Judge Randolph Mantus

White Knights, plain old good guys, folks who take charge and want to take the city's problems in hand altruistically are a natural fit for this section.

Judge Randolph Mantus

Postby IamLEAM1983 » Sun May 17, 2015 11:46 pm

Name: Rhadamantus (Randolph Mantus)
Age: approximately 10,000 years old, animate body is a year old
Gender: male
Species: Animate, former Prosecutor demon

Strengths: the very best of a Mentalist's expected skills is his to wield, essentially gracing him with preternatural impartiality, as well as the ability to divorce himself from his emotional processes completely and entirely. The short of it is that Randolph is able to see all those he chooses to scrutinize for what and who they truly are. Goodness, self-serving streaks, righteousness or selfless implication, selfishness or well-hidden psychological traumas... He can divine these traits and much more thanks to a few moments spent with others, which makes him a flawless judge of character and a rather difficult man to tempt or corrupt out of his assumed course of action. Lies find no purchase in him and pretense annoys him to no end.

As the Inspector's former Prosecutor, his task was to ascertain the worth and lawful nature of all of his maker's collaborators and lackeys in the Pit, and to ensure that the goat's guidelines were strictly followed. Hell's ultimate victory being a shared project in Leonard's eyes, all of those Pitspawn who choose to collaborate with the Goat of Mendes are expected to lend a hand. Effective wickedness needs regulation, and his was the task of ensuring that the Pit's droves were committed to the cause. However, he was forced into applying the rule of law to the Pit, Randolph having more than a passing knowledge of Heaven and the mortal plane's own judicial systems, as well. Freed of his obligation and his cycle of death and rebirth, Mantus is now able to apply his impartiality to these spheres of Society which truly do matter to him.

However, as he still carries demonic roots, his activities as Hope's new courthouse judge are joined with an Eldritch twin: if Shield provides him with ample proof, his new status as a legislator appointed by the Infernal City allows him to banish those Infernal entities that would encroach upon the mortal plane with criminal intentions in mind. To put things simply, Randolph Mantus is a judge who isn't limited to the prescriptions of the American Penal and Criminal codes and to his own prowess as a mundane investigator – as he can place hexes and curses upon those he deems guilty. In essence, his verdicts are a bit like a Fel cousin to Fae Oaths, in that he can speak words that will drastically impact the accused's life on the arcane or supernatural scales.

Of course, being a judge means being able to piece evidence together on your own. He's a bit too old and frail to go about catching ne'er-do-wells with the kids, but his short time in the public sphere has already started to include “off the clock” work, wherein he is called to a crime scene and asked to take a look around.

Considering, his more active abilities don't include much in the way of offensive skills. Rhadamantus tends to ply Hellfire and Brimstone in largely defensive ways, as he personally abhors violence. Crude Brimstone shields or Hellfire barriers make up most of what he's likely to produce, as he prefers to leave the extent of his power for any supplemental verdicts to be issued in the courtroom.

Finally, his one sizable quirk might be the means by which he absorbs additional knowledge. As a leftover from his previously disposable days, he's retained the ability to absorb the knowledge imparted by documents he eats. All that cellulose and ink apparently doesn't stay in his stomach, disappearing as soon as it's swallowed and the knowledge that was contained on the chewed pages is gained. When cases require a considerable upgrade to his basic understanding of a new reality, he typically remedies this by finding rejects from bookbinding factories that fit the topic he needs to learn more of, and swallows entire crates of books in a few hours. The physical media not remaining within him for longer than he needs to mentally “digest” the book's contents in a few moments, he's been known to spend days gorging on paper, only to manifest the sort of basic hunger you'd expect after a decent day's work. No blockages or obstructions seem likely to occur, and the process which transfers printed words to his mind doesn't seem to emulate drowsiness or standard digestion side-effects.

Strangely enough, topics or literary genres seem to have definitive tastes, with insightful or entertaining “reads” leaving him as pleased or thoughtful as you'd expect a more traditional time spent turning pages to leave him. If he eats a poetry compilation, he'll remember and occasionally recite a few verses. If he eats a critically-acclaimed page-turner, he'll be able to produce a summary within moments of having ingested the last page.
Weaknesses: if he isn't allowed to reach a verdict, Rhadamantus can't be expected to wield much power. He might know a small cornucopia's worth of hexes or debilitating effects and may, alternatively, be able to lift curses or dispel most diseases if his verdict leaves someone innocent or in need of compensation, but due process needs to take place first. A case needs to be built, he needs to study the case or to have witnessed its development firsthand, sworn parties need to be involved, the defendant and plaintiff's counselors must be present if they won't represent themselves – an honest trial needs to take place. For this reason, Rhadamantus' seat of power is Hope's courthouse, and it's rather safe to say that he holds little or no power outside of it, or if no jury is present.

Meet each condition gradually, and you'll feel the judge's mantle of power grow, like a power line's low hum as its voltage increases. All things considered, he doesn't need too much to go from being almost mundane to being able to hold the lives of others in his hands – but the conditions must be met. He can't pass judgment on anyone without his supporting structure, even if Shield were to convince him of the accused's despicable nature. The most he can do without his court is declare it to be a sanctuary or asylum, as no violence can and should place in a court of law. In that one case, however, his word is final no matter where he happens to be. To harm a judge is to harm Justice, and Randolph isn't afraid of using that tiny bit of rhetoric to make weapon-bearing arms heavy and to turn guns into inert hunks of metal.

Otherwise, the expected faith-based weaknesses are present, but he tends to address them as being a “lack of spiritual impartiality”. He shoulders strong faiths well enough to only feel some discomfort, with his inner pain increasing the more unilateral the expressed faith is. An open-minded agnostic discussing theology won't so much as elicit a nervous tic out of him, while a hard-lining Born Again Christian couched in the fire-and-brimstone discourse of her church and the bigotry it carries will expose him to intense pain. It doesn't help that stupidity bores him intensely, either.

Appearance: the Prosecutor first appeared to Aislinn and Tom's travelling spirits as a somewhat lizardlike entity, an anthropomorphic dragon with a more bony frame than most, pale green scales darkening over his recessed eyelids. With entirely crimson eyes that have a barely distinguishable iris of a paler shade of red, he felt as though some compatriot of Cordatus' could've reached the Pit at the end of their life, only to be wiped clean of their former identity by the Inspector's fairly ruthless magic. Seemingly being Old Age and Affectations made flesh, Rhadamantus looked to have been designed from the ground-up to be a physically frail embodiment of respect. He was, essentially speaking, the perfect foil for the Inspector's needs; there to issue verdicts when needed, only to prove to be conveniently powerless before his Bailiff's sword. His multiple deaths had worn out his spirit, with Aislinn's warnings strangely striking him as being self-evident. Blazé even on his first day of his new life in the Pit, he looked like someone who had lost the capacity to care.

As expected, he lost the robes that had been his in the Pit, along with the box-shaped head covering. He spent a few hours existing within a spare Clank phylactery, manifesting only as a voice and two closed-circuit cameras recovered from Bagley's days as a sentient security system – and seemed unimpressed even then. The warthog and selkie could both later swear that they'd have heard their new friend snore through his speaker...

Tom had managed to transsubstantiate a single scale from the Judge, essentially bringing it into the mortal plane as a palpable object. With it, he and Aislinn worked on preparing the essentials of a golem's creation. One irremediably stained kiddie pool and a few incantations later, Rhadamantus laboriously tore his way out of his own personal primordial ooze. Hand-me-downs from Archie clothed him for the first few days, but the former Prosecutor didn't really appreciate the Clank's antiquated style. One not-so-anonymous donation later, the tentacled saurian had himself a modern three-piece suit, red vest along the black of his suit jacket and tie. Thanks to a quick Veiling job, he also can travel out freely, trading his solid tendrils for a pair of legs, which he also clothes adequately. As could be expected, he has no real need to conceal anything from the waist down, his tendrils acting as a rather opaque and fleshly skirt.

Having always felt old and being seemingly “born” old, Rhadamantus now displays the kind of severe wrinkles you'd expect on millennial fuddy-duddies, which aren't helped by the fact that Aislinn's first golem doesn't exactly feel like a fountain of boundless energy. Idle moments usually lead to soft snores, unless he has a book on hand, has someone to talk to or engage with, or otherwise has something to work on. Considering, most emotions feel like slight additions that give a bit of color to what looks like a permanent resting face. Exhaustion only really seems to stretch at his features when some source of aggravation or boredom rears its head. Coupled with his slightly nasal voice's deep and frayed edges, he tends not to express a testifying's individual's contempt for the Court not through gavel strikes, but through pointed yawns he's learned to put to use rather eloquently.
Behavior: Francis has taken to calling Randolph – or Judge Mantus, depending on who you ask – as “Mister Spock”. Rhadamantus was initially created with the perceived nobility and superiority of the Pit's droves in mind, and was made to affect a needed form of detachment, a sort of cool and collected mental slate that would allow him to travel the Pit, Bailiff in tow, and dispense the Inspector's justice without personal considerations. Knowing that his obfuscated origins would one day reassert themselves, the Goat opted to force his charge into a state of permanent “newness” or eternal detachment. Having spent hundreds of thousands of years re-living his first day in the Pit, always told of the pressing need that he avoid developing any attachments, Rhadamantus' emotional development has been stunted, while his intellectual processes have soared. Killed off and reborn after each and every case, the Prosecutor sees the world with a professional level of interest and a strong personal disinterest.

Some would say that exposing a mind like his to the complexities of the mortal plane would be too much, and they'd be right – at least in part. Randolph has taken refuge in his thousands of years of businesslike affectations, turning him into a pointedly intellectual fellow. The youngsters, considering, mistook his forced inability to connect for some kind of supernatural pall of boredom or fatigue. He does sleep a lot, but this could simply be a side-effect of his having essentially been born, as an animate. With his inset and half-lidded eyes and the drooping corners of his mouth, he does indeed look like nothing he could be exposed to would suffice in developing his interests. Being an old soul in the very literal sense, he isn't the type to take to the world's technical or scientific marvels or to welcome sunny days more than overcast ones. Instead, books tend to act as sanctuaries for him to visit: he likes to consume books first, and if they remain fresh in his mind or strike him as being significant, he'll then obtain a decent copy and savor it, re-reading it the old-fashioned way. It's more than likely through his growing library that he'll push out of his phlegm, although the creature that's being fed by law textbooks and literary classics still feels like it'll be a miser when it comes to smiles or displays of affection or friendship.

Little by little, his saviors and long-awaited enablers are likely to expose a more intellectual and private take on Shamus' literary love. It already feels as though he likes his friendships kept private and his moments of shared pleasure kept on the down-low. To Bucky's occasional peals of horse laughter, he's the type to oppose a smile and the shaking of his shoulders.

All of that translates into his physicality, obviously. His eight thick tentacles are rooted just below his waistline and seem tailor-made for keeping him standing straight. His gait is more stable than any standard bipedal creature's, and markedly more smooth. He glides up and down stairs and along corridors without the slightest bit of bobbing motion or shift in his gravity center. Randolph seems to be rather good at creeping up on people, even if he himself doesn't seem to notice it. Couple this with his detachment and how minimalistic his hand gestures seem to be, and you earn the kind of attitude that borders on being creepy. With his arms being almost continuously crossed high behind his back, the rare instance of his scaled and lightly clawed hands coming into view is usually significant. It also doesn't help that his lack of traditional legs makes it so he finds sitting or lying down to be uncomfortable. As far as Shield knows, Mantus has gone so far as to sleep while standing upright. All he does is lock the door and draw the blinds; his bed has never been disturbed since his arrival and dust has quite severely taken root on the covers.

Towards Aislinn and Tom, however, Mantus is slightly more demonstrative. It makes sense, seeing as the two mages are to be credited for his escape from the Pit and his introduction to Hope. Gratitude may be accelerating his personal adaptation to these two specific people, compared to how stolid he seems to be towards others. Picking up on an offhand joke spoken by Three, Randolph sometimes teases the both of them by addressing them as “Mother” or “Father”. They aren't, of course, having had no influence on his abilities since his being made corporeal, but that occasional poke seems to be the judge's way of acknowledging how important their contribution was.

Unlike Tom, his reaching the mortal plane was never part of his goals, initially. Kept from realizing who and what he was, he had no idea the mortal plane even existed. Considering, Hope isn't an end-all or a motivating factor, as far as he's concerned: it simply is the place of his birth.
Goals: to uphold justice, no matter the cost and with accordance to the rules of the land. With Leonard Ephesian's ghostly spirit and Randolph's own involvement, other practitioners and Infernalists in Hope have joked that a kind of “Shadow Court” is likely to take shape, and is a sign of Hope's decision to stand its ground in the face of the Others' depredations and the Pit's opportunistic meddling.

History: Rhadamantus' origins are a mystery to himself, and the repository for his Self within the Pit – the Ashen Scrolls – give no indications on what and who the man used to be. Was he always a demon? Was he born in the Pit or did he Fall along with the other angels? And why did this particular name spring to his mind, as mythological as it obviously is? Being too focused on who he is now and on what this means for Hope to care about his background, he isn't likely to try and dig extremely deep.

He does have origins, however – a moment in which his cycle first began, and which the Goat has been perpetuating ever since.

Mythology and history often collide in small ways, and this is one of those cases. His rookery was rooted in Crete long before the emergence of the recognizable Hellenistic civilizations. There was a Rhadamantus, which he was – but there was also a Minos; which happened to be a gifted anthro bull. The dragon and the bull had once been friends and allies, but Minos' powers often shocked his subjects into fearful submission. The dragon was there to calm the situation whenever appropriate, while the bull called to action when the dragon's cautious approach seemed too restrictive. Rhadamantus' rookery had been known for producing dragons of a keen eye and a ruthless dedication to justice. Greece was to be sheltered by justice on one end and strength on the other. By all accounts, so it would be until the Greeks emerged out of tribalism and took the first steps towards civilization. With a lessened need for judges and chieftains, the names would be left to fade into legend.

What triggered the dragon's falling out of grace, unfortunately, would be the woman he and Minos both coveted. Alcmene was human and mundane, feeling altogether too smothered by these two strong wills. Not accustomed to the caves of one or the halls of the other, she only had her mind and her beauty to thank for the advances she received and longed for something simpler, more productive. The dragon, already more prone to brooding and otherwise seeking to spend time in company of that brilliant mind, tended to send her scrolls to read, his advances being skittish if persistent. Minos, however, had been born in skin reminiscent of solid gold, each hair on his hide a tiny golden thread. His appearance only magnified the core of his gifts, which was terrible strength. His approach was boastful, hoary and intimidating, but always guided by a fiercely gentle spirit. Rhadamantus could have left well enough alone and moved along, but Minos had subjects to impress and a burgeoning citadel to keep. So the bull kept pushing. Rhadamantus grew old and Minos didn't, and for a time it seemed that what had kept them apart had finally died. The dragon assumed Alcmene had died of old age long ago, but the gaps between the manifestations of his old “frenemy” hid something more sinister.

One day, Minos rode out of Crete and made for the Sages' caverns, finding an old and contented Rhadamantus. What climbed out of the chariot with the bull was none other than Alcmene, her skin a burnished copper from the altered formulas Minos' mages had used to turn her into something close to him. Rhadamanthus didn't appreciate, seeing this as a sign that Minos would never stop boasting. He'd won her, had convinced her to forsake her mortal nature, and had turned her into something she'd never been.

Behind this and the misery of the next few days waited someone with a plan, someone who came to Rhadamantus in the guise of a humble Egean priest, worshipper of powers that predated and suggested Dionysus. The frail-looking anthro goat seemed even more aged and feeble than the dragon himself was, so the dragon assumed he'd have no reason to fear him.

The priest promised him a chance to undo the harm that had been done, without telling him that he'd be forced to forsake the Sages' guiding principles, to essentially betray his own family. Two elixirs were brewed: one for love and the other for the death of an immortal, the dragon's blood being used as a catalyst for the poison. A feast was then arranged, Rhadamantus claiming he wanted to right the wrongs that had arisen between himself and Minos. The golden bull, wanting to prove himself the better man, agreed.

The feast went on as expected, Rhadamantus apologizing for his jealousy and revising his positions on Alcmene's decision. He came to see she'd made her choice out of love, that Minos had managed to let her see something past the crassly refined and boorish appearance he typically displayed. Tenderness was obvious between the two, a sure sign that Alcmene wasn't simply help captive. He tried to stop the flow of wine, the outpouring of meat and fruits from the cavern, to prevent the philters from slipping between his fingers. He managed to relocate the two bottles, which appeared full. Satisfied, he all but forgot the plan he'd initially concocted, now planning to bask in his gratitude for the fact that his two friends yet lived.

Then, they drank wine...

Before his eyes, Alcmene died with her lips blackened, the artificial love of the philter mingling with Minos' already genuine dispositions to trigger a truly unbearable inner turmoil. The bull only briefly could focus his sorrow on the one he'd love, that his now incoherent mind made him forget how the host had done nothing to poison his bride on that night. Rage made him descend on the dragon, shortsword and spear in hand, his gleaming hide ready and able to face down the last living Sage.

Rhadamantus had no choice but to defend himself. A better mage than Minos was a fighter, he made the warrior-king's flesh melt, forcing the horrified anthro to dive from the cliffs of the cavern and into the sea, never to be seen again. With his guests having either fled or died, Rhadamantus was now alone to weep for Alcmene's death, which he'd caused. But out came one of the servants from the kitchens, a younger and more spritely twin to the old billy he'd made a compact with... The Black Goat rose out of the boy's form, coming out of time with clothes from centuries in the future, the black velvet gambeson and dark stockings of the Renaissance...

He'd played his part brilliantly, or so the demon said, but no judge or oracle would deny the fact that Rhadamantus had killed his own friends. He only had himself to blame for taking the bait, for not seeing the wiles placed in front of him. Now, in recompense, the Sage's name would fade from history even as he would become the demon's very property. The Goat told him not worry, though – he had something planned for such an impartial, wizened and fair mind...

Living on no longer carried any meaning, as damned as he was. Rhadamantus followed after Minos, fighting his instincts to grow wings and return to his true size. He fell, struck the waves and perished.

He'd first wake up on a polished slab of stone, his tormentor and creditor pulling all that he was out of himself. As soon as the silvery motes left his mouth, Rhadamantus forgot himself. Pain and sorrow disappeared. No longer remembeing why he'd been crying, he grew peaceful. The motes were transferred to scrolls made out of the skin of his dead husk, except for one. The last one was made out of Minos' golden hide, and was to contain the knowledge of his ultimate fate. That last scroll, Rhadamentus would only ever see once again, after each case.

He would ingest it, see his doom, realize how little choice he had, and then surrender to the Bailiff's blade. The first few thousand times left him fearful. He ran whenever he ate the golden scroll, he'd try to hide in the Pit's crags. Time having no meaning in the Pit, he'd always be found.

The next thousand times left him resigned. He ate the scroll without looking at it, bent his neck down for the sword. Doom clung to his verdicts, the unremembered sorrow never too far away.

By the time Man, somewhere above, solidified Greek civilization and dispersed his story to the four winds of the culture, Rhadamantus no longer cared. He no longer knew himself, no longer remembered his torture as being a form of torture, and simply went through the motions. He'd died old, but his soul was now far older, beaten and polished into a deadened perfection the likes of which only the Pit could produce. Even if a written account of all this had subsisted and even if the angels themselves testified on the hypothetical court for the Goat's framing and fraudulent offer, Rhadamentus wouldn't remember. The names of his story are now myths and legends and as far as he is concerned, his life begins in Hope.

Ask around Heaven or maybe a few choice corners of Pandemonium, and you'll hear several claim that maybe – just maybe – things are better this way.
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