Thursday, 1 December 2011

Benedict Harvey - Occult Investigator

Again, an idea for UA pops into my head (as they do every so often), this time inspired by The Frighteners - Peter Jackson's awesome little ghostly romp from before he made it big with little people. The main character (a psychic conman) is pursued by an unusual FBI agent, Milton Dammers, played by the wonderfully hammy Jeffery Cooms. The character has stuck in my mind since, and when I read Unknown Armies I knew this dude had a place somewhere in it.

Benedict Harvey started his life as a student of the esoteric - something about the occult traditions of the world drew his eye as a child, and he continued his research into adulthood, studying Anthropology, Mythology and Occultism, along with a degree in Psychology.

Alongside this, he studied the Geminatria, Kaballah, The Bible - anything that might offer some glimpse into the esoteric truth of the world.

After several years working as a private investigator (originally to pay the bills), he finally got his big shot when he was hired by the FBI as a specialist for a case of possible Satanic Ritual killings. When he cracked the case within a few days, and managed to secure the arrest, trial and incarceration of the murderers within a few short months, he was offered a chance to apply as an agent - a job he took with relish.

Now, he is mainly used as a psychological profiler, but has frequently been used in those cases too... weird for public consumption. People found with their body parts cleanly removed - not cut, hacked, or otherwise mutilated, just off. Or the drug-running ring, whose substances are far beyond what the average line of coke could do to you. Or the bizarre murders committed by some kind of sex-magick cult, over a videotape.

Such a line of work has its dangers, however - stare too long into the abyss, and it starts into you also. Once a quiet man, full of wonder and a macabre fascination, he is practically silent, asking only the questions which matter to him. Having pierced the Occult Mainstream and finally found the Occult Underground, he has began collecting "rituals" in private, to assist both with finding more about the OU, and to help him in his detective work.

Harvey appears to be a quiet, nervous man. His skin is sallow, stretched thin over his bones; his hair cropped short, a heavy dark black with the odd hint of grey at the temples; his suit is impeccably pressed, and always lightly pinstriped; never wearing more than a day's worth of stubble, he presents a very professional air.

But underneath his clean-cut, nebbish exterior, Benedict Harvey has many, many body modifications. His body is a road map of the Occult, with tattoos, brands and scarifications of everything from the Seals of Solomon, to figures from ancient alchemical formulae, to symbols even he doesn't recognise, etched by Adepts and weirdos of every stripe. Ritualised piercings and jewellery adorn every spare inch. The man believes his body is a living ward against everything the occult can throw at him, but he's only just scratched the surface of the Occult Underground - and he'll find out soon enough that all the charms and gewgaws in the world won't stop a bullet.

Benedict Harvey, Authentic Thaumaturge FBI Agent

Body 50 (Not as Weedy As He Looks)
Krav Maga 35%, Rolling With The Punches 20%

Mind 70 (Highly-Focused Genius)
Occult Knowledge (Obsession) 55%, Psychology 40%

Soul 70 (Creepily Intuitive)
Authentic Thaumaturgy 40%*, Deception 40%

Speed 40 (Uncoordinated)
Light Pistols 35%, Drive 25%

Gear: Well-Pressed suit, several Occult charms of varying potency, well-kept Browning 9mm, average unmarked car with a toolkit, several
 *He knows the Back Monkey, Abominable Servant (though he's never used it - yet) and Harmonious Alignment rituals (with a few others up to the GM), as well as a decent knowledge of Tilts (enough to get a minor or significant one off the ground). He also has a small library full of other rituals and spells that he can't quite work out - it's up to the GM whether they're duds, willfully misinterpreted "real" rituals, or things he can't quite handle without further breaking his mind.

As with most of the NPCs I post here, Harvey could be an enemy or an ally - it's up to you. Imagine having an FBI agent as a friend - especially one who thirsts for more occult knowledge, who can be kept on a short leash with a few scarce promises of hints and clues, and the threat of a lack of such.

Or, imagine a man who is utterly dedicated to hunting you down, who will use any methods at his disposal to secure you, and if possible, extract what little fragments of occult lore he can.

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