The (More Than) Complete Cast of CVRPG
Heroes, Villains, Low-lives, and Agents of Leisure
As the only daughter of the eldest son of the current (for the time) generation of Belmonts, it was only natural that Cassandra inherit the Belmont whip, the Vampire Killer. The legendary weapon was passed down from father to son throughout the eras, so despite Cassandra lacking a specific part inherent to that history (a penis), one could have assumed that as a capable fighter, Cassie would still inherit the whip.
That's why is was so galling when her father gave the whip to her older brother instead of handing it off to Cassandra. She was a proper Belmont daughter, better skilled than her brother at fighting vampires, and by all logic next in line for the Vampire Killer. That whip should be hers.
So she stole it and ran off into the night.
Sure, maybe that wasn't the best way to handle the situation. Maybe she should have talked it through with her best friend, Jennifer Baldwin, and maybe found some other way to properly inherit the whip. Or maybe she could have let her uncle have the whip and Cassie could have become some other kind of heroine -- there are plenty of jobs for women in the heroing field, from sorceress to white mage.
But hey, the deed was done. All that was left was for her to go find a vampire to kill and just accept her role as the illegitimate Belmont successor. She had the blood, so it's not like the whip was likely to kill her, right?
While Cassandra may have had to steal the famed Belmont whip, she still considers herself the rightful heir to the legacy. Her job, as a Belmont, is to find vampires and kill them and she takes that job very seriously -- she's been training or years for the day when she would one day inherit the whip.
So the fact that she's never actually fought a vampire before is completely irrelevant as far as she's concerned. Knowing how to fight vampires is exactly like fighting them in much the same way that a pilot takes a bunch of simulated test flights before flying for real (or that would be her logic if she knew what aeronautics were and had an inkling of what the future would hold).
All she has to do is go find a vampire-infested castle and do her job. Everything should come naturally from there.
The Blue Holiday Alec Prelude
Although there isn't, traditionally, a spirit of Chanukah (unlike with Christmas -- see Santa Alec), there has, deep down, kind of been a need for one. There are a whole lot of kids in the world, and Santa really doesn't have the time to hit all of them. Sure, some could argue that Santa Claus only serves the Christian children, but that would make him out to be a heartless beast and, say what you will about Alec, heartless is not one of his traits. So he realized there were kids that needed presents and they weren't covered under the duties assigned to the office of Santa.
Enter Alec Blue. Created (along with Red and Purple) but the original Alec Prelude through judicious use of the Four Sword, Blue was given the task of handling the good little Jewish boys and Girls of the world. Arguably this was a bigger task than Santa's job -- that man has to scurry around like a beast for one day, sure, but Chanukah is eight days long. That's a lot of days to handle, especially for one guy.
So he outsourced some of the work. He hired extra people to take on deliveries (which he paid a moderate, but well negotiated, wage) and started buying up all the technology (and weaponry) he could to make his job more efficient (and safe). Now he rules the eight days of the year he has to work and can spend more time relaxing in his off season.
Chanukah's never been so good.
As the personification of the Jewish winter holiday, Blue has had a lot of leeway with his job. There hasn't been a spirit of the season before Blue took over, so unlike Red, Blue hasn't had a lot of traditions he's had to stick to (nor did he want to, anyway). Instead, Chanukah Alec has been making up his job as he goes.
That said, Blue does understand that not everyone out there is fans of the Jewish people (such as Ice Nazis, a very dangerous group indeed). As such, Blue has spent a good amount of money of weapons and other armaments, things he can use to protect his holiday at all costs.
Besides, he hasn't wanted a surface-to-air missile system? That's the right kind of gift to find tucked up the Chanukah bush.
Although the common perception is that practitioners of the dark arts are evil, this is a fallacy. Sure, there are some black mages and wizards that fall from grace, turning their back on heroism and instead simply working towards their own needs (lust, greed, survival). These sorcerers pervert their powers, thinking only of themselves where there's a world in need. But then, the same can happen for any powerful profession, from policemen to politicians -- power can corrupt us all.
Claude Jones is not one of the bad guys. While he has power over the dark magics (and may dabble, from time to time, in necromantic arts -- for science, of course) he's not a greedy, self-serving lout. He's in it for the greater good, helping people and all that, because that's what Black Mages are supposed to do. That's what he learned at the academy, and we all know mage academies are august establishments beyond reproach.
Having spent his formative years in school, Claude was sent out, degree in hand, to find wrongs to right and demons to fight (a popular cheer at the academy rugby matches). Not officially an apprentice or journeyman, Claude was free to do his own thing, exploring the world and finding trouble. And he did, almost immediately. While he may have had a small compliment of magic, Claude was sadly not ready for all the beasts that lurked in the forest just outside of town (imps, so how sad is that?).
Thankfully he ran into another newly graduated hero, Eric Smith, a warrior by trade (and a good power forward on the sporting field). Teaming up together, Claude and Eric bested the foes before them (which wasn't hard considering they were imps), and their partnership was almost immediately cemented.
While not much of a fighter -- mages are better at magic then hitting or stabbing -- Claude is a man of his craft. With his magic at full power, and the right spells under his belt (more literally in his spell-book), Claude is a force to be reckoned with. He can annihilate imps at 500 paces, eradicate sharks with one hand tied behind his back, and bake a potato with the snap of his fingers.
He still can't take a punch, though, a fact his friend Eric loves to tease him about. One good smack to the face and Claude is out like a light. Which is why it's good he has a meat shield (Eric) to protect him while he works his mojo.
But don't think Claude can't wield a weapon -- he does have a staff, and knows how to use it. Simply put he just feels like weapons are beneath him. Sure, he'll use one if he has to, but why hit some one when you can incinerate them with fire.
Admittedly it's hard to argue with that logic.
Katrina's Shadow Clone, aka Claw
As has been well document, Katrina is a wild mage. Not everything she does, magically, goes exactly as expected. Often it does, but not quite to the level of effect intended (sometimes more, sometimes less). She also has a tendency to produce effect completely unlike what she wanted to make. Such was the case in the creation of her Shadow Clone, a being with her memories and personality but animated entirely by her own magic.
The shadow clone is an extension of Katrina. From the point of her creation, the clone became her own "woman", developing her own memories, finding her own personality. But she can never be free of Katrina -- without the sorceress's magic, the clone would cease to exist. So while they're two "separate" entities, they're never going to be fully independent.
So they've spent a lot of time trying to find a way to co-exist. Or, really, Katrina has used her clone like a tool, putting it into all kinds of dangerous situations, and the clone has, so far, dealt with it. But, one day, she may just try to find a way to truly break free...
The clone is, for all intents and purposes, Katrina. At least, she is up to the point of her creation. She's gained nothing new from Katrina past that point -- no new memories, no changes to her personality from the host mage. Instead, she's developed her own memories and personality, finding herself more and more as her own person.
A key difference between the two, though, is that the clone cannot case magic on her own. She can have magic cast through her, or into her to be stored and cast later by the clone, but no original magic can come from the clone. She's Katrina without the magic, effectively. Oh, and she's slightly transparent, and a tad purple.
When you're wandering out the woods, late at night, and you hear a rustling behind you, what could it be? A rabbit? Maybe a deer? It certainly could be a wolf, or a owl landing on a bush. Just wait for a second and listen. If you hear the telltale sound of a banjo, run. Run as a fast as you can. You'll wandered into Country Gnoll territory and you'll be lucky to get out alive.
There's no one Country Gnoll. They're a race of beings, an offshoot of the original gnoll species. While most knolls stay in the northern tundras and plains, some have come south. Most of these knolls joined the populace of other humanoid towns, installing themselves as weird, wolf-like fixtures of normal life.
But then you get the country knolls, a weird cultural offshoot that has gone in a weird and horrifying direction. They’re still knolls. They’re still outwardly nice albeit somewhat scary looking wolf creatures. But they have this dark side to them that causes even hardened adventurers to go, “country knolls? Hell no I’m not going there!”
Country knolls are scary. They’re predators of a very specific kind. Those stories you hear of teenagers getting lost in the backwoods only to discover a family of cannibals that kill, eat, and have their way with corpses? Those stories originated because of the country knolls.
Long ago, a certain group of knolls somehow got deeply into blood Magics and found that a particular gruesome lifestyle gave them unspeakable power. Now, they’ve gone so far into their weird, backwoods culture even “normal” knolls refuse to acknowledge their existence. The country knolls are too far gone.
While many of the heroes in our series have worked for years to be the best heroes they can, learning to fight, learning to cast magic, all so they can go on grand quests and fight the big bads, Crono just kind of stumbled into it. Sure, he learned to use a sword, but that's just because there are monsters in the woods and if you aren't armed you asking to be killed. But he wasn't ever intending to be a hero.
That all changed when he met a girl. Collided with her, really. Then his whole world changed. Suddenly he was going on adventures, like saving said girl -- a cute blond, no less -- from a portal into another era. That one was quite a shock.
And of course there was his quest to save the world. He was just chased into a portal (and you didn't hear one complaint from him either, such a good lad) and suddenly the world has ended. With a little goading from his friends he's having to find, and face down, a planet eating parasite that landed back in the prehistoric era. He's fighting wizards, destroying undersea palaces, and causing political revolts left and right.
Oh, and there was that one time he died. That was a bit of a life changing moment, that's for sure.
All because of some girl he met at a faire. Suggestion: next time try online dating instead. Relatively speaking, it's much, much safer.
The most important detail about Crono is that he doesn't talk. Ever. Occasionally he pantomimes. A lot of the time he motions or waves. Regularly he fist pumps (and not in a masturbatory way). He just doesn't talk.
Why? Well, no one is really sure. Some thing it might be a vow of silence, like monks would take as a sign of devotion. Others think he may have lost his tongue, that his cat (literally) stole it one day (which would explain why his mother is always complaining that he never takes care of his pets).
Whatever his reason, he's has handy with his sword as he is silent with his words. So who cares if he doesn't talk? What's important is having him on your side.
People can take many paths to heroism. Heroes don't always inherit the adventuring life (and a legendary sword) from their father (or mother). It's not often that a quest just falls into someone's lap and they know, in their hearts, what their destiny will be. Sometimes fate takes a round-about path.
Take Cynthia Redmond. Growing up on a mining colony out past Antares, she was the third of five children. A middle child much like any other middle child in any family, not that much was expected of the girl. Grown up, take up mining, maybe marry, and then continue the family line.
But then the mines when dry, the ores they were supposed to collect seemingly tapped out. The Terran Government didn't care about the colony if the ores weren't being mined, and without Terran backing, the colony had little in the way of resources to survive. People died, and those that could scrape by had to do more and more illegal acts just to live.
Into that horrible circumstance came a savior: the Stalkers. Known on the affluent colonies as pirates and murderers, the Stalkers offered the able-bodies inhabitants of Cynthia's colony a chance at a new life, albeit one as the outlaw scourges of the universe. Cynthia jumped at the chance as any life was better than the one she was living. It was only after she was in the fleet, doing unspeakable acts she wished she could forget, that Cynthia realized she'd made a bit of a mistake.
Thankfully a band of heroes came along and offered her a second chance at her second chance...
Although she worked for nominally bad people (especially when you compare them to the Terran Government), Cynthia was never truly bad herself. She did her best to avoid committing the worst atrocities, and she never stole so much that the ones she robbed would never be able to get back on their feet. There are different levels of criminal and she always tried to be one of the lesser ones.
Still, she knows she has a lot to make up for. And now that she's a hero she just might have her chance.