated attack in Harper's Ferry, Kane decided talk was not enough. By the time the Civil War broke out, Kane had quieted his abolitionist words and instead moved on to subtle action. St. Johns became a safe house on the Underground Railroad, the church cloisters serving to house many freed slaves on their trips north.
That stopped when the war broke out. The College was converted to a military hospital. A promising Artillery commander and a number of his men were among the first treated there. Kane, being an educated man learned in numbers and engineering, as well as a priest with a particularly tolerant view of other spiritualities, was asked to serve as Chaplin to the 5th Artillery. He was 19 years old.
Human Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest 1
AC 15 (10, +3 Studded Leather, +2 dex)
CMD 21 (10, +1 bab, +4 dex, +0 str)
+4 Fort [+2 class, +2 con]
+2 Ref (+0 class, +2 dex]
+5 Will (+2 class, +3 wis]
...+1 Attack and Damage within 30 feet (point blank shot)
Cavalry Saber (cutlass) +3, 1d6+2, 18-20 crit, slashing
Revolver (sacred weapon) +4, 1d6 damage, touch attack in 1st range increment.
Lasso, -1 attack, entangle
Feats, Traits, curses and Vows:
Against the Reckoners :(campaign trait) You gain a +2 trait bonus on all damage rolls made against targets you know are associated with the Reckoners.
Fate's Favored: Whenever you are under the effect of a luck bonus of any kind, that bonus increases by 1.
Eyes and Ears of the City: Perception always a class skill, +1 trait bonus
Reactionary: +2 initiative
Extra Traits (human bonus)
Haunted Curse: Malevolent spirits follow you wherever you go, causing minor mishaps and strange occurrences (such as unexpected breezes, small objects moving on their own, and faint noises). Retrieving any stored item from your gear requires a standard action, unless it would normally take longer. Any item you drop lands 10 feet away from you in a random direction. Add mage hand and ghost sound to your list of spells known.
Vow of Celibacy: A priest shall not marry.
[2 warpriest, +1 skilled, +2 background*]
5 total ranks
ACP** -2 (leather armor and buckler)
+8 Perception (1 rank, +3 wis, +3 class, +1 trait)
Aura (Ex) A warpriest of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful deity has a particularly powerful aura (as a cleric) corresponding to the deity's alignment (see detect evil). Jericho's Aura is Lawful and Good.
Blessings (Su) A warpriest can call upon the power of his blessings a number of times per day (in any combination) equal to 3 + 1/2 his warpriest level (to a maximum of 13 times per day at 20th level). Each time he calls upon any one of his blessings, it counts against his daily limit. The save DC for these blessings is equal to 10 + 1/2 the warpriest's level + the warpriest's Wisdom modifier.
Favored Class Bonuses
Skilled: 1 additional skill rank per level.
DC 10 + 1/2 Level + Wisdom
Orisons (4 per day, at will)
1st level (1 per day, +1 bonus)
WBL: 350 dollars
Old Pistol ($100)
Armor: Studded Leather (heavy leather duster) ($25)
Holy Water x2 ($50)
(168 dollars and change total)