||Fri Mar 22 2002
Austin, TX, USA
NOTE: For reference in the Haiku Conundrum RP in Ponder, see This Description for Porter's more limited form.
Note: To see Porter's card and appearance above, select PA Card #1.
The threads in which Porter accepted a Change to Sauk form have now come full-circle. In all Dream realities, unless otherwise explicitly stated for a specific RP, Porter is now actually Starchaser Sauk, and when seen as Porter the Bernid, he is shapeshifted back to his former true appearance. But his "True Form" is now Starchaser.
Communication key for my posts:
"Quotes" are used to represent normal speech.
<< European quotes >> are used to represent radio communications.
# Hashmarks # are used as quote marks to represent telepathic 'broadcast' sendings
## Double Hashmarks ## are used as quote marks to represent telepathic 'private' sendings
Italic text represents private thoughts
Other text is usually narrative material describing actions, etc.
Communication key for Chat:
Normal text is used to represent normal speech.
*actions* text between asterisks is narration describing actions.
#Hashmarks# are used as quote marks to represent telepathic 'broadcast' sendings
##Double Hashmarks## are used as quote marks to represent telepathic 'private' sendings
[[The Player says...]] Double square brackets indicate 'out of character' comments
Original Species/Race: Bernid (Canine)
True Species/Race: Sauk Changeling (See Starchaser)
Height: 6 ft (standing) / 34" at shoulder when in quad mode.
Weight: 200 pounds
General Appearance: The most important thing to keep in mind regarding Porter's appearance is that he is a genitically modified dog. Except for the specific modifications mentioned here, he should look like a large purebred Bernese Mountain Dog.
Build: Muscular, narrow waisted, bipedal dog, but also capable of using four-footed locomotion. Has digitigrade hind legs. He looks almost precisely like a normal purebred Bernese Mountain Dog, but about 50 percent larger, and the shoulders and front limbs are a bit different.
Paws: All paws are large (6" wide), and slightly webbed between first segments of the toes. Has heavy black claws, about 1" long. Front paws can retract claws and uncurl two more jointed segments, to form manipulating fingers, with three fingers and a thumb, or fingers can curl in, to form a more dog-like paw for four-footed locomotion (see below for details).
As his fingers uncurl, his claws, located at the knuckle between the first and second finger segments, retract. The back of the next finger segment (and side of the thumb) has a heavy, dark gray, leathery pad for walking on, and the last, finger tip segment is almost Human in apearance, but without a fingernail. When he closes the paw, the fingertips are hidden, and the leathery pads look like normal, four-toed dog paw pads on the bottom of his paw.
His tail is as thick at the base as a large man's forearm, and shaggy furred (a "flag" tail).
Legs, neck, shoulders and hips adapted to use either two-footed, digitgrade (on toes, like a dog's hind legs) locomotion (most common), or four-footed (canine) locomotion (for faster travel or heavy hauling).
Fur Colors: Same colors/patterns as a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog; Medium length glossy, wavy black fur, white muzzle, extending to a vertical white stripe between the eyes, white chest blaze, ruff, throat, paws, and tail tip; rust colored on cheeks, an eye-sized rust spot above each eye, and rust above each paw (from the wrist to elbow and from toes to hock).
A close view of his face shows that he has a dozen or so 8 inch long white whiskers on each side of his muzzle, and a few more black whiskers back on his cheeks. These whiskers move, forward when he is interested or curious about something, or folded flat back into the fur when agitated.
Fur is 5 to 6 inches long on most of the body, neck, and back of head. It's somewhat more shaggy (6 to 8 inches long) on the chest, on the legs from hip to knee, and on the tail. It shortens to about 2 to 3 inches on arms and legs, and half an inch to an inch on paws, face and muzzle. The rearward face of all 4 legs (as viewed when in qradruped mode), and the edges of the paws, are somewhat more shaggy, creating an effect on the limbs that's almost like a fringed leather jacket.
Eye Color(s): Dark brown, with largish black iris. Farly little of the 'white' of the eye is visible.
Vest (prefers red), either left open or low cut in the front (to let the chest ruff show through). Two lines of black text on left breast read 'Cargomaster - Polaris Whale'. Has several 'multidimensional pockets' inside vest. (see special effects)
Wears either shorts or loose three-quarter length pants (often black, sometimes other colors), with a hole for his tail. There is a 'button fly' slit at the back of his pants, from the tail hole to the waistband. In casual circumstances, doesn't wear pants, though he does if he is expecting guests or is dealing with strangers.
Sometimes wears a "Siwash" style draft harness, using the waist strap of the harness as a belt, and the harness itself like suspenders. A ring on the harness at each hip provides a connecting point for hauling heavy loads.
Does not wear shoes. Rarely wears other clothing (shirts, jackets, etc.).
Doesn't wear any clothing when swimming, or when attempting to 'pass' as a normal dog in quad mode.
For full formal occasions he will wear a black silk kimono and hakima pants, with a gold mon pattern of 3 overlapping dog paw prints. His obi (waist sash) is thick black silk, edged with gold, and with the Mon pattern embroidered in gold on the end of the sash.
Occupation / Class: Interstellar merchant / Starship captain and Space Marine. Sometimes works as a martial arts instructor, and owns the Golden Paw Dojo, in Anycity.
Affiliations (family, friends, organizations):
Friends with Ian MacGlenn, Icefox, May, Fire Hunter, TheBritt, Rhiann, Rashti, Lady Marianne and many other Dreamers.
Has a wife (name not disclosed) and a daughter (Victoria) who are both Bernids, and who remain in his home system. He misses them terribly, but is marooned here and can't get back to them.
As Starchaser, he is mated to Rhiann of the Sauk, and he has sired a pair of Sauk children by her - fraternal twins. The boy is named Port, and the girl is named Star, and they are with the tribe on Saudu, being educated in Sauk tribal lore and skills. Both Sauk kits will eventually get other names, when the tribe sees fit to name them formally. He has several other Sauk mates. He is eldest among the Sauk in The Dream.
Gaming Guardians (recruit), Cargomaster - Polaris Cargomasters Corps., Star Captain - Polaris Space Marines (Reserves). The latter two organizations are in his home dimension. His rank in the Cargomasters Corps gives him a status equal to a knight in feudal societies.
Accessories (weapons, jewelry, tools, magic items, vehicles, etc.):
Ancient sword: A katana that once belonged to his Grandfather, then to his mother, and is now his. The blade and guard (tsuba) were old in his grandfather's time, and are clearly the work of a Japanese swords master. The black laquered sheath and black wrapped grip are plain, and fairly new. He does not know the history of this blade prior to his grandfather's time, but family legends state that it has never been drawn in a failed cause. Porter almost always has this blade with him - usually in a pocket of his vest. Made in the traditional Japanese fashion, of many layers of laminated iron, it probably counts as "Cold Iron" against such opponents as that metal might harm. Otherwise, it's a rather normal, non-magical blade.
Second sword: Also a katana, this is a new, military issue, monofilament blade. The edge is a single, long-chain molecule, stiffened by a mild force field. The edge glows blue-white when the blade is powered up. Can cut through almost any material. Sheath & qrip match other sword. Kept in weapons locker on shuttle, unless combat or severe survival conditions are expected.
Handguns: Porter doesn't often carry firearms. In general, he dislikes them, because of the loud noise that they make. But he recently acquired a matched pair of extremely heavy pistols, which he will carry on occasion, if anticipating heavy combat.
Smith & Wesson Performance Center Hunter 500 revolver: This is a 5-shot revolver with a 10.5 inch barrel, in .500 Magnum calibre. This huge handgun fires half-inch diameter 440 grain hard cast lead slugs, with a muzzle energy of 2600 ft/lbs. (By comparison, a .44 Magnum is rated at 900 ft/lbs). He has two of these, with left and right hand shoulder holsters.
Medallion of Space and Time Porter very rarely has this artifact with him. He usually only has it if anticipating heavy magical or ghostly opposition. This is a white medallion given to him by Darksaint Saiai. It is called Sregai no Contribac in Saiai's language. Abilities and effects when worn:
Appearance change: Medallion itself becomes almost invisible. Dark hair/fur takes on a deep black, non-glossy appearance, with a great sense of depth. Tiny points of light appear in the hair/fur, almost invisible, making it look like a window into deep space. Eyes become solid black, and again filled with stars.
Silent movement: Nothing the wearer does makes any sound at all. Includes any objects or individuals in contact with the wearer, or within a 3 foot radius.
Telepathy: Confers a powerful telepathic send and recieve ability. The voice in your minds is very deep, and has a slight echo, but is easy to understand.
Spirit Ward: Invulnerable to the Demi-Spirits that haunt Saiai's homeworld. Might also confer immunity to other ghosts and spirits.
Attack - Remove Air: Wearer can cause an area up to ten feet in diameter to be subject to the airlessness of space. Makes breathing impossible, extinguishes fires and other chemical reactions that require air. If maintained for too long, can cause severe decompression effects.
Attack - Coldwave: Wearer can cause an area up to ten feet in diameter to be subject to the bitter cold of space. Most liquids begin to freeze solid.
Defense - Alter Time Perception: Wearer can change the mental perception of time for one or more individuals. This does NOT make a bullet fly slower or a person move or speak faster, but it might give someone more time to plan their reaction to an attack, or to activate a defense. For example if they only need mental activity to use a spell or ability, they could do that while affected. Can also be used on an enemy to screw up their reaction time.
Shapeshifting Amulet: Created by Ceera Darkwynde, this is a small golden amulet that looks like a commemerative coin set in a ring frame. One side of the frame has some sort of inscription on it, while the back is blank. The coin is almost identical on both sides, in both cases depicting a standing human with a dog sitting next to him. The only difference is that on one side, the dog is in the foreground, while on the other the man is in the foreground. Pulling on the amulet's mounting ring releases a hidden catch, allowing the coin to pivot 180 degrees and latch back in place. This triggers a shapeshift in Porter after a ten second delay, powered by his own latent magical talent and stored power level. The shift is between Bernid and Human forms, depending on which figure is in the foreground on the 'front' side of the amulet. The amulet has virtually NO magic of it's own. It is merely the trigger for a latent magical ability that Porter initially had not figured out how to directly trigger. For quite some time, only Ceera Darkwynde knew this. Porter was convinced the amulet was magical, and only uses him to power the change. Recently, Porter has learned from Ceera how to trigger his latent shapeshifting ability on his own (See magical abilities), so he really no longer needs this amulet. He keeps it only as a focus, to make changing form easier.
Starship - 'Porter's Bark' (Original configuration)
Porter has a small (60' long, 40' wide, 18' high) orbital shuttle, named 'Porter's Bark', that serves as his home and primary storage facility.
The ship is equivilent to a TL 17 Traveller 75-ton 'Scout/Courier Ship'.
Low Maneuver drives: The ship uses a gravitic system for low end maneuvering and in-system work. It uses gravity waves to move the ship, and can produce up to a 10G accelleration or decelleration. Inertial compensators protect the cargo and passengers from the accelleration stresses. They can get from a safe jump point to a planet, do what is needed on planet, and get back to a safe jump distance in about a week total.
High Maneuver drives: These are portal based, but do not require Porter's personal talents to operate them. This system moves portals over the ship, changing the vector and velocity almost instantaneously.
Interstellar Jump drives: The ship's FTL Drives can do a Hyperspace 'jump' of 1 to 2 parsecs, which takes one week of 'real time', but is instantaneous for those on the ship. (One parsec = 3.27 Light Years) Carries enough fuel to make two one-parsec jumps or one two-parsec jump, plus effectively unlimited maneuvering fuel for in-system travel. Can refuel using fuels scoops (preferably by skimming a gas giant, but can also crack water for fuel). Time between jumps is minimum of one hour (very unsafe), typically 16 hours (allows for maintenance, plotting a safe course, and refuelling by skimming hydrogen or cracking water).
Bernid Jump: Porter can use his own psionic abilities (and personal power levels) to power an interstellar jump, if he uses the Heart of Light, which is a crystaline Psionic Amplifier. In this manner he can cause a portal to open that will allow an instantaneous jump of up to 12 light years (Perhaps farther. He's never tried to test his limits while using the Heart of Light). Expect him to be exhausted and extremely hungry if he really pushes his limits making the ship jump on his own, without using a psionic amplifier. A 'Bernid Jump' is not limited for proximity to planetary or stellar masses, or for recharge time between jumps. (But does drain his abilities rapidly). Note that Porter can, if necessary, tap external power sources such as a ship's power plant, and use that to recharge his own power levels. Restoring the personal power needed for a one parsec jump, by tapping his ship's power generator, would consume about 0.25 jumps worth of fuel, and take Porter about two hours.
Long-range scanners can pick up big things like stars and planets at a range of 6 parsecs (roughly 20 light years).
Short range scanners can pick up something the size of his shuttle at a range of one parsec.
Proximity sensors can pick up objects about half the size of a man at 0.5 light years, and down to the size of a wrench at 0.25 light years.
Sensor range / Scanning time required:
Anything within 0.5 light years is on the proximity sensors in real-time.
It takes 30 seconds to do a full short-range sensor sweep of a parsec.
It takes one hour to do a full long-range sensor sweep, to 20 parsecs out.
Pets: 'AI Guardian' is a large, (26.5 inch at the shoulder) purebred Bernese Mountain Dog (normal looking quadruped dog, not anthro like Porter). He is either an intangible holographic projection generated by the ship's security systems on Porter's Bark, or wrapped around a very solid and sturdy robotic Mecha body that was made for him by Alex Tinker, with help from Porter. Guardian looks, acts and sounds like a real dog, trained for guard duty. (Click his name, above, for full specs on Guardian.)
Abilities/Skills & Power Level:
Very strong. Using his draft harness and going to four-footed mode, he can pull up to two TONS of cargo weight for short distances, or up to half a ton for long distances. His tail is strong enough to knock down a person, and occasionally he does so by accident. (He gets a bit clumsy if excited or agitated).
Acclimated to high elevations (6000 to 12000 ft) and cold climates (like in the Swiss Alps in Winter), but can do reasonably well in "normal" temperatures.
Has a high endurance level. Also has a very high pain threshold.
Fast healing (About 2x normal).
Modified vocal system: Can speak several Human languages (including English, Japanese, German, and Spanish); as well as Canine (Dog), Lupine (Wolf), Feline (house cat through Lion), and a few reptillian and avian dialects.
Modified Vision: Not color-blind, unlike other dogs. Can see same color range as a Human, plus has better night vision.
Has several mental/physical 'gifts', which center upon a non-magical ability to generate and/or manipulate powerful energy fields with his mind.
Highly adept with computers and electronic devices. Uses psionic abilities to create interfaces that can access and control almost any electronic system, from computers to door locks (assuming it was built to be interfaced to or remotely controlled by something). These appear as paper thin, flat translucent display portals hovering in mid air.
Can create interdimensional 'portals' at will, which appear as a flat, paper thin doorway or opening, to teleport himself and/or others or to view and hear at a distance. Such portals can be made any size, from a small hole to reach through, to a gate large enough to send a small spaceship or large aircraft through. His portals may, or may not, be able to divert magical attacks. It depends on the attack and the whim of the GM. In general, solid matter or 'normal' forms of energy, such as a lightning bolt, tend to go through a portal just fine, but something more mystical, like a sleep spell or an etherial creature, might well bypass a portal as if it wasn't there.
Effort is minimal for a door-sized portal to go across a city, and increases with range and size of portal. His distance limit on portal teleportation, without using enhancement implants or an external amplification device, is about 260 Kilometers (165 Miles). With a sufficiently strong amplifier, such as the one on his ship, he could reach geostationary orbit (42,000 Km, about 26,000 miles).
Has been known to use two linked, side by side or overlapping and phase-locked, two way portals as a shield or "matter mirror", causing energy beams, bullets or other projectiles to enter one and exit the other, reversing their direction or redirecting them to appear somewhere other than where initially aimed.
If he positions a portal so it intersects an object, and if he cuts off the safety interlocks, he can create a 'shear plane' effect, slicing the object in two. By controlling the portal shape with his implants, he can carve shapes out of solid material, such as a sphere.
Can generate and manipulate powerful energy fields, including electrical energy and a field effect similar to a space drive. This is actually part of how he creates portals, as well.
The drive field effects can be used to levitate and move large objects, including propelling them at a high rate of speed. He can apply this to himself to fly, but greatly dislikes doing so, as it is 'uncomfortable'.
He has learned that he can absorb a wide spectrum of energy types as well, literally using the energy to recharge his own power levels.
Porter can do a line of sight magical teleport of himself and whatever is in direct contact with him and which he desires to take with him. He attributes this to having been dunked in Paradox Springs. Actually, the Springs merely unlocked a small part of his latent magical talents.
Ceera has taught Porter to control his latent shapeshifting ability. Porter's 'true form' is as a Sauk, due to him having accepted the Change from Rhiann. (See Starchaser's profile). He uses his shapeshifting talent to alter his physical shape, most often back to Porter, which is a stable form for him. This simple polymorph grants the gross physical capabilities, so a Human or Bernid form will be able to talk audibly, even though his Sauk form can not. But it does not change his true form, or make him fertile with other than Sauk. It would also not grant him any supernatural abilities of a new form, such as a dragon's ability to breathe fire.
The main limit on his shapeshifting is that he can only become bipeds and quadrupeds, and can only alter his mass and volume by about plus or minus 50 percent from his true form. So that gives him a mass range of about 100 pounds to as much as 300 pounds. So he can get as small as a large dog, or as massive as a small Shetland pony. But he could not become a full-sized horse, or something larger, nor could he become a tiny cat, or other, smaller forms. He can change gender (and would be fertile with other Sauk as a female Sauk!), and can take such forms as Humans, dogs, or wolves.
Since he is Sauk, and his true form has six limbs, being arms, legs and wings, he can also become a winged biped or quadruped, or a non-winged 'taur form. But such would still be limited by his mass restriction.
Porter has a LARGE potential for magic. His natural power level is equivilent to a very advanced mage. But he has very little training.
Cross-trained as a 'space marine' by the Polaris Cargomasters Corps, and holds the rank of Star Captain. Skilled with a wide range of small arms, from swords, and archery, to plasma rifles and lasers. Can easily use just about any weapon up to 25th century Terran / TL 17 Traveller standards, or weapons as primitive as early Iron Age. Can fight well on land, in water, or in zero G (space) environments. Can use his implants and psionic abilities to form a 'targeting visor' over his eyes - essentially a heads up display for acquiring a target lock with whatever weapons system he is using.
Trained in Eastern mystic/martial arts (Shaolin Kung Fu). Uses modified Lion's Paw form when fighting, which he calls "Dog Paw form", or just "Dog-Fu". However, he prefers to avoid conflict. More likely to use his portals to duck or deliver a punch, or to outmaneuver an opponent, than to stand and fight.
Can use his martial arts skills in conjunction with small teleportals, to 'tele-punch' something through the portal at a distance, even if solid objects are between the target and himself. It's just a punch, grab or kick, but his strength can make the effect rather powerful. He could also aim or deliver a weapon in this way, if he chooses.
Desperately wants to return to his home dimension and his family there. Will risk anything for a chance to return home, no matter how slim the chance is. That means he will definitely put his life on the line if he thinks there is a solid chance of finding a way to return home.
Excessive use of Psionic abilities makes him hungry. VERY Hungry. To the point where he might go feral and eat anything (or anyone) in sight until that hunger is sated!
Very loyal to his friends. Might needlessly risk his own life if he thinks it necessary to save a friend.
While Porter understands that Magic exists and is real, and in some threads he is learning to use some magical abilities himself, he is still unused to taking magic into account when in an encounter. He therefore has a large tendancy to forget or to discount the possibility that an unknown opponent might have magical abilities against which he has few real defenses. He is much more cautious when he knows an opponent is a mage, but he still had few effective defenses against any magical attack that does not take the form of some sort of energy blast (which he could absorb and redirect if he is prepared). His portals may, or may not, be able to divert magical attacks. It depends on the attack and the whim of the GM.
Very friendly, and has a wide range of friends in The Dream. Has is mated to Priestess Rhiann of the Sauk. Has an ongoing distrust of Ceera Darkwynde, because she betrayed him and trapped him here in The Dream. He will work with Ceera, however, and is begrudgingly starting to accept that she, too, is an ally of the Sauk in the Dream, and a defacto member of the Sauk tribe, and thus, in a way, Ceera is now his 'Sister'. Porter is a Recruit in the Gaming Guardians, and can travel between The Dream and the Guardian's 'Primary System' at will, using his ship. He is currently on a formal 'Leave of Absence' from the Guardians.
The Bernid lifeform was created 100 years earlier to be the ultimate cargo master - someone who is adept at managing large amounts of freight and handling it with ease, on surface vessels or starships. Strength, intelligence, technical aptitude, and Psionic abilities aimed at moving large objects effortlessly were the goals. They also wanted strong loyalty, and the ability to work in thin atmospheres and cold climate conditions. The Bernids are now a 'Free race', in charge of the genetics facilites that were used to create them, and capable of making more of their own kind.
The Bernid culture that Porter is from is steeped in Japanese tradition, and Porter is a high-ranking Samurai, a hatamoto, where he comes from.
Favorite quote: "You really don't want to do that."
Special Effects (if any):
Often seen with paper thin, flat translucent display portals hovering in mid air near him, showing pictures or text data. May have a paper thin, door-sized portal nearby, for teleporting himself or others, or for penetrating a wall. Rarely seen carrying anything, unless he is using it (as he can tuck items into a safe location via a Portal, and retrieve them when needed.)
Can also create an artifact called a 'Multidimensional Pocket'. Essentially a 'portable hole' with a technological device maintaining it. The rim can expand to pass a large item, and such a pocket could, for example, hold a staff, a katana, or some other bulky item, while revealing no noticable bulk or mass while the item is in the pocket.
Description of Personality: Porter is almost always a rather happy, friendly fellow. His most common facial expression is a 'canine grin' - mouth held slightly open, cheeks pulled back and up slightly, and few to no teeth showing (maybe the canine teeth, but usually not the rest). See this photographic head study, to get a good idea of canine mood expressions for his breed.
If VERY angry, he will show his teeth in a snarling expresion. If you ever see him that way - RUN! He's about to kill something.
A brief and character revealing answer to the question, "What is your ambition?":
"To seek peace and balance in all things. To be of service to others. To help others and to enhance the lives of those around me. To guard my friends and employer, and their possessions. Life's greatest rewards come from serving the greater good. That which disrupts harmony and tranquility must be opposed."