I’ve always felt bad for Turin Turambar. The guy really couldn’t get a break. He was undoubtedly the most tragic figure in all of Tolkien’s writings. And, like me, his fate was sealed because of a woman. The difference between us? Turin failed to save his woman and was doomed. I succeeded, and I’m pretty damn sure I’ll face some future doom for it.
Such is the power of the past. Every choice we make, every choice those before us made, they all shape the choices of our future, and so I am not at all surprised that my father shaped who I am and what I choose to be today. Craig Maxwell was a drunkard and a gambler, and for many of his younger years, he had luck to accompany those traits. He excelled at poker, and when you can win money fast, what need is there for a better education? He became a drifter, only to be forced to settle down when one of his flings became pregnant. And her family was quite intimidating. They didn’t need shot guns, just their Rage.
My dad’s family was content with the arrangement. It was fate’s way of roping in a wayward kin. Craig had sharp wits, a keen eye, and the family was sure he’d be useful someday, if only he’d stay away from the whiskey and poker tables. And if not, there was the son, me, who was destined to be a Garou. My mother, Katrina, tried her best to be faithful to her family, but the more she pressured Craig to fulfill his role, the more he resented it, the more he felt fenced in, and the more his own anger grew, poisoning his soul.
Now, my father wasn’t all bad. He taught me some of the most valuable learning I’d ever get. He taught me cards. Every game he knew, from how to play to how to win to how to cheat. My mother countered by giving me books, trying to broaden my horizons, give me a better life. And she did. I enjoyed quite a bit of literature thanks to her efforts, and I loved the stories, from fantasy to westerns, but they couldn’t quite replace the thrill I’d get from a game of chance. Especially when you tend to win those games. I had my father’s luck, it seemed.
Unfortunately, luck can’t be depended on forever, and my father’s ran out. I’d witnessed him push my mother around before. I’d watched as she sat in front of the mirror, meticulously covering her bruises. There came a point, though, when I couldn’t stand anymore. Something in me snapped, and any fear I’d had of the man disappeared. As my mother was knocked down by a drunken blow, I exploded, and, well, my father met an untimely end. Looking back, I wonder if he’d wanted to die. Perhaps he could’ve run from my clumsy attack. Or maybe he really never had a chance. My mother never spoke of what happened, and I never really had the desire to ask.
Anyways, she called her family, and everything was settled quiet-like. I was taken out to live in the woods and learn the ways of the Garou. I was fifteen and anything but thrilled about sleeping in a cave. Shifting was a neat trick, but it took me a while to accept all the traditions and lore that went along with being a werewolf. I was stubborn, I didn’t want all the responsibility that went with being a warrior, and I was angry with myself for killing my father. Needless to say, I was knocked around by my elders quite a bit. They called me Can’t-Get-Enough.
Never really fell into the storyteller role, despite being a Galliard. I was better with messages, though. That or bullshitting. I suppose you could say I gained a rep as a bullshit artist, which meant I was handy to have around if we ever had to explain anything odd to the regular types. As for my tribe, the Shadow Lords, I suppose I understood them more. You do what you have to do. That means pulling some crazy shit sometimes. Or taking risks. And risks, that’s one thing I get. Sometimes you have to take a gamble, just make sure the odds are in your favor. I am certainly not above manipulating those odds.
It was a rough month or so, but they got me straightened out enough to Rite. I was sent along with a couple other cubs, had to help take down some banes, and then I had to come back and tell about it. Didn’t have to make it a fancy story, but the elders were listening for details. How much did I pay attention to? How perceptive was I? What did I notice about the enemy, about my allies? That’s where I was tested.
Funny that my deed name didn’t come from that, but rather what I was known for: Being lucky at cards. Once freed from the restraints of cubhood, I fell back into old habits, keeping up with my card practice. They called me Luck-of-the-Draw for that. One of my Walker friends, Johnny “Many-Names” Carroll, taught me how to make fake IDs so I could go make some money with my card skills. I just made sure never to win too big, so they never had reason to look into who I was beyond that.
The Sept had an odd way of viewing my addiction to gambling. Most of the time, they’d grumble that it was a waste of resources, not to mention my time. Oh, and don’t forget the bad habits it gave me. Yet when they needed money in a pinch? There were several occasions they’d point me towards a craps or poker table, using my skills to earn them an extra buck or so. I didn’t mind that so much, and the other lectures I could shrug off. As long as I was still fighting, guarding, and generally doing my duty, I didn’t see that any harm was being done.
Johnny and I spent a lot of time together. I imagine they figured we’d pack up, but we never did. He joined a roach pack, and me, I’ve never been much of a fan of bugs. I joined up with a couple tribemates under Chameleon. Saul Confuses-the-Shadow and Carrie Hunts-the-Enemy’s-Secrets, both of which backed me more than I deserved at the time. We became a scouting pack. Those Ragabash made getting the info possible, while I relayed it back to the Sept. I had gifts that helped me remember the little details. I learned pretty fast that I had no gift for spinning fine stories, but I made an excellent messenger.
We made a pretty good name for ourselves, and I started to settle more into my life as a Garou… as long as I could get my gambling fix now and again. There’s just nothing like the thrill of the game. Nothing like it. Anyways, months went by at the usual pace, and my life began to feel like a neverending routine. Scout with the pack, teach the cubs, learn a rite or gift, collect on favors, fight a little, stay alive, rinse and repeat. I believe that’s when you know you’re ready for a promotion in the Nation, when you get to the point you feel you can do all that in your sleep.
Perhaps it was that circle I’d caught myself in that made her stand out even more in my mind. Petra Medvene was the most beautiful kin I’d ever laid eyes on. Most beautiful woman /period/. Every time I saw her, I had to force myself to breathe. Here, I thought, was perfection, and no doubt she’d be claimed by one of the higher ranks, perhaps even Rufus, the Alpha himself. That didn’t stop me from seeking out her company. And it was pleasant company. She was not only beautiful, she was intelligent. …Either that or I was more tolerant of any mental shortcomings around her. A man can be blinded to such things, I know. It’s difficult to say, upon reflecting, how much was truly her, and how much was the goddess I created in my memory. What I remember is a charming, intelligent, beautiful, and even devious woman.
A far cry from the woman that travels with me now. Ah, but I get ahead of myself.
It was the slim hope of gaining Petra’s affection that spurred me onward to gaining more renown and starting to make more of a name for myself within the Sept. After a year or so more, I dared to challenge for the rank Fostern. As expected, the Lord I challenged preyed on my weakness: Storytelling. I was to take two chosen companions into the Umbra, fight a foe worthy of the rank I sought, and then return and tell the tale of our journey. Poetically. In a way that would move the other Galliards. The fight, strangely, was the easy part. It was returning to tell the tale that I dreaded. What gave me the resolve I needed was Petra, thinking on her, imagining her listening. It was a chance to show her who I was, what I could do.
I passed the challenge. I’m not sure I could repeat that performance if I wanted to, but the once was enough. Petra even approached me after and praised my efforts. I could’ve died happy right then.
Instead, I went out with my buddies, and we celebrated by gambling and drinking (both legally by this time) the night away. The odds all seemed to be in my favor. I’d just gained a rank, I was chasing after a pretty girl, and I had a pack that was growing, gained two members not long before my challenge.
Things continued to go smoothly for me. I learned more, taught more, continued to gain renown and respect. But in one night, all of that changed. Spirals attacked while I was out gambling one night, and by the time I heard of it, the damage had been done. Several warriors wounded, one dead, and Petra had been taken captive. I was ready to go after them right then, but it was Rufus that stopped me.
In some courts, that could count as motive right there.
We needed to heal, regroup, and plan. We needed to figure out the enemy’s numbers and strengths, what we were up against. We couldn’t just rush foolishly in. Petra was family, but she was also just a kin. And the chances that she would still be alive…
Enraged, I stalked away, flanked by my pack. Up until I growled at them to leave me be. Walking away gave me a chance to think. I was one Garou. I could do some damage, but there was little chance I could save her myself. The Sept would take too long. I needed someone that would be willing to strike /now/, no matter what the price would be. And if I could kill two birds with one stone?
And that’s when I did something completely reckless. I went to the leeches’ side of the city, and I made a deal with them. The deal? A life for a life. Or that’s how it started out. They would deliver Petra to me, alive, if I delivered Rufus to them, alive. I was sorely tempted to take that offer, but I kept up my poker face, looked as if I was debating dropping it, and he added on that they’d add the head of the Spiral that had taken her to the deal. That’s when I agreed. I wasn’t sure if the leeches could pull it off, but it couldn’t hurt to get the enemy fighting each other, right? And Rufus… his pack was never far from him. He’d be saved before any real harm could come to him. By the time the vampires figured that part out, I’d be gone with the girl.
That was the plan, anyways. I recognized that it could fail horribly, but to me, it was worth it. Petra was worth it.
There were a few agonizing days in which I waited for news from either side, the vampires or my Plan B, the Garou. In that time I did what I could to help the Sept organize or plan. Rufus kept me from the scouting, though, afraid I’d lose my cool and just rush in. He was probably right. I wasn’t feeling too level-headed those days.
Finally, that news came in the form of a head left in a bag outside my door. They’d kept their word so far, so I kept mine. I called up Rufus, said I had something I wanted to show him. The head certainly was something, not to mention thoroughly disgusting. I’d forged a note pointing us to an old warehouse, and together we went off to investigate.
Rufus wasn’t a fool, however. He recognized he’d been walked into a trap the moment he spotted someone else within the designated warehouse. That was no doubt the moment he sent word to his pack, through the link between them.
Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive in time. I have no idea what prevented or slowed them. I certainly didn’t stick around to ask. I demanded Petra and was motioned towards a back room. Leaving Rufus to his own devices, I ran to find her. What I found… was a shell of the woman I’d known. Her gaze was terrified, haunted, and went right through whatever she looked at. She was drugged, I’d later discover, to help her deal with the pain of her still-healing wounds. Bloodied scratches crossed her face, and I could see hints of bruises and cuts in other places, but the extent was hidden by her clothing. One thing I realized, though, they were not wounds meant to kill. The Spirals had meant to take their time, to enjoy the torture. I almost lost my control at that thought.
So fixed was I on Petra’s condition and getting her out of there, that I’d tuned out the sounds of the battle within the warehouse. Or perhaps I no longer cared. I picked her up and walked out. One vampire attempted to stop me, but I coldly reminded him that he didn’t want to test me. My fostern gift occasionally comes in handy.
I walked out into the night, placed Petra gently in my car, and took off, turning my back on the chaos behind me. Once I was down the road a ways, I realized that it hadn’t looked like a winning battle for Rufus. And then it occurred to me that whether he won or lost, I couldn’t stay here, not without getting in a shitload of trouble. Especially if he lost. So, I kept driving. I left the Sept and city behind and headed west. I stopped after a reasonable distance and let Petra get some rest. I fetched some new clothes for her and something to hide the scarring marks on her face, and I did what I could to help those wounds heal. The whole trip was a slow one. I’d drive as long as I could, and then we’d stop to rest and heal. We didn’t talk much. I don’t think we had to. Petra seemed to feel safe around me, and that was all I needed to know. Sadly, it also meant we couldn’t be together the way I’d wanted. I was her guardian now, and she was far from whole. I’d protect her as long as she needed it.
And hopefully keep my own life in the process. I created a couple fake identities for us. Nothing in depth, but enough for a surface inspection. I finally heard about a Sept that sounded like a place we could hide in. Sept of the Looking Glass in Crystal Springs. Seemed they needed warriors badly. Perhaps they wouldn’t be too picky about who they brought into the fold. It was a gamble, but I figured my hand was decent enough to risk it.
Jericho, as he calls himself now, is a man that loves the thrill of chance and risk. Not just that thrill, but knowing that with the right calculations, he can beat the odds. He's addicted to gambling, in just about any form it comes in. There are moments, however, when something or someone will motivate him to put his drive to win towards specific goals, such as creating a pack, becoming fostern, saving the girl. It's when he's no longer motivated that he drops back into his old habits of basically wasting his life away in casinos or bars. It's just a good thing the Garou are usually demanding. He can be fun-loving and personable around people, even charming, but that's balanced by lows of depression and cynicism, especially if he's on a losing streak.
Strength: 2 Charisma: 3 Perception: 4 (Specialty: Keen-eyed)
Dexterity: 2 Manipulation: 4 (Specialty: Persuasion) Intelligence: 2
Stamina: 2 Appearance: 3 Wits: 3
Rage: 4 Willpower: 5 Gnosis 2
- Brawl 1
- Dodge 2
- Expression 3
- Persausion 4 (Specialty: Fast-Talk)
- Scrounging 2
- Subterfuge 3
- Vigilance 2
- Crafts (Fake IDs): 1
- Drive 1
- Larceny 4 (Specialty: Gambling/cheating)
- Marksmanship 3
- Stealth 2
- Enigmas 2
- Finance 1
- Politics 1
- Rituals 1
- Pure Breed 1 (Shadow Lord)
- Resources 2 (From his gambling)
- Rites 1
- Totem 2
- Conscience: 2
- Self-Control: 4
- Courage : 4
- Perfect Recall
- Seize the Edge
- Cold Voice of Reason
- Rite of the Questing Stone
- Hunting Prayer
- Prayer for the Prey
- Perfect Liar (3)
- Lightning Calculator (1)
- Lie Detector (3)
- Compulsion: Gambling (1)
- Notoriety 3 (Word has gotten out that Trenton Maxwell is a traitor that lead to his Sept Alpha's death. He's currently MIA.)
- Ward 3 (Petra Medvene, who he now calls Sarah Tyler)
5 Freebies to Perception, 2 to Willpower, 2 to Gnosis, 10 to Talents, 2 to Skills = 21
- SLOT 1
- Type: Gift: Cold Voice of Reason
- To: David Green
- Approved By: Weaver
- Status: Finished on 11/23/10
- Explanation: For Jericho's chiminage. Because making David's speech even more powerful couldn't possibly backfire.
- SLOT 2
- Type: Background: Ally 1 (Councilman Jensen)
- From: Self
- Approved By: Weaver
- Status: Finished on 12/19/2010
- Explanation: Jericho recently used his gambling prowess to get into a select poker group. Among the members of this group is one of the city's councilmen, Gerald Jensen. Since then, the two have become pals. They've been spotted drinking together at upscale clubs, playing tennis ('Gerry' won that by a landslide), and bowling (Jericho got him back there.) Basically, Jericho's trying to get on Gerald's good side, hoping to gain a contact, possibly even a useful friend.
- SLOT 3
- Approved By:
- Advancement History
- Taught Brawl 1 to Rena Akana for his Chiminage 11/19/10