Character Name: Skaramine
Quotes:"I am here to remind you that Justice does strike like lightning. Except, in my case, you'll live to relish the agony."
(Slams thug against the wall and peels off his mask.) "I am Lazarus, risen back from Hell, here to confess all." (Shifts feet to avoid growing puddle.)
Concept: Scarred avenger seeking redemption.
Occupation: Government operative, fishing boat pilot.
Real Name: Joshua Rycerz
Legal Status: US Citizen with amended desertion record.
Identity: Known to the Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence
Place of Birth: Blackwater, Illinois
Marital Status: Single
Living Relatives: None
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 180 lbs
Age: Early 30's
Joshua Rycerz looked at the graves of his brother and parents, unbidden tears only held back by the iron will that got him through Hell Week and the training to turn him into a Navy SEAL. They'd been murdered by a Vietnamese street gang because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. His heart whirled in agony. He wanted to strike back.
And he did. Going AWOL, breaking and entering and stealing weapons for his war, he became the Death Knight, and slaughtered the gang who killed his family, only to discover more enemies. He continued his bull in a China shop rampage, smashing at each new enemy with renewed ferocity and firepower...
Until the enemy got together, and found out just where Joshua was based, and firebombed him, several homeless people, and his sole surviving relative, his injured sister. Only Joshua survived, his face destroyed, and his nervous system shocked beyond human endurance.
But Joshua stumbled, remembering his sister's dying words as he'd held her in his arms.
"Stop killing, Josh..."
Joshua, tormented by the screams of innocents who died around him, was shaken to his very soul. Turned into a hideous monster, he had two options - continue his rampage, letting more innocents die in the wake of his wars until they put him out of his misery, or do the right thing.
Discovered by an old, seemingly homeless man named Kent, Joshua was nursed to health, and taught meditation tactics to control his constant pain, and other skills that opened up his versatility as a crimefighter, skills that Kent claimed came from the Far East. It turned out that Kent himself was a retired crimefighter who trained him in criminology as well as the mystic arts.
A faceless avenger was born: Skaramine - scarred body and soul - possessed of the strength and endurance of a fanatic, the bringer of justice like lightning.
The US Navy wanted Rycerz to return to them when he finally resurfaced, but the Director of the ONI (Office of Naval Investigations) was visited by Skaramine one night and he made a deal. He offered his services as a tool to the US Navy, a weapon of last resort, in exchange for a wiping of Joshua Rycerz's Desertion charges and a new identity as Joseph Ritter.
The Blackwater Police Department are leery of Skaramine, and suspect that he is somehow related to the Death Knight, and they are keeping a close eye on him, just in case he returns to the old blood and thunder vigilante that he used to be. However several cops, chief among them Inspector Jacqueline Channelle, see him as a great help.
Joshua Rycerz was originally a proud young man who joined the military to live a life of adventure. Skaramine, however, no longer seeks out adventure, though he does try to find some small humor and pleasure in what does remain in his bleak, terrifying life. His favorite thing to do with enemies is to cow them into horror with the appearance of his melted and fused features. Even his name is a cruel pun on his appearance - Scars a' mine.
He has a wry, often black sense of humor that surfaces quite often, unless he is gripped by rage over atrocities against the innocent. When he faces brutal criminals and enemies who have killed or maimed civilians or "soldiers of the same side" (law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, US and allied military personnel) he is quite often brought close to ending lives through his savage attacks. However, despite his yearning for justice, Skaramine has renounced killing and believes in redemption. When given a choice between protecting a bystander and bringing a criminal down, he will go to the rescue, because he has chosen his role as a life saver, not a life taker.
Skaramine is a merciful vigilante, however. Despite being capable of great damage, when he kidnaps a henchman for one of his "demonic infiltrations" (see below), he gives the kidnapped thug a "free ride," after a heart-to-heart talk while the victim is unmasked. "Redeem yourself. If we meet again, I'll show you a side much uglier than my face."
Oddly enough, many criminals do have an astounding change of heart.
Joshua is very much in love with Jacqueline Channelle, and she is in love with him as well, but fear of involvement and Skaramine's war on crime has kept them distant, only as co-workers and not lovers.
POWERS and ABILITIES
Skaramine's magical abilities are passive in nature. He is primarily an illusionist, capable of becoming invisible and inaudible to the conscious mind, disguising himself as someone else, and projecting terror in the form of all encompassing, soul-chilling laughter - a tactic that Kent claimed was highly terrifying and effective. He also has divining abilities, and an ability to resist madness induced by the unknown.
The firebombing that destroyed Skaramine's face and savaged much of his skin, as well as Kent's meditation training, altered his central nervous system. With less pain feedback, Skaramine is enormously strong and tough, doesn't tire as easily as normal men, and has amazing reaction times and agility. With his agility, he is also harder to hit directly, so that his defenses are even higher. In hand-to-hand combat, he is quick and devastating against normal foes. As well, he can tap even deeper reserves of Berserker strength enabling him to take on even super-strong enemies.
Skaramine is a highly skilled detective, thief, and master of disguise and infiltration, as well as being trained in demolitions, small arms, and unconventional forms of transportation including SCUBA and parachuting, as well as other military and espionage skills. He still carries a pair of Kent's old silver-polished .45 Caliber 1911's, and keeps a supply of non-lethal ammunition for most use as he is loathe to directly murder anyone. He also makes use of equipment such as tear gas grenades and Lightning-S-shaped throwing irons and a Grapnel "Skar" and rope for scaling buildings.
One tactic that Skaramine has enjoyed using, as it gives his enemies the idea that he isn't a human vigilante, but a body-posessing demon of vengeance is to kidnap a henchman, disguise himself as the person and learn to impersonate him, and then infiltrate the enemy lair. After gathering as much information as possible, he then begins to go into agonized spasms, then digs his fingers into his disguise and pulls his horribly scarred face through one of his illusory masks, complete with the illusion of gushing blood, howling at unholy levels of pain and rage, and usually causing a lot of property damage and beating up lots of enemy thugs before making his escape (provided he hasn't already torn down the place and taken out the chief bad guy.
This is entirely unnerving to his enemies.