The original Baron Blood is none other than Lord John Falsworth, a former English aristocrat who, after being bitten by none other than Dracula himself, transformed into one of the accursed undead as well. John has been further augmented by Nazi science, which has removed some - but not all - of his supernatural weaknesses.
Agelessness (s): being undead creatures, conventional vampires are close to immortal. As long as John continues to prey upon the living for their blood, and isn't slain by direct violence perpetrated against his person, he may persist in his existence indefinitely. John will typically, if at full Health, retain the appearance he possessed upon his rather unfortunate (if deserved) demise.
Animal Control (w): John has the ability to control creatures commonly considered vermin, such as bats, rats, roaches, and wolves, at a level equal to his Willpower score +4 (in John's case, at intensity 12). These creatures act as if they were an extension of John's existence, and will gladly do whatever he commands, even if they die in the process.
Animal Hybridization / Self (a): John originally had the intensity 10 ability to transform into at least two distinct animal forms, thanks to his encounter with Dracula. However, in exchange for the removal of his vulnerability to sunlight, John has lost his ability to change shape. Should he reverse this treatment, John could once again assume both of these forms:
* Bat Form (a): this versatile form, while somewhat small, reduces John's physical ability scores to intensity 1, but grants him intensity 1 flight, +2 claw and fang attacks, and intensity 5 Sonar, per that power. This, of course, makes up for a bat's downright lousy sense of vision, and is a great way to sneak up on folks not expecting him to take this form.
* Wolf Form (a): instead of merely changing into a bat, John may someday regain the power to transform into a wolf, instead. This more powerful form reduces his physical ability scores to 4, but offers the risen fiend a +2 bite attack (usable in conjunction with his biological vampirism), and intensity 5 Super Senses / Smell, per that power, allowing John to track a target by scent.
Biological Vampirism (i): a classic, blood-sucking vampire, John has a strongly limited form of this power, which allows him to derive sustenance solely from the living blood of animal creatures. On contact with a potential target, John may begin to feed upon them if he can pass an easy difficulty Biological Vampirism (willpower) action, which isn't too difficult at its intensity of 10.
This assumes that John has managed to access their target's bloodstream, of course, which involves either opening the target's skin (most often with his fangs) or by clamping his mouth onto an already open wound. In a single exchange, John may draw out up to ten ounces of blood, which is enough to render a normal human dizzy - but won't actually inflict lethal harm in and of itself.
Unless such a singular attack would remove all the victim's Health, that is. John may continue to drain blood from his victim after this initial attack, though this furthers the risk of killing the victim (thus creating more vampires), as well as the possibility of the victim shrugging off the attack and gaining immunity to John's draining ability (thus becoming a potential nemesis).
At any rate, John may use the drained blood to replace his own, lost Health. If at full Health when drinking his power intensity in ounces of blood, John will experience a +1 boost to his Strength and Willpower scores, as well as all of his power intensities save for this one, for the duration of the encounter. An additional boost of like power requires another infusion of fresh blood.
On the other hand, John will suffer a -1 penalty to the aforementioned ability scores and power intensities for each day he abstains from feeding (whether voluntarily or otherwise). If John's ability scores and power intensities slip to zero (0) from an extended lack of blood, he will not die so much as slip into stasis - at least, until someone is foolish enough to wander into melee distance of him...!
As an undead creature, John cannot defeat his dependence on blood - he literally needs it to survive.
Environmental Independence (s): as an anti-life monstrosity, John only needs to satisfy the limitations of his vampiric power to subsist. In other words, while he must feed upon the blood of others to live, John no longer needs - nor can he derive sustenance from - ordinary food or water, and no longer needs to breathe to maintain his bodily functions. John still needs to sleep semi-regularly, however.
Fangs (s): John has the dreadful ability to attack his opponents with deadly fangs, which are often a prelude to a life draining attack. These +2 instruments are quite potent, but usually aren't used to lethal effect (again, they're mostly just an opening for a life drain attack, which John can use concurrently with a teeth attack - scary, eh?).
Flight (a): like many other vampires, John has the ability to fly unaided, regardless of the form he is currently wearing. He can move about with this power at around ninety miles per hour, making it an intensity 3 flight ability. Furthermore, John doesn't really need the weird flaps that come with his costume; these merely add 1 to any aerial actions John must attempt.
Mesmerism (w): this dreadful intensity 10 power, which can be achieved by eye contact, allows John to control the actions of another person if he passes an easy mind control action, opposed by the target's Willpower score. If John commands a body to commit an action diametrically opposed to their morals, John must make another action to reinforce his control, lest his prey break free.
Regeneration (s): highly resistant to conventional injury to begin with, John also has the benefit of healing from attacks that do hurt him incredibly fast. Wielding this ability at intensity 10, this allows John to recover one card (or an amount of health equal to the card number) upon a positive aura reading on each exchange, or a neutral aura reading as long as the card number is less than 10.
Transformation / Self (a): John formerly had the intensity 6 power to transform his body into an eerie mist. His gaseous form provided John an additional intensity 8 (+2) resistance to physical attacks, as well as intensity 1 flight (thirty miles per hour). In this form he could even force himself into a foe's lungs, gaining control over their body per his mesmerism power (easy difficulty Transformation / Self (strength) action).
Weather Control (i): unlike most vampires, John has the ability to manipulate existing weather patterns to some extent. He wields this dangerous power at intensity 8, allowing him to create and modify weather patterns to destructive effect in his locality. He has no known stunts based on this power as of yet, but he has an eternity to develop them!
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Vampiric Constraints: while immortals are permanently slain only by total body disintegration, destruction on their home plane, or being killed by a fellow immortal, traditional vampires are instead beholden to a completely different set of constraints. John's own situation has seen him develop a large array of vulnerabilities, including the following hindrances:
* Requirement / Home Soil: some vampires, like John, need a small amount (several pounds) of their native soil with them for some unknown reason. If such soil isn't adjacent to him while he sleeps, John cannot heal damage inflicted to his body - either thanks to his regeneration power or by dint of the consumed blood of his many, many victims.
* Susceptibility / Direct Sunlight: if exposed to direct sunlight (not mere daylight conditions but actual rays of light from the sun, whether directly or via a reflected surface), vampires lose one card of Health in damage each exchange. This is usually enough to turn most of these undead to dust in short order - which is why they must act through intermediaries during the day.
John is an exception to this rule, however, in that he has received special biochemical treatments from Nazi scientists that allow him to spend extended periods of time in raw sunlight. In fact, he can go over half an hour under the sun without undue discomfort, and can be active during the day. All day. However, this treatment has cost John his ability to change shape.
* Susceptibility / Silver: the mere touch of silver causes John harm, reducing his Health by one card each exchange. Furthermore, attacks made against John with silver weapons or projectiles bypasses his physical protection as if it didn't exist, and such damage cannot be regenerated; it will merely heal at the normal rate for a character of similar Edge.
* Susceptibility / Wooden Stakes: if John is pierced in the heart (with a killing blow) via some wooden object, he will instantly lose all of his remaining Health. Unless he can pass a daunting difficulty Strength action immediately, John will crumble to dust in rapid order, the anti-life which sustains his monstrous existence fleeing his now-uninhabitable corpse all at once.
* Weakness / Holy Symbols: John is susceptible to the will of a truly faithful person, focused through a symbol holy to their religion. When such an individual brandishes this symbol at him, John will see all of his ability scores reduced to zero (0), and his supernatural powers will no longer function. This lasts as long as he remains within near missile distance of the symbol.
Detective / Espionage (i): serving as a chief assassin amongst German intelligence agencies through two World Wars, John has most likely been trained in proper espionage techniques. As such, he is well versed in surveillance and information gathering techniques.
Languages / English and German (i): John is native to the United Kingdom, of course, and as such, can speak proper English naturally. However, after offering his services to the German people for over ten years, John has managed to pick up German as a second tongue.
Lore (i): being a supernatural monstrosity himself, and having studied the occult for years between the two World Wars, John can be considered an authority on occult matters. Such matters include ancient magical artifacts, beings of power, and magical powers.Medicine (i): after his fourth resurrection, John pried everything he could out of the mind of Dr. Cromwell, an English physician. This took some time but John can now effectively act as a doctor, should he feel the need to. This could come in quite handy when raiding blood banks, etc...
An adherent of the Nazi philosophy, John likely can call upon others of like mindsets to assist him in a pinch; he was a card-carrying member of that party back in World War II after all. Other than that, and any vampires he has created since his most recent resurrection, John Falsworth has few other contacts that he can rely upon in the modern age - at least, not yet.
Vengeance: plain and simple, John's existence has revolved around his getting even with his family for denying him what John believed he deserved, that being a big piece of the family pie. Upon his revival as a vampire, he has bent every personal resource towards the destruction of the Falsworth line, a mission that has ultimately corrupted his mind, body, and soul.
John's costume had a dark purple center, which spread out to cover the outside of the suit's arms, and ended in gloves. It also had a light purple exterior, which became the interior of the arms as the darker segment overlapped it. Additionally, it had a light gray collar, an odd purple hood which projected fabric, bat-like ears out from his head, and bat-like gliding flaps along the sides.
These improve his aerial maneuvering by +1 CS.
John is a hateful soul, resenting his family after being denied what he thought was his proper inheritance, and loathing England for harboring the aristocrats in the first place. As such, he enjoyed working for the German government, as it allowed him uncanny opportunities to strike back at England and, of course, the Falsworths - who he wishes to destroy to this very day.
Real Name: Lord John Falsworth
Occupation: undead criminal, former assassin for German intelligence agencies during World War 1 and 2
Legal Status: citizen of the United Kingdom, legally deceased
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: John Falsworth, Jr., Dr. Charles Cromwell
Group Affiliation: former member of the Super-Axis
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 140 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: John's canine teeth are particularly prominent, whether or not he is feeding. Furthermore, his eyes grow red when wielding any of his vampiric powers.
Lord John Falsworth's story is a bitter one, beginning the day his elder brother inherited the majority of the family's estate thanks to the British tradition of primogeniture. Hating his family for denying him what he believed he deserved, John set out to find his fortune in Europe, eventually winding up in Romania. There, he sought out the dread vampire Dracula.
You see, Falsworth believed that Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula, was a true account, and thought that if he found the monster that tome described, he could gain a potent tool for the acquisition of power. However, upon finding Dracula's home, the elder vampire defeated John with ease, and drank all of his blood. Three days later, the younger Falsworth awoke anew as a vampire himself.
Under Dracula's control, John was ordered to return to England to wreak havoc; the elder vampire's old enemy, Abraham Van Helsing, hailed from there, and Dracula wished to distract this foe for a time. However, John thought it wiser to offer his services to the German government, to gain the resources of a nation in his appointed task.
Relishing their new, meta human agent, the Germans then dubbed him Baron Blood, gave him a frightening bat-inspired costume, and set him loose as a dangerous spy. During many of his missions against England, Falsworth ran afoul of a team of heroes known as the Freedom's Five, one member of which, Union Jack, was his brother!
Battling these lovers of freedom in many nations, John was never able to win in any of these encounters. In fact, Union Jack managed to rout John permanently after assaulting him with silver weaponry, and after this final defeat, he fled to parts unknown until after the war. Between World War 1 and 2, John studied the occult to better understand himself and his powers.
When the Nazi regime took control in Germany years later, the diabolical Baron saw its leaders as kindred spirits, and gladly volunteered similar espionage services to this new government. This time around, German scientists altered his body to make it highly resistant to the sunlight that would otherwise slay him in seconds. Of course, this boon cost him the use of his shape-changing powers.
Nonetheless, John reveled in his newly found freedom of movement, and returned to England to cause havoc anew. However, John was once again opposed by his brother, Union Jack, and a newer team of super heroes, known as the Invaders! This conflict ended with John's first fatality, as he ultimately fell on a silver-laced stalagmite at the end of this conflict.
This condition didn't last, however, and John was resurrected some time afterward by the evil Lady Lotus, who had dreams of conquest and wished to assemble a team of super-Nazi operatives to help her achieve her goal. This team, consisting of herself, John, Master Man, Warrior Woman, and the aquatic U-Man, was quite a destructive force to be reckoned with.
Lady Lotus' plot ultimately failed, though, and by the end of a battle with the Invaders, John was slain yet again, this time with a stake through the heart - courtesy of Namor. Proving rather difficult to dispose of permanently, John returned to undeath once more, and quickly set about getting vengeance on his slayer. He started by corrupting one of Namor's Irish lovers, transforming her into a vampire, as well!
Returning to Germany after this dark deed, John was put to further use by his Nazi commanders. He served on the front lines often, doing considerable damage to Allied forces, and dining well all the while. When he wasn't engaged in such wet work, the Baron aided other Nazi operatives in their endeavors. Not tied to any one location or division, John could be encountered almost anywhere within Axis territory!
After the war, John found himself on the run from various Nazi hunters, and ultimately wound up joining the mysterious, highly illegal American government group known as Icon - at least, until he was slain yet again. Since he was a member of the English aristocracy, however evil and treasonous he may be, John was entombed in the Tower of London - he was technically royalty, after all.
John was not fated to remain inert forever, however. You see, years later, one Doctor Charles Cromwell, at the behest of Dracula himself, managed to collect the remains of John Falsworth and revive them with Dracula's aid. Upon his fourth resurrection, John learned all he could of Cromwell's medical knowledge, and took control of the hapless man.
He then situated Cromwell near Falsworth manor, and transforming the doctor into a vampire, set him loose on the local populace. Meanwhile, John himself began slaying several locals, and then draining their blood afterward, to prevent the creation of new vampires and to disguise his own presence. The locals eventually found Cromwell, however, and did him in by burning his house down.
John's aging brother, despite appearances, believed his brother to be behind these vicious happenings, and called for aid from Captain America. Upon his arrival in England, Cap found out that the skeleton resting in the Tower of London was false, and quickly made for Falsworth Manor. There, he discovered John, posing as the deceased Dr. Cromwell!
John's plan, you see, was to wait until his brother was old and decrepit, and then to transform him into a vampire, so he would be forced to live out eternity as a shriveled up monster. Before he could accomplish this, however, Captain America managed to slay the Baron by severing his head with his shield, and then burned his body down to ashes.
Making precautions against his further revival, Captain America then buried the piles of ash, one for his head and the other for his other remains, in two separate locations. Believing his brother's menace to be over at long last, the current Lord Falsworth was then able to die in peace, and did so very soon afterward; he'd apparently been hanging on to make sure this had happened.
Many, many years later, John was brought back from the dead - a fifth resurrection. Despite Captain America's considerable precautions in dealing with John's corpse, he has risen anew as a result of a prophecy revealed by Lucas Cross, Blade's 'father'. As such, through no machinations of his own, John has been returned to his unlife anew, and stalks the earth once more.
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