1st: Why do I play Amber?
I enjoy roleplaying: I guess its the suppressed actor in me, combined with a healthy dose of stage fright, that restricts my activity before any crowds. Roleplaying lets me act in a coöperative setting, without engendering the fear that the stage might provoke.
Its also a creative action, an extremely creative action. It is the most demanding of creativity on the part of the player than almost any other game system, and is the most available (at the present.)
2nd: What do I like about the game?
I am a longtime Amber fan. Isn’t that enough?
3rd: What do I dislike about the game?
Well, to be honest, the size of the cast, which results in only relatively brief periods of actual player / GM interaction. I’m not familiar with the other characters and players (with a few exceptions) to roleplay without GM interaction under most circumstances.
4th: What do I expect from the GM?
Fairness and an equal opportunity to ‘perform’.
5th: What can I contribute?
I don’t know. What do you need?
1st: Why is Brigid in Amber?
Being in Amber is a natural progression for Brigid: she had advanced to the point where there was almost nothing she had not done in her Shadow, and almost nothing it could teach her. What could she do after saving the world, especially more than once? She had been everywhere and done everything, with more awards, tributes, and honors than she can remember. The Moon? Been there, done that. She had to face the fact that she was getting bored.
This was because Brigid had literally grown and progressed beyond her Shadow’s capability and capacity to interest and educate her and had been largely taking a ‘vacation’ for the past few years. Amber is a new challenge for her, a whole new set of opportunities and powers for her to investigate, a new set of people to know. She hasn’t had this much fun in years!
2nd: What does she like about her situation in the family drama?
She likes being accepted, even despite her powers instead of for her powers and what she did with them. She likes being a part of a system that has existed for centuries and millennia, even though she is more democratic through her upbringing than her brethren and so is uncomfortable in a feudal setting. She likes having the title, if Dworkin is correct, of ‘Duchess’, but hasn’t quite gotten used to the powers, privileges, and responsibilities it entails yet.
She does feel some apprehension about her role here, however, and a sense of not fitting in, but that will pass as she becomes more acquainted with her power and possibilities, duties and responsibilities.
3rd: What does she dislike, and what is her solution?
The one thing she despises is her relative lack of understanding and power in comparison to her relatives of the same generation. Her natural abilities seem poor in comparison to her siblings and her recent assumption of the Pattern only exasperates the situation, since she is still unlearned to the nuances of its powers and uses. She is also trying to understand why she cannot use the powers with the same facility that she wielded as a superheroine in her home Shadow.
The only way she would have to resolve this situation is training: that is why she has been taking the same classes on Amber as Sombra, to understand the society that she is now a part of, a feudal society that is very different from the democratic society she grew up in. She is also trying to improve her martial skills, especially with unfamiliar weapons like swords (although she is familiar with knives and some martial arts weapons like staves.) And finally, she is getting training in the sorcerous arts from Fiona. All she lacks in comprehensive training in her shapeshifting abilities, and magick beyond the limited amount she already knows that only seems to operate in her home Shadow.
4th: What does she expect out of being in Amber?
First off she expects a sense of family and of belonging, something she had seriously lacked in her Shadow home. She had those people who acted as family, from a supporting father figure in KnightStar; peers, brothers and sisters like FrostFire, Skye, Amp, ShadowFist, and CD, and even younger siblings like KnightStar’s and later Amp’s sorcerous ward Amanda Saunders. But no one was really blood-kin, except maybe Amanda, and they didn’t see much of each other as Brigid drew away from the other members of the team in her later years.
Secondly she expects a purpose, beyond what she had as a superhero. Saving the world was satisfying enough, at least the first time, and even though she had gotten a little tired of being called upon a second and third time to repeat that performance, she still recognized her responsibility. Now, in the expanded universe of Amber, she is ready to continue that impulse. (Brigid is self-sacrificing, maybe above and beyond the regular run of Amberites, something that her upbringing has ingrained in her very being.) She expects one day (in the not too near future) to take a position in the defense of the Realm, whether it be an active one or passive: a likely position might be roving ambassador.
5th: Why is Brigid important to the family?
Brigid is especially important as a wild-card in the Court of Amber. She possesses a seemingly unique combination of powers plus apparently the potential to learn any other power or ability she wills or desires. (Logrus might be the most unlikely, even though she is still descended from the Courts of Chaos through Dworkin.) Magick and sorcery seems a natural first step on her path, along with nuances of the Pattern, but even Trump Artistry seems likely: Brigid as a natural musical Trump artist? There is also the matter of her Faerie heritage that she has yet to explore which makes her almost unique in the Family.
She also possesses a different perspective on most everything and a strong moral core that might conflict with many of the perceptions and convictions of the other Amberites: she might even become a voice of conscience and moral justice for the others.
Finally, Brigid is part of the family, as proven by her walking the Pattern. That alone has made her important: the power of the Blood and the Pattern is not yet that common that it can be squandered.
“Describe Brigid’s servants.”
Brigid has only one permanent servant at present, her personal maid, as she is uncomfortable about having servants at all: its another part of her more democratic upbringing. Her maid’s duties are largely to help her keep her quarters cleaned and her clothes ready, since Brigid is slowly but steadily acquiring a very diverse wardrobe, partly on Florimel’s instigation and partly due to Brigid’s own, long-repressed sybaritic tendencies: she is finding that she enjoys a lot of sensual pleasures that she had not considered in the past, including beautiful clothes and jewelry. (This is a far cry from Brigid’s quarters in their fully-automated base or her own messy apartment.)
Her personal maid is named Francesca and is from a long line of servants to the court of Amber. She has her own room in the servants quarters of the castle. She is an attractive, fair blonde woman with green eyes, about 5′ 5″ tall. When she was first offered the position she was a little uncertain how she and Brigid could get along, but Brigid’s undemanding and exuberant personality soon won her allegiance and respect. She and Brigid have several times gone into the city (with Brigid in disguise) to “see how the other half lives”.
Francesca is certainly indispensable, as she is far more knowledgeable about Court life and sometimes advises Brigid on proper dress and etiquette for formal occasions, besides being a conduit for gossip. Certainly Brigid would be far less involved, and feel more alienated, in life in Amber without Francesca. Having looking into Francesca’s eyes and examined her mind carefully, albeit with her permission, Brigid knows exactly how far to trust Francesca, which is very far, as Francesca has grown to appreciate the charismatic Brigid and would do almost anything for her.
“Describe Brigid’s voice.”
Brigid is a natural singer: with her natural abilities of shapeshifting and perfect pitch, she can reproduce any note and voice she demands. (That is something developed from her superhero campaigning days to accompany her shapeshifting and disguise abilities.) Her natural voice is a clear, resonant contralto but naturally ranges from a penetrating soprano to a husky ‘whiskey’ alto. She has had sufficient training and experience to be able to control it to produce a number of special effects, from giving a piercing, command across a battlefield to a softly but strongly compelling siren’s call.
Brigid is a very informal individual and will naturally speak informally. She will reserve any formal speech only for formal occasions.
Having spent a considerable amount of time with a variety of individuals with varying beliefs and levels of power, she has picked up a wide variety of invocations, curses and invective. Some of them include “Oh, God” or “Oh, Goddess!”, “Oh, hellfire,” but her favorite saying is “Like, give me a break!” which has three levels: the first is a simple statement, the second is the statement said sarcastically accompanied by rolling her eyes skyward, and the third is the full production with her saying “Like, give me a break!” in a slow, exasperated tone, with her nodding and shaking her head, shrugging her shoulders, and rolling her eyes skyward.
“Describe Brigid’s sacred object.”
Actually, Brigid has two sacred objects, the two pieces of jewelry she wears that are the remainder of her legacy from her father, the gold and emerald ring Balor and the engraved and enameled silver arm band Nuada. They are all that were left of the seven pieces of jewelry that were discovered with her at the orphanage: the others were sold over the years and are apparently lost. When Brigid applied for and received emancipated minor status at the age of 16, she was given the two remaining pieces and for the first time was told the complete story of how she was found with the jewelry. Since they were all that was left to remind her of her parents, they were infinitely precious to her.
It was only after she had worn them for several days, however, that she learned by accident of their special abilities, and so re-doubled her resolve to find the other pieces. She has been able to trace their first owners; in every case, some mysterious, beneficial event occurred while they were wearing the jewelry. Afterwards, the jewelry was sometimes stolen, or mysteriously vanished, or even just sold to an unknown buyer, and there the trail ends.
The jewelry was appraised as several million dollars, total. The diamond was sold first, and the money used to help refurbish the orphanage as well a finance a futile investigation into Brigid’s appearance at the orphanage.
“Describe Brigid’s ideal enemy.”
An ideal enemy would be one she would respect, and there were very few in her past. People she respected tended not to be opponents, and her opponents were people she tended not to respect. Such was the ‘black & white’ nature of the Shadow she lived in and the profession she excelled at.
“What is Brigid’s favorite meal? Typical breakfast? Her favorite beverage?”
Pizza. Preferably deep-dish pizza. With everything. Washed down with a pitcher of Coke.
Her typical breakfast is whatever is available at the Castle in the morning, and usually a lot of it. For such a tall and slender figure she certainly burns up a lot of energy with her energetic pace, even when she isn’t shapeshfting. On average days this usually means a large plate of scrambled or fried eggs and toast, a couple of glasses of juice and milk, several pieces of sausages or bacon, a large stack of pancakes or (her favorite) thick French Toast with real butter and maple syrup, a selection of pastries or rolls, and maybe a bagel or two with cream cheese and lox, although the lox sometimes gets fed to an attending cat. She can, indeed, pack it away, something that Dworkin and others have remarked upon in the past.
Brigid’s favorite beverage is Coca-Cola: she even appeared in a Coke commercial once. She is glad that some arrangements have been made to maintain a supply of it in the castle, although she hadn’t seen the traditional wasp-waisted bottles before. She keeps a bottle opener among the ‘pocket stuff’ she normally carries.
“What was Brigid like in the fifth grade?”
That was about when she started taking voice lessons. Sometimes she would be so enthusiastic for them that her other studies suffered: she was not the best math student, alas. Many times the Sisters had to rein in her impulsive behavior by threatening to withhold her music training just to get her to complete her other studies. (She did learn discipline through this, however.)
About this time Brigid was also just starting to grow into her height, so she was extremely gawky and awkward for a while. Clumsy, too. Since there wasn’t much in the way of athletics at the orphanage, and very few other girls of her age there, Brigid has forced to do things on her own, like running around the inside of the walls of the orphanage, using them as an improvised track (very few others could keep up with her).
“What assassination method would Brigid use, and what sort of calling card would she leave?”
First off, Brigid is extremely uncomfortable about killing, especially an assassination. About the only way she would be convinced to do it if she was shown some overwhelming evidence that this noble’s death would mean the saving of more lives in the future and a convincing argument that it must be done ‘in the dark’ as an assassination instead of going through the forms of a trial.
If she has to kill, she would prefer it in the open, but would do it quietly if necessary. Even then she would want it to be sudden and quick, with no possibility of pain for the victim and to spare as much grief as possible for any of their family. Given her familiarity with magick and the Pattern, and her own experiences in the past, she would have little trouble creating an ‘accident’. If it comes to it, she is certainly capable of approaching the target in secret (using her power of shapeshifting and her experience in disguising herself) and simply using her mind to flood their mind and stop their heart. At no time will she do this in anger or hatred, and would try to refuse such an assignment if she feels she could not maintain her control throughout the mission.
Her ‘calling card’ would be something that only someone looking for such would notice, and would change every time Brigid would have to perform such an act. It would be something distinctive, however, to spare any one else from being blamed for her actions.
“Who is Brigid’s role model?”
KnightStar, the man who took a rock singer with the tremendous potential to be a superheroine, and molded her into a champion for justice and life. She owes him a lot, for giving her an initial sense of purpose and belonging, for giving her the training she needed at times to defend herself, and for giving her the confidence to strike out on her own and seek her own path that ultimately led to Amber.
“Who is the Elder she respects most?”
This one’s easy: Fiona. Not only are they seemingly alike in temperament and ability (and appearance) they share other secrets as well. Besides, Fiona was one of the few people who seemed to care for Brigid when she was feeling out-of-sorts in Amber. She was who Brigid went to for training in magick and the Pattern. However, Brigid doesn’t look up to Fiona as a mother, but certainly as a teacher and confidant.
Besides, Fiona made Brigid the godmother of her latest daughter, Victoria. That has to count for something.
“Who, among the family, is Brigid’s worst enemy?”
She isn’t aware of any one at the moment.
“Of Brigid’s peers, whom does she wish to know more about? Why?”
That would almost have to be Prince Ombra, because they share Faerie blood as well as their Amber blood. She would be very interested in knowing whether he has developed any powers and abilities through his Faerie blood that she might look forward to learning, herself.
“Who is Brigid’s best friend?”
Among all the people Brigid knows, Michelle Brown is Brigid’s best friend. It was to Michelle that Brigid went to grieve for the members of Tempest, and it was to Michelle that Brigid went to have the Tempest Foundation created. Brigid trusts Michelle without reservation, even without ever having read Michelle’s mind.
Among the Amberites, that would be Lesha. They share a number of similarities, including being shapeshifters and being raised someplace other than Amber. They’ve shared a number of talks on Lesha’s ship, showed each other things from their past and present that they are unlikely to show others, and what seemed like a cold professional relationship as Regent and Ambassador has become a firm friendship.
Brigid usually wears a loose pirate blouse of black silk, almost-immodestly open down the front, with full ruffled sleeves, and matching black trousers and high black boots. A gold sash is tied around her waist. Besides Nuada and Balor, the only jewelry she wears is a charm bracelet and a glittering gold and rainbow cloisonné pin of her personal symbol, a sword and butterfly, over her heart. One of the charms is a gold locket with a crystal face: it holds the piece of ear that the King of Cats awarded her for her assistance in fighting the King of Rats and his horde. The silver rose she was given by Corwin’s ghost she has fashioned into a clasp to tie back her full hair over her right ear. Matching silver-steel daggers, made for infighting, are strapped to her thighs; the sash conceals a ring for hanging a sword, or she can thrust her katana and wakizashi into it, as well. The sash also acts as pockets, holding the equivalent of pocket change in Amber coinage, as well as her personal Trumps.
For formal affairs Brigid will go all out, usually with the advice of Florimel. She is partial to low-cut, sweeping gowns of deep emerald greens (that match her eyes) and shimmering silver. She has also collected a fair amount of jewelry, mostly in gold, as it seems to bring out the golden highlights of her hair.
When Brigid was left at the orphanage, a collection of seven pieces of jewelry were left with her, to be used to help fund and preserve the orphanage and to be kept for her when she left. They were an emerald ring, a silver armband, a platinum and ruby necklace, a perfect three carat blue-white oval diamond pendant on a silver chain, a pair of fire opal drop earrings in gold settings, a silver and star sapphire bracelet in the shape of a dragon (similar to the one Fiona wears in her Trump in The Visual Guide to Castle Amber, except Fiona’s is probably gold), and a solid pale-green jade ring cut into the form of a dragon.
Most of the pieces were sold in the intervening years, leaving only two pieces left: the emerald ring and the silver armband.
Balor is the name she gave for the emerald ring from her father. The name comes from Celtic mythology: Balor of the Evil Eye, the king of the Fomori whose eye had terrible power. The ring itself consists of an oval emerald, about 1″ in length and ¾” in width, in a gold filigree setting. At first sight, the setting is deceptively primitive, but a closer inspection reveals a complex subtlety of carvings and inlays in the gold. The emerald itself has a subtle flaw in the center that appears to twist and turn within the jewel’s depths: with Brigid’s power behind it, it possesses the power to hypnotize anyone who stares at it too long.
Balor has two powers: first, it is sensitive to thoughts of aggression or anger toward Brigid, acting as a warning to her in times of danger, and secondly, it is capable of shielding her mind against attack.
Brigid wears Balor on the third finger of her right hand.
Nuada is the name Brigid has given to the silver arm band she wears. Nuada of the Silver Arm was an ancient king of the Tuatha de Dannan and foe of Balor of the Evil Eye. When his left arm was severed in battle, Nuada was forced to leave the throne because no king of his folk could have any physical defect. When the new king began deferring to the Fomori, Nuada was given a silver arm that would respond just as his one of flesh did. He led the rebellion against the Fomori, driving them away from Ireland for all time.
The arm band is about 4″ wide, with two outside bands of Celtic interlocking designs with three inner bands of bright enameled design work in green, gold, and red. It has never needed polishing.
Nuada has the power to physically protect Brigid, either by an invisible force field that surrounds her completely, or by transforming into a suit of armor. It can actually transform into a variety of types of suits of armor, including ornate Seelie court armor, environmental protective armor from her home Shadow and space combat armor.
Brigid wears Nuada on her upper left arm, usually under her sleeve.
Later in the campaign Brigid would recover the other pieces of jewelry and wears them all. She knows that she created them herself in her past existences for some future purpose she has yet to determine. She is concerned that her life as an Amberite might be the time she needs them.
Corvex is the name of her fire opal earrings. The name comes from Brigid mangling the tern ‘corvid’ which is the genus for ravens. Corvex has the power to shift into any type of martial weapon desired as well as his natural form of a raven. It does not supply ammunition, however, but can make use of arrows or bullets or power cells. Brigid has experimented with using her own personal magick to empower it with some modest success.
Corvex is different than the other pieces of jewelry: first, Corvex is the only one that will talk to Brigid, giving her advice, and it is the only piece of jewelry that will transform into its Fae seeming, that of a raven.
The earliest memories Brigid has, aside from the memory of her father leaving her at the orphanage, are of playing with the other children and listening to the Sisters.
The orphanage was run by the Order of the Sisters of the Lamb and was attached to their main convent in the hills above Los Angeles. The Sisters specialized in caring for ‘lost lambs’ like girl orphans (no boys allowed) so it was no wonder that Brigid would be left in their care except for the mysterious circumstances surrounding it. They did try to discover who had left Brigid in their care over the years but were completely unsuccessful.
Brigid grew up wild and fey, but not reckless: she was an attentive student, especially in subjects like music and literature, although her taste in both were considerably at odds with the conservative Sisters (i.e., rock music and fantasy literature). Still, she managed to get an education in music that prepared her for later. And although the Sisters attempted to put Brigid up for adoption several times, somehow something beneficial happened that always prevented it: for example, a childless and barren couple looking to adopt her suddenly discovered the woman was pregnant with twins, and so reluctantly abandoned the adoption.
Her overt powers began manifesting themselves when Brigid hit puberty: that seems the traditional time when such things happen in her home Shadow. Her more covert powers were active since birth: her total resistance to disease, for instance, as she was never sick, and the unnatural speed at which she healed from cuts and scrapes. However, she didn’t consider herself ‘special’ in any way until her nascent powers surfaced in a fit of anger.
At the age of 14, when walking down a Santa Monica seaside street, Brigid found herself consistently annoyed by a street beggar, to the point where she looked back at him and told him pointedly to “Go Away!” She found herself looking into his eyes, and to her surprise, a power she felt reached out and touched his mind, forcing the command onto his consciousness and making him obey. She was quite surprised when the man obeyed.
That act set off a series of investigations into her possible powers. Brigid, acting on impulse, investigated the legendary powers that her elfin appearance suggested: powers of shapeshifting and of glamourie, powers of illusion and transformation. She started experimenting and discovered a wide variety of powers available to her, powers of the mind and over matter, powers that went beyond any she had heard about of any of the super-powered beings that were a common part of the world. Still, they felt somehow natural, which lessened any feeling of alienation or disconnection from humanity she otherwise might have felt. thus she did not feel the urge to use these powers as others had, as a superhero or supervillain.
In addition, Brigid discovered a natural aptitude for music, both vocal and instrumental. The Sisters even provided several months of voice lessons for Brigid until the last tutor threw up her hands and said that Brigid had more range and ability than anyone could ever hope to train. Instrumental music Brigid picked up on her own, convincing the Sisters to permit her to learn the harp while she learned the guitar secretly on the side. Since she learned earlier that she needed far less sleep than others, she would often steal out of the orphanage at night and go into the hills to practice: many were the times she serenaded the moon, the stars, and the occasional coyote, as well as provoking a number of local tales and urban legends about mysterious, magical music in the hills.
During the summer months of her early teenage years Brigid would work at a variety of places, her most favorite being the animal shelter nearby. There she discovered an affinity for animals: it seemed that she instinctively knew them and could relate to them. Others at the shelter would remark that she had a magical way with animals, and could also tell whether an potential adopter would be likely to mistreat an animal: they learned to rely on her perception of people when giving out animals. She also worked a season at the Renaissance Faire as a street busker and later an assistant for an old stage magician. When she was not working she indulged in the standard pastimes of a young adolescent girl: gossiping, following the current ‘hot’ stars of screen and superheroics, etc.
Later Brigid began to use her talents at more paying jobs, saving the money: with her vocal range she easily found work in the LA recording industry while using her developing powers to ‘persuade’ people that she was of age: her ability to mold her form allowed her to pass as 18 or older, her powers of transformation could change her identification to match her appearance, and if anyone was still unconvinced, all Brigid had to do was look into their eyes for a moment to change their minds. It was about this time she encountered Michelle Brown, an aspiring talent agent, who helped her immensely during this time.
Seven months past her 16th ‘foundling’ day Brigid announced to the orphanage that she was leaving them and seeking emancipated minor status. When the Sisters began to protest, Brigid pulled out her bank book and showed that she had saved over $7,000. With that she showed the Sisters two contracts, one as a backup singer and musician for an LA record company and one as a voice actor for an animated superhero TV series. After that, it didn’t take much to convince the Sisters to, reluctantly, release her from their care.
The Sisters surprised Brigid, though, when the Mother Superior went to her office safe and pulled out a large satin satchel and presented it to her. Inside she found the emerald ring and silver arm band. The Mother explained that they were all that was left of the jewelry that accompanied her when she was found on their doorstep. The note, written in black ink on parchment with what appeared to be a quill pen by a trained hand, was included. It read:
I am entrusting my daughter Brigid into your Order’s care: it is not safe for her to remain with me, nor, as I leave this place, am I likely to live to return to claim her. I am trusting you to raise her and to teach her to love, to laugh, and to live. The bag holds the equivalent of sufficient funds to provide for her every need: whatever remains when she grows old enough to care for herself, pass on to her. You have my thanks, and my blessings.
Every examination of the parchment Brigid has had done in the past have turned up no results: the manufacturer of the parchment could not be found, nor could the ink be precisely identified. Finally Brigid had the parchment mounted on a plaque on her wall in her rooms. The simple blanket she was discovered in was also produced from storage: the blanket was of an extremely fine wool that also was never identified.
Brigid practiced and performed music for almost two years, moving from a backup singer and musician into being known as a local star in her own right. She also practiced her powers but was unsure what to do with them, besides using them for stage effects. It was at one of her performances that her decision was made for her.
Agents of the arcane criminal organization Demon noticed her powers and recognized them as a type of magick they had never seen before. Naturally they were curious and, naturally, they were not about to take “No” for an answer. Brigid fled after lashing out with her powers, leaving most of the Demon agents stunned and helpless: while fleeing she encountered the hero NightStorm, who was investigating Demon activity. He recruited her into the ranks of superheroes, and surprisingly Brigid discovered a sense of belonging.
Soon after, when NightStorm was killed in action, Brigid met with a group of heroes who also shared a common bond with NightStorm. At his graveside Brigid also met perhaps the most powerful person on the planet, Doctor Shiva, and his group of devas. Tradition held the graveyard to be sacred ground, where no combat was permitted, but the group followed Doctor Shiva and confronted him on the docks, driving him away. Satisfied with how they performed together, the most experienced hero present, KnightStar, proposed forming a team, and Brigid and the others heartily agreed.
KnightStar also had something special: a starship with an AI and teleportational technology that soon became their base. This gave the team, which became known as Tempest, excellent transportation and communication abilities. Within Crystal’s boundaries Brigid’s powers were suppressed at will, as could be anyone elses’ powers. Brigid never could discover how or why this could happen, but it might have had something to do with the fact that Crystal was larger inside that outside.
Brigid spent three years with the team, aiding through its trials and tribulations as its unofficial ‘heart and soul’. All the while she used the new opportunities and new contacts she was making to investigate the source of her powers. She sharpened her powers of shapeshifting and transformation, but excelled at her powers of the mind. She also discovered that she did not really need to eat or sleep, and could comfortably survive at the coldest or hottest temperature on Earth: this had a cost, however, of never being able to leave Earth, as Brigid had effectively tied herself to the life-force of the entire planet and was drawing upon its energy to survive.
The first three years were the most difficult, as Brigid, now known as Changeling, was forced to develop her powers and her identity without any guidance except instinct. It did not help when her mentor KnightStar was killed in an ambush, leaving her without any guidance and the team without a true core. This was no more evident than at the end of those years when Brigid was on leave investigating her powers once again, this time with the assistance of the British sorcerer Lord Arcanus.
Doctor Shiva, the most feared and respected individual on the planet, entered the Tempest base to announce his latest scheme, to restore the harmony of the world by killing 90% of the human population. When challenged and attacked, he responded decisively, killing outright every one of the heroes present but one. When Brigid heard of this she felt she had betrayed the team by not being present and swore revenge. Together with FrostFire and Skye, two other members of the team who also had not been present, several other prominent heroes from around the world, and three squads of the Steel Guard (US military powered armor units) they raided Doctor Shiva’s island base.
They faced Doctor Shiva’s devas, one of the most powerful groups of individuals on the planet, including the most powerful mentalist Mentiad and the ninja warrior Shadow Stalker: Brigid played a major role in defeating all three. Shadow Stalker she encountered first: leading him to attack her, she used Nuada’s force field as protection for the first time, surprising him so much that she was able to make eye contact with him and completely overwhelm his mind and will, her fury making him her virtual puppet. She ordered him to help attack the patronizing Mentiad, who, if it were not for his slavish devotion to Doctor Shiva, might have been the most powerful and dangerous man alive. Brigid’s specially-developed psychic firestorm attack blinded Mentiad at the crucial moment when Shadow Stalker slipped behind him and killed him. By this time, FrostFire and Skye were down, as were most of the other heroes and the Steel Guard, leaving Brigid alone to face Doctor Shiva with her puppet Shadow Stalker. It was a confrontation that only one of the two were going to leave alive.
Doctor Shiva was almost saddened about the carnage. His goal was to create a more perfect world, albeit one created from the ashes of the present, imperfect one. Those that had fallen, on both sides, including the members of Tempest, he had expected and wanted to aid him when he was completed. Brigid almost sympathized with him but the image of the crater where the base was, and the marble and gold monument she created at the site, flooded her mind, and the confrontation began in earnest. But even with Shadow Stalker’s aid she was no match for the power of his armor, so she used her last remaining trick: she reached down and pulled apart her charm bracelet, freeing the two members of the Steel Guard she had transformed before the battle began. With all their help, although it cost one of the Guard his life protecting her, they managed to blast Doctor’s Shiva’s armor away, removing the source of his powers.
What happened then Brigid has told no one, and no one remained conscious to witness it. She could still feel the fire of her fury, but she still could not kill Doctor Shiva. Brigid was faced with two choices, of dealing death when she had been a warrior for life, or leaving Doctor Shiva alive to begin again sometime in the future. He stared at her, not defiantly, but calmly, expectantly, seeing her confusion. She instead chose a third path. Summoning all of her remaining power, she gave Shiva, who believed in the cycle of karma and reincarnation, an immediate new life: she regressed Shiva into a child, patterning his DNA after her own, and implanted the now female fetus in her womb. When she released Shadow Stalker from her control, he prepared to commit ritual suicide to atone for his failure to protect his master but Brigid stopped him: recognizing that Shadow Stalker, too, believed in reincarnation, she performed the same act upon him. Thus, when the others came to investigate the scene of the final confrontation, they found Brigid, standing in the center of Doctor Shiva’s control room, with Doctor Shiva’s shattered armor at her feet, but no trace of him to be found. When they questioned her, all she would say was that Doctor Shiva would threaten them no more.
Brigid spent the next several months away from the public eye. During that time she initiated an investigation to find the perfect parents for the two children she was carrying. She wanted them to grow up in the most loving and caring home she could find. Surprisingly, she found one in the family of the sound engineer she frequently used for her recordings; the other was an author in Ireland. When the two children were born, she named them Rowan and Rhiannon and sent them to live with their foster parents.
With the death of most of the members of the team, Brigid set out on her own. She would occasionally assist her old companions FrostFire and Skye, and anyone else left from the old team, and monitor the progress of her two fostered daughters, but she mostly returned to her music and her quest for identity.
It was during an invasion of Earth by an alien psychic force that sought to unite all life on the planet into one large psychic entity, one that would have eliminated all traces of free will and initiative in humanity. Brigid was among the ones least affected, if she ever was affected at all, and she rallied a number of others to her side in warding off the main alien force. In combating that force, she served as the focal point for a psychic assault that would make use of her contact with Earth’s life-force: with the assistance of others who boosted her powers beyond any limits she might have considered, she was able to draw upon the power of the entire planet, which barely proved sufficient because she was fighting the united psychic power of several planets. In the end, her transformational powers saved her, enabling her to disrupt the unity of the alien force and return their individuality. Now divided, they could not sustain their attack upon the Earth and left it in peace.
After that time, Brigid was regarded as one of the most powerful superheroes on the planet. She returned to the superhero scene, but involved herself only in the most major affairs. She would assist other heroes when the opportunity presented itself but mainly she re-doubled her efforts at fruitlessly investigating for her parents and the source of her powers. When she was offered the chance, however, to go to the Moon and assist in the construction of the first manned Lunar research base, she decided to sever her tie with Earth’s life-force and learn to sleep, breathe and eat again, although she discovered her superhuman limits of endurance.
This proved a life-saver when the shuttle back from the Moon developed a mechanical problem (or was sabotaged, which others had suspected), losing much of its air. Brigid was able to save most of the crew and passengers by transforming them into a state of hibernation: even so, without her superhuman endurance she would not have lived until rescue arrived if she were not able to reduce her own need for oxygen dramatically.
Brigid assisted a powerful group of heroes against the mechanical menace of Mechatron, who had conceived a means of using nanotechnology to convert humans into living machines, in its quest to replace all organic life on the planet with mechanical life. Although she did not defeat Mechatron, which another pair of heroes did by pushing Mechatron into the vat of transforming nanomachines he had created, she was able to reverse the effects of his experimentation on at least some of its victims.She considered that as much a victory as Mechatron’s defeat.
But still Brigid was beginning to feel that something was missing. She had survived over ten years as a superhero, outliving almost every one of her contemporaries: FrostFire had retired years ago to raise her young daughter, and the eternally-young Skye had progressed to being a media star and actress. Half of the heroes she knew never lasted a year, and almost 90% didn’t last for five years. One by one, her friends and contacts had moved on and she felt more and more alone, again.
It was at a charity event, a battle of the bands, that Brigid met Kai, who discovered her nascent Pattern power and brought her to Amber.
Important People, Places, and Things in Brigid’s Past
Mother Rebecca: Mother Superior of the Order of the Sisters of the Lamb. She had authority over selling the jewelry found with Brigid.
Sister Elizabeth: one of the Sisters of the Lamb. Music teacher, taught Brigid her first voice lessons.
‘The Amazing Prestoni’: stage magician who worked the Renaissance Faire circuit in Southern California. Taught Brigid some sleight-of-hand and mentalist tricks. Early father figure. Introduced Brigid to the RenFaire scene, where she made several friends and contacts. Marked resemblance to the old descriptions of Dworkin during the Patternfall War.
KnightStar: Superhero. Secret identity: Darryl Poindexter. Martial artist and detective, with lots of gadgets. Bonded with Crystal. Was first team leader of Tempest. Trained Brigid in the rudiments of the martial arts. Died (apparently) in an ambush but possibly survived. Studied martial arts at the Temple of the New Moon in Japan. Independently wealthy but no known source of the wealth.
Crystal: KnightStar’s bonded AI assistant. Comes from an unknown alien origin, apparently a far-ranging part of the police force of an intergalactic federation. Would bond with a ‘worthy individual’ and aid their fight for justice. Interstellar travel capability, also has teleporational abilities, advanced medical and technological facilities, defensive powers, but no offensive weapons. Can change the exterior shape but the interior stays relatively the same. Has the power to suppress superpowers within its interior. The AI computer that runs the ship is named Crystal and speaks with a female voice. Could also aid the person it was bonded to in several ways, many unknown.
FrostFire: superheroine. Secret identity: Franchesca di Vasquez. Hispanic. Powers of projecting energy blasts of extreme temperature, both heat and cold. Can also fly and create force fields, force walls, etc. Has younger sister María. Worked part-time in a garage: is very muscular and tall. Original Tempest member, left Tempest after 2½ years to concentrate on neighborhood gangs and street crime.
Skye: superheroine. Secret identity: unknown. Appearance of a 13-year old with purple hair (now with a white streak over the forehead); wears blue-purple leotards with the symbol of a gold torch and surrounding stars (the state flag of Indiana, essentially) and a gold-fringed white cape over one shoulder. Superstrong and almost invulnerable, can also fly but not very fast. Possesses a ‘trouble sense’ that allows her to locate people in trouble. Actually a 29-year old woman transformed by magic, will alternately act her true age or her apparent age, resulting in some mental problems that Brigid and others have tried to help her with. Original Tempest member, left Tempest after two years to pursue acting career.
Amp: superhero. Secret identity: unknown. Sonic powers. Entered a bright beam of light that was destroying a demon (summoned by the astral spirit of Amanda Saunders, below) and was rendered blind, but developed sonic radar to compensate. Became guardian of Amanda Saunders upon KnightStar’s death. Also a rock musician, he performed with Brigid many times: specialty is guitar. Not an original Tempest member but one of the first to be added. Killed by Doctor Shiva.
Shadowfist: superhero. Secret identity: unknown. Martial artist: world champion at age 17. Excellent swimmer: could swim 30 mph for short stretches. Went to his high school senior prom with Brigid. Killed by Doctor Shiva.
CD: superheroine. Secret identity: unknown. Able to shrink to 6″ height, fly along any surface using devices in her boots, and attack using solid disk projectors: projectors had several types of attack, including entrapping attacks and killing attacks. Original Tempest member: disappeared before attack by Doctor Shiva.
Imagination: superhero. Another original Tempest member. Mentalist; more limited in applications that Brigid but also more powerful. Had a bizarre second personality named ‘Reality’ with totally different powers: this personality was hardly ever seen. Killed by Doctor Shiva.
Hydra: superhero(s). Multiple bodies with individual and different appearances and powers but one only mind. Killed in action.
Michelle Brown: Brigid’s stage agent and closest friend. They met when Brigid was just starting her music career. Black. Very smart, perfect memory, a head for numbers: keeps primary records of her business in her head. Closet romantic, reads cheap romance novels like ‘candy’. Has a Trump sketch of Brigid for emergencies. Runs Michelle Brown & Associates, an agenting firm in Pasadena.
Rowan Kassenbaum, Rhiannon Morgan: twin daughters of Brigid. Actually the regressed and transformed Doctor Shiva and Shadow Stalker. Fostered to Jefferey and Mary Kassenbaum, Brigid’s sometime recording engineer, and Lewis and Cynthia Morgan, a businessman and fantasy writer couple living in Ireland at the time.
Amanda Saunders: foster daughter / ward of KnightStar and later Amp. Possesses considerable sorcerous ability but little formal training: requires a grimoire to know the spells and must cast them from the astral plane while in a trance. Has very similar genetic markers to Brigid.
Doctor Shiva: wanted criminal. Once respected scientist, now believes he is the avatar of the Hindu god of destruction Shiva. Attempted several schemes to destroy the world in order to recreate it. Collected a group of highly experienced and powerful individuals to support him which he called his devas: see Shadow Stalker, Mentiad. Disappeared after last attempt: see Rowan Kassenbaum, above.
Mentiad: wanted criminal (deceased). Protegé of Doctor Shiva. Most powerful psychic on the planet. Could have been the most dangerous man alive if not for his slavish devotion to Doctor Shiva. Killed by Shadow Stalker at the command of Brigid.
Shadow Stalker: wanted criminal. A deva of Doctor Shiva. Master of ninja arts of disappearances and deception and every form of martial art known. Disappeared after the last attempt at world destruction by Doctor Shiva: see Rhiannon Morgan, above.
Mechatron: wanted criminal. Robot from an alternate future, dedicated to replacing all organic life on the planet with mechanical life. Built a series of factories around the world to rebuild itself if it was ever defeated. Extremely tough, highly intelligent, vulnerable to magick. Learns from every encounter and passes the information to the next version of itself. Has a limited power of shapeshifting that allows it to create any energy weapon it chooses. Can also fly and is superstrong. Many times has a specialized horde of robots supporting its schemes. Has sometimes used duped human agents. Fought Tempest once, taking control of Crystal; nearly destroyed the team, except for Brigid’s powers of mind control.
The Swarm: alien communal entity that attempted to transform Earth into a colony of itself. Composed of many different alien races, all psychically bonded together, with no free will and no other impulse except to spread the bonding. Initial attack on Earth consisted of a psychic wave that broke down psychic barriers between humans, resulting in mass hysteria and psychosis. Brigid and several others, heroes and villains alike, were immune: they allied and later fused mentally to combat it. To ultimately defeat it Brigid used her transformational powers on it to break down the psychic bond.
Lord Arcanus: sorcerer. Heir to the powers of Merlin and Atlantis. Most powerful sorcerer on the planet, mystic protector of Britain. Perhaps the one person who came closest to determining Brigid’s source of magick: for the longest time he thought Brigid was the reincarnation of Morgan le Fey.
Serpent: the best organized and supplied and most powerful criminal organization on the planet. Maintained bases all over the globe. Also created its own cadre of super-powered individuals. Brigid and Tempest had several encounters with Serpent. Highly technological, very little interest in magick.
Demon: organization of black magicians and demon summoners. At one time put a $1M bounty of Brigid so they could determine the source of her powers. Brigid returned the favor by impersonating a succubus and attending an meeting of criminal organizations (which Demon was not supposed to attend) supposedly on behalf of Demon: she was able to discover their intentions and to sow discord among the organizations, who believed Demon was responsible. Also uses high technology, including powered armor.
The Steel Guard: US Army Special Forces unit, wearing special powered armor suits. Highest entrance requirements of any unit, requires perfect training and service record, a college degree, two years special training, plus training in every other branch of the service. Made to survive direct hits from anti-tank rounds, suits are extremely tough and can be fitted to carry many different types of weapons (lasers, machine guns, missile racks, for instance); they can also fly and operate in space and under water to depths of 1000 ft. without special equipment. Sensory package includes radar, IR, light intensification, sonar. Eight feet of shining steel with US Army markings and personalized insignia for identification. Five 10-man squads in existence. Used as heavy protection for the President and Vice-President by the Secret Service; one member is always stationed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Used as official US support against supercriminal organizations and individuals like Serpent and Doctor Shiva.
The Champions: Saturday morning TV animated series based on a popular comic book and roleplaying game. Brigid did voices for two characters: the superheroine Silhouette and the supervillainess Shrinker. Lasted three seasons then went into reruns. Mel Blanc did many of the supervillain voices. Brigid still gets residuals from the series.
Magic and the Music, Music Makes the Magic: the titles for Brigid’s two cassette and CD releases. Profits from the recordings go to the Tempest Foundation (see below.)
The Tempest Foundation: Founded by Brigid and FrostFire after the destruction of Tempest by Doctor Shiva. Provides medical and life insurance, legal assistance, and family aid and counselling to individual superheroes and superhero teams. Brigid and Michelle serve on the Foundation’s board. It was also aided, mysteriously, by the late KnightStat’s estate: neither Brigid or Michelle could determine how or where the money or assistance came from.
National Comics, Lee Publishing, Stewart Comics, Golden Key Comics, Imagination Studios: major comic book publishers. All except for National have publishing contracts with major superheroes and superhero groups. Lee was originally going to do a Tempest book but cancelled after most of the team was murdered: Brigid was going to have a backup series in the book.