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=====Characters: Ben Jacobs=====

>>===Ownership===

~- **Creator:** BaxilDragon
~- **[[AvailabilityCategories Availability]]:** Open - Free for any use
>> As hostile as the U.S. government has been to theris and mages, there are still some whose patriotism outweighs their distrust. Some of these mages find themselves helping out their homeland in the oddest ways. Take Ben ... who works black ops. For the Border Patrol.

===Basic Biography===

**Birth Name:** Benjamin Jacobs
>>@@==Character Art==@@
//Insert drawings or link to drawings here.//
>> **Other Aliases:** His Army buddies called him "Benja," and it still occasionally sticks.
**Born:** 1965, Kentucky
**Gender:** Male
**Species:** Human

==Physical Description==

A tall, muscular man with a moustache and goatee, brown-haired Ben still carries the posture of his years of Army service. One bicep has a tattoo of an eagle in flight, an artifact of those same years; the eagle has been modified to carry aloft a Wiccan pentagram, an artifact of the first day after his discharge. He still keeps his brown hair closely cropped, although he's let his figure go a little bit as he drifts into his mid-30s.

==Public Backstory==

Ben grew up in a household of fundamentalist parents in a small Kentucky town. He drifted through high school with lackluster grades, increasingly chafing at his parents' religious restrictions. The Army was his way out; the discipline was familiar, but at least his superiors didn't make him do an hour of Bible study every night. Assigned to an engineering unit, he proved skilled at creating maps and surveying. This training moved him up the ranks and allowed him to be granted security clearances that would be useful later on. He found a few some sympathetic ears in fellow recruits also disenchanted by religion; from there, discovered (and enjoyed) role-playing through a couple of gamers in his platoon; and from there, eventually got turned on to Wicca. While he kept his pagan connections in the Army low-key, he took to it in a way that he never did to his father's religion. Ben made a few pagan friends, but didn't broadcast his involvement.

After his Army term of enlistment ended, he bowed out, moved across the country, and stayed with some friends in Seattle while broadening his new spiritual interests and trying to settle into civvie life. Ben found a job at Seattle defense contractor Annotech, went through several girlfriends and one fiancee, and settled down to what would have been a monotonous but fulfilling life.

Then The Changes swept through.

He got involved along the fringes of some of the early-era activities, but as far as most of his friends are concerned, Ben's life stayed low-key. A few months in, he got involved with some magical gaming groups; shortly thereafter, he got let go from Annotech under odd circumstances, with a giant wad of cash and a strict non-disclosure agreement. (Most of them suspect he got fired for being a mage and/or pagan, but rather than a drawn-out battle over the legality of this, they paid him off to not sue.) He moved to a smaller place near Seatac Airport, started living off of the settlement cash, and withdrew some from his friend circles. But he still tries to show up at odd intervals for role-playing, paintball, and the occasional party.


===Magic Use===

**[[MagicalSkillCategories Magical skill]]:** Strong (combat-trained)
~- **Magical tradition:** Wiccan
~- **Group/circle/coven:** Originally, unspecified Seattle circle; now, mostly with his coworkers and gaming buddies
~- **Personal spellcasting style:** What started out as slow, solemn ritual-based magic has been greatly adapted by his post-Changes experiences into a loose, pragmatic focus-based style

==Magical History==

Neither Ben nor his close pagan friends immediately knew what to make of magic's newfound power. Although they didn't retreat from the events of the early eras of TTU, Ben in particular wasn't entirely comfortable with the growing divisions between mages/theris and unchanged America. In particular, EventTheExecutiveOrder, EventTheMeeting and the subsequent near-civil war left a bitter taste in his mouth -- both at the intolerance among the government he swore to serve, and the revolutionary zeal too many of his friends too easily adopted.

Ben probably would have drifted away from magic entirely if it hadn't been for its recreational purposes. Suddenly, his paintball games took on new possibilities -- and on top of that, he managed to worm his way into a [[StoryRandomEncounter magic-based live-action role-playing game]] through an invite from his friend Sarah. Having found a reason to polish his magical skills, he rose to the challenge with gusto and some creativity.

Word apparently filtered back to the government, because soon afterward, Ben found himself [[StoryUndercover secretly recruited]] by the INS. Since then, he's kept his skills sharp with fieldwork, and has found an effective if anonymous way to combine his two loyalties.

==Magic Use Notes==

Ben tends to tie his spell effects in to physical props -- invisibility to the grease paint he smears under his eyes for fieldwork; shoot-straight to his gun; defense wards to his vest. Magic that doesn't seem useful for his job or his hobbies, he largely ignores. He patrols the border like a ghost with his teammates, trying to track and quietly disrupt -- by any means necessary -- the smugglers, bandits, and traffickers that have upped the ante by adding magic to their repertoires. Ben's presence has served as a significant equalizer.

After mid-1997, his paintball buddies have noticed a marked increase in Ben's skill, although he tries to downplay it. He usually ends up as team captain, and in fact adapts a lot of his field techniques from his hobby work, and vice versa.


===Fame and Visibility===

**Level of fame:** None - avoids the spotlight
~- **Reputation:** His friends know him as loyal, although a little bit flaky outside of the strong authority structures he's known his whole life.
**Group affiliations:** Publically, none. Secretly, U.S. Border Patrol.
**Locations:** Seattle, WA, USA; American Southwest

==TTU Events==
~- **Pivotal role in:** None
~- **Minor role in:** //(To be determined by other writers who extend his story)//


===Story Appearances===
{{category header="" only="Story,Culturalia" col="4"}}
==Related Links==
{{category header="" exclude="Story,Culturalia" col="4"}}

===Character Notes===

This character is open to use or modification by others; feel free to shift the character outlines to meet your own needs, as long as that doesn't create any conflicts with existing stories. In particular, most of this page was made up off the top of my head, and can be tweaked as necessary.

==Meta-Knowledge==

In reality, Ben didn't get fired from Annotech at all -- he quietly negotiated his own departure, drew up a post-employment contract that made his former employers refuse to state anything about his departure except to confirm the name and date, and created the rest of the story. The "settlement money" is really his quietly laundered salary from the INS.

==Trivia==

You'd think that teleportation, even after the 1997 accidents and restrictions, would render the Border Patrol virtually irrelevant. But they do have other mages on the squad -- not Ben -- whose job is to track down evidence of recent cross-border teleports, attempt to pinpoint them, and aggressively intervene. It's thankless, difficult work, but occasionally they'll get just enough of a trace to interdict, and putting this pressure on the few mages willing to regularly teleport things drives the price up enough to keep traditional border crossings economical.


===Feedback===

Add questions or feedback about this character in the comments section.

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