Created by: Rodford Edmiston Smith Name: Lisa Dawnwind Chronicle: The Wyrm's Claw (Storyteller: Thomas Samples) Breed: Homid Pryio: Twilight Tribe: Pumonca Jamak: Bastet Archetype: Survivor/Lone Wolf/Rebel Concept: Scholar Born: November 5, 1945 Battle Scars: Tip of right ear missing, claw scars on right hip, sterile. Attributes Physical Social Mental Strength: 3 Charisma: 1 Perception: 3 Dexterity: 5 Manipulation: 2 Intelligence: 3 Stamina: 4 Appearance: 3 Wits: 3 Abilities Talents Skills Knowledge Alertness: 4* Animal Ken: 0 Computer: 2 Acrobatics: 2 Drive: 2 Enigmas: 0 Brawl: 4** Etiquette: 1 Investigation: 2 Dodge: 4*** Firearms: 2 Law: 0 Empathy: 0 Melee: 4* Linguistics: 3 Expression: 2 Leadership: 0 Medicine: 4* Intimidation: 2 Performance: 0 Occult: 3 Primal-Urge: 2 Repair: 0 Politics: 0 Streetwise: 0 Stealth: 0 Rituals: 3 Subterfuge: 0 Survival: 1 Science: 0 Navigation: 4** * City Streets * Boshuriken * Changing Folk ** Spine Bite (Throwing Spikes) Reproduction *** Leap ** Umbra Advantages Backgrounds Gifts Den Realm: 1 Call Spirits (1) Contacts: 1 Luna's Armor (2) Kinfolk: 1 Catfeet (1) Rites: 1 Lick Wounds (1) Resource: 4 Speed Beyond Thought (4) Advising Spirits: (Grandfather Summon Talisman (2) and Great-Great-Grandfather): 2 Tread Sebek's Back (2) Eavesdropper's Ear (2) Freya's Blessing (3) Thunderbolt (3) Hungry Earth (4) Earthspeaking (5) Renown Ferocity: 13 Honor: 9 Cunning 10 Rank: 5 Rage: 6 Gnosis: 5 Willpower: 6 Flaws Notoriety: Books too close to the truth for the comfort of many (3) Sign of the Cat (2) Pestering Parents (2) Merits Longevity (2) Mixed Morph (1) Fair Sokto (2) Ambidextrous (1) Rites Right of Talisman Dedication (1): Homid: unitard, Gnostic bag Sokto: unitard, Gnostic bag, rifle Crinos: bandolier of throwing spikes, Gnostic bag Chatro and Feline: collar w/silver-plated spikes Rite of Claiming (3): Louisville home Jamak Promise Bond (1) Recognition (2) Speaking the Name (1) Quote: To learn is to grow. To stop growing is to die.
Bagheera: In many ways much like the Pumonca, yet they distrust us because we like to roam. I think they don't realize just how lucky they are.
Balaam: Let me get this straight. You got into trouble, and decided to handle it yourself. When we found out about it you told us you didn't need our help. When you lost, you blamed us for not helping anyway. I feel for you, but you need to get over that wounded pride before I'll help you now.
Bubasti: Strange, twisted folk. I can understand why they are obsessed with dark magic, but after all this time you'd think they'd try something else.
Ceilican: I once met a cat who didn't exist. Being young and bright I figured this out. Being young and brash I confronted him with what I had guessed. He just smiled and walked away. I hope he's still not out there, somewhere...
Khan: A noble, honorable folk, powerful and quite beautiful. Their main fault is that they know all this. A little humility in the mix would go a long way towards making them more tolerable. If you can stand smug superiority they make good allies.
Qualmi: Could they possible get any more obtuse and opaque? I like a good puzzle, but, c'mon, guys...
Simba: Every culture needs someone whose job it is to tell the king he's naked.
Swara: I'd like to meet one, just to see if they are really cats. You'd think that the way they travel, and the way we travel, our two breeds would know each other.
Changelings: Fragile, but fun while they last.
Garou: Too varied to make a general statement. I'd trust some with my life, and others to kill me for the least excuse... or none.
Mages: See comments above regarding Changelings, except for the part about being fun.
Vampires: For the most part nasty creatures. I know a few I trust, within limits. Some have honor, some are trying to redeem themselves, some simply know to keep their word to something that can rip their limbs off and leave them for the sun to find.
Wraiths: Those I've met have been all too human.
Nuwisha: Were-coyotes. Right. Next you'll be asking me about were-prairie dogs. (Coyote and cougar have always been friends.)
Corax: Taste like chicken.
Lisa is a warrior and the daughter of a warrior. Her father (Roy Hidden, born 1924), was a career army man. Roy's father wanted to live in the White world and convinced his son to do likewise. After working on construction jobs as a teen, Roy entered service during WWII as a radio technician, later becoming one of the famed Navajo code talkers. He was decorated three times in WWII and once in Korea, finally retiring in the mid- fifties. Thanks to his training in electronics, after he left the service he opened a radio repair shop. Today he owns and manages a small chain of electronics stores and a construction company, all in his home state of New Mexico. He is Bastet Kinfolk, and knows that both his wife and daughter are Bastet. Roy's construction company is quite successful, not only because it is minority-owned, but because it operates in an environmentally- friendly manner, respecting the land and the life on it. Roy's greatest regret in life is not having a large family. Lisa knows this, and hopes soon to tell him he is a grandfather.
Lisa's mother (Wind-At-Dawn, born 1915) is a member of the Acoma tribe, and a Bastet Pumonca. She is a grand old lady, noble and proud, nearly ten years older than Lisa's father. She has been separated from him since shortly after he left the Army, mostly because of his decision to move off the reservation and into the city. She had always objected to his taking up the white man's ways, though she usually allowed him to do what he wanted, even accepting his anglicizing their names for legal use in the white world. She still thinks fondly of him and occasionally visits. However, she refuses to stay more than a few hours in any heavily populated area. Wind-At-Dawn is just starting to look elderly. With several levels each of the Merits Pure Blood (her family claims to be descended from Aztec nobility) and Intimidation, she can still cow most Silver Fangs with a glare. Like her husband, Wind-At-Dawn regrets not having more children. For this reason she exerted much pressure on Lisa to start a family, and was disappointed when her daughter remained single. This was partly her own fault; some of the associated conditions she insisted on have worked against her longing for descendants, until recently.
Tradition among Lisa's maternal relatives holds that their Bastet lineage originated in South America and that Pumonca have appeared in the line since long before the Aztecs rose to power. Over several centuries Wind-At-Dawn's ancestors moved north, into what would one day become Mexico, and then into the southwestern United States with refugees fleeing from the Aztecs. The first family member specifically known to be a Bastet Pumonca appeared only about a century before Wind-At-Dawn's birth. Whether the Bastet blood came only from the south or was reinforced by mating with local Pumonca isn't mentioned in family tales. What is known for certain is that the Cochite Indians held the cougar in high enough esteem to make stone statues of them, two of which still exist in New Mexico. There are also Aztec-era ruins near where Lisa was born, and the Aztecs considered the cougar to have great healing powers. Many Native American cultures considered the big, secretive cat to be a guardian of the land.
Lisa was born in 1945, and brought up in a mostly white neighborhood, going by the Anglicized name of Dawnwind (a casual translation of the Navajo name her father gave her mother, which means "Wind at Dawn," a comment on her quiet way of moving; the Acoma and Navaho both practice matrilineal descent). However, she was still taught the legends of the Acoma by her mother and maternal relatives, including those involving the Pumonca. From her Navajo relatives she learned additional legends, such as those telling of others of the Changing Folk, as well as a suspicion of anyone using spirit magic. She was even taught by two spirits, both ancestors, though they contacted her less and less as she grew older and Lisa eventually decided that she had simply imagined them. Part of this reluctance to accept the reality of her spirit teachers was due to the Navajo teachings.
Lisa didn't give these tales and lessons much thought, preferring - like her father - to live in the materialistic White world. Indeed, Lisa took so much after her father that her mother decided that Lisa was not Changing Folk, and did not reveal her own nature to the girl.
Though Lisa grew up during a period when members of minorities such as herself were achieving new legal and social respect, she never considered joining such efforts. Her own life was good, and even if she had been interested in participating, her nature was such that she generally preferred staying in the background. A very private person, she liked attention, but on her own terms, at a distance.
Lisa began training as an Army nurse in the early sixties, and volunteered for service in Vietnam shortly after finishing her instruction. She completed one tour there, and part of another, starting in late 1966. She was sent home ahead of schedule in early 1968, after a series of traumatic events. She served the remainder of her last term in the States, stationed near her home. She had hoped for a career as a military nurse, but the same events that caused her early return changed her plans.
Her first Vietnam tour was spent entirely in major cities, serving in various hospitals, all well behind the lines. Most of the people she tended survived. On her second tour, however, she was assigned to a forward medical unit, in a small town very near the DMZ. This was hard duty, and not only due to the crude living and working conditions; a large portion of the people who arrived there for medical care were beyond help. To Lisa's horror, these were not just young soldiers, as she was used to, but included children, women and old men, civilians caught up in the war. Lisa began to realize that there was something very wrong with this war. Remembering her teachings, she began to see the Unmaker's work, though she didn't really believe in that entity just then.
Everyone who served at this station for more than a few weeks broke in some way at some point. For Lisa, it was after a grueling 45-hour stretch of mangled bodies. She had a premonition that something strange was going to happen. The night before she was visited in her sleep by two spirits, her Navajo grandfather and her Acoma great-great-grandfather. Both of these were familiar from her childhood, though she had later convinced herself that they were imaginary playmates. This was the first time she had "seen" them in several years, and the event was startling. Giving the visit even greater impact was the fact that the two spirits strongly disliked each other, and rarely showed themselves at the same time. That night not only were both spirits there together, but for the first time they were in agreement. They warned Lisa that she was about to undergo a great trial, and a revelation. Lisa remembered the dream very clearly the next morning, as she rose to begin work.
Those brought to the facility were often severely wounded, with many beyond help and some DOA. Of those whose lives could be saved a large percentage were left maimed. This day was no exception, except in being more extreme than most. Triage required that the least injured wait, which is why the last patient on this occasion was a young man with a relatively minor leg wound. He was conscious and alert, joking with the surgery team members, as he was wheeled in. Lisa was actually looking forward to this operation: not only was he the last patient, which meant that she could soon sleep, but he was certain to make a quick and complete recovery.
As the anesthetic took hold, however, the young man's blood pressure began to drop. Despite frantic efforts by the exhausted surgical team, he died minutes later. The death certificate listed the cause as an allergic reaction to the anesthetic, resulting in severe shock. This was a freak mishap, something that happened even in the best stateside hospitals. There was no blame assigned, and no fault found; it was simply an accident. That did not make the young man's death any easier to take. Indeed, the ironic nature of the incident made it harder for those involved to deal with.
After the chief surgeon called a halt to the resuscitation efforts, Lisa went numbly to her private spot, an enclosed outdoor storage area. She simply stood there for several seconds, wavering. Then, she threw back her head and screamed. She had done this before, to vent her rage and frustrations, but this time was different. As she cried out in despair and anguish, the scream seemed to tear her open, ripping through some long-held internal barrier.
People in the area heard her scream, and didn't think much of it; not only had she done this before, so had others. Then came a series of crashes and strange, animal cries. After a moment of stunned confusion, help came running. They found Lisa unconscious, in deep shock. Her clothes were shredded, but she was unharmed. The storage area was a wreck. Crates were ripped open, full drums of fuel tossed around like beer cans, and the fence had a number of deep gashes in the wood.
When Lisa woke several hours later she gave a confused account of being attacked by a tiger. There were tigers in the area, but it seemed unlikely that one could have entered and left the camp unseen. Still, Lisa certainly couldn't have caused all that damage. Some of the disturbed objects required a forklift to move. However, due in part to this event, it was decided to send Lisa to easier duty. She was reassigned to the port city of Hue within the week. Lisa was extremely glad to be away from the front. She was looking forward to some easy duty, and the chance to play tourist in the ancient Vietnamese capital. Among the things she anticipated was observing the activities of the Tet holiday, four days later.
The Tet Offensive was intended to destroy the morale of the South Vietnamese people and government, and of the foreigners supporting them. One of the teams sent into South Vietnam attacked and occupied the hospital where Lisa was assigned. Mercifully, she was off duty at that time. When the shooting started, she tried to report to her post, only to be stopped by a hastily-deployed cordon of Marines around the building. The Viet Cong inside were working their way through the structure, starting at the ground floor and going upward, methodically killing patients and staff. The Marines were trying to get in, but murderous fire from inside kept them at bay. There was nothing they could do.
Lisa walked away, feeling strangely detached. She gathered weapons; a pump shotgun with a bandolier of shells, and a pistol belt with a .45 and a machete. She climbed to the top of a nearby building and somehow jumped to the roof of the hospital. She then proceeded downward from floor to floor, killing VC. She quickly exhausted her ammunition, and apparently did most of her work with the machete. Combat-hardened veterans armed with automatic weapons fell like dry bamboo before Lisa and her blade. When she reached the ground floor, the remaining VC broke and fled, preferring to be cut down by the Marines waiting outside. The Marines found Lisa sitting on the steps, leaning on her machete, covered in blood. Some of it was hers; she had lost the top portion of her right ear, and had other, more minor injuries. Her clothes were shredded.
Lisa claimed that the ear wound was from a bullet, but it looked more like a cut*. Lisa was later credited with 28 kills, and several times that many lives saved. Given what she had accomplished and the way she had accomplished it, people weren't surprised that she was dazed, and had trouble remembering exactly what had happened. She had obviously been berserk during her rescue work.
Less understandable was the inability of any of the survivors in the hospital to remember exactly what she had done. Accounts of her actions from the patients and staff were frustratingly vague. The most detailed description was from one patient, who said that she "fought like a tiger." Given the emergency underway, no effort was made to obtain a more detailed account of events. Lisa was recommended for a Purple Heart and a DSC, both of which she received shortly before her discharge.
In spite of these and other losses, the VC and NVA forces occupied Hue, holding it for twenty-six days. Because of this situation all wounded were evacuated, along with many of the non-combatants. Lisa was sent first to a hospital in Phan Thiet, then to another in Japan after that port city was also attacked. After three days in Japan, in spite of her insistence that she was fully recovered and ready to return to duty, Lisa was ordered back stateside. She was beginning to frighten people, with her moody silences and intense gaze.
When Lisa came home she had several long talks with her older relatives about what had happened to her. Though she had learned the legends as a child, she hadn't believed them until the incident in the storage area. Now she wanted - needed - to know more. She spent most of her remaining service time with her relatives, using up her large amount of accumulated leave. She divided the time between her father's home in Cuba and her mother's shack in the mountains nearby.
Lisa's Mother was quite surprised at this turn of events. Most First Changes happen early in puberty, but Lisa's happened at 21. This convinced Wind-At-Dawn that the cat blood in Lisa was barely strong enough to produce a Bastet. After hearing Lisa's story, Wind-At-Dawn revealed her own nature, and began belatedly teaching her daughter the ways of the Bastet. She also told Lisa that if she produced any children, the father of at least some of them would have to be a kinfolk cougar, to strengthen the bloodline. Lisa was shocked at this. It wasn't bad enough to learn that both she and her Mother were something other than human, but she also had to mate with an animal... Understandably, Lisa put off even thinking about having children for two decades.
After Lisa's initial curiosity was slaked, she began a long period of study and meditation. Some of her teaching came from her mother and other living relatives. Some of it came from the two dead ancestors who had warned her of what was coming. Some of it came from simple experimentation.
To fill the time between these sessions, she began to write about her experiences in Vietnam. She had long enjoyed writing, starting with contributions to her high school paper. She continued this practice in Vietnam, and wrote several articles which were used by various Armed Forces publications. Her new project took the form of a book, an autobiography of her time in Vietnam. She omitted any reference to her lycanthropic experiences, but nothing and no-one else was spared. She became deeply involved in her project, as her research awakened memories of abuse and waste, and new facts caused old ones to fall into place. The book became an expose, and her research for and conversations about it began attracting attention. Not all of it was friendly.
Lisa decided to start at the top by submitting her synopsis and first four chapters to a leading publisher, planning to work her way downward until someone bought her book. To her surprise, that first publisher accepted the book. In fact, she received a very favorable contract, complete with a large advance. Her writing skills were adequate, and the work was fresh and stark. "Riveting" was how one reviewer described it. It filled a need.
The book was nearly finished when Lisa received two visitors. By then she was living in her own cabin, on the same property as her mother's, and in the older Bastet's Den Realm. There was a level spot near the county road that crossed the property, where she and any visitors parked. The unmarked car the two men arrived in was left there, while they panted and gasped their way up the steep trail to Lisa's cabin.
The lead man was about to knock on the door, when a voice came unexpectedly from behind them.
"What can I do for you gentlemen?" asked Lisa.
Both were quite startled; the one on the steps actually put his hand into his jacket, then slowly withdrew it when he saw that the speaker was an unarmed young woman.
"Ah, Miss Dawnwind, we represent a well-known author who is working on a book very similar to yours," said the man at the door. "He doesn't want to be in competition with your work, so we are prepared to offer you a very lucrative kill fee."
"You mean that your bosses in Washington don't want me to reveal how they are bungling the war," said Lisa. "Don't bother denying that you're Feds; you've got the signs all over you. I suppose that, bribery having failed, you will next use threats of legal action. Well, last I heard, the Constitution was still in effect. Come back after it's repealed."
The spokesman tried arguing with her, to no effect. He was at a loss; as a trained negotiator he knew that he had all the factors on his side. They were two men against one woman, and they were occupying a physically higher ground, while representing the federal government. Their target should have been intimidated. Instead, they were the ones intimidated. The woman was downright spooky, and both men became more and more uneasy as she refused to even reply to their continued attempts at negotiation. Finally, the spokesman decided they should leave. It was a fifteen minute walk back to their car; they made the trip in ten. When they arrived they found that something had ruined all four tires. Something with claws. They drove out on the rims.
Legal attempts were made to stop publication of the book, but the publisher held firm. Helpful in this was the fact that the owner of the company was a major financial contributor to Nixon's election campaign. Lisa did experience some harassment from the government, mostly in the form of having her tax returns audited for each of the next 8 years. She considered this a bargain price for getting what she had to say into print.
The book caught the wave of rising discontent among the US population regarding the war, and became a major success. Lisa followed it with a military adventure novel published under a pseudonym. It was not the big hit her first book was, but sold reasonably well. She continued writing, producing action- adventure stories under the name "Captain Brighton Way" (based on the name of a street near where she lived as a child) and horror and fantasy novels as "Leslie Markhov." She would also periodically write fact books about the War and other human follies, using her own name. She took a secret delight in adding to books written for all these genres the sort of inside information that only someone who had actually lived the lives she described could know. She also made a deliberate effort to educate, for the most part managing to do so without seeming to.
As a best-selling author in two genres, and a reasonably successful one in two others, Lisa earns far more money than she can spend on herself, even with her Bastet tastes. She is a major contributor to several charities, usually anonymously. She also spends a great deal of her time writing letters and making phone calls and personal appeals on behalf of a number of different causes.
Recently, she has written a book on poaching in North America, and organized an information distribution service to let certain individuals and groups know that this or that businessman or public figure is a poacher or buys poached meat, skins or animal parts. Several Glass Walkers and Locksmiths are helping with this. Though these latter efforts are a secret, just her anti-poaching book is enough to cause a number of poachers and their friends to hate Lisa. Some of them would very much like to get their hands on her, but realize that any action they take against her would almost certainly be tied to them. (They don't realize just how many enemies Lisa has, or how much more formidable than them some of these are.)
Lisa revels in the solitary life of the hermit, but despite this travels extensively, to do locale research for her books and to attend functions she considers important. She loves to travel but hates to visit. Lisa has been to at least two major SF or fantasy conventions each year for nearly two decades. At first this was a reluctant duty, insisted on by her literary agent, but she soon found that she liked cons, and some of the people found at them. Fans are strange enough to be interesting and as a rule more accepting of other strangeness than the general run of humanity. A select few of her fannish and professional friends and acquaintances even know that there is something - strange - about Lisa.
Lisa has mastered the art of being alone in a crowd, something essential for her peace of mind. Typical of her way of dealing with troublesome people is an incident that happened at one convention, where Lisa was a speaker on a panel. Some teenage fans learned how she had earned her medals and confronted her outside the conference room, accusing her of being a mass murderer and demanding that she leave the convention. "Oh, I'm not a mass murderer," said Lisa, smiling sweetly. "I'm a serial killer. I killed those 28 VC one after the other, over a period of half an hour." She then swept gracefully past the stunned and speechless protesters.
During her travels, Lisa has occasionally encountered thieves and assailants. She has been responsible for three of them getting religion, and two of them getting dead.
Lisa knows and respects the traditions of the Bastet, but doesn't feel bound by them. Unlike others of the Changing Folk - particularly the Garou - she is confident that the world situation is slowly but steadily improving. "We survived Nixon, didn't we?" She feels that the most effective way of fighting the Unmaker is through gathering knowledge and disseminating it as widely as possible. Though some (especially certain Garou and vampire groups) feel that she is treading a dangerous path in educating people so openly about these matters, there are at least as many who defend her actions. Some Changelings feel that her books have at least slightly reduced the level of banality in the world.
For the most part, Lisa gets along well with her Garou associates. There have been some misunderstandings, partly due to Lisa's personality and partly due to her lack of knowledge about Garou ways. (Like most Bastet, Lisa likes to give the impression that she knows more than she actually does.) As she has learned more about the Garou, and as they have gotten used to her, this situation has improved. Lisa often criticizes those Garou who charge into battle without trying first to think of an alternative. This confuses them, since they know she is not a coward; they have fought beside her, and know she has no qualms about throwing herself into a fray. Lisa tries to explain her point of view by telling them "We are in a war for survival. If we die, we lose."
Lisa also knows several vampires, including a Gangrel who - for a long while - was thought to be a Garou by the members of his pack, and even valued as an elder. She doesn't fully trust them... but then, she doesn't really trust anyone.
Lisa is a striking woman, handsome rather than pretty, and appears to be about thirty years old. She favors long, straight hair and flowing garments, which emphasize her smooth, graceful movements. The missing portion of her right ear is generally covered by her hair, though it occasionally peeks out, adding to the exotic air she projects. Lisa has the Merit of Fair Sokto, and some people think she actually looks more attractive in that form than she does in Homid. She has occasionally used her Sokto form as a hall costume at conventions. The only problem with this is that "I turn into a blond."
When not expecting to be in combat Lisa usually wears a considerable amount of jewelry, some of which is hidden under her clothing. These concealed pieces are reserved as a treat for those she chooses to be intimate with. ("Would you like to see my jewelry chest?") She has a sizable collection of great value, which emphasizes the silver and turquoise popular in the region of her birth. She is careful that no silver actually touches her skin, substituting for it burnished stainless steel and nickel alloys. The metal in the free-hanging parts of her most commonly worn sets of earrings are silver and, as she has commented more than once, "Just the right size to stick in a werewolf's throat." As one would expect of a Bastet, Lisa revels in her natural sensuality, though she is choosy about her partners.
Lisa is fluent in Acoma, Navajo and Army Creole. She understands Garou quite well but has a terrible accent when speaking it. Her primary language is English.
Favorite food: Rare lamb (sometimes very rare)
Favorite song: "Moondance" by Van Morrison
* The ear wound was caused
by a knife the VC who cut her had taken from a dead Vietnamese shaman.
Lisa tried to keep it as a souvenir, but in the confusion of her two rapid
moves during the days following her injury lost it.
Lisa's Homes and Other Belongings
Lisa has two homes, one of them a mountain cabin on property her mother has Claimed in the Rockies, near Cuba, New Mexico, close to the Continental Divide; the other is in an isolated part of southwestern Jefferson County, near Louisville.
The cabin in the Rockies was Lisa's primary home for nearly two decades. It is a technological marvel, an often-remodeled structure which replaced an older, much smaller building. It is in the southern end of the Rockies, almost on the continental divide, and the terrain is very steep. Lisa likes to claim that her front door is only 200 feet from her mailbox, but that most of the distance is vertical. Though the building is connected to the area power grid, the cabin normally produces more electricity than it uses. There are three wind-driven electrical generators and the roof is covered with solar panels. Some of the later generate electricity, the rest heat water. There is a deep well to supply drinking water, and a sophisticated purification unit to treat wastewater and garbage. This unit also produces methane for heating and cooking, and fertilizer for the terraced garden. There is a greenhouse in back, and a sizable basement contains three large freezers stocked with perishables. There is also a large store of freeze dried and air dried consumables and a considerable stock of canned foods.
The basement also contains a shortwave station (there is an antenna farm outside), a sizable concealed armory, and an extensive assortment of medical gear. Lisa likes gadgets, and has an entertainment system costing more than the average home. Her desktop computer is not quite state-of-the-art, but is close, as is her laptop computer. She has a carbon-fibre composite frame mountain bike with titanium gears and stainless steel cables, chain and fixtures. Some people think Lisa's priorities are strange.
In New Mexico, she drives a Ford Bronco; one of the original, large ones. It has been substantially modified by a firm that normally provides custom limousines for foreign dignitaries.
In 1993, Lisa attended a regional SF convention in Louisville and fell in love with the city; or, to be more accurate, the area around it. It is centrally located, being close to several major cities, yet true forests are only a short drive away. The area has a high concentration of Garou, vampires and other unusual creatures. For a while she had a Gurahl as a neighbor.
For nearly twenty years Lisa considered the mountain cabin her true home, despite the fact that the property was her Mother's. After visiting Louisville for RiverCon, though, she changed her mind. She bought a run-down country mansion near the city and performed the Rite of Claiming. She then moved most of her personal belongings to Louisville. Her mountain home has been turned over to her mother, who generally lets it be used by wildlife researchers. Lisa believes the region where she now lives to be both more interesting and more convenient than her previous home in New Mexico. Also, she is now out of her Mother's hair, and her Mother is out of hers.
Lisa's Louisville home is an old mansion, somewhat rundown on the outside and located on a large, overgrown lot. The house isn't quite as customized as the cabin in New Mexico, but has been extensively renovated inside. Duplicated are the "environmentally correct" features, desktop computer, entertainment system and short-wave radio shack. The full basement has a walk-in freezer, a smaller version of her New Mexico arsenal and an extensive medical facility, including a miniature operating theater. Lately a nursery has been added.
Lisa is understandably cautious about what she keeps in her home. Anything of real value, or which might arouse the suspicion of visitors or the authorities, is stored in the Umbra. Everything in the house itself is legal, including the few firearms and other weapons. Items kept in the umbra range from additional weapons to Lisa's records of her adventures.
In Louisville Lisa's primary vehicle used to be a Sledgehammer, an extensively modified Corvette ZR1 with a top speed of over 250 mph. (Lisa mentioned the car in a novel, and got a demonstrator at a sizable discount in appreciation.) Unfortunately, it received some cosmetic damage during one of her outings with the local Garou, and Lisa realized that in addition to being expensive to repair, it was too noticeable and distinctive. She has since sold the Sledgehammer and bought a Monster Miata, an after-market modification of the standard Miata. While not quite as fast as her Sledgehammer, it actually has better acceleration and cornering, and is far more circumspect in appearance. She also has a somewhat more mundane version of her New Mexico mountain bike (beefed up so she can use it while in Crinos), and a motorcycle trail bike.
Note that Lisa's money isn't limitless. Much of the equipment in Louisville was originally at her New Mexico home until it was replaced by something better - or just newer or fancier.
Lisa is a formidable woman with considerable resources of her own, and she has powerful, influential friends. For a time she was a special advisor to the Silver Pack, and later actually made a member, due to extraordinary circumstances. This involvement with the wolves has led to Lisa participating in Garou activities that few other non-Garou have seen, or even heard of, since the first War of Rage.
Recently, the local cairn was desecrated, and Lisa helped create a new one. This was not a casual matter; a local Fianna went to Ireland to learn the necessary Rite, and died performing it. However, as a result of her sacrifice, and the efforts of others involved, the gauntlet in the new cairn was 2! (Lisa is convinced that her contributions - involving both participating in the Rite and expending Gnosis - are at least partly responsible for this.) Even Lisa could step sideways at the new cairn, in the same way she can on her Claimed property. As a result, she has been learning how to find her way in the Umbra.
Unfortunately, one of the parties responsible for the destruction of the old caern learned of this new one, and destroyed it as well. Lisa and most of the surviving Garou from the Sept are currently hunting this individual. It remains to be seen whether they will be successful.
May evil sorcery be given the wink May the evils of sorcery be driven off in crowds May evil sorcery sail off like a feather May evil sorcery be ground down May the weapons of evil sorcery, withered, aim away from me
Travel, driving, exotic foods, cooking, music.
Everything! Seriously, Lisa enjoys learning about anything that might have the remotest chance of being useful, interesting or just plain strange. This includes history, science, sociology, myths, legends, gossip and rumor.
She also likes to keep track of people she feels are pivotal. Not necessarily public figures, but individuals and groups which are in a position to influence decision makers, or start a fad.
Lisa's information exchange on poachers is already receiving a lot of support. If it is as successful as she hopes, she will establish a similar database containing information on dealers in endangered animals and parts.
Driving at night on twisty country roads with the headlights off. Athletic young men. (Or, as Lisa puts is, "fast cars and slow men.")
Lisa loves parties, and holds her annual Jellicle Ball about every eleven months.
Lisa's Camera Bag
Normal 1 Minolta X-370 1 28-105 macro zoom 1 100-300 zoom Vivitar 550FD flash 1 Minolta Maxxum 9xi 28-105 macro zoom 200-500 zoom Maxxum 5400xi flash 2 lead foil film bags w/ an assortment of 35mm film rolls 1 cassette recorder w/ remote mike, extra tapes 1 .44 Magnum revolver in holster w/lead inserts which make it resemble another film bag on X-ray machines 1 Leatherman tool 1 light expedition medical kit (see Standard Medical Kit, below) 1 Tekna III 1 Binoculars, 7X50 (night glasses) Serious 1 Minolta X-370 1 28-105 macro zoom 1 100-300 zoom 1 Vivitar 550FD flash 2 lead foil film bags w/ an assortment of 35mm film rolls 1 cassette recorder w/ remote mike, extra tapes 1 .44 Magnum revolver in holster w/lead inserts which make it resemble another film bag on X-ray machines; 3 speed loaders 1 Leatherman tool 1 Medium expedition medical kit (see Serious Medical Kit below) 1 bone-handled hunting knife 1 large can pepper spray 6 assorted Cyalume Lightsticks 1 Tekna III 1 Binoculars, 7X50 (night glasses) 1 Police/Fire band(s) scanner 1 Machete 100 meters of 2000 kg-test climbing rope. Standard medical kit Actifed (Cold/allergy medicine) Adhesive tape (1 in. roll; paper) Ammonia inhalants (12) Antacid tablets Aspirin Bandage, elastic (2 in.) Bandages, self adhesive (butterfly, finger, 1 in. strip, knuckle) Cotton swabs Flashlight (Tekna Microlith) Gauze pads (4 x 4, 2 x 2) Gloves, sterile (4 x 2) Hydrocortisone ointment Instant cold pack Instant hot pack Ipecac syrup Moleskin (recommended brand name: Spenco Skin Guard Padding) Opthalmic ointment Oropharyngeal airway (#2, #4) Petroleum jelly Safety pins (several each large and medium) Salt tablets Second skin (recommended brand: Spenco) Scalpels (one each #10, #11) Scissors (bandage, surgical) Snake bite kit Steri strips (1/8 x 3 in., 1/4 x 3 in.) Thermometers (hypothermia and regular; oral, rectal, electronic IR otoscopic) Triple antibiotic ointment Tweezers (flat, pointed) Tylenol Serious medical kit Actifed (Cold/allergy medicine) Adhesive tape (1 in., 2 in. rolls; paper, cloth) Ammonia inhalants (12) Anakit (Rx, manufactured by Hollister Stier, for treatment of anaphylactic shock) Antacid, liquid and tablets (varies) Aspirin Bandages, elastic (on each 2 in., 4 in.) Bandages, pressure (Bloodstopper, sanitary napkins) Bandages, self adhesive (butterfly, finger, 1 in. strip, knuckle) Bandages, triangle Benadryl (Rx, antihistamine, sleep inducer) Benzoin Catheter (18 gauge) Cervical collar Cotton swabs Dental emergency kit Donnatal (Rx, antispasmodic) Flashlight (Tekna Monolith) Gauze pads (4 x 4, 2 x 2) Gloves, cut resistant, 1 pr. (stainless steel fibres in a kevlar body with nylon shell and 24" nylon sleeves) Gloves, sterile (4X2) Hydrocortisone ointment Instant cold pack Instant hot pack Ipecac syrup Kerlex wrapping (2 in., 4 in. rolls) Lomotil (Rx, anti-diarrhea) Moleskin (recommended brand name: Spenco Skin Guard Padding) Opthalmic ointment Oropharyngeal airway (#2, #4) Petroleum jelly Phenergan (Rx, antinausea, antihistamine) Safety pins (several each large and medium) Salt tablets Second skin (recommended brand: Spenco) Scalpels (2 each #10, #11) Scissors (bandage, surgical) Snake bite kit Steri strips (1/8 x 3 in., 1/4 x 3 in.) Sun screen (factor 16 or better) Suture equipment Tetracycline (Rx, broad-spectrum antibiotic) Thermometers (hypothermia and regular; oral, rectal, electronic IR otoscopic) Triple antibiotic ointment Tweezers (flat, pointed) Tylenol Tylenol #3 (Rx, contains codeine)
This is the modern equivalent of a medieval mail shirt. It consists of a hooded, sleeveless kevlar tunic which hangs to just above Lisa's knees (in Crinos). The hood is attached to a safety helmet with a flip-up faceplate of polycarbonate, and the front of the garment has ceramic armor plates sewn into pockets. The basic material will stop up to .44 Magnum bullets. The faceplate will stop up to 9mm. With the ceramic plates, the front of this armor will stop armor-piercing .30-'06 bullets. The garment is light but stiff, providing great protection with some sacrifice of movement. (In game terms, it adds 3 soak dice for a 2-dot Dex penalty.)
Lately, though, Lisa has
put the mundane armor aside and come to depend on her Gift of Luna's Armor.
After realizing that the rifle she had been using - chambered for the .308 NATO cartridge - just wasn't potent enough, Lisa began looking for something more potent. She wanted to obtain a WWII German 20mm antitank rifle, but so far has had no luck. Instead, she purchased a Brno ZKK M602 bolt action rifle in .458 Winchester Magnum. It holds five rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. (In game terms, it does 9D10 with a difficulty to hit of 7 and a damage target of 6.)
However, even that has recently been replaced. After several incidents where substantial ash stakes had broken while Lisa tried to use them to immobilize vampires and an abomination, she had stakes made from stainless steel bar stock. (In game terms, she hit but did little or no damage, or the target soaked all the health levels.) She began practicing with them, not only using them to stab with, but learning how to use them as throwing spikes. She quickly learned that for close to medium range she was actually more accurate with the spikes than with her rifle (same base difficulty to hit, but since the spike throwing was taken as a specialty skill, she can re-roll tens). She also does more damage (ten dice as opposed to nine; these are roughly the size of traditional vampire stakes and much heavier and sturdier). Lisa has replaced the rifle with a bandolier of a dozen stakes.
She's still looking for that
anti-tank rifle. In the meantime, the spikes give her the damage of a heavy
machine gun with the rate of fire of a heavy machine cannon.
For years Lisa considered herself infertile, to the point of not bothering with birth control. However, shortly before moving to Louisville she learned that, like a cougar, she just needed a great deal of physical stimulation to ovulate. If this runs in the family it would explain why her mother had only one child, despite wanting a large family.
After learning this, Lisa finally admitting to herself that she wouldn't stay young forever and decided to begin having children. Following her mother's wishes, she mated with a kinfolk cougar and delivered three cougar cubs. There is great expectation that her children will be Bastet, because Lisa's mother somehow persuaded a group of Children of Gaia to allow the mating to take place at a fertility cairn. Her hopes so far appear valid, as the male has already had his First Change, at the age of just 8 months.
Lisa believes that her late First Change was not due to a lack of cat blood, but to her hereditary longevity, which slowed and stretched out her puberty. Still, she can't prove this, and she does want to continue the Pumonca line, which is why Lisa agreed to mate with the cougar her mother recommended. The fact that three offspring resulted from the mating is a bonus. That they were born as cougar cubs is a major penalty.
Lisa plans to continue having children, at least one every two years, for as long as she is able. However, any subsequent fathers will definitely be human! (That is, human kinfolk.)
Lisa is acutely embarrassed about this entire situation. She does not consider herself the motherly type, and finds the idea being pregnant and giving birth to be vaguely revolting. Add to this that the father is an animal, and that two of the children may be as well, and it is easy to see why she is uneasy. After she timidly informed her Garou friends (some of whom had already guessed) of her situation she was surprised at their warm response. Several of them baby-sat, either at Lisa's home or the nearby cairn. A Mokole and a Gurahl have also helped tend the cubs. A Red Talon Ahroun actually taught them to hunt.
Lisa and her Gypsy housekeeper - whom Lisa is putting through college on the condition that she learn animal husbandry and natural history - are studying what there is to know about Changing Folk reproduction. The two of them, with some help, remodeled one of the rooms at Lisa's mansion into a nursery. This being for Lisa's children, the walls are armored and the polycarbonate windows have locking steel shutters. When the cubs grew old enough to be left alone for longer periods, Lisa moved them to the Umbral portion of her Claimed property, which resembles the mountains of her childhood.
Surprisingly, Lisa proved to be a good mother. She nursed and tended the cubs in cougar form, and intends to teach them to hunt and survive as cougars. Any of her children who turn out to be Pumonca will also be taught to act as humans. Being an optimist, Lisa has already given the cubs human and Bastet names (In order of birth: Mihos/Tusk, Roda/Hunts-The-Wind and Crofta/Sits-And-Thinks). Being a realist, she has had the cubs vaccinated, and has obtained exotic pet papers allowing her to keep three cougars.
There have been many changes
in Lisa's life the past few months. Her experiences with the Garou have
made Lisa more aware of the spirit world. During her pregnancy Lisa made
propitiations to Bastet, who in Egyptian mythology was a protector of expectant
mothers. Since delivering her cubs, Lisa has learned the Ritual of Jamak
Promise Bond and accepted Bastet as her Jamak.
Lisa's Spirit Advisors
Navajo culture teaches avoidance of anything associated with the dead, whether physical or spiritual. Lisa's paternal grandfather wasn't a close follower of those ways, but he is still upset at becoming something he was taught to fear as a child. He tends to blame Lisa's Acoma great-great-grandfather for this fate. He had sometimes been in conflict with the old man when both were still alive.
The Acoma was a respected and powerful shaman. He was kinfolk, and quite aware of both the Pumonca and several of the other types of Changing Folk.
Shortly after the turn of the century, Lisa's great-great-grandfather had a dream that worried him mightily. He never discussed it in detail, but from questions he asked others about their own dreams and visions it seemed that he was worried about some great calamity to come early in the next century. He went up into the mountains, to pray, fast and meditate. He was gone nearly a week, and his children and friends began to worry. Finally, he returned, looking gaunt and tired but satisfied.
The old man explained that during the third day he was approached by a bear spirit, who gave him honey and nut bread to break his fast. They talked, and when the old man revealed his worries, the bear spirit made him a promise. From his descendants would come a series of powerful warriors of both body and spirit. As he rose to leave, the bear told the old man that the next born in his line would be a wisewoman of great power, and that her daughter would be a champion of both war and peace. They would bear the mark of the great cats, not seen in the family for generations. In different ways, both would help in the fight to stop the tragedy the old man had foreseen. These descendants would live long, see many wonders and do many things. Victory was far from guaranteed, but the chances were much better with their help. Cryptically, the bear said that the old man would not himself live to see more than the beginning of this, but that he would see it all.
Not long after, the wife of the shaman's youngest grandson gave birth to a girl child. There was great consternation among the family, because the baby had "the mark of the beast;" bushy, joined eyebrows, long, pointed canines and blue eyes. The old man just smiled, and told his grandson that the girl would be named Bear's Blessing, and chanted quietly over the child in the old tongue for a few moments. Her eyes soon became dark brown, and she grew up strong and healthy.
Shaman often have long lives, and this one lived long enough to know that the child was well on her way to becoming the first step in the fulfillment of the bear's promise. He went to his grave content.
To see what Lisa looks like, check out:
Lisa in Crinos
Lisa Dawnwind and all other original characters and concepts in this
document are Copyright 1999 by Rodford Edmiston Smith, who can be reached
at: email@example.com . The Werewolf
game and all other references to White Wolf material are Copyright by White