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#13857227 Sep 12, 2018 at 01:31 PM · Edited 19 days ago
182 Posts
I'm trying to remember where it was posted, but I recall seeing it mentioned in a lore discussion that everyone favorite 'block or die!' Jester was actually once a hero, and is enslaved by DEMON?

I'm toying with a future concept and it might tie into that; any chance of more details on the matter, and on Jack himself?
#13857267 Sep 12, 2018 at 02:47 PM
1302 Posts
You may be thinking of a lore discussion of Jack Fool on the main CO website forums. I'll transcribe the relevant parts below.

As revealed in DEMON: Servants Of Darkness, Jack Fool (his real name is never mentioned in the book) was the son of an Italian immigrant to New York, and his Gypsy wife, who taught Jack Gypsy lore. During the 1920s and '30s he was a masked "mystery man" fighting crime in NYC, adopting a disguise based on the motley of the Fool as appearing on the traditional tarot deck. In 1925 an encounter with the nascent DEMON, in which he interrupted an occult ritual, imbued him with phenomenal supernatural luck, like the Fool card represents. He would continue to be a thorn in DEMON's side for the next fourteen years.

But Luther Black finally captured Jack Fool in 1939. Recognizing his mystical symbolic significance and potential use in his apotheosis ritual, Black cast his soul into Hell and made Jack's body his utter slave. Now essentially undead, Jack Fool acts as Black's assassin whenever called upon, his luck translating to perfectly targeted lethal blows. At other times he lies in a coma-like state in crypts or tombs, with only fragmentary memories of his former life, haunted by the ghosts of his parents who chastise him for the recklessness that led to his damnation. Jack Fool is part of Luther Black's "Inverted Trinity" along with the Black Shepherd and the Left Hand.

What's left of Jack's mind was shattered by Luther Black's not-so-tender ministrations. He's frequently muttering what sounds like nonsense to himself (which is actually pretty tragic when you understand the context). When traveling on a mission he covers his costume in ragged clothes that cause most passersby to dismiss him as just another crazy homeless person.

Jack's incredible luck lets him make any sharp object he picks up capable of delivering a lethal blow: a steak knife, a shard of glass, a broken bone. His luck also makes him very difficult to hit in combat (although his undead state has left him tougher to hurt than a living man). Jack Fool's luck aids him when he's trying to sneak up to someone or enter a secured location on an assassination mission. People just happen to look away from him, or from security cameras monitoring an area, as he passes through. He can disable sophisticated security systems just by removing a panel and jiggling some wires, or entering a random code on a key pad which happens to be the right one.

It's possible for Jack Fool to be redeemed from his current state. If his soul can be rescued from Hell (where it's the plaything of an arch-demon) and reunited with his body, Jack would regain his original persona. He'll have no memory past his death in 1939, though. Learning of what happened to him, and what he's been made to do, since that date would undoubtedly be traumatic for him.
#13857291 Sep 12, 2018 at 03:36 PM
182 Posts
#13857267 Lord Liaden wrote:

You may be thinking of a lore discussion of Jack Fool on the main CO website forums. I'll transcribe the relevant parts below.

As revealed in DEMON: Servants Of Darkness, Jack Fool (his real name is never mentioned in the book) was the son of an Italian immigrant to New York, and his Gypsy wife, who taught Jack Gypsy lore. During the 1920s and '30s he was a masked "mystery man" fighting crime in NYC, adopting a disguise based on the motley of the Fool as appearing on the traditional tarot deck. In 1925 an encounter with the nascent DEMON, in which he interrupted an occult ritual, imbued him with phenomenal supernatural luck, like the Fool card represents. He would continue to be a thorn in DEMON's side for the next fourteen years.

But Luther Black finally captured Jack Fool in 1939. Recognizing his mystical symbolic significance and potential use in his apotheosis ritual, Black cast his soul into Hell and made Jack's body his utter slave. Now essentially undead, Jack Fool acts as Black's assassin whenever called upon, his luck translating to perfectly targeted lethal blows. At other times he lies in a coma-like state in crypts or tombs, with only fragmentary memories of his former life, haunted by the ghosts of his parents who chastise him for the recklessness that led to his damnation. Jack Fool is part of Luther Black's "Inverted Trinity" along with the Black Shepherd and the Left Hand.

What's left of Jack's mind was shattered by Luther Black's not-so-tender ministrations. He's frequently muttering what sounds like nonsense to himself (which is actually pretty tragic when you understand the context). When traveling on a mission he covers his costume in ragged clothes that cause most passersby to dismiss him as just another crazy homeless person.

Jack's incredible luck lets him make any sharp object he picks up capable of delivering a lethal blow: a steak knife, a shard of glass, a broken bone. His luck also makes him very difficult to hit in combat (although his undead state has left him tougher to hurt than a living man). Jack Fool's luck aids him when he's trying to sneak up to someone or enter a secured location on an assassination mission. People just happen to look away from him, or from security cameras monitoring an area, as he passes through. He can disable sophisticated security systems just by removing a panel and jiggling some wires, or entering a random code on a key pad which happens to be the right one.

It's possible for Jack Fool to be redeemed from his current state. If his soul can be rescued from Hell (where it's the plaything of an arch-demon) and reunited with his body, Jack would regain his original persona. He'll have no memory past his death in 1939, though. Learning of what happened to him, and what he's been made to do, since that date would undoubtedly be traumatic for him.



Hrr, that could work... I'm loosely considering the idea of a possible descendant... seems a lot more to him than 'undead' and 'ridiculously sharp weapon"...
#13857793 Sep 13, 2018 at 06:11 AM
182 Posts
Any word in the official lore on whether heirs to the Fool would be plausible?
#13857931 Sep 13, 2018 at 09:51 AM
1302 Posts
Nothing in particular either for or against the idea. There's no mention of Jack Fool ever having a partner or protege. No word about a wife or girlfriend by whom he might have had a child. No siblings mentioned. Nothing about someone taking up the Jack Fool identity at any point between Jack's disappearance and today. But nothing that says any of those things couldn't have happened, either.

Now, there is another dimension to Jack Fool's story that might be worth exploring. At the DEMON cult ritual that Jack interrupted in 1925, he had two allies, New York police detectives Jimmy Finn and Lothar Mannheim, who had been tracking the cult's sacrificial murders. Afterward Finn became a private detective specializing in paranormal mysteries, while Mannheim became a psychiatrist studying and treating criminal insanity. But all three men were exposed to a spill of energy from the Qliphoth. The exposure seemed to cause Jack to merge with the metaphysical aspect of the Fool in instinctive protection from its corruption; but the other two men struggled against its taint for years, until Luther Black was able to use it to subvert them, and make them lead Jack Fool into a trap.

Many Champions PnP books include "plot seeds" for various characters, short suggestions for plots that a Game Master may choose to expand upon for his group's games. One such plot for Jack Fool involves PC heroes being contacted by ghosts or zombie-like walking corpses claiming to be Lothar Mannheim and Jimmy Finn, cursed to never rest due to their betrayal of Jack Fool, who ask for the PCs' help in rescuing his soul. While no such event is officially noted as having happened to this point, it opens the possibility of someone connected to Finn and/or Mannheim, by blood or circumstance, taking up the mantle of Jack Fool as an atonement for their past sins, perhaps including supernatural assistance from the spirits of those men. Such an encounter, or simply the discovery of the story of their betrayal, would explain why someone might assume the identity of such an obscure hero after all these decades.

#13857969 Sep 13, 2018 at 10:48 AM
182 Posts
#13857931 Lord Liaden wrote:

Nothing in particular either for or against the idea. There's no mention of Jack Fool ever having a partner or protege. No word about a wife or girlfriend by whom he might have had a child. No siblings mentioned. Nothing about someone taking up the Jack Fool identity at any point between Jack's disappearance and today. But nothing that says any of those things couldn't have happened, either.

Now, there is another dimension to Jack Fool's story that might be worth exploring. At the DEMON cult ritual that Jack interrupted in 1925, he had two allies, New York police detectives Jimmy Finn and Lothar Mannheim, who had been tracking the cult's sacrificial murders. Afterward Finn became a private detective specializing in paranormal mysteries, while Mannheim became a psychiatrist studying and treating criminal insanity. But all three men were exposed to a spill of energy from the Qliphoth. The exposure seemed to cause Jack to merge with the metaphysical aspect of the Fool in instinctive protection from its corruption; but the other two men struggled against its taint for years, until Luther Black was able to use it to subvert them, and make them lead Jack Fool into a trap.

Many Champions PnP books include "plot seeds" for various characters, short suggestions for plots that a Game Master may choose to expand upon for his group's games. One such plot for Jack Fool involves PC heroes being contacted by ghosts or zombie-like walking corpses claiming to be Lothar Mannheim and Jimmy Finn, cursed to never rest due to their betrayal of Jack Fool, who ask for the PCs' help in rescuing his soul. While no such event is officially noted as having happened to this point, it opens the possibility of someone connected to Finn and/or Mannheim, by blood or circumstance, taking up the mantle of Jack Fool as an atonement for their past sins, perhaps including supernatural assistance from the spirits of those men. Such an encounter, or simply the discovery of the story of their betrayal, would explain why someone might assume the identity of such an obscure hero after all these decades.



Seeing potential forming.. just, on a related note.. could one get more information on Luther himself? The actual game is somewhat obscure on him (and I freely admit I've played Demonflame less than the other APs/CSes due to its tendency toward bugginess...)
#13857984 Sep 13, 2018 at 11:07 AM · Edited 1 month ago
1302 Posts
There is a ton of info available about Luther Black. DEMON: Servants Of Darkness devotes a large percentage of its word count to his history, his motivation, and his grand scheme. Granted, Champions Online heavily modified that last part, discarding what D:SOD laid out in favor of their own scenario; but everything leading up to that still appears to apply.

However, transcribing any significant amount of that info here would be treading past the line of Fair Use of the Champions IP. OTOH the book itself is available from the Hero Games website store for a more-than-reasonable price, particularly in downloadable PDF form: https://www.herogames.com/forums/store/product/220-demon-servants-of-darkness-pdf/ . It's also an entertainingly written, very informative book for all things DEMON, present and past, at least up to the point before Black goes down the Qliphothic drain.
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