Phoenix Williams
Phoenix Williams
D. B. Woodside
D. B. Woodside as Phoenix Williams
Name Phoenix Williams
Status Alive
Age 35
Occupation Occult Magic Shop Owner
Place of Origin London
Date of Birth September 10, 1977
Player Pix3l
Timezone PST
Notes Notes for Phoenix Williams

Phoenix has seen the other side of the darkness, and it just makes him want to try and spread as much good, love, joy, and cheer around as he can. The Gloom may get us all, but maybe life will be good in the meantime, darkness be damned.

Background

Phoenix grew up in London, with a normal family, and a normal life. He was a happy kid. In his early teen years, he had his hiccups — all teens do — but they were neither damaging, nor lasting. He was a friendly, laidback guy, with a knack for making friends and being friendly, and as such, he gained a large circle of people who enjoyed his company.

In his later teen years, he worked at a chip shop, and found he enjoyed the customer service. Though rude customers would always fluster him a bit, he handled it better than some. He started saving his money, and attended the University of London with absolutely zero clue for what he wanted to go into. But that was okay: life was good to him, and he was sure he would figure it out eventually.

Unfortunately, that was when life, as it always does, changed.

As he was walking back to his dorm one evening, he found an enormous black dog was walking beside him. It was shaggy, dark, and had otherworldly glowing eyes. Though he felt his heart constrict, he tried to reach out and pat it. "Good doggy…" It lashed out, bit him, and dragged him screaming into the Gloom.

All he can remember of his experiences there, really, is the vague recollection of dogs and the nightmarish sensation of pursuing and being pursued, through dark woods, dark hallways, dark alleys.

When his friends found him, curled up and shivering in one of the wooded areas on campus, terrified and weeping, they took him to the nurse and the counseling center. There was little they could do for him but prescribe medications that hardly helped the effects of the Gloom. He was putting his doctors on edge; he made his friends nervous.

There was only one person who was able to help. His adviser, Lucas Blake, was a member of the Watch, and he took Phoenix aside. Over time, he became the young man's mentor, explaining what had happened and connecting him with the organization to help control his new powers.

Over the next several years, as he recovered from his experience, he wrestled with coming to peace with his powers, which were so against his nature. Fear-mongering was distinctly what he didn't want. The Black Dog pulled at him constantly, every waking moment. He wanted to run, to hunt. But over time, they helped him get his things under control, and taught him that he could not just amplify the fear but tone it down too — and that was far more healing for him. He wanted to help, not to harm. He's managed to get himself more or less under control, though he still wrestles every day with the things within.

For now, in the last few years, he's acquired a nice new age-y magic shop, complete with incense, teas, herbs, crystals, and things of that nature. He tends to offer a compassionate ear and a friendly face, and a store that welcomes regulars and has a nice aura of calm.


Personality

Phoenix is a very chill, very laid-back, very nice guy. His driving goal in life is to spread calm, love, happiness, and zen. He knows the worst is out there, and he'll do what he can to protect other people — he's in fact a pacifist, except when it comes to the Others.

He prefers not to spend time alone, instead inviting friends over or going to cafes, or just manning his shop and conversing with customers. When he does have alone time, he prefers to disappear into a good book, with a good cup of tea. He strongly prefers not to talk about his powers or his darker ordeals. He firmly believes those are topics that don't feed good conversation or good feelings.


Paranormal Abilities

THE AURA OF FEAR - Though dormant most of the time, whenever Phoenix get angry, a supernatural aura of fear makes him seem naturally intimidating, aggressive, and dangerous. It triggers natural instincts into fight or flight, and makes him come off almost hellish, or demonic, in a subtle and instinctual sort of way. Once he gets his anger under control, the aura will fade again, but that doesn't make anyone naturally predisposed to like him or forgive him for what they saw and felt.

THE MANIPULATION OF FEAR - In addition, Phoenix can manipulate fear. He can take someone's fear and amplify it, or he can reduce it and minimize it to a state of calm. He can't make someone so afraid they're catatonic, or liable to die from a heart attack. He can only heighten their natural response into a full-blown panic attack (panic, panting, heart palpitations, feeling like you're dying even though you're not, etc).
If he uses his power to amplify or calm another's fear more than a small amount, he'll get nasty headaches and nosebleeds. A feasible, unpunished attempt would be to take someone who's merely nervous or agitated and calm them; alternately, to take someone who's merely nervous or agitated, and amp them up to a little mild panic attack: hyperventilation, beating heart, light-headed, etc. He can only use this on one target at a time, and they must be within thirty feet of him.

THE BLACK DOG - He can, in addition, transform into the Black Dog of legend. He takes the form of a huge, pony-sized wolf-like creature, that takes on an extremely nightmarish quality. Each person will see him a little differently, but in general, it's a dark dog with glowing eyes. In this form, his aura of fear is potent, even putting those who can't see him on edge, up to fifty feet away.
This form is faster and stronger than his human form, allowing him feats of strength and agility equal to a big wolf. He can run for longer, bite the crap out of people, and so on and so forth. The problem is, this form feels extremely natural to him — almost exhilarating. It's almost an addiction that he's forcefully denying. He doesn't want to become this monster, but it pulls on him frequently, especially at night.

THE OMENS - He has the ability to step into others' dreams and observe them. He can make minor changes within the setting, and can frequently interact with the dreamer. The downside is he can only appear in the form of his Black Dog self, fear aura and all. It has an extremely high chance of turning the dreamer's dreams into nightmares, and it also feeds his addiction of being the Black Dog. Someone who is very close to him, and who knows his Black Dog self, may be able to cope with it, if they have a strong psyche, but even then it's not a very high success rate. He can only walk a dreamer's dreams if he's in line of sight of the dreamer, and within a hundred feet.


Skills

OCCULT - Especially due to his particular powers and his store, Phoenix is well-read on occult knowledge. Perhaps not so much modern particulars, but legends, myths, and old wives tales are all up his alley. He's heard a lot in his time. In addition, he has a basic knowledge of what the various herbs, teas, and incenses he sells in his shop do, but he's no medical miracle.

BUSINESS OWNERSHIP - He knows enough to keep his shop running smoothly, and without audits, but not enough to teach a class on it. He's mostly picking it up as he goes along.

WOLF COMBAT - As the Black Dog, he knows how to fight. Viciously. He can protect others the easiest in this form. He has no hand-to-hand training as a human, nor weapon training — though he can swing a baseball bat with the best of them.

LEND AN EAR - Phoenix's demeanor naturally lends him toward a psychologist role, and he's adept at helping calm and soothe a person who needs it. He usually lends his services to the Watch by helping those who are scarred by their experiences, rather than participating in combat.


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