The Secret Garden
Attributes: Str 2, Dex 2, Sta 2, Cha 5 (charming), Man 4 (persuasive), App 1, Per 5 (patient), Int 2, Wit 1
Abilities: Alertness 1, Awareness 2, Cosmology 2, Culture 2, Expression 3, Intuition 2, Intimidation 1, Law 1, Linguistics 2, Medicine 3, Meditation 2, Occult 3, Research 3
Backgrounds: Arcane 3, Avatar 2, Familiar 1, Library 2
Spheres: Entropy 2, Life 2, Matter 2, Prime 2, Spirit 3
Specialty Foci: unknown
Unique Foci: none
Merits: Faerie Affinity
Flaws: Banshee, Echoes (irritated by salt, horses sweat, milk sours), Lifesaver
Attack: Brawl 2/2B, Beretta 2/4L
Defense: Dodge 2, Soak 2B
Move: Walk: 7 yds, Jog: 14 yds, Run: 26 yds/13 yds
Humphrey Locke – Hemlock – was raised in ancient traditions of witchcraft by his maternal grandmother Persephone Rhys. Family holidays as a child were filled with tales of the old ways, of folklore and the secrets of wise women. From Hemlock’s earliest memories, his life was entwined with Persephone’s. She taught Hemlock that their souls were twinned, and would be together in each incarnation. Through her lessons more than from any other source came his understanding of the weave of existence’s web.
Hemlock went on to study medicine at Manchester University, but always he returned to his grandmother’s hearth and a growing awareness of the magical world around him. When Hemlock graduated, Persephone sent him to Altensteig to study with the witches of the Black Forest. During the Lammas festivities there, Hemlock experienced a spiritual awakening so profound that it shattered his world-view completely. Persephone’s teachings could not have prepared him for the wonder and terror of the spirit-world. This was a degree of insight far beyond anything Hemlock’s grandmother had prepared him for. Not only was Hemlock’s awareness expanded in ways he could never have imagined, but he learned that he was not alone. Although Hemlock could not see it himself, a spirit haunted him – a banshee, harbinger of death – its visage terrible but silent. For now.
Returning home, filled with questions, Hemlock found fresh trials to be endured before he would have his answers. Not only is his village church, St. Aidan’s, watched over by his family for centuries, threatened by the growing sprawl of Manchester’s Ringway airport. But worse – Persephone is missing from her home. Unless Hemlock can his grandmother, the stones of St. Aidan’s may soon be nothing more than dust and rubble beneath a growing blanket of asphalt.
Hemlock’s Journal – 7th August 1995
I believe that my years spent studying the Arts of Wicca have finally led to a breakthrough. The Earth Mother has manifested herself in a way previously unknown to me. It would appear that she has sent a spirit to watch over me, and that with its coming, I have been changed into a being capable of performing real feats of the mind.
Not since my initiation into the Third Degree have I experienced a change so profound. I am able now to see her influence all around and to see the ways in which she colours us with her presence. That she manifests herself in different ways is also apparent. Elise was able to see a dark spirit behind me; I, however, am not. On the other hand, I am able to influence reality in a way which would seem contradictory to everything taught me by Persephone. Absurd as it may seem, I am able to recreate certain inorganic materials purely by force of will, and this without the use of ritual
Every rose, however, has its thorn, and with this newfound enlightenment I have started to experience a darker side of nature. Our mother Arcadia had endowed me with a gift, or dare I say curse (blessed is she who is both devourer and lifegiver) which enables me to see an organism’s state of decay.
Obviously, with the ability to mutate reality and life, I have been faced with the eternal certainty: the death of us all. Maybe this will be the death of me. Only time will tell. For the moment I will focus myself on the impending doom facing my village of birth. This cannot be allowed to go on.