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Werewolves, Claimed, and Other Shapeshifters

   
Angela Citysmith
Angela Anderson, née Lang

Type: Werewolf
Pack: The Architects of Steel
Tribe: Iron Masters
Auspice: Ithaeur
Born: 1969



Virtue: Determined
Vice: Arrogant
Long-Term Aspiration: To remake London

Background: Angela is a woman consumed by pride and ambition. Her goals are lofty, huge, all-encompassing. To most people they would seem too high to reach, like trying to catch stars. But Angela believes them possible – nothing is beyond her grasp. With the proper efforts, one can build cities.

It is Angela’s aim to reshape the spiritual landscape of London. It has long been known that it is possible to alter the spiritual character of a city with careful planning – by directing sunlight in the appropriate places at certain times, by absorbing lightning strikes during storms, by using the right materials. So it was done in Amarna and Heian-kyō, and it was along these lines that Sir Christopher Wren rebuilt London after the Great Fire. Werewolf ritualists routinely alter the resonance of city blocks or isolated woods.

But Angela's dreams are bigger than that – by far. By wedding modern design and ancient ritual, Angela believes it is possible to rework the very structure of the modern city. One can create ley lines and loci, nodes and power-centers. More than that, one can shape a city's resonance in such a way as to influence the mortal herd, instill emotions and habits of thought. With the right architecture and urban planning, Angela believes it possible to create a modern Garden of Eden.

Most werewolves and spirit dwellers that know of her goals think that Angela is naive at best, deranged at worst. Spiritual engineering on this sort of scale is theoretically possible -- Amarna and Heian-kyō proved it. But not for centuries. Not in a modern city of fourteen million souls. There are previous few outside her pack who believe it is remotely possible – and even within the pack there are doubts. Rather than be deterred by the logistical problems involved, Angela felt spurred on. The chance to prove her control and her mastery was... intoxicating. She made London her target because as the largest and most populous city in the United Kingdom, if it worked here, it would work anywhere.

To reach her ambition will require substantial skill, connections, resources, money and knowledge. An architecture student before she found an old alchemical text with a werewolf potion in a chest during an estate sale, Angela began by setting up a property development company, using seed money from her wealthy parents. She started small – local work, setting a standard and making a name for herself, networking with others in the property business. She quickly expanded her operations – both the scope of the work she took on and the area she covered. She secured valuable commissions, won awards for her work, and in 1995 married Theodore Anderson, the heir of the Anderson & Smithfield construction fortune. By the age of thirty-five Angela was one of the big names on the UK construction scene, a seemingly unstoppable property juggernaut with stock in several construction and architecture firms.

Simultaneously, Angela worked on raising her profile in the supernatural world as well. She ran with several packs briefly, charming them, learning all she could, and then moving on. By the late 1990s, she had the connections and resources to set up her own pack, the Architects of Steel. She bound a totem, the war-and-construction spirit Warbuilder, she headhunted quality Forsaken from other packs like Thomas Cushner, and she took her territory in the Isle of Dogs, not far from the headquarters of Anderson & Smithfield, in the Anderson Building she herself designed.

At the moment, Angela has a fair claim to being the most powerful werewolf in London. She's a workaholic, driven and incredibly ambitious. Angela's greatest weakness in her plans is that she isn't really a people person. Angela is a powerful, ambitious, intelligent, ruthless... and not very good at hiding these facts. She sees people as tools to accomplish her larger goals, and though she can maintain a veneer of predatory charm, no one who deals with her is under any delusion that she would shred them to pieces if it served her interests.

And make no mistake, she is ruthless. Citysmith may be best considered a cold, rational, self-interested fanatic. She is driven by a vision of a rebuilt London, a city of gleaming spires and silver factories, of crowds moving in perfect alignment and society proceeding like clockwork, a vision of a clean, precise, elegant city, sterile and beautiful. It is this vision that keeps Angela active, that pushes her forward into greatness and keeps her from resting on her laurels.

Angela lives with her family in a large, Neo-Victorian house in Highgate, which she herself designed. Her husband, Theodore Anderson, stays there as little as he can, avoiding a wife who increasingly frightens him in favor of alcoholism and a succession of mistresses. Angela also has a son, twelve-year-old Leon, a quiet, polite boy who has seen some terrifying things. He spends most of the year at one boarding school or another, and so Angela usually has her lair to herself.

Angela Citysmith is a tall woman of about 5'10'', muscular and physically powerful, with dark blonde hair worn long and amber eyes. In the boardroom, she is usually found wearing business suits tailored at Savile Row and holding snakeskin attache cases, on the streets she dons jeans and tanktops, but in all cases she moves as if her clothing was a second skin. She radiates confidence with every gesture, as if the very idea that Angela could be wrong never entered her mind. Her body is covered with sharp, blade-like tattoos, all spines and serrated wings.
Tribe: Iron Masters
Auspice: Ithaeur

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Resolve 4
Physical Attributes: Strength 6 (7/9/8/6), Dexterity 4 (4/5/6/6), Stamina 4 (5/6/6/5)
Social Attributes: Presence 4, Manipulation 6, Composure 6

Mental Skills:Academics 3, Crafts 2, Computer 1, Investigation 3, Occult (Demonology, Geomancy) 5, Politics 4, Science (Architecture) 3
Physical Skills: Athletics 2, Brawl 2, Stealth 2, Survival (Command Fire x2) 6
Social Skills: Empathy 1, Expression 4, Intimidation (Quell the Crowd) 4, Persuasion (Making a Deal) 3, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge (Deception) 6

Merits: Allies (Architecture & Construction) 5, Hunting Ground 5, Fast Reflexes 3, Indomitable 2, Resources 6, Status (
Tithe
Architects of Steel) 3, Striking Looks (Amazon) 1, Unshakable 4,
Lair: The Anderson Building, Isle of Dogs; Security 4, Warding 5, Ritual Area (Summoning) 3

Willpower: 10
Harmony: 2
Universal Banes: Aura of Menace, Death Rage, Nimbus (Twisting black serpents over her skin)
Personal Banes: Symbols, Chronological Trigger -- Rage (Full Moon)

Initiative: 13 (13/14/15/15)
Defense: 4 (4/6/7/7)
Mental Shield: 2 (Indomitable)
Health: 9 (11/13/12/9)
Size: 5 (6/7/6/4)
Speed: 13 (15/17/21/19)

Primal Urge: 6
Renown: Cunning ●●●●●, Glory ●, Honor ●●, Purity ●●●●●, Wisdom ●●●●●
Gifts:
1st: Left-Handed Spanner (Technology), The Heart of Things (Wisdom), Two World Eyes (Crescent Moon), Partial Change (Mother Luna), Death Sight (Death)
2nd: Nightfall (Technology), Befuddle (Wisdom), Read Spirit (Crescent Moon), Luna's Dictum (Dominance), Scent of Taint (Insight)
3rd: Iron Treachery (Technology), Voice of Command (Dominance), Command Fire (Elemental)
4th: Create Technology (Technology), Vanish (Stealth), Skin-Stealing (Mother Luna)
5th: Machinegeist (Technology), Urban Chaos (City), Poison Essence (Witch's Moon)
Rituals: ●●●
1st: Ritual Mind, Rite of Dedication, Chiminage Rite, Rite of Hallowed Ground
2nd: Banish Spirit, Blessing of the Spirit Hunt, Call Gaffling, Call Human, Cleansed Blood, Scarlet Messenger
3rd: Bind Human, Bind Spirit, Call Jaggling, Rite of Healing, Wake the Spirit
Essence: 15/6; +2 Starting (Hunting Ground 5; Tithe -3)
Totem Boons: Strength +1, Resolve +1, 1 WP

Attacks...........................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special
Claw (Gauru)........................ 1(L)............ 13………..9-Again

Curses................Cost...............Dice Pool...........Resisted/Opposed..............Effect
Befuddle..................1E.................
Wits+Expression+Wisdom
14................... vs. Comp+PU.....................Target takes -5 to Mental Rolls for the Scene
Iron Treachery.........1E..................
Wits+Craft+Cunning
12...................-Resolve............................Mechanical object becomes uncontrollable for (Successes) Turns
Poison Essence.........1E..................
Wits+Occult+Wisdom
15.................. vs. Resolve+PU.................Target takes 1B damage per E spent (1L on ES)
Command Fire.........1E..................
Strength+Survival+Purity
19...................-Defense............................Target takes (Successes) Fire damage; Gauru (+4, 9-Again)
Luna's Dictum..........1E..................
Presence+Intimidation+Purity
12...................vs. Comp+PU……...............Mind Control
Voice of Command...1E..................
Manipulation+Intimidation+Purity
14.................. vs. Resolve+PU.................Mantle of Authority

Thomas Cushner

Type: Werewolf
Pack: Architects of Steel.
Tribe: Bone Shadow
Auspice: Elodoth
Born: 1955



Virtue: Peaceful
Vice: Treacherous

Background: Even as a child, Thomas was quiet and thoughtful. His brother and sister would run and play, shout, scream, make a nuisance of themselves. Thomas was so quiet that people often forgot he was there. He never caused trouble, and he hated conflict – his siblings fought each other often, his parents would tear into one another. It was left to Thomas to play the peacemaker, a role which he never grew to quite enjoy, but in which he got an awful lot of practice.

Upon finishing secondary school, Thomas still didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. He had brains enough to go to the university, but no direction – so he did what any confused young man would do. He enrolled in a philosophy course. Furthermore, he found that he enjoyed it. Human belief, he found, was interesting. Why did people think this? Why did people think that? What were the ramifications of belief, how did seemingly paradoxical ideas become resolved in the human psyche? It was a puzzle, and while Thomas was perfectly aware that it was one he was never going to actually solve, not completely, one could find out an awful lot about how the human mind worked. So, in 1977, Thomas finished with a combined degree in Philosophy and Comparative Religion, and went on to higher academia.

A man studying philosophy and religion finds an awful lot of dusty old books, and it was while a graduate student at the University of Exeter that Thomas found a few books that talked about physical manifestations of belief. These conceptual entities were everywhere, and they both changed and were changed by what humanity thought of them. Thomas didn't actually believe those books. But they were interesting, and so he read them, and he kept them in his tiny flat on extended loans from the library... and pretty soon he was starting to see glimpses of the spirit world. Thomas became a Wolf-Blood in 1980, and he went through the First Change on his thirtieth birthday in 1985. Somehow, those books didn't seem quite as quaint anymore.

Not to say that those books were entirely accurate. Spirits were shaped more by physical objects and by the effects those objects had on others, but belief did fall into that. Even so, Thomas was enthralled by the Shadow. It was so strange, so alien, and yet so almost-familiar. And so, Thomas talked to them. And talked to them. And talked to them. Thomas has perhaps better contacts with the spirit world than any other werewolf in London. He isn't necessarily the best ritualist or the most respected by the spirits, but Thomas has put shoe leather to the ground and simply talked to more of the local spirits for longer than anyone else.

In the meantime, Thomas lived his life. He got a job as a professor at the University of East London (which is... not exactly a plum position, but it keeps him fed and gives him time enough for werewolf things). He married. He had children. He joined a pack that operated in the East End, and stayed with them for some years.

Then along came Angela Citysmith, who in 1999 managed to headhunt Thomas for her new pack, the Architects of Steel. Thomas considered himself a good man, and he liked his old pack well enough, but when Angela offered a position as chief ritualist of the Architects and a pay raise for quite a lot of money and the chance to be part of the biggest spirit project London's seen in centuries? He said his goodbyes and he took the offer. Every man has his price, and Angela paid Thomas Cushner's.

The Architects paid for Thomas to go back to school, and now the werewolf has a shiny new degree in Urban Development to go along with his doctorate in philosophy. He still teaches a class each year at UEL, but most of the time he works as a consultant/contractor for Anderson & Smithfield, making sure that their buildings 'merge with the local environment,' which is a Masquerade-friendly way of saying he placates any upset local spirits. He still keeps up with his considerable networks of spirit-contacts, but now he does it on the company's dime.

Physically, Thomas is a black man in his fifties, though the life of a werewolf has kept him in excellent condition. He has a slender, tapered face with a neat goatee (he went through a phase when he tried his hand at soulful poetry, and since he met his wife that way he's kept the look even after he realized that poetry was not his skillset). He prefers nice but not overly formal clothes, usually a neatly pressed, buttoned-down shirt and slacks, and could almost be mistaken for a harmless accountant or clerk if not for the intense sensation of heat that follows him. In wolf form, his coat is surprisingly tawny, almost the color of a lion’s.

Ultimately, Thomas is a man of ideas. He's an extremely rigorous, logical thinker, which makes it a simple matter for him to understand the viewpoints of spirits. He has a profound understanding of beliefs and thought-processes and a deeply-irritating tendency to psychoanalyze those around him, though ever since Angela broke his wrist he's kept his analyses about the Architects to himself.

Nevertheless, Thomas puts a great deal of emphasis on getting along with people. He comes off as very laid-back and relaxed, always willing to talk things out with others, whether they're students, spirits, or rampaging werewolves. He's a peacable sort who doesn't make waves, which tends to conceal the fact that he is, to some extent, available to be had by the highest bidder. Right now, that's Angela, but if he ever got a better offer he'd drop her in a New York minute.

Rank: 3
Mental 6; Physical 4; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 5
Notable Powers: Spirit Contacts; Insufferable


Judge Paul
Paul Lessner

Type: Werewolf
Pack: Architects of Steel.
Tribe: Hunters in Darkness
Auspice: Rahu
Born: 1984



Virtue: Code of Behavior (Law)
Vice: Short-Tempered

Background: Joining the police force was Paul Lessner’s destiny, his fate, his dream. His home life may have had something to do with it, raised in the Council Estates of South London. His parents marriage was not a happy one -- it had started happily enough certainly, his father James strong and handsome, his mother swept off her feet, but then it turned sour. James drank. He lost his job. He drank more. He hit Paul's mother, and struck Paul himself. And when Paul's long-suffering mother finally filed for divorce, James grabbed him and tried to flee the country. Half-drunk and out of his mind, he told Paul that if he tried to run away, he’d go back and kill Paul’s mother. So the six-year-old child kept quiet. The police caught up with him on a ferry to France, and James would go on to spend a good many years in prison. A uniformed British bobby returned the traumatized boy to his fearful mother.

From that day forth, Paul was obsessed with the idea of being a hero, just like his rescuers. His mother, now raising him alone, encouraged the idea and gave him toy police helmets, batons, toy guns, plastic handcuffs, the works. When he got a little older, he watched marathons of Dixon of Dock Green and The Last Detective, and read every Sherlock Holmes and Judge Dredd story he could lay hands on. Law enforcement were his idols and one day he would become one of their number. There was no other option.

He applied at eighteen, was accepted, passed all the physical and mental fitness tests, though the former a bit better than the latter. He entered the training program, learning how to work as part of a unit, how to fire a weapon, how to use a taser. He was zealous and dedicated, as honest as the day was long yet filled with contempt for those who broke the law. Then two things happened in quick succession that shattered his dreams.

The first was Paul’s First Change. Perhaps it was all those nights walking beneath the full moon with a warrior's heart. Perhaps some quirk of genetics from his rage-filled father. Perhaps his beat on the Isle of Dogs, associated with werewolves since ancient days. But shortly after he was put on active duty for the first time, the Full Moon shined down on him, and the face of Luna the Destroyer was burned into Paul's blood.

Never the most restrained of individuals to begin with, the full moon burned with a malignant fury upon him, unmooring him from all thoughts of holding back. If there were other Uratha about, they'd have marked him as Lunatic, for the moon's rays had an ill effect on his thoughts. So when in the course of his beat he came across a petty pimp 'instructing' a teenage runaway with a broken bottle, something snapped. Paul didn't fall into Kuruth. He simply collapsed the man's lung, broke three ribs, a jaw, the left arm, and rendered the man permanently blind in one eye with his bare hands. For some time, it was entirely questionable if Paul's victim would survive.

No one was terribly upset about this, and Paul's early experiences were certainly an exacerbating condition. But at the same time, London bobbies cannot just go around handing out beatings, however justified (the fact that there was a CCTV camera nearby also prevented things from being swept under the rug). Paul was discharged from the police service and ordered to seek counselling, though no charges were brought. It was a harsh enough punishment. In just over a year, Paul had gained everything he had wanted... and lost it. He was back to living with his mother, without a job, without a future, and without his dreams.

He fell into depression and alcoholism. It takes a very great deal of alcohol to render a werewolf drunk, but Paul tried gamely every night. It was during this time that other Uratha finally made contact, but he was such a wreck that none of the tentative contacts felt like recruiting him -- this was before Brick & Bone's arrival in London. The few who did, Paul turned down.

Most importantly for Paul's future, however, he kept walking his beat, even if it was as a civilian and with a bottle instead of a truncheon in hand. Which was why, since Paul's beat was the territory of the Architects of Steel, he came to the attention of Angela Citysmith. Hauled up into the Anderson Building, Paul was sobered up and questioned, and after some consideration, Citysmith made him an offer he couldn't refuse - join their pack, become the Chief of Security for Anderson & Smithfield, train them and run them and protect their territory. It wasn’t the police, but it was the next best thing for Paul. He took the deal.

These days, Paul Lessner (or 'Judge Paul', as his packmates call him after the Judge Dredd comics he's still fond of) is the rather improbably young Chief of Security for the Anderson Building on Canary Wharf. There are certain rumors that he got his job because Angela thought him cute (these are not entirely inaccurate), but in the years since his arrival, Paul's proven his worth. He's a Hunter in Darkness, after all, and he considers the corporate HQ of the Anderson Building to be his own sacred territory, a cathedral to the modern age.

Judge Paul is a broad-shouldered, dark-haired young man in peak physical condition, with skin the color of teak (his mother is from the subcontinent) and light grey eyes. He keeps his unruly curls in what is essentially a military buzz-cut, and usually wears the clothing of a security guard (navy pants and shirt, ironed to within an inch of their lives, and a visored cap) -- as close to a uniform as he can manage. He can usually be found either on duty in the Anderson Building or checking up on the many Architect properties in Canary Wharf. The rest of the time, Paul's either training the other Architects, practicing in the gym, or at home reading police novels and Judge Dredd comics (he still lives with his mother).

It should be noted that Judge Paul is not a very imaginative or clever thinker, but that he does have an absolutely prodigious memory for rules, regulations, and the like. When confronted with problems, Paul refers to those precedents, or else tosses problems up the ladder to the proper authorities, that is, to Angela and Thomas. This actually makes him really quite useful to the Architects, as Paul is the very definition of 'too dumb to fool', and he tends not to ask awkward questions. He still has a volcanic temper, however, which the Architects try and keep under control.

Rank: 2
Mental 1; Physical 6; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 3
Notable Powers: Police Fanatic; Lunatic; Too Dumb to Fool

Persuasion Benefits Stored: Focus


Mouse
Melanie Chan (Legal Name)

Type: Werewolf
Pack: The Architects of Steel
Tribe: Hunters in Darkness
Auspice: Rahu
Born: 1991



Virtue: Courageous
Vice: Shy

Background: Little enough is known about the young werewolf commonly called 'Mouse'. As far as most of London is concerned, she appeared one day in 2007 as the youngest member of the Architects of Steel, when Citysmith took her around on a meet-and-greet of the neighboring packs. Those who pay attention to such things know that the Architects are one of the pickier packs in London with regards to their membership, and so assume that Mouse must have some hidden strengths or talents that make her worthwhile.

Certain individuals, such as the other members of the Architects of Steel, or their allies among the Guardians of the Veil or the Lancea et Sanctum, know a bit more. They know that Mouse was sixteen when she joined the Architects, speaks with an accent that is equal parts North China and Liverpool, is of average intellect and has a poor education, is uncomfortable with people, and has difficulties with the concept of self-preservation. They know that she works as Angela's private aide at Anderson & Smithfield, and that she actually lives in Citysmith's magnificent Neo-Victorian house in Highgate.

Angela, of course, knows a great deal more. Not because Mouse told her -- the past is a closed book as far as Mouse is concerned -- but because Angela had the DNA testing done discreetly, and she has a folder of clippings on the Princes Park Murders of August 27th, 2006. Angela is very good at reading between the lines.

Presently, Mouse is the junior-most member of the Architects. Mostly, this means that she gets stuck with the boring but necessary work that can't be entrusted to mortals or spirits. She runs messages, takes notes at pack moots, stands watch during summonings, and otherwise makes herself useful. She also picks up Leon from school every so often. It's not much of a life, but she has a job and she earns money, and Citysmith's home is enormous and far more comfortable than anything Mouse has ever had, even if her alpha is far from a pleasant person to share a home with.

Overall, this situation suits Mouse right down to the ground. She doesn't have high expectations for her life (surviving to twenty-five is sort of her goal right now), and being the center of attention causes her social awkwardness to multiply tenfold. One-on-one, or with people she knows very well, Mouse is a soft-spoken and shy young woman, but not unfriendly. More hostile or uncontrolled environments tend to send Mouse into a panic attack post-haste. Best case scenario? She squeaks and runs away. Worse case scenario? Death Rage. So far the rest of the Architects have kept the worst case scenario from happening, though there have been a few close calls.

Aside from being as quiet and skittish as her namesake, Mouse is reasonably put together. She's sort of an anti-social work-hard, play-hard type of person, in that she'll do everything the Architects ask of her with brisk efficiency, then go and enjoy herself to the hilt. Mostly, this involves a great deal of retail therapy, lots of eating and drinking (and no one can put away food quite like a werewolf), and watching movies on Citysmith's enormous plasma TV with Leon. Mouse likes Leon. He's almost as quiet as she is, and he doesn't judge.

Physically, Mouse is a short Chinese woman with brown-black hair going just past her chin and large, liquid eyes. Positively waifish when she first arrived, steady meals and the Architect's training program have given her a layer of muscle that is nothing to sneeze at. Mouse is dangerous. She's a nervous and twitchy young woman who just so happens to transform into an extremely lethal werewolf when sufficiently provoked. Normally, Mouse wears limited clothing of a loose type, with a particularly fondness for shirts that hang off one shoulder (so as to easily get dressed and undressed for shapeshifting). As a wolf, she's a slim, long-legged creature with a sandy-colored coat.

Rank: 2
Mental 3; Physical 5; Social 1
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 3
Notable Powers: Survivor; Mouse

Leon Anderson

Type: Mortal (Wolf-Blooded)
Profession: Pre-Teen Werewolf
Born: 1998



Virtue: Ambitious
Vice: Mischievous

Background: Leon Anderson's childhood could be fairly said to be unusual. Some aspects were more unusual than others. The palatial house in Highgate, the private tutors, the fact that his parents were loaded, these were uncommon but not unimaginable. The fact that his father could regularly be seen drunk at eleven in the morning, that was also not as uncommon as one might hope, nor the parade of strangers wandering about the house. The fact that his father is terrified of his mother, and his mother holds his dad in contempt, also not uncommon. The fact that at age seven he came across his mother laying out a binding ritual for a particularly grisly murder spirit in the basement... bit rarer.

Despite this, Leon's about as well-adjusted a kid as one could reasonably expect, which is to say he's not crazy or traumatized but he is kind of a brat. He's not what you normally think when you think of a brat. He's small (about 4'7'' at this point) and extremely polite, and is quite good at getting along with adults (which is to say, he knows how to stay out of sight when various tall and scary people are working, his mother not least of these). He's reasonably intelligent and thoughtful for a kid, and he's had one of the best educations money can buy.

At the same time, though, Leon has a tendency to want things, and unlike most thirteen-year-olds, he's very goal-focused at getting what he wants. He considers, he plots, he plans. If wheedling and whining do the trick, then he has no shame. If stealing something is easier and safer, well then, he has zero qualms about doing that. It's not quite accurate to say that Leon doesn't understand the meaning of the word 'No', it's just that he always has serious doubts about how it applies to himself.

What Leon mostly wants is to hunt things and mess with people (the quiet kid has a rather skewed sense of humor). About a year ago, puberty hit, and in addition to things like getting (slightly) taller and having a deeper voice, for Leon this involved finding out that he could turn into a wolf. Not the full suite of supernatural lethality that are the Uratha forms, but he can turn into a regular, silver-grey wolf with a short muzzle and a long tail. Being a wolf is fun. It's one of the things Leon likes best about his life right now.

Currently, Leon is sort of the mascot of the Architects of Steel, a wolf-blooded kid who is cute in the way that most kids are cute, and who happens to be the son of the most deadly werewolf in London. He and Angela have a complex relationship (Angela Citysmith can summon Incarnae, rework local ley lines, and maul Azlu, but she was clearly standing at the back of the line when maternal instincts were being handed out), characterized by mutual incomprehension and a fair amount of struggle. His dad, Leon holds in about the same contempt that Angela does. In fact, the person Leon likes most nowadays is Mouse, who is a full werewolf and therefore awesome and admirable, while at the same time being much closer to his 'level', and neurotic enough not to be too intimidating.

As mentioned, Leon's a small kid with a slender frame, who regularly looks younger than his age (people are still asking him if he's ten yet, which makes Leon wish he could Death Rage). He has dark hair inherited from his father, and dark brown eyes that can look almost black at the right angle. Despite this, he has a definite confidence about him, as if he is the master of all he surveys.

Rank: 1
Mental 2; Physical 2; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Arete: 1
Notable Powers: Blood of the Wolf

Kevin “Moxie” Moxley

Type: Werewolf
Pack: Brick and Bone
Tribe: Ghost Wolf
Auspice: Irraka
Born: 1973



Virtue: Righteous
Vice: Cowardly

Background: Not every werewolf gets to be someone. For every one with a good education and a lofty goal, there are two more with no real hope and no real goal beyond surviving each day. Some of them have lived that way all their lives; others end up on the run from the authorities and the Pure. Brick and Bone is both. The pack is full of misfits and dispossessed, all Ghost Wolves and all with something to hide from. They never know whether the people keeping an eye on them are from the local benefit office, or whether the Anshega have found them. Other Forsaken consider them a bunch of screw-ups, which is accurate if not particularly nice, and none more so than their alpha, Kevin “Moxie” Moxley.

Some people just don’t get a break. Kevin’s one of those people. Even before his Change, he couldn’t hold a flat for more than six months, and with a criminal record including drugs, petty theft, burglary and a count of arson behind him there was no hope for him of getting a real job. The stupid thing is that none of it was his fault. Sure, he nicked the odd car and sold some speed on the side, but nothing serious. Nothing really bad. He wasn’t getting kids hooked on crack or mugging old people on the street. At least, he’s pretty sure that he wasn’t. He just couldn’t get by with what he had, so he took things he thought nobody would miss. He was wrong.

In and out of prisons through his 20s, Moxie couldn’t settle down. In his own mind, he was the victim. Things went wrong for him, and every time he tried to fix them, they just got worse. A friend got in trouble with a loan shark in Manchester, so Moxie did his best to destroy the evidence. A small fire turned into a large fire while he was helping himself to the contents of the safe, and he was arrested for arson. He underwent his First Change before going to court, and ran. He didn’t stop running until he was in Germany with just the clothes on his back and a rusty knowledge of the language. He tried being productive, putting himself to use on a building site, but the local werewolves wanted him out of their territory yesterday. He stuck around for as long as he could before running back to England.

In Sunderland, he found others in the same position as he was. No territory, no pack, no direction. Werewolves just trying to get by when the world didn’t want them to. Moxie could deal with it if it were just him, but seeing others in the same position ticked him off. He gathered them together and formed Brick and Bone. They quested for a patron, looking for a spirit to watch over them, and they found one willing to take them. If only he’d paid more attention to the way it worded their ban, Moxie might have saved them all some trouble, but he just couldn’t follow everything. He’s regretted that for a long time.

For a while, the packmembers plied their trade across the north of England and overseas, under the cover of a group of cheap laborers who don’t mind being paid cash-in-hand with nothing going on record. All of them had a shady past, with the police after them for everything from petty theft to arson. Worse, wherever they went, the Pure soon find them and use them as prey. Brick and Bone had a high turnover, but just about everywhere the pack ended up there was a Thihirtha Numea who needed to skip town but didn’t want to brave the journey alone. The situation was made worse by the pack’s patron’s ban — a particularly convoluted bit of wording that has a habit of attracting more trouble than the pack can handle. When things get too much for Brick and Bone to handle, they moved on again — often leaving the local werewolves to clean up the pack’s mess.

All this travelling started to wear on the pack, and so Moxie had a bright idea. There was one city where even a bunch of screwups like Brick and Bone could settle down. London. A few years back, they moved to London, took a tiny slip of territory that no one else seemed to want around the Blackheath, and tried not to get on the bad side of every other werewolf in London.

Unfortunately, the pack isn’t very good at it. If something can go wrong for Brick and Bone, it will. Beshilu hide in the building sites the packmembers work on, and the number of off-the-books workers who end up Urged or Claimed skyrockets whenever the pack is around. It’s not the pack’s fault, but no one ever believes them when they say that. Their reputation follows them like the smell of burning buildings, their totem’s ban just causes more and more trouble with mortal and supernatural authorities alike, and just when things couldn’t get worse, Moxie found out why no one wanted the Blackheath when a psycho crow-faerie with a disturbingly keen smile paid him a midnight visit. Moxie doesn’t sleep very well any more.

Moxie can’t help but worry. If he were on his own, he’d be fine, stealing what he wanted when the dole money and illegal laboring dried up. Now he’s got a pack to lead, and he doesn’t want to let his packmates down. He helps them out, and they help him out. It’s the closest he’s had to a family in a long time. He’d do anything to keep them safe and keep them together. Now if only he just wasn’t so bad at it.

Moxie’s a short, scrawny man in his late 30s. He’s perpetually dirty, and the grime settles into the lines on his rat-like face to make him look almost 10 years older. He keeps his hair hidden under a woolen hat even in the height of summer, and wears at least three layers of grimy clothing at any one time. His jeans always have holes in the knees, and his boots look one step from falling apart. In his Urhan form, Moxie has long, midnight- black fur that harkens back to Black Shuck.

Rank: 2
Mental 3; Physical 4; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 3
Notable Powers: Jinxed





Jake Carter

Type: Werewolf
Affiliation: People's Republic
Tribe: Ghost Wolf
Auspice: Cahalith



Virtue: Righteous
Vice: Hasty

Background: Jake Carter sees the machinery of control wherever he goes. Faceless corporations brand every street, marking their territory. Cameras monitor everyone as they go about their lives. The police and the ambulance service and schools and universities, all set up to instill control into people. Other people can see everything that happens on his territory from miles away, and there’s precious little that isn’t locked down in meaningless social rituals or local politics. That hampers his ability to protect his territory, putting him out of touch with the scrap of the city that he claims along with the rest of Brick and Bone. Outside control strangles his city, and Jake is sick of it.

It started at university. Bored of the trashy paperbacks and the dry course texts and sick of the petty backstabbing of students and faculty alike, Jake retreated to the library in search of other ways of doing things. There, he found Bakunin, Proudhon and Goldman, and something caught in his mind. He thought he’d found something. Not a better way of doing things, but something different, something that would put him back in touch with his surroundings. How could he feel at home in a city that was controlled from miles away? He had big ideas, but didn’t have the capability to do anything — at least, not until his First Change showed him otherwise. Along with other werewolves who wanted to change things as much as he did, he set about making things different.

He had mixed success. Protests and marches are all well and good, but they don’t go far enough. For a while he gave speeches, led rallies, and wrote articles for underground newspapers, but that never really changed anything. So then he shifted to direct action, bombing a small house that the local Fire-Touched used. Except the bomb fizzled, the Fire-Touched survived with minor wounds, and now Jake's on the run with an arrest warrant out for him and his name on a domestic terrorist watch-list. He ended up joining Brick and Bone just to get out of town quickly.

Jake’s a burned-out idealist at heart. He’s taken to psychedelics, losing himself in visions of what could be and what should be. He wants to make things better, change his territory for the better, but these days he's in hiding and on the run. When there’s nothing he can do toward his cause, he turns into a bitter, depressed man, drinking or drugging himself close to a stupor. The rest of Brick and Bone have noticed his problem, but he’s kept the depth of his fanaticism hidden from them. They don’t realize just how much he’s invested of himself in a cause that seems to be going nowhere.

Since the People's Republic has come up, he's left Brick & Bone on amicable terms and is trying to make another go of it. Only time will tell if this time things will go better than the last.

Looking to be in his late 20s, Jake looks rather ragged around the edges. He doesn’t shave for weeks at a time, and his dark hair falls well past his shoulders. His green eyes sweep every room he enters, looking through everyone and making sure he knows where the exits are. He tends to wear jeans and a sweatshirt in any weather.

Rank: 2
Mental 3; Physical 2; Social 4
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 2
Notable Powers: Rabble-Rouse



Maddie Wishthound
Madeline Archer, Wishbone

Type: Werewolf
Pack: Brick & Bone
Tribe: Ghost Wolf (Formerly Fire-Touched)

Virtue: Prudent
Vice: Pessimistic

Background: Maddie's parents separated when she was four, and she has vivid memories of a messy divorce that left her mother clutching the neck of a gin bottle. Fostered away to the home of an abusive mother and an uncaring father, Maddie was taunted about her family life at school whenever the subject came up. She dropped out of school early, and spent her time in libraries learning a little about a lot of subjects. If ever she came across someone who had really studied a subject she’d be in trouble, but to Maddie's mind that didn’t matter. She wasn’t looking for other intellectuals to woo; her goal was just to find a group to impress. Maybe then people would look to her as something other than a problem and an out-of-towner — and if they happened to look up to her, then so much the better.

Maddie did her best to fit into any social group she finds herself in, and that didn't change just because she found out about her Uratha heritage. The Pure found her before anyone else did, and Maddie still has a broad burn scar on her left arm from her initiation. Let No Untrue Statement Lie. It's burned onto her very skin, in elegant cursive script. In the months that followed, Maddie meandered through life, still looking for a group to fit into. Finding herself near Stoke-on-Trent, she heard that the Ivory Claw Lucas King was setting up a pack of his own. He was going to go to London and take the fight to the Moon-Born. Maddie offered to follow him.

Maddie was exactly what the Cold River needed. Her skills run the gamut from computer programming to classical music; she speaks four languages, holds two degrees and can make men do what she wants with a few well-placed words. She’s a polymath, skilled in any field that she puts her mind to. She can't fight very well, but that's the least of her concerns. In her own mind, she's living a lie, breaking Rabid Wolf's oath with every breath she draws.

Maddie is a werewolf being run ragged. She knows she's not really as smart as she pretends to be. She knows she's not as educated, or as clever, or as strong as everyone thinks she is. If her pack weren't a bunch of thugs, they'd realize that. The pressure to perform is starting to get to her. She does her best to keep everyone aware of everything they need. She aids the pack on hunts and journeys into the Shadow, but recently she’s been spending more and more time on her own. None of her packmates have followed her to the small apartment that she rents, but if they did, they’d see Maddie drowning her fears in cheap whisky and worthless men.

Away from her pack, she plays to others’ expectations, building herself around what they know of her and what they expect her to be. Although that’s an advantage in many social situations, being all things to all people means that it’s more and more likely that someone will catch her out. She’s guilty about the lies and half-truths she tells, but there are so many of them, and even Maddie doesn’t really know if some of them are true or not. In the small hours around dawn, she wonders if she really has any truth left in her, or if even her memories are just another patchwork of falsehoods.

Then came the events of Halloween, 2009, when Lucas King tried to blow up an entire pleasure-boat full of tourists as a sacrifice to Jenny Greenteeth. Maddie had gone part of the way along, telling herself that the explosives were to destroy some large commercial freighter, that it was going to be all property damage. When she could deceive herself no more, she snapped and fled her pack, and after the dust had settled, Maddie joined Brick & Bone -- she knew Jake and Moxie, and they were thrilled to have her. Of course, now her new pack thinks of her as a moral bastion as well as a brilliant werewolf -- Maddie finds it kind of darkly hilarious. She thought of joining the Forsaken, but she's not quite ready to make such a leap.

A tall and attractive woman in her late 20s, Maddie has long, dark hair that frames her face. Her brown eyes sparkle behind the glasses she wears to aid her intellectual look. She typically wears long skirts along with long-sleeved shirts that allow her to show off her figure while hiding the branded letters on her left arm. She often wears tasteful golden jewelry, and her fingers always sport a multitude of rings. In Urhan form, she’s a slim wolf with an unearthly white coat.

Rank: 2
Mental 5; Physical 1; Social 3
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 3
Notable Powers: Jury-Rig; Genre Savvy; "I don't know how to do it, but I can find out."


Moonbeam

Type: Werewolf
Pack: Brick & Bone
Auspice: Cahalith
Tribe: Hunters in Darkness
Born: 1948

Virtue: Honest
Vice: Fussy

Background: There is a joke around Brick & Bone, "Don't do drugs, kid, because if you do, you'll end up like Moonbeam. He took drugs once and now he's a werewolf!" This joke is not actually funny (it's Brick & Bone). It is, however partially accurate.

Moonbeam doesn't remember an awful lot of his early life (the drugs may have had something to do with that). He was a literature major in the late 60s, reading a lot of Chaucer and writing a lot of bad poetry, and he was deep into the hippie subculture. Peace, love, brotherhood, natural fibers, and more drugs than most pharmacy majors dealt with. Marijuana, LSD, peyote, that was old hat. Salvia, he tried. Heroin, he flirted with. There was probably not a chemical on the market that Moonbeam didn't stick into his body at some point. So when someone at a party gave him a recipe for a werewolf salve (monkshod, henbane, devil's cherries, poppy flowers, sweet flag, water parsnip, moon's allure, boiled in the fat of a human child and cooled with the blood of a bat), he tried it. Admittedly, he did use pig fat as a substitute. It worked. It also sent Moonbeam into a trip that lasted for months (most of those plants are heavy-duty hallucinogens, even before magic is added).

The next, oh, four decades are pretty much a blur in Moonbeam's brain. He dropped out of society, did even more drugs, wrote even more bad poetry, and tried to be a werewolf. He kind of sucked at it. He had Changed under the Gibbous Moon, the Storyteller's Moon, he was a literature major, it should have been natural. Unfortunately for Moonbeam, he was far better at critiquing creative output than he was at putting it together (between being a fundamentally honest person, being regularly zonked out of his brain, and having his social skills atrophy, Moonbeam's never quite grasped that one should not call one's pack leader a 'controlling bully-boy with delusions of grandeur,' even if it is the truth).

So, Moonbeam got kicked out of one pack. A while later, he got kicked out of another pack. This was also the trajectory of Moonbeam's halfhearted efforts to get a job. Still, he could chase squirrels and the occasional cat that didn't run away fast enough, and he pretty soon perfected the art of quoting poetry at people until they gave him money (after all, if the dirty tramp is yelling some incomprehensible gibberish at you, wouldn't you give him money to go away?)

Eventually, Moonbeam hooked up with Brick & Bone, the only pack in London desperate enough to take him in. Sozzled, weird, and perpetually high Moonbeam may have been, but he was a Cahalith, and he'd picked up a decent bit of spirit lore over the decades. Spirits, who rarely understand the human mindset anyway, don't much care if the person they are dealing with are tripping out of their brain during negotiations. Indeed, the openness to spiritual logic is sometimes an asset. Not often, but it has been known to happen.

As befits a member of Brick & Bone, Moonbeam's a misfit. Decades of living rough and doing whatever drugs he can get his hands on have left Moonbeam with more than a few oddities, even if werewolf regeneration means that the aging hippie is in surprisingly good shape.

Most notably, Moonbeam considers himself to be a great writer and storyteller, just one that the world isn't quite ready to appreciate yet. Others cloak their words in velvet lies and insinuations, but Moonbeam tells it like it is, describes the world as he sees it. Everyone else is either a sell-out, or someone who just didn't try hard enough. The werewolf's the worst kind of fussy, judgmental perfectionist, which tends to make him hard to live with.

Moonbeam's also... not very good at people skills. Decades of living rough (half the time as a wolf) have resulted in his social skills atrophying away. He does not have a good grasp of the concept of 'little white lies', nor that it is not always appropriate to spout his own poetry at people. Since he's also got a perpetual slur in his voice, the full unnerving nature of the Uratha, and only a limited concept of volume control, this tends to make people think that the scary hobo is yelling at them as opposed to serenading them.

Now is also an appropriate place to note that Moonbeam's greatest inspiration for poetry is roadkill. At some point in the 80s, the old werewolf decided that he can get the best, most truthful, most raw poetry if he listens to dead animals. Drugs may have been involved in this realization. All the same, Moonbeam's held to it. He collects dead animals from around London, usually off the street or from dumpsters, and then he cleans them and stores their bones. Most, he promptly throws away when they tell him dumb stories, but a few he keeps and cherishes as his most favored muses. The rest of Brick & Bone has insisted that he keep his cleaning efforts away from the squat that the rest of the pack inhabits, on pain of being dunked in the Thames.

Still, if you can get past the ruthlessly critical personality, the tendency to yell bad poetry at people, and the fact that he smells like a week-old dead rabbit and talks to skulls, Moonbeam's not actually a bad person. He still believes deeply in the ideals of peace and equality and universal brotherhood (he tends to call people Brother and Sister a lot). He's a peaceful fellow, thoroughly nonviolent despite being a werewolf, and he wouldn't hurt a fly if he could help it. His near obsessive honesty, while discomfiting, can also be occasionally useful (Moonbeam is no one's idea of a genius, but one does not get to his age without picking up at least a few nuggets of wisdom).

To those that see him shambling around, Moonbeam looks like a sixty-something hobo. He has lightly bronzed skin (his father was originally from Hyderabad in southern India, his mother was an Englishwoman), a shiny bald pate, heavy brows, and a bushy beard that is regularly dyed in odd colors and braided with tiny animal skulls. Moonbeam is extremely proud of his beard. He usually wears multiple layers of coats and jackets, as well as a faded, tie-dye headband, and he keeps his worldly possessions in a shopping cart (lots of dead things). He also, not to put too fine a point on it, smells of dead animals and marijuana.

Rank: 2
Mental 4; Physical 3; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 3
Notable Powers: Ritualist; Uncomfortable Hobo; All the Drugs; Bad Poetry

Colin Barrett
Gregory Watson, Michael Jones, Bernie Moore

Type: Water-Horse
Affiliation: People's Republic
Clan: Ceffyl Dŵr
Born: 1976



Virtue: Confident
Vice: Violent & Hasty

Background: Colin Barrett was, in the delicate parlance of the small Irish town he grew up in, a 'handful'. He'd walk up to other children and talk to them, and he always knew exactly what to say to make them feel so bad that they cried. At school he was a compulsive thief, and despite being a dumpy, freckled redhead, he was also the ringleader of a small gang of hooligans. Catching him was next to impossible, since he could lie with the best of them, and even when it did, detentions, groundings, even suspensions were met with a blasé shrug. The local pastor said that Colin had the devil in him, the school guidance counselor muttered about lack of empathy, his parents simply despaired. They had two other children, and so when Colin hit eighteen, he was out the door and off to the university, never to see his family again. Not that he really cared. Colin didn't care about much.

He went to the University of Manchester for schooling, and eventually fell in with the programmers and engineers there. The University of Manchester was where they'd discovered the nucleus of the atom and where the world's first programmable computer was invented, and it had always had a steady supply of boffins and eggheads. Something about computers appealed to Colin -- they were so nice and clean and straightforward -- and in short order Colin became involved in computer engineering.

Now Colin was only an indifferent computer engineer, but he had some rather notable talents. First, unlike the greater percentage of computer geeks, Colin had charisma, at least in the short term. He was charming and personable and always told people what they wanted to hear, and people always liked him at first. Later on they might have noticed the utter lack of empathy, or his capricious, random behavior, but that was later. Secondly, Colin was very good at looking at what the boffins were doing and understanding the practical ramifications of it. Since this was in the mid-90s, this put Colin in a rather nice position.

Colin rode the tech-bubble for all it was worth. He gave a lot of tech demos, talked to a lot of venture capitalists, and helped set up several websites towards the end of the nineties that promised to revolutionize this or that thing -- he was involved in a website for rapid vegetable delivery, an early dating website, and a project to provide digital legal consultation to people, among other things. He bounced around a few companies, never quite settling down, mostly since Colin had a distressing habit of getting fired for this or that shady activity (bald lies in the tech demos, selling source-code to competitors, etc), though he never got arrested for anything. He always had a ready excuse and a bright, cheery smile, and so Colin just kind of glided on through... that and he killed a man to avoid being revealed once.

His name was... Walter something-or-other. Colin only vaguely remembers or cares now. He was a software developer who had a peanut allergy, and was annoyingly persistent in trying to figure out who had sent the basic code for their digital-lawyer project to another company. So Colin ground up a few peanuts, slipped them into his coffee, and watched him choke to death as his throat close up late one night. Then Colin replaced the coffee cup with a normal one, edited the security camera footage (he may have been an indifferent computer engineer but he was perfectly capable of doing this), and got away scot-free. The police suspected him, certainly, but he breezed through questioning without any problem and found a new job later that paid him more.

Colin made quite a lot of money in the dot-com bubble, but he was never all that good at keeping it. While a masterful and charismatic liar, he was abysmal at any sort of long-term planning, and so would spend money on the most random things, whatever crossed his mind. A trip to South Africa, an indoor waterfall for his London home, a massive donation to an animal shelter, whatever seemed like fun. He made a string of very bad investments, and more often than not ended up having to steal just to make ends meet.

Then the bubble burst. All of a sudden, there wasn't enough money in the dot-com world for Colin to make his way through charm and deceit, and people started paying attention to things quite a lot more. Suddenly, a lot of chickens were coming home to roost... and one of those chickens ended up killing him. To this day Colin doesn't know which of the people he managed to cheat broke into his house and held his face under his own, ornamental waterfall until he drowned. Truthfully, Colin doesn't care all that much.

He woke up a few hours later, lying next to his own drowned corpse. This was just a bit weird. Still, Colin handled the problem in his own classic, calm fashion. He chopped his own body into small pieces, stuffed them into plastic bags loaded with rocks and dumped them into the Thames. He was planning to change his name and move out, but for some reason, it hurt to leave his waterfall -- so he was still there when the Bard arrived a few months later to initiate Colin into the society of the water-horses. The murderer never tried again, possibly freaked out by his or her failure the first time around.

For the next few years, Colin lay low – he changed his name, moved to Wales for a while, studied the occult, and did a lot of thinking, about occult principles and next-gen computing and the machinery of murder cults. He’d visited a few of the old-school Eleusinian Mysteries in Wales (some of which now have some very advanced servers), and he’d always been good at getting people to do what he wanted. So in 2006, Colin return to London and star started his own cult, Intelligent Mysteries, a tech-startup focused on pushing the limits of artificial intelligence, using good old fashioned human sacrifice.

Intelligent Mysteries (IMYS on the London Stock Exchange) is a small, publically traded web-firm with an office in London’s Tech City, a growing tech-hub in the East End. It employs about thirty people, of whom a little over half (and some of the investors) are also members of Colin’s budding mystery cult. Recruiting cultists proved to be pretty similar to sweet-talking venture capitalists, and Colin’s designed his cult to appeal to the young, tech-savvy, and immoral. In part, it’s a hedge against punishment in the afterlife – his cultists help him out, and in exchange they can lie, cheat, and swindle to their hearts content, knowing that they’re in the good books of the gods of the afterlife. But the cult’s also a key to more worldly power as well, because not all the human sacrifices go down into the river. Some of them feed other spirits, particularly the growing brood of computer- and information-spirits that Colin, in a burst of marketing inspiration, calls the Data-Nymphs.

Here’s how it goes. First, the new recruit just gets told about the “spooky s***” going on after hours. Then they see some of the meetings, first just the ones where Colin talks about the future of supernatural computing, and then the ones where one of the Data-Nymphs makes an appearance, or Colin spreads his wings. Then before they know it, they’re driving through the cities of Britain, chloroforming drunks and prostitutes and teenage runaways and then stuffing them into the trunk of the car, back to the cult’s yacht. There’s a ritual and a prayer to Persephone and Demeter Aganippe and a whole lot of drugs and drink, and then they’re chained and wrapped in a whole lot of chicken mesh and sunk to the bottom of the Thames. Sure, some of the new recruits balk around this point, but Colin tends to dispose of conscientious objectors pretty thoroughly – after watching a hideous horse-fish monster slurping on someone’s entrails, most of Colin’s tech-cultists keep any qualms to themselves.

Besides, the perks are awesome. For the first time in his life, Colin has a product that he doesn’t have to lie to sell – though he lies anyway, because it never occurs to him not to. He’s got a few people thinking that Intelligent Mysteries is going to be the group that develops true Artificial Intelligence, and they want to be on the ground floor of that. Truth is, Colin’s actually downplaying the abilities of his software, because spirit-possessed computers really are self-aware. So far, Colin’s company hasn’t actually produced all that much, but there’s a couple of corporations and banks that have his pet Data-Nymphs nesting in their servers, which given how easily bored Colin gets, is a recipe for disaster.

Actually, Intelligent Mysteries is a disaster waiting to happen. The cult lurches forward more by accident by design, because Colin is horrible at long-term planning. He’s constantly improvising, always keeping the cult running for just one more month, never really looking ahead – which wouldn’t be such a problem if Colin’s go-to problem-solving technique wasn’t to simply lie to people and tell them what they want to hear, storing up trouble for later. A few of his savvier cultists are starting to realize that Intelligent Mysteries is the Titanic and there’s an iceberg dead ahead, but Colin’s managed to rope them into helping keep the cult going. The threat of disembowelment concentrates the mind wonderfully.

It’s in order to keep Intelligent Mysteries going that Colin’s started to sell his services to other supernatural creatures in London. He’s charismatic enough to pose as a very competent trouble-shooter, and he has just enough skill at deceit, magic, and murder to actually be quite good at making short-term problems go away. His true talent is at selling himself, however, and so it’s only a matter of time before he turns his mercenary activities into the same disaster as the rest of his life, and then the entire house of cards will come crashing down. When that happens, assuming he survives, Colin will just walk away, because he doesn’t really care about any of this.

People who just meet Colin Barrett find him enormously likeable and pleasant. He’s a vivacious, good-looking redhead who seems genuinely interested in other people, and who has a near-endless supply of interesting stories and jokes. There’s an attractive confidence about him, a casual certainty that people react to without really being able to help themselves. It’s only on closer acquaintance that the realization dawns that something isn’t quite right about Colin in the head – that everything about him is only an act, how nothing is quite real to him.

Colin’s grasp on reality is actually highly tenuous. He gives the impression of not really taking anything very seriously, as though everything in existence, even his own life, is no more real than a book or television show. This enables him to do some truly horrible things, because even the most vicious crime has no more effect on him than a gory movie has on most people.

This also means that Colin is constantly, horribly bored. Very few things are able to hold his interest for any length of time, which means that he tends to be impulsive and capricious in the extreme. He’ll do something right now because it interests him, without any real consideration for how it will affect him later on. He has enough self-preservation that he does make an effort to avoid getting arrested or killed, but that just means he’s careful not to get caught.

Together, his considerable charisma, weak handle on reality, and extreme boredom combine to render Colin into what is basically a serial killer. Colin mouths platitudes about the coming Singularity, spirit-interfaced computing, and the sacred duty to Demeter Aganippe, but at heart, Colin kills people because it feels nice and he can’t think of any reason not to, so long as he can dodge any repercussions.

That said, crazy does not necessarily mean stupid, and Colin has learned quite a lot about covering his tracks. In Intelligent Mysteries, he’s not the CEO or founder or any such thing, but rather the head of sales, the better to deflect attention. When dealing with other supernaturals, he always gives the impression that he’s working for someone else, that he’s only the messenger or secretary. He’s learned to shapeshift, and uses that ability frequently, maintains several aliases, several hideouts, and has a bag with a fake passport and plenty of cash in a locker in Heathrow.

In his natural form, Colin Barrett is a boyish, good-looking man who looks noticeably younger than his actual age. Before his transformation into a water-horse, Colin had been decidedly on the pudgy side, but apparently drowning is great for one’s figure, as he’s lost thirty pounds since then, though he still looks a little on the rounded side, as though he hasn’t lost all his baby fat. He has curly, dark red hair that always looks a little damp, copious freckles, a cherubic smile, and amber-colored eyes. He usually dresses in a pair of slacks and a dress shirt with the top button left undone, and a variety of silly ties with computers or question marks all over them. His water-horse form is pure white, with glowing yellow-red eyes. His wings are rather like those of an eagle, white with flecks of grey in them, and give him an unexpectedly angelic look when he manifests them in his human form.

Rank: 3
Mental 3; Physical 5; Social 4
Willpower: 1
Primal Urge: 5
Notable Powers: Superficial Charm, Murderous Violence




 

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