Thursday 5 May 2016

Firuzeh Samart (Amazon, Hunter, Knitter)

I was sitting, knitting, waiting for a train a year or so ago, and it occurred to me that if I needed to, I could defend myself quite efficiently from the leering and aggressive drunkman eyeing me up from the platform - that my metal knitting needles could be a very deadly weapon in trained hands, yet no one bats an eyelid to my carrying them. And of course needles come in a range of materials, the better to defeat specific demons and monsters - the perfect weapon for a Hunter, in fact! I wanted to build a World of Darkness character in this vein, but neither I nor any nearby friends had a copy of the rulebook. But then I received the Buffy rulebook for Christmas - surely even more perfect, for what is a knitting needle but a very pointy stake?

I had the idea that this woman was an Amazon, a descendant of an ancient order of monster hunters (in my world) who had always treated the genders with equality because you don't fight about something so trivial when you understand the threats the world is facing. I'm not going into loads of detail about the order here, but in my head I've drawn inspiration from real world sources such as found on Wikipedia and stuff, and from fictional sources like the Slayer and the Watcher's Council from Buffy, and the Hunter/Men of Letters deal from Supernatural. I wanted to call her Nancy after Ruth Blackwell of Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, but a quick poll demonstrated not enough people understood the reference so I switched for a name from the region Amazons probably originated, using Behind the Name and Wikipedia as my guides, so maybe not entirely accurately).

Firuzeh was born an Amazon, a monster-killer. She was given as normal a childhood as possible, but has learnt to fight monsters since her teens and how to look for them since infancy. As a young adult, she was expected to track down and deal with minor threats on her own as the group are spread thin across the globe; as she proves herself, her tasks will become more dangerous and she will be responsible for training (and protecting) less experienced Amazons.

She's Islamic - many (but by no means all) Amazons are, converting fluidly as the religion moved through their region. But, like all Amazons, her faith is coloured by the Amazon teaches, giving a distinct flavour to her Islam. She usually wears a head covering because she finds even with her face uncovered people generally see the hijab and not the person, so it acts as a disguise of sorts.

She knits. Knitting provides a good cover for the weapons she uses against the monsters and dark forces she fights - in these days of the internet, you can get or have made knitting needles in almost any metal or wood, making it much easier to carry around that ash stake soaked in lamb's blood (you may need to soak them yourself...) without suspicion. Her complexion in the UK with current moods means she appreciates "without suspicion" (and also explains why currently more than in many centuries female Amazons are far more active than male).

Her first loyalty is to the Amazon order, but she's naturally quick to make friends: people tend to like her because she's strong-willed and sticks up for others, offering kindness where it's needed and rebukes where they're deserved. She travels a lot, but stays in touch with as many of the people she meets as she can: she loves social media.

I did two sets of stats, one for when she's first setting out on her own, maybe with a few other young Amazons on their first missions, and one a bit later when she's had some real experience. In BtVS terms, I've created her as a White Hat and as a Hero.

White Hat:
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Constitution 2, Intelligence 2, Perception 3, Will 3

Skills: Acrobatics 1, Art (knitting) 1, Getting Medieval 2 (stabbing with needles sounds pretty medieval to me), Influence 1, Knowledge 2, Kung Fu 3, Languages 2 (Persian and Scythian), Mr Fix-It 1 (cos it's handy to be able to fix your own stuff on the go), Notice 2 (if you don't see it, you can't defeat it), Occultism 1

Qualities: Contact 2 (Amazon order and various friends: I have one in particular in mind for a future post), Occult Library 1 (hand-copied from an original belonging to her aunt), Situational Awareness 2, Sorcery 1

Drawbacks: Minority -1 (British Muslim), Obligation -1 (Amazon order), Honourable -1

Attributes: Str 3, Dex 4, Con 3, Int 3, Perc 3, Will 4

Skills: Acrobatics 2, Art (knitting) 2, Crime 1 (sometimes you just need to break in), Doctor 1 (cos being able to fix yourself is often useful), Getting Medieval 3, Influence 1, Knowledge 2, Kung Fu 4, Languages 2 (Persian and Scythian), Mr Fix-It 1, Notice 2, Occultism 2

Qualities: Contact 2, Fast Reaction Time 2, Hard to Kill 3, Occult Library 2 (picked up a few extra books; some paper, some e-reader), Situational Awareness 2, Sorcery 2 (practice makes perfect), Natural Toughness 2

Drawbacks: Minority -1 (British Muslim), Obligation -2 (Amazon order: expecting more of her now), Honourable -1, Adversary (incidental) -2 (there's always one that gets away) 

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