Blameless In Your Ways
An extremely sharp hairdresser
- “Shhhh. This will only hurt for a second.”
Compact/ Conspiracy: Ashwood Abbey (Competitors faction) (Status 1)
Concept: Hairstylist/Serial killer
Undertaking: Charmer (Slasher pg. 106)
Initiative Mod: 5
Intel 2 | Wits 2 | Resolve 2
Strength 2 | Dex 3 | Stamina 2
Presence 3 | Manipulation 4 | Composure 2
Crafts 1 | Investigation 1 | Occult 2
Athletics 2 | Larceny 1 | Stealth 1 | Weaponry 3
Expression 1 | Intimidation 3 | Persuasion 2 | Socialize 2 | Streetwise 1 | Subterfuge 2
- Favored Weapon (Scissors) 2 [Vigil pg. 67]
- Quick Draw 1 [WoD pg. 113]
- Weaponry Monomaniac 2 [Slasher pg. 129]
- Fighting Style: Frenzied Assault 2 (Bestial Instincts and Terrorize) [Slasher pg. 128]
Egotistical | Obsessive
Disarming: When a Charmer meets a new person, the player rolls Presence + a Social Skill.
The Skill might be Expression (the Charmer speaks poetically or sings, plays an instrument or otherwise performs), Socialize (the Charmer plays groups of people like a fiddle) or Persuasion (the Charmer can always say exactly the right thing at the right time).
This roll is contested by the listener’s Intelligence + Subterfuge. If the Charmer wins, that person refuses to see anything wrong with the Charmer and makes excuses for him, supports him and might even lie for him. Common Sense and Danger Sense do not apply to characters who have fallen prey to the Charmer’s wiles, and all Initiative rolls against the Charmer are penalized by five. If someone actually witnesses the Charmer harming another person (and the Charmer can’t make a case for self-defense or justifiable homicide), the effect is lost.
Note that Charmers get one chance at this for a given person. First impressions are everything. If the Charmer fails to meet or exceed the target’s successes, she sees through the Charmer to the Psycho beneath (see p. 108). She might just feel that the Charmer is a phony, not necessarily dangerous, but the warning bells definitely go off (which probably makes her the Charmer’s first target).
Frailty — Thin Veneer: Charmers are held together by staples and a few strands of sinew. They have a tightly regimented view of the world, and they hate having it shaken. All Charmers have a trigger, which the player or the Storyteller must decide at character creation. When this trigger occurs, or when someone who resists the slasher’s charms calls him out (“You’re fucking creepy, dude” is enough), the Storyteller or player rolls Composure. If this roll fails, the slasher lashes out — usually verbally, but sometimes physically. (In Sebastian’s case, it’s ANY comment about how his hair is thinning or if anyone touches his hair.)
At this point, anyone who fell under the Charmer’s wiles before has a chance to snap out of it (players roll Wits + Subterfuge; success means the Charmer’s Talent no longer applies).
Sebastian Grendulson first became obsessed with hair when he was just five years old. Born into an extremely affluent family, Sebastian’s uncle was a charming and virile ladies man who impressed upon Sebastian the value of looking good and treating one’s coif with style and respect. Sebastian took these instructions a bit too seriously and as he grew older, wondered why no one else was as enthralled by the youth and sexiness that hair implied for him. He collected strands of hair from various boyhood friends and kept them secreted away under his bed. He obsessed about movie and TV celebrity hairstyles, collecting pictures in a scrapbook he also kept hidden under his bed.
Had that been Sebastian’s only experience with hair, he likely would’ve been just another secret trichophile, lonely and diminished in his shame.
But when his uncle was stabbed to death in front of him by a random street thug, Sebastian’s fragile world was completely shattered. It was his first exposure to mortality, to the finite nature of the flesh. And for a boy of an impressionable 11 years, it absolutely terrified him. Crippled with trauma, the boy stayed in bed for days and barely ate. Bathing, he felt as if he could never wash his uncle’s blood from his skin. The only member of his family who was kind to him, who he loved dearly, was dead. The image of his uncle’s bloody murder haunted him from that point forward.
At the funeral, Sebastian was gifted a memorial braid of his uncle’s hair. And suddenly, as if dumbstruck, he felt he had an important puzzle piece to immortality in his hands. He realized that hair was the symbolic antidote to death’s inevitable sting. The power of that hair braid was undeniable. It outlived people, for centuries after. How could it not be part of something divine and immortal? To Sebastian, it felt like a revelation no one else understood.
His father, on the other hand, found his son’s deviant behavior and strange preoccupation with human hair offensively effeminate and borderline insane. He expected his son, as the oldest, to follow in his footsteps in the lucrative medical supply business and hounded him into going into medical school. But Sebastian was consumed. He dropped out of college at 21 to enroll in a cosmetology school. His father, enraged, insisted that if Sebastian kept to his hairdresser life, he would be completely disowned from the family and from his sizeable inheritance.
Sebastian didn’t care. He took his savings before his father could seize them and invested in a hair salon in Boulder. It was swiftly successful and from that success came Sebastian’s revenge against his father’s petty expectations. He wasn’t a freak. He was better than his father. And he was at last free.
But with his new courage and prosperity, came a dark shadow of compulsion. A murderous and sociopathic idea that might have been seeded the very day he watched his uncle bleed to death in front of him.
As his life became more and more dominated by hairstyles, hair products and everything hair related, he became consumed with a want to take people’s hair at the precise moment they died. There had to be a magical, almost spiritual, moment if their hair was taken along with their life. Almost like a photograph, right? And so snatching it from them as they died was the perfect preservation of their soul.
He fantasized about it. He took stock of certain customers and began to hear all kinds of confessions from them as their hairdresser. Where they lived. What they hated most about their world.
He reasoned that he would never kill the vibrant ones; the vigorous, bohemian ones that seemed to live life to the fullest. But those that seemed wrought with depression, with sadness… those he knew he’d be allowed to take.
He wasn’t insane. He knew people would likely argue, struggle… maybe even flee from him on this point. But he knew their reasoning would be one based on pure fear and lack of understanding. Sebastian was sure—positive in fact—-that this was the only way for anyone to escape death’s vicious cruelty.
In an assumed name, he bought a small warehouse where he could begin his first experiments. His first kill, a clumsy and almost complete disaster, turned out to verify everything he believed to be true. After that, it got easier and easier.
In the end, he told himself, he wasn’t killing people. He was saving them. Preserving their memories and their lives in those hair braids. Forever.
If they knew what he knew, they would thank him for doing it.