Methods and Mysteries
Marcus, level 8 Human, Ranger Fighting Style: Two-Blade Fighting Style
Weight: 195 lbs.
Marcus is rarely seen without his knee-length, always buttoned black trench coat. The coat was provided by the church and is warded with multiple enchantments making it like an armor of sorts while still allowing for excellent mobility. It is also enchanted with the ability to teleport through 10 feet of solid wall.
Marcus’ “swords” are his two .45 1911 style pistols which he carries at all times. Originally acquired during his time in the military, they have recently undergone some changes to make them more effective in combat. One has been enchanted so that it can banish Marcus’ enemies to an extradimensional space for a short amount of time. This comes in handy when Marcus finds himself in a little over his head and he needs time to “thin the herd” a little. The other pistol allows Marcus to enter a “defensive” stance which activates a personal force field and makes him harder to hit.
After fleeing from the Church, Marcus acquired two pieces of gear which help him evade the Church’s seekers. First his sunglasses of disguise allow him to change his appearance at will. This way, Marcus can pass as any humanoid creature in any situation. He still prefers to go by “himself” whenever possible. (Himself refers to a slightly modified version of him self which he uses most of the time. This allows him to maintain a consistent image that is far enough from his true image to avoid suspicion but close enough that he can still keep certain reminders of who he is.) The other piece is a necklace that used to belong to his mother. In a nod to her skills as a teacher, Marcus had it enchanted with a spell which allows him to speak and read virtually all languages. This has often come in handy during infiltration and spying missions.
Marcus prefers to stay quiet in most situations. His training has taught him that people are unreliable and the evidence will almost always lead him to the correct conclusion. He understands that it is often necessary to consider testimony as evidence in a case but he’s quick to dismiss suspect and/or witness statements as lies when seemingly contradicted by evidence. In combat situations Marcus relies heavily on his training and analytical nature, avoiding rash and impulsive decisions. Because of this, many believe view Marcus as cold, calculating, and unemotional when in fact quite the opposite is true. His military background has instilled in him an intense sense of loyalty but only to those who have truly earned it. It is quite difficult to earn his trust but once you do he will defend you to the death if necessary.
Marcus has several tattoos from his military time of phrases with various personal meanings:
1) (Written on inside of right forearm) Memento Mori (Remember that you will die)
2) (Written from his left shoulder down to his elbow) Perfer et obdura; Dolor hic tibi proderit olim (Be patient and tough; Some day this pain will be useful to you)
3) (Written across his back between his shoulders) Exite acta probat (The result validates the deed)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 22, Con 13, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 17.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 18, Con 12, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16.
AC: 24 Fort: 24 Reflex: 18 Will: 20 HP: 65 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 16
TRAINED SKILLS Intimidate +12, Dungeoneering +8, Athletics +15, Perception +11, Insight +8, Streetwise +12
UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +4, Arcana +4, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Endurance +5, Heal +3, History +4, Nature +3, Religion +4, Stealth +4, Thievery +4
FEATS Human: Lethal Hunter Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword) Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade) Level 4: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade) Level 6: Skill Focus (Perception) Level 8: Armor Proficiency (Scale)
POWERS Bonus At-Will Power: Twin Strike Ranger at-will 1: Shield of Blades Ranger at-will 1: Righteous Brand Ranger encounter 1: Healing Strike Ranger daily 1: Bastion of Defense Ranger utility 2: Ethereal Stride Ranger encounter 3: Shadow Wasp Strike Ranger daily 5: Stand the Fallen Ranger utility 6: Zephyr of the Barren Sands Ranger encounter 7: Claws of the Griffon
ITEMS Breaching Drakescale Armor +2 (Lvl. 8), Hat of Disguise (heroic tier) (Lvl. 10), Githyanki Silver Bastard sword +2 (Lvl. 9), Defensive Bastard sword +2 (Lvl. 7), False Blood Amulet +2 (Lvl. 7)
“You stupid Bitch!” The sounds of a fight echoed from across the apartment as 10-year old Marcus huddled in his closet afraid to make a sound. This was a typical night in the Preston house.
It hadn’t always been so bad. Dad had been a patrol officer, a beat cop, and Mom was a teacher. They had lived in a decent apartment, and while they didn’t have a ton of money, they spoiled Marcus like crazy and he never wanted for anything.
Around the time Marcus turned 7 this all started to change. One day, while on his routine patrol, Dad stepped into a convenience store to chat with the clerk. He was followed in by a street thug who recognized him as the cop who sent him to prison. Under the pretense of robbing the store he shot Mr. Preston in the chest three times before vanishing down the street. He was never caught. Amazingly enough Dad survived but he would never be the same. During his recovery he fell into a deep depression for not being able to work and it worsened once the doctors told him he would never be able to go back to the Job he loved. Upon hearing this news he started drinking and gambling, wasting all of his pension and disability checks each week. It was shortly after this that the abuse started. He would often come home drunk, angry at his loses. While he never took his anger out on Marcus, it’s amazing that Marcus’s mother lived as long as she did.
By the time Marcus turned 13 he rarely spent any time at home. The family had moved into a tiny apartment in a bad part of Temple and they were trying to make it on his Mom’s measly teacher salary. Marcus would pass the days cutting class and hanging with a pretty rough crowd. By 14 he was a runner for several of the local, small-time gangs and by 16 he had gathered a rap sheet about a mile long. One day, during an attempted robbery, Marcus and several of his buddies were arrested and sent before the local judge. It was here he was offered the deale that would change his life. The judge offered him 2 options: 1) 30 years in prison for all his crimes or; 2) Boot Camp and military service. Recognizing that 30 years in prison would probably ruin his life, with no hope of anything once he got out, Marcus took the military option.
It was soon clear that Marcus had found his calling. He excelled at every task he was assigned and graduated boot camp at the top of his class in every category. The military brass recognized his potential right away but sent him into regular duty for a chance to hone his skills further. After 3 years of general military experience (He completed all training courses he was allowed to attend) Marcus was approached by some very important men from the Church. They were offering him a position in an elite special forces squad which operated outside of the usual chain of command. He would be promoted to the rank of Cleric and would operate with another Cleric under direct direction from the Church.
Over the next several years, Marcus was sent on numerous top-secret missions, some of a highly questionable nature. He exceeded expectations at every turn, never questioning his orders. As the church began to trust Marcus more and more, they began to send him on more and more suspect missions and Marcus started to notice that things were not as they seemed. As he was promoted he saw more and more of the corruption within.
One afternoon a sealed letter arrived for Marcus with no return address. What was in this letter? No one is sure. All that is known is that immediately after reading the note, Marcus grabbed his gear and left his office. He was never seen by his commanding officers again. Later that day Mr. and Mrs. Preston were found dead in their apartment. Mrs. Preston had been strangled to death and Mr. Preston was shot once in the back of the head. Their deaths were ruled a random robbery turned bad by the police.