Red-neck tech-mage and general new guy
The most powerful tool in Tilo’s arsenal is his understanding of the basic workings and underpinning concepts of magic. Wielding this knowledge in the form of a magic-manipulation array, Tilo can dispel magical effects, boost his allies’ own magical abilities, remotely control any mage-tech device (or at least create difficulties for the sentient ones), and – most powerful of all – take direct control of the magic of others.
This last ability in Tilo’s array of arcane expertise is the most useful and versatile. It gives him the potential to turn a dangerous opponent into an unwilling ally. More often than not, however, he can more easily address situations by manipulating the magic of his allies through Power Control and the use of hero points. Through changing Castiel’s Grow/Shrink ability into an attack, Tilo can destroy the advantage large enemies enjoy by bringing them down a few size categories. Against multiple small opponents, turning MEA’s Telekinesis into an area Gravity Control effect can pin many weaker opponents down or send them all falling up into the sky, whichever you prefer.
Tilo is at his quickest when he can manipulate magic already in play. However, he is also no less adept at casting true spells than his mentor. When there’s time, he can create any effect from scratch. He’s good enough that most spells can be cast in a matter of minutes. There is a threshold, however, beyond which the time to cast a spell moves to a matter of days. Because of this, and because of the nature of magic, Tilo tries at all times to maximize the effect while minimizing the power – mostly by shaping spells that take advantage of his allies’ abilities and any other preexisting… anything that can be used to his advantage.
Tilo isn’t just a mage, he’s a tech – indeed it’s his specialty. He carries a dizzying array of gadgets, gizmos, and parts with him on his belt – along with the tools needed to jury-rig whatever the party needs. If there’s need for a pair of wall-crawling gloves RIGHT NOW, chances are Tilo can either cobble them together or already has a pair hanging around.
When he has time to prepare, however, Tilo can get really creative. Give him a week and he’ll give you a cannon that shoots shuriken and lightning, or a perfectly serviceable air-skiff, or a handful of bunker-busting bombs. It takes time – it may take lots of time – but he’ll outfit you with what it takes to get the job done.
Finally, there’s Chuck. Tilo’s cousin once told him that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. This was in reference to Tilo’s pretty terrible aim. In response, he built Chuck. Chuck is a grenade launcher. He doesn’t care if you can aim or not, just point him in the right general direction and things will explode, catch on fire, stop moving, or just generally be put in a bad way. Chuck likes everybody. As a weapon, Chuck isn’t the biggest gun in Tilo’s arsenal, but he is a big gun, and there will be times when a grenade launcher/flamethrower (because what self-respecting weapon doesn’t breathe fire?) is just the thing needed. When Tilo needs to do something else, but Chuck is still wanted, the gun can operate itself as a combat drone. This also comes in handy when Chuck is almost, but not quite, the right gun for the job – with the gun operating itself, Tilo is free to use his magic-manipulating abilities on good ol’ Chuck and MAKE him the right gun for the job.
Tilo grew up on the Western Continent, in the small town of Bucketville on the edge of the Bucketbog – so named for the proliferation of small sinkholes to be found within. It was there that Rithban took his tower, for the town was large enough to be able to provide the wizard with all the supplies he needs, small enough that he gets few visitors from the town, and remote enough that he gets almost no visitors from anywhere else – friends aside, of course. In Bucketville, Tilo grew up with his momma, his pop, his uncle, his two aunts, his grand-mammy, his sister Ymene, and his cousin Ike. When not being kicked around by his family for the sin of being both scrawny and smart, Tilo hung out with another local shrimp named Keith.
Tilo, Keith, and sometimes Ike got into all sorts of trouble, often involving shenanigans, which would ensue. There was crocodile hunting in the Bucketbog, deer hunting in the woods, rabbit hunting in the hills, and tail hunting in the town. Ike was always the best at all of these. Tilo was always the worst. Eventually, more out of despair for the beanpole’s future than anything else, Mamma went to the wizard and asked him to help Tilo make something out of himself. It’s most likely she was hoping Rithban would make some sort of manliness potion of her boy, but why she would think a scrawny intellectual like Rithban would do something like that to a scrawny smart-aleck like Tilo is beyond anyone outside Bucketville. Rithban did what you would expect him to do – he took Tilo in as his apprentice.
If you’ve known Rithban, you can imagine that being his apprentice sucked. Where he had been too smart to fit in in the town, Tilo wasn’t smart enough to keep up in Rithban’s tower. Worse, the one girl he liked – Joey-Saphina – was also one of Rithban’s apprentices and doing much, much better at it than he was. Tilo struggled. He struggled with the amount of study involved. He struggled with the concepts. He struggled with Rithban’s attitude. He struggled with being emasculated by Joey-Saphina’s excellence. He struggled with his own laziness. In time, however, the struggle paid off. Tilo became an excellent tech-mage. Rithban even agreed that Tilo had become damn good, and Joey-Saphina almost agreed to go out on a date with him.
Tilo is still after that date. He’ll do just about anything to impress Joey-Saphina, even go on a potentially fatal adventure with Rithban’s old world-saving buddies. Oh, there are plenty of other reasons he’s doing it, some of them the same ones Rithban had back in the day. Tilo is ready to see the world, meet its people, drink its beer, and do crazy things with whatever and whomever he can get his hands on. No, not like that, honest.