The Soul Mender

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The Soul Mender

Post  The Soul Mender on Fri May 08, 2009 4:40 am

Name: Richard Charles McCartney
Alias: The Soul Mender

Costume: ((Note: special thanks to Heromachine 2.5, my drawing abilities are all going toward my art class))


Powers: The Soul Mender commands the power of pheromones; he can release chemicals from canisters that he carries, affecting all nearby non-plant life forms with exposed skin (smell is not required, the chemicals are absorbed, transferring their impulses through nerves to the brain regardless of location). He carries three types of pheromones: the first, and the most commonly used, is a calming agent that lowers adrenaline levels and slows heart rate and breathing, though not dangerously. This generally makes even hardened criminals more willing to negotiate and less likely to do something rash.

The second type is the exact opposite, a panic-inducing agent used only as a last resort. It speeds everything its less aggressive cousin slows, but keeps aggression levels in check, forcing those susceptible to it into a "flight" response. It can be useful for intimidation in situations where talks are failing, or as a device to allow Soul Mender to escape when wounded or outmatched. The third and final type is the one its wielder likes least: an overwhelming dose pheromones that causes neural overload and unconsciousness. When not used with caution, it can stop the heart and kill the target. Through training, Soul Mender has rendered himself immune to the effects of the Pheromones; others with particularly strong wills are able to resist them.

It is worthy of mention that Soul Mender is a master of the Quarterstaff and is skilled in the martial art of Krav Magna; this combined with his excellent physical fitness makes him a potent living weapon even without his pheromone canisters. He carries a flexible waxwood bailangan, or Chinese Long Staff, with steel caps on the ends and rubber to both insulate blows to ensure nonlethality and to further enhance flexibility, allowing the weapon to be used as an improvised vaulting pole.

Personality: Soul Mender cares very much about justice, but more than that he cares about people. He believes that everyone should have a chance to pursue happiness in their lives, and that those who try to ruin the happiness of others can and should be given a second chance after counseling. He is not unlike a warrior-monk, defeating his foes only so that he can help to redeem them. Unlike some heroes with such power over others, he has not developed a messiah complex; he knows well his own faults, and seeks self-improvement constantly through both emotional self-searching and brutal physical drills.

Soul Mender's greatest strength and greatest weakness is his strong faith in the inherent goodness of the world; he believes that he is not so much making people different as guiding them back to the way they were meant to be. This conviction gives him a feeling of purpose, and he draws strength from that purpose. Should he ever see something that challenges his faith in humanity as a whole, however, it might be the end of his heroic career.

Physical Description: Standing at just over six feet tall, with a powerful physique built up by years of hard training and exhausting exercise, Richard C. McCartney is the last person anyone would suspect of being a psychologist by merit of body type. His face, however, projects a rather different feeling. His deep aquamarine eyes look into people kindly, in a way not so unnerving as a coldly analytical stare, and are surrounded by laugh lines; his soft, well-trimmed beard, the same chestnut color as his short hair, frames his full-lipped mouth, always ready to pull into a smile. Even so, there is something of weariness in the way he carries himself, a burden he hides even from himself...

History: Richard Christopher McCartney was born in Sun Valley, Idaho, to a radiologist mother and a ski instructor father. His parents were warm and encouraging, spending whatever time they could with their only child, though each wished for him to go a different way. His mother taught him a great deal about reading, mathematics, and logic, and as a result he was ever at the top of his class in school; his father, on the other hand, took him skiing and rock climbing and camping, teaching him survival skills and training his body and spirit for both exertion and pleasure in the outdoors. From both, he learned compassion, tolerance, and forbearance, lessons perhaps more important than all the specifics in which they could educate him.

Ultimately, it was his mother's argument that won Richard over, and he became determined to attend Medical School. He grew in knowledge and wisdom, and was readily accepted to Duke University in North Carolina, which he attended for nearly eleven years as he completed college through residency. He was told that he had, above all else, the gift of engaging conversation and genuine interest; such things made him perfect for the path of psychology, which he pursued vigorously. At the age of thirty-two, he was practicing at last; one of his first patients, one Joseph Andrews, would change his life forever.

Joseph suffered from depression brought on by the failure of his Entomological experiments, but despite its severity Richard was able to counsel him into returning to the world; a month later, the same patient reported a startling success in his field, and asked the doctor who had made it possible to be the first to witness it. Intending to check up on the man's progress, Richard agreed, traveling to a remote town in Canada where the lab was located. When he arrived, Joseph eagerly showed him the fruits of his labors: he had succeeded in replicating the pheromones of the queen ant, but on a much larger scale and with a much broader range of targets. These pheromones could affect Humans, and the applications were both endless and dangerous in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, Joseph's work with the chemicals had resulted in his proximity to dangerous levels of mercury; even as Richard examined the fascinating work, the scientist snapped and attempted to strangle him. In close proximity to the panic pheromones but strong-willed enough to resist most of their effects, the psychologist nevertheless misjudged the situation and killed his assailant by cutting his throat with a piece of broken glass. When he recovered, shocked by what he had done and understanding for the first time the true power of the chemicals, he felt a pressing need to use them for good. He needed redemption, and the way he planned to secure it was by using the objects that had brought about his crime. The place would be one where great good and evil lived side by side: Aurora City.

But he was not yet ready for the challenges there, and he knew it. He traveled to Israel, studying with the IDF and learning the mighty martial art of Krav Magna, before continuing to China and learning from masters of the staff, a weapon that made use of his strength, agility, and stamina as well as being relatively nonlethal and having noncombat applications. For two years he traveled and trained, exposing himself to doses of pheromones and using meditative techniques to resist their effects until he built up an immunity. At last, though his teachers warned him that he might yet have much to learn, he decided he was as prepared as he could be. He would combine every skill he had, from his athleticism to his intelligence to his faith in all things good and right in the world, and he would make a difference where it was most needed.

Misc. Notes: The Soul Mender is still very much haunted by his killing of Joseph Andrews; it is a memory that can do serious damage to his ability to focus on the present.

The Soul Mender

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Re: The Soul Mender

Post  Frederich Glint on Fri May 08, 2009 7:44 pm

Accepted. Looks like an interesting character.
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Frederich Glint
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