Shadowrun: Frangible Reputation
The Ungeekable, Unintelligible Mage
Once a ruthless fledgling Shadowrunner, the last three years have changed Tatanka. Strengthened spiritually but weakened physically and socially, Tatanka has much work to do to get his life back from the bleakness of the streets and to return to his physical prime. Hopefully his more sophisticated grasp of his people’s Shamanistic magics will help him in his self-discovery.
From: Sioux Nation
Family: Estranged Mother and Father, openly hostile due to Tatanka’s continued failures
Ethnicity: Native American, Meta-human (Troll Giant)
Appearance: Massive, dark-red barky skin, black hair including beard with few grey hairs, warm if slightly vacant disposition
Clothes: Cut down, well-worn survival suit, slightly compromised by extensive customisation, fetishes and combat damage
Quirks: Sioux Defense Force “Tribal” tattoos over entire body, difficult to notice over barky skin
Active Skills: Eclectic background of employment, survival needs and cultural learning
Knowledge Skills: Cultural background, environmental absorption, Some lost without utilisation
Equipment: Brought from homeland, coerced from shopowners outside official channels, self-built
Lives: A teepee erected inside of a seemingly abandoned shipping container
Contacts: Low affiliation talismonger
Enemies: Sioux Elders (Mostly relatives), Horizon Corp.
Magic: Adept for years, recently turned Mystic, realising ritualistic background
Likes: Respect for his culture, companionship, personal fulfillment, BTLs
Dislikes: Official Sioux scrutiny, Being shot at, BTLs
Morals: Military drills – Protect your fellow soldier. Cultural values – Personal responsibility, Personal in-practice martial values (Akichita Code) – Seek worthy opponents, Avoid harming the innocent
Goals: Find self, better interact with spiritual realm, receive guidance from power animal, Unacknowledged: Repair familial rift
Personal Beliefs: The Awakened world is filled with dangerous things, some masquerading as pleasures. Such things can tear you down, but being torn down can one day make you better. (To these ends, Tatanka avoids living in circumstances any more luxurious than those of a squatter)
Personality Quirks: Gets base satisfaction from honourable combat, compassionate satisfaction from helping and healing
Why he Runs: Money for sustainment, self-discovery, growth (to finally grow his horns, metaphorically)
Roles: Archer, Brawler, Medic, Door Buster, Wall-climber, Agro-sponge
The attached image is a rendering of an eye-witness description of Tatanka before his fall from grace.
Tatanka has recently taken custody of a young girl that the runners saved from fleshmongers and ghouls. How this arrangement will pan out is unknown.
Born into one of the smaller tribes absorbed by the Sioux Nation, Tatanka’s cultural upbringing is an amalgamation of modern Sioux standards and his tribe’s maintained traditions. As per his tribe’s custom, he was predicted an animal at birth, a Buffalo, a very rare portent of spiritual tenacity, compassion for one’s kin and responsibilities including healing (spiritual and physical), leadership or both.
His below-average intelligence and latent troll meta-humanity made him a difficult child to nurture in the way he was expected to. Stubborn, disinterested in his fate, seemingly disconnected from his spirituality and more concerned with physical excellence, Tatanka caused more hindrance than help in his youth, much to the dismay of his parents, his father being a member of the Council of Elders and his mother being a general in the Sioux Defense Force. In his late teens, when his Troll qualities had fully bloomed and he’d become absurdly powerful and misdirected, Tatanka’s mother kept to her duties and saw Tatanka into the Defense Force for his first year. His time in the force, and in the reserves for some years after, was some of ruthless behavioural maintenance rather than physical development. Rather effortlessly excelling at all training exercises and poorly absorbing any tactical tutelage, a particularly unfortunate live exercise resulted in severe injuries (mostly caused by Tatanka) and it was here that he demonstrated his first connection to the spiritual realm. With a simple laying of hands Tatanka was able to remove the injuries of his squad mates and calm them, even without really trying to. Much like his physical excellence, he had very little control over it.
This glimmer of hope caught his father’s attention. Still hoping to cultivate his son into a Medicine Man, he withdrew Tatanka from the reserves and insisted he take a spirit journey at Bear’s Tower during the Sun Dance. The rights and hallucinogenic mixtures were applied (in copious amounts to counter Tatanka’s iron constitution and stubborn willpower) and he was sent on his journey.
For a full month Tatanka was gone, and stories of violent death and lewd behaviour were all that his family heard of him. His return would be one of shame and confusion, having made no spiritual growth and no connection to his power animal. Again failing to meet his parents’ expectations, Tatanka used what few connections he had to get out of Sioux territory, given responsibility for protection of a tribal Elder who was traveling to Seattle on an indefinite diplomatic mission. He assumed this charge would be simpler and more horizon broadening than the pressures of his homeland. He was only half right.
The elder placed in Tatanka’s care became deeply addicted to BTLs. Despite being an early, successful Shadowrunner, Tatanka took it upon himself (as per his duty) to jack in and recover the Elder’s mind. In the process Tatanka lost his charge for good and became deeply addicted to BTLs himself. The following three years were phases of abuse, recovery and renewed spiritual pursuit. During this rehabilitation Tatanka discovered an even stronger magical connection as a Mystic Adept, but lost practically all his worth. Tatanka’s circumstances, which once forced him to return to the Shadows merely to survive, have years later brought Tatanka to a measure of composure and satisfaction, now deliberately eschewing the luxuries of life for spiritual enlightenment.
Concept: A Wichasha Wakan (Sioux “Medicine Man”) is recognised as having a strong connection with the spirit world, especially The Great Spirit, and thus a responsibility to use this gift to maintain the physical, psychological and spiritual wellness of his people. This includes healing, reaching out to the spirits in times of crisis and assisting their kin on spiritual journeys (vision quests, identifying power animals, etc).
Description and Customs: The Awakening was a boon for the Native American tribes. Not because it strengthened their beliefs, which were already great, but because it allowed them to prove their beliefs to the world. The second Ghost Dance started as an uprising and drove the tribes to independence, and the accuracy of their spiritual beliefs was no small part of this success. This Shamanism varies between tribes, but some Sioux still identify Medicine Men as healers, spiritual guides and even tribal leaders. Their affinity with the spirit realm allows them to realise many truths of nature and of man’s part in it and to use this to help their kin or the tribe as a whole. The existence of good spirits and possession by evil spirits is an element of this tradition, but more strongly emphasised is personal spiritual guidance and fulfilment. To lose part of one’s spiritual self, to not be guided by a power animal, or to lack purpose in being is a form of serious ailment which will manifest into physical harm in time.
Animal guides of various kinds help tribe members on spiritual journeys, with the animal or animals reflecting their nature and the journey itself being one of self-discovery, understanding, and the finding of knowledge and wisdom. Medicine Men help facilitate this. As the western applied name implies, Medicine Men are predominantly male, though as with all traditional roles, women are proving their prowess and affinity with the spiritual realm. There is little room for technology in this tradition, with physical enhancements compromising the integrity of the spirit. Arguments can be made for AR and the Matrix providing more extensive means of personal growth or spiritual healing of others far way.
At least within their tribal homes, these shamans are well respected.