It would be wrong to say that Basil had any huge, special meta-abilities that make him better than others. You could best define him as a witch, wizard or druid (hence his chosen name) and, as the names imply, he uses magic. It’s magic that anyone can use with enough practice, and many others exist with the same powers (even more powerful ones too). He grew up in a coven of witches(a term not restricted by gender in this case) and has been trained in the magical arts since he was young along with the rest of his coven. Magic is a very wide-spread term covering many subjects and it’s normally common to specialize in 2 to 3 areas for each witch. These are Basils:
Runes and Symbols
Symbols can be used for a wide range of magic, though the easiest, and the one Basil uses the most, is elemental magic. Most commonly, he is restricted to Earth and Fire. The former being his natural element and the latter coming from his spirit familiar. What he can do with it depends on his energy-reserve. It’s a matter of controlling his energy-output into his spells, which he still has some issues with. An exhausted Basil is a pretty useless Basil. In theory he could draw a gigantic magic circle around NY and create an earthquake that would bury it in the ground. In reality, that would send him into a coma for 4 weeks. Summarized, runes and symbols is a very powerful branch of magic if you know how to control your own energy. Basil is still stuck at the “if” of that. He also has little to no ability to use water with how much it opposes fire. However, seeing as fire needs air to survive, he is also able to use that, but not much further than powering the symbols tattooed into his legs that allow him to fly. Or at least attempt to. He can’t control that all that well yet either.
As the name implies, it uses botanicals, herbs and other organic elements. Used for smaller spells. Anything from a small boost in luck to healing. Very often also called kitchen magic because you can find the most commonly used ingredients in a well-equipped kitchen.
In addition to this, every witch has a spirit familiar that they go into contract with. Usually around the age of 15, but it varies from person to person. These spirits each have their own attributes and element which they are tied to. Examples would be trolls, banshees, nymphs, sirens, phoenixes and plenty more. Some rarer than the others (for example, there is no known witch today with a phoenix as a spirit familiar. They aren’t the easiest to get a hold of.)
This case would be the only one that sets Basil apart from other witches. Basils spirit familiar is a hellhound. While the spirit itself is like any other, with its own qualities, the means of which he obtained it(the only means of obtaining it), are illegal. Hence the ones possessing this familiar or any others from the other side(“hell”) are considered outcasts. No covens will take them in.
Styx is the name of Basils familiar, though that name fell away when it became a part of Basil, he still uses it sometimes. Being a hellhound, Styx’s element is naturally fire and it is a more battle-oriented spirit than most others. It takes the form of a large Doberman Pincher and is physically a force to be reckoned with. When Styx is “killed” (it would be more accurate to say that its physical form is banished, seeing as it’s a spirit and cannot be killed), Basil feels the same pain as Styx does (meaning he basically feels himself dying). After its physical form is banished, it needs some time to replenish before being able to resume a physical shape again. Because Styx is a part of Basil, Basil can take control over Styx’s physical form and move around in it. This leaves his own body empty and pretty vulnerable.
For all his prowess and usefulness when it comes to magic, Basil is a toothpick. Physically, he doesn’t stand much of a chance if an attack lands and he’s very easily knocked out. He’ll be at an even less of an advantage if caught unprepared. All of his fancy little tricks like traps and such need to be prepared ahead of time and require quite a bit of work. Most of the magic he uses is channeled through his staff, seeing as it contains the runes he needs for executing his spells, so he’ll also be pretty much helpless if that’s taken from him. He could draw the symbols on himself as an alternative, but that would need time, something to actually draw it with and it wouldn’t be near as effective as with his staff, as it has special properties that channels the magic better. In the end, even Styx is a weakness to him as well. Because Styx is more or less a part of Basil and Basil a part of Styx, every time the dog is “killed”, Basil feels the same amount of pain as Styx would. While not sustaining any physical wounds, it’s a very painful experience that can throw him off.
Basil was, as previously mentioned, born into one of a handful of covens of witches. He grew up with his parents and 2 siblings; one older brother and, after a few years, younger sister. His mother’s family was of old and respected blood and had been doing magic for as long as anyone can remember. His father came from a more ordinary family. But wherever there are witches, there are also witch hunters. And when he was 9 they had finally located coven that Basil belonged to. It was over within a day, the adults slaughtered and burned, the children rounded up and sold. Regardless of them being the devils children in the hunters eyes, they were still children and not something they would raise their weapons against unprovoked.
He ended up being sold to a group of researchers, the kind that needed humans for their work that the state would not provide. They placed Basil in a tube(only being taken out from it for the basic necessities.) and spent many years seeing if they could take advantage of the magic that they believed lived within him. Of course, this was all rubbish, seeing as Basil was just a normal kid with the knowledge of how to channel his energies. But the researchers didn’t realize this until much later. During the last year, he was put under low observation as they tended to other projects.
Basil himself has for a long time tried to figure out what happened next, but it all remains a blur and he can’t really remember it properly. When he was 16, something in his hibernated mind moved, and he clenched his hands into fists, nails burying into the palms of his hands and drawing blood. And he felt power in it. It was different. Darker. As if the edges of it had been dipped in heavy oil. But it gave him energy somehow. The adrenaline to fire up his body again. He broke the glass trapping him and used the shards of glass to cut symbols into his arms that he had never even learnt before. It’s puzzling, and the closest theory he has to it to this day is that his natural survival instincts kicked in. A bit too late maybe, but it was the best he had. With the blood that he had shed, he painted a circle on the labs floor with his own blood; a summoning circle. By then, the researchers and security staff had gotten their time to react to the alarm and flocked to the room. Basil just sat there for a moment, silent, muttering incoherent words under his breath in a raspy voice that you could tell hadn’t been used for a very long time.
The next thing he knew, he woke up in a warm bed. He had been found, by a stroke of luck, another witch. The witch recognized the symbols on his arms as blood magic, but took Basil under his wings none the less, teaching him how to fit into society and filling out his knowledge on rune magic. Since no one knows exactly when Basils coven was eradicated, they could only assume is age from his looks. The witch, named Eric, helped him get a job, his own apartment and fake IDs (seeing as Basil had never been registered anywhere). A couple of years after Basil was found, Eric had jokingly suggested he should join the biggest club in town and become a superhero. And Basil had simply thought “why not?” and did just that.
Basil is fairly easy to get along with. He’s friendly and outgoing and generally likes having fun. Because of how he grew up and the events of his life so far, he’s very accepting and lacks the common prejudices of today’s society in both good and bad ways. However, while he’s easy to make an acquaintance of, getting any further is very difficult. Basil doesn’t like getting attached to people, having lost everything once already, and he doesn’t want any friends or people close to him that it will hurt to lose again. The moment a conversation starts getting personal and touchy-feely, Basil will make a 180 degrees turn to awkward and try to get away as soon as possible. Again, this is only restricted to feelings as Basil has the bad habit of ending up in bed with all sorts of people due to his rubbish alcohol resistance. And he has found out he’s mostly fine with it as long as he doesn’t remember anything of it.
Having been stuck in a tube for 6 years of his life has also left its marks on his personality, his mind being 6 years younger than his body. This results in some rather childish personality traits now and then and also gives him a very childlike curiosity and innocence about some things. Things such as televisions still baffle him.
- Because his coven lived outside of normal society, Basil can’t be found in any human register anywhere. Due to this, Basil isn’t a legal citizen no matter where he goes and neither his name, fingerprints, dna or face can be used to trace him.
- The blood magic that Basil used in order to escape took more than half of his life-force. He won’t live much longer past the age of 45.
- Basil doesn’t have any good or selfless intentions for helping people unlike most others. He does it purely because he has nothing to lose or live for. Deep down, he probably hopes that someone will end him one day, though he doesn’t actively seek out death.
- He can be seen on as slightly schizophrenic as he talks a lot to Styx and Styx technically is himself.