Keith Remsen is a paranormal, a formerly average young man that was granted strange and wonderful powers in the aftermath of the White Event - potent dream-based abilities that only grew in both power and utility as timed passed (even if his control did not). After the so-called Black Event, Keith's powers were greatly expanded, although his grip on his sanity slowly declined as well.
Astral Projection (w): after he emerged from his self-imposed exile in a mental hospital, Keith found that he can now project his mind into the waking world, via the astral plane, though nobody can sense his Nightmask unless he affects them with his illusion power. Keith can astrally project at intensity 5, though this power is bound by the Dreaming limitation (he must be asleep to activate this power).
So far, Keith has only demonstrated this power stunt with his astral projection ability:
* Dimensional Transit (i): Keith has demonstrated this parability only once while astrally projecting, as his dreaming awareness was able to touch the mind of the current bearer of the Star Brand, who was then in the Marvel Universe (as opposed to his New Universe). Now that his world is sealed off from the rest of the cosmos, it is unknown whether or not Keith can still wield this ability.
Dream Projection (w): Keith's primary power is his ability to project his mind into the short-lived pocked dimensions created by the subconscious mind while it dreams. He can do this at intensity 15. While in said pocket dimension, Keith must modify his ability scores as if he were astrally projecting, which allows him to interact physically with the dream to greater effect.
Illusion Projection (w): after the Pitt incident, Keith began to manifest this ability, if uncontrollably, whether or not he was dream walking. Functioning at intensity 10, Keith can use this power to warp people's sensory input, slowly twisting their surroundings into a bizarre mish-mash of terrifying imagery. Though uncontrolled at first, Keith has slowly mastered this ability. More or less.
Precognition (i): this is another power that emerged as a result of Keith's long stay in a mental asylum. This power works at intensity 5, though it is completely out of Keith's control. You see, it is bound by both the Dreaming and the Intermittent limitations; in other words, Keith sees precognitive flashes only while he's asleep, and then, only at critical junctures in the space-time continuum.
Sensory Link (w): thanks to a unique psychic link, Keith can share his dream walking experiences with his little sister, Teddy. This link works constantly, whether or not Keith or Teddy is conscious, which may explain why Keith's Nightmask ran totally amok while Teddy was in a coma, suffering from the psychic backlash caused by the creation of the Pitt... This power functions at intensity 15.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Guilt-Ridden: though no longer insanely guilty over the Harlan Mook debacle, Keith nonetheless feels guilt over the whole ordeal, and strives to prevent himself from making another, similar mistake. However, his ability scores are effectively treated as zero (0) if Keith is placed in a similar situation. In other words, if he calls a body sane, and that fellow goes off on a rampage, Keith suffers from this effect.
Costume: Keith was given a real life version of his Nightmask costume by Mambo Matilda, a powerful Voodoo priestess. Though its exact capabilities are unknown, it supposedly 'gave him strength', and allowed Matilda to focus her magic through it. This effectively allowed Keith to use his dreaming powers while he was awake, before he gained his illusion projection power (while he was fighting Tullius Ballad).
Now that he's gaining additional control over the waking minds of people (with his illusion projection), it is unknown exactly what effect this costume has on Keith and his abilities. It's likely that he may have more control over his illusion projection, being able to fully use it as is described in the Game Book. Or, he may simply receive a +2 modifier to the power intensity, but still have control issues to resolve.
Acrobatics (a): Keith is considerably nimble. He can do the rope-swinging, tumbling, the walking-on-small-edges thing (and a whole lot more) with ease. Further, he can lower the difficulty of actions made to dodge attacks and reduce falling damage by one difficulty level.
Guns (a): thanks to his military training, Keith has the ability to effectively use most hand-held firearms. In fact, when making attacks with such weapons, he can reduce the difficulty of such attacks by one difficulty level.
Manipulation (w): having had lots of practice, Keith can use his mental powers to manipulate a person into doing something he wants, though if anybody is familiar with him or his powers, they'll realize what he's up to.
Military (w): having been Drafted after the Pitt incident, Keith knows how to function within military protocols. Furthermore, he can effectively decipher military plans, and can even lead a body of troops, should he need to (though not as well as can a body with the leadership skill).
Psychology (i): due to oodles of training by his late parents, Doctor Ballad, and the US military, Keith fully understands the human mind and how it works. He can use this skill to help heal mental damage, over time, and to determine whether or not a body is under mind control.
Keith could easily rely upon anybody from the Ballad Dream Institute for aid if he should need it; this includes Doctor Lucian Ballad, Lita Mercado, and of course, his sister, Teddy. Furthermore, since he's been drafted, Keith could likely rely upon the US Army as a contact, as they sort of needed him to determine the stability of their paranormal recruits.
In addition to the above allies, Keith has worked with the paranormal known as Justice on several occasions, and he's likely a reliable contact. Especially since Keith pretty much helped him to get his mind back after a year of believing he was some sort of extradimensional warrior.
Explorer, then Uncontrolled Power, and now Peace of Mind: when he first gained his powers, Keith used them to explore the far reaches of the human mind. He lost this enthusiasm after the Pitt, however, when his powers raged uncontrollably in the minds of others. After he killed Harlan Mook, Keith went insane, though he has finally come to terms with his inner demons, and again acts as a hero.
While working for the Army, Keith simply wears military fatigues. However, while he's in people's heads as Nightmask, he wears black stretch fabric suit under a long black vest that tapers into thin strips of fabric towards the bottom; the chest of his outfit has a sort of crackling energy effect imprinted on it. In addition to his black boots and gloves, Keith wears a mask while in people's dreams.
In case they might recognize him in the real world.
Despite the fact that he was in the Army for a time, Keith is still quite the eager beaver, his desire to help others often making him rather impulsive. Though he went through some dark times, involving both his powers and the ramifications of his mistake about Harlan Mook's sanity, Keith is once again doing everything he can to help the world.
Real Name: Lt. Keith Remsen, Retired
Occupation: psychologist, formerly working for the United States Army
Legal Status: American citizen with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: the United States Army
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: has a crescent moon-shaped scar on his forehead, a scar that glows when he uses his dream powers.
Keith Remsen was an aspiring psychology student that was being sent to study with the venerable Doctor Horst Kleinmann, who'd taught his parents (also psychologists) everything they knew about their respective field. However, when he was at the airport, a bomb was detonated in the immediate vicinity of his family, and Keith's life was forever changed.
His parents were killed, his little sister was permanently paralyzed from the waist down, and Keith himself was rendered comatose after a bomb fragment wedged itself into his skull. Months later, during the mysterious 'White Event', Keith awoke with a start, having apparently recovered from all his injuries save for that one bomb fragment in his head, which the doctors couldn't safely remove.
Since it wasn't hurting him by just being there, they left it. So, save for a few minor scars (and one prominent one on his forehead, in the shape of a crescent moon), Keith was relatively okay, if out of shape. After being bed-ridden for so long, Keith was in terrible shape, and required intensive physical therapy before he would be able to function normally in society.
Beginning his physical therapy (with Lita Mercado) and his mental counseling (with Doctor Ballad), Keith slowly began to pull his life back together. However, while he was recovering, he started to notice that he was having bizarre dreams. Vivid dreams. And, strangest of all, he was having dreams inside the minds of other people!
The first time Keith did this, he discovered who the man was that had bombed his family, as he was also caught in the blast (he was the dreamer, whose bomb went off too early). Keith then decided to keep hitting this man's dreams until he discovered who had sicced him on the Remsen family. While in the man's head, he discovered another dream traveler mucking about: Doctor Horst Kleinmann!
Apparently, the Doctor had accomplished with technology what Keith could now do naturally, and was trying to ensure his lackey died of fear or something (for his failure). Interrogating the Doctor (who was dreamwalking in the guise of 'the Gnome', Keith discovered that the good Doc believed that Keith was being sent to spy on him by his parents.
Insanely jealous of his dream technology, the Doctor simply tried to get rid of his imagined competition by blowing it to bits. Of course, he didn't bank on Keith developing natural, paranormal dream powers, and as Kleinmann's lackey died, Keith bailed out on the Doctor, leaving him to ride the mad swirl of imagery that denoted the man's death. Believing the Doctor gone for good, Keith got on with his life.
However, the Doctor managed to survive the destruction of his cybernetic dream equipment, and slowly rebuilt his gear as Keith joined up with Doctor Ballad, Lita Mercado, and his little sister, Teddy, who could serve as an effective anchor for Keith's mind while he was rooting about in people's dreams, which she could do via a unique mental link the siblings shared with each other.
They formed the Ballad Dream Institute, with the goal of helping people solve their extreme mental problems with Keith's own brand of dream therapy. The Institute managed to remain in business for years, weathering assaults by Doctor Kleinmann and his minions, as well as several recurring problems of John Tensen's (Justice) and Ken Connell's (Star Brand). Of course, this was until the Pitt occurred.
While he was performing dream therapy upon another psychic paranormal, an empath to be precise, Ken Connell pulled his colossal bone-head move that resulted in the creation of the Pitt. Of course, as his client was attuned to such occurrences, the death of over a million people totally shredded up her mind, and since Keith was wandering about inside it at the time, he was terribly affected as well.
Furthermore, this psychic trauma was spread to his sister, Teddy, who was supervising Keith's dream work. After the Pitt's damage was done, Teddy slipped into a coma, a coma that Keith couldn't free her from with his own impressive powers. Before he could work out a decent strategy with Doctor Ballad, however, the Draft was instituted, and Keith was forced to use his powers to serve his country.
Since he was effectively a trained psychologist, and since he had the power to inspect a body's mind, the Army made him a Lieutenant. His duty was to determine whether or not the paranormals the Army was collecting were sane or not, which he did by romping about in their dreams. However, this wasn't as simple as it sounded, as Keith's own sanity was becoming less and less assured.
You see, that Pitt backlash he experienced was severely messing with his subconscious mind, and Keith's Nightmask was beginning to run rampant while he touched the dreams of others. Furthermore, he was beginning to manifest the bizarre power to alter the perceptions of others, whether or not they were dreaming at the time. This led Keith to determine several paranormals were fit for duty that weren't.
Like Harlan Mook.
Keith called him sane when, in fact, the teleporting paranormal was severely disturbed. This led him to undergo a critical breakdown while in basic training, and he tried (and failed) to kill the so-called Pitt-Bull. To punish him for this, his superiors locked Mook up in 'the Hole', an underground vault that acts as a sensory deprivation chamber. Being already disturbed, this threw Mook completely over the edge.
Gone gibberingly nuts, Mook then teleported out of 'the Hole', totally destroying the chamber in the process - this because he leaves a devastating explosion after teleporting, which has an intensity directly proportional to the distance he teleports. After hearing the President was giving an address, Mook teleported to Washington DC to kill the man, angry about this whole draft mess.
Teleporting away mere feet from him, Mook almost killed the man, but it was discovered that then-President Reagan was, in fact, a paranormal, whose regenerative abilities saved him from Mook's blast. At any rate, Keith was given a special assignment after this: to track down and neutralize Mook, as his error in judgment caused this entire mess.
Before he left on this mission, however, Keith finally managed to bring his sister out of her coma, with Doctor Ballad's assistance. While he was assigned to study paranormals at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Ballad was allowed to treat Teddy there, what with her being a paranormal, too. With this finally accomplished, Keith could devote all of his energies to dealing with his terrible mistake.
Keith wasn't too interested in Mook, though, as the world was falling apart around him, in the grip of a new world War. However, he finally managed to trick Mook into coming to him with his dream powers, and shot him to end the menace he represented. This killing wore heavily upon Keith, however, and not able to deal with his guilt over the whole deal, he retreated into the dream world.
Keith pretty much just played around in people's dreams for the next four years, living in a mental hospital to avoid reality. However, events conspired to draw him out of his self-imposed exile, events he could sense with his emergent precognitive abilities. Seeing visions of a destructive alien invasion, Keith pulled himself together and assembled every paranormal he could get his hands on.
His force included Justice, the Psi-Hawk, the Overshadow, the paranormal team DP 7, as well as several members of the US Army's Paranormal Platoon, which fought in the War several years back. These heroes made their way into orbit to meet the craft containing members of the extradimensional (to them) Starblasters, who journeyed to their world to seize the power of the Star Brand.
They broke into the craft, but several heroes led by Quasar were already inside fighting the thing, and in the confusion, Nightmask's allies set upon them instead of the villains. They fought until the Stranger outwitted the techno-organic leader of these Starblasters into trapping himself in the universe that contained Keith's earth, though his earth was trapped in the mainstream Marvel Universe in exchange.
Furthermore, to prevent the Star Brand's energies from 'contaminating' the rest of his reality, the Living Tribunal sealed the New Universe's earth in an impenetrable energy field and left it in orbit around the Stranger's laboratory world. The ramifications of this on Keith's life (much less the lives of everybody from this variant earth) have yet to be revealed, though they're undoubtedly not good.
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