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Talos Quinn

#1
Name: Talos Quinn
Spent OM: 4700
Consumed OM: 
Proficiencies (1000): Physical Strength (1000) 
Powers (3400/8000): Shapeshifting (1400), Survival (2000) 
Moves (300): Fangs (300) 
Super Moves (0): 
Transformations (0): 
Assists (0): 
Items: 
Artefacts: 
Bases: 
Unlocks (0): 
Base Stats:
ATK: 2
DEF: 1
SPD: 5
TEC: 2
"To live in this world you must be able to do three things:

To love what is mortal;

To hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it;

And, when the time comes to let it go,

To let it go." – Mary Oliver
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#2
[Image: man_and_quill.jpg]


Talos Quinn

Canon of Origin: Vampire the Masquerade

Race: Vampire
Gender: Fluid, trending male.
Age: 324
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Occupation: Poet


Physical Description

Talos is a serial shape shifter. Here is what he might look like:

Talos is an old man. He walks with a cane and a slight limp. He has a white beard and bright, interested eyes. He looks perpetually amused.

Talos is tall, thin and the sort of faint pale you get when you spend too much time inside reading. He has delicate features, slender hands, and mousy brown hair touched with gray.

Talos has long blond hair that falls in delightful ringlets and she wears a red dress with enough slink to satisfy a snake.

Talos is a huge, hulking figure, particular features obscured by a black trench coat, scarf, and a slanted hat. They speak in a hissing, raspy voice.

Talos is a gangly teenager wearing jeans, and a tattered green jacket.


This is what he actually looks like:


In his natural form, Talos looks like a wingless, albino bat that swallowed a street lamp. His skin is bone white and his eyes are black. He is naturally quadrupedal, but stands at a spindly 7'1" when he rears up on his hind legs. His arms and legs are long and thin. His spine is flexible to the point of bendiness. He has large, bat-like ears that he generally keeps folded back against his head, because when he lets them hang loose they look silly and betray his emotions. He is usually dressed in dramatically altered tweed suits.



Background

Talos Quinn was a moralistic academic from Gregorian England. He was magically transformed into a horrible, vampiric monster because he wrote pretty poetry.

He has survived mostly because people like his pretty poetry, and want to keep him around to write more of it.

Most of his history has to do with combating, subverting, or petulantly throwing paper airplanes at the evil around him.

Details below.


Talos' given name was Gregory Bowen and he was born in 1723. He has a lovely childhood and grew up to become a professor at Oxford. He was active in the campaign in England at the time to abolish the slave trade. He wrote under the pen name Talos Quinn, 'Talos' being a reference to the bronze giant of Greek legend, and intended as a metaphor for hope, protection of those in needs, and a funny contrast to Gregory himself, who was small and delicate.

Gregory was turned into a Nosferatu, which is a kind of vampire, by a man-creature named Noranc. Noranc turned Gregory to spite a woman named Annette, who wanted to turn him into a Malkavian vampire like her, because she liked his poetry. Nosferatu vampires are cursed to become hideously deformed when they are made immortal, and Gregory was transformed into a quadrupedal beast with claws and a crushed, bat-like face. Gregory took this poorly, and had a rough first-decade of undeath.

He hated being a vampire. On top of the whole becoming-a-horrible-monster thing, he was uncomfortable drinking blood and was naturally softhearted. This didn't go over well with his new peer group. He also wasn't any good at any of the things Nosferatu vampires were supposed to do: like live in the sewers and talk to animals. He changed his name to Talos Quinn because there was a tradition of vampire taking new names when they died, and it was the only name he could think of on short notice and under stress.

He was eventually rescued by a French vampire named Charlotte duSable, who also liked his poetry. She let him live in her manor in France where she acted as his sponsor/mentor and rebuilt his shattered sense of self-worth and security while enjoying and distributing his writing. Talos learned to use his magical vampire powers to make himself look like a human. He learned to walk on his hind legs, and used a cane to balance. He started socializing with normal humans again.

A few years after Talos moved to France to stay with Charlotte, the French Revolution happened. Talos was extensively employed in smuggling works of art and books out of rich households that were going to be sacked by peasantry. He continued to work to abolish the slave trade in England and eventually the colonies, mostly through writing letters and pamphlets.

In 1810 he left Charlotte to travel to Berlin to investigate the University of Berlin, the world's first research university, which had just been founded. In 1851 Talos returned to London for some Victorian England shenanigans. He eventually took to traveling constantly. He visited Israel and Cairo to participate in research projects. In 1876, Charlotte sent him to America to investigate the 'telephone' technology being developed. Talos stayed in the USA for a few years with the primary goal of meeting and asking Mark Twain a lot of questions. He succeeded.

Talos spent World War 1 in France, being nervous and writing angrily about the folly of militarism. He visited Versailles for the treaty.

Talos spent World War 2 in Poland, for the most part, with a group of other idealistic vampires, rescuing people from concentration camps. Talos spent a great deal of time pretending to be a Nazi officer. It was hellish.

After the wars, Talos retreated to America. He spent a decade in New Orleans, visited Rio de Janerio in Brazil, and then spent the 60s in Berkley, California. He made a few friends, but remembers little about the culture since he was high for most of the decade. He attended Woodstock. He retreated back to Europe in 1972 to continue his life of erratic travel and academic consulting.

In December of 2009 he was in a museum in Switzerland, going over a manuscript that had been mislabeled such that the museum couldn't determine what dig site it came from. He turns a page and found the void. And it rose from the paper and consumed him.


Personality

Despite being centuries old, Talos venerates the small beauties of the world, such as cicadas and sonnets, with a childlike wonder that keeps him young.

Talos believes that learning is what makes life worthwhile and that making art is sacred and delightful.

Talos prefers not to take anything seriously.

An exception: Talos has very strict principles about civil rights and inherent human dignity and how murder is wrong. He gets huffy and sulky when people go around violating them.

However: Talos has spent so long in vampiric society that most such atrocities have ceased to horrify him. They just depress him.

Talos is very good at accepting awful things that he has no power to immediately stop, and then hunting terrier-like for good things he can do to balance the scales.

Talos loves pushing people out of their comfort zones and considers mischief to be a public service.

Talos is extremely easy to distract. He likes traveling and wandering off after whatever looks interesting.

Talos dislikes physical exertion and discomfort. He is willing to undergo quite a bit of both to achieve a greater end, but he will constantly complain.


Abilities

Talos is primarily a poet, but has moonlighted as an essayist, novelist, journalist, and short story writer. Back on his world, he supported himself entirely through his published works and a nighttime circuit of seminars and lectures at universities.

He can turn what he feels into beauty and truth using a pen. As far as he is concerned, everything else is gravy.

But some of it's fun gravy, if you want to read about it:

He loves teaching. He is an adept public speaker.

He knows how to fight, having inevitably encountered violence in a three-century-long life, but dislikes it immensely and prefers to talk, run, and hide, in that order.

He is good at juggling, playing tiddlywinks, and a number of other completely random things he trained himself to do because he thought they were cool.

He likes dancing and has learned many different styles.

He sews all his own clothing, since his body is too warped to wear anything off the rack.

He knows many random things, such as:
How to conjugate Latin, write sonnets, flirt, recover Incan pottery without damaging it, stab someone in the heart with a piece of wood, and get published in a competitive market.
Enough modern medicine to performing field surgery on the level of medics in World War 2.
Enough academia to qualify for a bachelors in philosophy, linguists, classics, fashion design, archeology, or art.
A high school teacher's understanding of chemistry.
An extensive, sometimes personally derived, knowledge of history.
Twelve languages. (They are like potato chips.)
A lot of poetry, and some plays.



Moves


Fangs – 300 OM
Talos has retractable, penknife-long canines, crafted by nature to allow him latch onto arteries and drain blood. His elongated maw means that he can bite like a wolf, lunging, raking teeth, and latching on. He loathes doing this, but will instinctively resort to it if driven into a panic.



Powers


Shapeshifting  – 1400 OM
Talos can create the illusion of a different face and frame and weave it around his body like a cloak. It will fool eyes and cameras. Because he does not actually transform, maintaining an appearance that is dramatically shorter or wider than he is can be a difficult exercise in stooping and puppetry. He rather enjoys the challenge of it.

Survival  – 2000 OM
Talos is a vampire. Physically dead, he does not need to breathe or eat. He does not bleed from wounds, lacking a pulse to push the blood. His organs are shriveled and pointless, making bullets more inconvenient than fatal. He's still only about as durable as a normal human and therefore relatively simple to beat the shit out of, but on reaching fatal points of trauma, instead of dying he'll fall into a coma while his body attempts to regenerate. He can be killed by beheading, dismemberment, or fire. Unlike some other vampires you may have met, a wooden stake through the heart will not kill him. It will, however, paralyze him for as long as it remains in the organ.

This has been Talos' least favorite paragraph.

"To live in this world you must be able to do three things:

To love what is mortal;

To hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it;

And, when the time comes to let it go,

To let it go." – Mary Oliver
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