The heavens wept. Lightning struck from each point of the ancient compass rose, thundering twenty-four times in a final salute.
In a hidden citadel, the final sparks of a smoldering hearthfire cooled, the brandy spilled from the fallen snifter was a mere damp spot on the luxurious carpet – and the open bottle had been left to evaporate.
Lord Henry Richart, for ninety-seven years Grand Marshal of the Aerial Legion, hero of a hundred battles, and eighty-four years in the body, had embarked upon his final voyage. This time, with his flesh no longer able to bear the burden of his spirit, no matter how great his skill to lay a course between the worlds – and no matter how mighty the storm that offered a gate – there would be no returning.
Without the grand old man’s indomitable will to bind them to the realms of form, his coat, hat, and cutlass – the panoply of the Storm King – faded once more into the astral realms.
Thunder rumbled distantly, seeking.
Across the world, where storms were raging, youngsters dreamed.
Where there was a lack of fantasy and wonder, they slept serene.
Fire and thunder spoke, and the frightened woke to seek comfort.
The fog rose, and those without a firm moral compass lost their way.
The wind howled, and only the daring held the wheel.
Horrors rose from the depths, faint memories of those from Outside and the War in Heaven – the spawn of the Qliphoth. Even in memory… terrible beyond anything that the remaining youngsters had ever faced.
Many faltered, and woke in tears – but a few – so very few – of the bravest defied the darkness and stood against the horrors – rallying the Storm around themselves, and leading the attack.
One did so with near-instinctive skill, and was chosen.
The boy had wanted to “camp out” in the hedgerows for the night – and there was no harm in that. Nothing short of a hurricane or tornado would bring the old lean-to down – and the house wouldn’t stand up to something like that any better.
Niels had always loved storms – but it was very late, and he had fallen asleep watching a rather nice one.
Not too surprisingly, it had gotten into his dreams, turning them strange and terrible – but he had not woken. The storm did not master him.
In the realms beyond, Lord Richart smiled, and reached out to the physical realm a final time, passing the mantle and a few words of encouragement to a new champion.
A bolt of lightning blazed down, shattering the turf roof, heavy logs, and supporting stones of the lean-to like a handful of toothpicks. The boy – powerless no longer – woke amidst the smoldering ruins of the lean-to, and stepped forth, a corona of sparks turning the rain to steam around him.
The Grand Marshal of the Aerial Legion had fallen, and The Cloud Commander was risen in his place. It would be many years before his powers would approach the Grand Marshals – but every new champion faced that upward path.
Niel’s power is already formidable. He can control the weather, whip objects around in tornado-like winds, summon the lightning and the thunder, channel his voice through the weather (a very dramatic trick), walk the winds, and even return to life if slain by tapping into the power of a great storm from the other side. He can summon up the Coat, Blade, and Hat of Storms, even if he has yet to properly integrate them into his personal power.
Perhaps most importantly… he can infuse his power into clouds, granting them many of the attributes of living things – and making them strong and solid enough to carry him along. (He usually has about half of the sixteen he can currently control group up and act as his “ship” while the others help him out.
On the other hand, he still hasn’t even ATTEMPTED to explain what’s going on to his parents – and he isn’t all THAT personally durable.
|30||Multipower: Weather Summoning (67-pt reserve); Only in Hero ID: -¼; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Extra Time: full phase, -½; Visible (Blatantly obvious to other weather-manipulators for miles around): -¼|
|u-3||Summon Cloud Beasts (16 75-point creatures); Range: 0; Summon: Single Type, +0||6|
|u-2||1d6 Transform (Weather) (Minor, Limited Class); Range: 325; Cumulative: +½; Area Effect (Radius): 500″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×250, +2; Reduced END: Zero, +1; Autofire: 10 shots, ¾; Generic Limitation (Still costs 1 End per die used. Number of dice needed depends on how big a change is being made. )||0|
|u-3||Telekinesis (Wind) (STR 35); Range: 325; Manipulation: Coarse, +0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Active Points: 65||2|
|u-3||10d6 Energy Blast (Lightning); Range: 310; Versus: ED; Reduced END: Half, +¼||2|
|u-3||2d6 Flash (Thunderclap) (Hearing, Sight); Range: 335; Area Effect (Radius): 4″ radius, +1; Reduced END: Half, +¼||3|
|u-3||Hand-to-Hand Attack (Storm Strike) (11d6, Total 13d6); Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Affects Desolidified: +½||2|
|u-2||Voice Of The Storm|
|(4)||Can be heard in a very large radius|
|4||Elemental Control: Storm Powers (6-pt reserve); Only in Hero ID: -¼; Visible (Blatantly obvious to other weather-manipulators for miles around): -¼|
|a-4||12″ Gliding (NC: 24″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 36|
|b-9||Regeneration (1 BODY/hour); Regenerate: From Death, +20; Generic Limitation (Can only regenerate from death when a major storm passes nearby): -½|
|2||Instant Change; Clothes: One Set, 5; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Generic Limitation (Absurdly dramatic bolt of lightning from the sky draws lots of attention): -½|
|6||1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear.||20|
|Points||Skills, Talents, Perks||Roll|
|17||Follower (16, 75 pts, 0 Disad.); Number: 16, +20; Generic Limitation (Only to maintain control of his cloud-beasts): -1|
|3||Money (Well Off); Generic Limitation (Must periodically go off and dig up more buried treasure to maintain this): -½|
|30||Total Skills, Talents, Perks|
|5||Coat of the Kraken Elemental Control: (8-pt reserve); Focus: Obvious Inaccessible, -½
With experience, the Cloud Commander will find it easy to migrate this over to his Elemental Control – integrating the currently-externalized item into his personal powers.
|a-5||+16 PD ; Focus: Obvious Inaccessible, -½|
|b-5||+16 ED ; Focus: Obvious Inaccessible, -½|
|c-5||Damage Resistance (16 PD/16 ED) ; Focus: Obvious Inaccessible, -½|
|5||Thunderbolt, the Cutlass of Storms|
|(2)||Additional Multipower Slot: 4d6+1 HKA (Energy, 6 End), OAF Sword|
|(3)||2d6 Aid (Endurance) (Fade/turn, Max. 12) 0; Range: 0; Affects: Single Power, +0; Charges: +3, -1¼; Focus (Cutlass): Obvious Accessible, -1|
|5||The Hat of the Storm King|
|(5)||Detect Atmospheric Phenomenon (+0 to PER) ; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; OAF (Really Cool Hat): -1|
|10||Accidental Change: To “hero” form when exposed to large electrical discharges. (11-)|
|15||Accidental Change: During Major Storms (11-)|
|10||Dependent NPC: Parent or Relative (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0|
|15||Hunted: The Quilipothic Realms (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0|
|10||Watched: The Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0|
|15||Phys. Lim: Underage, In School (Frequently, Greatly)|
|15||Models his persona on old pirate and naval movies (Very Common, Moderate)|
|15||Always keeps his word (Uncommon, Total)|
|10||Major Ham (Common, Moderate)|
|10||Does not take most villians seriously. (Common, Moderate)|
|5||5||4||0||19/16||21/16||3, 6, 9, 12|