Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sheriff Hank Settles

Concept: Scarred County Sheriff

AKA: Hank’s real first name is Henry.

Desc:  Hank is fairly tall. Iron grey hair which he keeps relatively short. For a man as broad and heavy as he is, he is still fairly fit. He’s not overly muscled, but strong like a bear. He has a number of scars on his back, torso, and forearms. He has a Force Recon tattoo on his left arm.
He has a sprinkling of broken capillaries across the bridge of his nose. He isn’t one for a lot of facial expressions, but the fellas in the office have identified about nine different types of squints and their meanings. While he’s certainly capable of talking and multi-syllabic words, he tends to be fairly laconic. Law enforcement has taught him the value of letting the other fellow talk.

History: Fun Fact: Lots of cities have both a Metropolitan police force AND a sheriff’s department.  Sometimes it because there’s a division of labor. Sheriff’s departments being responsible at times for serving summonses, and occasionally for evictions.  In this town, however, it’s because the surrounding small towns that are within the county, but outside the metro corporate city limit, don’t have a police force of their own. (And that state of affairs is relatively common.)
  Hank’s personal story is pretty simple on paper. He was an all-state tail-back. He served in the army with distinction and took his GI bill to a decent school with a fairly good Law Enforcement program. He had a thought that he might go off to the FBI someday.  And while he got good marks, the someday never came really.  He came home, and never really left.  This is where his family was, and all his friends.
  And so he stayed.  He got on with the deputy patrol and after he got fairly good at the gig, He ran for the office itself when Roy Conley retired.  He’s been serving ever since.
   What isn’t on paper is that Hank is Kinfolk.  He got those scars in battle and he knows some stuff and has seen some stuff.  This makes for someone in a high-level county law enforcement position who is frankly, unafraid of any human being he meets. When those bikers moved into Clearwater and seemed intent on setting up a meth factory, a few of their dudes went around and intimidated the mayor.  Clearwater’s mayor happened to be a cousin of Hank’s. So hank and his deputies went around there and arrested them, but not before beating the everliving fuck out of them.  There was a lot “aggravated resisting arrest” charges that night.  Since the county circuit judge was also a Kinfolk, those dudes went away for a very long time.  Other people got the message. Hank didn’t even have to call in a favor from the Uratha he knows.  Hank is as tough as woodpecker lips.

Attitude: “You see these tracks? You and Joey head back to the vehicle and post up there. I gotta make a phone call.”

Skills: He’s built like a bear and is pretty tough. He’s got some dots of Martial Arts Combatics that he got from the service and a couple of dots of Sniping. He’s been teaching himself Spetsnaz Style knife fighting too because he’s got a silver bowie knife strapped to his leg at all times.  He’s a got decent pile of dots salted into Investigation and Academics (He was a pretty decent student for the most part.) and a number of dots in Survival and Medicine (Camping trips all his young life, knows a medicinal herb or two.) He should probably have Unseen Sense: Shapeshifters (If you know some, you know what to look for.)  Mentally, he’s got more resolve than anything else, and socially he takes the hit but his Composure is solid iron.

Gear: Hank has the usual belt-load of stuff your average law enforcement professional carries that makes going to the bathroom such an involved process. Also, some kinfolk have their hooks into the manufacture of silver weapons, So he usually has a few shells for his shotgun that have silver shot.  Also, he’s acquired a few fragmentation grenades which he’s wrapped with silver wire. Such things rest quietly in a locked toolbox in the trunk of his vehicle.

Home: Hank has a nice little place up in the hills. One of those places with a ridiculous driveway that is at such an angle, that it’s impossible to get up if it’s raining,  4 wheel drive or no. It’s nice and comfy. Has a firearms workbench and a decent arsenal.  Hank isn’t a doomsday prepper or anything, but he’s got provisions, bottled water, medical supplies, and is thinking about digging an exit tunnel out towards the well. You know, just in case.

Circle: Hank is a fairly well-known fella. He’s active in his church. He’s a known name on both sides of the criminal divide and he’s considered a pillar of the Kinfolk community. Not bad for a fella who tends not to talk much.

Story Uses:

“Son, You are a mere human. I am NOT afraid of anything you can do...”
Hank can be problematical for anybody living out in the sticks who happens to be supernatural and is incapable of keeping it on the DL.  I’m not saying he’s going to hunt you for spite. But he might come around if you are causing problems.

“Well...You should have said so. Boys...Suit up.”
It is not outside the realm of the possible that Hank and the rest of the deputies might be willing to lend a hand if you can convince them you are on the side of the angels.


* Hank has been looking into strange disappearance in a particular part of the county. Sheriff Conley did too. As did his predecessor.  One wonders if they are ever going to uncover Vuldorusss.
* Knows Robert Nathan Herbert. Has heard the scuttlebutt about his true affiliations. Thinks the guy might be a bit of a prick but it's not like they're actively burning crosses on anybody's lawns anymore.
* Has had to do missing person cases out near Whispering Hills Sanitarium. Sometimes they find them, a bit the worse for wear. Most times they don't. Hank knows the stories.
* Hank has better things to do than bust Teflon John Galloway every time he shows his dumb face. At least, that's what he tells him every time. If it weren't for the fact that Byers and Foreman enjoy a little herbal refreshment...Well...

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Detective Bob Grieder

Concept: Bunco Squad Detective

AKA: Most of the cops and even a few of the dudes who know him from the street call him “Santa”

Desc:  Bob is pretty heavy. It’s alright. he’s getting close to retirement and the brass has elected not to press physical requirements for a man who does most of his work behind a desk. He’s got smart eyes and a deep bubbling laugh. His beard is a thing of wonder and white as snow. His hair is longer than regulations allow. Again. he’s a detective and close to retirement. Nobody gives him too much static. Santa is the one cop that everybody on the force likes.

History:Bob Greider has almost always been the guy who was the smartest guy in the room. Not book smart mind you. Street smart. His parents were Irish gypsies and so he’d grown up in a culture that grifts. Weird thing though, His family was also Catholic, and he sort of went the other way.  Heck. They thought he might become a priest even.  He wasn’t a pious asshole about it. He just wasn’t one to do the grift himself.  He was a poor liar.
  He understood that mom and dad and his brothers and sisters had to do certain things to survive. But even they had certain lines they wouldn’t cross.  They never stole from people who didn’t have anything to steal really.
 And as Bob grew up, he discovered that there were grifters who would. and this incensed him. 
Oh sure, he took a lot of shit from his family about being a “Buffer Cop”  But he explained himself on more than one occasion and at great length.  Finally, it seemed like they understood.  So on those rare occasions when his family rolls into town, there is an agreement in place that they keep their noses clean and there won’t be awkward arrestings. 
   So, Bob went off to the police academy. He was a beat cop long enough to have really hated doing it and got himself tested for detective as soon as possible.
   And from that point on, it was open season on cons, scammers, grifters, and anybody who made money tricking it out from under people who needed it. Short cons, Big cons. It didn’t matter. And since Bunco is almost always underfunded Many times, Bob was working by himself.
     Now it’s a different story.  There’s never been a lot of money for fighting grift, and yet grift seems to be everywhere now.  Granted, Identity theft is handled by IT cops.  And people hustling senior citizens over the phone is damn near unstoppable and equally unprosecutable. Bob’s been kind of hoping that some young kid would come along and he could mentor them into the inner mysteries of Bunco enforcement.  But so far... Political cops all want to do Homicide or Organized Crime Task Force.  Nobody seems to want to go after con artists anymore.  Soon, he’ll be out of the business too. He’s been thinking about becoming a P.I. but you know he’s slow now.  Not that his mind has ever slowed down.

Attitude: “Pull the other one shitbird. It jingles.”

Skills: Physically, he’s a mess. He’s been trying to manage his diabetes for years now. If he could only stay away from pasta, he’d be alright. Socially, he’s one of the most likable guys you’ll ever meet. Got a smile for everyone. Good Handshake. Plenty of eye contact. Also, he’s plenty good at reading people (He’ll have the 3 dot version of Trained Observer along with “Bullshit Detector” specialty on top of 4 dots of Subterfuge.)
But here’s the other end of it. Bob is crazy smart. Although he’s never been to a university, he’s done enough reading on his own to merit 3 dots of Academics at least (Specs in Criminology and Law.)  He’s got 4 dots in Investigation. 4 dots in Professional Training: Cop and he’s got Eidetic as a merit.  If you’re a con and he’s on the case, He is your worst fucking nightmare.  Also, he has ALL the dots of Streetwise.

Gear: He’s got a standard issue sidearm. He’s only fired it in the line of duty once. Had nightmares for weeks afterward. Doesn’t stop him from running  2 boxes of shells through it every other week. He suffered for 3 weeks learning every single thing his smart phone could do.  His regular pocket gear includes a pocketknife, gum, and cuffs of course.

Home:  Bob’s got a decent place. He’s been careful with his money. Invests a little of the side and does well with it. Most of what he has invested went into bricks and mortar and he’s going to end up owning it early.  It’s a small place but he never married and never had kids...At least none that he knows about.   

Circle: Bob stills goes to church. They love him. Bob knows all his neighbors. They love him.  Bob knows who the players are on the streets and in organized crime. They don’t love him, but they respect him. Bob knows all the cops he works with. Once they realize that he knows exactly when they are lying, they tend to get nervous around him...if they have stuff to get nervous about. It’s rumored that more than one IAB investigation started with Bob Greider saying to his Captain, “You know what’s funny?...”

Story Uses:
“I think I doubt your sincerity.”
If your character is the sort of person that made Bob Greider choose his career path, and he crosses YOUR  path. then I expect you’ll have problems.  If you are particularly egregious, he may become your own personal Inspector Javert.

“Kid. You are perilously close to becoming useful and competent”
Bob makes a great Ally, Contact, and for a police character, Mentor.  Anybody who wants to know or help stop scam and cons will find Bob a ready teacher.

*Chris Murphy has come to the conclusion that Bob is one of the few policemen that he doesn't hate.
Detective Bela Janofski is a friend as is his whole family.
Schuyler Lavey is aware that Bob has been nosing around his cult. He's been asking questions about this old cop and he does not like what he's finding out about this guy.
* Bob doesn't know it yet but Sherman Pentovale is back in town and going by the name of "Dr. Coulton Bennett"  Bob is one of the few to ever put Sherman in the jug.

Ralston Van Doren

Concept: That guy. You know.

AKA: Ralston prefers his given name but also goes by the nickname “Rolly”.

Desc: Lean and muscular like a swimmer. Insolent tousled black hair.  Pianist hands. The sort of smile that hints at unguessed debaucheries. (Think a young James Spader, and you’re not too far off the mark.) Intelligent eyes. Low musical voice. Decent singer. 

History: The Van Doren family is one of THOSE families. The eldest son is usually groomed for politics, the middle son set up in business and the youngest...
Well, the Van Doren family has found that it’s usually fine to encourage the youngest son to be a rakish photogenic layabout. Often, such a persona can be useful for deflecting headlines away from the elder boys.
     While Ralston has been encouraged all his life to be almost pure Id, he’s learned over the course of his young life how to be patient and delay gratification.  He’s seen what it’s like when you can’t control yourself or wait.   And Ralston is really good at learning things from the bench.
   He likes the role he plays.  He plays it with gusto, but he’s a developed a bit of an addiction. No, not booze, or coke. (Although he likes both.)  It’s adrenaline he digs.
    Like calls to like, and so when Ashwood Abbey came calling, Ralston, with the full blessing of his family, joined.   Now he, and other rich layabouts, make occasional forays into the nightlife hunting other night-folk.  They are well armed. They are well-provisioned.  They have access to useful training. And usually, they are ripped to the teats on fine Peruvian flake.
Funnily enough, Ralston has become the brains behind their little operation.  He has tactical and strategic chops. He grew up in a family that is balls deep in occultism and occult circles, so what he doesn’t know already, he can find out.  Ralston is, despite his sexual perversity, and substance abuse problems, a voracious reader, and while he got bounced from a number prestigious schools, He also got a very good, if varied, education.   Truth be told, he may be the smartest of the siblings. He certainly thinks so.  Once he started hunting the supernatural just for the rush...Now...He wants to know more.  Personally, I couldn’t tell you which is scarier.

Attitude:  “Do you see this?  This is lucite. It’s a strand of plastic material. I’ve wrapped it in tape so that only the end will show. The other end is outside, in the sunlight. and Lucite is spectacular at light conduction.  Now you can either answer my questions and get off with nothing more serious than my name inscribed in the burning flesh of your forehead...Which, by the way, your elders already KNOW my name...OR, I can cut to the chase and give you a sunlight enema.  Which would you prefer?”

Skills:  Physically, Ralston is in tip-top physical shape. He could be in the Olympics if it weren’t for the hooch and nose candy. He’s socially adept and he’s smart (Something of a closet bookworm)  He’s got 3+ dots of academics (And been in enough trouble to have a specialty in Law)  If you have Second Sight, Ralston would have the Low Magic template for Apostle of the Dark One. (Most of his family does too.)

Gear: In terms of his regular pocket gear, All he needs on any given night is condoms, his smart phone, His wallet, and a pistol with CC permit.  If he’s on the hunt though, He’s got thermo-graphic imaging, Kevlar weave armoring, and some lovely custom-made firearms and ammo. One thing is for sure. He’s never without his kindle.

Home: Ralston rarely hangs his hat at the family manse anymore. He’s got a lovely penthouse downtown.  It’s got maid service and mystic wards. He needs both. Ralston’s family owns the place, and he’s got his own key to the private freight elevator.  He’s also got about 4 or 5 bolt holes of his own and cash stowed in a dozen banks across the globe.

Circle: Rolly parties like Leonardo DiCaprio THINKS he parties. As a result, he’s pretty popular among a certain segment of the idle rich population. Also, he’s developing something of a rep among hunter groups.  They think he’s crazy. But they also think he’s might just be a crazy genius.  What they don’t know, is that the Vermillion House has a certain number of supernatural allies and anyone on THAT list is never going to see trouble from his group of hunters.

Story Uses:
“Well, who’s little freak-child are you?” 
If you run into Ralston while he’s on the hunt, you’ll find him organized, prepared, vigorous, and half-crazy from adrenaline.  He’ll be friendly...Jaunty even. But only because he’s going to kill you.  Or try.

“Party favors are over there. Most of them are cute and clean.”
On the other hand, you might have some kind of connect with Ralston in his other life...And you know it’s entirely possible that he might be willing to put you on his hunter crew if you’ve had a bad experience with something supernatural.  By the time you figure out what a bad man he actually is, you’re likely to be in too deep.

Vuldorusss actually likes Ralston.  When the Family comes around to visit, The others are only there for business. Transactions.  But when Ralston comes he always has questions...and they are INTERESTING questions.
Payton Breckinridge knows him from being kids together. They used to be friends, but the direction he's gone in over the years, and the bad effect he's been on Payton's siblings is not something Payton can ignore. Payton's probably one of those few that could maybe turn Ralston around...But there are so many in his life that would just as soon see him go in the direction he's going.
Meredith Shaw is another that he grew up with. For her part, Ralston is one of the few people on the planet that Shaw has any affection for. They also bumped uglies once or twice, but that was before she had really figured out her kink. He probably wouldn't mind being tied up and flogged.(he'd be a bossy bottom)  But if she lost respect for him afterward...Yeah. He wouldn't take that well.  While Meredith doesn't see the point of the Hunting, she doesn't discourage him and occasionally drops the dime on a likely target she encounters.
Lorna Crane Yeah. Ralston not going to marry her. I mean, it's great that she's as nasty in the sack as she is. Crazy will do that for you.  But Ralston has already figured her out and as soon as he's on the hook, he knows he'd be a dead man.  He's interested in the challenge, but he's also figured out that she far too white trash for him.  Still, that thing that she does with her tongue is pretty amazing.
Schuyler Lavey has yet to convince Ralston that he's worth the air he's breathing. Ralston is fairly convinced that Schuyler ought to be eaten at one of the quarterly meetings of The Vermillion House
And this is a shame because if the two ever really talked, they might discover some things in common.
Lillian Penobscot is "Aunt Lilly" to Ralston. She may even be distantly related by blood. Which is the only thing that has prevented the two of them from jumping one another's bones.  Although it IS possible that there was an incident during one of the orgies held at a V-House gathering.  It's all a bit hazy really. Lillian is up on occult things, so when Ralston has a question, He'll make a point of going round and asking his Aunt just so he can ratchet up the sexual tension a bit.
* It pretty much goes without saying, that if anything untoward happens and Ralston and/or his crew get arrest for anything that doesn't involve the murder of an infant in front of 50 witnesses. Holmes, Gillis, Baker, Savage, North, and Dean will have him out of jail in under an hour and will be ruthlessly destroying the arresting officer's career in less than a day...max.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Madame Wu

Concept: Undying Madame (Jiang Shi from the Night Horrors book)

AKA: No one who has any interaction with her is aware of any other name for her than Grandmother or Madame Wu.   Young men of the Tongs tend to refer to her as “The Old Bitch” but none have ever said so to her face and lived.

Desc: her physical form is that of a typical Jiang-Shi. Clawed bird-like hands, nasty teeth, green and white fur and so on, She presents herself most often in the form of a Chinese woman in her 60’s. Still upright and thin, if a little bit birdlike. Her mien is fairly cold and stern and this is the face she shows to most of her underlings.   A visitor might be shown a markedly sexual seeming of a much younger Chinese woman. Likely to be scantily clad and seemingly ready for action.  If she shows you this face, she means to eat you.

History: Chinatown, in this city, isn’t exactly huge, but like most places that have one, it is, like unto another world entirely. And there ARE people who will be born, live, and maybe even die there without learning a word of English.
     Some decades ago, Grandmother was a living human woman. She wasn’t born or raised her, but she came here with her brother.  Her brother was working for the railroad company and met an ugly and unpleasant end. When this took place, Grandmother turned to the only profession that a young woman in a foreign country could turn to. Prostitution.
   It’s kind of rude to say so, but she had a talent for it. and soon, she was running her own place and her male children and female children kept the business running as she grew older...But as Grandmother grew older, her hunger for more life became an obsession.  Such obsessions lead to studying creepy old stories in creepy old books. And when she found what she was looking for...Or rather what she THOUGHT she was looking for.  She acted on that knowledge using the heart of a virgin would-be customer to the house.

From that point onward, Grandmother was a shadowy presence.  Never truly interested in running the Triad, she would often encourage one of her living offspring to seek that top spot and then would make certain that their competition would meet horrific ends. Usually under her own teeth.  Grandmother only wanted a nice little bordello of her own to run and maybe a few other little places as time went on. Grandmother isn’t greedy. She knows that she won’t be able to corner the market on  prostitution with other organized crime outfits in the city.  Although, she HAS been making it much harder for street hookers to stay independent.  The Black Feather Tong has orders that if they can take a street whore off the street without witnesses , that Grandmother will pay a bounty for each one they bring her alive.  Some of them, end up loaded up with horse and pressed into service in Grandmother’s low overhead porn production facility.  Those women are the lucky ones.
Occasionally, word gets around to the street pimps that Grandmother is making trouble for them. Usually, there’s one or more pimps who try to go brace her in her lair.  They never return of course.

Attitude: I provide a necessary commodity to the community. In exchange, I expect to be left alone.

Skills:  Grandmother is a horror in combat, possessing the equivalent of 2 resilience, 2 vigor and,  3 celerity.  She also possesses the Jiang-Shi Abilities:  Dust on the Wind, The Hidden Grave, Mask of a Thousand Faces, and The Wicked Visage.   She has multiple instances of the Living Anchor merit (her mortal descendants in the triad and the tong.) and an unmarked grave in a disused and old corner of the oldest “potter’s field” in town. That grave borders on a part of town that sees a number of disappearances every year anyway.  She’s got decent dots in Brawl. And although her lower soul is in control, she’s taken the time and effort to acquire a business degree’s worth of knowledge.  Also: she’s got plenty of streetwise and takes time to visit each of her living anchors surreptitiously. She tends to know what going on in and around the neighborhood like a spider at the center of a great big web. She keeps an eye on her little empire and ruthlessly stomps on any incursions into it. The men who run the triad are terrified of her, but they are thankful that she doesn’t seem to want much or cause the sort of trouble that can’t be dealt far.

Gear: Rarely needs more than a flip phone and a tiny notebook written in Chinese to get things done. In recent years, she’s returned to smoking because she can vape now. She couldn’t abide even the sight of an open flame.

Home: Owns most of 3 city blocks in Little Hong Kong. Her tiny empire is part of an amalgamation of tenement buildings. Tiny apartments cheek by jowl with a restaurant or two, and areas where her tong boys drink and play cards.  Her area is smack in the center of the joining of 4 buildings. This was done to enhance certain geomantic properties. (In fact, if you happen to possess the Ordo Dracul book with the merit “Geomantic Nexus” it would not be out of place here.)  The other benefit of this arrangement is that makes it very difficult for outsiders to even find ,much less assault  the place without having to deal with the number of innocent people, who have little to no idea what’s going on in their midst.

Circle: Grandmother takes a maternalistic  if utterly twisted, interest in her offspring. She’ll work tirelessly to smooth the road for her great and great-great grandchildren. Granted, they are only mortal and not very bright at that, but with Grandmother to show them the way, they cannot fail. Grandmother occasionally has trouble with blood relations of her doing things that she doesn’t find traditional. Like dating white women or having sex with men.  These things tend to get bloody fast.

Story Uses:
“Come in...I felt we should meet and clear up some misunderstandings...”
And then, of course, she’ll show you her nasty teeth.  If your character has anything to do with the skin trade, Grandmother is like one of those jerks in the prison yard. She’ll come around and fuck with you until you find a way to make her stop.

* “You are my favorite. If you want...I can make certain you will rise to the top of the Triad.”
It’s certainly possible that your character might be related to Grandmother by birth or marriage. This could make your life really complicated. Please note that I have made an understatement of some depth.

*Has met Don Pentangelli at a function where the head of the Triad was making their annual renewal of agreements. The Triads produce opioid drugs and trade with the mob for guns. At the time, she was able to discern that mystically, the Don is well protected.
The Vermillion House seems to be aware of her.  She is also aware of them. At present, there have been no overtures on either side.  Their spheres of influence haven't overlapped.
* If Detective Bela Janofski was aware that the legends about Grandmother aren't bullshit, he would likely be her own personal inspector Javert.  As it is, he is investigating hooker disappearances and Narcotics, and Organized Crime task force keeps getting in his way.
* Old man Parker had the first contract with the city for the burial of indigent persons. Grandmother's actual tomb is way out in the back 40 of Parker Mortuary and Black Creek Cemetery  

Don and Trudy Claymore

Concept: Twisted Love Story  (Blood Bathers)

AKA: Over the course of time, Don and Trudy have gone by a variety of names, But over the years they’ve gotten a little complacent and have gone back to referring to one another by their real names. Although they can easily make up a name or two on the fly. Each knows the other well enough that they pick up the others cues instinctually.

Desc: Don is fit as a fiddle with good muscle and plentiful energy. Springy even. He had warm brown eyes and an easy smile that can turn into an iron-hard line in moments. His grip is particularly strong.  Trudy is a real looker with a musical laugh and long brown hair that she normally keeps ponytailed or in boxer braids. She’s firm in all the right places and is as springy as her hubby. One can easily imagine that these two have AMAZING sex. Don smokes like a chimney.

History:Okay. It’s a little ghoulish actually. But It is undoubtedly a love story.  Don was a Marine Corpsman serving in the pacific theater. Trudy was working for the WAVES in that same theater. They met at a USO dance mixer, and although Don was a poor dancer, he WAS pretty handsome and he was smart.(He’s been to Arthur Murray since and is quite adept on the dance floor now.)  They talked long into the evening and found one another interesting.  Whatever else happened that night, Don and Trudy both went back to their respective barracks thinking of the other.  And it might not have gone all weird if not for a particular mission that Don got sent on.
Naval Intelligence had been tracking some signal traffic and had linked it to some specific naval movement. The naval movement led to an uncharted island somewhere 257 miles south and west of Okinawa. The signals traffic had a designator in code but that NI had broken months ago. It indicated that special weapons were being stored on the island. So it became a legitimate military target. A sortie group was assembled and Don was tasked with a group of hard-core marine bad-asses like himself.  They went to the island, made landfall under cover of a storm, and proceeded towards the target. A large temporary warehouse structure.
   Don saw things that day. Things that haunt him occasionally. The Nipponese troops guarding the place were very elite, but thankfully the Marines had brought enough men to do the job. But once inside the structure, the game changed considerably. The commander attacked the men of the fighting 46th with what Don can only assume was some kind of sorcery. He conjured dragons made of mustard gas and sent them screaming down on the marines.  Only 6 men of the sortie group managed to survive this assault when a stray bullet ricochet took down the commander and silence reigned once again.
   But that wasn’t the weird bit.
  The weird bit is that the place was floor to ceiling with books and assorted weird looking tchotchkes. “Special Weapons”?  What in the ever loving fuck was going on here? They got on the horn to the carrier group, who told them to sit tight. When they turned up they had a number of Science-y and academic-looking types with them. Who quickly loaded the place up and brushed off the Marines questions.  
Now in those days, it wasn’t uncommon in clashes with the Nipponese, for Navy and Marine guys to take swords and Nambu pistols off of the deceased officers.  But Don took something a little beyond.  While they were sitting tight, He looked at a couple of the books. There were some that were a bit stomach turning, The pictures I mean. Don doesn’t read Japanese, but he did notice a book with English letters and a title in Latin.  “Calicem in Fame”  To this day, he still doesn’t know what possessed him to stuff that book in his pack...

Don’t worry. That book will turn up again. The Sortie took place on July3 1945. About a month later Hiroshima and Nagasaki had become radioactive flatness and not long after that, Japan sued for peace and people began to be rotated home. Over the course of some weeks, Don and Trudy’s romance had blossomed and once he determined he wasn’t interested in being a career Marine, he got down on his knee and popped the question to Trudy.  Trudy said yes and they went home and began building a life with one another.

6 kids (Trudy’s Catholic) and about 50 years later, Don was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and he started to deteriorate. Refusing to die in some damn antiseptic hospital, he got himself released AMA and went home. While he was busy getting used to the idea that he was going to die. Trudy began going slightly sideways with desperation and of course, selling off heirlooms and stuff because the hospital bills had been nearly ruinous.  Which is how she ran across that copy of “Calicem in Fame”

Now, unlike Don, Trudy was perfectly capable of reading Latin, and out of curiosity began to read the book. It detailed horrific rites and rituals designed to steal the life out of the veins of others.  In fact, it should be understood that this book, was not just a blood bather ritual. it was a COMPENDIUM of blood bather rituals.

Trudy hatched a desperate plan. One dead hippie hitchhiker later. Don woke up refreshed and reinvigorated. and forty years younger. Both were horrified. The act was horrible all by itself. That Trudy had kept the plan from Don also meant that he was a bit in shock over what had happened to him.  And of course, neither one knew exactly what to do since it was now clear that Don would have to disappear before anyone in the family saw him. No. this had not been thought through.

But while Trudy broke down in tears, it became clear that she had done all this out of her love for him and her desire to see that they weren’t parted.

it took two days to liquidate their assets, buy a Winnebago, find a second hippy that no one would miss, burn down the house with both corpses inside (happily mistaken for their bodies) and hit the open road.

That was about 50 years ago. They’ve crisscrossed this great nation of ours, murdering lone travelers and couples whenever they can manage it. While they both are on the lookout for additional occult juice and the occasional book to nudge them in the right direction, they still come back to the “Calicem in Fame” over and over.   They think they may have doped out how to do one of the more powerful rituals in the book...the only problem is that it would take slaughtering about 20 people in one orgy of blood-letting. Granted, they’d have ten whole years and unguessed at power if they can pull it off.

Attitude: “Me and the Mrs, We’ve seen a thing or two on our travels. And you know, we just like trading stories with good Americans like yourselves. No. Go ahead. Bring the drinks along with you. We don’t mind at all.”

Skills: Both have decent dots of Athletics and neither one is weak or slow. Don is a seasoned brawler, knows his way around guns and is more than skilled with a KA-Bar in his hand.  Trudy prefers to drug them when she can and has learned a thing or two about concocting such things. Both have racked up some dots of Occult. One night they picked up a Vampire and had a long talk with him. (He was, by that point, chained up.) They ended up sheltering him for the day, but they parted company the next night.  They still exchange Christmas cards when they can get to the mail drop.  The hardest bit will be to see them coming. Both have learned to lie so well, that they can be smiling and laughing with you one second, and sliding an ice pick into your eardrum the next. Don has a dot or two in medicine. Although some of what he knows is out of date. Trudy has a business degrees worth of knowledge without any formal schooling. And she’s a great cook.

Gear: Both tend to prefer methods of killing that make it hard to mount an offense. Don’s KA-Bar has seen a lot of action. Both have pistols and Don has a rifle for the rare time when a target means to actually escape. He’s got a silencer on it that he built himself. In a pinch, either one is willing to whip off their belt and try to strangle you to death with it.

Home: “The Winnie” as they call it, has seen some modifications. Don’s pretty handy and Trudy is very organized and helpful, so they were able to install a trapdoor floor in the center of the Winnie. It’s sealed inside so you can dump a body in there and it won’t leak or smell. (Although a police dog might pick it up still.)  They tend to prefer to dump bodies at bodies of water. Don’s corpsman training comes in handy because he knows enough that he slashes the abdomen in the proper places so that it will sink.  He also usually cuts off the head and hands and dumps them in another place. He takes special care to do a number on their dental work first.
They also have breakdown shovels and plastic tarp in case things get messy.

Circle: Pretty limited. Moving around constantly and living under an alias all this time isn’t conducive to a decent social life. Especially when you’re constantly asking yourself if your new friends will be missed... Trudy has however bought a little laptop computer that she uses to move their money around (They’ve got quite a lot now.) and she’s doing a lively little travel blog which has a few devotees.  

Story Uses:
“Son. I just guess this ain’t your night.”
How dangerous can a human being be? Very. if you’re not seeing them coming. Even dedicated predators like Vampires and Beasts might have trouble with highly motivated and prepared humans. And that’s Don and Trudy all the way around.

“Oh. That’s something I haven’t seen before...Why don’t you come in and I’ll buy you a drink? I think you and I have some things in common.”
Oddly, when it comes to other predators, like other serial killers and monsters of a more supernatural bent, Don and Trudy are downright polite. even a bit chummy and folksy.  Don’t misunderstand. If they HAVE to, they’ll kill you without a moment's hesitation...But if they don’t. They’ll be interested in palaver. After all, gathering 20 people to slaughter might require some help. You know?

Additional Notes: Without getting too much into the mechanics of their particular blood ritual, They have to perform it quarterly at the equinoxes. they only have to coat the skin, and the victim will die from it.  Both Don and Trudy heal twice as fast as normal but can be killed.  Additionally, each of them has derangements But their obsessive/compulsive love for one another helps them keep it together for one another. If one dies, the other will die trying to kill you.

*Once, some time ago. Officer Wesley Ullman pulled Don over because of expired tags. They came within a hairsbreadth of killing him. It probably wouldn't have been a good play for either of them.
* Like most students at the academy Special Agent Owen Maccready has been exposed to the legends of the agency. One talks about a serial killer that operates with utter impunity and has killed everywhere in North America and has been doing so for decades. Every once in a while, Don and Trudy's M.O. pops up and the Feds aren't really sure what to do. But usually, the area gets flooded with Specials Agents. This can't be fun the supernaturals who live in town. Norman Cayce might also get into the act here too.
*They've bought documents off of Clavo Hernandez. The only reason they even know about Clavo is because they used to buy off of his mentor.  Clavo has NOT put together that these people are those same people.
* They are "Buried" at Parker Mortuary and Black Creek Cemetery. Once about every five years or so, they like come back to their home city, nose carefully around their old family, and fuck on a blanket on top of their shared grave.

* They occasionally come in a browse at The Grimoire. They seem perfectly pleasant, but Penny gets a bad vibe off of them. And Bear pays attention to that stuff. even if he says he doesn't.

Alex Mahoney

Concept: AM radio talk show host/ The Voice of Hate (Spirit-Claimed Human)

AKA: No known aliases

Desc: Bulbous nose that appears to have been broken twice. Ruddy skin. Beefy frame with thick wrists and ankles. A golden Timex on his wrist that his father gave him when he graduated high school. Still keeps good time too.  Dresses a bit like a professional engineer most of the time. (Khaki pants, polo shirt, work boots.) Part of an effort to look as blue collar as possible and yet not lose any social status. Short hair and a neatly trimmed beard. Capped teeth.

History: Some years ago, Alex was an actual honest-to-god journalist. Sure, he was somewhat right wing, but not to the right of Genghis Khan.  He’d grown up in a part of the country that was fairly rural and while he wasn’t exactly stupid, he did grow up in a culture that valued simplicity over nuance.  If something was hard to explain, then it was usually wrong, and of the devil beside, was the way the reasoning went. But as Alex found he was having trouble navigating the world of radio journalism something happened to him that changed the course of his destiny.
   He went camping.
Normally, of course, that wouldn’t have done it.  But he was near a place where the walls of reality were a bit thin and also close to an area where the KKK liked to have their little retreats.  A spirit spied Alex Mahoney, looked into his heart and found the sort of materials it could work with. So the spirit took him...
    That was 20 years ago.  Since that time, it’s been difficult to stop the runaway freight train of the success of Alex’s radio show, “A Call To Arms”. To be sure, there have been people who have TRIED to stop him.  And yet people who argue with him publicly always seem to run out of juice. Funny that. People who have tried stiffer measures have found things working against them and some of them have even gone mad.

It is absolutely true that he’s got a genuine gift for stirring up crowds. There’s even talk of a run for Governor...

Attitude: “Look. This country used to be great once. And all I want is to make it a great one again. But there are people who stand against me. Who stand against my efforts and yours. You know who these people are. People who constantly have their hand out, taking from this great country instead of giving back....But we can stop them.”

Skills: On the human side, Alex is actually fairly well read and although he went to community college, his degree in Journalism isn’t bullshit. Occasionally he’s able to shut down arguments and protesters using nothing but facts and statistics. It’s usually a rude shock.  He’s got good socials and strong charisma and he’s got a pistol that he runs 7 boxes of shells through every single week.
On the spiritual side of things, He’s about a middling rank spirit with the following Numina (from the Book of Spirits) Possession, Claim, Dement, Harrow, and Drain.  He usually uses  Drain in an up-close and personal fashion stealing willpower right out of the people who are trying to argue with him.

Gear: Mahoney carries a smart phone and an RFID-proof wallet. As mentioned, He has a chrome-plated 45 with a laser sight and Glaser slug rounds, that he is very adept with. It’s all very macho. His real weapon though is his non-trivial bank account and a team of very hungry lawyers.

Home: Mahoney has multiple places to hang his hat, but his primary home is a palatial suburban fastness in one of the uber-rich man-made lake-side homes.  The security system on the house is non-trivial and the yard is motion sensor active. Big bright lights. Seriously.
The place has MRE’s, stockpiles of water and medical supplies and enough armament to wage a small war in Kosovo.
Funnily enough, he bought a little farmhouse that he visits once a year. It sits right next to an old site where it’s rumored that the KKK used have their little retreats.

Circle: Alex Mahoney is a known name on the national scene. He may not be the biggest name in talk radio but he’s not some morning show shock jock either.  As such, he’s got fingers in many varied pies with a very elite crowd. And the talk about him becoming governor. There are a number of personages, some claimed, and others not, that would like to see it happen.

Story Uses:
“Coming up next, our in-depth look into the world of welfare cheats” 
Alex is the sort of character that is a nice form of background noise in the World of Darkness. Would that guys like him were only possible there.  The main difference between him and some of the pundit class here in our own world is that most of those douchebags don’t necessarily believe ANY of that stuff they are peddling. It’s just the easiest way to separate idiots from their cash.
That’s not the case with Alex. Alex IS hatred personified.

“Tonight is the night when we take back our country”
Of course, if you’d like Alex to be a bit more active, it could be that he triggers some sort of racial incident. He can’t do it alone, but he can warp the right people who CAN make it happen. Or worse, he might actually become Governor.

* Has met Robert Nathan Herbert who has been a faithful listener for YEARS.
Lawton Krase is a listener, Thinks that Mahoney has some great points and would likely vote for him.
Ezekiel Stubbs and his boys are listeners. He tends to spark debate amongst the Gallowsbait MC. Some of it gets a bit heated.
Reverend Mike Plumber knows him personally. Has even invited him to a few of his little barbecues. Alex thinks Reverend Mike would make a lovely home for one of his brethren. If only he could talk him into one of his farmhouse retreats...
Lambrose Karanikas has had him in his limo. And agrees with him on a number of key issues, but still has troubles with some of his stances on any ethnicity other than W.A.S.P.
Bryson Import/Export gets the same order every single time. "Send me a blonde white woman who likes to be flogged."
* Remember those hungry lawyers I mentioned? Holmes, Gillis, Baker, Savage, North, and Dean are the ones.
*  The Vermillion House is interested in Alex. They know what he is, and they like his ideas. They're a little split on whether they should make him governor, though.
Homer Conway is one of the faithful. Not that Alex would necessarily have public contact with him...But through a proxy? oh yeah. Sure.
Officer Honus Brightwater is a faithful listener too.  If Alex goes on the campaign trail, It's going to need a head of security.

Meredith Shaw has noticed that he's unmarried. And seems to want her... Sadly their respective kinks won't mesh well. But by that point, they may be living in the governor's mansion.

Vuldoruss (A.K.A. The Sinkhole)

Concept: Hungry Hole  (Hunter: The Vigil style Elder Demon)

AKA: Third lord of the mark, Battle marshall of the Eighth Infernal Legion. 

Desc:  In his manifested form he appears as a mottle-skinned man with a bright, far too wide, smile. Usually, if he’s trying to be charming, he’ll only show you one set of eyes. His ears are a bit upswept, and his form is covered with scars and rank markings.  

History: Vuldoruss sleeps a lot. He’s not the most active demon.  This is mainly a function of the fact that Vuldoruss ended burning out the body that he was in, in a spot way out in the sticks, He was lucky insofar as he found a place that was amenable to his habitation. But again, it was way out in the sticks.
It’s a bit of a bring-down because in his dreams he remembers the old day of the wars. He became Battle Marshal by dint of the fact that he ate his angelic enemies.  There was so much blood and glory and mayhem...At least, that’s the way he remembers it.

Now Vuldoruss lives within the heart of a sinkhole, caused by a mine collapse that swallowed a house killing all of its inhabitants. And he’d probably just slumber if it weren’t for the Rancher.

There was something about him that roused him from sleep. He too had a hunger and it rang in Vuldoruss’s head like a bell. So he showed his face, and they talked a bit. And then he showed MORE of his face, and for some reason, the rancher didn’t run or show fear. And so, they decided to do something for one another.

And that’s how Elijah Van Doren and Vuldoruss became friends...Well, Okay. Maybe that’s overselling it. But since that fateful day, the Van Doren family and Vuldoruss have worked together.

Once a quarter at very least, Someone comes around and dumps bodies for Vuldoruss, and he, in turn, rains his blessings on the Vermillion House.  Occasionally, he even gets a live one tossed down to him. Those are the best nights.  And you know, he’s a bit more active than he used to be. It seems like he’s gathering his strength.  He’s still bound by the same rules that all Elder Demons are bound by, but he has hope in his dark heart that there will come a time where he can finally find a body that can house his raw power.

Attitude: “Once...In the time before time...I was an avatar of destruction. A ravening engine of consumption.  There will come a time when I will once again stride this world and drink its marrow.

Skills:  Vuldoruss possesses the following Dread Powers: 3 dots of Confuse, 2 dots of Drain, 4dots of Dread Attack (his rather nasty bite) 3 dots of Lurker in Darkness, and Tendrils. The mystical boons that he confers on the Van Doren family and by extension, the Vermillion House are outside the scope of demonic abilities as given in the Hunter: The Vigil book. They are in the realm of Storyteller Fiat.

Gear: Demons don’t really need much gear

Home:  The mine actually runs a fair piece in a lot of directions, The mine hit some patches of limestone and they had to close it because it was structurally unsafe. The house that fell into the sinkhole broke into pieces but Vuldoruss has reconstructed it for the most part. It sits at the bottom of the sinkhole. The house and the whole mine smell of natural sulfur.
It should be noted that the bones of about 500 people litter the floor of the sinkhole. An amount of physical evidence of crimes stretching back decades and pointing directly at the Vermillion House.  This would be thoroughly damning in any court if it weren't for the fact that the House has gone to great lengths to make sure that the judiciary in the region wasn't already suborned.

Circle: While at present, his social circle is confined to the members of the Van Doren family and the occasional demon who is passing through and might want to visit and talk about old times. (I.E. Pick Vuldoruss's brain for a bit of ancient lore.) Vuldoruss himself is not closed to the idea of making new friends.  Anyone looking to dump a body in the sinkhole might find themselves with a new demonic acquaintance.

Story Uses:
" Come closer. I want to taste you."
Vuldoruss would be a nasty and unpleasant unplanned encounter, but it may be that the players are looking into the affairs of the Vermillion House.  If that's the case, They might just be armed with proper knowledge and equipment.

"Ordinarily, you'd never have seen me. But you went and fell asleep"
Right on the very edge of his demesnes, there is a patch right near the highway that they are thinking of building a gas n' go on. If that happens, the employees of that gas n' go, will likely be snacked on by Vuldoruss. Naturally, weird goings on at the Circle K will bring hunters and then...Who knows.

Additional Notes: Vuldoruss has the Demonic Flaw: The Malodor.
He also has the following bans: He cannot have a living creature asleep in the area he has claimed. Normally, this invites attack. Also, if anyone sings he can’t attack them. And lastly, If anyone consecrates the ground of his sinkhole and the surrounding environs, he will have to vacate. an attempt to do so will ALWAYS rouse Vuldoruss from his slumber and bring him on the hop and furious.

*As mentioned above, Vuldoruss has only one real connection, at the moment, and that is to The Vermillion House