The Gods of Arrowhead Highway
A champion prizefighter, struggling quietly with his newfound power
Calling: Professional Fighter
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3, Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Abilities: Athletics 3, Brawl 5, Command 2, Control (Car) 1, Fortitude 3, Integrity 2, Marksmanship 3, Melee 4, Presence 4, Survival 2, Thrown 4
Birthrights: Relic 4 (Sword of Mars)
Epic Attributes: Epic Strength 2, Epic Stamina 3, Epic Perception 1, Epic Wits 1
Boons/Knacks: Arete (Brawl) 2, Arete (Melee) 2, Body Armor, Damage Conversion, Holy Rampage, Rabbit Reflexes, Self-Healing, Subliminal Warning, Uplifting Might
Virtues: Expression 2, Intellect 1, Valor 3, Vengeance 3
Legend/Legend Points: 4/16
Christos Maris was born in 1982 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Voula Maris was a cashier at the local Safeway who perpetually worked 38.5 hours per week (40 hours came with benefits). When Chris was in the second grade, his class talked about Father's Day. He went home and asked his mother about his own father, who had never been a topic of conversation in the house. Voula sat at their small kitchen table in silence for several minutes, then started with "He…he was a…" She could not finish the sentence before breaking down in sobs. The sobs were followed by half a bottle of bourbon.
He would ask about his father three more times before he graduated from high school, each time with the same reaction. The only other lead he had on his father was the bi-annual visit of the Atlantic City Police department. He knew they came to talk about his father, but Voula would always send him from the room when they came. When he was 14, he finally found the nerve to listen in on the conversation. He didn't hear all the details, but the phrases "no new leads" and "outstanding rape warrant" were all he needed to put the pieces together.
Chris was always an A/B student in high school, which, on his mother's salary, meant he could get a job working in construction. He had grown into an impressive physical specimen, but had shied away from sports for much of his early schooling. The local construction union started actively recruiting Chris when he was 16, but it was obvious to Chris that the union saw him as potential muscle both on and off the construction lot. Besides, one year prior he'd found his way to Butes' Gym.
Butes' Gym was a boxing gym that had seen better days. The current owner/trainer, Neil Eryx, told the six-foot Chris that he was "too damn tall" to be a proper boxer. Desperate to find a place that could serve as an outlet for the growing anger at a father he had never met, Chris went to the gym every day he could. During the summer, he would spend all day at a construction yard and much of the night jumping rope and working on a speedbag. Neil relented one December evening and allowed Chris to spar against one of Neil's potential prodigies. Chris' relentless regime had begun to fill out his large arms and his left-handed jab hit with triphammer force. Neil was expecting the boy to show some power, but had not expected him to move with so much speed. He agreed to start training him.
The summer after Chris' junior year of high school, Neil took him and five other students to Oldman's Creek Campground. At the cabin, Neil pulled out several odd-shaped packages and laid out a series of archaic weapons on the rough wooden table: swords, spears, shields.
"It's time for you pups to learn about the ‘warrior spirit'. We'll still do standard training this summer, but the lot of you lack killer instinct. Boxing is a science, but, at its heart, it's about wanting to hurt the other guy more than he hurts you. Here and now, you will learn how to do this."
Two of the six left for home that night. Chris learned that he had an almost instinctive knack with the weapons, preferring the three-foot sword the trainer had brought with him. Neil watched out for their safety, but all of them drew blood and had their blood drawn that summer. When Chris came home, he felt different – he looked at his peers and considered how easily he could hurt them and how thin the line that kept the average person from harm really was. Adolescence fueled strange and violent dreams, but, in the end, Chris' mother brought him back to earth, teaching him to act more as a protector than a force for destruction. Chris still went to training, but he was not yet 18. A seemingly random set of circumstances pushed him away from building towards tearing down in February of his senior year.
A heavyweight on an undercard at Trump Plaza had to drop out with the flu. Searching around desperately for a replacement that would be willing to fight an opponent nearly sight unseen, Neil volunteered his charge, conveniently forgetting that Chris' 18th birthday was still two weeks away. Chris walked into a professional boxing ring for the first time in February of 2000. The heavyweight was a serious contender for the WBO title when he stepped in against the untested teenager. The fight went four rounds before Chris' unstoppable jab closed the other fighter's right eye. Chris had won his first fight and, thanks to the PPV for the Main Event, took home a little over $25,000. In a single night, he has earned money equal to near the median income in Atlantic City. He knew where his future lay.
The next eight years became a highlight reel for ESPN. He's fought 35 times leading up to 2008 and never lost a fight, winning 27 of them by Knockout. His FBLA classes in high school paid off and he invested his earnings as a fighter, rather than blowing them in the manner of so many of his fellow boxers. He paid off both of the mortgages on his mother's house and ended up moving out to Las Vegas. When he signed the contract to fight for the Heavyweight Championship, he looked across the table at the Champion and saw the older man flinch. He called his mother every week, mostly to fight the way he felt his own confidence trying to grow into contempt for those around him.
Barely a week before the fight, his life changed forever. As he fell asleep watching TV, Chris was transported onto an ancient battlefield that looked like nothing so much as a scene from 300. A massive hirsute man pinned Chris to a rock wall with the butt of his spear. He saw a vicious smile behind the bronze helm.
"Welcome to the war, boy. I am Ares. I am your father. I gift you now with the power and potential to take your place among the greatest of warriors. Do not flinch from your destiny. Your enemies approach!" With that, Chris awoke to a band of harpies smashing through his windows.
That night led him on a wild run through Las Vegas and into contact with two other Scions. He went on to fight the Champ and defeated him handily. Chris felt the man's face shatter beneath a vicious right hook and his new power made him recoil – he was now more than human and mere mortals were in danger if they took him on. Immediately after the fight, Chris announced his retirement.
Since that night, Chris has found himself on the strangest adventures. His father continues to appear to him in his dreams, usually beating his son into bloody submission for "turning his back on his destiny as a warrior." Chris keeps his current conflict with his father to himself, but knows that the God of War only recognizes victory and defeat – compromise may not be an option.