Prime Minister Beckett Blackwell
The Devil's Due
If there's anything I can get you please do not hesitate to ask Mr. Clypse, my chamberlain. A drink? Perhaps a sample from our one of our chocolate confectionaries? If not, then allow me to get to the point. I understand you take umbrage with some of our union policies and their application. I want to assure you it's all part of the plan. That plan has a place for you in it as well. What exactly that place is, depends on whether you wish to embrace my vision for this tired world or if your legacy ends tonight, in the dark, where I unravel your mind and plunge you into an ocean of suffering that is ignorant to the concepts of beginning or end. Pain and madness. Death, over and over until the stars themselves go dark. Think it over. I'll have Mr. Clypse get you that chocolate.
Beckett Blackwell's political career is a long one with a very clear beginning. He took office twenty-five years ago in an election that few people participated in and fewer truly cared about. At the time, power was largely decentralized and the vassal cities of Ironrise did as they pleased with little regard for their obligations to the Pinnacle. This was due to the impact of the War of Steam and Steel several decades prior. Beckett's first few years in office were inoffensive, forgettable and what everyone thought they'd be. What no one would expect was the terrorist attack that nearly took his life. His airship was sabotaged by Agents of Kraken and his near lifeless body was hauled out of the wreckage and brought back to Pinnacle tower where all medical experts suspected he would soon perish.
Yet he didn't die. Despite his pain medications and medical staff, it's said he would howl and shriek at every shadow, spend his nights sleepless and screaming. And, on the third night, rumors say he was visited by a strange figure. One that never entered the building properly. Rumors say this hooded, alabaster-skinned figure came from below. Through some hidden passages ways that lead to the depthless dark beneath the city. This figure entered the chamber of the ailing Prime Minister and none of his staff recall seeing him leave. However, the next morning the Prime Minister had recovered. He emerged into the world as if nothing had ever happened, the only exception being the white mask that he wears to conceal the scars of injuries.
It was not just his health that had improved. The Prime Minister set about reigning in the wayward vassal cities and reminding them to whom they kneel. The power of Pinnacle was expanded to a level that had never been seen before. Men of a certain predilection replaced many of the old guard in government. Men like Bennett Creedy ascended from obscurity to prominence. Criminal empires like the Stark Syndicate were crippled by Ram's Wrath, The Black Nine or the mysterious judges, Wardens and Solicitors that now dwell in the depths of Pinnacle Tower. Increasingly, the Prime Minister is known to call upon forces that seem almost inhuman in skill and behavior. Pale, silent, deeply unnerving.
Many of the Prime Minister's enemies see him as a fascist, a tyrant looking to dominate all of Spirel and choke the freedom out the land. But, a rare few see something else. Grace Saxford awoke with many memories she doesn't remember learning. One dream-like vision stands out in her confused mind as particularly horrible. The night the Prime Minister was visited. Exactly what happened behind those closed doors she cannot say. What walked out into the daylight the next day was not Beckett Blackwell. It was something else, something ancient and terrible. Some fragment of a greater whole that wears the guise of a man now. It preys upon the world like a parasite. Directs the movement of nations like a puppet master hidden behind his curtain. Whatever his insidious purpose truly is Grace does not know but she's certain that should it come to pass the waking world will be consumed by this monster.
The Prime Minister has no allies. Only pawns that traded their souls away in exchange for their deepest desires. He has a way of earning one's loyalty by granting their wishes both in the physical senses and often the supernatural. However, what his most loyal followers soon find is that the true price is chains of eternal obligation. Perhaps his most indebted servant is Bennett Creedy. He is now able to act without concern for consequence and he uses that freedom to brutalize the guilty and the innocent all the same. Yet, The Prime Minister has ensured that Creedy's delights are well known throughout many dangerous circles. Leaving the side of the Prime Minister is impossible now. Nowhere would be safe for him to run.
If the strange dreams of Grace Saxford are true then the thing that is Prime Minister is some fragment of a greater horror. She often says he is a nightmare given form and his only fear is the waking of that which dreamed him up. Blackwell is aware of Grace and what she knows. His Wardens, Judges and Solicitors stalk her constantly. He's tasked Creedy and his Black Nine with capturing her alive and executing her companions. He'll even deal with the likes of Dorian Loeb and Jefferson Swann if he must. He holds a unique view of the both of them. He seems them as parrots that happen to overhear a few kernels of truth that they hollowly repeat. One wants a prize his fragile mind could never truly appreciate and the other is simply a meaningless insect that wants to lord true power over other meaningless insects.
Prime Minister Blackwell is a Support character with a specialization in Tanking his way through every turn or challenge. His stat line is heavily bent toward Ingenuity but the most striking aspect of his stats is his Resource of 3. This allows him to shuffle around chips as needed making any challenge involving him extraordinarily difficult to prepare for. He also makes a very unattractive target to go after for elimination due to his high Persistence value. Even a Martial heavy character will have to question if the effort is worth the cost. The Prime Minister's Special Ability, Insidious Purpose, reflects is very alien and dark nature. He is able to optimize the Torment Deck for his own use and the use of his allies. Additionally, when he chooses to take the Lay Low action it saps the Persistence of every Hero on the board and boosts that of his allies.
The Prime Minister's greatest weakness is his reliance on stat chips to cover his otherwise low hyper-focused stat line. While is Resource of 3 grants him a great flexibility it is dependent on being able to gather and hold onto chips. This often results in the Prime Minister's playing having to operate from the sidelines in the beginning of the game to gather the tools he'll need to step out of the shadows later and get more directly involved. The first turn or two will likely rely on his allies to push forward the Villains' agenda.
- Raven's Perch District - Ironrise
The Mask That Wears a Man by Robert Mallinson