Nerd Dice: Character Background: Baron Vortex, the Sluagh

Campaign: Changeling: Bellingham Chronicle Date: 22 Apr 2004


Ian Joyce was born in New York on the 13th of May 1976. The youngest of 3 sons he had a vivid imagination, but one that always dipped heavily into the macabre. From a young age Ian claimed to be able to see and talk to people around him that no-one else could see. His parents thought that this was simply the fantasy of a young child, until he began to have conversations with his dead grandmother Maud Joyce.

Maud had always been a strange one, with her fancy tales of strange little people. She was put in a home in the late 1950's after a run in with the local police and a serial killer who had a taste for human blood. The family came to visit her, but it was always a chore. She looked haggard and was often babbling about strange going on (that is when she was not drugged). She passed away in 1969, aged 58.

The problem was that young Ian was talking about the same things that she was. And he knew background events that he said "Grandma Maud" told him. Things like the existence of vampires and fairies. He also seemed to be picking up on occult sayings and knowledges that his grandmother had, and her interests in the unknown.

When the family moved to Bellingham in 1982 Ian's parents thought it would do him the world of good. His father was an English lecturer at Columbia University and had taken a job at local university to get the family out of New York and the crime.

The change seemed to do Ian the world of good. He was still morbid and inquisitive but he made new friends and had a lot of fun activities. He even was taken in by some older boys who were playing a game called Dungeons and Dragons. While a lot of parents thought it was bad, Ian's parents felt that it would help direct the creative urges of their son, and also help him socialize.

It did. The Dungeon Master was a childling by the name of Marcus Vanderholm. He realized that Ian was different and was on hand for his chylisis. He helped him into changeling society and became somewhat of a mentor for the young lad. While older Changelings taught Ian what it was to be a fae it was Marcus that taught him to live in the world.

Under the guidance of Marcus, Ian began to lie to his parents and not tell them about everything he saw. When asked he would tell the about his D&D adventures and he was still imaginative, but he realized he had to be careful. He was also able to tell them of some of his quests in the dreaming, just disguised as "role-playing adventures."

As he got older Ian got into the Goth scene, did well at school and eventually went to WWU. His brothers moved away, one into the Army and the other became a record producer in LA. All this time Ian, or Baron Vortex as he was known in Changeling society, kept gaining power. He made the acquaintances of fae from both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, and although identifying himself with the Unseelie, was still courteous to Seelie fae.

His first major tradgy struck in 1996. His father had been under pressure at the University to perform, and his mother had been ill. When it came to light that his mother had been having an affair, Ian's father could take it no more. He had done everything for his family, even giving up the chance for tenure at Columbia to get them out of NYC. It was too much and he hung himself in the attic. Ian was the one to find the body. This broke his mother. She passes away 6 months later from guilt and a lack of will to live.

This focused Ian. He got the house. His brothers felt it was the least they could do for their depressed and haggard looking brother. The house became a shambles. It had gone from a fine period house to a rundown shack. But Ian's knowledge kept growing.

His second tradgy struck in 1999. Marcus had been a strong influence on Ian. While Ian was an Unseelie fae with a thirst for knowledge, Marcus's (a Troll) thirst was in much more tangible areas. Whatcom Falls Park was one of his hunting grounds. Once Ian had been Marcus's conscience -- such as an Unseelie Sluagh can be. Of course after the events of 1996 he had less time for his former Mentor. It was believed that Marcus had killed at least 2 homeless men by the time the local Changelings worked out what was happening. The troll hid in the most remote parts of Whatcom Falls Park, where certain members of the Shadow Court helped him hide out. The last time Ian talked to Marcus he was raving. He said he would bring fire to the world and burn if clean of filth. Ian knew that where once Marcus had cautioned him to hide his true nature, drugs and power had given Marcus the idea to revel in his. Nothing was found of Marcus's hovel after the explosion. Given it was right on the gas line, near the epicenter it was not surprising. To this day Ian is known to be one of the few fae who will go into the area. He says that he is trying to commune with the dead. Most that know him realize it is one in particular that he is trying to reach.

Over the last 3 years Ian has become somewhat of a force in the information trade. He is always questing for knowledge. He is known to many Fae. He seems to always be courteous and have a kind word, especially for those who are the brunt of others jokes. He is also the person to talk to if your want information to get to someone or you need info, just be sure to bring a trade.

Ian lives in his house with the young student . He is her legal guardian.


The Baron is a manipulative man. He generally has a kind centre but his obsession with gaining knowledge and his personal tradgies have given him a selfish edge. He will be kind to the likes of Beebee, realising that she could be useful in the future. His currency is knowledge and he will go to almost any lengths to get it. He realises that this is not the same for everyone, and by being nice to people they will often give you information for free. Even the Baron does not know where his niceness ends and his manipulation begins now.

There is also a tinge of sadness to the Baron. A life of talking to the dead and finding your father's still warm body hanging in the attic will do that to you.

Also there is his "passion" in life. His overriding goal and the driving force of his waking and dreaming moments. The desire to gain esoteric knowledge. This more than anything keeps him going.

Physical description

Baron Vortex wears old 19th centaury style suits, but with a shabby appearance. His coat has a number of badges with various mystic symbols, as do his ringed fingers. He often wears a battered top hat and large boots. His skin is deathly pain and his eyes are a vibrant purple, with grey/black rings around them. His hair is long, thinning and black, with a small Mostarch and van dike. His fingernails are completely black, as are his lips and toothless mouth. He looks the part of the quintessential Goth. His mortal seeming is not much different, just with shabbier cloths, less blackness on his fingernails, a few teeth and more hair on his head. Where in his mortal seeming looks to be early 30s, in his Fae seeming he looks to be in his 50's.

Character Stats
Name:Baron Vortex/ Ian Joyce
Physical Social Mental
Strength:2 Charisma:3 Perception:3
Dexterity:2 Manipulation:3 Intelligence:
Stamina:2 Appearance:2 Wits:2
Talents Skills Knowledges
Alertness:2 Drive:1 Enigmas:1
Empathy:1 Firearms:1 Gremayre:2
Intimidation:1 Security:1 Investigation:2
Kenning:2 Stealth:2 Linguistics:
Latin, Arabic, German
Persuasion:1 Lore (Occult):
Streetwise:1 Medicine:1
Subterfuge:1 Politics:1
Lore (Wraith):1
Backgrounds Arts Realms
Contacts:2 Chicanery:1 Actor:2
Remembrance:1 Primal:1 Fae:1
Resources:2 Soothsay:1 Prop:2
Legerdemain:1 Scene:1
Other Traits
Merits and Flaws Tempers
Curiosity:2 Willpower:6
Changeling Eyes:1 Glamour:4
Slipped Seeming:2 Banality:3
Esoteric Knowledge