I think I shall be throwing my lot in here with the rest of you. I am still pondering options, but I do have a face claim already.Name:
1 meter 93 (6'3")Weight:
91 kg (200 lb)Hair Colour:
Pronounced scars all around his throat, a fer smaller ones across his body. A tattoo
across his chest and one
across his back.Face Claim:
- Sociopath: Roman wasn't born the way he is, even if he had always been a little fast and loose with the rules and most likely had a penchant for antisocial personality disorder, but a stable family life kept it in check. A life long of inflicting and going through suffering has slowly blunted him to the responsibilities and consequences of his actions. Slowly but surely, his mind has cracked under strain, duress, immense feelings of guilt, stress and anxiety to cause him to simply flip the switch and turn it all off. In this sense, he is a broken man. He sees most people as little more than pawns to be moved, though he takes no pleasure in doing so. There is only him and his survival. The lives of everyone around him are tailored to suit that need. There are long-term exceptions that create notions of loyalty, but overall, Roman is about as cold and intimidatingly callous a man as you will ever meet.
- Cynical: He had always been a bit of a pessimist, but his years spent as a mercenary has turned him into a truly cynical individual. Exposure to the ugliest faces of politics and society have put a sober and surrealist note on just about anything he perceives around him. He takes little joy in life anymore and is wary of anything brought before him as if it were fact, or worthy of praise or contempt. He will make that out for himself, and question anything or anyone that says differently.
- Judgmental: Despite being a fine piece of work himself, Roman had taken it upon himself to judge others for their actions. While greed and the corrupted wealthy are favored targets, none are above his gaze of contempt. When he witnesses an act, he will make up his mind about a person or situation and little will be able to sway him from it. He will have appraised you, and categorized you exactly where you fit in. More often than not, the negative bins are overflowing, while the positive ones are starving.
- Vengeful: Roman has a very long list of names of people who got on his bad side, and that list is showing no signs of getting shorter. More than a vengeful streak, Roman harbors intense anger, resentment and hatred towards many people around him. In most cases, one either leaves him cold, or becomes a target. With the means the Triads have given him, few people that earn themselves his ire have lived to tell the tale, and he has every intention of one day retroactively applying his new method of retribution on everyone who has ever slighted him.
- Honorable: Despite everything, Roman still holds onto the tiniest shred of decency he once had. Somewhere behind layers of indifference and contempt are lines he will not cross. Considering some of the horrible acts he has committed over the years, though, the nature of these lines seem random to others, but they always make perfect sense to him. Not surprising, he sticks to these final inhibitions feverishly, as even his callous and uncaring mind knows that if he does away with those limits, he will be lost forever. Among these is his penchant to hold true to his word. While they are not common, a promise from him is one you can trust. He will not try to trick you, he will not try to twist words, and he will hold himself to his word as best he can.
Roman hails from a fairly humble town in Ukraine, near the border of Russia. His childhood was not the most comfortable imaginable, but compared to the poverty-stricken families whose children he befriended from time to time, he knew barely making ends meet was far better than not making it at all. Schooling was in short supply, but his father had had a full high school education when he was younger and was able to impart a significant amount of that knowledge to his son. His mother was also relentless with taking the time to touch the young boy how to read and write. While he would always lack behind those able to afford school, leftover and cheap books at least gave him a chance to catch up. Most of the rest of the time was spent helping his father with deliveries or aiding his mother with housework or chores. However, an accident took his father's mobility away from him, putting the entire family at risk of losing what little they owned. After trying to hold down a number of jobs - some simultaneously - while barely sixteen, he eventually decided to try and join the army instead. Despite protests from his mother, both parents knew this was likely the only way for them to get any kind of financial security, and most of his wages, however meager they might be, could go to putting food on the table for them.
Roman's life of hard work paid off in that the strict discipline and physical demands at boot camp did not push him to the breaking point. Biting through blood, sweat and tears, he managed to complete the training he was given with flying colors. His success was such that it quickly earned him the opportunity to attempt to join the Ukrainian special forces. Despite warnings of how brutal the training could be, and persistent rumors that life among those men was not always what it seemed, he knew his current wage was not going to support his ailing father and struggling mother for long. So, he accepted, and began the next step of his career when he was twenty-one years old. They had not lied about the difficulty of the training and disciplining he received next. But, despite terrible psychological and physical stress, he managed to struggle his way through the training and earn his place among the reported finest of his nation. His life took a darker turn from that point onward though, as matters started to spiral out of control.
To those with the time and money to stay informed, it was a public secret that corruption guided the hands of some of the officers governing the military. After all, they were appointed and paid by politicians who would stop at nothing to stay in their comfortable office. The right amount of money, in the right hands, quickly led to extremism, and the use of some units of the special forces for heinous causes. Roman was stuck. Those he thought he could trust demanded he cooperate and keep his lips sealed, or he and his family would be silenced. The officers paying his monthly wage offered him more than enough to keep his parents comfortable and taken care of, so long as played ball. They had realized by that point that he had potential, and it would have been a waste of the effort it took to get him trained if they just put a bullet in his head then and there, or transferred him to a different unit where he could leak secrets he should not. He was young, weak, and alone. He took the money. Kept his mouth. And did as he was told like a good soldier.
Assassinations, shooting at protesters, covert strikes on Ukrainian and foreign targets alike, unsanctioned attacks on even civilian targets if they proved too much of a nuisance; any innocence Roman had left was snuffed out in the span of a few months. He had learned about the power of greed the hard way, both personally, and through the corrupt actions of others. But what could he do? His hands were tied! And those same hands grew very bloody after two years; bloody enough to reach a breaking point after an incident saw him "forced" to cut the throat of an innocent woman. It was either that, or he would have been killed for insubordination along with her by the men ordering him to go through with it before she could scream. He had had enough. He had been cowardly for years, and he chose the coward's way out again. By running away.
He tried to warn his parents after he hit the road. Tried to tell them to leave their home behind and meet him some place they wouldn't be waiting for him. But he was too late. An overnight fire had claimed his parental home and the lives of two upstanding members of the community. He had been foolish for showing up, an act that forced him to flee from pursuers. He was quickly labeled an outlaw, a deserter and a national traitor. Stories about him leaking secrets were spread and most of the nationalistic people in his homeland were riled up to hate him. He knew he could no longer hide there, so he skipped the border and tried to find a new life elsewhere.
His legal status and nationality essentially ruined any chance of him finding proper work, which left only one avenue open given the skills and lifestyle he had been taught over the years: mercenary work. He was perfectly aware of how little he would be able to wash himself clean of the blood on his hands in that line of work. But what was he supposed to do? Work as a delivery boy? Again, he took the coward's way out and joined the first company that would have him. Under normal circumstances, being told one was good at their job would be a point of pride and an elevation of self-worth. But when some mercenary tickets saw you gunning down freedom fighters whose cause was nowhere near as unrighteous as the local media made it out to be, those words rung hollow. By the time he had been in the business for three years, he had all but stopped caring. He still felt guilt. He still had a conscience. Somewhere. But he lived comfortably, and cynicism had taken a hold completely.
He did not stay out of trouble forever. Near the start of his fourth year with the company, a small detachment of them were sent to deal with a local crime lord in the middle of nowhere in South America. The people that hired them wanted the man gone, but given that he had a private army and extorted the locals out of everything they had, what they could afford wasn't much. Still, the opportunity remained worth the risks for the higher ups, and Roman was sent along to serve as a bit more experience among rookies. The ticket did not go well. A few days of fighting resulted in the mercenary force being handed a resounding defeat. Only three of the men survived, among them Roman, and were taking captive by the head of the organization. The man had long since taken leave of his senses. Driven to madness by paranoia and psychopathic behavior that had always plagued him, he grew obsessed with the men that had dared to try and oust him. They were chained in a dungeon. Tortured endlessly. Two of them died, but Roman persisted. But the torture took on an even darker turn when the man wanted to claim Roman's voice, for the simple reason that he liked his screams. To this day, Roman bears the meritorious and poorly healed scars on his throat where a blade had cut to take away his voice. It was a miracle no lethal damage had been mended, though in the years after, Roman grew ever more certain that his survival was only because the sick torturer knew all too well how and where to cut.
During those long weeks, Roman grew detached and even a bit unhinged. When he could no longer scream, he would bash away at the bars fruitlessly in a desperate effort to escape. All he could see was how his torturer ate the finest foods, and enjoyed all the luxuries of life, while he wasted away in damp and mold. But the man lost interest after a while, instead deeming it more fitting to torture young women plucked from nearby villages. As cruel as it was to think that way, Roman was happy. It gave him reprieve. Time to think and plan. He no longer cared about what happened to others. He just needed to get out of there. There was no guilt anymore. No conscience. No concept of what consequences his actions had for the safety of others. Why should he care? When others never did for him. It was juvenile, but in his state, it made sense. When a guard finally made a mistake, Roman took the opportunity and grasped his freedom. He cannot remember what happened then. He remembers a lot of blood, and a lot of screaming. But when he came to his senses and he crashed from a lack of adrenaline, he found he was safe; or safer than he had been.
The next year of his life was spent on the road and recovering. He began to travel north, mending his wounds and trying to cope with the memories and his disability. He taught himself sign language and other ways of communicating, and he kept himself fed by doing whatever jobs he could wherever he was passing through. Much of that was work for criminal elements, but the look of fear in innocent people's eyes no longer phased him. He had locked away that side of him along with the rest of the misery of a very long and dark chapter of his life. He lived in the there and then, there was no past and no future. Just him, and his survival. He still stuck to hints of a code of conduct that was once perceived as being proper and humane, but when it came to racketeering, abuse and murder, he began to care less and less. He should have sought out help long before then. But he continued to choose the coward's way out, and ran from responsibility.
It was around this time that he arrived in Ergastulum. He had heard of the city's reputation, and figured there could be some work in it for him. But, integrating into the dangerous society of the city was not so easy when there was no-one there to guide him, and teach him the ropes. There was no-one that could tell him who to talk to, and who to avoid all eye contact with, at all costs. He was in the city for less than three days when he had already gotten himself in trouble with people far too numerous and dangerous for him to handle alone. For once, though, luck was on his side, as a pair of observant eyes had been watching what was transpiring in that alleyway. A man names Moses stepped forth, backed by enforcers that were armed to the teeth. The rival gangmembers did not stand a chance as they either fled or were riddled with bullets. When all was over, there was only Roman on the ground, injured.
He was given an offer. Work for the Triads and earn a living, or die in that alley before he became a threat. What choice did he have? In his eyes, Moses was an upgrade compared to what he had been working for. The man ran a competent... business, and what else could he possibly do? Roman accepted, and found himself climbing the ranks slowly, but surely.
For the last five years, Roman's been fulfilling a role very unlike what one would expect of him. While still a part-time enforcer, given his deadly skill in many forms of combat, his role in the organization has taken on a decidedly monetary turn. Among the establishments that the Triads ran in the city of Ergastulum was an ever-expanding casino called "Lucky Number 8". But, its original manager decided to take more than his cut allowed, and had done so for years by that point. It seemed it was time for him to be replaced, which opened up an opportunity that Moses knew Roman would enjoy. The leader of the Triads was one of the few people who knew about parts of the broken soldier's past, and he was perfectly aware of his aversion to displays of wealth, greed and corruption. What better place to put a man that would love nothing more than to take away all the money the greedy have earned, and put it in pockets that would make proper use of it? It was a gamble, go figure, but Roman found managing such a place to be far more in line with his capabilities than he expected. While a rough ride at first, he was given the time to learn and adjust, and the casino soon became one of the biggest cash-cows for the Triads, as well as a safe house for any of their members that find themselves in more trouble than they can handle...
Roman's financial situation may have improved, but his mental health has not. He remains detached, uncaring and cynical. On top of that, he has gained a bit of a reputation among those who know him. Rumors of all kinds circulate about him. That he is a murderer, a sadist, a rapist, a torturer and more. How much of all that is true? How much of it is fabricated because no one ever hears him speak and no one really knows where he came from? He makes no effort to counter any of it. Better they fear him as a monster than believe he might be one of the more decent souls left in that wretched city.Weapons:
He never goes anywhere without at least a handgun on him, and two or three knives of varying sizes, including a military-issue combat dagger. Anything he can get his hands on can be used to kill, but he tends to favor small firearms, rifles and his own body. Roman has been trained extensively to incapacitate or kill, and is a dangerous opponent to face due to lifelong experience with combat and the ability to think on his feet and not rely completely on trained martial arts (even if his expertise is considerable).Skills:
Hand-to-hand combat specialist (military martial arts, boxing, sambo and hapkido), firearms (various types), basic business management.O&Os:
Purely in terms of sexual content, my personal O&Os apply, though Roman himself has precious little interest in romantic or sexual pursuits. He may bed to sate bodily needs, or even manipulate another into doing what he wants them to. But an actual relationship is a long-shot. Not impossible, but a long-shot.
EDIT: I believe I am all done with this.
EDIT: GM-requested changed applied.