No tricks here, friends! Just a treat for you for this Halloween: a preview glimpse of our forthcoming Cold Steel Wardens book, CSW: Rogues’ Gallery.
Unlike most “monster manual”-type rpg books, Rogues’ Gallery is written from the perspective of an in-game character, the cynical, phasing, private-detective Sawbones. Do keep in mind, this is preview material and is subject to change, as we’re in development and revision. Regardless, here’s Sawbones’ view on He11ion!
Street Identity: He11ion (also, Hellion)
Civilian Identity: Simone Kirkman
The first time I met He11ion, she shot me in the face.
Granted, I was kind of sneaking up on her, trying to figure out who the pistol-packing looney-toon was that was prowling around St. Ignatius, but she whipped around and unloaded four rounds into my head.
Remember how I said that the whole ‘phasing through bullets’ thing was easier said than done? Yeah, well…let’s just say that I’m glad that I had all that practice. Otherwise, yours truly wouldn’t be able to write all this down.
He11ion’s a study in contradictions to be sure. On the outside, she looks like she belongs in the crowd at a Slipknot concert or working at the Hot Topic in the Miatanka Mall. Trip pants, ripped up wifebeater tank-top, shoulder holsters, you name it. But in reality? She’s every bit the good little Catholic girl that her appearance screams to the contrary.
I won’t get into her past; she’d be pissed if I did, but after we worked together a few times and shared a bottle of Captain Morgan, she opened up a bit. That girl had a hell of a life as a kid. It probably fucked her up something fierce, hence the mask, guns, and tendency to wander the streets at 2am, looking for a fight.
He11ion’s quite the pistolero and is fairly good in a scrap, but the church has got its hooks in her something fierce. She never misses mass at St. Iggy’s, going at least twice a week, plus a weekly trip to Saturday confession. Her apartment is outright covered in crazy religious books; she calls most of them ‘Apocrypha’–books that were excised from different versions of the Bible over time. Yeah. Pretty intense, that.
It all comes down, I suppose, to the pistol she keeps slung across her back. She calls it the Sangraal, and I’ve never seen a gun like it. It definitely doesn’t look like the .357s she keeps in the shoulder holsters, and certainly not like anything I ever fired on the academy firing range.
Have you ever seen a gun breathe?
The Sangraal did. I nearly jumped out of my skin. It looks like it’s made of metal, though it has this ornate carving across the barrel and stock that would make you think it’s a piece of art and not a real gun. When He11ion picked it up, the damned thing literally let out a sigh. Barrel moved and everything.
Look, I don’t don’t truck much with the crazy, wack-a-doo occult stuff that goes in the NC. I know there are plenty that do: cultists and street-preachers and worse. But on the whole? I don’t think that there’s one big Creator up there and even if there was, I’d probably give him a piece of my mind about making New Corinth such a shithole for his beloved children.
He11ion claims that after she ran away from home for the fourth time, she ended up living in an alley near St. Ignatius. It was February, so she was half-frozen and starving to death, when she claims she was visited by Saint Malachi, glowing with streaming light and holding a burning spear. Apparently, Saint Malachi thought it’d be a great idea to turn her into an “instrument of Heavenly retribution” and handed her the spear, which turned into her pistol as soon as he passed it over.
The details are a little sketchy from there–He11ion cites a bunch of Biblical bullshit from her books–but she says that Malachi marked her forehead with the Mark of Wormwood, which allows her to detect “unrepentant sin”. The Sangraal, meanwhile, fires bullets of flaming brimstone, which have to be harvested from the bodies of unrepentant sinners. The gun holds 11 rounds: one for each of the “true apostles of Christ.” Yeah. I know. Creepy. I’m not touching that mess with a ten foot pole.
Since that day, He11ion’s been floating around New Corinth, mainly in North Arlington, Grey’s Park, and Carriage Hill, taking down whomever needs taken care of. No idea how, but she’s managed to stay off the news thusfar; that’s got to be a lot harder when your sidearm shoots fireballs! We’ve worked together on a few cases here and there…and I might have made a drunken pass at her. Yeah, so sue me–Captain Morgan fucks with my head. Turns out she’s playing for the other team, actually. No harm, no foul, though; we’re still on pretty good terms.
In-Character Document: News Article–Aftermath of He11ion’s Escapades
New Corinth Post-Tribune: March 14th
“Rape Suspect Found Dead; Body Burned”
The Miatanka County Coroner’s office is piecing together a strange case this morning as the body of James Ratliff, 34, of Carriage Hill was found in an alley in the suburbs surrounding Adams College. Ratliff was burned over 85% of his body, though none of the area surrounding Ratliff showed any signs of fire, burns, or destruction of any sort.
Crime scene investigators were quick to note that the cause of Ratliff’s death was, in fact, the fire itself, which would imply some sort of self-immolation or method of suicide. However, investigators detected no traces of gasoline, lighter fluid, or other combustible. Medical examiner Paul Arnleif commented that he had “never seen anything like this. It’s almost as if he just burst into flame on his own.” Arnleif added that he believed a full autopsy would provide more answers.
This incident comes just four days after Ratliff was released on bail; Ratliff was arrested three weeks ago as the primary suspect in the rape of Adams College student Gennifer Strickland, who was on her way home from a party off-campus. Strickland successfully identified Ratliff from a police lineup, and his DNA was a 94% match to that found via a police rape kit. Ratliff was being held on $40,000 bond, which was paid by an unknown benefactor.
The dead, slain by He11ion’s Sangraal pistol, have begun to come back to life, swearing to continue the crimes perpetrated during their lives.
He11ion has a deep-seated fear that the being that called itself Saint Malachi was not actually an angel or a saint. Rather, the hellfire pistol is, quite literally, the right hand of the devil itself.
What happens with an artifact like the Sangraal falls into the wrong hands? Who knows how much damage the Sangraal might cause when the user runs out of the ‘living bullets’ that the gun feeds upon?