DECEASED (Undead)

a.k.a. Brayden Vatticus
ORACLE (Life Mystery) 5 of Shelyn

A young human male, well-muscled but pale and thin. Something is off about the way he’s built: his fingers are too long, his head is too big for his neck, and his hips are shifted to one side. Black hair covers one side of his face and he has numerous holes for piercings. He appears to be rotting, with black festering welts presenting all over his body. And everywhere except for his face and hands, he is covered in thousands of scars, cut and re-cut, maybe spelling out words? Perhaps one word?

The words that echoed in his mind from the Prologue were “Survive this!” In the shared nightmare of Chapter 1, he was clutching a silver chain. He speaks Taldane and Infernal.

In Chapter 2, he claimed gore-splattered black chainmail, a black iron buckler, and a bloody morningstar from the pile of discarded equipment. He further claimed some spell components, the ring and studs for his piercings, and a carved wooden songbird holy symbol of Shelyn. He also took the torn up pieces of parchment covering in religious writings. He recognized his name as being “Brayden” when prompted by Dora, but subsequently asked the others to call him “Ray.”

He tries to be brave, even though he really wants to get out of wherever they are. In Chapter 3, he realized he could channel positive energy to heal his new allies (understanding that he could not survive this ordeal alone), even without presenting a holy symbol. He has since learned that he can also heal others by casting a spell directly upon them, detect magic, create light, stabilize someone at range, and make a weapon magical for brief period of time.

On the second day of the campaign, he confessed to Dora that he did not know why the name Daria had been written all over his body, how he knew the language of devils, or why his flesh was wasting as it was. He asked Dora to help him recall his memories of himself using hypnotism, but it didn’t work. It was as if both she and Ray literally found a hole in his subconscious: the memories they were looking for were not hidden, but rather they were not in his possession.

Later that night, the filth fever he had contracted messing around in the corpse pile downstairs hit him hard, and he suffered a particularly terrible dream.

As the characters continued their efforts on the third day, Ray heard his name called out in the thunder overhead. Later that day, after they defeated the third doppelganger they had encountered, Ray implied aloud that Gulliver might not be able to be trusted with carrying the handy haversack they recovered from the laundry room. Gull was understandably offended, since he was the one whose possessions had been rifled through by the others while he was unconscious. After destroying the ghouls in the laundry room and alcove, Ray heard his full name in another ominous clap of thunder overhead.

During Chapter 9, Ray spent the test of patience in contemplation of his own unknown moral compass. For the test of charity, he healed some of the survivors and calmed Airwynn when she became hysterical after recognizing Grip. Despite Ray’s suspicions about Grip’s true nature (based on Dora’s psychometric reading of the constable badge a couple of days earlier), Ray assured Airwynn that Grip was not the same person she remembered.

After Winter identified the phylactery of faithfulness that belonged to the ghoulified priest of Pharasma, Ray filled it with the scraps of parchment they found on the first day and tied it to his forehead to help ensure that he is always following the tenets of Shelyn.

By Chapter 14, Ray’s filth fever had become latent. He was also able to recover several scrolls (two cure light wounds, two lesser restoration, one sanctuary, and one remove disease) from the chaplain’s office and to cure Grip’s tumor infestation. Furthermore, it was Ray who used a mirror to destroy the fungus haunt near the barricade. Later that same day, when trying to convince Gull to use deception and trickery against the Ratlings in the library, his phylactery warmed uncomfortably.

Upon reading his file in the Briarstone records room in Chapter 15, Ray learned his full name was Brayden Vatticus, and that he is likely of Kellid descent. He learned that his wasting disease is not leprosy, and he was from Thrushmoor in Versex County and was committed on 15 Lamashan, 4718 along with his companions, and that he had been an employee of H.P. Lowls. He learned he was the biological son of patients “Vatticus, G” and “Antea, T”, whom the party worked out were Gull (or someone with the same name) and Dora. Lowls warned that he was “highly contagious”. His attending doctor was Eliege Losandro. He was noted as a priority. On 16 Lamashan 4718, Ray was observed to mutter something repeatedly in an unknown language overnight.

In the Act I Interlude, it was revealed that 13 years ago, when he was nine years old, Ray once stood, at dawn, shrouded in mist, beneath the eaves of the Wailing House in the aftermath of something terrible. He first brought his hands up, slowly, to wipe the tears from his eyes and then suddenly bolted for the woods, running pell-mell across the square. But he hesitated when he hit The Wall: a low, faded stone wall beyond which They Were Not Supposed To Pass. Then the Stranger appeared and took him by the hand, and after saying “You will do nicely,” she asked Ray what his name was.

In Chapter 17, when the party examined Ray with their newly learned information in mind, they decided that he does indeed look like he could be the biological son of Dora and the man on the table who died moments after they first woke up.

Later that chapter, Ray clothed himself from the personal effects room at Briarstone Asylum is some leggings and a tunic.

In Chapter 20, while continuing to rest and recover from his filth fever infection, Ray studied the ways of Pharasma and prepared a memorial service for Winter‘s passing.

In Chapter 21, after six days, Ray finally recovered from filth fever. Later that chapter, he listened to a psychometry reading of his morningstar from Dora, which chilled him.

In Chapter 22, while fighting the Oneirogen that Dr. Losandro had become, Ray experienced a dream of himself in a city of chains trying to kill himself.

In Chapter 27, Ray killed a Unicorn in Briarstone’s North Courtyard and then let Dora run off into the mists in search of Reynard. These events led him to seriously struggle with his sense of self in the aftermath.

In Chapter 28, Ray appeared as a child in the psychometry vision related to Gulliver Vatticus’ wedding band. In the vision, he and Vatticus called Thema a “hateful old witch” as a secret mantra, and Vatticus gave him some sort of alchemical concoction and told him to drink it when “they” went “down by the lake.”

In Chapter 29, Ray was told by Maeve that she had seen him glowing and flying through the air “like an angel” before the events of the campaign began.

In the discussion that followed, Dora confirmed to him that she was certain he had been a priest of Zon-Kuthon when she observed him in the psychometry reading of his morningstar.

At the start of the battle for the chapel in Chapters 29 & 30, Ray identified that the ratlings had actually teleported when it appeared as though they had simply turned invisible, which led the party to realize the danger the rest of the survivors were in. In the melee that followed, he was mobbed by Ratch Mamby and rat swarms and ultimately fell unconscious before he could reach the (relative) safety of the chapel. After being saved by Denman and Dora, Ray helped in the assault against Benji Bald-Belly.

In Chapter 31, Ray talked Brenton through his brother's death and negotiated the trade of the shadow lantern for the toy knights.

In Chapter 33, Ray sat with Gull and tried to work through the details of Dora’s last psychometry vision, specifically interested in the mysterious blue liquid he had been given to drink.

In Chapter 35 (Part 1), while fighting the Oneirogens on the second floor of Briarstone Asylum, Ray experienced a short dream of skipping down a lakeside road while also trying to stop himself from doing so.

In the Act I Epilogue, a 9-year-old Ray told the Stranger to call him Ray and not Brayden, because a hateful old witch had given him that name.

In the Act II Prologue, Ray learned that he was present the day the Stranger brought Gull and Rony off a ship and to his father, Gulliver Vatticus. Dr. Vatticus referred to them as his “new friends.”

In Chapter 36, Ray threw his entire collection of holy symbols into Lake Encarthan as they rowed to Thrushmoor.

In Chapter 39, while walking through Thrushmoor for the first time, Ray recognized Market Street from a dream he'd had at Briarstone Asylum and tied it to the place he was sent by Gulliver Vatticus in one of the psychometry visions.

Later that chapter, Ray was informed by Cesadia Wrentz that he’d recently (just before the start of the campaign) been beating up people in bars and generally acting like an entitled prick.

In Chapter 40, Ray was blamed by a vagrant on the street for bringing Ariadne and a second Vanishing to Thrushmoor with his sins. Ray responded by terrifying him with the sotto voce spell.

In Chapter 41, Ray’s healing light started to take on a blue-ish sheen. And during the fight with the Phantom Fungus, Ray realized that his material components for shield of faith burned up in the phylactery.

In Chapter 42, Ray (along with the rest of the party) heard the name of Xhamen-Dor and was seeded by it.

In Chapter 43, Ray began laughing to himself as he took on the injuries of his companions with his Life Link ability.

In Chapter 44, Ray experienced déjà vu as he approached the Wailing House on Market Street in his travels—from the dream sequence in the nightmare city at the beginning of the campaign—as if Thrushmoor were a boil bubbling under the surface of the Yellow City.

Later that chapter, Ray learned that he was banned from the Stain for running up a tab of 49 gold. He also began to wonder if Daria was his sister, the one whom Vatticus claimed Brayden killed.

In Chapter 45, Ray asked Dora if she recognized where the psychometry vision with Mr. van Horten had taken place. She knew it was not Thrushmoor and that it seemed to be a much larger city. Then Ray remembered a dream, where he had been both chained and a chain holder in some unknown big city.

In Chapter 46, Ray was referenced in Rony’s letter to Grip as an “ungrateful little shit” who may have tried to put out a hit on Rony and Grip in the “before times.”

In Chapter 48, Ray learned from the Sleepless Agency crew that he grew up in Thrushmoor, but had only been back for about four years. His behavior deteriorated over the last 8-9 months before their memories were lost. He was in jail for a time, 4-5 months prior. People didn’t know much about him other than he came back as a pompous, entitled prig who threw himself into every room like he was looking to get hurt and experience pain.

Ray was assassinated by Risi in front of Lelwyn Hasok’s just after midnight on 6 Neth, apparently on Thema’s orders, at the end of Chapter 50 (Part 1).

In Chapter 50 (Part 2), Ray found a window, through Bates, back to the Material Plane and into a Phantom form so he could help protect the Sellen Starling from the Skum assault that marked the beginning of the Great Harvest. After the fight on the ship was over, when he saw his corpse, his anguish grew so strong that he tore free of his bond to Bates. His ectoplasmic form evaporated and Ray flew into the sky as a glowing white spirit (likely a Ghost) that soared off into Thrushmoor.

In Chapter 51, Dora performed a blood reading on Ray’s corpse. She learned that he had been 22 years old when he died, Chaotic Neutral, and a 5th-level Oracle of Shelyn. Later that chapter, in a psychometry vision, she observed that Ray was not rotting before Briarstone. He had conferred with Melisenn, and asked her (based on communing with someone he called “the Prince in Chains”) to hire Risi to kill “all of them” for him, and passed on his holy symbol of Zon-Kuthon along with a bag of coin, which most of the party saw Risi waving about in the the Stain.

In the Act II Interlude, Ray was a cleric of Zon-Kuthon who channeled negative energy. He was Neutral Evil. He had no ranks in Spellcraft, but ranks in Disguise and Bluff. He was identified as being haunted by the past, someone beside whom the dead walked. In that chapter, Ray was observed to have died in 4715 (three years before the start of the adventure) at the hands of a wish spell cast by the Mad Poet.

In Chapter 72, during Iris Hill’s retaliatory attack in the early hours of 8 Neth, Dora encountered Ray as Ghost haunting the Wailing House, calling out Daria‘s name in a state of pain and confusion. She offered Daria’s finger bones to the spirit and touching them calmed him enough to cause him to fade back into the Ethereal Plane for a time.

In Chapter 73, Ray’s ghost experienced a partial memory of walking down Market Street to the Wailing House, hand in hand with his little sister Daria. He loved secrets. And he urged Daria to enter the abandoned mansion even though she was scared to do so.

First Appearance: Act I Prologue
Final Episode As Main Character: Chapter 50 (Part 3)
Other Notable References: Chapter 51, Act II Interlude, Chapter 72, Chapter 73

 

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