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Corwin Gardener (
2016-10-20 03:05 am (UTC)
: Corwin Gardener
Corwin had a childhood spent largely at home, going out only for school and coming straight home afterwards. His mother was alcoholic, extremely controlling, and emotionally abusive. Corwin is always quick to say she never actually hurt him, though he's privately sure she might have wanted to and just held herself back for his sake. If anything, however, it was because she lacked the courage. Even as a child, he grew up like a weed, and towered over her already by twelve.
Between moving about once a year due to evictions, his mother's controlling nature, and his own quieter nature, he never really had friends. The only real friends he ever managed to make were neighbors' pets and stray animals, and that only with a lot of time and patience. Because it was all he had, Corwin did well in school, working hard and generally not having trouble understanding the material. His grades got him into college, just barely, for a computer programming degree, and after that he never went back to his mother, moving as far from her as he could without actually leaving the country.
Corwin's sire, an older vampire named Jared, discovered him when Corwin was twenty-nine. It took the vampire three years to turn him. He watched him for a long time before beginning a correspondence and finally turning him on their first face-to-face meeting. Once Corwin got over the fear of the "attack" and being dead, actually understood what had happened, and realized that Jared was
lying about being "family" now-- it helped when Jared introduced him to a couple other Strigoi vampires who lived nearby, and they were unreservedly accepting-- he was overjoyed.
Jared took his new progeny to New York, so Corwin could meet as much of the "family" as he wanted. They stayed there for two years, Corwin eating up everything he could about the Strigoi line, way of life, and abilities and making friends for the first time in his life. When they returned to home to Detroit Corwin decided, with his sire's fondly amused support, to try and share the gift of family immediately, and purposefully set out to find the unhappy, downtrodden, and outcaste and see if he could help them.
His first choice, a teenage boy named Eric, seemed painfully familiar: bullied, clever but friendless and lonely, with a difficult home life. Taking a cue from his own sire, Corwin watched-- perhaps "stalked" might be a better word-- for a whole year, then spent another sharing emails and internet conversations with his chosen. Rather than surprising him with teeth and blood and death immediately, however, he actually met Eric in person
he turned him. He liked the idea of letting the boy know what he was in for, first, rather than putting him through the fear Corwin had dealt with, and having someone willing to cooperate with the procedure made things easier. After a few awkward moments while Corwin convinced him he wasn't a demon and he was still his friend, Eric actually took it surprisingly well, and after Corwin's rather passionate testimonial, accepted the invitation.
Except it didn't work. Instead of a vampire, a son and a brother, what Corwin got was a ghost. Eric had trusted him so much that he wasn't going to pass on when he died that he
, but his new unlife was not at all what he'd expected. Corwin was horrified, Eric confused, and no one happy.
Eric forgave him, but Corwin wasn't about to forgive himself. Panicked, afraid that he'd done something wrong, Corwin tried again, this time with Theresa, a battered wife with a stubborn streak that applied to everyone except her husband, a bitter outlook on life, and a loner's nature. He was much hastier this time, and didn't reveal himself, afraid of giving her false hope-- and what if the fear was necessary, and that was what he did wrong with Eric? Except that didn't work, either. All that happened was that the terror she felt when he killed her, and her fury at being killed, led to
staying behind as a ghost, as well-- only she, unlike Eric, did not forgive her assailant when he penitently explained what he'd done.
Now unable to deny that something was wrong, he finally dared to face his sire with his "terrible mistakes", as he saw them. Jared explained sympathetically that some vampires simply were infertile and couldn't turn others. The "defect" was devastating to Corwin, despite the assurance that it wasn't his fault and he'd still be accepted among the family no matter what, and he now feels that he has to do something else to make up for his lack. It feeds into his subservience to older Strigoi vampires, increases his protectiveness towards those he would otherwise take into the fold, adds to his unwillingness to turn away stray animals, and often leads him taking on strange missions or crusades in the hopes of helping the helpless. He doesn’t stay in one place much, these days, instead moving around with a couple of stray cats, the pair of unquiet spirits, his laptop and cell phone for freelance programming work when he needed cash, and the hope that he can maybe make a difference in the world.
Corwin’s original world, a now-closed original-character role-playing game called Praelitis, is actually probably a lot like the World of Darkness world: there are vampires, there are werecreatures, there are mages, there are spirits and demons, there are even angels, though they’re not much like the angels of the Machine. The supernatural stays underground there as well, with those few too sensitive, too unlucky, or too curious for their own good stumbling onto it now and then, for good or for ill.
The time is modern, early 2000s, and the setting is mostly like the USA of our world, only with the addition of those hiding supernaturals. Vampires in particular come in several varieties, and though they all share certain traits-- weakness to sunlight and fire; supernatural strength, speed, and healing; conditional immortality and the need for blood-- they are different enough to have their own specific species traits. Corwin’s type, the Strigoi, are the ones with the ugliest outsides but the kindest hearts. They take in outcastes and the abused, try to give them a family in undeath, somewhere to belong and someone to look out for them, but the turning warps them physically into something hideous and frightening, a truly inhuman monster in appearance. Their special abilities include the summoning of one specific type of animal (in Corwin’s case, cats); a painless or even pleasant bite, if he’s careful about it; an unerring sense of direction and ability to navigate; and a tendency to kill plant life in the vicinity of anywhere they take up residence, though that’s more like a curse than an ability. The Strigoi’s oldest and most powerful vampires in the States live in New York City, in the subway tunnels beneath the streets, where they keep watch on the homeless there and protect their own, and keep records of their kind. Their culture is one of protection, watchfulness, and acceptance, with little of the vying for power that other vampire lines tend to engage in.
The game setting itself is a small town in Michigan, where the supernatural tends to congregate, it being out of the way from any major cities and unusually magical in nature. One of your typical settings for a modern supernatural game, really. Corwin’s friends there included a pair of demons, a wereraven, and a blind dreamwalker-- which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
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