“He pulled bones from the desert sands and carved them into chess pieces. He challenged me to solve his puzzle, I failed.”

st--7m66Fenric falls into the category of ‘God-like’ opponents in Doctor Who, joining the ranks of such threats as the Celestial Toymaker, Eternals, Great Intelligence and the Gods of Ragnarok.

He also has a past history with the Doctor, although which incarnation is not clear. This makes him a good example of a villain that you can use with a Time Lord character who has selected the Experienced trait. Who could they have met in their previous lives?

The Doctor describes him as primal evil, born when the universe came into existence that some how survived. This makes fighting him a very scary proposition, as frightening to fight as other universal constants such as gravity or light.

Formless Fenric uses host bodies, able to shift between them. This ability may be restricted to his ‘wolves’, people who have been affected by Fenric. While in these bodies Fenric doesn’t display any great power, other than being able to light his eyes up. He is able to make Judson stand but complains that the body is still weak.  In Sorin’s body he is still vulnerable to the toxin gas.

The Doctor seems satisfied that the threat posed by Fenric has ended. This suggests that if Fenric’s host dies he does to. Yet this is an entity that survived the birth of the universe. It is quite possible he could return and that this was just a set back until he can create new pawns that he can manipulate.

Even when trapped in the shadow dimension by the Doctor Fenric does display some remarkable powers. Chiefly this seems to be the ability to create time storms, moving people and things to different points. This suggests that he is able to remotely scan the time lines, even alternative paradoxes and open portals in the vortex, something even Time Lords can’t do unaided.

It is this movement of pieces that seems to be the way that he creates new hosts, his wolves. The Ancient One is snatched from a distant future where the world is poisoned, brought back into the past to eventually create the devastated world he came from.

st--7m58As we discussed, time travellers actions are already part of their own time line. Fenric engineers the creation of the Ancient One so from his perspective this could be pre-destined.  Yet since no one else, apart from the Ancient One, shares this time line it could also mean he is able to forge new time lines, plucking entities from potential time lines in which he succeeds.

Many of his wolves are those whose blood line emerges from the Vikings that carried his flask to British shores. This could be because Fenric is not a natural part of the time line, any interaction with his flask was an alteration to natural events and thus made those people and their descendants vulnerable to his manipulations.

Certainly he suggests that it was because of him that Sorin was chosen for the mission, that it was Fenric that selected him. We can take this to mean that the Russians were going to steal the ULTIMA machine, regardless of Fenric’s presence. Knowing this he rewrote the time line, starting with Sorin’s ancestors, making sure he was in the right place at the right time to be sent on the mission and giving Fenric another potential host.

Ace becomes one of his wolves because she creates her own future, in addition to being part of the Dudman bloodline. Like the Ancient One she has fashioned a time loop, her actions establishing her past. This seems to be the loop hole that Fenric needs to take control of people. Without Fenric drawing the Doctor and Ace to the military base she wouldn’t exist in her current form.

Even without taking control of Ace her actions help further his plans. Firstly she tells Judson about the logic code, helping to release the haemovores. Then she finds the flask which contains Fenric and finally gives him the solution to the Doctor’s puzzle.

It is debateable whether he knew that Ace would prevent the Ancient One from killing him, banking on the Doctor not being willing to sacrifice her. He seems to be genuinely surprised by the Ancient Ones actions.

Part of this creation process might be that by creating loops Fenric is securing himself into the web of time. Changing history is a big no no for Time Lords and if Fenric can weave himself into the fabric of causality then they can’t move against him.

For all of his abilities Fenric is fallible. He isn’t all knowing, being unable to solve the Doctor’s puzzle without help.  It also implies a different way of thinking. Fenric becomes absolutely fixated on solving the chess problem that the Doctor set him, so much so that it weakens him. Apparently this focusing of mental activity drains him, previously allowing the Doctor to trap him.

This could mean that although he is able to perceive the past and future he isn’t able to see himself, maybe due to his unnatural status.  He couldn’t see the events of that day, only that in a potential future a thousand years hence, he has poisoned the world. Just enough information to set things in motion to ensure that future comes into existence.

His personality is also affected by his host. He takes time out to have Nurse Crane killed. He doesn’t need to do this. Crane was no threat to his plan and he certainly didn’t need more haemovores as he has them eliminated soon after.  Fenric does this based on the resentment that his host, Judson, harboured for her. During this scene he talks as if he is Judson, feeling the hatred and humiliation that his host did.

st--7m35The evil of his nature seems to be demonstrated in the way he corrupts others. Like the vampires in Buffy, once a person has fallen under his spell it is the worst of their character which is shown.

This can be seen in Jean and Phyllis. They seem to be basically the same people, from their personalities to the way they talk. We saw part of their dark nature when they mock Ace for not wanting to go into the sea and the way they talk about Miss Hardaker.

Despite this, if they hadn’t been changed by the haemovores, it is highly unlikely these two east end teenagers would have murdered others or even destroyed Wainwright’s faith. Under Fenric’s influence their motivation changed, redirected to being evil.

This is one of the most insidious aspects of Fenric or any other entity that you create with the same ability to corrupt. His victims can be people that the player characters know and their actions and words are that much harder to take because although they might know they are being influenced at least some part of it still comes from the victim.

Importantly Fenric isn’t the entities real name, that’s jut what Commander Milington calls it. This allows you to reuse Fenric under a different guise in your own campaigns.

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