Tenor Black, the Mechanic


Tenor is the oldest of eight children. He’s had four parents. He’s used to dealing with bull. With his parents busy at work, he was often enlisted to get the others in line and keep them organized. Millie picked him up for exactly this reason. Tenor is Millie’s lieutenant – she puts the plans together, he gets the rest of the team to make it happen. The rest of the crew respects him both as an organized leader and as a mechanic.

All this happened before Tenor was Chosen by the Calamitous Vulture of Smoke. Most Amalgam Champions meet the Beasts in real life, face-to-face. Tenor met the Vulture in his dreams. It circled around him as he walked for five nights through a broken landscape of rust and scrap. When he reached the end of the road, he was vaporized by the Luminous Godkiller Weapon. The Vulture told his ashes, “Not all that is broken should be fixed,” and Tenor woke up shaking, oily smoke rising from his body. He’s quiet about his status, but everyone basically knows by now.

Most of Millie’s workstaff goes home at night. Tenor and Janek live on-premises, partly because they’re both Amalgam Champions and have a better chance of stopping thieves than the other mechanics. The two of them have formed a brotherly bond in their evenings together. Janek dreams of soaring through the skies on Millie’s hidden airship. Tenor’s more cynical. When they leave, he’s planning to stay. Maybe Millie will let him keep the garage open.

Tenor hasn’t yet admitted that the fates of Amalgam Champions rarely include peaceful lives or ordinary jobs.


Tenor Black 500

The first thing everyone notices is that Tenor is short: 125 cm tall. His skin is like smoke quartz, partly due to genetics and partly due to twenty years of grime that’s now permanently part of his complexion. His shoulder-length black hair is typically unkempt. His eyes are black, though in the shop he wears goggles most of the time so it’s hard to tell. Tenor’s clothing is somewhere between Janek’s denim overalls and a button-down business shirt.


Amalgam Champions often have personalities that match up with their patrons. Janek is strong and stubborn like the Metal Ox. Tenor’s sister Feather is energetic and quick-witted like the Lightning Tiger. Tenor, as a Smoke-aspect, is pragmatic and pessimistic. He’s quick to suspect that something won’t work, and he’s not quiet about it when such failures could impact a worker’s health. It’s part of what makes him such a good foreman. Truth be told, though, he’s a little afraid to let people fail at all.

Tenor really tries to let things roll off his back. He’s getting fairly good at it. The short jokes don’t bother him any more; people talking about his sister stopped bothering him the first time she kicked someone’s ass for it. He can still be prone to outbursts if someone has been needling him long enough.

Intimacies: Keep everyone in line (defining), Janek is a good kid (major), Don’t let the assholes get to you (major), I’d like to be in charge some day


Tenor is tenacious and energetic. He doesn’t have a perfect memory, but he studies things overnight until people think he does. He doesn’t have Millie’s constant peripheral awareness, but he makes up for it by getting into everyone’s business and continually checking in. People may accuse Tenor of overcompensating for his height, but in reality he compensates just about right for his areas of skill.

Tenor’s specialty is in contingencies and backup plans, like auxilliary batteries, fire suppression, and overflow gates. This gives him a great overview of everyone else’s work. He knows where everything could fail. From flight runes to pneumatic bracing, he could step in and do about 80% of the jobs around the shop.

The gifts of the Smoke Vulture are something that Tenor has been experimenting with in his spare time. He can breathe out a noxious cloud of smoke that’s enough to send Janek into a coughing fit. He can see just fine through smoke, and even smoked glass like his goggles (though they still somehow protect his eyes from the light of plasma cutters). He’s better at accessing the more metaphorical powers: passing unnoticed by “clouding minds”, creating confined disasters, and finding the flaws in all kinds of things. The better he understands things already, the better he can find flaws, but the harder it becomes for him to create accidents.

Tenor has been in his share of fights. He’s not interested in fighting fair. He’ll gladly pick up a wrench and break some knees (or crack some nuts) if someone seems like they’re going to be a serious problem. These days he’s starting to see himself as above brawling, especially given his increased resilience since his Choosing. Tenor’s more likely to leave someone staggering around in a mental haze than to bother fighting them these days.


  • The work crew at Millie’s, despite how they bust Tenor’s ass over little things, will back him to the hilt if anyone gives him any shit.
  • The Black Family is not one of the historical Great Families, but there are a lot of them, and they stay close. Tenor has cousins in most major cities.
  • Local mayor Rella Cathak owes Tenor for a job he did in her town last year.


  • How big a disaster could Tenor create with his powers? Could he reverse them to stop one, or is that not within the purview of Smoke?
  • Does Tenor know how Janek feels about Feather?

Fate: Savior


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