Affiliation: Guardians of the Veil, Harbingers
Cabal: The Mortlake Division
Tribe: Bone Shadow
Long-Term Aspiration: To uncover the occult secrets of London
Background: Everyone needs a hobby. Rakesh Morgan's hobby just so happens to involve being chased by death-spirits through abandoned houses near London on a regular basis.
It began in high school. Rakesh was always one of the 'weird kids', a lonely, quiet boy with all the charisma and force-of-personality of a baby rabbit. He sat in the back, rarely spoke up in class, and made no friends. Even the bullies eventually left him alone, after learning that the scrawny, weedy kid was capable of fighting with a wild abandon, on one notable instance having to be pulled off another child.
It didn't help that Rakesh was also smart, as in near-genius. His parents, a Welsh construction worker and a British Indian waitress, failed to understand his proclivities completely. His father would take him to see the football game, Rakesh would only dream of when he could get home and do something interesting, like read a book. Books were Rakesh's only friends for most of his childhood. And what books they were, the grimmer and darker the better. For somewhere in Rakesh there was a morbid streak a mile long, the product of an upbringing in which meaningful human contact was difficult.
By the time he was accepted into King's College London on a scholarship, Rakesh had taken to haunting the British Museum and other prominent libraries. He read The Witch-Cult in Western Europe by the anthropologist Dr. Margaret Murray, and Aleister Crowley's The Book of Lies. Occult and peculiar history was his hobby, something mystical and exciting to get away from an otherwise humdrum existence.
King's College was the young man's saving grace. His intellect was for once appreciated, and pretty soon Rakesh was heavily enrolled in the anthropology and social history courses. He completed a Bachelors and began to work towards a Masters in Anthropology, and after several summers of volunteering and working part-time for the National Trust, Rakesh had a job lined up with them after he graduated. In short, everything was finally beginning to look up.
Then came the First Change. At first, Rakesh thought he was going mad. He would walk to the Tube station and spot Ankou, the proto-Grim Reaper of the Breton myths, standing behind a sickly-looking girl on the train. He'd gaze out across the street from his apartment window, and on a distant branch is an owl the size of a man, with skulls emblazoned on its feathers. For most werewolves, the First Change is a whirlwind of confusion and ignorance, but for Rakesh, it was a flood of nightmarish understanding. He saw things he'd only read about, things which were not, could not be real.
But if they weren't, then what was he seeing? Had the world gone mad, or just Rakesh Morgan?
It was on a snowy night in January. The crescent moon was high in the night sky, and Rakesh was trudging home after a long day of studying. When Rakesh looked up to check the color of a light, he was confronted with a horseman in archaic armor, clutching a spear that dripped spectral blood. Rakesh backed away, turned and ran from this hideous apparition, only to find a great black dog, the size of a pony, blocking the way behind him. Rakesh thought true madness was here, and he ran again, but each way he turned, but the death spirits that had hovered near Rakesh for so many years were not so easily dissuaded. Again Rakesh was blocked, and once more, and then something... snapped.
Rakesh's was not a happy change, but few are. When the local Forsaken finally found him, some hours later, he was in a cemetery, smashing headstones with one might blow after another. They took him in and calmed him down, and from that day forward, Rakesh Morgan became one of the Forsaken. After his First Change display, there really wasn't any question of tribe. Rakesh was one of the Bone Shadows, as ordained a choice as could be imagined.
In a way, Rakesh was fortunate. Though the First Change would haunt his nightmares for years afterwards, it did not touch his family and friends. Rakesh may have thought he was going insane, but he was a private man, and kept it to himself. When the First Change occurred, it was far away from home or work, and though Rakesh committed several thousand euros worth of vandalism and a fair bit of desecration, there was no blood on his claws. The fact that Rakesh periodically woke up in a cold sweat, sure that Ankou was coming for him, seemed a small price to pay.
Since then, Rakesh has somehow managed to maintain both his life as Rakesh Morgan and Madboy Morgan the Werewolf, largely by means of having lots of luck, a mental detachment that can periodically border on the sociopathic, and the fact that he is just really unimpressive. As Rakesh Morgan, he finished his masters degree in anthropology, and went to work for the National Trust, a British charity organization concerned with the historical preservation of old buildings and otherwise culturally or ecologically significant locations. Rakesh was their man to find such places, evaluate them on their historical worthiness (the National Trust, though a very wealthy charity by most standards, still does not have unlimited resources), and make plans for restoration and preservation.
At the same time, Madboy Morgan the Werewolf is the local brainiac and budding ritemaster. In his quiet and unnoticed way, Rakesh has settled into the local pack, and has set himself the personal task of learning everything about the spirit world that can possibly be known. Already, it's generally admitted that when it comes to spirit-lore, Rakesh is as good as some Ithaeur close to twice his age. Moreover, the scrawny fellow is also pretty good to have in a brawl, fighting in a manner more reminiscent of a rabid weasel than a full werewolf. Not particularly glorious, pretty effective.
What few realize is that Rakesh's skill at understanding the spirit-world is in large part a result of his anthropological training. Rakesh applies the rigors of modern research techniques to the legends of the Uratha, and though Rakesh admits that he'll never become a true anthropologist (at least, not unless he snags another scholarship), he can put it to pretty good work cataloguing the world of the Shadow. Of course, there's a downside. Treating the Uratha as research subjects has disassociated Rakesh from them, and though he knows in his brain that he is one of them, in his heart he's still Rakesh Morgan, not Madboy Morgan the Werewolf. This is a problem that probably only age and experience will rectify, though its unlikely that Rakesh will ever ascend to the heights of Harmony.
Recently, Rakesh was fired from his job from the National Trust after he was caught grave-robbing, and these days he runs an antique store and website, www.Morganantiques.com, which is enough to let him eat regularly. He's also left his pack over a falling out.
On first impression, Rakesh is a weed. On second impression, Rakesh is a slightly creepy weed. All his life, Rakesh has been an unprepossessing person, a mild-mannered young man with a nervous smile and a soft voice. It wasn't that people disliked Rakesh, they just tended to ignore him and forget him. Since the First Change, to this naturally unimpressive exterior has been added a slight edge, like that of a wolf on the prowl, an aura of barely suppressed violence that most people find unnerving. Considering that he's also a half-Indian man in War on Terror era London, and Rakesh gets asked for his passport and subjected to more than his share of searches, despite the fact that his accent is purest London. Still, to those who know him, Rakesh seems a mild and unassuming man.
This is rubbish. Behind Rakesh's forgettable facade lies a formidable and rather bitter intellect. The companionship of King's College, the National Trust, and the Uratha hasn't quite worn away the bitter misanthropy that emerged during Rakesh's school days, when he felt himself the sole man of the mind amongst a sea of dumb brutes. Though much softer and more pleasant than he used to be, Rakesh still has a streak of misanthropy in him that leads him to expect the worst of people. Had circumstances been not too different, Rakesh could've been one of the spree-shooters one reads about in the Telegraph.
As is, Rakesh's impressive mind and simmering resentment towards humanity is sublimated into an interest in the ghoulish and macabre. He finds it weirdly pleasant and relaxing, reading up the latest research on the Thuggee cult of pre-British India in the British Museum. Mostly, Rakesh keeps his interest under his hat, having realized that discussions of the etymology of the Arabian Ghul is not particularly socially acceptable.
Finally, Rakesh is also very stubborn, and very much a scrapper. When confronted with a problem, Rakesh rarely backs down, attacking it from multiple angles until it falls. When the problem happens to be a recalcitrant spirit-ridden, the 'attacking' just happens to be more literal. Rakesh isn't the strongest or the fastest werewolf around, but he's tough and he doesn't back down, which makes him rather useful in a fight. And he is, after all, a werewolf.
Mental 7; Physical 1; Social 1
Primal Urge: 5
Notable Powers: Master Occultist
Banes: Chaos Mage, Disruption (Silver)