Adventures in Queen City
Filth is a sorcerer and partial earth elemental with the power to manipulate earth and earth-based materials as long as he is in contact with them, up to and including minor earthquakes. He can also perform mid-level all-purpose spells, and he possesses much knowledge of, and many contacts within, the arcane community. While not physically powerful, he’s a fierce and dirty hand-to-hand fighter, and he has an unsettling presence and a perverse charisma that makes even those who are repelled by him oddly riveted at the same time.
Strength 2, Stamina 4, Agility 3, Dexterity 3, Fighting 5, Intellect 5, Awareness 5, Presence 5
Alt: Earthen Snare: Affliction 10 [Resisted by dodge, overcome by damage, hindered and vulnerable, immobile, and defenseless; Cumulative, extra condition; Limited to two degrees, must perform verbal and gestural ritual]
Alt: Permeate: Movement 3 [Limited to earth materials, harder to do in processed earth materials]
Earth Control: Element Control 12 [Damaging, Improvised weapon, perception; Must be in physical contact; limited material, concentration]
Alt: Shockwave: Ranged Damage 6 [Area burst (30-foot radius); Limited by distance from ground]
Chokehold 1, Close Attack 3, Connected 1, Contacts 1, Favored Environment 1, Grabbing Finesse 1, Improved Hold 1, Ritualist 1, Startle 1, Taunt 1, Trance 1, Uncanny Dodge 1, Well-Informed 1
Acrobatics 2 (4), Deception 6 (17), Insight 8 (13), Investigation 10 (13), Persuasion 4 (5), Stealth 2 (+5)
Shockwave +3, Damage
Dodge 3, Parry 6
Toughness 4 (Def Roll 0), Fortitude 5, Will 11
=Abilities 64 + Powers 27 + Advantages 15 + Skills 35 + Defenses 9 = Total 150=
“Anxiety and weakened powers the further he gets from earth (deep ocean, upper atmosphere)
Can’t leave earth’s atmosphere; but can go to alternate earths”
Philip Tilth was born in 1954 in Birmingham, England. Orphaned and poor, as a teenager he fell in with the druidic space-rock band Earthrise, and it was while following them across the English countryside that he began dabbling in pagan magick. When punk hit in the mid-’70s, Tilth—who was then going by the name Filth—found that movement to be much more conducive to his anger and misanthropic mindset. In 1979 he convinced two members of Earthrise to quit the band, cut their hair, and start an anarcho-punk band. That group, Worm Food, began recording and touring; at the same time, Filth continued to grow stronger as a mage.
Then, in 1982, everything changed for Filth. While trying to summon a minor earth spirit, he inadvertently stumbled across the presence of Lugus, the Threefold God of the ancient Celtic pantheon (his three manifestations, which form a cycle, symbolize Void, Earth, and Death). Lugus had been slumbering for centuries after being banished by Merlin; the god demands human sacrifice, and it wasn’t until Lugus’ banishment to the core of the earth that human sacrifice finally fell completely out of favor with the fringe druid cults. Sensing Filth, Lugus latched onto his being and formed a symbiotic link. From then on out, Filth wouldn’t age; he’d stay frozen at the physical age of 28, although he’d become more gaunt and wizened in his own eerie way due to the spiritual and psychic toll of being linked with Lugus.
Lugus has a reason for linking with Filth. Every time Filth commits a human sacrifice—which must be done by either burying a victim alive or suffocating them with some form of earth—he comes closer to being freed from Lugus’ grasp. Every time Filth commits a sacrifice in Lugus’ name, Lugus grows stronger—and his ultimate goal is draw enough strength from these sacrifices so that he can free himself from his prison. To help Filth commit sacrifices in his name, Lugus funnels some of this energy in the form of elemental powers. Filth can manipulate earth and earth-based materials as long as he’s in physical contact with them, although the more they’ve been processed and/or diluted, the less control he has over them. He can also sink into the earth without displacing it—but again, it’s easier for him to do this in sand, mud, or rock than, say, brick or processed ore like steel, which is very difficult for him (and excruciatingly painful when he’s able). He does not need to breath when immersed in untouched earth; if immersed in brick or steel, he can only hold his breath for as long as a normal person can hold their breath underwater. He also has the power to cause minor earthquakes.
Not only does Filth draw power from his link with Lugus, he’s punished if he fails to commit sacrifices on a regular basis. That punishment manifests itself similarly to a junkie undergoing heroin withdrawals. This compels Filth to sacrifice in Lugus’ name—he must also perform a short verbal-and-gestural ritual in order for the sacrifice to be valid—but it’s up to Filth to choose whom he sacrifices. Filth is conflicted and morally gray, but he’s not truly evil. He’s undertaken a mission to hunt down evil mages or others who commit heinous acts, as sacrificing them makes him feel less guilt. He’s recently relocated to Queen City because of the disturbance in the earth’s aura he felt thanks to the Collision Incident, and because the Incident’s unleashing of extradimensional forces has drawn a large contingent of black magicians from all corners of the globe—in other words, his prey.
No one knows about Filth’s link with Lugus. All the arcane community can tell is that a formerly minor mage became, in 1982, suddenly powerful—and soon after, he started hunting down and murdering other mages. This has made him an outlaw and pariah in the community, although he still retains many contacts within that world, some of whom are simply afraid of him, others who sense there is something more complicated about him than merely being a homicidal rogue mage. However, in recent years, a small but persistent, Lugus-worshipping cult called The Tree of the Three has begun chasing Lugus—not to harm him, but because they have found out about his link with Lugus, and they want to worship Filth and make him their figurehead, by force if necessary. He also occasionally gets recognized by some crusty old punk—or some young, bright-eyed kid with a Mohawk and a Worm Food patch on his jacket—which makes Filth snarl and lash out in embarrassment. As ferociously brooding as he seems, he’s essentially a shy and withdrawn person—not that he has the luxury to wallow in those feelings, since his quest to kill villains and black mages in order to liberate himself from the Threefold God consumes his every waking moment.