So today’s vignette is brought to you by the letter “I” for “Insta-NPCs.” It was time to tap into the villainous zeitgeist for this one.
Using Insta-NPCs #3: Scum and Villainy, Inc. I rolled up this collection of bits:
- Origin: Accident
- Goal: Destroy world
- Methodology: Build tools
- Role: Catalyst
- Core Emotion: Devastation
It offered a bit of a challenging combination, but led to something a little different for the day:
“Charlie Smythe works as a tinkerer, owning a small fix-it shop in town. He spends his days quietly repairing anything that comes through the door – from toys to toasters, clocks to computers. He has a gift for the work. But he also has a secret.
Nobody remembers Charlie, but he was here before. He and his mother lived in town long ago. She made a living cleaning other people’s houses. And their lives were shattered by a careless snapshot and a case of mistaken identity.
Back then, Mayor Stone had a few problems with cheating on his wife and doing drugs. One day a photo was taken of Charlie’s mother leaving the Mayor’s residence by a back door. A reporter looking to get a scoop printed the picture in the local paper with the headline ‘Stone’s Latest Secret Admirer,’ hinting that she was yet another in a long string of lovers and ladies of the night who had spent time with the political lothario.
It did nothing to hurt the Mayor’s already tarnished reputation, but it dragged Charlie’s Mom’s reputation through the mud along with him. She was cursed at and reviled, unable to find a single job in town. Charlie’s friends turned on him and he became a target for the local bullies in school. As a result, they had to move away.
Charlie’s life was destroyed. And he vowed revenge.
Since returning to town he’s been gifting fancy clocks to all his best clients. And a few have even made their way to the homes of important figures on the town council, paragons of business, fancy lawyers, and so on. They quickly became desired trophies for bookcases, mantles, and topics of conversation.
What nobody knew was they were taking pictures and streaming them to hidden computer servers in Charlie’s basement. He would scan the images for anything he thought might cause ripples in town. Perhaps an image of a man yelling at his wife or smacking a child. Maybe a picture of an inappropriate relationship after work or an affair.
He stored these pictures and waited… Soon he would have enough to spread dirt on everyone who beat him up or hurt his mom. Soon all their reputations would be ruined on the Internet and there would be no place for them to hide. And then it would be time to go…”
This guy is creepy. But it would make for the core of an interesting Leverage adventure I think. All villains have to start somewhere…
Looking for other ideas in this challenge? Check out the 31 Days of Halloween category!