Monday, July 14, 2014

Jackson De La Croix for WitchCraft

I wrote this up for a WitchCraft game I was running a few years ago.  Jackson never made an appearance, but I will certainly want to use him for my Spirit of '76 game. Cerri and Brigh were two Wicce characters I had created as NPCs.  Similar to the layout in Chill Vampires the dossier is a collection of reports, news clippings (in this case printouts) and written reports.

Jackson De La Croix, or Jackson Jammer, was one of my favorite vampires from the Chill Vampires book. Here is my attempt to bring him into Unisystem and the 21st century. I am going with 2nd Edition Chill here even though it states that Van Helsing began to tour in 1979 (left over from 1st Ed to be sure). If you want to use 1st Edition Chill, subtract 10 years.  For my game I am going to have Van Helsing start around 74-75.

SAVE Report compiled 01-15-2006 by Cerriweden nic Brigandu, Special Envoy
Note: Cerriweden "Cerri" nic Brigandu is a member of the Daughters of the Flame coven. Born in Boston to Irish immigrants, Cerriweden has served not only as a valued and trusted Special Envoy to SAVE, she is also a top notch rock critic. She has been following the career and exploits of Jackson "Jammer" De La Croix since the death of Pablo "Bubba" Rodriguez in 1992.  She first encountered the vampire in Boston while visiting the Daughters of the Flame sanctuary there.
(incl: Include photo of Cerri and Brigh with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from the 1994-5 Page/Plant tour).
News item: May 17th, 1996. Raleigh, NC. Jammer Jackson, Dead at 27.
Legendary guitarist Jammer Jackson (news:sear) was found dead this morning in his hotel room in Raleigh, NC. His band Van Helsing had been performing last night (see related story in Arts, page 1D) in Raleigh. Cause of death was not immediately known, but corners office has not ruled out death due to drugs.
Van Helsing had been in the news quite a bit recently due to the often public arguments of its lead singer, Anton Van Helsing (news:sear), and Jackson. Van Helsing's last album failed to chart a Top 100 hit leaving many critics to wonder if the band was a relic of the late 80's
May 18th, 1996. New Orleans, LA. Jackson Death Ruled Natural Causes.
A representative of the Raleigh County NC corners office has ruled that Jammer Jackson's death was due to natural causes. A family spokesman has released a statement that due to religious observances Jackson's body was claimed by his family before an invasive autopsy could be performed. Toxicology results revealed no presence of drugs.
May 19th, 1996. New Orleans, LA. Fans Bid Farewell to Jammer
A simple wooden coffin baring the ashes of Jammer Jackson was laid to rest today. Several celebrities and members of the music business joined with fans, friends and family to say goodbye to what many considered to be a modern legend. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix in style and looks, though Jackson himself likened his style more to blue legend Robert Johnson. Jammer had recently become friends with another gone before his time musician, Kurt Cobain. The inevitable comparisons between all these great musicians cannot be understated.
June 13th, 1996. Los Angeles. Van Helsing, Dead at 31.
Anton Van Helsing the once flamboyant front man of the eponymous band Van Helsing was found dead in his hotel room today. Police are still questioning his long time girlfriend, Astra, in connection to drug paraphernalia found in the hotel. Van Helsing's death comes less than a month after the death of his bands lead guitarist Jammer Jackson.
Website: The Johnson-Hendrix-Jackson link, circa 2001
I know this sounds crazy but Johnson and Jackson shared more than dying young, listen to the cover of Crossroads (the Eric Clapton song for you born after 69, the Robert Johnson song for the rest of us) on Van Helsings 6th album. If you slow it down to 1/16th speed you can hearI mean why did we never see his body! I am telling you that just like Elvis and Morrison, Jammer Jackson is still alive.
November 7th, 2004 Fresh Faces, New Orleans, LA.
You have to living under a rock for the last Summer not to have heard the infectious grooves of the New Orleans hottest club band De La Croix. A spicy Cajun blend of hip-hop, rap, and good old fashioned blues driven rock, De La Croix is ready to take on the world. Whether you are a fan of vocalist Joaquin Esperanza's politically charged lyrics or the rap styling of co-frontman DLC, the one thing everyone agrees on is the shear talent of the band's 20 year old guitarist J.J. It has even lead some to speculate that J.J. is none other than the son of Jammer Jackson, last seen as a 10 year-old, standing by his fathers coffin so many years ago.

Jackson De La Croix Today, Cerriweden nic Brigandu
Jackson did fake his death, but the tiff with Van Helsing's leader was real. Anton wanted to hit the big time, Jackson wanted to remain small and anonymous. Anton used drugs, while Jackson didn't. So Jackson decided to die. He allowed a doctor to examine him to sign the papers, but he hired a single mother to portray the grieving widow. In a rare occurrence of generosity, Jackson gave away almost all his earthly possessions and a fair sum of money to this woman and her son in return for their silence. Attempts to locate the woman have failed and no record of her exists after 1997.

Jackson did in fact kill Anton Van Helsing, but that was a mere technicality. Anton had been slowly dying of drug addiction. Jackson also later killed Anton's longtime girlfriend Astra, though no newspaper reported her death.

Jackson's whereabouts between 1996 and 2004 are unknown, but all reliable sources point to a long period of inactivity. It has been long speculated (see page 212 of the Rodriguez dossier) that Jackson has a hiding place in the ruins of the Belle Marche Plantation.

It is certain that the guitarist for De La Croix, J.J., is in fact Jackson De La Croix. What is curious is that in the hundred or so shows observed by SAVE, no deaths that meet Jackson's former MO have been noticed. In fact no deaths at all have been recorded outside of random stabbing in the same bar after the show.

Physical Appearance: As usual he appears to be a medium-complexion African American man in his early 20s. The same penetrating stare is there and it gives you the impression that he does not blink enough.  He looks much like he did when he was the lead guitarist of Van Helsing.

Jackson De La Croix, WitchCraft RPG Stats

Strength: 5 Intelligence: 4
Dexterity: 8 Perception: 7
Constitution: 4 Willpower: 6

Life Points: 55 Endurance: N/A
Essence Pool: 97 Speed: 24

Skills: Play Instrument (guitar +9, all other stringed instruments +8 ) , Hand gun 3, Streetwise 6, Occult Knowledge 2
Qualities and Powers: Vampyre, Artistic Talent (guitars), Bard, Become Mist/Fog, Charisma 1, Contacts (Music industry), Hard to Kill, Increased Essence 6, Resources 4, Status 2, Semblance of Life, Time Stop
Drawbacks and Vulnerabilities: Aversions (Mint, Religious Symbols, Salt), Bloodthirst, Minority

Punch Damage: D4(2) x Strength
Kick Damage: D4(2) x (Strength+1)
Large Knife Damage: D4(2) x Strength. Damage Type: Slashing/Stabbing
Handgun, .22 caliber Damage: D4 x 2(4). Range: 3/10/20/60/120. Capacity: 8-10

Become Mist/Fog: One of Jackson more amazing powers is the ability to become mist or fog. Anytime he drops below 0 Life Points or below 5 Essence Points (or when he feels threatened) he can become a thick low-lying mist that moves at twice his normal speed. Jackson will then attempt to escape to a safe location. He has several plain wooden coffins stored away in safe houses in New Orleans, Nashville and Savannah, as well as one or two in smaller locales. He has a coffin in his standard gear, but knows that is the first place anyone will look. He disguises it as a crate to carry gear.

Note: Where did this Power Come From?
Not much is known about origin of this power. We do know from Rodriguez's research that Jackson's mother was a powerful Mambo and we do know there are reported, but undocumented, elemental powers among the Legbans. Was this a power Jackson had before becoming a vampyre or was something he developed later? Could this be an evolution of the Greater Shifting power? Further, careful, investigation is needed.

Religious Symbols: Jackson does not cower or flee from religious symbols like other vampyres, but he cannot come within 2.5 (1 meter) from them. He has the same reaction to Mint leaves (but not artificial mints) and Garlic. None of these have attracted any attention in a world where rock musicians will trash a room based on whether or not they got enough green M&Ms in their rooms.

Holy Burial: To permanently destroy Jackson one must perform a variation of the Holy Burial ritual described in the Mystery Codex. A wooden stake needs to be driven through Jackson's heart. His body must be placed in a plain wooden coffin (no other material will suffice) and taken to a crossroads by pallbearers. At the crossroads the coffin must be spun around at least three times. If one piece of the ritual is not done properly or is missing, Jackson will remain dead until the stake rots and he will then rise again to continue his façade of humanity. If every part of the ritual is followed to the letter then Jackson's spirit will pass to the Death Realms, never to return.

Essence Vampirism and Bloodthrist: Jackson De La Croix regains most of his essence during his concerts (has the Bard quality). Over the years he has perfected his performances to cause his audience to release almost imperceptible amounts of Essence (usually only one or two points per), but given that he plays to hundreds, even thousands, at a time, he can absorb a full two weeks worth of Essence per show. Of course Jackson will turn around and use Essence to power-up his performance, attract young ladies (usually several) to his dressing room, or typically enjoy the high that holding on to Essence gives. While in his Jammer days, De La Croix would go for the limelight and shun the backstage antics, as J.J. he provides a solid performance but remains an unknown element on the stage. His backstage antics are often sorid tabloid fodder. It is of course a ruse. De La Croix plays up this persona to distance himself from his previous ones. It also allows him to hide in plain sight as it were, no one thinks twice of some rock musician sleeping all day if he is rumored to be engaging in amorous activity with young groupies all night.

His Time Stop power is actually a Supernatural Quality/Power that causes a localized distortion of time perception, similar in many ways to the Mirage power. It costs 15 Quality/Power Points and 5 Essence Points for the first subjective minute and 2 Essence Points per subjective minute after that. So the drain someone in 5 minutes, Jackson spends 13 Essence Points.
Of course one might ask why he goes through the effort of using this power when he has better ways of getting Essence. Simply put Jackson enjoys the hunt. He has a taste for blood, particularly that of young females, and he enjoys the thrill of picking one girl out of the crowd to drain and doing it in front of everyone. Plus if Jackson does not feed at least once every two weeks he begins to loose Essence.
Like Mirage, this power ineffective against other supernatural creatures and those that can see Essence patterns.

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