Battlebriar
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Battlebriar
Player: @Talen Lee
Origin: Mutation
Archetype: Dominator
Threat Level: 39
Personal Data
Real Name: Originally River Daleson
Known Aliases: The Rose Paladin
Species: Evolved
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 280 lbs
Hair Colour: Action-Star Blonde
Eye Colour: Baby blue
Biographical Data
Nationality: US Citizen
Occupation: Political Coordinator for Nation
Place of Birth: Chastity, Colorado
Base of Operations: N/A
Marital Status: Possessive
Known Relatives: Both parents, still alive
Known Powers
Spontaneous abiogenetic genetic manipulation
Known Abilities
Skilled orator, advanced knowledge of biology and biological theory
Equipment
None.
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Forewarned and Forearmed: I myself am an atheist, and very much in the Dawkins/Hitchens camp of 'Religion is Toxic'. For this reason, Battlebriar, as a character is likely to have a lot of the 'bad' aspects of religion. For those sensitive to such issues, I don't fancy having a debate with you about it, and I expect you don't want the same. That said, while the normal 'sex and violence' warning applies to this mature themed-character, I warn an additional time that Battlebriar is a character who has many religious themes as expressed in a 'real' context. If you are sensitive about such things, or find it disrespectful or blasphemous to have a Christian who sins, I invite you to kindly not read this particular page.

Affiliations

Battlebriar could best - if unkindly - be summarised as a man who cares too much about too little. His friends and foes within the Rogue Isles and Paragon City are not a particularly diverse bunch - he is mainly a figure within Nation, and has little connection to those outside it.

Personality

Battlebriar is an intense young man who can best be summarised as someone with little to no sense of proportion and a low self-esteem, layered with an element of guilt. Much of his upbringing was religious in its nature, and he has taken tenants from his old faith as the basis for his new morality, doused with several more relativist elements. Rarely is anyone as hard on Briar as he is on himself, and he sees a failure to give as a fundamental failing on his part. For this reason, Briar is a creature of ups and downs, of highs and lows, and he is at his most tormented when put between two of those things to which he is devoted.

Powers

Battlebriar, the Cradle of Gaea, thorn-wielding warrior of Nation's political arm, comes across as having 'simplistic' powers - those of controlling and manipulating plants - until one slowly scratches the surface and sees just how they truly work. Battlebriar is not just an individual Evolved, but in fact an object lesson showing the most crucial lesson of all evolutionary theory - the point of abiogenesis, the point where non-life became life. He can use these powers to control the battlefield, harm his enemies, or in the more horror-story scenarios imagined of 'real' biological warfare.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Briar's biggest weakness as a person is his utter lack of proportion. Everything must be done to an extreme, every counterattack a decisive and ferocious blow. He has a hard time enjoying the simple and the incremental. While he has felt great joy quietly making dinner for people, for example, he only ever finds himself in those situations by accident: He has no idea how to make them happen for himself.

Battlebriar is probably at his most efficient and safest when he lacks an audience. When there's something or someone to impress nearby, however, he doesn't quail from the opportunity, taking the chance to be remembered for his eagerness and his skill. He wants to prove himself as a worthy member of the Nation, and a hero to its people. He seeks some way in which he can express this, and finds himself trying to mentor and assist the newer members of the group.

Battlebriar cares. He really does; within five minutes of meeting Canvas, he wanted to protect her, the simple tale of a mutant persecuted from Agony enough to make him want to find this victim and protect her, too; he wants to be a friend to Soubrette, wants to accommodate the rough owner Darkest Mercy seeks, and longs to hear what Eisregen has to tell. In essence, Battlebriar is very easily manipulated by those around him, with his overweening desire to help coupled with his almost homicidal bouts of rage, he can simply be directed as a walking, talking revenge vehicle that can be used and discarded. He feels pity for those who are religious (and can barely restrain himself from discourse on the matter), his eyes are easily caught by pretty girls (or girly boys), and it doesn't take much to turn Battlebriar from an indifferent stranger to an enduring crusader for your individual suffering45.

History

Battlebriar's entire life could be summarised, somewhat cruelly, as a boy raised by parents who weren't there, who ingrained into him the drive of ambition and left a yawning void within him, a desire to be loved. Briar's life since that point has been a comical tragedy, constantly striving to be the Knight, the Crusader that his soul cries to be, yet eternally collapsing, trying too hard for things he simply cannot have.

Origins

I created Battlebriar after watching many friends make redside versions of blueside characters; honestly, this is a practice I at the time said: "I can't stand, finding it breaking my immersion of disbelief and almost a little godmodey." Ironically, I have been considering running Battlebriar as my first dual-identity character as well.

Battlebriar was a blank slate when I first made him; he had no real costume, and I left him with a number of roleplaying hooks, to see what others - the people of Nation - wound up doing with him. The main disincentive I had had towards playing redside was the lack of RP over there if you weren't in your 50s already, and it left me somewhat jaded and bothered on the topic. @Eisregen (not Eisregen) had mentioned Nation as a source for himself, and the idea of playing with, you know, other people, tempted me over.

I created Battlebriar as formless as I could; I wanted him to be corrupted, that was for sure, and I wanted him to start out as a religious bigot, a narrowminded jerk, who was utterly convinced of his own rightness, but I couldn't maintain that, because it's an unrealistic perspective to hold onto without entering into outright delusion. I did not want to make Battlebriar a mockery of religion, holding him up and saying "Look, religious people! I have made a religious character, and he is a villain, oooo, aren't I bad?"

The upshot of this is that Battlebriar had to have an array of vices that could be exploited, and he had to be designed with intent to change. Too many people get attached to their initial idea of a character, and that means they wind up remaining static. In turn, too many people make their villains simplistic and boring: I've gotten to the point where the rough-and-ready antihero, ala The Punisher actually strikes me as boring and overdone.

Battlebriar is an attempt, much like Eisregen, to make a villain who is compelling and deep in his own way. He is a flawed character in many ways, still; his intensity and passion mean that he is ultimately easy to manipulate, his desire to be all things to all men mean that he is one day going to have to choose between two things he views as absolute priorities, and his sincerity mean that he is not nearly as good at being duplicitous or manipulative himself.

Battlebriar has been described as the irresistable force to Eisregen's immovable object. Eisregen is staid, hard-nosed and bitter, and he has a lifetime of experience at it. Arguing with him is like boxing a glacier, as you simply are presented with unemotive, unpassionate, clinical facts around which he builds his case. Eisregen does not appeal to your emotions or ignite your passions, and what makes him all the more morbid and terrifying is that so often he says things that border on reasonable, then shows them taken to a point that is not.

Battlebriar, on the other hand, is a firebrand, a blazing orator, who offers impassioned speeches underpinned with case-by-case examples. Battlebriar is the eternally giving older brother, the undyingly loyal (in his own way) lover, and the man who Gets Things Done without ever requiring edict from above. Frequently being tag-teamed in an argument by Eisregen and Battlebriar leaves their mutual opponent stunned as the pair argue with one another in such a way that a stronger, core point comes out.

Since his transfiguration as the hand of Nation, Battlebriar became a deeper, more nuanced, and overall nicer character. Due to augmentation of his wit and his mind, he has become not just a ferocious proponent of his own perspectives, but a vigorous apologist and demagogue for the cause that he now utterly believes in. It is everything to him, this family that is Nation, these people who are Evolved.

Battlebriar's inspirations are Nightwing from DC Comics (whose subtle religious bent is utterly at odds with his behaviour), the work of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, and so many classic stories about a fallen knight. There are elements of Lancelot to him, and other, more controversial figures, such as Ted Haggard, and the other more insidious practices of Missionary Dating. At the core of it all, though, my own experiences with the Christian Protestant church and religion at large as a political force are the main sources of my inspiration for Battlebriar.

Other Notes

Battlebriar's born name, given to him by his parents, is River Joachim St Andrew Daleson; he now adheres to the Law Of Names and has tried to reduce the amount people use this name.

Quotes

"And by their works ye shall know them."
- Battlebriar, paraphrasing the Bible

Musical Themes

Trivia

  • Battlebriar's hero career has gone almost completely unnoticed. So far, only Ego Trip, of Inevitable Evolution, has recognised him.
  • Battlebriar has a particular fondness for 'goth chicks'.
  • Battlebriar has no facial or body hair, and does not grow any, thanks to Soubrette.
  • Battlebriar plays the guitar, fairly decently, in fact.
  • Battlebriar is slightly shortsighted and his sunglasses are prescription.
  • Before being subdivided and summarised as it is right now, this page was twenty four pages in A4 text, at typeface 12, single spaces. Now it's all divvied up, it weighs in at a total of 36 pages as raw text. The longest section is the Powers section.

Footnotes

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