War of Nytefall: Rivalry highlights Mab and her powers since she needs to play the dashing rescuer. Well, not so much dashing as angry and really wanting to tear somebody’s limbs off. Now, I did an origin post for Mab a while back and she’s actually been around since Legends of Windemere: The Mercenary Prince. Yet, I never really delved into her abilities. Well, let’s get delving, which is a word my computers have been trying to turn the name Delvin into since 1999.
Out of all of the Dawn Fangs, she has one of the more interesting power sets. It gets a lot more attention than most others because she uses them a lot and they’re very visual. For example, Lost manipulating someone’s mind is common, but fairly subtle when compared to Mab launching out of a shadow with her claws out. Her abilities don’t perfectly match up too like many of the others, but that’s mostly because of her mental power. I’m going to go one-by-one to give some insight and explain how I came about doing this.
Back when Mab was a game character, she was a member of the Gangrel clan. They possessed one of the classic vampire weapons, which were claws. As a burglar, it made a lot of sense for Mab to have these and depend on them more than daggers. She is all about stealth and speed, which means having as few things weighing her down as possible. So, I had her using the spell for growing claws in War of Nytefall: Loyalty in order to get people used to connecting the two. This ended up defining her fighting style as well, so she does a lot of dives and slashes.
Deciding on what the claws looked like was actually tougher than I expected. I needed them long enough to slice deep and severe limbs, but not so long that they are ridiculous and ungainly. There was one point where I gave a length, but I haven’t really stuck with it because I realized that she could adjust that by a few inches. There was also the question of what they were made of. Early on, she is casting spells to give herself metal claws because actual nails would break. I considered bone too. They’re just kind of there now, so I’m thinking they look like animal claws with the sharpness and durability of metal. They’re her only weapon, so they need to be strong.
Speak with the Dead
This was the last power I made for Mab since it took a really long time to think of a ‘mental’ ability that fit her. Telepathy wasn’t her style and she isn’t much of a manipulator for charm-based things. I considered her having the ability to mask her presence from the senses of others, but that didn’t work in my head. It required that I move away from her burglar side and see if there was anything else. Might have been a stretch, but her focus on Clyde being alive made me think she would try to speak with his spirit to make sure he didn’t respond. I never had her do this in the book since it starts right when she’s pushing for another expedition to find him. It takes a lot of doing to get her to use this power too, so it’s really the one that she’s uncomfortable with. At least for now. That’s why there really isn’t much else to say here. I will point out that I enjoy mentioning the voices yelling in the background, which means she doesn’t have control.
Let’s be honest. This is the big one for Mab and it’s the one that I have the most amount of fun with. More than I imagined because she’s used her shadow jumping in ways that I didn’t originally think of. This power was created off the combination of her being a burglar and Clyde being very straightforward in his methods. He can still be sneaky, but his battle lust kind of takes over. I thought that her being stealthy would compliment him and it has worked out really well. At times, Clyde acts as a distraction for Mab to get in her attacks or stealing in. I reall love it when she just uses the power in non-combat settings. She will emerge from shadows in the middle of a scene to talk or grab something out of them, which is done as naturally as opening a door. One could say it’s fairly close to teleportation too, which is a power I haven’t been able to play with much. It isn’t as simple since she needs shadows to work with, which is a reason she has the long jacket. There is a little distortion here too since it came out that she can widen shadows to come out of or her body is momentarily altered to fit. Haven’t quite decided on that.
Perhaps the biggest challenge here was deciding on how she would travel. Was it an instantaneous transport or did she have to move through something? Could she bring others along? All of this had to be decided before she debuted in The Mercenary Prince, so I was rushed a bit more with her than the others. In fact, that’s where I came up with the shadow dimension/void/darkness world. Although, it has monsters in the current series and seems a little different, so some things changed over the centuries. I think Mab might be the first being who wasn’t a demon or deity to enter here, which helped me accept that it could be endless. This place is getting a full post tomorrow since it’s so complicated, so I won’t say much here. Yet, it is one of the few settings where I can just let my imagination go wild.
A final note on Mab’s shadow jumping is the combat usage. I realized how it would work in a offensive and lethal capacity when I had her fighting a stronger opponent. The scenario became so hectic and difficult that I was having trouble figuring out how she could survive. I don’t want to give spoilers, but I had to think of everywhere that I shadow would be. Were there any locations that she could find a shadow even if there are bright lights going off? It was a messy answer and it opened the door for other uses. Give War of Nytefall: Loyalty a read to see what I mean. If you already have then go right into War of Nytefall: Rivarly.