27 April 2015

NPC of the Day: Jake "Greywolf" Nelp

"Every day I don’t get up, the suits rip down another acre of trees.  I can’t quit."

Jake Nelp is an aging hippie. He grew up on a commune, and holds firmly to 60s counterculture values, morals and practices. The fellow lives out of "Betsey," his colorfully painted '65 Westphalia WV microbus, traveling between various Ren Faires, counterculture festivals and bashes like Burning Man, to hang out with like-minded individuals and sell knives. He forges and grinds his own, and has a wide reputation amongst festival regulars as a superlative knife maker, and as a friendly fellow who plays at campfires and always has a story to tell. It's enough to get by, and for him money is only needful to pay for gas, propane, food and knife-making materials: "the buck’s a prison of green."

He's also a practicing shaman, with a wide range of occult lore, and is a devotee of Carlos Castaneda (though he greatly prefers pot to mushrooms) and various Cherokee shamen. He's come up with his own rituals, which for some reason he does in jackleg Cherokee, and they do work: largely in the way of manipulating fire and spirits.  He'll only work with magic at night, and song.  Meditation, for him, involves putting on some 60s tunes (he's reluctantly given up his decrepit 8-track player for an iPod player), lighting some joss sticks, putting the lava lamp on, and smoking a bowl.

A few notes:

* Jake is used to living rough, and can manage out of a tent just fine. However -- and this is where the Chronic Pain and Slow Riser comes in -- he's over 60 now, and living off of Faire food and on a futon in back of his microbus has just taken a heavy toll; he's achy. A lot.  He loves being a drifter, but fears that his roving days are nearing the end.

* He is only a pacifist by philosophy. He's well aware that him and people like him get hassled a lot by the Man (thus the Social Stigma, and having an FID in case he gets bothered about the honking big knives he carries around), and that some folks aren't willing to live and let live. He is very fast for his age, knows how to use his knives, and won't shy away from doing so if he figures he must.

* The Contacts represent probably four types of people: a fellow knife-maker, a fellow Faire merchant, a fellow shaman, and that lady who bakes the awesome flatbreads at his old commune.

* He's something of an ecoterrorist.  The "Suits" are all that's wrong with the world, and them building highways and pipelines everywhere will ruin it if you aren't vigilant.  A natural gas pipeline proposal which would go through his rural home county -- going, naturally, from places far away thataway to the Big City far away that away -- is very much in his crosshairs, and he's making plans.

* His daughter Brooke is a pediatric surgeon at a teaching hospital.  They love each other very much, and spending the first few years of her life on Jake's commune (that given name is "Riverbrook," actually) gives her significant sympathy for his POV.  Still, she's made up a mother-in-law apartment at her home, hoping Jake will settle down with her.

ST: 11       IQ: 12      DX: 13      HT: 12      Move: 5

Advantages: Charisma/1; Contacts (4 points' worth); Less Sleep/2, License Perk (has an FID); Magery/2 (Night, Song aspected), Night Vision/2; Reputation+3, as master knife-maker, Ren Faire types, 12-.

Disadvantages: Addiction / Pot smoker; Chronic Pain / Mild, 2h, 9-; Code of Honor (Counterculture); Disciplines of Faith; Farsighted (mitigated); Slow Riser; Sense of Duty: underclass; Social Stigma: Second-class citizen; Struggling, Vow (Oppose The Suits).

Languages: Speaks and reads Cherokee at Accented level.

Quirks: Cats are people; Don't mess with Betsey!; Dresses in stereotypical hippie attire; Loves his daughter; Pyrophile.

Skills: Armoury-18; Carousing-13; First Aid-13; Gardening-13; Knife-14; Mechanic (auto)-12; Meditation-12; Merchant (knives)-12; Musical Instrument (guitar)-12; Observation-12; Occultism-13; Public Speaking-12; Religious Ritual-12; Savoir-Faire (counterculture)-13; Singing-13; Survival-14; Thrown Weapon: Knife-13.

Spells: Affect Spirits-13; Create Fire-13; Divination-14; Heal Plant-13; Identify Plant-14; Ignite Fire-14; Itch-14; Plant Growth-15; Seek Plant-14; Sense Spirit-13; Shape Fire-15; Spasm-14;   Summon Spirit-13; Turn Spirit-14; Warmth-13.

Betsey is a ‘66 Westfalia VW Microbus camper.  Named after a lady Jake knew (her likeness is on the driver’s side door in a white bikini and glasses), Betsey is done up in lime green and liberally festooned with Peter Max-esque counterculture paintings and liberal bumper stickers.

Her interior is done in ash paneling, with handmade curtains in the windows (gifts from Brooke) and dark blue shag carpeting.  There are futons with homemade quilts in the overhead extendable camper and the back (used for a spare bed in need and for general hanging out).  Behind the macrame-and-beaded covered seats are a couple propane burners scavenged from a Coleman stove, a wash basin, a cutting board, and narrow cabinets holding cooking equipment, wooden and handmade pewter flatware and Jake’s fetish kit. 

On the walls are a bookcase, brackets for Jake’s guitar case, a CD player/radio and a modest stack of CDs, a battery-operated fan, a propane space heater and several dreamcatchers.  The bookcase has the following well-worn titles: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Hobbit, an omnibus of the first three Foxfires, Complete Guide to Camping, Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book, the Pentagon Papers, the North American Field Guide to Plants, the 1972 Whole Earth Catalog, the Nelp family Bible, Carlos Castaneda’s Teachings of Don Juan and A Separate Reality, and the following Cherokee shamanic texts: the Kanâhe'ta Ani-Tsa'lagï E'tï, Origins of the Bear, and the A`yûn'inï “Swimmer”, Gatigwanasti, Ayâsta/Gahuni, Inâ'lï “Black Fox”, Tsiskwa “Bird”, A`wani'ta “Young Deer” and Takwati'hï “Killer” Manuscripts.

Beneath the futon is jammed with stuff (getting things out can be a chore): a dorm-size propane refrigerator, two grinding wheels, a portable anvil, a propane cutting torch, a number of canvas sacks, mosquito netting and spare tarps, as well as a 2-gallon spare gas can, a 5-gallon iron cauldron, Jake’s fetish kit, miscellaneous gear and food.

For further explanation of system numbers, check this link.

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