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Characters / Princess The Hopeful Ashes Of The Motor City

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Detroit's Nobility

The Radiant Campaign

An alliance of Nobles and their Sworn, battling to reclaim Detroit from the grip of the Darkness. While Nobles blossomed before the foundation of the Campaign, Detroit's fall meant that they could be targeted and destroyed with little concern of mortals or Hunters interfering. When Detroit declared bankruptcy and most of the Darkened and corrupted individuals in city government were hauled off to jail for malfeasance, the remaining Nobles seized the moment as their best chance to reclaim the city. A call went out across the world asking for any Noble that could help to come to Detroit and join the fight to reclaim the city. The Campaign scored an early victory, rallying all of Detroit's Hunters in the Battle for Belle Isle and reclaiming it from the Darkness.


  • Badass Crew: They're not well organised, but even their unnamed Sworn members are more dangerous than any other group's equivalent, and the actual Princesses are stronger still.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: A given for Princesses, and why Automatic Heartland find them too unreliable to work with.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Their origin. While Princesses began appearing in Detroit at the same rate as the rest of the world, the Darkness' hold on the city left them with no options except to hide or flee. When the Darkness' minions were distracted by mortal political troubles, Detroit's local Princesses called for aid, and Nobles turned up from all across America and the world for the chance to save the city.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Detroit's Princess population is skewed heavily towards Champions.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: When the Princesses arrived in Detroit they recruited just about anyone who'd listen to their message of hope and rebirth, and the leadership is run by teenage girls. This doesn't stop them from being the most potent heroic force in Detroit.
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  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Radiant have a tendency to engage in this with the Hunters of Detroit, calling them out for their glaring flaws when engaging in "diplomacy" (the NWA's foundation in white flight casual racism; Local 911's backwards thinking and lack of strategy; O:AH's aloofness toward the struggle; and the Lost Boys' amoral attitude) instead of trying to pull them all together. The Hunters, meanwhile, don't appreciate being talked down to by kids who were still in diapers when they started fighting monsters. This is probably the one thing that has kept the Campaign from surfing to victory over Detroit's taint.

     Princess Zari of Swords 

  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Her nails are explicitly magic.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Stated to have the body of an Olympian when in her Princess form.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Her leadership style is essentially to do awesome things where others can see her and be inspired.
  • Femme Fatalons: She has lacquered nails that can carve steel.
  • Four-Star Badass: When the Radiant organize to clear a neighborhood of Shadow, Zari can always be found at the front lines.
  • Playing with Fire: A magical girl with power over fire.
  • The Dark Arts: She has a single dot of Tempesta and a Bequest containing the Purgation Charm.


     Princess Mashika of Clubs 
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: A one woman example. When transformed her natural skin colour is ebony with caramel lower arms and her tattoos are actually her (super)natural skin colour.
  • Call to Agriculture: If being a Princess wasn't a full time job she'd be a farmer.
  • Friend to All Children: Runs community farms to give youngsters a work ethic and healthy food.
  • Green Thumb: She runs several urban farms in a city notorious for being overrun with liquor stores and junk food shops.
  • Humble Hero: She's a powerful magical being, but happiest when working as a simple urban farmer.
  • Power Tattoo: Focuses her magic through her tatoos. Technically her tatoos are just part of her supernatural skin.
  • Team Mom: It's literally her epithet. While Zari leads the Radiant into battle, Mashika tends and builds up the neighborhoods they secure in battle.

The Dutchy of Windsor

Just across the river from Detroit is Windsor, Ontario. A healthy city (by the standards of the World of Darkness) with a Princess population of it's own that has held the line against the Darkness in Detroit even before the Radiant Campaign was formed. The Dutchy of Windsor mostly operates around Windsor University. Though they sympathize with Detroit's fight and provide shelter and support to the Radiant Campaign's volunteers, they were never enough to do more than hold the line across the Detroit River until the Radiant Campaign formed.

  • Magical Girl Warrior: Mostly averted. Most of the warriors have left for Detroit.
  • Non Action Magical Girl: Most of their fighters have gone west to Detroit now that the Campaign has formed. The Princesses who stayed behind in Windsor have other callings.
  • The Medic: Windsor is noted to have a lot more Menders than Detroit. If a Noble is hurt in battle with the Darkness, they're evacuated across the river and treated in the Duchy if that's an option.

     Princess Courtney Chen of Spades 

A minor character mentioned to be one of the two leaders of Windsor's Nobles.

     Princess Victoria Jones of Diamonds 

A minor character mentioned to be one of the two leaders of Windsor's Nobles.

  • Super Intelligence: As a Princess of Diamonds this is a given.
  • The Smart Girl: She's a Princess of Diamonds and a research scientist.
  • The Professor: A professor researching pharmaceuticals, she also uses her position to help Princesses balance their university life with royal duties.

Hunters of Detroit

Between the ultimate victory of the Darkness over the city and the fracture of the mortal population by economics, politics, and along other lines, the organized resistance found in the area took many forms, most adversarial to one another- to the glee of the Darkness.

  • Captain Ersatz: The Hunter factions are all clearly based on groups from Hunter: The Vigil. This is intentional to allow for crossover without requiring players to own Hunter books.
  • Hunter of Monsters: By definition. Detroit's mortal population aren't waiting for a magical saviour.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Stereotypes make it clear the various hunter factions don't like each other much. Each blames the other for bringing Detroit's fall, or disputes their vision for its future. Building bridges over old divisions is a theme in this splat.

Operation: Automatic Heartland

"If you want to abandon the plan next time you hear a civilian scream, get your own people killed!" - Heartlanders toward Radiant.

A secretive operation sent by the United States Army to monitor the supernatural situation in Detroit. They're highly skilled and equipped with military hardware (thanks to U.S. Army tank command being found just outside the city), but they are critically under funded and bound to follow Washington's directive.

  • Badass Army: Their rank and file have the best stats of all the monster hunters who don't have access to magic.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: O:AH is first and foremost, a reconaissance operation. For every soldier in the field, there's at least one analyst at their headquarters crunching numbers and developing countermeasures. Each of them is Army personnel, so they cleared Boot Camp, but they're not all a unified combat force.
  • Captain Ersatz: They're clearly an operation run by Task Force: VALKYRIE.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: However instead of pretending to be ordinary civilians they pretend to be an ordinary part of the army's bureaucracy. Field agents change covers as and when it is nessacary.
  • The Ditherer: O:AH's commanders in Washington. The analyst reports coming from them are opting for a full scale, scorched earth destruction of Detroit to cleanse the Taint found there. None of the politicians that would have to sign off on it want to shoulder any of the blame (on the off chance the operation is leaked to the public). For now, this has saved Detroit from complete annihilation.
  • Government Conspiracy: A top secret monster hunting operation hidden inside the United States Army.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Aside from Princesses, they're the only organization in Detroit able to employ this option. Usually involving M1 Abrams tanks...
  • Just Following Orders: At first O:AH was sent to observe and report on the supernatural struggles in Detroit so Valkyrie could develop more potent tactics to fight against monsters (including the Princesses). A contingency plan they've been ordered to enact should the supernatural overcome the mortal: evacuate and destroy Detroit, creating hundreds of thousands of American homeless. It's still in the planning phases, but unless a better option comes along they'll do it.

     Colonel Alexander Hill 
A career officer in the United States Army, Colonel Alexander fought in multiple campaigns over the decades. Apolitical by nature, Col. Hill became disillusioned by the Washington politics giving the army it's orders and decided figthing the supernatural might be a cause worthy of his talents. An uncle gave him an way into the government's covert anti-Supernatural outfit he accepted the position as head of Operation: Automatic Heartland.

  • Colonel Badass: Hill is an army colonel who hunts monsters for the Pentagon in D.C.
  • Consummate Professional: Hill won't let disillusionment with the Army stop him from being the perfect soldier.
  • Heroic Fatigue: He's only in his forties, but already planning to retire from the army.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Colonel Hill is keenly aware of what will happen if he lets A:OH off its leash and throws them into the battle for Detroit. His jury is still out on whether or not the Princesses qualify as Monsters though...
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Colonel Hill truly believes in the ideals of America, but he has become very cynical about the politicians running the country and giving him orders that force him into untenable tactical positions.
  • Military Brat: Comes from a long line of military officers.
  • Religious Bruiser: Downplayed. His faith is only mentioned in passing.

The Neighborhood Watch Alliance

"I can't risk my life trying to clean up Detroit. I got a family to protect." - NWA to Radiant

The Neighborhood Watch Alliance was formed out of the White Flight in the late 60s and early 70s to protect Detroit's suburbs from the creatures of the night. The NWA tries to prevent the supernatural problems plaguing Detroit from spreading out of the city.

  • Bystander Syndrome: They're proactive in protecting themselves and their neighborhoods, but aren't that interested in protecting anyone else.
  • Expy: Of The Union. With a focus on The Union's community relations side.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Members in the LGBT friendly Ferndale suburb are kept at arm's length and the Alliance looks down on predominately African American Local 911 for supporting policies that ruined Detroit, then begging the taxpayers for help, mirroring a common real life prejudice. Of course, Local 911 have an equally prejudiced view of the Neighborhood Watch Alliance.

     Rachel Ruth 
The NWA has no leadership, with each individual cell protecting their own neighborhoods and only leaving them when another cell asks for help. Rachel has a unique position as a trustworthy information broker for many of the cells. A sober man will keep his fears to himself for fear of sounding crazy. A drunk man is much more willing to mention the monsters he's seen prowling the neighborhood at night...

  • The Bartender: Including the knowledge broker side of things, her job makes her a social linchpin of the Neighborhood Watch Alliance.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Explicitly prejudiced against the predominately African American population of Detroit.
  • Token White: Among the heroes she's the only white character with a full write up.

Local 911

"There's no one I'd rather have watching my six in a fight than someone who can make me bulletproof. Too bad they can't fix the economy with a wave of a wand." - Locals to Radiants

Formed out of Detroit's powerful United Automobile Workers, Local 911 use their skills from the job to defend their friends and co-workers from monsters. By day they build panic rooms and organize in the city's remaining working class neighborhoods. By night they patrol the city using heavily upgraded cars to travel quickly, attacking the minions of the Darkness when they get there.

  • Cool Car: Their modus operandi in battle. Since they operate out of all the remaining factories, Local 911 fight with customized armored vehicles.
  • Expy: Of The Union. With a focus on The Union's working class laborer side.
  • Hopeless War: More than any other Hunter group, Local 911 is engaged in this. C.O.R.D. doesn't bother trying to root out Local 911. They're content to let factory closures do that for them.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Noted to avoid the LGBT friendly Ferndale for fear they'll be Mistaken for Gay if they go there. They also look down on C.O.R.D. as benefits scroungers and "slaves to welfare". C.O.R.D. are actually far worse, but Local 911 doesn't know that.
  • Stupid Good: Local 911 often comes off as this, with their mission being to liberate Detroit and restore the manufacturing economy. Any ally who tells them that that ship has sailed to China for good is likely not going to be an ally for much longer.
  • Working-Class Hero: They fight monsters and are politically active in trying to restore Detroit's manufacturing economy.

     Frederick Freeman 

  • Car Fu: Frederick is an incredibly skilled driver and often found behind the wheel of a truck with an armored ram.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Normally found in oil stained workers overalls, but can rock a nice suit when the situation calls for it.
  • I Call It "Vera": His custom war-truck is called Phoebe.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: It's mentioned that Frederick supports respectability politics and especially Workers Unions. This might be related to both C.O.R.D. and the Lost Boys thinking Local 911 are uncle toms.

The Lost Boys

"This is your fault! You didn't give a fuck until it was your necks on the line!" - Lost Boys to NWA

In Princess, evil actions create Taint. Which means any smart criminal organisation needs to know how to manage or clean up the Taint they create. The Lost Boys are an alliance of inner city gangs who didn't know how to deal with Taint until it was too late, and teamed up to protect themselves from the monsters they accidentally created. Their neighborhoods are still blighted by The Darkness but the Lost Boys fight on.

  • A Lighter Shade of Black: They're violent gangbangers, drug pushers, and pimps. In most settings they'd be the villains. Here they're unambiguously morally superior to C.O.R.D.
  • The City Narrows: Where the Lost Boys make their living. When Detroit collapsed and the whites left it behind, the Lost Boys took over these neighborhoods and imposed some form of order and resistance against the Darkness.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The LB's specialize in using the Darkspawn's animalistic nature against them.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Ultimately they want to survive another day, having no clear vision for rebuilding Detroit. They fight the Darkness which wants to consume them all.
  • Dirty Business: To survive and fight monsters they need money and recruits. They get both from dealing drugs and pimping.
  • Expy: Averted. They're the only group without a clear parallel in Hunter: The Vigil. While they have a lot in common with the Jagged Crescent, they neither use alchemy nor have ties to a wider international organisation.
  • Gangbangers: The Lost Boys are an alliance of inner city criminal gangs who banded together to defend themselves from monsters when nobody else would.
  • Kill It with Fire: It took them a while to learn how to deal with Taint. Now they know they can just burn down tainted buildings.
  • Mirror Self: To the Neighborhood Watch Alliance. Both are disparate bands of neighborhood based mortals fighting the Darkness with their own flaws- the NWA with its members' casual racism toward Detroiters and the LB's with their, well, vices.
  • Zerg Rush: The Lost Boys have more fighters than all the other monster hunters, but they're not as well trained.

     Jerome “Four” Lucas 


The Grand Medicine Society were a secretive native American group from before the foundation of Detroit as a European colony.

  • Ambiguous Situation: Because they were active centuries ago nobody really knows anything about them. There's only circumstantial evidence that they were monster hunters of any sort.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The Midewiwin were a real group, but in this universe they also dealt with monsters. Maybe.

Les Voyageurs

During Detroit's days as the center of the Fur Trade, they were an alliance of hunters and trappers who banded together to share information and provide each other with protection from the monsters in the wilderness.

The Sons of St. Casimir

A historical Polish fraternal brotherhood that protected their immigrant communities from neighborhood monsters. The group faded away as Polish immigrants assimilated and moved away from their old neighborhoods, becoming part of the Neighborhood Watch Alliance.

The Talented Tenth

  • Church Militant: Downplayed. While hardly a superpower they were an organised vigilante movement formed around Detroit's black churches.
  • Expy: Of The Long Night, with a greater focus on civil rights and race issues.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: They realized the Darkness was going to win and decided to evacuate their communities rather than go down fighting. It worked (for them, at least).
  • Retired Badass: They're retired now, but they're still around throughout the Midwest and one possibility is for Princesses to bring them back to Detroit.
  • Underground Railroad: They originally protected the Underground Railroad from monsters. After slavery was abolished some of the members came north to Detroit and continued their heroism.

The Darkness of Detroit


The shadowy rulers of Detroit, the Community Organisation to Reform Detroit (C.O.R.D.) publicly resembles an insignificant community activism group, and to their rank and file they're righteous crusaders fighting against the white oppressor that drove Detroit into the ground. But the upper ranks have no motive save evil and cruelty for their own sake.

  • Angry Black Man: An African American community group who preach that hatred is a positive force.
  • Beneath Notice: All the stereotypes about C.O.R.D. are dismiss them as unimportant or respond to their fake politics.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After decades of terror, corruption, violence and bribery, C.O.R.D.'s greatest defeat didn't come from the Radiant. It came when Detroit declared bankruptcy and a bureaucrat they had no control over took one look at the books and sent most of their pawns to jail. They hobbled themselves and found most of their mortal apparatus crippled, allowing the Radiant Campaign to organize.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Averted with the lower ranks, but the upper ranks are so thoroughly warped by the Darkness that they'll destroy anyone they can.
  • Fallen Hero: Once C.O.R.D. were a upstanding community group fighting for fair access to housing and against unfair evictions. Then Thomas pulled a coup against the leadership...
  • For the Evulz: While the rank and file members are motivated by anger at America's legacy of racism and a belief that C.O.R.D. will save Detroit, the leaders do evil for evil's sake.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: Detroit is secretly run by... an ineffective community activist group? Justified, C.O.R.D. has access to supernatural powers, which let them subvert officials and put loyal agents in more powerful institutions. The community activism is just a way to get citizens and officials into meetings where they can be infected by Taint.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Most Dark Cults are Obviously Evil organisations who can get taken down by the police. C.O.R.D. proves how dangerous the exceptions can be.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Subverted. C.O.R.D. meetings make them look like the kind of ineffective organisation that has pre-meetings to discuss having a post-meeting after the meeting. In reality the corrupted leadership does make decisions and implement them, but they're careful not to let outsiders or the lower ranks realize that.
  • Not So Similar: On the surface C.O.R.D. and the Radiant are both politically active progressive groups who stand up for the marginalized. Their significant characters even have similar naming styles. C.O.R.D. appears to be the Radiant's most natural allies. However the Radiant are very sincere in their desire to help, while everything positive about C.O.R.D. is a mask to hide a heart of pure evil.
  • Politically Correct Villain: Subverted. In some ways C.O.R.D. are very politically correct. They are an African American community activism group and their associates run programs for LGBT youth when other local charities often turn them away. But they are racist against white people even before you learn they're a Religion of Evil.
  • Religion of Evil: C.O.R.D. is a Dark Cult.
  • Restart the World: Downplayed to a single city. C.O.R.D.'s middle ranks are told cutting the African American community's links to a past filled with slavery and prejudice, by destroying Detroit, will make way for supernatural solutions to the community's problems. Only the middle ranks believe this, the lower ranks think they're helping fix Detroit and the upper ranks only care about destroying Detroit... and then the world.
  • Playing Both Sides: C.O.R.D. are publicly aligned with the African American community of urban Detroit, but they have agents among the predominantly white suburbs. If the Radiant reclaim Detroit, they're fully prepared to shut down their city operations and relocate to the suburbs.
  • The Powerof Hate: Subverted. C.O.R.D. preach that the Darkness is a force of justified hatred that will bring retribution for racism. But the Darkness is really a force of corruption which will bring ruin to everything it touches. C.O.R.D. doesn't shy away from activities that will hurt the black community either.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The lower ranks believe that the Darkness and C.O.R.D.'s leadership will give them the power to strike back against racial oppression. In reality they're as much of a target as the white suburbs.
  • Villain Has a Point: C.O.R.D. are right to say that Detroit has a long and shameful history of racism. The problem is that their leaders are avatars of evil who want to destroy Detroit and twisting the justified anger over racism and poverty into worship of the all-consuming Darkness rather than activism for positive change.
  • Villainous Gentrification: One of their evil schemes is to use gentrification as a mask to evict long term residents. Notably the sample solutions involve hi-jacking the scheme and turning it to positive ends.

     Thomas Cotton 

A seemingly cheerful senile senior, Thomas is secretly the most powerful man in Detroit and the leader of C.O.R.D. He has been profiting from every social and ecconomic crisis to hit Detroit, turning the motor city into a hell-hole of monsters, and supernatural taint.

  • The Ageless: He's an old man, but he's been an old man since slavery was legal.
  • Boomerang Bigot: He hates black people even more than white people, as he blames them for dragging him down by association.
  • Born into Slavery: Specifically an American plantation.
  • The Corruption: Slavery would have turned Thomas into a bitter, hateful, but harmless and tragic man. The Darkness turned him into a monster.
  • Evil Genius: Explicitly a genius, and the mastermind behind C.O.R.D.
  • Expy: His backstory is Stephen from Django Unchained. His modus operandi of using the African American community's legitimate grievances as a justification for omnicidal mania gives him a lot in common with Erik Killmonger though this was a coincidence.
  • Forced into Evil: Thomas was born a slave and didn't have any choice about running a slave plantation or any chance to avoid the evil Taint of slavery before it destroyed his humanity.
  • For the Evulz: As a creature of the Darkness Thomas does evil for evil's sake.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: He is an old man with a limp.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Is normally found with a big fake senile smile.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: As a literal avatar of evil his only goals are to corrupt and destroy as much as he can. While the organisation he runs claims to empower the African American community to strike back against their oppressors, he targets everyone.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Racist against both African Americans and white Americans. Though he hides it for practical reasons.
  • Tragic Monster: Thomas started life as a plantation slave and hated it, and despite becoming the ruler of the city he's still trapped living everything he hated about his past.

     Jenni August 

A young social media personality. While not a member of C.O.R.D. Jenni answers to C.O.R.D.'s leadership and works to keep the cities and suburbs divided.

  • The Ageless: But still young enough that nobody's noticed.
  • Deep Cover Agent: On the surface Jenni is everything C.O.R.D. criticises about the suburbs, and she in turn looks like the last person who'd be sympathetic to C.O.R.D.'s politics. In reality the Darkness is playing both sides.
  • Forced into Evil: Jenni was a young homeless woman who was offered support by C.O.R.D. affiliates. This was of course a ploy to transform her into a monster.
  • The Mole: A popular member of the suburban political activist community. However her real role is to keep the community from accomplishing much and ensure that C.O.R.D.s' leadership can quickly subvert them if control of suburban politics ever becomes more useful than control over urban politics.
  • Transgender: A key element of her back story. Jenni was kicked out of her home when she came out the closet, leaving her vulnerable to the Darkness' predations.
  • Token White: One of two white characters with a full write up.

A breed of Darkspawn born from the dehumanizing evils of plantation slavery, marked by the blighted and thorny cotton plants that sprout from their arms. Thomas Cotton brought a number with him to Detroit, and uses them as his muscle.

  • Elite Mook: Thomas Cotton has a few more poweful Cottonpickers that possess the Miasma of Madness Umbra, causing them to release clouds of near-invisible cotton fibers that cripple those who inhale them. Thomas keeps them for emergencies.
  • Underground Monkey: The book mentions that wherever you have agricultural slavery, you'll find Darkspawn similar to Cottonpickers, with some slight variant based on the local crop (Sugarpickers in the Carribean, Rubbermen in the Congo, etc.)

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