This is my third post for the very first blog carnival Character death, Resurrection, and the Undead that was hosted by The Core Mechanic back in 2008. The RPG blog carnival is a monthly feature of the RPG Blog Alliance in which bloggers decide upon a topic to jointly write about.
When death goes superhero on you
I think Godlike is an amazing setting and with death lurking around every corner in a World War II setting, I thought it would be cool to create a Talent that could control corpses. When I wanted to link to the Arc Dream Publishing website I stumbled upon a post from 2011 where this has been done already. Check out Benjamin Baugh’s Night of the Necromancer to find such a Talent and an adventure seed that goes along with it.
Nevertheless I already had an idea in my head so I present you with Yakov ‘Puppetmaster’ Bernstein.
Yakov was a Jewish tailor from Kiev whose Talent manifested during the Babi Yar massacre on September 30th, 1941. When the orders for all Jews of Kiev to gather near the cemetary on the 29th of September were pasted all over the city, Yakov thought that the Jewish population would be relocated from the city to a different place. Not wanting to get shot for not following that order, he followed a huge group of people as they were led to the Babi Yar ravine where the executions began.
Yakov jumped down into the ravine before being shot, landed on the bodies of executed Jews and played dead. He stayed there, not daring to move while more bodies fell into the ravine all around and on top of him. Near the evening of the next day while the Germans had already started covering the bodies with layers of earth, a member of the Schutzpolizei walked over the corpses emptying clip after clip of his submachine gun.
Thinking his end was near, Yakov frantically clutched some remnants of clothing of the bodies on top of him in his hands as the German was now firing at corpses a few feet away. To his horror the corpses on top of him suddenly moved, grabbed the Schutzpolizei member and tore him to pieces as Yakov stared at the yarn threads between his fingers. He was able to climb out of the ravine and flee, evading the German search parties that were sent after him. Yakov eventually found and joined the Soviet partisan movement in Volhynia. After the war he moved back to Kiev and started working as a tailor again. In 1952 Yakov was arrested and sentenced to jail when an investigation into unearthed graves led authorities to the Bernstein tailor shop’s cellar where they discovered several deceased townspeople sewing costumes and clothing. Yakov Bernstein committed suicide in prison 2 years later.