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Your name: TigerPhoenix
Your LJ: tigerphoenix
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Your AIM, MSN, or Yahoo handle: Tigerphoenix on AIM.
Character's name: Stephen Valkonan
Character's LJ: sonofether
Character's canon: White Wolf--Mage: The Ascension, specifically Sons of Ether.

Brief personality outline of your character: For the most part, Stephen is a relatively reserved guy, usually content to tinker with things and jury-rig mad-Science gadgets together. He's loyal to a fault, and tends to stand by people he's named his friend, even if it's his impression that they're working on heading towards their own personal train-wreck. But if someone crosses him, or worse, one of his friends, the sharp-tongued bastard gets let out of his cage to fight back with snarky remarks--or his fists, if it comes down to it. He'd prefer to talk his way out of a problem, but that doesn't always seem to work.

He has his moments of charm, but he also has his moments of seeming the complete Absent-Minded Professor...what was I talking about again?

Stephen has a stubborn streak a mile wide; once he's decided something, he usually isn't about to change his mind without a lot of empirical evidence contrary to his position, or an impassioned plea. He's also not immune to a pretty face, but he's more respectful of women, with an earnest little-boy quality about him. There are times where it's like he's seeing things through his personal set of Ether-Goggles with new eyes.

There are times where he is mercurial: laughing and happy one moment, and then brooding and sullen the next. He takes the idea of upholding the Traditions seriously, and upholding the Sons of Ether doubly so. He can be very prideful, which also leads to him being a bit of a jackass, and more than a bit of a jerk, which also means he can on occasion come off a bit too full of himself. But in the end, he means well.

Brief history and background of your character: In his own words: "I admit to being a precocious child. But considering I have genius level IQ, is that so strange? I was doing higher mathematical equations by the time I was 5, but Mom tried to make sure I was a relatively normal child. I went to preschool and did all the cut-outs and coloring and so on, and when I came home, Mom and Dad would teach me about the world and other things. I went to kindergarten the same way. Then, for three years, I was home-schooled (what can I say, I enjoyed my homework. I would do a lot of it, and there were often times we'd have to start the next week's lessons in the middle of the current week). When I was eight, I went to college.

As incongruous as it had to be to see an eight-year-old boy on a college campus, I did enjoy my classes a great deal. Surprisingly, I didn't get picked on much. A few Doogie Howser jokes were made (Even though the show was over for how long by then??), but I was adopted as something of a mascot--if I was in your class, you were lucky. And thankfully, it wasn't just because I was good at taking notes. Although there were a few rather large football players that I had to help tutor over the years.

All in all, beyond my disgusting amounts of intelligence and the rapid birth of two younger sisters when I was ten (nine months apart; my parents wasted no time!) my life was as normal as it could be, until I was about sixteen. When you're sixteen, you learn to drive a car. So I was in summer school, the summer I was to turn sixteen, because when you're in the doctorate programs in college, they assume you already know how to drive. That in itself was uneventful. It was when I hotwired my father's DeLorean that things started to happen.

You see, my father's car wasn't really just a DeLorean. Turns out he was Pythagorus, my father's familiar, bound into the shape of said car. He wasn't pleased by my attempt to hotwire him, and took me someplace I've never been, and never hope to be again. If I recall correctly, he called it the Dark Umbre, or something like that. Anyway, we had a sort, and he did end up taking me back home, but the nightmares from that triggered my own Awakening over the next fortnight or so. And thus began a new facet of my education, and the revelation that both of my parents were mages.

Being a doctorate student in a number of fields, I had plenty of research opportunities. That, in fact, is where I got the chassis that was to become Black Sunshine from. I helped build her, and, as a 'gift,' they said, my mother and father did the rest--programmed her somehow, and set a form of intelligence into the simple car body (simple, ha! Top of the line, with the new hybrid technology I introduced--and what does it matter if she's an automatic? I'll never have to worry about her stalling out at inopportune times if I made a wrong move. What my best friend sees in a stick shift, I will never know!). Unfortunately, research doesn't pay well, which is why I ended up auditioning when one of the strip clubs opened up a male review. It wasn't something I thought I'd actually pass, but I surprised myself, I guess, and they did call me back. It didn't last long, though. Mostly because I see myself as a serious Scientist and...stripping isn't conducive to that. It was fun while it lasted, though."

For the past two or three years since he came to Rhydin from Pittsburgh, he's been gainfully employed at a school called Northedge Academy as their chemistry teacher. There is speculation that he might be made the Dean after the current one steps down. Too bad he won't have the opportunity. But not really.

Sample post: When Stephen had suggested to his best friend that they go drag racing, he never expected to black out someplace on the streets of Pittsburgh and wake up in a slime ball. Had someone suggested that to him--and had they been a mage, he'd ask if they were suffering from Paradox backlash. Or he'd think they were babbling something hot off the grill of their personal Quiet. More or less, crazy. He ran a hand through his slime-soaked hair, watching it splat against the floor in a blob of goo.

"Gross," he muttered. That stuff was never going to come out. He just knew it.

Magic, mutant, or otherwise metahuman abilities: According to Mage: the Ascension, there are nine Spheres of Magick (card tricks are magic, the real thing has a K at the end). Most Mages don't have all 9, so I'm going to try to be as brief as I can.

Correspondence(2)-- Many Mages never attain this level of understanding. The mage has now shattered the spatial illusion of physical reality. While his understanding is far from complete, the mage can now use the Correspondence Point as a gateway of sorts to extend his normal sensory perceptions beyond his immediate environment.

Forces(3)--The mage can now create the Lesser Forces (electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths, electricity, magnetism) from nothing. No longer does he need an existing source of energy to bend to his will; he can produce the forces himself. (Of course, if there are Lesser Forces already present, life's much easier!) Streams of electrical energy can be produced. Fields of concentrated beams (lasers) of radiation can be created, and powerful magnetic fields can be summoned to allow the mage control over metallic objects. As with all of the three Pattern magicks (Life, Forces, Matter), the act of creation requires some understanding of the Sphere of Prime (in order for the mage to fuel Quintessence through her newly woven Pattern to create the Lesser Forces). Therefore all effects using Forces 3 are conjunctional, requiring Prime 2.

Matter(3)-- At the third rank of Matter, the mage can finally overpower the rigid Patterns of matter. By selectively altering different threads within a Pattern, he is now able to change the shape of any inanimate object. The mage can also alter specific Pattern threads and thereby change some properties of substances, such as their boiling or melting points, or their density. The other major effect available to Rank Three Disciples is called Pattern disassociation. Through Pattern disassociation, a mage can alter the Pattern of an inanimate object, preventing it from interacting with some other reality Pattern the mage selects. The object will then become immaterial and nonexistent in regard to the other reality Pattern from which it was disassociated.

Prime(2)--The mage realizes the existence of a seemingly infinite pool of Quintessence that exists throughout reality. This Quintessence is free, not bound into any Patterns. If the mage is knowledgeable enough in one of the three spheres of Pattern magick, he may divert a trickle from this great pool of Quintessence into a pattern of his own creation. In the case of Patterns that create life, the mage sets up a stream of Quintessence to feed the created Pattern.

Time(2)--The mage can now shift his perceptions forward of back in time. Postcognition's results are certain; but more taxing to perform. Precognition is easier, but its results tend to be uncertain, especially the farther into the future and/or the more specific the event the mage attempts to foresee. Mages who frequently use this power tend to experience spontaneous flashes of pre- or postcognition. These flashes range from feelings of deja vu to vivid, dreamlike trances fortelling danger.

There are far more specialized Rotes that can be performed, but this is a generic overview.

More importantly, there's a sort of system of checks and balances that Reality puts in place. I figure on Stacy, this will be less enforced, but I can't see Paradox NOT existing there. Basically, when a mage exerts the force of magick to change the world in spectacular ways, he violates the accepted nature of reality, and a Paradox results. Often the result ranges from inconvenient side-effects to disaster.

Worse, since mages recognize the mutable vision of reality, it's possible for them to become lost in a world of their own creation. Sometimes it's difficult to separate truth from fancy or magic from the mundane. In severe cases, when a mage's senses are overcome, he withdraws from reality and becomes lost in his own magickal world. Although some may mistake this state for insanity, mages recognize it as the victim's mind being overcome with the grandeur of the Tapestry and the power of possibility. Such a state is called Quiet.

A mage in Quiet sees or hears things that aren't there, becomes obsessed or withdrawn or otherwise suffers a shift in personality. Quiets don't strike with any predictable regularity. Rather, they tend to result from extremely bad Paradox Backlashes or magickal trauma.

Again, this is a generic overview of Bad Things that can happen to bad little mages.

Non-superhuman special abilities of note: He's trained in Aikido, thanks to his best friend, the Akashic Brother Morgan Knight.

Also, rather notably, he's a crossdresser. So he has a killer fashion sense, even if it leads more towards helping out the ladies than making himself look uber slick in men's clothes. In ladies' wear, that's another story. Well. Maybe that's more a "speshul" ability...oh well.


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Stephen Valkonan

June 2010

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