ARE YOU AT LEAST 16 YEARS OLD?: Indeed
CONTACT: gsdragono in Trillian, gsdragono12 in aim, or PM character journal
CHARACTERS PLAYED: None
NAME: Mad King Gangrel | Marcus Gregory Gangrel (AU)
CANON: Fire Emblem: Awakening
CANON REFERENCE: Gangrel's Fire Emblem Wikia page
AGE: 35 (Canon gives no indication of Gangrel's age)
FACULTY POSITION: Custodian
APPEARANCE: Sans crown and terrible gaudy clothes. A tall, lean man whose pale skin tells of a disregard for his health, despite his insistence keeping his hair and nails well-groomed. When not in his custodial uniform, he favors dress shirts in either black or eye-catching bright colors, and slacks or jeans. In colder months, he's taken a liking to dramatic, billowy scarves.
PERSONALITY: "The Mad King of Plegia." Gangrel certainly earns his title; he isn't exactly the epitome of mental stability. When Gangrel first comes along, he's brutal, violent, sadistic, and crass. He's every bit the unchecked tyrant with a long-standing vendetta, even going so far as to delight in the murder of a woman in front of her siblings. The Mad King blatantly disregards the lives and emotions of the people and soldiers around him. He definitely fits his descriptor of "insane," and is so drunk on power that Gangrel is entirely oblivious to manipulation by his own strategist. It's no surprise that most of the twisted king's forces eventually deserted, and that he was struck down shortly afterwards. At least, that's what everyone thought, including Gangrel himself. He survived—barely. Unable to return to his now-broken country, he found work cleaning chamber-pots for pirates.
Being the lowest of servants for sea-faring criminals was an enlightening (read: humiliating) experience for the dethroned king. His personality is starkly different during his next appearance; Gangrel is broken and disgraced from his utter defeat and the life afterwards, and a mere shadow of his arrogant former self. The ex-king clings to a few shreds of pride, though by this point, he's picked up an extremely self-depreciating and fatalistic attitude, convinced that he's already dead; it's just not official yet. In fact, the only reason Gangrel joins forces with the very man that dethroned him is because he's convinced that if he's going to march around with a death wish, the ex-king might as well do something useful with himself until he meets his end.
Since his demotion to lowly foot soldier, Gangrel's reflected on a lot of things. Namely, his rule. He's immensely remorseful for the things he's done and the families that he's torn apart, and understands that any good intentions he might have had for his country were quickly overridden by the lure of absolute power. Gangrel acknowledges that he is a weak-willed man and believes that if he were ever to be put in a leadership or ruling position again, history would only repeat itself. As regretful as Gangrel is, he still isn't a nice person, and still thinks little of heroism and chivalry.
In summary, Gangrel remained a twisted (arguably insane) man that delights in killing and bloodshed. However, his crimes do weigh heavily on his mind, and he's earnestly trying to reform and/or redeem himself as much as possible before his inevitable death. His low sense self-worth has had little impact on his sharp wit and harsh tongue, though with encouragement, his pride and ambition can be restored; Gangrel may even become a capable leader if given the correct guidance and support (or babysitter). Still, even with his reform-in-progress, Gangrel will never be an honorable or lawful man, even if convinced to fight for honorable causes.
For the AU variant, Gangrel's love of bloodshed and murder is going to be considerably toned-down. He still retains his conflicting mix of fragmented pride and self-depreciating tendencies, and a twisted, if often cruel, sense of humor. Also, instead of harboring a full-fledged death-wish, it'll be more akin to recklessness and a blatant disregard for his own safety. And, while still a pretty mean guy, he'll be a little more sympathetic to the orphaned and/or juvenile delinquents.
POWERS/ABILITIES: His mutation involves manipulating the perceptions of himself and others, and depending on proximity, creating limited effects based on those altered perceptions.
Gangrel's abilities are severely range-dependent. The closer someone is, the more perceptions/sense he can affect, and more powerfully. This essentially divides into three ranges: Gangrel himself (personal/internal), close (~6-12 inches beyond arm's reach), and long (approximately 100 yards; he's never measured).
The farther he is a way, the simpler the illusions must be, generally affecting only one sense; a terrible Hollywood-style desert mirage would be a good example of his distance limit. The closer the person is, the more complexity he can create: see a moving image, hear things from different sources, throw off sense of direction, feel a texture or temperature, etc. Anything that happens at range is only sensory neurons firing; he can make something FEEL hot, and a person that doesn't realize it's fake might get a shock pain as a result, but no burns manifest. He can't actually hurt someone at distance.
A couple inches beyond reach, Gangrel can mess with perceptions strongly enough to manifest psychosomatic illusions. An illusory knife can cut, and an illusory fire can burn, etc. However, there's an emphasis on the 'psychosomatic' part. If the thing Gangrel's interacting with doesn't have a mind, he can't affect it, as much as he'd love to light cigarettes at will.
His powers are strongest in regards to himself. He mostly utilizes that into making himself feel at a better physical or mental state, such as 'dismissing' hunger, pain, or temperature. It's purely a mental effect; he'll still starve if he doesn't eat or freeze to death if he doesn't get some place warm, but he'd be able to temporarily function better. The strongest (and favorite) manifestation of his abilities is to alter his perception of the orientation of the world; basically, give everything a ninety or 180 degree shift and walk around on walls or ceilings. Granted, he still has to deal with difficulties relating to a surface being slippery or unable to support his weight.
However, because that's the strongest use of his abilities, it requires constant concentration lest he fall, and he use any of his other abilities while doing so. He can't fly by making himself feel weightless, or 'fall up' while shifting his view 180 degrees. Gangrel has done this often for a couple of decades, so it would take something moderate to impair his concentration; strong pain, a temporary blackout, psychic interference, intoxication, etc. Objects on his person is still affected normally by gravity.
The illusions are limited by Gangrel's mental capabilities, or lack thereof. For example, he can't disguise himself as a specific person if he doesn't know what their voice sounds like, or can't recreate the smell of a particular thing burning if he'd never experienced that smell before. He isn't great at multitasking, and can only run so many perception manipulations at a time, dependent on their complexity. Because his powers are mental, his powers may be less effective (or completely ineffective) against psychics stronger than he is.
As things are, Gangrel's mutation is likely to be at its strongest. Gangrel is convinced that he cannot affect anything artificial, and has not explored the possibility of being able to fool digital or mechanical sensors.
AU HISTORY: As a boy, Marcus learned to look after himself; his home neighborhood was less than ideal, his father negligent, and his mother absent after five years of age. He quickly picked up a delinquent’s skill set, becoming quite the cunning liar and thief by middle school. Marcus, then smaller than other kids and deprived of attention and any kind of luxury, grew up fostering a spark of ruthless ambition. He did anything it took to win, be it a fight or a competition, and never did it fairly.
He'd always been something of a loudmouth and a drama king. After all, it was a way to get noticed. Not by his absentee parents, no; he'd severed those emotional ties by then. Marcus craved attention from his peers, to be acknowledge as an equal (as better), and recognition from his teachers, who held greater power and status than a mere student. He desired the limelight, to be the center of attention, to be lauded for his ability. So, in hindsight, no one should have been so surprised when the poster-child of street urchins took excellently to theater in high school.
Sure, Marcus was still an uncooperative punk, but acting gave him an outlet for his energy and ambition. He had to clean up his behavior to be allowed to perform, and suddenly, there was hope for graduation. With a hobby to focus his skills and ambition into, for the next four years Marcus became a passable student, throwing himself wholeheartedly into his parts and thriving in the resulting praise.
Marcus' mutation manifested late in adolescence, and in fragments. A little ghost image here, a phantom sound there. Occasionally, he could manifest an object that wasn't there into his hands. These things had their applications, and the temptation was too great; he fell back into his old delinquent patterns.
Things only went downhill from there. After a graduation that was little more than the school booting him out, Marcus made his way out to the New Vegas area. All his life he had craved power and luxury, and as he learned to use his mutant gifts, that was exactly what he could take from life. A few years down the line, Marcus fell in line with organized crime. Climb the ranks, stir up trouble (with both the law and his group), land in prison, escape or get bail paid, rinse and repeat. Surprisingly, Marcus clung to his love of drama and performing arts, frequenting top-dollar shows in the area. However, this time around, that love of the art wasn't enough to keep him from degrading.
The money was intoxicating. The power and status, even more so, but most exhilarating of all was his own mutation. At some point he had discovered his powers were at their most potent in regards to himself. As a result, and in combination with his increasing recklessness and arrogance, Marcus' grip on reality began to slip. Drunk on power to a point of delirium, he lost the loyalty of his goons, and was ousted by the ambition of another. Enraged and humiliated, the madman came storming back the next night for vengeance with his few supportive allies, delusional and screaming about taking back what was his the entire way, no matter what the cost.
Not a wonderful way to win back the allegiance of your former underlings.
Unsurprisingly, a fight resulted. It was pretty ugly, though Marcus can't remember much more than that. He awoke disoriented, under police custody, and in emergency care. His doctor told him that he should have died that night, and for a while, he half-thought he did. (A little part of him still thinks that, even years later.) That trial was an utter mess; every side had a different telling of events, and it didn't help that Marcus couldn't any of it; hell, he couldn't reliably remember any of the months leading up to it. The sedatives from the hospital interfered with his mutant abilities, and much to his surprise, Marcus found his head clearer than it had been in the last decade.
Also to his surprise, a lawyer came to him. Hello, I specialize in defending mutants, your case is quite intriguing, and there are some options to present to you—blah blah blah, it sounded like utter crap in Marcus' ears. The lawyer went with the insanity angle, and Mr. Gangrel would go to "power-use management groups" (ick) while in prison. (Marcus was convinced that lawyer was magic; it's remarkably light, all considering.)
Remarkably, he managed (fairly) good behavior. Marcus was still an ass, still a little unhinged, and still a glorified delinquent, but his grip on reality and humanity remained intact. From his perspective, that still sucked. The regret and guilt about his short-lived miniature criminal empire was absolutely miserable, as was the acceptance that he was just a mangy stray dog and not a modern-day king. Still, he worked with it. Marcus knew he was a weak-willed man; it wasn't control over his mutant powers that was the problem, it was his control over himself. Going back and asking for a life sentence or a death penalty wouldn't change a damn thing; even if he was a piece of garbage, he was a piece of garbage that could try to (learn to) do something useful.
There was only one place that would take him, on parole with his reformative intent and nearly non-existent (legal) job skills.
NETWORK SAMPLE: Test Drive thread, bonus crazy side
LOG SAMPLE: It was a damn wonder they let the likes of him in.
A school? With children? Sure, he made the bleeding heart plea thing of please please let me in I want to change and reform my ways to the light—and probably mostly kind of meant it—but that didn't change who he was; a rabid dog that someone paid a lot of money to not put down.
That was a looot of trust that Professor X was granting a guy like him. He had half a mind to make the best of it, get into the sub-levels and take some nice sketches and files and pictures. There were people out there that'd probably pay out the ear for stuff like this.
But. That's also why he was here, wasn't it? As charming as it was, clogging vacuum after industrial vacuum with feathers and fur and—is that fucking snake skin—from these little mutant whelps, he was here to turn a new leaf. Maybe, just maybe, redeem himself a little.
Yeah, he was a mangy stray, taken in by the charitable Prof. X. As Gangrel dropped his cigarette, grinding out the remaining embers with his boot, he watched some kids, prob'ly about highschool level or something—he didn't know—threading Halloween decorations through the hedge maze. He was a mangy stray, but damn if he couldn't teach himself new tricks. Nice tricks, this time around.
With a grin and a little thought, something large and spidery (and fake, but the kids didn't know that) began to creep out of the hedge above the teens.
'Nice' had a learning curve.