Doctor Lucian Ballad
At least where his corporeal existence is concerned, Doctor Ballad is a normal human. Well, a normal human that runs a famous Dream Clinic to help Keith Remsen, the so-called Nightmask, use his powers in a professional and responsible manner. While he coaches Nightmask in the use of his dream projection, however, Doctor Ballad himself possesses no powers at all.
Limitations / Enhancements:
Weakness / Perfume: while he is otherwise possessed of respectable fortitude, Lucian Ballad (as is his twin brother, Tullius) highly allergic to a certain brand of perfume that is unrevealed, yet quite popular. When exposed to this perfume, Lucian will immediately break out in painful hives, and all of his traits will drop to rank value 2, doing so for 1d100 turns.
the Remsen Recorder: developed by the late parents of Keith and Teddy Remsen, this remarkable device allows a body to tune in on the brain-wave patterns of the dreaming mind. This cybernetic equipment could theoretically allow a body to merge his dreaming mind with that of another sleeping person, though it was never developed to this capacity.
Unfortunately, the Remsens were slain by Doctor Horst Kleinmann before they could accomplish this. However, with Keith and Teddy's blessings, Doctor Lucian Ballad has taken this device and used it to study Keith's dream powers, and the effect he has on people when in their dreaming minds. Someday, they may even be able to turn the device into an equivalent of Kleinmann's Dream Machine!
Stubborn: while he's generally an open minded scientist, Doctor Ballad is known to have a stubborn streak a mile wide. He doesn't let much dissuade him once he's made up his mind about something, being a rather obstinate cuss. But should he wish to reconsider his position on a given subject, Lucian must first pass a Willpower ACT roll at a -2 RS.
Psychology 2: Doctor Ballad is a highly regarded psychologist, well known throughout his profession. He's treated the many and various mental problems of hundreds of patients, helping to cure them of their peculiar ills. In game terms, this grants him a +2 RS on all ACT rolls pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses, in all their various forms.
Doctor Ballad can easily rely upon Keith Remsen, the Nightmask, for aid should he need it, as well as anybody else from the Ballad Dream Institute he formed (Teddy Remsen and Lita Mercado). Furthermore, having known Mambo Matilda for several years, Ballad could likely rely upon her magical prowess to help him if he required it; after all, he has done so in the past.
Finally, having worked for the US government to facilitate the health of its various paranormal draftees, Lucian could likely get aid from them if they thought he were still vital to their interests. And he is, really, what with his extensive knowledge of the paranormal mind, and how it functions (thanks to his rather exhaustive studies of Keith and his powers).
Lucian doesn't wear a costume. He's not a super hero by any stretch of the term, nor does he wish to be. However, he does have a tendency to wear the exact same clothing from day to day. This consistent looks mainly consists of a navy blue suit while at work, though he often adds a lab coat over this if he plans to work in a laboratory environment.
You could easily describe Doctor Ballad as a sturdy, rock-solid, professional man. He does his best to remain stoic and logical in the face of the irrational, which helped him to deal with Keith Remsen and his particular mental abilities. However, he is open to dealing with the fantastic, given proof of its existence, and can react to deal with it accordingly.
Real Name: Doctor Lucian Ballad
Occupation: psychologist, paranormal researcher
Legal Status: naturalized American citizen with no criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: none
Height: 6' 0"
Hair: black, going gray
Weight: 170 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: none
Lucian Ballad was born and raised on the island nation of Haiti, alongside his twin brother Tullius. When he was seventeen, he first met and befriended one Doctor Salinger, whose open charity convinced him to become a doctor himself. Discarding the voodoo ways of his family, Lucian then journeyed with Salinger to America, and put himself through college.
By the time he was done, Lucian emerged as a rather competent psychologist, and after several dedicated years of helping people, he established himself as quite a man amongst his peers. As such, he couldn't help but offer to help treat Keith and Teddy Remsen after their parents, colleagues of his, were slain in a savage bombing at the Dulles airport.
Once both of them were again conscious, Ballad assigned Lita Mercado, a physical therapist, to their biological recovery, while he attended to their mental health. His aim was to help the youths deal with the grief and misery the death of their parents had caused, but he amended this goal soon after Keith began to exhibit strange mental abilities. In fact, he had manifested amazing dream powers!
Since Keith had shown a desire to help people with his incredible abilities, Doctor Ballad decided to found an institute where he could use his powers in a professional, scientific environment. Since this would allow him to do what he wanted to, and help Doctor Ballad figure out exactly how his powers worked, Keith was more than willing to do this, and as such, the Ballad Dream Institute was born.
He headed the institute for approximately a year and a half, weathering various threats that came his way, including a savage attempt on his life at the hands of his twin brother Tullius, now a dark voodoo Bokor. However, things never last forever, and after Teddy was rendered comatose as a result of the Pitt's creation, and Keith found himself Drafted, Doctor Ballad closed the Institute down.
Having learned a lot about the super-human mind, Doctor Ballad offered his and Lita's services to the United States government, as their Draft was rumored to be bringing in paranormals to serve. Needing such expertise, the government readily took the two doctors under its wings, sending them (with the comatose Teddy) to the Bethesda naval hospital.
There, he did what he could to help facilitate the paranormal Draft. The greatest of his achievements was to convince Anastasia Inyushin, a paranormal healer who ran with Psi-Force, to help heal those damaged by their failed attempts to dodge the Draft. She did this until her friends came to collect her, since she (and her pal Kathy Ling, a telekinetic) were being held against their will.
After this incident, and the practical destruction of Washington DC during Psi-Force's fight with the Russian paranormal known as Rodstvow, Ballad and Lita continued on in their efforts to help treat mentally ill paranormals, and with Keith's help (he was working as an Army psychologist), he was able to finally snap Teddy out of her coma after a year of failed attempts.
Of course, Keith himself fell to insanity soon after, not able to deal with the horrible things he was forced to do by his government (namely, the termination of Harlan Mook). However, Keith managed to pull it together eventually, and rallied a paranormal strike force to repel an invasion of extradimensional beings bent on acquiring the Star Brand.
Once he was done with this little mission, it is assumed that, having nothing better to do, Keith and Teddy would once again come to Doctor Ballad to re-form the Ballad Dream Institute, as dream therapy was what they did best. Even if, in the interim, Keith's mental powers had grown far beyond the mere dream walking ability he wielded in the past!
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