Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meet Alicia Johnston

Name:             Alicia Marie Johnston
Age:                19
Height:            5’ 3”
Weight:           114lbs (51.7kg)
Eyes:               light brown
Hair:               dirty blonde with streaks of black feathers
Title:               None at this time


David Johnston met Marie Whitcombe in elementary school and was instantly smitten. A pretty little girl with pale blonde hair, Marie was sweet, fun, and totally enchanting to the eight year old. His opinion never wavered as they grew from playmates on the schoolyard to classmates in high school. He watched the young girl flit from boyfriend to boyfriend, never staying with anyone for long and always looking just a little more desperate with each breakup.  They were in their junior year when he finally dredged up the nerve to ask her to dance and was elated when she agreed. They talked as they danced and discovered they had so much more in common than simply going to the same school. Within a week, they were actively dating.

The couple was inseparable that year and their friends teased them by humming the wedding march whenever they walked down the school halls. Marie’s family made little comment on her new boyfriend. Her mother was a self-absorbed narcissist who flitted from one affair to another in an effort to recapture the eye of her workaholic husband. Her father spent more time at the office than at home, even on weekends, due to a succession of young and curvy secretaries. Their daughter was often forgotten as they sought their pleasure and purpose away from the house and she acted out by seeking the attention she craved from her parents from her friends and boyfriends. David had been unlike the boys she’d dated who’d only wanted her because she was quickly gaining the reputation of being ‘easy.’ He’d actually understood.

David’s parents weren’t as thrilled with their relationship as he could have hoped. His mother, a production line worker at the local textile mill, wanted more for her son than could be found in their small town. His father, a construction worker, encouraged him to take what Marie so obviously passed around and then drop her when it was time to look towards the future. Both of his parents had been saving for him to go to college and their plans didn’t include what they so eloquently called ‘the school whore.’ When Marie discovered she was pregnant during their summer break, David’s parents offered to pay for her abortion. It caused a huge argument and he didn’t speak with either of them for several years.

Marie’s family allowed the young couple to stay with them until David graduated. She had quit school to deliver and then raise her child. David worked after school with several construction companies until he signed on with the largest company in town. He worked for them, moving up from part-time to full-time and even into lower management until they were able to purchase a small house at the edge of the more questionable side of town. They live there happily until his demonic nature began manifesting.

Little Alicia was the center of her parents’ universe. Marie had been determined not to ignore her child as she’d been ignored while David was enchanted at such a tiny mirror of his beloved wife. She grew to be a bright child, testing well on her preschool exams, and was super excited about going to school like all the older children in their neighborhood. Somewhat stifled by her mother’s attention, she adored the time spent with her father the best and had extracted from him a promise to take her to school on her very first day. He swore that not even an alien invasion could stop him from being there. The young man was ultimately forced to break his promise.

Her father left the family just before she was to enter kindergarten. Unknown to Alicia or her mother, David Johnston had begun to manifest demon characteristics and left for fear he’d hurt his family. Her mother was unable to handle his abandonment returned to the destructive behavior of her youth and drifted from one bad relationship to another. Some of the men ignored her young daughter; some paid her too much attention. Marie either did not notice or chose to ignore the inappropriate behavior of Alicia’s “uncles” and the girl learned early to avoid the many men in her mother’s life.

When Alicia’s mother met Markus Andrealphus, he seemed the answer to both their prayers. He was sweet to Alicia without being creepy and loving and attentive to Marie. He listened to their troubles, offered help where he could, and refused to allow Marie to self-destruct any further by sabotaging the relationship. After six months, he convinced her to marry him. That’s when everything changed for the worse.

The moment he had the two women in his house and under his control, he changed. No longer the loving spouse and step-father, Markus became dictatorial and abusive – both physically and emotionally. He kept Marie in line with threats against her daughter, limited access to contact with those outside her husband’s circle of friends, and ‘discipline.’ Within a year of their marriage, relaxing weekends with the family had evolved into lascivious orgies with Marie as the party favor. She was passed from one man to another, unable to refuse or risk a whipping in front of them all, and treated worse than the cheapest whore.

Alicia had just turned seventeen the first time she was forced to attend. Markus came into her room, stripped her naked, attached a collar and leash to her neck, and led her into the party. The men were allowed to touch her and she was whipped if she attempted to refuse them; but the worst of them all was her stepfather. Markus tied her into a chair so that she could watch the ‘fun’ – namely, her mother service three of his friends at once. As her moans and cries of both passion and pain rang through the room, her step-father fondled and caressed her untouched body. His fingers and tongue skillfully played over her erogenous zones and brought her to her first orgasm. Those in the room who weren’t involved with her mother cheered Markus for finding such a responsive slut. Alicia was humiliated.

The months that followed contained more of the same. He threatened to kill them both if she told anyone at school what was going on and she believed him. Markus climbed into her bed every night and forced some new violation on her – whether it was teaching her how to give the perfect blowjob or bringing her to another of those humiliating orgasms, he let her know that her body belonged to him. Her role in the parties, however, never changed nor did she ever lose her virginity. As her birthday approached, her step-father let her know all that would change. She fled just before she turned eighteen.

Alicia masqueraded as a boy and hitchhiked her way north feeling that a large city would help her disappear more than her small southern one. She managed to panhandle for coins or do odd jobs to survive for about six months. Then the economy took a downward turn and people were less generous with their change. That’s when she started stealing to supplement her meager income. She’d gotten fairly skilled at basic pick-pocketing which led her to the club the night she met Francisco. Her fingers were on his wallet when the Colonel’s men attacked.

Alicia dismissed her actions with the children as being born of necessity.  She claimed that safety in numbers was all that enticed her to remain and aid the wounded vampire escort the young ones to safety. Her actions in saving the life of the young she-wolf cub resulted in a near-fatal wound. She only survived due to the tireless work of the Arbiter’s elven healers and a few drops of vampire blood from her new friend, Francisco.

As she recovered, she met the vampire who stirred her heart and lusts and made something dark and shadowy inside her crave more. Blake Simons, an Investigator for the vampire council and wealthy business owner, had arrived to speak to the local Council Chairperson and caught her enticing scent. He was handsome, smooth, arrogant, and not human…and reminded Alicia far too much of her step-father for her peace of mind.

She’s tried to deny their connection but, after six centuries of seeking his mate, Blake isn’t about to let her go. Alicia’s not sure she wants him to.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Meet Blake Simons - Investigator

Name:            Lord Blake William Simons
Age:               697 (human: 1315 - 1348, vampire: 1348 - present)
Height:           6’2”
Weight:          200lbs (91kg)
Eyes:              Dark Brown
Hair:               Dark Brown
Title:               Primary Investigator for the Primus Concilium


Blake Simons was the eldest son and heir to the Lord of Blakeston Croft, a small village in Lancashire County, England. Due to their remoteness, the village had little contact with the horrific plague that was slowly ravaging great portions of Europe beyond tales sung by wandering criers and heralds. That changed in the summer of 1348 when a lady and her entourage requested a few nights rest at Blakeston Grange on their way to the coast.

Lady Lucinda Mathison had appealed to Blake’s father for lodging and, bowled over by her beauty as well as mindful of his duty as lord, the elderly Lord William Simons readily granted her request. The deaths started immediately. The first to die were the village’s indigent population – men who preferred cheap rum over honest work and thus were sleeping in the streets as well as women who bartered their bodies in exchange for a hot meal or a strong drink. As the weather that summer had been unusually hot, few paid much attention or, truthfully, mourned their loss.

The fear and rumors began when an entire family on an outlying farm was discovered by a farmhand. All were in their beds and seemingly died in their sleep – father, mother, and three children ranging in age from five to eleven. The patriarch even wore a faint smile on his face. While most of the villagers attributed the deaths to the plague, a few whispered of creatures of the night and evil spirits while warding themselves and their homes from the devil. The local priest saw his congregation grow that week as frightened peasants sought to find comfort in God and protection from the evil they felt growing in their small village.

The Grange wasn’t unaffected.

The elderly Lord Simons had fallen ill with a wasting disease that weakened him more with every passing day. The barber had come and applied leeches to balance the blood. The vicar had prayed for his soul and the blessing of their Lord. Neither seemed to work and his health steadily declined. Bleeding to release the evil spirits followed the leeches but only served to further weaken the titular lord. Within weeks, the house was draped in black as they prepared for his death.

A week had passed since their arrival and the young heir had grown suspicious of the Grange’s new guests. He’d watched them carefully but could find no fault in their Mistress. She spent her days soothing his father during his illness and her nights alone. By chance, he caught the coachmen and lady’s maid sneaking off the property in the dead of night and followed them to a nearby tenant farm.

The moon was high and bright, enabling the nobleman to watch in horror as the fa├žade of humanity dropped from the servants to reveal demons with blood-stained fangs and glowing red eyes. The three fell upon the elderly woman, their fangs striking her neck, wrist, and upper thigh while her husband slept in the next room. Sated, they disappeared through the connecting door. Before Blake could move, they emerged carrying a large bundle wrapped in cloth.

Sick with horror and fear, the noble heir followed the trio back to the Grange. Using servant’s stairs and hidden passages, he tracked of the human-looking demons he’d welcomed into his home to their Mistress’ room. From behind a portrait, he watched as they unwrapped the bundle to reveal the husband of the woman they’d killed. He watched as the beautiful Lady Lucinda transformed into the same demon he’d seen in the tenant house. He watched as she gorged herself on the blood of the innocent.

Over the next fortnight, Master Blake systematically eradicated the creatures that masqueraded as human. He managed to destroy most of the coven before he was captured and brought before the vampires’ mistress, Lady Lucinda. She attempted to seduce him into her coven, extolling the virtues of her strength and speed, and offered him a place to rule by her side – a god to her goddess. His refusal was met with fury and she turned him against his will, fully believing she was strong enough to command his loyalty. Her error cost her everything – her position, her coven, and her life – as Blake used his new strength to finish what he’d begun. When all had fallen, he read his father his last rites, severed his head from his body, and then set fire to the Grange to prevent Lord William’s rise as a creature of darkness.

Years later, he learned that his precautionary actions concerning his father had been unnecessary and went on a killing rage. Dozens of vampires fell to his claws and fangs and blades before he was brought before the censure and power of the Primus Concilium – the vampire ruling body. Recognizing the intelligence and power in one who’d not yet reached his first century, the Primus offered him a deal – work for them as an Investigator and, sometimes, executioner or meet his end. Blake has worked directly for the Primus ever since. 

His first assignment was to investigate the apparition of a god-like being during the Siege of Constantinople. With several covens augmenting both the Byzantine as well as the Ottoman Armies, the Primus was concerned that one had recruited one of the magical races to provide a bit of religious inspiration in order to win the conflict. Blake spent over a decade questioning every vampire, shifter, and witch in both volatile nations but found little proof either for or against the theory. Though he felt that he'd failed in his task, the Primus was impressed with his thoroughness and rewarded him for his efforts. 

Fascinated by the culture as well as enjoying a land that didn't look askance at his proclivity for sexual sadism and domination, Blake remained in the Ottoman Empire. There, he honed his skills with a whip - from the gentlest flogger to the barbed cat o' nine tails - and used them on his partners and enemies alike. His reputation amongst the human population of the skilled but cold lover grew to equal the rising respect of the local covens as a cruel opponent and he cultivated both images with alacrity. 

Publicly, however, his elegance, sensuality, and exotic beauty assured him a place in the court of the Sultan, Mehmed II, and he rose from the position of foreign guest to royal advisor over a limited span of years. So quickly did he move through the intricacies of court that many spoke of witchcraft and plotted against him. Those who spoke out against him usually experienced his recently-acquired skills at torture first hand until they recanted or succumbed to their injuries. It was his connections and preternatural speed that ensured Bayezid II reached Constantinople before his half-brother, Cem, to assume the throne of the Empire. It was also his accumulated wealth and inside information which persuaded the Knights of St. John to turn against Cem, escort him out of Rhodes and into France, and keep him there. Blake left the Ottoman Empire prior to the turn of the century to avoid further complications with the human population. Having not yet attained his second century as a vampire, he hadn't learned to control and manipulate his appearance in order to simulate aging. This meant that he had to move often to avoid difficult or dangerous questions.

He spent the next two hundred years working for the Primus and learning - and pushing - his limits as a vampire. He also caught the eye of the oldest amongst them, Queen Hauhet, leader of the Primus and one of the Firsts. The reputed matron of the entire vampire race was enchanted with the handsome Englishman who took such delight in destroying his own kind. They even became lovers for a time, exchanging blood as a sign of respect, affection, and trust. He grew stronger as a result and learned to temper his distaste for vampires and rose to the rank of Primary Investigator, the only vampire to do so that was not one of the founders of their kind.

Blake traveled the world in his role of Investigator, making few friends but many enemies. Those friends he did manage to keep are as loyal to the intimidating vampire as he is to his own way. It was in his role as Investigator that he met the man who would become his only Child, Augustin CalmetHe considers August to be both the son he will never have as well as the brothers he outlived half a millennium ago. He has already destroyed an entire coven for the former monk and would do so again and more if it was required. Until recently, he would have gladly died for his Child as well but circumstances have made him rethink that position.

As the human world evolved and became more civilized, at least outwardly, so too did the vampires. They set up regional and local governing bodies, policed their own when the need arose, but were always under the watchful eyes of the legendary members of the Primus. Blake’s role evolved as well and he’s become more of a true Investigator than executioner. With more time on his hands, he’s returned to running his business while accepting commissions from the local Vampire Council run by his oldest friend, Lady Elizabeth Pierce. It was during one of these commissions that he met his mate in a young human woman by the name of Alicia Johnston and nearly lost her to the ambitions of a greater violence demon from the Seventh Circle of the Infernal Plane.