I’m going to hold off on posting a Megacrawl update until tomorrow or Wednesday – I want to make sure all the tactical geniuses who want to post a comment have had a chance. A first level party tangling with wererats could be a big deal – I want the Megacrawlers to have the best possible chance for survival.
In the meantime … Swampbilly
Five generations of Vances had hunted and trapped in the Louisiana bayou. minding their own business and doing no harm (well, except to the wildlife) when the federal government slated the area for mysterious highway project – mysterious because the locals couldn’t figure out just what the highway was supposed to connect. A few swamp families raised a fuss, but the g-men cleared them out in quick order – all except the Vances. The women and children found their way into government housing in New Orleans, but the men refused to leave and instead led the g-men on a merry chase through the wilderness.
Young Dovis Vance was among the more ornery of his family. Tall and good looking, he had a way with people and animals, and he more than the others was prone to wandering, harmonica in pocket, gun in hand. So it came that he found himself slipping past a hastily erected security fence and into the “highway zone”, where the federal government was working not on a highway in the traditional sense, but something much more impressive – a portal between worlds.
The project was in the experimental phase, and was intended initially to create a doorway between Earth and Mars using equipment seized many years before from Nazi scientists in the Arctic. As Dovis wondered at the tall, rectangular object standing in the midst of the swamp, it began to hum with activity and he found it impossible to move his feet. Arcs of electricity run up and down the black metal of the “door” until it began to vanish and he looked into a hazy vista of Mars. The experiment was over almost as soon as it had begun. The metal object returned to normal, Dovis found he could move again, and he high-tailed it back into the swamp.
Though he still looked normal on the outside, Dovis’ brush with the cosmic energies harnessed by the portal had left him a metahuman. Back with his father and brothers, he discovered much to his shock and delight, that with a thought he could change people with but a look and a thought. One night, when his brother Remi made a reach for his salt pork, an angry look changed the man into an oppossum. The others fled, of course (as did Remi), and Dovis soon found himself on his own. His travels took him first to little towns around New Orleans, and a crime spree that found him changing bank guards and tellers into ‘gators and him walking away with many thousands of dollars. In good time, government operatives made Louisiana too hot for him, and he followed the river north, where he finally found a home in the wetlands south of Shore City and a new community to torment.