Raymond "Ram" Barstok
Barstok becomes a major recurring antagonist in Episodes 4 through 10 of the R-rated series, "Sapphire Circe, Earth’s Seductress Supreme".
First AppearanceBarstok first appears in Episode 4: "Alarm" as a 21-year-old thug clad in leather and denim who appears to be robbing the sanctum of a coven of witches near downtown Los Angeles. Sapphire Circe takes a break from her routine of trolling for muggers in the area when she senses a subtle alarm. Somehow, she knows that a call has gone out for any witches who can sense the "magic spell" to come to the aid of a coven. She of course wonders if it is actually a trap. She investigates and enters the building following the entry the robber used, a sub-par fire escape which really needed to be brought up to code. With a bit of luck, she turns to see him silently backtracking to escape with his stolen loot. A fight ensues in the gymnasium-sized ritual room. Unbeknownst to Circe, Barstok has done luck rituals that reduce the fitness of his opponents, they just are not on their game that day. Unbeknownst to Barstok, Circe has performed luck rituals that cause her opponents' weapons to crack and fail. The fight ends with Barstok knocked unconscious. Circe finds that among his stolen loot is the book she has been seeking, information on the Minotaur and where an actual one might still exist. She plans to do a "Spiderman Routine" and make a phone call to the anonymous police hotline so that they can find him unconscious with his loot, but the police find only the evidence of the break-in, and the scattered money left behind. Barstok awakened and left, taking only a book on magical spells and rituals of the Druids of Stonehenge. He left evidence that it was only a routine burglary.
Personal BackstoryBarstok had been an initiate of this witches' coven in Los Angeles, but the coven had a tradition that initiates must magically combat each other. The winner would graduate, and the loser would resume study and try again. Barstok tried over a half-dozen times, losing to female witches each time. Eventually, he tired of being the metaphorical punching bag, good enough to be the measuring bar for others' graduations but not good enough himself to pass. During this time the coven transformed from a largely Gardnerian Wicca establishment (co-ed witches) into a Dianic Wiccan coven (female witches only). Despite the coven's statements to the contrary, Barstok began to believe that the game was stacked against him, and that no male could graduate. He eventually left when he discovered a "coven" of druids, all male magickal practitioners devoted to the balance of nature. Even among the Druidic cult, Barstok was an outsider, knowing too much that he could not set aside to focus on the curriculum. Combining the Druidic and Wiccan rituals he had already learned, he developed the belief that the Great Oak tree at the center of the druidic grove wanted him to perform a quest (breaking and entering and burglary) for which the Great Oak would repay him. He "acquired" a tome of druidic spells and inserted it into a hole under the Great Oak's roots.
Notable Powers and RelicsFrom a Wiccan coven, Barstok learned rituals to worsen the physical fitness of his opponents. He is also adept in researching ancient lore and using divination for differentiating myth from actual magick. After his time with the Druids, he was gifted with the Sturdiness of the Great Oak which protects him from physical damage and fire to a large degree, slows his aging, and helps him keep his footing. He also memorized a time-consuming ancient Druidic ritual which helps him to (mostly) understand writing in any language, and he finds it sometimes works on codes as well. It kills brain cells, and it takes him a while to recover afterward, but it does help tremendously at times. In his rivalry with Sapphire Circe, he acquired a set of magickal artifacts that allow him to levitate.
Final DispositionEventually Sapphire Circe defeats her long-time rival and turns him into an employee of sorts. He has to do what she says and doesn't get paid and can't quit, but otherwise, he's an employee.
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