The North Korean system of chulshin songbun designates a citizen from birth as belonging as a member of the core, wavering or hostile classes depending on the history of their family. Hong Hak-rim was born as a member of the so-called wavering class and dreamed of moving up in the world. For a member of the middle-ground wavering class to have any chance of success in society would require joining the ruling Korean Worker’s Party, and to do this would require exceptional completion of the mandatory ten years of military service. His military service was exceptional, and he moved his way up the ranks before reaching the rank of Hasa, or Sergeant. Despite his martial success, Hong’s life took a potentially fatal turn when his father was caught by the secret police for storing a large quantity of bibles that had been received via a South Korean missionary working in the border regions of China. Hong’s entire family was arrested and placed into concentration camps, and in most circumstances the same would have happened to Hong Hak-rim himself. However, his military record and loyalty to the State was unblemished, and so instead his name was put forward as a candidate for experiments being undertaken by Office 44.
Hong was taken in a truck from his barracks to an abandoned camp in an obscure location. He and a large number of other expendable military personnel were forced to go through what appeared to be training in infiltration activities; however they were obliged to consume human corpses as their only form of rations. Those that refused were summarily executed, and their bodies joined the menu, and the rest quickly fell into line. Training continued for months and increased in intensity, incorporating extensive education and indoctrination sessions as well as heavy labor, military drills and combat training. As time went by, those that did not fall and become provisions for their comrades slowly began to change in appearance, often developing grotesque features as well as enhanced senses and strength. Hong was considered one of the most successful products of this program, and he joined a number of other exceptional candidates to be taught spells by the Office #44 shaman Paek Kŭm-ae. His propensity for magic was soon apparent, and he was chosen to be the first member of the Fox Spirit Brigade to operate as an infiltrator in South Korea.
Initially intended to sneak into the South as a refugee, instead he went first to China and consumed the likeness and memories of a South Korean missionary. Using the missionary’s South Korean passport, he flew to Seoul and set about operations. The attention from the missionary’s family and church members soon proved intolerable, and he took to lurking underneath the bridges beneath the Han River waiting for suicide jumpers in order to shift to a new identity. Being often financially destitute salarymen, they were for the most part of only temporary value. He finally found a suitable candidate in a young and clinically depressed Korean American woman named Tracy Soomin McAvoy. Born as a child of an African American soldier and a prostitute in Daejeon, she had been abandoned at birth and eventually adopted by an American family in Tennessee. Growing up she had been a loner and an outcast in a rural town, and despite a loving family she had trouble making friends and suffered abuse from her peers due to her background. She came to Korea with dreams of reuniting with her mother and finding a place where she belonged, but after a long search was rebuffed and even abused by her maternal grandparents, who were conservative, racist and considered her shameful to their family. The shock, combined with an already nascent depression, proved too much for her. For Hong’s purposes, she was perfect.
Having adopted her life as an English teacher in a small school living in a one-room apartment on the outskirts of Seoul, he has used her passport and connections on several occasions to enter US military bases in Seoul and the satellite city of Uijeongbu. He is now discussing with his Office #44 handlers the possibility of using McAvoy’s passport to infiltrate the United States. His assimilation of Tracy McAvoy's memories, however, have disturbed him due to the personal emphasis he always placed on family and his feeling of betrayal from his own father. He is yet to assimilate what this means to him, and he is concentrating for the moment on the mission at hand. He is considering taking a side trip to Daejeon to pay McAvoy's maternal grandparents a "visit" when he gets the chance.
The Republic’s Ghoul, age 32
Nationality: North Korean
STR 16 CON 17 SIZ 10 INT 14 POW 15
DEX 13 EDU 10 HP 13 SAN 0 Magic Pts:15
Damage Bonus: +1d4
Education: High school graduate, followed by eight years military service
Former Occupation: Soldier, Korean People’s Army
Skills: Burrow 30%, Climb 75%, Dodge 40%, Drive 30%, Grapple 25%,
Handgun 55%, Hide 80%, Jump 40%, Kick 40%, Listen 80%, Locksmith 30%,
Machine Gun 20%, Mechanical Repair 20%, Rifle 60%, Scent Decay 30%,
Sneak 60%, Spot Hidden 70%, Submachine Gun 30%, Taekwondo 70%, Swim
20%, Track 30%
Languages: Korean (own; Pyongyang dialect) 70%, Korean (Seoul dialect)
35%, Chinese 15%, English 25%
Weapons: Claws 30%, damage 1d6 + db, Bite 35% 1d6 + worry
Handgun attack 55%
Rifle attack 60%
Submachine gun attack 30%
Armor: Firearms and projectiles do half damage, round up
Spells: Consume Memories, Consume Likeness, Dominate
SAN Loss: 0/1d6
Physical Description: In his ghoul form, Hong retains a wiry frame where it seems like he is little more than lean muscle and bone beneath his skin. His eyes have turned black and sunken into his skull and the skin around his jaw droops like a dog’s jowls. His gums have receded and shriveled, his teeth misshapen yellow stubs. In place of the first knuckle of each finger on his hands is a talon that connects directly to the bone. He has a number of consumed likenesses: a young, fresh-faced Christian missionary, a 67 year old homeless man who died in a bus shelter late at night, several salarymen in their 30’s with bodies spent by overwork and alcoholism. His latest acquisition, Tracy McAvoy, is an overweight 31 year old half-Korean half-African American woman with a southern accent.