Sunday, October 14, 2012

Example Post for Maxwell

There had been worse instances in which to hear that loathsome drumbeat he'd set for Carmelia's ringtone, but none of them was particularly welcome. He'd been in the middle of another visit to the supermarket when the call came, meaning to pick up some nicer versions of the things one of his housemates had bought for himself. He knew that, if he openly offered the man money for such things, he'd never accept, but he wouldn't let food already in the house go to waste, either. "A giant dog?" he'd sighed, inclined, as ever, to question why it was always him, why just one of these things couldn't be pawned off to the same people who'd drag the dumb bastard in. They're vampires, for fuck's sake; they can't pulverize a corpse?

Some accusations of being a whiny bastard who was forever trying to shirk his duty later, he'd put everything back and climbed into his forgettable sedan, trying to lift his mood--and possibly better prepare himself--by fastening that big military duster of his around his shoulders. Television said that every good adventurer needed an outfit for the occasion, after all, and the WWII artifact's appeal there outstripped any monetary value he could see it having in the future, at least in his eyes. There was some irony to the comparison of the two things, really. . .he drove that stupid, weak foreign car because it was what everyone in town seemed to drive and so, describing it would be of help to no one unless they remembered the plates, yet he had no problem dressing in a way that everyone who saw him would remember. It had worked out for him so far, at least. Perhaps he was doomed to crash and burn at some later date but, if so, he had no intention of blaming himself; he'd put it all on the plate of that sheriff of his, who'd strong-armed him into this job in the first place. However much Dean might praise his skills, he'd sworn even to him that this was not his identity-that he was a singer, or a teacher, never some fucking hunter.  It was, of course, equally possible that time would lead him to stop resenting this work, but that had yet to arrive.

When he pulled into a spot at the club, he found himself needing to sit in the car for a few minutes first, girding his loins. He could hear the music already, pumping and obscene. The hate he felt for it then was foreign even to him for, put him a few years into the past, give him a manufactured heartbeat, and he might have been right in the middle of it, smiling blissfully as the beat of a few hundred hearts in unison sang to him, like some mass offering. . .this, though. Vampire clubs. He swore he'd never walk into another one, after the first time. Stupid girls asking to see his fangs. Stupid boys asking what he could do to them. Reckless vampires dragging those foolish girls and boys into bathroom stalls. And the music, always the music. One would expect, having been in a band like his, that it wouldn't infuriate him so, but it all came together into one loathsome aesthetic. . .this idiotic package that club owners sold to particularly self-destructive elements of counterculture. And, of course, these were the same people who'd become addicted to V, desperate to more closely resemble the vampires they admired, because they just couldn't find someone willing to bring them over, to give them the gift. He knew he couldn't walk in with this loathing written all over his face. When the culprit owned the fucking club, he had to look like he was there for the atmosphere.

Eventually, he climbed out of the car and plastered a confident grin on his face, making sure to lay his feet down heavy to accentuate the steel-toed boots he wore; he had airs to put on, if he wanted to get this done any time soon. He strode straight past the line, knowing that, if this was like any other vampire club he'd ever heard of, they wanted him there more than any of the humans waiting in the increasingly chilly night. "I'm here for the party," he declared to the bouncer, clapping a long-fingered hand on his shoulder and maintaining that grin like a champ. Pale blue eyes flicked, unblinking, from the shell of the man's ear to the eyes of a couple girls waiting near the front, and he gave a suggestive twitch of his eyebrows that made one of them giggle and the other shift uncomfortably. Said bouncer being a vampire himself, of course, he knew immediately what he was, and beckoned him inside.

His grin dropped off like a discarded mask when he stepped inside, but he managed to replace that with the expected curiosity of a man strolling around a topless bar, rather than the bitterness which continued to gnaw at the back of his brain. The old coat defined most of his appearance for him, closed over all but his faded black jeans and boots. His dark hair was kept long, falling near the end of a long, slender neck in waves and loose curls that, to most estimations, were artfully tousled, rather than simply being messy. He had a distinctive sort of nose, rather long to suit the way of his face, and coming to a slight hook at the end. A strong chin and an intense gaze pulled him together in a way that was, to most, passably handsome. It got him by, where finding his meals was concerned; that was really all he needed.

He found a booth in which to drop himself and, shortly after that, one of those waitresses found him. His eyes gave an expected sweep of her chest, suitably admiring without fixating in a way that would mark him rookie, finding her face in time for her to ask him if she could get him a drink. "I'll need TruBlood, thank you," he replied, pleasant enough; something about actually being in here, looking into the prospect of having to choke down some synthetic blood in the name of keeping up appearances, really cut into his enthusiasm for putting on a good face. Once she departed, his attention worked his way over the crowd. Were any of them being led into the back? Were those that were employees? Did any of them seem excited to be guided back there? It went without saying that this bastard would be promising them a good time. It's possible he even believed it himself. Enough nesting habits, enough years, or simply an ugly enough personality, and the sadist could believe that his every victim harbored deep masochism that would have them begging to be torn apart for his amusement.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Plot Ideas for Maxwell!

a.) Play a woman who's been abducted by a vampire/nest of vampires with plans to either use her as a blood doll or a feast for some terrible monster. She murders the shit out of her captors. What, you thought she was a victim? She don't take that weak woman shit. Problem is, she ain't magic. Max has to come break her out. Maybe afterward she wants to be clued in on all this crazy shit and effectively become a hunter.

b.) Play someone who's purchased a shady book (or perhaps a piece of jewelry?) from a local shop shortly before Max strolls in looking to pick it up. It's a cursed artifact that's going to do some seriously bad shit to whoever messes with it. He finds your character with it, perhaps just as they're starting to suffer some of the consequences. We go from there. Yay! You could also play a worker in the shop who'd really like to know why Max is so keen on finding it.

c.) This one will require group scenes eventually. Play a recently-turned vampire of Maxwell's somewhat uncommon magic-using breed. Their maker was killed shortly after creating them or is otherwise delinquent, so they've fallen under the care of Carmilla, Maxwell's sheriff. Maybe they're getting too nuts with the feeding, maybe they've manifested their powers in a difficult way, but the end result is Carmilla dragging them to Maxwell's house with a shiny new wardrobe and telling him he now has that partner he's been whining about. He grudgingly teaches them how to use their magic, how to control their appetite, etc.. The original plan is that they'll live with him, but we'll see how it goes, huh?

d.) I'm going back and forth on my interest in sexual content being involved in this. It's on the table, but generally I'm uncomfortable with the idea of Maxwell's happy-go-lucky hedonism being fucked over by a less than consensual experience. Good writing and an in-depth writing style's more likely to sell me on that. Play a vampire who's been wronged by Maxwell in the course of his job and captures him to get a little revenge. This generally means he's killed one of their chimeras, but there are any other number of magic-foiling things it could be, so it's up to discussion. The degree and nature of torturous elements is up for discussion. It might not be explicitly torturous at all, just imprisonment.

e.) This one will require group scenes eventually. Also sex. Play someone, preferably a student, who sees a flier or internet ad Maxwell has put up, offering a room in his home at a not-at-all-suspicious 'affordable rate'. They answer, he snoops into their social media and financial records, then invites them over for a tour of the property. This is when he tells them that the 'affordable pay' is the occasional blood donation. Petite characters are not appropriate for this role. I don't care if you make them muscular, chubby, 'curvy' or fat, just don't make them 115 pounds. He's going to want someone he can get a good meal from without endangering their health, and that just isn't the case for petite people.

f.) Play a hunter (of the saving people, hunting things variety) who works a case that Maxwell is sent in to resolve. Maybe it's a monster, maybe it's a nest of so-called feral vampires. Maybe your character witnesses Maxwell clean house, maybe Max 'saves' them, maybe your character sees him walk up and treats him as a threat immediately. Do they warm up to him or start looking into him as their next target? Details are to be decided!

g.) Play a hunter (possibly of the former variety, possibly just a vampire hunter) who gets the better of Max but, for whatever reason, doesn't kill him immediately. Maybe they've figured out he's privy to some 'weird shit' among vampires, maybe they've figured out he's been fucking Dean Winchester for eight months, maybe they hear he's such a domestic little vampire and think they can 'use' him. Who knows? But it'll involve captivity, some mild, unsexualized torture, general antagonizing stuff. Possibly a group scene with Dean later, if that's where you want to take it.

h.) Another Max-as-hero scenario. Play a human freed from a life of enslavement at the hands of another vampire. Max would've come in on another job - most likely killing a chimera that had been used to intimidate the vampire's slaves into compliance - and decided to free them while he was there, as he finds slavery reprehensible. I kind of like the idea of your character not leaving with Max immediately. He'll instead leave them with the means to escape - a secret set of keys he creates from the chimera's corpse, perhaps - and they'll later be driven to do so. Maybe they'll go on to somehow find work or some kind of success without Max doing anything else, and appear months later to thank him. Or maybe they've become so dependent on having a vampire to take care of them that they immediately run to him, and Max has to contend with their weird obedient conditioning. Discussion's good, yeah?

I would totally love if you had some ideas! Bring them to me!

Casual Meeting Places: Low-key bars, lounges, parties, coffee shops, parks, shops (including a supermarket!), even the hot springs, if you wanna be more racy about it. I'm game for a 'they meet and we see what happens' RP in any of those places. Keep in mind that if Max is hunting (or, hell, if you expect a sexual relationship out of it and aren't an always-top male), though, the 'no petite characters' rule still applies.

Things I Like RPing: Witty conversation; hilariously mundane things for a ~creature of the night!!!~ to be doing; scenes with characters who enjoy the kind of music Max plays/used to make; intellectual conversation; enthusiastic, playful, happy sex; uncomfortable moral quandaries about his right to a place in mainstream society.

Things I Don't Like RPing: Sexual/Romantic plots with characters under 16; long-term sexual relationships with characters under 19; sexual or romantic exclusivity; plots with humans who have 'special' blood; plots with humans who have powers; rape scenes; plots with socially isolated characters; sex without context; femboys; unrealistic-looking characters (eg, they'd look corny in a live action TV show).

Note that I can be convinced to play with some of the above in the right context. Some examples: 'Special blood' is fine if it's there for some other reason than attracting Max to your character and is hidden until long after they've developed whatever relationship they've developed; humans with powers are OK if the plot is especially good/they have an interesting personality independent of their power; socially isolated characters are OK if they're hunters; unrealistic-looking monsters/other things that Max is about to kill are OK, but I cannot take them seriously in the long term. A lot of these are just things that are really, really tired RP tropes that have made me one bitter motherfucker.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cassiel zal'Berei

Playby: Thiago Santos

Full Name: Cassiel Serin zal'Berei
Age: 23
Date of Birth: August 23, 1988 (according to the commonly understood dating system, of course!)
Birthplace: Rensail, Muserae
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Brown
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 160 lbs.
Occupation: World traveler; poet
Sexual Orientation: Open-minded
Personality Points: Curious, shy about himself, thoughtful, friendly, moral, slow to anger, compassionate, generally sweet-tempered, occasionally possessed of a savior complex

Background Information

There are two races of humans on Cassiel's home planet of Muserae, the dal'Berei and the zal'Berei; the latter have been gifted with great magical powers, and were chosen as universal ambassadors of good will. They are prepared, from a young age, for the morning on which they will awake in a strange world, which may or may not be hospitable to their kind. They must know all manner of magicks which might protect them from harm, with emphasis on defense rather than offense. Knowing that, by blood, they have great capacity for terrible deeds, their society encourages them to use a gentle hand instead, and approach all conflict with a compassionate heart. They are instructed to introduce themselves as their forename followed by "zal'Berei", in the interest of unity; that name should be associated, around the universe, with persons who have helped to resolve conflict, bolster charity, and otherwise improved the lives of those they meet.

Cassiel, personally, is considered a late bloomer. Though he always performed well in his studies, regardless of their nature, his teenage years came and went without the rite of passage the majority of zal'Berei underwent by the age of nineteen. Having embarked upon his first trip only months ago, he has yet to establish control of this aspect of his powers; most of his travels, therefore, remain entirely random and, more than that, unexpected, though he likes to think he would know how to return to a particular place once he's been there already.

zal'Berei must return home periodically to replenish their strength and, in those times, Cassiel makes his money through poetry and the public recital thereof. This will often inform the things that he does on new worlds, though the opportunity does not always present itself.

Romantically, he has had a number of somewhat casual romantic and sexual relationships, all of them with women. Muserae's society, however, is extremely open-minded, disinclined to demand monogamy, strict gender roles, or sexualities. His options are quite open, for that reason, though he hasn't pursued relationships with anyone other than women, left to his own devices. Away from home, for the time being, pursuing a relationship is unlikely to even occur to him; he'll be too busy getting his bearings in a new place to concern himself with such things. Even so, he is rather responsive to any attention of that sort paid to him.

(Sorry for the scant description; this is a character I haven't fully formed yet, I just wrote this because I'm excited that I've found a new face for him!)

Friday, May 18, 2012

What's a vampire, anyway?

OK, I'm doing a major overhaul. Note that this post will describe vampires in the universe that I, personally, RP in. I'm not trying to say they're "proper" vampires, or any such bullshit--I will not play that silly game. They're what I like, so they're what I use. This post is for people who want to be well-informed about what I expect from vampires in my universe.

Basically, there are three bloodlines of vampires in this universe; lower, more sadistic ones who have less capacity for humanity, "normal" ones who are pretty standard vampires, and, "greater" ones, who can use blood magic (from the blood they consume, not by spilling blood). I also use True Blood as a kind of blueprint, with other sources (mostly a mix between years of all-purpose RP experience, Vampire: The Masquerade, Let the Right One In and Supernatural) changing most of the details. No form of vampire in this document will be "faithful" to any one universe, mythology, etc., though, and they're not meant to be. 

To be clear, I say that True Blood is the blueprint because it's what inspired me to make a vampire character. I use its social situation (the fact that vampires 'came out of the coffin', the political and social climate around that, etc.), and alter other things about it as I see fit. As of my writing/editing this, my story hovers around the end of season three, so there haven't been any of those major changes in the Authority yet, werewolves and shifters haven't come out, etc.. I'll edit accordingly if/when this changes. 

Now, to the meat!

Things That Apply To All Bloodlines of Vampires

They crumble to ash when they're killed.

They must feed on the blood of humans, or 'higher' creatures (eg, not animals) to thrive. Animal blood would sustain them in a pinch, but provides poor nutrition, all around.

The blood of other vampires will cause them to feel closer to that vampire, to bond with them in a more intense way than they would with humans.

They cannot procreate as they could when they were mortal.

They will live forever, barring murder or suicide.

Their body consistently tries to return itself to the state in which they were turned; they do not age, and all healing will reflect their condition just prior to being made vampire. This also means that a hair cut grows back in over the course of a day's rest.

They burn to ash in the sunlight, and are incredibly, incredibly difficult to rouse during the day, whether they're out of the sun or not.

They have superhuman physical attributes (some bloodlines are stronger than others).

They grow stronger with age.

Cutting off their heads will always kill them, regardless of bloodline.

While they can consume small amounts of fluid or near-fluid materials that aren't blood without having to vomit them out, anything more substantial is likely to make them violently ill. Even vampires who have conditioned themselves to be able to swallow food and drink will need to regurgitate it eventually, as they have no functional digestive system; blood is just sort of absorbed through the stomach and incorporated into their bloodstream from there.

Their palette has changed to find blood more palatable than a human would. They can taste things in it that humans wouldn't. Their sense of taste for other things has made them less appetizing. These are a mixture of biological and psychological cues, though, so it's possible for vampires to condition themselves to recognize what smells, etc., would appeal to humans. Possible, but definitely a learning process.

Silver burns their skin, weakens them significantly, and can poison them, if it is healed inside them or otherwise incorporated into their bloodstream. Silver poisoning is characterized by weakness, particularly gnawing hunger, and slowly starting to resemble a chemo patient, basically. The more blood a vampire drinks, the faster it's purified from their system. The blood of 'higher creatures' will hasten this process (and the blood of a fairy will purify it away instantly).

They're capable of having sex (but not of procreating sexually, remember). As that's concerned, they can't pass on diseases.

Religious things (holy water, crosses, hallowed ground, etc.) don't affect them at all.

Their tears are made of blood, rather than, you know, tears. 

They're effectively dead, so their blood is cold, their heart doesn't beat, they don't need to breathe, they don't sweat, they don't blush, they don't urinate or defecate, etc.. It's probably worth a reminder that breathing is necessary for speech, just like with anything else, but they don't need to do it to survive. 

Things that normally require bloodflow (eg,, erections) are accomplished by an unconscious magical force instead, making these things slightly firmer than they would be in a human.

They do have small amounts of relatively normal, mortal fluids that are required for them to function without appearing thoroughly fucked up. These include oils in the skin and hair, enough normal tears to keep the eyes lubricated, enough mucus to keep the nose from bleeding and sexual fluid.

Sexuality is a natural part of their hunting technique--that is, it's acknowledged as a necessary function by their bodies, so they're capable of it. They can't sexually reproduce, though. For female vampires, this means that all of their eggs were lost upon being turned. For male ones, they have seminal fluid without sperm.

Lower Vampires

This bloodline has been hunted down extensively, both by vampire hunters and by pro-mainstreaming vampires of other bloodlines. This means that they're the rarest sort.

They have many shark-like teeth that extend over their human ones when they're about to feed. These will grow back, if lost, regenerated like any other injury.

There's no special pleasure associated with being bitten by one of these vampires. It hurts just as it would being bitten by an animal. 

It is especially easy for them to create new vampires; they only need to feed them their blood, and it's done in a matter of minutes. This means that, while these vampires are relatively rare, there will often be episodes of them creating many other vampires at once, resulting in quick, scattered population explosions. This can also be accomplished by touching the blood to an open wound, which would require less blood than having them drink it would, but there's little to no danger of it simply for being on unbroken skin.

While their physical attributes are superior to those of a human of comparable size and strength, they are weaker than other vampires who share their age and build.

They have more of a pack mentality than other vampires, and tend to live in nests with their many progeny/siblings.

They can only be killed by beheading, or by especially enchanted means; stakes/wood do nothing but piss them off, really. 

Neither their blood nor their saliva has any healing properties whatsoever. 

Their monstrous qualities are especially strong; they're more distanced from their humanity than other races of vampire, more easily given over to sadism toward humans. Whether this is due to an increased appetite or some kind of natural meanness is unclear. 

Standard Vampires

These are the only vampires who have 'come out of the coffin', officially; these are the ones humans will see on TV, the ones who invented synthetic blood, etc. etc.. 

These are the most common type of vampire, and are generally the ones most dedicated to the mainstreaming effort; it was their idea.

They have two fangs that extend from their top row of teeth when they're about to feed. These are different between all vampires, just as human teeth are not identical among humans.

Attempts to enter a mortal dwelling uninvited will result in their bleeding as though having a brain hemorrhage, becoming incredibly weak and suffering agonizing pain, until they either secure an invitation or manage to crawl out of the door.

They can work a kind of subconscious magic that makes the bite pleasant. The bite itself will hurt, but sucking on it, afterward, is generally a very erotic sensation. . .unless they don't want it to be. Then it hurts about as much as you'd expect.

Being pierced by anything wooden will kill them instantly. Wooden things also cut/pierce through a vampire's skin very, very easily.

They have significantly greater physical attributes than humans of comparable build, even directly after being made.

To make a new vampire, they must drink from them until they're on the brink of death, then feed them a significant amount of their blood. Afterward, they shut them away from the sun for a varying amount of time (anywhere from one night to two weeks, depending on a number of different variables, such as the age of the siring vampire and the health of the prospective vampire), after which they rise as a vampire. It's traditional to bury them, but not necessary.

Their skin is slightly thicker and firmer than human skin, making it more difficult to cut, bruise or pierce with weapons not made of wood or silver. Still doable, of course.

They're capable of 'glamouring' humans--meaning, they look them straight in the eyes, and they'll obey whatever they say, so long as they maintain eye contact. This can be as simple as "go over there and don't move" or as complex as "you never saw us here tonight, you came to get donuts and you left". 

Their saliva has healing properties, when it can be concentrated on a particular spot. It's normally used to heal arteries after feeding so their prey doesn't bleed out; it's not especially useful for wounds larger than that.

Their blood has stronger healing properties than their saliva, and this is accomplished either by feeding it to a human, or putting it on a wound.

A mortal who's had a vampire's blood fresh from the source--that is, when they're in a position to form a clear mental picture of the vampire--will find themselves thinking favorably of them, fantasizing about them, missing them, etc., for a period of time, depending on how much blood they've had. 

If a vampire and a human swap blood in remarkable amounts, they will become blood bound to one another--basically the same thing as above, but mutual.

If this goes on for long periods of time, the bond begins to favor the vampire; that is, the human's feelings of loyalty to, and desire for, the vampire (and their blood) will be more intense than the vampire's feelings of the same.

This bond can be turned into a 'ghouling' situation, but it is not necessary to drink a mortal's blood to accomplish this (though they usually will). Ghouled humans will begin to assume a vampire's attributes, most notably their longevity, as long as they're fed that vampire's blood regularly. Heightened physical attributes apply. They're capable of being in the sun, but are likely to be made uncomfortable by it, thanks to their strong empathy with the vampire. Doing this is generally regarded as making a slave of the mortal party, because their free will is largely overwhelmed by their esteem for the vampire (and their blood). 

This process can be done to animals as well, to make them stronger, more loyal, and effectively immortal (though they're still capable of dying from, say, blood loss. . .same with humans, but I forget shit, OK? It's a lot of details!)

Drinking the blood of an unknown vampire has all kinds of positive effects; heightened physical attributes, heightened libido, etc., without any particular feelings for the vampire it came from (though, I guess if they happened to meet them while dosed up on their blood, maybe they'd feel it??). Different people react differently to these changes--sometimes the sudden heightened senses can trigger hallucinations, for example, but that's not to do with the blood itself, just the personality, body chemistry, etc., of the user. It also makes the user more easily given over to violence, and is highly addictive. It's a pretty big problem in certain parts of the world, with humans known as drainers subduing vampires and draining them dry, and other vampires willingly selling their blood for the money. It's referred to as 'V', and considered an illegal drug all around.

Greater Vampires

Most/all of the things about Standard vampires apply to the Greater as well. In addition. . .

They can use blood-fueled magic. It's suggested that this energy is supplied not by the blood, in and of itself, but by the sacrifice represented in taking it from another. Therefore, synthetic blood cannot replenish this energy in them.

This magical energy in them actually makes it much harder for them to feel satisfied by synthetic blood. Even if they're not using magic all over the place, the magical attribute represents a second kind of hunger. They naturally hunger for the power that blood gives them, even if their personality type isn't really given over to using it.

Of course, this hunger will often warp said personality type into being more superior and power-hungry. While Greater vampires are capable of mainstreaming (in the sense of letting humans know what they are, in the most basic sense, and trying to make a place for themselves in human society), the number of them who do is far lesser than Standard vampires. Many of them will, in fact, participate in human society, but they'll be pretending to be human, using magic to make themselves convincing.

To the public, any Greater mainstreaming vampire is required, by the Authority and by the urging of the supernatural community at large, to present themselves as a Standard vampire.

While they can use magic to accelerate their own healing, it's a very rare vampire that can use anything resembling healing magic on other people. If they manage to do so, it's incredibly taxing.

More drastic forms of magic are also very taxing. By 'taxing', I mean that they use enormous amounts of that blood energy. If they exhaust very much of that, they enter starvation mode and ravenously feed on the nearest available mortal source.

They can learn how to more effectively execute magic they use often to require less blood.

As insinuated above, they can do a lot with it, and can make themselves convincingly human by it (eg, making their heart beat, giving themselves body heat, sweat, etc.). However, these are conscious decisions they have to make. . .so, someone might find that a vampire is cooler or warmer than normal, that they sweat too much or too little, that the rhythm of their heartbeat is off, etc..Basically, it's hard to make it identical to what it was when they were human, so how convincing they are is up to how well they can pull that sort of thing off.

While they can use magic to create life, they need the raw materials for it, and they can't use magic to create mortal life from their own body. So, basically, they can make a homunculus or a golem, they can cause existing lifeforms to mutate in all sorts of ways, but they still can't make babies. It's the nature of the curse.

Their 'magical' nature is very palpable to magic-sensitive people or creatures. So, those who are drawn to, or strengthened by, magic, will feel drawn to these vampires. Some may think that it's a twisted and disgusting energy, while others might not make that distinction, and find the presence of magic at all to be pure and comforting. 

The blood of magical creatures replenishes their energy at a far greater rate than that of more mundane creatures (humans, basically, though some humans have magical attributes in this universe, too. . .not the subject of this post, though!).

Blood taken from a corpse renders their magical powers inert.

There's a symbol that can be drawn, in a manner similar to a devil's trap for demons, that will exploit the magic in this breed's blood. They'll be unable to leave the symbol and unable to use magic while inside it.

Their magical acuity makes it easy for them to detect many things about supernatural creatures and forces. Too many to list, really; I'll probably tell you about it if/when it's relevant.

The blood of a Greater vampire is more potent than the other bloodlines'. A human drinking it may even sometimes manifest magical abilities (though they'd have to somehow figure out they were there, of course).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maxwell Garrington

Playby: Simon Bonney
Full Name: Maxwell Garrington (James Brennan)
Apparent Age: ~30
Date of Birth: December 20, 1740
Date of Death: July 13, 1768
Birthplace: Brighton, England
Place of Death: Cork, Ireland
Current Residence: Crystal Springs, California
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Blue
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 200 lbs.
Occupation:  Adjunct professor; 'cleaner'
Sexual Orientation: Pansexual; nonmonogamous
Personality Points: Confident, outgoing, playful, seductive, intellectual, passionate, progressive-minded 
Voice Clip: Here! It's at least as important as a picture, to get an idea of the whole Maxwell experience.
F-List: For those interested in that kind of shit.

A Summary of Public Knowledge


Maxwell was born in Brighton, but was moved to Cork as a young boy. He identified as homosexual when he was human, and from the age of 17 until being made vampire, lived with his "husband", Cyril. 

He was made vampire by one known as Evangeline in the mid-18th century. They spent many, many years together, adopting a number of guises to pass among humanity (father/daughter, sister/brother, husband/wife, etc.).

They parted briefly in the early 20th century, but reunited after World War II and had a home built in Crystal Springs, in which Maxwell currently resides. 

In the 1980s, they spent time in West Berlin and formed a band called The Sinkillers*, which enjoyed a strong cult following, most notably appearing in the film The Sky Over Berlin**, and was lauded for their hypnotic live performancesThe band dissolved in the early 1990s, and Evangeline disappeared from his life shortly thereafter. 

He returned to the US and traveled the country for some time, recording a single album under his own name with the assistance of musicians met along the way. This enjoyed slightly more radio play in certain avenues than his work with the Sinkillers, songs appearing in the odd film or three, but carefully avoided truly mainstream recognition. 

When the matter of the Revelation arose, Maxwell embraced it whole-heartedly, as his longstanding approach had already been to make a place for himself in mainstream society, rather than hiding in the shadows among his own kind. His personal revelation was first made via forum posts and webcam through a Sinkillers fansite, followed by an article submitted to the local newspaper.  

Thereafter, fond of answering questions and relating knowledge, he traveled the country, giving talks on how vampires might integrate peacefully into human society, and fielding questions about what life was like in 18th century Europe and beyond. However, he quickly found himself frustrated by the fact that humans did not seem to understand the limited point of view one had in that time period, particularly when restricted to nighttime hours, leading him to abandon these pursuits in the space of three months.

For some time, he continued to travel the US, with no particular aim beyond gauging the success of the Revelation around the country.

His experience in lecturing eventually inspired him to pursue teaching and, after a great deal of convincing, he was taken on as an adjunct professor at the local university, leading an elective course in creative writing. This was a matter of some controversy, once a few of the school's wealthy (and quite conservative) donors got wind of these plans. He did, ultimately, acquire the job, but only under the condition that the public was made aware of his introduction into the school before the year's sign-ups were to begin.

On his first night of teaching, he made the ill-considered decision to sing for his students as they came into class, of a mind that it would make a fond first impression, considering his history in music. Instead, this decision stirred up controversy once more, for many students later related that they felt strange, manipulated and vulnerable, in those moments he was singing. His classes were put on hold for a week, and many of his students dropped out in that time.  When asked what happened, Maxwell would claim the effect to be a result of his 'condition', something over which he had no control.

Upon returning, his remaining students decided to make a formal announcement of their trust, each shaking his hand (many of them merely following the example of those before them) before sitting to take instruction. Later, some would admit to being unsettled by him in such close proximity but, in the same breath, admit it couldn't be helped; it was no fault of Professor Garrington's, who proved to be an effective teacher, if notoriously long-winded. 

Things went well for some time; he was seen drinking synthetic blood much more often than he was noted sneaking away in the company of some healthy youth, of which no proof of feeding could be produced. 

It wasn't until Russel Edgington appeared on television***, divesting that poor newsman of his spine, that things went sour for him. Public opinion of vampires took a nosedive, and persons of import who had once taken his side concerning his place in the university reconsidered their decision. By this time, substantial rumors of his feeding on students from the school, and others in town, had begun to surface, fueling the idea that his position jeopardized the safety of the student body. He was not asked to renew his contract for the following semester, something taken as a deliberate act against him for what he was. A number of former students and other allies at the school sometimes call for his return, but there has been no grand demonstration, as yet, and after two months, there remain no indications that he'll be asked to resume teaching, in spite of his popularity among his own students.

Starting last year, he has been posting advertisements around campus and on the internet offering affordable room and board in his home to students in need, with details to be discussed over the telephone or through email. He hopes that this will allow him to take an active role in assisting students who would otherwise suffer the stress and distraction of money woes and miserable employment. In his home, they would be beyond such worries, and have a quiet, peaceful environment in which to focus on their studies.

At long last, after a full year away, he has managed to convince the school board to renew his contract at the college. Once again, he teaches a twice-weekly creative writing course. Thusfar, his performance is as good as it ever was; passionate, professional and dedicated.

Maxwell has a strong internet presence, favoring the handle 'Somniloquist'. He has accounts on major social media sites, where he'll often comment about various vampire rights issues, as well as ongoing human rights concerns, and shows a staunchly liberal political lean. Posts about cooking started out sparse but have recently grown into experimental video blogging about how vampires can hope to succeed in cooking for humans. He has hopes of making a proper webseries out of it but that has yet to come to fruition.

 (Footnotes: *: A fictional equivalent of the band Crime and the City Solution. ** Literal English title of the German film Der Himmel über Berlin, AKA Wings of Desire, in which the aforementioned band appears; I figured calling it that instead would more comfortably allow for fictionalization. ***One of my few insertions of True Blood canon into the RP, a reference to a scene from S03E09, available here as of my writing this entry.)

Further Information 


 As Maxwell's profile in Crystal Springs rose, the local sheriff, Carmilla, grew frustrated with his lack of respect for her authority, and managed, at last, to corner him. Having dug around and discovered his talent for magicks, as well as his apparent concern for human well-being, she presented him with an ultimatum; work for her, or face the judgment of the state's Magister for his longstanding refusal to acknowledge the Authority.  

This proved a fairly clear choice for Maxwell, and it was in this way that he began working to clean up the messes his fellows quite like making. Magic is not a thing known to the larger human population, and it is in vampires' best interest--as well, Maxwell thinks, as that of other supernatural communities--that it remains so; his job is to help keep that secret when other vampires threaten to expose it, often unintentionally.

Hobbies/Misc. Info

-Owns a monstrously fat, orange Maine Coon mix named Felton.
- Loves the challenge of cooking.
- Continues singing and playing instruments, chiefly guitar; he's made progress in stripping the hypnotic effects from his voice and is half-heartedly considering writing new songs. For now, he plays at the Robin St. Cafe often with a band comprised, largely, of employees.
- Owns a 1960 Harley Davidson Sportster, fully restored, that has recently been put back on the road. His other car's a shitty, low-priced, dark sedan, just like about a thousand other cars in the area.
- His fashion sense speaks to nostalgic considerations from the 1980s. Underground fashion, thank heavens, was more subdued than the neon horrors of the mainstream, though his hair is sometimes rather conspicuous.
- Is intensely proud of his ass.
- Hates vampire bars, as well as human clubs with loud recorded music (loud live music is a-OK).
- Favors coffee shops and low key bars, as well as community gathering places, for food and fun.


(Which ones are true?? Oh, what's the fun in that. . .?)

- Owns an extensive collection of classic cars.
- Chains pretty young girls in his basement for blood.
- Uses his singing voice to compel strapping young men to do his bidding.
- Has been romantically involved with a mysterious man named Dean for a number of months.
- Is totally worth the risk in bed.
- Subtly compelled his students to set up. . .something. . . in their writing assignments.
- Was booted from his teaching job for attacking the Anatomy professor.
- Or maybe the biochemistry professor's suicide wasn't a suicide!
- Remember that guy they found outside the hospital last year, drained of blood? What other vampires do we know!?
- Lost his job because multiple board members threatened to pull funding if he remained.
- Has been seen lurking around town with a horrible, medieval headsman's ax.
- Saved a group of fashion students from a nest of vampires who'd been keeping them as blood dolls.
- Probably more. Who knows with him? He's just SHADY.

OOC Notes


On Setting


On a large scale, this setting/universe has its core basis in the True Blood canon. This mostly concerns the social status of vampires, and on that count, the Great Revelation occurred ~4 years prior to the current point in the story. I do keep up with the Sookie Stackhouse book series, but thusfar, when I do use canon events, it has been from the TV series canon, not the books.

On Supernatural Characters/Rules/etc.


While my core basis is in the True Blood series, as I mentioned, it is also informed by the many years I've spent role playing, and absorbing other influences. The most marked difference is the ability of vampires to use magic, of course; this goes by a Vampire: The Masquerade-style rule of consuming blood to power it, but doesn't have technical limitations on what kind of magic a vampire can or can't use. . .basically, my point of view is, I do dramatic RP. It's more like writing than it is like playing a game, and as such, "fairness" is less of a concern, for me. I write in limitations, and leave out limitations, as suits the plot. What I mean by that is, while my character in particular (and, theoretically, others) can do some pretty impressive things, he still has to fail, or otherwise hit a stopping point, not because there's a rule saying so, but because making a character too all-powerful wounds dramatic tension, conflict and so on. I think this is a logical way to pursue non-combat-oriented RP, and expect this same logic of my partners.

Since I don't actually have a huge amount of experience in non-vampire supernaturals, I'll usually default to the Sookieverse definition of a particular thing. . .if you're familiar with it, fine. If not, we can discuss. I really do prefer discussing things in detail if you intend to play any kind of non-human character, particularly a non-vampire supernatural, so we can reach an agreement on how a given character type is meant to work. . .if we don't do that, it makes things messy down the road. To be honest, the only Sookieverse definition I'm really married to is werewolves/shifters. I've already altered fairies a bit, and find Harris's interpretations of other fae creatures kind of strange, so whether those are kept or overwritten remains to be seen.

All of this said, it is not necessary to be familiar with True Blood to RP with me. It helps, but I can usually explain the important parts pretty quickly (and people with good reading comprehension probably have the gist of it by now).

On His Playby and Physical Attributes

I still need to find someone to make art of Maxwell for me. Since that's yet to happen, just try and regard the reference images as part of an old photo album that no longer represent him fully. His build isn't as skinny as Simon Bonney's, but he retains his facial features and voice. I'm sure to describe the relevant differences where appropriate. RP is a written medium, yeah?