Sunday, December 4, 2016

Detective Dana Crowley

Concept: Little Miss Rock and a Hard Place

AKA: It turns out the Dana is pretty hard core in the Police softball team. She’s shortish, so her strike-zone is hard for some to hit and when she connects with the ball, she’s got some pretty decent power. As a result, guys around the station call her “Slugger” Crowley. 

Desc: Exactly 1/2 inch over the department size requirement. Bright green eyes. Not a lot of fat on her although the amount of desk work she does is starting to make her concerned about her ass. Naturally curly black hair.  Nice smile. Favors cowboy boots because they tend to ground her stance and they’re useful in the field.  The nicest article of clothing she owns is a dark purple cashmere scarf.  Favors black jeans and solid color button up men’s shirts. And her  trusty black trench coat.

History: Dana is from a cop family.  And being the eldest, got the pitch much harder than her younger brother Daniel. Which was just as well, Daniel came out at 17, and while it’s not impossible for a gay boy to be a cop, that wasn’t a fight Daniel was willing to have. Dad understood eventually. Besides, Daniel was smart in a different way and now he teaches math at the university.
    But I’m talking about Dana right now. Dana’s pretty smart, and has a normal amount of actual ambition. She put in her time as a patrol officer, and after what seemed an interminable wait after passing her Detective exam, she got her gold shield and went to work.  She’s done a few thing in various departments. She detested working in Vice, Liked Bunco, but there’s so little call for it. Was good at Homicide, but it started to get to her...So what’s a girl to do if she’s bucking to have a captaincy of her own by age 40?
Well. IAB was looking for someone and Dana thought, “Well. It might not exactly endear me to my fellow cops all that well. but if I’m looking to play the long game, this is where I need to be.”  So they found each other after a fashion.
     It’s different.  Every suspect you meet is a cop and by extension, a trained killer. (Dana reads a lot of Lee Child, Looking for pointers.)  Sometimes you have to file a report on a decent cop who’s made a serious error in judgment and those days are never good ones.
   But other days, you file a report on a cop who’s done something so fucking egregious and then you end up getting pressured to label the shoot “righteous”  What the Fuck?   And why is it that the corruption cases never seem to go anywhere.  And maybe it’s just her imagination, but sometimes it feels like her captain is acting a little squirrelly and erratic. Granted his divorce last year was pretty ugly...but still.
   Increasingly. Dana is starting to feel like she’s caught in a bad situation. Cops are doing bad things out there, but it seems like her department isn’t being allowed to do what it’s supposed to. And dammit, Dana wants to know why.

Attitude: “Look. I don’t ever think that a police person is ever going to manage to be morally above reproach. Some do things that are morally shady and balance it by still trying to be the best officer they can be. I don’t generally tool around here giving people the stink-eye over little shit like some dicks in this department do.  But there IS a line. You can cross it.  And it’s up to cops like me to make sure that little shit is the only thing cops can get away with.

Skills:  Physically, She’s a dynamo in a small package. Not super strong, but knows how to use what she has and she’s got good stamina. She’s got some good dots in Athletics and Fleet of Foot in Merits. 3 dots of Brawl, Firearms, and Weaponry.(Specs in snap baton, and Baseball bat.)  Some dots in kung-fu, combat marksmanship, and cop tactics, But not a ton of dots in any of those Fighting Styles.  Socially, she’s pleasant enough and smart enough to be covetous of Bob Grieder’s social acumen.   Mentally, She’s pretty sharp. Decent investigation and computer scores. A fair pile of dots in academics with specs in forensics and ballistics. Each time the department offer courses, she takes them and usually crushes them. (Dana was always blowing the curve in school) 

Gear: Dana prefers 45’s She’s got one under her right armpit, another in the small of her back and a 38 revolver on her left ankle. Some years ago, she went to see the movie “Se7en” and from that point on started carrying a switchblade with a mother-of-pearl handle. (More for opening things and handling evidence than as a serious weapon.) 
When it comes to Phones, Dana is an early adopter. Usually first in line to buy the new smartphone-du jour. She’s got half the department’s numbers in that phone, it’s connected to her Skype number and her Facebook. She’s got a high-resolution sense on its camera. A couple hundred useful criminology texts, useful evidence gathering apps, and about a gigs worth of upbeat House and Trance music to keep her awake during the slow times. She dictates a lot of her notes into that phone. She even keeps a spare phone in her desk so she can swap out the SIM card in case hers gets damaged in the field.  Dana also carries Tarot deck in a zippered pocket in her trench.  Not because she has any belief in the occult, but because she read a novel some years back about a guy who used the tarot symbology as a means of cracking cases.  Some mumbo jumbo about “Finding out the things, you don’t know that you know.”  She tried it out and has been using it ever since.

Home: Shares a brownstone with her brother and his small doggies. She and Daniel can both walk to work from there. Weekdays are usually sleepy affairs but weekends at the Crowley household usually include the shooting range, The batting cage,  Brunch, and taking in a drag show with her brother. 

Circle: For an IAB officer, Dana is pretty decent and most of the other cops are a little guarded around her, but that’s to be expected. She still has friends in the other divisions she used to work in. She’s also got friends in the gay community, who good-naturedly tease her about coming out eventually. I mean shit girl. Look at those boots.
For the record, she is in a relationship with a guy, but it’s not going terribly well.

Story Uses:
“Something about this whole shoot is not adding up.”
Dana would be a great get for any hunter group composed largely of members of the Union. She’d also make a decent “Friendly” for Task Force Valkyrie and the special agents of V.A.S.C.U.  

“Is it just me or is this starting to stink to high heaven”
The reason that the captain is acting weird is that some vampire jack-wagon has got his/her hooks into him. Dana’s likely to see it first and is just motivated enough to find out exactly what’s happening and why...

*Loves and respects the living daylights out of Detective Bob Greider.  Anytime she has a quandary at work, she goes and buys Bob lunch and he usually untangles it for her. If you could get anywhere politically, by working Bunco, Dana would go back to being Bob's right hand in a heartbeat.
Officer Wesley Ullman is on Dana's shit list. She personally saw him harassing some gay people of her acquaintance and got all up in his grill about it. Look like he was going to draw on her too.
* Is in a "sort of a relationship if you squint" with Norman Cayce. The main trouble is that while the like one another and are good together in bed. Both have crippling schedules and the department has clear guidelines on employee fraternization.  Date night keeps getting pushed off. A lot.
* Has met Doris Badenov. In fact, Jordan once spent about a week on Daniel's couch. Daniel says he's a good guy, but he gets to drinking and then yammering on about vampires. Can't tell if he using a metaphor or is into "Twilight" or some crap.
Darla Grumman badly wishes Dana wasn't straight, although Daniel is one of her best friends in the world. Why must things be so complicated?
*Regular reader of Lara X.
* Has known Detective Bela Janofski and the rest of the Janofski clan her whole life. She and Bela even used to date in high school. Norman is not aware of this connection at all. And in truth, it ain't like that no more...Well. Not really.  That whole thing only comes up every once in a great while. Mostly, they use one another as sounding boards on cases they're working on. Dana is probably the biggest reason that Bela's never taken a nickel he wasn't due.  And Dana, for her part would like to punch his ex-wife Janis until that adenoidal bitch stops moving.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Drago Velikovski

Concept: Pimp

AKA: Drago doesn’t have a pseudonym or nickname.

Desc: Once upon a time, Drago was a member of the Russian army and a taught, trim paragon of physicality. Not so much anymore.  He’s packed on the pounds from eating and from drinking. He’s become mostly sedentary and does a lot of his actual work at his desk.
His body is a storm of Bratva ink which tells a story of a lot of crime and punishment.  While he’s gotten older and decidedly fatter, He hasn’t really lost his reflexes.  His left eye droops a little bit from a knife cut.  He also has a few scars and bullet holes.  He is extremely hirsute to the point of almost covering his wristwatch.  He’s graying all over too.  He smiles a lot.  Which is not to say that he can’t be extremely terrifying when he desires. But he’d just as soon smile and his current gig is less violent than other things he’s done for the Bratva.

History: Drago has done a lot of things for the Bratva. A number of them were extremely violent. Drago is blessedly free of the ravages of conscience, so that sort of thing never bothered him.  He’s killed people, He’s tortured people, He's stolen things and burned buildings down.  He’s got stories. Most of them of are a mix of terrifying and darkly hilarious.
   He’s older now. He’s earned some rank. He’s not terribly competitive, like some of his brothers, So he may never be a powerful wheel within the Bratva, But he’s fine with that.  He’s carved out a little slice for himself and he’s fairly comfortable doing what he does.
    Drago runs a Bordello.  He’s done something fairly clever based on a place he knew about in Prague.  The women who work for him are employed as “Internet Models”. Any sexual activity that takes place within the house is recorded. (Any person entering the premises must sign a photographic release form.) Anyone who comes to the “Club” receives a DVD of their sexual exploits (Granted, It’s a little pricey.) But the only other money that changes hands in the places is to purchase booze in the main room.  They actually make a decent amount of money on the porn content they generate. However, it should be understood, That porn while occasionally lucrative, is not the main...thrust of the enterprise.  Since it’s just barely within the law, the Bratva is using the place as a means to launder money. And since it’s based on internet porn, the numbers are criminally easy to fudge.  The cops know what’s going on here, but they don’t really have a means to going in there and break it up.  Drago is careful to make sure that his women are drug-free and disease free.
The bills get paid on time, and he’s even sued the county over public officials making it difficult to renew his liquor license.

Attitude: “I like things the way they are. When things go, the way they are supposed to go. I am perfectly happy. When things go off the rails, I become unpleasant.  Isn’t that right boys?

Skills:  Physically, Drago is still very strong, and as I said, his reflexes are still top notch. But he gets winded a good deal more easily than he used to. Intellectually, He’s not the brightest crayon in the box, but he’s got more wits than anything else.  Socially, he’s middling strong with a healthy dose of composure forged in the fires of a life of violent crime.  He’ll have decent dots in firearms, weaponry, and brawl with Fighting style dots in Spetznaz knife fighting, and a soviet form of Martial Arts Combatics. And while they might need some dusting off, he’s got a few dots of Survival too.
  In recent years, he’s developed a certain amount of business acumen and that means that his little bordello is doing fairly well.

Gear: Knife-wise, He prefers a Karambit style knife. He prefers to disembowel an enemy if he can. He tends to wear Sap Gloves.  Gun-wise, he’s found that while a Kalashnikov is nice and familiar, he personally prefers an UZI. Say what you will about those Israelis, They know how to make a good sturdy gun.  Drago’s fingers are just a little too stubby for his phone. So while he carries it, he generally has his right-hand man Andrei do any necessary texting.
Drago normally carries a flask of decent vodka. Chewing gum, and a fat wad of cash as well as a money belt with more.

Home: Drago keeps the top floor of the bordello for his own private apartment/office. It is comfy, well appointed, and is usually fairly warm. Drago has a few reasons for loathing the cold. He’ll tell you all about them on any day when it’s sleety. He never sleeps alone.  Also, you should be aware that he’s got one of those beds with drawers underneath filled with armaments.

Circle: While Drago isn’t exactly the most powerful member of the Bratva around, he IS one of the most well liked. Mainly because most of the brothers come around every so often and he never charges them.  It is, however, an article of faith that if you mistreat one of his women, or worse, damage one. He will kill you on the spot and he doesn’t care who you work for.  He’s done it, more than once...  And most of the Bratva leaders understand that Drago only asks one simple fucking thing from his guests. Don’t damage the Merchandise.

Story Uses:
“Don’t worry. I may know a guy.”
Drago’s a useful guy to know if you make your money on the illegal side of the street.  He’s also a handy dude to be connected to if you're keenly interested in Hired Pussy.  He’s fairly well connected and knows a lot of people, and not just in the Russian underworld.

“So, you think you’re going to come in here and create problems? *He smiles*  I want to thank you for brightening up my week.”
So, maybe you’ve got a female relative who decided to make some money on her back. Or maybe she didn’t exactly know what she was getting into.  Or maybe you’re a rival pimp trying to steal some of Drago’s personnel. No matter what it is, messing with Drago’s money is one of the few things that stirs him to action.  Thing is, when he’s stirred to action, he usually doesn’t stop until a whole bunch of motherfuckers are dead. Whatever happens, though...You can be sure that it will put a smile on his face.

* Naturally, there has been some trouble with Madame Wu. Drago is pretty sure he knows that she's some kind of THING. But he isn't sure what.  Whatever the case may be, He's found that when she causes trouble it's useful to murder a bunch of her tong-boys. She usually backs off if you start wasting her soldiers.
* He and Ilya Grishenko served together and neither are bothered by long companionable silences. They do have a friendly rivalry over who taught the other how to knife fight.
* If someone ever put him wise to Bryson Import/Export, he would decide that the idea was utterly brilliant and would make an approach to offer beefed up security in exchange for middling small slice. He'd be sincere too.  The only question is, would he back off if Esmerelda said no?
*Detective Bela Janofski also represents trouble, but at least he doesn't seem to have a hard-on for arresting Drago. He comes around every so often, occasionally just checking up. Occasionally asking questions about things happening on the street. They are cordial with one another, if not exactly friendly. Bela at least seems like a decent cop, and he hasn't accepted a bribe so far.
* Everybody in the crime world seems to know Dr. Ronnette Franklin and most like her, Drago is no exception.  She's even taken a bullet out of his thigh once. So yeah, she's seen the Monster up close.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Reverend Doctor Miranda Goines

Concept: Professional Agitator

AKA:  Close friends call her Randa.

Desc: Skinny and muscular. Cafe au lait skin. Super smart eyes with spidery thin glasses. Glossy black short curls. A little bit on the short side. Sneakers, or engineer boots, but usually never heels. Goes in for the kind of look that makes her look like an exotic student rather than a doctor herself.  Can pull off funky ethnic jewelry

History: Here’s what you need to know. Like many things, Political correctness is a continuum and not a binary state. On one end of the spectrum, you find Nazis. Klan members. Misogynists and the like...Over on the other end, you find people like Randa Goines.
   Look. I’m not going to say that it’s a bad thing to major in Women’s Studies. It’s not. But when you decide to acquire a doctorate in it, Well, your only career option is to teach Women’s Studies. Fortunately, Randa is fairly damn smart and was able to not only get her doctorate but to snag a berth here at the University teaching. She’s essentially the only member of the Women’s studies faculty, but she’s always on the prod to either create a chairmanship for her department or wrest control of the rest of the Liberal Arts Studies from the entrenched white male patriarchy.
   Yeah. Randa’s the sort of person who uses the phrase “Entrenched White Male Patriarchy” at least once a day.
Miranda, grew up in the burbs. Her parents both had good jobs and as a result, she grew up with advantages that not everyone had. She was always fairly empathetic but as she got into college, That empathy of hers got...Weaponized.
     Oh sure, It’s easy to fall into the trap of the Ivory tower. But Randa has less excuse than most. She’s out and active in the community following or supporting dozens of causes and looking for ways to publish her books on philosophy (which are interesting, if a little dry.) and to pimp her blog,(worth a look)  and her poetry. (Which is terribly florid and awful.)
Randa can quote Maya Angelou, Queen Latifah, and the Bible at the drop of a hat. She has the ACLU on speed-dial on her phone.
She has no sense of humor because she considers humor to be micro-aggression.  She self-identifies as a bi-sexual even though she’s never been with a woman.  Mainly because she thinks she OUGHT to be Bi-sexual.  It’s not as if she’s gotten any lately anyway. She’s either writing, teaching, or working at activism. and that’s a pretty full day. The faculty is already full of people who’ve tried to make an approach on Miranda and found themselves on the receiving end of a lecture on feminism and gender roles that isn’t exactly designed to kill any boner within 50 feet, but that’s the effect.   Her idea of flirting is opening with something like, “So...What do you think about the Somali refugee problem..Crazy, right?”
Privately, Randa also considers herself an Atheist, but she keeps that pretty quiet. Her family wouldn’t understand and as many times as she’s used the bible for justification for arguments, well...She wouldn’t take it well to be called a hypocrite. Please note that I have just made an understatement of some depth.
Look, while Randa may be as arch-liberal elite as they come, one thing can’t be denied. She fucking means it. She’s gone into her own pocket more than once to help out a promising student. She’s organized dozens of rallies, spoken at dozens of funerals, officiated a fair number of weddings of all sorts. Gotten her head cracked open more than once at protests that have gotten out of hand and has been tear-gassed often enough to keep a water bottle full of a mixture of Water and Maalox in her purse at all times.  This may be her saving grace that keeps her from being some kind of caricature...She considers all that a small price to pay for building a better world. 

Attitude:  “I swear if the next words out of your mouth are how it is all about ethics in games journalism I'm going to smack the taste out yo mouth.”

Skills: Not to put too fine a point on it, but Miranda has ALL the academics dots. and about a half-dozen specialties. She’s also got a fair wodge of points socked into Politics and a couple of specs in that too. Expression, Persuasion, Empathy, and Subterfuge are well filled out.  Mentally, She’s a powerhouse. Heavy resolve.  Socially, she has a good amount of juice, but she has some blind spots. No one ever invites her to a party where they hope to have a really good time.  Although she occasionally has moments where she’s talked both students and faculty into seeking help for alcoholism or depression...So maybe they ought to.  Physically, she stays in shape by running and doing Tae-Bo in her apartment when it too cold to run.  Combat wise, She’s been in a few real scraps in her life and she’s got the dots in Brawl to show for it, but she’s largely untrained in any fighting style...  One of these nights, raw ferocity isn’t going to get it for her.  She would be likely to have a number of the Carthian social group merits, especially, “Current Events Discussion group”

Gear: Usually has her laptop bag with iPhone and iPad safely ensconced within. Carries jerky, trail mix and bottled water everywhere. Keeps a Mace sprayer in her left pocket and brass knuckles in her right.  Her keychain also sports a kubotan and she keeps a taser and a baseball bat in her car. Randa believes in being ready.

Home: Randa has a nice 1 bedroom apartment that is biking distance from campus. She’s filled it with books, curios from her trips to Africa and the Middle East, and large comfy furniture that occasionally plays home to a student or two. Rand also has a false back at the back of her bedroom closet where her pistols and her rifle are concealed. Randa believes in being ready. Her “office” looks as if a tornado hit it, but she knows where everything lies...usually.

Circle: Miranda is a known name in activism circles. She’s has pull and juice with a number of people in various strata of political life.  She isn’t shy about trading favors and doesn’t mind having markers out there to cash in on various things.  It’s kept her from losing her job on more than one occasion. While Miranda is never likely to have Tenure at the university, the University Chairman has seen fit to turn a blind eye to her many arrests.

Story Uses:
“These people have grown so used to our obedience that they have forgotten to fear us. Let’s remind them!”
Miranda is driven by causes it is her life’s blood. It is her mother’s milk. Pity the poor PC who run afoul of her and her small army of acolytes. They can cause more bad press than most major corporations are able to deal with.

“Hey HEY! Ho HO! These Corporations got to go!”
On the other hand, If you were to put Randa in your pocket, or, better plan, make an Ally out of her, you could point her at any target you wished to cause some serious trouble for.  She would be the Quintessential Carthian Movement/Brujah ghoul.  And if you happened to have deep enough pockets, she’d make a dandy candidate for public office.

“Lord...If you’re listening at all...I am so tired.”
It is, of course, possible that Miranda’s keen sense of injustice is more than that.  It might be that she’s a lost cub of some sort. Wouldn’t that be something?

*Has had more than one run-in with Alex Mahoney and weirdly enough he seems to get the upper hand every time. Randa seems to get weirdly tired or dizzy when trying to debate him. It's starting to concern her. She thinks she might be developing a complex, and the therapist isn't exactly all that helpful to begin with...
*She said some lovely words at Chris Murphy's funeral. Chris would like to repay her somehow, but they don't exactly cross paths all that much.
* Has met "Dr. Coulton Bennett"  on the charity circuit. Thinks his cause is a righteous one. They've been emailing back and forth on a possible university rally of some sort and he's been picking her brains a bit about how to organize those sorts of things.
* Used to go to school with Special Agent Owen Maccready The joke was always that since they were almost the only black people in the neighborhood that they'd have to get married or something.  Both of them didn't like that idea, although they liked each other, but dated white kids out of some sense of perversity. Now they call one another occasionally and catch up, especially if someone from the old neighborhood is in the news.
* She and Grace Cook were roommates at undergrad together.  Room 317 if I'm recalling correctly. Randa was sitting in a jail cell from a protest the night before, otherwise, she'd have been at the wedding...
* At least once a week, she and Clarinda Hale go running. Each thinks the other person is impossibly glamorous and can't believe they are friends.
*Has been interviewed by Patricia "Carnie" Pitt more than once. As a matter of fact, If she sees Randa at some news event, she'll opt for her over someone else, because she knows Randa is a pro. Keeps Randa's card just in case.
* Knows Dr. Dennis McMurtry but only just in passing. His daughter is taking one of her courses and she's happy to report she's doing well.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bartholomew Reines

Concept: Bad Sensei

AKA: Bart Reines doesn’t really have anything in the way of a nickname.

Desc: Bart is a fit fifty years old. Kind of squat. Military style haircut. Back of his neck looks like a pack of franks. Tends to get a bit red in the face (like a sugar beet) when he’s upset.  He’s got some actual muscle and while his knees trouble him occasionally, it’s not something he can’t muscle through with a couple of Aleve. Has the voice of a Drill Instructor. Which is interesting, because according to his actual service record, he never rose above PFC. Has a Marine Corp tattoo.

History: Bart has can-do attitude. And you know, you can get pretty far with can-do attitude. The problem is, that it might be ALL that he has.  American Martial Arts schools have varying levels of pseudo-mystical bullshit. Some have very low levels of bullshit. Others are fucking swimming in it.  Bart’s school is pretty close to THAT end of the spectrum.
  It’s the little things that give him away. He hasn’t sparred with anyone over a green belt in over a decade.  Doesn’t compete. Normally has his senior students teach most of his classes.  He’s written a dozen books about incredibly arcane chi exercises and martial arts forms.  Most of which, Bart made up from whole cloth.  He pressures his student to buy his books. (All of which are self-published on LULU.)
     Bart isn’t a terrible person. At least he doesn’t think he is.  He offers free classes at the YWCA for women who have endured domestic violence.  He’s also very outspoken about his younger student using their “Superior Knowledge” to bully other students.  So he’s not an utter asshole.
    However, Bart is a much better business man than he is a martial arts teacher.  He’s out of practice, Gets winded easily, and has bought into a LOT of the pseudo-mysticism of the Martial Arts world. As a result, he is perhaps more of a danger to his students than a useful mentor.  

Attitude: Ok. You've just seen how that works kids. Do you get it? OUTSTANDING!

Skills: To his actual credit, He has a middling pile of dots in Brawl, and 1-2 dots in a couple of different martial arts. Any PC who might be looking for an IC mentor will likely find that they actually know as much or more than their erstwhile teacher does. Bart has a pretty good radar for this, and he’ll find some reason not to teach them.  Bart is pretty good at handling the business of running his school and still knows his way around the weapons he was trained with.  In fact, he’s probably better with a knife now than he is with his fists.  He’s in relatively good shape speed and strength-wise.  Although his stamina is for shit these days.

Gear: Bart tends to trust his own abilities, so he doesn’t tend to carry a weapon.  His normal carry gear is a smartphone, his wallet, and a very small pocket-knife.  He’s gotten very used to his phone and dictates a lot of random ideas into it.

Home: Bart owns his own home. He isn’t exactly commitment-phobic and yet he is skittish about cohabitating with his current girlfriend Kitty. His divorce in his early twenties from Barbara soured him on marriage pretty badly. Kitty is trying to be understanding.

Circle: Bart has a few marine buddies, knows his neighbors fairly well, and is generally well thought of by most of his students...At least until they get a real taste of the decent teaching.

Story Uses:
“Ok, break off into pairs and spar for the next 5 minutes.”
You can always take this guy and add some more competency to him and turn him into an actual mentor of some sort. Even without being all that great as a martial artist, He can still be useful in a tight situation and is NOT at all scared to get into those tight situations.

“Trust me. That’s the way Chi works...”
Well. It’s always possible that maybe Bart knows something and maybe he’s right on the edge of discovering some new art or some new Chi-Gung work.  You just never know.

* Both Jack Marston and Joseph Cartolano took classes with Bart and determined very quickly that he was full of shit.
Patricia "Carnie" Pitt took one of his Self defense courses at the Y, and then came back and did a story. Knows that other martial arts schools in town may not have a lot of respect for him, but Carnie has gotten some actual use out of some of the moves she learned. He's great on camera.
Lawton Krase used to be a pretty faithful student.  That ought to tell you something right there.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

William Lee Travis

Concept: Serial Killer (Retired)/Ugallu-Predator

AKA: The only people who ever call William Travis “Billy” are his mama (Deceased, god rest her soul) and people who are looking to die horribly.

Desc: Tallish and lanky. Clean shaven, and while he’s lost most of his hair on top, it's grown longish in the back to the point where he can ponytail it if he wants. He rarely bothers. His hair is silvering. His orange jumpsuit makes him look a bit sallow. Doesn’t look like he has much meat on his bones, but as old as he is, he is still rattlesnake quick.  He is on record as having a disdain for ink, but his shoulder blades have an impressive set of wings. People who ask him about them usually find that he stares at them until they get unnerved and walk away.  Billy rarely blinks.  And while he smiles a lot and laughs occasionally, that smile never touches his eyes.

History: Billy Travis has been on this road for a long time. He never tortured animals, but all the rest of the troubled youth stuff, he did that in spades. He was abused as a kid too.  Not excusing here. Just explaining.
He’d have cracked open and gotten devoured a long time ago had it not been for Sarah. Sarah had been working in the office of the Auto body shop where Billy earned his money. They hit it off and in about a year, they knew they’d get married.
    Billy loved her. And while their life was never exactly smooth, he never EVER raised a hand to her. He wasn’t going to be like his father. No. Not ever. On this point he was adamant. Billy worked steady and helped Sarah pay for community college looking down the road for someday.  Auto body work pays fairly well.  Billy began to gather himself for making a downpayment on a house...The future looked bright.

In a years time, it all came crashing down. Billy’s mama died, and her burial debts ended up forcing him to sell her house to cover them. Then her Life insurance company screwed Billy pretty hard. So her medical bills ate the rest of the house money and what he had in the bank for his own place.  The tension caused him and Sarah to hit a bad patch, which Billy chalked up to hormones because Sarah had finally caught pregnant after a couple of years of trying.  Billy knew that things were pretty bad, but he kept trying to keep things level.
Then in Sarah’s seventh month, they rushed to the hospital.  The baby didn’t make it. Sarah didn’t make it.  And then, as if all that wasn’t bad enough. Billy found out that, Sarah had been fucking her English teacher and it was his baby that killed her.
   He went home to their apartment. He sat on the couch in the dark. When arose from the couch, he went out, found himself a prostitute, paid for her time, got his ashes hauled, and then he strangled her to death and dumped her in a culvert out on state road 26.
  He killed 85 women and transient men in the space of 14 years before they finally caught him.
And when they did, he went peaceably. As if he knew, and didn’t mind for some reason.
  He refused to plea bargain. He refused to plead insanity. Helped to close a dozen cases in order to avoid the death penalty but that seems like it was all he wanted to do.   They sent him to the Clearwater Correctional Institute for Men to serve 26 consecutive life sentences.
    Now he lives a particularly quiet life. He reads.  He has the kind of serial killer infamy that makes for dozens of pen-pals, (mostly psychologists and freaks), and the gruesome nature of his crimes tends to discourage other inmates from screwing with him. And those who don’t pay any heed to their fellow prisoners, and screw with him anyway, tend to meet bad ends. Billy doesn’t want to crew up.  Billy doesn’t give a shit who is the head bull in the yard. Billy doesn’t care about any of that.  In fact, he’s a model prisoner for the most part.

What many people don’t understand is the William Lee Travis is a Beast. And he is exactly where he wants to be. His environment is perfect for his needs. He does a bit of casual investigation into the teacher who banged his wife and the insurance company that fucked him over.  The intelligence he’s gathered on them is already quite impressive. His powers make it possible for him to leave at any time he desires (He’s in the super-max wing. He has no cell mate.)  And in fact, most of the CO’s and inmates are scared shitless of him. (His tendency to use Eyes of Heaven, and then be able to tell you intimate details about yourself is terrifying to some.)   He hunts the people who have done him wrong on the outside, having the perfect alibi of being in jail at the time.  Maybe someday when he reaches the end of his list. (He’s saving that teacher for last.) He may take wing and never come back here...and then again, he has found that he’s perfectly comfortable here.   After all, any HERO who comes around looking for him is going to have to break IN to a federal penitentiary.

Attitude: “Kid. You and I will get along fine as long as you don’t upset my applecart.”

Skills: He is a talented mechanic but since his arrest, his interest in engineering has changed completely. He has been checking out books on psychology and sociology from the prison library. By this point, he’s probably got a degree’s worth of psychology under his belt.  He’s not terribly strong, but he IS fast and knows how to use surprise to his benefit. Mentally, he’s about average, and gaining a little maybe. Socially...Well. He doesn’t talk much anymore.  He really doesn’t have to.

Gear: Doesn’t even bother to have a shiv. His only personal possession is a little radio that he keeps tuned to the classic rock station in town. He doesn’t even bother with contraband with the occasional exception of junk food. There aren’t too many who know it, but Billy will murder another inmate for a kit-kat bar. I ain’t even playin. 

Home: Block D.  Although, it should be noted that his Lair has taken on the semblance of the prison too. In fact, if he desires it he can lure someone into his lair without them necessarily noticing that they’ve gone astray.  William has made connections with a few Beasts on the outside and doesn’t mind them using his lair as a kind of grand central station. He’s even willing to allow members of the family to slake their unnatural hungers on his pent-up prisoners, as long as they keep it on the down-low, and don’t come around hat in hand, too often.

Circle: While William may not necessarily be the Apex Predator in your chronicle, he is almost certainly something of an elder statesman. He knows a Gangrel that comes around once a quarter to visit. (resting in the sod of the prison yard) and they get along fine.
He’s got weird pull with his freak pen-pals and enjoys messing with the odd psychologists.  (Although there is at least one of them that he thinks might be family... You just never know about these things.  He’s been casually talking with the woman about dream symbolism. Feeling her out.) 

Story Uses:
“No no. I’ll be happy to help you close that case.  But I'll need you to do something for me...”
Yeah. Shake that devil’s hand. And he’ll even make sure he lives up to his end. It’s a pride thing with him.  But you’ll always wonder whether that little errand he had you do was something terrible.   Some of them will be things like, “Kill a gopher and mail it to this address.” others will be things like, “Go to the Valley View Mall and take a piece of blue chalk and write “Knight to Queen’s bishop, check” on the wall of the third stall of the ladies room.”   Obviously, he might just be fucking with you.

“It’s not personal. I’m just doing a favor for Trey. You remember Trey don’t you?”
William can leave at any time. Which means he can be a problem for lots of people on the outside.  I really hope you don’t actually work for a life insurance company.

*It is safe to infer that every single one of the Law enforcement professionals detailed in these pages have heard some stuff about William Lee Travis. Its veracity is entirely up to you.
* If Lewis Flowers is ever caught, The Family will gain a new member in fairly short order

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-gray 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 tailback. 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 arrests. 
   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 smartphone 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 on 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.