Mambo Matilda is a normal human, physically speaking. However, she has access to powerful and dangerous knowledge, information that has made her an extremely potent Voodoo Mambo (priestess). Her powers are magical in nature, and she has several of them. The total extent of her power has yet to be revealed, but she's far from a pushover by any means!
Schooling: one of the mightiest practitioners of Voodoo on the face of the planet, if not the most powerful altogether, Matilda is an adept in this form of magic. This essentially means that she has mastered at least nine specific Voodoo spells, though not all of these have been revealed yet. Those magical powers Mambo Matilda has mastered so far include:
Vodun (s) (w): this spell, intrinsic and vital to the Voodoo school of magic, allows Matilda to perform a special ceremony that invites a Loa, a sort of spiritual entity, to inhabit her body and 'ride' it for a time. While in this possessed state, Matilda may manifest special abilities based on the nature of the Loa 'riding' her, determined on a case by case basis. This is an intensity 12 spell.
Now, if Matilda performs this ceremony for a mere exchange, it's likely she'll just attract a random Loa to 'ride' her for a time. In order to grab a specific Loa's attentions, Matilda must pass an 'impossible' difficulty vodun action, though each exchange spent performing the ceremony reduces this difficulty by one difficulty level. Or, she can learn specific entreaties, like the one below, to guarantee her success:
* Damballah Entreaty (e) (w): while the vodun spell allows Matilda to perform a ceremony to attract the attention of the Loa in general, she knows how to invite a specific entity, Damballah, to inhabit her body. This Loa grants Matilda a +4 to her Agility score, as well as the ability to escape from virtually any binding as can a snake.
In other words, this entreaty allows her to escape from any handcuffs, ropes, chains, wrestlers, or other binding attempts real easy. In fact, she makes such attempts as if the difficulty level for such an action were two levels lower than normal. For reference, this extradimensional entreaty functions at intensity 15, making this one of Matilda's most powerful spells.
Dream Projection (u) (i): Matilda has demonstrated the power to walk the various dreamscapes, much like Nightmask himself can. She can do this at intensity 10. While doing so, she replaces her lesser, physical ability scores with her mental statistics as if astrally projecting, allowing her to interact with a specific dream in a much more intense way than the dreamer normally can.
Empowerment (s) (w): Matilda has the intensity 10 ability to produce permanent magical items, devices that, once enchanted, will retain their magical power indefinitely. For example, she made a magic costume for Keith Remsen, Nightmask, which allowed her to use him as a proxy (see below). Further, this allowed him to utilize his dreaming powers while awake, though he had to keep his eyes closed to do so.
Proxy (u) (w): an interesting effect that Matilda can utilize is the power to cast her spells through another, willing person. By casting this spell on them, she can later use another spell on or through them, no matter how far the proxy may wander. Matilda can utilize this useful spell at intensity 12, allowing her to spread her influence all over the Voodoo world.
Sympathetic Magic (p) (i): by using a part of a person, such as a drop of blood or a lock of hair, Matilda can exert some influence over them. For one thing, she can peer in on what they are doing at any given time, if she can pass a desperate difficulty sympathetic magic action, or inflict intensity 10 - this spell intensity - damage to them before the spell is broken, and she must gain another bit of them.
Stereotypically, this involves grafting this part of the person into a 'voodoo doll' or some such, but it's really not necessary. The doll is merely a focus for the magic, granting her a +2 bonus to its effect. On the other hand, if she lacks a piece of her target, instead possessing only one of their possessions, Matilda casts this spell at a -2 penalty.
Warding (u) (i): with this spell, Matilda can ward an object, person, or area. Warding involves imbuing the subject with a one-shot magical effect, an effect that will go off under the right circumstances (somebody enters the warded area, or touches the warded object or person, for instance). Matilda can do this at intensity 13.
Matilda can create a ward of any nature, limited only by her own spell selection; in other words, if she can otherwise produce the magic effect, she can impregnate it into a ward she's devising. Further, it must be noted that the ward will last until triggered, and that she can only maintain so many wards at once. Thanks to her warding intensity of 13, that's precisely how many wards she can keep active simultaneously.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Belief-based Magic: Voodoo is a curious form of magic, indeed, in that it is subject to the beliefs of those it would be used upon and those watching it in action. This is why Voodoo Houngans and Mambos wear such garish, intimidating costumes - to make sure their magics work. If folks actually believe Matilda to be powerful, all of her mystic actions are made at one difficulty level lower than usual.
On the other hand, should an opponent make Matilda look foolish, stupid, or weak somehow, her power against the people involved will drop dramatically. In fact, against such persons (and the people that witnessed such an event), the difficulty of any action Matilda attempts will be increased by one difficulty level. As such, she goes out of her way to appear potent and wizened beyond her years.
History / Haiti (i): while she knows a lot about the magical community in general, Matilda is an unabashed expert on happenings in Haiti, her home. As such, she likely knows just about anything of significance concerning this nation and its history, and is a useful font for such information, should anybody think to ask her for it; after all, she don't go out of her way to make herself known to outsiders.
Lore (i): having had years and years to explore odd mysteries and magical phenomenon, Matilda can easily draw upon the knowledge typical to this talent. As such, she can identify sorcerers and sorcerous secret societies, knows all sorts of things about mystic artifacts, and understands many facts best left unknown to the rest of mankind. She may attempt related Intellect acts at a reduced difficulty.
Mambo Matilda can rely on the majority of the 'good' Voodoo community for aid should she need it, what with her being one of the most powerful practitioners of such magic on the face of the earth. Furthermore, thanks to her part in the defeat of Tullius Ballad, she can also count Keith Remsen, Teddy Remsen, and Lucian Ballad as reliable contacts, as well.
Protector: Matilda feels it is her place in life to protect others against things they cannot comprehend. As such, she utilizes her powers in the most responsible way possible - selflessly helping others. This is particularly true in regard to the threat to innocents posed by dark Voodoo Houngans and Mambos, who Matilda opposes relentlessly.
Matilda typically wears a brown T-shirt under an olive green, sleeveless long dress. Furthermore, she also wears a golden medallion on a gold chain, and a red bandana over her hair. Her general wardrobe doesn't change from this basic ensemble much, for it's a) comfortable, b) consistent, and c) helps her to maintain her 'character' as a wise and powerful Mambo.
Matilda is a wizened old woman, one who chooses to use her impressive powers for the good of others, as opposed to simply serving her own interests. This inherent goodness shines through in everything she says and does, and she probably couldn't do a bad deed if she tried. Of course, that doesn't make her soft, and if somebody starts trouble around her, she'll put them down, and hard.
Real Name: Matilda (last name unrevealed)
Occupation: Voodoo mambo (priestess)
Legal Status: Haitian citizen with no known criminal record
Marital Status: presumably single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: none
Height: 5' 3"
Weight: 93 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: none
Very little is known about the origin and background of Mambo Matilda, one of Haiti's strongest Voodoo Mambos, if not the strongest. It is known that she has spent most of her life helping others in any way that she can, and a lot of this help has come in the form of her assistance in matters of an occult nature. In short, she helps people deal with all sorts of problems, magical or otherwise.
Also, she has acted in the past to contain the ambition and power of other Voodoo Houngans or Mambos that abuse their power, or simply use it unwisely. On one such occasion, she interfered with Tullius Ballad's attempt to become even more powerful a Houngan than he already was, by slaying his hated twin brother, thus taking control of his soul.
When Tullius put his plan in action, Matilda sent her disciple, Martine, to America to warn Lucian Ballad, Tullius' brother, and his allies about what was in store for them. Tullius was too quick for her, however, and he managed to kidnap both Lucian and one of his friends, Teddy Remsen. Of course, this left her brother Keith to figure out what had happened.
When he did, he journeyed to Haiti with Martine to free them before Tullius could sacrifice them to dark powers. In order to aid him, Matilda gave Keith a magical version of his dream-time costume, his Nightmask, with which to battle the ambitious Houngan. This helped him to ultimately defeat Tullius, though it took the help of his sister to do so.
This was, of course, just one example of the help Matilda offers others when dealing with sinister magical agencies. Usually, she doesn't take a direct hand in such matters, simply choosing to aid others in subtle ways, and stepping in only when it is absolutely necessary. Not only is it easier for her to do things this way, but it helps folks to become more self-reliant!
Mambo Matilda's only disciple, Martine (a darkly beautiful Haitian girl) is merely a novice in Voodoo magic, so far only wielding the vodun (s) (w) spell itself, at intensity 7. As of her last appearance, Martine hadn't demonstrated any other capabilities, magical or otherwise, but this may have changed since then. It's been several years, after all.
As far as her personality goes, Martine is a kindly soul, though Matilda wouldn't have chosen her as a disciple if she was in it for selfish reasons. Martine readily defers to Matilda's wisdom in any given situation, since the woman is much more experienced in most matters than she. However, she's a brave and capable young lady, and can deal with matters without Matilda, if need be.
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