The High Voduan Priest known as Papa Guédé started life as Mason Gracian, grandson of Lady Marika de Nariska the great oracle of Haiti, son of Juliet Nariska who was the prophetess to her mother who married the great New Orleans medicine man Marcus de Wit. The great oracle was of course present at the boy’s birth and minutes after the boy’s birth she attempted to look in to the boy’s future to see what his destiny would be.
She said the rite, did the ritual but as her eyes got far away and she attempted to see what lay in store for her grandson, she was spun around and laid out cold of the floor, an angry welt on the side of her face as if she had been slapped by a big, powerful open palm.
When she came to hours later, she insisted that the boy had beaten her for attempting to pry in to his future and would not allow her to see further. Demanding to do one last rite to the boy before she departed, she laid him in a carefully constructed circle and enacted powerful magics upon the boy, cursing him to never again be allowed to physically harm a woman without her first doing him physical harm.
After binding him to such a deep compulsion, she left angry yet impressed that her grandson would one day go on to slap her peering eyes away from him. From that point forward the family as well as all of their devout followers were certain the Mason would become the next oracle, the next person who be the mouthpiece of the Lau. Of course his mother home schooled him though all of his lessons were given with a healthy heaping of religion, history, and the occult. He was certainly trained from a young age his duties and responsibilities to the people of his shared religion.
Of course he grew up knowing all of the Voduan families in the community since his mother and father would act as not only their spiritual advisers but also their doctors and midwives, their grocers and mediators. Mason pretended to not take notice that his mother and father held such positions in the small though close-knit community but it was highly unavoidable since the children always wanted to know what his father was brewing up or what his mother thought on various subjects.
Then came the three months out of the year that he was shipped to his grandmother’s home in Haiti. His mother had been forbade to teach him the specifics of wielding the powers that his grandmother thought that he would be able to command in the future. While his grandmother believed that her daughter’s brand of Louisiana voodoo was watered down with too much Christianity, she allowed her grandson to continue with the beliefs he had grown up with was she instructed him, though she severely supplemented it with her own views.
She quickly discovered that the boy had no desire to be a mouthpiece though he took to the more practical and hands-on elements of voodoo: herbs, healing, the theology of it all. Whenever he would come back from these summers in Haiti he had a wealth of knowledge to digest and a renewed enthusiasm for what he was doing. He finally in his early teens began helping his father healing and making ritual herbs. Soon enough Mason practically had his own following out of his father’s shop and he was getting just as many requests for remedies and healing sessions as his father.
It was like something was propelling him forward, urging him to greater heights of understanding and knowledge and something else was helping to him do it outside of himself, that much he was sure of because he knew what while he was interesting, he could not be doing it all on his own. One summer Mason was left at his father’s shop since his grandmother had called a conclave of mystics and healers. While his parents were away, one of the neighbors down the street came in looking for his father. It was an emergency. Their child had apparently been struck by a car and was on the brink of death.
Not knowing what else to do and having seen his father perform the ritual prayers for healing, the teenager grabbed up a handful of his father’s healing cigars packed with herbs and hallucinogens and took his father’s hat that was said to ward off death by posing as one of the more important Lau so that one of the spirits would think that the Lau was already there to carry the soul. Fumbling and managing to light the cigar while he ran to the scene of the accident. In the small quarter a crowd had already gathered.
Mason knelt next to the boy who was drifting in and out of consciousness. He could not have been that much younger than Mace himself. Only half there, practically delirious from the hallucinogens, he put the low top hat on and began the prayer rights, spreading his hands over the boy was bleeding profusely from a stomach wound. The smoke grew thicker and dense, causing the crowd that had gathered to have to back up. In that cloud Mason swirled the smoke around, grabbing it and tying it, knitting it as if it was the wounds he was closing. At the end of the ritual he tied off that final strand of smoke and threw it down at the boy. All of the smoke suddenly was sucked from the air and into the boy, his wounds closing right before everybody’s eyes, bones setting themselves and mending right on the spot.
The boy sat up choking and hacking up smoke but he was alive and in perfect health as far as anyone could see. Mason collapsed on the sidewalk beside the boy he had helped, drugged out of his mind and unconscious but the odd thing was that his eyes were disturbingly wide open as if he had come to some vast realization before having lost consciousness. He awoke to his family standing over him plus a man that he had never seen who was introduced to him simply as Micah. Of course they all said that he had done well but they also said that it was time he go on his apprenticeship and learn the hard lessons that his parents would be too soft to teach him.
Micah did not waste much time. A bag had already been packed and Micah took the boy in to the deep bayou where he said only the spirits and the Lau would ever dare to go. Over the next six years he taught Mason about being a mage and what it meant, what he would be driven towards by his Avatar. He taught the boy how to use his powers with the mediums that he had already been brought up using and cemented his belief system. He taught Mason that while his relatives were good healers and spiritualists that they were mere pretenders compared to what he was capable of.
In that time Mason began wearing that hat of his all the time, made hand rolled cigars all his own and mixed in all manner of drugs and hallucinogens, the only time he practically showed any sense of humor being while he was smoking one such cigar though he never gave up that good-nature that his parents had instilled in him. Micah drilled him relentlessly in his life magic, making him commune with odd and bizarre spirits late into the bayou nights. After six years though, Mason was sent back to his parents and was allowed to show them what he had learned, let them witness some of the various miracles he could work and in general rejoined society. Micah promised him though that he would not be allowed to remain with his parents long, that his presence with them was merely a visit and an opportunity to see the world with his new eyes. As part of this he even managed to get his drivers license.
It lasted all of a month though before Micah appeared one night with a beat up old Lincoln Continental, telling Mason that he needed to embrace his Avatar and live by his paradigm; embrace what the people were already calling him: Papa Guédé. Perhaps not Papa Guédé himself but certainly a manifestation of the Lau psychopomp, able to pull people back from the brink of death and become whatever he needed to to accomplish his goals, call forth the spirits themselves or enter the spirit world if need be which he found comparatively easy to his former master, coming and going unhindered by the ravaging storms.
His master gave him a task and a dangerous one at that. Having heard of the recent happenings in Colorado with the fallout between the Mages and the shapechangers, Mason was sent to 1: find a long-lost node, long thought destroyed but Micah had found in a dream questing. 2: mend ties with the shapechangers and set up a chantry on the node which lay in the forests. Hoping that the young man’s arcane nature would aide him along with the small library that Micah had placed in the trunk of the Continental, he let him say farewell to his family before being sent off to the cold, dry wilderness.
Papa Guédé believes himself be an avatar of the Lau, Papa Guédé. While he is not the Lau psychopomp, as most followers of his religion in the local area where he grew up believe, he sincerely thinks that he embodies aspects of the Lau and therefore can to anything that they might be able to accomplish as gods but has yet to learn to unleash these powers. Since his body and mind are young, they must learn what all his spirit can accomplish. Just like Jesus in the Bible, he still talks to his father or father-god and the rituals and spells that he weaves, no matter how elaborate or brief, they are placations or entreaties to Papa Guédé himself.
Papa Guédé is rather humble, believing that it is his lot in life is to maintain balance, help those in need, and better himself in what he does. He does this so that perhaps one day he will not be an avatar of the Lau but will actually be a Lau himself, assisting not just those he is able to physically be around, but the entire world and the human race he left behind. Maintaining the balance of life on earth can take many forms, whether it be saving a life that deserves to live and beautify the world further or taking an unwholesome and dangerous life out of the world, making sure that it is not able to harm others further. These are the days where he will be able to claim ignorance after all and kill people outright without having to justify it with the rest of the gods.
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3
Social: Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 2
Talents: Alertness 2, Athletics 1, Awareness 1, Brawl 2, Dodge 3
Skills: Drive 1, Meditation 3, Survival 1
Knowledges: Academics 3, Enigmas 3, Investigation 1, Medicine 3, Occult 3
Backgrounds: Arcane 5, Avatar 5, Library 3, Node 4, Resources 1