Out of the Woods into the Fire
Kiths: Hunterheart, Cleareyes
Seeming Blessing: 8 again on Animal Ken, may spend a Glamour for +1 to Presence or Composure
Seeming Curse: -4 Untrained Mental Skills, no 10 again for Intelligence-based rolls
Tooth and Claw: Brawl attacks do lethal
Clear Eyes: +2 Perception (Smell), and may spend a Glamour to increase scenting ability to supernatural levels for one turn
Intelligence 1; Wits 3; Resolve 2
Strength 2; Dexterity 3; Stamina 3
Presence 2; Manipulation 2; Composure 3
Academics 0; Computer 0; Crafts 0; Investigation 2 (Tracks); Medicine 1; Occult 1; Politics 0; Science 0
Athletics 3 (long distance runs); Brawl 4 (Grapples); Drive 0; Firearms 0; Larceny 0; Stealth (Forests) 3; Survival 1; Weaponry 0
Animal Ken 2 (Cats); Empathy 1; Expression 0; Intimidation 4; Persuasion 0; Socialise 0; Streetwise 0; Subterfuge 0
Dual Kith (2)
Parkour (2) – May negate two points of hazardous terrain penalties, gains an automatic success to reduce falling damage, and the maximum falling damage that can be removed is increased by 2.
Fae Mount (3) – call a large, winged, black panther when in the Hedge
Lethal Mien – deal one extra point of damage when attacking unarmed
Hidden Life (1) – Any attempts to gather information about Rictum, or any attempts by mortals to recall anything about him, lose one die from their pool.
Contracts: Elements (Fire) 2, Communion (Darkness) 2, Fang and Talon (Felines) 1.
Virtue: Fortitude, Vice: Lust (Fighting or frightening those he perceives to be weaker)
Health 8; Willpower 5;
Size 5; Speed 10; Initiative 6; Defence 3; Perception 6 (+2 For Smells);
Glamour 12; Per turn: 3
Rictum stands at just over 6ft, with long black hair with a streak of rust brown running down it. His powerful build, coupled with his tendency to stare at people as if he’s thinking about tearing out their throat, makes him an intimidating figure even to mortals, who can’t see his sharp teeth, cat-like eyes that reflect light and almost seem to shine even in the darkest conditions, and (when he wills it) sharp, obsidian-black claws.
Before being taken into Arcadia, Rictum was a brawler; getting into fights in seedy pubs just for the hell of it. He loved the power he felt when people tried to surreptitiously edge out of his line of vision. And one day, someone approached him and asked him "How would you like to feel that all the time?” That was the Huntsman, his Keeper.
Transfigured into a tiger-like creature, Rictum was given the task of hunting in an endless forest for his master – and himself, for his catches, once inspected, would be delivered to him as dinner. Just to add a stick to the carrot that was food, the Huntsman periodically set the forest on fire – if Rictum didn’t catch his prey in time he would burn. The one time – very early in his life in Arcadia – he refused to chase his prey, he was told that if he ever refused again he would be the hunted. He never refused again. As he became more skilled at hunting, the Huntsman started providing him with greater challenges. First it was small rabbit-like creatures, then graceful antelopes, but it wasn’t long before he was hunting things that were just as big and dangerous as he was. Exactly when he started hunting transfigured Changelings he doesn’t know. Maybe he always had been. All he knew then is that his prey started to have tricks that made them a little harder to catch.
He escaped from the Hedge more or less by accident. One day, to him just like any other, he was dispatched into the forest. He ran for longer than he ever had, following its scent, and then found it, to his surprise, not running or hiding, but waiting for him. That was the creature that is now his Fae Mount, and the two of them fought – both supernaturally sustained by the Huntsman – for longer than Rictum had ever fought anything before. Their battle took them deeper still into the forest, until they both suddenly emerged in the sandy ruins of an ancient stone building. At that moment, whatever the Huntsman had done to sustain them vanished – both Changeling and Fae creature collapsed, the former returning to an approximation of his human form, as wounds that they’d been ignoring started to sap at their strength and exhaustion overcame them. The last time Rictum ever got to truly communicate in animal-tongue, he heard the creature declare him a packmate.
Since then, he has been moving around. He knows the woods are the Huntsman’s domain, and avoids them despite the longing he has to feel at least the slightest what he did in Arcadia; he lives on the outskirts of cities, fitting in as best he can among the other miserable souls. He doesn’t usually stay in one place for long, though – with his wild urges to hunt he usually ends up in a fight within a week, and then he has to move on; when the police suspect you are armed with knives and you seem to have no background that they can find (due to the weird nature of Arcadian time, Rictum went through seven years while the human world went through about thirty) it doesn’t usually pay to stick around to explain your side of the story. Particularly since mostly Rictum was the instigator of the fights, as the witnesses that weren’t in hospital were deep lacerations would attest to. He’s had little more association with the Changeling world than he has with the human world; even in human form old habits die hard and while he isn’t stupid enough to intentionally start a fight with other Changelings, especially since they would likely have allies, he’s pretty sure that he’d get into one eventually.
Rictum returns to the Hedge more frequently than most newly-escaped Changelings would; partly because it makes it easier to travel around and avoid the police and partly so he can actually get some half-decent company (as he sees it, anyway) in the form of his Mount.
If someone was brave enough to ask him if the Huntsman had indeed made him feel the power he’d been promised, he would reply “no,” but this would be more a matter of reflex – from his limited experience with the Changelings he knows that people who want to admire and want to get back to their Keepers are not regarded all that favourably. But privately, he knows that the Huntsman was just as good as his word and better – the power he felt with something helplessly fighting for its life in his jaws was a power that he could never have imagined, and one that he’s pretty certain he’ll never be able to feel again.
If he was asked “Would you return to the Huntsman?” Rictum would reply that he wouldn’t, although this is again more a matter of giving the answer he thinks the asker would want to hear. If he was honest to himself, he would be unsure. He knows that the Huntsman never gives second chances – if he were to return he would likely become the prey for the Huntsman’s latest creation and he knows enough to know that in his current form he wouldn’t stand a chance against someone like the creature he’d been. But if the Huntsman offered to take him back, with nothing further said about the whole escaping incident, and particularly offered to make him even stronger than he had been before – then Rictum would be hard-pressed to refuse.