- 1 Personality
- 2 Background
Jak is an introvert. He is often quiet, letting others go about their business while he goes about his. He generally prefers spending time with his books than with people. He is much more open with his friends, though, and will not keep quiet if he feels strongly about something and it needs to be said. People who don't understand him often label him as cold. On the exterior, this might be the case. But he's actually one of the most passionate people on the planet. He just (usually) has a great hold on his emotions and doesn't express them needlessly.
Though it rarely reaches the surface unbidden, Jak holds deep within the war of two opposites. Jak has a great hold on his violent emotions, but some things just push his buttons or, over time, erode his resolve. At such times, the instincts of his demonic ancestry may very well find themselves influencing his thoughts and behavior. If pushed far enough, Jak will become highly violent. Jak's human side and his honorable convictions are usually enough to suppress his instincts. However, during such times as when he's chasing a foe, he will sometimes allow his hunter's instinct to guide him. Doing so is a dangerous thing, though, and not something he allows frivolously. Fortunately, Jak has a fairly strong hold of his demonic instincts.
Jak is loyal to those few he has befriended and would knowingly do nothing to put his friends in danger. He is often blinded by this loyalty, rushing in without thinking to save a friend. He is also loyal to his oaths. If he says he's going to do something, he's likely going to do it. Though he doesn't trust people easily, when his trust is earned it's quite solid. However hard it is to break, it's twice as hard to earn back once it's broken
While generally reserved in social interactions of human society, Jak demonstrates great courage in the face of danger. Whether that danger be a mundane threat or related to demons and ghosts, Jak shows natural leadership skills that he generally doesn't exhibit in general.
Two well-known sayings sum this one up pretty well. "The ends justify the means." "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one." Sometimes circumstances require sacrifices for the greater good. Jak is perfectly willing to sacrifice himself should such a situation arise. However, he is also willing to sacrifice others, though people he knows (and likes) on a personal basis are likely to put this trait in conflict with the Loyalty trait.
Jak is very persistent. Very. Extremely. Almost single-mindedly. On the flip side, he is also extremely stubborn. Sometimes it almost borders on arrogance, the way he dismisses others' comments so easily in favour of his own. To get him to do something he doesn't want to or to get him to stop something he is doing takes effort.
Jak tends to turn to sarcasm when confronted with negative sociality. He can often deduce a person's buttons and won't hesitate to press them with his wit. He can also usually respond to sarcasm in a way that deflects the verbal attack back on an adversary. Very few people he's met can win a sarcasm war with Jak.
Jak is highly intelligent. Had he desired it, he could possibly have been the valedictorian of his class, either in high school or college. He does not seek fame or glory, though, and thus downplayed his abilities in school to merely above average, graduating in the bottom of the top ten percent.
Before we get into the life and times of Jak, we need some demonology, xenobiology, and history lessons. First off, Zixarka demons are one of four offshoots of the now extinct Lithril species. The dimension in which the Lithril lived was almost destroyed by a civil war. Though not destroyed, the dimension was fractured. The four elements drew apart. Earth, air, fire, and water disjoined and each element sought its own kind and established four primary regions to the dimension. Most of the Lithril demons were killed in the cataclysm, though a few scattered groups did survive. Through an evolutionary process of adapting to their prospective regions, the Lithril demons eventually developed four primary races. The Zixarka of the water region, the Grenthril of the earth region, the Hithsp of the air region and the Krikkla of the fire region.
Each race developed their natural Lithril abilities in their prospective areas to adapt to the new environment in which they had to survive in. Though the Lithril were fairly advanced as far as demons go, the cataclysm reduced the remaining survivors to primitive conditions. Gone were the complex (for demons, anyways) governing institutes and clans and tribes became the norm. Some Lithril magic was retained by a scant few. These few developed cults and eventually those capable of magic either tended to be the tribe or clan chieftains, or they had equal or nearly equal but separate status. Most often, those with magic manipulated the chiefs in any case.
A common punishment was to translate the offender's physical body into a spiritual form and then have the demon banished into an empty dimension to float around in oblivion. Just such a punishment befell one particular Zixarka. Cikrelkon of the Stikx Clan, accused of aiding a tribe of a rival clan in an attempted assassination of the chieftain, was sentenced to banishment on account of high treason.
As luck would have it, a primitive human cult on Earth was in the process of summoning the spirit of their deity into their shaman. Thus, after only a dozen or so years trapped in nothingness, a way was opened to Cikrelkon for escape. And he took it. Who wouldn't? He soon broke the shaman's body, though, as he wasn't used to the frailty of the human form. Plus, he hadn't really had a body for some time and had forgotten what it was like.
He found, however, that he was able to leap from body to body with a mere thought. However, he soon found that he could not enter a body he had previously inhabited. When he was in a body, the human was suppressed, though fully aware of what went on, though not necessarily understanding why they weren't in control. As time passed on, he was able to channel his demon powers through the flesh of his hosts. He could not remain in spirit form for much longer than a few minutes. He had little reason to desire such a form, however, as he was not able to move through solid materials such as solid rock and most building materials such as stone, wood, and later steel or even glass.
He dropped his name in favor of the name of the god he was summoned as, Reltir, and developed cults around himself. He had systems in place for the event of his host's death. A young male would be provided for his new habitation. Eventually, however, a woman caught his eyes. He courted the woman, accepted her as his primary wife, and conceived a child with her. This gave him an idea. He would breed his own stock. Over the course of centuries and millennia, he nearly perfected his technique. He would jump to his 'son' and continue through his genetic line, taking on a mate who had the traits he desired and manipulated the conception so as those traits he wanted were the ones that his child had. And he would leap to his son and continue. Eventually, he decided on copper red hair, fair skin, dark brown eyes, and normal height.
In each incarnation he tried something new with his life. Sometimes he was a plantation owner, sometimes he was a wealthy merchant, he even had a line of nobility for some time in eastern Europe. One of his incarnations was awarded a duchy and thus the Duke of Katmahl was born and would last for several generations before wars and politics created new national lines and he decided to no longer pursue the title.
Sins of the Forefathers
Over time, he moved to the New World, developed through the American Colonies and the United States and lived life as life was lived in the various times. Then we get to Jonathan Avery Katmahl. Using 'inherited' resources, the demon now known as Jonathan built a decent-sized financial empire in various areas of interest. However, he unknowingly crossed paths with another demon making waves in the world of business. He never even knew he had slighted this demon, and never ended up finding out the demon's name.
The demon crushed Jonathan's empire, leaving him with merely a manor that he couldn't afford to keep up. Having been poisoned, he was forced to jump into his son, JJ, prematurely. Jonathan Avery Katmahl, Junior, then a sophomore in high school, soon 'decided he has the abilities and intelligence to make it in the world today without wasting more time in school.' In other words, now a demon several millennia old, he was able to breeze through tests and exams and was able, at sixteen years of age, to attain business degrees and build up a decent business by his eighteenth year.
He soon caught the eye of a young woman of a less than prestigious family. Though fairly poor, her family did well enough that they could appear slightly wealthier than they actually were. As a student at a college that Jonathan supported and often visited for various ceremonies and because of general interests, she was able to find a means to talk to him. Jonathan came to like the young woman, Sharice Daimsen. It wasn't long that the two were wed, her parents glad that their daughter could have a life that they couldn't have provided for. Though he obviously wasn't a Christian as they would have liked, he was able to fake it easy enough.
The young couple moved to the little town of Misty Vale, Oregon. It was perfect for them. For the young bride, it was a quaint little town where they could raise a family. For the demon, it was situated at the nexus of powerful demonic power lines. This caused the veil between worlds to become thinner, letting the hellish energies of the demon realms to pass through. This attracted monsters, demons, and dark sorcerers to the area. Despite the quaint little town in the human world, the demonic underworld was kept hidden through spells and the nature of the modern human mind to suppress what it doesn't' want to know.
Jonathan soon came to enjoy the company of his new bride more than he cared for his business. Giving up his many positions of direct authority, he took a more background role in his business and spent more time with his wife. They did all the romantic things young couples dream of; walks on the beach at sunset, romantic dinners, et cetera.
It wasn't long before the newest addition to the line of hosts was conceived. Or so the demon thought. Jonathan Avery Katmahl III was born soon after and Sharice couldn't have been happier. Since she didn't need to work due to Jonathan's business, she was able to stay at home and take care of the baby even as he grew through childhood.
Humans and Demons and Ghosts, Oh My
It was apparent at birth, however, that this child was not normal. The energies of the Nexus reacted with the energies of the demon and the result was that at conception the baby carried the genetic qualities of man, woman, and demon. The mutant child was unnaturally cold. As it was investigated, though, the baby was found to be fine, and was labeled as having a 'rare blood disorder'. He also lacked the nearly black eyes of his ancestors and had cold, crystal blue eyes.
Now the demon suspected what might have happened, but he thought nothing of it. Besides, the child might show powers that he could use later when he inhabits the body. And his own powers might be easier to use in the mutant body.
As the demon grew tired of his young bride, he grew cold toward her. She continues to attend church and was still active in raising the child, but Jonathan went back to his business. She cared for her son, nicknamed Jonny to differentiate him from his father. The child proved to be highly intelligent, though tended to talk and play with imaginary friends a lot.
While a bit concerned that Jonny was more interested in his imagination that with real friends, she figured it was a phase and it would pass. However, the truth was something altogether different. The imaginary friends were not imaginary at all. They were ghosts, mostly. A couple were spirits of possibly demonic origin. None of them were malevolent and were merely drawn to the child that could see them. And a few of them stayed around, attracted to the young boy's intelligence.
As Jonny grew older, he came to dislike his childish nickname and took on the name Jak, formed by his initials. He also started to hide the fact he talked to ghosts after he overheard his mother tell his father that she was considering taking him in to a children's psychiatrist to see if this detachment from kids his age and continued use of imaginary friends was healthy.
He soon developed a few loose friendships with neighborhood kids. He also befriended a few ghosts and spirits about town. Most of them were little more than chat buddies, but one in particular he developed a friendship with was a martial arts teacher who was murdered by a troubled student. He knew this ghost only by the title Sensei.
At the age of seven, Jonathan was in a bad car accident and slipped into a coma. When Shanice brought Jak in to see his father, the demon decided then would probably be a good time to transfer, despite the very young age. This provided to be a big mistake.
After leaving Jonathan, the demon found Jak's body to be unposessable. Jak, however, saw the whole process and screamed bloody murder as the thing left his father's body and came toward him. Shanice didn't know what was going on, not being able to see the incorporeal demon herself. But she was the only one left in the room the demon could possess. Shanice, however, wasn't strong enough for the possession and she had a simultaneous brain annurism and heart attack. Her death expelled the demon, and the demon was left with nowhere to go, trapped in the room and no possessable bodies. He turned his attention on Jak and glared maliciously at the boy as he painfully faded from the earthly realm and was sent back to his prison dimension.
Blood and Honor
The doctors came in to find Shanice beyond recovery, a very confused and groggy Jonathan awakened from his coma, and a very terrified young boy screaming about a ghost monster. Though Jonathan remembered the events of his stolen time, and the memories of the demons past lives, he didn't want a son. He still had the mentality of an adolescent boy, albeit a bit warped by all he had seen through memory and at his own hands (if not by his will). He lost himself in his work, making excuses to take vacations to various locales and enjoy the local cuisines, festivities, and women.
Jak was thus often left in the care of his Aunt Judy, Shanice's sister. She recognized the child's independence and capability and after a few years was able to let him do mostly what he wanted. He was never in trouble in school or anything, did his schoolwork very well, and was generally pleasant, if a bit on the distant and cold side.
After his encounter with the demon in the hospital, Jak developed an interest in malevolent spiritual entities. As he grew older, he obtained various books on the subject. He also became interested in ghosts and spirits in general. He could actually talk to some of them, including his friend Sensei.
Sensei became somewhat of a mentor and father figure for Jak. He helped Jak develop his natural talents, bringing in spirit buddies with the various skills. Jak had a most wonderful voice that developed into a soothing tenor in high school. Sensei was a master of the art of Pentjak-Silat in life. Though he offered to teach his young friend, Jak was more interested in other subjects. Thus the training was incomplete, though Jak did learn to fight effectively with a sword through the years of his friendship with the ghost.
Pentjak-Silat utilizes blades of many sorts, and Jak collected swords from various cultures and literary sources. He even had many weapons featured in sci-fi and fantasy TV programs and in movies. Though most of his swords are decorative, a few of them are functional and he was trained in the basics of their use.
Jak soon encountered a malevolent being that was less ethereal than spirits and was quite solid. A summoned demon attacked him as he was walking home late one night after 'sparring' with Sensei. The demon targeted the wrong person. Jak, being in his mid teens by this time, wielded his sword and fended off the attack. The demon likely realized at this time that Jak didn't seem right and was probably not human and thus not worth fighting.
After getting home that night, Jak dug into internet resources about demons, for that was the only explanation he could come up with for the creature that attacked him. The next morning, he sought out books that dealt with demons. Though not to the extent that he researched ghosts and spirits, he was merely protecting himself from the new threat. However, he would soon find himself in a role he did not expect.
The Reluctant Hero
Jak was a loner in school, partially by choice, partially by social stigma. He was a bit odd, a bit off, and kids like that are picked on in school. And Jak didn't want to make anything worse, so mostly just took it during the day and shrugged it off at home.
Though he could never really connect with the other kids, he did go out to the local club a bit. He generally sat alone and watched the other people socialize and he began to wonder what it would be like to be oblivious to the horrors of the world.
One night, he slipped out the back door of the club to head home when he stumbled upon a horror scene in the making. A struggling teenage girl was being held by a creature with the same traits as the one that attacked him some months before.
He couldn't just let the demon feast on the girl, so he tackled the demon away from the girl and told her to run, now and fast. The girl didn't need to be told twice and was gone, leaving Jak and a demon to go at it. Jak wasn't nearly as strong as the creature, but he was smart and quick on his feet. He fended off the attacks until he could get himself a makeshift weapon to impale the creature with. The encounter left Jak exhausted, so he made his way home.
Though not something he would have chosen to do under normal circumstances, Jak had a demonic background and he saw himself as being in heightened danger of becoming evil. So, he took on fighting demons and other nasties to atone for his perceived taint.
Though Jak had been experimenting with his natural abilities to manipulate water and ice, he didn't see them as anything special and generally saw them as manifestations of his evil demonic side. It was through the intervention of a friend he had acquired, a witch, that he gained a stronger connection to his demon side. A connection he did not initially appreciate.
His friend, Emma Rasputin, had been seeing Kakistos, a shady dealer of dark magicks. She had enlisted his aid in calling upon the demon that "spawned" Jak and steal its power for Jak's use. The magicks involved, however, backfired. They punched a hole right through Jak's natural barrier against possession and stuffed the demon inside. The demon was able to use Jak's body at various times to work at making sure the induced possession was stable.
Jak, however, was strong and eventually he overcame the demon and went to Emma and Kakistos for help. However, during the ritual to separate the demon from Jak, the demon reasserted itself and was able to use his own knowledge and Jak's natural connection to powers of water and ice, to screw up the ritual. A ghost friend of Jak's, though, intervened and the demon cast a spell to trap the ghost in the very stone that was meant for his imprisonment.
Kakistos magically picked up Jak's sword and sent it to skewer Jak, no longer caring about Emma's friend, only desiring to save his own life. The demon grabbed the sword, though. Jak reasserted himself then, the human and the demon struggling for control as Kakistos finished an incantation that used the demons own spell to pull the demon out of Jak's body and shoved it into the crystalline prison. The demon's enchantment of the sword, though, created a surge of energy through the gem and Jak's body that linked the three together. The gem and the sword physically.
Jak soon found out that by handling the sword, the connection sparked a reaction that brought out a physical manifestation of his demon side. While Jak often used this transformation in his fight against demons, he usually used the sword's twin to prevent the transformation when it was not needed.
Jak was not present at his graduation. He was not big on ceremony and felt the gathering to be inane and a waste of his time. Thus he scheduled some college stuff and a few job interviews and told the school he couldn't make it to graduation and got his diploma early without ceremony.
He did, however, have a graduation of sorts of his own. While in Seattle, after his appointments, he came across a strong demon chasing a teenage boy and girl, both of who were terrified. Jak diverted the demon's attention to himself and told the two to get out of there. Being more durable in demon form, he moved the fight to his car so he could get his sword.
The fight did not end well for Jak, though. At least not at first. The demon got ahold of the sword and impaled Jak right through the heart. The sword was driven into the side of a stone building, trapping the dying Jak there to use his last ounce of willpower to form a spike of ice and impale it through the demons skull. Then Jak breathed his last breath and died.
However, something was looking over Jak. A higher power was not done using Jak yet, especially with the act of sacrificing himself the last thing he did. The gem in Jak's sword exploded in a burst of sparkling dust and the energy of the demon was pulled through the sword and into Jak's body. The sword was expelled from his body and shattered before it even hit the ground. The demonic spirit was destroyed in order to heal and revive Jak. Jak dropped to the ground, gasping for breath with no memory of having been dead save for a vision.
The Champion Reborn
Jak saw a road map of sorts then. The vision showed him the demonic power lines of the area, from Oregon south to California, north into Canada, west into the Pacific, and east into the rest of the United States. The Nexus of Misty Vale flickered and then disappeared, the lines re-aligning themselves for the absence of five of the lines that used to intersect there.
The newly resurrected Jak quickly made his way back home. He was just in time to see the end result of some dark sorcerers' summoning. A very large hellbeast tore through the small town, destroying most of it and killing much of the population. It was then that Jak knew the ritual used so much power from the demonic power lines that a few of them actually burned out.
The large hellbeast was too much for Jak to take care of. Fortunately there were other forces in the area who gathered to fight the demon. Jak collected his computer and his books and fled. The town erupted behind him, appearing to be a volcano as the defeated beast sunk into the now-melting earth and hit a magma pool.
A New Life
Jak went to school with little incident. College student by day, demon hunter by night, Jak didn't make many new friends in college. He did his work, got by, aimed for graduation. After college he became a police officer. Jak made an okay officer, but when he made a go at the position of detective and was granted the honor, he turned out to be a good one.
Investigating normal people problems while on duty and investigating the stranger ones on his own time, Jak proved to be quite the capable police detective and paranormal investigator. It was when his boss realized what he was doing on the side that she approached him with a suggestion. Millennium City could use a person with his talents. So he took her suggestion and moved to Millennium City, all the way on the other side of the country.
With high praise from his boss, the sister of one of the MCPD's administrators, he was accepted by the Millennium City Police Department. While working as a police detective, he also started training in his unused potential. He finally started to utilize his ability with ice. Eventually he retired from the force to set out to Vibora Bay and offer his services there as a freelance investigator of the occult and paranormal.
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