Sometimes undertaker, sometimes professional wrestler, but somehow not a superhero in the slightest.
|Creed:||Defender||Primary Virtue:||Zeal / 3|
|Strength •••||Charisma ••||Perception •••|
|Dexterity •••||Manipulation ••||Intelligence •••|
|Stamina •••||Appearance ••||Wits ••|
|Alertness||Animal Ken||Academics •|
|Athletics •••||Crafts •||Bureaucracy|
|Brawl ••||Drive •||Finance|
|Empathy ••||Firearms ••||Law|
|Expression ••||Melee •||Linguistics|
|Intimidation||Performance •||Medicine •|
|Streetwise •||Survival •||Research •|
|Endurance ••||Traps •|
|Contacts ••||Way with Words (1)||UNDISCLOSED (1)|
|Fame •||Good Right Hook (1)||UNDISCLOSED (2)|
|Patron •||Flexible Job (3)|
|Iron Willed ••|
Let me assure you: none of what I’m about to tell you is as glamorous as it might sound. Fifty years ago? In Mexico? Then I’d be a superstar, and I’d still be living large, but here and now, 2012, I’m just a schlub with two jobs, one of them important and one of them fun, who is only making ends meet by the grace of God. So when I found out that maybe I actually have a purpose on this Earth, I figured it was only right to return the favor.
So let’s put the cheese on the table, right? My main source of income is from my job as a groundskeeper and undertaker at Peacehaven Cemetery. I work for Victor Arrentz, who’s been overseeing the Cemetery for, god, years. And I can’t be clear enough: my job isn’t romantic goth crap, it’s a lot of digging. I dig ‘em six feet deep before the funeral. When somebody dies without a lot of family or friends, then I put on a suit and carry the coffin, but otherwise I’m out of sight and out of mind. Once everybody is gone, leaving the departed as alone as they were when they came into this world, then I cover them and consign them to the earth.
Kevin Grant occasionally has the decency to help me out with this, but, for the most part, he’s lawn care and trash detail. So there’s a lot of me alone with wooden boxes, and they’re alone and I’m alone, so that makes us together. Or that’s what I like to think. I like to think of myself as kind of like the vet whose there when your pet gets put down and you don’t have the guts to see them off. Somebody is there before the dead are at rest, and that’s me. Sometimes I operate the crematory oven, which is essentially the most repulsive thing I can imagine. Just like with burying the dead, it’s a lot of disappointment when the family can’t be troubled to stick around and see their dead off, but it’s also a lot of stink. You get even a whiff of burnt formaldehyde and you aren’t eating until you’ve gotten a solid six hours of sleep. But somebody’s got to do it, and the pay is good.
So then there’s my second job, the one that’s fun, and the one that doesn’t really pay. Once or twice a month, I perform as a professional wrestler with the Ring of Steel. There, Adrian Tsang is my boss. He helps set up events for me, helps give me screen time and mat time, and he honestly thinks that I’ve got what it takes to make it big. I appreciate the confidence, but when I drive two hours to spend five minutes jobbing to some established name, in a high school gym, all to make less cash than the cost of gas, that’s what makes it a job. I expect that minor league ball players get where I’m coming from.
And that’s a good night. On a bad night, the crowd wants blood. I’ve been stabbed with forks, shot with staple guns, dropped on a bed of nails, tangled in barbed wire, had fluorescent light bulbs smashed over my bare back, and then there’s the fairly routine getting hit in the head with a chair or tossed through a folding table. You leave a pint of yourself in the ring, and that hundred bucks you get on those special nights… well, the point is you don’t come back for the money. I come back because I love the way the crowd reacts to what I do. And to make sure we’re clear, if you still think I’m some greased up body-builder working for the WWE, get that out of your head. What I do is a lot closer to that movie The Wrestler. And hey, I’m lucky enough to have worked with some of those guys, so I’ll bump the movie to bump them.
If I’d been a little bit better with people, maybe I could have just been a theater major in some school somewhere, or chasing a Hollywood dream. But I’m better with the athletics, so that’s what I put to use. At the end of the night, good or bad, it doesn’t matter, because I feel alive when I’m in that ring, and that’s what matters. So the rest of my time goes like this: I spend a lot of time in the gym with Jim Mann and Nicky Arroyo, a lot of time hitting the mats: taking bumps, practicing spots, and letting Jim slap the ever-loving-shit out of my chest.
And then there’s the reason that you’re reading any of this: the Hunting.
Hi. My name is Malcolm Cavanaugh and I’m imbued. I’ve been on a handful of hunts, facing off against some weird, weird things. Some of them I’ve heard stories about: there was a wizard who came to Peacehaven to dig up a corpse that got put under back in the 1800’s. I still don’t know what she wanted, but she had the gall to call up a recently buried soldier and put it to work excising the old grave. That’s how I found them: he still in his formal dress, his medals clinking against his chest while his joints creaked, working the shovel into old earth; she sitting on a tombstone, eating an apple, watching. Zombies and necromancers. Crazy as hell, but there they were. Anyway, you see this scar? Yeah, the whole thing, like an appendectomy, right? Don’t think that just because you’ve got the drop on somebody that you’re getting away scot-free. I’ve also been asked to come along in hunting down something that I’m pretty sure was a troll. We actually took an iron church bell out of the steeple of Saint Martin’s to take that thing down. And then there were the things that I found living in the mausoleum under Peacehaven. I’m still not sure how far down those tunnels go. Maybe it’s just one big barrow, but maybe there’s more.
Anyway, call me Mal. Pleased to meet you.